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  • Chiefs storm past 49ers in final minutes, win Super Bowl 54

    by Mookie Alexander on February 3, 2020 at 3:48 am

    Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images At long last, Andy Reid has his crowning achievement. The Kansas City Chiefs rallied from 20-10 down in the 4th quarter to beat the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 31-20 to win their first Super Bowl in 50 years. Andy Reid, who last won a Super Bowl as an assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers in the 1996 season, finally gets his ring in his 21st season as a head coach. It was the 49ers who scored first on a Robbie Gould field goal. The Chiefs answered with a one-yard Patrick Mahomes option play touchdown run on a very lengthy drive. A bad Jimmy Garoppolo interception was cashed in with a Harrison Butker field goal to give KC a 10-3 advantage. Swiss-army knife fullback Kyle Juszczyk tied things up with a play-action touchdown catch of 15 yards, as the 49ers rushing attack flustered KC on that series. A George Kittle offensive pass interference took potential points off the board entering halftime, but it looked like the right call. The third quarter saw San Francisco dominate the Chiefs, getting another Gould field goal and a one-yard touchdown run by Raheem Mostert. Garoppolo was hardly getting pressured and making good decisions. Mahomes threw a horrible interception to Fred Warner that led to the Mostert TD. Mahomes struggled to deal with the 49ers defense for much of the evening, throwing two interceptions and fumbling twice (recovering one and having the other go out of bounds). But in a postseason in which they were down double digits in every game, they pulled off the comeback magic one more time. A huge 3rd and 15 conversion to Tyreek Hill kept the Chiefs’ hopes alive, then Travis Kelce pulled the Chiefs within three points on a one-yard touchdown pass. On a day when the 49ers didn’t punt once through the first three quarters, Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco offense fell apart. A three-and-out that took little time off the clock gave Mahomes the ball again with plenty of time, and he made that vaunted Niners D pay. The eventual Super Bowl MVP unleashed a long ball to Sammy Watkins, who torched Richard Sherman to get to the San Francisco 10. .@SammyWatkins down the sideline! #ChiefsKingdom : #SBLIV on FOX : NFL app // Yahoo Sports app— NFL (@NFL) February 3, 2020 Running back Damien Williams just barely crossed the plane on 3rd and goal to give Kansas City its first lead since the 2nd quarter. THE @CHIEFS TAKE THE LEAD!Back-to-back scores put Kansas City on top! #ChiefsKingdom : #SBLIV on FOX : NFL app // Yahoo Sports app— NFL (@NFL) February 3, 2020 Garoppolo had a chance to lead the 49ers to the promised land, and while he did cross into Kansas City territory, three straight incomplete passes and a 4th down sack by Frank Clark (who was a non-factor almost all game) forced a turnover on downs. There should’ve been a delay of game penalty but who are we to whine? The @Chiefs sack Garoppolo on fourth and 10. #ChiefsKingdom : #SBLIV on FOX : NFL app // Yahoo Sports app— NFL (@NFL) February 3, 2020 They still needed to get a first down to run the clock out, but they went for a touchdown instead on a dagger run by Williams. DAMIEN. WILLIAMS.38-YARD TOUCHDOWN. #ChiefsKingdom : #SBLIV on FOX : NFL app // Yahoo Sports app— NFL (@NFL) February 3, 2020 Garoppolo’s desperation heave got picked off by Kendall Fuller to end things once and for all. Picked off with a minute left! #ChiefsKingdom— NFL (@NFL) February 3, 2020 Mahomes is your Super Bowl MVP with a statline of 26/42 for 286 yards, 2 TDs, 1 rush TD, 2 INTs. Even on an off-day for much of the night in Miami, you are never out of a game with that man at quarterback. San Francisco had a phenomenal 2019 season but it ends in heartbreak, and once again Kyle Shanahan has to deal with a blown 4th quarter lead. He’ll be questioned heavily for the odd decision to sit on his timeouts and not preserve some time for his two-minute drill before halftime. Meanwhile, the Chiefs ran the damn table after they were 6-4 through ten games. They also lost Mahomes for two games and Matt Moore admirably filled in for a 1-1 split against the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. The offseason is officially underway for everyone, but the party has only just begun in Kansas City. What an achievement for Reid, Mahomes, and the rest of that team. See you Tuesday for Enemy Reaction!

  • Super Bowl LIV: Chiefs vs. 49ers open thread

    by Mookie Alexander on February 2, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images The game kicks off at 3:30 PM PT, but I’m putting this thread up now because why not? The pre-game show has started since 9 AM. You can talk about your Super Bowl snacks, beverages of choice, and whatever else you want that’s within our rules. It’s the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers for the Lombardi Trophy. GO CHIEFS! (Or alternatively, GO NOT NINERS!)


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  • Former 49ers guard Joshua Garnett has a new home

    by Kyle Posey on February 3, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images The Detroit Lions signed Garnett on Monday In August of last year, Josh Garnett was trying to stay healthy and battle for a starting spot on the San Francisco 49ers offensive line. Garnett was released from the team before the regular season, and the former first-round pick never found a home during 2019. Garnett has a new team. On Monday, the Detroit Lions signed Garnett, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Hopefully, Detroit is a better scheme fit for Garnett, who never had a shot in Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme. The 28th pick of the 2016 draft started 11 games during his rookie campaign, but injuries kept Garnett sidelined for the majority of 2017, and that bled into 2018. The Lions may lose their starting right guard, Graham Glasgow, in free agency, so Garnett is a good depth signing. Hopefully, Detroit is a better scheme fit for Garnett, who never had a shot in Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme. The 28th pick of the 2016 draft started 11 games during his rookie campaign, but injuries kept Garnett sidelined for the majority of 2017, and that bled into 2018. The Lions may lose their starting right guard, Graham Glasgow, in free agency, so Garnett is a good depth signing. I don’t think anyone is rooting against Garnett. I hope he turns his career around like a former first-round pick when he was traded, Laken Tomlinson. The 49ers acquired Tomlinson for a fifth-round pick. Tomlinson has played over 1,000 snaps for San Francisco in the last three seasons. Health will be critical for Garnett. Perhaps a year off from football will help.

  • Former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis announces retirement

    by Patrick Holloway on February 3, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    He will be remembered for The Catch III Update: Davis made it officially official.— Vernon Davis (@VernonDavis85) February 3, 2020 Lost in all this Super Bowl hubbub is an announcement made by former San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. In a very awkward move during a commercial, Davis made an announcement he is retiring from the NFL. Davis finished up his season in Washington, but his time with the 49ers will never be forgotten. Sure we all think of Davis and think of what I call The Catch: Gaiden (The Catch: Side Story) with his Vernon Post in the NFC Divisional, but Davis’ history goes further back. He was drafted by the 49ers sixth overall in the 2006 NFL Draft. His combine was ridiculous, and he was seen as the top tight end prospect. As time went on, Davis had some character concerns that brought headaches to the 49ers, the most notable being when he slapped a Seattle Seahawk player. Then-head coach Mike Singletary sent Davis to the locker room for the unsportsmanlike penalty, and it led to what has been a legacy rant for the 49ers head coach. From there, Davis became a threat in the league. Not only could he block when needed, but he was faster than several wide receivers. Davis was a part of the Vernon Post, which was a play that highlighted him and Alex Smith


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Los Angeles Rams Blog

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Turf Show Times - All Posts #7and9bullshit...has ended!

  • Rams will face challenges when training camp starts
    by Bill Williamson on June 3, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Brandon Staley | Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images New defensive coordinator Brandon Staley has his work cut out for him ESPN reported on Wednesday that the NFL plans not to have any players assembled as a team until training camps begin in July. That would mean there will not be any on-field minicamps this month, which we’ve seen this happen before. In 2011, the offseason program was wiped out because of the NFL lockout and training camps didn’t start in August. All teams will overcome this coronavirus-induced delay, but there will be challenges for some more than others in camp. Let’s look at three hurdles facing the Los Angeles Rams when training camp starts. Defensive cohesion: Brandon Staley is taking over the duties as the Rams’ defensive coordinator for the upcoming season. He replaces the popular Wade Phillips, whose contract was not extended after last season. Not only does Staley have the challenge of taking over the unit without the luxury if an offseason program, but he is a first-time NFL coordinator. Acclimation by the coach and his new players must be swift. Don’t be surprised if the Rams’ defense is a bit out of sync early in the regular season. Yes, offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell is also new, but with the presence of head coach Sean McVay, the adjustments on offense will be less dramatic. The two second-round picks: The Rams took running back Cam Akers and wide receivers Van Jefferson in the second round of the April 2020 draft. The team is hoping for both players to be part of the playing rotation as rookies. McVay must get both integrated into the offense quickly or they may not be able to help much early in the regular season. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images Blake BortlesBackup quarterback: Right now, John Wofford — was on the practice squad last season — is the backup quarterback to starter Jared Goff. Wofford. The Rams may want to consider re-signing 2019 backup Blake Bortles or someone with some playing experience as camp may go too fast for Wofford if Goff gets hurt. Insurance is probably needed.

  • Marshall Faulk and the fall of the top-3 running back
    by Kenneth Arthur on June 3, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    The former Rams and Colts running back is the last player at his position drafted this high to have a Hall of Fame career When you talk about a running back going second overall, it just feels like a different time. And it was. Though Saquon Barkley was drafted second overall only two years ago, he is nothing less than an exception of circumstance, if not an exception of talent. In the 1960s, 10 running backs were drafted in the top 3. Truth be told, the success of those players wasn’t much different than the success we’ve come to expect from the most recent 10 running backs to get selected that high in the draft. O.J. Simpson was the final of those 10 in 1969 and he is the only one of them in the Hall of Fame. Ken Willard and Matt Snell made multiple Pro Bowls, but the rest either had no value or only had a little bit based on playing mostly in the pre-Super Bowl era. The player we won’t judge being 1962 first overall pick Ernie Davis, who died from leukemia before he was ever able to play a game. The rush to the podium for a running back slowed a bit in the ‘70s, but had a better return on investment: five players, two Hall of Famers (Tony Dorsett, Earl Campbell), and three-time Pro Bowler Chuck Muncie. The biggest disappointment being first overall pick Ricky Bell go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers right over Dorsett. Yes, Ricky Bell also had a movie made after him. Triumph of the Heart. a made for TV movie starring Mario Van Peebles as the former USC back. Eight more backs went in the top-3 in the 80s, including two Hall of Famers (Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders), plus Billy Sims, Freeman McNeil, George Rogers, Curt Warner, and Bo Jackson. The disappointments were Jackson (honestly) and Alonzo Highsmith, who went third overall to the Oilers in 1987. The draft situation for running backs remained the same for the first half of the ‘90s and produced another Hall of Famer. Blair Thomas went to the New York Jets with the second pick in 1990 and his career didn’t go very far. The Cardinals picked Garrison Hearst third overall in 1993 and he was pretty good for other teams. Then the Indianapolis Colts selected Marshall Faulk second overall in 1994. He also was good for another team. (And also good for the Colts.) Faulk is the last running back drafted in the top-3 who has even come close to having a Hall of Fame conversation. Barkley represents a potential shift back into a positive direction for the position, but has only played two seasons; Jackson was one of the most talented players we’ve ever seen play football but only made it into 39 games. When the Cincinnati Bengals picked Ki-Jana Carter first overall in 1995, one year after Faulk, it seemed to break the inclination to ever pick a running back that high again. (Does this mean Joe Burrow will spell the end for QBs as top picks?!?!) Carter was drafted over Tony Boselli and Steve McNair, plus Kerry Collins and Kevin Carter shortly later. The other first round backs in 1995 were Tyrone Wheatley, Napoleon Kaufman, James Stewart, and Rashaan Salaam. Five first round running backs who combined to make zero career Pro Bowls. It would potentially be the worst class of RBs in NFL history, except for Hall of Famers Curtis Martin in round three and Terrell Davis in round six. The very next year, the top back selected was Lawrence Phillips to the St. Louis Rams at pick six, and you know how that one went. He was right ahead of Tim Biakabutuka, another disappointment. Four-time Pro Bowler Eddie George did go 14th. Since Carter went first overall in 1995, only four backs have gone in the top three: Ronnie Brown, second overall, 2005 Reggie Bush, second overall, 2006 Trent Richardson, third overall, 2012 Saquon Barkley, second overall 2018 That’s four top-three backs in 25 years, compared to regularly seeing an average of 7-8 per decade. It’s easy to see why, especially when there has been such a strong “never a RB early” contingent recently (as if this was “new” news instead of something that’s been brewing for over 20 years) as the league moves towards more backfield committees and pass attempts. It doesn’t mean it won’t swing back. But for now, Faulk is the last great running back to be drafted in the top-3. And it’s not even close. Here are some career totals for Faulk: 2,836 attempts, 12,279 yards, 100 touchdowns, 767 receptions, 6,875 yards, 36 touchdowns And here’s the combined career totals of Carter, Brown, Bush, Richardson, and Barkley: 3,978 attempts, 16,367 yards, 128 touchdowns, 1,045 receptions, 8,104 yards, 29 touchdowns That’s a 4.11 YPC average for C-B-B-R-B and a 4.3 YPC average for Faulk, though he averaged 4.8 YPC with the Rams — same as Barkley’s career YPC so far. Faulk has three first team All-Pro nods compared to none for the other five, and seven Pro Bowl appearances compared to two (one Brown, one Barkley) for the rest. It’s not as though the last 25 years has not produced first round running back talent. There are two Hall of Famers (LaDainian Tomlinson, Edgerrin James) and a third eventually with Adrian Peterson. Marshawn Lynch will have his day of debate for Canton too. Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, Mark Ingram, Jamal Lewis, Ricky Williams, Fred Taylor, Deuce McCallister, Shaun Alexander, Chris Johnson, George, Bush (who wasn’t that bad), DeAngelo Williams, Christian McCaffrey, and more. I think their time can come again, but I don’t suspect we’ll see that uptick any time soon. A lot of the high school running back talent must see what’s happening to the position as they move up the ranks. They have to be monitoring the holdouts that seem to strike backs more than any other position. The injuries that seem to strike backs more than any other position. And how quickly opinions changed on certain backs, like Gurley or DeMarco Murray, even after they did get paid. And they also know that they won’t be drafted as high as they might be if they played receiver, cornerback, or even safety. Is Clyde Edwards-Helaire the 32nd overall pick in 2020 because that’s the “amount of talent” he has relative to his class OR is he the 32nd overall pick in 2020 because that’s the “appropriate draft position” for the top-ranked back? In 2019, the top back was Josh Jacobs, 24th overall, and he also was the only back taken in the first round. Were it 1995, Jacobs and Edwards-Helaire very well could have been top-10 picks. Faulk was drafted second overall at a time when that wasn’t weird and then he had a career that justified his selection and even more. Saquon Barkley was drafted second at a time when it was weird and given that it’ll probably remain that way for awhile, Faulk may not have much more competition coming into this category in the near future.

  • Random Ramsdom: Teams must stay at their facilities during training camps
    by MTPeterson on June 3, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Getty Your source for Rams and NFL news from around the web. According to a report from Adam Schefter on Tuesday, the NFL has apparently told teams that they will all have to stay at their team facilities during this summer’s training camps. And so the NFL has told all its teams that they must stay at their team facilities for this summer's training camps.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 2, 2020 This effectively answers any questions about whether or not teams would have been able to host joint practices or host their camps in venues outside of their home city. Teams that usually travel a bit for camp include the Bills, Colts, and Chiefs. The lack of joint practices may end up being detrimental to the develop of rookies and other young players who usually take advantage of the opportunity to play against different players and unfamiliar schemes early on before the regular season. This year, the Rams would have likely split practices with the Chargers prior to the third preseason game in August. It’s not substantial news, but it’s still a teeny-tiny baby step towards football happening as usual this fall. Now let’s check out some links. Rams News: The Rams made a statement regarding the recent events in the country ( Cameron DaSilva discusses how the Rams had a “very powerful” team meeting this week (The Rams Wire) Larry Brake talks Jared Goff as a fantasy football option in 2020 (Ramblin’ Fan) Mark Schofield stresses how important the play-action game is for the Rams in 2020 (Touchdown Wire) Cameron DaSilva lists 11 free agents the Rams could go after with the new cap space acquired (The Rams Wire) NFL News: Paul Kasabian reports on the Baltimore Ravens donated $1 million to support social justice reform (Bleacher Report) Joseph Zucker highlights the comments made by Vikings LB Eric Kendricks about the NFL’s statement this week (Bleacher Report) Charean Williams touches on Bears HC Matt Nagy canceling all team meetings in wake of Blackout Tuesday (Pro Football Talk) Mike Triplett creates NFL teams made with players from the same college conference (ESPN) Tyler Sullivan discusses how the Patriots can reach the Super Bowl in 2020 (CBS Sports)

  • Rams coach Sean McVay hosts ‘powerful’ virtual meeting with players about diversity and racial discrimination
    by Bill Williamson on June 2, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Sean McVay | Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images Defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day says he’s: “Blessed to be part of an organization that is filled with outstanding PEOPLE not just players & coaches!” Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay spent time with media members on Tuesday to discuss the social issues that are going on in the U.S. McVay told reporters that he dedicated Monday’s virtual team meeting to allowing players to express themselves and talk about their experiences. McVay described the team meeting was “powerful,” according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. McVay opened his comments to the media by saying his thoughts and prayers are with the family of George Floyd, the African American man who died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed with his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes on May 25. Chauvin has since been fired, and was arrested on murder and manslaughter charges last Friday. After Sean McVay’s opening statement (full below), he added that he wished he had been asking questions about race and systemic oppression sooner. Hearing players’ own experiences and feeling the grief of some has caused him to self-evaluate how he can continue the conversation.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) June 2, 2020 There have been multiple protests around the country since Floyd’s death. While many are peaceful, some cities including Los Angeles have also had violent clashes with police, looting and destruction of property. The Rams sent a large group of employees to Santa Monica on Monday to assist in the cleanup efforts after Sunday’s protests. McVay also said he supports his players in any kind of protest or demonstration they may feel compelled to make. Later on Tuesday, Rams’ defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day expressed his gratitude for the team to allow the open discussion. Was very powerful... Blessed to be part of an organization that is filled with outstanding PEOPLE not just players & coaches! Huge S/O to Coach McVay and the Les!— Sebastian Joseph-Day (@SJD_51) June 2, 2020 Joseph-Day also participated in one of the peaceful protests happening across L.A., according to his Instagram story. Not sure exactly where this is in Los Angeles or its greater area, but Rams DT Sebastian Joseph-Day (@SJD_51) is currently participating in a peaceful protest per his Instagram story. Rams head coach Sean McVay said earlier he supported his players wanting to do so.— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) June 2, 2020

  • Brandin Cooks, Sammy Watkins, and postseason stats
    by Kenneth Arthur on June 2, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images LA has acquired special receiving talent under Sean McVay, but hasn’t been able to hold onto them In 2017, Brandin Cooks was on the New England Patriots and in the postseason he caught 10 passes for 155 yards as his team fell shy of a Super Bowl win vs the Philadelphia Eagles. A year later he was on the Los Angeles Rams and Cooks caught 19 passes for 292 yards over three games; again, his team fell shy of a Super Bowl championship, this time against his former team, the Patriots. In 2017, Sammy Watkins was on the LA Rams and in one postseason game, he caught one 23-yard pass. The next year, Watkins was on the Kansas City Chiefs and they reached the AFC Championship game. He had 10 catches for 176 yards that season. Then last year, the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, with Watkins catching 14 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown during their run. For these two receivers, their postseason efforts — thanks mostly to them being moved around to and from mostly good teams — landed them with the second and third-most playoff receiving yards since 2017. I did this because the Rams have played in four postseason game in the last three years and this is a sample size that is four games larger than anything the franchise could produce from 2005 to 2016, so why not take advantage of it while we can? After all, I think postseason performance is a great indication of how a player performs against better competition than a random spin of the wheel in the regular season that could just as easily land on the Cleveland Browns as it could the Patriots. And eating a four-course meal in New England is a lot more impressive than in Cleveland. (No, this has nothing to do with lobster.) Watkins and Cooks both sit behind Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints (Cooks’ former team before New England), who has 493 yards in only five postseason games. Four of the top-10, including Cooks, are Patriots, and three of the top-10, including Watkins, are Chiefs. There are also two members of the Eagles. But these are just totals and obviously better teams deliver greater totals to their players because they are in more games. If you break it down into players who’ve had at least 20 targets, Watkins is third in yards per target (after Davante Adams and Tyler Lockett) and first in yards per catch. The former fourth overall pick who went ahead of Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr has been largely a disappointment but in the playoffs he’s been an unreal fit for Patrick Mahomes and the KC offense. That being said, it is his teammate, Travis Kelce, who has the most touchdown receptions in the playoffs since 2017, with six. This is an area where the LA Rams would like to see improvement, should they reach the postseason next year. Jared Goff is fifth in postseason attempts since 2017, but his two touchdown throws in four games ranks tied for 15th with Case Keenum, Alex Smith, Matt Ryan, Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Cam Newton. Only Goff and Garoppolo have more than two games played and only Goff has played in four. Out of 11 players with at least 75 postseason attempts since 2017, Goff ranks 10th in completion percentage, ninth in passer rating, and ninth in yards per attempt. The Rams are able to move the ball in the playoffs, but they didn’t finish drives nearly as often as they needed to. Postseason narratives can always change though, sometimes it’s just a matter of waiting for the right opportunity.


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Using the Arizona Cardinals signing Charles Clay-based yesterday, their third veteran putting your signature on in this offseason before the free company period has even began, this tells us something.

The Arizona Cardinals are trying to stay competitive, but not placing any position as locked within.
They signed Robert Alford to some three-year deal, but that was a lot more out of necessity of having a competent entire body at the cornerback position than anything. Alford allows the Cardinals to keep to shop for corners, but doesn’t capital t make it a glaring hole like it continues to be for the last six offseasons.

It doesn't imply that the Cardinals won't pursue the Bradley Roby or Steven Nelson in free agency, or take a look at a Trayvon Mullen or Amani Oruwariye in the 2019 NFL Set up.
Brooks Reed is a nice insurance coverage if Markus Golden moves together, but also gives them a veteran tone of voice to help out if Nick Bosa or Josh Allen find themselves since the top pick.
Clay gives the Cardinals a move tight end having the ability to be productive in the passing online game. Yet, it would also never preclude them from grabbing a tight finish early in the draft if and when they move ahead from Jermaine Gresham.

Yet, in case Noah Fant or Jace Sternberger are available in the draft, they'd suit nicely in Kliff Kingsbury's brand new offense.
They’ re veteran insurance plans, but they aren’t even posing as long term answers. They’ re simply pieces to a puzzle that is simply trying to make sure it has all the items this time before Steve Keim attempts to put it together.


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Mike Vrabel drops a couple hints about the Titans defensive coordinator search

by Mike B. Herndon on January 31, 2020 at 3:09 pm

Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images We can pretty safely narrow the list of potential candidates based on Vrabel’s comments to Titans Online. There hasn’t been much news in the Titans search for a defensive coordinator to replace Dean Pees, but we got a couple nuggets from a reputable source on Thursday when Mike Vrabel gave Jim Wyatt some pretty insightful quotes about the direction the team is looking to take on defense. You can read the entire piece here (which includes the official announcement that Anthony Midget is going to be the defensive backs coach along with some comments on Midget from Vrabel), but I want to parse out a few of Vrabel’s comments that seem to lay clear the team’s direction. Let’s start with his answer about the defensive coordinator spot: “I would say to bring in a guy who hasn’t been in our system and done what we have done in Houston or here isn’t what I want to do. So whoever calls the defense, we are going to do pretty much what we have done. We are going to continue to add and enhance things, but to me that is not a big deal. I want guys that are loyal, that are great teachers and good developers.” The first sentence would seemingly eliminate a huge chunk of the potential candidates while keeping the possibility that Vrabel himself would end up calling the defense in 2020 alive. Veteran coordinators like Wade Phillips, James Bettcher, and Kris Richard who have no direct ties to Vrabel and/or the system that he’s worked in aren’t going to happen. Same goes for position coaches or college coordinators who don’t have previous connections. It’s pretty clear that Vrabel feels good about the Titans general direction on defense and wants to keep as much continuity as possible. That’s understandable considering the fact that Tennessee’s 634 points allowed over the past two regular seasons is the fifth lowest total in the NFL over that time span. I think this narrows our realistic defensive coordinator list to three options: Mike Vrabel calling the defense himself Promoting Shane Bowen from outside linebackers coach Hiring Bills defensive backs coach John Butler We’ve already hit on the first two options to some extent, but let’s put some attention on number three here. Vrabel’s comments specifically mention “what we have done in Houston” which would seemingly refer to the Romeo Crennel defense that the Titans coach cut his NFL teeth on during his first few years in the league. John Butler spent four seasons in Houston from 2014 through 2017 as defensive backs coach with Midget as his assistant during that time. He has at least some experience as a defensive playcaller as well. Butler was the defensive coordinator for Bill O’Brien’s Penn State team for one season in 2013 before following the head coach to the NFL level (a defense that featured DaQuan Jones and Austin Johnson for what it’s worth). The Bills secondary has been outstanding the last two years as Butler has helped develop Tre’Davious White into an All-Pro cornerback and gotten high level play from less heralded guys like Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde as well as undrafted free agent corner Levi Wallace. Butler’s experience calling plays and working with Vrabel — including working under him during Vrabel’s one year as defensive playcaller in Houston — makes him easily the most interesting candidate if the Titans hire from the outside. At this point, I’d be pretty shocked if anyone other than Vrabel, Bowen, or Butler was calling the Titans defense in 2020. Turning to Tyrone McKenzie’s vacated inside linebackers post, Vrabel had this to say about his replacement at that spot: Vrabel said he’s “still working through some things” when asked about McKenzie’s replacement, while saying “I am leaning toward a veteran coach.” The words “veteran coach” make me think that it’s unlikely to see a promotion for a Titans defensive assistant to this role. Scott Booker is the most experienced of the team’s defensive assistants, but most of his work has been with the secondary. Looking at Vrabel’s background for veteran defensive coaches that he’s crossed paths with previously — again looking for someone who already knows the system to some degree — and could be realistic fits for the role produces few results. Texans inside linebackers coach Bobby King coached under Vrabel in 2017, but it seems like this move would have been announced alongside Midget’s move if that was going to happen. Also, Bill O’Brien would have to sign off on the Titans talking to King. There are two other names that fit the mold to some degree and are looking for work. First, is John Pagano. He has been the Texans outside linebackers coach and “senior defensive assistant” the last two years, but was fired by Houston during their coaching shake up announced earlier in the week. He’s been coaching in the NFL since 1996 so he checks the “veteran” box with authority and his defensive playcalling experience could be attractive if Vrabel is either going to call plays himself or promote an inexperienced guy like Bowen to the role. Pagano and Vrabel have never actually been a part of the same staff, but given his work under Crennel the last two years, you would expect them to largely speak the same language at least. UPDATE [9:45 AM]: John Pagano has been hired by the Broncos as outside linebackers coach so we can mark him off this list. The other name that pops up is Rob Ryan. The lesser known Ryan brother is looking for work after being a part of Jay Gruden’s staff in Washington that got fired at the end of last year. Ryan was Vrabel’s first position coach in New England so the two would be familiar with each other, and like Pagano, Ryan certainly qualifies as a veteran coach. He would also bring the coordinator/playcaller experience to lean on even if the Titans didn’t necessarily want him calling the defense himself. The long time DC coached inside linebackers for the Redskins last season. Ryan’s twin brother Rex lives in Nashville and it would make a lot of sense for him to want to be here. Whether the Titans would want him is another question, but it’s an interesting fit either way.


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2020 Pro Bowl Preview: Three Jaguars slated to participate

by Demetrius Harvey on January 26, 2020 at 6:32 pm

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports Kicking off at 3PM ET today, three Jaguars players will participate in the 2020 Pro Bowl. While the Jaguars have not had much going for them in regards to the regular season over the past two seasons, the team has still had participants in the Pro Bowl. For the third-straight year, the team has sent multiple players to the Pro Bowl. This season, defensive linemen Calais Campbell and rookie Josh Allen will be participating along with wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. All three players excelled in their roles a season ago, earning them Pro Bowl bids either directly (Campbell) or via alternates (Allen, Chark Jr). Allen — the first Jaguars rookie to make the Pro Bowl in team history —, accounted for 31 solo tackles, 11 tackles-for-loss, 22 quarterback hits, and 10.5 sacks in 16 games in 2019, the most sacks by any rookie in the NFL. The Jaguars selected Allen with the seventh overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and the rookie pass rusher proved to be a steal. He's only scratched the surface.@JoshAllen41_ | More:— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) January 25, 2020 Campbell, entering his 11th season in 2019 had a slight drop in production, however was still the team’s most dominant defender against the run and the pass. Ranked by Pro Football Focus as the number two edge rusher in the NFL (90.3 grade defensive grade), Campbell remained a force along the team’s defensive line. Accounting for 6.5 sacks, 37 solo tackles, 10 tackles-for loss, and 24 quarterback hits. Chark Jr. was one of the biggest surprises for the Jaguars offense this season. After being selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft the wide receiver went through a tremendous struggle. While he was one of the team’s best special teams players, Chark Jr. only accounted for 14 receptions for 174 yards on the year. In 2019, however, Chark Jr. saw his production increase significantly. Accounting for 73 receptions for 1008 yards and eight touchdowns, the Jaguars receiver quickly became quarterback Gardner Minshew II’s most productive and reliable weapon throughout the year. The Pro Bowl will air live on ESPN today at 3:00 p.m. ET.


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Banking on Ballard | Prospects I like Pt. 3

by Alvaro Fernandez da Ponte on January 26, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports As we near the draft, I continue to scout amongst the college ranks to find talented players that fill some of the Colts needs. Welcome back to another article of the “Prospects I Like” series! Just a quick recap: in the last piece I talked about Damonte Coxie (Memphis), Jonah Jackson (Ohio State) and Mekhi Becton (Louisville). Since then, Coxie has returned to school, Jackson has attended the Senior Bowl (where he has been average) and Becton has garnered national attention and gone from a 3rd round pick to a clear-cut first rounder. Today I wanted to take a closer look at a high profile wide receiver who might be an option for the Colts with the 13th overall pick, an injury-prone LG with a nasty attitude, and an (former) under-the-radar DE. Let’s dive right into it. Bradlee Anae, DE Height: 6’3’’ Weight: 257 lbs Class: Senior School: Utah Statistics: 30 solo tackles (150th+), 13.0 sacks (T-7th) VALERO ALAMO BOWL: 6 total tackles (4 solo) and 0.5 sacks. As a Pac-12 fan (nobody’s perfect) I’ve had my eye on Anae for a little over a year now. After totaling 8 sacks as a Junior, Anae turned down his NFL aspirations to return for Salt Lake City. The result of his senior campaign with the Utes? A whopping 13.0 sacks. How did he achieve a double digit sack total? By becoming a perfectionist when it comes to technique. Anae isn’t the most explosive player and his hips are a little tight; he does however have counter-moves on top of counter-moves on top of counter-moves. Up until this week he wasn’t receiving much national attention and I thought of him as a early Day 3 steal for the Colts. He doesn’t fit the long, athletic, twitchy profile Ballard has drafted on in the past (Basham, Turay, Banogu), but I think he’s a good fit as a RDE for the Colts. We can’t, however, have nice things. Anae played so well during the Senior Bowl (arguably the best player all week) that he’s no longer a well-kept secret among a couple of analysts. The Utah product dominated anyone and everyone who lined up across from him all week with his impeccable technique and his superhuman strength. I don’t know if he’ll be there for the Colts to draft in the 3rd round. Let me just show you some of the tape that helps build his case. The defense is set in a 4-3 scheme, with Anae lined up as a 9-tech weak-side DE (RDE in this case). The defense only rushes four while the SAM has man coverage on the RB, the MIKE has man coverage on the TE and the WILL is on QB duty. Anae is up against a formidable OT (Terence Steele out of Texas Tech). You can see from the start the lack of burst and athleticism I was talking about earlier. He’s not going to beat the OT to the corner, so he displays patience and waits for Steele to strike. When the OT extends his arms to make contact with Anae, he chops hard on the outside wrist causing Steele to lose balance. Easy sack. Here’s another example from the 1v1 drills. Comes off the line well, you can again see that his hips aren’t as loose as you would like to see. However, he compensates it with a good, strong chop and rip. Also shows a little bend to turn the corner. Unfortunately, I think his fantastic performance puts him outside of the Colts’ range. Edge is not as much of a need as say WR, DT or QB. Nonetheless, I can’t wait for Anae to dominate on Sundays regardless of the logo on his helmet. CeeDee Lamb, WR Height: 6’2’’ Weight: 191 lbs Class: Junior School: Oklahoma Statistics: 1,327 yards (6th), 14 TDs (T-5th), 21.4 YPC (3rd) CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL: 8 catches for 173 yards (21.6 YPC) This may seem like a tangent, but I really like Jordan Love. Like really like him. Physically, he’s got a rocket arm, throws a beauty of a ball, and can roll out of the pocket and launch it on the run. But if Lamb and Love are both there at 13, I’m taking Lamb everyday, and twice on Sundays. Hands down. No questions asked. I’ll go a step further and say that, in a loaded WR class, Lamb is the best at his position. Even better than Jeudy. I first came across Lamb when I was scouting his former partner in crime, Marquise Brown, a year ago. Even then, I thought Lamb was a superior NFL prospect, pairing freakish speed with a lean, tall frame and crisp route running. His release is quick. His open field speed is blistering. His height allows him to high point the ball and his route-running helps him gain separation at the top of his tree. This first play demonstrates the beauty and intricacy of Lincoln Riley’s offensive scheme. Lamb is lined up as an Z wide receiver, but he goes across the formation just as the ball is snapped to go run a wheel route. The RB starts his outside run and gets the LBs to bite. 26 then throws the ball back to Hurts who spots a wide open Lamb. This is where it gets impressive. Lamb is surrounded by five Texas defenders. An average player would be tackled immediately, but Lamb’s not an average player. He stops on a dime to make the first defender miss, changes direction, breaks a tackle and takes it to the house. Not bad for a receiver considered “too skinny” by most pundits. Here’s another example of Lamb’s hard running. He’s running a dig, from the slot. Problem is, the DB lines up to his right giving him all the leverage. For this reason, Lamb eats up the cushion fast, gets the DB to flip his hips, fakes left and cuts back to the right. There he makes a contested catch (good throw from Hurt), breaks two tackles and trots into the end zone. This is another great play by Lamb which completely encapsulates why I’m not a big fan of Hurts. The route in itself is simple: a 5 yard curl. Take in the fact that the CB starts the play giving Lamb a 5 yards cushion, and you’ve got an easy completion. What’s not supposed to happen is Lamb turning on the jets, going the width of the field practically untouched and scoring a touchdown. Lamb and the Oklahoma offense dominated almost every defense they faced. Almost. During the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, the LSU secondary posed a problem for Hurts and Co. all game, and rightly so. Composed of two future 2020 first round picks (Delpit and Fulton) and a future top 10 pick in freshman Devin Stingley, the LSU back end is one of the best in the nation. When I first saw the game I thought that Oklahoma’s inability to pass the ball was due to the fact that their receivers couldn’t create separation. And while that was sometimes the case, more often than not yards where left on the field due to incorrect reads or bad throws. An example would be the following. LSU rushes four. Everyone else except the CB guarding the X-receiver drops into zone. Oklahoma has their 5 linemen, plus the H-back and the Y-receiver blocking (7 total blockers) to give Hurts time. Theoretically, what’s supposed to happen is that Hurts looks to his first read, the X-receiver. If he doesn’t throw the ball as the WR is exiting the top of his route, he moves on to the second read, his Slot receiver, which is Lamb. CeeDee is running an out and the Z-receiver is running a go to clear defenders out of Lamb’s way. The play works to perfection. However, Hurts waits too long to throw the football to his X-receiver. Even worst is the fact he doesn’t move on to his second read (Lamb) who is wide open. Here’s another example, except this time the play works solely due to Lamb’s ability to high point the ball. Hurts saw that he had a safety playing man coverage on Lamb. He chucks it up and lets his receiver make a play. Still, in theory the go to guy would’ve been #14 at the bottom of the screen. Oklahoma sets up in a 4-receiver set. The inside receiver on the right side runs diagonally across the field clearing up space for #14 to run a nice 15 yard curl. Hurts doesn’t see him because he’s fixated on Lamb. In the end the play works, but not thanks to the QBs decision making. This last play I want to show you further demonstrates how CeeDee Lamb’s production was a bit capped by factors out of his control. Oklahoma lines up with an empty backfield. Still, instead of going into a classic five-wide the Oklahoma coaching staff lines up two running backs on the outside of the tackles. The left RB stays to block while the right RB chips the DE and then runs a flat as the designated check down. The X-receiver runs a crossing route. The slot receiver runs a seam route to clear his CB and the single high safety. Lamb, the Z-receiver runs a steep slant. The goal of this play is to get everyone moving towards the right side of the field except for Lamb whose defender is playing man coverage. Lambs job is to use the middle LB to set up a screen and then just turn on the jets while he waits for the ball. The receivers do their job but the pocket collapses and Hurts has nowhere to step up into. Therefore, he rolls out to his right with pressure in his face and ends up throwing a bad pass off his back foot. If you pay attention to Lamb, however, you can see that he has his man beat once he gets into the second level. Netane Muti, LG Height: 6’3’’ Weight: 307 lbs Class: RJunior School: Fresno State Statistics: N/A If I were to describe Muti in two words, they would be “junkyard dog”. He’s got a real nasty mean streak. A deep rooted competitiveness that makes him want to not just beat the guy across from him, but to dominate him. To drag him through the turf and bury him into the ground. To take away his will to play. To do things like this. Fresno St LG Netane Muti is back and it’s electric ⚡️— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) September 1, 2019 This play reminds me of when I go to high school games and I see a 280 pound future Division 1 O-lineman destroy a 2A 140 pound linebacker. This should not happen at the collegiate level unless you’re watching Alabama vs. Akron. It certainly shouldn’t happen to a USC defensive lineman. But Netane Muti doesn’t care. I mean just look at this. The defense rushes three DL and Muti realizes that he’s got no assignment. So he looks right and he looks left and decides “I’m going to make this NT wish he stayed home today”. And BAM, next thing the poor guy knows Muti is practically sitting on him. Muti is a freak athlete with a strong anchor that complements his great lateral quickness. He can mirror opposing DL well and his low center of gravity allows him to engage with bullrushes. If he can get his hands on you, the play is practically over and you better pray that the ref blows the whistle before Muti slings you into the ground and jumps on top of you. Now, you must surely be thinking to yourself: How have I not heard of this physical freak of an offensive lineman who likes to maul defenders on a regular basis? How has he not garnered more pre-draft hype? Well, it mostly has to do with the fact that he played a total of 5 games in the past 2 years. Some teams see his extensive injury history as a red flag, specially considering the fact he plays the most physically taxing position in football. Furthermore, the fact that he’s missed so many snaps leads him to be unexperienced in certain scenarios, leading him to look lost at times on the football field. He’s a raw prospect who has incredible upside, but as of right now elite talent can make him look a little silly. Just look at this rep versus former Houston Cougar Ed Oliver. As of right now, Muti should be considered a gamble. If he passes the Combine medicals and displays a high football IQ during interviews I see no reason why the Colts shouldn’t at least consider him. Hope you guys enjoyed the piece. I’m going to keep doing these as we begin to near the draft. Let me know any prospects you want me to take a closer look at. Also, feel free to tell me if you want there to be more under-the-radar players or maybe some high profile prospects the Colts might take at 13th overall (Jordan Love, Javon Kinlaw, etc.).


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Battle Red Blog - All Posts The Roller Coaster That Is Texans Fandom

  • Bill O’Brien Speaks: On George Floyd, Houston, More
    by Mike Bullock on June 3, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images The Texans’ head coach calls for reform and urges all to stand with the black community. No longer able to stand by quietly amidst the injustice inflicted on Houstonian George Floyd, the leader of your Houston Texans prepared and delivered a message via video today to the fans of the Texans, citizens of Houston, and the world at large. Stating he was speaking on behalf of the Texans on one hand and from his own personal point of view on the other, O’Brien was insistent that things need to change and they need to change now. Click here to watch the full video. Bill O’Brien: “We all have to stand up and understand that what is going on in this country right now is wrong. It’s wrong. Relative to many, many things. It’s not just police brutality, although that’s what we’re talking about right now. It’s corporate America. It’s professional sports. It’s the medical area. It’s the legal area. We all have to do our part. We all have to do it now. It’s 400 years ago [when Africans were brought to the colonies as slaves]. It’s segregation. It’s police brutality. It’s not equal opportunities. It’s so much deeper. ... And we have to stand with the black community and we have to heed the call to action and challenge each other to live out the change that we want to see. I’m emotional. ... I’m sad. I’m frustrated because I’m questioning, ‘What can I do?’ I’ve got to do more.” O’Brien announced he would give the team the day off on June 9th so that those who were able could attend the funeral of George Floyd here in Houston. Note: We here at BRB fully recognize this is a topic that has the potential to get political in a hurry, so please be forewarned that we will not hesitate to remove inappropriate comments that violate our community guidelines. To that end, if you see something that runs afoul of site rules, please flag it and e-mail the staff immediately. Thank you for your consideration.

  • Predicting The Texans’ 2020 55-Man Roster
    by Kenneth L. on June 3, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images More roster spots, more problems. Yup. You read that right: fifty-FIVE man roster. Thanks to the new CBA and its quirky concoction of rules, two more players can join every NFL team’s active roster during a game week. Not only that, an additional two spots will be added to game-day rosters and the practice squad as well. This was a focal point behind the new CBA being agreed upon so quickly, and it will be an interesting plot line heading into the 2020 season. Predicting the 55 (dang, I’m going to have to get used to that) man roster is one of my favorite offseason activities. It’s a great avenue to learn about the entire team and find a budding player you can root for. I’m exactly a month behind last year’s prediction post, which ironically started with “Whether you’ve been satisfied by this offseason or not”, but I’m rearing to get back into the swing of things as football appears to be a go this fall. Offense (25) Quarterback (2) Deshaun Watson, AJ McCarron Fun fact: Watson is only going to make $400k more than McCarron this year. Gone are the days of Sam Bradford’s six-year, $78M abomination of a contract. There’s no Joe Webb this year, which I disagree vehemently with. I don’t see the Texans bringing anyone noteworthy into training camp to compete for a backup role. It’s hard to complain about a lack of drama at the QB position after so many years of chaos. Running Back & Fullback (4) Duke Johnson, David Johnson, Buddy Howell, Cullen Gillaspia I know this is still a sore subject, but breathe (even if it is through a mask). With Carlos Hyde signing with the Seahawks, there is no true hard-nosed running back on the roster. Buddy Howell fits the skill set, but his place is on special teams. O’Brien has a soft spot for Howell. Karan Higdon was a guy we rooted for last year to make the roster, and he has a real shot to be the last man to make the roster. The Michigan product could truly add the between the tackles tenacity we desire. Keep an eye on rookie Scottie Phillips from Ole Miss; he could make a move early for the third running back role. Wide Receiver (6) Will Fuller V, Brandin Cooks, Kenny Stills, Randall Cobb, Isaiah Coulter, DeAndre Carter Okay, these are all sore subjects. Unlike many in the media, I believe Bill O’Brien wants to forge onward with this one-dimensional wide receiver group. Does the logic “if every player has an injury, none of them are actually more injury-prone than the others” work? With an abundance of speed and lack of height, Texans will be free to pick and choose their options down the field. One notable person is left off this list: Keke Coutee. Drake’s In My Feelings song from 2018 is as thankfully gone as O’Brien will be from Coutee. Long in OB’s doghouse, Coutee has yet to scratch the surface of his talent. I borderline adore Coutee’s dynamic play when he’s healthy, but unfortunately Houston’s recent offseason moves have the third-year receiver on the outside looking in. Rookie Isaiah Coulter sneaks onto this roster of vets thanks to his strong catch radius, potential, and size. Tight End (3) Jordan Akins, Jordan Thomas, Darren Fells * Grabs mic * Kahale Warring will never suit up in a Texans uniform. There, I’ve said it. Barring injury to one of the Jordan twins (Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins), Warring won’t find the field buried behind this swath of tight ends. Thomas had a nightmare season in 2019 after a glorious 2018 rookie campaign. The signing of Fells and drafting of Warring bode ominous for Thomas’ future in Houston, but there’s hope he has rehabbed and is ready to get back into the mix. Fells turned out to be a better pass catcher than blocker, which was not what he was brought in to do. Akins leads this group as the most constant and versatile option on the board and is among the most secure spots on the roster. Centers (2) Nick Martin, Greg Mancz Mancz drove me berserk as he led the team in sacks all the way through Week 11 last year after allowing three sacks in one game. The locker room leader did not have a memorable 2019 season. Martin will be entering his fifth season and had by far his best professional season last year. More consistency, plus a developing chemistry with rookie Max Scharping, elevated Martin to among the best centers in the league. A Pro Bowl alternate in 2019, Martin got a contract extension that keeps him in Houston until 2022. Guards (3) Max Scharping, Zach Fulton, Senio Kelemete Scharping was a pleasant surprise as a rookie this past season. Fulton remains a sore spot for the Texans economically and physically. A less-than-spectacular season last year, but there isn’t much competition pushing Fulton further. Kelemete remains on the roster as the Texans’ swing guard but could easily be replaced by a younger, cheaper, and honestly better version. Tackles (5) Laremy Tunsil, Tytus Howard, Charlie Heck, Roderick Johnson, Kyle Murphy Tunsil is rich. Howard is rehabbing. Heck is big. Johnson can’t pass block. Do I need to say anything else? The Texans should enter 2020 with a familiar offensive line for the first time in what seems like a generation. Howard’s MCL tear last year caused chaos on the offensive line, and his rehabilitation may be one of the most underrated offseason stories. Heck is a guy to watch grow at training camp. He’s 6-8”, his dad is the o-line coach for the Chiefs, and he’s the next installment of Julie’n Davenport. Defense (27) Defensive End (5) J.J. Watt, Angelo Blackson, Charles Omenihu, Carlos Watkins, Jonathan Greenard Watt will be 31 and entering his tenth NFL season. The future Hall of Famer will need to carry the load again as a young group of ends looks to step up. The overpaid Blackson had a mediocre season in 2019 and could be replaced rather quickly if Omenihu takes another developmental step. I was an avid supporter of Greenard for the Texans and believe he’ll be an impact player early on. If this group is destined to only be four deep, watch out for Watkins to be the odd man out. Defensive Tackles (2) Ross Blacklock, Brandon Dunn First Christian Covington, now D.J. Reader. This group is getting smaller and smaller. It will be interesting to see how the Texans employ Blacklock early on, as he has a unique mentality at the line of scrimmage. Auzoyah Alufohai, a rookie from West Georgia, is a guy I like to at least be on the practice squad. He’s a 6’4”, 320 pound human buffalo born in Houston. Outside Linebackers (4) Whitney Mercilus, Jacob Martin, Brennan Scarlett, Duke Ejiofor, Davin Bellamy This is where things get tricky. This group starts and ends with Mercilus and Martin, but don’t be fooled into thinking this group doesn't have depth. (Re) Enter Duke Ejiofor, who sat out last season with a torn Achilles. If he’s healthy, he brings some real speed to this group. Brennan Scarlett has grown on me over the years. Davin Bellamy will continue to push to make the roster, and may be one of the key benefactors Inside Linebackers (5) Benardrick McKinney, Zach Cunningham, Peter Kalambayi, Dylan Cole, Tyrell Adams Cornerback (6) Bradley Roby, Lonnie Johnson Jr., Vernon Hargreaves III, Gareon Conley, John Reid, Phillip Gaines This crock-pot of a secondary is going to be held for ransom by Texans fans. Roby fortunately signed on after we begged him to stay. Johnson should take a big step forward this season. Hargreaves and Conley provide depth and much needed speed. Watkins was a free agent add for special teams. Safety (5) Justin Reid, Eric Murray, A.J. Moore Jr., Jaylen Watkins, Michael Thomas This group gives me the heebee-geebees and will change. I can’t see how they don’t add talent to this group before the start of the season. This is easily the weakest group on the team since Tashaun Gipson was surprisingly released. Justin Reid is the best player in this group, but he has played through injuries in his young career. Moore was serviceable during the 2019 season, yet far from what we need in a starting safety. Special Teams (3) Jon Weeks, Ka’imi Fairbairn, Bryan Anger The first time I went through this, I only got to 50 players, which means there is a massive gap between players 40-50 and 50-60. Last year was a much tougher cut. Hopefully Houston makes additional moves this summer to add another jolt of talent.

  • Timmy Jernigan Will Not Be Joining The Texans After All
    by Carlos Flores on June 3, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images After a long wait, the team must now hit the market again. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported that defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan would not be joining the Houston Texans. This is noteworthy because about two months ago, it was reported that Jernigan agreed to a one year, $3.75 million contract with Houston. However, nothing was signed, and Jernigan was suspiciously missing from the team’s official transactions and roster updates throughout the offseason. Then tonight, Jernigan posted the following on his Instagram story. Timmy Jernigan via IG. Everson Griffin Me please— 3rd Coast Sports Head (@mccauley713) June 3, 2020 It’s said that Jernigan never passed his physical, so the deal with the Texans was never finalized. It’s unfortunate for the team, as this deal hung in limbo for quite a while. Here’s wishing Timmy Jernigan all the best in his pursuit of a new team. Now that the Texans have been left at the altar, the search for a replacement begins. One popular name that comes to mind is Damon Harrison. The artist usually known as Mike Bullock wrote up a nice article on Harrison potentially replacing Jernigan if Jernigan’s deal fell through. Harrison is four years older than Jernigan, but there is a good history of production there. There are other aging veterans still left on the market, such as Brandon Mebane, Marcell Dareus, Mike Daniels, and Domata Peko. If the Texans decided to keep the cap savings they got when the Jernigan deal went south, we could see Ross Blacklock become a much larger part of the 2020 defense than previously anticipated.

  • Houston Texans News: June 3, 2020
    by Jeremy_Brener on June 3, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports Your one-stop shop for Houston Texans, local sports, and news from around the league for Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Houston Texans News J.J. Watt, Houston celebrities to honor Class of 2020 | Daily Brew ( DT Jernigan no longer expected to sign with Texans ( NFL News Sherman, Long offer thoughts on making real change ( NFL clubs will hold training camp at team facilities ( McCourtys praise Flores’ strong stand on Floyd killing ( Impact of white players calling out systemic racism? ( Panthers place Kuechly on retired list, spread cap hit ( Vital salary-cap negotiations loom for NFL, NFLPA ( Jeremiah: Dual-threat QB prospect could be next Dak ( State of the Falcons: Will Quinn, Ryan right the ship? ( Houston & Collegiate Sports Rockets release statement on George Floyd (The Dream Shake)

  • Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins Named To PFF’s All Clutch Team
    by Matt Weston on June 2, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports 9-3 in one score games, Brian. This is the offseason. That means it’s time for lists and delving deep into extremely specific sample sizes. Pro Football Focus came up with an All-Clutch team, comprised of the players that played a minimum of 75 snaps who had the best grades in the fourth quarter of one score games. Both Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins were named to this team; you can read more about the full team here. QB Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans Second Team: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans Watson didn’t skate by on one or two plays here. He was dragged through the fire during the 2019 season, playing more snaps than any quarterback in the NFL in this subset across the regular season and postseason (214) and coming away with the league’s best grade on those plays (88.6). His stat line simply conveys dominance — 66 for 88, 909 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception. There’s a sense when watching Watson play quarterback that he is going to find a way to pull it out down the stretch, and the numbers bore that out last season. WR DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans and Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints Second Team: Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys and Randall Cobb, Dallas Cowboys Given Watson’s success in the clutch, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see his former right-hand man, Hopkins, also on this list. Hopkins caught 24 passes for 384 yards and a touchdown without any drops, commanding the football with the game on the line. Thomas, meanwhile, simply did what he did all season and brought in 22 of his 24 targets for 213 yards and two touchdowns across the fourth quarter and overtime of one-score games. That kind of efficiency is something we’ve come to expect from the Drew Brees-to-Thomas connection, but it’s still worth pointing out that connecting on 22 of 24 targets is not normal. Last season, the Texans went 9-3 in one possession games when you include the win over the Bills in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs. The reason for that was a reason we’ve known for a while now—Deshaun Watson makes the impossible possible, and Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the league. As PFF has stated, both players were among the best in the NFL in these close game situations. This is something vital to pay attention to before the 2020 season. Typically one score record is a high variance stat that changes year to year, and it’s reasonable to assume the Texans won’t have the same fortuitous one score record next season. And, you know, the Texans did trade DeAndre Hopkins.


