Hello all, the sports world was definitely very active this weekend. Shaun White proved that even with a sprained ankle that he is the dominant force in snowboarding. In addition, we also see that Tiger Woods does not look like he has fully recovered from a broken heart as he fails to clinch another victory. Bill Belicheck even managed to make a joke on Monday and show his humorous side. I had forgotten the master of the stoic impression could actually have a funny bone in his body.
The Pro Bowl also took place over the weekend and because of some players choosing not to attend, alternates were allowed to take their place. One of the alternates the public was able to see in this year’s Pro Bowl was Cam Newton.
While other players were at the Pro Bowl,Cam was actually one of the most interviewed and talked about. The media asked about what other quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers thought of someone with Cam Newton’s abilities. Both Roethlisberger and Rodgers were impressed but seemed worried that this new prototype of quarterback could make the pure pocket passer obsolete.
When Cam Newton was interviewed and asked if he was satisfied with making the Pro Bowl this year,Cam indicated this is only the beginning and he plans to accomplish greater things. Mr. Newton even said that he wants to go past reaching for the stars and become a planet! That may be a bit much but Cam Newton definitely has a way with words. We may soon see if Cam Newton can be as smooth with his words as Muhammad Ali was during his prime of his career. It would be refreshing to see a bit of a different kind of attitude than what we are used to seeing at the quarterback position. I would not mind seeing a quarterback with some swagger in a good way.
Cam Newton did not play particularly well during the Pro Bowl.Newton only threw for 186 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Cam Newton was also sacked a few times, which is something we are not used to seeing sinceCamis known for his running versatility. It was easy to tell that Cam Newton was not very comfortable running the offense at the Pro Bowl. However, whenCamlooked to a familiar face in Steve Smith, lead wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, we were able to see what he is truly able to do. Steve Smith caught 5 balls for 118 yards and a touchdown. All of Smith’s yards were delivered courtesy of Cam Newton.
This year we have seen the ups and downs of Cam Newton. We have seen him have great performances and then some performances that made us realizeNewtonis still a rookie. With all that being said no one can deny his talent. Players, coaches, and owners are all realizing that a new prototype of quarterback may very well be the future of football. Defensive coordinators are soon going to have a much harder job as quarterbacks such as Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, and Denard Robinson are soon going to be the norm.
As much as some love Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, teams are going to soon be clamoring to get their hands on the next Cam Newton, Randall Cunningham, or Michael Vick clone. The changing of the guard will come over the next few years and Cam Newton may indeed be the frontrunner. I have no doubt we have not seen anywhere near the ceiling where Cam Newton will actually level off. We can all just sit back and enjoy the ride that Mr. Newton has so graciously given us all a ticket on.
Week 16 is now over and done with. Christmas has bought along some great accomplishments as the NFL season winds down. Some players were jumping for joy like Jerome Simpson of the Bengals who did his best Dominique Dawes impression by doing a complete forward flip over a defender that had plans to keep him out of the end zone. Other players like Chad Ochocinco and Donovan McNabb are wishing for yester year when they were relevant.
The greatest accomplishment of the weekend was clearly Drew Brees breaking the passing yards record previously held by Dan Marino. What a historic moment to break record that stood for 27 years. Dan Marino previously had thrown for 5,084 passing yards in a season and as of today Drew Brees has thrown for 5,087 passing yards. A number of experts have already said that the game has changed and the rules now favor quarterbacks. The same experts complain that receivers do not have to worry about getting hit when catching a pass in the middle of the field because of the defensive rule changes. With more catches being made in each game, the passing yards have increased this year.
I do believe the game has changed a significant amount but still have to give credit where credit is due. Drew Brees is one of the most prolific passers in the NFL today and will go down being one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. I do not believe that this record could have been broken by a more deserving person that Drew Brees. Brees is an inspiring story from start to finish. Drew Brees has overcome people telling him he could never make it in the NFL. In addition, Brees had to go through surgery that could have been career ending and instead has never stopped showing all the critics he is better than ever. Moreover, Drew Brees was traded by San Diego Chargers to New Orleans Saints as San Diego drafted and put their hopes in Philip Rivers. Drew Brees made a home in New Orleans and led the Saints to a Super Bowl win. Brees gave New Orleans hope after Hurricane Katrina bought great devastaion througout the whole city. Now Drew Brees has broken one of the longest NFL records of all time and Brees still has years left to keep adding to his legacy. Any true football fan can be proud of not only that Drew Brees broke the record but also of the person that Drew Brees is.
