The Dallas Cowboys got much better on defense. Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe will stop the run:

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Photo credit: Jacob Kupferson

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Dallas Cowboys have two promising linebackers in Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. But those two players won’t be able to do their jobs effectively if their defensive line doesn’t win at the line of scrimmage.


Which is exactly why the Cowboys signed Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe. By adding those two it will be much tougher for offensive linemen to get to the second level. And that will allow Smith and Vander Esch to play freely. Once that happens the outcome will be a chain reaction of good things. McCoy in particular will create a lot of havoc and he showed that he’s got plenty left in the tank with the Panthers. If Poe can also turn back the clock then Dallas has two veteran defenders who can really make an impact. They were both first round picks and they’ve both been to multiple Pro Bowls. It’s not hard to see that this is a big story line for this team. Offenses aren’t going to move the ball against Dallas. And we all know it’s hard to win in this sport when you can’t get into the end zone. Jerry Jones and Mike McCarthy made the right call on this one. The Cowboys are improving because of some of the choices they’ve made.

Charity of the day: American Bird Conservancy

Go donate! www.abcbirds.org

The Carolina Panthers keep upgrading their offense. Robby Anderson will make them more explosive:

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Photo credit: Mike Ehrmann

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Carolina Panthers were able to lure away former Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson in free agency. And this is another piece for Matt Rhule’s offense. The start of everything was the addition of Teddy Bridgewater. Now Anderson will add some speed on the outside. Many NFL experts believe the arrival of Anderson is bad news for Curtis Samuel. But Rhule should go in the opposite direction and keep all three guys.


Quarterbacks are in the shotgun so much these days that you need more receivers than you did in the past. So keeping three good receivers is about keeping up with the times. And think about how much Bridgewater would appreciate that decision. Carolina could be a potent offense with so many weapons on the field.  We also can’t forget Anderson is a guy who can get over top of the safeties and create some quick scores. The amount of speed on this roster is what will set them apart in 2020. That seems to be the direction this team’s identity is heading. So you can see how much better the acquisition of Anderson makes this franchise. The Panthers are certainly improving.

Charity of the day: Compassion International

Go donate! www.compassion.com

There’s trouble in Houston. Deshaun Watson is unhappy with the direction the team is heading:

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Author: Sam Greenwood

Photo credit: Jon Kuzma

Deshaun Watson won’t say it. To be honest he’ll probably even deny it. But let’s be honest Watson is unhappy with the choices the Houston Texans have made. The biggest deal breaker was trading DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals.


That move made the Texans a worse team and then Bill O’Brien tried to smooth things over by signing Randall Cobb. However it’s not fooling Watson and this is dangerous for Houston because their superstar quarterback is almost ready to negotiate his next contract. Why would Watson want to stick around when O’Brien is making such poor decisions? Right now that incompetence is permeating throughout this team and it’s definitely hurting morale. We also can’t forget that Houston almost destroyed Watson’s career by failing to get him some pass protection. Meaning there’s a number of things that this guy is frustrated with. And it just doesn’t bode well for the Texans. Watson is the main player they have to keep happy and so far they’ve failed to do so. He’s probably looking around at what Kansas City has done for Patrick Mahomes. And what Baltimore is doing for Lamar Jackson. When you take those situations into account. Things don’t look nearly as promising down in Texas. All of this dysfunction will hold Watson back and that means it might be time to go. When that happens O’Brien will have no one to blame but himself.

Charity of the day: Marine Mammal Center

Go donate! www.tmmc.org

Jadeveon Clowney is smart for trying to get every dollar he can. It’s his body on the line:

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Photo credit: Icon Sportswire

Author: Jon Kuzma

Most fans love a feel good story about a player taking less to help his team. But so many times we’ve seen those same players get injured or cut later on. So you can never be angry with someone who tries to earn as much as they can from their skills. Especially in football because there’s so much risk involved. Jadeveon Clowney probably has several injuries that the public doesn’t know about. And now that he’s holding out and making sure he signs with the highest bidder. That’s a smart move because those resources will help him provide for the people closest to him.


