After a season to forget, the Cardinals have options for 2019

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior Sports Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

There wasn’t a lot to say about the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. Honestly, it was basically a throwaway season. However, with the Cards having a new coach and the first pick in the draft, can 2019 bring a turnaround?

After going 3-13, the Cardinals knew things had to change. They started with firing head coach Steve Wilks after just one season, and hiring college football coach, Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury started coaching in 2008 moving from the University of Houston, then on to Texas A&M, and finally to Texas Tech. He had been hired as the offensive coordinator at USC in December, but obviously, let that go to coach at the NFL level.

Reaction to the Kingsbury hire was, to say the least, cool from fans and media. However, he coached quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Johnny Manziel, and Case Keenum. So there is reason to think his system could carry over to the NFL. Add to that the fact they brought in former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph as defensive coordinator, this team has a completely fresh start in coaching.

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What We Learned From the AAF Inaugural Games

Wanda Wiedman,
NFL Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman / @WandaW63

A dream that has been floating around for many years and has finally found a voice through the Alliance of American Football.

The league came about as a way to appeal to the undrafted college players, the tossed aside unsigned NFL players and former coaches. It is an opportunity for a chance at redemption and to be a part of a league that gives players a stage to prove they have what it takes to play in the NFL. Below are a few things we learned from the inaugural kickoff:

Old and untapped running backs and wide receivers show their skills.

Former first-rounder for the Cleveland Browns, Trent Richardson bounced around the NFL but proved he still had game with 2 rushing touchdowns, 23 carries, 58 rushing yards, and a fumble for the Birmingham Iron.

Keep an eye out for RB Jhurell Pressley of the Salt Lake Stallions. He went undrafted in 2016, bounced around five different NFL teams but was impressive in the opener with 18 touches for 84 yds, 2-2pt conversions, and a receiving TD.

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Being a woman and an NFL fan

Sonja Greenfield, Detroit Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

It’s not easy being a female sports fan.  More specifically, a female football fan.

On Monday, it was announced that the Cleveland Browns signed former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. To refresh our memory, Hunt was released by the Chiefs back in November for domestic violence allegations.  He was caught on camera kicking a woman in a hotel. Though he still potentially faces disciplinary action from the League, as of today, he’s a Cleveland Brown.

My husband once told me, “I don’t know how you can be a woman and still like the NFL.”  Ummm…wow.  That hurt a little bit. But he’s right. (And no, this isn’t the first time I’ve acknowledged that he’s right, BTW)

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Conflicted feelings on Cleveland signing RB Kareem Hunt

Kate Arhar
Kate Arhar Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

During a season in which the Kansas City Chiefs had great expectations of going to the Super Bowl, a video surfaced to show star running back Kareem Hunt in an altercation with a woman at a hotel in Cleveland last Spring. In the video, he is seen hitting and kicking her. The backlash from this incident caused the NFL to suspend him indefinitely and the Chiefs to release him.

Yesterday, Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey announced that they had signed Hunt. Frankly, my reactions have varied since I heard this news. I needed time to gather my thoughts, rein in my emotions, and sleep on it before I could put words down on paper.

Today, my thoughts are clearer, but no less conflicted. Hunt’s behavior in that Cleveland hotel is completely unacceptable. Everyone should be able to have a second chance to make up for their past, but WHY oh WHY does it have to be the Browns that give him that chance?

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“Survey says, …” TWT: The Alliance of American Football

Fantasy Football Reporter

By Liz Panucci // @PanucciLiz

Football isn’t over!

We have the rare opportunity of watching a new league unfurl before our very eyes in 2019. It’s not the NFL, but it is 10 weeks of the game we love. Four games are played each weekend, two on Saturday, two on Sunday. CBS Sports Network will be broadcasting the games.

Players have been brought together from many sources to form this league. New rules have been utilized to add quickness to the game. Coaches have been busy testing personalities and strengths for the winning combination. It’s new and it’s happening.

