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 brain 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.
Notre Dame and USC introduced new head coaches this week. The contrast was perfect.
Chris Long (@chrislongsd) December 7, 2021
Things I discovered today: According to the Associated Press, there are some words I've been mispronouncing.
Including Jason Kelce's name.
It's "Kels". Not "Kel-See"
But he's cool with both pronunciations.
This is the kind of hard-hitting NFL Content you come to Random Shots for.
I don't know much about the NHL. But if I did a Random Shots for hockey, I'm guessing Trevor Zegras would be a regular.
I've long said the NFL storylines seem almost too good to be true.
A New England vs Tampa Bay Super Bowl would be totally on brand.
If there's anything you can count on, it's things move fast and a lot can change between now and February. But today, it's looking pretty good. Here's the ESPN Power Rankings with the Patriots and Buccaneers in the top three.
Cooper Kupp: Footballguy.
Kupp made an excellent play here on what has now become seemingly routine for him.
But these types of plays don't "just happen". Listen to Kupp's explanation of what he saw and how they responded.
Kupp gave an answer like this at the Senior Bowl and I was like, “oh this dude is gonna dominate” pic.twitter.com/k4t1YdAWAC— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) December 6, 2021
It takes more than physical talent to excel at this level. Sometimes a lot more.
"We'll remember that". Interesting.
Here's something way more interesting in my opinion.
Buffalo cornerback Tre’Davious White recently suffered a torn ACL and his season is over.
Bills fans have raised over $100,000 for the Food Bank of Northern Louisiana, where White is from, and made a donation in his name.
White responded, "I am at a loss for words for what the Bills Mafia has done for me and my hometown. It truly means the world to me to have my fans support me in this way, by giving back to my community.”
That's rad. Rock on Bills Mafia.
Bill Belichick tried to tell us.
He broke out the Navy mask in the pre-game interview then proceeded to run the ball all night.
Thanks to Will Brinson for that one.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said this after the game.
As the kids say, "He mad".
High School Goodness.
Never Forget when Texas HS Denton Ryan ran the greatest kick return reverse ever ðŸ˜® pic.twitter.com/KX2k8lxZem— Football Videos ðŸŽ¥ (@TopFBVids) November 23, 2021
It's a beautiful game.
New LSU coach Brian Kelly was roasted after he spoke to an LSU basketball crowd.
I decided to go super investigatory. Here’s Brian Kelly saying “family” two days ago at Notre Dame… and Brian Kelly saying “family” today at LSU. Some of my best work. pic.twitter.com/JTzuIA2s2n— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) December 3, 2021
The meltdown from Twitter folks who apparently speak exactly the same way regardless of the audience or social situation was fun to watch.
But bottom line, we all know Chris has it right here.
Brian Kelly can talk any way he wants to when he wins 11 games next year— Chris Branch (@cbranch89) December 3, 2021
Music Note this week is from Ben Rector. He's a talented and thoughtful singer-songwriter based in Nashville. I especially like this song as it's a great reminder to be grateful and have perspective.
Thanks to Footballguy Bryan Brady for the recommendation on that one.
CeeDee Lamb. You're kind of ridiculous.
CEEDEE pic.twitter.com/rRvspzCXKO— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) December 3, 2021
Pitt's Kenny Pickett with how to exploit the rules. This was fun (for Pitt fans) but they've got to change this rule.
KENNY PICKETT FAKE SLIDE ðŸ¤¯pic.twitter.com/XaDlNEkvI4— Boom or Bust: The Draft Show (@BoomOrBustDraft) December 5, 2021
You knew there was no way Gardner Minshew was losing to the Jets after this entrance.
Wearing a aviator jacket to destroy the Jets I apprecate his attenton to detail pic.twitter.com/afNDq1yJP2— PFT Commenter (@PFTCommenter) December 5, 2021
Minshew after the game with his dad is exactly what you thought it would be.
