Monday, May 12, 2008

Jared Allen, Pet Neshek, Jon Kitna...and a porn star?

* For those still concerned about the possibility of Jared Allen being suspended for a whole season if he fails another drug test/has another DUI, don't be. Not only is the press about him positive, but reports that, if he stays out of trouble until September, Allen's previous failures will be wiped off the record, giving him a clean slate and a fresh start. Considering that his original four-game suspension in 2007 was reduced to two games, it seems that the NFL front office already has a history of being lenient with Allen, who's seemed contrite enough about his early mistakes. Adam Jones could learn a thing or two.

* During the draft -- while Green Bay was selecting Brian Brohm, I believe -- one of the analysts on ESPN commented that, with Brett Favre's retirement and the uncertainty at quarterback for most of the teams in the division, Jon Kitna was "clearly" the best quarterback in the division.

This didn't sit well with me. Kitna has put up some decent-looking numbers, throwing for over 4,000 yards each of his two seasons with the Lions, but that's been due to the Lions' ineptness at the running game. It's the same reason the Vikings' pass defense looks worse than it is -- because teams never run on them. With those 4,000-yard seasons have come more interceptions than TDs each year, 28 fumbles, and a league-leading 114 sacks.

Now, I'm no fan of Tarvaris Jackson, but let's compare the two. Kitna had 561 pass attempts in 2007, compared to Jackson's 294 -- nearly double. Counting sacks among dropbacks, we come up with 612 for Kitna and 311 for Jackson, an even closer match. In fact, let's double Jackson's numbers to put him more in line with Kitna. Here are the results:

Jackson x23425883822182438140520

For 2008, Kitna's passer rating was 80.9, compared to Jackson's 70.8, so he wins that round. But if you take Jackson's mobility (fewer sacks and better rushing numbers) into account, it's a lot closer (and my Total Yards per Attempt statistic does just that, and ranks Jackson as slightly better, overall, than Kitna). Neither one of them are Brett Favre, but at the very least, you couldn't call either of those quarterbacks clearly "better" than the other.

* Sad news about Twins relief pitcher/blogger Pat Neshek, who suffered a partial ligament tear in his elbow and is likely done for the season. On the one hand, many will blame Neshek's funky delivery for his developing elbow problems. Me? I think it came from ripping open too many baseball card packs.

* And, to close on a lighter note...Candy Cummings: porn star or Hall of Fame baseball player?

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