Stick with it, or move on

Stick with it, or move on

By Tophatal

With the NFL season coming to an exciting end with Superbowl XLVII (Superbowl 47) , and the triumph of the Baltimore Ravens over the San Francisco 49ers . It has to be said, that this off-season could be just as climactic and riveting as much of the postseason just happened to be . Teams are now looking shed players they believe to be superfluous to their needs , with many of the individuals either being seasoned veterans or overpriced stars .

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Now there is no denying , that there will be a major fallout this all , as teams will either seek to re-sign the very same players they let go , and simply move on ahead, by making use of the upcoming NFL Draft . The draft order for the majority of the teams in the NFL were decided by where they finished within the league and by way of the postseason . With the Kansas City Chiefs (2-14) finishing at the bottom of the ladder amongst the NFL’s 32 teams , it will certainly be interesting in seeing not only recently installed head coach, Andy Reid , his coaching staff overseeing this draft with another first time GM , John Dorsey .

Courtesy of NFL.com

2013 NFL Draft order: Kansas City Chiefs own No. 1 pick

The Kansas City Chiefs own the No. 1 pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, which will be held on April 25-27.

The NFL draft will kick off in primetime for the fourth consecutive year. The first round will be held on Thursday, April 25. The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 26. Rounds four through seven will be held on Saturday, April 27.

The draft order is determined by the following procedures:

(A) The winner of the Super Bowl will select last and the other Super Bowl participant next-to-last, regardless of their regular-season record.

(B) The conference championship game participants not advancing to the Super Bowl will select picks No. 29 through 30, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(C) The divisional playoff participants not advancing to the championship games will select picks No. 25 through 28, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(D) The wild-card participants not advancing to the divisional playoffs will select picks No. 21 through 24, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(E) Non-playoff clubs will select No. 1 through 20, according to the reverse order of their standing.

If ties exist in any grouping except (A) above, they will be broken by strength of schedule (i.e., figuring the aggregate won-lost-tied percentage of each involved club's regular-season opponents and awarding preferential selection order to the club which faced the schedule of teams with the lowest aggregate won-lost-tied percentage).

If ties still exist after applying the strength of schedule tiebreaker, the divisional or conference tie-breakers are applied, if applicable. If the divisional or conference tie-breakers are not applicable, ties will be broken by a coin flip.

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The primary needs for the Chiefs undoubtedly will be on their defense and quite obviously with the vapid and under-achieving performances of Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn , which literally sank the hopes of the franchise over the course of the season . Given the mediocrity, witnessed by fans, in seeing the Chiefs literally fall apart under then head coach Romeo Crennel , was to witness a team without leadership , zeal and passion , all of which did not go unnoticed by the team’s owner , Clark Hunt .

History has suggested that the Kansas City Chiefs have had a modicum of success with their draft history , but it has become abundantly clear after last season’s failing , something drastic had to be done. The firing of both Romeo Crennel and Dorsey’s predecessor , Scott Pioli , was only the first of the major upheavals , that Clark Hunt decided , that major changes would be needed , if the fortunes of this once proud franchise was to be turned around. With a payroll of $128, 051,400, the franchise may well seek to remain over the league’s salary cap, or start to pare down that figure. Beyond that , several issues also must be addressed , with regard to the team’s offense which was amongst one of the least productive in the NFL , in terms of points scored(211), beyond points’ differential , which played a large part into the numerous reasons why the team was so ineffective all-round, and ranked the offense at near bottom overall of the NFL’s 32 teams . Something that I believe, will be addressed by offensive coordinator Doug Pedersen , during the off-season , with his assessing the playing staff and by way of the upcoming draft. And with a number of analysts invariably making their own prognostication as to who will be taken number one overall , it could very well come down to what John Dorsey and Andy Reid believes will be in the best interests of the franchise overall . With their being a propensity to the choice of quarterback , Geno Smith , being taken as the number one overall pick on a number of draft boards of several analysts . The conjecture and speculation will continue as to the decision that will be made by the Chiefs’ front office , between now and the opening rounds of the NFL Draft.

As to the Chiefs quite possibly making Geno Smith their first choice in the NFL Draft, as acute as the team’s pass offense just happens to be , I believe it would be in their best interest to simply seek to bolster their defense , and then look to make a pick for a quarterback in the second or third round of the draft !

The changes first and foremost that undoubtedly will be made could come by way of the Chiefs addressing also their cap hit , wherein they may well seek to cut certain players , or simply look at various ways of restructuring their contracts to make them a great deal more “cap friendly” . From my own perspective, I believe that Andy Reid can turn things around for the Chiefs’ franchise , given his track record in Philadelphia , with the Philadelphia Eagles . The problem may well be , how patient or impatient are the fans in Kansas City , Missouri , in wanting to see a quick turnaround and almost immediate success ?

As a Florida resident , albeit , that I have lived in various parts of the country , this is now where I call my home . An expat Brit , who has become accustomed to the nuances of the game of football (NFL style) , and the mere fact , that the state has three professional franchises domiciled here . It is hard to imagine where the success will come from , in terms of the Jacksonville Jaguars , Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers >/a> . All three teams in 2012 , had distinctly indifferent seasons , and as many of you may well attest to this fact , the trio were amongst some of the worst performing franchises over the course of the year, in so many different aspects of the game . And in terms of the quarterback play exhibited by starters , Blaine Gabbert , Josh Freeman and Ryan Tannehill , I seriously doubt you would have witnessed such mediocre display by the trio over the course of one season. Suffice to say, their respective head coaches , can and should not be pleased by what they saw last year.

Head coaches , Gus Bradley , Greg Schiano and Joe Philbin , all will have their work cut out for them , coming into the off-season , with having to assess their respective playing staffs. And whether or not they will like it , they will come to several decisions that will either satisfy their the fans of those franchises , the Jaguars , Buccaneers and Dolphins , or simply draw their anger . Care to offer up your prognostication, as to how the fans in question may well feel?

For Jaguars’ head coach , Gus Bradley , thankfully, he will not have to put up with the idiocy of knowing or hearing that Jets’ backup quarterback , Tim Tebow , will be traded to the franchise , while looking to supplant Blaine Gabbert from his starting role. Is it not enough that , but for a flew fleeting moments in 2011 , the Heisman Trophy winner , has not shown the NFL fan that his game still has not progressed from beyond what can be best described as a moderately average quarterback ? Yet there seems to be a number of anally retentive individuals within this forum who believe that he is being denied the chance to show his overall skill-set. It should be noted, that playing in the NFL is not a “God given right “or a damn handout, as can be witnessed when one collects a welfare benefit . Yet, this just happens to be what so many fans seem to be calling for , when it comes to Tim Tebow . As affable an individual as he is , as an NFL head coach , would you want him as your starting quarterback in a decisive game , yet alone as a regular season starting quarterback within the NFL ? These are the questions one should be asking and not making asinine statements concerning the player’s alleged stellar abilities !

Jaguars’ GM , David Caldwell , should be commended for not caving into the idiocy of bringing Tebow to his home town , no matter how loud and clear the demands were from the fans . Clearly , as passionate as team owner, Shahid Khan , might just be about the former Florida Gators’ star , even he, must have known , he could not risk the same sort of ridicule that has engulfed the New York Jets’ franchise, while Tebow labored under the weight of expectation , with the sheer comedic volumes and turns that took place with that bereft and lackluster organization over the course of this past season . Suffice to say, Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez combined , were a “ ringing endorsement “ of what one should come to expect when one someone utters the word “ overrated “ ! Only, an idiot would wish to see a similar fate befall the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Miami Dolphins for their part , coming off an under-achieving season , borne out of a 7-9 mark within the AFC East , will have a great deal to prove , if they are to viewed as the equal of the New England Patriots , the dominant franchise within the division over the last over the last decade. Joe Philbin , having rode on the shoulders of his rookie quarterback , Ryan Tannehill , can only hope to see marked improvements from the player in his second season . This much we do know, the player could be effective when protected , with the right assortment of weapons to complement his skillset , but with the team being so inconsistent over the course of the season. What many of us witnessed from Tannehill , was a player being asked to do way too much , with too little support , being offered in return .

As to the other on-field issues faced by the Dolphins, by way of the defense and offense . Well, let’s just say Philbin and his coaching staff will need to assess those issues and address them expeditiously .

