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Old 12-29-2012, 09:45 PM    (permalink
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Default January 2013 Forum Mock Media Thread

Post articles about your team, moves, picks, etc. in this thread.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:16 PM    (permalink
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CARDINALS ACQUIRE SMITH, CUT KOLB



After a very disappointing season the Cardinals wasted no time attempting to fix their anemic offense. Smith had lead the 49ers to a 6-2 record before suffering a concussion against the St. Louis Rams and being replaced by 2011 2nd round pick Colin Kaepernick. With the acquisition of Smith the Cardinals cut ties with Kevin Kolb, saving $9MM in cap space to help pay for the newly acquired signal caller.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:43 PM    (permalink
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49ers part ways with Alex Smith



After years of bouncing from starter to back-up, the 49ers finally made a decision as far as QB Alex Smith is concerned.
The 28 year old former number 1 pick overall in the 2005 draft was traded to the Arizona Cardinals.
"This was what we thought was best, not only for Alex, but for our team moving forward", commented 49er coach Jim Harbaugh.
"You know we couldn't have asked for a more mature response from Alex in the way he handled things this year, but he needed a chance to be the no. 1 guy with no "if's" or "maybe's" getting in the way."
The 49ers acquired Arizona's 4th round and 6th round picks as well as LB Quentin Groves, a second round pick of the Jaguars in the 2008 draft.
The 49ers free up close to $7 million dollars this year and $7.5 million dollars next year as a result of the trade.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:13 AM    (permalink
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December 31, 2012

[center]BILLS CUT TIES WITH HEAD COACH GAILEY


It truly was a Black Monday after Sunday's Week 17 win over the Jets, as today Bills owner Ralph Wilson relieved Head Coach Chan Gailey of his duties. Wilson's decision comes after three straight losing seasons under Gailey, who compiled an overall record of 16-32. The 60 year old Gailey was reputed as an offensive pundit when he was hired in 2010, however the Bills offense failed to materialize and succeed under Gailey. Gailey has a NFL career record of 34-48 between stops in Buffalo and Dallas in the 1998 and 1999 seasons.

The Bills also relieved the duties of Gailey's entire coaching staff, which includes former Dolphins Head Coach Dave Wannstedt, who served as defensive coordinator.

The Bills plan to interview new head coaching candidates over the next week. It has been rumored that the Bills are looking at Indianapolis interim Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians, San Francisco Special Teams Coordinator Brad Seely, Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly, and former Bills interim Head Coach Perry Fewell.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:30 PM    (permalink
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Eagles Cut Ties with QB Vick, Mull Over Future of CB Asomucgha


The Eagles have officially announced that they will not be bringing back the four time Pro Bowler. Vick struggled with injuries and consistency this season and it was time for both parties to move on. When asked if Nick Foles was the answer at QB, the Eagles front office said it would be up to the new coaching regime. Hardly a vote of confidence for the rookie out of Arizona. The Eagles will announce a decision on whether or not they plan on retaining the services to CB Nnamdi Asomugha later on this week. Both Asomugha and Vick were signed to big contracts in recent seasons and both severely underperformed following those signings.

In other news the Eagles are reportedly quietly shopping WR Desean Jackson. There is no confirmation on whether these rumours are true so for now we must play it by ear.

Birds Relieve Bowles, Others, as Head Coaching Search Continues


It has been weeks since the firing of HC Andy Reid and the search for a new coaching staff is still ongoing. Those who we can confirm have interviewed for the HC job include Oregon's Chip Kelly, former Ravens HC Brian Billick, former Arizona HC Ken Whisenhunt, Broncos OC Mike McCoy and 49ers OC Greg Roman. Once a decision is made on the HC, the search will begin to hire a new DC and OC to replace Marty Morninwheg and Todd Bowles who were relieved shortly following Reid's departure.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:12 PM    (permalink
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Lions begin off-season with big changes

After a disastrous 4-12 season, the Detroit Lions are making some big changes.

The first domino to fall was when the Lions announced that Defensive Coordinator Gunther Cunningham has been relieved of his duties. Cunningham had been with the Lions for the previous four seasons. The Lions finished in the bottom ten of the NFL in scoring defense in three of Cunningham's four seasons. Special Teams coordinator Danny Crossman, Running Backs Coach Sam Gash, and Linebackers Coach Matt Burke were also let go.

