• Zone Blitz: New Beginnings, Men of Steel, and Your Preseason Week 3 Open Thread




    2014 is a year for new beginnings. As many of you likely know, I am the artist formerly known as Trumpetbdw. Yes, I will still answer to that moniker, but please, from here on out, you can officially call me Brian. I’ve been a member of this site from darn near the beginning back in 2010, and for the past couple of years have been fortunate enough to be allowed to contribute to the front page. So nothing’s really changed, except that you can now site my real name when complaining about my work.

    This year marks the second season for The Zone Blitz, an article that will be featured on a weekly basis throughout the football season. The idea behind this article is to simply bring your typical bar room debate to the front page. This article will also serve as your open thread to discuss the upcoming week of NFL football. For each week of the 2014 season, mikesteelnation1 (yes, that’s his birth name) and I will discuss a variety of topics, ranging from what happened last week, to what will happen next week, and any other random and sometimes relevant topics that may pop up in between. To kick-start year 2 of ZB, not only are mikesteel and I going back and forth, but we’ve also added a special guest appearance from the Big Man himself. So sit back, relax, grab a caffeinated beverage of your choice, and please feel free to comment as often as you like at the end of the article.


    Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2014 10:30 PM
    From: Brian
    Subject: Re: Zone Blitz
    To: mikesteel


    Mike,

    How the heck are you? After what feels like an eternity, football is finally back! And if there's anything we all need right now to help purge our collective systems, it's a couple of Steeler die-hards running roughshod over the NFL. Let's get right to it.

    In a departure from my usual opening of this column, I'm going to begin things with one simple question. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 37 being the correct answer, how excited are you for the Dri Archer/Howard Jones era in Pittsburgh?

    That's it for now. I'm turning it over to you, because I can't wait to hear what you have to say, specifically on the Steelers' 2014 rookie class. I'll share my thoughts in a bit, but with all of the Bengal pride that's been going on around this site for the past month or so, we both deserve the opportunity to cleanse our system. The floor is yours, my friend.

    (Seriously- welcome Bengal fans. We are THRILLED to have you aboard the Football Pros train. Mike and I are both Steeler fans, and we are extremely opinionated, but we're also fair, so please don't be afraid to join our conversation.)


    Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 2:50 AM
    From: mikesteel
    Subject: Re: Zone Blitz
    To: Brian


    What's up trumpet??!! It's SOOOOO awesome to finally be talking real football again!


    While I'm SUPER excited for our youngsters this year, from this draft, it seems disingenuous to limit it to just this class. While the play of Shazier was nothing short of stellar Saturday night, and everyone has seen the ridiculous speed Dri Archer has (especially on that short dig route from week 1), let's remember the huge parts some other super young guys will play this year.
    Given that our rooks get little play time usually, the fact this group has gotten so much makes them a 25 on a 10 point scale. Let me illustrate further what these other young guys mean to us...


    Guys on their red shirt year like Wheaton (our #2 wr) and Shamarko Thomas (our heir apparent to Troy), and a guy like Sean Spence who's the 3/4 ILB who's on his redshirt/greyshirt year. All have been forces so far this year in the pre season.

    I've loved how HoJo (Howard Jones) and Vic So'oto have looked so far, but let's be honest... We’re only going to keep 9 LB'ers. Jarvis Jones, Worilds, Timmons, Shazier, Spence, Moats, and Williams are locks. That leaves 2 spots for 3 guys- HoJo, Chris Carter, and So'oto. Carter started because Jarvis was hurt. That means to me it's between the other 2. I'd gladly cut Carter and keep the other 2, but lots to still sort out and it’s not up to me.... Coaches value Carter much higher than I do and the other 2 have only played vs the 2's, 3's, and worse. Special teams play is going to play a big part...


    The defense looks scary fast and athletic, but crazy young. They are going to make mistakes because of that youth early, but I'm guessing they get scary good late as they figure it out and it all comes together.


    The offense looks lethal. Speed and weapons everywhere, and Ben looks a million percent in complete command of everything. The first team just keeps moving the ball and scoring. How about Manny Sanders stick his comments about Ben's leadership up his arse along with his sour grapes??


    Way too early prediction, but I'll say it anyway... Ryan Shazier will be the DROY. Write it down. It will be another reason to undervalue how great a lb Timmons is.


    I'll also welcome the Bengals fans, and ask them to comment here. What concerns me the most about our division rivals is Dalton has seemingly gotten rid of his bout with the "yips" or "Brady-like ghosts".


