Coach Shipp: Man, on a Mission

By Kim Dunning 

Coach Shipp is a great man who has a single mission in life: to better our youths’ lives. Who is Coach Reginald Shipp? The answer is more complex than you might imagine.  

Coach Shipp is a father of five. Two of his daughters attend college at Shaw University and Mountain View Stat Junior College. His other two daughters are in high school and he has one son, who is four. He is married to a wonderful woman who is his best friend and support network. She understands that what he does for others takes him away from his family, and has a purpose. This is the man behind the scenes.

What is amazing about Coach Shipp is that he is a humble person who doesn’t like to talk about himself. If you ask him questions about his mentoring he will talk your ear off, as mentoring today’s youth is his main focus. Coach Shipp is a mentor to young men who do not necessarily come from the best situations in life. These young men have been dealt a bad hand in life and Coach is there to help them find a way, even with adversity, to become better men. This is a cause that is near and dear to his heart.

Coach Shipp did not come from the best of backgrounds. He grew up in two rough neighborhoods and he fought every day to survive. His mother was a drug addict and his father did not come into his life until he was older.

When he was six-years old, he met another young man by the name of Ellery Lundy. Mr. Lundy is a big reason why Coach Shipp could make his life better. He attributes his life to him. Ellery introduced Coach Shipp to football.  

Football became his saving grace and now he is paying that forward to the young men he coaches and mentors.  

Mr. Lundy now has a foundation called Broken Men’s Foundation, which helps men build resumes and community service skills, among other opportunities.  

According to Coach Shipp, if it wasn’t for Mr. Lundy, he may have ended up as just another statistic in the streets.

As a result of his background, he is a huge advocate of getting young men off the streets by getting them involved in football. This is Arena football and he is now the owner of the Capital City Reapers. Through the Reapers, he helps his players’ transition from outdoor football to indoor football.

Coach Shipp has an extensive resume. He has not only owned a team but he has played semi-pro football. He considers himself the Charles Woodson of his time. He played many positions: from wide receiver, defensive back, running back and quarterback. When asked, he said his bread and butter positions were running back and defensive back. He retired from playing at age 37 and became a community man. While he was invited to different camps, he never got any further than that. He did play in the European League.  

On his coaching resume, he became a full-time coach in 2010. He has coached the York Capitals to a 2015 undefeated season that ended with a Championship win. The Capitals are out of York, Pennsylvania. More recently, besides coaching for the Reapers, he is the Defensive Assistant and Defensive Backs coach for the Virginia Titans semi-pro team, along with his friend Terry Haynes. The Titans, owned by Lavar Matthews, another great friend of Coach Shipps’. Mr. Matthews provides men with the same opportunities as the Reapers but they are an outdoor football team.    

Earlier in his coaching career, he met a young woman by the name of Elle Locust out of Harrisonburg, Pennsylvania. As a result of working with her, he became an advocate for women in sports. Coach Shipp was impressed with Ms. Locusts’ knowledge and the way she handled the players. He has written her letters of recommendation for an internship with the NFL.

Most recently, Coach Shipp put out a call, on Facebook, for female coaches. This is a call Sports Elites’ own Tay Holloway answered.  

Coach Shipp coaches young men from the ages of 19 to 27. His oldest player has indoor football experience, but had an injury and now plays with the Reapers to sharpen his skills to move back up into the next level. None of his players receive compensation. He has also coached a developmental team.  

Out of the 30 players he had on his developmental team, eight of them went on to get paid positions and the team was able to send three of the young men to school.

Coach Shipp mentors men of all ages. He is involved with the We Care Organization, which was founded by Mr. C. J. Richardson. We care teaches life skills and teaches young men how to be humble no matter what their experience. We Care is also involved with helping out the homeless and sending kids to camp. Most recently, they had a block party to teach the children that all police officers aren’t bad and that there are bad seeds that happen to get the media attention.

When not coaching, playing or mentoring; Coach Shipp enjoys watching football, basketball, baseball and boxing. He is an avid Dallas Cowboys fan from back in the day when Danny White and Too Tall Jones played for them. He is a Lakers fan and a Washington Nationals fan. He loved boxing, but said it has become boring since Mayweather retired.

Coach Shipp is the humblest person I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with. I asked him if he had one person that he has mentored or coached that he was proud of. His response was, all of them. His goal is to mentor young men to become better men so they can be better to their wives, girlfriends and eventually their children. He is all about the pay-it-forward motto.

