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

 

 

Windy City Gridiron – All Posts A Chicago Bears community

  • The Bear’s Den, July 27, 2019

    by Ken Mitchell on July 27, 2019 at 9:00 am

    The front gate for the 2019 Chicago Bears Training Camp in Bourbonnais, IL. Photo by Denmaster Ken. Today’s the day! It’s the first public day of training camp in Bourbonnais in 2019, and already the injury bug has hit… BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS, BEAR DOWN!!!! Let’s do this thing! pic.twitter.com/vcvCdsBf90— Ken Mitchell (@WCGBearsDenDude) July 27, 2019 BEARRRSSSS Mitchell Trubisky finds it hard to argue with steady, incremental improvement – Bearmaven – Bears quarterback calls Ryan Pace’s goal a theme for training camp. Anthony Miller says he was ‘busted up’ during playoff loss to Eagles – Bears Wire – Chicago Bears WR Anthony Miller admitted he was nowhere near 100% during the team’s playoff loss to the Eagles last season. Riley Ridley Suffered a Hamstring Injury During the First Practice at Training Camp – Bleacher Nation – The first training camp injury hopefully isn’t a sign of things to come. It Sounds Like True Love Is Blooming Between Chuck Pagano and the Bears Defense – Bleacher Nation – Let the love fest between the Bears and their new DC begin! The Bears Defense Shouldn’t Be Afraid of the Big, Bad Regression Monster – Bleacher Nation – Even if the Bears defense takes a step back, it’s still a great unit. Watch: 670 The Score Broadcasts Live From Bears Training Camp – 670 The Score – 670 The Score will broadcast live from Bears training camp for five days. 5@5: What Represents Good Progress For Trubisky? – 670 The Score – The Mully & Haugh crew debates a five-pack of questions every weekday. Bears Rookie WR Riley Ridley Leaves Practice With Hamstring Injury – 670 The Score – Bears rookie receiver Riley Ridley left the team’s first practice of training camp with a hamstring injury, coach Matt Nagy said Friday evening. Bears training camp report: Analysis from the first practice – Chicago Sun-Times – The Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley breaks down Friday’s practice, the Bears’ first of training camp: Rev. Nicholas A. Marro, team chaplain who helped motivate Bears before 1985 Super Bowl win, dead at 84 – Chicago Sun-Times – Walter Payton, Steve McMichael and other players would line up before games to ask for a blessing from ‘Father Nick.’ Bears undaunted by Super Bowl hype – Chicago Sun-Times – “We wouldn’t want it any other way,” Allen Robinson said. “I think we’re prepared mentally and physically for this.” How long until Bears D bonds with new coordinator Chuck Pagano? ‘It’s like dating, man’ – Chicago Sun-Times – Akiem Hicks grew close to defensive coordinator Vic Fangio before he left to become the Broncos’ head coach. Bourbonnais newbies Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith ready to get started: ‘We’re trying to get rings. That’s the thing.' – Chicago Tribune – A year ago, neither Khalil Mack nor Roquan Smith set foot in Bourbonnais for Bears training camp. This time around, they're trying to make their presence felt. 3 things we learned at the Bears’ first practice, including Matt Nagy’s take on Tarik Cohen’s entrance and Riley Ridley’s new injury – Chicago Tribune – The Bears' first practice included a new injury to a rookie receiver as well as Matt Nagy's reaction to Tarik Cohen's training camp entrance. Burton takes step in right direction – ChicagoBears.com – Recovering from offseason sports hernia surgery, Bears tight end Trey Burton was able to participate in the team’s first training camp practice Friday. Quick hits: Nagy on running backs in pads, injury to Ridley – ChicagoBears.com – After months of non-contact practices, new Bears running backs David Montgomery and Mike Davis will finally get a chance to show their physical running styles when the pads come on Sunday at training camp. Chalk Talk: How many receivers will make roster? – ChicagoBears.com – Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses how many receivers could earn roster spots, the last time the Bears finished back-to-back seasons with the same record and the Bears’ record when Mitchell Trubisky passes for at least 300 yards. Bears' Akiem Hicks puts understanding of new defense at “C” level – Bearmaven – Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack call understanding defensive changes at training camp critical. ‘One shot’ — Bears K Elliott Fry begins training-camp battle with Eddy Piñeiro – Chicago Sun-Times – Elliott Fry’s two-word tattoo looks as through it’s been pounded into his skin by a typewriter. After grinding his way back, Bears’ Anthony Miller eager to show what he can do – Chicago Sun-Times – ‘I wasn’t myself the entire season,” second-year WR said. “So you’ll get that this season.” Bears TE Trey Burton back on field, poised for big season – Chicago Sun-Times – Few skill players figure to be as crucial for the Bears as Burton, who is working back from a sports hernia. POLISH SAUSAGE Antonio Brown goes to Raiders camp in hot air balloon – NFL.com – There may be no more time-honored tradition than Antonio Brown arriving at training camp via some outlandish vehicle. Behold, A.B.’s latest grand entrance. KNOW THINE ENEMY Report: Detroit Lions sign Mike Daniels to 1-year, $9.1 million deal – Pride Of Detroit – The Pro Bowler appears to be coming to Detroit after a surprising release from the Packers. Detroit Lions Quandre Diggs calls leaving daughter for training camp ‘hardest day of my life’ – Pride Of Detroit – The Lions safety reported for training camp just 6 days after becoming a father. Minnesota Vikings Training Camp: Vikings CB depth is suddenly a thing again – Daily Norseman – Early injuries and a lengthy suspension have raised depth concerns Mike Daniels, Lions finalizing contract, per report – Acme Packing Company – Two days after the Packers released Mike Daniels, the veteran defensive lineman appears ready to join the division-rival Lions. Darius Slay: Everybody in the world knows I’m underpaid – ProFootballTalk – Darius Slay showed up to work on time, but the cornerback wants it known he wants a new deal. No, better said, he wants it known he deserves a new deal. Slay is scheduled to make $12.55 million this season in the third year of a four-year extension and $10 million for 2020. Aaron Rodgers is overrated: Why he's not a top-five quarterback – NFL.com – Bucky Brooks explains why — gasp! — Aaron Rodgers is overrated. Plus, thoughts on Mike Tomlin's extension and some love for one of the NFL's most underappreciated stars. Report: Mike Daniels turned down more money to play with Lions, Matt Patricia – Pride Of Detroit – Narrative: Busted. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON Wiltfong's Chicago Bears 2019 Position Battles: The offensive line shuffle – Windy City Gridiron – We’re diving into the offensive line in part five (of 11) of our Chicago Bears Training Camp preview series. Duerrwaechter: Chicago Bears Training Camp 2019 – Top 3 story lines on special teams – Windy City Gridiron – As part of a three part series, ECD highlights the major story lines involving all three phases of the game for the Chicago Bears. And now, we discuss what’s going on with Special Teams. WCG CONTRIBUTORS BEARS PODCASTS & STREAMS Windy City Gridiron Podcast Channel which includes Bear With Me from Robert Schmitz, Bears Over Beers featuring Jeff Berckes & EJ Snyder, and T Formation Conversation from Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.; Steven’s Streaming Twitch Channel from Steven Schweickert; and Robert Zeglinski’s The Blitz Network THE RULES Windy City Gridiron Community Guidelines – SBNation.com – We strive to make our communities open and inclusive to sports fans of all backgrounds. The following is not permitted in comments. No personal attacks, politics, gender based insults of any kind, racial insults, etc. The Bear’s Den Specific Guidelines – The Bear’s Den is a place for Chicago Bears fans to discuss Chicago Bears football, related NFL stories, and general football talk. It is NOT a place to discuss religion or politics or post political pictures or memes. Unless otherwise stated, the Den is not an open thread, and profanity (including profanity only stated in pictures) is prohibited. Click on our names to follow us on Twitter: WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Schmitz; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.

