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Hunter Henry in concussion protocol
Chargers rookie tight end Hunter Henry is in the NFL’s concussion protocol and will be monitored this week as the Chargers prepare to play at the Broncos. Chargers Coach Mike McCoy said Monday that Henry reported concussion-like symptoms after the Chargers won in Atlanta Sunday. Henry, who’s just 21, has 20 catches on the season,…
Denials from coaches don’t mean Joe Thomas, Joe Staley won’t be traded
“We have no intent to trade Percy Harvin.” Remember that one? It came from Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman, not long before the team unloaded the mercurial wideout on a Seattle team that got limited use out of him before dumping him on the Jets for a bowl of soup. Granted, Spielman never said Harvin wouldn’t…
Okung is OK, in Monday night’s starting lineup
Broncos left tackle Russell Okung is active and in the starting lineup for Monday night’s game vs. the Texans. Okung had been listed as questionable due to a concussion. He was a limited participant in practice on Friday and Saturday. Broncos wide receiver Cody Latimer is out due to a concussion. He also had been… Headlines

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QB Jay Cutler receives medical clearance to play for Bears (Yahoo Sports)

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler walks around the field before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Finally, some good news for the scuffling Chicago Bears: Quarterback Jay Cutler will return from a thumb injury to play against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 31. Whether it's too late for Cutler to salvage something for the Bears (1-6) - or perhaps his own career in Chicago - remain valid questions. ''I think he's been at the bit for a while,'' coach John Fox said Monday.

Jets' Smith has torn ACL in knee, Fitzpatrick back at QB (Yahoo Sports)

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, left, watches play from the sidelines after leaving the game with a knee injury during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Geno Smith's second chance at starting appears to be over. An MRI on Monday revealed that the maligned quarterback has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, and Smith seeking a second opinion on the injury that would end his season. ''When you hear that, that's tough luck for the kid,'' coach Todd Bowles said during a conference call.

Giants will discuss Josh Brown future in next 24 hours (Yahoo Sports)

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2013, file photo, New York Giants kicker Josh Brown reacts after missing a field goal during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Brown admitted in journal entries and emails that he verbally and physically abused his wife, according to documents that were part of a domestic violence case obtained by SNY. Team spokesman Corry Rush declined comment Thursday morning, Oct. 20, 2016, on the details that emerged from a case in Washington. Brown was arrested in May 2015 on a domestic violence allegation but no charges were filed against the 37-year-old player. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

The New York Giants have started discussions about placekicker Josh Brown and his future with the team a day after returning from a game in London. Coach Ben McAdoo said Monday that the team's front office met to talk about Brown, and that he would probably join those talks either later in the evening or on Tuesday morning. The NFL placed Brown on paid leave Friday after the kicker disclosed in journals and emails released by authorities in the state of Washington that he abused his then-wife. - NFL

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UCLA QB Josh Rosen dealing with nerve issue in his throwing shoulder
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has missed the team’s last two games dealing with a host of injuries but it turns out that one might be more serious than was initially indicated. Rosen was hurt in two separate incidents in the Bruins’ loss at Arizona State three weeks ago. While he appears to have recovered from […]
Louisville QB Lamar Jackson torched youth football rivals like Mike Vick
This might surprise you, but Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson looked up to Mike Vick when he was growing up, and his playing style has been modeled after The Mike Vick Experience. Now, Jackson even has Vick himself singing his praises. But Jackson knew from an early age he was capable of doing Vick things, and he […]

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Yahoo Sports - NCAA Football News

Linebacker Jack Cichy out for season for No. 11 Wisconsin (Yahoo Sports)

FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2015, file photo, Maryland quarterback Perry Hills, left, is sacked by Wisconsin linebacker Jack Cichy in the first half of an NCAA college football game, in College Park, Md. He earned the nickname Three-Sack Jack after getting sacks on three straight plays during Wisconsins win over Southern California in December in the Holiday Bowl. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Linebacker Jack Cichy, the leading tackler for No. 11 Wisconsin, will miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. The injury is the latest setback for a defense that has weathered adversity to remain one of the stingiest units in the country. The Badgers (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) are ranked fourth in the country in scoring defense (14.3 points per game) and ninth in total defense (300.6 yards).

UCLA's Rosen dealing with nerve issue in throwing shoulder (Yahoo Sports)

UCLA quarterback Mike Fafaul, left, tries to get away from Utah defensive back Justin Thomas during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is dealing with a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder, which has kept the sophomore out of the team's last two games. Bruins coach Jim Mora offered details on Rosen's injury for the first time Monday, having previously referred to it only as an upper-body injury after Rosen landed hard on his throwing shoulder in the fourth quarter of a 23-20 loss at Arizona State. UCLA has an open week this week before playing a night game on Nov. 3 at No. 23 Colorado , but Mora does not know if the extended break will be sufficient to allow Rosen to return to action.

Clemson RB Gallman says hit by NC State's Wright was 'dirty' (Yahoo Sports)

Clemson running back Wayne Gallman (9) gets past Boston College linebacker Ty Schwab (10) on a touchdown run during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Boston, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Clemson running back Wayne Gallman said Monday that the hit by North Carolina State defensive back Dravious Wright that knocked him out of the game on Oct. 15 was ''dirty'' and he wanted a teammate to retaliate. Gallman said after he watched a replay of the hit that he had hoped his teammates would have hurt Wright. Gallman went through concussion protocol during the team's bye week and expects to practice Monday and to play Saturday when the third-ranked Tigers take on No. 12 Florida State. - NCF

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Week 3 NFL Picks Against The Spread In Section General Topic

Posted By Russ Lande
September 22, 2016 at 02:55 pm

NFL Week Three Picks Houston @ New England No Spread – Game is PK With rookie Jacoby Brissett lining up under center for the Patriots tonight, it is going to be difficult for them to move the ball effectively against Houston’s improved defense. With JJ Watt back ... [ Subscribers Only ]

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Why Tom Brady’s Suspension Is Good For Patriots? In Section General Topic

Posted By Russ Lande
July 15, 2016 at 10:20 am

It would be an understatement to say that Patriots’ fans think their team is getting the short end of the stick and that the NFL has it out for them. However, the reality is that in both the short term and the long term, ...

It would be an understatement to say that Patriots’ fans think their team is getting the short end of the stick and that the NFL has it out for them. However, the reality is that in both the short term and the long term, ... Tom Brady’s four game suspension is good for the team.

Tom Brady being suspended will have no affect on Bill Belichick’s coaching ability and will give the entire coaching staff an opportunity to not only work with Jimmy Garoppolo, but more importantly it affords them the chance to figure out what plays and schemes work best when Garoppolo is in the lineup, so that if Brady is ever injured they are more prepared for his absence. Additionally, if people thought that Brady and his teammates were motivated last year, I think the suspension will make every Patriots player do one extra rep in the weight room, will cause them to grind even harder in the film room so that they can prove to the league they are the best team in the NFL this season. Perhaps most important in the short term is that Brady is currently 38 years old and making his regular season a little shorter will enable him to take 25% less hits/pounding this season and likely will leave him healthier for the 2016 playoffs than he has been in years. All the reasons why this suspension helps the Patriots in the short term pale in comparison to why this will pay dividends in the long term.

The Patriots and Packers are the only two NFL teams that have consistently made the effort to try and find their next quarterback by drafting or signing an undrafted free agent about every other season. From Kevin O’Connell to Brian Hoyer to Matt Cassell to Ryan Mallett to Jimmy Garoppolo and this year Jacoby Brissett, the Patriots have consistently brought in young quarterbacks. This has enabled them to work with them up close and personal to see if they can find a quality starter to be there when Brady is done. The added benefit is that they have been able to get extra draft picks by trading away some of them, namely Matt Cassell and Ryan Mallett. None of the quarterbacks so far impressed the Patriots enough to convince them to spend the money to keep them around for the long term, so these four games will give them a great opportunity to thoroughly evaluate Jimmy Garoppolo in regular season games so they can determine if he could be Brady’s eventual replacement. When you look at all the prior quarterbacks the Patriots have brought in, only Matt Cassell was able to play in many regular season games, so this gives them a great chance to figure out Garoppolo’s future, which could be as the long term replacement for Brady or as a tradable commodity, which could lead to Patriots gaining a high draft in exchange for him.

When the four games are over and the Patriots’ fans can step back off the cliff they seem to be standing on, they will again see an elite team with a real chance to win the Super Bowl, but will also know a lot more about the long term future of the quarterback position for the franchise.

2016 NFL Supplemental Draft Preview In Section General Topic

Posted By Russ Lande
July 14, 2016 at 09:04 am

The last week has seen far too many tragedies and horrific violence around the United States, which has rightfully led to the 2016 NFL Supplemental Draft flying under the radar. This year’s Supp Draft takes place on Thursday, July 14th and there are currently ...

The last week has seen far too many tragedies and horrific violence around the United States, which has rightfully led to the 2016 NFL Supplemental Draft flying under the radar. This year’s Supp Draft takes place on Thursday, July 14th and there are currently ... six players eligible. For those who may not understand why the NFL holds a Supplemental Draft less than six months after the annual NFL Draft, let me break it down for you.

All of the players that are eligible for the Supplemental Draft were still eligible to play college football during the 2016 College Football Season when the deadline for underclassmen to apply for the NFL Draft on January 15th passed. However, since that date they have lost their ability to continue their college career at the school they were playing (It can be for a variety of reasons like losing academic eligibility, being dismissed from team for violating team rules, failed drug tests and being arrested, …), so the NFL allows them to apply for the Supplemental Draft rather than making them sit out an entire year to be in the following year’s NFL Draft. Each player must apply to the NFL directly to be included in the Supp Draft and not every player gets approved.

Although I feel it is unlikely that any player will be selected in this year’s Supplemental Draft, I am confident that at least one and probably up to four will get the chance to sign with an NFL team as a free agent after not being selected in the Supp Draft. So, I have taken the time to evaluate all six players and below are short breakdowns on each player and what I think their chances for success in the NFL are. If an NFL team selects a player in the Supplemental Draft, they lose their pick in the same round in the upcoming college draft. So if a team uses a fifth round pick to select Calgary receiver Rashaun Simonise in the 2016 Supplemental Draft, then they forfeit their fifth round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

2016 NFL Supplemental Draft Player Breakdowns

1. Eddie D’Antuono, Long Snapper, Virginia Tech, 6’6, 265

At 6’6 and 265, D’Antuono has outstanding size for the position and it enables him to be an effective blocker. He can set-up and take on rusher quickly and strong at the point of attack to keep man from pressuring punter / kicker. He does not have a hitch or pick-up prior to firing snap back and does a good job of just firing ball back. On punt snaps he consistently displayed excellent velocity on snaps and averaged in the high 0.6’s from moment the ball first moves until it is caught by punter. However, his accuracy as a snapper was not consistent enough as only one in three was in perfect position where the punter did not have to reach or move to catch punt. Too many of his snaps were slightly low or high, which may not seem terrible, but fi you ask any NFL punter or special teams coach, they will tell you that they will trade 0.1 in time on snap to know the ball will be in the exact right spot every time where the punter does not have to move or reach at all. After snapping ball on punts, Eddie consistently ran down the field and competed hard to defeat blocker and make tackle, but he is slow and limited athletically, which limits his ability to really help on coverage unit.

While his punt snaps were not accurate enough, his place kick snaps were definitely on target every time and the holder did not have to reach to catch it, but as we get to the nitty-gritty of place kick snapping, about half his snaps were perfect in that not only were they on target, but the holder did not even have to spin the ball to place it laces forward. Unfortunately, that is just acceptable and not great for place kicking snappers in the NFL.

In the end, I would not draft Eddie because of his lack of accuracy on punt snaps, but would sign him as a free agent so that my special teams coach could work with him during training camp to see if he feels he can work with him to improve his accuracy. If he feels comfortable with his ability to improve accuracy then he would be a good practice squad snapper to try and develop because he has the size and velocity that NFL teams want and has snapped at a major D1 college for three seasons as their primary snapper.

2. Ra’Zahn Howard, Nose Tackle, Purdue
Howard’s Pro Day Results - 6030, 324, 5.39 and 5.42 on two 40 yard dashes.
24 Inch Vertical Jump, 7’ 8 Broad Jump, 23 Reps of 225 on Bench Press,
5.35 Short Shuttle, 8.37 3-Cone

Howard is a big, naturally strong defensive tackle who no doubt fits best as a nose tackle in my eyes. On film he looks soft bodied and fleshy which makes me wonder about what type of shape he is in; especially after looking out of shape at his pro day according to NFL people I spoke with who were in attendance. Not being in great shape is extremely disappointing because when evaluating the film it is clear he has some natural talent, but he does not produce to the level of his ability due to it.

