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Redskins Fan

Washington Redskins are in need of a Leader. posted by Redskins Fan

The (3-6) Washington Redskins are having yet another disappointing season. RGIII when not battling nagging injuries has looked less than stellar. The defense is nothing to write home about and the head coaching lacks any sort of innovation, on either side of the ball.

However the most disconcerting thing about the Redskins this year is how they are handling themselves off the field. Multiple times this year, the Redskins’ locker room has caused the team headaches and distractions that while, never show up on the stat sheet, are definitely a contributing factor to their poor on field performance.

Players weren’t happy when word got out that certain veterans were laughing and joking in the locker room within a half-hour or so of a 10-point loss to the Seahawks last month. And then two days before last week’s game against the Vikings, a substantial group of players became so rowdy and disruptive that Robert Griffin III’s media session had to be moved outside the locker room. And there’s been evidence that the team feels RGIII has ‘alienated’ himself from the rest of the team.

This is troubling for a team that is struggling to win games, it shouldn’t be struggling to keep their team dynamic. This wouldn’t be happening with a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady on the team. Not that RGIII can’t be that focal leader for this team, but he has yet to display that.

For many years, it was London Fletcher, the defensive captain who never missed a game. But when he retired at the end of last season it left a vacuum that has yet to be filled. And if the Redskins don’t fill it soon, it can and will be a very long, disappointing season for the people of Washington.

Continue reading "Washington Redskins are in need of a Leader."

Titans Fan

Is Zach Mettenberger the Future for Tennesse? posted by Titans Fan

NFL rookies have a difficult time adjusting the speed and caliber of talent that the game presents, but none fewer have a harder learning curve than quarterbacks. The sheer volume of the playbook, reading complex defenses and blitz schemes, understanding not only your job but the receivers, backs, and lineman.

No wonder most rookies start as a back up to watch a veteran work their magic as if it were second nature, OR get a season QB whose in the twilight of his career to mentor while the rookie is thrust into the starting role.

And after the Titans squared off the against the Ravens on Sunday, it’s hard to be optimistic about Zach Mettenberger as a franchise quarterback for this Tennesse team. He, like a lot of other pocket QBs out of college, got by with game managing and a big arm. But that doesn’t work in the NFL. You either need to be a mobile, dual threat QB like Vick or RGIII, or read defenses like the back of your hand (Peyton Manning).

Yet all season long, Mettenberger has shown the ability to do neither as he simply stands, concrete footed, in the pocket and take sacks as he fails to read coverage and underneath routes that are presenting themselves to him. Having been sacked 5 times this game simply killed what little momentum the Titans had on offense.

Zach Mettenberger not only requires a lot of time in the pocket, but he also has inconsistency within his reads and the flow of the offense. But when he is ‘on’, he’s on. But with the speed of today’s game. Can you really afford to wait for a QB to be on? While it’s too early to tell, Mettenberger looks like the same problem ridden QB that we saw back in college.

Continue reading "Is Zach Mettenberger the Future for Tennesse?"

Bucs Fan

Bucs players but up huge fantasy numbers in week 10 win. posted by Bucs Fan

After an otherwise dismal output during the beginning of the season, it was finally a great week to be a Bucs fantasy owner. Tampa Bay went with Josh McCown under center as the team squared off against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

The signal caller connected with his two favorite receivers on multiple occasions, Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. Both receivers were integral to the Bucs offense as they came away with touchdowns.

For those who thought drafting rookie Mike Evans to their fantasy rosters was a risk, that risk has paid off as the wide out is coming off a multi-touchdown game and continued to add to his fantasy stock by racking up huge yards against the Falcons.

After a rocky start at the beginning of the season, the rookie has come on as of late and really shined as he's seen several targets and hit pay dirt to drive up fantasy points.

And as for Vincent Jackson, he is always a must have on anyone’s roster. Even if he has off weeks from time to time, and for those who might be frustrated at Vincent Jackson’s inability to get touchdown points, do not be discouraged. The Tampa Bay quarterback clearly views Vincent Jackson as his go-to wide-out moving forward, especially in the red zone, and owners should not drop him from their roster.

And for those owners who don’t have McCown and are able to pick him up, this is the week to do so. With McCown playing in a week when most teams are on a bye, and his desire to build a bond with both Evans and Jackson, expect huge numbers in the coming weeks as the Bucs take on the Washington Redskins and the Chicago Bears in the next two weeks.