His goal in life is quite simple and something we should all live by. If you can improve someone’s life, then you have lived your life with a purpose.  

Coach Shipp is an incredible man who has fulfilled and saved many young men from the streets. He is a man on a mission and has worked hard to continue to better not only his life, but everyone’s life he has touched.  

 

 

 

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Inside the numbers

For the Knicks last nights game was so much more then a regularimage season win. The passion in the garden was so evident that even Derrick Rose had to acknowledge it. Their was a playoff atmosphere in the air, and the Knicks didn’t disappoint. Let’s take a deeper look inside the numbers.

Their are a few numbers I want to take a look at and the first is 30. The Knicks held the Blazers under 30 points per quarter, expect for the first quarter where Portland put up 33 points. After the first quarter the Knicks clamped down on defense and held the Blazers to 25, 23, and 22 points per quarter the rest of the game. With such a tight game ( their were 20 lead changes) the Knicks needed to defend in order to win. The club also held the Blazers to 27% from three (6/22). The Blazers average 108 per game but were held to 103. So the numbers show the Knicks put up a very impressive defensive effort.

Now let’s take a look at the offense, the Knicks have to move the ball in order to score. With 26 assist ( only 13 turnovers) on 45 made shots they did just that. Jennings doing his best Mark Jackson impersonation had 11 assist off the bench. All this ball movement led the Knicks to a 46% shooting clip. From the three point line they shot a respectable 31%. The offense primary ran thru KP as he put up his second 30 point game of the season. Porzingis used an offensive array of moves to power his way to 31 points. Step back 3s check, Cuts to the basket check, Alley oops check, fade away shots check, post up moves check. KP was firing on all cylinders last night.

However when it came down to the 4th quarter Derrick too charge. It was his pose and composure that allowed the Knicks to hold the lead. Derrick took charge of the game and dictated the offense. Rose sealed the win with a step back jumper with 3:15 left on the clock. Rose had this to say about his performance

”I’m not here to bust or brag but I’m used to being in positions where I have the ball in my hand, playing in Chicago,” Rose said. ”I’ve really played like that my entire life, through grammar school, high school, college and here.” – D.Rose

The Knicks used a group effort to pull this one out with six players scoring 7 or more points. All in all the club looks to have come together after holding a team meeting a few days ago. Since that netting the Knicks have won two in a row and climbed back to 500. The Knicks are currently in the 7th seed and look to continue to climb up the standing.

The Knicks hope to create a winning culture after three consecutive years of missing the playoffs. If this club continues to build on their chemistry they can become a team no one wants to face in the playoffs.

Eagles Fall Short to Chiefs

Week 2 did not go as well as Week 1, with the Eagles losing in a good matchup against the Chiefs, 27-20. The last second Hail Mary didn’t work and the Eagles will be going into Week 3 with a 1-1 record.

Carson Wentz had another remarkable game. He obviously has shown a lot of improvement from last season. This week, he had 25 completions out of 46 attempts (54.3%) for 333 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did throw one interception however. He also had 4 attempts for 55 rushing yards and fumbled twice, but both were recovered by the Eagles. His passer rating was 83.0.

The running game did terrible. LeGarrette Blount didn’t get a single carry. Quarterback Wentz led the team in rushing yards. Second was Darren Sproles, who had 10 carries for 48 yards. Wendell Smallwood had 3 attempts for 4 yards.

As opposed to their running, the Eagles did very well in passing. Wentz threw for 333 yards to 9 different targets. Tight end Zach Ertz had the most yards, with 97 yards in 5 receptions. He also has 3030 career receiving yards, becoming the 9th fastest player to reach 3000+ career receiving yards (63 games). Lead wideout Alshon Jeffery had 7 receptions for 92 yards and 1 touchdown after a quiet Week 1. Receiver Torrey Smith did better than last week with 4 receptions for 66 yards, but he also dropped a few passes that proved costly (including one in the end zone, which might have changed the game). Rookie Mack Hollins played his first NFL snaps, with 3 receptions for 32 yards. Running back Darren Sproles had 2 receptions for 30 yards. Nelson Agholor scored another touchdown, this one for 9 yards on his only target. However, it set up a potential game-tying drive, which did not work out. Running back LeGarrette Blount had 1 reception but failed to gain any yardage. Finally, Smallwood had 1 reception for a loss of 3 yards.

The offensive line did not protect very well. They let up 6 sacks for 34 yards. Left guard Isaac Seumalo looked extremely bad. He let up 4 of the 6 sacks. They are also a big reason in why the Eagles don’t like to rush the ball, but that’s also because the talent their sucks.

