Panthers’ wide receiver D.J. Moore breaks up argument between fans

Moore stepping in to settle this dispute before blows were thrown was a nice gesture that could’ve gone in a completely different direction. Luckily for Moore, the Panthers, and the league, this incident didn’t escalate to another level.

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Because of how football fields and especially NFL stadiums are constructed, fans aren’t right on top of teams like in NBA arenas. While we occasionally see fans run onto the field at NFL games, it’s not as easily accomplished as it is for NBA fans sitting in the first couple of rows.

The last thing commissioner Roger Goodell wants to deal with is a “Malice at the Palace” type of situation. He’s dealt with enough lousy PR stemming from the DeShaun Watson case. I’m sure Goodell’s reaction was priceless when he first caught wind of Moore going into the stands. For better or worse, I’m pretty sure the Commissioner doesn’t want players going into the stands for any reason, especially to break up a potential fight. That’s what security is for.

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Of course, security can’t be everywhere in a sea of thousands of fans, many of whom have had too much to drink halfway through the event. But it also shouldn’t be on players to jump into the fray. Too many things can happen to put fans and players in danger in this kind of situation. If someone tosses a drink or the two men begin tussling, and Moore was to get mixed up in it, that would be all bad.

Ideally, you’d like to not have fans fighting at sporting events, but it happens. Fights happen between fans in just about every sport, but we don’t need players getting involved, even if it’s to calm everyone down. Let stadium staff deal with that and keep players on the field/court. The second one of these professional athletes lays a finger on a fan; the lawsuit will be filed before they leave the building.

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We know Moore’s heart was in the right place, but it isn’t worth it. Once an athlete steps into the crowd with no security nearby, they’re basically in no man’s land. It’s too big of a risk and liability. 

Hope your Friday night was better than Zach Wilson’s

There’s not much to take away from the exhibition against the Eagles other than to ask, what’s the point of the preseason? Jalen Hurts took a late hit in the game, and Philly coach Nick Sirianni rightfully lost his shit.

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The only good that came out of Friday’s slate was Deshaun Watson finally apologized to the women he “impacted”/scarred for life. The Jacksonville crowd didn’t seem to care though as they booed him throughout his three series of action and chanted “You sick fuck.”

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The new Browns starter completed one pass for seven yards, but more importantly, he didn’t burst into flames as karma intended.

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Bill Belichick was supposedly heated after the Giants repeatedly blitzed the Pats in their warm-up for the regular season earlier this week.

Apparently, Brian Daboll hasn’t been told he only gets one blitz every 10 downs, and after that, it’s a three Mississippi count until they can pressure the QB.

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Aaron Rodgers isn’t playing in any of the Packers games because he sees no benefit, and as much as it pains me to agree with a guy who microdoses, he’s right.

There’s zero gained from a glorified practice. Teams have an idea of who they’re going to cut, and the only real drama about letting loose a largely unknown player comes from a neatly packaged storyline on Hard Knocks.

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The sole reason I’m writing about it is that I need content for this post — which I guess counts as another pro for the preseason. So there we have it. Sports blogs and an opportunity to deliver an apology that should’ve been issued months ago, are the only benefits of the preseason.


And now an update on Aaron Judge

Yup, he’s still treating baseballs with the same amount of disdain I have for preseason football.

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That 429-foot shot that left Fenway Park was his 46th home run of the year, and his campaign to break Roger Maris’ single-season record is a welcome distraction from the standings for Yankees fans. New York has dropped eight of its past 10 games, including last night’s 3-2 loss in Boston, and now is a game and a half behind the Astros for the best record in the AL.

Hey Coach Cal, Kentucky isn’t just a basketball school anymore

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It took Stoops only a few hours to post a response to Calipari. While Cal’s frustrations might’ve been mainly with Kentucky’s administration, which I assume is indirectly responsible for the roof leaking because of rain and not Poseidon himself, throwing a stray at a beloved colleague was an unneeded low blow.

