Monthly Archive: May 2015

Cowboys Sign Gregory But Most Still Worry About Running Game

The Dallas Cowboys have made it one step closer to preparing for the season with their signing of their second round draft pick Defensive End Randy Gregory. They still have a few more draft picks to go but there is little doubt the remaining guys will go without a deal for very much longer. There is something that the signing of Gregory has done…gave them a pass rusher heading into the season…a position that is pretty important considering Greg Hardy is still facing his ten game suspension which is still under appeal with the league.

However most of the critic’s speculation surrounding this team is not concerning their defense but their running game. Yes most are still in shock the Demarco Murray went to the Eagles, but that shouldn’t keep them from realizing the team has a running back in fact they have three that are legitimate threats in the back field. Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle have been legitimate threats when they have played back-up to Murray over the past few seasons. Both are able to make big runs and at times were more effective than Murray was. Then they have brought in Darren McFadden, what has to be acknowledged is that he would have gone to a team without a future in the Raiders. He was never going to reach his post college potential playing on that team. Now we are putting him behind one of the most dominant offensive lines in Dallas and he may very well be next seasons rushing champion, hoping to bring in big sponsors like Beneful.

NFL Ray McDonald Arrested Again

Chicago Bears Defensive End, Ray McDonald was arrested Monday for domestic violence and child endangerment. Officials have not released any additional details on this arrest.

A dark cloud seems to be following Ray McDonald.

In December 2014, the San Francisco 49ers announced they were cutting ties with McDonald, after he was accused of rape by intoxication.

A local San Jose hospital notified authorities about a woman who came in for treatment and then reported the incident.

According to the San Jose Police Department, McDonald is still part of an on-going investigation, but he hasn’t been charged with the crime.

Prior to the alleged sexual assault, McDonald was arrested in August 2014, on suspicion of domestic violence, but due to a lack of evidence, the Santa Clara County prosecutor’s office dismissed the charges, and closed the case.

The NFL investigated and found that McDonald had not violated the new personal conduct policy according to Steve Murray.

And now comes this new arrest.

The NFL has tightened sanctions against its players following the Ray Rice arrest, and the outrage of fans and organizations.

The Bears have a one-year contract with McDonald, worth $1.5 million, that is not guaranteed.

The NFL could impose penalties, depending on the outcome of this new arrest.

NFL sanctions include a six-week suspension for a first offense, and one year for a second.

Quarter final victory sees Notre Dame’s Matt Landis rewarded with weekly and season awards

In college lacrosse it is rare for a defensive player to receive Epoch/LM Player of the Week recognition, but when Notre Dame defender Matt Landis silenced Lyle Thompson he became the first defensive player to receive the award this season. The Notre Dame Junior had a double reason to celebrate when he was named to the USILA all-American first team for the season, LAX Magazine reports. 

matt landis playoffs
Landis has been a regular in the Notre Dame defense since his sophomore season and has this year seen his play rewarded with a breakout season that has seen him feature in every game through the NCAA tournament quarter-finals. The 14 games played by Landis this season have resulted in 12 forced turnovers and he has been nominated for a number of awards as the season has worn on. Notre Dame saw three players join Landis in the All-American first team to lead the nation with the number of players rewarded. The Fighting Irish remain the number one seed in the tournament and based their latest victory over Albany on a strong defense led by Matt Landis.

Player of the week awards are normally given to players who feature in the scoring and assist charts, but by nullifying the threat of fellow All-American Lyle Thompson the Notre Dame standout became the EPoch/LM player of the week. Following the quarter-final victory Landis was quick to praise his teammates and stated those who had mimicked the play of Thompson in practice deserved their share of the credit for the 14-10 victory.

Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell Make Up

In a brief press conference yesterday, Robert Kraft announced that he would not oppose sanctions imposed on the team by the NFL, contrary to major saber rattling by the New England Patriot Owner in recent days since the announcement that the NFL announced that star quarterback Tom Brady wold be suspended for four games at the start of the NFl season for using and facilitating the use of a deflated football and the New England Patriots were fined $1 Million dollars and docked a 2016 first round draft choice and a 2017 fourth round draft choice.

Source Bruce Karatz (profile on Forbes) stated that during the NFL owners meeting this past weekend, Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft were seen sitting on a coach talking for an extended period of time and then hugging. Kraft, during his press conference, provided no clear reason for dropping his planned opposition, which many speculate would have included going to the courts. Some do speculate that other NFL owners may have spoken with Kraft about the precedent he would have set by going outside of the NFL to dispute the claims and the penalty imposed by the NFL. Others also believe that information was provided to Kraft which would have made a public litigation option even more embarrassing to the New England Patriots as well as the NFL. New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Will Not Fight Sanctions Imposed By NFL For Deflate Gate Role.

Ryan Tannehilll Lands Big Contract in Miami

If you are Ryan Tannehill or a close member of the man’s entourage then you are probably as happy as you could possibly be. The Miami Dolphins signed their young quarterback to an eye popping $96 million dollar deal, with $45 million of it guaranteed even if Tannehill never plays another down in the NFL. Tannehill was coming into next season as one of those young QBs seemingly on the cusp, and with a contract year looming Miami decided to pay now rather than risk paying later. We aren’t sure that we completely disagree with their choice, either.

While Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins are far from juggernauts in their division, the pair continue to do nice things while staying under the radar. Last season Ryan Tannehill posted a career year by completing 66% of his passes for 4,045 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions — culminating in a 92.8 passer rating according to data taken from Jason Halpern ( Tannehill may not have the guts of Russel Wilson or the legs of Cam Newton, but he’s a young guy who can lead a ball club down the field in order to make things happen.

