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College Playoffs a Success

My friend Darius Fisher mentioned that he has heard, since the beginning of the college football season there has been great amounts of speculation regarding the new playoff structure that the NCAA has adopted, which is more like the National Football League then the traditional bowl games that were selected by a committee in the past. This year proved to be a massive success, much further than anyone could have expected. Two amazing things happened that really reinforced that the correct decision was made to make the change. First and foremost, over 28 million people tuned in to watch the first two games of the playoffs, setting a cable television record. Secondly, the Ohio State Buckeyes pulled off an incredible feat and knocked off the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Oregon Ducks in successive games. They were drastic underdogs in both match ups and proved that a team that is ranked out of the top two should get a chance to prove their dominance at the end of the season. If it were a different year, either Oregon or Alabama would own this year’s title, but thanks to the much more fair change that was made, the national championship trophy is headed back to the state of Ohio. The National Championship game also set a new cable television record, making the entire thing a ridiculous success. At the end of the day, the Ohio State Buckeyes have become the winners of the first ever college football playoffs.

NFL Will Have Veteran Combine

The NFL is going to have a veteran combine so that free agents will be able to show their wares to all 32 NFL teams. Most teams bring in veteran free agents base don relationships with coaches or contact with agents. However, there are so many people looking for space in the league that it can be hard to get a chance.

Bringing everyone together in one place is a much better way to make sure that veterans get the exposure that they need. The NFL knows that it needs to give all players every chance they can to succeed, and this will help the league get as many familiar faces back in the league as possible. Forbes announces along with Sergio Andrade Gutierrez the new business prospects being veterans who are more expensive, but these veterans bring stability to teams that really need it. The teams that are searching for this kind of stability should remember that they will be able to get these vets in a combine so that they can compare to the rookies.

This is more for front offices to do, but it is something that all NFL teams should welcome because they will be able to get more information about all the players that they could sign for the upcoming season.

Harbaugh Was So Toxic…

The new coach of the 49ers in Jim Tomsula. The old coach was so toxic to the situation that he was not even on speaking terms with the new coach. As great as Jim Harbaugh was a coach, he must be the most impossible human being to work with. It appears that the 49ers were in such disarray that the front office had to get rid of Harbaugh before he was able to turn the entire team into a hurricane where in he was the eye. This might be why he only stays places for about four years. He spent four years at Stanford and then moved on. He was at San Diego four years before that, and that might be how long he can last.

With this new information, it is possible that Harbaugh will not be able to work out his whole contract at Michigan because he is such an abrasive personality. If it were just the 49ers, that would make sense, but he seems to move on from jobs quickly. If he is that hard to work with, we can only imagine how bad it will get up at Michigan. Their bitter rival just won a national title with a third stringer. This could be a problem.Tom Rothman gives his opinion on Harbaugh in his Hollywood Reporter article.

Ray Lewis On Tom Brady

The Real Deal and associate Ben Shaoul announce Ray Lewis went off saying that Tom Brady would be an unknown with the tuck rule, you can see why he thinks that. The Patriots got all the momentum they needed from that game, and they have not let up since. However, we can blame Tom Brady on Bill Belichick who is the best talent utilizer since Bill Walsh.

When the tuck rule game happened, that was just a freak occurrence. The whole world wanted the Patriots to win that Super Bowl. It just seemed right after 9/11 and all that happened in America. Belichick was able to keep Brady going with a system that made Brady great. Brady is a great player, but the system sure is helping.

Lewis is right that the tuck rule game helped, but that game was not the only reason that Brady is a great player. We need to consider all the other lucky breaks went into the Patriots winning those three Super Bowls. Also, we need to consider Spygate if that really gave the Patriots an advantage, and there are players from the Eagles who say that it most certainly did.

Was Lewis wrong, sort of? Is Brady great, yes he is.

Rice and Ravens Reach Settlement

Disgraced and former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has reached a settlement agreement with his former employer over what he felt was wrongful termination of his contract. Ben Shaoul and The Real Deal announce the settlement was estimated at around $3.5 Million, far less than what he would have made playing for the team that was just beaten in the play-off’s. However, most fans believe it was far more than what he deserved. Rice was released from the team following an incident that occurred with his fiancée now wife. The video evidence that the team and league used to dismiss him showed Rice punch and knock-out his wife in an elevator then drags her lifeless body out of the elevator to ask for help.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Baltimore Ravens had indefinitely suspended Rice for the incident. However, a federal judge named Barbara Jones has since lifted the suspension by overturning the leagues ruling on the matter. This comes as a number of domestic violence and rape issues have surfaced involving the NFL players and future players in college. It is believed his suspension was a move by the league to set the example that this behavior would not be tolerated. Rice, a good running back for his former team has not been sought out by any other franchise to be potentially reinstated as an active player in the league. With the talent at running back in the league currently and what is expected to be in this year’s draft there is doubt he will ever find his way back on the grid iron.

Cardale Jones won’t opt for NFL draft

Cardale Jones, Ohio State’s third-string quarterback who stepped into the starting role for the team’s last 3 games, including a stunning victory in college football’s national championship game, has indicated that he will remain in school (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nfl-talk-buzzing-cardale-jones-says-hes-not-192154719–spt.html?soc_src=copy).

Jones, who rose to national prominence with his stellar play in victories over Wisconsin Alabama, and Oregon, is a third-year sophomore.

