Category Archives: Football

Tiger Woods Back In a Flash

If you asked me 3 years ago if I thought Tiger Woods would ever give me chills from being back on the course, I’d probably laugh in your face. I don’t think anyone could have predicted that. But yesterday at the Valspar Championship, Tiger did the impossible.

 

That was electric. Everyone there and watching at home had the thought in the back of their mind. Tiger Woods two off the lead on the green at 17 with a chance to Birdie. A 44-foot putt moving right to left. The shot predictor gave him a 3% chance to sink it. And he did just that. I thought there was no way. Growing up watching Tiger absolutely dominate the golf world, there was nothing better. Then there was the infamous fall-out with cheating, drugs and public shame. Two spinal fusion back surgeries. There was no way he could ever come back and do what he did. But once again, Tiger does what Tiger does. And he did that. This might be one of the most watched Masters of all time in April, with Phil Mickelson playing great, Tiger Woods flying up the FedEx Cup standings, and all the young talent searching for a shot at the green jacket, this could end up as one of the best Masters of all time and I can’t wait to see what goes down in Augusta.

Lebron James to the NFL makes too much sense

I originally got the idea for this from something Colin Cowherd said.

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He makes some good points. Michael retired, Phil retired. Then I saw something:

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 6.19.53 PM
Courtesy of Bleacher Report @bleacherreport via Twitter, Instagram

And it r e a l l y made me think. Michael retired in the middle of his career to go pursue his dream of being an MLB baseball player. It’s no secret the entire world believes Lebron has a real future in the NFL.

He LOVES football and misses playing since his days in high school.

He’s 6’8″ 265 lbs. That is about the most perfect body a tight end could have. I bet you, football abilities or not, that if Lebron decided to take a year off and pursue a career in the NFL he’d receive a call from all 32 teams within the first 5 minutes of his decision.

Cowherd makes some really excellent points. He’s right. Everyone is always worried about the next job right away. They rarely take time to really think about what the best move for them is. The Lakers are too young, Philly would be great on paper but end in disaster, the Warriors would be a sell-out and San Antonio would be a long-shot with the Rockets and Warriors both in the same conference.

Lebron has made enough money for 4 lifetimes and he could care less about that. He’s focusing on his brand. Lebron football cleats? They look pretty sick, remember when Ohio State wore them?

Kinda nasty.

One year can make all the difference. Colin said it. Let’s see if the Lakers and Sixers continue to grow, if the Spurs and Kawhi Leonard can continue to build. There are plenty of pieces out there and moves to be made. But, it’s all about timing and right now, is just not the right time for his next move in the NBA.

Take his talents to the NFL. Don’t make the wrong move and “damage” his reputation of losing ANOTHER Finals. I put damage in quotations because it’s a bunch of BS and it’s just haters being haters. Seven consecutive NBA Finals appearances? Astounding.

Jerry Jones would eat this up. It makes too much sense. Lebron to the NFL is a work of art.

NFL Combine Top Performances and more

Now that the NFL combine has come to a close, I’m going to give my thoughts and takeaways on how everything went. You’re probably wondering what my credibility is for accessing how everything went, so I’ll tell you.

  • I played QB for my fraternity IM football team
  • My TD-Int ratio was 0-8, yep you’re reading that correctly
  • My Player on Madden 18 is a stud and is ranked 91 overall

Now that you’ve heard about how sick and how stellar of an athlete I am, I’ll go ahead and rank the top QBs after the Combine.

1. Josh Allen

This man straight up killed his combine performance. 4.75 unofficial 40, 33.5 inch vertical and absolutely showing off the arm strength throwing 70 yard passes with EASE.

Take a look:

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Electric arm on this kid. His natural talent is off the charts, but he is super raw. Playing at Wyoming he never had the type of big game exposure and was never really put into high-pressure situations. He can make any throw on the field at will, but in game situations, he can tend to make bad decisions and try and rely on his arm talent. This will not bode well for him in the NFL. As a QB, especially in the NFL, you have to make smart decisions to succeed.

He is my number one guy simply for his talent alone. I have no doubt that he will continue to polish his skill set and become a phenomenal Quarterback in the league.

