View From the Uprights – 08/23/2014

A day late this week, but I wanted to see the Packers third preseason game vs. the Oakland Raiders before writing this weeks’ blog. I hope everyone had a great week!

I came away with these observations after the third Packers game last night.

– The offense is FAST, and I mean scary fast. If the offensive line stays healthy this year, watch out NFL.
– B.J. Rajis’ arm injury – it seemed minor last night. But what what I’m hearing through the wires this morning as this may be a serious injury. Paging one Ryan Pickett…
– If Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews are healthy this year, the pass rush will be strong along with Mike Daniels, Mike Neal and Datone Jones
– Casey Hayward and his hamstring issues. This is a growing problem and I’m wondering if this will ever go away?
– Eddie Lacy is going to be an absolute monster in 2014.
– Who will be the punt returner? Whomever it is, better learn to catch the football better. I’m seeing way too many drops for my liking.
– Third-round draft pick Richard Rodgers could be a real weapon in the seams…which anyone who follows the Packers knows they love to run the tight end seam routes.

Expanding to 10 players for the practice squad is a good move for the NFL.

The NFL is really doing its best to be a ‘No Fun League’ – Jimmy Graham gets a $30,000 fine for dunking the ball over the goal post? Geez…it’s a game, let them have some fun. Can you imagine how much Tony Gonzalez would have been fined with all of his touchdown dunks?

I laugh every time I hear some NFL teams’ beat writer saying a team is clicking as we get ready to kick off the season. Psst…it’s PRESEASON for a reason, morons!! Teams put out the most vanilla of schemes so whomever is on their schedule does not pick up on any new wrinkles they may have for the season. It’s also to get the players conditioned for the season, and also for guys to fight for roster spots. A team is clicking? Sure, tell me that when we’re 2-3 weeks into the season, you know, when the games actually matter!

One thing I did notice from last nights games…as long as Jay Cutler is the Chicago Bears quarterback, he will throw 2-3 passes every game that could and should be picked off. He reminds me of Brett Favre in that regard, but Favre was much more mobile than Cutler ever will be. Oh, and unless the Packers fall off the face of the earth, the Bears will be second fiddle in the division until Aaron Rodgers retires.

What’s with the Texas A&M first round draft picks? Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans gets in a brawl on his 21st birthday with a bouncer at a Tampa night club. And then Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel (I refuse to use his nickname) flips off the opposing teams bench? Hey boys…this is the professionals now, and you probably should act like it. If you wanted to be spoiled frat boys, you should have stayed at A&M for one more year and try to run through the SEC again.

I think Manziel will be starting for the Browns by the 5th week of the season vs. Tennessee and he will get his ass kicked all year long.

Ndamukong Suh is taking cheap shots at other players? Come on, really? That’s the most shocking thing I’ve seen. You want to send a message for someone who constantly plays dirty? Suspend him for the season without pay. If that doesn’t work, have fun in the Canadian Football League or Arena Football League.

Ohio State lost their starting quarterback Braxton Miller for the season due to an injury. This hurts Ohio State and hurts the Big Ten chances at the playoffs. I think it’s up to Michigan State to make the run, win at Oregon and win the Big Ten Championship Game vs. Nebraska, Wisconsin or Iowa.

My Big Ten predictions for the season. I have Michigan State vs. Wisconsin the championship game. The West division is tricky because I think Nebraska or Iowa very easily could win the West.

1. Wisconsin
2. Iowa
3. Nebraska
4. Northwestern
5. Minnesota
6. Illinois
7. Purdue

1. Michigan State
2. Ohio State
3. Michigan
4. Maryland
5. Penn State
6. Indiana
7. Rutgers

The Milwaukee Brewers are coming up on another tough stretch in their schedule. This one will make or break their season. All but four games in September are against the division, including a 10-game road trip at St. Louis, at Cincinnati and at Pittsburgh. They need to add a game or two to their lead over St. Louis this coming week.

The Boston Red Sox sign Cuban defect, er “import” Rusney Castillo to a 7-year $72.5 MILLION deal. This is for a guy who hasn’t played all season, and only in Cuba? How in the fuck does he earn that kind of money? Never mind they need pitching more than anything.

As for athletes in general, I understand it’s the sports agents and teams doing bidding wars, but what happened to having guys prove themselves before throwing big money at them? All too many times, guys work their way up to that kind of money only to fall flat on their face. It’s what drives the casual sports fan away from watching or even going to sporting events.

That’s all this week…a little short on the baseball talk with football ramping up. I will add more baseball thoughts next week. Enjoy your weekend!



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