Written by: Pat Schuster

NF Draft Prospect Interview - Georgia K Marshall Morgan

February 13, 2016
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Having interviewed many players prior to the NFL draft each year, I occasionally get asked: who was the most intelligent player you ever spoke to, who was the most polite, and who could you tell had his answers rehearsed or who was the most entertaining. Well, the answer to the most entertaining has changed; the new answer is Marshall Morgan. Marshall has the perfect kicker mentality and yet sees the big picture on things while never losing the importance of the moment. Marshall comes across as the kind of guy everyone would want to be friends with in college because he is so entertaining. Currently ranked either as the number two or three kicker coming out this draft season, his future is definitely playing on Sundays, but after his career something tells me the SEC network or SNL might come calling.

FD: What is your official height, weight and forty?

MM: 6-3 ½ 207 pounds and I run a 4.7 forty.

FD: You are bigger than the textbook kicker; did you play other positions in high school too?

MM: Actually in high school I was purely a kicker. In middle school I did play some defensive end.

FD: How did you come to choose the University of Georgia?

MM: I had already had visits with Florida, Florida State, TCU and Virginia Tech. When I went to Georgia it was totally different, just felt like a place where I wanted to continue my education and play football. The coaching staff was really honest with what I could expect regarding my playing time early in my career.

FD: Do you have much experience kicking in cold weather? What’s the coldest weather you kicked in?

MM: The Auburn game, the temps were in the high 30s and against Kentucky the game was in the lows 30s. I don’t think kicking in cold weather would ever be an issue as long as I dress properly.

FD: Your high school coach was former NFL player, Jeff Dellenbach, what insight was he able to share about the game at the next level to you?

MM: I haven’t spoken to him in a few years, but everything we did was NFL or pro style. We prepared, game planned and just ran as a team following what he learned in the NFL.

FD: What was your favorite road stadium to kick at?

MM: I liked Neyland Stadium a lot. I once hit a 57 yarder there.

FD: Defeating Penn State in the bowl game was a nice cap to the end of your career at Georgia. What was the one thing about that bowl game that surprised you?

MM: It was great to erase the fact of the last time we played Penn State; the University of Georgia lost a National Championship game to them. Had to answer that question a lot, and now if someone says, “when was the last time Georgia played Penn State” the answer will be “Georgia beat them in the Taxslayer Bowl game.”

FD: Growing up who were your favorite NFL player and team?

MM: Really loved watching someone like AJ Green play in both college and the pros. As for favorite team I’d say Miami Dolphins.

FD: Did you play other sports in high school?

MM: Not really sports like basketball or baseball, but did participate in track some doing the high jump and hurdles.

FD: Who was your role model growing up?

MM: As someone I looked up to I would say a guy like Peyton Manning is someone I tried to emulate.

FD: After football is over where do you see yourself? Could you be the next sideline special teams reporter how CBS had Jay Feely?

MM: That could happen. I love the game so doing something like that would be cool and a great way to stick around the sport.

FD: What’s the one kick that you are most proud of?

MM: A 55 yarder against LSU, who was ranked 7th in the country at that time.

Follow Marshall on twitter @MarshallM13 as he gets ready for the April NFL Draft.

If you are a player interested please send me an email or hit me up on twitter at @ftballdialogue


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Written by: Pat Schuster

NFL Draft Prospect Interview-- Southern Utah WR Justin Brown

February 13, 2016
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Most interviews involve contacting players and see if they are interested and available to talk. More impressive players are those who reach out and say I want to talk and want people to know my story and that I am someone to watch come April for the draft. That type of person and player is Southern Utah wide receiver, Justin Brown, who saw some of the other interviews on the site and asked to be part of it. My favorite kind of guy the one that sees the big picture and advantage of getting football fans to know.

FD: What is your official size and speed?

JB:   6'3 215 4.4 40 time

FD If a team wanted film of you at your best what game should they watch?

JB: Sacramento State or Fresno State.

FD: Once your football career is complete where do you see yourself?

