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 Thu, 21 Mar 2019 15:35:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Doug Baldwin: Many surgeries are ahead http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/doug-baldwin-many-surgeries-ahead/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/doug-baldwin-many-surgeries-ahead/#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2019 15:35:17 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175509 Seattle- Seattle Seahawks’ wide receiver Doug Baldwin is likely to have more surgeries that will affect him playing on the field this season. Baldwin has been plagued by injuries in his last three years, but this surgery may be a sports hernia surgery. After last season, Baldwin underwent knee and shoulder surgeries and head coach Pete Carroll has been optimistic about Baldwin’s return.”He’s making progress, working at it hard. He’s working at the facility regularly,” Carroll said.

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When Baldwin is on the field, he is a threat to defenders. He is not a speedy player, but he does enough to get open and catches the ball consistently. While Baldwin is underrated as one of the best wide receivers in the game today, he does a lot for the Seahawks. He is a great blocker and a player that works hard on his craft. Majority of the Seahawks’ success is written in the hands of Baldwin, but last season was stressful for him. “This year has been hell,” Baldwin said. “This year has been absolute hell. I’ve been … oh my goodness. We don’t have enough time for that. It’s been hell. But I’m so grateful to be healthy enough to be on the field with my teammates to celebrate victories and just enjoying playing football again, just like a kid.”

Through the tough times, Baldwin has always been an optimistic person that is competitive. Right now, Baldwin is facing a decision that could end his career. He is 31 years old and has a history with injuries, so this could be his last dance playing the game he loves.

 

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Blake Bortles Praises Sean McVays’ coaching ability http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/blake-bortles-praises-sean-mcvays-coaching-ability/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/blake-bortles-praises-sean-mcvays-coaching-ability/#comments Tue, 19 Mar 2019 15:56:25 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175506 Los Angeles- Former Jacksonville Jaguars’ QB Blake Bortles praised Rams’ head coach Sean McVay on his style of coaching and how it could impact him improving as a QB. “I mean, I think as a quarterback, there’s not really anybody else you’d rather be around if you had your pick,” Bortles said. “What he’s done, the people that have been taken out of here for head coaching jobs, and OC jobs in other places. I think is a testament to how good he is at what he does, how good of a teacher and a coach he is. You watch them play, and the effort and intensity that they play at speaks to the type of head coach he is.”

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Bortles was released from Jacksonville last week, as the organization moved forward with getting Nick Foles. Bortles signed with the Rams on Monday. Bortles has a chance to improve his quality of work by working alongside Jared Goff. Both of these quarterbacks can help each other out. Bortles is a little older than Goff, which could help out Goff when he needs someone mature to calm him down in critical situations. Bortles can learn from Goff about staying in the pocket when the pocket breaks down and not just running all the time.

Bortles comes into an uptempo/smash mouth offense that can make life easier for him. He will not have to do too much to make his presences felt. When he was in Jacksonville, Bortles had to create some type of offense and it was a lot of pressure on his shoulders. He did not have much of a supporting cast until the 2017 year where they were one step away from going to the Super Bowl. It will be interesting to see what Bortles does in training camp and see if he is the right personnel to back up Goff.

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Bills reload on offense, spread the wealth in free agency opening week http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-reload-offense-spread-wealth-free-agency-opening-week/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-reload-offense-spread-wealth-free-agency-opening-week/#comments Sat, 16 Mar 2019 23:08:35 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175497 In a free agency filled with anticipation, mostly due to Steeler drama, the Buffalo Bills made a big splash on day one. Bills General Manager, Brandon Beane, made it clear that Josh Allen needed support around him, and did so with speed and size.

Beane made an attempt at acquiring the big fish, or what Antonio Brown likes to call himself, “Mr. Big Chest”. However, even after reports by some of the NFL’s most legitimate sources, including the NFL itself, trade talks fell through leaving Brown relieved and the Steelers still searching for Brown’s new destination.

The Bills even checked in on former New York Giants wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr, however nothing materialized. How nice of them.

By the looks of it, the Bills were ready for action. Millions later, Beane stacked it up with versatility throughout the offense and depth on both sides.

Here are the guys to get excited about as we await yet another opening day:

Mitch Morse (OT)

Their highest paid signing thus far, Morse has plenty of experience dealing with a young, talented quarterback during his days with the Kansas City Chiefs – some guy named Patrick Mahomes. In many ways, his new quarterback Allen should be familiar territory for Morse. Minus the 50 touchdowns and side-arm slingers, Allen can fire it, and Morse seemed exciting about his new opportunity as a Buffalo Bills center, “Josh Allen is one of the reasons I came here, that kid can play. You can feel that there is something special being built here.”

