Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, and Kenny Golladay are going to be a talented bunch of receivers for Detroit’s offense. Especially with Matthew Stafford throwing to them:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Detroit Lions have a talented group of wide receivers and that should yield some outstanding results for the Lions offense. Marvin Jones has been one of the better receivers in the league since signing with Detroit and his rapport with Quarterback Matthew Stafford will only get better with time. Jones has recorded 2,031 yards while catching passes from Stafford and this upcoming season the tandem could be the best around. Expect Jones to go over the 10 touchdowns mark and easily be the number 1 pass catcher for this franchise. Which means Golden Tate is going to be the number 2 guy on the depth chart. Tate’s strongest characteristic is his competitive nature. Every single game number 15 in honolulu blue leaves everything he has out on the football field. It would be nice to see Golden Tate get a few more touches but Jones has been so sensational that he has to be targeted first. It will be up to the former Notre Dame alum (Tate) to accept his role and do everything he can to help put some wins on the board. The final piece of the Lions puzzle is Wide Receiver Kenny Golladay. Golladay looked completely unstoppable at the beginning of 2017 before slowing down and recording only 3 touchdowns. Still a lot of that was due to the fact that Golladay was hurt (hamstring) and keep in mind he was only a rookie. If Kenny Golladay can show that much promise in his first season of action that means the bar is very high for him coming into his second go at the NFL. Golladay will be such a key contributor to the passing game because now the Lions have too many weapons to match up with. With this talented cast out wide Matthew Stafford is going to have another shot at the 5,000 yards mark. Fans should anticipate Stafford to be at least around 4,500 yards in 2018.

Charity of the day: Make a Wish Foundation

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Looking back in the rear view-mirror the Chandler Jones trade was a bad move by the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick could have really used Jones this past season:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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With Arizona Cardinals Outside Linebacker Chandler Jones leading the National Football League with 17 sacks in 2017. You have to wonder what the New England Patriots were thinking when they traded Jones away? If you don’t remember Jones was exchanged for Jonathan Cooper and a 2nd round draft pick. Cooper never started a game for New England and Belichick traded the 2nd round pick for what would end up being Joe Thuney and Malcolm Mitchell. Thuney has been a notable contributor starting 32 games over the course of his career and Mitchell seems to have some potential. However Chandler Jones is the best pass rusher in all of football. To think that the combination of Cooper, Thuney, and Mitchell are even in the ball park of excellence as Jones is preposterous. This move was just another case of New England trying to take the Money Ball analytics approach and it blew up in their face. Obviously the Patriots didn’t want to pay Jones the big dollars after he was hospitalized back in 2016 for using synthetic marijuana. Belichick clearly saw that as a red flag when it came to Jones’ character but sometimes you have to believe in people when they’re down. There’s no debating that Bill Belichick is the greatest football coach of all time but sometimes New England’s head guy walks around with a chip on his shoulder. Jones has had 28 sacks in his first two seasons in Arizona so there’s no question about it the Patriots took a huge loss with this trade. Imagine if Chandler Jones would have been on the field last season in the Super Bowl? That would have made a huge difference against that potent Eagles offense. To be honest the Jamie Collins trade and the Malcolm Butler situation were other examples of letdowns on Belichick’s behalf. Which makes it apparent the greatest football coach whoever lived will have to check his ego if he wants to get back on top in 2018.