JB: Opening a gym to train guys for combine

FD: What are your thoughts on playing special teams?

JB: Special teams is a huge part of football and can determine the outcome of winning and losing. It's very important.

FD: Who was the toughest opponent you faced during your career?

JB: Leashan Sims from my school, very physical player. I loved the competition.

FD: What are you currently doing to prepare for the NFL Draft?

JB: I am training at Stroformance in Orem Utah.

FD: What is the best advice you received during your football career?

JB: Best advice I've ever got was from my mom, she kept telling me the sky is the limit but it's up to me what I do with my talent I was given.

FD: What something about you that would surprise people?

JB: I didn't start playing football tell I was a sophomore in high school

FD: Who was your favorite athlete growing up? J

JB: Jerry Rice of the 49ers

FD: Best football movie of all time?

JB:  Remember the Titans

FD: Who was your favorite NFL or college team as a kid?

JB: San Francisco 49ers

FD: What will you miss most about leaving college?

JB: Leaving my teammates. It was a small town so as a team we became very close.

FD: In a perfect world who is on the other end of the phone offering you a contract in the spring?

JB: Honestly I just want the opportunity to prove that I can play at the next level. It really doesn't matter what team.

FD: Describe yourself in a few words?

JB: Determined to be the best.

FD: Any significance to the #3?

JB: I served a LDS mission in San Diego when I got home a switched from 84 to 3 because it has a spiritual significances to me.

Follow Justin on Twitter at @justinbrownsuu to learn more about what he is doing to get ready for the April NFL Draft.

If you are a player and interested in an interview please send me a tweet at @ftballdialogue

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Written by: Pat Schuster

NFL Draft Prospect Interview –Southern Mississippi CB Kalan Reed

February 10, 2016


Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, there is a ton of talented players that fly below the casual NFL fan’s radar when it comes to the NFL Draft. Kalan Reed likely is at the top of that list, and whatever team lands him will have the benefit of a ready, reliable, respectful young man who will cherish the chance to play at the next level. Don’t be mistaken, the one thing Kalan Reed can play and play well is football. Similar to a guy like the New England Patriots, Malcolm Butler, Reed will benefit greatly from a team with the talent base to allow him a little time to adjust to the next level, but once he does the sky is the limit. Follow Kalan Reed @Kalan_Reed11 to see what he is doing to prepare for the April NFL Draft.

FD: What is your official height and weight?

KR: I am 5-11 and 199.

FD: You are a multi-year honor roll member in college; who instilled the importance of school and education in you?

KR: That would a tie between my parents and my high school principal, who was also my head coach.

FD: You were a basketball player and an award winning track member in high school. How did playing other sports in high school help you become a better football player?

KR: It got me more comfortable with competition and going against the best my area had to offer.

FD: At what age did you start to realize college football was in your future?

KR: My sophomore year in high school when I started every game. Everyone in my school’s history who has done that has received a division one scholarship.

FD: Once your football career is over where do you see yourself? I saw your major is sports management. Could we have a future sports agent or GM on our hands?

KR: I would like to go to law school and possibly become a sports attorney.

FD: What was your greatest memory during your college career?

KR: Our first win my sophomore year after losing every game the year before. We beat UAB and that was pretty special.

FD: Who was the best player you faced during your football career?

KR: No doubt Amari Cooper

FD: Who was your role model growing up?

KR: My parents, as I never wanted to disappoint them.

FD: What was the toughest or most challenging stadium you played in during your career?

KR: A few, Alabama my junior year; Western Kentucky was not a picnic and probably the crowd that got on us from the start was when we played Mississippi State in Starkville.

FD: If a team wants to see you at your best which game tape are you sending them?

KR: Two games immediately come to mind, first is Texas State this year and UAB my sophomore year.

FD: Who were your favorite player and team growing up?

KR: My favorite team was the Tennessee Titans, and as for a favorite player there are two guys. Darrelle Revis, and for his fearless style, it was always fun to watch Cortland Finnegan when he was on the Titans.

FD: What is your experience playing special teams?

