Ten Random 2009-2010 NFL Player Awards
I've had enough of the same old individual awards the NFL hands out year after year. It's time to spice things up.
Here are my suggestions: some of these spiffy new trophies could be given out in the preseason, as a morale booster of sorts for the players.
Others would be given after the season ends, to validate a player's hard work. Either way, football will never be the same.
Read on to find out all about it...
MVP: Adrian Peterson
No surprise here, boys and girls. AP has the speed, vision, and fearless running style that should make him THE perennial MVP candidate (barring injury) for the next five to seven years.
Expect around 1,800 yards and 15 all-purpose touchdowns in 09-10 for Peterson, but don't expect a playoff appearance for the Minnesota Vikings.
Which leads me to the next award...
Player Who Will Have the Biggest Impact on His Team (In a Negative Way): Brett Favre
That's a mouthful of an award title for "The Gunslinger," but he can always add it to his ever-growing resume.
Favre pulled a "Jose Canseco" this week by deciding to throw the Jets under the bus for not putting him on their injury report.
Did anyone else detect Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum's sarcasm when he responded with, "I should've listed him as probable, and we didn't, and I'll take responsibility for that."
Maybe I'm just imagining things, but it seems like front offices and teams across the NFL are getting sick of Favre's shenanigans. He's in, he's out.
He's got three broken ribs, and a bad rotator cuff, so he chop blocks a defender in the pre-season.
Favre has cried wolf too many times, and this is the year he pays the price for it. Remember, everyone, he wasn't exactly lighting it up last season: 22 TDs, 22 INTS.
He's become extremely injury prone (as any 40-year-old should), and he WILL do more harm than good for the Vikings this season.
Perhaps he and Brad Childress can take a few hunting trips together after the year is over, because neither will have a job.
Defensive MVP: Albert Haynesworth
Tom Brady certainly won't be the only man Albert sits on this season.
Before I'm bombarded with 300 "ALBERT HAYNESWORTH HAS NEVER PLAYED THROUGH AN ENTIRE SEASON" comments, allow me to explain my reasoning.
No, I do not think Mr. Haynesworth will play all 16 games this season. Does that diminish his chances? Certainly.
Winning, however, changes a lot of things, and I fully expect the Redskins to make the playoffs in 2009.
If the Skins are a top three defensive squad (and let's not forget that they were one of the best in the game last year), much of the credit will go to Washington's 100 million dollar acquisition.
Look for Albert to be double-teamed like no other to open up sack opportunities for guys like Andre Carter and Phillip Daniels, while he also adds seven or eight sacks and a whole bunch of tackles for losses.
Most Twitter Posts By Season's End: Chad Ochocinco
Another easy pick, especially considering Chad's twittering history.
He's interesting, funny (usually unintentionally), and above all, he wants to be noticed. That's the perfect package for a Twitter-addict whose Twitter post total (7,296) is quickly approaching the total yards in his career (8,905).
Ochocinco has already found a loophole to keep tweeting during NFL games, so it looks like either Pacman Jones or Tank Johnson will have a new job on the sidelines—entering messages on Twitter for Ochocinco after he makes a big play.
Rookie of the Year: Mark Sanchez
Finding a capable rookie QB is like looking for a needle in a haystack, and I really think the Jets found that needle with Mark Sanchez.
Yes, I'm aware that Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan's success last year is probably adding to Sanchez's hype, but it looks like he has the right mentality for the starting job in New York.
I listened to TV commentators rave about how Sanchez seemed to recover from his earlier mistakes in the preseason, and while I usually find such comments cliche, that phrase really does apply here.
He doesn't look like the type of guy to get frazzled, and he's got a pretty solid group of offensive weapons surrounding him.
Like Flacco in Baltimore last season, Sanchez will have to rely on a tough defensive unit to propel his team to the postseason.
Player Who Will Make or Break Your Fantasy Team: Darren McFadden
Darren McFadden was oozing with potential coming out of college, but he got stuck with those darn Raiders, who immediately cursed him into an injury-plagued season.
Even though Oakland will probably stink it up again in 2009, look for McFadden to be a bright spot. He appears healthy, motivated, and he's still a world-class talent.
He's also going to grab more carries than Michael Bush and Justin Fargas, so look for a 1,200-1,300 yard season with six to eight TDs.
If you were one of those old-timers who went with Jamal Lewis, Thomas Jones, Joseph Addai, or any other ACL tear waiting to happen/"30 and older club" running back, abandon ship while you still can and grab McFadden.
Player Who Should Be Avoided at All Costs in Fantasy Leagues: Ladainian Tomlinson
Entering most fantasy drafts, there are two different outlooks on LT this season. There's the left wing side, that says Tomlinson is done and Darren Sproles will come to the rescue by week six.
And there's the right wingers who believe LT will return to his old vintage self. I fall between the two, and slightly to the left.
It's not that Ladainian's career is over; I would be shocked if he didn't eclipse 1,000 rushing yards by season's end.
The problem is, most guys pick LT in the first round, and he won't put up first-round numbers anymore. I see 1,100 yards and six touchdowns on the season, and Sproles will grab some of the carries, but not enough to become the new starter.
First Coach to be Fired: Eric Mangini
If I were to pick which coach is the safest bet to be fired, Wade Phillips would definitely win in a landslide victory. The Cowboys are better than the Browns though, and Jerry Jones's ego will hold off removing Mr. Phillips until season's end.
So why will Mangini be first to go down?
It's usually rare to see a new coach fired in his first year with a team, but we did just witness multiple offensive coordinators being fired a week before the season started.
Mangini is already being grumpy towards the media and his players after it took exactly one day for everyone to figure out Brady Quinn was the new quarterback in town.
And getting on the wrong side of your players or the people that write about you is never a good idea.
I already picked Cleveland to finish last in the AFC North, so we'll put the firing date at week 10.
Coach of the Year: Mike McCarthy
Let's be honest here, if the Packers win the tough NFC North, the credit should go to new defensive coordinator Dom Capers. The Packers defense was nothing short of awful in 2008, but it appears that Capers has them on the right track.
Unfortunately for Dom, coordinators don't win head coach awards, so the voters will move on to the next best guy: Mike McCarthy.
McCarthy has done a great job at organizing one of the best offenses in football, so I don't mean for this award to come across as unwarranted.
His main competition will come from Mike Smith in Atlanta, but there isn't usually a repeat coach of the year.
Bench Player Who Will Have the Biggest Impact on His Team: Michael Vick
I had to throw in an award that only Michael Vick could win, because, really now, what's an NFL discussion without a backup QB who hasn't played a regular season game in two years?
Sarcasm aside, I actually expect Vick to have a negative effect on the Eagles. The fans of Philadelphia will start calling for number seven if Donovan McNabb has two poor games in a row (they have high expectations in Phily).
Andy Reid already bowed down to the public once in 2008 when he inserted Kevin Kobb, so it wouldn't surprise me if he did it again.