PMS 2.0 040 – Vinatieri, Florio, And The World We Live In

Today’s show is packed with football talk. First, Colts Kicker, the all-time NFL points leader, 4x Super Bowl Champion, the GOAT, Adam Vinatieri, calls into the show. He and Pat discuss his season now that the dust has settled, Adam Schefter breaking the news that he plans to return for his 24th season, what he learned from Bill Belichick when playing for the Patriots, and he looks ahead to next season (4:04-20:56). Next, longtime friend of the show, creator of Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio calls in to recap the Conference Championship games. They also discuss what needs to be done to change the officiating in the NFL and Mike proposes a rule change for overtime (20:57-36:29). Pat and the guys also give their takes on the Conference Championships, chat a little bit about the plans for Super Bowl week in Atlanta, and Pat talks about a couple of the recent documentaries he’s watched including Murder Mountain, the Fyre Fest documentary, and Avicii’s documentary. It’s a good one, come and laugh with us. Cheers.

NFL Sabotaging Players’ Legacies

Each year the NFL players have a Pro Bowl vote to decide who is the best of the best. I’m not sure of the weight the players’ vote carries alongside the fans, coaches, and media votes when it comes to deciding the rosters.. but it’s still a cool thing to be a part of each year. It’s the active players deciding who are “THE GUYS.” MVPs, Comeback player of the year, Pro Bowlers, awards, all of that.. This vote meant more than the other 3 by a mile in my eyes. Respect amongst your peers is something you can only earn. You can’t be given these votes by a good PR push from your agent or an agency, or by being a part of a team with a larger and more passionate fanbase, etc., etc.. It’s the guys who’ve been in the locker room and in the game voicing their opinions on who the studs are in the league. There’s a ballot and a HUGE stat packet handed out to each position group on each team.. the players gather around and chat about it after the work day is complete.. Names are tossed forward, a “yay” or “nah” situation happens, then somebody goes thru the stat packet and lobbies for or against that player, it becomes quite a learning process.

When you’re in the middle of an NFL season, you live in a bubble, it’s Groundhog’s Day, work and sleep is pretty much your entire season.. you don’t get to watch many other games or players outside of who you’re playing each week. You can hear some buzz about how Saquon is doing, but you’re traveling or playing on Sunday’s normally so you don’t fully understand until whomever has the stat packet says “Saquon has 100,000 yards this year”.. that’s when players start talking about the finer details on why it’s either impressive or isn’t at all to them.. which D Lines Saquon has played against, his o-line.. “He’s doing that with “insert name of shitty offensive lineman” or “insert example of defense he played against in the year” type of quotes get tossed around at a high frequency… “I could do that shit too in that situation” might be said.. These votes, just like society, are not immune to some haters hating.

Punters and kickers also get voted upon. Long snappers don’t get voted on, that’s a conversation for another day. They deserve that honor as well.. anyways.. A former colleague of mine took a picture of the NFC punt stat page handed out to the players for the vote and sent it to me.. He said that when it came to the specialist vote the room yelled “#ForTheBrand”.. made me feel good deep in my plums. Anyways.. here’s the stats for the NFC punters that the players looked at yesterday.

I’d assume some folks believe that the best punter is the one who can kick the ball the furthest the most often… That is a GREAT quality to have as a punter, but 1 stat can’t give you all the answers.

Punting stats should come with a little deeper thinking.. For instance.
High gross averages might correlate with being the punter for a team who’s offense might struggle or stall out early.. Because obviously there is a much larger field to work with when you go on the field to punt after a 3 and out after a touchback then when your team picks up a a couple first downs then have to punt.. That can drastically change the strategy of the kick. It’s no longer a “bomb” mentality, it then becomes a pooch/pin mentality which leads me to the..

https://giphy.com/gifs/mardi-gras-116seTvbXx07F6

Inside the 20 stat.. HUGE stat.. The punter’s job is to create a field position advantage. Pinning a team deep is the ultimate task for a punter.. If you have a good defense who can 3 and out or pick-6 a team after you pin them .. that’s some beautiful field-position harmony.. Punters are looking to pin folks inside the 20, but we don’t bank on the inside the 20 stats to tell us if a guy is having a good year or not.. Situational stuff comes into play there A LOT. Pooch opportunities vs Big field opps. Andy Lee is tied for the most inside the 20 in the NFC, but… he’s also had more than double the amount of punts than Hekker. 77 punts is A LOT of punts. Law of averages type of stuff here..