Drew Brees was not the only person breaking record for passing yards though Cam Newton accomplished the goal for the rookie passing record as well. Newton has currently passed for 3893 passing yards this season and looks to extend the record with one more game to play. Peyton Manning previously held the record with 3,379 passing yards.In addition, Cam Newton currently holds the record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback at 14 touchdowns. To say that Cam Newton has exceeded all expectations for his rookie season would be an understatement.Cam Newton reminds me of Randall Cunningham with all of his passing ability and dazzling runs. We have definitely seen the future of mobile quarterbacks with Cam Newton. Everything definitely happens for a reason because if Andrew Luck had come out last year, Luck would undoubtedly be the one wearing the Carolina Panthers uniform. If Luck had been drafted by the Panthers, Cam Newton may have been drafted by a team that could not utilize his talents to the fullest of his abilities. We would have then missed out on what turned out to be one fo the best rookie seasons for a NFL quarterback in years. Fortunately for us, Andrew Luck stayed in school and the Carolina Panthers have found their quarterback of the future.
This year has definitely given new meaning to the phrase “Records were meant to be broken!” as we have seen players from different positions have some truly great years. In addition to Drew Brees and Cam Newton; Aldon Smith, Rob Gronkowski, and Demarco Murray have all had seasons that we will all remember. I am thankful we did not have to miss such incredible NFL action because of the lockout. Thank you for the owners and player for getting the deal worked out.
The playoffs are right around the corner and for the first time in a few years I am expecting some surprise performances and want to see some dark horse teams rise to the top. I would not mind seeing Green Bay, New Orleans, Pittsburgh or New England win the Super Bowl again. However, I would rather see a team like the Detroit Lions or San Francisco 49ers go on a playoff run and win the whole thing. The time for the big games and big performances is now
Another week of NFL is in the record books, and beginning of the holiday week has bought some things to light. This is the time of the year where we discover which NFL teams truly want to be in the playoffs and which teams cannot finish. In addition, we discover which teams deal with adversity well. A champion is not made in one game but a champion is made over a 16 game season.
The Green Bay Packers are strolling through their schedule on their way to an NFL undefeated season. I believe that the Packers can accomplish the goal, make it all the way to the Super Bowl, and win the whole thing again. Aaron Rodgers is simply an unbelievable talent at quarterback. Rodgers makes all the right throws and rarely makes a mistake. I am actually hoping the Packers will achieve what seems to be the impossible. Unlike the Patriots in 2007 which decided to run the score up on multiple opponents and left a bad taste in a great deal of people’s mouth, the Green Bay Packers are likeable. The Packers do not brag or run the score up just for the sake of it. Green Bay has no diva-like personalities speaking out on camera to cause controversy. The Packers just win and win gracefully. We know Green Bay is going to win when they step on the field, but even Minnesota Viking fans have to admit the Packers are a class act.
I have finally figured out that Tim Tebow is a superhero. Tebow has a good public image, is willing to help other people, and always has something positive to say. Tim Tebow clearly has a secret identity for the first three quarters of any game. Tebow looks like a mere mortal aka, “Clark Kent”, anytime before the fourth quarter. However, in the fourth quarter, Tim Tebow, puts on his superhero apparel, dons a cape, and has a big “S” on his chest. Tebow is a completely different player in the fourth quarter and keeps swooping in to save the Denver Broncos day. When the game is on the line in the last quarter of the game, Tim Tebow should just proclaim, “Have no fear Denver Broncos teammate, Tim Tebow is here. I will save the day!” This past week the Broncos won again on a Tim Tebow fourth quarter drive, making Tim Tebow 4-1 as a starter. People can complain about what Tim Tebow cannot do and how his quarterback mechanics are suspect. However, Tebow does well at the most important attribute of any good quarterback and that is that Tim Tebow is a winner.
