Time For The Fireworks

Posted in Sports, St. Louis Blues, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 30, 2011 by Travis Green

The heat of summer is upon us, Lord Stanley’s Cup has been lifted, and Independence day is almost here.

And for many NHL teams tomorrow the fireworks will start early.

July 1st is the official opening of NHL free agency, and team will look to start off with a bang! Last 46 signing were made on the first of July, some resigning with their team of the past season, such as Alex Steen did with the Blues, and others high tailing it out-of-town in search for green pastures, such as Olli Jokinen moving from Calgary to New York.

This year I don’t expect to see as much action, however I see the Blues being a bit more active than last year.

I know this may seem a little crazy especially with recent reports of a dull market, and the franchise being for sale, but look for the Blues to see a few situations they like and go after them.

With the blue note only losing a few players from last year, mainly Ty Conklin, Cam Janssen and possibly Matt D’ Agostini if he chooses to play hockey elsewhere, it may seem as if the Blues don’t have a lot of holes to fill. However, you add in the loss of Winchester and Boyes to trades last season, the Blues have more holes to fill.

Players such as Scatchard, Cracknell, and Porter are not everyday players as they were forced to be last year, especially towards the end. So the Blues will look fill those voids.

Does that mean players such as Brad Richards, a trade for Zach Parise, or another high valued player is in the cards for the Blues? No, not even close, but the note will be looking for diamonds in the rough like they have found before with D’ Agostini.

Matt D' Agostini will hit the open market Friday.

Assessing the Blues is a tough task, as it has been for the last few years. The questions you must ask include: Is David Backes that elite forward, and presence that can score you 25-30 goals? Can T.J. Oshie be a second line contributor? Is Andy McDonald going to play like he did last year, and cease all the worries that have haunted him for years? Chris Stewart is he for real? Will we see the return of a healthy David Perron?

Those are just a few of the offensive questions, not counting a young defensive core, and a goalie who’s inconsistencies hurt him last year.

As decipher through the questions it leaves me with a few conclusions, the Blues will add at least one middle of the road offensive player with a nice ceiling, they will look but not quickly and actively pursue a defenseman. And finally the Blues will talk to some agents for a few NHL goaltenders.

The Blues have to find something on the offense, with the arrival of Stewart the Blues offense soared at the end of last season, but they still need a guy who can put the puck in the net around 20 times a year, especially if Dags is gone. They will have guys such as Phillip McRae and Evgeny Grachev competing for a spot on the roster but for management to expect that kind of production from those players would be foolish.

A few names to look for on the offensive side:
Ville Leino – He may be a bit of a hot commodity, especially with the down market. Don’t know what kind of deal his agent is looking for so it may be a long shot for the Blues, but I love his grit and determination to get to the net, and put the puck where it belongs.

Michael Ryder – Another possible long shot, but he is someone who could jump on the ice and fill in the number two-line. Would be a perfect replacement for Perron, if you are without him for a while. Plus brings that veteran leadership, and Stanley Cup presence to the team.

Andrew Burnette – This is a very realistic choice. He brings a veteran leadership to the team, a very smart player who can put the puck in the back of the net and find the stick of other players. A good second or third liner.

Tyler Kennedy – The Penguins are continuing to work on a deal with Kennedy, but I could see Kennedy being a player that would like to see more ice time, and the Blues have that for him here. Last year Kennedy saw more ice with the Malkin and Crosby injuries, and he put up some respectable numbers with 21 goals and 24 assists.

Ville Leino I believe would be one of the best options for the Blues

Those are some of the big candidates I see the Blues making a run after, a few honorable mentions are Chris Higgins, Michal Handzus, and the Doug Armstrong connection to Jamie Langenbrunner.

Notice there is no Thomas Fleishmann on there, and that is because his stock much like Leino’s stock is rising, and I believe he will sign a lucrative deal elsewhere.

As for D-men, I am not as sold on the fact that the Blues need a defenseman on this team. As I look at the roster the Blues already have seven legitimate contenders for six defensive slots, adding a veteran to the mix would be cheating guys like Nikita Nikitin and Ian Cole out of a chance. Unless the Blues are looking for another Darryl Sydor type signing. Names being bantered about are Jan Hedja, Steve Montador, or even Andreas Lilja.

