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  • Preseason: No, That Was Not a Dirty Hit on Odell Beckham Jr.

    August 22, 2017 • Features, Front PageComments (0)

    In last night’s preseason Week 2 match-up between Cleveland and New York, All-Pro wideout Odell Beckham Jr. left the game with an apparent injury after getting hit by Cleveland’s Briean Boddy-Calhoun. Luckily, it doesn’t appear the ankle sprain will cause him to miss a lot of time.

    The talk of the day has been whether or not it was a dirty hit on Cleveland’s part.

    Sadly, given we’re only halfway through the preseason, these are the sort of things we’re talking about at this point in August.

    And I’m here to say: No, I don’t believe it was a dirty hit.

    Sure, it was a low hit. But with there being rules in place to avoid hitting a defenseless receiver from the neck up, more low hits are being laid down in the last few years. When in the heat of the action, sometimes players end up getting hit a little lower than they’d prefer to be hit. It happens.

    Not to mention, with Boddy-Calhoun being just a second-year undrafted player looking to prove himself in Cleveland, he didn’t appear to be intentionally going for a low hit on OBJ. He’s going to be playing hard in Week 2 of the preseason. He’s not looking to knock New York’s top star out of the game, he’s just trying to make the play and not get burnt by the three-time Pro Bowl receiver.

    There was no ill-will, and not even OBJ himself complained about the hit. Lets let it go and let the men play the game.

    Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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  • Anquan Boldin Hangs up His Cleats After 14 NFL Seasons

    August 20, 2017 • Breaking News, Front Page, RetirementsComments (0)

    At 36 years of age, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Anquan Boldin has made the decision to hang his cleats up after 14 pro football seasons.

    While I, personally, would argue he belongs in the “Hall of Very Good,” there’s certainly an argument for Canton with Boldin’s 14-year career in Arizona, Baltimore, San Francisco and Detroit (I’m leaving Buffalo off the list since he didn’t play a regular season game for the Bills).

    The three-time Pro Bowl receiver was selected in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft by Arizona, where he spent the first seven seasons of his career. He, Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald turned the franchise around and took the team to the Super Bowl in 2008.

    He would go on to help Baltimore win the 2012 Super Bowl, catching six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown in the team’s 34-31 victory over San Francisco.

    Boldin played three seasons in Baltimore, three in San Francisco and one in Detroit (last season) before hanging his cleats up.

    He retires in the top 15 all-time in terms of catches (1,076) and receiving yards (13,779), snagging 82 touchdowns as well.

    Here’s the final tally over his career:

    In terms of on-field production, do you feel that he belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Or simply the “Hall of Very Good”?

    Either way, he enjoyed a hell of a career in professional football, and has done a ton of off-field charity/humanitarian work. He didn’t earn the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2015 for nothing.

    Photo: Ray Del Rio/Getty Images

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  • ArenaBowl XXX Match-up Set: Tampa Bay Storm at Philadelphia Soul

    August 14, 2017 • Arena Football League, Front Page, Philadelphia SoulComments (0)

    From ArenaFootball.com:

    LAS VEGAS – The Arena Football League has announced the ArenaBowl XXX matchup between the #1-seed Philadelphia Soul and the #2-seed Tampa Bay Storm. The league’s 30th championship game will  be played on Saturday, August 26th at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa. with kickoff slated for 7:00 p.m. ET. The game can be seen live on abc6 locally in Philadelphia. ArenaBowl XXX will also be streamed to a worldwide audience on AFLNow (AFL App and www.arenafootball.com/live) and Twitter.

    Last Saturday, the defending champion Soul defeated the Baltimore Brigade, 69-54, to advance to their second straight ArenaBowl and fourth championship appearance in six seasons.

    By virtue of Tampa Bay’s win tonight over the Cleveland Gladiators, 73-59, they have reached the ArenaBowl 10 times in the organization’s history, which ties an AFL record (10 – Arizona Rattlers).

    ARENABOWL XXX

    Saturday, August 26 at 7:00 p.m. ET – Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, Pa.)
    #2 Tampa Bay Storm (10-4; 1-0) at #1 Philadelphia Soul (13-1; 1-0)

    Photo: arenafootball.com

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  • Broncos’ Shane Ray to Undergo Surgery, Miss 6-8 Weeks

    July 28, 2017 • AFC, AFC West, Breaking News, Denver Broncos, Front Page, InjuriesComments (0)

    This is a tough break for the Denver Broncos.

