Monthly Archives: January 2017

Justin Houston just signed a massive deal

What a trio of bad. This competition is so painful that whoever finishes third in this race could be on the roster bubble. By now, you know Manuel. He was over-drafted in the first round out of Florida State in 2013 and has struggled throughout his career. Cassel and Taylor are journeymen to the fullest degree and offer little excitement. A starter out of this bunch is going to be determined during training camp and preseason, but is anyone really a winner?

Player you’ll be buzzing about: CB Phillip Gaines — Gaines started off slow, but he improved every single week last season as a rookie and is a projected starter heading into training camp. He can make waves.

What to watch: Justin Houston just signed a massive deal, and although some might suggest he has little motivation now, Houston insisted that getting a big paycheck is not like winning the lottery. He’s looking to prove that he was worth the record $101 million contract that the Chiefs gave him. It will also be interesting to see how Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito look. Both defenders sustained ruptured Achilles in Week 1 of 2014.

Most important position battle: Wide receiver — The Chiefs have had low production out of their receivers for a while now, but with Jeremy Maclin in town, it will be a race to see who can be a productive No. 2 alongside him.

(Brian_Goodison of Shakin the Southland handled the Mackensie Alexander write-up and Kadar took the rest)

Mackensie Alexander, CB (junior): Mackensie Alexander is likely going to be the highest player taken from Clemson in the 2016 draft. He is a lockdown college cornerback who projects well to the NFL. He has the speed to go up against the burner receivers while also being strong enough to go up against the more physical receivers. The one physical attribute he does lack a little bit of is height. Clemson measures him at 5’10, which might knock him down a few picks.

Mike Tomlin, Antonio Brown could hash out Facebook issue

Antonio Brown’s lapse in judgment in the locker room Sunday night undermined Mike Tomlin the minute the coach’s postgame message came through Brown’s Facebook Live feed.

And to think Brown rarely drops the ball.

Clarence Weatherspoon Kids Jersey Brown’s live streaming was not malicious in the slightest. He’s well respected in the locker room and offsets his colorful antics with a fierce work ethic. He’s tight with Tomlin. Let’s assume he didn’t consider the implications while vibing on his phone for 17 minutes.

Still, the lack of self-awareness is stunning. And for a head coach who gets a healthy dose of vitriol from Pittsburgh fans after every loss, Tomlin’s profanity-laced message to the team is one more thing for detractors to dissect.
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“Coach Tomlin’s the boss. I’m sure he’s going to say something to AB about it,” safety Mike Mitchell told ESPN’s NFL Live on Monday. “I’m sure he’ll address us as a team per usual any time an issue comes up.”

“That means increasing revenues. Ticket prices have gone up. Fortunately we have a good product so people will pay for it. We have to go out and do sponsorship deals. We have to figure out a way to pay for it. It’s not cheap, it’s not easy.”

Lacob, co-owner Peter Guber, coach Steve Kerr and forward Kevin Durant all were expected to attend the groundbreaking ceremony. Lacob said he expected the project to take 28 months to complete, and be ready for the opening of the 2019 season.

“It is a location in San Francisco where people from Oakland may not be happy — there’s some civic pride — but there’s one NBA team in the Bay Area,” Lacob said. “We really service Marin, the Peninsula, Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco. That location, if you look at it from a transportation standpoint, is the single best location.”

The Eagles have finally learned to appreciate Brandon Graham

“Its been a looooong time comiiiiing, but I knooooow a change gone coooooome. Oh yes it will!”

I’m pretty sure Brandon Graham has had to listen to a lil’ Sam Cooke at some point during his first five years in the league to get through the day. Here’s a guy who came out strong his rookie year in 2010, only to tear his ACL near the end of the season. This was before the Adrian Peterson ACL rehab timetable, so Graham’s recovery ended up cutting into his second year as well. He started the season on the PUP list, which meant he couldn’t play in the first six games. Eventually he did heal up, but he was only active for three of the last seven games that year. From that point forward, it seems like he was never fully appreciated in Philadelphia.

Jackson’s ADP is hovering near Round 7 right now, putting him around the No. 30 wide receiver taken. Even with a rookie quarterback, Jackson should easily beat that mark.

They hype train has left the station for this guy. Hankerson stood out in OTAs, he continues to impress in training camp and reports suggest he’s even pushing Roddy White for the WR2 job. McFadden did return to training camp on Saturday, but the team also is dealing with injuries to Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle, along with undrafted free agent Gus Johnson. Johnson sustained a separated shoulder in Thursday’s preseason game against the San Diego Chargers.

