Tagged with "Draft"
Sports Friday with Hal: NFL NOTES AND MORE
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes

 

Happy Friday!

 

I’m a busy bee and have been reduced to my old “Lurker” status here as I check in for a quick read. Like the great Steve Miller sings, “Time keeps on slipping, slipping into the future”

 

 

So the New England Patriots are playing their division rival New York Jets in a monsoon on Thursday night so I will have this posted and ready to go before 8:30PM. A lot of fun storylines with talk of Darrelle Revis playing some wide receiver? Practice squad running back Jonas Gray stepping into the New England backfield? Jets tight end Jace Amaro finally putting together a good game last week.

 

STORY OF THE WEEK:

The best storyline is the the Bill Parcells book set to be released in a few weeks and news of the advance copy having plenty of juicy details about the divorce of Parcells-Belichick. Since the divorce--don’t forget--Parcells won nothing while Belichick won three Super Bowls and went to five.

 

That said, going back twenty years to what football in New England was pre-Parcells and Drew Bledsoe is almost comical. Whenever the team found the smallest measure of success, they found a way to ruin it in spectacular fashion. The Lisa Olsen Scandal. The Cocaine Scandal post getting Super Bowl shuffled in 1986. General Manager Pat Sullivan getting his ass kicked by Matt Millen and Howie Long after he taunted them after the Patriots upset the Raiders in the playoffs in ‘86. Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour failure nearly bankrupting the team owners. The debacle of drafting quarterback Tony Eason over Dan Marino. Steve Grogan, John Hannah, and Steve Nelson playing so many years for so many bad teams. Trading away the draft picks that became Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Cortez Kennedy. Head coach Chuck Fairbanks bailing on the team. Roughing the passer against Oakland in 1976. This list goes on and on and on and on and on. I am sure the Northeast Gabbers can add about 20 more without taxing their brains.

 

The Patriots owe a debt of gratitude to Parcells for sure, but kudos to Belichick for getting out from “Big Bill’s” shadow. Belichick has hinted at how he hated being linked to Parcells when he saw him as a defensive assistant coach who got the lucky break of taking on the Giants top position. Belichick always visibly reacted whenever a reporter made the mistake of referring to him as a Parcells protegee. Belichick really is a part of the Joe Collier coaching tree as Collier was the long-time defensive coach in Denver and where the “Orange Crush” 3-4 defense took root. Parcells was a Ray Perkins acolyte and Belichick was more established in his defensive philosophy prior to landing in New York. To lump Belichick into the Parcells family tree is really a stretch when you look at the differing styles and philosophies.

 

That said, I am really looking forward to Parcells’ book and gleaning a little more information about his ending in New England. Should be a fun read.

 

NFL NOTES:

 

I’ve been keeping my eyes on the AFC East as always as I write primarily about the Patriots, but in watching Buffalo the demise of C.J. Spiller has been eye-opening. While the benching of 2013 first-round draft pick quarterback E.J. Manuel has been the top story, the declining touches for Spiller has been shocking. He’s hit 15 carries just twice this season and against New England had just six carries after just ten against Detroit the week prior.

 

The offensive line in Buffalo is atrocious and Fred Jackson’s quick-decision running style is more conducive to toughing out yards after contact. Center Eric Wood is adequate and left tackle Cordy Glenn is excellent, but right tackle Seantrel Henderson and guards Erik Pears and Cyril Richardson are dreadful and not NFL starting quality.

 

Now, backup running back and former Philadelphia Eagle Bryce Brown is healthy at last and Spiller looks like the odd man out. Spiller is still effective in the return and passing game, and I believe the game tape does not lie: the problem is his poor blocking offensive line.

 

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The Boston Hollywood Sports Guy returned to Grantland/ESPN this week as his three week suspension for criticizing of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Three weeks later and my life was no poorer not reading his “mailbag” or not listening to his podcast as I haven’t tuned in to that since probably 2007 a few weeks after it came out. Simmons reportedly was furious about the suspension but didn’t go on a public diatribe or anything.

 

On one hand, Simmons is the godfather to us all. Blogs were not even really a “thing” back in the nineties. Simmons actually is a good writer who was a bartender after not being able to break into the Boston sports reporting scene. Simmons started writing on AOL Digital City (ahh, the heady 90s go-go Internet days!) and had his own website: BostonSportsGuy.com. By 2001 he was onto the big time at ESPN. After a hiatus to join the Jimmy Kimmel show in Hollywood, he was back and soon had his site Grantland.com.

