Von Miller’s Fiasco

(Credit, Getty Images)

After a complete shellacking loss against the Seattle Seahawks, Bronco fans began to grow impatient for their W’s to start up again. They may just have to wait a bit longer.

Former Defensive Rookie of the Year and cornerstone of the Denver Broncos, linebacker Von Miller has been suspended for at least six games due to testing positive for substance abuse.

(Credit, Getty Images)

To clear up any misconceptions, a positive test or the equivalent of are the following

– a specimen containing a prohibited substance above levels stated in the Policy.

– Failure or refusal to appear for required testing.

– Failure to cooperate fully with a testing.

– Providing a dilute specimen under circumstances set forth in the Policy

– Engaging in a deliberate effort to substitute or adulterate a specimen or a test result or engage in prohibited doping methods.

The NFL has a program known as Three Intervention Stages for players who have experienced with substance abuse during their career.

Players can enter Stage One of the Intervention Program if they: (1) Have a positive test or the equivalent thereof; (2) exhibit behavior exhibiting physical, behavioral or psychological signs or symptoms of misuse of substances of abuse; or (3) refer themselves to the program.

What happens during the Three Intervention Stages?

Stage One:

He is evaluated by medical personnel to determine whether he requires an appropriate clinical treatment plan or whether he should be dismissed from the Intervention Program (only applicable to behavior admissions). If he is not required to have a treatment plan, then he will be subject to testing only. Lasts generally 90 days. No suspension occurs in stage one.  He will lose 3/17th of their salary.

A player will advance to Stage Two after 90 Days without a positive test or after a violation.

Stage Two:

In Stage Two, he must comply with his Treatment Plan, if he has one. Also he is subject to unannounced testing up to 10 times per month. He also will be subject to further medical evaluation. Lasts 24 months or 2 full seasons, whichever is shorter from entry into Stage Two or from a violation.

An athlete will only advance to Stage Three after TWO Violations. If they successfully complete 24 months or two seasons, whichever occurs first, without a positive test, they are out of the program.

Stage Three:

He will be advanced to Stage Three if he has two positive tests, two other violations of his Treatment Plan or the Policy, or combination of both. He must comply with his Treatment Plan and will be tested up to 10 times per month. Lasts the remainder of his career.

If he tests positive during the stages, he will be punished from the league.  The punishments differ though, they depend on which stage he is in and which stage he received his First Violation in.

If his First Violation in the Intervention program takes place during Stage One, He won’t get suspended, but will lose 3/17th of his salary. After receiving his first violation, he will be moved into Stage Two automatically.

If his First Violation is during Stage Two, the punishment isn’t a suspension but a fine equivalent to 4 games.

(Remember, players can successfully complete Stage One by not testing positive for 90 days)

If he tests positive during Stage One, then tested positive again during Stage Two, he will be subject to a four game suspension while losing the initial 3/17th salary from his first violation.

If both of his violations occur within Stage Two, then he will be fined for his salary over the duration of four games and suspended for six games.

Players are automatically subject to Stage Three after two violations.

Stage Three lasts for their entire career, involves 10 drug tests a month for the remainder of their career. One more violation results in a banishment from the NFL. (Suspended for one year)

(Credit Getty Images)

What we know about Von Miller

  • Von tested positive for Amphetamines and Marijuana during 2011, his rookie year in the league.
  • That means that he is currently in the Intervention Program.
  • Reports are that he is suspended for “at least 6 games”
  • The only way that would work is if he received both of his violations during Stage Two.
  • Von Miller is automatically in Stage Three, which means he will be tested 10 times every month, for the rest of his career. And any positive test, will suspend him for a season.

Von Miller Tweet

The question now is whether he is getting suspended for six games due to two violations during the Second Stage or if he was initially suspended for four games (which would mean he tested positive once during Stage One and once during Stage Two) and Roger Goodell is tacking on a 2-game suspension for his “diluted urine sample”  Von submitted after he “dropped” his original sample.

(Credit, Getty Images)

It has been widely known that if the NFL discovers evidence of tampering or diluting the specimen, then the punishment will be more severe than a normal positive test.

With that being said, there is still a possibility that both of his violations were during the Second Stage and that his punishment may last longer than 6 games!

In fact, Albert Breer from NFL Network reported “The NFL could’ve positioned itself to levy an eight- or even a 16-game suspension in this case, but talks began before things got to that stage, once Miller learned, according to one source, that he was ‘in a little more trouble than expected.’ Miller was believed to have some leverage early on, due to a breach of confidentiality.”

It’s a frightening thought for Bronco fans. With injuries to their defense already, losing Von Miller is definitely not what they need.

One thing can be said for sure, when this season is over and a new Super Bowl Champion is crowned, if it’s the Denver Broncos the majority of NFL fans will forget about this suspension. However, if the Broncos don’t win the Super Bowl, the blame will always come back to the absence of Von Miller.

For more information regarding the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policies, please read their 2010, 2011, and 2012 League Policies.

Follow me on twitter for more news @EBattenSports

Sources: National Football League Policy and Program For Substances of Abuse 2010, 2012 League Policies For Players, 2011 League Policies For Players (synopsis)

Advertisements

Nuggets Free Agency Game Plan

Thunder is booming and the rain is falling in downtown Denver tonight.

Nuggets President Josh Kroenke is sipping his freshly brewed coffee in his $6 million dollar penthouse. He drinks it black, no milk or sugar, they numb down the boldness of flavor. He takes a deep breath, looks out over the beautiful skyline, takes out his phone and calls Nuggets General Manager Tim Connelly. “It’s game time.”

New Nuggets Head Coach Brian Shaw is in his office at the Pepsi Center. Chewing the same piece of Stride gum for hours. Concentrating too hard to bother spitting it out. He’s too busy working on what any newly hired head coach would work on. Game film. It’ll be five straight hours once the little-hand strikes the 6.

Something is off, he’s not analyzing Nuggets film. He’s analyzing other players.

Which schemes work around which players? Will J.J. Redick be able to consistently knock down a shot from the corner after a fast-break? What about when his team is down by 5 and desperately needs a big shot to provide a chance at a W?

Too many questions, not enough answers. And soon, not enough time.

“ERRRRRRR”

His phone is vibrating on his desk. Coach Shaw takes a deep breath, this is it. His first free agency as a head coach. This could provide him with talented players to provide a deep playoff run for the ferocious Nuggets. Or it could leave him with even less than he has now. “Hello? Yes, I’ll be up in five. I saw the film, scrutinized it. He’s the one we need. I agree. Bye.”

