Super Bowl LI…
On Sunday the country will effectively will be as quiet as if it were a national holiday… and people all over… whether they like football or not will be attending SBLI parties… and… more money will likely be gambled on the game than on any other game or sporting event. But, we here at NFLRT are here to do one thing… talk about football and this week primarily about Super Bowl football…
1) Recently ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton set about the task of ranking every one of the 31 coaches who have won a Super Bowl title. What NFLRT is most interested in are his top 5… which are Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick, Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh and Don Shula… in that order.
Do you agree with his top five? What about his order of rank? Would you delete one (or more) coach and replace him with another Super Bowl winning coach(s)?
Chad: I would put Belichick ahead of Lombardi just for the fact his are spread out over different sets of rules and circumstances with an ever changing roster outside of Tom Brady.
David: Der King added a caveat you didn’t mention. Influence on the game, that way he could tweak his east coast buddies and not have the Hoodie first, and, he could overrank certain coaches *cough Dungy cough* and ding others. I guess Vince better do something soon, because IF the Pats win, then Der King says that the Hoodie is better than him.
Bottom line, it’s hard to rank coaches from different eras. Seifert did all of Walsh’s defensive work, so Walsh is basically a glorified Offensive Coordinator. On the flip side, Ditka wasn’t even allowed in the defensive locker room. Yet Walsh is a genius and Ditka is a bum.
At least I didn’t have to click through 30 pages to see all his rankings.
Earl: Hard to disagree with that list.
Those five coaches are the templates for the modern game. I would not remove a coach from that list. Actually, I have no qualms with that list at all.
I might be tempted to list Bill over Vince just for the sake of argument, but that’s about it.
2) If, the Patriots beat the Falcons, does Tom Brady officially get the “Greatest Quarterback Ever” title? Why or why not?
Chad: Yes. I mean, it is hard to argue with 5 Super Bowls and 8 trips to the big game. Plus, he continually makes everyone around him better so NE can take castoffs and uses them as weapons for Brady.
Of all the QBs I’ve seen, I’d still put him second behind Joe Montana. I don’t care if he wins the next 3 Super Bowls, he’s still second behind Montana. Brady almost threw away the Panthers game, and, if he didn’t have one of the best kickers in the game today, might not have won another few of them. Plus, Montana don’t lose to Brother Eli. TWICE.
Earl: Five Super Bowl titles in seven appearances would warrant the honor. Touchdown Tom, Tom Terrific, whatever you want to call him, would be the best QB to play the game if the Pats win.
What Brady has done since entering the NFL as a 6th round pick, way back when, deserves all the kudos in the World.
3) In the 2011 draft, Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff took a ginormous chance and gave up his 2011 and 2012 first-round picks, 2011 second-round pick and 2011 and 2012 fourth-round picks to move from the 27th pick to get the Cleveland Browns 6th pick. The player he took? Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones.
In retrospect, how big of a deal is that considering where the Falcons are right now? Would the Falcons even be this deep into the playoffs without Jones? Why or why not?
Chad: It was huge trade at the time and a risk but, at the time, to get somebody electrifying outside of Roddy White to make the Falcons a complete offense was worth the risk. And from Atlanta’s standpoint… Cleveland didn’t cash in the picks so everything worked out.
David: Depends on who they got with those picks. They get Von Miller and Doug Free, then it was a crappy trade, they get Manzeil and 4 guys that are now selling insurance, than it was a great trade.
Did they give up too much to move to #6? Yes, and I said so at the time.
But did it work out? Sure. People win Powerball all the time.
Earl: I remember that draft and I remember thinking that Jones is a great player, but that was a crazy trade.
I first saw Julio Jones play in one of those high school all star games and he looked like a man amongst boys, and, he carried that on to Alabama. But, I thought that deal was nuts. Well, Julio has definitely made that trade look like a smart move. He might not get the recognition that Odell Beckham Jr., Dez Bryant, and Antonio Brown gets but Jones is one of the best in the game. He’s big, he’s fast, and he’s a beast. The Falcons might have had a good season without him, but, he’s a big reason why they are one win away from their first title.
4) Some of the talking heads are saying if the Patriots win Super Bowl LI and Commissioner Roger Goodall has to hand over the Vince Lombardi trophy to Owner Robert Kraft, Coach Bill Belichick, and, of course, QB Tom Brady, et. al. then the Patriots win the pissing contest that has gone on now for nearly two years regarding Deflategate.
In your opinion, will the Patriots win anything more than the Vince Lombardi trophy and maybe gain some “personal satisfaction” for Brady? Or, by this time, is this Deflategate and revenge factor saga just a story made up by certain media folks that signifies absolutely nothing more than cheap sensationalism? Why?
Chad: No, the Patriots will win another ring; Brady and Belichick grow their legacies even more… it’s not a revenge factor against the NFL.
David: People need to fill the two weeks time, and Pats fan feel tortured, so it helps. Deflategate was stupid when it happened, the NFL found an infraction, and tried to enforce it, and the Pats/Media found a way to really try and undermine Roger and stick it to the MAN. And, Roger was too stupid to see it coming or do anything about it.
Earl: Maybe in their minds, but doesn’t that sound like the pettiest thing ever?
I would hope the Patriots wouldn’t take that as a vengeance moment, but they likely will. In any case, I would expect Deflategate to have been the media story heading into the game, and, I will expect it to be a talking point during the game. With all of that said, I’m sure Brady will have some motivation to go out there, perform well, and shove that trophy down Goodall’s throat.
5) Outside of the two QBs in the upcoming Super Bowl which is the one player for each team who is the most important, or indispensable, to each team’s chances to winning SB LI? Why?
Chad: The Julio Jones vs Malcolm Butler matchup when Atlanta is on offense. It will determine the game. If, Butler can contain Jones, Atlanta may have a tough time scoring against the number 1 scoring defense in the league.
David: For the Falcons it’s Alex Mack. The Falcons tried to get him last time his contract was up but the Browns matched. Mack is going to be key to keeping Matty Ice from getting crushed.
For the Pats, it’s going to be Malcolm Butler. He’s going to be stuck on Sanu all game, as the Pats roll everything including Rhode Island at Julio Jones, so he’s getting less help than the Brooklyn Nets draft room.
Earl: The aforementioned Julio Jones. Why? The Falcons don’t necessarily need him to have a huge game but if he’s shut down early, that will cause the Pats to shift towards Atlanta’s over weapons. The Falcons have a speedster at receiver in Gabriel and if the Pats get Jones off his game early, than Gabriel can’t be used to blow the top off the defense and that will take two weapons away from Atlanta.
And just for the hell of it…
With apologies to David Snipes for co-opting his term…
The Hoodie… or… maybe Darth Bill?
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