A season to behold or not ………… make a case ?

A season to behold or not ………… make a case ?

Well not much to report as week two of the NFL preseason will come to a close of tonight with the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Washington , DC. For the Redskins , the talk has been whether or not the team`s sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin III and his head coach Mike Shanahan are on the same page in terms of the player`s recovery from knee surgery and is now back to full health . Shanahan does have cause for concern, because the loss of Griffin before the regular season has started , would be a devastating loss for a franchise that rebounded to have a very successful season , having won their division (NFC East) and making a playoff appearance . Undoubtedly, the fans will be expecting a great deal more in 2013 as the franchise looks to improve and prove that last year was no mere aberration.


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Griffin and his backup Kirk Cousins were able provide the Redskins with the type of offense offense that was lacking for so a ref= many years with the franchise. And with an effective running game provided by running back Alfred Morris . It does give credence to the fact that this team should be considered as one of the more credible franchises good enough within the NFC to be thought of as a serious contender for the Superbowl . Coming off a narrow 22-21 victory over the Tennessee Titans during which Washington exhibited no more than an adequate number of plays , giving Mike Shanahan and his staff a chance to assess a number of his starters as well as the young rookies acquired in the NFL Draft and a number of free agent acquisitions . By my own estimation, I believe that the Redskins will most certainly have to show a great deal of improvement in the team`s defense . It was a problem all season long for the franchise, giving up on average 377 yards per game ranking the team twenty eighth overall of the league`s thirty-two teams in 2012 . If that issue can be rectified, then we could very well see the very best of the Washington Redskins in 2013 .

For those young Redskins` rookies now seeking to make in impact , the preseason will be the chance for them show their worth to the organization as a whole . Aaron David , Jordan Reed , Phillip Thomas , Chris Thompson , Brandon Jenkins , Baccari Rambo and Jawan Jamison are seen as the players seeking to make that a reality. With games against the Buffalo Bills at home on the 24th August , before closing out their preseason exhibition against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida . The reigning NFC East champions would like nothing better than to close out their preseason on a winning note .

Mike Shanahan and his Washington Redskins will begin their regular season with a divisional clash against the Philadelphia Eagles , in a match-up that will be of vital meaning for both teams . In a televised Monday night game , it will be interesting to see who the starting quarterback will be for the Eagles , after what appears to be something of a season of mixed fortunes Chip Kelly`s contestants for the position for the opening day starter. There is seasoned veteran Michael Vick looking to answer the question , as to whether not he is still capable of leading a team, or second year player Nick Foles , who when called upon, has proven himself to be comfortable in the role as an NFL quarterback of note .

Chip Kelly can ill afford to start off this season with any type of indecision concerning his roster , after the upheavals that took place in 2012, leading to the departure of former head coach Andy Reid . Also , with Vick`s indecision , lack of leadership, but most of all, Reid`s insistence that his veteran quarterback was the best option in leading the team, was a clear indication as to how dire the situation was said to be. A 4-12 season with a fourth place finish in the NFC East pretty much summed up a disastrous 2012 for the Philadelphia Eagles . As to what the fans can expect of the team this season, will very much be predicated upon what the head coach can get out of his players by way of an all-out effort .

There is a continuing enigma surrounding the Chicago Bears` quarterback Jay Cutler . Often called a franchise caliber quarterback , this Pro Bowl player to my mind, has fallen far short of expectations . And in no way can Cutler be viewed as a leader , much less a player thought to be in the prime of his career or as one of the top ten quarterbacks in the NFL , since his entry into the league in 2006 , when he was drafted by the Denver Broncos as the eleventh overall pick in the first round that year . Though the Bears narrowly missed qualifying for the postseason in 2012, the continued knock against Jay Cutler has been the fact that his talents, belies his will to win. Excuses continue to be made for a player that remains amongst the highest paid players at his position in the NFL .

Sooner or later , it will be time for Cutler to either put up or simply shut up . This is a contract year, for the quarterback, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2014 and . It will certainly be interesting to see how Jay Cutler acquits himself this season for the Chicago Bears as the team seeks divisional supremacy over their rivals.

The Bears` 33-28 defeat of the San Diego Chargers for rookie head coach Marc Trestman was the baptism of fire for the well-respected former coordinator . Trestman replaces fired former head coach Lovie Smith . As to the reasons for the dismissal of Smith by Bear` GM Phil Emery , the explanations seem vague and somewhat ambiguous, to say the very least. Now while I believe the Chicago Bears to be a very good team , mainly because of a defense that has always been tenacious , and known for getting at an opposing quarterback and for their takeaways . It remains Cutler`s inconsistency to perform at a high level , and anemic passing offense that remains a blight for the team.

