Ten 2010 NFL Draft Steals
Category: NFL

Every draft in the NFL has steals. Guys passed over countless times by every team before finally being selected.

Some steals happen in the sixth round, like future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. Some steals become solid players for years.

Some steals happen because the players have character issues, while others happen because teams are looking to fill needs in other areas first.

The first picture is of Ndamukong Suh, who might be the biggest steal this year. He has Hall of Fame written all over him, and the Detroit Lions should be sending the Saint Louis Rams a "Thank You" card for passing on him.

Let's look at this year's other potential steals.

Mardy Gilyard

In the fourth round, after 98 other players were chosen, the Saint Louis Rams grabbed Gilyard.

This wide receiver knows what hard work is, having lived out his car while working to pay his college tuition.

The Rams just got themselves an expert return specialist who could easily become a huge part of their passing attack one day.

Bruce Campbell

Many thought the Raiders would draft the most athletic offensive lineman in the draft with their first round selection, but Oakland waited until the fourth round, almost 100 picks later, to get him.

The kid is raw, but huge. Raiders head coach Tom Cable's expertise is the offensive line, so he will have fun coaching this talent up to possibly being the teams starting left tackle for the next decade.

Navorro Bowman

A fringe first round pick fell to the third round before the San Francisco 49ers grabbed him.

Niners head coach Mike Singletary is a no-nonsense Hall of Fame linebacker unconcerned by Bowman's off-field issues.

The kid comes from Linebacker U. under JoePa, so he really lucked into a good situation here. His selection just helps a team that already had an excellent draft.

Ricky Sapp

The Philadelphia Eagles got the chance for a huge steal here. Sapp is projected to be an outside linebacker, a huge need. He is also excellent at getting to the quarterback.

Even if he plays defensive end, the fifth round pick has a very good chance to contribute right away.

Brody Eldridge

It seems every year the Indianapolis Colts draft a tight end. All have been pass-catching types until they snagged Eldridge in the fifth round this year.

His specialty is blocking, and he was the highest-rated player at his position in that area for the entire draft.

Now the Colts can look to run the ball a bit more in the upcoming season.

Colt McCoy

When ESPN was talking to Browns president Mike Holmgren in the first round, Jon Gruden and Steve Young went out their way to ask if McCoy was a prospect. Holmgren told his coaching disciple and former quarterback they knew him too well.

Cleveland then proceeded to gamble deep into the third round that he would be there before pouncing.

McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, fits the system Cleveland runs and is now considered the future.

Amari Spievey

Spievey is a tough guy who loves to hit. Detroit selects him in the third round, and he bolsters a secondary in need of help.

With him and second-year safety Louis Delmas, the Lions look to make opponents pay for catching the ball on them.

Everson Griffen

Another first-round prospect who fell to the fourth round because of character concerns.

If he gets his head straightened out under the tutelage of the Williams', the Minnesota Vikings got a guy who will push for playing time immediately.

Jonathan Dwyer

It seems that every year since 1969 the Pittsburgh Steelers grab a great player or two.

After getting their next pass rush demon in Jason Worlids, they get a talented back in the sixth round with Dwyer.

Though he has fullback experience, the kid runs well between the tackles.

He could add solid depth that is needed.

Cam Thomas

The San Diego Chargers desperately needed a nose tackle, and they waited until the fifth round to address this need.

Getting Thomas is a huge steal for the Bolts. He is huge and strong. Occupying multiple blockers is his specialty.

He looks to start right away.

Draft Rant... Sort of...
Category: NFL

   Well folks, we're three rounds into the 2010 NFL Draft, and the Lions are already done til later on Saturday. Honestly... I loved the #2 pick of Ndamukong Suh (Is that how you spell the first name? Fuck that's gonna be a pain in the ass to learn). By getting Suh, the Lions might just have grabbed the best overall player in the draft... and instantly improved their defense.

