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  • New York Jets: Early AFC Favorites

    April 20, 2010 • UncategorizedComments (0)

    Today’s breaking news in the football world isn’t any sort of break in the Roethlisberger case.  Instead, it involves yet another New York Jet signing.

    Future Hall of Fame defensive end/OLB Jason Taylor has become the newest Jet, signing a two-year deal within the past half hour.  Adam Schefter of ESPN was told Taylor could receive as much as $3.75 million in his first season with the team.

    As a rookie head coach last season, former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan took the Jets to the AFC Championship.  New York, led by rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, fell 13 points shy of its first Super Bowl appearance 1968.

     Rex Ryan’s defensive-oriented demeanor toughened the AFC’s road to the Super Bowl.  After finishing the season with a 9-7 record, New York was awarded the first Wild Card spot (fifth seed), and was forced to play three road playoff games.  Ryan’s top-ranked defense allowed New York to stroll through the first two weeks of the playoffs despite having the 17th-best scoring offense with an inexperienced rookie under center.

    The organization has showed no signs of slowing down this off-season, willing to throw money around to bring in highly-praised players on both sides of the ball.

    Last year it seemed the one thing New York was lacking was veteran leadership.  They had the young, talented guys such as Sanchez, running back Shonn Greene and shutdown corner Darrelle Revis, but they didn’t seem to have the guy who could push them the extra inch.

    Yes, they did happen to have an all-hype head coach in Ryan, and they had a couple vocal locker room guys such as Bart Scott, but adding Jason Taylor, Santonio Holmes and Ladainian Tomlinson may have been what they were looking for.

    There’s a whole lot of talent in those three guys alone.  So I don’t care if you are one to believe that just because you stack a team with talent doesn’t mean you’re going to win.  This is exactly why the Jets hired Rex as head coach last season, he has the ability to bring a team together and win games.  That’s just what he did last year with Sanchez.

    New York killed two birds with one stone with the Taylor signing.  Not only does he bring the leadership and will to win, but Jason is also one of the game’s best pass rushers.  New York got to the quarterback just 32 times last season, good enough for 22nd in the league.  Taylor’s presence, alone, could give the Jets around five or six more sacks.  If he plays to his ability, Taylor could put up double-digit sack totals.  Another great pick-up for the league’s best defense was the signing of former San Diego Charger Antonio Cromartie to play opposite shut-down corner Darrelle Revis.

    On the offensive side of the ball we should see a matured Mark Sanchez who just so happens to have a couple more weapons, plus plenty of protection (sacked just 30 times last season).  The addition of play-making wide-out Santonio Holmes will do wonders as a second option for Sanchez, despite the four game suspension.  Thomas Jones parted ways, but the team did manage to bring back Leon Washington and add All-Pro Ladainian Tomlinson, which gives probable starter Shonn Greene at least a mentor.

    All these factors lead me to believe Rex Ryan’s Jets will be, in the least, division winners in the East in 2010.  I mean, the Pats are certainly on a downturn and Buffalo and Miami still may have a couple of rebuilding seasons.

    Early BOLD Prediction: Jets earn first division title since 2002 and make a second consecutive AFC Championship appearance.

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  • Discussing Rumors Around the NFL

    April 19, 2010 • UncategorizedComments (0)

    With just three days until the start of the 2010 draft, it is rumors-galore out there in the NFL world.  So I am here to discuss a couple of them that have been heading our way, whether I think they are true or not..

    Clausen to Browns at No. 7?

    New Cleveland Browns team president Mike Holmgren has been caught thinking about whether taking Jimmy Clausen with the seventh pick of the draft.  With Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn both gone this off-season and the recent signing of veteran Jake Delhomme, I say why not?  Delhomme was obviously just a temporary fix, considering the guy is already 35 years old.  It’s unlikely that Sam Bradford will still be on the board at this point, so why not snag Clausen before another QB-needy team does?  Delhomme would, of course, mentor the young kid and Cleveland would then start Clausen when he’s ready (or when Delhomme gets in trouble, whichever happens to come first).


    LenDale White: Draft-day Trade?

    Another report out there is that the Tennessee Titans may look to deal their goal-line back on draft-day, for the “right price” as they say.  What that price may be, who knows.  His stock surely fell after his 2009 campaign (222 rushing yards, 2 TDs), but there still may be a few teams out there looking for a bruising 240 pound running back to turn their team around.

    Possible candidates:

    Colts: Not sure how much longer Addai will be a Colt and it may take a while for Donald Brown to get accustomed to a bigger work load.

