Tag Archives: Miami Dolphins

Food for Thought 12-27-2011

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kyle Orton (pictured above) has a chance at redemption on Sunday in Denver. Can he spoil the Broncos playoff chances?

By Josh Kramer

The NBA is back.  We are entering the final week of the NFL regular season.  And we are on the verge of some BCS football.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.  Here are the items that have caught my attention.

Orton’s day in the sun?

-How many of you have ever been fired from a job?  I am assuming the vast majority of you have.  And for those of you who have been let go from your job, how many of you have wanted the opportunity to extract some revenge?  The chance to outdo your former company on a sale.  Or something to that degree?  Well for Kyle Orton, he will get just that chance come next Sunday.  Orton will have the chance to hit his former employer (the Denver Broncos) where it hurts. Continue reading

Food for Thought 10-25-2011

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tim Tebow (pictured above) was the marquee storyline of Week 7 in the NFL.

By Josh Kramer

We are in the midst of arguably the best time of the year in the sporting world (along with March Madness).  Football is at full tilt at both the collegiate and the professional ranks. The NHL is back in action.  Plus we are coming up on the home stretch of the Fall Classic.  There is not enough time in a day to keep up with everything.

Here are the main items that have caught my attention.

Tebow Time Continue reading

Sproles an upgrade to Bush?

Photo courtesy of realfootballanalysis.blogspot.com. Darren Sproles (pictured above) is heading to New Orleans. Is he an upgrade from Reggie Bush?

By Josh Kramer

There is a new running back heading to Bourbon Street to help continue the fireworks that have defined the Saints offense over the past few years.  Drew Brees, one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL was not shy in expressing his excitement over the New Orlean’s pick-up today.

Darren Sproles or Reggie Bush?  That is the question.

Both backs are extremely similar in style and what they bring to the table.  They are both “smaller” speed backs that also pose a threat as a receiver and a return man.  They typify what it means to be a multi-purpose running back in this day and age.

Lets take a look at the tale of the tape. Continue reading

Food for Thought 6-7-2011

Photo courtesy of bleedingeaglegreen.com. Plaxico Burress (pictured above) has been released from prison. How will his comeback end up?

By Josh Kramer

It has been a wild past 48 hours.  So many big time stories going on.  Plaxico, Tressel, French Open finale, playoffs, and more. The following are the main items that have caught my attention.

The second coming of Michael Vick?

If you are not living in a box, you have probably heard something about Plaxico Burress finally being released from prison.  After 21 months, the former Super Bowl champion, and one of the League’s most electric receivers will finally have an opportunity to finish his career off right.  Or it at least appears that way. Continue reading

“Food for Thought 2-15-11″

Jimmer Mania has taken the nation by storm. I will admit that I am finally jumping on the bandwagon. There are two key questions though. Is Fredette Adam Morrison Part II and can anyone "Teach Me How to Jimmer?"

I have been getting hungry all day and now it is time to quench that hunger with the typical Tuesday “Food for Thought.”  So much going on.  So much to talk about it.  Lets jump right into the main headlines.

Teach Me How to Jimmer

Jimmer Mania has taken the country by storm.  I will admit that I am about a month late.  But I am finally jumping on the Fredette bus.  Let Jimmer Mania reign.  Sue me for being a month behind the times.  I am not easily sold on guys like that this playing in the smaller conferences.  But after witnessing how Mr. Fredette “Put the team on his back” against Utah on Saturday, I am finally sold.

The real question though is Jimmer going to become Adam Morrison Part II?  The two have eerily similar numbers. 

Fredette:  27.3PPG, 4.3APG (assists), 3.4RPG (rebounds), 1.4SPG (steals per game)

Morrison (his junior year):  28.1PPG, 1.8APG (assists), 5.5RPG (rebounds), 1.1SPG (steals per game)

In addition, both guys take 19 shots per contest.  It is kind of scary honestly how similar their numbers are.  But I am going to go with my gut on this one.  Jimmer may not become a star in the League, but he will become a very solid player.  The kid is able to create his own shot much easier than Morrison could and he also D’s up at a much higher level.  If you are not sold on Mr. Fredette, check this video out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqX_b_Bu4hI  (Teach Me How to Jimmer)

Captain Cardinal Controversy

St. Louis Cardinal’s legendary manager Tony Larussa is at it again.  This time he is calling out the MLB Player’s Union.  He claims the Union is pressuring Cardinal star Albert Pujols to hold out for a record-setting contract.  Either way, could you really blame the guy?  Pujols is the unquestioned best player in the game.  It would be hard not to expect some sort of record pay-day.  But that is besides the point here.

