By Joe Perovich | KFAN Productions Intern
If the calendar has recently flipped to September, large contingents of fans are failing to remember.
Amnesia by choice, you could say. December’s “incompetent waste-of-a-draft-pick” is next September’s “late bloomer that has plenty of upside, and hey, did you hear he’s under the tutelage of that newly hired position coach from No One Cares State?”
It’s a coping mechanism. No shame in that! At one point or another, every organization and its fans will indulge. So yeah, do your thing Cleveland.
“Who cares about our beloved 2008 Browns putting a stranglehold on the division’s least coveted spot? So what if Derek Anderson and wide receiver Braylon Edwards combined for 32 fewer touchdowns than the year prior. If scoring doesn’t come from them, it will from somebody else!”
… wait, what? Well, no.
There was some considerable intrigue on Minnesota’s side of things, however.
For starters: On a sweep play left, 39-year-old Brett Favre voluntarily threw his body in front of a 29-year old safety to free up a few more yards for his teammate in a preseason game.
How far is this guy willing to go if it means a teammate possibly gaining a few more yards in a regular season game?
He’s willing to throw his body around from the outset, but not the football.
The GIF below was Favre’s first pass as a Viking. At game’s end he had thrown for 110 yards on 14/21 passing. Of those 14 completions, 13 were logged as ‘short passes’’ (short left (4), short middle (2), and short right (7)). That leaves just one, single completion all game that wasn’t a designed screen or a checkdown (featured below).
We’re able to look at the 2009 season and even further as finished entities, but for entertainment purposes, envision a New York Jets fan sitting on his sofa watching Week 1 unfold live. He sees his quarterback from just 10 months prior getting paid $12 million to be utilized as a game manager doing things such as this…
Simultaneously, the 22-year-old rookie quarterback out of USC his favorite team traded up into the Top-5 for is doing things such as this…
Let’s remember to stay even-keeled when Week 1 of the 2014 season rolls around. Things tend to change.
The Vikings were getting set to unveil their 1st and 2nd round picks, WR/KR Percy Harvin and RT Phil Loadholt, as starters in their NFL debuts.
In what became the first of many instances, Percy Harvin rose to the occasion.
While many talented and highly touted wide receiver prospects require 2-to-3 seasons to build a sense of comfort, Harvin hit pay dirt for the first time in front of a raucous Dawg Pound crowd. Meanwhile, “Dawg Nation” and University of Georgia enjoyed their Sunday 500 miles away, just glad it wasn’t them for once.
Watching this game back reaffirmed a question I’ve often thought about that hasn’t been returned with a logical answer: How hasn’t Rob Ryan received a head coaching opportunity yet? He became the Saints defensive coordinator in 2013, switched them to the 3-4, and they finished the season 4th in the NFL in yards and points allowed.
Hard to believe, but the Browns, who went on to finish 5-11, were up 13-10 at halftime against the Vikings. Looking back, that’s pretty unbelievable. Here’s why.
The following three players were all starters against the Vikings in that Week 1, 2009 game.
• Age 29.
• Hasn’t played in the NFL since 2011.
• Cut during training camp by Dallas in 2012 for failing a conditioning test.
• Age 32.
• Hasn’t played in the NFL since 2012.
• Ironically, was a player involved in the Mark Sanchez draft day trade.
• Age 28.
• Hasn’t played in the NFL since 2012.
• In the 11 months from Dec. 2011-Nov. 2012, he was signed or waived six different times.
(Granted, he’s a proven liability in coverage, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a guy of McDonald’s size stand up Adrian Peterson in the way he does below. That’s exceptional.)
And finally, I can’t end the article any other way. Here you go. Eric Wright will forever live in infamy.