A New York State of Mind …………….

A New York State of Mind …………

By tophatal

5th September and the NFL season kicks off its regular season with a slew of games that augurs well for the upcoming season . The defending Superbowl champions the New York Giants will be looking to make a successful defense of their title . Moreover, more likely than not , they will be the prohibitive favorites within the NFC East . Tom Coughlin knows that if the team are to repeat , then their play this season will have to be at a heightened level over the course of their schedule .


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The Dallas Cowboys , Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins . Each , will be looking to usurp the dominance of the Giants . Personally , I believe that the Cowboys have far more issues than their fans , coaching staff and the front office are willing to clearly admit . One of the reasons why I believe this to be true , comes from the mere fact that the team’s starting quarterback Tony Romo is not good enough to lead the Cowboys where they need to be ! He has yet to win a , meaningful game over the course of his career. If anything he has been the “model of inconsistency “ . Overrated, but somehow the gullible tv pundits are always in awe of the player. That may well come from the fact that may well be enamored with the Cowboys’ legacy , rather than anything that they have achieved that can be seen as tangible . It would be safe to assume that Romo , along with Eli Manning , Michael Vick and presumably Robert Griffin III will come under close scrutiny this season . Griffin , taken as the second pick overall , taken by the Washington Redskins , may well be under the microscope the most , of all the rookie and sophomore quarterbacks , over the course of the season . The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner has come into the league riding on the waves of expectation . And for Mike Shanahan and the team’s offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan , this could very well be the season during which both coaches will either sink or swim as Robert Griffin has his “baptism” of fire within the NFL.

The Redskins have been an enigma wrapped up in a conundrum , each time failing with ever-increasing signs of ineptitude . Last season was no different and the telling sign was the sheer incompetence shown by the starting quarterbacks who started for the Washington Redskins in 2011 . John Skelton and Rex Grossman could not “cut it “ and now the expectations are that RGIII , can , or will be viewed as the savior of this franchise .

Jeff Lurie as a team owner has to be gullible in simply going along on the premise that Andy Reid is deserving of one more season with the Philadelphia Eagles . He and team President Joe Banner have chosen to allow the head coach, one more season to turn things around , for a team that was a gigantic letdown last season . There were the repeated excuses that a number of injuries simply waylaid the ambitions of the franchise . As productive as LeSean McCoy was said to be in 2011 , the team under the apparent leadership of Michael Vick was nowhere to be seen when it mattered most .

In addition, as crazy as this might seem , even with the Eagles’ off-season transactions and their draft choices . There is the feeling that they are likely to struggle once again this season . The idiocy of the situation that because the Eagles they closed out their season on a winning streak . It meant that in 2012 we should expect that same sort of consistency , should be viewed with a great deal of skepticism . Reid , to my mind has outstayed his welcome in Philadelphia and the Eagles have now become a mundane and ordinary NFL franchise . Now while the team remains a valuable concern , it goes without saying that value alone is not the only thing that drives this franchise alone .

Now while no one is denying the unprecedented years of success , during which Andy Reid and famed quarterback , Donovan McNabb guided the Eagles to divisional titles , NFC championship games , postseason appearances and the franchise’s second Superbowl appearance. That single postseason finale event ended in an emotional loss (24-21) to the New England Patriots . The defeat reverberated not only within the city of Philadelphia but also within it made the fans aware how completely out their depth they happened to be, as an opponent of the Patriots . The infantile behavior of then teammates , Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens left a great deal to be desired , as the two bickered and cast some rather insidious and asinine comments against one another while seeking to apportion blame in so many areas . On that day, the Eagles’ offense was anemic and the play , in particular of the team’s wide receivers , was atrocious . Thankfully , “Fast “ Freddie Mitchell , whose hands of butter and grease , just happens to be no longer in the NFL . Mitchell’s bravado and the fact he is never lost for words , on that day he had nothing to say for himself or his rather mundane performance .

McNabb is no longer in the NFL but he is seeking to make a return to the league with a contender . Whether or not that materializes remains to be seen but it will also dependent upon a team’s needs for a veteran quarterback . It now seems ironic that neither McNabb nor Owens is currently in the NFL . Many fans would prefer that to be by design , rather than it simply being from the fact , neither player has caught on with a franchise at this stage . Given both veterans’ declining skillset and their advancing age , it is extremely difficult to see either of the players in question on an NFL roster by week one or week two in the NFL .

The New York Jets’ ….. LaDanian Tomlinson made it official today having formally announced his retirement from the NFL officially having signed a one-day contract to leave the game officially as a San Diego Charger . The player leaves the game as one of the as the > active rushing leader in the NFL , rushing touchdowns . But Tomlinson’s greatest disappointment may well be having to leave the game without a Superbowl ring . The player’s nine years with the Chargers and then two years of unfulfilled expectations , with the New York Jets . Where in 2010 and 2011 the team simply imploded under head coach Rex Ryan , and his coaching staff .

Inasmuch , as Tomlinson was brought in to provide some much-needed veteran leadership and stability to that roster . The lack of maturity shown by a number of players and the lack of progression in Mark Sanchez’s game eventually played its part LaDanian Tomlinson’s decision to leave the game under his own steam , and perhaps to the dismay of his most loyal fans . Clearly, one may well question where the Jets go from here this upcoming season . All of the bally hoo with the signing of Tim Tebow means absolutely nothing , when you consider the overwhelming evidence on display from both the backup and incumbent quarterbacks , that would suggest that the New York Jets have a number of issues that the organization simply has no wish to address . The sound-bytes from Tebow have now become mundane and rather asinine . Everybody is happy , well for the moment they are . But imagine how Tebow and Sanchez , the perspective for both should Jets’ season implode again ? Care to chime in with a comment at this juncture ?



I know it is still early days yet but what significant moves do you foresee will take place once the NFL gets underway this season ? And where would you rank LaDanian Tomlinson among the great running backs over <a the last decade and where would you position him among the all-time greats in the NFL ?

Picture and slide show details below for your perusal .
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(1) New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw answers a question as he sits as his locker after NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Thursday, June 14, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans

(2) New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin answers a question after NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Thursday, June 14, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans …

(3) Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones , left, talks with this son Stephen Jones during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium Thursday, June 14, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

(4) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) lines up during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium Thursday, June 14, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

> (5) Philadelphia Eagles chief operating officer Don Smolenski , left, and owner Jeffery Lurie , center, listen to team president Joe Banner speak during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, Thursday, June 7, 2012, in Philadelphia. Banner is stepping aside from the team’s day-to-day operations and taking on an advisory role, to be succeeded as president by Smolenski. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(6) Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid walks off the field after practice at the team’s NFL football training facility, Monday, June 4, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(7) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick practices at the team’s NFL football training facility, Monday, June 4, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(8) New York Jets quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh , right, watches as Mark Sanchez, left, and Tim Tebow throw during NFL football practice in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans

(9) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan answers a question before NFL football practice in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans …

(10) FILE – This May 11, 2012 file photo shows former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson gesturing during a public memorial service for the late NFL football player Junior Seau at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Two years after leaving under unhappy circumstances, Tomlinson returns to the Chargers to sign a one-day contract and then announce his retirement after 11 mostly brilliant NFL seasons. AP Photo/ Gregory Bull …
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Be Scared, Be Very Scared …. We’re Not Alone …….The NFL Is Now Very Much Alive And Kicking

Be Scared, Be Very Scared …. We’re Not Alone …….The NFL Is Now Very Much Alive And Kicking

Well now that the idiocy of the NFL labor dispute has ended not unlike the actions of the sitting Congress and Senate I am beginning to wonder what’s next on the agenda . As we have seen the moves made by the teams have left a number of fans with feeling bewildered and at the same time surprised . With Randy Moss not being picked up by a franchise the erstwhile veteran wide receiver announced his retirement from the NFL . The thirteen year pro now rides off into the sunset as one of the best wide receivers to have ever played the game . A bona fide certainty for the Hall of Fame will be adjudged by those who deem it fitting to have the player enshrined in Canton , Ohio.


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If anything Randy Moss will now devote most of his time to business ventures outside the game , from his charitable foundation to other entrepreneurial deals. The player an avid NASCAR fan has a truck operation running in the lower tiered NASCAR Truck Series under his Randy Moss Racing motif . Unlike his contemporary Brett Favre I do believe that the player has walked away from the game for good , albeit there are a number of analysts who believe that a team will somehow call the player to gauge his interest in returning to the game.

Now there’s no denying that the upcoming season will be an intriguing one in more ways than we can all imagine. League wise and certainly from a standpoint there are number of teams that will be looking to acquit themselves well . Perhaps none more so than the Carolina Panthers after their disastrous sojourn during 2010 and coming off a 2-14 record . With the departure of John Fox who’s now the coach of the Denver Broncos the organization hired Ron Rivera as Fox’s successor .

The Carolina Panthers come into the season having drafted Cam Newton as the overall number one pick in the 2011 NFL Draft . The Panthers for their part have tried to retain the core of last year’s team but they have made moves in light of pursuing free agents and meeting their obligations to signing their draft picks . As to whether or not Cam Newton’s college game transfers itself well to the NFL remains to be seen . The knock against him may well be his maturity but there’s no denying that he has the athletic ability to make it in the professional ranks . But the caveat to my mind as an example will be the missteps of JaMarcus Russell and Vince Young . All the athletic ability in the world but their football IQ ranks alongside that of a mentally challenged individual .

If ever there was a organization whose window of opportunity over the last few years has diminished greatly then it would certainly have to be that of the San Diego Chargers . This team has lived solely on the shoulders of Philip Rivers alone and as good as he has been I certainly now believe that the team now has to step up to the plate and really make some noise . And for coach Norv Turner and his staff this may well be the last chance he has because I firmly believe that should the Chargers once again fall short then GM AJ Smith and team owner Dean Spanos will not have a choice but fire Turner and the entire coaching staff . For far too long Turner has simply been riding and living by achievements of Jimmy Johnson for whom he served as a coordinator during during the glory years of the Dallas Cowboys under Johnson’s tenure as the team’s coach. I have still yet to understand when a vacant position was up for grabs in the NFL somehow Norv Turner’s name would be mentioned as a viable candidate. Turner’s greatest strengths to my mind are that he has always been a very good offensive coordinator. As an NFL head coach I think that the praise heaped upon him has been needlessly exaggerated ! He’s good but not that good !


San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner, left, smiles as he talks with quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during practice at their NFL football training camp, Saturday, July 30, 2011, in San Diego, Calif. AP Photo/Alex Gallardo …..

The loss of LaDanian Tomlinson though thought not to be profound may well have been the one thing shaped the persona of the team but its free fall I firmly believe affected this organization far more than some are readily willing to admit . Last season Phillip Rivers put some stellar numbers that placed amongst the “> upper echelons of the NFL quarterbacks playing in the league. Last season’s top performing offense was exemplary and it simply showed why they were so prolific . In all facets of the offense the Chargers were up to the task but their passing and game was really in essence the thing that set them apart from their peers .

Now it goes without saying that a team that cannot overcome injuries and the very fact that its roster then the their failings will be manifested greatly . The Chargers suffered with these issues and many more during this past season and it’s thought with the draft picks made they should be able to overcome those worries . AJ Smith along with the coaching staff have been fortunate over the years that they have had their successes in the draft but also along with that have come some failures .

Inasmuch as this will be a make or break season for the San Diego Chargers it will be interesting to see how productive their young rookies and sophomore players will be interesting to see what contributions will be made by Corey Liguet , Marcus Gilchrist , Jonas Mouton and Vincent Brown amongst the players in this past NFL Draft.

The AFC West as a division should be very interesting with the likes of the Oakland Raiders , Denver Broncos , Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers all vying for supremacy within that particular standing. And for each of the coaches Hu Jackson , John Fox and Todd Haley along with Norv Turner , all looking to prove their worth amongst their peers as well as the fans. It may well be that the determining factor will be down to experience and the bravado shown by the coaches in question.



Picture gallery for your perusal .

The past two seasons for the San Diego Chargers we’ve seen the team invariably come up short . And with there now being concerns to their impending future this has to be a make or break season for the organization. Anything short of playoff berth and at least the conference championship will have to be deemed a failure. To those who would suggest to the contrary obviously are not really aware of the mindset the real issues that Dean Spanos and the organization now faces off the field apart from the frailties shown by the team competitively on it . It’s now or never for the Chargers as it will be for the other 31 teams in the NFL . And interestingly enough I can’t help but wonder what is now going on inside the minds of the coaches and the respective general managers around the league as they embark on this season

What thoughts if any do you have on the various points raised within the piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your opinions and as always thanks for the continued support !

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

Picture and slide show details below .


(1) EDEN PRAIRIE, MN – OCTOBER 7: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss answers questions from the media during a press conference at Winter Park on October 7, 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images…

(2) Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera smiles during practice at the NFL football team’s training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ….

(3) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) talks to receivers Brandon LaFell (11) and Gary Barnidge (82) during practice at NFL football training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ……

(4) In this July 30, 2011 photo Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) walks to the field with teammate DeAngelo Williams (34) at the NFL football team’s training camp in Spartanburg, S.C. Williams saw something changing at Carolina that made him want to be part of the Panthers. “‘It is what it is,’ is n more,” said Williams, mimicking one of ex-coach John Fox’s favorite sayings. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ……

(5) San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner talks to the team during NFL football training camp in San Diego, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. AP Photo/Chris Carlson …..

(6) San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner, left, smiles as he talks with quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during practice at their NFL football training camp, Saturday, July 30, 2011, in San Diego, Calif. AP Photo/Alex Gallardo …..

(7) San Diego Chargers running back Isaac Odim (41) runs a play during the second day of the NFL football team’s training camp in San Diego, Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Denis Poroy ……

(8) San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky runs a drill during the second day of their NFL training camp in San Diego, Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Denis Poroy ……

(9) San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, foreground, works out during the first day of NFL football training camp in San Diego, Thursday, July 28, 2011. AP Photo/Chris Carlson ……

(10) From left, San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, president Dean Spanos, Liuget, first round draft choice Corey Liuget, from the University of Illinois, and coach Norv Turner. pose at a news conference Friday, April 29, 2011 in San Diego. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi ……

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