So the last few days, I've had the strange experience of watching the very smart fans here on Arrowhead Pride have a very different opinion of how certain players look in training camp than our local sports media pundits do, and I don't really know what to make of it. Specifically, I'm thinking of the performance of one Ricky Stanzi. While I have seen some tweets regarding some mistakes he has made out on the training camp field, I've seen more glowing reviews of him from various posters here than I have criticisms. However, in listening to the local sports media coverage of training camp, they can't say enough bad about him. This afternoon on 810 was a perfect example, where they said he wasn't showing anything special and was far and away the worst QB on the practice field. They even went so far as to laud Brady Quinn and put quite a bit of faith in him to win games if Matt Cassel were to go down. Even worse was some analysis on 610 that bashed all three QB's and made one think the team was hopeless in that regard.
Now I've been as critical as anyone of Cassel, and I wasn't ever real excited about the Quinn signing, though I do think it was necessary and really the only move available to us. I like Stanzi and have high hopes for him, but I'm also not going to be unrealistic about him. However, the disparity between the fans observations of what is happening and what is being reported by the sports media in this town is odd. I was at the first day of training camp and was very impressed with Stanzi. I thought he had a much better performance than Quinn, and perhaps even than Cassel on that particular day. I think perhaps the last two days he hasn't been standing out as much, but consistently here on AP I read from those at practice how much better he looks than Quinn. Cassel is getting quite a few props from most of us, and that's saying something as much as we bash the guy. Quinn on the other hand has been getting mostly mediocre to negative reviews from the fans that observe him.
Add to all of this some criticism from a media pundit I saw about our cornerback position of all things. The contention was that Pioli has done a terrible job at drafting CB's and that he let a really good one go (without mentioning how much that really good one got from his new team). Then, even though they've had nearly identical stats apart from penalties, and we really don't know for sure how he'll do for the Chiefs, the Routt pickup was viewed as an automatic downgrade. Yet most of the fans have been high on the backup CBs in camp. I haven't seen much on Routt, and that's probably to be expected since he's still learning the system.
I say all of this to spur discussion. Why are these observations so different? Are the smart AP football fans letting their homerism taint their observations? Is the sports media just trying to gin up controversy? I don't tend to think that AP fans are that delusional.
Here's a poll for fun.