Determined Quarterback Joe Licata

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Joe Licata just received a huge opportunity by being signed by the Cincinnati Bengals. Licata has been noted by the ESPN television network to be one of the top eighty best prospective quarterbacks in the nation. He started off as a determined quarterback, that many didn’t think would make it into the draft at all, but Licata was strong in the belief that he was capable of excelling, and now he has his place on a team.

As a sophomore in college, this now known football player had to go through hip surgery during his time playing at the University of Buffalo. When the season came, Licata was determined to play, whether people thought he could or not. He played his season well, set records for the Bulls, and is as healthy as can be.

Licata has always wanted to remain home, where he went to college, and play with the Buffalo Bills. When he was not accepted, he was warmly welcomed by Cincinnati. Many disagree with the decision made by the Bills, but Licata is doing well right where he is. His strengths, such as his ability to anticipate, his consistent accuracy, and his intelligence and knowledge of the sport will keep him as a well-known and successful quarterback in the league. Joe Licata’s determination to be the best he can, and to never give up despite adversity will fare him well in the game, now, and in the future of his career.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jun 19th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The NFL Channel is desperate for programming.

The NFL Channel is desperate for programming.

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nfl

NOTE: No NNR show until Monday. Thanks

One trick that sports talk shows use to generate calls and controversy is making lists. Lists of teams, players or anything else cause calls and fills an otherwise slow period of late June and early July. Now the NFL Channel is doing the same thing.

The Top 100 player list is not only stupid, it is bad TV. I am convinced that it is impossible to rate players from different positions in an overall list. The NFL is a quarterback league. Any guard that is rated above a Super Bowl QB like Russell Wilson is unjust. If the NFL Channel needed to rank players, do it within each position. These overall ratings are nothing but a popularity/PR contest. No fan should pay attention to them.

It is June and the NFL is desperate for programming to broadcast. So watch it at your own risk. Those are hours of your life you will never get back. But don’t take it too seriously either.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts.

He also edits .

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 19th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors Week 2 of the preseason

News, Notes & Rumors Week 2 of the preseason

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nflNews:

NOTE:  Next week I will discuss in some detail all the preseason game performances by the starters.

Injuries continued this week.  TE Dustin Keller MI tore all the ligaments in his knee and has a dislocated knee cap.  He is out for the season.  The Fish may trade for a starting quality TE.  But this injury will really hurt the development of QB Tannahill.

The Broncos lost 3 players Saturday against the Seahawks.  CB Champ Bailey left with a serious foot sprain, WR Wes Welker had an regular (not a high) ankle sprain and G Louis Vasquez had a knee injury.

The Browns lost 4 players to injury including OG Pinkston (high ankle sprain), RB Dion Lewis (broken leg),  and TE Barnidge (knee sprain).  In addition first round pick Barkevious Mingo suffered a bruised lung and spent 2 nights in the hospital.  He should be ready for the opener against the Dolphins.  The Jets lost LB Quinton Coples (ankle) and the Giants lost WR Victor Cruz (heal).

Bills QB E.J. Manuel has a knee issue and will not play the rest of the preseason.  He had a minor knee procedure on Sunday.  The bad news for QB Kevin Kolb is that HC Doug Marrone said the injury will not affect the QB competition.  In my opinion Kolb is not a starting quality QB.

Notes:

Kevin Kolb

Kevin Kolb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of the scores of the preseason games were very low again this week.  While I wish I could tell you it was due to great play of the defenses, I cannot.  In most cases the offenses look pathetic.  Turnovers, penalties, missed passes to open receivers, and poor execution have been the hallmark of this preseason.

Mark Sanchez NJ was himself on Saturday.  He went 5 for 5 driving the ball down the field against the Jags then threw a pick in the endzone.  With 24 seconds left in the first half the Jags muffed a punt.  The Jets got possession on the Jags’ 3.  And in typical Sanchez fashion he ran out the clock on 3rd at the 6.  The Jets came away with nothing.  This team is going nowhere until they replace Sanchez.  He is a disaster waiting to break the hearts of Jets fans.

We saw RB Eddie Lacy GB for the first time this preseason.  He looked very good.  He broke tackles and looks like the winner of the back of the future for the Pack.

The Jags are horrendous and the issue is not all QB Gabbert.  He left the game with an injury.  The D is playing a little better than last year but the O is abysmal.

