Monthly Archives: August 2011

Interview with NFL Network’s Heath Evans

Recently, Heath Evans decided to retire as a fullback and join the NFL Network (as recorded in this post: http://wp.me/ppN7T-1Bv). We interviewed the ex-Saint, Patriot, Dolphin and Patriot for National Football Authority and discussed his retirement, his foundation, and also the commonalities between the Saints’ and Patriots’ success. Click here to read all about it: http://www.nationalfootballauthority.com/2011/08/nfa-exclusive-interview-with-nfl.html

Heath Evans, via nola.com

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Justin Houston emerging as rookie force for Chiefs

For National Football Authority, we discuss a sleeper candidate for defensive rookie of the year – Kansas City OLB Justin Houston. Click here to read how Houston has gone from a rough start to training camp to a potential starter and impact pass rusher in just a few short weeks.

Justin Houston makes an impact on Sam Bradford, via kcchiefs.com

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Fantasy Football: 2011 Top 50

Arian Foster

Arian Foster runs onto Tier 1. Image by AJ Guel Photography via Flickr

The lockout and resulting post-lockout craziness has thrown a major kink in our fantasy football preparation, but we can finally launch our top 50 for this fall. The top 50 this year encompasses our Tiers 1 and 2. Here is the top 50 as it stands now; as always, things are subject to change as events warrant.

Tier 1A

1. RB Adrian Peterson, Vikings

2. RB Arian Foster, Texans

3. RB Ray Rice, Ravens

4. RB Chris Johnson, Titans

5. QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Tier 1B

6. RB Jamaal Charles, Chiefs

7. RB LeSean McCoy, Eagles

8. RB Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers

9. WR Andre Johnson, Texans

10. QB Michael Vick, Eagles

11. RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars

12. WR Roddy White, Falcons

13. WR Greg Jennings, Packers

14. WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

15. QB Tom Brady, Patriots

16. RB Michael Turner, Falcons

17. WR Calvin Johnson, Lions

18. QB Philip Rivers, Chargers

Tier 2A

19. RB Darren McFadden, Raiders

20. RB Steven Jackson, Rams

21. RB Frank Gore, 49ers

22. WR Hakeem Nicks, Giants

23. RB Matt Forte, Bears

24. WR Mike Wallace, Steelers

25. QB Drew Brees, Saints

26. WR Reggie Wayne, Colts

27. RB Peyton Hillis, Browns

Tier 2B

28. RB LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers

29. RB Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants

30. WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs

31. RB DeAngelo Williams, Panthers

32. WR Miles Austin, Cowboys

33. QB Peyton Manning, Colts

34. WR DeSean Jackson, Eagles

35. TE Antonio Gates, Chargers

36. WR Vincent Jackson, Chargers

Tier 2C

37. WR Dez Bryant, Cowboys

38. RB Knowshon Moreno, Broncos

39. RB Jahvid Best, Lions

40. QB Tony Romo, Cowboys

41. WR Mike Williams, Buccaneers

42. WR Stevie Johnson, Bills

43. WR Jeremy Maclin, Eagles

44. WR Marques Colston, Saints

45. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots

46. RB Shonn Greene, Jets

47. RB Felix Jones, Cowboys

48. RB Mike Tolbert, Chargers

49. WR Santonio Holmes, Jets

50. RB Tim Hightower, Cardinals

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Panthers defense a major concern

The Panthers miss MLB Jon Beason, who has yet to put on pads and practice

For National Football Authority, we break down what’s wrong right now with the Carolina Panthers defense. While we’ve talked a lot about Cam Newton’s performance in the Bengals game Thursday night, the other main issue for the Panthers is that the last two preseason games have been downright embarrassing for the Panthers D, and there’s not much hope right now of things getting better. Will Jon Beason come back? Will the rookie defensive tackles hold up? Is Chris Gamble washed up? Click here to look for glimmers of hope of doses of reality.

