Yardbarker Horiz

Monday, November 30, 2009

Where Is He Now: Joey Galloway

A quick recap on Joey Galloway:  He was cut by Tampa Bay in the veteran purge during the 2009 offseason.  On March 14th, 2009, Galloway was signed by the New England Patriots.

According to published reports, the contract was a one-year, $1.75 million contract with a base salary of $1.15 million and a $600,000 signing bonus.  This exceeds the veteran minimum -- not surprising as it was rumored that the Pittsburgh Steelers were also interested in Galloway as a stretch 3rd receiver. 

The results?  Galloway played in 3 games (starting 2) and produced 7 catches for 67 total yards and no touchdowns.  He was a healthy inactive for week 4 through week 6 and then was cut on October 20, 2009.  He has not been signed to another roster.

In his last full season with the Bucs (2008), Galloway played in 9 games (starting 4) producing 13 catches for 138 yards and no touchdowns.  The stats for 2008 and 2009 clearly demonstrate that cutting Galloway from the Buccaneers was the right move.  In addition to eliminating Galloway's reduced production the vacated roster spot has allowed young receivers more opportunities (as examples: 2009 7th rounder Sammie Straughter, free agent Brian Clark, and returning player Maurice Stovall).

By releasing Joey Galloway sooner than later, the Buccaneers avoided dead cap money, got younger, and were able to give promising young players more time to show and develop their skills.  It was not only the right move at the right time, it was a Very Good Move.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kansas City: Pioli Dealing With Unrest

Chiefs running back Larry Johnson is not subtle.  Nor does he conduct himself at all times as a perfect gentleman.  Nevertheless, it appeared that somehow Coach Todd Haley had reached an understanding with Johnson which put LJ on the path of a model teammate.  That is, until Larry blew up his career with Twitter.

Pioli spent his 2009 bye week suspending, then reaching a settlement with Johnson and his agent regarding the one-game-but-two-paychecks suspension (settlement was that only one paycheck would be lost -- a little weak for Pioli considering the player called his coach "unqualified" and used derogatory slurs publicly).

The Chiefs came out of the bye to lose at Jacksonville, dropping the Chiefs to 1-7.

The next day, Larry Johnson was cut from the Chiefs roster.   

Johnson was 75 yards away from becoming the all-time yardage leader among Chiefs running backs.  Is this the only scourge on the roster?  Is more bloodletting needed to bring order in Kansas City?

The Chiefs are a non-factor in the NFC West as well as the NFL in general having not won a playoff game in over 15 years (how long? . . . since Joe Montana was QB!).  With apathy having set in long ago, the Chiefs fan base is angry but exhausted.

Pioli still has years of work ahead of him to shake off the cobwebs in the Chiefs organization.  And then will have to win back a fanbase which is more tuned in to college sports than pro sports. Only Cleveland and Jacksonville appear to be bigger challenges.  Which franchise will win a playoff game first?  Answer:  get to .500 and then we'll talk.

Donald Penn: Guess Who Found Him?

Notes from the Audio Archive at Buccaneers.com reminded me of this nugget:

Guess who brought in Donald Penn?

The story is in this interview starting 8 minutes in


Thursday, November 5, 2009

2009 Denver Draft Class

Round 1, #12: Knowshon Moreno, RB (Overall 12), Georgia
Round 1, #18: Robert Ayers, LB (Overall 18), Tennessee (From Bears)
Round 2, #5: Alphonso Smith, CB (Overall 37) ,Wake Forest  (From Seahawks)
Round 2, #16: Darcel McBath, CB (Overall 48), Texas Tech
Round 2, #32: Richard Quinn, TE (Overall 64), North Carolina  (From Steelers) 
Round 4, #14: David Bruton, FS (Overall 114) , Notre Dame
Round 4, #32: Seth Olsen, OG (Overall 132), Iowa  (From Steelers)
Round 5, #5: Kenny McKinley, WR (Overall 141), South Carolina (From Browns through Eagles through Patriots and Ravens)
Round 6, #1:  Tom Brandstater, QB (Overall 174)Fresno State  (From Lions)
Round 7, #16: Blake Schlueter, C, (Overall 225) TCU

Trade Analysis: Gaines Adams to Chicago

Why would a winless team trade away a former first round draft pick starting at Defensive End?  Is an unknown draft pick really that valuable?  Is it worth leaving a hole in the starting lineup for the rest of the season?