    It appears as though outside linebacker Shane Ray will miss 6-8 weeks after tearing a ligament in his wrist. He’ll need to undergo surgery.

    Second on the depth chart, the former Saints LB Kasim Edebali will step in to fill the void Ray leaves behind him. Ray should only miss the first couple of games of the regular season.

    Ray, entering his third professional football season, started eighth games for Denver last year. Prior to the injury, I was expecting big things from Ray in his third pro season. Once he returns to the field, barring a successful recovery, I still expect him to make some noise in a Bronco uniform this season.

    In two seasons, the pass-rushing Ray has accumulated 12.0 sacks and recorded his first career touchdown on a fumble recovery in 2016.

    Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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  • Training Camp: Aaron Donald, Donald Penn Holding Out

    July 28, 2017 • Breaking News, Camp/Preseason, Front PageComments (0)

    This time each year when it comes time to report to training camp, the big headlines typically include who’s reporting and who’s holding out.

    Among today’s big holdout names: Aaron Donald (Rams) and Donald Penn (Raiders).

    Rams’ standout defensive tackle, coming off a 2016 season in which the All-Pro recorded 47 total tackles and 8.0 sacks, was a no-show when the report time came and went.

    Raiders’ left tackle Penn, 34, is under contract until the end of the season, and is due to make $5.9 million this year according to spotrac.com.

    If you’re a Rams and/or Raiders fan, these are storylines you’ll need to monitor as camp progresses.

    Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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  • Hall of Fame Debate: Edgerrin James vs. Taylor/Dillon

    July 27, 2017 • Features, Front Page, History, OpinionComments (0)

    Hey remember when Fred Taylor went on a Twitter rampage earlier this month, expressing his disgust for not yet being selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

    Quick refresher:

    There were a plethora of additional tweets he sent out, conversing with Jaguars and Fred Taylor fans regarding his HOF case if you’d like to check out his profile. But, yes, Taylor truly believes he should have already been inducted into the Hall.

    Corey Dillon is also pretty pissed off about not being in either.

    Here’s a brief quote of Dillon’s via Bengals Beat Podcast:

    “I am who I am. My numbers are what they are. I don’t know if I have to go on TV to politic this thing. It seems like that’s where this thing is going where you have to go and get a job on one of these networks. I don’t think that’s the right way of going about it. Somebody should be able to just sit there and look at these numbers and say, you know what, this guy is legit.

    I’m just bringing up this guy football-wise, nothing else, nothing whatsoever. You’ve got O.J. Simpson in the Hall of Fame and my numbers are better than his. Why can’t I be there is my question? What validates him being there and I don’t. I’m not talking about his transgressions off the field, that’s on him. I look at this too, you played for the Broncos, okay? Any running back that got in that system, they were good. Tell me one running back that played there that didn’t have stats.”

    First off, both of these guys had great careers. There’s no denying that.

    But, the Terrell Davis argument Dillon brought up, regarding his small sample size (seven NFL seasons) is completely irrelevant to Hall of Fame status. Gale Sayers played only seven seasons and is still known as one of the greatest to ever play.

    Not to mention Davis was forced to wait his turn…something that apparently Dillon and Taylor refuse to do.

    Davis, who will be inducted in August, had to wait until his 11th year of eligibility before getting the call. He’s been out of the league since ’01.

    Dillon has been out of the league since March ’07. It’s been about 10 years, but it takes five years before you’re even eligible. And Fred Taylor has only been out of the league since 2010. The pair of running backs may just have to wait their turn on this one.

    Edgerrin James hasn’t even been selected yet, and he has a much stronger HOF case than both Taylor and Dillon.

    Here’s a quick comparison between the three backs:

    Edgerrin James — 11 seasons with Colts, Cardinals, Seahawks (135 starts)
    12,246 rushing yards, 80 rushing touchdowns (4.0 YPC)
    12th on all-time rushing list
    4 Pro Bowl selections, 4 All-Pro selections

    Fred Taylor — 13 seasons with Jaguars (137 starts)
    11,695 rushing yards, 66 rushing touchdowns (4.6 YPC)
    17th on all-time rushing list
    1 Pro Bowl selection, 1 All-Pro selection

    Corey Dillon — 10 seasons with Bengals and Patriots (132 starts)
    11,241 rushing yards, 82 rushing touchdowns (4.3 YPC)
    20th on all-time rushing list
    4 Pro Bowl selections
    Super Bowl champion

    So sure, Fred and Corey, great careers. But I can’t see you getting in before James, who at least led the league in rushing (twice) during his career. Neither of you were even the best in the league during your respective careers.

