Covering the Bases: OBJ, Rookie Linemen, EIU QBs, McCloughan’s Mouth, and the Playmaker’s Prediction

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Cover This

When you make video game-like catches it is only fitting that you appear on the cover of the NFL’s most coveted hand-eye coordination product played by the majority of those who still live in mom’s basement.

Odell Beckham Jr. beat out Rob Gronkowski to be the Madden 2016 cover boy.  The Offensive Rookie of the Year, who probably made the most impossible catch ever witnessed in a nationally televised football game, will aim to start this season healthy and with the return of Victor Cruz we could see No. 13 re-write the record books.

Oh yeah I guess we have to mention the Madden Curse.  Most of those guys that were “cursed” happened to be running backs that flamed out after so many carries which happens to plenty of guys that have never been on the box of the popular EA Sports game.  OBJ isn’t going anywhere unless it is further up the ladder of NFL stardom.

Divided Lines

What if tragedy had not taken place and La’el Collins was drafted in the first round?  Brandon Scherff was ranked as the highest lineman on most big boards, but would the Redskins have been more inclined to trade the pick knowing that they could still land either Scherff or Collins with a later selection?  And what about the Giants?  They likely land a better player in Collins as opposed to having to reach for Ereck Flowers.

Instead Collins joins the Dallas Cowboys, a team that already has the best offensive line in football.  Jerry Jones signed this man at a discount price which also adds insult to injury.  Either way you slice it the top three rookie prospects on the offensive line are playing in the NFC East. Of the three who will have the better career?  Collins probably has the best chance to be a Pro Bowl player, not because Scherff and Flowers are necessarily less talented, but more due to the fact of who he is playing alongside with.

Alumni Weekend

If Tom Brady’s four game suspension stands after the appeal process it will mark the first time in NFL history that two quarterbacks from Eastern Illinois University will square off against one another.  Tony Romo and Jimmy Garoppolo are separated by 11 years from their time at their alma matter, but you could make the case that they are already forever linked.  Romo’s success as an undrafted free agent put EIU on the map and gave Garoppolo additional exposure that automatically enhanced his draft status.

Outside of the Panther faithful in Charleston, IL there probably aren’t too many people eager see this match-up which was supposed to be Brady’s first and maybe only appearance at AT&T Stadium.  Saints head coach Sean Payton is the only other EIU quarterback to play in the NFL and that was with the Bears in 1987 as a replacement player during the strike.   Former Redskins, Broncos, and Raiders head coach Mike Shanahan also played under center for the Panthers, but his playing career was cut short due to injury.  Former Minnesota Vikings head coach and current Kansas City Chiefs offensive assistant Brad Childress is also a graduate of the school.

Great Scot!

Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan is pumping some life back into the front office and he is doing so without making outlandish free agent signings attached to bad contracts that Washington was previously known for under Daniel Snyder’s regime.

Yes McCloughan has made some very solid off-season moves, but when I say he is pumping life back into the front office I’m referring to his passion and humor.  Snyder, vilified in the nation’s capital, has about as much personality as a dead fish.  Bruce Allen the former GM and current team president is hardly the man his father George Sr. was who talked more trash about the Dallas Cowboys than any modern day fan when he coached the Skins in the 1970s.

McCloughan attend a Washington Capitals playoff game praising their “out of control” fans.  He’s already comparing draft pick Matt Jones to Beastmode and he was recently quoted saying that outfielder Bryce Harper would make a better safety than cornerback given the fact that he’s white.  With the exception of Jerry Jones what other GMs do this?  I can’t wait to hear what this man says next!  Hopefully this is McCloughan’s normal behavior and not the bottle talking (he’s a recovering alcoholic) because with these type of statements he should be a media darling and a fan favorite if he can turn the tide in DC.

Unlike Mike

We are only halfway through May and already Philly fans are annoyed with Cowboy nation ranting and raving over their high profile rookie acquisitions.  While there is some uncertainty in the City of Brotherly Love as to where the Eagles might finish this year a familiar enemy thinks they will take back the division.

