Tag Archives: Albert Haynesworth

2011 NFL Season: Pre-Season NFL Power Rankings

Photo courtesy of nflnewsworld.com.

By Wesley Kaminsky

After a long off-season in which there were questions as to whether or not there would be a season in 2011, the NFL is back, and better than ever. Following the conclusion of the lockout, it was madness in the NFL, with big names such as Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Donovan McNabb all on new teams. That’s just to name a few.

Heading into the season, teams such as the Patriots and Eagles are in a Super Bowl or bust mentality. These two teams have been the story of the off-season, with the Patriots landing Chad Ochocinco, Shaun Ellis, and Albert Haynesworth, while the Eagles landed Nnamdi Asomugha, and Ronnie Brown, among others.

It seems to me that people are forgetting about the team that won the Super Bowl last season, the Green Bay Packers. They didn’t make noise in free agency, but don’t forget they were without Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley during their Super Bowl run.

Without further ado, here are my NFL power rankings heading into the 2011 season.

Continue reading

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Belichick: A coach or a babysitter?

Photo courtesy of liftedathletics.com.

By Josh Kramer

The Patriots stole the show today in another wild and crazy day for the NFL.  Normally the Patriots get attention  and steal the limelight for winning on the field.  They also have a history of winning with off-season transactions as well though.  During the course of the same day, they picked up two former Pro Bowlers for highly discounted rates.  Now I am not saying that we are going to see the Albert Haynesworth of 2008 or the OchoCinco, of the pre OchoCinco era (Johnson days).  I do know that this is a win/win situation once again for the Patriots.  Kraft, Belichick, and Co. are masterminds transactions wise and understand that players want to come play for them.  Go figure that players would want to go play in bitterly cold Foxborough.  There must be something in the water.

But the real question I have about all of this is not whether the Patriots will be a playoff team, because that is basically a no brainer.  The real question is should Bill Belichick sign up for the “Babysitter’s Club?” Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

Courtesy of ABC News.

By Josh Kramer

Another great week of sports is in the books.  And now we look ahead to the next big thing.  What are the things you should be keeping an eye out for this week?  Lets get to it.

Here is this week’s top 5.

5.  So what if the entire CBA situation is a big joke.  I am right there with the rest of you.  I really am not too fascinated by the labor talks.  Until there is an agreement, please hold the applause.  Without games on Sunday’s come September, bad things could happen.  Just ask Ray Lewis.  But in reality, many entertaining things are still occurring.  Players have entirely too much time on their hands.  They are trying out for soccer teams, riding bulls, waiting tables, and debating  on wrangling snakes.  Publicity stunts can be entertaining  Continue reading

“Tebow Mania”

Denver Broncos 3rd string quarterback Tim Tebow, is getting the attention of a 1st stringer. Could the former Zeus like figure from Florida start in this League?

You really think Gatorade was the biggest thing to come out of Florida in the past 50 years?  You have got to be kidding.  You must be forgetting about the man, the myth, the legend.  King of the Swamp.  King of College Football.  A man of a Godlike stature.  The Chosen One from Florida.  Urban Meyer’s “Real Son.”  The real “Most Interesting Man” in the world. 

Tim “Gator Chomping” Tebow, the “Greatest College Football” player of all time.

Or so they say..

 Tebow Mania is back.  And does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.  Last evening Tebow made his first professional appearance against the Cincinnati Bengals in a preseason contest.  He put on a mediocre performance at best, going 8 of 13 for 105 yards, plus one rushing touchdown the last play of the game.  I will state this.  I have never heard of a 3rd string quarterback getting more recognition and accolades in my entire life.  The guy is the 3rd string QB on a team that failed to make the postseason last year.  Yet he has the highest selling jersey in the League.  Headlines about him have been dominating ESPN more than any other NFL players except Darrelle Revis, Brett Favre, and Albert Haynesworth (who are all proven stars I might add).

It just is absolutely astonishing me.  Tebow could go without taking a snap the entire year in a real game.  And you better believe he would get more media attention than 90% of the players in the League.  I remember a few months ago when everyone was utterly shocked he got drafted in the 1st round.  The man who they called the “Greatest College Player” of all time was a 1st round shocker.  There were question marks galore on if he had the tools to be an NFL quarterback.  And I hate to say it, none of those question marks have subsided.

