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NFC East Recap

Cowboys– The Cowboy roster on paper is always solid, however they fail to execute disappointing a huge fan following year after year. Big games remain a huge problem as they lost 4 out of the last 5 games down the stretch. Although Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and Dez Bryant played well, the running game needs someone in addition to Felix Jones. The defense looked lost at times, giving up big play after play and should begin to target some young defensive backs. Terence Newman enters his 10th year in the league and the secondary needs youth. DeMarcus Ware is still a beast and a pass rusher on the other side is needed. Interior offensive linemen are also a concern, and protecting Tony Romo remains one of Dallas’a main priorities.

Giants– An epic run that has given the franchise a new level of respect and Eli Manning is to thank, as a talented and deep roster should only get better and more experienced. The G-Men should be back to the playoffs next year, as Coughlin knows how to get his team to peak at the right time. The Giants will come into next year with loads of confidence and that is scary. With a nicely balanced offense and defense it wouldn’t surprise me if they won it all again.

Eagles: The buzz has already started, and experts are predicting Philadelphia to bounce back and cause a stir next year. With Michael Vick at QB the Eagles possess a weapon at QB that we have yet to see anywhere else. Offensively, the threat of LeSean McCoy, Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, resembles a three- headed snake that has been tamed before but could strike and could be surprisingly unpredictable. A slow start last fall began to spin out of control and once things came together it was too late. Next year, could be different and a decent draft pick will add depth. On both sides of the ball statistically the Eagles were above average and offensively were in impressive ranking 9th in passing and 5th in rushing overall. The defense flies under the radar and they lack big name stars. This upcoming draft they will most likely target interior defensive line to solidify a defense that was very solid.

Redskins: Quarterback is an issue as Rex Grossman failed to solidify his role going into the future. The Redskins have several desperate needs, however WR should be at the forefront as Blackmon may be available. Running back is a problem while several backs carried the load and a sure fire game breaker has yet to emerge. Offensively, Jabar Gaffney and Fred Davis had great years, but a deep threat down the field could do wonders for team that ranked #26th in passing yardage. On defense the Skins need to concentrate on stopping the run. Linebacker London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo had outstanding campaigns in 2011, but the defensive line is a concern and needs help. The LB’s and DB’s stats became padded last year due to the lack of an upfront presence cause many tackles to be made down field.

Happy Birthday Randy Moss

Classic interview

202 career games
954 receptions
14,858 yards
153 TD’s

Wouldn’t mind seeing Randy make a come back…

Jordan Jefferson: Pleads not guilty to charges of assault

During the National Championship game Jefferson was: 11/17, 53 yards, and 1 interception.

2011-12 Stats: 61/100, 737 yards, 6TD’s and 1INT
Career: Threw for 4733 yards, 34TD’s and 22INT’s

Jordan Jefferson started off his season at LSU last year on the wrong note, when charges were filed against the QB after his involvement in a Bar fight just off campus. LSU started strong without the deemed former starter and in game 4 began to work Jefferson into the offense, to throw off opposing defenses with his versatility. Ironically, his season that was beginning to show promise, ended just as bad on the field during the National Championship game, as the Tide ended the Tigers run at perfection and he made some bone headed decisions. Although Jefferson’s stats during this past season aren’t horrible, the players around him made it a lot easier. I don’t think Jefferson could run a spread and have to throw the ball 30 plus times a game. Many opponents can’t keep up with LSU and his run threat overwhelms defenses of lesser athletic ability. In the NFL you have to throw to win.

During his performance this past January, Jefferson looked rattled as the Tide overwhelmed LSU and took away standout WR Reuben Randle. The offense couldn’t push the ball down field and Jefferson is mainly to blame. During that performance with everything on the line Jefferson was disappointing and couldn’t come through in a game that was close and winnable given the offense would have put it together. The Tide took away routine runs that open up options against lesser quality opponents and took Jefferson out of his element. Instead of an easy first read he was forced to check down to 3rd and 4th receivers and by this time the play was long gone. This scheme parallels what NFL defenses’ emphasize and is one of the reason’s QB’s like Tebow struggle to make throws and be consistent. The ability to throw the football wins out every-time.

