Besides being stuffed with Turkey last week, we also had to put up with some “big moves” in the football world as the college and National Football League made changes with their quarterbacks or hired a few coaches.
The best move made by our Houston Texans, benched Davis Mills the last two years for Kyle Allen, was taken in the free market last summer as a quarterback.
Mills has thrown more (11) than touchdowns (9) in his last eight games, his passer rating (78.1) ranks 34th among all qualified quarterbacks and he stumbled to a 59.8 completion percentage for Houston’s opening three drives this season. Head Coach Lovie Smith said on Friday that this is a “temporary decision”.
You have to understand that Allen hasn’t been in a real NFL game for two or three seasons and he’s probably very rusty, especially when trying to dodge 375-pound defensive linemen breathing down his neck.
Lovie Smith-whose fans’ love has dwindled to “impossible”-announced this first change last week-from possibly being our man for Sunday’s game-and put Mills on the bench when he should have missed a lot earlier. .
Smith made the change out of sheer desperation. His career was on the precipice as many fans – especially those who bought season tickets – were calling for scalps and asking the front office to make a change for anyone who knew how to win with a bad NFL team.
And Smith’s job wasn’t the only one hanging by a loose finger—offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Pep Hamilton was in the same boat. All they did was substitute Allen for Mills and do a lot of hoping or praying.
Compared to the strength of Mills’ arm, it appeared that Allen was throwing change-ups to his receivers, who were more likely to wait for the rainbow pass to arrive and then grab it with both hands to avoid scrambling, which it did. most of them did.
Monday morning’s headline on the Houston Chronicle’s front page “Miami Vise” pretty much covered Sunday’s game against the Dolphins. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was eating poorly in the Texans pass defense, completing a pass at will and giving his team a 30-0 lead at halftime.
Whether the Dolphins sympathized with Houston or were saving tanks for the “real” opponent of the future, the Texans ended up working against the second, third and fourth strings. I saw cheerleaders approaching the Miami bench in the second half, probably because they wanted to get in the game, again, against the hapless Texans.
On a more serious note, early last week closer to home the Lamar Cardinals fired their football coach Blane Morgan after a 1-10 season in 2022 and a 5-23 record during his three-year tenure at the Beaumont school. His record in conference games was a dismal 3-16.
But it should be remembered that Morgan’s hiring was just one of many moves made by former athlete March Born, who got on my bad side when he fired two softball coaches while he was getting off a plane to take a new job.
It took several years for the Regents to see things the way I first saw them and gave Born a one-way ticket out of Beaumont.
The school had to be careful who they hired to replace Morgan. There’s an old saying my Grandfather told me long ago—”You get what you pay for”—which means that if Lamar really wants to continue his football program, they need to win. And in college football, winning depends on the number of dollars each school is willing to pay their head coach.
Lamar retired from football for several years until alumni and Beaumont college football fans petitioned the administration to restart the football program.
They promised to show up at home games—but forgot to add the clause “as long as the Cardinals win”—and soon the number of fans in the stadium could be counted by a passing helicopter.
I will give Lamar University five years to develop a winning football program or quit altogether. Born’s successor Jeff O’Malley would have to be very careful who he chooses to replace Morgan, because he could be the Cardinals’ last football coach.
KWICKIES…Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has many Buckeye alums and fans wondering if he is the right man for the job. Although his Buckeyes tear through the first 11 games of their regular season mostly unscathed, it’s the last one against Michigan that has everyone up in arms. Why can’t the Sun team win the most important game on his schedule? For the second year in a row Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh beat the Buckeyes. Day is 45-5 as Urban Meyer’s replacement, but is 1-2 against Michigan.
Nick Chubb scored the game-winning touchdown on a three-yard run with 19 seconds left in overtime to give the Cleveland Browns a 23-17 come-from-behind victory over Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Chubb, who rushed for 116 yards on 26 carries, broke the 100-yard mark for the 28th time in his career, second in NFL history. The win leaves the Browns with a not-so-great 4-7 record as they await the first game of their savior Deshaun Watson, who is scheduled to start Sunday against his former team—the hapless Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.
Georgia was unable to maintain its top spot this week in the Associated Press Top 25 Collegiate Poll over Michigan, which moved up one spot with its win over Ohio State, which dropped three spots to No. 5. TCU and Southern Cal moved up one spot to No. 3 and No. 4, respectively , Alabama moved up two spots to No. spots to No. 10. LSU slipped from sixth to No. 11 while Tulane moved up one spot to No. 18 and Texas jumped three spots to No. 21.
The autobiography of ESPN’s “First Take” host Stephen A. Smith titled “Straight Shooter” will be available for sale on January 17, 2023. He is very opinionated and hates the Dallas Cowboys.
I would be very surprised if Nathaniel Hackett is still coaching the Denver Broncos on Christmas or maybe even when the paper hits the streets Wednesday. This is his first year as a head coach and he doesn’t seem to be doing anything NFL-wise. For example, the organization invested a lot of money to sign quarterback Russell Wilson after trading from the Seattle Seahawks for several good players and then had him learn his offensive scheme. When you find a franchise quarterback who is likely headed for the Hall of Fame, you adjust your offense to Wilson’s strengths, not the other way around. And next to the Houston Texans, Denver is the worst team in the NFL.
IN THE MIDDLE…Talented wide receiver O’Dell Beckham, Jr. (OBJ) is shopping for another Super Bowl ring that will likely go to a high paying Super Bowl team. But throughout his best career, OBJ had a hard time following team rules and was traded or released several times. He is currently a free agent after recovering from the injury he suffered in February’s Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams and is ready to play again. But then again, OBJ had a hard time following the rules used by every airline in the world — fasten your seat belt. His flight was getting ready to take off from Miami to Los Angeles, but he had—or failed—to fasten his seat belt. After many requests, the flight attendants called the airport to take him off the plane, and they did. I believe that he just paid for himself a trip to the Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles or Miami Dolphins who showed interest in the stupid-but really talented-football player who had to use his lawyer to tell the media why he was not arrested.