The Chicago Bears were finally starting to look like they had the talent to be a serious playoff contender. Every thing was moving in the right direction. The Chicago Bears defense was playing well. Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears quarterback, for the first time in years, was not taking multiple sacks every game. The Chicago Bears had proven they were a team ready for playoff football. Then it happened, similar to last year, Jay Cutler suffered an injury. This year the injury is a broken thumb that will require surgery. Cutler is done for the year and no timetable for a return. Without Cutler, who has been playing his best football of his career recently, the Chicago Bears chances of going far in the playoffs are looking slim. Caleb Hanie is a fine backup but I have no faith in Hanie being able to put together enough wins for the Chicago Bears to make a difference in the playoffs.
Quick hits, Vince Young looked good in his Philadelphia Eagles debut. Young had some initial rust but managed to go 23-36 for 258 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Eagles to victory over the New York Giants. Cam Newton to Steve Smith is definitely one of the best quarterback-receiver duos to watch. However, the rest of the Carolina Panthers team is severely lacking. The Panthers defense needs some major help as they never seem to slow any opposing team down at all. The Detroit Lions put up 49 points on the Panthers defense. The quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, Andy Dalton is only a rookie but is playing not only like a veteran but also one who is playoff ready. Over the weekend, Dalton threw for 373 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort. However, the Bengals lost to the Ravens and almost took the game to overtime. The Bengals are back and they are the real deal.
The games start early on Turkey Day this week so we do not have to wait long to see some good football action. The game of the week should be the San Francisco 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens. When was the last time anyone saw two NFL playoff contending teams, in which both coaches are actually brother, actually go head to head? I am ready to see the Harbaugh brothers clash and duke it out with their perspective teams on the football field. Let the holiday fun begin!
To say this NFL year has been a bit strange to start is quite an understatement. The Dream Team Philadelphia Eagles are 1- 4. The Detroit Lions are 5-0 for the first time in ages. The Bills are sitting pretty at 4-1 after a dismal 2010 season. Some things have not changed such as the Patriots and the Packers being atop of their game.
The other unusual occurrence is that rookies are making a significant difference this year. I know there was a NFL lockout for quite a while. Generally, that should mean that veteran players should dominate and rookies will struggle. This year that is not the case, the rookies are coming into their own much quicker than expected. Today I will bring attention to three rookies that are accomplishing great things with their new team.
The first rookie that is playing better than anyone could have expected is Cam Newton. “Cammy” Cam as some call him is definitely quieting all the doubters. Cam Newton has come in and shown the whole league that his college career was no fluke. Newton has thrown for 1610 yards and seven touchdowns in just five games. In addition, Cam Newton has also rushed for five touchdowns. I sit and watch Cam Newton play and am just amazed that he looks nothing like a rookie. Newton makes all the right throws and occasionally he will throw a bad pass. Fortunately,Cam has no memory of the bad throws and will come right back and make a great play the next down. I am going to endorse Cam Newton as my favorite to win the Rookie of the Year. Cam Newton should have no problem grabbing the, “Rookie of the Year”, crown if he continues to play at his current level of play. The sky will be the limit for Mr. Newton and the Carolina Panthers for many years to come.
The second rookie that I want to bring to everyone’s attention is Julio Jones. The Atlanta Falcons gave up everything to move up in this year’s NFL draft to grab Jones. The Falcons obviously saw something in Jones that made him a special player. The Atlanta Falcons gave up 2011 and 2012 first round draft picks, a 2011 second round pick, and both 2011 and 2012 fourth rounds picks. If there was the kitchen sink left at Atlanta Falcons Headquarters I am sure they would have thrown that in at a chance to grab Jones. After the first few weeks of the season it looks like the Atlanta Falcons have made the right decision. Julio Jones is becoming a force to be reckoned with, being paired opposite Roddy White. Jones has 25 receptions for 358 yards in for the season so far. Even though Julio Jones has not yet reached the endzone, it is only a matter of time. Jones is the perfect fit for the Atlanta Falcons passing attack. The Atlanta Falcons may have given up the whole kit n’ caboodle to acquire Jones, but in the end I believe they will be happy with their investment.