Now unless , I am mistaken , the Dallas Cowboys , Miami Dolphins and the Green Bay Packers of the NFL, are the only three franchises, where the venues that they are currently domiciled in, and play in, are wholly owned by those respective organizations. All of the other teams in question , their stadiums are either municipally owned or county owned . Dolphins’ owner , billionaire , real estate mogul , Stephen Ross, would like for the city of Miami in conjunction with the Miami Dade County government to pay for the $400 million proposed refurbishment and renovation costs to Sun Life Stadium in Miami , from its conception , known as Joe Robbie Stadium , named after, the franchise’s initial founder and owner. With his eye set, more on hosting Superbowl 50 (SB L) in 2016 , Ross knows that if the work can be completed now , it places the city of Miami in a very advantageous position to beat out possible suitors for the privilege of hosting the NFL’s and North America’s biggest sporting event. Caution here has to be warranted , as there is a great deal of reluctance on Stephen Ross’ part to even pay in part anything towards the cost of the proposed renovations. All of this, from an individual, who, is said to be amongst the 400 wealthiest individuals (ranked #83) —– (net worth $4.4 billion) in the United States. I can only surmise, that NFL , under the auspices of Roger Goodell, the commissioner , will use a great deal of arm twisting and coercing , in order to force for the governmental agencies concerned to “pony up “ the estimated $400 million cost , with the intent of using the staging of the Superbowl as a bargaining chip , rather than have one of his owners merely delve into his pocket or seeking private financing for the proposed project !

Given, the grave financial crisis that both city of Miami and Miami Dade government are now under . I find it somewhat disconcerting , and almost conceited that Ross would deem it fitting that the city and county’s residents should pay for the refurbishment of a venue which he owns outright . Pardon me for saying this, but given the level of ineptitude shown by the city of Miami and their dealings with the MLB hierarchy and the Miami Marlins’ owners , over the financing and building of the Marlins’ ballpark ____ the 34,500 seat venue built at the cost of $575 million using a mix of tax revenues and derivatives’ financing , is now in the midst of a sharp decline in attendance . Meanwhile, the city of Miami finds itself at the center of an investigative probe by the US Justice Department for their actions , in the financing of that venue , with their being allegations of bribery and corruption amongst city officials to ensure a favorable vote . There has to be cause for concern that things will not be totally above-board , as it now relates to the Miami Dolphins and their vested interests. Suffice to say, in a corrupt city such as Miami , just about anything goes , and will happen , just as long , as the money is spread around , to all of the vested parties concerned .

When Josh Freeman was drafted as the seventeenth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft , many felt it was something of a capricious and gregarious choice by then , Buccaneers’ head coach , Raheem Morris . In the subsequent years, since being chosen , Freeman has provided the fans with some highs , but more than not , so many lulls, that have descended into a crescendo of sheer ineptitude .

Team GM, Mark Dominik , remains convinced that the player he and Morris tied their masts and futures to , can still get the job done and lead this franchise to success . Raheem Morris’ successor , first year coach , Greg Schiano, after this past season remains thoroughly unconvinced that Josh Freeman can get the job done under any circumstance . Which begs the question, what does the future hold in store, for a player who believes he has all of the tools necessary to be a success , whereas, his coaches simply have bouts of trepidation each time he has been on the field of play during the 2012 season . Plain and simple , in spite of the weapons around him , for much of 2012 , Josh Freeman played some uninspired football , and no amount of excuses from the player , himself , from the head coach , can hide what is blatantly obvious to see. And those are , Freeman’s game and skill-set have deteriorated to such a low , that he cannot be trusted to implement the simplest of plays ! He may well have the steadfast support of his teammates , but in the end, those statements will not go a long way in convincing the head coach of any decision he may well choose to make.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were once a renowned franchise , built on a stealthy defense with players who were committed to the their art-form . However , in recent years and most certainly under both Raheem Morris and Greg Schiano , those traits were certainly missing . And while injuries may well have played a part in the Buccaneers’ miserable 7-9 season , that solely cannot be used as a primary excuse for the team’s woes during 2012 . Defensive players, such as , Lavonte David , Mason Foster , Mark Barron , Ahmad Black , Quincy Black , Gerald McCoy , Adam Hayward and Luke Stocker, are not names you would now hear being mentioned as preeminent Pro Bowl caliber type defensive players . And given the team’s propensity in recent seasons with their draft policy , it will be interesting to see how Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano address some of the most acute needs of the franchise , as they currently assess them to be.

With the team , now having in excess of $15 million available , in cap space , of which $ 10 million , is a rollover figure from the previous season , it should prove to be interesting, to see what moves will be pursued by the Buccaneers during this off-season. And given Schiano’s wish to have readily available competition at all positions on his depth chart . Could it be, the player most likely to feel pressured , will be his starting quarterback , Josh Freeman ? Your thoughts on this , as it relates to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ?

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Picture gallery.

With the NFL Draft still two months away, and with a number of teams already off-loading players superfluous to their needs in order of not having to meet contractual obligations have to be honored no later than the 31st March, we are now seeing teams scurrying to make avail themselves of all the cap space possible . Where do you see your team or teams making bold enough moves by way of the draft or through free agency ? And how do you believe that both Greg Schiano and Andy Reid will fare during this off-season ? By all means do take time to offer up comment on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter.

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(1) One of the more comedic and asinine of moments in recent NFL history that still hasn’t been convincingly explained by either the Superbowl XLVII Organizing Committee or by anyone from within the NFL hierarchy . Fans and members of the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers wait for power to return in the Superdome in a Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, file photo, during an outage in the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game, in New Orleans. Officials of Entergy New Orleans say the cause of the Super Bowl blackout was a faulty device called a relay that had been installed to prevent a failure of electric cables leading to the Superdome. They said the device has been removed and replacement equipment will be installed. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(2) “Eyes on the prize” . Baltimore Ravens president Dick Cass , from left, head coach ,John Harbaugh , general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome and owner , Steve Bisciotti speak alongside the Vince Lombardi Trophy at an NFL football news conference on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Owings Mills, Md. The Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII last Sunday. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(3) New Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey , left, poses with new head coach Andy Reid during an NFL football news conference announcing Dorsey’s hiring Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(4) New Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, left, poses with Chiefs’ Chairman & CEO ,Clark Hunt during an NFL football news conference Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(5) Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker (87) makes a one-handed catch for a touchdown in front of Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Jalil Brown (30) in the second quarter of an NFL football game , Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey …

(6) Matt Cassel (L) and Brady Quinn listen to ID Coach inventor Isaac Daniel at the launch of the Isaac Daniel, ID Coach at the Sheraton Riverwalk on January 31, 2009 in Tampa, Florida. The ID Coach system allows coaches to communicate plays to players without using hand signals or audio transmitters. Play calls are transmitted using a military grade encrypted wireless link from the coaches Personal Remote Terminal (PRT) to the assigned player on the field who receives the play on the ID Coach wristband. An ID system to assist the players ? It sure as hell hasn’t worked for either Cassel or Quinn this past season , has it, as evidenced by the team’s standing within the AFC West and the league as a whole ? Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images for EAG Sports Management ….

(7) Billionaire real estate mogul, Stephen Ross , center is seen here with between sisters , Serena (left) and Venus Williams . The two siblings and WTA tennis rivals , are minority stakeholders in Miami Dolphins’ franchise , amongst a slew of A-list celebrities that also include Marc Anthony , Jennifer Lopez, Gloria & Emilio Estefan and actor, Will Smith . Ross is positioning himself and the Dolphins’ franchise to host Superbowl 50 (SB L) in 2016. However , he and the city of Miami and the Miami Dade County government have failed to reach a compromise , as who should pay for the estimated $400 million in upgrades and refurbishment , sought for Sun Life Stadium , home to the Miami Dolphins’ franchise. It should be noted that the venue itself , is owned by Ross , with the only benefits going to the governmental agencies in question, being certain taxes and ancillary fees charged to the franchise for services rendered . The NFL franchise owner , worth an estimated $4.4 billion , Ross is unwilling to pay for any of the costs in question or pay in part , towards the aforementioned sum for the much-needed upgrade. . AP/Photo/ Pat Carter ….

(8) From left to right , Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, general manager Dave Caldwell , owner Shad Khan and president Mark Lamping , from left, flank the NFL football team’s new logo, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jaguars unveiled a new logo and a “Stand United” theme. AP Photo/Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky …

(9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) hits the ground after being sacked by the Denver Broncos in the third quarter of an NFL football game , Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in Denver. This was simply another game in which the Buccaneers’ quarterback failed to perform up to the standards expected of him by head coach , Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik . It would appear that Freeman’s position as the team’s starting quarterback have been greatly imperiled by his lackluster displays throughout much of the 2012 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . AP Photo/Joe Mahoney ….

(10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) throws a pass during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco …

(11) Buccaneers’ GM Mark Dominik , left , is seen here with the team’s head coach Greg Schiano at the practice facility (One Buc Place) of the NFL franchise . The two management executives have some considerable deliberations to be made , as to the makeup of the roster going into the off-season , and in light of their issues on the defensive side of the ball where they failed miserably during 2012. There also seems to be an apparent lack of veteran leadership from the senior members on the roster . All of this played into the unremarkable season for franchise in 2012 , where they finished with a 7-9 record within the NFC South . The Tampa Bay Times / Scott Dreeson ……

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NFL news news from around the league

NFL news archived stories

NFL Draft 25th to 27th April , 2013 and the NFL Draft order

2012 NFL Draft

NFL free agents

NFL transactions

NFL team salaries and a salary cap of $120.6 million which is likely to increase for the 2013 season .

