Is Football Too Violent for Kids?: Concussions in Football

There’s this show that comes on Tuesday nights on the Esquire network called “Friday Night Tykes” (great show to watch if you haven’t seen it yet),  and it’s quite possibly my favorite show to television. (At least on Tuesday nights).

The show takes place in the state of Texas, yes Texas, where football is up there with Jesus (and guns). The show is basically shows how cruel the game of football can be, on the players, coaches and sometimes parents (most of the time its the parents who are cruel) But, this season the show really went deep to give the audience an inside look into what goes down during the practices, during preparation for games,how the coaches deal with rowdy parents and what goes down on the sidelines (usually just a bunch of cursing. One thing that really caught my eye throughout this season is the fact that during many of the games the kids are knocking each other out due to the poor tackle techniques during the games and practices. Instead of trying to fix the problem to problem by teaching the students better form, they show the coaches in a more negative way, only concentrating on the outcome of the game more than the safety of the kids (unless something really devastating happens).

This show is some of the more extreme examples of how coaches pay attention to concussion-type situations, but I’m sure this is not the only example in America where something like this has happened. Concussions in the football has been on the rise for years for all levels of the game, and parents are fearful of their children’s well-being. Pop Warner, the nation’s No. 1 youth football organization, saw participation drop 9.5 percent between 2010-12, (that was almost 24,000 kids) a sign that the concussion crisis that began in the NFL is having a dramatic impact at the lowest rungs of the sport.

The Centers for Disease Control and Protection reported  that the amount of reported concussions in sports has doubled in the last 10 years, while football is the most common sport with concussion risk for males (75% chance for concussion). In high school, football accounts for 47 percent of all reported sports concussions, with 33 percent of concussions occurring during practice.

Multiple concussions for athletes can lead to bigger problems and disease down the road, including mild cognitive impairments (MCI’s) and/or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the same disease that took the life of NFL Hall of Famer Junior Seau.

So, how do we fix the problem? Or a better question is, CAN we fix this problem in this kind of sport?

The game of football is rough, PERIOD. It’s a game that involves knock the crap out of each while trying to bring each other to the ground (there’s more but I’m trying to make a point). Sometimes they’re freak accidents, bad things can happen when you’re running straight into each other and serious injuries can arise.

One thing that can save those trips to the emergency room: teach proper tackling skills at the youth level.  

The NFL and organizations like USA Football have been pushing better safety procedures in youth football, mainly on tackling. Since the program “Heads Up” was created, the number of concussion have been brought down slightly, but still needs to be worked on.

I grow up with football, I played football and I hope that if I ever have a son(s) he too would go out and play football. Yes, it can be a violent game at times and you can’t control soe of the injuries that take place in the game, but the life lesson I picked up can’t be found anywhere else. It shows you how everything that you want in life comes with a price, a price many can’t commit to. The amount of sweat,tears and memories produced while playing is something I would take with me forever and I would go back and do it all over again in a heart beat. Sports like football is something I think young boys (even girls) need in their lives, and I hope the fear of getting a concussion or worse doesn’t keep children from such great opportunity.

For more information on concussion prevention in youth sports, visit: usafootball.com/headsup

Advertisements

What Should Happen with Peterson?

I guess the NFL are trying their hardest to make a point with this Adrian Peterson case. The question is, what is it?

On Thursday, a federal judge originaled ruled in favor of Peterson, overturning his suspension that has sidelined him for the majority of the 2014 season and possible all of the offseason. That victory was cut short when the NFL placed Peterson back onto the Commissioner’s Exempt List, while the league attempts to appeal the court’s ruling.

During his time on the exempt list, Peterson is still somewhat suspended, but it’s more like on paid leave, which is an upgrade to what he was dealing with over the last five months. But, if Roger Goodell reinstate him for the 2015 season, is the former league MVP planning to return to the Minnesota Vikings, some believe not likely.

