Monthly Archives: January, 2013

Sixers Balls: Video of Bynum actually playing basketball!

This is actually happening; Bynum will actually play this year.  I am still waiting for something stupid to happen with him. Though everything is pointing in the direction that we will finally see Bynum don a Sixers uniform

Here is Bynum working out, courtesy of Tom Moore of the PhillyBurbs.com. Plus, a little bit of whispering too.

WAG Wednesday…Pilar Sanders

WAG stands for Wives And Girlfriend’s and every Wednesday we bring you the hottest WAGs of professional athletes from all sports across the world. This weeks WAG is Pilar Sanders. Pilar was raised in the upstate New York town of Elmira.  Pilar attended Syracuse University, until her senior year when she decided to pursue a career in the world of high fashion. Pilar became a successful print and runway model and was represented by Irene Marie and Ford Models.  Pilar then parlayed her success as a model into an up and coming acting career and appeared in such television series as “Walker, Texas Ranger”, “The Jamie Foxx Show” and “Veronica’s Closet”.  It was on the set of one show, L.L. Cool Jay’s “In The House”, that Pilar met superstar athlete Deion Sanders in the mid-90’s. Pilar moved to Dallas to be near Deion and the next year they married. Deion and Pilar have recently gone though a divorce.

 

Dynasty League Off-Season Gems…or Pyrite

Josh Gordon

The one thing all of us fantasy football junkies look for every summer leading up to the draft is the sleeper pick for the upcoming season.  The “BUST OUT” player that suppose to make a big step forward.  Evey owner in your league has their own secret list of sleepers and I have news for you….THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME!  That’s why whenever a “sleeper” is taken in round 7 of your draft, everyone lets out a collective moan and that they were going to pick them with their next pick.  Yeah. Right.  Well, the research doesn’t have to be done in July or August.  You honestly can start researching it now.  There is enough data out there to suggest who will be the next great player.  It’s happening in Dynasty Leagues everywhere and I’ve even done you a favor and generated a list of players.  These are some interesting off-season WR targets that Dynasty Owners will hunt for throughout the Spring and Summer.  Even you re-draft owners can take a gander at this list and make note.

Ty Hilton-Indianapolis Colts

2012 Stats: 58 catches- 927 yards- 7 TDs

At 5’9″, Ty Hilton has to rely on his speed for that explosive play.  He is a total playmaker and with the play off Andrew Luck, Ty Hilton will only keep increasing his numbers.  Reggie Wayne is a great possession WR on the short and intermediate throws, but Hilton is the playmaker down the field and will only continue to grow after catching 58 passes for 927 yards and 7 TDs.  That comes out to a 16 ypc and anything over 15 yards per catch is really telling you something.  Ty will never be a 90 catch type of WR due to his size, but he can develop into a DeSean Jackson type player, ESPECIALLY when Indy is playing at home on that turf.  With a full off-season to work out and train, I see a big 2013 season for Hilton.  70-1,150-9 stat line is very possible in his season.

Emmanuel Sanders-Pittsburg Steelers

2012 Stats: 44 catches- 626 yards- 1 TD

Emmanuel Sanders doesn’t have as a clear of a lane to a breakout season next year, but there is opportunity.  A couple of chips need to fall into place for Sanders.  First, Mike Wallace needs to leave via free agency.  Unless the Steelers are willing to pay Wallace at least what Antonio Brown got (42.5 million over 5 years) then Wallace is gone.  There is no way the Steelers can afford to franchise tag Wallace which would be a 10 million dollar hit to the cap.  With salary cap issues I just don’t see the Steelers re-signing Mike Wallace with Emmanuel Sanders on the roster at a cheap price.  Sanders is a RFA and has shown to be reliable when Antonio Brown was injured this season.  If the Steeler’s do not draft a WR in the first 2 rounds in April then that tells me that they are comfortable with their WRs and Emmanuel Sanders dynasty value sky rockets.  To replace Wallace’s production, I can see Sander’s production increasing by about 55-60% and if that is accurate then he is in line for a 70-1,000-3 type of season which is a great #3 WR in dynasty leagues.

Cecil Shorts- Jacksonville Jaguars

2012 Stats: 55 catches- 979 yards- 7 TDs

Cecil Shorts could quite possibly be considered a bust out WR for this past season, but since he wasn’t able to crack 1,00o yards in 14 games I thought he fell into this category.  There were two main issues why he didn’t get to the 1,000 yards plateau: Blaine Gabbert and concussions.  Both of which are scary on their own but it looks like Gabbert is no longer an issue.  The concussions are scary as he had 2 in one month and is on a similar trend as Austin Collie.  If  Shorts can overcome this he can be a dangerous WR, but the varying injury history dating back through college is alarming. Don’t pay too much or overdraft him because if he misses time at the end of the season like he did in ’12  it will cost you dearly since that is play-off time!  I think a stat line of 81-1305-9 is possible and places him into a #2 WR tier.