    Bears: Chicago’s Matt Forte had a huge dip in production from his rookie season in ’08 to his second season last year.  There really isn’t much depth there at running back either.

    Bills: It’s obvious Marshawn Lynch’s days are numbered in Buffalo.  He may not even be a Bill by opening weekend.  Fred Jackson broke 1,000 rushing yards last season but with just five total rushing TDs in his three NFL seasons, Buffalo could use quite a bit of help at the goal-line without Lynch.

    White shouldn’t go for anything more than a fourth- or fifth-round pick, considering that’s all Santonio Holmes went for, despite his knack for getting into trouble.  That price seems affordable for basically anyone.  Maybe he leaves, maybe he stays.  We will just have to sit and watch come draft-day.


    With Favre’s Future Still Uncertain, Vikes Re-Sign Jackson

    The Minnesota Vikings organization seems to be in no rush to hear from future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre on his future.  But we did find out today that the Vikes have not given up on Tarvaris Jackson, for now.

    The restricted free agent signed his tender today, meaning the only Viking left to sign it is DE Ray Edwards who may ultimately hold out as we approach training camps this summer.

    Jackson, in 33 games, has posted a career 77.9 rating with 21 TD passes and 18 interceptions.  Jackson has certainly shown some inconsistency, which is exactly what urged Childress to bring in Favre to begin with.  This may be Jackson’s final chance to earn a starting spot.  Even if Favre does not return in 2010, don’t expect Jackson to just be handed the starting job any time soon.  He will certainly have to prove he deserves it.

    More rumor discussions headed your way…we’re just getting started.

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  • A Special Tribute to…

    April 19, 2010 • UncategorizedComments (0)

    When bored, sometimes I resort to hulu or youtube for entertainment.  So as I was watching a couple of youtube videos I came across some Brian Dawkins highlights.  Watching several B-Dawk videos has really made me miss his good ole days as a Philadelphia Eagles.

    As a huge NFL fan, you got to admit that the early 2000s were enjoyable to watch with Brian Dawkins running around the field leading the Eagles to victory after victory.

    The saying “you never really know what you have til it’s gone” is certainly true in this case.  It doesn’t matter what your is, everyone has to admit the Dawkins/McNabb/Westbrook days in Philly were great entertainment.  Dawkins is the definition of an NFL player, not to mention a fantastic motivator.  He even has one of the best nicknames in the game: Wolverine (he also goes by B-Dawk and Weapon-X).

    At age 36, Dawkins’ best days are behind certainly behind him.  But, that shouldn’t stop him from running all over Invesco Field at Mile High making spectacular tackles and giving great pre-game speeches to his Denver teammates.  In his prime, the 8-time Pro Bowler was easily making 50-60 tackles a season and countless more highlight reels.

    Here are some links to a few highlight/pump-up videos of his:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe5B8W8ZyR4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JizfUAyL_4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM8NbBFUR4k

    McNabb and Westbrook, as of this off-season, are gone as well.  Head coach Andy Reid is going completely fresh: new QB (Kevin Kolb), fresh legs in the backfield (second-year running back LeSean McCoy) and a couple of less experienced safeties in the defensive backfield.  Could this new look bring similar results?

    R.I.P. Eagles teams from c. early 2000s

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  • WIS Match-up of the Day: ’00 Ravens v.s. ’85 Bears

    April 16, 2010 • UncategorizedComments (0)

    Using Whatifsports.com’s simulator (http://whatifsports.com/locker/), I am introducing a new, hopefully daily, column.  Today’s WIS Match-up of the Day will be between two past Super Bowl champions, and have arguably two of the best defensive units of all-time.  The 1985 Chicago Bears (and the Super Bowl Shuffle) and the 2000 Baltimore Ravens (and Ray Lewis’ one-of-a-kind pregame dance)..

    ENJOY!

    The Place: LA Coliseum

    Game Day Weather: 70 degrees, 0% precipitation, light wind

    Offensive playbook: Favor run (both teams)

    Game Action:

    A majority of the scoring in this game happened in the fourth quarter, which is very uncharacteristic with two defenses of this caliber on the field.

    Chicago’s Hall of Fame running back, and today’s player of the game, Walter Payton, opened the scoring up with a 17-yard catch and run late in the second quarter of play.  Kevin Butler’s extra point made it a 7-0 game and was, again, the only score of the first half.

