Make Hay While The Sun Shines …………..

Make Hay While The Sun Shines ….

Well now that the mandatory cuts have to be made for NFL teams seeking to reduce their rosters from 90 to 53 players it will be interesting to see what transpires and which members are thought to superfluous to the needs of those franchises. Certainly when this happens players themselves know it’s being done from a business standpoint but more often than it happens because those very same athletes simply have underperformed and not met the expectations of their respective coaches and that of the general managers in question . Now while one can assume that these players are likely to be picked up by a team either to fill a practice roster squad vacancy , most are hoping to make it unto a team where they can contribute and be productive overall for that particular franchise .

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Slide show for your perusal .

A number of players may well be viewed as now having reached the crossroads of their careers , given the rigors of playing in the NFL . Life expectancy for a player in the league on average is said to be no more than five years at best, given the position played on the field . Granted , for the multiple players that are cut , a number are signed by teams to contract extensions or in some cases multiple year deals . It should come as no surprise that the Philadelphia Eagles sought to resign their quarterback Michael Vick and reward him with a very generous contract ( 6 years __ $100 million cumulative $40 million guaranteed ) . It seems justified given the player’s accomplishments this past season for the team . The faith shown in Vick by coach Andy Reid , his coaching staff , GM Joe Banner and team owner Jeffrey Lurie .

The Eagles’ own offseason moves along with their draft choices shows the organization’s intent that this season they intend to make a full on attack with a view of reaching the Superbowl with the undoubted result of raising the Lombardi Trophy as victors.

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Vince Young (9) of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates his touchdown against the Cleveland Browns with teammate Michael Vick (7) during their pre season game on August 25, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images …..

It would be fair to assume that the Philadelphia Eagles can be looked upon as one of the presumptive favorites within the NFC this upcoming season . I certainly believe that to be the case with this team , along with the defending champions , Green Bay Packers , Atlanta Falcons , New Orleans Saints and quite possibly the Dallas Cowboys . Though I am not yet truly ready to proclaim Tony Romo capable of leading this team to the “promised land ” ! Jason Garrett and his coaching staff first , has to get these players ___ playing with consistency and at the same time simply hope that Romo himself can get through the season without any major ailments as it regards his health. If they are capable of doing that then the postseason itself should become very interesting indeed should the Cowboys be participants in that fair . But Garrett’s greatest predicament may well lie in the fact that team owner Jerry Jones and the front office will maintain a watchful eye on the coach’s progress as well the team’s over the course of this season .

Inasmuch as I view the preseason as something of a precursor , usually of what to expect during the regular season with regard to the starters , I must admit to an extent I have been quietly surprised by the play of several of the rookies taken in this past NFL Draft . One of the players in question that has impressed me the most and someone who I believe can contribute to his team is Julio Jones . Amongst all rookie receivers he has been one of the most impressive along with the Stevan Ridley of the New England Patriots . There’s a reason why Mike Smith of the Atlanta Falcons and team GM Rich McKay saw fit to make the player the sixth overall pick in the first round of this past draft . Jones’ prodigous talent was on display for all to see while he attended Alabama and it was one of the primary reasons behind the team’s success within the SEC Western Division in posting a 10-3 record overall last season .

Julio Jones brings with him a great deal of speed , agility and the fact that’s he an immediate game changer who can spread the field and add to the offensive weaponry at the disposal of Matt Ryan as the team’s quarterback. And given the prodigious talents of Roddy White , Michael Turner , Jason Snelling and Tony Gonzalez , it has to be said that this team along with the prerequisite draft picks taken , this franchise does now have a legitimate view to be take much more seriously as a bona-fide contender. And that is in light of their postseason meltdown last year against (48-21 ) the eventual champions , the Green Bay Packers .

Within the AFC it has to be said for the San Diego Chargers this might well be the last opportunity for them to have that shot at the “brass ring ” . Norv Turner as the team’s coach has repeatedly found ways to inexplicably coach the franchise to moderate depths of what one deem to be acceptable failure . But if you happen to be a die-hard Chargers’ fans can you honestly say that you find the coach’s missteps as being appropriate , given the talent at his disposal ? The excuses have been continually made about injuries sustained by the team over the course of a season but I believe it comes more from the fact that Norv Turner is essentially out of his depth as a head coach ! If you can’t win with Philip Rivers and that offense , then that’s a clear sign that this team won’t be winning anything at all , anytime soon !