   Then there was the trade... with the Vikings... to get back into the first round at #30... even though you pick again at #34, and nobody out of the Vikings, Colts, Saints or Rams can possibly take a running back with their first round/second round picks. The guy they got, Jahvid Best, is a hell of a football player; when he's healthy. Hell, Best might just be the best running back in this draft when all is said and done. But the concussion history worries me, especially with him running behind a shitty Lions offensive line. He will be hit... early and often. Hopefully he's fully recovered... and done with the flips into the end zone.

   But getting Jahvid Best gives the Lions the kind of gamebreaker at running back... again, assuming he's healthy... they haven't had since the days of #20. Not going to mention his name in the same sentence as Best... at least not for a couple of years. At any rate, though, it'll be great watching the guy in Honalulu Blue and Silver.

   The trade to get him, giving up a 4th rounder, wasn't very good. This is a team that literally needs all the fucking help it can get, especially on the O-line and on defense... every position! Not to mention WR... but that's a sad enough story in its self. Don't know much about the guy got in the third, the corner form Iowa, Amari Spivey. According to ESPiN's write up... he might be able to start right away... and eventually become a starter... at safety. But in the Lions secondary, aside from Delmas, the guy in row 43, seat 12 could fuckin start at corner for the Lions these days.

   So all in all, right now, I'll give Mayhew a B- for the day. Made the obvious pick with Suh, got a good guy in Best, but gave up too fuckin much, and got a potential starter in Spivey in round 3.

  As far as my retard pick of the draft so far... how about a big shout out to the Broncos. Trading up to land Tim Tebow... a guy who won't start at QB for at least two years... if he EVER starts. I don't know what the hell McDaniels put in the Kool Aid in their pre draft party. Look, I know after Marshall and Cutler you want to bring in some "character", but fuckin Mickey Mouse ain't helpin you win any games.

  I figured if anybody would have done the "reach for TebLow" dance, I would have guessed Jacksonville trades down and gets him... right around where the Broncos did. Either way, would have been a shity pick... but at least it would have put a few more asses in the seats down there. Now it looks like they're screwed... and on the way to LA.

  Other QB's... Jimmy Claussen falls to the second round... but much to BDub's delight, fell right into the Panthers laps. As for the Browns; they passed up Colt McCoy... three times, and he still falls to them at #86. Got a little lucky there, Brownies, but you got a few other good players in the meantime.... well, if you want to call the two schmucks they grabbed good players. Hardesty? Should have grabbed Tate... get McCoy somebody to throw to. T. J. Ward... over the guys that were left? Not much of a pick there either, Holmgren. But at least you didn't pass on him the third time... and that's all that matters.

  Overall, when you look at this draft class... a lot of talented players who are either damaged goods or have "character issues". Only time will tell who's a boom and who's a bust.

Roethlisberger, Plain and Simple
Category: NFL

--The punishment for Big Ben's behavior works for me... 

--It was brilliant to announce the suspension the day before the draft. By doing that, the NFL gives this negative story much shorter legs...

--The Steelers should not trade Big Ben. Give him one last chance. I believe he has learned his lesson...

--If I had a top ten draft pick, I would offer it straight up for Big Ben... maybe even throw in a lower round pick as well...

--All of this trade stuff that's going on is just a bunch of posturing to satisfy the disgruntled... nothing will happen...

--I like the word "disgruntled" (unhappy), but on the opposite side of the spectrum, if someone is happy, do you call them "gruntled"???





Roethlisberger Exposed Himself
Category: NFL

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- The young woman who accused Ben Roethlisberger of sexual assault said she tried to get away from the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and told him "no, this is not OK," according to police documents released Thursday.

In a statement to police on March 5, the 20-year-old college student said Roethlisberger encouraged her, and her friends, to take numerous shots of alcohol. Then one of his bodyguards escorted her into a hallway at the Capital City nightclub, sat her on a stool and left. She said Roethlisberger walked down the hallway and exposed himself.

"I told him it wasn't OK, no, we don't need to do this and I proceeded to get up and try to leave," she said. "I went to the first door I saw, which happened to be a bathroom."

