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Terrell Owens Isn’t Done Just Yet

The popcorn is ready. The question is whether or not the popcorn gets better as it ages.

Terrell Owens is back in the news once again. At least this time it’s not for doing sit-ups in his driveway, calling his quarterback a homo-sexual or another off the field stunt. After the news this week that Owens had ACL surgery in April, there are a couple questions being asked about the high profile wide-receiver.

The first of those questions is whether or not there is an NFL team that would be interested in signing the 37 year old. My response is “why not”. Last season in Cincinnati, Owens nearly had 1,000 yards receiving, along with nine touchdowns in 14 games. I’m not sure how anyone could complain about a number two receiver putting up that kind of stats. So obviously production wouldn’t be a down fall.

Maybe his age would turn people away. Personally, I believe T.O. is in better shape than over half of the receivers under 30 in the league. His training regimen is among the best and no one has ever complained about Owens showing up for anything out of shape. T.O. still has a good 3-4 years left in the tank.

Here’s the negative we all know, his ego. Although I do believe he has begun to realize the past couple years in Buffalo and Cincinnati that if he wants to continue his career he has to at least behave a little better than in the past.

At this point in his career Owens can still be a valuable threat. The question is, where?

Seattle could use a veteran like Owens, but I just can’t see Matt Hasselbeck and T.O. getting along. After applying a franchise tag to Vincent Jackson, it doesn’t look good for Malcom Floyd to stick around San Diego so they could be in the market and Owens could fit in well and really put up some big numbers. Another possibility could be the New York Jets who may be looking for possible replacements for either Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes. The bottom line is that I guarantee we see Owens on the field at some point this season. There will be some team who needs a veteran or an injury replacement.

Owens has played for 5 teams over his 14 year career without having much of a problem putting up decent stats

However, if this truly ends up being the end of T.O.’s career, is he hall-of-fame worthy? I see absolutely no reason why he isn’t.

Jerry Rice is the only player to have more touchdowns and reception yards than T.O. Over his 14-year career Owens has averaged 75 catches for 1,101 yards and 10.5 touchdowns. Only five players in NFL history have recorded more than three seasons with at least 75 receptions, 1,101 yards and 10 touchdowns. T.O. averaged that for a decade and a half.

If those stats don’t do it for you, this will. We all know the great hall-of-fame receiver Art Monk. These stats may shock you as much as they did me. T.O. has scored 88 more touchdowns than Monk, has three more seasons with at least 1,200 yards and twice as many Pro Bowls as Monk. Owens also reached double digits in touchdowns seven times; Monk never had more than 9 touchdowns. So if T.O. doesn’t belong, neither does Art Monk.

Really the only argument against Owens’ hall of fame quest is his ego and off the field problems. Wait! Straight from the Pro Football Hall of Fame mission statement; “To honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to professional football”. That says it right there. You should make the hall of fame based on what you do on the field, not off. T.O.’s on the field performance easily makes him a first ballot hall of famer. If he isn’t when he retires, the Hall of Fame better change its mission statement to include “players with good character”.

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Berger’s 2011 NFL Mock Draft

1. Carolina Panthers -DT Marcell Dareus

This team has so many holes that I do not think they can actually make a bad pick. While I think the best way to go would be to take QB Blaine Gabbert, I find it hard for them to admit they were wrong on Jimmy Clausen so soon. I see them taking the best player on the board.

2. Denver Broncos – OLB Von Miller

Miller has impressed a ton with his workouts. The Broncos are transitioning to a four man front and ranked dead last in sacks last year. Miller is a dominant pass rusher coming off the end so this pick makes the most sense to me.

3. Buffalo Bills – QB Blaine Gabbert

There has been some speculation that Cam Newton will be taken here, but I doubt it. Not only is Gabbert the more pro-ready quarterback, but he does not have a questionable past. There also has been some speculation that current QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is supposed to be the QB of the future, but I think the Bills are smart enough to realize that would not be a wise move.