  • Chicago Bears 2019 Position Battles: The offensive line shuffle

    by Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. on July 26, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images We’re diving into the offensive line in part five (of 11) of our Chicago Bears Training Camp preview series. Even though the Chicago Bears are returning the same five starters from a year ago, their offensive line room is undergoing a makeover. Gone are Bryan Witzmann and Eric Kush, who started seven games each at guard last year, and Bradley Sowell, last years swing tackle, changed his number to 85 and is now playing tight end. Their Pro Bowl starting center and 21-year old starting left guard are swapping positions too. But I’m not worried at all because leading this group is the best offensive line coach in the business, Photo by Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. of Serena V Photography. Harry Hiestand talking to Cody Whitehair at 2018’s training camp. Roster Locks A year ago the Bears opened the season with eight offensive linemen, so there’s a good chance they do the same in 2019. Chicago’s starting five — if healthy — has the potential to be one of the best groups in the league. The underrated Bobby Massie will be at right tackle, a healthy and determined Kyle Long is at right guard, second-year pro James Daniels moves over to center, Pro Bowler Cody Whitehair will settle into his new left guard position, and he’ll be next to Pro Bowl left tackle Charles Leno Jr. Long is the key to the unit taking a step forward in 2019, which is why he appeared on my 10 Most Important Bears list this year. The three-time Pro Bowler has been able to go through all offseason activities for the first time in three years. With no injuries to rehab, he’s raring to get after it and lead this group back to the playoffs. According to long-time WCG member Jonathan Wood, who does stellar work for Da Bears Blog, the Bears averaged 4.9 yards per carrying with Kyle Long in the lineup and only 3.5 yards per carrying when he was injured. The Daniels/Whitehair position swap is a big thing, but I fully expect it to be a seamless transition. Whitehair is such a solid professional that hasn’t missed a start in three years, and Daniels was a stud at the center in college. “He’s a very intelligent football player,” Trubisky said about Daniels via the team’s website. “It comes easy to him and obviously he played it in college, so it’s been a natural switch and it’s been going really well. Cody’s been doing a great job at guard also.” With Bradley Sowell dropping some weight and changing positions, that leaves Rashaad Coward as the only returning swing tackle candidate, and I think he has the tools to win the job. Last year was his first at o-line, and I thought he looked promising. With Witzmann and Kush moving on, the Bears turned to a familiar face to back up on the interior by bringing Ted Larsen back. He started 8 of the 16 games he played in with the Bears in 2016, but he was signed away by Miami before the 2017 season. With the Dolphins he started 21 of the 23 games he played, so he’s bringing some valuable experience to the position. He can also play both guard spots and center. If these 7 are locks, then the battle for the last spot will be fierce. A good bet to make it Undrafted free agent Alex Bars (6’6”, 312) chose Chicago so he could be reunited with his college o-line coach, Harry Hiestand, who coached him when the two were at Notre Dame. His recent collegiate experience was at guard, but he also played right tackle for the Irish in 2016. If he can show some position versatility that could give him the edge for the eighth spot. However, he is coming off an injury in college, so he may get the sneaky red-shirt treatment if any injury pops up. On the bubble Veterans Cornelius Lucas (6’9”, 328) and T.J. Clemmings (6’5”, 309), who is currently on the PUP list, could both push for the swing tackle spot on the 53-man roster, but that’s only if Coward hasn’t developed like I believe he has. All things being equal, I think you go with the youth and upside over experience. Jordan McCray, a 29-year-old guard, will try to get his career on track now with his fourth NFL team after playing in the AAF. The Bears have four other UDFAs in camp that will try to impress which are Blake Blackmar (6’5”, 326) from Baylor, Joe Lowery (6‘7”, 310) from Ohio, Sam Mustipher (6’3”, 306) from Notre Dame, and Marquez Tucker (6’4”, 291) from Southern Utah. The Bears will try to get a couple of these players back on their practice squad.

