Dan TM's Blog

Ty Jet requested a number of predictions.  Most of them won't take long, so I'll do them all at once.  First....

Today's absurd prediction:

Bill Belichick will wear a suit for one game this season.

How many NFL coaches will wear suits next season?

We know Mike Nolan and Jack Del Rio, the pioneers of the suit's resurgence, will wear a suit as much as Reebok allows them to.  As for the others?  Most NFL coaches are kind of set in their ways and want to be comfortable/flexible on the sidelines.  Surprisingly, Bill Belichick is one of the few coaches mentioned in a USA Today article last year who suggested he'd consider it.  I wouldn't put it past the notoriously drab Belichick to break character and wear a suit as a self-deprecating joke.  But the likes of Gibbs, Dungy, Holmgren, Reid, Fox, Shanahan, etc. won't be dressing up anytime soon.  The article I read suggested that Jeff Fisher might be the type to don a suit, but he said no.  So I'm going to assume most of the second- and third-year coaches also decline to throw on a suit.  But let's look at the rookies, shall we?

If you do a google image search for Wade Phillips, Mike Tomlin, Bobby Petrino, Cam Cameron, Lane Kiffin, Ken Whisenhunt, and Norv Turner, you'll see that only two cared to look good at press conferences: Tomlin and Petrino.  The rest wore suits because they were supposed to, but didn't seem interested in selling the look.  Petrino wore a great suit when he was introduced as Atlanta's head coach--clearly he or someone who dresses him has good fashion sense.  Tomlin had a well-cut suit and a nice tie in team-appropriate colors, but it wasn't anything exciting.  And one also has to consider location.  Blue-collar cities like Pittsburgh don't want their coach wearing a suit.  It doesn't fit the Steeler image. 

So to answer the question, I'm going to say four - Nolan, Del Rio, Petrino, and Belichick.  And if Mr. Sweatshirt doesn't go for the suit, someone else might surprise me, so four isn't a bad guess.

Second question: which punter will have the most fumbles this year?

It's very hard to find stats on punters fumbling, actually.  I was hoping to base this somewhat on last year's leader.  But I'm going to go with Dustin Colquitt of the Chiefs.  He has a new long snapper in Jean-Phillipe Darche, and a lot of change in the offensive line, none of it for the better.  So he'll face some pressure, and he doesn't have years of chemistry built up with his snapper.

Third question:  What coach will have the best/worst instant replay success rate?

It'd be easy to pick Mike Holmgren for the worst - he's been the worst since the replay system was reactivated - but when have I been one to take the easy pick? 

So I'm going to think about what makes Holmgren throw the flag so much?  Well, he used to be on the competition committee.  He roundly criticized the officiating after the Super Bowl two Februaries ago.  He is, more than anyone else in the league, qualified to tell the refs how to do their job.  And bad calls anger him more than the average guy.  So who else is like that? 

Unfortunately, the best data I can find on this is two years old.  The five worst teams, according to The News Tribune, were Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, New Orleans, and San Diego.  None of the head coaches responsible for those teams (besides Holmgren) are still head coaches.  Dan Reeves/Jim Mora Jr., Dom Capers, Jim Haslett, and Mike Riley/Marty Schottenheimer. 

The list of the five best teams is a little more helpful.  Andy Reid is at the top, with San Francisco (Steve Mariucci/Dennis Erickson), Chicago (Dick Jauron/Lovie Smith), Jacksonville (Tom Coughlin/Jack Del Rio), and Cleveland (Chris Palmer/Butch Davis/Terry Robiskie).  Five of these guys are still in the league as head coaches.  Del Rio, Jauron, Smith, and Reid in the same list makes sense - all are the unflappable type, and the latter three among the nicest coaches in the league.  Coughlin doesn't fit so much. 

This is really kind of a crapshoot, but I'm going to go with Romeo Crennel having the worst, due to how bad Cleveland's luck as a city seems to be, and how much is on the line for Crennel this season.  And Dick Jauron will have the best - just for the sake of not choosing Reid.  Besides, Jauron's such a nice guy.  He'll give the refs the benefit of the doubt if he's not sure.

Fourth question:  What non-quarterbacks will have the best/worst passer ratings?

I'll start by predicting that Cameron calls the most gimmick plays, so Miami's guys are likely to get a few pass attempts.  Last year I believe the "worst" honor went to Reggie Bush, Hank Baskett, and Ronald Curry.  Bush and Baskett each threw one pass and it was intercepted for a rating of 0.0.  Curry threw two, an interception and an incompletion.  Last year's leader among non-QBs was a tie between Mewelde Moore and Ryan Longwell, both for Minnesota.  They each threw one pass for a touchdown, one 16 yards and one 15 yards, both of which result in a 158.3 QB rating.  The non-QBs who threw the most passes were LaDainian Tomlinson and Antwaan Randle El.  Randle El had the higher rating since his 88 yards trump Tomlinson's 20 (though LT threw two touchdowns and Randle El only got one). 

Randle El is my pick to take the crown this year, because he still has the same coordinator and head coach.  I'm thinking he'll go 3 for 4 with 80+ yards again and a TD, which should be enough to beat any one-hit wonder like Moore.  As for the worst, well, there's likely to be a logjam at the bottom again - no completions and any interceptions gets you a 0.0.  I'm going to go with a Miami guy here, thanks to Cameron, and say Ronnie Brown.  He got a pass attempt last year, so it's likely he'll get one under the guy who designed all of LT's TD passes over the past few years.  But he's not LaDainian, and he'll screw it up.

Fifth and final question:  How many sports hernias will be suffered this year?



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