 

In the pre-ESPN days, I adored Simmons and his unique style of writing. Without him, would TSN have blogs? Would I have started my BostonSportPage.com blog in 2005? Would we be sitting around the Gab loving and sharing sports? Probably not. That said, he went from “Must Read” to “ehhh, whatever” in the past few years. It is hard to maintain momentum and there are a ton of imitators who have come and gone.

 

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I was ecstatic to see Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll come out against the seven inactive players on game day. Currently, the NFL has a 53 man roster that receives full pay and counts against the salary. Randomly, the league has the team only be able to play 46 of the 53. They’re paying them but not playing them? Why?

 

Since I never heard a rational reason and having more healthy players able to contribute can limit teams using starters on special teams (Rob Gronkowski’s broken forearm in 2012 blocking on an extra point?) is a good thing, what the heck is the league doing? It seems ludicrous for teams to have to pay these players a full salary and sit them? Make it 46 players or keep it 53, but LET THEM PLAY.

 

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Wow, got on a few tangents there. OK, folks, time for me to watch some Thursday Night Football. P.S. Kudos to IHM filling in superbly for the great O.H. here on Thursday. Be sure to swing by next door to check in with the always interesting, informative, and opinioned StorminNorman as well --->.

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 
Sports Friday with Hal: NFL NOTES RETURN
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL NFL Draft Football NFL Regular Season

Happy Friday!

 

Yeah, don’t ask. I was AWOL last week. Wrote up my blog as usual in GoogleDocs (gotta be able to write anywhere anytime) and then somehow thought I had posted it Thursday night. Went to bed. Went to work. Went out Friday night to the Providence Bruins (minor league hockey). Had the usual crazy busy weekend. Went to the Gab Monday am to check the blogs and realized ***holy shit*** what did I forget!?!?!?

 

Much apologies, so enough with the mea culpa’s and on to the NFL this week:

 

Adrian Peterson continues to dominate NFL news as now he is potentially in violation of his criminal bond in violation of his criminal bond. This could--depending on the levels of a drug test--put him in violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy or--if he was already an offender it bumps him up a level. As far as character it is a strike if he is going to be incarcerated with his bond rescinded. For Peterson, it is another strike in the eyes of the public opinion.

 

*

 

In New York, the Jets head coach Rex Ryan is in a fight for his job as the 1-4 Jets play the two teams from the AFC Championship last season in the next seven days. Sunday Peyton Manning could have a chance to break Brett Favre’s touchdown record with the Jets horrid secondary. On Thursday night Sexy Rexy faces his nemesis (and complete opposite in dealing with the media) Bill Belichick. If the Jets cannot figure out a win, they could be 1-6 and how exactly do you keep a coach who has been consistently bad the last three years?

 

The Jets have second year quarterback Geno Smith missing meetings off the field while at a movie and offering a lame excuse about the time zones. Rather than bench his quarterback, Ryan sent the wrong message and started him against San Diego. Does anyone think Manning or Brady miss practices while sitting at a movie stuffing popcorn down their throat? The only movies those two watch is in the film room breaking down the opposing defense.

 

Michael Vick played in the second half but there was no controversy since he stunk just as bad as Smith. Now Ryan is sticking his neck out as he did last season when the Jets celebrated finishing .500 and saving their buddy, the head coach, his job by winning the last two games. They celebrated like winning the Super Bowl after finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs. That is the sign of a team that is never going to win anything important anytime soon.

 

*

 

The idiot move of the week was the Lions fan who shone a laser pointer at the Buffalo Bills players. Instead of a punishment, he was awarded by being banned from Ford Field and not having to watch head coach Jim Caldwell stand passively as a talented team stands to potentially lose its two best players: Ndamukong Suh and Calvin Johnson. Suh is a free agent and someone will overpay for the talented but petulant star. Johnson, despite signing a 7-year deal in 2012, is carrying a cap charge over $20 million next year. With his ankle injury limiting him, the Lions front office must be thinking what they can do with the money allocated to him and Donkey Kong since Megatron’s health issues could lead to some thinking about rebuilding the team in multiple positions with the surprising play of Golden Tate and the development of 2014 draft pick tight end Eric Ebron.