Continue reading "Bucs players but up huge fantasy ..."

Rams Fan

Will the Rams be the team to move to LA? posted by Rams Fan

It’s been a recurring theme, an almost inside joke of the NFL, of who is going to be the team to move back to Los Angeles and fill one of the biggest markets with a premiere NFL franchise? It has been a musical chairs of sorts when it comes to potential suitors, but the music may have slowed down as rumors and reports are coming out that the Rams might be the team to make the plunge back into the city of Angels.

But James Butts, mayor of Inglewood, Calif., made some delayed headlines this week when he made comments upon his re-election about a forthcoming meeting with Rams owner Stan Kroenke were discovered. Mayor Butt has met with both owners of the Rams and Raiders to discuss a possible team relocation to Los Angeles as early as 2015. And this is no hot air as the Inglewood mayor has the land to support an NFL team, owning a 60 acre plot of land where a top level NFL stadium could be constructed.

The Rams and Raiders have leases that expire after the season and Kroenke's purchase of that land has made the Rams a front-runner to move there.

In addition to his interactions with owners, however, Butts pointed out that roughly half a dozen "heavily financed development consortiums" have reached out to him as well about potential stadium projects around either the Hollywood Park or LA Forum area, both of which he represents.

While the Chavez Ravine around Dodgers Stadium is the preferred site for the future LA NFL team, with it’s cast parking infrastructure, access to freeways, and general proximity to the surrounding LA area, it may look to be that Inglewood will be the future site of LA’s team.

Continue reading "Will the Rams be the team to move to LA?"

Seahawks Fans

Moss rejects Seahawks' offer, shames team. posted by Seahawks Fans

Retired wideout and current NFL analyst Randy Moss put the Seattle Seahawks on blast as he is upset with the franchise’s tactics in trying to replace Percy Harvin.

Randy Moss confirmed a report that the Seahawks reached out to him with an offer to replace former Viking teammate, Percy Harvin. Moss immediately declined the offer after speculations swirled over Harvin’s troubled dealings with the Seahawks.

Reports indicate that while Percy Harvin came back after an injury, there was trouble in the locker room, in-team fighting and other distractions that led the Seahawk brass to look for a replacement.

This isn’t the first time a former player has been traded, cut, or left the Seattle Seahawks and had less than kind things to say about the franchise. Former wideout, and current Lion Golden Tate, viewed his treatment from the Seahawks with less than rosy memories. The future all-pro wideout was instrumental, like Harvin, in the Seahawks reaching and winning their Super Bowl, and then to be immediately cast aside with no sense of loyalty or appreciation for what they did for the team has to be unsettling for any potential player wishing to go to the Seahawks or being courted by them.

Whether Moss’ blast was justified or not, the fact remains that there is a less than stellar reputation surrounding the Seattle Seahawks and Moss isn’t the only one who thinks so.

This is bad news for a team that isn’t in a big market like Chicago or New York that can use the city and the media market to attract bigger, more high profile players, such as Moss, to their franchise. And what’s more disturbing is the lack of veteran leadership in the locker room. Where is Pete Carroll? Russell Wilson? So far, they are no where to be found.

Continue reading "Moss rejects Seahawks' offer, shames team."

49ers Fan

49ers win thriller against the Saints breathes New Life into team. posted by 49ers Fan

 The niners came into this game on the brink of a demoralizing season. Jim Harbaugh's job status became a daily talking point, and people questioned the direction of the franchise.

Yet, Harbaugh and the 49ers shut everyone up by winning themselves back into the playoff race with a 27-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints Sunday.

Although unconventional, Colin Kaepernick led the Niners on a 50 yard two minute drill drive that resulted in a a 45-yard Dawson field goal to tie the game at 24-24 and send the game into overtime, after the Niners defense was able to hold off the Saints Hail Mary throw on a questionable offensive PI call on Jimmy Graham.

With the win, the Niners have breathed new life into their season. From the opening snap, the Niners look determined to win. Antoine Bethea picked Brees off on New Orleans' opening possession, helping set up a four-yard Frank Gore touchdown to give the 49ers' their first of two first-quarter scores.