 

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Big Savings at ProFanGear with Fanatics.comCalling all Buffalo Bills Fans. Thanks for visiting this news blog site.Shop the newest Buffalo Bills fan gear at ProFanGear.com If you are looking for gear click the link to Shop ProFanGear.com for Buffalo Bills Gear. I’ve teamed up with Fanatics to connect my readers with the best selection of officially licensed Buffalo Bills 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. Buffalo Bills fans bookmark this page and keep up with the latest Bills news and happenings. Thanks again for visiting. Get your wings and a great beverage, sit down and go Bills!

 

 

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

  • 2019 Worst Bang for the Dollar Bills: TE Lee Smith
    by Matt Warren on July 10, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports Even as a sixth lineman, he made a lot of money. Every team overpays for free agents. It’s the nature of the business that you can’t always predict future results, and even if you do, you sometimes end up overpaying for them. The Buffalo Bills are no exception and during the 2019 season they had a group of underwhelming players. Number five on our list is tight end Lee Smith. Smith had a valuable role as the sixth offensive lineman on the team but didn’t provide a great value for the team. He played fewer than 30% of the offensive snaps and fewer than 18% of the special teams snaps. He barely eeked out Tyler Kroft in terms of snap count despite playing in five more games than the injured Kroft. (He even played fewer snaps than the actual sixth offensive lineman, Ty Nsekhe.) He finished the year with just four catches on five targets for 31 yards and a touchdown. (A staggering 1.9 receiving yards per game). He also had nine penalties on the season despite those low snap numbers. Smith’s cap hit of $3.5 million was 22nd among NFL tight ends, but his production was far from that level, even if you take into account how good he is at blocking. Teammate Tyler Kroft made more ($5.11 million) but starter Dawson Knox ($700,545) and reserve Tommy Sweeney ($519,046) made considerably less. Jimmy Graham led the league at $12.6 million. The Bills spent a third-round pick on Knox a year ago and a seventh on Sweeney, but didn’t add any players this offseason. It will come down to Brian Daboll and how much he values having a sixth offensive lineman like Smith on the team. He’s scheduled to count $3.25 million against Buffalo’s salary cap in 2020. Bottom Ten Bang for the Dollar Bills, 2019 10. K Stephen Hasuchka ($5.025 million)9. DE Jerry Hughes ($12.95 million)8. FB Patrick DiMarco ($2.15 million)7. DT Star Lotulelei ($11.5 million)6. DE Trent Murphy ($8.8 million)5. TE Lee Smith ($3.5 million)

  • Analysis: Predicting turnovers for the Buffalo Bills in 2020
    by Skarekrow on July 10, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images What might the turnover situation look like for the Bills this season? As noted in last year’s guesswork, turnover differential is one of the better statistics when it comes to wins and losses in the NFL. Buffalo Rumblings noted earlier this year that the +4 differential from 2019 was likely a contributing factor in the playoff-worthy season for the Buffalo Bills. That look at differential didn’t really give a good prediction for the upcoming season, so let’s remedy that situation. Takeaways Last year Now that we have the latest season charted, let’s take a look at what I went on record with for my 2019 predictions. Citing stability in coaching and very little roster turnover on the defensive side of the ball, I said: “The mid-20s is a very reasonable guess. With a projected league rate of about 21 takeaways per team, that would make for a third year over the average.” That was a close one. At 23 takeaways, mid-20s is about right, though I admit I usually think of the mid as 4-6 range in a series. Using my own definition then, I was one off. I’ll take it. 2020 predictions Just like I noted last year, volatility of this metric does seem to be decreased with team stability, including both coaches and players. On the coaching side of things there’s not a lot of change to note. The biggest shakeup is the addition of Eric Washington as the defensive line coach. On the player side, Shaq Lawson and Jordan Phillips are gone from the defensive line. Harrison Phillips should return after last year’s injury. A.J. Epenesa, Mario Addison, Quinton Jefferson and Vernon Butler should significantly change the line. A.J. Klein could shake up the linebackers, and Josh Norman and E.J. Gaines could make the secondary more interesting. A significant flux of players could be problematic in a year with so many distractions and shortened time to get ready. That should balance out with everyone else’s offenses going through the same struggle. At least it will if we trust assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and head coach Sean McDermott—which I do. My best guess is a slightly more disruptive line and no drop-off on the back end of the defense. I’ll be a little more firm in my guess this year and say that I think mid-20s is the floor. I don’t think a major jump is likely, but I’d be shocked with any major dip here. Giveaways Last year Guesses on offense have the ability to be quite a bit more data based, with the quarterback the primary driver of giveaways. By the time I had made this prediction I had already modeled Josh Allen’s potential improvement from year one to two. Additionally, the 2019 guess had the ability to remove the woeful Nate Peterman and Derek Anderson turnover rates. As a result, I felt improvement was coming and even opened the door wide to drastic change with this: “For interceptions, modest improvement is likely to occur. This would lower the giveaways by one or two over the course of a season. Based on the decade of data, it’s not unthinkable that Allen can cut his interception rate in half. That would lead to a drastic change in giveaways, possibly all the way into the teens.” Allen’s interception rate went from 3.8% to 2.0% and as a result of that you can see that the giveaways did in fact drop “all the way into the teens.” Analytics FTW! 2020 predictions I think turnovers are going to go up a little bit, likely to the low 20s. That might sound weird because I’ve gone on record before that I don’t think Josh Allen’s interception rate improvement was a mirage. Allen only had two interceptions after the Week 6 bye, which included a brutal stretch of games against elite-level defenses. On the other hand, if Allen wants to take the next step and improve his output in other areas like yards per attempt and touchdown rate he’ll need to take some more chances. I could see him sticking right around nine interceptions again, give or take a couple. More importantly though is the fumble problem. Credited with four losses, Allen was incredibly lucky to keep the other ten that were put on the ground. Adding up all these factors I don’t see how the Bills do much better than average, which should be around 21 giveaways across a season. If my best guesses turn out to be good ones, that puts the Bills on the positive side of the ledger again, which is almost always great news.

