Frank Gore has defied the odds so many times throughout his career. It is possible he does it again in Miami?

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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After a long thirteen NFL seasons Frank Gore will finally suit up for his hometown Miami Dolphins. Being back in South Florida could help Gore be more comfortable than ever and what if that had a positive effect on his game? The 35 year old running back has already overachieved every step of the way throughout his career. Now if he goes to the Dolphins and plays some of his best football ever it would be just another success for the prolific ball carrier. With nine seasons of at least 1,000 yards under his belt it’s hard to bet against Gore. However at this point in his career you have to wonder if there is enough gas left in the tank? There’s no doubt if Miami gets the best of Frank Gore he’ll likely take the starting running back job and never look back. You also have to ask yourself though if Kenyan Drake’s upside will be too much for Gore to overtake? Drake had a promising second half of the 2017 season after Jay Ajayi was traded. That’s the challenge for Frank Gore but he is coming off of a 961 yard performance in his last year in Indianapolis. Therefore it’s very possible that he does continue to run the ball effectively. At the end of the day Adam Gase wants to win and that means he’s going to go with the hot hand. A downhill running Frank Gore could be just what the doctor ordered and this team certainly needs it. Miami was one of the worst teams at running the football in the entire NFL and that’s why they took a shot on Gore. There’s just something about him being back in Miami that appeals to everyone including the Dolphins’ front office. This could end up being one of the real feel good stories of the year and Gore should be a solid addition when it comes to establishing the ground game.

Charity of the day: Habitat for Humanity

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Frank Gore has defied to the odds every step of the way. Can he do it again in Miami?

Dalvin Cook is ready to bounce back from an ACL tear and prove he’s one of the best up and coming running backs out right now:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Dalvin Cook was having a great rookie season for the Minnesota Vikings before eventually tearing his ACL in the fourth game of the year. Cook had already rushed for an impressive 354 yards and 2 touchdowns before going down. So the Vikings had high expectations for the rookie and then everything came to a crashing halt. Well the good news for Minnesota is Dalvin Cook is ahead of schedule when it comes to his rehab. It looks like the former Florida State star will have a chance to be back for the regular season and that’s a good sign for this organization. If Cook can become the player he once was then this backfield will be one of the better tandems in the league. Latavius Murray is the other guy back there and remember he had pretty good season himself rushing for 842 yards and 8 touchdowns. Together Cook and Murray could end being the Super Bowl winning one-two punch. Both of those guys have to stay healthy to achieve that. Latavius Murray was battling a nagging ankle injury last year around this time. Which means each of the Vikings running backs have been banged up the last couple of campaigns and that’s what Mike Zimmer is trying to avoid in 2018. If either player goes down that really could be the nail in the coffin when it comes to the Vikings hopes of bringing a Vince Lombardi Trophy back to Minnesota. On the opposite side of the coin though if they both suit up sixteen games and are healthy for the postseason. There’s no telling how potent that combination can be on the ground for this team? All we know is there is no ceiling in sight and those two could push Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara for the title of best running back duo in the NFL.

Charity of the day: Habitat for Humanity

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Dalvin Cook is ready to turn his luck around after tearing his ACL a year ago. Expect Cook to bounce back.

Todd Gurley proved he is the x-factor in the Rams’ offense and he has a chance to be even better the next time around:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Los Angeles Rams Running Back Todd Gurley is coming off the best season of his career. Gurley rushed for 1,305 yards and 16 touchdowns while also hauling in 788 receiving yards and 6 touchdown receptions. By running the ball effectively and also producing stats similar to a number two receiver. Todd Gurley is a versatile weapon that flips the switch for Sean McVay’s offense. Clearly Gurley is the focal points and then Jared Goff gets to play off of the running game. We saw how ideal that was for this ball club back in 2017 and every indication is Gurley will have another big year. First and foremost the former Georgia running back will have to succeed at running the football. We know he can excel whether it’s up the middle or on a run to the outside. Regardless of the play it’ll be all about Sean McVay giving Gurley the maximum amount of touches. Which McVay is obviously going to do. All of the pieces of the puzzle will fall in place from there and then those talented receivers out wide can take advantage of a defense who is trying to sell out to stop the run. That’s the winning formula for Los Angeles which is going to set them up for a deep playoff run. Then once the postseason rolls around Gurley can’t skip a beat he must continue to light it up. We’re looking a little bit ahead but there’s very high probability LA will be competing for a Vince Lombardi Trophy once the time comes.  It should also be mentioned that Wade Phillips is getting up there in age and this franchise has to win this year to avoid losing the talented defensive coordinator to retirement. Once that happens the Rams will definitely lose a step so it’s something Gurley and the other guys in the locker room have to be conscious of. With that window potentially closing McVay and company must be sharp in 2018. There’s no doubt Todd Gurley is one of the most important factors when it comes to achieving those Super Bowl dreams.