On defense, the Eagles let up 27 points but still did not do too bad. Vinny Curry, Rasul Douglas, and Malcolm Jenkins each had 4 tackles. Nigel Bradham and Corey Graham each had 3 (both also had 1 assisted). Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks both had a nice game, with 2 tackles and 1 sack each. Brandon Graham and Timmy Jernigan each had 2 tackles (2 assisted each); the duo also shared a sack. Chris Long had a sack, but other than that, it’s about it.  The secondary did better than expected, allowing 251 yards, but no more. The defensive line limited star running back Kareem Hunt to 13 carries for 81 yards. However, Hunt had a damaging 53 yard touchdown, as well as another touchdown.

Kicker Jake Elliot went 1/2 in field goals. He missed a 30 yard field goal at the end of the first half that would’ve tied the game up.

On a more positive note, the Dallas Cowboys lost 42-17 (😂😂😂) to the Cowboys, so at least we’re still first in our division.

Thanks for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to check out my other articles about the Eagles. Don’t forget to read my prediction for this game (which turned out pretty well) and don’t miss my prediction for next week’s game, when the Eagles head back home to the Linc to face the New York Giants in their home opener. Until then, this is Jacky Chen; have a nice day.

Result: Chiefs win 27-20

Saints Stephone Anthony Traded to the Dolphins.

It’s not the First Trade of the year for the Saints has Saints Fans remember (Cooks) Who The Saints just got done facing. Two years after taking him with the 32nd pick of the 2015 NFL draft, the Saints has decided to move on from linebacker Stephone Anthony. Now Saints will be facing two former saints comes in two weeks Kenny Stills from 2 years ago and Now Anthony.

The 25-year-old Anthony started all 16 games as a rookie in 2015, but he got less playing time in 2016 and hasn’t seen the field at all this year.

The Dolphins are in the market for a linebacker after they suspended linebacker Lawrence Timmons today. Timmons, who was listed to be Miami’s starting strong side linebacker for sunday’s game, who abruptly left the team on Saturday.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network later reported on twitter the Saints will receive a fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft..

By,

Timothy Crouch Jr

4 Keys to victory: Niners VS Rams

UntitledBy Niner Faithful

The Niners come back home to Levis for a week 3 match up on Thursday Night game vs the LA Rams. The Rams are the Niners oldest rival, the two teams have been playing games since 1950. The Niners hold a 68-64-3 advantage all time and currently have a 3 game winning streak. The Niners shutout the Rams 28-0 in last year’s season opener at Levis. Both teams changed their head coach and are trying to change the recent futures of their franchises and Thursday night’s game may go a long way in deciding how the first year will go.

  1. Score a Touchdown

The Niners have now gone 8 quarters without scoring a touchdown and it was one of the main reason we lost in Seattle. The offense cannot have a repeat performance of the last two weeks if they hope to come away with our first victory Thursday night.

 

  1. Convert on 3rd down

The Niners offense has been dreadful on the money down this year. Going 2-12 on Sunday in Seattle. On a short week and with the defense being on the field for 35:58 on Sunday they will simply not have the gas to play a game like that again. The Niners must stay on the field this week and converting on 3 down is going to go a long way towards that.

 

  1. Catch the Football

The Marquise Goodwin has gotten his share of well-deserved share criticism for his drops. He has dropped  two touchdowns in two games(at least in my opinion if not at least first and goal). He and the other Niners must catch the ball when its put where it needs it to be. So far the Niners haven’t been able to overcome drops so holding on to the ball is key.

  1. Make a play when you get the chance

In Sundays game there were plenty of chances to make plays on the defense ( Robinson’s two dropped picks) and offense ( Goodwin’s drops). The point is sometimes you just got make a play to help your team win. At the end of the day that’s what Russell Wilson did for Seattle and that’s why they won the game. There is no reason the Niners can’t do the same and win on Thursday.

