NFL Betting Preview – Week 1 TV Games

GREEN BAY @ CHICAGO – SUNDAY 6PM – SKY SPORTS

The Spread: Green Bay -6.5

The Total: Under 49

The First Touchdown: Randall Cobb

Why: A tough total in Chicago, but Green Bay look good things despite the loss of Jordy Nelson. The man under centre for Green Bay will be on MVP ballots at the end of the year, though they may lean on Eddie Lacy against a porous Bear run defence. For Chicago, Jay Cutler has a 13:22 TD:INT ratio against Dom Capers-led Packers defence and Alshon Jeffrey could miss the opener as well. Expect a lot of Matt Forte (what’s new?) while Martellus Bennett could be the top passing game option.

BALTIMORE @ DENVER – SUNDAY 9.25PM – SKY SPORTS

The Spread: Denver -4.5

The Total: Under 48.5

The First Touchdown: CJ Anderson

Why: The Broncos defense ranked No. 2 against the run and No. 9 against the pass last year and the trio of DeMarcus Ware, Vonn Miller and rookie Shane Ray could be the best pass-rush trio in the league. Joe Flacco’s top target this term is 36-year-old Steve Smith and he’ll be up against the stingy Aqib Talib and Chris Harris. With Gary Kubiak running the show in Denver, look for Peyton Manning to be  handing off a whole lot more this term.

NEW YORK GIANTS @ DALLAS COWBOYS – MONDAY 1.30AM – SKY SPORTS

The Spread: New York +6

The Total: Over 51.5

The First Touchdown: Odell Beckham Jnr

Why: ODB made his name with THAT catch against Brandon Carr and the Cowboys last term. But it was his 7 games over 100+ yards receiving that really propelled him and he could be the leading wideout come season’s end. Greg Hardy doesn’t play till week so the pass rush could still be suspect for Dallas, however Tony Romo and Dez Bryant should pick up where they left off last term. Shootout potential under the lights on Sunday night.

PHILADELPHIA @ATLANTA – TUESDAY 12.10AM – SKY SPORTS

The Spread: Philadelphia -3

The Total: Over 55

The First Touchdown: Nelson Agholor

Why: Another shootout in store for the opener on Monday Night Football. Sam Bradford is a significant upgrade on Mark  Sanchez and Nick Foles but will he stay healthy? If he does this Eagles team will be one of the most high-scoring units in football. Jordan Matthews is ready for his breakout year out of the slot in Chip Kelly’s hyper-speed offence, while DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews provide a perfect one-two punch. New OC Kyle Shanahan will make Julio Jones one of the most targeted WR’s this term and look for him to have joy against a porous Eagle secondary.

MINNESOTA @ SAN FRANCISCO – TUESDAY 3.20AM

The Spread: Minnesota -2.5

The Total: Under 41.5

The First Touchdown: Charles Johnson

Why: A one for the purists to close out week 1. With Adrian Peterson back, expect the Vikings to be even more run-heavy than usual, though they will be missing stalwarts John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt off the offensive line. Mike Wallace’s addition gives Teddy Bridgewater a field-stretcher out wide and the Vikes will make the playoffs under Coach of the Year Mike Zimmer. The Niners will finish the season with a top five draft pick, though NaVorro Bowman’s return will see him contender for Comeback Player of the Year.

Chalk Talk Steelers vs Patriots

The Patriots season got off to a great start in the early hours of this morning dismissing the Steelers 28-21. The Steelers offence showed some great signs but missing some vital parts and giving away too many penalties (yes we’re looking at you Left Tackle Kevin Beachum) they never really tested the Patriots other than some promising momentum in the 3rd quarter.

If you’ve got Rob Gronkowski on your fantasy team you’ve woken up to a great morning as he hauled in 3 touchdowns. This is going to be a bumper year for the tightend, not because he’s finally healthy (which he is) but he’s got a new team mate who is going to get Josh McDaniels offence back to it’s best. That team mate, former Buffalo Bill Tightend Scott Chandler.

Ravens fans will tell you the Patriots can get funky (and now illegal) with formations and last night, after the rule changed robbed them of that opportunity, they got very funky on the Steelers with personnel packages and scored two touchdowns.

