Photo credit: Jason Craven
The 2013 1st overall draft pick taken in the first round Eric Fisher was demoted recently by the Kansas City Chiefs. Fisher who was the most promising prospect in the whole 2013 draft had sputtered out of the gate in his first 2 years of NFL action. After signing a 22.1 million dollar guaranteed contract with a 14.5 million dollar signing bonus Fisher seemed to underachieve time and time again for the Chiefs. The team was looking for a franchise cornerstone type left tackle when they drafted him. Instead they got a player who in just three seasons was demoted to the right tackle position. People in the Chiefs organization can’t be happy that they are paying an under producing player that much money. Also Fisher just doesn’t seem to fit into Andy Reid’s system. Reid even made Fisher switch positions last season and play right tackle instead of left as well. The Left Tackle position being more notable for an offense because it is typically protecting the backside or “blind side” of right handed NFL quarterbacks. The switch showed Reid’s lack of confidence in Eric Fisher’s ability to protect Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. With more talent coming to Kansas City such as Jeremy Maclin, and Ben Grubbs the Chiefs wanted to have more cohesion offensively. This clearly meant that the former Central Michigan standout Eric Fisher had to be dropped from the starting left tackle position. With the NFL being a win now or you’re fired type of league, Reid’s success couldn’t be left in a player’s hands that he couldn’t trust. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Eric Fisher. Will he be eventually left go by the Chiefs? Or will the team just keep him as a right tackle for the remainder of his contract which runs until 2016? The other possibility could be that Fisher learns from this and makes the necessary adjustments to become an effective left tackle. Maybe someday he will be able to regain his starting spot. For the time being however, he will have to make do with the team’s other tackle position.
Charity of the day: Defenders of Wildlife
Go donate! www.defenders.org
Photo credit: Todd Shoemake
Author: Joey Carr
If you go to Google and type in the letter T, the third result that pops up on the search bar might surprise you, or it might not. The name that pops up is current free agent quarterback Tim Tebow, who was unexpectedly cut by the Philadelphia Eagles on September 5th. The former Florida Gator quarterback has been making headlines ever since he led Florida to a 13-1 record and won the 2009 National Championship, where his Gators defeated Sam Bradford’s Oklahoma Sooners. He then entered the NFL Draft in 2010, getting selected by the Denver Broncos with the 25th overall pick. He took over for the team after the 6th game of his second season, leading them to their first AFC West Title and playoff win since 2005, often needing late game heroics to accomplish his victories. At the time it seemed like Tebow might actually be on the fast track to being a starter in the NFL. Fast-forward to today, and Tim Tebow’s once bright future in football is now in question for the third time.
There aren’t many more polarizing figures in sports than Tim Tebow himself. Whether it’s people commenting on his outspoken religious beliefs, his throwing motion, or the infamous “Tebowing” celebration, there is never a dull moment when talking about the former Gator. However, he has always kept a positive attitude about everything that happens to him. From his glorious college days to jumping around from team to team in the NFL, his persona has not changed. But after being cut for a third time and having this stint with the Eagles go fairly well, where does Tim take his career now? Many have suggested that he go to the Canadian Football League, where he can showcase his athleticism a lot better than he could being a backup quarterback. The only problem with this route is that Tebow has stated numerous times that he wants to keep chasing his dream of playing in the NFL. Not to be negative, but that dream hasn’t worked out thus far for Tim. He started off pretty successful with the Broncos, going 8-5 (including playoffs) as the starting QB. And no one can forget the overtime thriller that saw Tebow complete a pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play and having Thomas take it to the house 80 yards, winning Tebow his first playoff game. However, “Tebowmania” took a major blow after being demolished by the Patriots in the AFC Divisional game a week later. He was subsequently traded to the Jets after the Broncos acquired Peyton Manning in free agency, and after one turbulent season with New York was released. He then signed with the Patriots the next year for a brief preseason stint but was again let go as they trimmed their roster down to 53. After realizing he needed to step away, the former Heisman trophy winner took on a new challenge in the TV broadcasting world, becoming an anchor for the SEC Network. Getting ready for his third year as a broadcaster, the pearly gates opened and Chip Kelly came beckoning and gave Tebow the chance he had been waiting 2 years for: a chance to play in the NFL once again. Many thought that the Eagle’s high-tempo and unconventional offense would be a perfect fit for the non-traditional quarterback that Tebow is, and for a while it seemed like the stars were aligning for the former Florida standout. Third string quarterback Matt Barkley was traded to Arizona, leaving Tebow and Mark Sanchez as backups to Sam Bradford. It was almost certain he would now make the cut. However, Tebow was once again cut, and this time it had to sting.
Being cut is never easy, especially for someone who had such high hopes entering training camp and the preseason. But this is the National Football League, and coaches can’t keep someone on the 53-man roster because of their history and background. Tim Tebow is again a free agent and for now, his football career remains in jeopardy. Will he go to the CFL? Will he get another shot next season? Will he get picked up during the week before the season begins? These questions are unclear but one thing is clear: being cut will not deter Tim Tebow from chasing his dream.
