Thoughts regarding sports and mentoring.
Caution: Severe Tennessee Titan, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Cubs, and Scott Stallings bias.

The Taunting Two-Step

December 2nd, 2015 | Comments Off on The Taunting Two-Step

When is a touchdown dance more than a dance? Cam Newton is only the latest example in the age-old dance of celebration vs. taunting.

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 18: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 18, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 570176333 ORIG FILE ID: 493267298

The Carolina Panthers are the last undefeated team still dancing and Cam Newton, the front runner for NFL MVP, is a big reason why. Over the last week Newton became the subject of scrutiny after a Music City mother sent a letter that the Charlotte Observer opportunistically published scolding Newton’s Elvis-esque gyrations.

Then came the response.

A response to the response.

And finally a response to the response of the response.

If you are trying to remember the steps to this media montage – it’s racism, the objectification of women, and celebratory limits of franchise players, cha, cha, cha.

The steps for settling the dance between celebrating and taunting are much simpler.

In hopes of creating clarity and not stifling the moves of our favorite sporting entertainers, here are some quick pointers for players and fans.

Celebrating…

… is brief during play.
… directed at teammates or your fans.
… is proportional to the value of the moment.
… is from the pure emotion of joy and satisfaction.
… is rarely misinterpreted by opposing players or penalized by the officials.

Taunting…

… is excessive in length during play.
… is directed at opponent or their fans.
… is disproportionate to the value of the moment.
… is from the raw emotion of arrogance and anger.
… is often interpreted by opposing players as disrespectful or penalized by officials.

This is hardly comprehensive or complete, but it could help in spotting some of the differences on any field of play in which you are watching or playing.

In the case of Cam Newton, dancing is no problem… unless an opposing player takes offense. Then attempt to defuse the situation, or just avoid directing an emphatic pelvic thrust in his direction.

Hit the Quan or even Whip / Nae Nae.

Just remember your mother, my mother, and apparently everyone else’ mother is watching – so when in doubt, make it about giving away footballs to kids and not all this other nonsense. That’s the most entertaining and rewarding celebration.

The Lead Block challenges players and fans to honor their opponents, on and off the court. To find out more about how you can become a part, click HERE.

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Titan Thursday – Week 16 Predictions

December 23rd, 2011 | 1 comment

Every week, Titan Thursday will share predictions of each week’s NFL match-ups.

Overall Record: 142-82

 Week 15 (Record: 8-8)

Shame of the Week: Carolina Panthers over the Houston Texans
T.J. Yates may not be as good as advertised, but Sunday is a perfect example of what the Texans defense looks like without the strategic prowess of Wade Phillips on the sidelines. Gary Kubiak should send more than a Christmas card to his new DC.

Pick ‘Em Again: Packers over Chiefs
If the NFL played these games again this weekend, under the same conditions, I would pick the exact same way.  And I genuinely believe I would be right this time.

Shoulda’ Known Better: Seahawks over Bears, Dolphins over Bills
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.

 

Week 15

Tennessee Titans over the Jacksonville Jaguars
The annual trip to LP will not disappoint, as Chris Johnson will reach 1000 yards for his 4th consecutive season and the Titans use a ball control offense to smash a depleted Jags squad into submission. Jake Locker will also get some time to shine.

New Orleans Saints over the Atlanta Falcons
This battle for the AFC South is huge. If the Saints complete a sweep of the Falcons on Monday Night they will take their league leading winning streak to 7 games and will hold wins over playoff teams including the Falcons, Texans, and Lions.

 

Texans over Colts
Houston does not need this and is falling fast, but the Colts will come up short.

Cardinals over Bengals
Cannot sleep on the NFC’s version of Tim Tebow. The Cardiac Cards are back.

Giants over Jets
Eli Manning is such a tease. Still, its hard to see Sanchez outperforming anyone.

Patriots over Bills
Tom Terrific and the Pats have a humiliating loss to avenge. This will not be pretty.

Ravens over Browns
The Ravens typically follow-up bad losses with huge games. Cleveland is just a mess.

Raiders over Chiefs
Romeo Crennel and Kansas City will come crashing back down to earth this week.

Redskins over Vikings
Anyone else notice that Chris Johnson is not the only elite RB having a down year?

