Football, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, NFL, NFL Lockout, NFLPA, Sports, Sports Commentary, Stephen Ross, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Uncategorized

Running On Empty …………..


Running On Empty

I’m finally beginning to calm down given the situation concerning the NFL lockout as it pans out and the fact that over a prolonged period we have the team owners now saying that they are closer to a compromise. The season starts on the 3rd September and I fully believe that it will not start as the NFL believes as planned . The situation now stands where the players are having to plan their own workouts as there have been no preseason OTA’s and the new draftees aren’t able to be meet with the coaches and their respective trainers . To further emphasize the situation those very same draftees have yet to sign their contracts with their respective teams .

================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

================================================================================

Slideshow for your perusal .

With the owners , NFL hierarchy now meeting with their union counterparts led by NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , union President Kevin Mawae the grandstanding by both sides continues unabated and at the same time this only further exacerbates the whole situation . Now as many of you are aware I reside in the central Florida area where the three NFL teams within the state are the Jacksonville Jaguars , Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . This past season all three teams in their own determinable way had what one might deem a modicum amount of success . The Tampa Bay Buccaneers missed the postseason having missed the playoffs having fell by the wayside in posting a 10-6 record within the NFC South and failing to dislodge the New Orleans Saints who finished ahead of them within the division. For coach Raheem Morris this was a splendid sophomore season as he and GM Mark Dominik were able to make great strides as this team made the type of improvements one wouldn’t associate with such a young team.

The foundations were laid in Buccaneers’ bright season because of the exhilirating play of quarterback Josh Freeman who simply showed that he’s now becoming one of the more dependable and young reliable players at the position within the league. And one only has to look at the strides made by Sam Bradford , Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan . Morris and his assistant coaches have simply gotten the players to buy into a simple system and that’s to play hard , enjoy the game but above all be held accountable for executing the play. Freeman for his part is seen as the leader on this team where he’s also ably abetted by a veterans such as Kellen Winslow Jr and Ronde Barber . On offense the play of running back LeGarrette Blount and wide receiver Mike Williams have made this Buccaneers so much more of a talented team to watch for their fans. If nothing else this upcoming season for the Tampa Bay Buccaners should be something special . And it bodes well for the organization as a whole as they look to become a contender within the conference and for the Superbowl . From a defensive standpoint the traits instilled into the Buccaneers still remain but simply with more aggression and finesse not seen before . Granted , there have been those inconsistent displays but the players have learned from that and it bodes well for their immediate future.

If anything I was somewhat surprised that Jaguars’ coach Jack del Rio simply was allowed to keep his job ! Given the mediocre season had by the team and the mere fact the coach and his staff simply did a lousy job . And simply put , I not so sure that the upcoming season we’re liable to see any type of improvement the team compared to last season .

In the AFC South where the Jacksonville Jaguars reside they have to contend with the Indianapolis Colts as well as the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans . I now firmly believe that if Del Rio cannot leaf this team into the playoffs this season then team owner Wayne Weaver in conjunction GM Gene Smith will have no other course but relieve the coach of his duties . Some may well feel that it is all too little , too late , and they would obviously be right but because of the NFL hierarchy enforced lockout I believe that a number of teams around the league seeking to make a managerial change sought not to because of the financial ramifications involved . Having to pay a coach that you have just fired when he still has a year or more left on his existing contract and then having hire and formulate a new multi year deal for a new coach can end up costing an organization countless millions. Simply ask the front office of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers about that ? They are still paying former coach Jon Gruden two years after his abrupt firing and Gruden is now being handsomely paid by ABC/ESPN to provide both networks with on air college , NFL analysis and commentary . Not bad eh ?

If there’s one thing I learned from last season within the NFL it is that there’s a tremendous falloff from the top tier of quarterbacks and those at bottom tier of the ladder ! And anyone who witnessed the play of the quarterbacks on the Dolphins’ roster will know exactly what I am talking about . Chad Henne and Tyler Thigpen at best are moderate backups within this league but somehow coach Tony Sparano believed that one if not both were reliable enough to lead this beleaguered team .Given the frailties of this team on both sides of the ball the Miami Dolphins simply did their utmost to disappoint their fans as well as their celebrity investors who are led by principal owner managing partner Stephen M. Ross . The owner in conjunction with GM Jeff Ireland have seen the promise first shown when Bill Parcells was brought in as a consultant , simply disappear as the team has struggled to find an identity . Parcells is no longer involved with the organization at all , having chosen to retire to a much calmer environment, where the rigors of the NFL would be the last thing on his mind. Now it is left to Sparano and his assistants to guide this team back into some semblance of competitiveness .

