Which Team Will Sidney Jones Make Look Like Geniuses?

By Leo Silbert

After 3 seasons at the University of Washington, corner back Sidney Jones decided that it was the time for him to declare for the NFL draft.  He was one of the highest rated corners coming out this year which is also a year where corner back is one of, if not the, strongest position groups in years.  One NFC East scout said that Jones seemed to have taken all of the good qualities from fellow former Husky and off-season workout buddy Marcus Peters, with none of the behavioral issues.  He put up respectable numbers across the board at the combine and he seemed like a lock for the first round of the draft until he went to the ground during his pro day and had to be carted off the practice field.

Sidney Jones Injury

The diagnosis ended up being a ruptured left Achilles tendon, a devastating blow to his draft stock.  He went from being a potentially top half of the first round selection to being a mid-late round gamble on his ability to heal from this injury.  The worst part about this injury is that it might rob him of some of his speed and quickness and eventually shorten his career length, but if he is taken by a team in the right situation, he can end up living up to his potential for pennies on the dollar.  Now, he won’t be much use to a team that has an immediate need at the corner back position to make their defense improve since he may be unable to play until November, but he still has two types of teams that should be very interested in him.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

The first group of teams who should be interested in him are teams who have good corner back groups already, but with aging members.  As a Giants fan, the Giants were the first ones to come to mind to me here since they already have a very good trio of corner backs but with one member who is over the age of 30 and a contract that would save the team valuable cap space if it wasn’t on the books anymore with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.  DRC is a great corner still and had one of his best seasons ever this past year, but he has a few issues going against him.  Most importantly is that even though he will start just about every game, he is a player that can’t stay on the field for an entire game anymore.  This past season, he only played 736 snaps while he only missed one game.  His teammate Janoris Jenkins who missed most of 2 games on the other hand played 1,028 snaps.  This means that the 4th string corner has to end up picking up most of the extra 292 snaps missed by DRC.  Also, the Giants need to clear up some cap space in the upcoming off seasons so they can give second contracts to players such as Odell Beckham Jr, Landon Collins, Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg.  The Giants also fit with their fondness for gambling corners as seen with both DRC and Janoris Jenkins.  Other teams that also fit this type of mold are: The Denver Broncos with Aqib Talib, the Dolphins with Byron Maxwell, the Panthers with Captain Munnerlyn, the Patriots with Malcolm Butler if they decide not to pay him highly, the Raiders with Sean Smith, the Steelers with William Gay, the Texans with Jonathan Joseph and the Titans with Jason McCourty.

Joe Haden

The other type of team that should be interested in Jones is the group of teams that are so talent deficient that a highly graded player joining or being hurt won’t affect their record much this season anyway.  The team that leads this group is the Cleveland Browns.  The Browns need capable bodies at positions across the board except for along their offensive line, at nose tackle and at weak side linebacker.  They are a team no one expects to compete this season and is likely due for another top 5 draft pick next year.  They are a team that has nothing to lose by gambling on such a talent as Jones is and in a few years if they build their team up to respectability, they may have a mid-round steal of a corner on their team helping to lead their defense.  The list of teams here is a lot shorter since the league is at the closest level of competition across the board it has ever had so there are fewer teams that qualify for that, and one of the few teams that do qualify have a scheme where Sidney Jones’ lack of height and arm length make it so he doesn’t fit the scheme like how it is with the San Francisco 49ers.  Other teams where Jones would fit with under this stipulation though are the Bears and Jets.  If Jones is picked by any of these three teams, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if in 3 years he was helping to lead a great young defense.

Sidney Jones

Injuries suck in football, especially when they take away a player’s chance to get paid before they are even drafted.  They could rob careers from reaching as high as they could potentially go and they can shorten or even end them early.  Jones won’t have his career ended before it starts and with the proper attitude and system, he can end up as one of the best corner backs in the league, and his draft position will make whatever general manager pulled the trigger on drafting him look like a genius.