Though the team’s front office has said that they would welcome him back whenever he is able to rejoin, it seem that Peterson has a bitter taste in his mouth left by the Vikings’ organization. Peterson felt as though the organization gave no support towards him during his time in court and NFL limbo, he and his agent feel as though it time for a change of scenery. Peterson had hope to push his reinstatement up to March 10, the start of the new league year, which could be telling the Vikings that he is pushing for a trade, but with 3 years left on his current contract and the date for reinstatement is still set for April 15, the running back might have to suit up or sit out.

But, if Peterson does get reinstated by the start of the new year where would he end up? The 29-year-old has played in basically a year, though was coming off one of the best performance a running back could have in a year. The question is how much is left in the tank, can he still take the workload and the beating from the league after taking a year off? Is a team like Dallas really willing to trade to pick up a player like him at his age or should they just resign Murray? The sooner Peterson gets back in the league, the more interesting things will be in the NFL.

My question is, does he deserve to come back?

It’s official: Flacco is Elite!!!

Kubiak believes Flacco is elite, one of the best players he every coached. Photo credit: zimbio.com

Kubiak believes Flacco is elite, one of the best players he every coached. Photo credit: zimbio.com

I think we can all say that Joe Flacco is pretty much an above-average quarterback, and is obvious the best QB Baltimore has had since the late, great Johnny Unitas laced up his cleats in ol’ Memorial Stadium.

But, can we slate Flacco as an elite in the league yet? Gary Kubiak thinks so.

This past Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine, the former offensive coordinator for the Ravens was asked that 3-year-old question…”Is Joe Flacco an elite QB?”

He’s response: “You bet he is”

Well, if he says he is I guess it has to be true, right? I mean the guy was just his coordinator like a week ago, he spent the entire year with him, following him around, grabbing lunch, showing photos of their kids…oh and playing football I guess. And yes, Flacco’s numbers were probably the best they have ever been during his time in the league, it was clear to see this season, it was “Good Joe”/”Bad Joe” every week (Thank God!) But, does he measure up to a Manning, a Brady, a Rodgers, a Brees or even a Roethlisberger?

I think it’s WAY too early to welcome him into that prestigious club right now, but the resume’ he has to offer has him knock at the door. He has beaten most of the guys on the “elite” list when it counts the most, the playoffs. He has knocked off Manning, he’s knocked of Ben and it’s pretty much a boxing match every time he plays against Brady, in Foxborough. He’s numbers would say he’s pretty average. He has never broken the 4,000 yard mark in a regular season, has never been selected to a Pro Bowl and can still have some pretty terrible games in a season that makes you question how he got into the league   (cough* Houston cough*)

So he’s got a lot of work to do  but you have to think he’s knocking at the door, the run he had in the 2012 playoffs is simple LEGEN *wait for it* DARY!, and if you consider Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, Andrew Luck and Tony Romo elite-like QB, you can’t tell me Flacco isn’t on deck or at least above these guys on the list. (I mean most of those guys are one-and-done type
QBs in the playoffs). Let’s see what he does this season, he does what he did in 2012 without the locker room figures of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, makes the playoffs and the Ravens win the Super Bowl on his back, you have to consider him, whether he has the numbers or not. PERIOD.

Even The Greats Need Help Sometimes…

I was having a conversation a little while at dinner with a few of my friends about the Chicago Bulls’ championship teams back in the 90’s with Jordan and company. We all agreed that obviously MJ is one of the greatest, and possible the greatest to every play the game, but one of my friends felt that his legacy was tainted because he had the help of guys like Pippen, Cartwright, Grant, Kerr and Rodman. And that was the comment that ended our friendship (kidding! No, but really)

Yes, Jordan was surrounded by decent players, he and Pippen were basically the Batman and Robin duo of the early 90’s. But , just because the guy got an extra hand to get over that hump doesn’t diminish the fact that he is one of the best. Jordan made himself a household name way before those guys were around, heck during his rookie season in 1986 he put up 63 points during a playoff game against Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics in Boston (where they were 40-1 that season) and still ended up losing and ultimately getting swept.

His example and plenty others just prove one thing: Even the greatest need help sometimes too!

Think about any great, elite-type players in any team sport (Football, Basketball, Baseball, etc.). Now think about if they won a championship or not. Now think about the team and the players that surrounded them, would they have won that championship without those guys.