  • Epidemiologist “pessimistic” for college football, but pros can “pull it off”
    by nickbat on July 10, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images Programs just don’t have the resources or willingness to do what needs to be done. As the entire country longs for reliable semblances of normal life like live sports, the first televised football games that would be coming are likely not going to take place, says Dr. Zach Binney, an epidemiologist from Oxford College at Emory University. NCAA football graces our TV screens in late summer a few weeks before the NFL starts and primes the pumps for pro fans. However, with COVID-19 still raging on and several outbreaks hitting different summer workouts for college teams around the country, the college football season is in jeopardy. Dr. Binney recently shared his thoughts on an episode of the Chat with NickBat podcast on the Buffalo Rumblings podcast network. “In college I think it’s a lot harder because there is no way you can establish any kind of bubble, just being realistic. And most programs don’t have the resources or the willingness to even do regular testing as we’ve already seen with outbreak after outbreak at summer workouts. So I’m definitely somewhat pessimistic for college football.” said Binney. “I think the NFL has the resources to pull it off but we’re still waiting on the details of their plan.” Some sort of sequestering of players or isolation in a bubble has become a mainstay of plans for sports leagues looking to get their games going again. It seems reasonable that different college programs are going to have different resources to handle the expenses needed to put their student athletes and coaches into whatever safety protocols are necessary. What happens if only a portion of schools are able to handle the rigors necessary to field a team? Do highly coveted players from schools not fielding a team get to transfer to schools that are? How is the eligibility of student athletes effected adjusted to be fair? Questions abound as to how NCAA football could take place in 2020. Experts like Dr. Binney’s pessimism is both understandable and disappointing for football fans hoping to see games anytime soon.

  • 91 players in 91 days: DE A.J. Epenesa
    by Sean Murphy on July 10, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images Buffalo’s top 2020 draft pick figures to play a key part in the team’s defensive line rotation The Buffalo Bills have invested more resources in their defensive line than any team in the NFL. According to Spotrac, Buffalo has $61.6 million tied up in their defensive line for 2020, nearly $9 million more than their closest competitors, the Kansas City Chiefs. Not only did Buffalo spend “beaucoup bucks” (hat tip to Mr. Musico for that phrasing) on their defensive line, but they also have invested premium draft choices along the line since head coach Sean McDermott arrived in 2017. The Bills have selected two defensive linemen with early picks in McDermott’s three drafts. In today’s installment of “91 players in 91 days,” we profile Buffalo’s top draft choice in 2020—a second-round pick looking to break into the Bills’ defensive line rotation immediately. Name: A.J. EpenesaNumber: 57Position: DEHeight/Weight: 6’6”, 280 lbs.Age: 21 (22 on 9/15/2020)Experience/Draft: R; selected by Buffalo in the second round (No. 54 overall) of the 2020 NFL DraftCollege: IowaAcquired: Second-round draft choice Financial situation (per Spotrac): Epenesa’s rookie contract is a four-year pact worth a total of $5,877,299, of which $2,711,550 is guaranteed. For the 2020 season, Epenesa carries a cap hit of $1,068,600. 2019 Recap: Epenesa had a strong junior campaign, building on what was a stellar sophomore season the year prior. In 2019, Epenesa tallied 49 tackles, including an absurd 14 tackles in one November game against Nebraska, and he also managed 11.5 sacks on the year. Epenesa forced four fumbles, made 14 tackles for a loss, and knocked down three passes at the line. For his efforts, The Athletic named him First-Team All-America, and the Associated Press named him Second-Team All-America. Epenesa declared early for the draft, and most mock drafts had him going in the first round. After testing poorly at the NFL Scouting Combine, his stock plummeted, and Buffalo was able to scoop him up at No. 54 overall. Positional outlook: The Bills are loaded at defensive end, as they return Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy, the team’s top two from 2019 in terms of playing time at the position. They added Mario Addison to replace the departed Shaq Lawson. Darryl Johnson Jr. and Mike Love also return. Buffalo’s other defensive ends are Jonathan Woodard, Bryan Cox Jr., and Quinton Jefferson, who is primarily a defensive tackle but is listed as the more generic “defensive lineman” on the team’s official roster. 2020 Offseason: Epenesa took part in Denver Broncos All-Pro Von Miller’s pass rush summit this summer. 2020 Season outlook: Epenesa will probably wind up as either the team’s third or fourth defensive end this year. With Hughes and Addison essentially guaranteed to make the roster, it really comes down to whether the team wants to keep Trent Murphy or release him and roll over nearly $8 million to the 2021 salary cap. If Buffalo keeps Murphy, that will limit Epenesa’s playing time. If they release the veteran, then that clears the way for Epenesa to slot in as the team’s third defensive end. Sean McDermott has said that Epenesa can slide inside to play defensive tackle on obvious passing downs, as well, which is another way that the rookie can earn more playing time. With a limited offseason, though, it will be tough to ask him to learn multiple positions in his first year in the league. This much is clear: Epenesa stands to make an immediate impact with the Bills as a rookie.

