By: Alexander Kamel
In 2017, people were up in arms about the catch rule. Everyone thought it was a terrible rule that needed to be fixed, especially when it cost the Steelers a crucial Week 15 game against the Patriots. The loss eventually led to them dropping down to the #2 seed which changed everything about the playoff picture in the AFC. The NFL has gone back to the drawing board and has supposedly fixed the rule, but like the NFL loves to do, the replaced one problem with an even worse one… They added the new helmet rule.
The new NFL helmet rule states “It is a 15-yard penalty if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.” People have heard about this rule the entire offseason but have not known exactly what it means. Well, these first 2 weeks of preseason have proved that it is going to be very controversial and extremely frustrating for defensive players. Watching preseason football always gets me excited for the NFL season, but these penalties are crazy. Check out some of the hits that have warranted flags so far this preseason:
I understand the NFL is trying to make the game safer, so they protect themselves from any huge law suit, but this is too far. These are clean hits that are being called penalties and I PROMISE this rule is going to affect the outcome of a number of games this season. Vikings S, Andrew Sendejo is already wearing a “Make Football Violent Again” hat in regard to the new rule and I am sure most, if not all defensive players have the same idea in mind. If the NFL continues to stray away from what made the game of football so entertaining to watch, then I’m sure Vince McMahon and the XFL will be glad to take over for them.
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By: Brendan Schick
Breaking News: The Buffalo Bills have acquired the Cleveland Browns’ 2016 first round pick, Corey Coleman in exchange for a…seventh round pick in 2020? ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the return for the 24 year-old receiver shortly after the news of the trade broke, and wow, that is some return! That was sarcasm for those who didn’t pick up on it. Cleveland stays king of failing in the draft and abandoning young players shortly into their miserable Browns career. Don’t believe me? Check this out. I compiled a list of every Browns first rounder from the year 2011 to the year 2016 with their tumultuous fate that they would meet only a few short years into their career.
Phil Taylor (DT): Released from the Browns in 2015
Trent Richardson (RB): Traded from the Browns to the Colts in 2013
Brandon Weeden (QB): Released from the Browns in 2014
Barkevious Mingo (OLB): Released from the Browns in 2016
Justin Gilbert (CB): Traded from the Browns to the Steelers in 2016
Johnny Manziel (QB): Released from the Browns in 2016
Danny Shelton (DT): Traded from the Browns to the Patriots in 2018
Cameron Erving (OL): Traded from the Browns to the Chiefs in 2017
Corey Coleman (WR): Traded from the Browns to the Bills in 2018
So, that equates to 9 first round picks from 2011-2016 for the Browns. Not one of those players remains on the team. Players like Trent Richardson and Johnny Manziel are some of the biggest professional busts in NFL history, frankly. It’s quite amazing to see how bad a team can be from top to bottom, and the winless team that took the field each week last year was a culmination of this horrendous drafting. So why did the Browns give up on Corey Coleman? Coleman broke his hand in 2016 and again in 2017 which limited him to only a few career games. But you cannot sit here and justify trading a former first round pick for a conditional seventh round pick only two years into his career. Giving up on young players is just something the Browns excel at. Playing competitive football and winning games is something they are not good at, however. If I’m Baker Mayfield, I’m on the phone with my agent right now discussing contingency plans because the Browns are probably already trying to find a future trade partner. If Coleman can return to form, he can immediately slot in as the Bills #1 receiver with a young QB at the helm in Josh Allen. The Browns are what we know they are. A circus, a rotting dumpster on fire, and a factory of sadness. Sorry, Cleveland!
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By Alex Kamel:
Antonio Brown has had quite the month. He was recognized as the second best player in the league in the top 100, as well as EA Sports announcing that the Steelers wide receiver will be the Madden NFL 19 cover athlete. It is safe to say that business is booming for #84, but he won’t stop there. The Steelers are coming into training camp as one of the top teams in the NFL and a serious contender in the AFC. Big Ben has a plethora of receivers to call on whether it is the elite AB himself, JuJu Smith Schuster, or even dual threat RB Le’Veon Bell. As talented as the Steelers are, it is always tempting to go out into free agency and find more firepower, even if that firepower might have some ‘character issues’.
Dez Bryant was released by the Dallas Cowboys in April and it has been apparent from the beginning that the breakup was not a peaceful one. Dez Bryant brought his feelings all back up on Twitter Friday:
Dez went straight for Dallas’ throat as he condemned the entire Cowboys franchise from ownership to the players. It was a long night for Dez Bryant on Twitter but he ended up with a pretty good offer from Steelers top recruit, Tony Toe-Tap:
Having speedy WRs in Antonio Brown and JuJu in addition with a big man like Dez would certainly make for the most lethal WR core in the league, but there is one question that stop this from becoming a reality: Does Dez’s talent outweigh his potential problems with teammates/coaches?
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By: Rob Schardt
I don’t think I have ever seen in my entire life, a player who is criticized like Odell Beckham. I have seen so many articles about how he is not a top receiver in the league, or a leader, or mature, but true football fans and especially Giants fans know, this is not true. Odell goes about his life different than many in the league, living a lavish lifestyle, which always brings about controversy. Truthfully, I don’t care what Odell does with his life, as long as he is producing on the field. Odell’s off the field stuff is really not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. He has never been arrested, never has been suspended for drugs and is a great guy according to his teammates. Damon Harrison even said he would trust the guy babysitting his kids and that means A lot to a parent.
