We do a ton of insightful, thoughtful and serious features here at Footballguys with smart people thinking deeply for you.
This is not one of those features.
This is Random Shots and it's a few pages of me downloading my goofy and dysfunctional mental hard drive that gets stuffed with way too many random items from too many hours watching, reading about and listening to football every weekend and throughout the week. It's the only way I manage. Here's hoping it has some value for you.
We'll see. Now let's get to it.
Our job in September is essentially to weed out the flukes from the real things. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't making things any easier...
This is sports to me. And part of why James Conner is my favorite player this season.
After a promising start to his college career at Pitt, Conner was diagnosed with Stage 2b Hodgkin Lymphoma. That's cancer.
Conner started chemotherapy but never gave up. In this picture, he's wearing a surgical mask to guard against infection during practice.
You know the story. Conner recovered fully from cancer. In his first game back at Pitt, fans paid tribute to his toughness with masks of their own.
And now he's the starting running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rock on, James Conner.
One of these is not like the other...
You have to see this to believe it. Rams Coach Sean McVay seems to be able to recall every play he's been involved with as a coach.
Fun moment in Sunday's pregame with Michael Irvin.
Music Note of the Week.
I found The Weather Machine this summer visiting Oregon. I want to share this band with everyone.
With running back T.J. Yeldon seeing time for Jacksonville, here's a reminder of what Alabama's running back corps looked like at some point in 2013:
When coaches say it's tougher to win at the NFL level where players are more evenly distributed with a draft, that's what they're talking about.
Thanks to Footballguy Justin Pierce for that one.
Never gets old.
And the post game followup...
There were questions about Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' knee and his availability for Sunday's game against Minnesota. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer seemed resigned to facing Rodgers before the game Sunday. Said Zimmer, "He walks on water so why wouldn't he play?".
Juju Smith-Schuster knows how to make an entrance.
It was a hot one in Jacksonville.
Thank you, Internet. Thank you, Colin Dunlap.
Thanks to Daniel Simpkins for the help with that one.
Yeah, they mashed up Mr. Rogers and Mr. Bill but this is still good.
The Bills officially made smashing tables illegal. Bills Mafia responded exactly as you thought they would...
It was a weird game for the Titans...
Nelson Agholor is good at Leapfrog...
Live look in on Dan Bailey watching those kickers Sunday...
In reality, these kickers stay together.
Ryan Fitzpatrick could do no wrong Sunday.
Started with this:
Then did his best Brett Favre impression during the game.
Then grabbed wide receiver DeSean Jackson's outfit and finished with this...
Jackson loved it saying on social media: “I love it Fitz you wear it better than me,” he wrote in another post. “WHEN YOUR QB WEAR YO FIT TO AFTER GAME PRESS CONFERENCE LMAO SWAGG AND THE JEWLS ”
That's a little better than last time I remember Jackson and his quarterback with the look he gave James Winston as he was "eating a W".
If I'm Jameis Winston, I'm holding off on that kitchen remodeling job for my Tampa Bay house...
Thanks to Footballguy David Dodds for the help on that one.
Patrick Mahomes is in pretty good company.
Jets fans win this week's Ferris Bueller "Life Moves Pretty Fast" award.
Not a good look for Falcons defensive back Damontae Kazee.
If that name sounds familiar it's because Kazee is the player who put Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee out for the year this summer. Interestingly, the hit that took out Lee sparked criticism for the league and not as much for Kazee as he went low trying to avoid helmet to helmet. Lee's teammate, cornerback Jalen Ramsey said this after the Lee play:
"You can't be mad at 27 [Kazee]. You have to be mad at the NFL; not mad at them, but that is how the rule is. People are scared to tackle normal because I guess they don't want to do helmet-to-helmet and get flagged. ... Game-changing stuff could happen. You don't really want to blame anyone, but you feel bad for him. ... I don't know, man, that's just tough to see it happen to one of my teammates, period, but you can't really blame 27."