Charity of the day: Make a Wish Foundation

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Chicago is a team on the rise and their fate lies in Mitchell Trubisky’s hands:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Everyone in the Windy City is excited about football this upcoming season and that’s mostly because of the success General Manger Ryan Pace has had. Pace brought in the perfect supporting cast for second year Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Now the former North Carolina University gunslinger will have to take the next step and elevate this ball club. The Bears are definitely trending in the right direction and Trubisky has to capitalize on that momentum. All of the natural tools are there but despite that Trubisky struggled as a rookie. The Bears starting QB threw for 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Those numbers are too low and the 59% completion percentage / 77.5 rating need improvement as well. The good news for Mitchell Trubisky is he’ll be much more aware the next time around. Most passers are overwhelmed in their first season of NFL action so it’s not time to hit the panic button yet. This next year will give us a glimpse of what Trubisky is really made of? It’s easy to believe that the Bears most important player will exceed expectations because of the talent he has around him. Chicago’s receivers didn’t get the job done in 2017 but the new group of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, and Taylor Gabriel will pave the way for success. The NFC North is shaping up into a pretty tough division but the Bears are definitely going to shock a few teams. Collectively the talent on this roster is far greater than they’ve had the last couple of seasons. Which is going to lead to much more favorable results on game day. This team should be around the 7 or 8 wins mark. If Trubisky balls out though the victories could stack up even higher. Trubisky’s development is the underlining factor in Chicago’s quest for a winning season. That would be so big for first year Head Coach Matt Nagy’s regime. It’s all about hitting the ground running.

Charity of the day: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

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Tyrod Taylor rarely turns the ball over and that’s going to suit the Cleveland Browns very well in 2018:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Cleveland Browns made a lot of great acquisitions this off-season but one move that’s being overlooked is the addition of Tyrod Taylor. Taylor was treated very unfairly in Buffalo but the 28 year old quarterback does do some things very well. One area of Taylor’s game that deserves a lot of praise is his ability to protect the football. Taylor has 51 touchdowns and only 18 interceptions over the course of his seven year career. That means Tyrod Taylor has averaged only 2.5 interceptions per season and the Cleveland Browns will largely benefit from that kind of ball security. Taylor is pretty good from a completion percentage too so it clear this a solid football player and the Bills might seriously regret letting him go. For Taylor though this was the best thing that could have possibly happened to him. Cleveland is going to be a much better situation for him especially after the Browns acquired Jarvis Landry and Carlos Hyde. Not only that but Hue Jacksons and the front office want Taylor. Cleveland was eager enough to go out of their way to trade for the journeyman quarterback. There’s nothing like a vote of confidence and lets be honest complimentary talent goes a long way as well. When you really observe the situation you can see that this is an ideal fit for the former Virginia Tech signal caller. It would be nice to see the Browns draft two players that can help Taylor win in 2018 instead of a QB. It’s very unlikely that any incoming rookie is going to give this organization more than Tyrod Taylor can. Therefore there’s no sense in a drafting a QB if you’re the Browns because that’s a player who is just going to sit on the sidelines for a couple years. Why not load up on talent and try to make a run this season?

Charity of the day: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Go donate! www.lls.org

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It appears the New York Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. are doing a complete 180. Beckham will likely stay in New York for the upcoming season:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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After an off-season full of friction between the New York Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. it appears the two sides are finally starting to smooth things over. Giants Owner John Mara said he is “sick of answering questions about Beckham’s off the field behavior” but it appears New York is realizing how much of a setback it would be to lose their top receiver. Beckham is a big play waiting to happen and that’s something this offense desperately missed in 2017. Clearly Mara wanted to hold Beckham accountable for his actions (off-season partying) and we’ll see if number 13 for Big Blue tones it down a little bit? The good news for both parties is the fact that Odell Beckham Jr showed up to voluntary the team’s work out today and was looking to get better. New Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur certainly appreciated that and gave Beckham high praise. Shurmur stated that OBJ is a “professional and wants to to be great.” Which is some much needed positive feedback for the talented but unsettled WR. Overall though it feels like Beckham will remain with New York for the 2018 season but he’ll definitely be on a short leash. If there is anymore questionable behavior the Giants are going to part ways with him and try to get as much back as possible. Beckham needs to understand that loud and clear because if he lets his emotions get the best of him he is going to end up somewhere else. It feels like the former LSU alum wants to be in the Big Apple because New York serves as a huge platform for Beckham. Playing in New York City has certainly helped the 25 year old catapult himself into a global icon. Beckham has to understand this and keep his on eye on the prize. The only thing that should matter to the Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. is getting back to the playoffs.