Marc Trestman and his coaching staff will have a great deal assess during this preseason , before the Bears embark upon their regular season schedule . Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte remain the main emphasis of an offense which I have already described as anemic after last season`s efforts. With the Bears being the guests of the Oakland Raiders in a game to be played at the O Coliseum in Oakland , California, as part the week three preseason schedule . A number of the Bears` starters and several players on the team`s depth chart are expected to see some playing time against Dennis Allen`s Raiders team . In what should prove to be a test of two teams looking to make some real inroads , as each seeks to raise the level of their play, in the build up to their regular season openers .

Chicago’s regular season opener will be against the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field , in Chicago , Illinois,. For the Bengals and Marvin Lewis , this may well be the year in which this team can make even further strides, after making the postseason for the last two consecutive seasons . Andy Dalton remains one of the unheralded young quarterbacks to have been drafted in the NFL over the past four seasons . It has been his play that has spawned the resurrection of this franchise during the time-span in question. Dalton`s performances in conjunction with the play of A J Green and Jermaine Gresham , that have been one of the more pleasant surprises in watching the Bengals , and the trio could very well prove to be a mainstay of the franchise for years to come .

It would be fair to suggest that for the better part of his career Brian Urlacher was a mainstay of the Bears` defense . A future Hall of Fame inductee, the player was not re-signed to a contract extension this off-season . Rather than seeking to play elsewhere in spite of is anger at being discarded by the only organization he has ever played for. Urlacher formally announced his retirement and is likely to be hired by one of the major broadcast or cable networks to provide his analysis and insight on the game .

It is not inexplicable to understand how a team such as the Detroit Lions can go from being a franchise on the rise in 2011 to a club that simply regressed in 2012 ending that season with 4-12 record within the NFC North . One could say that the abrasiveness of head coach Jim Schwartz and the lack of leadership from Matt Stafford played a part in the elements of a dismal season last year . Granted, a prolific offense remained on show last season, with the Lions averaging over 400 yards of offense per game , third only to the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints . Yet, what those three teams had in common was a porous defense that simply could not stop any type of offense challenge thrown against them under any circumstance.

Matt Stafford for is part, in 2012, simply put up gaudy numbers in terms of total yardage in a season , throwing for over 4900 yards , failing to break the 5,000 yard threshold by a mere thirty-three yards. The tandem of Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson would however, go on to break the single season receiving yardage mark , once held by Jerry Rice , a record (1,848yds) that withstood assaults for seventeen years , until it was surpassed in 2012 , with Johnson`s mark of 1,964 yards. While I am not against the singular achievement of an individual in a team context, I do believe that you win and lose as a team ! Those feats, while exemplary, mean absolutely nothing if at the end of season , all that the team will be remembered for , is finishing with a sub 500 record and firmly rooted at the bottom of your division. I can categorically state that both Matt Stafford and Calvin Jonson would have traded their single season achievements, if it guaranteed the Detroit Lions a berth in the 2012 postseason !

Jim Schwartz and the Lions were lackadaisical in their 24-6 lopsided defeat to the Cleveland Browns , in a game that we know not to be meaningful . Yet, it gave cause for concern, as the Lions` defense seemed to overly complacent , missing several assignments during the contest . Once again, bringing into question, whether or not Nick Fairley and Ndamokung Suh can been seen as the lynch pins of this defense for the long-term sustainability of this franchise ? ? Certainly during the regular season both of these players should be capable of raising the level of their game, yet it remains somewhat doubtful, if Sunday`s game is anything to go by. Given the respective salaries of Fairley and Suh, I would hate to think that both contracts have been a complete waste !

The acquisition of Reggie Bush gives Matt Stafford another weapon out of the backfield, as well as a running back, who when capable, is usually productive . But I can`t help but wonder, if Bush at this stage of his career is still motivated enough to produce at the highest level possible !. In New Orleans and Miami , he simply failed to meet the expectations sought and it is quite possible , that he may well fail here with the Detroit Lions . Yet only time will tell, and the actual hunger of the seasoned running back to make a return to the postseason and show the world what he is actually capable of doing .

