What You Need To Know For Wednesday, Dec. 30 2015

name of site - hunter thompson style

nationwide_college map

1.

Degenerate Me

Last weekend was a monster for us junkies, despite what looked like insane violence on many football fields – or is it because of it? (shrugs shoulders)  Only the wetheads worry about blood on the grass during times like these, when the football gets better each week and the money you pillage from suckers, lines your pockets like fine silk.  The best being yet to come, except for maybe place like Cleveland and San Francisco who are more like bloated dead bodies floating along the ethereal abyss.

Playing with House-Money has always been risky – however, last week was swimming with sharks.  Many high-altitude rollers got eaten alive on Sunday – those that survived were clubbed like baby seals, causing an eruption of fear and grief in homesteads from coast to coast.  Strong men wept, and women hurled themselves savagely down dirty stairwells in filthy towns like Boston and Cleveland – Cripes, even in the frozen snow out here in the Rockies.

But me?  My own luck was splendid, as the Marquis used to say, as I repeatedly fleeced and humiliated two of the cruelest and most depraved degenerates in America, the infamous McCutcheon brothers from Pittsburgh.  T’was wonderful.  The arrogant swine got exactly what they deserved – a massive public beating they will never forget.  They came out here with huge wads of ca$h and revenge in their hearts for the losses they suffered last year in the very same bunker – where their doom is a constant companion.  It’s even worse during bowl-season.

2.

C’Ya Chipster

Good luck Chipster – your 1st lesson as a professional was a hard one.  You found out that going 10-6, 10-6 and 6-9 don’t mean much in Philly.  Never you mind that the Eagles have no idea how to win, because they haven’t since…….ummm, hold on, it’s right here in my notes….oh yeah, 1960.  It was 20 years later since they returned to play for a title, and another 24 until the next one – losing both – so it’s likely not until 2024 that they contend anyway.

Besides looking for another job in the #NFL – Tennessee, maybe? – you have to deal with Screamin’A dustin’ off an old narrative; as he did appearing on Mike and Mike this morning telling a classic Screamin’A story about a time he was “stopped on the street” by some Eagles players who came up to him and started talking about Chip Kelly.  Sensationalism!

The point is – you had all the control Chip and made some shaky decisions and never quite won enough to earn the cache you need.  Just remember, Bill was run out of Cleveland and it also took awhile in Foxboro before he became the man he is today – You just keep it 100 Chipster and if it doesn’t work out here, you’ll have your pick of places in college – like Baton Rouge if Les doesn’t change.

+ GOODBYE, MR. CHIP: PHILLY FIRES KELLY – Read More

LF=212yds 5TD’s

3.

(Can’t) Hold That Tiger

The Tigers wrapped up a very memorable, drama-filled football season with a record-setting 56-27 win over Texas Tech in the Advocare Texas Bowl, and it sure does feel good. One could argue that last night’s game doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot, but after losing three of the previous four bowl games, and enduring a three-game losing streak in the month of November, it’s nice to head into the offseason on a high note. With last night’s win, the Tigers ended the season 9-3, and let’s not forget that this would have almost certainly been a 10-win season had the season-opener against McNeese State been played.

Source: Dandy Don’s LSU Recruiting and Sports News – LSU Football and More!

4.

Today in History

On December 30, 1978, Ohio State University (OSU) makes the decision to fire its 65-year-old football coach, Woody Hayes, one day after Hayes punched a player on the opposing team near the end of the Gator Bowl.

Source: OSU fires coach Woody Hayes for attacking an opposing player – Dec 30, 1978

5.

Out of Chaos Comes Order

Social issues are a minefield for athletes.  Michael Jordan was never going to be confused for Kareem when it came to social justice and attitudes.  No one is, and athletes that came after never wanted to jeopardize their image to their corporate masters – just as players today are more conscious of their “brand” then they are at times with their play.

Yet, Lebron speaks out after advocates ask him to strike games to honor Tamir Rice – is this what we want our athletes to do when every social crisis occurs?  Read more here.

Source: LeBron Speaks Out After Advocates Ask Him To Strike Games To Honor Tamir Rice

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6.

The More You Know

Week 17 – Situational Trends

By Week 17 Vegas knows which teams are truly bad. In the last five years, home underdogs of a touchdown or greater in the last week of the regular season have gone 1-33 SU and 14-20 (41%) ATS.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Browns (+10) vs. Steelers and Dolphins (+9) vs. Patriots.

The Cardinals and Chiefs are on fire each having won nine straight games. The last 30 teams to win that many games in a row went 22-8 straight-up in their next matchup but 12-17-1 (41%) against-the-spread.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Chiefs (-6.5) vs. Raiders and Cardinals (-4.5) vs. Seahawks.

Tom Brady and the Patriots don’t lose often but when they do, New England typically wins (40-10 straight-up) and covers (34-16 against-the-spread – 68%) the next week.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Patriots (-9) at Dolphins.