    I've always been able to bank on us beating the Bengals by BEATING on Dalton. Every time we have done that we've won... I'm going to hope I can continue counting on him getting the yips and Flaccid needing the "heave and pray".
    I'll also state I officially hate Johnny "delta bravo" Football, and I pray he gets to start game one so we can abuse another rookie qb. I really, really dislike Manziel for the way he's CHOSEN to portray himself.


    All that said, Bortles has looked good. So have Bridgewater and Clowney. Lots of rooks have looked good, I've just noticed these few. I've had a lot less time lately... What say you?




    Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:15 AM
    From: Brian
    Subject: Re: Zone Blitz
    To: mikesteel; Biggie


    The correct answer was 37.

    Mike, you hit on a good point that I think is a big part of my excitement for this year. It's not just this year's rookie class that's shining, but it's also the "redshirt" guys. On offense, "redshirt rookie" Markus Wheaton has flashed thus far, and I can't begin to stress how important that is. We all know what AB can do, he's a straight up beast. But Wheaton is the key. If he can give them a dynamic element as their #2 weapon in the passing game, dare I say the offense may be close to unstoppable? The complimentary weapons are looking really good. Specifically, I loved seeing Haley spread out the offense on the first play of the game, and try to get Archer in space right away. Moore is the reliable replacement for Cotch, Bryant looks like he has a future, but he's very raw, so I'm not overly optimistic about the present. DHB is the shot-in-the-dark, and isn't a strong bet to even make the club at this point. Then, of course, you have old reliable Heath Miller, who will get his 60-65 balls and 7-8 TDs. The OL is frequently mentioned as the biggest weakness on this team, but remember that they only allowed 7 sacks over the last 7 games, and that the use of the no-huddle had a direct impact on their performance. Plus, there's more continuity this year, they have 2 pro bowl-level talents in the middle in Pouncey and DeCastro (who still needs to maximize that potential), and Mike Munchak is such a good fit on this coaching staff.

    This is the year everybody finally realizes that Ben Roethlisberger is a top 3 NFL QB.

    Is there a better story in football right now than the development of Sean Spence? To close the preseason his rookie year, Spence tore his LCL, ACL, dislocated his knee, and suffered nerve damage to the knee in a place where a full recovery does not usually take place. After 2 years on IR, Spence is back, and has been wreaking havoc thus far. The LB corps as a whole is scary athletic and has a real chance to be scary deep. For all of the talk of the lack of dynamic play in the secondary (29th in INTs last year), it's the lack of a pass rush (25th in sacks) that is the biggest blame. If the front seven can disrupt, the Steelers defense will rebound this year, and look more like the defense we expect from a LeBeau-coached group.

    Around the league, Ryan Shazier was probably the stand-out rookie for the week, but as cleansing as this Steeler discussion has been, it's probably best for us to move on.

    Quickly on Dalton-- I think the reason he hasn't had the yips against the Steelers is because the Steelers have been unable to give anyone the yips. If they can find a way this year to create more consistent pressure, and I think they will, then it wouldn't surprise me at all to see the yips return, especially if he gets behind early, much like in the game in Pittsburgh toward the end of last season.

    You mentioned many of the rookie QBs, and I mostly agree. As I write this, I'm watching the Browns play, and Manziel does not look good. However, I'm by no means ready to write him off. It is still very early, and he does have a dynamic quality about him. I get that everything about him rubs many people the wrong way, but what cracks me up is the hypocritical nature of fans in general. First of all, Manziel went to Vegas. During his off-season. Yes, he's a little too publicity-happy, but really, how is this any different from what Joe Namath was doing 40+ years ago? The only difference I see is that twitter allows for many basement-dwelling fans to sit behind their computers or their mobile devices, and display an embarrassing amount of twitter envy. I'm sorry, but if it's acceptable for the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to travel to Paris for a month, for the administrative assistant of a temp agency to take a week off and take her family to Disney, or for a teacher during the school year to spend a week enjoying spring training, then why is it such a problem that a QB spends some down time in Vegas? Again, I can do without the constant publicity, but at the same time, in each of those pictures, we see a still-college-aged bachelor surrounded by some of the most insanely hot women you'll ever see. I contend that the basis for much of the nation's issues with Manziel is envy, and nothing more. That doesn't mean that I agree with the way he carries himself, and it doesn't mean that it's how I would have carried myself at his age, and in his situation, but there are many, many people who do nothing but dream about the life Manziel is currently living. To troll him on facebook just so they can rip him for "not studying his playbook" is embarrassing.

