Jon Gruden will end up restoring the Raiders to greatness. All signs suggest Gruden is changing the culture in Oakland:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Jon Gruden knows how to coach football and that’s becoming more and more evident everyday at Raiders OTAs. The former Super Bowl winning coach (XXXVII-2002) hasn’t skipped a beat in his decade away from the sidelines. Now Oakland seems enthusiastic and upbeat about their future. When morale is this high good things tend to be the result of it. Gruden’s impact is definitely being felt in the East Bay Area and that should be a warning to the other AFC West teams. Leadership is so crucial and it was once said that an army of sheep led by a lion could defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. Jon Gruden is a lion in every sense of the word and his methods are going to have a trickle down effect all the way to the 53rd man on this roster, and then to the practice squad guys too. There’s no substitute for having a calculated general like Jon Gruden calling the shots for your ball club. Every single transaction they make from here on out will run through Jon Gruden at some point. Ultimately that brightens the outlook for the Raiders future. If you look at the moves they made this past offseason it’s easy to see that Reggie McKenzie and Gruden wanted to build a collection of good players who could fit in roles opposed to just signing the best free agents available. There was some nice strategy executed on Oakland’s behalf and now the proof is in the current state of this organization. The stock arrow is pointing up and the ticker could jump even higher if Gruden starts calling some amazing plays on game day. We all saw what Sean McVay’s offensive creativity did for the Rams. Gruden could be even better than that so the Silver and Black are on the rise and it’s only a matter time before they’re playing winning football. 

Charity of the day: Mental Health America

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We’ll say it one more time all signs suggest Jon Gruden is changing the culture!

Teddy Bridgewater is finally 100% healthy and he’s showing signs of greatness at Jets OTAs:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Former Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater appears fully recovered from the torn ACL he suffered back in 2016. Bridgewater is currently lighting it up for New York at OTAs and that’s such a big turnaround for a player whose career was once in doubt. Maybe the most intriging part of the 25 year old’s success is how it will impact the depth chart? Josh McCown is slated to be the number one guy but if Bridgewater can keep delivering big plays he might end up getting the nod at somepoint. That’s not because McCown is bad, it just that his career is winding down. Bridgewater on the other hand could play for another decade or so and that might be more appealing to Head Coach Todd Bowles. Then there’s the question of how all this will affect Sam Darnold? Darnold was the Jets top draft pick this past Spring and sooner or later he’ll be asked to carry this franchise. Having too many good quarterbacks is a great problem to have but someone will have to be shipped out. Unless New York is alright with keeping Sam Darnold as a back up for two or three seasons like the Packers did with Aaron Rodgers they’re about one quarterback too deep at the position. It’s very unlikely the Jets will want to trade a player who they just drafted with the third overall pick. So that’s leaves McCown or Bridgewater as the candidates to be dealt before the season ends. Of course the team could just wait until McCown retires but New York wouldn’t get any value in return if they go that route. Which makes it obvious the front office should either trade away McCown or Bridewater A.S.A.P to at least get an addition draft pick for the future. With the way Bridewater is playing it seems like he is the guy who should be retained.

Charity of the day: HelpMeSee

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Teddy Bridgewater is showing signs of greatness and the Jets have to be very pleased with that.

Brandon Marshall signed with the Seattle Seahawks in an attempt to resurrect his career:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Brandon Marshall is 34 years old but he’s not ready to thrown in the towel just yet. Marshall signed with the Seattle Seahawks today and would like to resurrect his professional football career. After struggling with the Giants and Jets the last couple of seasons Marshall gets another fresh start and this willl likely be the veteran receiver’s last stop if he can’t get something going in Pete Carroll’s offense. The general managers around the league have no desire to waste a roster spot on a fading receiver, so Marshall needs to come out and at least put up five or six touchdowns. If the 6’4 230 pound pass catcher can contribute something in a complementary role then that will be the key to extending Marshall’s future in this league. The Seahawks aren’t asking for a lot but they do need more than a litte bit from the former Central Florida standout. With eight seasons of 1,000 receiving yards on his resume there’s definitely a chance Brandon Marshall has some gas left in the tank. Especially when you consider Russell Wilson led the NFL in passing touchdowns last year with 34. Without a doubt there’s a little bit of opportunity there for Marshall to join this ball club and grab more than a couple of TDs. Maybe the biggest factor whether or not that happens will be the 13th year pro’s fitness level? If Marshall can cut his weight down to 220 or 215 pounds he’ll be much better suited for the speed of the NFL game. 230 is just too heavy unless Marshall wants to bump inside and be an undersized receiving tight end. At this point of his career Marshall should stay outside where he is familiar with the position but he has to get faster and that can be achieved by lowinger his playing weight. Give credit to the Seahawks for taking a risk on Brandon Marshall though if this move pans out it could be a big signing for them.