With the ongoing lockout showing no signs of dissipating a shortened season now may well become a reality . And in many respects it may well benefit a number of teams around the league . For the Miami Dolphins this may well prove to be fruitful but on the other hand given the fact that players aren’t allowed on team facilities for any sort of organized training activities because of the work stoppage , there’s no doubt in my mind that all of the NFL teams will be impeded and we may well have to endure some really bad football during what might be league induced shortened season. And for the Miami Dolphins their opening schedule for the 2011-12 season starts off with an divisional rival game against their AFC opponent the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium in Miami , Florida , on the 12th September 2011 .

Tony Sparano may well be in for a season where he and the coaching staff will come under a great deal of scrutiny. The Dolphins have essentially become a “one trick pony” with little to show other than their ” shot gun offense” . And even then, once they were found out by the opposing teams they were found wanting in showing any form of creativity on either side of the ball . That if anything out to be enough of an indicator as what one might expect from this team over the course of the season. There’s a great deal of expected of the team throughout this season and their task won’t be made any easier given the fact that within the division apart of from New England Patriots you also have a hungry New York Jets’ organization wanting to prove that they ought to viewed as perennial contenders within the NFL . The Buffalo Bills will simply want to hang tough while Chan Gailey and his staff will assess the strengths and weaknesses on the roster as he looks to make them a resurgent force within the division and league as a whole .

=================================================================================

=================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on an individual frame you view that picture in its original formatted size .

Though the reverberations of this lockout has yet to be felt but we already know that a number of teams around the league are having some form of hardship though it hasn’t been well publicized . In a number of cases it has been noted that a number of teams have taken to actually cutting the salaries of their coaching staffs which has led to throng of opposition by the NFL Coaches Association as the coaches as such are caught in the midst of this saga. The idiocy of this lockout hasn’t been lost on the fans and the vast majority feel that that both owners , league hierarchy and the players are equally to blame . And now while NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his opposite number DeMaurice Smith seek some common ground and accord you simply get the feeling that this pissing contest is actually far from over . Both sides are actually out of gas , running on empty and simply looking for the other as such to cave in first .

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

———————————————————————————————————————————————

(1) New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, right, throws a football as teammates watch during an unofficial workout at Bergen Catholic High School, Friday, June 10, 2011 in Oradell, N.J. The workout gives the players an opportunity to practice together during the NFL labor lockout. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ……

(2) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 28: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) greets Adrian Clayborn, 20 th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …..

(3) Buccaneers’ number one draft pick Adam Clayborn (center) is seen here alongside Bucs’ team coach Raheem Morris (left) and GM Mark Dominik (right) at the team’s headquarters at One Buc Place. Dominik and the coach have made sure to fill the Bucs’ roster with players they deem that will be able to add quality and productivity to the team . Courtesy of St Petersburg Times .

(4) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Blaine Gabbert ,, 11th overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, holds up a jersey during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ….

(5) Head coach Jack Del Rio of the Jacksonville Jaguars watches his team play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on August 28, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. J Meric / Getty Images North America …

(6) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with Mike Pouncey, 15th overall pick by the Miami Dolphins, on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …….

(7) Miami Dolphins’ coach Tony Sparano (left) is seen here with the team’s owner billionaire real estate mogul Stephen M Ross at the team’s headquarters at Sun Life Stadium , Miami , Florida. Sparano will have a great deal to prove this season if he’s to retain his position with the Miami Dolphins . Miami Herald / Walter Michot ….

——————————————————————————————————————————-

NFL news

Jacksonville Jaguar news

Miami Dolphins news

Tampa Buccaneers news

NFL Draft 2011

NFL Draft tracker

NFL Standings 2010 by Division .

Football, Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, New England Patriots, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, Sports

The Tipping Point ……………


The Tipping Point …………..

Once the Superbowl (SBXLV) wraps it will be interesting to see what comes about once the postseason ends . I’ve never placed much stock in the Pro Bowl which once again was held in Honolulu , Hawaii after last year’s rather idiotic experiment in having the game a week before last season’s Superbowl .

