A lot of people think Philadelphia sports fans are insufferable raving lunatics, but I prefer to think of them as lovable raving lunatics. Sports mean nothing unless people care about them, and Philly fans care as much as anybody.
ATLANTA -- After practice concluded last Friday with a short talk from coach Mike Smith, Falcons players quickly made their way into the locker room so they could change and take advantage of the rest of the afternoon. Roddy White was an exception. The standout wide receiver walked off the field, through a back door and made a hard right into a dark meeting room. There, he took a seat near the back wall, grabbed a laser pointer and began drawing tight red circles on the large projection screen in the front of the room.
It's a Raider Past and Present Tuesday, with a new outlet for me. The inaugural Sports Illustrated "NFL Podcast With Peter King'' will be up soon on iTunes (as it will be every Tuesday during the season), with an extensive interview with former Raiders corner Nnamdi Asomugha highlighting the first 'Cast. Interesting stuff on Al Davis, acting, and the teams that pursued Asomugha in free agency before he landed in Philadelphia. You can listen to the first podcast below, or find all of them here.
IN THE USO-MOBILE, ON I-81 IN CENTRAL VIRGINIA -- Camps are open. Football's back. I'm on the road, writing Monday Morning Quarterback in the cab of a big rig near the Blue Ridge Mountains. Intrigue's happening. Life is good.
The Philadelphia Eagles on Friday quietly executed a perfect coup de stat -- that's when a team sneaks into the free-agent market to capture the best available player who, most importantly, fills a position of great statistical need.
While the labor skirmish drones on, let's focus on one item in Monday's column that brought some email and Twitter chatter: the move of Mario Williams from defensive end in the Texans' former 4-3 defense to a rush outside linebacker in new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' 3-4.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Greatness. It's a term that's easily understood but difficult to quantify in athletics. Is it measured by championships? Personal accolades? Individual statistics? Or is it something with broader context, like being able to improve the performance of those around you?
Some real news this morning, obviously, that will impact not only the New York Jets and Wednesday's Hard Knocks' finale, but also the foes on the first month of the Jets' schedule: Darrelle Revis will sign a contract this morning that reinforces the final three years of his contract and adds a fourth year, 2013. Technically, the contract runs through 2016, but I expect it to void to a four-year deal worth, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, $46 million over four years.
With Peter King in South Africa covering the World Cup, Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha took time away from his offseason to write today's Monday Morning Quarterback column. Asomugha is entering his eighth season in the NFL and is widely considered to be one of the best cornerbacks in the game. He's also very active off the field, lending efforts to his foundation among other charitable pursuits. Without further ado, here's his advice for rookies, Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel note and other MMQB staples.
Tom Cable took the podium for his Monday press conference with a new lease on life. With the Oakland Raiders surprising upset of the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Cable slipped into the second tier of NFL Coaches Most Likely to Be Fired, dropping behind names like Washington's Jim Zorn.
Nnamdi Asomugha and the Oakland Raiders agreed to terms on a six-year contract that will bring the All-Pro cornerback $28.5 million guaranteed over the next two years, a source familiar with the negotiations said today.
The Raiders' surprising decision to release two-time Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall after only eight games is another example of a free agent not being an ideal "fit" for a team's scheme. Hall, the eighth overall pick in the 2004 draft, was acquired in the offseason to join Nnamdi Asomugha in forming one of the league's top cornerback duos. But Hall didn't play up to his all-star status in the man-to-man scheme, losing his job in midweek but reportedly signing on with the Redskins at week's end.
I'm returning to seriousness in my Emailer of the Week Award. No more good guy. Only deep thinkers need apply. Step up, Chris Guhin of Brooklyn because you have driven me to my charts, which is a world I much prefer to the one in which I have to spend most of my time. My charts don't yack on TV like schoolgirls. They don't find people like Joe the Plumber to quote. They don't make up lies and justify them in the name of politics.
Thankfully, much of the country probably missed the season opener between the Raiders and Broncos on Monday night because of its late start (7:15 Pacific). The game was over almost as quickly as it started, with Denver dominating its way to leads of 7-0 after one quarter, 17-0 at the half, and 27-0 entering the fourth quarter before settling for a 41-14 victory.