Week 11 Monday Not So Morning Thoughts (A Day Late): Myles Garrett and Colin Kaepernick

Two stories dominated Week 11 and both are pretty hard stories so I figure screw the fluff. I will dive into those two stories. The first involved Myles Garrett attempting to hit Mason Rudolph with his own helmet and the second involved the controversial Colin Kaepernick getting the chance to showcase his arm to NFL scouts.

Myles Garrett

Cleveland Browns defensive end and one of the league’s best pass rushers Myles Garrett has been suspended indefinitely after attempting to hit Steelers QB Mason Rudolph with his own helmet.

Inside 1:30 to go, the Steelers had possession down by 14. Rudolph did a shovel pass prior to Garrett reaching him. Instead of letting the QB go, he finished the play and slammed Rudolph to the ground much to the dismay of Rudolph. Nothing out of the ordinary on either party here. You see this happen all the time where QBs believe the hit to be a bit excessive and they start scrapping. They have each other wrapped up as Rudolph has his hands around the head of Garrett attempting to dislodge his helmet.

Now Garrett is pissed and does the same except he gets the helmet off. Rudolph charges him and gets in his face while a Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro is holding Garrett back. That was when Garrett (with helmet in hand) decided to gear back and take a full swing at Rudolph’s head.

Most of you probably saw the play and didn’t need the description. Thanks to the internet and the idiots of the internet, it needed to be described.

ESPN reporter Josina Anderson tweeted “I would bet Myles Garrett will say he heard Mason Rudolph call him something egregious. Never seen Garrett act like that, ever.”

Way to stir the race pot before any details unfold you dunce. At least she apologized, but you tweeted it jumping to conclusions.

Also Still shots of what unfolded were being spread like wildfire and trying to paint Rudolph as the perpetrator here.

In football, scrums happen. People get physical when they feel they are hit hard in situations. You see people try dirty tactics on the bottom of piles for fumbles. It is all part of the nature of the game. We have seen players get their helmets ripped off. It doesn’t make it more tolerable. Fines should happen and flags should be thrown for such occurrences.

The second Garrett let his emotions get the best of him and he attempted to assault Rudolph with a helmet (or deadly weapon), he made his choice. He and he alone acted. Everything else is within in the confines of what we see happen year after year. Swinging a helmet at someone’s head is not.

That is some Vontaze Burfict level bullshit right there. You saw Steelers players kicking him while he was on the ground and suspensions were handed out accordingly, as they should be. If I was a Steelers player, you bet your ass I would do the same.

Garrett went outside the confines of retaliation tactics in the NFL. The Steelers acted accordingly. I am sure when Garrett returns to action, whenever that may be, the Steelers will dive at his knees and play him as dirty as possible. I don’t fault them for it. He swung a fucking helmet at their QB’s head.

The NFL got this absolutely right suspending him indefinitely. If it were up to me, I would suspend him all of this season and next. He is one of their best players and the Browns likely aren’t getting in to the playoffs this year. Punish him for next.

This isn’t a complex situation and for anyone trying to make it as such, shut up.

Colin Kaepernick

Speaking of shit shows…

The plot thickens in the NFL v Kaepernick saga.

After two and a half seasons of sitting at home as a result of him protesting injustice within the United States by kneeling during the National Anthem, Kaepernick wants another shot. Most of us know the story of how it began and of course the controversy that followed including President Donald Trump condemning Kaep and the league as well as the ratings falling as a result of the protests.

Fast forward to now, Kaepernick planned to take the field in Atlanta at the Falcons training facility with more than 75% of teams sending a representative to take a look at the quarterback. Shortly before the workout was scheduled to begin, his camp pulled a swerve. Charles Robinson posted a series of tweets about what happened…

1.) There was a significant problem with the type of waiver #NFL requested. Kaepernick agreed to sign a normal pro-day injury waiver. NFL asked for a more complex waiver with clauses about non-guarantees of employment.

2.) Kaepernick’s camp requested to tape the workout alongside the NFL’s crew. They didn’t trust the NFL being the only ones with the tape. Kaepernick wanted it taped and released in its entirety to teams and the public after the workout. The NFL refused to allow them to tape it.

3.) When #NFL refused to allow Kaepernick to tape the workout and control their own copy, Kaepernick asked that media be allowed into the workout to view/record the session. NFL said no. That’s when Kaepernick felt the league refused to be transparent and asked to change venues.

4.) It’s now up to the #NFL teams to decide if they want their reps to relocate to the new venue. They have been invited on-site in Flowery Branch. The new location will also make it far easier for teams to access the local airport, meaning NFL reps can attend and easily fly out.

Two things I am here to discuss, first the workout itself. When you look at the cesspool that is the internet, it is filled with a bunch of comments that sound something like this…

“aNyOnE cAn CoMpLeTe WiDe OpEn PaSsEs WiTh nO CoVeRaGe.”

Did you expect pads and 11 on 11? That is not how private workouts are done you mouth breather. We have seen him put on pads before. We know what that looks like. Scouts are looking at mechanics and arm when they evaluate at private workouts.

He threw 60 passes and completed all but six of them. He threw several routes including posts, ins, outs, flys and routes in the flats. He threw some routes coming out of play action as well as some rollouts to show his mobility and strength. Typical for a QB workout.

Seven teams sent reps to the new location to take a peak at Kaepernick. Those teams were the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. Following the workout, he was seen speaking with scouts from the Chiefs, Redskins and Jets. Most reports indicated Kaep did indeed still have the arm strength and the mechanics to be in the NFL.