Panthers over Buccaneers
Earlier this season Newton and Carolina would find a way to lose. Not this time.

Broncos over Bills
No need for Tebow Time. The Bills and Broncos are two halves of the same coin.

Steelers over Rams
Look for Dennis Dixon or Charlie Batch to make this game a little more exciting.

49ers over Seahawks
Not even the opportunistic Seahawks can turn out the lights on this error-free squad.

Packers over Bears
Even if the Pack rested their starters, the Bears do not have the firepower to win.

Chargers over Lions
This is great postseason practice for Detroit. Youth and inexperience will ruin it late.

Cowboys over Eagles
Against all odds, history, and critical evaluations, the Cowboys and Romo get it done.

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Titan Thursday – Week 15 Predictions

December 15th, 2011 | 1 comment

Every week, Titan Thursday will share predictions of each week’s NFL match-ups.

Overall Record: 134-74

Week 14 (Record: 11-5)

Shame of the Week: Houston Texans over the Cincinnati Bengals
T.J. Yates may be young and inexperienced, but he is succeeding in ways Matt Schaub could not in December. And the addition of Wade Phillips has been huge for the Texans defense. Both are huge reasons for the franchise’s first playofff berth.

Pick ‘Em Again: Buccaneers over Jaguars, 49ers over Cardinals
If the NFL played these games again this weekend, under the same conditions, I would pick the exact same way.  And I genuinely believe I would be right this time.

Shoulda’ Known Better: Giants over Cowboys, Eagles over Dolphins
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.

 

Week 15

Tennessee Titans over the Indianapolis Colts
This is the biggest trap game of the year for the Titans. The Colts have done enough, or not enough depending how you look at it, to guarantee the first overall pick. If Jake Locker starts and the Titans cannot establish the run early, oh boy…

Denver Broncos over the New England Patriots
Tim Tebow and the Broncos are on a divine run into the playoffs and Belichick & Brady have struggled together in Mile High with an atrocious record of 1-5. Regardless the outcome, expect Tebowmania to hit critical mass on Sunday.

 

Falcons over Jaguars
Atlanta needs this game and Jacksonville has a huge letdown loaded and ready.

Cowboys over Buccaneers
Despite all evidence to the contrary, I believe Dallas will rise to the occasion.

Texans over Panthers
Yates has a believer in me. While Newton’s Offensive Rookie of the Year is at stake.

Bills over Dolphins
Miami is Fin-ished and no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills at home.

Bengals over Rams
The young Bengals are injury-bitten, while the free-falling Rams have no excuse.

Bears over Seahawks
Chicago was bamboozled and Tebowed, but I believe will avoid tasting the rainbow.

Saints over Vikings
All fantasy owners looking to stay alive in the playoffs look no further than this gem.

Packers over Chiefs
Okay, so maybe fantasy owners can find some diamonds in the rough here, as well.

Giants over Redskins
Eli Manning may be rolling, but forgetting this would set the stage for a letdown.

Lions over Raiders
Detroit gets their roar back, while the Raiders are regressing to their old ways.

Cardinals over Browns
Yuck. Mike Holmgren’s legend is getting dragged through the mud in Cleveland.

Eagles over Jets
The Fins are no slouches. The Dream Team could actually be coming together.

Chargers over Ravens
Last time Baltimore flew cross country, this happened. I just do not trust Joe Flacco.

Steelers over 49ers
The 49ers overlooked the Cards last week because of this game. What a waste.

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Titan Thursday – Week 13 Predictions

December 1st, 2011 | 1 comment

Every week, Titan Thursday will share predictions of each week’s NFL match-ups.

Overall Record: 113-61

Week 12 (Record: 14-2)

Shame of the Week: Green Bay Packers over the Detroit Lions
What a disappointment. Not only did Ndamukong Suh ruin this game with a single stomp, he could very well have ruined the rest of the Lions season. Aaron Rodgers is good. But, with that Green Bay defense he is going to need to be to keep winning.

Shoulda’ Known Better: Broncos over Chargers
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.


Week 13

Tennessee Titans over the Buffalo Bills
Smart money is on the struggling Buffalo Bills who host a Titans team that has not put back-to-back wins together in two months. But, the Bills are giving up 120+ yards a game on the ground and have yet to see a back like Chris Johnson all season.

