The Eagles will lose Lane Johnson for 10 games due to a PEDs violation:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The Philadelphia Eagles got some bad news today when they were notified that starting right tackle Lane Johnson could potentially be suspended for a performance enhancing drug violation. Johnson who was suspended for 4 games for PEDs use back in 2014 will now get a much stiffer sentence and that means the Eagles will be without their best offensive lineman for the majority of the season. Not exactly the plan Philadelphia had in mind when they re-signed Johnson to a 6 year $66 million dollar contract in January. So clearly the Eagles are going to miss Johnson, he has started 44 games for this offense and has played outstanding while he has been on the field. The Eagles will now have to count on the next guy in line to step up and that looks like it could be Denny Kelly or Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Still though when you have a first year coach you want all your talent on the field to give that new coach the best chance to succeed. Johnson slipped up again by not being in compliance with the league policy on performance enhancing drugs and you have to wonder if the Eagles are nervous about their $66 million dollar investment in Johnson. That is a lot of money to shell out only to have that player not even be eligible to play on Sundays. Johnson’s teammates deserved more from Johnson and certainly Doug Pederson deserved more from Lane Johnson. Number 65 needs to learn to hold himself accountable and he also needs to do a better job of understanding the substances that are going into his body. When he does finally return to the team, making this mistake again can’t be an option for him because that would likely result in a year long suspension. Which would ultimately mean Lane Johnson’s career would officially be in limbo. Lets hope it doesn’t end up getting that bad and keep an eye on what happens with this situation. This could be a huge loss for the Eagles moving forward.

Charity of the day: Africare

Go donate! www.africare.org

Amari Cooper could be even more dynamic in his second season:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The Oakland Raiders have one of the brightest young talents at the wide receiver position and that player is none other than Amari Cooper. Cooper is a 6 foot 1 wide receiver with tremendous pass catching ability and 4.4 speed (40 yard dash). So this is player who has all the physical tools to be great in this league and when you add in the fact that Cooper has natural football instincts as well, you begin to see why Cooper has been so successful over the course of his football career. He was the most talented wide receiver in college football with the Alabama Crimson Tide and he didn’t skip a beat in his rookie season with the Raiders. Cooper was able to haul in 1,070 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns during his rookie campaign. That was despite the fact that Cooper battled a foot injury which affected his whole style of play. Being hampered by that injury didn’t stop Amari Cooper from going over the 1,000 yards receiving mark and when you have a player who achieves that great of feat while being banged up, you know he is a special player. Now that Cooper is back to full health and a year wiser he should be able to put together a pretty impressive sophomore season in the NFL. Quarterback Derek Carr will be more polished as well so that could also result in a spike for Cooper’s production. So all the signs are looking good for the talented Raiders receiver and expect Amari Cooper to keep doing what he has always done on the football field. Get open and continue to make big plays for his offense. Something that has always came easy for 2nd year player and he will certainly be a big piece to the puzzle as the Raiders look to conquer the AFC West this upcoming season.

Charity of the day: Food for the Hungry

Go donate! www.fh.org

The Buffalo Bills have been hammered by injuries:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

Rex Ryan can’t be pleased with how hard the Buffalo Bills have been hit by injuries. The team has seen Sammy Watkins go down, Shaq Lawson go down, and Reggie Ragland also partially tore his ACL. After having some key players get banged up with significant injuries it was easy to see Ryan’s frustration at Bills practice when starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor leaped over two defenders into the end zone. Ryan about lost it and later told the media “Are you kidding me?” So clearly Ryan wasn’t happy about Tyrod Taylor choosing to overexert himself at Bill training camp and Ryan also stated Taylor “needs to take care of himself.” Clearly Buffalo is feeling the affects of the loss of talent and if Ryan wants to secure his future with the team he needs to get these key players healthy. He can do that by taking it slow and letting them fully recover but unfortunately Ryan doesn’t have much time. It’s already been rumored that Ryan is on the hot seat and the team will need to produce this year to avoid any changes. That means Tyrod Taylor will have to be on the field for every single snap and hopefully the Bills starting quarterback will understand the responsibility he has to his teammates. You have to think Taylor was just having fun but the stakes are high when you’re the starting quarterback of a professional football team. The Bills organization has invested $2 million dollars in Taylor for the 2016 season and they have to protect that investment. Hopefully Ryan will have Taylor on a short leash heading forward and it would be nice to see the Bills get all of these guys back on the field. No one wants to see a team fall apart due to injuries.

Charity of the day: Food for the Hungry

Go donate! www.fh.org

The fact that the NFL had to cancel a game is baffling:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The National Football League is highest grossing sports league in the world. It’s been reported that the National Football League as a whole makes over 9 billion dollars in annual revenue and that is why it’s concerning when the most powerful professional sports league has to cancel a football game. That happened tonight when the Hall of Fame game which featured the Colts and Packers was nixed due to subpar field conditions. Apparently the paint used on the feel had been congealing and that led to a rubber paint substance being left on the field. That substance was very slippery and could of caused an injury to one of the players. Rather than risk it, the game was eventually called off. The problem with this situation is the fact that no solution was made to play the game at another venue. Why didn’t the league contact a local high school and work out a deal to move the game there? That surely would of been a better course of action than leaving the fans who traveled long distances for the game out to dry. The other thing that stands out is the fact that the league stated the field passed the condition test early on in the day. Which means the league knew the field might not be ready to go but yet no alternative approach was taken. This is truthfully a black eye for the league because it makes the organizers look less than competent. How does a professional sports league in 2016 honestly cancel their season opening event? Especially after all the promotions that went into it, and after all the coordination that was involved. It’s something you just don’t see happen everyday and the NFL really needs to reel themselves in after this setback. Goodell can’t be happy with this blunder and truthfully he shouldn’t be the league let a lot of people down this evening and it’s unacceptable.

Charity of the day: National Council on Aging

Go donate! www.ncoa.org

Drew Brees has been struggling at Saints training camp:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

They say father time is undefeated, meaning that time eventually catches up to all of us and sooner or later things have to come to an end. That is the thought you have in the back of your mind when you hear that Drew Brees has been struggling at the Saints training camp practices. The veteran quarterback who has thrown for 5,000 yards in a season 4 different times seems to be losing a step and maybe that is why the Saints have show reluctance when it comes to re-signing Brees. Apparently Brees has been intercepted several times throughout those preseason practice sessions. The offense as a whole has been sluggish as well, that wasn’t supposed to be the situation for New Orleans and you have to wonder if the team is going to go in a different direction after this season. That will most likely be the situation if Brees doesn’t have an outstanding 2016 season and how crazy is it that Brees one of the leagues most gifted passers now finds himself auditioning for his own job. It just goes to show that time truly is undefeated and even the best players will start to regress in the twilight of their career. Brees has had such a great run and has blown us away with his stellar play time and time again. It’s hard to see him struggle to play the game but this might be an indicator of what’s to come from Brees during the year. Keep an eye on whether or not he struggles during the regular season. Brees is 37 years old and there’s no telling how much he has left in the tank? Especially with all these young and talented defenders trying to take his head off every single play. So the Saints find themselves in a situation where they are evaluating Brees day by day and after this season a decision will be made. That is if he doesn’t strike a long term deal with New Orleans before that. Right now his play would indicate that he doesn’t get that contract.

Charity of the day: National Council on Aging

Go donate! www.ncoa.org

Brett Favre owned the night during his HOF induction:

Photo credit: Sporting News / Sporting News Archive

Author: Jon Kuzma

When the nominees for the 2016 Hall of Fame induction came out one player received overwhelming support. That player was Brett Favre and the former gunslinger enters the Hall of Fame as arguably one of the greatest players to ever play the game. From 2007 to 2015 Favre had the most career wins by any quarterback ever (199). That was only passed by Peyton Manning who finished his career with 200 wins but still Favre paved the way for the next generation of talented passers. The game would be no where near what it is today with out Favre’s lay it all on the field mentality. He transitioned pro football from a run and defend sport to a passing league. Favre did that with his arm strength, accuracy, and ability to deliver strikes through the air time and time again. It was historic watching number 4 take the field for the Packers and many remember Favre as the face of NFL’s Quarterback Club for Nintendo 64. So not only did Favre transition us to a league where quarterbacks dominated, he also ushered us into the video game era as well. Brett Favre goes into the Hall of Fame with a laundry list of NFL records and maybe none more impressive than his 508 touchdowns passes and 71,838 passing yards. Those numbers let you know just how dominant Favre truly was and there is a reason he joked around and said he could still play “3-30 snaps” in a game this year. It’s because Favre has the ability to defy traditional circumstances and he proved that when he played at 41 years old back in 2010. So this is clearly a player who left his mark on the game and now he will be enshrined in Canton forever. Future quarterbacks should take notice of how Favre conducted himself throughout his career. He was a player who was never afraid to risk it all and that philosophy made him one of the best to ever do it. There will never be another Brett Favre.

Charity of the day: Prevent Cancer Foundation

Go donate! www.preventcancer.org

Eric Ebron went down at Lions practice with an achilles injury:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The Detroit Lions had a major setback today when Eric Ebron went down with an achilles injury to his right leg. The former 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft has under produced since being drafted by the Lions and now it’s unsure whether he will be on the field at all for the 2016 season. Ebron who is extremely talented has never been able to put together any consistency on the field for Detroit and the team was really hoping to get that out of him this year. Now the Lions are unsure if they will get anything from Ebron and truthfully you’d hate to see this happen to a player. Things were just getting to the point where Eric Ebron was going to be able to make am impact. Now he will have an uphill battle trying to get back on the field after this injury and the fact that he got carted off the field makes you cringe if you’re a lions fan. The good news for Detroit is the fact that Ebron told some teammates that he is going to be alright. So maybe that means the injury won’t be season ending, still it was a scary moment for a young player and the result will mean Jim Bob Cooter will have one less talented athlete in his offense early on. Matthew Stafford needs this guy to work the middle of the field for the Lions offense and it’s just bad luck having Ebron go down. Eric Ebron will wait for the official diagnosis of what the injury is. That will ultimately decided whether or not if he is able to go at all this year. Still you have to think at a minimum if there is nothing major wrong with Ebron he will still be out at least a month. Which will set his progression back and he will have to work to get back into game shape after the injury. We know that experiencing an injury will be awful for everyone, sometimes it can really affect your life. One thing that you might want to consider to help you recover quicker with your injury is getting a good mattress to sleep in (you can check out mattress sizes here), this is only one tip to help you recover from your injury. Obviously, there is a tough road ahead of Eric Ebron and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Charity of the day: Prevent Cancer Foundation

Go donate! www.preventcancer.org

The Browns should be cautious about pushing RG3 into a leadership role:

Photo credit: Rich Schultz / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Hue Jackson made a big decision when he decided to bring in Robert Griffin the 3rd and now it seems like Jackson is committed to starting Griffin. Griffin has taken all the first team reps at Browns training camp and that is certainly a reflection of what the coaching staff is thinking. While Griffin has received praise from those around Browns camp, Jackson and company should be cautious about handing the torch to Griffin. While Griffin has definitely made strides in his own progression there are a few things that still stand out when watching Griffin throw. First and foremost his mechanics don’t seem that smooth. When he transfers his kinetic energy throughout his throws it doesn’t go smoothly. There is almost a hitch in Griffin’s throwing mechanics and that doesn’t make for a positive evaluation. Another red flag is the velocity in which Griffin throws the football. Often his spirals are wobbly and it also seems like the football comes off Griffin’s hand in an unorthodox and less than ideal fashion. Finally the last thing that stands out when watching Griffin throw is the fact that he doesn’t handle the pass rush well. Griffin hasn’t had to face any real pressure yet so that weakness hasn’t been exposed. You can almost guarantee though when the regular season rolls around those struggles will come back from Griffin. The only player who had worse happy feet than Griffin was Joey Harrington back with the Detroit Lions. Both Griffin and Harrington struggled with their footwork, and never truly had their feet under them during throws. That has to change with the Browns if Griffin wants to lead this football team and that is why the Browns should be cautious about championing Griffin. It’s also a bold move to demote Josh McCown who seems superior mechanically. So the Browns are making some drastic decisions and they have to be conscious about the repercussions of those choices. We will see if RG3 ends up being the player the Browns coaching staff thinks he is.

Charity of the day: Child Find of America

Go donate! www.childfindofamerica.org

Brandon Marshall and Darrelle Revis were at odds today at Jets camp:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

It’s not everyday that you see two of a team’s best players nearly fighting it out, today at Jets camp spectators got to see that. Brandon Marshall and Darrelle Revis were flat out battling all day long at practice today. The two trash talked each other at the line of scrimmage, the two trash talked each other on the sidelines, and the match up was extremely physical on every single play. Revis was doing a great job of jamming Marshall at the line and frustrating the receiver. On the opposite side of the ball Marshall was able to get behind Revis for an 80 yard touchdown. The competition couldn’t of been higher and while some people would of been frustrated by this camp battle, it will only end up being a good thing for the Jets heading into the season. As a coach you want your players battle tested and that is exactly what Marshall and Revis were doing. They were pushing each others limits and making sure that both players elevate themselves. While things weren’t completely positive, especially when Marshall took a swing at Revis. Head Coach Todd Bowles praised the competition and stated that football is a chippy sport. Bowles went as far as to praise Marshall for trash talking Revis because he said players should do anything they can to get an advantage on the field. Bowles is right, the on the field battle are so intense in the NFL that players are looking to not only dominate opponents physically. They also trying to crack their opponents mentally as well by getting under their skin. If a player can’t handle that emotional turmoil in practice they will be in a lot of trouble come game day. Revis certainly understands this and that is why this situation will likely blow over. The veteran defensive back is a key piece for the Jets defense and is one of the top corners in the league. It will take more than trash talk to derail Darrelle Revis but as long as the two keep the competition clean it will be a great test of both players.

Charity of the day: Child Find of America

Go donate! www.childfindofamerica.org

 

The New York Giants add depth by signing Leon Hall:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The New York Giants have been working hard all off-season to upgrade their defense and now the team has signed Leon Hall to boost their secondary. The Giants who had one of the worst defenses in the league last year will get some much needed depth with the Hall signing. Hall had 2 interceptions last season and can still provide some production heading into his 10th season. Hall should blend nicely with the additions of Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple to the defensive backfield and the team is certainly more talented this year on the back end of the defense. That will hopefully will translate into more passes defended for the G-men and New York fans have to be much more optimist than they were just a year ago. When you also factor in the Giants added Oliver Vernon and Damon Harrison to bolster their pass rushing efforts you can see why the Giants will likely improve their defensive ranking in 2016. There is much more talent on the field on the defensive side of the ball and that should mesh well with the Giants potent offense. The team is definitely closing the gap between Redskins and their selves. So the NFC East should be very interesting this upcoming season. Hall and company can help eliminate the tough receiving threats in the conference and that wasn’t the case for the Giants in 2015. So clearly signing Leon Hall was a good move for this team,  although we aren’t sure what kind of role he is going to play. However it’s been rumored Hall will likely play in a nickel position because he works well in the slot. That means Eli Apple could get bumped down the depth chart but truthfully that will give the young rookie time to learn behind Hall and the other DB’s on the team. Essentially making this signing another good deal for the New York Giants. Give Jerry Reese some praise he did well this off-season.

Charity of the day: National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund

Go donate! www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org

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