After the game, Kazee posted this message for Lee:
I don't know him any more than you do. And I'm not excusing the hit on Newton Sunday. Ejecting him was the right call. But Kazee doesn't seem like a bad guy. These players have a tough job making split-second decisions at 100 mph.
Bills are 0-2.
Rookie quarterback Josh Allen's line makes it feel like he's playing 7 on 11.
Pro Bowler Vontae Davis retired at halftime.
And Winter's coming.
College Football Note this week comes from Colorado. Not everyone should have a T-shirt Launcher...
Thanks to Footballguy Jeff Tefertiller for that one.
They're not all struggling in Colorado though as the Broncos mascot might get a tryout somewhere...
Thanks to Footballguy Seth Tupor for that one.
Keelan Cole, you're kind of ridiculous.
Here's something fun about Cole. He didn't just play his college football at tiny Kentucky Wesleyan. He WALKED-ON at Kentucky Wesleyan.
Thanks to our friend Doug Farrar for the help on that one.
And James Conner, you're kind of ridiculous too.
Cincinnati, Tampa, and Miami are all 2-0 and in sole possession of first place in their division.
Yeah, I saw that coming...
Thanks to Footballguy John Web for that one.
I may do a Random Shots one week that's nothing more than live-tweeting whatever Jerry Jones is doing in the Owners Box.
Patrick Mahomes is on pace for 80 touchdowns this season.
No big deal...
I'm blaming Zane Gonzalez' trouble entirely on the most logical explanation. His jersey number.
Hello? Tim Couch? Johnny Manziel? Who thought it was a good idea to give this poor kid #2?
He played at Arizona State and last year with Cleveland as #5. Perfectly fine number. But in comes Tyrod Taylor with his #5 and next thing you know Gonzalez is on the street.
Don't mess with jersey numbers.
Thanks to Gary Gramling for that one.
Blake Bortles with a fresh spin move.
Saquon Barkley not to be outdone.
Le'Veon Bell's holdout seems to have no end in sight.
Antonio Brown is tweeting about a trade.
Hang in there Steeler Nation.
Thanks to Footballguy Keith Overton for that one.
I'm not sure why, but for some reason, Sports Illustrated felt compelled to compare Vontae Davis to Kyle Orton. As if retiring the day after the season ended was comparable to retiring at halftime of the second game of the season.
I can't go with them there.
But if you've read this column before you know I never pass up a Kyle Orton mention and the chance to post his Farewell Denver video.
Before you yell at me, it's not really Orton...
Wrapping with this one. And it's only halfway up the soapbox. I posted this a few days ago when the news broke on the Browns intending to part ways with Josh Gordon.
This topic of addiction is unfortunately way too familiar. My little brother Rich, fought substance abuse for the last twenty years of his life. It's a bitch. But this isn't about Rich. This is about forward.
I'm as big a Josh Gordon supporter as anyone I know and I'm pulling for him. But let's be clear. Lots of people like Gordon reach the point where their employer says "Get out". For others, it's their family or a spouse giving them the equivalent of "clean out your locker". When those people get the news, they're usually not choosing between $750,000 dollar contracts from the 49ers or the Patriots. They're making choices like "Do I sleep tonight at the Salvation Army or do I chance it under the bridge?"
I'm not disrespecting Gordon. Rich people need love too. And addiction does not discriminate. But I'd love to see a little bit of the empathy and well wishes extended to Gordon spread around to the people in your town or neighborhood or workplace dealing with the same demons. You can help.
Off the soapbox.
Thanks to Footballguys Keith Overton, Clayton Gray, Daniel Simpkins, Justin Pierce, Jeff Tefertiller, David Dodds, Seth Tupor, Doug Farrar, and John Web for the help on this one. If you've got a Random Shot of your own, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for playing along. I hope you make the most of whatever you're doing in your life. Love your neighbor and stick together.
Peace and Grace to you.