New Orleans Saints over the Detroit Lions
The Lions season is in jeopardy, as Detroit desperately needs this game to keep pace in a heated NFC Wildcard race. But, Drew Brees in the Superdome is potentially an even scarier proposition than Aaron Rodgers anywhere, right now.

 

Eagles over Seahawks
This far into a lost season, games come down to who has the more talented roster.

Patriots over Colts
Remember when this game was the perennial highlight of the NFL regular season?

Broncos over Vikings
At the risk of jinxing Tim Tebow, I cannot in good conscious pick the Vikes here.

Raiders over Dolphins
The AFC West is Oakland’s for the taking, but this game is pivotal for a playoff berth.

Jets over Redskins
The Battle of the Rexes should be entertaining, until Santonio Holmes takes over.

Falcons over Texans
The annual Texans slide begins this week, how far they slide is the only question.

Bears over Chiefs
The Chiefs do not have the firepower to battle even a depleted version of the Bears.

Steelers over Bengals
It is so easy to see the young Bengals stealing this game, but Pittsburgh finds a way.

Buccaneers over Panthers
Cam Newton is in for a long day. But, the Carolina run defense is in for a longer one.

Ravens over Browns
Any given week the Ravens are the class of the AFC, while the Browns, well… are not.

Packers over Giants
The trap-game meter is peaking for this game. Can Eli Manning steal one for A-Rod?

Cowboys over Cardinals
Beating the Cards is easy. Build an early lead and avoid kicking it anywhere near him.

49ers over Rams
A tale of two NFC West teams. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Chargers over Jaguars
Ugh. Just when you thought Monday Night Football could not get any worse…


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Titan Thursday – Week 8 Predictions

October 27th, 2011 | 1 comment

Every week, Titan Thursday will share predictions of each week’s NFL match-ups.

Overall Record: 66-37

Week 7 (Record: 8-5)

Shame of the Week: Kansas City Chiefs over the Oakland Raiders
Okay, so I believed last Wednesday night when I wrote Titan Thursday that the Raiders would have no choice but to start Carson Palmer. I was wrong. Still, I stand by Carson Palmer, who was without Darren McFadden and down 21 points.

Pick ‘Em Again: Ravens over Jaguars
If the NFL played these games again this weekend, under the same conditions, I would pick the exact same way.  And I genuinely believe I would be right this time.

Shoulda’ Known Better: Texans over Titans, Jets over Chargers
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.


Week 8

Tennessee Titans over the Indianapolis Colts
Something will give for two teams heading the wrong direction in the win / loss columns. The Colts are better than the 62-7 beat down they received courtesy of the Saints. But, are the Titans better than their 41-7 humiliation? I sure hope so…

Dallas Cowboys over the Philadelphia Eagles
Yes, Tony Romo is in the news for celebrity reasons and the Eagles are playing at home. But, Michael Vick has 8 interceptions in the last 5 games and the Eagles are not immune to the run. Not sure why, but I will ride with Romo and the ‘Boys.

 

Giants over Dolphins
If any team could lose to the Dolphins, it is Eli and the Giants. Home field is enough.

Texans over Jaguars
No outcome in this game would surprise me, but not buying into Blaine-ia just yet.

Ravens over Cardinals
The Ravens are just like that sometimes. Expect a big rebound this week at home.

Saints over Rams
Seriously?! What did New Orleans do to deserve this favorable schedule? Oh yea…

Vikings over Panthers
Newton may be better than Ponder, but Peterson should slowly wear down Carolina.

Lions over Broncos
Even powered by the winning machine that is Tim Tebow, the Lions get it done.

Bills over Redskins
The Redskins are who we thought they were. Will the Bills let them off the hook?

Bengals over Seahawks
The Red Rifle and this young Cincinnati defense have made a believer out of me.

49ers over Browns
Do you think Pat Shurmur is preparing a gracious midfield handshake, right now?

Patriots over Steelers
Belichick and Brady after a regular season bye week is a lock regardless the opponent.

Chargers over Chiefs
The Bolts need this game as injuries mount and the Packers await them next week.

 

Byes: Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Titan Thursday – Week 7 Predictions

October 20th, 2011 | 1 comment

Every week, Titan Thursday will share predictions of each week’s NFL match-ups.

