What will the Cardinals do with their draft pick?

Marquita Quinones
NFL reporter

By Marquita Quinones //@LatinLove729

I can’t believe it but the 2019 NFL Draft is only days from now, and you best believe there is going to be a lot of action going on. NFL is already full of buzz around the potential first round picks and the Arizona Cardinals are the focus of that buzz.

Many experts believe that the Arizona Cardinals will choose quarterback Kyler Murray as their number one pick. As expected, the Cardinals are staying quiet and are taking a stance on not knowing where the organization stands with the first overall pick. 

“We are not done with this process,” general manager Steve Keim said, per Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. “We have not made a decision on the first overall pick. There are a number of players in my opinion, and our scouts’ opinion, and our coaching staff’s opinion, that warrant being the first overall selection.”

Keim may portray the team as undecided as to who they will choose at number one but the majority of analysts agree that Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray is the right choice. Murray has been viewed as a projected franchise QB. If the Cardinals want to be in the mix of playoff talks, they can’t pass on the opportunity of a player who is deemed to be an NFL starter.

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Looking at the LA Rams 2019 schedule

Lucy Rendler-Kaplan
LA Rams Reporter

By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan // @lucyrk78

 

The NFL has released the 2019 regular season schedule, and it’s almost time for the Rams to defend their status as NFC Champions.

It’s not the easiest start to the season.

Almost immediately, the Rams have to face their newest big rival as the New Orleans Saints make the trip to LA. 

Then, just the next week there’s a second road game with the Cleveland Browns, who have made some incredible pick-ups during this offseason. The Rams haven’t faced the Browns since 2015, but they won that game mightily, coming off with a 24-6 win.

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Russell Wilson becomes highest paid player in NFL

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson signed a 4-year extension late last night, making him the highest paid player in the NFL. Wilson’s contract was set to expire at the end of 2019, but with the extension, he’ll be with Seattle until 2023.

Some of the details of the contract are 4 years, $140 million, a $65 million signing bonus (highest in NFL history), with a total of $107 million guaranteed. These numbers are not a surprise, as most agreed that Wilson would overtake QB Aaron Rodgers as the highest paid player in the league.

There was a lot of hand wringing from fans in Seattle as trade rumors swirled, New York Giants fans were campaigning and Seattle fans were panicking. Then came the deadline. It was announced that Wilson had imposed a deadline of April 15th for a new contract or else he was going to stop talks completely and simply play out the end of his contract.

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The Eight “Rookie” Head Coaches of 2019

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

 

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

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.

This week’s Blitzed Insider’s featured article!

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Could a defensive player be the first pick in the Draft?

Lisa Johnson
Senior Sports Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

If you’re a person that believes defenses win championships, then this 2019 NFL draft is right up your alley.

This is one of the most top-heavy defensive drafts I’ve seen in quite a while. With the exception of Kyler Murray, who declared 2 weeks ago for the draft, several NFL mocks had eight of the top ten picks being defensive players. Now, how this all really turns out is anyone’s guess, but… it’s interesting.

A lot can happen before we hear the commissioner declare that the Arizona Cardinal’s are on the clock, and you’ll be hearing a lot of names before then, so let’s just start with the two popular names being heard around the league.

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New, Young Head Coaches Smart to Add Veteran Coordinators

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior Sports Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

With the success that the NFL’s youngest head coach, LA Rams HC Sean McVey, it was no surprise NFL owners wanted to try to find the same needle in a haystack. This offseason brought a fury of hirings of young head coaches. Smartly, those coaches are looking to veteran coordinators to fill out their coaching staff.

While teams like Tampa Bay decided to go with a veteran head coach in Bruce Arians, most other coach-needy teams decided to go young. Arizona, Green Bay, Miami, and Cincinnati have all hired coaches between the ages of 35 – 39.

Not that age has anything to do with coaching, but it does have to do with experience. Bringing in veteran coordinators and specialist not only is savvy, but it allows the HCs to be educated by some of the best.

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Football is more than just a game

Sonja Greenfield NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

On Friday, Feb. 15th, the NFLPA released a statement saying that the NFL has reached a settlement with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid in their collusion case against the NFL.

The almost 3-year saga has, for all intents and purposes, has come to a sort of anti-climactic close.

Regardless of if you support Kaepernick and Reid or not, it opened up dialog.  Or at least attempted to.  I had a hard time finding people who could civilly discuss this online, but hopefully more civil discussions were had in “real life”.

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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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Excitement over Rams win tempered by controversy

Lucy Rendler-Kaplan
LA Rams Reporter

By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan // @Lucyrk78

 

LA Rams 26 – New Orleans Saints 23

The Los Angeles Rams are going to the Super Bowl. However, that’s not the biggest news surrounding the team this after their win over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game Sunday. A missed call late in regulation is.

Yes, there was an obvious third-down pass interference. Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis and the Saints didn’t get the chance for a first down that could have run out the clock.

Instead, New Orleans was left with having to kick a field goal, giving the Rams 15 seconds to tie the game. While the field goal gave the Saints the lead, a penalty MIGHT have given them the win. But would it have? We will never know. What would the narrative be today had that potential field goal NOT gone in?

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The Super Bowl is on the line for the Rams on Sunday

Lucy Rendler-Kaplan
LA Rams Reporter

By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan // @Lucyrk78

The NFC Championship Game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints may be held in the Big Easy, but this matchup will be anything but. 

This is a rematch of Week 9, a game that the Saints won. Could the Rams have won? Yes. Should the Rams have won? I vote yes.

Still, the Rams finished the season at 13-3, tied for the best record in the NFL. Only problem? The team they tied with IS the Saints.

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