There are only 3 things that we know for certain about the “God” that is Tim Tebow.  First of all he has moved his throne from the Gainesville Swamp to the Rocky Mountains.  Secondly, he has a phenomenal work ethic.  This has never been questioned.  Finally, he has a way with words with the media.  This is made much easier by his “Golden Boy” image.  But sadly there are question marks on many important things.  We still do not know if this kid has a prayer of touching the field this year.  We still do not known if he has the pocket savviness and the ability to quarterback in this League.  We still do not know if he can handle the speed of the defensive ends of the NFL, especially with his painfully slow throwing motion.  We still do not know if he can handle not being on a team where he has the fastest and most talented players around him.  We still do not know if he can deal with being on a team that is not coached by his “Daddy,” Urban Meyer.

But I digress.  The NFL better brace itself for Tebow Mania.  Because Tim is on board.  And after last night, people are already calling for a Tebow promotion from 3rd to 2nd string.

Can you handle more worshipping of this guy?  Even if he is just a 2nd or 3rd quarterback?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“A Rumble in DC”

Albert Haynesworth has currently not stepped foot on the Redskin's practice field yet and is in the midst of a major conflict with the coaching staff. Can the Redskins recover?

Tensions have been mounting in Washington D.C.  The Mike Shanahan era has barely begun, but trouble is in the air.  Albert Haynesworth and Coach Mike Shanahan are off to the worst of starts in DC.  I am not sure if the big fella will ever step foot on the field.  And I am not sure this would upset Coach Shanahan too much.  Haynesworth skipped out on all workouts leading up to training camp.  He whined to the media about the move to the 3-4 defensive scheme.  He signed a 21 million dollar bonus in April.  And he has been unable to pass the conditioning test in order to practice.  Mike Golic, passed this test for crying out loud!  You think Golic is in playing shape these days? 

So lets take a look at the tale of the tape: 

Albert Haynesworth:  The big fella comes in at 6 foot 6, 350 pounds.  He is large and in charge.  Haynesworth spent 7 years on the Titans after starring at the University of Tennessee.  It was a match made in heaven.  He was consistently solid for the Titans until he had one major breakout season in 2008.  This is what led to the big time pay-day in Washington.  I mean he has made 2 Pro Bowls in 8 seasons in the League.  He also has been involved in 2 major incidents on the field.  For those of you who do not remember the infamous “stomping incident” of Cowboy’s center, Andre Gurode.  This was just straight dirty.  He also had a real bad unnecessary roughness penalty called against him in 2007 for a ridiculous body slam after the whistle on Maurice Jones-Drew.  So these anger management issues could be something that Mike Shanahan needs to be aware of.  But the guy could help the team win some ball games nonetheless. 

Mike Shanahan:   The new Redskin’s coach Mike Shanahan is a little bit smaller than the Redskins star defensive player. And by a little bit, I mean a lot smaller.  He had, a weak and short-lived tenure with the LA Raiders.  Then he had an outstanding tenure in Denver.  But since 2005, he really has not made much noise.  Many people say that he has stunk since the Elway retirement.  This statement is entirely false in that he has made 4 playoff appearances since Elway retired on top of the game.  But, he really has struggled since 2005.  Maybe the hiatus from last year could help him clear his head and get back to his old winning ways?  Coach Shanahan has always been known to produce an outstanding rushing game and a solid defense on his past teams.  Normally his lines on both side of the ball dominate.  He has also been known to show some rage at times and maybe would be able to keep up with the intensity of Albert.  Either way, he needs to have the respect of all of his players in order to build a winner in Washington. 

I just know this is an awful situation in the capital city.  Mike Shanahan is trying to start a new era in Washington and bring back the winning mentality he had in Denver in the late 90s.  His highest paid player is not seeing eye to eye with him.  This will lead to some major issues on any team when the highest paid player and the coach do not get along.  But with Dan Snyder in the owner’s box, anything can happen.  Can this relationship be mended?  Who knows? 

After round 1 in this royal rumble, I would call the fight a draw.  Neither Shanahan nor Haynesworth is getting what they want out of this.  The winner has to be Mike Golic at this point.  It will be interesting to see how this conflict affects the outcome of the Redskin’s inaugural season under Shanahan. 

