With Cutler leading the offense and Adam Gase calling plays, the Dolphins are a serious threat in the AFC:

Photo credit: Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

With news breaking today that Jay Cutler has officially signed a one year $10 million dollar contract with the Miami Dolphins you have to be excited for what the future holds if you’re a Dolphins fan. Adam Gase is easily one of the league’s best offensive play callers and that was evident in the fact that Gase was able to take the Dolphins to the playoffs in his first year as a head coach. Now Gase has a veteran signal caller in Cutler who understands the basic concepts of his system already and that knowledge could be priceless. The terminology that goes into offensive play books is always so complex and every team has there own unique way of labeling certain things. The fact that Cutler spent time with Gase while in Chicago back in 2015 is a huge reason why Cutler was a great option for this football team. It also gives Cutler the best chance of executing on the field come game day. The familiarity will be there for Cutler when hears Gase call in the offense plays and that means less thinking for the new Dolphins quarterback, instead Cutler will get to play instinctively. That’s always the ideal goal for a football player because the game moves so fast in real life you don’t have time to think, you just have to react. The Dolphins do have some weapons in Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, and DeVante Parker. Those guys won’t be as impressive as Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Martellus Bennett. However Stills, and Parker offer a different type of talent in their speed. Stills and Parker can work the vertical game better than those old Bears receivers did and that should pair nicely with Jay Cutler’s arm strength. Expect much more big plays to come from Miami’s offense this season and the Dolphins are the biggest threat to the New England Patriots in the AFC East.

Charity of the day: Seva Foundation

Go donate! www.seva.org

Brandin Cooks impact will be huge for the Patriots offense, Cooks was 7th in the league in receiving yards in 2016:

Photo credit: Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

The New England Patriots have always got it done with their trio of system players in Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Chris Hogan. However Bill Belichick knows Tom Brady is getting up there in age (playing wise) and New England’s head coach wanted to ensure that he maximized talent around his aging star to get the most out of what could be Brady’s last season. Belichick signed Brandin Cooks to bolster the wide receiver group and then he traded a fourth round draft pick for Dwayne Allen and a 6th round pick. Cooks gives the Patriots the best wide receiver talent wise the Patriots have had since Randy Moss. While Cooks isn’t as good as Moss was he still is an exceptional player and should be even better now that he is playing in New England. Cooks has managed to haul in 2,861 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns over the course of his three year career. He has been consistently a big contributor and has went over the 1,000 yards receiving mark the last two seasons. When you actually watch Cooks play one thing that stands out is the guy is faster than everybody else. Brandin Cooks was once a junior olympics sprinter and recorded a 4.33 40 yard dash when he entered the league. That game changing speed is was makes Brandin Cooks such a tough match and the Patriots are hoping to unleash those abilities on the rest of the league. The challenge is going to be getting Cooks acclimated to a new system and an offense that involves an overwhelming amount of discipline. The Patriots are the most detail orientated team in the whole league and they put such an emphasis on execution. If Cooks can gel with Tom Brady’s method of doing things, there’s no doubt this tandem could set the league on fire this upcoming year.

Charity of the day: Seva Foundation

Go donate! www.seva.org

Jerry Jones is the definition of living the American Dream, it’s hard to believe anyone could root against the Cowboys owner:

Photo credit: Harry How / Getty Images Sport Classic

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

With Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones recently being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame it’s hard to believe that anyone could root against the Cowboys owner. While Jones can be too much of straight shooter for some people and he always stays true to his conviction. A big part of the reason Jerry Jones has been able to have such success in his lifetime is because he did stay true to himself through many different eras. This is a guy who played running back in high school at North Little Rock High School in Arkansas, and then he was the captain of the 1964 National Championship Arkansas Razorbacks (he played offensive line in college). That grit Jones learned on the football field helped the Cowboys owner bounce back from a number of failed business ventures in life (Pizzeria and attempt to buy the San Diego Chargers). Ultimately Jones would find success when he started an oil and gas exploration business in Arkansas called Jones Oil and Land Lease. After about twenty years of natural resource prospecting Jones was then able to use the fortune he amassed to buy the Dallas Cowboys in 1989. It was said at the time the Cowboys were losing a million dollars a month but now the Dallas Cowboys have grown to a $4.2 billion dollar organization. Not to mention Jones has put together three Super Bowl winning teams and was at one point one of the greatest dynasties the league has ever seen. It’s been awhile since the Cowboys have been for real contenders but Jones now has two of the league’s brightest young stars in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. So it’s safe to say Jones is closer than ever to getting his 4th Vince Lombardi Trophy and with all the guy has overcame in life it’s hard to believe anyone could cheer against the Cowboys’ owner. It’s not easy to go from a college football player/ oil prospector to an NFL owner, Jerry Jones did it and it’s a testament of everything he has achieved in his lifetime. The Cowboys owner truly is larger than life and now he is also a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Charity of the day: National Audubon Society