The last rookie that I want to bring everyone’s attention is AJ Green. Everyone knew that AJ Green had talent when he was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals this year. No one knew just how much talent Green had or if he would be hindered by playing with a rookie quarterback. The answer is that AJ Green has flourished in the Bengals offensive scheme. Andy Dalton and AJ Green have developed a great chemistry over the first five weeks of the season. The chemistry between Green and Dalton will only grow as they play in more games together. The Cincinnati Bengals are once again an exciting team to watch and AJ Green is the main reason. Green has 24 receptions, 402 yards and three touchdowns in just 5 games. AJ Green is becoming the focal point of the Bengals offense as the season rolls on and each week Green is doing more to showcase his talent. The Bengals may be far away from a Super Bowl appearance but with the help of Dalton and more importantly Green, the Bengals may be a very good Playoff contender.
There are a few other rookies that are honorable mentions such as Andy Dalton, Von Miller, Daniel Thomas, and others. The above are the rookies that I believe have the greatest impact on their individual teams. I urge everybody to keep an eye on these players and watch their journey through this year. Each player brings something special to the game and each player is a joy to watch.
On the weekend where the Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz fight was flooded with some controversial underhanded dirty fighting tactics, we learned a few things about the NFL. After this past weekend, some of the cloudiness of how the lockout has affected different NFL teams is becoming clearer.
Week 2 Revelation #1: The Buffalo Bills may actually be a playoff contender. Like Chris Berman of ESPN says, “No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!” This may very well ring true this year for the 2011 NFL season. Ryan Fitzpatrick is orchestrating some great offensive drives and the Buffalo Bills for the first time look like a real team. Fitzpatrick managed to throw for 264 yards and 3 touchdowns on Sunday. Stevie Johnson is once again proving he is a go-to receiver. Fred Jackson may be the most underrated runningback in the league, but that guy is a true gamer.Jackson had 15 carries for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. At 2-0 the Buffalo Bills are looking quite good to be a surprise this year.
Week 2 Revelation #2: Cam Newton is the real deal. I am sure no one thought Cam Newton would be as good as he has turned out to be. Everyone knew that Cam Newton was a freakish athletic specimen, but no one could have guessed that he would be breaking passing records. Everyone guessed Cam would be humbled this weekend playing the Green Bay Packers. All of the fans and football experts guessed wrong in their assessment of Cam Newton. Cam Newton has a cannon of an arm for a quarterback and slings it similar to the way Brett Favre used to play. Cam throws the football into some amazingly small passing windows and all over the field. The results vary, sometimes he will throw a wild pass or an interception, other times the pass is right on target. The good thing with Cam Newton is that the result is usually a positive one. We can still see signs of Cam learning the game, but each week he seems to be getting better. Wow what a quarterback Cam Newton will be when his quarterback ability fully develops.
Week 2 Revelation # 3: No or very little training camp increases injuries. Injuries are in abundance this year. The majority of the New York Giants defense is out for the year with various injuries. The Kansas City Chiefs, one of the teams that decided not to play any starters during the off season, has suffered season-ending injuries to a number of their players. The Kansas City Chiefs starting tight end Tony Moeaki, their starting cornerback Eric Berry, and their star runningback Jamaal Charles all are out for the season. The Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning could not rehab due to the lockout and just recently had to have, what could be season-ending surgery. Every week the injuries keep mounting. This season will truly prove which teams can deal with adversity the best as different NFL teams continue to lose players and have to find new players to step up.
Week 2 Revelation # 4: The Philadelphia Eagles are beatable. The Eagles may have made all the right off-season acquisitions but two weeks straight the Eagles have been torched by the opposing team’s run game. In week two Michael Turner ran the ball for 114 yards and one touchdown. While the Philadelphia Eagles pass defense is one of the best in the league but their run defense is where the chink is the chink in the Eagles impenetrable armor. If Philadelphia cannot stop the run game of opposing teams it could be a long season for them, especially when facing teams with a superior running game. Michael Vick also suffered a concussion and may be out for some extended time. Over the next few weeks the Philadelphia Eagles will be tested. The question is can Philadelphia truly soar like an eagle or will they flop like wounded bird?
Well that is it for today my faithful readers. Stay tuned as I will have more sporting news to come later in the week. Another week of college and NFL football is on the way. The anticipation is already building. The planning of a football party is already in motion. Get the grill out and let the football games begin!
I have been watching pre-season and there are quite a few players that intrigue me. The position battles have started. I have two players that I am keeping an eye on and hoping they get their opportunity to shine sooner than later. In addition, I am wondering which player will have a better career. The two players I speak of are Tim Tebow and Cam Newton. The reason these two players have caught my attention is because they have similar play styles, both won NCAA National Championships, and both have the ability to be a true playmaker.