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Week 2: @Kansas City Predictions

Hey, what’s up people, it’s Jacky, and welcome to the analysis on the Week 2 matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams had a tremendous first game, with the Chiefs defeated the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, 42-27. The Eagles, meanwhile, managed to take down their division rivals, the Washington Redskins, 30-17 to tie the Dallas Cowboys for first in the division. These two teams will be facing off at Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium in Missouri. Here are the positional rankings and my prediction on the outcome (also, since the regular season has started, the rankings will be based on past performances this season and not on projections):

Out:

Eagles: Donnel Pumphrey (RB; hamstring), Ronald Darby (CB; ankle), Caleb Sturgis (K; hip), Destiny Vaeao (DL; wrist)

Chiefs: Eric Berry (S; ACL), Tamba Hali (LB; PUP) Spencer Ware (RB; LCL, PCL)

Offense:

                             Kansas City Chiefs                               Philadelphia Eagles

QB:                             Alex Smith                                            Carson Wentz

Wait, what? Alex Smith is the quarterback for the Chiefs? No way! Because when I watched the game, I clearly remember this “Alex Smith” throwing deep passes to Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill! What happened to the old, decision-making, cautious Alex Smith?

With his job in jeopardy due to Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes being chosen by the Chiefs in the first round, Smith had to revise his game to remain a starter. He did that by doing something that he did rarely, throw deep passes. Smith went 3/4 in passes 20 yards or longer for a total of 178 yards and 2 touchdowns. His rating on the deep ball was 156.3. In total, he had 28 completions out of 35 attempts for 368 yards, 4 touchdowns, for a 148.6 passer rating.

Wentz also had a nice first game. The second-year had some nice plays under pressure in the game against the Redskins. He went 26/39 for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also threw an interception and lost a fumble.

Smith obviously will take the quarterback position, as he had one of the best games of Week 1. He was given an 83.7 overall grade by Pro Football Focus (4th) as opposed to Wentz, who had a 70.2 overall grade (16th).

 

RB:                   Kareem Hunt                                           LeGarrette Blount

Ugh, Blount had a terrible debut with the Eagles. He had 14 attempts for 46 yards. But hey, at least he managed to get a touchdown, right, even though it was only a 1 yard receiving one. This isn’t good LeGarrette. You got destroyed by a rookie, Kareem Hunt. Now, Hunt’s game was a totally different story. The 86th overall pick in this year’s draft from Toledo didn’t get an opportunity to play until Week 4 of the preseason when Spencer Ware was injured. He started in Week 1 and his first NFL carry resulted in a lost fumble. Yikes! Well, long story short he turned that negative around and accumulated 148 rushing yards, 98 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns (2 receiving). His total of 246 yards from scrimmage is the most yards in a debut game (breaking Lions running back Billy Sims record of 215 yards from 1980). The rookie could manipulate his routes and we even got to see him break some tackles, not to mention the fact that he’s fast. Great performance by Hunt who obviously had a better game than Blount. It will be nice to see how Hunt will do against a great front 7, but then again, the Patriots also had a good defensive line.

 

 WR 1:                 Tyreek Hill                                                 Alshon Jeffery

Now, we all know that speedster Tyreek Hill had a great first game but there is no way you can keep a straight face and say that he’s better than Alshon. Alshon suffered from tight coverage from two great defensive backs in Week 1. I’m not taking anything away from my favorite receiver Hill, though. He had 7 receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown (Patriots secondary was a mess added on to the fact that he’s just way too fast). Meanwhile, Alshon only had 3 receptions for 38 yards. Hill might’ve had a better game but Alshon has more talent, as you could see from his time with the Bears.

 

WR 2:                 Chris Conley                                                Torrey Smith

Neither wide receiver really proved a lot in the 1st week. Conley had 2 receptions for 43 yards. Smith only had 1 reception for 30 yards. Career-wise, Smith obviously has the advantage. Conley had more receiving yards though so he can have the edge here.

 

Slot:               Albert Wilson                                                 Nelson Agholor

Agholor is far from proving himself to be a great receiver but his Week 1 performance was enough to make anyone think that the Eagles maybe didn’t waste a pick on him. In his first game, he had a respectable 6 receptions for 86 yards and even scored a touchdown. Wilson didn’t nearly have as good a game as Nelson, posting 5 receptions for 37 yards. I’m not sure whether Agholor will keep up his Week 1 success, but Wilson probably won’t do too well either way.

 

TE:                  Travis Kelce                                                       Zach Ertz

Both of these tight ends are on the elite end of the list. However, Kelce is higher than Ertz. Travis Kelce didn’t have a better game than Ertz, but it’s still no argument that Kelce is one of the, if not the, best tight ends in the league today. Ertz is young and is getting there but Kelce gets the edge on this.

 

O-Line:              Chiefs                                                                  Eagles

The Chiefs offensive line is average, at best. It consists of rising star Eric Fisher, Bryan Witzmann, center Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, and Mitchell Schwartz. The group is not what you would consider elite but at least they didn’t let up any sacks in Week 1. That could change, however, because of the Eagles strong defensive line.

