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Topics I've Started

Artis-Payne's long road

14 May 2015 - 10:46 AM


From academically ineligible out of high school to manual labor to JUCO to Auburn and 1600+ yds, 13 YDs, 1st Team All-SEC and Academic All-SEC.


"We all thought he was done," said Bill Chaplick, coach at the Milford Academy in New Berlin, New York, where Artis-Payne squandered Division I scholarship opportunities because of academics -- just as he had done at Harrisburg High.

"He's a complete back," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. "I watched games last year where he took games over. That's what you saw with Gurley. That's what you saw with the kid from Wisconsin.

"And he played in the SEC. He played good, quality football against good, quality competition.

"The one word that describes him is perseverance," Chaump said. "He finds the way to win and get it done. He's going to surprise you. He's not that fast, but give him the ball and they don't tackle him."

Chaump perhaps sums up Artis-Payne best.

"Don't worry about the flashes, don't worry about the dazzling," he said. "But when the game is over and you look at the yards, it's always well over a hundred yards.

"Give the kid a chance and he'll produce.

Great piece on cbssports.com on spread concepts more frequent in the NFL

13 May 2015 - 08:05 AM


Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was vocal about this point. “Seeing the guys coming out of the systems now where the coach holds a card up, the players line up, he kicks his foot and they play football -- the hardest thing for them is to get into a huddle and call a play,” Arians said. “They're stuttering, they're stammering, the guys around them don't believe in them. That's that leadership thing. That's the hardest thing for these young quarterbacks who play in these systems … they have to learn how to play quarterback at this level and sometimes that's overwhelming.”

It should be noted here that college quarterbacks don't have the benefit of radio communication from their coaches like NFL quarterbacks do, which makes it difficult to radio in a play call to them. Additionally, the NFL is increasingly becoming a no-huddle oriented league. No-huddle usage more than doubled from 2011 and 2013 alone, rising from 5.7% of snaps in 2011 to 6.7% in 2012, to 12.2% in 2013. Even more teams used it in 2014, and though I wasn't able to find a confirmed percentage breakdown, the percentage of no-huddle snaps taken is doubtlessly higher than it was the year before, and next year it will be higher still.

Look at all the teams that have professed an interest in using more of the no-huddle next season. First, there's the Raiders. Head coach Jack Del Rio believes it will allow them to be more diverse on offense and vary their tempo. Then there's the Carolina Panthers. Riverboat Ron Rivera recognized how much more effective Cam Newton was down the stretch of last season when the team went no-huddle, and wants to do it more this year. The Buccaneers are expected to run more no-huddle under offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

These stories come on the heels of teams like the Chargers, Colts and Steelers announcing (and mostly following through on) plans to run more no-huddle before last season. Browns coach Mike Pettine called the no-huddle the future of the league. Add all those teams to Peyton Manning's Broncos, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady's New England Patriots and of course, Chip Kelly's Philadelphia Eagles, and you've got the makings of a leaguewide trend toward less huddling that's already reflected in recent data. What's more is that no-huddle plays have historically been -- you guessed it -- more efficient than those run after teams huddle up.

There are advantages (more time for the quarterback to read the defense and get into the optimal play call, tired defenses that aren't allowed to change personnel groupings, the need for the opposing team to devote valuable practice time to learning how best to defend no-huddle offenses) and disadvantages (difficulty communicating plays across the entire field, short drives if you don't get a first down, more time spent on the field for your defense) to the no-huddle, but by and large it's becoming more prevalent with each passing season, and it's an effective strategy if you play it correctly. You don't have to run up to the line of scrimmage and snap it with 20 seconds on the play clock like the Eagles, either. Peyton Manning's teams rarely huddle, but also rarely snap the ball before there are five or fewer seconds on the play clock. It can be used simply to keep your team in favorable personnel groupings while also controlling the pace of play.

Its the future of the NFL IMO (like it or not).

I hope beyond hope that Rivera is serious about pushing for more no-huddle in the Shula offense. Can Shula handle updating his dinosaur comfort-zone with new concepts? For the Panther's offense sake, I hope so.

Atlanta Falcan'ts were paid $1 million to 'honor' the military

11 May 2015 - 10:11 AM



Until today I was under the impression sports teams honored military personnel due to patriotism or some sense of community spirit.

But then I read an article that says taxpayers shelled out $5.4 million to 14 NFL teams to honor mostly National Guard troops

The Falcons were paid more than $1 million, the highest of any NFL team. I will try to get confirmation from the Falcons today, and ask the Braves if they operate under a similar deal.




The Falcons were paid $1,049,500 between 2011 and 2014, according to data on NJ.com. The largest payments were made prior to each season.

Here’s what the 14 NFL teams were allegedly paid.

  • Atlanta Falcons – $1,049,500
  • Baltimore Ravens – $799,000
  • Buffalo Bills – $679,000
  • Indianapolis Colts – $620,000
  • Minnesota Vikings – $605,000
  • Green Bay Packers – $600,000
  • New York Jets — $377,000
  • Kansas City Chiefs – $250,000
  • Cincinnati Bengals – $139,000
  • Dallas Cowboys – $62,000
  • St. Louis Rams – $60,000
  • Pittsburgh Steelers – $36,000
  • Cleveland Browns – $22,000
  • Miami Dolphins – $20,000

When it comes to winning public dollars, the Falcons are tough to beat.




Arty Blank is a greasy weasel, I swear.


Thank goodness for JR.

Cameron Artis-Payne signs 4-year, $2.45M with Carolina

09 May 2015 - 11:47 AM

Didn't see this on here, sorry if already posted...







Cameron Artis-Payne signed his rookie contract with the Carolina Panthers Friday, agreeing to terms on a four-year, $2.45 million deal with a roughly $170,000 signing bonus, according to a source.





nfl.com Draft winners and losers

03 May 2015 - 12:42 PM





After three days, 256 picks, and roughly 35 locations where the pickers were announced, the 2015NFL Draft was in the books. They say you need three years to properly evaluate a draft, so let's try to improperly evaluate it below.


Here were some of the big winners from the week:



Carolina Panthers


  Let's be honest: Did general manager Dave Gettleman take Shaq Thompsonwithout having any idea on how to use him? Whether or not he ends up being a linebacker or a safety, he was one of the premium athletes in this years draft. He'll be fine. They also added one of my favorite receivers coming out this year, Devin Funchess, and now Cam Newton has three mammoth targets to work with in Funchess,Kelvin Benjamin and tight end Greg Olsen. This will not only help them extend running plays, but will also give Newton more receivers who suit his personal playing style. -- Conor Orr







Tampa Bay Buccaneers


In a year or two, I could look tremendously foolish. Jameis Winstonmay be an incredible quarterback and he may very well be the next Ben Roethlisberger. But if I'm the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, how am I overlooking the player that has turned the ball over less, completed more of his passes and is more athletic? Sometimes we over think things atop the draft and sometimes we don't. Until we see them in an NFL uniform -- and Winston has a far better supporting cast to start -- we'll never know. That's the thing about any of these players, but to also trade up into the second round to grab an offensive lineman that played college football at Division III Hobart, it just seems a little puzzling. In a draft that was not lauded for its offensive line talent, Tampa Bay is starting a rookie quarterback with turnover issues in front of two second-round offensive linemen that are also rookies. Like I've said before, I could be wrong about this pick. There's a good chance I'm wrong about this pick. But pressed for a gut instinct, I would have gone in another direction. -- Conor Orr