I don't have many comments about the Michigan/CMU game. I had to work the Michigan volleyball game that afternoon and due to the weather delay I only saw up until halftime. I still don't get the panic though. Yes, I too would have liked to have seen Henne throw the ball once in awhile. A downfield pass or two might have been helpful. But at the same time, they've literally shown Notre Dame nothing. The preseason is over. We took care of the teams that we needed to beat, and now it's time to play for keeps.
The good news is that Mike Hart is healthy coming into this game, which is huge. Due to the fact that we threw the ball about 6 times last week, the new zone blocking scheme has gotten plenty of reps in game conditions. I don't see any reason that we shouldn't be able to run the ball on Notre Dame and keep AJ Hawk's brother-in-law off the field (That right there is the kind of knowledge that you can only get from The Blog That Yost Built. I bet you had no idea that Brady Quinn's sister was married to AJ Hawk).
It also needs to be mentioned that as bad as Michigan's defense was last year, we only gave up 17 points and 140 passing yards to the Irish. I'd take that kind of effort against Quinn again this year. Especially if we can get Shawn "WHY WE ONLY GOT FOUR GUYS" Crable or Woodley into the backfield to lay the wood to him a few times.
It's going to be interesting, that's for sure. I'm very excited to be going to the game, but at the same time, I'm going to be missing a lot of good football games on tv. I can't believe the slate for this weekend. Here's to a great big Meeeechigan victory, and the Cardinals giving Miami a little payback.
To the other football game of this past weekend:
Losing 26-0 to the Bears is not the way I wanted to start the season. After the game, I felt like someone punched me in the stomach repeatedly and then told me that Jack Johnson went pro. But after a week of reflection, I really don't feel all that bad about the game anymore.
The Packers were clearly overmatched coming into the game. The Bears are a legit NFC Contender and the Packers were breaking in a rookie head coach, three new starters on an offensive line that's learning a new blocking scheme, a fullback making his first start, a rookie WR, and six new starters on defense under a new defensive coordinator. Not to mention a new kicker and punter.
But overall, Favre played ok. He protected the ball well until the game was out of reach and he started winging it. The two INTs are nothing to be concerned about (especially since one of them wouldn't have happened had a blatant pass interference call been flagged).
The best sign was that Ahman Green ran the ball pretty well. He had some burst, he showed the ability to make one cut and hit the hole (which Gado couldn't seem to figure out, hence the trade today...which was still a surprise to me). If he can be back full strength, he could be the key to turning that offense around.
The offensive line hurt them. Every time the Packers would start to put a drive together, there would be an untimely hold or sack allowed. Moll screwed up on the 4th and inches and cost them a first down (though Green actually got it on the play before). But when you have rookie guards, things like that are going to happen. What was really shocking was how bad Clifton and Tauscher played though. Can't have that.
Despite the 26 points allowed, the defense was actually pretty darn good. 7 was on a punt return and 3 was gifted to the Bears via a Noah Herron fumbled kickoff. That means that despite being on the field for 20 minutes or so in the first half, and being put in bad field position, the defense essentially allowed just 16 points. And the touchdown was just a blown coverage by a safety that's just coming off an injury and hasn't gotten many reps. Kampman was active, Barnett and Hawk were getting to the ball. The one downer was Brady Poppinga "covering" the tight end the way Brandon Williams used to not cover wide receivers. Ugh.
The Bears are one of the toughest teams they'll face all year. It sucks to get hit in the junk like that right out of the gate, but as long as they learn from it and improve because of it, they'll be ok. I expected some lumps early on, but I think around the midway point of this season they'll start to become a pretty good football team. Especially if Green can run like he did Sunday.
As for Koren Robinson: Character risk, no doubt. But I imagine that it's a fairly risk-free contract for the Packers. If he screws up again, he's gone. That simple. And as long as he's not suspended or in jail, they get a Pro Bowl return man, and a WR with potential, who is clearly better than Robert Ferguson or Ruvell Martin. Add in Morency and they drastically upgraded their special teams this week. No more Noah Herron fumbles.
Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't comment on the absurd contract that Rick DiPietro was given by the New York Islanders. What dude? Even ignoring the fact that he hasn't proven to be anything special and that if he gets hurt this year and has to call it quits, the Islanders are facing $5 million in dead money on their cap for the next decade and a half, the contract still makes no sense. Why would you give anyone that kind of deal, especially when the money is guaranteed? I wouldn't give Alexander freaking Ovechkin a 15 year deal at this point, simply because too much can happen.
What if he proves to be nothing more than an average goalie? You're locked into him until you draft a player who at this time is three years old. That contract makes him more untradable than Charles Rogers was.
You would think that the Islanders of all teams would know not to sign a player for that long of a term after that ridiculous contract they gave Alexei Yashin (which has worked out really well by the way).
There's no possible way to justify it. Sure he could turn out to be the best goalie in the league, and then you've got him at a bargain price. But chances are that by the end of the contract, he's not going to be great. What goalies have been stars at the age of 40? Hasek. Roy was close. Belfour was very good the year before the lockout as a 38 year old. But that's pretty much your list in recent history.
Even if you think the guy is an absolute stud, why not a 7 or 8 year contract? You'd still lock him in through his prime. He's more tradable toward the end of the contract if you decide to go in a different direction. And if he gets hurt, you're only screwed for half as many years.
Apart from finding a way to top "We fired our GM and hired our backup goalie" as the most screwed up sports headline of the summer, there's no other justification for this deal. It's franchise-crippling at worst, and reckless & irresponsible at absolute best.