Chris Givens-St. Louis

2012 Stats: 42 catches- 698 yards- 3 TDs

The 4th round pick out of Wake Forest really did an amazing job this season when you consider he is only a rookie, started the season as the 5th WR option and that the Rams suck.  He’s fast and runs hard which indicates that he knows where he is going on each play.  I am a big believer in what St. Louis is doing under Jeff Fischer and if they can get Bradford some protection with one of their 2 first round picks, Sam will be able to flourish and get the balls to the WRs.  Givens will be a main benefactor as he has shown that he can be relied upon.  St. Louis is a team who could really start putting it together and I think Givens could get 65 catches for 1080 yards and probably 5 TDs.  If you are looking for a bye week replacement player who can turn into a mid tier #3 WR Givens fits that role.

Josh Gordon-Cleveland Browns

2012 Stats:  50 catches- 805 yards-5 TDs

The Cleveland Browns haven’t really been able to get things right in the past 10 years but they really got things going in the right direction this season despite the 5-11 record.  Rookie QB, rookie RB and a rookie WR is usually going to spell a poor season, but the production is there.  Gordon had a great rookie season and had 12 plays of 20+ yards or more which led all rookie WRs.  When we consider the fact that Gordon didn’t play a down of football for over 1.5 years, I’d say he acclimated very well to the NFL game. With Norv Turner running the offense in Cleveland, I expect a vertical passing game that Gordon will thrive in with his 6’3″ 225 lb frame.  He is Dez Bryant in the making. Make no mistake about it, Gordon will at a minimum get 70 catches for 1,130 yards and be a target machine inside the red zone in which he might top 10 TDs.

TurnBuckle: Check out this dance off on Monday’s RAW

Brotus Clay and Tensai competed in the ring.  But it wasn’t your typical match.  They competed in a dance off.  Here’s a clip on what went down.  Tensai really breaks it down!!!

 

Eagles: 3-4 scheme is likely, but there could be a risk…

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All signs are pointing to the 3-4 for the Birds “D”. So if you are thinking that the “D” and the Eagles could have quick turn around like this past year’s Colts team, you might want to start thinking long term. I mean, there’s always a chance they could bounce back quick, but I don’t see it, especially changing to a 3-4.

There is going to be a major change over on this roster as we all know, mostly on the defensive side of the ball.  If/when the Eagles hire their DC for the 3-4 the entire defense will have to revamp instead of trying to add to what decent players they all ready have for a 4-3 scheme. It will likely 2-3 years to get the correct personal.

It could be a “High” risk just for the simple fact that if Chip Kelly doesn’t work out the Eagles would have wasted 2-3 years to bringing in players for the 3-4 schemes. Then they would have to start all over again depending on the next hire.

If you are going to take this kind of risk, there is no better time though. There should be a brand new secondary next season. A couple of guys that I would bring back are Colt Anderson and Brandon Boykin.  The rest can go kick rocks. Obviously, there are going to be needs on the “D” besides the secondary, but that is the unit that jumps out the most.

The biggest question the Eagles have to answer is who can play the 3-4 currently on this roster?  DeMeco Ryans played in a 3-4 scheme with the Texans but was traded because he was better fit in 4-3. Mychal Kendricks played in 3-4 at Cal. Brandon Graham played it at Michigan. Vinny Curry did play a 3-4 with Marshall as well.

The ones that might be hurt the most are Fletcher Cox and Trent Cole. Cox, who was one of the few bright spots from last season, is not your prototypical 3-4 line-man. Maybe, he could adjust but it also might hurt his growth big-time. Cole is coming off his worst season as an Eagle. He has played his entire career in a 4-3. Does that mean no more Trent Cole in Philly? Maybe.

I am just rattling off players that I think will be back with the team next year. One thing is for sure, the Birds will need to find a BIG-ASS nose tackle.

Sixers Balls: Iverson to get one more chance? I hope…

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The last time we saw Iverson he was opening up Game 6 of the Second Round of the Playoffs against the Celtics. I swear, I almost cried that night. Watching him at center-court as the crowd went wild for him.