A big man, Howard has surprising initial quickness at the snap, which enables him to get his hands on offensive linemen first. Combining his initial quickness with his natural strength, Howard can jolt offensive lineman and gets a push when he bull rushes aggressively. However, his tendency to be so high and upright while bull rushing limits his ability to maintain drive after initial jolt and hinders his ability to free up from blocker consistently. Although, he flashes good quickness off the ball, he does not show that same quickness or burst to finish sacks/plays when he is able to free up from blocker and has a shot to make the play. His strength makes him tough to drive off the LOS by head-up run blockers and he can even hold ground vs. double teams at times. In order for him to play up to his natural strength more consistently, Howard needs to get in better shape and do a much better job of bending knees and playing with base/leverage.

I was surprised that for such a big defensive linemen who lacks good speed, Howard did consistently hustle and chase hard after the ball carrier on plays outside the OT’s, but he lacks the speed to get there in time to make plays along the LOS. He did surprisingly make a handful of tackles five or more yards downfield, which is impressive due to his size.

Overall, I would not recommend drafting Howard due to his lack of consistent production at Purdue and how out of shape he looked at his workout. However, I would definitely sign him as a free agent if my team played a 34 defense as Howard has natural nose tackle strength and surprising quickness so he would be worth taking a long look at during training camp to determine if he is worth keeping on practice squad for a season to try and develop him.

3. Jalen Overstreet, Running Back, Sam Houston State, 6011, 212
A former three star recruit who played quarterback in high school and ended up at Texas out of high school, Overstreet was dismissed from Texas in July 2014 for violation of team rules. He ended up at Sam Houston State where he was productive making big plays and finished 2015 as their second leading rusher with 821 yards. However, he was arrested three times during time at Sam Houston (In March 2015 he was arrested for stealing an IPad from an Apartment, in November 2015 he was arrested for possession of Marijuana and then in May 2016 he was indicted for felony charge of credit/debit card abuse), which eventually led to his being dismissed from team. These issues alone will not only likely keep from being drafted, but probably will keep him from ever playing professional football as he is not a rare, special talent that is worth dealing with headaches.

Although he weighs 212 pounds, at 6011 he actually looks a little thin framed on film. He has quick feet and is able to accelerate to full speed fast and has the speed to make big plays. Despite playing in Sam Houston’s option based offense which often leaves big holes for back to run through, Overstreet did show vision/instincts to find open space and sense tacklers coming to make cut to get to open space and has quickness to get through the hole. He is a highly competitive runner who keeps legs churning and fights for every last yard until down, which helps him to consistently run through arm/grab tackles and even break some tackles to gain yards after contact. He is however an upright runner who does not get his pad level down, so at the NFL level I do not believe he will be able to be as productive gaining yards after contact. Similar to many option offenses, Overstreet gets a lot of free yards before he has to deal with a tackler/defender, which will not happen in the NFL and will kill his ability to break tackles at the next level.

As a former quarterback you would expect him to have good hands, but in Sam Houston’s offense he rarely caught the ball and on the chances I saw he did not look overly comfortable catching ball; seemed to fight it a bit. He did do a good job of wrapping the ball up with both hands to protect it and avoid fumbles.

In the end, Overstreet did not show enough talent to make me believe he will get drafted. In addition, considering his off-field issues, I do not think he showed enough talent to convince an NFL team to sign him as a free agent because he I do not think he has enough talent to ever be more than a player battling for a practice squad spot, so why deal with major off-field issues for a player who will never be a major contributor.

4. Tee Shepard, Cornerback, Mississippi, 6’1, 190

Shepard originally signed with Notre Dame in 2012 after being highly recruited out of high school, but he withdrew from school before ever playing a game and ended up at Holmes Community College before transferring to Mississippi after excelling on the field at Holmes. He withdrew from Mississippi (He stated it was due to coaching staff not giving him playing time due to him having hearing issues, although the coaches at Mississippi deny this) and it was rumored he was going to transfer to Miami-Ohio, but that did not happen and he ended up applying for and being approved for the 2016 NFL Supplemental Draft.