The Playmaker, Michael Irvin, the biggest homer when it comes to his former team, is rolling with Philadelphia to beat out his beloved Cowboys in the NFC East.  The man whose career ended at Veterans Stadium while Eagles fans cheered him being carted off in an ambulance cites the decision by Dallas not to bring back DeMarco Murray leaving him to sign with Philly as the main reason why Big D won’t retain their division crown.

Irvin was very critical of the organization he spent 12 seasons with for not forking over the dough to re-sign the NFL’s leading rusher.  He felt it sent a bad message throughout the locker room that someone went out and performed at the highest level only for the team to think that the performance wasn’t worthy of being rewarded.  Even with the Cowboys offensive line that features three Pro Bowlers, the Playmaker agrees with others that “you can’t just put anybody back there”.

The more I think about it it isn’t that surprising to see Irvin feel this way.  After all he didn’t have a winning season in Dallas until Emmitt Smith was the featured back.  The Cowboys of the 1990s also had a great offensive of line, but in 1993 the games Smith didn’t suit up for because of a holdout or injury they lost.  When he was on the field they won every contest including the Super Bowl confirming Irvin’s reluctance to embrace running back by committee.  If the Cowboys get off to a fast start or Philly stumbles out the gate no one will be shocked if Irvin changes his tune.

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Brady, Shady and a Big Bargin in Big D

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Inflated Chances

Deflate Gate is alive and well.  The release of the Wells Report has revived this thought to have been dead story claiming Tom Brady likely had prior knowledge about the under-inflated footballs used in last year’s AFC title game.  There is now even talk of Brady being suspended.  If that were the case it could have a positive impact on NFC East teams pending the length of the suspension.

Personally I’m tired of the outcry on this issue.  Brady may or may not have known about the air pressure in some footballs, yet people are acting like the man set an orphanage on fire.  It’s ridiculous!  That being said this could potentially be big for Dallas if it is a four game suspension as they wouldn’t have to face Brady for their October match-up with the Patriots.  If it’s an eight game suspension Washington would avoid facing No. 12 as well.  As for the Giants and Eagles?  They need to hope for a Sean Payton type suspension.  They have the Pats Week 10 and Week 13 respectively.

Reduced Rookies

Last week the Cowboys made headlines by drafting talented, but troubled defensive end Randy Gregory.  They landed him at pick No. 60 which many experts dubbed easily the “biggest steal of the draft”.  Less than a week later Dallas may have made an even bigger one.

La’El Collins, arguably the best offensive lineman entering the draft, had to leave Chicago prior to the event due to the murder of his ex-girlfriend.  Collins was never believed to be a suspect, however given what transpired with Aaron Hernandez no team wanted to touch him and he went undrafted.

He was questioned by authorities and once it became clear Collins had nothing to do with the tragic incident he instantly became the most coveted rookie free agent.  His decision to take Jerry Jones’ offer means that the Cowboys basically got three first-rounders and out of the three the two most talented ones came at a huge discount.

A Chip on his Shoulder

LeSean “Shady” McCoy was the face of the franchise for the Philadelphia Eagles so it came as a shock to many when he was traded to Buffalo in March.  It’s no secret that there is no love loss between McCoy and Chip Kelly, however the comments made recently by McCoy regarding his former head coach raises a new issue.

McCoy claimed that Kelly wants “full control” which is no secret, but he also emphasized that Kelly got rid of “all the good black players”.  So does the man they call Shady have a legit argument or is it just a case of him having bitter ax to grind?

Yes Kelly did sign and draft other black players, but he also gave an extension to mediocre receiver Riley Cooper last season who a year earlier was recorded dropping an N-bomb.  Philly’s best receiver DeSean Jackson was let go the same off-season that Cooper signed his deal.

Kelly has yet to address McCoy’s comments.  Are they worth acknowledging?  Stay tuned as I’ll have more to say when it comes to Shady’s feelings towards Kelly.  Circle your calendars for December 13th when the Eagles host the Bills.