  • ATL -4 vs. NO The Falcons are 7-3 against-the-spread in their last ten games as home favorites against the Saints.
  • AZ -4.5 vs. SEA Carson Palmer is 7-1-1 against-the-spread at home with Arizona against non-divisional opponents but 3-3 ATS vs. the NFC West.
  • BAL +7 @ CIN In the last five years, AFC North teams that have been underdogs of a touchdown or greater to the Bengals are 0-5 straight-up and 1-3-1 ATS.
  • BUF +3 vs. NYJ The Bills are 8-2 against-the-spread in their last ten home games against the AFC East.
  • CAR -10.5 vs. TB Cam Newton has never lost as a touchdown or greater favorite, he is 11-0 straight-up and 6-5 ATS.
  • CHI -1 vs. DET The Bears are 2-7-1 against-the-spread in their last ten games against the Lions.
  • CIN -7 vs. BAL The Bengals are playing for a bye in the AFC. All-time, teams that have been favored by a touchdown over the Ravens are 5-1 straight-up.
  • CLE +10 vs. PIT Cleveland has lost eight straight as double-digit underdogs against AFC North rivals but the Browns went 5-3 ATS in those games.
  • DAL -3 vs. WAS The Cowboys are 1-5 against-the-spread at home this year and are now 3-11 ATS the last three years when Tony Romo doesn’t start.
  • DEN -7.5 vs. SD Denver is 3-6-1 against-the-spread in its last ten home games as touchdown or greater favorites.
  • DET +1 @ CHI Detroit is 2-18 straight-up in its last 20 games as road dogs against the NFC North, the Lions went 9-10-1 ATS in those games.
  • GB -3 vs. MIN The Packers can clinch the NFC North with a win, Aaron Rodgers is 18-4 straight-up (14-7-1 ATS) vs. the division as a home favorite.
  • HOU -6.5 vs. JAX The Texans clinch the AFC South with a win, Houston is 15-7 straight-up all-time as a home favorite against the division.
  • IND -6 vs. TEN Indy needs a win (plus a lot of help) to make the playoffs. The Colts are just 3-4 straight-up (3-4 ATS) in home games this year.
  • JAX +6.5 @ HOU The Jags have been road dogs in 13 straight games vs. division opponents. Jacksonville went 8-4 ATS in its previous 12 games.
  • KC -6.5 vs. OAK KC has won nine straight (including four in a row vs. the AFC West) and is 7-2 against-the-spread during the winning streak.
  • MIA +9 vs. NE The Dolphins have been underdogs to the Patriots in 25 straight games, Miami went 11-13 ATS in the previous 24 contests.
  • MIN +3 @ GB The Vikings can clinch the NFC North with a win but Minnesota hasn’t won in Green Bay since 2010 and is 1-4-1 ATS in its last six games in Lambeau.
  • NE -9 @ MIA New England clinches home-field advantage with a win, the Pats have won 18 straight as touchdown favorites vs. the AFC East ( but are only 6-10-2 ATS)
  • NO +7 @ ATL This is the fifth straight division game in which the Saints have been underdogs, New Orleans covered the previous four.
  • NYG -3 vs. PHI The Giants are 2-8 ATS in the team’s last ten home games against the Eagles.
  • NYJ -3 @ BUF The Jets can clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Bills but New York has lost and failed to cover in four straight vs. Buffalo.
  • OAK +6.5 @ KC The Raiders are 14-6 against-the-spread in the team’s last 20 road games against division rivals.
  • PHI +3 @ NYG Philly is 8-2 against-the-spread in its last ten road games as underdogs against division opponents.
  • PIT -10 @ CLE Big Ben has been a double-digit road favorite seven times in his career and failed to cover in each game (including losing outright last week).
  • SD +7.5 @ DEN Philip Rivers has won six of his last ten trips to Denver and the Chargers went 7-1-2 against-the-spread in those games.
  • SEA +4.5 @ AZ In Russell Wilson’s career, the Seahawks following a loss in the regular season are 11-6 against-the-spread the next week.
  • SF +3.5 vs. STL The 49ers have been home dogs to the Rams 11 times. San Francisco is 3-8 straight-up and 5-5-1 ATS.
  • STL -3.5 @ SF The Rams aren’t favored on the road often (just 10 times in the last ten years), but when they are St. Louis covers (7-3 ATS).
  • TB +10.5 @ CAR The Bucs have lost six straight as double-digit dogs to divisional rivals but Tampa Bay went 3-3 against-the-spread in those games.
  • TEN +6 @ IND The Titans have failed to cover in seven straight road games against division rivals (1-6 straight-up as well).
  • WAS +3 @ DAL The Washington professional football team is 8-2 ATS in its last ten trips to Dallas.

Jason Day, #NFLPreseason and #TebowTime, Oh MY!

Jason Day did something, no one in Golf has ever done – finish -20 at a Major.  With a final round score of 67, Jason Day won the PGA Championship that was contested from start to finish.  So what did we learn?