Charity of the day: HelpMeSee

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This could be Brandon Marshall’s last chance to resurrect his career.

This season will be so telling for Carson Wentz. After leading the MVP race for most of last year Wentz will have to prove his spectacular play was no fluke:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Carson Wentz is coming off a 2017 season where he lit it up for the Philadelphia Eagles. Wentz threw for an impressive 33 touchdowns and 7 interceptions even though he missed three games. Wentz would have been in the 40 touchdowns ballpark had he played the full sixteen game schedule and that’s serious offensive firepower. Obviously the injury has to concern you if you’re an Eagles fan because Wentz likes to scramble and create plays with his feet. If the former North Dakota State quarterback can stay healthy though the ceiling is very high and Wentz might be one of the next great players in professional football. When you think about the past Philadephia greats like Ron Jaworksi, Donovan McNabb, and Randle Cunningham it feels like Carson Wentz might be the next guy in line. Especially since this was only Carson Wentz’s second pro season. Another training camp in Doug Pederson’s system will significantly refine Wentz’s skills. Which means the 25 year old could be even better in his third attempt at the NFL. If you’re one of the other teams in the NFC East that has to be frightening and it’s going to take a serious pass rush to stop Philly. That means the Cowboys or Redskins will actually have the best chance match up wise against Wentz and the Eagles. In all honestly though as long as this organization (Eagles) doesn’t get too full of themselves they should be a clear lock to repeat in the division. If Philadelphia wants to repeat as Super Bowl champions though they’ll need to start the season off scorching hot again. Wentz has to be up there in the MVP debate as well. It all starts with the most important position in football which is the QB spot. Good quarterback play always seems to be the difference maker in the National Football League.

Charity of the day: Action on Smoking and Health

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Soon will find out if Carson Wentz will end up leading the MVP race again?

The Carolina Panthers are way more talented than they were last season. That should make them a Super Bowl sleeper team this year:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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If you watched the Carolina Panthers last season you know they probably should’ve beat the New Orleans Saints in the NFC playoffs. Carolina was banged up at the receiver position (Devin Funchess played injured, Curtis Samuel was on I.R) still though Cam Newton was only six points shy of taking down Drew Brees and Sean Payton. With the additions the Panthers front office has made this offseason it’s easy to believe they’ll be much improved this upcoming season. Especially when you consider their depleated receiver position has been upgraded with Torrey Smith and D.J Moore. Now Newton has players who can actually create some plays on the outside and that’s going to result in a lot more points this year. Then you have to factor in that Christian McCaffrey is going to be much better with a season of experience under his belt. Which is going to be huge for Carolina’s offensive potentcy. Curtis Samuel will also return from the ankle problems that cost him most of his rookie season. On top of all of those points you have to remember C.J Anderson also joined this franchise’s offensive backfield. Anderson was a 1,000 yard rusher with the Broncos this past year and that’s going to help this team control the time of possession. If Carolina has the ball in their hands much longer there’s no telling how much better they can be on gameday? Anderson and McCaffrey will be interchangable pieces but the good news is Anderson can handle the inside running duties, while McCaffrey plays out of shotgun formations. That tandem will end up being similar to Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara in New Orleans. With so many key pick ups Carolina will certainly be a sleeper team when the postseason rolls around. They might even be worth a pre-season Super Bowl bet if you want take advantage of the new gambling laws.

Charity of the day: Action on Smoking and Health

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The Panthers are way more talented than last year. Everything looks good in Charlotte.