================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


===================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

This NFL ___ season wasn’t one without controversy as we saw the return of Michael Vick to the grandest of stages as the player had something of a reawakening in his career. For the fans of the Philadelphia Eagles it was something of a surprise . They saw the rebirth of a player who after his incarceration many believed that he’d struggle but instead the player had something of an exceptional season as he lead the team into the postseason. They would come up short but it gave coach Andy Reid something to think about as he now has to make a choice between Vick and Kevin Kolb , whom Reid initiated would be the team’s starter during the preseason . Now the only thing that will be of concern to Reid is whether or not Vick will be re-signed to a long term contract and whether or not Kolb will remain as a member of this team .

Kolb’s performances during the season if anything were unimpressive and to my mind I think that it won’t be for the lack of trying but Kolb may well be traded by the Eagles. If the Philadelphia Eagles are to prevail this upcoming season , should there actually be an NFL season then this team will most definitely have to raise the level of their play. As good as they appeared to be it’s easy to take note that without the play of Vick this team wouldn’t not be where they were at the end of the season. Consistency was the key that the Eagles lacked and if anything this will be the thing that Reid and his staff will have to work on.

If ever there was a team that during the season you simply knew that after the idiocy that transpired both on and off the field you couldn’t wait see the train wreck that would be the aftermath. Mike and Kyle Shanahan simply led the Washington Redskins from one abyss into another. And for the fans in attendance at Fedex Field in Landover , Maryland what they saw throughout much of the season bordered on being a comedy of errors. Donovan McNabb the veteran quarterback was placed into an impossible situation with a team that was so poor and lacking in creativity on both sides of the ball.

At no time could anyone consider this Redskins’ team of being at all competitive and for Mike Shanahan who’s being paid a king’s ransom to resurrect the fortunes of the Washington Redskins it has to be said his first season was a poor one
by any stretch of the b imagination. And for Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator it has to be said that the experience he brought to the organization bore nothing on the field by way of the team’s competitiveness. Dan Snyder the team’s owner who’s not averse to spending money as a business owner has spent in excess of $70 million on managerial salaries since he assumed control of the Washington Redskins. And in that time he’s yet to see the fruits of that labor as the Redskins have simply been set adrift at sea in the midst of repeated tidal waves as they’ve floundered from season to season.

As an avid and passionate New England Patriots’ supporter I’ve got admit that for me their season was a complete disappointment and their loss in the divisional rounds of the playoffs to the New York Jets if anything proved to me how ill prepared the team and in particular Bill Belichick and the coaching staff were .

The failings in this Patriots’ team as such were too many to mention and it goes without saying that even with the post game apologies coming from Belichick and Tom Brady there was simply nothing there to truly indicate that the team and coaching staff went into the game with any real confidence against the New York Jets. From being the presumptive favorites to being kicked to the curb like a whimpering dog essentially summed up the Patriots’ season . Now it goes without saying that Belichick will no doubt look to strengthen the team by way of the upcoming NFL Draft . But herein lies the caveat are the Patriots still able to compete at the highest levels of the NFL ? Or is the team as such, one which now is one that’s simply now very good during the regular season but once the postseason
comes about they’re merely like a deer caught in headlights ? As of now I’m not so sure what the identity of the New England Patriots is meant to be ! I’m not totally at a loss for words but it has me wondering what’s next for the organization as a whole ?

I don’t think of it as being senseless but I’ve yet to see a real explanation as to why there has to be a franchise in the greater Los Angeles area . The city may well be the nation’s second largest advertising market but in reality if the calls from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and others calling for a return of the NFL is a valid one then I for one would like to know what proposals does the mayor himself have in order to enable this return ? It’s all well and good to be making proclamations but in all honesty when your city is running a $3.5 billion deficit and the state itself is so burdened with debt I’d like to know how he intends to as such pay for this all if there’s going to be a partnership between the public and private enterprise to make this come into being ? That’s the real problem with politicians who merely like to hog the spotlight and then make the most asinine of statements and that’s something that Villaraigosa simply knows how to do with immense regularity .

If it is Roger Goodell’s wish to bring an NFL franchise back to Los Angeles and it clearly is , then it won’t be something that will be happening anytime soon. As much we’ve heard rumblings of an imminent return to the area it appears that though the team owners are behind such a move they’ve made no apparent public statement wherein we’re being led to believe that such a move is imminent. The relocation of a team is quite possible but with there apparent talk that either the Jacksonville Jaguars or San Diego Chargers would be those teams — it doesn’t appear that the owners of those respective franchises have been forthcoming with regard to making a public statement on the issue. Neither Wayne Weaver of the Jaguars or Dean Spanos of the Chargers have been privee in letting the public know what their intentions ultimately will be.