We learned that Jason Day might have learned how to finish.  Before yesterday’s win, Day had been known as a really talented golfer that had yet to win.  He had come close on several occasions, with 9 top-10 finishes and three-runner ups, but struggled to get over the hump.  At the PGA, Day made the field chase him and still walked onto the 18th green with a three-stroke lead and the victory.cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e14180934753933.png

We also learned that Jordan Speith is having one helluva season.  Speith came within one shot of making it into the playoffs at the British Open last month and three strokes from catching Day at the PGA Championship.  Speith’s run ranks up there with Ben Hogan in ’53 and Tiger Woods in ’00, when both golfers won 3 Majors.  Jordan is only 22, so the future looks bright.

Finally, we learned that Tiger Woods may never “be back”.  Tiger missed the cut for the third time in a row and never really got into sync.  Even he acknowledged he is struggling making putts.  But from what used to carry the tour in Tiger Woods, it is comforting to know that there is till plenty of star-power and drama these days that gives Golf a shot to withstand the loss of Tiger.


#TebowTime

Eagles backup QB Tim Tebow (11) dives into the end

After a two-year absence Tim Tebow returned to a football field to a standing-ovation from Eagles fans.  In fact, twice Tim had to quiet the crowd.  In what is likely Tebow’s final shot at being a NFL quarterback – Tim finished his day going 6-for-12, for 69yds, no TD’s or INT’s, but did run 4 times for 15yds and touchdown.

He seems to have improved since the last time we saw him – but still made some of the same mistakes that can not happen at the position – he held onto the ball to long and struggled reading coverages.  Some of that could be the O-Line at Philly, but all Tim has to do is beat Matt Barkley for the third string.  Barkley, by comparison was 12-for-20 for 192yds, 0 TD’s and 1 interception that was tipped at the line of scrimmage.

So maybe the issue for Tim is not necessarily that he wins the third-string job for the Eagles – it’s that he does enough improvement that he finds a different team he could join.  Either way #TebowTime is back and it’s fantastic, right Skip Bayless?!

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Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn, USA TODAY Sports

Here are some other #NFLPreseason tidbits from Tom Pelissero of USA Today:

Jameis Winston said he wasn’t nervous before his first NFL preseason game.

“No, not nervous. Anxious,” the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2015 said after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 26-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday night. “Of course, I have butterflies, but it is just because I want to do the right thing.”

Winston did that in spurts, recording his first completion on a 40-yard strike to Vincent Jackson and later leading the Bucs’ no-huddle offense to a touchdown against the Vikings’ reserves.

But the former Heisman Trophy winner also did his fair share of, in Bucs coach Lovie Smith’s words, “typical things that a rookie will do” on his way to a 9-for-19 passing performance (131 yards) with an interception, two mishandled snaps and several misfires.

At least now the first live game action — albeit with no game planning, no real atmosphere and no starters on the other side of the ball after a few series — is now behind them.

“Oh, it’s going to be pivotal I think for all of us,” Mariota said after the Titans’ 31-24 loss against the Atlanta Falcons. “I think that we can learn from our mistakes and get better from them.”

Injuries adding up

St. Louis Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines (foot), Minnesota Vikings right tackle Phil Loadholt (Achilles) and Washington tight ends Niles Paul (ankle) and Logan Paulsen (turf toe) are out for the season. Chicago Bears receiver Kevin White might be, too, after undergoing surgery for a stress fracture in his shin that landed him on reserve/physically unable to perform. Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas (fracture in hand) is out for the rest of the preseason. The list goes on, yet still almost a month before the real games begin.

Johnny Progress

The best sign for Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel: He seemed to be playing under control, using his feet to extend plays instead of just trying to run around. There was some vintage Johnny Football as he high-stepped away from oncoming rushers and scrambled for a 12-yard TD in the Browns’ loss to the Washington. Journeyman Josh McCown is entrenched as the starter for the time being, and that’s probably not a bad thing. Baby steps.

cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e14180934753933.pngNothing final

The two primary quarterback competitions will last at least one more week. Brian Hoyer got the starter treatment for the Houston Texans: one series, a 58-yard touchdown pass and then a seat on the bench while Ryan Mallett went to work (and did it well). But coach Bill O’Brien said Mallett will start next week. Ditto in Buffalo, where coach Rex Ryan said Tyrod Taylor will get his shot next week after Matt Cassel started the exhibition opener. Former first-round pick EJ Manuel threw a 51-yard touchdown in that game and hasn’t been ruled out, either (at least not publicly).

Be like Barry?

