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Bleeding Green Nation - All Posts Philadelphia Eagles rumors, news, analysis, roster updates, depth charts and more.

  • Eagles pick up three new players in ESPN’s 2019 NFL re-draft
    by Brandon Lee Gowton on January 23, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images How do you like this hypothetical haul? Still no real news on the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator search so why not pass the time with a fun activity like ESPN’s recent re-draft of the first two rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft? As a reminder, here’s what the Philadelphia Eagles ended up with in reality: 1st - No. 22 (trade up) - Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State 2nd - No. 53 - Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State 2nd - No. 57 - J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford And here’s what the Eagles ended up with in ESPN’s re-draft: 1st - No. 25 - Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina Samuel led all rookies with catches of 20-plus yards (17), finished fourth with 802 receiving yards, and racked up 159 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He would look pretty good paired with quarterback Carson Wentz for the next several years, especially given the Eagles’ need to find young talent at the position. 2nd - No. 53 - Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia Thornhill had three interceptions — including one he returned for a touchdown — to go with eight passes defensed and 58 tackles before an ACL tear late in the season. Rodney McLeod is a free agent and Malcolm Jenkins has said he won’t return under his current contract. The Eagles could use a succession plan at the safety position. 2nd - No. 57 - David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State Montgomery finished second among rookies in rushing yards (889) and rushing touchdowns (six). The Eagles are happy with how the actual draft shook out, having landed Miles Sanders, but they’ll settle for Montgomery, who proved he can be a productive, tackle-shedding back in this league. Arcega-Whiteside caught just 10 of his 22 targets. The Eagles’ re-draft class obviously would’ve been able to help the team out a lot more in 2019 than their real class did. The Eagles desperately needed help at receiver and JJAW basically gave the team nothing. Thornhill would’ve been a nice No. 3 safety as a rookie before taking over as a full-time starter in place of Rodney McLeod in 2020. Montgomery is a downgrade from Sanders but he still would’ve helped out. Of course, the Eagles’ re-draft doesn’t give the team a replacement plan at left tackle, which is kind of a big deal. And are the Eagles able to make their late season run to win the NFC East without Sanders around? Let’s put it to a vote: which class would you rather have? We should also note that Dillard dropped to the Los Angeles Rams at No. 31 in the re-draft. The Rams went into the season hoping a few of their young midround offensive linemen would pan out. Through injuries and shifting positions, several young linemen showed progress in their development. However, they should have spent a first-round pick on a tackle like Dillard, who could have spent a season learning from the longtime veteran Andrew Whitworth before taking over full time in 2020. Sanders, meanwhile, went off the board to the Miami Dolphins at No. 48, which was earlier than his real draft spot: The Dolphins were the NFL’s worst rushing team last season, and Sanders is a great choice to help that issue. His explosive rushing and receiving ability made him an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate. There was strong consideration here to take Christian Wilkins or Jeffery Simmons given the great value, but it’s hard to take back-to-back interior defensive linemen given Miami’s many needs. You’ll be shocked to see that JJAW was not selected in the first two rounds of the re-draft. Nine total wide receivers did get selected in the re-draft. For perspective, JJAW was the sixth receiver selected in the actual 2019 NFL Draft.

  • The Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens feud apparently still isn’t over
    by John Stolnis on January 23, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images It’s been 15 years, guys. I’m sure when Andy Reid’s Chiefs beat the Titans to advance to Super Bowl 54, we all knew that Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens would once again be front and center in our lives once more. The long-running feud between the two former superstars that helped break up a championship Eagles team in 2005 reared its ugly head once again this week. In an interview with Bleacher Report, McNabb was asked about the 2004 season in which Reid led the Eagles to Super Bowl 39 against the Patriots and what happened in that game. ”I was trying to be perfect,” he explains, “and so some of the balls I threw obviously ended up being intercepted.” McNabb went 30-for-51 for 367 yards and threw three touchdowns but also three picks with a QB rating of 75.4. But the real headlines from the interview came when he was asked about what happened in 2005, the year the Super Bowl, and why the Eagles were never able to get back to the big game with McNabb under center. “The lead-in to the following year, I’m thinking [Owens] will be back healthy, we have [Jevon Kearse], we have guys elevating their game, gaining experience, and I’m thinking, ‘We’re going to be back.’ Then the offseason goes on and all of a sudden there’s turmoil here and there, different conversations going back and forth, and we had to answer those questions instead of focusing on what we need to do in order to get back to where we were. I thought that was the major distraction for us. He’s doing sit-ups, he’s doing push-ups, he’s playing basketball, he’s ordering pizza for the people out there, and we’re sitting there in training camp just like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ We’re in our dorm rooms, and I’m just sitting there watching on TV. Brian Dawkins and Jeremiah Trotter were my roommates, and Dawk would come in like, ‘What’d he do now?’ I’m like, ‘Take a look.’ This is like “Days Of Our Lives”. It was unbelievable. But that was something that kind of broke us up. That was the most frustrating for me, because I knew what we could do, and, if we decided to just come together, what we could accomplish.” McNabb’s full comments can be seen in the video below. In the hours after the video was posted, Owens saw it, and responded on (where else?) Twitter. Ohhhh shit!!!! I can’t wait 2 tell my story!!! I’m bringing , doing sit-ups and gonna eat a couple cans of “CHUNKY SOUP!!” This guy is a joke!! Talking bout I broke up the @eagles!! Did u tell em that u vouched for the Eagles to pay Westbrook but NOT ME!! ‍♂️ It’s on! https://t.co/jU8aGymIfD— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) January 22, 2020 Hey @MasterTes!! Let me know when u want to hear the truth!! Did u ask him about those DUIs and what he was doing at the parties I threw at my house during “our time” in Philly?!! Hmmm Don’t worry, I’ll tell ya!! ✌ ✌ https://t.co/jU8aGymIfD— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) January 22, 2020 .@MasterTes Along with the sharing of what it meant to be the 3rd black QB to start in the Super Bowl but did he share that he was and is the “FIRST and ONLY” QB, black or white, to throw up in the huddle?! Oh yeh! Just found out why he was throwing up too. ‍♂️ https://t.co/NsXPfCeF49— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) January 23, 2020 Wow, those tweets had everything — vomiting accusations, a Chunky Soup reference, DUIs, and those were just a handful of Owens’ responses. The bottom line is that it’s sad these two guys are still fighting in the media. It’s sad McNabb couldn’t have found a more diplomatic way of answering the question, it’s sad Owens couldn’t take the high road, and it’s sad that, with their former head coach about to try and redeem his first Super Bowl coaching performance a week from Sunday, that these two guys have decided to make things all about them. Guys, it’s been 15 years. This is ridiculously childish and petty. Who’s right and who’s wrong doesn’t matter anymore. No doubt both players did things to exacerbate the problem. At this point, either have yourselves a summit and hash it all out or let it go. The focus of this week should be on two great teams, the Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, and the Andy Reid Redemption Tour. Not your 15-year-old feud.

