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Category Archives: NFL

Tebow the “Savior,” Orton the “Scapegoat”

I told myself that I would just focus on writing my blog for my DCI internship, since I didn’t have a lot of time to write. But this was just too important.

So, as you all know, the NFL lockout was lifted Monday, leading to a frantic week of agreeing with free agents, and make trades to better your team. The Patriots, Panthers, and the New York teams have made a big splash in the league, making trades and signing some big name players.

Then, you have the Denver Broncos.

They have remained relatively quiet this week. They trades away Jadar Gaffney for the defensive tackle from Washington, but besides that, they haven’t done much. The big news out of Colorado Springs, Colorado this week were that they were shopping around Kyle Orton, the starting quarterback from last season.

Now, this didn’t surprise me at all. Kyle Orton and Kevin Kolb, who recently went to the Arizona Cardinals, were the two quarterbacks who were reported to be finding new homes this offseason. With Kolb signing with the Cardinals, oration was a hot commodity. Teams like the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks were looking for a veteran quarterback to lead their team, while they get their young gun ready to play.

Kyle Orton would be a stop-gap.

Talks picked up around Orton when a proposed trade would send him to Miami, in exchange for a couple mid-to-late draft picks. Denver wanted more for Orton, and Miami didn’t feel that he was worth that much.

My question: Why? Why do the Broncos want to trade Orton? Why do the Dolphins think that Orton isn’t worth that much?

Why in the world are the Broncos trying to trade Kyle Orton? He is been succeeding expectations ever since he took the reigns over from Jay Cutler, who whined his way to the Windy City at the beginning of the “McFailures-era.” Last year, he was one of the top-5 passers in the league, with 3100+ yards, 20 TD’s, and 9 INT’s, before being benched for the “Broncos savior” Tim Tebow, who was less than impressive in his three starts.

If you ask me, I think the Broncos should hold on to him. He is being used as the Broncos scapegoat for the failed, and miserable, season in 2011. As a quarterback, you live and die by your teams performance. I understand that. But it wasn’t directly Orton’s fault. For one, he didn’t have a consistent running game to back him up. Denver went through five or six different running backs last season. The defense also couldn’t stop a nose-bleed, giving up leads and not able to stop a high school football team. Because of these factors, the Broncos were 4-12.

Is Kyle Orton the best in the league? No. Is he going to be able to put the team on his back? No. Is he able to win a Super Bowl. Yes.

Kyle Orton is a game-manager. He can’t throw the long ball, but he is effective leading an offense down the field. The reason the TEAM did so bad wasn’t because of Orton. It was the team as a whole. He did his part, but no one else did. He has never gotten the chance on a decent team to shine. And he is a whole lot better than TimTebow, who ran more than he threw the ball in his first game.

Which brings me to my next point. Why is Tim Tebow being labeled the ‘savior’ of the Denver Broncos? Just because he SAYS he work harder? That may be true, but if you have the natural talent at quarterback, you just won’t succeed. Now, I am not saying he isn’t talented. He is incredibly talented. I just think he isn’t a starter in the NFL. If he was a versatile TE, who could throw the ball, he could be extremely valuable weapon. If John Elway comes out and says that he isn’t comfortable with Tebow, something must be wrong. He is being labeled a ‘savior,’ but he was 1-2 last year. Just because you were a QB-stud in college, doesn’t mean it will all transfer to the pro-level. You can’t run over people in the NFL like you can in the college level. And I don’t think he knows that. Before you know it, he will be on the DL, and Orton will be starting once again.

In a rebuilding phase, like the Broncos are, they need someone who is a solid, stable quarterback, who can lead the team while the young ones behind him mature and grow. If Denver was smart, they would keep Kyle Orton for the next two to three years.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2011 in NFL

 

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The Great TV vs. Stadium Debate

For the last century, fans have gone to stadiums all across the country in drones to watching sporting events live, and in person. Families had bonded for years by packing up the van, going to a game, tailgating, and rooting for their favorite team with 40,000 other adoring fans.

But now, for this generation, times are changing.

With the increased comforts of the home, like recliners and comfortable loveseats, and an increase of HDTV’s being sold, many stadiums are losing money on fans that are willing to stay home instead of venturing to the game.

Now, if I could, I would be at every single Red Sox and Broncos game, cheering right along with every fan there. But with the prices of everything today, it is very hard for the average fan to attend a sports game.

Let’s break down the numbers. Say if you are going to sit in the bleachers for a Red Sox games. You have $25 for parking (not including gas, which could easily be another $20), $25 for a ticket, and easily another $25 for food and beverage. Roughly, that is $95 to spend on one night of fun.

So for the average fan, it is too expensive. While the stadiums are still filling up in the high-profile markets, attendance at the lesser teams are less than 10,000 in attendance on an average night.

And along with the increase of technology, are leading more fans to stay home. Now, you can get an HDTV for $300. Sure, in the short term it is more expensive. But in the long term, it is very cost effective. You can watch of every game in the comfort of your own home, not having to worry about the money, and getting more angles and in-depth commentary than you would at the game itself. And with the economy still on the upswing, many fans don’t have the money to spend, and find themselves staying at home.

Many fans are having to make that decision, and choosing to stay home. Many stadium owners are having to rethink their business plans, trying to make stadiums more friendly. And with HDTVs becoming more affordable, it could be a matter of time when stadium attendance will start to drop significantly, choosing to stay at home. What would you do?

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 

My Top-10 Draft Pick Predictions:

So, after writing my NFL Draft blog earlier (https://jefflangan.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/trends-for-the-nfl-draft/), I figured, why not make some predictions for how the draft is going to turn out.

These are my predictions:

1. Carolina Panthers: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

5. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

6. Cleveland Browns: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

7. San Fransisco 49ers, Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

8. Tennessee Titans: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

What do you think?

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in College Sports, NFL

 

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Trends for the NFL Draft

It has been a long month and a half for football fans. Since the lockout, the only football news we have been subjected to has been news from courtrooms across the country, as well as representatives from both sides jockeying for the upper hand in negotiation.

But even with the stalemate in negotiations, we football fans have been looking forward to one thing: the NFL Draft. On Thursday, we get our first taste of the 2011-2012 season. And while mediation between the NFL and NFLPA not looking like they are going anywhere, this might be our only taste of football for a while.

Now, I do not know what is going to happen when picks start pouring. If I did, I would have submitted my picks to ESPN, and be a very rich man. Instead of giving you my picks, like everyone on the face-of-the-earth is doing, I figure I give you my five trends to look for during the three-day draft.

1. QB-Battle: This is a quarterback-heavy draft class. From Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, down to Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick, there eight to ten quarterbacks that could be quality starters in the NFL.

Besides the debate between who the top quarterback is, either Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton, quarterbacks have been jockeying to get drafted before everyone else. Eight of the ten teams drafting first are in need of a quarterback, and many top-tiered teams need quality backups, or quarterbacks to train for the future. You will see a lot of teams drafting a lot of quarterbacks being drafted in the first round.

2. Who will be #1?: According to all the mock drafts out there, there have been at least ten different players that have been projected as the number one pick. Will one of those players actually be picked first? Will there be a sleeper? Those are the questions the Carolina Panthers will answer at around 8:10 p.m.

3. Trading down: Along with the quarterback position, it is a deep-draft as a whole. There are many quality players that can perform well at the professional level. With that being said, I predict a lot of teams will try and trade down to pick up more draft positions in the first few rounds.

4. Defensive-Heavy: What wins championships? Defense. Look at the Steelers, Saints, and Packers. All have a solid, and deep, defense. All teams will be looking to strengthen their defense, replacing key players, and adding depth in case a player falls from injury, which in inevitable in the league.

5. Filling holes: Another casualty of the lockout is that there is no free-agency. In February, teams look to bolster their roster by adding free agents, which could make an impact right away. Without this free agency period before the draft, teams will be looking to fill holes that would usually be filled by free agents. Since we don’t know when a new CBA will be signed, owners don’t know when free agency will start. The NFL Draft is a good start.

Hope this wets your appetite. I will be in front of my television Thursday, with my Broncos gear on, eagerly watching the draft. This could be a very long offseason. Might as well appreciate the little bit of football while I can.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 

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Quick Hits

So, it has been a while since I have written here. With having three midterms and a project due the two days before break, and not having internet on Spring Break, it has been hard to find time to write. And boy, has there been a lot of stuff going on in the sports-world that I have wanted to write about.

Instead writing a bunch of full blogs, which would take a day and a half, I figure I would just write about a bunch of short blurbs.

1. There have been two rule-changed in the NFL that will take place this season (hopefully). One change was they would review all scoring plays, taking the stress off of NFL coaches. This is one that was overdue. As a head coach, you have worry about players, plays, a wide variety of other things. They are 30 yards away from scoring plays, having to rely on the big screens and other assistant coaches to tell him to challenge it. With this, it will take more stress off the head coach, and automatically replay every questionable scoring play.

The other rule passed was they moved the kickoff spot forward five-yards, to the 35-yard line. Kick off specialists Devin Hester and Joshua Cribbs have both publically lashed out against the new rule. They have a point. It will severely dimish their skilled position as a kick returner (although both play crucial parts in their teams offenses). But, if you think about it, strategy can come into play. You might be able to catch some teams off-guard who are expecting a touchback.

1a. The NFLPA wants the rookies to boycott the draft. They don’t want the draft class to show up to Radio City Music Hall, not to walk across the stage infront of the entire country, not to hug Roger Goodall and receive the ceremonial jersey, and to not take pictures that will last a lifetime.

Really?

As a kid, you dream about that. Hoping one day you can strut across that stage. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the NFLA want them to miss it. How selfish.

And P.S.- it is the same NFLPA who wants to implement a rookie pay scale. Which means the rookies, who they are asking to boycott, will lose out on millions.

[Insert witty comment here]

1b. Still no word on the labor front. April 6th seems to be the day. Keep your fingers crossed.

2. March Madness! Like everyone else in the country, my bracket was done after the third-round, with both Pittsburgh and Notre Dame losing early. This has been the most exciting tournament in a while. There have been buzzer-beaters, multiple Cinderellas, and controversial endings. All play into an exciting four days of college basketball.

3. But, there is a downside to the tournament. The length. In the first four days, 48 games were played. Then, there was a three-day break, then eight games in two days, and so on and so-forth. It slows down. The pace of the tournament screeches to a halt after the third round, and limps to the finish. Yes, I understand the kids do have school. But between rounds, they don’t go back to school. They hang around the beach, and relax. March Madness could add more excitement by shortening the tournament (It is called March Madness, but ends in April; does anyone else see the problem?)

4. The big thing in the NBA still focuses around the Carmelo Anthony trade, but not the focus the Knicks wanted. They are under .500 since getting ‘Melo, while the Nuggets are 11-4 since they traded away ‘Melo and Billups, getting most of the Knicks. The Knicks have also fallen two spots in the playoff standings, and are looking at a first-round matchup against the Celtics.

Guess the Knicks were better BEFORE they got ‘Melo. Walsh and D’Antoni got this one wrong (so far).

Interesting.

5. Alex Ovechkin is out 7-10 games. He doesn’t elaborate on the injury. The Capitals are saying he ‘needs the rest for a playoff push.’ They have clinched a playoff spot, and look to have one of the top-two seeds in the Eastern Conference. If I was on the Capitals, and a player was ‘resting’ 7-10 games, while I was busting-my-butt on the ice every night, I would not be a happy skater.

6. Kyle Busch won the Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway last Sunday. He swept both the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races. Week after week, he is the ‘man-to-beat,’ always a favorite to win the race. Jimmie Johnson, on the other hand, never expects to win, but always flies under the radar into the Top-five by the end of the race. JJ is one of the most under-rated drivers in NASCAR. Yet, Jimmie has won five straight series championships, Kyle was won none. Doesn’t sound right.

7. One week until Opening Day. So excited to see Boston’s revamped lineup and rotation. They look good so far. But spring games don’t count towards a World Series. If everyone stays healthy, the Red Sox look like the favorite to win the American League.

A lot has happened in the sports world, with a lot more left to come.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in College Sports, MLB, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL

 

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Sad Day for an NFL Fan

So a lot has happened since the last time I wrote. When I last posted, there was still a slim-chance that a new Collective Bargaining Argeement iwould be negotiates, and football would go on unphased.