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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Blog

Big Savings at ProFanGear with Fanatics.comCalling all Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fans. Thanks for visiting this news blog site.Shop the newest Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan gear at If you are looking for gear click the link to Shop for Tampa Bay Buccaneers Gear. I’ve teamed up with Fanatics to connect my readers with the best selection of officially licensed Tampa Bay Buccaneers 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. Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans bookmark this page and keep up with the latest Buccaneers news and happenings. Thanks again for visiting.



  • Super Bowl LIV Open Thread

    by James Yarcho on February 2, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Here’s your stop for all the conversation surrounding Super Bowl LIV We made it. It’s the final game of the season. The big one. The fight for the Lombardi. The NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers and AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs will go head to head on the biggest stage we’ll see all year long. The San Francisco 49ers are on a quest for their sixth Lombardi Trophy while the Kansas City Chiefs look to get their first one since Super Bowl IV in 1970 where they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7. Patrick Mahomes has become the darling of the NFL and looks to bring Chiefs fans the title that has eluded them for five decades. Kyle Shanahan is looking to put the 28-3 implosion against the New England Patriots behind him as he and former Buccaneer John Lynch have teamed up to create one of the best teams in the NFL. There’s no shortage of storylines, elite players, or potential outcomes in this one. Follow along with fellow Buccaneers fans in the comment section as we watch the final game of the 2019 season and look to officially kick off the 2020 off-season. The Kansas City Chiefs are -1.5 point favorites against the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

  • Two Super Bowl Free-Agents for Bucs fans to watch

    by David_Harrison on February 2, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images One guy from each side who could become a Super Bowl Champion before moving to Tampa Bay Seems like just yesterday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were opening up training camp with the rest of the NFL. But now, we’re here for the day the season will come to an unofficial end, and every team will look forward to 2020. Well, either the San Francisco 49ers or Kansas City Chiefs are going to have an extended celebration period first, but then they’ll be looking on to 2020. Neither of last year’s Lombardi competitors are in this year’s game. In fact, the Los Angeles Rams failed to even reach the post-season. And both the Chiefs and 49ers have players who could become a part of why the Bucs reach the post-season in 2020, even if the team they’re playing for now, don’t. So let’s focus on one guy from each side of this Super Bowl match-up, in search of a future member of the Buccaneers roster. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS FREE-SAFETY, JIMMIE WARD Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports In his sixth season, Jimmie Ward and the San Francisco 49ers defense has been the biggest part of getting their team to Super Bowl 54 in Miami, Florida. With his seventh season coming up, he may be moving to the east coast for good if he decides to go play for the franchise where his current general manager became a Hall of Fame worthy NFL safety himself. Whether or not Ward wins a Super Bowl with John Lynch this season, the two are going to have to engage in some contract negotiations which may not end up in San Francisco keeping this key defensive back who played in thirteen regular season games in 2019. One of the hang-ups if the two sides don’t agree on a contract, will surely be Ward’s injury history. Ironic, considering his injury history – and ability to rebound from it – is one of the reasons he’s such a key part of the current roster. But once the business side gets going, facts like Ward having played in sixteen games just once in his career, are going to be big negotiating points. Of course these things can be resolved in bonuses, but they can also be resolved by seeking out a new employer, so the chances Ward at least entertains outside offers is solid.


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Carolina Panthers Blog

Big Savings at ProFanGear with Fanatics.comCalling all Carolina Panthers Fans. Thanks for visiting this news blog site.Shop the newest Carolina Panthers fan gear at If you are looking for gear click the link to Shop for Carolina Panthers Gear. I’ve teamed up with Fanatics to connect my readers with the best selection of officially licensed Carolina Panthers 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. Carolina Panthers fans bookmark this page and keep up with the latest Panthers news and happenings. Carolina Panthers News and Gear. Thanks again for visiting.


  • Panthers 2019 season opener countdown: 64 days to go

    by MickSmiley on July 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Let’s check out number 64 on the Panthers roster as we count down the days left until the season opener. There are only 64 days until the Carolina Panthers kick off the 2019 season, so let’s take a closer look at the player currently wearing No. 64 for the Panthers — guard Dorian Johnson. Dorian Johnson, Guard Bio Height: 6’5” Weight: 305 lbs Age: 24 years College: Pittsburgh Experience: 1 year Anybody up for a reclamation project? Let’s hope running game coordinator John Matsko and assistant offensive line coach Travelle Wharton are. Dorian Johnson had a stellar four-year college career at Pittsburgh which culminated with First Team All-America honors in 2016. His college performance and NFL potential led the Arizona Cardinals to select him in the fourth round of the 2017 draft but just as soon as the Cardinals invested in the former Pitt Panther, they cut him. As a rookie he “had such a poor camp that he passed through waivers and was signed to the PS (practice squad).” That’s never a good sign when a fourth round pick doesn’t even last until the beginning of the regular season. Johnson didn’t languish long on the Cardinals practice squad before he was plucked away by the Houston Texans and put on their 53-man roster in October 2017. That arrangement lasted less than one month before he was once again cut and signed to the Texans practice squad. In January 2018 the Panthers signed him to a reserve future contract, released him during final roster cuts, then signed him to the practice squad. He was activated from the practice squad in late December 2018 but did not appear in any games for the Panthers. After two years in the NFL, Dorian Johnson has spent time on three different practice squads but has yet to see the field in a regular season game. Making the Panthers 53-man roster in 2019 will be a stretch for Johnson, let alone finding any playing time. The Panthers currently have eight guards on the roster including incumbent starters Trai Turner and Greg Van Roten. Not only does Johnson need to battle five other guards to make the roster but there is also the possibililty that tackle Daryl Williams moves inside while backup center Tyler Larsen has also played some guard in the past. Dorian Johnson can only ride on his resume as a recent fourth round pick for so long. The odds are probably against him sticking with the Panthers this year but if there was ever a time for him to reclaim his career, that time would be now. […]

  • CSR Weekend Warriors: Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today

    by Bradley Smith on July 6, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Here’s a fresh weekend open thread just for you. Welcome to the weekend! Feel free to use this thread to hang out over the weekend and chat about whatever you want (just make sure you follow the ToS… the rules still apply here) with anyone who decides to stick around. Anyway, see y’all Monday. Have at it, you animals. This is now an open thread! […]

  • Panthers 2019 season opener countdown: 65 days to go

    by Bradley Smith on July 5, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    We’re counting down the days until the Panthers kick off their 2019 season, and there are 65 to go. We’re 65 days away from the Carolina Panthers 2019 season opener, so that means today’s countdown piece is devoted to No. 65 on the roster — offensive tackle Dennis Daley. Dennis Daley, Offensive tackle Bio Height: 6’6”Weight: 325 lbsAge: 22 yearsCollege: South CarolinaNFL experience: Rookie Dennis Daley was selected in the sixth round (No. 212 overall) by the Panthers in the 2019 NFL Draft and is expected to compete for a reserve spot on the offensive line during training camp. Here’s a brief recap of his college career, courtesy of the Panthers’ team site: Played two seasons at South Carolina after transferring from Georgia Military College. Started 23 of the last 24 games. Played left tackle in 2018 and second half of 2017 after beginning season at guard. Started the first seven games of the 2018 season and was back in the lineup for final five games after an ankle injury. Invited to Senior Bowl at end of 2018 season. Played in 12 games with 11 starts in 2017 for South Carolina. SEC Academic Honor Roll. Transferred from Georgia Military College where he started in 2016 and 2015. Daley is officially listed as a tackle by the team, but he can also play guard so there’s a good chance that he makes the 53-man roster based on his versatility. He’ll get a lot of action during the preseason — likely at both tackle and guard — to see where he fits on the depth chart and whether or not he needs some time on the practice squad before being a part of the roster.



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