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 Wed, 23 May 2018 01:40:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Kobe Bryant was a speaker for We Rise http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/kobe-bryant-speaker-rise/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/kobe-bryant-speaker-rise/#comments Wed, 23 May 2018 01:40:06 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172674 Seattle, Wa- With everything that is going on in the world, from bullying to school shootings, the We Rise Campaign wanted to get in front of topics that relate to mental health and make people aware of it. “In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, WE RISE will feature over 150+ artists presenting original pieces of art, over 50-hours of creative programming and workshops along with other performances and panels with the biggest names in pop culture, art, activism, and sports focused on using the arts to break stigmas around mental health, especially in youth communities.”

_CPD2304.JPG

“WE RISE is free and open to the public and will run until Monday, May 28th. WE RISE is a project of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and its WHY WE RISE campaign.”

On Tuesday, Former NBA star, and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant surprised 300 students at the We Rise event. In his own words, he explained how he had gotten passed obstacles that he faced on and off the court, how he dealt with insecurities and talked about mental health. “It’s easy for us as people to kind of ignore the emotional side of it,  especially when it comes to things that deal with negativity, things that deal with insecurity, things that deal with fear. It’s very easy to take the fear and just push it down, try to act like it doesn’t exist. The reason why it starts with imagination is because you first must imagine the life that you want to have. You must first imagine what it is you dream of becoming.”

Many people suffer from mental illness and some have felt that they do not have an outlet to talk about it without being judged. The Netflix series 13 Reasons touched on mental illness, depression, suicidal, and many other problems that Americans face daily.

The slogan We Rise is uplifting people who suffer from any type of mental illness and brings awareness to what these people have to go through on a daily basis.

 

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/kobe-bryant-speaker-rise/feed/ 0
Christian Kirk Comes Home http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/christian-kirk-comes-home/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/christian-kirk-comes-home/#comments Mon, 21 May 2018 12:22:23 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172650 The Arizona Cardinals have found their potential heir to the Larry Fitzgerald throne.  With the 47th pick in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL draft the Arizona Cardinals selected former Scottsdale Saguaro Sabercat standout Christian Kirk. After scoring a potential franchise Quarterback in the first round the Cardinals decided to continue to make headlines by bringing home the former Arizonian – to many experts the Cardinals found a diamond in the rough.  Being that the Cardinals have had an ongoing need at Wide receiver position, this isn’t just a typical “feel good” story. Kirk has big shoes to fill, and to be specific the person that wore those shoes before Kirk is a future first ballot hall of famer. So, we welcome Kirk back to the valley with open arms, the fans have big expectations.

0051270-lbjx-1280x720

Kirk at Saguaro High School

 

The former 5-star recruit is ready for the pressure –  while spending three full years playing in the rigid SEC conference, Kirk didn’t spend too much time watching from the sidelines, from Return man to Wide Receiver Kirk earned the right to be called Mr. do-it-all in his time with the Texas A&M Aggies. In the years spent with the Aggies Kirk was named SEC Freshman of the year (2015) and was named All-SEC 1st Teams in back to back seasons (2016, 2017). In his 3 collegiate seasons Christian Kirk reeled in 234 passes for 2856 yards with 23 touchdowns, and as a return man Kirk had 85 total returns and managed to squeeze out 1862 total return yards with 7 touchdowns. With Kirk’s experience as a kick or punt returner the Cardinals might think about not only using him as the number two Wide Receiver, but also as the feature Kick or Punt Returner. After all, Kirk is a star and stars make plays, so why not use him as much as possible?

 

On the Surface it looks like Cardinal fans have a lot to be excited about when it comes to the 2nd round pick. The dynamic Wide receiver also has much to be excited about – what better place to showcase all his hard work and talent then to the ones who watched him grow up into not only the player but the man who he is today. Many would say Christian has had a blessed life, as he grew up in the Scottsdale area, was a 5-star athlete coming out of high school, was able to play in the wildly famous SEC, and now to be mentored by the ego-less Larry Fitzgerald. Most of us have big expectations for Kirk, and throughout his life he has never fled from a challenge, and in fact I believe he’ll thrive as he seizes the moment and runs with it.

635793318565997179102031420_tumblr_nu8cueGEZv1uso5gio1_1280

Kirk On Texas A&M.

The Cardinals have had much success in the 2nd round of the draft over the past few years. In 2015 they drafted the finesse 2016 Cardinal sack leader Markus Golden out of Missouri, in 2016 they packaged a 2nd round pick to trade for NFL Sack leader Chandler Jones, and with their 2017 Pick they drafted Pro Bowl Safety Budda Baker out of Washington. As if the pressure wasn’t already on the 21-year old to be an impact on this team, it is now. However, if he handles this pressure like he has in the past, then the rest of the NFL be warned, Christian Kirk is here.

0100940-hbot-1280x720

Kirk as a Arizona Cardinal.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/christian-kirk-comes-home/feed/ 0
J.J. Watt Pays Respects http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/j-j-watt-pays-respects/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/j-j-watt-pays-respects/#comments Mon, 21 May 2018 10:37:42 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172662 In what has become a reoccurring nightmare, this past Friday Santa Fe High School in Galveston County, Texas added their name to a lengthy list of schools affected by gun violence when eight children and two teachers were tragically gunned down by a fellow student. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has said he will pay for the funerals of all 10 victims. May we remember those who passed away not as statistics or victims, but as brothers, sisters, cousins, sons, daughters, mothers, and grandmothers. Hopefully Watt’s generosity will help family’s find closure in being able to provide their loved ones a service they truly deserve.

Those forever remembered are:

Ann Perkins (teacher)

Cynthia Tisdale (teacher)

Sabika Sheikh

Angelique Ramirez

Shana Fisher

Kim Vaughn

Chris Stone

Christian “Riley” Garcia

Jared Conard Black

Kyle McLeod

After raising over $37 million for Hurricane Harvey victims late last year, the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year didn’t hesitate to again step up to help those affected in his community. The great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” J.J. Watt may you continue to shine your light and spread your love, it is evident the world needs more of it.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/j-j-watt-pays-respects/feed/ 0
Myke Darrough; Branding A New Basketball League http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/myke-darrough-branding-new-basketball-league/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/myke-darrough-branding-new-basketball-league/#comments Sun, 20 May 2018 22:01:54 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172646 Seattle, WA- In the Spring of next year, there will be a new basketball league started, which will be called the World Club Basketball Association International. This organization will help provide educational resources with building and branding players, get players the exposure that they need, and help them excel to greater heights in the world of basketball. Myke Darrough, who is in charge of Marketing and Branding has been very excited with the steps that this organization will bring. The organization will go after HBCU’s and recruit more players from there.

32186321_378356186016237_558643518562631680_n

“ I wanted to make sure that players get the information with branding themselves and making sure that they know what they bring to the table. You see a lot of players that go into these different leagues without knowing their worth and they take less on the financial end because they do not know. I want to make sure that the players know what they are doing”, said Darrough.

Basketball has been the forefront of different cultures coming together to unite and work as a team. Basketball has saved a lot of people from doing the wrong things and Darrough expressed how basketball made him into the man that he is today. “Basketball taught me discipline, taught me that it was not just abutting me, but I was playing for a team. I traveled the world and got to see some amazing people, different cultures, and how we all connected with similar situations. We can talk about basketball all day, but in general, Sports have brought different people from different areas together.”

The World Club Basketball Association International will be played like the FIBA league. Commissioner Eric Douglin stated that” The pro league will set an affiliate league between the United States and Europe. This opportunity will give a lot of players exposure on how to play with people overseas, showcase their talents to a bigger league, and give them a platform to utilize. “The goal is for the league to be a direct gateway for American players to get overseas and for overseas players to get to America. Franchises have a buy in the team, which is 25k per team.”