John Brown (WR)

If there’s anybody that could track down Allen’s bombs, it’s John Brown. As a product of Pittsburg St., Brown ran a 4.34 at the 2013 combine. He’s no Julio Jones, but his ability to stretch the field offers value to a team in a dire situation to improve its offense.

Cole Beasley (WR)

Beasley seemed rather excited to be a Buffalo Bill. He even called his departure from Dallas and arrival to Buffalo as, “More sweet than bitter,” maybe even spicy if you can count the chicken wings he was greeted with at the Buffalo airport. Some call Beasley the hippy version of head coach Sean Mcdermott, and I would agree with that.

Frank Gore (RB)

Probably the biggest jersey seller among all free agent signings in Buffalo. Gore is unlike most running backs. Heck, he’s unlike most NFL players. Gore will be 36 when the Bills take the field in the fall. However, as a 35 year old last season, Gore rushed for 722 yards. His last 1,000 yard season at the age of 33 with the Colts two years ago. I’m not sure how much his veteran presence is valued, considering the Bills still have soon to be 31 year old LeSean McCoy. However, Gore could certainly be just checking the city out, as his son Frank Gore Jr. decides where he wants to play college football next year.

Tyler Kroft (TE)

Kroft has more ties to Buffalo than one might think. During the Bengals December 31, 2017 game against the Baltimore Ravens, Kroft caught two touchdowns in the victory that sent Buffalo to the playoffs for the first time in 17 years. As long as Kroft gives us a charity to donate to, Bills fans will jump on that wagon right away.

Andre Roberts (WR)

Roberts is a flashy punt returner and may go under the radar to some. Especially since he didn’t commit to Buffalo until a day or so after the opening day of free agency aired out. The former New York Jet had a big year as a return man. Roberts averaged 29.4 yards per return during kickoffs and a career high 14.1 yards fielding punts. Roberts took a kick and a punt to the house once last season. It’s expected that Roberts will add an extra boost to the offensive unit by creating better field positioning.

For the first time in a long time, the Bills can confidently pass on a quarterback in the upcoming draft. With a playoff caliber defense and fresh faces on the offensive side, the Bills may even get back to the playoffs for the first time in a long two years.

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The Browns have become favorites to win the Super Bowl this year http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/browns-become-favorites-win-super-bowl-year/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/browns-become-favorites-win-super-bowl-year/#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2019 16:18:07 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175493 Cleveland- The Cleveland Browns have become favorites to win the Super Bowl this year when they acquired Odell Beckham Jr in a trade with the New York Giants. The Browns gave the Giants, Safety Jabrill Peppers, and a 17th and 95th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Beckham will be reunited with his former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry.USATSI_11442568_168384674_lowres

The Browns on paper are one of the most stacked teams in the league with having multiple players that have the ability to change the game around in a matter of minutes. Their backfield with Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb is a balance of speed, vision, and power. Before Hunt was let go with the Chiefs, because he lied about an altercation that involved a woman, Hunt was on the verge of having another 1,000-yard season. In his career with the Chiefs, he had 2,151 yards on the ground, along with 15 touchdowns. Hunt has a unique ability to squeeze through small holes with his size and can finish off runs.

Chubb had a breakout year with having almost a 1,000-yard season (996). He is a speedy back that can get to the secondary really quick. It is hard to bring him down. He averaged around five-yards a carry and opponents had no answer for him. With Hunt and Chubb in the backfield, it will be difficult for defensive coaches to come up with a strategy, because now, you have two guys that you have to put eight guys in the box to contain them.

The Browns have found a franchise quarterback with Baker Mayfield. Last season, Mayfield took over after Tyrod Taylor was injured and turned a slumping organization into something special. With Mayfield in the game, fans knew something special was going to happen. He has this “I will not quit attitude” and it showed when he was on the field. He showed poised when his team was down by multiple scores. He is very patient and does not try to do too much. He can beat you with his legs, as well as his arm. He has a strong arm and that could be good for ODBJ.

Within the first two days of free agency, it looks like the Browns put themselves in a good position to be playing in Miami at the end of the season.