4. Cincinnati Bengals – QB Cam Newton

With Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco likely on their way out the door, it would not be surprising to see them take A.J. Green or Julio Jones with their first pick. However, with the Bengals past in taking character issue players and their need for a QB after Carson Palmers latest trade demands, Newton just seems to fit the bill.

5. Arizona Cardinals – CB Patrick Peterson

Peters0n is hands down the best corner in the draft. If they take Peterson to team up with Rodgers-Cromartie, they could have one of the best cornerback tandems in the league.

6. Cleveland Browns – WR A.J. Green

In Cleveland, the number one priority needs to be helping their young QB Colt McCoy to develop and the best way to do that is to draft a top wide receiver in Green, whom they so desperately need.

7. San Francisco 49ers – CB Prince Amukamara

Many may consider this one a stretch, but I do not see Peterson on the board for them and corner is their biggest hole. Amukamara is still a viable option, so why not?

8. Tennessee Titans – DE Da’Quan Bowers

I would usually say Nick Fairley here, but after the bad luck the Titans have had with poor character guys lately (Vince Young, Albert Haynesworth), I do not see them taking another risk so soon.

9. Dallas Cowboys – OT Tyrone Smith

Tony Romo needs some more protection as evidenced by last year. Another way they could possibly go is with Bowers if he manages to fall to the ‘Boys at nine.

10. Washington Redskins – DE Robert Quinn

The Redskins produced the 25th most sacks last year and they need someone to line up opposite of Brian Orakpo.

11. Houston Texans – DE J.J. Watt

The Texans need help on defense across the board and what better way to start than dynamic line anchor, Watt?

12. Minnesota Vikings – OT Anthony Castonzo

It was incredibly evident that the Vikings need help on the offensive line after Favre got beat up and Peterson’s ypc went down.

13. Detroit Lions – DT Nick Fairley

Many might find it hard to see Fairley fall this low, but somehow I do. The Lions would take him without any hesitation.

14. St. Louis Rams – WR Julio Jones

There is not one other picks that makes an ounce of sense compared to this one. Bradford needs a receiver and here one is.

15. Miami Dolphins – RB Mark Ingram

The Dolphins are in need of a shot of youth in their running back group. I think they will give Chad Henne one more year to prove himself as a starting QB.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Aldon Smith

The Jaguars had the second least sacks last year and with a little help from the deepest end class we have seen in years, Smith should fill the void.

17. New England Patriots from Oakland – DE Cameron Jordan

As injuries and age took their toll last year, the Pats take Jordan as part of their act to remodel the defense.

18. San Diego Chargers – DE Muhammed Wilkerson

The Chargers do not really have holes anywhere, but Wilkerson should come in and help get this team back to elite status right away.

19. New York Giants – OG/C Mike Pouncey

The Giants are going to view the second coming of Maurkice Pouncey first hand.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OLB Akeem Ayers

The Bucs need a pass rush off the outside and Ayers fills the need.

21. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Nate Solder

They need to shore up the run blocking and it starts with drafting Solder.

22. Indianapolis Colts – OT Gabe Carimi

The line is aging and not much would make Manning happier than some reinforced protection.

23. Philadelphia Eagles – CB Jimmy Smith

The Eagles need another cornerback to go alongside Asante Samuel.

24. New Orleans Saints – DE Adrian Clayborn

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams likes to bring the blitz, but it was not very effective last year with a weak pass rush. Clayborn fixes that.

25. Seattle Seahawks – QB Jake Locker

Hasselbeck will only play one more season for the Seattle and Locker is the same style player, so what better fit is there?

26. Baltimore Ravens – DE Cameron Heyward

The Ravens defense is getting very old and in need of an influx of young talent.

27. Atlanta Falcons – DE Ryan Kerrigan

The Falcons haven’t finished with more than 31 sacks in either of their last two years.