KR: I played special teams in college, every part with the exception in my senior year; they took me off kickoff coverage. I love them. No fear.

FD: What are your thoughts on run support as a corner?

KR: I enjoy coming up and helping on a run play I did it often and had a whole bunch of tackles for losses.

FD: Describe yourself in a few words?

KR: Humble, hungry and a tad bit sarcastic.

FD: Any significance to the #11 you wore?

KR: Well….I always preferred a low number and wore #4 in high school but since that is out of the question at Southern Mississippi (retired for Brett Favre) I went with the lowest number they could give me which was number 11.

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Written by: Stasheroo

If I were Dallas Cowboys GM - Part One - Free Agency

February 09, 2016
Optional...
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With that miserable season behind us, it's time to look ahead toward the future!


And I know many of us are already looking towards the draft and free agency, I know I am! So I thought that I would share my thoughts on what I would do if I were running the show. Rather than put it all in one thread, I'll break it down into two so it's easier to read and discuss.

Feel free to add your own plan or to critique what I'm presenting here.Despite the ability to go crazy with restructures, free agency, and the draft, I would play things somewhat conservatively, making only a few choice moves.

1) Attempt to re-sign Greg Hardy.

I know that's a controversial and less than popular move for some, but I still think that he's a very good player that this team really needs. What I don't want to do is to let him go and create another weakness that needs to be filled. While Lawrence is good and Gregory might be, there are no guarantees and you need better production. And putting those two on the field at the same time leaves you at a distinct size disadvantage as well. The Cowboys have already taken the hit for Hardy's past issues, so I would keep him at a reasonable price, I'd guess in the $7 - $8 million range with safeguards/incentives built in.

Optional...
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

2) Release Barry Church and sign Eric Weddle in free agency.

Cutting Church saves nearly $3 million in cap space, which can then be used towards signing Weddle, who I anticipate in the $5 - $6 million per year range. Weddle has been among the league's best safeties for the past 5 years and I think he would provide stability to the secondary and a great veteran presence. I think he would also be an excellent mentor to Byron Jones. I think he's got another two seasons left at least.

3) Sign Lamar Miller at running back. While Darren McFadden had a very good year, I still think that this team can improve the position here. Other than McFadden, the running back position was a revolving door of disappointment and injury, and more talent is needed. Miller is just 24-years old, with a lot of tread left on his tires, and looks to still be an ascending player. Why the Dolphins under-utilized him was criminal, but their loss is our gain. He could be this team's back now, and for the future as well. I believe his contract would be for roughly $5 million per season.

4) Sign Rishard Matthews to be this team's 2nd or 3rd receiver. Another former Dolphin? I think so. For all of the flack Jeff Ireland gets - and rightly so - his 2012 draft in Miami looks like a fantastic haul at this point in time. Matthews was a 7th round steal, with good size, great speed, and good hands. He really put it together and was having an excellent 2015 prior to injury. To my eyes, he looks like another ascending player just hitting his stride at just the right time. Given the draft investments the Dolphins have made, and their gap,situation, I see Matthews hitting the market and I would pounce on him. I don't see the Cowboys re-signing the inconsistent Terrance Williams, and Matthews could be a nice deep threat compliment to Dez Bryant for the next several years. I'd estimate between $4 - $5 million per year. 

Optional...
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

5) Sign Colt McCoy as our veteran backup. It was painfully obvious that Tony Romo's injury, coupled with the lack of a capable backup quarterback, was the biggest contributor to the 'Great train wreck of 2015'. I sure don't want to see a repeat of that this year. Despite all of the talk about RG3 or Johnny Manziel, I don't want to roll the dice on the coming season by counting on either one of those boom or bust options. Give me a reliable, dependable player who will simply do his job. McCoy doesn't have a cannon for an arm, but he's shown he can capably get the job done. And he looks yo have come into his own as a pro in Washington. Prior to this season, he was in close competition with Kirk Cousins to be the starter, and given the great season Cousins had, I'll gladly take the guy who came in a close second. Take a look at what McCoy did during the preseason and see what you think. He made $1.5 million in Washington, so I'd expect a similar deal, possibly $2 million per year, would be enough. Especially when you can offer a return to Texas!