And if there’s one period of Kentucky’s history where football has outperformed the Rupp Arena regals, it’s right now. Over the last four years, Wildcat football has won four bowl games and 33 overall contests, averaging out to more than eight wins per year. That’s pretty solid in the hardest football collegiate league to play in. SEC basketball is improving, but nowhere near a juggernaut. Yet, Cal’s minions have only won three NCAA Tournament games in that same span.

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Will this be a big deal for a long time? No. I’d be shocked if Calipari hasn’t already placed the obligatory, “I’m sorry you read my accurately reported words” phone call. It should be water under the bridge. Yet, it could make for some fun trolling down the line.

Kentucky basketball is an iconic brand. Maintaining that image at the expense of another team within the athletic department was such a dumb thought. I don’t believe the game has passed Coach Cal by, but maybe the aura of Kentucky being just a men’s basketball school has. After all, Wildcat women’s basketball has been really good for a while. They defeated national-champion South Carolina to win the SEC Tournament. Maybe Calipari missed that bitching about other needless things. 

Losing is preferable to this, Cleveland

If Rog calls your behavior “egregious” and “predatory” then you must’ve done something extremely vile. Watson’s camp is now willing to accept an eight-game ban and a $5 million fine, though it sounds like the league is done letting him dictate the conditions of his penalty. That said, those terms are still being worked out, and in the meantime, the Browns are operating like they still don’t know right from wrong.

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The thing about trading valuable assets for a QB and then signing him to the richest deal in NFL history for any player is you want to see what you paid for. So regardless of the impending suspension, the fan backlash, and the general uneasiness that should be growing in Haslam’s conscience had his body developed that part of his brain, we’re going to see Watson, in a Browns’ uniform, on a football field, playing in game action before he’s served one second of his penance, or shown one iota of remorse. Watson has categorically denied all of the accusations against him.

Does anyone outside of Cleveland think this is a good look? It’s not about optics for the Browns though. They spent boatloads to bring Mr. Problematic to town and now have to pretend to be on his side because if they don’t, it’s an admission that that signed away their soul for football.

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The fanbase is split over this notion that it’s loyalty to the team above all else. Some of those supporters have the ethical compass of a sociopath, a few impressionable idiots still toe the line of ownership, and then there are the children.

I remember when I found out my then-new NFL team, the St. Louis Rams, drafted my then-favorite player Lawrence Phillips. My dad, a diehard Nebraska football fan who passed that dedication onto me, wasn’t as excited as I was. Only 10 years old, I didn’t know anything about domestic violence. All I knew about Phillips was what I saw on TV, and he was as electric as any running back I’d watched in my short life as a football fan.

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I don’t fault my father for not filling in his young son about the horrific details of Phillips dragging a coed down flights of stairs by her hair, and I’m not going to blame any parent who doesn’t want Watson’s deviant behavior to be the jumping off point to a conversation about the birds and the bees.

Screaming, “Won’t somebody think of the children?” always makes me think of Helen Lovejoy from “The Simpsons,” so I know I have a handful of pearls at the moment. Be that as it may, I’m so fucking over berating grown-ass Cleveland fans and front office execs, bereft of any moral standing, about Watson. So maybe appealing to their parental side will do what mounds of evidence have not.

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I know I wouldn’t want my kid looking up to Ray Rice, Pacman Jones, Big Ben, or Lawrence Phillips. It’s difficult finding knowledge to impart from losing, but it’s a lot easier than trying to glean a life lesson from the Deshaun Watson situation.

Jetzt hören! NFL Preview: Die AFC & NFC North mit Steelers, Packers & Co. unter der Lupe

Nur noch vier Wochen bis zum Start der neuen NFL-Saison 2022/23 – bei “Icing the kicker” bedeutet das, dass die Vorschauen in vollem Gange sind. Nach dem Auftakt ist die Crew inzwischen im hohen Norden der AFC und NFC angekommen.

"Icing the kicker": Die neue Folge ist ab sofort verfügbar auf der kicker-App, der kicker-Website - und überall, wo es Podcasts gibt.

“Icing the kicker”: Die neue Folge ist ab sofort verfügbar auf der kicker-App, der kicker-Website – und überall, wo es Podcasts gibt.

IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Seit zwei Ausgaben ist Vorschau-Zeit bei “Icing the kicker”! Bis zum Saisonstart in der NFL Anfang September werden pro Folge zwei Divisions analysiert – anhand von steilen Thesen zu jedem der jeweils acht Teams.

Diesmal ist der Norden dran – zunächst mit der gewohnt harten und abwehrlastigen AFC North, wo die Ravens um Lamar Jackson eventuell einen Receiver emporheben und die Steelers nach dem Karriereende von Ben Roethlisberger wieder mal geschichtsträchtig abrutschen könnten. Zudem geht es natürlich um die Bengals nach ihrem Super-Bowl-Lauf oder die Browns, wo es auch noch andere Themen neben Deshaun Watson zu geben scheint. In der NFC North heißt es vor allem: Was geht bei den Packers um Aaron Rodgers – und können die Vikings der Truppe aus Green Bay ernsthaft Konkurrenz in Sachen Divisionstitel machen?

Diese und weitere spannende Fragen diskutiert das Panel um die Footballerei-Experten Christian “Detti” Detterbeck und Coach Shuan sowie kicker-Reporter Markus “Grille” Grillenberger. Die Moderation übernimmt nach seinem Urlaub wieder Alex “Kucze” von Kuczkowski. Am Ende jeder Analyse heißt es außerdem “Over/Under”: Gewinnen die Teams weniger oder mehr Spiele, als es die Buchmacher in Las Vegas derzeit prognostizieren?

Die nächste Folge “Icing the kicker” erscheint am 25. August – dann mit AFC und NFC West. Ab Beginn der neuen Regular Season Anfang September, die mit dem Kracher zwischen Super-Bowl-Sieger Rams und AFC-Gigant Bills starten wird, wird es den Podcast wieder wöchentlich geben. Jetzt abonnieren und keine Folge verpassen!

ITK #19: NFL Preview - Was geht im hohen Norden? AFC & NFC NORTH

11. August 202201:14:33 Stunden

ITK #19: NFL Preview – Was geht im hohen Norden? AFC & NFC NORTH

Unsere Previews gehen in die nächste Runde! Heute beschäftigen sich Kucze, Detti und kicker-Redakteur Grille mit den Teams aus der AFC und NFC North. Gibt es den Breakout von Rashod Bateman? Erreicht die Offense der Bengals mit Joe Burrow die nächste Eskalationsstufe? Stehen den Pittsburgh Steelers schwere Zeiten ins Haus? Und können in der NFC die Minnesota Vikings mit neuem Head Coach den Green Bay Packers das Wasser reichen? Diese und andere Fragen beantworten wir in der aktuellen Ausgabe!
Die nächste Folge von “Icing the kicker” gibt es am 25. August.
Foto Credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

NFL Preview: Die AFC & NFC EAST unter der Lupe

29.07.2022

#17: NFL Preview – Steile Thesen zur AFC & NFC SOUTH

14.07.2022

ITK #16: Power Ranking der NFL Head Coaches

30.06.2022

ITK #15: Brady, Rodgers, Wilson: Fünf brennende Fragen zur NFL

15.06.2022

weitere Podcasts

“Icing the kicker” ist ab sofort verfügbar auf der kicker-App, der kicker-Website sowie auf Spotify, DeezerApple Podcasts und Google Podcasts.

Jetzt hören! NFL Preview: AFC & NFC North unter der Lupe

Nur noch vier Wochen bis zum Start der neuen NFL-Saison 2022/23 – bei “Icing the kicker” bedeutet das, dass die Vorschauen in vollem Gange sind. Nach dem Auftakt ist die Crew inzwischen im hohen Norden der AFC und NFC angekommen.

"Icing the kicker": Die neue Folge ist ab sofort verfügbar auf der kicker-App, der kicker-Website - und überall, wo es Podcasts gibt.

“Icing the kicker”: Die neue Folge ist ab sofort verfügbar auf der kicker-App, der kicker-Website – und überall, wo es Podcasts gibt.

IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Seit zwei Ausgaben ist Vorschau-Zeit bei “Icing the kicker”! Bis zum Saisonstart in der NFL Anfang September werden pro Folge zwei Divisions analysiert – anhand von steilen Thesen zu jedem der jeweils acht Teams.

Diesmal ist der Norden dran – zunächst mit der gewohnt harten und abwehrlastigen AFC North, wo die Ravens um Lamar Jackson eventuell einen Receiver emporheben und die Steelers nach dem Karriereende von Ben Roethlisberger wieder mal geschichtsträchtig abrutschen könnten. Zudem geht es natürlich um die Bengals nach ihrem Super-Bowl-Lauf oder die Browns, wo es auch noch andere Themen neben Deshaun Watson zu geben scheint. In der NFC North heißt es vor allem: Was geht bei den Packers um Aaron Rodgers – und können die Vikings der Truppe aus Green Bay ernsthaft Konkurrenz in Sachen Divisionstitel machen?

Diese und weitere spannende Fragen diskutiert das Panel um die Footballerei-Experten Christian “Detti” Detterbeck und Coach Shuan sowie kicker-Reporter Markus “Grille” Grillenberger. Die Moderation übernimmt nach seinem Urlaub wieder Alex “Kucze” von Kuczkowski. Am Ende jeder Analyse heißt es außerdem “Over/Under”: Gewinnen die Teams weniger oder mehr Spiele, als es die Buchmacher in Las Vegas derzeit prognostizieren?

Die nächste Folge “Icing the kicker” erscheint am 25. August – dann mit AFC und NFC West. Ab Beginn der neuen Regular Season Anfang September, die mit dem Kracher zwischen Super-Bowl-Sieger Rams und AFC-Gigant Bills starten wird, wird es den Podcast wieder wöchentlich geben. Jetzt abonnieren und keine Folge verpassen!

ITK #19: NFL Preview - Was geht im hohen Norden? AFC & NFC NORTH

11. August 202201:14:33 Stunden

ITK #19: NFL Preview – Was geht im hohen Norden? AFC & NFC NORTH

Unsere Previews gehen in die nächste Runde! Heute beschäftigen sich Kucze, Detti und kicker-Redakteur Grille mit den Teams aus der AFC und NFC North. Gibt es den Breakout von Rashod Bateman? Erreicht die Offense der Bengals mit Joe Burrow die nächste Eskalationsstufe? Stehen den Pittsburgh Steelers schwere Zeiten ins Haus? Und können in der NFC die Minnesota Vikings mit neuem Head Coach den Green Bay Packers das Wasser reichen? Diese und andere Fragen beantworten wir in der aktuellen Ausgabe!
Die nächste Folge von “Icing the kicker” gibt es am 25. August.
Foto Credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

NFL Preview: Die AFC & NFC EAST unter der Lupe

29.07.2022

#17: NFL Preview – Steile Thesen zur AFC & NFC SOUTH

14.07.2022

ITK #16: Power Ranking der NFL Head Coaches

30.06.2022

ITK #15: Brady, Rodgers, Wilson: Fünf brennende Fragen zur NFL

15.06.2022

weitere Podcasts

“Icing the kicker” ist ab sofort verfügbar auf der kicker-App, der kicker-Website sowie auf Spotify, DeezerApple Podcasts und Google Podcasts.

Brenden Aaronson is going to be just fine

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But he certainly had a heavy hand in Leeds’s equalizer, and he did it how he does most things, by just playing with more energy than anyone else:

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This is Aaronson perfectly summed up. He’s not especially gifted with the ball at his feet, though far from clueless either. He does have an eye for a pass. But he opens things up for himself by simply being more active, causing turnovers and mistakes, and then taking advantage of the space when the defense is unsettled or simply getting to a spot quicker and more determined than his defender. And he’s usually doing the unsettling. For a team like Leeds, that doesn’t figure to have the ball more than their opponents most of the time — and Marsch’s tactics aren’t really built on having the ball a lot as much as moving it up the field as quickly as humanly possible and winning it back in the same fashion, Aaronson fits perfectly.

