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The amazing value of pigs

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Did y'all know that pigs can catch eat rattlesnakes and will even seek them out as favored meals? I have only recently absorbed this information and am often surprised by what I learn about the "wonderful, magical animal" that can also produce bacon, pork, and ham. You had me at bacon oh great Sus Scrofa Domesticus.

Football:

Let's begin here with Sailor Ripley's link to the subway guy claiming Colt is the most valuable pick in the draft. He has eight reasons we shall peruse. I always loved Colt (except in a pessimistic slump after the 2007 season when I wondered if he could lead a team to a championship) but I'm pretty skeptical of this claim.

1). Colt has started in and won lots of games:

True, he has the resilience and toughness of a winner. Playing on a team too talented to expect more than 3 losses per year helped a great deal as well though. Dennis Dixon in the Vince shotgun-read offense might have won a comparable number of games in 4 years, or any number of option-quarterbacks not suited to the current narrow-minded NFL.

2). Colt McCoy is accurate:

Chris Applewhite always responds to this with "high completion percentage does not equal accuracy" and that Colt's success has resulted from timing and tons of short throws. Jerod acknowledges this and points out that the Browns are a West-Coast timing team now with Holmgren in charge. I think that's a strong point but if his value is dependent on going to a West-Coast team that hurts the argument favoring him as the most valuable since he consequently wouldn't be very valuable for an offense like the Colts or the Ravens that rely on deep throws.

3). Value, value, value?

The point here is that because he was a 3rd round pick to a team that won't thrust him into the starting role immediately he has a lot of value. This may be true if he's successful or a worthwhile backup but otherwise he's a waste of a pick that could have gone to a linebacker or safety that was more of a sure thing. We can't know because I lost my crystal ball in a bet with Trips Right involving how many times Scipio would say "synergy" in a prepared speech in the break room about making Sailor Ripley pony up for real sugar.

4). Colt will be motivated by his natural competitiveness and sucky draw in the BCS title.

I expect nothing less myself. Of course if he has a low ceiling as an NFL quarterback this won't much matter.

5). McCoy can be the face of a franchise:

Another strong point, so long as he amounts to a starting quarterback. It's also interesting that it always hurts players more and draws more media coverage when the athlete was arrested for a DUI then if they consistently lived by conviction. Except for Gator jesus.

6). McCoy makes the Delhomme signing infinitely more valuable.

...if Delhomme is instrumental in Colt's development...really? Jake Delhomme is a bottom tier NFL quarterback, he is abysmal. If he's all that's between Colt and starting then #12 is in for a quick baptism of fire. Having Delhomme as a quarterback mentor is like bringing in Tyrone Biggums to discuss avoiding drug use. "Turnovers is all around you! That lurking linebacker, turnover! The zone-blitz, turnover!"

7). Colt said about his selection, "You won't regret it and we'll win a lot of games."

Something about that struck with Jerod like the 5 dollar foot long song. The only thing that stands out to me is the omission of a God reference.

8). Value again

I thought this was what was going to be concluded. The real point here is that Colt was selected low enough where failure on his part doesn't hurt the franchise while success will multiply his value. Of course this is true for any player selected in the 3rd round and beyond and he's assuming Colt's ceiling is higher than all the other 3rd, 4rth, 5th, and 6th round picks.

In conclusion, I think McCoy was worth drafting for his toughness and solid skillset and the fact that he went low makes him a potential oil strike but I don't think that's likely enough to warrant draft MVP status. Some good thoughts though by the fast food weight loss champion.

Now I'll stick my own neck on the line in answering acho81's call from BurntOrangeNation.

1). Who is our best overall player?
I'll say Gilbert though he may have a few growing pains early in the season. He looks like the best pocket passer since Chris Simms with a better history of finishing ahead in the clutch and adjusting to pressure in the pocket. Sacho, Randall, and Aaron Williams would be my other considerations with Malcolm Williams, Okafor, and Scott as darkhorse candidates.

2). Best offensive player?

Fozzy Whittaker. No, obviously Gilbert again.

3). Best defensive player?

I think Acho has the best resume but his potential shift to tackle could change that formula. I'm fairly certain that Randall is going to make a leap into excellence but I'll go with Aaron Williams here for his stunning versatility, lockdown abilities and forthcoming turnovers.

4). Which departed player are we going to miss the most?

I think this is strongly contingent on their replacements. Obviously Colt was very valuable but his replacement is a high caliber player. I think Sergio Kindle can be replaced by the Oak-Jones Cerberus monster. To me that leaves the Earl of Pickshire, Lamarr Houston and Jordan Shipley. Scipio pointed out that Earl's turnover replacement will probably have to come from forced fumbles by Christian Scott and Gideon/Vaccaro? That seems a less than certain occurence but the Browns and AJ will probably get more picks in year 2 as consistent starters.

Houston being replaced is tough. His transition from "defensive end about to make the leap" to "dominant 3-tech tackle" required 2 offseasons and a full season to take effect and I'm not sure Acho Ocho uno can make it as quickly. He's almost certainly smart enough but big and strong enough?

Then we have Jordan Shipley who was/is far more advanced a route runner and punisher over the middle than anyone yet on the roster. Goodwin won't be at that level yet and Chiles hasn't demonstrated the mental or physical toughness.

What's likely to punish this team more? Lack of interior pressure on defense or the loss of the most reliable receiving option and biggest skill player weapon? I'm going with Ship. You might also make the case that Ulatoski's strong if not excellent pass-protection will be sorely missed except that his departure has been a part of what has necessitated the move under center which should be an overall plus.

5). Who will have a bigger 10' impact, Jeffcoat or Hicks?

Given the hype around Keenan Robinson's talent and his apparent assumption of team leadership I don't think Hicks will take over at Weakside linebacker any time soon and I don't think his body is ready to play inside linebacker either. Naturally he won't replace Acho uno ocho so that leaves back-up duty and special teams.

Jeffcoat has to work against Acho ocho uno, Oak and Jones for pass-rushing duties but Muschamp will certainly go small with pressure packages and some man-blitzes at times. Additionally, while Jeffcoat has yet to put on enough good weight while maintaining his basketball shape he's at a higher technique level for his position than Hicks and would most likely play in space in the buck position where lack of upperclassmen strength is less of a blow. So you have special teams duties, back-up duty and potential package looks. Game Jeffcoat.

6). Who do y'all think will have a breakout season?

Kheeston Randall, Gilbert, Scott, Robinson, Snow, Curtis Brown, Oak-Jones, AJ (to even greater stardom), and uh...Chiles maybe. College football by nature sees breakout players on most every team.

7). Are there any players you guys think will be national awards winners/finalists?

Tough call depending on where certain guys end up position-wise. I've written before that I'm not sure where else Aaron Williams plays except at nickel back where he won't have the same opportunities as an outside corner or safety for turnovers. Much like Eric Berry last year struggling to rack up a ton of picks playing against the slot. Similar with Sacho for the reasons listed above. As a defensive end? Almost certainly. As a defensive tackle? Maybe. Maybe one of the Browns for Thorpe. Probably no one on offense. The defensive talent on this team will be found in overall quantity OF quality rather than in concentrated doses of elite play. The lack of weaknesses in a one-gap defense is what achieves greatness.

Plus pressure and turnovers.

Basketball:

In 2006 the Mavs were well built to take advantage of the NBA's transition towards penetration and control by wings and guards with a backcourt featuring a younger fast Jason Terry, young and fast Devin Harris, and then a host of great jump shooters with Nowitzki (playing at his highest level) and Stackhouse and backed by the Erick Dampier-Desagna Diop special who, combined, made for a strong center with a lot of fouls to give.

Now they have older, slower, less reliable Jason Terry and slow Jason Kidd in the backcourt. Instead of blowing past everyone in the West they are getting pantsed by George Hill, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili to the point where a Duncan performance of 4 points was enough to earn the win. Then you have "best in the west" Erick Dampier" to protect the rim...

Meanwhile the Lakers traded Ariza to afford Odom's resigning, replaced him with aging Ron Artest and failed to address their achilles heel PG and doomed themselves to another year of Derek "the Maginot Line" Fisher. Slow perimeter defense is punishable in this league unto death by high screen.

I like the Thunder in this series if they can steal game 6 in LA which seems more likely after the discovery that Durant presents another Shane Battier against Kobe in the 4rth quarter along with the fact that it's the Lakers 2nd consecutive post-season of arrogance in the early rounds. If they get to 7 I'm sure they finish in LA and advance to draw Deron Williams and a stout Utah team followed by the rejuvenated and faster Spurs. Unless the Candyman can I think hubris brings down the Zen Master's beats.

Art/Culture:

I saw the Big Lebowski and while it was certainly funny I think it just about breaks even with the better Wes Anderson films and "Raising Arizona". Unless you are perpetually stoned and/or think Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the gospel I don't see how this movie beats out Dr. Strangelove, Spinal Tap or Team America and is less than a lock for the Top 10.

Fantastic job by both Goodman and Bridges but the failure to include The jesus in more than 2 scenes was an unforgivable mistake and Sam Elliot contributed next to nothing to my experience with his finishing monologue.