Tag Archives: Robert Griffin III

Just How Bad Did Roger Goodell and The NFL Screw Up?

Finally the NFL did what was right.

Finally Commissioner Roger Goodell practiced what he preached.

And finally, the real referees will return to their jobs.

It took a national televised debacle, one the likes the NFL has never seen before, to end the stalemate between the NFL and the league’s referees.

That now infamous play has changed this NFL season forever.

The Packers are 1-2, tied for last in the NFC North instead of being 2-1 and tied for first place. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are 2-1 and in position to make a run at the postseason.

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One referee signaled touchdown while the other referee signaled timeout, which usually happens after an interception.

For the NFL and Goodell, it can’t get any worse. Their refusal to budge and send competent referees to the job has altered the seasons of the both of these teams, and the entire playoffs. Now the league has to hope that both the Packers and the Seahawks miss the playoffs by more than one game so that playoff spots, playoff seedings and home field advantages aren’t impacted. If not, then the whole season has been tainted and compromised by referee mishaps.

While that stain on the season has a chance to fade, the stain on Roger Goodell’s legacy is permanent.

Goodell, commissioner since 2006, built his reputation on protecting the integrity of the league and making player safety a cornerstone of rule changes. He delivered heavy punishments to players like Adam “Pacman” Jones and the Michael Vick for disgracing the game. He instilled rules that banned late hits on the quarterback, head-to-head hits and the hitting a player up high.

However Goodell’s decision to allow heavily outmatched replacement officials to referee NFL games went against both of those principles.

By not putting the highest quality of officials on the field, Goodell disgraced the reputation of the game and allowed the failures of those officials to make the league a laughing matter on television networks nationwide.

The replacement referees weren’t even from the highest level of college. Rather they from non-BCS conferences in Division 1, lower college divisions, junior colleges and high school.

Aside their overuse of pass interference penalties though, the replacement referees penalties called relatively the same amount of penalties as the actual referees did up until this point in 2011.

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Hines Ward has some competition for league’s dirtiest offensive player…

Instead, the problem was their inability to control the game. From numerous after-the-play cheap shots to unnecessary player scrums, control was far from the norm.

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III told the media that St. Louis Rams defenders hit him several times after the play ended. Video evidence confirmed his remarks.

In week two, Golden Tate delivered a vicious hit on a defenseless player while his quarterback broke the pocket to run the ball. Tate, who wasn’t flagged, should have been called for block-in-the-back. A week later, Tate pushed a defenseless Green Bay defender on the final play on Monday Night’s game.

In all these situations, player safety remained second to Goodell and the league’s dispute with the regular referees. Luckily no player was seriously injured.

The replacement referees put the NFL players’ safety in danger, and Goodell and the league allowed that to happen.

This weekend the regular referees will take over but the damage has been done.

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Freeze Frame Friday: Robert Griffin III & Andre 3000

Ever miss Straight Outta Westwood when we don’t post on Fridays?  We certainly do.  That’s why we’ve decided to change things up a bit and give our fans exactly what they deserve–humor, or at least an attempt at it.  With that, we introduce “Freeze Frame Fridays,” a post that will go up every Friday evening that either brings up an “Oh, yeah, I see it…” moment with an athlete/celebrity look-alike or just a comical image from the world of sports.  Whatever we post will  be guaranteed to have a few witty lines along with it.  And if it falls short?  Well, that’s why we’re not getting booked at the Improv any time soon!  We hope you enjoy.  Let the pun-fest…BEGIN!

Both stars are dressed “So Fresh, So Clean”

After being selected second overall at the “Player’s Ball” that is the NFL Draft, Robert Griffin III is poised to make moves at the  Washington Redskins training camp.  Watching some of Griffin III’s game film from Baylor, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan saw his new quarterback’s mobility and said aloud, “I Like the Way You Move.”

It was a rough offseason for the ‘Skins, who lost out on then free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson.  Allegedly, Jackson’s mother called to ask for a higher contract offer, but GM Bruce Allen simply refused to budge, saying, “I’m sorry Ms. Jackson, but I am FOR REAL.”

Still, Griffin III and the Redskins remain unfazed, realizing their offseason woes “Ain’t No Thang.”  Besides, if all else fails,   Tyrese Gibson and Mark Wahlberg are guaranteed to be leaders in the locker room.

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Biggest Storylines of NFL Training Camp

NFL training camps have finally arrived, and with them come a new year’s worth of hope, speculation, and intrigue. In past years, training camps have brought us such drama as Albert Haynesworth’s overweight fitness tests, the beginning of Michael Crabtree’s 42 day holdout, and a never ending cycle of quarterback controversies. Here are some thoughts as to what this year’s top drama could be.

1. Peyton Manning

Until recently, Manning was considered the league’s best quarterback, but a bout of neck injuries that eventually cost him all of last season have put his status as one of the NFL’s elite in jeopardy. On top of that, Manning is joining a new team after being the face of the Colts franchise for a decade. Training camp will provide an opportunity for him to prove his health, reassert himself as a dominant passer, and usher the Broncos into a new era. Year 1 AT (After Tebow) is starting in Denver.

2. MJD’s absence

Even people with DirecTV won’t be watching MJD if he and the Jags can’t figure out his contract issue.

After leading the league in rushing last season, despite every opponent focusing solely on stopping him, Maurice Jones-Drew was rewarded by the Jaguars with a refusal to offer him a new contract. In fact, Jacksonville owner Shad Khan publicly stated that he would not give Jones-Drew a new contract, making it no surprise that MJD began his holdout shortly after. Jones-Drew still has two years left on his current deal, which will net him a little under $5 million each year, but after larger contracts have been doled out to other running backs recently, such as Matt Forte and Ray Rice, Jones-Drew has a valid argument asking for more money, given he outperformed those two (and the rest of the league). Still, MJD’s contract was front-loaded, so he earned more his first few years of the deal than he was worth at the time. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts and which side will give in first in this game of monetary chicken.

3. 1st NFL action for rookies

Luck or RG3? Let the media frenzy begin!

This year’s draft was top heavy with talent at the skill positions, with Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, and Justin Blackmon all taken in the top five. Training camp will give us our first look at how the stack up against NFL competition and could give us an idea of the type of impact they’ll make in their rookie years. Luck is the most hyped quarterback prospect in over a decade and the magnifying glass will be on him after the Manning trade anointed Luck Indianapolis’ savior. Similar scrutiny will be given to RG3, considering how much the Redskins gave up in order to draft him. Richardson will be filling the gap vacated by the most recent Madden Curse victim, Peyton Hillis, and Blackmon will also have high expectations as he finally provides a target for Blaine Gabbert to throw to.

4. New faces in new places

Several star players switched teams during the offseason and will get a chance to showcase how they fit into their new rosters. New Tampa Bay  receiver Vincent Jackson and quarterback Josh Freeman should begin developing some chemistry during camp as the two hope to connect often during the season. Ditto for Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler as the two reacquaint themselves with each other after having been teammates in Denver. Matt Flynn will get his first opportunity to fight for a starting spot after a huge game in week 17 earned him a nice contract in Seattle. He’ll compete with incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson and rookie Russell Wilson. If Flynn looks as impressive in training camp as he did last season against the Lions (480 yards, 6 TDs), he should get the nod. Lastly, Peyton Hillis joins the Chiefs after a disappointing and injury-filled season with the Browns last year. It will be interesting to see how Hillis fits into the Chiefs offense with star running back Jamal Charles on the roster.

5. Stars recovering from injuries

Will Adrian Peterson recover from his ACL injury? With the medical treatment he’s getting, does he even want to?

Several star players who suffered season ending injuries last year will be returning to action for the first time in training camp and it will offer some insight into how their injuries could affect their effectiveness this season. Adrian Peterson is coming off of a torn ACL and could possibly sit out training camp to further rest it. If he participates, expect his explosiveness and ability to make quick cuts to be analyzed and watched closely. Several other players are also returning from ACL injuries including Titans receiver Kenny Britt and running back Jamal Charles and safety Eric Berry of the Chiefs. Their health and fitness will be also be called into question. Raiders running back Darren McFadden is returning from a foot injury that cost him the final six games of last season. His potential has been limited by his frequent injuries so this year will be important for him to prove he can stay healthy. The last big name coming off of a major injury is, of course, Peyton Manning. After many believed his neck injury could have ended his career, Manning is back. But few have really seen him throw the ball since his recovery, except for a grainy video, so Manning needs to prove he can still play football before he can try to reclaim his title as one of the best.

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