Jets are Geno Smith’s team; for better or worse

genosmith

The New York Jets lackluster play is more frustrating than normal because this team has shown that they have talent. Behind all of the penalties, turnovers, and play calls that will make your head spin is a team that has managed to keep every game close. This is a team that was actually beating up on the Green Bay Packers 21-3 at one point.

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Former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher Announces Retirement

Retires

Shortly after 10 AM this morning, former Chicago Bears legend and middle linebacker announced his retirement on his Twitter account.

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Meet the Candidates for the Chicago Bears Head Coach Position

Phil Emery

Breaking up is hard to do. After a 10-6 season that will leave the Chicago Bears watching the NFL Playoffs from their couches, the team cut their ties with head coach Lovie Smith after 9 seasons.

Many players have already voiced their displeasure with GM Phil Emery’s decision to fire Smith. Devin Hester is even threatening retirement now that Lovie will no longer be calling the shots.

But as Emery stated in his press conference this past Tuesday, a lack of offensive consistency and playoff appearances are what did Lovie in. The Bears only managed 3 postseason berths, a 3-3 postseason record, and ranked in the top half of the NFL in yards per game just once (15th in 2006) in the past 9 seasons.

That track record would’ve done anyone in, not just Lovie. Despite being a defensive genius and a true “leader of men”, Emery knows that it’s in the best interest of the team to find a coach who will bring the offensive production to the same level that the defense has been producing at for decades.

Finally, someone understands.

The Bears will now be testing the free agent coaching waters for the first time since 2004. There are 7 names that have already emerged as candidates for the job, most of them being offensive coordinators.

While it’s nice to imagine all of the big name coaches on the market in blue and orange, I’m going to stick to the 7 men who have been granted permission to interview for the job.

My apologies to anyone hoping to hear Nick Saban or Andy Reid.

Emery has a lot of deciphering to do in the coming weeks, but he hopes to have picked his replacement before the East-West Shrine Game (college football’s “all star game”) on January 19th.

Without further ado, let’s meet the contestants.

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Indianapolis Colts make heartbreaking but necessary decision to release Peyton Manning

Nobody — nobody — wanted it to end this way.

Not you or me. Not Indianapolis Colts fans, who are sure to be divided — many of them irate — about the franchise’s decision to part ways with Peyton Manning. Not Manning himself. Not owner Jim Irsay, who undoubtedly will be the recipient of the aforementioned fan ire. Not Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz, who was among the first (if not the first) to opine that parting ways with Manning was the only decision that made sense for the franchise and subsequently became an easy target for angry Colts fans as someone who was running the four-time MVP out of town.

Nobody wanted it to end this way.

But it must.

With the official announcement — a joint one — that the Colts will release Manning after 14 seasons with the club coming at noon today, the news we’ve been expecting really hits home. And it hits home hard — for many reasons. But as heartbreaking as it might be to see the departure of someone who essentially put football on the map in Indiana, there was just no way around it.

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The only story with the Indianapolis Colts is Peyton Manning

Just so you know, the Colts have made a few major changes this offseason.

Bill and Chris Polian are gone. In their place is new general manager Ryan Grigson, formerly a member of the Philadelphia Eagles’ front office.

Oh, and former coach Jim Caldwell also is out of town. The new guy? Chuck Pagano, who spent the 2011 season as the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator. Word is he plans to do away with the Colts’ familiar Tampa 2 defense and install a hybrid 3-4 scheme.

The Colts have some new coordinators too, you know. Bruce Arians, who was the team’s quarterbacks coach from 1998-2000 and previously served as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is back in Indy to conduct the offense (Clyde Christensen isn’t gone, though. He’s quarterbacks coach now). Greg Manusky, who in 2011 was the San Diego Chargers’ defensive coordinator, now has that position here.