According to her statement, Roethlisberger then followed her into a nearby bathroom and shut the door.

"I still said no, this is not OK, and he then had sex with me," she wrote. "He said it was OK. He then left without saying anything."

In 500-plus pages of documents released Wednesday, Nicole Biancofiore, a friend of the accuser, told investigators from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations her friend, a student at Georgia College & State University, "was dragged by a bodyguard to the back room in Capital [City, a local nightclub]. She was extremely intoxicated and not aware of what was happening."

Two of the woman's friends said they saw the bodyguard lead her into the hallway and then saw Roethlisberger follow. They said they couldn't see their friend but knew she was drunk and were worried about her.

Ann Marie Lubatti told police she approached one of Roethlisberger's two bodyguards and said, "This isn't right. My friend is back there with Ben. She needs to come back right now."

She said the bodyguard wouldn't look her in the eye and said he didn't know what she was talking about. The GBI later identified that bodyguard as Ed Joyner, and the GBI also determined that the man who led Roethlisberger's accuser down the hallway was Anthony Barravecchio. Joyner is a Pennsylvania trooper and Barravecchio is an officer on the force in the Pittsburgh suburb of Coraopolis.

Attorney Michael Santicola, who represents Barravecchio but said Joyner also is a longtime friend, confirmed on March 10 that the two officers were present, but not in an official capacity. He said the two men are friends with Roethlisberger and did not witness any criminal activity or inappropriate behavior. He said the officers "have no memory" of meeting Roethlisberger's accuser.

Roethlisberger was not charged in the incident, which occurred in the early morning hours of March 5 in Milledgeville, a central Georgia college town about 30 miles from where Roethlisberger owns a lake home.

Ocmulgee Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright said Monday that after exhaustive interviews and inconclusive medical exams, the student's accusations could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. He also revealed the young accuser no longer wanted him to prosecute. Roethlisberger is being sued in civil court by a former Nevada hotel employee for an alleged sexual assault in 2008. No criminal charges were filed in that case.

According to the investigators' summary of events, Roethlisberger's friend Brad Aurila had a conversation with the quarterback when they returned to his house that night and asked him why police showed up at the nightclub. In an interview with police, Aurila said Roethlisberger told him nothing had happened and that he "was in the back with a girl and they were 'messing around.'" Aurila said he "took 'messing around' to mean 'kissing, whatever.'"

In her first statement to police hours after the incident, the woman said she and her friends first saw Roethlisberger at Velvet Elvis.

"He then met us at the Brick and called us a 'tease.' Eventually, we saw him at the Capital City and saw him there. We said 'hey' and he started talking to [redacted] [nothing in particular] and his bodyguard took him back to the room w/ bathroom," she wrote. "I said, 'I don't know if this is a good idea' and he said, 'It's OK.' He had sex with me and meanwhile his bodyguards told my friends they couldn't pass them to get to me."

In a second statement on March 5, the woman went into more detail about the encounters with Roethlisberger, saying that he made "crude, sexual remarks" when the two groups encountered each other at the second bar, before they went to Capital City.

There, Roethlisberger was surrounded by women, according to statements made by the accuser's friends.

"At the back of Capital City, the room was blocked off for him and females only," Nicole Biancofiore wrote in a statement to police.

After the accuser emerged from the bar and told Biancofiore and Lubatti about the encounter, the women left.

"I walked up to the first cop car we saw and told them what happened," Lubatti said in a statement.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is reviewing the matter and Steelers president Art Rooney II said Thursday that the league and team probably won't settle on any punishment until after next week's draft.

"When we get to the point where we have agreed with the commissioner on what that action will be, that's when it will be imposed," Rooney said. "After imposing an appropriate level of discipline and outlining the steps we feel will be necessary to be successful as a player and a person, we intend to allow Ben the opportunity to prove to us he is the teammate and citizen we all believe he is capable of being."