Detroit will begin its regular season schedule with a game against divisional rivals the Minnesota Vikings and reigning league MVP Adrian Peterson . Ford Field in Detroit ,Michigan, is likely to be packed to rafters for a divisional match-up that pits two of the NFC`s more robust teams. Leslie Frazier , head coach of the Vikings, will be hoping that starting quarterback Christian Ponder can lead this team with a great deal of authority and maturity over the course of the season. The NFC North is likely to be a division that sees the Green Bay Packers quite possibly making a successful defense of their title under head coach Mike McCarthy and his singular minded quarterback Aaron Rodgers . All roads to the division, may have to pass through Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin,.

Stanley Kroenke , in an article in the magazine Sports Illustrated , has been described as the one of the most powerful men in all of North American sports . Granted , unimaginable wealth , as a member of Forbes` 400 List of Richest Americans . does bring along its privileges and notoriety . Kroenke`s sports interests through his Kroenke Sports Enterprises owns the St Louis Rams , Colorado Avalanche , Colorado Rapids , Arsenal FC of the Premiership (EPL) as well as the majority stake owner of Dick`s Sporting Goods chain. Of late, there has been mounting criticism of Kroenke and his ownership of the English soccer team. However , it should be noted that his original overtures to buy an initial 15% of the team, was warmly welcomed by the board members . In gradually raising his stake in Arsenal over an eighteen month period to above 28%, Stanley Kroenke was legally obliged to inform the London Stock Exchange of the raising of his stake in the soccer club , as is required by UK law, when there is intent to mount a bid to purchase a publicly listed company. .

Yet , Kroenke`s wish to own a majority stake was not about to take a backseat , as he has seen fellow prominent North American sports` franchise owners enter into the English soccer market over the past several years snapping up teams , primarily to maximize their investment . Franchise values for North American sports` teams are on the rise and their values are far greater than that of their British and European counterparts. Yet those values, are not appreciating as fast as those across the Atlantic. Now while the NFL , MLB , NBA and NHL do have a global presence. By comparison, soccer simply dominates the global scene as the most popular sport on the planet . It has been this realization that has led to John Henry of the Boston Red Sox , Stanley Kroenke , Malcolm Glazer and Shahid Khan to now take aim in purchasing a number of the top teams in the Premiership .

The regular season opener in the Premiership, saw Arsenal entertain Aston Villla at their palatial home of Emirates Stadium , in North London. The game itself, would be a humiliating event for the hosts, as the team was simply outclassed 3-1 in what turned out to be a very lopsided affair . Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger was left at a loss for words , as to the reasons behind his side`s defeat . The fans responded, calling for the head of Stanley Kroenke and the very fact , that since his installation as the club`s owner , very little has been done to improve the team`s roster by way of acquiring any major players .

I am not about to suggest that Kroenke`s tenure of the soccer franchise will be short-lived , but I do believe that if as he states , it is his wish to bring some success to Arsenal . Then his first act, will be to open up is pocket , rather than creating the perception that he is simply another North American sports` franchise owner , simply being a predator, on the loose seeking to make a monetary profit from is investment , while not seeking to make that team a competitive entity. Lessons have obviously not been learned from the disastrous ownership of Liverpool FC , which was placed into receivership (UK bankruptcy proceedings) after then owners Tom Hicks and Ken Gillette simply laden that club with a mountain of debt . With the team, now debt-free, and under the ownership of John Henry and his Fenway Sports Management Group , the soccer club is now in a much better financial standing and considered to be contender for major domestic and European trophies over the course of the season .

The St Louis Rams are stuck in division , where two of the NFC`s best teams from last season now reside. It would pretty much safe to say that the NFC West will remain a two-horse this year between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks , with the Rams and Arizona Cardinals , likely to be left on the outside looking in . St Louis has started off its preseason schedule under a cloud, having gone win-less in their first two games . Starting quarterback , Sam Bradford now entering his fourth season as a passer in the league, is slowly acclimatizing himself to the rigors of the game. Unfortunately, for the player , coaching upheavals instigated by the front office , have not created a great working environment under which Bradford can operate in his role. Jeff Fisher , having succeeded Steve Spagnuolo , as the Rams` head coach, will now seek to reinvigorate the attitude of this team while also seeking the input of his young quarterback.

Rams` EVP & COO Kevin Demoff and GM Les Snead , working in conjunction with Jeff Fisher and his coaching staff have drafted the players they feel can best complement a roster that must now strive to make a great deal of improvement in 2013 . Closing out their preseason schedule with wins against the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens would be the best way place themselves in the right frame of mind, with the regular season a little over two weeks away. Sam Bradford has to now take command and prove himself a leader of this Rams team.

