Photo credit: Harry How / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
With the NFL combine finishing up and reviews of just about every big time college player taking place. I would like to state that I’m not a big fan of this years quarterback draft class. While it’s usually best to choose a quarterback who is slightly oversized, it’s hard to be convinced Jameis Winston is that guy. Yes has everything I want in a quarterback. Great size, a big arm, and played at a big time college program. However it’s his decision making on and off the field that worry me. If you could take away the bone headed mistakes Winston has made off the field, I would be a hundred percent a supporter of his and draft him without second thought number one overall. The fact is though Winston hasn’t shown the maturity to hand him the reigns of a whole NFL franchise. When looking at him it seems very much like the pick the Buccaneers used on Josh Freeman out of Kansas State. A very talented quarterback coming out of college standing similar in stature to Winston. Freeman was slightly bigger being 6’6 240 while Winston is 6’4 230. The difference there being Winston was a much more accomplished passer during his time in the colligate ranks. Putting up about twenty touchdowns more than Freeman in a year less of time at the helm. The good news for Winston is scouts were amped about his football I.Q at the combine many saying “he has the best football I.Q we have ever seen”. I wonder how Peyton Manning feels about that?
The Buc’s will undoubtedly have a tough decision to make with the number 1 pick. It’s always tough when you’re in the position that the Buc’s are in coming off a two win season. They need a franchise savior and usually when you have the number 1 pick a quarterback just makes sense. Every team can take a step in the right direction by landing a big name quarterback. I’m actually surprised more teams don’t move back(trade down), and honestly if I didn’t take a Q.B I would most likely draft a defensive tackle to solidify the defense. In the Buc’s case though they already have that piece in Gerald McCoy. Also with the emerging star wide receiver in Mike Williams it just makes sense to get a guy who can get him the ball. Don’t expect that to be anyone but Jameis Winston and truthfully that is the right pick for this franchise.
After that time will only tell if he is Jameis the savior or similar to the likes of Josh Freeman and Jamarcus Russell, NFL failures with a similar mold.
Charity of the day: American Humane Association
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Photo credit: Bob Levey / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
35 Million dollars. That was how much Roger Goodell made in 2013 and while that number was down from the 44.2 million that Goodell brought in during the 2012 season. He is now the highest paid commissioner of all the major sports leagues. He was once only surpassed by Major League Baseball’s commissioner Bud Selig. However since 2011 Goodell’s pay has substantially increased while Selig’s salary capped out around 22 million (before his retirement). Keep in mind the NFL is the highest grossing and most prestigious of all of the American sports leagues. So yes he should indeed be the highest paid commissioner because he is working for the league that offers the best product. Yet when you factor in all of the blunders and mishaps Goodell has had, he doesn’t hardly seem worth the steep price that he is getting paid. A guy known for his stern approach and his disciplinarian style, Goodell gives off the vibe that he is arrogant but does so very subtly. Anyone with any competence in judging ones character can see that the commish is pompous, and a not very likable guy. In fact in a poll held by ESPN in 2014 the people of the United States voted that 37.8% of people disliked Goodell, that was the majority. In another poll held by CBS Sports 60% of players of the league didn’t support Roger Goodell as their commissioner. While sometimes being likable can be overrated, other times being unlikeable can be a measure of ones poor efforts. The fact is the NFL was going to strive with whoever was at the helm because it is the greatest sport in our country. The question remains how much of a cap did Goodell put on the leagues growth? With the Ray Rice case under his belt, the inconsistency on punishments, and the over glorifying of himself through the punishment of his players. One would have to say enough to make an impact and not in a good way. So while the great owners of the league like Arthur Blank will be politically correct and endorse Goodell. Hopefully you will be smart enough to make your own decision.
