— NFL preseason games start a week from tonight; here are stats from how many passes some starting QB’s threw in last summer’s exhibition games:
Zero passes: Carr, Herbert, Prescott, Rodgers, Ryan, Stafford, Tannehill, Wentz, Wilson
1— Joe Burrow
4— Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson
9— Jared Goff
10— Baker Mayfield, Ben Roethlisberger
14— Kirk Cousins
16— Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo
22— Daniel Jones
26— Josh Allen
29— Patrick Mahomes
34— Tua Tagliavoa
— How is former Green Bay/Seattle coach Mike Holmgren not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
Holmgren was 161-111 in regular season games, 13-11 in playoff games; won three NFC titles, one Super Bowl and also won two Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach with San Francisco.
This seems like a pretty big oversight.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed WR Julio Jones, who is 33 years old and has played in only 19 of 33 games the last two seasons. He’s led the league in receiving yards/game five times.
Jones played for the Falcons for 10 years; Atlanta-Tampa Bay tilts just got a little more interesting.
— Falcons named Marcus Mariota their starting QB after the first day of camp; rookie Desmond Ridder will be the backup. Mariota is 30-33 as an NFL starter, but his last start was in 2019. He was Derek Carr’s backup in Las Vegas the last couple years.
— San Francisco named Trey Lance their starting QB; they become the ninth NFL team with a new starting QB this season. Lance started twice last year (1-1); the year before, his North Dakota State played only one game because of the pandemic. He needs experience.
— Of the 53 guys who were on the Chicago Bears’ roster on Week 1 last year, only 23 are still with the Bears, fewest of any NFL team. Eagles/Lions still have 43 guys from Week 1 last year, tied for most in the league.
— There have been only four players in the Super Bowl era who led the NFL in touches in their rookie season:
1983— Eric Dickerson, Hall of Famer
1999— Edgerrin James, Hall of Famer
2001— LaDanian Tomlinson, Hall of Famer
2021— Najee Harris
— Saw this headline on the Interweb today: “US offers deal to Russia for Brittney Griner”; for a split second, it crossed my mind that Joe Biden and Putin were in the same WNBA fantasy league. Apparently they’re not.
US is offering to trade Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms trafficker, as part of a potential deal with Russia to release Griner and corporate security director Paul Whelan.
I didn’t realize stuff like this happened; countries trading prisoners, sounds like it would’ve made a good episode of The West Wing.
— Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Kaat won 16 Gold Gloves during his great career; someone asked him last week what he did with all of them.
Turns out Kaat sold most of the Gold Gloves, to help fund the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center of the University of Minnesota, in honor of his former teammate with the Twins.
— Since start of last season, Seattle Mariners are 56-31 in one-run games; 33-19 last year, 23-12 so far this year.
— Mark McGwire’s son Mason was picked in the 8th round of the draft by the Cubs last week; he banks a $200,000 signing bonus.
Apparently three years ago, when Mark McGwire was inducted into the Oakland A’s Hall of Fame, Mason McGwire met Rollie Fingers, and the Hall of Fame reliever showed the kid how he threw his splitter. It must be working.
— Minnesota Twins lead the AL Central with a 52-46 record, but they’re only 8-18 in games where the winning run scores from the 7th inning on. Will Minnesota trade for relief help at the trading deadline next week?
— Toronto Blue Jays are 10-0 when Jose Berrios starts at home (5-4 on road)
Texas Rangers are 0-10 on the road when Dane Dunning starts (4-5 at home).
— Rockies-Royals-Nationals are only three teams without a grand slam this season; Rockies had 11 of them last year.
— Luis Castillo is the first Cincinnati starting pitcher to pitch in 2+ All-Star games since Mario Soto did it, in 1982, 1984.
— Bengals’ QB Joe Burrow had an appendectomy this week; if I remember right, it’ll be 3-4 weeks before he is allowed to have any physical contact. Doubtful he plays in any of the Bengals’ three exhibition games- their season opener is September 11, 45 days from now.
In case you were wondering, Brandon Allen/Jake Browning are Cincinnati’s backup QB’s.
— Long time ago, summer of 1993, I had an emergency appendectomy in the middle of the night; they said it had become gangrenous, which sounded bad (I had no idea what it meant until the next week). Luckily I lived across the street from a hospital and it got taken care of.
After my surgery, they wheel me into a room; I can’t see for squat without my glasses, but it looked like there was a picture of a clown on the wall.
I ask the nurse about the clown’s picture: “We don’t have much room; we put you in the pediatric ward” That was a fun few days.
— Speaking of which, read a story this week about a guy who took his 8-year old daughter to “Take Your Kid to Work Day”
Father/daughter walk into the office and a few minutes later, the daughter starts to cry.
The father asks what’s wrong, some of the people in the office gathered around her; she looks at her father and asks: “Daddy, where are all the clowns you said you worked with?”