Pro Player Insiders Executive Editor Melissa Mahler http://proplayerinsiders.com Behind the scenes look at lives and lifestyles of NFL players and their families plus sports news, interviews & events Sat, 19 Aug 2017 19:22:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 LaMarr Woodley starts new business http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/lamarr-woodley-starts-new-business/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/lamarr-woodley-starts-new-business/#comments Sat, 19 Aug 2017 19:22:31 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169889 Pittsburgh Steelers’ Superbowl champion LaMarr Woodley is taking on a new challenge with branding himself. He has started a production company called Area 56 productions in which he is challenging others to be creative, tell their stories in a way that they want, and using the platform to tell positive stories on their lives. “I started this company to help out people and  give them a platform to tell their stories in a positive way, said Woodley. “I did not just want to be a football player, but a man that uses his mind to build something big.”lamarr-woodley-raiders

Area 56 productions started off with Woodley giving viewers an insight of what he went through to become the star that he was on the field. “I wanted to let everyone know that it was more to me than just football. We all have stories to tell and I am telling it.” Woodley’s digital series is called “Draft day and it could be found on you tube throughout 2017.

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Outside of his production company Woodley is very big with helping out his community out in a positive way. He loves to inspire people and just talk with them.”Football is one of my passions, but helping people is something that I have always loved to do. I mean to have people say that you inspired them on and off the field is special. I can say it is a blessing to come and enlighten the community. We need that more than ever with the generation that is at hand.”

Woodley has tackled some obstacles on the field, but branding his own production company has been smooth sailing for him because he loves a challenge. “In the next four to five years, I will like to see this company grow, but you have to crawl before you walk. I like the challenge of doing something new, fresh, and something that I am passionate about.”

With a new occupation and a positive mindset Woodley and his Area 56 productions could be the next big thing.

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Seattle’s offense explodes to defeat the Vikings 13-20 http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/seattles-offense-explodes-defeat-vikings-13-20/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/seattles-offense-explodes-defeat-vikings-13-20/#comments Sat, 19 Aug 2017 08:18:58 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169880 Seattle, WA- The Seattle Seahawks’ offense looked like Sonic the Hedgehog against a depleted Vikings’ secondary in a 13-20 victory on Friday. Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson was on fire. He was 13 of 18 for 247 yards and two touchdowns, but rookie WR Kasen Williams has been the talk of the town and he did not disappoint. Williams has gotten better with timing his cuts to the outside, as well as getting off press coverage. Against the Vikings he was targeted twice and made jaw dropping catches. He finished the game with two catches for 28 yards and a touchdown.

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Doug Baldwin was very productive with getting yards after the catch against the Vikings. He found the soft spot in coverage and he bounced to the outside a couple of times. Apparently the slight sprain that was speculated he injured in training camp is doing fine. He finished the game with 4 catches for 69 yards.

“I thought in the first half the first offense did a nice job,’’head coach Pete Carroll said. “Russell was really sharp.’’

Despite their explosive offense, their has been some questions with mistakes and false starts on the offensive side of the ball. The Seahawks have gotten better, but still needs to improve before the season starts.

Also the Seahawks lost George Fant to an apparent ACL injury and could be out the entire season. “Really broken-hearted about George Fant getting hurt,’’ Carroll said after the game. “Kind of takes a little something out of it for everybody.’’ When asked who will replace him Carroll addressed the issue. “We’ll see (what we do),’’ Carroll said. “We are very fortunate Luke Joeckel is on our team. Luke can start at left tackle or left guard. Just fortunate he is with us so we have some choices and we will figure that out in time.’’

The Seahawks are 2-0 in preseason play, but have a lot of issues that they have to take care of before the regular season. They have to decide if they are going to replace Fant with Joeckel or look for other players outside. It will be a wild and crazy week for the Seeahawks, but at least they got a victory out of it.

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The Birds and Da B’s http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/birds-da-bs/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/birds-da-bs/#comments Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:59:30 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169858 Sit down, kids.  We need to have a talk.  No, not about the birds and bees, but about The Birds and Da Bears.  The Arizona Cardinals will be back in the nest this Saturday, August 19th, to face the Chicago Bears in their third preseason game of the year.  In a matchup that will feature the Bears 2017 second overall draft pick, Mitch Trubisky, the Cardinals will look to build upon the good vibes they have generated in their first two preseason games.  In his only action last week, Carson Palmer marched the starting offense down the field for a 14 play, 70 yard touchdown drive.  Preseason or not, head coach Bruce Arians will expect nothing less from his starters when the Bears come to town.

In a “what have you done for me lately?” type of league, Arians has been very critical of his receivers in recent weeks.  Just a few short months ago Bruce raved about his receiving core.  This week he sings a different tune.  “I must’ve been seeing things back in the spring when I said we had had 12 guys who could play in the NFL,” Arians said,”We might have two.”  Maybe he is simply trying to light a spark, or maybe his new vegan diet has just left him hangry.  Either way, you can expect the ever-reliable Larry Fitzgerald to be there when you need him.  Jaron Brown and Brittan Golden may not be household names, but when all else fails, play the guys that are hungry.  With lingering injuries to receiver John Brown, it just may be their time to eat.  Golden showed he is more than capable of running with the first teamers when he capped off the first drive of last week’s game with a 12 yard touchdown reception, coming across the middle of the endzone.  Jaron nearly ended that same drive earlier with a narrowly missed 46 yard bomb from Palmer.

Whoever ends up being the playmakers at wide receiver this Saturday, they will be facing a completely remodeled Chicago secondary.  With the offseason signings of former Cardinal Marcus Cooper (CB), Prince Amukamara (CB),and Quinton Demps (S), the Bears defense will look to improve on a season that produced just eight interceptions in 2016-17.  Only Jacksonville had fewer interceptions (7).  Should 2017 fourth round draft pick Eddie Jackson continue to remind head coach John Fox of Hall of Famer, Rod Woodson, there is a good chance that Windy City will be watching an entirely new starting secondary come week one when the high-powered Falcons fly in to town.

Speaking of “what have you done for me lately?”, Bears wide receiver Kevin White, their 2015 seventh overall pick, doesn’t even have an NFL touchdown.  Granted, his first two seasons were riddled with injuries, but unless he starts putting up numbers as fast as he runs the 40 (4.35), Chicago is unlikely to pick up that fifth year option.  Newcomer Victor Cruz (WR), is also no stranger to injury.  While he was able to provide fans with his touchdown salsa last week, he is certainly no lock to make the team.  The Bears may not have any star wide-outs after Alshon Jeffery left for free agency, but there is still talent there.  Should things come together for White, Cameron Meredith, Kendall Wright, and Markus Wheaton, the Bears could have a respectable receiver core.  Wheaton’s recent injury (finger) may help Cruz keep his foot in the door.