===============================================================================

By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted
size.

===============================================================================

he cost of bringing a completely new franchise to the area, with a franchise fee and then a stadium could set a potential new owner back at least $1 billion and that’s clearly an obstacle than any potential new owner would look to assess before contemplating such a move. And while there are said to a number of parties looking to bring a franchise to the Los Angeles area at the culmination of this all may well be what input if any there’d be from the city’s government from a financial standpoint by way of inducements in terms of tax allowances and their cooperation in being a partner to any potential franchise owner. If that’s not clear from the start then the possibility of there being a franchise in Los Angeles might just be nothing more than wishful thinking at this point.

For you as an NFL fan what was as such has the main highlight of the season and with regard to there being the possibility of a new franchise in Los Angeles do you believe it to be feasible to bring a team to the city ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the matter.


Picture and slide show details

(1) Honolul , Hi ,. Michael Vick (7) of the NFC Philadelphia Eagles looks for an open receiver during the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on January 30, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii. NFC won 55-41 over the AFC. Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images ….

(2) Kevin Kolb (4) of the Philadelphia Eagles tries to avoid a sack from Anthony Spencer (93) of the Dallas Cowboys on January 2, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 14-13. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images ….

(3) Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (center) of the Washington Redskins works on the sideline with quarterbacks Rex Grossman (8) and John Beck (3 )in the fourth quarter of a game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field on January 2, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The Giants won the game 17-14 . Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images …….

(4) Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan makes a point with a referee in the fourth quarter of a game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field on January 2, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The Giants won the game 17-14. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images ……

(5) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots looks on near the end of their 28-21 loss to the New York Jets in their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Elsa Martinez/Getty Images ……

(6) City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vilaraigosa seen here with a number of his political supporters and aides having recently been returned to office by the electorate in the city of Los Angeles , California . Villaraigosa is one of the major political proponents for seeing the return of an NFL franchise to city . He’s been short the substance behind his call but says that having a franchise back in the city will reinvigorate it economically. Alas, he doesn’t seem to know however, how to deal with the most acute of issues facing his city and that is one of a multi billion dollar budget deficit . Picture courtesy of Richard Meyer _________ copyrighted material ……..@ all rights reserved

NB: NFL News ……..

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

====================================================================

Delicia Cordon

Eye candy ….. Delicia Cordon

I’d pull up to her bumpers !
===================================================================

Erykah Badu ………… “Window Seat"

=================================================================

Bill Belichick, Football, Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, NFL, Sports

Odious , Simply , Bloody, Marvelous …..


I don’t know whether or not to laugh or cry at this juncture. But suffice to say that the NFL lived up to its appeal of ‘anything can happen on any given Sunday’. Oh my God, that’s an Oliver Stone ‘movie’. No conspiracy theorists here however. Alas, the New England Patriots are finally showing signs of life but I sincerely doubt that it’ll be enough to sustain them throughout the playoffs. As a divisional winner they’re guaranteed a wild card berth. And as good as this team was perceived to be, they are nowhere near as good as the teams of old.

Foxboro , Ma,. December 27th 2009. Tom Brady (#12) of the New England Patriots celebrates with Kevin Faulk (#33) after Brady threw a second touchdown pass to Randy Moss against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Foxboro , Ma,. December 27th 2009. Tom Brady (#12) of the New England Patriots celebrates with Kevin Faulk (#33) after Brady threw a second touchdown pass to Randy Moss against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Simply put ,Bill Belichick is trying to plug holes into ill fitting pieces of a jig saw puzzle that in effect is still missing several much needed pieces. That has definitely got to be the case concerning the defense and how inexplicably inconsistent they’ve been this season. The Patriots had the pleasure of having their way with the Jacksonville Jaguars. And here’s a team that one now has to wonder how long their owner, Wayne Weaver , can continue to put up with Jack Del Rio as the team’s coach ? It’s safe to say that the cries …..’we want Timmy , we want Tim Tebow‘ won’t be enough to save Del Rio from the impending fall of the axe across his neck. Let the bloodletting begin. At this juncture it’ll be left to Weaver and the rest of the Jaguars’ hierarchy as to the final decision that will be made.