There is going to be far more turnover on the roster than there was in the coaching staff. Today, the Lions also announced that long-time Left Tackle Backus intends to retire at the age of 35. Backus was a 12-year veteran who, just this past season, had a 186-consecutive game start streak snapped due to injury.

The team also announced a few cuts. Wide receivers Titus Young and Nate Burleson and Defensive End Kyle Vanden Bosch have been cut. Young, who was suspended for the latter part of last season by the team, was cut for disciplinary issues. Burleson, who suffered a season-ending injury last season, and Vanden Bosch were cap casualties.

The Lions also announced they will not be retaining free agents RB Kevin Smith, LB DeAndre Levy, and DT Corey Williams.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:25 PM    (permalink
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Patriots complete free-agent re-signing process

The New England Patriots announced today that they have reached contract agreements with almost all of their most highly-regarded free agents, most notably including wide receiver Julian Edelman, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, and cornerback Aqib Talib. The lone exception is wide receiver Wes Welker, who has been assigned the franchise tag for the second straight season. Welker would make $11.4 million under the tag next season, but has yet to sign his tender.

Additionally, the Patriots have come to terms with running back Danny Woodhead, wide receivers Deion Branch and Donte' Stallworth, defensive linemen Jermaine Cunningham and Trevor Scott, and cornerback Kyle Arrington.

The last of New England's re-signings included tight end Jake Ballard, offensive guard Nick McDonald, linebackers Dane Fletcher and Niko Koutouvides, cornerback Marquice Cole, and defensive back Derrick Martin.

The Patriots are expected to part ways with the rest of their free agent class, including fullbacks James Develin, Tony Fiammetta, and Spencer Larsen, wide receiver Kamar Aiken, tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, offensive linemen Kyle Hix, Colin Miller, and Jamey Richard, defensive tackle Myron Pryor, linebackers Mike Rivera and Tracy White, and defensive backs Will Allen, Josh Barrett, Patrick Chung, and Malcolm Williams.

New England is not expected to sign any additional free agents. They currently have 53 players signed through 2013.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:55 PM    (permalink
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Believe it or not the Cowboys are behind Romo



Another season, another Tony Romo meltdown for America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys. However, the team is fully backing their QB and showing him support as Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett proclaimed today. It would be easy for them to react emotionally and make rash decisions, but Garrett showed a lot of calmness in his press conference today reaffirming his strong faith in Romo. "We wouldn't be in position to have a chance at winning the division in Week 17 without Tony. We're all going to have to get better as a team."

The Cowboys were ravaged by injury this year, so finding a way to improve the team's depth and manage a tight salary cap is going to be a challenge.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:59 PM    (permalink
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Eagles End HC Search, Hire McCoy


Weeks after the Andy Reid era came to an end in Philly, the Eagles have announced the hiring of his successor. Broncos OC Mike McCoy brings a wealth of experience and an impressive resume to the table which was enough to win him the job. McCoy's resume includes back to back 3500+ yard 20+TD seasons for Kyle Orton, a playoff appearance with Tim Tebow under center and a pro-bowl season for Jake Delhomme as QB coach of the Panthers.

McCoy wasted no time in hiring the remainder of his staff. Packers D-Line coach Mike Trgovac who worked with McCoy in Carolina was brought in as the new DC. In perhaps the biggest move of the offseason for the Eagles they also announced the hiring of Norv Turner as the new OC. Turner has a penchant for developing young QBs and he will have his shot at molding Nick Foles or a rookie QB if the Eagles go that direction in the draft. The Eagles have also announced that they will be bringing back Juan Castillo as coach of the O-line to replace the recently retired Howard Mudd.

Despite recent reports that the Eagles would cut ties with 2011 marquee signing Nnamdi Asomugha the team has announced they will retain his services for the 2013 season in the hopes the former pro bowler can regain his form under a new staff.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:07 AM    (permalink
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STEELERS SIGN KEENAN LEWIS, OTHERS

The team announced this morning that they have resigned UFA CB Keenan Lewis to a long term contract. The terms have yet to be released.

Lewis, 26, has developed nicely over the last year and a half under the coaching of defensive backs coach Carnell Lake. He led the NFL in pass breakups with 23 to go along with his 71 tackles.

