Pro Player Insiders Executive Editor Melissa Mahler Behind the scenes look at lives and lifestyles of NFL players and their families plus sports news, interviews & events Sun, 19 Aug 2018 21:05:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Red Zone problems caused the Seahawks to slip 0-2 in Preseason Sun, 19 Aug 2018 21:05:59 +0000 Seattle, WA- Failed attempts to push the ball in the redzone during the first half caused the Seattle Seahawks to play from behind the entire second half against the Los Angelos Rams.  Turnovers and missed opportunities gave Seattle a 24-14 loss to the Chargers, as well as a 0-2 record in the preseason.


Seattle jumped out the gate with a quick series of deep passes that Russell Wilson threw accurately to put his team in position for them to get their first set of points against the Chargers. The Chargers were getting hackled by Seattle’s mixed plays on the first possession but tightened their defense up after a penalty stopped a Chris Carson touchdown.

The Seahawks had to settle for a field goal two plays later. That was the only time in the game that they had the lead. Phillip Rivers marched down the field on the Chargers first possession and made it look too easy. The Seahawks missed a couple of tackles which led to some big runs down the field. Bobby Wagner was not happy about the missed tackles and got after some of his guys after the Chargers scored a touchdown.

On the Seahawks’ next possession, Wilson threw a 52-yard spiral to wide receiver David Moore between two defenders, which was a jaw-dropping catch. “Obviously David Moore was exceptional tonight,” quarterback Russell Wilson told reporters. “The way that he went up and got that football on the third and long. I tried to give him a chance to make a play, and sure enough, he did.“When you have guys who can make great plays like that, that’s what you get excited about – that fired me up big time.”

However, two plays later, Carson fumbled the ball in the endzone. Pretty much that was the tail of the first half, as well as deep into the second half as the Seahawks struggled to gain any momentum. “A horrible thing to do,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of Carson’s fumble, a cardinal sin of the coach’s near the goal line.


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Preseason Week 2, Birds in the Bayou Sun, 19 Aug 2018 03:19:38 +0000 The Cardinals started off Saturday’s game in New Orleans as if they were hungover after a long night on Bourbon Street. The first two drives on both sides of the ball were anything but impressive. Sure, in those first two drives Arizona came away with two takeaways, but in actuality the turnovers could have been classified more as giveaways from the Saints than takeaways by the Cardinals –and Drew Brees didn’t even play. Prior to the turnovers on both drives, the Cardinals defense was being gashed repeatedly by the Saints run game. Blame it on preseason or one of the many side effects of having to be the away team in the Superdome, but the starters seemed to be standing and waiting for the running backs to come to them.

The first two offensive drives started off just as poorly for the visiting team. False starts and poor blocking led to back-to-back three-and-outs for the Cards offense. However, things seemed to change on both sides of the ball during the third drive. The Cardinals D swarmed the Brees-less offense causing a three-and-out. From there Sam Bradford drove the Birds right up the field resulting in a nine-yard touchdown run by David Johnson. The run looked as though David was going to fall a few yards short of the endzone, but with a little help from his friends (O-line), Johnson refused to be denied. The drive would also be Bradford’s last, allowing him to finish 6-6 for 61 yards – all six completions went to different receivers. Bradford only threw one pass in week one of the preseason, but he has yet to have an incompletion in 2018.

Cornerback, Bene Benwikere, making a strong push to start opposite Patrick Peterson, made a phenomenal toe-tapping interception ending the Saints fourth drive and allowing Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen to come in and get time with the starters.

With a center capable of successfully snapping the ball, Rosen looked everything like the QB of the future the Cardinals have been so desperately searching for. The rook went 10-16 for 107 yards that included 13-yard dart for a touchdown to fellow rookie receiver, Christian Kirk. Kirk finished the game with four receptions for 49 yards and the touchdown. Second year receiver ,Chad Williams, also had a solid performance catching three of his four targets for 44 yards.

Christian Kirk

Cardinals fans were once again forced to watch Robert Nkemdiche go down with an injury (foot) and will wait for more information in the coming week. Nkemdiche has yet to make a significant impact on defense in a regular season game but is expected to play a key role in the 4-3 defense new Head Coach, Steve Wilks, has implemented.

Overall, the offensive line looked great, the quarterbacks looked great, and the receivers looked great. The running backs and defense will once again be nothing to worry about. Final score: 20-15, Cardinals win. The 5.5 projected wins in the Vegas sportsbooks almost looks like free money, even in the stacked NFC West.

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What to Watch: Bills vs. Browns Preseason Week 2 Fri, 17 Aug 2018 18:56:03 +0000 The Buffalo Bills will travel to Cleveland to face the Browns tonight at 7:30 pm. This one should be exciting for the duration as all five quarterbacks expected to play have something to prove to their teams and to the league. Here’s what you should keep your eyes on:

Buffalo’s QB Competition

All three Buffalo QBs are expected to play tonight, although it is unclear who will start. Nathan Peterman started in last week’s match-up versus Carolina and played very well going 9 of 10 for 119 yards and touchdown, with the lone incompletion being an interception that went through the hands of RB Chris Ivory. However, it would not be a surprise if A.J. McCarron started tonight as coach Sean McDermott has been alternating Peterman and McCarron’s reps with the first team in practice. Similar to last week, it is likely we won’t know who will start until right before game time, as Peterman was named the starter just an hour prior. Josh Allen will be factored into the mix somehow, but it would be a surprise if he gets the nod to start over Peterman and McCarron.

Familiar Faces on Opposing Sides of the Field

Tyrod Taylor will start tonight for the Browns against his former team after the Bills traded him during the offseason. Taylor looked phenomenal last week against the Giants throwing for 99 yards and a touchdown on 5 of 5 passing in two drives. Browns coach Hue Jackson said that he’ll play longer tonight, and then will likely differ to rookie QB Baker Mayfield. Jackson has stressed that Taylor will be his week 1 starter.