Goaltending is the interesting topic. Many thought with the departure of Ty Conklin the Blues would hand the job to Ben Bishop, but in the last previous days and weeks that has become less obvious. I see the Blues pursuing a goaltender to help backup and possibly start in case of an injury or mishaps by starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak. So with that being said many like the possibility of a Josh Harding, but I believe he is headed to a place in need of a goalie split. Two goalies I see as legit contenders for the backup job Mathieu Garon, and my gut feeling Mike Smith.

As many begin to wind up their work week and get ready for an extended weekend with fireworks, NHL GMs will be working their free night

s and weekend minutes up as they look to set off a few fireworks of their own.

Cards Savior? Not Quite, But Better Than Other Options

Posted in MLB, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2010 by Travis Green

Pedro Feliz will take over at 3B for the Cards

The St. Louis Cardinals have been openly discussing their involvement in the waiver wires. As they continued to look for a move that would “address a need.” They may have found part of their solution on Thursday afternoon.

The Cardinals acquired veteran 3rd baseman, Pedro Feliz, 35, from the Houston Astros in exchange for prospect David Carpenter. Carpenter is a 24-year-old relief pitcher who has yet to make it out of High A ball, but has electric stuff with averaging more than a strikeout per inning.

Feliz is not a long-term solution for the Cardinals, and may not be a home run for the Cardinals, but right now the Cards need a stop-gap and that’s something Feliz can do.

When looking at Feliz compared to the other options at 3rd, he is a much better option providing more range and a fielding percentage that is on par with the rest of the league. (.950)

Feliz at times has shown himself to be an above average fielder while handling the bat, this year as GM of the Astros Ed Wade said, “It’s been a tough year for him.” Tough year is an under statement .031 points below his career average of .252. His power numbers are down as well, with only 4 dingers to his name, in limited action.

Yes, those are tough numbers to fathom, but when you look at it this way, no one has lived up to their averages for the Astros this year: Carlos Lee, a lifetime .288 hitter, with an average of 30 Home Runs a year, has seen his average dip to .248 and only seen 15 balls leave the yard this year, while still hitting at the hitter friendly, Minute Maid Park.

It doesn’t stop there: Lance Berkman before being traded was batting a mind numbing .245 which came in .051 points below his normal average. He has also seen a decline in power as well seeing only 13 Home Runs this year compared to his average 33 HR in his career.

AP Photo / Rob Carr

Now yes you can say that “all these guys are aging”, and there is no argument there, but these guys don’t just fall into oblivion over night. This is a result of being on a bad team, even Roy Oswalt struggled in his last few months as an Astro.

I am not here to tell you Pedro Feliz is the man to carry the Cardinals down Market, with another World Series in hand, but I am saying he’s the best option.

The Good:
He hits lefties well, batting .260 against them with 40 HR and 160 RBIs
He gets runs in, when they’re in scoring position…he has 443 RBI’s with a .260 average.
He puts the ball in play, averaging only 84 strikeouts per season
He like Busch Stadium, .288 average is his 3rd highest avg. in a ballpark with at least 60 plate appearances in

The Bad:
He doesn’t take a lot of pitches, which leads to not as many walks taken either..just over 3.3 pitches per AB
Power has decreased in each of the last 5 seasons
Career .244 average after the 7th inning

The Ugly:
He doesn’t hit well after the start of September…it is his worse statistical month…batting .235, but his power does increase in Sept./Oct.
He has batted .228 dating back to last August 18th

The displeasure of many fans with this team performance is warranted, but let’s not let that affect your opinion of Pedro Feliz, let this play out, they need a 3rd baseman. They got one.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Pedro Feliz has a career batting average of .263 with 78 HR’s and 351 RBI’s against the remaining teams on the Cards schedule….That’s more than half his career RBI and HR totals, while batting .011 points better than his career average. AND the Rockies is a team he has been most successful against batting .287 with 20 HR and 80 RBI, they just so happen to be the Cards last series of the season.

High Five

Posted in Uncategorized on April 11, 2010 by Travis Green

Jeffrey Phelps/AP

The St. Louis Cardinals are five game into the season and could easily be undefeated.

They are not 5-0 but instead 4-1, but one thing is for sure with this team, they will score runs when needed.

