Perron, Playing the Perfect Role

David Perron

I will admit that when the Blues announced their big off-season signing of David Perron this past summer, I was skeptical. I didn’t see how he would fit in with the Blues, at least in terms of the type of team they had last year. Then the Blues and coach Ken Hitchock announced they would be adjusting their style of play to a more up-tempo pace. I still was reserved in the signing because I did not think he would play a significant role on the team. But a quarter of a way through the season and I will admit, I was wrong.

David Perron has played his role with the Blues perfectly. Perron has shown he is versatile enough to play on any line, bouncing mainly between the second and third lines but also getting shifts with the top line when needed. On the year Perron is second on the team in points (15), tied for third in goals (6), and third in shot percentage. He is on pace for a 20-goal season, which would be the first time he reached that mark since the 2013-14 season. And while he is known to be a streaky player, and is currently on one of the streaks with an NHL best seven game active point streak and a total of 10 points during those games, it has been his play off the puck as well that has made an impact.

Many fans are like me who remember Perron from earlier this decade when he was the flashy skater always looking for a highlight reel play. However he has shown that he has rounded out his game during his time spent with Edmonton, Pittsburgh, and Anaheim. Perron has taken his high energy which was only noticeable during offensive rushes towards the net and put that in his fore-checking and defense. Perron actually ranks 6th on the team currently in hits (20) among forwards and is third on the team with 18 takeaways. While that may not seem like a huge number it is the fact that he combines that with his offensive skill, doing both jobs he is asked to do and filling his role as a two-way player with upside.

One needed to only watch last night’s shootout win over the Minnesota Wild to see what Perron brings to the Blues. Perron recorded two assists in the game and netted the deciding goal in the shootout period. In addition his energy on defense was noticeable, resulting in a team high three takeaways during the game, while adding a hit.

Perron may not have lived up to the hype when he broke into the NHL at 18 years old, after finishing second in the QMJHL among rookie goal scorers with 39 goals. (Prospect Story HERE) However as his career continued, of which he is now in his 10th season, he has shown that a player can grow and still be a valuable piece for a team. He set aside the talk of being a highlight reel offensive talent and went to work on the defensive side of his game to become an ideal two-way player. So while Perron may not be what teams and scouts thought he would be and wanted, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones, he may be what you need.

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Home Sweet Home, The Slump Buster

128794346Whether you are battling injuries, off the field issues, team chemistry, a change in team philosophy, or just need a change of scene. Every team needs them, the slump buster.

In baseball if you are a pitching staff with woes there is the Atlanta Braves. In basketball if your team is having trouble there is the Philadelphia 76ers. And in the NFL if anything at all is wrong with your team you can count on a game against the Cleveland Browns to make you feel better and bust your slump, giving your team the confidence it needs.

Recently the St. Louis Blues were in desperate need of a slump buster. And the Blues may have found it in their schedule, home. The Blues will play 11 of their next 15 games at home and kicked off that stretch with wins on back to back nights to extend their home record this year to 5-1 with one shootout loss. The Blues were coming into this home stand off back to back losses in which they were out scored 11-2. In a season full of change, they needed one more change.

And that change came with the familiarity of returning home. The 2016-17 season soundtrack should probably be Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A Changin’. Head Coach Ken Hitchcock has already announced this will be his last year behind the bench for the Blues, they have head coach in waiting Mike Yeo on the staff, they lost several prominent veterans in David Backes, Brian Elliott, Steve Ott, and Troy Brouwer, they are implementing a new system of play. With all of the changes the return home can be the team’s slump buster.

They should now be able to work on the new style of play during practices without having to adjust times because of travel, or worrying about being tired. The new system is exciting to watch but this is something new for them. Although the Blues’ style of play has been entertaining to watch with them ripping shots from all angles rather than trying to set up for the perfect shot like in the past; this is still a new system. They need to practice it and work on it. As exciting as it is to see Alex Pieterangelo hit Paul Stastny on a quick outlet pass, just imagine once the players get used to the quicker pace and developing a type of chemistry that we have seen glimpses of on their quick connection passes.

With the return home they can also feed off the energy from the fans, boosting their confidence. We saw them earlier this week falter in New York, with an abysmal 5-0 loss. It seemed as though they had no energy. They fell behind early and although they out shot the Rangers in the game it was a common thread that has shown as of late, lack of teamwork. The Blues may be out shooting their opponents but the offense has been lacking. That comes from not working with each other. And when the Blues are struggling, the fans’ energy at the rink should ideally energize the team.