28. New England Patriots – WR Leon Hankerson

Now that Moss is gone, the Patriots need another wide reciever for the future. If they take Hankerson, they can develop a nice three headed monster with Wes Welker and Brandon Tate.

29. Chicago Bears – DT Corey Liuget

The Bears need a new cog in the middle and if Liuget falls to them, I don’t see them passing.

30. New York Jets – DT Phil Taylor

They need to solidify their defensive line.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Brandon Harris

If they had a weakness last year, it was a shut down corner and Harris could develop into that.

32. Green Bay Packers – OLB Brooks Reed

Reed is a great off-the-edge rusher who will take some pressure off of Clay Matthews.

Dolphins, Bengals to Meet with Mallett

Ryan Mallett probably has the best arm in the whole draft. However, he has been very difficult to project in terms of where he goes.

The Dolphins plan on meeting with Mallett this week for evaluating, then bringing him in for workouts on April 14-15. After that, the Bengals are going to bring him in for a two day workout also.

Mallett has been projected to go as high as a top five pick to as low and a second round pick.

AP Photo/Brett Flashnick

The Dolphins have had some uncertainty about their quarterback position after the inconsistent play from Chad Henne last year. Whether they take a QB in the first round is better determined by flipping a coin.

The Bengals originally took the ignorant route to Carson Palmer’s trade demands by saying that wouldn’t entertain any offers. However, now they are changing direction and it looks like they will trade Palmer to a new team prior to next season.

I don’t think they will take Mallett with their first pick, though. They seem more likely to take Auburn QB, Cam Newton.

Chad Ochocinco Set to Tryout for the MLS Sporting Kansas City

Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is slated for a four day trial with the Sporting Kansas City of the MLS.

The funniest part about this whole ordeal is this:

“Due to the NFL lockout, I’m excited to be able to follow my childhood dream of playing for a Major League Soccer team,” Ochocinco said. “Thanks to Sporting Kansas City for giving me this opportunity.”

Ochocinco’s childhood dream must have taken place when he was 17 years old (The, which was after he gave up soccer for American football.

So is this a publicity stunt or is he for real?

I don’t really want to say it, but he is for real, people. If Kansas City wants to offer him a real deal here, he might take it for one season.

The thing is, though, is that he’ll realize the crowd size of the MLS games is nothing compared to NFL games, not to mention the poor fan support, and return for an NFL team this fall.

Good luck Chad, we’ll leave a place for you on NFL’s Football Follies.

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NFL: Rule Changes Planned for 2011

Commissioner Roger Goodell

They are still in a work stoppage, but the National Football League apparantely is still planning changes for the upcoming (hopefully) 2011 season.

They say this year they will start suspending players for illegal hits to the head and neck areas, as well as on defenseless players.

”Frankly, now that the notice has been given, players and coaches and clubs are very aware of what the emphasis is and we won’t have that hesitation,” Ray Anderson, Chief Disciplinarian said. ”Everyone will be very clearly on notice now that a suspension is very viable for us and we will exercise it when it comes to illegal hits to the head and neck area and to defenseless players.”

The league has looked back at two year’s worth of plays to scout out the repeat offenders and who to keep an eye out for while handing out the fines and suspensions.

Also, the rules for a defenseless player have been broken down into eight categories:

-A quarterback in the act of throwing

-A receiver trying to catch a pass

-A runner already in the grasp of tacklers and having his forward progress stopped

-A player fielding a punt or a kickoff

-A kicker or punter during the kick

-A quarterback at any time after change of possession

-A receiver who receives a blind-side block

-A player already on the ground

And with that, the owners will discuss new kickoff rules during the owners meeting next week. They propose moving the kickoff to the 35-yard-line and bringing the touchback out to the 25 yard-line. Touchbacks on any other plays will remain at the 20-yard line, however.