New York Jets coach Todd Bowles is getting ahead of himself with the comparison to Barry Sanders’ quickness. But it’s easy to understand the sentiment after Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah carved up Bowles’ defense on a 45-yard run. Abdullah was a workhorse at Nebraska and is putting himself in position for a big role while starter Joique Bell keeps working his way back from knee and Achilles surgeries. Added explosion on offense might be Detroit’s best hope for making up for the loss of all-pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Down under

One of the NFL’s fascinating longshot stories got more interesting when former Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne broke off a 53-yard run for the San Francisco 49ers. He has an unusual, upright running style and a lot to learn. But he figures to keep getting a long look on offense and in the return game.


Players Who Have Cleared Revocable Waivers

via  Major League Baseball Trade Rumors

MLBTR will continue to update this post as players reportedly clear revocable trade waivers, making it a running list of players that may be traded to any club in the season’s final two months. Player names are linked to the source articles, and this article can always be found under the MLBTR Features portion of the sidebar on the right side of the page.

First, several notes are in order. For one, many players have and will clear waivers without public reports revealing that status. (Some of them have already been traded, such as Mike Napoli.) Remember, also, that players must be acquired by August 31 to be eligible for their new team’s postseason roster. Click here for a further explanation of the August waiver and trade rules. And bear in mind that a player’s no-trade rights remain effective even if he clears waivers.

Last Updated: 8/14/2015

  • Jose Reyes, Rockies — The 32-year-old Reyes has struggled offensively since being dealt to the Rockies and has seen his defensive work take a hit over the past couple of seasons as well. He was still a very serviceable bat while playing with Toronto, though, and a departure from the artificial turf at the Rogers Centre could benefit his legs and back, perhaps even restoring some of his speed and range. Some have speculated on a potential move to second base for the former All-Star, who is owed about $54.37MM through the end of the 2017 season (as of Aug. 14).
  • Chase UtleyPhillies — Utley, 36, has produced at well below his typical rate for much of the year and just ended an extended DL stint. But he’s a highly-respected veteran, and the ankle issue could explain his struggles. Indeed, Utley has looked more like himself since returning to action. He’s owed about $4.5MM the rest of the way (as of Aug. 11), but the absence means that he won’t be a threat to trigger a vesting option for next year. For teams looking to bolster their options at second base down the stretch, Utley will surely hold appeal.
  • James Shields, Padres — The veteran hurler is in the first season of a four-year pact, making him an atypical trade candidate, but San Diego’s struggles and desire to clear payroll could see him dangled. There’s only about $2MM left to pay in 2015 (as of Aug. 11), but the deal is backloaded: it comes with $65MM in future guarantees (including the buyout on a $16MM option for 2019). The contract does have an opt-out after next season. Shields is already 33, and hasn’t been quite as good this season as in years past, but he’s still a durable and reliable arm who could help a lot of clubs.

What do you mean the #NFLPreseason doesn’t matter?

It’s never smart to bet money on “preseason” NFL football games, because they are utterly meaningless to anybody except the hundreds of players who may or may not be cut after each one – something I have to remind my attorney constantly. There are roughly 100 players out there for each team, competing desperately with each other for 53 roster spots for each team. Few of them even know each other’s names – crazy.

Pre-season games are like a dance with Death, for most of them. They will never be a starting player on any NFL team; they will never even get to wear a legitimate team jersey or see themselves on TV, like they always dreamed of.

Trying out is like a huge casting call for the next Star Wars movie, something in the Marvel Universe, or a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, about sex, death and violence in a typical all-American family that gets caught up in a kidnapping plot to cropped-cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e1418093475393.pngmove terrorists from Korea to New Orleans during the hurricane season. The movie will be a hot one, requiring thousands of mob-scene extras.

There will inevitably be many socio-paths among the teams, many unregistered perverts and super-groupies depending entirely on Steroids and Downers to make it through the first few dozen practices. Most of them are habitually unemployed anyway, and trying out as an inside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers might look like an good idea, to some people.

And besides, there is always that one in a million chance that you might be suddenly discovered, like Marlon Brando.

Most of these stories have horrible endings, but there are, of course, exceptions to that rule, and we saw one of the best of them in real life over a decade ago. Michael Lewis, known as “Beer Man” to his teammates, was a 29 year-old one-time beer-truck driver when he got his final tryout for the New Orleans Saints.

The Beer Man averaged 25.8 yards per kickoff return in 2002 and 14.2 on punts, second in the NFL. He also ran the 40 in 4.2, which means certain death for any defender who suddenly gets assigned to cover him. Many failed, and many were instantly cut and sent back to the Arena League, NFL Europe, or the local grocery market.

Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis didn’t have to stray far from home to find his dream. That is the way it goes in the NFL, no mercy and no second chances. Speed kills, in the famous words of the ultimate Raider, Al Davis. You can’t teach speed, he said. Everything else in the game can be taught, but speed is a gift from God.

The NFL preseason fully opens for Week 1 tonight and the schedule has all 32 teams in action with TV and live streaming coverage from the NFL Network for some games, with teams like the Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, NY Jets, Detroit Lions, Bears, Dolphins, Cowboys and San Diego Chargers in action.