Charity of the day: Homes for Our Troops
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Photo credit: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images Sport
Author: Joey Carr
With the Lions recent success the organization is in a rare position. It’s been a longtime since the Lions stock arrow has been pointing up and quarterback Matt Stafford has much to do with that success. In fact Stafford is the fastest player to ever throw for 20,000 yards. He did so in seventy one games that’s three games sooner than the great Dan Marino who did so in seventy four games. And just recently Stafford won the Pro Bowl’s offensive most valuable player award throwing for over three hundred yards. Such feats would likely make you here on most teams.
Yet despite these accomplishments many fans in the Detroit area are still openly bashing the young gun slinger. Often questioning Stafford’s decision making ability and interception rate. Most of this focus on the negative is unfair judgement of Stafford. Fans have to remember just how difficult it is to play quarterback in the Nation Football League. Yea it’s easy to say “look at the way Rodgers throws and conducts the offense”. That doesn’t mean getting rid of Stafford is going to bring in a player even remotely close to Rodgers abilities. In all likelihood the Lions would regress getting rid of number 9 due to the fact they would have to develop the next player they bring in.
The fact is Stafford will likely go unappreciated in Detroit until the city nearly drives him out of town. Hopefully Stafford has enough character to look past the naysayers or the fans of Detroit might end up being the ones remorseful in the end when he skips town for greener pastures.
Charity of the day: Boys and Girls Club of America
Go donate! www.bgca.org
Photo credit: Sam Greenwood / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
When you hear Richard Sherman’s loud mouth antics it’s easy to mistakenly identify his methods as false bravado. The Compton California born cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks has been as brash as just about anyone who has ever donned an NFL uniform. However since joining the league in 2011 no one has backed up their trash talk more than Sherman. In fact nobody since 2011 has intercepted more passes (24) or defended more passes (61) than Richard Sherman. Those two stats that he leads are the optimity of how to measure an outstanding cornerback in today’s NFL. If that alone isn’t enough to believe Sherman when he says “I’m the best corner in the league” than maybe this will help you understand. Last year Sherman led the whole league in intercepted passes before eventually making the play that sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. There the Seahawks were able to absolutely demolish the Broncos and the high octane Peyton Manning offense. Now a week and a half away from the Super Bowl Sherman is in the same situation all over again. Poised and ready to become a back to back National Football League champion a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since the New England Patriots did so in 2004 and the following season in 2005. While humble people around the world will be rooting for the Patriots to throw all over Sherman, keep in mind that Sherman is far from ignorant. A graduate of Stanford University many in the football community believe Sherman’s antics were all about marketing himself, which would indeed be a testament to his intelligence. He is a premier player in the league and whether or you like him or not you have to respect him. He could have easily fell flat on his face like we see so many other athletes do after their outlandish outbursts but when it was all said and done he backed it up. It’s safe to say Richard Sherman talked the talk then walked the walk.
Charity of the day: Planned parenthood action fund
Go donate! www.plannedparenthoodaction.org
Photo credit: Timothy A Clary / AFP
Author: Jon Kuzma
With the rumors already being leaked that Peyton Manning will indeed return for a fourth season with Denver Broncos pending a positive physical evaluation. It’s time to assess just how Manning’s future might look. While it seems like football fans everywhere are giving up on Manning due to his poor playoff performance, one would be foolish to write off the aging vet. Manning is arguably the greatest player ever at prepping himself for success. If you factor in that for one of the few times in his career his back is against the wall (the other time being his recovery from neck injury). You’d be smart to think that Manning is going to be focused more than ever to give it one last go. A well trained and healthy Manning will likely put one last outstanding year together, and then ride off into the sunset. No matter how the following season ends that will likely be it for one of the greatest Quarterbacks the game has ever seen. So while the velocity on his throws weren’t there at the end of this season. Don’t expect the same results the following year. The only other hurdle in Manning’s future is coming back next year to begin with. At what point do you take your health into consideration and say enough is enough?
Charity of the day: Brain and behavior research foundation
Go donate! www.bbrfoundation.org