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Pierre-Paul, Rolle Among Giants’ Top Free Agents

By on March 3, 2015 at 7:47pm

The New York Giants have plenty to consider this offseason, especially when it comes to free agents. In 2014, GM Jerry Reese attempted to rebuild the ailing franchise by spending a whopping $115 million, which led to a disappointing 6-10 finish. With little room to play with under the cap this year and five star players about to become free agents, Big Blue needs to proceed carefully.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul

Although the sixth-year player Pierre-Paul finished the 2014 season with 12.5 sacks, he has struggled with nagging back problems and has not performed anywhere near the level he did during the 2011 Super Bowl run. The Giants put the franchise tag on him in order to keep him around. While no long-term deal has been hammered out, coach Tom Coughlin stated he would like to see Pierre-Paul retire in Giants blue. Continue reading Pierre-Paul, Rolle Among Giants’ Top Free Agents »

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Garoppolo will have a lot on his plate to start the year. (Kevin Hoffman, USA Today Sports).

On July 15th Tom Brady announced to the world he would no longer seek legal action in the infamous “Deflategate” scandal, thus ending the longest, and quite possibly the most ridiculous sports story ever, that was endlessly talked about for the better part of a year and a half. At that moment, it became clear Brady would accept his four game suspension, and put an end to his 14 year starting streak in the process. The man who has grown from hidden-gem to living legend had to hand the reigns over to Jimmy Garopplo, the unproven yet highly touted backup, therefore creating quite the interesting scenario for the QB from Eastern Illinois. Continue reading The Curious Case of Jimmy Garoppolo »

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Tom Brady/AP Image

Oh, Tom. Tommy, Tom, Tom. We had a good fight, didn’t we? We ruffled some feathers, tangled with authority, and left nearly no stone unturned in an effort to clear the name of the greatest quarterback of all-time. But in the end, there was nothing even the GOAT himself could do to combat the outright hypocrisy and lunacy of one Roger Goodell. The battle to prove Tom’s innocence was underhanded and unfair from the jump, and I for one think it’s time to move forward with Garappolo under-center for weeks 1-4.

When this whole Deflategate fiasco began some 543 days ago, it appeared as though Tom Brady would have an opportunity to prove what he has maintained since day one– that he had no knowledge regarding the deflation of footballs during the 2014 AFC Championship game. Throughout this exhausting legal process, it started to become clear that Tom’s innocence would have no bearing on whether or not his suspension would be eradicated.

What became the harsh reality for Tom and the rest of Patriot Nation was that Roger Goodell, the tyrant, set himself up with absolute, unbounded power when the CBA was put into place a few years back. Due to this stranglehold, Goodell was able to flip Brady’s case completely upside down and make it about his right to enforce his discipline regardless of a player’s innocence, or any other factor for that matter. Essentially, if Roger Goodell doesn’t like the way you cut your hair, he can suspend you for three games. If Goodell thinks you made fun of his hair piece behind closed doors, that’s four games.

This coming from a man who refused to acknowledge the facts (video evidence) that Ray Rice knocked his fiancee unconscious in an elevator. A man who has turned a blind eye to domestic violence, performance enhancing drugs, and several other infractions that have had a MUCH larger effect on the reputation and integrity of his game than an ALLEGEDLY deflated football used in a game that the Pats won by 38 points.

As I’ve said all along, the Brady suspension is a blessing in disguise for the Pats. Tom will have an extra four games of rest, and he will come back to a bevy of talented receivers DYING to catch passes from one of the best to ever lace them up. The extra rest will be huge for Brady and the Pats come playoff time. In addition, it will give the Pats a chance to showcase Jimmy Garappolo, who is nearing the end of his rookie deal and could be used as a trade chip moving forward with a solid performance in the first four weeks.

So enjoy the extended vacation with your super model wife and millions and millions of dollars, Tom. We’ll be ready for you to return week five and drop a 50 burger on those poor, poor Cleveland Browns. WE STAND WITH TOM.

