THE OTHER 31: Kickoff Week, 2010

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21. Denver Broncos: There are teams that need a complete overhaul to fix years and years of mistakes. The 1-15 Dolphins that have been turned around and made into a contender by Bill Parcells is an example. The Jaguars of the Shack Harris era are another example. I would say Josh Daniels tried to fix something that wasn’t broke, but I would actually say he broke something that wasn’t broke. The guy drives his young-star-QB-to-young-star-WR out of town, gives up one of this 1st rounders for an undersized corner who is one year later buried deep on the Lions’ (THE LIONS!) depth chart, he manages an 8-8 season after starting 6-0, and he stakes his entire career on a running QB with a windmill delivery that will take an inordinate amount of extra attention to have a chance in the NFL. Matthew Berry had it right – Kyle Orton may not be the most glamorous QB around, but he wins games; and McDaniels is putting all that he has into Tebow for several years so that he *hopefully* be…that right, a QB who though not that glamorous, finds a way to win games. Somebody please stop telling these young assistant coaches they’re geniuses in the making – they just go around screwing everything up trying to prove it.

22. Chicago Bears: Lovie Smith will not have a job in about four and half months. I think people still believe this Defense can get back to where it was – but everyone is old and beat down now. Urlacher is middle of the road now. You paid Peppers, so you know he’s just on the field for appearances. On the other wide you’ve got Mike Martz, who I honestly believe should be the heir to Billy Blanks. Or sell used cars. I actually Jay Cutler is a good quarterback, despite the fact that he looks and acts like he’d rather be crushing Nattys and sketchily grinding on co-eds in a Vanderbilt frat basement. Man, what if he and Roetlisberger started hanging out? That would be trrrroubbbbble. Cutler’s just waiting to be molded…it’d be like when Tiger started chillin’ with Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan in Vegas all the time. If he didn’t make a billion dollars playing golf and selling Buicks every year and was like the rest of us mortals, there’s no way he would have gotten the wife to sign his permission slip on that one. Hey, at least he only got addicted to trashy cocktail waitresses, he easily could have gambled away all that money and the divorce proceedings would have been much less lucrative for Elin…but I digress.

23. Carolina Panthers: Does anyone else get the impression that John Fox just does not give a rat’s behind about this season? I may have heard less news about the Panthers than anyone this offseason. They’re the youngest team in the NFL, it’s almost g uaranteed to be Fox’s last year as their coach, they’re really excited about Matt Moore but at the same time don’t expect much and drafted two QBs. I dunno, I guess they’ll run a lot. I’ll go ahead and stamp them as the most “Bleh” team in the league this year…and I do it with the enthusiasm that they seem to be approaching this year with.

24. Arizona Cardinals: If this doesn’t fully illustrate how badly a QB can screw your team up, I don’t know what is. Kurt Warner leaves, team tries to stay optimistic about Leinart and ooooooooooohhh…definitely a rubber-necker effect, kinda fun to watch the drama unfold as they realize all of the great pieces in place and the resurrection over the last few years from the Browns/Lions-esque mire of the NFL is all for naught, thanks to one weak-armed, over-drafted, weenie who was too meek and probably had 14 to 22 too many shots of him holding a beer bong for 19 year olds in his backyard. It’s a shame really, I liked the Cardinals for awhile there. But I just kinda saw them as a drinking buddy. Fun to hang out with, but now that they’re asking for money and a place to stay, it’s just awkward.

25. Washington Redskins: I hate everything about this franchise. Those fat guys that used to dress like women and wear the pig snouts…or was that Clinton Portis?…or both? Dan Snyder aka Al Davis, East. Larry Johnson. The fans that have such abrasive obtimism and swagger each year – how do they do it? When was the last time they were good? Have they even drafted a single player in the last 10 years or did they use all their picks to trade for the McNabbs and DeAngelo Halls of the world?

26. Cleveland Browns: Being a Gene Smith follower, I have reason to believe the Browns may surprise this year (not playoffs, let’s be reasonable) and become a contender in the not-distant future. They’ve got a great O-line and D-line and I like their corners. They run well and once Hardesty recovers from his ACL, I think he’ll be a top 10 RB for several years. Delhomme should lose enough games single-handedly to slot them into a decent pick for grabbing one of the many talented QBs in next years draft and Colt McCoy will enjoy a lucrative and painless career as a clipboard holder. Many years later, he and Tim Tebow open a Bible Study and Quarterback camp called “Backing Up Jesus”.

27. Detroit Lions: I really want to believe that the Lions will be good in the next year or two and give a city that has suffered through so much something to be happy about. Stafford’s for real and they’ll have a big vertical offense that will make plays. Suh was a big pickup, fortunately for Shack Harris that was a lay-up. Which leads me exactly to what scares me about the Lions future – ole Shack Harris. The Jahvid Best pick looks a little like what doomed the Jaguars, does it not?

28. Kansas City Chiefs: New England West. Could you be trying any harder to relive the glory days, Pioli? You don’t have Brady, you don’t have Belichek, and most importantly, you don’t have BRADY. People are going to lose their jobs for this and I doubt Pioli’s once stellar reputation recovers from this failed experiment. Also, they don’t have Brady.

29. Seattle Seahawks: Pete Carroll will be back in the comfortable lifestyle of a college coach within two year beating the snot out of inferior teams in some Western Conference (he clearly couldn’t cut it in the SEC) and romancing/recruiting high school boys in the offseason.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Like: The 2 rookie DT’s, McCoy and Brian Price, the 2 rookie WR’s, Benn and Mike Williams., and Tampa strip clubs. Dislike: Everything about this stadium. This is the kind of Mickey Mouse garbage I expect from Central Florida and it leads to questions like the one in Ask Vic about why don’t the Jaguars have a jungle in one of the endzones of EverBank Field.

31. St. Louis Rams: Hopeless. Utterly hopeless.

32. Buffalo Bills: What can I say about this team that hasn’t already been said about Afghanistan? It looks bombed out and depleted. What is there to live for if you’re a Bills fan? A 14 yard Spiller run here or there? Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go home and put some water in Chan Bailey’s momma’s dish.

– Andrew Hofheimer