    Both offensive units surprisingly played nearly mistake-free football.  Baltimore’s two signal-callers–starter Trent Dilfer and Tony Banks–were rather inconsistent, completing just 13 of 30 pass attempts, but did not turn the ball over.  On the other side, Chicago’s usually sub-par quarterback Jim McMahon managed to stay turnover-less as well.

    Possible Hall of Fame kicker Matt Stover finally put Baltimore on the board with a 48-yard field goal early in the final quarter of play.  Baltimore took their first lead 12 minutes later when Obafemi Ayanbadejo squeezed in to the end zone from two yards out.

    McMahon drove his Bears’ offense down the field and, with under a minute to go, threw his second and final touchdown pass of the game to WR Willie Gault, a 38-yard connection.  The drive lasted seven plays and went for 66 yards before the score put Mike Ditka’s Bears up 14-10.

    Trent Dilfer failed to get a drive together, going just four plays before turning the ball over on downs.  Chicago kicker Kevin Butler sealed the win with a last-second 38-yard field goal.

    BAL 10, CHI 17

    Box Score: http://whatifsports.com/NFL/boxscore.asp?GameID=3275154&teamfee=-1&theme=-1

    As expected, most of the stat categories were nearly identical.  Great game.  Come back tomorrow for the next ‘WIS Match-up of the Day’

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  • No Trouble from Marshall?

    April 15, 2010 • UncategorizedComments (0)

    Pro Bowl wide-out Brandon Marshall, now a former Bronco, claims he will not be any trouble for the Miami Dolphins, who just signed him to a four-year extension after the acquisition.  The Dolphins gave him a record-setting deal, making him the highest-paid wide receiver.

    Of course we all know of his long list of legal troubles, which just so happen to be slightly longer than his list of accomplishments.  But, Marshall claimed that he is very happy with his situation and wont be giving the organization any problems.

    I would love to believe him, but it’s just very hard to do considering we’ve already heard this from countless other multi-million dollar athletes.  I mean, he’s making a boat-load more money, is now part of an organization with a bright future AND he’s in one of the best cities for picking up the ladies (and relax on the beach, simultaneously).

     Sounds like a great life to me.

    But then again, this happens a lot more than we might think: Professional athlete says he’s happy, a couple weeks/months later he demands a trade and throws a fit.

    If Miami’s QB carousel settles down and Marshall is getting the ball enough to satisfy him, I see big things coming for this offense.  If that doesn’t work out after a year or so, don’t be surprised if Marshall starts to yelp.

    I actually would like to believe that Miami is more happy about the pick-up than Marshall himself.  Getting a 6-foot-4, 229 pound wide receiver with great hands and legs as quick as his would make any general manager/head coach wet his pants.

    Marshall has talent, there’s no doubt about that.  On top of that, he’s just 26 years old.  His best years are certainly ahead of him.

    Miami may not be a contender this season, but with a motivated Brandon Marshall on the team things certainly are looking up for the people down south.

    (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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  • Suspension for Big Ben?

    April 15, 2010 • UncategorizedComments (0)

    It is still uncertain whether or not the Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback will be suspended to start the 2010 regular season, though all signs seem to be pointing in that direction.

    The NFL has stated that the announcement is likely to be made after the draft at the earliest, and even the Rooney’s seem to think a suspension is in place for their star quarterback.

    The punishment seems inevitable at this point. Although there weren’t any criminal charges against him, the memo Commissioner Goodell sent to teams last week is a clue of what’s coming for the 6-foot-5, 240 pound signal caller. In the statement, Goodell said:

    “The Policy makes clear that NFL and club personnel must do more than simply avoid criminal behavior. We must conduct ourselves in a way that ‘is responsible, that promotes the values upon which the league is based, and is lawful.”

    Basically, what he is saying is that he doesn’t care if you are found guilty of it or not, you’re gonna be punished. Note to players: watch out for who you hang out with. People are going to be out to get you more than ever.

    If nothing else, I think Goodell punishes Ben to show that he doesn’t hand out special treatment to any certain player. Goodell has done a nice job at handling trouble-makers so far.

    Big Ben gets a 2-4 game suspension to start the season. Put your money on it.

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  • Welcome!

    April 15, 2010 • UncategorizedComments (0)

    Well, to start, my name is Ben Heck and I am currently a High School senior at QACHS in Centreville, MD. I write articles for a few other sites (look in my bio for specifics) and I started this up just for the fun of it..which means I highly doubt anyone is really going to read this.

    I am going to try and post several things a day, but I doubt that is actually going to happen. We’ll see.

    Thank you and enjoy!

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