Foxboro, Ma- December 27th:  Sammy Morris (#34) of the New England Patriots gains yards against the defense Anthony Smith (#20) and Reggie Nelson (#25) of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Foxboro, Ma- December 27th: Sammy Morris (#34) of the New England Patriots gains yards against the defense Anthony Smith (#20) and Reggie Nelson (#25) of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

The Patriots for their part are beginning to show ever growing cracks in that once invincible armor and it certainly hasn’t helped that Tom Brady hasn’t been playing up to his own lofty standards. But then again when watching Brady at his best , you realize how good he really is and why it is that the organization has been so successful. And much of that had a great deal to do with the insight of former GM, Scott Pioli , who now ply his trade as the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs. And one would hope that the relationship between Pioli and Chiefs’ coach, Todd Haley won’t be as testy and icy ,as it was rumored to be between Belichick and Pioli towards the end of the general manager’s tenure with the New England Patriots.

David Garrard (#9 ) of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks for an open man against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won 35-7.
David Garrard (#9 ) of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks for an open man against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won 35-7.

Courtesy of the Patriots Journal

Patriots Journal: To rest or not? That was the question to Belichick

By Shalise Manza Young , Journal Sports Writer

Foxboro-Mass,. — Bill Belichick has a philosophy on whether to rest some of his key players for this Sunday’s regular-season finale, and it’s a rather familiar one:

“I do what’s best for our football team. That’s my philosophy,” he said Monday.

That was pretty much all Belichick would say in his late-morning news conference about how he’ll approach personnel decisions for the game against the Texans.

He added that he had not yet made any decisions, as he and his coaching staff had just wrapped up their review of New England’s win over Jacksonville.

===================================================
Click on link to read this article in its entirety
===================================================

Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots watches the final minutes of action against the Jacksonville Jaguars after a Patriots' 35-7 win at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots watches the final minutes of action against the Jacksonville Jaguars after a Patriots' 35-7 win at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Sunday’s game between these two AFC representatives show why the teams are heading in opposite directions. New England sits atop of the AFC East with a 10-5 record and are assured of winning their seventh AFC East crown in the last nine years. The Kansas City Chiefs for their part are in the San Diego Chargers’ dominated AFC West. Where if you get two competitive games between the contestants within the division you’re bound to be crying ‘foul’ . So god-damn awful is that division , that I continually ask myself why are there games scheduled between the occupants to begin with ? Because I know for damn sure that no one from the NFL’s hierarchy will be willing to give me or the fans a legitimate straight forward answer as to how bad the division really is.

 Randy Moss (#81)  of the New England Patriots reacts on the sideline after he caught his third touchdown pass of the day against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Randy Moss (#81) of the New England Patriots reacts on the sideline after he caught his third touchdown pass of the day against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

And it’s now pretty much safe to say that the Chiefs (3-12) will be fighting it out amongst themselves with the lowly Detroit Lions (2-13) and St Louis Rams (1-14) for the privilege of obtaining the number one draft pick in the NFL Draft of 2010. Oh to be a fly on the wall in the war rooms of those particular organizations. Suffice to say, things cannot get any worse than they are now. Absolutely not, well at least I’d like to think so !

 Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots shakes hands with Jack Del Rio of the Jacksonville Jaguars after a Patriots' 35-7 win at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots shakes hands with Jack Del Rio of the Jacksonville Jaguars after a Patriots' 35-7 win at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

New England had their way the Jaguars, rolling them over on their way to an emphatic 35-7 win at Gillette Stadium , Foxboro, Massachusetts, on Sunday afternoon. For the Patriots’ this was a welcome win on a cold and blustery day.
At best the Patriots can end up with an 11-5 record at the end of the season ,garnering them the number four seed in the AFC. As an avid Patriots’ fan I’m hoping that it’ll be enough whereby they can use their playoff experience to acquit themselves well this postseason. If they can hit a rich vein of form over the ensuing weeks however, there’s no reason to believe that they can’t upset the apple cart and throw a ‘monkey wrench’ into the ambitions of the Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals who are ahead of them in the NFL’s AFC seedings.

 Randy Moss (#81) of the New England Patriots catches his third touchdown pass of the day against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Randy Moss (#81) of the New England Patriots catches his third touchdown pass of the day against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

I know the limitations of the Patriots but I’m also fully aware as to what they’re capable of doing when they actually set their minds to it. The problem being is that will the team collectively be in unison when they’re needed to be at their very best ? If not then this postseason could end as swiftly for them as a sudden cold Nor’easter has been known to suddenly envelope the New England area. And that as we know is never a pleasant thing to begin with. In other words it can be odious but yet it can also be simply bloody marvelous. It just matters whether or not you’re on the receiving end of it all ?