The San Diego Chargers’ GM AJ Smith along with Turner’s coaching staff made the moves that they believed to be in the best interests of the organization as they move forward . Certainly , from a player personnel standpoint ,the roster needed to have more depth in the roster from an offense , defensive and on special team’s . This task would be undertaken with the usual diligence one would come to expect from an organization that seeks turn itself around after a lackluster season that simply further enhanced the fact that the Chargers failed miserably within the AFC West .

For the San Diego Chargers this NFL Draft proved to be a fortuitous one by way of the players acquired . Corey Liuget , Marcus Gilchrist , Jonas Mouton , Vincent Brown , Shareece Wright , Jordan Todman , Steve Schilling and Andrew Gachkar can be productive for this team , given the opportunity to do so. But much of that however will be predicated upon what each brings to the table and how Norv Turner chooses to get the best out these draftees.

The regular season itself starts out with two games that should tell us a great deal about the San Diego Chargers . Their season opener at home against the Minnesota Vikings at Qualcomm Stadium before taking on conference rivals the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough , Massachusetts . Right out of the gate this Chargers’ team has to be ready to play at a high level of consistency as they can ill afford to make any un-necessary slip-ups . All too often we have seen the team play half heartedly over the past two seasons only to somehow fail , much of that being of their own doing . Norv Turner may well be on “the hot seat” in terms of the coaches said to be close , to losing their current positions . Should the Chargers’ coach fail at this juncture , then I for one feel that there’s no justification for him at all to retain his position with the organization !

Interestingly enough , the one player I felt would be ready for the season , will now quite possibly sit out the first six or seven games of the regular NFL schedule. Terrell Owens whose productivity with the Cincinnati Bengals couldn’t be questioned , is now recuperating , having had off season surgery to repair his torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in right his knee. The player believe he’s still quite capable of offering something to a contending team in the NFL but I for one now believe that these are the waning days of a player whose career has been littered with controversy as well as some great highs and lows . A Hall of Famer ? Should he choose to retire and meet the criteria set , then Owens would seem to be an automatic choice to be inducted .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Week 4 of the preseason now beckons as the teams look to get themselves into a set rhythm before they embark upon their regular season schedule. A great deal will be made over how the franchises acquit themselves through those initial first couple of games , as I believe we may well be seeing number of teams simply struggle to overcome their inadequacies as they would normally have to. This NFL stoppage if anything has opened our eyes as to a number of reasons why this whole facade was completely unnecessary but you’d be hard pressed to convince the NFL league hierarchy or the NFLPA . What thoughts if any do you have on the upcoming season and with regard to any of the points raised within this article ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts .

Alan aka tophatal …….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Contact tophatal via these social media devices

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick smiles during a news conference about his new contract with the NFL football team, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011 in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Alex Brandon ….

(2) Michael Vick (7) of the Philadelphia Eagles scrambles against the Cleveland Browns during their pre season game on August 25, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles would go on to defeat the Browns 24-14 Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images ……

(3) Vince Young (9) of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates his touchdown against the Cleveland Browns with teammate Michael Vick (7) during their pre season game on August 25, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images …..

(4) PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 27: Roddy White (84) of the Atlanta Falcons runs after the catch against Keenan Lewis (23) of the Pittsburgh Steelers during a pre-season game on August 27, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images …

(5) Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) avoids Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu after making a catch for first down in the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, in Pittsburgh. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic …….

(6) Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith , left, stands with team owner Arthur Blank , center, who shakes hands with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin , right, during warmup before the preseason NFL football game on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, in Pittsburgh. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic …….

(7) Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) drops back to pass in the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, in Pittsburgh. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic …..

(8) Wide receiver Malcom Floyd(80) of the San Diego Chargers celebrates with Kris Dielman (68) after scoring a 3 yard touchdown reception past cornerback A.J. Jefferson (20) of the Arizona Cardinals during the preseason NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 27, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Chargers defeated the Cardinals 34-31 . Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ……

(9) Quarterback Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers watches from the sidelines during the preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 27, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Chargers defeated the Cardinals 34-31. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ….

(10) Head coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers watches from the sidelines during the preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 27, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Chargers defeated the Cardinals 34-31. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ……
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Time To Contemplate ….. And Now On To The Future …………. The NFL Playoffs Are Almost Upon Us

Well here we are and there but five days left in this first decade of the twenty first century. How time flies ? It only seems like yesterday that I was reliving the surreal effects of the man made disaster and the catastrophe of 9/11/01. To this day, I still am in disbelief that this all took place and that it ultimately led to the meltdown in the confidence of the US economy to weather any type of storm. The ramifications of those attacks are still being felt to this day up and down the country. For those who think otherwise , then they’re in complete denial.

