B-Lloyd = Ade Jimoh?/TCCLs (All Hail The Nuge)
(First of all, wanted to post a disclaimer. TCCLs are definitely back, still on Fridays, and I wrote them yesterday and had them ready to post ... but then Loseable Type went all wacky it seems, cuz it like ate my post. So, here goes again. Also, wanted to get up here again that Marcus Washington's hip is fine - the tests showed nothing but some fatigue, and Malcolm Kelly, LaRon Landry and Todd Wade are out. Okay, let's try this again.)
The text arrived at 10:41Thursday evening, like a thunderclap in the middle of the night. It was simple and concise, yet at the same time both shocking and unbelievable. "B Lloyd just blocked a punt," was the message sent to me from Brandon Johnson, one of my best friends, who lives in Chicago and was watching the Bears preseason game (the wide receiver is attempting to make that team).
Surely, this was a joke. I was waist-deep in packing materials, bound in a cocoon of bubble wrap with half of the kitchen seemingly now stuck to my cargo shorts (damn you, sticky tape). With no means for verifying this information through other channels, I reached for the phone to type out a response. "R U (bleeeing) me?" I sent back to Brandon (Johnson, not Lloyd). In a matter of seconds I had my response: "Swear to god." Brandon wrote back.
There was much to ponder. First of all, B-Lloyd was playing special teams! Get out! That alone caused a double take. Then, on top of that, he was seemingly giving out maximum effort on a punt cover unit of all things. Again, this ran totally counter to anything we saw in two seasons here. (Somewhere, in a parallel universe, surely Gardner, Rod was making simultaneous one-handed catches in the back of an end zone).
Then, I had an epiphany. I knew the Bears were playing a Bay Area team, but I couldn't remember which one (between doing this job, the family and trying to coordinate a move and two settlements, well, let's just say there's not a lot of spare time to study the exhibition schedule these days). Could it be possible it was the Raiders? Isn't that where Arch Deluxe is now? And wasn't AD the personal protector on the punt team with the Skins?
For a second there I felt the circumference of my head expand. Suddenly my Red Sox hat felt too snug. I broke out in a full-body sweat. This confluence of events - the perfect storm - could it actually cause my head to explode? I began to drag myself out of the kitchen, into the living room, toward the TV. After prying myself free from the hardwood a few times - the tape works better on everything other than a box, apparently - I snatched the remote, turned to ESPNews and was saved by the scroll at the bottom of the screen: Bears/49ers. Order was restored (although the fact that Lloyd was playing his former team, San Fran, could explain the curious turn of events as well.
This morning, I got out of the shower to see that others, too, had survived the night. Jerry Coleman, former Skins beat reporter for 980, was shaken, but generally okay. "Did you see B-Lloyd block that punt?" he sent. I had to respond that in fact, I am going to avoid the highlights and YouTube and all of that stuff. I'm not sure, with all that's going on, that I could handle actually seeing it. It's probably best left as something of an abstract concept, like Sasquatch (true fact: if you google B-Lloyd and Sasquatch it actually brings up two pertinent hits, both from extremeskins threads).
I did check the receiving stats for the preseason, though. Lloyd did not have a catch in the game last night, and has five grabs for 56 yards in three games this preseason. Now, the Bears aren't exactly overflowing with offensive talent, so maybe he sticks around no matter what (making the league minimum with a $40,000 workout bonus and no up-front money should help his cause as well). And if the receiving thing doesn't work out, maybe he re-emerges as a special teams ace, the Ade Jimoh of offense? Stranger things have happened. Maybe. Possibly? Okay, probably not.
Anyway, on to the TCCLS:
Infinity TCCLs: Mike Nugent. We lauded Skins CB Matteral Richardson for his late-game INT in the HOF Game a few weeks back, thus preventing what should already be forbidden under federal law, with no statute of limitations: Preseason Overtime. Just typing those two words makes me dry heave. But, Nugent, the Jets kicker, took it to a whole 'nother level over the weekend.
With the Jets trailing the Skins, 13-10, New York drove deep into the red zone, had some dude drop what would have been one of the easiest TD catches of all time, and then Coach Eric "ManGenius" Mangini, calls on Nugent to attempt the 23-yard chip shot (essentially a PAT) to tie the game in the final seconds and likely provoke at least one media schlub to hurl his or her self from the press box atop Giants Stadium in a brave exhibition of hari kari that hopefully would prompt the mandatory federal legislation required to prevent this from ever having to happen again. I, for one, having already endured a 4-1/2 hour car trip up to the Swamp that day (Delaware, get your act together, I-95 belongs to us all; stop messing it up for the rest of us), and facing a brutal drive back home, was on the phone with my insurance guy and seriously considering taking one for the team.
So what does Nugent do? The only humane thing possible. He clanks it off the left upright. Brilliant. Dude was willing to jeopardize his career to save us all. Now that's genius. All the schlubs are going to pitch in and buy Nugent's Jets jersey and hang it in the media room at Redskins Park. (Could be quite a few of those going on sale at half price in New York come cut day). Nugent is a legend with us, forever. Elfin is going to start the Hall of Fame campaign next week. Nugent is, unquestionably, my all-time sports hero, and I'm not sure I could ever truly repay him for the gift he gave me last Saturday night.
Out of respect for Nugent (Can we call him, The Nuge? Do you think he would be cool with that?), there will be no more positive TCCLs this week. It's the right thing to do.
Even TCCLs: Jon Jansen. I thought he showed much better against the Jets. Had problems handling the outside LBs on a few plays, going against that 3-4 scheme, but did a nice job on the ends. Again, he is by far the best option available and this will be a big game for him Saturday facing Carolina's front four - and possibly a lot of Julius Peppers - for an entire half.
-30 TCCLS: Young hamstrings. LaRon Landry's, minor hamstring "tweak" has now kept him out a month, and there's no assurances he will play next Thursday against Jacksonville. He'd better be boning up big-time in the film rooms, because that's where he needs to make the biggest gains coming off a nice rookie year (dude is an absolute beast on the field and has everything going for him in terms of aggression, speed, size, requisite hatred of the opposing offense, etc, but needs to become more of a student of the game). He could be the complete package over time, but defensive coordinator Greg Blache made it clear that a layoff such as this certainly "retards" his growth.
To that end, Coach Zorn continued to let it be known that rookie WRs Devin Thomas (who missed three weeks or so with a hamstring), and Malcolm Kelly (out basically a month now with hamstring/knee issues) will be of little use to him in any base packages early in the season. Both are way behind from a mental and physical standpoint and playing catch-up. I'd be shocked if Kelly played against Carolina, giving him just one preseason game - and likely he'd play just a half or so - before the real thing starts. Heck, given all of that I could conceivably see him not even being active in Week 1 - an early-week Thursday game - with others more fully vested in the offense and able to provide more on special teams.
-90 TCCLs: Delaware. Yeah, I'm double-hating on them, but you guys cost me 90 minutes of gridlock on a Saturday afternoon for whatever construction was going on there. And even if that state is actually not to blame, well, I'm blaming it anyway (by the way - I can not even imagine what Delaware brings in from the tolls on that tiny stretch of 95 in any given year. The fares seem to rise by the second. The yearly haul must surpass the GDP of Estonia).
That traffic stuff's gotta be cleared up by Sept. 4 when the Skins play the Giants on a Thursday night. That's an actual workday with a real rush hour. Guess I leave the house at sunrise. And there's no Nuge Factor at play in that season-opening tilt, so get your act together Delawarians. (Delawasotans? Delawarons? Delawarites? Okay, I'll stop now.).
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