NFL Players mourn the death of Kobe Bryant

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Here at OurTurf Football, we cover the NFL.

But the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant yesterday in a helicopter crash reaches us all. He was only 41 years old.

His work ethic, the #MambaMentality, is something so many athletes try to emulate. And the impact of his life and death is global, it crosses all sports and it affects all kinds of people.

We all send our thoughts and prayers to the families affected by this awful tragedy. It wasn’t just Kobe who was lost, but also his young daughter Gianna, who many of us came to know through the glimpses we saw of them together on social media. Seven other people died in this helicopter crash as well. Kobe may be garnering the headlines due to his place in basketball history, but there are four other families that are not being forgotten.

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Is adding extra games to the season a good idea? Players say no.

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

The NFL and NFLPA are headed to the table to work on the next collective bargaining agreement as the current one ends after the 2020 season. Both sides have already started talking, but negotiations will ramp up over the next few months and into the next season.

One of the big items on the table is adding one to two extra games. I took a few minutes after the end of Saturday’s Pro Bowl practice to talk to a few players about how they felt about adding more playing time to their season.

There are a lot of things on the table when it comes to this next CBA. Guaranteed salaries, increasing minimums for veterans and rookies, drug policies, revenue sharing, lifetime health insurance… it’s a long list. One of the biggest changes the owners would like is to add at least one game to the season. And it’s not something the players are necessarily happy about, but may not have a choice in.

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Dolphins GM Chris Grier talks draft.

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @lj1303

As the 2020 senior bowl comes to a close, the Miami Dolphins took full advantage of being able to speak and watch several draft prospects as they prepare for the 2020 NFL draft.

With the Dolphins holding 3 picks in the first round, the pressure is on Dolphins GM Chris Grier and this staff to deliver. After 10 years of mediocracy, Dolphins fans have voiced their displeasure to owner Stephen Ross, who all but admitted that this year was about stripping and rebuilding a winning franchise.

We had a chance to speak with Chris Grier in between day 2 practices at Ladd Pebble Stadium. I was one of many looking for answers to exactly what positions the Dolphins could be scouting. And if you know anything about Chris Grier, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to play poker with him.

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Day 3 at the Reese’s Senior Bowl brings focus to the lineman

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

It was day 3 here in Mobile for me, both practice sessions were held inside at South Alabama University due to inclement weather, and it was standing room only. We were all ushered into one end zone. I decided to stay close to the goal post and pretty much made that my office for the day!

Today’s sessions consisted of watching the big boys upfront, the offensive linemen.

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For the players, the 2020 Pro Bowl is about more than a game

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

It was the second day of practice for both the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl teams at the 2020 Pro Bowl. It was a typical Pro Bowl practice, lots of dancing, goofing off, and defensive players playing offensive positions. It’s a time for players to relax, enjoy time with fellow NFL players, spend some quality time with their families, and interact with fans.

But if you ever are able to come to the Pro Bowl and watch these practices, what you notice most is the fun the players are having on the field. It looks like one giant backyard game, where rules are loosely applied and roles are interchangeable.

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Quarterbacks take center stage at Day 2 of the Reese’s Senior Bowl

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

It was day 2 of practice for the Reese’s Senior Bowl. I was expecting the quarterbacks to have a better day than yesterday, maybe look a little more polished than day 1. Not to say that they didn’t perform well, it’s just that they should start to get better as they learn each of the new styles.

With the North starting out, I was hoping to see a Jordan Love/Michael Pittman Jr. show. During media day, Love mentioned to me that he has been working out with Pittman. The offense, unfortunately, broke off into two sections, so we didn’t get to watch them connect to often.

However, Love had one beautiful pass play down the left sidelines to Pittman, followed by a couple of great out routes. Love has a great arm with very good velocity on the ball but can get a bit too lively, however. Yet I feel with some quality coaching, I can see this kid having a very successful NFL career.

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It’s Media Day at the Reese’s Senior Bowl

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

After 2 days of formal NFL club interviews, and an introductory press conference by executive director Jim Nagy, day 3 of the Reese’s Senior Bowl brought Media Day. This was followed by this morning’s official National Scouting weight-in.

This day has to be the most productive for all media members. It’s a day that gives you a chance to ask players questions, much like a meet and greet experience. It’s great exposure for players that are expected to take their talents to the next level.

It’s one of many great things the executive director does very well; making players available to the media. In turn, it gives that player a chance to tell what they are expecting and what they want to show coaches and scouts. As we all know, the more exposure for a player, the better.

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The Kansas City Chiefs are Miami bound!

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL: Chiefs 35 – 24 Titans

Everyone loves an underdog and there was a huge fan base rooting for the Tennessee Titans last weekend in the AFC Championship game.

However, it was the Kansas City Chiefs who were victorious and are now the proud owners of the Lamar Hunt Trophy. Since it was named after their founder, and they haven’t been to the Super Bowl in 50 years, it seems fitting that this years high-flying offense and tough defense brought it “back home.”

It wasn’t an easy victory for the Chiefs but being tested hasn’t been a problem for this team all season long.

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The San Francisco 49ers are Miami bound!

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

There was a feeling right at the start of the NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. A feeling that the 49ers were completely dialed in. And they were. It was pretty much over right after it got going.

The 49ers scored on their second series of the game, and that was pretty much it, they never looked back. Running back Raheem Mostert was definitely the star of the game. He had over 200 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns, becoming the 1st player to score 4 touchdowns in a conference championship game.

The Green Bay Packers? Well, to put it nicely, they never really got going.

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AFC Championship Preview: Titans vs Chiefs

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

On Sunday, the 6th seed Tennessee Titans will head to Kansas City to take on the 2nd seed Chiefs for the AFC Championship Game, with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake.

During the season, there were many who imagined the high powered Chiefs making it to this stage, but I don’t remember anyone mentioning the Titans taking a trip to Miami in February.

I’m going to be honest. I think most people outside of the two teams’ fandoms will be thrilled to see either team win. Not just because it will be two young, fun teams playing, but also because it is the first time in a LONG time that the words New England Patriots haven’t been mentioned in an AFC Championship preview.

Oh, wait… I just mentioned them. Sorry.

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