I would love nothing better than to see my favorite player of All-Time running up and down an NBA court again. This might be the only way for the 37 year-old, 11- time All-Star to get back in the league. Marc Stein of ESPN reports that the Texas Legends of the NBA’s development league is pursing Iverson…

The Texas Legends are lobbying Allen Iverson to try work his way back to the NBA by playing for the Dallas Mavericks‘ Development League affiliate, according to D-League sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Legends, who are co-owned by Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, ramped up their seasonlong pursuit of Iverson on Monday, offering him the chance to resurrect his career.

Will A.I say yes? He has been reluctant so far. If he really wants back in the NBA he has to know that this really is the only way he can get back. His last NBA game came back in 2009 with the Sixers. He also had that injury-filled stint in 2010-11 with Besiktas of Turkey. That lasted only 10 games. All I can remember about his time in Turkey was when he arrived and looked like he was about to shit himself.

It really is sad to think about all of the success he had in the league and how he has struggled to get back in. He never really did himself any favors with his reputation though either. If he does sign with Legends he would be teammates with former NBA players Delonte West and Rashad McCants. I hope he signs and gets one more chance.

TurnBuckle: Broc Lesnar signs contract extension

According to an article written on Bleacherreport.com it has been reported that the WWE has come to and agreement with Broc Lesnar for a 2 year contract extension.

There was a rumor that broke out last week that both sides were in talks for an extension.  Lesnar’s original contract was to end after this years WrestleMania.  Now with the extension it locks him in until after WrestleMania 31.

This must mean that McMahon and the WWE have a lot of plans for him in the coming years of this new contract.  It will be interesting to see what the self-proclaimed “Genetic Jackhammer” has up his sleeve.

Sixers Balls: Bynum back before the All-Star break? My nightmare could be starting..

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A day after the Sixers played their best game of the year, there is even more good news. Dare I say, Andrew Bynum is close? John Mitchell of the Inquire reported that Bynum could be back before the All-Star break. I completely understand why no one would give a shit now. I really don’t blame you.

Bob Cooney of the Daily News reports that Bynum has been running hard on the anti-gravity treadmill and he has been doing hard cuts and hard pivots in the low-post. I tell you what, Sixers assistant Michael Curry seems pretty excited

 “We were talking about Andrew (Saturday) night where people have to understand that you totally change the personnel that you’ve got to play when he’s on the court and you totally change how you are going to have to guard. You’re not going to trap Jrue (Holiday) if Andrew is in the pick and roll and he (Bynum) rolls you can’t just have a man pick him up.

“It’s encouraging as Andrew is doing more and more work. Just watching when Jrue has struggled or Evan (Turner) has struggled, just watching how teams have defended them. And they’re doing exactly what you should do. But when you have a great player or a big guy who demands a lot of attention around that basket you have to defend totally different.” via philly.com

Curry was talking about Bynum the day after the Sixers win over the Knicks on Saturday night. You would have thought he would have been talking about how Nick Young did not take his first shot in that game until 5 minutes and 45 seconds in or how Jrue is a flat-out stud. Nope, all Bynum.

I would be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that this excites the hell out of me. With Rondo now done for the season for the Celtics, it would seem that the Sixers are in prime position to take over the 8th seed. They are 2.5 games behind the C’s.

This is where my nightmare comes in. Bynum comes back. The Sixers take over the 8th seed and upset the Heat. Then the Sixers sign Bynum to 5 year deal worth 100 million dollars. Bynum misses the next 2 seasons with his knees. That would be the Philly way.

Puck Heads: Well, that was a fun week…

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That was a crazy-ass week to start the season. For the Love of God, you had Homer ready to ship out everyone but Giroux after the Flyers started 0-3. There were rumors flying around that he was ready to unload. There are still rumors that Homer is keeping tabs on P.K. Subban and Corey Perry. Homer is always ready and willing to make a move.

Here is a quick recap of the Flyers in just one week…

Hartnell out for 4-6 weeks. He had successful surgery on his foot.

– Meszaros is hurt again. He is out a month with shoulder injury.

-Briere is back but only can play wing for now because of his wrist. He can’t take face-offs yet.

– Laughton sent down to Juniors because of Briere’s return.

– Mike Knuble is back. Flyers love to bring back their old players.

– Bryz has been rock solid. He has a 2.22 GAA and .923 save %.

– Simmonds has been the best Flyer besides Bryz.

– Eric Wellwood is sent down.

– The Schenn brothers hit everything in sight.

– Coatesy and Bill Clement love to talk about WOOD.

– Coatesy also teaches us how ice melts.

– There is a Michael Leighton sighting. That was just odd as hell to see him in net.

Did I miss anything?

Obviously, the Flyers are now 2-4 after the loss to Tampa. They looked tired in that game. By the way, when did Tampa become the Devils? They blocked a ton of shots and were in great defensive position all game long. Moving on…

This team could use another scorer. Giroux needs another player with him on that TOP line. This just could be me but is Bradyen Schenn a little overrated? Yes, I love his toughness and the way he throws his weight around but I really don’t see anything special about him offensively. If I was Homer he would be the guy I would try to move.

Countdown to the NFL Draft: Ryan Nassib

2013 NFL Draft Logo

It’s no secret the Eagles are looking at the QB position hard this off-season.  They are looking at what they have currently on the roster, the potential free agents that will be available (basically no one), the players that can be traded for (next to no one) or players in the draft. If we take a look at what Chip Kelly is looking to build here in Philly, you need to look at his basic requirements he has at the QB position.  He wants a QB who makes the right read, doesn’t turn the ball over and doesn’t take sacks.   Having a mobile QB is also a characteristic Kelly looks for, but they QB doesn’t have to have blazing speed.

Kelly’s offense is predicated on forcing the defense to make the defense read and react without them having time to huddle.  He believes is a hurry up offense that can cause match-up problems for the other team mixed in with efficient play calling at the line of scrimmage. This is what Kelly needs to find.  A QB who can process information quickly, read what the defense is doing and switch to correct play accordingly. A QB that is a leader and a student of the game.  I give you, Ryan Nassib.

Ryan Nassib

As of late, Ryan Nassib has been getting some serious coverage locally in the Delaware Valley area.  Part of that is because of the Senior Bowl, it is also partially because of the Senior Bowl this week, but the major reason is because Nassib has a very good chance at being a starter in the NFL and I for one believe in him.  If you do your homework, look at his tape, look at the numbers and all the small background details, we start seeing some great qualities.

Against Syracuse’s 3 toughest teams (#13 Louisville, #18 Northwestern, Cincinnati) Ryan had a completion rate of 61%, averaged 338 yards passing per game, had an 8-1 TD:INT ratio and even ran for a TD.  The toughest game they had been against Louisville and Nassib stepped up big.  15-23 for 246 and 3 TDs.  Against Northwestern Nassib was awesome and led Cuse’ to the lead with :240 left in the 4th Qtr, but the defense couldn’t protect the lead and Cuse lost by 1.  Finally against Cincinnati, 11 penalties and 2 missed FG’s made it borderline impossible for Nassib to be successful as his offensive line was not helping him much in protection.

Now the small details.  First, he was a 4 time Big East All-Academic.  What’s this mean? Dude’s smart.  He majored in Finance and is getting his Master’s Degree in Accounting while playing QB at Syracuse.  I majored in Finance and played a college sport as well and I can tell you that you have to work HARD to get this type of award.  It takes dedication.  Secondly, there isn’t one coach or teammate that has been interviewed that has said a bad word about Ryan’s character.  Teammate’s have said that he is consistently in the film room and a genuine leader.  It goes without question that this is needed for any football team and I want that and the Birds need it!  Finally, look at where Ryan started and where he has finished.  Coming out  of high school Nassib was the 82nd ranked HS Quarterback in the nation.  Now as the draft nears he is in the conversation as one of the top 3 or 4 QBs in the draft and is pushing to be the first one taken.  This tells me something.  It tells me that he isn’t just in the film room, weight room and practice field going  through the motions.  He is doing all those things and doing them the right way.  Mike Bucci, one of my favorite baseball coaches I ever had growing up, once said, “Whoever told you that practice makes perfect was wrong.  Perfect practice makes perfect.”  I completely agree with that statement and with what we have seen and heard about Nassib, it seems that he believes in practicing this way too.  I want that type of work ethic when this offense is installed.

I’m not sure if Ryan will be a Philadelphia Eagle.  But as I see it right now, he has what it takes to be successful in the NFL with his 6’2″ frame and strong arm.  He is excellent on his short passes and with some time he can improve on his intermediate and long range passes.  He has shown the ability to keep plays alive by breaking tackles when he scrambles.  Regardless at what happens in the Senior Bowl game this weekend, Nassib is a QB that would interest me as a coach a potentially build around.

Fantasy Football Impact

Nassib probably won’t be much of a fantasy football asset his first year as growing pains will be expected, but being the fantasy football dork that I am, I will be taking Nassib if he is there in the second or third round of my fantasy football dynasty league rookie draft.  I’m sticking him on my practice squad and I am going to watch him grow into a great fantasy football asset in a few years.

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