QUICK 5 WITH MARY PESARCHICK, BILLS OR

Come chat Bills with me // @HeyMom418

NF: Where did you learn about football – When? and from Who?

MP: Like so many, I have my dad to thank for making me the sports junkie that I am today. I’ve always enjoyed competition and, when you add that to a “tomboy” personality, a love of sports grew naturally in me. It was something Dad and I had in common, and, since I didn’t have any brothers, we spent a lot of time watching and talking about it together.

Actually, the first sport I fell in love with was not football but baseball. I learned the game from watching it on TV, and by listening to the radio broadcasts of the Detroit Tigers, my dad’s favorite team. My passion for football grew slowly, and not really from watching the NFL—after all, the Buffalo Bills teams of the 70s were not exactly inspiring! It was from watching college football with Dad, specifically Notre Dame football, that I was bitten by the bug.

NF: Priorities of Life – What are your top 3?

MP: I’d have to say my faith in God would be the first priority as I honestly don’t know where I’d be without that. Next would be my family. I am so grateful for my wonderful husband, my three sons and my “special” girl. I hate to think how empty life would be without them. Finally, as a confirmed introvert, I make a point of finding some peace and quiet in each day to enjoy a cup of tea, dark chocolate, and a good book or crossword puzzle. It reminds me to appreciate the simple things in life.

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QUICK 5 WITH Laura Leigh Majernik, NCAA OR

NCAA Official Reporter

Come chat NCAA with me // @LLMajer

NF: Where did you learn about football – When? and from Who?

LLM: I remember watching the Dallas Cowboys with my dad from a very early age. He’s the one who introduced the game to me.

NF: Priorities of Life – What are your top 3?

LLM: 1) Faith  2) Family  3) Serving others

NF: If you had any job in the world – what would it be, and why?

LLM: I already have my dream job-I’m a stay at home mom!

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THE STAR AND THE COMMUNITY: HELPING TEXAS EXCEL

By Kimberly Bowman // @kimberlygrace__

Fans all over the country have their own unique reasons for why they became fans of the Dallas Cowboys. Whether it be a memory from childhood or just good old-fashioned Texas pride, most fans take their dedication to the team very seriously.

And the men and women behind the star take their famed position in society just as serious, seeing the need to give back to the community that supports them whole-heartedly. And while the holiday season can be difficult for a majority, America’s team does what they can both during the holidays and year-round to make life for some of our country’s less fortunate a bit more joyous.

For twenty years, the Cowboys have teamed up with the Salvation Army and have acquired just over two billion dollars in donations for the organization dedicated to helping the needy with their Red Kettle Campaign across the States. Spanning from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve, the Red Kettle Campaign works to provide the less fortunate with shelter, meals, and even toys to those who could otherwise not afford such luxuries.

Players giving back courtesy: dallascowboys.com

Partnering with the Cowboys, the Salvation Army gets the limelight every Thanksgiving day as they work to bring in the funds to make the holidays extra special for the people in their community, their world, and ultimately the country as we ring in the Christmas season. Many of the team members volunteer seasonally to serve Thanksgiving meals to the homeless and offer Christmas cheer in many avenues of need. Continue reading “THE STAR AND THE COMMUNITY: HELPING TEXAS EXCEL”

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Packers Draft 2017: their need, picks and my excitement

By Sueli Loiola // @Su_firstavenger

Finally, the season is coming soon, but we’ll have to wait a bit more. This draft 2017 made us dream a little bit more and certainly, we had some impressive surprises from general manager Ted Thompson. Before we start to chat about the picks and our expectations about the NFL Draft at Philadelphia, let’s remember briefly how we left the Green Bay Packers last year.

Packers started the season with a lot of excitement, but once again we had some problems. Players were injured; actually the most important players were out. Some for a short term and others a long one. Also, It wasn’t the best Aaron Rodgers’ season at all. His leadership and ability was questioned.

After a dark period, Aaron came up and shared a message for all Packers fans “Let’s run the table”. Like a miracle, the Packers weren’t the same and Aaron recovered his confidence. At least now the fans were more confident in the team. So, things started to happen and then, they were in the NFC Championship game. The fans were very pleased and confident, Packers could get to Super Bowl. The team finally had a great chance, once again. Unfortunately, the Atlanta Falcons were on their way and the dream was gone.

