Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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Posts about Professional football

TFD: Former NFL GM ranks all three Vikings QBs in 2013 as 'emergency starters'

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: February 12, 2014 - 4:32 PM


Please take this list/information with a few handfuls of salt for a variety of reasons.


First off, it is compiled by former Bears GM Jerry Angelo, who for 12 years presided over an organization that is notorious for having quarterback problems.

Second, his QB ratings on a nine-point scale seem to be rather arbitrary in terms of the exact number. It's less like a complicated advanced metric and more like "how much did you like this movie?"

Third, he rates Philip Rivers a full two levels ahead of Tony Romo.

That said, these kinds of lists are FUN. And they speak ill of the Vikings' QB situation in 2013 since, well, this: Angelo ranks all three Vikings QBs last season (Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman) in the 5.5 to 5.9 point category. What does that mean? Well, here's the general description of QBs in that frame:

Can be an emergency starter. Does not have the mental make up or physical talent too perform as a consistent starter. He’s temporary relief, but not a long term solution.

Your 2013 Vikings! (And yes, we write that with full knowledge that we endorsed, nay begged, for the return of Matt Cassel in 2014).

Richie Incognito goes on a Twitter rant about Jonathan Martin

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: February 12, 2014 - 2:27 PM

We direct your attention to the Twitter stream of Richie Incognito, who apparently has reached his breaking point in the scandal between him, Jonathan Martin and the Dolphins. Here are a handful of tweets from his account:

TFD: Packers sticking with Capers, 3-4 scheme, much to delight of opponents

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: February 10, 2014 - 5:00 PM

After getting shredded by the 49ers in the playoffs a season ago, the Packers sent defensive coordinator Dom Capers to school in hopes that he could learn to defend the read-option.

But Green Bay slipped overall defensively in the season after that tutorial, falling to 25th in total yards allowed -- two years after being dead last in the NFL.

School didn't really work. Maybe doing nothing will work? That seems to be the message coming out of Green Bay this offseason. From ESPN.com:

There are alterations coming to the Green Bay Packers’ defense but nothing dramatic like a switch from the 3-4 as their base scheme. 

Despite changes to the structure of defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ coaching staff that seemingly could have made it easy to transition to a 4-3 scheme, the Packers are not headed in that direction. 

“Our defense is going to change some,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday. “You don’t ever stay the same. I’ll set the vision for the defense. Dom Capers and the defensive staff will carry it out.

Basically, the Packers will keep running the same 3-4 defense they have always run under Capers. They're blaming injuries to key players for the misfires last year ... though we have previously been led to believe Ted Thompson's personnel moves create the kind of depth that allow teams to battle through such things.

Regardless, NFL teams should feel free to keep gaining massive chunks of yards at will!

Mid-day talker: Michael Sam and the concept of 'distraction'

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: February 10, 2014 - 12:55 PM


Several good, honest discussions will be had in the coming months on Michael Sam, the Missouri defensive end who publicly announced Sunday that he is gay.


For many of us regular working folks, this is not an issue in 2014. Having openly gay co-workers and friends carries no surprise or shock value. It's a fact as basic as endless meetings and long lines at lunch in the downtown skyway system.

Sam is an NFL draft hopeful, though, and the question of how he potentially fits into locker room culture is a valid one. The NFL has never had an openly gay player, so we don't really know how this will play out -- even though he reportedly fit seamlessly into a Missouri locker room where many of his teammates knew he was gay.

But some will choose to frame the discussion in a different light and will prefer not to have the more interesting talk. They will treat it the same as an injury, a coaching change, a trade or an outspoken teammate.

They will ask: Will Sam be a distraction.

Drew Magary wrote about this (albeit in his delightful trademark obscenity-sprinkled way) a month ago as it related to Chris Kluwe.

And less than a day after Sam's announcement, we're already hearing the 'D' word from NFL personnel guys.

Per SI.com, eight different executives and NFL coaches were contacted, and all eight said this will hurt Sam's draft status. The consensus was summed up well by these three paragraphs:

One former NFL general manager described how Sam's future could play out in the draft room. He said when a team is nine slots away from making a pick, there is typically a declaration in the draft room that six players are being considered. When a team is five spots away, that consideration set is whittled to three.

If Sam is among that group of players, the potential distraction of his presence -- both in the media and the locker room -- could prevent him from being selected.

"That will break a tie against that player," the former general manager said. "Every time. Unless he's Superman. Why? Not that they're against gay people. It's more that some players are going to look at you upside down. ... A general manager is going to ask, 'Why are we going to do that to ourselves?'"

The NFL attempts to pretend that it exists in a bubble and that the distractions of "life" do not puncture the sanctity of locker rooms. In reality, players are constantly dealing with "distractions" every day. And last time we checked, they have still managed to do their jobs and win games.

Don't let yourself be tricked into this distraction discussion. Frankly, it's just a distraction from more interesting questions ... or perhaps even a distraction from what could wind up being the real point: that most players, like most of us who have more conventional offices than NFL locker rooms, won't even see this as an issue.

TFD: Fan shows up for Seahawks victory parade in 49ers gear

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: February 5, 2014 - 5:19 PM

Troll hard, young fan. Troll hard.

Photo by @CAVEmagJay.


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