With all of Chicago’s new additions, none are as important or will be as scrutinized as the quarterback position.  In addition to adding Trubisky in the draft, the Bears also signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Mike Glennon.  In Glennon’s first drive with the Bears last week, he threw a touchdown…to Broncos cornerback Chris Harris.  In Trubisky’s first drive he orchestrated a perfect two-minute-drill going 4-4 with a touchdown.  Granted, it’s a bit more difficult throwing at Chris Harris than it is (insert third string/practice squad name here), but the quarterback controversy is well underway, even if the coaches have yet to admit it.  The organization may feel forced to start Glennon week one, but you can be assured that the “Mitch-Tru-Bis-Ky!” chants will start the moment Glennon fires his first interception.  Don’t feel too bad for Mike should things not work out in Chicago, though.  He has $18.5 million guaranteed to fall back on.  Jay Cutler may have not been the answer, but even he’ll only be siphoning $10 million from the Dolphin tank down in Miami.

If Glennon thought it was going to get any easier this week, he will be facing another top defense, and another lockdown corner by the name of Patrick Peterson.  P2 may not lead the league in interceptions, but that’s only because most quarterbacks shy away from throwing his direction.  Glennon would be smart to do the same.  Then again, throwing anywhere else runs the risk of the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu, making you look just as incompetent.  Glennon might not need to worry about throwing an interception.  In fact, with how disruptive Robert Nkemdiche has been, Glennon may not get a pass off at all.  As of late, Nkemdiche seems to be doing whatever he wants but he should be tested this week against what Pro Football Focus (PFF) is calling the fifth best offensive line heading in to the 2017-18 season.

Here’s to another healthy game of “practice”.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm (PT).

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Tennessee’s Offense Has To Be Better In Game Two http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/tennessee-offense/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/tennessee-offense/#comments Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:00:01 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169859

Many Tennessee Titans fans were looking forward to seeing how they would come out of the blocks in their first preseason game. They knew that the starters would not be playing a long time, but they at least expected something better than what they got. The Titans lost to the Jets 7-3, but within that, they did not look very good. Of course many are glancing over it, saying it was just their first preseason game and it did not mean nothing. Others, however, are definitely paying more attention after that first dress rehearsal for the regular season. The opponent this time is not the New York Jets, who will more than likely be one of the worst teams in the NFL. This time the opponent is the Carolina Panthers, who aren’t too far removed from their Super Bowl appearance in which they lost to the Denver Broncos. So with the performance of the first preseason game in the books, what should Titans fans expect and want in the second preseason game of the year? Well hopefully they get a better offensive performance in this game.

One thing that should be expected in this second preseason game is better execution offensively. The Titans seemed to be out of sync the entire game. Receivers were not exactly on the same page as the quarterbacks, blocking schemes were not executed well and there were blown assignments all over the place. With the subpar performance in the first game, the Titans should be looking to come out better than they did in the previous game. One thing that will help their performance will be the presence of one of their offensive leaders, DeMarco Murray. While he may not play long on Saturday, he is expected to be present and his presence brings a sense of importance, alertness, and purpose even though this is another dress rehearsal. The Titans offense and defense should be looking to atone for last week and what they put out there on film. That small appearance by the first team defense and offense did little to instill confidence in Titans fans about this season and they will need to come out with the focus that thy have on game day.

While we are speaking on the execution of the team, let’s talk about the wide receivers for the Titans. There is a lot of  competition at that position to make the roster. Just to give you an example, Tajae Sharpe was a starter for the Titans last season as a rookie wide receiver and plenty thought that he could be in a Titans uniform for years to come. Well, one year after those words were uttered by some, Sharpe may not even make the roster. The Titans have gotten deeper at that position with the acquisition of former New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, 2017 1st round pick Corey Davis and Titans 2017 third-round pick Taywan Taylor and Sharpe’s spot is not even guaranteed once he is able to take the field healthy. Sharpe may be out injured right now, but there are others out there right now that missed an opportunity to shine on this past Saturday. Backup quarterback Alex Tanney may have been a little off target with his passes, but his receivers surely did not help him. Jonathan Krause, who is fighting to make this roster, had a chance to make a big catch, but instead he did not secure the catch thru the fall to the turf. Catches like that and players on the edge have to be error-free and make those catches. Additionally, the other wide receivers need to pick it up and be better if the Titans want to be better this year. Harry Douglas, much to the chagrin of many Titans fans, was the most consistent receiver in the first preseason game outing and that is something the Titans would probably prefer not happen.

The defense will get better over time, as the mad scientist Dick LaBeau will create some pressure and the Titans hope cornerback Logan Ryan gets better than he was in the first game. Also, I expect their execution to be better. But let’s be honest, the offense will carry this team and set the tone for the Titans season. They must get better in execution and the receivers have to be better or else this season will be one of high expectations, but even higher falls from success. We shall see if the Titans learned from last weekend with how they perform this weekend versus the Panthers.

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Bills lose after throwing a pick in closing seconds (20-16) http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/bills-lose-throwing-pick-closing-seconds-20-16/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/bills-lose-throwing-pick-closing-seconds-20-16/#comments Fri, 18 Aug 2017 07:54:12 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169853 Buffalo, NY- With only seconds left in regulation, the Buffalo Bills lose the game on a game ending pick against the Philadelphia Eagles. Bills’ QB Nate Peterman was at the 11- yard line trying to get in the end zone for the go ahead touchdown, but was intercepted. Peterman put up some decent starts in tonight’s game going 10/20 for 167 yards. He showed a lot of poise when the pocket collapsed and ate up the Eagles’ secondary with throwing short passes down the middle of the field or taking some chances with one on one coverage.

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Last week WR Zay Jones did not see much action, but this week against the Eagles he was ready. He had three grabs for 42 yards, which was impressive with the limited action that he has had. Jones has improved his route running, as well as the QB and WR communication has gotten better. However this game was sloppy with both teams. There were seven turnovers and the Bills had 18 penalties which hurt any progression with moving the ball down the field.

The Bills have struggled with jumping to early or holding calls that has hurt them. They had more penalties this week than last week something has to give in order for the Bills to be very effective with making a run for the post season.