    Moving on, as I follow the preseason, I try to remember to take everything with a grain of salt. Mainly, what I'm looking for are signs that justify any thoughts that I've formed over the offseason.

    -Is it possible that the next Antonio Brown is emerging in Arizona? John Brown was a late target of mine in our FP dynasty draft, and he's been one of the true stars of the preseason to this point. Obviously Arizona is already loaded at the top of the WR depth chart with Fitz and Michael Floyd, but if Brown can go along with Andre Ellington to give Zona a couple of game-breaking playmakers, the Cardinals have a chance to emerge as a legit threat in the NFC, especially if SF's struggles are more than a mirage.

    Random Fantasy Thoughts (I may no longer be contributing a fantasy article to the site, but that doesn't mean I can't infiltrate some thoughts in this spot...)

    -Jay Cutler will end the season as a top 5 QB. Last year, Bears QBs finished as a top 4 fantasy producer. The Trestman offense and Cutler are a beautiful match, and the Bears just added Santonio Holmes to go with Forte, Marshall, Jeffery, and the rest. Health is always the concern, but considering he's basically the 12th QB coming off the board, the risk is definitely worth the reward. If you take Cutler, be prepared to play the committee approach, and grab a quality backup like Big Ben or Andy Dalton, whose schedules both line up very well with Chicago's. But don't be surprised when Cutler establishes himself as an every week play, and outperforms guys like Stafford, Foles, or Brady.

    -I'm not buying Adrian Peterson as a top 3 pick. Aging RBs with a heavy career workload don't typically return value. Peterson will still be solid, but he's going to finish closer to being the #10 RB than #1.

    -Other than McCoy or Charles, the RB most likely to finish the season #1 at the position is Eddie Lacy.

    -The injury risk makes it tough to pull the trigger in round 1, but I feel like all signs are pointing to Julio Jones ending the year as the #1 WR. I'm having a hard time justifying taking him prior to anyone in the top 5 (Megatron, Thomas, Green, Bryant, Marshall), but the second the 2nd round hits, there's your guy with #1-type upside.

    -I'm not saying that Cordarrelle Patterson isn't worth the 4th round pick that he currently costs in drafts, but I am saying that by paying that price, you're already paying for a breakout that has yet to take place. Instead, give me Michael Floyd in that spot.

    -When it comes to WR breakouts, 2 is the new 3. It used to be that we'd focus on potential 3rd year breakouts. However, recently it seems that many breakouts are occurring in year 2. When looking to fill your roster in the later rounds, keep this in mind.

    -To continue my Minnesota focus, perhaps no player in the league will benefit more from a coaching change than Kyle Rudolph.

    -Forget about wasting a pick on Seattle's defense. My favorite sleeper defenses include St. Louis, Cleveland, Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo. None should cost anything more than a next-to-last round pick.

    Back to you, Mr. Steel. What players and/or teams do you expect to breakout, and which do you expect will disappoint? Also, do you care to make any predictions?



    Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2014 4:21 PM
    From: Biggie
    Subject: Re: Zone Blitz
    To: Brian


    Hey, Brian, how's it going? So, Mike has been AWOL for a couple days, huh? Well, most of us know that Mike and Mrs. Steelnation are expecting, so here's to hoping the stork is able to get off the ground with that precious little bundle of ferrous metal.

    I'm going to pass on the Steelers talk save for this: Ryan Shazier. What a beast. That is all.

    I think you are correct in your assessment of JayJay Cutler in 2014. That offense just got even better with the addition of Holmes. Cutler should definitely be a top five fantasy QB. I'm curious to see if the loss of Ken Whisenhunt will cause Philip Rivers to come back to earth a little. I don't think he will, but a regression would not be a huge surprise, either.

    Lots of good looking rookies this year with, as usual, a ton of hype in all the wrong places. Blake Bortles looks and plays the part, but he is largely marginalized in the eye of the media because of the antics of one Johnathan F. Football. I was very, very disappointed to learn today Brian Hoyer will be the opening day starter for the Browns. Let's get one thing out in the open: I am not a Manziel hater. I think he may have the potential to be great. Personally, I don't see it. But he could be really good. He just needs a short but very rough ride on the humility train and a couple cycles through the reality check machine. Consecutive dates with the Steelers, Saints, and Ravens may just have put that arrogant, talented child in a proper, professional frame of mind. Getting your ass kicked can good for that.

    Jadeveon Clowney looks freakish. Anthony Barr is going to be beastly, too. I am eyeing Bishop Sankey as a sneaky breakout rookie but am not similarly high on one Eric Ebron. That young fella needs to take the cotton out of his ears and stuff it in his mouth. Hey, EE, there is a reason you were born with two ears and one mouth. You should spend twice as much time listening as you do talking,dig? Now shutyerpiehole and play ball.