The team also announced they have signed FA OLmen Ramon Foster and Max Starks. Ramon Foster signed a 3 year deal while Starks is back in Pittsburgh for one more year.

Foster showed his versatility all year playing both guard positions and RT.

Starks was the only offensive lineman to play every snap. He's coming into camp looking to once against start at LT, but might end up as the swing tackle behind Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams.


The team also announced they have tendered contracts to 5 RFAs: Jonathan Dwyer, Emmanuel Sanders, Steve McClendon, Isaac Redman, and Stevenson Sylvester. All are expected to be their draft position tenders.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:20 AM    (permalink
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STEELERS CUT JAMES HARRISON

The team announced today that they have released the 5 time Pro Bowler this morning. Set to earn over 10 million next season, they felt they needed the cap room for other moves. It saves over 5 million dollars.

Harrison, 34, had two straight injury riddled seasons. He finished his Steeler career with 64 sacks, 4 All-Pros, and 2 Super Bowls. Jason Worilds, Adrian Robinson, and Chris Carter are expected to take over after his release.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:05 PM    (permalink
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Default Bengals Acquire RB Williams from Panthers



In an attempt to surround Quarterback Andy Dalton with better weapons and create a more explosive offense, the Bengals shipped 2 draft picks to Carolina for RB DeAngelo Williams. Williams, 29, has a limited number of carries on his body still and will provide the big run ability the Bengals have lacked in recent years. Paired with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Williams will still see a shared role as a RB but will likely get more touches than he did in 2012 for the Panthers.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:54 AM    (permalink
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Trade Winds/Eagles Blow in Philly



Rumours continue to surface out of Philadelphia that the Eagles are shopping wide receiver Desean Jackson. Multiple sources close to the team are reporting the Eagles have received multiple offers for the young wideout and that he could be dealt as early as the end of the week. Despite poor QB play and having only played in 11 games because of injury this season Jackson still managed to rack up 700 yards through the air on pace for what would have been his 3rd 1000 yard season in his 5 years in the league. Jackson had never finished a season under 900 yards prior to having his season cut short this year. Jackson is well on his way to a full recovery from the fractured ribs he suffered week 12 vs Carolina.

Rumours have also begun about the possibility the Eagles could move former first round pick Danny Watkins. With the addition of Luke Joeckel at tackle allowing Todd Herremans to kick back inside to guard, it will be tough for Watkins to find playing time on a line that also includes Evan Mathis, whom many felt played at a pro-bowl level this past season. While the team would like to have a wealth of depth on the line, especially given how frequent injuries can occur at that position, they feel it may be more beneficial to trade Watkins in order to acquire picks that can be used to beef up the defensive side of the ball.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:17 PM    (permalink
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Saints part ways with Will Smith



Set to earn over $9 million dollars for the 2013 season, the Saints have decided to release DE Will Smith. A first round pick in 2004, Smith has spent his entire career in New Orleans.
In his 9 year career, Smith has amassed 67.5 sacks and been selected to one Pro-Bowl. The 31 year old accumulated 6 sacks and 58 tackles this season.

The Saints' selection of Damontre Moore in this year's draft solidified the team's decision to release Smith. As a result, the Saints will pay out $3 million this year and $3.8 million next year in pro-rated signing bonuses, thus saving over $6 million dollars on an already tight salary cap budget.

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Old 01-02-2013, 05:28 PM    (permalink
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Jerry Frustrated


Sounding frustrated, angry and perhaps flustered, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on his weekly radio show that things will become uncomfortable at Valley Ranch and said changes are coming to his team.

In cutting off a question from one of the hosts during his segment on KRLD-FM on Wednesday morning, Jones said, "I can assure our fans this, that it's going to be very uncomfortable from my standpoint, it's going to be very uncomfortable for the next few weeks and months at Valley Ranch."

With one playoff win since 1996, Jones said he will have to do something "almost unconventional" to break the franchise out of its down cycle.

"But how do we somehow create us an opportunity to kind of break out of this cycle -- drive across the water, if you will?" Jones said. "That's the challenge that I have right now."

There will be changes going forward, either in coaches, personnel or scheme.