Charity of the day: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Go donate! www.lls.org

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Eric Kendricks is a key player in Mike Zimmer’s defense and the middle linebacker is known for punishing offensive players:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Everyone talks about how good the Minnesota Vikings defense is and it’s easy to see why with all the success they’ve had. Ever since the Vikings hired Mike Zimmer away from the Cincinnati Bengals Minnesota has been a much better team. A big reason for a lot of that success is Middle Linebacker Eric Kendricks. Everyone doubted that Eric Kendricks would be as good as his brother Mychal Kendricks who is on the Philadelphia Eagles. However Eric has had better stats over the past two seasons. That’s surprising considering Kendricks is light for the middle linebacker position at only 232 pounds. When you look at some of the best middle LBs to ever play the game Dick Butkus (245), Ray Lewis (250), and Brian Urlacher (258) all those guys were a little bit heavier than Kendricks is. Still what Eric Kendricks lacks in weight he makes up for in speed. If you’ve watched a Vikings game recently this guy is always flying around and making big time plays. The back to back 100 tackle seasons certainly prove that and the former UCLA linebacker is also known for scoring defensive touchdowns too. Kendricks had two interceptions in the past two seasons that he has taken all the way to the house for six points each. Those are the type of plays that separate the good players from the great ones. The surprising thing about Kendricks is the fact that he’s never made a pro bowl. Minnesota was still playing last season around the time the pro bowl was taking place or the Vikings top linebacker would have most likely been there. There’s no way the league can deny Kendricks much longer though he needs to get recognized for his efforts because he’s been extremely productive. If the Vikings want to get over the hump players like Eric Kendricks will have to raise the bar for Zimmer’s ball club. It’s hard to imagine that Kendricks could be much better because he has been damn pretty good since coming into the National Football League back in 2015.

Charity of the day: Grameen Foundation USA

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If the Cowboys are serious about winning they should draft a receiver who can make plays out of the slot. Especially with Cole Beasley slowing down a little bit:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Dallas Cowboys were much better on the defensive of side of the ball in 2017 and that’s means the offense has to be the top priority this off-season. Dallas might have signed Allen Hurns to sure up their receivers but most of the players they have play on the outside (Dez Bryant, Terrence Williams, Hurns). The Cowboys slots are players like Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer. Beasley has been slowing down recently and Switzer seems more suited for kick return duties. You would think the Cowboys would look at SMU’s Coutland Sutton in this upcoming draft just because of proximity. However Sutton would be another outside receiver and that’s not going suit this team very well. Instead Jerry Jones should key in on either Calvin Ridley or D.J Moore. Ridley is versatile enough where he can play split end or in the slot. D.J Moore on the other hand would be a pure slot who can add a ton of explosiveness to this offense. Really either route would be a huge win for this organization and imagine how much either choice would help Dak Prescott? Ezekiel Elliott is already coming back and will take pressure off the Cowboys starting QB. Now Jones should go get one more pass catcher and make sure the offense isn’t the weakest link again. Ridley or Moore are also going to add some youth to the receiver position which will obviously be crucial for the future. That lone addition could be enough to get Dallas to ten or eleven wins which will most likely take this franchise back to the postseason. It feels like Ridley has to be the top choice based on everything he achieved at the collegiate level. If the Alabama wide out isn’t on the board though D.J Moore will still provide a big impact. Moore wouldn’t have to do special teams either because of Switzer which means the former Maryland star can focus solely on being a contributor in the passing game.

Charity of the day: Grameen Foundation USA

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‪The New Orleans Saints wide receivers are going to be looking nice if they can add Cameron Meredith. It will all come down to whether or not the Chicago Bears match the Saints offer?‬

