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SPF Week One Game Log

Posted: Sep 09, 2007

Thursday's game didn't do nearly what yesterday's college slate did to pump us up here at SPF.  Our own James Calemine is a little distraught about his Bulldogs going down to the dreaded Spurrier.  (Swampland Sports will begin covering the college game in the next week so we will all have more to say at that point.)

Today begins the NFL season.  Excitement is high so we will just keep an ongoing log of the day as it develops...


God bless NFL.COM!  This site has been completely revamped and how has all kinds of exclusive video footage to watch.  Who needs ESPN, CBS, or Fox with this kind of unfiltered video content?  SPF doesn't want you to wait on the pregame shows, so we've sifted through it all for your benefit. 

First, check out their fine game previews (courtesy of NFL Films):

Panthers/Rams (early)
Dolphins/Redskins (early)
Jaguars/Titans (early)
Falcons/Vikings (early)
Texans/Chiefs (early)
Bucs/Seahawks (late)
Cowboys/Giants (Sunday night)
Bengals/Ravens (Monday night)

Next, if you like to hear it straight from the horse's mouth (i.e. coaches and players), NFL.COM has the goods.  The great thing about these clips is that they allow the fans to hear players and coaches speak without the sports media filter.  You start to feel like you are getting to know them a little better:

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio currently sits in the SPF hot seat after waiving first round QB Byron Leftwich so that backup David Garrard could take over as the starter.  In the press conference clip, Del Rio subtly knocks Leftwich as he emphasizes Garrard's "quick release" and "mobility".  (He might as well call Leftwich a slow-throwing statue.)  Still, everything in Del Rio's tone sounds defensive.  "We will throw the ball" (??)  Let's hope so, Jack.  (Watching Del Rio in front of the Jags backdrop just doesn't create a lot of confidence about him or the organization.)

Another organization with severely questionable leadership is the Houston Texans.  Head coach Gary Kubiak could be a mirror of Jack Del Rio.  Listening to him talk about WRs cuts doesn't make you sream out "inspiring" as an adjective.  Both he and Del Rio like to talk on a tinkering level while SPF wonders if an overhaul isn't in order.  Meanwhile, you can watch the changes in new QB Matt Schaub's demeanor from the beginning of camp (confident) to his last preseason game (defensive).  (It might be a long season, Matt.)

Our preview of the Bengals noted this team's sense of flair and swagger.  WR TJ Hous isn't even their most "vocal" WR, but you can sense his intelligence and confidence as he explains the importance of good route running in this segment.

Cam Cameron first worked with Trent Green in his days as an assistant coach in Washington.  This was before Trent was traded to St Louis and then Kansas City where he made a name for himself.  This clip shows better than most the bond that head coaches need with their starting QB.  Many have questioned Cameron's faith in an aging QB with a history of concussions, but listen to him and it's clear why he made the choice - trust.

[RAMS] Listen to the difference in vocal tone with Rams coach Scott Linehan when he talks about his belief in rookie RB Brian Leonard vs.talking about final roster cuts.  Linehan seems like a steady guy, but also thoughtful and intelligent.  Now in his second season as coach, he has the Rams positioned as a sleeper team this season considering all the hype on SF, AZ, and Seattle this off season.

Jon Gruden might be young in years, but his approach remains "old school".  You can hear it whether he is discussing his roster, or in this quick clip when he talks about blitzing during the preseason.

It's no surprise that the Cowboys have great clips galore from Wade Phillip's folksy charm as he talks about improving the team's run defense and QB Tony Romo to Romo himself (still sounding a little over his head) to TO talking about adding butter to the popcorn this year.

Former Saint and now Falcon WR Joe Horn discusses Michael Vick, new QB Joey Harrington, the week one matchup against Minnesota, and his former QB Drew Brees  He makes a convincing case that the Vick incident has brought the team together.  Horn's maturity and his experience in New Orleans during Katrina might be a big asset to Atlanta this year.

Despite rumors of being nicked up, the Redskins Clinton Portis sounds ready for week one against the Dolphins.  Listen and chuckle at his explanation of the Portis "supply and demand" theory.

The Panthers (head coach and players) sound pumped coming into this season.

Titans QB Vince Young sounds like a veteran discussing the RB situation in Tennessee this year.

More to come as the day rolls on....


Bright Spots: 

After tearing this franchise to shreds, we have to eat a little crow and give a few props to Coach Kubiak, Matt Schaub, Mario Williams and the rest of the Texans.  KC was an iffy team coming in,but Houston still stomped them.  Williams had 2 sacks and a fumble recovery TD in the process.  KC is probably going to be a bottom dweller, but those are the types of teams you have to beat if you are exiting bottom dweller status yourself. 

The Panthers showed that they are to be taken seriously.  This team has been fighting injuries since their close Super Bowl to the Patriots.  Now healthy, they made the Rams pay.  Chin up, Rams!  The Panthers might be the NFC's best team.  (Memo to Marc Bulger - time to pick it up a bit now that you got your big contract.)

Vince Young's Titans are still rolling.  Now, he's got LenDale White and Chris Brown going as well.

Low Lights:

Jack Del Rio's hot seat just went up a notch.  Losing at home to a division rival that is supposed to be behind you is unacceptable.  Today's game was everything that the Del Rio-led Jaguars are known for - tough & hard fought, but falling short in the most boring of fashions.  Worse yet, the Titans ran roughshod over the Jags defense, while the Jags couldn't get anything going on the ground.

Jack meet Cam.  Cam meet Jack.  Let me tell you, Cam, what I've been trying to tell Jack - boring doesn't sell in Florida.  Boring and losing is even worse.  You two might want to look at the Big Ten head coaching vacancies next year.  (Oh yeah, Cam already tried that and was run out of Bloomington, Indiana.)

Bobby, you don't want to start getting friendly with either Cam or Jack.  We tried to tell you to be bold.  You should have started by signing up Daunte Culpepper when he was available.  You should have at least begged Rich McKay not to trade Matt Schaub.  That type of stupidity has you saddled with a career loser in Harrington and has bailed out Kubiak and crew after they passed over Vince Young to keep David Carr (now in Carolina as a back up).  Bench Harrington now and find another QB.  Do it for your own good.  Don't waste your honeymoon year (courtesy of the Vick debacle) like this.


Low Lights:

This year is looking like last year for the Bucs already.  The starting QB goes down.  Cadillac Williams is knocked out of the game.  The offense stalls, and the game fades away.  (Note to Rams - the Seahawks look pretty good.  Put them up with the Panthers as a group of hard hitters.)

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