Adams was no less active, second on Leeds with five tackles and eight ball recoveries, while being far tidier than his American teammate with the ball, completing 85 percent of his passes to Aaronson’s 57, though most of Adams’s dishes were short and in midfield, where Aaronson is attempting to connect in the opponent’s third or penalty box.

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Effort is going to buy any player a lot of time with their fans. While Aaronson is taking the spot that used to be filled by Raphina, he can make up for the deficiency in a flair that the Brazilian specialized in by graft. Sure, running around a lot without an end product will lead to being made fun of and eventually derided. Fabio Borini ran around a lot, after all. If you don’t know who that is…exactly. But if that effort and pressing lead to things and chances, and goals, then everything is okay.

Both Aaronson and Adams have given themselves time and rope with just one game. Long may it continue. 

Cale Gundy is the latest example of white America’s obsession with the N-word

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The possibly additional comedy of this fiasco is that, according to Twitter, the iPad that Gundy was reading off of that included the N-word allegedly belonged to Drake Stoops — the son of former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. The Stoops are white.

But, do you want to know what isn’t funny?

The fact that in 2022 so many white people are still fixated on saying the one-word society has told them they can’t say — especially in sports — despite the severe career, and physical ramifications it could lead to.

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In 2020, we learned that back in 2017, Clemson assistant coach Danny Pearlman used “the N-word during practice with no repercussion,” as a former player claimed that head coach Dabo Swinney also said the N-word before. This is the part where I remind you that Venables was on that Clemson staff when all of this occurred before he took over at Oklahoma.

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2020 was also the year that Wisconsin Basketball strength and conditioning coach Erik Helland lost his job after he used the N-word when retelling a story about his time in the NBA. Weeks later, Kobe King — one of the team’s best players and one of the few Black members — transferred.

But beyond the obsession for wanting to say the word, there’s also a section of white America that wants to “police” Black people from saying it, as Chicago White Sox infielder Tim Anderson found out in 2019 when he called a white player a “weak ass fucking nigga” and was suspended for a game, all because white people wanted to punish a Black person for calling one of them what they used to — and still do — call us, but “technically” can’t anymore.

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This is what happens when some white people refuse to comprehend that a six-letter word — sometimes five-letter — becomes a racial slur when they say it can’t be uttered in public. That’s why I’ve come up with a solution for the Cale Gundy’s of the word. How about this; trade all of your white privilege for the sole Black privilege of getting to say the N-word in public.

Deal or no deal?

I bet you already know the answer to that one.

This Hard Knocks season premiere was good, but Lions coach Dan Campbell needs to drink that strong-ass coffee on camera soon

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In the first episode, Campbell doubled down on his intense introductory press conference from 2021. He said that he doesn’t care if his opponent has three fingers and one asscheek; he’s still going to kick that person’s ass. After hearing that, nothing in his personality would make me believe that he’s lying about the coffee, but I still want to see it.

That, and maybe a little more Jared Goff, is all that I would’ve changed in the first episode. We got assistant head coach Duce Staley talking about not being ashamed of loving defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, and them both talking trash to each other all throughout practice after that scene. Rookie Aidan Hutchinson somehow knows more words to “Billie Jean” than I do even though I rented The Making of Thriller from Blockbuster and he’s too young to remember the premiere of the “You Rock my World” video. Running back Jamaal Williams actually cried breaking down the huddle after a full contact practice.

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I will forever believe that the 2010 New York Jets’ Hard Knocks season will never be topped. Gang Green was coming off of an appearance in the AFC Championship Game and then-head coach Rex Ryan is the best character in the history of the series. While I respect how genuine Campbell is, Ryan cursing out his team in a meeting for eating cheeseburgers on the field before a scrimmage, and then ending it by emphatically telling them it’s time to have a team snack is poetry that should be taught in creative writing classes across the country.

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Campbell isn’t nearly as funny as Ryan, but he loves him some football. Last season a clip went viral of him doing up-downs alongside the players. He did it again in front of the HBO cameras this season but the 46-year-old was actually hurt. Campbell said in the episode that injured his wrist at home, but he still looked much better for the premium cable cameras executing the drill than he did last season.