  • The Linc - PFF names one free agent that the Eagles need to pursue
    by Brandon Lee Gowton on January 23, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/23/20. Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... One free agent each NFL team needs to pursue in the 2020 offseason - PFFPhiladelphia Eagles: S Anthony Harris. Malcolm Jenkins helped improve the Eagles’ secondary this year, playing exceptionally well in his box safety/slot role. Everywhere else wasn’t terrible, but there is certainly room for improvement, and adding Anthony Harris would elevate the most important unit on the defensive side of the ball. Harris has been one of the NFL’s best free safeties these past couple of years, recording the highest two-year PFF overall grade at that alignment. He also had seven interceptions as a free safety in that timespan while allowing six catches. NFL Free Agency Rumors: Eagles linked to Byron Jones and Chris Harris - BGNI know signing NFC East players — and specifically former Cowboys — hasn’t worked out so well for the Eagles in recent history but there’s reason to believe Jones could buck the trend. Jones checks a lot of boxes. The 2015 first-round pick doesn’t turn 28 until September. He’s only missed one game in his five-year career. He has experience at safety in addition to cornerback. He boasts an elite athletic profile; just look at this beautiful spider graph. Jones ranked 15 out of 134 cornerbacks graded by PFF in 2019 and 7th in 2018, when he made the Pro Bowl. 2020 BGN Draft #1: Senior Bowl - Day 1 Practice Recap - BGN RadioMichael Kist is joined by Russell Brown of Cover 1 to break down the winners and losers of the first day of the Senior Bowl practices! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation. Senior Bowl practice notes, Day 1 - PhillyVoiceI came to Mobile looking forward to watching the wide receivers on hand here, and so far, I have been underwhelmed. As we noted in our Senior Bowl preview, the receivers projected to go Round 1 (or early in Round 2) are underclassmen, and won’t be competing in Mobile. That group includes guys like Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs of Alabama, CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma, Tee Higgins of Clemson, Justin Jefferson of LSU, and Leviska Shenault of Colorado. The Eagles better get a wide receiver early, because there is a significant drop in talent from those guys to the seniors competing here. In my view, waiting to select one at some point later in the draft because it is deep and talented would be a bad strategy. Get one early, and if there’s another one you like later, then great, get another one. Senior Bowl Day 1 - Iggles BlitzI’m honestly not sure what to say about the Eagles and receivers. Nelson Agholor is almost certainly gone. Alshon Jeffery could also be gone. You might be bringing back DeSean Jackson, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, Robert Davis and Deontay Burnett. DeSean is the only sure thing in that group and he’s coming off injury. Will the Eagles want speed? Size? Slot guys? There aren’t a lot of burners in Mobile. There are some good big guys and several good slot guys. [...] One possible target at 21 is DT Javon Kinlaw. That dude is a stud. Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson aren’t getting any younger (unless Sports Science has gone big time) and the Eagles could use a young, talented DT. Kinlaw is really good. Eagles receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery: Stay or go? - ESPNBut Jeffery, who turns 30 in February, was limited to 10 games in 2019 and finished with his lowest totals of catches (43) and yards (490) since his rookie season. Given the dip in availability/production and the chemistry issues between Jeffery and Wentz, the decision to lock in the receiver for 2020 now seems regrettable. His injury complicates matters further. Jeffery had Lis Franc surgery in December and faces a lengthy rehab. It’s too early to say how long he’ll be sidelined (some estimates say nine months) or how effective he’ll be upon return. Trading Jeffery would be ideal, as it would limit the cap hit, but it’s hard to envision a scenario in which a team would be willing to deal for him until he proves he’s back to full health. That might take a while. Given all the factors in play, this situation will take some time to sort itself out, but a clean break is called for once the opportunity presents itself, even if that means eating a big serving of dead money. Verdict: Go. Hands, shoulders, hips and toes: The week-by-week physical toll of an NFL season on Eagles center Jason Kelce - The AthleticOn Monday, he undergoes another MRI, this one on the hip that’s been bothering him down the stretch. Again, there’s nothing new, but the results ease Kelce’s mind. He still thinks the hip and back pain are probably related to the three-day stretch he went without anti-inflammatories, but he acknowledges that’s only one idea. It’s also possible he strained his core some other way or there’s a hit he can’t remember taking or it was just the cost of another season’s worth of football. Sometimes, there are no answers. This offseason, he’ll fully cycle off the anti-inflammatories to really assess the state of his body. That should also help him determine whether surgery to remove the fabella is necessary since Kelce acknowledges there’s probably not any one thing causing his chronic knee pain. He and the training staff have developed a routine that allows Kelce to feel good during practice and games, so it might not be worth it to mess with what’s working. He’ll probably end up getting a few more MRIs across his body just in case, but he doesn’t expect any other surgeries. Despite all that, Kelce says he feels “pretty good.” Eagles Stay or Go 2020: Big decision looming at LB - NBCSPKulp: Midway through 2018, Bradham’s release looked inevitable. Then he had a monster second half, and the Eagles let Jordan Hicks walk instead. That appears to have been a pretty big mistake. At 27, Hicks finished third in the NFL with 150 tackles, plus 1.5 sacks, 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles in 16 games for the Cardinals. Bradham turned 30 and meandered through 12 games with 61 tackles, no sacks, 1 interception and no forced fumbles. Sure, he was hurt from the get go, but he just had no impact, and on balance, his last seasons have been a disappointment overall. It won’t bring Hicks back, but moving Bradham will save close to $5 million while giving a chance to a younger player. Verdict: Goes. 2020 NFL Free Agency rumors: Philadelphia Eagles could target Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones - Blogging The BoysByron Jones has played very well for the Cowboys since transitioning to cornerback full time ahead of the 2018 season. It remains to be seen just how highly the Cowboys will value their former first-round pick. Jones didn’t put forth the stellar campaign of 2018 during this most recent season, but he was still very good. What’s more is that he is a free agent and in situations like these players are generally overpaid (this is said with no disrespect for Jones). If the Eagles are intending to be aggressive, with the Cowboys having to focus so much attention and money on Prescott and Cooper, it stands to reason that they could lose their cornerback to Philadelphia or someone else. Browns interview George Paton a second time for GM role - Dawgs By NaturePaton is one of three candidates that the Browns have interviewed for the general manager position, joining New England Patriots director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort and Philadelphia Eagles vice president of football operations Andrew Berry, but Paton is the only one to be granted a second interview for the moment. According to Cabot, Paton did not originally want to take an interview with the Browns because he believed that Berry had the job in the bag. But Paton is interested in working with head coach Kevin Stefanski after the two spent the past 13 seasons working together with the Minnesota Vikings. New York Giants’ Eli Manning announces retirement - Big Blue ViewNew York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will hold a press conference to announce his retirement on Friday. It has pretty much been a foregone conclusion that the Giants would be moving on from Manning after this season, and now that has come to pass. “For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” said John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer. “Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.” The Ringer’s 2020 NFL Draft Guide - The Ringer19 - Henry Ruggs III. Ruggs is an explosive pass catcher with track speed (he broke the Alabama high school state record for the 100-meter dash with a 10.58-second time in 2017) and natural instincts for eluding defenders after the catch. If he gets some green, he’ll take advantage of it; the Crimson Tide standout has excellent acceleration and uses long strides to weave through defenses, annihilate pursuit angles, and pull away from the crowd. The dynamic playmaker followed up a 46-catch, 741-yard, 11-touchdown performance in 2018 with 40 catches for 746 yards and seven touchdowns this season, adding one rushing score to again prove that he’s a high-level touchdown-maker. Ruggs finished at Alabama with 24 of his 98 career receptions ending up in the end zone. Because of that home-run potential, defensive backs and deep defenders always need to know where Ruggs is lined up―but he’s more than just a straight-line deep threat. The 5-foot-11, 192-pound pass catcher takes advantage of typical cornerback cushions on hitch and stop routes and is a back-shoulder master near the sideline. He’s also a major pain in the ass on crossing routes, where defenders struggle to match his easy speed across the field. While he was durable at Alabama, playing in 40 games, he has a slender, wiry frame that could make him susceptible to big hits at the next level. And he’s consistently a beat late getting out of his stance, with a hitch that slows him up before he can get into his route. Senior Bowl Day 2 - Scouts NotebookWR Denzel Mims from Baylor was the offensive standout on Wednesday. Mims, 6-3, 206, was very productive in college with 168 career catches and 28 TD receptions. He made plays all over the field today. Mims started off by catching short passes. He showed good strength and was able to play through contact. That is important for a receiver with his size. It wasn’t all small ball. Mims was able to get deep multiple times and haul in long passes. Black NFL executives and coaches sound off at town hall: ‘We just want a fair shot’ - The Undefeated“It’s hard to justify [Cincinnati Bengals head coach] Zac Taylor, and not Eric Bieniemy. It’s hard to justify how [Miami Dolphins assistant head coach] Jim Caldwell didn’t get an interview this time. It’s hard to justify Leslie Frazier not getting an interview. Look at the job he did in Buffalo with that defense. Look at the job he did as a playcaller, getting the most out of that defense.” To hear Frazier tell it, finally clearing the obstacles that still block the path for coaches of color is much more important than what occurs individually with him and Bieniemy. The XFL is Back: Complete 2020 XFL Schedule and Rules - Radio.comFootball does not have to end with the Super Bowl. Nineteen years after Vince McMahon debuted the original XFL in 2001, the WWE CEO is giving it a second try as the league prepares to debut the week following Super Bowl LIV. This time things will be a little different in the XFL, though. Instead of using sex appeal and violence like last time, McMahon and commissioner Oliver Luck aim to cater the new XFL to families and plans to complement the NFL, rather than be a sideshow. The new XFL will certainly still be a unique football experience. The 49ers and Chiefs did *just* enough for first-round byes, and it proved crucial - SB NationThe San Francisco 49ers finished the regular season with a 13-3 record — good enough for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. It came right down to the wire, though. Their last four games of 2019 (three of which they won), were decided in the final seconds. San Francisco’s Week 17 finale against Seattle was literally an inch away from being a loss. Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister was tackled right next to the goal line on a fourth-down play with nine seconds left. Had it been a touchdown, the 49ers would’ve lost the NFC West and entered the postseason as the No. 5 seed. Instead, they landed at the very top of the NFC, thanks to tiebreakers over the Packers and Saints. Watch a gigantic bald eagle take flight from a Melrose street, in slow motion - Boston.comA bald eagle stunned onlookers in Melrose on Monday when it took off from a city street, after apparently feasting on something in the roadway. The huge bird of prey was spotted near the Wyoming Hill MBTA commuter rail train station, according to Matt Karolian, Boston.com’s general manager, who shared a video of the moment. ... Social Media Information: BGN Facebook Page: Click here to like our page BGN Twitter: Follow @BleedingGreen BGN Instagram: Follow @BleedingGreenInsta BGN Manager: Brandon Lee Gowton: Follow @BrandonGowton BGN Radio Twitter: Follow @BGN_Radio

  • Report: Eagles discussed coaching role with Josh McCown but he wasn’t ready to officially retire from playing
    by Brandon Lee Gowton on January 23, 2020 at 2:33 am

    Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images What’s next for the 40-year-old? Many have floated the idea of Josh McCown joining the Philadelphia Eagles’ coaching staff this offseason. Apparently it’s something the team has actually considered as well, according to a report from the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane. The Eagles discussed with quarterback Josh McCown the idea of returning to the team in a coaching role, possibly as offensive coordinator, during his exit interviews, NFL sources told The Inquirer. While it’s unclear whether the team offered McCown a position, the 40-year-old veteran told the Eagles that he wasn’t ready to officially retire from his playing career, a source said. Aside from meeting with coach Doug Pederson and general manager Howie Roseman, McCown also sat down with owner Jeffrey Lurie, according to a source. Lurie doesn’t typically meet with players immediately after the season ends. It’s interesting to hear that McCown wasn’t quite ready to call it quits on his playing career. He was already retired before the Eagles lured him away from ESPN last summer. It’s understandable, though, that McCown wouldn’t want his last NFL action to be where he failed to lead his team to victory in a playoff game. McCown was really emotional after the Eagles’ playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Of course, he had nothing to be ashamed of given how he still played relatively well for having to play through a torn hamstring at his age. If McCown really wants to keep playing, the Eagles could always bring him as a backup in 2020. Carson Wentz’s backup for next season isn’t settle since both McCown and Nate Sudfeld are going to be free agents. But maybe McCown will have a change of heart about playing if the Eagles formally offer him their offensive coordinator role? There’s reason to be skeptical about making McCown the OC. He’s only formally coached at the high school level to this point. One must be wary of the Eagles continuing to over rely on familiar faces. But there’s also reason to think McCown could be the right fit. He already took on an informal coaching role during the Eagles’ late season success in 2019. Kellen Moore went from being the Cowboys’ backup quarterback to their offensive coordinator in a short span of time and that move worked out well for Dallas. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with McCown. I think it’d be ideal if the Eagles could add him to the coaching staff in some capacity. But maybe he returns as Wentz’s backup instead? We’ll have to wait and see.

  • Giants quarterback who lost 20 of his last 24 games against the Eagles retires from the NFL
    by Brandon Lee Gowton on January 22, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images Philly will miss you, Eli. It’s a sad day for the Philadelphia Eagles. Long-time New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is retiring from professional football after 16 years in the NFL. The Eagles really had Manning’s number. He went just 10-21 in 31 games against Philadelphia, including a 4-20 stretch to end his career. To put that failure in perspective, Donovan McNabb — who last played for the Eagles in 2009 — also has four wins in those last 24 Eagles versus Giants games. Manning’s struggles also allowed the Eagles to take their first ever lead in the all-time series between these two NFC East rivals. The most memorable Manning loss, of course, was when the Eagles staged an epic comeback against the Giants during the 2010 season: the Miracle at the Meadowlands II. And so it’s a bummer to see Manning go. It must be tough to realize all he’ll ever be remembered for is his career .500 record as a starter (117-117) and often losing to the Eagles and nothing else.

 

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  • Patriots cornerback Joejuan Williams reportedly facing drug charges
    by Oliver Thomas on January 22, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images According to WTVF, Joejuan Williams was arrested in Tennessee on Jan. 17. New England Patriots cornerback Joejuan Williams was arrested on drug charges in Tennessee’s Cumberland County last Friday, according to WTVF News Channel 5. Williams, 22, had been pulled over by Tennessee Highway Patrol for speeding when an unnamed controlled substance, prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia were discovered. WTVF reported Wednesday that Williams is facing charges for speeding, possession of a controlled substance, possession of legend drugs without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Patriots selected Williams in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft out of Vanderbilt. Williams appeared in nine games during his rookie regular season in New England. The Nashville native recorded five tackles and one pass deflection over 80 snaps on defense and 84 snaps on special teams.

  • Matthew Slater expresses ‘desire’ to continue with Patriots in 2020
    by Oliver Thomas on January 22, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images Matthew Slater, 34, is scheduled to become a free agent in March. New England Patriots captain Matthew Slater is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March, and will turn 35 in September. Slater sees himself playing football beyond it. “I think the way I look at it now, I still love playing football and I still appreciate the opportunities I have to forge relationships and be with my teammates and play the game I love,” Slater told ESPN’s Michael DiRocco during the AFC’s Pro Bowl practice in Orlando on Wednesday, via Mike Reiss. “Every aspect of it I love. As I said after the year, I was going to pray about with my family. We have. It’s my desire to continue to play. ... I’m going to prepare and approach it as though I’m going to continue to play and we’ll see how it goes.” New England previously signed Slater to a two-year deal in the spring of 2018, with a roster bonus due at the start of the subsequent league year. His current tenure is outstretched by only quarterback Tom Brady and kicker Stephen Gostkowski. A 2008 fifth-round draft choice out of UCLA, Slater has served as captain of the kicking game since the 2011 season. The gunner earned his eighth Pro Bowl selection during the 2019 season. A fifth AP first-team All-Pro selection followed. It saw Slater play a Patriots-high 73 percent of the snaps on special teams. He recorded 10 tackles, a blocked punt and his first career touchdown in the process. “It’s hard for me to visualize myself playing anywhere else,” Slater told ESPN. “But that’s not always my decision, so I think that’s out of my control. I’ve expressed publicly and privately to remain a Patriot for the entirety of my career, and certainly I still feel that way, so we’ll see how it goes.”