2. Josh Rosen

Rosen is your next prodigy. There’s no doubt about that the kid flat out makes great throws. He is the most consistent thrower in this class and has every trait you look for in your franchise QB.

He’s known as a “silent leader” which is a real good thing. He doesn’t get into trouble and leads by example. You know who else does that? A guy by the name of Tom Brady, ever heard of him? He’s a brilliant kid and a smart polished football player. He is the guy that leads quietly and, from what I’ve heard, is not afraid to speak his mind when he has to.

Take a look at his comeback win against Texas A&M where he led the Bruins to a 44-17 comeback.

It was this game that sold me on Rosen. I always had my doubts about him because I thought to myself how can this so-called, “chosen one” go 8-4 every year at UCLA? Well, I personally think there was something with him and Jim Mora, the two of them just didn’t see eye-to-eye and Josh basically said I’ll put in my time here, but my mind is on the NFL.

This game shows Rosen’s competitiveness and determination. He’s a winner. I expect big things from him in the NFL and at the Combine, he was lights out just as everyone expected. His downfield accuracy had Execs raving. I expect this kid to be a stud in the NFL.

3. Sam Darnold

This might come as surprise to people, as most experts have Darnold going 1, 1 to the Browns, but not me. Not the guy with the 91 overall ranked My Player and the lights out Intramural QB. I know what I’m talking about, obviously.
I think Darnold is the most polished “dual-threat” QB in this class. I know Darnold doesn’t strike anyone as much of a dual-threat guy, but he has the ability to extend plays with his legs and is extremely accurate when on the move.

I know Sport Science videos don’t prove anything, but I think they are fascinating and really show the true analytics (and sabermetrics, obviously.) of a player.

He ran a 4.85 40, which was just 0.01 seconds behind the true “dual-threat” Baker Mayfield. Darnold is a special talent and I think if he is in the right system and on the right team, he will be a very good NFL talent. Don’t forget he’s only 20, TWENTY, years-old.

4. Baker Mayfield

Baker’s my guy. I’ve always stuck with him throughout the criticism, so I’m going to continue to stick with him after a decent combine. It was nothing special, but I think there were a lot of positives that can be taken away from his performance. First off, as I wrote with Will Bazarsky, Johnny Manziel and Mayfield draw a lot of comparisons, but mostly for their height, and their off the field issues.

I’m sticking with combine results so here it is: Johnny never threw at the combine, Baker did. Johnny only threw at his pro day because that’s where he was most comfortable. That shows a lot that Baker isn’t afraid to show his arm talent at the Combine, which isn’t easy I might add.

He ran a 4.84 40, which made scouts really lose their minds and had them racing around freaking out, “IS BAKER REALLY AN ATHLETE!?!?” I’ll let you decide:

I love Baker, but he is a system QB. He has to be in the right scheme, with the right coaching, and he’ll be a great talent. I could see Baker slipping, but I could also see him going number 5 to the Jets as well. He is a good passer. He really is. He’s good at extending plays and has a high ceiling. He has a strong arm and has great touch. He is a competitor, and there is always room for guys like that in the league.

My other takeaways

I can’t go any further without saying how much of a stud Saquon Barkley is. He deserves every bit of that number one pick because he is truly a once in a generation type of talent. Watching him is absolutely incredible and he is not only the best athlete I’ve ever seen, he is the best person and human being as well. I absolutely love everything about this kid. Saquon Barkley is a monster. (click on “Watch on Youtube”)

Orlando Brown did terrible at the combine. He underperformed a ton but I am not worried at all. The combine is a skill’s challenge to show who the best athletes are. At 6’8″ 360 pounds, 360 POUNDS, I don’t expect this man to be anywhere near a good athlete. I think he’ll be fine but will fall in the draft. He was a projected number one OL pick, but he might slip now as other better athletes have surpassed him. He has plenty of time to get more athletic. He has relied so much on his gargantuan frame to out body pass rushers. If he can slim down to 330-340 and get stronger and a little quicker I don’t see anyone that’s going to get past him.

Any other thought’s you guys have, leave ’em in the comment section!

Manziel vs Mayfield: a tale of arrest records, public scrutiny, and Heisman trophies

With the NFL Draft approaching in the next couple months, there has been a lot of comparisons made between two certain quarterbacks: Johnny Manziel and Baker Mayfield. In this article, I’m going to present the similarities and differences between the two QB’s, and tell you why they are two very different players.