 

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The 2015 NFL Draft is already getting interesting as projected top running back Todd Gurley had just two jobs this year a Georgia: stay healthy and keep your nose clean. Health is not an issue, but now he is suspended indefinitely due to an investigation into whether he violated a rule (of which there is no real explanation yet as to what the rule actually is). Now this is no guarantee of him dropping out of the draft or anything, but it is a dumb move by a kid who is already costing himself money in the next year. At 230 pounds and faster than anyone that size should be, he is still going to be a high draft pick. Talent trumps all else in the NFL, after all.

 

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Denver Broncos lost the disappointing running back Montee Ball for a few weeks to injury after Denver oddly failed to re-sign Knowshon Moreno. Ball’s groin injury opens the door for Ronnie Hillman to start. A third-round pick in 2012, the short, fast, back has yet to make an impact in the NFL. Fumbling issues derailed any playing time for Hillman, so he has some work to do Sunday to keep hold of the job. First job, hold onto the ball. Peyton Manning is not going to deal with any back fumbling away a chance to win.

 

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OK, this time it’s posted! :)

 

Have a great weekend, all!

 
2014 YGS Fantasy Hockey Draft Tags: NHL Fantasy Hockey draft

Okay Gabbers...the draft is set for this Friday at 7:30pm EST. Everyone as far as I know is in, if you haven't gone into the league and clicked on your team to activate it from the invite I sent you then you need to do so, my adding your team does not activate it, you must click the link in the invite to get in...if you don't have it, or can't find it under SEARCH in your inbox from ESPN then comment below and I'll resend it so you can do so. Everyone that played last season is in this league, all I did was email you all invites to the new league since we didn't do a keeper league. Does anyone have any interest in doing a keepr league of one or two players? If so, let me know and I'll change it before the draft, but you must chime in for me to do so.

Any questions put them down and I'll get back to you! 

Good luck this seaosn....Sully

 

Sports Friday with Hal: The NFL Week Three
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes

 

Greg Hardy.

Ray McDonald.

Adrian Peterson.

Jonathan Dwyer.

 

There, that’s it. Not talking about those idiots anymore. They’re taking away from this fantastic football season and that is a shame.

 

So many great games to date, so many great games to come:

 

Matt Ryan is back to being elite. No he’s not. Wait, maybe he is. Tune in next week because with Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, and Roddy White that offense SHOULD be putting up sick numbers. Heck of a performance in week one and now week three (as it is on in the background) tearing apart Tampa Bay. Breakout star tight end Jordan Reed has been hurt and 2011 fifth round draft pick Niles Paul (who had four receptions last year, eight the year before, and just two in 2011) pulls down eight passes in week two for 99 yards and a touchdown. Crazy!

 

That RGIII injury? OUCH. My ankle hurt just seeing the replay. How about Kirk “Kissing” Cousins stepping in and the offense playing better without Griffin? Robert Griffin III looked efficient but not spectacular. Cousins had a big-game kind of day and just looks right for the role sitting in the pocket and finding everyone EXCEPT DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon seemingly. Yes, it was Jacksonville (why oh why did I go on record about the “huge improvement on defense” for the Jags?) but impressive none the less.

Speaking of the Jaguars, owner Shad Khan (cue the William Shatner cue the Star Trek II “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN!” clip) fired manager number three in just over a year across the pond as disappointing Fulham was relegated last year and losing to Nottingham Forest (yah, that’s as bad as it sounds...being beaten by the merry men!). I would not want to be head coach in Jacksonville with that track record for an owner. The Jags are 0-2, scored 27 total points in two games, have given up 75 points, top wide receivers Justin Blackmon and Ace Sanders are suspended, tight end Marcedes Lewis is on injured reserve, second-round draft pick Marqise Lee is out with a hamstring injury, and week one star receiver Allen Hurns is doubtful to play with an ankle injury. Current top receiver Cecil Shorts has not played yet after pulling down 66 catches last year and is still questionable for Sunday. That is rough. At least they’re sitting first-round pick Blake Bortles rather than run him out with no receivers to throw to on Sunday.

