Friday, April 2, 2010

The Next Brady

Did I get your attention with the headline? I have been reading and hearing so much talk about Tim Tebow and the New England Patriots. Personally, I would love to see the Pats draft him. However, he wouldn't be my first choice to someday to take over the job as quarterback of the New England Patriots.

This quarterback is not in this years draft. Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford could be very good pro quarterbacks. In my opinion they will not be the quarterback that the "Next Brady" will be. Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford currently playing will also be very good quarterbacks. I am looking for a guy who can take over the mantle of a "living legend".

This quarterback is currently playing College Football close to where Tom Brady grew up in Northern California. His name is Andrew Luck and he plays for Stanford. Next year he will only be a sophomore. His first year playing at Stanford he was a redshirt freshman. He is 6ft. 4 inches tall and weighs 235 pounds. He resides in Houston Texas and his father Oliver Luck was a former NFL quarterback with the Houston Oilers.

Now what makes this redshirt freshman the "Next Brady"? In my opinion it is the intangibles you just can't measure. Tom Brady is extremely intelligent and has excellent pocket presence. What separates Tom Brady from the rest comes down to his decision making. Drew Bledsoe had all the natural ability to be a great quarterback. The difference between Bledsoe and Brady are the intangibles. To me the intangibles are the difference between good and great quarterbacks.

I was watching an ESPN College Football show and they were touting Andrew Luck. Stanford was about to play Oregon. The hosts of the show kept mentioning you need to check out this redshirt freshman form Stanford. I had no plans on watching this game. I took their advice and sat down and watched the game between Stanford and Oregon.

Two players jumped out at me right away and they both played for Stanford. Toby Gerhart is a great running back and I would love to see the Pats draft him. However, it was the quarterback Andrew Luck that caught my eye right away. For a freshman his pocket presence was fantastic. He knew just when to release the ball and it was a laser to his receiver. He did this time after time in this game against Oregon. Stanford won this game in a shootout 51 - 42. I am not a stat guy to be honest with you. I go by the eye test. In this game he was 12 - 20 for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns. The eye test told me he was better than the statistics in this game. This team you could tell was more about the running game than the passing game. With all that said, Andrew Luck was extremely poised in the pocket and made great decisions.

Now, that was just one game. What would happen next week against USC on the road? I decided I needed to see more so I watched this game. Would Luck get rattled in this game against USC? In the beginning to be honest he was a little shaky. As the game went on he settled down. Again, he made good decisions when under pressure. Stanford beat USC 55 - 21. His statistics won't overwhelm you. He was 12 - 22 throwing for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns. Again though the eye test told me he was better than the statistics. After this game I thought he might be the "real deal".

Now, the next week Stanford would play California. Andrew Luck came back to earth and had a very bad game against Cal. He was 10 -30 and threw an interception in a 34 - 28 loss for Stanford. Again, he is only a freshman and every quarterback has bad games. The question is how would he bounce back.

The next game was against Notre Dame. Andrew Luck was 14 - 20 and threw for 198 yards. His completion percentage was 70%. Luck did bounce back and help lead Stanford to a victory against Notre Dame 45 - 38. To me a quarterback that has a short memory, and can follow up a bad game with a good game is extremely valuable.

Andrew Luck's statistics are not going to overwhelm you. He played in an offense that was geared more for the running game last year. What impressed me is the intangibles you just can't teach. Luck is an intelligent quarterback with great instincts for football. He knows when to make the right decision. He throws the pass just at the right time. He also can take a hit. After watching a good sample of games from Luck I realized he was a special quarterback.

I am in no hurry to replace Tom Brady. I am as huge a fan of Brady as they come. I even named my son after him. At some point though life goes on and the Pats are going to need a new quarterback. Why not replace him someday with someone that has those similar qualities that Brady possesses?

Andrew Luck is going into his sophomore season at Stanford. This will be he third year at Stanford as he redshirted his first year. When he decides to go into the NFL draft I hope the New England Patriots do whatever they can to draft Andrew Luck.

If you want to see for yourself watch this youtube video of Andrew Luck

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cottagers Confidential

Hi Everyone,

I just launched a brand new website called It is about Fulham foootball club.