  • Chief Thoughts: Is the Brady-Belichick dynasty over?
    by PatrioticChief on January 22, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports Related: Matthew Slater does not worry about the ‘end of the dynasty’ talk The fall of empires is often swift and rarely quiet. If this is the end of the New England Patriots’ storied dynasty, its demise was consistent with the great empires that preceded it. The outside noise from this season was nothing new. Thunderous and abundant. The difference was that this time the Patriots could not overcome it. A 12-4 record proved the Patriots were not a bad team. A terse lost to the Titans at home showed the Patriots were not a championship one. Will historians look back at 2018 as the last defiant roar of a dying dynasty? Or will 2019 simply be another rare aberration in the inexorable march of Patriot domination? I have my suspicions. I suspect you do too. Let’s get started. Is the dynasty over? The truth is that nobody knows if the dynasty is over. No man can peer into the future and therefore no one can say for certain what the future will hold. That is the honest answer. It’s also the boring answer. It’s a cop out. Of course no one knows for sure what will happen but humans accurately predict the future based on data every day. They might not know for sure but they can make educated guesses. So let’s make an educated guess together. What is the Patriots dynasty? What constitutes the Patriot dynasty? The seemingly impossible sustained success from 2001 to 2019? Is it the unprecedented run of AFC Championship appearances between 2010 and 2018? Does it only include the span of time where the Patriots won three Super Bowls like 2001-2004 and 2014-2018? It is difficult to quantify and frankly I think there are several reasonable ways to define it. Multiple ways to reasonably define the dynasty necessitates multiple reasonable ways to define the death of the dynasty. Is the Patriot dynasty dead when they miss the playoffs? Is the dynasty dead if the team goes three straight years without making the AFC championship? The question of whether the dynasty is dead is broad and complex. My solution was to narrow the definition to specifically the Brady-Belichick dynasty by answering three questions. 1.) Why define the Brady-Belichick dynasty? Brady and Belichick began their careers in New England together and have been inseparable since. The combined genius of these two men has led to the most sustained success in the history of the NFL and made the Patriots the defining franchise of two separate decades. Could the Patriots be in the Super Bowl in a few years? Who knows. Maybe Belichick drafts Trevor Lawrence or Tua Tagovailoa or someone no one has even heard of except for a few savvy scouts. Maybe that quarterback wins a Super Bowl with Belichick. Maybe that quarterback wins another ring with a completely different head coach. Maybe that happens in five years. Maybe it happens in less. It doesn’t really matter. Steve Young replaced Montana and won a championship but that doesn’t make him party to the Montana dynasty. The question should be whether the historic domination of these two men has reached its end. That’s the question that compels me. 2.) What is the Brady-Belichick dynasty? The Brady-Belichick dynasty is defined by two factors: The alliance of Brady and Belichick and the ever present threat of a championship run. The dynasty was more than just the pairing of a head coach and a quarterback, though. Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis played together for years. No one will ever talk about a Lewis-Dalton dynasty. 3.) What transformed the Brady-Belichick tenure into the Brady-Belichick dynasty? The defining characteristic of the Brady-Belichick alliance has never been any one statistic or any one record. It was a resolute confidence that as long as these two men were united, the Patriots were always in the hunt for a championship. That the next Lombardi Trophy was always just around the corner. The Patriots didn’t win a Super Bowl from 2005 to 2013 but they had an undefeated season, two trips to the big game, and multiple deep playoff runs during that span. The Patriots were always in the thick of it. Belichick and Brady never went more than three years without a berth in the Super Bowl. They may not have finished the job every time but it seemed inevitable that they would arrive again. And more often than not they took the hardware home with them. In the last 20 years, the Patriots have made three times as many Super Bowls as the next best franchise. If you have a different metric to define the dynasty that is fine. This will not be the definitive measurement to many but it is the defining attribute of the last twenty years for me. Brady and Belichick and their quest to become champions. Has the empire fallen? The Byzantine Empire was technically finished when the Ottoman Empire stormed the city of Constantinople. But what made the empire an empire was destroyed long before the capital city was seized. How does one pronounce time of death of the Brady-Belichick dynasty? When one of them retires is the obvious answer. But I think we can mark the end of the dynasty before we reach that point. If these great men never reach another championship together, the dynasty will have ended in 2018. The inability to reach a Super Bowl will mean the quintessential element of the dynasty is gone. If the dynasty were a person in this scenario I would say they were in a medically-induced coma. In the same way, that someone in a coma may continue to breath but everything that made that person a person has disappeared. Their body may not be dead for many years but their mind died when they entered the coma. I therefore define the Brady-Belichick dynasty from 2001-2018. I believe the empire has fallen because I do not believe these two men will reach another Super Bowl together. That belief is obviously a prediction. I do not know that this will occur much in the same way we can never predict someone will miraculously awaken from a coma after years of slumber. Could it happen? Of course. It can happen until the day the cord is pulled. Is it likely to happen? I do not believe so. Why the dynasty is (probably) dead These are numerous reasons I think the dynasty is dead. Tom Brady is short on time, Tom Brady is no longer elite, the team needs to rebuild instead of reloading, and it has few resources to do that even if it wanted to. First, Tom Brady’s time is running out. I do not think Brady is done. Not by a long shot. Randy Moss had a great quote on ESPN, “I would rather love to see Bill Belichick get rid of Tom Brady, keep the weapons he had in there, bring in a new quarterback, and see how they fare next year.” When Tedy Bruschi began to stumble a response Moss pounded his hand on the table. “Alright then.” Brady’s best weapon was a 33-year-old slot receiver who was moved to the outside, played injured for half the season, and led the league in drops. It wasn’t so much of an insinuation as it was a direct challenge by Moss. Does Belichick really think he can get anyone else to succeed at a high level with that? Good luck. This narrative is not just being espoused by Brady allies like Moss. It was heartily embraced by former Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan. It is the view expressed by major media shows like Speak for Yourself and Colin Cowherd. Even First Take echoed this analysis with Stephen A. Smith saying Brady had to have better support before judgement could be rendered and even (in)famous Brady-hater Max Kellerman admitted Brady was still a starting-caliber quarterback. The popular analytics company Pro Football Focus ranked Brady as the 12th best quarterback in the NFL in 2019. This broad-based consensus should install confidence in this conclusion: Brady struggled because the offense was terrible. The offense did not struggle because Brady was terrible. Brady is still a top-10 quarterback in the NFL. But that doesn’t mean there are no legitimate challenges for him to overcome. This is the second straight year he has dealt with injuries in December. He was already on unprecedented ground playing the way he did at the age of 42. Every additional year Brady plays as a starting quarterback he etches his name deeper into the history books, but Father Time also tightens his grip on his body. I don’t think Brady has more than two years left of not sucking. I really don’t. He may start somewhere at 45 but I don’t think he’s considered a top quarterback by the end of that season. He may suck before that. It’s a real genuine risk. I think what he showed this year is more than enough for a lot of teams with below average quarterback play to be interested in his services, assuming they have a better supporting cast, but I don’t think anyone can feel confident in giving Brady a three-year deal at a market rate and assume he will play at a high level all three of those seasons. Tom Brady has at absolute most three more chances to make the Super Bowl. That’s a far cry from when Tom Brady got injured in 2008 and they had strong odds of getting seven or more years. The odds of making the Super Bowl in any one year are bad. When you limit those opportunities to three years, at best, the odds sink even more. Second, Tom Brady is no longer an elite quarterback. This part is arguably the most important part of this equation. To be completely fair to him, his supporting cast was so terrible in 2019 that it is hard to say this definitively but we have now seen two straight seasons in which Brady appeared to be a good but not a great quarterback. That’s a big deal because the Patriots’ historic success over the last decade has been predicated on an elite quarterback on a pretty good team, not a pretty good quarterback on a pretty good team. Super Bowl teams are dominated by elite quarterbacks, elite teams, or sometimes combinations of both. Pretty good generally does not cut it. Third, the Patriots do not have an elite team. They lost to every single 2019 playoff team they faced except the Bills last season. You can prick and prod at the record if you want. They got jobbed by the referees in the Kansas City Chiefs game. They were sick against the Houston Texans. They played the Tennessee Titans competitively. They had an unexpected fumble-six against the Baltimore Ravens. But those are the excuses of lesser franchises. The fact remains that they lost against four of their five playoff opponents. Narratives in the NFL tend to swing pretty quickly. Teams picking fourth overall at the start of the season can end up as a top-four team by the end. But the reverse is true as well. Teams that make the Super Bowl one year can miss the playoffs entirely the next. The Patriots might be a bit better than they look but they could also be worse. A bit worse is a team that doesn’t even make the playoffs. Furthermore, the Patriots have a slew of free agents including their top two pass rushers, All-Pro free safety, All-Pro left guard, the entire defensive tackle rotation sans Lawrence Guy, most of the starting and backup interior offensive linemen of 2019, and their starting quarterback. Fourth, the Patriots have limited resources to reload and probably cannot do it. This is predictive but it is based on facts. The Patriots have a slew of high contributing free agents and very little cap space to pay for them. They can probably count on getting a solid player with the 23rd overall draft pick but even that is no guarantee. The Patriots had slightly better than even odds of getting a contributor in 2020 with their second-round selection but that went out the door when they traded the pick for a wide receiver who disappointed in 2019. No money. Mediocre draft picks. Quite a few important free agents. The math doesn’t really add up. To be fair, the two times the Patriot offense bottomed out Belichick the GM responded with force. He traded for Wes Welker and Randy Moss in 2007 and drafted Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in 2010. Can he capture lightning in a bottle three times? I doubt it for the exact reasons I already listed. No money. Mediocre draft picks. Quite a few important free agents. Belichick has drafted one Pro Bowl offensive weapon for Brady in 20(!) years. Gronk. Maybe the Patriots strike gold and draft another Hall of Fame weapon for Brady but to say that that is anything less than unlikely is pure homerism. Simply put the Brady-Belichick dynasty needs a couple of years to rebuild and there probably isn’t enough time for Brady to be there when said rebuild is done. Why the dynasty is (probably) fine Tom Brady and Belichick are wizards and normal football physics do not apply to them. That sounds like a bit of a jest but it really is not. The only way the Patriots have been able to do what they do is by defying conventional logic. If this were any team but the Patriots they would be seen as pass-overs and have-beens. But the Patriots are not a normal franchise. I think 2018 was magical, more so than people give it credit for in 2019. The 2018 team overcame some massive hurdles with some offseason magic, coaching genius, and incredible performances by its key members. This year, New England’s problems got even worse and there was no magic to save the team. Could the magic return next year? Maybe. But that’s the thing about football magic. It tends to be fleeting. You cannot have been a true fan of this team and count the Brady-Belichick dynasty out for good. These guys have simply done too much. They have earned too much respect for me to ever do that. I also don’t think that there are any great teams in the AFC outside of the Chiefs. And regardless of how good the Chiefs might be next year this is football. Most teams can beat most teams on any given Sunday. There aren’t a gauntlets of superior teams the Patriots are going to have to fight through over the next couple of years, at least not on paper. I think New England has a decent roster and will remain competitive provided Brady stays. A surprisingly strong offseason would keep the Patriots in the driver’s seat. Imagine if Gronk came back, James Develin and David Andrews return healthy, Jamie Collins and Devin McCourty were retained, N’Keal Harry makes a big leap, maybe the Patriots actually drafted rookie contributors. Anyone of these is at least feasible, even if all of it happening together seems very unlikely. Furthermore, pretty good may not usually cut it but you could argue at least two Patriot teams were only pretty good and took the team all the way anyway. The Patriots are constantly the exception. I can only imagine a hypothetical world where Brady or Belichick read these words only to shake their head and mutter, “Ye of little faith,” before going on a league-record seventh Lombardi run. But even though I can be optimistic as a fan, the analyst in me has to concede that the current circumstances are bleak given the short time frame and Brady’s declining skills. Can Brady or Belichick reach another Super Bowl by themselves? I think Belichick is a genius and has a proven eye for quarterbacks. If you were to pick any coach in the NFL and give them a five-year time span to build a championship team I would pick Belichick. I do think he has to find that quarterback, though, and that is a massive hurdle. If he can find his quarterback I’m confident he will make it to another Super Bowl before he retires. I think Brady can make another Super Bowl because he’s a free agent. He’s not tied to the Patriots’ roster. He’s going to get his pick of several teams and if he thinks they have a better playoff chance than the Patriots he has the option to join them. That’s a powerful bit of flexibility on his part. I’m not convinced the teams realistically available have a significantly better shot than New England in 2020, but there are some who could make the argument that they might. At minimum they might provide better support for Brady in the final years of his career. The top options for Brady? The Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers. I wrote an entire column on the Colts so I will not go into too much detail here. Suffice to say I think they are a good quarterback and an aggressive offseason from having a better roster than the Patriots and they also have an excellent coaching staff. The Bears, meanwhile, field a playoff roster with one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL under center and an offensive-minded head coach. The Buccaneers have some of the best weapons in the NFL, a Bruce Arians-led coaching staff that has made them legitimate in my eyes, tons of cap space, and some solid draft picks. They might not have better playoff odds than the Patriots but Brady would have a high ceiling for production. The Titans are an obvious choice with tons of former Patriot players, a former Patriot champion and friend as head coach, a competitive team, and a need for a quarterback. The 49ers are my fun never-gonna-happen-but-it-is-technically-feasible pick. Jimmy Garoppolo only has $4.3 million in dead cap in 2020. If he has a catastrophic Super Bowl, San Francisco might take a chance on Brady while its window is still open (this won’t happen but it’s worth pointing out the 49ers are not tied to Garoppolo in terms of cap). I don’t think the Oakland Las Vegas Raiders are likely unless they promise to bulk up their offensive weapons and Brady does not care about the playoffs anymore. They have a good offensive line, great running backs, but essentially nothing after that. They do have a ton of cap and draft capital, so maybe Jon Gruden can sell Brady on Vegas in exchange for spending those resources on offense. Unfortunately, the defense is a wreck. Pursuing Brady just doesn’t seem a wise move from the Raiders’ perspective, but hey, when has imprudent decision making ever stopped an NFL front office before? And from a business perspective, it’s not totally unreasonable. Simply put, Belichick has time and Brady has options. It’s possible they each win a ring separate from each other. Closing thoughts It’s hard to get on a fan site and tell fans their team isn’t going to another Super Bowl. So it’s a good thing that I’m not doing that. What I am highlighting is the significant challenges this team is going to face getting to another Super Bowl during the Brady-Belichick tenure. I expect there to be plenty of push back on this — and why shouldn’t there be given the Patriots’ historic success? — but I think the odds are stacked against them more than at any point since 2001. If anyone can overcome the odds, it is this legendary pair. In my humble opinion, however, the Brady-Belichick dynasty is over. Probably.