Frank Ragnow and Kerryon Johnson were the perfect complementary players for Matthew Stafford. Detroit’s offense is going to fire on all cylinders this season:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn had a couple of goals in mind entering this year’s NFL Draft. The first objective was to select Frank Ragnow who was on every team’s radar being one of the top offensive lineman available. By bringing Ragnow aboard Detroit can solidify their blocking upfront which has always been a problem for their organization as far back as most fans can remember. The person who benefits most from Detroit’s first round pick is Quarterback Matthew Stafford. Ragnow is going to keep those defensive lineman at bay and if Stafford has time to operate he could end up leading the entire league in passing yards. The Lions gave up way too many sacks a year ago (47) but that number should drop substantially this upcoming season. Then Bob Quinn took even more pressure and responsibility off Stafford’s shoulders by picking up Kerryon Johnson out of Auburn. Johnson was the 2017 SEC Player of the Year so he comes to this team with some very outstanding football accomplishments on his resume. Between Kerryon Johnson and Legarrette Bount Quinn has revamped Detroit’s abysmal running game. Ragnow also will help open holes for those two running backs so there’s so much to be happy about if your Matthew Stafford. It’s very possible number 9 (Stafford) helps this franchise achieve their best offensive season since he arrived in the Motor City because it’s been awhile since Detroit has been this deep. The defense isn’t quite as good as when Ndamukong Suh was battling in the trenches. However Matthew Stafford, Frank Ragnow, and Kerryon Johnson are going to put a ton of points on the board and that might be good enough to get this ball club back in the playoffs. From there it’s all about playing your best football and making a run.

Charity of the day: Keep America Beautiful

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Detroit looks like they’ll fire on all cylinders this upcoming season.

The Packers have a very talented group of linebackers who are going to play fast and physical:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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There’s a very talented cast of linebackers that are going to be one of the strongpoints of Green Bay’s defense this upcoming season. Clay Matthews headlines the group but there’s also rising stars in Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan. Matthews is already entering his 10th season so it’s been a tremendous run for the third generation football player and the Packers are expecting big things from their long haired defender. Then you have Blake Martinez who tied for the most tackles in the NFL last season with 144. By having a player who is dedicated to making every single stop Green Bay gets a huge boost in the pursuit department. Martinez has an engine that’s alway running and it really inspires the people around him. Jake Ryan is similar but doesn’t have quite the output that Martinez brings on gameday. Still Ryan is a good player and when you plug him with all these other talented LBs it forms a solid quartet. Which brings us to the last player of the group who is Nick Perry. Perry is almost on par with Clay Matthews when it comes to producing a pass rush. In fact Green Bay’s other outside linebacker had 7 sacks last season compared to Matthew’s 7.5. Those are the playmakers of this defense and then Martinez and Ryan clog up all the running lanes in the middle. Imagine how big it would be for this team if every one of those guys had their best season? Muhammad Wilkerson should help upfront too so there’s a lot of great things going on right now for Mike McCarthy’s ball club and also keep an eye on Clay Matthew’s sack total. If Matthew’s can take his game to the next level and really live up to his alpha dog title that’s when this defense will be at their best. Regardless though there’s a lot of talent collectively in this linebacker corps and it should make for some really exciting football.

Charity of the day: Keep America Beautiful

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The Packers LBs play fast and physical every single play.

Adrian Clayborn was a huge signing for the Patriots. New England needs Clayborn to help put them over the top:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Patriots are still upset with how the Super Bowl turned out. One of the reasons things went so bad in that game was the fact that Bill Belichick’s defense surrendered 41 points. After struggling all season on that side of the ball and losing on the big stage New England knew they needed a star player to change their ways defensively. Belichick signed Adrian Clayborn to a two year $10M dollar contract to be that guy and if you don’t remember Clayborn had 6 sacks in a game last year for the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots are hoping their new defensive end can continue dominate like he did in that contest and if Clayborn does it will be a huge boost for a group who just lost their coordinator (Matt Patricia is now the Lions head coach). What stands out most about the former Iowa Hawkeye (Clayborn) is his athleticism for how big he is. This guy is 280 pounds but he is extremely agile for that size. So many times Clayborn beat an offensive tackle around the edge and finished the play with a sack. Not only was that speed too much for offensive lineman to match up with, Adrian Clayborn was also able to use his strength to rip through any player who tried to get their hands on him. It almost seemed like Clayborn was unblockable at times and if you’re the Patriots you have to feel ecstatic about signing someone this talented for only $5M dollars per season. Maybe the most notable thing about this acquistion is Clayborn just started playing the best football of his life. The 9.5 sacks he recorded last year were the most of his career so this was the perfect time for New England to swoop him up. It’s just another big win for that team up there in Foxborough and we’ll see if this addition ends up getting the Patriots over the hump?

