The NFL community lost a legend this past weekend with the passing of Hall of Fame quarterback Bryan Bartlett “Bart” Starr.
Credited with being the foundation of the Green Bay Packers dynasty, Starr lead them to five NFL championships and two Super Bowl victories. While many credit head coach Vince Lombardi with turning the Packers into champions, we all know how important finding the right QB is and Star was most definitely one of the greats.
Born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1934, he considered both the University of Kentucky and Auburn for his collegiate career. Luckily for Alabama fans, he chose to stay closer to home. Fun fact: he eloped with his high school sweetheart, Cherry Morton, in 1954 and they kept the marriage a secret because at that time, college’s could rescind an athlete’s scholarship if he was married.
On May 13th it was announced that former Kansas City Chiefs head coach, and former Chiefs, Raiders, and Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham had passed over the weekend.
For the Lions, he served as both a defensive coordinator under former head coach Jim Schwartz and then a defensive analyst for the Lions when he retired.
Born in Germany, he came to the United States as a child, shortly after World War II ended. At the time, he didn’t speak English but used football to help get acclimated to America. He ended up having college coaching stints at Oregon, California, Stanford and Arkansas.
After his college career, he spent some time in Canada in the CFL. In 1982, he came back to the States and began his NFL Coaching career; first with the Colts, then moving on to Kansas City.
The Bears won the NFC North last season with a 12-4 record. Without any picks in the first two rounds, the Bears had to take the best player available while filling team needs. With that being said, the Bears chose a running back to replace Jordan Howard, whom they traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. Montgomery fits what Nagy wants to do with a three-down back. Fans did not expect the Bears to pick a wide receiver with their next pick but Ridley was still on the board, and with these two new additions they give quarterback Mitchell Trubisky more firepower.
I don’t think anyone that knows me doubts how fervent a Packers fan I am. To say last season was disappointing almost minimizes how bad it really was. AND it was the second year in a row Green Bay missed out on the postseason.
I’m the first one to say, “This will be our year!” but there are a lot of unknowns – mainly because the Packers have a new head coach in Matt LaFleur.
Here’s the full, 16-game schedule facing the Packers in 2019:
I’m taking a break from my quarterback series to discuss a trait found in some quarterbacks. Leadership.
Leadership has come into question quite a bit in the past month or so, especially among the quarterback position. Specifically Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger, whose leadership skills have recently been called out.
Of course, this could be just some silly, off-season stuff to keep us talking. If so, I fell for it. But it did get me to thinking, do quarterbacks really have to be good leaders? I don’t think it’s a true requirement. Respect, yes. Leadership skills? I’m going to go ahead and say no, and this is why.
This season an unprecedented eight NFL teams will have new head coaches. And for six of these coaches, it will be their first time running the whole show.
Bruce Arians has stepped out of the booth and back onto the field in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have floundered recently and Jameis Winston hasn’t grown or flourished the way we expected him to when he was drafted in 2015. Perhaps promoting former NFL QB turned offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will be the first step in turning Winston around.
But the seven other coaches have their work cut out for them. Let’s take a look at these “rookies” and, maybe the biggest key to their success, who will be under center as they take the field.
It started as a dream. In 1892 two sports collided, soccer and rugby. On November 6, 1869, two prolific colleges, Rutgers and Princeton played what was advertised to be the first college football game. But it wasn’t until rugby player Walter Camp from Yale decided to change the rules to gradually turn the game of rugby into the game we now call American Football.
For the benefit of readers who will argue that their team should have been chosen to start the 100-year celebration, let’s put it in perspective. There is no question as to the birth of the game of football. In 1903 Pro Football was popularized in Ohio when the Massillon Tigers hired four Pittsburgh pros to play in the season-ending game against Akron. As teams started to implement rules of the game, like touchdowns and the forward pass, the game moved. In 1919, Earl (Curly) Lambeau and George Calhoun organized the Green Bay Packers. The Packers went 10-1 that season.
It’s been a pretty eventful offseason for the NFC North teams. Free agency has brought some good players into the mix, as my fellow reporter Wanda Wiedman has mentioned. New coaches and coordinators have been hired, and the teams are looking to solidify themselves with a successful draft.