Quincy Enunwa steps into a lead role with the New York Jets, he led the team in receiving yards a season ago:

Photo credit: Al Pereira / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

VenueKings.com

Fourth year Receiver Quincy Enunwa evolved into a pretty good football player in his third season of professional action. Enunwa led the New York Jets in receiving yards with 857 yards and he also contributed 4 receiving touchdowns to the offense. That production made Enunwa the most prolific receiver on the Jets roster in 2016 and without Enunwa New York would have been in a lot of trouble. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker were both injured for most of the season and in their absence Quincy Enunwa stepped up and won himself a starting job for this football team. Now in 2017 Marshall and Decker are both gone and it will be all on Enunwa to take this team back to winning football. The Jets don’t have enough talent on their roster at the moment to have NFL success, so it will be a couple seasons before that happens. However Quincy Enunwa has to keep building his own legacy and that means he has to have another big year in 2017. This is actually a contract year for Enunwa so if he puts up big numbers he will be able to score a huge payday at the end of the season. Even if the Jets don’t want Enunwa he is essentially showcasing his talent to the entire league in 2017 and then Enunwa can go test free agency where he will get paid. It feels like the Jets will want to retain Quincy Enunwa at the end of the year because they don’t have anybody else that can really be a number 1 guy. At the end of the day though pro football is a business and if Enunwa plays well he won’t have to stick around with Jets beyond this upcoming season. So the New York Jets have to get it together in 2017 if they want to prevent more talent from leaving (In this case Quincy Enunwa). Keep an eye on this situation as the season progresses on.

Charity of the day: International Peace Institute

Go donate! www.ipinst.org

Wayne State University opens their 2017 football season September 2nd on the road against Walsh:

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Photo credit: Wayne State University Media

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

The Wayne State University Warriors will travel to North Canton, Ohio to take on Walsh University for their season opener. Wayne State finished the 2016 season with 7-4 record while Walsh finished last year 1-10. Still the past is behind us and it will be up to the Warriors to prove they can play at a high level again this upcoming season. Luckily for Wayne State they have a star in Quarterback D.J Zezula a guy who broke a number of the records during his time in Detroit. Zezula has the best passer rating (142.2), highest yards per completion (14.9), and most offensive yards per game (181.6) in the history of Wayne State’s football program. Those big time throwing capabilities give Paul Winters’ team a great chance to compete this upcoming year and the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will have a tough time stopping the Warriors offense. Especially since Romello Brown the second most prolific running in the league also shares the offensive backfield with Zezula. Brown finished 2016 with 1,564 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. Those are a very impressive stats and Brown will try to continue to climb the Warriors all time leading rusher list (he is currently 4th with 2,953). On the opposite side of the ball Walsh enters 2017 with their dynamic Running Back Aaron Male. Male heads into his senior season and was the most productive player Walsh had last season. If Wayne State wants to walk away from September 2nd as a winner they need to know where Male is as all times and effectively take number 20 for Walsh out of the game. The Warriors defense will be tasked with that challenge but at the end of the day Wayne State is the favorite and they should win this game. It’s imperative Wayne State starts the season off on the right foot, it’s hard to have a great year when you lose the first one. Kick-off is slated for 1:00 P.M September 2nd at Tom Benson Field.

Charity of the day: One Acre Fund

Go donate! www.oneacrefund.org

At 5-1 the Michigan Vipers are setting the tone for the Michigan Football League, Owner Darrell Searcy likes what he sees from the team:

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Photo credit: Michigan Vipers Media

