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Miami Dolphins Blog

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The Phinsider - All Posts A Miami Dolphins community, established November 18, 2006

  • The Gase Race Heats Up In The Big Apple
    by Craniator87 on May 24, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Well, that didn’t take long. Just four months after having been hired by the New York Jets to become their head coach, Adam Gase has won a stunning power struggle in New York and engineered the ouster of former Jets GM Mike Maccagnan. What’s more, Gase has also been named interim GM by the team’s ownership, and will almost certainly have considerable input into who Woody and Chris Johnson ultimately bring in to run the team’s personnel department. This is just the latest chapter in the the rollercoaster like, often incestuous soap opera known as the AFC East. Rex Ryan became head coach of the Jets in 2009, and promptly stated that he didn’t become their coach to “kiss Bill Belichick’s rings”. Upon being fired by the Jets six seasons later, Ryan would go on to coach their in state rival and fellow AFC East combatant, the Buffalo Bills. Belichick himself was hired by the Jets in 2000, but immediately resigned at his introductory press conference to go to New England instead. When the news of Gase’s firing came out in January, Ryan was said to be putting a coaching staff together, with the expectation that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross might come calling. Mercifully, that didn’t happen, and now, in the unending game of musical chairs within the division, former de facto Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores is coaching the Dolphins. Fortunately for Jets fans, New York has a roster that, at this juncture appears to be fairly loaded. They have a formidable defensive line and the team has spent copiously, perhaps too much so, to bring in talent on offense to give Sam Darnold plenty of weapons. You’ll notice that Gase didn’t cite Darnold’s presence as one of the main reasons he took the job, at least not overtly so. He didn’t have to. You only say that you took a coaching job because of the quarterback when everyone knows your team has a mediocre quarterback. When a coach says, “I took this job because of the quarterback”, that’s Latin for, “For this team to get where it wants to go, the QB has to play a lot better”. So now, we can expect plenty of folks to pull up Tannehill’s career stats and argue that they’re better than Darnold’s were as a rookie last season. Okay. So, the Jets probably won’t be much fun for us when we have to play them for the next year or two, but they’ll implode eventually. They always do. I’d also like to extend a hearty ‘Welcome Back’ (if he ever left, that is) to SSL.128. This guy is fantastic, and the site isn’t the same without him. His recent posting of the Pink Panther’s Inspector Clouseau was hilarious, and SSL is a literary giant unsurpassed by anyone one here. Now, if I just get him to stop calling me the King of Spain, we’ll be cooking on all burners. It started when I said a few years ago that if Dion Jordan was a linebacker in a 4-3 defense, then I’m the King of Spain. He wasn’t and isn’t, but hey, if you want to call me the King of Spain, anyway, that’s okay. I’ve been called worse, I do declare. […]

  • Biggest ‘What If’ in Dolphins history
    by Kevin Nogle on May 24, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    A couple of days ago, our old friend and former contributor to The Phinsider Ryan Yousefi posed at the Miami New Times an article looking at the “Five Biggest “What If’s” in Miami Sports History.” He also asked Twitter for more Miami sports “What Ifs.” Of course, my thoughts were immediately on Miami Dolphins ‘what ifs.’ There is an obvious number one (and two?) for the Dolphins, so I am going to take that away from your answers. The ‘what ifs’ surrounding Drew Brees are not allowed to be used - because everyone would answer those. What if the Dolphins had drafted Drew Brees? What if the Dolphins had signed Brees in free agency rather than trade for Daunte Culpepper? See, now you cannot answer those. Yousefi gave two Dolphins “what ifs” in his article, “What if the Miami Dolphins had drafted Randy Moss instead of John Avery?” and “What if the Dolphins drafted Matt Ryan instead of Jake Long?” I answered three on Twitter, “What if Duante Culpepper’s knee returned to full health?,” “What if Ricky Williams had played every year?,” and “What if Jake Long’s body had not broken down?” Now, what are your Dolphins “what ifs” and why? […]

  • Phinsider Radio: DeVante Parker, Kenyan Drake vs Kalen Ballage, Josh Rosen vs Ryan Fitzpatrick, and much, much more!
    by Josh Houtz on May 24, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Listen to this week’s episode of Phinsider Radio. Your ears will thank you! Click here to listen^^^^^^^^^^ On today’s episode of Phinsider Radio, Matthew Cannata and Josh Houtz mourn the loss of their fallen co-host, Aaron Sutton. (Don’t worry he’s just sick) And the two dive deep into all the happenings at the Dolphins second week of OTAs . With Brian Flores and his coaching staff implementing a New England-style offense in Miami, can Kenyan Drake be the three-down running back we all have hoped for? Or will second-year running back Kalen Ballage be the primary back? Which running back will be at the top of the Dolphins’ depth chart come September? Year after year, DeVante Parker is destined for a breakout season. And after two weeks of OTAs, things are much of the same in South Florida. Parker has impressed the new coaching staff, and is poised to finally have the season we all expect. Can he be the Dolphins #1 wide receiver? Or is his time in Miami slowly beginning to fade? Lastly, Cannata and Houtz dive deep into the Dolphins’ quarterback situation, and debate whether or not Josh Rosen needs to start Week 1. Is it a true quarterback competition, or is 36-year old Ryan Fitzpatrick a back up once again? Oh, and after 32 years of living on Earth, Cannata finally learns how to say quarterback! All of this and much, much more on this week’s episode of Phinsider Radio. Reach out to us on Twitter or let us know your thoughts down below in the Comments Section!!! Follow Matthew (@CannataPFN),Sutton (@ASuttonPFN), and myself Houtz (@Houtz) on Twitter! Tune in. Subscribe. Give us an awesome rating. <3 […]

  • The Splash Zone 5/24/19: Kenyan Drake Just Wants More Wins
    by Kdog92 on May 24, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Welcome to the Splash Zone, the quickest way to get your day started off right. We bring you a rundown of Miami Dolphins news from the last 24 hours. Kenyan Drake sounds a lot like most Dolphin fans as we just want the team to win more games. It would seem Drake is fine with getting less touches as long as the team is getting the win at the end of the day. The teams backfield could turn into a committee as both Drake and Kalen Ballage showed some explosiveness last season You can check out that story here, and the rest of the day’s round-up below. Kenyan Drake: I want more wins, not more carries – ProFootballTalkQuestions have been raised this offseason about what role Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake will have in the offense with a new coaching staff in place, but Drake says it won't matter to him as long as they win. “I would like to win a lot more games,” Drake said, via the Sun-Sentinel. Dolphins Coaching Staff Chris Grier, Jim Caldwell & Karl Dorrell Attending 2019 NFL Quarterback Coaching SummitThree members of the Dolphins organization were invited to attend the 2019 NFL Quarterback Coaching Summit in Atlanta on June 24-25, as part of the league’s commitment to strengthening the coaching and personnel development pipeline. Dolphins Defensive Line Dolphins Sign Defensive Tackle Adolphus Washington – CBS MiamiDefensive tackle Adolphus Washington, who has played for Buffalo and Cincinnati, has been signed by the Miami Dolphins. Miami Dolphins' Davon Godchaux adapting role from 'attack' to 'read' and react - Sports - The Palm Beach Post - West Palm Beach, FLDAVIE — Davon Godchaux has exceeded all expectations as a fifth-round draft choice.In the first two seasons of his career, Godchaux has started 21 games at defensive tackle. Last season, Godchaux recorded 6 tackles for loss, 4 quarterback hits and 1 sack.But that was playing in a four-man defensive front. The Dolphins are going to play a lot of three-man defensive fronts this season and it could have an impact on Godchaux."I don’t have another choice," Godchaux said this week, Dolphins Secondary 'Next Malcolm Butler'? Hope exists for Dolphins' undrafted free agents - Miami Dolphins Blog- ESPNCoach Brian Flores helped groom the cornerback into one of the best undrafted free-agent signings, and players are hoping he'll do the same in Miami. Phinsider News You May Have Missed Miami Dolphins News 5/23/19: Stephen Ross Has Not Met Josh Rosen Yet - The PhinsiderWelcome to the Splash Zone, the quickest way to get your day started off right. We bring you a rundown of Miami Dolphins news from the last 24 hours. Miami Dolphins sign veteran defensive lineman Adolphus Washington - The PhinsiderThe 24 year old defensive lineman signed a one-year deal with the team on Thursday […]

  • Phinsider Question Of The Day (W/ Live Thread, General Discussion & Poll) 05/22/2019
    by James McKinney on May 24, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Tonights Phinsider Question Of The Day is again about the logo. Perhaps it’s because I have gotten to the point where I don’t really notice it but I for sure still do not love it. My question is, would you prefer the club stick with the current logo, go back to one of the previous logos (shown below) or go with the one at the bottom? This is one of the logo’s that circulated around the time that they had announced a new logo but not yet unveiled it. I loved it then and I love it now. I feel as if it updates it but in a way that keeps the traditional feeling of the previous logos. As well as this almost nightly post serving as the Phinsider Question Of The Day post it will also serve as a live thread meaning that pretty much anything is up for discussion so long as you continue to follow all of the site rules. If you are, for whatever reason, not aware of or need a refresher of the sites rules please check the “library” tab under the “more” tab at the top of the front page. The page not only has all of the sites rules but also has a ton of good tips to make your blogging experience here much more enjoyable or at least more smooth. […]


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Windy City Gridiron - All Posts A Chicago Bears community

  • WCG Top 100 Bears players: 100-91
    by Sam Householder on May 24, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    We’re kicking off our WCG Top 100 Chicago Bears Players list with 100-91. We’ll update this list as we reveal more of our picks, so stay tuned! This is it, the Top 100 Chicago Bears as voted on by the Jeff Berckes, Sam Householder, Lester Wiltfong, Erik Duerrwaetcher, Jack Silverstein and Jacob Infante. This post will be updated 10 at a time on a weekly basis to start with. We decided to rank players based only on their Bears playing career, so coaching career and accomplishments with other teams were not considered. For the full voting method and more on how this list came to be, click here. 91. Beattie Feathers, RB, 1934-1937, 1 All-Pro (1934) Feathers is most-remembered as the answer to the trivia question who was the first player to rush for 1,000 yards in NFL history? Feathers accomplished that as a rookie, in 1934, adding eight rushing touchdowns and averaging an impressive 91.3 yards per game over the 13 game season, though he played in just 11 games. There wouldn’t be another 1,000 yard rusher for 13 years. The 91.3 YPG is still a rookie Bears record and his 8.4 yards per carry is still an NFL record for a single season. He’s the only member of the 1930s All-Decade Team not enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. - Sam Householder 92. Matt Suhey, FB, 1980-1989. SB XX Champion The lifelong Bear paved the way for Walter Payton and Neal Anderson as one of the best blocking fullbacks in the game. A second round pick in 1980, Suhey scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XX. While overshadowed by talented running backs, Suhey averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his standout 1983 season where he racked up over 1,100 yards from scrimmage including an impressive 49 catches. The fan favorite was also a close personal friend of backfield mate Payton and served as executor of his estate when Payton passed away in 1999. - Jeff Berckes Matt Suhey is 10th all-time in Bears history with 260 receptions. 93. Brad Maynard, P, 2001-2010, 2nd Team All-Pro (2004) No one has punted for more yards in Bears history than Maynard’s 36,781. His 878 punts rank second all-time, which is good for a 41.9 yard average. He was known as a directional punter during his day as evidenced by averaging 28.4 punts inside the twenty during his 10 years in Chicago. He also completed 5 of 7 passes in his Bears’ career, for two touchdowns and a passer rating of 153.3. - Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. 94. Gary Famiglietti, FB/RB, 1938-1945, 2x NFL champion, 3x Pro Bowl (1940, 1941, 1942) Forget for a moment everything you know about Gary Famiglietti, and just look at this picture. If I asked you to pick out the man whom sportswriters of the day referred to as a “steamroller,” you would quickly I.D. the dude wearing #2. At 6’0, 225, Famiglietti was arguably the premier big back in the NFL during his day. His 503 rushing yards in 1942 was the most for an NFL back his size until Hall of Famer Marion Motley’s 1950 season. Famiglietti helped the Bears win two championships as the bruiser of the backfield; following ‘42, he was one of only three players ever with 500 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in a season. — Jack M Silverstein Los Angeles Times 95. Tom Thayer, OG/C, 1985-1992, Super Bowl champion (1985) Now the color commentator for Bears radio broadcasts on WBBM, Tom Thayer put together a solid career for himself as a player. He started at right guard for the ‘85 Bears and remained starter for the remainder of his tenure with the team, paving lanes for Walter Payton at the end of his career and ensuring Neal Anderson make a smooth transition into the starting lineup. — Jacob Infante 96. Dave Whitsell, DB, 1961-1966, 1963 NFL Champion Whitsell spent his NFL career with three different teams: the Lions (1958-1960); the Bears (1961-1966); and the Saints (1967-1969). His lone Pro Bowl came in his first year with the New Orleans Saints in 1967. In all, he totaled 46 interceptions in his NFL career, with 26 of those recorded with the Bears (6th all-time). It’s worth noting he totaled only one interception while with the Lions. The career highlight for him was being a member of the 1963 NFL Championship team. - Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter 97. J.C. Caroline, DB, 1956-1965, 1 Pro Bowl (1956), 1963 NFL Champion Caroline was a one-time Pro-Bowler but was a starter for his first seven years and still ranks eighth in team history in interceptions with 24. He appeared in every game during the 1963 Championship season. He was a running back in college at Illinois and briefly played both ways with the Bears before becoming a DB full time. He also intercepted Johnny Unitas’ first career pass and returned it for a touchdown. - Sam Householder 98. Marty Booker, WR, 1999-2003, 2008. 1 Pro Bowl (2002) Booker was the first Bears receiver to eclipse the 100 catch mark in a single season in 2001 and followed that effort up with a 97-catch Pro Bowl season, holding the top two spots in team history at the time of his retirement. Drafted in the third round of the 1999 draft, Booker’s oversized hands helped him make crazy one-handed grabs like this one. Despite spending four years of his career with Miami, Booker is currently tied for the fourth most receptions in Chicago Bears history with 329. - Jeff Berckes 99. Alshon Jeffery, WR, 2012-2016, 1 Pro Bowl (2013) Say what you want about Jeffery, but you can’t deny how productive he was when playing in Chicago. In 2013 he set the single game high for receiving yards in a game at 218, then he broke his own record two months later when he went for 249 yards. His 4,549 receiving yards in a Bears’ uni ranks third all time in franchise history, while his 304 receptions ranks seventh. - Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. 100. Tim Jennings, CB, 2010-2014, 2x Pro Bowl (2012, 2013), 2nd team All-Pro (2012) After his second season in Chicago, the knock on Jennings was that he didn’t finish interceptions. So with just seven picks in four years, Jennings went hard on the JUGS machine in the 2012 offseason. The results were huge: a team leading 10 interceptions in minicamp and OTAs, and an NFL-best nine picks in 2012. In his two Pro Bowl seasons, he bagged 13 total with three TDs. - Jack M Silverstein […]

  • What’s the most embarrassing Bears jersey to own?
    by Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. on May 24, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    It happens every offseason. The Chicago Bears draft a fresh class of rookies or signs an exciting free agent or two, and the NFL whips up a new batch of jerseys for fans to purchase. How many of you guys ran out to get a Muhsin Muhammad #87 in 2005, a Julius Peppers #90 in 2010, or a Kevin White #13 in 2015? Muhammad’s Bears’ career was most memorable for his quote about Chicago being, “where receivers go to die.” Peppers made four straight Pro Bowls, but after being released he ended up playing north of the border. And White’s career never got on track. But not every jersey purchased has a cautionary tale attached to it. Brian Urlacher’s #54 had staying power, as did Devin Hester’s #23. In our latest WCG offseason, roundtable topic, we wanted to know the answer to the following question. What’s the most embarrassing Chicago Bears jersey to own? Considering I’ve never owned a Bears jersey, I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer this one. If I were to ever get a jersey (but I probably won’t because I’m very cheap), I have a strict throwback-only rule. I’d never buy a current player because with free agency there’s no telling how long he’d be relevant. In recent years there have been several Alshon Jeffery, Jordan Howard, and Brandon Marshall jerseys purchased by fans. I’ve seen Grossman, Terrell, and Enis in my travels. My advice to jersey buying fans, stick with the classics like #34, #50, #54, #23, #57, #33, #65, #99, #95 and #81. Here’s how a few of our other staffers answered today’s topic. Jeff Berckes - Buying the jersey of anyone the Bears drafted gets an automatic pass from me as there is always hope that player will develop and / or live up to expectations. I think the worst thing you could do is buy the jersey of a player who played the vast majority of his career for an enemy squad and signed on for one last run with the Bears. In recent history, that’s Jared Allen. Owning that jersey tells me you’re either related to Mr. Allen or a closet Vikings fan. Sam Householder - I think this is a case of it has to be a player that was so bad that not only did he bust out as a player but also as a person. At least you can rock a Kevin White jersey and be like ‘hey he was a nice kid that got hurt, that’s too bad.’ But David Terrell it’s like ‘He was bad and kind of an a-hole.’ And then it has to be someone that the burn has kind of worn off but is not so old that you can wear the jersey ironically (like a McNown or Enis jersey). So I think like a Jeremiah Ratliff jersey or a Ray McDonald (did they even sell those though?) would be embarrassing. Of ones that are still out there though, Brandon Marshall has to be up there. Sure he set a lot of records but he has a lot of issues. Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Any jersey previously worn by a Bears QB not named McMahon, Cutler, or Trubisky. Ken Mitchell - There are several levels of cool, jerseys, and a few that are just embarrassing. Let’s start with several types of cool ones. First, there is any Bear in the Hall Of Fame. Secondly, any easily recognized Bears great like Jim McMahon, Kevin Butler, Keith Traylor, Israel Idonije, Thomas Jones, Matt Suhey Olin Kruetz, Mike Brown even up to guys like Josh Sitton. Bearman Don Wachter be inducted into the fans wing Hall Of Fame for fans this summer in Canton, Ohio wearing Doug Plank’s 46 jersey. Then there’s the “obscure cool”, show up at any function wearing 87 (Tom Waddle), 85 (Keith Jennings), 67 (Jerry Fontenot) or 37 (Tony Parrish). The most embarrassing ones are for the flops... I mean absolute flops... Show to the tailgate up wearing Kevin White’s 13, or David Terrell’s 83 and you deserve to be mocked. I wanted to open this roundtable up to the fans too, so I posed the question to our Facebook and Twitter audience. We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 This is a picture. Would post my Grossman Jersey but I had to sacrifice that Jersey at a jersey burning party. True story.— Keith DeVore (@kjdevore28) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Once saw a Conte Jersey floating around.— Zachary Lekfield (@ZLekf) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Jon Bostic and Shea Mclellan jerseys are still in my closet if anybody wants one— Extremely Sioux City Guy (@reallycooljohn) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 I won a Jared Allen autographed Jersy st a cancer shoot,I was the only one that put a ticket in for it— Jasper Fenix (@jasperfenix9) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 I have an authentic kordell Stewart, Jared Allen, Tank Johnson, and Kevin White.— Dan Aguire (@bearsfan_dan) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 I bought a Bryan Cox 52 jersey. It said B Cox on the back. Tore the name off when they traded for Mack— Richard Bunts (@Elephanthole) May 22, 2019 We wanted to include some of your responses on a soon to be published roundtable at WCG, so... What's the most embarrassing #Bears jersey to own?Posted by Windy City Gridiron: For Chicago Bears Fans on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Now it’s your turn. What’s the most embarrassing Bears jersey to own? And if you own one you’re embarrassed of, share a pic in the comment section! […]