I am not a fan of Tony Larussa.  I never have been.  I understand that the guy has won the World Series with a team in both Leagues.  I realize that he is the longest tenured Coach in any of the Big 4 sports (now that Sloan resigned).  And he has accomplished many other great things.  It does not mean I like the guy.

He took a blind eye to massive steroid usage on his Oakland Athletic’s teams in the late 80s, early 90s.  I am not saying he is the only one who turned a blind eye.  But it is blatantly obvious that he condoned this on his teams.  In addition, he is the biggest micromanager in all of baseball.  Let me repeat. 

Larussa=Micromanager

People wonder why the American public’s interest in Major League baseball has been steadily declining and moving towards the NFL over the past decade.  I give you exhibit A.  People hate long and boring games.  Micromanaging creates this type of ball game.  Just thank Mr. Larussa for being one of the main contributors to this problem in baseball today.  In addition, he had a DUI incident back in 2007.  Had a very controversial incident with Twitter in 2009.  And last summer, he ran his mouth, fueling the fire with NL Central rival, Cincinnati.  I never got to thank him for this.

Either way, Larussa needs to put a plug in his mouth.  I really hope Pujols does not sign tomorrow.  It would serve Larussa right having the future of Albert Pujols hanging over his head all season.  Maybe thinking about Albert Pujols would make him think twice about batting his pitcher in the 8 hole.  Since apparently he knows something that the rest of baseball doesn’t in batting his pitchers 8th.  Guy must be a genius.

Philly Tag Usage

Today was a big day for franchise and transition tagging across the board in the NFL.  No city was more active though than Philadelphia.  Michael Vick, coming off a phenomenal season, was franchised tagged.  And Pro Bowl Kicker, David Akers was transitioned tag.  Now this is all good and well.  We already knew Vick would be the Eagle’s QB next year.  But what team will Kevin Kolb be suiting up for next season?

Many see this guy starting somewhere.  I have never really understood what all the hype was regarding Mr. Kolb.  But I do know he will forever be a backup in Philly as long as Michael Vick is alive and well.  This guy must have some sort of ability though.  I mean, Kolb was the Eagle’s original starter last season until an injury gave Michael Vick the ability to flap his wings and fly away with the job. 

Now this is all hypothetical talk though in that he will not be going anywhere if a new collective bargaining agreement is not formed.  But say a new CBA passes.  Where will Kolb end up? 

The frontrunners are as follows:  Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, and Miami Dolphins.

The sleepers are as follows:  San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings

And my dark horse is none other than the Cincinnati Bengals.  Carson Palmer’s house is currently on the market.  The guy has stated that if Cincinnati does not trade him, he will retire.  And believe me, the Bengals are not planning on having Jordan Palmer be their starter come September.  So why not pick up Kevin Kolb?  It is just a thought.  I know it is a longshot, but I would not be utterly shocked if it happened.

Just some “Food for Thought.”

Let me hear your thoughts though.  Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at contact@thesportskraze.com.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

Aside

Sunday, October 12th appeared to be a day that held a lot of promise in Cincinnati.  It was a day where the sun was shining from morning until nightfall.  A day where the city’s two most beloved professional sports teams had … Continue reading

“Does 0 and 2 Spell Death?”

Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings are in desperate need of star receiver, Sidney Rice (pictured above).

The NFL is already off to an extremely exciting start.  And fans should be prepping for a year that appears to really be wide open (as usual).  And who would want it any other way? There are many major storylines already in my eyes, but one has really stood out to me.

Storyline :  Two Super Bowl favorites, the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings are 0 and 2.  Who would have thought this would be the case?  Both of theses teams were extremely common picks to not only win their respective divisions, but to win the entire NFC.  Which one of them in worse shape?  Do either still have a chance to make the playoffs?

Dallas Cowboys

Situation:

The Cowboys have lost to 2 teams that most did not have making any noise this season.  The Redskins and Bears are not exactly thought of as powerhouse teams (though the Bears sit at 2 and 0).  This Dallas team is as talented as ever.  This team is experienced.  Supposed to be solid on both sides of the ball.  Jerry Jones is not a happy man.  Dallas is 4th in yards in yards gained this year, and 11th in total D.  So they are doing okay both offensively and defensively.  So what is the problem?

