News from the AFC North

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Week two of the NFL Preseason has gone and plenty of questions have been left unanswered for the teams in the AFC North.

All four teams (Ravens, Bengals, Browns and Steelers) seem to have locked on to their starting quarterback. It’s going to be the position battles that most intrigue fans during training camp and the preseason. At last wide receiver Antonio Brown and his helmet issues are no longer a problem in this division! Good luck with that, Oakland!

But there were two really heartbreaking losses this week in the death’s of former Bengals running back Cedric Benson and Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake.

Let’s see what’s been going on in the North….

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NFC South: preseason week 2

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

In 2018, the NFC South produced one playoff team and three others who woefully under-performed vs expectations.

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints took a 13-3 record into the post-season and lost in what many fans still call an egregious error by the officials.

The Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers both finished with 7-9 records, which was definitely not what most pundits predicted when the season began.

And finally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a dismal 5-11, are still struggling to live up to the promise that drafting quarterback Jameis Winston showed back in 2015.

Will this year see a shake-up in the rankings? Let’s see how they look so far…

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AFC North: preseason week one

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North & NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8  

It’s hard to believe Week 1 of the NFL Preseason is already in the books.

This season, I’ll be covering the AFC North:  Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

For the past few years, this division has easily been dominated by the Steelers and Ravens. This season may bring quite a few surprises!

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Zeke Elliott to sit out entire 2019 season?

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported this morning that Dalla Cowboy running back Ezekiel Elliott will sit out the entire 2019 season if he doesn’t get a contract extension.

While we knew he was “vacationing” in Mexico and not attending training camp, I don’t think anyone believed that he wouldn’t eventually get himself to Dallas.

But he reportedly told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones back in January that he wouldn’t play a single game without an extension and regardless of how many fines the team/league heap upon him, it sounds like he was serious.

Which I find to be shameful behavior!

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2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor Reporter AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // ClvlndK8 

Each year, I look to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festivities as the start of football season and a warning that summer is coming to an end.

It’s something I love to attend every year, whether as a fan of this amazing game or, as I was this year, a member of the media. As I drive down State Route 77 and finally see Tom Benson Stadium in the distance, I get chills. Every single time.

Every class brings me something to look forward to; a player I loved or a team I hated, it doesn’t matter. And this year’s class is no different.

The 2019 class of enshrinees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame included four defensive players, two offensive players, and two front office gentlemen. And, as always, each one gave a speech that left a solid imprint in my mind.

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PFHOF class of 2020 expanded for Centennial celebration

From the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio:

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s proposal to increase the number of Seniors, Contributors and Coaches candidates as part of a special Centennial Class of 2020 was approved by the Hall’s Board of Trustees during its annual meeting yesterday.

The measure is intended to honor the NFL’s Centennial Celebration through a special Centennial Class that will be comprised of 20 members in 2020. The group will include five Modern-Era players, 10 Seniors (a player who has been retired for more than 25 seasons), three Contributors (an individual other than a player or coach) and two coaches.

The Hall of Fame Board passed the resolution that will suspend the Hall of Fame’s current Selection Committee By-Laws for the Class of 2020 election cycle only.

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Football is BACK! Pro Football Hall of Fame Game 2019

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor Reporter AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

It wasn’t pretty. And the final two minutes may have been the biggest mess I have ever seen. (Three false starts? In a row? Are you kidding me????)

But – it was FOOTBALL!

At times, it wasn’t much fun for fans of the Atlanta Falcons or the Denver Broncos.  At times it was amazing.

If you’ve missed it as much as I have, then knowing that the season is finally here was enough to keep you excited throughout the game.

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Pat Bowlen: PFHOF Class of 2019

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor Reporter AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Pat Bowlen shaped the Broncos into one of the most storied franchises in NFL history during his 35 years as an owner. As a Browns fan, believe me when I say that I’ve seen first hand what his impact was on those teams!

With Bowlen at helm, the Broncos have advanced to playoffs 18 times, won 13 division crowns, seven AFC championships and three Super Bowl titles (XXXII, XXXIII and 50).

Sadly, he passed away on June 13th, 2019, but football fans will have the chance to honor him at this years Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival where he is a member of the Class of 2019.

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Kevin Mawae: PFHOF Class of 2019

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor Reporter AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

The Center position in football, in my opinion, has been vastly underrated. In terms of continuity or success for an offense, it all starts in the middle. The center has to know the play, snap the ball and then immediately get busy protecting his quarterback.

Amid a multitude of pre-snap decisions, the center must have an awareness that, at times, surpasses that of the QB. His reaction to what the defense is doing and the possibility of an audible from that QB ultimately determine the success of every single play. EVERY. SINGLE. PLAY.

While only ten of these unsung positional experts have been recognized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I’m pleased to say that this year there will be an eleventh: New York Jet Kevin Mawae!

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Johnny Robinson: PFHOF Class of 2019

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor Reporter AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame will be very well represented in Canton during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival this year. Ed Reed was born in St. Rose, Louisiana, while Kevin Mawae and Johnny Robinson played for LSU.

Since I have a personal affinity for the Senior Committee selection each year, it is my pleasure to tell you a little bit about Johnny Nolan Robinson.

Let’s start with a quick history lesson…  The Dallas Texans were founded in 1960 by Lamar Hunt as a charter member of the American Football League. In 1963, they moved to Kansas City and were renamed the Chiefs! This fun fact will come into play a bit later.

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