Saturday, November 21, 2009

Feature: If They Played in the NFL

While it's true that I'm pretty late (a week and a half) getting this up, it's for good reason. Someone suggested an athlete that I was extremely intrigued by, but didn't know enough about to do a full write up. And considering the hugeness of the sport in the last 2 weeks, it seemed appropriate to go out and research this guy. Without further ado, I give you:

Floyd "Money" Mayweather
Professional Boxer (Welterweight)
5'8" 146 lbs

Position: We'll get to that

Before I go into what position Floyd would play in the NFL, I need to give a bit of a scouting report on him. Boxing isn't what it used to be in America, so a lot of folks might not know much about Mayweather. After watching a couple of fights, here's the skinny on him:

Mayweather is perhaps best known for his hand speed, and rightly so. He delivers a jab with great quickness, and had great accuracy in his punches to go with that speed. He is also a very technically sound defensive boxer, moving his head extremely well, using his hands effectively, and doing this great shoulder roll that causes quick punches to skim harmlessly away from his face. Floyd had pretty good footwork, but he's not Muhammad Ali in that department. If you're into good fundamental boxing with a bit of flash and showmanship, Floyd Mayweather is your guy.

With that out of the way, what to do with a 146 pound guy in the NFL? In a word, nothing. While I'd love to group him with the likes of Darren Sproles and Maurice Jones-Drew as a tough-as-nails little guy running back, there's no evidence of his actual speed. He doesn't train to run, but to close on an opponent quickly. Also, what benefit does world-class hand speed have for a running back? Exactly. So what is his position, hypothetically?

Position: Defensive End (on, like, a Pop Warner/pee wee league)

Take his size out of the equation, and Money's skills translate beautifully to defensive end. He moves his feet well, and explodes out of his stance in the ring, so he could have a very good first step coming off the line. Fast hands? How about working his hands against an elite left tackle, giving him a good release to the quarterback? Mayweather also has insanely good vision when he's up close on an opponent, so you could count on him to always keep his bearings in the chaos at the line of scrimmage, while always having an eye on the quarterback. I would just love to see Floyd Mayweather roll his shoulder and have Ryan Clady's hands slip right off of him, then get that quick strike to knock the ball out of a quarterback's hand. You're with me on this, right? Amazing! I'd play Floyd at right defensive end, as I see him as a better pass rusher than run stopper.

Of course, a 146 pound devensive lineman would get killed in the NFL, but this is purely hypothetical, right? With a unique athlete like Floyd "Money" Mayweather kicking around, it's fun to imagine what could be.

Hate the analysis? More suggestions? Comment! Also, be sure to hit up the new poll, and click some stupid ads while you're here and make me a few bucks!



A new poll has been posted further down on the right side of the page!

Seeing as how we're at Week 11, the won/loss records are coming into focus, and the dominant teams are separating from the pack. As a result, I think it's time we started talking about the post-season.

So cast your vote: which two teams will be rocking this year's Super Bowl (joined at halftime by the Who!!)? If one of your choices isn't listed, hit up "Other" and leave it in the comments.


Week 11 Picks

Lot of updates coming today, including a new poll, so I'll give the picks real quick and get on with the good stuff.

Upset Special
Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Line: Jags by 8 1/2
What to Watch For:
I don't put a lot of stock in the whole "let down after an emotional win" theory that permeates local sports talk radio, but I do think that line of almost 9 points is way too high. I expect the Bills to be energized under new head coach Perry Fewell and his mantra of "play like hell and win." If only for one week, the Bills should show some life, cover this ridiculous spread, and maybe win outright. The Jaguars are decent, but not great, and could get caught in a trap by the visiting Bills.
Bills 20
Jaguars 17

Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears
Line: Eagles by 3
What to Watch For:
Watch for the continued implosion of the Bears this week, plain and simple. Jay Cutler has been ridiculously up-and-down this year, and the Eagles' opportunistic secondary (matched against the Bears underwhelming receivers) to make him pay. The Eagles offense, on the other hand, has to be stinging after losing to San Diego last week, and McNabb won't let his team lose to this team. Even without Westbrook, the Eagles win this one going away.
Eagles 34
Bears 17

Most Interesting Game
Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions
Line: Lions by 3
What to Watch For:
I'm actually serious about this being the game I'm most interested in. I really want to find out which of these teams is worse. I have to say, the Browns might be in even greater disarray than Detroit, and it will show on Sunday. The Lions will win an ugly game against a surprisingly inferior opponent, and their 2 wins on the year will amaze experts everywhere. Interesting bit of minutia: this is the first time the Lions have been favored in a game all year!
Lions 13
Browns 9

Marquee Game
Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens
Line: Colts by 1 1/2
What to Watch For:
Watch the crowd in this one. The Battle for Baltimore brings out more animosity than any other rivalry in the NFL. On the field, Peyton Manning squaring off against the Ravens not-as-good-as-last-year defense should be a fun match up to follow. I'm more curious, though, if the Ravens will get back to playing like, well, the Ravens on offense, and run the ball at Indy's undersized defensive front. And for strictly personal and sentimental purposes, I'll be watching Michael Oher against Dwight Freeney and/or Robert Mathis. Get 'em, big boy! Despite the passion and hard hits, I still think Peyton finds a way to get out of Baltimore with another 'W.'
Colts 24
Ravens 20

Last Week: 3-1 straight up (shocked at how good the Bengals are), 2-2 against the spread (Blowout!!!!)
Overall: 27-12 straight up, 22-17 against the spread
Still looking for that big bounce-back week. Hopefully this is it. Come on Lions, you've been good to me this year!