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Written by: jzenk42

My Super Bowl prediction

February 05, 2016

The Super Bowl is finally upon us as the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos will meet in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday night. Carolina is favored by 5.5 points, led by quarterback Cam Newton, linebacker Luke Kuechly and cornerback Josh Norman. Newton, the odds on favorite to win the NFL's Most Valuable Player award, passing for 35 touchdowns, while adding 10 more on the ground. The 35 passing touchdowns were 11 more than his previous best and the 10 rushing touchdowns were the most since his rookie season.

On offense, like I said above, Carolina is led by the probably NFL MVP. Newton was tied for second in passing touchdowns with 35 despite losing his No. 1 wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin before the season with a torn ACL. As good as Newton was through the air, Carolina was even better on the ground. The Panthers were second in the league in rushing, averaging 142.6 yards per game. Carolina will try to run the ball against Denver's third ranked rush defense to try to neutralize the deadly pass rush of the Broncos. Jonathan Stewart will be a big part of the attack, as he rushed for nearly 1,000 yards this year. Rob Gronkowski had a great game against Denver two weeks ago and now Carolina faces Denver with arguably the second best tight end in the NFL, Greg Olsen. The big tight end has caught 12 of his 14 targets so far this postseason for a total of 190 yards and a touchdown. He will need another big game against a stout Denver defense. 

When Denver has the football, it will be tough sledding for the Broncos. Carolina gave up just north of 19 points per game (6th), while Denver scored 22.2 points per game (19th). People will talk about this being Peyton Manning's swan song, but he is not going to magically gain a stronger arm over night. Manning was one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL this year. Manning just threw for nine touchdowns this year, while throwing 17 interceptions. Those 17 interceptions were second in the NFL to Jacksonville's Blake Bortles, who had 18. In comparison, Bortles threw his 18 picks in 606 pass attempts, while Manning just threw 331 passes to throw his 17 picks. That is one interception every 19.5 pass attempts. Not good. His quarterback rating was an embarrassing 67.9, the worst in the league among quarterbacks who qualify. To expect him to morph back into 2013 Peyton Manning is not thinking clearly. He has been not just bad, but awful this season.

With all of that being said, he does have some weapons at his disposal in Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Owen Daniels, who caught both of Manning's touchdowns in the AFC Championship game against New England. With Norman more than likely going to be shadowing Thomas, Sanders and Daniels must come to play and have a big impact if Denver wants to hoist up the Lombardi Trophy. With Manning struggling, Denver has needed to rely more heavily on running backs C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman. Anderson has rushed for 72 yards so far in each of Denver's first two postseason games. However, New England did a nice job on him until he busted loose for a 30 yard run late in the game. Denver's protection needs to hold up against a defense that is sixth in the league in sacks, while having a sitting duck at quarterback.

On paper, this looks like a blowout in my eyes. Both teams have top tier defenses, but Carolina also has a top tier offense, whereas Denver's offense is not very good. The way Denver stays in this game is turnovers. If Denver can force some mistakes from Newton and give its offense a short field to work with, the Broncos have a chance to bring home the title. That is if Manning does not turn the ball over himself. Carolina is a team on a mission right now. The Panthers have just torn through the NFC in the playoffs and fresh off a 49-15 demolition of Arizona. I think Carolina's top ranked offense vs. Denver's top ranked defense will basically cancel each other out. I don't think Denver will completely shut Carolina's offense out, but the Panthers will have a harder time scoring than the previous two games. However, barring a flurry of Carolina turnovers, I do not see Denver's offense doing much against the powerful Carolina defense. Also, when Denver made its way deep into New England territory in the AFC Championship game, the Broncos had to settle too many times for field goals. They will not be able to get away with that Sunday. I think when you add everything up, it equals a Carolina victory.

