Twilight of the running back

One reason is concern that Manziel's style will not translate into the pro ranks. Remember those times in college he spun out and ran backward? If he tries that in the NFL, the result will be a 20-yard loss. But there's a psychological factor as well. Manziel is open about the fact that he freelances. If a quarterback could be successful in the NFL by just showing up and winging it, that would make the head coach seem a lot less important. And NFL head coaches don't want to seem less important. Kudos to Mike Pettine of the Browns for being willing to take the ego risk involved in handing the ball to Manziel.

Detroit Lions: New Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi spent the past five years with the Saints, where he saw up close what a Jimmy Graham-style tall, fast tight end can do. Surely Lombardi was happy with Detroit's selection of Graham-style tight end Eric Ebron. Yet there was only one tight end taken in the first round, and only 10 tight ends tabbed overall, despite the recent success of Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Vernon Davis. In the past decade, there has been an average of only one first-round tight end annually.

One reason is that college offenses use the tight end mainly as a blocker, so it's anyone guess whether he can catch. When college tight ends are out in patterns, it's usually simple stuff, so it's anyone's guess whether a college tight end can make the sight adjustments needed to read a complex NFL defense. College quarterbacks are coached to throw a lot of hitches, screens and sideline fades, because such passes are not likely to be intercepted. Most college coaches don't want the quarterback throwing short over the middle, where a pick is more likely. But NFL tight ends make their livings short over the middle. So college tight ends arrive in the NFL needing to learn to do something they rarely did in the NCAA. TMQ thinks this is the main reason pro football teams don't show much enthusiasm for drafting tight ends.

Breaking hot air news: Last week, Barack Obama said on the "Today" show that global warming "is a problem affecting Americans right now." His appearance was timed to the release of the latest National Climate Assessment, a quadrennial document whose new edition states, "Climate change, once considered an issue for the distant future, has moved firmly into the present." Sunday, possible Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio lashed back on ABC's "This Week," saying "I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate."

The National Climate Assessment began in 2006, under George W. Bush, and concluded that year that climate change was real and at least in some part the result of human action. So this is not a wild-eyed left-wing notion. The idea was first stated by the government under a GOP presidency. Here is what I wrote in  The New York Times in 2006 summarizing the reasons the Republican White House became convinced climate change was real.

The latest National Climate Assessment is a political document, intended to support Obama's preferred approach to greenhouse gases. There's nothing wrong with a document being political, so long as everyone knows this. The latest IPCC report from the United Nations is political, too, in its case stridently anti-American.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...