The season finished for us, but it was just for a moment. The team, coaches, GM and so on needed to stop and think what was good and what went wrong during the season. Also, they urgently needed to make this next season better than the last one. They let go some players such as Eddie Lacy and TJ Lang for example. The Packers should think strategically about what their needs are for this moment. Continue reading “Packers Draft 2017: their need, picks and my excitement”

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The Atlanta Falcons Brotherhood Just Got Stronger

Official Atlanta Falcons Fan Reporter

By Allison Smith // @FalconAlley

While there is no actual football being played, football season is in full effect with the NFL Draft completing this past weekend. The Atlanta Falcons traded up, then back and ended with six picks this season, split evenly between adding to the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. The big splash will be defensively, but is that a surprise for a Dan Quinn coached team?

Falcons 2017 Draft Class

1 – 26: Takkarist McKinley, DE from UCLA; 6’2, 250 lbs
3 – 75: Duke Riley, LB from LSU; is 6’0, 232 lbs
4 – 136: Sean Harlow, T from Oregon State; 6’4, 303 lbs
5 – 149: Damontae Kazee, DB from San Diego State; 5’10, 184 lbs
5 – 156: Brian Hill, RB from Wyoming; 6’1, 219 lbs
5 – 174: Eric Saubert, TE from Drake; 6’5, 253 lbs

Takkarist McKinley, will forever be known as the emotional, cuss word dropping draft pick with the new Falcon catch phrase, “Fine Me Later.” While some may be concerned about his language seconds after being drafted, my take away was that this kid WANTS to play and prove himself and is full of passion. As he was leaving the stage, he also mentioned something about getting to the quarterbacks. I assume he knocked down a couple of prospective quarterbacks around back stage. Please note, Takk, in class act fashion, has apologized for his unplanned, emotional language. Can this rookie be my new favorite player already?

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Tennessee Titans Draft

Karen Christensen, Official Tennessee Titans Reporter

By Karen Christensen // @ksc47

Hooray, the Draft is over!  No more mock drafts and speculation.  Tennessee Titans’ general manager Jon Robinson got two tons of kudos for his draft wheelin’ and dealin’ for 2016, so there was a lot of anticipation with this season’s draft.  Would JR trade down to get more drafts in the first round or would he stay with picks 5 and 18?

Well, turns out the boss man stayed with the designated picks and didn’t do any trading until day 2. Mr. Robinson did help turn this team around from a 3 wins 13 losses 2015 season to a 9 wins -7 losses 2016 season; so Titan Nation should have known that they were in good hands for the draft.

The team’s main needs were wide receiver and cornerback, and the number 1 pick was WR Corey Davis from Western Michigan.  I did go to the Titans draft party at Nissan Stadium on Thursday, and the crowd was cheering when Davis’ name was called by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. 

Head Coach Mike Mularkey later said that the main goal was to draft guys that were competitive and put the team first, and for the positions that they needed.  The team wasn’t looking for the best player available on the board this year, but for the best player that was needed. Corey Davis will be another target for Marcus Mariota, he’s fast, determined and he has said that Mariota is his favorite quarterback in the league.

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The Pride Report: 2017 NFL Draft Edition

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

The 2017 NFL Draft has come to a close.  How did the Detroit Lions do?  Well, according to me, I think they did pretty well.   Draft grades can be sort of misleading, because to truly grade them, you’d have look at their whole season of work, where they were picked, etc.  But if I had to give a grade, I’d say a B.

General manager Bob Quinn addressed most needs in the draft, which were defense.  Out of the Lions nine draft picks, only 3 were on offense.    The linebacking corps definitely improved with the addition of first round pick out of Florida Jarrad Davis and 4th round pick Jalen Reeves-Maybin from Tennessee.  He also added to a slightly deep secondary by drafting CB Teez Tabor and Jamal Agnew, though Agnew may be used more in special teams.    Last year showed the depth, or lack thereof, with the Lions defense. This draft, I do believe, addressed some of it.

Offensively they took wide receiver Kenny Golloday, tight end Michael Roberts and quarterback Brad Kaaya.   I’m most impressed with Michael Roberts.  Glad to have an addition to the tight end group.  Eric Ebron has been rather underwhelming, but if all goes well, Roberts will be a good blocking tight end, and also a reliable red-zone option.