Prediction: Carolina 23, Denver 10

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Written by: rseguin3

Super Bowl 50 Preview

February 05, 2016
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The day so many football fans look forward to is finally here! Super Bowl 50 comes to us from San Francisco this Sunday at 6:30 PM ET, when the AFC champion Denver Broncos take on the NFC champs, the Carolina Panthers. Arguably the biggest story line of this game is the sheriff, Peyton Manning, squaring off against the young gun, Cam Newton. Manning, a five time MVP, will be playing in what could be his last NFL game. Newton, will likely be entering this game fresh off receiving his first NFL MVP. For the third straight year, we are witnessing a Super Bowl that features an NFL legend at QB on one side and the future of the league on the other. This game could be a changing of the guard so to speak or it could be one last notch in Manning’s incredibly accomplished belt, only the sixty minutes on the field will be able to settle that. Here’s my breakdown of Super Bowl 50:

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


When Denver has the ball:


Denver’s focus for this game is going to have to be their run game, short passes, and clock control. If they are able to convert on third downs, I think they will have success. Giving Peyton Manning two weeks of preparation is always scary, regardless of how much his game has regressed in recent years. With that being said, the Carolina defense is good, really good. Josh Norman will be able to neutralize Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders, but the unfortunate part is that will leave the other with a bit more freedom. The key factor for the Panthers will be how well Luke Kuechly can play in the pass coverage and as we’ve seen, he can be excellent in that department. Kuechly already has two interceptions returned for TDs this postseason. Carolina’s defense should be able to contain Manning, but I will never count him out. I’m giving just a slight edge to the Panthers on this one.

Edge: Panthers

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



When Carolina has the ball:


Despite having hardly any weapons at wide receiver and losing one of their leading rushers from last season, the Panthers offense worked pretty well this season. That is in large part due to the evolution of Cam Newton. The Panthers’ QB will most likely be named the NFL MVP on Saturday night. If Carolina is going to win, he will need to deliver an MVP performance. Statistically speaking, Denver’s defense is the best in football. That unit was the key to the team’s success this season and ultimate Super Bowl win. This game will be slightly different as their outstanding pass rush will be negated slightly by Newton’s ability to run. Just like the opposite side of the ball, I’m giving a slight edge to the defense.

Edge: Broncos

Special Teams:

I think both teams are pretty evenly matched when it comes to special teams. I would have faith in both Brandon McManus and Graham Gano converting on important field goal attempts. Both teams also have capable return men and I don’t see a clear edge one way or another.

Edge: Push

Coaching:

Both Gary Kubiak and Ron Rivera are appearing in their first Super Bowl as a head coach. Digging deeper, Kubiak has three Super Bowl rings as an assistant and Rivera has only had one appearance in his career. I’m not sure how much that translates into being a head coach in the biggest game, but the experience factor is definitely in favor of Kubiak. Overall, I don’t think there is much difference between these two and I think this is more of a push than anything else.

Edge: Push

Intangibles:

When it comes to intangibles, most of the positive signs lean in favor of the Broncos. First, Denver has experience in the big game. They are only one year removed from their last Super Bowl experience and their roster is loaded with guys who have played in a Super Bowl. The same cannot be said for the Panthers, so the jitters of the big stage may play a factor. Second, Peyton Manning’s career can end with the storybook ending, much the same way as Broncos’ legend John Elway. I believe in happy endings and events that can sometimes be too good to be true. Finally, I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist and I think when all the money is on one team, go with the opposite. As of right now, there is heavy money coming in on the Panthers and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that Vegas does not like to lose money. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying games are fixed, but I am saying that I’ve seen enough big favorites lose to think this could be another example.

Edge: Broncos

Final Result:


There’s a big part of me that wants to root for the Panthers. There’s also a big part of me that thinks the Panthers will win this game, but there’s an even bigger part of me that thinks this game belongs to Peyton Manning. This will be his swan song and he is going to ride off into the sunset. Even though I think the defenses are the key to the game, I still believe points will be scored. Manning is your Super Bowl MVP and the Broncos win.

