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Everything posted by SoTier

  1. In a lot of ways, migration shapes politics rather than vice versa because long term migration trends profoundly change places. Nowhere is this more evident than in North America, and especially the US which has witnessed huge mass migrations over its entire existence, starting with the influx of Europeans displacing Native peoples, but also including: the forced migration of African slaves to the New World; the relentless Westward Movement from the 18th century to the present; the mass immigration of eastern and southern Europeans in the late 19th and early 20th century; the migration from farms to towns and cities because of industrialization since the mid-19th century; the Great Migration of southern Blacks from the South to the North, Midwest and West the began around WW I (concurrent with the"Hillbilly Highway" migration of poor whites out of Appalachia for similar places); the Okie migration to the West Coast because of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s; the migration of Hispanics, especially Mexicans, into the Southwestern US over the last century; the migration of Americans out of central cities into suburban and exurban areas since WW II. The migration of middle class people out of large HCOL metros for places with more moderate costs may be the start of a new mass migration. It may also be one of the first and most easily identified ways that the covid pandemic has changed the country, but it's highly unlikely to be the most profound one.
  2. Like many very large cities, I think that New York City is a great place to live if you're very wealthy and can afford to take advantage of the all the city has to offer. I think the quality of life declines quickly for NYC residents as income levels approach middle income, much more so than for residents of other major cities. Long before housing prices in the rest of the country went berserk, NYC suffered from an affordable housing shortage even for people earning six figure incomes. It's worse now, but many people who embrace the city willingly sacrifice a lot to live there. When I lived in Albany, I would visit NYC for work a couple of times of a year. I share with others the idea that NYC is a great place to visit but wouldn't want to live there. I'm good with living in an overgrown small town of 30k where the local dining choices are Olive Garden or the Lakewood Rod and the big event of the summer is the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.
  3. That's simply untrue. In 20 drafts between 2000 and 2019, 5 guards were taken in the top 10 and 1 was drafted to be an OT. 2 were Pro Bowl and All Pro caliber. In 20 drafts between 2000 and 2019, 11 guards were taken between #21-#32. 5 were Pro Bowlers and 2 were All Pros. The bottom of the first round frequently does yield stud guards. Guards taken in the first round since 2000: 2001 - 17 - Steve Hutchinson - 7 PBs, 5 All Pros 2002 - 20 - Kendall Simmons 2004 - 19 - Vernon Carey - started 107 games for Miami between 2004 and 2011 2005 - 32 - Logan Mankins - 7 PBs, 1 All Pro 2006 - 23 - Davin Joseph - 2 PBs 2007 - 29 - Ben Grubbs - 2 PBs 2008 - 15 - Branden Albert - converted to LT, made 2 PBs at LT 2010 - 17 - Mike Iupati - 4 PBs, 1 All Pro 2011 - 15 - Mike Pouncey - 4 PBs 2011 - 23 - Danny Watkins 2012 - 24 - Dave DeCastro - 6 PBs, 2 All Pros 2012 - 27 - Kevin Zeitler - started 151 games between 2012 and 2021 2013 - 7 - Jonathan Cooper 2013 - 10 - Chance Warmack 2013 - 20 - Kyle Long - 3 PBs 2015 - 5 - Brandon Scherff - 5 PBs, 1 All Pro 2015 - 9 - Ereck Flowers - converted to OT and then went back to G 2015 - 28 - Laken Tomlinson - 1 PB 2016 - 28 - Joshua Garnett 2016 - 31 - Germain Ifedi 2018 - 6 - Quenton Nelson - 4 PBs, 3 All Pros 2018 - 23 - Isaiah Wynn, starter in NE 2019 - 14 - Chris Lindstrom, starter in ATL Furthermore, where a particular player was drafted becomes irrelevant after he's played in the NFL for a few years. If your #25 guard or your #55 guard or your UDFA guard turns out to be a stud, he'll command stud guard money. If you choose to pay him or not is your choice, but keeping DTs and LBs off your elite QB might be worth something.
