Case Keenum is lighting it up at Broncos camp. There has been nothing but high praise for Denver’s new starting quarterback:

Photo credit: Joe Amon / Denver Post

Author: Jon Kuzma

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Every report coming out of Colorado has been positive when it comes to Case Keenum. Devontae Booker said Keenum is “more demanding” in the huddle and that’s usually the sign of a good leader. Keenum is tasked with getting everyone to focus and buy into what the coaches are calling. By taking charge that sets the tone for everyone else and lets be honest the other players in the Broncos locker room are desperate for success. This team has only won fourteen games over the past two seasons. So when Keenum brought a more committed mentility to the Mile High City everyone else was onboard for that type of approach. Utimately this new mindset will pay huge divdends for this ball club. Culture is so important and give credit to Case Keenum because he is trying to overhaul a status quo which often resulted in losing. It’s a pefect fit for the former University of Houston quarterback because the Broncos might have been struggling but they’ve never really been a franchise that could be considered a doormat team. The Bowlen family has always set high standards and Keenum knew this situation would have some serious potential. Another perk for Case Keenum is the having Von Miller and Bradley Chubb who can get him the ball back frequently. It feels like three and outs are going to be a lot more common this upcoming season and that’s just additional opportunity for the ex-Viking. If Keenum progresses from the player he was last season it’s going to be scary how good the 30 year old can be? Most people don’t realize this but Case Keenum passed for more yards than anyone else in college football history. So it’s not a surprise that he’s overcame going undrafted and is beating the odds in the NFL. Sometimes you have to believe in yourself and keep pushing forward no matter who doubts you.

Charity of the day: Junior Achievement USA

Go donate! www.ja.org

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Tavon Austin, Allen Hurns, and Michael Gallup will be tasked with replacing replacing Dez Bryant and Jason Witten in Dallas:

Photo credit: John Leyba / Denver Post

Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Dallas Cowboys are going through a unique phase right now. Gone are longtime stalwarts Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. We know how much of a setback it’s going to be for the Cowboys trying to replace to those two veterans. However Dallas believes they have a committee of receivers who can infuse this offense with more explosiveness. Those players are Tavon Austin, Allen Hurns, and the rookie Michael Gallup. Tavon Austin is a speedy player that can be used in space on screens and bubble plays. Austin is also a serviceable weapon on jet sweeps or you can motion him into the backfield and hand him the ball off. Hurns on the other hand is much more of a traditional wide out and truthfully he’ll have a ton of responsibility in Jason Garrett’s system. With Bryant gone Hurns will be most suited to fill that void. If Hurns can turn the clock back to his 2015 season when he caught 64 passes for 1031 yards and 10 touchdowns. That’s when you’ll see Dak Prescott and this offense take the next step. A quarterback is only as good as the people catching his passes and Austin and Hurns have to be reliable contributors week in and week out. Another interesting storyline in Texas is how Michael Gallup does for this team after lighting it up at Colorado State? The talented receiver hauled in 2,690 yards and 21 touchdowns over two seasons in Fort Collins. If Gallup ends up being the same player he was during his NCAA days then the Cowboys will have a shot at being better than they would’ve been with Bryant and Witten. Michael Gallup will be the underlining factor whether or not that’s the case? If the 22 year old (Gallup) has to develop for the three or four seasons though then this organization might be in some trouble.

Charity of the day: Junior Achievement USA

Go donate! www.ja.org

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Jared Goff seems like he is ready to dominate in his third season. Goff is showing tremendous arm strength at Rams OTAs and that could be the difference maker for LA:

