QUOTE/STORY OF THE WEEK…
“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.” – President Ronald Reagan, 1985
Happy birthday to the United States Marines, Nov. 10, 1775
On Nov. 10, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that “two battalions of Marines be raised” for service as landing forces with the fleet. This established the Continental Marines and marked the birth of the U.S. Marine Corps. Serving on land and at sea, early Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations, including their first amphibious raid on foreign soil in the Bahamas in March 1776 under the command of the Corps’ first commandant, Capt. Samuel Nicholas. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War, and as the last of the Navy’s ships were sold, the Continental Navy and Marines disbanded.
Following the formal re-establishment of the Marine Corps on July 11, 1798, Marines fought in conflicts with France, landed in Santo Domingo and conducted operations against the Barbary pirates along the “Shores of Tripoli.”
“We are United States Marines, and for two and a quarter centuries we have defined the standards of courage, esprit, and military prowess.” — Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (CMC), Nov. 10, 2000
“For all those who have sons or daughters at boot camp, let me pass on what I found. Let me give you a little background first. When my son left home, he had no motivation; he was lazy, sloppy, no pride, no self-worth. This is the boy that got off the bus March 18th at Parris Island. The man that I met on Thursday for parents’ day is AWESOME. There is no way I can describe to you all the difference.
“He looks different, he walks different, he talks different, he has such a sense of bearing and pride, all I could do was look at him in awe. Oh, yes, the training is hard. What he went through is unimaginable to anyone that has not been there. They are definitely taught to be Warriors. Let me tell you the surprise of what else they are taught. My Marine son has better values, better morals, better manners than anyone I know. It is so much more than Yes Sir, Yes M’am…so much more. He cares about how he looks, he cares about what he does, and it’s not a boastful, bad ass thing. He is a true gentleman. I saw patience and a calmness in him that I have never seen.
“I could never express my gratitude enough to the Marine Corps for what they have given my son. I know this, I have an 11-year-old Devil pup still at home. When the time comes for his turn, if I had to, I would take him kicking and screaming all the way. Although I’m sure that will not happen. The hero worship I see in my younger son’s eyes for his Marine brother tells me I will have two Marines in the family, and I will be one very proud mother.”
“Cybil,” mother of a Marine, writing to the myMarine Group
“I am convinced that there is no smarter, handier, or more adaptable body of troops in the world.” — Sir Winston Churchhill
AROUND THE NFL…
“It takes strength to be firm. It takes courage to be gentle. It takes strength to stand guard. It takes courage to let down your guard.” — Author unknown
1. Talking to people around the NFL last week about the Browns’ firing of George Kokinis for cause, it’s rather perplexing. Everyone I talked to claims George was out of the loop since the summer and all he did every day was watch other NFL games. Maybe the Browns are claiming he did have full authority over the roster (which is how he was able to leave Baltimore) and never used it, so he breached his contract. Not sure, but it’s a thought.
2. Some of the potential candidates (personnel men working in the NFL now) I chatted with who might be interested in placing their names in the hat for the GM position in Cleveland said they viewed Eric “The Secret” Mangini’s proclamation that he’ll be involved in the hiring process as a deal breaker. How can anyone work side by side with him when he wants to have all the authority?
MY VIEW OF THE GAMES, PLUS NOTES AND WEATHER…
“We learn from others. A good leader is always learning. The great leaders start young and continue until their last breathe.” — Bill Walsh
Washington Redskins (2-5) at Atlanta Falcons (4-3)
The Redskins’ two wins this season have been against the 1-7 Rams and 0-7 Buccaneers, both at home, by a combined margin of five points.
The ‘Skins struggle to score points, and now, with TE Chris Cooley out, their slow offense becomes even slower. They have no playmakers on the field — this team lacks speed. Fred Davis had eight catches last week, but he’s not a vertical threat down the field. Cooley leads team with 29 receptions for 332 yards, two TDs. Cooley has the longest active starting streak among TEs in the NFL.
Stephon Heyer will struggle to block John Abraham, so the ‘Skins will have to slide the protection toward him — which then will put right tackle Mike Williams on an island having to block Kroy Biermann.