Take Peyton for instance, think about all those record-setting teams he played for all those offensive weapons he had whether it was Harrison,  Wayne, Clark, Thomas or even Welker. There were years where those certain teams were locks to take home the Lombardi, and yet they would always come up short.

Except for one season:2006, the same year that majority of the Colts defense seemed to be at full strength heading into the playoffs. That year, Manning walked away with a championship, what was the difference? Out of those years (including right now while he’s in Denver) he had solid players on both sides of the ball.You give a decent QB a good offense and an ok defense your promised a few games for that season, you gie an elite QB like Manning that same offense and same defense he will at least get you to the big game.

Great players need help around, they can’t do on their own, ask Brady and all those records he broke back in 2007, he went 18-0 and still walked away a loser that season. Why? Because his defense was exposed to be not a that great.

Still don’t agree with me, ok. What about LeBron? Isn’t the whole reason people hate him so much is because he left his hometown, his home team and pretty much wasted an hour of everyone’s day with that “I’m taking my talents to South Beach special”. What was his reasoning for leaving? Did you look at the roster he had to work compared the to Miami Heat roster with Pat Riley down there finding decent player left and right? Who would you want Sasha Pavlovic or Dwayne Wade, Drew Gooden or Chris Bosh? Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Yeah he could have done a better job getting down there, but it’s easy to say because James had the guys around him he didn’t always had to be “Superman” or the hero to make to the dance, but even then it seemed as though the pieces around him helped elevate his game higher than it was by himself in Cleveland. Think the same can be said about Kobe  and the Lakers when they required Shaq (though he did win two more after the two spilt), you can say the same for Isiah Thomas and the “Bad Boy” Piston of the late 80’s, Montana or Young and all that talent that surrounded them during their years in San Francisco.

The point I trying to make is that the whole idea of there is no “I” in team is apparent in team sports, you can be the biggest, baddest player that ever was, you might be able to win yourself a few games, set some records and make a brand for yourself. But, I have yet to see the day that one player won a championship all by himself (Kobe is trying is hardest to do it in LA, but it’s time for him to call it a career on his own terms before it’s too late).

Peyton Manning: Should He Stay or Should He GO?

 

Peyton Manning is reportedly making plans to meet with Broncos G.M. John Elway to discuss his plan for the 2015 NFL season, whether he’ll play or call it a career. According to reports from the Denver Post, Manning met with Elway in Denver this past

Thursday evening and left with no decision made about his future, which tells me that this man is really hurt and retiring is now a real thought in his mind.

Now I don’t know Manning personal, but from what I have seen from him on the field over the past 16 years, he’s willing to fight through anything to reach that goal of that Lombardi trophy. He fought with some “ok” teams in Indy (great offenses, terrible defenses), fought through neck injuries that led to his release from Indy and to his new home in Denver and he fought through injuries this season, with no whining coming from his end.

Why keep fighting? Simple,he wants another ring, that’s the only reason for him to stay in this game now as he approaches his 40’s.

But is it wroth it at this point? What does he have left to prove?

Like I said, Manning has set every possibly record a quarterback could set in their lifetime in 2013, here are a few:

  • Touchdown thrown in a career :(509)
  • Single season touchdown record :(55)
  • Most passing yards, season : (5,477)
  • Most passing touchdowns in a single game :(tied, 7)
  • Most games with a perfect passer rating of 158.3: (5)

These records alone make him a lock for Canton, no question. If he were to walk into the sunset right now and I don’t think anyone could really be mad at him due to his resume’, but if he chooses to return and you put into considerations all those stats, the fact that he will be 39 years old quite soon and the history of injuries he has suffered, is it really wroth playing for one more season? Is it wroth risking your health, risking you post-football life? All for one more championship?

What will he decided to do?Want my opinion?

Now I don’t think he’ll pull a “Brett Farve” and jerk us and the media around for the next 6-7 months just to tell us he’s going to walk away, but if he does come back, it’s going to be because of one person. Not Peyton, Elway, not his family.

He’ll come back for Tom Brady.