The schedule for Thursday starts with games at 7:30 pm ET starting with the Green Bay Packers visiting the New England Patriots on the NFL Network. The game should have some intrigue with Jimmy Garoppolo getting time with Tom Brady, maybe facing suspension and it will be the first game since the recent hearing between Tom Brady and Hizzoner about the QB’s ban.

The New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens are also playing at 7:30 pm ET in Maryland, with the NY Jets and the Detroit Lions playing at Ford Field. The Miami Dolphins are at the Chicago Bears, and the Washington Americans are at Cleveland, 8 pm ET. The Dallas Cowboys play the San Diego Chargers in California, and that game will be on the NFL Network starting at 10 pm ET.

The Friday schedule is a full slate as well with the Atlanta Falcons playing the Tennessee Titans on the NFL Network at 7 pm ET. The Panthers and Bills will play in Buffalo at the same time. Pittsburgh and the Jacksonville Jaguars play at 7:30 pm ET in Florida, and the New York Giants play Cincinnati in Paul Brown Stadium.

The late games for Friday include the St. Louis Rams at Oakland, 10 pm ET, and the Denver Broncos play at Seattle, for another Super Bowl rematch on the NFL Network Peyton Manning will be wearing a ballcap instead of a helmet. The Saturday NFL schedule has prime-time games with the Niners taking on Houston in NRG Stadium at 8 pm ET, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings are also playing at 8 pm ET, on the NFL Network. The Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals are playing at 9 pm ET.

The Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles are playing Sunday at 1 pm ET at Lincoln Financial Field.

Check here for the entire NFL preseason schedule.

DiRT Poor

Never noticed how much Ryan Leaf looks like Matt Ryan

It has been said that the NFL stands for (N)ot (F)or (L)ong – so I thought we could look at the biggest (NFL)’s by each team, list is compiled by Charlie Campbell.  Be careful, these busts could bring up past feelings of hurt and woe…Let me know if I missed anyone – what are your thoughts?

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Boller (Cal) – 19th-Overall Pick, 2003
This pick didn’t hurt as bad because the Ravens took Terrell Suggs a few picks earlier. But as good as Suggs has been, it doesn’t change the fact that Boller was a bust. The Ravens gave him every opportunity to be the starter, but he couldn’t get the job done and was only a backup-caliber player. The painful part of the Boller pick was it wasted some great years from a Baltimore defense that had Hall of Famers in their prime and may have won more championships with a quality quarterback.

Cleveland Browns: Brady Quinn (ND) – 22nd-Overall Pick, 2007
There were a lot of options to pick from like Courtney Brown and Tim Couch, but Brown had his career ruined by injuries while Couch had a bad team around him. Honestly, Couch’s career numbers aren’t that bad. Quinn on the other hand, started only 12 games in three years. He was inaccurate in college, but that was ignored by Cleveland, and he completed less than 54 percent of his passes as a pro. Quinn threw 10 touchdowns as a Brown and was overmatched in the NFL. Considering the Browns gave up a lot to move up for him, Quinn is the worst draft pick in Cleveland’s history.

Cincinnati Bengals: Akili Smith (Oregon) – 3rd-Overall Pick, 1999
The Bengals took a 1-year wonder in Smith, and he went on to have a 3-14 record as a starter for Cincinnati. Smith completed only 47 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Across four years, he appeared in 22 games before the Bengals cut him and he never got a shot with another teams. Cincinnati passed on some great players like Edgerrin James, Torry Holt, Champ Bailey and Jevon Kearse when it took Smith. Smith was taken instead of Daunte Culpepper, so the Bengals had a mistake in their quarterback evaluation as well.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Tim Worley (UGA) – 7th-Overall Pick, 1989
Worley was billed to be a great back out of Georgia ready to be a Herschel Walker-type player in the NFL. However, Worley only lasted four years with the Steelers and never could average four yards per carry in any season where he had a significant amount of carries. Worley also had a huge fumble in the 1989 playoffs. He was a painful top-10 pick who was a huge bust for the Steelers.

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans: Travis Johnson (FSU) – 16th-Overall Pick, 2005
This was a tough call between Johnson and Okoye, but Okoye has managed to stick in the league even though he became a journeyman. Johnson started 38 games in four years and had only two sacks for the Texans. He ended being given away to the Chargers and didn’t turn his career around in San Diego. The Texans don’t have a long draft history, but Johnson stands out as their worse pick.