Whether or not he will get signed is the big question. Before diving into the complicated mess of the workout, here is the reality on Kaepernick.

Was he good enough to be on an NFL roster since his departure from the league? Absolutely, no doubt.

Was he good enough to start for an NFL team? Absolutely, no doubt.

People like to point to his win percentage and numbers in the last two years after the departure of Jim Harbaugh, ignoring the previous three seasons where Kaep was looked at as an up and comer to be one of the league’s better QBs. Many argued top 10 before Harbaugh was outed in San Francisco. They ignore the dumpster fire that followed after Harbaugh which caused major front office changes. Those things matter.

Under Jim Harbaugh (2012-2014)

  • Record 25-14
  • 60.4 Completion %
  • 214.9 Yards Per Game
  • 50 Passing TDs / 21 Interceptions
  • 2.4 TD/INT Ratio
  • 1,578 Rushing Yards
  • 10 Rushing TDs

Playoffs

  • 6-2 (Super Bowl Appearance)
  • 58.0 Completion %
  • 229.0 Passing Yards Per Game
  • 7 Passing TDs / 5 INTs
  • 1.4 TD/INT ratio
  • 507 Rushing Yards
  • 4 Rushing TDs

After Jim Harbaugh 

  • Record 3-16
  • 59.1 Completion %
  • 202.9 Yards Per Game
  • 22 TDs / 9 INTS
  • 2.4 TD/INT Ratio
  • 724 Rushing Yards
  • 3 Rushing TDs

Of course, the kneeling began once the 49ers became a dumpster fire which means Colin Kaepernick slipped into irrelevancy and made himself relevant again with the protests.
I have made my thoughts clear about him protesting so I am not here to discuss that. I am here to discuss whether he should have a job. It is a complex answer.

First, is he good enough still? Yes.

There are not 64 quarterbacks who are definitively better than him. There is no reason from a talent standpoint that he should not have a job. If you sit here and say he is not, you’re letting emotions completely cloud your judgment or you know nothin Jon Snow.

If you’re telling me a list of names such as Blake Bortles, Chase Daniel, AJ McCarron, Nick Mullins or Tyrod Taylor are better, then you are absolutely high off your freaking rocker. Both statistically and wins say otherwise. That is looking at some of the best back ups in the league.

Of course some teams have guys like Saints Teddy Bridgewater who could start on a handful of teams.

As for starters, he could absolutely start over the following…(*denotes injury to starter)

  • Mitchell Trubisky (Bears)
  • Ryan Finley (Bengals)*
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick (Dolphins)
  • Mason Rudolph (Steelers)*
  • Ryan Tannehill (Titans)
  • Dwayne Haskins (Redskins)
  • Jameis Winston (Buccaneers) – Debateable

Trubisky has an elite defense and he can’t win. Know who won with an elite defense? Kaep. The rest of that list are going to be career back ups for the most part minus Winston. As a starter, he can go be great with a high ceiling and then he can be terrible with a low floor. He buries his team deep in holes and then explodes.

Kaep doesn’t turn the ball over much which means he is helping his defense and controlling the clock and line of scrimmage. Winston has that incredibly high ceiling when he’s on. He rarely has it when the game matters.

This entire debate about Kaep should have never EVER been about being good enough. Although that is the narrative the media and fans have spun it to be about.

Kaep hurt the NFL’s bottom line, TV ratings. He began protesting during an election year. During presidential election season, NFL ratings slide slightly. After setting records for Monday, Thursday and Sunday Night Football in 2014, the ratings fell in 2015. Chalk it up to election season. It also happened to be the same time Kaep began his protesting.

Then the ratings slid more in 2016. Then they slid further in 2017 before the NFL stepped in and said no more protests during the anthem. The reality is Kapernick began a movement that hurt their bottom line. The NFL has every single right to put a stop to that. So they did.

Are they blackballing him? Abso-fucking-lutely. As a private business, they have every right to do so. Kaep became a massive black eye to the NFL and fans took action by tuning out. So they did something about it.

So is he good enough? Yes.

Could he still start? Yes.

Does he hurt the bottom line? Yes.

Are fans hiding behind a narrative that he isn’t good enough? Yes. Meanwhile guys like Blaine Gabbert have a roster spot.

Does the NFL have to give him a job? No.

He isn’t good enough to be worth the price of admission as a backup or a fringe starter in today’s NFL climate. Most teams either have established QBs or young QBs who they are building around and committed to.

Kaepernick getting signed means the media circus around him will follow. If he is your starter, you can probably weather the storm to some degree. But depending on the city, you’re going to lose ticket sales and viewership. If he is your back up, same thing applies. Only now you’re losing sales because of a guy who won’t see the field on Sunday.

As for the workout, the NFL allegedly restricted him more than if it were just another workout for a player, which certainly doesn’t help their case of blackballing him. Kaepernick moving the workout in the manner he did just puts an even bigger target on his back to not be signed as he looks like he is more about himself than being on a team.

It was a double edged sword for Kaep where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If it were me, I would much rather take my chances on allowing more teams to watch and make as little noise as possible. He elected not to. That was decision and I am not going to condemn him for it.

He is a controversial figure (whether you think he should be or not). That will never go away. Whether he gets signed or not remains a big question.

If you would like to hear my thoughts on protesting, click here (Nothing More American than the 1st Amendment and Marketplace of Ideas).

 

 

 

 

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