It is that spark of energy at home that has already shown itself to be key in this home stand. The Blues scored first in both games this weekend, winning both games. Today, against the Avalanche, the Blues scored in the first period for the first time in seven games. Do you know what the Blues record is this season when scoring first? It is now 6-1-2, when they don’t score first it is 1-3. Scoring first is key for this team right now. And the energy from the fans can help the team come out fired up.

During the next 15 games for the Blues they will host top teams like the Blackhawks and Capitals in addition to traditional nemesis’ the Stars and Sharks. This portion of the schedule comes at the perfect time for the Blues; like when a desperately lonely man is seeking out some comfort at 3 in the morning and spots a similarly situated woman across the room. The Blues need to build their confidence and nothing does that quite as perfectly as home sweet home.

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SLU, Jump On the Wagon Early

slubluecrew_crop_northLast week local talk was abuzz with Saint Louis University basketball news, and we aren’t talking about the horrifying new school logo. The Billikens had just received an oral commitment from Carte’Are Gordon, one of the most highly desired recruits in the nation. This was just months after pulling off a seemingly large upset and signing Jordan Goodwin to a National Letter of Intent. Ever since SLU announced the hiring of Travis Ford as their head coach the local hoops scene has suddenly been thrust back into the limelight.

While SLU did manage three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament from 2012-14, in which they won at least 26 games each season, it has been awhile since SLU basketball has received the kind of buzz they are generating now. And it all begins with bringing in the best local talent. They may have been a year late on getting Jayson Tatum (heading to Duke) to join his father’s alma mater but they are quickly making up ground locally with recruits and grabbing up the best local talent since they were able to bring Larry Hughes aboard back in 1997.

I have been able to watch local hoopster Jordan Goodwin, a senior this year at Althoff, up-close for the last three years. While Goodwin may not have the natural, explosive skills that put him on a McDonald’s All-American team he is by all means a player that every coach wants. Goodwin can do anything that is asked on the court; score (19 ppg), rebound (9 rpg), or run the offense (3.2 apg). A 6’4″ guard Goodwin has all the tools to be a glue type of player at the next level, just as he has been in high school, filling whatever role is needed. The Billikens snatched Goodwin away from the University of Illinois despite many saying he would choose to play there with his good friend Jeremiah Tilmon.

Once SLU nabbed Goodwin it seemed to put them on the local radar for recruits. Because just months later the Billikens received an oral commitment from Carte’Are Gordon. Gordon is a different type of player than Goodwin. Gordon is a 6’9″ uber-athletic power forward who will be in his junior year at Webster Groves. Gordon is the “next-level” type of player. He is ranked anywhere between 9th and 40th nationally and just spent the summer with the USA Basketball U-17 team. Goodwin and Gordon follow in the footsteps of another local standout; Zeke Moore, a 6’6″ forward from Riverview Gardens, in joining the Blue and White.

While SLU was picked to finish last this year in the Atlantic-10 preseason poll the future appears bright for the Billikens. In addition to bringing in Goodwin next year the Billikens also signed Hasahn French, a 6’7″ power forward who choose SLU over UMass and Minnesota. They will also have transfers Javon Bess, a starter for Michigan State, and Adonys Henriquez, from Central Florida, eligible to join the team next year. Combine that with the addition of Gordon the following year and SLU has what looks to be an exciting team coming together.

The type of SLU team that Coach Ford is bringing together is different from what we have seen in the past. In the past we have had the hard-nosed, scrappy teams with Jim Crews, Rick Majerus, and Brad Soderberg on the bench. But Coach Ford is sealing the borders and keeping top local talent at home. That will only build interest locally and in a circle of life effect, garner the attention of more top local talent. Chaifetz Arena has always been a great place to watch a game, even when the games weren’t very exciting and ended with scores such as 50-40. But in the coming years we may be seeing an exciting team that can put up points and win, bringing back memories of glory days at the Arena. This is just the start for Coach Ford at SLU, he hasn’t even coached a game yet. But he is already bringing in top talent and that is always a good place to start when building a team.Who knows, maybe one day the names of Goodwin and Gordon will join the likes of Claggett, Dobbs, and Bonner in SLU folklore. My advice to local basketball fans, get in early and jump on the SLU bandwagon before it gets crowded.