 

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Antonio Brown’s potential impact in Oakland http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/antonio-brown-oakland/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/antonio-brown-oakland/#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2019 00:00:49 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175484 The Antonio Brown sweepstakes had everyone on edge. There were plenty teams mentioned for his services including the Buffalo Bills, who at one point thought they had the talented wide receiver coming their way. However, after Brown reportedly said that he would not commit to the Bills, the deal was not consummated. When it seemed like all the places he could end up were drying up, the Oakland Raiders threw their hat in the ring and struck a deal. The Raiders were able to get the services of Brown, giving up a 2019 third and fifth-round draft pick. Along with the trade, Brown also received a new three-year, $ 50.1 million deal that gave him $30.125 in guaranteed money – he was scheduled to receive no guaranteed money on his previous deal. Now that Bryant got what he wanted, what can be expected from him in Oakland?

Jordy NelsonWell, one thing you can expect is him to show off that speed he has. Brown is a deep threat each time he steps on the football field. His electric speed opened up a lot of things for the Pittsburgh offense and allowed for other players to get open easier. With him in Oakland, that deep threat and the ability he has will make things easier for players around him. The addition of Brown gives the Raiders the perfect complement to veteran wide receiver Jordy Nelson. As he has aged, Nelson isn’t quite as fast as he once was. With someone taking the attention away from him, now Nelson can enjoy more single coverage and even at his age (33), he can still beat single coverage for the variety of routes he can run.

Along with Brown adding the ability to take the top of defenses and help others get open, Brown also brings a winning attitude to the Raiders. While some are still downing him for how he left Pittsburgh and his perceived attitude there, one thing you cannot deny is he was part of a winning culture in Pittsburgh. Looking at the Raiders team with their current additions in offensive tackle, Trent Brown, from the New England Patriots and LaMarcus Joyner from the Los Angeles Rams, the team is focused on bringing in some players that come from winning cultures. There are only a select few teams that have that winning culture established and Pittsburgh is one of them. Brown has been a part of a winning culture for a little longer than both Brown and Joyner. While again, some will question his exit in Pittsburgh, no one can question his work ethic and his desire to do what it takes to win games. That will be something that’s needed in Oakland as they rebuild their organization before they move to Las Vegas.

The Brown trade watch is over and he is West Coast bound. The Steelers got rid of someone that did not want to be there and Brown is happy. This is the first time in his career he’ll be without Big Ben at the helm throwing him the football. It will be interesting to see how he and Derek Carr bond and how both get along on the football field.

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Rockay comes up with an idea for athletes who run http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/rockay-comes-idea-athletes-run/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/rockay-comes-idea-athletes-run/#comments Sun, 10 Mar 2019 03:13:49 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175480

“To make the best running products in the world, we based our production on field testing—meaning we, as everyday runners, test out the products extensively with the help of our Rockay athletes. We never launch a product we would not consider wearing ourselves! We found that our product was well-received and loved by everyone who tested it! Our aim is to have 100% traceability on the origins of the ocean plastic we used in every item produced. With this accountability, we strive to keep the promise of producing products in the most eco-friendly way without compromising on the quality you would expect from a world-class brand,” said CEO of Rockay, Daniel Chabert.

Rockay is testing out an odorless system called the Polygiene system. The Polygiene system breaks down bacteria with a unique coding process to ensure that there are no smells. This would give individuals a chance to let their clothes dry on a hanger instead of washing them.”Many brands such as Adidas and Patagonia uses the Polygiene system and it has worked for them. We pay attention to our competitors and see how we can compete. We like to make sure that our consumers like or love the product. We choose quality over quantity to ensure that we are giving it our all,” said Chabert.

With technology advancing each and every day, Chabert is on to some groundbreaking solution with utilizing resources that can decrease the amount of money spent on materials, as well as helping out the environment.”We are trying to make sure that we can be the company that changes the dynamics of the future. We like to perfect our craft and we do not care if we have to delay a product, we just want everything to be perfect and full of quality for the consumer.”

You can find more information at https://rockay.com and https://runnerclick.com/

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Jameis Winston wants DeSean Jackson to stay http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/jameis-winston-wants-desean-jackson-stay/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/jameis-winston-wants-desean-jackson-stay/#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2019 14:29:09 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175476 Tampa Bay-jameis-winston-sued‘ QB Jameis Winston wants DeSean Jackson to stay in Tampa. Winston feels like Jackson brings something special to the team with his competitive spirit and his quickness getting down the field. “The thing about having a guy like DeSean Jackson; he’s passionate, he wants to win. When you have a guy like that, really winning and losing really separates how he’s going to react. He wants to be an important part of winning football games and he knows that he is a very important piece to winning football games. So if we were winning, he’s a selfless individual and he’s fine. But when you’re losing and the guy feels like he’s not getting taking advantage of, of course, he’s going to have something to say. That’s just his make-up,” said Jameis.