On opening day this team had 12 hit, was walked 4 times and reached base on an error, with all those players on base this team only stranded seven throughout the game, and was 3 for 9 with runners in scoring position (RISP).

We know how Yadier Molina likes to hit with RISP, last year he hit .305 with RISP, and in 2008 he hit .340, so what happens when we are in the 9th inning. and Molina comes to the plate with the bases loaded and a three run lead, oh nothing really just a flick of the wrist and four runs on the boards!

The scare was not scoring runs coming into this season, but when your bats .296 (8 for 27) with runners in scoring position, as they did in the series against Cincinnati.

Last Year, the Cards batted .264 with RISP which placed them 4th in the NL and 13th in the Majors. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim batted .297 and that team finished with 97 wins.

The series against the Brewers didn’t start off as good, they went 0 for 8 in that same spot, but yesterday in a 7-1 victory again batted 3 for 7 with RISP. But this team has found a different way to win in their four victories, including a game winning HR by Nick Stavinoha.

It’s early yes, but we have seen the bench produce with only 7 AB off the bench, we’ve seen 2 hits, a walk, and a game-winning homer, that being from a guy I have continued to call a 4-A player.

But with as good as this team has look, the starters have really looked that much better Kyle Lohse was the only one that really got beat up, and his stuff early one was not that bad. Ten earned runs in 32 innings this team has potential to hold people to 3 runs or less in most of their games, if and only if that bullpen can hold on.

The ‘pen has been better in the Milwaukee but this bullpen has allowed 5 ER in 11.1 IP, but those runs ,outside of Jason Motte’s explosion in Cincy, came in the first game of the year.

Kyle McClellan is in jeopardy of losing his eighth inning spot if he does not become more consistent, Blake Hawksworth has impressed the manager and last year really showed his tenacity and may become the permanent right handed eighth inning guy.

It is five games into the season and the Cardinals have been competitive in every game and we can guarantee tonight with Chris Carpenter on the mound they will stay competitive and could come away with their 5th win of the season.

This will be a fun season!

Again Singing The Blues

Posted in Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 by Travis Green


This year St. Louis is singing the blues, instead of singing the Blues praises.

The St. Louis Blues finish their disappointing 2009-10 campaign with a disappointing 90 points, two off of last years total, at least 4 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot, and tied for 9th.

What a difference a year makes?

The Blues last year finished with 92 points, winning 24 of their last 38 games, and streaking into the playoffs. But that all came to an abrupt end with a sweep from the hands of a Canuck.

So then we come to this season, the Blues had a plethora of talent returning, and two key players healthy in Erik Johnson and Paul Kariya.

Obviously this team will be in the playoffs and compete for the Central division right?

Well the two games in Sweden sure this reassure us of that.

The Blues scored 9 goals and everyone was chipping in, but even more important the veterans, Keith Tkachuk and Paul Kariya had four points a piece.

This was just the start they wanted, get the fear of Detroit out this young teams head and start their push for the division title……..WRONG!

The roller coaster ride was on from there, in the first deep valley for the Blues, October 24th until November 14th, this team only gained 6 out of a possible 22 points in the standings. During this time those same veterans that succeeded during their time in Sweden had a combined 3 points! Kariya played in 10 of the 11 games and had one assist, while Walt had a total of 2 assist in the 11 game stretch.

It doesn’t stop there Patrik Berglund pitch in one assist, while David Backes had an assist and Brad Boyes finally grabbed five points but not until the 2 of the last three games in that 11 game demise, including one game in a 6-1 victory at home over the Canucks in which he had a goal and three assist.

Enough with those depressing nu,ber let’s move on, the Blues had signs where you thought it was going to start the turn-a-round, such as November 10th when the Blues finally break through at home with 6 goals against Vancouver for only their 2nd win at home in eight tries. Brad Boyes had a phenomenal four point out burst, nearly doubling his out put from the first 15 games.

But that game was yet another tease, as the Blues drop their next two at home and 6 of their next eight games at the ole barn.

The goaltending was stellar, allowing only four 5 goal games in their first two months, a 25 game span. This team was top in goaltending throughout most of the first few months and yes, they do play more than those 25 games, but you cannot continue to put it on the goaltenders shoulders, unless it Martin Brodeur, and no offense to the goaltenders of the Blues but Brodeur is not on this team. But the goaltending continue their good play throughout December with allowing 5+ goals in one game.