But, as you all know, that was not the turnout.

On Friday, March March 11th, 2011, at 4:55 p.m., I got the ESPN Alert that the NFL Players Association was decertifying, meaning that they were no longer representing the players, and now the players could file anti-trust lawsuits against the NFL.

But of course, I still hung on to that last thread, hoping that this bold move would force the owners to settle.

Instead, on that same day, at 9:36 p.m., I got another ESPN Alert reporting the NFL planned to announce a lockout, starting at midnight.

At that point, I knew it was going to be a long couple of months (as a football fan).

One of the big reasons the owners and the NFLPA couldn’t agree to terms was a trust issue. The NFL wanted to turn over a lot of financial records from the past couple of years, more than what they usualyl give the the owners of the 32 teams. The NFLPA wanted more paperwork, and felt that the NFL wasn’t fully transparent with all the financials of the league.

With today being the first business day since the lockout was implimented, court dates are starting to be released, and new information is starting to come out from both sides. As ESPN is reporting, the courts will hear the players lockout injunction against the NFL next month, April 6th.

The players are hoping that the courts grant the injunction, and the players can go back to work, under the rules of last year. If that is the case, the NFL will play the 2011 season under the same rules as last year. There will be no salary cap, and it will restrict where players can go, classifying only certain players who have played more than six years could be classified as unrestricted free agents.

The NFL is also taking the NFLPA to court, saying that the decertification is illegal, and that the Players Association is still helping the players, just not formally. The NFL is also looking to overturn the ruling of Judge David Doty’s, and get the $4 billion in television broadcasting money that the owners have been trying to get, in the case of a lockout.

Adam Schefter is also reporting that NFL players are trying to convince college athletes to boycott the draft, and not attend. The NFLPA is planning different way to expose college draft picks, and give them the attention they deserve.

So as you can see, things are getting pretty messy in the NFL. There is a lot of finger-pointing, ‘he said this and that,’ and no trust on either side. With all these lawsuits, it may look like this might not get resolved for a while, and fans might be missing out on some football. But I have trust that this will get done, and football, the most popular sport in America, will continue on, and move past this lockout to have another successful, and exciting, NFL season.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in NFL

 

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Glimmer of Hope in the NFL

Football fans, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

With the clock running out on negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Football League owners and the NFL Players Association agreed to two extensions to the CBA. First, the two sides agreed to a 24 hour extension, meaning the two sides had 24 extra hours to negotiate. On Friday, with the business day winding down,  they agreed to another extension, this time, an extra week, meaning that the old CBA now expires on Friday, March 11th, at 11:59 p.m.

Now, you may ask why they agreed to an extension.

Both sides want to get an agreement done. They last thing they want is for the old CBA to expire. If the Players Association feels like a deal won’t get done, they will decertify, meaning that the players can sue the NFL in an anti-trust lawsuit. On the flip side, if the CBA expires, the owners can lockout the players, meaning that the players wouldn’t be able communicate with management, workout at the teams and facilities, and not get health insurance.

It is a lose-lose situation of all sides. And that is what they want to avoid.

If the CBA expires, teams won’t be able to trade players, sign free-agents, and start practice for the upcoming season. And, if these negotiations go to court, it could be a while until fans see football played on the field, with the possibility of missing games.

If the NFL doesn’t have a season, the owners won’t get money from concessions and ticket prices, and players won’t get their game checks. Everyone will suffer.

That is why it is really promising that they extended the deadline of the old CBA. This shows that both sides are getting closer. Over the last couple weeks, both sides have been in Washington D.C., with federal mediators directing the negotiations. Sure, they are still far apart on the important issues, like the split of the revenue, an 18-game season, and a rookie wage scale. But with the federal mediators, it has appeared that both sides are getting closer, or are confident that both sides are working for an agreement.

As fans, these extensions mean more of a wait. But in the grand-scheme of things, these extensions give us a glimmer of hope that they will negotiate a new CBA, and we see football on the field this season.

Let’s hope that there is good news at the end of this week.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Campus Lantern Articles, NFL

 

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