Nobody is hitting the panic button yet with Tyrod Taylor having a horrific game tonight. He was 8-18 for 53 yards and two picks, but he was not phased by his performance. “Definitely wasn’t the performance that I would like to put on or the offense and team would like to put on. There’s definitely some plays out there that we left on the field. Me personally, I felt like I left some plays on the field. It’s also preseason. There’s time for us to grow as a team, time for me to grow as a player and continue to keep building chemistry with the guys on the field.”

“I’m definitely not worried,” Taylor said. ” It’s definitely part of the process. Some plays left on the field, me in particular left some plays out there. Just have to continue to keep building. It’s a new group of guys. We’ll continue to keep building chemistry day-in-and-day-out . There’s a lot to learn from this game right here. Lots to learn last week with the limited plays but even more to learn from this game with situational football.”

The Bills are a young talented group, but someone has to be nervous on what they are seeing with the Bills. It is a new system and head coach, but they have to have some urgency with getting all of the kinks worked out by regular season.

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Trevone Boykin; Ready when called on http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/trevone-boykin-ready-called/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/trevone-boykin-ready-called/#comments Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:22:07 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169848 Renton, WA-  After a great and inspiring performance on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, Trevone Boykin looks to secure the back-up position. It has been speculated that he will get the spot. In the win against the Chargers, he was 12 of 15 for 180 yards with one pick and one interception, but he still wants to improve. “I am always ready to go out there and play when I get the opportunity. Having veteran guys has helped me throughout camp, as well as me growing in this organization.” hi-res-0676a435b3b17f590ca72ad7897fc858_crop_north

Boykin is more mobile than Austin Davis, who is also fighting to keep a job and fits into stretching the field better. Boykin can extend plays when the pocket is broken. He has gotten better with throwing the long ball on time and his back shoulder throws has been very impressive. At the start of camp, Boykin struggled with going through his progressions and just ducking his head and running. Throughout the last three weeks, he has stayed in the pocket and waited for his receivers to get into their routes before he let it go.

Having a veteran QB has helped Boykin through the rough times and has shown improvement. With the Vikings coming into town for the Seahawks first home game, Boykin will be the center of attention and it will be interesting to see if he will have a big game like he did last Sunday.

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Kache Palacio is a rising star for the Seahawks http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/kache-palacio-rising-star-seahawks/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/kache-palacio-rising-star-seahawks/#comments Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:54:50 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169844 Renton, WA- The  Seattle Seahawks have some good talent in the line backer core with  having  youth, as well as players that are  evolving  into their own. Otha Peters , Kache Palacio, and Terrence Garvin have came into training camp have been impressive, but the young player that has been highlighted as a future super star has been motivated and determined to beat the odds.

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Palacio was resigned as a Seahawk this off-season and mentor for Otha Peters, as well as the younger players that come in the organization. “I am glad that I have the chance to help out Otha Peters. He reminds me of myself when I first came into the league. I mean, we had to adapt and learn from certain things that has helped us. I enjoy helping the younger players and giving them some good advice to improve”, said Palacio.

Palacio is very detailed about coverage, getting to the quarterback, and just working hard. Working hard and staying dedicated is something that Palacio stresses as a mentor. “You have to go out there and give it your all. For me, this is something I love and passionate about. You have to take every opportunity that is given to you and make the best out of it.”

Palacio has been mentored by Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, which has helped him out.”I mean to have both these guys helping me has been great. Having those guys out there telling me what I can do to improve has helped me.”

Palacio has got faster and bigger in the off=season. He can defend really good and always look to perfect his craft. Watch out Seahawks’ fans, you have a young talent on the rise.

 

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Cardinals Edge Raiders http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/cardinals-edge-raiders/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/cardinals-edge-raiders/#comments Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:59:16 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169825 On Saturday night, the Arizona Cardinals got their first win of the year. This home win for the Cards proved how much Arizona fans have to be excited about. While taking home a win is always good, it is the preseason and fans and teams alike know to take every win with a grain of salt. However, that didn’t stop the Cardinals from showcasing their talents to fans on Saturday. From Defense to Offense they played near perfect football at University of Phoenix Stadium and it has a lot of Cardinal fans impressed.

First Stringers VS First Stringers:

-       Offensively, the Cardinals looked very sharp against the Raiders on Saturday Night. One thing that Cardinal fans learned about the Arizona Offence was how well the linemen can protect quarterback Carson Palmer. It wasn’t the cleanest pocket that Carson had to work with last night, but he wasn’t sacked against a talented Raiders front seven. If the Cardinals can keep Palmer protected this season then opposing Defenses will have their hands full. 

-        Defensively, the Cardinals look like they have some chemistry issues – which may be an easy fix – once they get familiar with each persons style of play while balancing their own strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, Cardinal fans noticed the immediate impact that 2nd year player Robert Nkemdiche is having on opposing Offensive Lines. Nkemdiche was constantly disrupting the Oakland Raiders flow of the game and was a big part of why the Raiders first teamers were having some troubles moving the ball down the field. If he can fill the void that Calais Campbell once filled – Robert Nkemdiche – can be the X-factor for the Cardinals defense this year.

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Carson Palmer throws the ball in Saturdays game vs the Raiders.

 

QB Battle:

 

-        There didn’t seem to be much of a competitive Quarterback battle thanks to Drew Stanton – although Blaine Gabbert couldn’t do any wrong in the Cardinals Hall of Fame Game. Stanton absolutely silenced the critics on Saturday Night as he went 11 for 15 on his passes for 112 yards with one touchdown, and a passer rating of 116.5. On the opposite side Blaine Gabbert only completed five passes for 53 yards and has a passer rating of 72.9. Also, Gabbert was absolutely man handled by the opposition, as he was sacked 4 times for 26 yards. Not Surprisingly, many would say that Stanton truly is the front-runner for the job behind Carson Palmer.

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Blaine Gabbert is hit as he throws the ball downfield.

Stand out Rookie:

 

-        For a guy that was late to the party, Cardinals Rookie Safety Budda Baker flourished for the second straight week and dominated against the Oakland Raiders. Baker looks like he has fully grasped the difficult Cardinal defensive playbook as he seems to just be at the right spot at the right time each and every play. Budda Baker doesn’t only display his critical coverage skills, but he also shows his knack for pestering the opposing teams running game and makes it difficult for opposing offenses to get into much of a flow. If Baker can fill the hole that former Cardinal Tony Jefferson once filled then it will be a huge positive for the Cardinals going into the Regular Season.