December saw the Blues first winning streak of more than two games! But followed that up with an impressive seven game losing streak in which they grabbed four out of a possible 14 points. They will miss the playoffs by how many points, four or six, depending on the outcome of the Colorado Avalanche’s last game.

During that losing streak head coach Andy Murray, who went 118-102-40, lost his job because he was not getting everything out of their young players. “We feel going forward that we really need to get our young people to be better players,” team president John Davidson said.

Andy Murray was not the reason for this teams down fall, I will say it until the day I die, the St. Louis Blues were 6-13-3 at home under Coach Murray. But miraculously had an 11-4-3 record on the road. This team quit on him, he was too tough for the prima donna players.

Sources close to the locker room told me that there was a lot of scrutiny about the way Andy treated players such as Berglund, but 12 points with 6 goals, I guess had nothing to do with the way Murray treated this guy, who later over slept a practice, right in the midst of a playoff run.

Maybe the hard nose style of Murray was necessary for players such as Perron, but I will give credit where credit is due, in the last 42 games under Interim Davis Payne, T.J. Oshie had 28 points compared to the 19 he had in the first 40 under Murray, Perron had 25 under Payne after 22 under Murray, and finally Berglund had 14 points under Payne after 12 under Murray.

So yes there was improvement, but how much did that have to do with the effort level this team gave under Coach Payne?

Also under Coach Payne the Blues had their first 4 game winning streak, five game winning streak, and finish 23-15-6 under the interim.

Does this warrant a full-time head coach tag being handed out to Coach Payne? We will have to wait to see, as this is just one of a long line of questions awaiting the Blues during the off-season.

So we have heard of sophomore slumps for players in their 2nd year of professional sport, but I am not sure I have seen many 2nd year slumps from a team that was looking to return to prominence. Which is the reason I continue to say, making the playoffs last year was the biggest set back this team encountered in their rebuilding project, because it set expectations that much higher.

The Blues regressed in wins, in losses, and in goals. They allowed 10 less goals while scoring 8 less as well. Last year they were 72 of 351 for 20.5% on the Power Play, and this year regressed to 53 of 306 for 17.2%.

But the Blues were first in the league on the Penalty Kill with an outstanding 86.8% pk percentage. This was one of the few bright spots.

And again I will end in a negative, Let’s look at Brad Boyes, Patrik Berglund, and David Backes’ production from last year to this year, and this will easily void out the 3rd period collapses from this team. Boyes: 72 points in 08/09 this year 41, his passing ability was still there but with only 14 goals this year this was a big part of our production, on a bright note he improved his +/- improved by +19. Berglund: he put the definition to Sophomore slump with 47 points last year to 26 this year, he played better at the end but then decided to sleep through a practice. And Backes: everyone’s captain in waiting, only a 7 point difference with 54 points last year and 47 this year, yes not a huge drop off but if you are going to have an A on your jersey and hoping to turn it into a C, you must prove your worth a show progress, something him and this team failed to do!

For this team to have success they need to have the “Killer B’s” buzzing around the net producing points on the board and in the Standings.

Finally let’s look at the questions that must be answered over the off-season:

– What to do with Davis Payne?

– Will the Blues make a splash in Free Agency?

– Who is the goalie next season? Do they bring up Jake Allen or Ben Bishop?

– What do the Blues do with the vast amount of defenders on this team? Is Barrett Jackman going to be wearing a Blue Note?

– Do you resign Paul Kariya? How about Carlo Colaiacovo, Mike Weaver, or Chris Mason?

– How big is the deal you sign Erik Johnson to?

– Finally, how do you get the fans to believe that this team is capable of a playoff run? Not just the playoffs, but a run in the playoffs?

These are just a few questions they must answered, but this is why they make the big bucks!

It Is OK We Are In Good Hands

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2010 by Travis Green

As the St. Louis Cardinals pitchers and catcher report to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., you begin to think about the season ahead as well as the seasons past, and of course the off-season.

And for the Cardinals most of those things just mention have all been positive or look positive. Obviously, the Cardinals are the favorites to win the NL Central this season with their potentially lethal middle of the lineup.