  • The Bear’s Den, May 24, 2019
    by Ken Mitchell on May 24, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Another Day, another OTA session at Halas Hall. BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS, BEAR DOWN!!!! BEARRRSSSS / FREE AGENCY / DRAFT Medina: Excuse Me, But What Do You Mean Brian Urlacher Isn’t a Top-10 Player in Bears History? - Bleacher Nation - Brian Urlacher is a Hall of Famer, an all-time great, and deserving of a top-10 spot among the best Bears ever. Hughes: Bears to Donate Million Dollars to Local Charities - Da Bears Blog - One of the great things about the partnership between Ted Phillips and George McCaskey has been their committment to charity. And never has that been more apparent that their new initiative. Dickerson: Matt Nagy sees no signs of defensive drop-off for Bears - ESPN - Chuck Pagano is thrilled to be back on the field with coaches and players and says his scheme will have some elements of Vic Fangio’s defense. Koshul: Matt Nagy is taking culture to another level with Chicago Bears - 247sports - We take a look at how Matt Nagy has changed the culture around the Chicago Bears, going into year two as the head coach. Eurich: Chuck Pagano does not plan on many changes to Bears defense - 247Sports - Following up someone like Vic Fangio will be no easy task for Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano. Fangio oversaw one of the NFL’s best defensive units a year ago before he took on the role as the head coach of the Denver Broncos. Pagano was hired by the Bears this offseason after he was fired as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts following the 2017 season. Alper: Bears “seeing some different looks” with Chuck Pagano running defense – ProFootballTalk - After being hired as the defensive coordinator in Chicago in January, Chuck Pagano said that the Bears defense won’t change much with Vic Fangio now running the show in Denver. Nazario: Allen Robinson needs to lead wide receiver corps - - Allen Robinson had a good season last year but needs to take a big step forward this season for the Chicago Bears to succeed. Our culture is second to none and it shows at OTAs.@lscreeden has your #BearsUpdate.— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 23, 2019 Stankevitz: Eddie Jackson’s pitch for the Bears hits home with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - ‘It’s just like Bama’ - NBC Sports Chicago - Eddie Jackson convinced Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to sign with the Bears thanks to one simple pitch: It’s just like where the two played in college. Barbieri: Bears have had high attendance rate at offseason workouts - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears players have bought into Matt Nagy’s system for the second year in a row, evidenced by their participation rate this offseason. Potash: Khalil Mack eager to take his game to another level - Chicago Sun-Times - His goal? ‘To be the best that ever played the position,’ OLB coach Ted Monachino said. Biggs: Chuck Pagano has to put his stamp on the Bears defense, but he won't throw away what Vic Fangio built - Chicago Tribune - New Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano is installing a new defense, but it won't be a whole lot different than Vic Fangio's. Medina: Let's Enjoy Some Highlights Starring Walter Payton, the Greatest Bears Player in Franchise History - Bleacher Nation - The greatest player in NFL history is the best player in franchise history. And he has the highlights to prove it! Chasing greatness.#BearsOTAs | #Bears100— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 23, 2019 Quick hits: Trubisky clearly in comfort zone - - Six weeks into the Bears offseason program this spring—and after two OTA practices—quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s familiarity with the offense and his receivers is evident. Mayer: Ranking best Bears of all time - Nos 1-25 - - Legendary Hall of Famers Walter Payton and Dick Butkus top the list of the greatest players in Bears history as ranked by writers Dan Pompei and Don Pierson in the Bears Centennial Scrapbook. Hoge and Jahns: OTA’s, Best Bears of All Time, and The Next Live Podcast Recording - WGN Radio - Adam Hoge and Adam Jahns share their thoughts after witnessing the first session of the Bears’ Offseason Training Activities. They play tape from head coach Matt Nagy, new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, as well as some of the positional coaches and players. They also play an interview with Ted Monachino, the team’s new outside linebackers coach. Hoge and Jahns discuss the list of the top 100 Bears of all time available on the team’s website. The guys also talk about where the next live recording of the podcast will take place and how you can get yourself there! Bernstein: Here’s What’s Wrong With Bears’ Top-100 List - 670 The Score - Dan Hampton deserves more respect, and William Perry needs included. .@BoJack39: "You wouldn't even know we have a new defensive coordinator."— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 22, 2019 Finley: Bears trying James Daniels at center, Cody Whitehair at guard - Chicago Sun-Times - James Daniels, who started 10 games at left guard last year as a rookie, is getting snaps at center, coach Matt Nagy confirmed. POLISH SAUSAGE Adam Gase says Jets didn’t overpay for Le’Veon Bell - - Jets coach and interim GM Adam Gase met with the New York media on Thursday and addressed reports that he disagreed with how much his team spent on RB Le’Veon Bell. Greenfield: Taking pain management in the NFL seriously - Our Turf Football - A new day is coming in the NFL. Could the decriminalization of marijuana in the NFL be too far behind? OTFB’s Sonja Greenfield takes a look. Arhar: NFL and NFLPA adding health resources for players - Our Turf Football - The NFL and the NFLPA finally agree on something. The players mental and physical health. OTFB’s Kate Arhar looks at the health resources that are being adding for the players. KNOW THY ENEMY Minnesota Vikings OTAs: Is it possible Mike Hughes won’t be ready for Week 1? - Daily Norseman - At least one well-placed source is raising that possibility Packers 2019 90-man roster ranking, 40-36: Will it be a bounce-back season for Marcedes Lewis? - Acme Packing Company - The veteran tight end surprisingly re-signed in Green Bay after a quiet 2018 that saw him struggle to get on the field. Why a 2019 Darius Slay extension makes sense for everybody - Pride Of Detroit - Darius Slay wants an extension now, and it makes complete sense for him to seek that new deal. PFF: Frank Ragnow has potential to be the best center in NFL - Pride Of Detroit - Pro Football Focus thinks Frank Ragnow’s potential is endless at his "new" position. Detroit misses out on 2021, 2023 NFL Draft hosting opportunity - Pride Of Detroit - 2022 remains a possibility. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON WCG Top 100 Chicago Bears players of all-time: 100-91 - Windy City Gridiron - We’re kicking off our WCG Top 100 Chicago Bears Players list with 100-91. We’ll update this list as we reveal more of our picks, so stay tuned! Sunderbruch: Examining draft day trades and the value they hold: Part 3 - Windy City Gridiron - Despite the age of the Johnson chart, it continues to predict high-end trades better than its competitors. However, a new chart is beginning to own the middle of the draft. Infante: Bears’ David Montgomery facing surprisingly tall odds for Offensive Rookie of the Year - Windy City Gridiron - With the odds given for the rookie running back, Montgomery seems like a smart bet. WCG CONTRIBUTORS BEARS PODCASTS & STREAMS Windy City Gridiron Podcast Channel which includes Bear With Me from Robert Schmitz, Bears Over Beers featuring Jeff Berckes & EJ Snyder, and T Formation Conversation from Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.; Steven’s Streaming Twitch Channel from Steven Schweickert; and Robert Zeglinski’s The Blitz Network THE RULES Windy City Gridiron Community Guidelines - - We strive to make our communities open and inclusive to sports fans of all backgrounds. The following is not permitted in comments. No personal attacks, politics, gender based insults of any kind, racial insults, etc. The Bear’s Den Specific Guidelines – The Bear’s Den is a place for Chicago Bears fans to discuss Chicago Bears football, related NFL stories, and general football talk. It is NOT a place to discuss religion or politics or post political pictures or memes. Unless otherwise stated, the Den is not an open thread, and profanity (including profanity only stated in pictures) is prohibited. Click on our names to follow us on Twitter: WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Schmitz; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook. […]

  • Have you ever come close to quitting the Chicago Bears?
    by Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. on May 23, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    This next roundtable discussion topic was an easy one for us to answer, but what about you guys. With more bad than good the last three decades, have you ever come close to quitting the Chicago Bears? The Chicago Bears have the second most NFL Championships in the history of the league... But none since 1985. In the Super Bowl era, which is all that many fans care about, the Bears are 1-1 in their two appearances. Even though the Chicago Bears are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, recent history hasn’t been very kind to them. With only six division championships since 1989, us Bears’ fans have had much more heartache than good times when cheering for the beloved. We’ve seen some locker room dysfunction, coaches announced as hired before it was official, mock news conference requests, there has been sniping done through the media, boxes not checked, and allowing over 50 points a game in consecutive weeks, just to name some of the things that we’ve had to deal with. But through it all, I maintained my fandom. I never wavered, and Bears games have remained appointment television for me since the 1980s. When this latest roundtable topic was sent to us, I know that the WCG stafffers would all be in unison. Have you ever come close to quitting the Chicago Bears? My answer, Hell no. But let’s check in on what a few of our guys had to say. Sam Householder - I have never been foolish enough to think I could actually follow through on it if I said it, so I don’t think I’ve ever said it aloud or written it. The very closest I’ve ever come though was the 2014 Marc Trestman season, followed closely by January of 2017 when they brought John Fox back after 3-13. I really didn’t think they’d ever get out of the mire at that point. Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Nope. I’m mother Martz’ing Optimist Prime. Ken Mitchell - Quitting? The Bears? No. Never. It would be like considering quitting breathing. Sorry for the short answer, but it’s an unmodified, unqualified no from me. Jeff Berckes - I don’t know about quitting, but I’ve never been more upset with the Chicago Bears fan base than I was when Cubs fans booed Mike Glennon and Bulls fans booed Mitchell Trubisky after they were acquired in the same off-season. Neither had ever thrown a pass for the team at that point and you’re booing them? I truly did not identify with that mentality and I honestly questioned if I fit in as a Bears fan. Jeff, we know all about that kind of fan. Photo by Jacob Andrzejczak/Getty Images for Rio And you my friend, are not that kind of fan. Have any of you guys ever come close to quitting the Bears? Get ready for the 2019 Bears season by taking advantage of the Breaking T Memorial Day Sale! Click right here and you can get a Club Dub hoodie for only $16.00! There are literally hundreds of different designs for every sports fan you know, so get ready for the season at Breaking T, and don’t forget, Father’s Day is right around the corner too. […]

  • Examining draft day trades and the value they hold: Part 3
    by Josh Sunderbruch on May 23, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Despite the age of the Johnson chart, it continues to predict high-end trades better than its competitors. However, a new chart is beginning to own the middle of the draft. Previously, when I have looked at draft trades, I have defaulted to the Johnson chart, which many people consider outdated. The reality, however, is that the Johnson chart is still largely accurate. For example, for the 105 draft trades that have taken place in the last three years, the Johnson chart has been within 5% of the predicted value in 54 cases and within 10% in 78 cases. That’s remarkable for such an old instrument, and most of the “errors” come from the end of the chart, where picks in the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds are being swapped hastily. There is less value to be found in these picks, and so a few points of irregularity here or there make a bigger swing in the total percentage of value lost or gained. Of course, another advantage to using the Johnson chart is that there are calculators readily available online to help determine pick value, and so I only need to check the math--I do not need to do it all by hand myself. The only other chart system that has such convenience is the Chase Stuart chart, and that is simply not a tool that matters when it comes to predicting which picks will be traded for what value. I’ve covered this before, and it remains true. However, there is a third option, and that option comes in the form of the work done by Rich Hill. Hill writes for Windy City Gridiron’s sibling site, Pats Pulpit. Hill has a new chart, more or less reverse-engineered from trades that took place after the new CBA went into effect. It attempts to construct how actual GMs value actual picks, and so it is functionally superior to the theoretical work done by Stuart. Using the sample of the last three years of pick-only trades, and using the version of Hill’s chart available through Drafttek for 2019, we find that Hill is within 5% of the predicted value of picks 55 times, and within 10% of the predicted value 80 times. In other words, he had two more “hits” about the Johnson chart. That’s nice, but it’s also unspectacular. What gives? Hill vs Johnson To some extent, the Hill chart encounters the same problems as the Johnson chart. Essentially, both charts hold up impressively well across the first couple of rounds, but in later rounds things get messier. Most of the big misses involve picks after #150, and they deal with very slim total margins. For example, the Johnson chart only misses by more than 10% on 3 trades out of 32 in the first two rounds. One of these is the ridiculous overpay the Jets made to trade up to spot #3 in 2018, and another is Panthers overpaying to trade with the Seahawks in order to take Greg Little. The final miss? The Bears got too good a deal on their trade to draft Anthony Miller in 2018. Meanwhile, the Hill chart misses with those three picks as well. However, it also misses on other picks at the top of the draft. The Hill chart has the Bears as underpaying the 49ers by a considerable degree (they paid 89% of the Hill chart’s value for #2, whereas the Johnson chart has the Bears/49ers trade as almost a perfect breakeven proposition), and it also has the Bills as overpaying the Bucs by 29% to draft Josh Allen. Additionally, it thinks the Steelers overpaid the Broncos by 18% to take Devin Bush. These three trades are fine by Johnson’s chart. Why the difference? I think Rich Hill is trying too hard to make sense. When he is using past trades to calculate current value, an even mathematical progression of value makes sense. However, GMs do not seem to value picks in the top ten evenly. They place disproportionate value on them, and that means that the steep curve of the Johnson chart is more likely to hold up precisely because it does not make as much “sense” in objective terms. Trends On another note, it is worth pointing out that across these three years, the Patriots are the team most likely to give away higher picks for less than what Hill predicts their market value to be, followed closely by the 49ers and the Jets. Obviously, with high-end picks being overvalued by many measures, it makes sense that some teams would accept a lower price. However, just because it seems to work for the Patriots does not mean it is a proven strategy, as the other two teams on that list prove. It’s hard to claim the strategy adopted by San Francisco and New York are netting them impressive results, at least so far. By contrast, it is interesting to note that only one team has multiple trades forward where its GM beat the Hill values over these three years, and that’s the Chicago Bears’ Ryan Pace. On the other side, only one team was able to get an above-predicted return for selling its pick more than once--the Baltimore Ravens. Finally, only the Buffalo Bills overpaid more than once. However, there is not a lot in the way of “pattern” beyond that. Essentially, the Johnson chart, or something like it, holds sway across most of the draft. Rich Hill is getting closer and closer to cracking the code on the new values GMs are using post-2011 CBA. Ultimately, nobody is owning the trade market, but an argument could be made that Ryan Pace is doing a better job than most of his peers in maneuvering through the draft. It is also true that there is no obvious sign that teams succeed or fail on the basis of how they trade. For example, the Patriots have both overpaid to trade up and taken less than market value to trade down. However, they seem to be doing fine. The Bills and Jets have the same pattern, and they cannot boast nearly the same outcomes. […]


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Buffalo Rumblings - All Posts Buffalo Bills news, notes, discussions, opinions and analysis. 24/7/365 since 4/7/2007.

  • Buffalo Bills’ OTA 2019 53-man roster prediction
    by Matt Warren on May 24, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    It’s our way-too-early look at the Bills’ 53-man roster. The Buffalo Bills began OTAs this week. With several players injured and others just learning the ropes, this 53-man roster prediction is way too early. Treat it as a discussion-starter instead of an ironclad prediction, and we’ll be fine. Quarterback (2) Josh AllenMatt Barkley Tyree Jackson is cut and they hope they can land him on the practice squad. They could keep him on the roster for the first week of the season and then try and stash him or try and put him through in the big wave and hope he gets lost in the shuffle. Make no mistake: they are hitching their wagon to Josh Allen, so the third QB spot isn’t as important. Speaking of which, the Bills don’t seem to value keeping three QBs. They began 2018 with Allen and Nathan Peterman. They began 2017 with Tyrod Taylor and Peterman. Running Back (5) Patrick DiMarcoFrank GoreLeSean McCoyDevin SingletaryT.J. Yeldon A pretty packed room could mean one of them gets traded in August. It wouldn’t shock me to see LeSean McCoy named a captain, traded, or released. I kept DiMarco even though I don’t see how they’re going to use him. He doesn’t play enough to warrant his roster spot, in my opinion. Yeldon would be my first running back released, but they have old and young, and he provides that middle age range that I’d like to keep moving forward. Wide Receiver (5) Cole BeasleyJohn BrownRobert FosterZay JonesAndre Roberts I’d prefer to keep six here, but the injury at tight end limits my options. They kept six receivers last year, but were throwing stuff against the wall to see what could stick. There are more known commodities this year. David Sills V and Nick Easley are both practice-squad candidates but the Bills will move on from Ray-Ray McCloud III, Isaiah McKenzie, Cam Phillips, Da’Mari Scott, and Dhaquille Williams. They are all replacement-level players. Roberts makes the team as the returner. Tight End (4) Jason CroomDawson KnoxTyler KroftLee Smith I’d prefer to keep three at this position, releasing Croom, but with the injury to Kroft taking him out of the lineup until the end of August, I don’t expect him to be full-go for a while. Tommy Sweeney is a practice-squad candidate with a chance to make the roster in 2020. Offensive Line (8) Dion DawkinsJon FelicianoCody FordSpencer LongMitch MorseTy NsehkeQuinton SpainLaAdrian Waddle Morse is the only guy we have a locked-down role for. The rest of these pieces are moving parts. With positional flexibility everywhere else, it’s going to come down to roles more than anything else. Feliciano cross-training at center right now bodes well for his chances. Waddle is my last guy in. Defensive End (5) Jerry HughesShaq LawsonMike LoveTrent MurphyEddie Yarbrough Yarbrough and Love are far from locks. Both could make the team and both could be cut. The top three are set, but will they keep four or five? Darryl Johnson is a PS candidate while he fills out in an NFL nutrition program. Defensive Tackle (4) Star LotuleleiEd OliverHarrison PhillipsJordan Phillips What a solid-looking group, huh? There will be a PSer at DT, too. Linebacker (7) Lorenzo AlexanderMaurice AlexanderTremaine EdmundsVosean JosephDeon LaceyMatt MilanoJulian Stanford Joseph and Maurice Alexander are my last players in, and they take the place of an extra defensive back. Special teams and coverage ability give them a leg up. This is a fun group to watch this offseason as we see where Leslie Frazier develops sub-packages. Cornerback (5) E.J. GainesKevin JohnsonTaron JohnsonLevi WallaceTre’Davious White Three injury concerns in my top five doesn’t exactly thrill me, but there is a ton of talent and starting experience in this group. Safety (5) Rafael BushMicah HydeJaquan JosephDean MarloweJordan Poyer Joseph beats our Siran Neal for the fifth safety spot. Marlowe and Bush add experience and sub-package ability. Specialists (3) Cory Carter (Punter)Reid Ferguson (Snapper)Stephen Hauschka (Kicker) Hauschka survives a challenge from the UDFA, Chase McLaughlin. Carter easily beats out Corey Bojorquez. Practice-squad priorities from roster cuts: QB Tyree Jackson RB Christian WadeWR Nick Easley WR David Sills V TE Tommy SweeneyDE Darryl JohnsonDT Quinadarius ThagardCB Cam Lewis […]

  • Buffalo Bills 2019 free agent rumor, signing, trades, news tracker
    by Matt Warren on May 24, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Everything you need to follow free agency for the Bills, constantly updated. It is time! The 2019 free-agent market has already kicked off, and we’re here to keep you up to date on all the comings and going of the Buffalo Bills, new and old. In this article we will track where every Bills free agent visits and signs as well as all the players whom the Bills bring in for a visit, and where they ultimately sign. You will want to bookmark this post and we will constantly update it through the free-agency period. Announced agreements and roster moves WR Duke Williams Signed / One year, veteran minimum / Film breakdown OL Spencer Long Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown CB Kevin Johnson Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown / Injury analysis RB Frank Gore Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown TE Tyler Kroft Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film Breakdown OC Mitch Morse Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown / Injury Analysis WR John Brown Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown WR Cole Beasley Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown OT Ty Nsekhe Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown OG Jon Feliciano Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown KR Andre Roberts Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown OT LaAdrian Waddle Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown TE/OT Jake Fisher Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown / Health analysis LB/ST Maurice Alexander Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown Part I & Part 2 CB E.J. Gaines Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown RB/ST Senorise Perry Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown OG Quinton Spain Rumored visit 3/22 / Agreed to contract / Film breakdown DE Eli Harold Agreed to contract / One year, veteran minimum / Film breakdown RB T.J. Yeldon Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown TE Lee Smith Agreed to contract / Contract breakdown / Film breakdown Rumored interest P Marquette King Conflicting interest reports 4/8 Rumored interest but went elsewhere TE Dwayne Allen Rumored visit 3/6 / Signed with Miami Dolphins TE Jesse James Rumored interest 2/28 / Signing with Detroit Lions DE Trey Flowers Rumored interest 3/11 / Signing with Detroit Lions DE Dee Ford Rumored trade interest 3/9 / Traded to San Francisco 49ers RB Le’Veon Bell Rumored interest 3/12 / Signing with New York Jets WR Odell Beckham, Jr. Rumored interest 3/12 / Traded to Cleveland Browns ST/LB Mark Nzeocha Rumored visit 3/14 / Re-signing with San Francisco 49ers ST/CB Neiko Thorpe Rumored visit 3/22 / Re-signing with Seattle Seahawks DE Frank Clark Conflicting trade interest reports 3/7 / Traded to Kansas City Chiefs DE Ziggy Ansah Confirmed visit 3/14 / Rumored visit with Saints 3/15 / Waiting on April medical check / Signing with Seattle Seahawks TE Ben Watson Reported interest 5/9 / Signed with New England Patriots Antonio Brown trade dead Report: Antonio Brown traded to the Buffalo Bills Additional sources cast doubt on Brown to Bills trade One possible reason for trade/no-trade reports around Brown Brandon Beane: Antonio Brown is not coming to Buffalo Brown traded to Raiders, agrees to massive contract So Antonio Brown isn't coming to Buffalo. Commemorate those few hours of breathless reports with this shirt from @breakingtco.— Buffalo Rumblings (@BuffRumblings) March 8, 2019 Bills 2019 free agents UFAs Returning LB Lorenzo Alexander Re-signed / One year, $3 to $4.55 million QB Matt Barkley Re-signed / Two years, $3.8 million plus incentives QB Derek Anderson Re-signed / One year, veteran minimum LB Deon Lacey Re-signed / One year, veteran minimum OG Jeremiah Sirles Re-signed / One year, veteran minimum DT Jordan Phillips Re-signed / One year, $4.5 million UFAs Unsigned or Leaving TE Charles Clay Released / Signed with Arizona Cardinals OG John Miller Signed with Cincinnati Bengals: three years, $14.8 million C Ryan Groy OT Jordan Mills Visiting Houston Texans 3/18 / Visiting Cincinnati Bengals 4/1 RB Taiwan Jones Signed with Houston Texans WR Deonte Thompson Signed by New York Jets RB Chris Ivory Released 3/26 RFAs CB Lafayette Pitts Re-signed / One year, veteran minimum P Matt Darr Officially not tendered / Signed with New York Jets TE Logan Thomas Officially not tendered / Signed with Detroit Lions ERFAs LS Reid Ferguson Re-signed / Three years, $2.745 million DE Eddie Yarbrough Officially tendered Reserve/Future DT Kyle Peko Signed WR Cam Phillips Signed DT Robert Thomas Signed […]

  • Contract details for tight end Lee Smith
    by Matt Warren on May 24, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    We have final contract numbers. The Buffalo Bills added tight end Lee Smith after the 2019 NFL Draft while looking to further solidify the position. Smith brings experience to the table and Buffalo is paying him a yearly average similar to what he made when he left for the Oakland Raiders a couple years ago. Via Mike Rodak, we have the full breakdown. While Smith didn’t get a signing bonus, he received a roster bonus of $1.5 million following signing and a fully guaranteed $1 million in 2020. This allowed the Bills to spread out the bonus money over two years, but not the entire three years of the contract. It has a very similar effect to a pro-rated signing bonus on the salary cap. The deal is front-loaded, and the money goes down in each subsequent year. With the guarantees, Smith is a roster lock in 2019 but not beyond. 2019 Roster bonus: $1.5 million (guaranteed)Workout bonus: $100,000Salary: $1.9 million (guaranteed) Cap hit: $3.5 million 2020 Roster bonus: $500,000Workout bonus: $100,000Salary: $2.65 million ($1 million fully guaranteed) Cap hit: $3.25 millionDead money: $1 millionSavings if cut at start of league year: $2.25 millionSavings if cut at roster cuts: $1.65 million 2021 Roster bonus: $250,000Workout bonus: $100,000Salary: $1.9 million Cap hit: $2.25 millionSavings if cut at start of league year: $2.25 millionSavings if cut at roster cuts: $1.9 million […]

  • Bills Links, 5/24: A closer look at Josh Allen’s friendship with Sam Darnold
    by Anthony Marino on May 24, 2019 at 11:00 am

