The NFL is kicking off this week and I have some random thoughts on the league and games. Good luck to all 32 teams- every year a team that folks think will stink is good and the opposite happens to “contending” team. The NFL is a 17 + week reality show.
Whether you like Zeke Elliott or not, the reality of the running back position in todays NFL is this--- very few are good by year 8,9,10. So you must maximize your 2nd contract because that 3rd contract might be year to year. Laveon Bell and Todd Gurley are two other examples of good and bad with ball carriers. Bell cost himself a year of pay and did not get the payday he wanted. He also is going to a bad offense w poor blocking. Gurley is an excellent player but has a history of knee issues. He got paid anyways. His backup in the Rams postseason run (CJ Anderson) has kicked around the league and is now a Lion. Running backs are entering a dangerous place in the NFL power pyramid and players-agents would be wise to adjust contract talks. Why what Melvin Gordon is doing is smart.
With the league rosters set at 53, interesting notes from the Patriots 53: Outside of the last 2 draft classes( 3 #1 picks), how many former # picks do you think New England has on the team? ANSWER BELOW
BTW The Pats have 5 players who have been with the team for 10 years.3 of em are team captains. The other is the returning Super Bowl MVP. 5th is the team’s all time leading scorer. Average draft position? 4.6
Tom Brady 2000 6th rd
Stephen Gostkowski 2006 4th rd
Matthew Slater 2008 5th rd
Julian Edelman 2009 7th rd
Devin McCourty 2010 1st rd
Remember when people mocked the Big 12 Quarterbacks entering the NFL? League has come a long way since Sam Bradford and Blaine Gabbert. In the last 3 drafts, the conference has given us Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
Tom Brady is the new Brett Favre for his backup QBs. The Green Bay Packers used to churn out signal callers to other teams and many became starters for other teams. Ty Detmer, Mark Brunnell, Aaron Brooks and Matt Hasselbeck are just some of the guys who left Lambeau for big pay days and starting jobs on other teams. Check out Brady’s “QB” tree: Matt Cassell. Jimmy Garappolo. Ryan Mallett. Jacoby Brisett. Brian Hoyer.
The Miami Dolphins cut 27 players Saturday. Not one was claimed by another team.
The top 5 Picks in the 2014 Draft have all been traded before signing 2nd deals!!!
Per Field Yates (ESPN)-- Look at this:
1- Houston Texans- Jadeveon Clowney
2- LA Rams- Greg Robinson
3- Jaguars- Blake Bortles
4- Bills- Sammy Watkins
5- Raiders- Khalil Mack
League is as wide open as ever but general consensus is 4 divisions have obvious last place teams: AFC East (Miami), AFC North (Cincinnati), NFC South (Tampa Bay) and NFC West (Arizona) all could in the running for the 1st overall pick in the 2020 draft. Meanwhile, almost every other team in this league could win 6-8 games. A league of parity. What the NFL wants.
Been following the NFL for almost 40 years. Never seen so many teams with bad kicking situations. Runs in cycles. But this is with Adam Vinateri near the end and Sebastian Janikowski retiring. Matt Bryant is back with the Atlanta Falcons after signing this week for his 18th season. HUGE problem, league wide.
THE DRAFT MATTERS!!! People killed the Cleveland Browns for screwing up the QB position for years. Picked the wrong guys, passed on the right guys,etc. It was a mess. Well-- The Miami Dolphins had the 1st pick in the 2008 draft. And had an obvious need at QB. (They had this Marino guy for 15+ years. HE WAS GOOD). The Phins passed on Matt Ryan and took Left Tackle Jake Long. #77 was good but often injured and flamed out of the league. The team then drafted another Offensive Lineman Laremy Tunsel. Who Miami traded over this weekend. The Dolphins now need a franchise QB and Left Tackle. Matt Ryan? Well he is the face of the Atlanta Falcons and a former MVP. He is a Tom Brady greatest comeback of all time away from being a Super Bowl Champion. The lesson here? Draft mistakes set you back. FOR YEARS!!!!
Trivia Answer: The 2019 Patriots have 2 of their own 1st round picks on the roster- outside of the 2018-19 drafts. LBer Donta Hightower (2012) and McCourty (2010) are two key veteran stars-leaders. The team acquired 5 other former 1st rounders in the last 3 years and all could start for the team. All world corner Stephen Gilmore (Bills 1st rounder, 2012) and WR Phillip Dorsett ( Colts 1st rounder, 2015) highlight the group. Defensive lineman Danny Shelton (Browns 1st rounder, 2015) has been the talk of camp and will start inside. Tight End and all around good guy Ben Watson (1st round, 2004) starts his 2nd tenure in New England. The lesson here? You can find good players outside of the 1st round. You can also find fits on other teams. One man’s trash is another’s treasure.
I am a details guy and Found several interesting facts, tibbits and stats scouring NFL preview magazines this Summer. Part of what I try to do with information is figure out the who, what, where and how before it happens. I am in the information collecting business, today I am in the information sharing business. Enjoy these factoids only serious Football fans will enjoy.