Yes, I get it, Odell is passionate and can throw tantrums, but the guy gives it his all every week and I will take that any day of the week. A few months ago, trade rumors were swirling around that Odell would be dealt because the Giants were “tired” of his antics. From the beginning, I thought this was all false because of how insane it would be to trade a once in a generation player. If these rumors were true, it somehow woke Odell up because I bet the Giants were nervous about offering him a max extension if he is going to act childish. Now, look at him since those rumors started, he has reported to training camp, which many people expected him not to because apparently he is greedy and is only about Odell. Yeah, NOT, clearly Odell is sending a message.
Odell wants to show the Giants who are one of the classiest teams in sports, that he deserves every penny of a max contract and he is just doing that. Yesterday news broke that John Mara, who is the Giants owner, said he is ready to start talking about an extension with him. Yep, once more Odell is proving the haters wrong once more, as he is working extremely hard to get back to full strength after his horrible injury last season. After an injury like that any player would want a max contract because they do not know when another one like that could happen, so they obviously would like to protect themselves.
I am more than thrilled to see that Odell has been mature about this entire situation and is working hard, posting videos so everyone can see he means business. Odell is not the villain everyone makes him out to be because he cares about his team and wants to win. Showing the front office that he has maturity is something they want to see and preforming well at training camp is also another good sign. I think it is time for the league to stop scrutinizing Odell over every little thing he does, because in the end, he is one of the hardest workers in the league and deserves every bit of money he is asking for.
By: Alex Kamel
The NFL is a different game than it was 5 years ago. The recent head trauma studies in the NFL has gained nationwide media attention and is now the leading concern for the future of the game. Roger Goddell and the NFL have done what they must by making the game safer with rules that disallow blows to the head, whether it is moving kickoffs to the 35-yard line to encourage more touchbacks or hitting a defenseless receiver. It is great to see that the NFL cares about making the game safer for their players, but after this year’s newest rule change, you have to wonder: Are these rule changes taking away from the sport we know and love?
The newest rule that has been implemented is guaranteed to change the game. “It is a 15-yard penalty if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.” When the rule was announced to the public, players were more confused than anything about how they would change their style of play to accommodate the new rule. Washington corner back, Josh Norman, gave his opinion and said, “I don’t know how you’re going to play the game.”
Retired star corner back Asante Samuel also had something to say about the newest change to the game.
This season is setting up to be one of the most controversial yet. The NFL has also hired six new refs this season. The combination of these two factors will lead to a number of close games being decided by this new rule change and it will cause even more headache for the NFL (no pun intended).
Although all of these factors will change the game, there is no doubt that the NFL needed to be more careful with head collisions. Even though the game needed to change, I can’t help but think about my favorite plays from legends like Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, and Patrick Lewis. These players prided themselves on their hard hits to any offensive player who dared to come near them.
This was the kind of hit long-time NFL fans knew and loved:
The game is changing. The old NFL was all about power and grit, but the new NFL will be more about elusiveness, finesse, and fundamentals. We’ll have to wait and see what true effect this rule change will have on the season and judge for ourselves if it will be the one that changes the game forever.
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By: Alex Kamel
With all the hype surrounding rookie RB, Saquon Barkley, people are underestimating the true value Guice brings to the Redskins. The LSU product was projected to be a first round draft pick but slid due to a number of character issues that were reported, including an altercation with the Eagles at the scouting combine. Although he was the 7th running back taken in the draft, the overall consensus was that he was the second best rookie running back with his combination of his power and speed. Chris Thompson is bound to take away some targets from him, but it is becoming more and more apparent that Guice will be the main guy in Washington this season.
Brandin Cooks fantasy prime was when he was on the Saints as a deep threat for Drew Brees but was also receiving the screen passes to give him open space. The Patriots did not use Cooks in the same way which led to him being looked at as a less valuable fantasy option. Brandin Cooks has since been traded to the potential super team, Los Angeles Rams. Jared Goff is a quarterback who loves to throw the deep ball and now has a perfect WR to complement their style of offense. Sean McVay was even seen talking about how impressed he is with Bradnin Cooks’ speed. There is every reason to think that Cooks will be back to running the same style of offense that made him extraordinary in New Orleans.
Kyle Rudolph is always a reliable tight end that never gets that much recognition. I have always seem him as a consistently average tight end in fantasy football, but he might be more than that this year. The Vikings have signed a true American hero, Captain Kirk. Similar to most quarterbacks, Kirk has always loved a strong, reliable tight end. Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed were a lethal QB/TE combination until Reed became extremely injury prone. Kirk Cousins finally gets a healthy tight end that has proved to be consistent year in and year out and will be able to be even more efficient this year.
I know Lamar Jackson is still the backup as of now. But investing in him might not be a bad idea. One of the most mobile quarterbacks since Mike Vick is bound to be a fantasy star. The main concern is when will he start and will the Ravens utilize him in their offense as anything other than a quarterback?
The 49ers looked suspect to begin the 2017-2018 season, but the team that started that season was not the same team that finished it. Golden God Garropolo came in and made this team go from one of the worst in the league to a potential playoff contender from the second he walked in the door. He also improved Marquise Goodwin’s numbers dramatically. In the 6 games Jimmy G took over, Marquise averaged 8.5 targets with 5.5 receptions. Goodwin was slowly becoming a favorite for Garropolo and it should continue going into this season.
I get it, Bill Belichick is a fantasy football enemy. Who could forget one-hit wonder Jonas Gray who lit up the Colts for 4 touchdowns one week, and then was an easy drop the next week. As scary as it is trusting a New England running back, Sony Michel is a versatile back that has the pass catching ability of a Dion Lewis, and the vision in the run game that will outperform Rex Burkhead. The only issue to worry about his if Michel did not get over his fumbling tendencies then it will be really hard to thrive in a New England offense who does not tolerate turnovers.
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