• Goal-Line Stand

    • A brief history of ridiculous pre-draft quotes and scouting reports

      By Sean Tomlinson in Ponderings on Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014

      During draft season we have a lot of time to think, a lot of time to talk, and a lot of time to listen as others talk. On the surface those aren’t bad things, because analysis is what we do around here, and thinking mixed with talking is what leads to the learning and evaluating. It’s a cycle, you see.

      But sometimes that cycle can more so resemble a spiral of blinding, white nothingness, and the result is both comedy,...

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    • What happened during the 2009 draft: The gift of Clay Matthews

      By Sean Tomlinson in Analysis on Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014

      The headlining quarterback during the 2009 draft has been inconsistent at best, and the draft overall wasn’t nearly as strong as the two years that followed. But it did give us a long-haired man now beloved in frosty Wisconsin, and another linebacker who disregards normal football conventions. Like wearing a helmet.

      Our draft nostalgia journey continues…

      The BIG story

      If he could ever develop something that resembles a consistent throwing motion, maybe in future 2009 draft nostalgia pieces Matthew Stafford...

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    • Aldon Smith: When being an idiot goes wrong

      By Sean Tomlinson in Reaction on Monday, Apr. 14, 2014

      Humans do stupid things daily, all ranging in severity and consequence. As I write this there’s probably at least one groggy individual who did the classic reverse through the garage door stunt. That’s dumb, but the harm is only to door, car, and pocket. Like so many others, it’s also an example of a private matter. A privately stupid matter, but you get the idea nonetheless.

      Aldon Smith is a different sort of idiot. He’s the extreme and completely clueless kind,...

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    • Five football movies that are the best

      By Sean Tomlinson in Lists on Friday, Apr. 11, 2014

      Earlier this morning to (dis)honor Draft Day I went through the absolute worst in pigskin film creations. Now we follow up with the best of the bestest.

      Ultimately any sports movie list is influenced by age, and in no way did I show that below with the exclusion of old classics like North Dallas Forty and Brian’s Song. Nope.

      5. Monday Night Mayhem (2002)

      This rarely gets love in other similar listicles, because that’s what happens with sparsely viewed TV...

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    • Five football movies that really sucked

      By Sean Tomlinson in Lists on Friday, Apr. 11, 2014

      Tonight if you really want to treat someone special in your life to a romantic evening, remember that Draft Day is now in theaters and available for your viewing pleasure.

      Every time I see the trailer for this film, I have two frightening realizations:

      • Someone actually thought it was a good idea to make a movie about the NFL draft.
      • Many people are going to pay a lot of money to watch a movie about the NFL draft.

      Making a...

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    • Why Khalil Mack will be a top 10 pick

      By Alen Dumonjic in 2014 NFL draft, The Tape Never Lies on Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014

      Out of nowhere the pass-rusher threw a right jab like a boxer. One second he’s running downhill and the next … BAM! He pinned the offensive tackle on his heels, with the blocker stumbling into his own backfield, waiting for someone — anyone —to help. The pass-rusher went through the tackle and turned the corner, pressuring the quarterback out of the pocket and forcing an incompletion.

      That’s the norm for the 6’3″, 251-pound Khalil Mack, who is a specimen from...

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    • How much does Adrian Peterson have left?

      By Sean Tomlinson in Analysis on Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014

      Lately I seem to be contemplating the end quite a bit. The football end, first with Tom Brady. I’m not sure what that says about my current worldview, and I’m also not sure I really want to know.

      Even if it’s just briefly, somewhere late at night behind a closed door in an office cave every general manager spends time in April thinking about the end for a superstar who’s either aging, or consistently absorbing a lot of abuse....

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    • Anthony Barr can be either dominating, or dominated

      By Alen Dumonjic in 2014 NFL draft, The Tape Never Lies on Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2014

      From his 6’5″ frame hang nearly 34-inch long arms, creating a towering pass-rusher that has off-the-charts potential. When his size blends with his athleticism and explosiveness, he becomes a rare prospect that’s arguably the most impressive in this May’s draft.

      But there needs to be more to a prospect than size and athleticism. Technique and tools are necessary, such as powerful hands and disciplined pad level. That’s where questions start to arise with UCLA’s Anthony Barr, who can be one...