And while the win was a good step in the right direction for the team, there is still a lot of work left to be done in San Francisco. The Niners are behind the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West and one of many teams, stuck in a dog fight for a wild card spot. It'll be interesting to see how this team responds with a little bit of swagger and momentum as it travels to New York to take on the Giants next week.

Given the controversy surrounding the franchise, players, and head coach heading into this game, the 49ers are just happy to enjoy a win and the relative silence from their fan base and critics that comes after a big win. 

Continue reading "49ers win thriller against the Saints ..."

Chargers Fan

Why Defensive Injuries will keep Chargers out of Playoffs. posted by Chargers Fan

The chargers have the highest percentage of touchdowns allowed in the Red Zone in the NFL. That is not a playoff caliber team. That means not only are the Chargers giving up points, they are letting offenses sustain drives, which eats up clock, energy, and manpower. The Chargers can make the playoffs, but that means they have to be good again on defense, and that starts with getting healthy.

But the Chargers have the bye week to regroup and assess it’s gaping holes on defense. It shouldn’t be too hard as the Chargers, as late as five games into the season, where dominating on the defensive side of the ball. The rushed the passer, stuffed the run, had take-aways, and shut receivers down.

In fact, they led the NFL is scoring defense. They man handled Arizona, left the defending Super Bowl champs in the dust, and had their way with the Buffalo Bills as they notched a shut-out, the definition of a complete defensive performance.

But that only worked because the Chargers had youthful speed and depth to constantly rotate in and keep offenses on their heels. Rookie Jerry Attaochu is able to speed around tackles and get to the quarterback in no time. Rookie Jason Verrett with a sub 4.4 40 speed can keep up with any receiver in the league but also has the bulk to come up and stuff the run from the outside. Manti Te’o’s ability to read the line allows him to fill running gaps better than anyone in the league.

But all of that talent is of no use when all of the players sit watching the games from the sidelines for long periods of time.

Continue reading "Why Defensive Injuries will keep ..."

Steelers Fan

What Steelers Ugly Loss says about Future of 2014 season? posted by Steelers Fan

The Steelers had looked like the unstoppable team in the AFC. With Roethlisberger setting passing records and the defense shutting down every offense it faced.

However, when the Steelers faced off against the one win New York Jets Sunday, what Steeler team showed up was a far cry from the dominating presence that had been there for the last several games.

While one loss or one win doesn’t usually say much about the future of a team’s season, when a first place team loses to a one loss team, AND loses to that one loss team in a humiliating, demoralizing way, then there is cause for concern.

From the start of the game, the Jets ran the ball all over the Steelers D, going up 10-0 early in the game, but instead of rallying the Steelers had their next 3 drives end with turnovers. Hardly a display of urgency on a part of the offense, as they went into the half only scoring 3 points.

In the second half, Roethlisberger was picked off again, one of 4 Steeler turnovers on the day. While the stats look good on paper, it was the complete lack of urgency from the Steelers' offense. The no-huddle, which has paid major dividends in the last three weeks and the last two in particular, didn't make an appearance until the final minutes of the game. 

To watch the Steelers on Sunday against the Jets, one would not believe this was a team tied for first place.

They played down to an inferior opponent. They abandoned everything that worked on offense. Losing to a one-win team isn't going to help convince anyone that the Steelers are truly legitimate threats to reach the playoffs, let alone win a Super Bowl. This was a major step back that the Steelers should not have made. 

Continue reading "What Steelers Ugly Loss says about ..."

Eagles Fan

What Evan Mathis Knee Injury: Means for the Philadelphia Eagles? posted by Eagles Fan

Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro guard Evan Mathis appears to be recovering quite well from a medial collateral ligament injury in his right knee that he suffered all the way back in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

This is great news to Eagles fans and unless there’s an unforeseen setback to his timetable, Evan Mathis is scheduled to return to action Nov. 10.

According to Tim McManus of, Mathis was back at practice with the team for the first time since the MCL injury back at the beginning of the season, but since the Eagles organization placed Mathis on the injured reserve list, he is ineligible to return to action whether he is fully healed or not, until the November 10th date.   