  4. Have you tried looking on realtor.com? Those are listings of properties that are actually for sale as opposed to Zillow. I think that prices for bare land within easy commute to the Buffalo suburbs, which would be the towns you mentioned, have soared in recent years. I know that asking prices for bare land in northern Cattaraugus County and in Chautauqua County generally have increased significantly in the last couple of years. The price per acre also depends upon the size of the acreage and the quality of the land. Generally, a 2 acre parcel will cost more per acre than a 10 acre parcel of the same quality land and considerably more than a 100 acre parcel. You can't really judge the quality of the parcel without walking it yourself, though. A large wooded acreage might have valuable hardwoods that are ready to harvest and easy for loggers to access -- or it might have been logged recently and won't produce another harvest for a decade or more. It might be that while it contains valuable hardwoods, they are virtually inaccessible because of a ravine or some other topographic feature. A property might have significant wetlands (several acres) that cannot be disturbed, which might not be a big deal on a 200 acre plot but might be a deal breaker on a 5 acre parcel that you want for building your dream house. A hayfield located on a gently sloping south facing hillside with a view is probably more valuable for somebody looking to build a house than the same sized hayfield sliced with a meandering creek running through it that suggests its vulnerable to flooding.
  5. Drafting solely for need in the first yields gems like John McCargo, Aaron Maybin, and EJ Manuel.
  6. I think "contrarian" offenses result from teams making do with decent but not great QBs rather than intentionally trying to "swim against the current". I think that currrently includes SF, Indy, and Pitt among some others. That seems probably how Miami intends to get the most from Tua before they decide whether to move on from him or not.
  7. I migrated from DirectTV/ATT to Spectrum cable/internet and Spectrum mobile several years ago because of cost. I stream through ROKU to three TVs (one time cost of about $90 for 3 boxes) and have a cable box on the fourth. I have the Spectrum cable silver option which includes HBO and SHOWTIME along with "Spectrum On Demand" shows and movies (steaming) plus all the standard cable channels. Streaming via Spectrum, Amazon, and PBS is fine. During the football season, I subscribe to Red Zone for $5 a month -- about $25 for the season. It takes a phone call to turn it on and turn it off. I pay about $200/month for cable and internet. I have Spectrum mobile for my phone, one line for $45 with unlimited talk, text, data. I will probably need a new phone soon, which will add between $25-50 to my bill depending upon the phone. Total for TV, internet and phone is < $250 a month, including Red Zone when I want it. Lots of people who aren't current Spectrum customers complain about Spectrum customer service but I have not had any issues. There have only been a few outages of cable/internet or mobile. I'm quite satisfied, including the fact that I don't lose my TV signal during heavy rain and that I don't have to try to clean off the satellite dish from heavy snow. If you call customer service with a problem, you get directed to an appropriate slot, which may include a general message when there's an area outage. When the call volume is high, you can choose to have a rep call you back when your slot comes up. I've found the techs to be very pleasant and knowledgeable, even a couple of times when I've called with really stupid problems caused I messed up my preference settings with my ten unruly digits on the remote.
  8. So, you think that the Bills should have traded Allen rather than extending him? Right. In case you didn't notice, great/good QBs don't come along nearly as frequently as great/good RBs come along. The Jests haven't had an elite QB since Joe Namath retired more than 40 years ago, and it's not for not using resources to find one. The Bears haven't had a QB better than average in decades. The Bills went almost 20 years without having even a good QB. The problem with your plan is that if your current QB on his rookie contract isn't so obviously good that you absolutely want to keep him no matter what the price, why would some other team be willing to give you a proverbial "boat load of picks" for him? The Jests didn't get a boatload of picks for Darnold. The Browns aren't going to get a boatload of picks for Mayfield. FTR, teams seldom trade their RBs coming off their rookie contracts. They simply let them walk in free agency if they aren't willing to re-sign at reasonable prices. The Bills strategy prior to the firing of Russ Brandon in 2018 was to maximize profits rather than winning football games, so they hardly present a blueprint for how to build a winning football team. Even so, they drafted first round QBs in 2004 and in 2013 and again in 2018.