The Nuggets boardroom is majestic. Leather bound recliners surrounding an oak oval table, espresso machines on the back wall, numerous television monitors with game footage running in the background. More and more men and women file into the room from lawyers to agents, assistant coaches to trainers take their seats and look around with a glimmer in their eyes, this is Christmas morning for them and Santa is just about to land on their roof.

Josh Kroenke, Tim Connelly, and Brian Shaw command attention with their glaring confidence as they walk into the room. The doors close, the clock turns to 10:00 PM MTN time. “Let’s go get ’em ladies and gentlemen!”

Meanwhile, Chris Paul is relaxing by his pool. Sipping an ice-cold beer and smoking a cigar. His agent right next to him on his laptop with four phones beside him. “How’s it looking so far?” Chris asks between puffs. “Los Angeles, will be calling first.” his agent says. “Good, good. Tell them I want my money.”

NBA Free Agency started at 12:00 AM Monday morning.

Agents are fielding calls as you breathe. Coaches are rapidly discussing their thoughts with other coaches. Accountants and lawyers are discussing the available funds. High caliber free agents such as Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Josh Smith, Andre Igoudala, and David West can breathe deeply for the right reasons. They’ll get signed to monster deals. Howard is even looking at a possible four-year, $87.4 million dollar contract. One he is surely to sign.

Other players such as Earl Watson, DeJuan Blair, Jermaine O’Neal, and Kenyon Martin are breathing deeply. Except this time they’re being told to, by their girlfriends. Their future in the NBA may not continue past this point. Some teams might be desperate enough to sign them to a minimum contract.

The Denver Nuggets are in a challenging spot. Their biggest acquisition from last season Andre Igudala is looking to leave the mile high city in exchange for more dollars than Scrooge McDuck would have to swim in. Rumor is the Detroit Pistons are already working on getting their contracts ready for one of the league’s greatest defenders to sign.

Corey Brewer is an unrestricted free agent although he has said he’d like to return to Denver, if the price is right. A key role player, averaging 23.8 minutes each game and scoring 11.5 points per game. The Nuggets will hold his 29% three-point shooting percentage against him and won’t offer a cent more than what they think he is worth.

The Western conference is stacked. The Clippers have Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and new coach Doc Rivers. The Thunder has the “Free Taco” blocking Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and a core of young players. The Lakers have Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and are looking to make a run for the championship or bust, since they’re both a few years away from coaching if they follow Jason Kidd’s retirement plan. So the question remains for every Nuggets fan, “who will we sign? ”

It’s vital to state that the Nuggets desperately need sharp shooters on the court.

Here are my picks for who the Nuggets will target.

1) Shooting Guard J.J. Redick 
One of the greatest players out of Duke University. His stroke followed him to the NBA as he is deadly anywhere on the court. Relatively young, 28 years old and averaged 14.1PPG. Expect a team to snatch him up immediately.

2)Small Forward Kyle Korver.
He resembles Ashton Kutcher.But he is one of the greatest three-point shooters in the league. He shot 3s with 46% last season, the second highest in the league.

Korver/Kutcher

3) Shooting Guard/ Small Forward Tony Allen.

He made noise on the Memphis Grizzlies and earned a spot on the First Team Defense. An extremely talented defender, lacking offensive skill, (8.9PPG and 4.6RPG  as a starter!) His old age of 31 won’t help his agent will try to pry as much money as they can get either.

4)  Power Forward J.J. Hickson
Only 24 and averaged a double-double last season with 12.7PPG and 10.4RPG. He also shot 56% from behind the arc. He could see a very large contract.

5) Point Guard Nate Robinson
The former legendary NBA Dunk Champion averaged 13.1PPG coming off the bench. A terrific burst of scoring and energy from any bench. Although he may have had significantly smaller numbers if former MVP Derrick Rose got over himself and returned to action after being cleared by doctors.

6) Point Guard/ Shooting Guard Gary Neal
Ah, the almost NBA Finals hero. 24 points in game 3. 48% behind the perimeter for the series. That certainly caught the eyes of every general manager in the league. However, his stats of 9.5 PPG 2.1 RPG and 1.9 APG tell another story. He’s a solid fit off the bench as a third string guard, who has the chance to get hot.

7) Center Chris Anderson.
Just kidding. Denver doesn’t want him back.

7) Forward Carl Landry
Nuggets die-hard fans will remember Landry as one of the Warriors substitutes who racked up points and rebounds. He’s 29 years old, averaged 10.8PPG and 6RPG. He’ll look for a big deal before his age becomes a major factor in the next 3-4 years.

8) Power Forward Tyler Hansbrough
One of the most prolific players out of Chapel Hill. A young player averaging about 17 minutes per game. His rebounds per game is a little low for a forward (4.6RPG) he averaged 7 points last season. What helps out here, is he has played under Head Coach Brian Shaw. He is familiar with his style.

9) Point Guard D.J. Augustin
Another former player of Brian Shaw. Only this time, we see a player who saw his stats deflate last season. Averaging 11PPG in 2011-2012 with Charlotte, D.J. signed a contract with Indiana hoping to boost his stats and become a prime target for this free agent period. His minutes fell from 30 to 16. Assists fell from 6.4 to 2.2! Most notably, his scoring fell from 11 to 4.7. Once seen as a promising player, he is now seen with caution.

10) Point Guard Chauncey Billups
The hometown hero. George Karl’s former eyes of the court. A former champion, all-star, fan favorite, and Nugget. This may be seen as a way of earning back respect of some sour Nuggets fans for the release of George Karl. It would work. It would also make for a nice ending to his career, in his hometown. Will we see Assistant Coach Billups in a few years on the Nuggets bench?

[polldaddy poll=7218006]

The chaotic period of the Nuggets offseason is over. The frantic searching for a leader ended. Coach Shaw is walking outside for some crisp, refreshing mile high air.

The heavy rumble of thunder is slowly growing faint. The once blistering rain has transformed into a light drizzle. The moon has emerged from the clouds, casting a faint glow over the Rocky Mountains. The city lights of downtown Denver radiating in the beauty of the night.

President Kroenke joins him outside in front of the Pepsi Center. “What a sight huh?” “Let’s hope our desired players think so.”

In the meantime Chris Paul is celebrating in Los Angeles, buying bottles of Pérignon. His new 5-year, $107 million dollar contract will certainly quench his thirst for money. Will it quench his thirst for a championship ring? Only time will tell.