The Eagles offensive line did pretty good in Week 1. Wentz was sacked twice but that was mostly due to the amount of time it takes for him to throw. Peters, Seumalo, Kelce, Johnson, and Brooks looked great together and Vaitai was added into the mix, too.

 

Defense:

Defensive Line:      Chiefs                                                         Eagles

I haven’t stressed enough of the importance of the Eagles’ d-line to their team. They blitzed most of the plays in the game against the Redskins. It was very effective, holding the team to only 66 rushing yards.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, will not be able to beat the Eagles with their defensive line. With former Eagle, Bennie Logan, at nose tackle; talented second-year Chris Jones; and veteran Allen Bailey. In their first game, even with the sweeping victory, the d-line didn’t do too good, giving up 124 yards and three rushing touchdowns.

 

Linebackers:         Chiefs                                                          Eagles

The Chiefs’ linebackers are absolute beasts. Veterans Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson both have 4 Pro Bowl appearances each. Young Dee Ford is a backup to star Tamba Hali, but is also not doing bad himself. Second year Ramik Wilson had 96 tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble/recovery, and 1 defensive touchdown.

The Eagles also have a good linebacker core, but they are, by no means, as good as the Chiefs. Their best linebacker in Jordan Hicks, who cannot compare to future Hall of Famer Justin Houston.

 

Secondary:              Chiefs                                                          Eagles

Not only do the Eagles have a bad secondary, but the Chiefs have a really good secondary. Sure, the Green Goblin had his first interception and Malcolm Jenkins had a solid game, but the Eagles are missing their game changer, Ronald Darby. I believe that the Eagles’ secondary will struggle, especially against a tough coverage in Tyreek Hill. If Kareem Hunt continues to catch passes alongside Tyreek, it will be a disaster.

The Chiefs are missing their best defensive back, Eric Berry, due to injury. In his place will be the young Terrance Mitchell, who has been on several teams and has yet to prove himself as a big name. Last season with the Chiefs, he played in 7 games, starting 2 of them and had 19 tackles and 7 pass deflections. Chiefs fans shouldn’t worry as they still have superstar Marcus Peters, who made the Pro Bowl both times in his two year career, led the NFL in interceptions in his rookie year, and won Defensive Rookie of the Year. They also have average Ron Parker and Daniel Sorensen, who has made some big plays in his career, including 2 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, and 1 defensive touchdown.

Special Team:

Kicker:                     Cairo Santos                                             Jake Elliot

Cairo Santos is a pretty good kicker. He’s solid and has established himself in the league. Jake Elliot was signed from the Bengals, after failing to earn the starting job against kicker Randy Bullock.

Punter:                   Dustin Colquitt                                       Donnie Jones

Dustin Colquitt punted 6 times for 262 yards and an average of 43.7 yards per punt. His longest was 59 yards. He had 3 punts land within the 20 yard line.

Donnie Jones punted 4 times for 170 yards and an average of 42.5 yards per punt. His longest was 50 yards. He had 1 punt land within the 20 yard line.

Return Specialists:  Chiefs                                                        Eagles

The Chiefs’ return specialists are Tyreek Hill and De’Anthony Thomas. Hill is extremely fast and has a total of 976 yards in returns as well as 3 touchdowns.

 

Both teams are talented in their own way and it will be a tough matchup. The Eagles have yet to prove themselves, while the Chiefs were a playoff team last year. If the Eagles can beat the Chiefs, it shows that they are, in fact, improved from last season and signs that they may do well.

Result: Chiefs win; close game though

The game will take place tomorrow, Sunday, September 17, at 1:00 pm ET (12 noon CT). It will be broadcasted on FOX and will take place at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Don’t miss it, because I won’t.

Thanks for reading this article, I really hoped you enjoyed it. Make sure to stay on the alert for the results of this game and next week’s prediction. Later!

 

4 Keys to victory: Niners VS Seahawks

Niners Vs Seahawks

By Niner Faithful

The Niners travel to Seattle in Week 2 of the regular season for the first of two games vs the Seahawks. The Niners last played in Seattle Week 3 of last year losing 37-18. This will be the 38th meeting between the two teams with Seattle holding an 22-15 advantage in the series (and has won the last 5 games in Seattle and the last 6 overall). Here are 4 keys that will go a long way in reversing that trend and even our record to 1-1.