Overall Record: 58-32

Week 6 (Record: 10-3)

Shame of the Week: Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the New Orleans Saints
If you told me an ugly leg injury would impact this game, I would have suspected Drew Bress or Josh Freeman as the victims. Sorry Bucs’ fans, but this game was an anomaly. Without Sean Payton’s horrible injury, this game goes the other way.

Pick ‘Em Again: Lions over 49ers
If the NFL played these games again this weekend, under the same conditions, I would pick the exact same way.  And I genuinely believe I would be right this time.

Shoulda’ Known Better: Giants over Bills
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.


Week 7

Tennessee Titans over the Houston Texans
The Titans are clearly the better option at home coming off a bye week. But, which Titans team will show up? Will Chris Johnson finally have a breakaway run? Regardless of those answers, the Texans are still the same ‘ol Texans. Mediocre.

Atlanta Falcons over the Detroit Lions
This is another top notch NFC showdown, that hopefully will not be ruined by post-game shenanigans. The Lions will miss Jahvid Best and although the Falcons secondary is atrocious, the Lions will not be able to stop Michael Turner.

Broncos over Dolphins
Tim Tebow will do just enough to win this week at home. Er… away in his honor.

Buccaneers over Bears
The only team more frustrating to predict than the Bucs on Sundays? Da Bears.

Browns over Seahawks
Even with an extra week and a momentous win over the Giants, Colt gets it done.

Chargers over Jets
The only Bolts buddy I have said to pick the Jets. So, this is with little confidence.

Panthers over Redskins
Cam Newton steals the second win of his career against another reeling squad.

Steelers over Cardinals
The Cardinals and Steelers are inverse case studies of operating an NFL franchise.

Raiders over Chiefs
I am a believer (apparently one of the few) in Carson Palmer’s immediate impact.

Cowboys over Rams
The Cowboys will do their best to make this a close game, but still salvage a win.

Packers over Vikings
How great would it be if Christian Ponder stole a win? Highly unlikely, but still…

Saints over Colts
Fortunately, the Saints will test out their new play calling system against Indy.

Ravens over Jaguars
Monday Nightmare Football continues in another mismatch that demands flexing.

Byes: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers

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Titan Thursday – Week 5 Predictions

October 6th, 2011 | 2 comments

Every week, Titan Thursday will share predictions of each week’s NFL match-ups.


Overall Record: 40-24

Week 4 (Record: 11-5)

Shame of the Week: Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans
Pittsburgh is old, Houston still lacks a killer instinct, and it is difficult to determine which unit is more of a disaster, the Steelers’ offensive line or the Texans’ secondary.

Pick ‘Em Again: Eagles over 49ers
If the NFL played these games again this weekend, under the same conditions, I would pick the exact same way.  And I genuinely believe I would be right this time.

Shoulda’ Known Better: Redskins over Rams
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way these games could ever end.


Week 5

Tennessee Titans over the Pittsburgh Steelers
Matt Hasselbeck will avoid big mistakes and Chris Johnson will unleash his longest run of the year. Even though the Titan defense will be more than a match for the front five of Pittsburgh, this game will be a close until late in the 4th quarter.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the San Francisco 49ers
Each young squad is looking to make a statement about who belongs in the NFL elite and atop their respective division. After picking against Josh Freeman and losing twice this season, I will roll with the new King of Comebacks again this week.

 

Saints over Panthers
Amazingly, Cam Newton might be the worst quarterback in the NFC South.

Texans over Raiders
I don’t know how, but the Texans will make me pay for this vote of confidence.

Eagles over Bills
This game has all the makings of a shootout. The Eagles have to fly or die trying.

Giants over Seahawks
Eli Manning is quietly off to a great start and the Giants are only getting stronger.

Vikings over Cardinals
Donovan McNabb will play just well enough to keep Christian Ponder on the bench.

Chiefs over Colts
The Colts look more interested in Andrew Luck than the Chiefs do… for right now.

Bengals over Jaguars
Battle of the “other” rookie QBs should be interesting. I like the Red Rifle in this one.

Chargers over Broncos
The Tim Tebow Experiment should start courtesy of the Chargers, this Sunday.

Patriots over Jets
Fact: Tom Brady > Ryan Fitzpatrick > Injured Chad Henne > Mark Sanchez

Packers over Falcons
Can the Falcons forget what happened in the playoffs last season? I doubt it.