NFL head coaches and their record

NFL standings 2012-13 by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL regular season schedule and the postseason schedule

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Kansas City Chiefs’ news

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ news

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Please take time to participate in the above mentioned polls. Based upon you being an NFL head coach or general manager , how would you go about taking a first round draft pick based upon current needs ?

Did I miss something ? Culling baby seals was meant to be compassionate , not so the case , when it comes to the NFL

Did I miss something ? Culling baby seals was meant to be compassionate , not so the case , when it comes to the NFL

By Tophatal

The fallout, in the NFL has begun, with teams now looking to rid themselves of their head coaches and staff . As their horrendous seasons , poor performances of the teams, and that of the players , who are being paid a King’s ransom for their services , which sent these franchises crashing back down to earth. To date, and counting, there have been five NFL head coaching firings , with quite possibly more to come , down the pike .

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As if the fans needed any further evidence, to emphasize the fact that the New York Jets remains a franchise heading in the wrong direction , after a season of inept performances , and the continued cry for Tim Tebow to be installed as the team’s starting quarterback . Haven’t we seen enough ineptitude over the past four years by this Presidential administration and Congress , without wanting to add this idiocy ? However , it would appear that apathy is now the acceptable norm , for such fans , rather than their intelligence being shown.

Five NFL coaches , have now been relieved of their duties and there is the belief that there could very well be a few more names added to that list . Andy Reid has been fired as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles . No great surprise there , considering the fact that , the players simply quit on their head coach , rather than giving the best of themselves over the course of this season .

With the postseason schedule now being set , with the twelve participants from the two conferences , now waiting to get this part of the NFL’s schedule off and running . It will be interesting to see which of these teams will now be viewed as the prohibitive favorite for the Superbowl . Over the course of the regular season , there has not been one dominant team, where you could categorically state that , such team/franchise should undeniably be viewed as an outright favorite . Gary Kubiak and the Houston Texans , having looked like a well-deserving number one seed in the AFC , have within the past three weeks , played as a team, whose playoff inexperience and lack of authority, could very well make them a first round casualty during these playoffs . They have essentially slipped down the pecking order within the AFC , to become the number three seed , who will now have to play host to the Cincinnati Bengals, and sophomore quarterback, Andy Dalton , and his fast charging teammates , who will be looking to acquit themselves well, this postseason.

On Sunday night , in what was a vastly entertaining game , during which , a great deal was said to be on the line for both teams. The Washington Redskins , seeking to win their first divisional title (NFC East) since 1999, that scenario played out like a riveting suspense thriller , for merely a quarter . And for all of this asinine assertion that Tony Romo , being a great regular season quarterback, while the stats may well bear this out , when it matters most , the Cowboys’ quarterback , simply has “no stomach “ for a real down in the trenches ____ full-blown out fight . Truth be known , Romo , is vastly overpaid , in terms of what he has offered the franchise , in terms of a dividend . In contrast , Romo’s counterpart , in last night’s event , rookie quarterback , Robert Griffin III, indicated why it is , that for much of the season , he has been the main focus behind the success of the Redskins’ extraordinary season. Add in the play, of rookie , Alfred Morrisand wide receiver , Pierre Garcon, and you can understand why the fans in and around the DC area, feel that they have a great to be excited about . There is a sense of urgency to the Redskins, and that something special is now on the horizon .

With the Redskins coming away with a decisive 28-18 victory and pretty much putting an end to another season of sheer ineptitude by the Dallas Cowboys, which pretty much shuttered whatever hopes that they might have had for the postseason. There will now be decisive questions being asked of not only head coach , Jason Garrett and his impending future , but also whether or not Tony Romo is indeed the quarterback needed to lead this team , long-term . Team owner, Jerry Jones , can continue to make all the excuses he wants , but even he , must now come to the realization for the money being paid out in payroll , the dividends reaped have been miniscule , to say the very least .

If the Cowboys are viewed as one of the major disappointments of this season, then one would have to place the under-achieving Chicago Bears alongside their NFC counterpart. Far be it for me to suggest , but if you are placing your hopes on Jay Cutler to lead you anywhere , then you would be better of shoving your finger up your own ass , removing it, and then sniffing, to see if the bouquet is just as rancid a stench, as served up by the Bears over the course of this season. Brian Urlacher, fit, or not, is now on the downside of what one could describe as a moderate career. Future Hall of Fame inductee , well that remains to be seen , but given what we’ve seen from Urlacher over the years , he is a possible candidate , once having met the criteria .

In order for Lovie Smith’s players to have made the postseason , a victory was necessary over the Detroit Lions . God knows, the Lions, have been equally as abysmal , and that is with Calvin Johnson having surpassed the single season receiving yards’ mark , a record held by the illustrious Jerry Rice . Having secured, a narrow 26-24 victory , the Bears also needed assistance , with both the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings needing to lose in their respective games on Sunday afternoon. That would not be the case, with the Seahawks defeating (20-13) the St Louis Rams , and the Vikings pulling off a surprising victory (37-34) over the Green Bay Packers . Those two wins , pretty much sealed the fate of the Bears for the season, and with it all leading to the dismissal of Lovie Smith, as the head coach of the franchise.

While there seems to apoplexy , with the firings of five coaches in the NFL , it has to be said while the blame is being placed upon their shoulders . One has to ask , of the so-called players thought to be leaders on the teams that have failed so miserably, who are highly paid , yet when it mattered most , they were nowhere to be seen.

During the off-season , you can be sure that there will be a major upheaval of the player personnel rosters around the league , as a number of high-priced and overvalued free agents will be placed on the market . The likelihood will be , that a number of teams will be foolish enough to acquire those players , as they seek to revamp their rosters.

With College Bowl season now underway , a number of the likely coaching candidates that may well viewed as potential hires in the NFL , will be on view for the front office executives and team owners seeking a new head coach. Atop of that list , is said to be Nick Saban , along with Brian Kelly , Chip Kelly , Mark Richt , Mike Nolan and quite obviously the former NFL coaches now on the sidelines as NFL analysts , Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher and Brian Billick. To my mind however, one of the potential possible hires , has to be Indianapolis Colts’ coaching assistant Bruce Arians . While , head coach, Chuck Pagano underwent chemotherapy for cancer , it was Arians who led the Colts to some highly unlikely victories during 2012. Yet , while praise has to be heaped upon Bruce Arians , you simply cannot overlook the “ astonishing “ rookie season of Andrew Luck , who was asked to step into the larger than life shoes of Peyton Manning . And the rookie did not fail to deliver , with the Colts garnering double-digit wins , on their gaining a postseason berth and a potential blockbuster game against the Baltimore Ravens in the wildcard round of the playoffs.

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Picture gallery .

As to what the postseason now holds for the teams now eager to get this part of the season underway , it makes for a great deal of suspense for the fans and analysts alike , who view this part of the NFL season as one of the most exhilarating facets of the NFL calendar. Your thoughts, on this all, and what deem to be the most fascinating time of the year within the league ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit and thank you for what has been a highly insightful year within this community . May you all, have a prosperous and peaceful New Year !

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Picture and slideshow details .
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(1) Norv Turner speaks during an NFL football news conference, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in San Diego. Turner was fired as head coach by the Chargers Monday, along with general manager A.J. Smith , after missing the playoffs for the third straight season. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi …

(2) FILE – In this Dec. 23, 2012, file photo, Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt appears before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals fired Whisenhunt Monday, Dec. 31, after six seasons that included the long-suffering franchise’s only Super Bowl appearance. AP Photo/Paul Connors …

FILE – In this Dec. 30, 2012 file photo, Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey walks off the field after his team’s 28-9 win over the New York Jets in an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. Gailey has been fired by the Buffalo Bills after three losing seasons, the team announced Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. AP Photo/Gary Wiepert ….

(4) FILE – In this Dec. 2, 2012, file photo, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, left, stands with general manager Mike Tannenbaum , center, and owner Woody Johnson before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in East Rutherford, N.J. Ryan insists he’s a Jet all the way and wants to coach the team for the “next 15 years.” He dismisses as “untrue” a report that says he would welcome being fired if Johnson doesn’t upgrade the offense. Tannenbaum was summarily dismissed by Johnson , and it was felt that it was “something of a warning” to Ryan , as to how close , the coach himself , came close to  being fired    , by the beleaguered owner . AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(5) The ” not so magnificent seven ” . Seven NFL head coaches fired on what has come to be known as ” Black Monday” . From top left, to bottom right , Chan Gailey, Norv Turner, Pat Shurmur , Lovie Smith , Ken Whisenhunt , Romeo Crennel and Andy Reid . AP Photo/ Reid Harper ….