  1. Take down Russell Wilson

The Niners D line had zero sacks last week and Cam Newton had all day to throw. If that trend continues Wilson will pick us a part. Pressure isn’t enough when you’re playing Wilson. He has the ability to extend plays with legs till a receiver gets open or if no one is open to take off and run (see any Niners Seahawks games since 2012). Seattle’s O line is considered to be the weakest position group on the team and the Niners should be able to get to Wilson after Seattle gave up 3 sacks last week vs the Packers.

 

 

  1. Keep Brian Hoyer clean this time

Seattle had 4 sacks vs the Packers week one (although the Packers don’t have the world’s greatest O line). Seattle has a great D line with players like Michael Bennett, Cliff Avriland, and new comer Sheldon Richardson. To make things worse the Niners O line struggled mightily vs the Panthers giving up 4 sacks and 8 QB pressures (Freakin Zane Beadles) and this was one of the reasons we never really got any offense going. Laken Tomlinson is going to have a chance to start this week or at least get some playing time according to Kyle Shanahan. Weather there is any changes to the starting line or not the o line must be better or it’s going to be another long day in Seattle.

 

 

  1. Run the Football

Carlos Hyde only had 9 carries for 45 yards and Matt Breida only 4 carries for 11 yards. That is not enough running for an offense and Quarterback that needs play action. In recent years the game has gotten out of hand so fast that we have had to abandon the run. For the Niners to stay in this game Hyde must carry the ball more than 9 times to wear down Seattle’s defense and not allow Seattle’s pass rushers to pin their ears back and get after Brian Hoyer.

 

  1. Clean up mistakes

Last week the Niners committed 10 penalties (74 yards) had 2 turnovers (both by Brian Hoyer. One was a fumble on a strip sack and the other a pick on the first play of the second half) a few dropped balls and a fair amount of missed tackles. When you put all of them together mistakes are the reason why we lost the game. The Niners just don’t have the talent yet to overcome that many self-inflicted wounds. If the same mistakes happen this week it will be hard to have a different outcome.

 

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Quarterback Club 2017: I hope your QB is good, if not, oh well.

qbrank2By Will Stevenson

The quarterback position is just as important as an Ace in baseball. The stark difference is the quarterback generally plays the entire game, every game. There is no substitute, no taking a few series off, nor bringing in the starter for the 3rd and 4th quarters. Why? It’s pretty simple: Money, Reps, and Ego.

“Hi, my name is John Elway, and I just saved 99% on a former quarterback by not resigning him to a 72 million dollar deal.”

 

This NFL offseason has been one for the ages, on the field, as well as off the field. As NFL seasons come and go, the hype of the “Next Star Quarterback” seems to fade more and more. As the Brady’s, Rodgers, and Roethlisberger’s enter the end of their careers, the quarterback position seems to have lost the fervor it once had. Instead of searching for the next Drew Brees, teams seem more focused on their offensive and defensive lines, while keep a “manager” at quarterback for a fixed cost. As more and more college quarterbacks fall by the wayside on the NFL stage, guys like Brian Hoyer, Sam Bradford, and even Josh McCown are still giving teams, “the best chance to win” according to their respective head coaches.

 

As we witnessed in last year’s playoffs, teams like the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins and even the Houston Texans (previous playoffs) seems virtually incapable of moving the offense without their quarterback at the helm due to injury. We watched the Raiders become darlings before our eyes, only to want scales over them after watching Matt McGloin lead the offense to nothingness. The Dolphins lost Ryan Tannehill to a knee injury early in training camp. Instead of getting Colin Kaepernick or entrusting Matt Moore with the offensive responsibilities, they went out and grabbed newly retired Jay Cutler, another “He has all the tools” guy. With the recent news of Tony Romo being interested in the New York Jets this offseason, I can only wonder — Is the quarterback position dying off?

I know, those who know me probably thought this would be another Kaepernick post, but not today. With Brock Osweiler returning to the Broncos just a week before the season starts, the quarterback position seems to be falling in actual production as opposed to its potential. The Kansas City Chiefs have been riding the Alex Smith train for years now, and even though it has resulted in Playoff appearances, they have yet to reach that elusive Super Bowl appearance or impose any fear into playoff defenses. Who is the backup in Kansas City? A rookie who is years away from being years away. In Denver, Trevor Siemian is the starter, but that’s only because he is efficient, mostly mistake free, and doesn’t cost much against the cap. Paxton Lynch is injured and still inexperienced, so now the Broncos are relying on a backup quarterback who used to be their backup, became the starter, and then became upset because he got benched and stayed their backup.