Broncos 27 – Panthers 23


Championship Record: 2 – 0
Playoff Record: 9 – 1
Regular Season Record: 150 – 90 
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Written by: Pat Schuster

NFL Draft Prospect Interview—Florida S Keanu Neal

February 02, 2016
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Having done over three hundred interviews with players as they anxiously await the draft, I’ve spoken to all kinds of guys. Players who are worried, excited, and everything in between, and speaking with Keanu I can say he is a player who sees the big picture and gets it. Roughly ranked as the third best free safety by the “experts”, Keanu is the type of kid who grew up around the game and isn’t going to have nearly the issue adjusting to the next step in his career that so many others have. Here is your chance to get to know a little more about a player most teams would benefit adding to their roster.

FD: What it is your official height, weight and forty?

KN: I am 6-1 and 213. My projected forty is 4.4

FD: How did you come to play football at Florida?

KN: I felt very comfortable with the coaching staff and the team. Felt like family and with my family so close, it was a great place to play and easy for them to come and see me.

FD: In 2014 against Alabama you led your team in tackles, forced a fumble and returned it for a touchdown as well as being named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Was it harder playing against Alabama or making the Honor Roll?

KN: (Laugh) Making the honor roll no doubt. Football is like second nature to me, but with school work I have to put in time to keep my grades high.

FD: Having started 19 games the past two seasons, what has been the most important thing you learned from the first game to the last game?

KN: To have a short memory, focus on the play at hand and not dwell too much on a bad play or be too proud of a good play.

FD: What is your greatest memory from your college football days?

KN: Running out to the Swamp. You can only truly understand if you’ve done it. A truly amazing experience.

FD: How comfortable are you in pass coverage?

KN: I feel very comfortable in pass coverage. I know some people question if I can cover in space, and I work hard to prove that I’m a complete player.

FD: What are your thoughts on playing on special teams?

KN: I love it!! Both my head coaches talked it up at Florida and it’s something I enjoy when called into action.

FD: Of all the players you played with and faced, if you could pick one player to be a teammate at the next level who would it be?

KN: Jarrad Davis, LB, University of Florida.

FD: If an NFL team wanted to see you at your best which game film should they watch?

KN: 2014 against Missouri.

FD: Who was the best player you faced during your time at Florida?

KN: I have to give him props. Alabama’s Derrick Henry

FD: Who were your favorite player and team growing up as a kid?

KN: Cam Chancellor. He is a “do it all” safety. As for favorite team, the San Diego Chargers, as my older brother, Clinton Hart, played for them.

FD: Of all your coaches, who has taught you the most about playing football?

TT: Travaris Robinson. He was at Florida when I got here and now is with Coach Muschamp again at South Carolina.

FD: Who was your role model growing up?

KN: My brother, Clinton Hart.

FD: Complete this sentence the best football movie I’ve ever seen is?

KN: Remember the Titans. Awesome movie.

FD: Describe yourself in a few words?

KN: Humble, hardworking and outgoing.

FD: Does the #42 hold any significance for you?

KN: It certainly does, same number as my brother.

Follow Keanu on twitter at @Keanu_Neal as he gets ready for the April Draft

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Written by: jzenk42

I Don't Get The Hate for Cam

January 30, 2016

As I look around the Internet and talk to people, there is one topic that surrounds the Super Bowl more than any other: Cam Newton. There are many people in the country who despise Cam Newton, and quite frankly, I don't get it.

I realize that many people do not like the way Newton acts on the field. Many think he is too cocky and arrogant. However, when you look around the NFL, all of the top quarterbacks are a bit cocky and arrogant. I do not see any difference between Newton's dab and Rodgers' championship belt, but I don't see anybody (outside of Packers rivals) ripping him about it. 

When "Kaepernicking" was at its peak, I don't remember a hatred for Colin Kaepernick like there is for Newton. I also don't see any difference between when he does his "Superman" celebration and when a player emphatically signals for a first down after getting a key first down. 

Some people may still be bitter about him from his time at Auburn and the scandal involving his father and Mississippi State. The NCAA said it had found no major violations and the scandal was swept under the rug.