    Now let's touch on the business side of the game and talk about the ridiculous notion of artists paying to play the Super Bowl halftime show. Yes, NFL, you are the nation's most popular sports league. Yes, Sunday Night Football is television's highest rated program. Yes, the Super Bowl is viewed annually by hundreds of millions of people....

    Well, when you put it that way... Get it while you can, NFL. But I have a question. If the NFL takes money from an artist as payment to perform during the Super Bowl, is the NFL then not assuming responsibility for the content said artist provides? And does not the artist also have the right, as a paying customer, to some say in the type content of his/her/their performance? Does the NFL not take on more liability vis-a-vis surprise middle fingers and inevitable {unintentional flashes of nudity}, errrrr.... wardrobe malfunctions?

    Anywho, the Super Bowl halftime show should be the least of the league's concerns these days. The NFL's biggest challenge, IMHO, is the officiating mess they have created.

    Preseason penalties are up 44% over last year and the bulk of the increase is due to illegal contact downfield and other ticky tack pass interference calls and flags for illegal hands to the face. The NFL has placed renewed emphasis on these fouls as a part of their ever-present crusade to make the game safer errrr...... promote offensive football by stifling defenses in the passing game.

    This brings me to the newest bad word in Biggie's House: Dean Blandino. Blandino is the NFL's VP of Officiating (or whatever the hell his title is) and he is evil incarnate. He wants NFL games with 40+ flags because that means he gets to be on TV A LOT.

    Blandino's bio is interesting. Notice he never made it past the replay booth as a real game official? Now we the fans get to feel the brunt of his feelings of inadequacy by being subjected what are sure to be four-hour long yellow hankie-fests this fall.

    Screw Dean Blandino. Smarmy little ****.

    Well, Brian that's what I got this week. It was a pleasure to jump into the Zone Blitz with some ridiculously bad fantasy football reads and other random thoughts. I'll kick it back to you for the closing.

    Peace.


    Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:59 PM
    From: Brian
    Subject: Re: Zone Blitz
    To: Biggie


    Wait-- you're not Mike? Thanks for jumping in, Big Man.

    Mikesteel, we couldn't be more excited for you, brother. Do what you need to do, try to squeeze in a little sleep, and we look forward to your contributions once the regular season rolls around.

    Rivers has always been under-appreciated as a QB. The fact that fellow 2004 classmates Ben and Eli have won a combined 4 rings and 5 conference titles doesn't help his case, nor does the fact that he was stuck for the first 9 years of his career with two of the most conservative and reviled playoff coaches in NFL history in Schottenheimer and Norval. Plus, when he fought through that ACL and nearly led the Chargers to the Super Bowl over the historic 2007 Pats, it seemed like he was on the cusp of greatness. However, he (or more fairly, his team) was never able to get over the hump, and Rivers quickly became yesterday's news.

    A closer look at the facts shows that Rivers has already carved out a borderline HOF career. In 8 seasons as a starter, he's made 5 pro bowls (for what that's worth), which is the same number as Eli and Big Ben combined. In 2008 (a season in which he's not credited with a pro bowl appearance), Rivers put up MVP-type numbers, leading the league in TDs, YPA, and QB Rating. From 2008-2010 he led the league in YPA each season, leading in passing yards in 2010, and last year, led the league in comp%. Rivers has been one of the best QBs in the league for nearly a decade.

    Historically, Rivers will be held back based on the perception that he wasn't as good as Manning (the older one), Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, etc. But if you look at his consistently great career performance, Philip Rivers will deserve a whole lot more consideration for the HOF than I feel he'll ultimately get.

    How all that applies to this year? Don't count out Philip Rivers. I like what I saw from Mike McCoy last year, and Rivers easily still has 3-4 good to great years left in his arsenal. I don't know how good the Chargers will be this year, but I can darn sure guarantee that the problem won't be Philip with just 1 L.

    I've got to say, I'm not feeling the love for Bishop Sankey. I'm just not sure he's a good fit for that offense. Jake Locker When Healthy is pretty good at throwing the ball down the field, but his strength has not been in checking down to his 3rd or 4th read, which is exactly what Sankey would be in the passing game. As a runner, Shonn Greene is still around, and is currently #1 on the depth chart. And while Greene has looked good thus far in camp, it's not exactly a good sign that Sankey is losing a battle to Shonn Greene. There's even talk that Sankey is behind Dexter McCluster when it comes to his role on passing downs. Whisenhunt is a coach who loves his veterans, and with Sankey currently 3rd on the depth chart, I'm tempted to pass on his upside when it comes to the 2014 season.

    As for the rookies that I'm buying into, one is Carlos Hyde. He's going to have a roll right from the start in San Francisco. I'm expecting 8-10 touches early, and with Frank Gore on the wrong side of 30, it would not be a surprise at all if Hyde is the Niners' leading rusher by season's end.

    I also like Devonte Freeman at RB. His current competition for carries is 57 year old Steven Jackson, who is shockingly already banged up this preseason, and the underwhelming Quizz Rodgers. I'm not sure exactly how good Freeman is, and the Falcons' schedule looks tough when it comes to running the football, but Freeman has 3 down potential, and is likely to be the rookie RB with the most volume at the end of the season.

    Lastly, for all the hype surrounding Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans, isn't it Brandin Cooks who feels like he was dropped into the absolute perfect situation? Over the past few days, the fantasy sharks are starting to take Cooks as early as the 4th round, which feels ridiculous, but speaks exactly to the type of upside that this kid has. Marques Colston is wearing down, and Cooks is already looking explosive, even without Drew Brees on the field. I can easily see Cooks ending this season with Keenan Allen-type numbers.

    Finally, I can't end this article without going back to Dean Blandino. Biggie, you hit the nail on the head with this clown. Not once has he been an actual on-field official. Quite simply, how can we expect Blandino to understand "gameflow" when he's never been on the field to experience it? I'm on record as saying that I think Instant Replay is stupid. Yes, we have the technology, but I've never had a problem with humans officiating humans. There is no system that is 100% perfect, and the NFL's system is FAR from 100% perfect. So instead of going with an imperfect product, I'm in favor of removing it from the game entirely.

    Remember the days when this was a catch (30 second mark)?



    That said, one of the problems I have with replay is that it allows for over-thinking and over-analyzation. {Thankfully} we now get to {enjoy} replay on a nightly basis in baseball too. You tell me, is baseball better off now that on stolen bases, we can see that for a fraction of a second, the runner that easily beat the throw came off the bag as the 2nd baseman's glove was barely clinging onto the cloth of his pant leg? Were we really that upset when a runner was called out because a throw beat him by about 12 feet, but the SS "technically" put the tag down inside the runner's arm? Is the NFL better now that we can overturn a catch because the receiver was contacted by the defender prior to his 2nd foot hitting the turf, then proceeded to stumble, fell to the ground, and in the process, the ball happened to pop out once he finally hit the ground? And I'm sorry, but I don't think any sane person was watching the NFL last year saying, "you know what, those officials are letting defenders get away with WAY TOO MUCH. I really hope they crack down next year and finally give the passing offenses a fair shake."

    This is exactly what I'd expect from a guy who has never done anything but sit in an armchair, and spout off what other people SHOULD be doing, despite having no actual experience within the field that he's critiquing. At what point does the NFL try to stop micromanaging every little detail, and allow the officials to not constantly look over their shoulders, but instead react to what they actually witnessed on the field?

    Comments 60 Comments
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      fellas, its early, but what are you hearing about Bell/Blount possibly missing time?
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Hank Goldberg says the overabundance of flags is affecting the way the bookies in Vegas are setting their lines.

      All those penalty flags that have been thrown around for the first two weeks of the NFL preseason aren't just making fans mad, they're causing headaches in Las Vegas.

      Through two weeks, NFL officials have thrown 104 flags for defensive holding, 70 for illegal use of the hands and 55 for illegal contact, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. That's 229 free first downs for opposing offenses.

      The flag throwing has gotten so out of hand that it's now having a consequence the NFL probably didn't intend: It's affecting bookies in Vegas.

      More first downs means longer drives, which theoretically means a team has a better chance of scoring points. That's led to something in Week 3 of the preseason that nationally renowned sports handicapper Hank Goldberg can't remember ever seeing in his life: Every game has a point total over 40.

      That means if you're betting the over/under on a game this week, you're going to see some high point totals.

      "This is a reaction to the defensive penalties that have been prolonging scoring drives," Goldberg said.

      Even with the artificially high point totals in place for Week 2 -- where 14 of the 16 games had points totals over 40 -- the over was still hit 10 times. The Vegas reaction has been to go even higher.

      Hammerin' Hank, who offered gambling insight at ESPN for over 20 years, says what's happening this week is a Vegas oddity, "I've never seen where every game is over 40," Goldberg said.

