Hot In Cleveland … Lukewarm In New England ….
By tophatal ….. 06/14/2012 10:13 PM (EST)
Well with NFL off-season workouts are at an end and for a number of teams this was a precursor for the rookies of the NFL Draft . This also gave the coaches and general managers to assess their new recruits as well as the free agents acquired through a number transactions .
Slide show , for your perusal .
As an avid New England Patriots’ fan , I was pleased to find out GM Nick Caserio has seen fit to offer Rob Gronkowski a new contract that makes him the tight-end , the highest paid player at the position in NFL history . Gronkoswki had an exceptional season for the Patriots in 2011 , which saw the team make the postseason and then progressing all the way to the Superbowl . The New England Patriots would succumb to the New York Giants in a thoroughly thrilling game , which gave Tom Coughlin’s … players their second victory over their AFC rivals in the NFL’s showcase event in six years.
This season for the New England Patriots will be about regrouping with Bill Belichick and the coaching staff assessing their draft picks , taking note and assessing whether or not the players acquired will complementary to the team’s needs . Certainly , with the loss of wide receiver Chad Ochocinco who was released by the franchise , this was addition by subtraction . The player was unproductive over the course of the season and the Patriots’ loss was the Miami Dolphins’ gain , with head coach Joe Philbin and GM Jeff Ireland adding the wide receiver to an unproductive … offense . The player will certainly bring along a great deal of baggage but I doubt anything by way of productivity that will make the Dolphins one of the major surprises this upcoming season in the NFL .
The Miami Dolphins for their part have Ryan Tannehill as the heir-apparent at the position of quarterback for the Dolphins . It remains to be seen how the rookie will undoubtedly fare and what problems if any , this would create for the team . It will take a monumental effort from the young player to even have the impact and success achieved by Cam Newton for the Carolina Panthers last season as an incoming freshman quarter back . However , the franchise has seasoned veteran David Garrard within their midst , presumably as the starter , it is Tannehill who is being groomed to become the starter for the Dolphins. Week 1 should provide us all with the evidence needed to verify that fact and how the player should be viewed as a > potential starter for the team .
The New England Patriots as we know , were one of the poorer teams in league , in terms of their defensive capabilities . It would prove be the team’s Achilles Heel throughout their schedule over the course of the year . Bill Belichick continues to tinker with the defense and there is no denying he has not been pleased with the lack of defense shown by that defensive unit of last season Clearly , Belichick knows that if this team is to be successful this season , then the players of their defensive corps will have to prove their worth . It is one of the many reasons why the Patriots sought to draft players that would bolster the defensive unit .
The acquisition of Brandon Lloyd adds more potency to an already potent offense which had on display over the course of the regular and postseason in 2011 . What we should now expect from the Patriots this season could very well have the fans salivating if this team shows a marked improvement over last year and that will not bode well for the rest of the NFL , at all .
The AFC East as know , beyond the New England Patriots has the Buffalo Bills , Miami Dolphins and the somewhat under-achieving …. New York Jets . For coaches Chan Gailey and Rex Ryan of the Bills and Jets , respectively , this will be a season where a lot will be asked of each of these head coaches . For Ryan in particular , with the big splash made with the acquisition of Tim Tebow as the backup to Mark Sanchez , this should prove to be quite an eventful season for both quarterbacks . The New York press and tv analysts have made this a far bigger story than it needs to be , all in the hope of building up a budding controversy between the two players. Sanchez knows that failure on his part will lead to the fans calling for his head and the installing of Tebow to replace the beleaguered starting quarterback . Since Mark Sanchez’s entrance into the league in 2009 , many have wondered whether or not the player could live up to the perceived hype of the players (quarterbacks) who have left USC (Trojans) to make a career in the NFL .
For the quarterbacks in question under the tutelage of Pete Carroll to my mind , has proven to me that the controversy that surrounded the program was an aberration in terms of the perceived greatness . Players such as Matt Cassel , Carson Palmer as well as Sanchez , have yet to truly establish their credentials as legitimate high-caliber quarterbacks with leadership abilities . We know that in his first two seasons , Mark Sanchez was able to take the Jets to the cusp of a Superbowl appearance , with two consecutive AFC championship games in 2009 and 2010 . All of which , led to defeats for the teams in question , on both occasions for Rex Ryan’s and his coaching staff.
It is extremely difficult ________________ what to make of the Buffalo Bills but it has become increasingly clear that even with the fast start to a season , they cannot maintain that momentum over the course of a sixteen game schedule . I firmly believe that once again it will be very much more of the same that once again will see this team ride on the coat-tail and the arm of Ryan Fitzpatrick . Another sub-par year for the Buffalo Bills and it could pretty signal the end for Chan Gailey as the head coach of this franchise .