At its core, this is an extremely group of players that Jeff Fisher will lead into this season , with but a mere handful of players with more than five years of NFL experience . As to what that indicates by way of what Stanley Kroenke seeks to do in terms of the expenditure made by way of the team`s payroll, can be best summed up by the events now taking place across the Atlantic with his other sport`s interest there , Premiership soccer club , Arsenal . Kroenke may well have made is billions by making some very shrewd in investments and by way many of the outside interests of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, not concerned with the professional sports` teams. Yet no one can deem to think it possible that the Rams can seek any type of success when you have an owner , who would rather rest on his laurels, by way of the teams acquired and the ancillary services provided by is company, without there now being any type of tangible on-field success to show for it all .

St Louis will kick of its regular season schedule with a home game at the Edward Jones Dome Stadium in St Louis , Missouri , against the Arizona Cardinals led by Carson Palmer and their highly respected wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald . Both teams will be looking at this match-up as a real test of their competitive acumen, as well seeking to obtain first blood in the first of their two divisional meetings in 2013.



Picture gallery .

This NFL season could very well have a great deal in store for the fans . In light of all of the adverse news that the league has been encompassed with as of late, as a fan of the game, I am hopeful that the teams are able to provide us with the best entertainment possible ! Your thoughts, on this all, simply offer up a comment as you see fit.


Picture and slideshow gallery details .

(1) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (5) runs away from Washington Redskins linebacker Darryl Tapp (54) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, in Landover, Md. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(2) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) listens to the play calls on a radio while on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, in Landover, Md. The Redskins defeated the Steelers 24-13 . AP Photo/Nick Wass ….

(3) Redskins` head coach Mike Shanahan speaks to his young quarterback Robert Griffin III . The player taken, was the team`s number one draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft , and has proven to be an team immediate success with fans and the entire organization , with the rookie putting up exemplary numbers in his first full season in the NFL, in 2012 . AP Photo / Patrick Masters ……

(4) Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick, left, is tackled by Carolina Panthers defensive end Wes Horton during the first half of a preseason NFL football game , Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Rourke ….

(5) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton , left, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick meet after a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 14-9 . AP Photo/Matt Rourke ….

(6) Chicago Bears defensive end Shea McClellin (99) sacks San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the first half of the preseason NFL football game , Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Chicago. Rivers loses the ball which was recovered by Bears safety Major Wright on the play . AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast …..

(7) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) gets sacked by San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget (94) during the first half of the preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Chicago. AP Photo/Jim Prisching ….

(8) Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush (21) runs away from Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Desmond Bryant in the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Cleveland. The Browns defeated the Lions n 24-6 . AP Photo/Tony Dejak ….

(9) Calvin Johnson (81) left is congratulated by teammate , Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions . The Lions` wide receiver would surpass Jerry Rice`s single season receiving yardage mark of 1,848 , set in 1995 , on his way to setting a new record mark of 1,964yards last season . Johnson believes that he is capable of surpassing the 2,000 receiving yards` mark. Yet, singular achievements while glorious, means absolutely nothing, when the team is not winning games . As evidenced with the Lions` menial record of 4-12 and a last place finish in the always competitive NFC North . AP Photo / Greg Goulding …..

(10) Stanley Kroenke , majority stakeholder in the famed North London Premiership soccer club , Arsenal FC , is now under siege after the team`s inauspicious start to the 2013-2014 season in the Barclays Premier League (EPL) . The team lost 3-1 to Aston Villa in rather humiliating fashion . Leading many to believe, that Kroenke is simply disinterested in the success of the team but more concerned over its value and the very fact that it is also one of most profitable soccer clubs and professional sports` franchises in the world . Arsenal fans are outraged with the entire board and its unwillingness to spend money to bring in new players . The soccer club has a number of lucrative deals that nets , in excess of $ 250 million annually . In is private life it should also be noted that Stanley Kroenke is married to Ann Walton-Kroenke , daughter and heiress of the late Sam Walton , founder of the Walmart chain of stores, the world`s largest retailer . The Guardian UK / Nigel Armstrong ….

(11) Head coach Jeff Fisher of the St. Louis Rams watches from the sidelines alongside defensive tackle Kendall Langford (98) and quarterback Sam Bradford (8) during the game against the Washington Redskins at Edward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri. Getty Images North America /Jamie Squire ……..