 

Super Bowl rematch in week three? Yes! Denver looking shaky but still winning both games...Seattle losing to San Diego as the Chargers picked apart the defense. Did not hear much in the offseason about Seattle’s losses on the defensive line, but Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett can’t do it all every week. Bruce Irvin needs to show up--he’s skated as a first round pick in 2012 for the Seahawks due to their other great personnel moves. Irvin is on the hot seat now. Chris Clemons and Red Bryant in Jacksonville, Clint McDonald in Tampa Bay … that’s a lot of players lose in the middle of the defensive line. Tony McDaniel and Brandon Mebane are run-stuffers, linebacker K.J. Wright does not rush the quarterback, and youngsters Jordan Hill, O’Brien Schofield and veteran Kevin Williams have not contributed much in the pass rush. Are there cracks in the defense in Seattle? Stay tuned.

Speaking of Thursday Night Football on CBS...

I LOVE IT!!!  Nothing better than primetime football on free TV.

 

The commercials for Tea Leoni in “Madame Secretary”?

Not so much of a fan. I predict six episodes and it is never seen again.

 

The Cincinnati Bengals have been the most complete team looking strong on defense (shutting down the Falcons last week looks even better with the Falcons destroying Tampa Bay Thursday Night) and doing enough on offense without wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert hurt last week. Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard are a dynamic duo at running back and getting back to health makes Cincinnati a favorite...up until the playoffs when Andy Dalton will find a way to lose the game. That said, the Bengals--in week three--and being 2-0 are already having trouble getting to the 85% threshold to avoid a blackout? Seriously? Thumbs down, Cincy...not like anyone is going to watch the Reds trying to hold off the Cubs for last place in the NL Central these next few weeks!

 

OK, that’s all for today. Have a great weekend, all!


 

Sports Friday with Hal: NFL NOTES
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes

Happy Friday!

 

Busy night with yet another fantasy football draft (trying to limit the number of fantasy football leagues this year to single-digits) and then the Patriots-Giants preseason game to watch and note (and get all Twitter-chatting about the game as well) while flipping between the college football action. I do not know where the SEC Channel came from on my cable package, but I love it.

 

The NFL updated their domestic violence policy after their wrist-slap on Ravens running back Ray Rice. With a second offense leading to banishment, it is a harsh penalty. Hitting a woman is wrong, especially when it is a professional athlete who spends hours in the gym getting ready to deliver bone-rattling hits on other freaks of nature with extreme speed, strength, and athleticism. Nice to the see the NFL did something right.

 

Loved seeing that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is “very upset” about the Logan Mankins trade. He needs a chip on his shoulder. Mankins is gone because he did not want to renegotiate his contract. That’s fine, it’s his right as a player. But the Patriots are not paying a 32-year-old guard a contract costing over $20 million combined in 2014 & 2015 as he has clearly declined since 2011. Getting a move tight end (Tim Wright) and a 4th round pick is a steal for clearing cap space. Second-year guard Josh Kline should be ready to step in unless the Patriots go with veterans Dan Connolly and/or Ryan Wendell at a guard spot. Better a year early with Mankins than a year late!

 

Cleveland All-World wide receiver Josh Gordon is out for the year with his suspension. I really expected that he would be able get his sentence reduced, but he apparently went for all or nothing and paid the price. He indicated interest in playing in the CFL this year, but the Browns nixed that opportunity. Gordon did not hit a woman. He did not drink and drive (well, he wasn’t suspended for that!) and put innocent lives in danger, nor did he take drugs designed to give him an unfair advantage over his opponents. Nope, just smoked some weed (or, as he contested, inhaled second-hand smoke) and got busted on a drug test.

 

Denver wide receiver Wes Welker has yet to be cleared to play, but with 3 concussions in his last 10 games for Denver he has to be careful. Yes, he has the right to earn a living, but his health is too important to put in jeopardy. Concussions are not a joke. Welker is in the last year of his contract and is likely wanting to look good for potential suitors, but rushing back from a concussion is a bad idea.

 

Finally, ESPN reached a new low as “reporter” Josina Anderson wrote an article on openly gay St Louis Rams player Michael Sam and his showering habits in the locker room and if other teammates are uncomfortable. I refuse to click on the article or anything talking about it. The man is a football player. His sexual orientation should not be the story, but rather his play on the field. Leave the kid alone and see if he makes the team before getting into any other crap that floats around the league.

 

OK, all. Have a great Labor Day weekend!

 
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