    Case closed.

    Photo: Peter Brouillet/NFL Photo Library

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  • CFL: Winnipeg Improves to 3-2 with Week 6 Win

    July 27, 2017 • Canadian Football League, Front Page, Game RecapComments (0)

    Canadian Football League Week 6 (Thursday, July 27):

    Montreal Alouettes 40
    Winnipeg Blue Bombers 41

    Winnipeg opened CFL’s Week 6 action with a one-point victory over Montreal Thursday night, overcoming a 24-14 halftime deficit to improve to 3-2 on the season.

    Winnipeg starting quarterback Matt Nichols tossed for 358 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 34-of-43 passing. He also gained 22 of the team’s 80 yards on the ground.

    Jamaal Westerman led the way on defense, recording four tackles and two sacks, for Winnipeg. As a team, the Blue Bombers forced five total sacks against Montreal QB Darian Durant (27/35, 348 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT). Montreal managed 183 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground, but Winnipeg’s 27 second half points were enough to pull away with the slim victory.

    Next for Montreal: vs. Toronto (Friday, August 11)
    Next for Winnipeg: at Ottawa (Friday, August 4)

    Photo: The Canadian Press

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  • Brown, Harrison Show up to Steelers Camp in Style

    July 27, 2017 • AFC, AFC North, Camp/Preseason, Front Page, Pittsburgh SteelersComments (0)

    Antonio Brown has been known for showing up to Steelers’ training camp every year in a stylish ride, but his veteran teammate James Harrison decided to join in on the fun this year.

    Today, the 39-year-old Harrison showed up to camp in a fire truck.

    Yes, a fire truck.

    Brown showed up this year in a 1931 Rolls-Royce. He even had a chauffeur driving him. Because obviously the best receiver in the National Football League isn’t going to be driving himself to training camp. Come on now.

    Business is boomin’ (as usual) up north at Steelers’ camp.

    Photo: Steelers’ official Instagram account

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  • Lineman John Urschel Hangs up Cleats at Age 26

    July 27, 2017 • AFC, AFC North, Baltimore, Baltimore Ravens, Breaking News, Front PageComments (0)

    With the recent CTE study results being released, 26-year-old Baltimore Ravens’ offensive lineman John Urschel has abruptly announced his retirement from the National Football League.

    The former Penn State standout played three seasons in the league, starting 13 games for the Ravens after being drafted with the 175th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

    No worries, though. Urschel has a bright post-NFL life lined up for him.

    From his wikipedia page:

    Photo: Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

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  • Baltimore: Could 2017 be Danny Woodhead’s Best Season Yet?

    July 26, 2017 • AFC, AFC North, Baltimore Ravens, Features, Front PageComments (0)

    It’s a bold question to ask.

    Danny Woodhead, a 32-year-old running back coming off a torn ACL a season ago, signed a three-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens this off-season. Although he tore his ACL in Week 2 0f last year, he appears to be pretty confident that he can produce at a high-level this season.

    Now that the recent news of Kenneth Dixon’s season-ending knee injury has been publicized, it appears as though Woodhead will get the opportunity to see a hefty load of touches in Joe Flacco’s offense this season.

    He’ll join Lorenzo Taliaferro and Terrance West to form a three-headed monster in Baltimore’s backfield, but given his pass-catching ability (80 catches for San Diego in 2015), Woodhead is bound to see ample targets from Flacco out of the backfield.

    The 5’8″/200-pound running back has never seen more than 106 carries in a single season over his eight-year pro football career, but given Taliaferro has 82 total rushes over his three-year career Woodhead could easily become the No. 2 back behind West (193 carries, 774 yards, 5 TD in 2016).

    Honestly, I can easily see a healthy Woodhead, despite being 32, receiving 150+ carries out of the backfield in 2017. This would also mean he’d see plenty of targets thrown his way. Another 50+ catch season seems plausible for Woodhead as long as he stays healthy and turns into the No. 2 option behind West.

    Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

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