(12) Carl Jenkinson of Arsenal tackles Fabian Delph a of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League(EPL) match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on August 17, 2013 in London, England. Villa would go on to defeat Arsenal 3-1 in the Gunners` opening game of the 2013-14 Premiership season . Getty Images Europe / Clive Mason ….

(13) Theo Walcott (left) of Arsenal avoids Antonio Luna of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on August 17, 2013 in London, England. Getty Images Europe /Clive Mason ….

(14) Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Manchester, England. Getty Images Europe/ Alex Livesey …….



tophatal …………………… 08/19/2013


Chicago Bears news

Detroit Lions` news

Philadelphia Eagles` news

Washington Redskins` news


Premier League (EPL) official home site and EPL news

Profile of Arsenal FC and Arsenal`s official news` site .


NFL news and news from around the league

NFL transactions

NFL Draft (2013)

2013 NFL Draft prospects

NFL week one preseason results and week two

NFL preseason week three

NFL week one regular season openers

NFL schedule Monday night football

NFL standings preseason (division)


Hot chic image of the day Katee Owen .

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

41 thoughts on “A season to behold or not ………… make a case ?”

  1. Everyone starts afresh at 0-0 within their divisions and conferences within the NFL , but by week 6 we should be able notice and begin to separate the contenders from the pretenders as teams begin to hit their stride .

    If Mike and Kyle Shanahan can simply keep the Washington Redskins focused this season , then there is no reason why they cannot repeat as divisional champions within the NFC East . The offensive line of the team must also do the best that they can to protect the franchise`s most valuable asset , quarterback Robert Griffin III .

    I do not believe that either the Eagles , Cowboys or Giants will provide the Redskins with a stern enough test within the NFC East this h season . Philadelphia remains something of a mess and in the case of the Giants , Victor Cruz is injured and a number of off-season departures will hurt this team overall over the course of their season . At the same time , as good as a season as Eli Manning had in 2012 . I am not so sure that he can once again give us a repeat performance in 2013 .

    `We`re America`s team goddamn it , show us some respect for once ` ! Jerry Jones & Tony Romo

    The Cowboys remain a work in progress , with an affable but not a very good coach in Jason Garrett . As for Tony Romo and his inflated contract , with all of that guaranteed money . Great regular seasons do not make for great postseasons and the fantasy geek fiends out there would be cautious to remember that fact .

    If you want to be the man , then you have to act like a man . Unfortunately. for Jay Cutler , Ru Paul and Clay Aiken are the individuals that he seems closest to, in terms of his overall game . Free agent quarterback or not in 2014 , there is no way in hell that he should be in line as one of the five highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL , no who needs a quarterback in this league next season . Even based on last season`s odious stats by a number of franchises with a poor pass offense . Cutler is not the answer to their needs .




    tophatal …………………….. ………….


  2. Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson had exceptional seasons in terms of their singular achievements but that Lions` team literally sucked the life blood out of their fans with repeatedly bad performances throughout last season . And it became the answer and reason to why they ended up with a 4-12 record in the NFC North .

    Jeff Fisher and the Rams can have a good season , but I believe that an 8-8 record . at best is all that they can ask for , if that , within the NFC and NFC West as a whole !

    Does Kroenke even have a clue about the game of soccer ? Owning the Colorado Rapids of the MLS and owning Arsenal . By comparison , it is the difference between owning a Picasso or a Gaugin painting and placing it next to a picture painted by a second grader . And of course the Rapids would be the painting by the child , just in case anyone out there had any doubts


    If Stanlely Kroenke is looking to make a name for himself in the UK , then he is going about it in the wrong way , Pi#sing off North London fan of one of the most esteemed clubs in English soccer history is most definitely not the right way to win them over or for that matter gain the trust of sports` fans anywhere . I mean what have his sporting interests in the US won in the past decade ? Now he is simply acting like a geriatric version of the Michael Douglas character Gordon Gekko from the classic movie ` Wall St ` . Greed may well be good , but don`t tell that to the fans of the team just you just purchased , .

    tophatal ………….


  3. This season we will see quarterbacks throwing for massive amounts of yards as receivers will be piling up the yards per catch. Most defenses will be on their heals just trying to minimize the damage thanks to the rule changes the NFL has instituted. All in all I predict a very offensive football season:)



    1. aero

      I`m all for rule changes , where it concerns player safety , but I do believe that Roger Goodell is now trying to dilute the product and make it all too generic ! There are far more acute needs that need to be dealt with in the NFL , than making anymore asinine rule changes . How bout the league hierarchy , owners , players and union getting together to deal with player misbehavior ?

