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JUMbotron: Pre-Season Huddle, Vol. 2
John U. Miller
July 29, 2011

Wow, things are moving so fast I can’t breathe.  This JUMbotron is gonna ramble a bit as I try to expel some thoughts swirling in my head, so please just bear with me.

Free Agency and Trade Talk:

I’ve felt the team-to-team player movement was sorta ho-hum to be honest.  Crazy and kinetic, for sure – they’re packing 5 months into 2 weeks, but nevertheless a lot of yawners for me.  DeAngelo Williams stayed in Carolina, which effectively killed two potential top-12 fantasy RBs.  I assumed D.W. would land in Denver with John Fox and go for 1,300 yards/14 TDs.  Not anymore.  Same with Jonathan Stewart and his potential as a solo artist.  Now we’re back to the same ol’ twin-back system.  Jonathan Stewart is Kevan Barlow and D.W. is Garrison Hearst.  That 49ers RB situation back in the day was maddening, and so is Carolina’s… Sigh.  Denver did sign Willis McGahee to a 3-year, $7.5 million contract but that’s not winning football, that’s shopping at Big Lots.  Say hello to 5-11 boys.

Reggie Bush, RB, Miami
Reggie Bush takes his talents and fantasy production to South Beach.

Reggie Bush to Miami: At first I got a little tingly feeling, but the closer I look the more unappealing it seems.  Bush is going to a new system implemented by new Dolphins OC Brian Daboll, who called the plays in Cleveland the last two years.  Last year Daboll’s offense was 29th in total yards (289.7) per game and in 2009 it was dead last (260.2).  Bush can do the Wildcat in Miami, you say?  Maybe.  Daboll used a little Wildcat with Josh Cribbs but overall he criminally underutilized him and he’s an explosive Slender-horned Gazelle!  Me, I was hoping Bush would go to San Diego to replace Darren Sproles.  Can you imagine the matchup problems defenses would have incurred with Philip Rivers spraying it around to Bush, Antonio Gates, and Vincent Jackson?  Anyway, Bush was being drafted around the 9th round in PPR leagues before he changed teams – and I already thought that was too high.  Besides, his left knee is a constant problem after a torn PCL in 2007 and torn meniscus in 2008.  No thanks.

Speaking of Darren Sproles, this might be my second favorite signing so far.  He signed a 4-year, $14 million deal with $6 million guaranteed.  Reggie Bush’s 2011 salary alone was due at $11.8 million!  In Sproles the Saints get a durable little guy with smarts, guts, wiggle, and flat-out burst.  And his stats blow Bush’s away:  Bush averages 4.0 per carry, 7.3 per catch, and 7.8 per punt return for his career. Sproles averages a hefty 4.6, 9.6, and 8.2.  Sean Payton’s scheme obviously fits Sproles because it features a juicy dose of dump-offs and bubble screens.  Payton will make sure Sproles gets a convoy and disappears in a sea of would-be tacklers.  How many times have you seen Pierre Thomas take a screen and rumble all the way to paydirt?  Sproles is going to get touches.  Remember, Chris Ivory is coming off a Lis Franc foot dislocation and hasn’t been able to visit the team facility for top-notch rehab (because of the lockout).  That just leaves Pierre Thomas, whose ankle isn’t 100 percent yet, and rookie Mark Ingram.  JUMbo Tidbit:  Sproles gets 11 games on carpet this year and he only had 4 in the previous two seasons!   

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