Jackson has shown in his career that he is a speedy receiver. As a defender, you have to press Jackson to knock him off his route, if you do not knock him off his route, he will fly by you. Last season, Jackson had four consecutive games where he had over 100 yards and seemed like he was happy in Tampa, but in week 5  frustration continued to grow as the coaches had no answer to get productive wins for the team. The Bucs finished the season 5-11 and it seems like Jackson wants to play for a team that will be a playoff contender.

Despite having much success in the NFL, Jackson cannot stay healthy. In the last 2 years, Jackson was sidelined with some type of injury that kept him off the field, so that will be taken into consideration if the Bucs will keep him or if another team would want to take a risk on Jackson. When he is on the field, Jackson is a threat and a game changer. He puts a lot of pressure on opponents because you have to know where he is at all times. He can make plays happen down the field in a matter of seconds. Will he stay or go will be the question that will be surrounding Tampa Bay in the upcoming weeks?

 

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Larry Fitzgerald did not want to retire on a bad note http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/larry-fitzgerald-want-retire-bad-note/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/larry-fitzgerald-want-retire-bad-note/#comments Thu, 07 Mar 2019 17:12:42 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175473 Arizona- Future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald did not want to retire after the Arizona Cardinals went 3-13 last season. Fitgerald did not like the idea of him moving on from football with having a bad season, so he decided to stay another year. “We had a really bad season last year and I just didn’t want to go out on that level,” Fitzgerald said on the podcast, via the Cardinals‘ team website. “You’ve got to live the rest of your life knowing you went out on that level.”

St Louis Rams v Arizona Cardinals

Despite having only three wins last season, the Cardinals are very optimistic about the direction that the team is heading into. They have a very young defense that was ranked 20th in yards allowed. If the defensive coordinator could get a pass rusher that can attack a QB or put pressure on the opponent’s offensive line,  it would create more opportunities for the Cardinals to get off the field on third downs and or create a turnover possibility.

On the offensive end, the Cardinals struggled to have any productivity. They were last in the league with total points, which averaged around 14.1 and it is speculation that their QB Josh Rosen may get traded away before the 2019 NFL Draft. Nothing is in ink as of yet, but the Cardinals are the heavy favorites to go after QB Kyler Murray.

With all the chaotic changes taken place in Arizona, Fitgerald has always been consistent. He has not missed a game or start in four consecutive years and he takes pride being the best player he can be for the team. “I’m not the player that I was 10 years ago, but I can still go out there and contribute. I can make plays. I can be somebody who can situationally really help the team and make explosive plays for my group.”

 

 

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N’Keal Harry, a First Round Lock? http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/nkeal-harry-first-round-lock/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/nkeal-harry-first-round-lock/#comments Tue, 05 Mar 2019 17:23:34 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175462 While much of this past week’s attention went to the physical specimen of a man known as D.K. Metcalf, there was another receiver who all but cemented his name as a first round pick come the end of April.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, and it appears a lot of experts are, Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry has done more than enough on the football field to make an argument that he is the best wide receiver in the draft class of 2019.

As a sophomore Harry hauled in 82 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns. He’d follow that up in 2018 with 73 receptions for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns – while also adding a rushing touchdown and a punt return for a touchdown.

Players can certainly help their draft stock at the combine but let’s be honest, scouts and general managers are there to look for flaws. Once a “flaw” is uncovered, media won’t hesitate to pile on. Whether it’s a player’s height, their injury history, or their 40-time, suddenly a guy with great game film is a mid-to-late round pick. On Thursday, Harry measured in at just over 6’2”, nearly two full inches shorter than the 6’4” ASU had him listed at in their program. Gasp!!! So short.

The nail in the coffin would be Harry’s speed. Some “experts” even went as far to project a 40-time in the 4.7 range. Never mind the OBJ-like one-handed grabs. Never mind the 92-yard punt returns. Never mind his ability to high-point the football in 50-50 balls or his ability to gain yards after the catch. It would be was his ability to run in a straight line for 40 yards that would determine if he was a first-round pick or just another guy buried on a depth chart.

Turns out N’Keal isn’t slow after all. On Saturday he clocked a 4.53 in the dash. Sure, it’s no 4.33, but the other 228 pound wide out is ready to make an immediate impact on Sundays. He won’t just be a first round pick, he’ll be a week one starter.