Of course getting that middle of the lineup as lethal as it is did not come easy for the Cards this off-season, as they had to endure a lengthy contract negotiation with Matt Holliday and his agent Scott Boras. Eventually a deal was in place, signed, and Matt Holliday was a Cardinal, but of course that didn’t stop Cards fans from expressing their disappointment with the club.

GM John Mozeliak is a man whose job requires thick skin or stay away from every possible media outlet, because as many of us who live in St. Louis know, that no matter what move you make you will be slaughtered by someone, rather it’s an irrational radio show host, a smart aleck newspaper writer, or even a know-it all blogger, some individual will have something negative to say about the job you have done. The same could have been said with GM Walt Jocketty, not as much until his final few years but still some nonetheless.

Even though there was a World Championship brought to St. Louis in 2006, there were still those that were on the GM’s case to get a competing team in the following year.

Year after year, you look on the message boards, in the news paper, on the radio, and we hear the messages be sent to the GM of the St. Louis Cardinals, “This is who you need to sign.” Then most the time we here the same voice scream, crying, and kicking when the Cards surpass their guy for a David Eckstein.

The St. Louis Cardinals have seemed to get it right most of the time, sure there are your Matt Clements’, Sidney Ponsons’, and what not but for every one of those misses there are your Jeff Suppans’, David Eckstein and Mark Grudzelanek.

The St. Louis media and fans chewed out the organization for not making a serious run at two of the top free agent pitchers in 2007. Jason Schmidt and Barry Zito were the two guys everyone put a bid in for. The Cardinals were never really serious contenders and of course they went through the season with pitchers such as Todd Wellemeyer, Anthony Reyes, Braden Looper, and Kip Wells, not the strongest of staffs, but considering all those contracts together did not add up to what Zito was making that season.

And though it hurt to watch Barry Zito not land in a Cards uniform, it would have hurt even more if a Zito, who had a worse win/loss record than Looper in ’07, stole his money with out giving the worthy performance.

The same goes with a fire baller like A.J. Burnett, who never lived up to the money given to him in Toronto. Sure he finished over .500 but he couldn’t stay off the DL either.

Sure there are always the guy such as Brian Fuentes that you wish you could have had but this team evaluates the talent in front of them, they look at the perks, and the negatives, and that have gotten it right the majority of the time. I mean after all in the the decade of the 2000’s, the Cardinals had the most wins among NL teams, most World Series appearances among NL teams, and had the most playoff series wins among NL teams.

So for the one fearful of the Matt Holliday trade or the bench problem the Cardinals seem to have, and even that last spot in the rotation the is standing void right now let’s remember that we are in the hands of a team that has 10 World Series banners, and tied for the 4th best winning percentage of all time. WE ARE IN GOOD HANDS!

Nothing Came Easy For The Big Easy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 8, 2010 by Travis Green

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The New Orleans area anxiously awaited Superbowl 44, and were treated to pre-game coverage full of the horrific images and stories of what Hurricane Katrina had done to their town just four and a half years earlier.

It was something I am sure many fans were tired of seeing and hearing about, yes it is the job of the media to build up a story, but the city of New Orleans were here to watch some football, not agonize over their past.

Since 1967 the celebrated past of the Saints had been very limited, the teams shining moments included their first ever game starting with 94 yard opening kickoff return for a touchdown by John Gilliam, but the Saints went on to lose that one. Another moment known to most Saints fans was the 63 yard field goal kicked in the final seconds against the Detroit Lions on November 8, 1970, Tom Dempsey’s field goal defeated Detroit Lions by a score of 19–17.

They started the decade with a bang by making the playoffs and defeating the St. Louis Rams, but then went through a drought that was interrupted by a natural disaster.

2006 the team was destined to do it, as they were back home in New Orleans after being displaced for a season. They lost to the Chicago Bears, who went on to lose to the Colts in the Superbowl, in the NFC Championship game after an incredible season.

A few more not so charming seasons and the Saints were still trying to fight off all the New Orleans “Aints” jokes.

Then it was the year 2009. The team was in place and ready to make its run, but no one would have ever thought it would come to this. The team got off to a quick 13-0 start and were hearing whispers of an undefeated season. As always everyone said the only thing on their minds was the a Superbowl victory.