Go donate! www.audubon.org

The Miami Dolphins have reached out to Jay Cutler after Ryan Tannehill’s injury, Cutler could be a huge addition to the Dolphins offense:

Photo credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

Lets stop all the criticism of Jay Cutler for two second and accept the facts about Cutler’s time in Chicago. The Bears are an absolute train wreck and no matter who was at QB, Chicago was going to struggle especially the last four seasons. A lot of the blame in Chicago fell out Jay Cutler’s shoulders but to be honest Cutler is still a pretty exceptional player. Cutler has thrown for an impressive 32,467 passing yards and 208 touchdowns in his career. That’s over 10 thousand yards and 102 touchdowns more than Ryan Tannehill has thrown for and while Colin Kaepernick is also a competent choice for Miami’s quarterback opening. Keep mind Cutler has thrown for 20 thousand yards and 135 more touchdowns than Kaepernick has. When you factor in that Cutler has a strong rapport with Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase, you can begin to see why Miami is confident that Jay Cutler can be their starting quarterback for the 2017 season. Ultimately that’s why the Dolphins have contacted Jay Cutler’s agent Bus Cook and it appears both sides are working towards a contact. This deal wouldn’t even be discussed had Ryan Tannehill not re-injured his knee this week in practice. However the Dolphins clearly weren’t comfortable turning the offense over full time to Matt Moore or Miami wouldn’t have contacted Cutler in the first place. You don’t bring in Jay Cutler to be a back up quarterback behind Matt Moore. As good as Matt Moore has been in his limited role, it’s obvious Miami likes him as the number 2 man more than the starter. Maybe the best news of all for the Dolphins is Jay Cutler has a lot more arm strength than Tannehill has. So if Miami does sign Cutler there offense will get a huge boost in the vertical passing game. Which should result in an increase in points scored from the Dolphins offense in 2017. In the end landing Cutler could actually make the Dolphins a much better team.

Charity of the day: National Kidney Foundation

Go donate! www.kidney.org

The NFL’s cultural bias is running rampant: Colin Kaepernick blacklisted from the league, Terrell Owens blacklisted from the Hall of Fame

Photo credit: Brain Bahr / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

The NFL’s cultural bias problem is quickly spiraling out of control and it’s becoming an alarming issue for the league. Colin Kaepernick a player who put up 16 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions last season, proving he is overwhelmingly competent to play in the NFL can’t find a job with any team. The NFL won’t sign Kaepernick because he decided to take a knee during the nation anthem in several games last year. Whether or not you agree with Kaepernick he has undoubtedly suffered to some magnitude because of his own culture and race. The NFL wants you to act how they do things in the white communities. Kaepernick wen’t against the grain and was true to how he was feeling and that immediately was deemed as something unfit for the “white cultural way of doing things”. If you don’t believe there is a standard the NFL is trying to set with Kaepernick than take a look at Terrell Owens. Terrell Owens recorded 15,934 receiving yards and 153 career receiving touchdowns. Owens is hands down the most productive receiver the league has ever seen outside of Jerry Rice yet guys like Kurt Warner are getting in the Hall of Fame before Owens. To disrespect a guy (Owens) who loved the game so much, he slept in a hyperbaric chamber to come back from an injury to play in a Super Bowl is absurd. Owens set the bar with his peak physical fitness and consistent offense play. To put Kurt Warner above Terrell Owens lets you know how much politics gave a boost to Warner and how much they destroyed Owens. Coincidentally those politics fall perfectly in line with the “white cultural way of doing things” which the NFL Hall of Fame committee is punishing Owens for not following. Things weren’t nearly as bad when Paul Tagliabue was the commissioner and Goodell has made a living off punishing African Americans who make up the majority (70%) of his league. How did the NFL get so out of touch with the players who built this league into what it is today? It’s hard to say but one thing is for certain the NFL is being untruthfully to the game when the best players aren’t recognized for their success.