Lions over Bears
I think the Lions have had this game circled for two weeks and will come out firing.

 

Byes: Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens

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Titan Thursday – Week 4 Predictions

September 29th, 2011 | 1 comment

Every week, Titan Thursday will share predictions of each week’s NFL match-ups.


Overall Record: 29-19

Week 3 (Record: 11-5)

Shame of the Week: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Vick is right to cry out for relief. Because Andy Reid nor his offensive line seem interested in answering that call. And calm down Giant fans, for every one of these games from Eli in September there is the opposite lurking for December.

Pick ‘Em Again: Patriots over Bills
If the NFL played these games again this weekend, under the same conditions, I would pick the exact same way.  And I genuinely believe I would be right this time.

Shoulda’ Known Better: Buccaneers over Falcons
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way these games could ever end.


Week 4

Tennessee Titans over the Cleveland Browns
Okay, so the Titans have not dazzled in their two wins, Chris Johnson is depressingly bottled up, and Kenny Britt is lost for the season. But, Matt Hasselbeck and the stingiest defense in the NFL will maintain their winning ways for another week.

Detroit Lions over the Dallas Cowboys
I hate to pick against Tony Romo after he just willed his team to another tough win. But, expect this Cowboys secondary to struggle against a good quarterback (Matt Stafford). Something they have yet to see (i.e. Sanchez, Smith, and Grossman).

 

Steelers over Texans
Steelers are sloppy, but win this one close. The Texans just look like a .500 team.

Bears over Panthers
Cam Newton came back to earth last week. And the 1-2 Bears are no 1-2 Jaguars.

Vikings over Chiefs
It is sad to see recent division winners struggle so badly. The Vikes can’t lose this.

Bills over Bengals
Although I am impressed with the Bills, I feel a letdown coming on. Just not yet.

Rams over Redskins
Both looked bad in defeat last week, but the Rams have played better teams so far.

Eagles over 49ers
Vick’s overblown injury should go away quietly, just like the 49ers will in the 4th.

Saints over Jaguars
Not even a monsoon could help the Jags win this game. Drew Brees is too much.

Falcons over Seahawks
The Falcons are struggling, but it is nothing a visit to the Seahawks cannot fix.

Giants over Cardinals
An easy match-up for the Giants sure smells like a trap game. Cards can steal it.

Patriots over Raiders
There is no way Bill Belichick and Tom Brady lose back-to-back games. Is there?

Packers over Broncos
Attention Fantasy Owners, insert all Packer offensive players… put the D in, too!

Chargers over Dolphins
What if the Chargers and Dolphins actually played up to their potential? Hmm…

Ravens over Jets
Rex Ryan should really consider Joe Namath as an option against his old team.

Buccaneers over Colts
Being wrong about these two teams has cost me 4 games. Will they make it 5?

 

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Titan Thursday – Week 3 Predictions

September 22nd, 2011 | 1 comment

Every week, Titan Thursday will share predictions of each week’s NFL match-ups.

Overall Record: 18-14

Week 2 (Record: 12-4)

Shame of the Week: Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans
I knew it!
This Titan team has the makings of the 2008 squad led by a younger and more effective Kerry Collins. The offense is dynamic and the defense is good enough to hold onto a lead. Still, this just makes last week’s loss to Jacksonville sting more.

Pick ‘Em Again: Vikings over Bucs
If the NFL played these games again this weekend, under the same conditions, I would pick the exact same way.  And I genuinely believe I would be right this time.

Shoulda’ Known Better: Browns over Colts, Giants over Rams
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way these games could ever end.


Week 3

Tennessee Titans over the Denver Broncos
Kyle Orton torched the Titans’ secondary to the tune of 341 yards and 2 touchdowns last season. But, I expect the explosive Titan offense to strike early and often in this rematch, forcing Orton to throw from behind for meaningless yards. CJ will return.

New Orleans Saints over the Houston Texans
These are the games the Texans never seem to win. So if Houston wants to be taken seriously as an NFL power this season, beating Drew Brees in the Super Dome is the ticket. But, they have to force FGs on defense and score TDs on offense.

Patriots over Bills
Ryan Fitzpatrick is good and will play well at home, but Tom Brady is just too good.