The latter might be a stretch, but Hankerson is making noise. The 26-year-old’s career was subjected to injuries from the start, which is why he doesn’t have much to show after four seasons in the NFL. Could this be the year he finally holds up?

Take a look at Hankerson’s profile (via RotoUnderworld).

LeSean McCoy looks ready for Week 1, but Victor Cruz does not

The NFL season is a battle of attrition, and several teams are already dealing with injuries to key starters before the games even begin. Often times, a team is only as strong as its weakest link, and a couple of bonafide Super Bowl contenders are going to have to find that out probably far earlier than they wanted to.

There were a number of injury updates Wednesday, and the biggest ones are listed below:

Coughlin was a legendary disciplinarian with the Jaguars. Some of his former players would say he was overly harsh or ridiculous, though there were usually some colorful adjectives thrown in there, too.

Consequences for breaking those rules were severe. He once fined two Jaguars players $500 each for missing a team meeting before a playoff game. That they had been in a car accident was irrelevant; they should have left earlier. Coughlin, most recently a head coach of the New York Giants, also once fined Michael Strahan $1,000 for being only two minutes early to a meeting.

Game Mens Yadier Molina Jersey The Jaguars are a young team — 38 of the 53 players on the active roster are in their fourth year or less — and young teams need to be handled strictly. Even the players agree. One said teammates arrived late to meetings and skipped mandatory recovery stations every Friday. Another player said there was a lack of fear of breaking the rules and the repercussions for doing so were not severe enough.

That’s going to change with Coughlin in charge.

Game Mens Xavier Grimble Jersey It might be a rough adjustment, but some hard-line discipline is exactly what this franchise needs right now.

The Seahawks keep talking about fixing the problem instead of actually fixing it

You’ve got a problem, Seattle, when your opponent features a tight end many fans do not know (Tyler Eifert) and he leads the game in targets (12) receptions (eight) and touchdown catches (two). All of this while the All-Pro tight end you traded for, Jimmy Graham, finishes with five targets, three catches and zero touchdowns.

The Seahawks keep talking about fixing the problem instead of actually fixing it. It is getting comical now.

Incorporating that downfield element into the offense is not so complicated or impossible. It will solve plenty of the Seahawks’ problems, especially scoring problems, and open even more running lanes.

On defense, please give cornerback Cary Williams more help in his coverage. The Bengals picked on him mercilessly. Others will, too.

These are things the film will show. These are issues clipping the Seahawks.
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Not all teams have been able to carry over their previous success into 2015 after making playoff runs in 2014, though. The NFL’s only winless team, the Detroit Lions, earned an NFC wild card berth just a year ago and have already matched their five losses from 2014.

If the playoffs began today, seven of the 12 teams that earned a spot in the 2014 postseason would be in again in 2015, but five teams would be on the outside looking in.

Dating back to his time with the Cleveland Browns, Weeden has an 11-game losing streak as a starter. Weeden’s best performance with the Cowboys came in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons, but since then, things have slowly gone from decent to poor, and the quarterback could be benched for Matt Cassel soon, who doesn’t inspire much hope either.
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The Dallas offense has declined in each week of the season and unless a Week 6 bye allows the team to figure things out, a fourth consecutive loss in a Week 7 road game against the New York Giants could put the Cowboys in a hole they can’t dig out of.

Chriss would stare at the refs after every Diaw assault with a look that was both angry and desperate

Then, as sometimes happens to this club, Golden State played lethargically and quickly ceded much of what they¡¯d earned. Their David West plus-length lineup struggled to score, and it helped to fuel a 23-6 run for Memphis. It took the Warriors more than seven minutes to score those six meager points.

Down the stretch, using the Super Death Lineup (Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Green, Durant), it looked like the Warriors would power through — even with the awkwardness of Durant guarding burly Zach Randolph. At the 1:20 mark, leading by two, Curry got the lumbering Gasol switched onto him, drove and stutter-stepped through contact for the layup.

Then, the end of regulation was ugliest of all for Golden State. Tony Allen muscled home a follow-up to a key offensive rebound. With the Warriors up two, the Warriors delivered what might have been their most awkward sequence of the season. As Curry dribbled, it appeared that Durant did not know where to be, as Green gesticulated. The play led to a Curry miss, salvaged by a Thompson rebound.

Experienced big men of the NBA: Stop being so mean to Marquese Chriss! He’s only 19! Post-up bullies just steal this poor kid’s lunch money at every opportunity, and Chriss is too skinny and inexperienced to do anything about it. Boris Diaw held extended tea-time sessions against Chriss a few weeks ago in Utah; Diaw got the ball up high, saw Chriss in front of him, and just sort of butted his way, ass-first, to the rim for layups.
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Chriss would stare at the refs after every Diaw assault with a look that was both angry and desperate: WHY AREN’T YOU DOING ANYTHING TO HELP ME AGAINST THIS LARGE FRENCH MAN? PLEASE HELP! THIS HAS TO BE SOME SORT OF VIOLATION!

Game Youth Will Lutz Jersey Chriss has a fun bad-boy spunk, but refs aren’t having any of it from a teenager. He’s a tech magnet, and Earl Watson, the Suns coach, has chastised Chriss several times for his ongoing dialogue with officials.

Denver is a team that could be interested, as well as Toronto or Oklahoma City

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Mens Connor McDavid Jersey It was also reported Sunday that Millsap will not pick up his player option for next season, which is no surprise. It¡¯s not guaranteed he would leave the Hawks, but there¡¯s a good chance he would. He¡¯s not a Hawks lifer like Horford was (and Horford left anyway!) and he¡¯s a versatile, two-way player that would significantly improve a bunch of teams right away. The Hawks had a flurry of trade rumors last year and didn¡¯t end up making any major deals, and the same thing could easily happen again this year. But if the Hawks believe Millsap could be headed out the door, then the time to get a return on his value is now.

Likewise, if the Hawks could swap players like Korver or Sefolosha for a package they like, there¡¯s no reason to say no.

The best remaining catcher is Matt Wieters, and there isn¡¯t a whole lot of hot stove smoke surrounding him. Current rumors have the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves as possible destinations for Wieters. Our comrades over at Talking Chop don¡¯t think it makes a whole lot of sense for the Braves to be in the Wieters market. The Nationals have reportedly been waiting for the Scott Boras client to reduce the number of years before serious consideration. That¡¯s not a whole lot of action for a four-time All-Star.

After Wieters, there is a pretty significant drop-off regarding talent. SSS commentator Holland23 asked the question about best possible remaining options. Beware, it¡¯s not pretty, but options are available that were better than both Dioner Navarro and Alex Avila framing-wise.

The Chargers got within a half-yard of tying the Chiefs, then decided to go backwards

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The Chargers had not done anything offensively for 59 minutes and 55 seconds, but they were a few feet from going to overtime against the Chiefs. San Diego was down 10-3, but a 78-yard drive had the team on the 1-yard line, then an offside call on the Chiefs nudged it to the half-yard line. A successful QB sneak and the game was theirs. But instead, they openly revolted against the concept of scoring a touchdown.

First, they got a delay of game:

This was out of a timeout. They had an entire timeout to get ready and get set, and still managed not to get the ball snapped before the play clock expired. Philip Rivers, perhaps the NFL’s most vociferous quarterback at urgently ordering the center to snap the ball, was furious.

This error moved the Chargers back to the 6-yard line … and there, Chris Hairston got a false start:

That would move the Chargers back to the 11-yard line. Rivers’ last-chance pass to tie the game was nearly caught by Danny Woodhead, but Dee Ford’s coverage was too good:

Andy Levitre Authentic Jersey It would’ve been silly if the Chargers went an entire game without scoring and somehow managed to win thanks to a late touchdown. Luckily, the same Chargers who were useless offensively for almost an entire game saved the day with their most inept play of the day.

I’d play him along with the starting offense for a half on Sunday. Dak has never been in this situation before. Yes, he’s come off a bye week but not in the playoffs. When he’s in the groove, he’s excellent. I’d want to continue his hot streak. But if you play Dak, you must play the rest of the starters.

At halftime, it turns into a preseason vibe. All the backups. This would be the time to get Tony Romo some reps in case he’s needed in the postseason. Dak has handled the pressure of a delicate quarterback situation all season and I expect that to continue. If you start Romo and he plays well, it will open up the door to whispers of Romo playing if Dak struggles in the Divisional round. I think by only playing Romo one half, you don’t leave yourself open to those issues.