Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Sheepdog's Pick Is In

I doubt anyone is as ready as I am for football season to get started. I've already spent some time working on fantasy football draft boards and may have watched more of the 2017 NFL Draft than any others of my lifetime. Mainly, I was not only interested in which team would pick Florida State running back Dalvin Cook, but I just missed football. I think there are a number of teams that passed on Cook who will eventually realize they made a HUGE mistake.

National Football League Draft
National Football League Draft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Back in March, I wrote an article expressing my opinion and displeasure with the direction I perceived the Pittsburgh Steelers to be headed in, and, that after 40 years of following them, I was ready to move on. In my opinion, today's Steelers have left their blue collar roots. In fact, regarding the Steelers, I suspect my feelings are similar to Ronald Reagan's when he said, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party, The Democratic Party left me." Well, I'm not leaving the Steelers, the Steelers have left me. Click here to read my article if you missed it.

In the 3 months since I wrote that article, I don't feel that things have gotten any better in Pittsburgh. For instance, one drama queen, Antonio Brown, has now been given a mega contract, which I expect will only encourage even more drama queenness from him, and the other drama queen, Le'Veon Bell, is sitting out OTA's, basically pouting, in order to wrangle a mega contract of his own out of the Steelers. My opinion is that just as it was a mistake to pay Brown, it would be an even bigger mistake to pay Bell with his injury history and being suspended for parts of 2 seasons for violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy. I think that paying both of them will finish sinking the organization. However, I suspect that eventually the Steelers will give in and do so. Personally, I would have traded both of them prior to the draft. Some sucker would have given a minimum of a 2nd round pick for each, and likely a 1st.

About a week after I wrote the Steelers' article, I posted another ranking and explaining which teams I was considering moving to. Click here to read that article. There were 6 on the list ranked as follows:
  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  2. Oakland Raiders
  3. Indianapolis Colts
  4. Arizona Cardinals
  5. Atlanta Falcons
  6. Detroit Lions
Oakland Raiders logo
Oakland Raiders logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today, I'll share which team I picked, but honestly, the rankings didn't change much. Detroit stayed at 6, and Atlanta at 5. However, Oakland dropped from 2 down to 4. Why? Honestly, I grew weary of the drama regarding the move to Las Vegas. I also have concerns that even though a Raiders move to Vegas has a nice ring to it and is kinda cool, it's riddled with problems. For example, the city of Oakland now hates the team and wants it gone sooner rather than later, and according to a couple of articles I've read about the Las Vegas stadium financing deal, I can't help but wonder if a crash and burn might be coming. Another question is after a promising 2016, prior to Derek Carr's injury, will the distraction of the move prove too much for this young team to handle and 2017, and the years to come, be a disappointment in terms of not living up to expectations?

Overall, the Raiders dropped, because after getting sick of all the Steelers' drama, I've had enough of it. Been there. Done that. I just want people to shut up and play football.

The Raiders falling to 4 moved Indianapolis up to 2 and Arizona to 3 by default. However, after the Raiders dropped, it was in reality a 2-horse race between Tampa and Indy. Who would win out would be decided by the NFL draft and the future of Johnny Manziel and Colin Kaepernick. If one of those would have been signed by either team in free agency, then, in regards to my rankings, that team would have suffered the same fate as the Raiders. The real wild card in the whole thing was Dalvin Cook and who drafted him. I loved watching that kid play at FSU. Where would he go?

I had Cook pegged to go to either Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, or Philadelphia based upon his skill set as a multi-purpose running back. Some of the sportswriters had him going to Carolina or Jacksonville, but I didn't feel like he was a good fit either place. I felt like those teams would look for more physical, bigger, bruising type backs, not Cook.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
First round came and went. Cook's still on the board. As it approached the middle of the 2nd round, I thought surely Indy or Philly would grab him, and if Tampa wanted him, they would have to trade up. Then, the Minnesota Vikings surprised everyone by trading up to pick Cook. Since the Vikes had signed Latavius Murray in free agency a few months before, them taking Cook was not anywhere on my radar. Congratulations to Dalvin. He earned his 2nd round selection. Vikings fans should be excited.

So, with the draft out of the way and having no influence over my team selection, I continued to watch free agency. When Tampa Bay signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to backup Jameis Winston, I felt like that ended any chance of Manziel or Kaepernick going down there. Plus, I haven't heard anything out of the Buccaneers since I wrote my original ranking article back in March that would warrant dropping them from the #1 ranking.

Therefore, after 40 years of rolling with the Black and Gold, I switching colors to Red and Pewter and rolling with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I'm kinda excited about it, too. It's a new beginning with a young team with much potential. Kinda wish Mrs. Sheepdog was making the move with me, but she's sticking it out in Steelers Nation. So, I guess I'll be splitting time this fall watching the Steelers and the Buccaneers.



bhawesh said...

i love this game, thank you very much sharing this post.. please keep it up sir.

bhawesh said...

hello sir,
this is a very nice blog, The average American of today is intellectually so far removed from his forebears
that instead of regarding government with apprehension,he is more likely to regard it as a virtual parent,concerned only with protecting him and helping him.
thanks for sharing this post, please keep it up sir.

The Second Chance Sheepdog said...

Thank you

The Second Chance Sheepdog said...

I made a horrible pick - Tom Brady as the new Bucs' QB? No thanks, Bucs. I'm out!

I'll just tolerate Mike Tomlin's circus in Pittsburgh.