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The End Zone Pro Football Blog

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9/18/2011 So the season is under way and things are showing us that for some, the first week was a fluke or just a bump in the road....example; the Ravens, whom most people had going undefeated after last week, got beat by the Titans without Chris Johnson rushing for a hundred yards, so much for the dream....Detroit is for real, as they dismantled the Chiefs.....speaking of which, it looks like their loss last week was for real....Haley could and should be gone, because we now know that the offense did so well because of Weis (who left after some disagreements with Haley and is sunning himself in Florida right now)....they look BAD! The Bills are for real....I like Fitzpatrick, he's a gamer...he know owns the AFC West......still don't like Chan Gailey, but it's working. The Steelers came back around...still look old though...the Vikes will probably occupy the cellar this a side note; how good is Andy Reid to make McNabb look better than competent all those years, just think if he would've had Brady or Manning for all of those playoff years, could've been Titletown. I think the Niners look good, Harbaugh has them playing above their heads....and with a little luck they would be 2-0 right now. The best teams right now are Pats, Jets, Packers and Saints....better than average Skins, Bills, Philly, Atlanta....and the worst are Chiefs, Colts, Vikings and Seahawks......the Fins and Panthers are 0-2, but they are in every game they play....


9/12/2011 Wow, what a ride....a fantastic first weekend of the season! The Pats, Packers and Ravens looked scary.....the Raiders D looked good, the Lions are lacking a great rb, but still look strong. Cam Newton was better (actually A LOT better) than I thought he would be....will it last though? How about those Bills? During the draft all of the major authorities stated that the Bills needed a qb, I said they were crazy, they had a very good qb.....they need linemen to keep him upright is all......well if Sunday was any indication, guess who was right again? Some unexpected things good the Skins looked, how badly the Chiefs played.....I thought the Rams would be better (they did have a lot of injuries) and finally the Bucs.....I think teams are ready for them this year. The Falcons looked in disarray, with the Bears basically dictating the whole tempo of the game....speaking about a defense dictating the bout those Ravens??? The first Steel City team in a long time that looked it just me or do you think Polamalu has lost more than 1 step, but he did get a big contract, maybe its the weight of all that money. I think the Vikings are second guessing picking up McNabb and letting their tackle Mckinnie go, the same Mckinnie from the Ravens who manhandled Harrison all day long.....if not they should be.....and finally who in the world would have thought Cincinnati would win a game in their division this year....but, yet they did....till tomorrow!


9/9/11 Well last night was a great kick off to the season....probably the best in years. You had two of the NFL's best gunslingers hurling the ball down the field and the final score reflected it, 42 - 34, with the Pack coming out on top and leaving the Saints on the goal line when time ran out. It showed how powerful both offenses are and how both defenses need some adjustments.......the defenses both looked out of sync in the secondaries, usually strong areas for both teams. Randall Cobb....say it again, Randall Cobb......never heard of him you say (neither had all my friends when I drafted him in my fantasy league), he is a product out of Kentucky U......played receiver, returner and even a little quarterback.....speed to burn, as evidenced in that 108 yard kickoff return (how many could he have had if the new rule wasn't in place??)....definitely a star for tomorrow.....another rookie, the Saints Mark Ingram finished with a measly 3.1 yards per carry...outshone by their free agent pick up Darren Sproles, who shined with a touchdown on a punt return and caught 7 passes and made people say "Reggie who?"


9/7/2011 Tomorrow night is the official kickoff to the season and it couldn't be better....Saints (the 09 Super Bowl Champs) vs. the Pack (last years Champs)....Brees vs. Rodgers....Gregg Williams vs. Don Capers.....the Bill Walsh family tree vs. the Bill Parcell's family tree....tons of story lines.....The Packers look good....same team that won the trophy last year but, they now have Findley and Grant back (they won with something like 6 starters on IR).....the Saints are a different story, Reggie Bush is gone....Darren Sproles is in (I like Sproles better, this was an upgrade) the offensive line and defense were reshuffled and they added Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram to the backfield. This should be a great game.....I like the Packers by 10. Speaking of Drew Brees....Dan Pastorini (I know, Dan who??) criticized Brees and had some unkind words for some of the players involved in the new CBA, apparently Brees made a comment along the lines about the bad decisions previous players have made (bad business deals, divorces, bankruptcy) and since they applied to Pastorini, he took offense and then griped about only getting an extra $1000 dollars a month from the new contract. First off, Mr. Pastorini, I'll gladly (along with a few other MILLION Americans) take the extra $1000 a month.....secondly, yes you played for 12 years, but you were a 50% passer at best...threw 103 tds vs. 161're complaining??? Where I work, you'd have been fired with numbers like that. I think Brees is right in his statement....did the players back in the day make less....yes....things were different then. My dad was an auto body repair guy, back when they banged out fenders and fixed the parts instead of just replacing them, my dad's lungs were effected by the lead paint, his back is worn out from constantly bending over swinging a hammer.......nowadays, parts are made in China, nothings repaired it's almost always replaced....they have special paint rooms and if you do it right, the owners are pulling six figures. For all that Mr. Pastorini my father gets zero, nada, nothing!! He worked hard and is proud of what he did, as am I proud of being a part of a great fraternity and happy for what compensation you are getting.


9/2/2011 It's September and the smell of football is in the air. You can go by any local high school and hear the whistles of the coaches, the chants of the players and the smacking of's a great day....sorry, I digress. I know you can't wait for the beginning of the season anymore than I can......but to tide you over till next weeks games, here of some of my team surprises and disappointments. My surprises are the St. Louis Rams....everyone thinks they'll be better, but most think it's because of Bradford....I think they'll be much improved because of their defense....this will be Chris Long's year....look out dad! Detroit is my next surprise team....I know, not really a surprise, but I don't think they'll just be better.....I think they will contend for their division title, Stafford looks great and that defense....awe"suh"ome. My last pleasant surprise is the Browns...Colt McCoy is the real deal and I am a big fan of Shurmur, he will have his team ready to roll....too bad they are in the same division as the Ravens and Steelers. My disappointments are first......the Eagles, I know....I know....I am crazy, but with the team they have put together, anything other than a Super Bowl win will be a disappointment and I don't think they'll do it. The Chiefs will disappoint because after last year, you would think that they would be close to a Super Bowl caliber team.....I think you'll get basically what you got last year. My final disappointment will be the Tampa Bay Bucs....just don't see it....I think last year they played over their heads and teams weren't prepared for them.....this year will be a letdown, because they will sneak up on no one.....


8/30/2011 Today is a cut down day in the NFL, I doubt if any really big names will be thrown out there to get down to the 80 man roster. No folks, they will be saved till the final cut....because they're not sure? No it's because it's a business and they figure that the later they drop them, it will lower their chances to actually get picked up to be used against them later on.....they believe it would be too late to learn a new playbook and that teams would have to cut someone they liked enough to keep in their final all the big names get cut at the last minute. The GMs in the NFL don't want to look dumb, like they just cut the next Brandon Lloyd or maybe a Takeo Spikes that has no gas left for the third time....never happens right. It's funny, but you wonder what the ratio is for every superstar draft pick they whiff on, how many free agent superstars are there that aren't drafted....Arian Foster anyone? Another thing that is floating around the football world is why is it the only sport that you have to go to college in order to play professionally in the NFL. I mean you don't have to, but what are your chances....nil, unless you're Eric have to be out of high school for three years and if you don't attend college, how are you staying relevant for those three think a scout will stumble across you while you cut your's a great conversation on how it's not fair, but it is one rule I am afraid that is here to stay......ask Maurice Clarett :)


8/26/2011 I had my fantasy draft last night....another great season is underway....everyone thinks they have the dream team of the draft....I never do....I probably do more transactions than anyone on earth....I always wonder...hhhmmmm...will Barber take carries away from Forte....will Julio Jones take half of Roddy White's catches....will Gore or Johnson get new deals, heck will they even play this year? Then you have the injuries....MJD, McFadden and Torain or how about Best.....will Stafford stay upright this year......will new coordinators in Philly and Houston make a difference. Will Welker come back to be the receiver of old, will Foster have a sophomore slump, will Kolb connect with Fitzgerald? Oh, what have I done....did I draft Grant, but should I have drafted Starks???? I gotta go, the waiver wire is calling!!!


8/24/2011 Larry Johnson......Miami.....really??? I am sorry, but someone (Jeff Ireland) needs his head examined, I would bring in Tiki Barber before Johnson. At least when Barber last touched a football field, he was a pretty good running back.....Johnson (again, my opinion) never was...I know he had a few good years in KC.....but he had a great offensive line and even with that he was a malcontent. I am not a Parcell's fan, but at the very least you thought the man had a plan.....Ireland just makes no sense, I believe the whole team is just in disarray with no future. The NFL cutdown is looming....teams have to be down to 80 by August 30th and decrease to 53 by September 3rd.....I think that there could be alot of surprises in the final cut this year. There definitely is a youth movement a float here......most of the starting qbs in the league have only been in the NFL for a couple of years....Brady, Brees and Manning are elder statesman at this point, it really shows you how much speed is in the game nowadays (if you don't get the correlation with speed and age, try outrunning a twenty year old) if you are a rb, you are done at 28....sad really to know your best days are behind you before you hit 30...


8/22/2011 So Terrelle Pryor got drafted by the Oakland Raiders....whoa there's a surprise, didn't Al learn with the JaMarcus screw up that raw physical talent never makes up for accuracy or brains....guess not. Speaking of qbs, Peyton Manning still has not appeared on the field and we are told he might miss a few games into the season. So do the Colts put their future in Painter's hands (you break out in uncontrollable laughter here), well most teams then shift their offense onto the backs of their stud running back....Addai, Brown???? neither of these guys will ever be confused with rbs that can carry their team. How does this happen you say? I ask the same question, every year the Colts manage to get more passing targets for Mr. Manning....Wayne, Collie and Garcon....but no stud rb and no one to be the next qb of the franchise. This is irresponsible, you can say what you want about Billie B., but he always has the "next" Brady ready to go whether it was Cassel or now Hoyer. New England also is constantly trying to bring in players to see if they have a little bit of juice left, they understand as Bill Walsh did, that it's not only today you build's tomorrow also. That's how dynasties are built, not by having winning seasons strictly on the back of your need to prepare...Montana out, Young in......Bledsoe out, Brady in.....Favre out, Rodgers in.....Manning out.........not good. Rumor even has it that the Colts have toyed around with the idea of bringing Favre in for a couple of weeks.....dude, just take your lumps that you deserve for your poor planning. I mean Painter could be the next.............


8/18/2011 Let's talk about another of my favorite divisions, the NFC South...this year this may be the toughest division in the league...I know the Falcons look tough, but I like the Saints to win this division. I like the moves they made, dumping Reggie Bush, who should have never been drafted in the first round, oh and by the way, I told you so!! I like the pick up of Sproles (better than Bush at everything), drafting Ingram and maintaining the core of the team. "Side note" do you realize that the Dumbphins could right now have Brees at qb throwing to Welker and Brandon Marshall...what a screwed up organization. I have the Falcons at number two, with only a game separating the two.....I believe Julio Jones will be a beast and that Ryan is only getting better. Number three will be the Bucs, one of the youngest team in the NFL, they will be good for a long time...if they were in the West, they could win that division. Finally, the toothless Panthers.....come on drafting Cam Newton....even my 14 year old knows he is not a good NFL qb....the whole team is a rebuild project. Our final division, the NFC West.....the Delmar Wildcats....oh, that's right they're a high school team....come on people.....the division was won with a losing record last year, so sad. I think Sam Bradford is the real deal and since no one else has a qb.....THEY WIN!!!! Okay, I went a little overboard, but I like them to be a top of the division at the end of the year, I'll take the Cards second....not because I believe in them....I just think the Niners and Hawks are far, far away....obviously they are third and fourth (I am a Harbaugh fan)

8/17/2011 So now it's the NFC's turn...first the NFC East, who knows....most are picking the Philadelphia Yankees, I mean Eagles....with the addition of Jenkins, Babin, Brown, Asomugha, Smith etc... On paper they look like you should just give them the trophy, but the Skins have tried this approach many times with no luck....still looking at the competition, I think they are the best in their division. I'll give number two to the Giants...but it's a weak two, bring in the Skins at third (yes I like them better than the Boys) and at the back of the pack are them Cowboys....still think Garrett is not who they need at the helm. Now for the NFC North....going to be a little bit of a homer here and pick the Packers, don't like the fact that they let Jenkins go, but I have faith they have a reason and on offense I believe with Grant and Finley back they are better than they were in the Super Bowl. Second place goes to.....THE LIONS, yes I said it, Detroit Rock City, the home of Marshall Mathers...this all depends on Stafford staying upright...but yes they are better than the Vikes and Bears, have you seen that defensive front line....scary. Now for the afore mentioned Bears...I'll place them third...I think Cutler is a malcontent, Forte wants a new contract, Olsen is gone, the defense is aging and the offensive line is suspect. Which brings me to the Vikings, who should bring up the rear...they let Rice of the Williams twins is gone and they brought McNabb in to save them.....need I say anymore.


8/16/2011 Today let's discuss the AFC South and West.....first the South....this looks like it could be the Texan's year...I know people have been saying that for the last 3 years, but this year I REALLY believe the Colts are weaker and the Texan's made a huge splash in the off season with the signing of (drum roll please!) Wade Phillips....that's right, that Wade Phillips, Bum's boy....while as a head coach he sucks to put it politely, as a defensive coordinator he is fantastic....that defense goes from horrific to top 10 immediately, do I believe personal fantasy defense this year is the Texans. I'll take the Colts next and then (insert big yawn here) the Jags and then bringing up the tailend the Titans...the possibility is there that they don't win a game, if I'm CJ I don't want a new "highest paid" contract, I want OUT! Now the AFC West...who knows....I am going with the Raiders atop the West....Hue Jackson will have the offense keeping up with the defense this year, good things finally. KC is good, I believe it will be tight race with the Raiders, but I am not sold on Haley as a coach. San Diego, no running game, dinged up Gates and Turner as a head coach....enough said. Denver is going to spend all year trying to figure out who is going to be qb....Orton, Tebow or Quinn....none send shivers down a defense's spine, so that's my call on the AFC divisions.


8/15/2011  It was another weekend tease to the 2011 football get to see a lot of players that you may never see again, plus teams winning against teams that during the season don't have a snowball's chance in Texas (Fins winning against Falcs, Skins over Steel City)...although stranger things have happened. Lets take a peek at the AFC East and North....First, the AFC East..... I think the 2010 finish will be the same this year....Pats got better, the Jets made a lot of moves to stay the same, Fins still need a qb (although I give them points for parting ways with Henning, a lot of people liked him, I was never a fan) and the Bills, I picked them for last just because Chan Gailey is their coach....I do think Ryan Fitzpatrick is a good qb though. Now for the AFC North....I believe the Ravens win the division this year, not from getting better, but from Steel City dropping a peg....they cut Max Starks, which I think is huge.....I believe Cleveland is the most improved and McCoy looks like the real deal here, but they are in a tough division so they'll still end up third and of course the lovely toothless Bengals (or Marvin Lewis's swan song)...what a mess....1 and 15 is not out of the question...


8/12/2011  Well, football is back! The smell of grass, the cheering of the fans, the occasional Favre sighting and the boring preseason games.  The Eagles and Patriots are loaded, while the Packers didn't show up at all in free agency, unless you count losing players. The thing is, this season is going to be wild...lots of changes, with coaches, players, no mini camps, and some rule changes. One of the rules that will be discussed a lot, is the new kick-off at the 35..I don't like it at makes returns almost a thing of the past, so players like Hester, Cribbs and Sproles lose some of their value....I know it was done with safety in mind, but it is one of the most exciting parts of the game and for someone that possesses a good return man, it is a crucial part of the offense. I wonder how long before it makes it back to the 30 yard line. Speaking of preseason, aren't you always amused when you talk to people who watch these games and they try to show off their football knowledge discussing the great game a late round wide receiver had and that he will be a great fantasy player.....only problem....the guy will be bagging groceries in October. That's the way the NFL works....these are just on the job interviews for special teams or to see if they wasted a draft pick. Last preseason the stat leaders QB Charlie Whitehurst, at RB Anthony Dixon, at WR Victor Cruz and the sack leader was Victor Butler. Yes folks, All Pros in the making, yeah right.....the fact is that the teams do so much behind the scenes scouting and coaching that there seldom are surprises. While we are amazed when a Edelman or Woodhead looks fantastic (and you've never heard of them), trust me, no one on the Patriots was surprised. So as far as I'm concerned bring on the REAL start of the season I'm ready! 

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