You may remember the “Bringing the Rock” series of MLB previews back in March; now, it’s time for the latest tortured pop culture comparisons along with our League previews — we’ll go films, movies, directors, and possibly be very inexact in terms of the actual comparisons. Let’s get started with my home division, as it is.
1) Denver Broncos: Utterly dependent upon the old tricks that worked for him a decade or so ago, Mike Shanahan is Scorsese, writ large — also note short and mildly rodent-looking, and coasting on those two Super Bowls from the late 90s like Marty still gets big props for GoodFellas (I loved the Departed, but let’s face it; he’d been there before, and none of the other Best Pic contenders were worthy that year.) The Broncos are loaded in the secondary, indirectly due to the tragic death of Darrent Williams (Dre Bly now forms the loaded corner tandem with Champ Bailey) and the signing of Travis Henry gives the team a feature cast in the backfield for the first time in a while. Whether Shanny can cash it in for a Super Bowl remains to be seen, and it largely depends on whether he can get good performance out of Jay Cutler.
2) San Diego Chargers: I understand that this leaves me vulnerable to accusations of homer picking, but bear with me. GM A.J. Smith is the controlling, overbearing proudcer — he has handpicked and signed the talent, yet he feels like he can do the director’s job as well as anyone, and to prove it, he brings in a complete hack — NORV! — to helm the project, believing anyone can get this team deep into the playoffs. If any other coach were running the Chargers, I’d put them in first without hesitation. There is every advantage on paper over the Broncos on both sides of the ball. However, Norv Turner will find a way to fuck it up.
3) Kansas City Chiefs: Herman Edwards may be the Brett Ratner of football — he knows how to do one thing and do it well as a coach: make sure his quarterbacks hand it off to the RBs and get out of the way. Problem is, Brodie Croyle or Damon Huard are going to have to throw sometimes, and the O-line has as many holes as one of the scripts Ratner usually handles, never mind the question of whether Larry Johnson will actually show up.
4) Oakland Raiders: Al Davis has managed not only to penny-pinch when it comes to his soon to be marquee star (JaMarcus Russell) and place Coach Lunch Money (thanks, Hater Nation!) in an untenable spot with no offense and plenty of defense. Let me put it this way: Davis is running the team as if it were the movie studio system of the 1930s — where the word of the Man on High always goes, and the Raiders may find themselves in the same drafting spot come May 2008. Shame that defense has to be wasted.