Football POP

By Steve Samek

This may Seem like it belongs on the social blog, but its work here.

Today Funko announced NFL Hall of Famers would become POP figures. 11 players and two coaches receive the Funko treatment.

For players you have Brett Favre, Terry Bradshaw, Deion Sanders, Lawrence Taylor, Dan Marino, Bo Jackson and more. The Coaches are Mike Ditka and Tom Landry. Sander’s also comes with exclusive options only found at Toys r us.

I like how these look a lot. I also like how it extends the NFL line and works well with the current players already in the line.

What I don’t like is how hard these things seem to find. I may find an NFL pop if I’m lucky, but it’s never a Pittsburgh Steeler. I have looked at multiple stores and can’t come away with Antonio Brown, or Big Ben.  Only Can Newton and a couple Seahawks to be seen.

I think from the line I’ll pick up Bradshaw and Mike Ditka for the Pittsburgh connection.

The Funko sports line seems to be neglected a bit and this should help. Between this addition and the new NFL wave set to come out it looks like the sports line is starting to return again.  Hopefully this leds to more NBA, NHL and MLB pops returning to the line.

Check out the new line here. https://funko.com/blogs/news/coming-soon-nfl-legends-pop-s.

 

Bell Hold Out

By Steve Samek

With training camp just, a couple weeks away the hot button topic for the Pittsburgh Steelers is running back Le’veon Bell.

Bell is playing with the franchise tag this season. Bell feels like he is entitled to the big money. Wanting to get paid like a number one back and a number two receiver. https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/07/25/leveon-bell-pittsburgh-steelers-kirk-cousins-washington-redskins-themmqb-andrew-brandt.

The problem is do the Steelers want to pay for the on the field Bell, or the off the field Bell.

On the field Bell is a top talent rushing for 1,268 yards on 261 attempts while scoring seven touchdowns. http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/gamelog/_/id/15825/leveon-bell

This was in 12 games after missing the first one’s due to suspension. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000687567/article/leveon-bells-suspension-reduced-to-three-games.

 Bell has been suspended to start the past two seasons for drug issues. The Steelers have had no trouble parting ways with stars with off the field issues like Plaxico Burress, or Santonio Holmes. Yet the Steelers also held on to Ben Roethlisberger, despite off the field issues.

Too push Bell the Steelers drafted James Conor in the third round. Conor can learn under Bell and then take over as the starter when Bell leaves in two years. http://www.nfl.com/draft/2017/profiles/james-conner?id=2557978. This would be dependent on Conor working out, but the expectation is there. Conor is a Public relations darling as well between beating cancer and being drafted by the NFL team in the same city he went to college in. He is also amongst the best-selling jerseys in the NFL. https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/look-steelers-backup-rookie-rb-james-conner-has-the-nfls-top-selling-jersey/. So, if Conor performers and stays out of trouble the organization helps to maintain the positive image the Steelers are known for.

Running backs seem to come and go and developing them seems easier than finding a franchise quarterback. That’s why I feel Roethlisberger was kept and receivers were let go, even with off the field issues.

I think that will be the case with Bell. He can play out the final two years of his contract and then move on. That way the Steelers can take advantage of his performance the next two years, but then get rid of him if he continues to be a headache off the field.

Bell wants to hold out and can do so. Antonio Brown is trying to get him not to. Brown is more focused on teaming up with Bell to get to the Super Bowl this season. http://thebiglead.com/2017/07/26/antonio-brown-vs-leveon-bell-is-an-interesting-subplot/.  Should be an interesting idea, but Brown needs to tread lightly before he gets into trouble.

Bell is a big contributor to this team. He needs to be on the field. He just needs to behave off of it.

 

 

 

Best Black and Gold QB

By Steve Samek

Quarterbacks are the main position for any football team. Both on and off the field the quarterback can be the face of the franchise. ESPN has taken to naming the best Qb’s for each team. http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/19649516/the-franchise-qbs-final-all-rankings-all-32-teams.

 I will be looking at my vote for the Pittsburgh Steelers best signal caller.

The fans voted and Ben Roethlisberger was number one over Terry Bradshaw. The NFL Nation vote had Bradshaw as the winner. http://www.espn.com/sportsnation/story/_/id/19684083/the-franchise-qbs-final-rankings-top-signal-callers-pittsburgh-steelers-history.

Roethlisberger is a winner of two super bowls. He has thrown for 46,814 yards and has 301 touchdown passes with 3,804 completions. All of these are top marks in the history of the Steelers.  Add in five Pro Bowl invites and an AP Offensive rookie of the year and you have a true talent. http://www.espn.com/sportsnation/story/_/id/19684083/the-franchise-qbs-final-rankings-top-signal-callers-pittsburgh-steelers-history.

Bradshaw is a three-time Pro Bowl selection. He led the Steelers to the playoffs from 1972 to 1979. During the 1978 season He was named AP Most Valuable player. Only Steeler to ever do so. Bradshaw has thrown 212 touchdowns and competed 2025 passes for 27,989 yards in 13 NFL seasons. http://www.profootballhof.com/players/terry-bradshaw/stats/.

The key stat though, four super bowl wins against Roethlisberger’s two. Championship wins matter a lot in these debates and do here. The 1989 Hall of Famer is the best QB to wear the black and gold. Roethlisberger can be in the conversation, as he has the edge over Bradshaw by stats, but doesn’t have the big wins. Big Ben should join Bradshaw in Canton when his career is done though.