(6) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs away from Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18 . AP Photo/Richard Lipski ….

(7) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) greets Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18, securing a playoff berth. AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

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NB: It is now official, that the number of head coaches fired , on what is now being described as “Black Monday” has risen from five to seven head coaching officials .

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived stories

NFL results week seventeen

NFL results 2012-13 regular season

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL postseason schedule 2012-13
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Alicia Keys …. “I’m ready ”

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Selena Star offers up a cornucopia of eroticism with her wiles . Are you going to be one of the complainants in such a case ?

They Say You Can’t Take It With You Or Ever Return Home …………

They Say You Can’t Take It With You Or Ever Return Home …………

Week two of the NFL season is now upon us and there are one or two intriguing match-ups . That being said perhaps the game that may draw the greatest attention could very well be Michael Vicks’ return to Atlanta where his high flying Philadelphia Eagles’ team are the guests of the Atlanta Falcons , his former team.

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For Vick this will be his first game against against the Falcons who got off to an inasupicious start with an overwhelming 30-12 loss to the Chicago Bears in their season opener . We all have read of Vick’s problems off the field and the fact that he was incarcerated for his crimes , served his sentence and now seems to have accepted back into the NFL with open arms by his peers and the league hierarchy alike . The player himself has gone out of his way in atoning for his misdeeds by working in conjunction with PETA in a number of PSA’s with regard to animal cruelty .

For the Falcons’ fans who may still feel aggrieved at the player’s actions and the very fact that he had if anything lied to them and the organization as to his misdeeds may still not sit well with many of them. But at the end of the day with the player no longer being a part of their staff they have moved and seemed to have found a successor to Michael Vick in Matt Ryan . If nothing else the quarterback knows that he will have to perform at his very best if he is to outduel his predecessor . And given his somewhat error filled and average performance against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field you have to know that he and his teammates will have take their game up a notch or two at least against a hungry Philadelphia Eagles’ team .

Eagles’ coach Andy Reid and his coaching staff they have to be pleased with what they have seen from this team this early in their season . And the coach obviously has to be pleased with his quarterback’s performance , maturity but no doubt his growing leadership skills as well . With the Philadelphia Eagles being viewed as the presumptive favorites not merely for the NFC East but also the conference and Superbowl the bullseye has firmly been placed on their backs as a target . Whether or not this is justified remains to be seen .

Michael Vick seems to have acclimatized himself well with his teammates and there is growing mutual respect between the player , the veterans and even the new draftees on the roster . The player’s breakout return last season may well have provided the Eagles’ fans with a sign of things to come not merely for this season but quite possibly for the future . Clearly the organization’s sights are set on the Superbowl (SBXLVII) and raising the Lombardi Trophy in February 2012 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis , Indiana .

With a plethora of offensive weapons at his disposal Michael Vick will be given every chance to show his prowess and further enhance his reputation as being perhaps the best quarterback playing in the league today. Certainly no expense has been spared with regard to Andy Reid setting about acquiring players for this team as they seek to improve and justify their new found position atop of the NFL. That being said the defending Superbowl champions the Green Bay Packers are not about to give up their crown without a fight. And an anticipated match-up in the postseason should there be one would be seen as one of the highlights of the NFL calendar .

While Vick seems to be excelling this season with the Philadelphia Eagles his two former teammates Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb seem to be having their own struggles as they seek to acclimatize themselves with their respective teams. To say that McNabb underachieved with the Minnesota Vikings in their season opener would be to suggest that Van Gogh could paint a masterpiece with his eyes closed and one hand tied behind his back . Suffice to say that the Vikings front office , coaching staff and their fans cannot be entirely happy with what they witnessed from the veteran so far . Is there room for improvement you may ask ? The jury is still out on that I guess ! Kevin Kolb for his part the newly acquired starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals not only has to prove himself worthy of the faith shown in him by Ken Whisenhunt , the front office but also in the fact he’s signed a lucrative multi year contract with the team . His play this season may well prove to us whether or not this was a prudent decision made by GM Rod Graves .

It is clear that the Philadelphia Eagles will want to send a clear and resounding message to the NFC as well to the rest of the NFL that they ready to take on all comers . And the best way to do that would be to defeat the Atlanta Falcons decisively on their home turf at Fulton County Stadium / Georgia Dome in , Atlanta , Georgia . I expect this game to be a highly competitive one with both defenses being tested . But it may well come down to the offensive prowess shown by the Eagles that could be the determining factor in this match-up in what is sure to be an emotionally charged game.

If you are a Boston Red Sox fan you cannot be entirely happy with what you’re now seeing from this team . Losers in eight of their last ten games the Red Sox’s season appears to be spiraling out of control and with the Tampa Bay Rays now bearing down on them in their rear view mirror there now has to be cause for concern. If last night’s game [9-2] ( loss to the Rays) at Fenway Park against their divisional foes was anything to go by then the Boston Red Sox had better get this show back on the road , rather than now being subjected to a great deal of ridicule . These two teams are now battling it out for the wildcard berth within the AL and it has to be said that at this stage of the season this might just the most suspenseful event happening in baseball at present .

For Carl Crawford the former Rays’ player this has to be one of those situations as to what might have been . But circumstances being what they are the player signed with the Boston Red Sox as a free agent when it became apparent that his former team could simply not afford him. He was signed to a lucrative 7 year $154 million deal that placed him alongside stars such as David Ortiz , Josh Beckett , Dustin Pedroia , Jon Lester and all of the other highly paid players on the Red Sox roster .

For Terry Francona and his coaching staff it cannot be pleasing to the eye to witness his team fail so miserably through the month of September , thus far. And I am sure under the watchful eye of GM Theo Epstein and the rest of the front office questions are now raised as to why this roster is now wilting under pressure . Suffice to say that when the pressure is brought to bear there are some who can and withstand it and there are others who cannot . At this moment in time deliberations are now taking place as to what guise this takes in the case of the Boston Red Sox. And for Carl Crawford this has been a season where he simply hasn’t delivered the goods as expected when adjudged by that of his teammates from an offensive standpoint .

To simply apportion blame solely one player would be remiss , as it has been a collective effort this has placed the Boston Red Sox in the predicament that they now find themselves in. The team has simply struggled and been errant through their last six or seven series that in that time they have seen their lead amongst the wildcard aspirants simply being whittled down by the Joe Maddon’s Tampa Bay Rays.

Now while everyone watches this race between these two teams unfold there’s a lot to be said for who could now be viewed as a favorite and who ought to be deemed the underdog. From my own standpoint I am in apoplexy merely watching the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays play. One minute we are seeming one team find a semblance of consistency only for the next to completely succumb and do the inexplicable . Granted , one could say that this simply mirrors the form of the Red Sox as of late but given the importance of the next three games to be played in their current series now unfolding at Fenway Park , who’s to say what the likely outcome will be in the end ? I am sure that Carl Crawford would not be able to answer such a question succinctly and neither would anyone else from the opposition for that fact .

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With regards to the points raised within this piece what thoughts if any do you have ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit and anything else you feel to be pertinent to the subject matter in question . Thanks as always for the continued support as it greatly appreciated !

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

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(1) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick throws a pass during practice at their NFL football training facility, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011 in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Alex Brandon ..

(2) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid speaks during a media availability at their NFL football training facility Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011 in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Alex Brandon) ……

(3) Michael Vick (7) of the Philadelphia Eagles prays with teammates and St. Louis Rams players after a game at the Edward Jones Dome on September 11, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Eagles defeated the Rams 31-15 . Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images ……

(4) Michael Vick (7) of the Philadelphia Eagles scrambles as Chris Long (91) of the St. Louis Rams dives for him at the Edward Jones Dome on September 11, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Eagles defeated the Rams 31-15. Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images ……..

(5) Mike Aviles (3) of the Boston Red Sox kicks the dirt in the ninth inning during a game with Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park September 15, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox lost 9-2. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) …..

(6) Evan Longoria (3) of the Tampa Bay Rays and B.J. Upton (2) of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate a 9-2 win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park September 15, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ….

(7) As rain falls, Boston Red Sox’s Carl Crawford heads back to the dugout after popping out against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa ……

(8) Carl Crawford (13) of the Boston Red Sox fouls off a pitch in the second inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on September 14, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images …..

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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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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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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

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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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Pop The Corks …… All Is Well In Philly !

Pop The Corks …… All Is Well In Philly !

I’m not so sure that over the last 48 hours things could have gotten any better for the city of Philadelphia from a sporting standpoint . As baseball slowly approaches the trade deadline it was being widely reported that the Philadelphia Phillies under the direction of GM Reuben Amaro Jr had acquired Houston Astros’ outfielder Hunter Pense . The team’s needs were viewed that they needed some added offense beyond the arsenal within the organization at large .