The team struggled down the stretch but turned it back up in time for the playoffs, demolishing the Arizona Cardinals and ending Kurt Warner’s career. Then went brought on the Vikings looking to end Brett Favre’s career. They may have done that as well, defeating the Vikes and putting a hurtin’ on ole’ number 4.

Now it was that time, time to wash away all the nightmares, all the anguish, and start over just as they did in 2006.

That task would be tough, as one of the best QB’s of all-time stood in the way of the Saints.

Super Bowl 44 was predicted to be a high scoring contest with the best two offenses in the NFL to face off. The game was talk about ad nauseam.

Which team would make the first mistake?

How much would Peyton Manning’s big game experience pay off?

Can the Saints defense shutdown the Colts offense and vice-versa?

All the questions were asked, and so was one last one who you got?

That question was a little easier to give an answer to then who ya rootin’ for?

Many of the critics as well as fans I spoke with thought the Colts would take it by a slim margin. And as I spoke about on my radio show, if there was to be a blowout it would be the Colts over the Saints.

The Colts were the favorites. But the Saints were the sentimental favorites. This made it hard to choose, because you don’t like to go for a favorite, but I am not a fan of going for the team every one else is pulling for.

The game was about to begin as we went around the room asking each individual, who you pullin’ for? The Colts led the way with 6 votes to 2 Saints vote. I was one of the two.

The game was a tough one to root for or against anyone because there were not very many hate-able figures on the field, sure you have Jeremy Shockey of the Siants, and there is always someone that is not a fan of Manning. But nothing that stands out as something to root against that team for.

So here we are food on the table drink in hand, and the coin flip happens….the Saints win and decide to receive, something a little strange since we usually see the team that wins defer to the second half.

Weird start to a game that had plenty of strange moments. As the first quarter went on the Colts looked unstoppable and the Saints look like players just happy to be there.

The 2nd quarter came and went with nothing too dramatic except a couple huge field goals from the young kicker Garrett Hartley.

Both teams went into half with a little confidence, the Colts put some nice drives together and the Saints limited the damage, but both team had quite a bit of ball possession trying to limit the touches for each team.

Drew Brees had quite a first half, with a little over 164 yards while Manning impressed as always but try to use the run game as well.

The surprise on-side kick to start the second half caught both the Colts and the crowd off guard as they still seem to be a little lackadaisical, after being put to sleep by the Who at halftime.

The start of the second was something that had been planned through out the week, this team had confidence in their team and were not willing to give the ball to Manning and let them make the devastating blow. So instead they dealt that blow.

“We felt during the week it was more than a 60 or 70 percent chance,” Payton said. “We felt not [only] good, we felt real good.”

The team had that plan from the time they won the toss and chose to receive until the moment the ball was set on the tee. The moment the ball settled in the hands of Chris Reis, the game changed, the offense drove down scoring the go-ahead touchdown. But Manning and the Colts would answer with a long five minute 22 second drive that put them back on top 17-13. The quarters scoring ended on a field goal of 47 yards by Hartley.

The Colts could not successfully extend their lead as Matt Stover missed wide left from 51 yards.

The Saints once again would take up almost five minutes of the clock on a methodical drive that ended in a short two yard pass from Brees to Shockey.

The aftermath of the touchdown was another one that made was disputed and talk about at length as Lance Moore seemed to have bobbled and dropped the 2 point conversion before getting the ball over the pylon. But a challenge overturned the call and put the Saints up by seven with 5:42 left, more than enough time for Peyton and the lethal Colts offense.

Peyton started the drive with first down after first down as he began to cruise down field to put the game tying points up on the board, and shift all the momentum to his teams side of the field.

After going no huddle it was 2nd and five from the 31 of the Saints, as Manning dropped back and threw left to Reggie Wayne, when Tracy Porter stepped up and picked off Manning and the Colts dream to win the Super Bowl.

The moment it happened you immediately got flash backs of what this defense had done to potential Hall of Famer’s Kurt Warner and Brett Favre. Now the same team had done the same thing to another surefire Hall of Famer.

A year that was destined for the Colts, a year that Peyton Manning was at his best, the year Peyton would go down as the Best Quarterback ever, and everything was set up for his success story and it ended just like that.

A game that seemed almost boring at times, especially during halftime, had 2 huge plays in them and they were both made by the Saints.