The league has a lot of great plans for their future and Darrough is pretty optimistic about the organization. “ I am very excited to see how the league will progress. It took a lot of hard work, adversity, and determination to make this happen, but I am excited,” said Darrough.

The league will start up Spring of 2019.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/myke-darrough-branding-new-basketball-league/feed/ 0
New Sheriff in Seahawks county http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/new-sheriff-seahawks-county/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/new-sheriff-seahawks-county/#comments Fri, 18 May 2018 01:58:59 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172641 Seattle, WA- After it was said and done, Shaquem Griffin won in all aspects of America by showing what heart, stamina, dedication, and being motivated to overcome the obstacles that were in front of him to make it to the NFL.

40962515265_ce722dc382_bOn Thursday, Griffin signed his Rookie contract of 2.8 million within four years and a guaranteed of 300,000.  One of his goals has been finalized with getting to the NFL, now comes the pressure and grit to see if he can make the 53 man roster, but a lot of players sees him fitting with the Seahawks. Head coach Pete Carroll praised him during the rookie minicamp. “He looked very comfortable, very natural,” Carroll told reporters. “He has a sense already for scheme and terminology. The position is the right spot for him, it looks like. We can be aggressive and use his speed.”

Griffon will probably catch on  quick with the type of style that the Seahawks defensive plays because his twin brother is right there to mentor him, as well as the Seahawks players. It will be interesting to see how both of these players will improve and impact the newly structure defense.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/new-sheriff-seahawks-county/feed/ 0
PRO PLAYER INSIDERS 2019 DRAFT ELIGIBLE PRESEASON TOP 100 http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/pro-player-insiders-2019-draft-eligible-preseason-top-100/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/pro-player-insiders-2019-draft-eligible-preseason-top-100/#comments Thu, 17 May 2018 16:25:13 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172634 PRO PLAYER INSIDERS 2019 DRAFT ELIGIBLE PRESEASON TOP 100

 

Usually we only rank seniors and in the coming weeks we will unveil an early senior only top 100 but we thought with college football magazines coming out soon that a top 100 draft eligible list would make for good conversation.

 

Headlining the rankings are Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, and a host of defensive linemen.

 

Our top 100 features nine defensive linemen in the top 15 along with 11 linemen total in the top 15.

 

Nine redshirt sophomores are featured in the preseason top 100, three quarterbacks in the top 32, and just one player from a non FBS school in UC Davis receiver Keelan Doss.

 

Below is a look at our complete top 100.

 

Rank Pos First Name Last Name School Class Projection
1 DT Ed Oliver Houston Junior 1st
2 DE Nick Bosa Ohio State Junior 1st
3 OT Jonah Williams Alabama Junior 1st
4 DT Dexter Lawrence Clemson Junior 1st
5 OT Greg Little Mississippi Junior 1st
6 DE Rashan Gary Michigan Junior 1st
7 CB Greedy Williams LSU Redshirt Sophomore 1st
8 DT Christian Wilkins Clemson Senior 1st
9 OLB Devin White LSU Junior 1st
10 DE Raekwon Davis Alabama Junior 1st
11 QB Drew Lock Missouri Senior 1st
12 DT Jeffery Simmons Mississippi State Junior 1st
13 DE Clelin Ferrell Clemson Junior 1st
14 SS Jaquan Johnson Miami Senior 1st
15 WR A.J. Brown Mississippi Junior 1st
16 OT David Edwards Wisconsin Junior 1st
17 WR N’Keal Harry Arizona State Junior 1st
18 OLB Montez Sweat Mississippi State Senior 1st
19 CB Deandre Baker Georgia Senior 1st
20 TE Noah Fant Iowa Junior 1st
21 CB Amani Oruwariye Penn State Senior 1st-2nd
22 DE Austin Bryant Clemson Senior 1st-2nd
23 ILB T.J. Edwards Wisconsin Senior 1st-2nd
24 ILB Shaq Quarterman Miami Junior 1st-2nd
25 FS Chauncey Gardner Jr. Florida Junior 1st-2nd
26 DE Zach Allen Boston College Senior 1st-2nd
27 TE Albert Okwuegbunam Missouri Redshirt Sophomore 1st-2nd
28 OLB Devin Bush Michigan Junior 1st-2nd
29 QB Clayton Thorson Northwestern Senior 1st-2nd
30 CB Michael Jackson Miami Senior 1st-2nd
31 QB Jarrett Stidham Auburn Junior 2nd
32 OT Michael Deiter Wisconsin Senior 2nd
33 OT Dalton Risner Kansas State Senior 2nd
34 DT Dre’Mont Jones Ohio State Junior 2nd
35 QB Justin Herbert Oregon Junior 2nd
36 RB Bryce Love Stanford Senior 2nd
37 DE Carl Granderson Wyoming Senior 2nd
38 CB Jack Jones Southern California Junior 2nd
39 FS Marvell Tell III Southern California Senior 2nd
40 WR David Sills V West Virginia Senior 2nd
41 RB Damien Harris Alabama Senior 2nd
42 OG Beau Benzschawel Wisconsin Senior 2nd
43 TE Kaden Smith Stanford Redshirt Sophomore 2nd
44 OG Michael Jordan Ohio State Junior 2nd
45 DE Marlon Davidson Auburn Junior 2nd
46 WR Deebo Samuel South Carolina Senior 2nd
47 CB Mark Gilbert Duke Junior 2nd
48 RB Benny Snell Jr. Kentucky Junior 2nd
49 ILB David Reese Florida Junior 2nd
50 CB Julian Love Notre Dame Junior 2nd
51 OT Trey Adams Washington Senior 2nd
52 DE Christian Rector Southern California Junior 2nd
53 RB Devin Singletary Florida Atlantic Junior 2nd-3rd
54 DT Jerry Tillery Notre Dame Senior 2nd-3rd
55 OT Martez Ivey Florida Senior 2nd-3rd
56 RB Justice Hill Oklahoma State Junior 2nd-3rd
57 DE Brian Burns Florida State Junior 2nd-3rd
58 ILB Joe Giles-Harris Duke Junior 2nd-3rd
59 ILB Joe Dineen Jr. Kansas Senior 2nd-3rd
60 WR Riley Ridley Georgia Junior 2nd-3rd
61 ILB Paddy Fisher Northwestern Redshirt Sophomore 2nd-3rd
62 WR D.K. Metcalf Mississippi Redshirt Sophomore 2nd-3rd
63 QB Nick Fitzgerald Mississippi State Senior 2nd-3rd
64 OT Mitch Hyatt Clemson Senior 2nd-3rd
65 QB Will Grier West Virginia Senior 2nd-3rd
66 OLB Josh Allen Kentucky Senior 2nd-3rd
67 WR Parris Campbell Ohio State Senior 2nd-3rd
68 ILB Mack Wilson Alabama Junior 3rd
69 CB Lavert Hall Michigan Junior 3rd
70 OG Nate Herbig Stanford Junior 3rd
71 OLB Troy Dye Oregon Junior 3rd
72 DE Kenny Willekes Michigan State Junior 3rd
73 SS Taylor Rapp Washington Junior 3rd
74 CB Chase Lucas Arizona State Redshirt Sophomore 3rd
75 DE Chase Winovich Michigan Senior 3rd
76 WR Anthony Johnson Buffalo Senior 3rd
77 OT Kaleb McGary Washington Senior 3rd
78 RB Travis Homer Miami Junior 3rd
79 DE Charles Omenihu Texas Senior 3rd
80 CB Trayvon Mullen Clemson Junior 3rd
81 RB Rodney Anderson Oklahoma Junior 3rd
82 OT Jawaan Taylor Florida Junior 3rd
83 ILB Cameron Smith Southern California Senior 3rd
84 DE Cece Jefferson Florida Senior 3rd
85 SS J.R. Reed Georgia Junior 3rd
86 DE Corbin Kaufusi BYU Senior 3rd
87 FS Lukas Denis Boston College Senior 3rd
88 OG Ross Pierschbacher Alabama Senior 3rd
89 QB Ryan Finley North Carolina State Senior 3rd
90 RB Myles Gaskin Washington Senior 3rd
91 CB Adonis Alexander Virginia Tech Senior 3rd-4th
92 WR Keelan Doss UC Davis Senior 3rd-4th
93 CB Blessuan Austin Rutgers Senior 3rd-4th
94 ILB Khalil Hodge Buffalo Senior 3rd-4th
95 SS Jalen Young Florida Atlantic Senior 3rd-4th
96 CB Clifton Duck Appalachian State Junior 3rd-4th
97 OLB Dakota Allen Texas Tech Senior 3rd-4th
98 OLB Te’von Coney Notre Dame Senior 3rd-4th
99 OLB Germaine Pratt North Carolina State Senior 3rd-4th
100 DE Jaylon Ferguson Louisiana Tech Senior 3rd-4th
]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/pro-player-insiders-2019-draft-eligible-preseason-top-100/feed/ 0
Patrick Peterson Celebrity Golf Tournament http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/patrick-peterson-celebrity-golf-tournament/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/patrick-peterson-celebrity-golf-tournament/#comments Wed, 16 May 2018 01:45:50 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172621 This past weekend Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson held his third annual Celebrity Golf Tournament at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club in Gold Canyon, Arizona.  Prior to Saturday’s golf tournament, a red carpet VIP Welcome Party was held on Friday evening at Octane Raceway in Scottsdale, Arizona where partygoers had a chance to go head-to-head in a go-kart race against the seven time Pro Bowl corner.  It was a great way to kick off a weekend aimed at benefiting the Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success.