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With the Philadelphia Phillies amongst one of the more high salaried teams within baseball and the organization on the cusp of the league mandated luxury tax thresh-hold . The fact that the team was able to acquire Pense without having to give up that much in return , while adding to payroll makes their ambition all too clear and that is to place themselves amongst the favorites for the World Series . The Philadelphia Phillies now have what appears to be an insurmountable lead within the NL East over their closest rivals the Atlanta Braves .
In what now appears to be a race that all but theirs for the taking it’s clear to see that Charlie Manuel and his assistants along with Amaro felt that it was in the team’s best interests to prepare themselves for the postseason in terms of a roster fully capable of acquitting themselves down the line.

And amongst the NL representatives for the NLCS one would be remiss to deny the fact that the Phillies shouldn’t be viewed as the presumptive favorites . The team does stand head and shoulders above their peers within the NL and although the defending champions the San Francisco Giants made their very own pursuit into the free agent waiver deadline market with their acquisition of Carlos Beltran from the New York Mets it has to be said that the build up between the vying contenders in the months leading up to the end of the regular season should prove to be very interesting .

And while we can attest to the fact that the Philadelphia Phillies might just have the best pitching rotation in the game but that in of itself will not necessarily be the determining factor as to the fate of the team’s postseason ambitions. It is clear that Charlie Manuel and Reuben Amaro believe that if they are to be triumphant then this roster has to be one that is well balanced and with all of the prerequisites needed for success. I’ve no doubt that Hunter Pense will be a valuable asset to this team given his play and productivity and with the youthful zeal of the player one can only expect to see great things from him and this team.

Nnamdi Asomugha may well have been the most desirable free agent of the players in light of the NFL lockout and the league’s resumption of their operations. With the subsequent bloodletting and the mayhem we have all witnessed it was that the teams said to be gauging the interest in Asomugha ranged from the New York Jets , New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers but no one absolutely no one could have suspected that it would be the Philadelphia Eagles with Andy Reid , team President Joe Banner and GM Howie Roseman swooping down to acquire the player , signing him to a five year $60 million deal of which $25 million was guaranteed money . It had been thought that the Forty Niners may well have had the best hope of acquiring the player and keeping him in the Bay area given the fact that his career in the NFL had been with the Oakland Raiders .

Asomugha’s stellar credentials only adds to the luster of this Eagles’ team and it has to be said they now have to be seen as the favorites not just within the NFC East but also the entire conference . The Eagles depth and the fact that Andy Reid has a litany of offensive weapons at his disposal with the now resurgent Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson , Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy leading the charge has me believing they have to be considered amongst the favorites for the Superbowl .

The secondary of the Eagles with the cornerback tandem of Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel must rival if not surpass that of any duo in the league . And it is clear that Reid saw that the acquisition would immediately make this defense a great deal better from the get go.

There’s no denying that the Philadelphia Eagles as a team will flourish this upcoming season . From my own perspective I do believe that the likelihood of the New York Giants , Dallas Cowboys or Washington Redskins mounting a serious challenge within the division ( NFC East ) isn’t as great as one would presume. The Dallas Cowboys with Jason Garrett now firmly entrenched as the team’s coach now has to look over his shoulders each and every moment as Jerry Jones gauges his every move . With the fact that the team owner has seen fit to purge the roster of players such as Marion Barber and Roy Williams to name but a few the pressure still remains for the Dallas Cowboys to perform.

Now much has been made that Tony Romo is a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback but the issues for him has been that the Cowboys have never really surrounded him with the talent needed . Unless I’m mistaken but Jerry Jones has simply gone out and done whatever he felt necessary in bolstering the Cowboys , albeit that at times the players acquired simply have never measured up. Jones has finally admitted that mistakes were made last season but to my mind the one flaw in this remains and always has been the suspect play of Tony Romo. As good as many believe him to be there’s no denying that when placed under extreme pressure he tends to wilt when asked to go above and beyond what he’s been asked to do. For Jason Garrett and his coaching staff their task will be lead this team to some semblance of success and that has to viewed as the Dallas Cowboys making the postseason at a minimum.

The other residents within the NFC East ___ the New York Giants and Washington Redskins will vie for the task of trying to mount a serious challenge to the division’s prohibitive favorites the Philadelphia Eagles . It would be remiss to suggest that the Giants were not a monumental disappointment last season . The team simply underperformed and one has to now question the ability of the team’s quarterback Eli Manning . All this in the aftermath of having signed a bloated 6 year $96 million contract for which he’s failed to live up to even though he led the team to a Superbowl (SB XLII) victory.

The daggers were out for Giants’ coach Tom Coughlan last season and I found it somewhat surprising that the organization sought to retain the coach after the failures of last year. But such are the vagaries of the game that it’s always best to expect the unexpected even when it no longer really comes as a surprise .

For the life of me after the debacle of this past year I cannot see how Dan Snyder continues to think that overpaying for talent as well as coaches can be considered a measure of success by any means possible ! The Washington Redskins having hired Mike Shanahan and his son Kyle Shanahan have yet to show any measure of coaching pedigree much less that this team is on the way of achieving some semblance of success . We all witness the frailties of the players and in particular the woes of Donovan McNabb as the team fell from grace having been a complete embarrassment throughout much of last year .

Mike and Kyle Shanahan’s handling of McNabb led many to believe that the player’s days with the organization were numbered . And that was proven to be a fact when the quarterback was traded to the Minnesota Vikings where he will now become that team’s starting quarterback . Given the Vikings’ own woes last season with Brett Favre at the helm I am not so sure that McNabb at this stage of his career is that much of an upgrade over Favre ! But it is , what it is and we will simply have to wait and see what transpires both the player and the team over the course of the season .

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In light of the moves made by both the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies how do you see both teams faring this season ? And what thoughts if any do you have concerning Donovan McNabb and his move to the Minnesota Vikings ? Do you believe that he will have a measure of success or simply flounder ? Leave a comment as to your thoughts on the points raised within the piece .

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

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) Philadelphia Phillies Hunter Pence reacts after scoring on a double by Raul Ibanez in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. The Phillies won 4-3 in the tenth inning. AP Photo/Chris Schneider ….

(2) Huston Street (16) of the Colorado Rockies returns to the mound as John Mayberry Jr. (15) of the Philadelphia Phillies rounds he bases on his pinch hit two run home-run to tie the score 3-3 in the ninth inning at Coors Field on August 1, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Street was credited with a blown save as the Phillies defeated the Rockies 4-3. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ……

(3) Shane Victorino (8) of the Philadelphia Phillies scores the game winning run in front of catcher Chris Iannetta (20) of the Colorado Rockies on his solo home-run off of Rex Brothers (49) of the Colorado Rockies in the 10th inning at Coors Field on August 1, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Phillies defeated the Rockies 4-3 in 10 innings. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …….

(4) Manager Charlie Manuel (right) of the Philadelphia Phillies is seen here with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. as they celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-4 in game five of the NLCS MLB Playoffs to advance to the World Series . Getty Images North America / Jeff Zelevansky ……

(5) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) talks with head coach Andy Reid during the morning session of NFL football training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. on Monday, August 1, 2011. AP Photo/Rich Schultz …….

(6) Philadelphia Eagles’ Nnamdi Asomugha walks onto the practice field for the first time during the morning session of NFL football training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., on Sunday, July 31, 2011. AP Photo/Rich Schultz ……..

(7) Chased by Washington Redskins safety Chris Horton, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) scores a touchdown during the second quarter of the NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Monday in Landover, Md. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP …….

(8) Minnesota Vikings new quarterback Donovan McNabb, left, jokes around with first round draft pick, quarterback Christian Ponder , out of Florida State, during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, in Mankato, Minn. Under league rules, McNabb cannot practice until Thursday. AP Photo/Jim Mone ….

(9) Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, left, talks with Tony Romo (9) during NFL football training camp, Friday, July 29, 2011, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Eric Gay ………

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It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………………… Triumph Or Go Home !

It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………….. Triumph Or Go Home !

The wildcard rounds of the playoffs begin this weekend and with a number of games set to get the fans salivating at their outcome . No game might be more intriguing than the NFC match-up that pits the Philadelphia Eagles against the Green Bay Packers . To my mind these are two evenly matched teams that are well coached by Andy Reid and Mike McCarthy respectively. Furthermore even with the advent of the play of Michael Vick I for one don’t believe this is by any means a foregone conclusion ! There’s enough here to suggest even with their records and play late in the season this game could go either way just like the flip of a coin.