When you look at Newton outside the playing field, Newton has done a ton in the community and with children. Newton has a foundation that helps youth and it carries over onto the playing field when after scoring a touchdown, he gives footballs to children after scoring a touchdown. If you just look at him off the field, he seems like a good guy. But it is just when he is on the football field and he is arrogant and cocky that people do not like him. I, personally, chalk it up to just having a good time.

I mean, who wouldn't be having a good time when your team has won 17 of 18 games on the year and is on the brink of winning the franchise's first Lombardi Trophy? Every great player has an arrogance about them and Newton is no different. He is going to be the NFL's Most Valuable Player this year. 

I don't see Carolina's offense being shut down by Denver's No. 1 defense and if Carolina wins against Denver, he possibly will win Super Bowl MVP as well. I'd say he has the right to be arrogant. The last player to win MVP and the Super Bowl in the same year was St. Louis' Kurt Warner back in 1999.

People say they don't like him because of his arrogant acts, but I just don't get it. I, personally, think we need more players like Newton. Actually, check that. We need more people like him as well.  He is great for the game of football. Yes, I will admit that I did not think that he would be successful in the league, but I am dead wrong about that. 

Like him or hate him, there is one thing for sure: he is a joy to watch play and he makes the league more fun.

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Written by: Pat Schuster

NFL Prospect Interview --Middle Tennessee St ---T.T. Barber

January 28, 2016

Another in a series of interviews with top NFL Draft Prospects; I had the opportunity to speak to Middle Tennessee State’s four year starter, OLB-T.T. Barber. Although not a household name yet, T.T. is the type of player top NFL teams are built on in the league; the hard working blue collar type that makes the key play on special teams or picks off that pass just at the right moment. It was a great pleasure talking to this young man and you can expect to see him playing on Sundays in the fall.

FD: What is your official height and weight?

TT: I am almost exactly six feet tall and weigh 230 pounds.

FD: How did you come to play football at Middle Tennessee State? Where there any other D1 schools in the mix?

TT: There was some schools came in late like Georgia Tech and NC State. It was a little too late to take them seriously. Middle Tennessee State stood out to me because a person by the name of Don Calloway from my high school played here. Several other coaches I knew from All-Star games and on the staff at Middle Tennessee had connections to my high school and my area in Georgia.

FD: Starting nine games as a freshmen you were fortunate to see playing time early in your career (ranks 4th all-time in total tackles). Looking back over your time at Middle Tennessee State, what was the biggest/most surprising thing you learned about football from your first college game to your last game?

TT: That the game really never changes when you get down to it. When I saw the field as a freshman my confidence was high, but in the back of my mind I wondered if I was ready for the speed of the college game. Each year I saw that if you do your job and know your duties nothing really changes.

FD: What is your greatest memory from your college football days?

TT: My sophomore year as we were leaving our bowl game against Navy my phone was blowing up with texts. I had always said it would be so cool to make the ESPN Top 10 plays of the day. Well, my family and friends were texting me a play I made in that game that was number two that night on ESPN Sportscenter. That was pretty awesome.


FD: How comfortable are you in dropping back into pass coverage?

TT: I enjoy it. Honestly not a big deal at all. I had seven interceptions in my career.

FD: What are your thoughts on playing on special teams?

TT: I enjoy special teams immensely since I started playing them my freshmen and sophomore year. Near the end of my sophomore year I was taken off special teams as my defensive responsibilities increased. I always felt kickoff coverage is my thing.

FD: Who was the best player you faced in a game during your college career?

TT: Brandon Doughty at Western Kentucky

FD: If an NFL team wanted to see you at your best which game film should they watch?

TT: I would say two of them. The BYU game my sophomore year and the Marshall game this season.

FD: Who were your favorite player and team growing up as a kid?

TT: Ray Lewis was amazing. Because of Ray I of course was a fan of the Baltimore Ravens.

FD: How many times do you think the media will accidently refer to you as Tiki Barber?

TT: I get it a lot of that now but expect it to increase.

FD: Who was your role model growing up?