If you’re wondering what gives me the right to compare the two, let me tell you.

I’m a Longhorn. I’ve been a Longhorn since birth. I’m a freshman at UT now, and when it comes to football I know two things for sure. 1. OU sucks, and 2. it’s Goodbye to A&M. In that case, I’m writing this from what I have witnessed with my own eyes, researched and heard about both of these two quarterbacks.

First, I’ll go into some background about the two.

Johnny Manziel played two years at Texas A&M before being drafted with the 22nd pick in the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He led A&M to a 20-6 career record, a Cotton Bowl and a Chick-Fil-A Bowl win. He played two years with the Browns until his very public downward spiral of drugs and alcohol addiction sent him from the field into rehab.

Baker Mayfield began his career as a walk-on quarterback at Texas Tech before transferring to Oklahoma to finish his college career as a Sooner. He finished with a 34-6 career record and led Oklahoma to its first College Football Playoff birth and in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, Mayfield is projected to be a top 1st Round Pick.

Now lets dive into their similarities and differences.

Here is how the two are similar:

Coming out of high school both Manziel and Mayfield were listed as 3-Star recruits by 247Sports.com. As we’ve all seen before, recruiting rank does not mean define a player as both went on to be AP Player of the Year, All-American Honors, Davey O’Brien Award winners, Offensive Player of the Year in their respective conferences, and of course, winners of the Heisman Memorial Trophy.

On and off the field, both players have had their share of disruptive behavior.

Manziel:

Before his first collegiate game on June 29, 2012, Manziel was arrested and charged with three misdemeanors. Disorderly conduct, failure to produce identification and having a fake driver’s license. Along with this “instance”, it’s also known that he left the Manning Passing Academy early, a place where top high school QB’s come and showcase their talents, allegedly due to him oversleeping and missing part of the course.

Mayfield:

During the 2017 offseason, Mayfield was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, fleeing and resisting arrest and public intoxication.

Mayfield has had less trouble off the field than Manziel, but on the field, some critics question his antics from this past season. On the road facing Ohio State in the second game of the year, Mayfield planted the Oklahoma flag at midfield of Buckeye Stadium after defeating Ohio State 31-16. Then, later in the season against Kansas, Mayfield grabbed his nuts and was caught shouting swear words at the Jayhawk sideline.

Now here’s how these two guys differentiate themselves from one another:

In college, their styles of play were very different and regardless of their size comparisons, they are not the same.

Manziel was more reliant on his running abilities. He had star receiver Mike Evans (ever heard of him?) as his number one threat down the field. Throw the ball up to him and it’s caught. I remember watching a game against Alabama where Manziel scrambled all around the line of scrimmage finally heaving it up to Evans for a 50-something yard completion. THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN IN THE NFL. Johnny may have been a good enough athlete in college, but plays like that don’t happen in the NFL. They just don’t.

Johnny didn’t become “Johnny Heisman” by throwing the ball. His namesake came from dynamic running ability. In his TWO years at A&M, he ran for 2,169 yards and 30 touchdowns. Compared to Mayfield’s 893 yards and 18 TD’s in his THREE years at Oklahoma.

Mayfield relied on his gunslingin’ strong arm to lead him in his success. Don’t get me wrong, he could still make plays with his feet, but he’s the better passer. At Oklahoma, Mayfield passed for 12,292 yards, 119 touchdowns with only 21 interceptions. Let that sink in a little. The man can throw the rock. Manziel threw for basically half that, with 7,820 yards, 63 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Mayfield threw for almost twice as many yards and touchdowns, and did it with less interceptions in three years, than Manziel did in two.

Now you’re probably wondering what do I think.

Honestly, when people say Baker Mayfield and Johnny Manziel are the same, I don’t buy it. Not one bit. Sure, they both have gotten into trouble, but when you look at what kind of players they are, it’s not even close. In my opinion Mayfield has shaped himself into a good mix of the new Pro-Style quarterback. The game is changing and more Russell Wilson type QB’s are emerging left and right. The league has changed from ground-and-pound, to pass-first and RPO. Mayfield is a baller. He’s a flat out competitor. That’s why he talks smack and does all his gestures. He just loves winning and I respect the hell out of that.