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Miz-eww

middle-tennessee-missouri-football2M..I..Z…EWW!!! That’s all I can say after watching this weekend’s game between the Missouri Tigers and Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. Between a team in the SEC and a team in (hold on while I look it up) Conference USA. Between a team that is the University for an entire state and a school that has to help point out where it is located in the state. A game that saw Middle Tennessee out score Mizzou and walk away with a 51-45 win at Mizzou’s homecoming.

We have seen Mizzou lose these types of games before, remember Troy back in 2004? Mizzou was ranked #19 and lost to Troy despite having a Heisman hopeful on the team in Brad Smith. But Saturday’s game was worse than the game against Troy because Troy pulled out all the stops in that game 12 years ago; using fake punts and wide receiver passes. This past Saturday’s game Mizzou was flat-out outplayed by Middle Tennessee. This was a game that Mizzou should never lose.

Sure Mizzou was coming off two pitiful performances (LSU and Florida) and the Blue Raiders showed they could put up points at times this season. But Middle Tennessee is still a team that lost to Vanderbilt, a team that Mizzou is expected to hang around with in the SEC, by 23 points. Mizzou is playing in arguably the toughest conference in college football while Middle Tennessee had just joined Conference USA in 2013 after spending the previous decade plus in the Sun Belt Conference.

The main reason for the Tigers’ loss on Saturday was once again the overwhelming story of the 2016 season, the faltering Tiger defense. The Tiger defense had ranked in the top 15 in the NCAA for several consecutive seasons, including last year. They even earned the moniker “D-Line University” for routinely sending defensive linemen to the NFL. And despite the loss of two defensive linemen this past offseason and the graduation of Kentrell Brothers, there was still plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball coming into this year. They have possibly their best defensive back in 20 years with Aarion Penton and the defensive line features two future NFL players in Charles Harris and Terry Beckner. So why the lack of success this year?

You need look no further than the coaching staff’s decision to change their defensive scheme; going from a pressure and attacking front to a gap control scheme. Rather than letting their most talented players (the defensive linemen) do what they do best, and control the point of attack; they have asked their players to maintain gap control. The reason is because they want to shut down their opponents running game in a running dominant conference. Seems like a good idea. However the Tigers are thinking too much in this scheme and that is showing in the game.

Sure there were games when the Tigers defense allowed big running games in the past (see the game against Auburn in the SEC Championship game). But the defensive change hasn’t made a difference at all this year with Middle Tennessee State running for 300 yards on Saturday. This was three weeks after seeing LSU have two running backs go for over 100 yards each against Mizzou.

I understand that they have a new coach and he used this same system in Memphis where it worked and helped make him a rising name in coaching circles. But why depart from a scheme that helped put your program on the map, attracting potential recruits, and then stick with a scheme that is clearly not working. Rather than players shooting into the bacfield and making plays they are now standing up at the snap of the ball and thinking about their assignments. Now not only are players not succeeding on the field, but they are not happy off the field. In all honesty these players (such as Harris and Beckner) have NFL asperations. And they aren’t putting up the statistics that will look good come draft time.

Yes winning changes things. If they were having success with this scheme then maybe players would be happier. But there have been rumblings that players do not like this scheme either. And we have all heard that coach speak about “buying in”. There were plenty of missed tackles on Saturday and players should never give up on a play. But the biggest reason for such a drastic change in results is the coaching scheme. This is on the coaches not the players.

While an attacking defensive front may get gouged with big runs on occasion it can also create big plays, even on non-passing plays. A defensive linemen in the backfield creates just as much havoc during a hand-off as when the quarterback is getting sacked. It is hard to change-up a scheme in mid-season but it’s not like the lack of defense wasn’t noticeable before this past week. The defense has looked porous all season long, outside of their expansion level opponent Delaware State. The coaches should have seen that changes needed to be made earlier.

So why not just tell the players to go all-out, think less and relying on instinct. You just might get the players more excited and start creating plays on the defensive side of the ball. Heck what’s the worst that can happen? You lose to Middle Tennessee State on homecoming? Oh wait, that already happened. Mizewwww.

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So Far, So Good

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Photo Credit: Scott Rovak via http://www.nhl.com/blues/

Coming into the 2016-17 season my biggest question for the St. Louis Blues was “What kind of team will they be?” With Ken Hitchcock announcing this will be his last year behind the bench for the organization, a coach-in-waiting already on staff, the big three roster departures, and a shift in play style; there were plenty of reasons to be nervous about this season for the Blues. Would this season be a step back? Would this just be a team in transition? But after just three games those concerns have been erased as quick as a Vladimir Tarasenko snapshot.