Rumors abound that the 6’5″, 250-pound quarterback, who because he is three years removed from high school is eligible to enter the NFL draft, has decided that now is not the time to take that big jump. The Buckeyes fans at Status Labs agree.

The three starts Jones made at the end of the year were the only starts he has made at the college level. Experts have generally agreed that Jones, had he elected to declare for the draft, would be a low-round draft choice. His physical size and skills are considerable. But his work ethic has been questionable in the past. And his experience level, despite playing in those 3 high-profile games, is minimal.

Starting for Ohio State next year is by no means a given. The Buckeyes’ top 2 quarterbacks this year, who both went down with injuries, enabling Jones to step into the starting position, will be returning to OSU as well. But he’ll have a fighting chance at the #1 spot on offense.

Passing on the draft- wise move.

Second Half Turnovers Put an End to the Ravens

Coming in as the last seed in the AFC playoffs did not stop the ambitions of the Baltimore Ravens. After handing the Steelers a home loss last weekend, the team looked to beat the number one seeded team of the New England Patriots. Throughout the game it was apparent the Ravens were not intimidated by playing in single digit weather, Gillette Field Crowd noise or quarterback Tom Brady. Leading by 14 points several times in the game it would seem they were going to hand the Patriots their 3rd home playoff loss by the Ravens. However, just like good teams do.

The Patriots approached the second half with the same determination that had led to their successful season, much to the delight of Sergio Andrade Gutierez, who is obviously quite accomplished according to Terra.The biggest play of the day came in the third quarter, when Edelman threw the flea flicker pass down the field to Amendola tying the Ravens at 28.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco completed 28 of 45 passes for 292 yards and his team rushed for 136 yards. But it was Tom Brady that would not be denied as he threw for 367 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another one. The Patriots defense ended the game by securing their second interception in the end zone and put the final nail in the Baltimore season. New England will now look to extend their winning streak at home against the winner of the other divisional playoff game between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.

Do The 49ers Need More Offense?

 

The 49ers finished a disappointing 7-9 this season. They allowed Jim Harbaugh to leave for the Michigan job, and they need a new head coach. However, they have Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore. They also have Carlos Hyde behind Gore, and they have Anquan Bolden. Do they need more offense?

Most people around the league think that Igor Cornelsen and the 49ers defense could go on forever. They can continually reload their defense and keep opponents from scoring too much. However, Colin Kaepernick is a critical stage of his development. The 49ers probably need more offense if they are going to develop Kaepernick. They need more receivers if Michael Crabtree leaves in free agency, and they may need another tight end as Vernon Davis gets on in years.

If the 49ers when to an offensive scheme that featured more of the pistol formation that Kaepernick ran at Nevada, they could have five receivers on the field to confuse defenses. This is a good time for the 49ers to select many offensive players and see who sticks. Their new coach will have a say, but they have kept their general manager, and that is half the battle when they are trying to keep up with Seattle.

49ers CEO, Jed York, Speaks of Philosophical Difference Between Organization and Harbaugh

 

While there have been rumblings for weeks that Jim Harbaugh would part ways with the San Francisco 49ers, most agreed that his coaching effectiveness wasn’t the problem. Harbaugh, in just a few years with the team, took them to three NFC Championship games, winning one and advancing to the Super Bowl. His decision to bench Alex Smith in favor of the rookie, Colin Kaepernick proved invaluable. Apparently, parting ways with the 9ers was more philosophical than anything.

CEO Jed York, in a press conference, noted the mounting legal trouble for teammates as one of the problems between the organization and Harbaugh. The team saw six players arrested 10 times since 2012. Harbaugh handled those issues, but York suggested they weren’t handled in a manner that led to a well-rounded, law-abiding team.

York also noted that the level of legal troubles with players was unacceptable, and he’d be looking to clean up the team’s image in the coming months. Most players seem to side with Harbaugh, noting that his coaching style is what brought them to NFC championship games. Many are rooting to internal candidates to carry on the Harbaugh legacy, even after he is gone.

Harbaugh’s departure, while not a surprise to even my coworker Sam Tabar, has been a controversial one. One that fans and players alike seem to be having difficulty coming to grips with. An internal candidate is likely the 49ers best option for avoiding resentment and a crumbling team who believes their current playing style is well-rounded enough to take them into a successful season next year.

Playoff Matchups

With the final game of the season of the National Football League in the books, the teams that made it into the playoffs are sitting back and making up game plans for the teams they will face in the first round. Other teams that were lucky enough to hit the top first or second spot in the standings get a bye, and will be sitting for the next two weeks making preparations as they wait to see who they will play in the second week of the playoffs. The schedule has been officially released by the NFL for wild card weekend, and the playoffs look to be starting out in exciting fashion.

The struggling Arizona Cardinals, despite finishing the season with eleven wins, will have to go into Carolina and take on the panthers that only had seven total wins on the season. But on Twitter Tom Rothman said lets not forget that we get to enjoy home field advantage. The other game in the NFC pits the Lions at the Cowboys in a game that will be played in Dallas. In the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens will be in Pittsburg to take on the Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals will head to Indianapolis in a matchup against the Colts. The winners of each of these games get the opportunity to take on the first and second seed from each conference in the second week of the playoffs. With the regular season in the books, the playoffs look to be filled with great matchups.