Saturday, August 3, 2013

Studs and Duds: Alex Smith Isn't the Best Quarterback in the NFL

This is Alex Smith. The best quarterback in the NFL is not pictured.
By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin) and Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Studs and Duds is a weekly feature on Suite Sports. Who had a good week? Who had a bad week?


Ryan Kerrigan

You may not know Ryan Kerrigan, but he's a rising star outside linebacker for the Washington Redskins. He's also one of my favorite Boilermakers of all time, but this week we found out he has quite the sense of humor.

First, we saw this video of him interviewing people on the street, asking them what they thought about Ryan Kerrigan. Predictably, the people he interviewed didn't even realize they were talking to Ryan Kerrigan about Ryan Kerrigan, and one girl even said she had a crush on him… But didn't realize he was right in front of her.

That is, until he told her "I love you too."

That Kerrigan on the street segment was pretty good, but it's nowhere near as awesome as this window commercial he did.


The Milwaukee Bucks and/or Detroit Pistons

I'm not sure who won that deal.


Eric LeGrand

We all know the story of Eric LeGrand, the former Rutgers defensive tackle that suffered a spinal injury on the field against Army way back in 2010. It has been a long road to recovery for LeGrand, who had to fight hard just to breathe on his own, but has slowly regained movement and feeling in different parts of his body.

His old coach, Greg Schiano, become the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and fulfilled LeGrand's dream of making the NFL by signing him to a symbolic contract in Tampa. Before that, LeGrand's courage had earned him countless awards and inspired millions.

Next month, another one of LeGrand's dreams will come true, as his number 52 jersey will be retired by Rutgers. The Scarlett Knights have some pretty talented alumni (Ray Rice and Kenny Britt come to mind), but LeGrand is leaving a legacy unlike any Rutgers player before him.


The Miami Heat

Oden, baby! Oden!


Pro Bowl Changes

I'm not a fan of the Pro Bowl. I've always thought that doing a true exhibition all star game with football is dangerous and stupid, but I love some of the changes the NFL has made this off-season. First of all, no more AFC vs NFC. Now, the top two vote getters will become captains and they will pick the teams.

I also don't mind the decision to get rid of kickoffs, but I am a little annoyed that kick returners will no longer be selected to the game. That seems a little unfair, but hey, somebody has to suffer every time the NFL makes a change. The rest of the changes (Now you can play cover 2, etc) are whatever, but mostly I love that they're gonna give us a player draft to watch.

That in itself will be more fun than the game.

If it were my choice, it would be a player draft, and we would play full-field 7-on-7 flag football while the linemen drank strawberry daiquiris on the sideline. Those big fellas need a break.


Brandon Jennings

It looked like he was doomed to accept Milwaukee's 1-year qualifying offer and try his hat next year in unrestricted free agency. Then Detroit swooped in at the last minute with a $24 million deal. On the other hand... 



Brandon Jennings

He entered the off-season looking for a max deal. Then all the teams that might have been desperate enough to offer anywhere close to that (Utah, New Orleans) solved their point guard needs on draft night, and Jennings had to settle for less than half of what he was hoping for. That, plus he has to play in Detroit.


Riley Cooper

Yeah, I don't really know what is left to say about Riley Cooper, but I will just point out that he is now the third-most talked about Urban Meyer-era Gator of the off-season (Behind Aaron Hernandez and Tim Tebow). The other thing that gets me is that a guy could grow up playing football in Florida, especially at a skill position, and say such a hateful thing about black people.

It's just crazy.


Roger Goodell

Speaking of Riley Cooper, how in the blue hell was he not at least given a token fine? Goodell is a "law and order" commissioner that hands out fines and suspensions left and right, but nothing here? This is a guy that fined Frank Gore over $10,000 for wearing his socks too low, all in the name of "protecting the shield," but he has no punishment for a guy saying hateful and ignorant things?

I don't want to make this racial, but it's a little hard, and suddenly something that James Harrison said doesn't sound all that crazy (Gasp).

"I slammed Vince Young on his head and paid five grand, but just touched Drew Brees and that was 20 [grand]. You think black players don't see this [stuff] and lose all respect for Goodell?"

Now, again, this isn't just about race. Goodell did suspend Ben Roethlisberger four games, despite never being charged with a crime. But, it just seems a little suspicious when a commissioner that has been quick to issue fines and suspensions behind the protection of his arbitrary "personal conduct policy" leaves this issue totally alone.

Doug Pederson

I know what you're thinking. "Who the hell is Doug Pederson?" Well, he's the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs, a team that decided to go all in on Andy Reid and Alex Smith this off-season. Yes, the coach the continually wasted talent in Philly and the QB that has exactly one decent season to his name are going to resurrect this franchise.

Well, Pederson hasn't given his opinion about Reid (Though we assume it is high), but he has come out with this ringing endorsement of Alex Smith.

"Ultimately, every team has to have a quarterback, I think we have the best in the league," Pederson told the Kansas City Star about the quarterback that has twice lost his job to Shaun Hill.

"There are a lot of great ones, but over time, Alex has proven he can get it done," Pederson continued about the quarterback that has only ranked in the top half of the league in passer rating once in his eight seasons.

"He's a sharp guy, he brings a wealth of knowledge, he's experienced, he's a proven winner the last couple of years, and he needs a team to embrace him," concluded Pederson about the man with 99 turnovers in 80 career games.

No, I did not copy and paste this from The Onion.


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