Pro Player Insiders http://proplayerinsiders.com NFL Players Exclusive Lifestyle, News and Under the Helmet Access Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:45:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Best Draft of the Decade (2000s) http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/best-draft-of-the-decade-2000s/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/best-draft-of-the-decade-2000s/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:35:00 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=125994 Here’s the fourth installment of our five-part series looking back at the best drafts by a team each decade.

We began with highlighting the 1974 draft of the Pittsburgh Steelers and their four Hall of Fame selections (Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster) that year. Then it was the 1986 San Francisco 49ers class that featured Charles Haley, John Taylor, Tom Rathman and Tim McKyer.

Last week, it was the 1991 Dallas Cowboys with Russell Maryland, Leon Lett and Larry Brown.

Now for our purposes, it is once again 10 years later and we’ll be picking another outstanding class from another franchise.

This time around, it’s a compact but productive class that propelled a franchise to a long-awaited Lombardi Trophy:New-Orleans-Super-Dome-598x-300x1371

2006 New Orleans Saints

While the franchise was born in 1967, the New Orleans Saints as we know them these days actually came into existence in 2006.

That’s not to ignore the team’s history. Rather it is to point out the series of moves that combined to make this team a contender in recent seasons, one that has reached the playoffs four of the last five years and five of the past eight seasons since ’06.

We not only saw the arrival of new head coach Sean Payton but the free-agent addition of quarterback Drew Brees, no longer wanted in San Diego due to the arrival of Philip Rivers. That April in the draft, the Saints laid down the foundation for an eventual Super Bowl champion as well as a team that has been in the mix for a title nearly every year since.Sean-Payton-598x-300x137

Of course, 2006 also marked the season of post-Hurricane Katrina, which affected lives much more than any football game ever could.

But before we can get to the team’s rousing return to the Superdome in September against the Atlanta Falcons, a few other factors had to be put in motion in terms of the NFL draft that spring.

With the second overall pick in the first round, the Saints grabbed versatile Reggie Bush, who during his five seasons in New Orleans was more of an all-purpose threat than a runner. He excelled at catching the football in space and was deadly on punt returns. The team would eventually deal Bush to the Miami Dolphins in 2011 and he’s now a member of the Detroit Lions.

In the second round, the franchise grabbed safety Roman Harper, who spent eight seasons with the club before being released this offseason and scooped up by the division rival Carolina Panthers. Despite just seven career interceptions, the two-time Pro Bowler could usually be found among the team’s top tacklers each seasonrp_Roman-Harper-350x278.jpg

But the real beauty of this class was three later-round picks that are still with the organization. In the fourth round, the Saints selected offensive lineman Jahri Evans from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. The talented guard has missed just two starts in eight seasons and has been named to the last five Pro Bowls.

The seventh round brought a pair of significant additions, the first who has really come into his own the last few seasons. Versatile Zach Strief toiled at guard his first five seasons with the club but has now emerged as the team’s starting right tackle the last three years and just re-signed with the club this offseason.

Marques-ColstonFinally, there’s wide receiver Marques Colston. And when you say finally, it’s meant almost literally. The Hofstra University product was the 252nd of 255 choices that April. He’s rewarded the franchise with a lot of consistency, totaling team career marks for receptions (607), receiving yards (8,337) and total touchdowns (63).

It’s a Saints’ draft class that just keeps on giving, starting with an appearance in the 2006 NFC title game, a win in Super Bowl XLIV and numerous playoff appearances since.

And it has made for quite a story in the Crescent City when it comes to the game it loves.

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Football Families: NFL Blood Lines Run Deep http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/football-families-nfl-blood-lines-run-deep/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/football-families-nfl-blood-lines-run-deep/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:30:39 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153264 Genetics. People talk about them every day, whether it’s two women clamoring back and forth about hating their thunder thighs to individuals complimenting one another for their radiantly colored eyes. In this case, the traits we are admiring are the ‘genetic beasts’ that we recognize as football players, soon to claim themselves as the 2015 NFL rookie class.

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Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics, studied ‘trait inheritance’; patterns in the way traits were handed down from parents to offspring. You hear time and time again about a son following in his father and mother’s footsteps, in business, sports, and looks.   As you start studying some of what are considered to be the first and second round NFL draft picks, you begin to recognize that many are walking similar paths to that of their father’s years before them. This is partially due to genetics; whether the son was raised, coached and motivated by his father or to that of the opposing end where the son had no relationship with his father whatsoever.

Andrus Peat

Andrus Peat, one of the top 26 prospects chosen to attend the NFL Draft in Chicago this year is a prime example of ‘good genes’.   The Peat bloodline, flows with athleticism as well as a strong family bond. Todd Peat, played in the NFL for seven seasons with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals and Los Angeles Raiders. Andrus also has an older brother, Todd Peat Jr., playing as a defensive tackle for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, while his younger brother, Cassius, has committed to Michigan State to play football.   With athleticism comes competition and you will see time and time again each generation striving to outdo the ones that preceded them. Todd Peat was drafted in the 11th round, and quite arguably as mock draft after mock draft are posted, Andrus Peat will easily dominate that ‘family record’.

As you continue learning about this year’s rookie class, you will find that Tyler Lockett, a promising wide receiver hailing from Kansas State University, inherited his father’s traits and puts every ounce of effort, determination and work into topping the records his father laid. His predecessor, Kevin Lockett, held records at Kansas State University for most career catches, touchdowns, and receiving yards, until his son-stepped foot on the field. It looks as if Tyler is going to try and reach another platform higher than that of his father, by looking to be selected higher in this year’s NFL Draft. It will be a close race, as many have Kevin going in the second round, and Tyler, his father was also drafted in the second round at pick 47.

Shane Ray

We then look at the other end of the spectrum and see that prospects such a Shane Ray exude the genes of his dad. Until recently Shane, held no relationship with Wendell Ray, his father, due to his absence during his childhood. He, like Tyler Lockett, walked a similar path of his father, by attending Wendell’s alma mater. He was blessed with the right physical traits from his lineage, and with that put in the grit, the fight, and used the hurt his father laid on him to create the work effort, mustard, and determination needed to beat all Wendell’s honors. With that Shane was able to break the Mizzou record for most sacks in a single-season (12). Wendell was drafted in the fifth round by Minnesota, and it once again looks like the competition will pay off and that Shane will go higher in the draft than that of his father.

Jake Matthews Family

The list from this years draft continues with traits of vigor passed down from generation to generation. There are prospects in this years draft, as there have been in years before, like Jake Matthews from The 2014 NFL Draft, breaking ‘records’ between his ancestry as the first to come off the draft boards as the 6th overall pick.

DeVante Parker

As you resume researching you learn about Louisville’s, DeVante Parker, another player who chose to play at his father, Anthony Shelman’s alma mater of Louisville. DeVante looks to take his career farther than that of Anthony by becoming one of the few selected to play in the NFL. You have others like Trae Waynes, son of Ron Waynes, who ran sprints and competed in the long jump at Cal-Poly in San Francisco, as well as his mother who was just as athletic competing as a distance runner at Kansas State. He might not have wanted to run track, but used his genetic speed and his ability to be one of the best cornerbacks at Kansas State. The list continues, but the point is, these ‘genetic beasts’ are using their competitive edge to be that much better than the ones they inherited their attributes from.

Individuals who will be drafted on April 30th, May 1st and May 2nd hold gifts of talent that are partially genetic, but are otherwise based on work ethic that is unfathomable to many.   The anticipation will be profound as each of these individuals are called off the boards in hopes that their genetics, skill and hard work have not only put them at the top of their family leader boards, but of their schools, their friends and their competition.

 

Follow us on Twitter @PlayerInsiders @MorganMoeDean

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Texas Tech Two-Sport Star Bradley Marquez Hopes to Land in the NFL http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/texas-tech-two-sport-star-bradley-marquez-hopes-land-nfl/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/texas-tech-two-sport-star-bradley-marquez-hopes-land-nfl/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2015 16:39:24 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153399 Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and Russell Wilson are just a few of the names that have had success as two sports stars. While attending N.C. State, Wilson played in the Colorado Rockies organization before being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. Texas Tech wide receiver Bradley Marquez played both football and baseball in college, but now he is focusing on making a career in the NFL.

Marquez was drafted by the New York Mets in the 16th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Instead reporting to the Mets after high school, Marquez arraigned a deal that allowed him to play football at Texas Tech while playing baseball for the Mets minor league affiliate the Kingsport Mets.

Marquez is signed to the Mets organization until 2018. Prior to his senior season at Texas Tech, Marquez announced that he was forgoing baseball to focus solely on football. While he can decide to return to baseball at any moment, Marquez says is fully committed to football.

“I had a chance to only play baseball out of high school, but I opted to attend college and play both football and baseball instead,” said Marquez. Right now, my focus is strictly on football and to make a team and play in the NFL next season.”

Marquez moved from running back to wide receiver prior to his freshman year at Texas Tech.

In his freshman year for the Red Raiders, Marquez played in 12 games, starting four of them.  Marquez ended the 2011 season with 25 receptions for 240 yards with one receiving touchdown while averaging 9.6 yards per catch. He was also very active on special teams as he returned nine kicks for 168 kick return yards.

While it appeared Marquez was on his way to big things at Texas Tech as a sophomore, tragedy struck. On October 13, 2012, the receiver suffered a season-ending knee injury in the team’s 49-14 upset victory against the then No. 5 West Virginia Mountaineers.

In six games prior to the injury, Marquez had 16 catches for 172 yards. The lone bright spot for Marquez in 2012 was the sophomore was named to the Academic All-Big 12 (First Team).