  • Deep Down the Middle: Devin McCourty, Joe Thuney, and NFL rule changes
    by Brian Phillips on January 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Episode 1 of Pats Pulpit’s newest weekly show. Welcome to Deep Down the Middle — a new show hosted by senior Pats Pulpit staffer Brian Phillips and Pats Pulpit writer Ryan Keiran! The format These days, there are two sides to just about every NFL story, and we fans tend to line up on one side or the other when debating them. That’s okay — it’s why sports is fun! But typically, we know the truth is somewhere down the middle of those two sides. So, that’s what we’ll be striving for. With each topic and issue discussed, we’ll be asking ourselves “is there a middle ground here?” Sometimes there will be, and sometimes there won’t. Each week, we’ll touch briefly on the goings-on around the NFL and with the Patriots, and ask “is this news that actually matters?”. As we move forward, we’ll be taking a deeper dive into a weekly topic as well. Some will be broader (scheme trends sweeping the NFL, analytics, etc), and some will be more specific (a potential under-the-radar free agent target, Josh McDaniels’ play-calling tendencies, etc) Our biggest goal of the show? Brevity. We’ll be doing all of this in the time it takes you to walk your dog around the block. Typically around 15 minutes or so (episode 1 not withstanding — we had to work out some format wrinkles and it clocked in at a hearty 30 minutes). Deep Down the Middle will be fresh and new every Wednesday on Facebook Live, the Pats Pulpit YouTube channel, and soon it will be hitting your podcast feeds as a member of the Pats Pulpit Podcast network. Thanks for tuning in!

  • The Scho Show Episode #68: Impressions from the first Senior Bowl day
    by Mark Schofield on January 22, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports Related: Quick-hit thoughts on the Senior Bowl weigh-ins The first day is in the books from Mobile, Alabama. As a number of NFL hopefuls try and demonstrate that they can be the next big thing in the league, Mark Schofield is on site to cover the event for Pats Pulpit. In this episode Mark begins — where else? — with the quarterbacks. He outlines how the first practice is a “baseline day” and then works through what he saw from the six passers down at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Then Mark turns his attention to the tight end position. He starts with some audio from Adam Trautman, a small school prospect from the University of Dayton hoping to remove “the asterisk.” Then Mark highlights what he saw on the field from him and the other TE prospects. You can listen to the episode here. Also make sure to subscribe to the Pats Pulpit Podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

 

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Holiday Steals Sale:
We've got some great Black Friday Steals from NFLshops on the site right now offering great pricing on some nice quality items including t-shirts, hoodies, backpacks, drinkware, scarf and glove sets and more. Prices are currently up to 40% off, but they'll jump to 50% Off on Friday 11/23. Holiday Steals – Up to 40% OFF Select Styles

 

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New Orleans Saints Blog

Big Savings at ProFanGear with Fanatics.comCalling all New Orleans Saints Fans. Thanks for visiting this news blog site.Shop the newest New Orleans Saints fan gear at ProFanGear.com If you are looking for gear click the link to Shop ProFanGear.com for New Orleans Saints Gear. I’ve teamed up with Fanatics to connect my readers with the best selection of officially licensed New Orleans Saints fan gear out there. If you purchase through my links, I will earn a commission that will support the work I do on this site. New Orleans Saints fans bookmark this page and keep up with the latest Saints news and happenings. Thanks again for visiting.

 

 

Canal Street Chronicles - All Posts Home of the Who Dat Nation...where pigs fly and hell has frozen over.

  • Saints 2019 Year in Review: Latavius Murray
    by Don Kellum on January 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports A look at Murray’s first year in New Orleans. Latavius Murray signed a four-year $14.4 million contract this past offseason to help fill the role of departing fan favorite Mark Ingram. While no one expected Murray to replace Ingram, his inconsistent usage left many fans frustrated and wanting to see more. The numbers: Approximate Value: 7 Pro Football Focus Rank: 18 out of 58 Overall Grade: 74.2 Rushing Grade: 73.9 Total Offensive Snaps: 449 It seemed to take awhile for Murray to find his footing in the running game as he only averaged 5.3 carries per game through the first six games. It wasn’t until week 7 when Alvin Kamara was forced to miss the game against the Chicago Bears that we finally saw the former Minnesota Viking be a focal point of the offense. Against the stout Bears’ defense, Murray rushed 27 times for 119 yards and two touchdowns while adding five receptions for 31 yards. Kamara would miss the next game as well against the Arizona Cardinals and once again Murray had an impressive day rushing for 102 yards on 21 rushes and scoring one touchdown. This was also the first game back for Drew Brees who targeted the running back 12 times, completing 9 passes for 55 yards and one touchdown which would be Murray’s first receiving score of his career. Once Kamara returned however, Murray was back to his light duty charting only one game with double digit carries (10 against Tampa Bay) until week 17 in a blowout win over the Carolina Panthers. . For the season Murray’s stats were: The season may have seemed a disappointment when compared to the numbers the Saints’ running backs have put up in previous years, yet the offense was still able to finish in the top ten and average 108.6 rushing yards per game (16th in the league). Murray proved to be a back that can be integral to a gameplan like in weeks 7 and 8, even if he didn’t get the touches many fans believed he should have throughout the season.

  • Saints 2019 Year in Review: Wil Lutz
    by Chris Dunnells on January 22, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports It’s nice to not have to worry about your kicker. Maybe not since the days of John Carney’s first stint with the Saints have New Orleans fans been able to feel as confident in the quality of their place kicker as they do with Wil Lutz. By all accounts, Lutz had the best year of his four-year career, signing a five-year contract extension before the season and making his first Pro Bowl during the year. Lutz also set a career long mark with a 58-yard field goal that he drilled to beat the Houston Texans way back in Week 1. Wil Lutz with the 58-yard field goal for the GAME Saints put together the game-winning drive with 37 seconds left(via @NFL)pic.twitter.com/k383k2Sswe— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 10, 2019 Wil Lutz - At a Glance Approximate Value: 5 (tied for career high)John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports While Lutz had a great season with relative hiccups, he did have what ended up being a costly missed field goal in the post season against the Minnesota Vikings. It ultimately was not what determined the game, but it was still a shock to see Lutz miss the kick, and ultimately leave the points on the board. It’s actually back-to-back playoff misses for Lutz, after he missed a makeable field goal in the Saints loss to the Rams in the NFC Championship Game last year. Hopefully this isn’t a recurring trend for the 25-year-old. As you might know by now, I try to include at least one highlight of two of the player I’m reviewing at this stage in the article. With all of Lutz’s game-sealing or game-winning kicks, I’m instead choosing to focus on my favorite moment from Lutz’s 2019: You know @Wil_Lutz5 kicked a 58 yard walk off #ForTheBrand on #MNF but do you know why his name only has 1 L? pic.twitter.com/xO4oVp47dJ— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) September 10, 2019 Here’s to 2020 from Wil (with one “L”) Lutz.

