Jared Goff is winning over teammates and impressing in Los Angeles:

Photo credit: Harry How / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Los Angeles Rams went all in when they traded up to draft Jared Goff number 1 in the 2016 NFL Draft. Now with team OTA’s going on for the Rams, Goff has been living up to expectations in Oxnard California. Goff has shown great poise in the workouts and also has been praised for his quick release. Teammate Todd Gurley stated that he likes Goff’s composure calling him a laid back leader who seems to understand the game well. That is exactly what the Rams need to take the next step in the National Football League and it will be fun to watch Gurley and Goff headline the new Los Angeles Rams offense. First Jared Goff will have to beat out the other quarterbacks during the off-season workouts and prove that he is the best option for this football team. While everyone expects him to be the starter in week 1, he still has to come out and earn his job like all the other players. With Nick Foles and Case Keenum still on the roster you’d think Goff would be able to beat those guys out. Especially since it appears Foles could be departing the team. That leaves last year’s starting quarterback (at the end of the year) Case Keenum in Goff’s path for the starting job. Keenum went undrafted while Goff was the number 1 pick in the draft so it’s clear who is the more talented player there. So things are certainly looking good for Jared Goff and if he continues to keep raising the bar for this team good things are coming for the Los Angeles Rams. This is the rebirth of the Rams in Los Angeles and Goff is the perfect pick to lead this franchise back into limelight. Expect big things from Goff and the Rams in the near future

Charity of the day: Animal Welfare Institute

Go donate! www.awionline.org

Allen Hurns: undrafted all the way to a $40 million dollar contract

Photo credit: Sam Greenwood / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Jacksonville Jaguars got a big time player when they signed undrafted free agent Allen Hurns to their roster in 2014. Hurns was an outstanding receiver at the university of Miami and his efforts in Coral Gables helped him land the opportunity with the Jaguars. Since joining Jacksonville Hurns has done nothing but overachieve. His rookie season he hauled in 600 yards and 6 touchdowns and he was able to improve those numbers in his second year recording 1,031 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Those are elite level stats and it’s clear that Alex Hurns is a much better player than his undrafted status suggests. The Jaguars front office clearly recognized this and that is why the team inked Hurns to a 4 year $40 million dollar contract extension today. The move will keep Hurns in Jacksonville till 2020 and more importantly it will keep Bortles’ second most impressive receiver in the fold for the long haul. Allen Robinson is the best receiving option on the team and together with Hurns they make up a very dynamic receiver corps. Blake Bortles also elevates those two players with his exceptional play as well. Those 3 players have such a huge impact on that organization and are big part of why the team started to gain some positive momentum. They were rewarded for those efforts by landing a wealth of talent this off-season and now Hurns and company will have a better shot at winning than they’ve ever had. Keep an eye on whether or not Allen Hurns continues his dominance on the football field. Another 1,000 yard season would go a long way for his personal legacy and if you’re a fantasy football team owner Hurns could be a great addition to your roster come draft time. Especially since you can get great value for him by drafting him later on.

Charity of the day: Unbound

Go donate! www.unbound.org

Demaryius Thomas is still getting the job done for the Denver Broncos:

Photo credit: Justin Edmonds / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Denver Broncos got an outstanding player when they drafted Demaryius Thomas in the 1st round of the 2010 Draft. Since then Thomas has put the team on his back and has consistently been the Broncos best receiver. Who ever wins the Denver starting quarterback position will come into a winning environment because of players like Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Both guys get the job done and will provide more than competent weapons on the edges for when Paxton Lynch rises up and seizes the job. That group could be very dynamic and the Broncos would be in a lot worse shape if they didn’t have Demaryius Thomas making plays for this offense. Thomas hauled in 1,304 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns in 2015. Those are big time numbers and while you’d like to the see the touchdown total a little higher, you still have to respect the 1,300 yards. That means Thomas was consistently putting up 100 yard receiving games week in and week out for Denver, showing how dependable this guy can truly be. When you watch film on Thomas you are even more impressed. Thomas can beat you with a fade up the sideline and he can beat you with post route. He also can beat you by faking a post and then quickly running a flag route. Not to mention you can throw a bubble screen to Demaryius Thomas and the guy is great after the catch with the ball in his hands. Some that makes him a possession receiver and a yards after catch type of player. Showing that Demaryius Thomas can do just about anything on a football field. He is leader of the Denver Broncos receiving corps and a spectacular football player when it’s all said and done.