    The second-year quarterbacks train and play together The relationship between Josh Allen and Sam Darnold has been well documented since the 2018 NFL Combine. In today’s links, WGR 550 AM’s Sal Capaccio takes a closer look at the relationship between the second-year quarterbacks. There are also updates from the Buffalo Bills’ first week of OTAs, Jadaveon Clowney, and much more. Friends Allen and Darnold hope offseason training made each other better | WGR 550 SportsRadioThe two quarterbacks trained together again this offseason. The Jerry Hughes & Tyler Kroft Ripple Effects - The Bills Beat with Joe B. and Matthew FairburnThe Buffalo Bills are through their first week of OTAs, so Joe Buscaglia and Matthew Fairburn discuss what they saw during the first practice that the media could attend. Bills awarded waiver claim for T De’Ondre Wesley, sign TE Mik’Quan Deane - The Bills made a pair of roster moves on Wednesday in claiming tackle De’Ondre Wesley off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts and signing tight end Mik'Quan Deane. Should Buffalo Bills explore Kyle Rudolph trade after Tyler Kroft injury? - Cover 1Buffalo Bills tight end Tyler Kroft suffered a broken foot during the first day of OTA's. Should the team explore a trade for Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph to ensure productivity at the position for the 2019 NFL season? Five potential trade partners for the Texans if they move Jadeveon Clowney – The AthleticClowney did not participate in OTAs this week. Coach Bill O'Brien said he has "no idea" when the franchise-tagged player will show up. (Subscription required.) As the Bills grapple with a growing injury list, what we learned on the field during Week 1 of OTAs – The AthleticThree of the Bills' biggest signings on offense won’t have the benefit of learning the system in OTAs due to injuries. (Subscription required.) Jim Kelly gets good news on latest scans – The Buffalo News"Jim Kelly’s latest cancer scans have come back clean, according to his wife Jill’s Instagram account." Featured on Buffalo Rumblings Buffalo Bills add tackle and tight end in four-man roster shuffle - Buffalo RumblingsOn Wednesday the Buffalo Bills added tackle De’Ondre Wesley and tight end Mik’Quan Deane in a roster shuffle. All-22 film analysis: Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes - Buffalo Rumblings(Mostly) randomly selected plays are tossed into the GIF maker and used for analysis of Jerry Hughes. Breaking Buffalo Rumblings: Tyler Kroft injury, offensive line units, and Eric Wood’s new job - Buffalo RumblingsIt was a busy day at One Bills Drive. Q&A Mailbag: Buffalo Bills issue O.J. Simpson’s number 32, Brian Daboll’s play calling - Buffalo RumblingsNumber 32 was issued, Brian Daboll’s play calling, wide receiver numbers, and much more in today’s Q&A. Buffalo Bills dealing with injuries early in 2019 offseason - Buffalo RumblingsSean McDermott had a lot to say on Tuesday. 2019 Buffalo Bills scouting report: wide receiver John Brown - Buffalo RumblingsBuffalo added the speedy veteran on its second attempted pursuit of the wideout. […]

  • Plays that defined the 2018 Buffalo Bills: at Miami Dolphins
    by Skarekrow on May 23, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    We look at the plays that defined the Buffalo Bills heart-breaker against the Miami Dolphins With the 2018 NFL season in the books, we look back at the year and our beloved Buffalo Bills. Every week is a story, and we bring this to you through the lens of key plays that defined each game. Your Week 13 match-up: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins The Bills had just completed their first two-game win streak of the season and were looking to extend it to three. The Dolphins had lost their last two and certainly looked beatable. The Bills more than doubled Miami’s yardage (415 to 175) and won the time of possession battle by nearly six minutes. Despite the skewed statistical output, key errors cost the Bills the game. Jordan Phillips tipped pass (Q1, 2:09) After allowing the Dolphins to score a touchdown on their opening possession, the Buffalo defense became stingy. This tipped pass by Jordan Phillips helped create the second 3-and-out after the Dolphins early score. The Bills scored on the ensuing drive (see below). The narrative to this game easily could have been the defense. The Dolphins only scraped together 60 rushing yards, 115 net passing, 15 first downs and only two third-down conversions all game. Josh Allen to Zay Jones touchdown (Q2, 11:53) Instead of the defense dominating the story, it was gaffes. A bad penalty day for both teams was especially so for the Bills. This clutch play from Josh Allen to Zay Jones should have been an immediate celebration for fans. On the play before however, a penalty on Wyatt Teller negated their first touchdown. A yellow flag on this play as well was cause for alarm. Luckily it was on the Dolphins and the play stood. Isaiah McKenzie muffed punt (Q2, 3:51) In the middle of the second quarter the Dolphins finally found another first down. A penalty-plagued drive resulted in a punt from their own side of the field. Miscommunication on special teams resulted in this muffed punt by Isaiah McKenzie. Recovered by Senorise Perry, it gave Miami excellent field position, which led to their second score of the game. This and two interceptions thrown by Josh Allen gave the Dolphins enough extra opportunities to come out with the win. Matt Milano defensive pass interference (Q4, 10:34) Did I mention that penalties were a problem? Buffalo had 13 penalties for 120 yards, including this defensive pass interference called on Matt Milano. Despite the flags and turnovers, the Buffalo Bills had pulled ahead by three points. Milano’s flag flipped the field, leading to the Dolphins’ winning score. Josh Allen incomplete to Charles Clay (Q4, 1:05) The Bills got the ball back and continued to shoot themselves in the foot. Working their way to medium-range field goal, two sacks led to a 55-yard attempt from Stephen Hauschka. He missed (there was a couple things working against him). Despite this and all the earlier troubles, the Bills were able to put the victory literally in their hands at the end of the game. Josh Allen heaved an incredibly long pass toward Charles Clay and...well maybe I don’t need to explain every play. […]


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  • Ravens News 5/24: OTAs observations, attendance and more
    by Vasilis Lericos on May 24, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Baltimore Ravens OTAs observations: Lamar Jackson’s passes, an undrafted standout and more - Aaron Kasinitz Quarterback Lamar Jackson threw passes with impressive velocity throughout Thursday’s practice, but his accuracy fluctuated. In one sequence, Jackson fired a gorgeous deep ball down the left sideline to wide receiver Jaleel Scott and then sent his next pass wobbling way wide of Seth Roberts on a basic out route. Such is life for a 22-year-old quarterback still in the process of tweaking his mechanics. He did finish on a strong note, whipping a 3-yard touchdown pass to running back Gus Edwards in a crunch-time drill. Antoine Wesley, a 6-foot-4 undrafted receiver out of Texas Tech, stood out from the pack of young wideouts Thursday. He made a one-handed catch in individual drills and burned past the second-team secondary at one point to haul in a long touchdown pass from Robert Griffin III. After Good Day, Lamar Jackson Offers Harsh Critique of His Own Passing - Ryan Mink “I’d say my first day, I sucked,” Jackson said. “Second day, I did better. Today was alright, but it could have been better. I always try to be perfect in practice. It was alright for the first week.” “I see my hip is firing. Coach always wants me to, ‘Fire my hip! Fire my hip!’” Jackson said. “Keeping a wide base, that’s been showing up a lot on film. But I’ve got to get that spiral tighter.” “It’s my hand placement,” Jackson said. “I feel like my hand will be a little too high on the football sometimes. That will make the ball go out of whack.” “Man, he can throw it,” Ingram said of Jackson. “I’ve seen him make a lot of tight throws in tight windows. I’ve seen him make some deep throws. I’ve seen him go through his progressions, make check-downs, see guys in second windows in zones. He’s making his reads, he’s getting better. Ravens HC John Harbaugh ‘Really Happy With The Progress’ Of Offense - Bo Smolka Since OTAs are voluntary, veterans frequently opt against the workouts, and several Ravens veterans were not present. That group included guard Marshal Yanda, cornerback Jimmy Smith, safety Early Thomas, linebacker Matthew Judon and defensive linemen Michael Pierce and Brandon Williams. Safety Tony Jefferson, who had offseason ankle surgery, was on the field in street clothes but did not participate. Two players who were not present and are still competing for roster spots were running back Kenneth Dixon and cornerback-punt returner Cyrus Jones. Practice Report 5/23: Chris Moore Looks Smooth, Ready for More - Ryan Mink Expect to see a lot more of Chris Board in Year 2, as the former undrafted rookie (North Dakota State) spent time rolling in with Kenny Young next to Patrick Onwuasor. With C.J. Mosley’s departure, the Ravens are looking for a run-stuffing inside linebacker. Second-year defensive end Zach Sieler stood out on several occasions, including keeping Jackson contained on a rollout and batting down another pass. The 6-foot-6 seventh-round pick (Ozzie Newsome’s final pick) could end up replacing departed Brent Urban. New veteran outside linebacker Shane Ray passes the eye test. He’s huge and seemingly in great shape. Veteran Pernell McPhee also looks to be in good shape. Both were praised by Head Coach John Harbaugh. Big, Physical Michael Floyd Thinks His Skillset Fits Ravens Offense - Clifton Brown “Michael’s a hard worker, a guy that can go up and get the rock, and a great blocker,” Jefferson said. “Also, he’s a good dude. I’m excited about him. I think he’s intriguing. I think he fits what our offense is trying to do. “How teams played us last year stacking the box, it will give us the opportunity to have a big receiver outside who has one-on-one matchups to go up and get the ball for Lamar. He can go up and get it with his catch radius.” “Each team only carries about six guys (wide receivers), depending on what the team chooses,” Floyd said. “I know what I can bring to the game. It’s not my first time going through this. I think I can help the team, and I think I can help the young guys. You want to contribute to a winning team however you can. I’m going to get the playbook down, and let the cards fall where they fall.” Ravens’ Miles Boykin brings sure hands after years of breaking fingers - Jamison Hensley “Ever since my fingers healed up, I’ve been pretty steady with catching the ball,” Boykin said. Boykin was considered one of the most sure-handed receivers in this year’s draft class. He dropped three of his 62 catchable targets last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Alexander feels the career season was a product of Boykin developing physically. Boykin believes it’s the result of increasing knowledge, learning from Alexander about the coverages and leverages that defenses are trying to use. ”Simple things like that go a mile and just slow everything down for you,” Boykin said. […]

  • Ravens News 5/23: OTAs storylines and more
    by Vasilis Lericos on May 23, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    7 Things to Watch at Ravens Organized Team Activities - Ryan Mink Attendance, especially from key veterans The first thing reporters will do when they arrive on the practice fields will be to take attendance. OTAs are voluntary, but the Ravens have always had a strong showing. That doesn’t mean everybody is there, however. Veterans who have already proven themselves in the league and are accustomed to getting ready on their own sometimes sit out. They may not want to risk injury, or they have their own other reasons. Would the Ravens prefer that every player be there? Of course. But sometimes it’s a good thing to allow younger players more practice reps. Lamar Jackson’s throwing Perhaps the most important offseason storyline is the continued growth of quarterback Lamar Jackson. The offense is built around his skillset, and in order for it to thrive, it will need him to take the next step in his development. While there’s little doubt that the Ravens will be able to run the ball successfully this year with Jackson, Mark Ingram and Co., as well as Greg Roman’s creative schemes, Baltimore wants to see Jackson become more accurate as a passer. Jackson talked about his desire to improve his mechanics this year, and there will be a lot of attention put on that throughout the summer. Most vulnerable division winners: Ravens, Texans, Rams at risk - Gil Brandt 1) Baltimore Ravens (AFC North) The most pressing questions heading into 2018 -- Will John Harbaugh stick around as head coach? Will Lamar Jackson supplant Joe Flacco? -- were answered affirmatively. The quarterback drama might be settled, but there is even more uncertainty this offseason. Can Jackson take the next step as a passer under new offensive coordinator Greg Roman? On defense, Baltimore signed Earl Thomas to replace Eric Weddle. But the team also suffered significant losses in the front seven and pass-rushing corps, with Terrell Suggs, Za’Darius Smith and C.J. Mosley all heading for greener pastures -- and the Ravens are relying on younger players and free-agent stopgaps to fill the void. Most likely to replace them: Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens’ competition in the AFC North will be stout. The Browns are ascending, and Pittsburgh has been a perennial contender for almost all of the Ben Roethlisberger-Mike Tomlin era. The Steelers are facing something of a transition year, with running back Le’Veon Bell and receiver Antonio Brown both gone, but it would be silly to write them off at this point. To me, the race for “challenger” is a virtual toss-up between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and to break the tie, I’ll look to the team with more proven experience, including at quarterback. Michael Floyd Gives Ravens More Depth At Wide Receiver - Jeff Seidel The signing of veteran wide receiver Michael Floyd to a one-year deal gives the Ravens more depth at that position. They need that right now because the team has some”what-ifs” over at wide receiver. Floyd has shown he can be an effective NFL wide receiver. He has 266 catches for 3,959 and 25 touchdowns during his career. Floyd can catch the ball, will be a good receiver for Jackson to throw to in tough situations and has speed. The Ravens now have put together a cadre of speedy receivers that can be used in a variety of ways. Baltimore now can come out with any number of different looks, formations and packages. NFL bans certain old-school training-camp drills - Mike Florio The NFL has eliminated various types of high-contact drills from training-camp practices, including the Oklahoma drill and bull in the ring. The reason for doing it is simple. As the NFL tries to lead the way in making the sport safer at every level (so that people will choose to play it at every level), the NFL needs to get rid of certain dangerous drills, and to hope that college, high school, and youth football will do the same. […]

  • Predicting the Ravens statistical leaders in each major defensive category
    by Frank J. Platko on May 22, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Who will post big numbers on defense next season? Losing four defensive snap leaders in free agency would prompt many teams to rebuild on that side of the ball. However, in typical Ravens fashion, Baltimore retooled and reloaded by adding Earl Thomas, Jaylon Ferguson, and several others players. They’ll also be relying on in-house improvement from players like Patrick Onwuasor, Kenny Young, and Tim Williams to replace the production lost from C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, and Za’Darius Smith. With a mixture of new faces and returning contributors, which players will lead the team in each of the major defensive stat categories in 2019-20? Tackles Patrick Onwuasor Tony Jefferson Kenny Young C.J. Mosley had been the Ravens leading tackler in each of the past five seasons, so with him now out of the fold, there’s plenty of slack to be picked up. Stepping into his place will be Patrick Onwuasor, who has a good chance to lead the team in tackles. Onwuasor has good range and pursuit to the ball. He’ll be patrolling the middle of the field throughout the year. Tony Jefferson was second on the team in tackles last season with 74. With Earl Thomas roaming the secondary, Jefferson figures to play closer to the line of scrimmage next season in a box-safety role. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him improve upon last year’s number and potentially wind up as the leading tackler on the team. Kenny Young showcased great athleticism and sideline-to-sideline range in his rookie season. Even in a limited role, he managed to record 51 tackles, just eight less than Onwuasor. Now, he’ll be possessing a starting role alongside “Peanut”, so he’s a good bet to build upon his tackle total from last season. Sacks Matthew Judon Jaylon Ferguson Tim Williams Baltimore has rebuilt their outside linebacker core this offseason. After losing Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs in free agency, the team drafted Jaylon Ferguson in the third round and recently signed Shane Ray and Pernell McPhee. It’s Matthew Judon who figures to pace the edge rusher corps in sacks, though. Judon had seven sacks last year but is talented enough to potentially break double-digits. He’ll be the primary pass-rusher on defense now and Don Martindale will put him positions to succeed. Ferguson is set to make an immediate impact in his rookie season. The NCCA’s all-time leader in sacks is a natural pass rusher with a solid array of power and moves. Somewhere between 5-8 sacks from Ferguson seems within the realm of possibility. After these two, it’s anyone guess as to who will be third on the team in sacks. Ray and McPhee could potentially make an impact and Onwuasor had 5.5 sacks of his own last season. My bet is on Tim Williams stepping up, though. Williams is entering a make-or-break season and the Ravens are counting on him to replace some of Suggs and Smith’s production. Williams’ talent has never been in question and with more opportunities presented to him, he has a good chance to improve upon his two sacks from last year. Forced Fumbles Patrick Onwuasor Tony Jefferson Matthew Judon With tackles comes opportunities to force fumbles, and Onwuasor will have plenty of those next season. He forced two fumbles last season, both of which came in the final five weeks of the year. Against the Chargers in Week 15, Onwuasor was responsible for the game-clinching turnover, as he punched the ball out of Antonio Gates’ arms and Tavon Young returned the loose ball for a touchdown. Jefferson was one of six players tied for second on the team last year with just one forced fumble. However, Jefferson will have more chances to make plays on the ball next year and his aggressive playing style could easily equate to two or more turnovers. Judon is a good bet for at least a forced fumble or two, as well. Interceptions Earl Thomas Marlon Humphrey Brandon Carr The Ravens landed maybe the best ball-hawking safety in the league this offseason by signing Earl Thomas. Thomas had three interceptions in the first four weeks of the 2018-19 season, including a multiple-interception game against the Cowboys. His range, play recognition, and instincts are elite and allow him to be in the right place at the right time almost every play. Whereas Thomas makes plays from all over the field, cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr are skilled at creating turnovers when targeted in man coverage. Both players had two interceptions each last season and could very well match that number. Humphrey can potentially take his game to another level, too, so two interceptions is just a starting point. […]

  • Ravens 2019 Draft Likes & Dislikes: Jaylon Ferguson
    by Kyle P Barber on May 22, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Can the pass rusher be what Baltimore needs? The 2019 NFL Draft was a grueling adventure for Ravens fans. After the initial pick at 25, the front office sat back and calculated their next move. . . which arrived 60 picks later. Fans were excited and exhausted. In the end, we watched as Eric DeCosta and the scouting unit attempted to replace a 16-year Raven, OLB Terrell Suggs, as he ventured off to the NFC West, becoming an Arizona Cardinal. With their second overall selection, the Baltimore Ravens picked DE Jaylon Ferguson. Rd. 3 Pick 85: DE Jaylon Ferguson Likes: The stats, obviously. The man who was drafted to ‘replace’ the legendary Raven was the same man to overtake Suggs’ Division I sack record. A player capable of notching 45 sacks in college is exciting, especially when the sack record was on the line in his final matchup and he stepped up to achieve such a feat. The sack totals aren’t the only gaudy number, either. He also racked in a total of 67.5 tackles for loss in his four-year career at Louisiana Tech [sports-reference]. In summation, Ferguson was a college dominator. Now, to discuss his play. I like his versatility. I don’t see Jaylon as a strict defensive end/edge rusher. Against North Texas (yes, I know this isn’t ‘Bama, but still), you can see him producing while playing inside backer blitzing right up the middle. He blows past and takes down the quarterback with ease. On the next clip, he cuts to the chipping tight end, takes the block and uses the momentum from the block to burn past the left tackle and notch yet another sack. Going frame-by-frame, you also notice he’s the first off the line after the snap, demonstrating the speed he’s revered for. My final ‘like’ for Ferguson actually comes from a recent interview on our own “Baltimore Beatdown Podcast”. Jacob Louque and Vasilis Lericos interviewed Bleacher Report’s Connor Roger’s and his response settled most of my up-in-the-air uncertainties on Ferguson. Vasilis Lericos: “We know the Ravens lost a lot of snaps from their linebacking corps. C.J. Mosley joined your Jets and local icon Terrell Suggs moved on, as well as Za’Darius Smith. They did address the pass rusher need in the third round with Jaylon Ferguson. He did produce gaudy stats in college, but faced some middling talent. He did not test particularly well. How pro-ready do you think Ferguson is?” Connor Rogers: “I actually do think he is ready to be on the field. Now, I’m not saying he’s going to be this three-down lights-out player right away but one thing I like about Jaylon Ferguson’s game is is that you kind of know what it is. It’s speed-to-power, in my eyes. You kind of alluded to it there, it wasn’t always against the best competition but I still think he can rush and get after the quarterback. He plays with a different level of violence.” Dislikes: You can’t disregard the level of competition Ferguson faced in college. Yes, he was Division I, but he wasn’t going against the top-flight lineman in college. He wasn’t battling against the best of the best, and now he will face off against professionals week in and week out. This is a big step up and it will be a tough test for the rookie. Ferguson is a solid defender and I don’t have much against him. It all comes down to becoming the NFL-caliber performer, which we’ll have to wait and see. […]

  • Ravens News 5/22: Offseason agenda, running it up and more
    by Vasilis Lericos on May 22, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    NFL summer subplots: One burning question for each AFC team - Jeremy Bergman Baltimore Ravens: Will John Harbaugh’s team continue to run it up? No team last year experienced a more jarring midseason change in philosophy than Baltimore, which swapped Joe Flacco out for Lamar Jackson and immediately became the most feared ground attack in football. Over their final seven regular-season games, during which they crawled back from sub.-500 to a division title, the Ravens averaged 229.6 rushing yards per game with Jackson leading the charge (logging 17 attempts and 79.4 yards per game). Baltimore doubled down on that ground-and-pound approach this offseason by signing Mark Ingram and drafting Justice Hill. Meanwhile, the Ravens lost aging receiving talent (Michael Crabtree, John Brown) but added rookie standouts Hollywood Brown and Miles Boykin to pair with a trio of useful tight ends. The Ravens are Lamar’s team now, but as the first three quarters of their wild-card defeat to the Chargers exposed, Baltimore’s reliance on the run might not hold up over a full campaign -- or against teams that now have half a season’s worth of tape on how the Ravens use their dynamic QB. Baltimore has the personnel to pace the league in rushing attempts again. Whether, in Jackson’s sophomore season, the Ravens change their course will be something to monitor early on in 2019. NFL offseason agendas: To-do lists for all 16 AFC teams - Bill Barnwell Baltimore Ravens Add defensive help. The Ravens have shed front-seven pieces this offseason, and in return, they’ve ... brought back Pernell McPhee and signed former Broncos first-rounder Shane Ray. They already had plenty of talent and will promote from within, but they could sorely use veteran help. They can already line up a pair of fearsome defensive linemen in Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce, but I admit I find the idea of the Ravens signing Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy and threatening teams with interior pressure to be extremely enticing. With $14.5 million in cap space, the Ravens could make a short-term deal work. Work on re-signing Pierce, Matt Judon, and Patrick Onwuasor. I wasn’t kidding about the front-seven thing. The Ravens lost four of their top five defenders there in terms of 2018 snap count in C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, Za’Darius Smith, and Brent Urban, and they can’t afford to keep shedding that talent. Pierce, Judon and Onwuasor are all unrestricted free agents in 2020, and with Joe Flacco’s contract finally coming off of the books, the Ravens will have nearly $40 million in cap space. The goal should be to re-sign two of their three young stars. Offensive Line Is Mostly Unchanged, And That’s OK - John Eisenberg The analytic gurus at Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders generally liked what they saw from the O-line in 2018. The Ravens ranked No. 10 in PFF’s O-line power rankings. Football Outsiders rated them No. 9 in run blocking and No. 8 in pass protection. Those are high grades. But my two cents, they’re countered to a degree by what happened in the Ravens’ playoff loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. The line got pushed around, especially up the middle. Ronnie Stanley is “one of the best left tackles in the league,” according to PFF. Orlando Brown Jr. has taken command at right tackle. Marshal Yanda was the NFL’s third-highest-rated guard in 2018, according to PFF. That’s a solid foundation. And Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta doesn’t sound too worried about the other slots. […]