Also, no player besides the kicker will be allowed to line-up 5 yards behind the ball. They are also suggesting making any and all wedges illegal on returns. (They reduced the number of blockers in a wedge to 2 players in 2009.)

The NFL continues to get more strict on rules.

I agree with most of the defenseless categories, expect the quarterback after a change of possession. They are paid to play for cryin’ out loud, and if the ball is turned over and they are trying to make a tackle then they should be allowed to be blocked.

If a QB is trying to tackle a defender after a fumble or interception, they are trying to say he is defenseless and no one can even attempt to block him? Are you kidding me? That’s what I get out of that statement, but please feel free to correct me if I’m not understanding it in the comments below.

As for the proposed kickoff changes. I don’t really get why they need to move it up 5 yards. Apparently it is for safety reasons on the kickoffs. But really, whats moving it up 5 yards going to really do? Players are still going to hit their full speed before they hit any blockers.

The only thing I can understand would help is the eliminating of wedges. Again, if I’m mistaken, leave some comments people!

The suspensions were expected. They didn’t suspend any players last year, and Mr. Anderson explained why in the quote above. I just hope this doesn’t go too far, because some hits you just can’t stop, and Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL need to realize that.

*Information from a Foxsports article was used.

NFLPA Asking the Prospects to Not Attend the Draft is Way Out of Line

The recently decertified NFLPA has reportedly asked 17 top prospects to not attend the draft.

In fact, it sounds like it was more of an informing than a question. The NFLPA is telling these kids not to enter the draft as an act to boycott it.

These kids are being put in a very tricky position.

This is their dream. This is what they’ve trained for their whole career. The day for them has finally come.

Theoretically.

The NFLPA telling them to not attend the draft is just ridiculous. It not only puts a halt to their dreams, but it takes away the moment that they would remember forever. It’s not something they are ever going to be able to get back.

If I were a top prospect, I can tell you that I would have some harsh words for the NFLPA.

I don’t care whose fault the lockout is, or who has the majority of the blame. It’s not worth taking away a life memory over. The league will agree to a deal. There will be football this fall.

Perhaps the part that makes me the most disgusted, however, is a source close to the situation saying, “As of right now, this is 100 percent happening. This is going down.”

I don’t know how much to read into that statement, as it may have no credibility whatsoever, but it makes my stomach do flips each time I read it.

Dear potential first round picks, attend the draft, because if you don’t, it might be the biggest regret you ever have.

Tiki Barber is Back?… Yeah That’s What I Thought too

By Richard Drew, AP Photo

Tiki Barber is coming back into the NFL, screaming, “I’m out of money!”

After all, why else would a 35 year old running back, nonetheless, decide to come out of a four year retirement?

I always thought Barber had his head straight, especially after CBS, ABC, FOX and NBC were all competing for his services soon after his retirement. He was even considered as Matt Lauer’s future replacement when he retires in 2011.

I have a feeling that is no longer the case.

Reports surface recently that Barber left his wife of 11 years, Ginny Cha, for a much younger, former NBC intern, 23 year old Tracy Lynn Johnson. Nice one, Tiki.

Barber and Cha had four kids already, and were eight months into the fifth child, and Barber left.

In Barber’s NFL career, he amassed 10,449 rushing yards, 55 rushing touchdowns, 5,183 receiving yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. He is currently the Giants all-time leader in rushing yards. Barber’s trademark was his fumbling issues, which he fixed in time for the last couple years of his career.

There’s no doubt that he was a great running back in his prime, but at 35, is he even worth a look?

One way people can look at it, is that he is well rested, not playing for four years, so he could have enough left in the tank for one more year.

Tiki Barber is actually a rare specimen, because in his last year in the league at age 31, he rushed for 1,662 yards with a 5.1 ypc average. Pretty impressive, right?

I have no doubt in my mind that if he kept playing, he would have had his last year in the league at age 33. Running backs have a steep dropoff and he never actually took over the full starting role until he was 27, so a drop off was inevitably coming in the near future any way you look at it.