Let’s first get this out of the way. Yes, it has only been three games. The Blues in fact got off to a fast start last year as well, opening the season by going 5-1. And showed scoring punch in those games as well, netting 21 goals in their first six games. So the end results aren’t anything new for the Blues, who are the only team in the NHL right now with three wins and who rank second in the league in goals scored. But it is the means that has fanbase excited.

The new, faster paced, puck possession style that Hitchcock promised during the summer has been a drastic change over their dump-in, play the body style that we have been used to under Hitchcock’s regime. While the Blues are actually averaging fewer shots this year than last year (27.3 to 30.2) they are also allowing four fewer shots per game. And this is where I think the change in style of play has made the biggest difference. When the Blues play a possession style game they are able to take advantage of their offensively talented defensemen. With Alex Pieterangelo, Colton Parayko, Kevin Shattenkirk, and yes even Jay Bouwmeester; the Blues have four above average offensive defensemen. Putting the puck on their sticks more often to move the puck up ice and into the attacking zone is something that can propel the Blues’ success this season.

In the past despite having these offensively talented players on the blue line the Blues preferred to reach center ice and throw the puck in or even at times skate right up to the blue line and just chip it in rather than carry the puck in. This is something I pointed out back in the playoffs when watching teams advance, the successful teams did not freely give up the puck when moving into the attacking zone.

Whether it was done out of necessity, because of the loss of physical type players like David Backes and Troy Brouwer, or if it was an edict passed down by Doug Armstrong and the higher-ups; the Blues and Hitchcock seem to have finally bought in with the shifting style of play in the NHL. Now we have heard Hitchcock promise before to go faster, and we have seen the Blues attempt to play with smaller players before. But the immediate success of the new style of play for the Blues this year will hopefully be enough to prevent Hitchcock from falling back to his old coaching ways.

The NHL season is a long one, and there are sure to be ups and downs. But after three games this season and seeing how the Blues are playing I no longer think this year will just be a transition season. They have already answered my question, “What kind of team will the Blues be?”…the Blues are a young, transitioning team that haven’t lowered their expectations. The St. Louis Blues are a team to get excited about and expect success from in 2016-17.

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13; Lucky or Unlucky for Cardinals

carpenter4-5capLast night was one of just 13 remaining games in the 2016 regular season for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals picked up a 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies, extending their winning streak to three games, and putting them in a tie with the San Francisco Giants in the second wild card position and moving them one game behind the New York Mets for the top wild card spot. Will those 13 remaining games be lucky or unlucky for the home town team as they look to secure their sixth consecutive trip to the MLB Playoffs?

It seems as though no one in the National League wants to take control this season. Looking across the league today there is no team with a better record than 6-4 in their last 10 games and in fact the Cardinals have the longest active winning streak at three games. The league’s dominant team this summer, the Chicago Cubs, are just 5-5 in their last 10 and are just 10-8 in the month of September. The Cubs however do not have to worry about the push for the playoffs as they secured their spot last week thanks in large part to a fast start and a strong August. And while the Cubs have enjoyed a resurgence this year, don’t go handing them the World Series trophy just yet. Since the current wild card format has been installed just four times, out of 21 years, has the team with the best record in baseball has gone on to win it all; the last coming in 2013 when the Boston Red Sox accomplished the feat.

But let’s get back to the question in hand, the final 13 games of the regular season for the Cardinals and their fight against the Giants and Mets for the final two spots into the playoffs. People in St. Louis who have followed the Cardinals this summer may be surprised to find the Cardinals in position to once again play in October. Between the implosion of their closer (Trevor Rosenthal), to the injuries to Matt Holiday and Jhonny Peralta, and the lack of consistency from the team; it has been a roller coaster season. Their weekend series against the Giants sums up the 2016 season for the Cardinals. They looked horrible in the series’ first two games (losing 6-2 and 8-2) before winning the final two games 3-2 and 3-0.

But the local fans are simply to close to the picture to see everything. The fans in San Francisco and New York are thinking the same thing about their teams. The reason these three teams are in the position they are, battling for a wild card spot, is because of inconsistency. It’s not a matter of the teams not having the talent or experience, it’s a matter of being consistent. The Giants are just 22-37 in the second-half of the season; the Mets continue to run their once expected dominant rotation as Jacob DeGroom was just lost for the season this week meaning three-fifths of their rotation is different from the start of the season.