NFL: Cleveland Browns-Training Camp

Corey Coleman will suit up for the first time in a Buffalo Bills uniform after the Browns traded him last week to Buffalo for just a 7th round pick. It was later reported that Coleman asked Hue Jackson to trade him after rookie WR Antonio Callaway replaced him in the starting lineup. The Browns complied and shipped him to Buffalo, a team in which desperately needed some talent at receiver. The Baylor product has loads of talent but has battled injuries thus far in his two-year career missing 13 games. Coleman will add speed and playmaking ability to the Buffalo offense, and it will be interesting to see tonight how he has meshed so far. Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones hold the starting wideout spots right now, but Coleman, along with Andre Holmes and Rod Streater, will make a push for a starting job.

First round Quarterbacks Face Off

The first and seventh overall picks for this year’s draft will be on the field tonight as Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and Buffalo’s Josh Allen should be in for a majority of the second half. Both looked good in week 1 of the preseason, Mayfield throwing for 212 yards and two touchdowns and Allen going for 116 and one score. Allen has progressed throughout camp, and still has a chance to be Buffalo’s week 1 starter, but he’ll have to keep improving his accuracy and decision-making to do so. Regardless of whether or not either QB will start week 1, it is likely that if either team starts to slide in the regular season, the fans will call for their quarterbacks of the future to be quarterbacks of the present.

Josh Allen
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The Cardinals Charged Up. Thu, 16 Aug 2018 14:19:23 +0000 After seeing the Cardinals square off against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday Night I was left with an empty feeling inside. Even though the Cardinals pulled off the win against the Chargers, I was left wanting more than what I was given. The first-string Cardinal Offense didn’t play much and the second-string offense wasn’t what I – or most Cardinal fans – were hoping for. However, there were some interesting moments (some good and some bad) that caught my eye in the Cardinals victory over the Chargers.


The Good:

-      David Johnson busted onto the scene Saturday Night against the Chargers hard-nosed front seven. It’s clear that he looks as healthy as ever – or he’s just looking for a new contract – either way I was a bit impressed. Like many other first-stringers, he didn’t get a ton of playing time, but he sure made the most of what he had – thus putting to bed a lot of uncertainty about his health.

-      The Cardinals were one of a few teams to come out healthy after playing a meaningless preseason game. It was a tiny victory, but a victory that not many teams can celebrate this week, so count your blessings Cardinal fans.

-      Don’t let the critics and nay-sayers confuse you. Rookie Quarterback Josh Rosen absolutely showed promise in his Cardinal debut, despite not getting many clean snaps of the football or even much protection, Rosen stayed poised in the pocket and delivered some promising throws versus the Chargers defense.


Josh Rosen in his Cardinals Debut


The Bad:

-      The Cardinals are clearly concerned for starting Quarterback Sam Bradford’s health. Only playing one series with only a single pass play has got to be concerning to not just myself but other Cardinal Fans.

-      The Cardinals Offensive line showed little to no promise of getting better on Saturday Night. In fact they look one injury away from being the laughing stock around the NFL once again, and if they cannot fix that then be prepared for a long injury riddled season.

-      The new league wide rule of not allowing players to lead with their helmets played a factor in week one preseason action. Early in the 4th quarter, Cardinals Safety Travell Dixon was hit with this new penalty and it has started an uproar around the league and personally I believe this new rule is going to change the outcome of many games this season. I believe the NFL got this one wrong and should reverse the rule.


Head Coach Steve Wilkes in his coaching debut.


The Cardinals travel to the Big Easy this week as they will take on the New Orleans Saints on Friday. In this weeks action keep your eye on the first team offense along with Rookie Quarterback Josh Rosen to see what kind of adjustments they make against a finely tuned New Orleans defense.

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Pregame Tension Between Ex-teammates Newton, Benjamin Tue, 14 Aug 2018 04:28:40 +0000 About 90 minutes prior to kickoff of the Buffalo-Carolina preseason Week 1 match-up, Panthers’ QB Cam Newton approached his former teammate and current Bills’ receiver Kelvin Benjamin about Benjamin’s negative comments that he made last week during an interview with The Athletic. During the interview, Benjamin ripped both the Panthers’ organization and Newton:

“If you would’ve put me with any other quarterback…any other accurate quarterback like (Aaron) Rodgers or Eli Manning or Big Ben (Rothlisberger) anybody! – quarterbacks with knowledge, that know how to place a ball and give you a better chance to catch the ball. It just felt like I wasn’t in that position.”

On Thursday, Newton met Benjamin near midfield seeming to take exception to his comments. The two were talking with Panthers’ linebacker Thomas Davis, until Newton shooed him away to get Benjamin one-on-one. No one is sure what was said between the two, but Benjamin refused a handshake from Newton, and the conversation ended with Newton waving Benjamin off like he didn’t want to speak to him anymore. After the game, Benjamin was asked about the situation with Newton which he commented, “Just moving on from it…I wasn’t even trying to listen.”

Both Newton and Benjamin made the most of the couple of drives they were on the field, especially the latter. Benjamin caught all four of his targets and capped off the Bills’ first drive with a 28-yard touchdown catch after burning a Carolina defensive back on a streak down the left side. He also made a beautiful toe-tapping catch along the sideline to extend the Bills’ drive earlier in the possession.

Cam Newton also played well throwing 6/9 for 84 yards, and led a touchdown drive on Carolina’s second possession. The drive was highlighted by a 28-yard pass from Newton to Jarius Wright which set up a Christian McCaffrey touchdown from 2 yards out.

The Bills and Panthers will not face each other in the regular season, so it appears as if the Newton-Benjamin drama is over, at least for now.

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Jennifer Rodriguez: Big Platform to uplift women Sun, 12 Aug 2018 20:21:17 +0000 Seattle, WA- Beauty is not defined just by looks, but by the characteristics of individuals. Jennifer Rodriguez, who is the Miss California and Miss Teen California Latina State Director made sure that her platform had more meaning than just beautiful woman competing for a crown. Both of these pageants are there for women to tell their stories. “A lot of people do not understand there is more to a competition than just looks. Many females use these pageants as a way to help their community, foundation, or bring awareness to topics that need to be discussed.”


Rodriguez started Miss California and Miss Teen California after her time working with the NF, she felt like she had a bigger purpose in life and wanted to do something impactful and something that had substance and a purpose behind it. Rodriguez has always been a pageant fan and one day she wanted to create her own pageant.

Since 2008, both Miss California and Miss Teen California Latina took off and has established itself as the largest competition for Latinas in Califonia. “I always wanted to help and uplift women. I mean a lot of these women come from different backgrounds and have some inspiring stories to share. These pageants help women to understand who they are, having a structure and supportive program, and a way to uplift women and not objectify them as just a face.”

Since last year the #Metoo movement has inspired many females to come out and put the spotlight on males who take advantage of their position, status, and sexual harrassed woman without any consequence. When Rodriguez was asked about the #Metoo movement, she simply stated that is was empowering. “The #Me too movement is very inspiring. I have so much compassion and admiration for these ladies to talk about what they have been through. It is very unfortunate for these things to happen to women, but it needs to be some light shed on the topic.”

A lot of females face a lot of insecurities within pageants, as well as daily life, but Rodriguez has a powerful message for them about loving yourself. “Take a look at yourself and remain positive. Noone is going to love you like you are going to love yourself, so respect your mind, body, and soul. Protect it from anything negative and surround yourself with positive people. Support means everything in this world because there are days where we all need those supportive people around.”

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Areina Plowden: Vegan is the way to go Sat, 11 Aug 2018 21:25:05 +0000 38818106_10155421465545755_4763294704664051712_n

Atlanta, GA- Entertainment and Sports publicist Areina Plowden shares her story on how being a vegan changed her life, as well her healthy lifestyle. Many people go back and forth with being a vegan stating that they simply have no discipline with their eating habits or they have a difficult time find restaurants that cater to Vegans. “I am not going to lie to, when I first started my journey, it was so hard. I had a lot of doubters that told me I would not be committed to the Vegan lifestyle, because of my old habits. I wanted a better lifestyle for my family, as well as myself. I have seen the positive aspect of being a vegan. I have loads of energy. I lost weight and I love how it has changed my mindset,” said Areina.

Areina was so inspired with being a vegan that she wrote a book called The Vegan Chronicles. The Vegan Chronicles talks about Areina’s journey, as it transformed her mind, health, and body. The book is a tool for others who want to become vegan but has some doubts about it. “I wanted to write this book to help other people with their journey. A lot of people are misinformed about certain information out there about being vegan, so I wanted to be honest with them. I wanted to tell them my doubts when I first started and how my mind, health, and spirit has improved me as a person since I was committed to being a vegan.”

Areina has always been a very supportive and positive person. She does not let individuals cloud her judgment and she just wants the best for people in general. “With being a Vegan, discipline is a must. Do not try to rush the process, because you will stress yourself out if you do not see the improvements that you wanted. Never try to force being a Vegan. If it does not work for you, try something else that works for you. Remove negative people, as well as food, drinks, or anything that can harm your health. A positive lifestyle will have you feeling good. Connect with like-minded people that will help you and not hinder you and lastly always research information on being a vegan. Talk with people who have become a vegan and ask them questions, maybe it will help you get a better understanding or become more knowledgeable about vegans.”

You can find more information on The Vegan Chronicles at

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Buffalo Bills: Fun ‘n Names Fri, 10 Aug 2018 16:48:45 +0000 Training camp is a very serious business. Coaches get to evaluate talent, players are afforded the opportunity to get back into game shape, and for those on the bubble this time could mean the difference between a lucrative NFL contract, a mediocre CFL contract, or even the end of a dream. However, we as fans don’t need to take it as seriously as the players and coaches. We can take a step back and have some fun with the training camp experience, and that’s what we will do here today.

The following is a top five list of individuals who should make the roster based on their name alone. Although there’s a good chance that some or all of these individuals will make the roster, this list has nothing to do with statistics.

#5) Mo Porter- Fans of music in Buffalo, especially those who like the Doors, might recognize this name. There is a band of the same name that plays many bars and festivals in the Buffalo area. For this reason, he should make the Bills roster.

Mo Porter

#4) Star Lotulelei and Owa Odighizuwa- These two names might be difficult for national broadcasters to say and visions of the Bills Mafia members playing a drinking game involving these names fill the air. Drink once each time the name is said, drink twice if the announcer says it wrong.

Star LotuleleiOwa Odighizuwa

#3) Ray-Ray McCloud- One can already hear the call as Chris Berman-like analysts  call the highlights…there goes Ray-Ray in a McCloud of dust. Or the signs hanging at New Era Field: Welcome to our HOUSE, where the weather is always partly Mc-CLOUD-y.

Ray Ray McCloud

#2) Xavier Woodson-Luster- This one makes the list just because it is a cool name and very fun to say.

Xavier Woodson-Luster

#1) Mike Love and Gerhard de Beer- No Buffalo man cave, no Buffalo Sports bar, no screen saver would be complete without the photo of these two standing next to each other in their jerseys…Love de Beer.

Buffalo Bills

Now that we have had a little fun, it’s time to get back to work and figure out who is going to fill out the roster. Time to get serious!

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Takeaways from Seattle’ loss against the Colts 19-17 Fri, 10 Aug 2018 06:45:17 +0000 Seattle, WA- The Seattle Seahawks knew that they had something to prove going into their first preseason match-up against the Indianapolis Colts.  With Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas out of the line-up for the Hawks, head coach Pete Carroll wanted to see how their younger players would step up to the plate. The defense was very good holding the Colts to only 19 points in a 19-17 loss, but the Seahawks need to improve to make this team a top contender in their division.


Rookie sensation Shaquem Griffin had some good plays on the field. He was very instinctive, broke on the balls that were thrown in his direction and had four tackles in his first four plays. He finished with nine tackles. Despite his great start, the Seahawks struggled to keep the pressure on the Colts’ offense. After a great tackle or a ball that was knocked down, Seattle would give up a big play down the field on third downs. As the season progresses, Seattle will get better with making sure that they have little mistakes that will l cost them yards, as well as the spacing they have between them and their opponents.