NB: All pictures herein, appears courtesy of either AP/Photos or Getty Images

NFL Week 16 Results click here…..

Football, Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL, Sports, Sports Economics

This Little Piggy Went To Market This Little Piggy Stayed At Home …. This Little Piggy Named Jacksonville Is Soon Liable To Be Ran Right Out Of Town


Well it appears that the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars are in for a long and arduous season. Not only that but the now winless Jaguars at 0-2 within the AFC South , are seemingly facing an uphill battle in order to gain some semblance of respectability within the NFL .

Jags' wide receiver  Nate  Hughes  (16) misses  a  pass in  the  second  half  of  a  game played   against the  Arizona  Cardinals .    The   Cardinals   would  go  on  to  defeat the  Jaguars   31-17  in  with  an  emphatic   victory.   picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/  John  Raoux ..................
Jags' wide receiver Nate Hughes (16) misses a pass in the second half of a game played against the Arizona Cardinals . The Cardinals would go on to defeat the Jaguars 31-17 in with an emphatic victory. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Raoux ..................

And Sunday’s 31-17 debilitating loss , sustained at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals did nothing to dispel the growing disquiet amongst the Jaguars’ fans and around the city of Jacksonville. Clearly this isn’t just a growing concern amongst the fans but also the franchise’s hierarchy. They have to be now placing the club’s coach , Jack Del Rio under close scrutiny. In all probability Del Rio could very well become the first managerial casualty of this, still young , NFL season.

Jags'  quarterback   David  Garrard   buries his  heads  in his  hands  and  his  face  in the  turf   as   time  runs  out  in the  game   against the   Arizona  Cardinals   in a  game  played  Jacksonville  Municipal  Stadium,  Jacksonville,  Florida.    picture  appears  courtesy of   ap/photo/ Phil   Coale  ........................
Jags' quarterback David Garrard buries his heads in his hands and his face in the turf as time runs out in the game against the Arizona Cardinals in a game played Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phil Coale ........................

If the fact that the team hasn’t at all performed well during their first two games of the season. Well also consider this , there is a guaranteed certainty that the franchise will not sell out all of its eight scheduled home game this season. That is indeed a terrifying obstacle for the franchise to face. With the dire economic climate across the nation and the high unemployment(9.7%) across the state. The present fate of the franchise not only rests in the hands of its players but also , the fortunes of the state and in particular within the city of Jacksonville, itself. And for Del Rio and his coaching staff . Now isn’t the time to be making any excuses whatsoever ,as to how his team is underachieving. They’ve got to batten down the hatches and get this team back on the right track.

Jags'  running back  Maurice  Jones-Drew (32)  blocks   for  quarterback  David   Garrard  as  Cardinals'  defensive  end   Calais  Campell  tries  to  negate  the  play  during  the fourth   quarter  of  the  game  .        picture  appears   courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Phil  Coale  ......................
Jags' running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) blocks for quarterback David Garrard as Cardinals' defensive end Calais Campell tries to negate the play during the fourth quarter of the game . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phil Coale ......................

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports :

NFL has no business being in Jacksonville

By Dan Wetzel Yahoo Sports

It was a fine afternoon for football Sunday in Jacksonville and 46,520 fans (actually, probably less) showed up to rattle around the city’s Municipal Stadium for the Jaguars’ home opener. The stadium, which hasn’t had a name-rights deal in two years, can seat over 76,000. The Jags long ago gave up on that number, and in an effort to avoid television blackouts they covered up sections to cut capacity to 66,066.

They still didn’t come close to selling out.

They’ve publicly stated there is no hope for filling the joint for a single game the entire season. They aren’t even blaming the fact they’re coming off a 5-11 campaign.

“Even if we made the playoffs last year, we’d still be in this situation,” Bill Prescott, the team’s CFO, told the Florida Times-Union. He went on to claim that based on playoff appearances in two of the last four years, the postseason is worth only a 5 percent bump in sales.

This is all the economy’s fault, Prescott maintained.

If that’s true, then the NFL’s grand small-market experiment hatched in 1995 is all but over. Jacksonville as a viable professional sports market isn’t going to end well. Eventually everyone will have to admit it.

