Archive for the ‘News and Views’ Category

I’ve moved — let me show you my new neighborhood…

Roddy White, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan are seeking a little redemption. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Roddy White, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan hope to be doing this Sunday. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Roddy White, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan are so excited because the the AJC has a new digital platform!

OK, not really. But we have moved. You can still find my old blogs on this site. But for the new ones, please go to ajc.com/weblogs/jeff-schultz.

Hopefully we can get through this transition period with a minimal number of hiccups. Also, please note that readers commenting on blogs now need to register first. Just go to my latest blog (about the Falcons) for all of the info.

Thanks for reading, Jeff

Continue reading I’ve moved — let me show you my new neighborhood… »

News and Views: Favre fallacy, Vick back in jail (not that one)

Megalomaniac

Welcome back to News and Views, the blog creation of convenience when there’s really no subject at 11 a.m. on a Friday that’s worth more than a couple of paragraphs. Wait. That didn’t come out quite the way I intended. . .

News: Several NFL experts pound Brett Favre for his Hamlet act but claim all that really matters is this signing makes the Minnesota Vikings a better team.

Initial reaction: Huh?

Views: Look, I’m well aware of Favre’s resume: He has won one more Super Bowl and three more MVP awards and been to 10 more Pro Bowls than Tarvaris Jackson. But why is everybody so certain this makes the Vikings better? They did go 10-6 and make the playoffs last season without Favre. Logic dictates that Jackson would only get better this season. If Minnesota is doing this largely to take the next step, why roll the dice on a beat-up quarterback who: 1) is going to turn 40 in October; 2) had his right arm dangling like linguine for the last five weeks of the …

Continue reading News and Views: Favre fallacy, Vick back in jail (not that one) »

Georgia’s Martinez isn’t running from criticism

Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez apparently has convinced Mark Richt he can do the job. Now he just has to convince everybody else. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

ATHENS — The most maligned football coach in Athens cracked a joke. Or maybe it wasn’t a joke.

“I want to coach on offense,” Willie Martinez said. “Tight ends. A guy drops a pass, so what? That’s my dream job — to coach the tight ends in a passing offense. ‘Hey you: Get in! Get out! Did you block your guy?’ Ah, but my guys tell me I would just get bored.”

He should experience such boredom on defense. Martinez has coached at Georgia for eight seasons. It’s only in the past four, during his term as defensive coordinator, that he has been more like a dart board with ears. It’s the perfect storm for an assistant football coach: Work at an SEC school with a demanding and obsessed fan base; follow somebody popular (Brian VanGorder); and have, frankly, only moderate success.

How would you grade …

Continue reading Georgia’s Martinez isn’t running from criticism »

News and Views: Tech and Falcons’ rivals take a hit

You'll notice that nobody in this picture is on crutches.

You'll notice that nobody in this picture for Georgia Tech is on crutches. (Johnny Crawford/jcrawford@ajc.com)

Ever wonder how two teams fortunes can improve before they’ve even played their first games? Look no further than Georgia Tech and the Falcons. One just saw a conference opponent lose a running back. The other just saw a division opponent lose a wide receiver. Omens? News and Views follows:

♦ News: Virginia Tech tailback Darren Evans suffers a torn ACL in his left knee Tuesday. He’s out for the season.

Why should you care: Because that narrow gap that possibly existed between VaTech and GaTech may have just closed.

Views: Sometimes it’s difficult to gauge the impact of an injury at college football factories. Evans was only a freshman last year when he rushed for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns and was named offensive MVP of the Orange Bowl. He may be replaced by another freshman, Ryan Williams, who might turn out to be just as good. But at the very least it cuts …

Continue reading News and Views: Tech and Falcons’ rivals take a hit »

Greene shows Stafford what happens when things go wrong

If Matthew Stafford feels overwhelmed early in the NFL, he wouldn't be the first rookie quarterback. Ask David Greene.

If Matthew Stafford (pictured with Lions assistant Scott Linehan) feels overwhelmed early as a pro, he wouldn't be the first rookie QB to struggle. Ask David Greene.

Five years ago, David Greene was college football gold. He broke the NCAA record for most wins. He threw for more passing yards than any quarterback in SEC history (including Peyton Manning). Maybe he wasn’t projected as an NFL star. But he was drafted in the third round by Mike Holmgren, who had made a career of molding quarterbacks into Super Bowl champions, so that had to mean something.

Today, David Greene sells insurance. “We’re in the risk-management consultant business,” he said. Yeah. Sounds better.

He spent four NFL seasons with four teams and never played in a regular-season game. The systems were different. The terminology was different. The playbook read like Latin. It was year one and, “There I was being re-coached on a three-step drop. I felt like I had zero carryover from college.”

David Greene was …

Continue reading Greene shows Stafford what happens when things go wrong »

News and Views: Williams just another busted Hokie

Here's Jimmy Williams when he wasn't on drugs -- as far as we know.

Here's Jimmy Williams when he wasn't on drugs, as far as we know.

Welcome back for another edition of News and Views. Today, we asked the question: Who will be the next Falcons’ scout to dare step foot in Blacksburg, Va.?

♦ News: Colossal draft bust Jimmy Williams is suspended for a year by the NFL for using some kind of drug.