Rooney said the team is prepared to discipline Roethlisberger now, but will wait for the league's decision. Roethlisberger told him that he will accept the punishment, Rooney said.

Sparked partly by the Roethlisberger incident, Goodell sent a memo last week to NFL owners, executives and head coaches emphasizing the importance of the league's personal conduct policy. The memo was first reported by The New York Times.

"Unfortunately, in recent weeks there have been several negative incidents," the memo stated. "These incidents include subjects that we have previously identified as particularly troublesome, such as alcohol-related offenses, allegations of violence against women, and weapons offenses. ... The policy makes clear that NFL and club personnel must do more than simply avoid criminal behavior. We must conduct ourselves in a way that is responsible, that promotes the values upon which the league is based, and is lawful."

The Roethlisberger case has infuriated the Steelers.

"I have made it clear to Ben that his conduct in this incident did not live up to our standards," Rooney said. "We have made it very clear to Ben that there will be consequence for his actions, and Ben has indicated to us he is willing to accept those consequences."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

As Posted on

The Greatest Pro Football Defenses Without A Title
Category: NFL

Sometimes having the best defense doesn't always mean you are guaranteed a title. Though the Pittsburgh Steelers have won four times with the top rated defense in points allowed, the Dallas Cowboys have won six total titles despite never once having the top rated defense in points allowed in their entire franchise history.

Here is a list of some of the greatest defenses in pro football history to have not won a title during their magical seasons.

1967 Los Angeles Rams

This was the heyday of the Fearsome Foursome, maybe the greatest defensive line in pro football history. It is also the only year they finished first overall in defense, giving up 14 points per game.

The Rams finished first again in 1974 and 1975, and only Merlin Olsen was left from the legendary line. A true statement of his greatness. There were five members of the defense to make the Pro Bowl that year, Olsen, Deacon Jones, Roger Brown, Maxie Baughn, and Eddie Meador. The offense was the top ranked in the league and boasted five Pro Bowlers, Tom Mack, Roman Gabriel, Bernie Casey, Jack Snow, and Les Josephson.

Olsen, Jones, and Mack are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Baughn, Brown, and Meador should be as well. Under their second year head coach, Hall of Famer George Allen, the Rams were dominant by posting an 11-1-2 record under the defensive genius.

They then were soundly beaten 28-7 by the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Division Title Game just two weeks after having beat them 27-24. It may be the best team to have never won a title. Many Rams from that era say it was the best team they ever played on.

1975 Los Angeles Rams

They blew through the season at a 12-2 record, beating the eventual champion Pittsburgh Steelers 10-3 in the last week of the regular season.

The defense gave up a paltry 9.6 points per game, and put five men, Merlin Olsen, Jack Youngblood, Fred Dryer, "Hacksaw" Jim Reynolds, and Isiah Robertson in the Pro Bowl. The offense saw Tom Mack, Harold Jackson, and Lawrence McCutcheon also went to the Pro Bowl. Olsen, Youngblood, and Mack are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

They made it to the NFC Championship before Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach threw four touchdown passes, including three to Preston Pearson, in leading the Dallas Cowboys to a 37-7 win.

Though they fell a game short of the Super Bowl, they had a season worth remembering.

1977 Atlanta Falcons

Before the famed "46" Chicago Bears defense, there was the "Gritz Blitz". The philosophies were the same. You sent EVERYONE at the quarterback on virtually every play. The Falcons gave up a measly 9.6 points per game, yet this was a team of understated superstars. Only Claude Humphrey and Rolland Lawrence, along with punter John James, made the Pro Bowl off their defense.

The Falcons problem that year was offense, which finished 25th out of a then 28 team league. They averaged just 12.8 points per game, which helped Atlanta go 7-7 that year. A little more offense could possibly have taken them a long way that season.

1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers of the 1970's are most remembered for winning just one game between 1975 and 1976. People tend to forget they turned it around by the end of the decade. Led by Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon, their only Pro Bowler that year, the defense was ranked first in the NFL. They gave up just 14.8 points per game.