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Budda Baker in Training Camp.

Outlook:

-        After two weeks of the Cardinals Pre-season action it’s refreshing to have some optimism in the valley surrounding the Arizona Cardinals. After all, last night’s performance was just more assurance that the Cardinals are not the same team as last year and are ready to make one more run at the title. The Cardinals next Match-up is at home against the Chicago Bears, and it should be interesting to see how much playing time coaches give Cardinal starters on both defense and on offense.

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Seahawks light up Chargers in a 48-17 Victory http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/seahawks-light-chargers-48-17-victory/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/seahawks-light-chargers-48-17-victory/#comments Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:12:52 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169839 Seattle,WA- The Seattle Seahawks looked like they were in regular season form getting a 48-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. The starters had only one series, but the Seahawks’ back-up Trevone Boykin was impressive. In training camp he has had trouble throwing passes on time to his receivers and he likes to hold the ball a little too long, but in the game against the Chargers,  he was a lighting bolt.485782486.0

Boykin threw darts, back shoulder balls, and actually completed the long ball on time. He completed 13 out of 15 passes for 189 yards, a touchdown, and a pick. His feet extended drives. There were a couple of times where the offensive line broke and he used his feet to get extra yards or throw out to his tight end after using his legs for the extra time sliding out to his left or right.

The fight for the back-up QB position has been something to watch. While Boykin was impressive, Austin Davis came out there and had some decent series. He was 7 of  9 for 108 yards. He has been great to watch and how he has developed as a QB, but sources are saying the Boykin is the favorite to get the back-up position.

The young wide receiver Kasen Williams has looked impressive in his debut against the Chargers. He is a physical guy that can out run a lot of defenders. He snatched a ball going over the defender to make the completion! Oh Baby it was a speechless catch. He finished the game with 4 catches for 108 yards.

Despite having a great game WR Paul Richardson was injured in a wild event. Russell Wilson threw a deep ball that got way from him, Richardson tried to extend his arms to try to catch the ball and ended up injuring himself. “Yeah, it really was kind of self-inflicted,” Pete Carroll said during his post-game press conference. “He took off for that ball. It was a great deep ball. He kind of left his feet to go get it and he just landed on his shoulder. He got crunched pretty good.”

There has not been a set time when he will be ready to play.

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False Start For The Tennessee Titans In Game One http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/titans-false-start/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/titans-false-start/#comments Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:00:57 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169823

Pretty much all the reports this season coming out of Titans camp have been positive. From all accounts, the team has been practicing well and getting better each and every day. So with that being said, the fans of the Titans were looking forward to the team getting out there and showing the world what they had been working on. Although the first team offense and defense was not going to be out there long (and DeMarco Murray was not out there in the first preseason game), plenty expected to see a physical team excited to go up against a team that no one expected much from in the New York Jets. The team that everyone is expecting to finish last in the AFC East and could possibly have the worst record in the NFL was hosting a team that had high expectations. Well, things did not turn out the way many thought it would. The Titans and Jets played in what was a very boring preseason game that saw the Jets win by the score of 7-3. Yes, only ten total points in this preseason opener between these two teams. All in all, the Titans did not look like the team many expected them to be at all. Of course, it is only the first game of the preseason, but there are some things that have to be of some concern on both offense and defense.

Tennessee TitansThe Titans were an offensive team that used the power run game to dominate teams and wear them out on their way back to relevance last season. But one thing that did not help them last season was the penalties they had such as false starts or pass interferences. No one really expected them to look outstanding in their first preseason game, but the performance of the Titans looked out of sync. Marcus Mariota did look sharp on one play, as he rolled out and threw a dart on his first pass play, showing that his leg was doing just fine. With a delay of game penalty, offensive pass interference, and a holding penalty, the Titans could not sustain anything at all. Couple that with the fact that the Titans were blowing pass protections right and left with whoever was on the field and the offense looked inept out there. For a team that is looking to be a playoff contender, that had to be disturbing to see. Habits like the sloppiness that the Titans displayed offensively can be easy to start and hard to correct. Head coach Mike Mularkey will be looking to correct those mistakes in the next week of practice for the Titans.

Defensively, the Titans were mostly smoke and mirrors last season. They created pressure up front and that pressure was needed to help offset the fact that they were not as strong in the secondary. The pairing of Parrish Cox and Jason McCourty were supposed to be solid at the logan ryan gets beatcornerback position, but that was not the case. McCourty was not healthy as much during the season and when he played he was not quite himself. As far as Cox, he made some plays at times but he was often out of position when it came to defending the pass. That weakness was something the Titans wanted to address this offseason and they did so when they signed former New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan to a three-year deal.

Signing Ryan meant the Titans would be getting a guy they hoped would be a leader in their secondary and help lock down one half of the field. Well, hopefully Saturday night was an aberration because Ryan was not as solid as the Titans had hoped for. He was taken advantage of on a couple of occasions by Jets wide receivers. For the Titans to be as good as it is expected they will be, Ryan definitely has to be better than he was Saturday night. He is getting paid to be the man so he has to be the man for them in the secondary.

The preseason opener for the Titans was not as successful as they thought it would be and for some Titans fans, there has to be some concerns. The performance may have been bad, but the good thing is there are two more games to get it right out there and the starters will play even longer next game. Hopefully the offense will be more in sync, the pass protection will be better and Logan Ryan will be ready to go come next game.

Check out Pro Player Insiders on Twitter at @playerinsiders and check out Mike Patton on Twitter at @General_MP.

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Kurt Warner’s Rocky Road to Canton http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/kurt-warners-rocky-road-canton/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/kurt-warners-rocky-road-canton/#comments Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:00:29 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169788 Kurt Warner was born in Burlington, Iowa, on June 22, 1971 and was raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa by his mother who struggled financially.  At times, she would have to work three jobs at a time to support Kurt and his brother. Warner would attend Regis High School in Cedar Rapids, where he played football. However, he did not get the starting job until his junior year. In his senior year, Warner earned a trip to Iowa’s Shrine Bowl, a game that features the state’s top high school players. He would lead his team to victory and take home the MVP award. After graduating in 1989, Warner would attend the University of Northern Iowa.

While playing at UNI, Warner did not start until his senior year in 1993. In that season as a starter, he lead the Panthers to an 8-4 record and a Conference Championship. Warner would earn the Gateway Conference Offensive MVP award for that season. To this day, Warner is ranked in the top 10 all-time at UNI in career passing efficiency, average yards per pass, and average yards per completion. After graduating, Warner entered the 1994 NFL Draft.

