Eric Fisher is demoted by the Chiefs:

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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.

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Terrelle Pryor makes the Browns and completes transition to WR:

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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.

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A toast to Jarryd Hayne: A pro football player

 

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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.

 

Who will have a better season Sam Bradford or Nick Foles?

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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.

 

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Torrey Smith shows he is a true gentleman of the league:

Panthers at Ravens 9/28/14

Photo credit: Keith Allison

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith is an outstanding player on the football field. Did you know he is also an outstanding person in life as well? The former Baltimore Ravens receiver is a positive force in his day to day life. Often trying to brighten the lives of people around him and give back to his community. You can tell Smith has a strong sense of faith, and he is known for always interacting with people on Twitter and giving fans encouragement. One particular tweeter was anything but a fan however. Twitter user Dario Webb or “@DWebb15” as his Twitter handle confirms. Had one of the most disgusting comments in Twitter history towards Smith stating “And your brother is still dead”. For those who don’t know Smith’s brother was tragically killed in motor cycle accident during the 2012 season. The following night Smith would play in an NFL game and have an outstanding performance before breaking down and crying on the sidelines. The moment was one of the better moments in sports because Smith was going through so much pain of losing someone he loved. And to see him have success during a time that was so troubling for him, instantly made you a Torrey Smith fan. Dario Webb’s comments are symbolic for the world we live in today. A place where social media trolls can make nasty comments without much repercussion. Yet those comments didn’t break Torrey Smith’s spirit. He lived up to that great character he has always had and turned the cheek to @DWebb15. Showing us all how a responsible human being accepts being berated by an unknown internet voice. Most people today have had to deal with this issue at some point and can take a note from Smith’s approach. For those of you that can’t….

Feel free to send your hate tweets to @DWebb15. He truly deserves it.

*Note- Don’t physically hurt the guy though. Rise above that madness.

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Charity of the  day: A Child’s Wish Association of America

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Is the end in sight for Roger Goodell?

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Photo credit: Anthony Quintano

The NFL’s uncontrolled and unregulated power came to a seizing halt in some retrospects today. Judge Richard Berman has decided to overturn the NFL’s suspension of Tom Brady because the NFL apparently didn’t follow the collective bargaining agreement close enough. Instead the NFL and Goodell chose to go above the C.B.A and take power into their own hands. They did this by putting together the Wells Report which took into account many events that happened during the deflategate scandal but none of the facts were concrete enough to stick to Brady. This has been a continuous pattern for Goodell who has been the law of the land for the NFL ever since taking over the position. It’s not that Goodell is a particularly bad guy, it’s just that he seems to have an arrogance about him. The guy clearly wants to clean up the league which is a good thing, it’s just that he has zero tolerance for the people who help put him in power. The NFL trying to take down Tom Brady is the equivalent of the Los Angeles Lakers trying to take down Magic Johnson in the 90’s. You just don’t turn on the people who help elevate you like that, and that is exactly what Roger Goodell has made a living off. Turning on the people who helped make the league what it is. Ben Roethlisberger, Adrian Peterson, and Ray Rice were all examples of prolific players that had to face the wrath of Goodell. That is just some of the more marquee names as well. The list goes on much longer to lesser known players and incidents as well. The fact is Goodell has tried to maintain a squeaky clean image while at the same time throwing the NFL’s biggest stars under the bus. A recipe for disaster as those actions will clearly alienate people around the league. Goodell should take a page out of some of the other major league commissioners books and learn to coexist with players and people affiliated with the league. Instead he comes off like a guy who is dull and is socially inept. A bad sign for the NFL and it might be time for the league to turn the page. The brand is so big right now that a fresh new face might be able to catapult the league to new heights. How many people would be all for the move?

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Charity of the  day: A Child’s Wish Association of America

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Have we already seen the best of Russell Wilson?