Marquez would play in 13 games in 2013. On October 19, 2013 against West Virginia, Marquez set a career-high in both receptions and receiving yards (eight catches for 112 yards).

Marquez concluded the 2013 season with 49 receptions for 633 receiving yards and six touchdowns while averaging 12.9 yards per catch. Not only was he named to the Academic All-Big 12 team for the second straight year, Marquez was also an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.

The 2014 season would prove to be the best season of Marquez’s college career. He caught 65 balls for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns. Marquez led the Big 12 in receiving touchdowns and was fifth in receiving yards and sixth in receptions per game (5.4).

Marquez will be one of the many receivers waiting for his name to be called in next weekend’s NFL Draft. The 22-year-old feels like he has a lot to bring to a team.

“My route running and hands is a big part of my game, said Marquez. “Blocking aspect and football is a team sport. I’ve gotten better at blocking over the years because I knew the importance of it from when I was a running back. I want to be an all-around complete receiver.”

While Marquez may not have great size (5-10, 196 pounds), his natural route running ability, toughness, and acceleration across the middle of the field is an attribute every NFL team is looking for. Marquez isn’t just a possession receiver; he is a player that can turn a five-yard reception into a 20-yard gain.

Marquez wasn’t invited to February’s NFL Combine, but he did work out for scouts at Texas Tech’s Pro Day in March. Marquez just wants the a chance to make it in the NFL.

“All just want the opportunity to play at the next level,” said Marquez. “To show teams what I can do.”

You can follow Antwan on Twitter @antwanststaley

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NFL: 1st Round Grades on Defense http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/nfl-1st-round-grades-defense/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/nfl-1st-round-grades-defense/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2015 13:28:46 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153217 Ever since I was a kid, I have heard the phrase, “Offense wins game, but Defense wins championships”. If you go back and look at every single team that has one a Superbowl, three things happen: The offense has to eventually run the ball, the defense must win a crucial game, and they got to get one lucky break along the way. In the 2015 NFL draft, defense will be on display as there are over 20 prospects that I have with 1st round grades on Defense. With that being said, let’s get right into the positional breakdown of this year’s defensive prospects.

Rays (pclarke v1)

4-3 Defensive Ends/3-4 Linebackers:

Dante Fowler Jr.
Bud Dupree

People have compared Dante Fowler Jr. to Khalil Mack, but I don’t like that comparison. I see him more as a James Harrison, someone who is big enough to play DE in a 4-3. I’ve had him ticketed to the Jaguars for months now. Other draft people have finally started to come around to my thinking. He will be a big time impact player. Bud Dupree reminds me of a bigger Brian Orakpo. He can play with his hand in the ground or not. He is versatile and will fit in any defense. Dupree has a very big upside.

Rays

4-3 Defensive Tackles/3-4 Defensive Ends:

Leonard Williams
Malcom Brown

For most of this “drafting season” Leonard Williams has been considered the #1 defensive prospect in the draft. I only halfway agree with that statement. I feel that Williams can be a dominant DT in a 4-3, but he doesn’t have the pass rush ability to have the same impact as say a JJ Watt in a 3-4. While names like Suh, Seymour, and McCoy have been thrown around, I more see Kevin Williams. Malcom Brown is a sturdy DL that can play in a 3-4 or 4-3. I don’t like him as a NT as much as others have mentioned. My comparison for him is Sylvester Williams.

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3-4 Nose Tackles/4-3 Defensive Tackles:

Danny Shelton
Eddie Goldman
Jordan Phillips

In my opinion, Danny Shelton is a beast. I would take him in the top 5 with everything equal, but when taking need into the situation, he should go in the 10-15 range. To me, he is a shorter version of Haloti Ngata. Eddie Goldman is a very good run stuffer and at 6’4 336 pounds, he fits a 3-4 NT position perfectly. He comes in the mold of a Vince Wolfork. Jordan Phillips fits the Albert Haynesworth body type. He can play in both a 4-3 and 3-4 and probably fits a 4-3 better than Shelton and Goldman.

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3-4 Linebackers:

Vic Beasley
Shane Ray
Randy Gregory
Eric Kendricks

With the combination of size, pass rush ability, and keeping clean off the field, Vic Beasley is now seen as the top pass LB prospect in the draft. He is too small to play DE in my opinion, but is similar to Robert Mathis. Shane Ray reminds me of Jerry Hughes. He may not end up being a top tier elite LB, but he can be good or a long time. Randy Gregory’s build is similar to Bruce Irvin when he was drafted. Failed drug test has pushed Gregory from a top five pick to borderline 1st round, but he maybe the best pure pass rusher in the draft. Eric Kendricks can play both inside and outside LB. That versatility will help him to hold a high value. Kendricks has Justin Durant-type potential.

Rays4

Defensive Backs:

CB Trae Waynes
CB Kevin Johnson
CB Jalen Collins
SS Landon Collins

With the NFL becoming more and more of a heavy passing league, secondary positions have become a premium. This year seems to be a down year for elite guys, but Trae Waynes put on a show at the combine. His athletic ability likens him to Antonio Cromartie. Kevin Johnson is a solid prospect that has good athletic ability and doesn’t make too much mistakes. His ceiling may not be as high as Waynes but his floor isn’t as low either. Johnson’s best comparison is Sam Shields.

Jalen Collins may be the most athletic defensive back in the draft. He is a thinner version of Patrick Peterson. He lacks consistency, but if he ever puts it all together, then watch out. Landon Collins is by far the top Safety prospect in the draft. He looks and hits like Bernard Collins, but he can actually cover the field pretty well. Because there is such a need for good safeties in the NFL, and since he is one of the few with a 1st round grade, he will be taken pretty early, some may even consider him around the 10th range.

NCAA FOOTBALL, WASHINGTON AT OREGON STATE

Borderline 1st round grades:

CB Marcus Peters
CB/S Byron Jones
DT/DE Arik Armstead
OLB Shaq Thompson
OLB Eli Harold
ILB Paul Dawson

Marcus Peters definitely has 1st round talent, but off the field issues hurt him. Someone may take a chance with him at the end of the 1st round. Byron Jones has been mentioned as a possible 1st round pick because of his great combine, but teams must beware that he isn’t a draft workout warrior. Arik Armstead has lost some steam as a potential 1st round pick. His best fit would be as a 3-4 DE. Shaq Thompson would arguably be the 3rd or 4th ranked RB prospect, and arguably the 3rd or 4th ranked S prospect, but he wants to play LB. Eli Harold and Paul Dawson are two names to listen for. Neither is elite prospects, but they are both solid and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear their names in the 1st round.

There is an abundance of talent on the defensive side of the ball this year in the 2015 NFL draft. The big men are really big and athletic, the defensive backs are all mostly solid and the linebackers may have the most impact of all. As older teams try to get younger and bad teams try to add talent, the defensive players in this draft seem to be much safer picker than the offensive guys. It’s a trend that happens in most drafts and should continue in this one. Keep that in mind when you are getting your team’s next favorite jersey.

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Draft Day Flashback: Brian Waters http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/melissa-mahler-draft-day-flashback-brian-waters/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/melissa-mahler-draft-day-flashback-brian-waters/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2015 12:30:21 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=124538 With the NFL Draft coming up Melissa Mahler spoke with Brian Waters about his experience entering the league back in 1999.  Waters didn’t hear his name called on draft day but was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.  The TE out of the University of North Texas, was released during training camp but went on to play for the Kansas City Chiefs (2000-2010) New England Patriots (2011-2012), Cowboys (2013) and has earned 7 Pro Bowl selections (04-06, 08, 10-12).

Waters earned his seventh Pro Bowl selection in 2012. The right guard is among the most accomplished offensive linemen in the league and while he remains a free agent he isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet.

 


Q: Tell us a little bit about your draft experience. Everybody that is entering is on pins and needles what is some of the advice you give to those guys?

A: My draft experience wasn’t a great one, I didn’t get drafted. It was definitely a long and hard process to watch name by name gets called and it not is yours.  That being said, having the opportunity to see that and having a little bit of a chip on my shoulder and being highly motivated is really helped me out throughout my career.

Any advice that I would give to the guys is really, just being in the league is a great opportunity and so no matter where your name is called or if it’s not called at all. If you have an opportunity to put a jersey on you take full advantage of it.

I think sometimes the guys who get called later on in rounds or even the guys that don’t hear their name called those guys don’t have as many expectations, so they have a freedom of just going out there playing football. A lot of times that’s a great freedom, a great opportunity for them.

 

Q: Is there a message that you would like to share with your fans and people that have followed your career and will continue to do so?

A: You know everyone has been positive and supportive on my particular career and really I think all the players who in this particular position as far as allowing me to serve them at a greater capacity with the union.

Honesty, I’m just appreciative of everybody I’ve been involved with and all the people that I have met. There have been so many people that have helped change and shape my life. It’s been a wild run and I’m not saying it’s over yet but it’s definitely something I’ve been happy and excited that I’ve been able to live my dream out.

For more follow @Melissa_PPI and @PlayerInsiders

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Kansas State Center B.J. Finney Brings Consistency And Leadership To The Table http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/nfl-draft-kansas-state-b-j-finney-brings-consistency-and-leadership-to-the-table/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/nfl-draft-kansas-state-b-j-finney-brings-consistency-and-leadership-to-the-table/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:41:30 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153375 Kansas State Center B.J. Finney is exactly what NFL teams covet in a football player. He’s consistent, reliable and is a natural leader. Pro Player Insiders had an opportunity to catch-up with Finney, who is just days away from officially becoming  an NFL player.

“I grew up in Clearwater, Kansas which is southwest of Wichita, Kansas,” said Finney. “I have three older sister — Nicole, Valeen and Tiff. My dad passed away in 2004. I went to Andale High School which is northwest of Wichita.”

B.J. Finney lost his father at an early age, but says his father still had a major impact on his life. “There’s a lot of people who have been influential on my life — depending on the instance; but I would say the biggest one would have to be my father,” said Finney. “He taught all of us life lessons at such a young age that sticks with us now; kind of who we want to be and to keep that in mind whenever we go to do something.”

bj finney

One thing that’s unique about B.J. Finney is he was a walk-on at Kansas State. His journey of walking-on campus, competing and solidifying himself as a starter speaks of his character and relentless spirit.

“When I walked on, I was behind two fifth year seniors at center,” he said. “My position coach Charlie Dickey told me that it would be on me as to whether I’d earn a scholarship or a spot on the field. My redshirt season killed me being on the sideline because I couldn’t contribute on Saturdays. So I did everything I could through the week to push our defense (because I was on scout team offense). I did everything I could to push them and to make them better. I worked relentlessly and the coaches took notice of it. Everything they asked me to do, I did it as best as I could. When they decided to move me to center, I started learning everything from the upperclassmen so that way I knew in the spring that I would have a leg up and have a shot at being a starter. Then when spring rolled around, I really just studied the game, continued to work relentlessly and I solidified my starting spot.”

After successfully walking on and eventually becoming a starter, B.J. Finney earned the respect of his peers. Finney became the first offensive lineman in school history to be voted a team captain three times. Finney says it was a huge honor. 

“Me voted captain — being voted on by your fellow players and teammates — and coaches don’t have an influence on it. So for them to elect me and then re-elect me three times, it’s just a huge honor. It let me know that I had their respect and that they thought I embodied the program that we were trying to succeed in. So that was a huge blessing and a huge honor.”

The pre-draft process for many players can be both draining and exciting. For B.J. Finney, he says it’s been a blast. Having an opportunity to meet team officials and coaches is invaluable and Finney took full advantage of it. “Honestly, I’ve met a lot of great people — lot of great coaches,” he said. “The only thing I’ve tried to do is put my best foot forward in those situations and to perform at the highest level I can. I was able to do that at the Shrine game and at the combine. Just to get face-to-face with them and just have that time to show them and sell myself to them (which is ultimately what we’re all trying to do) is a lot of fun and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

B.J. Finney’s film speaks for itself. In four years at Kansas State, he only allowed 2.5 sacks — which is pretty insane. The guy can ball. But in the pre-draft process, part of it is selling yourself — your brand to teams. What Finney has promoted to teams is that he’s consistent, passionate about football and relentlessly pursues his goals.

“For me, one of the nicknames I’ve been given by some of the older Wildcats players is Mr. Consistency,” he said. “I play at the same level — I don’t get emotional or let emotions run in my game. I keep calm and level headed. I like being at the Center position to make the calls and get the offensive line in the best situation possible for blocking; and ultimately have the best hole or the best pocket for the Quarterback or Running Back. I like being the guy in pressure situations to make those calls. I like the responsibility. For me, I had 52 career starts — I have longevity — I was healthy and I fought through it all. The more we started to get down by, the harder I fought. Like you said, I’ve been elected captain three times. Players called me ‘dad.’ So there’s just a lot of things I could do for a team. I’ll be the hardest worker they’ve met. I’ll always work towards achieving a goal and then set another one and keep working towards it.”

Finney went on to discuss his versatility and how it could help him on the next level. “Whatever scheme I get put in, I want to do my best to learn that position and to be the best at executing that offensive scheme,” he said. “For me, versatility has been a big thing and its honestly something that’s helped me out along the way. Not only can I play Center, but I can also play both Left and Right Guard. At Kansas State, we do run a multiple scheme offense. If you can think it — we probably have it in the playbook. So, there’s not too many things that I’m unfamiliar with.”

With the NFL Draft now less than a week away, B.J. Finney is just excited about having an opportunity to become a member of an NFL club. But most importantly, being able to experience it with his family. “I’m going to be back home with my family watching the draft,” said Finney. “Just having a day to celebrate as a family — the draft is just kind of a bonus. We don’t get to have get-together a whole lot. So just the opportunity for us to get-together is a huge blessing. It’ll be a lot of fun no matter which team calls.”

Follow us: @Manny_PPI | @PlayerInsiders

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David Robertson’s Foundation Aids Illinois Tornado Victims #GivingBack http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/david-robertsons-foundation-aids-illinois-tornado-victims-givingback/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/david-robertsons-foundation-aids-illinois-tornado-victims-givingback/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:14:33 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153104 Just a few weeks into the new season, White Sox closer David Robertson is making an impact both on and off the field.  During this past offseason, the White Sox signed Robertson to a 4-year, $46 million deal.  Robertson cemented himself as a legitimate closer in 2014 after he saved 39 games in 44 attempts for the New York Yankees.  This season, Robertson has saved both games he attempted and has struck out 8 batters in just 4 innings pitched.  Off the field, Robertson has been even more sensational.

After an EF-4 tornado ripped through David’s hometown of Tuscaloosa in 2011, he and his wife Erin started High Socks For Hope, a non-profit corporation aiming to “help those affected by tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.”  The Robertson’s foundation helped to furnish newly built homes and apartments in Alabama after the tornado.  High Socks For Hope has also helped Hurricane Sandy victims of Staten Island, New York.

On April 9, two people were killed while 20 more were injured when a series of tornadoes ran through north-central Illinois.  Winds were reported as being up to 200 mph in some places and one tornado destroyed almost every structure in the town of Fairdale.  That tornado was categorized as an EF-4, the same as the one that hit Tuscaloosa in 2011.

High Socks For Hope has already distributed over 200 hot meals to the Illinois communities affected by the recent tornadoes and more help is being planned.

“It seemed like Illinois got hit pretty hard.  We’ll continue to try to help out any way possible.  We’re going to continue to try and raise money and figure out how best to help the community,” said Robertson. Robertson himself commits $100 for every strikeout and $200 for each save.  He has raised more than $13,000 to date.

For more information on David Robertson’s High Socks For Hope, visit his website: http://www.highsocksforhope.com/

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Draft Day Flashback: Charlie Batch http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/melissa-mahler-draft-day-flashback-charlie-batch/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/melissa-mahler-draft-day-flashback-charlie-batch/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:30:03 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=124518 With the NFL draft coming up, we are sharing this interview Melissa Mahler did with former Pittsburgh Steeler Charlie Batch who shares how he just tried his best to get his name out there and for his name to be recognized amongst the fleet of college players coming out.

He did the workouts, participated in the all-star games – anything that would give him a better chance to realize his dream. Since there weren’t a lot of players who came out of Eastern Michigan he had no one to learn from, he had to experience it all himself and, as he puts it, he needed to “keep the blinders on and keep on going.”

Charlie Batch PIT 350x350

His advice to players who are entering the NFL draft is to not “worry about it, let it play itself out.” Batch continued, “However it unfolds, whether it’s a first round or a free agent all you can ask for is the opportunity. As long as you don’t lose confidence and go out there and know you can perform well and don’t get caught up in anything else – you can go out there and make it happen.”

Batch has wrapped up his career in the NFL. Although he was drafted in 1998 by the Detroit Lions, his home since 2002 had been at Heinz Field playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. A look at Batch’s career is one that may be dubbed as a “career backup” but there’s more to Batch than that. Most “career backups” float around year to year having to relocate themselves for a paycheck, but not him. Charlie Batch was able to make himself a fixture in the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room and a leader on and off the field.

For more follow @Melissa_PPI and @CharlieBatch16

 

 

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Ravens Extend CB Jimmy Smith http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/ravens-extend-cb-jimmy-smith/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/ravens-extend-cb-jimmy-smith/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 22:30:30 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153283 The Baltimore Ravens have reached a contract extension with defensive back Jimmy Smith that could keep him in Baltimore through 2019. The deal reportedly carries $21 million dollars guaranteed with it. Smith was entering the final year of his contract. The following video featuring Baltimore Ravens general manager/executive vice president Ozzie Newsome and CB Jimmy Smith was provided courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens who we thank for providing it.

Smith was drafted by the  Ravens in the first round, selection number 27 overall, of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Colorado. One of their better defensive players, Smith was a vital part of a secondary that struggled due to injury and sub par play in 2014. Getting him under contract had been reported to be a priority for the team.

Congratulations to the Ravens and to Jimmy Smith and good luck this upcoming season! You can follow the Ravens on twitter at @Ravens and on Instagram at @Ravens.

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Sean Hickey is Itching for an Opportunity in the NFL http://proplayerinsiders.com/media/sean-hickey-itching-opportunity-nfl/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/media/sean-hickey-itching-opportunity-nfl/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:52:34 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153293 The draft process can be a very tedious for NFL prospects. For Syracuse offensive lineman Sean Hickey, he is eager to get through the process and start his NFL career.

Originally out of high school, Hickey committed to Boston College before enrolling at Syracuse because of his comfort with then head coach Doug Marrone.  From there, Hickey had a top-notch collegiate career, but it wasn’t without adversity.

After redshirting in 2010, Hickey suffered a torn PCL in his right knee in April of 2011. That was followed by a torn ACL in his left knee in August of 2011, missing the entire 2011 season.

The set-back was hard for Hickey, but he just kept working hard at his craft.