It’s just a true testament to the saying “defense wins championship” and this New Orleans Saints defense made plays when needed, winning the Saints the Lombardi trophy, and leaving only one question, when will the Who make a song titled “Who Dat?”

Why Not Go For It All

Posted in Uncategorized on February 3, 2010 by Travis Green

The St. Louis Rams had a season that can be wrapped up in many different words, but I will use one forgettable.

The team had no flash, no fans, nothing to put them in the news outside of a possible 0-16 record, which was broken up by the team that held that mark a year ago.

1-15. It doesn’t look good when down on paper or anywhere and it really doesn’t look good when your teams name is by it.

One thing is for sure when you see 1-15 by your team name, you also see overhaul somewhere near it to. And when I look at this roster I will name just a few people that deserve to stay on this roster of led by the lone Pro-Bowler Steven Jackson.

Jackson is the building block of this team, the sad thing is he is in his prime and will need a swift turn around to be able to enjoy the success Coach Steve Spagnuolo and this organization look for in the future.

Many would like the Rams to trade their one and only star, outside of Punter Donnie Jones. When first thinking of the possible situation I was all about that, trade Jackson get your pick and build the team from there.

The only problem is Steven has two or three more years left in him as far as being a top of the line back, and is there a team willing to give up a high draft pick for a back like that, especially now with the possible legal troubles.

The only thing that could help the Rams get a 1st round pick out of Steven Jackson could be if there is an uncapped season. And someone, like the Redskins, is willing to trade a first round pick for a running back that will help them win now. I could see a scenario where teams don’t care about draft picks they just want to win a championship and if that means Steven is the answer then here you go, kind of like the Yankees of the late 90’s.

But how realistic is this scenario, maybe more realistic than I believe but I doubt it.

So here is what the Rams should do. Blow it up!

One of the things I just wrote about from last year was the uninteresting quality of this team, there was no one there for the media to surrond, nothing that hyped this up, outside of Richie Incognito, so as unpopular as it maybe the Rams must make that big splash. Acquire Vick.

I understand everybodies concern, he isn’t the Vick of old, he isn’t as explosive, but in limited time with the Eagles this season he didn’t look any worse than what the Rams had under center.

When Michael Vick started at least 15 games in a season for Atlanta the team won at least 7 games, right now 7 games sounds pretty darn good in this town. Also the team held the top spot in most rushing stats while Vick was under center and that was with the likes of Warrick Dunn running with Vick. This team has Steven Jackson.

Vick’s record as a QB is 38-28-1, and only once was his offense ranked in the top 10 in offenses. 2002 the Falcons had the 5th ranked offense and 9th ranked defense in the NFL. Every year after that it was 14th or worse on both sides.

I am not trying to say we will get that QB that we saw running the offense in Atlanta, but who else do we have?

Afraid the passing game will hurt us, maybe but not once was his team better than 23rd ranked and 3 times was 27th or worse.

Yes now teams are playing more of a spread offense, but obviously under Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmer the offense isn’t the most creative. This team was not much for the deep routes, which would fit right into Vick’s repertoire.

If it is the wide recievers you are worried about don’t worry, Vick’s time in Atlanta never saw a 1000 yard reciever, his most used target was Alge Crumpler, which could be something we look for in the draft or free agency.

This team has plenty of Roddy White’s, Ashley Lelie’s, and Brian Finneran’s, we even have Michael Jenkins in Laurent Robinson.

I do believe we lack a few qualities the Falcons had in those years, including a back-up running back, but that can be found on the free agent market. I will give you to with the first being Mike Bell of the Saints. He lost his job to Pierre Thomas, but is still a good back-up running back, very efficient back who is averaging 4 yards per carry in his career, and he holds on to the ball only losing 3 fumbles in close to 350 carries.

But the guy I like the most is Jerious Norwood, who played with Vick in his final year at Atlanta. He is a guy that is averaging over 5 ypc. He was a dominant back up in his first three years but got pushed out this year, and most impressive about Norwood is his catching ability out of the backfield averages 9.5 yard per catch and is a real threat every time he touches the ball and could be a great back-up to Jackson. Also may have a few connections with GM Billy Devanney, because Devanney was an assistant during Norwood’s time there and he was there when Norwood was drafted.

