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Post - NFL Draft Newspaper Wrap Up

Posted: Apr 30, 2008

We found this article from a week or so back that is about NFL Network being the tail the wags the dog for that league.  Swampland Sports has long written now about the ways in which pro sports fail to capture the imagination of fans in our Footprint.

The piece makes a good point that the NFL Network is slowing killing NFL Films which was the main marketing instrument of the NFL for many years before ESPN and certainly before the NFL Network.  This passage from the NFL Films Wiki page explains it best:

Much has been made of the style that NFL Films produces. All follow certain patterns: they are always shot on film, they have one camera dedicated entirely to slow motion shots, they have microphones on the sidelines and near the field to pick up both the sound of the game as well as the talk on the sidelines, and use narrators with deep and powerful baritone voices, such as Harry Kalas, voice of the Philadelphia Phillies, and the famous John Facenda, the late WCAU-TV anchor who some called "The Voice of God."

The style has been called tight on the spiral, a reference to the frequently-used slow-motion shot of the spinning football as it travels from the quarterback's hand to the receiver. NFL Films also dub sound bites of local radio broadcasts over key plays, because radio announcers are typically more enthusiastic about their home team than network television broadcasters.

In addition, NFL Films often use multiple camera angles, muscular orchestral scores provided by Sam Spence, Dave Robidoux and Tom Hedden and film of the players and coaches in the locker room after the game. Many say that through the use of these techniques NFL Films turns football games into forms which almost mimic ballet, opera, and epic battle stories.

NFL Films provided drama to the viewer, something NFL games often fail to do in person or on TV.  Today, the NFL Network is stocked with TV execs who wants fast cutting images to keep up with ESPN.  In the process, NFL Films is getting its budgets trimmed left and right.

Add this to the fact that the NFL keeps moving more key games to the NFL Network, and you have a clearer picture as to why the NFL struggles in the South, a football hotbed.  It's a little too "big business" and bottom line at the expense of the fan or potential fan.

As the NFL Draft weekend of 2008 concludes, it is a good time to assess how each NFL franchise is doing with their respective markets.  The Draft is a great time to see this since it is the only event the fully unifies college and pro football fans.

Let's take a tour through the Swampland Footprint to see what some of our favorite sportwriters have to say....

Randy Galloway seems a bit surprised that Jerry Jones took the safe and stable route with his picks.  Galloway loves to nudge just about every owner in the Dallas area, but he knows that this is a key year for the Cowboys.  This team has the attention of this market like no other team does, at least in our Footprint.

Joe Biddle writes that the Titans like their "no name" draft even if the "experts" don't.  The Titans picked a few players that didn't play at the bigger schools, but it seems that they have a plan.  The Titans and Jeff Fisher have built a relationship of trust with their fans.  Everyone from the organization to the fans know that the number one issue is making Vince Young more effective.  The plan for the Draft was to give Vince a lot of weapons.

Scott Fowler reminds Panther fans that John Fox absolutely needs the Panthers to make a big playoff run to keep his job.  It helps that this year's picks seem to be creating hopeful sentiments along that line.


Gene Frenette on how the Jaguars are getting a pass rush.  Although many have criticized the Jaguars for overpaying to trade up to get their men, Frenette accurately reflect the enthusiasm of Jaguars' fans and fans to be in the Jax area with their aggressive execution of the 2008 Draft.

This time is now for the Jaguars to make a Super Bowl run.  This team has galvanized Jacksonville.  Trading up for two SEC players, including a Gator who played a big part in their recent National Championship season, is just plain smart.

We've doubted the Jags, but they appear to be headed in the right direction.


Tom Boswell writes about the Redskins sticking to their board.  Although many wonder about the Redskins and Snyder (including us), the man finally has an organization that is his from top to bottom.

Snyder inherited Norv Turner so he got rid of him.  He went through big names next from Marty Schottenheimer to Steve Spurrier to Joe Gibbs.  In each case, the coach was supposed to bring Snyder credibility.

Snyder and Vinny Cerrato are the core of the Redskins now.  They have their roster in place.  Now, they have their coach of choice, Jim Zorn, a decidedly non-big name guy.

For the first time, Snyder is on his own.  This next season is the right one to finally judge him as an owner and a football man.

Texans and John McClain on the Texans draft.  They're excited about it, but others are in doubt.  We mentioned this in our 2008 Draft Awards, but it is amazing how boring this franchise is. 

They remind us of some fictional team from a bad movie a la Necessary Roughness.  Their name, their uniforms, their coach, and their roster all scream "generic pro football team." 

