Eagles fans from coast to coast talk about the state of the Birds at 1-3. Take a deep breath, buckle in, because there is a lot to talk about
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Eagles fans from coast to coast talk about the state of the Birds at 1-3. Take a deep breath, buckle in, because there is a lot to talk about
Free Agency: A great amount of turnover happened in Denver. Julius Thomas, Orlando Franklin, Terrance Knighton & Rahim Moore are gone. In to help the offense are TE Owen Daniels(Ravens) & OG Shelley Smith(Dolphins). DT’s Antonio Smith(Raiders) & Vance Walker(Chiefs) add quality depth, as does LB Reggie Walker(Chargers).
Draft: Missouri DE Shane Ray is fast and adds more speed to an already fast defense. Ohio State TE Jeff Heuerman should become a good weapon, unfortunately he tore his ACL in mini-camp. Colorado State OT Ty Sambrailo & Florida C Max Garcia give much needed youth on the O-Line. Tulane CB Lorenzo Doss is a good late round project pick.
Overview: Peyton Manning is more likely facing his last season with the Broncos, and John Elway brought in the offensive minded Gary Kubiak to be the new head coach, which hopefully will produce a Super Bowl championship. The health of Manning is what is most important to this team. A speedy defense and a solid offense can get them to Santa Clara.
Free Agency: Andy Reid went back to his former team and grabbed WR Jeremy Maclin(Eagles), making Dwayne Bowe expendable. Rodney Hudson, Joe Mays, Vance Walker & Anthony Fasano are gone too. OG Paul Fanaika(Cardinals) should be a starter, as will SS Tyvon Branch(Raiders).
Draft: The Washington CB Marcus Peters was a need pick, but he comes with a lot of baggage. If he causes trouble, then Oregon State CB Steven Nelson will get more of a shot. Missouri OL Mitch Morse is a tough and versatile player, and Georgia WR Chris Conley has a lot of promise and will be given a lot of chances to start.
Overview: Alex Smith has new weapons at receiver, and Jamaal Charles will carry the load again. As always, division games will be key, as the AFC West is not easy. The fans are expecting bigger things this year, with the idea of the offense being as good as the defense. If Smith struggles, then a change will be in order.
Free Agency: It was yet another wild turnaround in free agency for the Raiders. Yet this time, wiser and much younger decisions were made. LaMarr Woodley, Antonio Smith, Matt Schaub, Tyvon Branch, Denarius Moore, Darren McFadden, Vincent Brown & Stefan Wisniewski are out. On offense C Rodney Hudson(Chiefs) WR Michael Crabtree(49’ers) & RB Roy Helu(Redskins) will help. Defensively, NT Dan Williams(Cardinals) LB’s Curtis Lofton(Saints) & Malcolm Smith(Seahawks) and DB’s Nate Allen(Eagles) & James Dockery(Panthers) should all be big contributors. Add in QB Christian Ponder(Vikings), RB Trent Richardson(Colts) and OT J’Marcus Webb(Vikings), and you cannot say that the Raiders did not help themselves.
Draft: Alabama WR Amari Cooper is a gift, and should pay off handsomely. Florida State DE Mario Edwards Jr. is gifted, but does he have the desire? Miami, Fla TE Clive Walford is intriguing, but has an injury history. Keep an eye on 6th round pick Virginia LB Max Valles.
Overview: Derek Carr to Amari Cooper is what all Raiders fans are hoping to hear, for years to come. The Raiders are improving greatly on both sides of the ball. But don’t expect the playoffs just yet. Having said that, the Raiders won’t be pushovers anymore either.
Free Agency: Ryan Matthews & Eddie Royal are gone. Incoming are WR’s Steve Johnson(49’ers) & Jacoby Jones(Ravens), but OG Orlando Franklin(Broncos) is the real prize. DB’s Patrick Robinson(Saints) & Jimmy Wilson(Dolphins) provide good depth.
Draft: Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon will be called upon in a huge way, and there is no reason to doubt that he will deliver. Superior small college talent was found in the form of Texas State CB Craig Mager & North Dakota State LB Kyle Emanuel. Both of whom could see plenty of playing time this year.
Overview: Keeping Phillip Rivers, despite all the trade rumors, was the smartest thing the Chargers did all off season. Giving him more weapons at WR & RB and upgrading the O-Line was even smarter. With Rivers future uncertain, the Chargers are going all-in this year. They certainly have the talent to get to the Super Bowl. Once again, it is all about those crucial division games.
Can the Bears rebound from a disappointing season and return to the playoffs?
Is the loss of Ndamokong Suh, too big for the Lions?
Has the Packers defense finally caught up with the offense?
Are the Vikings ready to surprise the entire NFL, and show they are contenders again?