Cam Newton is competing with Jimmy Clausen for the number one quarterback position. The Carolina Panthers drafted Cam Newton with the number one pick in this year’s draft. When a team uses the number one pick on a player the expectation is that player will start in the same year they were drafted. The same was expected of Cam Newton but now in camp Jimmy Clausen is doing his best to make his case for the starting position. While I do not think Clausen will start over Newton, I have seen teams hold a rookie out if they think the rookie is not ready. The Panthers do not have that luxury. The Panthers need Cam Newton to start now. Newton should be the starter the first game of the season.
Tim Tebow is in a more complicated situation. After the season ended last year, it was a foregone conclusion Tebow would enter this season as a starter. Everyone in the Denver Broncos organization believed it to such an extent, trade rumors concerning Kyle Orton immediately surfaced. The Broncos were happy to shop a quarterback who had just had consecutive 3500+ passing yards seasons. Over the 2009 and 2010 seasons Kyle Orton proved he was an accurate and reliable quarterback. Once the NFL Lockout was over, the Denver Broncos tried to finalize a trade for Orton with the Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately, at the last minute the proposed deal fell through and Orton had to stay in Denver. Now everyone is wondering will Orton remain the starter or will Tebow still get his chance to start.
Critics all agree Kyle Orton is a more efficient quarterback. While that is true, I believe that Orton is missing one key ingredient Tim Tebow has. Orton is missing the “IT” factor that Tebow has. Tim Tebow has something about him that makes him persevere when everything is against him. If the team needs a tough one or two yards, Tebow will take the ball and run it himself. When people complained about Tebow’s throwing motion, Tim Tebow took upon himself to change it and become better. When the chips are down, Tebow somehow inspires himself and those around him to play better. I do not see the same thing in Orton and because of this difference I am recommending sitting or trading Kyle Orton and rolling with Tim Tebow. Going with the recommendation the Broncos may lose more games than putting Orton in the lineup, but over the next few seasons the decision will make the Denver Broncos a better team overall. This is because the extra time will give Tebow a chance to establish better chemistry with the team. Once Tebow is given the opportunity to truly take the reins to the Broncos, I believe the Broncos fortunes will have a positive turn around.
Now let’s look at the ultimate question which quarterback will have a better NFL season and career. Both Tim Tebow and Cam Newton have their advantages and disadvantages. Newton has a better arm than Tebow, but Tebow has a more bruising running style than Cam Newton. Both players have willed their college teams to victory when the odds looked against them. The difference in the two players is one key factor. Tim Tebow has confidence combined with humility. Cam Newton has arrogance combined with confidence. I know my readers are wondering why this matters and makes a difference. The slight difference in personality makes a significant difference in the player.
Tim Tebow in a short time has learned that it will take much more than just him playing well for the team to win. Cam Newton has not learned this valuable lesson yet. Michael Vick at one time did not understand the same lesson in the past. Vick now understands that he needs true team chemistry to win. Michael Vick’s play style has changed tremendously for the better. Cam Newton will have to learn how to increase team chemistry and be able to depend on other players around him to make plays. This is especially true concerning the current Carolina Panthers team Cam Newton is on. Cam Newton will have to look to Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to do majority of the running, while checking down to Greg Olsen when needed. Newton will have to learn to stay in the pocket and use his legs in a similar fashion as Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers.
My pick for who will have a better season if both play the same amount of games is Tim Tebow. My pick for the better career will also be Tebow overall, even if Newton does have seasons in which he plays better than Tebow. I believe Tim Tebow entered the NFL on a team with more of the essential pieces in place. Based on the points discussed above and this factor, Tim Tebow will have a greater opportunity for success earlier in his career. Truthfully, it is hard to predict how well a career of any player will go. Tom Brady was a 7th round pick and no one could have predicted he would become an elite quarterback in the NFL. The true fates of Tebow and Newton we will not know until their careers play out. Anyone can only speculate as to the true inner potential of what any player can do if they apply themselves. I wish Tim Tebow and Cam Newton the best to each of their careers. Hopefully they will both prove they are the next great stars of the league at the quarterback position.