Three-quarters of the Falcons’ defensive line is beat up and on the injury list. If there ever was a game the ‘Skins can run the ball, this is it. Clinton Portis has eight rushes of 10-plus yards this season. He had 19 rushes of 10-plus yards through seven games last season.
Michael Turner looked like his old self last week, but it will take a passing game from Matt Ryan to defeat the tough ‘Skins defense. When Turner has 19 carries or more, the Falcons are 14-2.
Atlanta must do a better job getting off the field on third down; they are 31st in the NFL in that area.
The Falcons usually can protect the passer, but left tackle Sam Baker has a bad ankle and faces the best rusher on the ‘Skins, Andre Carter. The ‘Skins must gain extra possessions for their offense.
Arizona Cardinals (4-3) at Chicago Bears (4-3)
Partly cloudy, 60 degrees.
The Cardinals have a minus-6 turnover differential (26th in theNFL) and have committed at least two turnovers in six of their seven games. Their 18 turnovers are T-4th most in the NFL. They’re 15-0 under coach Ken Whisenhunt when they have a positive turnover differential (18-0 including playoffs) but 1-16 under Whisenhunt when they have a negative turnover differential (1-17 including playoffs).
These turnovers happen when they struggle to protect, and this year those struggles have occurred more at home than on the road, which is a surprise. The Cards have not lost a road game this year.
The Bears have to slow down the Cards’ passing game with their defensive front, not their secondary. With or without Anquan Boldin, the Cards are too talented at receiver for the Bears secondary. They must hurry and disrupt Kurt Warner in the passing game.
Conversely, the Bears’ offensive line must match up well with the Cards’ defensive front, which can be very inconsistent.
This game might be high scoring since both teams have struggled to play consistent pass defense. The Bears have to make a play with their kicking game to be able to gain a possession.
The Bears must win on the outside, with Alex Brown winning his match on former Bear Mike Gandy.
The Cards are a one-dimensional offense — all pass. The Bears must keep their linemen fresh for the fourth quarter and find a way to control the ball.
Baltimore Ravens (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
Sunny, 65 degrees.
The Ravens must control the run game of Cedric Benson, even if Haloti Ngata isn’t able to play. They must force the Bengals to play from behind, like the Texans did. In their Week 5 meeting, the Bengals outrushed the Ravens 142-82, and Benson had 27 rushes, 120 yards, one TD to end the Ravens’ streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher in 39 straight games.
The Bengals are looking to sweep the Ravens for the third time in five seasons. The Ravens won 34-3 at Cincinnati last season.
The Ravens have lost their last two road games and are 1-2 on road this season but had chances to win each time.
The Ravens must be able to control the game with their offense. They’re a two-dimensional team: They can run and pass well.
The Bengals’ corners can match up well with the Ravens’ wide receivers, which allows the Bengals to take chances with their blitz package. Ray Rice is the one player the Bengals do not have a good match on.
The Bengals must find a way to get the Ravens into negative plays on first down. The Ravens are very effective when they convert third and short. They are not afraid to call a run on manageable third downs.
The Ravens have no turnovers in their last two games and have committed just seven this season (T-5th fewest in NFL).
The Bengals have not won five consecutive divisional games since 2005-06 when they won six in a row. They’ve won eight of their last 10 games and have 10 takeaways in their last four games (two or more takeaways in last four games).
The Bengals have 13 passing TDs (two more than their 2008 total). Carson Palmer is the X factor for the Bengals. When he’s the Palmer of 2005, the Bengals are a very good team. When he’s not effective, they struggle. He needs to make plays in the passing game for them to be successful today.
Chris Henry is a tough match for the Ravens because they don’t have anyone who can handle his size and speed. They can double Chad Ochocinco, but they can’t double everyone. Henry is the playmaker for them when the doubles go to Ocho.
Ochocinco is eighth in the NFL with 573 receiving yards and has five receiving TDs. He had 540 receiving yards and four TDs last season.
LAST 2 SEASONS