Mentor or Adversary: The NFL Veteran’s Dilemma

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

 

We hear it all the time… “That veteran will be mentoring the young guys, showing them the ropes.” But is that really true? And even more, is it really fair to expect a veteran who wants the starting job to spend any time at all helping the rookie who wants to take his job?

That seems to be the big story in Denver this week as quarterback Joe Flacco is taking heat for saying it’s not his job to be a mentor to newly drafted QB Drew Lock.

And I don’t blame him.

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Future playmakers found in the late rounds of NFC/AFC West drafts

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

When people talk about NFL stars who were found in the late rounds of the draft, there are a few names that are always brought up. Tom Brady, Richard Sherman, Bo Jackson, Terrell Davis… it’s a long list. The western divisions in both conferences have a tendency to find these players regularly and turn them into superstars. Let’s take a look at this year’s picks and see if there could be another future star.

You can find an entire list of AFC draft picks for each team here.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs have found some fantastic late round steals in the past. KR Dante Hall, DE Jared Allen, and most recently G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. This year late round gem could also be an offensive line player.

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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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Marlin Briscoe: The first African American quarterback

Marquita Quinones OTFB reporter

By Marquita Quinones // @LatinLove729

To look at the NFL today it’s hard to imagine it without the diversity it displays, but there was a time when there wasn’t. In honor of Black History Month, we will look at the changes the NFL has gone through as it pertains to African American players.

Let’s begin with a pioneer in his own right, Marlin Briscoe.

African Americans have been a part of the American Football evolution as far back as the 1920s with players like Fitz Pollard and Bobby Marshall leading the way. The position of quarterback had not been a position that was openly offered to African Americans, but in 1968 that all changed with Marlin Briscoe.

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The quarterback carousel gets spinning

Lisa Johnson Senior Media Manager/NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

Going into the 2019 NFL season many teams have needs. Some have different needs than others, but no need is more important than that of the quarterback. There are at least 5 teams that are going to need some help at that position.

The Denver Broncos addressed theirs by agreeing in principle for Baltimore Ravens benched QB Joe Flacco. While Flacco won’t be the answer long term for the Broncos, he will at least give them some time to find their franchise quarterback.

Many NFL analysts have ranted that this 2019 quarterback class, to say it nicely, is average. No one guy stands out at this moment. You’d have to assume Bronco’s GM John Elway agrees with that assessment since he pulled the trigger so quickly on Flacco. I’ve always felt that if you pick a player in the first round, that player has to start day one. I just don’t feel that there are day one starters in this draft, which in my mind is why Flacco is a Bronco.

So what does this signing mean for the other teams that are quarterback-starved? It means another free agent/ “Gap” quarterback is about to hit the market.  If the Broncos can’t find a team to trade their one and done QB, Case Keenum to, then he is expected to be released.

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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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Browns beat Broncos; end 28 year losing streak!

Kate Arhar
Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

Browns 17 – Broncos 16

It wasn’t pretty by any means, but for the first time since 1990, the Cleveland Browns beat the Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium.

Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield is everything fans have waited for these long, lonely years. While many questioned General Manager John Dorsey’s pick of Mayfield in the 2018 NFL Draft, week after week he is proving why he was the right choice.

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Denver Broncos blow late 4th quarter lead

Leora Ruzin, Denver Broncos Reporter

By Leora Ruzin // @LeoraKitty78

Kansas City Chiefs 27 – Denver Broncos 23

It’s officially time to start panicking, Broncos Country. The 2018 season is eerily feeling like a repeat of the 2017 season, and we all know how that ended.

The Denver Broncos fell to division rival Kansas City Chiefs after holding a sizable lead for the majority of the game, and are 2-2 on the season. Experts expected the Broncos to lose in a blow-out, which might have been easier for fans to accept.

Instead, the Broncos kept the pace with the Chiefs during the first three quarters, only to fall apart in the last quarter.

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Broncos defeat the Raiders in a classic 4th quarter comeback

Leora Ruzin, Denver Broncos Reporter

By Leora Ruzin // @LeoraKitty78

Raiders 19-20 Broncos

After coming from behind in the 4th quarter to beat the Oakland Raiders, the Denver Broncos remain undefeated.

It is way too early in the season to celebrate though, especially when you play in the same division as the scary-looking Kansas City Chiefs. This should give any Denver fan a reason to be cautiously optimistic.

The Broncos continue to struggle on offense, as quarterback Case Keenum works through the playbook learning curve. Keenum finished the night 19/35, with 222 yards, and one interception. These are stats that would make anyone itchy to hit that ejection seat.

His regression from Week 1 should not be an immediate cause for alarm, however. Halftime adjustments, particularly on the offense, helped the team finally find the end zone in the 2nd half. Keenum was calmer in the pocket during the 2nd half. He even scored a touchdown on a QB keeper early in the 4th quarter.

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Denver Broncos defeat Seattle Seahawks after a balanced attack on offense and defense

Official Reporter, Denver Broncos

By Leora Ruzin // @LeoraKitty78

Denver Broncos- 27, Seattle Seahawks- 24

 

The Denver Broncos are coming off one of the most disappointing seasons since the McDaniels era (5-11, 4th place in the AFC West).  This, after coming off a slightly-less disappointing season in 2016 (9-7, 3rd place in the AFC West).

Once quarterback Peyton Manning retired, and offensive coordinator Wade Phillips left to go to the Los Angeles Rams, the team fell into disarray. When Head Coach Gary Kubiak retired the end of the 2016 season, the proverbial last nail on the coffin was hammered down. It’s crazy to think that this is the team that won Super Bowl 50, and yet, here we are.

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