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  • NFC East Roundup: Pay the man?
    by Jeff_Roberts on May 24, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Here’s the need-to-know news around the NFC East this week. The question is simple, yet complex. And the decision will shape the future of the Dallas Cowboys. Should they pay or should they not pay Dak Prescott? For Charles McDonald of Blogging the Boys, the answer is simple. Pay the man, he writes. McDonald’s argument? Prescott was a rare find: A legit franchise quarterback plucked in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft, whether the stats indicate it or not. Owner Jerry Jones seems committed, saying he sees “real upside” in the fourth-year quarterback. OK, Prescott did post a 96.9 QB rating last season, throwing for 3,885 yards and 22 TDs to eight interceptions. The Cowboys did win the division and reach the divisional round of the playoffs, where they lost to the eventual NFC champion L.A. Rams. But are they $30 million-per-year-kind-of-committed? That is apparently what it’s going to take, according to reports coming out of Dallas. $30 million to $32 million per annum. Negotiations have been progressing, Dave Halprin writes. That’s aaaaaa lot of upside, even if he doesn’t turn 26 until this summer. Eli Manning suddenly seems like not so bad an investment, no? The Cowboys will have to decide soon. Prescott is in the final year of his rookie deal, and if they’re not interested, well, someone else will be. I mean, Geno Smith somehow is still in the league. (Right?) Here are some of the other big stories around the NFC East this week, so crack an adult beverage, give the burgers a flip and read this Memorial Day weekend: Dallas Cowboys Robert Quinn may not be the same player who registered 19 sacks in 2013. But the former Ram and Dolphin still brings value. Halprin explains the defensive end remains a solid contributor who will pose a formidable presence opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys are also getting a positive locker room figure and dependable veteran. And that certainly is an upgrade over the suspended Randy Gregory. Quinn cost Dallas only a 2020 sixth-round draft pick. Meanwhile, Prescott may not be the only Cowboy cashing in this summer. Ezekiel Elliott will get paid soon too, RJ Ochoa reports. The running back has run afoul of the league office a few times, sure. But he’s also led the NFL in rushing in two of his three seasons. And Jones thinks the league will not take any disciplinary action against Elliott, despite a recent incident involving security guards at a Las Vegas music festival. Ah, to be young and a Cowboy about to cash in. Philadelphia Eagles In the “It’s time to do right by…” edition of the NFC East notebook, we move on to The City of Brotherly Love and Malcolm Jenkins. Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton writes the veteran is vastly underpaid. Jenkins is the NFL’s ninth-best paid safety in annual value at $8.75 million. The final two years of his contract call for base salaries of $8.1 million and $7.6 million, neither of which is guaranteed. Not surpringly, Jenkins will not be attending OTAs, thank you. Gowton says pay the man. In fact, he writes: “The Eagles MUST pay him.” Meanwhile, Chris Long is no longer an Eagle or an active NFL player. But he’s still blowing smoke, as Alexis Chassen tells us. It comes in the same week that the NFL announced it’s studying the pain management benefits of cannabis. In good news for Iggles fans, Carson Wentz has no limitations during OTAs (at least not until he gets hurt again). Washington Redskins Reuben Foster was a Redskin for all of three snaps in OTAs. Then, down he goes. Out comes the cart. A torn ACL. So nothing has changed in DC, I see. The Redskins signed former second-round pick Jon Bostic to take his place, Hogs Haven’s Scott Jennings informs us. Speaking of which, James Faris asks if Case Keenum can exceed expectations and be better than a backup quarterback. Thanks for asking, James. But no, he cannot. So I guess it’s Dwayne Haskins’ team now. Bill-in-Bangkok is excited. And Alex Smith is throwing, even if he’s nowhere near ready to return to the field. But at least Smith, Keenum and Haskins don’t look like identical twins, as Manning and Giants’ first-round pick Daniel Jones do. So there’s that. […]

  • [Podcast] How the Giants defense can improve in 2019
    by Dan Pizzuta on May 24, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    What can the Giants do to take their defense to the next level in 2019? On the latest episode of the Big Blue View podcast, Dan Pizzuta and Chris Pflum break down areas the Giants defense can improve from 2018 to 2019. In 2018, the Giants had one of the league’s worst defenses, one that ranked 24th in DVOA, 26th in yards allowed per drive, and 27th in points allowed per drive. Topics on this episode include: Better third down defense Improvement on passes to the short middle area of the field (30th in DVOA) More consistent deep pass defense More versatility in personnel Likelihood of converting pressure into more sacks You can listen to the episode in your browser here, with the embedded player below, or anywhere you get your podcasts. Remember, if you enjoy the podcast, to hit those 5-star ratings and leave positive reviews, which help the podcast grow and be seen, especially through the less busy months of the offseason. Where to subscribe You can find and subscribe to Big Blue View radio from the show’s home page. You can find all the shows on our Big Blue View Radio Hub Page. You can also find the shows and subscribe on all your favorite podcast apps: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Finally, be sure to check out the home page for all of the shows across the expanding Vox Media Podcast Network. […]

  • Giants’ 90-man roster: In C.J. Conrad, did Giants find the next Jason Witten?
    by Ed Valentine on May 24, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Kentucky tight end went undrafted after heart ailment scare Jason Witten. The future Hall of Fame tight end terrorized the New York Giants for 15 seasons as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, until retiring before the 2018 season. He is returning after a year away and even at the age of 37 we will probably learn that the Giants still can’t cover him. Why am I resurrecting the Witten nightmare? Because University of Kentucky tight ends coach Vince Marrow believes the Giants might have stumbled upon a way to turn the tables when they signed ex-Wildcats tight end C.J. Conrad as an undrafted free agent. “I always say C.J. reminds of Jason Witten,” Marrow said when I asked him for a comparison during a recent phone conversation. “You got one of the best players I think at that position coming out of college, but you got an even better person.” Let’s learn more about Conrad as we continue profiling the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp this summer. The basics Height: 6-foot-4Weight: 248Age: 23Position: Tight endExperience: 0 How he got here Marrow said that “for sure” Conrad should have heard his name called somewhere in the first five rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. There were eight tight ends taken in the first three rounds, and Marrow said he believes Conrad was one of the seven best tight ends in the draft class. “I think the Giants got a steal in getting this kid as a free agent, I really do. I think he’s a guy who’s going to play 8-10 years in the league. He’s exactly what you want in a tight end. He’s a good inline blocker, very good athlete,” Marrow said. “I look at some of the guys that got drafted and you look at his film and watch where he played and look at some of the guys that he blocked in this league and you tell me he wasn’t better than half of those guys that got drafted? You’ve gotta be kidding me.” So, what happened? In Marrow’s words, it was “that crap” about his heart that came up at the NFL Scouting Combine. Conrad was diagnosed with a heart ailment during his pre-Combine physical in Indianapolis. He was sent home and told to stop working out. Weeks later, a second opinion from doctors in Boston gave him the green light to return, saying the issue was only an enlarged pulmonary artery that required annual observation. That was good news, but the setback was enough to keep him from hearing his name called during the draft. “This heart thing, it kinda scared people off which was kinda messed up,” Marrow said. “I just think that information that came out I think it hurt him. I know it hurt him.” Conrad played in 35 games with a modest 80 catches at Kentucky. As a junior, he averaged 17.9 yards on 16 receptions. As a senior, he caught 30 passes, three for touchdowns, and averaged 10.6 yards per catch. Marrow said that Conrad “sacrificed a lot” in terms of personal statistics to help the Wildcats’ young offensive line. “He was very productive for us. He could have caught 50-60 balls a year if that’s what we wanted him to do. We had a young line and C.J. was such a good blocker and a good pass pro blocker that he sacrificed his own personal gain for the team. “But I know what a tight end looks like and I know what the NFL looks for and he is every bit of what the NFL looks for in a tight end. A guy that can play the Y. He can play the F. He’s a good inline blocker, he can block the 6 technique, the 7. He can trade down on the 5, the 4, you know, the big guys, and get to that second level to the ‘backer. “I played in the league myself [from 1992-95] and I watch tight ends. The hardest part is finding that complete tight end. I believe C.J. was one of the top five, six tight ends in the country that was complete.” ‘An even better person’ Let’s take a minute to highlight a couple of the things Marrow told me about Conrad. Marrow gave me all the standard “very smart player,” and “student of the game” and “comes in early during the week with a full school load and will put in extra time watching film” quotes that are typical of coaches promoting their players. There is, however, more. “Great kid,” Marrow said. “Will be a great person off the field for the Giants.” He pointed out that Conrad would spend part of his Tuesday off days during football season visiting children with cancer at a local hospital, that he compiled a 3.4 GPA in communications and that he, along with Giants’ sixth-round pick George Asafo-Adjei, were two of the players who “changed the culture” at Kentucky. “You aren’t going to get a better person,” Marrow said. “Most coaches don’t want their daughters to be around the facility or be around players. If any of my daughters came home and said they wanted to marry C.J. I’d be doing backflips. I’d know she was going to have a good husband.” 2019 outlook Perhaps Conrad was supposed to be a Giant all along. Conrad was part of an East-West Shrine Game team where Giants tight ends coach Lunda Wells was working with offensive linemen. He and Conrad got to know each other there. “I like Conrad,” Wells said during a spring media availability. “He’s tough. He’s smart. He can learn. He’s not a blazer, but he’s instinctive in the pass game. “It didn’t take a long time to figure out that this guy is very determined about being a really good player and I like that about him. He takes coaching very well. I really like that kid from what we saw over the three-day rookie minicamp.” The Giants have Evan Engram as their primary tight end. While the Giants used him inline on 243 of 475 offensive snaps (51.2 percent) in 2018 we know that Engram is not a blocker, that he has a skill set and body type that screams to be used detached from the line of scrimmage. Filling the traditional tight end roles for the Giants last season were veterans Rhett Ellison and Scott Simonson. Competing for jobs are second-year man Garrett Dickerson and undrafted free agent Eric Dungey, a hybrid tight end/quarterback. Maybe Conrad doesn’t make it at all. Maybe he just proves to be Simonson, or an upgrade from Simonson, who had nine catches for the Giants last season and now has 10 in 34 NFL games. Maybe Conrad turns out to be Ellison, a 30-year-old seven-year veteran who had career-best years of 24 and 25 receptions for the Giants in 2017 and 2018. The thing about Ellison is while he’s a nice player that’s not a lot of production for a guy carrying a $5.75 million cap hit this year and a $6.25 million cap hit for 2020. Maybe, though, just maybe Marrow is right. Maybe, and this is jumping way ahead, Conrad turns out to be Witten. Or a reasonable facsimile. The Giants gave Conrad a $10K signing bonus and $40K guaranteed to sign as a priority free agent, and to Marrow that indicates “they saw something” in his play at Kentucky. “Here’s what I know. You can’t hide talent. I’m hearing out of that camp already that they’ve been very pleased with C.J. just from the people we know there,” Marrow said. “I really believe the Giants are going to see what they’ve got in the kid. The kid is real tough. C.J.’s going to play hurt. He just, to me, is everything that you want. “I know this. That tight end coach is going to come to like him. That o-line coach is going to like him and the coordinator’s going to like him because when you really see what he can do, and I think he’s just showing a little glimpse of it right now. I’m telling you this is no talk, I think the Giants really got a bargain in getting this kid as a free agent.&rdquo […]

  • Giants news, 5/24: Golden Tate lauds Daniel Jones’ “super, super strong arm”
    by Ed Valentine on May 24, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Let’s check your headlines before the holiday weekend begins Good morning, New York Giants fans! Golden Tate: Daniel Jones has “super, super strong arm” Wide receiver Golden Tate has been impressed thus far by rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. “Dan the man, he’s looking good,” Tate said Thursday on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “In my mind quarterback is the toughest position to play because you have to understand what each one of your guys are doing in addition to the coverages and the front and all sorts of stuff. He’s doing a good job. “Talent-wise, the guys got a super, super strong arm. He can move around a little bit.” Some of the interview is below. #Giants WR Golden Tate joined @charlieweissr & @BillLekas to talk about rookie QB Daniel Jones and having Eli Manning to learn from."I hope it's kinda like that Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers Situation eventually" AUDIO— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) May 23, 2019 NFL: Landon Collins called New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman a liar | Yahoo Sports Landon Collins isn’t backing off when it comes to slamming Gettleman. “Gettleman said things that he wanted to say,” Collins said. “He said he wasn’t going to trade [Beckham], and he traded him. We was all surprised by that fact because that’s one of the best receivers in the game and for him to do that and lie to everybody, it’s not a good look for players and for teammates.” Washington signs Adam Bisnowaty – ProFootballTalk Giants greats Tiki Barber, Amani Toomer petition to weed out marijuana ban by anti-doping agency | Eagles, Rutgers alums, too - BBV Mailbag Have questions about the Giants? E-mail them to, and the best ones will be answered in an upcoming mailbag. Thanks! BBV Podcast You can find and subscribe to Big Blue View radio from the show’s home page. You can find all the shows on our Big Blue View Radio Hub Page. You can also find the shows and subscribe on all your favorite podcast apps: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS […]

  • Austin Droogsma the Giants most unlikely hog mollie
    by Ed Valentine on May 23, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Former college shot putter trying to become NFL offensive lineman Hog hunting. That is one of the ways Austin Droogsma expected to be spending his time this spring. “I had some concerts planned with some friends that I was gonna go to, just kinda traveling around. Some beach days, some lake days, going out on the river fishing with my buddies,” Droogsma said. “I’ve been talking with a few guys about going on a hog hunt down in central Florida. Stuff like that. Just having fun. “Nothing even close to what this was.” “This” was an invitation to attend an NFL rookie mini-camp to try and become a professional football player. Appropriately, it came from the New York Giants — where hog-mollie loving general manager Dave Gettleman has spent a nearly a year and a half now looking under every rock in an effort to improve the Giants’ offensive line. To find Droogsma the Giants had to turn over a pretty big boulder. Listed at 6-foot-4, 345 pounds (more on that later), Droogsma didn’t play college football. He was a highly-recruited offensive guard coming out of Gulf Breeze High School, but after potential football scholarships with Florida State, Clemson and Mississippi State fell through he turned his attention to his “other” athletic endeavor — the shot put. Droogsma ended up accepting a track and field scholarship to Florida State, and became one of the country’s better collegiate shot putters. He never thought about returning to football ... until the Giants called him. “Not at all. Not at all,” said Droogsma. “I was planning on just kinda living my life for a year and then starting the process, going through the academy to become a police officer.” Instead, he is trying to learn to become an NFL offensive lineman, trying to learn to impede the mountainous men who line up across from him. Droogsma said it was “blindsiding” to get a call from the Giants, specifically from Charles Tisch of the Giants’ Football Operations Department. Droogsma said he was “cruisin’ down a back road” after having lunch with a friend when he got a call from Tisch asking him if he would be interested in attending rookie mini-camp. Droogsma said he “thought somebody was messing with me.” “I was waiting for him to ask me for my credit card,” Droogsma said. Once he figured out no one was messing with him, that the New York Giants really wanted to see if he could be a professional football player, Droogsma accepted the offer. The concerts, fishing excursions and hog-hunting were going to have to wait. He had less than two weeks to dust off his football skills and prepare for the mini-camp. When it was done, though, the Giants signed him to their 90-man roster. “I guess I showed ‘em enough to at least keep me around for a longer look,” he said. How did this happen, anyway? Droogsma still isn’t clear on the details. He still has questions about how it all went down. He said all he knows is the Giants have “some kind of database” that tracks athletes who were recruited to play college football but never did, instead choosing another sport. Per the Giants, that database is an in-house one maintained by the team’s Football Operations Department that flagged Droogsma as an athlete worth taking a look at. “I’m trying to make the most of the opportunity and just giving myself the best shot and trying to put myself in the best situation that I can,” Droogsma said. Photo by FSU Sports Information Austin DroogsmaCan he really do this? A handful of players have had successful NFL careers despite never playing college football. Nate Ebner played rugby and has had a seven-year career with the New England Patriots. So, it’s not impossible. Droogsma is enjoying being back in football, but that doesn’t mean fully making the transition is going to be easy. “It’s a lot of fun. There’s always going to be the ups and downs,” he said. “Sometimes I feel like I don’t necessarily belong because sometimes I just get so lost on things. The more in-depth details that are going to take more time for me to learn, things like that. I kinda feel like I’m getting left behind in that sense.” Droogsma was a left guard in high school and that is where he has been lining up for the Giants. Athletes practice their crafts to develop muscle memory, to develop the ability to react during games without having to think about what they need to do. Droogsma, obviously, does not have that muscle memory in football, though he believes it as “attainable.” “It’s just going to take me a few weeks to really settle in and get the hang of this,” he said. Droogsma said that right now his challenge is more mental than physical simply because of how much he has to learn. “[It’s] physically demanding because I’m just moving my body in different ways that I haven’t had to in years. Kind of re-training myself to do that, and doing different workouts that are geared more towards what we’re doing on the field as opposed to what I was doing for shot put in college,” Droogsma said. “The mental aspect is just being in the book, trying to learn and trying to get as much stuff as I can as quickly as I can so that I get caught up. The mental aspect of it inhibits my physical ability because if I’m thinking too much out on the field I’m not going to be able to be playing at full speed.” Becoming a football player again Droogsma is dealing with the complexities of an NFL play book, to the point of learning when to go left or right so that he doesn’t bang into the center and “look like an idiot on tape.” He is also in the process of re-shaping his body. He signed with the Giants weighing nearly 350 pounds, but they want him to be in the vicinity of 320-325 pounds. He’s down to 340 and working with the Giants training staff to take off the weight. He believes that right now he can “hang in” with some of the less-established players based purely on athleticism. He said he wants to reach the weight goal and get a better grasp on the playbook and the techniques he is required to execute and that he hopes by training camp that he will be able to “unleash what I feel is my full athletic potential.” Droogsma said he does believe his shot put training translates to blocking football players in some ways. “Footwork, hip rotation, ankle rotation, being able to flip my hips out and get out and run … keeping my weight back, keeping my balance all comes into play. They’re very similar in that sense,” he said. “Keeping a good center of gravity and having good balance are very, very crucial in both sports.” Droogsma said he has been getting a lot of “good, constructive criticism” from coaches that he knows is geared toward “making you better and helping you learn.” He was happy that at Tuesday’s OTA he heard a couple of “good jobs” from coaches. He called that “a big step in the right direction.” Droogsma knows there will have to be many more steps in the right direction if he is going to turn his “once in a lifetime opportunity” into a real job. “It goes back to the ‘do I belong here’ kind of thing,” he said. “At the same time they wouldn’t have brought me in if they didn’t see the potential for me to contribute. I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t think that I could be something.” Will this unusual hog hunt by the Giants pay off in the end by uncovering a useful player? Droogsma seems as curious as the Giants are. “I think it’s going to be an interesting and really fun time,” he said. […]


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  • Eagles Rookie Profile: Six things to know about DeAndre Thompkins
    by Brandon Lee Gowton on May 24, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Get to know one of Philadelphia’s UDFA signings. The Philadelphia Eagles signed Penn State wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins as an undrafted free agent following the 2019 NFL Draft. The odds are stacked against Thompkins making the final roster but he’s a player to watch this summer. After all, the Eagles reportedly gave him the third highest amount of guaranteed money out of all their UDFA signings. Philly also has an opening at punt returner that Thompkins could fill. In order to learn more about Thompkins, I reached out to SB Nation’s Penn State blog: Black Shoe Diaries. Nittany Lions writer Jared Slanina was kind enough to answer my questions. 1) Can you sum up what his college career was like? Thompkins became Penn State’s punt returner as a freshman, but ultimately lost his job after a few mishandled catches. he was able to fix that issue, and would go on to become an electrifying return man later in his career. By his sophomore season, he was seeing plenty of time at receiver where he was became known for his big-play potential as a deep threat. His numbers were solid but not eye-popping as there were only so many passes to go around for him and several other pass catchers who are now in the NFL, including Chris Godwin, DaeSean Hamilton and Mike Gesicki. The 2018 season was supposed to be the year where Thompkins became a primary weapon in the Penn State offense, but it just didn’t quite work out. Thompkins had the opportunities, but was plagued by a bad case of “the drops” that he just wasn’t able to work through throughout his senior year. 2) What are his strengths? Thompkins has all the physical tools you would want in a receiver who is a smidge under 6’0’’. He’s explosive, an excellent route-runner and knows how to get open. He also was a dangerous punt returner with outstanding explosiveness and vision. It was very common for him to pick up 10-15 yards with no room to run, and when he had some space, he could make one cute and be gone. 3) What are his weaknesses? If Thompkins was able to hang on to the ball, there’s no doubt he would have been drafted. He’s an outstanding athlete can also provide value as a returner. He just dropped too many balls his senior year. It’s not so much that he has poor hands- he’s proved otherwise earlier in his career. It seemed to be a case of the yips he just couldn’t overcome. He dropped a couple passes right off the bat and couldn’t get out of his own head. Fortunately, it’s a fixable problem, and if he is able to overcome it, could end up sticking around the NFL for a while as he has a broad skillset. 4) Are you surprised he went undrafted? No. There were too many drops last season for any NFL team to feel comfortable using a draft pick on him, despite his upside. 5) How do you see his NFL career playing out? Not to sound like a broken record, but it will come down to his hands. If he continues to drop passes on a regular basis, he won’t make the first round of cuts. If he can fix it, I could see him making the roster and even becoming an explosive return man in the NFL. 6) Anything to know about him off the field? He’s an easy guy to cheer for. Known as a hard worker and excellent teammate who would do anything he can to help the younger guys in his position group. Highlights: Relative athletic score: DeAndre Thompkins went undrafted in the 2019 draft class.DeAndre Thompkins posted a Good #RAS with Poor size, Elite speed, Good explosiveness, Okay agility at the WR position.#Eagles— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 30, 2019 […]