On the offensive side of the ball, Russell Wilson looked like he did not miss a beat between offseason and preseason. He played one series, in which he took his team down the field for a touchdown. However, the battle for back up QB position is a toss-up. Austin Davis and Alex McGough struggled to get any production going down the field. Davis threw a pick when the Seahawks was in the red zone and he finished the game 4 of 5 for 55 yards.

McGough has struggled to find his rhythm with his wide receivers in training camp and against the Colts. He was off balanced and inaccurate throwing slants or the go route.  McGough looked uncomfortable when the pocket collapsed and did not utilize what the defense was given him. He finished the game 10/13 for 48 yards.

The biggest lost that the Seahawks could lose at this time was their potential second-string running back C.J. Prosise. Before the coin toss, the Seahawks reported that Prosise was not going to play against the Colts. “Unfortunately, C.J. was having a great camp and he’s not going to play tonight, but Penny is looking great,” Schneider said. “Prosise has a little hip injury he’s working through.”

The Seahawks might have hit a home run with Nick Vannett. Vannett had three receptions against the Colts, but what he can do after a catch is amazing. He can catch in traffic can allude hits for more yards down the field and he is a really good blocker. He has exceptional stick-em hands that snag balls out of the air.

Even though the Seahawks lost the game, they have some players out there that can be a game changer for them. Look out for improvements across the board in week 2  of the preseason.

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Bills’ Peterman Shines in Preseason Week 1 Fri, 10 Aug 2018 01:07:06 +0000 Buffalo’s Nathan Peterman looked very sharp in tonight’s preseason game versus the Carolina Panthers. Peterman got the nod to start over fellow QBs A.J. McCarron and rookie Josh Allen after a solid week of practice. While all three are contenders for the starting job, Peterman really showed he wanted it throwing for 119 yards, a touchdown, and an interception on 9/10 passing in the lone quarter that he played in.

Peterman looked like a true NFL starter showing exceptional accuracy to all parts of the field. On the Bills’ first drive, they passed the ball on seven of eight plays, with Peterman completing all of them including four to star wide-receiver Kelvin Benjamin. He capped off the drive with a 28-yard touchdown to Benjamin, after a 30-yard TD to Rod Streater was called back due to an offensive pass-interference. Throughout the drive, Peterman looked comfortable in the pocket and delivered perfect balls on six straight short passes to set up the beautifully thrown TD pass to Benjamin on a streak down the left side of the field.

Peterman came out slinging on his second and final drive with a 29-yard throw to RB Chris Ivory followed up by a 15-yarder to Marcus Murphy, but his third throw slipped through Ivory’s hands and was picked off.

Despite the interception on his stat line, Peterman did everything to show the Bills that he should be the opening day starter. He completed passes to six different players and showed good rapport with Kelvin Benjamin. Peterman got the ball off quickly and had poise in and out of the pocket. After Peterman’s performance tonight, he should get the start in the preseason week 2 matchup versus the Cleveland Browns.

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Seahawks Vs. Colts Preview Wed, 08 Aug 2018 01:28:36 +0000 37828778_10156732189626004_8822317551351496704_n

Seattle, Wa- The Seattle Seahawks will start their preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. The Seahawks are 22-10 in preseason games against opponents since Pete Carroll took over. However, the Colts have the upper hand by winning 9 out of 8 games played between the two teams.

This year the Seahawks are very young and needs to adapt without having Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor on the defensive end to help make big plays. As of right now the Seahawks are interested in Tedric Thompson and how he could impact the team. Thompson has shown the ability to be very instinctive on plays, very quick to break on balls, and his make-up speed will help him out if he gets tangled in a double move by a receiver. However, Carroll wants him to be more comfortable and play freely in his start on Thursday. “I want him to feel comfortable and supported,’’ Carroll said. “We believe that the guy is a really good player and we just want him to let it go and cut it loose and not hold back playing cautiously. I think he’s got a lot of plays in him which he has shown, which has given us the confidence to support him in that manner.’’

The Seahawks will have to figure out who will start at running back. Since Marshawn Lynch left Seattle, the Seahawks have struggled to find a running back that could take the pressure off of Russell Wilson, as well as establishing a run presence. Rookie Rashaad Penny, Mike  Davis, C.J. Prosise, and Tre Madden will be competing for a job. Each of these players had their ups and downs in camp, but the competition is very tight. Davis and Penny have the vision to squeeze through tight spaces. They are very patient runners, while Prosise and Madden still lack patience.

Against the Colts, all of the running backs will be tested to see if they can fit into the direction of what Carroll wants. on Thursday.

The Colts come into this game with so many questions that it will take a genius to find a solution. Last season the Colts only won four games in which their QB Andrew Luck was injured for the entire season. Luck is coming back from a shoulder injury, so he might get more than a couple of series to get his rhythm back. The offensive line was horrible. They could not protect any of their quarterbacks.

However, this year will be pretty different. The Colts have a new coach (Frank Reich) and new coordinators on both sides of the ball. Reich has already stated that he wants his team to compete and he will do whatever it takes to make it happen. Coming off a shoulder injury running back Marlon Mack said he feels better and wants to help his team any way that he can. Before the injury last season, Mack looked very promising. If he could look like he did at the start of last season, the Colts have a chance to make some noise in their division

Simply put, do not look for much scoring from both of these team. Both of these teams are trying to figure out their strengths and how it could help out the team.



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Red vs. White Practice; Shipley Goes Down Tue, 07 Aug 2018 05:05:52 +0000 This weekend the Arizona Cardinals held their Red vs. White practice, an annual scrimmage pitting the offense versus the defense while also showcasing a bit of the special teams. Before heading inside, fans braved the 108-degree heat outside with the Bud Light Primetime Grill where a BBQ was held to aid fallen officer Tyler Edenhofer. Edenhofer was a 24-year-old Arizona DPS Trooper who was killed in the line of duty on July 25th, 2018. The BBQ was hosted by the Arizona Cardinals and the 100 Club of Arizona –a charity whose mission is to provide financial assistance to families of first responders who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty and provide resources to enhance their safety and welfare.