Please feel free to check it out at

Fulham Reserves beat Birmingham City 3 - 0

The Fulham Reserves beat Birmingham City 3 - 0 at Montsur Park last night. According to the article, Reserves 3 - 0 Birmigham on, the Fulham reserves came out strong in the opening 15 minutes. Fulham actually scored 3 goals in the first 15 minutes. Birmingham City at that point probably knew it was going to be an uphill struggle.

Danny Hoesen scored the first goal for Fulham. According to, it stated that Wayne Brown then scored the second goal with a shot from the right of the Birmingham box that went in the near post. Then, Christopher Buchtmann took a corner kick that was headed into the net by Matthew Briggs. Before the teams had time to breathe the score was 3 - 0. The score did not change at all after that point. The game ended with Fulham winning 3- 0

According to the article on " Fulham Reserves see off Birmingham" even though Fulham won 3 - 0 the writer could argue that Birmingham were the better side. That could possibly be true, but I am glad to see the Fulham Reserves won the game.

Finally, I am very interested in the progress of Fulham's young players of the future. has a brilliant breakdown and analysis of each Fulham player during the reserve match. In the article on "What I gleaned from the Fulham reserves tonight" the writer gives you his feeling on each player's performance. I would highly recommend reading this article if you are interested in players like Christopher Buchtmann, Wayne Brown, and Danny Hoesen. I will be following the progress of these players.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

10 Things I think about Fulham Football Club this week March 15th

The past week was a disappointing week for Fulham Football Club. Last Thursday, Fulham lost 3 - 1 against Juventus in the Europa League. Now, Fulham will have to win in convincing fashion this Thursday in the second leg at Craven Cottage. They will probably have to score at least 2 goals and probably hold Juventus scoreless. Fulham also lost on Sunday to Manchester United 3 - 0. They will need to bounce back next Sunday when they take on Manchester City at Craven Cottage. Below are the 10 things I have been thinking about Fulham.

1. I think the 3-1 loss to Juventus could have been a closer scoring difference. There is no question that Juventus dominated in the first 30 minutes. Maybe the Fulham players came out too tentative. They found themselves down 2 -0. Fulham rallied and scored in the first half to make it 2 -1. They also had a great chance to tie the game up in the first half. It took a great save to deny Fulham that second goal. In stoppage time they gave up the third goal. I think the third goal could have been prevented. They need to play better defense at the end of the half. Fulham should not be giving up any goals in stoppage time. Goals late in the half change games. The momentum now was completely with Juventus. If they don't give up that third goal, Fulham's chances on Thursday would be much greater.

2. I think the Juventus fans really don't care about the Europa League. I was shocked to see the small crowd that was at Turin. I could also see that a decent amount of the crowd were Fulham fans. I know Juventus are probably one of the greatest teams in the world. Their fans expect them to be in the Champions League. I get all of that. What I don't get is you only have a limited amount of games to see your team. Why wouldn't you go to this game?
3. I think it is great that Fulham fans sold out the game against Juventus. To me this shows just how important the Europa League means to Fulham and the fans. The Europa League to me is a reward for the hard work the team has put in the last couple of years. Both the team and the fans deserve this game. Hopefully with the crowd behind them Fulham can pull an upset.

4. I think Fulham were a different team against Manchester United with Danny Murphy in the lineup. Last week I wrote that I thought Fulham missed Murphy. I think this point was proven in the Manchester United game. I thought his passing was great and times I thought he controlled the first half of the match. I guess sometimes you don't appreciate a player until he is not there. I certainly appreciate Danny Murphy.

5. I think Roy Hogdson's changes in the starting lineup for the Manchester United game were effective. Stephen Kelly at right back I thought worked for the most part in the first half. Replacing Dickson Etuhu with Chris Baird in midfield seemed to work as well. I also liked having Clint Dempsey up front . Zotlan Gera being in midfield was another change Roy made. It is really good that Roy can move players around and the team can still keep its shape.

6. I think Clint Dempsey being back early is a huge boost. I was shocked to see him come in as a substitute during the Juventus match. I think it will take him a few more games to get back up to speed. I think he brings some added quality and goal scoring potential that the team needs now.

7. I think Fulham definitely have a chance against Juventus of advancing. Juventus have some injuries coming into the match at Craven Cottage. The goalkeeper Alex Manninger will be out. They are also coming off of a 3 - 3 tie against Siena. Fulham have an opportunity to advance. It might be slim, but it is there for the taking. With the injuries and the below average form from Juventus in their last match, hopefully Fulham can capitalize and come out strong. An early goal by Fulham and the game is on.