Photo credit: Erik Drost
Author: Jon Kuzma
Terrelle Pryor has been a big name athlete for much of his life. There were reports coming out about him when he was a teenager at Jeannette high school in Pennsylvania. That high profile reputation followed him to thee Ohio State University where Pryor would star for Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes. After a Rose Bowl M.V.P type career at Ohio State Pryor would go take on the National Football League. With the confidence of being a big-time athlete his entire life, Pryor would surely tackle his next task of being an NFL quarterback. That’s where things got a little bit rocky for Pryor. The throws and mental aspect of the game are very very tough in pro football. Defenders are bigger, stronger, and faster than they ever were in the past. Guy’s also put a target on high profile athletes almost wanting to knock them down a notch as well. Pryor ended up struggling, and while most people struggle in life at one point or another. Pryor did the thing anyone with strong character would do. He never gave up. After realizing he couldn’t make a roster as a quarterback. Pryor decided to offer his talents in other ways to NFL teams. At 6’4 240 pounds Pryor had the perfect height to make the transition to N.F.L wide receiver. He also boasted at 4.38 forty yard dash which seemed even more promising. However there are many skills that go into becoming an N.F.L receiver. Reading the defense, sitting in soft spots of the coverage, or even high pointing the football are all examples of skills in that position. Apparently Terrelle Pryor showed enough promise in those attributes to impress the Cleveland Browns. They announced their roster today and Terelle Pryor is indeed a member of their football team. Showing with perseverance nearly anything is possible. He should be an exciting story for the dog pound all seasons.
Charity of the day: National Veterans Services Fund
Go donate! www.nvsf.org
Photo credit: Tim Napazzi
Jarryd Hayne overcame all of the obstacles that prevented him from making the transition from the world of rugby to pro football. The San Francisco 49ers notified Hanye today that he would indeed be apart of the Niners 53 man roster. A move that was expected by many around the league but you never know with these type of situations at the end of the day. Hayne apparently did enough in his preseason efforts to win over first year head coach Jim Tomsula. Anyone who observed those preseason matches acknowledged that Hayne was outstanding in those four games. Putting up a combined 175 rushing yards on 25 carries over four games. What stands out most in Haynes highlights are the ability to make defenders miss on tackles. Hayne usually uses a jab step one way to set up a defender and then uses his superior running vision to cut the other way pass the defender. Almost Barry Sanders esque although it’s not quite fair to use those two names in the same sentence just yet. Hayne will have to continue this success in the regular season to keep pushing the envelope for his career. While he is still likely behind Reggie Bush, and Carlos Hyde. It’s hard for a coach to allow a guy with this kind of big play capability to sit on the bench for a long time. Maybe at first his role will be limited to just punt returning and a 3rd down running back role. Or maybe Hayne will do the unthinkable again and supplant the other Niners running backs. At this point there is no ruling this guy out of anything. The two time rugby player of the year made an NFL football team without ever playing football. If anything deserves a toast that is it. Congrats Jarryd Hayne you deserve it.
Photo credit: Matthew Straubmuller
Author: Jon Kuzma
Here is tough question for the upcoming football season. Reflecting back on the Nick Foles for Sam Bradford trade who is going to walk away the real winner? With many people coming out and praising Foles it makes you wonder if Chip Kelly made the right move? However on the opposite end of the spectrum Chip Kelly’s system is a proven success. Sam Bradford hasn’t looked to shabby in it either, in preseason action he went 13 of 15 for 3 passing touchdowns in his limited time. Bradford was praised by Kelly for his accuracy, quick release, and sound decision making. That seems to be transitioning well into Kelly’s offense as Bradford has been excellent thus far. How long will that last though? The preseason game against the Raven’s Bradford looked timid on the field after Sugg’s hit him with a questionable hit at the time. Even though Bradford was actually caring out a fake and it was a clean hit, the play clearly rattled Bradford and it’s something to keep an eye on in the future. Can Bradford battle through the adversity and rally this team late in the playoffs when the pressure is on? Only time will tell. Back to Foles it feels like the Rams got their guy in this swap. Many around the Rams facility have been saying they believe in Nick Foles. He has also received some notable praise for his leadership and how he always commands the team. Also going the extra mile in terms of being a positive force in the locker room. The guy has NFL quarterback size standing 6 feet 6 inches tall, and it’s safe to say he overachieved in Philly going to a Pro Bowl in 2014. It’s clear Foles has big time potential and even though Sam Bradford is succeeding right now. At the end of the day it feels like Foles is the more promising NFL prospect. All that matters is who produces more this season however and only these two players can determine that outcome.
Charity of the day: Accuracy in Media
Go donate! www.aim.org