Arizona Cardinals


After the BBQ, fans headed inside the University of Phoenix Stadium for the free event and some much needed air conditioning.  Approximately 20,000 fans were on hand to watch the scrimmage. Prior to kicking off the scrimmage, Cardinals President Michael Bidwill addressed the fans and honored the team’s 2017 Pro Bowl selections: Budda Baker, Chandler Jones, Patrick Peterson, and Larry Fitzgerald.

Arizona Cardinals


To start off (and end) practice, new Head Coach Steve Wilks had the Cardinals stretch as a team, something Bruce Arians shied away from as it cut in to his practice time. From there, 43-year-old kicker Phil Dawson practiced field goals where he wrapped up the kicking session with a boot from 55-yards out, showing fans that age aint nothin’ but a number! Punter, Andy Lee, skied a few punts to returners before giving way to the unmatched power of the jug machine.
When live play started a few things were clear:

  1. Larry is still Larry – in both attitude and skillset. He started off the day by tackling new Offensive Coordinator, Mike McCoy. Add McCoy to a long list of names Fitz has snuck up on. While Larry may still run a lot of routes from the slot, he is still clearly the number one receiver. Spots two through five on the depth chart are to be determined, but that isn’t due to a lack of talent. Vying for those spots are J.J Nelson, Chad Williams, Christian Kirk, Brice Butler, and Greg Little, just to name a few. Even undrafted free agent Trent Sherfield saw action with the starters, showing you just how open this competition is.
  1. P2 is also still P2. New starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, was quickly reminded why quarterbacks have chosen not to throw Peterson’s way after one of Sam’s deep passes was easily intercepted.
  1. As expected with the signing of Wilks, the Cardinals are going to run the football, and run some more. Superstar running back David Johnson is back and he appears to be in the best shape of his life. Also back from injury is T.J. Logan and he is once again showing flashes of that 4.37 speed. Rookie Chase Edmonds garnered much of the first team reps in the short time Johnson held out and has shown enough for Wilks to think he is more than capable of carrying the workload. At one point in practice McCoy ran a formation with DJ at fullback and Johnson didn’t get the ball, a true sign of how confident the coaches are with their backfield. 
  1. This is not the worst team in football. Not on paper. Not in person. Not even in the dreams of rival fans across the NFC West. Despite what Vegas sports books and “expert analysts” across the league may tell you, this team will compete. While many of those predictions are based on the thought that Bradford will not finish the season healthy, rookie quarterback Josh Rosen is good enough to win games. Rosen is set to be the backup, and at times certainly looks like a rookie, but he is the future of this organization and has the skillset to start in the league week one.

One of the only unfortunate things to come out of the Red versus White practice was the loss of Center, A.Q. Shipley for the season. While Shipley has ranked in the bottom-half of centers for a few years now, he is dependable and is a leader in the locker room. The Cardinals must now turn to rookie third round draft pick, Mason Cole. If there is a silver lining to the loss, it’s that Cole comes in to the league as “seasoned” as a rookie can be. He was the first true freshman in history to start the season opener on a University of Michigan offensive line and remained a starter for every single game of his four-year career as a Wolverine. He will have more than a month to get acclimated with the starters before Arizona kicks off the regular season at home against the Washington Redskins.

AQ Shipley


The Cardinals first preseason game will take place on Saturday, August 11th at the University of Phoenix Stadium at 7pm. where they will take on the Los Angeles Chargers.

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Memoirs of the NFL HOF Class of 2018 Sat, 04 Aug 2018 11:00:35 +0000 As a child I would watch the NFL Hall of Fame Game and ceremonies on television, never knowing who any of the players being inducted were. As I got older I started to recognize more and more names, but this is the first year that I can say I was personally able to watch members of the inducted class play while I was growing up. This year’s ballot was full of my childhood greats such as Brian Urlacher and Brian Dawkins. Urlacher had the terrible luck of playing for the Chicago Bears his entire career, but on the flipside, he did get the opportunity to play in Super Bowl XLI. Urlacher’s first year in the league, he was named the 2000 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and was selected to the Pro Bowl. In his 14 starts, Urlacher managed to get two interceptions, a forced fumble, eight sacks, and 101 tackles. The following two seasons he was voted First-Team All-Pro and again 2005 and 2006. Urlacher would lead the Bears to multiple playoff appearances and one Super Bowl. He would go on to be named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. Urlacher played the game with a sense of pride and respect for his teammates and opponents alike. When two-time Super Bowl Champion and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning was asked about Urlacher he said, “I really enjoyed getting to know Brian over the years. We played in a number of Pro Bowls, and I would see him at offseason banquets and events. I had a great respect for way he played the game.”

Brian Urlacher, 350x350


There’s been a lot of safeties that have been able to instill fear in their opponents with their hard-hitting ability, but none quite like Brian Dawkins. Besides Sean Taylor, I believe Dawkins was the hardest hitting safety of his era. He played the game with a level of intensity that couldn’t be matched. Over his 16-year career Dawkins made nine Pro Bowls and was named First-Team All-Pro four times. Over that period, he racked up nearly 900 tackles, 37 interceptions, and 120 defended passes. He was a tone setter on and off the field and was one of the leaders during the Philadelphia Eagles success in the early 2000s.

Brian Dawkins Eagles

Linebacker Ray Lewis will be joining Urlacher and Dawkins in the 2018 HOF Class. If you were to take Urlacher’s size, strengths, and fundamentals, and match that with Dawkins’s hitting ability and intensity, you’d get Ray Lewis. Lewis was by far the best Linebacker of his generation, and one of the best all-time. Lewis was named First-Team All-Pro seven times, selected to 13 Pro Bowls, and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the year (2000, 2003). He spent the entirety of his career in Baltimore bringing the Ravens to several playoff appearances, as well as two Super Bowl rings. Lewis was captain of arguably the best defense of all time in the 2000 Ravens. The “Purple Pain” didn’t even allow over 1000 yards rushing and allowed just under 3000 passing yards. Ray played the game with a level of passion, and hunger that the league has never seen before. His teammates would feed from that, and players around the league noticed the type of guy Ray was. “Yeah, he’s a leader on the football field he teaches them how to play, how to watch film. But Ray has taken a horrific situation and made it to be a lesson for everybody, not just him. That’s the true definition of ministry: improving the lives of others through your own struggles”, said Hall of Fame wide receiver, Michael Irvin.