The Colt O line is very poor at both run blocking and pass protection.  QB Andrew Luck took way too many hits last year.  The team has been unable to find quality O linemen in recent drafts.

Rumors:

The NFLPA is planning to file a grievance against the Pats on behalf of TE Aaron Hernandez because the team did not pay him for a workout bonus.  The union is walking on VERY thin ice here.  It should leave the issue alone.  There is no good PR that will come out of representing Hernandez.

Having seen two Jags games we know a couple of things.  First, the team needs better quarterbacking to be successful.  Second, the helmet looks like the new team owner could not afford the extra money to paint the entire hat gold.  Instead, the front looks like it is flat black primer.  Maybe if they win more they can have the front of the helmet painted gold as well.

Fantasy Football hints:

Look for RB Adrian Foster (HO) to have a great season.  The injury is a concern but for the first time in a while Foster will have an outstanding FB leading the way.  FB Greg Jones comes over from Jacksonville to become the lead blocker for Foster.  He is a solid blocker that can catch out of the backfield as well.

As much as I like QB Russell Wilson SE, I am concerned about the O line.  Be careful about taking him too early.  He has lost a real weapon in WR Percy Harvin and the O line is not protecting him as well as it should.

Unless RB Monte Ball comes through the Broncos are going to depend on QB Payton Manning more than last year.  RB Ronnie Hillman is not effective enough to provide a balanced pass/run ratio.

RB Steven Jackson AT looks very good behind a line that can block the run.  While his carries and yards will be significantly higher than last year’s group (ranking 29th in rushing), the gross numbers for QB Matt Ryan may go down.  It should however make the Falcons more successful in the playoffs.

The Giants were 9-7 last season.  But they lost 3 games by 4 points or less in part because they were not able to execute at critical times in those close games.  This season the first string has exhibited the same lack of execution at key moments in games.  If they want to contend, they will have to clean up those details.

That’s what I think.  Tell us what you think.

You can listen to the NNR podcasts at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro football teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/. 

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Christmas gifts for NFL Teams.

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Photo of Cleveland Browns head coach Sam Rutig...

Photo of Cleveland Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano around 1979. Taken in the team’s lockerroom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas gifts for NFL Teams.

 

AFC

Browns:  I give the Browns a head coach that will let Weeden be Weeden.  Shurmur is way too much of a control freak to allow his QB to even audible out of a bad play.  He has to go.

 

Steelers:  The team needs an offensive line.  Being a Browns fan I give them a subscription to Direct TV so the players can watch the playoffs on the team set.

 

Bengals:  I give them a steep decline of both the Steelers and Ravens.  That not only helps them but helps the Browns as well.

 

Ravens:  I wish the Ratbirds nothing but bad luck forever.  They stole the Browns and deserve to suffer for it.  I also wish that former Browns owner Art Muddle never gets elected to the HOF.  He deserves to be elected to the hall of infamy.

 

Chiefs:  The team needs a QB.  But the 2013 draft class is not stocked with sure fire QB prospects.  They “won” the first overall draft pick by being a team that could not beat the Sisters of Perpetual Misery.  That must be the school where they got both QBs Cassel and Quinn.

 

Chargers:  I give them a coach that has a sense of urgency to win and a new GM as well.  HC Norv Turner has sleepwalked through several seasons.  It is WAY past time for him to go.  GM Smith has not chosen wisely.

 

Broncos:  For a Browns fan, wishing anything good to Denver is hard.  But I would like to see Payton Manning get a 2nd Super Bowl win.  He deserves it.  If not, he should get the football version of the movie Career Achievement Award.  He is a sure first ballot HOF selectee.

 

Colts:  My wish for the Colts is that coach Chuck Pagano recovers fully from his illness.  He deserves to and the team under interim HC Bruce Arians has earned a playoff spot.  Arians deserves to be a candidate for a HC job based not only on his job as interim but also his offensive expertise.

 

Texans:  I wish the Texans a heart.  To lose games at home like they have is inexcusable.  They have a very solid QB and great RB so how do they score 6 points last week against the Vikes.

 

Titans:  A do-over on the decision to let a great HC go.  Letting HC Fisher go was stupid.  They have a good running back in Johnson.  His only problem is being slowed down by a over-stuffed wallet.  QB Locker needs better coaching to get up to an NFL starting level.

