Flagrant Fouls

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Reaction to NFL rule changes.

The most recent NFL owners meetings has brought quite a bit of change to the NFL, from player safety, to instant replay, the Draft, and even word that the season is likely to grow to 18 games sometime in the near future.

As a hardcore NFL fan I must state that I am extremely grateful to the NFL Network “Every day is like Sunday” as I am one of the few that enjoys Jeff Fisher and Rich Mckays annual competition committee press conference and the actual footage of the votes taking place among NFL owners and management.

I am in favor of all but one rule change . . .

A defender who is knocked to the ground can no longer lunge “shoot” himself into the quarterbacks as the play is still going on. If you recall it is this type of motion by Bernard Pollard that ended Tom Brady’s season in week 1 last year.

I have a serious problem with this rule, while I respect the need to protect the Quarterback it gets to a point where enough is enough. So a defender who is knocked to the ground is essentially out of the play until he stands upright (wrapping your arms around a QB’s legs will not allow you to sack him before he is able to get rid of the football).
Just getting to the Quarterback is hard enough for a defensive lineman, so now not only do they have to break the blocks of 300+ pound guards and tackles they must remain on there feet to lay a blow on the quarterback because if they are able to get by say a Joe Thomas but in doing so have fallen to the ground, they are a meaningless defender until upright again. I feel this rule is going to far to protect the Qb’s and also puts the offensive lineman at a great advantage in the one on one match up.

Now onto the rules that many NFL are happy to see changed . . .

Firstly, what will be known as the “Hochuli Rule” as a result of last season week 2 game between San Diego and Denver. Hochuli ruled Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler to have thrown an incomplete pass in the dying moments of the game, replays showed that Cutler had fumbled the ball and that the Chargers recovered but the play wasn’t allowed to be reviewed because Hochuli blew the whistle, Denver kept the ball and won on the games last seconds.

Now such play is reviewable.

This rule is much like the down by contact/fumble rule that was changed a season or two ago. Where a ref blows the whistle for a ball carrier being down by contact can now be reviewed to see if the player lost possession before being down by contact.

My one concern with the rule is that players are trained to STOP once hearing the whistle, now a player knows that he can play through a whistle because it might be deemed a meaningless whistle after a review so I still need to recover the football, serious injuries can occur when players are playing through the whistle.

The next rule involves the NFL draft order. Starting in 2010 postseason results will have a greater impact when it comes to the draft order. All 12 teams that make the post season will be drafting 21 through 32, teams eliminated wild card weekend will draft #’s 21,22,23, &24, teams that lose divisional weekend will draft 25,26,27, &28, conference final losers will draft 29, &30 and the super bowl winner and runner up will draft 31 &32. Previous to the rule changes only the Super Bowl winner and loser draft position would be based on post season performance.

This rule was fast tracked through because the Chargers, who won the AFC West (all be it at 8-8) and beat the Colts in a wild card playoff game will be drafting at #16 while teams that didn’t make the post season such as the Jets, Bucs, Bears, & Cowboys (who’s pick is owned by Detroit) all draft after the Chargers and the Colts whom the Chargers lost to in the playoffs will be drafting #27.

The rule does make a lot of sense, teams that don’t qualify for the post season shouldn’t be drafting behind teams that did regardless of record, and once if the playoffs you will not draft behind teams that advance farther then you in the post season.

Lastly onto the rumored games increase, shockingly I am against it which is a bit of a surprise even to me, I am not the type to say no to more NFL football but I love the system as it is currently set up , and one most consider the quality of play as more players will be dealing with serious and nagging injuries that would affect the on field product, such a rule would have to come with extending the NFL rosters from 53 to around 58-60 so that would also dilute the talent in the league.

Tell me how you feel about the new NFL rules and keep an eye for my NFL draft blogs as I attempt to predict all 32 first round picks.

Geoff Fienberg

Posted 1 day, 7 hours ago at 8:55 PM.


TO Advice for Kids

#1….Show up to practice everyday, unless your renegotiating. Enjoy the video!

Nolan Shulman

Posted 3 weeks, 4 days ago at 12:43 PM.

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Team Obliterator Shown the Door

After several productive seasons in Big D, the Dallas Cowboys have decided to give TO his walking papers. It had been heavily speculated that this was a possibility since the offseason began, however everytime Jerry Jones was asked about it, he repeatedly reiterated that TO would remain an integral part of the Dallas Cowboys. Well it’s quite obvious after this morning’s turn of events, that this was all a smoke screen. Roy Williams will take over TO’s flanker position on the depth chart. It’s still unclear whether Patrick Crayton will move out of the slot or whether Miles Austin will fill the void of #2. Over his career Owens has often had problems with his quarterbacks. He called Jeff Garcia gay, blamed the eagles Superbowl loss on Donovan McNabb becoming fatigued, told the media that the Eagles would have had a better record with Brett Favre than Donovan, and this year, claimed that Romo was favoring Witten in the offense because the two were closer freinds off the field. We won’t even talk about the “FAILED” suicide attempt.


Nolan Shulman

Posted 3 weeks, 4 days ago at 11:26 AM.