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Four defensive back stars at the combine http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/four-defensive-back-stars-combine/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/four-defensive-back-stars-combine/#comments Tue, 05 Mar 2019 16:07:34 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175452 In the NFL, the game has made some changes. The game used to be more of a power game where defensive backs could be physical with recievers. In this day and age, offenses are more free to move around, putting more stress on defensive backs to be able to cover. The biggest thing isn’t physicality at the position these days, but size and speed to combat what they will face offensively week in and week out. NFL scouts got their first live look at some prospects they have not been able to see along with others they were trying to get familiar with at the NFL Combine on Monday. The big names like Greedy Williams were there and there were other defensive backs that made a name for themselves in this display.

With Greedy Williams, the former LSU defensive back has great length and made plays while at LSU, but there was some who wondered about his speed. He isn’t exactly known as a speed merchant but he is known for handling business like others in the long line of LSU defensive backs that have invaded the league. Even though Williams was known for his play, people still wanted to see his speed. He did not disappoint. Williams ran a 4.37 before missing the rest of drills due to cramping. With that performance, he all but sealed himself as the top cornerback in the draft.

Byron MurphyAlong with Williams, two other players scouts wanted to see were Washington’s Byron Murphy and Georgia’s Deandre Baker. Both Baker and Murphy did not run very fast times, but one thing they did do is perform solid in the drills. While everyone can get all exited over the running of players, what has to be understood is straightline speed only does but so much for you in the NFL. The biggest thing is being able to have that change of direction and your ability to transition out of your cuts. Both Baker and Murphy showed the ability to do so, which can make up for their lack of elite speed.

As for those that caught the eye of people, one player sticks out and his name is Johnathan Abrams. The former Mississippi State defensive back has been known as a big hitter for all of his career as a Bulldog, but he showed scouts something else at the combine. The safety ran a 4.45, which was one of the fastest times among defensive backs. And in the drills, he showed some fluidity to his game that no one expected. Because of that, he now has caught the eyes of scouts out there and could have made himself some money with his showing.

What we all have to keep in mind is that these young men were running without their pads on, so some of these numbers and achievements have to be taken with a grain of salt. However, if some of these skills and abilities can transfer over to the football field, then we may have some future stars. Only time will tell, but there was definitely some players that equipped themselves well at this year’s combine from the defensive back portion.

 

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Kendall Sheffield’s injury will decrease his stock http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/kendall-sheffields-injury-will-decrease-stock/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/kendall-sheffields-injury-will-decrease-stock/#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2019 16:18:36 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175448 Indianapolis- Former Ohio State CB Kendall Sheffield may have suffered a torn peck during the bench press session during the Combine. When he was attempting to lift the weights up, Sheffield said he heard a pop and screamed in agony. Later this week, he will get an MRI to see how bad the injury is.

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Coming into the Combine, Sheffield was one of the players to watch for. He already proved that he could flat out run during his time at Ohio State. He broke a lot of Ohio States’ track records and was on pace to do well at the Combine. He was projected to go in the first round, but now with this injury, his stock may have decreased. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may take up to 7-10 months to heal and get back to “Football” speed.

During his time at Ohio State, Sheffield recorded 75 tackles, forced two fumbles, and had two interceptions. He was a game changer for Ohio State. He has a lot of the skill-sets that you want in a cornerback. He is a physical guy and can flat out run, even when he is beat down the field, he can make up a distance really quick. His maturity with letting things happen without forcing the issue is rare. He is very patient and does not allow bad plays to dictate him. He loves a challenge being matched-up to the number one wide receiver that will face him.

Time will only tell with how long Sheffield will be out for.

 

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What Jason Witten coming back means for Dallas http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/witten-dallas/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/witten-dallas/#comments Sat, 02 Mar 2019 21:33:17 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175432 The Dallas Cowboys offense took a tremendous punch to the gut last offseason. Unexpectedly, veteran tight end Jason Witten decided he wanted to exit the playing field for the booth. Witten abruptly retired and joined the Monday Night Football crew. With him joining the Monday Night Football team, he officially sent the Cowboys into scramble mode at the tight end position. While Witten was living out his television dreams, the Cowboys were doing auditions during games to see who would take over their tight end position permanently – they never found anyone to take over that position all season despite making the playoffs and were more than likely going to look at that position this offseason. To everyone’s surprise, Witten decided his retirement from the game was only for a year, deciding to come back to Dallas on a one-year, $3.5 million deal.