  • The Bruce Exclusive: the cornerback myth of “bigger is better”
    by BruceExclusive on July 10, 2020 at 11:03 am

    The Bruce Exclusive podcast Cover Art | Josh Rawdin Bigger isn’t better; it’s just different On this episode of “The Bruce Exclusive”, Bruce takes on the myth that more height is always better when it comes to cornerbacks. What are the positives and negatives of height as it relates to cornerbacks and is there a sweet spot for cornerbacks in the NFL? What advantages do shorter cornerbacks have? The Buffalo Bills cornerbacks are almost exclusively 5’11” and 6’0”. It’s pretty remarkable how consistent the measurement is. #Bills #goBills #BillsMafia Subscribe to the Buffalo Rumblings podcast channel featuring Billieve, Blitzed Bills, Buffalo Rumblings Q&A, Breaking Buffalo Rumblings, The Bruce Exclusive, Chat with NickBat, and Circling the Wagons: 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 reading this in Apple News, you’ll need to click over to a web browser to hear the audio.

 

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

 

 

Baltimore Beatdown - All Posts A Baltimore Ravens Community

  • Lamar Jackson tops list of reddit.com’s Top 100 NFL players
    by Kyle P Barber on July 10, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports No surprise here, folks Before the 2019 season, Jackson was brutally criticized for his “lack of throwing ability.” By the end of the season, many wonder how that was ever in question. The r/nfl subreddit of reddit.com was no different, and yet here Lamar Jackson tops their list of Top 100 NFL players of 2019. The subreddit is home to 1.9 million subscribers and boasts enough activity during the Super Bowl to crash the website’s servers in years past. It’s where I learned to love writing and talking football many years ago, in fact. Now, these aren’t experts but they are dedicated fans. They also went through strong methodology to bring reasonable results. I highly recommend checking out the methodology as it’s a solid structure any media outlet would be proud of. And where did it place Jackson? As I said above, it placed him first in the NFL. The write up for Jackson is a treat. And for it being written by an individual under the username /u/UnbiasedBrownsFan, provides great analysis and commentary from a person not rooting for the Ravens. Below is /u/UnbiasedBrownsFan’s intro, but I strongly urge you to read the entire write up. Introduction You’ve made it, the top of the list, the crème de la crème. Lamar Motherfuckin’ Jackson. It’s difficult to put into words what exactly makes Lamar Jackson special. Some of the words I’ve used to describe him include: “Holy Fuck” “What the Hell” “You’ve got to be shitting me” Basically, it’s the return of the “Ah, wait, no way, you’re kidding. He didn’t just do what I think he did, did he?” The likes of which we haven’t seen since the Michael Vick days in Madden 04 but if we turned him up to about 17. Coming into the season Lamar had the weight of the Ravens franchise on his shoulders and constant pressure from critics who didn’t believe he could cut it as a quarterback. Well, the jokes were on them because he spent literally all of 2019 cutting it up and down the field. And whether he was tormenting opposing teams on the field, or just torturing me in my own personal dreamscape, it truly felt like Lamar Jackson was everywhere last season. And perhaps he was? No. That must have been a dream. Virtual Reality Lamar Jackson can’t hurt you. But he still possessed the uncanny ability to feed a grown man into the dirt and had an unnerving knack for inserting IV drips directly into the lives of opposing linemen. And it is because of this that Jackson has become a man to be feared among NFL circles. And it was that same sheer force of will that engineered Jackson’s brilliant 2019 season.

  • Ravens News 7/10: The RB struggle and more
    by Vasilis Lericos on July 10, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images NFL’s most complete teams in ‘20? Ravens, 49ers, Chiefs top the list - Adam Schein 1. Baltimore Ravens General manager Eric DeCosta has assembled the best roster in the NFL, bar none. Last season, the Ravens led the league in scoring and finished third in scoring defense. Both units are positioned to dominate once again in 2020. On offense, it obviously starts with Lamar Jackson. The former Heisman Trophy winner and reigning NFL MVP took a massive leap forward in his second pro season, leading the league with 36 touchdown passes and shattering Michael Vick’s QB record with 1,206 rushing yards. Scary thought: He’s only going to get better, with a talented, young supporting cast he can continue to grow alongside. Second-round pick J.K. Dobbins, with his talent, toughness, work ethic and pedigree, was put on Earth to run the football for the Ravens. With Dobbins joining a backfield that already featured Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, Baltimore has every possible skill set you could want from the running back position. Meanwhile, second-year wideout Hollywood Brown can fly, making him a big-play threat on every snap. And tight end Mark Andrews is fresh off a breakout season that ended in the Pro Bowl, thanks to 852 yards and 10 touchdowns. Marshal Yanda’s retirement is a hit to the offensive line, no doubt, but the Ravens boast one of the NFL’s top tackle tandems in 26-year-old Ronnie Stanley and 24-year-old Orlando Brown Jr. Defensively, Baltimore remains absolutely stacked in the back end, with first-team All-Pro CB Marlon Humphrey fronting one of the league’s most talented secondaries. On the second level, the Ravens snagged first-round pick Patrick Queen, whose athletic game is perfect for the modern NFL. And up front, DeCosta traded for Calais Campbell and added Derek Wolfe in free agency, giving the D-line a pair of experienced, versatile veterans with great leadership skills. Did I mention that Campbell’s been a Pro Bowler in five of the past six seasons? No NFL team is perfect, but DeCosta’s fine work — in free agency and the draft — has produced a roster with the fewest blemishes in the league today. 2020 NFL training camp battles to watch: Running backs - Ben Linsey BALTIMORE RAVENS: MARK INGRAM VS. J.K. DOBBINS VS. GUS EDWARDS VS. JUSTICE HILL The Ravens weren’t lacking in the running back department in 2019, and things only got more crowded after they used a second-round pick on Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins. Some of the “pros” for Dobbins in the 2020 PFF Draft Guide included ideal size and burst for an NFL back in conjunction with a one-cut, north-south running style that should fit well in the Ravens’ offense. Obviously, his production at Ohio State speaks for itself. He can carry the load if asked to do so, but he likely won’t be a true lead back given the other running backs Baltimore has at its disposal. Mark Ingram isn’t the flashiest of options, but the guy can run the ball. His 75.5 rushing grade in his first season with the Ravens ranked 16th among 45 running backs with 100 or more carries. Going back a few more years highlights one of Ingram’s biggest strengths as a runner: He rarely takes negative plays. Since 2016, no running back has had a lower percentage of their carries go for no gain or a loss than Ingram (14%). With Lamar Jackson freezing defenders on all the read options that Baltimore runs, you want a running back who hits the hole and takes advantage of that hesitation. Ingram fills that need. That brings us to the two options who likely fall behind Dobbins and Ingram. If we’re talking about production, Gus Edwards is getting a raw deal coming in third or lower on any depth chart. Over the past two years, his 83.6 rushing grade ranks 13th among running backs, and no player at the position has had a higher percentage of their runs go for first downs or touchdowns than Edwards (31%). Hill, meanwhile, had just 58 rushing attempts in 2019, but it was only a year ago that the Ravens spent a fourth-round pick on the Oklahoma State product. The verdict: There is no true starter with Ingram and Dobbins splitting the majority of the work Training Camp Breakdown: Running Backs - Clifton Brown Under the Radar Hill’s longest run was 18 yards last season, but he has the speed to make more explosive plays both as a runner and a receiver out of the backfield. Players often make their biggest improvement between Year 1 and Year 2. If Hill enjoys a strong training camp, Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman may look for more opportunities to get Hill the ball in space. Head Coach John Harbaugh said he expects Hill to make a “big jump.” Rechsteiner is an interesting prospect out of Kennesaw State who is the son of former pro wrestler Rick Steiner. The undrafted rookie showed that physicality in his running in college, where he was also a mauling fullback. NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates: Chase Young in front - Lance Zierlein 2) Patrick Queen, LB, Baltimore Ravens While just two DROY winners over the last 10 seasons were off-ball linebackers, both players (Darius Leonard and Luke Kuechly) played fast and offered coverage versatility on third downs. Queen is not only fast in a straight line, but his scrape explosiveness is extremely impressive and he can cover both tight ends and running backs down the field. He plays with an alpha mentality and should stack plenty of tackles for a proven defense in Year 1. Mark Ingram: Return to football needs to be ‘safe, effective and efficient’ - Blake Harper “I’m basically just listening to the updates from the team, from the [players association], from the league and, I want to play ball, but I think it needs to be in a safe, effective and efficient way,” Ingram said on NFL Total Access. “I know there’s standards and protocols and guidelines and all that to make sure everybody’s healthy and safe. And we’re doing everything to make sure nobody’s at risk. I’m hopeful that we’ll be playing.” Training camp is set to start on July 28, with safety protocols set in place that are meant to keep cases from spiking among teams. “I’m doing everything I can to make sure I’m preparing myself to have the best season I can,” Ingram said. “Even with everything going on, I’m just trying to stay healthy, trying to stay safe, trying to stay away from people, but most importantly not letting it hinder my work or my preparation for the season.”