There is no way Manning can just walk away knowing that is archenemy just won his fourth Super Bowl championship. Manning is probably at home right now doing sit-ups into a portrait of Brady with the Super Bowl MVP trophy, waiting for his moment to come around again. I mean think about, the only thing Peyton really has to deal with is the fact that people refuse to crown him the “King of the QBs” is not because he doesn’t have the rings, but the fact that most of the rings Brady has were earned after Brady knocked Peyton out of the playoffs or didn’t have to face him at all.

Now, Manning coming back and potentially winning a Super Bowl championship doesn’t automatically put him above of Brady on the list of greatest QB of all time, but it closes the gap that was widen after this season. If Manning does come back, he will meet with Brady when he visit Denver during the regular season, which Manning usually shines in and of course one of two will have to travel to the other during the playoffs, which is always TV entertainment at its finest.

But, if Manning doesn’t have anything left, or really isn’t cleared by his doctors and the engineer that keeps his robotic-body in check, Denver has some big decisions to make. Do they really trust Brock Osweiler to run this offense? How long will Manning wait to inform the team about his decision and will it have an impact on how they draft (QB in the first round?).

It’s going to be a very interesting few weeks in Denver.

 

 

No Tuck Rule, No Tom Brady?

The resume New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has built over the years has surely placed him in Canton once he decides to hang it up and could possible walk away as the greatest QB to ever play the game (sorry Peyton). But where would Brady be if one play back in the 2001 Divisional Playoff game against the Oakland Raiders went the other way, former Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis  feels he would be just another average QB in the league and would have easily been forgotten.

Here’s what Lewis said in a recent radio interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Mad Dog Radio on SiriusXM:

“…the only reason we know Tom Brady is, because of a tuck rule.”

He would continue on saying: “They don’t go to that championship game if that ball [isn’t] called a tuck. That’s a fumble. That man clearly fumbled that ball. And they named it a tuck rule–something we never heard in today’s game. So now you’ve got to ask yourself: When did the legacy really start?”

(Quote from Fox Sports)

That’s truly a bold statement to say by Lewis, I mean we’re talking about a guy who is a three time Super Bowl champion, been to the Super Bowl five time and on the verge for his sixth trip, has been a two-time Super Bowl MVP, won the league MVP award twice and is fifth all-time in both passing yards and touchdowns. To say that he’s not one of the best is almost blasphemous (my “big” word for the day).

But, it’s not like Ray is wrong if you really think about it, where would he be without that tuck rule? Heck where would all those Super Bowl wins come from without the leg of Adam Vinatieri? You want to know what I think?

Brady attempting to pass downfield, unaware of Woodson closing in to cause a fumble. Image from : sjsdblogs.com

Brady attempting to pass downfield, unaware of Woodson closing in to cause a fumble.
Image from : sjsdblogs.com

First let break down what would have happened if the tuck rule didn’t come to play that night.

OK, so it’s a snowy night up in Foxborough, Mass., the Raiders are up 13-10 with 2:06 left in the game. Patriots are moving, Brady takes the snap and pump the ball once, at this point Charles Woodson hits Brady and the ball pops out and is recovered by the Raiders. The refs go under the booth and comes back out and confirms the fumble, giving the ball and ultimately the game to the Raiders, sending them to the AFC championship game against the Steelers.

Brady doesn’t win, doesn’t get to the Super Bowl to start the Patriot’s dynasty and the tuck rule is never created, but what else would come of this change in history.

Well for starters, Jon Gurden doesn’t get traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and they don’t eventually go on to win Super Bowl 37 because they don’t have that leadership Gurden brought over from Oakland. The Raiders move on to beat the Steelers and get to the Super Bowl against the Rams and more than likely lose to the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” offense.The Bucs would most likely make to Super Bowl 37 the following year against (you guessed it) Gurden and the Raiders, which the Raiders would have won due to their high-powered offense and the fact that Gurden never brought his offensive mindset to Tampa to help them fully get over the hump that had held them back for years under Tony Dungy, who is now in Indy. Gurden gets his ring, stays in Oakland and the Raiders never tank (but probably do eventually because their the Raiders, c’mon son!)