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New Orleans Saints Select Al-Quadin Muhammad

Official New Orleans Saints Reporter

By Christy Chauvin // @WhoDatWarriors

The New Orleans Saints selected Al-Quadin Muhammad with their last pick of the 2017 NFL draft.  There was faint expectation for this pick given its position in the draft but the Saints, who never fail to surprise, pulled off a bit of an upset with the selection of Al-Quadin Muhammad.

His ESPN draft profile reads like a dream for a pass rusher.

Pass Rush Skills 3 Shoots hand inside and jacks up blockers with initial punch. Above average initial quickness and flashes ability to win with speed to power. Tracks quarterback as he works upfield and sheds in proper direction. Average bend and adequate closing speed. Room for improvement when it comes to double and quick inside moves. Appears to have long arms and gets hands up when doesn’t get to the quarterback.
Versus the run 3 Flashes ability to shoot gaps and disrupt plays in the backfield. Lean lower body and gets overwhelmed at times but does a better job of setting edge than other edge defenders with similar size. Strong and plays with good pad level for the most part. Shoots hands inside and stacks much bigger blockers though needs to shed quicker at times. Effective wrap-up tackler between the tackles. Some tightness in hips and concerned about ability to regularly make open field tackles. Good effort and sound angles but quicker than fast and struggles to chase down backs on a straight-line.
Versatility 2 Ideally fills out frame but best long-term projection is at LDE. That said he is a 3-4OLB candidate with experience lining up in two-point stance and off the line. High-cut and more effective attacking upfiield but has experience dropping and has enough range to hold up in underneath coverage.
Instincts/Motor 2 Plays with a chip on shoulder and good fight taking on bigger blockers. Relentless would be an overstatement but good effort chasing the run and average to slightly above average effort rushing the passer. Flashes ability to fight through double teams.

Al-Quadin Muhammad’s issues off the field have hampered his ability to develop on the field.  He has missed two of the past three seasons because of a suspension and dismissal. The University of Miami suspended him for the 2014 season after he allegedly punched a former student in the face in the Hard Rock Stadium parking lot. Al-Quadin Muhammad was dismissed from the team because the university believed a Miami Beach car dealership gave him free use of an exotic car, which is an NCAA violation.

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New Orleans Saints Select Alex Anzalone

Official New Orleans Saints Reporter

By Christy Chauvin // @WhoDatWarriors

The New Orleans Saints made a surprise selection in the third round of the NFL draft when they selected linebacker Alex Anzalone.

This was a highly anticipated pick by Saints watchers who expected the Saints to select a pass rusher ranked as a round two or three selection in a very deep defensive draft.  Instead they choose a linebacker buoying up the belief the team believes in its free agent pass rusher, Alex Okafor. What did they see in Anzalone to make this selection?

The oft-injured Anzalone is believed to possess first rate football skills.  In the Saints opinion, he is the only linebacker in the draft who excelled at all three linebacking positions as well as in pass protection.  Has good lateral movement and can burst into an alley.

Mike Detillier described his style of tackling as “Attacks ballcarriers like they stole something from him as a kid.”  He is a smart player who is rarely caught out of position.  Locker room leader who other players listened to.

Our Lads states “Shows man-to-man skill with the ability to mirror cuts and stay in phase with a back or tight end up the field.”  Thinking about a 6 foot, 3 inches, 241 linebacker lining up against running backs and tights ends in the NFC South does my heart good. Physically gifted but has arms and needs to improve his technique against quality blocking.

Alex Anzalone

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New Orleans Saints Select Trey Hendrickson

Official New Orleans Saints Reporter

By Christy Chauvin // @WhoDatWarriors

The New Orleans Saints finally selected a pass rusher in the third round of the NFL draft by taking Trey Hendrickson who had the highest pass-rushing productivity in the nation.  He also led the nation in blocked kicks.

Mike Mayock:  “I like this guy. Daniel Jeremiah and I showed up at the East-West Shrine Game and we both kind of went nuts over this guy. Six-four, 266, he sticks his hand in the dirt and boy does he come after people. And then what I really liked — people say he has short arms and bla bla bla — but then he went to the combine and tested extremely well. So you’ve got an effort motor guy with really good measurables, except for the short arms. And all I’m telling you is New Orleans needs to affect the pass game and he’s going to be one of those guys that can stick his hand in the dirt or stand up depending on what they need.”

Trey Hendrickson Trey Hendrickson

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