  • The Linc - Donovan McNabb says he belongs in the Hall of Fame
    by Brandon Lee Gowton on May 24, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/24/19. Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... Donovan McNabb Says He’s A Hall Of Famer, ‘My Nos. Are Better Than Aikman’ - TMZ SporsDonovan McNabb says he’s “absolutely” a Hall of Fame player ... telling TMZ Sports his career yards AND touchdowns should make him a shoo-in for Canton. ”My numbers are better than Troy Aikman,” the ex-Eagles superstar says. McNabb joined the guys on the “TMZ Sports” TV show -- airing weeknights on FS1 -- and said he unequivocally expects to be wearing a gold jacket at some point in his future. ”I’m not hesitating on that. I am a Hall of Famer,” McNabb says ... “My numbers speak for themselves.” How much does EDGE depth matter to the Eagles? - BGNWe first should ask ourselves: “How often is EDGE4 on the field for Philly?” Fortunately, that’s a pretty routine question. Jim Schwartz has been the defensive coordinator in Philadelphia for three years, and has prioritized the pass rush since he arrived. We can look at the Eagles EDGE snap counts over those three seasons (chronologically ordered, 2016 - 2018) to see just how often EDGE4 impacts the game. At the Podium: The Franchise Quarterback Speaks - BGN RadioOrganized Team Activities produced two fresh press conferences for us and this second one in our OTA series comes from the Philadelphia Eagles franchise quarterback Carson Wentz! PLUS we take a look back at what those on the outside said about the past and future of Wentz! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation. Mailbag: Is the Eagles’ 2019 roster better than their Super Bowl roster in 2017? - PhillyVoiceOverall (2017): So the final tally is four for 2017, five for 2019, though the 2017 roster was better at quarterback, and on both sides of the line. I’ll give the overall nod to 2017, but it’s close, which bodes well for the 2019 team’s Super Bowl aspirations. The Slot, For Now - Iggles BlitzMaddox needs to be on the field in 2019. The only question is where. They are putting him in the slot because they think he can play at a high level in that spot. Not every corner can play inside. That is a tough position. Maddox and LeBlanc will battle it out to see who wins that job. Both players have experience there and both have played well there. This is a good thing, not a bad thing. We don’t know what will happen with the outside corners. Darby is the most talented of the bunch. He will start once he’s healthy. The coaches love Mills, but they saw him get burned last year. He won’t be given anything. Douglas finished hot and he’s getting lots of work now. We’ll see how that goes. Sidney Jones is the wild card. The kid is very talented, but we haven’t seen much of that in the NFL. If he can stay healthy and play up to his potential, he should win a starting job. Jones won’t be given anything. He’ll have to earn it. (Mostly) Eagles mailbag: How the team stacks up as a Super Bowl contender, Vaitai’s future and more - The AthleticI tend to agree that the Eagles are being widely underestimated nationally. Nearly everything went wrong for the Eagles in 2018, and they still managed to win a road playoff game and fall agonizingly short of another. According to Football Outsiders, they were the second-most injured team in 2018. There are real questions about the team’s medical staff, but that should portend some better injury luck in 2019. I also agree that the Eagles have had a very good offseason. The biggest problem with last year’s team on the field was a lack of offensive firepower. They dropped from eighth in offensive DVOA in 2017 (which was dragged down by the ugly, late-season play of Nick Foles, how quickly we forget) to 16th in 2018. No offensive players of significance departed, while DeSean Jackson, Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard and JJ Arcega-Whiteside were imported. The Eagles are all of a sudden talented and deep across the board on offense with a quarterback who was leading the MVP conversation not long ago. Nothing nutty about it: Jordan Mailata not bothered at all by Eagles’ decision to draft Andre Dillard - Daily NewsMailata said he wasn’t surprised that the Eagles took Dillard, who was one of the 10 best players on their draft board. “Every year they’re going to choose the best people from the draft,” he said. “It just happened to be one of the best tackles in the draft. Obviously you want that. I want that on my team. I don’t believe it hinders my progression or where they have me on the depth chart. It’s a plus for us that we added ‘Dre. For me, it’s just going to make me work harder. He’s a great guy. I’m pretty confident in myself, and coach Stout believes in me. I know I can get the job done regardless of where they put me Why Robert Kraft Has a Good Chance at Avoiding Suspension From the NFL - MMQBWe’ll wrap it up here with Dave’s question, which references Eagles VP of player personnel Joe Douglas. Dave, I do believe Douglas would be Adam Gase’s first choice. I also believe with each day that passes, and it’s not Douglas, there’s a greater chance that winds up being someone else. Why? Because usually when teams have a guy targeted, they move very aggressively through the process. The Jets haven’t done that, which tells me either they’re very committed to having an open process, something they’ve talked about publicly, or they can’t get Douglas to say yes. The latter is possible too, since Douglas has a great rep and will have more chances down the line. And if we’re being honest, as I wrote last week, the job’s a little bit of a tough sell right now. Five Ways the 2010 Draft Affected—and Is Still Affecting—the NFL - The RingerThe considerable number of late bloomers from 2010 show just how crucial situation can be to a player’s career. Many productive guys from this class only hit their stride after landing with a new team or regime. Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham is a perfect example. Originally drafted no. 13 overall by the Eagles as a defensive end for then-defensive coordinator Sean McDermott’s 4-3 system, Graham was relegated to backup duty in his first few seasons. In 2012, he broke out for 5.5 sacks and the highest pass rush productivity in the NFL among edge defenders who played at least 20 percent of their team’s snaps. But the following season, first-year coach Chip Kelly brought a 3-4 defense to Philadelphia and Graham was marginalized yet again. It took until the arrival of Jim Schwartz in 2016—Graham’s fifth coordinator in seven years—for him to finally reach his ceiling. That season, Graham finished with 83 disrupted dropbacks (third among edge defenders) and 17 QB hits (tied for second among edge defenders). In his three seasons under Schwartz, Graham has emerged as one of the most effective per-snap rushers in the league and became a Super Bowl hero in 2018 before earning a three-year, $40 million contract this offseason. Vinny Curry helps hometown kids look Fly, Eagles Fly for senior prom - PE.comVinny Curry understands how much senior prom means to high school kids. So, he’s doing something to make sure the young men at Neptune High School look their very best on Friday night. It was an extremely busy Thursday for Curry, who took part in the Eagles’ Organized Team Activities at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia and then hustled up to Neptune City, New Jersey to take part in his “100 Kid Haircuts” program at Meet The Barber Gentlemen’s Lounge barber shop. Curry paid for 100 young men to have their hair cut and styled for Friday night’s senior prom. ”Where I’m from, the prom is a very big deal. I just wanted to do something nice for these kids who are already paying money for a tuxedo, maybe a car, things like that. I just wanted to take the stress level off the parents and the kids just a little bit,” said Curry, part of his ongoing campaign to give back to his hometown. “It’s a great barbershop and the kids are having a great time getting ready for their prom. Ranking candidates to win Eagles’ last few skill position roster spots - NBCSPDeAndre Thompkins: The rookie from Penn State got a nice chunk of change to come to the Eagles and is intriguing because of his speed and his potential as a punt returner. But Thompkins had a problem with drops in college and might be more of a longer-term project. Maybe a practice squad guy. The seven NFL teams that had the most compelling offseasons - ESPN In$ider“You could have had Odell and Harrison from last year’s team,” an exec said. “Instead, you have Dexter Lawrence and a fifth-rounder from Detroit. That makes no sense to me.” It obviously makes sense to the Giants, but execs agreed that New York’s GM, Dave Gettleman, has not communicated the plan effectively. One exec said it looked like the Giants were building a team to stop the run in a potentially run-heavy division within a more pass-oriented league. Another questioned whether a “meat-and-potatoes” team would gain traction in New York during the current age. A third questioned how Gettleman could suggest that Jones might sit for three years, which would make it difficult for the team to decide how to proceed on a second contract. ”I don’t think you get rid of great players,” a former GM said. “They traded a pass-rushing defensive lineman [Vernon] for an interior offensive lineman [Zeitler] and drafted a quarterback I’m iffy on. You can defend every one of their moves individually, but collectively, are they building an identity that you can win with?” Minnesota Vikings Are Desperate to Escape the NFL’s Worst Quarterback Trap - B/RWelcome to the Quarterback Trap, Minnesota Vikings! You walked right into it last year when you signed Kirk Cousins to a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million deal. Now you might have to gnaw off your tight end in a flailing effort to escape. The Quarterback Trap is part Catch-22, part carnivorous plant, part kindergarten finger puzzle. Its mechanisms are simple. NFL teams cannot maintain success without excellent quarterback play. But excellent quarterback play is usually so expensive that it prevents NFL teams from maintaining success. Why should anyone trust the NFL to define what a Hail Mary is? - SB NationThe NFL’s plan to make pass interference penalties (and non-penalties) reviewable by instant replay was voted into existence at a league meeting in March. It lasted less than two months before getting its first adjustment. NFL owners gathered at their annual May to discuss rule changes and other proposals, with the complicated PI rule at the top of their to-do list. And while Robert Kraft, Jerry Jones, et al. didn’t change the policy themselves, they effectively kicked it back to the rules committee for tweaking — likely giving coaches the unprecedented power to challenge interference calls and no-calls in the final two minutes of either half. The Jaguars replaced Blake Bortles with Blake Bortles minus rushing, my column:— Anthony Amico (@amicsta) May 22, 2019 ... Social Media Information: BGN Facebook Page: Click here to like our page BGN Twitter: Follow @BleedingGreen BGN Manager: Brandon Lee Gowton: Follow @BrandonGowton BGN Radio Twitter: Follow @BGN_Radio […]

  • Eagles need to do the right thing and make Malcolm Jenkins happy
    by Brandon Lee Gowton on May 23, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Pay that man his money. There’s no need to beat around the bush. The headline says it all: The Eagles need to do the right thing and do what it takes to make Malcolm Jenkins happy. Though Jenkins himself hasn’t explicitly voiced displeasure, there’s obviously evidence to suggest he’s not satisfied with his current contract situation. After all, he is not attending voluntarily OTAs for the first time in his entire career. The possibility he could skip June’s mandatory minicamp — which would incur an $80,000ish fine — also hasn’t been ruled out. And it’s probably not just a coincidence that Jenkins is posting Twitter videos that demonstrate his value to the team. Jenkins isn’t wrong to believe he’s undervalued. He’s currently the league’s ninth highest paid safety in terms of annual value at $8.75 million. The final two years on his current contract contain base salaries of $8.1 million and $7.6 million with zero dollars in guaranteed salary (per Over The Cap). One can only speculate what Jenkins is looking for in terms of compensation. Whatever the case, though, he’s worth it. The Eagles MUST pay him. Those reluctant for the Eagles to pay Jenkins will trot out the “honor the contract!” line. That’s a bad justification to not pay Jenkins because every single NFL team fails to honor contracts every offseason. Teams cutting players in order to clear cap space is an extremely common occurrence. There are also those who will say paying a player with two years left on his deal sets a bad precedent. In a vacuum, I can understand that argument. As a team, you don’t want to have to keep giving guys even more money just a couple years into their long-term extensions. In the specific case of Jenkins, though, I don’t think the bad precedent is rewarding a player who’s already under contract for two more seasons. Rather, the bad precedent would be the Eagles failing to reward a player who has gone so far above and beyond the call of duty. You don’t need me to tell you how valuable Jenkins is to the Eagles ... but I’ll do it anyway. Jenkins is a two-time Super Bowl champion, three-time Pro Bowl selection, and a one-time second-team All-Pro safety. Jenkins is the Eagles’ heart and soul of the team as their defensive captain and most vocal locker room leader. He’s the kind of player who can help turn a season around. We just saw this in 2018 when Jenkins called on defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to simplify the team’s defense in a Week 12 win over the Giants. The Eagles were down 19-3 to New York and it was looking like their season might be over until Jenkins intercepted Eli Manning. That pick was a turning point for a team that came up just short of advancing to a second straight NFC Championship Game appearance. Jenkins is an incredibly versatile player. During the Eagles’ Super Bowl season, for example, Jenkins played 42% of his snaps at linebacker, 30% at nickel cornerback, 24% at safety, and 4% at outside cornerback. Jenkins is arguably the toughest and most durable son of a gun on the entire Eagles roster. He didn’t miss a single defensive snap last season. Here’s a breakdown of Jenkins’ snap counts since first signing with the Eagles: 2014 — 1,1642015 — 1,2042016 — 1,0182017 — 1,1512018 — 1,177 All of this doesn’t even include the outstanding work Jenkins does off the field. He won the Byron “Whizzer” White Community MVP award in 2017, which is the highest honor the NFLPA can bestow upon a player. If paying Jenkins now means the Eagles are setting a precedent where they have to reward players who are similar to Jenkins in the future, that’s a great “problem” to have. As a team, you should want your young players to emulate this role model who majorly contributed to the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl victory. With Jenkins missing OTAs and Rodney McLeod still recovering from ACL/MCL injuries, the Eagles are currently running with Andrew Sendejo and Tre Sullivan as their first team safeties. That’s just not going to cut it when September gets here. It’s my belief the Eagles will do the right thing and reward Jenkins at some point. Maybe it’s something like what they did with Brandon Graham’s contract back in 2017. Maybe it’s something even more lucrative than that. The bottom line is: the Eagles need to pay that man his money. […]

  • Doug Pederson underrated, Sean McVay overrated in NFL head coach rankings
    by Brandon Lee Gowton on May 23, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Laughable. We’re currently in one of the slower news cycles of the NFL offseason but, admittedly, the #content must go on. As such, Sporting News recently put out head coach rankings ahead of the 2019 offseason. I could’ve opted to ignore these rankings that were likely created to stir up conversation and generate #clicks. But here I am, feeding the machine. I’ve failed you all. In fairness to myself, I was basically baited into writing a post about these rankings. “Doug Pederson > Sean McVay” is part of my brand. So it’s hard for me not to react when I see McVay ranked as THE SECOND BEST HEAD COACH IN THE LEAGUE (?!) while Pederson finishes SEVENTH overall. 1⃣ Bill Belichick2⃣ Sean McVay3⃣ Sean Payton4⃣ Andy Reid5⃣ Pete Carroll6⃣ John Harbaugh7⃣ Doug Pederson8⃣ Mike Tomlin9⃣ Anthony Lynn Frank Reich SN's 2019 NFL coach rankings— Sporting News (@sportingnews) May 21, 2019 To be clear, I’m not trying to say McVay is a horrible coach. The 33-year-old is 26-10 with a Super Bowl appearance in his first two years on the job. He deserves to be in the top 10. Ranking him No. 2 overall is laughable, though. And it’s not like this Sporting News post represents a minority opinion. Just look at the NFL’s head coach hiring cycle earlier this year. Teams were doing anything they could to hire a coach who had some kind of connection to McVay. The Cardinals literally bragged about how new Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury is friends with McVay. And the Cards coined McVay — the coach of a divison rival — a “genius”! The Cardinals press release announcing Kingsbury made sure to include that he’s friends with Sean McVay.— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) January 8, 2019 That’s pathetic. The McVay love-fest only intensified with the Rams making it to the Super Bowl this year. National NFL writers spent a lot of time slobbering over their favorite boy genius. Of course, it didn’t take long for those columns anointing McVay as the next best thing to look silly. I enjoyed being able to write this after the Rams’ embarrassing Super Bowl loss: Sean McVay is a fraud. Offensive genius my ass. No other team in Super Bowl history has only managed to score three points. I’ve been saying forever now that it was such a joke that he won Coach of the Year over Doug Pederson in 2017. The voters continue to look really, really foolish on that one. Pederson is 2-0 against McVay. Pederson also scored 41 points in a Super Bowl WIN over the Patriots. A big reason why the Eagles were able to beat the Pats is because Pederson was truly fearless. McVay, on the other hand, was a coward in this game. He opted to punt on 4th-and-3 in Patriots territory. He ran a coward’s draw on a 3rd-and-long before punting the ball to the Patriots, who then scored their only touchdown of the game. The truth is McVay didn’t even deserve to be in the Super Bowl. His incredibly weak decision to kick a red zone field goal against the Saints in the 2019 NFC Championship Game was bailed out by one of the worst missed calls in the history of the NFL playoffs. Thankfully, the Football Gods decided it was time to stop rewarding McVay’s cowardice on the biggest stage of the season. And yet, as Sporting News’ rankings indicate, McVay’s horrible Super Bowl showing somehow isn’t being held against him. The national media let him off easy. Some good points here by friend of BGN, Noah Becker: Rams were one of the NFL's healthiest teams for the 3rd straight season and I truly believe that if the Super Bowl had gone on for another quarter or two, they would've gotten to 300 yards of total offense.— Noah Becker (@Noah_Becker) March 8, 2019 Brady was 21/35 262-0-1 and the Rams still lost by 2 scores. That's amazing offensive incompetence. Will it ever be discussed? If Doug had put up that performance in Super Bowl LII, Mike Lombardi would've thrown himself a parade down Broad Street.— Noah Becker (@Noah_Becker) March 8, 2019 That last point is one of the biggest things that bothers me with the McVay hype. There’s a double standard here and I really feel like McVay’s unwarranted praise comes at the expense of Pederson. Again, I’m not trying to sell McVay short. He’s done a good job so far. But it’s also not like he’s had to face a lot of adversity. In terms of Adjusted Games Lost (AGL), the Rams finished as THE healthiest team in 2017 and fourth healthiest in 2018. Contrast that with Pederson’s Eagles, who finished 13th and 31st, respectively. And those Eagles injuries including losing a starting quarterback — an NFL MVP caliber player in Carson Wentz — and still winning a Super Bowl title with a backup signal caller. The fact of the matter is that McVay just doesn’t stack up to Pederson. This shouldn’t be so difficult to see. Pederson is 2-0 against McVay. Pederson’s offense scored 41 points in a Super Bowl WIN over the Patriots while McVay’s offense scored 3 points in a Super Bowl LOSS to the Patriots. The world would be a better place if people could stop overrating McVay and underrating Dougie P. At least Eagles fans know what’s up: […]