Chalk Talk

Early in the 3rd quarter, following an 8 play drive and a pass interference penalty on the defence, the Patriots found themselves on the Steelers goal line. They sent out their goal line personnel. 4 Tightends, no wide receivers and a running back. In the picture you can see #47 Michael Hoomanawanui in motion. #88 Scott Chandler is lined up in the back field as a full back. #85 Michael Williams is down in a 3 point stance on the far side of the formation and #87 Rob Gronkowski is on the near side.

The Steelers matched them sending out a bunch of run stopping linebackers, leaving only #20 Will Allen in the game as the only defensive back. He’s highlighted above. When #47 Michael Hoomanawanui splits out wide, Allen, the sole DB goes with him. Now the fun part…

Chalk Talk 2

#88 Scott Chandler and #87 Rob Gronkowski shift their position and line up in the slot and wide respectively

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 14.18.09

Now the Steelers Goal Line Defence is Defending the Spread formation! Inside Linebacker #94 Lawrence Timmons is now playing the role of a Nickel Defensive Back and situational Linebacker #57 Terence Garvin is outside covering #87 Rob Gronkowski The Patriots run a simple pick play where #87 Rob Gronkowski runs at the man covering #88 Scott Chandler forcing him to back off and give Gronks new team mate space and Receiver in Space + Tom Brady = Touchdown!

Chalk Talk 3

Chalk Talk 4

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As most offensive coordinators will tell you, half of their play book is just setting up plays in the other half and so it was with this play because after another Patriots drive and a fumble recovery by Gronksowski on the 1 yard line the Patriots were in a position to be put distance between themsleves and the Steelers and put their first win in the bag. When they dialled up the exact same look again. #47 Michael Hoomanawanui goes in motion and #88 Scott Chandler and #87 Rob Gronkowski shift and the Steelers Goal Line Defence is defending the spread once again with all the same guys covering the same guys again. Except look at #57 Terence Garvin Highlighted below.
Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 14.54.56

He’s signaling an ‘X’ to #94 Lawrence Timmons telling him to expect the pick play, he’s learned his lesson right?

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 15.00.33

Gronk takes a step to the inside to help convince #57 Terence Garvin he’s right and then runs a fade to the back of the end zone…and we know you know the math here….Gronk + Brady + Fade = Touchdown!

qw7uq

And the shuffle and spike!

qw7zy

2015 NFL Quick Preview

You’re a busy go getter with things to be and places to do right? Don’t have time for long winded pontifications on the modern game well here is our Quick preview of the 2015 Season! Down-Ready-Set-GO!

Buffalo Bills

The Good Mean Run Stopping defence, Le Sean McCoy is a good addition
The Bad Murky at best Quarterback situation and Rex isn’t exactly known for his QB developing abilities
The Prediction 8-8

New York Jets

The Good Revis is back in town and the defence looks solid. Ryan Fitzpatrick is better than Geno
The Bad Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t very good
The Prediction 3-13

Miami Dolphins

The Good Championship caliber players in a few key spots (Suh, Wake, Pouncey)
The Bad Doubt as to whether Tannehil can hit the next level with a less than jaw dropping receiving corps
The Prediction10-6

New England Patriots

The Good Brady’s suspension overturned and Bill Belichick will be extra Belichicked after fighting the NFL and winning
The Bad A lot of change on defence and a few untested parts. The Pats are going to ship points this year
The Prediction 12-4

Baltimore Ravens

The GoodFlaccos gets it done and the defences is one of the best
The BadThe receivers are not top notch and Forsett, coming off a great season last year is untested with the workload he experienced, will the miles be a problem
The Prediction 9-7

Cincinnati Bengals

The Good Nearly everything is great in Cinci.
The Bad There is no denying it, Andy Dalton won’t win you a championship. #AJMcCarron2016
The Prediction 10-6

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Good Offence is primed to be huge (after everyone gets back from suspension)
The Bad Those suspensions will cost them early momentum and a switch in Defensive styles could take time to bed in.
The Prediction9-7 (If they make the playoffs, they’ll be in with a big shot)

Cleveland Browns

The Good LeBron is back in the Cleveland!
The Bad You’re the Browns!
The Prediction 2-14

Houston Texans

The Good The defence, if it can stay healthy, will be immense
The Bad Foster out early will hurt them, offence lacking any real threat.
The Prediction 6-10

Tennessee Titans

The Good Marcus Mariota and the other young talent will provide highlights
The Bad They’ll also suck and make big mistakes.
The Predcition 4-12

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Good Bortles should be better again and the Jaguars should be a little less hopeless
The Bad We don’t feel we can cover this in one sentence….a lot
The Prediction 5-11

Indianapolis Colts

The Good The Colts have added lots of great pieces. Win now time
The Bad The whole division tried to draft pass rushers…Andrew has a target on his back
The Prediction13-3

San Diego Chargers

The GoodPhilip Rivers and some exciting RBs & Receivers.
The Bad Front 7 is shaky.
The Prediction 9-7

Denver Broncos

The Good Manning, Sanders and Thomas and a host of RBs going to keep the Broncos scoring
The Bad D-Line is iffy and not much depth at receiver
The Prediction 10-6

Kansas City Chiefs

The GoodShould have at least 1 WR catch a touchdown this year and Jaamal Charles will score the rest.
The BadCan rush the passer like no ones business but can’t stop the run.
The Prediction 8-8

Oakland Raiders

The Good You’ll be in LA soon (and we suppose Derek Carr looks ok but…)
The BadCarrs numbers go in the toilet when he’s forced to throw under pressure and if we’ve noticed we’re pretty sure there is 13 defensive co-ordinators who’ve noticed as well.
The Prediction 5-11

Dallas Cowboys

The GoodRomo healthy, Dez signed (and rule changed) most of all that Offensive Line is in great shape!
The Bad Demarco Murray a victim of Dez’s contract and Hardy will be sitting out 4 games on a defence that needs him
The Prediction10-6

New York Giants

The GoodOdell Beckham has 2 hands with which he can make all those spectacular catches with & the defence is (a finger light) in good nick.
The BadOffensive line can’t run block and no blockbuster backs
The Prediction 7-9

Philadelphia Eagles

The GoodChip might actually have a genuine QB now and Kiko Alonso makes any defence better by a big margin
The BadSam Bradfords surgically repaired knee.
The Prediction10-6

Washington Redskins

The Good …Ryan Kerrigan will be fun to watch, maybe Alfred Morris
The Bad Strap in Skins fans, it’s going to be rough everywhere else!
The Prediction 4-12

Chicago Bears

The Good Jay Cutler will be better with Adam Gase steering the ship and Matt Forte will be Matt Forte
The Bad The OL ain’t going to give either of them much help and Kevin White got injured!
The Prediction 8-8

Minnesota Vikings

The Good Teddy B looks to be the real deal and thats coming from Opponents. The Vikings will be sneaky good this year
The BadThe OL was shaky last year and the pieces they’ve brought in are untested
The Prediction 9-7

Green Bay Packers

The Good Theres a lot but Aaron Rodgers is right at his peak keeping the Packers window open
The BadDefence can’t tackle!
The Prediction 12-4

Detroit Lions

The Good They call him Megatron! Abdullah looks a good pick up too and Defence is nasty as ever
The Bad They lost Suh and the OL will have to step up to the level of the rest of the team
The Prediction 10-6

New Orleans Saints

The Good Drew Brees was one of the Best QBs around last year and his OL were awful
The Bad See above and Defence comically bad covering the pass
The Prediction 10-6

Atlanta Falcons

The Good Dan Quinn is going to sort out this defence and their schedule is easy!
The BadCovering the pass and blocking for the run are two things this team don’t do well
The Prediction9-7

Carolina Panthers

The GoodThey’re pretty good all round.
The Bad They’re not very good anywhere! Average team stuck in mediocrity
The Prediction 8-8

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Good Doug Martin should take some pressure off Jameis and Mike Evans will be dominant
The Bad Can’t stop the run or cover the pass particularly well and Winston is going to throw a lot of picks!
The Prediction 4-10

Arizona Cardinals

The Good Horrendously unlucky with injuries last year, Offence will improve this year.
The Bad OL have trouble establishing the run and everyone is going to put 3 guys on Larry
The Prediction 10-6

San Francisco 49ers

The GoodNew OC will improve the a 49ers offences that was struggling under the weight of the Greg Roman scheme
The Bad Nothing to be excited about, this is a team that is about to get demolished and rebuilt
The Prediction 6-10

St. Louis Rams

The Good Nifty pass rush and a quite decent run stopper defence
The Bad Can’t do much else well, Gurley still out and Foles is a downgrade on Bradford
The Prediction 4-12

