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Good stuff on what helps make a rookie QB successful– “It’s obvious that the days of rookie quarterbacks “sitting and learning” have expired. With the intense pressure exerted on both coaching staffs and front offices, rookie quarterbacks now enter the league armed with instant expectations. And while there is no sure individual formula for rookie success, at least there are some team criteria which help to lessen the burden.
1. Run the Ball. Speedy wide receivers and flashy offensive designs are great, but a rookie quarterback’s best friend is a capable running game. Both Ryan and Flacco broke the taboo of a rookie quarterback being able to achieve success thanks to their team’s respective rushing attacks. (Or, if you wanted to go back to 2004, Ben Roethlisberger proved to be the ultimate example.)” [Kolonich/The OBR]
How valuable is Kyrie Irving– “So of the top ten players in the league, I would be okay with the Cavaliers trading Kyrie Irving for six of them, though I would only feel really good about it if it was Kevin Durant. Every other NBA superstar comes with baggage, and while Irving will certainly start accumulating some as early as next season, right now he has shown so much potential and so much poise that it would be hard to let him go for any other player.” [Curry/Cavs HQ]
“NBA fans don’t like the idea that someone who is trusted with a vote — no matter how silly a privilege voting for silly NBA awards is — is taking their job less seriously than NBA fans typically take their NBA. And the idea that Josh Selby, who made fewer shots (25) than his Memphis Grizzlies won games (41) this year, could grab a third-place vote? That Twitter darling and rightful two-time Rookie of the Month-winning Isaiah Thomas would finish behind Klay Thompson or Shumpert (or even Rubio, who was fantastic in his rookie season, but missed as many games as Josh Selby made shots)? It frustrates them.
Fans want to know who isn’t working hard. Who isn’t paying attention, and who isn’t taking things seriously. Media members want to know the same. And those who take pot shots at the types that want these things to be transparent? They’re spot on as well. This stuff is incredibly silly. Voting for NBA awards is somehow just as silly as giving a Most Improved Player award vote to Andrew Bogut, who played 12 games this season.” [Dwyer/Ball Don’t Lie]
Making football worth the risk, according to Jason Whitlock– “Andrew Sweat’s decision to eschew the Browns for law school speaks to how swiftly football’s image is changing. America’s national pastime has had a Thanksgiving driveway-like car accident. Junior Seau is Elin Nordegren and the NFL is Tiger Woods. Tiger is still a force of nature when it comes to drawing viewers to golf. He’s still famous, infamous, attractive, charismatic, exciting and impossible to ignore. He’s also damaged and a shell of his former self on the golf course.
In the aftermath of Seau’s suicide and growing concern over football head injuries, football could soon be a shell of its former self, a sport played almost exclusively by America’s option-less underclass.” [Whitlock/Fox Sports]
“Not wanting to burn Kotchman (who had already hit a home run earlier in the game) quite as soon as he got on base, Acta waited to see how the inning played out before bringing on a pinch runner in case the game went to extra innings. That looked like a smart move when the next batter, Aaron Cunningham flew out to the second baseman. However, when Kotchman was able to move up on a wild pitch from Capps, he pulled him in favour of Marson. That’s when Choo struck and the pinch runner scored from second base, making it look like an even smarter move. Genius. Glasses. Acta.” [Parkes/The Score]