Ray Lewis

Speaking of Hall of Fame receivers, when you talk about one of the most athletically gifted athletes the league has ever seen, Randy Moss should be one of the first to come to mind. Moss will be joining inductees as part of the 2018 class this weekend. At 6’4, 210 pounds, a 4.25 40-yard dash, and a 51” vertical, Moss is a freak of nature. Randy took the NFL by storm, in 1998 he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. His rookie season he made the Pro-Bowl and was also selected First-Team All-Pro. Moss put up a staggering 1,313 receiving yards with 69 receptions, and 17 touchdowns, both rookie records. He was named Offensive Rookie of the year and finished third in receiving yards. His success would continue, in 2000 and 2003 he led the league in receiving touchdowns. In 2005 Moss left Minnesota and headed out west to play in Oakland where his success carried on, but it looked like Moss’s career was winding down. His best days were yet to come. In 2007 he was traded to the New England Patriots where Moss would team up with another future Hall of Famer, Tom Brady. All he did there was have a record-breaking season hauling in 98 catches for 1,493 yards, and 23 touchdowns (NFL record). Moss’s playstyle combined with his size and speed had never been seen in the NFL, and with his incredible jumping ability he kept fans glued to their couches on Sundays.


When talking about great receivers of the early 2000s, and all-time great receivers in general, you can’t leave out Terrell Owens. Owens shared Moss’s size, standing at 6’3, 224 pounds, running 4.45 40-yard dash, this guy was a monster. He played the game with a different approach then Moss, and most other players in the league. Owen’s never took a play off, and it can be easy to run a lazy route or give half effort on a block when you know the ball isn’t coming to you. Owens’ love for the game, and electric personality showed both on and off the field. While his off-field antics would spark controversy around the league, no one could deny his performance on Sundays. In 2005, seven weeks before the Super Bowl, Owens broke his leg and tore a ligament in his right ankle. Despite lacking his presence, the Eagles still managed to finish 13-3 on the season and found themselves playing in Super Bowl XXXIX. No doctor would clear Owens to play till the next season, but he cared too much to sit. Owens signed an injury waiver allowing him to play and managed to finish the game 122 yards on 14 targets. Even more impressive, he played in 62 of the 72 offensives snaps. Ultimately his mouth, and attitude would leave him looking for work, but when Owens was on the field no one could deny his competitiveness and passion.

terrell owens popcorn

This year’s selection was loaded, as it will be for many years to come, but I believe the voters got it right putting this group of guys in together. All playing during the early 2000s, their revolutionary athleticism changed the game for the better. Congratulations to the Pro-Football Hall of Fame class of 2018. For those that didn’t make it, there’s always next year! Written by  Justin Smith

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Who to Watch Heading into the Second Weekend at Bills Camp Sat, 04 Aug 2018 02:52:04 +0000 The QB Battle Continues After switching on and off with Nathan Peterman for the first team reps, it was A.J. McCarron who logged two straight days of practicing with the first team. McCarron looked sharp in the opening days of camp but has struggled a bit since. On Wednesday, McCarron was picked off by LB Tremaine Edmunds, took five sacks,  and followed up that performance with a pair of picks on Thursday (one off a deflection). It seems as though McCarron has shied away from riskier throws, unlike his fellow QBs Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen. McCarron is the most experienced of the bunch and needs to show the accuracy that he did in the beginning of camp if he wants to win the job. Nathan Peterman Peterman praticed with the second team on Thursday and looked solid, especially in the red zone. He connected on two touchdowns in 11 on 11s early in practice, one to TE Nick O’Leary and the other to WR Brandon Reilly. Later on he threw two more TDs in 7 on 7s including a perfectly thrown back-shoulder fade to Logan Thomas. It will be interesting to see if Peterman gets first team reps on Friday’s practice at New Era field.  If he can string a few days together like the day he had on Thursday, he might get the nod for the first preseason game against Carolina. Allen has had a roller coaster of a training camp thus far, mostly practicing with the third unit. The first couple days were his worst, as he was missing easy throws typically leading receivers a bit too far. His decision making has also been suspect, but Allen has not been afraid fire passes into tight spots. Although he had been inconsistent with his accuracy, Allen’s arm strength is no joke. He connected with rookie wideout Cam Phillips on a beautiful 30-yard pass on Wednesday and put some heat on the ball to connect with Phillips again Thursday, this time on a slant TD to end practice. The biggest differentiator for Allen is his legs. Allen has shown that he is the most mobile of the three quarterbacks, even scoring on a read-option in 11 on 11s in Thursday’s practice. He has not been afraid to step up in the pocket and use his 4.75 speed to evade defenders outside the pocket. This QB competition is definitely worth monitoring through training camp and beyond. Cam Phillips Perhaps the biggest young standout at wide-out receiver thus far has been Virginia Tech rookie Cam Phillips. Phillips is coming off sports-hernia surgery last year and went undrafted after a sub-par pro day. However, he has looked good in camp, especially on Wednesday and Thursday showing great rapport with Josh Allen. On Wednesday, Phillips caught a beautiful 30-yard pass from Allen and on Thursday caught two touchdowns in 11 on 11s also from the rookie QB. He looks healthy and has shown better speed than the underwhelming 4.87 forty he ran at pro day. Keep your eyes on Phillips as he will fight the rest of camp to make the Bills roster. Cam Phillips The O-Line The Bills were a run-heavy team in 2017 behind a solid O-line that included Cordy Glenn, Richie Incognito, Eric Wood, John Miller, and Jordan Mills. With Glenn, Incognito, and Wood now gone, there is tremendous pressure for guys to step up to open run lanes and protect whoever is at quarterback. If run lanes aren’t opened up for LeSean McCoy, teams are going to stack the box more, and the quarterback is going to throw often—which is not something the Bills want. Expect Miller and Mills to start again and likely a variety of Dion Dawkins, Russell Bodine, Vladimir Ducasse, Ryan Groy and Marshall Newhouse to fill in the gaps. The O-line in 2018 has low expectations from many but it is something the Bills will need to improve if they want to repeat their playoff season from last year.