With the word GRIT plastered all over the facility, and football cliches every few minutes, I’m all in on the Lions’ Hard Knocks. The last time they were moderately relevant was when they lost a home wild-card game to the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 following that terrible reversal of a third-down pass-interference penalty against Anthony Hitchens. Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson would only play one more season, and the Lions sunk back into the irrelevance that has engulfed the team in most years that did not include Barry Sanders.

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Campbell has been a character since the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz gave him the nickname “Man Campbell” during his time as the Miami Dolphins interim coach in 2015. It certainly fits. His introductory press conference with the Lions in 2021 about biting kneecaps was a lot, but the man has proven to be sincere. He cried during a press conference after the Lions lost on a late 50-plus yard field goal for the second time that season — the first being at the hands longest successful kick in NFL history — and when they finally pulled out some wins Campbell heaped all the praise on his players in the locker room.

I was pretty sure Campbell’s personality wasn’t an act, and after one episode of Hard Knocks he may have amped up a bit for the camera — and also got in better shape for those up-downs — but his intentions are good. He wants to win, and is happy to see his players succeed. I’m here for that energy. However, my entire opinion of Campbell changes if at some point this August I don’t get to see him down those coffees.

The Seahawks’ unofficial depth chart is officially certifiable

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Yeah, good luck trying to tell the people who watched Russell Wilson for a decade that the guy you traded him for isn’t even going to be the starter. After the deal that sent Russ to Denver for Drew Lock, Noah Fant, a defensive end, and draft picks, Carroll lathered up the media with all kinds of Lock propaganda.

Back in May, the Seahawk coach told Sports Radio KJR, “I think (Lock would) have been the first guy picked, of quarterbacks anyway. He’d have been the first guy in this draft.” While he might not be wrong, considering Kenny Pickett can’t even get a snap with the ones over Mitch Trubisky or Mason Rudolf in Pittsburgh, saying some wild shit like that is dangerously misleading.

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The headline from Carroll’s interview three months ago was obviously the claim about Lock and this year’s QB class, but if you listened to the whole thing — or wrote about it as I did — you could kind of see the skipper talking himself into Smith in real-time.

After heaping heavy praise on Lock for far too long, Carroll looked to a player on his roster for a comp: “(Lock) compares to Geno, and Geno Smith has a great arm. He has a world-class arm, and all that. To match up with that, that’s saying a lot.”

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At the time, I said, “If Carroll wants to get spicy and pick a quarterback on his roster as the theoretical first QB taken in 2022, nominate Smith, who went three picks higher in 2013 than where Lock went in 2019.”

Pete, it was a joke, a hot take, something said in jest. You didn’t have to take it literally. Whether it’s official, unofficial, or a ploy, naming a guy with a negative TD-Int ratio (34 to 37) and a lifetime winning percentage of 38 as your starter is a terrible idea.

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I don’t care how good the Smith-to-Metcalf connection looked a year ago. That was a fake sample size. He might’ve matured since the last time he ran an offense in 2014, but not enough to flush his system free of whatever it is the Jets inject in their QB selections.

(Side fantasy football note: I wouldn’t overpay for any of the ’Hawks wide receivers whether it’s Lock or Smith throwing them the ball. The staff was already averse to calling high-risk plays like the forward pass, and now it has even more reason to handcuff the starter.)

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Fans are expecting Lock to not only start but to be competent — something he has yet to do as a pro. He’s 8-13 as a starter with a 25-20 TD-INT ratio. If you squint at his 6-foot-4 frame long enough you can see an NFL quarterback. It’s a magic eye trick, and Carroll and John Elway are the lone two people on Earth who can see it. That’s why Broncos’ faithful no longer take Elway at his word, and it’s destined to happen (if it hasn’t already) for the 12th Man and Carroll if indeed the unofficial depth chart is made official.

Pom pom Pete’s enthusiasm and optimism are part of his allure, and it’s great when he’s got a talented team capable of reaching soaring heights with a little extra positive thinking. That rah-rah crap stops being endearing when the season is lost, and if Smith really is going to be the guy under center Week 1 against Wilson and Denver, this year will be over before it begins.