To all the NFL GM’s out there, don’t buy into the Manziel-Mayfield comparison. When given the opportunity, Baker Mayfield will take your organization to the next level.

Offseason Review: Detroit Lions

A new era has surfaced, and it starts with Mr. Graphite, A.K.A new Head Coach Matt Patricia. The wait is finally over as Detroit is believed to have found their guy. A disciple of the Bill Belichick coaching tree. While things haven’t panned out for most Belichick assistants, this one seems a little different. For starters, he didn’t get cold feet after the Patriots loss in Super Bowl 52 and return to the Pats (unlike Josh McD). He is his own man and it seems as if he is here to stay.

The NFL is a league of parody and when Lions general manager Bob Quinn decided to pull the trigger, it only made sense to hire one guy. People forget, Quinn joined the New England Patriots back in 2000 as a player personnel assistant, and gradually moved up to the director of pro scouting. The rest is history as he was signed in 2016 as the next Lions GM.

Since Quinn has been in Detroit, he has done something that previous GM’s have not been able to do in the Motor City: put together a winning culture. Sure, with former Head Coach Jim Caldwell it had its hiccups, but he did manage to finish 36-28 in his four years as head coach. All in all, a change was needed and getting Matt Patricia seems like it could pay dividends and land them in uncharted territory with “the Patriot-Way.”

FREE AGENCY

LE’VEON BELL

The Lions are in an odd spot in the 2018 NFL Draft. They don’t have a sexy pick but what they do have is a ton of money they are looking to unload.

What to do with $47 million? I don’t know, maybe go after the best running back in the league. As free agency is getting closer, the Lions should be licking their chops to show Le’veon what being a Detroit Lion is all about.

The MSU alum should fit perfectly in their offensive game plan to relieve some pressure off Stafford. The Lions $135-million-dollar man cannot do it all by himself. He isn’t getting any younger. He needs help.

Their window is now. With Stafford in his prime and Marvin Jones Jr. locked up until 2020, if they can land someone like Bell, it would be a hell of a lot more enticing for Golden Tate to resign in 2019. Could you imagine that offense? Well I can, and with the right scheme and 3rd down play calling, Lions fans might be able to witness their first ever playoff win.

NIGEL BRADHAM

Please tell me you guys love athletic linebackers that can play both inside and out. One of the standouts on Philadelphia’s Super Bowl winning defense, Bradham displayed the physicality, cover skills and leadership to help a defense earn the title world champions.

“We drafted Jarrad Davis to be the future!” I know, I know. Imagine if you had someone that could teach Davis the character it takes to be a top linebacker in the league? Don’t get me wrong, Bradham isn’t a household name but my god if you watched the NFL this year, you would be able to witness some outstanding defensive intensity.

SIGN THIS MAN! WHAT A BEAST! Bob Quinn, if you have the chance to pair Nigel Bradham and Jarrad Davis together, do it. You’d be doing Detroit a wonderful service.

WARNING DO NOT TAG ZIGGY HE IS NOT WORTH THE HEADACHE

DRAFT

1st round, pick No. 20

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

If the Lions do the smart thing and let Ziggy Ansah walk, Davenport seems to fit the mold of the the next generation of Defensive Ends. For god-sakes, the man is 6-7, 255 lbs. He’s a walking mammoth and could fit in beautifully with what Patricia is about to do with that defense. There is something recently about small-school guys panning out that I believe will happen again.

2nd round, pick No. 51

Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

Keep bringing the boys home! With their first two picks on the defensive side of the ball, it is clear what direction this team should be going in. Hopefully with these two picks, they are able to generate a pass rush that could help the corners out.

Defense wins championships repeat after me.

Lions fans, there is hope. Your fan-base has always stuck by their beloved team and its now their time to deliver. Philly broke the curse, why not you too?