As for the Patriots, Tom Brady would probably lose his starting job to Drew Bledsoe, who was the starter the previous year before going down with an injury and New England probably never gets a ring, the legend of Tom Brady never kicks off (at least not in New England) and could even give a certain QB up in Indy all those SB rings he missed out on due to his duels with Brady in the playoffs, cementing him as the greatest QB of all time (too bad it’s all make-believe, huh Peyton?)

Here’s another thought to thin about, how good would Brady be without Bill Belichick and his system in New England. Remember, Belichick had huge success in Cleveland before they moved to Baltimore at the end of the 1995 season, what if the Browns and Belichick stay in Cleveland and Belichick select Brady again in the sixth round in the 2000 draft or even he is still selected by New England. Would he still be the same guy? Would the players around him (either in Cleveland or a Belichick-less New England) help elevate his play? Or would the “Brady 6” of that draft class (including Brady) be dubbed as the worst QB draft class in history?

What a difference one call has made on this league.

An Ode to the Baltimore Ravens

The season for the 2014-2015 Baltimore Ravens is over, and it really, really sucks. But it was one heck of a ride and kind of makes you think, “this team is going to be scary come next year.”

The season started off pretty much on a slippery slop, the whole Ray Rice fiasco controlled the sports world and the national media for the majority of the off-season. Once the 2 game suspension  was handed out by the league office, mixed reaction came forth from the public (who seemed not to care until the punishment made national news [shows how much people pay attention], but let’s move on). Then you have early injury to Lardarius Webb’s back, kicking off the beaten up secondary they had to deal with the entire season. You have the early lost to the Bengals at home, cutting Rice from the squad, having the head coach and the front office blasted in the media and we haven’t even made to the halfway mark.

This team had more questions than answer and it’s fair to say that some of those questions had to do with whether this team will even have a winning record let alone making it to the playoffs.

Then out of no where, Joe Flacco and the offense turns it on.

The offense of the Ravens over the past several years have functioned quite simply, if they run the ball more than 20 times they’ll win the game, less than 20 they usually lose. Now without Rice in the back field you didn’t really know how that game plan would work for the Ravens, of course they weren’t expecting Justin Forsett to have the monstrous season that he did (1266 rush yards, 8 TD, 5.4 AVG). The addition of former Carolina Panthers wideout Steve Smith and the coming out of Torrey Smith halfway into the season made the offense one of the more successful groups in team history as well as the entire league. And let’s not forget about Flacco and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and how well these two worked together, having one of the more efficient rushing teams’ in the league and possible pushing Flacco to that “elite” status he constantly has to remind all of us, but his numbers show he’s moving in the right direction (3,986 YDS, 27 TD, 12 INT).

In my opinion, though the luxury of having a running game again was nice, the play of Steve Smith was just what the doctor ordered for this squad. The departure of Anquan Boldin during the 2013 off-season left a gaping hole in the offense as well as the leadership role on the team as a whole. His hard-nose style of play makes him one of the more feared wide-out for any defensive back to have to deal with, he might not kill you with speed but he’s going up for the ball and coming to knock you out on the way down. NO player the following year had the characteristic within them and was visible out on the field, until Smith Sr. showed up. He was known as a fiery guy, but he was going to make you work in order for you to beat him, he lost a few steps as the year’s pile on but he brought the physically and emotionally play that left Baltimore when Boldin left, and his success pushed this team to new heights offensively.

But like any team, you’re hit with adversity throughout the season that slows you down, for the Ravens it was injuries, and they seem to come in handfuls with each game. At least 18 players were placed on IR throughout the season, including their No. 1 corner Jimmy Smith, starting tackle Rick Wagner, corner Asa Jackson, long snapper Micheal Cox and of course tight end Dennis Pitta who went down with a hip injury for the second straight year. The injury bug hit the defensive secondary the hardest, an area that was a concern heading into the season, claiming 6 DBs total. Usually with this many injuries happening in one season that team is preparing to pack it up and get a head start on off-season planning, but this team just never gave up, win or lose.I mean they literally were pulling guys from off the street, back alleys, wherever and just piecing together and filling up holes left by injured players each game and still pulled off a 10-6 season.

