Who cares about Reggie Bush giving back the Heisman?

Reggie Bush still plays for the New Orleans Saints

The first sentence on Reggie Bush’s Wikipedia page reads “Reginald Alfred “Reggie” Bush II (born March 2, 1985) is a professional football player who plays for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League.

Yesterday, Reggie Bush was “forced” to give back the Heisman Trophy that he won in 2005 during his final year at USC because he received improper benefits in his tenure at USC. In other words, he took money that he wasn’t supposed to take.

The NCAA had to take the trophy away from Reggie Bush but the real question is, what does it all mean in the
grand scheme of things?

To be honest, I don’t think it means very much.

First off, Bush did not win the Heisman with the help of the indiscretions that took place during his college career. Whatever he did, which Bush has still not specified, did not challenge the integrity of the game itself. Unlike Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire, he did not use performance enhancing drugs. The stats that Reggie Bush put up during the 2005 season were legitimate in that sense and there is nothing that can take that away from him. Reggie Bush still rushed 200 times for 1740 yards (8.7 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns.

The formality of the trophy may have been taken from Reggie Bush but that doesn’t make Vince Young, who was the runner-up in 2005, the real winner of the Heisman trophy. This is more of a Pete Rose situation than anything else, except not to that extent, which makes me feel that this isn’t a big deal.

Just like Pete Rose, the actual gameplay of the game itself was not cheated. The fact that Reggie Bush violated certain NCAA regulations doesn’t change anything about him as a football player. Maybe as a person, but not a football player.

In my mind, Brian Cushing still being awarded the NFL defensive rookie of the year is much worse because how can we know that he still would have won the award if not for PED’s. However, we do know that the rules that Reggie Bush violated did not have any effect on his play.

Reggie Bush won a super bowl with the New Orleans Saints last season and giving up his Heisman trophy doesn’t make that accomplishment any less magnificent. Heisman or no Heisman, Reggie Bush is still preparing for the 2nd week of his 5th NFL season with the New Orleans Saints.

All this talk about legacy doesn’t mean squat because it has nothing to do with what he has done on the football field.

I could go on and on about this but as I’ve stated, if you look at the big picture it really doesn’t matter. It may no longer be in the record books, but Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy Award in 2005 and nothing is ever going to change that.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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Jason Campbell the Solution? Don’t Think So.

The Jason Campbell led Raiders lost big time on Sunday 38-13 to the Titans

By: Chris Ross

Despite the Oakland Raiders finally making some right moves this past off-season, the move to trade for perennial mediocre quarterback Jason Campbell was an incorrect one. Many analysts at the time felt this to be a shrewd move by the Al Davis run franchise, but all I could do is wonder why they would make this decision under the circumstances.

The Oakland Raiders have not had much success since the departure of Rich Gannon, and after the Jamarcus Russell era was over any quarterback would have been an improvement. It got so bad to the point that head coach Tom Cable was starting Bruce Gradkowski over the former #1 overall pick.

Owner Al Davis, who is very well-known around the NFL for making questionable decisions to say the least, did make the “tough” decision to give up on the great potential of Jamarcus Russell and start a new rebuilding process for the Raiders.

During the 2010 draft the Raiders made actually made some solid picks, such as shoring up the middle of their defence by drafting Rolando McClain with the 8th overall pick. They even waited until the fourth round to take a chance on the unproven, physically freakish offensive tackle Bruce Campbell, who was pegged by some analysts at #8 spot in early mock drafts.

However, I believe that the Raiders, as well as other NFL teams for that matter, made one major mistake on draft day that they will regret in the future.

For a team in desperate need of a franchise quarterback the Oakland Raiders passed up on Jimmy Clausen, who very easily could have been a top 5 draft choice. As I mentioned earlier the Raiders decided on middle linebacker Rolando Mcclain.

Alright, reasonable enough.

What was mind-boggling to me was that when Clausen actually slipped all the way down to the Raiders 2nd round pick at #44 overall, they once again decided to pass on the possible franchise quarterback. In this situation the risk-reward situation seemed so heavily weighted on the reward side that I don’t see how it was possible for them not to at least take a chance on him.

This is a guy who could have very easily gone to Washington at #4 or Seattle at #6. This is a guy who led a potent professional style Notre Dame offence in college. This is a guy who could one day be leading his team to the playoffs year after year.

Instead, some genius decided that the soon to be 29-year-old Jason Campbell could provide stability to the much maligned Raiders franchise. That’s the key word right there, stability.

Oh yeah, Jason Campbell isn’t necessarily going to give your team stability, he maxes out at stability.

Did or does anyone still actually believe that Jason Campbell could become what many hoped he would become when he was drafted by the Redskins in 2005?

The stable Trent Dilfer led the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl title

For most teams stability is not going to lead your team to a championship. Trent Dilfer offered stability to the Baltimore Ravens when their stellar defence led by Ray Lewis won the super bowl in 2001. There aren’t too many exceptions though and I don’t even think that Jason Campbell has the ability to guide a team that was as good as the Ravens to the super bowl.

If you’re an NFL GM and you’re in the process of rebuilding would you take a chance on a quarterback who has the ability to be an elite quarterback in the league or would you want a quarterback that has shown nothing more than stability and mediocrity after four seasons in the NFL?