      I see the Broncos defensive player Vonn Miller got himself a six game suspension ? Now he is saying that the league mishandled his urine specimen . Just asking , but has anyone ever mishandled your urine sample, at any time ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

      tophatal …………


  4. Chip Kelly named Mike Vick as the starter. We will see how this goes. So far Vick is grasping the concept of Kelly’s fast break offense. the “D” showed improvement from preseason game one wiith the Pats to game two against the Panthers. Brian Urlacker played his collegeball at UNM. he play high school in New Mexcio. he was a safety at UNM and ran back kickoffs and punts. The other famous New Mexico football player was Tommy McDonald. College ball at Oklahoma. Bud Wiklinson and the 57 game winning streak- NFL my Eagles the bums and now a Hall of Famer. Jim Brown and Tommy McDonald graduated from college in 1957 and were drafted the same year. the genius Otto Grahman did not play these two greats in the College all-star that took on the NFl Champion. Tommy McDonald and Doctor J are the only players never to be booed by the Philly sports fans. Mcdonald lives in Valley Forge PA. he is married to kathy Rigby and he paints the portraits of the NFL hall of famers.


    1. bobby

      Chip Kelly is simply taking the route too often traveled . Michael Vick is not the answer and the Eagles will find this out the moment Vick goes up a really fast and athletic defense . I believe that the NFC East this season will be the Redskins` to lose .

      Brian Urlacher as landed imself a broadcast gig with NBC Sports .

      Your thoughts on my assessment of Stanley Kroenke`s ownership of Arsenal and how you see tings going for the team over the course of the season in the Premiership ?

      tophatal ………..


      1. I think Kroenke needs to spent money on bringing in new talent. He needs to hire futebol people to run the club. Have a GM who is out looking at talent and bring it in. Develop talent from the ground up through the youth system. Get some of talent that is in Brasil. There is a ton of hot talent playing in the brasileiros Serie A


        1. bobby

          Prior to Kroenke buying the club , the existing board members seem to be doing OK . Since his ascension to become the majority stakeholder , things have taken a turn from good to bad, to downright awful . And you are right Arsene Wenger and his coaching assistants should now be casting a much wider net in terms obtaining new talent , not just in Latin , America , but also in the Far East and on the African continent .

          tophatal ……….


    2. Keep in mind that pre-season doesn’t mean much of anything in terms of competitiveness. Teams are playing a basic defense against the Eagles and there’s next to no game planning going on. So yes, it seems like Vick is grasping the offense, but it only seems that way.

      Once the regular season starts and defensive coordinators start throwing everything but the kitchen sink at this offense, I think you’ll see them struggle at times. It will be a different dynamic for Chip Kelly in the NFL than at Oregon.

      In the Pac-12 there are no elite QB’s on other teams that will make you pay for a quick three and out, so there’s less risk in running the up tempo. Also, NFL defenders are much better conditioned and aware than you’ll see in college. But Kelly really needs to worry about his own defense.

      Because his defense could end up being on the field an extreme amount more than the other team’s. And that will be a huge factor late in games when it’s all is on the line. Typically Oregon has already blown out their opponent by halftime, so this is usually not a factor. But it will be in the NFL.


      1. That’s why I said so far. We will see. the nature of preseason has changed since the 1960’s. Kelly seems to be on the right path but we will see when the bums open us against the Redskins. In college you have 75 players in the NFl 53 plus the taxi squad. I hoping for the best but let’s remember this is the Eagles. They break your heart all the time. The Bums have had more losing seasons than winning ones.


          1. It depends who the schmucks play- Giants who knows KC it will work well. Dallas -it will tough. It is a fast paced offense no huddle. So far against the first tem PATs- not bad. Panthers first team good. The “D” makes adjustments so will the offense Reid was very predictable. This is in Kelly’s favour at the start but the rest of NFL will catch up. I am not holding my breath I think the bums will 6-10 at best .


                    1. Do you remember how quickly Steve Spurrier`s reign with the Redskins came and went ? We could see the very same thing with Chip Kelly and the Eagles .

                      Lurie , foreground , and Eagles head coach Chip Kelly .

                      Redskins` owner Dan Snyder fired Spurrier who signed a five-year $25 million guaranteed contract . The firing took place after two years and the contract was still honored . I know that Eagles` owner Jeff Lurie has deep pockets , but the question is, how deep ?