8. I think Fulham have a very good chance at beating Manchester City. Fulham have played Manchester City very tough lately. If Manchester City play how they played in the first half against Sunderland they will lose. I just don't think this is a team that intimidates Fulham. They have more talent than Fulham, but do they have the better team? I think we will find out this weekend.

9. I think Fulham fans should check out the reserves tonight against Birmingham City. The game is tonight at Motspur Park at 7PM UK Time. I would love the opportunity to see Christopher Buchtmann and see if he is the "real deal". Sine I am in the United States I can only read about it. This is a chance to see up and coming players for the team.

10. I think Fulham have a chance to match their league point total from last year of 53. They currently have 38 points. They need 15 points in the last 9 games. I just looked at the schedule and there are several games which I think they can win. Home games against Wigan, Stoke, Wolves and West Ham are all games the team should win. They can also potentially win at Hull. I know it will be tough, but if they could match that total to me it would be an incredible achievement.

Again, these are just 10 things I think about Fulham Football Club as of this week March 15th. It should be another fun week.

Monday, March 15, 2010

5 Things I think about the New England Patriots this week March 15th

With free agency in its second week who would the New England Patriots sign? Also, who would be leaving the New England Patriots.These are the five things I think about the New England Patriots this week March 15th.

1. I think Leigh Bodden was the second biggest signing of the off season. I was convinced that the New England Patriots were going to lose their #1 corner. He was in Houston with the Texans having meetings. A funny thing happened and he decided to sign with the Pats. He has stated in interviews that he was interested in coming back before free agency began. Now with him back in the fold, the Pats can concentrate on other needs.

2. I think losing Ben Watson in my opinion is no loss. Ben Watson to me was like "Mike Mamula" was for the Eagles years ago. He was combine hero that had all the intangibles to be an impact player. The combine though to me cannot measure natural football ability. Ben Watson did not have "great hands". With a Tight End you need to have great hands. I think after awhile Tom Brady did not trust him. He had plenty of chances to thrive in this offense. In my opinion he is a huge disappointment.

3. I think Ladainian Tomlinson signing with the Jets believe it or not benefits the New England Patriots. He is not the player he used to be. The Jets would have been better off re-signing Thomas Jones. If they give LT carries that should go to Shonn Greene I think is a mistake. He is not an every day back anymore. He probably thinks he still is. He could become a major issue for that team. Good luck to the Jets.

4. I think signing Kevin Faulk was crucial for the The New England Patriots. As I stated last week having him back in the fold gives Brady stability on third downs. He is your "go to" guy in those crucial situations. I also think he will bring more leadership to the locker room. He will be like Troy Brown in my opinion finish his career with the Pats. He represents everything I love about the Pats. He is a hard worker and very dependable in game changing situations.

5. I think the New England Patriots are on their way to getting their locker room back. With the signing of 5 of their own players there has to be a signal in the locker room that the Pats actually pay their players. These signings should hopefully change the mood in the locker room. Vince Wilfork already has come out and has shown leadership with some comments this week. Since he got his contract maybe now he can flex his muscles and become that " Willie McGinest enforcer" in the locker room. Maybe the Pats of the Championship Days are not dead just yet? This is a step in the right direction.

Those are my 5 things I think about for the week of March 15th.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Analysis of "My 5 Keys to Survival for Fulham against Manchester United"

I knew to win at Manchester United would take a special effort by Fulham. I was hoping that maybe they could get a point and just be competitive. Fulham were very competitive in the first half. It was the second half that Manchester United dominated. Fulham did lose 3 - 0 at Old Trafford today. I am going to now analyze below my "5 Keys to Survival for Fulham against Manchester United" which I wrote about on Friday.

1. I am hoping that Danny Murphy will be able to play. Danny Murphy did play in this game and played well. His passing in the midfield I thought was a big key in the first half. In the second half Murphy started to get frustrated and actually got a yellow card. Dickson Etuhu did not play as Chris Baird played in his place in the midfield.

2. Will Nicky Shorey play or will Paul Konchesky start? Nicky Shorey did play and Paul Konchesky sat ont he bench. Stephen Kelly actually played on defense as well. I don't think Konchesky playing would have made a difference. I wanted Shorey to play.