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    • What happened during the 2010 draft: TEBOWTIME

      By Sean Tomlinson in 2014 NFL draft on Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2014

      Because nostalgia is fun and so is the pain of horribly failed decisions, over the next month we’re going to fire up the ol’ time machine and revisit drafts. Unofficially this great journey started Monday with a not-so distant trip to 2011, the year of the pass rusher.

      At each stop we’ll remember the major storylines, the busts, the bargains, the trends, and some other things that start with “the”. Today, 2010 is under the microscope, and conveniently that’s...

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    • When is your really great old quarterback too damn old?

      By Sean Tomlinson in Ponderings on Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2014

      “Old” can be a moving target in football, but it’s one we still generally have pinned down. Running backs are considered old at the age of 30, which is why, if they’ve been handling a steady workload throughout their career (hi there, Chris Johnson), we begin to talk about decay at the depressingly early age of 28.

      Wide receivers last a little longer, but as we’ve seen with the likes of Randy Moss and Chad Ochocinco/Johnson in recent years, their...

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    • The three best fits for Chris Johnson

      By Sean Tomlinson in Analysis on Monday, Apr. 07, 2014

      As a fan of the National Football League you have the right to be selfish. Most commonly that right is exercised when you wish for the best outcome for your team, and you hope rivals find only the deepest pits of hell.

      But I prefer an even simpler existence: I want to be entertained.

      Chris Johnson is an entertainer. His services in the entertainment field are now up for grabs. As a selfish fan, let’s indulge our wildest football fantasies with one...

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    • An ode to the 2011 draft: The year of the pass rusher

      By Sean Tomlinson in Analysis on Monday, Apr. 07, 2014

      During this driest of NFL dry seasons, the draft is torn down, reassembled, and deconstructed again (rinse and repeat), we’re reminded that each draft takes on its own unique characteristics and reflects the current league climate.

      In 2005 three running backs were selected in the top five: Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson, and Cadillac Williams. Nearly a decade later we recall that draft as a crushing failure and the beginning of the running back draft spiral. In the nine years since only three other backs were...

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    • Four locker room cancers who had a DeSean Jackson problem

      By Sean Tomlinson in Lists on Friday, Apr. 04, 2014

      When DeSean Jackson was released by the Philadelphia Eagles and then later signed by the Washington Redskins, he became the latest of a special breed: players who are tolerated only for a short time by their current head coach, or just not tolerated at all.

      To the surprise of absolutely no one, today there were more reportsthat Jackson was petulant in the Eagles locker room and not liked by his teammates. The dislike became so strong that despite still...

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    • Why Mike Williams is the ideal low-cost acquisition

      By Sean Tomlinson in Reaction on Friday, Apr. 04, 2014

      Buying low on a player works best when said player later becomes a sell high candidate. That doesn’t mean he has to be sold and traded again, but rather it simply means his value has risen high above expectations after your purchase at a bargain price.

      When the Bills acquired Mike Williams for a mere sixth-round pick today, that became the goal. In a sense the move mirrors the sort of trade or signing often pulled off by the New...

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    • Why Pete Carroll fits perfectly in Seattle

      By Sean Tomlinson in Reaction on Friday, Apr. 04, 2014

      Everything about Pete Carroll in Seattle feels right. The fanbase that quite literally shakes the Earth with its gameday roar has the league’s most energetic head coach, a man who’s seemingly on a constant caffeine drip as he defies all laws of human behavior at his quite elderly age. If you weren’t reminded nearly every game, it would be a very funny joke when someone told you that at 62 years young Carroll is behind only Tom Coughlin in age...

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    • Is Teddy Bridgewater the quarterback most likely to fall?

      By Sean Tomlinson in 2014 NFL draft on Thursday, Apr. 03, 2014

      The quarterback draft fall is an interesting creature. As is the case with any breath and action a quarterback takes throughout his life, there’s far more attention given to his struggle.

      WIth that uber importance and bright spotlight, a miss on a quarterback ends the unemployment of many people (see: Cleveland, Minnesota). This year as we sit currently just over a month away from the draft, a fall for one of the three quarterbacks hovering around the top ten feels inevitable,...

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    • Why drafting Blake Bortles could end in unemployment

      By Alen Dumonjic in 2014 NFL draft, The Tape Never Lies on Thursday, Apr. 03, 2014

      His passes fell incomplete. They beelined off his palm like a kamikaze pilot, flying across the green grass before sinking in it. They sailed through the bright stadium lights and into the dark sky before going over the receiver’s head. They blindly flew out of bounds and bounced hopelessly on the sideline.