Warner’s dreams of playing in the NFL would not be accomplished yet as he went undrafted. Hope was still alive, however, as the Green Bay Packers invited him to training camp. Unfortunately, he was cut shortly after. After being cut by the Packers, Warner would return to Cedar Rapids and take a job stocking shelves at Hy-Vee Supermarket for $5.50 an hour. While no NFL teams were willing to take a chance on Warner, one team from the Arena Football League did.

The Iowa Barnstormers signed Warner to be their guy under center and he made an immediate impact leading the Barnstormers to Arena Bowl appearances in his first two seasons. He also earned First-Team All-Arena honors in both seasons. He was so dominate in the AFL that one NFL franchise took notice. In 1997 the St. Louis Rams signed Warner to a futures contract and was sent NFL Europe, a league the NFL had from 1991-2007, where he would join the Amsterdam Admirals. In that season with the Admirals, Warner would lead the league in touchdowns with 15 and passing yards with 2,101.

He would return to the Rams the following season and serve as the third-stringer. In 1999, Warner would be named starter after Trent Green tore his ACL in a preseason game. That season he would catapult the Rams to the top of the league. The UNI product had a season for the record books throwing for 4,353 yards and 41 touchdowns on his way to leading the Rams to their first playoff berth since 1989. Warner would, ultimately, take the Rams to Super Bowl XXXIV to face the Tennessee Titans and lead them to victory throwing for two touchdowns and a then Super Bowl record 414 passing yards earning him the Super Bowl MVP Award. Warner would be released from the Rams before the 2004 season after playing poorly. He was signed two days later by the New York Giants on a one year deal. He would only start nine games for the Giants and be replaced by then rookie Eli Manning. After the season Warner became a free agent and was picked up by the Arizona Cardinals.

Warner’s time with the Cardinals started off a little shaky after he injured his groin after just three games. He would later tear his MCL in week 15 of the season. Warner would struggle with inconsistency and have an up and down road with the Cardinals until 2008. In the 2008 season, Warner looked like his old self. He would throw for 4,583 passing yards and 30 touchdowns leading the Cardinals to their first playoff berth since 1998. It would not be a storybook ending however as the Cardinals would lose Super Bowl XLIII to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Warner would announce his retirement in January 2010 and was considered a Hall of Famer by the end of his career. The only question was how long would he have to wait for those honors? In May 2010, he was inducted into the Arena Football Hall of Fame. The wait for immortality in the NFL continued. In February 2017, that wait ended. Warner was selected to be forever remembered in Canton. The day would come on August 5, 2017 when he was officially enshrined into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017.

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Has Shane Doan decided to Call it Quits? http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/shane-doan-decided-call-quits/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/shane-doan-decided-call-quits/#comments Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:00:15 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169747 Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan has been going back and forth on whether he is retiring or staying in NHL for another year.
“I love the game. I love to play, and I want to keep playing,” Doan said after the 2016-2017 season finale against the Minnesota Wild.
Doan has been the face of the franchise as he has been with the Jets/Coyotes franchise all 21 seasons and has been captain for 14 consecutive seasons and holds almost every record the franchise has with the most goals (402), assists (570), points (972) and games played (1540).

He helped the Coyotes reach their only Western Conference Finals appearance back in 2012, but the Coyotes haven’t made the playoffs since.
Doan usually consults with his family before making a decision. “Two weeks ago, there was no way I was retiring,” Doan said. “Five days ago, I definitely was. Two days ago, I definitely wasn’t.” It’s clear that Doan is still unsure of what he plans to do, but what is for certain is that his presence is felt throughout the organization.
“Without his presence in the locker room and on the ice, it will be difficult,” Coyotes ex-goalie Mike Smith said. “It will be a challenge for the leadership group to try to fill his shoes. It’s impossible to do that, but if he does not come back, there will obviously be a huge void there.”
His leadership skills have proven his worth as he makes 5.3 million. There are many possibilities for Doan next season, but after 21 seasons with the Coyotes it appears he will not be wearing a coyote on his jersey anymore.

In a recent press release, it was announced that John Chayka will not be resigning Doan. “After serious consideration, we have decided to not offer Shane Doan a contract for the upcoming season.” Chayka said, “The time has come for us to move on and to focus on our young, talented group of players and our very bright future.”

So, after 21 seasons with the same franchise, the Coyotes are officially parting ways with Shane. Is this the end of his career or will he sign with another team?
As of early August, the free agent Right Winger still remains unsigned. Could this be the end of his career?

After hearing the news about Doan and the Coyotes parting ways, fans erupted in fury. The full-time owner of the Arizona Coyotes, Anthony Barroway, regrets how he handled the situation. He stated that he wishes he would do it over again in a different way.

He said, “Do I wish it would have been handled differently? Yes I do. Do I wish Shane would have retired at the end of last year? Yes. That’s his decision, and the mistake I made was I should have flown across the country to tell Shane this personally. That was my bad.”

Although being the franchises’ best player, it wasn’t enough to keep him on the roster.

“Our job is to put the best team we can on the ice to win,” he said. “This is not about lovable losers in Arizona, who put out people who they like and they skate around and lose with dignity. We’re here to win. It’s a cultural change, and putting Shane Doan on the ice was not the right way to generate victories for us in this upcoming season.” Barroway said.

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Silent Protest have taking over Sports http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/silent-protest-taking-sports/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/silent-protest-taking-sports/#comments Sun, 13 Aug 2017 19:00:36 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169817 Renton-WA- Protests have been the headlines for sports for the past year. A lot of players are going out there way to send a message to  different organizations in the sporting aspect. Colin Kaepernick was one of the first players that took a knee during the National Anthem and was crucified for over a year. “I just wanted to bring awareness to the injustice in America,” says Kaepernick.

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Denver Broncos’ LB Brandon Marshall was the second player that respected what Kaepernick was doing, so he did not stand for five games. Some fans felt like it was a sign of disrespect for the military, but players just wanted to bring awareness to society issues, such as racism, the unjust killings that were by law enforcement, and help unify cultures together. “So many things have happened that affected me, as well as my culture and it is not right. We are supposed to be free, but at times I do not think that is true, said Marshall. After kneeling down during five games, he stopped. He stated that he was getting death threats and other stuff, but he thought he did enough to bring awareness to the issue.

Protesting can be a “silent bob” or a violent mob of people trying to incite their beliefs on others. Ratings have dropped in the NFL, because of the protest. A lot of social media fans expressed themselves in comments or post about the politics in sports. “We just want to watch sports without all of the politics”, many have written on their social media feeds.

