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Urlacher announces retirement Wednesday

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

 

Brian Urlacher (Wikimedia Commons)

One of the best linebackers in the National Football League has announced his retirement from professional football.

On Wednesday Brian Urlacher, who for the last 13 years, has been a dynamic force on the Chicago Bears’ defense, declared he did not feel he could perform at a very high level this upcoming season.

Urlacher, 34, was the 2000 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, 2005 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and an eight time Pro Bowl player.

However it was clear that injuries caught up to Urlacher. This past year a hamstring injury kept him out for a quarter of the season.

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Chiefs draft Eric Fisher first overall in NFL draft

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

One thing was clear on Thursday night at the 2013 NFL Draft in New York City. General managers were not afraid to draft offensive linemen in the first round.

A total of nine offensive linemen were drafted in the first round on Thursday, including three of the first four picks.

With the first overall pick, the Kansas City Chiefs drafted offensive tackle Eric Fisher from Central Michigan. What is interesting about Fisher is that he was the second smallest of all first round offensive lineman taken at 297 pounds. The pick was surprising because Central Michigan participates in the lesser known Mid-American Conference.

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Buccaneers look to Revis to improve defense in 2013

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

About a decade ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the stingiest defense in the National Football League. Led by Derrick Brooks, Dwight Smith, Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, Ronde Barber, Dexter Jackson and John Lynch, the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII by beating the Oakland Raiders 48-21.

Over the last decade however, the Buccaneers defense has regressed significantly. Two years ago, the Buccaneers gave up a league high 494 points and then last year, the Buccaneers made slight progress, but still gave up 394 points, the ninth most in the NFL.

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Raiders decide on a different quarterback in 2013

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Matt Flynn (Gabriel Cervantes, Wikimedia Commons)

The Oakland Raiders have decided to go with a different quarterback in 2013. In will come Matt Flynn, who backed up Russell Wilson last year in Seattle, and out is Carson Palmer, who was acquired by the Arizona Cardinals in a deal involving draft picks.

Meanwhile, Kevin Kolb who quarterbacked the Cardinals a year ago, is off to Buffalo. The Bills were in need of a quarterback after releasing Ryan Fitzpatrick.

I think it is fair to say that Kolb, Flynn, and Palmer all have something in common. They are all average quarterbacks who at times have shown flashes of brilliance, but are simply not consistent enough at this stage of their careers.

Meanwhile, one could argue that the Dallas Cowboys rewarded a quarterback for being average when they signed Tony Romo to an amazing six year deal worth $108 million on Friday. Romo was one of three professional athletes who signed massive contracts last week, joining Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander (seven years, $180 million) and San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (nine years, $167 million). The biggest differences between Romo’s contract versus Verlander and Posey’s contract is that Romo’s contract is not guaranteed.

 

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NFL offensive stars continue to move Thursday

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Wes Welker (Wikimedia Commons)

Free agency is definitely in full swing in the National Football League. Over the last two days many very notable names have switched teams.

One of the biggest names is wide receiver Wes Welker who is leaving Tom Brady in New England for Peyton Manning in Denver. The wide receiver who was eighth in receiving yards last year with 1354 yards, signed a two yer deal worth $12 million.

The Patriots then signed wide receiver Danny Amendola from the St. Louis Rams to a five year deal worth $31 million, who had significantly fewer yards than Welker, but is also four years younger too and could have greater upside with Brady instead of Sam Bradford at quarterback.

In other moves, the Atlanta Falcons have signed running back Steven Jackson from the Rams to a three year deal worth $12 million. The Falcons were looking for a running back after they released Michael Turner, but with Jackson comes a question mark if he is too much like Turner in the sense that he is on the downswing of his career.

Meanwhile the Detroit Lions have signed running back Reggie Bush from the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans have signed the biggest defensive name Thursday, safety and Super Bowl champion Ed Reed from the Baltimore Ravens.

 

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Dolphins acquire Wallace from Steelers

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

 

Mike Wallace (Jeffrey Beall, Wikimedia Commons)

The Miami Dolphins have made a major splash with the free agent season in the National Football League now underway.

On Tuesday, the Dolphins signed wide receiver Mike Wallace to a five year deal worth $60 million. The signing of Wallace is the third time this week that a significant NFL receiver is changing teams. Percy Harvin went from Minnesota to Seattle and Anquan Boldin went from Baltimore to San Francisco.

Wallace led the Steelers with 836 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2012. He will be complementing Brian Hartline in Miami, who had a breakout season in 2012 with 1083 receiving yards.

In other NFL news, the Buffalo Bills will be in search of another quarterback after they announced the release of Ryan Fitzpatrick. It seems they will pursue a quarterback via the draft rather than free agency. Right now former Minnesota Viking and Seattle Seahawk Tavaris Jackson is slated to be the starter.

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Seahawks acquire Harvin from Vikings Monday

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Percy Harvin (Mike Morbeck, Wikimedia Commons)

The Seattle Seahawks are once again counting on a former Minnesota Viking.

On Monday, the Seahawks acquired wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Vikings for their first, seventh and middle round draft pick.

