The Tuna Sports Blog

Published: 2010-11-22
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2010 NFL Season Predictions
Published: 2010-9-09
First of all I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit my blog I am truly blown away by the amount of people who have dropped by Secondly I want to apologize for not finishing the Two-A-Days NFL previews in time for the regular season opener Life has thrown a lot of crazy things my way Right now I want to give you my predictions for the 2010 NFL season and my choice for Super Bowl XLV Champions AFC Division Winners East-JetsSouth-ColtsNorth-RavensWest-ChargersWild Cards Bengals PatriotsNFC Division WinnersEast-CowgirlsSouth-SaintsNorth-PackersWest-49ersWild Cards Giants VikingsAFC Champions RavensNFC Champions PackersSuper Bowl XLV Champions Green Bay Packers
Two-A-Days Baltimore Ravens And Arizona Cardinals Preview
Published: 2010-9-02
Baltimore RavensKey Additions WR Anquan Boldin QB Marc Bulger K Shayne Graham WR Donte Stallworth LB Sergio Kindle DT Terrence Cody Ken HamlinKey Subtractions WR Kelley Washington DE Dwan EdwardsThe Baltimore Ravens come into the 2010 after two very good years but failing to reach the big game with QB Joe Flacco Flacco has lead his team well in his young career and with the addition of QB coach Jim Zorn Flacco will take even bigger steps with the additions made in the offseason Anquon Bolidin was acquired from the Cardinals in the off season to give Flacco the big target hes lacked since he started Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton are good receivers but do not bring the presence Boldin does do opposing defenses Now that Boldin is here both Mason and Clayton should see more room down field to make catches Ray Rice ran for over 1 300 yards last season earning a spot in the Pro Bowl With McGahee as his backup and a solid offensive line up front the Ravens are prime for a deep run into the playoffs this season The Ravens were ranked third in the NFL last season in total defense lead by their long time leader Ray Lewis With the addition of Sergio Kindle to the defense the Ravens defense gets a lot better Kindle will play alongside Lewis and Terell Suggs Up front Mount Cody will be groomed into action by Lewis and Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata The Ravens were number one in the NFL last season in yards per carry against 3 4 In the secondary Ed Reed always provides the opportunity to take an interception and turn it into 6 points But beyond the aging Reed the Ravens are facing questions in the secondary Corners Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb are recovering from injuries and Domonique Foxworth has not been consistent If the Ravens have a weakness its in pass coverage They may be vulnerable to the big play if their are inconsistencies in the secondary And come playoff time receivers seem to show up a lot more than they do in the regular season leaving them exposed This is the biggest obstacle to overcome if they are to make it to Dallas in February Schedule 1 Mon Sep 13 at NY Jets 2 Sun Sep 19 at Cincinnati 3 Sun Sep 26 Cleveland 4 Sun Oct 3 at Pittsburgh 5 Sun Oct 10 Denver 6 Sun Oct 17 at New England7 Sun Oct 24 Buffalo 8 BYE9 Sun Nov 7 Miami 1 00 PM10 Thu Nov 11 at Atlanta 11 Sun Nov 21 at Carolina 12 Sun Nov 28 Tampa Bay 13 Sun Dec 5 Pittsburgh 14 Mon Dec 13 at Houston 15 Sun Dec 19 New Orleans 16 Sun Dec 26 at Cleveland 17 Sun Jan 2 Cincinnati The Ravens have the 12th hardest schedule and opponents were 130-126 last season They catch the AFC East and NFC South this year The Ravens open up with against two playoff teams and two tough road games at New England and Pittsburgh Their schedule doesn t get much better after the Bye either traveling to the pass happy Texans and then at home against the Super Bowl Champs A tough schedule but look for the Ravens to be prime for a deep run this year Arizona CardinalsKey Additions QB Derek Anderson G Alan Faneca K Jay Feely OLB Joey Porter S Kerry Rhodes NT Dan WilliamsKey Losses WR Anquan Boldin QB Kurt Warner S Antrel Rolle OLB Bertrand Berry LB Karlos Dansby CB Bryant McFadden LB Chike Okeafor K Neil RackersThe Cardinals enter the 2010 season two years removed from a Super Bowl but huge question marks surrounding their offense With Kurt Warner announcing his retirement and Anquan Boldin being traded to the Ravens the Cards have some questions that so far have gone unanswered The most critical one is who is going to be the quarterback With the inconsistent play of Matt Leinart so far in the preseason the Cards have began exploring the possibility of trading Leinart according to reports Leinart has appeared visibly frustrated with his receivers and the coaching staff so far in the preseason It might be best for both parties for Leinart to move somewhere else and for Derek Anderson to start for the Cards Anderson has done well in the snaps he has gotten Regardless of who starts at quarterback the Cards lost one of the most physical receivers in the NFL What Boldin brought to the team not only made him look good but cleared space for WR Larry Fitzgerald to work over secondaries giving defensive coaches nightmares Now WR Steve Breaston will be asked to fill his shoes and he has the capability to do so Early Doucet also gives the Cards good depth The two headed monster of RB Beanie Wells who had an excellent rookie season and Tim Hightower will keep defenses honest Receivers and RB will not be as big a problem as the QB situation will be if the Leinart situation isn t handled quickly The Cardinals have a lot of stars to replace on defense this season Karlos Dansby and S Antrel Rolle left as free agents in the offseason and the team traded CB Bryant McFadden They traded for S Kerry Rhodes a former Pro Bowler but failed to replace Dansby Joey Porter 33 is not a viable replacement for a Pro Bowler with 109 and 119 tackles the previous two seasons Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is their top corner but the team traded Bryant McFadden in the offseason and his expected replacements have limited experience Luckily the AFC West does not house any high flying offenses Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 at St Louis 2 Sun Sep 19 at Atlanta 3 Sun Sep 26 Oakland 4 Sun Oct 3 at San Diego 5 Sun Oct 10 New Orleans 7 Sun Oct 24 at Seattle8 BYE8 Sun Oct 31 Tampa Bay 9 Sun Nov 7 at Minnesota 10 Sun Nov 14 Seattle 11 Sun Nov 21 at Kansas City 12 Mon Nov 29 San Francisco 13 Sun Dec 5 St Louis 14 Sun Dec 12 Denver 15 Sun Dec 19 at Carolina 16 Sat Dec 25 Dallas 17 Sun Jan 2 at San Francisco The Cardinals have the easiest schedule in the NFL and opponents were 114-142 last season They catch the AFC West and NFC South this season Their schedule could not be any more favorable as they catch the Super Bowl Champs and Dallas at home They do have two tough road games at Minnesota and at San Diego Look for the Cards to contend in what I consider the weakest division in the NFL But do not be shocked if they miss the playoffs Comments
Two-A-Days Green Bay Packers And Philadelphia Eagles Preview
Published: 2010-8-12
Green Bay PackersKey additions OT Bryan Bulaga DE Mike NealKey Subtractions DE Johnny Jolly LB Aaron KampmanThe Packers have big expectations in 2010 after qualifying last season as a wild card team and losing in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals in the first round The demise last season was the offensive line which the Packers addressed in their first round selection of Bryan Bulaga Bulaga joins an o-line that ranked last in the NFL last year giving up 51 sacks The Packers lost the playoff game last year on a sack interception of Aaron Rodgers Rodgers is a Pro Bowl quarterback who uses his legs well and has escape ability but no one can play the position while on their back The line must do a better job early in the season and protect him better Rodgers targets continue to play well Donald Driver and Greg Jennings had good years and the emergence of TE Jermichael Finley will benefit the Packers in the red zone James Jones and Jordy Nelson are good depth receivers who have good chemistry with Rodgers so far The Packers were 2nd in the NFL last year with 17 passing plays over 40 yards Ryan Grant carried most of the load for the Packers last season and put up some nice numbers topped by 4 4 yards per carry and 11 TDs Behind Grant are unproven backs so an injury to him could make the offense significantly one dimensional if one does not step up The Packers defense ranked 2nd in the NFL last season behind the New York Jets That can be attributed to their top ranked rushing defense which gave up 3 6 yards per carry 1 333 yards and 83 3 yards per game Up front Ryan Picket led the way along with B J Raji and the now suspended Johnny Jolly Neal should take over for Jolly In the Packers new 3-4 system under defensive coordinator Dom Capers the transition went well Linebacker Nick Barnett lead the team in tackles last year and A J Hawk and Clay Mathews lead that group along with Barnett to a strong defense that should continue to do well this year However the Packers failed in the playoffs to defend the pass They are however very good at taking the ball away and making big players Charles Woodson played like the premier corner he is but Al Harris injury hurt They need him healthy this year in a secondary that has a few Pro Bowlers and a lot of potential Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 at Philadelphia 2 Sun Sep 19 Buffalo 3 Mon Sep 27 at Chicago 4 Sun Oct 3 Detroit 5 Sun Oct 10 at Washington 6 Sun Oct 17 Miami 7 Sun Oct 24 Minnesota 8 Sun Oct 31 at NY Jets 9 Sun Nov 7 Dallas 10 BYE11 Sun Nov 21 at Minnesota 12 Sun Nov 28 at Atlanta 13 Sun Dec 5 San Francisco 14 Sun Dec 12 at Detroit 15 Sun Dec 19 at New England 16 Sun Dec 26 NY Giants 17 Sun Jan 2 Chicago The Packers have the 22nd hardest schedule and opponents were 125-131 last season They catch the AFC East and NFC East this year two divisions with at least 3 expected playoff contenders Looking at the schedule right now only 3 games look like slam dunks the rest will be very interesting matchups for the Packers who face a few high powered offenses Look for them to be around when December rolls around Philadelphia EaglesKey Additions DE Brandon Graham RB Mike Bell S Marlin Jackson LB Ernie Sims LB Alex Hall DE Darryl TappKey Subtractions QB Donovan McNabb WR Reggie Brown CB Sheldon Brown WR Kevin Curtis RB Brian Westbrook Will WitherspoonThe Eagles enter the 2010 season with a fresh face at QB Donovan McNabb was thought of so highly by the Eagles that they traded him to a team in their own division someone they will see twice a year Out goes McNabb in comes Kevin Kolb an inexperienced and unknown gunslinger who must lead a team that would have been prime to win a Super Bowl with his predecessor Kolb is surrounded by plenty of weapons Lesean McCoy had a decent rookie year and will see his carry load increase and Mike Bell will provide a nice change of pace The receivers for the Eagles include one of the best deep threats in the league DeSean Jackson Jackson was the focal point of the big play passing offense last year that had the Eagles leading the league with 21 passing plays of 40 or more yards Jeremy Maclin Jason Avant and TE Brent Celek will make Kolbs transition a lot easier But if Kolb does not pick up the offense quickly enough and causes turnovers look for Andy Reid to feel the pressure to put in Michael Vick The Eagles highly emphasized the defense this offseason drafting DE Brandon Graham in the first round to play opposite veteran Trent Cole The Eagles were tied for third in the NFL last year in sacks The Eagles acquired two linebackers in the offseason and drafted two more They ranked ninth in the league against the run last year They must be able to stop the run to force opponents into throwing the ball in uncomfortable down and distances in order to create turnovers something they are very good at They had 25 INT s last season 4th in the league led by Assante Samuel who had 9 Overall the defense still appears weak against the run especially with the unproven players at linebacker With the explosive offenses in the NFC East the Eagles might run into problems this year trying to stop them Schedule1 Sun Sep 12 Green Bay 2 Sun Sep 19 at Detroit 3 Sun Sep 26 at Jacksonville 4 Sun Oct 3 Washington 5 Sun Oct 10 at San Francisco 6 Sun Oct 17 Atlanta 7 Sun Oct 24 at Tennessee 8 BYE 9 Sun Nov 7 Indianapolis 10 Mon Nov 15 at Washington 11 Sun Nov 21 NY Giants 12 Sun Nov 28 at Chicago 13 Thu Dec 2 Houston 14 Sun Dec 12 at Dallas 15 Sun Dec 19 at NY Giants 16 Sun Dec 26 Minnesota 17 Sun Jan 2 Dallas The Eagles have the 9th hardest schedule in the league and opponents were 133-123 last season They catch the NFC North and AFC South this season The Eagles benefit from an easy schedule early however after the BYE the schedule gets really tough The whole month of December features three divisional games two of which on the road and games against the explosive Texans and the Favre led Vikings Expect the Eagles to have a tough time staying in the race down the stretch this season