Tight End Tebow?

Known as a bruiser. A rugged, gritty, player filled with more passion than a newlyweds honeymoon.

Tebow spent so much time rewriting record books in the collegiate level, you may mistake him for the Apostle Paul.

What gave opposing defenders motivation to wake up early to train for the moment of beating him? What troubled opposing coaches the nights before they faced the Florida Gators? What was it, that separated Tebow from every other player in the country? His speed, agility, leadership, and courage. Defenders had trouble sacking him, let alone tackling him in open field.

His glory days are over.

He’ll never run out in front of 100,000 fans cheering his name. He’ll never raise another MVP trophy. He’ll most likely never feel the incredible weight ascend off of his shoulders, as he hears that he’s a starting quarterback.

You can be damn sure he won’t give up though.

After a wasted season in New York with the abysmal Jets organization. And a coach with more interest in Sonic commercials, trash talking, and bare feet, than he does winning football games.

By Jeffrey Beall on Flickr (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Tebow never captured the success he had in college. The Broncos parted ways with him two seasons ago, the Jets released him earlier this offseason, and now he is on the Patriots roster.


Tebow was saved from the hellish-like atmosphere from an unlikely savior, Bill Belichick.

Belichick was recently ranked 7th on ESPN’s list of Greatest NFL Coaches of All-Time. Sounds like an upgrade from the loud mouth up north, huh?

The coaching wizard has his work cut out for him. The upcoming season looks shady for the organization used to winning.

The Patriots are in uncharted territory ladies and gentlemen. Every team deals with their departing players and incoming talent. However the Pats will be without their top five receivers from the 2012-2013 season!

Welker is catching passes from Peyton Manning 5280 feet high. Danny Woodhead is trying to re-ignite his career with new offensive minded coach Mike McCoy in San Diego.  Brandon Lloyd is looking for work as a free agent. Rob Gronkowski will be sidelined for all of training camp and if all goes better than expected he will be ready by their first game.

And Aaron Hernandez, if you haven’t been keeping up with his drama you are missing out. Hernandez has had gang trouble in his past. He was arrested twice during his tenure at the University of Florida. Recently he is tied to a murder. His past won’t help him, especially with the amount of evidence against him.

I could type about this incident for paragraphs but I’ll just mention the noteworthy evidence. The victim, Odin Lloyd, was dating the sister of the mother of Aaron’s child. (Sister of the mother, not as complicated as it seems). He was with Lloyd the night he died, Aaron was seen partying at a bar with Odin and two others.

Early monday morning neighbors heard gunshots in the area. Hernandez hired a cleaning company to scrub down his mansion. (Not suspicious at all right?) He destroyed his security footage and his cell phone. (I wonder what his reasoning was to the police) And the body of Odin was found in a park, near a rental car in Aaron’s name. Reportedly there is a warrant out for the arrest of Hernandez, although I’d be surprised if Robert Kraft doesn’t cut him tomorrow.

In the past Tebow has refused to play any position other than quarterback. This dates back to his high school and collegiate playing days. The difference between then and now? Although his throwing technique was poor, he was still extremely talented in those lower levels.

Could it be that Tebow finally experienced a revelation while reading the sacred Bible verse: Philistinians 1:15,

“Tebow shall not embarrass his God-given abilities any longer as a quarterback.” This is an opportunity for him to start fresh, while he is relatively still young in the NFL.”

On the pro side for him, he is back with quarterback guru Josh McDaniels. Training under him may improve his skills somewhat. He’s also behind some elite quarterback named Tom Brady. Could the offensive mind of McDaniels mold Tebow into an ideal prototype quarterback after a few seasons? Would he be ready to take over the reigns of the Pats after Tom Brady retires in the next two or three seasons? You know Timmy will be praying about this tonight.

I don’t think he will switch over to tight end.

Just for fun, if he did, I think he’d be used in short-medium packages. His catching ability remains to be seen. Although he has great ball carrier vision with a few fumbles on his record.

He would attract coverage. Since his blocking ability is unknown (to me at least) I bet as soon as he would enter a game, it would be obvious that it’s a passing play. Linebackers would call an audible. The defensive line may shift from a 4-3 to a 3-4, adding a defensive end to cover the elusive #15.

What if the Patriots started using Tebow as a decoy?  Imagine the possibilities the Patriots could think of. 4th and 3, Tebow’s on the field, short pass or a screen? Halfback pitch or a play action pass with a fake to Tebow. Imagine the endless opportunities.

Is there any real harm to trying Tebow out for tight end during training camp? Unless they are serious about him being a backup quarterback, I don’t see any concern. Tebow hasn’t suffered any major injuries. He wouldn’t be a concern to tear an ACL or strain his back.  He has brute strength. He has courage. He has heart. He won’t back down from a defender, he’ll fight for every yard. That’s what you want. A coaches dream. I think they’d give him an opportunity if he was interested.

Does he have a real chance at becoming a starter for the Patriots? Unless he converts to tight end and presses his work ethic and prayers into this new role, I doubt it. He could become a second string tight end, (demoted to third string once Gronk returns) used for receiving purposes.

While tight ends aren’t usually known for blocking, I don’t see Tebow as a blocker at all. Pro Bowl defensive players such as Von Miller, Terrell Suggs, and Aldon Smith would say a blessing before every snap, thanking The Lord for the upcoming delicious meal, before they devour all 6’3 of him.

The Patriots will most likely give him a chance. But management will also be frantically gandering at the remaining unsigned free agents.  The market includes former Pro Bowl tight ends Dallas Clark (2009) and Chris Cooley (2007-2008).

#TightEndTimmy doesn’t look likely. Tebow will have to stick with leading the team’s Bible study on the bench, not leading the team’s receptions.

<a href=”https://twitter.com/EBattenSports&#8221; class=”twitter-follow-button” data-show-count=”false” data-size=”large”>Follow @EBattenSports</a>
<script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);</script>

The Priority For Each Team

  • 1 represents a basic need. One that can be fulfilled with a late round pick or with an undrafted free agent. 
  • 2 represents a future need. These typically are insurance players in case current starters don’t resign (Bears cornerbacks) or if a veteran player retires.
  • 3 represents a moderate need. Couldn’t find a solid fit through free agency so the team needs to draft a player to play. (Broncos defensive tackle) This could range from a solid backup to a part-time starter. Usually a 2nd or a 3rd round pick. 
  • 4 represents a drastic need. This is one of the biggest holes on the current team and the General Managers should draft a star to fill this vacancy. (Cardinals quarterback) 
  • 5 represents a severe need. Used only three times, it calls for a team to do everything in their power to draft a player who can fill that position.This is with no trades, because then the possibilities would be endless.