Indianapolis Colts: Jeff George (Illinois) – 1st-Overall Pick, 1990
You could argue that John Elway should be this pick. He refused to play for the Colts and forced a trade to Denver, but Elway was still a great choice considering the kind of player he became. George (the first Jay Cutler) was also a first-overall pick, but he had a terrible run with the Colts. It also hurt that Indianapolis traded away Andre Rison and Chris Hinton, two Pro Bowlers, to move up for George. The Colts lost a lot of games with George at quarterback. This deal set the franchise back a few years.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert (Mizzou) – 10th-Overall Pick, 2011
The Jaguars don’t have a great draft history, but Gabbert was a painful draft pick who will impact Jacksonville for a 10-year stretch. The reason is J.J. Watt went one pick later to the Texans. Gabbert was an awful quarterback. As one source said coaching Gabbert, “I don’t know how to coach a player to have physical courage.” Gabbert was afraid of being hit and that led to terrible quarterback play. He also blamed his teammates for his own shortcomings and was dubbed ‘Blame’ Gabbert in the Jacksonville locker room. To make matters even worse, the Jaguars traded from No. 16 to No. 10 and dealt a second-day pick to take Gabbert.  He now plays for San Francisco and will probably start for ol-what’s-his-name.

Tennessee Titans: Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones (WV) – 6th-Overall Pick, 2005
The Titans ignored the character concerns that were apparent with Jones before the draft and took the troubled cornerback anyway. He played well early in his career with the Titans before his off-the-field issues destroyed the promise he once had in his career. Jones earned a year-long suspension from the NFL and lasted only two seasons in Tennessee before the organization cut its losses and sent him packing.  He has become decent for Cincinnati, with no issues that we know of.

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills: Mike Williams (Texas) – 4th-Overall Pick, 2002
Williams was a mega bust in Buffalo in large part because of a poor work ethic. He was moved around from right tackle to left tackle to guard and defensive tackle. Williams had the starting left tackle job taken from him by an undrafted player in Jason Peters. To make matters worse, 2002 was a strong draft in which the Bills passed on the likes of Bryant McKinnie, Quinton Jammer, Dwight Freeney, John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth for Williams. Taking Williams instead of Mount McKinnie was a huge error in player evaluation.

Miami Dolphins: Ted Ginn Jr. (OhioSt) – 9th-Overall Pick, 2007
The Dolphins were wise to pass on Brady Quinn, but taking a poor receiver and only a returner with a top-10 pick was terrible decision-making. It was a painful pick as Ginn was taken instead of some studs like Patrick Willis, Marshawn Lynch and Darrelle Revis. Ginn didn’t last long in Miami before becoming a journeyman. The drafting of Ginn did lead to one of the most hilarious quotes in recent draft history when then Dolphins coach Cam Cameron said the team was not only getting Ginn, but they were getting his family as well. Ginn and his family didn’t prevent the Dolphins from landing the No. 1 overall pick in 2008 and almost going winless in 2007.

New England Patriots: Ken Sims (Texas) – 1st-Overall Pick, 1982
Sims never lived up to the hype and was known as a player who wouldn’t practice. That earned him the nickname of “Game Day” because he said that is when he would show up. However, Sims collected only 17 sacks in his career and missed a lot of games. He was taken a few picks ahead of Jim McMahon, who beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl a few years later. TNew England also passed on Marcus Allen and Mike Munchak in the top 10 for Sims.

New York Jets: Kyle Brady (PaSt) – 9th-Overall Pick, 1995
The Jets provide the problem of a lot of options to choose from including Vernon Gholston, Roger Vick(RB-TexAM) and Mike Nugent. However, Brady is the worst pick in franchise history. With the fans in New York chanting for Warren Sapp to be the pick, the Jets passed on the future Hall of Famer for a blocking tight end with the ninth pick. New York already had a good tight end on the roster in Johnny Mitchell, so this pick was stupid in so many different ways.

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos: Tommy Maddox (UCLA) – 25th-Overall Pick, 1992
This pick made zero sense. The Broncos had John Elway in the prime of his great Hall of Fame career, yet spent a first-round pick on a backup quarterback. Maddox was a bust in the NFL before rehabbing a year in the XFL and then having some success as the quarterback for the Steelers. Maddox wasn’t a bad player, but this has to be one of the most questionable first-rounders in NFL draft history.  This was more about the arrogance of Dan Reeves telling Elway who runs this team by not drafting the WR Elway wanted.

Kansas City Chiefs: Todd Blackledge (PaSt) – 7th-Overall Pick, 1983
Blackledge was the dud of the 1983 NFL Draft’s famed quarterback class. The Chiefs took him instead of Jim Kelly or Dan Marino, who went later to the Bills and Dolphins respectively. Even lesser quarterbacks like Tony Eason and Ken O’Brien had some success for their teams. Blackledge never put together success for the Chiefs, and the quarterbacks they passed on for him made it even more painful. Taking Blackledge was the worst pick in franchise history.  But has become the best announcer in the QB class of ’83 – which is nice.