Charity of the day: National Kidney Foundation

Go donate! www.kidney.org

Dallas Cowboys rally to defeat the Arizona Cardinals 20-18 in the 2017 Hall of Fame game:

Photo credit: Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

The goods news for the 2017 Hall of Fame Game is the fact that the event actually happened. If you don’t remember the NFL had to cancel the Hall of Fame Game a year ago because the paint on the field started to congeal and was hard as cement. Ultimately the league deemed the field as a risk to the player’s health and that led to the NFL canceling the contest which also serves as the first preseason game of the year. 2017 went much more smoothly and out of the gate Blaine Gabbert was surprisingly sharp for the Cardinals offense. Gabbert finished the night with 11 completions out of 14 passing attempts for 185 yards. Maybe the most notable thing about Gabbert’s big night was the fact that he threw the football extremely well, not only did the former Jaguar and 49er have a high completion percentage he also showed off some excellent throw power. Arizona scored two quick touchdowns in the first quarter due to Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington’s efforts. However it was Gabbert’s execution of the offense that put this team in scoring position on those particular drives. Dallas also got a decent performance from their starting quarterback for the night Kellen Moore. Moore finished the match up with 12 completions out of 18 passing attempts for 182 passing yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. That one touchdown pass went to former Baylor basketball player Rico Gathers who is successfully making the transition to NFL tight end. Gathers looked extremely gifted on his touchdown catch and the former college hooper has a bright future as an NFL pass catcher. Brice Butler also had a decent night for Dallas leading the team in receiving yards with 78 yards. While fellow teammate Uzoma Nwachukwu caught the Cowboys other touchdown from third string quarterback Cooper Rush. Defensively Rudy Ford had 9 tackles for Arizona, while Alex Bazzie record 8 tackles too. The Cowboys got a solid output defensively from Cornerback Anthony Brown who had 2 tackles and 1 sack. Byron Jones also played well for Dallas recording 5 tackles as well. The Cowboys looked sluggish early on but give credit to this team for hanging around and then seizing the moment late in the fourth quarter. It’s never easy to battle back when you fall behind in the first quarter but Dallas never gave up and that’s why this team walked away with a week 1 preseason win.

Charity of the day: Project HOPE

Go donate! www.projecthope.org

Injuries are piling up around the league and it’s a reminder of how difficult it is to stay healthy in pro football:

Photo credit: Dustin Bradford / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

We are only about a week into full time NFL practices and there have been a number of injuries around the league reminding fans just how difficult it is to stay healthy in pro football. Sterling Shepard, Forrest Lamp, Will Fuller, Dominique Easley, and now Ryan Tannehill have all went down with injuries at their training camp practices and it becomes obvious how brutal the sport can be. Now to be fair some of these setbacks were non-contact injuries but regardless it’s safe to say that health as much a part of the game as any other factor. Out of all the injuries mentioned above you have to be really concerned with the Dolphins losing Tannehill just because it’s the quarterback position effected. It’s hard to have a winning team when your starting quarterback is sidelined for the majority of the season. While we don’t know whether or not Tannehill will miss the entire year? It’s become apparent that Tannehill has been battling a nagging knee injury and that was the reason he couldn’t finish the 2016 season. The Dolphins have a good back up in Matt Moore, who can keep Miami competitive. However this team will still miss Ryan Tannehill for most of the year if their best arm can’t go on game day. Another major setback is the Texans losing Will Fuller. Outside of DeAndre Hopkins Fuller was the Texans best chance of putting up some production through the air. After a full season of NFL experience under his belt Fuller was expected to take the next step in his own development. Instead it looks like Fuller will be sidelined for all 2017 with a broken collar bone and that means Braxton Miller has to step up and provide the Texans with something offensively. Miller had less than 100 yards for the entire 2016 season so the former Ohio State Buckeye has a long ways to go. As far as the other guys on this list are concerned injury wise Forrest Lamp and Dominqiue Easley will both be huge losses just because they solidified the Chargers and Rams in the offensive and defensive trenches. If you can’t win at the line of scrimmage you will run into problems in the NFL and losing Lamp and Easley was a major loss for each Los Angeles team. Proving further more that in order to win in the NFL you have to stay healthy and keep your best players on the field.

Charity of the day: Project HOPE

Go donate! www.projecthope.org

GLIAC Football: Marty Carter is hands down the most electrifying player in the whole conference, because of him Grand Valley State University should repeat as GLIAC champs:

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Photo credit: Kevin Sielaff

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

The Grand Valley State University Lakers have a very special player in Running Back Marty Carter and because of Carter the Lakers are the favorite to repeat as Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champions. Carter rushed for 1,908 yards and 20 touchdowns a season ago, keep in mind Carter achieved these outstanding accomplishments as a sophomore. That means Carter will be even better in his junior season because as Carter gains more awareness he will become more effective in his role as the team’s starting running back. Still though instinctively Marty Carter is as good as they come at the division II level. Carter was so impressive in 2016 he earned a recognition as a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy which is given to the most valuable player at the DII level. With Carter owning the running game and Receiver Nick Dodson handling everything through the air (Dodson had 13 receiving touchdowns in 2016). The Lakers are poised enough to give the other GLIAC teams fits in 2017 and really the Lakers main threat has to be the Ferris State Bulldogs. Grand Valley won the conference last year and beat Ferris State in the the regular season 35-23. However the Bulldogs knocked off the Lakers in the NCAA Division II playoffs and that had to leave a bad taste in GVSU’s mouth the entire off-season. The Lakers only lost one game in all of 2016 that was to the Bulldogs and it’s safe to say these two teams make up the best rivalry in GLIAC football right now. In order for Grand Valley to reign supreme in 2017 Marty Carter has to build upon the success he had in 2016, so expect the Grand Valley running back to get well over 200 carries this fall. When you have a dynamic weapon like Carter who can score any time he touches the ball, you want to feed that player touches early and often. Grand Valley State Head Coach Matt Mitchell understands this and he will look to unleash his junior running back on every defense he can once the season rolls around.

Charity of the day: EngenderHealth

Go donate! www.engenderhealth.org

Sterling Shepard was carted off the practice field with a right ankle injury today, a loss that will definitely be a major setback for the Giants:

Photo credit: Jeff Zelevanksy / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

VenueKings.com

The New York Giants had a horrific scene at practice today when Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard was carted off the field with a right ankle injury. It appears Shepard came down awkwardly on on his foot which caused the ankle to twist and a couple of plays later the training staff was signaling for the cart. Make no mistake about it Shepard was a stand out player at previous practices this year. It was clear Shepard had made strides in his own development from last year to this year and you hate to see a player with so much upside go down with a health setback. Players in the National Football League work so hard to prepare themselves in the off-season and it’s a tough moment when all of those dreams can go out the window in an instant. Shepard was a significant contributor a season ago as a rookie, he recorded 683 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. To think that he was going to be even better this upcoming season lets you know how much the Giants are going to miss Shepard if this injury is serious. The trio of Odell Beckham Jr, Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard were going to overwhelm defenses on game day. Lets hope that this incident today isn’t anything serious and Shepard can comeback at some point before the season is over. The offense needs Shepard, and this football team definitely losses a gear when their second year receiver out of the University of Oklahoma isn’t out there working the route tree for them. Shepard is only 24 years old so he has plenty of time left to get things back on track if he has to sit out a year and recover. Ultimately getting healthy and taking rehabilitation seriously has to be the goal for number 87 of Big Blue and the Giants don’t want to rush this guy back too soon. There’s too much at stake to gamble on Shepard’s health, New York needs to take it slow and ease Shepard back into things when he is healthy enough to go.

Charity of the day: EngenderHealth

Go donate! www.engenderhealth.org

Semi-pro football: Michigan Vipers continue their outstanding season, improve to 7-1 with a 28-20 win over the Lakeshore Cougars

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Photo credit: Michigan Vipers Media

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

Well the Michigan Vipers didn’t get their 7th win very easily but the Vipers wouldn’t have it any other way. A shorthanded Vipers team traveled all the way across the state from Detroit to Saugatuck and beat a very good football team in the 5 win-2 loss Lakeshore Cougars. It’s so hard to beat a team like the Cougars under normal circumstances, but to drive 190 miles with seven starters missing and still get the win says everything you need to know about the Vipers’ character. In the game Darrell Searcy’s team were led by stand out Receiver Lavelle Griffin, Griffin hauled in 3 touchdown receptions and continues his break out rookie season with 15 TDs on the year. The Cougars didn’t have anyone that could match up with Griffin and Quarterback Monte Brown exploited that mismatch time and time again.That’s not to say the Cougars didn’t put up a solid fight though, Lakeshore competed hard for all four quarters and actually had a 13-12 lead at half time. However the Vipers buckled down in the second half and showed firsthand why this organization is a championship caliber football team. After scoring two touchdowns late in the game the Vipers took control of the contest and were feeling good about their chances. That’s when Lakeshore answered back by taking a kickoff to the house making the game 28-20 and that put a ton of pressure on the defending champs. In the end the Vipers defense would clamp down on the Cougars in their own house not allowing another point to be scored. The Vipers got a huge road win and now are set to a host a playoff game August 12th at Osborn High School in Detroit, kick off is slated for 7:30 P.M. The Vipers will face the 6-1-1 Grand Rapids Thunder in that match up, the Vipers are a 7 point favorite to win that football game.

Interested in playing with the Michigan Vipers? Contact their organization at https://www.facebook.com/groups/michiganvipers/

Charity of the day: EngenderHealth

Go donate! www.engenderhealth.org

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