      2. Maurice

        Vick is simply grasping ! The player`s best years are not ahead of him but behind him a . His skill-set has declined and it was evident throughout much of last season when he was on the field of play . Andy Reid out of ignorance and loyalty placed way too much faith in Michael Vick`s abilities wen it clear to see the player had noting left to offer .

        There was a distinct reason why the Eagles ended up with a 4-12 record in 2012 and failed to make the postseason .

        tophatal ……….


  5. The idiocy of the Patriots off-season has been enough to elicit a script from Hollywood. Add in the idiocy and piousness now being shown by Bill Belichick and Bob Kraft and you can easily understand why many still detest this organization . Aaron Hernandez still looms large over the franchise and then you have the fact that Rob Gronkowski who is likely to be lost to the team for the first five to six weeks of the regular season , if not more . Now the head coach is now suggesting that he can rely on the young receivers , after the loss of several experienced players such as Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead amongst others .

    Only Belichick can continue to blow smoke up everyone`s ass and still believe that he can get away with his schtick as only he can .

    As a diehard of the Pats , I am beginning to get sick and tired of the pomposity of the organization ! Get the job done and stop with wise ass antics as it doesn`t sit well with the fans .

    New England Patriots` schedule

    Week one and the Patriots are at the Buffalo Bills

    Week two at home to the New York Jets

    Week three at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Week four away against the Atlanta Falcons

    tophatal …………


  6. I still think the Eagles will struggle at times with their offense. Many seem to be afraid of it, but Chip Kelly will learn quickly that the NFL is not the PAC-12. There are no RGIII’s or Eli Manning’s waiting on the other sideline in the PAC-12. In the NFL you can’t afford to go three and out in less than a minute, that may as well be a turnover.

    You have to keep the ball away from the elite QB’s in the NFL, not give them more chances to score with it. This is what Chip Kelly doesn’t understand yet, but he will. And teams already use the up tempo offense from time to time like Peyton Manning and the Broncos, and the Patriots have been using it for a few years now, just not with the read option.

    But your QB has to be very accurate like Manning and Brady are. Both are around the 65% completion percentage for their careers. Michael Vick is 56% completion percentage. That 8-9% percent make a whole lot of difference in terms of keeping drives going and not, and that would be very important.


    1. Maurice

      Early in his career Vick was reliant on his legs and athleticism . Well over the past three years, we have witnessed that they are no longer there along, with his accuracy .

      As for Chip Kelly , I believe that hire was one , done out of haste and if anything, the coach himself wanted some sort of future guaranteed compensation . Because as we know , were he to have remained at Oregon , then in all likelihood , he would have been likely fired or faced some sort of reprimand from the AD for his actions concerning the football program .

      To date , we have yet to know what the sanctions imposed against the program will be .

      The only things that moves as slow as the NCAA , are the decision making processes of federal government , the MLB hierarchy and anything about to be uttered by Barack Obama , when it comes to an economic, domestic or foreign policy .

      Misunderstood or an underachiever ? Michael Vick

      Vick has a career rating of 56.2 and that in terms of today`s NFL , is simply mediocre , never mind as amongst active players , yearly and career marks . Michael Vick`s career beyond the drama and controversy , has been marred by a great deal of underachievement by the player overall .

      tophatal …………………………………


      1. It will be interesting to see how it goes. But I think at some point Kelly will be forced to use a huddle periodically, if for no other reason that to slow the other team down.

        It’s like I said the NFL is a whole other world from the Pac-12.


  7. I think I speak for the majority of NFL fans when I say that I wish RGIII not only a healthy season, but a fruitful career. We’ll see though.

    Mobile quarterbacks tend to get banged up.

    It’ll be interesting to see which of these new quarterbacks progress in their games… and which do not.


    1. Chris Humpherys / Sportschump

      A quarterback such as Andy Dalton , who in his first three seasons has taken the Bengals to the playoffs twice in succession in the NFL . It as been a hell of lot more than Tony Romo and Carson Palmer have achieved combined in terms of their respective careers.

      Of the teams in the AFC now to be wary of , I would have to say the Cincinnati Bengals would a team that I would be looking at ! The offense is very good , with both A J Green and Jermaine Gresham leading a hell of a good pass offense and with Dan Herron , Ben Jarvius Green-Ellis and the drafting of tight-end , Tyler Eifert , that should prove to be a really dangerous team , possibly good enough to challenge for divisional honors within the AFC North . Their (Bengals) divisional games against the Ravens this season should be very interesting . Marvin Lewis has done one hell of a job over the past three seasons in terms of building this franchise through the draft and their free agency acquisitions .