"I can tell you change is necessary at 8-8," Jones said, later adding, "Change is in order when you spend the two seasons in a row down to the last two games and lose them, so we're going to have to have changes."

http://espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/story/...changes-coming
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:49 AM    (permalink
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Freeney's Career With The Colts Comes To An End
After an exciting season with a revamped defense, the Colts are expected to let their seven time pro bowler Dwight Freeney hit free agency. His conversion to OLB was a disappointment, after his career low in tackles (11) and sacks (4). It remains to be seen if the Colts will look for a replacement opposite Robert Mathis in free agency or the draft. Jerry Hughes is the next man up currently on the roster.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:32 PM    (permalink
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Patriots trade first-round pick for WR Harvin



Patriots head coach Bill Belichick continued what seems like a draft day tradition today; however, rather than include New England's first-round pick in a trade up (as he did twice last year) or down (as is his proclivity), Belichick parlayed this year's first-round selection, the 30th overall pick, into Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin, considered one of the most dynamic, versatile offensive playmakers in the league. New England also obtained Minnesota's fourth-round pick (#120 overall) in the swap, effectively replacing the fourth-round pick Belichick and the Patriots sent to Tampa Bay earlier this season in order to acquire cornerback Aqib Talib, who functioned as a stabilizing force in New England's secondary this season.

Harvin, 24, was Minnesota's first-round pick in 2009; past speculation has included the theory that Harvin, selected with the 22nd overall pick, had been coveted by Belichick, in possession of the draft's next choice. Soon after Harvin was selected, New England traded down twice: to Baltimore, who drafted Michael Oher, and, more notably, Green Bay, who stole Clay Matthews. The Patriots eventually ended up with a package of picks initially headlined by second-round disappointment Darius Butler but which would later net New England promising wide receiver Julian Edelman (in the seventh round) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (in the second round of the subsequent draft.)

Edelman and fellow wide receiver Wes Welker were brought back into the fold with new contracts this offseason: Edelman on a long-term extension, Welker via the franchise tag. However, assembling more talent at the position was evidently among Belichick's top offseason priorities. With Welker and Brandon Lloyd set to turn 32 before the start of the 2013 season, the addition of Harvin furnishes New England's corps with what should be a long-term solution at the position. Minnesota has previously used Harvin as an outside receiver, in the slot, as a running back, and as a kick returner; look for Harvin to occupy a similarly diverse role as a member of the Patriots.

At this point, only one concern remains: Harvin is entering the final season of his rookie contract and has emphasized his desire for a new contract. Occasional clashes with Minnesota's front office and coaching staff may have been caused by Harvin's contract situation, which has been complicated to some extent by questions regarding Harvin's ability to stay healthy: he has missed ten games over his four-year career. It's assumed that New England has already discussed a new deal with Harvin in advance of the trade's completion, but thus far no details have emerged from either Patriots officials or league sources.

Recent benchmark deals are suspected to include Santonio Holmes' five-year, $45 million deal with the New York Jets and the five-year, $47 million deal DeSean Jackson received from the Philadelphia Eagles last March. Holmes received a $24 million signing bonus, while Jackson's contract included $15 million in guaranteed money, including a $10 million bonus. Both of those deals included substantial guaranteed money over the first two years: Holmes' first two base salaries were guaranteed, while Jackson received assurances on his first year's base salary and $4 million of his second year's.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:13 PM    (permalink
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Change has Arrived in Dallas


In less than 24 hours after Dallas’ playoff hopes were dashed, Garrett indicated he wasn’t planning to relinquish the duties of offensive playcaller even though the Cowboys were ranked lower in offensive points scored in 2012 than they’ve been in any season since he joined Dallas’ staff as an assistant in 2007.

Quote:
“I would certainly anticipate the status quo from that standpoint,” Garrett said.
Two days later, on his KRLD-FM radio show, owner Jerry Jones bristled when asked if he wanted Garrett to maintain his dual role as head coach and play-caller next season and beyond.

Quote:
“"I can assure our fans this, that it's going to be very uncomfortable from my standpoint, it's going to be very uncomfortable for the next few weeks and months at Valley Ranch. I’m going to spend a lot of time visiting with people outside of the organization that I have a lot of confidence in that will help us evaluate how to do the things that I know what our fans want to do, and that’s not be sitting here at .500,” Jones said. “There are a lot of teams that haven’t been at .500, but nobody hasn’t been at .500 and spent as much cash as I’m spending.”
The change for the Cowboys was coming whether Garrett liked it or not. When Garrett realized that he met with the media to try to clear things up.