 

Pats:  My wish for the Pats is early retirement of QB Brady.  I want to see if Brady made Belichick or if it was the other way around.  My guess is Billy B will not find it as easy to win without a HOF QB.

 

Bills:  The Bills are in need of just about everything.  But most of all they need a QB.  Fitzpatrick has the head but not the physical skills to be successful.

 

Jets:  For them I wish a muzzle.  If I never heard the word Jets again it would be WAY too soon.

 

 

 

NFC

Giants:  I wish the Giants better health in 2013.  The team always seems to be decimated by injuries.  The question that keeps recurring is that the result of bad luck or an outcome of practice techniques.

 

Cowboys:  I wish them and Jerry Jones a nice off season.  It will be longer because JJ can’t select the right people in the draft and will not give up his role as GM.

 

Eagles:  My gift to them is the luck to find a coach good enough to last 14 years like Reid.  That will not be an easy job.  I also wish coach Reid the peace he deserves.  He has suffered a lot over the last few years.  He is a good man and deserves better.

 

Redskins:  I wish the Skins a healthy RG3 for the future.  He is fun to watch and I hope he can continue to play for a long time.

 

Bears:  I wish the team and QB Cutler better OL play.  He has been beaten badly game after game.  He deserves better protection.

 

Lions:  I wish the Lions a brain.  They are way too talented to continue to play stupid football.

 

Vikes:  This team needs a QB to take pressure off of RB Peterson.  Ponder is not the answer in my opinion.

 

Saints:  The team needs some closure on the bounty scandal.  The scandal and its publicity have destroyed the 2012 season of a good team.

 

Bucs:  I wish QB Freeman some WRs that can catch.  With an outstanding young RB like Martin, some quality receivers would really help the O.

 

Cards:  I give coach Whisenhunt a job with a better GM than he has at Arizona.  He is a great coach but GM Graves couldn’t find a QB in the Football Hall of Fame.  My first choice for the Browns would be Whisenhunt.

 

49ers:  I wish them luck with QB Kaepernick.  He is solid and will develop into a top 5 QB.  Like RG3 he is fun to watch as well.

 

Seahawks:  They already got their gift in 3rd round QB Russell Wilson.  As I said in my pre-draft radio shows he was the 3rd best QB in the 2012 draft and will be a champion before he is done.

 

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

 

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .  

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Thoughts about week 13 in the NFL

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Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles' coach, after t...

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles’ coach, after the Eagles’ training camp in Lehigh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

The Seahawks are really good.

I projected QB Wilson as the 3rd best QB prospect in the 2012 draft.  The Seahawks and I were both right.  He is not getting the pub that Luck and RG3 get but is playing just as well with fewer picks than Luck and more wins than RG3.  To go into Chicago and beat the Bears was a major step forward.  The Hawks will be a very tough out.

 

The Niners made the right decision about Kaepernick.

Kaep can do so much more than QB Smith ever could that the move in my opinion was overdue.  Kaep can throw down field and has the guts and arm to throw the ball into small windows.  While the running game and D will win a lot of regular season games, to win in the playoffs you need a QB to throw down field.

 

Even with two straight wins the Browns need to fire Shurmur after the season.

The Browns have beaten a Steeler team with a 90 year old QB fresh out of the retirement home and a Raider team that has a history of beating itself more often than winning.  Shurmur is still way too inflexible to be the coach long term.  His playcalls will continue to take points off the board and that will cost the team wins when they get good enough to challenge for the playoffs.

 

His unwillingness to give up the playcalling shows he is more about him than the team.  I am tired of watching the winning efforts unrewarded due to stupid calls by Shurmur.

 

Sanchez was a one year starter that was never worth a 5th overall pick.

I have never believed that a one year starter can be a quality NFL QB.  Sanchez waited behind a never was.  He was taken to the playoffs in his first two years by a quality defense and running game.

 

But Greg McElroy is not the answer.  The Jets need to get a new coach, GM and QB to become a factor in the AFC East.  I loved Tim Tebow coming out of college but he has never been given the reps he needed to become a starting quality NFL QB.

 

The Packers are too banged up to win a title.

The Pack needs a running game to balance their O and some help to solidify the defense.  LB Mathews being out has eliminated the pass rush.  The back 7 don’t have the coverage skills to compete against the quality QBs they will face in the playoffs.