49ers over Bengals
I guess someone has to win this game. And the 49ers have looked better… at times.

Lions over Vikings
Williams is back and the Vikes are dangerous. But, I like Detroit in their first real test.

Eagles over Giants
If Vick can stay healthy, this is a lock. Giants’ interns should be safe for the weekend.

Panthers over Jaguars
This is hardly jumping on the Cam Newton bandwagon. That starts next week…

Browns over Dolphins
Chad Henne leaves a lot to be desired and I like what Colt McCoy has going.

Jets over Raiders
If Fitzpatrick and the Bills can pick apart this defense, Sanchez and the Jets can too.

Ravens over Rams
The Ravens will bounce back, but the Rams at home can steal this one if they want it.

Chargers over Chiefs
Expect Antonio Gates and a winning Chargers team to reappear after a week off.

Packers over Bears
The Pack defense is a real concern, but I will take Aaron Rodgers over Jay Cutler.

Cardinals over Seahawks
The Cardinals have no defense. Which is okay, because Seattle has no offense.

Falcons over Buccaneers
Can Josh Freeman make me pay 2 weeks in a row? Not against Matt Ryan, he can’t.

Steelers over Colts
Fine. The Colts are bad. Honestly, even with Peyton Manning this Colts team is bad.

Cowboys over Redskins
I am riding with Romo this week. Especially in an early NFC East division showdown.

 

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Weekly Block – Winning Isn’t Everything

September 21st, 2011 | 1 comment

Each Wednesday, the Weekly Block will cover everything that matters in the world of sports.  To me.  And maybe you, too.

1. Scott Stallings (57th in FedEx Cup Points)(38th on the Money List)

Although, the BMW Championship was a disappointing tournament, Stallings is looking on closing out an extremely successful rookie season. Well done, Scott!

2. Chicago Cubs (68-86)(5th in NL Central)

Good news: The Cubs can pass a Pirates squad that led the NL Central early this year. Bad news: Cubs closer, Kerry Wood, might be done for good. Again.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (Rudy, Rudy, Rudy)

Finally, Rudy Gay is healthy and ready to get back on the court for the Memphis Grizzlies as they prepa… what’s that?  Oh, yea.  The NBA season is not going to happen.

4. Tennessee Titans (Calm Down)

First, Titan fans need to realize that single coverage (a.k.a. most of Kenny Britt’s receptions) and Chris Johnson’s carries are related. Secondly, it was the Ravens.

5. Final Block (Winning Isn’t Everything)

I admit it.

I did not expect Cam Newton to enjoy much early success (or any success, for that matter) in his rookie NFL season.  Especially as the Carolina Panthers’ quarterback.

But, with two of the best rookie performances ever under his belt in as many attempts, it is hard to refute what Newton has demonstrated on the field.

So, let’s compare Newton to quarterbacks around the NFL that are having similar starts to see if those quarterbacks are receiving a similar response.

                              QB Rating   Yards   TDs    INTs   Record
Rex Grossman            90.6         596      4         2        2-0
Cam Newton               89.1         854      3         4        0-2
Mark Sanchez             87.7         517      4         3        2-0

It is fascinating that Sanchez and Grossman are the passers that statistically most resemble Newton. Of the 3 passers, all have enormous potential and all have consistency issues, from quarter-to-quarter. And sometimes from throw-to-throw.

More interesting, are the expectations of NFL analysts and fans of the New York Jets and Washington Redskins. Grossman is currently highly received, as is Sanchez.  But, would the same be true if the Redskins and Jets were 0-2?

Probably not.

Neither are rookies and expectations elevate, especially in the ruthlessly competitive NFL market. So, is there a correlation between support and belief a player receives, and their development as a player (in this case as a young NFL quarterback)?

Expectations should elevate.

Competition and achievement are incredible motivators.

But, maybe growth is best nurtured in an atmosphere with lower expectations.

Peyton Manning still holds the record for most interceptions thrown in a rookie season (29). However, I doubt Manning nor the Indianapolis Colts (who finished 3-13) will ever regret that season of growth.

So, maybe winning isn’t everything. But rather, a reward worth growing into.

What if Panther fans found strange satisfaction in Newton’s growing interceptions, knowing each was teaching him something new. What if Charlotte celebrated a 3-13 record, content that this season was the payment for many great years to come…

 

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