Any other offseason, these would be HUGE stories that would command their own blog posts. But this offseason? We hardly have heard a peep from or about any of these guys. There’s only one story surrounding the Indianapolis Colts right now: the very public dilemma between Peyton Manning and owner Jim Irsay that eventually will lead to the four-time MVP’s exit from town.

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Former Patriots, Chargers, Falcons WR to be Iowa Hawkeyes Honorary Captain

Tim dwight

Remember the name Tim Dwight? Or Timothy Deutch Dwight, Jr. originally taken by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round of the 1998 NFL Draft.

Dwight, who has the sweetest nickname ever “white lightning,” is perhaps best known for his 94-yard kickoff return TD for Atlanta in Super Bowl XXXIII. He has also played for the San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders in his career.

A highly endangered species these days (by that I mean a white return specialist) Dwight finished his college career with Big Ten records for punt return yardage (1,102) and punts returned for touchdowns (5);

He’ll forever be an Iowa Hawkeyes legend.

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Bright Spots for the Minnesota Vikings

There is plenty of bad news surrounding the NFL in the Twin Cities this fall. I will not pile on in this blog because it is plentiful from other sources. Instead, I will point out some of the strong points at this midway juncture of the season. It has taken some in-depth research and numerous hours of memory jogging exercises to delve into the positive aspects of the Vikings play.

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New York Jets vs. San Diego Chargers: Brutally Honest Game Preview

michelle ryan rex ryan

Man do I hate the New York Jets. I truly hate them so much that in past articles I’ve said the Jets are more evil than Al Qaeda. And this was before they shocked my beloved New England Patriots in the most kick-to-the-groiniest AFC Divisional playoff game in NFL history. I still have visions of that asinine drive-to-nowhere that consumed about 10 minutes in the late third quarter as the Pats were down two scores.

Brady, Belichick WTF on that one?

But as much as I hate the Jets, they are good for business. They make headlines, (Rex Ryan foot fetish, Jenn Sterger receiving dong pics, Ines Sainz sexual harassment, Braylon Edwards DUI, Bart Scott shooting his mouth off, Ryan constantly shooting his mouth off) and in 2010 they turned into the NFL’s version of an out of control frat house.

Or the NFL’s answer to Jersey Shore (Sanchez is the situation, Ryan is J Woww, see the whole analogy here). But I need the Jets and Ryan for good copy, and the beat goes on this fall.

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Lackluster Performance by McNabb, Minnesota Vikings Overall

The Minnesota Vikings received some very good news at the start of the game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. Kicker Nate Kaeding was being carted to the locker room for complications that ensued from an attempted tackle. He is out for the year with a possible torn ACL. That wasn’t enough for Minnesota to capitalize and steal a victory in Southern California.

The Vikings led by ten points at the half and things were looking up for the squad. Norv Turner has had notoriously slow starts in San Diego and this seemed to be more of the same. The game then was turned upside down as the Chargers scored seventeen unanswered points to finish the contest. The Vikings accrued twice as many yards in penalties than they did through the air.

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Fantasy Football Studs, Duds & Sleepers: AFC West

With the NFL lockout finally behind us, football fans can finally turn our attention from the courtrooms and onto the field, where it belongs. In the coming weeks, I will rank the fantasy studs, duds and sleepers for each division. Today, the AFC West goes under the microscope.

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2011 NFL Free Agency Signings and Trade Rumors: NFC Summary, Chris Johnson and More!

sidney_rice

Have you missed all of the latest 2011 NFL Free Agent Signings? NFL Trades? Not sure where Sidney Rice or Zach Miller will be catching passes this season? Well we’ve got you covered.

It today’s posting, we cover every player in the NFC who has changed teams and their contract terms if we have them. It’s a plain and simple post, but a must read for NFL fans and fantasy football geeks alike.

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Four Really AWESOME Sports Teams Theme Songs

ice crew

Occasionally, a sports franchise records a pep up song which is pretty good. 999,999 times out of a million they don’t. But here are four they got right.

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