It would only be a smart move if there was a capable replacement already on the roster.  In this case the replacement would be Stylez White.  Good move.  However, what made this A Great Move was a free agent picked up during the first week of the 2009 season.

Tim Crowder was signed by the Buccaneers on Sept 14th, 2009, the opening weekend of the 2009 NFL Season.  He had been released less than two weeks earlier by the Denver Broncos.  The week after his signing, Crowder hit the playing field against the Buffalo Bills.  And that was just the start of the impact Crowder would make on the 2009 Buccaneers.

When Gaines Adams was released after five games in 2009 he had season totals of 8 tackles, 2 assists, and no sacks.  Crowder played in his fifth game of 2009 in Week 6.  By then, Crowder had amassed 15 tackles, 2 assists, and no sacks.  This production obviously was noted by GM Mark Dominik.  Dominik must have believed White and Crowder could support the Right Defensive End position.  This allowed Dominik to shop Adams as a trade candidate.  Credit goes to Coach Nunn (DL), Coach Bates (DC), and Coach Morris (HC) for giving Crowder a chance to show his productivity.

The message since Dominik and Morris took over has been to get younger, get productive players, and improve through competition.  While adding Crowder and trading Adams does not fit the "get younger" part of the plan, it certainly meets the "more productive" part of the plan based on the first few games of 2009.  The trade also shows commitment by Dominik to make players accountable plus it's a strong statement to the rest of the youth on the roster:  Underperform and you are replaceable whether you are a first or final draft pick.  Dominik has quickly shown a willingness to make bold changes to move the roster forward as rapidly as possible.

The second part of the story is what the Bucs were able to get for Adams.  Gaines Adams was drafted for a coach who ran the Tampa 2.  Chicago Head Coach Lovie Smith uses the Tampa 2.  It's the perfect match -- a player who can be traded and a team which should covet his skills.  The result was Tampa Bay getting a 2nd round draft choice for Adams -- a brilliant move from the Bay side, and another crafty move by GM Mark Dominik.

And still there is a third part to this story:  through Week 8 Crowder has more solo tackles than the man he backs up on the depth chart, Stylez White (15 vs. 13).  But White has 1.5 sacks to Crowder's zero.  Certainly these two men will continue to compete for playing time for the rest of the season, pushing each other to improve, meeting the third goal laid out by the new Bucs leadership -- "competition at all positions".

For clarity, consider the sum of these moves:  a swap of Gaines Adams for Tim Crowder (who appears to be more productive in the new defense) plus an extra second round pick in 2010.  Certainly an excellent step towards improving the team.

By watching the waiver wire and sticking to his core philosophy, Dominik has continued to force his philosophy on the roster and find ways to improve the talent of the team week in and week out.  And that is exactly what a GM with an underperforming team should do.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

2009 Kansas City Draft Class

Round 1, 3rd: Tyson Jackson, DE (Overall 3), LSU
Round 3, 3rd: Alex Magee, DT (Overall 63), Purdue
Round 4, 2nd: Donald Washington, CB (Overall 102) Ohio State
Round 5, 3rd: Colin Brown, OL (Overall 139), Missouri
Round 6, 2nd: Quinten Lawrence, WR (Overall 175), McNeese State
Round 7, 28th: Jake O'Connell, WR (Overall 237), Miami (Ohio) (From Panthers through Dolphins)
Round 7, 47th: Ryan Succop, K (Overall 256) (Compensatory selection), South Carolina
Round 7, 3rd Javarris Williams, RB (212), Tennessee State

Kokinis Fired

A member of the GM class of 2009 has been fired.

Cleveland has fired their GM George Kokinis.  Media reports that Kokinis and coach Eric Mangini have not worked well together.  The Browns now find themselves 1-7 with upheaval in the front office and the coach who wanted Kokinis in trouble.