  • How much does EDGE depth matter to the Eagles?
    by Benjamin Solak on May 23, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    *smashes calculator* a lot! We first should ask ourselves: “How often is EDGE4 on the field for Philly?” Fortunately, that’s a pretty routine question. Jim Schwartz has been the defensive coordinator in Philadelphia for three years, and has prioritized the pass rush since he arrived. We can look at the Eagles EDGE snap counts over those three seasons (chronologically ordered, 2016 - 2018) to see just how often EDGE4 impacts the game. I used snaps/game, instead of pure snap counts over the course of a season, to control for injury — specifically, the Derek Barnett injury in 2018, which left the Eagles with basically three EDGEs for the remainder of the season. But more on that later. We can see that, over the past three seasons, EDGE3 has steadily climbed in usage — without much sacrificing of EDGE1 or EDGE2 snaps, either. This can be explained by the 3DE sets that Jim Schwartz has increasingly employed during his time in Philadelphia. On long and late downs, Schwartz might bench one of his defensive tackles to line up Brandon Graham or Michael Bennett on the inside and get his best four rushers on the field. Now, we do have to be careful with our number for 2018, which is shockingly high: 38.25 snaps/game for Chris Long, just underneath Derek Barnett’s 39 snaps/game. Long may have been the season EDGE4, but once Derek Barnett officially went on IR before Week 8, he became the EDGE3, and his numbers accordingly ballooned. We can see the effect of the Derek Barnett injury on this chart, which breaks down the Eagles’ EDGE4 snaps/game for the 2018 season, by individual game — it may have been Chris Long one week, Derek Barnett another week, and Josh Sweat a third week. It isn’t hard to see when Derek Barnett went on IR, and how that affected the snaps of EDGE4 — it’s even easier still to find the one game before Barnett went on IR that he was inactive for. Stats via Pro Football FocusIt’s a tale of two halves here. On average, the EDGE4 took 48.74% of the snaps in the six games Derek Barnett was active and 10.91% of the snaps when Barnett was inactive, for a season-long average of 23.53%. It would seem that, once Derek Barnett went down, Jim Schwartz didn’t feel that he had an EDGE4. Yes, at least 4 EDGEs played in 11 of the 12 games without Barnett — but only once did that player take more than 20% of the snaps on defense. In other words, that EDGE4 — namely, Josh Sweat — wasn’t so much a player Schwartz wanted to get on the field, as he was a placeholder in dire circumstances on long, tiring drives. When Schwartz did have Barnett healthy, it seems that Philadelphia was willing to deploy as true of a four-man rotation at EDGE as we’ve seen in the league: again, with Barnett healthy, the EDGE4 averaged almost 50% of the snaps/game. Looking at only those first six games in which Barnett was active, the Eagles’ DE snap counts looked like this: This is a blistering pace of EDGE4 play — over half of the snaps! It’s highly unlikely that any other team was getting this much play out of their EDGE4 — which is as we should expect, as no other team in the league had four EDGEs as talented as Philly did. The reality of the Eagles’ 2018 season with Derek Barnett active is that their EDGEs were essentially interchangeable. Each of the four had the fewest snaps/game in one of the six weeks in which all were active. There was no EDGE4 — there were just the four EDGEs. Incidentally: if there was an EDGE4 during this time, it was Chris Long, as we can see above. Of course, Long retired this offseason, citing the expectation that his role in Philadelphia in 2019 wasn’t going to be as significant as he wanted it to be. While the EDGEs were relatively comparable in playing time across this small sample size, it may have alluded to things to come, from Long’s perspective. Could we reasonably have expected these percentages to remain consistent across the course of a season? It’s difficult to say — but if we compare 2017’s EDGE4 snaps with 2018’s EDGE4 snaps, we see that Philadelphia’s rotation remains deep when everyone is healthy — even into the playoffs. Data via Pro Football FocusThe outlier data here (Weeks 15 and 16) are actually Wk 16 (v. OAK) and the divisional round of the playoffs (v. ATL). In both games, Barnett saw markedly fewer snaps than usual — but let’s not forget, Barnett did have surgery for a sports hernia in the offseason, so there’s a chance they were just managing his reps. We do have to wonder: why bother going out and acquiring the necessary players to be 4-deep at EDGE? Why construct your team such that your fourth EDGE is taking over 40% of the snaps in the Super Bowl? What is the value of this approach? Anecdotally, we say that a strong EDGE4 — generally, strong EDGE depth — ensures the freshness of your pass rushers relative to the opponent’s offensive tackles, as we get later in the season. If there’s data that exists to prove/disprove that claim, I don’t have access to it. I couldn’t find pressure rates on a game-to-game basis. If we simply look at QB hits/game by week over the past three seasons for the Eagles (EDGE players exclusively), we don’t see a significant trend or increase in pass rush efficacy as the season progresses. data via Pro Football ReferenceThat said, the freshness argument makes sense from a heuristic perspective: the less snaps your starters play, the less worn down they should be by the final weeks of the seasons, and the more effective they should be. Of course, if Philadelphia doesn’t change how they distribute their EDGE snaps later in the season — and it would seem that if they do, it’s only slightly — then you’re still playing the “starters’ and “depth guys” to the same proportions, and you’re not really reaping the benefits of fresher starters. The other benefit of EDGE depth is the more traditional benefit: protection from injury. With a deep pool of EDGE rushers, the Eagles shouldn’t lose pass rush efficacy on the team level in the event of an injury. They have enough rushers to stay dangerous. Again, it’s very difficult to break pressure data into in/out splits of injury timeframes, but anecdotally, this makes sense. The trio of Long, Bennett, and Graham didn’t magically get better without Derek Barnett on the field. With him, they averaged a sack every 102 pass-rush snaps and a QB hit every 21 pass-rush snaps; without him, it was a sack every 65 pass-rush snaps and a QBH every 25 (data via PFR and PFF). Yes, the sack numbers were better — but sacks are heavily situational. The QBH numbers actually got worse. Of course, we’re only looking at defense ends here — but we don’t have a strong signal that when Barnett went down, the Eagles’ healthy EDGEs benefitted from the increase of playing time by churning out more production. They weren’t more effective than Barnett was, when he was healthy: in 2018, Barnett was churning out a sack every 68 snaps and a QBH every 15 pass-rush snaps. It shouldn’t be a shocking claim: the team got worse when Derek Barnett went down. Barnett’s a good player, and losing a good player always hurts. Critically, however, it’s not like Barnett’s snaps were replaced — that is to say, Josh Sweat didn’t step up into Barnett’s role. Rather, those snaps were assumed by the preexisting rotation. The four horsemen off the EDGE became the three horsemen. This season, Philly looks to be only three horsemen deep once again: with Bennett shipped off to New England and Long kickin’ his feet up on a lawn chair (probably climbing another mountain, if we’re being honest), the Eagles EDGE room boasts of Graham, Barnett, and 2018 cast-off Vinny Curry. Now, last time Curry was here, he took 56% of the snaps — he can be a part of that four-deep group that Schwartz foreshadowed in 2018. But beyond him, Philadelphia has Sweat, rookie Shareef Miller, Daeshon Hall, and practice squad hero Joe Ostman. Slim pickin’s. If they want to go for a four-man rotation at EDGE once again — which they seemingly do — then someone needs to step into ~50% of the snaps. That’s not for the faint of heart; that’s no “role player.” That’s nearly a starter. The leader in the clubhouse is seemingly Josh Sweat, but let’s not forget: Sweat was EDGE4 for six consecutive weeks (Wk 8 - 14) last offseason and could barely break 20% of the snaps. In 2018, he wasn’t ready for 50% of the snaps — and most fourth-round rookies aren’t, so that’s okay. But most fourth-round sophomores aren’t ready for 50% of the snaps in Year 2, either. On top of that, Josh Sweat is a medical red flag. He was unable to stay healthy during his first NFL year and had his practice time closely monitored at Florida State given his history of knee issues. If Sweat goes down — which is more likely than the average player going down — the Eagles are barren behind him. From a production standpoint, it’s hard to nail down just how much EDGE4 matters to the Eagles defense — the data just isn’t there for us to sink our teeth into. But we know it matters in and of the fact that it takes a healthy amount of the snaps: 50% at its peak, closer to 30% at its floor. Jim Schwartz wants a stable of rushers to tap into, and until someone proves otherwise in camp, he doesn’t have that right now. We may look to 2016, Schwartz’s first year as DC, as a model for 2019’s snap counts. The first table shows us what it looks like: Brandon Graham (75%) and Connor Barwin (70%) were the starters, while EDGE3 (Curry) clocked in at 42% and EDGE4 (Marcus Smith, of all people) hit 21%. Considering the extension Philadelphia gave Graham, it’s clear they still view him as a starter and should be willing to play him that heavily — and considering the lofty draft investment in Barnett, he also should be able to shoulder that load (if healthy). But that distribution isn’t how Schwartz has seemingly molded this roster over the last few seasons, and it will be interesting to see if Philadelphia’s strong pass-rush — which took a step back in 2018 — returns with a new distribution of snaps. […]


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  • The Top 20 Patriots Moments of 2018: Number 11
    by Alec Shane on May 24, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Our offseason countdown continues with the Number 11 Most Memorable Patriots Moment of 2018. Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I know that summer doesn’t officially start until June 21st, but everyone with a brain knows that the summer season lasts from Memorial Day through Labor Day - and after that, football season begins. On the horizon are long weekends, cookouts, beach parties, yoga pants, and that critical time on the NFL calendar that is the preseason. Nobody is getting any work done today as we all get ready to head home and fire up the grill, so thanks for slacking off with me here on the countdown of the Top 20 Most Memorable Patriots Moments of 2018. The list so far: 20. Danny Etling gets half of the Giants fired with an 86 yard touchdown run.19. The Patriots demolish the Jets at home to secure a playoff bye.18. Julian Edelman bounces off a Bill and into the end zone on a 4th down conversion.17. Some punt team acrobatics keep the Steelers from getting a touchback.16. Gronk magic returns with a 34 yard touchdown seam route catch against the New York Jets.15. James Develin finds the end zone twice against the Minnesota Vikings.14. The New England Patriots trade for Josh Gordon.13. A Julian Edelman screen pass and an epic Tom Brady fakeout secures a primetime win on Sunday Night Football over the Green Bay Packers.12. The Patriots right the ship with a Week 4 blowout of the Miami Dolphins. Number 11 takes us out of Foxborough and on the road for a showdown in the NFC North. 11. Special teams lead the way for a decisive road victory over the Chicago Bears. When the Patriots came to Soldier Field on October 21st, 2018 for a Week 7 matchup against the Chicago Bears, it was tough to get a read on what kind of team this Bears squad was. They dropped their season opener to the Packers, but then rattled off three straight, including a 48-10 pantsing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But coming off a Week 5 bye, they lost to a Dolphins team that had just gotten housed by the Patriots, albeit by only a field goal. The Patriots, however, after starting 1-2, had scored 38, 38, and 43 points on their way to a 3-2 record. That said New England had yet to win a game on the road, and Chicago is a fairly difficult place to play. A lot of the analysts (shockingly) were pretty split over who was going to come out on top. The game started out well enough for the Patriots; they received the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards on eight plays, not even seeing their first 3rd down until it was 3rd and 1 all the way down at the Chicago 9. Brady would hit Edelman on the play for the score. On defense, the Patriots looked solid as well; the Bears were held to a punt and a FG on their next two possessions. Unfortunately, Cordarrelle Patterson fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Bears possession at the 24 yard line. Fresh off the field and with a short field to defend, New England was unable to contain Mitch Trubisky, who scrambled eight yards for the score on 3rd and 5 from the 8. To make matters worse, running back Sony Michel would get folded like an accordion three plays into the next Patriots drive, and the Bears would recover and score again to take the 10 point lead. With the lead and homefield advantage, Chicago was in position to put a stranglehold on this game. On the ensuing kickoff, Patterson fielded the ball at the five yard line and took off down the left sideline. The Patriots blocking scheme was set up perfectly, and he was able to dart through a hole at the 25 and break for daylight. A quick juke to the right, and he was gone, taking the ball 95 yards for the touchdown and some nice redemption from his earlier gaffe. Just like that, the Pats were back in it. They would go on to score on their next possession as well to take a 21-17 lead into halftime. The Bears, however, answered right back, scoring on the first possession of the 3rd quarter to regain the lead. new England answered back with a FG, and it was 24-24 late in the 3rd. Chicago’s next drive was aided by a questionable JC Jackson DPI call, but the defense would ultimately get a stop. Lined up to punt at their own 45, the Bears apparently forgot to triple-team Dont’a Hightower, as he absolutely plowed straight up the middle and blocked the kick with his face. Kyle Van Noy picked it up and returned it 29 yards for the go-ahead score - a lead the Patriots would not relinquish. They would add one more TD in the fourth quarter, James White’s second receiving score of the day, to make it 38-24, and the game was all but out of reach. To Chicago’s credit, they were able to pull the score to within a TD, and then a last-second Hail Mary was caught by Kevin White at the one yard line, but White was swarmed by Patriots and unable to punch it it. Patriots 38, Bears 31. Bill Belichick always harps on all three phases of the game, and you won’t find a coach who waxes more poetic about special teams than Belichick does; it’s how a lot of guys make it onto the roster in the summer, and how special teams performs all but dictates the ever so important field position battle. Add to that special teams putting up two scores on the day, one on a kick return and one on a block, then you know that Bill was happy - although he’d never show it. That it came on the road against a very tough opponent and gave the Patriots their first away game win of the season makes this one an easy choice for Number 12. Game highlights here. […]

  • Patriot Nation Podcast #27: The final results of the all-time Bill Belichick era draft
    by Ryan Spagnoli on May 24, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Spags and Pat continue with the final eleven rounds of their all-time Bill Belichick Patriots players draft. In this week’s episode of the Patriot Nation Podcast, Spags and Pat continue their off-season fun as they finish up with the last eleven rounds of the all-time Bill Belichick Patriots player draft. The two have to draft eleven guys on offense and eleven guys on defense to fill out their teams. To explain the rules (if you miss last weeks show or post), it goes like this: Offensively, they need to choose one quarterback and running back, five offensive lineman, two wide receivers, one tight end and one flex position player. On the defensive side of the ball, they have to pick four defensive lineman, two linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties, and one more skill position player. The players you draft, you get in their Patriots prime — Randy Moss, for example, will be had in his 2007 version. When it was all said and done, the teams came together as follows: Be sure to interact with Spags and Pat and let the world know whose squad would take the cake if these two ever squared off (and click here in case you’re visiting via Apple News). You don’t want to miss an episode of the Patriot Nation Podcast or the two other Pats Pulpit shows? Subscribe here to stay up to date: Apple Podcasts: Google Podcasts: RSS: Spotify: Stitcher: Also, make sure to follow the show and its hosts on Twitter: Patriot Nation Podcast: @PatsNationPod Pat Lane: @plane_pats Ryan Spagnoli: @Ryan_Spags […]

  • New England Patriots links 5/24/19 - Welcome to OTAs, the season of “I know it’s only practice, but...”
    by Marima on May 24, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Daily news and links for Friday TEAM TALK Patriots sign rookie WR Gunner Olszewski. Paul Perillo’s OTA Blogservations: 2019 kicks off in Foxborough. Jerod Mayo was quite vocal working with inside linebackers; Most of the coaches and virtually every player donned Bruins hats on the field; More. Erik Scalavino shares the news, notes and buzz from Thursday’s OTA practice at Gillette: Watson, Collins embrace second chances. Press Conference Transcript: Bill Belichick. Press Conferences: Bill Belichick (3.09 min. video) - Julian Edelman (6.05 min. video) - Jamie Collins (3.24 min. video) - Benjamin Watson (6.51 min. video) OTA Recap: Patriots rooting for the Bruins. (49 sec. video) LOCAL LINKS Kevin Duffy tells us what to know about Thursday’s OTA, first media viewing since January: Rookie receiver N’Keal Harry is making a solid first impression. Harry’s contested back-shoulder TD catch was one of the top plays of the day; More. Tom E. Curran shares his OTA session observations: TE Matt LaCosse looked like a very natural hands catcher; In the 11-on-11 session — which is the contact equivalent of tossing it around on the side yard at a Memorial Day BBQ — Ben Watson made a nice catch in traffic on a throw from Danny Etling; More. Evan Lazar offers ten observations from Patriots OTAs: Joe Thuney plays left tackle; Joejuan Williams, Chase Winovich round out solid showing from top rookies; More. Ryan Hannable gives his us his impressions of yesterday’s OTA session: N’Keal Harry stands out; J.C. Jackson and rookie Joejuan Williams were the DB standouts; More. Mike Dussault (PatsPropaganda) Return of the Patriots rookie eyeball test: 2019 Edition. Mike Dussault (PatsPropaganda) Tweets of note from Patriots 2019 OTA #1: Absentee list, who’s playing where, etc... Ryan Hannable emphasizes while Tom Brady’s absence from OTAs stands out, he concedes that the end game makes it worth it. Karen Guregian gives us her impressions of QB Jarrett Stidham after a first look at Tom Brady’s possible successor, and says ‘he certainly had his moments, both good and bad...’ Doug Kyed reports Jarrett Stidham was imperfect, as expected, in his first NFL practice open to reporters, adding that Stidham was 6-of-13 with an INT in team drills. Kevin Duffy says there was a lot to like from rookie N’Keal Harry’s performance at yesterday’s OTA: He moves well for his size, and he clearly has a knack for winning in “jump ball” scenarios. Nick Goss points out how Rookie N’Keal Harry is following Julian Edelman’s lead: “I’ve seen myself improve on route-running already within the first three days, so I’m just going to keep listening to him and keep that same approach and that same mindset coming into practice every day.” David Latham (LastWordOnSports) Patriots Training Camp Battles: Duke Dawson vs Jonathan Jones. Doug Kyed identifies the mystery offensive player donning No. 72 as converted defender, rookie WR Gunner Olszewski out of Bemidji State. Ryan Hannable lists the Patriots OTA jersey numbers, including Jamie Collins wearing No. 8. Mac Cerullo writes that after Jamie Collins and the Patriots didn’t part on good terms, he’s taking a ‘strictly business approach’ in his return. “It’s football at the end of the day, and it’s business,” Collins said. “I come in here and handle my business just like anywhere else I go.” Mark Daniels reports Jamie Collins says he learned a lot after being traded to the Browns. He now comes back to the place where it started with a business-like focus that he hopes will serve him well. Mike Reiss talks about how Ben Watson targeted two of his former teams - Pats and Saints - when having second thoughts about his retirement. Tom Keegan finds Ben Watson not afraid to speak his mind. Doug Kyed relays Dontrelle Inman’s simple reason for signing with the Pats: “I like winning. It’s one of those things like being part of a winning organization, you want to try to help the team win.” Evan Lazar takes an initial swing at a 53-Man roster projection: Patriots have challenging cuts ahead of them. Doug Kyed addresses his Patriots Mailbag: Who will emerge as New England’s top TE option? Jim Hackett attempts to rank Tom Brady’s all-time best receivers and finds it’s not as simple as it sounds. Adam London NFL Rumors: Patriots among six teams interested in Gerald McCoy. Darren Hartwell NFL Rumors: Patriots in consideration to host 2022 NFL Draft in Boston. Nick Goss mentions how several players and coaches showed their support for the Bruins by wearing B’s hats at practice. Michael Hurley suggests that with his new contract, Julian Edelman can become the second-most important player from the Patriots Dynasty. CBS Boston notes Julian Edelman gives a shoutout to Boston as ‘the best sports city in the world.’ Foxboro Report: Reunion season in Foxboro with Watson, Collins, & Bolden. (6.12 min. video) Patriots All-22 Podcast: Evan Lazar and Adam Kirkjian discuss Patriots OTAs, Edelman extension; More. (48 min.) NATIONAL NEWS Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) Patriots depth chart 2019: New England makes another reload look easy. Terez Paylor (Yahoo! Sports) Here’s why earning Tom Brady’s trust won’t be easy for Pats’ promising No. 1 pick. Charean Williams (ProFootballTalk) Julian Edelman “not going anywhere” after signing extension. Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Benjamin Watson: Gronk’s retirement not a factor in decision to play again. Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Jamie Collins was surprised to hear from Patriots. Gregg Rosenthal ( 2019 NFL season: One key homegrown player for each AFC team. Patriots: Sony Michel. Albert Breer (SI) Game Plan: Why Robert Kraft has a good chance at avoiding suspension from the NFL; More. Will Brinson (CBS Sports) 2019 NFL Season Win Totals: Patriots continue to be a safe bet, but two other AFC East sleepers will emerge. Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports) Here are five second-year players who could emerge as stars in the upcoming season. Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL players supposedly will compete in 40-yard dash tournament. Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Bucs, Ndamukong Suh agree to one-year, $9.25 million contract. Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) It’s just a matter of time before Scouting Combine exits Indianapolis. Darin Gantt (ProFootballTalk) Combine changes could lead to longer stays for players. Analysts ( Debate: Which NFL head coach has best chance to win his first Super Bowl? NFL Total Access ( Steve Mariucci’s best and worst moves of the 2019 offseason. (2.04 min. video) Dan Patrick Show (YouTube) Chris Long talks retirement, marijuana in the NFL & More, with Dan Patrick. (9.23 min. video) EXTRACURRICULAR Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) California Senate passes bill that would allow college athletes to earn money. Report (1053TheFan) Tony Romo loses appeal of lower court ruling in Fan Expo lawsuit against NFL. […]

  • On-field skills not the only thing standing out about N’Keal Harry
    by Bernd Buchmasser on May 24, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Related: 6 thoughts on the Patriots’ first open OTA practice New England Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry had a busy practice on Thursday, during the first OTA session open to the media: he led all pass catchers with a total of ten targets during team drills. In general, it was not hard to see why New England felt confident selecting Harry in the first round of last month’s draft: the Arizona State product stood out due to his intriguing combination of size, athleticism and smooth hands. His on-field skill set is not the only thing that catches the eye, though, as Harry also is actively trying to improve as a receiver — and the early results appear to be encouraging. “I’ve seen myself improve on route-running already within the first three days, so I’m just going to keep listening to him and keep that same approach and that same mindset coming into practice every day,” Harry told reporters after Thursday’s session. What does he do to foster that development and keep improving? For one, the rookie is taking a close look at one of the best and most productive wideouts there is in the NFL right now: Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman. Harry is expected to play a major role in New England’s offense alongside the veteran, and he is taking an active approach to learning from one of the best receivers to ever don a Patriots uniform. “Just following his lead. Just seeing the types of things he does, seeing the way he prepares before practice, after practice. Those are going to be the biggest things. He’s helped me a lot so far,” said the 21-year old about Edelman and the impact he has had on his development up to this point. New England’s number one receiver is not the only man helping Harry get up to speed at the next level: ex-Patriot Troy Brown also is involved in grooming the wideout. “He’s been helping me a lot with my technique, how to get separation and a lot of those things. He’s been a big help so far,” said Harry about Brown, who joined the Patriots’ coaching staff yesterday to specifically work with the wide receivers. “Coaches have just been trying to show me different techniques to help me get open, so I’m just trying to apply that every day when I come out here. That’s just my job.” “As a wide receiver, my job is just to get separation, get open and catch the ball. So that’s my main focus every time I step out there on every play I take part in,” continued the rookie. Of course, in order to put himself in a position to be able to do that, Harry also needs the trust of the men throwing him the football — and the best way to earn it is to know a playbook that is regarded as one of the toughest in the entire league. Harry told CLNS Media’s Evan Lazar that he works closely with Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer in order to pick his brain and understand the concepts run by the team. “It’s pretty complex [but] it’s nothing I wasn’t expecting,” Harry said when speaking about the challenge that is learning New England’s playbook. “I knew it’s going to be complex, but it’s just about how much time you put in and how much effort you put into learning.” “I’m just trying to learn everything. I’m just trying to do my part and do everything I can to help the team win [...] I’m just trying to do whatever I need to do, whatever the coaches ask me to do,” the wide receiver continued. So far — and yes, one practice is the smallest possible sample size — it appears as if Harry is doing all the right things to get himself in a position to becoming a contributor in 2019 and indeed helping the team win. But no matter happens further down the line, the rookie wideout seems to be pretty happy to be in the position he currently is in. “It’s a dream come true,” Harry said about the transition from student-athlete to NFL player. “This is my job now, this is my profession, so I have to act as such. Off the field I have to do what I need to do: in the playbook, in the film room, and taking care of my body to be a true professional.” Harry is not only saying what he needs to say, it also looks as if he is doing what he needs to do. His performance on the practice field is therefore not the only aspect about him that is standing out: his willingness to improve does as well. […]