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Dalton, Green outshine Newton in Bengals’ win over Panthers

For National Football Authority, I break down the Cincinnati Bengals’ 24-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 3 of the NFL preseason. In the piece, we discuss the performances of the rookie quarterbacks – Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton and Carolina’s Cam Newton – and also the play of Bengals rookie wideout A.J. Green. Click here to read all about it.

A.J. Green vs. the Panthers, via bengals.com

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Buffalo Bills 2011 Season Preview

Fred Jackson of the Buffalo Bills

Bills RB Fred Jackson. Image via Wikipedia

For National Football Authority, we previewed the Buffalo Bills. In the preview, we discuss rookie Marcel Dareus’ impact, Stevie Johnson’s fantasy value, Shawne Merriman’s return as a pass rusher, the running back battle between C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, and more. Click here to read all about it.

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The problem with the NFL on CBS

The NFL Today's Boomer Esiason during the Supe...

Boomer Esiason, part of CBS' 1980s brigade. Image via Wikipedia

One of our most popular posts this offseason has been our update on new and moved NFL announcers. And if you go through that post, you’ll notice that CBS has only one entry – Marv Albert replacing Gus Johnson as a play-by-play voice. CBS shuffled its pairings a bit, but the faces and voices are the same.

And that’s the problem with the NFL on CBS. The Eye network has remained so faithful to its announcers that its announcers are becoming irrelevant. As a result, CBS’s coverage sounds aged, spouting cliches and strategies of years gone by instead of the trends of the current day. And that’s because CBS’s analysts haven’t been in the league for years. None of the 12 analysts (studio and game) that CBS announced for 2011 has been in the NFL in the last four seasons. Only one – Bill Cowher – has been in the NFL within seven seasons. And CBS only has three analysts – Rich Gannon, Steve Beuerlein, and Shannon Sharpe – who played in the 2000s. (See below for more details.)

This isn’t the approach other networks take. Fox, for example, has added players like John Lynch, Chad Pennington, and Michael Strahan, as well as coaches like Brian Billick and Jim Mora to its NFL Sunday crew in recents years. The two dominant franchises of the 2000s – the Colts and Patriots – are represented by Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison on NBC’s Football Night in America. And ESPN and the NFL Network regularly add recently retired players who bring fresh insight and relevant anecdotes.

CBS, meanwhile, trots out the same old, same old from Dan Dierdorf – and features it on its No. 2 team. It relies on quarterbacks from the 1980s – Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, and Phil Simms – as its stars. The age shows, as CBS game viewers settle for traditional, surface analysis far too often.

Will CBS ever have a changing of the guard among its analysts? Or do the veterans on the squad have lifetime contracts? Like the NFL itself, NFL announcers should have to fight off a new crop of rookies year after year. But at CBS, they don’t.

And until CBS gets its eye off the past when it comes to NFL announcers, its coverage won’t be anywhere close to what it needs to be.

The last year game analysts were in the NFL (as players or coaches)

CBS: Dan Marino 1999, Boomer Esiason 1997, Bill Cowher 2006, Shannon Sharpe 2003, Phil Simms 1993, Dan Dierdorf 1983, Dan Fouts 1987, Rich Gannon 2004, Solomon Wilcots 1992, Steve Tasker 1997, Steve Beuerlein 2003, Randy Cross 1988

FOX: Howie Long 1993, Terry Bradshaw 1983, Jimmy Johnson 1999, Michael Strahan 2007, Troy Aikman 2000, Daryl Johnston 1999, Tony Siragusa 2001, Brian Billick 2007, John Lynch 2007, Tim Ryan 1993, Jim Mora 2009, Chad Pennington 2010, Charles Davis DNP

NBC: Cris Collinsworth 1988, Tony Dungy 2008, Rodney Harrison 2008

NFL Network: Mike Mayock 1983, Marshall Faulk 2005, Steve Mariucci 2005, Warren Sapp 2007, Michael Irvin 1999, Kurt Warner 2009

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