“Getting through the adversity of the injuries was tough the first couple months being so young, said Hickey. “I just went to rehab and improved every single day.”

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Syracuse

Hickey returned healthy in 2012 and started the first four games for the Orange while then starting left tackle Justin Pugh recovered from shoulder surgery. After Pugh had returned, Syracuse moved Hickey to right tackle for the team’s remaining nine games of the 2012 season.

Hickey says he is comfortable playing at any offensive line position at the next level.

“I will play wherever they put me,” Hickey said. “I only gave up three sacks in three seasons in college, I can play anywhere.”

After Pugh had left for the NFL, Hickey was moved to left tackle and  started a total of 25 games the last two seasons. In 2014, Hickey was an All-ACC Coaches Third Team honoree and a Phil Steele All-ACC Third Team selection. He was the only offensive lineman to play in every game for the Orange last season.

Hickey was the heir apparent to Pugh as Syracuse’s at left tackle and each player has a similar skill set. So it is natural that Pugh was a huge influence on Hickey’s career at Syracuse.

“Justin Pugh has been a great influence on my career, said Hickey. “Whenever you watch someone do it the way its supposed to be done, that makes you want to do it more. He helped me with my habits.”

Hickey has good size at 6-5, 309 pounds. He has excellent footwork, flexibility, and proper technique. He is very mobile without any issues getting to the second level.

Hickey anticipation skills are great as he’s never fooled by defenses. He often reads blitzes quickly pre and post snap. Hickey’s high effort and technique should translate well to the NFL.

According to NFL.com, Hickey plays with low and wide in pass protection, which leads to a lack of punch on the line. The website views him as a seventh-round pick or a priority free agent.

Hickey has reportedly worked out for the New York Giants. The Giants have three of Hickey’s former Syracuse teammates on their roster. (Pugh, Jay Bromley, and Ryan Nassib) Hickey says he would love the opportunity to play with some of his former teammates.

“To be able to play with Ryan (Nassib) again, that would give me goose bumps, said Hickey.” “He is one of the best leaders I’ve been around.”

Although, he has some things to work on at the next level, Hickey has the potential to be a starter down the line. His work ethic alone should keep him on an NFL roster for many years to come.

You can follow Antwan on Twitter @antwanstaley

Sean Hickey banner image courtesy of Syracuse.com

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Best Draft of the Decade (1990s) http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/best-draft-decade-1990s/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/best-draft-decade-1990s/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 12:33:36 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=124447 Here’s the third installment of our five-part series looking back at the best drafts by a team each decade.

Two weeks ago, we highlighted the 1974 draft of the Pittsburgh Steelers and their Hall of Fame selections of wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, middle linebacker Jack Lambert and center Mike Webster.

Last time out, it was the 1986 San Francisco 49ers draft that featured outside linebacker Charles Haley, wide receiver John Taylor, fullback Tom Rathman and cornerback Tim McKyer.

Now for our purposes, it is once again 10 years later and we’ll be picking another outstanding class from another franchise.

This time around, we’ll be looking at a group that helped a franchise win three NFL titles in four seasons.

1991 Dallas Cowboys

Anyone familiar with NFL history knows of “The Triplets.” But as everyone also knows, it takes more than three great players to build a championship team.

Still, three consecutive years brought three future Hall of Fame players to Dallas. In 1988, in what proved to the final season of the glorious Tom Landry Era, the Cowboys drafted wide receiver Michael Irvin in the first round. One year later, the Cowboys made quarterback Troy Aikman the first overall pick in the ’89 draft. In 1990 and off a forgettable 1-15 campaign, new head coach Jimmy Johnson and his staff would eventually make running back Emmitt Smith a first-round selection.

Speaking of Johnson, from nearly the moment he arrived in Dallas he was tinkering with a team that had gone 3-13 before his arrival. There was plenty of wheeling and dealing during those early years of the Jerry Jones Era. From the Herschel Walker trade with the Minnesota Vikings to the Steve Walsh deal with the New Orleans Saints, the D in Dallas stood for “Deal.”

Fast forward to 1991 and when you add up all of the eventual wheeling and dealing, Johnson, Jones and the Cowboys selected 18 players…kind of. With the first overall pick that year, they selected defensive tackle Russell Maryland (Miami, Fla.) and 11 picks later in the first round, snared big-play wideout Alvin Harper (Tennessee). Dallas actually made a third pick in the first round, selecting Mississippi defensive tackle Kelvin Pritchett with the 20th overall choice. But the Cowboys would deal his rights to the Detroit Lions for (you guessed it) more picks.

Russell Maryland

Along with Maryland and Harper, there were many other standouts that came out of this class, a group that contributed greatly to the franchise’s success during the decade. From 1991-99, the Cowboys made eight playoffs appearances in nine seasons, reached the NFC title game four straight years from 1992-95 and won those aforementioned three Super Bowl titles.

As for some of the other highlights, there were many. Tackle Erik Williams, the third of three picks by Dallas in the third round that year, turned out to be a four-time Pro Bowler and a key part of one of the best offensive lines in recent memory. Linebackers Dixon Edwards (Michigan State) and Godfrey Myles (Florida), the first two picks in the third round, were contributors on three Super Bowl squads.

Known more for his infamous bloopers in Super Bowl XXVII and Thanksgiving Day of 1993, seventh-round pick Leon Lett from Emporia State was a two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle with Dallas. And who could ever forget cornerback Larry Brown? The 320th player selected in the 1991 draft saw two passes thrown his way in Super Bowl XXX, garnering game MVP honors.

Two years after Dallas’ big haul, the draft was reduced to eight rounds and in 1994 it was down to its current format of seven rounds. But Johnson knew how to make the most out of his picks. And the ‘90s Cowboys proved to be a very memorable team.

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Updated: Greg Hardy Suspended Ten Games http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/greg-hardy-suspended-ten-games/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/greg-hardy-suspended-ten-games/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 21:24:51 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153243 Greg+Hardy+New+York+Jets+v+Carolina+Panthers+NkdPVEX05amx

The National Football League has suspended Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Greg Hardy ten games for violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. The suspension will begin on the the first game of the regular 2015 NFL season and run through Week 10. He will be available to return in Week 11 versus the Miami Dolphins.

 

The NFL’s full release per league insider Daniel Kaplan @dkaplanSBJ

here’s the complete NFL release on Hardy

GREG HARDY SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY FOR 10 GAMES

Greg Hardy of the Dallas Cowboys was notified today that he is suspended without pay for the team’s first 10 games of the 2015 regular season for conduct detrimental to the league in violation of the NFL Constitution and By-Laws, the NFL Player Contract, and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.

In a letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell, Hardy was informed that an extensive two-month NFL investigation following the dismissal of his case in North Carolina state court determined that there was sufficient credible evidence that Hardy engaged in conduct that violated NFL policies in multiple respects and with aggravating circumstances.

The investigation was led by Lisa Friel and T&M Protection Resources. Prior to joining the NFL staff two weeks ago, Friel was vice president of the sexual misconduct consulting and investigations division of T&M. During a 28-year career as a Manhattan prosecutor, Friel was head of the sex crimes prosecution unit in the New York County district attorney’s office for more than a decade. Friel is now NFL senior vice president and special counsel for investigations.

The NFL’s investigation involved numerous interviews with witnesses and experts, a review of hundreds of pages of court records, documents and exhibits, photographs, police reports, medical records, and reports and opinions of medical experts retained by Hardy’s attorneys and by the NFL office.

In addition, Hardy and his counsel, along with representatives of the NFL Players Association, met with NFL staff and investigators on March 4, at which time Hardy’s counsel made a detailed presentation and shared additional information. Hardy and his counsel also met on March 10 with the independent investigators, at which he was afforded the opportunity to discuss and respond to questions about the events of May 13, 2014. And, after having the opportunity to review certain photographs recently made available by the district attorney’s office in North Carolina, Hardy and his counsel had a further opportunity to discuss the evidence and provide a supplemental report from Hardy’s medical expert.

The NFL’s investigation concluded that Hardy violated the Personal Conduct Policy by using physical force against Nicole Holder in at least four instances. First, he used physical force against her which caused her to land in a bathtub. Second, he used physical force against her which caused her to land on a futon that was covered with at least four semi-automatic rifles. Third, he used physical force against her by placing his hands around Ms. Holder’s neck and applying enough pressure to leave visible marks. And fourth, he used physical force to shove Ms. Holder against a wall in his apartment’s entry hallway.

“The net effect of these acts was that Ms. Holder was severely traumatized and sustained a range of injuries, including bruises and scratches on her neck, shoulders, upper chest, back, arms and feet,” Commissioner Goodell wrote. “The use of physical force under the circumstances present here, against a woman substantially smaller than you and in the presence of powerful, military-style assault weapons, constitutes a significant act of violence in violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.”

Commissioner Goodell noted that Hardy engaged in conduct detrimental to the league and that a suspension of this length would be appropriate under any version of the Personal Conduct Policy or its predecessors.

Despite numerous efforts to interview Ms. Holder, the NFL was unable to do so. It is not known whether that is the result of her entering into a civil settlement with Hardy or other factors. The commissioner’s decision is based on findings that are supported by credible corroborating evidence independent of Ms. Holder’s statements and testimony, such as testimony of other witnesses, medical and police reports, expert analyses, and photographs.

The NFL’s investigation also concluded that Hardy failed to provide complete and accurate information to NFL investigators and members of the NFL staff.