Kansas City Chiefs (2-14) 1st

Offensive tackle: 4 Defensive Tackle: 4 Wide receiver: 3 Defensive end: 3 Free Safety: 3 Middle Linebacker: 2

If they’re lucky: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
There’s a chance of: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)  2nd

Quarterback: 4 Cornerback: 4 Offensive tackle: 4 Outside Linebacker: 3 Running Back : 3 Defensive end: 3 Defensive Tackle: 3

If they’re lucky:Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
There’s a chance of:Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

Oakland Raiders (4-12) 3rd

Defensive Tackle: 4 Defensive end: 4 Cornerback: 3 Offensive tackle: 3 Wide receiver: 3 Middle Linebacker: 3

If they’re lucky: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
There’s a chance of: Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU

Philadelphia Eagles (4-12) 4th

Cornerback: 4 Quarterback: 4 Defensive end: 3 Guard: 3 Wide receiver: 2 Safety: 2 Offensive tackle: 2

If they’re lucky: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
There’s a chance of: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

Detroit Lions (4-12) 5th

Cornerback: 5 Defensive end: 4 Offensive tackle: 3 Wide receiver: 3 Middle Linebacker: 3

If they’re lucky: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
There’s a chance of: Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU

Cleveland Browns (5-11) 6th

Cornerback: 4 Quarterback: 3 Middle Linebacker: 3 Guard: 3 Wide receiver: 3 Tight end: 2

If they’re lucky: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
There’s a chance of: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

Arizona Cardinals (5-11)7th  

Quarterback: 4 Defensive end: 4 Safety:4 Offensive tackle: 4 Tight end: 3 Outside Linebacker: 3 Guard: 2

If they’re lucky: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
There’s a chance of: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

Buffalo Bills (6-10) 8th  

Outside Linebacker: 4 Guard: 4 Defensive end: 4 Cornerback: 3 Quarterback: 3 Wide receiver: 2

If they’re lucky: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
There’s a chance of: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

New York Jets (6-10) 9th & 13th (Via Buccaneers)

Outside Linebacker: 4 Guard: 3 Safety: 3 Quarterback: 3 Offensive tackle: 3 Running Back : 2 Tight end: 2

If they’re lucky: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
There’s a chance of: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

Tennessee Titans (6-10)  10th

Guard: 4 Cornerback: 3 Wide receiver: 3  Defensive end: 3 Safety: 2

If they’re lucky: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
There’s a chance of: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
San Diego Chargers (7-9)  11th

Offensive tackle: 5 Guard: 5 Cornerback: 3 Middle Linebacker:3 Defensive Tackle: 2

If they’re lucky: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
There’s a chance of: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

Miami Dolphins (7-9) 12th

Offensive tackle: 4 Cornerback: 4 Running Back : 2 Tight end: 2 Defensive Tackle: 2

If they’re lucky: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
There’s a chance of: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston

New York Jets (6-10) 13th (Via Buccaneers)

Outside Linebacker4 Guard3 Safety3 Quarterback3 Offensive tackle3 Running Back 2 Tight end2

If they’re lucky: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
There’s a chance of: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

Carolina Panthers (7-9) 14th

Offensive tackle: 4 Cornerback: 3 Defensive Tackle: 3 Safety: 3 Wide receiver: 3

If they’re lucky: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
There’s a chance of:  Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

New Orleans Saints (7-9) 15th

Offensive tackle: 4 Outside Linebacker: 4  Cornerback: 3 Defensive Tackle: 3 Safety: 2 Defensive end: 2

If they’re lucky: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
There’s a chance of: Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse

St. Louis Rams (7-8-1) 16th and 22nd (From Washington)

Safety: 4 Wide receiver: 3 Running Back : 3 Outside Linebacker: 3 Guard: 2

If they’re lucky: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
There’s a chance of: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) 17th

Middle Linebacker: 3 Offensive tackle: 3 Running Back :3 Outside Linebacker: 3 Wide receiver: 2 Tight end: 2 Safety: 2

If they’re lucky: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
There’s a chance of: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Dallas Cowboys (8-8) 18th

Offensive tackle: 4 Outside Linebacker: 3 Guard: 3 Defensive end: 2 Defensive Tackle: 2 Center: 2 Running Back : 2

If they’re lucky: Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
There’s a chance of: Kyle Long,OG, Oregon
New York Giants (9-7) 19th

Defensive end: 4 Outside Linebacker: 3 Offensive tackle: 3 Cornerback: 2

If they’re lucky: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
There’s a chance of: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

Chicago Bears (10-6) 20th

Middle Linebacker: 4 Guard: 3 Offensive tackle: 3 Cornerback: 2 Wide receiver: 2 Center: 2

If they’re lucky: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
There’s a chance of:Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) 21st

Safety: 4 Outside Linebacker: 3 Running Back: 3 Cornerback: 2 Wide receiver: 2

If they’re lucky: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
There’s a chance of: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

St. Louis Rams (7-8-1)  22nd (From Washington)

Safety4 Wide receiver3 Running Back 3 Outside Linebacker3 Guard2

If they’re lucky:  Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
There’s a chance of: Keenan Allen, WR, California

Minnesota Vikings (10-6) 23rd & 25th  (from Seattle)

Middle Linebacker: 4 Wide receiver:3  Cornerback: 3 Defensive end: 3 Defensive Tackle: 3 Safety: 2

If they’re lucky: Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
There’s a chance of: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

Indianapolis Colts (11-5) 24th

Outside Linebacker: 3 Safety: 3 Wide receiver: 3 Guard: 2 Cornerback: 2 Running Back : 2

If they’re lucky: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
There’s a chance of: Matt Elam, FS, Florida

Minnesota Vikings (10-6) 25th  (from Seattle)

Middle Linebacker4 Wide receiver:3  Cornerback3 Defensive end3 Defensive Tackle3 Safety2

If they’re lucky: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
There’s a chance of: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

Green Bay Packers (11-5)
26th  

Safety: 4 Running Back : 4 Defensive end: 3 Offensive tackle: 3 Outside Linebacker: 3 Wide receiver: 1

If they’re lucky: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
There’s a chance of: Matt Elam, FS, Florida