Two-A-Days Cincinnati Bengals And New England Patriots Preview
Published: 2010-8-05
Cincinnati BengalsKey Additions WR Antonio Bryant WR Terrell Owens WR Matt Jones S Gibril Wilson TE Jermaine Gresham DE Carlos Dunlap WR Jordan ShipleyKey Subtractions WR Levarnues Coles K Shayne Graham RB Larry JohnsonThe Bengals come into the 2010 season looking to defend their AFC North title from a year ago The Bengals did a lot in the offseason to improve the passing game which was not a strength a year ago as they ranked near the bottom in the league They signed both Antonio Bryant and Terrell Owens and also drafted Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley With those additions to go along with Chad OchoCinco the passing game should be much better in 2010 But that all depends on Carson Palmer Palmer s numbers were not great last year even though he started all 16 games His 3 094 yards 21 TD s and 83 6 rating were all career lows in which he started all 16 games The strength of the Bengals was their running game Cedric Benson resurrected his career and rushed for 1 251 yards despite missing two games to injury With the additions the Bengals made in the offseason to improve the passing game this could help the Benson and the backfield tremendously Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard will back-up Benson but he is the primary guy If the offensive line can protect Palmer and the Bengals can become much more balanced and consistent their offense will improve on their 19 1 points per game average in 2009 The Bengals defense in 2009 ranked fourth in the NFL in total defense lead by defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer Antwan Odom missed most of the season with injury but is expected to be ready to start the season The Begals drafted Carlos Dunlap a troubled but athletic defensive end from Florida who should see some significant playing time Robert Geathers and Tank Johnson are veteran players who will show Dunlap what it will take to succeed in the league Linebackers Dhani Jones and Ray Maualuga along with Keith Rivers make up a strong starting 3 linebacking corps The Bengals ranked 7th in the NFL in rushing defense in 2009 Corners Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph also are play makers in the secondary and the addition of veteran Gibril Wilson will help make the secondary better in 2010 Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 at New England 2 Sun Sep 19 Baltimore 3 Sun Sep 26 at Carolina 4 Sun Oct 3 at Cleveland 5 Sun Oct 10 Tampa Bay 6 BYE 7 Sun Oct 24 at Atlanta 8 Sun Oct 31 Miami 9 Mon Nov 8 Pittsburgh 10 Sun Nov 14 at Indianapolis 11 Sun Nov 21 Buffalo 12 Thu Nov 25 at NY Jets 13 Sun Dec 5 New Orleans 14 Sun Dec 12 at Pittsburgh 15 Sun Dec 19 Cleveland 16 Sun Dec 26 San Diego 17 Sun Jan 2 at Baltimore The Bengals have the 4th hardest schedule in the NFL and opponents were 138-118 last season The catch the AFC East and NFC South this season They catch Pittsburgh after the Roethlisburger suspension but face tough non divisional road games at the Colts and home against the Chargers Tough schedule any way you look at it but look for the Bengals to fight hard to retain that AFC North title from a year ago New England PatriotsKey Additions TE Alge Crumpler WR Torry Holt OLB Jermaine Cunningham MLB Brandon Spikes CB Devin McCourty TE Aaron Hernandez TE Rob GronkowskiKey Subtractions DE Jarvis Green LB Junior Seau CB Shawn Springs LB Adalius Thomas TE Benjamin Watson TE Chris BakerThe Pats come into the 2010 season coming off another division title last season but they will have a tougher time this year as the Jets and Miami have lowered the gap between them Tom Brady came back last season after tearing his ACL in the first game of the 2008 season and started all 16 games He is one of the elite quarterbacks in the league and still has plenty left Wes Welker tore his MCL and ACL in the finale of the regular season last year and although he is in camp it is unlikely he will put up the numbers this year he has in the past More emphasis will be put on Randy Moss and Jullian Edelman will be the primary receivers someone is going to have to step up among the Pats reserves They brought in a lot of TE s this offseason which will create a lot of options for Brady in the red zone Expect them to run more double tight end sets with Welker probably out something they have not done a lot of in the past The running backs on the team are all over 30 but all produce Fred Taylor Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris probably see an equal amount of carries in order to keep all of them fresh and healthy for the entire season The Pats have one of the best offensive lines in football that have a good mix of veterans and young players What it will come down to is when will Welker be back and how will he play The Pats began to overhaul their defense last season Richard Seymour was traded before the season started last year and Jarvis Green is gone Ty Warren and Vince Wilfork are the leaders of the line and must continue to play at a high level The Pats drafted 2 Florida linebackers who stood out well in college Cunningham is a good pass rusher who can be nice in the OLB in a 3-4 Spikes will take more time to develop to get used to the pro game especially the speed Jarrod Mayo and Tully Banta-Cain played well last season With these additions it just comes down to how well these players pick up the playbook and avoid mistakes The secondary got some help with the drafting of CB Devin McCourty Leigh Bodden Darius Butler and Brandon Meriweather round out the secondary The Pats struggled though on third down in passing situations They were second to last in the league ahead of only Detroit as opponents were 37 7 on third down when passing By not getting off the field it wears defenses down the longer the drives go and forces your high powered offense to sit on the bench The Pats must do a better job of that this season or they will not be playing in Dallas in February Schedule WK DATE OPPONENT 1 Sun Sep 12 Cincinnati 2 Sun Sep 19 at NY Jets 3 Sun Sep 26 Buffalo 4 Mon Oct 4 at Miami 5 BYE 6 Sun Oct 17 Baltimore 7 Sun Oct 24 at San Diego 8 Sun Oct 31 Minnesota 9 Sun Nov 7 at Cleveland 10 Sun Nov 14 at Pittsburgh 11 Sun Nov 21 Indianapolis 12 Thu Nov 25 at Detroit 13 Mon Dec 6 NY Jets 14 Sun Dec 12 at Chicago 15 Sun Dec 19 Green Bay 16 Sun Dec 26 at Buffalo 17 Sun Jan 2 Miami The Pats have the 6th hardest schedule in the league and opponents were 136-120 last season They catch the AFC North and NFC North this season They do catch most of their tougher non divisional opponents at home They also play the Lions on the road on Thanksgiving after they play the Colts just 5 days prior Tough schedule but look for the Pats to be in the mix as long as Brady is under center
Two-A-Days Atlanta Falcons And Houston Texans Preview
Published: 2010-8-04
Atlanta FalconsKey Additions CB Dunta Robinson LB Sean Weatherspoon Key Subtractions CB Chris Houston The Falcons head into this season after dropping a bit after Matt Ryan s rookie season Ryan saw his numbers decrease as far as total yards and completion percentage goes But Ryan will bounce back this season he is surrounded by too many good weapons not too Micheal Turner fought in juries last season but had a stellar 2008 season rushing for over 1 600 yards Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez are two big targets that Ryan can rely upon White caught 11 TD s and had over 1 200 yards receiving Michael Jenkins is the teams number two receiver but his numbers are not where the Falcons expect them to be They need him to improve so it gives Ryan more options to look to What it will come down to is will Turner be able to carry the load the entire season and remain healthy along with Tony Gonzalez I believe that they will be healthier this year and last year was just bad luck and poor defense The Falcons defense probably cost them a shot at the playoffs last season They were fifth worst in the NFL in passing yards allowed This was subject to what else a bad pass rush The Falcons had only 28 sacks all of last season John Abraham on the outside and Justin Babineaux on the inside must play better and get more pressure on the quarterback Sean Weatherspoon was drafted to improve the linebacking corps and Dunta Robinson will be the teams shut down corner The Falcons have a strong unit as a whole but they will have to come together and play a lot better if they wish to compete for a playoff spot this season Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 at Pittsburgh 2 Sun Sep 19 Arizona 3 Sun Sep 26 at New Orleans 4 Sun Oct 3 San Francisco 5 Sun Oct 10 at Cleveland 6 Sun Oct 17 at Philadelphia 7 Sun Oct 24 Cincinnati 8 BYE9 Sun Nov 7 Tampa Bay 10 Thu Nov 11 Baltimore 11 Sun Nov 21 at St Louis 12 Sun Nov 28 Green Bay 13 Sun Dec 5 at Tampa Bay 14 Sun Dec 12 at Carolina 15 Sun Dec 19 at Seattle 16 Mon Dec 27 New Orleans 17 Sun Jan 2 Carolina The Falcons have the 20th hardest schedule in the NFL and opponents were 127-129 last season They catch the AFC North and NFC West this season The schedule appears favorable for the Falcons They have three easier road games late in the season and finish their final two games at home against divisional opponents Look for them to be in contention down the stretch Houston TexansKey Additions LB Danny Clark K Neil Rackers CB Kareem Jackson RB Ben Tate G Wade SmithKey Subtractions QB Rex Grossman RB Ryan Moats CB Dunta Robinson G Chester PittsThe Houston Texans have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL but have yet to reach the playoffs in their franchises entire existence I believe this has a lot to do with coaching The playoffs are a must for Gary Kubiac to keep his job It will be interesting to see how he does now that he lost Kyle Shanahan as his offensive coordinator Matt Schaub put up career numbers last season along with Andrea Johnson yet the team failed to make the playoffs Schaub threw for 4 770 yards and 29 TD s while Johnson caught 101 balls for 1 569 yards They were the number one passing team in the NFL Owen Daniels also plays a key role in that passing game as well along with Kevin Walter But the Texans can not run the ball with consistency Steve Slaton led the team in rushing with just 437 yards and he rushed for only 3 3 yards per carry The Texans drafted Ben Tate who can be a nice balance to go with Slaton who bruise and get the tough yardage This offense is too good to be playing at the level it has been in previous seasons The Texans defense has Pro Bowl players at several positions yet as a whole do not put up the flashy numbers The team ranks in the middle of the pack in almost every statistical category They have a freak DE in Mario Williams who has 39 5 sacks in his four year career The Texans need someone else to step up and alleviate the double team Williams draws DeMeco Ryans leads the linebackers that also includes Brian Cushing each Pro Bowlers With the addition of Danny Clark they are set Careem Jackson replaces Robinson who left for Atlanta in free agency Beyond him the Texans lack depth and the players are not putting up the numbers They are going to need people to step up and contribute or they will struggle Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 Indianapolis 2 Sun Sep 19 at Washington 3 Sun Sep 26 Dallas 4 Sun Oct 3 at Oakland 5 Sun Oct 10 NY Giants 6 Sun Oct 17 Kansas City 7 BYE8 Mon Nov 1 at Indianapolis 9 Sun Nov 7 San Diego 10 Sun Nov 14 at Jacksonville 11 Sun Nov 21 at NY Jets 12 Sun Nov 28 Tennessee 13 Thu Dec 2 at Philadelphia 14 Mon Dec 13 Baltimore 15 Sun Dec 19 at Tennessee 16 Sun Dec 26 at Denver 17 Sun Jan 2 Jacksonville The Texans have the hardest schedule in the NFL and opponents were 140-116 last season They catch the AFC West and NFC East this season divisions with powerful teams in them The Texans except for Week 4 at Oakland and Week 6 at home against the Cheifs They also catch the Jets in an inter conference matchup on the road and the Ravens at home Tough schedule any way you look at it but the Texans are have too many weapons not to be a contender this season
