by Michael Lombardi
May 06, 02010
QUOTE: “One might compare the relation of the ego to the id with that between a rider and his horse. The horse provides the locomotor energy, and the rider has the prerogative of determining the goal and of guiding the movements of his powerful mount towards it. But all too often in the relations between the ego and the id we find a picture of the less ideal situation in which the rider is obliged to guide his horse in the direction in which it itself wants to go.” -- Sigmund Freud
LenDale White said what?
"I think what happened was in Tennessee they probably got a little too carried away with the Chris Johnson thing. The year before, we were 13-3 when I had 200 carries and we split the rock. Chris went to the Pro Bowl and we had the first-round bye. They did things different the next year and we struggled to make the playoffs. It is what it is. It’s the same offense down here in Seattle. I’m very familiar. I know how to pick up pass protection and stuff like that. The playbook is not what I’m worried about. I’m just worried about the opportunity, and I think that Pete is going to give me a chance.” -- LenDale White
I love LenDale, but he has a short memory about what happened in Tennessee last season. The fact he feels they phased him out of the offense might have more to do with them always playing from behind in the first six games than his overall play. Early in the season, the Titans struggled to run the ball, with the exception of the second game against the Texans. In three of their first five games, they ran for fewer than 100 yards. But their major problems centered on falling behind early as a result of turnovers, which then forced them to throw their way back into the game. The Titans finished 31st in the NFL in point differential in the first half last year with a minus-66 point difference. When they did not turn over the ball, they could keep the running game alive and help Vince Young establish himself as a passer and not be one dimensional.
LenDale must not have attended all the games. The Titans’ problem last year was not with their play calling but rather their defense and their inability to protect the ball.
When you watch Patriots defensive tape from last season, it’s clear that Adalius Thomas was not the same player -- in any aspect of his game. Although I have never formally worked with former head coach Bill Parcells, I’ve talked to him on the phone enough to learn many things. One of the lessons I learned from Parcells had to do with linebackers and their age. Parcells believes that when a linebacker reaches the 31-year-old mark he’s almost done and has little hope of regaining his old form — no matter how talented he might have been. Age for linebackers is critical, and according to Parcells, taking a player from another team at that age is risky and often not rewarding (he violated that rule with Jason Taylor last year, and I’m sure he regrets that mistake).
Parcells has many codes on personnel that he rarely violates. His linebacker rule is not based on some whim but on years of practical and statistical study. And each time I watched tape of the Patriots last year, I thought Thomas looked like he lost the power in his legs, much like watching Shaq play for the Cavs. Neither has juice in his body, which makes them vulnerable. If Thomas gets a job, it won’t be a high-priced one, nor will the team signing him be expecting much.
Whichever team hit with its quarterback selection -- either Denver or Carolina -- will have a great draft and leave other teams wondering what happened. The recent excitement expressed by both clubs since minicamp is a clear signal that they’re confident they hit a home run with the picks.
Tim Tebow is on a mission to prove all his doubters wrong, and so is Jimmy Clausen. Based on their lack of production this offseason, there’s not much optimism in Carolina, but if Clausen is as good as many suspect, then the Panthers might have had the best offseason of any team. To draft a quality starting quarterback in the second round is a huge advantage for the Panthers. Wednesday, we learned that Clausen will get a chance to compete for a starting job, and if he’s able to wrestle the position from Matt Moore, the Panthers’ rebuilding project might not take as long.
I realize there hasn’t been a game yet, but normally when this much optimism comes from teams, there’s a good chance they’ll be proven right. I’m anxious to see Clausen because I thought he worked out well, played well and looked like he has the talent to be a starter. Now we’ll see.
Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi