News broke this morning that NFL Executive and former longtime Jets employee Mike Kensil was the reported main source for who leaked out false information to Chris Mortensen about 11 of the 12 Patriots footballs that were used in the AFC Championship against the Colts were two pounds under the legal limit the balls could be at.
Kensil is the same guy that told the Patriots equipment manager “we weighed the balls and you’re in big f***ing trouble.” If all this information is true it makes it out to look like the league is out to setup the Patriots, which some people already believed. Per reports, Kensil leaked out information to Mortensen who then reported the information which ended up being false and ended up starting this whole BS “DeflateGate” debacle were in now. Reporting false information like this was sure to make all the headlines and attempt to ruin the reputation of the Patriots and Tom Brady, which the league is trying to do it appears.
Setup the Patriots and make them look bad and then have no supporting evidence or actual evidence information to backup what is being reported, sounds smart NFL. The NFL has gone back and forth about things they have said and done and this is another example of the bias the NFL has shown against the Patriots and how they are in a way out to get the Patriots. The NFL and ESPN refused to let Chris Mortensen talk on WEEI about the information that was reported and this whole debacle that has occurred since. Mortensen has not confirmed that Kensil is the one who gave him the information regarding the footballs in the AFC Championship game. (Although several sources have speculated that Kensil was the leak) The league doesn’t want any information coming out from their side about how they were wrong or any talks behind closed doors that they have had to be known by the public but are fine leaking out anything they possibly can that can go against the Patriots in this case and make it look like they are doing so many things wrong. They want phone records from Brady, Jastremski and McNally and anything they can try to get to make it look like their reports and accusations are correct, but wont even let the man who they gave information to, who they let “report” what has turned into the biggest sports story of the year and most nonsense of all-time, to talk to other media outlets about the situation. To me it sounds like the NFL are the ones who have something to hide and not Brady or the NFLPA.
The Seahawks finally secured their star quarterback today. Russell Wilson signed a 4-year extension worth around $87 million, including $60 million guaranteed. Wilson will now be one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL based on annual salary, and along with Cam Newton, has the third most guaranteed money amongst current quarterback contracts.
Wilson is entering his fourth year in the National Football League. In his three years, he’s taken the Seahawks to the Divisional playoffs, a Super Bowl Championship, and came within one play of winning another Super Bowl. Wilson has won a total of 36 games in his three seasons, all as a starter, which are the most by any quarterback in his first three years in the Super Bowl era.
This has been a busy offseason for the Seahawks as they attempt to keep their young core together. They’ve already locked up Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Doug Baldwin. While Wilson was certainly their primary focus, linebacker Bobby Wagner is entering the last year of his rookie deal as well, and Kam Chancellor is holding out of camp, as he’s unhappy with his current deal. Pass rusher Michael Bennett has also said he’d like a new contract, despite signing a 4-year $28 million at the end of the 2013 season.
There’s one position in this league that is more valuable than any other, and that’s quarterback. A lot of people are bothered by the amount Russell Wilson is going to make compared to other quarterbacks in the league. It doesn’t matter. The Seahawks have to pay him. People need to get over the Super Bowl and the NFC Championship. Wilson played terribly in the NFC Championship. Everybody has a bad game, and he was still able to rally in the second half to pull off the miracle. In the Super Bowl, Wilson wasn’t exceptional, but he played fine, yet people get hung up on the interception that won the game for the Patriots. It wasn’t a bad throw. Malcolm Butler made a great play. Not every interception is the quarterback’s fault. Russell Wilson threw a pass that was in a good spot, but Butler knew what play was coming and jumped the route.
While people focus on those two games, let’s look at the rest of Wilson’s career, which is what the quarterback got paid for. He’s had a completion percentage over 63% every year as a pro. He’s thrown for over 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns every year. After throwing 10 interceptions his rookie year, that number has gone down each year. Wilson is also a dynamic runner. He averaged over five yards a carry his first two seasons, and over seven yards a carry last season.
Will this contract make it more difficult for the Seahawks to resign those three key defensive players mentioned earlier? Of course. But Seattle should let Chancellor and Wagner pout. They can win games without a good linebacker, and with just one great safety instead of two. But they’re not going to win a lot of games with Tavaris Jackson at quarterback. A lot of fans and media members have labeled Wilson as an average quarterback who benefits from a great roster. He does have a great team around him. But anyone who acts like the Seahawks can put any clown at quarterback and win Super Bowls, think of this. The Buffalo Bills are very similar to the Seahawks. They have a tenacious defense, with Pro Bowlers all over the place. They have a solid running game, and better receivers than Seattle. But anyone who looks at the Bills as a Super Bowl contender with what they have at quarterback is delusional. The Seahawks, on the other hand, are a Super Bowl favorite every year. People don’t want to hear it, but Russell Wilson just got paid, and he absolutely deserves it.
Jet’s defensive end Sheldon Richardson put in a great case for a 2015 Darwin award. Or maybe, instead of calling him an idiot, it’s more fitting to call him immature and irresponsible. The star defensive end was charged with resisting arrest, after a July 14 incident. Wait until you hear what the incident was.
Richardson was drag racing near his home in St. Louis. He was caught going 143 MPH, a fully loaded semi-automatic shotgun was found in his car, the car reportedly reeked of marijuana, and to top it all off, there was a 12-year old child in the car. Oh yeah, and this came twelve days after Richardson was slapped with a four-game PED suspension. The Jets found out about this the same way you and I did, by way of media reports on Thursday. Apparently, “just a speeding ticket,” was not the best way to tell the people who sign his paychecks.
Police say they saw two cars speeding at, “exceedingly high rates of speed,” and suspected a road race. Richardson sped away in his Bentley, out of the sight of police, and hid in the driveway of a random home, turning all of his lights out. The police spotted his brake lights, which had been left on.
Richardson will have to appear in court on October 27. Resisting arrest is a serious crime. It is a Class A misdemeanor in St. Charles County (where the incident occurred), and could be up to a $1,000 fine along with up to a year in prison.
Well-respected ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick had some harsh words for Richardson on Twitter, saying, “DUMB, unappreciative & taking NFL life for granted. Drag Racing. 140+MPH. Weed. 12 yr old kid in car. You deserve to be MORE than suspended.” Jet’s coach Todd Bowles was quoted as saying that the organization will help him, “get help for his problem…It’ll be a good lesson for him. I’m sure his parents are more disappointed than anybody, and he had to stand that. His actions will speak louder than his words going forward.”
The Jet’s first round pick, Leonard Williams, has already replaced Richardson on the first team. This certainly is one of the most troubling cases of the NFL offseason as training camp begins. The situation likely couldn’t have been worse for Richardson, as so many things were wrong with the picture. We’ve seen teams handle these things in different ways. The Patriots tend to cut anyone who steps out of line, regardless of their capabilities on the field. The Jets have chosen to support Richardson, but at the same time make him understand the seriousness of his actions. The NFL has yet to act on this, but it would make sense for Richardson to be given an indefinite suspension until his arraignment October 27. If Sheldon Richardson isn’t a part of the 2015 NFL season and is not a part of Madden 16, at least he’ll have a chance to be a part of GTA VI.
The Cleveland Browns are basically cursed when it comes to having a quarterback. They have not had a solid franchise quarterback since Bernie Kosar in the 80s and early 90s. Year after year, the main headlines for the Browns is that they failed to have a winning season, and that they need a quarterback, again. Just last year, the franchise drafted a young, talented, quarterback out of Texas A&M in the hopes that he would be the face of the franchise. That player, was Johnny Manziel.
Even with the skillset of Manziel’s, the franchise still faces a cloud of uncertainty, as his rookie year was terrible. With the addition of journeyman quarterback Josh McCown, and Manziel both on roster, the Browns have a very intriguing, and uncertain future at the most important position of football.
Taking first team reps as the starter is 36-year-old journeyman backup Josh McCown. That in itself is troubling. McCown was brought in to help fill the void Brian Hoyer left after he bolted to the Houston Texans. Even after a terrible season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Head Coach of the Browns, Mike Pettine, still believes that the Browns can win with McCown. So it is safe to say, that McCown is starting week one of the regular season, unless miraculous preseason play from Manziel arises.
Speaking of Manziel, what an up-and-down year it has been. From being picked 22nd in the 2014 NFL Draft. With his arrival to Cleveland, Manziel brought so much hype, only to be disappointing in his rookie year. Manziel threw for 18/35 (51.4%), 175 yards, 0 touchdowns, and two interceptions. His lone career touchdown came in the form of a rushing touchdown against the Buffalo Bills. At season’s end, after missing mandatory treatment, he checked into rehab.
Will Josh McCown start all 16 games, or can Manziel truly be the franchise quarterback he was so hyped up and is deemed to be after going through rehab? Or will he fail again and be dissapointing? Either way, its a troubling future of uncertainty, as one option is 36 and in the twilight of his journeyman backup career, and the other is unproven and already has messed up once.
Day one of New England Patriots training camp is officially in the books. Fans piled into the practice field stands and the famous hill, to watch their favorite team take the field for the first practice of the summer. Many fans most likely had a very tough time telling which players were which, because in typical Bill Belichick fashion he sent his players onto the field without jersey numbers. The only thing the casual fan could tell was that quarterbacks were in red, offense in gray shirts, and defense in blue shirts.
I was in attendance at practice, and because I spend too much learning every minute detail of these players, I did not have an overly tough time deciphering which players were which. Seeing how the players were in just shorts, t-shirts, and helmets there was virtually zero contact.
The lack of physicality made it very difficult for defensive players and offensive lineman to stand out. Therefore, I really limited myself to evaluating some of the skill position groups that were really on display. This meant predominately quarterbacks, wide receivers, and slightly tight ends and running backs.
The running backs that were out on the field today were Brandon Bolden, Travaris Cadet, Tyler Gaffney, Dion Lewis, and James White. When it came to first team reps with Tom Brady and company, Brandon Bolden received almost all of the snaps when the offense was in shot gun, (which was almost every snap).
Furthermore, in goal line drills, the Patriots lined up in the jumbo set with six offensive lineman, with Gronkowksi and Chandler on the end, and Jonas Gray running the ball behind James Develin in the, “I” formation. Jonas Gray was big to begin with, now he looks significantly thicker, and Josh McDaniels seems to be looking to get him involved in the passing game.
Patriots fans got their first glimpse of Tyler Gaffney today, and it was in a limited role. He received decent reps, but mostly just running the ball in simulated goal line situations. He also got some special teams work in.
The wide receivers were harder to tell apart. Obviously Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are easy to tell apart, but players such as Josh Boyce, Brandon Gibson, and Chris Harper are not as easy. Amendola and Edelman looked impressive as always. Brady targeted Edelman more than any other receivers, connecting every time they attempted, with the exception of one post corner route in the back of the end zone, dropped by Edelman.
Both Aaron Dobson and Brian Tyms saw a lot of time on opposite sides of the field. Dobson was with Brady and the first team, and Tyms with Garoppolo and the second team. Garoppolo targeted Brian Tyms a total of six times throughout the day during team drills, going four for six, based on my observations, and as expected they were all fade routes and skinny posts. Dobson was on the field a lot with Brady, but the ball did not come his way very often.
At tight end, there are few words to say other than, Rob Gronkowski is a freak. He caught multiple passes in traffic from Tom Brady, the most impressive being a skinny post route in which he caught the ball while shaking off Tavon Wilson like he was nothing, and spiking the ball in the process. In addition, Jake Bequette did not impress at tight end. He has the physical stature to be a beastly blocking tight end, however he has stone hands, dropping passes on multiple occasions.
Quarterback was by the far the easiest position to evaluate, given the fact that there was only two quarterbacks on the field. Tom Brady impressed as he always does in training camp. His passes were pinpoint and he also showed a little bit of athleticism. Early on in practice Brady caught a fade in the corner of the end zone from Julian Edelman. Then later on he caught another pass down the sideline from Julian Edelman on a reverse pass, this time he only needed one hand.
Many were probably expecting to see a slightly improved Jimmy Garoppolo from the one they had seen in December. If you went to Patriots training camp with these expectations, you left disappointed. His first pass of the day was an interception to rookie Matthew Wells or Jordan Richards. He simply can’t throw the ball down field and he seems to be afraid to even try it. Brady certainly does not have a cannon for an arm, but he makes decisions quickly and gets rid of the football. Jimmy panics when his first read is gone, looks around and then dumps it off to James White. If it were a real game situation he would be put in the turf fairly quick.
I hope to attend training camp more in the coming days, so stay tuned for more updates and analysis of the Patriots practices.
It is one of the callings of fall. The days are slowly getting shorter, the grass is freshly cut, and the man in the visor swinging his whistle ferociously, who is better known as the hoodie, is once again patrolling the practice fields of Foxborough. Patriots training camp is upon us. After a very tumultuous offseason in which the Patriots were under heavy fire most of the time, (even though they had just won the Super Bowl) it is time to strap on the pads, buckle up the chinstraps, and play some real football.
This year, more than in years past the Patriots have a plethora of question marks heading into training camp. Who is going to make up for Revis? How will they replace Wilfork? Is this the year Chandler Jones finally makes the leap? Position battles will highlight this summer, given the vast amount of starting roles up for grabs.
If you are going to training camp, you will realize that there is a bunch going on at once as the team breaks off into positional groups. Therefore, your probably thinking to yourself, what positions should I pay closest attention to? Well, here are the five most important positions to watch out for at Gillette this summer.
5. Quarterback: I trying my best to not mention, “deflate-gate” in this article, but I can’t get around it. There is a very good chance that Tom Brady will miss time early on in the season, so now more than ever Patriots fans need to evaluate the back up quarterbacks.
Personally, I will be watching Jimmy Garoppolo very intently. We need to see how he progressed over this offseason. The offseason between a players rookie season and their second season, is the most important of their career. Garoppolo was fully healthy, and I expect nothing less than vast improvement from what we saw in week seventeen last season against the Buffalo Bills.
In addition, Matt Flynn will battle with Garoppolo for the back up job. Many are sleeping on him, for good reason. He has never won a quarterback battle in training camp, and he has been apart of about three. Nevertheless, he was a very reliable back up for Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, and always answered the bell when called upon.
4. Safety: The Patriots are now set for the next five seasons at free safety with Devin McCourty receiving an extension worth 47.5 million back in March. However, the safety spot opposite of him will be vastly important in 2015. In today’s NFL, you have to be prepared for passing situations on every down. The Patriots will certainly realize this early on in the season. With all the talented young players in the front seven, Bill Belichick maybe tempted to finally, “turn the dogs loose” up front.
Along with the weak secondary, opposing teams will want to throw the ball given these reasons. With teams throwing the ball non-stop the Patriots need another safety that can cover. That means Duron Harmon needs to have a big camp. Other than Harmon the rest of the safeties on the roster such as Tavon Wilson, Patrick Chung, and Nate Ebner are all tackle machines who can lay the boom, stop the run, and contribute on special teams.
None of the those players however can pass cover. Also, it should be interesting to watch second round pick Jordan Richards. I was not in the minority of being very skeptical of Bill Belichick for taking Richards that high in the draft. He seems like another Nate Ebner, which is all fine and well, but you can get that player in round five.
3. Running Back: No more Shane Vereen in New England, means it is time for a battle for the third down back role. One of the most important positions on the Patriots roster, because for a vast majority of the time your protecting Tom Brady. In my mind, the battle will come down to three players; Brandon Bolden, Travaris Cadet, and James White.
Last preseason, James White did not impress. He was soft and did not show that burst that he had in college at the University of Wisconsin. Travaris Cadet had a decent season in 2014 racking in thirty-eight receptions. Lastly, Brandon Bolden has seen little time at the third down back role, and when he did in 2013 he had a tough time getting on the same page as Tom Brady.
Bolden’s pass blocking ability is better than any other running back currently on the roster. That is what makes this battle an intriguing one. Which player can put all three phases together, Running the ball, catching the ball, and pass blocking. Personally, I am going with the hulk, Brandon Bolden. Why? He has the most experience in the offense, and two years is enough time to fix the deficiencies he showed in 2013.
2. Guard: With no more Dan Connolly, and Ryan Wendell recovering from a shoulder injury, Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo will be rotating his young guards around. Tre Jackson was drafted in the fourth round of this years draft along with Shaq Mason.
It would be better off for the Patriots to have a rookie take over the role of Dan Connolly, as oppose to players such as Josh Kline and Jordan Devey. They have proven time and time again that they can’t get the job done.
If neither Jackson or Mason can grasp the complex Patriots system, expect to see Marcus Cannon to slide over to guard. Lets hope we don’t have to see that. Don’t be surprised if there is a repeat of the offensive line debacle of last September this year.
1. Cornerback: Obvious choice here. No more Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Alfonzo Dennard, or Kyle Arrington on the roster, thin would be putting it lightly when talking about the cornerback depth chart on the Patriots. What the Patriots need to do is rely on the few veterans they have right now. Tarell Brown and Bradley Fletcher.
I am in the minority, but I believe that Bradley Fletcher will bounce back and be a serviceable player. The real player to focus on is Malcolm Butler. A young player that shined in year one, and shined in the brightest moment. Can he finally break the trend of Patriots cornerbacks flopping in year two?
Darryl Roberts will also be a player to keep an eye on. He is a seventh round rookie that looks to have the physicality of a player like Brandon Browner. Logan Ryan will receive a ton of reps as well, however he has also proven he can’t fill the cleats. He is targeted immediately when he is on the field.
As all of you know by now, the league and it’s idiotic commissioner Roger Goodell (the money making machine) has stood fast on its 4 game suspension of Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady issued his first public statement since this whole debacle (to keep it clean) started, via his Facebook site this morning. In the post he maintained his and any of the Patriots organization’s innocence of any wrongdoing (or knowledge of) pertaining to the inflation of footballs. Brady also mentions that his legal team assured him that his cell phone would not be called into question or need to be turned over to the league. He also addressed the fact that at the time of his appeal, he supplied a list all the recipients of phone calls and text messages for the time frame in question. (Which the league wanted, but refused to look into anyhow)
If all these text messages were so important to the investigation, wouldn’t a fair investigation for BOTH parties involved warrant checking at least a few of these phones? After all we all know that one phone gives you Both sides of text conversations.
This whole process was ridiculous from the start, Once the Wells Report (all 243 pages of nothing more than bird cage floor liner) was disproved as insufficient (by itself and real independent science) the league shifted focus to the fact that Brady didn’t turn over his cell phone as the main reason for the suspension being upheld.
If you’ve ever gotten into an argument with a Patriots hater, this tactic should look very familiar to you, when you point out where they are wrong or ignorant of the facts, what do they do? Yep, they change the subject. Do you think this is any different? If it smells like garbage, that’s probably what we’re looking at.
Robert Kraft as well as Belichick and some of Tom’s teammates had a chance to speak today. Kraft and the Patriots team members spoke of their unwavering support for Brady, and Belichick declined to comment (all of which would be expected).
What was totally unexpected was Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s comments on how the league which he is a very large supporter of, essentially spat in his face (not his words). This is an excerpt from his statement.
It takes a very strong man to admit his mistakes and basically discount his faith in the League as a whole.
The word “Integrity” has been thrown around by alot of individuals over the last 7 months, and that right there, Mr. Goodell is the finest example you will see in your lifetime! Are you paying attention? See you in court.
I am proud to be a member of Patriots Nation! #FreeBrady
Your NFL news. A few laughs and hard nosed opinions and facts. What more could you want? It's a one stop shop.