Patrick Peterson's custom Chevy outside of Octane Raceway (photo by Mike Yduarte)

Patrick Peterson’s custom Chevy outside of Octane Raceway (photo by Mike Yduarte)

The Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success was founded in 2012 and aims to provide low-income and inner-city youth with opportunities and resources to reach their full potential.  When Patrick arrived in Arizona after being selected fifth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, he noticed an opportunity in the form of education.  The 48th state has consistently ranked near the bottom of the pack in education.  One man may not be able to change that, but it hasn’t swayed Peterson’s motivation for trying.  P2’s foundation has created programs such as Patrick’s Corner, a program that provides at-risk students easier access to books in addition to fun reading environments.  The lockdown corner also teamed up with Scholastic and created Pick Out a Book, a book fair that brings schools and communities together to support children’s literacy.  From his hometown in Florida to his current residence in Arizona, educational barriers have always been something that stood out as an opportunity for improvement to Patrick.  On Friday night, he discussed his motivation.  “I spend a majority of my time here.  I live here year round and I just don’t want to be out here not giving a helping hand”, Peterson stated.  “As the Patrick’s Corner and the Patrick Peterson Foundation gets bigger, these kids are gaining more and more confidence over the years.  I talk about San Marcos because that’s one of the first schools we put Patrick’s Corner in and the reading levels have gone through the roof.  Reading minutes have gone through the roof!  It’s a proven fact that it’s definitely an inspiration so I want to continue helping our bright future stars and give them that confidence to help them prevail through anything that they may have.”

Patrick Peterson on the red carpet outside Octane Race (photo by Mike Yduarte)

Patrick Peterson on the red carpet outside Octane Race (photo by Mike Yduarte)

On Saturday, celebrities and guests headed to the links.  Tournament attendees ranged from former NBA greats such as Cedric Ceballos and Bruce Bowen to former NFL greats such as Sterling Sharpe, Jay Feely, and Kwamie Lassiter.  Native golfer, model, and television personality Blaire O’Neal also graced the fairways.  Haley Joel Osment came to give back at both Friday and Saturday’s events.  Patrick’s current teammate and living legend, Larry Fitzgerald, was in attendance, of course.  While the recent Pebble Beach Pro-Am victor was there to pay it forward, make no mistake about it, he was also there to win.  Even in a day of charity, the competitive DNA among some of the athletes was still very evident.  “These football players take their golf so serious!” former San Antonio Spur Bruce Bowen joked while warming up at the range.

Larry Fitzgerald reading the green at Patrick Peterson's Celebrity Golf Tournament

Larry Fitzgerald reading the green at Patrick Peterson’s Celebrity Golf Tournament (photo by Mike Yduarte)

Before the carts rolled out on Saturday, P2 happily stopped to speak with the media one more time.  “I just want to continue to let guys see how we get down here in Arizona.  We’re definitely a brotherhood here and we love doing things together especially events like this”, said Peterson.  “I am a great football player, I know that, but I want to be recognized as an even better person, a better human being”.

Well, even with all of your football accolades, you are doing just that, Mr. Peterson.

 

To find out more about how you can donate to Patrick Peterson’s Foundation for Success please visit http://www.patrickpeterson.org/index.aspx

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/patrick-peterson-celebrity-golf-tournament/feed/ 0
Carolina Hurricanes Open on the Trade Market: Possible Fits Others http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/carolina-hurricanes-open-trade-market-possible-fits-others/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/carolina-hurricanes-open-trade-market-possible-fits-others/#comments Wed, 16 May 2018 01:43:29 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172617  

After another season of failure, the Carolina Hurricanes have officially begun their full-scale reboot. Just a month ago, their head coach, Bill Peters, stepped down as the Canes head coach and was seeking new opportunities. Just 3 days later, Peters signed with the Calgary Flames. Even earlier in the season the Hurricanes removed Ron Francis as their General Manager. Give it a month and Carolina would eventually name Rod Brind’Amour as the new head coach and Don Waddell as the new GM. With this new management, changes are sure to arise.

Around mid-May, per hockey analyst Bob McKenzie, he has reported that the Hurricanes are open to dealing anyone who isn’t named Sebastian Aho, the Hurricanes star young-gun. This includes star players like Jeff Skinner, who scored 24 goals, 25 assists, and 49 points this last season, Justin Faulk, the Hurricanes best defenseman, Victor Rask, a centerman and even young-winger Teuvo Teravainen who had a breakout year in Carolina with 23 goals, 41 assists and a total of 64 points on the year, the most he has had in his 5-year NHL career. Many teams would love to take advantage of this opportunity to acquire some of these players, but who stands out as the top go-getters?

To start the Arizona Coyotes, who are in dire need of a scoring winger in the desert. After finding an impressive first line in Richard Panik, Derek Stepan, and Clayton Keller, the Coyotes are sure to take advantage of this opportunity to possibly get somebody like Jeff Skinner or Teuvo Teravainen. The Coyotes already made a deal with the Canes a few weeks ago sending Jordan Martinook and a 2018 4th round pick to Carolina in exchange for Marcus Kruger and a 2018 3rd round pick. Both players are statistically equal so this was a fairly balanced trade, but whether or not Kruger stays with the team this season or is used a trade piece is unknown. General Manager John Chayka always seems to surprise on draft day. Regardless, Skinner would be a great addition and could possibly be that scoring winger they’ve been looking for. They might also be interested in Victor Rask as the Coyotes need another centerman, as current centerman Brad Richardson, is rumored to possibly not resign with the team.

Next, the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings had a great bounce back season by getting back into the playoffs after missing them last season, but going against the Pacific’s best team, the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round, proved that they weren’t ready one bit, in the entire first round, the Kings scored only 3 goals in the span of the 4 games they played before getting swept and getting shutout twice, so clearly, the Kings need to re-evaluate their roster and add some more scoring players.