Charity of the day: Unbound

Go donate! www.unbound.org

Ryan Fitzpatrick will reportedly sign a 1 year contract worth $12 million with the Jets

Photo credit: Jeff Zelevansky / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The New York Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick have been negotiating a contract for far longer than either side would have liked to. After 4 months of contact talks lingering over the New York Jets football team, sources around the league have learned that Ryan Fitzpatrick would be open to signing a 1 year contract for $12 million dollars. That one year contract would give Fitzpatrick the best option in terms of maximizing payout from the Jets and even though Fitz deserve a little more it still is the most he was going to get out of New York. The good news is Fitzpatrick will be able to test free agency again in 2017 and if he has a good season that could mean a chance at another big payday. The bad news for the Jets is he could very well bail on the team after having a big year and they won’t have him for the long duration like they would of if they just paid the guy what he deserved. At the same time though if Fitzpatrick busts in 2016 on the field, the Jets won’t have to be tied into a contract that they weren’t comfortable with signing to begin with. So the situation has a lot of different angles and variables, which is the main reason New York took their time to think out the process. Truthfully the team should be rushing to sign Fitzpatrick for $12 million because they will significantly drop off if he isn’t on the team’s roster. Geno Smith or Christian Hackenberg are no where ready to lead yet and the Jets got really lucky that Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t sign elsewhere. If this deal does materialize it will be great news for Jets fans and gang green will have their best chance of success since the early Rex Ryan days. Now it’s all about putting the ink on the bottom line and actually making it happen!

Charity of the day: Scholarship America

Go donate! www.scholarshipamerica.org

The Jimmy Graham experiment didn’t go as well as expected for the Seattle Seahawks in 2015:

Photo credit: Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Seattle Seahawks got a heck of a football player when they traded for Jimmy Graham. Graham is a big time tight end and he was supposed to pair along nicely with quarterback Russell Wilson. While Graham showed signs of promise by hauling in 605 receiving yards, his 2 touchdown receptions were much less than expected. Now in year 2 Graham will try to grow within his role the team and optimize his production. He will do that by staying healthy and working on that chemistry with Russell Wilson. If the two can establish a rhythm in the passing game that would go a long way in the teams NFC West efforts. Graham can work the middle of the field well but Wilson works better extending plays. Both Wilson and Graham will have to understand how each other react to certain situations. After a year of playing together you have to think that a lot of those wrinkles are worked out. We will see if that results in a spike of Jimmy Graham’s offensive output and it will certainly help that he is more comfortable in Seattle now. Compared to how he was when he was first traded to Seattle and had to meet all the new faces in the locker room. Now with Marshawn Lynch gone the Seahawks might have to rely more on the passing game and that also could be a good sign for Graham. This team depends on Russell Wilson’s legs to make plays for them in their offensive passing game. So that is going to be a big portion of the offense. That means more targets for Graham and ultimately more results for the Seahawks tight end. While Jimmy Graham didn’t do as well as everyone expected in 2015, it’s clear the days ahead are much brighter and he will only get better in this upcoming season for Seattle.