  • 6 thoughts on the Patriots’ first open OTA practice
    by Bernd Buchmasser on May 24, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Related: Patriots OTAs: N’Keal Harry, J.C. Jackson among standouts on day three The New England Patriots’ organized team activities are in full swing, and Thursday saw the team’s first appearance in front of the media. The almost two-hour long session held on the fields behind Gillette Stadium was little more than a first taste of the 2019 Patriots, but it already produced some memorable moments — in terms of production and when it came to personnel usage both on and off the field. With that in mind, let’s quickly run through six of the bigger storylines to come out of the third and final OTA practice of the week. Joe Thuney is the next man up at left tackle... for now The Patriots’ offensive tackle depth is not exactly ideal at the moment: with Jared Veldheer retiring after just eight days in New England, and both Isaiah Wynn and rookie Yodny Cajuste out due to injury, the team turned to their starting left guard to fill in. Joe Thuney lined up exclusively as the team’s left tackle on Thursday, with Ted Karras, Brian Schwenke, Cole Croston, Dan Skipper and at one point even David Andrews taking reps at left guard. Thuney is of course no stranger to playing on the left end of the line: the 26-year-old was a starter at left tackle during his senior season at N.C. State, and has the build and experience to be successful in that position as well. That being said, it would still be a minor surprise if anybody but Wynn lined up as the starting left tackle once the season opens in early September. But what yesterday again showed is that the Patriots might need to add an extra body at the position for the sake of stability at the other four spots. The punter competition will be fun to watch this summer While incumbent Ryan Allen was absent on Thursday, the punter competition shapes up to be one of the most intriguing of the summer. After all, fifth-round rookie Jake Bailey already looks like a stronger challenger than Corey Bojorquez ever was: he displayed a strong leg as well as plenty of hang time and also was given reps as a kickoff specialist. His directional kicking and consistency will be a deciding factor whether or not he unseats Allen, but early on Bailey appeared to be comfortable in the position he’s in. N’Keal Harry is off to a good start When you invest a first-round draft pick in a player, you expect him to make an impact sooner rather than later. In wide receiver N’Keal Harry’s case, it looks as if ‘sooner’ is right now: just one month after hearing his name called to close out round one, Harry impressed in what is only his third ever OTA practice. The rookie saw plenty of reps and proved himself to be a reliable target capable of winning one-on-one matchups and out-muscling his opponents in crowded situations. While he still has ways to go and obviously needs to build a rapport with starting quarterback Tom Brady once the future Hall of Famer returns to the field, the early signs are encouraging for Harry. He certainly catches the eye, as his size in combination with his athleticism and ability to catch the football all stand out. The Patriots’ deep cornerback group stands out Speaking of standing out, so does New England’s cornerback group. Led by All-Pro Stephon Gilmore, the competition for practice reps and by extension playing time shapes up to be an exciting one. Yesterday, for example, two players stood out in particular: second-year man J.C. Jackson — coming off an impressive rookie year that saw him go from undrafted signing to de facto starter opposite Gilmore — registered a pair of pass breakups. Jackson is in line for the famed second-year jump, while another youngster might also see regular action if he can build on the small sample size that is Thursday’s practice. Second-round rookie Joejuan Williams stood out because of his size, and already made use of it as he registered a pass breakup during the session and also came a way with an interception in a team drill that would likely have been a pick-six in a game. All in all, the depth and quality at cornerback is apparent — especially considering that a player like last year’s second-round pick Duke Dawson Jr, who played primarily in the slot on Thursday, also is part of the mix. Jerod Mayo the coach is just like Jerod Mayo the player When he with the Patriots from 2008 until his retirement following the 2015 season, Jerod Mayo was a vocal presence at the linebacker position — a team captain and leader on a team in transition. Now manning the sidelines as New England’s new inside linebackers coach, his approach appears to be the same: Mayo is an active communicator and taking a hands-on approach with his players; some of which former teammates of his. Don’t sleep on New England’s offensive skill acquisitions While the rookies draw plenty of attention during organized team activities, the veteran offseason additions should also be kept in mind. Yesterday, for example, three players stood out: Benjamin Watson and Matt LaCosse looked good as the men atop the tight end depth chart, while wide receiver Maurice Harris — as pointed out by CLNS Media’s Evan Lazar — saw numerous reps in a gadget-player role like the one previously held by Cordarrelle Patterson. While a lot can and will happen until training camp and the preseason, the veteran trio is off to a solid start in terms of usage and production in a limited setting. Once live contact is allowed, of course, they will get tested in another way, but at this point, it seems as if the coaching staff feels confident when it comes to putting plenty on respective plates of Watson, LaCosse and Harris. […]


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  • Fleur-de-Links, May 24: First look of 2019 Saints at OTAs
    by Deuce Windham on May 24, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Saints News: Mark Ingram, and his energy, no longer around as OTAs start, but Saints know the show must go on | Saints | theadvocate.comThe music blared during the stretching portion of the Saints' organized team activities Thursday, just like it always does during practice. Quick study Erik McCoy impressing the Saints before he puts on pads - nola.comSaints OL coach Dan Roushar said of McCoy, "he’s very hungry to learn." Saints news: Sean Payton discusses early impressions of Jared CookNew Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton discusses his early impressions of working with veteran tight end signing, Jared Cook. Looking for RB depth, Saints work out three veteran rushers | Yardbarker.comThe Saints worked out some running backs on Thursday, including Fozzy Whittaker, Robert Kelley and Buck Allen, via Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune. All three vets are looking for a spot on the roster to back up top rushers Alvin Kamara and Latavius Transcript: Sean Payton OTA Media Availability 5-23-19Saints head coach speaks to the media following Week 1 of OTA workouts 4 Saints absent from Thursday’s OTAs; Cameron Meredith still working with trainer - nola.comCameron Jordan and Larry Warford were among the players not at practice Thursday. NFL News: Adam Gase says Jets didn't overpay for Le'Veon Bell - NFL.comJets coach and interim GM Adam Gase met with the New York media on Thursday and addressed reports that he disagreed with how much his team spent on RB Le'Veon Bell. NFL’s Aaron Rodgers trounced by Packers teammate in beer-chugging duel | Fox NewsAaron Rodgers may play for the NFL's Green Bay Packers, but some people can tell he’s not originally from Wisconsin. NFL rumors: Pass rusher remains Giants’ most glaring need | Who are the best remaining free agents? - nj.comThe Giants could still have some work to do, if the goal is to improve one of the league's worst pass rushes. Jags OC: 'Fournette needs to be a big part' of offense - NFL.comDespite the struggles to stay healthy, the lack of production and the off-field scorning from management last year, the Jags plans on Leonard Fournette being a focal point on the offense in 2019. Nick Bosa out with hamstring; Ward breaks collarbone - NFL.comNiners defensive end Nick Bosa is dealing with a Grade 1 hamstring strain and will be held out of practice for the next few weeks while receiving treatment. Meanwhile, Jimmie Ward could be out for longer. Tate on Manning to Jones: Kind of like Favre to Rodgers - NFL.comGiants new receiver Golden Tate offered a great review of rookie QB Daniel Jones. He believes Jones learning behind Eli Manning will pay off in the long run. Ex-Bucs DT Gerald McCoy visiting Browns on Friday - NFL.comCleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett believes the defense is in a good spot without Gerald McCoy, but that's not stopping the Browns from bringing in McCoy. Ndamukong Suh's deal with Bucs worth up to $10M - NFL.comThe Bucs made it official on Thursday: Ndamukong Suh is coming to Tampa Bay. The team announced it has agreed to terms with the veteran defensive tackle. Suh can make up to $10M in 2019. 2019 NFL Free Agency: Buffalo Bills contract details for tight end Lee Smith - Buffalo RumblingsWe have final contract numbers. Best draft-class WR by route, scheme fit with new NFL team | NFL Analysis | Pro Football FocusAs a part of our partnership with ESPN, Senior Content Manager Cam Mellor looks at the rookie receivers' best routes and how they fit with their new NFL team. Social Media: How did a 40-year old Drew Brees take seeing Tom Brady winning the Super Bowl at age 41? #WhoDat #Saints— Saints News (@SaintsNOW) May 23, 2019 That OTAs mood ⚜️ @Saints @A_kamara6— Karen Loftus (@kcloftus) May 23, 2019 Your first look at @JaredCook89 getting in work with Drew Brees in the Black and Gold. #Saints @FOX8NOLA— Garland Gillen (@garlandgillen) May 23, 2019 It's a beautiful thing, football in May. #Saints rookies and veterans on the field for first week of OTA's. @FOX8NOLA— Garland Gillen (@garlandgillen) May 23, 2019 Payton speaks with the media and shares his thoughts on the team after the first week of #Saints OTAs 2019— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) May 23, 2019 […]

  • Heel Up, Wheel Up, Bring it Back, Come Rewind - Saints Film Study
    by Seth Galina on May 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Come learn about the route that Drew Brees is deadly effecient on Last month, we looked at how the Saints use Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara as part of their weakside option package. Today we’re going to look at another way the team bullies the weakside linebacker to get completions. Over the past 2 years, when Brees targets a wheel route from one of his running backs on the weakside of the field, he’s a perfect 10 for 10. Kamara was targeted 8 times with the remaining 2 targets going to Mark Ingram. If Sean Payton called the weakside wheel concept, the ball was going to be moving forward. When defenses started spending too much energy trying to get tight to the running back to defend the weakside option route, the Saints answer was the wheel. They ran it 2 ways: Out Of The Backfield The Saints will run their weakside option route with the running back starting in the backfield therefore their wheel progression has to come from the same look as well. Brees and the boys will line up in some sort of backside isolation formation with Michael Thomas always working as the backside X receiver. Often this will be in a 2 back formation with the fullback to the side of the slot receiver and the running back (Kamara or Ingram) to the side of Thomas. In the above picture, Zach Line creates the 3 receiver side by being a pseudo tight end to the slot receiver, while Ingram and Thomas exist on the weakside of the formation. Because of the gravity that Michael Thomas demands, defenses almost have to play him in man to man. It’s also one of the base checks in the NFL to play the single receiver in man to man but either way MT13 demands it. Thomas’ job is to create a pick on the first defender inside of him. He’s supposed to make it look like he’s running an actual inside hook route but really he’s never getting the ball. You can see on some clips he even stick his hand out trying to create even more of an obstacle. With Thomas manned up, this means the next interior defender has to be man to man against the running back. The pick frees up the running back to wheel down the field to get open. Thomas’ job is to take 2 defenders, the one covering him and then the one he is picking to get the running back open. In an ideal world, the linebacker who is being picked tries to fight through underneath the pick because then the running back is long gone. The one in Cincinnati this past season shows what happens when the linebacker does that. The Saints wish every time they ran the wheel from the backfield this would be the result. The running back wheeling up field and Brees deftly lofting it in stride down the field for 20+ yard gains. Unfortunately, defenses aren’t that dumb. New Orleans knows they’ll get the pick play and get the running back free because through film studies they see when they’re getting man coverage on the backside. Therefore, the danger defender is the safety. If the ball stays in the air long enough, a good safety can get over there and make a play on the ball. That’s why Brees has two separate balls that he throws based on where the safety is. Most quarterbacks want to throw this ball down the field all the time but Brees, the vet, is trying to throw completions and not put the ball in danger. The wheel concept calls for Brees to take a regular 3 step drop when the route is to his right and a 3 open drop when it’s too his left. I’ve written about these dropbacks before here. As a righty, when Brees wants to throw to his left on quicker hitting concepts, he will keep his shoulder parallel to the line of scrimmage while dropping so he doesn’t strain his neck trying to look to the left. This allows Brees to throw the wheel route to either side without stress. Drew always throws this on the last step of the drop. He tries his best not to take false steps and ultimately allow the defense to recover. During the dropback, Brees looks at the safety to determine what throw he will make. If the safety is either looking to the opposite side of the field or is on the hash mark (or wider) on the far side of the field, Brees can float the ball for a big play. If not, he fires the ball on a rope before the safety can get over top. The linebacker running with the running back can’t afford himself the luxury of turning his head to find the ball and make a play because he’s still trying to get close to the running back. This is what that looks like: With Thomas and Kamara lined up on 1 side of the field, safeties tend to over play that side. No matter, Brees is 6 for 6 throwing the bullet wheel pass. If you go back to the Bengals clip, you can see how the safety rotates and his eyes are on the wide side of the field so Brees is allowed to throw the deeper ball to Ingram. One of the things I noticed was the Brees seemed to have a specific audible/signal to get into the wheel concept. You can see him use both hands to point to his helmet. 7 for 7 for 109 yards. From The Slot When Payton wants to dial up a deeper shot play, he lines Kamara in the slot. The outside receiver runs a post route with the goal being to set a “pick” on the safety this time so that Kamara can wheel down the sideline for a bigger play. We can see Michael Thomas’s job is draw the attention of the safety while Kamara gets a favorable matchup with the linebacker. Being that this route is deeper, Brees will have to take a deeper dropback. This time he takes a 5 step and hitches at least once to throw it. This is your classic Post-Wheel combination but the Saints are really only trying to hit the wheel. You can see in the next 2 clips, how they adjust the post route to set half of a pick on the linebacker (like on the shorter wheel route) before getting up to the safety. 3 for 3 for 97 yards. Brees is a surgeon. You might be asking yourself how come it feels like you’ve seen a lot more wheels than the 10 I found. I went looking just for the weakside, isolated receiver ones. This are the Saints progression off their bread and butter weakside option concept. The Saints also have a concept to both the wide side of the field and to the shortside where the wheel is run from the #3 receiver with 2 receivers outside of him. The Kamara touchdown in the playoff game vs. the Vikings is on this one. Brees being perfect when targeting the weakside wheel route is almost unheard of but between the play caller and his elite quarterback play, the Saints make it look so easy. Here’s a compilation of all 10 plays: […]

  • Could NFL Teams Tank Like NBA Teams?
    by Monty602 on May 22, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Purposely tanking has been a fixture in the NBA for years, but could this tactic translate to the NFL where draft slots are guaranteed in accordance with a team’s record? The NBA draft lottery took place last week and the sports world was flipped upside down when the Pelicans won the #1 overall pick with only a 6% chance of reaching that result. The three teams that most obviously tanked this past season came away disappointed. The Knicks, Cavaliers, and Suns all shared a 14% chance of receiving the #1 pick, but instead received the #3, #5, and #6 picks respectively. I didn’t do well in statistics class back in college, but I feel like a 14% chance isn’t a probability I would rely on. You’re 86% more likely not to get the top pick after all. Why did these teams assume they were going to win the #1 pick with such a relatively low chance? All year, the media has been acting like it was a given the Knicks would receive the top pick. A Knicks fan even got a Zion Williamson tattoo before the lottery ever took place. Perhaps the Knicks forgot the new NBA draft lottery rules, which were implemented this year for the first time since being altered in 2017. Previously, the team with the worst record had a 25% chance of receiving the top pick. But now the three teams with the worst records share a 14% chance, while the remaining lottery teams’ odds are reduced gradually between 1.5% and 2% per draft slot. If you want to read more about the changes and how the NBA draft lottery is conducted, this is a good reference tool. After learning more about the NBA draft lottery process, I wonder why NBA teams have been trying to tank at all. In the NFL, the team with the worst record is 100% guaranteed the #1 draft pick. Yet, NFL teams can’t seem to tank even if they try. Sure the Browns did a good job of making it appear like they were tanking on purpose in past years, but I find it hard to believe all 53 players were collectively doing so. A big reason why NFL teams can’t tank might be the lack of fully guaranteed contracts. In the NBA, player contracts are fully guaranteed so there’s less pressure for players to play well or rush a return from injury in order to keep their jobs. In the NFL, contracts are rarely fully guaranteed so players who don’t perform well or remain injured for extended periods of time are in danger of being cut, whether they are vested veterans or rookies. Try telling a running back who has been bubbling between the practice squad and active roster to throw a game. Try telling a cornerback who’s entering a contract year to throw a game. Even if a player who touches the ball often, like a quarterback, was convinced to manipulate a game’s result, the majority of that player’s teammates would have to do the same for the plan to work. One prideful player could ruin the whole enterprise. Besides, there are just too many players on an NFL team with too little incentive to ever try doing that. Why would an NFL player want to throw a game when the result could be their team drafting their replacement with the pick they received due to losing so many games. There are only 15 players on an NBA active roster, while there are 53 on an NFL active roster. Quality NBA level players are much harder to replace. How else do guys stay in the league for 20 years without a young upstart stealing their roster spot? Sure, Steph Curry made the All-Rookie Team the year after he was drafted, but he didn’t make his first All Star team until 5 years later. It generally takes longer for NBA talent to develop. In the NFL, where an average career is less than three years, players are under extreme pressure to play at the highest level immediately. In addition, quality NFL level players seem far more plentiful than their NBA counterparts. The Saints have almost 90 players on their current offseason roster. That means 37 players aren’t going to make the final roster. There are 32 teams in the NFL, so every year that means approximately 1,184 players are desperately trying to make an active roster. That’s a lot of incredible athletes vying for only 1,696 treasured jobs, and that’s not even including practice squad spots. Once a select few of these players have the good fortune of making and staying on an NFL active roster, what makes you think they would risk that by tanking their performance? The NBA did well to alter the draft lottery landscape in order to avoid future tanking, but it seems the NFL will never have to worry about that becoming a problem in their league. […]

  • Eyes will be on Marcus Davenport at OTAs
    by Chris Dunnells on May 22, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    And rightfully so. With OTAs (organized training activities) beginning in the coming days or officially underway for some teams, eyes in the media will surely be keying in on certain players across the NFL. How will Odell Beckham Jr look catching passes from Baker Mayfield in Cleveland? Will JuJu Smith-Schuster be able to step up and fill the shoes of Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh? But what about in New Orleans? Who will be the focus for the Saints? Bleacher Report seems to think it will be Marcus Davenport: After the New Orleans Saints traded two first-round picks to land defensive end Marcus Davenport during the 2018 draft, the UTSA product had only 4.5 sacks and 22 tackles in a peripheral role as a rookie. But injuries were a factor for Davenport, who played only 40.4 percent of the Saints’ defensive snaps. He dealt with hip, thumb and toe issues at various points in the season, and after early-offseason surgery, he suggested on Twitter that he played through an injury that should have ended his season prematurely. Will Davenport be ready to roll when the Saints hold their first OTA session Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday? And if not, how close is he? Those’ll be big questions entering the heart of the offseason program for a Saints team that has invested heavily in—and has high expectations for—the 22-year-old pass-rusher. If Davenport has developed and can get/stay healthy, he could be walking into a major opportunity opposite four-time Pro Bowler Cameron Jordan after veteran 2018 starter Alex Okafor left to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency. OTAs and the preseason, with focus on players like Davenport, Teddy Bridgewater, and Alize Mack, this is all going to be a very interesting - and exciting - time for the Saints. […]

  • Saints sign Wes Horton
    by BobRose on May 21, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    New Orleans adds another defensive lineman from a division rival. According to multiple sources, the New Orleans Saints have reached an agreement with former Carolina Panthers defensive lineman Wes Horton this afternoon. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images Horton, a 29-yr. old defensive end, first entered the league as an undrafted free agent from U.S.C. with the Panthers in 2013. He had 2 sacks in ten games with Carolina that season, and would see action in 77 games with 35 starts over six years with the team. The 6'5, 265-lb. Horton has 15.5 sacks, 23 quarterback hits, 7 forced fumbles, and 95 tackles during his six year NFL career. He joins a Saints team with two former Carolina teammates on the roster, wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and linebacker A.J. Klein. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Horton is expected to add depth to a New Orleans defensive end rotation that includes All-Pro Cameron Jordan, last year's 1st round draft pick Marcus Davenport, 2017 3rd round pick Trey Hendrickson, and DE/DT Mario Edwards Jr. He is a physical player along the edge, with good run stopping ability as well as pass rush skills. […]


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  • Daily Slop: Redskins Media Links Roundup
    by Philip Hughes on May 24, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    A collection of Redskins articles from around the web Here's a small example of Dwayne Haskins' leadership, as told by Matthew Berry | NBC Sports WashingtonDuring an interview on the Redskins Talk podcast, ESPN's Matthew Berry walked JP Finlay through an example of Dwayne Haskins looking like a leader that Berry witnessed firsthand. Practice News And Notes: 2019 OTAs, Day 3Thursday's session of voluntary team activities included the return of safety Landon Collins, the debut of newly signed linebacker Jon Bostic and a fourth quarterback taking the practice field at Redskins Park. PHOTOS: 2019 OTAs Day 3Take a look at photos from the third day of OTA practices for the 2019 Washington Redskins. Most OTAs absences don't matter, but Montae Nicholson's absence sure stands out | NBC Sports WashingtonUsually, if you're getting riled up over a player missing OTAs, you're wasting your time. But Montae Nicholson missing the early sessions of Redskins OTAs is a bizarre decision by the safety. Sorting Redskins Offense: Spring Edition | 106.7 The FanWho is a lock to make the Skins Week 1 roster and who is not? Redskins Sign OT Adam Bisnowaty, Waive Chidi OkekeThe team made both roster moves on Thursday. Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center Opens To The Public For Training Camp Thursday, July 25The Washington Redskins announced their 2019 training camp schedule, set to take place at the world-class Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center from July 25 through Aug. 11 in Richmond, Va. PHOTOS: Alex Smith makes an appearance during the Redskins' third day of OTAs | NBC Sports WashingtonAs Alex Smith continues to recover from that November leg injury, any time he's spotted and smiling, you have to feel encouraged. And on Thursday, the team posted photos of him out at OTAs. After viral 2018 scuffle, Taylor Lewan offers to make peace with Josh Norman | NBC Sports WashingtonThe Titans tackle and Redskins cornerback got into a heated altercation last December. But Lewan says he's ready to let bygones be bygones. Redskins sign Jon Bostic, place Reuben Foster on IR - NFL.comThe Redskins on Monday announced that Reuben Foster (knee) was placed on injured reserve. In a corresponding move, the Redskins announced the signing of linebacker Jon Bostic. […]