Gardner and his dad after his first win as a starter since Week 1 of last year is everything you want to see right now. pic.twitter.com/xiPQDwrbNK— Green Light with Chris Long (@greenlight) December 5, 2021
Baylor won the Big 12 Championship Sunday upsetting Oklahoma State. Baylor's Jairon McVea made one of the best plays I've ever seen saving a touchdown that would have won the game for OSU.
In the midst of pandemonium, Baylor coach Dave Aranda was unfazed.
Again, Thinking about those two losses. pic.twitter.com/bbGW62vWR9— Chris Buttgenâœž (@ccbuttgen) December 4, 2021
He was asked if he cut loose with his players in the locker room.
Aranda responded, "I did not."
On the other end of the spectrum was Detroit's Dan Campbell.
This struck me too. Notice how embattled quarterback Jared Goff immediately ran to his coach to celebrate after the catch. That says something about their relationship.
After the game, Dan Campbell dedicated a game ball to the Oxford community.
Can someone tell Devonta Freeman the "Let's Eat" thing is usually reserved for a run that's more than zero yards?
devonta freeman's reaction after a 0-yard run to end the half ðŸ¤·â™‚ï¸ pic.twitter.com/O4bgFnFY6S— Benstonium (@Benstonium) December 5, 2021
Game respects game.
Legends know a Legend when they see one. ðŸ¥‡ðŸ¦ pic.twitter.com/eF9HfUh5J9— RYNðŸš«S ðŸ¦ (@realRYNOS) December 5, 2021
The wind in Buffalo was ridiculous.
Orchard Park, NY in December — where the goal posts dance.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 6, 2021
Now this makes more sense.
The opening kickoff was the longest kick I’ve ever seen? pic.twitter.com/gtPUIvEfCb— Danny Heifetz (@Danny_Heifetz) December 7, 2021
Want to feel old? The kid from the Popeyes Meme grew up to be a high school State Champion.
New England offensive play selection Monday night:
Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Pass, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Pass, Pass, Run, Run, Run, Run.
This did not help Mac Jones' numbers...
Wrapping with this one.
My friend Scott Sexton sent me this column a couple of weeks ago. It's from a blog called The Daily Coach. The title of the article is, "Belichick: 'Get Your Stuff On and Get Out There' "
The point of the article was about mental toughness and how practicing with adversity helps when facing real adversity.
One of the things Bill Belichick often tells his players before practice when weather conditions are tough is "Get your stuff on and get out there."
Running back Brandon Bolden talked about practicing in the cold and rain and wind. Bolden said, "I know whatever it is outside, we’re in it. I’m soaking wet right now. So no, I was not banking on [us being in] the field house at all. It gives us a few more things to work on, a few more things to be conscious of — especially in the weather."
Wide receiver Matthew Slater said after practice, "I think that was certainly one of the windier practices we’ve had in my time here,” Slater said. “It’s great for our specialists, our quarterbacks, our skill players… I’m pretty sure Bill dialed it up; arranged it to be like that. He was grinning ear to ear."
This kind of stuff doesn't get reported about much. But here's Belichick last year.
The NFL combine would’ve been this week.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 28, 2021
Last year, Bill Belichick skipped part of it to scout Middle Tennessee defensive end Tyshun Render in the pouring rain.
Render was not invited to the combine.
(via @MikeReiss, @n_wallach, @MT_FB) pic.twitter.com/PMTSgKL1RW
Part of "The Patriot Way" is Belichick instilling mental toughness in his team by having them practice in these tough conditions.
It's why anyone watching the wind blow the field goals around before Monday night's game knew the Patriots would be ready.
This whole clip from the Patriot's post-game is great. But my favorite was Belichick saying, "This is why we practice in this ####."
"Tonight is one of those nights...that you'll remember 10, 15, 20 years from now."— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 7, 2021
Inside the locker room after a big win in Buffalo. pic.twitter.com/akVz1RIm8R
The lesson for me here is don't shy away from adversity. My default can be to seek comfort and convenience. That has its place of course. I'm not advocating we become Spartans. But I do think it's worth recognizing the value of doing hard things. Don't be shy there.
That'll do it this week. Thank you for being with me on this goofy journey.
Peace and Grace to you.