Just in time for him to hit his prime and stretch it out past the average prime years.

The other way people can look at it, is that he hasn’t played in four years, he’s 35 and can’t have anything left in the tank.

I’ll go with the latter.

How many times have you seen a 35 year old running back make any impact at all? Fred Taylor was 34 last season, but was hurt pretty much the whole time.

I’m not taking anything away from the ability Barber has had, or maybe even still has, but it’s just hard for me to see a 35 year old guy come in and make an impact.

I could be wrong, however, I mean we haven’t exactly seen anything quite like this before (correct me if I’m wrong.)

I just can’t see this ending well.

John Fox Naming Orton Starter is Good for Tebow

John Fox recently deemed QB Kyle Orton as the starter for the Denver Broncos. Many people are wondering, “What the heck?”

Tim Tebow stepped in for the last three games of the season and performed quite admirably, throwing for 654 yards, 5 passing touchdowns, 3 picks and 6 rushing touchdowns for the season, which led to an 82.1 passer rating. The biggest downside to those numbers is he only completed a paltry 50% of his pass attempts.

Kyle Orton on the other hand, started each of the first 13 games, going for 3653 yards, 20 TD, 9 INT, with an 87.5 passer rating. He also led the team to a 3-10 record.

Many don’t see Orton as the future quarterback of the Broncos, which is why people tend to question John Fox’s statement. It appears that Fox doesn’t believe Tebow has impressed enough to start.

However, I’m here to tell you that John Fox declaring Orton as their starter is a good thing for the Broncos AND Tim Tebow.

Tebow has faced much criticism in the past for various different things, and he’s responded well with a Heisman and a National Championship.

So what’s a little more criticism/motivation or whatever you want to call it? Tebow believes he is going to the top. He also realizes he has to work very hard to get there, and this is only going to push him harder.

With all the rumors swirling around Orton trade-wise, and after his benching late last year, how sure are we that Orton even wants to be in Denver?

In the end, Tebow is going to come into training camp firing on all cylinders, determined to get that starting job and prove he is the future of the franchise.

Dallas Cowboys Positional Breakdown: QBs

This is part one of a series analyzing each position on the field for the Dallas Cowboys.

The most storied and critiqued position in all of football is the quarterback. Chances are, if you are playing that position for the Dallas Cowboys everything you do, whether positive or negative, will be thrown under the microscope and magnified. There is a lot of pressure for anyone playing this position and a player can only improve with experience. The Cowboys saw not only their back-up, but their third-string quarterback take snaps this year and we saw some positives from both.

We will start things off with the starter, Tony Romo. Before being injured in week 7, Romo surely wasn’t on his way to one of his better seasons. Throwing 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions is anything but impressive. Many people blame it on play-calling as then Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett had Romo attempting more than 40 passes three times out of those first six games. That means he was on pace to throw over 568 passes, a career high.

Going into the 2010 season the Cowboys organization had high hopes for Romo who had a career low in interceptions the year before. Nothing should change going into next season. Romo turns 31 in April, which means his window to become an elite quarterback and win a Super Bowl is may slowly be closing. Knowing the history of Jerry Jones, if you aren’t winning your job isn’t safe. This upcoming season will almost be a make or break year for Romo. He has had opportunities and Romo can only hope that with all the extra time off that he improves his mentality of the game and continues to cut down on mistakes and turnovers. Little does he know, there may be someone looking over his shoulder.

Jon Kitna had a great season as far as back-ups go, but he isn’t the one looking over Romo’s shoulder (we will get to that later). He did everything a back-up is supposed to and more at times. But there were also times where Kitna showed why he isn’t a starter. Through ten games he had 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He wasn’t explosive, but it was obvious he became comfortable in the offense as the season drew on and proved he is a reliable back-up. Kitna had four 300-plus yard passing games and was 4-5 as a starter. With his performance he definitely proved his worth in the league for a couple more years and is someone the Cowboys now know they can rely on if Romo happened to go down. The thing I really loved about Kitna was his fire during games. This guy hates to lose and appeared to take a leadership role on the team. This is something that Romo needs to look at. The Cowboys didn’t go 4-5 under Kitna because he is a great quarterback, but because he took command on the field and wasn’t afraid to get in the face of other players.