The fact that they made the playoffs after all the adversity they went through is a testament to the team, the players and the coaches. They accomplished so much with what little they had, winning another playoff game against archrival Pittsburgh Steelers, winning at least a playoff game 6 out of the 7 years under head coach John Harbaugh, and came within a touchdown (again) from beating “Pretty Boy” Tom Brady and the New England Patriots up in Foxborough, Mass.

This team went all out right up to the end of the game, though they fell short the lost seemed different than any of the other playoff loses in recent years. Yes, playoff loses hurt and takes time to heal for both the team and their fan base, who can forget how long it took to heal after the 2012 AFC Championship game up against (you guessed it) the New England Patriots. But, those other loses seemed hurt more because of the guys that were on those teams, an aging Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, Willis McGahee or a Todd Heap. We had great teams come and go with talent that could have one multiple championships, but we always seemed to fall short to a Manning, a Brady or a Big Ben. That AFC champ game was like that boiling point where you either win it all next year or you’ll never win it. PERIOD. This team was a young,talented team that was hit hard with injuries, adversity and at times missed opportunities. But again, they came with a touchdown from going back to a AFC championship game and possible a Super Bowl.

Now, image this team with a healthy secondary, a Dennis Pitta running down the middle against that same New England defense, Forsett or even a first/second round picked running back coming out of that back field, the O-line all prepared for a playoff run. Hey, even give them a playoff game at home, this team has a chance to be as dangers or even more dangers as say the Seattle Seahwaks or Green Bay Packers.

The words “We’ll be back” could be heard from the leaders on this team, that’s why I’m not as upset about this game.

John Harbaugh’s locker speech after the lose to the Patriots, a similar situation when Ray Lewis addressed the team after the AFC championship loss the year before they won Super Bowl 47 the following year is a reason I’m not upset about this game.

The way this team played and fought all the way to end is the reason I’m not upset about this game.

I’m not upset about this game because they have been here before, took their lumps but still was able to prove the world wrong before. They have the pieces already in that locker room and in that front office, now they have to put it all together show up the world that again, and they very much can.

Thanks Baltimore for a great season. See you in August.

Black Monday…What have we learned?

photo from: www.nj.com

photo from: http://www.nj.com

Welp, another NFL regular season has come and gone, now the really fun begins!

No not the playoffs (though the Ravens are in and I couldn’t be more excited to watch them duke it out on the AFC side), no I’m talking about which team will be looking for a new head coach…yes Black Monday is here, and there weren’t any big surprises on who was let go. Rex Ryan of the New York Jets, Marc Trestman of the Chicago Bears and Mike Smith of he Atlanta Falcons were the first few head coaches to be given the old pink slip, while Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers decided to just “part ways” with his team’s front office to move forward to bigger, greater things…

**cough**…Michigan.

Some of the firings I can understand, Smith was 66-46 during his time with the Falcons, were able to snag a division title, an elite quarterback in Matt Ryan in the 2008 NFL Draft, he even helped his team be the No.1 seed during 2012 playoffs. But one thing that plagued him and his team was the consistency to win and win important games. The team was loaded with talent, the likes at which some have never seen before, I mean you had Julio Jones, Roddy White,Mike Turner and Tony Gonzalez all on one squad, and still couldn’t win the big one, on top of that having losing seasons constantly, it just made no sense, but why didn’t make sense is that Smith had to go.