So what are the Cardinals chances at a lucky 13? First their schedule; the Cardinals have two more in Colorado before facing the Cubs for three, Cincinnati for four games, and Pittsburgh for three. Unfortunately for the Cardinals the series’ against the Reds and Pirates are in Busch, where the Cardinals have mysteriously struggled in 2016. The Cardinals have played the Cubs even this season (8-8) but have managed just a one game edge over the Reds (8-7) despite the Reds being one of the worst teams in baseball this season; and have a losing record against the Pirates (7-9) this year. The Cardinals are just 22-22 since the start of August and have won just one series in September. So judging on the Cardinals schedule it does not look promising for a trip to a Red October.

The Mets meanwhile continue to lose pitchers from their rotation. However they have benefited and will continue to face an easier schedule than the Cardinals. Despite their injuries the Mets have been able to climb into the top wild card position by facing just one team with a winning record since the start of the month; and they close out their season against the Braves, Marlins, and Phillies. So I think you can pencil them in one of the spots.

So it comes down between the Giants and Cardinals. At the mid-summer break the Giants appeared to be headed toward their typical even year World Series trip. But in the second-half the Giants offense has gone as cold as a San Francisco night in October. They have won just three series since July 15 and their bullpen showed its weakness once again against the Cardinals last weekend. Their offense has just a .709 OPS in the second-half and they have the worst record in baseball in the second-half.

Unlike the Mets the Cardinals are starting to get healthy. Peralta and Aledmys Diaz recently returned and Matt Holliday is aiming for a return in the final week. While the return of these players does not necessarily fix the team’s inconsistency problem, having more talented players to choose from can only help. And unlike the Giants the Cardinals offense, despite going through some slumps, has shown that it can be explosive (leading MLB in double-digit run games).

But it isn’t the big bats for the Cardinals that I think will propel the Cardinals into October. Rather  I think the biggest plus down the stretch for the Cardinals will be Alex Reyes move to the starting rotation. Reyes has shown no signs of struggles in his first season, putting up some of the best numbers in baseball since joining the Cardinals. Teaming him with a fellow electric pitcher Carlos Martinez will give the Cardinals two above average pitchers going a combined four times in the final two weeks; and more importantly removes the wildly frustrating and inconsistent Jaime Garcia from the rotation. In addition Mike Leake has gone six straights without allowing more than three earned runs. And don’t forget about the Cardinals veteran ace Adam Wainwright, who despite his struggles, has still registered 17 quality starts this season; just one behind team leader Martinez.

Coming off a 100 win season the Cardinals never managed to put it together this year. Some fans may be disappointed by the lack of a summer long battle with the Cubs for Central Division supremacy. And the inconsistencies of the Cardinals this year may have some fans focused on their negatives rather than positives. But this team is right where they should be given their play this year; battling for a wild card spot. We have seen a 149 game roller coaster of a season, will the final 13 games send Cardinal Nation to the peak or will it be a corkscrew dive into the off-season?

 

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Rams, A Guarantee In a Box

tbramsYou can take a team away from a city, but you can’t take the team away from an organization. The Rams may have ditched St. Louis for the sunny California lifestyle in L.A. but just because they moved doesn’t mean anything has changed other than their address. They are the same old dumpster fire of a team. This became abundantly clear on Monday night when the new LA Rams welcomed in the 2016 season by losing 28-0 to their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers; a team that many people feel will challenge for the top pick in next year’s draft.

I am not going to lie. I was a little worried at first that the Rams, with their move out west, would suddenly become a good team. That they would finally live up to their yearly off-season hype and their players would finally take that next step. But it turns out that I was just being foolish. Because no matter how many miles you take a team, the organization is still run by the same people who have been running this organization into the ground over the last decade and led by the same coach who continues to defy logic and remain employed.

Los Angeles these are YOUR Rams. If you think this was just a bad game, well I have something to tell you. This is what you will see week to week with this organization. A team that commits absurd penalties, a team that believes they can win with a journey man at quarterback and a group of journey men at receiver, a team that can’t block for the best young running back in the league, a team that bills itself as having a dominant defensive line yet manages no sacks. All under the tutelage of Jeff Fisher, who doesn’t quite understand a football field is twice as long as it is wide yet feels the best way to run an offense is left to right on the field. Sure you may pull off an unbelievable win over the Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks like the Rams did last year, but in the same season you will also get destroyed by the Chicago Bears or fail to score more than 10 points in a game five times.