Problem:

Well for one, they are not scoring enough points.  In their first two ball games, they have given up 40 total points while they have only scored 27.  This all stems from a continued Red Zone conversion problem in Dallas.  Experts talked about this problem all season last year, especially down the stretch.  And the preseason, nor these first two weeks have looked to ease any of these worries.  In addition, could the pressure be getting to guys like Romo?  The core of this team has been winning for a good few years now.  But they have not gotten over the hump like Emmit Smith and Troy Aikman were able to do in the mid 90s.  Romo has never been known as Mr. Clutch.  And yesterday, he demonstrated his lack of big game ability with 2 crucial INTs.  The other major problem for the Boys, a non-existent rushing attack.  This team ran for 36 yards yesterday.  I know the game is turning into a pass first style, but 36 rushing yards is unacceptable if you are expecting to win a game in the NFL.  Not to mention they only ran for 89 yards in Week 1 (they are 27th in the League in rushing yards).

Solution:

The Cowboys must learn how to convert consistently in the Red Zone with touchdowns.  They must also develop a reliable rushing attack.  If they can do these two things, they will definitely be able to still make a run at the playoffs.

Verdict:

The Cowboys have a very tough first place schedule.  A turnaround will not be easy.  Plus they head to Houston against a very tough Texans team next week.  Though it is possible, do not expect this team to be playing a “Home” Game in this year’s Super Bowl.  I would not count on them even making the playoffs either.  Too many egos.  Too many internal issues.  Expect the Cowboys to finish 8 and 8 or 9 and 7, just missing the playoffs.

Minnesota Vikings:

Situation:

The Vikings are currently sitting at 0 and 2, even with their “savior” Brett Favre.  At least they get to take the Lions on at home next week to put a mark in the win column right?

Problem:

This team has no offense so far.  Other than in the rushing category, this team is in the lower half of the League in every offensive statistical category, including 29th in points.  For all the talk of Brett Favre being possibly the “Greatest Quarterback of All Time,” he has looked extremely human through 2 games.  Now I realize this team has some major injuries hurting their receiving corps.  But the way the unit has played, has been unacceptable.  They have mustered up 19 total points against two teams, that do not feature great defenses (Saints and Dolphins).  The major problem for this squad has not been the defense.  In actuality, their defense ranks 8th overall in the League.  And it hasn’t been the rushing attack.  It’s been # 4′s gunslinger mentality.  Brett’s interceptions are a huge reason why this very talented team is sitting at 0 and 2.

Solution:

Run the ball more.  Continue to give Adrian 25 plus carries a game.  Until star receiver Sidney Rice returns, this team will have to live and die on the run.  Brett’s confidence is a bit down.  And if the team can put together a couple of wins, he will get his swagger back.  But the defense overall has been fine.  Adrian Peterson has been awesome.  But Favre must cut down on the turnovers.  Possibly give the man a simpler game plan if possible (just don’t let him know you are babying him).  Give him a lot of plays where he gets to utilize his tight ends.  The problem is, you do not want to mess Brett Favre’s ego.  So it is definitely a touchy area and easier said than done to fix this problem.

Verdict:

I feel this team is perfectly fine.  I still fully expect them to nab at least a Wild Card.  Though they have to play a first place schedule, just like Dallas, I feel like their division is not as deep.  Therefore they will have a few more games that are very winnable, and this will be the difference.  I also hate to say it, but I don’t see Brett missing the playoffs in his “final” season.

So neither of these teams are down and out yet.  I believe both of them will finish at least 8 and 8 due to the fact that they are far too talented not to win as many games as they lose.  But I will admit that I feel Dallas is in big trouble in their pursuance of a playoff spot.

So what are your thoughts?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Welcome Back Wes Welker”

Wes Welker has always had problems getting the ball out of his hands. The amazing 5 foot 9 slot receier is returning from major knee injuries and appears ready to break the League's single season reception record.

Last evening, the Patriots took on the Falcons in their 2nd preseason game.  And though the Patriots put on a solid performance winning 28 to 10, the real story was the return of super slot receiver Wes “the Wildman” Welker.  Boy was it nice to see the little speedster back on the field.  He corralled in two catches for 20 yards, and looked to be almost back to normal.  Though I am a Cincinnati guy, I definitely want Welker on that field for the Patriots come September 12th when the Bengals and Patriots do battle in Week 1.  Who would really want it any other way?