      But it didn’t matter, because UCF’s Blake Bortles had potential. The one word that all the personnel men love to use until they’ve fired for using it. Then they...

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    • Is Chris Johnson done? Or can he pull off a LaDainian Tomlinson?

      By Sean Tomlinson in Ponderings on Thursday, Apr. 03, 2014

      Chris Johnson is many things, and few of those things are good right now. Set to turn 29 a few weeks into the 2014 season, he’s an old man by the standards of his position, a decline made even more real by his 2,014 career touches. He’s also a shell of his former self, with less explosive downfield shaking and/or baking, and much more backfield dancing that ends badly. He had only 1,077 rushing yards this past season, which is a drop...

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    • How to see through the noise of draft season

      By Sean Tomlinson in 2014 NFL draft on Wednesday, Apr. 02, 2014

      The guy on the left isn’t better than the guy on the right.

      The NFL draft is a hope factory, which is why it’s dissected relentlessly for weeks. The heart can’t control what it wants, but it’s important that throughout the process we all remember this: too often hope is mistaken for knowledge.

      The online draft community has grown in recent years, pushed by the access to All-22 film. Increasingly there are more voices, and with that comes more thoughts,...

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    • Does DeSean Jackson’s deal with the Redskins make sense?

      By Sean Tomlinson in Reaction on Wednesday, Apr. 02, 2014

      Earlier this week I wondered if DeSean Jackson is worth all the money. Or, more specifically, if the Redskins could justify paying him the roughly $10 million annually he was seeking. To me the answer was a resounding negative for a number of reasons, but that answer is irrelevant now.

      While the east coast was tucking in for an early spring slumber last night, Jackson was signing with the Washington Redskins. That’s not remotely surprising, as after spending two days...

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    • Greg Robinson has the skills to be an elite left tackle

      By Alen Dumonjic in 2014 Draft, The Tape Never Lies on Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2014

      Plump defenders are driven wayside like dummy sleds. They succumb, folding like lawn chairs, or even worse, drowning into the ground. By the whistle, they’re scrambling to regain their balance, hoping to avoid the embarrassment of a pancake. They know it’ll show up on the coach’s film the next morning. There’s no excuse for it — other than facing Greg Robinson.

      He’s thick and towering. He has a belly, but he also has a chest. His arms are like his thighs....

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    • Why are running backs being paid like punters?

      By Sean Tomlinson in Analysis on Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2014

      When I took a long, sorrow-filled look at the NFL running back last week and the decline of this particular football species in recent drafts, the evidence provided by free agency was a footnote. That was mostly done out of necessity, because even in late March the sample size to draw from of running back free agent signings this year was moderate at best. It was Ben Tate, followed by Rashad Jennings, and then a bunch of bit players...

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    • Should the Redskins pay DeSean Jackson all the money?

      By Sean Tomlinson in Analysis on Monday, Mar. 31, 2014

      Depending on a number of different variables (how long you’ve turned away from a screen of some kind, your time zone, and the last time you drank orange juice, to name a few) there’s somewhere between five and nine teams interested in the services of DeSean Jackson. Shortly after his release this past Friday afternoon the high end there was widely reported, and since then the lower digit seems more likely.

      Three days after a bizarre event in our lives,...

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    • Why the Texans should trade the first overall pick

      By Sean Tomlinson in 2014 Draft on Monday, Mar. 31, 2014

      When I mocked the 2014 draft for the first time Friday — ridiculing it relentlessly — I did it with my mind, and not so much my heart. That’s how it should be done, with each mock presenting a scenario of what could take place, and for each pick the mocker is the general manager of that team for a moment.

      What’s that team’s greatest need? And is that need so strong it trumps taking the best player available? Those are...

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    • The Top five DeSean Jackson moments in Philadelphia

      By Sean Tomlinson in Lists on Friday, Mar. 28, 2014

      The Philadelphia Eagles could have released DeSean Jackson for any number of reasons. But since 27-year-old receivers in their prime who fit perfectly in an offense aren’t exactly growing on branches, he must have been the worst locker room jerk in sports history, and his alleged gang affiliations certainly didn’t help matters. That’s all we can assume right now, because otherwise cutting someone with Jackson’s youth and talent is…confusing.

      But reasons be damned, the Jackson era in Philadelphia is...

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