  • Fleur-de-Links, January 22: One former Saints player joins XFL, another signs with the Patriots, and Marshon Lattimore out of the Pro Bowl
    by Adam Dunnells on January 22, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images Here are your daily New Orleans Saints links New Orleans Saints: Report: Former Saints kicker Garrett Hartley signs with XFL after tryout - Saints Wire/USA Today Though which team he will play for is unknown, former Saints kicker Garrett Hartley has signed a deal with the XFL. Saints CB Marshon Lattimore to not play in Pro Bowl, cites injury - NOLA Marshon Lattimore will not play in the 2020 Pro Bowl due to “an unspecified injury.” Report: Saints met with several wide receiver prospects at 2020 Shrine Bowl - Saints Wire/USA Today Saints met with Rico Dowdle, Binjimen Victor, Keith Gavin, and John Hightower at the Shrine Bowl practices. Drew Brees Sends Heartwarming Message To QB Lamar Jackson - The Spun Drew Brees shared a photo on Instagram of his son holding a Ravens jersey, saying that his son was excited to meet Lamar Jackson at the Pro Bowl. 99 players granted special eligibility for 2020 NFL Draft - New Orleans Saints A list of 99 players who have been granted “special eligibility,” with specific names of Louisiana players marked. Ex-Saints draft pick Vinnie Sunseri now working on Patriots staff - Saints Wire/USA Today Former New Orleans Saint Vinnie Sunseri signs a deal with the New England Patriots in a “support staff” role. Joe Burrow signs with same agency as Drew Brees, Zion Williamson, report says - WWLTV Joe Burrow signs a deal with Creative Arts Agency to represent him in the NFL, the same agency that represents Drew Brees. Wrapping up the first day of Senior Bowl practice with @JohnDeShazier pic.twitter.com/bqFxNusdAO— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 22, 2020 The Realist https://t.co/EA7zxJ34YF— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) January 21, 2020 The Saints have a long tradition of great running backs... who remembers Deuce? #Saints #NewOrleans #NFLPlayoffs #runningback #NFL100 #believe #ProBowl #profootball pic.twitter.com/mlYyJjCqWk— Gridiron Icon (@IconGridiron) January 22, 2020

  • Saints 2019 Year in Review: Josh Hill
    by cajuncommando58 on January 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images The very definition of “Lunch Pail”. In December of 2018, Josh Hill signed a 3 year, $8.85 mil contract extension that has him under contract through 2021. The Saints could cut ties with him in 2020, but at only 1.4% of the projected cap this is unlikely. For the third time in his career he had an AV (Approximate Value) of 2. Josh Hill had a solid if not spectacular year in 2019. He managed to avoid the concussions of the past for one thing. He played all 16 games and in the WC round. Targeted 35 times he had 25 receptions for 226 yards and 3 touchdowns. Averaged 9 yards per reception, for a catch rate of 71.4%. He played 61% of the offensive snaps for 649 total. He also played 183 snaps or 39% on special teams. His offensive grade was a career high of 67.6. His pass block grade was 66.4, up from 61.0 in 2018. His run block grade was also up to a very good 69.7 over 2018’s 57.9. In fact Josh Hill’s greatest value to the Saints appears to be his blocking abilities. He did have 3 holding penalties and 2 false starts for a total of 36 negative yards. The odd 6 yards penalty for holding was a half the distance in a game against the Seahawks. Overall Josh Hill had a solid year in 2019 and I would expect him to be on the team in 2020.

  • Saints 2019 Year in Review: Nick Easton
    by KSkiver35 on January 21, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports Easton saw the field plenty in 2019, but he struggled for long stretches for the Saints After Max Unger’s abrupt retirement prior to this season, the Saints scrambled to find a replacement for the All-Pro level center. They found it in rookie Erik McCoy, who was stellar for the Saints in 2019, but McCoy was actually their third choice. The first was Cameron Tom, who was lost for the season before it began. The second was Nick Easton, who the Saints signed after two seasons with the Vikings to fill the void at snapper. In spite of McCoy’s fantastic season, Easton saw the field plenty in 2019. An injury to guard Andrus Peat forced the Saints to ask Easton to step out of his comfort zone to fill in, with Will Clapp struggling at times. Easton and Clapp competed for the sixth-man role on the offensive line, without either one gaining a clear edge. The Saints have a solid legacy as far as sixth men go. Senio Kelemete got a starting job with the Texans due to his strong job roving for the Saints, and Jermon Bushrod played 11 games last year. They were hoping Easton could continue that legacy this year, but up-and-down play inside will leave a question mark on whether the Saints will keep him on the roster heading into next year. It isn’t like Easton completely hamstrung the offense. While Peat was out with an injury, the Saints averaged nearly 35 points per game with Easton filling in alongside Clapp. While Easton allowed just one sack and accrued three penalties, it’s hard not to wonder if that’s a testament to his own talent on the line or the Saints’ passer-friendly offense that entails releasing the ball quickly. Easton did have a standout game against the Buccaneers in November. He was graded as the Saints’ best offensive lineman by Pro Football Focus. However, those games were few and far between for the lineman. Easton has potential for the Saints, but for a team with a small window, dealing in potential is a tricky proposition. He may be worth taking into training camp again, but the Saints may also want to search for a sixth man who can compete with both Clapp and Easton.

 

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Washington Redskins Blog

Big Savings at ProFanGear with Fanatics.comCalling all Washington Redskins Fans. Thanks for visiting this news blog site.Shop the newest Washington Redskins fan gear at ProFanGear.com If you are looking for gear click the link to Shop ProFanGear.com for Washington Redskins Gear. I’ve teamed up with Fanatics to connect my readers with the best selection of officially licensed Washington Redskins fan gear out there. If you purchase through my links, I will earn a commission that will support the work I do on this site. Washington Redskins fans bookmark this page and keep up with the latest Redskins news and happenings. Thanks again for visiting.

 

 

Hogs Haven - All Posts Home of Washington Redskins Fans Since 1679

  • Washington Redskins 2020 Draft Profiles: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
    by jamesfaris on January 23, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Hogs Haven takes a look at prospects heading into the 2020 NFL Draft Austin Jackson Offensive Tackle Height: 6’6” Weight: 310 lbs. University of Southern California Strengths: Austin Jackson’s length, lower-body strength and consistent pass protection ability make him a worthy candidate at either offensive tackle spot in the NFL. By staying balanced in his stance, he’s able to keep opposing pass rushers off-balance. His quick feet and length help him recover if he’s beaten, which is an important trait for any pass blocker. Additionally, he really hustles when blocking down field, which isn’t always the case for offensive linemen in college. Click here to see all Hogs Haven 2020 Draft Profiles Weaknesses: Scouts at The Draft Network spotted that Jackson sometimes gives away whether the upcoming play is a pass or a run with his stance, which he’ll need to change before coming to the NFL. Also, playing lower in his stance will help him better use his frame and allow him to finish plays better, which he’ll need to do to last in the pros. Why he may fit with Washington: Assuming former Pro Bowl offensive lineman Trent Williams has played his last down in Washington, it will be critical for the team to find a long-term solution at the position. The Redskins need to get younger on the offensive line, and Jackson could bolster it early on. Related: Rebuilding the Redskins offensive line in 2020: Left Tackle Bottom Line: Austin Jackson looks like a starting offensive tackle with his prototypical size and strength, but utilizing it better by refining his technique is key, though he would be a fine selection for the ’Skins if he can do so. Projected Round: Late 2nd/Early 3rd

  • Twelve Underclassmen the Redskins Should Consider in the 2020 NFL Draft
    by Mark Tyler on January 23, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports January 17th marked the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft. There was a total of 115 underclassmen who declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. In 2019, that number was 135. To substantiate the importance of this, 2019 saw 19 underclassmen selected in the first round of the draft, including 11 of the top 12 picks. There were 44 underclassmen who went undrafted. The Redskins hold the number two overall pick in April, and while most are drooling at the opportunity to take Ohio St. superstar EDGE Chase Young, there is also the chance new head coach Ron Rivera and Kyle Smith decide to trade that pick and move back for more draft capitol. Regardless of the decision, it’s a safe bet to assume these underclassmen again dominate the first two rounds this spring. Below are my top 12 underclassmen targets for the Redskins: Chase Young EDGE Ohio St.(JR) 6’5” 265(Top 5): In a relatively weak EDGE class, Chase Young is the lone star. Any team looking for an immediate difference make on defense should consider the Ohio St. junior, and as things currently stand, he’s the favorite to go number two overall to the Redskins. Jeff Okudah CB Ohio St.(JR) 6’1” 200(Top 5): Okudah is the top corner in the draft. He is the complete package as a boundary CB, and much like his Ohio St teammate, will be an immediate impact player on the back end. He would be an option for the Redskins if they were to trade out of the number two spot. Isaiah Simmons LB/S Clemson(R-JR) 6’4” 230(Top 10): Simmons is the Swiss Army knife of this draft class. He’s that new hybrid player defensive coordinators are salivating over. He can line up as an off-the-ball linebacker, safety, EDGE or even nickle corner. He would be an option for the Redskins if they were to trade out of the number two spot. Andrew Thomas OT Georgia(JR) 6’5” 320(top 10): Thomas is widely regarded as the best offensive tackle prospect in this draft, and maybe the best one we’ve seen in the past five seasons. He’s excellent in the run game, and has the feet to move with speed rushers off the edge. He would be an option for the Redskins if they were to trade out of the number two spot. Mekhi Becton OT Louisville(JR) 6’7” 365(RD1): Becton is a mountain of a man who reminds many of the great Jonathan Ogden. He has an amazing punch, a mean streak, and surprising light feet for a man his size. He would be an option for the Redskins if they were to trade out of the number two spot into the mid-to-late first round. Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa(JR) 6’5” 322(RD1): Wirfs will join a long list of Iowa offensive linemen to be drafted into the NFL. He’s an excellent athlete who is still a bit raw, but possesses all the necessary tools to be successful at the next level. He would be an option for the Redskins if they were to trade out of the number two spot into the mid-to-late first round. Cole Kmet TE Notre Dame(JR) 6’5” 250(RD 1-2): Kmet is probably the most complete tight end in this draft. He’s a very solid in-line option as both a blocker and receiver. He possesses enough athletic ability to be split out in the slot and can create mismatches against both linebackers and safeties. He could become an option if the Redskins were to trade back and acquire a later first or early second round pick. Hunter Bryant TE Washington(JR) 6’2” 240(RD2): Bryant is more like a jumbo wide receiver than a true in-line tight end, but don’t sleep on his blocking ability. He compares to a slightly slower Evan Engram, but has a better overall skill-set to make him a more complete tight end. The Redskins do not currently have a second round pick, but if they were to acquire one, Bryant would be a logical target. Thaddeus Moss TE LSU(R-JR) 6’3” 250(RD 2-3): Moss has the best hands and highest ceiling of any tight end in this draft class. He was a late addition to this list, but since his announcement, he’s been flying up draft boards. I expect his combine performance to land him in round two, and although the Redskins currently do not have a second round pick, Moss would be a target if they were to acquire one. If he slips into the third, the Redskins should pounce. Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma(JR) 6’2” 243(RD 2-3): Murray is projected as a second round pick, and although the Redskins currently do not have a second, he would be a target if they were to acquire one. He totaled 102 tackles, four sacks and four passes defended. He’s not the playmaker Isaiah Simmons is, but he’s in that category. Antoine Winfield Jr. S Minnesota(R-SO) 5’10” 205(RD 2-3): Although smaller in stature, Winfield plays a big man’s game. The Minnesota sophomore, with NFL bloodlines, had an outstanding 2019 season, recording 85 total tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and seven interceptions(one returned for a touchdown). He would be a great selection in the early part of round three(if he lasts that long) for the Redskins. Quintez Cephus WR Wisconsin(R-JR) 6’1” 208(RD 3): Cephus quietly put together a very nice season in a run-oriented offense for the Badgers. He hauled in 59 receptions for 901 yards and seven touchdowns. He plays a lot more physical than his 6’1” 208 pound frame would suggest. He would be a nice day two pick for the Redskins. Bonus: Tu’a Tagovailoa QB Alabama(JR) 6’1” 218(RD1): Tu’a makes this list not as a prospect for the Redskins, but rather as a pawn in a trade-back scenario. If healthy, there will be multiple teams who covet his skillset, and possible more than one looking to move up to get him. With the Dolphins and Chargers sitting at number 5 and 6 respectively, someone may need to make a move to secure his services. This could benefit the Redskins greatly if they receive a haul of picks to drop back a few spots. Others who were considered: KJ Hamler WR PSU(R-SO) 5’9” 176(RD 2-3) Albert Okwuegbunam TE Missouri(R-JR) 6’5” 260(RD 2-3) Isaiah Wilson OT Georgia(R-SO) 6’7” 340(RD 2-3) Donovan Peoples-Jones WR Michigan(JR) 6’2” 210(RD 2-3) Tony Jones RB ND(R-JR) 5’11” 224(RD 3-4)