Author: Jon Kuzma

VenueKings.com

Darrell Searcy has been a staple in Michigan Semi-Pro Football since 1994 when he was a stand out wide receiver for the Michigan Renegades. Searcy was known for making big plays on the gridiron but these days Searcy’s role has evolved into a much higher calling. Darrell Searcy now serves as the owner of his own semi-professional franchise known as the Michigan Vipers. The Vipers started operations back in 2007 and are located in Detroit, Michigan. Since starting the Vipers Searcy’s team has seen a tremendous amount of success including a 2016 Michigan Football League Championship. Now a season later the Vipers find themselves sitting atop the Michigan Football League again with a 5-1 record and repeating as league champions has to be on the team’s mind. The Vipers have put together an impressive 17 game winning streak in the league and are by far the front-runner to win the MFL again this year. The Kalamazoo Titans and Tri-City Stampede also have 5-1 records but with the Vipers being the defending champs you have to give an edge to the green and gold team out of Detroit. Darrell Searcy’s team will get a huge boost from getting starting Quarterback Monte Brown back from a leg injury. Brown is a very poised quarterback in the pocket and he does an exceptional job of understanding where he needs to go with the football based off the coverages he sees. Brown is joined in the backfield with Running Back Chris Arnold who always seems to rack up a ton of yardage on the ground. The Vipers also got a huge surprise out of rookie Wide Receiver Lavelle Griffin who has put up an outstanding 11 touchdowns on the season. Defensively the Vipers are led by star defenders Clarence Griffin, DeAndre Davis, and Javon Fullilove. The trio of Griffin, Davis, and Fullilove were an underlining factor in why the Vipers won the championship last year, it’s because these guys helped make up the best defense in the league. So it’s easy to step back and see that the Michigan Vipers have a ton of bright spots on their roster and that overall talent level has helped Darrell Searcy set his mind on back to back title hopes. You have to give this organization a ton of credit for all the success they’ve had over the past two seasons.

Charity of the day: One Acre Fund

Go donate! www.oneacrefund.org

Jaguars sign Center Brandon Linder to a five year $51.7 million dollar contract extension, a move that solidifies the middle of their offensive line:

Photo credit: Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

VenueKings.com

Fourth year Center Brandon Linder is having some great luck lately after signing a five year $51.7 million dollar contract extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Linder has played every one of his pro seasons with Jacksonville after being drafted out of the University of Miami. Linder excelled as an offensive guard in his rookie season but successfully made the transition to center in his third professional season. Eventually that position change led Brandon Linder to become the highest paid center in NFL history and the Southwest Ranches Florida native envisions spending his entire football career with the Jaguars. It’s easy to see why Linder feels this way not only do the Jags treat him exceptionally well, Linder also gets to remain close to home by playing in his home state of Florida. All of those elements have helped Brandon Linder become extremely comfortable and the results have showed on the field. You have to remember Brandon Linder is a 6 foot 6 inch 315 pound earth mauler on Jacksonville’s offensive front. Linder has no problem opening up either A gap and he can also get to the next level and punish linebackers. Those skills that make Linder so successful on the gridiron have been noticed by everyone within the organization and it was a no brainer to sign this guy to a contract extension. Brandon Linder is only 25 years old so he has plenty of football left ahead of him. Expect to hear Linder’s name more frequently now that he is getting the recognition he deserves and Blake Bortles has to be happy about the team solidifying pass protection for him. If Jacksonville truly wants to get back to winning football they will need to give Bortles as much time to operate as possible. Keeping Brandon Linder happy is the first step in making that happen.

Charity of the day: Opportunity International

Go donate! www.opportunity.org

Richie Incognito is doing everything he can to become a better man, you have to respect the guy’s desire to change for the better:

Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

VenueKings.com

During the 2013 NFL season Richie Incognito had to face a very serious problem, Incognito wasn’t hurt or seriously injured. Instead the Miami Dolphins offensive lineman was accused of bullying former teammate Jonathan Martin. The news of the allegations quickly hit the media and before Incognito knew it, he was in a whirlwind of media coverage that labeled him as verbally abusive and a racist bigot. Now to be fair most players inside the Dolphins locker room stated that Richie Incognito didn’t unfairly treat Jonathan Martin. Yes there was a voicemail in which Incognito used the n-word and profanity, however Incognito was also known for continuously building up Jonathan Martin when the young player struggled in practice. Ultimately Incognito’s downfall was the fact that he used a racial slur and we all have to agree that’s completely unacceptable. However that was one negative interaction that Martin decided to focus his entire complaint against Incognito on. There was no discussion of all the positive things Incognito did to help build up Jonathan Martin’s confidence and by not handling the situation “in house” Martin essentially threw Incognito under the bus as much as Incognito did to Martin with that voicemail. See Jonathan Martin was known as outsider for his entire NFL career, he continuously isolated himself and often came up short when the pressure is on. That’s a big part of the reason why Jonathan Martin is no longer in the NFL and it’s also why Martin is more known for the bullying scandal than his play on the field. Incognito might have been guilty of hazing Martin but the real misstep the now Buffalo Bill had was slipping up and allowing race to become a factor in that hazing. The good news for Richie Incognito is he has put all of the negativity behind him and he has found a way to win over the trust of all his current teammates. That’s right Incognito has grown tremendously from his struggles and he will no longer let race play into his interactions even if he is joking or not. By being less of a prankster in his interactions Incognito has managed to build a serious relationship with his Quarterback Tyrod Taylor and even petitioned for Taylor to be the starting quarterback when he arrived in Buffalo. It’s clear Incognito understands where he came up short in the past and now the 34 year old veteran is trying to go the extra mile when dealing with his teammates, especially those from different backgrounds. Incognito has done everything right after missing the entire 2014 season while that is a step in the right direction, keep in Incognito will never be able to escape the mistakes he made in the past. It’s just great to see that Richie Incognito is using those tough times to shape himself into a better man now as he continues to move forward.

Charity of the day: Opportunity International

Go donate! www.opportunity.org

Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football is slated to kick-off September 2nd, Olivet won the conference with a perfect 6-0 record in 2016:

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Photo credit: Olivet College Media

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football is only one month away and the Olivet Comets are looking to repeat as conference champions. Olivet ended 2016 with a perfect 6-0 record but the Comets will have to replace the league’s Most Valuable Player (2016) in Quarterback Braden Black who graduated this off-season. The good news is Olivet still has All-MIAA first-team Running Back Jerome Washington who rushed for 9 touchdowns a season ago. If Washington can continue to progress on his totals from last year, that will give the Comets a potent running game which is fundamental to success in football. Expect junior Offensive Lineman Jakeup Stuller to to anchor the offensive line for Olivet, the combination of Stuller opening holes and Washington wearing down defenders should be a great one two punch for first year Head Coach Dan Musielewicz. The ground game won’t be the only thing clicking for the Olivet offense either, senior Receiver Kornelius Saxton was extremely explosive last season and Saxton is expected to take flight again this upcoming year. Together all of those offensive pieces make the Comets tough to beat but keep an eye on who emerges as the team’s starting quarterback? Replacing Braden Black is going to be crucial for this offense moving forward and if Musielewicz can hit the ground running with his next quarterback that could be the difference between going for back to back championships or just being above average. You have to believe Olivet will still have a winning record in 2017, but you need an elite quarterback to put you over the top. Fortunately for the Comets they do have a boatload of talent on the defensive side of the ball to help balance things out. Junior Defensive Back Walter Love III was a All-MIAA first team defender and he will paired along with second team All-MiAA defensive back Javon Walker in the secondary. When you also factor in Senior linebacker Chase Cavric and Senior Defensive Lineman Tyler Douglass will be back it becomes obvious there is still a lot of talent on this roster. Olivet will give fits to the other teams in the MIAA but the question all year is whether or not they can handle going through a transitional year particularly at the head coach and quarterback position?

Charity of the day: One Acre Fund

Go donate! www.oneacrefund.org

Here are the top 5 Super Bowl contenders heading into 2017 and why you should wager your money on one of the them:

Photo credit: Tom Pennington / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

HeatAndCool.com

According to American Gaming Association stats and research 95 billion dollars was taken in sports wagers during the 2015 NFL and NCAA football seasons. With two years passing since then you have to expect that number to drastically increase and that means a lot of people are looking for the scoop on NFL insight for sports betting reasons. It’s easy to quickly glance at spreads and take a random shot in the dark at which team will win the Super Bowl, but what gamblers really need is a National Football League expert who understands the science that goes into playing the great sport of football. Endzoneblog covers the NFL 365 days a year and these are hands down the front-runners to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy this upcoming season.