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Impact of Adding Matt Birk at Center

After losing Jason Brown to the St.Louis Rams, the Ravens have signed Center Matt Birk, from the Minnesota Vikings. Birk is a 6-time pro-bowler and will provide an immediate upgrade to the Ravens offensive line. Birk is a veteran and has seen it all in his 11 years in the NFL. Calling out the blitzes and defenses, as well as helping the young line progress are the reasons Ozzie brought Matt in. The players are excited to have him and him and Joe should be able to form a terrific chemistry throughout the off-season program

If the season started today and the Ravens didn’t add anyone via the draft (doubtful), they would still be able to field an extremely strong line. It consists of youth, and legendary veterans. They did a Heck of a job last year and there is no reason to think they won’t be even better next year.

Jared Gaither, Benn Grubbs, Matt Birk, Marshall Yanda, Willie Anderson.

Nolan Shulman

Posted 3 weeks, 5 days ago at 5:36 PM.

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Baltimore Plugs Gap at Coner with
Local boy Dominique Foxworth

Local boy Dominique Foxworth inked a 4 year, $28 million contract, including $16.5 million guaranteed to become newest corner for the Baltimore Ravens. The University of Maryland standout was introduced Friday and figures to play a prominent role in the Ravens secondary throughout the 2009-2010 season. Ozzie has gone out and gotten the Ravens a speedy cover corner to help shore up Baltimore’s weakest defensive unit last season. Foxworth, a third round pick in 2003 was clocked at 4.22 seconds in the forty-yard dash. With Fabian Washington already on the roster Baltimore figures to have on of the fastest corner tandems in the league. Recently, Baltimore released Pro-Bowl cornerback and former first round pick Chris McCalister. Does the addition of Foxworth mean the writing is on the wall for Samari Rolle to suffer the same fate? A secondary of Dominique Foxworth, Dawan Landry, Ed Reed, and Fabian Washington would instantly become a much younger, much faster, much improved secondary next season. Providing depth will be Frank Walker, Tom Zbikowski, Derrick Martin, Evan Ogelsby, and Haruki Nakamura. Can’t wait to see what new Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison does with this group. Should be one of Baltimore best units next season.

Nolan Shulman

Posted 4 weeks, 1 day ago at 8:53 AM.

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Scott signs 6 year, $48 Million contract…
Joins Rex Ryan in New York

Bart Scott has officially decided to part ways with the Baltimore Ravens, as he signed a 6 year contract to become the center piece of Rex Ryan’s defense. After flip flopping on his decision several times, Scott decided the opportunity to earn more money and the chance to become an extension of his old coach and mentor in New York was to much to pass up. He spent the start of free agency doing what any savvy free agent would do. He used the two interested teams as leverage against each other and cashed in by signing an extremely hefty contract.

I hope Bart has more success in his new home than the Ravens other recently defected free agent linebackers. Jamie Sharper, Ed Hartwell and Adalius Thomas were never able to find the same type of success in their new uniforms that they had in BMORE. Will Bart Scott prove he wasn’t a product of playing with great teammates Ray Lewis, and Terrell Suggs or will he continue to prove Ozzie Newsome knows what he’s doing when he says “right player, right price”.

Nolan Shulman

Posted 1 month ago at 9:42 PM.

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It’s Friday February 27 and the National Football League’s free agent dominos have already started to fall. It’s the first day of Free Agency and Daniel Snyder has wasted no time coming back from his one-year spending sabbatical. According to the world wide leader, ALBERT HAYNESWORTH has inked a 7 year, $100 million dollar contract with the Washington Redskins, including incentives which could net the leagues most dominant defensive player upwards of $115 million. The deal is said to include $41 million in guarantees and pay him $32 million over the first 13 months.

Is the National Football League recession proof? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure; Daniel Snyder isn’t one of the owners reeling from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Stealing the nasty “Painsworth” away from Tennessee forced the skins to give out the richest contract EVER given to a defensive player. But is he worth the investment?

This $100 million dollar man has his share of risks. This is the same Albert Haynesworth famous for stomping on Andre Gurode’s head in 2006- not by accident but on purpose. This is a man who purposely rippied Andre’s Helmet off, tackled him to the ground, and proceeded to stomp on his head like it was a piniatta and there was a chocolate, peanutbutter, cookie dough cheesecake stuck in the head. This stunt cost Albert 5 games and almost ended his stint as a Titan. More importantly it forever tarnished Haynesworth’s name and reputation. Despite these character concerns, Haynesworth is known around league circles as the most complete Defensive Tackle in the NFL. Albert is renowned throughout the league for changing the game in the trenches single handedly. DURING A CONTRACT YEAR THAT IS. Only time will tell if Albert can manage to bring the same hunger to the football field as he does to the dinner table (now that he never has to worry about putting food on that table again). With a history of playing harder during contract years, one can only hope Daniel Snyder, Jim Zorn, and the Redskins have a game plan to keep Albert in shape, and playing with intensity each and every snap. That is one hell of a scary way to risk $100 million+ in an economy that’s less stable than the Oakland Raiders front office. That being said, the NFC East better take notice. The NFL’s deepest division just got a boost in talent, physicality, and meanness.

Please check back in as I will continue to update you on free agency.


Posted 1 month ago at 11:32 AM.

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