Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Some Random Stuff

  • How psyched must you be if you're a member of the Colts not named Mike Vanderjagt? Earlier this week he made some comments that are destined to become "bulletin board material" (whatever that means; really, do grown mean need motivation to play harder -- and if so, what does that say about their play other times during the season?). Anyway, Vanderjagt commented that the Pats are "ripe for the picking," and he thinks "they're not as good as the beginning of the year and not as good as last year."
  • And the thing is, he's probably right. The only problem is that he's a loud-mouthed kicker who disparaged Peyton Manning two years ago, and then made some dopey comments about Tony Dungy last season. Oh yeah, and he's only part-time -- he's so abysmal on kickoffs that he lost his job to one of the Gramaticas (by the way, the Gramatica brothers were just inducted into the South American jheri curl Hall of Fame). The Pats have suffered some injuries and I don't think they're playing as well as they were earlier in the season. Still, New England won't need any motivation going into this game since they basically own Manning and the Colts.
  • Speaking of the Patriots and injuries, guess who they signed to play defensive back? If you said "Hank Poteat," you're the big winner. Well you, and whoever the receiver is that Poteat will be covering during the Colts game. When he was in game shape during his two seasons with the Steelers he wasn't very effective (his breakout "I'm really not an NFL cornerback" game was the come-from-behind playoff win against the Kelly Holcomb led Browns in 2002), and now he's been out of the league since preseason, so I can only imagine what he'll bring to New England (of course they have a couple of free agent rookies and a linebacker playing the defensive backfield, so it that context signing Poteat isn't all that outlandish).
  • One more thing about bulletin board material. Here's an AP story about the promises that a couple of Jets made after their last visit to Heinz Field:
    The New York Jets didn't sound like losers when they left Pittsburgh with a 17-6 loss last month, openly wishing for a postseason rematch and another chance to beat the team with the NFL's best record.

    The Steelers, reminded Tuesday of those confident comments by defensive end Shaun Ellis and running back Curtis Martin, seemed more amused than motivated.

    Their reaction? Be careful what you wish for.

    "Wow. He's a fortune teller or something?" wide receiver Hines Ward said, referring to Ellis' prediction the Jets would win this time. "We know they have a great ballclub. We won the first one, we know it wasn't an easy win, but the playoffs are a totally different situation. It's loser go home, there's lot more at stake ... and I'm going to turn it up a notch, too."
    Like I mentioned above, I think the whole bulletin board stuff is silly, but I do think it's funny that either way, Hines plans on turning it up a notch. And here's what James Farrior had to say about his former teammate, Shaun Ellis:
    "We heard it, but that's just talk," Farrior said. "I know Shaun's a great player, but sometimes he lets his words get the best of him. He got what he wished for, so we'll see what happens."
  • OK, can you tell that I'm struggling for controversial things to say about the Jets/Steelers game? It's not like playing the Ravens or the Pats because the Jets, for the most part, have a bunch of guys who play hard and keep their mouth shut. Add to that the fact that I actually like Herm Edwards (no matter how bad he is at clock management; in fact he's so bad he makes Cowher look like John Harrison). So instead of making stuff up (like this guy), I'd thought I mention this:
    Ben Roethlisberger has surprised his Pittsburgh Steelers' teammates many times during his unbeaten rookie season. He did so again Tuesday, announcing he'll donate his first NFL playoff paycheck to the tsunami victims relief effort.

    Even on a team that openly encourages its players to participate in charity activities and community events, Roethlisberger's $18,000 gesture before Saturday's Jets-Steelers game created a positive stir.

    "Wow, I didn't even know that," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "Guys do a lot of different things in different ways that people don't always hear about, but that's great - that's for a great cause, definitely. That's a big tragedy, and I hope everyone will at least donate (something)."
    Isn't Roethlisberger the same guy Mark Madden accused of being an arrogant jackass? Nice call tons-of-fun, you were right on the money with that one. Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder how much donut money Madden donated to the tsunami relief effort?