      With the numbers so high, this might not be the week to bet, "What [Vegas] is saying is that they're getting hurt, so they're raising the number," Goldberg said. "They're not in it to lose money."
      http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-...erunder-oddity

      10 of 16 games hit the over last week? In the freaking preseason? Wowzers.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Pittsburgh took a huge hit in the gut. Is this better or worse than Decastro's leg going 2 years ago?
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      How cool is it to be Vontaze Burfict right about now? Pretty darn cool.

      Burfict inked a four-year $20 million extension that will net him a cool $9.75 million this season alone.

      Not bad for a guy who went undrafted in 2012. This is interesting in that the only reason the Bengals were allowed to extend him now is because he did go undrafted. This means he did not have one of those team-friendly rookie deals spelled out so clearly in the 2011 CBA.

      Good for Burfict. I wish the Lions had taken a closer look at him back in 2012. Dude is a monster.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
      How cool is it to be Vontaze Burfict right about now? Pretty darn cool.

      Burfict inked a four-year $20 million extension that will net him a cool $9.75 million this season alone.

      Not bad for a guy who went undrafted in 2012. This is interesting in that the only reason the Bengals were allowed to extend him now is because he did go undrafted. This means he did not have one of those team-friendly rookie deals spelled out so clearly in the 2011 CBA.

      Good for Burfict. I wish the Lions had taken a closer look at him back in 2012. Dude is a monster.
      Good for Burfict, because after his issues in college, this is another sign that perhaps the dude now gets it. I hope he continues to get it, because I love seeing guys who were once knuckleheads mature into productive human beings.

      And yes, on the field, he is a monster.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      yea. Draft picks have to wait 3 years before they can get a new deal. Undrafted guys only have to wait 2.


      He's definitely earned it.

      The scary thing is he's only getting better, and he's still just 23yrs old.


      Burfict was never a big knucklehead though. Yea he made some questionable on the field personal fouls, and mouthed off to a coach I believe, but Burfict is a quiet dude off the field who's never been in a lick of legal trouble. His issues were being TOO INTENSE on the football field (and something he still needs to do better at). As well as showing up to the combine out of shape (there were also conflicting reports about a failed combine drug test).


      He was more a guy who just needed some guidance and direction than a guy who was a troublemaker who needed to be fixed.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
      fellas, its early, but what are you hearing about Bell/Blount possibly missing time?
      Honestly, I doubt either will miss any time, at least for a while. Blount was not actually charged with anything, so there's really nothing they can get him on. As for Bell, due to the union, this is a league issue, so it's out of the Steelers' hands. And until his entire legal situation has been sorted, the league isn't able to do anything.

      Just reference the Josh Gordon case to see how quickly this is likely to get ruled upon.

      Eventually, Bell probably gets a hefty fine, assuming that he is found to be anything but not guilty, but that may be about it. And none of that is likely to take place until after this season anyway.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      Honestly, I doubt either will miss any time, at least for a while. Blount was not actually charged with anything, so there's really nothing they can get him on. As for Bell, due to the union, this is a league issue, so it's out of the Steelers' hands. And until his entire legal situation has been sorted, the league isn't able to do anything.

      Just reference the Josh Gordon case to see how quickly this is likely to get ruled upon.

      Eventually, Bell probably gets a hefty fine, assuming that he is found to be anything but not guilty, but that may be about it. And none of that is likely to take place until after this season anyway.

      is that official on Blount? I know that's what Jason LaCanfora is claiming, but Schefter has a direct quote from one of the officers talking about that all 3 (so including Blount) were arrested and charged.


      I'd imagine Bell gets something even if its just for the DUI.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post

      is that official on Blount? I know that's what Jason LaCanfora is claiming, but Schefter has a direct quote from one of the officers talking about that all 3 (so including Blount) were arrested and charged.

      I'd imagine Bell gets something even if its just for the DUI.
      We all have access to the same information, so no, I do not have an inside source that can confirm exactly whom was charged with what.

      Yes, Bell likely gets at least a fine, but again, that is likely a long way off, and any disciplinary action would be much more likely for 2015 than 2014.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      From Anya Sostek of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

      Two members of the Steelers’ backfield probably will be cited with marijuana violations after a Ross police officer smelled marijuana coming from their vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

      Running backs Le’Veon Bell, 22, and LeGarrette Blount, 27, are expected to be charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, Ross police said. Police anticipate charging Mr. Bell as well with driving under the influence of marijuana.

      The traffic officer, Sean Stafiej, smelled marijuana while stopped on his motorcycle at a red light at the intersection of McKnight Road and Braunlich Drive.