Draft Stock:
Jordan Jefferson reminds me of a hoard of athletic quarterbacks who fail to make an impact at the next level given their natural physical ability. Jefferson needs to work on his pocket movement and the fluidity of his throwing motion. The National Championship game was the best audition Jefferson will ever get the chance at and he failed. The Tide’s defense laden with NFL talent shut him down, and took away the pass. Jefferson was pressing throws, and looking for the big play later in the game, however lacked the ability to survey down the field. The NFL will not put up with Jefferson’s antics and will question his character, maturity and professionalism after the incident last fall. I’m not saying it can’t happen for this kid, he just has a lot of improvements to make a case for himself as an early round or even late round draft choice.

ESPN 2013 Top 100 High School Football Prospects 1-5 analysis

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1. Kenny Bigelow: DT
HS: Red Lion Christian Academy
Home: Delaware >
Size: 6’3″, 280
Committed to USC 11/30/2011
Analysis: A road grader, who is huge and able to run effectively despite his big frame. Some of his highlights wowed me as he caught passes out of the backfield and even played linebacker with agility. He has surprising closing speed for a guy his size. During plays he, keeps working and shows that he has a motor. This is his 2010 tape, so since then surely he has gained a few pounds and may be used more on the line of scrimmage.

2. Caleb Brantley: DT
HS: Crescent City High School
Home: Crescent City, Florida
Size: 6’2″, 294
Committed to Florida 1/28/2012
Analysis: A Force in the middle, who is very disruptive with his initial burst. Keeps working down the line and is able to chase down plays. Doesn’t look physically dominate on tape, but is a natural playmaker, who stays low and controls the line often flowing into tackles. Later his highlight tape becomes fun to watch as he makes play after play in the backfield. Had 101 tackles 34 TFL and 5 sacks during his Junior season.

3. Adam Breneman: TE
HS: Cedar Cliff High School
Home: Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Size: 6’5″, 225
Undeclared
Analysis: Has the physical tools to make an impact in college, become stronger and add muscle. Runs good routes and has soft hands. Not super fast, but a long strider and has the ability to break tackles. Could be nightmare for DB’s in the years to come if he continues to progress. Highlights are impressive, however doesn’t look like his competition is anything special. Most of the DB’s are half his size on the tape. 70 catches, 1,120 yards, 12TD’s

4. Max Browne: QB
HS: Skyline High School
Home: Sammamish, Washington
Size: QB, 6’4″, 205
Undeclared
-Analysis: Excellent pocket presence, size and awareness. A big kid who can run if need be and is very comfortable when moving. Can make all the throws, and is able squeeze balls into tight windows down the field. Has touch and eyes are always looking for the open man in coverage. Browne has great control of his arm strength showing he can hit intermediate throws with touch. Will be interesting to see how he does when he adds more weight to his lengthy frame. 288/411 (70%) 4,031 yards, 45TD’s and 7 interceptions, appearing in 14 games.

5. Greg Bryant: RB
HS: American Heritage
Home: Delray Beach, Florida
Size: 5’10”, 205
Undeclared
Analysis: A short strider with great lateral ability. Demonstrates a knack for finding the open hole then bursting. Uses his upper body effectively as he fakes out defenders with ease and is very agile on his feet. Not a burner, but quick enough to make plenty of people miss at the next level.

AFC West Recap

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Broncos(8-8)– Tim Tebow will be the starter going into next year despite all the media controversy that will continue. The Bronco’s came on at the end of the year, but lacked the talent to make a deep playoff run. The offense ranked #1 overall rushing the ball, however the passing game was on and off and unable to accumulate an excess of touchdowns. Defensively, the Bronco’s have promise in 1st year player Von Miller who had an outstanding year with 11.5 sacks. The LBs DJ Williams and Wesley Woodyard played well, however the defensive secondary needs improvement. Bottom line is that Tebow must develop into a more polished passer, and next year will be his time to put to rest doubters. Although rumors will start about the Bronco’s taking a QB to putt pressure on Tebow, I feel they will concentrate on other issues such as the defense.