  9. I agree. I think that the key to the success of a "contrarian" offense would still be having a good QB just not an elite one. Lamar Jackson would be a good example of the kind of QB needed: he's smart and a great leader even if he's not a great passer. He is so good, however, that he will probably command top QB money. The advantage that Baltimore has, however, is that they have their QB and can build around his unusual skill set. I think that SF under Garappolo is another good example. Garappolo had the lowest percentage of downfield throws of all NFL QBs in 2021. SF's biggest problem has been that Garappolo can't stay healthy. Mike McDaniel, former SF assistant, seems to be trying to build a similar short pass/heavy run offense in Miami with Tua. Both Pittsburgh and Indianapolis are going to try contrarian offenses this coming season. The Steelers made the playoffs with Roethlisberger barely able to throw. Now they've added Trubisky who might be good enough to actually give them some playoff success. Matt Ryan isn't in his prime any more, but he seems capable of doing what Wentz failed to do: get the Colts into the playoffs. He's not going to make the stupid plays that lost the Colts games that Wentz did in 2021, allowing the Colts' runners and defenders to carry the load. The biggest drawback for contrarian offenses finding success, IMO, is juggling all the moving pieces. These teams need to have a strong running game, which also means a strong OL, to control the ball and make the most of their possessions. They also need to have strong defenses to limit higher powered offenses' ability to move the ball and score. Even then, they may have a hard time going toe-to-toe with the Bills or Chiefs when Allen or Mahomes are on their games.
  10. That might be a reasonable philosophy when a team is selecting in the top third of the first round. It's not reasonable for the bottom third of the first round where the remaining prospects at the more "valuable" positions can be significantly less impressive at their positions than the prospects available at supposedly less "valuable" positions. A Pro Bowl quality guard or center is worth a whole lot more than a mediocre or bust OT or WR or DT. That you hate the 2009 draft because the Bills "wasted" a late first round and two second round picks on a center, guard, and safety but don't have a problem with the Bills wasting the #9 pick on a bust DE is disingenuous because that draft is the perfect example of what happens when your philosophy meets reality. FTR, the Bills drafted Maybin, an undersized DE with a questionable collegiate resume, over LBs like Brian Orapko and Clay Mathews who were both excellent collegiate players. Wood, Levitre and Byrd were infinitely more valuable than Aaron Maybin because they were solid NFL players for several years while Maybin started exactly 1 game in 4 seasons.
  11. Not all OL positions are created equal. OTs tend to go high in the draft because they have significantly more demanding skill sets and physical requirements than do guards and centers. Many highly drafted OTs who fail as OTs become decent OGs. It's common for OTs to be drafted in the top half of the first round. Jake Long was drafted #1 overall in 2008 by the Fins. OTOH, it's not uncommon for the best OGs or Cs in the draft -- often guys destined to become Pro Bowlers/All Pros -- to fall to the bottom third of the first round. The Bills' drought wasn't the result of mediocre drafting. It was primarily the result of maximizing profits at the expense of winning. After Polian left and the salary cap was instituted, the Bills seldom re-signed their own top players. They didn't get anywhere because they kept second rate talents while allowing All Pros and Pro Bowlers like Antoine Winfield, Ruben Brown, Jason Peters, Marshawn Lynch and Stephon Gilmore all leave. They hired mediocre HCs and frequently less than mediocre assistants. That philosophy of winning football games being relegated to a poor second to profits didn't end until Russ Brandon was fired in 2018 and Beane and McDermott gained the power to run the team with winning as a priority. The Indianapolis Colts drafted guard Quentin Nelson with the #6 overall pick a few drafts ago. He's a generational talent. Nick Mangold and Maurkise Pouncey, both All Pro centers, were taken late in the first round. Dave DeCastro has been and is an All Pro/Pro Bowl with the Steelers for his entire career. You don't draft "decent" players in the first round to fill holes. You draft players whom you think can be great players at their positions, including interior OL, even if their need isn't urgent. After the Bills cut Brown because they claimed he was "washed up", he went on to the Bears where he played for several years. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2006 when the Bears last made the Super Bowl. Exactly this. Before Dave DeCastro was guarding Roethlisberger, Alan Faneca, another late first rounder by Pitt, guarded Kordell Stewart, Tommy Maddox, and Ben Roethlisberger. A top quality guard is a worthwhile investment in providing for the longevity of a superstar QB.