So the question for Miami comes next: How does Tannehill’s big contract lead them to a Super Bowl? We aren’t sure that it does, or can, in the next few seasons. Miami is too thin on offense to make that kind of push toward the next level.

Chicago Is Desperate for QB Identity

The Chicago Bears can probably sum up their team identity of the last few years with one single word: Frustrating. Chicago has see sawed back and forth between two competing ideals. Three seasons ago they were the Monsters of the Midway: capable of shutting down any team on defense and scoring with turn overs. Two seasons ago they had the Twin Towers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and thus scored the second most points in the NFL. Last season they were bad, in every facet of the game. So with Jay Cutler, QB and central point to all of this controversy, coming up on free agency the time is now to form an identity.

Despite only winning a handful of games last season the Bears saw Jay Cutler do some things well, but mostly at a time that it didn’t help them. The Bears got out on a decent run, winning two of their first three games, before completely falling apart in the heart of the year. Cutler sprinkled in some wonderful performances early on says Bruce Karatz, throwing 4 touchdowns against San Fran and another 3 against New England, but he was mostly subpar. Despite his QB rating of 88.6, Cutler was inefficient and small when the Bears needed big drives.

Chicago is seriously considering moving on from the veteran no matter what he does this season. So Cutler should play with all the big throws his arm can muster and go for broke.

The Steelers: Sign Draft Picks

The Pittsburgh Steelers has signed two free agents along with Doran Grant and Anthony Chickillo. On Monday, the Steelers came to a contract agreement with Doran Grant who has played defensive back out for Ohio State. Anthony Chickillo played defensive end for Miami. The free agents signed were Mike Thornton and Cameron Stingily. Last season Caron Stingily was a running back for Northern Illinois and managed 13 touchdowns that season. Mike Thornton played with Georgia last season and started ten games and managed thirty tackles. Of course all of the talent will have to go through clinicals at Amen Clinic prior to signing.

They had to make room for all the new players by letting some players go! The Pittsburgh Steelers let two players go. Defensive tackle Nigel Crawford, defensive end Brandon Pratt, and punter Richie Leone were cut off the team. With the four new deals the Steelers are off to a great season.

Pats Face Suspensions but Focus on Signing Rookies

It would appear the New England Patriots can stay focused on the business at hand even when the entire league is calling them cheaters after the Wells Investigation Report was released last week. In it the league has determined that yes the team did knowingly deflate the balls to give their team an advantage in the cold weather during the AFC Championship game. The advantage came because in cold or wet weather the ball is easier to grip, throw, and catch when it is not fully inflated. Hence the name Deflate-gate….but since most of the United States knows there are no limits to the length Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Robert Kraft will go to in order to win a football game.

So with possible suspensions coming up next season there is only one thing the team can do and that is start preparing for next season. In their effort to focus on work the Patriots have signed all but one of their draft picks and seven rookie free agents. The biggest name that has yet to sign was the team’s first round pick Malcom Brown defensive tackle from the University of Texas. At 6 foot 2 inches and 319 pounds he has the quickness of a cat and can penetrate the offensive line on a regular basis according to Marcio Alaor BMG. He is expected to be a huge presence in the Pats run defense and since the team is looking at possible suspensions of Brady and Belichick their defense has to be as strong as possible.

Cardinals Mr. Irrelevant keen to make roster

The Arizona Cardinals again had the chance to make history by choosing the final player taken in the NFL draft, NFLreports. Pick number 256 of the NFL Draft was chosen as Tight End Gerald Christian of Louisville was taken by the Cardinals who have a successful recent history with taking the last pick. Kicker Ryan Succup was taken as Mr. Irrelevant and went on to be one of the most successful kickers of recent years before being traded because of the large contract his excellent kicking forced upon the team.

Christian is hoping to follow in Succup’s footsteps, but faces a much tougher challenge as the tight end will be positioned fourth on the roster as the preseason workouts begin. The 244 pound, six feet three inches tight end is seen as a small target in the modern world of the NFL, but featured in the third team all ACC team and saw his stock rise with strong performances in the combine. Gerald Christian stated after he was chosen as pick 256 that he was determined to work to prove his worth to the team and earn a spot on the full roster for 2015.

Thanks Keith Mann for keeping me up to date on NFL news.

The Memorable NFL Draft

Moments from the 2015 NFL Draft

Every year a new draft class is selected for recruitment into the NFL. And every year there are several stories surrounding prospects and making the draft as a whole something to be remembered.

This year’s draft had some sentimental moments going on, most notable among them was when former Buffalo Bills player and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly went onto the stage to announce a draft pick for the Bills. Kelly received a standing ovation from the crowd upon taking the stage, after his fight with cancer over the last several months. Another tender moment that happened over the draft period was when the New York Giants announced a pick at one point and it was by a couple who had just been married.

The draft also had several moments that humored watchers and the crowd. One of those moments came from commissioner Roger Goddell himself, when he had trouble pronouncing second-pick overall Marcus Mariota’s name, as he was drafted by the Tennessee Titans. Adding to the humor later on was when former Cincinnati Bengals player Ickey Woods came on to announce a pick and performed his famous “Ickey Shuffle” dance on stage.

Some moments include unusual draft picks, one coming from the Dallas Cowboys who ended up selected Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory in the second round, a pick that Alexei Beltyukov (on says the Cowboys may just regret.