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As good as Michael Vick has been playing, his counterpart Aaron Rodgers in spite of his injuries appears to be as tough as they come and willing to do battle in order for the Packers to win. And not only that it’d appear that the Lambeau faithful have taken Rodgers to their heart while onetime hero Brett Favre now remains a distant memory. He may well be still beloved in certain parts of Green Bay but I’m not so sure that holds through for the entire state of Wisconsin much less the rest of the country. This Packers’ team has shown a great deal of resiliency in spite of repeated adversity and when many may well have felt all was lost , they’ve risen to the challenge and this may well be one of the reasons why they could upset the apple cart as far as this match-up is concerned .

Defensively at times both teams have struggled but the Packers might well have the edge in that department . Where the advantage lies is in the fact that McCarthy’s coaching staff will have to deal with the mercurial and enigmatic play of Michael Vick . And as we know given his play this season a game can be turned at the drop of a hat. And I’ve no doubt that both defenses will be rigorously tested by the respective offenses at game time. This may well also become a game of attrition if neither side can find an opening but if it isn’t, then look for it to be something of a one sided affair with the winner showing the tenacity needed to seek out a win.

While many of us will have no doubt question the merits of a 7-9 team making the playoffs the Seattle Seahaws as winners of the NFC West are now there by right. And given what we’ve come to expect from that division within recent years I’m not entirely surprised. Sadly this is now what the league and to an essence the competitiveness of that division has now become where mediocrity is immediately rewarded rather than substance. How else can you explain when teams such as the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the season with better records but failed to make the playoffs ?

The Seahawks will have the privilege of hosting Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints this weekend and it remains to be seen whether or not the reigning Superbowl champions have overcome their recent slump of late. Both teams come into the postseason with a great deal to prove …….. the Saints in proving that they’re worthy champions and looking to make a successful defense of their title . Whereas Pete Carrolls’ team is simply looking for respect and a chance to upset the apple cart .

This game will certainly down to as the stealth of the Saints’ potent offense and how good this Seahawks’ defense is presumed to be. And given what we’ve seen from that defense this season they will have to be at the very top of their game . Having been ranked in the lower echelons of all of the defensive categories this season it remains to be seen whether not they will be able to counter act whatever the New Orleans Saints will be able to throw at them . What the Seahawks will have to their distinct advantage will be a home crowd of raucous fans at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington who will essence become the team’s twelfth man. If Matt Hasselbeck can rise to the occasion and lead this Seahawks’ team with any semblance of competitive instinct then this game could be a great deal closer than most would expect it to be . Discerning a victor from the midst of this all will come down to who has the greater appetite for the win.

With all of the off the field antics and some might say the overbearing personality of the New York Jets’ coach Rex Ryan one can’t help but wonder what the coach will do next. Apart from one time proclaiming the Jets the best team in the league this season Ryan has repeatedly put his foot in his mouth with some of his rather outrageous statements. Needless to say fans far and wide have either ridiculed the coach or supported his claims in part. Now comes crunch time for the team as they meet the Indianapolis Colts in a highly anticipated game that’s a rematch of last season’s AFC championship game .

Ryan and his team are certainly looking for redemption and the same can be said too for the Peyton Manning led Colts after their immense letdown in last season’s Superbowl against the New Orleans Saints . Many believed that the Indianapolis Colts would have the better of that Saints’ team on the day but that was clearly not the case as the defense of the Colts was exposed as flawed and extremely slow. Brees simply shredded that team almost at will and nothing could hide the disappointment from Manning’s face at the end of the day. To top it all off we then had the rather asinine claim by Colts’ GM Bill Polian that the reason for the team’s loss was the fact that the offensive line didn’t play well. This was a collective loss on all parts as the Colts were simply outplayed in every facet of the game and nothing can hide that fact not even the infantile rants of the team’s general manager.

It will be interesting to see how this Jets’ defense measures up against the Colts’ offense and how in fact they’re able to deal with Peyton Manning . One thing is sure this game won’t be short on drama whichever way you look at it and if Mark Sanchez is keen to prove that last season’s form was no fluke then now will be the time for him to prove that fact. As he goes so does this team and if he’s not performing at the highest caliber then the Jets’ postseason ambitions could come to an abrupt end once again at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts.

In this season of surprises within the NFL perhaps none could have been more of a surprise than the turnaround initiated by Todd Haley and the coaching staff of the Kansas City Chiefs . Having handily won the AFC West where many had expected to make the San Diego Chargers to make their normal late season charge the Chiefs simply held on whereas the Chargers fell by the wayside . Can someone please remind the Chargers that the NFL season is one played of sixteen games and not eight or nine as they and their fans have now come to expect ? Sooner or later it had to catch up with them and it’s safe to say that even with the exploits of Philip Rivers this season way too much was being asked of the player to lead this team into the postseason.

The Chiefs will have the privilege of hosting the Baltimore Ravens and somehow I get the feeling that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed of this Ravens’ team will be baying for blood as they look to seperate Matt Cassel’s head from his shoulders . I’m not suggesting that this won’t be a baptism of fire for this Chiefs’ team but I just hope that there are several fire engines and marshals in attendance at Arrowhead Stadium once this game begins. There’s liable to so much heat brought to this party by the Ravens that I’m not too sure that the Chiefs might be able to withstand the onslaught.

On the flip side of this , the Chiefs offense led by Cassel has a number of offensive weapons that could waylay the ambitions of John Harbaugh’s team. Thomas Jones , Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe are liable to give the Ravens’ defense all that they can handle if they’re left to their own devices as they’ve become the main threats on offense this season for the Kansas City Chiefs. And the trio are one the main reasons behind the success of the franchise this season in convergence with the team acquiring both Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel to take over the coaching responsibilities of the offense and defense respectively. If the Chiefs are to endure then it will come down to the coaching strategies put into place by Haley and his staff and how his team goes about executing that plan.

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What thoughts if any do have with regard to the wildcard round of the playoffs and which game do you anticipate will be the most entertaining to watch ? Simply chime in with a comment and as always thanks for the continued support as it’s gratefully appreciated !

NB : Click on the link shown to view the latest news in the NFL .

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Teams receiving a bye are the New England Patriots , Pittsburgh Steelers , Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears .

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………………….

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Continue reading “It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………………… Triumph Or Go Home !”

It’s Been DC Or Bust ……………….. But In Reality It Was Always Going To Be A Complete Bust …… !

It’s Been DC Or Bust ……………….. But In Reality It Was Always Going To Be A Complete Bust …… !

You’d have thought with a coaching pedigree acquired over the course of his career a two time winning Superbowl coach such as Mike Shanahan would prove to be decisive ? But what’s now happening with the Washington Redskins now under his reign is proving to be not only embarrassing to his immediate legacy but also to the tenure of owner Daniel Snyder . Consider this, that since the end of the second tenure of their former Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs the Redskins have been a complete mess . With their season now in a complete tailspin the organization are now at a point where it seems that Shanahan feels that it’s best to bench the team’s starting quarterback Donovan McNabb in favor of his backup Rex Grossman . And if Grossman’s reintroduction proves to be unsuccessful then it’s left to John Beck . From thereon in who the hell cares because as by then one seriously doubts that there’ll be a Redskins’ fan out there interested in this team !

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The coach in a public statement given at the team’s headquarters in Ashburn , Virginia , Shanahan stated that he’d like to see what Grossman and third string starter John Beck has to offer the team over ‘the final three games’ of the season. If that wasn’t enough to contend with the team still has to deal with the wayward and unrepentant Albert Haynesworth and his less than productive season . The player has been benched , suspended for the remainder of the season and fined for conduct detrimental to the team. Haynesworth , however has lodged a formal complaint with NFLPA with the intent of fighting the fine. And given the details and action taken by Shanahan and his coaching staff in coming to the decision there’s a chance that the suspension could very well be rescinded by an arbitrator.

Granted at 5-8 there’s little else to suggest that the Redskins have much to fight for beyond their pride . With a season of expectation from the hiring of Mike Shanahan , his son Kyle , coaching staff and Bruce Allen as the team’s general manager it’s pretty much now safe to say that those expectations have fallen completely flat. There’s been little to suggest that the Redskins were capable of contending in the NFC East and against the division’s incumbents the Dallas Cowboys , New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles . As we all know the Cowboys’ season has faltered and with owner Jerry Jones having since fired Wade Phillips with his interim successor Jason Garrett assuming the position the Cowboys are now gauging Garrett’s tenure with a view to making the position permanent. The Eagles and Giants will meet this weekend in a game that has divisional implications as they both fight to gain a playoff berth with the winner being in the driver’s seat with regard to winning the division.