Houston Texans (12-4) 27th  

Offensive tackle: 4 Wide receiver: 3 Defensive Tackle: 3 Outside Linebacker: 3 Middle Linebacker: 2

If they’re lucky: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
There’s a chance of: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Denver Broncos (13-3) 28th  

Cornerback: 3 Defensive end: 3 Running Back : 3 Safety: 2 Defensive Tackle: 2 Middle Linebacker: 2

If they’re lucky: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
There’s a chance of: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

New England Patriots (12-4)  29th

Cornerback: 3 Defensive end: 2 Guard: 2 Center: 2 Defensive Tackle: 2 Wide receiver:1

If they’re lucky: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
There’s a chance of:Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

Atlanta Falcons (13-3)  30th

Defensive end: 4 Tight end: 3 Cornerback: 3 Guard: 2  Outside Linebacker: 2

If they’re lucky: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
There’s a chance of: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1) 31st  

Safety: 3 Outside Linebacker: 3 Wide receiver: 3 Cornerback: 2 Defensive Tackle: 2 Tight end: 2 Quarterback: 1

If they’re lucky: Eric Reid,FS, LSU
There’s a chance of: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia

Baltimore Ravens (10-6)  32nd

Middle Linebacker: 3 Safety: 3 Offensive tackle: 3 Tight end: 2 Wide receiver: 2

If they’re lucky: Kevin Minter,ILB, LSU
There’s a chance of:Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State

First Round Probability

Picks 1-5

Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M  100%

Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan  100%

Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama 100%

Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida 90%

Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon 90%

Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma  85%

Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU 80%

Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah  75%

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia 75%

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia 60%

Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama 60%

The first five picks of the draft are relatively lackluster compared to previous drafts. There aren’t any superstar players, however there are three offensive tackles who are highly scouted as “game ready.” They will be starters for years to come.

Numerous teams have a desperate need for help in their secondary, Dee Milliner is no Patrick Peterson, but he is by far the best cornerback in this draft.

A number of teams need to solve their quarterback issues, I don’t see any of the top five selections drafting the highly ranked Geno Smith this year. Instead I see the quarterback hungry teams drafting offensive linemen to draft a solid foundation of linemen while they wait for a better quarterback.

Picks 6-10

Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri 100%

Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida 100%

Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon 100%

Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma  100%

Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah  100%

Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU 95%

Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama 95%

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia 90%

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia 85%

Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina 80%

Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU 75%

Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame 70%

Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas 60%

D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama  60%

This draft makes up for its lack of superstars by its depth in linemen. I expect the picks here to be mainly teams that desperately need a disruptive pass rusher with a few surprises with teams trading up to draft the most talented wide receiver Tavon Austin, safety Kenny Vaccaro, or tight end Tyler Eifert

We may see Geno Smith selected in this range. This would be done by a team trading up most likely, knowing they can’t draft any of the three dominant offensive tackles (Lane JohnsonEric Fisher, or Luke Joeckel) they will settle for the best quarterback in this draft. 

Picks 11-15

Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU 100%

Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama 100%

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia 95%

Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina 95%

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia 90%

Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas 90%

D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama  90%

D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston 90%

Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU 85%

Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia 85%

Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame 80%

Kyle Long,OG, Oregon 80%

Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse 80%

Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina 80%

Matt Elam, FS, Florida 75%

Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama 70%

Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State 70%

The picks here will be the first set of five selections that will include a lot of variety. We will certainly see a few cornerbacks walk up to the stage as well as Roger Goodell appearing to announce a trade or two. There may be a few bold teams that will attempt to gain a pick here to have their selection of cornerbacks.

Picks 16-20

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia 100%

Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina 100%

Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU 100%

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia 95%

Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame 95%

Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas 95%

Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia 95%

D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama  90%

D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston 90%

Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State 90%

Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State 90%

Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina 85%

Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse 85%

Kyle Long,OG, Oregon 80%

Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama 80%

Matt Elam, FS, Florida 75%

Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State 75%

Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington 70%

Keenan Allen, WR, California 70%

Eric Reid,FS, LSU 70%

Datone Jones, DE, UCLA 70%

Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame 60%

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee 50%

Matt Barkley, QB, USC 40%

We well see the last of the “Tier 1” players in this draft around the selections of 16-20. Geno Smith would be a steal here for a team in need of a cornerback assuming they trade back to grab him. Numerous teams are reportedly interested in defensive end Barkevious Mingo out of LSU and will be thrilled if they can draft him here.

Picks 21-25

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia 100%

Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame 100%

Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas 100%

D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama  100%

D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston 95%

Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia 95%

Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State 95%

Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina 95%

Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse 95%

Matt Elam, FS, Florida 95%

Keenan Allen, WR, California 90%

Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State 90%

Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama 85%

Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State 85%

Datone Jones, DE, UCLA 85%

Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington 85%

Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State 80%

Kyle Long,OG, Oregon 80%

Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame 80%

Eric Reid,FS, LSU 80%

Kevin Minter,ILB, LSU 80%

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee 75%

Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia 75%

Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State 75%

Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee 70%

Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M 70%

Jonathan Cyprien, FS, Florida International 70%

Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford 70%

Matt Barkley, QB, USC 60%

EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State 40%

It’s certainly difficult for a tight end and a safety to be drafted in the top fifteen now, especially if they aren’t of elite status. However, since there are large gaps between the positions best players and the rest of the players some teams that desperately need a safety or a tight end will have a hard look at trading up or down to select them here.

Picks 26-32

D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston 100%

Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State 100%

Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina 100%

Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia 95%

Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse 95%

Matt Elam, FS, Florida 95%

Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State 95%

Datone Jones, DE, UCLA 95%

Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington 95%

Keenan Allen, WR, California 95%


Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State 95%


Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama 90%

Kyle Long,OG, Oregon 90%

Eric Reid,FS, LSU 90%


Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State 90%

Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame 85%

Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia 85%

Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee 85%

Kevin Minter,ILB, LSU 85%

Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State 85%

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee 80%

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson 80%

Matt Barkley, QB, USC 80%

Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M 80%

Jonathan Cyprien, FS, Florida International 80%

Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford 75%

Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State 70%

Margus Hunt, DE, SMU  70%

Kawann Short, DT, Purdue 70%

Robert Woods, WR, USC 70%

EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State 60%

Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse 50%

Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin 40%

Most of the teams drafting at the bottom of each round are there for a reason. They know how to win. Except for an outlier (Ravens) these teams already have a solid foundation of leaders on offense and defense. I don’t see any of these teams trading up to select someone.