The Colts traded for Jacoby Brissett, former 3rd stringer for the Patriots as insurance for Andrew Luck, coming off offseason surgery. We all know what the Colts look like without Luck, and even former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. So is it that bad? We all know Scott Tolzien isn’t the answer for anything, so why have him on the roster if he cannot win you games or even stay afloat?

The quarterback position is just as important as an Ace in baseball. The stark difference is the quarterback generally plays the entire game, every game. There is no substitute, no taking a few series off, nor bringing in the starter for the 3rd and 4th quarters. Why? It’s pretty simple: Money, Reps, and Ego.

Teams are looking for that one quarterback to change their franchise, but they also know they can get close enough with an average or almost average one. Andy Dalton has been with the Bengals for years now, but nobody expects him to put fear into the defense alone. Tyrod Taylor has watching his offensive skill position be dwindled down to himself and LeSean McCoy, which happen to be two players who are often injured. Kirk Cousins has managed to be Franchised by Washington, only to see his top receivers go to other teams in the offseason, as well as his offensive coordinator. On the contrary, Kirk Cousins is what teams believe can get them to the playoffs. They want a quarterback who can complete 65% and up, throw minimal interceptions, have a high 3rd down conversion rate, and only take chances whenever the coach says so. A 25 for 37, 258 yards, 1 TD and 0 Int is a perfect quarterback day for most NFL Coaches. Bubble screens, rub-routes, pick plays and slants are now the trend in the NFL. The main problem is most quarterbacks can’t even do that efficiently, and backups DO NOT get the practice reps needed to be competent, confident and efficient.

So what are teams to do? Washington isn’t bad enough to land a number one quarterback in the draft. They definitely are not tanking with a franchised quarterback. The quarterback trade market is very steep when it comes to draft compensation, and if they are on the free agent market, there is a reason they are there (cough, cough). Tampa Bay is hoping Jameis Wintson turns out to be prolific, because if he isn’t, they will have wasted a number of coaches, and offensive skilled talent. It doesn’t seem fair though. We know not every quarterback can be Aaron Rodgers, but most franchises and fan bases just want an Eli Manning, or they’ll even settle for a Kirk Cousins and a good defense. I am sure many fans would love to take Jimmy Garoppollo as their starter, but think of the King’s Ransom they would have to give up to get him. The Detroit Lions have had Matthew Stafford for almost a decade, but who else would they get? This isn’t the NBA in which you can pinpoint a star or All-Pro in this instance and trade for him, because teams don’t have a quality backup, nor do they believe they can just plug in another quarterback to do the same thing to lead the offense. So of course the Lions gave him a huge contract — the 6-10 or 9-7 Stafford Lions are better than the “hope we get a good quarterback in the draft” Lions.

It is rough to pinpoint why teams like the Broncos forgo Brock Osweiler to only resign him at the veteran minimum a year later, or why a team would sign a McCown when they have draft prospects on the roster already. Are the quarterbacks this bad, or are the coaches in charge of developing them and an offense not talented? I assume it is a mixture of both, but we know the names of the good ones, and we definitely know the names of the bad ones.

And there is no place for the bad quarterback to hide. We see through those 5.8 yards per completion and those bubble screens. Isn’t Alex Smith on TV Thursday Night? I digress.

 

Week 2 players and match-ups to watch!

By Lawrence Edwards

WHAT A WEEK! Before we get started let’s look at what we learned from last week’s games…

  1. The Patriots defense is vulnerable, particularly against the run. Yea I know it’s week 1 but I have never seen a worse start for Belichek and Brady ever!
  2. The year of the rookie running back is off to a good start. Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, and Tarik Cohen exploded on the scene during their respective rookie debuts, with Cohen being a pleasant surprise to Bears fans
  3. The Giants offensive line is still the most offensive thing I’ve ever seen…
  4. Matthew Stafford so far is playing like a man who just got PAID!

Now that that refresher is over let’s look to week 2 shall we?