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The Cornicopia of HotTakes: College players being paid, Deals with the Devil, and How to Build a Fun, College Program

6750fe_189886dcffed4a2b99d9c8a42974d3ed-mv2By: Will Stevenson

If you are Desaun Watson, do you want to be paid? I ask this question because today on most sports talk radio shows, the discussion was that Watson is an inconsistent passer, sort of in the realm of Jameis Winston. If that’s so, he’ll be among the top quarterbacks taken in the draft, but at what cost? Say he drops to the late second round, third, or even the bottom of the first round, the maximum money he could earn on his rookie contract isn’t as much as you think. While the rookie wage scale allowed veterans to earn more money long-term (allegedly), it allows teams to be not-so efficient with their draft selections. Money invested or not, the wrong high-selection at quarterback will hinder your team for years to come. This brings another question: Would a college quarterback rather be in a system that wins them the most games in college, or gets them ready for the NFL?

When you watch college football, you see college coaches that coach to win games. They do this because this earns them the most money, recruits, facilities, and the opportunity to get a better coaching job or leverage for a raise and/or buyout clause. Let’s take the coach at Kentucky. This coach is in the SEC, a conference that we all know isn’t going to fare well in wins or recruits and will probably lead to them being fired in two years, because they’ve gone winless in the conference. If you’re DeSaun Watson, do you go to Kentucky when you have other offers? Matter of fact, what would drive you to go there in the first place? I would assume as a college coach your priority is to appease the boosters. Being on a campus, you already have a built-in fan base with students, faculty, alumni, and family members of student-athletes. Why not build a program that sends players to the NFL or excites the players and fan base? We all know that the star Middle Linebacker at Kentucky won’t get the same pub as the backup from Alabama, but if your school can become a pipeline to the NFL, then why not. When I speak of the pipeline, I mean the type of offense, defense, and flair that would excite a college program. With college rosters being in the 80s up to 100s in number of player, this disallows the player guy in the 70 to 100 range to go elsewhere as a freshman. The allure of the big college or a specific coach gets them to Oregon, USC, FSU. Ohio State and the like. It doesn’t make much sense for the same 4-star recruit, that knows they won’t play much at Florida, will wait until they are a junior to transfer because they aren’t seeing the playing time they expected. I say just sign to another “lesser” school as an incoming freshman to get pub you deserve.

Saying this I realize things like this don’t happen the way you think. There’s more to why a 3-star recruit goes to Alabama instead of Alabama State, or why a walk-on at Tennessee isn’t waling on at Ball State. I get it. I also realize that when Ole Miss was climbing the charts in the polls, ratings and recruits, we all sat back and waited for the sanctions to come: And they did. So, if you are Kentucky, what do you do? How do you get DeSaun Watson to come to your school? Do you “He Got Game” it and have the seniors fill their visit with drugs, partying and naked girls? I’m 32 and I’d go to Kentucky for that (In this hypothetical I am single, kid-less and am in no need for a testosterone boost). You can’t pay players to come, even though you can. You can promise or elude to playing time. You can’t promise wins, because your conference is too good. You can’t promise the NFL pipeline because there’s no faux-evidence to be presented. How Sway?

  1. Hire NFL Assistants to your coaching staff
  2. Pay off as many recruits as possible
  3. Look at the Miami teams of the 80s and build
  4. Have your stadium on campus (Don’t be like the Miami Hurricanes and build your stadium off campus)
  5. Look at what Michigan did with Jim Harbaugh and relevancy with Hip Hop culture
  6. Install a moxy that doesn’t care about unsportsmanlike conduct penalties
  7. Purge every 3 and 4 star in high school
  8. Purge every 3 and 4-star freshman and sophomores
  9. purge your local and state JUCOs
  10. Purge every college coach dismissed for reasons other than wins and losses
  11. Remove your ethics code book
  12. Forget the facilities upgrades until you can pay coaches and buy recruits
  13. Build your offseason perks packs (money, side jobs, women or men, trips, destinations, parties, alumni perks)
  14. Don’t share your stadium with an NFL team
  15. Be exciting as a program, a school, a team. We know the sanctions and allegations will eventually come, but get as much done in the process

