I simultaneously love and hate the last couple weeks leading up to the draft. The pundits all tend to coalesce their mock drafts into a general consensus, at least for the first ten picks. Then, anonymous coaches and GM's throw out these trial balloon quotes to get football starved fans hopped up on hyperbole and speculation, and damned if we don't all fall for it.
For example, the Texans are now letting a rumor get out that they like Khalil Mack over Jadeveon Clowney, and they have him as the #1 overall prospect on their board. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but maybe it's also the equivalent of throwing a crankbait up against the edge of a weed bed to see what might hit it.
Then there's our own GM, Rick Spielman. You know, Houston might have a good GM; I don't know and I don't care. What I DO know is that we have a black belt in verbal judo sitting in the GM chair in Minnesota. And I also know that with one sentence, properly placed, it's the equivalent of a roundhouse kick to your temple.
Normally, one must ask Rick a series of questions, and Rickspeak translators must wade through question after question, because what info Rick does give is cryptic, and guarded. But this time of year is like Christmas, the Fourth of July, and a weekend at the lake all rolled into one for guys like Spielman. You barely need to look their way and they'll start spouting subterfuge much like lava reigned down on Pompeii from Mt. Vesuvius.
So, as always, what Rick actually said will be in block quotes, and the translation of what he really meant**, run through the Rickgronifier 3000***, will appear right below.
**I'm shooting in the dark with whether or not he actually meant what he said. Let's face it, if I could read minds, I'd be a rich SOB and I wouldn't be here.
***There is no Rickgronifier 3000, except what's in my twisted head. But you guys knew that, didn't you?
The interview was off in a hurry when the interviewer mentioned the words 'quarterback' and 'draft'. I wasn't in the room, but I doubt the interviewer even needed to finish the question.
FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!!
What Rick Said: That's one of the reasons we signed Matt Cassel and signed him back right at the beginning of free agency and were able to get that done, because that does not box you into taking a quarterback at No. 8. We can really follow our board and take the best player available. I think it is a deep class in this quarterback class. There's going to be some value I think through other rounds, too, if you don't take one in the first.
What Rick Meant: We have as much confidence in Christian Ponder as our quarterback as we do in the driving ability of Paul Walker. If I bomb on picking another QB again, I might---MIGHT--get a job as a weekend sportscaster in
Siberia Duluth, but my days of an NFL GM are over. I'm telling everyone that will listen this is a deep QB class, because in reality if I don't think my guy is there at eight, I'm staring at a Sophie's Choice at quarterback: either play the role of the Cleveland Browns and bend over on a move up draft trade, or have my wife contact a moving company while I'm introducing my second choice at QB in the fourth round, Bobby Joe Shitkicker from Jackwagon State.
What Rick Said: As we go through that, we start our draft meetings on Monday and we'll go eight straight days with our coaches and finalize our plan before the draft. There are some very good defensive players, some very good receivers in this draft, some good offensive linemen. ... There's some significant linebackers that can play not only standing up but also help you rush the passer as well. I think we're going to have a lot of options at 8, but we're also going to potentially look to move out of that pick as well.
What Rick Meant: EVERYBODY WHO IS PICKING BEFORE ME LISTEN TO ME BECAUSE I AM AN EXPERT GUYS SERIOUSLY I'M NOT KIDDING HERE OKAY GUYS LISTEN REALLY PLEASE SOMEONE PICK DEFENSIVE PLAYERS, OFFENSIVE LINEMEN, OR WIDE RECEIVERS AND EVEN A RUNNING BACK WOULD BE AWESOME FOR YOU OAKLAND BUT JUST NOT QUARTERBACKS GUYS OKAY BECAUSE I REALLY WANT A QUARTERBACK OKAY GUYS COOL BECAUSE IF I HAVE TO TRADE DOWN AND END UP WITH BJ SHITKICKER I'LL NEED A NEW JOB AND DULUTH IS LIKE REALLY COLD IN JUNE AND I DON'T LIKE SMELT OKAY GUYS OKAY?
What Rick Said: It’s a very tortuous process this year trying to figure out these quarterbacks because there’s a lot of different flavors of quarterbacks. There’s mobile quarterbacks, there’s pocket passers, so you really have to home in and decide what type of quarterback you want, what kind of quarterback and what traits fit the kind of system you’re about to run. You look at the traits of the quarterbacks in here and work in our offensive scheme and adjust to some of the traits that that player possesses. It’s going to be a very interesting process as we go through our own evaluation of these quarterbacks and try to home in on the particular type of quarterback that may be best for us.
What Rick Meant: FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
What Rick Said: Every one of these quarterbacks ... nothing is a sure thing. There's no Andrew Luck, no Peyton Manning. It is such a mixed bag with each player-every one of them has positives, every one of them has negatives. And if that's the way you end up feeling, why don't you just wait 'til later in the draft, and take someone with the first pick you're sure will help you right now?
What Rick Meant:
What Rick Said: Ideally, if we did pick a quarterback this year we would want to redshirt him anyway, and when he'd be ready to go, he'd play. But he'd probably use this year as a learning year. I can say that now, before our meetings, we'll have the coaches and scouts speak, but if we are going to consider a quarterback at eight, I better have consensus in the building that this is our guy. We all better feel good about one guy.'
What Rick Meant: If we learned anything from last year, and it wasn't much, it's that we can't traet the quarterback position like a yo yo. We're rolling with Matt Cassel in 2014. Unless we throw the new guy in. Hey, did Josh Freeman ever sign with the Giants? That guy has a hell of an arm. If we had nine foot tall receivers last year, he would've been an All-Pro, and we would've won state. Swear to God we would've.