Adam Caplan said to Paul Allen of Minneapolis/St. Paul’s KFAN radio that the entire NFC West is a “joke.” Now granted, the analyst of Scout.com – certainly respected by many fans across the nation, represents tough but honest analysis. Calling an entire division, albeit a struggling one, a “joke” is unreasonable and uncalled for.
The San Francisco 49ers will be taken seriously by any team they face this year. With good prospects at QB and resources for an improving defense, the 49ers are on the verge of challenging for the division title. Give Mike Singletary a chance to convince his team that they can take things to the next level before you pronounce them a “joke.”
Seattle is projected to be an average team and Caplan stated this in his own words to Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders.com. With Walter Jones out because of injury the Seahawks face some serious offensive line issues. If the Seahawks are a joke—or the brunt of jokes for many years—Walter Jones certainly isn’t. He is giving it every thing he’s got in rehab and looks to play as soon as possible. Jim Mora has no intention of making Seattle out to be a “joke.”
As the Rams face similar transitional challenges, new head coach Steve Spagnuolo plans to implement a more potent offense. An improved offensive line should help, as well as a system that will utilize Steven Jackson’s talents. Injuries to Marc Bulger could make things difficult as the Rams look to improve, but the effort to make changes and work with existing talent is by no means a “joke.”
Scout.com, Caplan’s own organization just released its rankings this week. Just below the #1 Pittsburgh Steelers, The NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals hold their place as the NFL’s #2 team. Contractual issues and personnel concerns aside, the Cardinals remain in the national spotlight with something to prove, both to fans and opponents.
Caplan has every right to conclude that the NFC West is a struggling, transitional and plainly—“weak division” compared to the NFC North or East. This is the NFL and if a division or particular team does not meet the standards of the league, take it up with the League office to determine which team is to be taken seriously or not.
Since the term, “East Coast bias” has been declared “tired” and the language of “whiners,” let’s put the same moratorium on calling entire divisions a “joke.” It’s a tired generalization, after all, befitting the language of a whiner indeed!