 

 

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BB-Dante

Mike Reiss of ESPN is reporting that the Patriots are in talks to bring back retired offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. The legendary offensive line coach retired after the 2013 season after having spent two decades coaching in New England. His replacement, Dave DeGuglielmo, had an up and down tenure in New England that ranged from a line that under-performed at times to a Super Bowl victory.

The play of the New England’s offensive line was the biggest issue in their AFC Championship loss to Denver and bringing Scarnecchia back would provide an instant upgrade. The Patriots still need to address the tackle position, however. Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer have had injury issues and Marcus Cannon is a reserve player at best. Getting a quality third tackle will go  along way towards solving the Patriots’ problems.

Scarnecchia is a Hall of Fame level assistant coach who has routinely gotten the best out of his players. It is a major reason why he lasted through the regimes of several different head coaches and why some unheralded linemen became Super Bowl Champions. Many of the players on the roster have played under him and are comfortable with his style and respect his coaching acumen.

 

The familiarity that Scarnecchia brings to the table is a major selling point for him. He has had success in New England in the past and specifically with many of the same players that are still in Foxboro. Bill Belichick trusts him and Tom Brady will feel more comfortable knowing who is coaching his protectors. It is not set in stone yet, but it would be surprising at this point if he does not come back. Patriots fans should feel happy if he does; he won’t fix all of New England’s issues, but he will greatly improve a unit that was a black eye in the AFC Championship game.

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The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos are set to face off in what should be an epic showdown. Although the Super Bowl odds are tilted slightly in one team’s favor more heavily than we’ve seen in recent years, this matchup is very unique, where we have one team that’s on the rise, and one team that’s clinging on to veteran players. Cam Newton vs. Peyton Manning has been the highlight of this game, as Manning has mentioned that this is likely to be his last season, and he wants to go out with a bang.

This matchup will be played during the first Sunday in February on the 7th. It will be the last game played in Levi’s Stadium, as the 49ers are moving to a new stadium after this season. The game is set to air at 6:25PM EST on CBS, but be sure to tune in early to watch the player introductions and the pre-game entertainment. The stage has been set for an epic showdown, and we just have to decide who to pick in this game. Continue reading Super Bowl 50 Betting Preview by MyBookie.ag: Who has the Edge? »

Patriots Part Ways With Two Coaches

January 28, 2016 at 11:21am in Featured, NFL, Patriots

The Patriots parted ways this week with offensive line coach Dave Deguglielmo and strength coach Harold Nash. Both moves came within days of the Patriots falling to Denver in the AFC Championship game.

DeGuglielmo had been with the team for the past two seasons after replacing legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. The offensive line struggled this season amid several injuries. When asked on WEEI this week, Bill Belichick said that DeGuglielmo’s contract was up and both sides decided to move on. However, it is also likely the Patriots didn’t want him back regardless. There were rumblings that his style did not completely mesh with that of the other Patriots coaches and the offensive line had its share of struggles.

Nash was with the Patriots from 2005 until earlier this week. His role as head strength and conditioning coach began in 2011. Patriots fans may know him as the person who held long exercise bands attached to Tom Brady on the sidelines. The Patriots had a high injury rate his year and although Nash is not completely to blame, the Patriots wanted to go in a different direction as far as their conditioning is concerned.

Both moves represent an early offseason  shuffling for the Patriots. No replacements have been identified for either position. The Patriots generally like to promote from within but they are willing to go outside the organization if it presents the best fit.

in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.

The Patriots came up two points short of a trip to the Super Bowl in their loss to the Broncos. There were several factors in the loss, but none bigger than the play of the Patriots offensive line. Tom Brady was hit 20 times and was constantly under pressure. Von Miller, Demarcus Ware and Derek Wolfe dominated the Patriots front throughout the game.