Making it all the way to the NFC Championship Game, they fell short by losing to the Los Angeles Rams 9-0, thanks to their quarterbacks completing just four passes on 26 attempts.

They weren't the prettiest team to watch that season, but they had many fans cheering them on because of their underdog status that was enhanced by their awful beginnings.

1945 Washington Redskins

Eerily similar to the 1943 Redskins team that finished first in the NFL in defense, but lost to the Chicago Bears in the championship game.

What makes this team different is that they started six rookies, including two rookie left tackles that split time. They also has two players with one year of experience and one player with two years of experience. The entire roster had just 2.4 years of experience as a whole.

What they did have was Hall of Famer "Slinging" Sammy Baugh at quarterback, safety, and punter. Baugh and rookie running back Steve Bagarus were the only Redskins named First Team All-Pro. Bagarus was out of the NFL by 1948.

The Redskins made it to the NFL Championship Game, but lost to the Clreveland Rams 15-14. Baugh was hurt in the game, missing most of it, but not before making history. He threw a pass out of his own end zone and hit the goal posts that used to stand on the goal line at the time. It was ruled a safety, where the rule was changed soon after the game that would determine passes like that would be dead balls or incomplete passes.

The team gave up just 12.1 points per game that year, and Baugh's four interceptions for 114 yards led the team. A surprising team that no pundits could have foreseen them having the successes they ultimately had.

1964 Baltimore Colts

This may have been one of the greatest Colts teams ever. Hall of Famer Don Shula was in his second season as a head coach, and he had Pro Bowlers Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore, Jim Parker, Raymond Berry, Dick Szymanski, and Bob Vogel on offense. Unitas, Moore, Parker, Berry, and John Mackey were members of that offense that were later inducted into Canton.

The defense was good too. They finished first in the NFL, giving up 16.1 points per game and has a plus 22 Takeaway/Giveaway Differential. Hall of Famer Gino Marchetti made the last of his 11 Pro Bowls that year at the age of 37. Bobby Boyd was the only other defensive player to make the Pro Bowl.

They made it to the NFL Championship Game after posting a 12-2 record. They ran into the Cleveland Browns in the title game, who dismantled them in a 27-0 victory. Though other Colts teams won championships, the 1964 team was as good as them.

1992 New Orleans Saints

Much like the 1991 Saints that were ranked first in defense, giving up just 13.2 points per game, the 1992 team ranked first and gave up just 12.6 points per game. They were called the "Dome Patrol".

All four of their starting linebackers, Ricky Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson, and Pat Swilling, made the Pro Bowl in 1992. Jackson is a member of Canton. They weren't as good at creating turnovers as the year before, having a plus 9 Takeaway/Giveaway Differential as opposed to plus 18 the year before, but they could get at the opposing quarterback. The starters got at them 54 times that year, led by defensive end Frank Martin's career best 15.5 that year. They got 45 the year before as a starting unit.

What always hurt them was a lack of offense, which helped them get bounced out of the first round of the playoffs each season. This lack of postseason success has left these great defenses largely forgotten in the annuals of NFL history.

1967 Houston Oilers

This is the only team in franchise history to finish first in their league in defense, giving up just 14.2 points per game. The offense scored just 18.4 points per game, which gave them a 9-4-1 record.

The defense had four Pro Bowlers, Jim Norton, Miller Farr, Pat Holmes, and George Webster. They also had a rookie who turned out to be the greatest strong safety in football history in Hall of Famer Ken Houston. The offense sent Bob Talamini, Walt Suggs, Woody Campbell, and Hoyle Granger to the Pro Bowl.

They then faced the Oakland Raiders in the AFL Championship Game, and were destroyed 40-7. The offense coughed up the ball three times, and were shut down to just 146 total yards. Oilers fans may remember their team going to the first two AFL Championships and winning in 1960 and 1961, but the 1967 team was very good in their own right.