Hardy was initially arrested as a result of the May 13 incident and charged with Assault on a Female and Communicating Threats following an altercation with Ms. Holder at his residence in Charlotte, North Carolina. On July 15, he was found guilty of these charges by a state court judge following a bench trial at which both Hardy and the victim testified under oath, and during which photographic and other evidence was admitted in open court and discussed in the presence of the public and the news media. Following the judgment of conviction, Hardy was sentenced to a period of incarceration (which was suspended) and probation.

Hardy then noticed an immediate appeal and was granted a jury trial in accordance with North Carolina law. Under North Carolina law, his appeal had the effect of setting aside the conviction and sentence, and a jury trial was eventually scheduled for February 9, 2015. On September 17, Hardy agreed to be placed on the Reserve/Commissioner Exempt list pending the resolution of the criminal proceeding and subsequently received the entirety of his 2014 salary. After the season, his contract with the Panthers expired and he signed a new contract with the Cowboys.

On the scheduled date of the jury trial, the district attorney for Mecklenburg County moved to dismiss the charges. In his dismissal notice, he said Ms. Holder had “made herself completely unavailable” for purposes of the trial, despite what the district attorney called “extraordinary measures” by law enforcement agencies to find her, and the resulting unfairness of going forward without her live testimony. Both in his filing with the state court and his public statements explaining his decision, the district attorney stated that he had “reliable information” that Ms. Holder had reached a civil settlement with Hardy that was directly related to the events that occurred at his residence on May 13. The district attorney went on to say that Ms. Holder “appears to have intentionally made herself unavailable to the State.” Despite repeated requests, Hardy’s attorneys refused to provide the NFL office with a copy of the settlement agreement or even acknowledge that a settlement agreement exists.

Given the seriousness of the allegations and the guilty judgment after the state court judge’s bench trial, Commissioner Goodell determined that further investigation by the NFL was necessary.

As part of his decision, Commissioner Goodell directed Hardy to obtain a clinical evaluation to be conducted by a qualified professional of his choosing. Should counseling or treatment be recommended, Hardy will be expected to comply with those recommendations and provide appropriate releases to allow the NFL office to monitor his compliance with the evaluation and any follow-up care.

Hardy’s suspension will begin on September 5, the day of final roster reductions for NFL teams. He may participate in all preseason activities, including the offseason workout program, organized team activity days, minicamps, training camp, and preseason games. He will be eligible for reinstatement following the Cowboys’ 10th game of the regular season.

“You must have no further adverse involvement with law enforcement and must not commit any additional violations of league policies,” Commissioner Goodell wrote. “In that respect, you should understand that another violation of this nature may result in your banishment from the NFL.”

Hardy may appeal the decision within three days.

The NFL conducted a two month long investigation and made its findings based on that information including photographs gathered via the official court file as well as information provided by Hardy himself. The league found that Hardy did not provide complete and accurate information during the investigation, which would explain the additional games. The league’s new domestic violence policy suggests that a first time offense would be punished by six games.

As in the appeal on the domestic violence conviction, the alleged victim, Nicole Holder, was not able to be located to provide information. Hardy has three days to appeal. The NFLPA has already announced it will appeal on his behalf.

Updated:

Jerry Jones has released a statement on behalf of the Dallas Cowboys:

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Miami Dolphins Will Host its Annual Fins Weekend http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-team-player-events/miami-dolphins-will-host-annual-fins-weekend/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-team-player-events/miami-dolphins-will-host-annual-fins-weekend/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 21:07:52 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153242 On May 14 through May 16, the Miami Dolphins Foundation will host its annual Fins Weekend. The event will feature current players, Dolphins alumni, coaches and cheerleaders. The spectacular will feature an exciting weekend of golf, fishing and an auction.

The events will start on Friday, May 15 with the Fins Weekend Golf Tournament presented by Waste Management at Trump National Doral Golf Club. The tournament will be held at Trump National Doral-Red Tiger. Registration and breakfast will begin at 6:30 a.m., followed by the shotgun start, four-person shamble at 8:00 a.m.

Teams with their Dolphins celebrity captain will hit the course for a day of fun. Food from local restaurants will be featured on select holes throughout the day.

Following the tournament, prizes and awards will be presented to the winning teams during a celebratory luncheon. Each tournament foursome includes:

  • Three (3) players plus a Celebrity Captain
  • Tournament gift bag
  • Six (6) tickets to the Fins Weekend Captain’s Party
  • Six (6) tickets to Fishing Awards and Live Auction
  • Luncheon
  • Refreshments and food from local restaurants on the course
  • Green and cart fees
  • Photo with Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders and Celebrity Captain

Later that evening, the famous Hook & Tackle Captain’s Party will be held. The event will feature live entertainment and a silent auction.

rsz_1ryan_and_lauren_tannehill_at_fins_weekend_fishing_tournament

On Saturday May 15, the Miami Dolphins Foundation will host its 19th annual Fins Weekend Fishing Tournament and weigh-in, presented by Hooters Restaurant with the Islands of the Bahamas and Bosch. The event is a one-day, off-shore tournament featuring fishing for dolphin, tuna, etc. Miami Dolphins players, coaches and alumni, will be participating for unique prizes such as the largest fish in each category and the greatest combined weight of eligible fish per boat.

Last year, over 70 boats with more than 300 anglers participated in the event. Family Therapy won a trip for four on the team charter to a regular season Dolphins away game.

Later that evening, attendees will gather for the Awards Ceremony presented by Simrad at the Miami Beach Marina where participants will bid on fabulous prizes.

For more information about the event, please visit finsweekend.com or call (305) 943-7900.

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DeSean Jackson’s Foundation Is Bringing Its F.A.S.T Football Camp to Washington, D.C. http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/desean-jacksons-foundation-bringing-f-s-t-football-camp-washington-d-c/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/desean-jacksons-foundation-bringing-f-s-t-football-camp-washington-d-c/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 18:46:21 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153239 Three-time Pro Bowl WR DeSean Jackson lit-up the field in his first season with the Washington Redskins. Now in his first full off-season with the team, things are heating up with his charitable foundation as DeSean Jackson and his mother Mrs. Gayle Jackson establish themselves to a greater degree in the Washington, D.C. area.

The DeSean Jackson Foundation, a public charity, 501 (c) (3), was co-founded by CEO DeSean Jackson, and President Mrs. Gayle Jackson, in 2009. Its mission is to advance the common good by caring, cultivating, collaborating and advocating–One Team, One Purpose.

skills campOn June 5, 2015, the DeSean Jackson Foundation and DC State Athletic Association will partner-up to bring the DeSean Jackson F.A.S.T. Elite Football Camp and his elite Team Jackson to Washington, DC. DeSean Jackson and his foundation developed the F.A.S.T. camp concept his rookie season with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“What a terrific event for our city’s youth,” DCSAA Executive Director Clark Ray said. “We are thrilled to participate in this camp and assist DeSean Jackson and his foundation. DeSean is one of the game’s young stars and it is clear that making an impact in the community is important to him.”

DeSean Jackson prides himself at being very involved and present during the entire camp. He takes advantage of the opportunity to motivate the youth by his ‘hands on’ approach with football skills; and, delivering his message of inclusion, self-respect and respect for others, “One of One” and an Anti-Bullying campaign.

“I’m excited for the chance to get out and talk to District children about the importance of making good choices and conducting themselves in a proper manner,” said DeSean Jackson. “I know that the lessons I learned as a youth made a difference in my life and my goal is to spread this message.”

The F.A.S.T camps have been held in numerous cities on the East and West Coasts and in the state of Utah. Now, with Jackson in Washington, the F.A.S.T camp will touchdown in Northeast D.C at Riggs LaSalle Recreation Center.

The camp is open to D.C. youths ages 5 to 18. Registration is free for the first 200 registered.  Interested parents can register their children for the camp by visitinghttp://osse.dc.gov/event/desean-jackson-fast-elite-skills-football-camp.

To learn more about the District of Columbia State Athletic Association, visitwww.dcsaasports.org.

For more information about The DeSean Jackson Foundation, please visit:http://www.deseanjacksonfoundation.org.

 

Follow us: @Manny_PPI | @PlayerInsiders

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2015 NFL Schedule has been released http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/2015-nfl-schedule-released/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/2015-nfl-schedule-released/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 01:14:55 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153198 We might be in the midst of the NHL and NBA Playoffs, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t excited about the fall and the 2015 NFL season.

On Tuesday night, the NFL officially released their 2015 schedule. The regular season will kick off on Thursday September 10 when the Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots.

Other Week 1 primetime games include Giants at Cowboys on Sunday Night Football and Eagles at Falcons and Vikings at 49ers (both Monday night games).

Here are some other noteworthy games on the NFL schedule:

Seattle will travel to Green Bay to play the Packers in Week 2. Of course, who could forget their thrilling NFC Championship Game from last season?

 

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

Also in Week 2, the Dallas Cowboys will visit the Philadelphia Eagles. This will be the first time Eagles running back DeMarco Murray will face his former team.

The Bears and Packers will play each other on Thanksgiving night. This will be the first time Lambeau Field has hosted a Thanksgiving game since 1923.

In Week 11, Chicago Bears head coach John Fox will travel to Denver to take on the Broncos. Fox will be seeking revenge against the franchise that let him go after last season.

Here’s the full 2015 NFL schedule:

Week 1
Steelers at Patriots — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Thursday Night Football Opener
Packers at Bears — 1 p.m. CBS
Chiefs at Texans — 1 p.m. CBS
Browns at Jets — 1 p.m. CBS
Colts at Bills — 1 p.m. CBS
Dolphins at Redskins — 1 p.m. CBS
Colts at Bills — 1 p.m. CBS
Panthers at Jaguars — 1 p.m. FOX
Seahawks at Rams — 4:05 p.m. FOX
Saints at Cardinals — 4:05 p.m. FOX
Lions at Chargers — 4:05 p.m. FOX
Titans at Buccaneers — 4:05 p.m. CBS
Bengals at Raiders — 4:25 p.m. CBS
Ravens at Broncos 4:25 p.m. CBS
Giants at Cowboys — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football Opener
Eagles at Falcons — 7:10 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football Opener
Vikings at 49ers — 10:20 p.m. ESPN

Week 2
Broncos at Chiefs — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Thursday Night Football
Texans at Panthers — 1:00 p.m. CBS
49ers at Steelers — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Buccaneers at Saints — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Lions at Vikings — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Cardinals at Bears — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Patriots at Bills — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Chargers at Bengals — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Titans at Browns — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Falcons at Giants — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Rams at Redskins — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Dolphins at Jaguars — 4:00 p.m. CBS
Ravens at Raiders — 4:00 p.m. CBS
Cowboys at Eagles — 4:25 p.m. FOX
Seahawks at Packers — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Jets at Colts — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football

Week 3

Redskins at Giants — 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFL Network Thursday Night Football
Falcons at Cowboys — 1 p.m. FOX
Colts at Titans — 1 p.m. CBS
Raiders at Browns — 1 p.m. CBS
Bengals at Ravens — 1 p.m. CBS
Jaguars at Patriots — 1 p.m. CBS
Saints at Panthers — 1 p.m. FOX
Eagles at Jets — 1 p.m. FOX
Buccaneers at Texans — 1 p.m. FOX
Chargers at Vikings — 1 p.m. CBS
Steelers at Rams — 1 p.m. CBS
49ers at Cardinals — 4:05 p.m. FOX
Bills at Dolphins — 4:25 p.m. CBS
Bears at Seahawks — 4:25 p.m. CBS
Broncos at Lions — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Chiefs at Packers — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football

Week 4
Ravens at Steelers — 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFLN — Thursday Night Football
Jets at Dolphins (London) — 9:30 a.m. CBS
Jaguars at Colts — 1 p.m. CBS
Giants at Bills — 1 p.m. FOX
Panthers at Buccaneers — 1 p.m. FOX
Eagles at Redskins — 1 p.m. FOX
Raiders at Bears — 1 p.m. CBS
Texans at Falcons — 1 p.m. CBS
Chiefs at Bengals — 1 p.m. CBS
Browns at Chargers — 4:05 p.m. CBS
Packers at 49ers — 4:25 p.m. FOX
Rams at Cardinals — 4:25 p.m. FOX
Vikings at Broncos — 4:25 p.m. FOX
Cowboys at Saints — 8:30 p.m. NBC Sunday Night Football
Lions at Seahawks — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football
Bye week: Patriots, Titans

Week 5

Colts at Texans — 8:25 p.m.CBS/NFL Network Thursday Night Football
Bears at Chiefs — 1 p.m. FOX
Seahawks at Bengals — 1 p.m. FOX
Redskins at Falcons — 1 p.m. FOX
Jaguars at Buccaneers — 1 p.m. CBS
Saints at Eagles — 1 p.m. FOX
Browns at Ravens — 1 p.m. CBS
Rams at Packers — 1 p.m. CBS
Bills at Titans — 1 p.m. CBS
Cardinals at Lions — 4:05 p.m. FOX
Patriots at Cowboys — 4:05 p.m. CBS
Broncos at Raiders — – 4:25 p.m. FOX
49ers at Giants — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Steelers at Chargers — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football

Week 6
Falcons at Saints — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Thursday Night Football
Redskins at Jets — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Cardinals at Steelers — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Chiefs at Vikings — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Bengals at Bills — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Bears at Lions — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Broncos at Browns — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Texans at Jaguars — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Dolphins at Titans — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Panthers at Seahawks — 4:00 p.m. FOX
Chargers at Packers — 4:25 p.m. CBS
Ravens at 49ers — 4:25 p.m. CBS
Patriots at Colts — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Giants at Eagles — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football

Week 7
Seahawks at 49ers — 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFL Network – Thursday Night Football
Bills at Jaguars (London) — 9:30 a.m.
Buccaneers at Redskins — 1 p.m. FOX
Falcons at Titans — 1 p.m. FOX
Saints at Colts — 1 p.m. FOX
Vikings at Lions — 1 p.m. FOX
Steelers at Chiefs — 1 p.m. CBS
Browns at Rams — 1 p.m. CBS
Texans at Dolphins — 1 p.m. CBS
Jets at Patriots — 1 p.m. CBS
Raiders at Chargers — 4:05 p.m. CBS
Cowboys at Giants — 4:25 p.m. FOX
Eagles at Panthers — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Ravens at Cardinals — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football
BYE WEEK: Bears, Bengals, Broncos, Packers

Week 8

Dolphins at Patriots — 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFLN – Thursday Night Football
Lions at Chiefs (London) — 9:30 a.m. FOX
Buccaneers at Falcons — 1 p.m. FOX
Cardinals at Browns — 1 p.m. FOX
49ers at Rams — 1 p.m. FOX
Vikings at Bears — 1 p.m. FOX
Giants at Saints — 1 p.m. FOX
Chargers at Ravens — 1 p.m. CBS
Bengals at Steelers — 1 p.m. CBS
Titans at Texans — 1 p.m. CBS
Jets at Raiders — 4:05 p.m. CBS
Seahawks at Cowboys — 4:25 p.m. FOX
Packers at Broncos — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Colts at Panthers — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football
Bye week: Bills, Jaguars, Eagles, Redskins

Week 9
Browns at Bengals — 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFLN – Thursday Night Football
Packers at Panthers — 1 p.m. FOX
Redskins at Patriots — 1 p.m. FOX
Titans at Saints — 1 p.m. CBS
Dolphins at Bills — 1 p.m. CBS
Rams at Vikings — 1 p.m. FOX
Jaguars at Jets — 1 p.m. CBS
Raiders at Steelers — 1 p.m. CBS
Giants at Buccaneers — 4:05 p.m. FOX
Falcons at 49ers — 4:05 p.m. FOX
Broncos at Colts — 4:25 p.m. CBS
Eagles at Cowboys — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Bears at Chargers — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football

Week 10
Bills at Jets — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Thursday Night Football
Lions at Packers — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Cowboys at Buccaneers — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Panthers at Titans — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Bears at Rams — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Saints at Redskins — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Dolphins at Eagles — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Browns at Steelers — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Jaguars at Ravens — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Vikings at Raiders — 4:00 p.m. FOX
Patriots at Giants — 4:25 p.m. CBS
Chiefs at Broncos — 4:25 p.m. CBS
Cardinals at Seahawks — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Texans at Bengals — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football

Week 11
Titans at Jaguars — 8:25 p.m. NFL Network – Thursday Night Football
Raiders at Lions — 1 p.m. CBS
Jets at Texans — 1 p.m. CBS
Buccaneers at Eagles — 1 p.m. FOX
Broncos at Bears — 1 p.m. CBS
Packers at Vikings — 1 p.m. FOX
Rams at Ravens — 1 p.m. FOX
Cowboys at Dolphins — 1 p.m. FOX
Redskins at Panthers — 1 p.m. FOX
Bengals at Cardinals — 4:25 p.m. CBS
49ers at Seahawks — 4:25 p.m. FOX
Chiefs at Chargers — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Bills at Patriots — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football
BYE WEEK: Browns, Giants, Saints, Steelers

Week 12
Eagles at Lions — 12:30 p.m. FOX – Thanksgiving Day
Panthers at Cowboys — 4:30 p.m. CBS – Thanksgiving Day
Bears at Packers — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Thanksgiving Day
Saints at Texans — 1 p.m. FOX
Rams at Bengals — 1 p.m. FOX
Vikings at Falcons — 1 p.m. FOX
Giants at Redskins — 1 p.m. FOX
Buccaneers at Colts — 1 p.m. FOX
Bills at Chiefs — 1 p.m. CBS
Raiders at Titans — 1 p.m. CBS
Chargers at Jaguars — 1 p.m. CBS
Dolphins at Jets — 1 p.m. CBS
Cardinals at 49ers — 4:05 p.m. FOX
Steelers at Seahawks — 4:25 p.m. CBS
Patriots at Broncos — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Ravens at Browns — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football

Week 13
Packers at Lions — 8:30 p.m. CBS Thursday Night Football
Jets at Giants — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Cardinals at Rams — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Falcons at Buccaneers — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Panthers at Saints — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Seahawks at Vikings — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Texans at Bills — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Ravens at Dolphins — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Bengals at Browns — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Jaguars at Titans — 1:00 p.m. CBS
49ers at Bears — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Broncos at Chargers — 4:05 p.m. CBS
Chiefs at Raiders — 4:05 p.m. CBS
Eagles at Patriots — 4:25 p.m. FOX
Colts at Steelers — 8:30 p.m. NBC Sunday Night Football
Cowboys at Redskins — 8:25 p.m. ESPN Monday Night Football

Week 14

Vikings at Cardinals — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Thursday Night Football
Bills at Eagles — 1:00 p.m. CBS
49ers at Browns — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Lions at Rams — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Saints at Buccaneers — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Titans at Jets — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Steelers at Bengals — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Patriots at Texans — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Colts at Jaguars — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Chargers at Chiefs — 1:00 p.m. CBS
Redskins at Bears — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Falcons at Panthers — 1:00 p.m. FOX
Raiders at Broncos — 4:00 p.m. CBS
Cowboys at Packers — 4:25 p.m. FOX
Seahawks at Ravens — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Giants at Dolphins — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football

Week 16
Chargers at Raiders — 8:25 p.m. NFLN – Thursday Night Football
Eagles at Redskins — 8:25 p.m. NFLN – Saturday Night Football
Patriots at Jets — 1 p.m. CBS
Texans at Titans — 1 p.m. CBS
Browns at Chiefs — 1 p.m. CBS
Colts at Dolphins — 1 p.m. CBS
Jaguars at Sainst — 1 p.m. CBS
49ers at Lions — 1 p.m. FOX
Cowboys at Bills — 1 p.m. FOX
Giants at Vikings — 1 p.m. FOX
Bears at Buccaneers — 1 p.m. FOX
Panthers at Falcons — 1 p.m. FOX
Rams at Seahawks — 4:25 p.m. FOX
Packers at Cardinals — 4:25 p.m. FOX
Steelers at Ravens — 8:30 p.m. NBC – Sunday Night Football
Bengals at Broncos — 8:30 p.m. ESPN – Monday Night Football

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Washington Redskins 2015 Schedule Is Top Heavy http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/washington-redskins-2015-schedule-top-heavy/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/washington-redskins-2015-schedule-top-heavy/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 01:10:34 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153193 The Washington Redskins 2015 schedule has been released and it certainly looks like another difficult lineup for the team. Especially early in weeks one and two against maybe the top defensive lines in the NFL.

Full Schedule:

FullSizeRender

 

  • The Washington Redskins kickoff their season against the Miami Dolphins which will be the first time RGIII and Ryan Tannehill have faced each other. Not to mention Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake on Miami’s D-Line. Washington’s offensive line will get a major test week one.

 

  • Washington seemingly plays the Rams every year. St. Louis has finally used up its haul in the RGIII-trade. They have a very tough defensive line that gave Washington fits last season. Again, the Redskins’ O-Line will get tested early.

 

  • Moving down the schedule — Washington could face two of the top edge rushers from next week’s NFL draft and presumably Jameis Winston in October (Falcons, Jets and Bucs).

 

  • The NFL was gracious enough to give the Redskins a bye week prior to facing the New England Patriots in week 9. Obviously, that won’t be an easy game.

 

  • All of the NFC East games are back-to-back (Weeks 3&4, 12&13, 16&17).

 

Games on Grass: 11 (vs. Miami, vs. St. Louis, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. New Orleans, at Carolina, vs. New York Giants, vs. Dallas, at Chicago, vs. Buffalo, at Philadelphia)

Games on Turf: 5 (at New York Giants, at Atlanta, at New York Jets, at New England, at Dallas)

Games Outdoors: 14 (vs. Miami, vs. St. Louis, at New York Giants, vs. Philadelphia, at New York Jets, vs. Tampa Bay, at New England, vs. New Orleans, at Carolina, vs. New York Giants, vs. Dallas, at Chicago, vs. Buffalo, at Philadelphia)

Games at Retractable Roof Stadiums: 1 (at Dallas); Games at Domes: 1 (at Atlanta)

Games vs. 2014 Playoff Teams: 4 (at Patriots, at Carolina, at Dallas, vs. Dallas)

 

More info via Press Release –

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The National Football League announced its 2015 regular season schedule tonight, and the Washington Redskins’ schedule features three prime-time games including a Week 13 home contest against the Dallas Cowboys on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

The 2015 Redskins will open the season at home against the Miami Dolphins onSept. 13 in a 1 p.m. game to be aired on CBS. The following week, the Redskins will host the St. Louis Rams at FedExField for a 1 p.m. FOX telecast on Sept. 20. The back-to-back home games to open the season mark the first time the Redskins have opened a season with consecutive home contests since earning victories at FedExField in Weeks 1-2 of the 2011 season.

The Redskins will make their first national television appearance of the season in Week 3 when the team travels to face the New York Giants on CBS and NFL Network on Thursday, Sept. 24. The team will return home in Week 4 to face a second consecutive NFC East foe when the Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles at 1 p.m. on Oct. 4 on FOX. The contest against the Eagles will be the Redskins’ third home game in the season’s first four weeks, marking the first time since 2003 that the Redskins will play three home games in the first four weeks of a season.

In Week 5, the Redskins will face the first of two consecutive rookie head coaches when the team squares off with Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons in a 1 p.m.game on Oct. 11 on FOX. A week later on Oct. 18, the Redskins will face Todd Bowles and the New York Jets on FOX at 1 p.m. The Redskins will then return home for Week 7 to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 25, a game set to be televised by FOX at 1 p.m.

After a bye in Week 8, the Redskins will resume their season with a Nov. 8 road game against the New England Patriots at 1 p.m. on FOX. The Redskins will then face NFC South opponents in consecutive 1 p.m. games on FOX across Weeks 10-11, as the team will host the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 15 and play the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte on Nov. 22.

Following the two NFC South tilts, the Redskins will return to FedExField for two critical home games against NFC East rivals. On Nov. 29, the Redskins will face the New York Giants in a 1 p.m. game on FOX. The Redskins will then host the Dallas Cowboys for an 8:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. TheDec. 7 contest will be the teams’ 17th all-time meeting on Monday Night Football, the most recent having come in a 20-17 road overtime victory for the Redskins last season.

In Week 14, the Redskins will face the Chicago Bears in a 1 p.m. game at Soldier Field to be aired by FOX on Dec. 13. In Washington’s last regular season game at Chicago, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall tied an NFL record with four interceptions in a 17-14 win. On Dec. 20, the Redskins will play their final home game of the regular season, hosting the Buffalo Bills for a 1 p.m. CBS telecast in one of two historical Super Bowl rematches on the Redskins’ 2015 schedule (Week 1 vs. Miami).

The Redskins will close the regular season with consecutive NFC East road games in Weeks 16-17. At 8:25 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 26, the Redskins and Eagles will face one another at Lincoln Financial Field on NFL Network in a rematch of the Redskins’ 27-24 Week 16 Saturday victory at FedExField last season. The Redskins will close the regular season on the road against the Cowboys on FOX onJan. 3, marking the third time in the last four seasons that the teams will have squared off in the regular season finale. The Redskins are 4-3 in regular season finales against Dallas since the adoption of the 16-game schedule in 1978.

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49ers Mourn Bob St. Clair http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/49ers-mourn-bob-st-clair/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/49ers-mourn-bob-st-clair/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 17:36:31 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153180 The San Francisco Forty Niners are mourning the passing of longtime offensive lineman Bob St. Clair, who passed away Monday at the age of 84. St. Clair spent his entire career in the Bay Area and was known for his outstanding play as well as his eccentric personality. Hence, the nickname he was tagged with early on as “The Geek” as a result of eating all his meat raw.

St. Clair was a hometown kid who grew up to play for the 49ers in an era before the merger and the Super Bowl. He played college football at the University of San Francisco as well as at the University of Tulsa. The story of why he changed schools exemplifies the man he was.

The University of San Francisco’s 1951 team is considered one of the best in college football history. Ten of it’s players would go on to play in the National Football League and three, including St. Clair, would be Hall of Famers. The team went undefeated in 1951 and was hoping for an Orange Bowl bid. It came but with a condition. The team would have to leave its two black players at home. Per Graham Kislingbury of Corvallis Gazette Times:

How did the team react to the Orange Bowl organizers?

“We told them to go to hell,” St. Clair said.

For lack of funding, USF dropped football the next season and never brought it back.

St. Clair transferred to Tulsa where he played his final season of college ball. He was drafted by the 49ers in the third round, thirty-second overall, of the 1953 NFL Draft. A standout on special teams, St. Clair once blocked 10 field goals in 1956. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.

From the official release by the San Francisco Forty Niners:

HALL OF FAMER BOB ST. CLAIR PASSES

Former San Francisco 49ers tackle, Bob St. Clair, passed away Monday at the age of 84. A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1990) and the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame (2009), St. Clair spent his entire 12-year career as a member of the 49ers (1953-64).

“With the passing of Bob St. Clair, the 49ers organization has not only lost an all-time great but one of our most ardent supporters,” said 49ers Owner and Chairman John York. “One of San Francisco’s favorite sons, Bob spent the better part of his life at Kezar Stadium and was quite happy to share memories of his high school days or his 49ers tenure in the beloved venue. I always looked at him as an immortal figure that possessed a tremendous joy for life and all things 49ers. We will continue to celebrate the spirit of Bob St. Clair as we remember all that he brought to this franchise and its fans. Our prayers and best wishes are with his family and friends.”

A Bay Area native, St. Clair attended San Francisco Polytechnic High School and later began his college career at the University of San Francisco, where he remained until the school’s football program folded in 1951. He completed his collegiate career at Tulsa and was later selected by the 49ers in the third round (32nd overall) of the 1953 NFL Draft. Interestingly, St. Clair was one of nine players from San Francisco’s 1951 team to enter professional football.

St. Clair’s illustrious career included five starts in the Pro Bowl and All-NFL selections in nine of his 12 professional seasons. He blocked for the 49ers “Million Dollar Backfield” as QB Y.A. Tittle and RBs John Henry Johnson, Hugh McElhenny and Joe Perry would all be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Popular among his teammates, he was nicknamed “The Geek” as a result of what some considered unusual lifestyle habits, such as eating all of his meat raw.

A three-time team captain (1957-59), St. Clair saw action in 119 games with the 49ers. While St. Clair was an exceptional blocker on offense, he was also used on defense in goal line situations throughout the early portion of his career. He contributed on special teams as well, where he was credited with 10 blocked field goals. St. Clair suffered an Achilles injury prior to the 1964 season and did not appear in a game that year. He subsequently retired.

