“It’s the hope that kills you.”—Mae, “Ted Lasso”
I’ve been looking for a Gloat-able moment since the failure of my football picks last Sunday…And I’ve found one…
Five years ago, I published “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel”
(This is not necessarily a commercial for the book, though, it is reasonably priced and available on Amazon.)
It was about a fictional high school football season. Featuring West El Monte Poly and the schools they played from the San Gabriel Valley. In the story, San Dimas runs a Bone-Spread offense.
No one knew what a Bone-Spread was because I made it up. But in my head, as I worked it out, it was about a set of players who could line up in a wishbone set or spread wide–completely interchangeable.
As the mock drafts have started for 2021, I hear scouts talking more about the position-less offense. Not just the New Orleans Saints Taysom Hill, but players built to run, block, and catch that will line up everywhere.
Think how the Rams have used Robert Woods last four seasons. Look at the size of receivers like the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel or the Titans’ A.J. Brown. If you have a good memory, think about how the Patriots used the late Aaron Hernandez. He was a player labeled a tight-end, who carried the football, lined up wide, and blocked.
You can see this is what Sean McVay has tried to accomplish with Gerald Everett the last several years with mixed results. He’s a free agent, so expect the Rams to draft a replacement for him.
It’s exciting…and in the salary cap area… it makes teams much more diverse offensively. And much less dependant on just one player.
Avoiding the easy subject of quarterback and Jared Goff…As a Rams fan, these are the things making me nervous.
1.) The offensive line: Go cheap in other areas, and you may get away with it. Go cheap along the offensive line, and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
2.) Cooper Kupp’s knee: Who doesn’t love Kupp? We all love him, but he was out with a knee injury the back half of 2018, and he was out with a knee issue when the Rams finished the season in Green Bay. It keeps happening, so we have to keep wondering what the future will be.
3.) Aaron Donald & Michael Brockers: Brockers is 30 and will be 31 when the playoffs roll around next January. Donald is going to be 30 in four months. Now is not the time to mess around at quarterback, now’s not the time to mess around with the offensive line. This window has opened as wide as it can go. The only thing left for it to do is to begin to close.
4.) John Johnson III: Needs to be re-signed.
5.) Troy Hill: Doesn’t have to be re-signed, but he needs to be replaced.
Kansas City at Tampa Bay on Day 2: Buccaneers (2)
There’s only one reason to pick against the Chiefs, Tom Ten-Brady. Also, my thinking right now is the Bucs can do the unexpected. Everyone likes KC, but Tampa has the greatest quarterback of all time who is always unafraid…and the athleticism on defense to do anything it wants.
I sense the Bucs have the freedom to do the unexpected. Think of the Rams in Super Bowl 14–if you can. Vince Ferragamo was flinging the ball all over the field and throwing deep. They even ran a half-back option when Lawrence McCutcheon hit Ron Smith for a touchdown.
This was play-calling not associated with the Chuck Knox-Ray Malavasi Rams of the 1970s. And against the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers, they were only a play, or two, from pulling off the greatest upset in NFL history.
A Rubicon was crossed yesterday when the baseball writers couldn’t find a way to put anyone into Cooperstown because of what they did ON the field. If the player’s character is questioned, shouldn’t those doing the voting be examined as well?
I’ve been against Pete Rose getting into the Hall of Fame because gambling is the unforgivable sin in baseball. But the steroid era blew a lot of stuff out of the water. With Bonds on the cusp of getting in, then Rose should get in.
As should Joe Jackson.
In the end, whatever…Curt Schilling won’t be making a start for the Mets in 2021, and Barry Bonds won’t be playing left field.
What this hurts is MLB’s offseason. The NFL season ends, and the offseason explodes into action. MLB has a few hot stove moments, the hall of fame vote, and spring training…They don’t have a draft of any interest. They don’t have a combine. And now they don’t have anyone going into the Hall of Fame.
And people care less…and less.
Each night I watch the NBA with little to no excitement…except tonight. The Lakers are in Philadelphia to take on the 76ers. Joel Embid, Ben Simmons, and a strong supporting cast have a shot against LA.
Of course, I’m rooting for Philly.
But if I were someone who gambled on more than just the contents of a tamale, I’d put my dough on the Lakers. LeBron and friends come to play every night. A rarity in the NBA.
Clippers at Atlanta: Hawks win—108-99
Clippers (13-5) played without Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Patrick Beverly and still led 48-43 at the end of the first half. Reggie Jackson led the team with 20-pts.
The Hawks (9-8) rallied behind Trae Young’s 38-pts. It was my first time seeing Young play, and I thought he looked like a new version of Allen Iverson. De’Andre Hunter (Virginia) added 22.
Notes: It will be interesting to see where Young plays after the 2021-2022 season…I remember Atlanta’s color scheme used to be red and white. Last night they looked like Purdue-south with black-gold-white unis. Yes, they were hideous. Anyone trying to tell you otherwise is working for the NBA.
NBA Games Seen: 45
The Dude abides…
1 Corinthians 4:5
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
MeWe: Joe Torosian