3. Defending well on set pieces for Fulham is a must. There certainly were a good amount of set pieces. I think for the most part Fulham did a good job on corners and free kicks. With the likes of Berbatov and Rooney to handle on these kicks, Fulham did hold their own.

4. If it is possible Fulham need to contain Wayne Rooney. This was the key to the match where Fulham failed. They could not contain Wayne Rooney. He was involved in all 3 goals and he scored 2 himself. At times I thought the defense did a good job on him. The problem is he is such a great player, and it doesn't take much for him to get an opening. In the second half he took over and to me was the difference in the match.

5. Mark Schwarzer needs to play at his "highest level" in this matchup. Mark Schwarzer I thought played well. He made several key saves especially in the first half. I don't think you can blame him on any of the 3 goals. Wayne Rooney and his teammates just were too much for him to handle in the second half.

In conclusion Fulham were actually successful on most of "my keys for survival". They were very competitive in the first half. The #4 key is what made the difference in the match. They were not able to contain Rooney and they looked tired in the second half. It is just one game. I think they also showed they can play with the best teams in Europe. I guess it is another thing to win against those teams.

Fulham go down 3-0 to a Manchester United Dominant Performance

Going into the match I was hoping for Fulham to be competitive against Manchester United at Old Trafford. After just playing Juventus on Thursday it wouldn't be crazy to think Fulham could be tired. Well, Fulham were more than competitive in the first half. They definitely held their own. It was the second half where Manchester United dominated. They beat a tired Fulham club 3 - 0 at Old Trafford. Manchester United scored 3 second half goals to take over the match.

The first half began with Fulham starting strong with some possession. Clint Dempsey started off in the second minute with a shot. It didn't take Manchester United long to get into the game. In the 10th minute Wayne Rooney got loose in the box and was right in on Schwarzer. The save was made by the goalkeeper.

In the 14th minute , Clint Dempsey had a shot that just went over the net from just outside the box. The play at this point was going back and forth but, Manchester United were starting to get more control of the game. In the 25th minute Berbatov's header from Nani just went over the net. In the 30th minute a shot by Rooney was denied by a great save by Mark Schwarzer.

Nani was a constant pest for Stephen Kelly. He was involved in many plays. In the 34th minute Rooney put another header on net from a pass from Nani. There we a couple times that Manchester Players were looking for a penalty shot inside the box over possible fouls. I guess the referees did not see it that way.

The last best chance for Fulham came from Bobby Zamora In the 38th minute his flick of a shot just went over the net. He was fed a fantastic pass by Danny Murphy. Manchester United had one more chance . In the 44th minute a shot by Rooney that just went wide of the net. The half ended 0 - 0. Fulham deserved to be even Manchester United at the half.

The second half began very badly for Fulham. In the opening 30 seconds Wayne Rooney scored his first goal of the day from a nice pass from Nani 12 yards out. At this point the tempo of the game changed. Manchester United just took control and I could tell Fulham were getting tired. You didn't see that same spark you saw in the first half from the Cottagers.

Manchester United were starting to have more shots. In the 66th minute a Ferdinand shot just goes over the net off of a corner kick. In the 74th minute, a Rooney header just goes wide. Fulham were still hanging in there.

The best chance of the match came in the 75th minute for Fulham. Bobby Zamora had one on one with the goalkeeper, but at the last minute his shot was blocked by Vidic who flew back into the play. I was thinking at that point it is just not going to be Fulham's day. I couldn't have been more right.

In the last 10 minutes Manchester United scored 2 more goals. Berbatov made a great run and pass to Wayne Rooney. There was not much that Schwarzer could do as Wayne Rooney scored his second goal. This was followed up shortly after that by a Berbatov header that went into the net past Mark Schwarzer. This was set up by a great cross from Park. The game ended with Manchester United winning 3 - 0.

Fulham came to play but just ran out of steam in the second half. I got to watch why Manchester United in my opinion our the best team in the world. This team just keeps coming. The difference in the match is they created and scored on the opportunities they had in the second half.

The score doesn't indicate that Fulham were competitive in this match. Fulham have come along way. They are just not at the same level of Manchester United. Not many teams are at that level. I certainly think Fulham are still a top half of the table club in the league. I think by the end of the season they will still be at that position.