Looking to place a bet? Check out Bet Online a sports book that accepts players from the USA!

1. New England Patriots- The New England Patriots won the Super Bowl last year and they could be even more talented in 2017. The Patriots added Brandin Cooks, Dwayne Allen, Stephon Gilmore, and Kony Ealy. Not to mention they managed to retain Dont’a Hightower who tested the market as a free agent but ultimately decided to stay with the Patriots. Key additions: Brandin Cooks, Dwayne Allen, Stephon Gilmore. Key losses: Jabaal Sheard, LeGarette Blount, Chris Long.

2. Atlanta Falcons- It shouldn’t be any surprise that the Patriots and Falcons are leading the pack because both teams had tremendous off-seasons after going to the Super Bowl. Atlanta didn’t lose any significant players from their championship caliber team and they actually added some significant players to their defensive front. Most notably Dontari Poe who comes over from the Chiefs and should pair nicely with NFL Sack Leader Vic Beasley. Key additions: Dontari Poe, Hugh Thorton, Takkarist McKinley (rookie). Key losses: Jonathan Babineaux, Jacob Tamme, Dashon Goldson.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers are a serious threat to knock off the Patriots in 2017. Pittsburgh got Martavis Bryant back from suspension and that will add another dynamic to the Steelers’ offense. As long as Le’Veon Bell’s contract dispute plays out smoothly and Pittsburgh has their star running back on the field, this team will be a force to be reckoned with in the AFC. Keep in mind it’s probably Ben Roethlisberger’s final season so you know he wants to go out with a bang. Key additions: Tyson Alualu, TJ Watt (rookie), Martavis Bryant (suspension). Key losses: Lawrence Timmons, Markus Wheaton, Ryan Harris.

4. Oakland Raiders- The Raiders have a stacked roster headlined by the addition of Marshawn Lynch at the running back position. Lynch will give the Raiders that same ground and pound tenacity that he brought to the Seahawks during their two Super Bowl appearances. The underlining factor in this team’s success will be whether or not Derek Carr can return to top form though? Carr is the lifeblood of the Raiders Super Bowl chances and we witnessed first hand what happens when he is out of the line up last year in the wild card loss against the Texans. Don’t expect the Raiders to lose in the first round of playoffs in 2017 if Derek Carr is on the field. This team has too many outstanding players to be a one and done team. Key additions: Marshawn Lynch, Jared Cook, Cordarrelle Patterson. Key losses: Latavius Murray, Stacy McGee, Malcom Smith.

5. Dallas Cowboys- This fifth spot came down to the Packers, and Cowboys. However with Green Bay losing Julius Peppers the Cowboys look poised enough to pass the Packers in 2017. Dallas has an electric young tandem in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliottt that will dictate the offense’s success. On the defensive side of the ball the Cowboys drafted a couple of University of Michigan defenders (Taco Charlton and Jourdan Lewis) to help lock down. All of those moves have the Cowboys moving up the NFC power rankings. Key additions: Nolan Carroll, Jonathan Cooper, Justin Durant. Key losses: Morris Claiborne Doug Free, Brandon Carr.

Charity of the day: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Go donate! www.lls.org

The Detroit Lions need a running game to help take the pressure off Matthew Stafford:

Photo credit: Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

VenueKings.com

Last year the Detroit Lions ranked 30th in the National Football League when it came to running the football and in order for this team to be successful they have to improve in that area. The Lions have two talented running backs on their roster in Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick. However both of those guys were injured at one point during last season and that really depleted the Lions chances of having success when it came to the running game. Now with Abdullah and Riddick both healthy this team will finally have a chance to establish a nice one two punch offensively. As long as Abdullah and Riddick can stay on the field, the Lions should be much better than 30th in the league. Ultimately that will help Matthew Stafford be even better because with a solid rushing attack Stafford won’t have to make everything happen by himself. Football coaches are always talking about having a “balanced offense” and that basically means the team is thriving on the ground and through the air. If the Lions can achieve a balanced offense in 2017 they will easily be a team that can get back to the postseason and they’re actually a threat to make a serious run. Stafford is in his prime and you have to remember this guy was a number 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Players have to be so gifted from a football stand point to be drafted number 1 out of a whole NFL draft class. Everything that helped Stafford earn that draft position is really being showcased now every Sunday during the season. If the Lions can get Ameer Abdullah going who can be a big play caliber player himself, there’s no telling how good this football team can be and it’s rare that the Detroit Lions are this good of a contender. The last piece of the puzzle will be whether or not Abdullah or Riddick can solidify themselves and make their presence felt? Detroit will get a huge boost if they can do so.