Last season the Minnesota Lynx from the WNBA expressed themselves in a bold statement wearing Black Lives Matter shirts during a shoot around. They were fined, but they did not care. They wanted to showcase to the world that America needs to go in the right direction and the right direction starts with accepting responsibility and doing something about it.

The latest player that has protesting is beloved running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch refused to stand for the National Anthem Saturday night against the Cardinals. He did not give any comment as to why he did not stand.image.adapt.990.high.20140428-sports-protests-4.1398720178115

Sports are national headlines, but so are social issues. You can not push injustice aside and think that players do not have a powerful voice, however Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones is making it known if you do not stand for the National Anthem this season, than you will not have a job. Jones is not tolerating protesting, but what does that tell players that want to bring awareness to subjects that need to be talked about. They have to be silent and only speak when it is in the owners’ liking.

With everything that is going in the world, sports should help unify cultures together, but with many players protesting, it will be interesting to see if this year that organizations could put a ban on protesting.

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Rooster Moves Keeps the Bills on their Toes http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/rooster-moves-keeps-bills-toes/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/rooster-moves-keeps-bills-toes/#comments Sun, 13 Aug 2017 00:51:15 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169806 Buffalo, NY- The Buffalo Bills have gotten a huge pick-up after a three way trade that involved the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles. After an upbeat season that was supposed to be filled with a health Sammy Watkins, Watkins have been traded to the Rams for Jordan Matthews and E.J. Gaines. The Eagles get a CB in Ronald Darby.

Even though the trade was unexpected, the Bills were optimistic about the player that they were getting with Matthews. Bills’ head coach Sean McDermott talked about the trade and how it improved their team. “Well, I know this. I know we’ve got – what we’re looking at is still a quality group of receivers when you talk about bringing in a guy like Jordan Matthews. You add him to who’s already here with Anquan [Boldin], who was not even on the field last night and Zay [Jones] and then the rest of the guys that you saw last night. I know where you’re going with that and we’re bringing in a corner with this deal that has started games – started a number of games. He’s going to blend right in and compete and earn his right to be on this football team and start. I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

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Honesty and communication is what McDermott is installing in his organization and he touched on that in the press conference. “I’ll take it a step further and how do you sell it to the entire team: My stance with our football team and the leaders of our football team, as you mentioned Tyrod [Taylor] being one of them, is to be honest and up front with these guys and they know that we’re going to do everything possible and make every decision that’s in the best interest of this football team short and long term. That’s my responsibility. I believe in clear and concise communication and developing trust and that’s what I hope has developed over the course of the first six months, six and a half months on the job and we’re going to continue to work our tails off to put this football team and this organization in a position to win and sustain success.”

However with Matthews being slightly injured, there has been speculation that he may miss a couple of games, but nothing is certain at this time. If Matthews can stay healthy and learn the Bills’ offense, the Bills could go deep in the post season. They have veteran wide receivers in Anquan Boldin and Matthews, which could help out Tyrod Taylor.

Even though this is good news for the Bills, the Bills have to improve with making adjustments in their blitzing packages. At times the Bills have got burned on blitzing, because one of their players are out of place or just can not get to the QB in time. Another thing to look out for is the Bills improving their discipline. Last week in their first preseason, the Bills had 10 penalties that cost them over 110 yards. They need to get control of that aspect or they will find themselves ranked 1st in penalties.

The Bills knows what they have to do to prepare for the season, but the players that they just picked up has kept the Bills optimistic about this year. It will be interesting to see how Boldin and Matthews will contributed to the offense.

 

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http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/169801/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/169801/#comments Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:23:28 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169801 Buffalo, NY- The Buffalo Bills lost their preseason opener to the Minnesota Vikings 17-10, due to penalties. The Bills came into this preseason with the thought of improving strategy and making sure that they do not give teams the chance to win games by their lack of discipline. Last night against the Vikings, there were two crucial penalties that stopped a game tying drive. By the end of the game the Bills gave up around 110 yards on ten penalties. Minnesota-Vikings-vs.-Buffalo-Bills-850x567 Bill’s head coach Sean McDermott was less than please with the penalties; “Good teams do not beat themselves up. We have to improve in order to try to get where we are trying to go.” Last season the Bills averaged around 60 yards a game in penalties and was the league’s worst at stopping defenders. However there were some bright spots for the team. The offensive line had an okay game for it to be the first game of the preseason. They did just  enough to allow Nathan Peterman to shine. Peterman had a superb night. He was 13 out of 25 for 112 and a touchdown. He showed a lot of poise when the pocket was breaking down and had some balls that was thrown on the money to his receivers. It was his first game in the NFL and he did not show any nerves or rarely had any mistakes. This by far was the biggest surprise that a lot of people did not see. Peterman looked as if he has been here before and his deep throws has improved. The Bills need to get it together as far as hurting themselves. Remember this is a new head coach and new system, so nothing happens overnight, so the Bills have a lot of work to do before the regular season starts.

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Penalties Killed the Bills in Preseason Game http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/penalties-killed-bills-preseason-game/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/penalties-killed-bills-preseason-game/#comments Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:17:20 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169797 Buffalo, NY- The Buffalo Bills lost their preseason opener to the Minnesota Vikings 17-10, due to penalties. The Bills came into this preseason with the thought of improving strategy and making sure that they do not give teams the chance to win games by their lack of discipline. Last night against the Vikings, there were two crucial penalties that stopped a game tying drive. By the end of the game the Bills gave up around 110 yards on ten penalties.

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Bill’s head coach Sean McDermott was less than please with the penalties; “Good teams do not beat themselves up. We have to improve in order to try to get where we are trying to go.”

Last season the Bills averaged around 60 yards a game in penalties and was the league’s worst at stopping defenders. However there were some bright spots for the team. The offensive line had an okay game for it to be the first game of the preseason. They did just  enough to allow Nathan Peterman to shine. Peterman had a superb night. He was 13 out of 25 for 112 and a touchdown. He showed a lot of poise when the pocket was breaking down and had some balls that was thrown on the money to his receivers. It was his first game in the NFL and he did not show any nerves or rarely had any mistakes. This by far was the biggest surprise that a lot of people did not see. Peterman looked as if he has been here before and his deep throws has improved.

The Bills need to get it together as far as hurting themselves. Remember this is a new head coach and new system, so nothing happens overnight, so the Bills have a lot of work to do before the regular season starts.