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Lebron James’ Childhood Experiences Inspire New School Sat, 04 Aug 2018 02:48:08 +0000 Basketball superstar Lebron James made the boss move of all boss moves when he announced the opening of ‘I Promise” School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. At first glance, it seems like just another school but it’s actually a game changer. ‘I Promise’ is a public, non-charter school for low-income, at-risk kids in Akron that offers students an opportunity of a lifetime.

James launched the school with some of his own childhood experiences in mind. Growing up in the inner city and a charter student himself, James personally understands how the challenges of your environment can directly correlate with your success at school. For example, when he was in fourth grade, he encountered chronic absenteeism, missing over 80 days of school. Many of the school’s features are meant to foster a positive environment and meet the needs of at-risk kids, decrease the prevalence of dropping out of school, increase graduation rates, and ultimately college attendance. 

The school was created through a partnership between the Lebron James Family Foundation and Akron public schools. ‘I Promise’ opened to a group of 240 third and fourth grade students with a goal of expanding to first through eighth grade by 2022. The children attending the school randomly selected from a pool of Akron students whose reading levels were a year or two behind where they should be.

Not only is James proving that he is more than an athlete, he is showing that he is also an amazing individual. ‘I Promise’ is one-of-a-kind, and hopefully more athletes get on board with this model.

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Day 6: Seahawks observations Thu, 02 Aug 2018 20:55:19 +0000 Seattle, WA- It was day 6 of training camp and the Seattle Seahawks’ back up QB Austin Davis struggled today with being accurate throwing the long ball or throwing slants. When he attempted to scramble, because the pocket was collapsing, he fumbled the ball. Extending plays is something that Davis has always been good at, but he has a tendency to be careless with the ball. However, on the next possession, he threw a tight spiral down the teeth of the defense for a touchdown. Davis has had his ups and down in camp, but remains upbeat and positive about securing the backup position.


The Seahawks put WR Brandon Marshall to work and he said that he felt good being back on the field. “It has been a long and lengthy process with coming back from an injury. I have been around the world to make sure I get the proper treatment, so I can go out there and play ball. I have not played ball in almost four months, said Marshall.

Russell Wilson and Brandon still have to get their communication and timing together, but Brandon stated that it comes with time. “As you seen today there was a pass that Wilson threw and I did not catch, because the timing was off. We talked about it after I dropped it and on the next play he threw me a pass that went for a touchdown. It is all about timing. There are some things that I have to adjust to make it easier for Wilson, “said Marshall.

The Seahawks defensive line is very young and at times they overplay their assignments. They have enough time to adjust that before the season. Other than that everything else looked very smooth to finish out



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Buffalo Bills: Great Expectations Thu, 02 Aug 2018 11:00:25 +0000 As the Buffalo Bills check into training camp this week at St. John Fischer in Pittsford, NY, there seems to be more questions facing the Bills than there are answers. Who will be the starting quarter back on opening day? Who will that quarterback be throwing the ball to? Will the All-Pro running back be taking handoffs? Who will be the individuals blocking for the running backs? Will the defense be better against the run that saw them finish 27th in the league last year? And will this coaching staff be able to duplicate the magic they wielded last year that helped end the 17 year playoff draught?

With all of these questions looming, what expectations should fans have as far as an outcome for the season? Las Vegas has the number of wins at 6.5 for the year. Many so called experts have them finishing even worse, while some of their biggest supporters have them taking a small step back and see them finishing at 7-9 or at best, 8-8. So what is a realistic expectation for this team? A repeat performance of the magical 2017 season is not as far-fetched as some may have you think.

The defense, which ranked 27th against the run, had 4 games that really skewed their ranking and were much better than their ranking indicates. The addition of some bodies up front will likely help against the run and the secondary should pick up where they left off last year. This will be the second year in the Leslie Frazier, Sean McDermott defense, which should help the players considerably as they will be more comfortable in the system and can react more and think less. It would not be surprising if there was a marketed improvement in the defense.

The 2017 Buffalo Bills, as a team, averaged just shy of 19 points per game under Tyrod Taylor. If you factor in the defensive touchdowns, the number dips to less than 18. So, is it that hard to envision an offense that scores at least that no matter who is under center? Each of the three possible opening day starters have their upsides as well as their flaws, but each will most definitely take more chances than Taylor. If the starting offensive line is chosen early in training camp and can get some continuity during the preseason games, the loss of Eric Wood and Richie Incognito will not be as drastic as you might think. Ryan Groy and Russell Bodine will compete for the center position. Groy filled in admirably for Wood when he broke his leg in 2016 and Bodine has been a starter at center for the last 4 years in Cincinnati. There will be a healthy competition for the starting guard position but the line, although they may have some growing pains, will not be the swinging gates that many predict.

It is safe to say that either, A.J. McCarron, Nathan Peterman or Josh Allen will be under center to start the season. What isn’t so clear is who they will be throwing to. Kelvin Benjamin and Charles Clay are the easy answers, but after that, it gets a little difficult to say for sure. Zay Jones, Jeremy Kerley and Andre Holmes are possible answers and although they should not be confused with Julio Jones or Antonio Brown, they are capable receivers who may just find a connection with one of the quarterbacks.  Keep an eye out for Brandon Reilly, Rod Streater or Robert Foster. Each may have a legitimate chance to make a difference in this offense.

LeSean McCoy, right now, is the wild card in the offensive equation. If things stay the way they are right now, he will be the opening day starter at running back. If that happens, things look bright for the Bills. He is the great equalizer.  He is a dynamic runner; he can catch the ball out of the back field and can make some plays that few in the league can. With him on the field, defenses will have much more to think about when game planning to face the Bills.

Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott continued this year to bring in players that seemed to fit their idea of an ideal teammate. They will trust PROCESS and there is no reason to think that they will not be able to get the most out of the talent they have. They have also had a year to learn so some of the mistakes made last year will not reoccur.

So now with some of the questions answered, who’s to say that 9-7 or 10-6 is unrealistic? The Bills should have a much improved defense, an offense that is willing to take chances to help them put up more than 2 touchdowns and a field goal a game, a solid special team unit that ranked 7th in the league last year and a coaching staff with a year under their belt and the propensity to get the most out of individuals. Why not 10-6? It may take a lucky bounce, a call that goes their way, or a little bit of magic to get there, but it is certainly not out of the question…Enjoy the PROCESS.

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Seattle Seahawks front office had no contact with Earl Thomas since hold out Wed, 01 Aug 2018 04:01:47 +0000 Seattle, WA-  The Seattle Seahawks are not interested in playing Earl Thomas’ card game. The organization has not been in contact with Thomas since he has stated that he was going to hold out on training camp. Since last season, Thomas has been complaining about his contract and he wants a long-term deal with the “Hawks.” During a brief press conference at Seahawks’ training camp, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll talked about the situation.


“We did communicate a while back,” he said. “There’s been kind of a clear stance, so there hasn’t been much to talk about right now. We really miss Earl not being here. We wish he was here. He’s one of us.”

Russell Wilson talked about how he misses Thomas’ presence on and off the field. “I do miss my brother,” Wilson told reporters Friday. “He’s a Hall of Fame safety who has a crazy special talent that you can only find once every blue moon. You miss him out here, and I know he’s training like crazy, though.” 

“Hopefully he’ll come back tomorrow. Hopefully, he’ll come back down the road. Hopefully, he’ll come back someday soon,” Wilson said. “But I know when he does come back, Earl if you’re listening now, it’d be great if you could come back because he can help us win a big one.”

Reportedly, Thomas says he is done with the Seahawks and want to move elsewhere.Extend …..if you don’t want me let’s make a trade happen I understand it’s a bizz” said Thomas.”

Sadly the Thomas situation has not gone anywhere and it seems like it will be a lengthy wait before Thomas gets his wish on a solution.


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Health reasons made Seahawks Joshua Perry retire early Tue, 31 Jul 2018 14:10:29 +0000 Seattle, WA- Joshua Perry decided to call it quits after he had his sixth concussion in his NFL career. Perry released a statement  about his retirement on his Twitter account.“It wasn’t from a high velocity, big contact play,” he said. “It was a very pedestrian thing, and that was a huge concern to me.“The last thing I want to do is put the health of my brain and my future well being in jeopardy over a game and a paycheck.”



Since Perry has been in the league, he has not had the opportunity to play a full season, because of concussions that he had sustained early in his career. Perry was with the Chargers and Colts practice squad before the Seahawks made a move to sign him this year. Despite the sudden retirement, many players showed their support for him and were optimistic about his future.

Concussions have been the main issue that the NFL is attempting to crack down on. The NFL put new rules to decrease the number of hits to the head, which could cause CTE later on in life for players. CTE has been linked to concussions during many different studies. “We learn more from science,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said February 5 at his news conference ahead of Super Bowl 50. “We learn more by our own experience and we have made great progress. We continue to make rule changes to our game to make the game safer and protect our players from unnecessary injury, from acts that we see can lead to increased probability of an injury.”

Perry understood that his health was more important than the money of the NFL and decided that was not where he needed to be anymore.

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Observations of Day 3 of Seahawks Training Camp Sun, 29 Jul 2018 23:47:41 +0000 Seattle, WA- This was the first time this week that the Seattle Seahawks’ players practice in full pads. On Sunday, Brandon Marshall had gotten some reps in. Coming back from an ankle injury last season, the Seahawks have been easing him in with some light workouts. He looked 75% healthy. His routes to the outside seem to take a little bit longer than what people are accustomed of seeing, but he looked healthy. If Marshall can make it on the 53 roster, the veteran will give the Seahawks that leadership quality as far as wide receivers are concerned. In the past, when he is healthy, he is very effective with pass protection, productive with catching the ball, as well as being a game changer. He is a big target to throw at and could be placed in the slot position to help out Russell Wilson.


It’s a process. It’s building a little bit in increments each day. He’s working really hard in the classroom. Honestly, I bump into him three times a day, because I’m calling the plays and go to move, and he’s right there. So I’m like ‘Can I get a little space?’ He’s really excited about his opportunities here. It’s just him getting ready, him getting his body right, we all know what he’s capable of doing. It’s the process of him getting healthy, feeling great and learning what we do, then building the timing and trust with Russ,” said Brian Schottenheimer.

Wilson looked very sharp and mobile. He has been very efficient throwing the long ball. Since he was drafted, he has been one of the most accurate quarterbacks throwing the deep ball around a 45%completionn rate. Schottenheimer’ praised Wilson during his press conference. “I really admire the guy, the way he works, the way he thinks about the game. We’ve really started to figure out what he really loves. That’s been good as I’ve come in and learned a bunch of the stuff, and brought some stuff, it’s been terrific. I coach him hard on the field along with Dave Canales and Will Harriger. It’s going really, really well, but now it’s time to start ramping it up and pushing buttons. I would say it’s off to a great start and it’s getting close for it to be where it needs to be for games.”

Last season, the Seahawks had trouble finding their number one running back after Chris Carson was injured. Right now it is a tight battle for the position. They have five guys that are having a good camp, but it will down to the more versatile back that will get more playing time. “Great position competition. Honestly, all five guys are playing well right now. We’re trying them in different spots, we know versatility is going to be a big thing for them, that they can do multiple things.”

As the day wrapped up, there has been speculation that the chase for backup QB is very tight, so it will be interesting at that position going into week 2 of training camp.

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