The problem with the RB that were named are that they are restricted Free Agents, so that may not work to the Rams benefit so a more feasible option would be a Tatum Bell, hey maybe Larry Johnson since we are bringing in all the media attention.

My final couple analysis of what the Rams should consider doing this offseason have to do with marketing ploys and building to your strength.

First building to your strengths, obviously you would do that if you sign Norwood or someone like that. If Vick is the QB you will need to have a Tight End who will catch if Randy McMichael is will to be that option and we are comfortable with that fine, but if not I take a look at maybe Vick’s old friend Alge Crumpler I don’t know how much is left in the tank as a passing option but he’s a tremendous blocker. One last TE option Ben Watson Patriots TE fell off a little this year but could get it back if he is the number one option here in St. Louis.

The draft is where you really build your team from and the Rams have failed to do so but this year build your offense around run heavy Steven Jackson and Vick, with a decent back-up and draft defense.

The pick that you almost can’t pass up even though I was against it, but with my new philosophy the #1 overall pick: Ndamukong Suh, the guy is being called a can’t miss. Everyone loves him and he is the next Warren Sapp, so if this is the case you have your line set for years to come in Suh and Long.

The next pick may be a little harder to get but some draft boards have him falling and I take him with the #33 overall pick and that is the Safety out of USC Taylor Mays. He could step in for O.J. Atogwe if not this year by the 2011 season. This guy has played tons of college ball, decided to go back to USC for his senior season, even after being projected to be taken in the 1st round. This pick is the pick I see as your make or break pick, this one you must do well on because he will turn into a star or a bust!

That 3rd overall pick is the one I struggle with, you could see some QBs drop that far and I wouldn’t be against drafting a QB. If Tim Tebow, Tony Pike, or Colt McCoy drop this far I think you grab one of them, if not I go for Corner or Outside Linebacker here. You need an OLB in the worse way so my guy would be South Carolina’s Eric Norwood or Florida State’s Dekoda Watson. The problem with these guys is they could drop farther in the draft but you don’t take the chance draft you OLB and get it over with.

Finally your 4th pick should be that Corner, you could go with another Seminole like Patrick Robinson, but I really like the 6″1′ CB out of South Florida Jerome Murphy, hopefully he falls to number 4 and I think you could be looking at a nice defensive heavy draft.

Obviously you may need another Defensive End to replace a Leonard Little and as much as I would love a high price top name Free Agent doesn’t look like that is possible. So the Rams may have to settle for bringing back a James Hall or Victor Adeyanju, if not there could be Jarvis Green or some low key acquistion like that.

The team that has been built here has some flavor looks like they could win some games but let’s spice it up once more in a ploy,that could back fire, to get people in the seats and attention to the Rams.

T.O.

Rams fans would have their popcorn ready while the media would have their notebooks ready.

Finally to cap it all off the Rams should bring in a boistrous Wide Reciever Terrell Owens.

The media would start booking their trip to Rams park now, Michael Vick and T.O. on the same team, which jersey would be bought more?

I know this would get backlash and sure it may hurt the four pillars theory adopted by Coach Spags, even though Richie Incognito almost brought those down single-handedly, it would get people talking.

Owens is at the end of his career maybe has another season in him, St. Louis wouldn’t expect a lot out of him, he wouldn’t have to worry about dropped passes because Vick probably wouldn’t be able to the ball to him a whole lot, but hey it’s a scary formula that may just result in a few wins, and maybe even a reapperance on Monday or even Sunday Night football.

As crazy as it may sound something just intrigues me about the whole thing. Bring Terrell Owens, Michael Vick, and Larry Johnson all to St. Louis and let the media craze begin, who would you want to interview first.

Something I must get off my chest:

The Rams are in the midst of selling the team and have narrowed their search down to just a select few possible owners. But instead of this being a story line we are giving more coverage to something TMZ broke on Steven Jackson and the alleged beating of his girlfriend. This is ridiculous that this has ruled the Rams media in the last week, sure we’ve heard things on potential buyers but everyone goes to the story that’s going to turn heads. So here is what I want Rams fans get behind the movement of a sale to the Dave Checketts group. This would be huge for the Rams organization, there are smart people who run Rams park already and if you throw Checketts in the mix some very exciting things could be in the making for the St. Louis Rams.