  • A Closer Look At Jordan Brailford With Cowboys Ride For Free
    by Gabe Ward on May 24, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Hogs Haven Asks Cowboys Ride For Free About The Redskins New OLB Gabe Ward: This offseason the Redskins lost their weakside pass rusher Preston Smith to free agency. The Redskins had been planning to go with former 2nd round pick Ryan Anderson as the new starter but picked up two EDGE rushers in the draft: 1st round pick Montez Sweat and 7th round pick Jordan Brailford. Between Anderson (who plays with good strength, power, and hustle) and Sweat (who has prototypical length and athleticism), Brailford may not get too many snaps. Given his skill set, can you tell us how you think he can make his way onto the field and stick with the team? Micah Allen: Brailford has the ability to get to a quarterback that could give him an edge over his competition. If he can learn to get better control of his body and be more agile, I think he could be even more of a steal for the Redskins. He’s going to have to work really hard to prove himself, but I think he’ll put in that work. He’s got the skills to evade blocks that could also put him over the competition. He also needs to work on sticking with his guy if he wants to make the roster. If he can get those things perfected it would not surprise me for him to stick with the team. Gabe Ward: Sort of related to the above question. . .I am inspired when I see innovative defensive fronts across the NFL. Breaking out of typical personnel groupings certainly has its advantages. If you were the Redskins defensive coordinator how would you use Brailford on the field to best maximize his talent? Micah Allen: Brailford is a coachable player. He will adapt to whatever you want him to do. Like you talked about in your profile prior to the draft, he’s mobile and played all over at Oklahoma State last season. With the stats he put up in college, though, you have to think he’s best used as a pass rusher. He was one of the best in the conference last year for a reason. The game against Boise State is the perfect example of this. No matter where Jim Knowles put him, Boise couldn’t get to him. He can be disruptive if an O-line breaks down and he sees opportunity. He could also be disruptive on special teams because of his size and speed. Gabe Ward: In my research and viewing of Brailford, I surmised that he was held back a bit because of injury history and his lack of counter moves. Do you have any insight as to his development at OKST? Specifically, I’d be interested in how he’s grown as a player during his college career and if you think that trajectory looks good going into the pros. Micah Allen: He developed immensely while at Oklahoma State. In his first season, getting to play in 2017, he was sort of out-shined by a player you might have heard of named Emmanuel Ogbah. After Ogbah left, Brailford played in every game of his last two seasons. He improved on the field, becoming quicker and getting better with his hands. He was a All-Big 12 team selection his first year playing, and then was a First Team All-Big 12 selection his final year with the Cowboys. I really enjoyed watching him grow and learn from the guys he was around at OSU. He became someone that we here at CRFF were sad to see go. I think he grew into a leader at Oklahoma State as team captain his junior season. That tells me that he gained the respect of his teammates along the way. I see his ceiling only going up after staying healthy for a couple of years and some good coaching. Gabe Ward: The Redskins do ask their outside linebackers to drop back and cover a not insignificant about of the time, especially the weakside OLB. While I did see Brailford in zone coverage, I’m not sure he had much experience turning and running with TE’s or RBs (please correct me if I’m wrong). Do you think that would be one of his bigger weaknesses as far as being more of a complete OLB prospect? Do you think he has the physical capacity to do that well, or do you think he is much better as a pass rusher? Micah Allen: I’m going to be honest and say I do think he’s a better pass rusher. When he was in the back he tended to miss tackles because he went back there so fast. I just feel like he’s most comfortable in the pass rusher role. Now, that doesn’t mean he can’t be taught to be better in zone coverage. Like I mentioned before, he’s coachable. I just feel like it’s going to take some time for him to develop the skills to be good in zone. We tested it out with him in that Boise State game I mentioned, and it went okay, but we ended up putting him back where he had been before, and it was better. Gabe Ward: Could you give us any insight into Brailford’s abilities as a leader and motivator? Lately the Redskins have been trying to change the culture in the locker room by selecting high character young players with histories of leadership. Did Brailford have that role while at OKST? If not, that’s fine, but then how else do you think he can contribute to a winning culture with the team? Micah Allen: He was always pumped. He brings an excitement to a defense. He was definitely in that role at Oklahoma State; he was always the one pumping his arms up and down telling to crowd to get loud. He’s also been in that team captain role, which speaks to his leadership ability. I think he’ll bring a positive attitude to the locker room and contribute to a winning culture. He was on a team in college that preached culture so much it was on Mike Gundy press conference bingo boards. Gabe Ward: While Brailford is likely going to be at least 4th on the depth chart at the position, if he had the opportunity to consistently get on the field, which are the areas you think he would succeed in? Micah Allen: If he could get consistently on the field on special teams I think he could cause some chaos. He’s got the skill set to bring some physicality to the special teams. Also, he has speed at 250 pounds, so another area where I think he would succeed if he was given the opportunity is pass rushing. He’s so quick off the line and and he can definitely get to quarterbacks. I know I keep preaching that, but it’s just who he is. Gabe Ward: Could you give us a few words to describe the player the Redskins are getting in Brailford? Micah Allen: They’re getting a steal of a player — someone who is going to grow into an elite football player, I think. They’re also getting a great guy in Brailford that will bring a lot to their locker room. I want to thank Micah again for her time spent answering my questions about Jordan Brailford. Brailford was one of my favorite ‘mid-round’ EDGE prospects, and I was ecstatic when the Redskins took him with their last pick. I think Micah provided great insights into what a value he is. As a formatting note, I would have liked to include Micah in the main byline, as I have done with other authors from other blogs in years past, but the new editor restricts permissions to do that in a new way. This is, at minimum, a 50/50 endeavor, with the bulk of the thinking and writing coming from the people gracious enough to answer questions, and I want to make sure they get their credit. I’ll likely be including this note for the rest of the series. […]

  • Can 2019 UDFA B.J. Blunt help a ‘Skins defense thin at both safety and linebacker?
    by Bill-in-Bangkok on May 24, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Blunt struggled with being academically ineligible; he is a former safety-turned-undersized-linebacker-turned-safety-again who wasn’t drafted, yet, somehow, he may have a role on the 2019 Redskins We’re lucky that Hogs Haven prepared a pre-draft profile on B.J. Blunt that was published in late February. Let’s look at some of the highlights from that profile: Bryan ”BJ” Blunt, LB/S College: McNeese State | Conference: Southland College Experience: Senior | Age: 23 Height / Weight: 6’0” / 220 lbs Projected Draft Status: 7th Round or UDFA NFL Comparison: Malcolm Smith College Statistics Player Overview If teams are looking for a hybrid type of defender with strong special teams upside, they may want to take a flier on BJ Blunt. According to 247 Sports, Blunt was a three-star recruit coming out of McDonough High School in New Orleans. [H]e was deemed academically ineligible coming out of high school, [so] Blunt began his playing career with Garden City Community College in Kansas [where] he primarily played strong safety, and excelled in that role. In 2016, GCCC won the NJCAA National Championship, a season in which Blunt recorded 8 interceptions and received NJCAA All-American honors. After his success at the junior college level, he transferred to McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana [where he] switched to linebacker. By his Senior year, he was the team’s best player on the defensive side of the ball. In 2018, he was named the Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was an AP FCS First-Team All-American. This all sounds okay for a UDFA — especially the Defensive Player of the Year and FCS 1st team All-American honors. East-West Shrine Game [At the ‘19 East-West Shrine Game] he had a solid game that was capped off with a ridiculous interception that should have gotten the attention of talent evaluators everywhere. Red Flag? While he did himself a favor on the field during the all-star game, the event also raised his first major red flag. Blunt only came in at 203 lbs during the official weigh-in. This immediately [raised] the question [of whether] a permanent switch to safety was inevitable. According to his camp, Blunt has got his weight up to 220 lbs. since the game. This remains to be seen and will be a big topic of discussion at McNeese State’s Pro Day on March 21st. Pro Day Results It looks like Blunt’s weight is, in fact, up to 220. For what it’s worth, lists him at 6’1” and 220 pounds. It seems that, for the Redskins, his experience at safety and his ‘tweener’ size might actually be positives that could allow the defense to be more ‘multiple’ or flexible. How He Would Fit The Redskins The Cardinals Head Coach [in 2014], Bruce Arians, fit [Deone Bucannon] into their defensive scheme as a hybrid Linebacker/Safety. Bucannon had early success in this role and other teams quickly took notice. Since the NFL is a copycat league, other teams followed suit and attempted to find their own Moneybacker. The Redskins have made two such attempts. First they spent a second round pick in 2016 on Sua Cravens (ya, that didn’t work); and then they turned around the very next year and used a seventh round pick on Josh Harvey-Clemons, so there is evidence that this is a position of interest for Washington. While Harvey-Clemons has been serviceable in spot duties on defense and special teams, he has had a hard time getting onto the field in his first couple of seasons. Blunt is this same type of Moneybacker-type player who could be a special teams star sooner rather than later. He has all the physical tools and tenacity to be just that. I think by adding Blunt, the team would be looking to either press Harvey-Clemons to improve or move on from him altogether. Click this link to access all 2018 and 2019 Undrafted Free Agent profiles on Hogs Haven Just two weeks ago, published an article about B.J. Blunt, From New Orleans shipyards to NFL minicamp, BJ Blunt plans to ‘do it right the first time’. Joining the Redskins “There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s going to make the team,” said Southeastern defensive coordinator Lance Guidry, who coached Blunt at McNeese. If the Southland Conference’s defensive player of the year does indeed make the 53-man roster, it will be just another stop on a football journey that led him away from the sport three years ago to becoming one of the NCAA’s top defensive players. It’s a road that has taught Blunt many lessons, mainly “to do it right the first time.” Armed with the right attitude and undeniable talent, he’s out to do just that with his NFL career. “My goal is to show I belong and show why I’m going to be a premiere, dominant person, three years from now, in the NFL,” Blunt said. How Can You Not Smile, Everyday Is A Blessing #HTTR— B.Blunt Sr. (@beedoe8_) May 12, 2019 The Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans offered him contracts as well. Blunt decided Washington’s defensive scheme was the best fit for him. “Looking over their schemes, talking with Rob Ryan while I was up there on the visit, it just felt more like a connection,” he said. “So I just decided to go with those guys over the other teams that called.” That decision was the first time in his football career he was able to truly decide where he would play. A rocky start to his college careeer “Student-athlete? No. (He’s) a football player,” [former college coach Frank] Daggs said with a laugh when he recalled how he would describe Blunt to college coaches. Blunt ultimately signed with McNeese in 2014 but was ruled ineligible due to his academics. He still, however, attended McNeese, but his first stint in Lake Charles didn’t end well. “I went in with the same mindset I had in high school and failed out of McNeese,” Blunt said. From there he went to work painting and sandblasting in the New Orleans-area shipyards for the next year. While he was earning a living, coaches who recruited him out of high school were wondering where he was, as his Division I five-year clock had started. According to NCAA rules, players have five calendar years to play their four seasons of college football once they enroll. Garden City Community College Seven players coached by [Jeff] Sims have been taken in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft and the way Blunt practiced reminded him of those guys. “Common trait that all those guys have is that you can’t tell what day of the week or what time of the year it is when you watch them play football,” he said. “They are the same dude all the time.” “Every game is the Super Bowl. Every practice is the Super Bowl. Every play and every practice is the Super Bowl.” Blunt earned first team All-Region VI honors and tied for second in JUCO football with eight interceptions to go along with 50 solo tackles and two forced fumbles during that season, when Garden City was crowned the 2016 NJCCA National Champion. Once again the big schools came calling. McNeese State “He had some bigger places that wanted to sign him, but he was a couple classes short and he didn’t want to wait around anymore. So, he ended up coming to McNeese because we were his school of choice. And we knew we had a diamond in the rough, I promise you.” Blunt filled in at linebacker due to an injury to Cowboys starter Christian Jacobs that season and was an all-conference honorable mention in 2017. He moved back to safety for his senior season and dominated posting 102 tackles, 11 sacks, six pass breakups and two fumble recoveries en route to being named the Southland’s top defender. Guidry said Blunt’s effort in the weight room and practice was always high and Blunt was very coachable. FB: @McNeeseFootball linebacker BJ Blunt named 2018 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year. #SouthlandStrongRELEASE:— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) November 20, 2018 “Even though he was the best player we had on our team, BJ could take a butt chewing,” Guidry said “And his only response ever was ‘Yes, sir!’” “(Blunt) was so driven internally … that’s why he was so easy to coach,” Guidry said, “He wasn’t a guy that I had to motivate. He motivated himself and he motivated everybody around him.” “Ever since he was young, he was a person that could never be denied,” Daggs said. “I know him going the hard route made him stronger.” Well, I’m intrigued. Unlike, say, Stanford Graduate Bryce Love, Blunt doesn’t sound like a natural student, but perhaps he is a natural athlete. Still, he wasn’t drafted; he’s got questionable size for a linebacker - a position he played only as a junior; he is already 23 years old. Is this guy really a good fit for the Redskins? To get some insight into B.J. Blunt as a player on the field, and to get some clarity about his postion, I turn again this week to James FitzGerald. James FitzGerald (@GMDfitz7765) is a former college player, high school coach, and an avid college football fan who has spent hours in the film room watching opponents and his own teams. His analytical skill adds depth to these profiles that I can’t supply on my own. He seems to be rather positive about Blunt, and his possible career as a Redskin. Fitz’s film review Film Watched: Northwestern State University v. Mcneese State. BYU Multiple highlight reels B.J. Blunt was the leader on his college team defense; he was the one making the calls on defense and communicating with his teammates. Focusing on his individual play, Blunt has good vision and a nose for the ball. He can find the ball carrier and move toward him with great efficiency. He also takes great angles toward the ball carrier to get there as quickly as possible. In pass defense, his coverage skills are adequate; I won’t say he is excellent in coverage, but he is good enough in both man and zone defenses. One thing that stands out about Blunt is his game speed. I was surprised, watching his film, at how quickly he closes in on a ball carrier. He uses his acceleration to close in and make play after play. He also has a very high motor, always trying to make a play even when he is out of it. This kind of energy and hard work can make him a playmaker on defense. B.J. Blunt has potential to be a great tackler. At times, he demonstrates great form tackling the ball carrier, and he hits hard. However, Blunt too often goes for ‘shoe lace’ tackles or arm tackles. If he attempts do that in the NFL, he will miss a lot. This is probably a trait that can be coached out of him. Blunt also tends to avoid blocks rather than shedding them, which means that it takes him longer to get to the ball carrier. He likely does this because he is actually poor at shedding blocks. He is small for an inside linebacker and he does often get swallowed up by opposing lineman, so he has trouble shaking the block and then successfully pursuing the ball carrier. As a pass rusher, B.J. relies on his speed. He will need to work on a few pass rush moves in order to make a difference in the pass rush at the NFL level. How would he fit with the Redskins? BJ Blunt is a good all-around player. He played special teams, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, and safety in college. He did play in the FCS and NJCAA, so his production might be exaggerated due to playing against lower level competition. He will play inside linebacker with the Redskins because he isn’t fast enough to play safety in the NFL; I believe it’s why he was forced to change position at McNeese State. However, his high motor, vision, and linebacker mentality will make him a candidate for a backup linebacker role. Blunt played a lot of special teams in college and that is important for a UDFA trying to make the team. I predict that he will be a special teams contributor and a role player on defense with a lot of growth potential. A taste of BJ Blunt’s Twitter feed: DWA Till I Fade Away! Ima Miss Y’all Boys Mannnnnnnn ‍— B.Blunt Sr. (@beedoe8_) December 14, 2018 Check this young man out! We have adults living in their parents basement playing videos games and claim they can’t find a job.RETWEET if you think this kid is awesome. Let’s help bring him some business— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) May 22, 2019— B.Blunt Sr. (@beedoe8_) May 22, 2019 203 Where?— B.Blunt Sr. (@beedoe8_) May 17, 2019 This weekend, BJ Blunt will step on the practice fields at the Inova Sports Performance Center for Washington’s rookie minicamp. The former McDonogh 35 standout signed with the franchise shortly after the 2019 NFL Draft concluded.— Saints News (@SaintsNOW) May 10, 2019 This guy BJ Blunt is a complete steal can play 4 different positions I consider him a defensive athlete he’s the defensive version of Alvin Kamara ! He plays SS, FS,ILB, and OLB !— 3rd&Short_Radio (@radio_3rdShort) May 4, 2019 Undrafted! I got some necks to step on !!— B.Blunt Sr. (@beedoe8_) May 4, 2019 […]

  • The Daily Twitter: 24 May 2019
    by Bill-in-Bangkok on May 24, 2019 at 4:00 am

    News, links to articles, updates and more from DC area writers and national sports journalists The Daily Twitter will be posted at the beginning of every day (at midnight in Washington, DC). The goal is to give readers a handy spot to check the Redskins beat writers & bloggers, and national sports journalists to keep up on the latest news about the Redskins, the NFL, and sports in general, along with a smattering of other things. NFL News twitter feed: Tweets from Redskins twitter feed: Tweets from To the gorgeous tall brunette on my flight to Baltimore. You walk incredibly fast and I couldn’t catch up but here’s hoping you have Twitter #theonethatgotaway — Hayden Hurst (@haydenrhurst) May 20, 2019 To raise awareness and funds for children living in poverty, Dan and Tanya Snyder and the Washington Redskins are proud to support @RedNoseDayUSA to end childhood poverty. #NosesOn— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 23, 2019 Alex Smith at day 3️⃣ of OTAs supporting his teammates.— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 23, 2019 If Redskins aren't willing to easily make Brandon Scherff the NFL's highest paid OG ($15M per year or more), he should test the open market in 2020. OGs typically aren't franchised. Recent history suggests a Pro Bowl caliber OG in his prime will re-set the market in free agency.— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) May 23, 2019 I think BJ Blunt could compete for some playing time.— James FitzGerald (@GMDfitz7765) May 23, 2019 He’s a UDFA they like. One of first names I heard after the draft. But some of the UDFAs they liked last year at this time didn’t make it. So never know. Need to see what he offers in camp.— John Keim (@john_keim) May 22, 2019 Can Redskins 2019 UDFA LB B.J. Blunt fill the void left by Reuben Foster?Blunt is a former safety-turned-undersized LB who has struggled with academic eligibility, and wasn’t drafted, yet, may somehow have a role on the 2019 Redskins#FireBruceAllen— Hogs Haven (@HogsHaven) May 24, 2019 The Dwayne Haskins to Terry McLaurin connection is one of the best we've ever seen in the PFF College era (2014-Present). They get to carry that over as teammates with the Redskins in 2019 and beyond.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 23, 2019 The future in DC. Haskins ➡️ McLaurin is something I could get used to #HTTR— Nick Akridge (@NAkridge) May 23, 2019— Not Robert Griffin (@Pseudo_RGIII) May 23, 2019 Here is ex-Giant and just signed #Redskins T Adam Bisnowaty lead blocking for Orleans Darkwa’s long TD run in the final game of the 2017 season against the Redskins ... check out the hustle from 66 down the field— Mitchell Tischler (@Mitch_Tischler) May 23, 2019 New guy @JonBostic checking in— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 23, 2019 I love football so much! Lol If y’all understood I’m not even in my Prime. Lead the last 2 teams in Ints. 2nd & 4th in Tackles. 2 Pass Def Top 5! In 2 different systems! Wait till I’m finally in a system for more than 1 year! Chemistry with my boys more than 1 year. It’s Over!— Tre Boston (@TreBos10) May 24, 2019 I heard he doesn’t like y’all talking about me a fan told me yesterday lol News Feed got em going crazy with the love. Tell John I love y’all back Lol I’m a Fan of my Fans! — Tre Boston (@TreBos10) May 24, 2019 Ay my man! Just make sure to tell em I love em! Lol ✊ — Tre Boston (@TreBos10) May 24, 2019 .@Redskins Landon Collins on @gmfb on OBJ: “Gettleman said he wasn’t going to trade the man, then he traded him. We was all surprised because that’s one of the best receivers in the game & for him to do that & lie to everybody, it’s not a good look for players & teammates.”— Will Selva (@WillSelvaTV) May 23, 2019 Jimmie Ward to undergo surgery Friday but will return for camp— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 24, 2019 Notable ACL injuries/returns since 2013. Scoring dip on return for all but three players here, though many were slight. Most WRs here had full-year recoveries, but both Will Fuller and Cooper Kupp are coming off mid/late season tears in 2018.— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) May 23, 2019 Yesterday, @SeanFromUCLA outlined why NFL staffs are improperly crafted to outsmart a coach like Bill Belichick.In Part 2 on @BeastPode, Sean explicitly designs a robust, multi-faceted set of divisions to optimize NFL decision-making in 2019 and on.— mike (@SeahawkScout) May 22, 2019 The league names Cleveland to host the NFL draft in 2021 and Kansas City to host the draft in 2023. Next year's draft is in Las Vegas. No site yet for the 2022 draft.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) May 22, 2019 NFL Scouting Combine events shifting to prime time. (via @judybattista)— NFL Draft (@NFLDraft) May 22, 2019 This was expected outcome. Not clear if KC will change rule at a later date to try again. Not much support for changing OT.— Judy Battista (@judybattista) May 22, 2019 Coach Gibbs, from everyone at JGR, congrats on being voted into the #NASCAR Hall of Fame. We couldn’t be prouder to represent you and your family!— Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) May 22, 2019 Saturday marks 20 years of Dan Snyder owning the Redskins. Something crazy - even after 20 years, he remains the league's second-youngest owner...— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) May 23, 2019 Latest On CBA Negotiations— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) May 24, 2019 A lot of talk right now about OTAs. Most of you know what OTAs are but I thought I'd break it down for the people who don't. Main takeaway: We don't have enough time during OTAs to truly develop young players.— Jeff Fisher (@CoachJeffFisher) May 23, 2019 Aaron Rodgers is no match for David Bakhtiari when it comes to chugging beer (via @Bucks)— ESPN (@espn) May 24, 2019 Sorry dude but I laughed pretty hard at this— Billy Mooney (@CoachM20) May 21, 2019 Be careful what you wish for getting out of your car with a baseball bat in a road-rage incident. You might get knocked out and/or choked out.— Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) May 24, 2019 […]

  • UDFA OT Chidi Okeke released, OT Adam Bisnowaty signed
    by Bill-in-Bangkok on May 24, 2019 at 12:02 am

    Roster churn The Redskins announced roster moves at the end of today’s OTA session, waiving Tackle Chidi Okeke and signing his replacement, T Adam Bisnowaty. Okeke is a 320-pound lineman from Tennessee State, and some exciting Twitter highlights of his play had raised hopes among Redskins fans that he might have enough talent to earn a spot on the Redskins roster or practice squad. Apparently not. Instead, the next man up is Adam Bisnowaty, who will get his chance to impress the coaches when the Redskins offseason program resumes on 28 May. Bisnowaty is 6’6”, 307 pounds, and played college football for the Pittsburgh Panthers as a four-year starter at left tackle, where he was First-Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference his last two seasons. He was drafted by the NY Giants in the sixth round in 2017 — in fact, the Giants traded up seven spots to get him. The Giants coaching staff said that he had versatility to play tackle or guard at the NFL level, and, in fact, after spending most of his rookie season on the practice squad, he started at right tackle late in the ‘17 season for the Giants. His career as a Giant was short-lived. He was waived in May a year ago, and then spent time in training camp with the Lions and Panthers before being released at the end of preseason. He spent the second half of the ‘18 season on the Vikings practice squad, and remained under contract with Minnesota until he was waived two weeks ago, 5 things to know about Giants’ 6th round pick Adam Bisnowaty, who plays with a mean streak The Redskins mark the fifth stop in Bisnowaty’s short NFL career. Let’s hope it is a productive one for both the player and the team. […]


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