Seattle Seahawks

The Good How do the best get better, lump Jimmy Friggin Graham in there!
The Bad Chancellors hold out could turn nasty as they can’t pay all of the LOB
The Prediction 12-4

Week 1 TV Listings

[row]

[column size='1/2']

Friday September 11th 1:30am

Sky Sports 1
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots

Sunday September 13th

Sky Sports 3

6pm

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

9pm

Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos

Monday September 14th

Sky Sports 3

1.30am

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

Tuesday September 15th

Sky Sports 1

12.10am

Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons

3.20am

Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers[/column]

[column size='1/2'][table id=3 /][/column]

[/row]

Aldon Smith : Timeline of his Rise & Fall!

The Aldon Smith Tragedy

Aldon Smith has been one of the biggest boom to bust stories of the NFL of Recent Times. Here we look at where and when it all went right and then all so wrong for the talented but troubled Defender.

2009

Starts 11 of 13 Games for the Missouri Tigers. Records 60 Tackles & 11 Sacks
Is selected First-team Freshman All-American, Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year & Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, Hendricks Award Watch List, Second-team All-Big 12, Honorable mention All-Big 12, Team Defensive Lineman of the Year Award, Team Freshman of the Year Award

2010

In 9 Games he records 48 tackles & 6 Sacks

2011

Forgoes his final two years of eligibility and is drafted 7th overall by the San Francisco 49ers
Records 14 sacks in his Rookie Year. Half a sack short of the all time rookie Record.

2012

January Arrested for Driving Under the Influence in Miami.
June Smith is stabbed in an incident where two other people where shot and is charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon
Smith goes on to record 19.5 sacks in the regular season and is selected to the Pro Bowl and is the NFC Defensive Player of the Year

2013

September =After recording 4.5 sacks through week 3, Smith is involved in a single vehicle accident. He is subsequently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. Voluntarily entered a rehab. Misses 5 games of 2013 Season.

2014

AprilSmith was detained and arrested following an incident at the Los Angeles International Airport it was alleged Smith claimed he was carrying a bomb. Aldon Smith was suspended for 9 games for the 2014 season. Plays only 7 games of 2014 season and records just 2 sacks and the 49ers miss the play offs.

2015

August Arrested for hit and run, driving under the influence and vandalism charges. Released the same day by the 49ers.

NFL Cheat Sheet : Cowboys

Cowboys

Lots going on in the off season, not reading the MMQB every week? The NFL Cheat Sheet has you covered! Less than 500 words everything you need to know about the Off-Season

DALLAS COWBOYS

No major changes for the coaching staff in Dallas. O-line coach Bill Callaghan moved on to Washington, with Frank Pollack moving up to the main gig from his assistant spot. Interesting fact: if Jason Garrett makes it through the regular season, he’ll be the second longest tenured coach in Cowboys history…


PLAYERS OUT

  • Bruce Carter ILB          Free agent move to Tampa Bay
  • Justin Durant OLB        Free agent move to Atlanta
  • Dwayne Harris WR     Free agent move to New York Giants
  • Henry Melton DT           Free agent move to Tampa Bay
  • Jeremy Parnell RT           Free agent move to Jacksonville
  • George Selvie DE           Free agent move to New York Giants
  • Anthony Spencer            Free agent move to New Orleans
  • Sterling Moore CB           Free agent move to Tampa Bay
  • DeMarco Murray         DUBIOUS free agent move to Philadelphia

PLAYERS IN

  • Keith Rivers
  • Jasper Brinkley Backup linebackers/special teamers
  • Andrew Gachker
  • Greg Hardy Premier pass rusher, huge free agent signing, banned 4 games
  • Darren McFadden Rejuvenation project running back – former first rounder
  • Corey White Nickel Corner/safety from historically bad pass D in New Orleans
  • Efe Obada DE plucked from London O’s. Hope for all IAFL players yet!

DRAFT

  • Byron Jones – Athletic freak. Corner from UConn will also get time at safety. Has the length to succeed in the modern day NFL.
  • Randy Gregory – off-field issues saw him fall out of first to the bottom of the second round. Potential steal of the draft as he works alongside Greg Hardy and d-line guru Rod Marinelli.
  • Damien Wilson – athletic linebacker from Wisconsin could compete for starting SAM linebacker job.
  • Chaz Green – swing tackle from Florida could miss the start of camp with injury. Replaces Jeremey Parnell as backup tackle.

