News and rumors haven’t picked up much of late but there are still some to sift through. Here are some takeaways from the NFL action.
San Francisco 49ers got lucky on Smith ruling
Aldon Smith hasn’t been able to stay out of trouble since he became a pro. His latest antics during the off-season is a clear example and had some worried he might see significant jail time. Instead the star outside linebacker received a ruling of just 12 days in a work crew and three years of probation despite being initially charged with three felony counts of illegal assault rifle ownership. Some might call it another example of the system letting a celebrity off easy but the facts are the ruling was made, and the San Francisco 49ers dodged their first bullet because of it.
New York Giants got the last laugh with Chris Snee
Nearly every NFL draft expert criticized the New York Giants back in 2004 for taking offensive guard Chris Snee in the 2nd round when most had him as a mid round pick. They viewed it as favoritism from new head coach Tom Coughlin, who was Snee’s father-in-law and perhaps wanted to keep the rookie and by extension his daughter close by. In the end the proved to be totally false. It turns out Snee was a much better player than the experts believed. When word leaked the guard planned to retire at age 32, he does so with four Pro Bowls and two Super Bowl championships to his credit. Safe to say New York got the last word in that argument.
Marc Trestman understands his situation with the Chicago Bears
Most head coaches in the NFL prefer a bland, misdirection type of approach when it comes to the media. They offer standard answers mixed with the occasional quip. Such has not been the case for Marc Trestman of the Chicago Bears. Ever since he took over the former journeyman coordinator and CFL coach has shown a deep appreciation for his position and the people both playing and covering the sport. So when he was asked about his outlook on the Bears for 2014, Trestman didn’t downplay anything, especially the expectations from the fans. He knows his team is considered a contender for the playoffs, and he is embracing the challenge because he knows what it would mean to the common people on the streets. It’s a refreshing perspective.
Tom Brady leaning heavily on a bunch of injury-prone targets
Expectation are even higher for the New England Patriots. After an aggressive series of draft and free agency moves their roster is as stacked as it’s going to be to finally get that elusive fourth Super Bowl title for quarterback Tom Brady. The problem is the team may be rotten at the core. Brady has always had a pretty consistent group of pass targets to rely on. That might not be the case for 2014. A number of his key targets are considered high injury risks including Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski. Their losses last season clearly had an effect on the Patriots offense, and nothing much has changed. If the team is to realize their goal, they will need those two to stay healthy. It’s a dangerous gamble.