♦ Why should you care: Because Williams now resides in Falcons’ lore as one of their great day-one draft disasters, along with (you might want to cover your eyes for this): Aundray Bruce, Marcus Cotton, Steve Broussard, Mike Pritchard, Bruce Pickens, Tony Smith, Devin Bush, Nathan Davis, Michael Booker, Reggie Kelly, Bryan Scott … OK, that’s all I can do without falling over. But there is good news. The Falcons will never draft another Hokie! (we can only hope)

Views: It’s scary to think about it, but at one time in 2006 the Falcons had five Virginia Tech players on their roster: Williams, Michael Vick, cornerback DeAngelo Hall, guard Matt Lehr and …

Continue reading News and Views: Williams just another busted Hokie »

News and Views: Problems with Blank’s wallet, Selig’s brain

Sorry, just feeling nostalgic.

When I hear, "News!" I feel nostalgic.

Welcome back for another edition of News and Views. This week, we ask the question: What do the World Series chances of potential National League pennant winners Philadelphia, Los Angeles and St. Louis have to do with San Diego pitcher Heath Bell? Ask Bud Selig.

But first: What’s up in Flowery Branch?

♦ News: Arthur Blank sells shares in the Falcons to four minority owners.

♦ Why should you care: Because it reaffirms that even your favorite self-made billionaire owner is having some issues.

♦ Views: There’s no reason to disbelieve Blank when he says he remains committed to the Falcons and has no interest in selling the team or even a controlling interest in the franchise. But the economic problems in pro sports are real, even if they exist on a different level in the NFL. Owners’ fortunes have been dented by the stock market and revenue streams have dried up because of decline in the retail industry, gas prices and Joe and Fred losing …

Continue reading News and Views: Problems with Blank’s wallet, Selig’s brain »

News and Views: Waddell, Dudley and Braves’ holy gloves

Don Waddell once was a promising prospect, as well as a promising GM. But 10 years later...

Don Waddell's final days as a player. Note the focus.

Welcome back to News and Views, the exciting new craze in the blogosphere that asks the question: Is there anything we can post at about 11 a.m. because there seem to be lot of people goofing around at work on the Internet who clearly have nothing else to do? Or something like that.

♦ NEWS: The Thrashers hire Rick Dudley as some kind of assistant under Don Waddell. (An official announcement will come later today.)

♦ WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Because it’s all clear now to Thrashers’ ownership. After nine mostly crummy seasons, the biggest problem was Don Waddell just needed a better assistant!

♦ VIEWS: I think I just articulated my view. But OK, a few more thoughts.

This should be an improvement. How much remains to be seen.

This is what I know about Dudley. He did some nice things in his three stops as an NHL general manager (Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Florida). His work with the Lightning planted the seeds for their Stanley Cup team. …

Continue reading News and Views: Waddell, Dudley and Braves’ holy gloves »

News and Views: Smoltz-Braves iffy (and 3 teams for Vick)

 

John Smoltz had his eyes on facing the Braves, but now that's up in air (AP photo).

John Smoltz had his eyes on facing the Braves, but now that's up in the air.

Welcome back to another edition of News and Views, the latest online sensation that has swept the nation and has the entire blogosphere Twittering, or something like that. (Pope Benedict XVI: “I never miss a day without it. But I wish he would write more about soccer.”)

Where was I?

♦ NEWS: John Smoltz’s final scheduled rehab start for Pawtucket was rained out in Syracuse Thursday night and has been rescheduled for tonight. (UPDATE: I copy/pasted a couple of stories from Smoltz’s Friday start down in the comments section.)

♦ WHY SHOULD YOU CARE: Because this could affect whether he faces the Braves next week in Boston.

♦ VIEWS: Pawtucket is a really dumb name for a city. Just saying.

♦ OTHER VIEWS: This is the way the math worked out in a five-man rotation before Thursday’s rainout: Smoltz would be activated by the Red Sox Friday. He’d make his first start for Boston against Florida next Tuesday at …

Continue reading News and Views: Smoltz-Braves iffy (and 3 teams for Vick) »

Georgia didn’t hire Tim Floyd; Don’t you feel better now?

 

Tim Floyd could've been the next Jim Harrick at Georgia. That's not a good thing.

Tim Floyd could've been the next Jim Harrick.

Welcome to the first edition of, “News and Views,” which will be an occasional feature on AJC.com that will look at news items that have some connection to Atlanta sports fans. Two pretty good ones this Wednesday morning.

♦ NEWS: Tim Floyd resigns as Southern Cal basketball coach.

♦ WHY SHOULD YOU CARE: Because he wasn’t hired as Georgia’s coach in 2003.

♦ VIEWS: Maybe you forgot. When Jim Harrick was fired as Bulldogs coach, leaving behind probation and a grease spot, Vince Dooley and Damon Evans held a national search and narrowed their list of candidates down to two: Dennis Felton and Tim Floyd.

Now, I know things didn’t exactly work out great for Felton. But at least he didn’t get Georgia on probation (again), which is exactly what may happen at USC. Floyd’s resignation follows allegations that he gave $1,000 to a man who helped steer former star O.J. Mayo to the Trojans. Fact is, I wouldn’t want to be USC athletic director …

Continue reading Georgia didn’t hire Tim Floyd; Don’t you feel better now? »