November 10th cannot come soon enough for the Eagles, as Mathis’ return will be a huge boost to the depleted Eagles offensive line that also lost star center Jason Kelce earlier this year. The team needs that veteran presence back on the line in order for them to be productive on the ground once again. An O-line needs time and games together to build a bond that is so key when adjusting to multiple blitz looks and defensive fronts in the heat of the game. Also to not leave too much into the hands of their quarterback, who has shown, time and time again, that when he puts too much of the offensive production onto his shoulders, it is usually met with disastrous results.

When Mathis, and soon after, Kelce are healed and cleared for play, the Eagles can have their original O-line back, the same O-line that produced the NFL’s best run game a season ago, but has since been less than stellar, half way through the season.

Continue reading "What Evan Mathis Knee Injury: Means ..."

Raiders News

Defensive inconsistency hurting the Raiders when it comes to interceptions. posted by Raiders News

An interception is more than just a take away or a change of possession. It’s a huge momentum changer and one pic can bring a team from being out of the game to a roaring comeback.

However, the 0-8 Raiders don’t know much about momentum changes as they rank dead last in the league in defensive interceptions with only 3 so far on the season and 23 over the past 3 years.

Sure, the game has changed considerably. With greater concerns for player safety, hard nosed defense isn’t what it used to be. The NFL is becoming more and more a flag football league where completions and record high passing games the norm, but that shouldn’t stop a team from having an aggressive defensive mindset.

The greatest reason why the Raiders rank last in INTs is the lack of consistency in the secondary. The Raiders have had a different set of starting cornerbacks in each of the past three seasons.

That lack of continuity causes a defense to play more cautious, not knowing the ebb and flow of their teammates so they can read off each other and know when one is going for the receiver and one is free to try and snatch the ball out of the air from the receiver without worry that he’ll miss and give up 6 points.

So how does a team build that mindset without getting burned on each and every play? Practice. Practicing a more aggressive, interception friendly defense during practice is the only way the Raiders will ever climb out of the bottom of the Interceptions ranking. Because game time is too late for on the field experiments, especially with All-Pro Peyton Manning and the Broncos coming to town on Sunday.

Continue reading "Defensive inconsistency hurting the ..."

NFL Football News

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Marcus Mariota would love to play for Browns, hasn't yet talked to Chip Kelly (Shutdown Corner

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is used to running a speed attack on offense. He didn't, however, appear to be prepared for the barrage of questions from media on Thursday at the NFL scouting combine, asking several times to have the hard-to-hear questions repeated. Mariota is soft-spoken and polite. The highly touted NFL prospect said little that was jarring. That fits in line with the image he forged in a standout career with the Ducks. He did his best to slow down speculation about his future when asked about where he might end up in the league. His most interesting comments came when he was asked about the two NFL teams with which he's connected through coaching. Mariota has been working closely with quarterback guru Kevin O'Connell, a former third-round pick of the New England Patriots who never really made it in the league but was regarded for his athleticism and intelligence. So much so, in fact, that O'Connell was hired by the Cleveland Browns to coach their QBs under head coach Mike Pettine. How does Mariota feel about possibly playing for the Browns? "That would an awesome opportunity," he said. "I'd love to play for the Browns. For right now, you can't really control those things, so I try not to worry about them." Now before you start erasing your mock drafts and crafting trades involving the Browns moving up, pump the brakes. Yes, they own the 12th and 19th overall picks, and have additional picks later in the draft. And yes, Johnny Manziel is in rehab and Brian Hoyer is a free agent. But it's far from a guarantee that the newly hired O'Connell was brought on solely for the hope that the team can land Mariota. Asked if the Browns having O'Connell would give them special insight into drafting him, Mariota said, "I don't know. That's up to them." Mariota did say that O'Connell, who along with George Whitfield has helped prep Mariota through the pre-draft process, was a "smart football guy that's going to make the best decisions for the team." Mariota also revealed he has spent time talking to and working with San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who implored Mariota "to be myself" and not try to be something he's not. Another coach with even more insight into Mariota's body of work is Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, who recruited and coached him before jumping to the NFL. It was in Kelly's spread offense that Mariota started to bloom in college, which has led to speculation that the Eagles could try to find a way to move up (from No. 20 — a long, long way) to land Chip's former pet project. Mariota said he hadn't yet spoken to Kelly at the combine, that he spoke only to quarterback coach Ryan Day (who played QB for Kelly at New Hampshire) from the Eagles. But if there's an offense into which Mariota could be ahead of the curve, it's Kelly's — the offense he was steeped in. Would Mariota want to play for Kelly again? "Yeah, why not? That would be a fun opportunity," he said. "But again, this process is out of our control and we'll see what happens." There are questions about that system helping perhaps manufacture a lot of Mariota's impressive production in college, and there remain some doubters who say he can't make all the NFL route tree of throws. Mariota believes he can, and he's banking on it by throwing at the combine, which he confirmed he'll do on Saturday. Mariota ended his college career with a loss in the national championship game to Ohio State, suffering an AC joint injury  to his throwing shoulder in the game.  Clearly, Mariota's shoulder wasn't serious to keep him from trying to make all the throws at the combine. Mariota knows that teams will have their doubts. He also knows that for whichever team drafts him, Mariota has a lot of work and adjustment in front of him. "For any rookie quarterback, it’s going to be an adjustment stepping up to this level," he said. "I am going to do my best in whatever situation I’m in." - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Ex-NFL star bought drinks, smoked pot before murder: witness (Reuters)

