As we are slowly approaching the 2019 NFL season, many fans and analysts are already looking ahead to the 2020 NFL draft.
With the start of a new season comes the prediction that this could be one of the best quarterback classes we have seen in quite a while. If any or all of these predictions come true come late into the 2019 college football season, I would expect to see as many as 5 teams trying to land their franchise quarterback.
Leading the list of quarterbacks that will be eligible to enter the 2020 NFL draft is Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. If you follow any Miami Dolphins fan, you probably have seen the “Tank For Tua” posts flying around. Barring severe injury or a disastrous junior season, Tagovailoa is expected to be the first quarterback off the board. The 6’1″ dynamic dual-threat quarterback and Walter Camp Player of the Year will start his campaign out August 31st against Duke.
Rebuilding a team can take more than a season. But when it comes to the Indianapolis Colts, under the command of general manager Chris Ballard, the rebuild is almost complete.
During the rebuilding process, Ballard’s focus was to make over this team and gather young weapons to make a postseason run. Perhaps we saw a preview last season when the Colts caught fire after a slow 1-5 start that eventually led them to a surprising postseason run.
Ballard started this process with his second-round picks. Particularly, of course, we all know the story of linebacker Darius Leonard, a player that Ballard drafted in 2018. Some questioned the pick. But he now leads as one of the Top NFL Players 25-and-younger brigade along with Colts’ guard Quenton Nelson. And don’t forget, he was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018.
If you ask anyone on Twitter, or anywhere, to be quite honest, of course, everyone will say that they are the best fans in the NFL. If you ask me, it’s a title that really shouldn’t be taken too seriously, because there’s always some sort of bias to it. But that’s just me.
However, a professor from Emory University, Dr. Mike Lewis, performed a study and ranked the fanbases of all 32 NFL teams.
The top 3? Eagles fans, Patriots fans, and Cowboy fans.
The bottom 3? Titans fans, Chiefs fans and Rams fans.
I joke about it, but it’s a reality I live with every day. Oh, by no means is it severe or life-altering for me, so I don’t mean to belittle the condition. But it is something I’m open about even if I’ve learned to live with being uncomfortable at times.
For example, I want almost all numbers to be even. If I pump gas and it ends on an odd number – or one I think is just weird – I’ll pump a bit more until it hits a number I like. My family loves to put the TV volume on an odd number and wait to see how long I can leave it there before I grab the remote and pop it up or down one just to be even.
When I eat, I try to chew the same number of time on each side. When I walk, if I step on a yellow line in a parking lot with my right foot, I will do a little jig dance and try to hit the next one with my left foot before going back to dodging them altogether. (I think you’re getting the idea.)
If I can’t “even things up,” then so be it. But it will make me a bit uncomfortable for a while.
New Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy isn’t happy with his old team. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave his number, 93, away. And to not just some random rookie, but to Ndamukong Suh, his replacement. McCoy didn’t take it well.
“As far as signing him, organizations have to do what they have to do when you let a player of my caliber go, so I understand that,” McCoy said. “But as far as giving away my number, in the history of the Bucs, they have a ring of honor, and all of the greatest players in the organization usually get their numbers retired.”
“Them giving the number away, that’s their prerogative, but the respect they showed. It would be different if it was a guy who signed four or five years. This is a one-year deal … I mean, it may seem like it’s just a number, but it’s bigger than that. It’s respect, and that was a big part of the separation between me and Tampa, period, was the respect they showed to me all offseason, it just wasn’t there.”
Raise your hand if you remember the “I’m retired now I’m not” phase of former Packers, Jets and Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. Did anyone else get the feeling that when he finally hung it up, that it wasn’t really going to be the last time? I know I did. But he finally settled into starring in Wrangler commercials and those copper wire commercials, fishing and whatever else it is retired NFL players do.
Then yesterday afternoon, an Instagram post changed all of that. Since Favre deleted it the post, I’ll have to stick with this tweet.
The NFL lost a legend last week in the passing of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.
This news is even sadder because Bowlen was scheduled to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this fall as a Contributor to the game. This annual ceremony is one of my favorite sporting events. It’s a shame Mr. Bowlen will not be there in person to accept the honor but it will give the league a great platform to recognize an important figure in the game.
The 75-year-old native of Wisconsin purchased the Broncos in 1984 and lead the ship on an epic run. As a Browns fan, I know this first hand!
During his tenure, the Broncos have seven AFC championships and three Super Bowl victories. They have also made the playoffs 18 times since he bought the team, making the Broncos one of the most successful NFL franchises of the past thirty years.
The discussion behind pass interference and the “The Call That Wasn’t” this offseason was pretty intense. It didn’t take much time after the end of the season for the subject of making pass interference a challengable call was brought up. The NFL Competition Committee added a few caveats to the new rule, taking the challenge out of the coaches hands.
They’ve added some stipulations to the challenge after the 2-minute warning of each half. Challenges can only be initiated by Replay Official, and only “under stricter guidelines”. They are hoping this will lower the number of challenges in that time frame, and in turn not have too much added time to a game.
Their season ended in a heartbreaking manner: so very close to the Super Bowl, only to be stopped by a controversial call.
I decided to go ahead and check in on the Saints this offseason, since we here at OurTurf hadn’t talked about them too much.
I asked one of our good friends and obviously, huge Saints fan Greg Barber about the team, offseason changes, their quarterback and his thoughts on the 2019 season.
SG: How’s the offseason going for the Saints?
GB: How is the offseason going for the Saints? I think the Saints offseason went good for the most part. They didn’t suffer many major losses. Not that losing [former Saints running back Mark] Ingram and [center Max] Unger were not major losses, but they managed to keep the main core players together.
The NFL is the most popular sport in America. Even fans of teams who feel like their team may not be going anywhere are still heading to games.
To help increase the popularity (like it needs any more help) and give the fans what they want, the NFL Draft has been moving from city to city, and it has worked well. At first, I thought that was sort of a stupid thing to do, but then I saw the response of the people in the cities that host the draft, and it’s been nothing short of awesome.
It’s also nice because a city can now host either a draft or a Super Bowl, giving more options for fans to interact. While a draft doesn’t bring as much revenue as the Super Bowl does, it still gives the city a chance to shine. Much like the success of Nashville this past draft.