  12. The Bills drafted QBs with the 16th pick in the 2013 draft and with the 22nd pick in the 2004 draft. Both "didn't work out very well". By your reasoning, the Bills shouldn't have drafted a QB with the 7th pick in the 2018 draft, either.
  13. Late in the first round is the perfect spot to pick a quality interior OL (guard or center) as well as a DB or a TE. If you had included Center in your research, you'd have more evidence. Both Nick Mangold and Maurkise Pouncey, former multiple All Pro centers, were late first round picks as was the Bills former center, Eric Wood. I'd be happy with a guard or center or cornerback in the first.
  14. I used to be a big Mayfield fan, but I don't think that Mayfield is that much of an upgrade over Tua at this point, especially when it comes to maturity and growth on and off the field. Tua seems to have made more progress as a QB on the field. Mayfield seems to keep making a lot of the same mistakes he was making in his first or second seasons. Both of them had to deal with the possibility of being replaced by Deshaun Watson, and Tua handled it as an adult while Mayfield handled it as a whiny, entitled brat. I think that the money is less of an issue with Cleveland than having an aggrieved Baker Mayfield sulking in the locker room. One way or another, I think the Browns are sending Mayfield packing before the season starts.
  15. I disagree that Baker won't be released. I don't think that there are many -- any -- teams willing to take on Mayfield's salary ($18 million IIRC) and give up a player/pick for a one year rental on a not that great QB who is still making a lot of the same mistakes he made as a rookie.
  16. Absolutely true. There's not a single QB drafted since 2000 who has progressed as much as Allen did in his first three seasons -- and then he put together 2021. I think the only 2 QBs since 2000 who rival Allen from where they started and where they ended are Tom Brady and Tony Romo. Brady came in more polished than Allen but as a sixth round pick, it remains remarkable that he was able to make the most of his opportunity. Matt Cassell, another QB drafted late by the Patriots a few years later, also got a chance to start as a rookie/sophomore QB just as Bray had but failed to develop. Romo was an UDFA who spent 2 or 3 years learning to be a QB, including revamping his mechanics as Allen did, before he became the Cowboys' starter but he was never as good as Allen is now. A lot of posters have dissed your post but I think you are spot on. As Bills fans, we watched every Allen play for signs of him having "it", so we saw "evidence" of it everywhere so we weren't nearly as "surprised" by Allen's development into an elite QB as observers who were less emotionally invested in him. For myself, I continue to be amazed by just how good Allen has become. I have been a Bills fan for more than half a century. The Bills again having a top level QB as good as Jim Kelly always seemed like a pipe dream. It's still hard for me to get my mind around the fact that the Bills have one of the very best QBs in the NFL.
  17. I think you are misinterpreting why many were people were surprised by Josh Allen. Lots of rookie QBs show flashes of what they might be able to do at some point, but they never develop the skills they need. What makes Allen special is that he actually has done every single thing he needed to do, not just to become a competent QB but an elite one, including learning how to master his emotions during games. Name another QB in the last 20 years who started as raw as Allen who has actually developed into an elite QB. I can't think of anyone. I think that maybe Cam Newton came in as raw as Allen but he never developed into an elite passer although he was successful as a QB. All the other elite/great QBs who have come into the league since 2000 have come in pretty well started as QBs. Most first round QBs described as being "raw" have busted, including JP Losman, EJ Manuel, and Dwayne Haskins.