Chargers(8-8)– Roster shake-ups are needed this offseason in order to stay competitive going into next year. The defense was alright but could get better. With several offensive players such as Jackson most likely Matthews locked in, the Chargers should concentrate on defense and protecting Philip Rivers, or picking up a big playmaker. With the exit of Marcus Mcneill San Diego needs to get an impact offensive line man and resort to some big free agency pickups outside of what’s normal for them. This team has some viable tools to make a run, however Philip Rivers must have a rebound type year and cut down on the picks.

Raiders(8-8)– For a while I thought the Raiders would make noise last year however the defense cost them late in the year. With the acquisition Carson Palmer options at QB are good, however I doubt he is the full circle answer. Offensively, Michael Bush, Darren McFadden and Heyward Bey were impressive as the Raiders were top 10 in both rushing and passing. Defensively Ronaldo Mclain had an excellent year, but the defensive line needs help and so does the secondary in order to make a stir in what should be a competitive division once again. Without a first round draft pick they will have to make up for it later in New York with quality late round choices.

Chiefs(7-9)– With the return of Matt Cassel healthy they could be a decent team. They have the athletes to work with on offense, as Mccluster and Bowe are game breakers. The defense is led by Derrick Johnson who is in his prime in addition to Jovan Belcher, and Tamba Hali who at times played very well this past season. With the return of Eric Berry in the secondary, the Chiefs could gain a lot of ground. Going into next year given that Brandon Flowers had a great 2011 performance with 4 interceptions the DB’s should improve. With a high draft the Chiefs will most likely concentrate on defense in order to solidify a unit that showed promise. A huge win over Green Bay last year is definitely a solid place to start.

NFC North Review

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Packers (15-1) : Are young and loaded, however need to pick up a game changer in the backfield. If the defense can pick it up after this year and Rogers continues to play spectacular then Green Bay should be fine. Their defense remains solid with Matthews, Woodson, Williams and Collins however they need a pass rusher off the edge. O-line was an issue so could pick up some fillers.

Bears (8-8): Jay Culter played well this year until he got hurt, however Matt Forte carried most of the load. Need to eventually land a big play receiver to take the pressure off Culter. Defensively they were a middle of the road team, and have room to improve defending the pass. With Briggs, Urlacher, and Tillman they have the building blocks to succeed however must move quickly.

Lions (10-6): Became an passing offensive power house this season as Matt Stafford showed maturity and evolved in a competitor with an elite receiver in Calvin Johnson. Next year a more consistent running attack, and better defense could propel the Lions back into the playoffs. The Lions need more defensive production especially in the defensive backfield as they gave up a lot of points during the end of the seasons. Immaturity problems need to stop from stars such as Ndamukong Suh.

Vikings(3-13): Franchise is at a cross -roads however Christian Ponder may be the QB of the future if he makes some improvements in the off- season. Adrian Peterson may be on the decline after his knee injury however his rehab has been going well, and the WR core is desperate for another threat. The secondary needs aid as their division has become nightmare through the air. Additionally the offensive line needs help, and it should be addressed as top priority when moving forward with a young passer.

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Ricky Williams Retires

Congrats to Ricky Williams who reached the 10,000 yard mark and had an outstanding career. Known as an introvert who has admitted to social anxiety disorders, Williams has always been a unique and soft spoken man. His career started strong in New Orleans however he quickly wanted out and left to the Dolphins. He left his mark in the media as he quit during the height of his career to explore his spirituality through marijuana research and missed the 2004 season. Up until this point, he was impressive, rushing for over 1800 yards in 2002 and setting the Dolphins single season rushing record. During the height of his career Ricky was more than productive for the Dolphins. Once a franchise star in Miami, later in his career he still demonstrated a quick burst, and the ability to run tough. At the end he was a legitimate threat as a change of pace back for the Ravens.

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