Two-A-Days Carolina Panthers And Pittsburgh Steelers Preview
Published: 2010-8-01
Carolina PanthersKey Additions QB Jimmy Clausen WR Brandon LaFell WR Armanti Edwards LB Jamar Williams S Aaron FranciscoKey Losses QB Jake Delhomme WR Muhsin Muhammad LB Na il Diggs DE Julius PeppersThe Panthers enter this season with Matt Moore as their quarterback as Jake Delhomme has moved on to Cleveland The Panthers are in the same situation as the Eagles are under slightly different circumstances Moore started the final 5 games of last season and won 4 of them The Panthers are putting their faith in him that he will play this season and beyond like he did the final 5 games of last year He has only 8 career starts His stats were not flashy but he did manage the team well and I expect he will do the same this season If he wont we may see Jimmy Clausen a little earlier than people may expect The Panthers are built on their running game with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart The Panthers as a team ran for 2 498 yards and 4 8 yards per carry last season third in the NFL The Panthers have been getting older at the wide receiver position Mushin Muhammad retired after last year and Steve Smith is 31 The Panthers addressed this in the draft by selecting Brandon LaFell and Armanti Edwards Dwayne Jarrett should will compete with those two for playing time The Panthers will play it conservative on offense with the inexperienced Moore under center until he becomes more comfortable and opens it up But the two-headed monster will rule in Carolina again this year Carolina averaged only 19 7 points per game last season putting a lot of pressure on their defense who averaged 19 2 points against a year ago They lost their best player in the offseason in Julius Peppers They no longer have a consistent threat on the d-line that will make offenses account for at all times They have the fourth best passing defense in the league and take the ball away often They had 22 interceptions last season They are also good at getting off the field on thirds down as teams were successful 36 on third down last season What it will come down to on defense for the Panthers is will someone step up now that Peppers is gone and put pressure on the quarterback No matter how good your secondary is you give NFL quarterbacks time in the pocket their going to find someone open The success of the team this season will depend on that Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 at NY Giants 2 Sun Sep 19 Tampa Bay 3 Sun Sep 26 Cincinnati 4 Sun Oct 3 at New Orleans 5 Sun Oct 10 Chicago 6 BYE7 Sun Oct 24 San Francisco 8 Sun Oct 31 at St Louis 9 Sun Nov 7 New Orleans 10 Sun Nov 14 at Tampa Bay 11 Sun Nov 21 Baltimore 12 Sun Nov 28 at Cleveland 13 Sun Dec 5 at Seattle 14 Sun Dec 12 Atlanta 15 Sun Dec 19 Arizona 16 Thu Dec 23 at Pittsburgh 17 Sun Jan 2 at Atlanta The Panthers have the 26th toughest schedule this season and opponents were 122-134 in 2009 They catch the AFC North and NFC West this season They finish the season with the final two games on the road and one in Pittsburgh in the cold With Atlanta improving this season and the Super Bowl champs in the division don t expect the Panthers to contend this season Pittsburgh SteelersKey Additions OT Flozell Adams S Will Allen WR Arnaz Battle LB Larry Foote QB Byron Leftwich WR Antwaan Randle El CB Bryant McFadden C Maurkice PounceyKey Subtractions WR Santonio Holmes RB Willie Parker CB Deshea Townsend S Tyrone CarterThe Steelers enter the 2010 season after missing the playoffs last year and will have their starting quarterback out for at least 4 games to start the season as he serves his suspension for violating the leagues personal conduct policy Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon will compete for the starting job in camp But the loss of Roethlisburger is the least of their problems WR Santonio Holmes was traded and Willie Parker departed as a free agent Rehard Mendenhall had an excellent season last year rushing for 1 108 yards and 4 8 yards per carry Replacing former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes wont be as easy Hines Ward put up great numbers last year but he is 34 years old Mike Wallace and Antwaan Randle El will have to pick up the slack that Holmes leaves behind The line has had some injury problems this offseason Willie Colon tore his ACL and is done for the year The Steelers have been terrible in sacks allowed and if not for the escape ability of Roethlisburger they would have a lot more sacks on their record The Steelers did a great move by bringing in veteran Flozell Adams The unit must play better this season and get some better protection The Steelers defense has been and will continue to be the backbone of their team but they are a completely different unit when Troy Polamalu is on the field He needs to stay healthy for them to be sucessful But the Steelers get after the quarterback and get after him well They recorded 47 sacks as a unit last year second in the league led by James Harrison The Steelers brought back Larry Foote to play alongside Harrison Lamarr Woodley Lawrence Timmons and James Farrior All those guys should see significant time The Steelers brought back Bryant McFadden to play opposite Ike Taylor and if Polamalu stays healthy the Steelers secondary unit is very solid A lot will depend on if the unit can collectively get through the season without significant injuries and keep putting pressure on quarterbacks Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 Atlanta 2 Sun Sep 19 at Tennessee 3 Sun Sep 26 at Tampa Bay 4 Sun Oct 3 Baltimore 5 BYE 6 Sun Oct 17 Cleveland 7 Sun Oct 24 at Miami 8 Sun Oct 31 at New Orleans 9 Mon Nov 8 at Cincinnati 10 Sun Nov 14 New England 11 Sun Nov 21 Oakland 12 Sun Nov 28 at Buffalo 13 Sun Dec 5 at Baltimore 14 Sun Dec 12 Cincinnati 15 Sun Dec 19 NY Jets 16 Thu Dec 23 Carolina 17 Sun Jan 2 at Cleveland The Steelers have the 21st hardest schedule and opponents were 126-130 last season They catch the AFC East and NFC South this season The Steelers luck out in the schedule department in the first four games They only have 1 divisional game and two of their easier road games Should Roethlisburger come back on time he ll have a nice warm up game Week 5 vs Cleveland The rest of the schedule however is not that simple The AFC East has 3 contenders and they have problems in their own division with Baltimore and the defending champs Cincinnati However 3 of their final 4 games are home Expect them to be in the hunt down the stretch
Two-A-Days New York Giants And Tennessee Titans Preview
Published: 2010-7-30
New York GiantsKey Additions LB Keith Bulluck S Antrel Rolle S Deon Grant DE Jason Pierre-Paul QB Jim Sorgi DT Linval JosephKey Subtractions LB Antonio Pierce P Jeff Feagles LB Danny Clark QB David Carr DT Fred Robbins CB Kevin Dockery The Giants enter this season 2 years removed from a Super Bowl win and one of the worst collapses in franchise history last season After starting 5-0 thanks in large part to a weak early schedule the Giants collapsed to finish 8-8 in what owner John Mara felt was more like 2-14 Tom Coughlin is entering the year before the final year of his contract and the outcome of this year will likely determine his future with the team Although I believe he deserves an extension baring anything disastrous another year without the playoffs might mean his time may be over with the Giants The Giants fired defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan one year after taking over for Steve Spagnuolo Sheridan appeared to have not formed a bond with the players even having one walk out during training camp His schemes were questionable and down right odd at times But Perry Fewell takes over who is known for being a hands-on aggressive coach whos system creates a lot of turnovers The defense gave up 31 TD s through the air last season second worst in the league The Giants went out and addressed that problem by making Antrel Rolle the highest paid safety in the league and added depth with Deon Grant Rolle is expected to start alongside S Kenny Phillips if he is ready If not Grant who is a veteran player with plenty of experience will slide in no problem One of the problems last season were too many receivers getting behind safeties and making big plays in the passing game That was partially due to injuries in the secondary and terrible play by the secondary The Giants at corner have the personnel Corey Webster played great the year they went to the Super Bowl Opposite him will be either Aaron Ross injured for most of last season or Terrell Thomas If Ross is healthy he should have the edge Regardless the other will play in the nickle package and give the Giants a nice rotation The Giants lost linebackers Danny Clark and signal caller Antonio Pierce They signed Keith Bulluck from Tennessee and will look to replace Pierce both on and off the field Michael Boley played great towards the end of last year but was injured for some of the year and missed time Clint Sintim is expected to move in and replace Danny Clark Gerris Wilkinson is waiting and adds some good depth The Giants last year struggled on the defensive line and failed to get the the quarterback with some consistency and stop the run They gave up 21 TDs on the ground last year Basically they couldn t get off the field or hold opponents to field goals Osi Umenyiora was visibly frustrated and was removed from his starting position last year being replaced by Mathias Kiwanuka One of Umenyiora s main problems was his inability to stop the run He was used by Bill Sheridan mainly as a pass rush specialist and was put too many times in pass coverage against TE s and RB s where he and other DE s were consistently burned Justin Tuck was bothered all year by a shoulder injury after he was kneed in a dirty play by Dallas OT Flozell Adams who is now in Pittsburgh Tuck and Umenyiora must get back to 2007 form and apply more pressure on the quarterback and get off the line of scrimmage better Inside the Giants lost long time pro DT Fred Robbins but still have plenty of depth Chris Canty should start after converting from a 3-4 DE to a 4-3 DT alongside veteran Barry Cofield Jay Alford missed all of last season but should be ready to go they signed Rocky Bernard last season and the Giants drafted Linval Joseph this year With the personnel the Giants have this year and a fresh face in Perry Fewell that will not tolerate inconsistent play the Giants will be a much improved defense this season Offensively Eli Manning is coming off one of the best regular seasons of his career He threw for over 4 00 yards and 27 Td s Mannings high numbers are much to do with his much improved decision making and emergence of his wide receivers but partially due to the fact the the Giants were playing from behind in a lot of games Manning is a former Super Bowl MVP and will do even better this season David Carr is gone but Jim Sorgi is in The Giants are hoping they don t see him on the field after preseason The Giants last year however did not run the ball well This was due to Brandon Jacobs battling through injuries and the ineffectiveness of the offensive line Jacobs numbers were way down 835 yards averaging 3 7 yards per carry and only 5 TD s The troubling number there is the yards per carry number He averaged 5 0 yards per carry the previous two seasons Hes not the home run hitter hes the bruiser between the tackles runner He needs to get back to that this year Expect Ahmad Bradshaw and Danny Ware to see more time as well as the Giants will rotate more The offensive line is where the Giants aren t really set as they head into camp C Shaun Ohara and G Chris Snee will start Rich Suebert should be the other starting guard and Karim Mackenzie should be the starting RT but William Beatty will challenge David Diehl at LT Bottom line is the best player out of camp will start and if they don t play with consistency they will be replaced The line has been intact for a lot of years and is a stronghold of the team They need to return to that this season Steve Smith was second in the NFL in receptions last year and broke the Giants record for receptions in a season He is Eli Mannings go to guy Hackeem Nicks had a decent rookie season who has the explosiveness to be the deep threat the Giants need Mario Manningham and Ramses Barden need to step up now that Domenik Hixon is out for the year with a torn ACL Kevin Boss played well last year and is a very reliable tight end Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 Carolina 2 Sun Sep 19 at Indianapolis 3 Sun Sep 26 Tennessee 4 Sun Oct 3 Chicago 5 Sun Oct 10 at Houston 6 Sun Oct 17 Detroit 7 Mon Oct 25 at Dallas8 BYE9 Sun Nov 7 at Seattle 10 Sun Nov 14 Dallas 11 Sun Nov 21 at Philadelphia 12 Sun Nov 28 Jacksonville 13 Sun Dec 5 Washington 14 Sun Dec 12 at Minnesota 15 Sun Dec 19 Philadelphia 16 Sun Dec 26 at Green Bay17 Sun Jan 2 at WashingtonThe Giants have the 7th hardest schedule in the league and opponents were 135-121 lase season They catch the AFC South and NFC North this year two divisions with three or more competitive teams Manning Bowl II takes place Week two in Indianapolis The Giants finish the season with 3 of their last 4 games on the road The Giants played well in their division last season but lost both games to Philly by big numbers and Washington is no longer a pushover The Giants should contend for the division and a playoff spot this season Tennessee TitansKey Additions LB Will Witherspoon CB Tye Hill DE Jason Babin DE Derrick Morgan WR Damian WilliamsKey Subtractions TE Alge Crumpler DE Kyle Vanden Bosch C Kevin Mawae RB LenDale White LB Keith BulluckThe Titans resurrected their season last year and saved Jeff Fishers job after starting out 0-6 and finishing 8-2 Chris Johnson and Vince Young had a lot to do with that Johnson did not rush for under 100 yards in the final 10 games of the season and Vince Young threw 10 TD s The Titans look forward to seeing what they can do with a full season with this duo Chris Johnson is Mr Everything for this offense everything they do revolved around him He has a lot of expectations this season and its unrealistic for him to live up to them all If he can produce 75 of what he did last year it will be good enough Johnson no longer has a reliable backup behind him as Lendale White has moved on Vince Young needs to play for a full season like he played the final 10 games of last season Kenny Britt had an excellent rookie season last year with 701 receiving yards He and Justin Gage will look to carry the load for Vince Young The Titans lost Pro-Bowler Kyle Vanden Bosh to free agency but they hope that first round pick Derrick Morgan will replace him The Titans run defense was in the top 10 in the league last season in total yards and opponents rushed for 4 3 yards per carry They lost Keith Bulluck but picked up Will Witherspoon in free agency The Titans major concern is in their pass defense which was 31st in the league last year only ahead of the Lions They allowed 31 TD s through the air and opponents averaged 258 7 passing yards per game Cortland Finnegan should play alongside Tye Hill who signed as a free agent this year Those two need to play a lot better and bring those numbers down and put their offense in a better position Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 Oakland 2 Sun Sep 19 Pittsburgh 3 Sun Sep 26 at NY Giants 4 Sun Oct 3 Denver 5 Sun Oct 10 at Dallas 6 Mon Oct 18 at Jacksonville 7 Sun Oct 24 Philadelphia 8 Sun Oct 31 at San Diego 9 BYE10 Sun Nov 14 at Miami 11 Sun Nov 21 Washington 12 Sun Nov 28 at Houston 13 Sun Dec 5 Jacksonville 14 Thu Dec 9 Indianapolis 15 Sun Dec 19 Houston 16 Sun Dec 26 at Kansas City 17 Sun Jan 2 at Indianapolis The Titans have 2nd hardest schedule in the league and opponents were 140-116 last season They catch the NFC East and AFC West and play in the high powered AFC South that has two explosive offenses through the air The pass defense can not play like they did a year ago or it will be a long season in Nashville They do catch Pittsburgh before Ben Roesthlisburger will be eligible to return They do have a lot of home games late and games on the road are in warm weather or indoors Comments
Two-A-Days San Fransisco 49ers And Denver Broncos Preview
Published: 2010-7-28
San Fransisco 49ersKey Additions OT Anthony Davis OG Mike Iupati QB David Carr WR Ted Ginn Jr S Taylor Mays Key Subtractions DB Dre Bly WR Isaac BruceThe 49ers enter this season looking to improve on their 8-8 season last year under coach Mike Singletary QB Alex Smith took over the starting job last year in Week 7 after Sean Hill was benched Smith led the 49ers to a 5-6 record as a starter Clearly the problem with the team lies with the lack of productivity from the offense and it certainly isn t coming from the running game either Gore ran for 1 120 yards averaging 4 9 yards per carry and caught 52 balls for 406 more yards The problems with the 49ers offense lies with the quarterback Alex Smith appears to be the starter heading into training camp but he will be on a short leash if he can t produce with former starter and number one overall pick David Carr now behind him He has Michael Crabtree and now Ted Ginn Jr at the wide receiver position Vernon Davis at TE and a more than capable back to catch passes Smith will have to improve and spread the ball around better for the 49ers to be successful The 49ers defense has done very well under Singletary They had the sixth best rushing defense in the NFL last year thanks to a strong linebacking corps led by Takeo Spikes and Patrick Willis They signed Nate Clements prior to the 2007 season but he only started 6 games last year due to injury The secondary will have to stay healthier this year in order for them to improve They drafted S Taylor Mays to compete for a spot against Dashon Goldson Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 Seattle 2 Mon Sep 20 New Orleans 3 Sun Sep 26 Kansas City 4 Sun Oct 3 Atlanta 5 Sun Oct 10 Philadelphia 6 Sun Oct 17 Oakland 7 Sun Oct 24 Carolina 8 Sun Oct 31 Denver 9 BYE 10 Sun Nov 14 St Louis 11 Sun Nov 21 Tampa Bay 12 Mon Nov 29 Arizona 13 Sun Dec 5 Green Bay 14 Sun Dec 12 Seattle 15 Thu Dec 16 San Diego 16 Sun Dec 26 St Louis 17 Sun Jan 2 Arizona The 49ers play in the weak AFC West and have the 28th toughest schedule in the league and opponents were 117-139 last season They catch the AFC West and NFC South this season The schedule does not appear to be that bad to the 49ers but they do have 4 of their last 6 games on the road They face the Super Bowl champs at home Week 2 they will be put to the test early to see what they are made of Denver BroncosKey Additions QB Tim Tebow NT Jamal Williams DE Jarvis Green WR Demaryius Thomas QB Brady QuinnKey Loses WR Brandon Marhsall TE Tony Scheffler RB Peyton Hillis Josh McDaniels enters his second season as head coach of the Broncos after starting 6-0 last season only to collapse and go 2-8 the remainder of the year The demise of the Broncos last year is partly due to their inability to stop the run and the inconstancy of QB Kyle Orton Orton threw only 1 INT in the first 6 games but threw 11 in the following 10 games Orton no longer has a safety blanket after the Broncos drafted Tim Tebow and signed Brady Quinn this year If Orton plays the way he did this year like the final 10 games last season he will get the hook Regardless of who is under center for the Broncos who they will be throwing too will no longer include two Pro Bowlers in Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler That means Eddie Royal Jabar Gaffney and this year draft pick Demaryius Thomas will have to pick up the slack It will be difficult to replace Marhall and Schefflers numbers The backfield consists of second year pro Knowshon Moreno who rushed for 947 yards averaging 3 8 yards per carry and Correll Buckhalter who rushed for 642 yards but averaged 5 4 yards per carry Moreno needs to see his per carry numbers improve to the level of Buckhalter s The Broncos were dreadful against the run last season They surrendered 2 059 yards and opponents averaged 4 5 yards per carry The Broncos brought some help in DE Jarvis Green to help out the line But no matter who you bring in with numbers like that it gives offenses way too many options and leaves the defense off balance and on their heels entirely too much putting their play makers in situations they do not like Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins are ball hogs but both are getting old The front seven must do a better job and get pressure in order for their play makers to make plays Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 at Jacksonville 2 Sun Sep 19 Seattle 3 Sun Sep 26 Indianapolis 4 Sun Oct 3 at Tennessee 5 Sun Oct 10 at Baltimore 6 Sun Oct 17 NY Jets 7 Sun Oct 24 Oakland 8 Sun Oct 31 at San Francisco 10 Sun Nov 14 Kansas City 11 Mon Nov 22 at San Diego 12 Sun Nov 28 St Louis 13 Sun Dec 5 at Kansas City 14 Sun Dec 12 at Arizona 15 Sun Dec 19 at Oakland 16 Sun Dec 26 Houston 17 Sun Jan 2 San Diego The Broncos have the 24th hardest schedule and opponents were 124-132 last season They catch the AFC South and NFC West this year The NFC West is one of the weaker divisions in the NFL however the AFC South is loaded with talent and three teams who should be in the playoff hunt Their schedule does get lighter as the season goes on so look for them to contend in the division next year
Two-A-Days Chciago Bears And Miami Dolphins Preview
Published: 2010-7-26
Chicago BearsKey Additions DE Julius Peppers RB Chester Taylor FS Major Wright TE Brandon Manumaleuna CB Tim JenningsKey Subtractions DE Alex Brown LB Jamar Williams CB Nathan Vasher The Bears enter year two with QB Jay Cutler under center trading him for an abundance of drafty picks prior to last season Cutler struggled last year throwing for 27 TD s but 26 INT s only the Lions and Bucs threw for more interceptions Mike Martz takes over the offense that will do wonders for Cutler However Martz loves to throw the ball and head coach Lovie Smith does not Lovie went as far as to have Cutler only attempt 17 passes in a game last year against the Rams in which they won 17-9 But the message was clear that what Lovie wanted out of Culter wasnt resonating Martz now is faced with the challenge of improving Culter and limiting his mistakes Cutler has the weapons around him to succeed Chester Taylor joins Matt Forte in the backfield as the Bears struggled to run the ball last year But the real strength is at wide receiver where Johnny Knox Devin Hester Earl Bennett and Devin Aromashodu-ashodu lead the way and bringing in Manumaleuna provides a big target in the red zone With the weapons surrounding Cutler he should improve big time this season The premier free agent this offseason was Peppers and the Bears landed the big fish Peppers improves the defense by himself as there is no better coverage in my mind than an excellent pass rush Urlacher returns after missing pretty much all of last season He can still play at a high level and with Lance Briggs still there the Bears are set at linebacker They brought in Tim Jennings to compete for one of the starting corner jobsw but the rest of the secondary is up in the eair with a lot of rookies and vets competing for spots including FS Major Wright Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 vs Lions 2 Sun Sep 19 at Cowboys 3 Mon Sep 27 vs Packers 4 Sun Oct 03 at Giants 5 Sun Oct 10 at Panthers 6 Sun Oct 17 vs Seahawks 7 Sun Oct 24 vs Redskins8 BYE9 Sun Nov 07 at Bills 10 Sun Nov 14 vs Vikings 11 Thu Nov 18 at Dolphins 12 Sun Nov 28 vs Eagles 13 Sun Dec 05 at Lions14 Sun Dec 12 vs Patriots 15 Mon Dec 20 at Vikings 16 Sun Dec 26 vs Jets 17 Sun Jan 02 at Packers The Bears have the 14th hardest schedule and opponents were 129-127 last season They catch the AFC East and NFC East two of the toughest divisions in the NFL Already having to contend with the Packers and Vikings twice each this schedule doesnt favor the Bears But they should contend for a playoff spot Miami DolphinsKey Additions WR Brandon Marshall LB Karlos Dansby DT Jared Odrick Key Subtractions WR Ted Ginn Jr LB Joey Porter LB Jason TaylorThe Dolphins are now three years into the Parcells era and look to have something brewing down in Miami Chad Henne is the quarterback the Dolphins feel they can win with He took over in Week 2 last year and started every game for the remainder of the season His numbers were decent even in the absence of a true number one receiver In the offseason the Dolphins acquired one Brandon Marshall Marhsall is the physical go to guy that Hennne can lean on in a big spot But the strength of the offense has and will continue to be the running game Ronnie Brown struggled until going down for the year in Week 10 Ricky Williams did pick up the slack rushing for 1 211 yards averaging 4 7 yards per carry If both of them can stay healthy and Chad Henne improves the Dolphins will do better on offense Defensively the Dolphins lost a few veterans However they did get the best middle linebacker in free agency in Karlos Dansby Dansby will play alongside Chaning Crowder However the Dolphins were playing with rookies at corner towards the end of the season and were terrible against the pass They were worst in the league in giving up plays of 40 yards through the air surrendering 17 They must improve heading into year two Mike Nolan may have his hands full if the defensive personnel currently in place does not do their job Schedule 1 Sun Sep 12 at Bills 2 Sun Sep 19 at Vikings 3 Sun Sep 26 vs Jets 4 Mon Oct 04 vs Patriots 5 BYE6 Sun Oct 17 at Packers 7 Sun Oct 24 vs Steelers 8 Sun Oct 31 at Bengals9 Sun Nov 07 at Ravens 10 Sun Nov 14 vs Titans 11 Thu Nov 18 vs Bears 12 Sun Nov 28 at Raiders13 Sun Dec 05 vs Browns 14 Sun Dec 12 at Jets 15 Sun Dec 19 vs Bills 16 Sun Dec 26 vs Lions 17 Sun Jan 02 at Patriots The Dolphins have the 17th hardest schedule in the league and opponents were 128-128 last season They catch the NFC North and AFC North this season Both divisions have teams with three or more teams capable of making the playoffs Three easy games at the end of the schedule at home sure help the Dolphins If they can remain in the hunt once December rolls around they ll be in good shape
Two-A-Days Buffalo Bills And Jacksonville Jaguars Preview
Published: 2010-7-26
Buffalo BillsKey Additions RT Cornell Green DE Dwan Edwards LB Andra Davis OLB Reggie Torbor RB C J Spiller Key Subtractions WR Terrell Owens DE Aaron SchobelChan Gailey enters his first season as head coach of a struggling Bills team that can not score points They drafted RB C J Spiller with the ninth pick who is a definite home run hitter and as nice compliment to Marshaun Lynch and Fred Jackson The running game will be and must be the foundation for the Bills offense if they are to be successful They lost Terrell Owens who opened up room on the other side for Lee Evans Now that he is gone defenses will key on Evans and leave the Bills in a tight spot The Bills were in the bottom of the league only ahead of Cleveland and Oakland in total offense The quarterback situation is also in a bad spot Trent Edwards lost the job last year to Ryan Fitzpatrick who was not any better He had 21 interceptions last year One of them will emerge as the starter but both must play better The Bills are a total lopsided defense They rank second in the league against the pass but 30th in the league against the run They racked in 28 INT s last season second in the league But they lost their interim head coach and defensive coordinator to the New York Giants George Edwards takes over and appears to be transitioning the defense to a 3-4 in order to improve the run defense They added solid linebackers to solidify the unit but I don t think it will be enough as it will take a long time for the team to transition to the new scheme Schedule Week 1 vs MiamiWeek 2 Green BayWeek 3 New EnglandWeek 4 vs New YorkWeek 5 vs JacksonvilleWeek 6 ByeWeek 7 BaltimoreWeek 8 Kansas CityWeek 9 vs ChicagoWeek 10 vs DetroitWeek 11 CincinnatiWeek 12 vs PittsburghWeek 13 MinnesotaWeek 14 vs ClevelandWeek 15 MiamiWeek 16 vs New EnglandWeek 17 New York The Bills have the 16th hardest schedule and opponents were 128-128 last season They play in the much improved AFC East where the other three teams are expected to contend for a playoff spot They catch the AFC North and NFC North two strong divisions as well Judging by the schedule and the lack of moves in the offseason I expect the Bills to be one of the worst teams in the league this year Jacksonville JaguarsKey Additions DE Aaron Kampman LB Kirk Morrison LB Freddy Keiaho Key Subtractions WR Torry Holt Jack Del Rio enters this season after squandering a golden opportunity to make the playoffs last year They ended the season on a four game losing streak David Garrard played decent last season completing 60 of his passes throwing for over 3 500 yards and managing the game well The team is carried on the legs of the bowling bowl Maurice Jones-Drew Drew ran for over 1 300 yards and 15 TD s Mike Sims-Walker had a breakout year last season but there isn t another consistent threat on the team The team dumped Tory Holt and have a lot of WR on the roster with limited experience A few of them are going to have to step up and form a good chemistry with Garrard for the offense to be successful The Jaguars added big boy Erik Kampman to add a presence to the defensive line and get after the quarterback The Jaguars were last in the league last season with only 14 sacks They also added Kirk Morrison to add some veteran presence to the linebacking corps Beyond that they Jaguars don t look to have anything to rely upon on defense They rank towards the bottom half in both rushing and passing defensive categories Reggie Nelson has not provided the big play since his good rookie year in 2007 If they can apply more pressure on the quarterback and limit the big plays they can be better Schedule1 Sun Sep 12 vs Broncos 2 Sun Sep 19 at Chargers3 Sun Sep 26 vs Eagles 4 Sun Oct 03 vs Colts 5 Sun Oct 10 at Bills 6 Mon Oct 18 vs Titans7 Sun Oct 24 at Chiefs 8 Sun Oct 31 at Cowboys9 BYE10 Sun Nov 14 vs Texans 11 Sun Nov 21 vs Browns12 Sun Nov 28 at Giants13 Sun Dec 05 at Titans 14 Sun Dec 12 vs Raiders15 Sun Dec 19 at Colts 16 Sun Dec 26 vs Redskins 17 Sun Jan 02 at Texans The Jags have the 5th hardest schedule in the league and opponents were 137-119 last season They catch the AFC West and NFC East They do play the Raiders Chiefs Bills and Browns who are some of the worst defenses in the league The beginning of the schedule is brutal though opening against the Broncos then on the road to San Diego then home against the Eagles and Colts Tough schedule for any good team to face no less the Jags
Two-A-Days Cleveland Browns And Oakland Raiders Preview
Published: 2010-7-23
Cleveland BrownsKey Additions QB Jake Delhomme CB Joe Haden TE Benjamin Watson LB Chris Gocong QB Colt McCoy RB Montario Hardesty S T J WardKey Loses QB Derek Anderson QB Brady Quinn WR Donte Stallworth S Brodney Pool LB Kamerion Wimbley Now that Mike Holmgren has taken a Bill Parcells role in the Browns the future is in good hands in Cleveland Holmgren kept Eric Mangini as coach who must improve in order to keep his job Another performance like last year will certainly leave him unemployed The Browns were awful on offense last season as Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson both could not get the job done They are both gone and Jake Delhomme will probably start allowing Colt McCoy to learn and observe the veteran until he is ready to take over The Browns averaged 129 8 yards per game through the air last season The Browns drafted RB Monario Hardesty from Tennessee to add to the backfield that has Jerome Harrison Wide receiver is still a concern Masaquoi has done well but Joshua Bribs is a lot like Devin Hester and has not proven himself to be a reliable receiver Delhomme is on a short leash If he plays like he did in 2008 and manages the game and limits his mistakes he ll keep his job If not you will see either Seneca Wallace or Colt McCoy Rob Ryan enters his second season as defensive coordinator after drafting a shut down corner in this years draft in Joe Haden from Florida He is the type of player that he can feel comfortable leaving one on one although it will take him time to get acclimated to the NFL The rest of the Browns defense is one big question mark They were 20th overall last season allowing 389 3 yards per game against They were 8h in the league with 40 sacks T J Ward comes in to replace Brodney Pool The Browns are going to have to keep the points to a minimum in order to win more games this year than they did last season Schedule 1 Sunday September 12 at Buccaneers 2 Sunday September 19 Chiefs 3 Sunday September 26 at Ravens 4 Sunday October 03 Bengals 5 Sunday October 10 Falcons 6 Sunday October 17 at Steelers 7 Sunday October 24 at Saints8 BYE9 Sunday November 07 Patriots 10 Sunday November 14 Jets 11 Sunday November 21 at Jaguars 12 Sunday November 28 Panthers 13 Sunday December 05 at Dolphins 14 Sunday December 12 at Bills 15 Sunday December 19 at Bengals 16 Sunday December 26 Ravens 17 Sunday January 02 Steelers The Browns don t really catch a break with their schedule They have the 10th hardest in the league and opponents were 132-124 last season They already play in the competitive NFC North where the Steelers Ravens and defending champ Bengals can all easily make the playoffs On top of that they catch the AFC East where the Jets Pats and Dolphins can easily make the playoffs as well The division I believe will be too tough for the Browns to handle Oakland RaidersKey Additions LB Rolando McClain QB Jason Campbell RB Michael Bennett DE Quentin Groves LB Kamerion Wimbley Key Subtractions QB Jamarcus Russell DE Greg Ellis RB Justin Fargas WR Javon Walker DT Gerard WarrenDa Raidas enter season 2 under Tom Cable and have moved on from JaMarcus Russell Russell was awful during his time with the Raiders and looked lost at times trying to gather the offense Jason Campbell will battle Bruce Gradkowski for the starting job in training camp Campbell played decent last season and needs to continue to improve Gradkowski played well in relief of Russell as well Louis Murphy had an excellent rookie season however Darrius Heyward-Bey was awful Those two need to improve their games this year for the Raiders to be successful They were 31st in points per game and yards per game last season The running game will be squarely on the shoulders of Darren McFadden after Justin Fargas was cut during the offseason The defense is one of the few bright spots on this Raider team They have one of the best shutdown corners in Nnamdi Asomugha and stud safety Michael Huff They drafted Rolando McClain from Alabama and signed Kamerion Wimbley to sure up the linebacker position The Raiders traded for Richard Seymour last season to add more to the defensive line He needs to play at a higher level and force opposing lineman to pay attention to him and free up some of his teammates for some more one on ones The Raiders success will depend on who the quarterback is and will they not back up the defense into a corner like Russell has The defense is talented enough to make this a playoff team Schedule1 Sunday September 12 at Titans 2 Sunday September 19 Rams 3 Sunday September 26 at Cardinals 4 Sunday October 03 Texans5 Sunday October 10 Chargers 6 Sunday October 17 at 49ers 7 Sunday October 24 at Broncos 8 Sunday October 31 Seahawks 9 Sunday November 07 Chiefs 10 BYE11 Sunday November 21 at Steelers12 Sunday November 28 Dolphins 13 Sunday December 05 at Chargers 14 Sunday December 12 at Jaguars 15 Sunday December 19 Broncos 16 Sunday December 26 Colts 17 Sunday January 02 at Chiefs The Raiders catch the weak NFC West and strong AFC South this season They have the 18th toughest schedule and opponents were 128-128 last season They have tough end of the season home games against the Broncos and Colts If they can shut down some high powering offenses and take advantage of some weak defenses they can win a few more games than some people would expect Comments
Two-A-Days Kansas City Chiefs And Seattle Seahawks Preview
Published: 2010-7-22
Kansas City ChiefsKey Additions RB Thomas Jones G Ryan Lilja S Eric Berry RB Dexter McCluster CB KR Javier ArenasKey Subtractions WR Bobby WadeThe Chiefs are looking to improve this year on what was a very inconsistent first year for head coach Todd Haley He brought in Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel to surround himself with Super Bowl caliber coaches who know what it takes to win Weis will be trying to make Matt Cassel into the quarterback he was in New England that led them to a playoff appearance two years ago The running game gets even better with the addition of Thomas Jones to compliment Jamaal Charles who broke out last year and rushed for 1 120 yards and averaged 5 9 yards per carry The addition of McCluster will also give the offense options as he is a dynamic player that can catch passes and line up in a variety of places Dwayne Bowe must stay healthy and play a lot more consistently in order to be more successful Behind him their really isn t anyone that can produce numbers like he can If Bowe plays better and McCluster is the player the Cheifs think he can be they could be in good shape offensively Defensively Romeo Crennel takes over a defense that ranked in the bottom of the league last season They allowed over 2 500 yards rushing and opponents averaged 4 7 yards per carry Their best linebacker is 35 year old Mike Vrabel and Glen Dorsey and Tyson Jackson have not played well They get an upgrade with Javier Arenas and Eric Berry that will help the secondary Berry is great at stepping up in the box and stopping the run and the Chiefs are going to need to see that from him if they want to improve their run defense However that could leave the big play vertically vulnerable to the rookie He has to pick his spots and pick them well Schedule 1 Monday September 13 Chargers 2 Sunday September 19 at Browns 3 Sunday September 26 49ers 4 BYE5 Sunday October 10 at Colts6 Sunday October 17 at Texans 7 Sunday October 24 Jaguars 8 Sunday October 31 Bills9 Sunday November 07 at Raiders 10 Sunday November 14 at Broncos 11 Sunday November 21 Cardinals 12 Sunday November 28 at Seahawks 13 Sunday December 05 Broncos 14 Sunday December 12 at Chargers 15 Sunday December 19 at Rams 16 Sunday December 26 Titans 17 Sunday January 02 Raiders The Chiefs catch the AFC South and NFC West this season They have the 23rd hardest schedule and opponents were 125-131 last season The schedule is better late than early and have tough road games at the Colts and Chargers However if they play well they can take advantage of a favorable schedule and win a couple of more games than they did last year Seattle SeahawksKey Additions RB Leon Washinton OT Russel Okung WR Golden Tate S Earl ThomasKey Subtractions WR Nate Burleson The Seahawks are looking to improve on their 5-11 season last year under a new regime Pete Carrol takes over for Jim Mora Jr who only lasted one season It appears that Carrol is going to stick with QB Matt Hasselbeck who had an O K season last year but must play a lot better Leon Washington is added the the backfield that includes Julius Jones and Justin Forsett They ran for only 1 566 yards as a team all of last season The Seahawks strength will be the passing game Golden Tate joins T J Houshmandzadeh and Deon Branch However the big play is lacking Seattle had only 39 catches of over 20 yards last season With a more consistent running game and Golden Tate in the lineup that number should go up The Seahawks were terrible on defense last season due to underachieving players who must play better this year They ranked 30th last year in pass defense giving up 3 927 passing yards and opposing quarterbacks enjoyed a 65 8 completion percentage They drafted S Earl Thomas from Texas to help with the secondary and back-up Marcus Trufant They recorded only 13 interceptions last year They have talented linebackers in Lofa Tatupu and Aaron Curry who need to play consistent I do not see this defense doing anything spectacular this year and if they can t get off the field its going to be a long year Schedule 1 Sunday September 12 49ers 2 Sunday September 19 at Broncos 3 Sunday September 26 Chargers 4 Sunday October 03 at Rams 5 BYE6 Sunday October 17 at Bears 7 Sunday October 24 Cardinals 8 Sunday October 31 at Raiders 9 Sunday November 07 Giants 10 Sunday November 14 at Cardinals 11 Sunday November 21 at Saints 12 Sunday November 28 Chiefs 13 Sunday December 05 Panthers 14 Sunday December 12 at 49ers 15 Sunday December 19 Falcons 16 Sunday December 26 at Buccaneers 17 Sunday January 02 Rams The Seahawks have a very favorable schedule this season They have the 30th hardest schedule and opponents were 116-140 last year 3 east coast teams make the cross-country trip They catch the AFC West and NFC South and a trip to New Orleans to face the defending champs This division has been dominated by the Cardinals of late however Kurt Warner has now retired and the Cards lost a lot of players this offseason If Seattle plays well they can be knocking on the door late in the year Comments
Two-A-Days Tampa Bay Buccaneers And Washington Redskins Preview
Published: 2010-7-20
Tampa Bay BuccaneersKey Additions WR Reggie Brown WR Arrelious Benn S Sean Jones DT Gerald McCoy DT Brian Price Key Subtractions WR Antonio Bryant DE Jimmy Wilkerson DT Chris HovanThe Bucs are looking to improve this year on their rushing defense that ranked dead last in the NFL last season They allowed over 2 50 yards and opponents averaged 4 8 yards per carry They selected 2 premier tackles in the draft McCoy and Price to plug up the holes up front and released veteran Chris Hovan The Bucs did alright last year against the pass with Talib and Barber at corner and now with the addition of S Sean Jones the Bucs are now becoming a more balanced defense Jones has 16 interceptions in the last 4 years Look for the Bucs to be more aggressive this year in pursuing the quarterback Price and McCoy will help with that but pressure off the edge must be there as well They only recorded 28 sacks last season Josh Freeman begins his second season as the Bucs starter and he lost his number one receiver Antonio Bryant to free agency The Bucs drafted two wide receivers in the draft that must get comfortable with Freeman and the offense quickly if they are going to have a balanced attack on offense Freeman completed 54 5 of his passes in 10 games last season and looked well in spots The running game was inconsistent last year and free agent addition Derick Ward did not live up to expectations Cadillac Williams rushed for 823 yards and averaged 3 9 yards per carry vs Ward who rushed for only 409 yards Both of those players need to play at a much higher level this year if Freeman and the offense are going to move the ball and put points on the board Schedule 1 Sunday September 12 Browns 2 Sunday September 19 at Panthers 3 Sunday September 26 Steelers 4 BYE5 Sunday October 10 at Bengals 6 Sunday October 17 Saints 7 Sunday October 24 Rams 8 Sunday October 31 at Cardinals 9 Sunday November 07 at Falcons 10 Sunday November 14 Panthers 11 Sunday November 21 at 49ers 12 Sunday November 28 at Ravens 13 Sunday December 05 Falcons 14 Sunday December 12 at Redskins 15 Sunday December 19 Lions 16 Sunday December 26 Seahawks 17 Sunday January 02 at Saints Fairly light schedule facing the Bucs this season as they have the 25th hardest schedule and opponents were 123-133 last season Besides catching the Saints twice they face the AFC West not exactly a strong division but do catch the AFC North known for tough defenses Their play in the division must be better as they went 1-5 last year Don t be surprised if they grab a few more wins this year than expected Washington RedskinsKey Additions QB Donovan McNabb WR Joey Galloway WR Bobby Wade RB Willie Parker OT Trent Williams RB Larry JohnsonKey Subtractions RB Ladell Betts DT Cornelius Griffin WR Antwaan Randle ElThe Washington Redskins pulled off the trade of the year as they acquired QB Donovan McNabb from the Eagles Mike Shanahan takes over as head coach and the success will depend on how well Donovan grasps offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan s system Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in Houston who had a prolific passing attack They must be balanced though and the addition of Willie Parker and Larry Johnson will make them that however Johnson must improve on his numbers that have fallen significantly since his days with the Chiefs Donovan immediately makes the team better and Santana Moss Bobby Wade and Joey Galloway will benefit from his presence However the line must keep McNabb off his back The Skins were fifth worst in the league last season in sacks allowing 46 Not a whole lot McNabb can do starring at the turf half the game They drafted Trent Williams this year to solidify the line and moved out three lineman improve on that problem Shanahan hired former Saints coach Jim Haslett as the defensive coordinator and will implement the 3-4 scheme Albert Haynesworth is the key to the teams success up front If he can play nose the Skins will do well If he can t all bets are off Brian Orakpo and London Fletcher need to continue to play at a high level and make plays in the running game The Redskins strength on defense has been in pass defense They ranked 8th in the NFL last year however they do not take away the ball enough They recorded only 11 interceptions last year The Skins need to take the ball away more and create some better field position for the offense Schedule 1 Sunday September 12 Cowboys 2 Sunday September 19 Texans 3 Sunday September 26 at Rams 4 Sunday October 03 at Eagles 5 Sunday October 10 Packers 6 Sunday October 17 Colts 7 Sunday October 24 at Bears 8 Sunday October 31 at Lions 9 BYE10 Monday November 15 Eagles 11 Sunday November 21 at Titans 12 Sunday November 28 Vikings 13 Sunday December 05 at Giants 14 Sunday December 12 Buccaneers 15 Sunday December 19 at Cowboys 16 Sunday December 26 at Jaguars 17 Sunday January 02 Giants The Skins schedule is brutal out of the gate Besides games against the Lions and Rams the remaining games leading to the BYE are brutal They have the 8th toughest schedule and opponents were 134-122 last season They catch the NFC North and AFC South The Skins did not win one game in divisional play last season going 0-6 That is not the recipe for success and Mike Shanahan is going to have his hands full completing that schedule above 500 Comments
Two-A-Days St Louis Rams And Detroit Lions Preview
Published: 2010-7-19
St Louis RamsKey Additions QB Sam Bradford DT Fred Robbins LB Na il Diggs WR Mardy GillyardKey Subtractions QB Marc BulgerThe Rams are coming off a dismal one win 2009 season under first year coach Steve Spagnuolo He inherited a team that was dreadful on defense and is still looking for the right pieces to get the Rams back on track The Rams last year under Spagnuolo known for the aggressive style he initiated on the Giants defense when he was there were near the bottom of the league in sacks interceptions points allowed per game and yards allowed per game The Rams are young on defense especially at linebacker It is going to take probably another year or two for the Rams to get all the personnel on defense for them to be consistent Fred Robbins has come over from the Giants and knows Spagnuolo s system but he is on the back end of his career On offense they are hoping that Sam Bradford can become what everyone in St Louis hopes will be a quarterback as good as Kurt Warner once was Bradford is going to get paid a lot of money for a rookie who wont even have taken the field before he sees millions He has to convince the other 10 guys in the huddle that he is a leader But the other 10 guys around him certainly lack the talent necessary to win Steven Jackson the running back led the team in receptions last season Anytime a RB leads a team in receptions you know you are lacking at the wide receiver and tight end position Donnie Avery is the only receiver remotely close to league averages among wide receivers They are hoping 4th round pick Mardy Gilyard steps in and plays a big role in the offense But the Rams just simply lack the personnel on the field in order to be successful Steven Jackson was the only bright spot of the Rams offense totaling 1 416 yards rushing but only 4 TD s With the addition of Bradford look for the Rams to become a little more balanced on offense if he can stay upright and avoid sacks Schedule 1 Sunday September 12 Arizona 2 Sunday September 19 at Oakland 3 Sunday September 26 Washington 4 Sunday October 3 Seattle5 Sunday October 10 at Detroit 6 Sunday October 17 San Diego 7 Sunday October 24 at Tampa Bay 8 Sunday October 31 Carolina 9 Sunday November 7 BYE10 Sunday November 14 at San Francisco 11 Sunday November 21 Atlanta 12 Sunday November 28 at Denver 13 Sunday December 5 at Arizona 14 Sunday December 12 at New Orleans 15 Sunday December 19 Kansas City 16 Sunday December 26 San Francisco 17 Sunday January 2 at Seattle Not exactly a tough schedule in fact they have the 31st hardest schedule in the NFL Opposing teams were 115-141 last season Winnable games before the Bye include the Raiders Lions and Bucs After the Bye the schedule gets difficult as the go to New Orleans and Denver and catch Atlanta at home Look for the Rams to maybe peel off an unexpected home win or two but I see them wining no more than 5 games this year Detroit LionsKey Additions WR Nate Burlesson TE Tony Scheffler DT Ndamukong Suh RB Jahvid Best DE Kyle Vanden Bosh CB Dre Bly DT Key Subtractions LB Larry Foote LB Ernie Sims The Lions improved last season after the miserable 0-16 2008 season O K then won two games still an improvement none the less as they are still trying to pick up the pieces that former GM Matt Millen left Mathew Stafford played unbelievably in his rookie year and they are looking to continue to build the team around him They added WR Nate Burlesson to compliment Calvin Johnson and also a great TE in Tony Scheffler which gives the Lions options in the red zone The Lions had only 16 TD s through the air last season The Lions drafted RB Jahvid Best from California to add to a backfield that already has Kevin Smith however he only averaged 3 4 yards per carry last season The Lions offense must execute better and protect Mathew Stafford a lot better than they did last season The Lions have a void on defense with the departure of Larry Foote Foote led the team in tackles and was a veteran presence on a young Lions defense that was last in the league last season They were the only team in the NFL to average over 30 points allowed per game The Lions were especially vulnerable through the air as opposing quarterbacks threw for over 4 200 yards and had a 68 1 completion percentage They allowed 35 passing TD s to only 9 interceptions Rookie Ndamukong Suh is going to have to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks and get in their face in order to improve the Lions passing defense Suh Corey Williams and Kyle Vanden Bosh will be giving opposing offensive lines headaches next season The Lions basically are a mess in the secondary and did not make the necessary additions in the offseason to improve CC Brown and Dre Bly are not the answer the Lions are looking for But putting pressure on the quarterback will hide that a little bit The Lions offense is much farther along than the defense is right now and for them to be any better than they were last year the offense will have to carry the team Schedule 1 Sunday September 12 at Bears 2 Sunday September 19 Eagles 3 Sunday September 26 at Vikings 4 Sunday October 03 at Packers 5 Sunday October 10 Rams 6 Sunday October 17 at Giants 7 BYE8 Sunday October 31 Redskins 9 Sunday November 07 Jets 10 Sunday November 14 at Bills 11 Sunday November 21 at Cowboys12 Thursday November 25 Patriots 13 Sunday December 05 Bears 14 Sunday December 12 Packers 15 Sunday December 19 at Buccaneers 16 Sunday December 26 at Dolphins 17 Sunday January 02 VikingsThe schedule does not look favorable as the Lions catch the AFC and NFC east two of the toughest divisions in the NFL The Lions have the 13th toughest schedule and opponents last year were 130-126 The Bills Lions Rams and Bucs are the only games I see the Lions potentially winning Given injuries and upsets they could possibly take one or two more but 6 wins is looking like what the number would be for the Lions this season Comments
Two-A-Days 2010 NFL Team Previews Starting Tomorrow
Published: 2010-7-19
We are less than 2 months away from kicking off another season of the National Football League So starting tomorrow The Tuna Sports Blog will be giving in depth previews of all 32 teams during our NFL 2010 season preview Two teams will be previewed each day Previews will start based on the original 2010 draft order as shown below 1 St Louis 1-15 2 Detroit 2-14 3 Tampa Bay 3-13 4 Washington 4-12 5 Kansas City 4-12 6 Seattle 5-11 7 Cleveland 5-11 8 Oakland 5-11 9 Buffalo 6-10 10 Jacksonville 7-9 11 Chicago 7-9 12 Miami 7-9 13 San Francisco 8-8 14 Denver 8-8 15 New York Giants 8-8 16 Tennessee 8-8 17 Carolina 8-8 18 Pittsburgh 9-7 19 Atlanta 9-7 20 Houston 9-7 21 Cincinnati 10-6 22 New England 10-6 23 Green Bay 11-5 24 Philadelphia 11-5 25 Baltimore 9-7 26 Arizona 10-6 27 Dallas 11-5 28 San Diego 13-3 29 New York Jets 9-7 30 Minnesota 12-4 31 Indianapolis 14-2 32 New Orleans 13-3 Comments St Louis and Detroit coming tomorrow
RIP George M Steinbenner III 1930-2010
Published: 2010-7-13
Two days after the Yankees mourned the death of their longtime PA announcer Bob Sheppard the Yankees said goodbye to their beloved owner Geroge M Steinbrenner III Mr Steinbrenner died of a massive heart attack at the age of 80 in Tampa FL Under his ownership the Yankees won 7 World Series and 11 American League Pennants There is no doubt that some of the behaviors displayed through the years by Mr Steinbrenner were controversial to say the least But he bought the team for a little over 8 million in 1973 and turned it into an empire worth billions and didn t do it for the money He did it because of one thing winning The world lost a great man today Comments
RIP Bob Sheppard 1910-2010
Published: 2010-7-12
Bob Sheppard the voice of Yankee Stadium and Giants Stadium for over 50 years died this morning at the age of 99 He will always be in the hearts and memories of all the Yankees and Giants players and fans who had the privileged to hear him call the names of so many great players through the years He will be greatly missed
Ilya Kovalchuk To The Islanders
Published: 2010-7-03
UPDATED 7 5 11 00 P M We all bought it hook line and sinker I just want to be wrong According to the Islanders beat writer Katie Strang the Islanders never got passed the preliminary stages of negotiation with Ilya Kovalchuk regarding a contract According to the report the Islanders were only interested in a short term deal while Kovalchuk is seeking a long term one No offer was ever extended We all get a little too hyped up over the fact that Garth made a phone call then told people about it The fact of the matter is hes supposed to make a phone call We shouldn t be shocked when he does Its like when your shopping for a new item you call go the store or go online to find out what the price is When its out of your range you move on Granted this situation did not happen that quickly but that is it in a nutshell The bottom line still remains as long as the arena situation is still in question don t expect anyone prominent much less Ilya Kovalchuk to sign with the New York Islanders The biggest news that will come out of Islander land in the coming days week will be the Town of Heampsteads counteroffer to Charles Wang regarding the Lighthouse Project If you thought Fourth of July fireworks were something you aint seen nothing yet Oh the pain According to multiple credible sources in the hockey world Chris Botta and Katie Strang among others the New York Islanders have a serious stake in the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes Kovalchuk is considered the best available free agent in a weak pool of them this year It is also being reported that the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils whom Kovalchuk joined at the deadline last year are also in the mix to sign the Russian sniper The Islanders have already signed Zenon Kanopka Milan Jurchina PA Parenteau and Mark Eaton Kovalchuk would bolster a weak Islanders unit offensively and be a prominent player to mentor the young Islanders squad An interesting statistic brought up is that Kovalchuk s goal totals the past 8 years would have led the Islanders in all but 1 season The Islanders have not had a 40 goal scorrer since Jason Blake in 2006-2007 Kovalchuk has scored more than 40 in 6 of his 8 seasons As I stated in a post earlier this year my opinion on the Islanders personnel situation was that as long as the uncertainty around the Lighthouse project continued the Islanders would not sign any prominent free agents With the circumstances surrounding this situation it appears that my assumptions are incorrect In this case I am glad I am wrong Charles Wang appears to be willing to give Kovalchuk a multi-year multi-million dollar contract We ll see how this plays out but even if Kovalchuk does not sign with the Islanders it is good to see the Islanders being mentioned about something this big other than the uncertainty surrounding the arena situation and possible relocation All Islander fans hope one day that the situation will be settled and all we have to think about are the team and the players But in the meantime GO GET EM Comments
Robinson Cano Having An MVP Type Year
Published: 2010-6-28
Ever since Robinson Cano came into the fray as the everyday second baseman for the New York Yankees the comparisons to Rod Carew and the like were coming from every direction As I watched this kid for the first time in 2005 I thought in no way would he live up the the expectations set forth Boy was I dead wrong Cano has not only held his own with the bat but his fielding is nothing short of spectacular He supports a lifetime 984 fielding percentage and has a stellar arm for a second baseman His ability to turn the double play is something to watch The time it takes for him to field a ground ball and release to second is one of the shortest and best in the league His range in both directions also are a huge benefit to his defensive game But where Cano is most notably excelling is at the plate Batting behind Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira he has had his fair share of RBI opportunities and he has taken advantage He currently is second on the team to Arod with 53 RBI s this season But Cano leads the team with a 359 batting average among the everyday players a testament to his ability to take the ball the other way as he demonstrated in extra innings yesterday Cano in the 10th inning against the Dodgers struck a line drive that landed 5 rows deep in left center to give the Yankees the lead which Mariano Rivera closed out Time and time again Cano has shown the ability to spray the ball hard all over the field His hitting chart amply displays how evenly dispersed all of his hits are Cano also has the advantage of the short porch at Yankee Stadium in right field which he has taken advantage of since he came here It would be a mistake though for Cano to turn into a pull hitter and to get too caught up in the short porch in right Kevin Long is to be given en enormous amount of credit with what he does especially with guys like Cano and Arod I always see him continuously talking with players before and after at bats not only going over scouting reports but working on techniques and simple tendencies hitters sometimes fall into The only knock you can possibly have on Cano is his batting in the postseason He is still young and playing on a team like the Yankees he will continue to have plenty of opportunities to show why he is one of the best second baseman in the league as demonstrated by the All-Star voting Cano is a sure thing to be the starting second baseman for the American League in Los Angeles for the 2010 All-Star game If he continues his hot bat in the second half of the season you could be looking at the 2010 American League MVP Comments
Only At The U S Open Can A Dream Like Erik Compton s Come True
Published: 2010-6-16
What is so great about the U S Open are stories like Erik Compton s along with so many others who have the opportunity to play in the most storied event in the sport of golf You can read more about his story here In no other sport can a story like Compton s ever come true This is what makes this event and this sport so wonderful Anyone with a registered USGA handicap of 1 4 or below can qualify for the U S Open by competing and passing both local and sectional qualifiers All it takes is 3 magical rounds and you are in with the best Overcoming all odds this man fulfilled his dream to step on a golf course with the best in the world on the biggest stage Comments
110th U S Open Championship Preview
Published: 2010-6-14
The one week of the year that brings me the most joy has arrived Some of my fondest memories so far in my life are from this week sharing memorable moments with my dad and grandfather playing the wonderful sport of golf and trekking several distinguished golf courses for a U S Open A week where dreams come true in every single way on golf courses everywhere around the world is about to take place The 110th United States Open Championship begins this Thursday at Pebble Beach where Lucas Glover will begin the pursuit of defending his memorable win last year at Bethpage Black Glover beat out the resurging David Duval 2002 U S Amateur Champion and newcomer Ricky Barnes and Phil Mickelson who has a long list of Open heartbreaks I will get to later Phil has come oh so close way too many times in this Championship and you have to think with all that s happened to Tiger is there anyone who can stop Phil Ya there are a few actually Ernie Els is at the top of the Fed Ex Cup standings with 2 wins coming earlier this year but his play of late has slipped Jim Furyk also has 2 wins this year 4 top 10 s and like Els has won a U S Open Lee Westwood squandered a chance for the Masters with a poor final round but finally came through with his first PGA Tour victory at the St Jude Classic last week All three of these guys have a shot along with Tiger to give Phil a run for his money this week But in my mind this tournament is Phil s to lose Too many times I have seen Phil Mickelson have a share of the lead at a U S Open late in the final round only to squander it In 2004 I sat in the grandstands at the 18th green at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday waiting for Phil to come and take the trophy only to see him 3-putt the par 3 17th In 2006 I watched Phil pull a driver out of his bag on the 72nd hole and spray his drive off the merchandise tent which would lead to a double bogey and another squandered title When I thought it could not get any worse I walked through the rain last year at Bethpage Black to see Phil make bogeys on 15 and 17 to yet again give away the U S Open Phil I can t take any more of these If this is the year Phil Mickelson finally exercises his demons and takes home a U S Open he is going to have to stick to doing things simple But Phil is far from simple hes been bombing drives farther than anybody I have ever seen and launching iron shots farther than I think they were designed to go But at a U S Open everybody knows the rough is think and the greens are slick Phil has to slow things down think fairways and greens and pick his pins he wants to attack You can not go for birdie on every hole at a U S Open the course will eat you alive But this course suits Phil well He has won here 3 times at the Pro Am finishing -14 -19 and -20 each time Phil knows how to make birdies but he has to avoid those bogeys and others to win Phil has been chasing Tiger to take over the top of the world golf rankings for several weeks but so far he has failed to do so Tiger and longtime swing coach Hank Haney have parted ways after several years Tiger has not hired a new coach and has been using video to alter his swing He better be watching a lot of video Since he has returned he has finished in the top 10 only once He is spraying drives all over the place and has an inconsistent iron game But 10 years ago all of us witnessed the four most unbelievable rounds in United States Open History shot by Tiger who is more than capable of just half of that which in my mind is more than enough to take home the championship Should be one memorable week none the less Comments
NCAA Lowers The Hammer On USC Other College Football News
Published: 2010-6-10
The NCAA has ruled that USC will receive a two year ban from the postseason a loss of scholarships and will forfeit some wins according to an ESPN report that you can read here A formal announcement from the NCAA will take place at 3 00 P M today This is a big blow to the USC football program This will effect recruiting not only next year but the year after as USC will not be eligible to play in a bowl game until 2012 This also effects current players who have the ability to transfer although they must sit out a year if they choose to do so Lane Kiffin has his work cut out for him in the upcoming years as he has his hands tied as he enters his first season as head coach of the USC football team The people with smiles on their faces today are the people of Knoxville whom Kiffin ditched after coaching for only one year to coach at USC In other college football news Nebraska has accepted an offer to join the Big 10 Other teams are also expected to join the Big 10 some time in the near future The Pac 10 also added the University of Colorado to join its conference According to Pac 10 officials it is only a matter of when more teams will join the conference A major change in the landscape of college football is taking place It has been speculated that the Big 12 will dissolve if they lose more teams We will wait and see if that happens But what is taking place is something I do not think benefits the game of college football The better teams will only get better and there will be more of a gap between the bad teams and the good ones Expansion does not increase competition and no one wants to see bad football Expansion also does not benefit the average football fan These programs are all in it for the revenue They want more revenue to put more money into their schools to buy more things for their programs in order to recruit better players which only passes the burden on to the fans Fans should expect ticket prices to continue to increase significantly while more benefits will be given to boosters who contribute more to the pot That is just how it works Just like PSL s are ruining the average Joe NFL fan expansion in college football will be a detriment to the average Joe college football fan What college football may get out of this is the possibility of a playoff system for the postseason I have never been a fan of the computer system currently in place for the BCS even though it has benefited the teams I root for We have to wait until everything settles before we can talk about what type of system we can get Comments on USC and college football Conference expansion
The Year Of The Rookie In MLB
Published: 2010-6-09
With the phenomenal debut of Stephen Strasburg tonight in Washington it seems appropriate to point out all of the rookie talent making major contributions to their ball clubs so far this year Jason Heyward is the rookie sensation in Atlanta Atlanta currently leads the close NL East thanks in large part to their pitching But Heyward has kept the offense going providing multiple walk offs this season to propel the Braves into first place Heyward is on pace to hit 30 HR s and over 100 RBI s Heyward has cooled off of late but if he can keep the pace he is on he can keep the Braves in the race down the stretch Stephen Stasburg made his major league debut tonight in front of the first of many more sellouts at National Park in the nations capital Strasburg was everything he was made out to be and more In 6 innings he gave up 4 hits 3 runs and struck out 14 with 0 walks to earn his first win in the bigs He had unbelievable command of all 4 of his pitches and even hit triple digits on the radar gun several times The Nationals have not had this much excitement around their team since the relocation The Nats are only 5 5 games behind first place in the tight NL East If they can keep pace and Strasburg keeps pitching like this its going to be a wild couple of months for the D C area Austin Jackson was part of a trade this offseason to bring Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees and he is tearing the cover off the ball so far in Detriot Jackson has a 325 average and is on pace to steal over 25 bases He is also getting the job done in center field thanks to his range He is not a power hitter and his job as a lead off man will be to get on base His on base percentage could be higher but experience will lead to more patience at the plate Jackson will be the Tigers center fielder for a long time Ike Davis was called up by the New York Mets in late April to provide some support for the Mets offense The rookie has made some significant contributions so far including 2 home runs tonight the second a walk off in the 11th inning against the Padres Ike came out of the gate very strong and even though he has cooled off of late his on base percentage has stayed strong In the Mets lineup especially when Carlos Beltran comes back getting on base more and more will be all the Mets can hope for Jason Bay David Wright and Beltran have to be the major contributors to the offense if the Mets look to contend this year in the NL East But so far Ike has done everything the Mets have asked of him and has played great defense at 1st base Comments
The Perfect Game That Wasn t What It Means For Major League Baseball
Published: 2010-6-03
Yesterday an unfortunate circumstance took place as Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was denied a perfect game after umpire Jim Joyce blew a call on what would have been the 27th out of a perfect game What should be acknowledged first is the conduct of both Joyce and Galarraga during and after this highly disputed incident Jim Joyce stood his ground on the field and made a call he believed in his mind was true and stood there and took abuse from several Tigers including the manager as he walked off the field after the next out Joyce after viewing the replay after the game admitted his mistake said he blew it and apologized to all parties involved including a personal apology to Galarraga He handled the situation better than anybody could have ever imagined Other pitchers would scream and yell and kick dirt after being denied a perfect game after a call like that but not Galarraga He did not utter one word to Joyce after the call was made He calmly walked back to the mound and finished his job and got the next hitter out He didn t walk around the mound pout yell or look over He conducted himself better than anyone could have imaged Now the debate begins As MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has stated today the call will not be overturned and a perfect game will not be rewarded to Galarraga as it should be If you overturn a call from the past you open it up to review every other questionable call that has ever been made However the commissioner did say he will examine the current system that is in place Human error has been and always will be apart of baseball Bad calls are made in almost every game played What MLB should be and is committed to is limiting those calls as much as possible In order to do that some sort of instant replay should be implemented That is what instant replay is for it is to right a wrong caused by a inadvertent human mistake Jim Joyce did not blow this call on purpose Nobody makes bad calls on purpose Instant replay is there to right a wrong it is not there to be a detriment to the game or to take the human element out of the game The other question is if we have instant replay what do we limit it to and how do we conduct it Do we replay balls strikes and checked swings No Do we replay home runs fair foul and base plays We should Home run replay was implemented last year after the All-Star break The umpires huddle together and decide whether or not to look at a replay Whether or not they review a play or not is solely the umpires discretion The current replay system should be expanded to include fair foul plays and plays on the bases Umpires will continue to make the calls and if there is a questionable call and a manager comes out to argue it will solely be the umpires discretion as to whether or not to use instant replay to review the play If the umpire feels there is no need go to replay there will be no replay No matter how much the manager or coach or player kicks and screams about a play the decision on whether or not to use instant replay will be at the discretion of the umpire Will this slow down the game No it will not Managers will continue to argue questionable calls and umpires will continue to give them their explanations If an umpire is not sure the argument will be much shorter the umpires will review the play and the right call will be made This is the only way we can get the game to be as correct as possible All any fan team or player can ever want is for the umpires to get the calls right and this is the best way to get it right Comments