  • Should ‘Skins fans start buying tickets again since Bruce Allen has been fired, or will it require a new stadium?
    by Bill-in-Bangkok on January 23, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports The NFLPA released its list of the top players by merchandise sales. There are no Redskins players in the Top 50.— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) January 22, 2020 I remember when RG3 jersey sales topped the NFL merchandise charts in 2012. Now, we get the news that there were no Redskins in the top-50 in 2019. My natural urge when I read this was to feel disappointed, but a second or two later I did a mental double-take. After all, I’ve been reading comments on Hogs Haven for two or three years now that said readers refused to go to games, buy Redskins merchandise or do anything else to financially show support for the team of Dan Snyder until he fired Bruce Allen. Well, Dan did it. Bruce Allen is gone. We won the battle. But, is the war still on? I’m wondering whether Redskins fans feel as though they can now go back to ‘normal’ fan behavior like buying team jerseys and season tickets. Brucifer, has, after all, been vanquished. Of course, just because Bruce is gone, that doesn’t mean the team will become a winner. They’ve struggled for a quarter of a century; Ron Rivera and his Carolina North Catskins may bring winning football back to the nations capital (or its suburbs at least), but are you, as Redskins fans, ready to put your money where Ron’s mouth is and show up in droves for the first home game of the 2020 season, and continue to pack the stands for all eight home games? Or has the franchise already used up all of its benefit of the doubt — are we in a position where the team is going to have to go out and win some games before fans are ready to go back out to the stadium or invest in team merchandise? Perhaps even a winning team isn’t enough to convince people to suffer all the indignities of a day at FedEx Field. I know from reading Hogs Haven for years that “the game day experience” at FedEx Field leaves a lot to be desired. Will it require a new stadium to get Redskins fans to attend games again? Certainly, the issue of the next stadium is back in the news in DC this week. Exclusive: Redskins owner Daniel Snyder met with legislative leaders on Tuesday to persuade them give him a gambling license at a future Redskins stadium in Maryland (with ⁦@ErinatThePost⁩) https://t.co/FppGyWwaPJ— Ovetta Wiggins (@OvettaWashPost) January 22, 2020 This on-again, off-again soap opera is one of the longest running shows in the DMV, with first one potential stadium site and then another rising to prominence as new stories are published, often in the off-seasons, but also with occasional discussion arising during the season as well. This is notable primarily because the lease on the current stadium in Landover, Maryland runs to 2027 — another seven years — and talk about the shortcomings of FedEx Field and the need for a replacement has been simmering for probably a decade already! Has there ever been another fan base so eager to get out of its home stadium that people spent fifteen years or more discussing and agonizing over the need for a new one? Wrote a long piece about all of the issues for building a new stadium at the current @FedExField site and the problems across the board the @Redskins & Dan Snyder are facing...https://t.co/3qhP84iPe5Did I miss anything? #Skins #HTTR #NFL pic.twitter.com/wQNBioX3X2— Chris Russell AKA "The Rooster" (@Russellmania621) January 22, 2020 I think fans would be most excited to see the RFK stadium site revived as the next home of the Redskins, but a few alternate sites have been kicked around over the years, each with its benefits and drawbacks. RFK or bust.— Sean Kennedy (@EatSleepRedskin) January 22, 2020 Tangled up in the question of where to situate the next stadium are the never-quite-finished debate over the team name, the question of public funds or tax breaks being provided, and, as of this week’s news article, the question of allowing legalized gambling on-site. If Ron Rivera can turn the Redskins into winners again, then the prospect of a new stadium will become much more appealing. Until and unless that happens, it feels more like a running joke. One of the most disturbing aspects of this week’s Washington Post article (linked in the tweet above) is that Dan Snyder seems to be considering Landover as one of the possible locations for the next stadium. Given the terrible associations Redskins fans seem to have with the current Landover stadium, it seems almost unfathomable that Dan would think about committing to it for another 30-year run at the site when the current one is done. Regardless of all that (Irregardless, even), should Redskins fans be prepared to wait — possibly as long as seven more years — before buying tickets to Redskins home games again, or is it time to get back out to support the team in person? RFK Stadium was once one of the most raucous and intimidating places in the NFL for visiting teams to play because of the rabid, vocal, and visible fan base. Nowadays, for teams like the Eagles and Steelers especially, it can feel almost like home-away-from-home, and games against teams like the Jets are often played in front of more empty seats than seats with warm bodies in them. Is it time for Redskins fans to spend their hard earned dollars on team merchandise and game tickets, or should the waiting game continue?

  • All aTwitter: 23 January 2020
    by Bill-in-Bangkok on January 23, 2020 at 5:00 am

    Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images News, links to articles, updates and more from DC area writers and national sports journalists All atwitter 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. atwitter [ uh-twit-er ]adjective excited; nervous; aflutter; twittering The first known use of atwitter was in 1833 NFL News twitter feed: Tweets from https://twitter.com/ScottJenningsHH/lists/nfl-rumors-and-reporters Redskins twitter feed: Tweets from https://twitter.com/ScottJenningsHH/lists/beat-writers BREAKING: Jay Gruden named #Jaguars offensive coordinator https://t.co/zC7N7TOciA pic.twitter.com/WZXciuTDGi— Big Cat Country (@BigCatCountry) January 22, 2020 Jay Gruden to JAX. Old friend Andy Dalton is in the final year of his contract with no guaranteed $... if he gets cut after CIN drafts Burrow, I'd bet he trades his stripes for spots— Joel Espenshade (@JoelEspenshade) January 22, 2020 Mineshew about to lose his job to Colt McCoy— Keith (@Kgskins26) January 22, 2020 Any good Jaguars fan pages / people to follow ???— Jack gruden (@JGruden3) January 22, 2020 R.I.P Leonard Fourtnette. https://t.co/T13YgWfa4Y— Redskins Realm (@SkinsRealm) January 22, 2020 Browns Expected To Hire Bill Callahan As OL Coach https://t.co/seKRKSka58 #Browns pic.twitter.com/GatRVBX2iQ— NFLTradeRumors.co (@nfltrade_rumors) January 21, 2020 From CHIP to CHAMPS?EAGLES2015: fire Chip Kelly2017: reach Super Bowl (win)49ers2016: fire Chip Kelly2019: reach Super Bowl (?) pic.twitter.com/UXJnCA87Ve— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 20, 2020 Eli Manning will hold a news conference Friday to announce his retirement, sources tell @JordanRaanan and me.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) January 22, 2020 Eli received a standing ovation and left a winner in the final game he played for the @Giants. #GiantsPride pic.twitter.com/2fk5Hn0DKp— NFL (@NFL) January 22, 2020 Most 2019 player weeks lost to injury:1. WAS2. SEA3. NYJ4. MIA5. DEN6. NET-7. SFT-7. DAL9. HOU10. ATLFewest player weeks lost to injury:32. MIN31. LAR30. CHI29. BUF28. PIT27. DET26. BAL25. GB24. CLE23. PHI— Nick Korte (@nickkorte) January 22, 2020 If Del Rio has significant input, I’d think Amari Cooper is the former player they’d target over Carr. From my free agent fits piece https://t.co/xqIi3Biudc pic.twitter.com/TEEWUVqrcQ— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 22, 2020 Falcons 'trudging along' in contract talks with impending free agent Austin Hooperhttps://t.co/hFQOHh7pQk pic.twitter.com/S00P93V3Xe— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) January 22, 2020 #Falcons plan to Franchise Tag Tight End Austin Hooper at projected $11.076M for 2020. Expect multiple cuts to free up cap space. Namely, last offseasons FA signings & Devonta Freeman.#Chargers Plan to Franchise Tag Hunter Henry. That'll take 2 25 Yr Old TEs off FA Market.— Chad Forbes (@NFLDraftBites) January 22, 2020 “For today, January 22, 2020, we are now the Las Vegas Raiders. And, today, Las Vegas officially becomes our nation's capital." https://t.co/edbfvOxbg7— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 22, 2020 Most shocking thing in here to me - Snyder is still considering Landover. https://t.co/eSGMiJsyha— Craig Hoffman (@CraigHoffman) January 22, 2020 The NFLPA released its list of the top players by merchandise sales. There are no Redskins players in the Top 50.— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) January 22, 2020 How come this MF has been good for every team he’s played for except the Redskins??? https://t.co/dXOlTrPOh6— VEEZY (@inVEZtigator_) January 21, 2020 Daniel Jeremiah on the #Redskins taking chase Young:“The Redskins already have some talented pieces on the defensive line, but Young is a once-in-a-decade talent”.— Redskins Realm (@SkinsRealm) January 21, 2020 My confusion; What the Fuck did Bruce actually do in regards to the stadium- we are still at step 0 https://t.co/HD9nV1EDAK— Redskins Rant #HTTPdoe (@RedskinsRant) January 22, 2020 NFC Captain @darrellgreen28 checking in from the #ProBowl pic.twitter.com/OwjZrHAjDQ— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) January 22, 2020 Andrew Thomas ranked 25th. 4th ranked OT behind Becton (10th), Wills (11th), and Wirfs (13th). https://t.co/ZFq5NwSoCX— Robbie Duncan (@RobbieDuncanOL) January 22, 2020 Sometimes I wonder if people of my generation could live in the times where there was no social media— 2️⃣9️⃣ (@DhaSickest) January 22, 2020 Pro Bowler @Tress_Way talks with @GabeAHenderson after day one of practice, his excitement for Harry Potter World and more. pic.twitter.com/6I9yPvq1Y4— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) January 22, 2020 Hi @Tress_Way pic.twitter.com/RQ29MKWaEF— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) January 22, 2020 One military veteran is heading to the Super Bowl, courtesy of Ron Rivera.MORE: https://t.co/xsgGigZ1Ye pic.twitter.com/132PSoFvEy— NBC Sports Redskins (@NBCSRedskins) January 22, 2020 Austin Hooper tried to tell y’all pic.twitter.com/l2158fnhJY— Adam Lefkoe (@AdamLefkoe) January 22, 2020 Some folks are surprised how high I have Becton (OT Louisville). There aren’t many humans out there capable of moving like him at 6’7 370 LBs. As a FR/Soph, he flopped sides throughout games (strong side/weak side). This year he was dominant at LT. Rare dude.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) January 22, 2020 Pittman - studAiyuk - stud (got flagged for medical)Jefferson - studDavis - potential studMims - super underratedClaypool - convert him to move TE and he’s a stud too. At worst he’s an X for you. Caught everything.And that’s just the seniors...— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) January 22, 2020 That sound you hear is Shea Patterson's draft stock hitting rock bottom.— Bryan Perez (@BryanPerezNFL) January 21, 2020 Not sure what practice they were at.— Bryan Perez (@BryanPerezNFL) January 22, 2020 This is rare quicks from Washington center Nick Harris. Watch how quick he snaps & lands his punch. pic.twitter.com/2lIj39gYnc— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) January 22, 2020 QB thoughts today:Herbert looked good. Moved and threw confidently. Dropped a dime to Austin Mack then ran 40+ yards to congratulate the WRHurts was a bit inaccurate and looked uncomfortable under Center. Dumped it down all pass skel period.Montez is here too— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) January 21, 2020 Across the brain science community, there is wide consensus on one thing: Bennet Omalu, the public face of CTE research, routinely exaggerates his accomplishments and dramatically overstates the known risks of CTE and contact sports. This is wild https://t.co/uBCFrkAE2y— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) January 22, 2020 Black folks on a boat being taken to their new owners...who’s idea was this? ‍♀️ https://t.co/4xezwM47ZR— Annie Apple (@SurvivinAmerica) January 21, 2020 Bruce Allen is somewhere right now pissed off because the NFL Draft stole his moat idea. #Redskins— Paul Conner (@P_ConnerJr) January 22, 2020 Reporting with @wojespn: Arizona Cardinals’ WR Larry Fitzgerald has purchased a minority stake in the Phoenix Suns, becoming the second active NFL player with an NBA ownership share, league sources tell ESPN. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers has a stake in the Milwaukee Bucks.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 22, 2020 That Kansas vs Kansas State brawl was a super bad look. Some players might have played their last collegiate games because of it.— Lake Lewis Jr (@LakeLewis) January 22, 2020 Benches emptied at the end of the Kansas State-Kansas game. pic.twitter.com/zWv46h3RJC— ESPN (@espn) January 22, 2020 Here's the brawl between Kansas State and Kansas with @JRsBBQ and @JerryLawler commentary. pic.twitter.com/fIEoiFVPsX— Chad (@ChadBlue_) January 22, 2020 Got her talking to herself... pic.twitter.com/EdHWP0ZqvP— Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) January 22, 2020

  • Washington Redskins Draft Profiles: Trade Back
    by KyleSmithforGM on January 22, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images Hogs Haven takes a look at prospects heading into the 2020 NFL Draft Trade Back At this point, 2019’s miserable season has finally come to an end and the Redskins have managed to lock in the second pick in the 2020 NFL draft. There will surely be several “generational talents,” including Chase Young, available for the picking at that point, with the Cincinnati Bengals virtually assured of taking QB Joe Burrows #1 overall. But, we aren’t going to grab any of those generational talents. At least not at #2. This is a case for offloading that #2 pick for a horde of additional picks to a desirous buyer and continuing to build the core of this team through the draft. The key is not getting hung up on the specifics of fantastic measurables and the earth-shattering statistics being wracked up by the guys being talked about as the cream of the crop. Detailed economic analyses of NFL draft picking, conducted in successive waves over the past 20 years, have demonstrated that: “Across all rounds, all positions, all years, the chance that a player [in the NFL draft] proves to be better than the next-best alternative is only slightly better than a coin flip (52%).” So, let’s say, for the sake of argument, that OT Andrew Thomas goes 5th overall, and OT Tristan Wirfs goes 12th overall. In the aggregate, a guy like Thomas is 2% more likely than chance to outperform Wirfs. Imagine a scenario in which trading back from 5 to 12 nets Wirfs AND the 8th pick in the second round (the approximate difference in value between the 5th and 12th pick). In that case, the team gets an OT who is very slightly less likely to perform as well as the top OT in the draft AND a pick that could lock up - for the sake of argument - the third best player in the draft at another position, say CB. Even with this second pick, the chance that the first CB in the draft is likely to start more games than the third CB drafted is only 55%. I like those odds. OT2 and CB3 or OT1? That should be an easy decision to make. As an additional mention, BiB had a nice article on this very topic before the draft last year. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images Strengths: Last year, before the draft, I did an analysis of the way the best mind in the business handles draft day trades. Comparisons to the Patriots here tend to draw skepticism however, as there is a prevalent, magical belief that the Patriots can get away with things no other team can because of the combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The reality is, this is the way the best teams in the league operate. Take, for instance, the Baltimore Ravens, the current odds on favorites to win the Super Bowl. In 2018, the Ravens traded their first rounder (#16) and fifth rounder (#154) to the Bills for their first rounder (#22) and the first pick of the third round (#65). That’s a slight slide back in the first round for an additional shot at a potentially transformative player. The Ravens then traded #65 to the Raiders for 3 more picks. In 2019, the Ravens traded their first round pick (#22) for the Eagles’ first rounder (#25), a fourth rounder (#125), and a sixth rounder (#197). For them, basically an inconsequential swap of first rounders yielded two more cracks at eventual, meaningful starters. Add to this willingness to trade back in the draft a high priority for accruing compensatory picks, as well as other savvy management decisions, and it’s easy to see why the Ravens are consistently one of the best franchises in the NFL. Trading back in the draft - alone - is not a sufficient condition to redeem the Redskins, but it is an important part of the puzzle. Weaknesses: The primary weakness of this approach is that we don’t get our massive dopamine fix from getting to unwrap our bright, shiny present on draft day. Many of us are absolutely convinced, via our weekly exposure to college football games and having read scores of hot takes from the “drafto-industrial complex”, that we know who the next HOF EDGE/WR/QB/OT is and that the Redskins should draft that guy post haste. The reality is that we ALL (even - perhaps especially - professional NFL GMs and scouts) overestimate our unique talent in selecting “The Guy” who is going be the next difference maker in the NFL. Eric DeCosta, the Ravens’ new GM (and protege of Ozzie Newsome), in describing his team’s approach to the draft, perhaps said it best: We look at the draft as, in some respects, a luck-driven process. The more picks you have, the more chances you have to get a good player. When we look at teams that draft well, it’s not necessarily that they’re drafting better than anybody else. It seems to be that they have more picks. There’s definitely a correlation between the amount of picks and drafting good players. Trading back in the draft is an exercise in humility. Recognizing our shortcomings and adapting to them has been a persistent weakness of this franchise. Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Why it would fit with Washington: It’s been said time and again, but this team is not “one player away.” And, even if it were, trading back in the draft is the right approach - all the time. The benefits of trading back are based on playing a numbers game, and the best way to win the numbers game is to play more numbers. Parlayed properly, this #2 pick could easily be transformed into 3 top 70 picks (the Redskins currently have only one). With needs at OT, FS, TE, and CB, using the draft to help populate those spots, as opposed to free agents - who consume future comp pick capital - is the responsible course of action. Bottom Line: It’s all about probabilities. “Generational talents.” Smartest guy in the room delusions. Concerns about the guy we loved wreaking havoc on us for the rest of his career. Throw all of those things out the window. The draft is a numbers game, and we have perhaps our best chance ever to bolster our draft capital, particularly at the top of the draft. Think of this as the anti-RG3 scenario, where we have a much more adept scouting office than the Rams did in the post-2012 period. Let’s give them an abundance of picks to turn into game changers on the field. Projected Round(s): A trade back should net at least two 2020 first rounders (and possibly at 2021 first rounder) and some additional later round capital in the 2020 draft. Ideally, at least 3 starting-caliber players should be generated from this draft pick. Let’s look past the shiny objects to the responsible choice. Photo by Dannie Walls/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

 

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Four keys to a Cowboys playoff victory over the Seahawks

by Michael Strawn on January 4, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Breaking down how the Cowboys can walk out of the playoff game on Saturday with a win. The Cowboys home playoff tilt will soon be upon us (yay!). Let’s look at the keys to a victory for the good guys. Obviously, scoring more points than the opponent is the best and simplest way to victory, but to reach that goal? Well, winning the turnover battle is always a good start, as there’s a strong correlation between that and victory on the scoreboard. But what are the more subtle things Dallas can do to insure the team advances and keep the 2018 season going? Get an early lead We outlined earlier how during the Cowboys’ five game win streak they rarely faced a deficit and played most of those games with a lead. The Cowboys’ formula for success works much more efficiently when the team has a lead; further, the team isn’t well-equipped to come from behind. Thus, the Cowboys are going to need to continue a trend they’ve enjoyed throughout the season: outscoring the opponent in the first quarter. Dallas (15th) and Seattle (12th) rank about the same in points scored in the first quarter of games (4.8 and 4.9 respectively). Dallas, however, is the stingiest team in the NFL at allowing first quarter points, surrendering only 1.5 points per game. Seattle ranks 14th, giving up 4.4 points per game. Just as Dallas wants to “stay ahead of the sticks” (not fall into long down-and-distance situations) they’ll want to “stay ahead of the scoreboard” as well. This will allow them to keep running the ball aggressively, keep the Seattle defense honest and play a balanced offensive game. On defense, a lead allows the Cowboys defensive line to play more aggressively. Perhaps more importantly, data shows that teams playing from behind simply make more turnovers than teams playing in a tie game or with a lead. Win the red zone battle We all know Dallas has not executed well in the red zone. They rank 29th overall, converting only 48% of red zone opportunities into touchdowns. Seattle, by contrast, ranks 8th scoring touchdowns on 65% of RZ opportunities. Defensively, both teams rank in the top seven of the league (Dallas 7th at 51% and Seattle 4th at 49%). In short, Dallas is going to have to flip the script in this area if they want to succeed. There’s three three keys for the team’s success in the red zone: Execute – too often the team simply hasn’t done the simple things. Dropped passes. Penalties. Blown assignments. Precise execution is the simplest means to red zone success. Utilize the tight end – nowhere has Dak Prescott missed Dez Bryant and Jason Witten more than near the goal line. Tight ends become viable targets in the cramped quarters near the goal line. Fortunately both Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz have been allowed entry into the circle of trust late in the season and give Prescott viable red zone options. Noah Brown also seems like a sneaky option that might prove fruitful in the scoring area. Use Dak Prescott’s legs – no quarterback has more rushing touchdowns the last three seasons than Dak Prescott. He’s a legitimate scoring threat running the ball, especially inside the five-yard line. Dallas hasn’t used him aggressively in such situations but should. The Carolina Panthers make no effort to hide how they use Cam Newton in such situations and it’s been effective for them; Dallas should do the same with Prescott. Win the quarterback battle Speaking of Prescott, he’s simply going to have to be better than Russell Wilson. That’s no easy feat as Wilson has quietly put up his best season, throwing for career-highs in touchdowns, yards per attempt, touchdown percentage and passer rating. He’s also battle-tested, having played in twelve playoff games, winning eight of them. But Wilson will turn the ball over, having thrown eight interceptions in his last seven post-season games. Dak, as we know, has only one playoff game under his belt. But what a game it was. He threw for 300+ yards, three touchdowns and put up a 103 passer rating in the team’s 34-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers in 2016. He also ran for a two-point conversion in a game where he led the team back from an 18-point deficit (only to have the defense come up short in the end). Dak has also proven to raise his game when the stakes are high, compiling an elite passer rating in close games. Saturday night’s outcome could very well come down to which quarterback is able to make a big play out of nothing, something both have proven adept at over their careers. Slow the Seattle rushing game Again, this is easier said than done. But the simplest way to disrupt the Seahawks offensive plan is to slow their league-leading rushing attack. Seattle has averaged 173 yards rushing since week three, when they racked up 113 yards against the Cowboys. Dallas ranks 5th in the league in rushing yards allowed and 4th in yards per carry. The Cowboys must limit the number of explosive runs (those of 10+ yards), something the Seahawks have been able to do against virtually every team. If the Seahawks run for 140+ yards Dallas has almost no shot of winning this game. In fact, the Cowboys defense is likely going to have to limit the Seattle ground game to 110 yards or less, something only one team (Carolina) has done since week two. If Dallas can manage to do at least three of the four above, they should have a high chance of winning and giving Cowboys’ fans only their third playoff victory since 1996. […]

Cowboys vs. Seahawks Wild Card playoff game: How to watch, game time, TV schedule, online streaming, radio

by Dave Halprin on January 4, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Information on the Dallas Cowboys Wild Card playoff game, including the game time, TV channel, how to stream the Cowboys-Seahawks game online, radio, odds, announcers, predictions, and more! NFL playoffs and the Dallas Cowboys – that’s about as good as it gets. This Saturday night the Cowboys will host the Seattle Seahawks in one of the NFC Wild Card games for the right to move on to the Divisional round. Earlier this year, the Cowboys traveled to Seattle and were solidly defeated by the Seahawks 24-13. But as everyone who follows the Cowboys knows, that was a different team. The addition of Amari Cooper, the change of offensive line coach, the growth of the young players on the roster have all helped to transform this team. The defense is playoff-caliber and the offense can now reach that level, just doing it on a consistent basis has been tricky. Last week’s win over the Giants was a confidence boost for Dak Prescott, and revealed Blake Jarwin as a possible weapon in these playoffs. The Cowboys game plan was a little different and turned out to be wildly successful. This week, they get a rested Ezekiel Elliott back on the field. Dallas is riding momentum and has home-field advantage. The Seahawks counter with Russell Wilson who is so tough to contain and a Seahawks team that has improved as the season rolled on. These are two evenly matched squads. The season is on the line Saturday night. What You Need To Know Important links: Cowboys depth chart | Roster Date: Saturday, January 5, 2019 Game time: 8:15 PM EST Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX TV channel: FOX Coverage Map: 506 Sports Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers Radio: 105.3 The Fan | Full listings | Westwood One | SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (Sea), 83 (Dal) | XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Sea), 225 (Dal) Streaming: Fubo | NFL.com GamePass (audio only during game) | FoxSportsGo Cowboys record: (10-6) Seahawks record: (10-6) Odds: Dallas -1 Prediction: Dallas 23 – Seattle 21 Enemy blog: Field Gulls Twitter: @BloggingTheBoys Facebook: Please Like us! […]