  • Podcast: Mahomes Signs, Attendance announcements
    by Jake Louque on July 9, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images What’s up guys? It’s another thirsty Thursday on the Baltimore Beatdown Podcast, that’s what. Spencer is busy getting drunk down in Ocean City, so in his place, Ravens Flock Talk’s own Walt Hansbrough (@WalkLikeWalt) joins Jake to talk some NFL and ravens news, and open the mailbag for the week of July 9th. To start things off, the boys discuss the biggest news in NFL circles right now, and that is Patrick Mahomes mega-contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs. After that, they discuss the Ravens announcement regarding closing off their home games to only allow for a maximum attendance of 14,000 fans, and what that’s going to mean for the team in 2020. To cap things off, the guys turn to the mailbag which includes many great questions this week, such as projections for Hollywood Brown and Mark Andrews, how the attendance announcement affects home field advantage, potential breakout players at linebacker, and much, much more. Thanks for listening, and stay safe out there! Follow the show on social: Twitter: @PodcastBeatdown, @Jakelouque, @ravens4dummies IG: @baltimore_beatdown Facebook: Baltimore Beatdown - For Baltimore Ravens Fans Also check us out on YouTube for full video episodes of this podcast!

  • Ravens News 7/9: Best/worst case scenarios and more
    by Vasilis Lericos on July 9, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images NFL’s top rivalries of the 2010s: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady take top spot again - Bryan DeArdo 4. Ravens vs. Patriots Best games: 2011 AFC Championship: Patriots 23, Ravens 20; 2014 div. round: Patriots 35, Ravens 31 If there’s one AFC coach that’s consistently managed to give the hoodie fits in the playoffs, it’s Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who has managed to win two playoff games against Bill Belichick’s Patriots. Harbaugh, Baltimore’s coach since 2008, won his first playoff game against Belichick in 2009. And while they were unable to duplicate their regular season success during the postseason, Lamar Jackson’s success against Belichick’s defense in Baltimore’s regular season stomping of New England last season appeared to foreshadow a possible changing of the guard as it relates to the balance of power in the AFC moving forward. 3. Ravens vs. Steelers Best game: December 25, 2016: Steelers 31, Ravens 27 No. 2 on our recent list of the NFL’s greatest rivalries from the 2000s, the Ravens-Steelers rivalry was nearly as good in the 2010s. Not only did the Ravens win their first ever decade against the Steelers (as far as win-loss record is concerned), Baltimore also won their first-ever playoff game over Pittsburgh, as Joe Flacco led his squad to a 30-17 win over the Steelers in the 2014 AFC Wild-Card round. Best- and worst-case scenarios for every NFL team ahead of the 2020 season - Ben Linsey 10th percentile outcome: 8-8 How they get there: The Ravens find themselves playing from behind more often than they did in 2019. They were the only team in the NFL to play fewer than 250 offensive snaps when trailing last season, and Lamar Jackson’s splits were noticeable when he was forced to play from behind. When playing with the lead or when tied, Jackson posted a 92.1 PFF grade. When trailing, that figure dropped to 68.2. His ability to play from behind — when the advantages of unpredictability in the run and pass game start to dwindle — remains the biggest question mark for the reigning league MVP heading into his third season. This 8-8 record also comes in part thanks to the loss of Marshal Yanda inside, who is surely on his way to Canton. 90th percentile outcome: 13-3 How they get there: NFL defenses are still unable to handle Baltimore’s unique offense, and the Ravens’ defense emerges as the best in the NFL. There’s no reason the second part of that statement can’t be true. Their secondary is loaded with talent, and it’s a group that returns Tavon Young from injury to man the slot. They significantly bolstered the defensive line and linebacking corps, as well, with the additions of Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison, among others. A team doesn’t get to 13-3 without offense and defense working in tandem, and Baltimore looks to be in a good position to have that be the case. Marquise Brown continues to add bulk, strength for Ravens - Todd Karpovich The Ravens wide receiver has routinely posted videos of his arduous workouts and has added significant muscle to his 5-foot-9 frame. “When he’s not involved, he’s making the offense better, because there’ll be two defenders guarding him sometimes,” quarterback Lamar Jackson said. “He’s so fast, and he runs great routes. And he’s not even 100 [percent] to his full potential, so he plays a big part in our offense. And we have to do a better job at getting him the ball.” “The biggest thing, in our run game, sometimes we use him on the backside when a lot of times [previously] we’d use runs,” assistant head coach David Culley said. “We’ve [put] him on the front side because he understands what we need to get done on that side. And from a standpoint of scouting, normally, if we’re running the ball sometimes, you think he’s always to the backside.” Ravens reduce seating capacity for 2020 to less than 14K - Adam Maya Baltimore announced Wednesday that fewer than 14,000 seats will be made available for 2020 home games at M&T Bank Stadium — if state and local government regulations permit fan attendance at all amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This would leave about 80 percent of the stadium’s 71,008-seat capacity empty. “To offer a proper level of safety for fans who want to attend games, a reduction in capacity is necessary,” Ravens president Dick Cass said in a statement. “We are disappointed that this will be a disruption for many ticket buyers, but we have an obligation to our fans and our community to keep M&T Bank Stadium as safe as possible.” With more than 62,000 season tickets already sold, the Ravens are deferring those reservations to the 2021 campaign for their Permanent Seat License Owners. Single-game ticket sales have also been discontinued and refunds will be issued for purchases already made. PSL Owners will have priority in buying 2020 individual game tickets once a new seating chart is finalized. The team has not determined when single-game tickets will go on sale to the general public.

  • Pushing All-In: Another WR is the Ravens missing ingredient