Charity of the day: Scholarship America

Go donate! www.scholarshipamerica.org

Gerald McCoy is about as tough as it gets when it comes to interior defensive lineman:

Photo credit: Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

That Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense all starts upfront with Gerald McCoy. McCoy is a defensive tackle who overwhelms opposing offensive lineman on every single snap. In fact McCoy was so good in 2015 that he earned the ranking of 63rd best player in the league in the NFL’s Top 100 poll which measures the leagues best 100 players. McCoy had 8.5 sacks in 2015 and those are big numbers from a player that is an interior defensive lineman. McCoy showed an unusually quick burst and was constantly in the offensive backfield. Those abilities make him such a key piece to the Bucs defensive efforts and it always helps when you win in the trenches. Gerald McCoy makes that possible for Tampa Bay and outside of quarterbacks, defensive line is the most important position on the field. When you have a great defensive line it allows you take away the opposing team’s running game. You also consistently get pressure on opposing quarterbacks which drastically improves the defensive team’s chances of winning. McCoy is the foundation of those things for Tampa and he makes everyone else’s job on that defense easier. Buccaneers defensive backs don’t have to cover as long when Gerald Mccoy is on the field and the linebackers are better protected when Mccoy is going as well. That is because McCoy is constantly drawing double teams and that leaves one other player on Tampa’s defense unaccounted for. So you can see just how many ways Gerald McCoy has an impact and keep an eye on whether or not he can improve his 63rd ranking by having a big year. If that happens the Buccaneers chances for success will greatly increase and we will see if they can gain some ground in the NFC South. The team will improve with Winston’s growth and McCoy has to handle things on the opposite side of the ball. Expect him to continue to do so and the Buccaneers are certainly trending upward right now.

Charity of the day: Breast Cancer Fund

Go donate! www.breastcancerfund.org

NaVorro Bowman is still playing at a high level in the National Football League:

Photo credit: Thearon W. Henderson

Author: Getty Images Sport

San Francisco linebacker Navorro Bowman is still getting the job done at inside linebacker for the 49ers. Bowman is entering his 7th season of professional action and will look to keep playing at a high level which he has done his entire career. Last year Bowman recorded 116 career tackles and that was coming off an injury that sidelined him for all of 2014. That just goes to show that not only is Bowman a tremendous player, but he also has the toughness and grit to battle back from adversity. The 49ers got a great leader when they drafted Novorro Bowman in the 3rd round of the 2010 Draft and he has given the team a lot of production over those 6 years. You have to remember this is guy who is 242 pounds and runs a 4.59 40 yard dash. That allows him to flow from sideline to sideline and make a lot of big plays for this defense. He can bench press 225 pounds 26 times as well. So if a blocker does get their hands on Bowman he is usually able to use his strength to disengage the blocker and finish the play. When you combine all those skill sets together his speed, tenacity, and ability to read plays you begin to see why NaVarro Bowman is one of the best inside linebackers in the league. Now with Chip Kelly at the helm for the 49ers it will be up to Bowman to set the tone for Kelly’s defense. DeForest Buckner will certainly help add to that group and together all of these talented players will be tasked with getting the job done for the Niners. With the Cardinals winning the division last year they are the team setting the bar in the NFC West. It will be up to the newly led Chip Kelly 49ers and Navarro Bowman to eliminate that gap. We will see how they do when the season roll around.

Charity of the day: Breast Cancer Fund

Go donate! www.breastcancerfund.org

The Navy made the right move by allowing Keenan Reynolds to play in the NFL:

Photo credit: Elsa

Photo credit: Jon Kuzma

Former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 6th round of 2016 NFL Draft. However in order to play in the National Football League the former Midshipmen quarterback first had to get approval from the Naval Academy to defer his service. In the past we have seen the Army deny Caleb Campbell a former Detroit Lions draft pick a chance to play in 2008. The Navy at end of the day though made the right move and allowed Reynolds the chance to play and he will look to be on the Ravens roster when week 1 rolls along. That won’t be easy considering that Reynolds will have to go through a position change moving from quarterback to wide receiver in the pros. Yet the Ravens saw enough in Reynolds to draft him and that is a good sign of his athletic ability. There has even been some discussions about putting Reynolds at kick-returner and letting him make a play for the team that way. Reynolds ran a 4.57 40 yard dash so he isn’t slow by any means and when the season rolls around we will see if he can put it altogether and be a complete player. This guy overachieved big time at Navy rushing for 3 straight seasons of over 1,000 yards. Now the Ravens are hoping those skills translate over to the pro level and if they do the Ravens are getting a heck of a football player with a late round pick. Ozzie Newsome is getting a lot of value with this pick and look for the Ravens to incorporate this guy into the mix a few different ways. Maybe even throwing a pass on a reverse or something along those lines. The Navy also made the right move letting Reynolds play because it shows other prospects coming out of the Navy that they will get that same opportunity. That makes the Navy a more desirable location for future players and their program might get a boost from this move. Keep an eye on Keenan Reynolds in 2016.