In-State or Bust

With National Signing Day in the rear view mirror, and the Texas Longhorns finishing with the 3rd best class in the nation, I want to touch on something that I have noticed over the last five years. Over the last half-decade, there has been a trend beginning every February on NSD. The Longhorn football program has been overselling their incoming recruiting classes judging by the production on the field during the season. What has caused these so-called “top class” to fail:

TOP IN-STATE RECRUITS

How did I come to that conclusion so quickly? Well, here’s the deal. The State of Texas lives and breathes high school football. I mean come on, there was a freaking TV show about it. It’s the State of Texas. High School football is a religion here. It’s the best of the best. The talent level is through the roof. In the 2016 NFL season, a total of 214 players played their high school football in Texas. There’s little to no doubt that this state is made up of some of the most promising up-and-coming players in the country.

With that being said, there is no excuse that Texas has been unable to retain at least 50% of the Top 20 recruits in the State in recent years. Before I talk about now, let’s go back to the Class of 2010. Out of the top 20 recruits in the State of Texas, Mack Brown brought in a total of 10 recruits for the Longhorns. That’s what Texas has been missing in the recent years. In order for the Horns to be successful, they HAVE to and MUST win the in-state recruits.

Why do I say that? Here’s what was going on from 2013-2017 with the top 20 players in the State of Texas:

· Class of 2013, 3 signed went 8-5

· Class of 2014, 4 signed went 6-7

· Class of 2015, 6 signed went 5-7

· Class of 2016, 7 signed went 5-7

Then, in the Class of 2017… ZERO, NONE, NADA signed with the University of Texas at Austin. I get that Charlie Strong was fired, but still. It’s THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS. It’s a world-renowned university. You would think, you would hope, at least ONE of the Top 20 in the State would have wanted to be a Longhorn.

But now…. after waiting almost 5 years, Texas football is back baby. The Class of 2018 has garnered 10 signees from the Top 20 in the State. It appears Head Coach Tom Herman is bringing back the precedent set on recruiting in this state. It truly is second to none. And, when the top recruits are in your backyard, you go out and get them. That’s the philosophy Herman is following and will continue to follow for years to come.

Foles takes down the GOAT, Dynasty in Shambles

First off, I want to say that Super Bowl 52 lived up to everything it was hyped to be. I also want to say that first half was beautiful. Shoutout to the entire NBC team for putting on a great performance until they botched it with a nationwide blackout. But other than that, I thought it was great. Big week for NBC, first the Super Bowl then the entire Olympics?

Stock in NBC = very high

Now, let’s dig into the game. I’m still trying to digest what happened. Saint Nick took down the GOAT, the NFL has a number of issues they need to resolve, is the dynasty in shambles???

I’m not going to bore you with all the stupid catch rule stuff so I’ll just say this.

They need to define what is and is not a catch.

Saint Nick played the game of his life. Every single NFL team out there should send the Eagles an offer for him this offseason because he’s better than any qb in the league right now. He just won the Super Bowl. Don’t even think about arguing it.

Now, going off that. He will still be the backup next year. The Eagles got their win win situation. They just won their first Super Bowl, and did it without their franchise QB who, oh by the way, is just 25 years old.

I love what the Eagles have done with their team. I think they have the potential to be the next dynasty. They are loaded with young and under-contract talent, a hungry athletic defense, a QB with a very high ceiling and a great coaching staff who was able to adjust their system around their backup QB to win a Super Bowl.

There’s a lot of pressure on Wentz now, but I’ve never seen someone overcome as much as he has so I am sure he will be fine.

Now, let’s talk about the Pats and the endless pit of misery they are about to be swallowed by. First off, this is well deserved. I love Tom Brady as much as the next man but the Patriots as an organization deserve what is about to come their way.

They are no longer the Kings of the AFC because, well, the Eagles figured them out. Tom Brady is great because he makes his teammates around him better. But when his teammates aren’t there, it’s a bit of a different story. Julian Edelman was done for the season. Brandin Cooks is probably still dead and Gronk is still recovering from the concussion he received two weeks ago. So Chris Hogan, a former lacrosse player, has to step into the shoes of Edelman? It’s a band-aid solution. It’s patchwork. They said he’s the best we’ve got so lets see how it goes.

Not a terrible strategy as he played well through out the season. But he is still not Edelman, Cooks or Gronk.

