Eagles rally late, top Jaguars.

For much of this football game, Chip Kelly’s Fast Break Offense was put in neutral/reverse by the Gus Bradley led Jacksonville defense.  It turned out to be a combination of Philly’s defense coming alive in the 2nd half along with spark plug Darren Sproles igniting the Eagle Offense to bring home the opening day victory in the City of Brotherly Love.

Things couldn’t have started out better for Jacksonville with the aid of a couple of Eagles QB Nick Foles turnovers early on. Jacksonville Quarterback Chad Henne used his veteran coverage recognition skills along with his elite level mechanics to put Jacksonville up early with two Touchdown passes in the 1st quarter.  From there on during the 1st half, the Nick Foles led Philly offense sputtered, stalled and led a first half of turnovers and missed opportunities, mostly due to the sloppy play of Foles. In the 2nd half, Henne and the Jags offense were the ones slowing down while the Eagles Offense took advantage of a couple big plays through air which ultimately made the difference in this opening day affair.

Quarterback Analysis – Jacksonville… Chad Henne looked the part of a savvy starting caliber veteran early on and throughout the first half, leading Jacksonville and showing elite command within the passing game. Jacksonville did not muster much of a ground game so it was Henne’s accuracy. timing and anticipation early on…

Philly… Nick Foles played flat out terrible in the first half, and after watching the coaching tape, was missing throws all over the field along with displaying cement feet at times… he was definitely exposed a bit in the first half, culminating with throwing an Interception in the end zone during the 2nd quarter. Foles was able to make a few big plays in the 2nd half through the air that proved to be the difference…an uneven performance for Foles who has some work to do preparing for Week 2.

Finally, Chad Henne could have single handily changed the outcome of this game with around 7:00 remaining in the game. The Jags were tied at 17 when Henne dropped back to pass and failed to exercise eye manipulation to hold the SS in Phillys 2 High Safety Look while throwing a dig route on time albeit to the backside (Left) X WR. It was a subtle nuance probably not picked up by the casual fan, but it was an intermediate Dig route that was there against the 2 high look, however because Henne failed to use his eyes on this play to manipulate or hold the SS, he locked in on the left side of the field which allowed the SS to get over and break up the accurate pass to nullify a potential Red Zone opportunity late in the game, giving the Eagles the ball back…where they ultimately took the lead on a Nick Foles Bomb to Jeremy Maclin…


Mark Sanchez to the Vikings… ?

On March 25, The New York Jets will owe Mark Sanchez a 2 Million Dollar Bonus if he is still on their Roster. Will the jets release him before that date? Not so fast. The way things have been shaping up over in Eden Praire, MN, I fully expect Rick Spielman, Mike Zimmer and Norv Turner to trade for Mark Sanchez before that March 25 deadline.  Lets explore this from three perspectives, the Vikings, which will include a collaborative approach between Rick, Mike and Norv, Mark Sanchez’s perspective and the New York Jets.






Vikings Perspective)  Christian Ponder will be entering year 4, he has shown flashes of excellence mixed in with periods of erratic and poor play. One thing is for certain, Christian will remain on the Vikings in 2014. Rick Spielman has made it known the Vikings will be looking to draft a quarterback at some point within this years draft but will not force the issue. Rick also made it clear the Vikings will sign a quarterback through Free Agency. Matt Cassel turned down an opportunity to compete for a starting job in Norv Turner’s system and may have been given information from Vikings Brass that they were in hot pursuit of another quarterback, which would explain the early bolt out of Minnesota after a successfull 2013 campaign.  Enter Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is not officially on the Free Agent QB Market but if he were, I would have to think he would be ranked right behind Michael Vick and Chad Henne, however Sanchez is 27 and Vick is past his prime and banged up, and would not fit a Norv Turner System, Henne may, however it sounds like Jacksonville will be welcoming him back with open arms. From a free agent perspective, Mark would then arguably become the most sought after QB, however he is still a member of the New York Jets. Now, Mike Zimmer was beaten by Sanchez in the playoffs in 2009 and Norv Turner’s Chargers were beaten by Mark in the 2009 Divisional Round, making them familiar with Mark’s Skillset. Enter Rick Spielman.. Rick Has stated recently that his number 1 goal is to re-vamp the Viking Defense along with the implementation of Mike Zimmer’s Defensive Scheme, The Pieces are in place to support a defensive minded football team, Adrian Peterson has at least 2 more prime years, there is explosive talent at Wide Reciever.  The last piece of this approach must be attained through a quarterback that manages the game adeptly but can also be a playmaker if called upon and capitalize on his shot plays in the passing game. Minnesota will not force the issue early in the Draft however will select a Quarterback to be a developmental guy and may thrust him into a three way competition to be the starter if need be come August.  By Bringing in Mark Sanchez to compete with Ponder and a QB TBA through the draft, The Vikings would essentially be getting a former #1 HS QB In the Country, former Top Five Draft Pick, a veteran with 4 Years of Starting experience and someone who has won four road playoff games and been to two AFC Title games.

Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) Concert Review

I had the privilege to see one of the last living musical legends perform live at the Minnesota Zoo on July 28 2013 with my father.  It was my father who played beach boys songs throughout our house during my formative years, cementing the sound in my head and introducing me to some of the best music ever created. 


Now, back to the concert review, it was a treat to get to see a sound check.  There is not a bad seat in the house, being my first time at the zoo to see a show, it exceeded my expectations on this unseasonably cool, fall like evening in Apple Valley, MN. 