And here it comes, the two year player out of Texas A&M and the future of the Cowboys, Stephen McGee. Yeah, I said it. When Kitna got hurt at Arizona in week 16, the Cowboys turned to McGee to at least get the team in position to win the game. He did all that and more, throwing a pretty spectacular touchdown pass with under two minutes left. Although the Cowboys defense found a way to lose that game, McGee did it again the next week in Philadelphia, throwing for a game winning touchdown pass with under two minutes left to win his first career game in the NFL. That is pretty amazing considering he hadn’t attempted a pass in his two-year career with the Cowboys. Now saying he is the future of the team may be a stretch, but he has shown the organization that he is someone they might want to hold onto. Keeping him around under Romo and Kitna will only help his game. Playing in the last two games of the season gave the Cowboys a chance to evaluate him in game situations and he passed with flying colors.

The Cowboys need someone to come through in clutch situations at the quarterback position. Romo’s clutch moments have been a botched field-goal snap against Seattle in the 2006 playoffs, a game costing interception in the red zone against the Giants in the 2007 playoffs and the list goes on. McGee came in with his back against the wall and performed well enough to get the Cowboys in contention to win one game, and won another thanks to late game heroics. If groomed right, McGee could be the next one in line to take over the most prolific position in all of football.

Next post we’ll take a look at the Cowboys backfield….

BM Time! Collective Bargaining Agreement Issue

Brandon: Well, it’s time for the first edition of BM Time!, and here to join me is Derrick Miller. Recently, talks for a new labor agreement in the NFL has stalled, and many people taking sides of the owner’s or the player’s. Who are you behind?

Derrick: I really don’t like this whole ordeal. I follow the player’s more than I do the owners. The owner’s want to add those 2 extra games, and the player’s just think of the injuries. If Roger Goodel is so serious about this player safety thing, then in my mind he is going back on his word when he wants to add two more games.

Brandon: I think the biggest issue right now is the splitting of the money. I don’t think the public is properly educated on the situation. The players came out with that commercial and got everybody on their side. What people don’t realize is that the owners want more money because they aren’t making enough money to pay off the banks. That’s behind that. Speaking of 18 games, are you for it or against it?

Derrick: I just hate it when billionaires are fighting over a couple million dollars. I am against it. I just think it is too much to ask of the players. Like I said before, Goodell has been talking so much on player safety and now this. What does he expect by adding two more games? Less injuries? No, it increases the chance. It’s hard enough on the player’s as it is.

Brandon: What more games means, is not less injuries, right, but more football! I love football and all the fans do to. If they do this, they do need to take a couple preseason games off. You know what else it means? More money. Each side is going to get more money, and two extra games per year is not going to shorten anyone’s career. The more football, the better.

Derrick: I would love more football, but if it’s too hard on the players, its too hard on the players. That’s something we can’t decide, only the player’s can. Taking off the preseason games would be the thing to make it work. But I just think adding more games and putting the player’s at more risk of career or even life-threatening injuries isn’t what needs to be done.

Brandon: I don’t think adding more games increases the risk of career or life-threatening injuries. I think that’s going a bit too far. If they threw two more games in there, they could add another bye week, which I’m sure they would do. In the past, the players would love it, because they had a love for the game. The players these days are turning too much into snobby millionaires.

Derrick: Yeah that is very true about the snobby babies. I read somewhere they wouldn’t add another bye, but that has to be false. If they add a bye that would make things better, but in the end, snobby or not, I still think Goodell should let his players decide.

Billionaires fighting over millions. What has this world come to?

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