Tom Brady is not the QB he once was. He is a robot now. Brady is the greatest Quarterback of all time and was never supposed to come within 1000 miles of that title. He is the epitome of greatness in every sense of the word and everyone, including himself, knows that. He doesn’t have to do anything else in his life because his legacy could never be tarnished, yet, he still decides to keep playing because he simply loves the game. He has perfected every aspect of the game and knows how to beat just about anybody.

Now, let me clarify. Brady has had the same guys for a very long time. It’s the same system and when someone gets hurt, it’s always been next man up. One of Belichek’s biggest slogans. But when those men don’t have the same robotic synchronization with the greatest QB to ever play the game, then its a very tough situation.

All the plays they scripted were centered around three people: Cooks, Gronk, and Amendola/Hogan.

Gronk had NO clue where he was last night. I’d be surprised if in 10 years he remembers a thing from that Super Bowl, and he still had 9 catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns. A great SB performance that will be forgotten by him in less than a decade. It is terrible but true. Head injuries are a very serious issue and another problem the NFL faces.

Cooks was their guy. They needed him to win that game and they knew it. I believe that if he wasn’t trying to do too much to extend the play and just took the first hit to the ground, the Patriots would have won that game. Classic example of players trying to do more than they need to and I am sure Belichek is LIVID over that.

After the birds took out their number one wide receiving threat, the Pats told a concussed Gronkowski, “here’s the play, use your 6’ 7” 270 pound frame and go do something.” It was visible that he was not at 100% mentally. I remember there was one seam route up the middle where Gronk was wide open but instead of coming back towards the middle he ran straight and the pass fell short. Robots don’t miss open seam throws over the middle. They just don’t. It’s been programmed inside their robot brains, since robots started playing football.

With Gronk a semi-scratch, they left the game up to Amendola and Hogan. Don’t get me wrong, both are good receivers when they have space, but neither of them are worthy of being Tom Brady’s number one option.

I do believe, and I know this is crazy, that TB12 can win another Super Bowl. But it HAS to be in the right circumstance and it HAS to be soon, otherwise him and the Patriots are done.

First off, they need to improve that defense. They need better athletes on the front line and in the secondary. The defense is their biggest weakness just because that offense is too lethal.

Second, they need to make the right coaching changes. They got gutted. No other way around it. McDaniels to the Colts and Patricia to the Lions are done deals. Whoever comes in next as OC has to adopt their system AROUND Brady. Not the other way around.

I’d like to see something different from that D than what Patricia has been doing. They need more talent on the opposing side of the ball because they got torched all year. Patricia never had to be the best defense, and he hasn’t needed it because their offense was so good. He’s always had good defenses, and in some circumstances, great ones, but this year’s team was not great by any meaning of the word.

Honestly, I know he’s been there and won it, but I don’t think he will make a great head coach in this league. It is an offensive minded league now, the game is changing. And it’s not like the Lions defense is great where a new face will push them over the edge.

Brady is now 40, so one wrong hit and his career could be over in a flash. Gronk is injured again and as great as he is, still can not seem to play a full season. Edelman, a 31 year-old is coming off an ACL injury which is never easy to recover from, and will no doubt see a step down in his performance next season. Then there’s Amendola who’s entire career no matter what team he’s been on has been cut short due to injuries.

I knew it was bad when Gronk came out last night and questioned his certainty to return to the game. I fully expect he will, but if he’s saying it, it’s definitely on his mind and something he’s thought about before.

Brady I expect to retire after next season. He will announce this offseason that these will be his final games and he’ll be given the full red-carpet treatment, and paraded around everywhere he goes as he very much deserves. But for him to go out a champion like Peyton Manning, they need to fix that defense right now.

Injuries and a lack of athleticism on D plagued the Pats all season long and it is incredible that they were able to do what they did this year overcoming that.

But it just wasn’t enough. This one is going to sit with Brady for a very long time because that game was totally out of his hands. He played possibly his best season (at 40) and best game he could have, but due to a long list of extranious factors he fell short in getting his sixth (I know I still struggle with it too) Super Bowl.

Hell of a game for Eagles Nation. Love what they’re doing with that team and that city and I expect big things in their future.

For Pats fans, you’ve had your fun. Take your rings and be happy. Praise the god that is Tom Brady and be happy with that. No complaints. Just love.