Oakland Raiders: JaMarcus Russell (LSU) – 1st-Overall Pick, 2007
This was an easy choice. Russell was viewed to be a future superstar with his huge size and one of the strongest arms to come into the NFL this century – except for those that saw him play regularly in college, calling him peanut-head. He was a disaster from the get-go as he had a rookie holdout that started the quick tailspin of his career. Russell got overweight and out of shape, plus demonstrated a poor work ethic. He also had a problem with codeine-infused cough syrup. In 31 starts, Russell completed 52 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. He didn’t take his NFL career seriously and was unable to get another shot with another team after the Raiders conceded he was a lost cause. Considering a couple potential Hall of Famers went right after Russell in Calvin Johnson and Joe Thomas, Russell is easily the worst pick in franchise history. The Raiders also passed on Darrelle Revis, Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch and Patrick Willis with that pick.

San Diego Chargers: Ryan Leaf (Wazzu) – 2nd-Overall Pick, 1998
After playing well in his first two games, Leaf became perhaps the most epic bust in NFL history. He threw interceptions consistently and was unable to handle being a professional athlete. Leaf went through screaming matches with general manager Bobby Beathard and blew up at a reporter to such a degree that the clip is, to this day, shown regularly on NFL Network. Leaf threw 36 interceptions with only 14 touchdown passes over 21 starts while completing only 48 percent of his passes. The pick of Leaf is easily the biggest bust in San Diego’s draft history.  It also wouldn’t be the only time Ryan Leaf and bust would be written in the same sentence.

NFC NORTH

Chicago Bears: Curtis Enis (PaSt) – 5th-Overall Pick, 1998
Ryan Leaf wasn’t the only mega bust of 1998. Andre Wadsworth and Grant Wistrom were also major disappointments. The Bears took Enis in the top 10, and he was a massive miss for Chicago. It was a terrible evaluation as Fred Taylor was taken a few picks later by the Jaguars. Enis didn’t have the speed to be an effective back in the NFL, and injuries put him on the sideline a lot as well. He only lasted three seasons with Chicago and was a mega bust for the Bears.

Detroit Lions: Joey Harrington (Oregon) – 3rd-Overall Pick, 2002
There are a lot to pick from here including Mike Williams(usc), Charles Rogers(MichSt), Andre Ware(Houston) and Reggie Rogers(UW), but Harrington stands out because he was a huge bust and a mega reach at the time. The Lions forced the pick of Harrington, who was completely overmatched in the NFL. Not only was he ineffective on the field, sources say that Harrington was a terrible teammate and hated in the Detroit locker room. Harrington ended the coaching career of Steve Mariucci as the Detroit brass forced Harrington on Mariucci.  It could also be said that the hiring of Mariucci is included, #overrated.

Green Bay Packers: Tony Mandarich (MichSt) – 2nd-Overall Pick, 1989
This was an easy choice. Mandarich was a mega bust for the Packers as the steroid freak never lived up to his billing. He was an ineffective blocker after being labelled as one of the best offensive line prospects ever. To make matters even more painful, Green Bay took Mandarich instead of Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas or Deion Sanders. This is one of the biggest draft busts, and one of the worst picks, in the history of the NFL when you consider the Packers passed on three Hall of Famers.

Minnesota Vikings: Troy Williamson (SCar) – 7th-Overall Pick, 2005
The Vikings traded away Randy Moss in his prime and replaced him with Williamson. He was massive disappointment as he only played three seasons for Minnesota. Williamson notched only three touchdowns with the Vikings and didn’t have a single season of 40 receptions or 500 yards. He barely played in two seasons with the Jaguars before he was out of the NFL. The Vikings compounded the Moss mistake by trading a second-day pick for him when he was clearly on the decline. Having Williamson go bust helped lead to that second mistake.

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta Falcons: Jamaal Anderson (Arkansas) – 8th-Overall Pick, 2007
Falcons then general manager Rich McKay made an awful selection of Anderson, and that helped lead to McKay being “demoted” to just team president and losing control of shaping the Atlanta roster. Anderson was terrible in his time as a Falcon and completely ineffective. A few picks after Anderson was picked, Atlanta saw Patrick Willias, Marshawn Lynch and Darrelle Revis get snatched up. This was an epic failure for the Falcons, but the silver lining was it led to Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith taking over, and Matt Ryan to come with them.

Carolina Panthers: Rae Carruth (CU) – 27th-Overall Pick, 1997
This was a tough pick with Jason Peter (Neb) and Tim Biakabutuka (Mich). The latter dealt with injuries that robbed him of his career, but the Panthers passed on Eddie George for him. Peter just flat out stunk. Carruth though is the worst pick in franchise history because character concerns were ignored in his selection. A few years later, Carruth had his pregnant girlfriend murdered.

