“The Teams–My Thoughts”
AZTECS…What an amazing football season we are watching on TV, since the home games are up in Carson, and no one is willing to drive 226-miles round trip to see San Diego State play. Great by ultra focused head coach Brady Hoke, making something better at quarterback than he started with in Lucas Johnson and Jordan Brookshire. They are not running the ball with the chunk plays they have had in the past, and that’s probably because of alot of new pieces in the offensive front. But the defense might be the best we have seen in modern day SDSU history. And how about that history…an Aztecs team that is (103-59) since Brady Hoke and Rocky Long took over guidance of the program.
USD…Coach em up and that is what Dale Lindsey did after an (0-4) start. They were overscheduled to start the season, way unfair to play scholarship schools like Cal Poly, UC-Davis to start the season. But the quarterbacking got better and bell and the defense and special teams may alot of progress. Still think this program should be in the Big Sky Conference and grant scholarships, rather than be treated like a club sport on campus.
AZTECS…San Diego State has 11-new parts on the roster, has been up and down in a (5-2) start, and now they go to Michigan to play the Wolverines. It is a strange feel for Brian Dutcher to return to Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, where he and Steve Fisher had a tremendous run with the Fab 5. All that undone by the Booster scandal in which Chris Webber, Robert Traylor and 2-others took over 618,000 in benefits from booster Ed Martin. It wound up with UM getting 4-years of sanction, the players barred from the program, Fisher getting fired and Dutcher leaving a year later. Webber and the players never apologized, though Webber did repay the university after he was indicted and lied to a Grand Jury. SDSU does not look ready for this Dutcher home-coming game. But if they beat Juwaan Howard’s team in that arena, it might propel them like a win at Kansas years ago did. But it has to be a strange feel for Dutcher going into the building where he and Fisher were badly stained by what the Fab 5-players did.
CHARGERS…If they win in Cincinnati this weekend, they have a chance to make a strong run to first place, because there are easy home games coming up with the likes of the crippled Giants and others. But the shortcomings are the shortcoming, no power run game, no run defense, and too many kids getting beat on patterns Sunday-by-Sunday. Has not been the same team since the (4-1) start though Justin Herbert is so much fun to watch.
RAMS…Not what they used to be, nor hoped to be. QB-Matthew Stafford is forcing too much stuff down the field-end result, bad and lots of turnovers. The loss of playmaker and route runner Robert Woods has really hurt the team. It has put so much pressure o Cooper Kupp. Van Jefferson has tailed off. Not much use of tight ends. Can’t run the ball, should throw the ball to backs more out of the backfield. Injuries to some of the skill guys have hurt. Ridding themselves of DeSean Jackson and replacing him with Odell Beckham hasn’t made things better. Are Rams too attracted to shiny new objects?
PADRES…If anyone can tell me what the blueprint of this team is please email me. You traded a couple of prospects for All Star Adam Frazier, don’t have a position for him, then deal him to Seattle for two Class A players, who are years away? Then you lose relief ace Mark Melancon and his 39-saves in free agency? And you let Daniel Hudson go to the Dodgers.. And you are negotiating with a journeyman Luis Garcia and a pitcher from Japan who has never been close to the majors? And they added ex Ranger starting pitcher Nick Martinez, who had been in Japan where he was (26-26) over 3-years….Not a positive off season which is now in shutdown mode.
DODGERS…Bad start to the off season, losing Max Scherzer and Corey Seager. They traded top prospects Josiah Gray and Kei Ruiz to get Scherzer and Trea Turner. Now the mercenary pitcher goes to the Mets, and Seager goes to the highest bidder, as Scott Boras delivers him to a loser in Texas. Kind of feels like the day Boras took Adrian Beltre away and got him a payday on losers in Seattle and Texas. The Dodgers have pitching issues now and haven’t decided on Clayton Kershaw-Kenley Jansen yet. Does anyone believe Andrew Heaney can be anything but a back of the rotation-hope he pitches well guy? Does anyone know when a decision on Trevor Bauer and his bloated contract might be coming? Can you say ‘were the best team in NL West for a longtime’.
ANGELS…Fired the first shot in free agency with the 1-year rental of Noah Syndegaard of the Mets. Looks healthy, if he stays healthy, they have a stud to join the front of the rotation with Shohei Ohtani. They re-signed closer Raisel Iglesias, then added part time starter Michael Lorenzen and left handed setup guy Aaron Loup. The Halos are better now than they were at the end of last season on the mound, even with losing trust-worthy veteran Alex Cobb to the Giants.
GULLS…It took awhile for incoming coach Joel Bouchard to sell his style to his players. Their practices are really physical, really hard, really demanding. The AHL games may be easier, and the kids are scoring goals now. An (0-4) has been replaced by an (8-2-3) spurt even with a bunch of call ups from the Ducks.
LAKERS…You may like them, but I don’t like what I see. LeBron James missed 11-of the first 22-games and now he is on the sidelines for 10-days with Covid. Anthony Davis is playing well, but some nights you don’t know what you are getting one night to the next from Russell Westbrook to Carmelo Anthony. Thank goodness they played Sacramento and Detroit four times in the last week and a half. Their (12-11) record could be alot more disappointing than it is. At the quarter mark of the season, I am not impressed.
CLIPPERS…They go as far as Paul George carries them. They need lots of good nights from Reggie Jackson and the bench to hang in these games. If there is no Kawhi Leoanrd sighting this season, don’t know how this can be a playoff team.
DUCKS..Fun start to the season. Troy Terry and Sam Carrick scoring goals has likely saved the job of Dallas Eakins. A (12-6-3) record to start the season is impressive and they don’t have injured Maxime Comtois on the ice. And they sent 18-year old first round pick Mason McTavish back to junior.
KINGS..Losing Drew Doughty on defense for a chunk of time has hurt the team. Losing #1 pick Quinton Byfield with a bad injury in camp and not getting production from former #1 pick Gabe Villardi has been a setback, so it may take some real work for the Kings to keep their head above the .500-mark.