Generally neither the coach nor player wins out in a situation like this.  The best player has a rough year and the team generally struggles with the turmoil and underperforms.  So neither Shanahan or Haynesworth will end up happy if this plays out the way it appears to be headed. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze

“Got to Love Training Camp”

Jet's superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis, is currently holding out from the team's traing camp over a contract scuffle. He is hanging out on his private getaway called "Revis Island."

Most NFL Training Camps have been going on since the end of last week, and boy has the excitement been at an all time high.  I really think the NFL could not have planned a more entertaining first few days to this spectacle.  First of all, you have the continued conflict between Redskin’s overpaid star Albert Haynesworth and new Head Coach, Mike Shanahan.  Haynesworth still has not passed his conditioning test and has not been able to practice.  Good luck to Albert in ever mending his relationship with Coach Shanahan and in figuring out all the nuances of the new 3-4 defensive scheme.  This is all a shame for the Skins, who really need Haynesworth to come out and perform at a high level.  I mean the guy did just sign a 21 million dollar bonus in April!  But there is no question that the relationship between Coach and player is boiling in Washington.

Also, there is the typical injury bug going around the League.  I am not sure if anyone has gotten it worse than Denver.  During the course of one drill, both their running backs, Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter were injured.  Though Buckhalter’s injury does not appear serious, it is still eerie that both guys got hurt during the same drill.  Maybe Tim Tebow will be the answer in saving this once dominant franchise (the former Florida savior)?  The Ravens also took a big hit with the loss of one of their starting cornerbacks, Domonique Foxworth.  Most people said the only flaw on this team was the lack of cornerbacks.  Well that situation just got worse.  Maybe Ray Lewis can man cover some of the receivers in this division like Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco (just kidding).  Also in injury news, Wes Welker participated in parts of Patriot’s practice yesterday.  This is a fantastic sign for Patriot Nation.  Realize that Wes Welker had 123 catches by himself last season, which was 4 less than what TO and Ochocinco caught combined last year.

Also in the AFC, the Darrelle Revis holdout is officially on.  Revis has left to go hang out on Revis Island until the Jets offer him a contract that he feels is what he deserves.  Now most receivers never want to book a trip to Revis Island, but Darrelle is at ease on his beautiful island getaway.   Revis is determined to be the highest paid cornerback in the League.  He wants to make more than Nnamdi Asomugha.  And can you really blame him?  Revis hands down was the best corner in the League last year.  This is a League where a player can get hurt at any time.  Why not cash in when your stock is at it’s highest possible point?  If I am the Jets, I pay up, and quick.  This guy is essential to their AFC East and Super Bowl hopes.

And in probably the biggest news of all, or at least in the region, Terrell “TO Show” Owens arrived at Bengal’s training camp (though he was late due to missing a flight).  The Bengals are seeing record crowds for their training camp as the TO Frenzy continues to spread all throughout the region.  People are excited, and rightfully so.  The expectations are rising by the day.  And TO and Ocho seem up to the challenge.  I mean when was the last time that you can remember a Bengal being the Sunday Conversation on Sportscenter?  Better yet, when can you remember a Sunday Conversation where the guests brought popcorn and chapstick?

So there you have it.  Training camp is underway.  Teams are working hard out in the heat.  Rookies are getting hazed (other than Dez Bryant), learning brand new systems, and adjusting to the pro lifestyle.  The media are enjoying covering their respective teams again.  Coaches are yelling.  Many are fighting for roster spots.  Guys are getting hyped for their September openers.  Injuries are galore.  Arguments are heated.  And in Cincy, the two-headed monster is carrying around popcorn for the show and chapstick to “Kiss the baby.”

You got to love NFL Training Camp.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“NFC East Preview”

Tony Romo should be all smiles. He has girls, the looks, and a great team. Look for the Cowboys to repeat as NFC East Champions.

This is probably the most intriguing division in my eyes year in and year out.  You have the most heated rivalries.  You have big cities.  Large media outlets.  Very exciting divisional battles.  Plus at least one of the NFC Wild Card spots has come out of this division each of the past 5 years (both wildcards in 2007).  This division is rugged.  This division is tough.  And I could go on and on.  The saddest part is none of these teams are ones that I religiously root for and actively follow.  You just got to love the intensity and rivalries that continue to get better every year. 