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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With the New Orleans Saints signing Chicago Bears restricted free agent Cameron Meredith to an offer sheet all the pressure is on the Chicago Bears now. If Chicago doesn’t match the two year $9.6 million dollar deal then Meredith will immediacy head to the Big Easy. You have to respect the Saints attempt at Meredith because he would be such a big upgrade to their aerial attack. At 6 feet 3 inches and 201 pounds Meredith has a big frame which is ideal for the National Football League. That size helps the former Illinois State stand out with his strongest attribute which is Meredith’s ability to high point the football. The film doesn’t lie Meredith can go up and make big time grabs and it seems like no throw is too high for him. Jumping abilities like that will always be in high demand at the pro level and New Orleans wants to put as many weapons as possible around Drew Brees. Brees probably only has a couple more seasons left so Meredith is an affordable player ($4.8M annually) who can provide a big impact for Sean Payton’s team. The Saints front office have pegged Meredith as somebody that will be an ideal fit for their roster. Now it’s going to come down to whether or not the Bears end up matching the Saints proposal? Chicago just signed Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton to upgrade their passing game. Not only that but the Bears still have Kevin White on their roster so it’s very possible that Cameron Meredith will end up in Louisiana. Ultimately that’s going to be huge for the black and gold offense in 2018. Just imagine Michael Thomas and Cameron Meredith striking fear in opposing defensive backs’ hearts. All signs point to this being a perfect acquisition for the New Orleans Saints and it will become very apparent once the postseason rolls around.

Charity of the day: Grameen Foundation USA

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If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are serious about improving their defense they should draft Vita Vea and wreak havoc at the line of scrimmage:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are drafting with the 7th overall selection at the end of the month (NFL Draft) and there’s going to be a lot of talented players on the board. While the Bucs might be tempted to add Derwin James, Tremaine Edmunds, or Denzel Ward with their top pick. Tampa Bay has to remember that turning their defense around will always start with the defensive lineman upfront. Even though General Manager Jason Licht has brought onboard Jason Pierre Paul and Beau Allen to solidify things in the trenches. Licht needs make sure he puts a competent defense on the field and going after Washington’s Vita Vea would ensure that happens. Vea is a 6 foot 4 inch 347 pound defensive tackle that bench presses 41 reps of 225 pounds and runs a 5.1 40 yard dash. It’s rare to see such a big guy that’s as athletic as Vea is and he can flow down the line of scrimmage and swallow up running plays. Vea is also a two gap defender which will need to be double teamed often. That’s a lot to game plan for and when you’re a defense that struggled like Tampa Bay did last season that’s ideal for you. Vea is going to keep opposing offensive coordinators up at night as they try to strategize ways to eliminate the former Husky stand out. Maybe the best thing about Vita Vea is even if he doesn’t crack the starting line up right away he’ll end up being part of the defensive line rotation. Essentially that means Vea should develop a lot in his first season of action. Really it seems like a no brainer for the Bucs front office they need to get one of the best defenders in all of college football last year and a player (Vea) who seems destined for stardom.

Charity of the day: Food Bank For New York City

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Not many players can fill running lanes like Seahawks Linebacker Bobby Wagner can. He’ll be tasked with carrying the torch after the departures of Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks might have had a lot of roster turnover this off-season but that just opens the door for other players to step up. One guy who is going to assume a leadership position in Seattle is Middle Linebacker Bobby Wagner. Wagner has been absolutely sensational since entering the NFL back in 2012. The former Utah State defender can diagnose running plays quickly and then Wagner has the speed / instincts to blow plays up in the offensive backfield. The stats prove that, Wagner has recorded 778 tackles over his first six seasons of professional action. With an average of 129 tackles per year there’s no doubt that Bobby Wagner will be the alpha dog in Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman’s absence. It will be interesting to see how Earl Thomas responds to that? There’s been reports out of Washington that Thomas and Wagner have clashed at times. Therefore it’s something that has to be observed carefully and hopefully those two guys can work everything out. The last thing you ever want to see is friendly fire happening between two teammates. At the same time though it’s a passionate sport and when the game starts going emotions tend to run wild. If the Seahawks truly want to get things back on track not only do Earl Thomas and Bobby Wagner have to play their best football. They also have to find a way to coexist so the team’s overall morale isn’t brought down. To make things even more complicated there’s going to be a lot of new players around these two guys who will all be trying to establish themselves. Which makes it clear that the Seahawks have a lot on their plate heading into the 2018 season and it’s not going to be easy by any means. Especially since the Los Angels Rams are the the front-runner to win the NFC West and look like the best team in all football.

Charity of the day: Food Bank For New York City

Go donate! www.foodbanknyc.org

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