The St. Louis Blues are next on this list. After an impressive start to the season, the Blues just seemed to have dropped off from that terrific start and ended up missing the playoffs. Many fans are putting Jake Allen in the spot light to blame as some sort of scapegoat, but could the Blues be in the searches for a new goal tender? After a horrid season last year, Scott Darling of the Hurricanes could be looking for a fresh start and the Blues just might be that team to take the chance on Darling. It wouldn’t be impossible for a goalie-for-a-goalie trade, along with a few other players or picks thrown in between, but this is just a theory. The Blues have found some scoring depth in Brayden Schenn as he had a breakout year with 28 goals, 42 assists and a total of 70 points on the year, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t further deepen that depth. They could possibly go after Teuvo Teravainen to add another young scoring winger, but, again, just a theory.

The Edmonton Oilers… The Oilers are a mystery in this league as one season, they had a breakout year, even winning the division and making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs, then the next, not even coming close to the playoffs. This shows that even though, you have Connor McDavid on your team, you are still vulnerable and beatable. The Oilers need some offense added to their team this summer and Carolina could provide. They could go after Skinner or Teravainen to enhance their offense a tad more, but they should really work on their defensive core. Adding someone like Justin Faulk, could help the Oilers out in this situation and possibly to their offense as well. Faulk is an offensive defenseman, but doesn’t score too often, but does have the ability to put the puck in the back of the net.

The New York Rangers, the Kings of New York were dethroned last season as they missed the playoffs in 2018. There were many contributing factors to this team’s failure of a season, things such as goal tending and lack of offense and defense, but nothing too glaring. In goal, with Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers are just going to have to accept the fact that he is getting old, so possibly going after Scott Darling is a theory. They Rangers did eventually bring up some young players like Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil, which is showing great signs that they are in a full rebuild state. After trading away veterans like J.T. Miller, Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash, and others, the Rangers are now in the beginning stages of their rebuild, which would make sense that they would try and trade for another young asset like Teravainen or Skinner.

Whatever the case may be, the Hurricanes are sure to be getting a lot of calls this summer.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/carolina-hurricanes-open-trade-market-possible-fits-others/feed/ 0
Former Rams and Seahawks coach Chuck Knox has passed away http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/former-rams-seahawks-coach-chuck-knox-passed-away/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/former-rams-seahawks-coach-chuck-knox-passed-away/#comments Sun, 13 May 2018 22:56:38 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172614 Seattle, WA- On Sunday the Seattle Seahawks confirmed that the great and iconic Chuck Knox passed away. No details have been confirmed on the cause of death as of yet. In a statement that the  Seahawks release, they honored Knox in a very admirable way.

MAJOOCDIVFC3FIBEVW7A7E4ZYA

“The Seahawks family are saddened by the loss of Chuck Knox, and our deepest sympathies are extended to his wife, Shirley, and the entire Knox family,” the team said in a statement. “A member of the Seahawks Ring of Honor, Knox coached the Seahawks from 1983-1991 and was a beloved figurehead by players, coaches, and staff. His presence projected an external toughness but merited instantaneous respect by the genuine care and concern he held for his players. He was one of the great influencers not only in football but in life.”

“One of the winningest coaches in NFL history, ‘Ground Chuck’ was twice named NFL Coach of the Year while with the Seahawks in 1983 and 1984. He led Seattle to their first division title, playoff win and conference championship appearance and was the first coach in NFL history to lead three different teams to the NFL playoffs. As Knox said himself, ‘What you do speaks so well, no need to hear what you say.’”

Chuck was known to be a coach that wanted the best for his players and taught them that football was more than a sport. He taught the Seahawks and the Rams’ organization that the only way to win was to show action and not talk about the what ifs. Passion, dedication, motivation, and leadership qualities were what he brought these two different organizations.

From 1983-1991 he coached the Seahawks and led them to an impressive postseason ration. In his career in Seattle as a coach, he was 80-69 and was inducted into the franchise’s Ring of Honor in 2005.

from 1973-1977 and 1992-1994, compiling a 69-48 record combined between those two After he was let go in 1992, he went back to his roots and coached for the second time with the Rams.  From 1973-1977, he coached the Rams. After he was let go with the Seahawks, he went back to coaching the Rams from 1992-1994. Between the two times he coached, he had a 69-49 record with the Rams.

“We are saddened by the loss of Chuck Knox, a legendary coach, and member of the Los Angeles Rams family,” the team said in a statement. “He established a winning culture and a legacy that will never be forgotten, being the only coach to lead the Rams to five consecutive double-digit-win seasons. The memories and accomplishments that Coach Knox left behind will continue to inspire us and Rams fans. We hold his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

]]> http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/former-rams-seahawks-coach-chuck-knox-passed-away/feed/ 0 Pollock’s Walkoff-Single Propells Dbacks Over Astros http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/pollocks-walkoff-single-propells-dbacks-astros/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/pollocks-walkoff-single-propells-dbacks-astros/#comments Sun, 13 May 2018 00:31:31 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172574 With the start of another series, the Arizona Diamondbacks were set to take on last year’s World Series Champions: the Houston Astros. Another tough team. After dropping the opener in an 8-0 loss to the Astros, the Dbacks were looking to bounce back and even the series in game 2. On Cinco de Mayo, here’s the recap:

With the Dbacks already up 1-0, in the bottom of the 2nd inning, David Peralta belted one into Chase Field‘s pool and gave the Dbacks a 2-0 lead. An already better start than the last game, but the Astros didn’t take defeat just yet, as in the 5th inning Astros’ George Springer homered one to make it a 2-1 ballgame.

That would conclude the Astros’ at-bat for the 5th, but in the bottom of the 5th for the Dbacks, with pitcher Zack Grienke on 2nd, David Peralta scored an RBI double to bring Grienke home, but Peralta was heading for 2nd, but the Astros’ threw him out, but the run still counted and the Dbacks had a 3-1 lead over the Astros.

Now in the top of the 8th inning and a man on first for the Astros, Brian McCann hit one down the first base line to score an RBI triple to make it 3-2, but the Astros just kept coming with that offensive pressure and eventually loaded the bases, where they would later tie the game up 3-3.

There was still one inning left in the game though, before extras, but the Diamondbacks made a push for themselves in the bottom of the 9th inning as they had the bases loaded, with 2 outs and A.J. Pollock up to bat. With a base hit that was missed by the short stop and the out fielder, A.J. Pollock hit an RBI single to give the Diamondbacks the walk-off win over the Astros; the Diamondbacks would win 4-3 and tie the series at 1 a piece.

This was a crucial game as the Diamondbacks were looking to get back into the win column as they wanted to avoid a 4-game losing streak, but the Diamondbacks still have a chance to take the series and win 10/11 series this season so far. After tying with the Dodgers in the last series; 2-2, the Diamondbacks were desperate for a win, but they got back to their winning ways and still have a commanding lead in the NL West division with Colorado just behind them, but the Dbacks do have a 22-11 record, they look to win the series against Houston on Sunday.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/pollocks-walkoff-single-propells-dbacks-astros/feed/ 0
The Curse Is Over in D.C. http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/curse-d-c/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/curse-d-c/#comments Sun, 13 May 2018 00:30:03 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172588 History was made on Friday in Pittsburgh. With another 2nd round Stanley Cup Playoff matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals, the rivalry was tenser than ever as 3 years worth of emotions and pain had been built up between these two for years, but now it was time to fight it out again for another year. For the past 2 seasons the Penguins have had the upper hand, even winning the Stanley Cup for 2 straight seasons, also eliminating the Capitals in the 2nd round. The Caps have never made it past the 2nd round of the playoffs in the “Ovechkin” Era, the Capitals’ top player and captain since 2004, but this time, history was made…

With a scoreless 1st period, Braden Holtby was the show as he made numerous point-blank saves and stopped shot after shot, standing tall. Things began to pick up in the 2nd period with some offense. With Australian rookie, Nathan Walker, skating into the zone, he circled the net and centered it to Alex Chiasson where he one-timed a shot past Penguins goalie Matt Murray for a 1-0 lead.

Minutes later, the Penguins would take advantage of a face-off win from Sidney Crosby where Kris Letang would one-time one in past Braden Holtby to tie the game at 1 a piece. That would conclude the 2nd period, but a tied second period would only lead to a great 3rd period with more goalie action ahead.

Things began heating up as players were slamming other players into the boards for puck possessions and heavy collisions and open ice hits, both teams clearly had different mentalities with the Pens playing to avoid elimination and the Caps playing to finally keep their playoffs lives going forward, but they both were hungry for a win.

The 3rd period would conclude without any scoring so the game would head off to sudden death overtime, the most stressful part of any playoff hockey game, but the next goal would be the biggest of the playoffs; one would end a team’s playoff success drought and the other would keep another team alive to fight another day.

The Penguins would come close with a shot from Tom Kühnhackl that rang off the iron and bounced out of the zone, but the next play, minutes later, would remain in the history books forever. As Sidney Crosby skated into the offensive zone, Alex Ovechkin stripped him of the puck and flicked it up center ice up to Evgeny Kuznetsov who skated off onto a breakaway where he split the legs open of Matt Murray and slid it into the net and ended the game; the Washington Capitals had finally exercised their demons and defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins and are finally moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals.

They will be taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals, starting Friday in Tampa Bay. The Lightning won the season series 2-1 and outscored the Capitals 9 to 8, so both of their offenses seem fairly balanced, but the Lightning’s trade deadline acquisitions in J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh and the top duo of Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos make them to be the favorite in this match up, but Washington will for sure put up a fight, plus will be fully energized and full of confidence, so it will be a close match up, but the prediction: Tampa Bay in 7 games.

Despite anything that happens, it was still a moment that will go into the history books for Washington!

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/curse-d-c/feed/ 0
Brock Osweiler Gives Back http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/brock-osweiler-gives-back/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/brock-osweiler-gives-back/#comments Sun, 13 May 2018 00:28:36 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172592 This past weekend, Miami Dolphins quarterback and former Arizona State University quarterback Brock Osweiler teamed up with the ASU Sun Devil Club to host a dinner at Steak 44 in Scottsdale, Arizona to support ASU athletics and Honor House. Honor House was founded by Brian Mancini, a Veteran who received two Purple Hearts during his two tours in Iraq. Brian’s initial goal was to provide transitional living services for wounded warriors. That goal expanded and in 2014 Honor House launched Operation Healing Journey, a proactive approach in assisting to fill the transitional and medical gaps from the departure of the military into civilian life. This program is focused on utilizing community resources and works tandemly with regular medical practices to provide a structured three-month program that empowers Veterans to find and seek healthy alternatives along their journey.

“This is a very special night”, Osweiler said. “This is something that my wife Erin and I along with a great group of people have been working on for over a year now and to see it come to fruition tonight for such a great cause is very special. Honor House is a local military foundation that’s truly saving lives, you know? They are going in to homes where men and women are suffering from wartime brain traumas, PTSD, and other things like that.”

Brock has spent many hours giving back but had been looking to do something he felt had a larger impact. “One day in the offseason last year I heard something on the radio about Honor House that pulled me in”, Osweiler said. “Erin and I reached out to Honor House, set a meeting, and the rest is history. Now tonight, thankfully because of Steak 44 and everything they’ve provided, we have this incredible event.” Steak 44 graciously footed 100% of the bill so all proceeds went to ASU Sun Devil Club student athletes and Honor House Veterans.

The red-carpet event was packed full of ASU coaches such as head football coach Herm Edwards, women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne, and Athletic Director Ray Anderson. ASU alumni and former NFL players such as Todd Heap, Adam Archuleta, Derek Hagan, Rudy Carpenter, and current Arizona Cardinal running back D.J. Foster were also on the list. Former Cardinals kicker, CBS analyst, and resident of the valley Jay Feely also RSVP’d to dine with patrons.

Before dinner we caught up with coach Edwards and asked him what an event like this meant to him. “It’s something that I’m really stressing in my life. In fact, my father was in the service. He fought in the Korean War and World War II. At a very early age I learned that our freedoms aren’t free and these men and women that have fought for our freedom need to be represented and need to be looked upon as heroes, because that’s what they are.”, Edwards said. No steak for Herm though, he stuck with a salad for the evening. That must be why he stays so trim.

Tickets for the event sold for $250 and allowed guests to dine at Steak 44 while mingling with the stars. Sponsorship packages were also available guaranteeing donors would be able to dine with a coach or celebrity of their choosing. Steak 44 was packed! Brock was dripping with excitement, and it wasn’t just because of the 105-degree valley heat. “We are sold out and you know what? It’s year one! We’re just getting started and to be able to have every single seat filled tonight is very special”, Osweiler said. “We really put this together in about a month, so I think the sky’s the limit on the future and we are very excited about the turnout.”

The world needs more people like Brock Osweiler. Hats off to you, sir.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/brock-osweiler-gives-back/feed/ 0
Derrius Guice Has Something To Prove As Redskins Start Rookie Camp http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/derrius-guice-something-prove-redskins-start-rookie-camp/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/derrius-guice-something-prove-redskins-start-rookie-camp/#comments Fri, 11 May 2018 16:35:31 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172602 As the Washington Redskins embark on rookie camp, Derrius Guice has something to prove. Not only to his new team but to all the teams that passed him up at the NFL Draft. Clearly a first-round talent, Guice was plagued with concerns about his character just days before the Draft was set to take place. Rumors that surfaced about his attitude, issues with tardiness during the pre-draft process, and an alternation during a meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles left many teams unwilling to take a chance on Guice.

“I’ve been seeing a lot about me slipping out of the first round,” Guice explained to Pro Player Insiders. “I just don’t understand it. I’m a great running back. A lot of teams would be blessed to have me. We just have to see how it goes.”

He even had concerns about how the bad publicity was affecting his ability to be himself. “I can’t really let my personality shine like normal. Now I’ve got to be this person that I’m not. I have to hide who I really am. I’ve got to hide my personality because if not, I get backlash. I’m a great dude. I’m a great dude to be around. But all I get is backlash. I have character issues. I’m a bad person. I do this, I do that. I’ve never been suspended. Never been arrested. Never been in trouble with the law. Never been in trouble at LSU. And now I’m getting all this backlash like I’m a terrible person. Like out of nowhere. It sucks,” Guice further explained. “To be with my family going out to eat and see all this stuff that’s not even true about their kid. It’s just one of those things where I’m like where is this coming from. It just don’t make sense to me.”

Guise Interview

Guice’s worse fears came true as he slid down the Draft board, late into the second round. However, this played out perfectly for the Redskins who traded down and picked him up at 59th overall. 

Although the wait was uncomfortable, he knew going into it that the outcome wasn’t in his hands. “God already has it planned out. He knows where I’m going to go. You can only control what you can. I did that throughout my whole college career, the Combine, and Pro Day. Now it’s in God’s hands. It’s in the hands of the people and what those teams need. I can’t really do much now.”

The team that needed him was the Redskins. They didn’t let the chatter stop them from pursuing a talented running back that would add speed to their roster. 

“We looked at reports and talked to Derrius’ agent and got a pretty good indication that we felt good about taking Derrius at that position,” said Coach Gruden. “Lucky to get him. This is a hard-nosed runner, plays hard. He can catch the football, he can pass protect, he’s got good vision and a guy we really liked in early rounds.”

Guice

Guice believes his style of play is very similar to his good friend and former LSU teammate Leonard Fournette.

“Leonard is that generational back. No one was better in college football. The guy runs angry. He’s trying to stomp everybody who comes across him. He’s going to drop his shoulder every play. That’s just how he runs. In ways, we’re more similar than different. I don’t really see the differences. I see more of the similarities. We’re very similar runners.”

