Tag Archives: Johnny Manziel

AFC North Preview

  1.   Cleveland Browns

The Browns have been all over the place in the past 3 years. Overhauls in coaching staffs, player personnel, and the entire Johnny Manziel factor has brought a lot more attention to the Browns than I can remember in quite some time. None of it positive. I don’t like anything in particular about this team even last year but somehow they were in the playoff race much longer than anyone expected them to be. Crowell was a positive on the offense but without Gordon once again, I still do not see any positive factors on the offense.  They  drafted  Duke Johnson who will hopefully be able to take on the load of carries for the team. The defense has some nice young guys but we won’t see the results of that until a good 2-3 years from now, and at that point they could have four different GMs, two new owners, and 6 new head coaches. Humor aside I don’t trust this organization for anything in the past 50 years and neither should you. I have the Cleveland Browns going 5-13 and last in the division.

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers

This division is tough. There’s 3 teams that can easily steal the division title, and the Steelers are definitely one of those teams. They have the best offense in the division that’s not even a question. Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Big Ben were either top 5 or 2 at their position last year. It’s odd to think about how high powered the Steelers offense and how average their defense is. There is nothing special about their defense once so ever. This is the same team that has made history in the league through their stout defenses. That is the only reason I have them here instead of higher. This team relies on Big Ben’s hot arm and Le’Veon Bell’s wonderful vision. The draft they had was okay. I liked what they did in the first 2 rounds but I’m not feeling too positive about the rest of it. I have this team going 10-6 just outside of the playoffs and 3rd in the division.

  1. Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are a team that has consistently stayed relevant for quite some time now. Harbough keeps these boys ready on both sides of the ball. After the unfortunate Ray Rice situation, the Ravens had to find some answers somewhere for their running game. Forsett was that answer. Forsett kept the offense alive when he was finally given the chance to do something. His ability to find gaps and burst through the hole has always been at an elite level and in Baltimore he was finally able to showcase it. The Ravens have always been a team that doesn’t tear through their regular season schedule, but instead knows how to get hot at the right time in the postseason and make some noise. The Ravens have great young guys all over their defense and in particular, C.J. Mosley. The kid is just oozing with potential that has still yet to be seen and he had my DROY vote even though he didn’t win it. The WR core is even a less desirable one than before and although Steve Smith put up stats we have not seen from him in quite some time, I do not expect it to continue this season. They will need someone to step up in that core and I believe Harbough will find that man just like he found Forsett. I have the Ravens going 11-5, 2nd in the division, and losing in the second round of the playoffs.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals once again are just the best all around team in the division again. I have no hope in the franchise past the regular season, and even then the front office is incapable of making the right decision with a head coach who has yet to win a playoff game in the entire time he has been there. Oh, and Marvin Lewis has been on the Bengals as the head coach for 10+ years. Regardless of these many many shortcomings, when it comes to the regular season I see the Bengals coming out on top with their most recent core of guys. They have the best WR core in the division, best duo of RBs in the division, and probably the best defense in the division. The QB position is the only questionable factor, but Andy Dalton is not a bad QB at all. He is serviceable despite what many in social media will tell you. They do not have an easy schedule, but regular season I believe in them. I have the Bengals going 11-5, winning the division, and going down in the first round just as they have so many other times.

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AFC North Preview

 

afc north

 

AFC North

A couple of years ago teams never wanted to face this division because this division was known for rough, punch you in the mouth, style of defenses. The teams leading those defenses have become old, star players have retired. Even with that this remains to be one of the most competitive divisions in football.

Cleveland Browns:
Nobody thought coming into this year that they would care about this team at all. But Cleveland as a city is becoming huge for media outlets with a certain NBA player and the most controversial guy in the NFL, Johnny Manziel.

I’m a Manziel guy. I believe he is going to do great thing in this league, but he did not win the starting job over the preseason. And he alone can’t turn a mediocre team into the best team in the nation. The Browns lost a monster receiver in Josh Gordon due to use of marijuana, (If you want an opinion on that another writer is planning on giving you one.) and their starting RB is Ben Tate… They still have Jordan Cameron who I believe will become a ridiculously talented elite TE in the future, but outside of that there is a lot to be desired of this offense.

