One of the most ferocious and aggressive linebackers to ever play the game was da Bears Dick Butkus. Yep, this old dinosaur here actually watched him play back in '69. He was possibly the meanest and nastiest player to ever play the game, and he played every play like it was his last. While he had the ability to rip players heads off, he felt he needed added motivation to keep him on his game.
Dick Butkis: "When I went out on the field to warm up, I would manufacture things to make me mad. If someone on the other team was laughing, I'd pretend he was laughing at me or the Bears. I'd find something to get mad about. It always worked for me."
Perhaps this is the reason why our own linebacker JOEY PORTER is always saying something about the upcoming opponent. He is looking for the idiot to say something back that will really piss him off. It is a selfish thing as Porter's comments could be used as Bulletin Board material for the player that he faces, but it never seems to work that way for him. It is because he is better than the person he usually faces.
This week the person blocking Porter is 49ers TE Vernon Davis. Davis has been a disappointment as a receiver, but he has received a lot of praise from his coach Mike Singletary, another former linebacking great. Singletary's advice to Davis has been firm: do not respond to any of Porter's comments.
I believe he blew it when he said, "I'm pretty sure I've gone up against a lot of linebackers/defensive ends who are better than him." I think that right there is the motivation that Porter needs to blow right by Vernon Davis on his way to recording the 3 sacks he needs to break Miami's sack record.
I believe "Spatch", one of our forum members, said it best: "Breaking news from ESPN. We have an injury from the Miami/San-Fransisco game. Vernon Davis taken off the field after the first play of the game. The reports we are getting now, is that the injury can best be described as decapitation. Davis' return is doubtful."
Dick Butkus: "I never set out to hurt anybody, unless it was really important, like a league game or something. "
Who's Your Daddy Now?
When the Jets signed Brett Favre for a crapload of money, they released Chad Pennington. Penny then signed with the Jets rival. After 14 NFL weeks the previously 1-15 Dolphins are tied with the Jets for first place.Who got the better of the deal? The Dolphins of course. Pennington leads Favre in just about every stat. Not only that, but he is doing it behind a totally revamped offensive line and without the proven receivers that the Jets have. But don't let me be your brains. Look at the stats for yourself and make up your own mind.
If so, get off!!! The old bus has to be upgraded and then re-painted with the record of 11-5. It is increasingly looking as though the only team going to playoffs from the AFC East is the division winner. Right now, you’d have to give the inside track to the Jets, then Dolphins because each team controls their own destiny. The only back door for Miami is if Baltimore loses 2. This isn’t out of the question because Baltimore’s remaining opponents are Pittsburgh, @Dallas and then back home to face Jacksonville but it isn’t looking good. Baltimore is playing very well right now on both sides of the ball.So from division doormat to division winner it must be.
Many of you snickered when I started up the 10-6 bus. Some, whose names have been changed to protect the guilty, even went so far as to ridicule the prediction by starting the 15-1 bus. I think it was right after the loss to the Texans where I parked the bus with disgust. At 2-4, things weren’t looking good for the bus’s future. As the wins mounted, my enthusiasm returned and again, I’m driving the bus. My initial prediction was based on mostly hope and luck with just a dash of looking back into the past. When Miami selected Richmond Webb at LT they instantly improved in the win column. I was hoping the rumors about Jake Long were true and they’ve turned out to be just that. He’s been stellar in his rookie campaign. I also took into account Pennington. I hated Pennington with the Jets. I just hated the guy. He would throw the football to a spot on the field and it would take forever to get there. Then out of nowhere it hits his receiver in stride for another first down. It was horrible to watch back then. Now I love the guy. He throws the most catchable ball Miami has had since a young Dan Marino stepped onto the field. Sometimes when he lofts that ball across the middle my heart stands still. The football just seems to hang forever in the air column. It then gently glides over a leaping linebacker and into the hands of a Miami Receiver downfield. It is like watching Michael Paint the chapel ceiling one stroke at a time. Pennington has so far painted a masterpiece in Miami. It will be interesting to see how far they can go this year. They have two winnable games and a date with the Jets. It is a game that will certainly enter into the annals of Jets-Dolphins lore, if both teams can manage to go into the game unbeaten in their next 2.
Tale of the tape:
The 9’ers have been tough as of late, beating both Buffalo and the Jets in back to back weeks. They’re playing well under Singletary and Miami is going to have their hands full on Sunday. Miami might catch a break if Frank Gore can’t go and he didn’t practice on Wednesday. DeShaun Foster is his very capable backup. Foster is a bruising back that doesn’t go down easy but he’s no comparison to a healthy Gore. Nate Clements, a familiar foe, had a pin removed from his hand and is listed as probable. It’s unclear why some of the other guys missed their practice yesterday.