No one is blaming fans for staying home. Even with discounted tickets and generous package rates, attending a pro sports event is an expensive and time-consuming proposition. You can be the most loyal fan in the world and never go to a game. Jaguar fans shouldn’t apologize for saving money for something more important than football.

Still, a market that can truly support professional sports has enough people who either can afford it or simply won’t live without it. Every town will support a new team or a big winner. The truth comes not in good times but, like now, bad.

Jacksonville is struggling. The unemployment rate is 10.5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and like much of Florida foreclosures are high.

——————————————————————–
In order to read Dan Wetzel’s article in its entirety just click on the text link shown.
___________________________________________________________

Cardinals'  wide   receiver  Larry  Fitzgerald   gets  into the  endzone  as   Jags'  safety    Sean  Considine  is   unable   to  derail   Fitzgerald  in  his   effort  .        picture  appears  courtesy  of ap/ photo/ Phil  Coale  .................
Cardinals' wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald gets into the endzone as Jags' safety Sean Considine is unable to derail Fitzgerald in his effort . picture appears courtesy of ap/ photo/ Phil Coale .................

Certainly there seems to be something askew with regard to franchise’s thinking as to their present problems. Chief Financial Officer of the franchise, Bill Prescott thinks that the franchise’s inherent problems lies in the fact .’…. the country is in the midst of a bad economy and that is in large part to blame’ for the the franchise’s woes. Either Prescott isn’t prepared to acknowledge the fact that the Jaguars can also be apportioned much of the blame for its own self inflicted malaise. Wherein, it hasn’t performed up to standard by way of being a competitive NFL franchise on the field of play. At best, the franchise’s form over the past few year can be described as being lackluster . One has to wonder if Prescott’s sentiments are shared by team owner , Wayne Weaver ?

Wayne  Weaver   (left)  ,owner  of the  Jacksonville  Jaguars  is   seen  here   with  Atlanta  Falcons'  owner   Arthur  Blank    at  Jacksonville  Municipal  Stadium  prior   to  an   NFL  game   between  their  respective  teams  .       picture appears  courtesy of  getty  images  / Paul  Hughes  ................
Wayne Weaver (left) ,owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars is seen here with Atlanta Falcons' owner Arthur Blank at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium prior to an NFL game between their respective teams . picture appears courtesy of getty images / Paul Hughes ................

Coming off a 5-11 season in 2008 . It was felt that there was room for improvement for the Jaguars. Within the AFC South, they were always considered to be a better than average team. And within that division they may well have been viewed as the second or third best team behind the Indianapolis Colts . With the Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans , as well as the Jags at one time or not being closely bunched together. The difference between the trio was a matter, as to their levels of consistency. Make of it what you will.

Del Rio for his part saw fit to rid the team of players, whom he felt could no longer contribute to the Jaguars. And though on the face of it – it might well have been done in order for the franchise to be financially prudent. Those players seem to now be making somewhat solid contributions for their new found teams. Draft wise, Del Rio sought young talent but at the same he brought in veteran wide receiver, Torry Holt, to add to the team’s receiving corps and provide some much needed veteran leadership. As to whether or not Holt can provide that theme, remains to be seen. And no doubt the jury is still out on that ? And the team’s roster doesn’t make you sit up and take note as to its presence. You’d be hard pressed to state that there’s someone on the roster that would seriously pose a threat on either side of the ball.

Jags'  wide  receiver  Torry   Holt  signals   a  completion   against the  Arizona   Cardinals    in  an   NFL  game   played   at  Jacksonville Municipal  Stadium .    The   Cardinals    would  defeat   the  Jaguars  31-17   in  a  game  played  on  Sunday  20th September  2009 .   picture appears   courtesy  of  getty  images/ Al   Messerschmidt   ...................
Jags' wide receiver Torry Holt signals a completion against the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL game played at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium . The Cardinals would defeat the Jaguars 31-17 in a game played on Sunday 20th September 2009 . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Al Messerschmidt ...................

We can regale that one of the problems also facing the Jaguars is that of the NFL’s blackout policy with regard to televised broadcast games. NFL Commissioner , Roger Goodell has taken note as to the inherent problems that this no doubt brings for many of the NFL’s franchises. In particular for those within the small markets. But he’s done little to address the issue, merely pointing out that the NFL has taken note. It’s plain to see that for Goodell and the hierarchy of the game ……the gravy train has to continue flowing without there being seemingly any disruptions in whatever form it might well take.