Cowboys news: Why Dallas needs Amari Cooper to be a difference-maker against Seahawks

by Michael Sisemore on January 4, 2019 at 10:00 am

Amari Cooper made a huge impact on the Cowboys season, now they need him to be the difference on Wild Card weekend. Which version of Amari Cooper will face Seahawks on Saturday? – Todd Archer, ESPNAmari Cooper has been a huge difference-maker for the Cowboys but has had a quiet close to the season. Will he heat back up this weekend? The Seahawks play a lot of single-high safety, which creates one-on-one matchups similar to what Cooper faced against the Eagles. “There’s a lot of excitement because there’s a lot of opportunity,” Cooper said. “When teams play two-high, kind of gets more difficult to catch passes over the top and things like that.” The arrival of Cooper in an October trade from the Oakland Raiders helped change the trajectory of the Cowboys’ season. He gave Prescott an outside threat the quarterback did not have in the first seven games. A passing game that was stagnant now had some juice. Amari Cooper was the Cowboys’ missing piece and now they need him more than ever vs. Seattle – Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDayAmari Cooper has turned around the season. The Cowboys deemed the 24-year-old, two-time Pro Bowler their missing piece and worthy of the 2019 first-round draft pick they gave the Oakland Raiders to get him. When the trade was made Oct. 22, the Cowboys were 3-4. The 7-2 finish to the regular season and wild-card playoff game Saturday night against Seattle at AT&T Stadium — another chance for a franchise starved for postseason success — seemed almost fantastical at the time. Amari Cooper hopes to be the difference this time vs Seahawks – Clarence Hill, Fort Worth Star-TelegramThe last time these two teams met in week three of this season, the Cowboys had no idea who could make plays in the passing game. “They brought me here to make plays,” Amari Cooper said. “I believe I can do that … Very excited to get things rolling.” Cooper was not with the Cowboys when they lost to the Seahawks, 24-13, on Sept. 23 in Seattle. Dak Prescott had his worst game of the season, completing 19 of 34 passes for 168 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for a passer rating of 54.5. Tight end Geoff Swaim led the Cowboys with five catches. But most glaring was the lack of weapons Dallas had on the outside. Cole Beasley was the top wideout with three catches for 46 yards. It prompted the trade for Cooper during the bye week that jump-started the passing game. Cooper has 53 catches for 725 yards and six touchdowns in nine games with the Cowboys. The yardage was more than all but seven receivers in the league. Flip Side: How will the Seahawks choose to cover Amari Cooper? – Bryan Broaddus, Dallas CowboysThe question for Seattle is how to deal with Cooper. Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper vs. Seattle Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin Amari Cooper is an accomplished route runner while Griffin is one of the best corners in the league when it comes to playing the position. Griffin will test Cooper when it comes to his release off the line. Griffin is a square player that shows the ability to use his hands and feet in order to maintain balance and positioning initially in the route. Where receivers have had some success against Griffin has been at the top of the route. Griffin doesn’t have the power to hang in there when a receiver bullies him. This is how you get separation on him as Allen Hurns did back in week three. Cooper is physical enough to present the same type of issues for Griffin. But where Cooper is different than Hurns is that he can win much earlier in the route, which will put Griffin in chase mode. Cowboys, Seahawks figure to focus on runs of Elliott, Carson – Staff, FOX SportsThe Seahawks travel to Dallas hoping to bring their top-rated run offense on the road but the Cowboys have the league's leading rusher. Two heavyweight ground games set to battle it out for NFC supremacy. Ezekiel Elliott won his second NFL rushing title in three seasons for a Dallas offense that has been defined by the ground game for several years now. Seattle takes the league’s No. 1 rushing offense into a wild-card playoff against the Cowboys on Saturday night, led by Chris Carson, but with more help from others than your average pro backfield . While receiver Amari Cooper’s impact on the Dallas passing game was dramatic following a midseason trade, and Seattle’s Russell Wilson again finished among the NFL leaders in touchdowns passing, both teams figure to try to control the second postseason meeting between these franchises with their running backs. There is a lot at stake for the Cowboys, but these two guys are auditioning for their future – DannyPhantom, Blogging The BoysThe Dallas Cowboys have a lot on the line when they play the Seattle Seahawks in Saturday’s wild card game, but it’s even more important for these two guys to have a strong showing. It’s been a roller-coaster ride when it comes to watching this Cowboys offense. Sometimes they are flying down the field, but then other times they sputter. The performance of Dak Prescott has a big correlation to whether the team wins or loses which seems to make sense – he’s the quarterback. But it matches up pretty tightly with Dak as the Cowboys have won every game where he’s had a passing rating above 100 (8-0). Every game. Simply put, if Prescott can play a good game, the Cowboys just don’t lose. Dak has an impressive 32-16 record over his first three seasons in the league. He’s had a winning record every year since coming into the league. There aren’t a lot of quarterbacks who can say that, but the QB lining up on the other side of the field on Saturday, Russell Wilson, is one of them. What chances do the Dallas Cowboys have of keeping Kris Richard? – Kristi Scales, SportsDaySince Black Monday that saw multiple NFL coaches lose their jobs, Kris Richard has been atop many organizations list. Can Dallas sway him to stay? Following his Wednesday press conference, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was asked if defensive backs coach Kris Richard had any job interviews lined up this week in advance of the Cowboys’ Wild Card playoff game. Garrett confirmed that, because of the short work week with the game being on Saturday, Richard will not interview this week with teams that have head coaching vacancies. Garrett would not speculate on whether Richard will interview in the week following the Wild Card game. With eight head coaching jobs available, I think it’s going to be tough to keep an up-and-comer like Richard, in spite of the NFL’s so-called turn towards wide open, creative offenses and many team’s desires to hire “the next Sean McVay”. Defense still wins in this league (ask Baltimore and the Cowboys). And Richard is definitely a hot commodity. The folks here inside The Star, particularly his colleagues on the Cowboys’ coaching staff, continually sing his praises. 3 & Out: This Cowboys-Seahawks playoff matchup is about two mentally tough teams – Rob Phillips, Dallas CowboysThe Cowboys and Seahawks are two battle-tested teams that win games despite their deficiencies, it's perfect for the playoffs. You can make the argument that Saturday’s wild-card matchup at AT&T Stadium features the two most playoff-prepared teams in the NFC field. Here’s why: I went through all 32 teams’ schedules, and of the six NFC teams left standing, the Seahawks have played the most games (seven) decided by three points or less. The Cowboys are right behind them with six, including two overtime thrillers – the second-most in the league behind Cleveland (four). Three biggest reasons the Cowboys' defense continued its transition into a team strength this season – Jon Machota, SportsDayThe Cowboys had a Top-10 defense in their last playoff debut in 2016 but were ousted by the Packers. Here’s why this youthful defense is now ready-made for the postseason. The average age of the 11 starters on the Cowboys’ 2016 defense was 26. The average age this year is 24 and ½. One of the areas where the youth has taken over most is at linebacker. Sean Lee and Anthony Hitchens were very good in 2016. Lee had a career year. But neither were as athletic as Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. The Cowboys have also gotten noticeably younger in the secondary with Jones and Chidobe Awuzie basically replacing veterans Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr. 2018 Wild Card: Two similar teams collide with Seahawks at Cowboys – Who do you got?, Seahawks.comThe opinions on the outcome between this weekend’s playoff game between the Cowboys and Seahawks are pretty evenly split. ESPN.com: Six experts think the Cowboys will win, while five experts pick the Seahawks to win. Field Yates, ESPN NFL Insider: These teams are similar stylistically, as both want to run the football on offense. The Seahawks led the NFL in total rushing yards and rushing attempts, while Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott led all players in rushing yards and rushing attempts. This might prove to be a low-scoring affair, but the difference-maker is the home-field edge; the Cowboys — catalyzed by a young and improving defense — have won seven of eight games at home this season. […]

Cowboys regular-season awards, plus playoff and Kris Richard discussion

by Dave Halprin on January 4, 2019 at 5:00 am

We’re covering multiple Cowboys topics on out latest shows. There so much to talk about concerning the Cowboys that we needed three shows to cover it all. Talkin’ The Star: Let’s Hand Out Some Awards! The Talkin’ The Star crew is back and ready for the playoffs! But before they can break it all down, they must hand out their regular season awards! Make sure you get ready for Wild Card weekend with your favorite dudes. The 75O: How Can The Cowboys Beat The Seahawks? It’s the first episode of The 75O in 2019 and we’re getting ready for a Cowboys playoff game! Check out our latest episode as 2-Time Super Bowl Champion Tony Casillas (@tccasillas) and RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) break down everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s tilt between the Cowboys and Seahawks. There are a few keys to the game for both squads, and we’ve got them all. Let’s get it. OchoLive: Kris Richard Lurkers | Managing Expectations | Left Guard Hopes Whaddup World! The Cowboys will host the Seahawks in the playoffs on Saturday, and it’s going to be quite the treat. Before then, many teams have asked to interview Cowboys secondary coach, and pseudo defensive coordinator, Kris Richard, about potential head coaching opportunities. How possible is it that he leaves? What would it all mean? We get into that and the upcoming showdown with Seattle all on today’s episode. Huzzah! […]

Darren Woodson and Jimmy Johnson left out of Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 15 finalists for 2019

by RJ Ochoa on January 4, 2019 at 1:00 am

Two Cowboys legends will not be entering the Hall this year. We’re inching closer and closer to the Super Bowl, the playoffs starting this weekend being the proof, and that means that we’re nearing the announcement of a new Pro Football Hall of Fame class. On Thursday night the Hall announced a list of 15 finalists that the committee will pick from when they decide on the Super Bowl’s eve and Cowboys fans everywhere were hoping that this would be the year for Darren Woodson and/or JimmyJohnson. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Neither Darren Woodson nor Jimmy Johnson were chosen as one of the 15 modern-era finalists. These are the people the Hall prioritized over Woodson and Johnson Altogether there were five defensive backs included in this year’s group of 15: Steve Atwater, Champ Bailey, Ty Law, John Lynch, and Ed Reed. From a coaching standpoint Don Coryell and Tom Flores were on the list. This means that the HOF values all of these players/coaches over Darren Woodson and Jimmy Johnson. That doesn’t bode well. Getting into the HOF is a tricky process. It involves having had one of the more incredible careers in the history of the game, but there’s an element of politics involved as well. Both Johnson and Woodson have gone on to have post-football lives that feature them prominently around the game as analysts, it’s hard to imagine why their accomplishments aren’t enough. Recent Cowboys Ring of Honor inductee Gil Brandt was announced previously as a contributor finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, so he’s on the ballot regardless. It appears as if he will have a bust in Canton a year’s time from now, but it will indeed be at least another year before we know whether or not Woodson or Johnson will get one of their own. […]

 

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