Now that the NFL regular season has wound to a close, awards season is upon us. Everyone will be giving you their two cents on who the best player, coach, rookie, etc. were this season. We have our own awards here at Rumors and Rants, but since we’re such negative bastards, we like to honor the worst the NFL has to offer.
The following are our awards for Least Valuable Player, Biggest (rookie) Bust, and Worst Head Coach. Enjoy, and we hope your 2009 is better than the 2008s the following jackasses had.
*Editors Note: We didn’t consider people who suffered injuries or missed significant time.
Least Valuable Player
Brett Favre, QB, New York Jets
A lot went in to this decision. There were TONS of un-distinguished candidates, but in the end Favre topped them all. With all the time and ink dedicated to his retirement, un-retirement and trade to the New York Jets, a lot was expected of the man who’s comfortable in Wrangler. And to be fair, on the last day of the season, he was a candidate but not our winner. Now that certain details have come out that shed some light into what was going on behind the scenes, there is no doubt in our minds that he’s earned this award.
Now, you may be asking how someone who made the Pro Bowl could possibly be considered the league’s Least Valuable Player and it’s quite simple: Favre’s Pro Bowl selection is the most unwarranted we’ve ever seen.
-Favre finished the season with a quarterback rating of 81.0, 3,472 yards, 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. That’s nothing above (or below) average, but there are plenty of reasons his season was so horrific.
-His rating of 81.0 was good enough (bad enough?) for 21st place in the NFL out of the 32 quarterbacks who qualified.
-He was interception-free in just three games.
-In the season’s final five games Favre led the Jets to a 1-4 record, with losses to Denver, San Francisco, Seattle and Miami.
-Over the final five games of the season – when his team needed leadership the most – he had just two touchdowns and nine interceptions.
-His quarterback rating over those five games was below 62.0 in each (60.9, 60.8, 61.4, 48.7 and 45.1 respectively).
-His completion percentages in those five games were: 53.5, 64.5, 56.7, 58.1 and 50.0 respectively.
-On the year his rating was below 77.0 in nine games.
For all these reasons we’d like to congratulate Brett Favre for earning our distinction as the Least Valuable Player in the NFL.
Dishonorable Mention: Braylon Edwards, WR, Browns; Tony Romo, QB, Dallas; Ryan Grant, RB, Green Bay; Chris Perry, RB, Cincinnati.
Vernon Gholston, LB, New York Jets
While it’s always hard to peg someone as a bust after one season, we’ve always eschewed conventional wisdom here at Rumors and Rants. It’s what we do, don’t question it.
Opting for the NFL Draft following his junior season at Ohio State, Gholston had scouts drooling at the NFL Combine. He measured in at 6’4, 264 lbs, then clocked a 4.67 in the 40-yard dash. He also threw up a 2008 Combine-best 37 bench reps, then added a 35.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-4 broad jump for good measure. Teams looking for a rushing linebacker for their 3-4 defenses were beside themselves.
The Jets then took Gholston sixth overall and gave him a five-year deal that could be worth $50 million if he reaches performance incentives. If the 23-year-old doesn’t hit those numbers, the contract could still be worth $32.5 million and at worst he’s guaranteed $21 million. Pretty damn good for a defensive lineman/linebacker, no?
So how did Mr. Moneybags do? Um, yeah, about that.
Gholston played (or accumulated stats) in 15 of the Jets 16 games this season. He finished with 13 tackles (five solo, eight assisted), zero sacks, zero tackles for loss, zero forced fumbles, zero – OK, you get the idea. He was basically an empty uniform.
Will he be good eventually? Hell, for his sake we hope so. Maybe he needed time to adjust to the 3-4 or whatever. Although, it shouldn’t have been hard to just rush the damn quarterback from his outside linebacker spot.
Oh well, I’m sure the intensely supportive fans in New York will stick by this kid as he figures everything out.
Dishonorable Mention: Chris Williams, OT, Bears.
Worst Coaching Performance
Romeo Crennel, Cleveland Browns
We don’t hate Romeo Crennel, in fact, he seems like a decent fella but this was the easiest pick on our list. The guy had a 10-6 team last year – sure they were incredibly overrated, but still – that was pumped up as everyone’s darling before the season. The Browns finished 4-12, making them 24-40 in Crennel’s four-year stint with the club. He was fired shortly after the season ended, and justifiably so. To paraphrase Bill Walton, the Browns were horrrrrrrible.
While Rod Marinelli would seem to be the obvious choice here, he was barely considered. I mean the guy had to deal with Matt Millen as his boss for part of the season and Vince Lombardi couldn’t have gotten the Detroit Lions’ shit roster to win for him.
Crennel was so clueless as to how to run a team that fans in Cleveland started petitioning for his ouster after Week Two of this season. Crennel’s decisions regarding the Browns’ quarterback situation were often puzzling as well. He gave Derek Anderson a long a leash but seemed loathe to ever give Brady Quinn his own shot. Then when he did make Quinn the starter, he got a bit snappish with the media when his choice was questioned.
Poor Romeo. All indications were that he was a very capable defensive coordinator with the Patriots before getting his gig with the Browns. That said, being a good coordinator for the Patriots doesn’t mean you’ll be a good head coach. Ask Notre Dame how that’s working out for them. Scratch that, ask Notre Dame’s opponents how it’s working out for them.
Dishonorable Mention: Herm Edwards, Kansas City Chiefs; Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers; Rod Marinelli, Detroit Lions.