Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun said today that Patriots’ free agent RB Fred Taylor told him that he was “basically retired”. This is not any surprise if it turns out to be true, but it is somewhat sad if Taylor’s career ends this way. Though shackled with the nickname of ‘Fragile Fred’ by less than appreciative fans, Taylor was one of the better running backs in the history of the NFL. He has six seasons averaging over 80 yards per game and carried the ball over 220 times seven times. Here are a few of Taylor’s rankings on all-time NFL career leader boards:
- 15th in rushing yards (11,695)
- 21st in rushing attempts (2,534)
- 21st in rushing yards per game (76.4)
- 22nd in number of touches (2,824)
- 25th in yards from scrimmage (14,079)
- 32nd in rushing touchdowns (32)
- 60th in rushing yards per attempt (4.6)
- 63rd in rushing/receiving touchdowns (74)
Obviously those numbers show once and for all that his reputation of being “fragile” is erroneous. However, that characterization will undoubtedly follow Taylor as people attempt to put his career in perspective. And that label, along with his making it to zero Super Bowls and only one Pro Bowl will most likely be just enough to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
In general I am not much of a fan of espn, but I am definitely looking forward to Tuesday night’s The Brady 6 documentary. There has been this preview making the rounds with much discussion – and the typical expected but irrelevant commentary. Granted you don’t see an NFL player brought to tears very often, but the reaction by many is laughable. Obviously Brady has a very positive and close relationship with his family. Instead far too many are either focusing on his hair or implying that the guy that has been hit more often than any other quarterback in the NFL over the last five years is lacking in the toughness department. All I can say is that given an opportunity the haters are going to hate, the pot stirrers are going to stir their pots, and the clueless will still be trying to figure out how to buy a vowel.
Two of the top stories on Yahoo’s NFL page: Jenn Sterger is not a gold digger, and Roethlisberger is getting married (but his morality won’t let him live with her until they say their vows). Are they so used to gossip that they don’t know what to write about now that Brett Favre is retired and Rex Ryan has gone undercover? I understand that the lockout has resulted in no player movement via free agency or trades, but that is ridiculous. The NFL Draft is just a few weeks away and these are their top stories? That’s sad, very sad.
On the other end of the spectrum the Natioonal Fotball Post continues to find interesting topics worthy of reading and discussing. For example, Dan Pompei talks about how and why interior lineman are becoming more valuable commodities in the NFL, which rookies will most likely have the most impact next season, the ten best coaches who did not play in the NFL, and a review of what appears to be an incredible book titled Life that he just read by Keith Richards on what it was like to be a member of the Rolling Stones – all in one column. This simply reinforces my spending almost no time at Yahoo, and affirms my decision to spend more time at NFP.
In other non-news, Patriots RB Danny Woodhead was voted off the island by fan voting for what player should be on the cover of the yet to be released video game “Madden ‘12”. The most surprising aspect of this whole story is how many people are closely following it, and how many are getting so worked up about it; perhaps that’s a testament to the ability of espn to manipulate the masses when they decide they want to promote something.
Now I do not subscribe to the theory that there is a curse to being on the cover, despite whatever statistical evidence there may be to the contrary. However, I do prefer to see the Patriots, whether it is individually or collectively lay low and fly under the radar. The team seems to relish playing the role of the disrespected underdog, whether it was when Bill Cowher told his Steelers to make their Super Bowl preparations prior to the AFC Championship Game or if it was Rodney Harrison getting fired up over a perceived slight by the media – even when the team was 14-2.
Players do use emotion as extra fuel – look at the Jets in the playoffs last year, or Tom Brady against the Steelers for example – and I see no need to possibly give another team extra motivation against the Patriots. I realize that sounds far-fetched, but teams and players do respond to real or imagined slights with what extra effort is available at their disposal.
Happy Birthday to WFNX; their playlist of the top 101 songs during their 28-year existence that they are now broadcasting should make for an interesting listen.
On a more sobering note, Pittsburgh’s finest appear to have used a bit more extra effort in escorting a fan out of PNC Park, using tasers and nightsticks. There doesn’t appear to be any question that the fan should be ejected; however the amount of force used is highly questionable. I’m left shaking my head after reading the Pittsburgh police defending their actions.
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