Quote:
“We would just talk it through,” Garrett said on KRLD-FM. “Line 1 for me and the position that I’m in is what is best for the Dallas Cowboys — in every way, shape and form and however we’re doing anything. Everything is on the table. If we think collectively that something can help us and doing something differently than what we’re doing now is going to make us a better football team I’m open to it. And I’ve made no bones about that from the beginning. I just believe in that. I believe in that from the bottom of my heart. I’m trying to help this football team be the best it can be and everything is on the table.”
Today, we know just what that sit down conversation must have been like. This afternoon, the Cowboys announced the hiring of Paul Chryst as Offensive Coordinator. Jason Garrett has been trying to get his old buddy here since he first got to Dallas as OC in 2007. At the time it was to be the QB Coach, but Chryst resisted favoring to stay on as Wisconsin's OC. There were rumors Chryst was contacted again when Garrett got the job as Head Coach in 2010, but Chryst took the post as HC of the Pittsburgh Panthers and it's likely Garrett may have wanted to be the playcaller all along.

With the turmoil of the Cowboys 2012 behind him, there was no stopping Jerry this time from convincing Chryst to join the program by opening his wallet and bringing in Garrett's suggestion for OC. The two worked together when Chryst was an assistant coach and Garrett was the quarterback for the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football in 1991 and ’92. They have remained good colleagues through the years and are now reunited once again. Norv Turner was an awkward mention from the start as Garrett likely had reservations of being the HC over his former mentor. So the Cowboys found someone Garrett would feel comfortable working over in Paul Chryst, a man who is sure to put a stronger emphasis on the running game in Dallas and relieve some pressure off of Tony Romo to be the ultimate do or die playmaker.

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Old 01-04-2013, 02:44 PM    (permalink
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Patriots pick Florida's Floyd in second round



Since transitioning to primarily four-man defensive fronts, the New England Patriots have struggled to create pressure from the defensive tackle spot. Starting defensive tackle Kyle Love, an undrafted free agent signing back in 2010, earned the top spot on the depth chart back in 2011, but has struggled to provide a pass-rushing presence next to nose tackle Vince Wilfork. Love is an effective run defender, but his 1.5 sacks, one quarterback hit, and fourteen pressures last year were evidently not in line with head coach Bill Belichick's expectations, as the Patriots selected Florida junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd with their second-round selection of the 2013 NFL Draft (#62 overall.)

Floyd arrived at Florida after a high school career which earned him five-star rating from Rivals. With the Gators, the 6'3", 303-pound defender began as a rotational player, finishing with 23 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss as a freshman. He transitioned to the defensive end spot as a sophomore and recorded 46 tackles, 6.5 for loss, and 1.5 sacks before moving back to defensive tackle as a junior and leading Florida's defense with thirteen tackles for loss, part of 46 total tackles which also included three sacks. During his career at Florida, Floyd also contributed on special teams, blocking three kicks.

Whether or not Floyd will be able to unseat Love for the starting defensive tackle spot in New England's base defense will be one storyline to follow throughout training camp and the preseason. As mentioned earlier, Floyd also has experience playing defensive end, which could allow defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to implement more of the three-man fronts which have historically been favored by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Floyd becomes the sixth former Gator on New England's roster, joining running back Jeff Demps, wide receiver Percy Harvin, tight end Aaron Hernandez, defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, and middle linebacker Brandon Spikes.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:07 PM    (permalink
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SEC WEST?



The Arizona Cardinals wasted no time acquiring former #1 overall pick Alex Smith prior to the draft but the question on everybody's mind was how would they protect their new QB. The organization quickly cleared that up by selecting Jake Matthews with the #7 overall pick. Matthews a 3 year starter at RT will likely be moving over to the blind side which many believe won't be an issue for the talented Junior.

After trying to move up into the late 1st round Arizona had luck go their way when Georgia Bulldogs QB, Aaron Murray fell right into their laps. Murray a 3 year starter for UGA declared early after a bowl victory over Nebraska in which he threw for 427 yards, 5 TD and 2 INT. While Smith is expected to be the starter Murray will be given every opportunity to compete for the job during training camp and through out the season. Following the pick John Skelton was released, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer are expected to compete in the offseason for the #3 spot.