Leonard has proven to be a valuable asset to the Jacksonville Jaguars. His relentless style of running has given a lot of opponents’ trouble. The Redskins are looking for the same, if not better, production from Guice.

Fournette also gave him some sound advice about preparing for his NFL run. “The only thing me and Leonard has talked about was leading up to the Combine and Pro Day. What I need to focus on. What I need to attack most which was receiving. Which was the same thing he did at Pro Day last year which was a lot of receiving stuff. Just attack that and make sure you are well-hydrated and conditioned for when you start mini-camp.”

The start of rookie mini-camp will be the first glimpse of Guice in action as he settles in with the team that believed in him despite issues about his attitude and character that left him wondering if his name would ever be called. Now it’s time for Guice to prove on-and-off the field that the Redskins made the right decision.

“This is what I prepared for nearly 15 years. I can’t let stuff that comes up weeks and days ago stop what I prepared for my whole life. It’s just one of those things where you just got to hopefully let God see the truth.”

In one simple statement on Twitter leading up to mini-camp, Guice showed that he is ready to prove doubters wrong and expose his truth.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/derrius-guice-something-prove-redskins-start-rookie-camp/feed/ 0
Pro Player Insiders tied for 3rd among top 100 draft scores http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/pro-player-insiders-tied-3rd-among-top-100-draft-scores/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/pro-player-insiders-tied-3rd-among-top-100-draft-scores/#comments Mon, 07 May 2018 01:54:29 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172581 Pro Player Insiders tied for 3rd among top 100 draft scores

 

We don’t send our scores in to The Huddle Report but Pro Player Insiders had 86 of the top 100 players picked correctly to finish tied for third among websites who cover the NFL Draft.

 

There are always players rated high who fall out due to character and we will usually ding them some but not all the way as sometimes a team will still take them and we still believe in putting a top 100 talent in the top 100.

 

Here is the link to our top 100: http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/final-2018-nfl-draft-top-450/

 

Here is the link to THR top 100 scores: http://thehuddlereport.com/top100.scores.shtml

 

Below is a look at those 86 players where we had them ranked and where they were ultimately picked.

 

 

TOP 100 RESULT

 

Pick Rank Pos First Name Last Name School
1 11 QB Baker Mayfield Oklahoma
2 1 RB Saquon Barkley Penn State
3 3 QB Sam Darnold Southern California
4 12 CB Denzel Ward Ohio State
5 2 DE Bradley Chubb North Carolina State
6 4 OG Quenton Nelson Notre Dame
7 6 QB Josh Allen Wyoming
8 5 ILB Roquan Smith Georgia
9 18 OT Mike McGlinchey Notre Dame
10 7 QB Josh Rosen UCLA
11 15 CB Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama
12 14 DT Vita Vea Washington
13 9 DT Da’Ron Payne Alabama
14 17 DE Marcus Davenport UTSA
15 26 OT Kolton Miller UCLA
16 10 OLB Tremaine Edmunds Virginia Tech
17 8 SS Derwin James Florida State
18 16 CB Jaire Alexander Louisville
19 21 OLB Leighton Vander Esch Boise State
20 25 C Frank Ragnow Arkansas
21 42 C Billy Price Ohio State
22 34 OLB Rashaan Evans Alabama
23 31 OG Isaiah Wynn Georgia
24 22 WR D.J. Moore Maryland
25 27 TE Hayden Hurst South Carolina
26 23 WR Calvin Ridley Alabama
27 55 RB Rashaad Penny San Diego State
28 73 SS Terrell Edmunds Virginia Tech
29 19 DT Taven Bryan Florida
30 39 CB Mike Hughes Central Florida
31 41 RB Sony Michel Georgia
32 24 QB Lamar Jackson Louisville
33 36 OG Austin Corbett Nevada
34 20 OG Will Hernandez UTEP
35 33 RB Nick Chubb Georgia
36 76 OLB Darius Leonard South Carolina State
37 49 OG Braden Smith Auburn
38 37 RB Ronald Jones II Southern California
39 44 C James Daniels Iowa
40 43 WR Courtland Sutton Southern Methodist
41 13 OLB Harold Landry Boston College
42 48 TE Mike Gesicki Penn State
43 62 RB Kerryon Johnson Auburn
44 72 WR Dante Pettis Washington
45 28 CB Josh Jackson Iowa
46 70 DE Breeland Speaks Mississippi
47 40 WR Christian Kirk Texas A&M
48 66 OLB Uchenna Nwosu Southern California
49 45 TE Dallas Goedert South Dakota State
50 32 OT Connor Williams Texas
51 56 WR Anthony Miller Memphis
52 90 DE Kemoko Turay Rutgers
53 98 CB M.J. Stewart North Carolina
54 65 FS Jessie Bates III Wake Forest
55 46 CB Donte Jackson LSU
56 69 CB Duke Dawson Florida
57 86 DT P.J. Hall Sam Houston State
58 63 CB Isaiah Oliver Colorado
59 29 RB Derrius Guice LSU
60 68 WR James Washington Oklahoma State
61 50 WR D.J. Chark LSU
62 51 OT Brian O’Neill Pittsburgh
63 78 CB Carlton Davis Auburn
65 92 OT Brandon Parker North Carolina A&T
66 38 OLB Lorenzo Carter Georgia
68 47 FS Justin Reid Stanford
69 67 DT B.J. Hill North Carolina State
71 101 RB Royce Freeman Oregon
72 58 DT Nathan Shepherd Fort Hays State
73 79 OLB Jerome Baker Ohio State
74 80 OT Geron Christian Louisville
75 85 DT Derrick Nnadi Florida State
76 35 QB Mason Rudolph Oklahoma State
77 52 DE Sam Hubbard Ohio State
78 61 ILB Malik Jefferson Texas
79 64 DE Rasheem Green Southern California
80 53 OT Martinas Rankin Mississippi State
81 77 WR Michael Gallup Colorado State
83 57 OT Orlando Brown Oklahoma
86 59 TE Mark Andrews Oklahoma
87 97 DE Arden Key LSU
88 82 OLB Oren Burks Vanderbilt
89 94 OT Joe Noteboom TCU
92 83 OT Chukwuma Okorafor Western Michigan
93 30 SS Ronnie Harrison Alabama
96 71 DT Harrison Phillips Stanford

 

 

 

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/pro-player-insiders-tied-3rd-among-top-100-draft-scores/feed/ 0
Minkah Fitzpatrick Is Perfect Chess Piece for Miami Dolphins http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/minkah-fitzpatrick-perfect-chess-piece-miami-dolphins/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/minkah-fitzpatrick-perfect-chess-piece-miami-dolphins/#comments Wed, 02 May 2018 23:26:43 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172560 Dressed to impress in an off-white double breasted jacket with gold buttons and a custom inside liner inspired by his sister, matching off-white pants, and his college Championship rings decorating his hands, Minkah Fitzpatrick stood out at this year’s NFL Draft. His sense of fashion and down to earth presence easily captures your attention. 

“I’m pretty into fashion,” Fitzpatrick said with a smile. “I always enjoy just dressing up. I was never big on it but everybody likes looking nice.” 

Minkah Red Carpet

The versatility and confidence he brought to the red carpet are the same traits the Miami Dolphins are looking for him to bring to their defense. As the No. 11 overall pick, the Dolphins are counting on the former Alabama safety to help them overcome the tight end matchups in the middle of the field that have hurt them in the past. 

“They [Miami] need to be able to defend tight ends. They got bludgeoned in the middle of the field. Minkah Fitzpatrick is a star position player. He will take your best tight end and he will blanket him,” said ESPN analyst Louis Riddick.  

Since Fitzpatrick is a defensive back who can play all five positions, he wasn’t sure which role he would play in the NFL but is willing to be anywhere he is needed. 

When asked what makes him stand out as a player, Fitzpatrick said, “my versatility, my athleticism; just combining those two has allowed me to make plays that some people wouldn’t be able to make. I’m a chess piece. You can put me wherever you want, I’m just going to make plays.”

It’s those skillsets that caught the Dolphins attention. “He’s a unique kid. Unbelievably smart. Impeccable character. This is a player we felt we could not pass up,” said Miami’s General Manager Chris Grier. 

NFL: APR 26 2018 NFL Draft

The Dolphins are very aware where he will fit in on their defense. “He’s going to be a safety,” according to Grier. “His skillset and the things he does…He’s like a Swiss Army knife. He does a lot of things really good. He gives your defense a chance to be flexible and do a lot different.” 

“He is a 6-foot, 205 pound guy that runs 4.45, can run and cover and he’s been a good cover guy. It’s a unique skillset at that position and his history of producing turnovers is very good.” 

In his three seasons at Alabama, Fitzpatrick was known as a playmaker who had nine interceptions with six of them taking place in one season. He also helped Alabama win two national championships, and play in a championship game all three of his seasons. 

“The Alabama culture helped me out a whole lot. Coach Saban is a great coach with 40 plus years experience in the game. Just sitting under him the past three years has been a great experience. He taught me a whole lot” said Fitzpatrick. “I believe I became the best possible version of myself on and off the field just by being coached by him and some of the other coaches, and being around some of the best of the best players every single day.”

Fitzpatrick has plenty to celebrate but he also acknowledges that his journey to the NFL wasn’t easy. It came with overcoming personal challenges. He grew up in a blue-collar family which was uprooted by Hurricane Irene in 2011. This forced Fitzpatrick, his siblings, and parents to live in the basement of his maternal grandparents’ home for a year while their house was rebuilt. 

“My life hasn’t been the easiest. Me and my family have been through some things. We lost our home when I was a freshman in high school,” said Fitzpatrick. “We were down for a little while. I had to work like a 40-year-old man at the age of 14. But it definitely gave me the mindset I have now. I’m happy for those times.”

It’s those times that give him extra motivation. “My dream wasn’t just to make it to the NFL, but to be a great player in the NFL,” Fitzpatrick said. “This is just the beginning.” 

That’s exactly what the Dolphins are hoping for.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/minkah-fitzpatrick-perfect-chess-piece-miami-dolphins/feed/ 0
2018 NHL Draft Lottery Results; Possible Choices for Arizona Coyotes http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/2018-nhl-draft-lottery-results-possible-choices-arizona-coyotes/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/2018-nhl-draft-lottery-results-possible-choices-arizona-coyotes/#comments Tue, 01 May 2018 01:09:10 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172556 With the playoffs now under way, the teams who missed out on this years’ playoff run are thrown into a lottery to see who will get the first overall pick, which, this year, is Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. The Buffalo Sabres finished dead last this year, so they had an 18.5% chance of winning the lottery, but right behind them was the Ottawa Senators with a 13.5% chance, and behind them was the Arizona Coyotes with an 11.5% chance, so things were very tight.

During the intermission between game 2 of the San Jose Sharks and the Vegas Golden Knights, the lottery was officially underway and the results were in. Starting from bottom to top (no. 15) the list would be as follows:

15.) Florida Panthers; 14.) Philadelphia Flyers; 13.) Dallas Stars; 12.) New York Islanders; 11.) New York Islanders (again); 10.) Edmonton Oilers; 9.) New York Rangers; 8.) Chicago Blackhawks; 7.) Vancouver Canucks; 6.) Detroit Red Wings; 5.) Arizona Coyotes; 4.) Ottawa Senators

So, two teams moved up from their original spot, but who would take the first overall? Buffalo was still the only team who started out originally in the top 3 before the draft, but then the 2nd intermission came and the final results came in.

3.) Montreal Canadiens; 2.) Carolina Hurricanes; and 1.) Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres, having the best odds, have officially won the draft lottery and will more than likely select Rasmus Dahlin, but there is some more rumors coming out of Buffalo. It has been rumored that the Sabres are thinking about trading current NHL defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to the Edmonton Oilers for their 10th overall pick or possibly another young asset such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (who’s name has been in the trade talks all season long) or Ryan Strome. It is just a rumor though.

Now it is time to see who will most likely select who in the draft:

Clearly, the Sabres wouldn’t pass up on Dahlin, so that’ll be Buffalo’s selection. Carolina has a few to choose from, but they will most likely select Andrei Svechnikov and the Monteral Canadiens will most likely select Filip Zadina. Ottawa would select Evan Bouchard.

The Arizona Coyotes will most likely keep their 5th overall pick, but will history repeat itself? There are so many interesting things about who the Coyotes would select with the 5th overall pick, who just so happens to be Brady Tkachuk, son of past captain Keith Tkachuk or as Coyotes fans call him Captain Coyote Keith Tkachuk. Some notable 5th round picks in the past have been Brayden Schenn (2009), Luke Schenn (2008), Karl Alzner (2007), Phil Kessel (2006), Carey Price (2005), and Thomas Vanek (2003); some of the hottest names in the entire NHL, could the Coyotes draft a player that will join this list?

Another possibility with the pick is the Coyotes would trade it for a top scoring player. The Coyotes need some offensive fire power added to their arsenal, and the 5th overall pick plus a player/prospect could make this deal look enticing, i.e. Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta were acquired via a trade with a young prospect and the 7th overall pick from the New York Rangers at last year’s draft, so it is a possibility, but the Coyotes will most likely keep this pick.

The rest of the draft possibilities is a coin flip as the top players begin to look similar as you go down the list.

The draft will officially commence in Dallas, Texas on June 22nd-23rd.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/2018-nhl-draft-lottery-results-possible-choices-arizona-coyotes/feed/ 0
David’s Locker http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/davids-locker/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/davids-locker/#comments Mon, 30 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172544 Cardinals Running Back David Johnson has spent his long off-season rehabbing and preparing for the new season. However, a very proud moment came last week as he and his beautiful wife introduced their new charity foundation, “David’s Locker”. Founded by David Johnson and his wife Meghan Johnson, their mission is to spread a little bit of love and joy to the kids of Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH). When I asked David what inspired him to start this foundation he responded quickly by saying “Ever since high school I’ve always had a heart for children – from being a light to kids to being a role model for children, it’s all my wife and I strive to be”. David also made it clear where his love for children came from, as he stated “For me it was having siblings, as well as unfortunately, being bullied I never wanted another kid to have to go through that when I was younger, and sometimes I wasn’t there for kids who were being bullied, this is my chance to change that narrative about my past”.

 

David’s Locker is a new Chapter in David Johnson and his wife Meghan’s life. When asked how long this project was in the works Johnson said “Oh ever since I thought I might have an opportunity to give back after all my blessings.” “ Meghan and I have been dreaming about a chance to do this for as long as we’ve been together”. This was the very first ever opening of “David’s Locker” and this one had a very thought out theme. When I asked David why video games and hand held electronics for this edition of David’s Locker he said “My wife and I have been to PCH quite a few times and the first time we came we handed out teddy bears with other celebrities, and we realized when we were hanging out with the kids in the children’s zone, some of the staff members mentioned that some of the kids can’t come down.” After some thought and after talking with their staff the Johnsons decided that with technology being so big they should get them hand held videogames and iPads to play with while sitting in their beds. It even allows the children to facetime their families when they feel alone.” It turns out this was a huge success. When that locker was opened I witnessed first hand what kind of happiness those kids experienced right away.

DavidJohnsonMissionFoundation

David Johnson’s Foundation.