However I do anticipate a few teams possibly trading down and stockpiling picks for next year if their targets do get drafted early.

For example if the Broncos and Patriots both miss out on cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Xavier Rhodes we could see movement by some weaker teams who need to fill lots of holes.

<script>
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-40356538-1’, ‘wordpress.com’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

</script>

The Pro Bowl: A Mockery of the NFL

The NFL is the most successful and popular sports league in America. The toughest level of football in the world. It’s championship game has become an unofficial holiday and annually becomes the most watched event in the United States and the second most watched event worldwide behind the UEFA Champions Final.

With such success, you would think that the NFL would have the most entertaining, physical, thrilling, edge of your seat, heart pounding all-star game every year. However, the NFL struggles to keep up any respect for their version of an all-star game. The Pro Bowl should be renamed the Boring Bowl.

It’s no secret that the NFL is trying to create mass television ratings during the Pro Bowl, which then turns into more money for the league. As most NFL players have already figured out, it’s simply not worth it to actually play hard in a game that doesn’t matter.

Sure, the NFL offers money to whomever plays in the game. $50,000 to each player on the winning team and $25,000 for each player on the losing team. While that seems like a ton of money to most NFL fans, it’s merely chump change for the professional football players. For example, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will be making his 13th Pro Bowl appearance, but if he wins he’ll be earning a small 1/360th fraction of his $18,000,000 dollar salary for the 2012-2013 season.

Want the players to play hard? Pay them more money. The NFL should stop pretending that they don’t have adequate funds for this event. If they want it to become a prime time television show, attract millions of viewers, and become the envy of every other professional league, they need to shell out the big bucks to the big time athletes.

If they can get the money problem figured out, then they need to start working on their scheduling. Really, a week before the Super Bowl? Isn’t this supposed to be a game played by the best of the best? Doesn’t anyone in the NFL realize that if you have this game before the Super Bowl, you’re automatically kicking players from the two best teams out of the game. It makes absolutely no sense.

For this years upcoming Pro Bowl, there are 15 players who will not be playing due to the Super Bowl. FIFTEEN!

Overall this year 29 players have declined to take part for various reasons. The most common, however, are prior injuries and fear of injuries.

Wait a minute, fear of injuries?

Didn’t the league change the entire rules of the Pro Bowl game to make it “safer”? Yes, in fact, they altered major rules in order to make it as safe as can be.

For example, there can be no motion or shifting on the offense prior to the snap. That means Peyton Manning won’t be able to change-up the play by yelling at an audible which is his trademark.

An offense must have a tight end in every offensive formation. The point of this rule? I can only think of taking speed off on the offensive side by replacing a possible wide receiver with a tight end.

The offense can’t have three wide receivers on the same side. Really? Why not? Too much confusion for the defense?

Intentional grounding is legal. Oh great, this must be popular with defenders. Whenever they get close to a sack, the quarterback can simply throw the ball away whenever he wants.

The defense must run a 4-3 formation all the time. The game has evolved with the majority of defenses running a 3-4. Which means that the majority of defenders in the Pro Bowl, aren’t even running in the same foundation that they have to play in.

No press coverage unless they’re inside the 5 yard line. Completely takes away a critical component for many elite cornerbacks who rely on tight coverage to make their plays.

No rushing a punt, field goal attempt or point after touchdown. Why not just automatically give teams 7 points for every touchdown then and 3 points every time they get inside the 30 yard line?

No calls can be challenged. They must have too much confidence in their referees or are telling coaches, “This isn’t a real game.”

And my personal favorite, no rushing allowed. That’s right Von Miller, you can’t rush the quarterback, ever. No blitzing from players not on the defensive line.

My backyard pick up football games had better rules than this. And frankly, I’d much rather play football in my backyard with some friends than watch an hour of this garbage that is being broadcast.

There is hope, however. The Pro Bowl can bring back the famous NFL Skills Competition that they once had up until 2007. It was fun as a fan to see who was the fastest man in the NFL as they would all race down the field or to see which linemen could lift the most. Watching the kickers play HORSE on the field was even entertaining!

The possibilities for these events could be endless. You could find out which wide receiver has the best hands, which quarterback has the strongest arm, which quarterback has the best accuracy, which defensive player can hit the hardest, etc.

Now THAT would be entertaining to watch. The bragging rights because of this would be endless. Can you imagine seeing a player such as Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears tweeting after being named “Best Hands of 2013″.

Why stop there? If the NFL wants to make money they might as well work in some press in other countries as well.

I’m talking about expansion. Hawaii is a nice vacation for most NFL players, but imagine if the Pro Bowl was held in France, Italy, England, Germany, etc. It would be a positive change for most players and the fanfare globally would increase exponentially! It’s a win-win for a league which is currently dealing with a lose-lose.

The Pro Bowl once stood for “Professional Bowl.” Now it disgracefully means “Promotional Bowl.”

Meet Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the Man Most Likely Behind the Manti Te’o’s Fake Girlfriend

The news shocked every college football fan. Every sports analyst. Every coach, teammate, and peers. But most of all, it shocked the warrior on the gridiron, a man who charges three-hundred pound linemen every game, chases down running backs as a hobby, and terrorizes quarterbacks daily, Manti Te’o.

The Heisman Trophy finalist won the hearts of millions of fans because of his heavy heart on the field due to his late girlfriend and grandmother. Captivated fans all over the world. Everyone wanted to root for this young man.

A leader on the field. Someone who plays with emotion and passion. For something greater than just a win. Manti was playing for his love. A beautiful, yet sad love story which his emotions could only be told by his domination on the field.

The evening of January 16th, 2013. Deadspin posted a story that proved that Manti Te’o’s alleged girlfriend, never even existed.

Questions immediately poured out from numerous journalists. A story on the SouthBendTribune website (which has since been deleted) stated the love story on how they first met. How they gazed into each others eyes and fell for each other.

Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel even wrote a feature story about how Manti would call his girlfriend while she was in a coma. It seemed legit. Everyone wanted to believe in it. No one would have thought that someone would betray another in such a horrific way.

This brings me to my main point, who is in charge of this dreadful and out of control mess?

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you about Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.

After hearing this story break. I just couldn’t believe that Manti Te’o was behind all of it. Maybe I just don’t want to give in to the fact that someone so highly regarded by nearly everyone, would stoop so low to make up a sob story to boost his Heisman chances.

After a few hours of researching, this is what I found.