Not only that. We also know that the teams will always do what’s in their best interest. Therefore it’s a business and it goes both ways. We’re finally getting to the point where a lot of these guys are starting to empower themselves much more than people did in the past. And it’s a good thing because without the athletes who are performing on the field. The NFL doesn’t have a product. Clowney knows this and he has plenty of options. He could go back to Seattle in the $15M-$18M range. Or perhaps he’ll go with a team that’s not as successful but willing to pay him over $20M annually. No matter what Clowney does it’s ultimately his decision because he’s the one laying it all on the line. So if it’s money above all then so be it.

Charity of the day: Marine Mammal Center

Go donate! www.tmmc.org

Nick Foles doesn’t change anything for the Chicago Bears. They’re still not good enough at quarterback:

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Photo credit: Sam Greenwood

Author: Jon Kuzma

What were the Chicago Bears thinking? Why did they trade for Nick Foles if they’re just going to start Mitchell Trubisky anyway. And why would they pay Foles $6M more than Trubisky if he’s just going to be the backup in Chicago? And make no mistake about it Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace are holding out hope that they can salvage Trubisky. He’s a first round pick and they desperately want that situation to work out. The problem is Trubisky hasn’t shown enough arm talent throughout his three year career. There’s not enough touchdowns being thrown in the Windy City. And even though Foles gives this team another quarterback.


You have to realize that he lost the job in Jacksonville to Gardner Minshew. So it’s not the right time to pick up Foles because he seems to be fading away and close to retirement. All this move really does is turn up the pressure on Trubisky a little bit. But it’s very unlikely that there’s a QB change in Chicago. Therefore this doesn’t make any sense. It’s clear Pace is starting to cool off and that’s causing the Bears to take a step backwards. Foles was a miscalculation and they didn’t take care of their most important task. Which is finding someone who can truly replace Trubisky.

Charity of the day: Conservation Fund

Go donate! www.conservationfund.org

Bill Belichick believes he can get Cam Newton’s career back on track:

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Photo credit: Grant Halverson

Author: Jon Kuzma

The New England Patriots are always looking for a bargain. Whether it’s being stingy in contract talks or avoiding free agency altogether. One thing is perfectly clear and that’s the fact that Bill Belichick doesn’t want to overpay for any player. So when the rumors started to come out that New England might be interested in Cam Newton. It made sense because this is what Belichick does. He resurrected Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy’s careers. Now the hope is he can acquire Newton on a very cheap deal.


Then develop him within the Patriots system. Those values that they preach up in Foxborough are conducive to success. For Newton it would be a good fit because the only focus will be winning football games. Belichick does everything he can to optimize execution with all of the structure that he brings to the table. With Newton at the center of it all perhaps he could turn things around. One thing is obvious he needs a fresh start. Moving on from the Panthers would be good for Cam Newton and the Patriots would give him a shot at getting back on the field. Whether or not he seizes that opportunity who knows? But for Belichick it’s worth the risk because there’s basically no risk at all.

Charity of the day: Conservation Fund

Go donate! www.conservationfund.org

Uncharted Route: A sports documentary about the desire to succeed


Photo credit: Uncharted Route

Author: Jon Kuzma

If you love stories about pushing past your limits and the determination it takes to succeed. Then director O.J Pipkin has a great documentary for all of you. The story is called the Uncharted Route. It follows the journey of a kid from America who dreams of playing professional soccer in Europe. To get a better understanding of the documentary we sat down and did an interview with Pipkin. Make sure to go check out the Uncharted Route at the link below.

Q: What made you want to do this project?

A. What made me want to do this project was I knew Alexander had an amazing story and I wanted to tell it with video and photos. But the original idea for doing a documentary style video with Alexander began in 2013. I actually wanted to go to Arizona and film with him when he was in high school. But we ended up linking up last year and filming in Los Angeles.

Q:How did you meet Alex Knox and
what made you want to work with him?

A. Alexander is actually my cousin, so I have known him since he was born. What made me want to work with him was his story and his work ethic. I wanted to showcase that on film.

Q:This story seems to be about how much you have to persevere on the journey to success. What are some of the obstacles you’ve had to overcome as a director?

A. Some of the obstacles I have had to overcome as a director are #1 money, getting consistent work is definitely an obstacle. Another obstacle I’ve had to overcome is bringing an idea/vision to life. Having to create a plan and then executing that plan at a high level to bring a vision to reality is always a challenge. But I love that challenge and the creative process.