      “As traffic moved forward, he was able to identify the specific car,” said Ross police Detective Brian Kohlhepp.

      Officer Stafiej pulled over the black Camaro, registered to Mr. Bell, in the Pool City parking lot about 1:30 p.m. and found a plastic bag in the car with about 20 grams of marijuana.

      Mr. Bell, who was driving, Mr. Blount, in the passenger seat, and an unidentified female riding in the backseat of the vehicle claimed collective ownership of the marijuana and all are expected to be charged with possession.

      Citations will probably be mailed out early next week, Detective Kohlhepp said.

      In Pennsylvania, possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana is considered to be for personal use, rather than distribution, and is classified as a misdemeanor.



      Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...#ixzz3B2TtkKRU
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
      From Anya Sostek of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
      Thanks for the update.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Many teams have had running back tandems with catchy nicknames like "thunder & lightning". The Steelers just got hung with "Cheech & Chong".

    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
      Many teams have had running back tandems with catchy nicknames like "thunder & lightning". The Steelers just got hung with "Cheech & Chong".

      Someone I follow on twitter--couldn't possibly say who, I don't remember--suggested 'Wake and Bake,' too. Oy. I don't understand why so many NFL players feel the need to have weed in moving cars...
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Kocsan View Post
      Someone I follow on twitter--couldn't possibly say who, I don't remember--suggested 'Wake and Bake,' too. Oy. I don't understand why so many NFL players feel the need to have weed in moving cars...
      The famous #1 rule of the PolishguyPodcast. There may or may not be a mega-NFL preview coming within the next week.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Brian Williams View Post
      We all have access to the same information, so no, I do not have an inside source that can confirm exactly whom was charged with what.

      Yes, Bell likely gets at least a fine, but again, that is likely a long way off, and any disciplinary action would be much more likely for 2015 than 2014.
      well I didn't mean inside info, but more rather you've been following it closer than me.


      FWIW, I was just in the car for a bit and multiple times ESPN radio stated that Blount was arrested and charged.

      and here was schefter's report that I mentioned above.


      More on arrests of Steelers RBs LeVeon Bell and LeGarrette Blount:
      Bell and Blount will be charged with marijuana possession following a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon. Ross Township detective Brian Kohlhepp said traffic officer Sean Stafiej pulled over a Camaro operated by Bell around 1:30 p.m. after Stafiej, who was on a motorcycle, noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Stafiej found a 20 gram bag of marijuana inside the car. Bell, Blount and a female passenger all claimed ownership of the marijuana according to police. Bell, 22, was taken to a hospital to have blood drawn and is expected to be charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. Bell, Blount and the female passenger were arrested and released. All three are expected to receive notice of formal charges through the mail said Kohlhepp. The possession and DUI charges are both misdemeanors. The Steelers play a preseason game in Philadelphia on Thursday.

      https://www.facebook.com/AdamSchefte...07602245959085
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post

      well I didn't mean inside info, but more rather you've been following it closer than me.

      FWIW, I was just in the car for a bit and multiple times ESPN radio stated that Blount was arrested and charged.

      and here was schefter's report that I mentioned above.
      To be honest, I've been extremely busy over the past few days for multiple reasons, so I really haven't been able to follow it all that closely at all.

      I tend to believe that Blount's been charged, which was referenced in the local link that biggie posted above. But there are still conflicting reports, and charges can't be treated as a conviction, which means that no matter what, this will take a while to resolve, especially when it comes to fines and/or suspensions.

      Beyond that, I really have nothing to add, other than we can't get ahead of ourselves. There's a process that must play out.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Nick Fairley is fairly well pissing off people who root for the Lions. What a waste of talent.

      "This is my 10th year, so I've seen guys kind of venture off before," [C.J.] Mosley said. "He's just got to be strong for himself. Decide on his own what he wants to do. I care, man, and I want to see him figure this stuff out."
      What does he mean by "venture off?"

      "For myself personally, I've had a lot of things outside of football that might have been distractions that caused you to have your mind somewhere else," Mosley said.

      "I don't know if that's what he's going through -- we haven't had that talk -- but it looks like something's on his mind. Whatever it is, we're here for him, I'm here for him, we want him to do his best. Just like everybody else."

      Fairley's best is pretty good. General manager Martin Mayhew said earlier this offseason he believes Fairley is as talented as All-Pro Ndamukong Suh.

      And Suh, not known to give out empty compliments, agreed with that sentiment this week.