Overall

The Cowboys look well set to make another run at the NFC title. Franchise tag deadline day saw Dez Bryant finally sign his long term contract, solidifying his spot as possibly the best wideout playing the game.

Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory are huge additions to the defensive line, while Byron Jones has all the attributes to be a big player in the secondary. Given that the Cowboys season was ended by their inability to stop a gimpy Aaron Rodgers escaping the pocket in the frigid Green Bay air, they have addressed their issues well. DeMarco Murray’s loss could be big, but McFadden’s addition alongside Joseph Randle could well make up for it in a committee situation.

Lions RB Joique Bell & NFL Jerseys available in Ireland

NFL Jerseys

In 2013 the Detroit Lions signed Reggie Bush from the Miami Dolphins. Bush, a 7 year veteran still running with the explosion and cut back ability he’d shown from his time at USC and in the NFL with the Saints and Dolphins, was slated to be the feature back in Jim Schwartz 2013 Lions team. A player that could catch passes and run between the tackles. A former #2 overall pick in the 2006 draft who would give the Lions running game some credibility and force some attention away from Calvin Johnson.

Bush’s backfield team mate, Joique Bell had gone undrafted out of Wayne State University (a Div 2 school) and bounced around 5 teams practice squads in his rookie year. Finally catching on with the Lions in 2012, whom he’d spent time working as a security guard for while in College. Bush was supposed to be the man in Detroit, a piece to push them to the NFC North title and beyond. Bell was to a be a power back alternative to Bush when the superstar needed relief. Facing into the 2015 season, Bush has now moved to another team in the process of a rebuild and Bell, with a new contract, is the man in Detroit.

Joique Bell meeting young fan Owen Murray (5) in Elverys Intersport Dundrum Shopping Centre
Joique Bell meeting young fan Owen Murray (5) in Elverys Intersport Dundrum Shopping Centre

Thursday week last, Bell was in Dublin to promote Elverys Sports launch of  NFL Jerseys and NFL Merchandise. Trips across the atlantic are becoming more frequent for NFL players and this stop off in Dublin shows that the NFL is paying attention to the potential for support (revenue) here! The Lions Back answered some questions from fans, signed autographs and afterwards sat down with a group of journalists and bloggers to talk about his career, his diet and….his hair!

He spoke about Reggie Bush, Bush was in New Orleans when Bell arrived in 2011, and spoke about his admiration for the veteran. Bush was the first one to come up and introduce himself to the young back and Joique relished the opportunity to repay the favour when Bush arrived in Detroit. We asked him, now with Bush gone, does he see himself as the leader of the group of running backs? “Definitely, I’m the old guy in the room” Bell is 28. “I’m that guy now, obviously the young guys look to me for leadership”

Being the “old guy” forces athletes to look to life after football and Bell was asked had he any plans in that regard. Being a guy who perhaps the NFL wasn’t guaranteed for, Bell finished college and got his degree before attempting to get picked up in the NFL. “Thats the good thing about me, I’ve got options. I’m going back to school to get my masters. I might sit down for a couple of years and just follow my sons high school career. I might go back into coaching but going back into coaching means a lot of man hours and I want to be able to spend time with my family when I’m done playing. I might go back to my sons high school and coach, watch my son play, watch him live his dream” Bells son is a running back, and he takes obvious pride in letting people know.

Bell spoke about how he and Reggie spilt the bill when they took their offensive line out for dinner in London during last years international series. “That was like a half years salary” The relationship between a back and the o-line is not lost on the humble Bell, who also brings breakfast for his o-line the Saturday before every home game.