Charity of the day: Arbor Day Foundation

Go donate! www.arborday.org

Cowboys will rely on their stable of running backs to keep Tony Romo healthy:

Photo credit: Tom Pennington

Author: Jon Kuzma

Tony Romo is coming off two shoulder injuries in 2015 and in order to keep Romo healthy the Cowboys want to rely on their running game to take the pressure off their quarterback. With Darren McFadden, Ezekiel Elliott, and Alfred Morris all on the Cowboys roster that should be enough offensive firepower to become a “run first” football team. Not to mention the Cowboys have been praised for their offensive line efforts over the last couple seasons and when you combine that group with this strong running back group you understand why the Cowboys could soon become a ground and pound type of team. That formula worked well for the Denver Broncos last season with Cj Anderson and Ronnie Hillman, The Cowboys backfield could be even better with two former first round draft picks in McFadden and Elliot. Truthfully Alfred Morris is no slouch either so those are three very dynamic players that can mow you down by committee. The Cowboys coaching staff have said out the gate the starting job will be McFadden’s but with the team drafting Elliot in the 1st round he will be expected to have a big role sooner rather than later. Expect Elliot to eventually seize the position and the Cowboys will be in great shape spelling Morris or McFadden when Elliot gets tired. McFadden did have a 1,000 yards rushing last season, so maybe Elliot doesn’t take his job right away. However at the end of the day the best player will be on the field because the team ultimately wants to win. We will see who that is in the season opener and the high level of competition should yield great results for the Cowboys running game. The bar is set very high and all three guys want to win this job. Those three players will keep the ball on ground often and that means less chances for Romo to get hit.

Charity of the day:  Arbor Day Foundation

Go donate! www.arborday.org

Earl Thomas is as good as ever heading into his 7th season of action:

Photo credit: Otto Greule Jr

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Seattle Seahawks have a special player in free safety Earl Thomas. Thomas is such a dynamic playmaker in the Seahawks defense and plays a huge role in the team’s defensive success. Thomas is usually used in over the top coverage allowing him to play in deep halves or deep thirds coverage. That allows him to read the play and react quicker than most players in the league. Thomas had 5 interceptions in 2015 and those are big time numbers for a safety. Recently Thomas dropped in the NFL Network’s Top 100 ranking from 21st to 66th which rates the best players in the NFL. However that drop only came because the Seahawks have regressed as a team. Earl Thomas is still playing at a very high level and when you are coming off a 5 interception season your rating should never go down. Not to mention Earl Thomas has 21 interceptions over the course of his 6 season career. So this is a guy who gets it done year in and year out and has the ability to change games for his defense. He does that by consistently getting his hands on the football and creating turnovers for his team. Nobody is better at the tip drill than Earl Thomas either. Anytime a football gets tipped in the air you can almost guarantee Earl Thomas is going to come down with it. When you watch his tape you are amazed by how many times a teammate tipped it up and Earl Thomas snatched it out of the air to finish the play for the Seahawks’ defense. That just goes to show the awareness that Thomas has and he would be a big time player on any team in this league. The Seahawks have a player in Earl Thomas who cleans up a lot of mistakes made by the players in front of him and he was crucial during the Seahawks Super Bowl run. If Seattle wants to keep that defensive edge they’ve had for so long they need Earl Thomas to be at his best and you know he prepares himself better than most. That would lead you to believe he will continue to play at a high level for at least 3 more seasons and expect Thomas to be an x-factor again in 2016.

Charity of the day: Cancer Research Institute

Go donate! www.cancerresearch.org

1 159 160 161 162 163 212