Colt McCoy , will either be the opening day quarterback for the Cleveland Browns this season , or he will be seated on the bench as Brandon Weeden , receives his baptism of fire , within the NFL . McCoy has been mistreated by the franchise , specifically by Mike Holmgren and the coaching staff led by Pat Shurmur . The incompetence shown by the Browns last season when the quarterback suffered a concussion , which saw the player, rendered helpless and not cognizant of his surroundings . Yet somehow , the Browns saw fit for Colt McCoy to reenter the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers , whose defensive player James Harrison supplied “ the hit” that incapacitated the opposing quarterback . McCoy tried to regain his balance but stumbled to ground , then to be assisted off the field , only for the player to be forced to return to the game . The coaching staff stated the player agreed to return and McCoy , himself responded in kind . After the game however , it was revealed that the player’s father revealed that he spoke with the coaching staff concerning his son’s condition at the time , only to be told they felt he was fit enough to take the field . It seems rather asinine in the current climate of the NFL with the medical information and staff on hand , somehow Browns’ own medical staff completely misdiagnosed medical condition at the time.
What might now be even more unpalatable , has been the very fact that the league hierarchy led by Roger Goodell , team owners and the NLFPA (union) have continued to ignore the plight of the players who have suffered such maladies , and the information that has been within their possession for decades . For those who believe that this issue has been around since Goodell succeeded Paul Tagliabue as NFL Commissioner , then think again . A great deal of this information has been around during Tagliabue’s reign but somehow this has simply been ignored and the sheer naiveté of the league and the media has been beyond belief . What might be even more idiotic has been the very fact that a number of fans have stated that hindsight being 50/50 , there was really nothing that the NFL could really do to address the issue . Are you kidding me ? The NFL was not capable of meeting this issue head on and deal with this damn PR nightmare ? And therein lies the current idiotic stance of Goodell and his trying fend of the numerous civil suits for which the NFL is now a defendant . At present , there are 70 legal suits representing 1200 current and former players filed at various levels within the judicial system . Roger Goodell wishes for these suits to be conjoined and tried at the Federal level within US Federal Court . Pardon me for saying this but Goodell has been at least five steps behind ON this issue for a number of years , and it has been his sheer incompetence that continues to shine repeatedly as this matter has become relevant within the current climate of the NFL . Never mind the fact , that in light of the current collective bargaining agreement ratified and voted upon by the union, to instigate mandatory in and off-season testing for steroid and other illicit substances but somehow this has now been placed on the back-burner by the commissioner . His response under questioning by a congressional committee (House Energy & Commerce Committee) were that he , and the union’s executive committee still had a number of issues to “ iron out” before they could begin testing . The upcoming schedule and as of yet , the fans and the public are still unaware as to whether or not the league will begin to test the players for HGH and anabolic steroids . Care to respond as to which path will be taken by the NFL ?
Picture gallery .
What thoughts if any do you concerning the salient points raised within this article ? By all means leave a comment as you see fit and as always thanks for the continued support of this site as it has always been greatly appreciated !
Picture & slide show details below .
(1) New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski , middle, walks down steps from the practice field at Gillette Stadium with other players after NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass. on Thursday, June 14, 2012. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …
(2) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick listens to a question during an NFL football media availability in Foxborough, Mass. on Thursday, June 14, 2012. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …
(3) FILE – In this Sept. 25, 2011, file photo, New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard runs with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia. Ballard, coming off ACL and micro-fracture surgery and likely unavailable for action until 2013, was claimed shortly before Tuesday’s opening workout of Giants mini-camp, a day after he was waived because of a failed physical. It was the Giants’ intention to re-sign him and eventually place him on injured reserve. But the New England Patriots beat them to it, leaving Giants coach Tom Coughlin displeased with the entire situation on Wednesday. AP Photo/Alex Brandon …
(4) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady smiles while stretching during NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, June 13, 2012. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …
(5) Patriots GM & Head of Player Personnel , Nick Caserio , is seen here addressing the convened press at Gillette Stadium , Foxborough , Massachusetts ,. AP Photo /Getty Images / Harry How ….
(6)Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin talks during an NFL football news conference after the team’s practice, Monday, June 11, 2012, in Davie, Fla. AP Photo/J Pat Carter ……
(7) DAVIE, FL – MAY 4 : Ryan Tannehill (17) of the Miami Dolphins talks to the media after the rookie minicamp on May 4, 2012 at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. AP Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images …
(8) Chad Ochocinco seen here arriving at the Miami Dolphins’ training facility in Davie, Florida . The player recently signed one-year-deal with the Dolphins , hoping to revive his career with the franchise , having had a less than successful reign with the New England Patriots . Miami Herald/ Roberto Gomez …..
(9) Jets’ teammates Tim Tebow (15) and Mark Sanchez (6) seen here at the team’s training facility in Florsham , New Jersey . Tebow was brought in as a backup quarterback , to incumbent , Mark Sanchez . The rumor mills are rife , that this will now lead to a quarterback controversy within the Jets’ organization . Mark Sanchez , now caught within the crosshairs of the press and fans like , knows he has to produce this season for the New York Jets . AP Photo / Mike Parrish …
(10) Colt McCoy (12) of the Cleveland Browns talks with Pat Shurmur during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Scott Boehm / Getty Images North America …
(11) Colt McCoy (12) is seen here alongside the Browns’ first round draft pick Brandon Weeden (3) at the team’s practice facility . Team President Mike Holmgren , and owner , Randolph “Randy” Lerner seem intent on Weeden being the opening day starter at quarterback for the team . This has further alienated McCoy and his future with the organization . AP Getty Images / Paul Ronson ….