Joique Bell (centre)  tries a bit of hurling encouraged by GAA stars Tomas 'Mossy'Quinn (left) and Jackie Tyrell in Elverys Intersport Dundrum Shopping Centre
Joique Bell (centre) tries a bit of hurling encouraged by GAA stars Tomas ‘Mossy’Quinn (left) and Jackie Tyrell in Elverys Intersport Dundrum Shopping Centre

The diet of professional athletes is always the subject of much wonder and Bell, perhaps being a guy who had to work that little bit harder to make it in the NFL spoke about the lengths he goes to to stay in top condition. “I have a lot of hair, I go to a place that makes customised vitamin pills, I cut off one go my locks and give it to them, they’ll analyse my hair and tell me the exact things that my diet is missing and they’ll customise vitamin packets that I should take daily” he didn’t stop there ” I do blood work. I take my blood send it to these scientists and they’ll tell me what food causes inflammation in my body. What foods I need to avoid, what foods I can eat. Everything down from meats, grain, all the way down to spices. I take all that into consideration, I pass it along to my chef and my nutritionist. They team up and make a meal plan for me. Thats the diet I keep myself strictly on”

Bell also spoke about the progress of Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota. You can listen to the whole Q&A session here.

Bell is a back just hitting the prime and we’ll get another opportunity to see him play in London this season as the Lions take on the Chiefs, in the pick of the 3 games in Wembley on the on November 1st.

The purpose of Joiques trip was to promote Nikes Launch of NFL Jerseys in Elverys in Dundrum Shopping Centre in Dublin. The Jerseys were on sale here for €85 and included, Matthew Stafford #9 Colin Kaepernick #7 Aaron Rodgers #12 & Tom Brady #12. The AFC was a little underrepresented with only the Patriots and the Dolphins Jerseys available but Ryan Tannehills #17 Home Aqua Green Jersey was available.

Worth a note that €85 is likely the cheapest you’ll pay for a jersey outside the US and without the shipping cost it is a bargain for NFL fans in Ireland. What is even better, is if you are a 3 mobile phone customer (or you know one) Their Discount App the 3+ app available on iOS & Android includes a discount of 20% in Elverys making the Jerseys only €68 really making them the cheapest genuine Nike jerseys available anywhere!

NFL Cheat Sheet : Bears

Lots going on in the off season, not reading the MMQB every week? The NFL Cheat Sheet has you covered! Less than 500 words everything you need to know about the Off-Season

Chicago Bears

John Fox  in as HC is good news for the Bears. Fox will turn around this ailing defence and back to the fearsome unit it has been. Adam Gase in as offensive co-ordinator. The Bears are getting root and branch overhaul and Gase was in Denver with Fox. Vic Fangio is the new DC and to execute Fox’s plan. Things are looking good off the field for the Bears.


Players out

  • DJ Williams  lost to free agency, hasn’t been picked up elsewhere
  • Lance Briggs went in free agency and is still available
  • Charles Tillman is gone to the Panthers
  • Roberto Garza was released in April and given the Bears line play, it’s unsurprising, he’s still free.
  • Stephen Paea is gone to the Redskins
  • Darryl Sharpton now a Cardinal
  • Brandon Marshall at the Jets

Players In

  • Sam Acho, outside LB from the Cardinals…meh.
  • Antrel Rolle, Safety, didn’t have the best year of his career in New York last year, but who did?
  • Pernell McPhee, pass rusher from Baltimore.
  • Bear Pascoe, another iffy year at the Giants but things are rotten in New York and that’s not all down to the players
  • Will Montgomery, an upgrade on Garza and experience with this coaching staff….and Cheap too!
  • Mason Foster will add depths, not a starter, hopefully.
  • Eddie Royal a nice pick up from San Diego. Losing Marshall they need to replace that production.
  • Alan Ball injured most of last season but Darrelle Revis this is not

Draft

  • Kevin White, WR….please be better than Marshall…the official text of the phone conversation on Draft night.
  • Eddie Goldman  a big, fast moving, high motor DT. Will make a difference in Run Defence right away, may take time to refine the pass rush.
  • Hroniss Grasu snapping to Mariota and anchoring the Ducks zone run game. A bit tall and a bit light make leveraging those big Nose tackles tough for him but Montgomery likely to start and he’ll get time.

Overall

The Bears offseason story is all about the Coaching Staff additions, minor personnel moves shed some dead weight (Garza) and add some useful talent (White). John Fox was tremendously successful at the Broncos and likely was fired in advance of the rebuild that is soon to follow after Peyton Manning retires. The new OC and DC were tipped as head coach candidates elsewhere so this is a strong group off the field there is only one but…..Jay Cutler!