Twin towers  alight  on  Tuesday  September  11th 2001.  My own thoughts  at the time were  of shock  , horror  and  amazement that  such a  thing  could happen.  And  then asking myself   who'd  be  brazen   enough to  carry  out  such  a heinous  crime  resulting in the  loss  over  3,000  innocent  lives ? In  the end  the  words  'Al  Qaeda'  held    a new  meaning  for us all.       picture appears courtesy  of  bethcarey.com/9/11/01 ..................
Twin towers alight on Tuesday September 11th 2001. My own thoughts at the time were of shock , horror and amazement that such a thing could happen. And then asking myself who'd be brazen enough to carry out such a heinous crime resulting in the loss over 3,000 innocent lives ? In the end the words 'Al Qaeda' held a new meaning for us all. picture appears courtesy of bethcarey.com/9/11/01 ..................

This more likely than not will be my last sporting post of the year. In essence I’d like to thank you all for taking the time to stop by and read my articles and for leaving your comments on them all. It has been a great privilege to exchange with you thoughts and ideas about sports and various other topics that have cropped up in our discussions over this year. Like I said, there’s only five days left and a great deal can happen in the world of sports.

Well last night the NFL endowed us with the privilege of seeing the San Diego Chargers (12-3) take on the Tennessee Titans (7-8) in a game that would have some ramifications for both teams and their postseason aspirations. In a game that meant all are nothing to both, we would see the Chargers take the reins and subjectively bear down on the Titans and all but end what little hope they stood of making the playoffs.

Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, left, meets San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner on the field after  the Chargers won 42-17 in an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Russell .....
Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, left, meets San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner on the field after the Chargers won 42-17 in an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Russell .....

For coach, Norv Turner and his Chargers’ team this gives them the legitimacy and resolve that they seek in showing the rest of the NFL that they’re someone to be feared, once the postseason comes around. They’ve essentially won the AFC West divisional crown and sewn up the second seed berth for the playoffs within the conference. Now all that awaits the Chargers is for them to acquit themselves in the postseason.

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson, right, scores a touchdown on a 30-yard run ahead of San Diego Chargers linebacker Stephen Cooper (54) in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. The Chargers won 42-17.  picture  appears courtesy of  ap/photo/  Wade Payne .....
Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson, right, scores a touchdown on a 30-yard run ahead of San Diego Chargers linebacker Stephen Cooper (54) in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. The Chargers won 42-17. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Wade Payne .....

The Chargers’ 42-17 defeat of the Tennessee Titans saw the team play with a great deal of aplomb. And unfortunately for the Titans, quarterback, Vince Young had one of those games that he’d most rather likely would want to forget. Instead of showing the recent rise in form that he’d been recently showing. It was back to the player who lacked confidence and was prone to making costly mistakes. In the game he would throw two interceptions and go 8 of 21 pass attempts. for a meager 89 yards. Hardly the stats you’d expect from a quarterback expected to lead his team to victory.

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) passes against the Tennessee Titans in the third quarter of an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn.  picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John  Russell  ................
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) passes against the Tennessee Titans in the third quarter of an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Russell ................

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Chargers secure 1st-round bye, beat Titans 42-17

By Therese M Walker , AP Sports Writer

Nashville, Tenn. (AP)—The San Diego Chargers have their first-round bye, and Philip Rivers(notes) is still perfect in December.

Tennessee’s bid for NFL history? The Titans lost that right along with their postseason dream, looking like a throwback to the team that started the season 0-6.

Rivers threw two touchdowns passes, LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) ran for two scores and the Chargers beat the Titans 42-17 on Friday night to grab the AFC’s No. 2 seed and that first-round bye in the playoffs.

“It was nice to get the two seed and keep the streak going in December and positioning ourselves going into the postseason,” Rivers said. “It says a lot about our guys and (coach) Norv (Turner).”

The AFC West champs streaked to their 10th straight win and tied the 1970-74 Miami Dolphins for most consecutive wins in a month with their 18th in December dating to 2006. The Dolphins won 18 in a row in November.