TT: My mom.

FD: I read you were Vice President of your senior class, so once your NFL career is complete could politics be in your future? If not where do you see yourself.

TT: (Laughing) No, politics isn’t in my future after football; but going back to school hopefully is, as I would like to become a physical therapist. My aunt has her doctorate in PT and I admire the work she does and have always found that to be an interesting career.

FD: What is the best advice you ever received to this point in your career?

TT: Just be focused and don’t worry about what others might say.

FD: Where are your currently training as you get ready for the big day in April?

TT: Premiere sports training Academy in Atlanta

FD: Who on the current roster should the fans and media keep an eye on to have a great 2016 season for Middle Tennessee State?

TT: Too many to name people, just need to look out as the team is going to be good again next season.

If you are wondering what does the T.T. stand for, it is Trevonti Terrell and you can follow the progress of TT Barber on twitter at   knockemloose_12

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Written by: IBleedGreen24-7

2016 Eagles -- Seven Round Mock Draft

January 28, 2016

For my first “article” I figured I would tackle something I know well. The Eagles and the NFL draft. So with draft season very much under way here is my “Eagles Only Mock Draft”

** This mock is under the assumption that we do not resign Sam Bradford.  I will do a new mock on Monday with one that has us signing Bradford.

(R1)13: QB PAXTON LYNCH-MEMPHIS: If we don’t sign Bradford, we need to draft our future QB. Coaches and QB’s need to grow together. Pederson needs his QB. If a perfect world Lynch would get to sit for a year behind someone like Chase Daniels. Lynch is young (he will be 22 on Feb 12) to sit for a year, maybe two and work on some of the issues that spread (rookie) QB’s have, ie. Footwork when coming off their first read. I would be very happy with this pick as long we sign a vet to teach our rookie.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

(R3)77: OG SPENCER DRANGO-BAYLOR: Drango is a interesting prospect. I see him as a starter at RG right away. He’s 6-6 and has long arms (for a OG) at 32 ¾ However the reason I like this pick and the Haeg pick is because I feel that both of these players can play both OG and OT. We can move Lane over to LT (if/when Peters leaves) and slide either (I think Haeg is a better RT prospect than Drango, but time will tell)

(R3)79: OT JOE HAEG-NORTH DAKOTA STATE: SEE ABOVE

(R4)110: DE VICTOR OCHI- STONY BROOK: You can never have too many pass rushers and Ochi fits perfectly into what Schwartz wants to do here in Philly. He won’t be asked to start right away, but he will have a role on this team as a rookie. He has a very quick first step, which he showed off at the East vs West game. What I really like about him is that he has “heavy hands” meaning he uses his hands extremely well to get off of blocks.

(R5)141: CB ERIC MURRAY-MINNESOTA: I really feel that Murray can push for a nickel job this year depending on the health of our other CB’s coming off injury from the 2015 season. He has good size for a CB (5-10 ¾ 198) What I really like about Murray is the fact that he has experience as a press corner and also in zone coverage. A big plus for me is his willingness to play run. He is also a excellent ST player for Minnesota.

(R5)152:DT JAVON HARGRAVE-SOUTH CAROLINA STATE: Another player who stood out to me at the East vs West shrine game. He is similar to Ochi where he won’t have the pressure to start (playing behind Cox and Logan) but with our switch to 4-3 we are semi-thin at the DT spot.

(R6)170:OG/OT JORDAN WALSH-IOWA: He stood out to me last year when he more than held his own when he went up against Ra’Shede Hageman (2015 2nd round pick- Atl).

Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

(R7)201: QB JACOBY BRISSETT-NC STATE: Love this kids potential. He is a real leader and played his best vs the best competition (see the FSU game this year). And if you think drafting two QB’s in the same draft if crazy, maybe you should call a Redskins fan and ask them what they think!

(R7)219: FS JORDAN LOMAX:IOWA- He was the leader of the best defense in the NCAA last year. Not big, not fast but just makes plays. Sorta like a certain safeties coach we have…….

#FLYEAGLESFLY

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