The comedic nature of what’s been happening with the Redskins doesn’t seem to have gone unnoticed with the nation’s press and furthermore the fans in the nation’s capital have to be wondering what the hell is going on ? Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland still is awash with fans for the Redskins’ home games. But that in ofitself can’t counter Shanahan’s gross mismanagement of the team and the antics we have all witnessed this season. It’s now twice that Shanahan has benched McNabb this season and what might be even more unbelievable has been the fact that the organization signed veteran quarterback to a five year $72 million deal of which $45 million was guaranteed money. That being said with the way the deal was constructed the organization does have a $3.5 million buyout clause which it appears they will actually use in releasing Donovan McNabb at the end of season. Now it’s hard to say what the future holds for McNabb given the fact this has been the most unproductive season of his veteran career. It seems improbable that there’ll be a team willing to take a chance on McNabb but no doubt given the fact that there’ll be a number of teams out there looking for some time of veteran leadership if only as a tutor to a young rookie. Something of disastrous downfall for a player who has led his former team the Philadelphia Eagles to four NFC Championship games and a Superbowl (SBXXXIX ) appearance. The saying most associated with McNabb and Eagles’ coach Andy Reid ………. “always the bridesmaid never the bride” .

Once again for Daniel Snyder it comes to a situation where he’s overpaying for talent that in reality has been something of an immense failure. From my own perspective it appears that the game has left Mike Shanahan behind and his abilities as a coach has to now come into question. Consider this, while in final years as coach of the Denver Broncos having relieved then quarterback Jake Plummer in favor of their then first round draft pick (2006) Jay Cutler the Broncos never made the playoffs and the coach’s record over that period has been a meager 22-28 including his tenure this season with the Washington Redskins . One could say that much of that malaise came down to the fact that the Broncos talent wise has been a mess and that’s most certainly been the case given what we have all witnessed this season with the team under Shanahan’s successor Josh McDaniels who has since been fired by team owner Pat Bowlen . McDaniels has been succeeded by Eric Studesville as the interim head coach and as of now the Broncos’ season still remains in an abyss .

With the regular season about to come to an end it appears that Shanahan now believes this latest maneuver to be his best option. But it’s becoming abundantly clear that Shanahan has no belief in either Haynesworth which given the present circumstances is understandable. In the case of McNabb it’s hard to see what he was trying to achieve much less do in acquiring the player to begin with as there were always risks. Fundamentally the team wasn’t that sound to begin with on either side of the ball and it’s clear that Shanahan and his coaching staff have failed to address those issues straight off the bat. Kyle Shanahan who has been given the role as the team’s offensive coordinator has produced nothing that would indicate that the Redskins offensively were good enough to compete within its own division much less the conference and the NFL as a whole. The team’s productivity can be best described as being anemic in terms of its offense. And defensively it certainly leaves a great deal to be desired . Injuries asides the Redskins simply aren’t a cohesive unit and they lack leadership both on and off the field of play.

Now with the upcoming NFL Draft it’s clear that the Washington Redskins feel that their greatest need will be a quarterback . And with the likes of Andrew Luck , Kellen Moore , Cameron Newton , Colin Kapernick amongst those who may well declare themselves eligible for the NFL it will be interesting to see the steps taken by Shanahan and his staff. And given the money that Dan Snyder has been known to have spent over the years could it be that we’re about to see another maelstrom and inane stupidity by the Redskins ? The ongoing troubles with the the organization isn’t just about the talent but also the mindset of Shanahan as a coach and whether or not the game has really passed him by. I believe that to be the case but in reality Snyder and the front office clearly believe otherwise and it’s clear that the ongoing problems there in Washington has nothing short of being a bust and it will continue to be that way for the foreseeable future !.

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Where do you see things going for the Redskins and what of the future of Donovan McNabb and where do you as such see him ending up if indeed he still has a future in the NFL ?

NB: This piece was completed prior to Sunday’s scheduled game against the Dallas Cowboys .

Click here for the latest NFL news …….

Click here for the for the NFL results from Week 15

NFL Standings ……. By Conference

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😉 —- 😛

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………. 😉

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Eye candy ……… Tv reality star Deelishis’ a favorite of rap star Flava Flav’ on his eponymous reality show ‘Flavor of Love’ . Courtesy of XXL Magazine

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Deelishis

Someone needs to put a cork in that . What do you think ?

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Rick Ross …………‘Aston Martin Music’ feat’g Drake & Chrissette Michelle

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Time Is On My Side Yes It Is …………Time Is On My Side ………. Oh Really ?

Time Is On My Side Yes It Is …………Time Is On My Side ………. Oh Really ?

For me one of the biggest disappointments of the NFL postseason, was to see the Philadelphia Eagles go down in a whimper without so much as a ‘bang’ against what appears to be a redemption seeking Dallas Cowboys’ team led by their quarterback, Tony Romo.

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid addresses the media during a news conference at the team's NFL football training facility in Philadelphia, Monday, Jan. 11, 2010.  picture appears courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Matt Rourke .......
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid addresses the media during a news conference at the team's NFL football training facility in Philadelphia, Monday, Jan. 11, 2010. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt Rourke .......

And while the Cowboys go on to the divisional round of the playoffs, where they’ll next meet the Minnesota Vikings for the right to a berth in the ‘NFC championship game’. The Eagles will be left at home, sitting and pondering as to what might’ve been and why their postseason aspirations inexplicably went up in smoke. With the defending Superbowl champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers having not even made the playoffs. The state of Pennsylvania and ‘its ravenous NFL fans’ are without either of their NFL representatives in the latter stages of the playoffs. Talk about tough , well let’s just say stark and dank times have hit the state sport’s wise, just as much as the demise of the ‘steel industry’. Stop bitching and whining those in the state of Michigan , other than the Red Wings and the ‘Wolverines’ and ‘Spartans’ , there’s not much to speak off when it comes to sports in the state of Michigan. I mean for God’s sake you’ve still got the Detroit Lions trying to eke out a living as an NFL franchise. If it were a race horse it would’ve been euthanized long ago ! And the Detroit Pistons of the NBA , has shown about as much athleticism and competitiveness as Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert combined, were they being recruited by the US Marine Corps. Yes sir, these are dark times indeed for the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania when it comes to sports on various fronts. That’s unless one counts the resurgence of the Phillies in Major League Baseball (MLB) as something to be proud of ? Well there you have it.

Arlington , Tx,. Quarterback Tony Romo (#9) of the Dallas Cowboys greets Donovan McNabb (#5) of the Philadelphia Eagles after a 34-14 win during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  picture appears  courtesy of  Getty Images/ Ronald  Martinez .................
Arlington , Tx,. Quarterback Tony Romo (#9) of the Dallas Cowboys greets Donovan McNabb (#5) of the Philadelphia Eagles after a 34-14 win during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald Martinez .................

Courtesy of The Philadelphia Daily News

Donovan’s brain

By Michael Smerconish , of the Philadelphia Daily News

Everyone has an opinion about Donovan McNabb, including me. I say bring him back, but with a qualifier. He needs to see a shrink. Because my armchair analysis tells me that what ails him is in his head.

He’s the Sybil of the NFL.

The only thing consistent about McNabb is his inconsistency. On the field, it’s been well-documented. Flashes of greatness followed by depths of despair. A week of Hall of Fame-quality play and then an afternoon of utter offensive collapse.

It’s the same off the field.

There’s the McNabb who played the air guitar and banged the plexiglass while making an entrance at Cowboys Stadium. And the McNabb who sinks into an emotionless stupor on the sidelines.

The McNabb who cracks a nervous smile after a poor throw or a bad play. And the McNabb who is professorial during the postgame press conference.

Like an actor, he seems always “on.” We watch back-to-back subpar performances against the hated Cowboys to end the season.
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Linebacker Bradie James (#56) of the Dallas Cowboys recovers a fumble by the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. picture appears courtesy  of Getty Images / Ronald Martinez ..................
Linebacker Bradie James (#56) of the Dallas Cowboys recovers a fumble by the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images / Ronald Martinez ..................

With the dust having settled within Philly, it appears that everyone and anyone is looking to apportion blame on someone for the franchise’s lackluster performance in the first round loss to the Cowboys. Having lost to them embarrassingly twice, during the regular season. The thought was that ‘the team’ would be able to at least redeem themselves in the playoff game. Instead, it was another altogether lopsided loss and where the only respite may well have been the play of Eagles’ wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Everyone else it appears , may well have been asleep at the wheel including the entire coaching staff of head coach, Andy Reid.

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Joe Mays, left, sits on the bench during the closing minutes of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 34-14. picture  appears   courtesy  of  ap/photo/  David J Phillips ......
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Joe Mays, left, sits on the bench during the closing minutes of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 34-14. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ David J Phillips ......

Courtesy of NFL.com in conjunction with the Associated Press

Reid’s call: McNabb ‘a great player,’ will be an Eagle next season

Philadelphia — No. 5 will return to the Eagles for a 12th season.

Eagles coach Andy Reid squelched speculation about Donovan McNabb’s future, saying Monday that the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback will be back with the team next season.