The comeback from Witten immediately upgrades the tight end position for the Cowboys. He can still block and he can still run routes. The thing about Witten is he isn’t a speed guy. He has mastered the art of positioning his body and screening people off. And with the hands to make catch after catch with precision and ease, Witten surely makes life easer for Dak Prescott. Without Witten, the Cowboys passing game was even more limited before they got Amari Cooper. Now with Witten paired with Cooper, the Cowboys have a reliable set of hands in Witten and a speedster in Cooper. If they are able to add another wide receiver alongside these two, then you could see the Cowboys passing game grow a little bit more, especially since they have never had a guy as fast as Cooper.

Along with the Cowboys having another reliable weapon, Dallas also has someone that can help them sustain drives. Dallas was not horrible on third downs last season, converting on 41.4% of those tries, but they can be better with Witten. More times than not, they depended on Dak to make something happen in the passing game with limited weapons. Unfortunately, if it wasn’t a short conversion, it wasn’t as successful a try. With Witten, he has a just has a knack for getting open on third downs. And with his sure hands, he will make the Dallas offense more effective in different downs and distances.

The Cowboys went from having to figure out their issues to know one that is solved at least for one year. Witten may have been off for a year, but he still is the best tight end on the current Cowboys team. With his skill and football acumen, it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to physical demands of playing the game again. One person that will surely be happy to see him again will be Dak Prescott, who can use as many weapons as possible.Jason Witten breaks tackle

 

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NFL Combine Running Backs: Winners and Losers http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/nfl-combine-running-backs-winners-losers/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/nfl-combine-running-backs-winners-losers/#comments Sat, 02 Mar 2019 20:49:21 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175434 The 2019 NFL Draft is around the corner. Many teams will be vying to add to their arsenal, whether they are currently competitive or not. Quarterback Kyler Murray and defensive end Nick Bosa are two that are often talked about, however, despite a quiet running back class, there’s no doubting that talent can come from anywhere in the draft.

We’ve seen talent come from all places. Sure, the 1st round is exciting and flashy and carries with itself a lot of hype. However, dynasties are made in the later rounds and that’s exactly where the running backs stack up in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Here are some of the winners and losers from Friday’s backs of the future:

Winners:

Mike Weber

Ohio Stack running back Weber displayed his speed at the combine, placing 3rd among all running backs. He posted his 40 yard dash at 4.47 seconds.

Justice Hill

Despite a tweaked hamstring suffered in the second 40 yard dash, Hill was able to show his explosiveness. Hill recorded a 130-inch broad jump. He should be projected to go in the 2nd or 3rd round.

Alex Barnes

Barnes showed some serious upper body strength in Friday’s combine. Barnes set a new record for bench presses by churning out 34. This beat the previous bench press record held by NFL running back Jerick Mckinnon. Many teams should look to add a player like Barnes caliber once draft day comes along.

Losers:

Elijah Holyfield

Social media was prevalent once Holyfield appeared to under perform. Holyfield’s 40-time was a 4.78, as his fastest. Many seemed to have expected better.

Devin Singletary

Singletary seemed to come in undersized, however, there’s always opportunities to overcome size with skill. Singletary rushed for nearly 2,000 yards at Florida Atlantic. He certainly has the potential to find effectiveness for NFL teams that are searching for committee.

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Suns Jackson Fined $20k for No Show http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/suns-jackson-fined-20k-show/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/suns-jackson-fined-20k-show/#comments Sat, 02 Mar 2019 01:42:17 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175423 Phoenix, AZ – If your like many, you’ve been waiting – and waiting – on Phoenix Suns forward, and fourth overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Josh Jackson, to have a much bigger impact on the court. This past Wednesday, February 27th, Jackson had fans waiting on his impact off the court as well.

The 22-year-old forward was slated for a meet-and-greet at a grocery store in Scottsdale, Arizona that would have given fans an opportunity to get autographs, pictures, and two free tickets to a future home game. To take part in the event all fans needed to do was purchase a 12-pack of Dos Equis. Jackson never showed.

To be fair, we know nothing of Josh Jackson’s schedule or things he may have going on his personal life. To avoid a rush to judgement we waited for a statement. What came first was a fine. A fine of $20k to be exact. Now while that won’t begin to make Jackson’s wallet any lighter, what it does do is point the finger solely at Jackson – especially when the news of a fine is made public. Since arriving in the desert, Jackson has shown nothing but good character. Had this public relations hiccup happened at any time other than immediately after a scathing report from ESPN’s, Adrian Wojnarowski, criticizing the Suns front office, this may have gotten little to no attention.