With Trestman, he never seem to get the ball rolling. He was a big shot in Canada or the CFL if you’re being politically correct, but it seemed like he and Jay Cutler could never get things going which was unfortunate. The Bears are another team loaded with talent, and what doesn’t make sense why they were so bad most of the time, and why Jay Cutler never seem to become “the guy”.Yes,the team had their share of injuries to their top guys, yes they play in a hard division, ran by what Stephen A. Smith refers to him as “The Bad Man” Aaron Rodgers and yes they’re dealing with the come up of The Detroit Lions (about time too), but with what he had on his roster there’s no way they should be have anything less than 9-10 wins each season. But it’s not all Trestman fault, I put most of the blame on Cutler. Cutler has not lived up to par by anyone standards, he seems like he doesn’t want to be at the game half the time, doesn’t seem to care for the team or teammates and seems to hide In his shell when big time opportunities arrive. Let’s go back to the 2010 NFC championship game where he came out the game due to injury, but what many believed was just him not wanting to play ( which if this ever was true, that should have been a huge red flag to the Bears front office before giving that “fat” check). To this day he hasn’t been able to shut those critics up with his play ability, failing to reach the playoffs each year since, so all the blame can’t be on Trestman solely.

And then there’s “Big Rex” or I guess “small rex” now a days, and that joke of a team up in New Jersey or is it New York these days (more like purgatory). Now I’m not here to bash on Rex, personally I think Ryan is a great head coach,his father was a great coordinator with the 1985 Chicago Bears and I believe Ryan had the potential to be one of the best head coach in NFL history. But what killed Ryan’s career up in New York was the front office, and their ability to draft decent players to their roster. look at the guy said they had on the roster this past season, I mean I think Geno Smith is it okay guy, but he was better than  Mark Sanchez ?( and that’s saying a lot, isn’t that right butt fumble)

The GM and  front office failed to pick up any of the needs they needed in any of the drafts  while Ryan was in charge and because of that you have the losing seasons that came about, which is pretty dang shame after Ryan started out his head coaching career in back to back AFC championship games, I’m sure he’ll land on his feet quickly (**cough** Oakland).

do I think the firings are over, absolutely not! I can think of one right off the top my head, and if he and his squad doesn’t win this weekend up in Indy, I believe his time would finally run out (of course I’m talking about Marvin Lewis). You can’t expect to go this long with no playoff wins and still think you’re to keeping your job come the off-season, there’s no way, if so Cincinnati will never be taken seriously when they get into the tournament, and they better watch if the Browns grab ahold of the AFC North, things will get a whole lot more interesting.Jay Gurden is another guy who might need to watch over shoulder, because Dan Snyder and that front office is going to screw him over at one point or another. Your not sure if you have the answer you need at QB, your draft choices haven’t been that great, Snyder is still known for making terrible free agency choices and wasting boat loads of money, neither helping that head coach with wins or could arise within the locker room. Washington has a chance to be at the top, i mean the division title changes hands every with no team ever seeming to take over completely, so there’s always hope.

sue was a season continues to come to an end, it’s going to be fun to see how many more heads will roll underneath the NFL guillotine.

Ravens in the playoffs might be a bad thing for the other AFC teams…

As you and I beginning to get to know and understand each other better your going to notice something about me…

I AM A HUGE BALTIMORE RAVENS FAN!!!!

Have been since I was 8 years old, watching that 2000 Ravens team dominate the Giants in Super Bowl 35. I’ve grown up idealizing guys like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Suggs, Ngata, all of those guys. But with this I’m trying not to show favoritism to any one team, I’m just giving my opinion and what I think could happen, and I think if this Baltimore Ravens team gets into the playoffs a wildcard team it could spell trouble for any team they face.

Now out of the three AFC North teams still alive for a playoff spot, it’s fair to say that the Ravens had the easiest path to the places and possible a division crown, but last night’s lose in Houston made their path to the postseason that much harder. The team didn’t seem into it right out of the gate, allowing Houston’s fourth string quarterback Case Keenum, who they literally just signed off the street a week before the game and let him get hot, really, really quickly. The defense hold their offense to 6 field goals and a touchdown pass from Arian Foster (yeah, their running back throw a touchdown on us!), but the Ravens offense was nowhere to be found. Dropped balls, bad routes, no running game and bad QB play…the not a good recipe if you’re trying to win a game a possible secure a playoff spot, but there is still hope in this team. Yes, they do need help to get in the playoffs, yes they need to win their final game against the Browns (still not an easy win, but it’s at the Bank!) and  yes the team overall needs to play better, but I think this lose may spark this team in the best way possible and if they do get in (which I strongly believe they will) it could mean trouble for the AFC.