By Daniel Lovering FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez smoked marijuana and bought food and drinks for friends at a Rhode Island restaurant hours before prosecutors say he fatally shot an acquaintance, a witness testified on Thursday. Kelly Rose Belanger, former manager of the South Street Cafe in Providence, said Hernandez arrived at the restaurant with a woman and other people around 9:30 p.m. on June 16, 2013, and at one point stepped out to smoke marijuana with another man. "I asked them to put it out because the other customers could smell it, and they did," Belanger said at Massachusetts Superior Court in Hernandez's trial on charges of murdering Odin Lloyd, a man who was dating his fiancée's sister. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Video shows Hernandez dancing near gas pump before killing (The Associated Press)

Ex-New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez ran up a $243 bar tab and smoked marijuana in the hours before the boyfriend of his fiancee's sister was shot to death, according to testimony Thursday at his murder trial. The video also shows a co-defendant, Carlos Ortiz, wearing a white towel around his shoulders. A white towel was found near Lloyd's body later that morning in an industrial park not far from Hernandez's home. Thursday's testimony began with an account from Kelly Rose Belanger, who was bar manager at South Street Cafe in Providence, Rhode Island, on June 16, 2013, which was Father's Day. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Atlanta Falcons cut RB Steven Jackson (Shutdown Corner)

In a move most people expected to see, the Atlanta Falcons parted ways with running back Steven Jackson. The Falcons save $3.75 million in salary-cap space by cutting him now but must carry $1.1 million on this year's books for a signing bonus spread over from last year. He's now a free agent and can look for a new home immediately if there's work out there. The 6-2, 235-pound Jackson signed with the Falcons two seasons ago but was limited to 1,250 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 27 games. His streak of eight straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons ended after he left the St. Louis Rams, with whom he spent his first nine years, in 2012. Jackson, who turns 32 in July, is the NFL's active leading rusher and ranks 16th all time in rushing yards with 11,388. In order to crack the top 10 — and pass former Rams teammate Marshall Faulk — Jackson would need to rush for another 892 yards in the league. Will he get the chance? It's possible a team would be interested in bringing in Jackson as a complementary role, but perhaps for not much more than the veteran's minimum salary plus a modest bonus. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick long has been an admirer reportedly, so that's one team to keep an eye on. And if Jackson does land in a place such as New England, it would end one of the more dubious NFL streaks in recent memory. In his 11 seasons, Jackson never has been on a team that finished above .500, twice being on 8-8 teams. Jackson's only playoff appearance was in 2004, when the Rams were crushed by the Falcons. Jackson's best value at this stage of his career might come in the passing game, where he's still a reliable receiver and pass blocker. Lord knows plenty of teams still need that, and Jackson always has been one of the most self-motivated players in the league. Here's guessing he's not done. Maybe as a feature back, yes, but hardly as a player. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Raiders to release S Tyvon Branch (Yahoo Sports)

The Oakland Raiders will release safety Tyvon Branch before the start of the new league year next month. The team told Branch of the plans Thursday to cut ties with one of Oakland's longest-tenured non-specialists. Branch joined the Raiders with running backs Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece. The only other players on the roster with more continuous service are kicker Sebastian Janikowski and long snapper Jon Condo. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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