 

Put a fork in the Eagles.  They are done.

Mike Vick is history and so is Andy Reid.  The owner will clean house after the season as he should.  Reid is not a bad coach but after 10 years the players tune out the coach.  He was also hurt by naming a friend and OL coach as DC.

 

The locker room has suffered by the influx of high priced UFAs.  The issue has been coaching as well as lack of vet leadership.

 

The Eagles need a new QB.  QB Foles is a great kid but is not ready and has limitations.  There is a reason he was a 3rd round pick in 2012.

 

That’s what I think.   Tell us what you think.

 

 

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .  Listen to the show Mondays 6-7:30 PM EST on or http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/?page_id=21.  You can catch any interviews you missed on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 29th, 2012
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Eagles at Browns Game Time Notes

Eagles at Browns Game Time Notes

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Tune in to the Browns Half time show at Mooheadradio.com and the post game show at http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/?page_id=21

Eagles at Browns Game Time Notes

Eagles at Browns Game Time Notes

Great first call with a 28 yard pass to Gordon

Pinkston penalty  2nd guy always gets caught

Smith can catch but cannot run the ball.  Great read by Weeden throwing the crossing route vs zone

Play was late coming in and the confusion by Weeden of the defense caused a TO

New owner Jimmy Hasslam has to worry about the empty seats in the stadium.

Make up call against the Eagles on the off side.

Hardesty does not have very good vision.   That is a problem.

Hardesty spinning is a problem as well.  He just doesn’t look like an NFL back to me

Weeden arm strength obvious on the pass to MoMass

The leakage on the right side is going to be a huge problem

MoMass needed to go a little further on the out route.

Good throw by Weeden.

It is hard to run wide against a wide 9 D.

Hardesty cannot give up that much yardage in the redzone

Holding against Pinkston shows a problem at guard.  He is better than early last year but has a long way to go.

Screen pass that went VERY BAD on the Weeden fumble.  Pinkston has to get a better block on a screen pass.  Thomas also gave up way too much ground.

=

Great play by D.  Good pass rush great coverage on the Haden pick off.

Great play recognition by Rubin on the pass rush.

Benjamin was open and Weeden missed him.

WAY too many 3rd and long situations.  No Offense can be successful always facing 3rd and 7 or more.

Incompletion to Little was as much on him as QB.   It looked like the ball was out before Little made his break

=7:51

Ward is doing a lot better job on covering this year.

Great read by DT Winn on the sweep cutting down the RB in the backfield.

Very solid coverage by DBs on 3rd down.  Good pressure by Sheard.  Eagles were holding but that was not called.

Little recognizes the pressure and came back to help his QB.  He attacked the ball which is good to see.

Hardesty fumbles again.  Cannot have that.

=5:34

Haden great read on the screen.  He broke through and got the tackle.

JMJ lost track of the TE.  TD Philly. 0-7 4:18

O line false start really hurt.

Hardesty had lots of room outside on 2nd down but didn’t see it.

3RD and 15.

Browns O line cannot keep 2ND Philly D off Weeden.   Both OTs allow penetration and Thomas’ guy caused the fumble.

Punt blocked right up the gut.   Blocker was untouched.  Hanna let him in clean.

=2:43

TD Pass to Lewis vs Ward.  0-14 2:00

Cameron drops the ball on a sideline route.  Leakage over Schwartz again.

Another 4 yard pass on 3rd and long.  Just cannot do that.

Schwartz gives up the sack.

Long punt that is not covered well gives up a long return.

2nd quarter

It does not look like the Browns are ready to play.  Just missing critical blocks, lanes, and balls.

The O can’t move the ball vs the Eagles 2nd unit at all.

Browns 2nd D gets fooled by cut of WR Johnson.

Fort misses the tackle cleaned up by Robertson.

1ST team CB Brown gets burned by speed for the near TD.

Rookie WR just missed getting the 2nd foot down and did not hold the ball to the ground.

0-17 13:31

Jackson misses the pass right off his hands.  I thought he was supposed to be a pass catcher.

The run on 2nd and long will look better with TRich.

Great catch under pressure by Norwood for the 1st.

Good run by Jackson.  He has better vision than Hardesty.

Weeden put some mustard on that ball.