Thanks to an article by Jack Moore from Buzzfeed.com, it has been concluded that two individuals have been making various hints that Manti Te’o’s girlfriend is fake. And ultimately, they know who is in charge of it.

A man by the twitter account of https://twitter.com/jayRahz tweeted

“My fam & I have an idea who the guy is behind the @LennayKay profile & hes up there leading a worship band at his dad’s church! SMFH” on December 4th, 2012.
Link: https://twitter.com/jayRahz/status/276073152432447488

Then again on January 7th, he tweeted, “I wonder if the real Lennay Kekua is watching the game.. Cause I know the fake one that didn’t die is not watching over the Irish! #Ronaiah

Link: https://twitter.com/jayRahz/status/288495738856558594

What was even more surprising was that someone by the name of C.Tuiotimariner replied by tweeting, “@jayRahz NO YOU DIDN’T @jayRahz !!!!!#IMDONE #Dead

Link: https://twitter.com/ceeweezy51/status/288502333220978688

Then she followed up with a tweet a few hours after the story broke. “Because I love his family, I know& understand that this was all a hoax that went out of proportion& blew up to a bigger problem #GodForgives

Link: https://twitter.com/ceeweezy51/status/288502333220978688

By far the most revealing tweet of the past twenty-four hours has been by @JayRahz, “everyone needs to hit up Ronaiah Tuiasosopo and get the truth.. the truth will set you free!!”

Link: https://twitter.com/jayRahz/status/291784953132376064

Immediately after he attempted to clear C.Tuiotimariner’s name by tweeting, “@ceeweezy IS NOT LENNAY KEKUA.. thats all RONAIAH!!”

Link: https://twitter.com/jayRahz/status/291785578431782912

After reading all of that, I had many questions about this mystery man. Including who he is, what prompted him to do this, and how to pronounce his name correctly. This is what I’ve dug up.

Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey from Deadspin put in a tremendous amount of effort and work. Here is an excerpt from their article.

“We spoke with friends and relatives of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo who asserted that Ronaiah was the man behind Lennay. He created Lennay in 2008, one source said, and Te’o wasn’t the first person to have an online “relationship” with her. One mark—who had been “introduced” to Lennay by Tuiasosopo—lasted about a month before family members grew suspicious that Lennay could never be found on the telephone, and that wherever one expected Lennay to be, Ronaiah was there instead. Two sources discounted Ronaiah’s stunt as a prank that only metastasized because of Te’o’s rise to national celebrity this past season.”

Ronaiah is 22 and a former California high school quarterback and leads the worship band at his fathers church; Oasis Christian Church in Antelope Valley, California.

A source who spoke to Deadspin reporters, said that Ronaiah is a family friend of Te’o’s, and some of his friends and family have confirmed that he was the orchestrator of Kekua’s online persona. He was also a high school classmate of the woman, identified by Deadspin as “Reba,” whose photos were used to make a convincing online profile for Kekua.

So far the prompt for him to lead Manti Te’o on a horrible hoax is unknown. I’m assuming that he was just messing around and got carried away.

Let’s hope it turns out that Manti Te’o is completely innocent. I’ll continue to update this story as I uncover more information

Pat Moriarty, the Man Under Immense Pressure for the Ravens

The current state of the National Football League is pass oriented. Now more than ever, teams are relying on passing offenses to move the ball and score. There are multiple reasons for this. NFL defenses are getting more physical, defensive linemen are much faster now than they were fifteen years ago.

Wide Receivers are taller and much more physical. Many elite quarterbacks are breaking passing records that have previously been untouchable. If you have a cornerstone quarterback to build your team around, your team will most likely be successful.

For twenty NFL teams, their quarterback situation is taken care of. They have an athlete who the organization, fans, and players can support with confidence. Those twenty teams (Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, Texans, Colts, Broncos, Chargers, Cowboys, Giants, Redskins, Bears, Lions, Packers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Buccaneers, 49ers, and the Seahawks) have a combined record of 191-128. An average record of 10-6.

Opposed to the record of the twelve without a consistent quarterback; 60-118. Or an average of 5-11. In fact, there was only one team out of those twelve that had a winning record, the Minnesota Vikings, (more on that in a future story) who finished 10-6.

If your team missed the playoffs, don’t worry there are always opportunities to improve your team for the upcoming year during the offseason. The offseason is where team personnel put in long hours. This is where scouts, coaches, managers, and owners all meet and put their knowledge to the test to bring in the best talent.

You better believe that quarterbacks are in high demand for twelve NFL teams. Unfortunately, this year has a relatively weak quarterback class compared to previous classes.

According to Scouts Inc.’s Top 32 draft prospect ratings, only two quarterbacks make the list. The highest rated quarterback is the dual threat Geno Smith out of West Virginia, and he is rated a 91 which puts him at spot twenty-three. The other quarterback is USC alum Matt Barkley who is rated an 88 and ranked at thirty-two.

How does this affect the future of the twelve teams? Well many of them will try to fill other glaring holes in their lineup with other positions. This draft is heavy with defensive linemen and offensive tackles, both of which are important for a team, however offensive tackles gain the edge here, especially if a team is looking to build a durable line before they draft a quarterback in a few years.

Every couple of years or so, there will be a quarterback who doesn’t resign with his team. Either he thinks he is worth more money than they are offering, or he is in some dispute with the personnel. This year, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is an unrestricted free agent.

An unrestricted free agent means that this offseason, any team can make an offer to him and the Ravens will have an opportunity to match it. This is extremely risky because some teams have much more cap room than others, meaning they can offer him more money up front and over the span of his contract.

Flacco, is playing in the final year of his three-year rookie contract which he signed in 2008 after being drafted 18th overall out of the University of Delaware.

The Ravens are hesitant about committing long-term to Flacco, since he hasn’t put up “elite” stats during his career. The term “elite” is very gray, since everyone has a different perception of what qualifies as elite. In my opinion, elite status consists of multiple 4,000+ yards and 35+ touchdown passes. Flacco’s career bests for passing yards are 3,817 in 2012 and 25 passing touchdowns in 2010.

He averages an 86.3 career quarterback rating, compared to league leader Aaron Rodgers who sustained an incredible rating of 108.

However, the Ravens would be stupid not to pay Joe Flacco big bucks. He currently holds the record for most passing yards in team history with 17,633, most touchdown passes in team history with 102. Along with most game winning drives with 14, and 10 of those 14 coming in the 4th quarter.

Joe Flacco also has the most wins out of any quarterback since 2008 (including postseason) with 61 games. Most of the teams looking for a quarterback haven’t even won 61 games in their past ten seasons combined.