I know, I’m the Devil. Who cares? Did Ole Miss care? Did UNC care? If you’re not going to be a national title contender or even a division contender year in and year out, be a pipeline to the NFL or a program that is fun to go to at the least. I understand winning is tied to the pipeline but it’s not exclusively tied to it.

This should be an organizational effort. From boosters, to athletic directors, students, coaches and right down to the players. The pitfalls of a college campus will remain: Classes, rape, sexual assault, bullying, hazing, arrests and the like will still be there: sad, but true. If a school can maneuver itself and remove these things that plague our collegiate societies, it could work. wouldn’t you want to cheer for a team that handles these crises efficiently and empathetically while paying off coaches and players? Maybe? If somehow we can get our football players to not have orgies and gangbangs, the campus culture could be welcoming to some NCAA rulebook breaking? Maybe for once we our coaches and ADs can be fired for what’s on the field rather than cover-ups.

I also understand I have gone all over the place, but that’s fine. A plethora of topics lead to a plethora of ideas and things to talk about.

Clemson vs Alabama Aftermath: Deals with the Devil We Don’t Mind Doing

si680_tk1_05277By Will Stevenson

*Cue 80s slow-motion montage music*

College Football is an enigma for many that follow the sport. It is entangled in unfairness, unethical business practices, and narratives that could make your head spin. Like many of the things we deal with in our life, the process and the actual product differ in emotional response. I like driving a new car and I’m sure you do as well. It’s awesome to ride out with that new car smell, showing off pictures on social media on how you’ve made the “come up” from that crappy vehicle you once had. Likewise, the process of getting a new car is a headache. We should deal with finding the right car, a dealer, insurance, taxes, model, car payment, a loan, the bank and is this car good enough to make it under the warranty. You see, process versus product.

The process of College Football is something we debate daily: Should college players be paid more than their given stipend, transfer requests, coaches being paid ridiculous amounts of money, rape culture, suspensions, institutional control, AD’s moving at the drop of a dime, coaches taking jobs during bowl season and earing bonuses while your redshirt sophomore must sign in blood to move to another program. You see, process.

Somehow, someway, none of that matters once the championship game is being played. It’s like sex with your ex. You know deep down this is the wrong thing to do. You don’t want to text them, talk, see them or even randomly bump into them. But, we like sex, and if it’s good, then why not. So, when Clemson and Alabama kicked off on Monday Night, we were in for a rematch of College Football’s alleged two best teams. I was interested to see if there would be any hand-puppetry by the Clemson defense and which coach would get the reddest in the face while disputing a call by the referees. I was excited for the both quarterbacks: Both were black, both were skilled, but I knew only one was seasoned. Hurts was in the same category as Sims, but Hurts is a freshman, which he has shown that he is a freshman quarterback of a team that specializes in defense and their run game. Watson, has it all: running backs, NFL ready wide receivers, and a vaunting defense.

I watched most of the game with the sound off. I have nothing against the commentators, they just have so many narratives to blabber about that I can’t stand to hear them over and over. Alabama’s 28-year-old running back scored two touchdowns and then broke his leg, which allowed Clemson to mount a comeback. Now, it wasn’t fully on the Alabama defense since they were on the field for almost 100 plays. That’s right, 100 plays. I don’t care how good your defense is, if you’re on the field for almost 100 plays you will suffer in the second half. I’m not particularly high on either coach, so I wasn’t cheering for either to hold up a trophy. It sucks that the loser of this game will be vilified by the fan base as “not being able to win in crunch time” as if it matters. Clemson ran a pick play on the final play to win the game. The receiver ran straight into the defender, and the defender held the receiver. So, if they throw a flag for offensive pass interference, does that change the narrative of the game? Of course, it does, for the media. For me, not so much. The game was filled with mishaps as Clemson punt returners continued to fair catch inside their 5-yard line. Hurts couldn’t complete passes to save his life until the final stages of the fourth quarter. I’m always amazing at the passing offenses in championship games. Watson struggled with his accuracy against the blitz early on, and Hurts was efficient late in the game, but struggled on third down.

All in all, it was an ok game with a good finish. Greatest game? Who cares. Saban will get another raise while Sark will be entrusted with another offense after his offensive nature at USC. What’s with Saban hiring these coaches who are a-holes in life? Beats me. Dabo is king, which makes me sad. He’ll be in front of the microphone more than ever which will consist of God, faith, hope and belief which overshadows the fact that the team is talented. Narratives will be passed along as the Clemson team won because, “They love each other.” These are the sort of narrative driven nonsense that makes me watch these football games more seldom each year, but I’m not the target audience they are trying to reach.

Saban and Dabo will once again going into homes and explain the prospects why they should attend their respective schools, knowing this business doesn’t allow for their coaching power to ever be limited. None of that matters though, so I guess they should trust the process.

From ESPN to Fox: Sloppy Seconds Anyone?

By Will Stevenson
Usually when an entity or organization monopolizes the industry, they buy everyone out and only leave you with a few choices here and there to receive their content. Whether it’s a television service, a phone company or an auto parts store, they make sure that all other options don’t come close to matching the resources they have acquired. When we look at the ESPN empire, they have definitely monopolized the industry, but they have somehow allowed their viewers and listeners to access every possible sports niche there is to offer. It seems as if ESPN Radio has landed in every major city nationwide, and locked in every state with at least a station or two that is affiliated with ESPN. Over the years the ESPN Network has had it’s share of Sportscenter hosts, analyst, guests, shows, and radio hosts, but what they have been able to do is replace the faces with no drop-off in ratings or growing power. With their partnership, or being owned by Disney, those that leave ESPN are able to move to CBS, NBC, and ABC seamlessly. Over the past few years, when the contracts go into their final year, the rumors begin to surface and individuals begin to look for work elsewhere; but where else could they go that would have the same shine as ESPN.
And that’s where Fox comes in.
It seems as though Fox has been on the outside looking in when it comes to sports content, although they do have Fox NFL Sunday that usually brings the NFC contenders to table every week. The last time I watched something on a Fox network was “The Best Damn Sports” show and “The Man Show” on FX. If you’ve every watched a show on FX, then you are aware they bend the lines of censorship for mainstream television. The things they are able to show and get away with are very different from what ESPN can do now that they are under Disney’s supervision. After Colin Cowherd’s contract and “ethnic misquote” combined for the right fire, Fox was more than willing to take him on. The Le Batard Show, based out of Miami, slid into his 10am to 1pm time slot and haven’t missed a beat. One person leaves, another shows up and everything keeps rolling. Fox has been trying for years to match the level ESPN has reached, but haven’t been able to take over in numbers, viewers, mentions and downloads. Fox has been able to throw money at previous ESPN employees and provide an atmosphere that will allow them to have less censorship and more freedoms with their shows.
Can Fox grow their brand of talking heads to the heights of ESPN while doing the same exact thing ESPN has done and is already doing? Probably not, but all it takes are a few gasbags saying the right things and the right people paying attention. Television viewers are one thing, but clicks and downloads are something totally different in this social media driven world we now live in.

I seriously think you should jump on this wave!

By Lawrence Edwards

OK, before I get started let me tell you that this isn’t a fad that will quickly fade out, nor is it a get rich quick scheme. It’s simple, I am not forcing you or trying to persuade you to do anything. I just want to share with you something that I know sports enthusiasts every where will enjoy and offer you the opportunity to be apart of something or get ahead of everyone else on a trend that is about to take the world by storm. From Football to Cricket we have something every sports will fall in love with. You have two options: Affiliate or Player. I will go in to great detail about both and most importantly the coming of a game changing sports app by United Games that is going to absolutely blow your mind!

Now what we are talking about here is an app that will let you enjoy your favorite sport interactively while watching the game. This app is going to bring a new dynamic way of playing of enjoying sports. It’s not just going to focus on the major sports but every sport.  The point is to get everyone to enjoy sports better, not just the people who have time for drafts and 4 different fantasy leagues or the ones who are good at selecting the right combination of players in order to enjoy the experience.

Now, as I previously mentioned you have two options to join this wave, either as a player or an affiliate. If you want to just be one of the first to enjoy the experience of this game changing app then sign up as a player for free. You will be a pre-registered player and once the app launches within the next 5 weeks you can begin enjoying your interactive sports experience and start earning some rewards and points. I don’t know about you but once I started playing fantasy football and basketball, the game became THAT much more interesting to me. I began to pay attention to things that I didn’t before. This interactive app will award every real sports fan the same experience but much better – did I mention that some of EA Sports former developers are building this thing? – Get ahead of the trend, this app is coming and it’s going to change the way we enjoy sports forever and it will be the first of it’s kind, share it with your neighbors, share it with your family, if they love sports, chances are they will love this!

Now if you are interested in becoming an affiliate of United Games and getting the opportunity to not only get ahead of the trend but earn some money while doing it, then this the route you want to go. Now let me tell you this isn’t a pyramid scheme or something wild like that, if you don’t want to be an affiliate then you don’t have to. We aren’t trying to recruit people for money, we are just offering an opportunity to earn some income based off of people just playing the game. Now when this was brought to me a few weeks ago I had my initial negative thoughts. I was told that I can become an affiliate for free, feel it out see if I like it and if I do I would have to pay a one time fee of $30 to stay an affiliate and $9.99 a month to maintain my affiliate site and if I don’t just simply cancel no harm done. Now I’m no easy person to convince to join things, so I did my own research before I agreed to sign up for anything. Now I hate selling things, I’m terrible at it, so the fact I didn’t have to sell a product and it was an app – I’m a huge tech junkie – helped me decide to really read up on it. So I did my research and found that this app could really be something special and I don’t have to pay my fee until the app launches in 4-5 weeks at the time of this writing. I figured, what can I lose? I can jump on board playing a new fantasy app and maybe earn some money while doing it. Every time you share the app and someone signs up, whether as an affiliate or a player, and starts buying or earning tokens, you get a piece of the pie, NICE! Another selling point for me was the fact that in order for you to earn income you have to fill out tax form 1099. That right there let me know it was legit. Now United Games is offering this opportunity only up until the app launches in 5 weeks. Once it goes live, the affiliate opportunity will be no longer offered. You will only be able to download and use the app.

Whether you sign up to be a player or an affiliate I can assure you that this app is going to change your sporta experience. The point of this blog is to get the word out that a Giant is coming and to offer, what I believe to be a grand opportunity to be apart of the next big thing. If you like what you heard here today feel free to drop a comment, email me (lawrence.edwards115@gmail.com) or if you got here through my Facebook link, just shoot me a DM and I will happily send you a link to be an affiliate or a free player so you will be all set to go when the app launches. Once you click the link there will be more information for you to read through to get an even better understanding. You’re going to love this!

Here is a one page info sheet you can look at to get more information. Feel free to contact me with questions.

 

It’s time for Fournette to Shine

Written by Henry Mitchell Jr

One of the best running backs in college is back to make history for the mighty LSU Tigers. Leonard Fournette started last year on a tear.  Running for 1034 yards and 10 touchdowns in his freshman year. Fournette came back his sophomore year to run for 1953 yards and 22 touchdowns in a spectacular season. Fournette ended up finishing 6th in the Heisman voting.  

Unfortunately with poor quarterback play, opposing defenses stacked the box and stopped the running game. Shutting down LSU’s powerful offense and Fournette.

This is their year to overthrow the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide, I feel this is the year of the LSU Tigers.Fournette will have his way.

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Remember the name…Deebo Samuel

 

By Ryan Catoe

There have been some talented wideouts that have graced the field at Williams-Brice. Sterling Sharpe, Robert Brooks, Kenny McKinley, Sidney Rice and more recently Alshon Jeffery. All went on to have NFL careers, with McKinley’s career being tragically cut short. This list is not including other receivers who spent at least some time in the NFL on a practice squad or active roster. Bruce Ellington, Pharoh Cooper, Ace Sanders, KJ Brent, Damiere Byrd, and Tori Gurley just to name several. Many analysts are saying the team is light at the wideout position at Carolina this year. However, I see a group that could absolutely destroy any expectations the national analysts and even Gamecock nation could have for them.

The issue most people see with this group is the lack of experience. This is noted as the top 3 receivers on the depth chart post-spring ball is as follows: Deebo Samuel, Jamari Smith and Bryan Edwards. These three young players alone are enough to give the team some excitement and hope not just for the future but for this season and seasons to come. And don’t forget about the remaining guys: Terry Googer, Christian Owens, Matrick Belton

Jamari Smith has been with the club for several years but has selflessly bounced around from position to position to help fit the team’s needs. He came to Carolina as a running back from Jacksonville Beach’s Fletcher High School. I was fortunate enough to catch a couple of his high school games…let me tell you, the kid is special with the football in his hands. He will take over at the slot position. After selflessly changing from position to position to help fill the team’s needs, it seems he finally found one that could really allow him to showcase his talents. He could lead to some explosive plays out of the slot position to allow for more big plays from Deebo and Edwards on the outside.

Bryan Edwards is a standout 4-star freshman receiver from Conway, SC. With a larger frame of 6’3 and 208 pounds he will give us some physicality on the edge that we have been lacking since Alshon left. He does also have enough speed at his size, 4.53 40-yard dash, to create some vertical challenges to opposing defenses. Edwards is benefiting from a growing trend of athletes registering for spring courses and being able to participate in spring drills and camp. You can already see a chemistry brewing between him and fellow freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain. It was very evident in the beautiful touchdown pass between the two in the 2016 Garnet and Black spring game.

The man of the hour, the beast that will be unleashed on the southeast this year, Deebo Samuel. The physical mismatch he gives is an instant benefit to the younger QB corps that will take the field this year. He is a solid 6’0 and 205 pounds and gives the offense a viable threat to fend off the physical press corners and making things happen when routes fail. He has the ability to be the go to guy on an offense that is desperately looking for a play maker. Samuel has shown flashes when he was able to get healthy. Go back and watch the tape of the 2015 Clemson game. He seemed to always get open, and when there was coverage he was still able to find a way to move the chains and make the tough catch. Keep in mind that was against a very strong and formidable defense of Clemson last year. Good things just seem to happen when he gets involved with the game plan. He has had the off-season to get healthy and another summer to get a better grasp on the position and offense. This should allow the raw talented player to play the game faster, and to pick up on defensive keys.

Gone are the 2000 yards receiving and 17 touchdowns that Pharoh Cooper provided over the last two years. Gone is the player that could turn a 5-yard slant into a 90-yard touchdown. But it also means is that an opportunity has arrived. An opportunity waiting for a Deebo, Edwards or Smith to add their name to the long list of Gamecocks receivers who have found success not just in the SEC, but in the NFL. The time is now, and the opportunity is theirs. Can Samuel live up to the #1 on his chest? I believe that not only he can, but that he will. Gamecock nation…get ready for what could be a season full of growing pains, but also flashes of future greatness. The Spurrier legacy has ended and we are now in the Coach Boom era.

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