Returns Given Up/Return Yards are a couple good stats to look at for how a guy is doing. You can correlate that with net and gross and put together a pretty good idea on how the guy has punted.

What I’m trying to say with all of this… is just like any other stat.. The numbers don’t Bob Ross the whole story.. You gotta dive deeper than the numbers.. With that being said I think The Bomber From Down Under.. “Ok Cool, Hook ‘em”’s finest.. Michael Dickson is probably the guy in the NFC this year being voted by the players. Cameron Johnston also INCREDIBLE year…

https://twitter.com/PatMcAfeeShow/status/1038895219956174854
https://twitter.com/Eagles/status/1027729884708200449?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1027729884708200449&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bleedinggreennation.com%2F2018%2F8%2F10%2F17673426%2Fphiladelphia-eagles-punter-cameron-johnston-kicks-81-yard-bomb-preseason-nfl-ohio-state-aussie-video

Something to be mentioned.. Pro Football Focus.. Collinsworth’s stat company.. Watches EVERY SINGLE PUNT.. and scores them. It’s a highly respected grading system amongst every player I know. Much more so than any of the media folks’ rankings. They released some punter rankings yesterday as well..

https://twitter.com/pff/status/1072827412445097984?s=21

Palardy leading the way.. What this tells us is that Palardy has been having an incredibly consistent season.. Happy for Palardy, the guy deserves to have a great season..

THAT’S NOT WHAT THIS BLOG IS ABOUT THOUGH

This blog is about the NFL, sabotaging the legacy of Legatron. The number 2 punter on PFF’s ranking… doesn’t even show up on the NFC’s Pro Bowl voting sheet because Drew Brees is too damn good. He hasn’t punted enough to show up in the stats. Everybody knows how I feel about Drew Brees and his baby..

That was a terrible moment in my life.. and they just look too damn cute.
But the fact that Morstead’s year has just been erased by the NFL is a truly disgusting act against the brand. EVERY PUNT MATTERS. We all know that. I’d also like to argue that it is HARDER to punt less. I’ve been on both sides of the plate here. I was on a team that was undefeated until we chose to lose against the New York Jets. Peyton Manning was the QB, we didn’t punt often. Then, I was on a team a couple years later that was almost completely defeated until Dan Orlovsky came and won us 2 games. We were about a game away from owning the “Most punts in a season by a punter” record in the NFL.

https://giphy.com/gifs/barstoolsports-wwe-wow-fGR0DfFPmXakpCAe4C

The year I was punting 7-8 times a game was much easier than when I was rarely punting at all. When you get a lot of opportunities a lot of things happen, especially in a position in which your “average” means everything. When you have a lot of opportunities that affords you a lot of fuck ups, without screwing the average up as much. You also get into a flow, a rhythm, you start feeling the game a little bit. When you’re punting once a game, it is very difficult to catch a rhythm. You also can’t fuck up AT ALL. Every. Punt. Matters. at that point. If you hit a shank, your numbers are ruined for weeks. If you’re hitting 6 punts a game, you can hit a shank or 2 a game and make up for it with the other 4 punts.

I know Thomas Morstead’s reputation from the media right now is “a guy who’s over paid and out of work.” But there’s a reason the Saints gave him that contract. He’s incredible. He’s the guy, alongside Jamie Kohl, who taught me how to punt. He’s the guy who I’d call during the season if I had a question. He’s the guy, who is the best pure punter the game has ever seen…. He just so happens to be a little bit of a nerd, and A LOT A BIT underused at the time being… But don’t you worry.. You don’t need a good punter.. until you really need him. At some point during this magical run that the Saints are on, The Long Legged Piss Missile Legatron will be called upon to flip the field to keep the other team out of a game tying field goal or tudder.. and that’ll be the day the city of New Orleans and all the humans in WHO DAT Nation will toss their beads in appreciation.. of Thomas Morstead.