Free Agency: Lots of changes were made as veteran players Lance Briggs, Roberto Garza, D.J. Williams & Charles Tillman are out. New to the defense are standout LB Pernell McPhee(Ravens), DE’s Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) & Ray McDonald(49’ers), SS Antrell Rolle(Giants), and LB’s Mason Foster(Buccaneers) & Sam Acho (Cardinals). Offensively the Bears went for depth in adding OG Vladimir Ducasse(Vikings), RB Jacquizz Rodgers(Falcons) & WR Eddie Royal (Chargers). The hope is that these new faces on defense will add dominance, something last year’s defense lacked. A good mix of youth and veterans should provide that.
Draft: With the trading of Brandon Marshall, WR became a priority which is why the Bears selected West Virginia WR Kevin White, a speedster with great size. However, White was a JUCO transfer and is a late bloomer at the top college ranks. The one year wonder status could be a concern too, is really ready to start in the NFL? Florida State DT Eddie Goldman is a nice addition & Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford will add versatility to the backfield.
Overview: John Fox is the new head coach, and he has a knack for turning teams around. The Bears have talent, now they need an identity. Fans are growing impatient with QB Jay Cutler, as this could be his last chance with the team. The inability to find a new QB for the team loomed large this off season. Nevertheless, the offense is still loaded with talent, and if the defense gels quickly, the Bears could prove to the NFL that they are still playoff contenders.
Free Agency: Not only did the Lions lose DT Ndamokong Suh, but DT Nick Fairley left as well. Talk about a gaping hole. The trade for DT Haloti Ngata will certainly help in that area, and the arrival of DT Tyrunn Walker(Jets) will help too. CB Josh Wilson(Falcons) was added for depth. Reggie Bush, Dominic Raiola, C.J. Mosley, Rob Sims & Ashlee Palmer are all gone.
Draft: Duke OG Laken Tomlinson was a surprise pick, but he should help right away. Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah has big play ability, something the Lions desperately need. Stanford CB Alex Carter & Auburn DT Gabe Wright add good depth, and Texas CB Quandre Diggs could be a 6th round gem.
Overview: Just how good are the Lions? It’s difficult to say if they will miss a step on defense now that Ngata replaces Suh. Although the talent at LB and in the secondary could hide any problems upfront. A young Offensive Line may not be the thing that QB Matthew Stafford needs. They are showing a lot of faith in RB Joique Bell to get the job done, but look for Abdullah to get his share of carries too. If they can beat the Packers, they can win the division. If not, another race for the wild card will be their only chance.
Free Agency: If you like what you have, you make sure that it remains intact. That’s exactly what the Packers did as they re-signed Bryan Bulaga, Randall Cobb, B.J. Raji, Scott Tolzien & John Kuhn. Tramon Williams & A.J. Hawk departed. Unfortunately, no veteran free agents were added.
Draft: The DB’s Demarious Randall(Arizona State) & Quinten Rollins(Miami, Ohio) give a much needed boost to the Packers secondary. Michigan LB Jake Ryan can play both inside & outside. UCLA QB Brett Hundley lands on a good team, but where does he fit? Louisiana-Lafayette DE Christian Ringo can be an effective pass rusher.
Overview: The Packers are basically going ahead with the same team. Hard to blame them, since there were an onside kick away from the Super Bowl. All eyes are on the defense, who must show that they can be dominant, otherwise they could come up short again in that quest for another Super Bowl championship.
Free Agency: Jerome Felton, Jasper Brinkley, Greg Jennings & J’Marcus Webb are gone. LB Casey Matthews( Eagles) adds quality depth as do former Bengals DB’s Taylor Mays & Terence Newman. QB Shaun Hill(Rams) is the veteran back-up.
Draft: The Vikings were on their game in this area. Michigan State CB Trae Waynes is a great addition, UCLA LB Erick Kendricks could be starting this year, & Louisiana State DE Danielle Hunter could be a steal. Pittsburgh OT T.J. Clemmings is a fine project and Southern Illinois TE MyCole Pruitt is another receiving threat. Nothing more needs to be said about the rest of their draft after these first five picks.
Overview: If QB Teddy Bridgewater can avoid the sophomore slump, then watch out. Lots of eyes will be watching WR Mike Wallace to see if he is the threat he was with the Steelers or the big mouth he was with the Dolphins. Let’s not forget RB Adrian Peterson, who will be playing with a lot of anger this season. If the defense begins to assert itself, then the Vikings could turn into the surprise team of the year.
Hello my fellow football fans, my Chief Executive of this establishment has called upon me to return and offer my opinions of the 2015 NFL offseason. With training camps underway, we have the preseason looming upon us. So how did every team do this offseason? Well, just like last year I will break down each team’s moves via free agency and draft(complete with letter grades) and provide a final overall analysis of what the future appears to hold for them. I am not making predictions as to how I think they will be doing this year. I will be as fully objective as I can be, and I also look forward to any feedback you have for me. So, with all of that said, let’s get started by having a look at the AFC North Division.