In the 3rd round the Cardinals selected Tennessee Guard, Dallas Thomas. Thomas was a 3 year starter at LT before moving inside to LG this last season. Many believe this to be one of the major steals of the draft thus far. Thomas is expected to compete with veteran Daryn Colledge & 2nd year man Senio Kelemete for the starting LG spot.

When asked to comment GM Marcus Fenikz had this to say, "We obviously came into this offseason with a plan to fix the offense through the 1st 2 days we feel we have done just that. Adding Alex Smith prior to the draft really freed us up to select the best player available in each round."
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:30 PM    (permalink
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Buckeyes pass rusher Simon drafted in third round



The New England Patriots concluded their second-day draft operations late last night, selecting Ohio State Buckeyes pass rusher John Simon with their third-round pick, #96 overall. New England's selection of Simon reflects a continued dedication towards composing a deep, disruptive defensive front; the Patriots had previously drafted Florida Gators junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd in the draft's second round. Simon joins a defensive end rotation which now consists of seven options: in addition to Simon, the Patriots also boast Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Trevor Scott, Jermaine Cunningham, Justin Francis, and Jake Bequette. Defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick has also played defensive end at times.

Simon, noted for his strength, toughness, work ethic, and leadership, was the eighth two-time team captain in Ohio State history; a three-season starter, he was employed as a defensive end, as a defensive tackle, and as a pass rusher out of a two-point stance. He was named to the All-Big Ten First Team by conference coaches and media members in each of the past two seasons, having recorded 53 tackles, sixteen tackles for loss, and seven sacks in 2011 and adding 44 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and nine sacks as a senior. He appeared in 50 career games, starting 37 in a row before missing last season's finale. During his time at Ohio State, he was coached by former Patriot Mike Vrabel, who now serves as the Buckeyes' defensive line coach; current head coach Urban Meyer also enjoys a close relationship with Bill Belichick.

The selection of Simon may foreshadow the end of Cunningham's tenure in New England; the former second-round pick had been used as a defensive tackle/end combo, typically a part of the defensive end rotation on first and second down, but sliding inside to defensive tackle in an attempt to create interior pressure. Despite finishing last season with 449 snaps, the fifth-most among New England's defensive linemen, Cunningham was relatively unproductive as a pass-rusher, finishing with just 2.5 sacks on the season. By comparison, Trevor Scott (252 snaps) and Justin Francis (195) each recorded three sacks. Cunningham's role in the defense appears to have been usurped by Simon's equally versatile skillset.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:45 PM    (permalink
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Sooners' Stills is third Patriots pick



Evidently not content with adding only one wide receiver this offseason, the New England Patriots today spent their fourth-round pick (#120 overall) on Oklahoma Sooners junior wide receiver Kenny Stills. The four-star recruit from Encintas, California burst onto the scene as a freshman back in 2010 when he caught 61 passes for 786 yards and five touchdowns. He caught another 61 passes in 2011, gaining 849 receiving yards and eight touchdowns that year. In 2012, Stills became Oklahoma's top receiving option, catching 82 passes for 959 yards and 11 touchdowns; he opted to forego his senior season after being projected as a potential second-day draft pick.

Stills possesses a well-rounded skillset which translates best to an outside spot at the next level. His combination of size (6'0", 190) and speed (his 40-yard dash time is in the 4.4 second range) is complimented by his smooth route-running, outstanding hands, and toughness over the middle. While at Oklahoma, Stills was asked to execute a disparate range of assignments; he was perhaps most effective on intermediate routes. That may help him get into the field early in New England, whose receiving corps predominantly consists of "space" players (with the notable exception of Brandon Lloyd.)

Projected to be selected in the second or third round, Stills' stock may have been negatively impacted by concerns about his character. As a 19 year-old back in January 2011, Stills was arrested on a misdemeanor suspicion of driving under the influence charge. His eccentric, talkative personality may have made some general managers apprehensive, fearing that he could disrupt a locker room. Clearly New England's decision-makers, led by head coach Bill Belichick, feel that Stills' personality will not have a detrimental effect on the Patriots' excellent locker-room chemistry.

New England does not hold a draft choice in either the fifth or sixth rounds, but they possess two seventh-round picks: both their own and Tampa Bay's.
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