Courtesy of The New York Times :

TV Blackouts Possible for N.F.L

By Richard Sandomir

Reduced season-ticket sales for some N.F.L. teams could result in a greater than usual number of local television blackouts.

“It’s all part of the challenges that we’re seeing in the economy and what our clubs are going through,” Roger Goodell told reporters Tuesday at the Washington Redskins’ training camp in Ashburn, Va. “Our clubs have been working hard in the off-season to create other ways to try to get people in the stadiums and to have policies that are a little more flexible, and hopefully, they’re going to pay dividends for us.”

He said that the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose season tickets have fallen to 25,000 this season from 42,000 last season, were one of the teams whose games could be blacked out if their home games are not sold out.

N.F.L. rules require that games be blacked out in local markets if they are not sold out 72 hours before kickoff.

A USA Today survey found that the fans of a dozen teams might face some blackouts this season.

CBS and Fox said they did not expect the blackouts to significantly affect ratings or cause them to provide givebacks to advertisers.

——————————————————————
In order to read Richard Sandomir’s article in its entirety just click on the text link shown . Article first published 09/01/09

——————————————————————

The scene now facing the Jacksonville Jaguars now takes on an acute scenario. They have to turn things around with an immediacy not often associated with the team. And with the franchise’s fixtures now getting into full swing. Attaining wins will be of the utmost urgency for the franchise. Jack Del Rio , no doubt understands that he’s now on the clock. With that , each moment of indecision may well play a part as to his immediate future. The chances are he may well not see out the remainder of the season , should there not be signs of a significant turnaround. Meanwhile, Wayne Weaver and GM Gene Smith will be watching Del Rio with an intense scrutiny, for the first time since he took the helm of the franchise in January of 2003. Six years and but two playoff appearances under Del Rio’s tenure. It’s a meager dividend by most NFL standards . Certainly not something befitting Weaver’s lofty standards.

Jacksonville  Jaguars' coach   Jack  Del  Rio  (center)  contests    a call  by officials   Greg  Gautreaux (80),  Bob Waggoner  (25)  and   Gene Steratore (14)  in  the  first   half   of  the   game  played   between the   Jaguars and  Arizona  Cardinals  .    picture    appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Phil   Coale   .........................
Jacksonville Jaguars' coach Jack Del Rio (center) contests a call by officials Greg Gautreaux (80), Bob Waggoner (25) and Gene Steratore (14) in the first half of the game played between the Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phil Coale .........................

Though much has been made of the fact that there has been dwindling attendance at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. And the rumblings that the ownership might well choose to relocate the franchise. Certainly for the fans of the Jaguars they may well feel that they’re being betrayed by not only the ownership but also the NFL . It could very well be that this present situation could be cause for the Jaguars to take leave of the city of Jacksonville , altogether. Because the fan-base there, seems to be dwindling in ever growing proportions. The dwindling loyal band of supporters appear to be no longer interested Jaguars’ football. And it’s not just because of the present economic climate. But seemingly , from a competitive standpoint as well with regard to lack its lack of success on the field of play. And you can’t but blame the economy for one’s own self inflicted woes. Bill Prescott, his fellow executives and the Jags’ management seem to be forgetting that at this juncture.

Jacksonville Jaguars’ upcoming fixtures :

Week 3 Sep 27 JAC @ Hou Reliant Stadium
Week 4 Oct 4 TEN @ JAC Jacksonville Mun Stad
Week 5 Oct 11 JAC @ SEA QWest Field
Week 6 Oct 18 STL @ JAC Jacksonville Mun Stad
Week 7 Bye —————————————-
Week 8 Nov 1 JAC @ TENN LP Field
Week 9 Nov 8 KC @ JAC Jacksonville Mun Stad
Week 10 Nov 15 JAC @ NYJ Giants Stadium
Week 11 Nov 22 BUF @ JAC Jacksonville Mun Stad
Week 12 Nov 29 JAC @ SF Candlestick Park
Week 13 Dec 06 HOU @ JAC Jacksonville Mun Stad
Week 14 Dec 13 MIA @ JAC Jacksonville Mun Stad
Week 15 Dec 17 IND @ JAC Jacksonville Mun Stad
Week 16 Dec 27 JAC @ NE Gillette Stadium
Week 17 Jan 03 JAC @ CLE Cleveland Browns Stadium