Are the Ravens primed for another Super Bowl run?
Will Marvin Lewis ever win a playoff game for the Bengals?
How many QB changes will the Browns have this year?
Is the Steelers strength of the team now the offense?
Free Agency: Salary cap restrictions prevented the Ravens from adding more to their team this year as a lot of familiar faces left, giving more of an opportunity for younger talent. RB Justin Forsett was retained and will continue to be the starter; DE Chris Canty was also kept, and he is now the “old man” on a very young D-Line. Safety Kendrick Lewis(Texans) will add more strength to a good, solid secondary. The loss of talented LB Pernell McPhee should not hurt as much, as the Ravens continue to find quality LB’s. Offensively, the Ravens had a tougher time. WR’s Jacoby Jones & Torrey Smith & TE Owen Daniels are gone, as is back-up QB Tyrod Taylor. The only real addition to the offense was veteran QB Matt Schaub.
Draft: Offense was the priority need for the Ravens and they came away with two very talented players. Central Florida WR Breshad Perriman has a great blend of height and speed. Now, can he learn fast enough to become an immediate impact player? Minnesota TE Maxx Williams was the best Tight End in the draft who possesses great size with good speed, and could be another Owen Daniels. Iowa DT Carl Davis is a solid addition to a young D-Line, and the Ravens may have tapped yet another good linebacker in the form of Kentucky’s Za’darius Smith. Keep an eye out for 5th rounder TE Nick Boyle from Delaware.
Overview: The Ravens face a challenge on offense, with a lot of new & younger players (sans Steve Smith) to be the ones in charge of scoring touchdowns. Joe Flacco has his work cut out for him. Trading away DT Haloti Ngata was big, but the Ravens are confident in their very young D-Line which is backed up by a top rate LB corps and solid secondary. While the Ravens may not have a lot of flashy players, you can never count them out. Head coach John Harbaugh quietly keeps this team in Super Bowl contention, and it would be wise to not forget about the Ravens in the long run.
Free Agency: The big signing was reuniting with DE Michael Johnson (Buccaneers) after being gone away for a year, and returning to a defense where he had much better success. After that, the Bengals mostly used free agency for depth. Safety Brandon Ghee (Titans), LB A.J. Hawk (Packers) QB Josh Johnson (49’ers) & DT Pat Sims (Raiders) are all positive signings, even if they are mostly situational players.
Draft: The Bengals know that their current OT’s are not getting any younger, thus the drafting of two Offensive Tackles with their first two picks: Cedric Ogbuehi of Texas A&M & Jake Fisher of Oregon. Not the most exciting picks, but they are logical choices. Rutgers TE Tyler Kroft is a nice addition, especially if Tyler Eifert gets injured again. Texas Christian LB Paul Dawson should fit into this defense nicely & versatile DB Josh Shaw of USC is very good depth. Arizona State DT Marcus Hardison might be better suited as a pass rusher.
Overview: Once again, the Bengals are an enigma. Talent is on both sides of the field, yet the Bengals continue to not dominate their division and in Head Coah Marvin Lewis’ time, they have yet to win a playoff game. Andy Dalton is still the QB, and RB Jeremy Hill was a monster during the second half of the season. Can Hill continue that success? A.J. Green is a beast at WR, and the return of WR Marvin Jones & TE Tyler Eifert from injury will help a lot. On defense DE Michael Johnson re-team with DE Carlos Dunlap & DT Geno Atkins along with their strong LB and secondary units. If the Bengals cannot get over the hump and win their first playoff game in years, then changes will more likely be on the horizon.
Free Agency: The Browns need touchdowns, so they got people who can produce them. QB Josh McCown will be the starter, and WR’s Dwayne Bowe (Chiefs) Brian Hartline (Dolphins) & TE Rob Housler (Cardinals) will be the targets. Not a stellar cast, but they can get the job done. Adding veterans DT Randy Starks (Dolphins) & CB Tramon Williams (Packers) will bring good depth to the defense.
Draft: The Browns had two first round picks and they used them wisely. Washington DT Danny Shelton is a mountain of a player who can dominate the trenches. Florida State OL Cameron Erving is a versatile player, who can play Center & Guard. Utah LB Nate Orchard will be used as a pass rusher for now, as he learns the game. RB Duke Johnson (Miami, FL) can be a nightmare, if he can hold onto the ball. Northwestern Safety Ibraheim Campbell is a solid 4th round pick as is Washington State WR Vince Mayle.
Overview: Where does Johnny Manziel fit on this team? Well, with the addition of QB Josh McCown, it certainly will not be at quarterback. The fans and staff and Manziel are just going to have to be patient about that. Head Coach Mike Pettine survived his first year with a decent 7-9 record. With new offensive weapons and a strong draft, fans expectations will be high. It’s up to the Browns to deliver a winning record in a tough division. Stranger things have happened.