People around the sport like to joke “NFL” stands for NOT THAT LONG. Well when you check the coordinators for teams as we enter the 2019 season, that saying is VERY literal. 32 Teams in the League- REMEMBER THIS!
Teams with new coordinators (Both sides of the Ball): 9
Teams with one returning coordinator(Offense,Defense): 10
Teams with both coordinators in 2nd FULL season: 5
25 -25 teams- Out of 32 with either 1st or 2nd yr play callers!!!!!!!!!!!
Teams with both coordinators in 3rd FULL season: 3
3 Teams with Both Coordinators back (and TOTAL Seasons for Both):
Buffalo Bills: 5
And… Finally- we have 1 team- with both Coordinators back entering the 3rd season or more:
New Orleans Saints! Offensive Coordinator Peter Carmichael Jr (10th yr) and Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen (3rd)
Coaches are hired and fired all the time but this # is astounding. Successful teams get pilliged and assistants become head coaches.. Sean McVay, Andy Reid and Bill Belichick disciples are scattered all around the NFL.
The 7th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft? Josh Allen, QB. Buffalo Bills
The 7th Pick in the 2019 NFL Draft? Josh Allen, DE. Jacksonville Jaguars
TE Tango: The New England Patriots let starting TE Ben Watson go after 2009 , signed a veteran TE and drafted two players high to replace him in 2010. One was Rob Gronkowski. “Gronk” retired this offseason. The Pats have brought in several free agents to replace #87. One of the veterans is a 38 yr old named… BEN WATSON.
Tom Brady had 2 Starting Left Tackles from 2001 to 2017: Matt Light and Nate Solder. 17 SEASONS!!! When the season kicks off in September, Brady will have his 2nd different Starting Left Tackle in 12 months.
The Dallas Cowboys will start 4 defensive players who attended Boise State University. Out of 11.
The starting cornerbacks on the Saints are both former Ohio State Buckeye players
The two offensive guards on the Cleveland Browns attended Nevada
The Cincinnati Bengals start 5 ex Georgia Bulldogs
The Chicago Bears defense finished #1 in 5 of 7 statistical categories yet the two best players on it are from Regina ( Canadian school) and The University of Buffalo. Scouting matters. Ask Hakiem Nicks and Khalil Mack.
2019 and 1983
Very odd situation that draws comparisons with 1983 and 2018-2019 in the AFC East. Under the old conference set up in 1983, each conference had 14 teams- 2 5 team divisions and 1 4 team division. The AFC East featured Miami, The Jets, Buffalo, The Old Baltimore Colts and Patriots. In the incredible 1983 draft, all 5 teams took a QB in the 1st round. John Elway #1 (Traded), Jim Kelly #14 and Dan Marino #27 became super stars. Tony Eason #15 and Ken O’Brien #24 made the playoffs and had moments. Well after the offseason trade of Josh Rosen to Miami, the new four team AFC East features QBs who went 3,7 and 10 in the draft: Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Rosen. The fourth QB in the AFC East? He went 199th. In 2001. TOM BRADY.
More Fun Facts
Four of the Buffalo 5 Starting Offensive Linemen where not on the Bills Last season: 3 Free agents, 1 draft pick
The San Francisco 49ers defensive line features 5 former 1st round picks- 4 of their own ( 2015,2016, 2017,2019) and one from another team (2014).
The Los Angeles Rams will start a defensive player from the University of Washington at every level of their defense: Line, Linebacker and defensive back. If 1st round pick Safety Taylor Rapp can break thru at safety, it will be 4.
The Detroit Lions long snapper (Don Muhlbach) and kicker (Matt Prater) have been in the NFL for 27 seasons combined. The teams #1 Wide Receiver (Kenny Golladay) and Running Back (Kerryon Johnson) are entering years 3 and 2 respectively.
The Seattle Seahawks have been a mess on the Offensive Line due to injuries and ineffectiveness over the last 4-5 years. After putting together a solid group in 2018, they led the NFL in rushing. The team returns 4 of 5 starters on the front wall and the 5th spot will be manned by former All Pro left guard Mike Iupati, who has battled injuries in recent seasons.
The Arizona Cardinals #1 Wide Receiver is long time All Pro and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald. #11 is entering his 15th season. The next 4 WRs on the depth chart are a second year man ( Christian Kirk) and 3 rookies( Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and KeeSean Johnson)
The Buffalo Bills running back depth chart is a lot like the Arizona wide receiver room but reversed! 2 long timers in Frank Gore (14 seasons) and LeSean McCoy (10 seasons) will be joined by rookie speedster Devin Singletary and revamped O Line and skill group. #DarkHorseTeam
Baltimore Ravens Quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III are both 6-2 but RG III outweighs the 2nd yr starter 213-212
The Miami Dolphins feature two Ohio State Linebackers in their 4-3 look-and they where selected in back to back drafts ,1 round apart. Mike backer Raekwon McMillan was a 2nd rd pick in the 2017 draft while Will Jerome Backer went in the 3rd round in 2018
Anthony Chickillo is the only member of the Steelers 8 pick 2015 NFL draft class to get a 2nd contract with the squad. 1st round pick-Outside Linebacker Bud Dupree is on his 5th year option and has been up in down in stay in the Steel City.
