Daily Special, August 16, 2012

8

 

 

Something big is about to happen, and I think I know what it is, and I think I know why.

First, the why: because I’m going to be away again for a couple days. Big things always happen when I’m not around to comment on them, either on Canal Street Chronicles or here at the Club. Always. As in, “without fail.” So this can be yet another test of that principle, one which I fully expect once again to pass.

Now, as to the what: beginning yesterday, Mike Florio has been hammering the case in Ginger Berrigan’s courtroom. First, he explained what he found in the transcript of the proceedings so far. Here’s the money quote, but you should definitely read the whole thing:

Don’t be surprised if [Berrigan] dismisses the defamation lawsuit but overturns the suspensions.  Whatever she does, whoever loses will appeal.

Later that day, he explained—in somewhat convoluted and obscure, i.e. legal fashion—why it is that Berrigan ordered the league and the NFLPA both to provide her with a timeline for the union’s request to Goodell to hold off on suspensions last March. Essentially, if Goodell actually hadn’t yet made a determination on the players’ discipline, as he said he had at his March 21 interview with NFL Network and ESPN, then the statements he made at that time may be actionable, and Vilma’s defamation suit can proceed.

Today, Florio expanded on that theme:

Complex litigation often turns on the manner in which a single domino falls.  In the bounty cases pending before Judge Helen G. Berrigan in a New Orleans federal court, the NFL could be headed for a bad outcome if she ultimately concludes that there was exaggeration, embellishment, and/or fabrication regarding one specific fact…

I don’t want to take away from Florio’s page views by telling you too much here—he deserves the click-throughs. Yeah, Mike Florio. Our friend Mike. Seriously, to use a different sport’s metaphor, he’s been crushing Goodell’s pitches for months now. Nobody else has come close to Florio’s analysis, because no other reporter is a lawyer by training.

Both the NFL and the NFLPA have until noon on Friday to identify the date the NFLPA requested Goodell to hold off on imposing player discipline, in order for the union to conduct its own probe of the matter. But it’s been reported that, a full week before the press conference, the NFL had informed the NFLPA that there was “no reason” to delay the player suspensions. Then, a week later, it did do so. And later still, in an April 24 interview, Goodell said, regarding player discipline, “I hope to reach those decisions very soon.”

Oops.

What this means is two things: first, that Goodell hadn’t yet made a determination when he publicly bad-mouthed Jonathan Vilma; and, more importantly, that the NFL lied to a federal judge. I can’t claim any personal experience in such a case, but it’s my guess that’s somewhere on the “things not to do” list, right before “don’t sleep with crocodiles” and right after “don’t blitz Drew Brees.”

Except that (we’re done with the lawsuit stuff now, by the way) it turns out that last might not be true. According to Football Outsider’s Almanac, last year Brees’ yards-per-attempt fell significantly when opposing defenses blitzed.

This is not what we expected. It is not what opposing defensive coordinators expected either, or they would have blitzed more. No quarterback saw fewer “big blitzes” in the NFL than Brees. This is not a new trend either; Brees has been better against four rushers than a blitz for three years running.

You can bet there are a lot of people in the league right now who are paying close attention. I hope Aaron Kromer has that offensive line practicing against a lot of blitzes, because they’ll be coming for Drew this season. When that happens, don’t make the mistake of thinking every team has a bounty on him: it’s just math.

On the Jukebox

Goodness me, could it be that Roger finds himself in dire straits?

Posted by Himself in Daily Specials | 8 comments

8 Comments

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  • The Angry Who DatAugust 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm

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    Second time in 2 days I’ve made the same argument: A single play cannot exist in a vacuum. It’s a function of all the plays that came before it.

    If Brees sees so few blitzes, I’d love to know WHEN those blitzes are happening. Perhaps down, distance, score, time remaining, and opponent have something to do with the reduced yards per play average?

    Maybe it’s still a bad idea to blitz Brees on a regular basis.

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    • GSO Saints FanAugust 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm

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      SHHHHHHHH!!!!

      >:-(

      Don’t let ‘em know to look at all the details, let ‘em think it’s a good idea for a few games before they realize there’s more to it than this idiot was able to see.

      Of course, it IS a bad idea to blitz the guy, he will eat you alive if you do on a regular basis, there are too many options for quick dump offs in the Saints offense, and eventually one of those will burn you like a pine tree in a drought with gasoline poured on it. One spark and BAM!…touchdown on a screen to Pierre Thomas, or a flare to Darren Sproles, or a flat pass to Jimmy Graham, or…

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  • David KellyAugust 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm

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    I’m getting excited. Goodell and his minions have finally lied to the wrong person.

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  • Breesus Christ SuperstarAugust 16, 2012 at 7:46 pm

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    Like I said before: Only a ginger can destroy a ginger. Goodell’s card has been pulled.

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  • Breesus Christ SuperstarAugust 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm

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    Lucky for us, it appears wielding absolute power made Goodell sloppy.

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  • GSO Saints FanAugust 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

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    IF if was a skiff, we’d all go for a boat ride, eh?

    Well, IF, if what we are all starting to smell is indeed Rog’s blood in the water (the visit by Benson, all this stuff coming up in court), and there is any sense in the NFL owners brains, they will toss Goodell and his cronies out on his ear on the spot. Void his contract (I’m sure there’s a clause somewhere that allows that for CONDUCT DETRIMENTAL TO THE LEAGUE, which he appears to actually guilty of at this point), give him a cardboard box and tell him he has 10 minutes to fill it and the the fuck out of the building – oh, and leave your keys and whatnot on your desk too, the nice, large gentlemen from security will check to make sure you do.

    They need to do this to save face, because allowing him to drag this disaster he’s created out will only make everyone OTHER THAN the Saints look bad now.

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  • Breesus Christ SuperstarAugust 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm

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    Ooooo-wheeee! Da Saints are stinking it up tonight.
    So glad I skipped the game. I’d feel bad about giving my tickets away to that steamy pile, except that I gave them to my dumbass brother-in-law. Haha.

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    • FriarBobAugust 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm

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      I feel sorry for your sister then. :)

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