Q: Why should the audience go see your work? What can they take away from it?

A. People should check out this project because it is a great story. It shows an ambitious kid who dreams of playing professional soccer in the top leagues in Europe, and the ups and downs of his journey to make his dreams a reality. The main thing I feel people can take away from this project is to have a dream and chase it relentlessly. And NEVER QUIT.

O.J thank you so much for your time and make sure you click this link and go check out the Uncharted Route! https://www.shooterjuice.com/the-uncharted-route-docu-series

Don’t downplay Philip Rivers. He’s still got some gas left in the tank:

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Photo credit: David Eulitt

Author: Jon Kuzma

Last year a narrative started to form that Philip Rivers was the reason the Chargers underachieved. But no one talks about Melvin Gordon holding out or the injuries to Derwin James and Melvin Ingram. If none of those things happened and the Chargers went to the playoffs. Everyone would’ve overlooked Rivers’ inconsistent season. And now that he’s in Indianapolis this could be exactly what he needs to prove the doubters wrong.


The Colts have a better offensive line than the Chargers do. So Rivers will have more time to scan the field and do what he does best. Really that’s throwing the football on those 10 and 20 yard routes. He’s not a QB that goes 50 or 60 yards downfield. Instead Rivers beats you with his accuracy. The other big part of his game is the tenacity he brings each week. Nobody can question Rivers’ competitive fire. This should be an improvement from where the Colts were with Jacoby Brissett. And let’s face it Philip Rivers is one of the more talented players we’ve seen over the past decade. Obviously this is a fresh start for him and the Colts are shaping up thanks to Chris Ballard’s decision making. That should help extend Rivers career and at least he’ll still be a starter. Clearly that’s the most important thing for him at this point in his career.

Charity of the day: MiracleFeet

Go donate! www.miraclefeet.org

The losses of DeForest Buckner and Emmanuel Sanders are bad news for the San Francisco 49ers:

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Photo credit: Thearon W. Henderson

Author: Jon Kuzma

It’s so hard to go back to the Super Bowl after making it there the previous season. And when you look at the players the 49ers lost. Guys like DeForest Buckner and Emmanuel Sanders. It’s a long shot that San Francisco will make it out of the NFC side of the playoff bracket. Nick Bosa’s strong rookie year somewhat overshadowed what Buckner did for that defense. But make no mistake about Buckner will be missed. He recorded 28 sacks in a 49ers uniform. And at 6’7” 295 pounds this is someone who‘s constantly getting into the offensive backfield.


A lot of times that interior pressure causes the play to spill to the outside. So Bosa stats could take a hit with Buckner’s departure. And it’s also because he’ll be double-teamed more frequently. Then there’s Sanders who gave San Francisco’s offense that extra gear. He had 503 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns after being traded to this team. That’s another key loss for Jimmy Garoppolo in particular. Which means there will be less production through the air. All of these indications means the writing is on the wall. The Niners are a worse team than they were last season and they’ll feel those results in the wins and losses columns. There’s no way they’ll get to 13 wins in 2020.

Children International

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The Atlanta Falcons offense will be much better with the addition of Todd Gurley:

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Photo credit: John McCoy

Author: Jon Kuzma

Todd Gurley grew up in Tarboro North Carolina which is about 6 hours away from Atlanta. And Gurley also attended the University of Georgia so he’s already got a big following in that area. So when Gurley decided to sign a 1-year $5M contract with the Falcons. It wasn’t too surprising because in a lot of ways this is a homecoming for Gurley. And when you look at what this guy can bring to Atlanta.


The first thing that stands out is how much better their rushing attack will be. Devonta Freeman was wore down and couldn’t give this offense the spark they needed. A lot of people are writing Gurley off because of his knee. But don’t be shocked when he defies the odds and has a big year. It seemed like Gurley was starting to get his speed back at the end of last season. And you have to remember he’s already came back from what easily could’ve been a career ending knee injury in college. Given the progress he’s shown it feels like history will repeat itself with this one. Gurley will overcome his struggles and he’ll bring some balance to the Falcons offense. And then he’ll cash in again during next year’s free agency. Once that happens Atlanta will wish they signed him to a longer contract. Because the price is going up.

Charity of the day: Children International

Go donate! www.children.org

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