Blessed with good size at 6’1 and 190 pounds, Shepard moves much better than would be expected for a 6’0+ cornerback. He is solidly built and has a wiry, muscular frame. Based on Mississippi practice clips and junior college film, Shepard is an intriguing prospect because few cornerbacks over six feet have the foot quickness, agility and all-around athleticism that Shepard showed in this limited exposure. I was impressed with his loose hips and agility as he made it look easy to flip hips and burst in other direction to adjust to outside receiver when he was initially playing inside receiver. He displayed quick twitch athleticism closing fast on ball and has the ball skills to make the tough interception.

Uncommon for any cornerback, Shepard fights through blockers aggressively and is clearly willing to make hard hits. He competes hard chasing to ball carrier and will lower a shoulder to deliver a blow. Overall, the exposure is limited due to the limited playing time he had at Mississippi, but based on his size, athleticism and ball skills I think he would be a good free agent signing after the Supplemental Draft to see if he can take advantage of his physical tools after not being able to do so at Mississippi (Important to note that most players who are very good athletes but do not get on the field at a major college program do not pan out in the NFL, but it is worth a look because it is so hard to find cornerbacks over six feet with good athleticism).

5. Rashaun Simonise, Wide Receiver, University of Calgary, 6’5, 190

Simonese was expected to return to Calgary and be their primary, big play receiver in 2016 before being ruled academically ineligible, which is why he applied for the 2016 NFL Supplemental Draft.

On film it is clear he is a huge receiver at 6’5 and 190 pounds. He is a smooth and fluid athlete with the hands and body control to adjust and make tough catches. He is not an explosive, speed receiver, which I think will likely keep him from being selected in the Supplemental Draft. However, I think that with his size, hands and consistency that he will likely get a chance as a free agent signing by an NFL after he goes undrafted in the Supplemental Draft.

6. Cameron Walton, Defensive End, Concordia College, 6’3, 230

Walton was going to be a senior for the 2016 college football season, but when Concordia decided to shut down their college football program his plans changed. He wanted to transfer in order to play his senior season at another school and likely would have been able to play immediately because he probably would not have been required to sit out a season. However, it turned out that Walton lacked enough credits to transfer, so in order for him to continue his football career he felt it was best to apply for the NFL Supplemental Draft.

Walton was a standout pass rusher / linebacker in junior college before ending up at Concordia College. He is an under-sized player at an estimated 6’3, 203 pounds and although he played both down in a three point stance as a defensive end most of the time, he is either going to need to add weight to continue playing there in NFL or will need to learn to play off the ball as a linebacker. For the CFL he would need to add some weight, but it would not be as much an issue as some of the best defensive ends in the CFL are in the 250 range.

Quick and agile, Walton consistently displayed ability to change directions fast to beat OT inside to make or disrupt running play behind the LOS or pressure the QB. His agility and balance also really show up when he keeps feet vs low/cut blocks and has an explosive burst to the ball carrier to finish the play. I was impressed with his consistent willingness to compete and chase very hard after the ball carrier in pursuit and combined with his playing speed he was able to chase plays down all the way across the field. When he gets near the play he closes and makes hard hits.

Although he lacks the ideal bulk/weight for a pass rusher and is often out-weighed by OT by at least 50 pounds, he flashes ability to use hands well to jolt OT hard initially and then can defeat pass blocker inside or around the corner with surprising ease. He is however not nearly as effective if the OT handles his initial punch as they can tie him up and eliminate him from the play way too easily. Overall, Walton has the athleticism, pass rush skills and instincts to warrant consideration by an NFL team because pass rushers are so hard to find. I would be surprised if he were drafted due to lack of size, strength and the lower level of competition he played at, but he would be an excellent free agent signing because of the flashes he showed on film and how hard it is to find quality pass rushers in the NFL.


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GM Jr. Scouting Podcast - October 23, 2016

Rick Stavig and Russ Lande of GM Jr. Scouting
breakdown the NFL, College Football and the NFL Draft.


Russ Lande, Eric Edholm and Chris Martin break down
the NFL, College Football and the NFL Draft in this week's REC League video podcast.

GM Jr. Scouting - October 12, 2016 - Podcast

Rick Stavig and Russ Lande preview four college football
games that they are excited to see this weekend because of specific NFL Draft prospects.


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