      "I haven't said this a lot, or to many people, more or less, but Nick is more athletically gifted than me," Suh said. "He has an opportunity to be better than me. And that's what I want to see out of him."

      The problem, though, is Fairley is too infrequently at his best. And now he's struggling to keep up with Mosley, let alone Suh.

      That's a function of possible off-field distractions, as well as his weight, which climbed north of 320 pounds during camp.

      He says he now weighs 315, which is still 10 pounds heavier than his ideal weight.

      Fairley remains mired in a funk on the field, too, where he recorded just one tackle against Oakland and failed to generate much push.

      His body language has been poor during practice. He's isolated himself from teammates, and provided poor effort on several drills that were available to the media.

      That has caused Fairley to remain on the second team for a second consecutive week. He likely won't be in the lineup Friday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

      "Our job is to try to get our guys to play well, no matter what it takes," defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said. "Not everybody's going to be a guy that's a self-starter, work over the top all the time. There's different ways that you have to motivate guys and get them going, and that's part of our job to figure out, 'Hey, what makes a guy tick? What's going to help him play well?'

      "We're doing whatever we can to try to do that because we feel the guy's super talented, he's a good guy, and we just want him to -- we'd love him to play great, and I think he's on track now."

      Fairley continues to draw criticism for his weight, his fitness and his performance. But he still has the support of the Lions, and teammates are hoping he sorts himself out.

      "I'm always going to encourage Nick," Suh said. "I always want him to be the best player he can be."
      http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf...to_help_n.html

      Come on, Nicky. Get your head in the game.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Albert Breer@AlbertBreer 8m
      Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell has been charged with possession and DUI, and LaGarrette Blount has been charged with possession, per the Ross PD.
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      -Forget about wasting a pick on Seattle's defense. My favorite sleeper defenses include St. Louis, Cleveland, Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo. None should cost anything more than a next-to-last round pick.
      I'd exercise caution in selecting the Carolina defense for anything. The secondary is still highly suspect; they brought in Harper who has been playing since the days of leather helmets, and moved Godfrey to corner, but it's a real patchwork job. Greg Hardy has a trial coming up mid-November, unless they cut some sort of deal before then and I'd not expect the NFL to treat him gently if he's convicted, especially given the recent bad pub. Kuechly, Davis, Johnson and Lotulelei are formidable, but Johnson has been nursing a hamstring injury for most of camp and his backup, Frank Alexander is suspended for the first 4 games.

      Speaking of fantasy teams...I don't know anything about fantasy sports and don't particularly care, but I am about to participate in my very first fantasy football league (with some co-workers), just for fun. Any advice for a fantasy virgin?
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Nancy View Post

      I'd exercise caution in selecting the Carolina defense for anything. The secondary is still highly suspect; they brought in Harper who has been playing since the days of leather helmets, and moved Godfrey to corner, but it's a real patchwork job. Greg Hardy has a trial coming up mid-November, unless they cut some sort of deal before then and I'd not expect the NFL to treat him gently if he's convicted, especially given the recent bad pub. Kuechly, Davis, Johnson and Lotulelei are formidable, but Johnson has been nursing a hamstring injury for most of camp and his backup, Frank Alexander is suspended for the first 4 games.

      Speaking of fantasy teams...I don't know anything about fantasy sports and don't particularly care, but I am about to participate in my very first fantasy football league (with some co-workers), just for fun. Any advice for a fantasy virgin?
      Most importantly, know your scoring system, and know your roster requirements(specifically starters). If you get 4 pts for passing TDs and 6 for rushing TDs, plus 1 pt per 20 yds passing, and 1 pt per 10 rushing, then rushing QBs hold pretty significant value. If you get a point for every catch, WRs hold a ton of value.

      Think of it like this. Let's say you start 1 qb, 2 RB, 2 wr, 1 TE. In a 10 team league that's 32 starters for 10 qb spots, 32 starters for 20 RB spots (plus all of the situational guys), and 64 starters (plus slot wrs) for 20 wr spots. That places the biggest value on bell-cow RBs. If your starting roster is different than that, adjust accordingly, but in general, the top RBs hold the most value.

      Shady, Charles, Lacy, Forte, and AP should probably be considered the 5 best players. After that is when guys like Megatron, Demaryius, AJ, Dez, and Jimmy Graham should be considered.

      Lastly, find a cheat sheet (espn, Yahoo, cbs, elsewhere) that closely matches your scoring system. Use that to help guide you.

      Or, if you want, I can send you a file of my cheat sheet. It's based on my scoring system for my league, but should serve you just fine, if you'd like it.