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Seahawks; Second String Race http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-headline-news/seahawks-second-string-race/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-headline-news/seahawks-second-string-race/#comments Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:52:33 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169794 Renton,WA- Going into their first preseason game on Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks have not decided on their second string QB. Both Trevone Boyand Austin Davis have been competing for the back up position, but both players are neck and neck. Boykin has shown that he is a nibble and mobile QB, while Davis has been seen as a “traditional QB.”boykinDavis has had some experience in the NFL  behind some good veteran guys, but he has not pull the long ball together in camp. When asked by reporters about his struggles with accurate deep balls he simply replied,”It is a lot harder than what it seems. That is something I am working on and it takes time. Execution is everything and right now I just want to improve and make sure that I am ready when the time comes.”

When asked about being the starter for the Seahawks’ first preseason game against the Los Angles Chargers, Davis simply replied that he did not know.

Trevone Boykin has not stood out at all. He has been good at times with throwing passes that are 15-20 yards, but he has struggled reading the defense. In his last seven reps,he has threw around four picks and looks uncomfortable standing in the pocket. He does not give his receivers time to progress in their routes without taking off when he feels the pocket is collapsing. Despite Boykin’s flaws, he seems to be a decent fit for the “Hawks” than Davis, but both players have to step it up on Sunday.

Sunday Russell Wilson may not take any reps, but he is excited about the talent that will be showcased. “I am super excited to see these players go out there and play. We have a bunch of talent out there that I am excited about. We have Davis and Boykin doing a good job at the QB position. We have Luke Jockel that has a lot of experience and our offense line is improving.”

As Sunday approaches and the QB competition will be in full effect, whatever player gets the second string position have to be near perfection. The race is that tight, so hold on tight, this is a competition battle that will be fun to watch.

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Less DeMarco Murray May Be Good For Tennessee http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/murray-tennessee/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/murray-tennessee/#comments Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:00:23 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169766

The Tennessee Titans enter this year with a lot of expectations. The team had a better year than many expected and many fans are ready and waiting for more. Of course, there are many parts to the equation as to if they meet those expectations or not. The defense, obviously, must be better, especially in the secondary. Along with that, the Titans must run the football like they did last season. One big reason the Titans were successful last season was the running game and one player that was crucial to that running game was veteran running back DeMarco Murray. He was essentially given up on after one season with the Chip Kelly-led Philadelphia Eagles and landed with the Titans with no one knowing what to expect. Well, to say the Titans got more than they bargained for is an understatement. Murray ran for 1,287 yards on 293 carries with 12 total touchdowns in his first season in Nashville. Going into his second year, there are many that are excited to see what else he can do with potentially more opportunities. For those that are wanting to see him have more opportunities running the football, you may want to pump the brakes on that.

Murray is undoubtedly one of the best weapons in the AFC South. Teams have to account for him each and every time out and behind that physical offensive line of the Titans, there is also the possibility that he will get loose again in some games. The thoughts of him ripping off big runs and big games sounds good until you think about how he could be overused. To give you a picture of how Murray could pan out next year, let’s take a look at his past. With Dallas, he had two seasons of over 1,200 yards rushing. He was annihilating defenses behind that special Dallas Cowboys offensive line. Many love the production, but did not pay attention to the attempts he had over those two special seasons. In his first season, he had over 1,200 yards and 217 carries. In the season following that, Murray’s carries took a huge leap up to 392 carries, which would be close to doubling the amount of carries he had in the previous season. That type of usage can wear on any running back and many will point to the way Chip Kelly used Murray in Philly, but the spring was just not there for him either and that contributed to the less than stellar season in 2015 where he only put up 702 yards on 193 carries. Last season, he went back up to 293 carries, which was 100 more than the previous season and he ran the ball well.  But the reality is 1,095 of his 1,420 carries have happened in the last four seasons, which is a lot of mileage on his body. With the staggering amount of usage, the Titans would be smart to pace him during the year in order to keep him fresh when it counts down the stretch of the season.

If the Titans indeed have looked at his usage over the last four years and have truly looked into helping him pick his spots, then there is a good change of pace available at their disposal and his name is Derrick Henry. The former Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Alabama landed with the Titans in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. With he and Murray there together in Nashville, the vision of the Exotic Smashmouth offense of Titans head coach Mike Mularkey gained another solid piece. Many wondered how they would use him and his skills last season for the Titans. Well, the Titans ended up using him sparingly, as he only was able to get 110 carries backing up Murray. Heading into this season, he should be able to get more carries this year. Murray, although he is a physical runner, does not have the size and pack the power that Henry does. The effects of a 6’3′, 242 pound can wear on any team and if you give him more carries. So as the season goes on, expect him to make more of a name for himself with his production on the field. That type of talent cannot be ignored nor left on the bench. And for those that are worried about a dropoff in speed with Henry in the game, they may want to know that Henry is just as fast as Murray with the size that he is carrying.

The Tennessee Titans running game will be key for them but it also may be wise to pace Murray this season as well. As good as he was last season, you don’t want to wear him out next season if they plan to make the playoffs like he did in the last two games last year. Henry can be more than just a player that plays sparingly and it ultimately may be better for the Titans to get both going instead of having one main back to carry the full load.

Check out Pro Player Insiders on Twitter at @playerinsiders and Mike Patton on Twitter at @General_MP.

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Back to Business vs the Silver & Black http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/back-business-vs-silver-black/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/back-business-vs-silver-black/#comments Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:00:01 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169763 After a promising flight in the Hall of Fame game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Arizona Cardinals will soar home to take on the Oakland Raiders for the official week one of preseason football.  If just for a moment, this game will feature two of the league’s highest paid players in Derek Carr and Carson Palmer, ranked first and third respectively in annual salary.

With Arizona starters only expected to see about 15 snaps, Carson and company will look to start off as hot The Gabbert Group did last week, where Mr. Gabbert’s executive decisions led to completions on his first eight pass attempts, and touchdowns on his first two drives.  Mr. Palmer however, will start off his preseason debut with a briefcase of resources that Gabbert has yet to be showcased with.  Most notable among these resources is future Hall of Famer, Larry Fitzgerald. Coming off a year where he led the NFL in receptions (109), number 11 shows no signs of taking his foot off the gas. Why would he? The last stop of the season, Super Bowl LII (52), ends in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Larry was born and raised.  The setting for riding off into the sunset, couldn’t be foreshadowed any more perfectly.