    by Vasilis Lericos on July 8, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Lamar Jackson burst on the scene in 2018 as a rookie, elevating a 4-5 squad to a 10-6 AFC North champion. Then in 2019, despite significant offseason departures, a record setting offense coupled with a defense built to protect leads propelled the Ravens to one of the best regular seasons in the history of the league. Yet in each of the last two postseasons, Baltimore was unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs without a winning a single game because they were unable to overcome early deficits. Entering the 2020 season, the Ravens, along with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs are considered the favorites to win the Super Bowl. General manager Eric DeCosta added more to the roster than he lost, particularly remaking the defensive line with former All-Pro Calais Campbell to fortify a vulnerable run defense. John Harbaugh also managed to retain his entire innovative coaching staff. Baltimore’s elite secondary possesses the depth to ensure that the pass defense remains among the league’s best. The rushing offense might take a step back following Marshal Yanda’s retirement, but the combination of Lamar and Greg Roman’s scheme should still produce gaudy totals on the ground. Nonetheless, the Ravens formerly 27th ranked passing offense is the phase that may not be equipped to step up if called upon. Jackson’s 113.3 quarterback rating during his MVP season was extremely efficient. Still, he has engineered just one 4th quarter comeback in five tries over his young career. And the front office did not do much to improve his receiving weapons. In fact, the losses of Hayden Hurst and Seth Roberts may prove more impactful than the additions of rookies Devin Duvernay and James Proche. Baltimore’s pass catchers are generally viewed as a bottom-third group across the league. Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews have both emerged as bonafide playmakers. But each carry injury concerns. Brown has a slight frame by NFL standards and dealt with foot injuries last season. Andrews suffers from the dings and nicks that affect most tight ends, and could be limited during the pandemic because of his diabetes medical condition. If one or especially both main pass catchers were to miss time, 2020 could certainly become another missed opportunity for the Ravens. Miles Boykin has the raw tools to develop into a top-tier second wideout. Willie Snead is a capable role player and Duvernay has promise. None have shown an ability to serve as a number one or number two receiving option for a contender. Lamar has proven he can carry the offense, but it would be a challenge even for him to defeat top competition without multiple viable receivers. Baltimore will obviously remain a run-first offense. Odds are, however, a random series of events will force them into a pass-heavy game script at least a couple times next season. Perhaps in the postseason when the stakes are the highest. And as strong as the Ravens defense is expected to be, great offense holds the edge over great defense in the modern NFL. The best teams are prepared for all circumstances and can earn victories in a variety of ways. The Ravens roster is strong were it matters most. An MVP quarterback, Pro Bowl bookend offensive tackles, a Pro Bowl edge rusher and a pair of All-Pro corners. DeCosta has also assembled a quartet of effective running backs, enough bodies to field a solid interior blocking trio, an outstanding blocking tight end and fullback, exciting rookie inside ‘backers, a deep cast of disruptive defensive lineman and situational edge defenders, and one of the better safety pairings around. Better still, many of the Ravens best players are still playing under cost controlled rookie contracts. Fresh off their best regular season in franchise history, the time to chase the Lombardi trophy is now. By 2021, the veterans will be another year past their primes, some may be released for salary cap savings next offseason. Relatively cheap All-Pros Ronnie Stanley and Marlon Humphrey will become much more costly. Matthew Judon could depart after playing out the franchise tag. Squeezing in veteran signings such as Jimmy Smith and Derek Wolfe will be difficult next year. Lamar will have another year of wear-and-tear on his body. Overall, the roster overall will not be as loaded in 2021. Could the front office extend the window for championship contention by remaining conservative? Possibly. But the NFL is designed for parity, with a hard salary cap, reverse order draft slotting and competitive scheduling. Since the Ravens were founded in 1996, only the New England Patriots have established a dynasty. With the best coach in the history of the sport, one of the best quarterbacks playing at a below market rate and a historically weak division, those Patriots should be considered an anomaly. Moreover, being aggressive to pursue Super Bowl glory should not prevent the Ravens from being long term contenders. They have finally overcome the cycle of overpaying declining veterans, backloading deals and restructuring contracts. Baltimore is projected to have the eighth most salary cap space next offseason. Even if the decision makers make the bold decision to pay all of their young, premium position talent top dollar, utilizing some creative but worthwhile contract structures, at the expense of mid-level veteran depth, their proven ability to find valuable undrafted free agents and accumulate late round contributors should keep the bottom half of the roster robust. DeCosta should explore every avenue to fill the single remaining roster weakness at boundary wideout. Perhaps the team can take advantage of their strong locker room culture and ink one of the controversial veteran free agents to a team friendly deal. A trade might be a better option, the tremendous volume of receivers drafted over the past few cycles should make some appealing options available in exchange for mid-round picks. Maximizing future salary cap flexibility and prioritizing draft capital should not be the main objective when the team is on the verge of an elusive championship. Super Bowl windows close quick in the NFL. Roster attrition, injury or coaching changes could conceivably shut the door on a future run during Lamar’s prime seasons. It would be a sincere shame if the Ravens missed this golden opportunity to win their third trophy because they lacked the weaponry to win a postseason shootout. Maybe the Ravens can impose their will and dictate game flow throughout the 2020 regular season and playoffs, as they did during their 12-game winning streak. Regardless, the front office should eliminate as many vulnerabilities as possible. DeCosta has spent the offseason acquiring impressive depth at essentially every position group except the one potentially mortal weakness - wide receiver. If any team is structured to push all-in for a ring, the 2020 Baltimore Ravens are the paragon.