 

As the 31 foundation continues to get the ball rolling on these types of foundations they made a promise that this was just the beginning and that this was just the first showing of the new foundation “David’s Locker”. And that These lockers will start to pop up all around the valley in which they could feature all sorts of things.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/davids-locker/feed/ 0
Shaquem Griffin defines odds and get drafted by the Seahawks http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/shaquem-griffin-defines-odds-get-drafted-seahawks/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/shaquem-griffin-defines-odds-get-drafted-seahawks/#comments Sat, 28 Apr 2018 23:31:25 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172547 Dallas, TX- Shaquem Griffin has shown the heart, will, and determination with making his NFL dream come true, and today his NFL journey has begun as the Seattle Seahawks have picked him up in the draft. Everyone knows about his story with having one of his arms cut off at a young age, but what others may or may not have known was his twin brother Shaquill Griffin plays for the Seahawks.

31416880_10156505550776004_3692296880488223658_n

Shaquem was very humbled and excited about playing with his brother when Seattle picked him.”It was literally like a dream like I was actually imagining stuff and it just started happening,” Griffin said in a conference call with reporters after Saturday’s selection. “It was unexplainable. I couldn’t ask for anything in the world than to be with my brother.”

Griffin recorded 166 tackles and 18 1/2 sacks with Central Florida. He has earned this opportunity and the Seahawks’ fans are pretty excited to see how he will help out the team. He is an inspiration to all people and the message within his story is never give up when adversity knocks on the door, keep striving, working hard, and have faith in everything that you do.

Shaquem’s brother was happy for his family and the Seattle organization. “I am proud that my brother has a chance to showcase his work and talents. I get to play alongside my brother and it’s a blessing. I am so excited for him and his dream coming true.”

It is very rare that two bothers play for the same team and play on the same side of the ball. It will be interesting to see how everything will pan out.

thumbnail (7)

 

 

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/shaquem-griffin-defines-odds-get-drafted-seahawks/feed/ 0
How Mike Haynes is Changing Prostate Cancer http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/mike-haynes-changing-prostate-cancer/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/mike-haynes-changing-prostate-cancer/#comments Sat, 28 Apr 2018 12:00:01 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172514 Mike Haynes was at the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony  in 2008 to celebrate the class of 2008 that would be inducted later that week. It was just like every other Hall of Fame ceremony he had been to. Little did he know; his life was about to change dramatically.

In 2008, there was screening at the Pro Football Hall of Fame for men to perform in order to check any signs of prostate cancer. Haynes knew nothing about it, but his boss gave him the idea of going down to complete the screen because if other men saw a Hall of Fame football player do it, then they might follow along. This was nothing, just a blood test that would be beneficial for others to see that they should get theirs checked too. However, just thirty minutes later, Haynes found out something different. “And what was different was about 30 minutes later, they called my name to talk about my blood results. I have never had a blood test where they give you the results that quickly, so I instantly thought, is something wrong?” Haynes said. “The doctor told me you can’t tell from a simple blood test, you need more information, you need to know your baseline.” Haynes then called and met with his primary doctor where he had a biopsy done to see if he indeed had cancer. “The biopsy came back positive, I had cancer in 9 of the 12 places. But I was lucky to find out that I had it.”

Haynes_Mike_Induction_180-220

Haynes had surgery in 2009 to clear the cancer. It was successful, and Haynes ended up winning the battle with cancer. Now, his focus is being proactive in trying to raise awareness with the, Urological Care Foundation. He leads the campaign “Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer.” They are now in their 10th year of a partnership with the NFL. The stats are very alarming. One in every nine men will at some point in their life be diagnosed with prostate cancer. One in six African-American men will be diagnosed with the disease, and if it runs in your family, one in five men. “They asked me to be and I willingly said yes because I realized most men are like me. They’re not likely to get screened. They don’t really want to know if they have this disease.” Haynes said when asked why he got involved with this association. “I realized maybe I could make a difference if I can convince guys to talk it.”

There are two main reasons that this is so important for Haynes to be involved with this association. First, Haynes talked about how alarming the stats are for African-American men. Not only are the numbers so high for them, but most African-American men do not know about prostate cancer and the risk they have of getting it. Haynes wants to be able to get more men to get checked saying, “I figured if talk to guys and say come on you guys, you’ve got to do it, get off the couch and get yourself checked.” He wants to raise the awareness for African-American men that way if they do have it they can be treated before it is too late.

Next, Haynes talked about how fortunate he is to have this platform. It is important to him to use this platform because many other men who have had this disease cannot. Being a pro football hall of fame player means he can get the attention of men. A lot of men look up to football players and when they speak, men listen. Not only is Haynes actively speaking out, but he is getting other hall of famers to join him. Men like Marcus Allen, Chris Carter, and Michael Irvin. “All these guys want to make a difference. Having the ability to use our hall of fame status to get the attention of men, it makes a lot of sense.”

Haynes is not just trying to get the attention of men. As time goes on he is realizing that it is important to focus on making sure women know because a mother or wife can make sure their son or husband get screened. That is one of the key characteristics to his current campaign. The more people that can understand how common this disease is, the more it benefits men because they will be able to catch the cancer earlier and have a better chance to beat it.

Haynes continues to go to as many events as possible to spread the word about prostate cancer. “We’re trying to coordinate opportunities where there is going to be a lot of press, like the draft. We just try to get as many media opportunities as we can to try to tell a story and hopefully encourage men to at least talk to their doctors about it. That’s the main goal.” After years of having this platform, Haynes has spread his story to many people and has continuously helped raise awareness about this disease. He feels that it is important to make sure he uses this platform to reach as many people as possible because he can save lives by doing so.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/mike-haynes-changing-prostate-cancer/feed/ 0
Lamar Wraps Up Round One http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/lamar-wraps-round-one/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/lamar-wraps-round-one/#comments Sat, 28 Apr 2018 03:04:30 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=172539 Just as it seemed like round one would come to an end without one of the two Heisman Trophy winners finding a new home, the Baltimore Ravens swooped down and made a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles for the 32nd overall pick. With that pick, the Baltimore Ravens selected Lamar Jackson, quarterback out of Louisville. The only person happier than Jackson and his mother may have been former teammate Jaire Alexander, who jumped out of his seat mid-interview to celebrate the Jackson selection. Jaire had been selected not long before when the Green Bay Packers took him of the board with their 18th overall pick.

Like any other quarterback in this draft, Lamar has questions marks. Some legitimate questions, and some not so much. One “question mark” we heard repeatedly was Jackson’s decision to not hire an agent. Instead, Lamar chose to have his mother represent him. There are certainly a few aspects of the draft process that having an experienced agent could have been beneficial, but you aren’t going to convince Lamar that an agent for hire cares more about his wellbeing than his own mother. If the story books are true, legend has it that Lamar was once asked to return a punt at a Louisville practice. Lamar’s mother, Felicia Jones, wasted no time reminding the coaching staff that Lamar came to Louisville because he was promised he’d be a quarterback and a quarterback only. Jackson never did anything but quarterback ever again. If his mother never makes that call, does that one punt return transition in to him becoming a wide receiver? Jackson is surely talented enough to play wide receiver, but how many talented receivers win the Heisman? Three. In the entire history of the Heisman Trophy there have been three receivers to win it: Johnny Rodgers (1972), Tim Brown (1987), and Desmond Howard (1991). Don’t think for one second that Lamar doesn’t understand what that phone call may have done for his career.

One fair question mark was regarding his accuracy. A 57% career completion rate isn’t having anyone lineup for your services, but when we look at his 2017 adjusted completion percentage he trails only the other Heisman Trophy winner, and first overall pick Baker Mayfield. Throw in Jackson’s ability to extend drives with his legs when a pass play breaks down or in a designed run and suddenly teams are forced to change their game plan. Lamar is headed to a team with a starter already in place which will only help his career in the long run. He’ll be able to sit behind Super Bowl winner Joe Flacco allowing him to learn and evolve. Lamar has a bigger vision, though. “They’re going to get a Super Bowl out of me. Believe that.”, Jackson said. Only time will tell.

]]>
http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/lamar-wraps-round-one/feed/ 0