Among Carson & Co.’s team of executives starting against the Raiders will be the COO (Center Of Offense), David Johnson. Not only did DJ rush for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2016, Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranked him the NFL’s most efficient receiver. Yes, you read that correctly.  Not Julio Jones.  Not Odell Beckham Jr.  Not even Antonio Brown.  With 80 receptions for 879 yards and four touchdowns, Johnson was just 121 yards short of 1,000 yards receiving.  Heading in to his third season, David hopes to join the likes of Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk as the only players in NFL history to join the 1,000/1,000 club.

Trying to keep the executives’ safe will the Red Bird’s team of security, the offensive line.  Last season, injuries throughout the offensive line resulted in far too many security breaches by opposing defenses.  Regardless of how many stars a team may consist of, they are nothing without protection.  This year the Cardinals have swapped the tackles, opting to start D.J. Humphries at left tackle and Jared Veldheer at right.  He may have played only 3 games at left tackle last season, but Humphries gave up no sacks from the left side and was actually more efficient than he was on the right.

Keeping the Raiders at bay will be up to Arizona’s starting defense, anchored by defensive end Chandler Jones and cornerback Patrick Peterson.  A few starters may have left the nest, but expectations from 2016, where the Cardinals ranked second overall in total yards given up (4,883), will carry over in to the new season.  Joining Chandler will be a healthy, and extremely confident, Tyrann Mathieu.  “Any time I’m healthy I feel like I’m the best defensive player in the NFL”, Mathieu recently told reporters.  Coming off a 12.5 sack season, rising superstar Markus Golden will look to force Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio to reconsider just how long he plans on leaving quarterback Derek Carr in the game (should Carr even play).

History tells us that a raider is a warrior that invades an enemy’s territory, but the Raiders of the Bay may not have to leave home when the playoffs roll around.  Oakland had a league-high seven Pro Bowl selections in 2016, all of whom are returning for the 2017-18 season, making them one of the favorites to contend for the AFC Championship.

Pro Bowlers joining Carr on the offensive side of the ball will be Amari Cooper (WR), Rodney Hudson (C), Kelechi Osemele (G), and Donald Penn (T).  Penn is currently holding out due to a contract dispute.  Even should the two sides comes to a resolution this week, Donald would still likely sit out the Raiders first preseason game.  Not having your starting left tackle may be even more of a reason to let Carr relax on the sidelines.  The silver and black have added a new mode this year; BEAST MODE! Marshawn Lynch will be returning to the gridiron after a year away from football and while it is unclear how the 31-year-old running back will produce, he is no stranger to Pro Bowls himself.  He’ll look to give the Raiders, and his hometown city of Oakland, that added spark to get them back to the Super Bowl.  The Pro Bowlers on the defensive side of the ball attacking the Arizona offense will be defensive end, Khalil Mack, and safety Reggie Nelson.  Mack needs no introduction and will be a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year not just this year, but for many years to come.  With five interceptions and two fumbles recoveries in 2016, Nelson is the type of playmaker who can slash an opposing offense’s time of possession in half.  Should the Raiders elect to play their starting defense, the Bird Gang will certainly have their hands full.

After their 2016 seasons ended in disappointment, the Cardinals and Raiders will once again try to get the momentum rolling before the regular season begins.  Kickoff is set for this Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 7pm (PT).

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Seahawks; No definitive answers yet on Positions http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-headline-news/seahawks-definitive-answers-yet-positions/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-headline-news/seahawks-definitive-answers-yet-positions/#comments Tue, 08 Aug 2017 18:10:33 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=169755 Renton, WA- There were many questions that were answered in the Mock Game on Monday. One of the biggest headlines, as well as questions was about Eddie lacy and his weight requirements. Lacy was given a strict guidelines with keeping his weight. It was either lose his weight and get his $55,000 incentive clause or lose his money, as well as his position on the roster. In a press conference on Monday, head coach Pete Carroll stated that lacy did a great job with meeting his weight. “Eddie is doing great. He hasn’t missed anything. He’s been very attentive to everything that we are doing. He can catch the football well, we know he can run thick and heavy. You don’t get to see all of that right now. He’s in good shape, he’s done everything we’ve asked him, he’s done a great job. It’s going to take us a while, but as we get to these games, everyone is going to get the football we can see how it feels with different guys running because we have a lot of diversity in the running back spot as well”, said Carroll.

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Lacy did not get much playing time in the Mock. They are trying to keep him healthy right now. However it will be interesting to see if the Seahawks will starts Chris Carson this season. He has had a great camp thus far. He has a lot of eyes watching him and wondering if he could be a starter. He is a very strong guy. He is a down-hill runner, but he has surprising speed when he gets to the outside. He is a ground and pound type of guy. With a back field with Lacy and Carson, the Seahawks look very good with keeping those guys as a one-two punch.

The second and third string battle between Trevone Boykin and Austin Davis has been a struggle. Both of the guys had a decent camp, but has not really shown the ability to be the next big QB that the Seahawks need. In the Mock game Boykin was very lackadaisical. He was not reading the defense well and he struggled. He completed 6-11 for 41 yards, which ended in two punts and one pick. In order to sustain the back-up position, Boykin has to read the defense. He has struggled to find the blitzer or holds on to the ball longer than three seconds. He has to improve in the next couple of days in order to get the second string position.

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Davis looked better than Boykin in the Mock Game, but he did not have an outstanding game. He completed 8-13 for 68 yards and led a drive to get a field goal. He also threw a pick in the game. Even though his stats look better than Boykin, there has to be some type of urgency to get the ball out on time. Davis had missed a couple of his players by throwing the ball a split second late. His back shoulder passes are not as crisp and the ball has gotten away from him when he throws the deep ball. He has done a great job with passes 20 yards are less, but he still needs to improve.
Pete Carroll addressed the QB battle on Monday.

“I think we are just in the middle of it, I don’t know,’’ he said. “I say that when I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know right now. Both guys have done some really good things. They are real different. So we have to step back from it in time and we will get some games under our belt and in time we will figure out what it looks like when we are playing with Austin [Davis] and with Trevone Boykin. They both have had days where they win the day and that kind of stuff. Russell [Wilson] is on fire right now, so it’s hard for them to catch him, but still they have been making plays. I’m really anxious to see how they looked today. I won’t know until I see the film.”

As the Seahawks return Wednesday for training camp, both the running back and QB positions are not definitive answers yet. There are a couple more days until the Seahawks play their first preseason game against the LA Chargers on Sunday. It will be interesting to see how much reps these guys will get.

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