Free Agency: It was a rocky free agency period for the Steelers. Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, Brett Keisel, Lance Moore & Jason Worilds are out of the picture. Veteran RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) will fill in as a starter, while Le’Veon Bell serves his suspension. That was it for the Steelers, as salary cap restrictions put them in this situation.
Draft: The draft was a different story for the Steelers. Kentucky LB Bud Dupree has big play ability. Mississippi CB Senquez Golson is undersized but has good instincts. Auburn WR Sammie Coates will have all eyes on him. He needs time to develop, in order to become something special. Ohio State DB Doran Grant will add good depth and Penn State TE Jesse James could be a 5th round steal.
Overview: All of those long-time fan favorite defensive players are gone. DE Cameron Erving, LB’s Jarvis Jones, Lawrence Timmons & rookie sensation Ryan Shazier are the new faces of the defense. QB Ben Roethlisberger still has plenty of football in him and when RB Le’Veon Bell returns from suspension, and with a solid young O-Line, the Steelers should still be contending for the NFL’s biggest prize. Now, if they can just get another WR.
Time to show you all my girlier side I’ve brought in my good friend/makeup artist Sheila Chalakee to show you how us ladies get the best Eagles green gameday look.
We’ve been waiting some time to hear the official verdict on the charges against former New England Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez. Now that he as been officially charged with 1st degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, it’s made me reflect on the life choices that got him to this place. I can’t help but wonder, could the NFL have done something to help prevent this player from taking such a dark path?
In the video above, I mention that the NFL should play a more proactive role in helping players work through problems, as opposed to waiting until it’s too late and discarding them from the league. Is a team psychologist or therapist something that could help mold these young minds to make better choices in their life as a pro athlete?
On March 3, 2015 the Philadelphia Eagles & Buffalo Bills shocked the NFL world as they announced that they were making a big and rare, player-for-player trade. The Eagles sent their all-pro star RB LeSean McCoy to the Bills for their young defensive star, LB Kiko Alonso. Both teams are doing all they can to get their teams back to the playoffs, and this trade is a statement as to how serious they are. With the release of veteran LB Trent Cole and what appears to be the impending departure of DE/OLB Brandon Graham, the Eagles have secured the services of a linebacker who has only played one full season in the NFL, but was second in voting for NFL Defensive Rookie of the year in 2013. The Bills came to an impasse with soon to be free agent RB C.J. Spilller as both sides could not reach an agreement on a new contract. Now the Bills have acquired one of the top RB’s in the league, in LeSean McCoy.
There are many positives to this trade. The Eagles gain more youth on defense with Alonso, who has proven that he can play both outside and middle linebacker, and say good-bye to McCoy’s large contract. The Bills now have a workhorse RB, something they have lacked lately, who is only 27 and has many years left to play. Fans of both teams were stunned and heart broken when this trade happened. McCoy has been the most productive player on offense, and arguably has been the Eagles best offensive player since he arrived. Alonso had a fantastic rookie season and had Bills fans drooling over the possibility of what he could accomplish under new head coach Rex Ryan’s defense.
Now that some time has passed, fans have had a chance to take in this trade and how it will help their teams. As I write this article, we are less than 12 hours away from the start of the new league year in the NFL and thus the start of the Free Agency signing period. Since the trade neither team has rested. The gaping hole at RB for the Eagles appears to be filled with the impending signing of soon-to-be former 49’ers RB Frank Gore. The Bills over this past weekend have restructured LeSean McCoy’s contract, giving McCoy more guaranteed money and giving the Bills less of a cap hit per year. Also, to insure that their defense doesn’t get hit harder, the Bills today re-signed DE Jerry Hughes, who was set to become a free agent.
All of this, and we still have free agency to look forward to, as both the Eagles and Bills are expected to become strong players during this time of the offseason. Both teams are well under the salary cap, and have their eyes set on who else can come in and help them next season. Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has more power and is doing all that he can to mold the Eagles into the team that he wants it to be, as he continues to surround himself with more former Oregon Ducks. Bills new owner Terry Pegula, GM Doug Whaley & head coach Rex Ryan have begun the task of making the Bills a serious contender, something the Bills have not been for quite some time. If either of these teams are able to reach the promised land, we may want to look back on this trade as the point in time when it all began.
Sit back and get ready folks, it should be an amazing ride.
WOW! Only time will tell if this is a really good move….or really really bad move. Keeping my fingers crossed. Everyone already knows that the Bills are getting a superstar player in Lesean McCoy, but with Kiko coming off an ACL injury there is some uncertainty as to what were getting. Therefore, stay tuned for my next youtube video where I’ll be interviewing my favorite Bills fan, MarkVaderr, to get a better idea of what we can expect from Kiko Alonso.