Our Turf Football has a short 5-question, multiple-choice survey to help you get to know more about the league. Click the link below to get started.

The Alliance of American Football

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NFL teams ready themselves for offseason

Lisa
Lisa Johnson,
NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

While many NFL eyes were in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII and the end of the 2018 season, 30 other NFL teams were already very busy preparing for the 2019 season. Teams with new head coaches scrambled to round out their staff, while draft boards started going up in every front office.

As the final seconds of the Super Bowl clicked off the clock, most fans put the season to rest. Many moved on to baseball, basketball, soccer, or hockey. While others still starving for some type of NFL action or news will turn their attention to the NFL calendar.

One good thing the NFL has gotten extremely good at is promoting offseason transactions and events. Making many of these events, which used to be closed, open to the public. Fans can enjoy the Combine, Draft, and of course, the all-important tickets to training camps.

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Nick Foles decides its time to move on from the Eagles. Where does he go?

Dayna O’Gorman
NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Always a bridesmaid, never the bride.

Even after being named MVP of a Super Bowl LII, even after saving the Eagles 2018 season and taking them to the playoffs, Philadelphia continued to tell quarterback Nick Foles he just wasn’t good enough. QB Carson Wentz, who has been injured the last two seasons, will be their starter. Foles decided that it was time to move on, and he paid $2 million to do it.

The Eagles had picked up Foles $20 million option, but that would mean he would continue to carry a clipboard for Wentz. Foles paid the fee to be released from that option, but Philadelphia still has the ability to franchise tag him. This would give the team the ability to trade him. It has been reported that multiple teams are interested in bringing Foles on board. This isn’t surprising considering the state of the quarterback situation in the NFL.

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Resurrecting careers is the Patriot’s Way

Wanda Wiedman,
NFL Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman / @WandaW63

The New England Patriots pulled out another win, hoisting for the 6th time the coveted Lombardi Trophy. It was not the epic game of the century, and it did not excite the masses.

But despite the typical performance of quarterback Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman, it is fascinating how the Patriots seem to resurrect the careers of players whose athletic efforts have been stagnant.

Everyone talks about the non-existent Bill Belichick coaching tree, but it may be because they are looking at it all wrong. The coaching tree actually morphed to the players on the field who came from other teams. Players who were the epitome of the walking dead until they came to life in New England. Whatever it is that Belichick is serving up in training camp, these free agency players are getting the banquet of a lifetime, in the form of Super Bowl rings.

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Chris Long wins Walter Payton Man of the Year for his work in Africa

Sonja Greenfield NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

 

**This article contains views of the author and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Our Turf Football.**

There are plenty of NFL players that are doing great things in their various communities, and they all deserve to be celebrated.

One such player is Philadelphia Eagles defensive end, Chris Long.  As you know, he was named the 2018 Walter Payton Man Of The Year this past Saturday.  Long, like the other nominees for the award, has long been a good guy in his community.  However, to me, he sticks out for some very important reasons.

I’ve always felt that if you’re given a platform to do some good, then it’s your responsibility to do just that. Not that you have to, of course, but it’s a good thing to do.

Long’s Waterboy initiative has been in place since 2016. Its goal is to bring fresh water to the African country of Tanzania by building sustainable wells.  The goal is to build 32 wells, one for every team in the NFL.  He is bringing together veterans, NFL players, and has recently expanded to include NBA players as well.

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Bengals, Dolphins hire head coaches from Super Bowl LIII teams

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

Now that the Super Bowl is over, the last two open head coaching positions in the NFL have been filled.

The Cincinnati Bengals announced that Zac Taylor will be their new head coach. Taylor was the quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams.

The Miami Dolphins announced that Brian Flores will be their new head coach. Flores was the linebackers coach and defensive play caller for the New England Patriots.

It would appear that the Bengals will be focusing on offense this season, while the Dolphins are looking for defensive strength to help them finally top the Patriots in the AFC East.

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