 

 

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New York Giants Blog

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

 

 

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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Philadelphia Eagles Blog

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

 

 

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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New England Patriots Blog

Big Savings at ProFanGear with Fanatics.comCalling all New England Patriots Fans. Thanks for visiting this news blog site.Shop the newest New England Patriots fan gear at ProFanGear.com If you are looking for gear click the link to Shop ProFanGear.com for New England Patriots 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 England Patriots fans bookmark this page and keep up with the latest Patriots news and happenings. Thanks again for visiting.

 

 

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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Black Friday Steals from NFLshops hurry limited time offer

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

 

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New Orleans Saints Blog

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

 

  • 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

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

 

 

  • 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 https://twitter.com/ScottJenningsHH/lists/nfl-rumors-and-reporters Redskins twitter feed: Tweets from https://twitter.com/ScottJenningsHH/lists/beat-writers “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. pic.twitter.com/z4DQIH1EgY— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) February 1, 2020 Impossible not to be rooting for & have massive respect for Alex Smith. #Redskins pic.twitter.com/Q22zBhkPM5— Al Galdi (@AlGaldi) February 1, 2020 Alex Smith… holy shithttps://t.co/Oxm8Oj7Ajl pic.twitter.com/U3OQcgXM1N— Danny (@recordsANDradio) February 1, 2020 pic.twitter.com/wflxCeDcSQ— 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.” https://t.co/vxT18NZi1V— 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 pic.twitter.com/r2Iu4WmltF— Redskins Community (@RedskinsCR) February 1, 2020 “I'm tired of always hearing, ‘He shows glimpses…'” Good @kareemcopeland story on Derrius Guice's injury frustration. https://t.co/O5pCkVw49V— Les Carpenter (@Lescarpenter) February 1, 2020 Congrats to @AdrianPeterson, winner of the 2019 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award! Another great honor for 2️⃣6️⃣‼️#HTTR pic.twitter.com/uXQyiCdV9u— 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 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/POmL4ctCuO— 2️⃣9️⃣ (@DhaSickest) February 2, 2020 QBs : Todd Rosenberg/NFL pic.twitter.com/QSs4OXSeV5— 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 pic.twitter.com/WtqEMDjkYd— 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 pic.twitter.com/HxhwdW1dF2— NFL (@NFL) February 2, 2020 : Cardinals QB Kyler Murray named 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of Yearhttps://t.co/0FPUKNlkV4 pic.twitter.com/rZOwvxVptQ— 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 pic.twitter.com/DgIYXsZ3Aw— 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 pic.twitter.com/eqWZjRmtdK— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 1, 2020 No longer eligible for this committee. Up to the seniors now. This group totally botched it https://t.co/njteqN0n4z— 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. pic.twitter.com/kG4joYb2Op— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) February 1, 2020 It's been a long road to #SBLIV but @RMos_8Ball made it. pic.twitter.com/cNQwVmbs4n— 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. https://t.co/BSUJxFSGIB— 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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Dallas Cowboys Blog

Big Savings at ProFanGear with Fanatics.comCalling all Dallas Cowboy Fans. Thanks for visiting this news blog site.Shop the newest Dallas Cowboys fan gear at ProFanGear.com If you are looking for gear click the link to Shop ProFanGear.com for Dallas Cowboy Gear. I’ve teamed up with Fanatics to connect my readers with the best selection of officially licensed Dallas Cowboy 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. Dallas cowboy fans bookmark this page and keep up with the latest cowboy news and happenings. Thanks for visiting.
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Four keys to a Cowboys playoff victory over the Seahawks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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