Charity of the day: Wilderness Society

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There’s no doubt Todd Gurley is the x-factor in the Rams offense and he could be even better this year.

Joe Flacco, Marcus Mariota, Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston, and Eli Manning are all on the quarterback hot seat. Another bad year could result in a demotion:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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There’s a lot of big names that are on thin ice when it comes to the quarterback position. The NFL is a win now league and these players have to prove they’re still capable of leading a pro football team. Most of these QBs shouldn’t surprise anyone they’ve been near the bottom end of the quarterback rankings recently. Out of the bunch of Joe Flacco, Marcus Mariota, Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston, and Eli Manning believe it or not Dalton threw for the most touchdowns last year (25) and Winston threw for the most yards (3,504). Despite that though the Bengals have been struggling recently and Winston has a pattern of bad off the field behavior. Both of those negative circumstances could lead to the demise of the best signals callers out of this group so what about the other guys? We all know what’s happening with Joe Flacco and the Ravens are ready to start a new era with a younger more exciting Lamar Jackson. This really isn’t that big of a strike against Flacco because it’s really a matter of him aging and his career ultimately winding down. The same thing can be said about Eli Manning in New York. The Giants are hoping for a few more years out of the two time Super Bowl winner but it really could go either way? Then there’s Marcus Mariota who is in his fourth pro season but had an awful year in 2017 throwing for 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Mariota has to learn to protect the football but it’s the lack of ability which has to concern the Titans. DeShaun Watson put up better numbers in seven games (19 TDs) than Mariota did in sixteen. The gap between those two players talent wise is huge and Mike Vrabel will be in the hunt for a new quarterback shortly. A big season from each guy would definitely turn around the momentum but it’s going to take each team believing in their signal caller if they want to be in the picture for the long haul. The most promising of that group feels like Andy Dalton and he might have the brightest future individually but Cincinnati’s lack of talent could push him out of the fold. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum Marcus Mariota is at the bottom of the class and he’ll have to prove he is still a reliable QB otherwise he’ll end up being a back up before we know it.

Charity of the day: Fistula Foundation

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There’s a lot of big name quarterbacks on the NFL hot seat. These guys can’t afford another bad year.

Brandin Cooks has made a living off burning people deep. Those plays led the Rams receiver to a five year $81M dollar extension:


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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Brandin Cooks has been somewhat disrespected the last couple of seasons especially when you consider both the Saints and Patriots traded him away. Clearly Los Angeles disagrees with those two teams when it comes to Cooks because they just re-signed the deep ball receiver to a five year $81M dollar extension. We’ve been hearing all throughout offseason workouts that Cooks has been generating a ton of big plays in the Rams offense. It feels like Cooks has found the perfect role in Sean McVay’s system which will be so beneficial for Jared Goff. Sammy Watkins’ departure left a hole in this receiver group but the Rams feel like Cooks can fill that vacancy. If not they wouldn’t have paid Cooks the big bucks and now the 24 year old wide out will have to take on that number one role. Cooks has went over the 1,000 yards mark the past three seasons and LA is hoping he’ll maintain that pace. This team also has Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods but McVay likes three wide receiver sets. That trio of pass catchers will have to keep the chains moving through the air. So much of Goff’s success will ultimately depend on those guys. Cooks must get vertical and stretch the field with his elite acceleration. Then Kupp has to be a sure handed target, while Woods will have to be a player who can get the yards after catch going. Together though this combination of athletes is going to haul in a lot of balls and they’ll be one the most important aspects of McVay’s attack. Brandin Cooks finally found his home and from here it’s all about paying the Rams back for taking a chance on him. Obviously the front office believes in him enough to open up their checkbook. That vote of confidence could be huge for Brandin Cooks down the stretch.

Charity of the day: American Bird Conservancy

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There’s no doubt Brandin Cooks has made a living off burning people deep. He’s one of the best deep threat receivers in the league.

The Steelers Super Bowl window will close after this year. Especially if LeVeon Bell leaves Pittsburgh:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The 2018 season hasn’t even started yet but Le’veon Bell is already preparing to leave Pittsburgh. The standout running back and the team couldn’t come to a long term agreement and Bell’s Agent Adisa Bakari is adamant that this will be his final year with the Steelers. If that’s the case then this is Mike Tomlin’s last chance to get a Super Bowl because once Bell skips town those dreams go up in smoke. Therefore this organization has to put aside all the distractions and focus on getting the job done. Offensively there’s been enough talent on this roster to make a serious run. However the Steelers always find a way to come up short and they’ve also been the New England Patriots’ little brother. If Le’Veon Bell and company can slay the beast and finally make it to the Super Bowl that would be so huge. They can’t just be satisfied with just making it there either, they have to win it too. With Jacksonville emerging it’s not going to be easy by any means but if Bell and Antonio Brown show up anything is possible. It’s kind of embarrassing though that Pittsburgh let this situation get so bad. Le’Veon Bell could’ve been traded for a boatload of picks in this past draft and the Steelers had a chance to get their salary cap down by going with a rookie running back. Clearly they wanted to keep all their playmakers together but what if they had a plan to go after someone like Saquon Barkley? This team would have been in much better shape if they would’ve pulled that deal off. Instead they rolled with Bell but his whole contract situation has been a black cloud looming over this ball club for awhile now. Pittsburgh’s spirits would’ve been much more upbeat if they found a guy to replace Le’Veon Bell and lowered their salary cap. It would have also set the Steelers up with a much brighter future as well.

Charity of the day: American Bird Conservancy

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The Steelers Super Bowl window will close once Le’Veon Bell leaves town.

Michael Bennett’s court case will be crucial for the Eagles upcoming season. If Bennett’s name is cleared then the Eagles will have a great chance at repeating as Super Bowl champions:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Eagles are coming off their first Super Bowl win in franchise history and they could be even better this upcoming season. One major reason why is the acquisition of Michael Bennett. Bennett is a pass rushing nightmare for opposing teams and when you add him to the collection of talent Philadelphia already has it’s clearly a special group. Michael Bennett doesn’t even need to be the alpha dog like he was in Seattle. Seven sacks would suffice and that should be enough of a push upfront to operate Jim Schwartz’s defense effectively. Remember it all starts with winning at the line of scrimmage and not many players do that as consistently as Michael Bennett. Even at 32 year old this guy still finds a way to make an impact. A lot of that is because Bennett is physical superior than the players who line up across from him. On film one thing that stands out is Bennett is stronger than his opponents. By continuously getting penetration into the offensive backfield the defense can dictate what the offense can and can’t do to some degree. It’s hard to win if you can’t run up the middle and that’s what Michael Bennett shuts down. He’s also absolutely lethal on loops and twists. The protection upfront has to be conscious of those type of plays because they have to think and react on the fly. Which complicates the game for the blockers who are trying to keep the quarterback safe. The final phase of Bennett’s game is definitely his non stop motor and he goes all out on every play. When you watch Bennett compete it’s his second and third effort which helps him complete his goal of recording a sack. All of those abilities will blend well with everything the Eagles already have. It could even be enough to repeat as Super Bowl Champions.

Charity of the day: Wilderness Society

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Bears rookie Roquan Smith didn’t report to training camp and that has to be a concern for Chicago:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Chicago Bears rookie Roquan Smith didn’t report to training camp today and that has to be a for concern the team. Smith hasn’t signed his rookie contract yet but there’s still time to get a deal done and get him into camp. Obviously the sooner he reports the more familiar he’ll become with Vic Fangio’s system. Remember though we’ve seen players like Joey Bosa hold out for a portion of the regular season and then come back and light it up. Everyone forgot Bosa even held out to begin with because he was producing such great results on the field. So Smith will have to take a similar course of action but Chicago is hoping negotiations don’t take that long. Ideally some agreement will materialize this week and all of this will be in the past. You can’t blame Smith’s agent for trying to maximize the former Butkus award winner’s first contract though. The NFL is a brutal sport and it’s always a smart decision to capitalize on your value especially when you have leverage in contract talks. That way if Smith gets seriously hurt he’ll at least have some financial security for putting his body on the line. We’ve seen so many examples in the past of players taking a team friendly deal only to have that agreement comeback and bite them in the rear end. Smith understands the NFL is a business and that’s why it’s smart to make sure he can sign a deal that he’s comfortable with. It’s not like the Bears are going to walk away from the top player they selected in the draft. This is just a minor speed bump in the road and sooner or later we’ll be talking about how dynamic of a linebacker Smith is on the field.

Charity of the day: Wilderness Society

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Don’t let a small group of bad apples fool you. Most of the NFL players are good guys who just want to play football:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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With the NFL suffering from a tough offseason as far as player misconduct goes. People need to remember that most of the players are actually good people who just want to play football and help out their families. With all the negative press that a few individuals have gotten so far we just wanted to take the time to talk about some of the good guys who have consistently made a positive impact in their communities. Larry Fitzgerald is a name that jumps out at you and the Cardinals receiver is known for his charity work. He even went above and beyond that by starting his own charitable foundation which is known as the First Down Fund. So when you’re talking about an all around good person Larry Fitzgerald definitely fits that mold and he’s a heck of a pass catcher too. Then obviously there’s J.J Watt. Watt’s work during Hurricane Harvey helped him build a legacy that far exceeds just playing on the field. The Houston Flood Relief Fund which was started by Watt raised more than $37 million dollars. We also seen the star Texans defender help out the Santa Fe victims by paying for their funerals after that tragedy took place. Last but not least there is Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. Brees started the Brees Dream Foundation which specifically focuses on improving the quality of life for cancer patients. This is an organization that’s raised over $25M dollars for many different causes and it’s just another example of an NFL player with a big heart. These three gentlemen might be some of the bigger names in the league but they’re not the only ones who help elevate the people around them. Which makes it apparent that we have to be cautious before we assassinate the character of all the good human beings that make up pro football. Most of them don’t deserve to be treated so unfairly.

Charity of the day: Mercy Corps

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The majority of the NFL’s players are good people. It’s just a small group of bad apples who are giving the league a bad name.

There’s no stopping Yannick Ngakoue from stardom. The Jaguars defensive end is rising fast:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Everything changed for the better when the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Yannick Ngakoue in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Ngakoue was born in the Washington D.C area and starred as defensive end at the University of Maryland recording 21.5 sacks during his time with the Terps. The Jaguars knew this would be a solid acquisition with a mid-round pick and they were definitely right. Ngakoue has 20 sacks in his two seasons in Jacksonville and that was so impressive because most young players have a learning curve. Instead Yannick Ngakoue hit the ground running and really contributed to this organization’s defense the same way an elite edge defender would. Which makes it clear the proof is in the production and there’s a reason Ngakoue already has a Pro Bowl appearance under his belt. It’s because he consistently gets it done with his pass rush. The strongest aspect of Ngakoue’s game is for sure his ability to use one arm to create separation between offensive tackles and him. On film there was times Yannick Ngakoue would bull rush a blocker off of him with just one hand. He usually can get around those offensive lineman too but sometimes he’ll sneak underneath and make a play. It’s the instinct of knowing when to gamble on the inside or beat people with his speed that makes Ngakoue such a natural at the position. The other huge factor is this guy knows how to strip the football out of quarterbacks’ hands. Ngakoue usually accomplishes that with a chopping motion while rushing from the QB’s blind side. That’s resulted in 10 forced fumbles in two seasons and some of those plays have resulted in other Jaguar players scooping the ball up and taking it in for a defensive touchdown. Those are game changing plays and Yannick Ngakoue is definitely a future star in this league.

Charity of the day: Mercy Corps

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There’s no stopping Yannick Ngakoue because he’s such a natural pass rusher.

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