Charity of the day: Oxfam-America

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Adrian Clayborn will tasked with putting the Patriots over the top.

Committed to defense: The Vikings, Jaguars, and Broncos had the top three defenses in the league last season and they all drafted a defender with their 1st round pick

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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We all know that defense wins championships and clearly the Vikings, Jaguars, and Broncos understand that. Those three teams were ranked number one (Vikings), number two (Jaguars), and number three (Broncos) in the National Football League and despite that they all selected a defender in the first round of the draft. Minnesota knew they had a weak spot in their secondary. Trae Waynes struggled in the playoffs and seemed undersized against some of the elite receivers pro football has to offer. Mike Zimmer keyed in on that and drafted Central Florida’s Mike Hughes. Hughes is going come in and immediately give the Vikings a corner who can be physical at the line of scrimmage. With Zimmer’s brilliant play calling the former Golden Knight defensive back should be able to fit in perfectly with the everything they’re trying to accomplish up North.

The Jaguars also went defense but they were kind of surprising because they drafted another defensive lineman. With Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Dante Fowler, Yannick Ngakoue, and Marcel Dareus it seemed like Jacksonville was secure at that position. However Tom Coughlin knows exactly what it takes to win in the NFL and that’s why he went back to the well and drafted Taven Bryan. Truthfully that could lead to the Jaguars surprassing the Vikings this upcoming season. Especially because this defensive front is going to be nearly unstoppable and it all starts in the trenches. Bryan will also add a lot of lateral quickness on the defensive line which should work extremely well against the run.

Denver wasn’t satisfied with their defense either and they landed the top defensive prospect in the entire draft. That was North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb who is going to be a force to be reckoned with from day one. Chubb is big and quick with excellent technique. Not many rookies are this talented rip and swim wise which is going to be the difference maker against the NFL’s elite offensive tackles. Chubb is a star by himself and when you put him next to Von Miller there will be all out chaos when the Broncos rush the passer. So you can see why each team committed to defense and it’s because it’s the most surefire way of winning football games. It feels like Jacksonville will be the best but don’t doubt the Broncos either.

Charity of the day: Oxfam-America

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Case Keenum is lighting it up at Broncos camp. There has been nothing but high praise for Denver’s new starting quarterback:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Every report coming out of Colorado has been positive when it comes to Case Keenum. Devontae Booker said Keenum is “more demanding” in the huddle and that’s usually the sign of a good leader. Keenum is tasked with getting everyone to focus and buy into what the coaches are calling. By taking charge that sets the tone for everyone else and lets be honest the other players in the Broncos locker room are desperate for success. This team has only won fourteen games over the past two seasons. So when Keenum brought a more committed mentility to the Mile High City everyone else was onboard for that type of approach. Utimately this new mindset will pay huge divdends for this ball club. Culture is so important and give credit to Case Keenum because he is trying to overhaul a status quo which often resulted in losing. It’s a pefect fit for the former University of Houston quarterback because the Broncos might have been struggling but they’ve never really been a franchise that could be considered a doormat team. The Bowlen family has always set high standards and Keenum knew this situation would have some serious potential. Another perk for Case Keenum is the having Von Miller and Bradley Chubb who can get him the ball back frequently. It feels like three and outs are going to be a lot more common this upcoming season and that’s just additional opportunity for the ex-Viking. If Keenum progresses from the player he was last season it’s going to be scary how good the 30 year old can be? Most people don’t realize this but Case Keenum passed for more yards than anyone else in college football history. So it’s not a surprise that he’s overcame going undrafted and is beating the odds in the NFL. Sometimes you have to believe in yourself and keep pushing forward no matter who doubts you.

Charity of the day: Junior Achievement USA

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Case Keenum is lighting it up and football fans should take notice.

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