      Within that particular division although the Steelers still have Ben Roethlisberger , I just do not believe that they have the depth or overall talent to seriously challenge within the AFC for a playoff berth this upcoming season !

      In all honesty , I am not overly impressed with the quarterbacks drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft . E J Manuel looks good , but anyone can look good , on what in essence is an average Buffalo Bills` team ! Last season`s crop of quarterbacks taken , have proven to be the `real deal` and I believe better than this season`s passers drafted !


      tophatal ……………………..


      1. Here’s the thing though, Al. The quarterback position is so important in the NFL these days that teams are afraid to give up on guys like Romo, Sanchez or even Josh Freeman for fear of having to start over. Sometimes the devil they know is better than the devil they don’t.

        I’m not saying these teams are making the right decision by sticking with these guys. I’m just saying I understand why they do.


        1. Chris ……

          Here`s the thing as a general manager would you have re-signed Tony Romo to a seven-year $119 million contract of which almost $35 million was in guaranteed money ? All this for a player who has one playoff win in three postseason games and is barely above .500 in terms of his career record ? Jerry Jones` acumen is best served when he is making money for the franchise . It is simply not working when it comes to player personnel decision making .

          Top salaries in the NFL for quarterbacks and top guaranteed money for the position . What do you notice in both cases concerning the players shown ?

          Tony Romo`s contract , Mark Sanchez`s and Josh Freeman`s .

          tophatal ……………..


          1. No contract that any quarterback gets surprises me any more. It’s okay. Cowboys fans are a proud but now miserable lot. They haven’t had anything to cheer for in quite some time. It’ll take a lot more than just a successful regular season for them to get off of Romo’s back.


  8. While there’s a slight chance for this, we hope Mike Shanahan gives Robert Griffin III at least one drive in the last preseason game. For the simple purpose of getting any rust out of the system before the season begins.


    1. Blog Surface/CDR

      If Mike Shanahan has any common sense whatsoever , he will allow his sophomore quarterback to play a minimum of four series in games` three and four of Redskins` preseason schedule . Leaving him on the sidelines, simply adds to Griffin`s frustration and is likely to lead to some distrust between the player and the head coach . Also, if Kyle Shanahan did his job last season , he would have done more by effectively using the offensive line to protect Robert Griffin III more so , than we witnessed . The player took far too many needless hits .

      tophatal ……………………….


  9. You got quite aew responses Mine is wait and see, but I like the Redskins so far, even without
    RGIII. Looking to see if L. Bell will be a bust for the Steelers…injury prone????
    Hate to say it but Steelers sucked thus far…Oline better jell fast or Ben is dust.


    1. al clements

      If the Reskins lose the NFC East this season , it will have been through their own complacency . I believe them to be the best team in the division because of their depth at a number of positions and obviously because of the coaching acumen of Mike Shanahan .

      I am not so sure what to make of the Steelers ! This seems to be an organization now in transition , having completely lost their way last season , in the NFC North . The troubling thing also, is the very fact, that although Roethlisberger had a good year , but it did not seem as if the player was said to be entirely happy with the changes instigated by head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley .

      tophatal …………


  10. If Geno Smith , believes he is going to beat out Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback position for the New York Jets this season , then h e is certainly going about it in an inept fashion .

    Smith is now liable to throw more picks than he is likely to gain positive yardage for the team. In all honesty this draft pick by the Jets is now beginning to look a major mistake by GM John Idzik , the front office and the coaching staff . Unfortunately , the only alternative the franchise now have , is Greg McElroy , whose on-field performances have been less than impressive during the preseason , much less during the regular season of 2012 .



  11. If Geno Smith , believes he is going to beat out Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback position for the New York Jets this season , then h e is certainly going about it in an inept fashion .

    Smith is now liable to throw more picks than he is likely to gain positive yardage for the team. In all honesty this draft pick by the Jets is now beginning to look a major mistake by GM John Idzik , the front office and the coaching staff . Unfortunately , the only alternative the franchise now have , is Greg McElroy , whose on-field performances have been less than impressive during the preseason , much less during the regular season of 2012 .

    In today`s game between the Giants and Jets , Smith has already thrown three picks and the contest is barely two quarters old .

    Not wanting to burst anyone`s bubble but Smith`s performance was not tat good even if the Jets came away with the victory . GM John Idzik must now rue the day and the decision to make Geno Smith`s quarterback pick , as there were said to be better options at the position . Smith was said to be the most accurate passer of the college quarterbacks ? I simply do not see it, at all !



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