They grabbed Miles Austin in the offseason who had one good year and as of late seemed to find the perfect time to run horrible routes for the Cowboys so I don’t have much faith in him. It doesn’t matter who the starter is whether it’s Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel, there simply is not enough talent on this offense.

Now the defense will be able to pick up a lot slack from the offense. Joe Haden is a top 5 CB no doubt about it. Most WRs will have a very hard time getting open on this guy. They have a good front 7 as well, but outside of Haden they don’t have another elite guy on that side of the ball. They won’t be able to beat good teams with just their defense. At the end of the year the Cleveland Browns will finish 5-11 regardless of if Manziel takes over at some point.

Baltimore Ravens:
To think that they just won a Super Bowl 2 years ago is crazy. Problem from that is that they’ve lost almost all of their veterans to retirements, trades, or free agency. Then there is the huge controversy surrounding Ray Rice. This team is all out of sorts. There was some crazy stat I saw the other day like 1 out of every 5 players on the Ravens has been arrested. That is beyond outrageous. So distractions are heavy at this point.

Joe Flacco had an average year at best last year, and it does not seem like it’s going to be different if the preseason correlates to anything in the regular season. They have Torrey Smith who will continue to be a deep threat and Dennis Pitta who is a solid TE. The Ravens acquired Steve Smith from the Panthers this past off-season, but he has been on his downward slope for a couple of years now.

On defense Terrell Suggs was and will continue to be a monster on defense, Haloti Ngata is impossible to block and they still have a solid CB Ladarius Webb. That alone though cannot overcome the off field issues and other deficiencies on both sides of the ball. This year the Ravens will end their year 7-9 and 3rd in the division.

Pittsburgh Steelers:
Just barely missing the playoffs last year behind the Chargers, the Steelers will be looking for redemption this year. Last year Antonio Brown was a top 5 WR for receiving yards and receptions. Big Ben and Brown have chemistry and I expect that to continue this year. Le’Veon Bell had injury issues his rookie year so the Steelers made a great pickup for this year picking up former Patriot LeGarrette Blount. The offense will be able to do what they were doing near the end of last season and make plays when they need them.

On the defensive side I’m worried though. It seems like the Steelers are looking for the guy farthest away from the ball to make every single play. Troy Polamalu is getting older and cannot continue to do everything on defense for this team. Consistency will hurt this team again this year and it will be their downfall. I have the Steelers going 8-8 and missing the Playoffs again.

Cincinnati Bengals:
The Bengals made it to the playoffs last year but lost to the San Diego Chargers in the first round. By default they should win this division as they are light years above these other teams in pure talent.

I’m a strong critic of head coach Marvin Lewis as he has coached this team for 10+ years without a SINGLE playoff victory. It has is now beyond ridiculous. I do not understand how this man still has a head coaching job in the NFL, much less the same team for this long.

The players are supremely talented here. Andy Dalton falls under the radar too much because of his lack of holding onto the ball, but his numbers are ridiculous only comparison being Peyton Manning in his first few years in the league. AJ Green is a top 3 WR, not up for debate. Giovani Bernard had a solid rookie year. Marvin Jones had four touchdowns in a SINGLE game. They have a solid TE duo with Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert and a strong line. That was just the offense I gave you.

On defense they have Carlos Dunlap breaking in for sacks, Geno Atkins is right next to Suh as best DT in the league, Leon Hall at corner and I could go on and on. This team is loaded with talent. They have yet to reach their full potential due to a coach that should not have a head coaching job. They will undoubtedly win this division going 11-5 taking the division and making the Playoffs.

afc north game

AFC South Preview: (http://wp.me/p33YLP-iM)

AFC East Preview: (http://wp.me/p33YLP-iw)

AFC West Preview:  (http://wp.me/p33YLP-iB)

De’Shawn Hornback

All Play, No Pay (Should College Athletes Get Paid)

ncaaCollege football and men’s college basketball are two of the most highly anticipated and most watched things on earth. Everyone loves tuning in to CBS, ESPN, NBC and other major TV networks on Saturday’s during the autumn season to watch some college football. Fans all across the world love filling out NCAA tournament brackets for men’s basketball during March Madness. Those two sports are thrilling, breath-taking and epic at the college level just as much as the pros. Those two sports are also anchors in providing the NCAA with money. Endorsements, Television deals and a lot of other money-making opportunities wouldn’t come to fruition if it weren’t for the Division I athletes. Because of their contribution to the schools’ funds and the NCAA as a whole, college athletes of these two sports, basketball and football should get paid.