We're even more concerned about the loss of Mike Sherman to Texas A&M.  Sherman's HC experience had to have helped Gary Kubiak.  This recent article about the discipline Sherman has been injecting into the Texas A&M program shows that he is a difference maker.

The biggest question for the Texans is not whether the 2008 Draft makes the team better, but whether the team will ever be better than any of the other three teams in the AFC South.

Roy Cummings has a great piece on Josh Johnson, the Bucs 5th round pick out of San Diego.  We've been critical of Jon Gruden's inability to find a QB under the age of 35 that can his complex offense.  Johnson may be the perfect storm.  

The kid is under the radar screen because he came into college weighing on 149 lbs.  However, he is now 200lbs and 6'3" which makes him close to NFL ready.  He also played in a WCO system at SD and put up mind bloggling stats.

Johnson led the nation in total offense (336.7 ypg), total passing yards (3,320), passing efficiency (169.0 rating) and points responsible for (24.33 ppg) while also being the current active career leader in passing efficiency (168.16 rating) and completion percentage (67.80).  Johnson also ran for over 700 yards. 

However, the most amazing stat of all is that he three less than 20 interceptions in his entire college career.  He had only one interception total in his senior year.

Doug Williams has been scouting this kid for the Bucs or the last couple of years, and he is a believer.   Could Johnson be the perfect combination of Williams and Jeff Garcia?

Jeff Darlington hits the consistent theme about Miami building in the trenches which most people understand is the way to go in changing an organization.  Armanda Salguero on the cold war between Parcells and Jason Taylor.

Parcells will win this one because he doesn't care.  Listening to Wayne Huizenga and how he coddled players, it's no wonder that the Dolphins have grown soft and ineffective.

After Randy Moss's resurgence in NE, teams aren't going to let players dictate where they want to play while they are still under contract.

Our guess is that Taylor will ultimately show up and have a career year.  If not, he can retire.  Either way, Parcells will not be in the business of helping Taylor or another NFL team out by letting him go.

The AJC reflects the consternation between the Falcons and the football fans in Atlanta who are reluctant to embrace the.  Three of the AJC's sports columnists have three different opinions on the matter.

Terrence Moore is not impressed by Matt Ryan, while Mark Bradley wants Atlantans to trust in Dimitroff

Jeff Schultz probably has the best take by pointing out that the Falcons are Blank's toughest sales job.  Hope is in short supply in Atlanta, and that's all he has to sell right now.

(As an aside, the illustrious Tony Barnhart writes about all the SEC and ACC players that were drafted.)

Bernie Miklasz points out that the Rams draft will only be understood after the season starts.  Jeff Gordon takes the opinion that the lack of flash will be overcome by potential substance.

Either way, the Rams have dug a hole for themselves in St Louis, and they need to turn it around quickly.  The team has tweaked around the edges, but next season will quickly tell whether this veteran roster will respond better the Scott Linehan than they did last year.

John DeShazier likes the Saints picking defense.  It's hard to argue.  We warned against the Saints enigmatic history.  A solid defense is always a good way to build consistency in the NFL.

Lost in all of the draft hype is Sedrick Ellis from USC being reunited with Ed Orgeron who is now the D-line coach. 

We wish the best of luck to Ed in his new endeavor.  He unfortunately became a bit of a joke as Ole Miss's head coach before they fired him and got Houston Nutt.

Anyone that reads Meat Market can see that Orgeron is an interesting and smart guy who might well have failed in Ole Miss because he dreamed bigger than the school did about its football program.  Orgeron wanted and SEC title which would only come with huge talent upgrades, while Ole Miss seems to only want to be solid, something Houston Nutt is very capable in delivering.

Much like the Saints, the Bengals are searching for consistency.  Mark Curnutte likes Keith Rivers, but he thinks the Bengals blew it by not making a deal to get one of the top DTs.

This is a very critical year for this franchise.  Marvin Lewis must re-establish control over this team that has run amuck with personality overload (ie Chad Johnson).

The AFC North is a very even division, and Cleveland proved that last year by jumping up from the cellar and competing for the division title at 10-6.  Cincy can do it as well if the defense comes along.

Bob Kravitz writes that the Colts showed an awful lot about their team in their draft (solid players, solid character).  We still think that the Colts might be on a slow downslide (playoff for sure, but no longer Super Bowl champion material).

We also don't like the way the retirement talk swirled around Tony Dungy.

As always, we shall see when the games kick off after summer.


related tags

Southern Pro Football,
New Orleans,
North Carolina,

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