On Monday night the Rams had just as many punts as they did first downs (10). Case Keenum was under 100 yards passing for the majority of the night until a late drive boosted him up to whooping 130 yards. Todd Gurley, who was a top three pick among fantasy players this year, was held to 47 yards and 2.8 yards per carry. Of course he is hardly blame when he has to rely on an offensive line that has been perpetually porous and an offensive scheme that thinks going against 10 men in a box is normal. Oh and how about the new $10 million receiver for the Rams, Tavon Austin? He torched the 49ers defense for 15 yards on five touches; despite being targeted 12 times. (Insert shocking face emoji here). Mind you that Jeremey Kurley for the 49ers, a player signed just six days ago, caught 7 of his 11 targets for 61 yards with several catches that maintained 49ers drives.

Looking back I don’t know why I was worried the Rams would suddenly go from a frustratingly boring mediocre team to a contender. We in St. Louis have seen it each and every year under Fisher. The promise that they will get things fixed, cut down on penalties, and open up on offense. Only once the games start, we get the same old Rams.

I will admit I watched HBO’s Hard Knocks with the Rams this past summer because I wanted to see how they shaped the story. Of course television producers loved the coming back home angle. But I was interested in seeing what the organization was doing new. Do you know what my biggest takeaways from watching the show was? It was that William Hayes believes in mermaids but not dinosaurs, that #1 overall pick Jared Goff doesn’t know which direction the sun rises, and that Rams and Fisher haven’t changed at all.

Several moments stood out for me on the show. The first was when second year quarterback Sean Mannion challenged Goff, the #1 overall pick, to hit the cross-bar with a throw from about 30 yards out. Mannion offered up a $100 bet. Goff immediately declined. Mannion promptly said okay whatever, grabbed a ball and drilled the bar. This may seem like a simple little thing but being a part of a team I know that players are always making silly bets like that to do trick moves or shots. I am not saying Goff will not be a good player but it makes me doubt that when he won’t take a friendly bet like that. Was he too afraid to fail? What was the harm? Of course the bigger issue whether Goff will succeed eventually is the fact that he is saddled with being a part of the Rams organization. Why a team with no legit receivers and a coach that has NEVER been a quarterback guy, trade a wealth of draft picks for a quarterback that wasn’t even hands down the best guy in the draft? Just another Rams typical move.

And Goff is not off to a good start since he is the first player to be drafted first overall and not dress in week one of their season since the infamous JaMarcus Russell. Goff couldn’t even beat out Case Keenum, who managed a 34 quarterback rating on Monday, or even hold a clipboard as good as Sean Mannion. Quick side note on the Hard Knocks show. One of my favorite quotes was when they were trying to sell Goff as a quick learner and moving up the depth chart, the Rams qb coach (Chris Weinke) said “As Jared sees Case operate at a high level he is starting to raise his expectations and see how much better he can be.” Excuse me you just picked this guy first overall and he needs to raise his level to Case Keenum’s? Yeah, enough said.

Speaking of typical Rams moves, the second thing that caught my attention on the show was the episode where they decided to give Tavon Austin a contract extension. Austin, a diminutive receiver the Rams traded up to get in the draft three years ago, wanted A.J. Green and Julio Jones type numbers. The Rams official on the show actually said “he isn’t at that level but we’re close”. What!? Do you know what Green and Jones’ numbers are? Green has had at least 1,000 yards and three double-digit touchdown seasons in his five years in the league. Jones has three 1,000 yard seasons and finished with the second most receiving yards in NFL history with 1,871 yards in 2015. Oh and Austin, well he has never had more than 500 yards receiving in any of his three years in the NFL. In fact both Green and Jones have each had three individual seasons with more yards receiving than Austin’s career total of 1,146 yards.

So yes LA you have the NFL back in your city. But just because you have an NFL team it ramsboxdoesn’t mean you will get to see NFL quality football. Because to paraphrase my friend Chris Farley in Tommy Boy, you can take a piece of crap team, put it in a nice fancy box, and say we are bringing back the NFL to L.A. but in the end all they did was sell you an NFL quality piece of crap team.

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