1980 Philadelphia Eagles

Head coach Dick Vermeil came into town in 1975, and quickly built a winner. The 1980 and 1981 teams both finished first in the NFL in defense.The first Eagles defenses since 1950 to reach this status, and the last so far.

The 1980 team is best remembered for reaching Super Bowl XV before losing to the Wild Card Oakland Raiders 27-10. The defense had just one Pro Bowler that year, nose tackle Charles Johnson, but they did also have such gridiron greats like Bill Bergey and Claude Humphrey along with excellent players like Carl "Big Daddy" Hairston, Frank LeMaster, John Bunting, Jerry Robinson, and Herman Edwards.

The offense had Pro Bowlers Ron Jaworski and Harold Carmichael, along with Wilbert Montgomery, Stan Walters, Jerry Sisemore, Guy Morriss, and Wade Key. It was a solid squad that scored 24 points per game and gave up just 13.9 points per game.

Though they did not win it all, this team holds a special place in Philadelphia lore. Fans saw this team grow up year by year into a force to be reckoned with.

1968 Kansas City Chiefs

Hall of Fame head coach Hank Stram had four teams in Kansas City, 1968 and in their 1969 championship year, finish first in the NFL in points allowed. The 1960 Dallas Texans also accomplished this feat in their expansion season, and again in their 1962 championship season.

The 1968 team featured seven Pro Bowlers on defense, Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, Emmitt Thomas, Willie Lanier, Johnny Robinson, Jerry Mays, and Jim Lynch. The offense had three in Len Dawson, Ed Budde, and Jim Tyrer, as well as kicker Jan Stenerud. Bell, Lanier, Thomas, Buchanan, Dawson and Stenerud are inducted into Canton.

The Chiefs bolted out to a 12-2 record behind a defense that gave up just 12.1 points per game with a plus 22 Takeaway/Giveaway Differential. They reached the AFL Division Game, but were dominated by the Oakland Raiders 41-6 after coughing up the ball four times.

Though they went on to win Super Bowl IV the next year, the 1968 defense was statistically superior to the team that won it all.

1966 Buffalo Bills

The Bills had just won two consecutive AFL Championships heading into the season behind two top ranked defenses. The 1966 team was again ranked at the top, giving up 18.2 points per game.

The defense featured six Pro Bowlers, Ron McDole, George Saimes, Mike Stratton, Butch Byrd, John Tracey, and Jim Dunaway. The offense had six, Jack Kemp, Wray Carlton, Bobby Burnett, Paul Costa, and Hall of Famer Billy Shaw.

They reached their third straight AFL Championship Game, but were soundly defeated 31-7 by the Kansas City Chiefs. Though modern fans recall the Bills teams that lost four Super Bowls, they shouldn't forget the time that Buffalo won two titles in three tries.

1970 Minnesota Vikings

Most people know the Vikings went to four Super Bowls between 1969 to 1977 without a win, but many forget about the squad that got bounced out of the first round of the playoffs in 1970.

Three defensive linemen, Alan Page, Carl Eller, and Gary Larsen, went to the Pro Bowl, as did strong safety Karl Kassulke. Page, Eller, and free safety Paul Krause, the NFL interception king, are in Canton.

The offense ranked third in the league despite replacing quarterback Joe Kapp with journeyman Gary Cuozzo one year after making it to Super Bowl IV. Running Back Dave Osborn and wide receiver Gene Washington made the Pro Bowl behind a great Vikings offensive line that featured Hall of Famer Ron Yary, Ed White, and Mick Tingelhoff.

The defense allowed just 10.2 points per game and their Differential of 192 points also led the NFL, as did their yards allowed, first downs allowed, passing yards allowed, touchdowns allowed total and passing and rushing, and turnovers forced.

Their 1969 team was comparable in that they allowed a paltry 9.5 points per game allowed, which led the leagues, as did their Differential of 246 points. Though ranked first in points, first downs, and yards allowed, as well as every passing defense category, their run defense and turnovers created that year ranked second.

The 1970 Vikings may have been the best defensive season of the glorious Purple People Eaters.

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