By: Brett Dickinson & Barry Kamen
Each week on the Brett & Barry Show (Saturdays 9am-12pm), we gather each others’ analysis on the biggest local and national stories and headlines of the week for a couple of minutes a piece in a segment we call Rapid Fire. We post our responses in blog form every week to a visual version, with links to our segment in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.
LISTEN TO THE AUDIO SEGMENT HERE!
Brett 1: After an arrest in the middle of December, former Michigan offensive tackle and NFL draft prospect, Taylor Lewan, is facing three assault charges just months before the draft. With the Ravens arrest total rising this off season, along with the controversy over Richie Incognito and the Miami Dolphins last season, should Ozzie Newsome consider drafting the guy with such a checkered past?
The Ravens organization has not been afraid of taking a chance on players with legal issues, as Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis, Donte Stallworth, and Rolando McClain all come to mind. Taylor Lewan’s overall talent and willingness to discuss the incident with NFL teams, makes him worth the risk. Lewan is a top 10 talent, and if he were to fall to the Ravens at pick 17, it is a no-brainer. Plug Lewan in at right tackle, and the Ravens will have turned last year’s biggest weakness into a strength.
Barry 1: Week 2 of NFL free agency is officially in the books, with the second tier of available players signing on with their new teams. Is there one move from last week that stands out as significant, whether good or bad?
BD: I thought the that a couple teams have made nice under the radar moves as of late. Though it may not be for huge contracts, the Atlanta Falcons adding return specialist Devin Hester and offensive guard Jon Asamoah, were great additions. Hester is still the best return man in the game, even though he may not have many touchdowns, he will put the offense in good starting field position consistently. Asamoah just made sense as an upgrade for their line that desperately needed.
Other moves I like include: WR James Jones to the Oakland Raiders, CB Walter Thurmond to the New York Giants and CB Antonio Cromartie to the Arizona Cardinals.
Brett 2: Speaking of free agency, probably the “biggest named” quarterback, Michael Vick, left the Philadelphia Eagles to sign on with Rex Ryan and the New York Jets. The much maligned signal caller has struggled the past couple seasons, before eventually losing his starting job to Nick Foles. He now is trying to supplant Geno Smith as the starter for “Gang Green.” Do you think this was the best fit for Vick and the Jets?
The Michael Vick signing is extremely confusing to me. As mentioned, the Jets spent a high 2nd round pick on Geno Smith, and despite his struggles and multiple injuries to the wide receiver position, finished 8-8. Signing Vick makes it clear that the Jets do not have full faith in Smith as their franchise quarterback, yet Vick cannot be relied on to be healthy for an entire season. The Jets love to make headlines with their quarterback signings (Brett Favre, Tim Tebow, Vick), but I think the signing will be regrettable. The Jets need continuity, not publicity, at the quarterback position.
Barry 2: Matt Schaub was another quarterback on the move, as the Houston Texans traded him to the Oakland Raiders for a late round pick. For most of his career, he was pretty successful, until last year’s debacle of a season for the entire team. Can the Schaub trade enough to bring the Raiders back to relevance?
BD: This move is not about putting the Raiders over the top and back into contention. It was more about finding a veteran to hold down the position, so that Oakland is not forced to reach on one of the first round quarterback prospects. Schaub has been decent for most of his career and now the team can focus on putting talent around that position, before bringing in a franchise player via the draft within the next couple seasons. Does Schaub make this team better? YES. But he is still probably the worst quarterback in a division that includes: Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers and Alex Smith.
Brett 3: The New York Knicks have officially brought in former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Phil Jackson, as their President of Basketball Operations. Do you think this marriage will end with Jackson taking the Knicks back to the promised land with a NBA championship?
Phil Jackson’s triumphant return will make the New York Knicks a much better franchise because of the respect he has earned from his years as a coach. While the Knicks have very few pieces to build around, Jackson has stood by F Carmelo Anthony, providing the star player with much-needed confidence and stability.
I do not think that the Knicks will win a championship with Jackson as president. The Pacers and the Heat are set up to be the class of the Eastern conference for the foreseeable future, and the only way to intrigue free agents will be for Jackson to return to the sidelines and coach. With all signs pointing to Steve Kerr becoming the Knicks coach, the team will be much improved, but Carmelo Anthony’s style of play will have to change if he ever wants to add a ring to his resume.
Barry 3: After the first round match up in the NCAA Tournament, where San Diego State defeated New Mexico State in overtime after midnight, the losing NMSU was forced immediately on a plane to go home. SDSU head coach Steve Fischer had some poignant comments about the situation, saying the NCAA was “disgraceful” by their actions (Watch the post game interview HERE). Do you agree with Fischer that NMSU should have been the opportunity to stay the night after such hard fought late night game?
BD: I could not agree with Fischer more, as I think it was bush-league to shovel off a losing team so late in the night. We are not talking about them finishing in the middle of the day; it was the middle of the night. Those kids just laid everything out on the court, not only for themselves, but benefiting the TV ratings for the NCAA! They deserved better and I am not surprised they did not get it from such a narrowed-minded organization. If I had any money to bet, I would put the bank on the fact that the NCAA changes this scenario as soon as next year.