Last year the Cardinals spent just under $35 million on 3 quarterbacks in 2018- Josh Rosen, Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon- who are not on the team in 2019.
NFL: NOT FOR LONG
Back stabbing. Revenge. Personal vendettas. Power abuse. Outraged citizens. Angry Mobs. This week’s episode of Game of Thrones? NO. This is my hometown of Andover, Massachusetts, after the news involving our popular hockey coach Chris Kuchar. The man turned around a struggling program but was let go after one of the most successful seasons in history—even though the team and coach won numerous awards and accolades. And parents, fans, players, and alumni are outraged. The man responsible for the move is Andover Schools’ Superintendent Shelley Berman. And he has earned a long stay in Beav's Penalty Box.
To understand the frustration here, you must look at the history between the school and Kuchar. In 2017-18, a parent came forward with false abuse accusations against the coach. Although he was cleared by an independent investigation, he lost his full-time job at a bank. More importantly however, it came out that a 2016 letter by Berman circulated in which he urged the removal of Coach Kuchar, because Berman’s son didn’t get enough playing time. This past season, Kuchar took a young team with very few seniors to heights not seen in years. And Berman fired him.
I am a product of both the Andover school system and sports teams. Coaches are vital educators and some of the best lessons I have learned are from coaches. Chris Kuchar fits this moniker to a tee. His kids did charity appearances, worked with kids, and excelled in school. He is a game changer. He cared about these kids and their families. He won on and off the ice. And he was fired. Why? One man.
Revenge is best served cold is an old saying. I guess ice is cold. I have talked to many parents, kids, and members of the media since this was announced last Monday. Not one person has given me a legitimate reason for this move. I would welcome one. But when your coach wins on and off the field and is let go by a boss who tried to fire him three years ago, you don’t have to be Inspector Clouseau to figure out why. Using your title and power to take out a good man is a good way to earn a stay in Beav's Penalty Box. For using his job to hurt a great man, good kids, and great families, Andover Superintendent of Schools Shelley Berman has a LONG stay in Beav's Penalty Box.
In this edition of #WeeklyWrap, Beav breaks down Lebron and The Lakers, Bryce Harper, The NFL combine and the weekend Big Ten Basketball Showdown between UM and MSU>
In The Den: Inside Michigan Baseball - Team #153 Episode 2: With Guest UM Pitching Coach Chris Fetter
In our 2nd edition of In The Den, we welcome back Beav's good buddy and new Dad, UM Pitching Coach Chris Fetter.
Monday concluded the annual NFL combine, where draft eligible players work out, run, meet with teams, and undergo extensive medical testing. Think of it as a job interview with a potential employer after they have your application. The non-physical portion typically accounts for about 20% to 30% of the “interview,” with the physical portion accounting for the rest. Game film gets teams’ attention, but teams want to see how you prepare for a test—when you know the answers and how you handle one on one interaction. Football is a team sport, but individual action is crucial to success. Finding bigger, stronger, smarter players is a good thing. And exposure—good and bad—is a positive for both teams and athletes.
The Combine helps teams and players see differences when prospects are neck-and-neck. It is not hard to see why Dexter Lawrence plays defensive tackle and Joey Bosa plays defensive end. But teams are scheme-specific and prefer bigger or smaller players at certain positions. You will hear things like, scheme fits and flexibility, 3-down players, core special teams’ player—these are ways teams say, “Player A is a better for us than player B.” And teams have star players under contract, so 1st and 2nd day guys at certain positions do not make sense for teams. The Dallas Cowboys, NY Giants and LA Rams, for example, will not select running backs in the first two rounds.
The Combine has come a long way from the days when people like Bill Parcells would mock it with “Underwear Olympics” comments. Players like Bosa, who are recovering from injury, use it as a showcase, others like UMass wide receiver Andy Isabella, a coming out party. Teams also downgrade guys who are out of shape, unprepared, or have extreme weight changes. The NFL views eight weeks as an eternity and players can make or lose millions in that time. Like the game itself, so much of this weekend is about mental as physical.
My message to fans and teams is the same here. The combine is part of the selection process, but nobody got tackled, blocked, or sacked. This is not football. It is football preparation and testing. We have all seen guys who play great in practice and are DUDS in games. But it is good to see some guys who have been great in actual games look great in Indy, while a small school guy like Isabella get some props. It’s also cool to see why a smaller guy like Chase Winovich or Devin Bush is good. Combine the combine, take the information and tape and draw your own conclusions. But always remember this: The best quarterback workout at the combine the last 20 years? JaMarcus Russell. The worst? Tom Brady. Players play.
In this edition of Weekly wrap, Beav discusses Mr. K, The NHL trade deadline and Michigan Basketball.
The NFL off season is here... And Beav explains why where your team's QB situation is at greatly impacts every move your team makes.