Photo credit: Jon Kuzma

Author: Jon Kuzma

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Jared Goff made huge strides from his rookie season to last year and now the QB is looking even better at Rams OTAs. One thing that stands out about Goff is his ability to connect on deep ball throws. Brandin Cooks speed has meshed well with Goff’s throw power and that should results in some quick scores for Los Angeles. It’s not just the arm strength that makes the former Cal signal caller an exceptional player. Goff is also extremely accurate and he is tall enough where he can easily see over the line and deliver big time throws. When you pair all of that with Sean McVay’s brilliant x and os. It forms a very dynamic offense that can rattle off points quickly. It’s going to take a serious pass rush to knock Goff out of rhythm but there’s a good chance he still might get the ball out and make the defense pay. It’s that awareness which separates a veteran player from a young guy who is just trying to earn his stripes. The Rams knew that Goff was about to take the next step and that’s why they went all in on the 2018 season. Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and Ndamukong Suh are going to elevate this team into a true Super Bowl contender. Still though a team is only as good as their quarterback who is under center. Which means Goff has to be able to put this squad over the top and he can do that by coming up big when the this offense needs him the most. Usually that’s in the fourth quarter when the game is close and one side has to rise above adversity. Fourth quarter drives and come from behind victories will not only help build the legacy of Jared Goff. They’ll also help LA gain steam while they work towards their goal of being a championship caliber ball club. So much of that success will start with Goff.

Charity of the day: CEDARS

Go donate! www.cedars-kids.org

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Reuben Foster returns to the San Francisco 49ers with his name cleared, now Foster is looking for a shot at redemption:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Reuben Foster hasn’t had the best offseason by any means. The San Francisco 49ers Inside Linebacker was hit with a marijuana charge in Alabama and he was also on the verge of being cut due to a domestic abuse investigation. Luckily for Foster his ex-girlfriend admitted to fabricating her story which paved the way for the second year defender’s return to the team. Which is a huge win for this organization. Foster had an impressive first year recording 72 tackles and that was significant because it was beyond just starting as a rookie. The former Nick Saban recruit is a real contributor to this defensive group and San Francisco is so much better when he’s on the field. With Foster nearly losing his career now he’s going to have a rekindled spirit entering OTAs and training camp. John Lynch is one person who has to be upbeat about that. Lynch took a shot on Reuben Foster after a number of franchises passed on the talented but troubled linebacker. If Foster did commit the crimes alleged against him the 49ers made it clear they were going to part ways with him. That would have been a huge strike against Lynch due to how high of a pick the former Dick Butkus award winner (2016) was taken. So when you hear that Foster has returned to OTAs and rejoined his teammates. It’s uplifting to this whole organization because for a while there nobody knew what the future had in store? If Reuben Foster really wants to turn things around though he has to go to the Pro Bowl. The best way to change your luck is by having an enormous amount of success. By being one of the top players at his position and proving his value through outstanding play. Foster will begin to gain support again and make people forget about this terrible offseason which could have ended so much worse.

Charity of the day: CEDARS

Go donate! www.cedars-kids.org

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Josh Rosen is closing the gap on Sam Bradford. Cardinals Head Coach Steve Wilks is leaving the door open for Rosen to start as a rookie:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Everyone knew Josh Rosen was a smart guy during the draft process but it seems like some NFL evaluators were character assassinating the former UCLA standout. Even Rosen’s college coach (Jim Mora) said he would take Sam Darnold over Rosen but apparently Cardinals Head Coach Steve Wilks feels quite differently. Wilks stated that Rosen is playing far beyond his years at Arizona’s OTAs. That was evident if you watched Rosen throw at all during practice and with Sam Bradford’s health constantly in question. Don’t be surprised if Josh Rosen can eventually dethrone Bradford before the regular season ends. Even though Rosen might be good enough to start from day one the Cardinals don’t want to rush him into so much responsibility. One thing Wilks has been adamant about though is he’ll play the best eleven players no matter what. Ultimately that means if Rosen is better then he’ll suit up over Bradford regardless of what the time frame is? So if the number ten overall pick can heat up during OTAs and training camp there’s a chance that his coach will roll with him. The high praise Steve Wilks has given Rosen is definitely setting up a potential quarterback switch but the real deciding factor will be a few different things. First can Josh Rosen take care of the football and put points on the scoreboard? If Rosen can do those things better than Bradford that’s step one of the process. The second thing that is going to be taken into consideration is whether or not Rosen can lead the players in Arizona’s locker room better than Sam Bradford can? If Rosen can check off those boxes Wilks could decide that developing the team’s top draft pick might be the best course for their football team even from day one. Which means you have to give credit to Josh Rosen for exceeding expectations so far.

Charity of the day: The YMCA

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Baker Mayfield struggled at the first day of Browns OTAs throwing three interceptions:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Number one overall pick Baker Mayfield didn’t have his best performance at the first day of Browns OTAs. Mayfield threw three interceptions and struggled to find his rhythm in Cleveland’s offense. While most rookies have a difficult time adjusting to the pro game. This was a wake up call for a lot  fans because many believed Mayfield would be able to step right in and dominate the NFL. Now in Baker Mayfield’s defense it was only one practice and he could easily turn things around and have a successful career but it’s seems apparent that Tyrod Taylor will be able to hold off the rookie and remain the starter for the entire season. Obviously sitting on the bench is going to be new to the former Heisman winner. Mayfield saw action all throughout his collegiate days initially at Texas Tech and then for three seasons at Oklahoma. The gap between the NFL and the NCAA is very substantial though and clearly there’s going to be a learning curve before Mayfield takes over the reigns in Cleveland. Hue Jackson even made it clear that “Mayfield is the quarterback of the future” and it’s “very unlikely” that the rookie beats out Taylor. Some of the other rookie quarterbacks such as Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson seem closer to cracking the starting line up from the get go. Which also proves there’s going to be some serious pressure on Mayfield. Being taken number one overall means you have some high expectations to live up to. Not only that but Browns supporters have already been letdown by Johnny Manziel. Believe it or not that’s an additional burden to Mayfield and the people who will suffer most if Mayfield doesn’t pan out is Hue Jackson and John Dorsey. They needed to get those two first round draft picks right and right now there is some question marks surrounding Denzel Ward and Mayfield. There’s no doubt Jackson and Dorsey’s future will go hand in hand with Ward and Mayfield’s success. Day one definitely wasn’t what the head coach or G.M we’re looking for.

Charity of the day: The YMCA

Go donate! www.ymca.ne

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Deshaun Watson was throwing at Houston Texans OTAs and he looked sharp delivering the football:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Deshaun Watson was having a great rookie season helping the Houston Texans average 40 points per game offensively. That’s when all of Watson’s success came tumbling down with an ACL tear. It’s safe to say most people who are fans of the NFL were bummed out by the loss of Watson regardless if they were a Texans fan or not? Mostly because Deshaun Watson had such a tremendous impact on the game and it was flat out entertaining to watch the rookie play. The good news is that injury looks to be in the rearview mirror. Watson was throwing at Houston’s OTAs today and he looked extremely sharp. The former 12th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft was delivering the football was a lot of zip. On one play Watson faked a playaction hand off and then threw a nice pass to his receiver who was coming out of his break. It’s the smoothness that Watson brings to the quarterback position that stands out so much. Most players need years of development to become that poised but Watson is different. This guy was special from the very first moment he became a pro. 19 touchdowns in six starts make that clear as day and if Watson can stay healthy the Texans are going to be back in the hunt for an AFC South title. We know the Jaguars are absolutely loaded but great quarterback play trumps all in the NFL. Deshaun Watson brings a high octane element to Texas and Dabo Swinney was right when he suggested Watson could be the football version of Michael Jordan. If Watson can keep up the pace he set before his injury there’s no doubt he’ll be one of the greatest QBs to ever play the game. The only thing that can hold this kid back are injuries but if he can overcome that challenge there is no limit on his potential. Just having Deshaun Watson back on the field throwing is breathing life back into the Texans.

Charity of the day: RedRover

Go donate! www.redrover.org

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Matt Ryan’s $150M dollar contract might not be sitting well with Julio Jones. Even though the NFL pay scale has always been tilted in quarterback’s favor:

Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox

Author: Jon Kuzma

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Atlanta Falcons talented Wide Receiver Julio Jones is easily one of the most gifted players in the entire National Football League. Jones was so good the Falcons had to give up several draft picks just to acquire the prolific pass catcher when he was coming out of Alabama. While it’s highly unlikely that Jones is unhappy for his starting quarterback. There still has to be some frustrations on Jones end just because of the amount of output he brings to the Falcons offense. There’s no doubt Ryan would’ve had a much harder time earning that contract if Julio Jones had not been in the line up. There’s also the fact that Jones has averaged 1,293 yards over seven seasons in pro football. With all of these numbers that are jumping off the charts Jones has to feel like he deserves to the be highest paid receiver in the league. However there’s six receivers that are making more than Jones per season. Two of those guys are Davante Adams and Sammy Watkins who aren’t nearly as valuable as Jones is. So there’s is some validated discontent on Julio Jones’ behalf and the Falcons are seriously alienating their top offensive weapon. The other concern Jones seems to have with the team is they’re heading in the wrong direction. Atlanta fell apart in the Super Bowl against New England and ever since then things have been regressing in Georgia. Obviously that could be one of the reasons Jones wants to get out now before the whole thing goes up in flames. So when you take a step back and you look at the situation. Matt Ryan is the highest paid player in the league. For awhile Devonta Freeman was the highest paid running back in the NFL. Everyone is getting their dues except Julio Jones and that can’t sit well with a guy who has been the heart and soul of this offense since day one. Can anyone blame Julio Jones for feeling this way? It’s very doubtful.

Charity of the day: RedRover

Go donate! www.redrover.org

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The Buffalo Bills have decided to release Richie Incognito which could pave the way for the veteran lineman’s return to pro football:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Richie Incognito was very unhappy when the Buffalo Bills made him take a pay cut just a couple of months ago. That decision ultimately alienated the 4x Pro Bowler and as a result Incognito decided to walk away from the NFL once and for all. We know now that might not be the case though because the Bills have decided to release Incognito. It seems like that was the former Ram, Dolphin, and Bill’s plan the whole entire time. So don’t be surprised when this guy decides that he’ll unretire and sign with a team at some point. A few potential landing spots for Incognito might be the Redskins, Jets, Texans, or Cardinals. All of those organizations could use a boost upfront and veteran guard would be a nice addition. Washington stands out because they just traded for Alex Smith. If the Redskins are serious about protecting their new signal caller putting Richie Incognito next to Trent Williams would be a good way of doing so. Suddenly that offense would have a line that could impose their will on defenders. It feels like that would be an excellent final touch on everything they’re trying to accomplish in the D.C area. Another possibility could be the Jets because that would give the 34 year old (Incognito) a chance to get revenge against the Dolphins and Bills. While it feels like he’ll want to play for a contender at this point of his career and the Redskins seem to be the closes out of the teams mentioned above. It should be noted that maybe Incognito decides to stay retired. He’s been very open about the injuries he’s endured over the course of his career and even stated that his doctor believes it’s time to hang it up. Only time will tell what happens and if it’s not the Redskins or Jets look out for the Texans to make a move because they have DeShaun Watson coming back and were a contender in the AFC South back in 2016.

Charity of the day : United Cancer Support Foundation

Go donate! www.unitedcsf.org

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The Redskins believe two former Alabama players can help turn their defensive around. Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne are ready for trench warfare:

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire

Author: Jon Kuzma

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Everyone knows Alabama pumps out more NFL talent than any other college football program. Nick Saban is the best recruiter around and clearly the Washington Redskins wanted to piggyback off of that success. Washington selected Jonathan Allen last season with their first round pick and then followed that up with Da’Ron Payne in this year’s NFL Draft. Allen is recovering from a lisfranc which ended his rookie season prematurely. However it’s widely known how talented of a football player the former 17th overall pick is. Allen amassed 44.5 tackles for loss and 28 sacks during his SEC days and that’s what the Redskins loved about him. Now Daniel Snyder plans on pairing Allen with another Crimson Tide standout Da’Ron Payne. The amazing thing about Payne is he is only 20 years old (Allen is 23). Not only that but Da’Ron Payne is 311 pounds compared to the 286 pound Allen. So Payne is a bigger and younger version of his Alabama predecessor. Due to that additional size Payne is a little bit stronger than Allen too. When you combine these two guys though you have perfect combination of size and speed on the defensive front. Ultimately that’s going to allow the Redskins to create a whole lot of pressure and we all know that’s a recipe for success in the NFL. Washington is going to swallow up those running lanes and get a nice push on every single play. Putting these two guys together was such a smart move and they should also help Ryan Kerrigan spring free off the edge. It’s hard to double team all of these talented defensive line and that means at least someone is going to eventually get loose. Don’t be surprised if this franchise makes big strides as far as their defensive ranking goes. They were 21st in yards surrendered last season but if everyone stays healthy they should be in the top 15. Small gains like that can have big results when it comes to a team’s record.

Charity of the day: United Cancer Support Foundation

Go donate! www.unitedcsf.org

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