Welker possesses many attributes that American football fans find appealing.  First of all he is extremely undersized.  Our League today is dominated by big receivers such as Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, and Randy Moss.  All three of these guys are 6 foot 3 or above with amazing wingspans.  Therefore, Wes represents the everyday common man who sits and watches football on his couch every Sunday.  In addition, not to make this a race thing, but Wes is caucasian.  And really when receivers comes to mind, outside of Kevin Walter, I begin to draw a blank on big time white receivers in the League.  Next, Wes has been overlooked many times.  All of us have been overlooked in our lives or not given our proper due for something.  Well you have to respect that Welker has dealt with this just like the rest of us and overcome each and every time.  Lastly, Wes has an amazing work ethic and has kept his nose clean on and off the field.  Americans love the Rocky movies due to the amazing story and Rocky’s unheralded work ethic.  People also love guys who stay out of trouble on and off the field in a League today, that is full of prima donnas, who cannot stay out of trouble.  Welker has become a rare breed, and something that we as NFL fans should cherish.

Now many people do not realize that Welker is another one of those guys who really came from nothing.  Welker is your prototypical rags to riches story.  The heartfelt saga that we love as Americans.  He kind of shocked the world by even making it in this League, much less becoming the best possession receiver football.  A guy like Wes will not wow you with his size, his 40 time, his vertical leap, or any of the traditional athletic markers.  What he will wow you with is his ability to catch the ball and consistently make plays.  To be entirely honest, it was quite surprising that this guy even got to play Division 1 College Football.  Though Wes was a big time star at Heritage Hall School in Oklahoma City, he was vastly overlooked by recruiters.  Welker kind of lucked into a scholarship in that a recruit backed out of an offer from Texas Tech last-minute.  Whoever was the coach at the time made a smart decision.  Can you guess who that man was?

Try first year (at the time) coach, Mike Leach.  Does that name ring a bell?  Now Welker went on to have an outstanding career at Tech, really making a name for himself in the special teams aspect of the game.  He tied the NCAA record with 8 punt returns taken to the house.  Either way, Wes once again was overlooked and went undrafted.  This was beginning to become a reoccurring trend for the 5 foot 9 undersized receiver from Oklahoma City.  Either way, Wes kept at it and was signed by the Chargers as a Free Agent.

Now I will admit that Welker was cut by the Chargers after the first week of the 2004 season, but immediately picked up by the Miami Dolphins.  Welker was predominantly used on special teams over the next couple of years and did have a knack for making big plays.  Finally in 2006, he was given his shot as a receiver.  And you know that the little big man took advantage of it catching 67 passes.  In 2007, “little” Wes signed with the Patriots.  Well, and the rest is history.

This kid continues to fascinate me every day not only with his stats, but with his overall toughness and amazing work ethic.  I mean the man is 5 foot 9.  Kids that are 5 foot 9 are considered too small to play receivers on big time high school teams these days.  Try playing in the best League in the world at this size and thriving.  Wes has.

It was quite disheartening to see Wes suffer a major knee injury on January 3rd in the Patriot’s final regular season game this past season.  But you knew the guy would be back.  He always has a way to get through adversity and conquer.  Well this instance appears to be no different.

Wes had 123 catches in just 14 games last season.  This total ranks 2nd in NFL history.  You better believe that many are saying Welker cannot repeat this type of performance.  But you also better believe that Wes has always thrived on proving the naysayers wrong.

Defenses beware, the little big man Wes Welker is back, and ready to tear up any and all comers.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“AFC East Preview”

Mark Sanchez may have taken Tom Brady's spot as the "pretty boy" quarterback in the AFC East. The Jets are the pick of TheSportsKraze to take the divisional crown.

NFL Training Camp is right around the corner.  Which means that the NFL regular season is just about a month and a half away.  So let the madness begin.  I will not be giving Fantasy Football projections.  I can simply leave that up to ESPN and all the other websites.  But I will weigh in with my thoughts on each division and pick a winner.  But also please realize that these picks are coming just before or during the beginning of training camp.  Training Camp is always full of injuries.  So take that into consideration.

AFC East:  Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots (alphabetical order)

This has been a division that traditionally is the Patriots and then everyone else.  Well with the brilliance of Rex Ryan down the stretch last year, and the amazing off-season the Jets have had, the AFC East is not just the Patriots and everyone else.  It is the Patriots and the Jets, plus a solid Dolphins squad.  This is a very intriguing division for many reasons.

First of all you have 3 of the coldest weather places in the NFL.  Buffalo, New England, and New York all have bitterly cold and snow filled winters.  This really plays a large piece of what happens down the stretch.  Then of course there is beautiful Miami which will probably never see snow during our lifetime.