New Orleans Saints: Jonathan Sullivan (UGA) – 6th-Overall Pick, 2003
The Saints had two first-round picks in the 2003 NFL Draft and traded both of them to move up and select Sullivan. He was an epic bust as he had only 1.5 sacks in three seasons with New Orleans. He was given away to the Patriots, but they didn’t tolerate Sullivan long before cutting him, and he was out of the NFL within four years of being drafted. To make matters worse, the Saints passed on Vikings/Seahawks great defensive tackle Kevin Williams when they took Sullivan.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman (KState)- 17th-Overall Pick, 2009
This was a tough call as Eric Curry, Keith McCants, and Reidel Anthony were all huge disappointments. However, the Josh Freeman pick from 2009 unceremoniously ended a successful stretch for Tampa Bay. Since the Bucs busted on Freeman, they have gone 30-66 with zero playoff appearances. The only team worse in that stretch is the Jaguars at 29-67. Freeman had one good season in 2010 from smoke and mirrors used by offensive coordinator Greg Olson, but Freeman had accuracy issues in college that were completely ignored by general manager Mark Dominik. Those problems persisted and led to Freeman completely falling apart while throwing lots of interceptions. He also developed off-the-field problems and lost his focus on football. The pick of Freeman set the franchise back.

NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys: Kevin Brooks (Mich) – 17th-Overall Pick, 1985
Dallas wanted to take Jerry Rice with the pick used on Brooks, but the 49ers traded up and beat them to the punch. That made the Brooks pick especially painful as Rice is one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL while Brooks had 12.5 sacks in four seasons with the Cowboys. They dropped him, and he didn’t do much with the Lions in two seasons.

New York Giants: Dave Brown (Duke) – 1991 Supplemental Draft 1st-Round Pick
This was a tough choice with Cedric Jones, Ron Dayne and William Joseph all being contenders. However, the Giants used a first-round pick on Brown to replace Phil Simms and Jeff Hostetler. Brown started for a few years, but he couldn’t complete 60 percent of his passes and threw more interceptions than touchdowns. The Giants moved on from him, and Brown was ineffective for the Cardinals. He is perhaps the biggest bust in the history of the New York Giants.

Philadelphia Eagles: Leroy Keyes (Purdue) – 3rd-Overall Pick, 1969
Keyes was a very painful pick. The Steelers took Joe Greene one pick later and he went on to dominate the NFL. Keyes ran for only 369 yards and three touchdowns in his NFL career. Another Hall of Famer and a half-dozen pro bowlers were selected after Keyes went off the board to the Eagles. It was a very regrettable draft for the Eagles.  Tebow will help them forget.

Washington Redskins: Desmond Howard (Mich) – 4th-Overall Pick, 1992
Howard was supposed to follow the great trio of Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders as the next great Redskins receiver. However, Howard was terrible as a wideout and was only useful on special teams. In three seasons with the Redskins, Howard caught just 10 passes. Washington also traded up giving away two first-rounders and a third-round pick to move from No. 6 to No. 4 and leap frog Green Bay. Howard ended up helping the Packers to win a Super Bowl after the Redskins dumped him.

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals: Andre Wadsworth (FSU) – 3rd-Overall Pick, 1998
Wadsworth was a great college player, but he didn’t even last four years in the NFL. To make matters worse, Charles Woodson went one pick later along with some other good players like Fred Taylor, Takeo Spikes and Tra Thomas. Wadsworth had only eight sacks in three years for the Cardinals. He isn’t remembered as much because Ryan Leaf went one pick ahead of him, but he was still a huge bust for Arizona.

San Francisco 49ers: Jim Druckenmiller (VaTech) – 26th-Overall Pick, 1997
You could consider Lance Alworth (HOF) since he signed with the Oakland Raiders of the AFL instead of San Francisco. Druckenmiller though marked the downturn of the 49ers’ dynasty. This was a pathetic first-round pick as Miller only started one game for the team and was dumped after two seasons. He was with Miami in 1999 before falling out of the NFL. Druckenmiller was supposed to replace Steve Young, but San Francisco was lucky that it signed Jeff Garcia. While Garcia didn’t win a championship, he got the 49ers to the postseason a few times and wasn’t inept like Druckenmiller.  Moral of the Story, the downturn begins again and this time it’s for real.

Seattle Seahawks: Dan McGwire (SDSU) – 16th-Overall Pick, 1991
This was a tough call between McGwire and Aaron Curry, but quarterback busts are always more painful. Those epic missteps also can lead to series of losing seasons and other desperate moves at the quarterback position. That was the case with McGwire. After he went bust, the Seahawks had another one in Rick Mirer while trying to replace McGwire. McGwire only threw two touchdowns, six interceptions and 745 yards in his NFL career. He only lasted four seasons in Seattle with only five starts.

St. Louis Rams: Lawrence Phillips (Neb) – 6th-Overall Pick, 1996
Phillips was supposed to be the feature player for Dick Vermeil’s St. Louis resurgence, but Phillips was a mega bust on and off the field. He ran for just over 630 yards in back-to-back seasons before the Rams admitted that he was a sunk cost and got rid of him. Phillips flamed out in Miami and San Francisco before his off-the-field problems landed him in prison. Phillips’ horrible character was evident at Nebraska but the Rams drafted him anyway. There was no excuse to take him, and the organization should have known better.  He is the yardstick that all red-flags are measured, or at least should be.