Seeing Brian Wilson in person was surreal.  Even though his vocal chords are not the same as they were during Pet Sounds, the ability and creativity will never fade and it showed through multiple times throughout the concert.  Set list highlights included Little Bird, Wouldn’t it Be Nice, Warmth of the Sun and Do It again. 

One of the best pure musical shows I have ever been to.

Bruce Arians is as innovative of an Offensive Coordinator as there is in NFL.

As I go through the film of Arizona and the Green Bay (Pre- Wk 1) … I am starting to believe/Confirm that Bruce Arians (HC/OC) is a huge reason Andrew Luck Flourished so well in his Rookie Season.  How he uses Formations, Personel groupings and route combinations is cutting edge for the NFL.  In 2010, Mike McCarthy and Joe Phiblin were the innovators in regards to the passing game in the NFL, in 2013, Bruce Arians is firmly placed with that title. Carson Palmer is going to love this offense because it is so Quarterback Friendly, especially for guys with big arms. Image



QB Competition in Upstate New York, Manuel and Kolb duel continues.

Buffalo boasts legitimate competition at the quarterback position between a capable yet inconsistent quarterback (Kevin Kolb) and a first round draft pick with a high ceiling in E.J Manuel, who some are questioning if he is ready to be a starter in this league.


Early indications are that Kolb has shown consistency while displaying a veteran presence  throughout OTA’s which has carried into training camp.  Manuel, who has been lauded for his combination of unique physical gifts and a background with a pro style system seems poised to get on the field as fast as possible, but up until this point, Kevin Kolb is showing a greater command playing the position.

Keep a close eye on this battle as the preseason progresses.  If Kolb gets into a groove and  prove to be a distributor of the football, ( The Bills have quite a few offensive weapons, WR Robert Woods, C.J Spiller, Fred Jackson, Stevie Johnson) it would not shock me to see Kolb win the job.  The question then becomes, how long will he hold onto it?

Mark Sanchez, Is this it?

Mark Sanchez came into the NFL with loads of potential and promise, but has taken some serious bumps in the road as his career has unfolded. Now, 5 years in as a starting NFL QB, questions are as loud as ever about his future in the NFL.

The marriage with Marty Mornighwegh should bode well for a resurection of his career. Sanchez is at his best in a system that emphasizes getting the ball out on time, throwing short and throwing timing routes down the field. Sanchez’s skill set is more Matt Ryan than Joe Flacco or Jay Cutler.

In this aspect, Mark is a system QB, but if he is given extended life with the Jets and they truly fit their scheme to his skillset, he could get back on track.


Week 1 AFL Quarterback Play

4 QB’s who shined on Opening Day of the AFL 2013 and 3 others to keep an eye on

1. Bernard Morris (Jacksonville Sharks) The Marshall University product played at an extremely high level against Tampa Bay. Morris is equipped with one of the quickest releases in the league and it was on display Saturday. #14 has great feet as well and continually was able to setup quickly in the pocket and make strike after srike down the the field.  The fact that he boasts possibly the strongest arm in the league only seemed to help. Played mistake free football against the Storm and threw for 7 TD’s and ran for 1.Morris

2.  Dan Raudabaugh (Philly Soul)  The Texas native  makes some of the sickest throws you will see in the AFL. Saturday was no exception. Carried Philly all night. Is probably the best overall thrower from a release, motion and inventory of throws standpoint, Is the most naturally looking QB in the AFL and has great anticipation skills to boot.

3. Erik Meyer (Spokane Shock) The former record setting QB from Eastern Washington had a statement performance on Sunday.  Meyer was a big reason Spokane came out on top in Cleveland. He showed a great blend of touch, accuracy and top level anticipation throughout the game. He is a breed of QB that seems to get better with time and is a great fit for the indoor game

4. Nick Davila (Arizona Rattlers)  The crafty lefty who had a rough road at Univeristy of Cincinnati, has made a nice career in the AFL. This guy was looking really good against Philly.  Boasts one of the quickest if not the quickest release in all of AFL. Was throwing to spots on the field Saturday and consistently showed great touch.

Potential Controversy in Orlando …

Kyle Rowley (Orlando) I know it is only one game, but Orlando has some work to do, and it starts with  QB Kyle Rowley.  An AFL veteran who has played at an elite level at times over the years, really struggled and looked poor often against New Orleans.  Still made some good anticipatory throws on Sunday, however his arm looks shot and struggled to see over the line on short and intermediate routes at times.  It boggles my mind that Orlando gave Chris Leak the boot in favor of Rowley. Head Scratching move. It would not surpise me to see Chris Dixon get the call at some point here.

Keep an eye on 

JJ Raterink (Iowa) Another veteran who has one of the weaker physical skill sets of any AFL QB, however… this is a very smart Quarterback who played well in Iowa’s win over Chicago on Saturday.  Another type of QB who makes very good decisions with the football and is very adept at throwing to spots before WR’s make their cuts.  Looked sharp against Chicago.

Adrian McPherson (Tampa Bay) The Former Florida State QB is a legitimate dual threat QB in the AFL. He is more Dangerous running the football at this point because as a passer, Adrian is still raw in the pocket and at knowing where and when to take shots downfield, which for an Indoor QB where Offenses see heavy doses of forms of Man Coverage week in and week out..those are throws you need to make in this league.  Has some issues throwing the ball that may limit his ceiling as a QB but he is one of the most electric QB’s in the AFL.