Monday, March 8, 2010

Lack of character prevails in the NFL

Let’s say you are the Cincinnati Bengals and are desperate for a wide receiver to play opposite Chad Ochocinco.

Do you go after Brandon Marshall? Terrell Owens? Antonio Bryant?

The numbers say Marshall or Owens. The attitude says none of the three.

Sure, Marshall had 101 receptions for 1,120 yards and 10 TDs for the Denver Broncos last season. But do you really want a spoiled brat who started training camp by kicking a football away from a ball boy and ended in his team’s doghouse?

Owens did have 55 catches for 849 yards and 5 TDs for the Buffalo Bills. Yet with his diminishing skills and me-first attitude, do you really want him?

Bryant had 39 catches for 600 yards and 4 TDs last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yet this is a guy who has already talked his way out of three cities.

Perhaps the Bengals should keep looking for a “team” player with less ability … but a better attitude.

On the character issue, how about the latest from the San Diego Chargers?

Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune (who kisses up every chance possible to Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith) suggests the Chargers got rid of Antonio Cromartie due to his “lack of character.”

That being the case, how do the Chargers keep wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who has two driving under the influence (DUI) convictions in three years … among other things?

Perhaps “lack of character” gets overlooked if you are producing. Otherwise, Jackson would be going down the road with Cromartie.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Chargers are a team in transition

For a team that won their last 11 regular-season games, the San Diego Chargers sure seem to be in transition.

After losing their first playoff game to the New York Jets, the Chargers are tearing apart their roster … as if the window is slamming on their Super Bowl chances.

Although Darren Sproles will be back, they need an every-down running back to replace LaDainian Tomlinson.

Jamal Williams, the stalwart of their defense for many years, needs to be replaced at nose tackle.

Kassim Osgood, the All-Pro special teams’ player, will be off to different pastures.

Brandon Manumaleuna, the steady back-up tight end, is off to the Chicago Bears.

Then there’s the question if Antoine Cason can replace Antonio Cromartie (traded to the New York Jets) as a starting cornerback.

Suddenly, the Chargers aren’t so strong at right tackle, tight end and running back depth, the defensive line, the secondary, and special teams.

Luckily, thanks to the NFL collective bargaining agreement, at least they won’t lose linebacker Shawne Merriman, receivers Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson or left tackle Marcus McNeill to free agency before the 2010 season.

The Chargers appear weaker … but remember … they reside in the NFL’s weakest division with Denver, Kansas City and Oakland.

That traditionally makes their path to the playoffs much easier.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chargers' Cromartie headed to New York Jets?

So you think the San Diego Chargers are going to trade cornerback Antonio Cromartie to the Detroit Lions?

Not so fast!

Clark Judge, the great writer for, says Cromartie may be headed to the New York Jets.

Yes, the same Jets who stunned the Chargers and knocked them out of the playoffs. Yes, the same Jets’ whose Shonn Greene made a 53-yard TD run vs. the Chargers because Cromartie pulled up when he was about to make a hit on Greene.

The Jets must be thinking they will get the Cromartie of 2007 who had 10 interceptions, made the Pro Bowl and returned a missed field goal 109 yards for a TD.

By doing so, they overlook the Cromartie with seven kids in six different states … and who has been a failure on the field the past two years.

If Cromartie returns to his 2007 form, imagine what the Jets would be like. Darrelle Revis of New York is already the best cornerback in the NFL.

As Judge so rightly points out, the Jets like to make a splash before each season.

A year ago they traded for Cleveland's first pick and turned it into Mark Sanchez. The year before they traded for Brett Favre. Making bold moves is nothing new for them, and coach Rex Ryan last week said he was open to “anything that can help us get better.”

Could Cromartie be next on their radar?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Padres' Gonzalez a future White Sox player?

So now, Jake Peavy is making a pitch for his Chicago White Sox to obtain first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from Peavy’s former team, the San Diego Padres.

Not a bad way for Peavy to try to make his voice heard during his first spring training with the White Sox.

Chicago could use Gonzalez, who most certainly will be gone from the low-budget Padres before his contract expires after the 2011 season.

The White Sox lack a big left-handed hitter, which is where Gonzalez and his 40 home runs/99 RBI from last season could fit in. (He was also walked 119 times last season as opponents habitually pitched around him in a weak San Diego lineup.)

The question concerns what the White Sox would be willing to give in return for Gonzalez.

Speculation has it they would be OK with trading power-hitting third baseman Gordon Beckham, who had 14 home runs and 63 RBI in 103 games last season.

The last time San Diego and the Chisox made a trade last summer, Chicago gave up plenty to get 2007 Cy Young award winner Peavy.

San Diego received its current No. 4 starting pitcher Clayton Richard, along with probable future major-league pitchers Aaron Poreda, Adam Russell and Dexter Carter.

If the White Sox are willing to trade Beckham and a couple other so-called prospects, they could likely land Gonzalez.

But if Chicago is unwilling to deal Beckham, then it probably does not have enough prospects to make a Gonzalez trade worthwhile for the Padres.