There is a vocal group among baseball analysts who believe that the use of a closer is a fabricated, unnecessary strategy. There are inherent flaws, they argue, in using the same pitcher to attempt to finish games regardless of situation.
And, in essence, that’s what Marc Trestman is doing by going back to Jay Cutler for Week 15. Cutler was the Bears’ starting quarterback prior to getting hurt, players and coaches said they still considered Cutler the starter even when he was out of the lineup, and now he is back in the No. 1 role.
Trestman has deemed Cutler his closer, regardless of what stats and possibly even common sense tells him.
Over his past three starts, Josh McCown has completed nearly 73 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and one interception. Those numbers challenge the best stretches of Cutler’s career — Weeks 1 through 3 as Denver’s starter in 2008, Weeks 16 and 17 of the 2010 season when the Bears were buried in the playoff race. Continue Reading
If you thought things couldn’t get any stranger with the Washington Redskins … well, think again. And if you were under the impression that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was on board with every decision made by head coach and father Mike … well, that would be wrong, too. Shanahan the Elder’s decision to bench quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season out of concern for his health was announced on Wednesday.
Not a huge surprise — Shanahan had been making noises about keeping Griffin out of harm’s way for the last three games of the 2013 regular season because he’d taken 24 sacks in his last five games, and the head coach wanted his quarterback to have the full offseason he didn’t have in 2013 due to knee surgery.
Though there’s certainly no indication he plans to switch sports any time soon, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was selected off the Colorado Rockies’ minor-league roster by the Texas Rangers during Thursday’s MLB Rule 5 draft.
Wilson, who played second base, was taken twice during the MLB amateur draft — once in 2007 by the Orioles before opting to attend college, then as a 2010 fourth-rounder by the Rockies. He played two seasons in Colorado’s minor-league system, one with the short-season Class A Tri-City Dust Devils and another with A-ball’s Asheville Tourists.
Wilson hit a combined .229 in that time, while also playing college football first at N.C. State and later at Wisconsin. He added five home runs and 19 stolen bases.
When Robert Griffin III was carrying Washington to an NFC East title and playoff spot in 2012, the franchise’s blockbuster trade for him — three first-round picks and a second-rounder for St. Louis’ draft spot last year — looked plenty fair.
Now, after an RGIII knee injury, a 3-10 start to this season and news Wednesday that Kirk Cousins will take over as QB, the NFL world is back to wondering if Washington made a huge mistake in its wheelings and dealings.
The truth is, just as with the Colts’ recent move for Trent Richardson or Seattle’s trade for a hobbled Percy Harvin, we won’t know the final verdict for at least another year or two.
But if Griffin’s NFL career peaked in his rookie season, the Redskins’ trade eventually could go down as one of the worst in NFL history … joining these ill-advised moves: