30 Dec 10 The Cinderella Season Don't End on Andrew Bogut's Injury

Andrew Bogut had a magnificent season this year. His average went up in points and doubled his block shots in fact he was on the top 5 shot blockers of this season second to Dwight Howard. But most of all the Milwaukee Bucks will be heading to its first playoff appearance since 2006 when they lost to Reebok Indianapolis Colts 18 Peyton Manning Realtree camo Jersey
Detroit in the first round. Andrew is playing with a mission after falling short of expectations time and time again after being the first overall draft pick in 2005 but nagging injuries kept his development with his fellow draftees Deron Williams (3), Chris Paul (4), Danny Granger (17) and David Lee (30) all went to be All stars and franchise players on their respective teams. Last Saturday victory against the Phoenix Suns was a bitter sweet moment for the resurgent Bucks when Andrew Bogut once again got injured during a fast break attempt and suffered a broken hand, a dislocated elbow and a sprained wrist. It was such a bad fall that you can see Bogut dislocating arm went out. The physical pain was somewhat bearable but the emotional roller coaster Andrew will have to go on through is really very disappointing. The Bucks went this far partly because of him and for the last 5 years in the league this was a magical season for Andrew having to play without a chip on his shoulders as expectations slowly died and for the first time in his career he was playing for himself. The moment Andrew went down all of those aspirations go down with him. It wasn about Amare slight push it was all about those people who believe in him and felt he was letting them Reebok Minnesota Vikings 28 Adrian Peterson Realtree camo Jersey
down. The Bucks will still be playing in the playoffs and we all hope they will go far than what they are expected. The Cinderella season don end on Bogut injury. Andrew won let them, he came this far in helping this team reach to the playoffs now it up to them to live up to the end of the bargain.


29 Dec 10 Boston Celtics' New Second Team Will Get Them Far in the Playoffs

Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesDespite the fact that the Boston Celtics have been playing awful basketball as of late, C's fans shouldn't worry. "The Big Three" will be rested and ready to go and Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins are playing solid basketball. The main reason, however, why I feel the Celtics are going to get far in the postseason is because of their new second team. With Nate Robinson now out as the backup point guard, the Celts found a better fit in the form of Tony Allen. The Celtics now top second line (with Ray Allen) is:PG TonyCleveland Browns jersey
AllenSG Ray AllenSF Michael FinleyPF Glen DavisC Rasheed WallaceBoston also has Marquis Daniels, Sheldon Williams, and Nate Robinson as capable backups. Boston will face the Miami Heat in the first round and then most likely the Cleveland Cavaliers if they win. The Celtics have a shot because of five reasons, one for each player.Tony AllenT.A. is a lock-down defensive player and without a doubt the Celtics' best defender. Allen also adds a great offensive ability to take the ball to the basket and score.Ray AllenWith Sugar Ray in this lineup he allows them to spread the floor and occasionally attack the basket. Ray will provide his 18+.Michael FinleyMichael Finley can play some D, score, and adds great experience. Watch out for Finley; if you haven't been watching any Celtic games, you might just be surprised.Glen DavisBig Baby is finally getting his shot back, he is also a hustler. Big Baby is the only player in the NBA to have more offensive than defensive rebound and does all the little things, charges, offensive Dallas Cowboys jersey
rebounds, etc.Rasheed WallaceDoc Rivers has finally gotten 'Sheed to start going in the post, and it's worked. Rasheed is scoring a lot more and if he can watch his temper will really help out the C's.Just because Boston has been playing poorly lately let's not forget how well they started off. Watch out for this team to make a championship push. They already have one of the best starting lineups and they have a bench that can be explosive


28 Dec 10 Mike Woodson After Hawks-Magic Game One: I Wish I Knew What Happened

Doug Benc/Getty ImagesI wish I knew what happened.Those are the exact words used by the Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Woodson after his team's 114-71 drubbing at the hands of the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.Well, Coach Woodson, if you have not been told already, I will tell you what happened.You and your team let the Andrew Bogut-less Milwaukee Bucks take you all they way to a seven-game series, setting yourselves up for exactly what you gota beat down.And not just a beat down, but a performance that seemed Cleveland Browns jersey
like they were auditioning for a spot on Orlando next highlight video.The Hawks only scored a total of 21 points over the second and third quarters. The Magic held the Hawks to just 10 in the second, meanwhile notching 17 unanswered points while on the way to outscoring Atlanta 28-10 in the quarter for a 20-point halftime lead.Dwight Howard played the game first 21 minutes, putting up monster numbers. He had 14 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks. Meanwhile, Woodson took Al Horford out of the game early in the first quarter after he committed a foul. Jason Collins came in for Horford and picked up two fouls in less than 30 seconds.Somehow, the Hawks were only down 25-23 after the first period, even with Josh Smith joining Horford on the bench toward the end of the first. Atlanta may have been trailing by just two points after the first 12 minutes, but the Hawks did not look to have much rhythm to their game. They were just 48 hours removed from their Game Seven win and going up against a team that had an eight-dayDallas Cowboys jersey
rest.The Hawks shot just 34 percent from the field and went 2-of-13 from the three-point line and 13-of-18 from the foul line. They also had more turnovers (15) than assists (12) and got called for 24 fouls. Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson combined to shoot 5-of-22 from the field, and Horford was just 1-of-7. Smith led the Hawks with 14 points.While the Hawks showed some expected fatigue after their series with the Bucks, Orlando didn have any rust while waiting after the series sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats. The Magic shot 52 percent from the floor, 39 percent from the three-point line, and 17-of-24 from the foul line. They did commit 13 turnovers but had 23 assists. Orlando also dominated in the paint, outscoring Atlanta there by a 56-34 margin.At the end of the third quarter, Denver Broncos jersey
Orlando already had a 41-point advantage, leading 85-44. Atlanta had just 44 points after the game first 36 minutes. The rest for the Magic continued with no Orlando player playing more than 29 minutes in the game. Marvin Williams played a game-high 35 minutes, and Joe Johnson 30 minutes played was the most for the Hawks starters.The next game in this Eastern Conference semifinal is Thursday.


27 Dec 10 Mikhail Prokorov: The Most Fascinating Man In All Of Sports

Mike Stobe/Getty ImagesFor the second time in a week, I got stuck in a semi-conundrum last night. There was no basketball on TV, which in my eyes, basically meant there was nothing on TV period. As much as I like baseball, I dunno, there's something about the monotony of it that drives me crazy. Kind of like one of those "Lions attacking antelopes," documentaries on the Discovery Channel, watching baseball sounds like a good idea in principle, until you turn it on. Then four minutes pass, Daisuke Matsuzaka has thrown a grand total of Reebok Minnesota Vikings #84 Randy Moss Realtree camo Jersey
two pitches, and you start thinking to yourself, "What the hell am I doing with my life."Like any early summer night, I tried everything to squash my boredom. Played around on my computer. Went for a run. Cleaned. Even called my favorite escort service, but unfortunately no one picked up (I'm kidding of course). And after all that, it was still only 8:30. Damn.As I sat down to grab a bite to eat, I finally relented and flipped on the YES Network- a New York City TV sports station- hoping to catch the Yankees-Rays game. Nope, no luck. Instead, the simulcast of Mike Francesa's radio show was on replay. Oh well.And then...Wait a second...Francesa was talking to Mikhail Prokhorov, the new owner of the New Jersey Nets. (This is just PART of Aaron's profile on Mikhail Prokhorov of the New Jersey Nets. To read the remainder, please visit Aaron at www.aarontorres-sports.com)Within seconds I was fascinated. I was captivated. My house could have literally been invaded by Somali pirates and I wouldn't have flinched.While Prokhorov didn't say anything Earth shattering while talking with Francesa, he did do one thing I've never seen or heard on the show before: He absolutely took control of the interview.For those of you who don't know Francesa's shtick here's a quick run down: Basically, he's a pain in the ass New Yorker. He cuts off his callers when he can't be bothered, raises his voice like your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving, and basically has major anger management issues. Even Dr. Phil would have Reebok Pittsburg Steelers #83 Heath Miller Realtree camo Jersey
given up on him a long time ago. However, he's also incredibly intelligent, and literally the smartest man in the room too. Francesa can get away with being an a-hole every once in awhile, because he's right so much of the time. Meanwhile, even though he lost his co-host Chris (Mad Dog) Russo a few years ago, Francesa still owns the New York radio market, and is one of the defining sports personalities in the region.Which is what made Prokhorov's appearance on the show so incredible: He had the fast-talking, too smart for his own good Francesa flumoxed. Like a college freshman at his first keg party being asked by the girl to go upstairs, Francesa had no idea how to handle the situation. It was like you could see him thinking to himself, "I want to ask this question, but I'm afraid of what the answer might be." That's the allure of the Big Russian.(If you enjoy this article, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres)When it comes to Prokhorov, we all thought we were in for a treat when his name first surfaced as a potential owner of the Nets last fall. He was big and mysterious, and even though he'd made his money in the nickel trade, everyone assumed there was more to the story. Like broken contracts, and people disappearing and ending up in ditches. Arizona Cardinals jersey
Even if it none of it was true, it seemed like it could be, making him a real life International Man of Mystery.Later on when we saw his interview on 60 Minutes in March, that's when we knew we were in for a wild ride.......


26 Dec 10 Six Factors to a Celtics Championship

Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesNow the puzzle is officially complete and we will see a match-up that features the Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals. It safe to say this is an unpredictable match-up and basically can go in either direction. Boston key to winning this series is based off Reebok Minnesota Vikings #69 Jared Allen Realtree camo Jersey
ofsix factors.1. Winning on the road If the Celtics want to win this series they can let the Lakers sweep all the games played at the Staples Center. The series against the Magic was a lot easier once they had a 2-0 lead going back to Boston and if they can silence those Staples Center fans then Boston will be a hard place for the Lakers to win.2. Defense The major defense is really preventing Kobe from being the dominant player that he is. Yesterday Suns game had some tight defense from Grant Hill but that wasn enough as Kobe continued to dominate. But Boston is a better defensive team than the Suns so don expect Kobe to dominate in the same way.3. Winning off the benchBoston bench is going to need to continue to play very well as they have throughout the entire playoffs. The Suns had a deep bench and it to gave the Lakers a lot of trouble. They need someone to step up also from the bench. There is no telling if Ron Artest would totally be able to stop a player like Paul Pierce, but having that deep bench will force the Reebok New England Patriots #12 Tom Brady Realtree camo Jersey
Lakers to also look deep. So far, players like Glen Davis and Rasheed Wallace have been able to step up and make a big difference.4. Getting ReboundsLamar Odom has been a tank with rebounds in the playoffs. Yet, for the Celtics to win this series they must out rebound the Lakers. There were many instances in yesterday game against the Suns when the Lakers were able to keep their possessions alive after they missed a shot because they were able to get a rebound.5. Kevin Garnett Kevin Garnett will bethe difference maker in this game. They are a completely different team when he plays. That is why last year they weren able to advance to the Finals because he wasn healthy. Now, they need him to get back to how he played in the beginning of the series and also play some great Reebok New Orleans Saints #9 Drew Brees Realtree camo Jersey
defense.6. No MistakesThis one is pretty self explanatory. Celtics can make mistakes. Every possession will be too costly for their team. They want to avoid any chance of a stupid pass that will set up an easy play for Kobe. They need to make sure they stick to the fundamentals that have brought them this far and they can win the series.


25 Dec 10 What's Wrong With Kobe Bryant Fans?

Noel Vasquez/Getty ImagesHave you ever tried to have a conversation with a Kobe Bryant fan?No matter how many times you acknowledge thatBryant is a great player, if you dare suggest that he hassignificant flaws, that he is not the best player in the league, or that maybe... just maybe... his success has beenbolstered by great teammates and (but for a year or two after his arrest) a friendly press...YOU'RE A HATER!!!!!!!Why are Kobe fans so black and white on the subject?In fact...why do they even care what fans of other teams think or say?You Reebok Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald Realtree camo Jersey
would think they would be happywith their good fortune. After all, if you've been a Laker fan during Kobe's tenure, you've had the privilege of watching your team win five titles.But, instead of being happy and secure, Kobe fans are (with the possible exception ofTiger Woods apologists) the most defensive and belligerent sports fans around.What could be thecause of this behavior?Here are some possibilities:1.A large percentage of Kobe fans are too young to have seen other greats such as Michael, Magic, and Bird play (apart from highlights). In their eyes, there has "never been a player like Kobe," because their point ofreferenceis the last 10 years. That's understandable but, just as I won't assert that Hakeem Olajuwon (who I did see play) is better than Wilt Chamberlain (who I never saw play), perhaps these fans should be more aware of the limits to their viewpoints.Why are Kobe Bryant fans so defensive?Why are Kobe Bryant fans so defensive?They're too young to know the game's history.11.0%They feel the Reebok Baltimore Ravens #5 Joe Flacco Realtree camo Jersey
need to be part of history.7.1%They recognize, but don't like to acknowledge, Kobe's flaws.20.7%Blatant homerism.5.6%Anyone who asks this question is automatically a Kobe hater.55.5%Total votes: 4632. Fans, as a general rule,want to believe that they are witnessing something unprecedented and "for the ages." That desire can cause fanswear rose colored glasses for their favorites 24/7. The truth, however, is that others have had skills that were similar an, in some cases,3. Perhaps some Kobe fans,deep down, recognizehisflaws.They know that he sometimes shoots too much, has a lower FG percentage than other great SGs, and can be aloof and offputting to some.Recognizing these flaws, however, does not equate to accepting that non-Laker fans can cite to them. Maybe its kind of like the way Reebok Baltimore Ravens #27 Ray Rice Realtree camo Jersey
you can make fun of your family member, but you won't let others do the same. Maybe it's just immaturity.4. Blatant homerism. No more, no less.Whatever it is, let me speak for many non-Kobe fans when I say, I don't hate Kobe Bryant. I respect his game, and recognize that he is among the greats. That said, I don't care for his personality, and I dothink that, as great as he is, he gets more hypethan is deserved.In the eyes of most Kobe fans, that makes me a "hater."So be it.


24 Dec 10 New York Knicks 2010: Everyone Around Amare Stoudemire Key to Playoff Chances

Mike Stobe/Getty ImagesAlthough Amare Stoudemire will be the most famous Knick and probably have the best stats in 2010, the success of the team will come down to contributions from everybody else.I think he could average something like 25-28 points this year, probably with 8-10 rebounds per game. But how his incredible scoring prowess helps him teammates could lead the Knicks to their long awaited playoff return.Stoudemire should have defenders collapsing the paint and opening up the Knicks sharpshooters for lots ofSan Diego Chargers jersey
opportunities. Most importantly, Danilo Gallinari must show a consistent stroke early in the season to give the Knicks some kind of balanced inside and outside game.If Gallo can do this, it will also open himself up to more opportunities to score off the dribble.The Knicks are with more than one threat from beyond the arc as they acquired sharpshooters Roger Mason and Kelenna Azubuike in the offseason to compete for the shooting guard spot and take the three point opportunities opened up by Stoudemire.In addition incumbent shooting guard Wilson Chandler has shown off an improved shot this preseason and is clearly working hard to keep his starting job.It's amazing we've gone this long without talking about new point guard Raymond Felton who will be expected to lead the always potent Mike D'Antoni offense.Felton is a courageous player who is undersized, but makes up for it with a great motor and overall tenacity. He is a streaky shooter, but should be counted on for some consistent production, something the Knicks have lacked at point guard for quite some time.The defensive side of the ball is where D'Antoni coached teams usually are lacking and that has been no exception since he has come to New York.This year there a few players the Knicks hope will improve that situation as well as hide some of the defensive liabilities of Stoudemire.Most importantly is Anthony Randolph, who at 6'11" gives the Knicks a lengthy interior presence they have lacked for years. In addition, Randolph will be expected to guard everyone from point guards to centers throughout a game.If Randolph can adapt to this role and provide some good help D, he will be the key to the Knicks defensive success.Ronny Turiaf was also acquired San Francisco 49ers jersey
to provide some defensive toughness in the interior. Turiaf lacks any real skill set offensively, but is very physical on the defensive end and will play big minutes at center this season. Turiaf needs to bring his non-stop intensity and give the Knicks a new mindset on the defensive end.Another player who could help out in this is second year player Toney Douglas. Douglas will likely backup Felton and although he is of a similar stature he does not quite bring the same offensive skills Felton possesses.Defensively however, Douglas' on ball defense has been raved about this preseason and he will no doubt be expected to bring that same defensive prowess off the bench in the regular season.D'Antoni certainly has a lot of pieces on this team, all of course centered around Seattle Seahawks jersey
Stoudemire. If he can put the proper pieces in place on the offensive and defensive end of the courts, there is no doubt that this team should make the playoffs this year.For the first time in years, there is legitimate optimism in the mecca of basketball.


23 Dec 10Peja Stojakovic a Toronto Raptor, Jarrett Jack a Hornet: Erick Dampier Next?

To the Big Easy!Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesNBA Trade: According to sources close to the situation, the Toronto Raptors are on the verge of trading guard Jarrett Jack, forward/center David Andersen, and guard Marcus Banks to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for the expiring contract of forward Predrag “Peja” Stojakovic, guard Jerryd Bayless, and cash considerations. Since Bayless was acquired by New Orleans from Portland on October 23 (NBA rules state that a player cannot be traded with other players before Dallas Cowboys jersey
December 23), two trades would have to be constructed in order for this deal to occur per NBA league rules.With the acquisition of former All-Star Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless, the Toronto Raptors have added a quality veteran shooter, and a future point guard to their already and interesting roster. The Raptors have struggled this season, but have been led by the steady play of Andrea Bargnani, Sonny Weems and DeMar DeRozan. The Raptors are clearly in a rebuilding mode and with the trade they have an open roster spot which may be for veteran center Erick Dampier, currently a free agent or for a future trade that would acquire them an additional player. The Raptors also have some financial flexibility that they can use in additional trades this season if General Manager Bryan Colangelo feels like doing so.Stojakovic, will bring shooting right away to the Raptors, and will be able to contribute to the team on the offensive end dependent on how much playing time he receives. There were some rumors on the Internet that the Raptors may look to trade him once more sometime between now and the trade deadline in order to acquire another player that could bring in help immediate help and be a part of the future. However, at this point in time, they are just rumors.Will the Raptors trade Peja Stojakovic again before the Feb. trade deadline?Will the Raptors trade Peja Stojakovic again before the Feb. trade deadline?Yes63.0%No28.3%Buyout and then waived.8.7%Total Denver Broncos jersey
votes: 127Bayless, will bring some depth to the guard spot, and may also eventually replace Jose Calderon, who is expected to become the starting point guard for the time being, but maybe he could be on his way out soon. A tandem of Bayless, Weems, DeRozan, and Leandro Barbosa along with Andrea Bargnani should be interesting lineup to watch. If Barbosa decides to undergo wrist surgery to repair a torn tendon, than Bayless can find minutes at either guard spot for sure.The Hornets trade Stojakovic, who has an expiring contract worth between $14-$15 million dollars, to a team that has been struggling as of late, and are looking for any help. Stojakovic was also out of the rotation in New Orleans, and Jarrett Jack is lined up to be reunited with former TrailBlazers assistant coach and current Hornets head coach Monty Williams, as the backup to All-Star guard Chris Paul. Jack seems to be the perfect fit behind Paul, and may be the future point guard in New Orleans if Paul chooses to leave which has been rumored.Marcus Banks, a career backup guard, will also provide some depth in the backcourt, and has an expiring contract that may be used in another trade between now and the trade deadline. David Andersen, another player acquired from Toronto, can provide some depth at the power forward and center position, and is a decent shooter which will come in handy for head coach Monty Williams over the course of the season. Banks and Andersen, can either be dealt once again in future Detroit Lions
trades, or will remain with the team until the end of the season, as they both possess expiring contracts.Overall, with this move by the Hornets, and the Raptors is it a sign that trade season will be coming early for the NBA this season? One can never be quite sure, but with trade season, things do become more interesting in the NBA as it brings an additional element to the hardcore fan.


NBA Free Agency 2010: Chris Bosh, Go To The Cavaliers With LeBron James

Mark Dadswell/Getty ImagesLet’s get one thing straight. I love Chris Bosh. He makes us lanky, wiry, tall guys look really good.But after his decisions of late, he’s falling out of favor faster than JaMarcus Russell.When you weigh as much as Russell, that’s pretty fast.The latest news out of Pittsburgh Steelers jersey
free agent-palooza is that the Toronto Raptors have green-lit a trade sending Bosh to the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to ESPN.com. This allows the only man on earth to look like a Velociraptor to join the NBA’s Tyrannosaurus Rex.This trade would make one of the best dynamic duos since Penn and Teller. So it comes as a surprise when the person who stands to gain the most turns the idea down.CB4, what are you thinking? Are you lost in Lindsay Lohan’s medicine chest?Bosh gets the NBA on a platter if he just takes this deal. Not only that, but this trade actually makes everyone involved a winner.With LeBron and Bosh together, the Cavaliers will end up with more bling than Mr. T, while the rest of the NBA will lose more than Henry Clay.Like Cleveland cares about others losing. It’s been the city’s thing for decades, so someone else should get a turn.Sure, the Cavs have to give up some pieces. Anderson Varejao and J.J. Hickson are nice role players, but look at the recent history of NBA dynasties.The Lakers, Bulls, and Spurs all had one-two punches, and they took home the glory.Do you want to win, Bosh? Cleveland’s got your ticket to Disneyland.Even with the trade, the Cavs still have a great supporting cast, as San Diego Chargers jersey
a starting five of Mo Williams, Jamario Moon, LeBron, Bosh, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the East.Add some free agents with the mid-level exception, like Kyle Korver or Earl Watson, and Cleveland becomes even more formidable.Can you imagine if they went small, putting Bosh at center with Antawn Jamison at power forward?The Cavs would have more weapons than T.I.’s garage.But no, Bosh just has to be difficult. SI.com reported Tuesday that Bosh has nixed this sign-and-trade opportunity, only citing that Bosh doesn’t want to play in Cleveland.Let me guess, Bosh thinks that going to Miami or New York will increase his fame to international superstar status, right? Yet at the same time, he thinks he can achieve said status on the same team as James or Wade?Someone’s delusional.Bosh is failing to grasp the concept that unless he goes somewhere without the King or Flash, he’s always No. 2.Look at Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Pippen was a great player in his own right, but Jordan gets nearly all the acclaim and attention for those teams. Even in a big city like Chicago, Pippen never could reach the same global love as Jordan, because MJ had a bigger shadow than Marlon Brando.The situation parallels the one Bosh is in. No matter where he goes with those guys, he will be the second best, and likely the second most popular player on the floor. The city becomes irrelevant.Just like Cleveland!Now, Bosh could try to go to another team by himself and be the top dog again. But his days in Toronto (and rail-thin physique) clearly show that he cannot carry the world on his shoulders like Atlas.This is why every sports outlet on Earth thinks that Bosh is a Siamese twin with either James or Wade.So why not choose the best of the two guys?The contract Bosh signs this offseason is likely the last big one of his career, unless he has Cal Ripken, Jr.-esque stamina. There should be no one out there hating on him getting his fatty deal inked before the new bargaining agreement next year.Plus, if Joe Johnson’s playoff sub-Mendoza line performance can make him the highest-paid person south of the Mason-Dixon line, Bosh should get at least that much.My advice San Francisco 49ers jersey
to Bosh: Be selfish.Take all the money you can, chase rings like Gollum, and dominate the NBA. If your only qualm is that you don’t like Cleveland, I’m sure your $120 million can pay for a virtual reality simulator that makes you feel like you're on Waikiki Beach.Yeah, Oahu’s water doesn’t light on fire like Cleveland’s, but with all your championship ice, you can keep the city cool.Check out more from Ross atLAsportsexaminer.comand follow him on Twitter atRossel64.


Is New York Yankee SS Derek Jeter the Next Boston Red Sox 3rd Baseman?

Al Bello/Getty ImagesNew York Yankee SS Derek Jeter has been reportedly told he will not be offered arbitration by the club. It has been widely reported that there is a large gap between the Jeter and Yankee camps. Rumor has it that the Yankees are holding fast at a three-year offer in the neighborhood of $15 million per season. Meanwhile Jeter’s camp is reportedly looking for more years and a higher annual salary.Most surprising though may be the public nature of some of the comments issued by each camp. A quote attributed to Yankee GM Brian Cashman Reebok Baltimore Ravens #52 Ray Lewis Realtree camo Jersey
appeared on ESPNNewYork.com. “We've encouraged him to test the market and see if there's something he would prefer other than this. If he can, fine. That's the way it works.”Wow. I can’t imagine this type of public announcement can sit well with Jeter. So what does Jeter do next? Look there are scenarios that may be more plausible but if Jeter really feels jilted and is not willing to take (in his opinion) a “hometown discount” I may just have the solution.Imagine if there was one place that Jeter could go that would:A. Be a good fitB. Hit Cashman where it countsWell as it turns out there is such a place: The Boston Red Sox.OK. It sounds crazy, and it probably is, but can you imagine the reaction? The Red Sox have two championships in the last seven years so to some extent they have exorcised all demons from their tormented past.Home Sweet Home??Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesHowever a quick check of baseball history shows a decidedly pro-Yankee slant when looking at players who have moved from one organization to the other. Sparky Lyle for Danny Cater...really?Free agents like Wade Boggs and Johnny Damon left the Sox for greener ($$$) Yankee pastures. Roger Clemens had a two-year stint in Toronto post-Boston, but ultimately ended up winning another (tainted) Cy Young award in the Big Apple. And then there’s George Herman Ruth and the ensuing 86 years of angst. There is an inequity here evident to even the most casual baseball fan.Red Sox GM Theo Epstein is cool customer himself when it comes to making baseball decisions, rarely letting emotion dictate his course of action. It is unlikely that Epstein and Co. would pursue Jeter just to stick it to the bombers. But could there be solid baseball reasons for making the Reebok Chicago Bears #54 Brian Urlacher Realtree camo Jersey
move?Jeter is coming off a disappointing 2010 season and will turn 37 next season. The chance of him getting a contract offer from Boston longer than the three years offered by the Yankees is probably slim to none. However no one has ever questioned Jeter’s conditioning and with an incentive to live up to the hype (potentially at the Yankees' expense) Jeter could work in a Sox uniform for the next three years. There certainly could be a need.Think about it. It’s been reported today that Victor Martinez has signed a four-year contract with the Tigers. Martinez played nearly 40 games at first over the last couple seasons in Boston. He’s gone. Meanwhile third baseman Adrian Beltre is testing the free-agent market. Epstein has talked about moving Kevin Youkilis to third but with no Martinez the 1B spot gets a little thin.David Ortiz can play some first but it’s no secret that he’s probably a better fit at DH. Jeter could fit into the third-base slot leaving Youkilis to stay where he is. Jeter is probably a better defensive fit at third base at this point in his career (regardless of the insane Gold Glove award he just received).Meanwhile the Sox have some uncertainty at SS and have reportedly had offers for incumbent SS Marco Scutaro. Imagine having the luxury of using Derek Jeter as your SS “in a pinch.”OK, back to reality. This is probably never going to happen. The money and years Jeter is looking for would seem to preclude any serious consideration. And I’m not sure Jeter would Reebok Chicago Bears #6 Jay Cutler Realtree camo Jersey
offer the power that the Sox would ideally like to get out of a corner infielder either. But wow, would this be a shot across the bow of the Evil Empire.The ultimate dagger to the Yankee nation heart.I wonder how it would be received. Would Red Sox fans welcome him with open arms? Jeter has been the symbol of all things Yankee for 2,300 games...can that just be switched off? I doubt we will ever find out, but it sure is fun to think about.


20 Dec 10 Dan Henning: Destroying the Miami Dolphins

NFL Photos/Getty ImagesMiami Dolphins’ Offensive Coordinator Dan Henning has pushed me to the limit. I am officially aboard the “Fire Dan Henning” bandwagon.It may have taken me a bit longer to come around, but this Sunday was the final straw in a series of inexplicable, questionable and downright awful decisions that contributed to yet another Dolphins’ defeat.Despite marching down the field to score a touchdown on their first series against the vaunted Baltimore Ravens defense, the Dolphins Reebok Minnesota Vikings #4 Brett Favre Realtree camo Jersey
failed to reach the end zone again, and Dan Henning—not Miami quarterback Chad Henne—must take the blame for this.Did Henne struggle?—yes. He threw three interceptions, no touchdowns, and missed a wide-open Anthony Fasano on the Ravens one yard-line.And while Henne must make those passes if the Dolphins want to win games, everyone needs to remember that he's young and inexperienced. Give Henne time, and he will blossom (as he did in Week Three against the touted New York Jets Secondary).Unfortunately, Henne will never develop as long as Dan Henning runs the offense.When the run game is working (please see first quarter of Baltimore-Miami for example), Henning abandons it on a whim once Miami falls behind.Should Miami fire Dan Henning?Should Miami fire Dan Henning?Yes97.3%No2.7%Total votes: 328When the passing game is having success (see Miami-Pittsburgh), Henning opts to run the ball.Furthermore, he aimlessly alternates the running backs to the astonishment of everyone. Dan, when Ronnie Brown is hot, keep him on the field, and the same goes for Ricky Williams.In Baltimore, Miami changed from the successful Brown, to the struggling Williams. The result—a three and outTurning our attention away from the run-game, as Henning so often does, the Dolphins do have Brandon Marshall in their offense. Tall, strong, with great hands, Miami could throw it deep to him once in a while, maybe toss a jump ball into the Reebok Minnesota Vikings #69 Jared Allen Realtree camo Jersey
end-zone, just to see if he comes down with it? You never know, it might work.Apparently Henning has issues with both of these ideas. The lack of productivity in the red-zone can largely be attributed to his reluctance to call anything out of the ordinary.Henning stifles the attack once the 'Fins near the end-zone, and the result is two AFC Special Teams’ Player of the Week awards for Dolphins’ kicker, Dan Carpenter.Once in the redzone it seems as though the Dolphins already limited offense contracts further. Hell, the only passing touchdown in the last three weeks was courtesy of an excellent run after catch from wide-out Davone Bess.While Carpenter deserves the accolades for his performances, he has admitted he would rather be kicking a PAT than field goal any Reebok New England Patriots #12 Tom Brady Realtree camo Jersey
day of the week. Sadly, Henning does not agree.Henning’s outdated playbook and perpetual refusal to take any risk with the offense results in—more often than not—three points in the form of a morale-damaging, drive stalling field goal.In the NFL, touchdowns win games. Period.There is only so much awful play calling that a fan can take, and I have reached the end of my rope.Now is the time for change.Fire Dan Henning.

19 Dec 10 Week 11 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers: Who To Pick Up, Drop or Ignore

Vincent Jackson will be in shape and practiced up for his November 28 return. Get him now.Donald Miralle/Getty ImagesIt's that time of year again. Most fantasy leagues now have only three or four weeks left before the fantasy playoffs begin, meaning it's time to make a lot of tough roster decisions. Key injuries can be killer as playoff seedings are decided. Some of you might already have clinched a spot, but now have to consider the possibility of some of your superstars being benched in the final NFL games of the season as starters Reebok New England Patriots #12 Tom Brady Realtree camo Jersey
are rested. Here are somewide receivers who might be on your radar screen as these moves are made going into Week 11. Pick-Ups Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers The Chargers are banged up bad at WR and are trying to save a disappointing season. At the same time, Philip Rivers has still been able to put up huge numbers, and anyone catching the ball for him has as well. Manningham should see good numbers for at least the next month while Smith healsJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesJackson has been practicing for a couple of weeks now. He will be in shape and ready to play when his suspension ends on November 28. Jackson is available in 47 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Go get him now for the fantasy playoffs. Mario Manningham, New York Giants Steve Smith's injury is now reportedly going to keep him out for a month, and other Giants WRs are now banged up to boot. Manningham gained 10 catches for 97 yards against Dallas on Sunday and should see similar numbers while Smith is out. Reebok New Orleans Saints #9 Drew Brees Realtree camo Jersey
Defenses will pay more attention to Hakeem Nicks than the underrated Manningham. Manningham is still available in 44 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys I've been pushing Dez for weeks and the reasons should now be obvious. The Cowboys finally showed up on Sunday, and Bryant appeared to be the best player on the field with 104 yards and a touchdown, as well as a small pile of special teams yards. Ward's injury is not expected to keep him out for any games. Keep him around.Matthew Sharpe/Getty ImagesYet he is still available in 12 percent of Yahoo! leagues. If you are in one of those leagues, grab him yesterday while the others continue to nap. Ignore Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers Yahoo! transaction numbers show a lot of teams have dumped Ward in the past day. Why? His injury Sunday night isn't expected to keep him off the field next week. Keep him around. He's too talented to dump. Kevin Walter, Houston Texans Walter saw some numbers on Sunday, but don't be fooled. This is what Walter does. Some weeks he'll make a lot of plays. Other weeks he can't catch a cold by diving into a frozen lake followed by a a jog through a wind tunnel. Drop/Trade BaitDon't be fooled by Berrian a third time this Reebok New York Giants #27 Brandon Jacobs Realtree camo Jersey
season. Leave him on the wire where you found him and don't pick him up again.Jeff Gross/Getty Images Roy Williams, Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant has emerged. Williams showed some life this year, but it now appears he'll be carrying Bryant's shoulderpads in the locker room soon. The veteran is likely to see far fewer looks than Dez and Miles Austin going forward. Blair White, Indianapolis Colts So much for a potential sleeper. White was inactive Sunday. Bernard Berrian, Minnesota Vikings A lot of people jumped back on Berrian last week. Shame on you. That's the second time this season he's fooled you like that. Dump him and keep him there.


18 Dec 10 Miami Dolphins Injury Carousel: The Latest On Henne, Pennington, Long And Wake

Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesThe Dolphins chalked up a much needed win yesterday against the Titans, yet came out battered withnumerousinjuries. It was terrible timing as they have a short week and face the Bears at home this Thursday night. The injuries below will be updated as new Reebok Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald Realtree camo Jersey
information is revealed.Chad PenningtonStatus: Done for the season, according to reports. His career is in jeopardy after suffering multiple injuries to the same shoulder over the years.Impact: Well it didn’t take long (two plays) for Pennington to go down. ESPN reported Miami signed Patrick Ramsey, a first-round pick from the 2002 draft who has 38 games worth of NFL experience.Chad HenneStatus: Unknown. The Sun Sentinel jumped the gun yesterday reporting Henne was likely done for the year. In today’s press conference, Tony Sparano made clear that wasn’t the case just yet. He described those reports as “inaccurate” at this point in time.Impact: All signs point to Tyler Thigpen starting for theforeseeablefuture. Thigpen was 6 of 8 with a touchdown yesterday in the win. His combination of fearlessness and mobility might be able to reignite the offense.Cameron WakeStatus: Apparently his hip injury was nothing serious and he is good to go. Miami Herald beat reporter Jeff DReebok Baltimore Ravens #5 Joe Flacco Realtree camo Jersey
arlington reported the news via Twitter this afternoon.Impact: Amazing news. He is the premiere playmaker on this defense. Getting pressure on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will be critical as he has a tendency to make terrible decisions. Wake is third in the NFL in sacks with 8.5.Jake LongStatus: Unknown. The severity of hisseparatedshoulder isn’t known just yet.Impact: This would be the biggest blow of all. Long is one of those guys who cannot be replaced. Behind him would be either reserve tackle Lydon Murtha, right tackle Vernon Reebok Baltimore Ravens #27 Ray Rice Realtree camo Jersey
Carey, or reserve do-it-all lineman Pat McQuistan.Related Posts:Henne out, Pennington inFins-Titans Highlights (VIDEO)Preview: Jets At DolphinsDolphins’ Wake continues to dominateDolphins Preview: O-LineThis article is also featured onMIA Sports Guy


17 Dec 10 Michael Vick: Evaluating the QB's Performance Against the New York Giants

Nick Laham/Getty ImagesMichael Vick didn’t Reebok Minnesota Vikings 28 Adrian Peterson Realtree camo Jersey
set any records on Sunday night. He didn’t throw for any touchdowns (although that’s not entirely his fault) and he committed his first turnover of the season. However, Vick walked away from Sunday’s game with the win, and in the end, that’s the most important statistic of them all.On the night, Vick was 24-38 for 258 yards. His wide receivers failed to make a couple of catches for him, including instances where they were wide open in the end zone. Vick also rushed the ball 11 times for 34 yards and a touchdown as he finished the night with a quarterback rating of 83.Statistically, this was not Vick’s best performance. It was nowhere close to what he did on Monday night against the Redskins, but you can’t expect that type of Reebok Minnesota Vikings #4 Brett Favre Realtree camo Jersey
performance every game. You also can’t expect that type of performance against a defense as good as the Giants.The Giants entered the game with the No. 1-rated defense in the NFL and proved to be a force. To go along with their relentless defensive line, the Giants sent a lot of blitzes in Vick’s direction, and forced him to scramble to his right in most circumstances.Vick was unable to make any big plays with his feet, and took his fair share of hits. However, he kept on getting up and showed his resiliency.On LeSean McCoy’s touchdown run, Vick may have made one of the best plays of the game. It was a 4th-and-1 situation and the game was more or less on the line. Vick bobbled the snap, but was able to regain control and get a pitch to McCoy just passed the outstretched hand of Osi Umenyiora. If Vick doesn’t get the ball to McCoy there, the Eagles probably would have lost.At the end of the day, it wasn’t the flashiest performance we’ve seen from Vick. Reebok Minnesota Vikings #69 Jared Allen Realtree camo Jersey
However, he has now shown us that he has what it takes to grind out wins against good football teams. After not getting much help in the beginning of the game, Vick’s teammates stepped it up big time to pull out a very solid win.This article is also featured onBirdsFan.com - A Philadelphia Eagles Blog


16 Dec 10 New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys: 5 Keys To Victory for Each Side

The Saints head to Dallas to trying to stay on the Reebok Chicago Bears #6 Jay Cutler Realtree camo Jersey
Falcons in the NFC South, while the Cowboys try to continue theirresurgence under Jason Garrett.New Orleans Saints1. Come Out Fast In last year's game against the Cowboys, the Saints had an awful first half and couldn't overcome it in the second half. They can't let that happen again. The Saints need a big play early in the game on offense or defense.2. Speed Up the OffenseThe Saints have foundtheir passing game and the Cowboys have looked downright terrible in the secondary at times this season. The Saints should try to move the ball through the pass early and even try a few no-huddle plays to confuse and tire out the defense.3. Force TurnoversThe reason the Saints defense was so good last season was they forced 40 turnovers, while this season they have just 15. They did a good job last week against the Seahawks forcing two turnovers. This week they have to force Kitna to make some bad throws and gang tackle to try to create fumbles.4. Win the Special Teams Battle Reggie Bush is expected to play this week, which means the Saints are getting their punt returner back. The Cowboys have had some big plays on special teams the last couple of weeks. The Saints have to get a big play in the return game and make sure Dez Bryant or Bryan McCann doesn't burn them for a big gain.5. Stop the Cowboys Passing Attack The Cowboys have a solid passing game of their own. Dez Bryant is having a great rookie season, Miles Austin had two TDs last week and Roy Williams has Reebok Dallas Cowboys #82 Jason Witten Realtree camo Jersey
been dependable all season. The Saints have to make sure that Jon Kitna doesn't get into a rhythm like he did two weeks ago against the Giants. The more confidence Kitna has, the better he plays.Dallas Cowboys1. Establish the RunYes it's cliché, but with the Saints quick and deadly passing attack, running the ball sustaining long drives and running the clock is the best way to keep the score close and Drew Brees off the field.Who will win?Who will win?Cowboys 40.1%Saints59.9%Total votes: 2872. Get Dez Bryant the BallHe had a TD last week but wasn't thrown at much. This week he has to be a big part of the passing game for the Cowboys to be successful. The Saints will blitz and when they do, if Bryant has a one-on-one matchup all Kitna has to do is throw the ball up and give Bryant a chance.3. TackleThe Saints love to spread the field and get one-on-one matchups, so the Cowboys must tackle after the catch or there will be some long gains by the Saints. The Cowboys have been much better at the little things since Jason Garrett took over and they have to keep it up.4. Use the Home-Field AdvantageThe Cowboys got their first win at home last week and with two wins in a row there's excitement again in Dallas, although it may Reebok Dallas Cowboys #9 Tony Romo Realtree camo Jersey
be too late to make the playoffs. The Cowboys have to keep the crowd in the game and against the Saints, who won't be comfortable away fromLouisiana.5. Pressure Brees Last season the Cowboys were able to put pressure on Brees and force him to throw early and to move around—they have to do this again. If Brees gets too much time in the pocket, he'll pick them apart. DeMarcus Ware will be a huge part of this as he overcame a neck injury last season to make the game-winning play.


Dallas Cowboys: Should They Make a Switch Back To a 4-3 Defense?

Roy Williams was headed to Canton, OH before the switch to the 3-4. Now he is in Cincinnati instead. I think the time has come to scrap the 3-4 defense in Dallas. If you recall, Bill Parcells was rather late in installing the same scheme he had relied upon throughout head coaching stints football jerseys
with the New York Giants, New England Patriots and New York Jets.
With all three of those former teams, Parcells reached either the conference championship game or Super Bowl.
When Parcells arrived in Dallas for the 2003 off-season, he knew he did not have the personnel required to run his familiar 3-4 scheme. As any good coach should do, he played to the strengths of the team as opposed to putting a bunch of players at the wrong position.
As a result, the Cowboys would finish with the top-ranked defense in the league, and also claim their first playoff birth following three consecutive 5-11 seasons from 2000-02. Still lacking a premier pass rusher, Dallas was still tough to run on, and it's worth noting that it was playing a last-place schedule that season.
After a major slide in '04, Parcells decided it was time to make the switch to the 3-4 official. The 2005 NFL Draft was littered with 3-4 personnel, and Dallas has pretty much followed suit since then.
Former head coach Wade Phillips, Parcells's successor, was also a student of the 3-4 alignment, and isn't it funny that neither one of those coaches could find a way to properly utilize then-Pro Bowl safety Roy Williams?
We all remember h Dallas Cowboys: Should They Make a Switch Back To a 4-3 Defense? ow Williams literally changed football games by himself on numerous occasions, but by 2005, he was reduced to playing center field or covering tight ends downfield, not exactly what Williams was ever known for.
It is appropriate to say that the 3-4 switch killed the career of Williams. In some ways this transition continues to hurt this franchise because some guys just aren't in the right place.
And what about gifted and hard-playing linebackers like Dat Nguyen and Dexter Coakley? You realize that Coakley had seven consecutive seasons of 100-plus tackles? Did you know he's tied for the club lead in defensive touchdowns? Coakley and Dennis Thurman each have five!
Nguyen merely led the team in tackles in three of his first four seasons starting at middle linebacker. The 3-4 switch showed those guys the door as well.
I wonder what interim head coach Jason Garrett thinks of this 3-4 business as of late. On Thanksgiving, Dallas gave up a total of 83 yards to the Saints running back combo of Julius Jones and rookie Chris Ivory. But those rushing yards came on only 17 carries. That comes to an average of just under five yards per carry. This is not going to get it done!
In the face of mediocrity and with no more Parcells or Phillips at Valley Ranch, is there much need to keep the 3-4 defense anymore?
We already know that Marcus Spears is a free agent after this season. With the depth the team currently has at defense end, is it not worth looking into possibly getting more of these 3-4 ends, like Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher on the field at the same time?
And what about Jay Ratliff, easily the best lineman on the roster? Dallas could play Ratliff a couple of different ways in a 4-3 scheme, thus increasing the likelihood of good matchups. Ratliff has quickness, athleticism and great height no matter where he is lined up. I could see him being just as nfl throwback jerseys
destructive on the inside as Leon Lett once was.
I could also see Ratliff possibly playing 4-3 defensive end just like Reggie White used to, or the way Mario Williams does in Houston. Rushing the passer is what Ratliff does best, and it’s time to maximize this strength.
Ratliff is generally wasted at the nose guard spot in the current 3-4 scheme as this just isn’t the place for a 300-pound lineman who is a better pass rusher than run stuffer.
In returning to the 4-3, the Cowboys would then look at the linebackers and probably like what they see in a young but promising Sean Lee, drafted in 2010 out Penn State, definitely a 4-3 school.
In fact, most of Dallas starting defenders came from 4-3 colleges such as Bradie James from LSU, Anthony Spencer out of Purdue, DeMarcus Ware from Troy and even Keith Brooking from Georgia.
Just consider a Dallas front four consisting of Ware and Ratliff at end and Bowen and Hatcher at tackle. Obviously Dallas could shape the 2011 draft around this move and possibly skip a few other pieces that might no longer be necessary … like a nose guard who weighs more than 330 pounds!
The secondary should not skip a beat, as this area would be affected the least by a change in front seven personnel. This could make finding a strong safety a bit easier now that the pass rush should intensify as the rushing yards allowed would have to decrease.
At least I believe that this defense, as is, would be much more potent with more of these ends involved in the action.
I have no idea if the Cowboys will make this move. They may have issues with Ware playing with a hand to the ground. They could be concerned about Ratliff being too slow for end and Spencer being too small. All I know is that this defense is not much better than average. Their stats don’t really concern me as much as the results and those are not too impressive.
Can anybody remember the last time the Cowboys nfl jersey
front had multiple tackles for a loss in a game? It never happens when teams run on the Cowboys, especially up the middle.
Winning football requires two basic elements. The first is running the ball well, and that is a different discussion. The second is stopping the run, and many would argue that this is actually first. I wouldn’t necessarily argue against that point. The Cowboys have no choice other than to address it.
Switching back to the 4-3 is the way to go.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons: Bucs Need That Signature Win

Ronde Barber knows the importance of this game for his team.J. Meric/Getty ImagesThey need this one and they need it badly.They really do.If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want national respect, if they want to make any sort of movement in the direction of the playoffs, it needs to happen on Chicago Bears jersey
Sunday.And you all know who's coming to town.The mighty Atlanta Falcons.The 9-2 Falcons. And they are who we think they are—the best team in the NFC.If you ever watched pro wrestling then you might remember Nature Boy Ric Flair. The Nature Boy had his signature motto:"If you wanna be the best—you gotta BEAT the best!"Or, perhaps you remember the scene from the movie Top Gun, early on, in the officers club. It went something like this:Goose: "Hey Mav, you wanna know who's the best? There he is over there—Iceman."So if Raheem Morris wants to know who's the best, simply look across the sideline on Sunday and there stand the Atlanta Falcons. And if Josh Freeman wants to know who's the best, there he is—Atlanta's own "Iceman," the kid they call "Matty Ice," aka Matt Ryan.Do you see the Bucs winning on Sunday?Do you see the Bucs winning on Sunday?A: Yes, a magical, stunning upset.56.3%B: No, the Falcons are simply too hot right now.43.7%Total votes: 71You don't need to tell veteran Ronde Barber what this one means.He had a little phone chat with the scribes from Atlanta this week and put it this way:"If we’re not geared up to play this game, we’re not geared up to play anybody. nfl throwback jerseys
This is the one that has to count for us."Barber couldn't have put it any better.This is the one the Bucs need; the one they let get away in Atlanta.But the task suddenly looks more difficult. Davin Joseph and Cody Grimm will watch from the sidelines; their seasons are over.What the team needs is some magic and perhaps this "throwback" game and the induction of the Old Coach, John McKay, into the team's Ring of Honor, can summon something special into Raymond James on Sunday afternoon.What the team needs is to play a near-flawless game, if that is possible. Every player needs to bring his A-game. Every coach needs to bring his A-game. It will take that kind of effort.You see this Atlanta team is on an incredible roll. These Falcons look like men on a mission. Matty Ice looks like a quarterback in command. They're peaking at the right time.Put simply, these young Buccaneers face the ultimate challenge.It looked that way last season during the throwback game against the Green Bay Packers.It sounded like an impossible task and the stands were full of cheeseheaded, confident Packer fans.By the end of the day, they were incredibly silent and the Bucs came away with their signature win of the 2009 season.Is it a possible task Sunday? San Diego Chargers jersey
Yes.Is it a probable task?No.But all Buccaneer fans can do is hope for the best.And hope that the team brings its absolute best on Sunday.They'll need it.


Week 14 NFL Power Rankings: Focus on the Green Bay Packers

Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesAt my site— I do a weekly power ranking of all 32 NFL teams. It's a hugely subjective process, in which I account for a team's strength of schedule, margin of victory, good wins and bad losses.Where do the Green San Diego Chargers jersey
Bay Packers currently rank?After starting off the season strong with wins over Philadelphia and Buffalo, the Packers decided to show weakness in losses to Chicago, Washington, Miami and a narrow victory against Detroit.They got on track again with a win over Brett Favre's Vikings, which helped them get on a roll. They shut out the Jets in New York, then followed it up with two straight dominating victories—first against the Cowboys, then, again, against the Vikings in Minnesota.In Week 12, the Packers went to Atlanta to face the other top-tier team in the NFC. I view it as a good thing that the Packers only lost by three points, as Vegas odds-makers typically start out each home team with a three-point advantage just based on location (prior to weighing other factors).Week 13 saw an encouraging sign, as the Packers offense exploded all over the San Francisco 49ers, who I consider to be a fairly decent team despite their record. That game fits nicely on their resume along with similar lopsided wins against Minnesota (a game you Packers fans won't soon forget, and neither will Brett Favre or Brad Childress) and Dallas. Pair that with the shut-out of the Jets, and Green Bay's locking pretty good.So were the Packers able to keep their No. 3 spot in the power rankings despite other teams reaching the nine-win plateau?For the complete rankings and analysis, check out the article on my website, Unlike Power Rankings you nfl jersey
see elsewhere, your comments could help persuade me to rank your team better after Week 14!You also might like the dueling NFL Week 14 picks article on GuysNation.com, a new(ish) feature where the games on a given week's NFL schedule are debated amongst myself and another author on my


2006 NFL Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Picks

Here , we don't believe in grading the NFL draft just a few days after it has occurred. That makes no real sense to us, because the players haven't even laced up their cleats yet.In fact, it could take years to properly gauge the impact of a draft pick on his particular franchise, so putting4 Brett Favre White jersey
little letter grades (complete with the all-too-popular +'s and -'s) next to each draft pick just seems ridiculous to us. However, what you will find here is a quick-reference listing of each draft pick, their position, their school, and when they were selected.In addition, if you browse around a bit, you will also find that our site is filled with original opinion and analysis (including draft breakdowns) for all 32 NFL teams. If you still want letter grades and a bunch of + and - signs, go back to school.Sincerely,The staff Colts jersey


San Francisco 49ers Frank Gore Shawntae Spencer

How do you go about picking an MVP for a team that went 4-12 in 2005? Its a tough proposition because no one on the San Francisco 49ers roster truly shined, as evidenced by the fact that not one player from the team made the NFL Pro Bowl.However, several players did offer up solid performances in 2005. So who should we go 10 Santonio Holmes White jersey
for in terms of an MVP?An obvious choice would be veteran DT Bryant Young. The 34-year old tallied 8 sacks and probably came the closest to making the Pro Bowl. Unfortunately, although he did help the 49ers rush defense improve, they were still in the lower half of the league in that category. Bryant is close but doesn't get the MVP cigar.Another popular choice would be Julian Peterson. He rebounded nicely from his Achilles injury, but his numbers just don't merit an MVP selection. 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and zero interceptions just don't cut it for the former All Pro. He's better than that.How about the team's leading tackler, Derek Smith, or its leading receiver, Brandon Lloyd? Unfortunately, Smith was steady but unspectacular while Lloyd was spectacular but not steady, so neither of them get the nod.I'll tell you who most definitely doesn't get the award; Alex Smith. He's a youngster and is still learning the ropes, but throwing just one touchdown in 165 attempts is almost inexcusable. However, his backfield mate Frank Gore is another story. Big play ability, just one fumble, and 4.8 yards per carry are all signs of an MVP in the making. Unfortunately, he's got to show that he can do it for a full season before he can rightfully earn such a high honor.So in the end, I'm going to go with an unlikely yet deserving candidate. I'm going to pick cornerback Shawntae Spencer. The 23-year-old phenom was so active in terms of tackling that he finished third on the team with 82 tackles (just one less than Peterson). He also 10 Santonio Holmes black jersey
nabbed a team high four interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown, and had a mind-boggling 29 passes defended.This kid has all the makings of a future Pro Bowler, but more importantly, he didn't just show potential in 2005. He actually made plays on the field. That's why, in many ways he, truly is the San Francisco 49ers most valuable player.

San Francisco 49ers "Don't take all those fourth-round picks lightly"

If you're a San Francisco 49ers fan, you might be thinking: "OK, so we have four picks in the fourth round of next week's draft. Big whoop. Why don't we trade some of them for an extra pick in the second round, or even a higher slot in Round 1?"Not so fast.If you were asked to field an NFL team out of 4 Brett Favre White jersey
fourth-round picks from the last 10 years, it would look something like this:Quarterbacks: David Garrard, Luke McCown, Seneca Wallace (OK, not much to get excited about here).Running backs: Rudi Johnson, Brandon Jacobs, Marion Barber III, Onterrio Smith, Correll Buckhalter, Quentin Griffin, Michael Pittman (better).Fullback: Ovie Mughelli, Najeh Davenport (Davenport could play that position in a pinch).Wide receivers: Derrick Mason, Az-Zahir Hakim, Tim Dwight, Shaun McDonald, Brandon Lloyd.Tight end: Randy McMichael, Roland Williams.Offensive line: Edwin Mulitalo, Montrae Holland, Willie Colon, Dan Beunning, Jahri Evans (I probably missed a few here).Kicker: They are rarely picked this high.Defensive line: Jared Allen, Ryan Tucker, Dan Klecko, Elvis Dumervil, Alex Brown, Robert Geathers.Linebackers: Larry Foote, Demorrio Williams, Brady Poppinga, Shawn Barber, Brandon Short, Na'il Diggs, Leon Williams.Defensive backs: Asante Samuel, Deshea Townsend, Tyrone Carter, Antonio Perkins, Nathan Vasher, Ko Simpson.Return man: Darren Sproles.Punter: Josh Bidwell.True, this isn't a team likely to win the Super Bowl, but it's not bad.When thinking about the later rounds of the draft, it's important to consider a few things.There are 119 Division I-A football teams, which means a lot of talented seniors (and juniors) entering the market every year. All of these players can't go in the first three rounds.Scouts, like movie critics, are paid to find fault, although sometimes you have to wonder who prospective rookies are being compared to.JaMarcus Russell is a classic example -- he throws a football 80 yards, is reasonably mobile, has great size, has exhibited the ability to throw "touch" passes and has never been in trouble. So what could possibly be wrong with him? The scouts aren't sure he loves football enough.I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but could it be that these are things teams can use in contract negotiations? After all, how would you dicker with an agent whose client is deemed perfect?There are, of course, many college players who do have at least one glaring fault. That's why NFL position coaches are making NFL money, because of their ability to fine-tune the athletes Jets 6 Sanchez AFL50th jersey
under them. You could also compile a pretty formidable pro team out of players who supposedly weren't going to make it because of a gap in their game that was later filled.Granted, a guy who runs a 4.9 40 is never going to succeed as a pro receiver. But isn't way too much made of the difference between 4.4 and 4.5? That's less than the blink of an eye. And maybe the wide receiver in question has moves that make the minuscule speed differential between him and an elite cornerback irrelevant.Every draft year, there is a clump of 15-20 gifted players who are generally conceded to be All-Pros in waiting. Everyone else falls into the "Good player, but ..." category.The 49ers are not an elite team. Not yet. But they made great strides last year, and the addition of players like Nate Clements, Aubrayo Franklin and Tully Banta-Cain in free agency filled most of the team's most obvious holes. They have the luxury, then, of taking the "best available" option in the first round -- maybe DE Jamaal Anderson or LB Patrick Willis, both of4 Brett Favre Purple jersey
whom are ideal for a 3-4 defense. But they also need capable backups for QB Alex Smith and RB Frank Gore, as well as depth at nearly every other position.So trade those fourth-round picks (and, for that matter, the two picks in round three). But don't trade them lightly.RealFootball365.com: Where there's never an offseason for football!Tell your friends about us.


Find Running Game vs. Texans

The result was pretty much what everyone expected (outside of Houston, that is) when the hosted the Texans Sunday afternoon. What was discovered along the way to a 43-24 victory, however, was the pulse of a Colts running game many feared dead since the departure of Edgerrin James.For the Dallas Cowboys jersey
first time in six games, counting the four in preseason, the team was able to gain rushing yardage worthy of a championship-caliber football team. In all, Indianapolis backs totaled a respectable 125 yards from scrimmage, bringing some balance to an offensive attack heavy on passing yards in the team's season opener.Dominic Rhodes struggled a bit overall Sunday, averaging only 2.6 yards per carry, but he did get in the end zone from two yards out. He also gained tough ground when needed to keep the chains moving, and added two receptions for 22 yards.Rookie Joseph Addai fared even better, racking up 104 total yards (5.1 yards per carry rushing). He scored on a 21-yard pass play from quarterback Peyton Manning in the first quarter that -- for a minute -- had the Colt faithful forgetting about that guy who now plays in Arizona.The optimism for the team's rushing attack should be tempered somewhat in that its first success this season came against Houston, a team whose defense, despite adding No. 1 overall draft choice Mario Williams in April, is still a year or two away from respectability. Throw in that the game was Indy's home opener, and it's not hard to see why the backs ran the ball pretty well.The true measure of the team's backfield platoon of Rhodes and Addai will come this Sunday at 1 p.m., when the Jacksonville Jaguars visit the RCA Dome. The 2-0 Jags are coming off a dominating defensive performance against the 2005 Super Bowl champion Steelers, one in which they held Pittsburgh to a mere 26 rushing yards.Despite some fantasy gossip early Monday, hinting that Joseph Addai would see an increased workload out of the backfield, coach Tony Dungy said the platoon situation would continue. "Those guys are doing fine," he stated. "As 2010 pro bowl Vikings 4 Brett Favre jersey
I've said before, one guy may be hot one game. It may be a different type of game. Joseph had the better stats yesterday, but Dom played really well."When looking back at last year's rushing results versus Jacksonville (3.4 yards per carry), it's safe to say the Colts will need strong efforts from both backs Sunday to keep the positive momentum in the ground game going

Run Defense Profile

At 3-0 and leading the AFC South division, the look to be on top of their game this young NFL season. Peyton Manning has already had a 400-yard game, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne are among the league leaders in yardage gained by wide receivers, and Adam Vinatieri has kicked some clutch field goals. But as 6 Sanchez Green Jersey
the saying goes, looks can be deceiving.The Colts are dead last in the league in rushing yards given up to their opponent (an average of 5.3 yards per carry) and near the bottom in rushing yards gained (an average of 3.1 per carry). True, their victory over the Houston Texans was sheer domination (for three quarters) in a game that went pretty much as everyone had expected. But in games against the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars the team was beaten in time of possession, relying instead on key turnovers at critical times of the game and good special teams play for close wins.The numbers are pretty lopsided from those two games. New York outgained Indianapolis on the ground 186 to 55. Jacksonville 191 to 63.A widely held belief around the NFL is that teams that can run and stop the run win championships. Think 1985 Bears, 2000 Ravens and 2002 Bucs. Right now the 2006 Colts are doing neither well.On defense, a combination of things may explain their poor results. The offseason losses of linebacker David Thornton and tackle Larry Tripplett through free agency. Nagging injuries to Bob Sanders, Mike Doss and Nick Harper. The fact that Corey Simon, their biggest run-stuffer, hasn't played a snap yet, and now is not expected back until Week 7.It appears the team may need to look outside the organization for a player or two who can improve its run defense.On offense, the Colts may miss Edgerrin James more than they'd like to admit, because their current offensive line is essentially the same one that opened holes for James in 2004 and 2005. And they haven't had a coaching change, either -- coordinator Tom Moore and offensive line coach Howard Mudd are now in their ninth consecutive seasons with the Colts. So it's logical to2010 pro bowl Vikings 4 Brett Favre jersey
scrutinize the running backs.Through three games veteran backup Dominic Rhodes has carried the ball 44 times and has averaged only 2.6 yards per carry, while rookie Joseph Addai has run 26 times for an average of 4.7 yards. Though the growing trend around the league is to use a running back by committee, these numbers suggest that perhaps it's time to see if Addai can carry the full load.Whatever the Colts brain trust decides, it remains to be seen how many games they can win by continuing to rely on a great passing offense and opportunistic special teams.Original analysis


yler Brayton "Still Starting, Steadily Declining"

Three weeks remain in the 2006 season -- just enough time for defensive end Tyler Brayton to match his hardest-hitting play of the year.A Week 9 groin shot delivered to Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens cost Brayton $25,000, but has become the trademark of Vikings Brett Favre jersey
his four-year career.For a starter of 46 games, that doesn't say much.The 27-year-old has started in all but one game this season at defensive end for the Raiders, and has registered an unproductive 36 tackles. To date, Brayton is one of only two ends in the NFL who has started more than three games, but is still without a single sack. No. 91 shares the title with Kenechi Udeze of the Minnesota Vikings, who has started in all 13 games this season.However, Udeze is a member of a defensive front that allows an NFL-best 54.1 rush yards per game -- something that he can hold on to.Brayton, though, can't quite say the same.All he can hold on to is the fact that the Raiders not only hold on to him, but consistently start him."It was still on the fence going into the offseason," Brayton said prior to the season. "I just kind of took it upon myself. I got in the weight room...put on a few pounds. I just put it in my mind that's where I was going to be, and it turned out that's where coaches told me to be. Once I found that out, I knew I was going in the right direction."Unfortunately, the only direction Brayton has gone since his rookie year has been backward.A late first-round selection in 2003, the Colorado grad's most productive season came as a rookie, when he registered 61 tackles and 2 ? sacks. In 2004, Brayton saw the bulk of his time at defensive end, but made his first three appearances at outside linebacker. That season, the misplaced 280-pounder recorded 16 fewer tackles, but sustained his lowly 2 ? sack mark. Since then, the 6-foot-6 lineman has posted just 52 tackles and one sack in 29 regular-season outings."Playing outside linebacker has given me a whole new perspective," Brayton recounted in August. "You get to see the whole field. You know what everybody does on the defense. You understand what we're trying to accomplish with every blitz and every movement, in every defense."Despite the experience, Brayton -- individually -- has accomplished very little this season. Backup ends Lance Johnstone and Kevin Huntley have recorded 2 ? sacks from his identical rush spot, despite seeing far less snaps, while Derrick Burgess and Warren Sapp have posted a combined 17. The team has collectively reached 27 sacks this season, despite no contributions from its starting left defensive end.In the offseason, head coach Art Shell recounted the conversation he had with Brayton after he had announced his move back to the 4 Brett Favre White jersey
defensive line. "I said 'Tyler, you're a defensive end.'"He said, 'Thanks a lot, coach. I really appreciate it. I'll show you what I can do from that position.'"Either Shell is still waiting, or somebody has forgotten how to revise a depth chart. (20)

Steve Sarkisian "Offensive-Minded" Commentary

Believe it or not, there's somebody out there willing to join the in 2007.Besides Jeff George.Steve Sarkisian, who worked as the Raiders' quarterbacks coach in 2004, was set for a meeting with team officials on Monday. The 32-year-old longtime assistant rejoined USC for the 4 Brett Favre Purple jersey
fourth time in 2005, where he worked as an assistant head coach and QBs coach."It's somewhat unexpected, but a great opportunity and one I'm going to go for," Sarkisian said on Saturday. "It's a tremendous organization, one that I'm familiar with."Prior to joining Oakland for a one-year stint in 2004, Sarkisian worked with current NFL starters Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. The young coordinator directed Palmer to the Heisman Trophy in 2002, after the signal caller completed 288 of 458 passes for 3,639 yards, 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In the following season, Leinart took over and led the Trojans to a national championship, after posting record-setting numbers in touchdowns (35) and passer efficiency rating (163.2)."Growing up in Southern California, this is a special, special place to me," Sarkisian said. "It kick-started my coaching career, and growing up in Southern California, watching USC, I've always held a special place for USC."In 2004, however, he tried his luck on the professional plane, in a place not too far away.In Oakland, the young coach worked closely with veteran quarterback Kerry Collins after Rich Gannon went down permanently in Week 3. The 34-year-old Collins finished the year with 13 starts under his belt; he completed 56.3 percent of his passes for 3,495 yards, 21 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.After losing 11 games, though, Sarkisian missed winning."Sometimes you don't realize how good you have it until you step away," he commented after rejoining Southern California prior to 2005. "When you win in this profession, it makes things easy."Back with USC, Sarkisian lost just two games in 2006 -- as many as the Raiders won in three fewer contests. Quarterback John David Booty and the Trojans' offense enjoyed an 11-2 campaign, capped off by a 32-18 win over Michigan in the Rose Bowl.The possibility of a successful NFL career has drawn the former BYU Cougar QB back to the pros, and the Raiders seem like an ideal landing ground."I have a great deal of respect for Al Davis and the Oakland Raider organization," the optimistic coach commented. "It's a proud organization that wants to do whatever it can to be on top. The good thing is when something like this comes unexpected, it's easier to go for it and if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out."Outside of current in-house candidate Rob Ryan, Sarkisian appears to be the Raiders' early top choice for the team's vacant head coaching position. Not only does he have experience as a coach for some of the nation's best young quarterback prospects, but he was also one himself. Sarkisian enjoyed successful seasons playing for BYU in 1996 and the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1999, but decided to pursue coaching instead of furthering his on-field career. With BYU, he led the nation in passer efficiency in '96 and quarterbacked his team to a 14-1 record, beating Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl to end his collegiate career. If owner Al Davis is locked in on attaining an offensive-minded head coach, Sarkisian may be the man. If not, the aforementioned Ryan, the team's defensive coordinator, could materialize as the favorite, with Sarkisian looming at offensive coordinator. That is, of course, if he is ready to once again leave the acclaimed USC coaching staff."I had a tremendous job in Oakland," he commented in April 2005. "At 30 years old, I was Steelers 10 Santonio Holmes jersey
a quarterbacks coach in the National Football League.""There are only 32 people in the world who have that job."As of now, there are only 28 head coaches able to say the same. Sarkisian may have a great chance to be No. 29 on the privileged list.Want to be in the Raiders mailbag? Visit RaidersLive.com to submit your questions and comments for the Jan. 19 mailbag. . (28)

The Raiders signed RB LaMont Jordan March 5 2005

OAKLAND, CA - The have continued to revamp their offense. The Raiders signed running back LaMont Jordan, who had spent the last 4 seasons with the New York Jets. Terms were not disclosed, but ESPN is reporting it is a 5 year deal worth $27.5 million. "We're thrilled to have LaMont Jordan as a member of the Oakland Raider organization," Raiders coach Norv Turner said. "(Offensive coordinator) Jimmy Raye coached LaMont in New York, so we know a lot about him. We know the type of work ethic, the type of 4 Brett Favre Purple jersey
ability he brings. We're excited to have him and we believe he's going to be a premier runner of our organization." After officially acquiring superstar wide receiver Randy Moss from the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday, Oakland addressed its backfield problems with the acquisition of Jordan. Last season, Amos Zereoue was Oakland's leading rusher with 425 yards on 112 carries. Since Marcus Allen posted three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 1983-85, the Raiders have had just three running backs reach the plateau, most recently Tyrone Wheatley in 2000. Jordan, who reportedly will receive a guaranteed $15.7 million (including a $7 million signing bonus) over the first three years on the contract, has served as Curtis Martin's backup with the Jets the last four seasons. The 2001 2nd round pick out of Maryland rushed 93 times for 479 yards last season, an average of 5.2 yards per carry. "I'm excited about the opportunity," Jordan said. "I've played out here in Oakland a couple of times and it's actually my favorite stadium to play in, so I'm really looking forward to getting this ball rolling and hopefully being a big piece to us accomplishing our goals." In 62 career games, the 26 year-old Jordan has rushed for 1,277 yards on 262 carries and 10 touchdowns. He also has caught 50 passes for 417 yards and 1 TD.
内容: The signed fullback Rob Konrad and defensive lineman Kenny Smith.The 6'3", 255 lbs. Konrad start 1 of 10 games played in 2004 while battling back and thigh injuries for the Miami Dolphins. The former Syracuse University player was drafted by the Dolphins in 1999. He has 57 of Steelers 43 Polamalu jersey 82 contests over 6 years. For his career, Konrad has 38 carries for 114 yards (3.0 ypc) and 1 TD. He has also caught 111 passes for 854 yards and 6 TDs.The 6'4", 303 lbs. Smith missed 2004 with a torn rotator cuff for the New Orleans Saints. The University of Alabama product played in 30 games in 4 years as a pro with the Saints. He has totalled 69 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 2 deflected passes, and 2 recovered fumbles.

Danny Clark

linebacker Danny Clark is poised to step up into an even larger leadership role this season. While the offense fields most of the marquee names on the Raiders' roster, Randy Moss and Kerry Collins just to name a few, it is the somewhat soft spoken linebacker that hopes to step up into a larger role and help this team compete for a playoff spot.Danny Clark is an intense player who is nicknamed the "Hammerhead" by fellow players and coaches. He is relatively unknown in NFL circles, playing four seasons as a backup and special teams ace for the Jacksonville Jaguars before moving to the last off-season. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan made the fateful decision to move him from outside linebacker to inside/middle linebacker. In his first year playing on the inside, he played well Jets 6 Sanchez AFL50th jersey
enough to start all 16 regular season games and tallied the most tackles on the team (129). However, Clark himself admitted that he was not as vocal and influential with his teammates as he could have been.Clark hopes to change all of that this year. He has already begun to push his teammates in off-season workouts and seems to be settling comfortably into his role as one of the leaders on the defensive side of the ball. However, he has stated that he is not interested in becoming a superstar. He told a local newspaper that,"It won't be just one superstar, it's going to be team defense. You are going to see bumblebees after somebody knocks the nest down. Guys will be flying everywhere." Don't be surprised to see Danny Clark develop into a marquee NFL linebacker this season and the bounce back defensively after finishing the 04' season 30th in total defense and 31st in scoring defense. If that does end up happening, somebody needs go over and shake Rob Ryan's hand for putting Clark in a position to shine.