Charity of the day: Nature Conservancy

Go donate! www.nature.org

Tyrell Williams went from undrafted free agent to 1,000 yard receiver in his second professional season with the Chargers:

Photo credit: Wesley Hitt / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

VenueKings.com

Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver Tyrell Williams has had a unique journey since turning pro back in 2015. After recording 8 touchdowns and just shy of 1,000 yards in his final year at Western Oregon University, Williams was then signed as an undrafted free agent and was added to the Chargers receiving group. While Williams didn’t see significant action in his rookie season, after learning the ins and outs of the game Williams had an explosion of production in his second season. Williams recorded an impressive 1,059 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns in 2016, that was the most yards by any receiver on the Chargers roster and it’s clear Williams is fit for a lead role with the team. Now with Keenan Allen returning from injury and Mike Williams added to the roster, the Chargers will have a deep line up of receivers that can help Philip Rivers get the job done. Most people probably expect Allen to be the Chargers most prolific receiver in 2017 but keep in mind the tides can turn quickly in the National Football League. Keenan Allen hasn’t had 1,000 yards since 2013 and there’s a very real possibility Tyrell Williams could be the more dynamic receiver out of the two this upcoming year. Without doubt Williams has been much more valuable recently and that’s largely because Allen missed most of the season in the Chargers final year in San Diego. In order for the Chargers to be at their best they need both Allen and Williams playing at a high level, Los Angeles would also get a huge boost if Mike Williams and Dontrelle Inman can be significant contributors. Regardless though, with those four players the Chargers have their most talented group of pass catchers they’ve had in a long time and this group is set to take the league by storm when the regular season rolls around. Things are definitely looking up for Los Angeles.

Charity of the day: Humane Farming Association

Go donate! www.hfa.org

Tamba Hali and the Chiefs could be headed in separate directions after Hali’s disapproval of his playing time:

Photo credit: Peter G. Aiken / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

VenueKings.com

Kansas City Chiefs Outside Linebacker Tamba Hali recently took to Twitter to express his frustration with his lack of playing time during the 2016 season. Hali was most notably upset with the fact that he only played seven snaps last year in the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Steelers. With Hali recording 89.5 career sacks during his time in Kansas City it’s easy to see why the veteran pass rusher is upset. Tamba Hali has played his entire eleven year career with the Chiefs and has always been regarded as one of the league’s top sack producers. Now with Hali disgruntled it will be interesting to see if the Chiefs front office decides to part ways with the 33 year old defender? Kansas City has an emerging star in Outside Linebacker Dee Ford, the player who is mainly responsible for replacing Hali. That clearly has led to some friction within this organization and now Tamba Hali is wondering if there is a future for him with the Chiefs? Clearly if Hali stays in Kansas City his role is going to be tremendously downsized unless there is an injury to Justin Houston or Dee Ford. While that might not be the ideal case for Hali, ultimately that’s the reality of the situation. Therefore Hali might want to part ways with the team but if you’re the Chiefs you definitely want to keep this guy for depth reasons. Injuries can happen quickly and letting a talented player like Tamba Hali walk away could come back to hurt the Chiefs later on. Kansas City won’t get a lot of trade value for Hali because he is entering the twilight of his professional career. However if the Chiefs can get even a 7th round draft pick in return for Hali that would be better than just releasing the 11th year man out of Penn State. So Kansas City has to make a decision regarding Hali soon and it will be interesting to see the approach the Chiefs take?

Charity of the day: Humane Farming Association

Go donate! www.hfa.org

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