We have seen throughout the season how explosive this offense can be against any team that they line up against, the running game can be the best in the league when moving on all cylinders, Joe Flacco can be as “elite” and clutch as the Brady’s and Manning’s of the league and the wide receivers can look Pro Bowl caliber on any given Sunday, the real question lies within the bedrock of the team, their defense. The defense overall is ranked 9th in league, according to NFL.com, but the secondary is ranked 28th in the league, giving up in average 255.3 yards per game. Luckily, the front seven of this team has been one of the best in recent years, having the 4th best rushing defense (86.9) and 45 sacks this season, ranked as one of the league’s best with Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs leading the way with a combined total of 28.0 sacks this season. The team lacks a player in the back field like an Ed Reed, who made quarterbacks think twice when throwing back there, but due to injuries the backfield had been completely exposed, but seem to still be able to take their blows and get right back up, which is need in a championship-type team.

Their numbers might not be mind-blowing ,but numbers don’t allows wins you rings, ask Peyton! This team has the piece set to make some real noise come January, they might not go all the way to Arizona but they won’t back down from any fight which could mean some upsets against some highly projected teams. Flacco has proven he can win it all with what he has around him, he might not have Boldin, but he has this guy named Steve Smith who’s pretty darn good, he still has a pretty decent o-line and running game and the defense isn’t something to underestimate, so you best believe this is a team most teams don’t want to have to face but they might not have a choice come next week.

GO RAVENS!!!

And with the first pick of 2015 NFL Draft…

Well, the college football season has started to wrap up another interesting season as they prepare for the inaugural college playoff games. The teams are all set (though I don’t believe the best teams are playing it out for the title, but that’s a story for another day), but the really story involves the #2 ranked team in the country, the Oregon Ducks and the #3 Florida State Seminoles.

And by teams, I mean the team’s quaterbacks….Marcus Mariota and “Famous” Jameis Winston.

For now, all the sports networks and analysts will breakdown their upcoming match up come New Years Day in Pasadena, but the bigger question is who going number 1 in the draft.

Of course they’re multiple prospects that are wroth a look for that number 1 spot, but of course when you start to evaluate this year’s draft who have to start with this season’s Heisman trophy winner and of course “Famous Jameis”. Chance our one of two will be heading to Jets Camp this off-season (let’s be real, they’re probably going number 1 in the draft).

People are split on who is the better quarterback, but everyone agrees who the bigger risk is.

Mariota and Winston are like night and day compared to one another, one is like the perfect guy to bring home to the family while the other can’t seem to keep his name out of individuals who don’t even watch football. Everything from being accused of sexual assault, getting caught shoplifting and being suspended earlier in the season for shouting an obscenity on the Florida State’s campus.

The wrap sheet set aside, comparing their QB skills, it would seem Mariota has the upper hand in the category as well.According to ESPN, Mariota has thrown 3,783 yards with 36 TDs and only 2 INTs compared to Winston’s 3,559 yards, 27 TDs and 17 INTs.

So is there any upside for Winston? Well he is a proven winner. The kid hasn’t lost a game since given the starting job last season, even when he’s not playing the team leans on him to lead them to victory. I mean the guy can throw 2 or more interceptions in back to back games and still be the key reason the team gets the W. This leadership is the sole reason why FSU are in the playoffs in the first place, without Winston this team would be lucky to make it too a bowl game (which is a shame since they play in a pretty weak conference and have all the talent in the world). Marcus has proven that he can win too but the verdict is still out on how well he can perform when the spotlight is placed on him. The Pac-12 conference doesn’t always get the attention they deserve, even with powerhouses like USC, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State and a few other teams. It seems if you’re not in the SEC West, you’re pretty much placed on the back burner of the college football rankings…but that’s a story for another day.

This upcoming match-up will show scouts and NFL coaches what these players are really made off when the battle it out for a championship, after all that’s the reason these teams will be fighting for either one of these guys…bring the hardware to their organizations. Even with all their awards and records that they have set, a lot is still left to be proven.

New Years Day is going to be a game for the ages, and possible a match-up to mark down on your calendars come Sundays.