I feel this is probably the hardest division to predict in the NFL.

NFC East:  Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Redskins (alphabetical order)

Philadelphia Eagles (4th):  Boy did the city of brotherly love forget to show the love this offseason.  The loss of Donovan McNabb will really sting.  And it will not only hurt their team, but you better believe he will be ready to show Philly what they lost when the Eagles take on the Redskins.  Philadelphia always took Donovan for granted.  That was a big mistake.  This team had a solid offensive attack to go along with a solid defensive attack.  But they are investing a lot of faith into Kevin Kolb, who has the weight of the world on his shoulders.  Andy Reid is a great coach though, and I have faith in his judgment.  Also the rushing game has never been all that great in Philly, but now without Brian Westbrook, there is a lot of faith being placed in the former Pittsburgh Panther, LeSean McCoy.  Now I do not think this team will have a horrible season.  I am guessing anywhere between 6 and 8 wins.  But in this division, 6 to 8 wins will help you find your way to the cellar.  I think the Eagles would be better off playing Vick.  And honestly, if things do not go well the first month, Michael Vick might be an NFL starting quarterback again.  Wouldn’t that be fun?   

Washington Redskins (3rd):  The sad thing is this team dramatically improved this offseason.  Donovan McNabb might have been the best pickup made in the entire League since the end of last year. Also Mike Shanahan is a decent coach, though I do think he is overrated and has been nothing since the retirement of John Elway.  Just sadly, this franchise has suffered from inner turmoil due to their highest paid player Albert Haynesworth being unhappy with the defensive scheme.  Not to mention, that they are led by probably the most incompetent owner in the League other than Mike Brown (Dan Snyder).  For a team that went 4 and 12, it is very surprising that they had such a solid defense.  And this all comes back to the outstanding play of super linebacker, London Fletcher.  This guy is one of the League’s best at his craft.  I feel Snyder has a syndrome that cannot be fixed in just one year.  I do see this team winning 8 games, which would be a 4 game improvement, but this will not be good enough to make the playoffs.

New York Giants (3rd):  I got the G Men finishing in 2nd.  I do think they will nab a Wildcard.  So it will not be all that bad of a year for the Giants in their new stadium.  This team has really demonstrated a strong passing attack, a solid rushing attack, and confidence in their quarterback Eli Manning.  Winning the Super Bowl in 2007 really got fans off of Eli’s back.  Other quarterbacks should take note.  This team does not have the defense that they once had, but they still have a decent group.  They have become a middle of the road defensive team in defending both the run and the pass.  I expect them to improve on this and bring back a defense that is reminiscent of the team in 2007.  Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora will need to become the bash brothers of old.  They have not been able to depend on Michael Strahan, the man with the most well-known gap in sports for the past couple of years.  Now Strahan does fitness and Subway commercials for a living.  I feel like there is something about this team that will help them find their way into the playoffs.  Because on paper, they are no better than either the Eagles or the Redskins.

Dallas Cowboys (1st):  America’s team is going to repeat as NFC East Champions.  They got the best stadium, the hottest girls (thanks to Tony Romo and the Cowboy Cheerleaders), and one of the most well-known owners in all of professional sports (Jerry Jones).  Dallas has a great defense, led by Demarcus Ware, that is one of the best at stopping the run in the entire League.  They also have one of the most high-powered offenses in the League.  They ranked 2nd last year just behind the Super Bowl Champion Saints.  This team possesses a 2 headed monster at running back in Marion Barber and Felix Jones.  If these guys stay healthy, teams will not be able to keen in on Tony Romo and the outstanding Cowboy aerial attack.  They also have Miles Austin, who came out of nowhere to turn into one of the best receivers in the League.  They have arguably the best receiving tight end in the game today in Jason Witten.  Witten and Romo have a fantastic chemistry, and who cares if TO doesn’t like it.  But this team is tough.  I expect them to make a deep run in the playoffs. They do have a prayer of getting to play a Super Bowl at home come February (if they are lucky).

So there you have it.  Those are my NFC East picks.  I have both the Cowboys and Giants making the playoffs out of this always rugged division.  This is the hardest division for me to predict by far.  Great rivalries and great teams every year.

Should be another wild year in the NFC East.  I would not be surprised if all of the teams finish within 3 games of each other.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze