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

  • Q&A: Instagram Live on Bills’ RBs, WRs, and a whole lot more
    by Matt Warren on June 2, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    We took questions live on Instagram Monday night. This week, it’s a special super-sized episode of Buffalo Rumblings Q&A! We took questions on Instagram Live for 45 minutes pertaining to the Bills’ running back rotation, wide receiver position, red helmets, COVID-19, and a whole lot more. Folks were even able to ask follow-ups because of the live exchange. To have your Bills questions answered on the next podcast, you can call 24/7 and leave your questions at 716-508-0405, email us at, tweet us at @RumblingsQandA, send us Facebook or Instagram messages, or leave your comments in the show notes article on the website. Subscribe to the Buffalo Rumblings podcast channel featuring Billieve, Blitzed Bills, Buffalo Rumblings Q&A, Breaking Buffalo Rumblings, Circling the Wagons, and the Nick and Nolan Show: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify | Podbean | iHeartRadio | TuneIn | Megaphone Ask Alexa or Google Home to play the Buffalo Rumblings podcast! Editor’s note: If you’re viewing this article on Apple News, the embedded audio will be removed. Click through to the site in your browser or listen on iTunes.

  • Buffalo Bills free agents still on the market
    by nickbat on June 2, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Former Bills still looking for their next opportunity With virtual team activities underway, some former Buffalo Bills are still waiting for their phone to ring and their next team invite to come aboard. Some may be waiting for quite some time as the normal rash of bumps and bruises or worse that test a team’s depth won’t happen until in-person drills start. Below is a list of 2019 Bills who remain free agents: Maurice Alexander - Linebacker Julian Stanford - Linebacker LaAdrian Waddle - Tackle Kurt Coleman - Safety Corey Liuget - Defensive Tackle All of these players saw the field for the Bills in 2020 except Waddle who tore his quad muscle in the offseason. Alexander and Stanford were both reserves behind Matt Milano, Tremaine Edmunds, and Lorenzo Alexander with Maurice Alexander also being a core special teamer. Liuget was a midseason signing after the loss of Harrison Phillips to injury and although was fine in spot duty, he didn’t have a place in the d-line rotation after the signings of Vernon Butler and Quinton Jefferson. Coleman was arguably the most consistent contributor often getting reps at the safety spot any time either Jordan Poyer or Micah Hyde weren’t on the field. However, with the team gaining more tenure across the board under defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazer and Coleman turning 32 this summer, it may have been a case of age and need both working against him in 2020.

  • 2019 Best Bang For the Dollar Bills: Dawson Knox
    by Matt Warren on June 2, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images A rookie tight end turned heads in 2019. Every team relies on rookie deals and cheaper veterans to round out their roster. When they overperform, the team overperforms. The Buffalo Bills are no exception and during the 2019 season they had a solid group of overperforming players. Coming in at number seven on our countdown of these overachievers is tight end Dawson Knox. After an injury to Tyler Kroft, Knox took full advantage of the void to play his way into a starting role. He started 11 games and played in 15 in 2019, sitting out the regular-season finale. He played more than 60% of Buffalo’s snaps, doubling up the next tight ends on the roster, to place third among all the offensive skill positions behind only John Brown and Cole Beasley. He also played more than 18% of the special teams reps. Despite all the playing time and several highlight-reel plays, Knox only caught 28 passes for 388 yards and two TDs. That’s barely ahead of Isaiah McKenzie and good for fourth, third, and third on the team, respectively. His 56% catch rate was the lowest on the team of anyone with more than 18 targets and he had seven drops according to Rotoworld. (That’s more than one-third of the entire team’s yearly total.) All-in-all, Knox was tied for the 74th-highest cap hit among NFL tight ends at $700,545. For comparison, Buffalo’s other tight ends Lee Smith ($3.5 million) and Tyler Kroft ($5.1 million) made considerably more than Knox. Tommy Sweeney made roughly $519,000 and Jason Croom was just under $400,000. The league’s highest cap hit at tight end in 2019 was Jimmy Graham at just under $12.7 million. Top Ten Bang for the Dollar Bills, 2019 10. G Quinton Spain ($2.5 million)9. WR Isaiah McKenzie ($645,000)8. QB Josh Allen ($4.8 million)7. TE Dawson Knox ($700,545)6. Coming Thursday

  • Buffalo Bills 2010s All-Decade team: Running back
    by Dan Lavoie on June 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images Which runner defined the decade for the Bills? Over the course of a decade that started with a 4-12 season and ended with two playoff runs, one consistent theme for the Buffalo Bills was a strong rushing attack. The Bills had three different running backs reach 3,000 rushing yards during the decade, and two of them had over 5,000 yards from scrimmage. Who defines greatness for the last decade of Bills running backs? Read and cast your vote! Fred Jackson Jackson played five seasons with the Bills at the start of the decade, until the team cut him and he played one more year with the Seattle Seahawks. The man clawed his way to a starting job again and again, fighting off two first-round picks to reach his spot. He was an all-purpose back, equally dangerous running, catching, or pass protecting. He ties for the touchdown lead, comes second in rushing yards, and ranks first in yards from scrimmage—and that’s while playing his whole career sharing the spotlight with others. Overall stat line: 854 carries for 3,713 yards (4.35 YPC), 25 TDs. 217 catches for 1,762 yards (5.9 Y/Tgt), 5 TDs. C.J. Spiller Spiller is the efficiency king of this group, thanks in part to his Pro Bowl 2012 season, when he ran for six yards per carry—one of the best efficiency marks in league history. Originally a first-rounder, Spiller took time to become a starter for the Bills and only had two years as the lead back in a timeshare with Jackson. After his rookie contract was played out, Spiller played a couple more seasons with the New Orleans Saints. Overall stat line: 668 carries for 3,321 yards (4.97 YPC), 12 TDs. 158 catches for 1,195 yards (5.9 Y/Tgt), 6 TDs. LeSean McCoy McCoy was the star of the decade, originally joining the Bills through a shocking trade after establishing himself as one of the best backs in the league. He made three Pro Bowls for the Bills, and in his best season, totaled 1,623 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns. In his fourth and final year with the team, injuries and a terrible offense conspired to give him the worst season of his career. The Bills released McCoy ahead of his age-31 season after drafting rookie Devin Singletary and signing Frank Gore. Overall stat line: 885 carries for 3,814 yards (4.31 YPC), 25 TDs. 175 catches for 1,334 yards (5.8 Y/Tgt), 5 TDs. Place your vote: who was the best running back of the past decade? Editor’s note: If you’re on a mobile device, you may need to leave your news app and head directly to the site to vote in the poll.

  • 91 players in 91 days: C/G Spencer Long
    by Sean Murphy on June 2, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images The status of Buffalo’s top interior o-line reserve is one of the more interesting topics on the roster Prior to the 2019 season, the Buffalo Bills made a concerted effort to improve their offensive line. Of the eight men to start as an offensive lineman, only one—left tackle Dion Dawkins—remained with the team in 2019. The Bills spent in excess of $78 million on a total of six players, five of whom remain with the team heading into 2020. While the Bills spent big on their starting offensive line group, they didn’t hold back in shoring up the reserves, either, as they committed significant dollars to backup offensive linemen as well. With the salary-cap flexibility general manager Brandon Beane has engineered, it was a welcome sight that the Bills could stockpile some depth in case of injury. In today’s edition of “91 players in 91 days,” we profile one of those reserve offensive lineman—a versatile veteran who could find himself on the roster again or even serving as trade bait this summer. Name: Spencer LongNumber: 61Position: C/GHeight/Weight: 6’5”, 318 lbs. Age: 29 )30 on 11/8/2020)Experience/Draft: 7; selected in the third round (No. 78 overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft by WashingtonCollege: NebraskaAcquired: Signed as free agent with Buffalo on 2/12/19 Financial situation (per Spotrac): Long signed a three-year contract with the Bills that essentially amounted to a one-year deal with two club options for the team. In total, the contract is worth $12.6 million, with $1.2 million guaranteed. The Bills exercised the option for 2020 this winter, meaning that Long carries a $3.125 million cap hit if he makes the roster, and the Bills are on the hook for a $700,000 dead-cap charge if he’s released or traded. 2019 Recap: Long was a costly insurance policy for the Bills last year. While many speculated that his contract paid him to be a starter, he was beaten out by Quinton Spain and Jon Feliciano for the starting jobs at left and right guard. The Bills list him as a hybrid center/guard, but he was never going to be the starter at center once the team signed Mitch Morse. Long played significant offensive snaps in three games—twice he entered when Morse left with an injury (Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans and Week 12 against the Denver Broncos), and once he played when the team had its playoff positioning wrapped up (Week 17 against the New York Jets). In all, Long totaled 174 offensive snaps and 54 special teams snaps. Positional outlook: The Bills are in an enviable position, as they return their entire starting offensive line from last season. They also return many key reserves, Long included, and they’ve added some more competition, as well. The interior offensive line group includes Long, Morse, Feliciano, Spain, Ike Boettger, Marquel Harrell, and Evan Boehm. Darryl Williams and Ryan Bates are primarily tackles, but they can kick inside to play guard, as well. 2020 Offseason: Nothing new to report here. 2020 Season outlook: Long is a great insurance policy to have, as he has plenty of starting experience (44 starts from 2015-2018) at multiple positions, which the team obviously values. However, with the dearth of offensive line talent throughout the league and the glut of talent the Bills have, it’s possible that Beane parlays Long’s talent into some draft capital, which he’s done with reserve offensive linemen in each of the last two offseasons. My guess is that Long is on the roster as a “swing guard” come September, but I wouldn’t rule out a trade, either.


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Baltimore Beatdown - All Posts A Baltimore Ravens Community

  • Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti commits $1 million in funds to Baltimore-area social justice reform
    by Kyle P Barber on June 2, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images Bisciotti commits $1 million to committee of current and former Ravens to decide where the funds will be distributed. On Monday, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti released a statement on the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests. He empathized with the black community as well as announcing the “Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation and the Baltimore Ravens have jointly committed funds to support social justice reform through the Baltimore community. A committee of current and former Ravens players will determine which Baltimore-area programs will directly benefit from the contribution.” Steve Bisciotti: This is “yet another tragic example of the discrimination that African Americans face each day.” “There is nothing I can say to ease the pain felt by African American communities across our country. No words will repair the damage that has been done. “Like many people, I am sickened, disheartened and shaken by the acts of racism that continue to overwhelm our society. The most recent killing, involving George Floyd, is yet another tragic example of the discrimination that African Americans face each day. “Now, more than ever, we must all strengthen our pursuit of positive change, as we stand with peaceful protestors around the country. We must all seek to understand by listening better and learning more. We must all discover new ways to unite. We must all work to break the cycle of systematic racial injustice. “Our players have been – and will continue to be – at the forefront of this change. We believe in their commitment to furthering social justice and invoking meaningful change. We stand side by side with them, in full support. It is for this reason that I have asked a group of former and current Ravens players to decide which organizations should receive proceeds from the $1 million donation we are making today.”

  • Ravens News 6/2: Breakout candidates and more
    by Vasilis Lericos on June 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Every NFL team’s best draft class since 2000: Figuring out the best 32 drafts of the last 20 years - Bryan DeArdo Baltimore Ravens: 2018 While Baltimore’s 2008 draft class produced two players (Joe Flacco and Ray Rice) that played a prominent role in the team’s 2012 championship run, the Ravens’ 2018 class has the potential to be even better. The Ravens’ 2018 draft class includes reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson, 2019 Pro Bowl right tackle Orlando Brown Jr., and tight end Mark Andrews, who also earned Pro Bowl honors in 2019 after catching 10 touchdown passes. Baltimore’s ‘18 draft class also includes offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman, who has made 17 starts in his first two years, at a great value in the sixth round, plus another key contributor in linebacker Kenny Young, who was part of the trade that landed the team corner Marcus Peters. Tight end Hayden Hurst was traded to the Falcons this offseason in exchange for a second-round pick. Four Downs: AFC North - Rivers McCown Baltimore Ravens Biggest Need: Interior offensive line If we’re being honest, the Ravens’ massive influx of picks at least touched on all their holes and then some. But if there’s one situation that could be a little shaky, it’s the torch-passing up the middle. The Ravens spent a pair of mid-round picks there in third-rounder Tyre Phillips (Mississippi State) and fourth-rounder Ben Bredeson (Michigan). Those two will pair with Matt Skura, Patrick Mekari, and 2019 fourth-rounder Ben Powers to try to fill the shoes of Marshal Yanda at right guard and put an above-average center out there. As good as Baltimore’s run game was last year, and as old as Yanda was, this is probably best regarded as a talent downgrade until proven otherwise. Notable Undrafted Free Agents: The Ravens have one of the more impressive UDFA classes in the NFL. Given their uncertainty about the interior offensive line, they signed three different UDFAs that project there. Missouri’s Trystan Colon-Costillo reportedly got an $87,500 bonus — Lance Zierlein called him a center-only prospect and noted in his weaknesses that he was “unable to control the man he’s blocking,” which maybe doesn’t sound quite as promising as you’d like! The Ravens also added Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley, a sleeper in some circles, for a $30,000 bonus. BYU running back Ty’Son Williams, a Matt Waldman favorite who tore his ACL before last season, was signed to continue to stack the backfield. Finally, Last Chance U alum Chauncey Rivers, who transferred to Mississippi State, was regarded as one of the better UDFA edge players. The rich get richer. NFL ultimate all-conference teams: ACC and SEC - Mike Triplett NFL ultimate all-conference team: ACC OFFENSE QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame DEFENSE Flex Calais Campbell, Miami Toughest choice: Quarterback. Jackson, the NFL’s reigning MVP, won comfortably with seven out of nine votes. But the ACC had plenty of notable candidates, including Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers and Jameis Winston. 50 Words or Less - John Eisenberg The best move of DeCosta’s year? I’d vote for the Marcus Peters trade. He obtained a difference-making Pro Bowl cornerback from the Rams in exchange for a guy who only plays special teams in Los Angeles (Kenny Young) and a 2020 fifth-round draft pick the Rams traded away. Any employee in any field would want to have their boss compliment them as effusively as Harbaugh complimented Chuck Clark in explaining why the safety will continue to wear the green-dot helmet and call the defensive signals in 2020. Clark is “bold, brilliant and brief,” Harbaugh said. Yowza. I’m a tad surprised the Ravens’ favorite offensive personnel grouping by far in 2019 was one running back, one tight end and three wide receivers, according to The Athletic. Seems counterintuitive for an offense that loves tight ends and set the NFL record for team rushing yards in a season. Four Ravens that could have a breakout season in 2020 - Andrew Gillis EDGE, Jaylon Ferguson Ferguson might be the player on this list the Ravens would benefit the most from getting a breakout season from. As the team’s No. 2 pass-rusher last season, he played in 14 games (nine starts) and had 2.5 sacks. He made 31 combined tackles and had nine quarterback hits. Now with Matthew Judon playing under the franchise tag, a productive season would give the Ravens a legitimate second pass-rusher off the edge to compliment Judon on the other side. His potential increase in production isn’t just based on Ferguson’s development from year-to-year, either. The Ravens made vast improvements to the front seven over the offseason and added veterans Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe, as well as rookies Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington. With an improved interior rush, Ferguson could reap the benefits and have a breakout second season. If he does, not only will the Ravens have one of the best secondaries in the NFL, they’ll have one of the best defensive fronts, too.

  • 2020 AFC North Positional Rankings: Wide Receiver
    by Frank J. Platko on June 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports As the dog days of the NFL offseason continue to settle in, each team’s roster is pretty much set with free agency and the draft in the rear view mirror. Therefore, it’s an opportune time to detox with our annual positional rankings for the AFC North. After completing both the quarterback and running back rankings last week, we’ll stick with the skill position theme and examine the division’s wide receiver corps. Compared to last season, there’s a good amount of continuity at the position. A.J. Green is set to return from injury for the Bengals, who added Tee Higgins early in the draft. The Steelers and Ravens are hoping their young cores will make a leap in 2020 while the Browns returning wideout duo is one of the best in the NFL. You can find last year’s rankings by clicking the link here. Check out the ranking below, vote on the corresponding poll and join in on the conversation! 1) Cleveland Browns Starters: Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins Depth Chart: Damion Ratley, Donovan Peoples-Jones The Browns dynamic receiver duo of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry is more than enough to give them the top spot here. The pair each recorded over 1,000 receiving yards in 2019 and accounted for the majority of the team’s passing production. Landry saw 138 targets come his way and Beckham was targeted 133 times. The latter was expected to usurp the former as Baker Mayfield’s No. 1 receiver upon being traded to Cleveland but it was Landry who led the team in receptions, yardage and touchdowns. The dynamic slot receiver caught 83 passes for a career-high 1,174 receiving yards and six touchdowns. His average YPC of 14.1 was also a statistical best for his career. In what was considered a “down” campaign by his lofty standards, Beckham still managed to catch 74 balls for 1,035 receiving yards himself. He did so while reportedly dealing with a nagging injury throughout the season. After these two guys, Damion Ratley, Rashard Higgins and Antonio Callaway rounded out the receiving core in 2019. With the latter no longer in the picture, the Browns drafted WR Donovan Peoples-Jones in the sixth round, a high-upside wideout out of Michigan. 2) Cincinnati Bengals Starters: A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins Depth Chart: John Ross III, Auden Tate, Alex Erickson For the Bengals, there’s a potential case to be made that they could be higher than the Browns but also lower than the Steelers. Slotting them at No. 2 seems appropriate. Much of the team’s receiving success in 2020 will hinge on the return of veteran A.J. Green, who missed the entirety of last season with a leg injury. Green will 32 years old at the start of next season and has struggled to consistently stay on the field in recent years. When healthy, though, he’s proven himself as one of the top-tier wideouts in the NFL. Behind Green on the depth chart is Tyler Boyd, whose operated as the team’s de-facto No. 1 receiver over the past two seasons. In 2019, Boyd exceeded 1,000 receiving yards for the second consecutive year while catching 90 receptions and scoring five times. The Bengals also added a big-name receiver in the draft in Clemson’s Tee Higgins. Higgins is an athletic marvel at 6-foot-4 and should step in as a starter on the outside. Speedster John Ross III appeared to be on his way to a breakout campaign last season before succumbing to injuries yet again. Rounding out the group are Alex Erickson and Auden Tate, who provide solid depth. 3) Pittsburgh Steelers Starters: JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Diontae Johnson Depth Chart: Chase Claypool, Ryan Switzer, Deon Cain The Steelers’ receiving core is an interesting one. They weren’t wildly productive as a group last season but that comes with a bit of an asterisk, as JuJu Smith-Schuster was in-and-out of the lineup and Pittsburgh’s passing attack suffered without Ben Roethlisberger. Smith-Schuster suited up in 12 games and caught 42 of 70 targets for 552 receiving yards and five touchdowns. It was far from the encore campaign most expected after his terrific season in 2018, but the arrow still appears to be pointing up for the USC product. Pittsburgh was hoping James Washington would step into the No. 2 role behind Smith-Schuster in 2019 and while it took a little while for him to emerge, Washington wound up leading the team in receiving yardage (735) and YPC (16.7). Dionate Johnson had a solid rookie campaign but the Steelers still opted to address the position in early in this year’s draft, selecting Notre Dame’s Chase Claypool in the second round. Between this bunch, the Steelers have a pretty solid and versatile core top-to-bottom. The lack of a bonafide No. 1 receiver, though, is the justification for placing them slightly below the Bengals. 4) Baltimore Ravens Starters: Marquise Brown, Willie Snead IV, Miles Boykin Depth Chart: Devin Duvernay, James Proche, TBD Out of all their skill positions on offense, wide receiver is the only one where the aforementioned AFC North teams have a clear advantage over the Ravens. Baltimore returns their three starting wideouts from last season, headlined by rising sophomores Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin. The Ravens opted not to draft a receiver in the first or second round nor did they sign one in free agency, which speaks to the confidence they have in this young duo to take a step forward in Year 2. Brown showcased star potential at times in 2019. He finished his rookie campaign with 46 receptions on 71 targets for 584 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. “Hollywood” began and ended the season on particularly high notes, posting 147 receiving yard and two scores in Week 1 and snagging seven receptions for 123 yards in the divisional playoff game. Boykin didn’t establish himself much as a pass-catcher but proved to be a valuable downfield blocker. He has the athletic tools and profile to become more of an impact receiver and the Ravens are betting on him doing so in 2020. In the slot, veteran Willie Snead IV is back for his third season in Baltimore. Snead’s production declined in 2019 but he still finished third on the team in targets and caught five touchdown receptions. He’ll face stiffer competition from rookies Devin Duvernay and James Proche, two players who thrived as slot receivers in college. Not mentioned are Chris Moore, Jaleel Scott and De’Anthony Thomas, who are on the roster bubble heading into training camp.

  • Ravens News 6/1: Making defenses pay and more
    by Vasilis Lericos on June 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images John Harbaugh Talks About Next Step for Lamar Jackson and More - Clifton Brown Head Coach John Harbaugh wants the Ravens to capitalize on more deep passes next season, particularly when opponents crowd the line of scrimmage. The Ravens still plan to run the football better than anyone else in the NFL. But when their receivers are in single coverage and Lamar Jackson takes shots downfield, the Ravens need to hit on big plays more often. “Those corners are going to be one-on-one and those safeties are going to be one-on-one against receivers, especially on downfield throws, and we got to make them pay for it,” Harbaugh said during a Thursday conference call with PSL owners. “I really do believe that’s the next step for this offense from an execution standpoint. I really do believe Lamar is going to take the next step and our receivers are going to take the next step.” “We should have more guys open and we should have bigger plays and we should create more opportunities in the passing game because of that run game,” Harbaugh said. Could Bradley Bozeman return to center for Baltimore Ravens? - Mark Inabinett Whatever happens, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, Bozeman will remain in the starting lineup. “We can move guys around,” Harbaugh said on Thursday. “We have Boze, who can play center. There’s just a lot of ways we can do it. We’re going to find out about the first two or three weeks of training camp what looks the best and then let them fight it out. Let them compete. “We’ll have our best five guys. I do know the two tackles, Bozeman’s going to start.” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta was the first to mention publicly that Bozeman could wind up at center in 2020 when discussing Skura’s status earlier this month. “We’re fortunate that we’ve got three guys who can snap and compete at that spot,” DeCosta said. “We feel like we’ve got good depth there, and I think we’re in a good spot in terms of the guards and the centers and the combination of guys that could play both spots.” Bozeman served as Alabama’s starting center in 2016 and 2017, with the Tide winning the CFP national championship in the latter season. Baker Mayfield will bounce back; plus, five most improved units - Bucky Brooks TOP 5 MOST IMPROVED UNITS: Ravens restock 2. Baltimore Ravens defensive line: After receiving a beatdown at the hands of the rugged Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the Ravens upgraded their defensive line with the additions of Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe and third-round pick Justin Madubuike. The additional beef along the line will help the Ravens slow down punishing rushing attacks while adding more pop to the pass rush. Campbell, in particular, gives the unit an interior pass-rushing presence that should enable Matt Judon to get more one-on-one opportunities to hunt the quarterback on obvious passing downs. Ranking the Ravens’ five likeliest rookies to make an impact in 2020 - Andrew Gillis 2. Devin Duvernay Duvernay will join a Ravens receiving corps in need of a second wide receiver to prove himself. With Mark Andrews at tight end and Marquise Brown as the team’s two clear top options in the receiving game, there is still an opening for a third option to emerge from the group. The speedster from Texas could be it. With 4.39 40-yard dash speed, Duvernay will immediately be one of the fastest players not only on the offense, but on the team. He posted 106 catches last season for 1,386 yards at Texas, but his toughness was what stood out to the Ravens. If he’s able to prove his worth early on, he could find himself as the team’s third option in the receiving game. 4. J.K. Dobbins Dobbins has perhaps the highest ceiling on this list, and the floor is higher than perhaps anyone but Queen for his rookie year. The problem is, the ceiling involves some exceptions. He’ll join a crowded backfield with Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, not to mention that his new quarterback is the league’s best running quarterback as well. Dobbins might end up having the greatest long-term impact on this list, but the odds of him taking on a major role in the offense — while he’s essentially guaranteed at least some kind of role in 2020 — would require him stepping up as the clear No. 1 running back, or a host of injuries.

  • Which Ravens players have the potential to breakout in 2020?
    by Adrian Charchalis on May 31, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images The Ravens roster is filled with a number of players who may finally blossom during the 2020 NFL season. Many players within a youthful Ravens roster will have opportunities to become starters this upcoming season. The reliance on production by rookies and second year players will inevitably lead to certain players breaking out and becoming essential to the success of what is shaping to become another playoff season. Here are a number of breakout-season candidates who I feel will take the next step as pro football players: WR Marquise Brown 2019 stats: 46 receptions, 584 yards, 7 touchdowns, 12.7 YPR One of the more obvious breakout player candidates is Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. During the offseason, Brown has taken all proper steps to ensure the healing of his foot, which at times severely hindered his ability to play at a high level last season. Despite the lisfranc foot injury that he dealt with the entire season, Brown still managed to put together a very impressive rookie season. Brown’s on-field presence completely altered how defenses schemed against the Baltimore offense. Brown’s speed, which is his most dangerous trait, added a completely new element to the Ravens offense. Brown’s superb playoff performance against the Tennessee Titans showed an increase rapport between he and Lamar Jackson (especially with the high ankle injury of Mark Andrews). Now, with a full offseason to heal his foot, Brown has taken the necessary steps to get his body into NFL shape. Last season, Brown played at a measly 157 pounds. Brown now looks significantly more muscular and ready to absorb big hits, which he repeatedly avoided last season by throwing himself to the turf. Additionally, Brown has been posting videos on Instagram to show his improved footwork, foot speed, and hands. By being 100% healthy, expectations for Brown are very high. If you thought Hollywood was good in his rookie year, just wait. WR Miles Boykin 2019 stats: 13 receptions, 198 yards, 3 touchdowns, 15.2 YPR Miles Boykin undoubtedly has the first crack at the Z-receiver spot. With no veteran free agent additions to complement this year’s draft class, full faith is in Boykin to solidify himself as Brown’s sidekick. Although Boykin was a ghost at times last season, he put together a few highlight plays. What first comes to mind is the deep ball he caught from Lamar Jackson in the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks. Not only will Boykin have a chance to fulfill his potential as a pass-catcher, but he’ll also improve his blocking, which was an area of promise for him. With a year of NFL experience under his belt, the improvement of his already steady hands, greater quickness of his footwork, and crisper route running, Boykin is in the drivers seat to cement himself as a solid No. 2 receiver. EDGE Jaylon Ferguson 2019 stats: 20 solo tackles, 11 assisted, 2.5 sacks, 6 TFL, 9 QB hits After a slow start to his rookie season, Jaylon Ferguson really began to flashed his sheer power as a pass-rusher. After the injury of Pernell McPhee, Ferguson earned more playing time and showed great promise. More consistent play as well as a diversification of pass-rush moves (since Ferguson exclusively stuck to his bread n’ butter bull rush) will be needed from Ferguson to have a breakout season. Nonetheless, sharing snaps with the likes of Derek Wolfe and Justin Madubuike will allow for Ferguson to take advantage of tired offensive linemen. Needless to say, inevitably getting a few pointers from Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe will only help Ferguson’s development. RB J.K. Dobbins 2019 stats at Ohio State: 301 carries, 2003 yards, 6.7 YPC, 21 TDs, 23 receptions, 247 yards, 2 TDs The addition of J.K. Dobbins in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft may have been the most prudent of Eric DeCosta’s draft picks. It is clear that Dobbins was drafted to be Mark Ingram’s successor. Dobbins’ fit within the offense with his downhill running tendencies makes him a candidate to immediately succeed in the NFL. Although Ingram is undoubtedly the starter to begin next season, I wouldn't be surprised if Dobbins supplants Gus Edwards as the No. 2 running back, and eventually Ingram for the top spot. I expect the Ravens to bring Dobbins along strategically and patiently. His share of carries will increase as the season continues. With Ingram being on the wrong side of 30 in addition to his inability to finish last season strong due to injury, it is imperative that Dobbins will see the field to increase the longevity of Ingram’s season. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if Dobbins’ strong play earns him the starting job by midseason. DT Daylon Mack 2019 stats: Was a healthy scratch most of the season until he was put on injured reserve in Week 10 The Ravens brought back Justin Ellis and did not sign any free agent nose guards. As of now, the spot once occupied by Michael Pierce is up for grabs, and I feel that Daylon Mack may be the guy to solidify himself as the backup to Brandon Williams. Mack flashed at times during the preseason but failed to make any lasting regular season impacts. However, this season could be his time to establish himself as a notable rotating nose guard. ILB Malik Harrison 2019 stats at Ohio State: 49 solo tackles, 26 assisted, 16.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 4 PDs, 2 FRs While at Ohio State, Malik Harrison was an absolute thumper at the middle linebacker spot. His 16.5 TFL shows his ability as a blitzer and a gap shooter. The third-round draft pick has an opportunity to take the linebacker job once occupied by Patrick Onwuasor, and I see him is the perfect replacement. Harrison's superb run defense and hard hitting will be exactly what the Ravens need in the middle of their defense. Harrison’s less-than-desirable coverage abilities will be masked as Patrick Queen will be the main coverage linebacker. As a result, Harrison can stick to his strengths while developing other areas. I was a big fan of the Harrison draft pick, and I expect him to make a serious immediate impact in the weak-side linebacker spot.



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2020 NFL Draft prospect profile: Albert Okwuegbunam

by Chris Pflum on February 3, 2020 at 4:00 pm

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports Does Okwuegbunam have untapped upside? The tight end position is an interesting one for the New York Giants. From a strictly “on paper” perspective, they are “set” at the position for 2020. Evan Engram has nightmare potential as a receiving weapon (assuming coaches let him catch the ball further than 5 yards downfield) and is a better blocker than he gets credit for, Rhett Ellison is a quality number two tight end, and Kaden Smith emerged as a bright spot in a fairly dismal season. However, it seems like a fairly obvious move that Ellison is a cap casualty once we get to the free agency portion of the off-season. That leaves a depth chart of Engram with one to two years left on his rookie contract and Smith as the Giants likely tight ends in 2020. The team could take another look at C.J. Conrad and Garrett Dickerson to fill out their depth chart, but they could also look to the 2020 NFL Draft. This is not a great tight end draft, but there are several players who could provide value in the middle rounds. Missouri tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was under-utilized in college, but he has a prototypical frame and the athletic tools to be a complete NFL tight end. Is he on the Giants’ radar? Prospect: Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri Games Watched: vs. Memphis (2018), vs. South Carolina (2019), vs. Ole Miss (2019)Red Flags: None Measurables Height: 6050 (6-feet, 5 inches)Weight: 255 pounds*Note: Height and weight are from Missouri. Official height and weight will be recorded at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine Career Stats Games Played: 27Yards: 1187Receptions (ypc): 98 (12.1)Touchdowns: 23 Quick Summary Best: Ball skills, Versatility, Frame, Vertical routesWorst: ExplosivenessProjection: A top depth player in a scheme that emphasizes 12 personnel Game Tape Full Report Albert Okwuegbunam (pronounced “O-coo-WAY-boo-nahm”) has a prototypical frame for a tight end at the NFL level and enough athleticism to be a threat at all areas of the field. Okwuegbunam played out of a number of alignments in Missouri’s offense, lining up as an in-line tight end, detached, in the slot, as a wide receiver, and as an H-back over the course of a game. He proved able to be effective from each of those alignments. Okwuegbunam has a good ability to find and attack voids in coverage, either against shallow zone coverage or down the field on seam routes. He has a good ability to sink his hips and make sharp cuts for a larger player, which allows him to create separation on quick passes. On deeper routes he shows a good ability to track the ball in the air, adjust his routes and extend to catch the ball. And in the open field he is able to lengthen his stride and pick up yards after the catch, as well as power through poor tackle attempts. Okwuegbunam is at his best blocking on the back side of outside zone runs or blocking against linebackers or defensive backs in space. Missouri would frequently use him at wide receiver to provide blocking for receiver bubble screens, and he is able to dominate smaller players. Okwuegbunam does not have explosiveness as an athlete and has a tendency to roll out of his stance as a receiver. He also lacks burst in the open field, which can limit his separation or run after catch potential. When blocking, Okwuegbunam can be content to “catch” defenders and doesn’t always strike and drive when blocking head-on. He also needs to improve his leverage and pad level as a blocker. Overall Grade: 4.2 – A player with mostly average traits and a couple above average traits. A mid-round value. Projection Albert Okwuegbunam has the potential to be a complete tight end, but he will need to improve his blocking. Okwuegbunam is not a quick-twitch athlete, but he has a good ability to find voids in coverage and the ball skills to maximize receiving windows. Early in his career he could be a dangerous weapon in the red zone for a team that uses 12-personnel packages and can put him in position to emphasize his current skill set. He has the frame and enough athletic tools to eventually be a starter in the NFL, but currently he is better as a secondary tight end. He would be best brought on for his size and ball skills in short yardage or red zone situations, or to block for screen plays or on the perimeter. He will need to hone his craft as a blocker and continue to work on being crisp in his route running to reach his potential.


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Eagles outlook: Howie Roseman performance review

by Brandon Lee Gowton on February 3, 2020 at 5:58 pm

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images What’s your confidence level in the Eagles’ EVP/GM? Now that we’ve concluded the player and coach sections of our Eagles outlook series, we’re shifting our attention to Philadelphia’s front office. Executive vice president/general manager Howie Roseman is up for his turn under the microscope. Previously: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Offensive tackle | Offensive guard | Center | Defensive end | Defensive tackle | Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety | Specialists | Special teams coverage and return units | Head coach | Defensive coordinator. HOWIE ROSEMAN REVIEW Roseman’s 2017 offseason was pretty strong; it earned him NFL Executive of the Year honors in addition to a Super Bowl ring. Roseman’s 2018 offseason was more of a mixed bag, at best. His 2019 offseason? Closer to 2018 than 2017. For the second year in a row, the Eagles failed to get great production out of their March acquisitions. Malik Jackson and DeSean Jackson were supposed to be important contributors but they both only lasted one game. Injuries are bad luck to some extent, of course, but age is also a factor and Malik was 29 and DeSean was 32. The Eagles cut L.J. Fort after just four games despite giving him nearly $2 million guaranteed. Andrew Sendejo, whose most memorable contribution involved concussing Avonte Maddox, lasted nine games before being waived. Both of these veterans were ultimately released in part due to compensatory pick considerations. Trading for Jordan Howard was one of Roseman’s better offseason moves. For the mere cost of a 2020 sixth-round pick, the Eagles acquired a 24-year-old running back who was leading the team in rushing prior to suffering a season-ending injury in Week 9. The 2019 NFL Draft saw the Eagles only made five selections for the second year in a row. Trading up for Andre Dillard was important since it gives the Eagles a legitimate succession plan for Jason Peters. Dillard flashed starting potential as a rookie but also allowed the highest pressure rate in the NFL. Miles Sanders was a home run pick as he had a legitimate case for Offensive Rookie of the Year. The book on JJ Arcega-Whiteside’s career isn’t closed but it’s certainly not off to a great start, especially considering how many other wide receivers produced as rookies. Walking away from a loaded defensive line class with Shareef Miller — who isn’t nearly a lock to make the roster in 2020 — wasn’t great. The Clayton Thorson pick was just a total waste of a selection and it was never easy to understand what about his profile led the Eagles to believe he was going to be worthwhile. T.J. Edwards was a solid find in undrafted free agency. The Eagles’ internal evaluations were also up and down. They were smart to extend Carson Wentz’s contract early as opposed to waiting for the quarterback price tag to go up. Keeping Brandon Graham and preventing Jason Kelce from retiring by extending his deal were smart moves. Re-signing Ronald Darby wasn’t so great. Neither was holding on to Nelson Agholor as the 26th highest paid wide receiver in terms of annual value ($9.4 million). Guaranteeing Alshon Jeffery’s contract for the 2020 season was a huge unforced error that’ll never be easy to comprehend. Re-signing Jordan Matthews and Jay Ajayi during the season ended up being wastes of time as the Eagles only delayed younger, more deserving players (see: Greg Ward and Boston Scott) from emerging. Overall, I don’t think Roseman made the right moves to adequately help the Eagles in 2019. I know there was a time where we thought he assembled the most talented roster in the NFL but that perception clearly didn’t turn out to be reality. The Eagles ending up with arguably the league’s worst wide receiving corps for the second time in three years was a big issue. It was frustrating to see cornerback still be a big issue as 2017 draft picks Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas failed to be solutions. The belief here is that the Eagles making the playoffs had a lot more to do with Doug Pederson coaching his butt off and Wentz elevating his teammates than it did with Roseman setting the team up for success. I’d give Roseman’s 2019 performance a C-. OUTLOOK Roseman obviously isn’t going anywhere; the Eagles signed him to a contract extension through the 2022 season during the summer following the Super Bowl LII win. While Roseman’s contributions to Philadelphia’s championship victory should always be appreciated, it’s fair to be disappointed with how the team hasn’t been able to maintain their elite status. The Eagles are merely 19-16 (including three postseason games) since hoisting their first Vince Lombardi Trophy. Looking back even further, the Eagles are 87-73 in the regular season and 4-4 in the playoffs since Roseman was first promoted to general manager in 2010. If you remove 2017, the Eagles are 74-70 in the regular season and 1-4 in the playoffs. Obviously, one can’t just take out the Super Bowl year when evaluating Roseman. He absolutely deserves credit for that. The question is: to what extent was that season the outlier? Can Roseman get the Eagles back to being one of the best teams in the league? There’s reason to be skeptical. The Eagles have big needs at wide receiver and cornerback this offseason and Roseman’s track record at those positions is … not good. Then again, I do think Roseman’s postmortem press conference following the 2019 season was encouraging. He was honest about how he hasn’t been good enough and he talked about how the team needs to get younger. The Eagles should avoid being a bad team since Roseman has done well to identify the right head coach and quarterback, two crucial elements to lasting success. He’s also built a strong foundation through the trenches. But now the pressure is on Roseman to help the Eagles improve. He needs to give Wentz and the coaching staff more help than he has the past two years.