Following his playing career, St. Clair served as the Mayor of Daly City from 1961-62, a period of great economic prosperity sparked by the construction of Interstate 280 and the related development of the city. When his political career came to an end, St. Clair went to work for Clover, one of the largest milk providers in Northern California, handling sales and public relations.

In 2001, after having played more than 180 prep and professional games in Kezar Stadium, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors named the venue’s field in honor of St. Clair. He was born on February 18, 1931.

Please join us in sending condolences to the San Francisco Forty Niners organization as well as their entire fanbase. The NFL lost a legend as there will never be another Bob St. Clair.

Bob St. Clair banner image photo credit to Sports Attic
Bob St. Clair feature image courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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Washington Redskins FB Darrel Young ‘Embarrassed’ By 2014 Rushing Performance http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/washington-redskins-fb-darrel-young-embarrassed-by-2014-rushing-performance/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/washington-redskins-fb-darrel-young-embarrassed-by-2014-rushing-performance/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 15:29:26 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153173 The Washington Redskins had a very poor season in 2014. But one of the oddest performances throughout the season was RB Alfred Morris, who only had one 100 yard game — and that came in week 12.

For several reasons, the Redskins just were unable to get a ground game consistently rolling. When studying the film, it appeared to be a dumpster-load of issues that prevented the run game from clicking. Some of it was on the offensive line that was unable to consistently get to the second level. You could also attribute it to the lack of a blocking tight end and receivers who didn’t block well down-the-field. The Quarterback issues definitely didn’t help. But you could also say some of it was on Alfred Morris who missed opportunities himself in the backfield.

Washington Redskins’ FB Darrel Young called the team’s rushing performance last season, “embarrassing.” In speaking with Young at “Recess With The Redskins” last Friday, it was interesting to hear him take responsibility and some of the blame for Morris’ struggles. “There’s some games last year that Alfred numbers-wise, we weren’t where we were supposed to be,” said Darrel Young.

He continued, “guys up front blocking for him, like myself — I have to do a better job. It’s embarrassing when a guy gets a three yard loss when the guy just ran for 1,600 yards two years ago. He still made 1,000 yards, but it wasn’t the way we wanted to do it. When we’re clicking and the run game is clicking, then it’s less pressure on RGIII or the other Quarterbacks that were in there.”

With new Offensive Line Coach Bill Callahan, it’ll be interesting to see how and if the team’s run game improves. Both Darrel Young and Alfred Morris expressed their excitement for whatever Callahan plans to implement.

One thing is for sure, the duo of Morris and Young should make things easier for Callahan this upcoming season. In a league that now appears to be devaluing the fullback position, Washington has a good one in Darrel Young and Morris greatly appreciates him.

Alfred Morris says it’s “awesome” having Darrel Young as his lead blocker. “I love DY — he’s a clown,” said Morris as Darrel Young danced behind him to ‘Uptown Funk.’ “He has his issues [he joked] but I love him. I wouldn’t prefer anyone else blocking for me.”

If the Washington Redskins plan to have a successful season on offense, it must start with the run game. If Alfred Morris is able to get going, everything else should fall into place.

 

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Combine Snubs to Watch During Draft Weekend: PART 8 http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/combine-snubs-watch-draft-weekend-part-8/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/combine-snubs-watch-draft-weekend-part-8/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 12:13:18 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=152951 5 Combine Snubs to watch during the draft: PART 8

 

We continue our look at combine snubs to remember on draft weekend with our eighth installment of our series.

 

  1. CB BRYCE CALLAHAN, RICE

On day 3 of the NFL draft NFL teams are looking for highly athletic cornerbacks with upside to develop and Callahan is just that. After a strong senior year with 44 tackles, two interceptions, and 7 pass breakups he was named second-team All-Conference USA. He played well in the Shrine Game and then did exactly what he needed at his pro day in order to put himself in a good position to get drafted. At 5’9 1/8, 183 pounds, he ran a 4.47 and 4.48 in the 40 along with a 1.50 10-yard, 43 inch vertical, 11’0 broad jump, 4.27 short shuttle, and did 15 bench reps. If he were 5’11 or 6’0 he would certainly be drafted for sure but he is considered a 50/50 shot to be taken in the 6th or 7th round. Conference USA leads all conferences in combine snubs drafted so we believe that he

 

  1. DE SHAQUILLE RIDDICK, WEST VIRGINIA

After an impressive 2013 campaign at Gardner-Webb he decided to roll the dice and transfer up to West Virginia. It looked like a huge mistake early on as he was manhandled by the big, powerful NFL tackles at Oklahoma and Alabama. Riddick then settled in and showed much better play against teams like Texas Tech and Baylor. He was passed up on by the big all-star games and the NFL Combine because of how bad his tape was early but he rebounded and was named the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year finishing with 27 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 7 sacks. His two tackle for loss and two sack performance in the Medal of Honor Bowl showed he can dominated lower level competition and then he followed it up with a 4.62 and 4.68 40 at 6’5 7/8, 244 pounds at his pro day. He also had a 1.57 10-yard,

 

  1. WR NEAL STERLING, MONMOUTH (NJ)

There aren’t a lot of tweeners at the receiver position but that’s what Sterling has been labeled. At 6’3 3/8, 238 pounds he is a little bit for a receiver but on the smaller side for a tight end. Scouts would like to see him lose weight since he has told teams he wants to be a wide receiver. During his pro day he ran a 4.62 and 4.64 40 at 6’3 3/8, 238 pounds while putting up an impressive 1.53 10-yard, 35 ½ inch vertical, 9’8 broad jump, 4.25 short shuttle, and did a solid 16 bench reps. With a big frame, good hands, and the fact he runs well for his size, Sterling has the potential to be taken in the 7th round or will be a highly sought after priority free agent.

 

  1. DE/OLB SAGE HAROLD, JAMES MADISON

Somehow Harold was not invited to any all-star games, which surprised us considering how good he was as a senior. In 2013, he was a backup with 19 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks but showed promise and was expected to have a breakout senior year. Harold did just that with 73 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, and 13.5 sacks to earn first-team All-CAA honors. He is quick off the edge, closes well, and has a good motor. The James Madison pro day was huge for him where he put up a solid workout with 21 reps, a 4.64 and 4.67 40 at 6’2 ¾, 242 pounds. There is a chance he is taken late in the 7th round but if not he will be a priority free agent worth keeping an eye on.

 

  1. WR DEANDRE CARTER, SACRAMENTO STATE

Carter played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and proved to be a great find for their scouting staff. Most had written him off because he ran so slow for scouts as a junior and is smaller but they saw his ability on tape and knew he would test better as a senior, which he did. Carter blazed a 1.45 10-yard, 4.40 and 4.48 40, and had an impressive 38 ½ inch vertical at 5’8 ½, 185 pounds during his school’s pro day. He put up an impressive 17 reps, which is even more impressive for a player of his size. The 2014 All-American and two-time first-team All-Big Sky pick is quick, explosive, and has the ability to make an impact as a slot receiver and in the return game. Keep an eye on him as a potential 7th round pick or priority free agent.

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Chicago Bears Mourn Doug Buffone http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/chicago-bears-mourn-doug-buffone/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/chicago-bears-mourn-doug-buffone/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 23:32:23 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=153147 The Chicago Bears are mourning the passing of longtime Bears linebacker Doug Buffone who was found dead at his Chicago home on Monday. The cause of death has not been released but the 70 year old was found unresponsive in his bed and was pronounced dead when officers responded to a call to his residence.

Buffone played linebacker for the Bears under the legendary George Halas and played his entire fourteen year career in Chicago. He was the last active Bears player to play for the team under Halas. He played for the Bears from 1966 to 1979 and his fourteen years is tied in second in team history for time spent with the franchise.

A fourth round selection by the Bears in the 1966 NFL Draft, Buffone played college football at Louisville. He was also selected by the San Diego Chargers in the eight round of the AFL draft. This was right before the two leagues joined forces to become what is now the modern National Football League. He still leads all Bears linebackers in career interceptions with twenty-four.

After his retirement, Buffone remained active with the team and in recent years hosted a Bears postgame show with former Bears defensive end Ed O’Bradovich.

STATEMENT FROM BEARS CHAIRMAN GEORGE H. MCCASKEY ON THE PASSING OF DOUG BUFFONE

LAKE FOREST, IL – The following is a statement from Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey on the passing of former Chicago Bears linebacker Doug Buffone:

“We are terribly saddened to hear of Doug’s passing.  He will always be celebrated as one of the Bears greats for his contributions to his team and the fans who loved him.  There was no one tougher on Sundays than Doug Buffone.  And he proved it each week over his 14-year career, a tenure record he shared with another great, Bill George, for 33 seasons.  His retirement ended a link to our founder as he was the last active player to play for George Halas.

“His special relationship with Bears fans continued beyond his playing days, first through founding the Bear Report and later as one of the pioneers and long-time contributors to Chicago’s first sports radio station, WSCR.   It drove him nuts when we didn’t play well and we always appreciated that he wore his heart on his sleeve because we knew how much he cared.  Doug’s passion for the game of football and the Chicago Bears was unmatched and he will be missed.  Our prayers go out to his wife, Dana, and his children.”

 

Join us in sending condolences to the Buffone family and to the entire Bears organization as well as their fanbase. We will update you with further information as it becomes available.

Doug Buffone banner image photo credit to the Chicago Tribune

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