  18. I think your relative was voicing a very common opinion, especially by professionals. Allen was so far behind the QBs taken before him in 2018 that even the great strides he made in 2019 just made him somewhat "above average". He was still being dismissed coming into 2020. There were even some at the beginning of last season who were convinced that he would "regress" in 2021. What's Allen's done is really remarkable.
  19. Previous bad behavior by sports stars suggests differently ... Ray Lewis pled guilty to obstruction of justice in the stabbing deaths of 2 men in 2000. The next season he was named Defensive Player of the Year. In 2003, Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault but the charges were dropped and he settled out of court with the victim. He also issued an apology. In 2009 and 2010, Ben Roethlisberger was accused of rape by two different women, one in Nevada and one in Georgia. The Nevada case was settled out of court. The DA in the Georgia case declined to prosecute because he didn't think he could get a conviction and because the plaintiff requested that the criminal charges be dropped. She did not recant her story nor did she settle out of court with Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger was suspended for the first 6 games of the 2010 NFL season. Winning "fixes" just about everything ... at least if a player isn't convicted of conspiracy to commit murder or murder itself. Rae Carruth was convicted of conspiring to kill his pregnant girlfriend, and Aaron Hernandez was convicted of murdering his fiance's sister's boyfriend. He was later charged but acquitted of murdering two other men. We'll have to see how things shake out for Watson. My guess is that if he returns to being the QB he was in 2020, fans will conveniently forget his bad behavior.
  20. I disagree with your analysis. Most QBs who come into the NFL with as many issues as a passer as Allen had as a rookie never become starting NFL QBs, much less elite ones. He had raw talent, but so do lots of guys who never make it. That he has been able to transform himself into an accurate, disciplined superstar is simply amazing, and is a testament to his drive, self discipline, and work ethic.
  21. I think that a lot of people have forgotten how good Watson was. He played in 54 games between 2017 and 2020. He completed more than 67% of his passes for 14500+ yards, 104 TDs, 36 INTS, and averaged 269+ yards passing per game. He was the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2017 and made the Pro Bowl each of the last three seasons he played. In 2020, he lead the league in passing yards, yards per attempt, and yards per catch. He threw for 33 TDs and 7 INTs and 4800+ yards on a team that went 4-12 because they had no defense and horrendous coaching. The only other young QBs on his level through 2020 were Mahomes and Allen. Add Herbert and Burrow to the mix after 2021. Mayfield isn't even in the conversation with those QBs. He's probably better than Goff and/or Wentz, but not by much.
  22. If your team is built to beat the best at its best, it should be able to beat lesser teams, and until they prove otherwise, the Broncos, Chargers, and Raiders are still behind the Chiefs. As long as the Chiefs have Mahomes and Reid, they're going to set the bar for the rest of the AFCW and most of the AFC, too, just as Brady and Belichick did for so many years. A future HOF QB coached by a future HOF HC is a prescription for winning a lot of games.
  23. I totally agree. You shouldn't pass on a great CB prospect for a lesser WR prospect just because your team needs a WR more -- and vice versa. Sometimes need and availability coincide, which is great, but when they don't, you have to be flexible. IMO, #25 is a perfect spot to find a top CB, WR or OL (except maybe LT), so I'll be good with the Bills taking a prospect to fill one of those positions.
  24. ^^^ I'd guess that most OLers who start as rookies, even first rounders, get schooled with some regularity their first year -- and improve significantly in their second and third seasons. Apparently some posters think this way. I'm sure that these same critics started out in their careers as top notch performers in their first year.
  25. Probably because he's not that good. He lost his starting job to Tannehill who sure wouldn't be confused with Mahomes or Allen. Fitz is still under contract to the Commanders IIRC.
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