Today, Jackson would elaborate on why he missed the event. “I got a phone call like right before the event was supposed to start,” Jackson said. “I had to rush over to my mom’s place. Really wish I could’ve been there, but I couldn’t. I don’t think you’re going to schedule something and not just show up. If I could’ve been there, I really would have.”

Whether it be a simple mistake by a young man with a busy schedule or a blatant disregard for the failing leadership within the organization, Wednesday’s events sum up the Phoenix Suns franchise as of late. To make sure the evening wasn’t a total loss, Suns General Manager and former player, James Jones, arrived on scene to provide waiting fans with free beer and tickets to a future home game.

Free beer and basketball is always nice, but it will do little to distract fans from the fact that this team has somehow gotten worse since selecting potential superstar, DeAndre Ayton, first overall in last year’s draft. Their 12-50 record has many fans wondering if the Suns will ever rise in Phoenix again.

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Jets may trade their NO.3 overall pick in the 2019 Draft http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/jets-may-trade-3-overall-pick-2019-draft/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-carousel/jets-may-trade-3-overall-pick-2019-draft/#comments Thu, 28 Feb 2019 17:08:00 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175420 New York- The New York Jets have been on the fence about trading their first overall pick, but it has been speculated that if the Jets indeed trade their pick, they would want to trade down to maybe get a steal from the New York Giants.

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“Yeah, I think I would be open to any team as long as the trade made sense to us,” Jets’ general manager Mike Maccagnan said. “There is nothing that would stop us from doing that.”I think when you think back to last year — I think I may have said this before in other settings with you guys — we felt very good about trying to position ourselves at three and part of it was what we’d have to give them in terms of compensation,” Maccagnan said. “We thought, honestly, that extra spot from three to two would probably cost us our future one, but also at the time, we also tried to do the trade that we felt was maybe at the time when most people weren’t looking to do that. So, if you draw more attention to it, sometimes the cost becomes higher. You get closer to the draft, the same thing happens or on draft day.”

Last year, the Jets made a huge move with moving up to get QB Sam Darnold and they feel like Darnold is their franchise QB. However, the team is in a rebuilding phase and they need many pieces in order to compete within their division, as well as with the league. Darnold showed bright spots in his rookie season with how accurate he can be under duress, but reading defenses have been difficult for Darnold. Darnold has tried to fit ball to his receivers when there is tight coverage or double coverage on crucial downs.

The Jets dealt with a lot of injuries and they finished last season off with a 4-12 record. The Jets will more than likely build around Darnold, so it will be interesting to see if the Jets will keep their pick or trade down.

The Jets are on the clock.

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Charles Tillman is now an FBI agent http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/charles-tillman-now-fbi-agent/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/charles-tillman-now-fbi-agent/#comments Tue, 26 Feb 2019 15:18:57 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175416 Seattle, WA- Former Chicago Bears’ cornerback is now an FBI agent. Recently, Tillman graduated from the FBI’s training academy and now is on his way to helping out his community. Tillman will be placed on a two-year probation period where he can gain experience, wisdom, and knowledge to use in the field.

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During Tillman’s career, he was known as a force to be reckoned with. He was a physical corner that had every intention of making you pay if you were near him on the field. He played with the Bears for 12 seasons and was known as the “Punch the football” player. Tillman had a unique skill that many defenders do not have. He was very good at tackling, but while he was tackling an opponent to the ground, he would punch the ball out of their hands.  A lot of wide receivers and tight ends could not figure out a solution to the strategy of Tillman.

Outside of punching the ball out of players’ hands and causing havoc in the backfield, Tillman was a force off the field helping out the Chicago community. He was always giving back and encouraging people to chase their dreams and make the best out of life.

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Longer instant replay will be in discussion during Competition Committee http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/longer-instant-replay-will-discussion-competition-committee/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/longer-instant-replay-will-discussion-competition-committee/#comments Mon, 25 Feb 2019 15:08:08 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175413 Seattle, WA- Discussions will take place with the Competition Committee about the extension of longer instant replay later this week. After the New Orleans Saints loss to the Los Angeles Rams in overtime in the NFC Championship game, there has been speculation about extending instant replay over the last couple of months with making sure calls are getting called correctly.

“Monday’s meeting are used to discuss potential rule change suggestions that the committee will bring to owners later in the offseason. Two-thirds of the 32 owners must approve a change before its adopted. Replay review will not be the only topic of discussion on Monday. Battista also adds that the committee will look at potentially adjusting the punt play, in an effort to make it safer — as the league did with kickoffs. The committee will also discuss the helmet rule from last year to decide if the rule change had the desired outcome,” said NFL Network’s Judy Battista.