It seems obvious to us, why haven’t the Ravens secured this young, rocket-armed, passer? This job belongs to Pat Moriarty. The Vice President of Football Administration for the Baltimore Ravens.

He overlooks player contracts, salary cap issues, and roster management. He has been monumental in all of the Ravens previous roster moves, including acquiring former Pro-Bowler wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the Arizona Cardinals in 2010.

Whatever he ultimately decides to do, or not do, will affect the twelve teams gunning for a franchise slinger. Can you imagine the bidding war teams would have for Joe Flacco? Joe can, and this is why he hasn’t signed an extenstion yet. He wants money. Regardless of what happens, he’ll get paid very soon.

For now the Ravens are focusing on the playoffs, but you can be sure that NFL fans from all over, team owners, coaches, and general managers are all awaiting to see how Pat Moriarty approaches this situation. He could end up changing a franchise completely.

Offensive Coordinator in Denver? Dream Come True.

Earlier this morning, former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy announced that he was leaving his position to take the head coach job in San Diego.

This move by McCoy was expected by many sources around the league, yet still surprised numerous Bronco fans. Looking back at this past season, the Broncos surpassed numerous goals set by the media. For example, Peyton Manning surely solidified his role as an elite quarterback after four neck surgeries by throwing for 4,659 yards, thirty-seven touchdowns, and completing a passer rating of 105.8.

Wide receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas both had breakout seasons. Decker totaled 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns almost doubling his previous totals of 612 yards and 8 touchdowns. It took Demaryius Thomas his third season in the league to show his true talent as a #1 receiver in the NFL. He had 94 receptions for 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Mike McCoy took this trio of superb athletes and completed a season averaging the 2nd most points per game, 30.1. The 4th most yards per game, 397.9. While finishing fifth in passing yards, 283.4 and a modest 16th in rushing yards with 114.5. This may be why he was targeted by numerous teams.

While Bronco fans are probably still trying to soothe their broken hearts from the disappointing playoff loss, they don’t have to worry about the absence of Mike McCoy. Although he orchestrated an extremely high-powered offense, he left a position that is sure to be the dream job for a coordinator who needs “a few good years” to boost their resume.

The best example I can give is Josh McDaniels. Before you stop reading suddenly let me finish. I’m not suggesting we rehire McDaniels, that wouldn’t sit too well with Pat Bowlen or the millions of fans all over including myself. However, he is the type of person who needs this job. McDaniels knows that he needs to boost his resume if he wants any shot at becoming a head coach again, the offensive coordinator of the amazing Denver Broncos, is a perfect spot.

You merely can’t miss with Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and a defensive that was tied for the league in sacks (52) and had the fourth lowest average points scored (18.1). Not only is this team filled with All-Pro players, but they are playing in the weakest division across the entire NFL!

The AFC West sustained only 26 wins out of all four teams. To compare, the NFC North had 35.

This team is designed to stay ahold of the division for at least the next three years. With the way Peyton Manning and company are playing, there might even be a few MVP awards tossed around the locker room.

So now the main question, who wants to be apart of a constantly winning football team with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and a suffocating defense? Here’s my list of potential candidates to fill this lucky spot.

Potential Offensive Coordinator Candidates

1) Ken Whisenhunt.

The former head coach of the Arizona Cardinals (2007-2012) is in high demand at the moment. He is currently interviewing for head coaching positions and is rumored to be the front-runner for the Philidelphia Eagles. If the Broncos can persuade him to sign with us, he will certainly enjoy having a quarterback who knows what he is doing as the Cardinals never found a franchiese quarterback after Kurt Warner retired in 2009.

Ken led the Cardinals to their only Super Bowl during the 2008 season. He won a Super Bowl as an offensive assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2005 season.

2) Tom Moore

This guy is old. And by old, I mean he was coaching before Peyton Manning was even born! He has held over seventeen various coaching positions, and has won the Super Bowl three times (78,79,06) He is 74 years old, and has never had a head coaching position.

However, he was the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2008. He currently is an Offensive Consultant with the Tennessee Titans. I believe he will be a dark horse for this position due to his familarity with Peyton Manning. After all, he has worked with Peyton for ten years and his offensive style of a hurry up offense matches perfectly with Peyton Manning and head coach John Fox.

3) Adam Gase

An in-house selection for this guy. His eighth season in the NFL, just completed his second year as the quarterbacks coach for the Broncos. In 2011, he had Tim Tebow, although Tebow never had the skill set to be a successful Broncos long-term quarterback, he did manage to work with him and get a few thrilling wins.

Adam helped Manning become the superior player he is once again. Before becoming a quarterbacks coach, he was the wide receivers coach for the Broncos from 2009-2010. He helped wide receiver Brandon Lloyd surpass 1400 receiving yards. Brandon Marshall also became the fifth player in NFL history to post three consecutive 100-catch seasons.

4) Brian Schottenheimer

The current offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. The son of former Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, and Washington Redskins head coach Marty Schottenheimer. He has served as an assistant to his father on many teams, and one day hopes to become a head coach. After the 2008 season, Brian was a candidate to become the head coach for the New York Jets. The Jacksonville Jaguars are rumored to have a large amount of interest in him for their head coaching position. If he doesn’t get the job, then the OC position in Denver will certainly help him get his name out there for future positions.

5) Mike Martz

The former head coach of the Super Bowl winning St. Louis Rams of the year 1999. He went 56-36 in five and a half seasons as a head coach and hasn’t been a head coach since the year 2005. However he has been an offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears for two years before resigning amidst struggles with then head coach Lovie Smith and the spectacular, incredible, fan favorite QB Jay Cutler. He has been retired from coaching for almost a year. If there is anything to pull him out of retirement, this is it.

Hello

Hello everyone!

Thank you for clicking on my blog whether it was intentional or not, I hope you will enjoy what you read.

I am currently a freshman at UC-Denver. If I’m not studying hard in the library, tweeting to pass the time in class, working as a tutor, or updating my fantasy basketball team, I will be daydreaming about becoming a sports journalist one day.

To say it simply, I love watching sports. Having played on winning and losing teams myself, I understand the emotion that takes place within every practice, game, and everything going on behind the scenes.

I found my passion in high school for sports journalism and someday I will become a well-known sports journalist. (Watch out Rick Reilly.)

Any feedback will be great unless it’s negative. Just kidding. Let me know what you think and if you love it, please share it with others!

8-Evan Batten