Country or Football


Should the Service academies allow players to go pro without serving obligation.

By Steve Samek

The Army- Navy game is one football fans always look forward to. The game is played by teams that hate each other on the field, but play for the same team off the field.

Though when the game is over most of these players go on to serve in the respected branch of the military for a certain number of years which can be outlined here. http://dopma-ropma.rand.org/military-service-obligation.html

Though last year Navy Quarterback Keenan Reynolds was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the NFL draft. This made the Naval academy take a second look at its policy about deferring obligations until after pursuing a pro career. Reynolds was free to play in the NFL and pursue the obligation in the off season. https://www.fanragsports.com/news/ravens-wr-keenan-reynolds-not-impacted-dod-policy-change/

Now the order from 2016 was rescinded by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.  Now requiring two years of active duty military service before being allowed to turn pro. Enter Air Force wideout Jalen Robinette. The wide receiver was looking at going pro, being projected as a mid to late round pick. Though after the policy was announced Robinette went undrafted. He currently hasn’t gotten any offers. Robinette also has received an initial duty assignment for after graduation. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/draft/2017/05/01/department-defense-policy-athletes-air-force-jalen-robinette/101177766/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=usatodaycomsports-topstories

The NFL does have a list for military service. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/draft/2017/05/01/department-defense-policy-athletes-air-force-jalen-robinette/101177766/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=usatodaycomsports-topstories

Ben Garland of the Falcons out of Air Force is currently under this protocol. Reynolds and two other players Garrett Graham and Chris Swain are both on practice squads after the 2016 ruling. Though Graham has orders for his assignment. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/07/12/military-academy-athletes-can-now-go-straight-to-the-pros/?utm_term=.fb800b6b26d9

To me country comes first. Especially over sports. They signed up to go to these schools knowing the commitment. The know full well that the service academies aren’t sports destinations. Only 84 NFL players have come from military schools and the rest of pro sports aren’t much higher. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/07/12/military-academy-athletes-can-now-go-straight-to-the-pros/?utm_term=.fb800b6b26d9.

Plus, its only two years and there is NFL protocol in place. Though I think there are ways that they can play in the NFL while serving a commitment to the military. Having a pro sports career after the military is possible. Rodger Staubauch and David “The Admiral” Robinson each served the required two years before successful pro careers. So it isn’t not impossible for Robinette to turn pro,but he should wait after the two years are up.

Shutout to the NFL for going along with the decision also. By having him undrafted they made a statement about following the rules  and obligations.

 

 

 

Dallas’ Offensive Line Is the Reason the Cowboys Are Good

Unit paves way for rookies to shine

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Photo credit: Dallas Morning News

by Donny Chedrick

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have taken the National Football League by storm this season. Two exciting, young rookies that have the Dallas Cowboys looked at as the best team in the NFL with a 9-1 record heading into Thanksgiving.

However, don’t let the flashiness of these young guns fool you, the secret to the Dallas Cowboys’ success will hit you square in the chest. A group compiled from left to right including Tyron Smith, Ronald Leary, Travis Frederick, Zach Martin and Doug Free are the reason for the Dallas Cowboys winning ways in 2016. Continue reading “Dallas’ Offensive Line Is the Reason the Cowboys Are Good”

Three Reasons Why Mike Tomlin Should Be Fired

 By Kyle Dawson

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Photo credit: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Pittsburgh media has started to get on the coaching staff of the Steelers, and rightfully so.

Coming off their bye week, the Steelers laid an egg in a battle for first-place in the AFC North in Baltimore Sunday, Nov. 6.

It’s the third straight loss for the Steelers, who may have been worse against the Baltimore Ravens than the first loss in the string, a road loss in Miami to a Dolphins team that at the time of the game in Week Six was 1-4 with the only win coming against the winless Cleveland Browns.

Scrunched between those two losses was a loss to New England without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had surgery for a torn meniscus the Monday following the loss to Miami, before being on bye in Week Eight.

Then this loss happened.

Roethlisberger returned in the loss to Baltimore and was abysmal before the fourth quarter.

The Steelers were favored entering the game against a team under .500 and on the road, a situation in which Mike Tomlin teams have not exceled in during his tenure as head coach.

It’s time for the Mike Tomlin era to end, whether now or at season’s end.

After all, “the standard is the standard,” and the standard for Steeler football is to beat the teams they should beat and compete for championships year in and year out.

Here are three reasons why it’s time to relieve Tomlin of his duties and wish him luck in his future endeavors. Let’s use some of his dubbed “Tomlin-isms” to explain why. Continue reading “Three Reasons Why Mike Tomlin Should Be Fired”

Carson Wentz Looks to Be the NFL’s Next Star

By Ty McEliece

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Photo credit: Yong Kim http://www.philly.com

If you want to have a successful football team in the NFL, then you need a good quarterback. After losing Donovan McNabb (1999-2009) in his prime, the Eagles have struggled to find their next good field general.  Michael Vick (2010-2012) was expected to produce like he did for the Falcons but he didn’t live up to the hype.

Nick Foles (2013-2014) looked promising for a season but then slumped the next. Sam Bradford (2015) played like typical Sam Bradford. Granted both Foles and Bradford of those quarterbacks dealt with college football genius to NFL question mark Chip Kelly, they still didn’t produce like expected. Continue reading “Carson Wentz Looks to Be the NFL’s Next Star”