Outside of men’s basketball, football and women’s basketball to an extent the NCAA doesn’t bring in much revenue from the other sports such as softball, baseball, volleyball and etc. Football and basketball are the sole money makers. As reported by Chris Smith from Forbes, CBS and Turner Broadcasting made over $1 billion off of the basketball games for both the men and women alone. As a whole the NCAA makes at least $6 billion a year. The NCAA then spreads the money amongst the Division l schools, sports sponsorships, and a few more things that include grants for the schools as well as student assistance funds. Once colleges receive the new-found money or extra money, whichever the case may be, colleges start looking for players to give scholarships to and the trend continues.

Most, if not all athletic scholarships cover the player’s school billings such as books, classes, food and housing. A lot of people figure that this diligence is enough for college athletes and should be considered as their pay. But even with the scholarship and all of the different facets it covers college athletes still deserve more because of the risk they’re taking and the exposure they provide schools with.

For example, the three biggest names last year in college basketball were Julius Randle (Kentucky,) Andrew Wiggins (Kansas,) and Jabari Parker (Duke). Each of these players were highly sought after because of their rank amongst others in their class as well as the guys who were already playing at the college level. Having been highly profiled athletes, each of these guys brought major attention to their schools which equated in getting a lot of nationally televised games, commercials and other big marketing deals. Without playing in a single game for their respective schools each player still managed to bring in money. Once the season actually rolled around tons of fans bought tickets. Why, you may ask, because big names sell. College basketball is like any other business; if you have you have the best product you are guaranteed to sell.

On the football side of the equation Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, was box office to the max. A&M got extra media attention because of him, more national games and even sold more tickets. They even sold that praised him. If it hadn’t been for Manziel, A&M would not be in the position they are in now. Manziel’s impact on A&M was ridiculous. Shirts, jerseys, cups and other fan items were all being bought because of Manziel and his brand. Manziel was A&M’s product. Having Manziel on board also helped with their move from the Big 12 to the SEC.

Along with bringing in money, college athletes also put their lives at risk. In basketball the injuries are far less gruesome but can still be detrimental; in football concussions happen, neck injuries happen and plethora of other serious injuries can happen in this dangerous yet fun game. Aside from injuries the players also get held to a higher standard. One wrong slip up and they could get their scholarship taken away like professionals could get their contract voided. Since they’re getting held to such a high standard why aren’t they getting paid like professionals do?

College ball isn’t an easy task either. It’s not like high-school, and how you could just come in and just play for fun or play whenever you like. In college you actually have to work and perform. Especially if given a scholarship. But sometimes working hard can be a bit of a drag especially if you aren’t receiving anything in return. The scholarship helps with a lot of different things but it doesn’t necessarily benefit the players in other aspects of life such as players who happen to be parents or guardians for their families back at home.

As a matter of fact there are a lot of college athletes who happen to be parents and could use a few extra dollars here and there to help support their children. Others, who may not have that same need could quite possibly use a few dollars to help them get from place to place. Everyone’s needs are different, but the money earned from the hard work that’s being put in on the field or court could help players out tremendously. Paying the college athletes would also minimize the problem athletes have in obtaining illegal money and other, benefits from agents, or persons who shouldn’t be involved with them; that would minimize a lot of the suspensions that happen.

All in all, college athletes should get paid. College sports is nothing but a business and like all businesses employees should be paid. The players deserve it because of the hard work and effort they put into being athletes as well as students and in some cases parents. With billions of dollars being made off of these athletes through various marketing outlets, the NCAA would be smart to give out a portion to the athletes to help minimize some of the problems that exist now. The NCAA is after all, a model of the professional leagues. If they (pros) can pay the players the NCAA can too. After all they already have their version of a contract, plus it’s the right thing to do. Why be selfish with the guys who are the cause for money coming in?

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