Buffalo Bills (4th):  So lets start at the bottom of the division.  I have the Buffalo Bills finishing last as they did last year.  With the very probable loss of Terrell Owens, who is not nearly what he was at the age of 37, this team really has no big time players.  Their most recognizable names are WR Lee Evans, LB Paul Posluszny, and S Jairus Byrd.  Their quarterback Trent Edwards had a very weak year last season in which he did not play in 7 games and threw more interceptions than touchdowns.  Never a good sign.  Their running back combo will consist of hot-shot rookie CJ Spiller and savvy veteran Marshawn Lynch.  Though I feel Spiller has a ton of upside, this team will struggle so much in the passing game, that teams will be able to throw 8 or 9 guys in the box at all times.  Spiller will be good for a rookie, but playing in Buffalo as a running back will be very tough due to the extreme cold and lack of a passing game. 

Miami Dolphins (3rd):  The team I have finishing 3rd in this division is the Miami Dolphins.  Now Miami is a solid team.  Though they finished 7 and 9 last season, they did lose their final 3 games.  So they were right in the thick of the playoff race for the majority of the season.  Miami made a great offseason pickup in nabbing Brandon Marshall.  Marshall is one of the game’s very best receivers and will add a much-needed possession and deep threat combo guy to the Dolphin’s offensive repertoire.  They also possess possibly the best left tackle in the game in Jake Long.  Not to mention they have a very solid 2 headed monster at running back in Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown.  The NFL has become a League where you must have 2 strong backs to be successful.  One very strong featured back with the lack of a compliment does not typically translate to success anymore in the NFL.  The only thing that will really hold this team back in my eyes is their mediocre at best quarterback in Chad Henne.  Sure he will have a great rushing attack to lean on and a big play receiver in Brandon Marshall, but the Patriots and Jets will both have very strong defenses and should really confuse the former Michigan star.  Not to mention Miami has a mediocre at best defense led by Kendall Langford and Randy Starks on the line. 

New England Patriots (2nd):  My pick to finish in 2nd in the AFC East is the New England Patriots.  Yes the Tom Brady, 3 time Super Bowl winning Patriots.  And first of all lets put to rest the rumors of turmoil between Brady and Patriot’s ownership.  These are false and will have no affect on the team.  The Patriots will be tough this  year.  And you better believe they are looking for redemption after their embarrassing playoff loss at the hands of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and the Baltimore Ravens.  The Patriots will once again be led by a phenomenal passing attack which features Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and a “should be” healthy Wes Welker.  All reports are saying that the best possession receiver in the game “should be” healthy for the Patriots Week 1 battle with Cincinnati.  Now the Patriots are a team that featured a stellar offense last season and also a fairly strong defense.  They are led by possibly the best preparation coach in the game in Bill Belichick.  Belichick is the Peyton Manning of coaches when it comes to preparing his team for games.  This team probably only has one somewhat noticeable weakness.  And that is their running back corpse.  Laurence Maroney has never really panned out as expected and he will be joined by Sammy Morris to provide the Patriot’s one-two punch (I do realize they have old man river Fred Taylor as well).  Now I also realize that it is tough for running backs in New England due to the fact that they throw so much.  But neither of these guys have given Bill much reason to have confidence in them.  Look for this team to nab a wildcard, but also realize that I do not see them making a Super Bowl run.  The Patriots are beginning to remind me of the San Antonio Spurs of the NFL.  They are a team that will make the playoffs and will always be dangerous due to players like Brady and the great coaching of Belichick, but their glory days seem to be behind them. 

New York Jets (1st):  I have the New York Jets finishing in 1st.  Yes, I realize that this is the AFC East.  A division that has been owned by the Patriots for around a decade.  But the Jets on paper appear to have the best team in football.  They are a team that shocked the world in last year’s playoffs by advancing all the way to the AFC Championship Game.  They appear to have dramatically improved from last year on paper.  This team had the best defense in the League last season and I do not see any reason why they will not be right near the top again this year.  Their defense will be led by the best corner in the game in Darrelle Revis, a very talented linebacking corpse led by Calvin Pace and David Harris, and of course the defensive mastermind that is Rex Ryan.  In addition, their offense should be better.  Not just simply because Mark Sanchez has a full year of experience under his belt, but because they brought in a big time playoff experienced receiver in Santonio Holmes to play alongside Braylon Edwards.  Also they picked up a seasoned veteran running back in LaDainian Tomlinson to help groom the very talented former Iowa Hawkeye, Shonn Greene.  In addition, I forgot to mention that they even made upgrades to their already stellar defense with the likes of Antonio Cromartie and Jason Taylor.  You better believe that this Jet’s team is the real deal.

Many are saying it is Super Bowl or bust for the Jets this year.  And this seems to be a fair statement.  Expect the Jets to gain the AFC East crown on the way to another deep playoff run.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportskraze.

-TheSportsKraze