Short corner fade was double covered.  Not a great read by Weeden.

Hunt comes off right side unblocked to force the fast throw.

Jackson runs right by hunt not noticing Hunt was coming to crush his QB.

3-17

DE Parker makes his debut with a great move.

DB Brown had no clue where he was or when the ball was coming

Parker gets through 2 blocks for the hurry.

JMJ gets REAL deep in the secondary to knock away the pass.

=

Way too many 3rd and long situations because the Browns are not making good yardage on 1st and 2nd down.

Great throw and catch Weeden to Gordon on the slant.

Benjamin reached too soon and it slowed him slightly to fail to catch the ball.

Pinkston crushes the right side of the D to get Jackson 9 yards

Bad combination of routes makes Gordon doubled.  They needed to send 2 receivers deep.

Schwartz never touched the DE and the pass was still good but incomplete.

Screen passes eat up the Browns.

The Eagles kick a field goal on 2nd down with 48 seconds left.  WHY?

Norwood was hurt.

JMJ penalty was not that bad.  Sims picked the pass and scored but it was called back.

4 missed tackles on the Brown run.  Again contain is non-existent.

Hasslam looks like he has fire.  Shurmur had dead eyes.

JMJ caused the fumble but the Eagles recover.

The 3rd string of the Eagles marched the ball right down the field and scored

3-24 6:54

Thomas has much better vision and speed than Hardesty or Jackson

Great pass by McCoy to Winsor for 23 yards

Pass blocking is non-existant.

Eagles are covering very well.

Daniels takes a penalty making it 3rd and 16.

Good job by McCoy to get 12 yards to make it 4th 4.

Play VERY late coming in.  McCoy didn’t see the play clock running down.

McCoy runs for the 1st.

RBs get hit just as they get the ball.

McCoy gets hit as he throws.  3rd 12.

Thomas catches the ball and gets 9 yards after contact for the 1st.

Cribbs catches the ball against pressure coverage to the Philly 6.

Moore has great feet and hands.  But he can’t block a lick.  10-24

=

In the 2nd half there were a lot of empty seats.

Foles did very well as the QB of the Eagles.  He burned the Browns D like it was dried leaves.

Edwards looked good as well.  Shaffering got a nice pass rush to force a hurry on a 3rd and 2 pass.

First throw by Wallace is into triple coverage and is picked.

Edwards has the guts to stand in against pressure.  He might be the 3rd QB for Philly.

After the pick, the Eagles score AGAIN.

We are not that far away.  All we need is an offense, a defense and some special teams.

 

Final thoughts:

 

The Browns are not a good team.  The Offensive line is a major worry.  If they can’t protect Weeden the Offense will not progress.

The WRs are a concern as well.  The group is very young and has trouble running the disciplined routes that the West Coast Offense demands.  There is also an issue catching the ball.  That has to improve to let Weeden thrive.

The running game will get better.  Several holes were there but the combination of Hardesty and Jackson either could not see them or just couldn’t get there.  Richardson will make the running game work much better.  It will also help the team move the chains with a 3 yard pass to TRich on a 3rd and long.

The D has played well.  The O put them in bad positions allowing the Eagles to score 17 points by moving the ball less than 30 yards.  That is not acceptable.

The D line has done OK despite the injury to Taylor.  The rookie DTs are playing better than expected.  The LBs are an issue.  The team needs to get Jackson back and at 100 percent.  Johnson looks the part on the outside.  He has the speed that last year’s starters outside lacked.

The big issue in the backfield is the potential suspension of Haden.  If he is suspended the Browns will be burned often by the long pass.

 

The team is going to get better as the season progresses but this is no more than a 5 win team given the schedule, the youth of the roster and the coaching.  As a long time Browns fan, I wish I had better news but I have to be honest with my readers and listeners on NNR.  That is about all we can expect.  Anything better will be a major move in the right direction.

 

NNR at 6PM EDT follows the Moohead show at 5PM on http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/?page_id=21.  If  you cannot hear the show when Moo ends, press the join event button to hear the show and be able to ask questions of Papa or his guests.

 

 

The complete archive of the show is available on the Mooheadradio.com front page an hour after the show ends.  The individual interviews are available the following day at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Be part of the show by calling our SportSims.com hotline at 216-539-0607.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com and was a senior writer for .  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .  

 

 

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