Monday, December 22, 2014

What questions would you ask Marshawn Lynch?

Marshawn Lynch answered almost every question he was asked by media on Sunday with "Thanks for asking."

Earlier in the season he answered reporters by repeating "Yeah."

Not exactly the loquacious type, is he?

As a Bill Belichick fan, I am all for wasting the media's time. It's funny how some members of the media, when presented with guys like Lynch who make their job difficult, will work themselves into a moral outrage over what Lynch is doing. They'll say that Lynch is being disrespectful to the fans, or creating a distraction, or committing some other uproarious sports sin. Somehow not talking to the media, something quite trivial, becomes an egregious wrong.

Even funnier than that outrage is that the reporters still ask Lynch serious questions. "Can you describe the 79-yard run?" (by the way, that's media talk for "I can't come up with a good question, but can you do my job for me and give me a quote/soundbyte about a big play?") That's a stupendously awful question, asking a guy to describe something you saw for yourself. But I digress.

If I were a reporter, I would ask less serious questions. Such as...

"Do you believe in Santa, and if so, what do you want from him for Christmas?"

"Open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?"

"Turkey, or ham?"

"Follow up, paired with what wine?"

"Is Elf on the Shelf too creepy for kids?"

"People have described you as a 'bad man,' does that mean you'll be getting coal for Christmas?"

"Favorite reindeer not named Rudolph?"

"Favorite classic kids Christmas special: Rudolph, Charlie Brown, or the Grinch?"

"Besides Bill Belichick, who in the NFL is most like the Grinch?"

"Besides Pete Carroll, who in the NFL is most like Rudolph?"

"How would you react to meeting an Irishman named Sean Mar?"

"Are you thinking about a career in media after your playing days are over?"

"Follow up: If you were interviewing yourself, what would you ask yourself?" (this is getting into Inside the Actors Studio territory so I'll wrap it up)

"What is your favorite one-word response to media questions?"

So, what questions should reporters ask Marshawn Lynch? What would you ask him?

Photo Credit:
Getty Images

Patriots win was ugly, had good personality

Ugly wins are wins. This was just about as ugly as you could get. No protection for Brady, who\ made a very poor decision and threw a pick. Inconsistent pressure on Geno Smith. Stupid penalties. No offensive movement for most of the game. Ugly, ugly, ugly. But a win, win, win.

And by winning the Patriots advance to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, with a chance to clinch the #1 seed pending the Broncos/Bengals game.

As unattractive as this game was for the Patriots, some big plays gave it a good personality. The Pats rarely pressured Smith, but when they did they forced an interception, and sacked him twice on big third down plays when the Jets were threatening to score. One sack pushed the Jets back 10 yards before they attempted a 52-yard field goal. That field goal was tipped by Vince Wilfork, and the Patriots kept the lead.

Special teams once again factored into a victory, both the blocked field goal and a 39-yard punt return by Danny Amendola at the start of the 2nd quarter that eventually led to Gronkowski's touchdown.

Speaking of Amendola, this was by far his best performance of the year. Brady targeted him 11 times and he caught 8 passes, both team highs, for 63 yards. He had 8 catches in his previous 6 games combined, and only 68 yards. A third of his production this season came Sunday afternoon.

When he got hurt last year and Edelman stepped in and excelled, Amendola found himself without a role in this offense. That's not an excuse, because it speaks to a lack of versatility on Amendola's part, as well as his difficulty staying healthy. Nevertheless, it's unfair to just dismiss him as a complete failure, because if not for Edelman being a great slot receiver, Amendola would have been a good one. When charged with that task, he's done well.

One thing that this game made clear is that the running backs will only do as well as the offensive line does. All the clamoring for Jonas Gray to get carries, all the lobbying made by fans and pundits to run the ball more, it's based on how well the line has played, not how good the RBs are. Jonas Gray had a great game against Indy. But he did it behind an offensive line having an even better game. On Sunday the line struggled, and so did the RBs.

And that point also should make your o-line concerns more prominent. It's the biggest worry this team has going into the playoffs. Brady can't pass without protection. Blount, Gray, and Vereen can't run without holes. This team can't move the ball if the line can't win battles in the trenches.

Concerns aside, the Patriots won the bye, and can clinch home-field advantage if Cincinnati beats Denver Monday night. When the Patriots squeezed by the Jets 27-25 in October, and were about to play a bunch of games against tough teams, did you imagine that they'd be on the verge of clinching the #1 seed?

Hopefully Cincinnati gives us an early Christmas present.

Photo Credit:
Andrew Millis/NJ Advance Media for