New England struggled to move the ball until the fourth quarter and even then they had two drives end on failed fourth down conversions. On each of those failed conversions, Brady faced pressure. Brady also faced pressure on both of his interceptions, but neither was a good decision by him. Even the patented Patriots style of throwing before the rush could arrive was not effective throughout the game because the rush was supremely fast and the Broncos secondary played a great game. The injury earlier this season to left tackle Nate Solder made a large impact in this game, with Marcus Cannon routinely getting beat by Miller and Sebastian Vollmer having some struggles against Ware.

Despite this the Patriots still nearly tied the game on a two point conversion try with 12 seconds left. It is a disappointing end to a season that had the Patriots aiming for their fifth Lombardi Trophy. New England is fortunate that many of their key players are locked up going into next season and they will be getting reinforcements returning for 2016. However, with Solder coming off injury and Vollmer not getting any younger, it would behoove the Patriots to invest in a tackle in this year’s draft.

In the end, the 2015 Patriots started out like a team that could beat anyone but injuries and a few key mistakes led to their demise. Much can be debated about the finish to their regular season and today’s game, but the overriding theme in the end of their season was the offensive line getting beat consistently.

 

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The AFC Championship promises to be a great game. After defeating Kansas City and Pittsburgh, respectively, the New England Patriots will travel to Denver to play the Broncos on Sunday for a trip to Santa Clara. The main storyline will be the 17th matchup between future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, the fourth time it has come in the AFC Championship.

On Saturday, Tom Brady looked much like he had during the first 10 games of the season. With Julian Edelman back and Rob Gronkowski having a full workload, Brady was able to get rid of the ball quickly and move the Patriots down the field. Edelman was not available the first time the Patriots played the Broncos this season and the team struggled at times to move the ball against a great defense. With him back, the Patriots will be able to put up points much easier.

On the other end of the spectrum, Manning didn’t play terrible, but he did not look like a quarterback capable of winning this week. He threw for 222 yards, but the Denver offense was quiet for most of the game and if not for a key fumble by Fitz Toussaint in the fourth quarter, they might have lost.

In order to win this week, the Broncos cannot rely on Manning. They will need big games out of Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson at running back. In order to counter this, the Patriots front seven will need to match the Denver running backs in the running and passing game. The Patriots’ ability to do this will come down to two players up front, Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower. This is significant because the first time these two teams matched up Collins did not play and Hightower left early with an injury.

They were both on the field for most of the Divisional Round game. The Chiefs had 135 yards rushing, but 44 of those were on Alex Smith scrambles or designed runs. The Kansas City running backs combined for 28 yards receiving as well, putting their overall yardage output at 119. If the Patriots can hold the Denver backs to that number, it is unlikely the Denver offense will be able to put up more points than the Patriots.

Against the Steelers, Hillman or Anderson carried the ball on 31 of 70 offensive snaps and were also targeted four times in the passing game. Together, that is 50 percent of the offensive snaps that running backs were the focus. Denver didn’t show much ability to get the ball downfield outside of one catch by Emmanuel Sanders that went for 34 yards and one catch by Bennie Fowler that went for 31 yards. However, both of those passes traveled fewer than 20 yards from the line of scrimmage.

This is where Collins and Hightower come into play. The Patriots love to use both of them to blitz the A gap (between the center and the guard) to either create pressure up the middle or blow up run plays. Hightower can also cover well and Collins is an excellent coverage linebacker.

 

Collins and Hightower will need to makes plays in order to contain the Denver running backs. It almost sounds blasphemous to suggest that a team should force Manning to beat them, but that’s what this season has come down to. The more the Patriots can make Manning throw the ball downfield from the pocket the better. Eliminating the run game and his safety valves in the passing game will make it difficult for Denver to keep pace with New England.

Despite having an excellent defense, the Broncos are still going to need to put up points. If Collins and Hightower play well throughout the game, the Broncos won’t have enough juice to reach Super Bowl 50.

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