 

NFL Cheat Sheet: Browns

Don’t want to do the research? The NFL Cheat Sheet has you covered! Less than 500 words everything you need to know about the Off-Season

Cleveland Browns

Kyle Shanahan as with most of his offensive staff is gone. John DeFilippo is the new OC and he’s brought with him the best Wide Receivers Coach we’ve ever heard of, not because of his coaching but his name, Joker Philips. 


Players out

  • Brian Hoyer is gone to the Texans.
  • Jim Leonard retired.
  • Miles Austin is gone to the Eagles
  • Jordan Cameron is gone to the Dolphins (pause for crying from Browns fans)
  • Ahtyba Rubin is gone to Seattle
  • Jabaal Sheard now a Patriot
  • Buster Skrine at the Jets

Thats 5 starters if you’re counting!


Players In

  • Josh McCown, Yay!!
  • Brian Hartline, serviceable receiver WR from the Dolphins.
  • Dwayne Bowe, sounds better than it is, Zero TDs in 2014.
  • Tramon Williams, CB Packers couldn’t pay everyone.
  • Randy Starks, is in from the Dolphins, can play either Tackle spot and will add some teeth to the pass rush
  • Andy Lee if you’re going to trade for a punter, might as well be one of the best out there!

Draft

  • Danny Shelton, DT in the first round is an effort to fix their leaky run defence. Starks mentioned above is questionable in that department so Shelton will be called on to perform.
  • Cameron Erving  late in the first round is insurance if Alex Mack goes elsewhere at the end of this deal and a solid addition along the line regardless. The Browns need to improve their run game and a few of their linemen need to step up or be put on a bus. Erving will push those guys on borrowed time.
  • Nate Orchard will help the pass rush and fits the Mike Pettine mould. Good pick for a team adding guys that will make a contribution.
  • Xavier Cooper another pick to shore up the defensive line in the 3rd round. Cooper is raw but is an athletic freak and will develop given time.

Overall

If the Browns new offence can get the best out of McCown and develop Manziel, they should be in a position to compete in the AFC North. There is still glaring deficiencies on this squad, (Wide Receiver, Quarterback) but they are elite in places (Corner Back) They have taken steps to develop the hard nose AFC North defence of their rivals and the Browns are clawing their way out of punchline status in the NFL.

 

NFL Cheat Sheet: Buccaneers

The NFL season is little over 6 weeks away and over the next few weeks we’re going to go over all that has been going on with the NFL’s 32 teams this off season. We’ll bring you up to speed in easy to read bite sized chunks and without further adieu…

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dirk Koetter in as Offensive Co-Ordinator. After Jeff Tedford had heart surgery in pre-season last year the Bucs were realistically without an OC all of last year….well 2-14 is what happened.


Players out

  • Big money OT Anthony Collins was cut after signing a $30m 5 year deal and offering about as much protection as paper mache. Collins is still a free agent.
  • Dashon Goldosn was traded to Washington
  • Josh McCown was cut and picked up the Browns
  • Adrian Clayborne and DeQuan Bowers, both heralded as the core of the Bucs defensive line for the next decade both had contacts expire and they’ve moved on.

Players In

  • George Johnson, DE acquired in Trade from Detroit.
  • Chris Conte, S washed out in Chicago will likely serve as a backup.
  • Henry Melton, DT perhaps past his best but the kind of reliability needed on a team rebuilding. Will give McCoy a break.
  • Bruce Carter, ILB Rolondo McClain made Carter surplus to requirements in Dallas. Solid player.
  • Sterling Moore, more defenders from Dallas. Will add competition to the Nickel Corner spot.

Draft

  • Jamis Winston, Andrew Luck this pick is not but Winston has undoubtable quality and if the Bucs can use their depth a running back to help him out he has the potential to be one of the better QB’s to come out in the last few years.
    Next two picks went on offensive linemen, Donovan Smith & Ali Marpet will both be day 1 starters which might bring it’s own issues but there is quality there.
  • Kwon Alexander in the 4th round is a rare defensive pick for the Bucs but he has the potential to be a very fine NFL inside linebacker, but don’t they all.
    Late round picks were spent on some offensive skill guys who will add depth.

Overall

Getting help to their young QB will be the biggest challenge for the Bucs. Fail and you’ve got Geno 2.0 succeed and you might have Andrew Luck (well about 85% of him) The Bucs aren’t going to the Super Bowl nor will they win the division but progress can be made if they are smart about it!