It’s the annual NFL Turk Week. This is a fun event for armchair GMs throughout the blogosphere, but not so much fun for about twenty-seven players on each and every team who will soon be hearing the phrase, “Coach wants to see you. Bring your playbook.” Another ten or so players per team will also be sweating out the week, but wake up happily next Sunday morning and realize, “I made it!”
The “Turk” is the designated, steel-hearted management fellow on each team who gets to crush young dreams by delivering the “Bring your playbook” line to the unlucky fellows who will be released by midnight Saturday. Nice job, eh? “Hi kid. You’re toast. Get what I’m saying? Pack your bags and beat it.”
Why this fellow is called the Turk is not precisely known, but those with a historical interest (i.e., older generations), will remember the Turks as the famous villains of the 13th century Ottoman Empire who pillaged their way around Europe and the Middle East stealing your stuff, killing you, and kidnapping your children to convert them into slaves that could be sold on the market. Nice fellows. Anyway, “Behave, or the Turk will come and get you” was a somewhat fashionable threat in days of yore, available to parents who preferred the dictatorial, reward/punishment mode of child raising (i.e., older generations).
Hey, it works for me!
Football fans generally have little interest in the heart-wrenching sub-plots of these young boys, preferring instead to view them as “meat” commodities that can be moved around on a market. At any rate, who gets Turked and who doesn’t will be a hot topic on the blogs this coming week.
It’s possible that the average 49er fan is not paying much attention to this nitty-gritty 53 man roster stuff, but “Guys Who Blog” most certainly do. By now, most of them know all 75 to 80 guys on the team and know which twenty or so gents have no chance to remain on the team. The remaining fellows, the “bubble squad,” are the “meat” that will be passionately discussed this coming week. Who goes and who stays.
These “bubble” guys will usually have very little impact on the team this coming year. Five of them will not even put on their uniforms for game days, and will instead be wandering around on the sidelines looking cool, depressed, slovenly, decked out, whatever. It’s even possible they will be ogling the babes in the stands more than the action on the field.
Still, bloggers like to form attachments to these marginal players. It’s part of being a serious blogging dude. Another part is deploring a guy who makes the team (i.e., Michael Robinson) instead of a guy you were making eyes at (i.e., insert your secret torch here). If you’ve stumbled on this site having Googled a dating agency and wonder what sort of depraved nonsense I’m talking about here, relax. It’s just football. Go to some other market for your meat and leave us alone.
No football scribbler worth an overused Unca_Chuck default all-purpose word can avoid producing his Final Roster predictions. It’s just part of the deal. So, without further ado, here is the 49ers Outsider 2010 53 man roster list projection:
QBs (3): Alex Smith, David Carr, Nate Davis
RBs (4): Frank Gore, Brian Westbrook, Anthony Dixon, Michael Robinson
FBs (2): Moran Norris, Jehuu Caulcrick
WRs (5): Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan, Ted Ginn, Dominique Zeigler, Kyle Williams
TEs (3): Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Nate Byham
OL (10): Joe Staley, Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Chilo Rachal, Eric Heitmann, David Baas, Adam Snyder, Tony Wragge, Alex Boone, Barry Sims
DL (6): Justin Smith, Aubrayo Franklin, Isaac Sopoaga, Ray McDonald, Ricky Jean Francois, Demetric Evans
ILBs (4): Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes, Matt Wilhelm, NaVorro Bowman
OLBs (5): Parys Haralson, Manny Lawson, Ahmad Brooks, Travis LaBoy, Diyral Briggs
DBs (8): Dashon Goldson, Michael Lewis, Shawntae Spencer, Nate Clements, Reggie Smith, Taylor Mays, Tarell Brown, Phillip Adams
Specialists (3): Andy Lee, Brian Jennings, Joe Nedney
Special Teams coach Kurt Schottenheimer will have a say in six or seven roster spots, which is a real wildcard here. So it’s possible, for instance, that Jason Hill will be kept for his ST value, not his receiving skills. CB Karl Paymah might also be kept for ST/veteran value. If so, two guys on my list have to go and I’d choose Caulcrick for one (actually, Norris can take a hike, but he won’t). The second guy is too difficult for me to come to grips with. It would involve sacrificing a young player to keep an older guy, or cutting the older guy and risk having to play a younger guy before he’s ready. Gulp. One of the O-line fellows, no doubt. One year of Sims vs lots of years of Boone.