Harvin led the Vikings with 677 receiving yards in 2012 and provides quarterback Russell Wilson another formidable deep threat to accompany another former Viking in Sidney Rice and former Fighting Irish product Golden Tate.

The Seahawks weren’t the only team in the NFC West however to significantly improve at the wide receiver position on Monday. The San Francisco 49ers acquired Anquan Boldin from the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Monday for a sixth round draft pick.

Boldin, who will now be joining his third NFL team (has also played with the Arizona Cardinals) was unwilling to restructure his contract in Baltimore.

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Kerrzy’s Notebook: 15 Minutes of Fame

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

Here at 15MOF, we love sports and we think that sports love us back, so here we are with another brilliant episode! This week we’re talking about a shaky run for the Edmonton Oilers, a couple of interesting moves by the NY Islanders, a major scandal in European soccer and some bad news for the face of women’s skiing.

In the GABBYs: soccer salaries, Kevin Garnett, the Bakersfield Condors, Bryce Brentz, Mikhail Grabovski and David Beckham. The Punchline this week is the Super Bowl blackout!

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Kerrzy’s Notebook: 15 Minutes of Fame

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Happy Monday!

This week on 15MOF we recap a very interesting Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, we discuss the opening weeks of the NHL season and how the Edmonton Oilers are looking and we answer the question: who owns the Phoenix Coyotes?

In the GABBYs: Vincent Lecavalier, David Beckham, the NFL, Ottawa’s CFL team, PED’s and pro sports blackouts. The Punchline this week is OHL ref Joe Monette.

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Ravens win Super Bowl

Monday, February 4th, 2013

The Baltimore Ravens have  won the 47th Super Bowl Sunday from New Orleans. The Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in a very exciting game from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Ravens won despite a third quarter power outage and a near comeback of the ages. San Francisco was once trailing 28-6 in the third quarter, before the 49ers made a heroic comeback.

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Weekend Sports Preview–February 2 _ 3–Super Bowl, NHL _ NLL

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

The 47th Super Bowl will take place Sunday in New Orleans (CBS, 4:30 p.m.) with the Baltimore Ravens playing the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers have won the Super Bowl five times, while the Ravens won it once in 2001. This will also be a record tenth time the Super Bowl is in New Orleans. The last Super Bowl in Louisiana was in 2002 as the New England Patriots defeated the Saint Louis Rams 20-17.

Super Bowl XLVII will also be historical because brothers will be coaching against each other for the first time. Jim Harbaugh will take the reigns for San Francisco, with his older brother John Harbaugh in charge of Baltimore.

The Ravens (10-6) led the AFC North, while the 49ers (11-4-1) led the NFC West.

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Ravens _ 49ers to play in Super Bowl

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers will be playing in the Super Bowl two weeks from now in New Orleans.

On Sunday, the Ravens defeated the New England Patriots 28-13 in the AFC Championship and the 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 in the NFC Championship.

With the Ravens and 49ers playing in the Super Bowl, it will mean that brothers will be coaching against each other with John Harbaugh coaching Baltimore and Jim Harbaugh coaching San Francisco.

In the AFC Championship, a major story surrounded the tight ends. The Patriots had a tough time stopping Dennis Pitta in a key Raven drive early in the third quarter. Even though Aaron Hernandez had a respectable day, having nine catches for 83 yards, it was clear the team missed Rob Gronkowski.

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Weekend Sports Preview–January 20 _ 21–NFL, NHL _ Australian Open

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Ana Ivanovic (Chris Johnson, Wikimedia Commons)

Yes there’s hockey and football this weekend, but how could one not get excited about the Australian Open at the moment. There is literally some thrilling tennis from down under. Last night, Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ontario advanced to the fourth round with a straight sets win over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber. Bad news is he has Roger Federer next!

On the ladies side, Ana Ivanovic, the former French Open champion takes on Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, the Wimbledon finalist, in the fourth round (Sunday, TSN2, 1:00 a.m.)

Here are the other games I’m watching this weekend:

Saturday–NHL–Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens–CBC–5:00 p.m.–I heard a report on Sportsnet yesterday that the Maple Leafs and Canadiens could battle for the worst team in the Eastern Conference this season. The Habs are expected to have Tomas Plekanec in their lineup despite some sore ribs. The Maple Leafs meanwhile will be led this season by Phil Kessel, who averaged a point a game last season.

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Eagles _ Jaguars make coaching decisions

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Chip Kelly (Wikimedia Commons)

The Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars have decided on coaches for the 2012 National Football season.

The Eagles have gone with a familiar face, choosing Chip Kelly, out of the  University of Oregon. Kelly, an offensive minded coach should appease Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson, but the bottom line is will the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles be able to finish long drives?

This past season, they had no problem moving the ball between the 20 yard lines, but simply couldn’t finish drives.

It will also be interesting to see if Kelly is successfully able to make the transition from college to the pros with his offensive run and gun style.  I recent years, Steve Spurrier lacked success in Washington and Nick Saban lacked success in Miami.

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