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Patriots add experience, flexibility to their coaching staff by hiring Jedd Fisch

by Bernd Buchmasser on January 27, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Related: Patriots hiring recent Rams assistant offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch On Friday, news broke that the New England Patriots have added another assistant to their coaching staff: after already bringing Vinnie Sunseri on board earlier during the week, the team also added Jedd Fisch, who had previously worked as the Los Angeles Rams’ assistant offensive coordinator. While Fisch’s role with the team — just like Sunseri’s — has yet to be determined, the expectation is that he will work primarily on the offensive side of the ball. Wherever the Patriots opt to use the 43-year-old, one thing is certain: he will add considerable experience to the team’s staff. After all, his résumé includes six separate stints with NFL teams as well as coordinator positions at four Division I schools: 1997 — P. K. Yonge Developmental Research School Gainesville (high school): Defensive coordinator 1998 — New Jersey Red Dogs (Arena League): Wide receivers/Quality control 1999-00 — Florida Gators: Graduate assistant 2001-03 — Houston Texans: Defensive quality control 2004-07 — Baltimore Ravens: Assistant quarterbacks/Assistant wide receivers 2008 — Denver Broncos: Wide receivers 2009 — Minnesota Golden Gophers: Offensive coordinator/Quarterbacks 2010 — Seattle Seahawks: Quarterbacks 2011-12 — Miami Hurricanes: Offensive coordinator/Quarterbacks 2013-14 — Jacksonville Jaguars: Offensive coordinator 2015-16 — Michigan Wolverines: Quarterbacks/Wide receivers/Passing game coordinator 2017 — UCLA Bruins: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks/Interim head coach 2018-19 — Los Angeles Rams: Senior offensive assistant/Assistant offensive coordinator Fisch’s 23 years in coaching have not only seen him move up the ranks at a considerable pace — from high school to the NFL through the Arena League and college football — but also to work under numerous different coaches: he served under Mike Shanahan in Denver, Pete Carroll in Seattle, John Harbaugh at Michigan, and most recently Sean McVay in Los Angeles. All four have had their fair share of success at the NFL/NCAA levels. Fisch’s experience also comes from his roles, however, with quarterback coaching in particular standing out. Not only did he serve as a tutor for such experienced passers as Matt Hasselbeck, he also played a critical role in the development of some big-name youngsters: in Jacksonville, he was trusted to develop first-round pick Blake Bortles, before finding more success with UCLA’s Josh Rosen and the Rams’ Jared Goff. While the Patriots might opt to use his experience as a quarterbacks coach in regards to their own developmental passers — Jarrett Stidham and Cody Kessler — they already have the position filled in the form of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Furthermore, the team also employs Mick Lombardi, who worked as assistant quarterbacks coach in 2019. It is possible New England moves Lombardi to another position, but it would also not be a surprise to see Fisch be used in a non-quarterback spot. The one that stands out, of course, is wide receiver. Since losing special teams/wide receivers coach Joe Judge to the New York Giants, the Patriots have yet to officially fill the position. Lombardi is a candidate to take over as is last year’s assistant Troy Brown, but Fisch could also be the chosen one: he worked with the wide receivers in Denver and at Michigan, and has the experience as a coordinator to find success in New England as well. Time will tell whether or not the team opts to use the ex-Ram that way, or if head coach Bill Belichick has other plans


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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 If you are looking for gear click the link to Shop 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.


  • Saints sign a familiar face, Tommylee Lewis to reserve futures deal

    by cajuncommando58 on January 27, 2020 at 11:13 pm

    Sorry Tommy Lee don’t think you’ll be doing much of this. | Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images Camp body or message to the under performers? The Saints are bring back Tommylee Lewis. They have signed him to a reserve/futures deal which means he will get a chance to compete in camp. The Saints originally signed Lewis in 2016 as an UDFA. He made the final 53 and was on the roster for the NFCCG on 1-20-19, when you know what happened. That was his final game as a Saint. Lewis was signed by the Lions 3-19-19 but was released during final cuts on 8-30-19. In October of 2019 Tommylee Lewis was selected in the fifth round of the 2020 XFL draft by the Dallas Renegades. During his career he has 20 receptions for 252 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned 24 kickoffs for 528 yards with a long of 39. Returned 36 punts for 339 yards and a long of 59. No touchdowns. He has fumbled 4 times losing 2 of them. He will perhaps push some of our other receivers who have been disappointing to say the least, but it’s a long shot for him to make the final roster. WR/KR Deonte Harris almost assuredly has his spot locked down. Injuries do happen and the Saints are practicing due diligence.

  • Saints 2019 Year in Review: A.J. Klein

    by BobRose on January 27, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images Looking back at one of the most underrated of New Orleans defenders in 2019. The New Orleans Saints entered the 2019 season with a linebacking unit considered their best in the Sean Payton era. The unit, long considered a team weakness, has been retooled with a third round draft pick in 2017 (Alex Anzalone) and two free agent signings in Demario Davis and A.J. Klein. Anzalone was lost early in 2019 with injury, but the team's linebackers performed up to task for the majority of the season. Much of the reason for that was due to the performance of today's year in review: A.J. Klein. Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports A.J. Klein was signed as a free agent by the Saints in 2017 away from division rival Carolina, where he had played for the first four years of his career. After being a key reserve and spot starter at linebacker for the Panthers, Klein was an immediate starter for the Saints defense. He had 2 sacks, 54 tackles (6 for loss), 4 passes defensed, and a forced fumble in twelve starts with New Orleans in 2017. Klein would start 15 games for the Saints in 2018, playing a key role for one of the league's most improved defenses. The 6'1 240-Lb linebacker would finish that season with 70 tackles, including 7 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and an interception. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images The 28-Yr old Klein was one of the Saints most underrated defensive players in 2019. He had a career high 2.5 sacks and 7 quarterback pressures to go along with 67 tackles, six of those for loss. Klein was also credited with two passes defensed, forced a fumble, had a fumble recovery, and intercepted a pass which he returned for an important score in a road victory over the Panthers. Klein is not strong in man coverage because of limited athleticism, but was still a valuable tool in the Saints pass defense. He is both smart in his coverage drops and has proven to be a skillful blitzer. Klein's biggest strength is his read-and-react ability as a run defender. He consistently knifed between opposing blockers to make a play on running backs at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield, helping fuel the Saints 4th ranked run defense. A.J. Klein is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but New Orleans is expected to make a strong push to re-sign him. He has been a vital part of a Saints defense that has become one of the better units in the NFL over the last three seasons.


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Washington Redskins Blog

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  • Super Bowl Day Pregame Discussion Thread

    by Mark Tyler on February 2, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Today’s the big one…then fans go into hiding for the next 6 months until we get some football again. I find it very difficult to go without meaningful football for six months. Luckily, I have become a pretty big baseball fan over the last 10 years, so that helps pass the time. And obviously, we have free agency and the draft to help keep us sane for a few months. Anyways, let’s discuss some of your favorite Super Bowl game prep. Maybe it’s food, a big party, gambling; etc. Some possible discussion topics: – Who are you pulling for? – Can you root for Kyle Shanahan after all the digs he’s taken at our organization? – Predict the score… – Do you wear your favorite team’s jersey to your Super Bowl party? – Who’s betting the game? What are your bets? – Game Spread – what’s your favorite food for the big game? – Drink of choice? – Halftime show – will you watch? – Best Super Bowl national anthem you’ve ever seen? – If the Redskins were in the game, what would your routine look like? – What number will Chase Young wear? Oh, and Happy Groundhog Day!

  • All aTwitter: 2 February 2020

    by Bill-in-Bangkok on February 2, 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 Redskins twitter feed: Tweets from “Very much lucky to be alive. Very lucky to still have my leg.”Alex Smith tells @JeremySchaap how his 2018 injury almost cost him everything.— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) February 1, 2020 Impossible not to be rooting for & have massive respect for Alex Smith. #Redskins— Al Galdi (@AlGaldi) February 1, 2020 Alex Smith… holy shit— Danny (@recordsANDradio) February 1, 2020— Elizabeth Smith (@lizbsmith11) February 1, 2020 “If Alex is healthy and he's rolling, and he's competing, and he wins the job, he'll be the starter. I mean, it's that simple. And vice versa. If Dwayne goes out and does the things he's supposed to, developing like we're hoping he can, he'll start. This is about competition.”— Burgundy Blog (@BurgundyBlog) February 1, 2020 Alex Smith w/Jeremy Schaap on Outside the Lines right now. Smith nearly died, lost leg, and is still healing today. If he plays football again, it would be one of the all-time sports comebacks. #Redskins— Kevin Sheehan (@kevinsheehanDC) February 1, 2020 Rivera to @JPFinlayNBCS in #RedskinsTalk pod: “If people don't want to buy into what the vision is, people don't want to agree with what you want to do, and how you want it, we gotta get rid of them.”— Burgundy Blog (@BurgundyBlog) January 31, 2020 Happy Birthday @VernonDavis85 Thank you for all you do to make our community a better place! #HTTR | #RedskinsGiveBack— Redskins Community (@RedskinsCR) February 1, 2020 “I'm tired of always hearing, ‘He shows glimpses…'” Good @kareemcopeland story on Derrius Guice's injury frustration.— Les Carpenter (@Lescarpenter) February 1, 2020 Congrats to @AdrianPeterson, winner of the 2019 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award! Another great honor for 2️⃣6️⃣‼️#HTTR— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) February 2, 2020 “To me, it's all about inspiring others, uplifting others, that's the main objective when it comes to life in general. And having this platform, that's how I want it to be used.” #HTTR : #NFLHonors | 8pm ET on FOX— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) February 2, 2020 Proud of you brother @AdrianPeterson ❤️— 2️⃣9️⃣ (@DhaSickest) February 2, 2020 QBs : Todd Rosenberg/NFL— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) February 2, 2020 “He's an example on and off the field of what it is supposed to look like. How to work and someone to look up to especially in the locker room.” We caught up with @dh_simba7 on the #NFLHonors red carpet to talk about @AdrianPeterson's award and more. #NFLHonors |8pm ET on FOX— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) February 2, 2020 The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020: S Troy Polamalu RB Edgerrin James S Steve Atwater G Steve Hutchinson WR Isaac Bruce.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 1, 2020 #Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is the MVP for the 2019 season. For the second time ever, there was a unanimous MVP. Unreal.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 1, 2020 The 2019 Most Valuable Player.@Lj_era8 joins @TomBrady as the only players in NFL history to be unanimously selected as MVP! #NFLHonors— NFL (@NFL) February 2, 2020 : Cardinals QB Kyler Murray named 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of Year— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) February 1, 2020 NFL s:MVP: Ravens QB Lamar JacksonDPOY: Patriots CB Stephon GilmoreOPOY: Saints WR Michael ThomasCPOY: Titans QB Ryan TannehillOROY: Cardinals QB Kyler MurrayDROY: 49ers DE Nick Bosa COY: Ravens John HarbaughACOY: Ravens Greg Roman— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 1, 2020 Former Patriot Chandler Jones finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting behind Stephon Gilmore.Final voting tallies (out of 50):Gilmore: 21Jones: 14T.J. Watt: 10Shaq Barrett: 2Danielle Hunter: 1Tre'Davious White: 1Aaron Donald: 1— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) February 1, 2020 Here are the full voting results for the 2019 AP NFL awards▪️ MVP▪️ Offensive Player Of The Year▪️ Defensive Player Of The Year▪️ Comeback Player Of The Year▪️ Defensive Rookie Of The Year▪️ Offensive Rookie Of The Year▪️ Coach Of The Year▪️ Assistant Coach Of The Year— René Bugner (@RNBWCV) February 1, 2020 All 50 AP voters picked Lamar Jackson as MVP.All 9 Sports Illustrated voters picked Jackson.The Pro Football Writers Association picked Jackson.Sporting News picked Jackson.PFF picked… Russell Wilson as MVP.— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) February 2, 2020 We're live at Pro Football Hall of Fame voting on South Beach, where #Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is considered a virtual lock … and then the field is largely wide open. @nflnetwork @gmfb— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 1, 2020 No longer eligible for this committee. Up to the seniors now. This group totally botched it— Andy Pollin (@andypollin1) February 1, 2020 Colts of the 2000sHall of Fame exec — Bill PolianHall of Fame coach — Tony DungyHall of Fame QB — Peyton Manning (eligible next year)Hall of Fame WR — Marvin HarrisonHall of Fame RB — Edgerrin James— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) February 1, 2020 Genuinely surprised by Stephen A.'s inability tonight to match the tone of the moment. Can't drop the schtick even for just one day. My expectations of him are consistently low and he still manages to disappoint.— Sports Media Watch (@paulsen_smw) February 1, 2020 George Kittle sustaining blocks is football pornography.— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) February 1, 2020 It's been a long road to #SBLIV but @RMos_8Ball made it.— Strong Side (@strongsidenfl) February 2, 2020 When chaos breaks loose, ⁦@NFL⁩ calls in Bill Vinovich. Low flag count, efficient administration and, as we explain, not at fault for missed call in 2018 NFC Championship Game.— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) February 1, 2020 Just once in the last 16 Super Bowls has a player rushed for 100 yards in a winning effort. Will that change tomorrow?This graph shows the # of rushing yards by the leading rusher for the winning and losing team in each Super


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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 | 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. 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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