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The long anticipated return of FP's obsessive homerism over the pats brings us to the subject of Darren McFadden. Just this week, he was reported to have stopped by the Patriots facilities for a pre-draft workout. Normally, this wouldn't be news. A top prospect is meeting with a team with a top 10 draft pick, right? The issue is that 1) The Patriots are never vocal about anything, and 2) McFadden should get drafted in the top 5. So what's going on then up in Foxboro? The sad part is, nobody knows. So I decided to weigh in:

Hmmm....McFadden to the pats. This is really an odd situation. I really think they can't trade up to get him, it'd take a lot, and they need youth on the defensive side of the ball (not to mention another Offensive Tackle, Matt Light really is not the type of player that should be protecting Tom Brady). If McFadden falls to the 7th pick, I say look to trade down. There'll be teams lower than 7th that would love to take him. If the pats can snag 2 later first round picks or a first and a second round pick (all in this year's draft), I look none other than to the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones has already said he wants McFadden, and they have two picks in the 20s (22 and 28 thanks to the trade with the Browns last year so they could draft Brady Quinn). If the Cowboys are willing to make the deal, I say go for it. If not, then I think the smart move is to draft McFadden. He could make their offense even more explosive, and unpredictable. With Moss and Welker tearing up the DBs, Maroney and McFadden could create a situation where blitzing is extremely unstrategic. If that happens, I'd be pretty psyched.

Other NFL News and Notes

  • Pacman Jones is still trying to get traded to the Dallas Cowboys. My biggest issue here is why? What benefit is it to the Cowboys to trade for a player who has no timeframe for returning to the league? Why would they want a player who, upon return, isn't even guaranteed to make it the full year without getting suspended again. I still think they'd be better off using the draft pick on a player with potential, not trading it for garbage.
  • The NFL released the Primetime schedule for week 1: Thursday night is Giants-Redskins, Sunday Night is Colts-Bears, and Monday night is the Aaron Rodgers debut as starter against the Vikings, followed by Broncos-Raiders. I will watch Giants-Skins only because it's the season opener, but beyond that, I think it's a poor opening weekend schedule. Packers-Vikings will be good, if only because it's the first time in years that the Packers will play @ Lambeau without Favre. In total, we have 4 playoff teams from last year in primetime. Of which, only the Giants won a game. That's pretty poor planning Goodell. At least you scheduled the Super Bowl Champion and an exciting offensive team in the Colts. Beyond that, I give the schedule a yawn.
	Team		SOS	07 Record

1. Pittsburgh Steelers	0.598	0.625
2. Indianapolis Colts	0.594	0.813
3. Jacksonville Jaguars	0.559	0.688
4. Baltimore Ravens 	0.551	0.313
5. Minnesota Vikings	0.551	0.500
6. Cincinnati Bengals	0.547	0.438
7. Cleveland Browns 	0.547	0.625
 8. Houston Texans	0.547	0.500
9. Detroit Lions	0.543	0.438
10. Tennessee Titans	0.543	0.625
11. Chicago Bears 	0.532	0.438
12. Green Bay Packers 	0.532	0.813
13. Dallas Cowboys	0.524	0.813
14. Washington Redskins	0.524	0.563
15. New York Giants	0.520	0.625
16. Philadelphia Eagles	0.520	0.500
17. St. Louis Rams 	0.489	0.188
18. San Francisco 49ers	0.485	0.313
19. Seattle Seahawks	0.477	0.625
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0.469	0.563
21. Arizona Cardinals	0.465	0.500
22. Carolina Panthers	0.465	0.438
23. Miami Dolphins	0.465	0.063
24. Atlanta Falcons	0.461	0.250
25. New York Jets	0.457	0.250
26. Kansas City Chiefs	0.453	0.250
27. New Orleans Saints	0.450	0.438
28. Buffalo Bills	0.449	0.438
29. Denver Broncos	0.446	0.438
30. Oakland Raiders	0.438	0.250
31. San Diego Chargers	0.422	0.688
32. New England Patriots 0.387	1.000

So after an undefeated season, the pats get a top 10 draft pick, and the easiest schedule in the league. Nice. Can you say undefeated again?

  • SI's Ross Tucker Ranked the 5 Oline positions according to difficulty. It's a great story, and I highly recommend it. I think he's dead on, but I don't think it really correlates to importance. For me, Left Tackle is the most important (Qb's backside protection), then center (the one guy who ensures the rest of the team can do their job), then right tackle (preventing the edge rush), then left guard (backside guard) , then right guard.
  • SI's Tim Layden writes about how allowing 2 defensive players to have a headset in their helmet to communicate with coaches on the sideline. This will basically make defenses significantly better. Now, Defensive signal callers can tell who ever is calling Defensive signals what their looking at, what snap count to expect, coordinate audibles, and continue to get this information until 15 seconds are left on the play clock (that's when the Offensive headsets are turned off).
  1. No Forceouts - This is probably the most dramatic change in the rules. Now, if a receiver lands out of bounds with the ball but was pushed out before landing, the pass is still incomplete. I think this sucks, because it means defenses now have a lot more control on sideline passes. My grade for the rule change: C-/D+
  2. Field Goals are Reviewable - Sure. I doubt this will come up any time soon. Grade: B
  3. Teams can defer the coin toss - I think this makes the coin toss more strategic. Teams with poor offenses but good defenses can now chose to kickoff both halves (in all likelihood), allowing them to get better field position for their offense. Grade: B+/A-
  4. Elimination of the 5 yard facemask penalty - Hooray!!! This means that there will be significantly more physical play. Players no longer have to be quite as careful with their hands on defense, and offensive players have to be more careful. Grade: A
  5. Missed Direct Snap from Center is now a fumble - I'm confused as to why this wasn't a rule before. Before it was a false start. It just makes sense. Grade: A

That's all for this edition. This series will be back post-draft, unless something major happens.

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