Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
I was sitting at the conference table, eating a sandwich, when John Mackey finally walked in. He tossed his jacket onto an empty chair, then sat down in the chair opposite me.
“Hey Bear. Good couple weeks, eh?”
I allowed a small smile to creep onto my face. “Yah, it was about the best we could hope for at that point in the season. And the best part was, the top players were all on the field. It was legitimately the team that lost those games. I am not sure what it is, but it almost looks like the players are worn out. That is not a good sign for the future, but hopefully we can start to replace those players and bring in guys who play an entire season, not just part of one.”
“Moss especially. That guy looks like he has totally given up.”
I opened my notes and nodded. “He certainly has. He finished the season with a lot of yards, second most in the league, and number one in touchdowns, but for a guy who was looking to obliterate the single season receiving yards record, he certainly fell off in a hurry. It didn’t help his cause, though, to miss those two games.”
Mack just nodded, but avoided my look.
“We still had some good season performances from some other players, too. Collins finished first in the league in passing yards, tied for first in touchdown passes, and second in the league in quarterback rating. I am still not a big fan of his, but he may give us time to bring in a younger quarterback and develop him for a bit.”
“Well, we will have to see what kind of numbers he can put up without Moss,” Mack said. “I think it is easy for a lot of quarterbacks to look good by just throwing the ball deep and letting a guy like Moss do all the work to get to it.”
“Agreed.” I looked at my notes again. “Lamont Jordan ended up with a strong year. He finished fourth in the league in rushing yards, and was the go-to guy in a lot of our games. He has also shown some good ability as a receiver. While he is still not my ideal type of back, he is valuable, and I wouldn’t mind keeping him around, if it is affordable.”
“Yah, I can agree to that. He hasn’t done anything to hurt the team, on or off the field.”
“Our only defensive standout all year has been Danny Clark. He finished tied for sixth in the league in tackles, and finished fourth in assists. At times, he seemed to be the only guy willing to play hard out there. Should be a keeper, for now anyway. I really want to overhaul the rest of our defence, though.”
Mack laughed. “You always were a defensive guy, weren’t you?”
I just nodded. “As a team, there were some issues. We finished twentieth overall in rushing yards, which is surprising considering Jordan’s year, but we finished third in yards per carry. As such, you can see that we finished twenty-ninth overall in total rushes, but in general we did not run as many offensive plays as a lot of other teams in the league. We did finish first in passing yards, but again we were twenty-first or tied for twenty-first in passing attempts and completions. All in all, though, our offence was quite solid.”
I shook my head as I flipped my paper. “Defence, on the other hand, left something to be desired. We finished twenty-fourth in the league in rushing yards against, and allowed 4.28 yards per carry. We also finished twenty-fifth in passing yards against. These numbers break my heart, and that is why I want to overhaul the defence. Of course, I am not as choked up about it as I should be, since it has helped our cause this year.”
“Yes, Bear, yes it did. The stadium proposal is going well, and hopefully a quick exit from the playoffs will set the table for it.”
“Good to hear, Mack. Oh, here is an interesting stat. We averaged 22.2 points a game, and allowed an average of 22.0 points per game. It is no wonder we are only one game over .500. And we are getting worse in the penalty department, as we finished the year with the second most penalties in the league, only one lower than the top team. I am hoping that this all bodes well as we go up against Pittsburgh next week. We are definitely losing momentum.”
Mack looked at a newspaper that I had tossed on the table earlier in the day. “Hmmm, Pittsburgh finished 10-6, huh? What do you think of our chances?”
I thought for a moment, taking another bite of my sandwich. “Well, they have a strong team, though Roethlisberger had a tougher season this year than he did last year. We have to play them in Pittsburgh, and we have been playing like garbage. So, all signs point to us losing. That said, this team has surprised the Hell out of me this season, and they can explode at any time, so it could be a flip of the coin. Plus, we did beat Pittsburgh earlier this season, not that that means a whole lot now.”
Mack tossed the newspaper back down. “Well, let’s hope that we have one more crap game in us, and we are in the clear!”
Mack turned and walked out as I muttered, “Let’s hope.”
Just trying to get by unnoticed...
Loyal fan of the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Eagles.