Seahawks at Redskins 10/6/14

Photo credit: Keith Allison

There comes a point when a pro athlete becomes so high profile that sometimes they can’t deal with that amount of fame. How many times have we seen a pro athlete make it to the top and become complacent? A story all to familiar in pro sports, and Wilson is heading into that same uncharted territory. Just a year after making it to the Super Bowl and bringing a title back to Seattle. Wilson found himself on the goal line of the end zone ready to repeat as Super Bowl champion. If Wilson is as bright and calculated as he tries to appear how come he didn’t have the football I.Q to change that play at the line of scrimmage? Even if he didn’t tell anyone else on the offense what was happening, he could have took that snap and kept it himself on a run up the gut for the win. That lack of ability to understand the circumstances and have the moxie and guts to break the chain of command is what makes Super Bowl Winners. Notice how winners is plural. Do you honestly think Tom Brady or Eli Manning would of let that play happen? Not to mention Wilson has numerous distractions going on in his personal life. He is currently now dating singer Ciara, how many times have we seen a high profile athlete date a high profile celebrity and regress on the field? Justin Verlander was an outstanding pitcher for the Detroit Tigers until he reached the summit and landed Kate Upton. That same formula could end up hurting Wilson down the stretch. Finally, lately as he becomes more of a public figure you can tell Wilson is trying to unveil his true self. Which seems to be a religious freak. His attempt to say his “spirit water” helped him recover from a concussion in a playoff game is only a comment that a religious nut job would make. The guy seems like a great guy at first glance, but so do most politicians as well. Most at endzoneblog.com are not sold on Russell Wilson and it will be interesting to see if he falls short or exceeds expectations this upcoming season.

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After an AFC East shake-up, how will the Defending Champs fare in 2015?

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Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Joey Carr

For pretty much every year since the turn of the century the AFC East has been dominated by one team: the New England Patriots. With the exception of a couple of fluke years in the early 2000’s and the 2008 season that saw Matt Cassel take the helm, the Patriots have controlled the AFC East. This is no doubt due to the dynamic duo that is Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Possibly the greatest coach-quarterback combo the NFL has even seen, Belichick and Brady almost effortlessly have their way with their division year in and year out. However, with some significant departures in the offseason for New England and the Deflategate suspension looming, are the stars aligning for the rest of the AFC East? Some massive revamps and key additions have a lot of people thinking: yes.

For starters, each team signed or traded for players that are arguably the best at their respected position. The Buffalo Bills traded for Lesean McCoy, possibly the best running back in the league over the past three years. Last year, Shady was only second to Demarco Murray in touches with 312 carries and third in yards with 1,319. However, they gave up Kiko Alonso, by far their best linebacker and a leader on the Bills scary defense. They also gained a head coach that appears in headlines more than most celebrities, Rex Ryan. The former Jets coach promises to deliver an exciting and “Super Bowl bound” season for the Bills Mafia. The Miami Dolphins attracted Ndamukong Suh, a force to be reckoned with along the defensive front. Suh, one of the best interior defensive lineman and one of the dirtiest players in the league, figures to add to an already formidable front seven that boasts Cameron Wake on the outside. Although, a questionable secondary and linebacker corps could prove costly for the Fins when the season begins. While also signing quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a 4 year $96 million dollar contract extension, the Dolphins look to be a threat to the Patriots for years to come. However, another turnover at the wide receiver position that saw the departure of Charles Clay (replaced with Jordan Cameron), Mike Wallace (replaced with Kenny Stills), and Brian Hartline (replaced with Devante Parker) might be enough to see a slump from Tannehill at the start of the season that could jeopardize their chance at a playoff spot. The New York Jets saw an offseason that lost Rex Ryan but gained a defensive genius in Todd Bowles, the former Arizona defensive coordinator. They also landed a few toys for Bowles to play with in the secondary, namely Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Buster Skrine. Reuniting Cromartie and Revis is huge not only for the Jets, but the fans as well. The past couple of seasons have been tumultuous for the Jets faithful and a revamped secondary and intimidating front seven, even without Sheldon Richardson, promises an improved season. Of course, there are problems with the quarterbacks in the AFC East, specifically with the Bills, Jets, and surprisingly the Patriots. The Bills have named 5-year vet Tyrod Taylor their starter, but he has yet to prove himself as a solid player. The Jets seemingly always have a problem at quarterback and now with Geno Smith out for at least 6 weeks due to a fractured jaw courtesy of his own teammate, Ryan Fitzpatrick looks to lead the Jets but uncertainty surrounds him, along with the entire Jets offense. And now, the Patriots; Tom Brady will eventually lead the defending champs but time will tell

when he will. Until then, Jimmy Garropolo gets thrust into the spotlight. After a decent 2014 season where he showed glimpses of talent, Patriots personnel feel like he will be the guy to eventually replace Tom Terrific. He has shown promise throughout this preseason but has also shown weaknesses. Depending on the Deflategate decision, the Patriots could start the season with a question mark at the quarterback position for the first time since the Belichick era began.

Time seems to be the tell all with the Patriots and the AFC East. When will Brady start for the Pats? Will the acquisitions made be enough to impact the Pats run at another title? Is this the year another AFC East team knocks off the champs? Only time will tell and answer these questions. However, one thing is certain: Buffalo, Miami, and New York are all gaining ground in the hunt to take down the winners of Super Bowl 49.

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Charity of the day: Ocean Conservancy

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