Darren Sproles(notes) caught a TD pass and ran for two more scores to help San Diego (12-3) squash the Titans’ dreams of becoming the NFL’s first team to start 0-6 and rebound to make the playoffs. Tennessee (7-8) had hoped to top what the 1994 Chargers did in reaching the postseason after an 0-4 start.

San Diego rolled, outgaining Tennessee 425-270 in total offense while holding the ball for 39 minutes. Turner credited his offensive line, which featured Nick Hardwick back at center after being out since the opener, with letting Rivers play.

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Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young (10) is brought down by San Diego Chargers linebacker Tim Dobbins (51) after Young scrambles for a 2-yard gain in the third quarter of an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn.   picture appears  courtesy of ap/photo/ John  Russell  .................
Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young (10) is brought down by San Diego Chargers linebacker Tim Dobbins (51) after Young scrambles for a 2-yard gain in the third quarter of an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Russell .................

And for Jeff Fisher, as coach of the Tennessee Titans this loss must have proven to be a great disappointment. At 7-8 within the AFC South, there’s little chance of them now making the playoffs after this resultant loss. At an 8-8 season is now essentially all awaits this Titans’ team. Well, that and their sense of pride.

San Diego Chargers running back Darren Sproles (43) follows the blocking of guard Kris Dielman (68) as Sproles scores a touchdown on a 9-yard run past Tennessee Titans linebacker Gerald McRath, right, in the third quarter of an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. picture appears  courtesy of ap/photo/ John  Russell  ......
San Diego Chargers running back Darren Sproles (43) follows the blocking of guard Kris Dielman (68) as Sproles scores a touchdown on a 9-yard run past Tennessee Titans linebacker Gerald McRath, right, in the third quarter of an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Russell ......

After a 0-6 start to the season and with Young being installed in the starter’s role at the insistence of owner, Bud Adams. The Titans went on roll that astounded many as they reeled off six successive victories. But now having lost 2 of 3 in their last starts. Their season has all but come to a close and as I stated earlier all that they’re now left to play for,is ‘their pride.’ And this may well be the one thing that will allow Fisher to keep his job with the organization.

San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, left, shakes hands with Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson after the Chargers defeated the Titans 42-17 in an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn.  picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ John  Russell  .........
San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, left, shakes hands with Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson after the Chargers defeated the Titans 42-17 in an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Russell .........

For the Chargers , theirs is the chance that finally they’re no longer to be viewed as the bridesmaid but as the bride. And they know if they’re to acquit themselves throughout the playoffs and beyond. Then they’re going to maintain the momentum that they’ve shown over their last dozens games within the NFL. Other than the Indianapolis Colts (14-0), perhaps no other team has been on such ‘a tear’ in terms of their form. Consistency has been the key for the Chargers, along with a stifling defense and an attack that is at the height of its prowess.

Philip Rivers and his teammates have essentially turned the NFL on its ear. As it was at first thought that the Denver Broncos might just be the team to give the Colts ‘a run for their money’ this season within the NFL. But the Broncos have proven to be a team that is susceptible to being just a little too comfortable in its own skin. Instead the ‘rah-rah’ cheers heard from their coach Josh McDaniels has been nothing more than that of an over ardent cheerleader wanting to will their team to victory. Alas, for McDaniels the poms-poms and cheers alone just weren’t cutting it !

San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson (21) scores a touchdown on a 1-yard-run against the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter of an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. From left are Titans safety Chris Hope (24), Tomlinson, and Titans linebacker Jamie Winborn (52).   picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ Wade Payne  ........
San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson (21) scores a touchdown on a 1-yard-run against the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter of an NFL football game on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. From left are Titans safety Chris Hope (24), Tomlinson, and Titans linebacker Jamie Winborn (52). picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Wade Payne ........

As much as I’ve enjoyed this NFL season and seeing two unbeaten teams go neck and neck in trying attain perfection within the regular season. I’m now glad to see that the NFL playoffs are almost upon us. If nothing else it’ll give us all the chance to see how many of these teams will face real adversity, when all is said to be on the line. In the regular season one loss doesn’t mean you’re out of the hunt at the start of the season. But from the midway point on it does tend to take on a whole new meaning for a team. In the postseason however, it’s one and done ! No do-overs, no complaints to the officials about wrong calls and most certainly no excuses as to the poor play of your team. If they’re not ready to play in the first place, then they ought not be there to begin with.

NFL Week 16 schedule click here, 25th-28th Dcember, 2009.