Two 1st ballot hall of famers, two multiple record holding QB’s, two of the most prolific QB’s of my generation, Two QB’s who stood and watched as they were out ‘quarterbacked’ and their defense was smoked by ‘lesser’ QBs and two rookie RBs… New England and New Orleans, two completely different cities and cultures got off to a similar start. The Patriots were destroyed on their home turf by Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt and the Saints were slaughtered by Sam Bradford and Dalvin Cook on the road. The good thing for the Saints is they get to play for the home crowd in their dome which has given them great advantage in the past years, the bad news is they play an angry hoodies Belichek and red eyed Tom Brady. After watching Sam Bradford and Stephon Diggs rip apart the Saints defense, Tom Brady is at home Birdman rubbing his hands as he watches game tape. I expect a little bounce back from the Pats defense but not by much. The Saints defense? Not so much. We could be in for a high scoring affair in The Big Easy.

Pats 38 Saints 28

The Steelers took care of business on the road against the Browns as expected and the defense had a stellar outing. The Vikings wiped the floor with the Saints and the defense was spectacular against Drew Brees. However for this game I can see a little less defense, not terrible but these two defensive units won’t perform like they did last week. The Vikings are not the Browns and their offense, albeit against a bad Saints defense, was running like a well oiled machine. On the other side the Steelers are not as QB dependent as New Orleans. Stephon Diggs and Adam Theilen are proving to be viable receiving threats who should be taken seriously and who you have to game plan for and don’t forget to add in rookie Dalvin Cook who is off to a good start to his career. The Steelers have a dynamic trio of their own in Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell and Martavis Bryant. With both of these teams having the types of threats on offense as they do, it can make for some sparks on Sunday. However, I’m going with the home team here the Steelers trio is far better than the Vikings trio but that gap could close a little as the season goes on.

Vikings 24 Steelers 31

Kareem Hunt exploded on the scene and made his presence known last Thursday night with 22 overall touches (17 rushing 5 receiving) for 246 yards from scrimmage and 3 total TD’s and Alex Smith went off on their way to a rout of the Patriots. The Eagles had a good game against the Redskins and sent them packing in their own stadium with a 30-17 win. Carson Wentz had a great outing with 307 yards and 2 TD’s and I’m interested in seeing if he can show some more of that escape magic with a healthy Justin Houston gunning for him. Alshon Jeffery was a bit of a non-factor against the Redskins, I expect the same this week, assuming he will have Marcus Peters covering him. The Chiefs should keep rolling here. The weapons Kansas City have on the offense and a healthy Justin Houston will make it tough for the Eagles. It also doesn’t help they will be playing in one of the noisiest stadiums in the league and the Chiefs will be looking to give their home crowd a similar performance from last week not mention Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill are the real deal.

Eagles 17 Chiefs 31

One of the best defensive lines in the NFL and one of the best offensive lines in the NFL go head-to-head in the trenches… Something has got to give!

Dallas pulled out a tough win against a top defense last Sunday night and Dak had an efficient game. Ezekiel Elliot topped 100 rushing yards and the Cowboys defeated the New York Giants 19-3. The defense took advantage of the Giants weak offensive line held Eli and company to 3 points. The Denver Broncos defense started Monday night looking dominant as ever – however they did allow a late comeback by Phillip Rivers – and Trevor Siemian had one of his best performances against a good Chargers defense. He finished with 219 yards and 2 TD’s. If the Dallas Cowboys get behind or try to feature Dak more and pass in the redzone and short yardage situations like they did last week, they will be in for a long day. Unlike the Giants the Denver offense can move the ball and keep their defense from tiring out. This game is hard to call because so many ‘if’ factors play into both sides. I picked Denver to win this game a few times earlier in the week but at the moment my gut is telling me to pick Dallas. If they pound the rock with Zeke and control clock and not try to get fancy with passing so much then Dallas takes this game with ball control and TOP, but if Scott Linehan tries to get cute, particularly in the redzone and short yardage situations then Denver defense will take advantage. Something tells me Dallas will feature Zeke to keep Von Miller off Dak’s back.

Dallas 24 Denver 20

We get a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game and I know the Packers are out for redemption after the Falcons spoiled their Super Bowl hopes. The game is again in Atlanta and Matt Ryan and his offense overall looked good but they struggled against the Bears defense. The defense also almost allowed a late game win steal had it not been for a few TD’s drops by the Bears as time ran out. The Packers however found moderate success themselves against the always good and tough Seattle defense. The Packers defense also smothered and had Russell Wilson running all night and held the Seahawk defense to just 9 points. Rookie Tarik Cohen had breakout game against the Atlanta defense and the Pack utilizes Ty Montgomery in the same way but with an elite HOF quarterback to throw him the ball. Look for Montgomery to have a stellar outing out of the back field and Rodgers to have more opportunities against a softer defense. Green Bay gets its revenge here.

Packers 34 Falcons 24

 

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