Stay tuned for more updates with changes around the league.

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NFL prospect Deionte Thompson unlikely to participate in Combine http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/nfl-prospect-deionte-thompson-unlikely-participate-combine/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/nfl-prospect-deionte-thompson-unlikely-participate-combine/#comments Sat, 23 Feb 2019 21:08:28 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175410 Alabama- Safety Deionte Thompson will not be available to take part in combine next week because Thompson had surgery on his wrist to repair a torn ligament on Friday. Thompson’s surgery was a success and he will be monitored on a day to day basis. It was speculated that he could participate in Pro Day, which will be March 19.

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Thompson was projected to go high in the draft, but after this inury, it may drop his stock down. He has great awareness and instincts that are rare at his age. He can spot where a wide receiver is going, before the receiver can cut. However, double moves in the inside is his Achilles heel. There have been times where Thompson blew a coverage in college trying to sit on the inside route and the receiver faked liked he was going to go to the inside, but went to the outside. His strength is his speed, footwork, and his intelligence.

In three seasons with the Crimson Tide, Thompson recorded 112 combined tackles, 4.5 sacks, three interceptions, and three forced fumbles.

 

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Blake Bortles’ position is safe right now with Jaguars http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/blake-bortles-position-safe-right-now-jaguars/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/blake-bortles-position-safe-right-now-jaguars/#comments Fri, 22 Feb 2019 15:09:33 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175406 Jacksonville, Fl- Jacksonville Jaguars’ QB Blake Bortles has reportedly been on the “Hot Seat” after having a horrible season last year, but General Manager Tom Coughlin has stated that right now Bortles will be the starting QB.

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Bortles has had a roller coaster ride with the Jaguars. On one hand, Bortles put their organization into the playoffs in 2018 and came close to knocking off the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship. The poise and maturity Bortles showed in the playoffs earned him a three-year extension with $26.5 million guaranteed. However, last season Bortles did not play well and now a lot of people are questioning if he was the right fit for the Jags. Bortles threw for 2,718 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions with a QB rating of 79.8.

On the other hand, Bortles hold onto the ball longer than what he is expected to, does not have the strength to throw the long ball down the field, and has struggled to recognize what the defense is giving him.

There is a lot of frustration with a split locker room and some of the guys have been very vocal on how they are feeling towards the team. Jalen Ramsey was upset at how the Jags were playing on both sides of the ball last year and this is what he had to say about it. “You all act like we’re not frustrated,” Ramsey said. “Like, come on, now. I’m not saying we don’t care about the fans being frustrated, but we’re frustrated in here. … That’s what you all fail to realize. You all think we’re walking around and we’re happy about what’s been happening lately? We’re not. We’re still trying to figure out a way we can fix it.”

Ramsey wants to stay a Jag for his career, but it has been speculated that the organization will trade him.

This is a rebranding stage for the Jaguars this year and they need to find pieces that could support Bortles, as well as help him out.

 

 

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Todd Gurley’s latest injury http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/todd-gurleys-latest-injury/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/todd-gurleys-latest-injury/#comments Wed, 20 Feb 2019 16:04:38 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=175400 Los Angeles- After the Los Angeles Rams were defeated in the Superbowl by the New England Patriots 13-3, there has been speculation that Rams’ running back Todd Gurley was not 100% healthy. Back-up running back C.J. Anderson spoke about his teammates’ injury during a press conference. “He was more hurt than what we thought,” Anderson said, via USA Today. “The injury was a little bit more than what everybody in the building thought, including himself.” “Obviously, it’s the same knee injury he’s had before in his career,” Anderson said. “Obviously I had surgery on my meniscus and once you have a knee injury, you will always have a knee injury. So it aggravates and if he was getting a lot of touches earlier in the year — obviously him being one of the best backs, that probably was the case.”

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Moving forward, what does this mean for the Rams if Gurley is not 100% healthy during preseason? Will they go after a running back in the draft or will they try to keep C.J.Anderson? Anderson was a great fit for the counter-attack that the Rams loved to use. They are a ground and pound team first before they start to throw the ball down the field. Their entire offense depends on how effective they run the ball.

In the Superbowl against the Patriots, the Rams’ offense was lackadaisical. They had no answer with driving the ball down the field because they could not get any productive yards on the ground. If Gruley has to get surgery on his knee again, it will be interesting to see what direction the Rams will take to get another running back that can handle the complexity of the Rams’ playcalling.

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