Carolina decided that using up a second round pick on the former option was worth the risk even though they already had a young quarterback to take the reins of their team in Matt Moore. The thing is, even if Jimmy Clausen doesn’t work out you are only using up a second round pick on him, not a top 10 pick. The reward is so great compared to the risk.

This past weekend Jason Campbell and the Oakland Raiders got steamrolled by the Tennessee Titans 38-13. The 38 points that the Titans scored obviously cannot be put on the shoulders of Jason Campbell and the offence, but the way he ran the offence can be. You’re not going to win many games if the other team scores 38 points, but on the other side of the spectrum 13 points isn’t going to get it done either. Especially when 7 of those 13 points came during garbage time.

Jason Campbell had a very Jason Campbell-like line Sunday afternoon. He was 22-37 for 180 yards and threw for one touchdown and one interception.

Not horrendous. Not spectacular. This has been and will continue to be the story of Jason Campbell’s career.

I do realize that one game doesn’t tell it all, but let it be known that the Oakland Raiders will not be going anywhere with Jason Campbell under center. Also, remember to tell all your friends to check back here in 5 years when Jimmy Clausen is flourishing in the NFL and Jason Campbell is getting spot starts as the second string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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Beware of the…Redskins?

The Donovan Mcnabb led Redskins showed a lot of positive signs Sunday Night

The Washington Redskins may not have provided us with the most dominating performance of the NFL’s opening weekend but it was indeed a noteworthy performance.

Take a look at the box score from Sunday night’s game and you might be unable to comprehend how in the world the Redskins were able to steal a 13-7 victory against a supposed high-octane Dallas Cowboys offence. However, throughout the game much of the Redskins squad showed that they may be a team to be reckoned with as the 2010-11 season moves along.

Wait, seriously??? Yes folks, I am talking about THE Washington Redskins.

Let’s start with one of the most talked about acquisitions during the offseason.

Although Donovan Mcnabb threw for under a 50% completion rating at 15 of 32 for 171 yards and no touchdowns, there were times when the 34 year-old Donovan actually looked like primetime Donovan. He was moving around much better in the pocket than we have seen in the last couple of years, which could partly be due to Mcnabb’s conscious effort to reduce his weight over the offseason. He was sacked only once in the game, had a nice run for 17 yards in the first half and Mcnabb showed off his arm with some crisp passes to Santana Moss and Chris Cooley throughout the game. Some positive signs from a supposed aging quarterback.

Now we should all know that a quarterback is nothing without some help from his offensive line, and this Washington O-Line anchored by rookie left tackle Trent Williams gave Mcnabb very ample protection throughout the night. Even Though Trent Williams did give up the Cowboys only sack of the night — to Demarcus Ware mind you — and was called for a crucial false start with his team 3rd and 2 late in the 4th quarter, the Redskins staff must be flying high after making the choice to take Williams over Seattle Seahawks first rounder Russell Okung.

It might be a cliché but defence does win championships and the Washington Redskins defence stepped up big time in their season opener. I don’t really care that the Dallas Cowboys offence looked not much better than it did during its four pre-season games. When your offence features Tony Romo under center, 3 quality receivers in Miles Austin, Roy Williams, and Dez Bryant, and 3 quality backs in Felix Jones, Marion Barber, and Tashard Choice there has to be something on the other side of the ball that is making your offence look rather ordinary. It was no fluke that a defence led by the 13 tackles of Laron Landry held the Cowboys to only one touchdown all night. Not to mention scoring their team’s only touchdown. Even the $100 million man Albert Haynesworth was showing some serious fight in the second half. I’m not trying to say that the Washington Redskins are going to win a championship this year but the defence was definitely a big plus Sunday night.

I’m not sure how many times I heard Cris Collingsworth say “This looks like a Mike Shannahan offence” throughout the course of the game but make no mistake, a Mike Shannahan run team is going to be run a whole heck of a lot better than one run by Jim Zorn.

Throughout his time in Denver, Mike Shannahan made his backfield of nobodies into somebodies. His current feature back, Clinton Portis, rushed for over 1500 yards in his two seasons in Denver under him but was traded for star cornerback Champ Bailey. With the Redskins Clinton Portis having averaged around 1100 yards a season and about 4.1 yards per carry in his time with Washington, it is probably an understatement to brand Portis as a disappointment so far. And even though he is reaching the twilight of his career at the age of 29 and had a less than stellar evening rushing 18 times for 63 yards, Portis did give us some signs that he could return to his old form. One instance that comes to mind was when Portis moved the chains on 1st and 10 but the play was negated due to a Chris Cooley illegal motion call. However, the very next play 1st and 15, Clinton Portis executed a “Mike Shannahan” cutback play to perfection as he ran for 16 yards and the first down.

In a division that sports the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and the Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins are not going to have it easy this season. And just because they won a game that they probably shouldn’t have is not the reason why people should start jumping on the Redskins bandwagon. Sunday night’s game provided Washington fans with more than just a 1-0 start to the season. It provided Washington Redskins fans to finally believe that their team may actually be turning a corner.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

Also check out howiGit’s blog.