Congrats to Dickson, Johnston, Lee, Palardy, and all the boys of the NFC for putting on a great show this year.. No matter how often you were called upon. Cheers boys. #ForTheBrand

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Dez Bryant Did Not Pass Away & Brandon Marshall Could Kill The Saints.

https://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/1061690915008471042

All day yesterday players on the Saints and around the league were throwing up the X for Dez Bryant and I had to go back and make sure that I read the headlines correct that he tore his achilles and did not in fact die.

https://twitter.com/espn/status/1061022133923528704

You probably thought I was going to bash players for showing respect to a player that got hurt before taking a snap for a team this year but you would be wrong. I actually think it’s pretty cool. I love what the Saints offense does and I was really looking forward to see what they did with Dez. Dez was stuck on that Cowboys team forever and he just wanted a chance to win and I respect that. It also shows how close of a locker room the Saints have that a guy can be there for 36 hours and they already have his back.

https://twitter.com/LeadingNFL/status/1061695729390047233
https://twitter.com/fballmedia/status/1061701800674422784

I’m happy to hear that Sean Peyton is open to bringing Dez back for next year. Dez is a very passionate player and there is always room in the NFL for players like that. 

https://twitter.com/NFLonFOX/status/1061672325630705664

Now as the great Poets Semisonic said “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” With Dez Bryant being hurt that opens a spot for the Saints to sign someone else. That someone else being Brandon Marshall.

https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/1061969423630848000

This is what I said last week about the possibility of the Saints signing Brandon Marshall…. 

Why not Brandon Marshall you ask? I love Brandon Marshall but there is one stat about Brandon Marshall that makes him unsignable (spell check is telling me that unsignable is probably not a word but they can go fuck themselves). Brandon Marshall has played 13 seasons, has 970 catches for 12,351 yards, and has 83 career touchdowns. Do you know what Brandon Marshall does not have? A PLAYOFF APPEARANCE. If you sign Brandon Marshall your season will DIE. Brees will get hurt, Bridgewater will blow out his robotic knee, Kamara’s nose will get ripped off by the ring, Goodell will retroactively suspend Michael Thomas for 9 games for cell phone usage, and Hue Jackson will somehow become coach. The Saints would burn.

The above remains true but My guess is that they think whatever voodoo Drew Brees is working with is strong than the curse of Brandon Marshall. 

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Check That, The Saints Didn’t get better

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1061001563651608577

Thats TOUGH. Achilles injuries are the absolute worst and they are saying it happened on the last play of practice. Looks like everything I said below now means nothing. Except that the Saints can still not sign Brandon Marshall. 

https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/1060209814683443200

Below is what I wrote yesterday about why the Saints should sign Dez Bryant. Because I am a smart knowledgable football mind they took my advice seriously and have Signed Dez Bryant.

https://twitter.com/SNFonNBC/status/1059631270144208897

Dear Saints, You have to sign Dez. YOU CANNOT SIGN BRANDON MARSHALL. Lets take a quick look at who the Saints leading receivers on the season:

As far as receivers, after Michael Thomas the next most productive receivers are Ted Ginn & Tre’Quan Smith with 12 catches each. TWELVE, and they still are the #2 scoring offense in the league. Imagine if they had ANY other receiving threat…. 

https://giphy.com/gifs/nfl-football-dallas-cowboys-xT9IgidZymvNfoEoqQ

I know Dez was not great the last few years but he was also receiving balls from Romo for a few games, Matt Cassel, Kellen Moore, Brandon Weeden, and Dak. No offense to that steaming pile of shit list I just typed but they aren’t Drew Brees. Dez would also not have to be the number 1, Michael Thomas is an animal and has that spot held down pretty well. 

https://twitter.com/Saints/status/1059239628719288320

I think Dez has reached that point in his career where he has matured (besides all the tweets attacking the Cowboys) and he just wants to win. I mean he did make the smart decision of not signing with the Browns & Ravens, 2 horrible franchises. This is a win win for the Saints. You sign him for not much money and he either preforms or he stinks and you just go back to your offense that is already putting up over 30 a game. 

https://giphy.com/gifs/season-7-the-simpsons-7×2-l0G17sS7uRkH9hHWw

Why not Brandon Marshall you ask? I love Brandon Marshall but there is one stat about Brandon Marshall that makes him unsignable (spell check is telling me that unsignable is probably not a word but they can go fuck themselves). Brandon Marshall has played 13 seasons, has 970 catches for 12,351 yards, and has 83 career touchdowns. Do you know what Brandon Marshall does not have? A PLAYOFF APPEARANCE. If you sign Brandon Marshall your season will DIE. Brees will get hurt, Bridgewater will blow out his robotic knee, Kamara’s nose will get ripped off by the ring, Goodell will retroactively suspend Michael Thomas for 9 games for cell phone usage, and Hue Jackson will somehow become coach. The Saints would burn. 

https://giphy.com/gifs/showtimesports-showtime-3ohzgP0Z5vWNZiC31C

Side Note: Kamar Aiken is coming in for a visit as well and no one cares.

Do the right thing, sign Dez, Brees wins MVP, Saints play in Super Bowl. Book all of those now.

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The NFL is Rigged for Drew Brees

The NFL is rigged for Drew Brees.

Sep 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during warmups before a game against the New England Patriots at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

I’d like to say that I am not an NFL rigs games guy, the Italians rig games.  However, when I lay out all the facts it will be hard to not think that something is going on.

First things first, I want to make this clear. I’m a fan of Drew Brees. Before Drew Brees if you were a skinny white kid under 6 feet you inspired to be Wayne Chrebet, Brandon Stokley, or Wes Welker, not exactly NFL royalty. More like CTE royalty. At least with Drew we now could dream about being QB royalty, the greatest of all the royalties. Drew led the way for guys like Russel Wilson, Case Keenum, Johnny Manziel, Chase Daniel, and Baker Mayfield to at least get a chance in the league. Sure some of them aren’t great but Before Drew no one that size was getting a chance. Flutie was in the league strictly for drop kicks so don’t even bring him up.

Now that I have made it clear that I appreciate Drew Brees, here is the case for the NFL rigging games for him. I don’t know why the NFL decided to do this for Drew, I assume it’s because he chose New Orleans over Miami when New Orleans needed a savior but who knows exactly why.

Speaking of New Orleans needing a hero and a savior after Katrina. Quick shout out to Steve Gleason and one of the coolest moments in NFL History

Alright let’s get into the things that have gone either the Saints way or Drew’s way that could be deemed “suspicious.”

  1. The Sea parts for Steve Gleason on the first punt in the SuperDome after Hurricane Katrina. Like I said, one of the coolest moments of all time, but how often does a rusher come that free up the middle.
  • The Saints recover one of the ballsiest onside kicks of all time in Super Bowl XLIV against the Colts. The dog pile was absolute mayhem. Sources tell me that the refs were yelling “blue ball” (Colts ball) originally and then changed to the Saints. The video below does not show the refs pointing for the Colts at any point but that’s what I’m told.
http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-cant-miss-plays/09000d5d81646143/SB-XLIV-Can-t-Miss-Play-Saints-surprise
  • Peyton Manning throws a pick six to Tracey Porter to seal the game for the Saints. At first that seems like a normal football play until you really break it down.  Tracey Porter basically ran the route for Reggie Wayne. Reggie Wayne being a guy who caught 856 balls from Manning. A ball being intercepted that easily on a pass between those 2 is not a common occurrence. Was Tracey tipped off? Peyton and Reggie are both from Louisiana…… hmm.
  • 2012 Drew Brees breaks Johnny Unitas record for most games in a row with a TD pass. This is where the suspicion switched from the Saints to strictly Drew Brees. Drew breaks the record during a primetime Sunday Night Football game, against the Chargers (the team that chose Phillip Rivers over him), to a WIDE OPEN Devery Henderson.
http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-cant-miss-plays/0ap1000000078092/WK-5-Can-t-Miss-Play-Brees-breaks-Unitas-record
  • 2018 Drew Brees becomes the all-time passing yards leader in the NFL. Once again this was done during a primetime game. Once again to a WIDE OPEN receiver for a TD. Sure the NFL tried covering up the rigging by enforcing a penalty for excessive celebration even though his whole family is there with the huge Hall of Fame dude with his white gloves and a certificate for Drew to have but I saw right through it.
https://twitter.com/thecheckdown/status/1049473834380877825
  • Last week Drew Brees throws his 500th TD and beats the Ravens, the only team he had never beaten.  It wasn’t that he beat the Ravens on the day he threw his 500th TD it was how he beat the Ravens on the day he threw his 500th TD.  The NFL fired up there ole wind machine and forced Justin Tucker to miss an Extra Point. Justin Tucker, the league’s most accurate kicker. Justin Tucker who hadn’t missed an XP since High School. 314 Extra Points in a row. Doesn’t matter how many extra points you’ve hit in a row when you’re against Drew and the NFL. Hmmmmmm
https://twitter.com/espn/status/1054149677485080578

Like I said, I’m not an NFL is rigged guy, but when the evidence is laid out in front of you.  It’s tough to argue.

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