“That’s my call,” Reid said. “I think he’s a great player. His work over the last 11 years has proven that. I truly believe it’s a team sport; it’s not one guy.”

McNabb’s status was questioned because he has one year left on his contract and he has failed to lead Philadelphia to a Super Bowl victory in 11 seasons. McNabb has led the Eagles to five NFC title games — going 1-4 — and one Super Bowl appearance.

McNabb had one of his finest seasons in 2009, but he struggled badly in consecutive losses to Dallas. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 34-14 on Saturday night in an NFC wild-card playoff game.

After the loss, McNabb said he wanted to return to Philadelphia. He also said he’s open to discussing a contract extension. The Eagles reworked the final two years of McNabb’s deal last summer, giving him a $5.3 million raise. That would seem to make it unlikely they would extend his contract beyond 2010.

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Tony Romo (#9 )of the Dallas Cowboys pitches the ball in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium. picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/ Jamie Squire  ...........
Tony Romo (#9 )of the Dallas Cowboys pitches the ball in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jamie Squire ...........

And now with the anguish of the Eagles’ fans having seen the team fall once again. It appears that the organization will have to take a serious and inward look as to the failures and frailties of the team, as a whole. It isn’t just about the play of veteran quarterback, Donovan McNabb and the lack ‘a real leader’ on this roster . But somehow, without a playmaker on the team and their lack of being able to steer adversity in the face and handle it well. For all sense and purpose they just seem to have that inevitable fate about them when it comes the NFL playoffs. You seem to know what to expect of the team one way or another. It’s either they play well above expectations with an exemplary style and guile to their play or they have a complete meltdown and become just a complete anathema to their fans in general and to those watching. As to why this all happens is anyone’s guess. But clearly neither coach , Andy Reid or McNabb as a player , can give a precise explanation as to why the team fails so often with increasingly regularity in the playoffs. Other than with the lone Superbowl appearance with Terrel Owens in tow under Reid’s tenure, the Eagles have stumbled at every conceivable obstacle placed in their way. And even then, in the game- the Superbowl loss to the New England Patriots. It was to Owens of all people that team had to look to, to give a bravura performance on the day. It certainly didn’t come from McNabb or the so called ‘Fedex Fast’ Freddie Mitchell. And Mitchell made his presence felt about as much as ‘The Invisible Man’. The same can be said of his less than instinctive hands ! The resultant 24-21 loss in ‘Superbowl XXXIX’ was a bitter pill to swallow for the team.

Come full circle and though the 34-14 playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys was bad enough. It was the ‘complete lack of attitude and determination’ shown by the Philadelphia Eagles that may well have been hard for the Eagles’ fans as well as the watching public to endure and bare. God knows the ineptitude shown by the team was totally unbelievable. Reid may well have made multiple postseason playoff trips and coached several NFC championship games. But I doubt he’s ever had a team of his, perform so badly in the NFL postseason, as this team had at Cowboys’ Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Organization wise and structurally, the Eagles have to be viewed as on the better ran teams within the NFL. But what may well be lacking, is a general manager with an insight as to the real inherent needs of the team. And with Tom Heckert , the present general manager now leaving to join Mike Holmgren in a similar position with the Cleveland Browns. The Philadelphia Eagles and their owner, Jeffrey Lurie and Team President Joe Banner will be in need of another executive to fill the void left by Heckert. Though it has to be said that in large part it seems to be Reid and Banner who have been making many of the personnel decisions over the years concerning the team. They’ve had their hits and they’ve had their misses. More hits than misses one can surmise. Though it has to be said that when McNabb was drafted out of Syracuse. The fans were none too pleased with the choice. Fate as they say would see a change of heart in the fans over the ensuing years since. Though at times they’ve railed against him and they now appear to doing so again at present. A decade later and the ‘jury’ still seems to be out on McNabb.

Quarterback Michael Vick (#7) of the Philadelphia Eagles looks down on the bench late in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. picture appears  courtesy of  Getty Images/ Jamie  Squire  .........
Quarterback Michael Vick (#7) of the Philadelphia Eagles looks down on the bench late in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jamie Squire .........

Courtesy of NFL.com and in conjunction with Associated Press

McNabb’s future once again an issue after loss

ARLINGTON, Texas — After another season ended in the playoffs for Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles, a familiar question expects to linger in the offseason.

What is McNabb’s future with the Eagles?

“I say it every year,” McNabb said after Philadelphia lost to the Dallas Cowboys 34-14 in the opening round of the playoffs Saturday night. “I want to be here and don’t want to be anywhere else.”

The 11th-year Eagles quarterback had his contract restructured this past summer, but didn’t get an extension past the 2010 season.

While Philadelphia has made the playoffs eight times with McNabb, the Eagles haven’t won the Super Bowl trophy that has long eluded the franchise.

Because of those postseason failures, the question has come up several times whether the Eagles need a new start with someone other than McNabb.

When asked if McNabb was going to be the starter in 2010, coach Andy Reid responded: “Yes, I do.”

McNabb was 19 of 37 for 230 yards with a touchdown and an interception as his career postseason record dropped to 9-7.

The Eagles had won their first game in seven consecutive postseason appearances since Reid became coach. McNabb was the starter in six of those victories.

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 Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb (5) leaves the field after losing an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 34-14.  picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ David  J.  Phillip .....
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb (5) leaves the field after losing an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 34-14. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ David J. Phillip .....

With just a year left on his contract, McNabb and the Eagles have some serious decisions to make. The window of opportunity for not only McNabb and Andy Reid seem to opening and shutting repeatedly. But with each passing year and with diminishing quarterbacks skills and Reid’s somewhat less than exact determination, things for the team just seem to be set on that inevitable path of failure on appearance. In Kevin Kolb they have what one can consider to be an able backup and some might perceive a capable quarterback. But thing is ‘…can ‘he deliver in a big game when it really counts and when all is said to be on the line’ ? This is the answer that no one seems to know and they have yet to witness for themselves within the organization and by the fans themselves. They’ve seen only fleeting glimpses of the player and it’d be idiotic to suggest that Michael Vick can deemed to be McNabb’s successor in waiting. He may well have been signed by the team, merely as a way of allowing the player to redeem himself back within the ‘fraternity’ of the NFL. But Vick as a ‘long term option’ for the team at the position is definitely a none-starter ! He’s shown glimpses that he can still play and be exhilarating and electrifying all in one move but the tendencies for errant plays and signs of rust are still there. And that’s not what is needed by the team or the organization at this time or for the foreseeable future.

Eagles'  President & CEO and  majority  stake owner  in  the  Philadelphia   Eagles,  Jeffrey Lurie (right)  seen  here   with New  England Patriots'  owner   Robert Kraft.    picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Matthew  Hollings  ..................
Eagles' President & CEO and majority stake owner in the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeffrey Lurie (right) seen here with New England Patriots' owner Robert Kraft. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matthew Hollings ..................

The Eagles could trade McNabb but would there be any takers for the veteran qb ? At the same times does McNabb feel that he can lead this team to where they desire to be ? As good a player as he’s been over the years ,with the acclaim he’s received and the Pro Bowl appearances. I simply view Donovan McNabb as one of the better quarterbacks within the NFL. As a leader , I seriously doubt that he has all of the prerequisite qualities shown by the likes of Drew Brees >, Kurt Warner, Philip Rivers , Peyton Manning , Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger. In many pundits and fans’ eyes he might be viewed as an elite quarterback within the NFL. I view him still as a ‘top ten quarterback’ within the league but as ‘an elite quarterback’, at this juncture I’m not so sure that he’s still got what it takes. Time inevitably catches up with all. For some it’s sooner than it is for others . But it now appears that it has not only caught up with the Philadelphia Eagles and for Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid in particular. But it’s my belief that it is now beginning to devour them both to such an extent that they no longer look viable as candidates in their now presumed positions as a quarterback and coach within the organization. It’d be remiss to suggest that the game has passed them by. But clearly something is awry here both of these individuals. As to how to bring about the desired effect is open to a great deal of debate and speculation at this juncture.

 Fans of the Dallas Cowboys cheer in the stands during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald Martinez ...........
Fans of the Dallas Cowboys cheer in the stands during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald Martinez ...........

As an outsider looking in and observing the Eagles , I think that whatever decision they make it will be one that’ll have a lasting effect as to its very existence and future. The decision itself won’t be an easy one for either Banner or Reid to make. And at the same time we won’t really know what McNabb , himself , will be thinking at this juncture. He’s saying all of the right things but saying something and it actually happening are two completely different things altogether. So let the chips fall where they may and let’s see what happens with the Philadelphia Eagles. Time Is On Their Side but really how much longer will it be there ? What are your thoughts on the matter at this juncture ?

Led by the ‘indomitable’ Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones’ rendition of ‘Time Is On My Side’