The NFL Over-30 Team Part 2

Yesterday was all about offense and today is now defense. There is a reason teams are selecting defensive line and corners earlier on in the draft, with a offense friendly league you need shut down players on defense to win games. Again this list is made up of active players 30 and older who make the biggest impact.

Defensive Line:

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1)Kyle Williams, 32, Buffalo Bills

 “Rex Ryan must be licking his chops using Big Kyle and 3-4 DE, where he’ll flourish as he did in 2013.”-Antonio D’ Arcangelis(Fantasy Football Articles) Williams is one of the best in the league and in a great spot to be the leader of a top 5 defense this year. With Rex coming into town the defense might actually get even better than it was before(if possible).There is no doubt to the skill of Williams and the Bills defense and with Tom Brady possibly serving his full 4 game suspension they could very well be in the mix for the division crown. If the Bills get good quarterback play this could be a team to watch this year and maybe end the NFL’s longest active streak of not making the playoffs.

2) Cameron Wake, 33, Miami Dolphins

Coming off an impressive 11.5 sack and 3 forced fumbles season Wake keeps proving that he’s one of the best. He may not be as fast as he was coming into this league but he has a knack for getting after the quarterback and thats what puts him on this list. The Dolphins are another team thats starting to get better and all of a sudden the AFC East may be an exciting division to watch this season.

Honorable Mention: R. Ninkovich, D. Ware, J. Tuck

Linebackers

1) Paul Posluszny, 30, Jacksonville Jaguars

Paul-Posluszny-Jacksonville-Jaguars-PP came from linebacker U and has been around this league for awhile and has made a name for himself. On one of the worst teams in the NFL his defense gets a lot more playing time on the field than wanted but he’s done everything he can to help his team win games. Since being with the Jags he has over 100 tackles each season except when getting injured. Paul is one of the few players in this league who can reach 150 tackles and chances are this next season that he does.

2) Derrick Johnson, 32, Kansas City Chiefs

Johnson had his 2014 campaign robbed from him when he got injured at the beginning of last year, however sources have said he looks sharp and will be good to game come week 1. In 2013 he had 95 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions and looked great over there in Arrowhead. Along with others on this list Johnson may not quite be what he was coming into the league however he is still one of the best at his position even being 32 years old. Heading into 2015 the AFC West could be up for grabs with Manning turning 39 and a new coach and several key players leaving including more than 50 percent of the line from 2014. This might give Johnson a chance to get Manning on the ground and help his team aim for a division crown.

Honorable Mention: K. Dansby, AJ Hawk, T. Hali

Cornerbacks:

1) D. Revis, 30, New York Jets

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01:  Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots celebrates with  Darrelle Revis #24 after defeating the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 01: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots celebrates with Darrelle Revis #24 after defeating the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Being the cornerstone of the Super Bowl champion Patriots secondary last season Revis did what he seems to do year in and year out. Talk trash, back it up, win games. Now after landing back as a Jet for the second time only time will tell if Revis Island is still the same. He won’t have the same help that he did while up north in New England and by that I’m not saying the Jets defense is bad, but I’m saying he will be on the field possibly twice as much as last year with Geno being his quarterback and not Tom Brady. Revis had 14 pass breakups last season along with 41 tackles and 2 interceptions which is a very good season. Lets hope that Revis lets his game do his talking and see if he can bring leadership to that locker room and take his team to the next level, or at least to a .500 season.

2) Brent Grimes, 31, Miami Dolphins

Since landing in Miami at the beginning of 2013 Grimes has shown that he’s a shutdown corner in this league. He is the leader of the Dolphins secondary and last year had 57 tackles and 13 pass deflections. Last year Grimes had one of the top plays of the year when he had a one handed interception in the end zone and he is on record saying he believes it was the top play of the year over OBJ one handed touchdown against the Cowboys. They say defense wins championships and Grimes and Miami are headed in the right direction.

Honorable Mention: T. Newman, W. Gay

Safeties:

1) Eric Weddle, 30, San Diego Chargers

san-diego-chargers-safety-eric-weddleLast season Weddle was the rock of the Chargers defense and finished 6th in tackles amongst all players along with 8 pass deflections and 1 interception according to NFL.com player stats.He plays with the best of them, is a leader, and a fan favorite and is just a hustle guy which is what every team wants. Not only is he on the over-30 team but he’s a top 5 safety in the league if not higher. Phillip Rivers and Eric Weddle are the faces of this San Diego franchise and are both in contract years and neither have a deal coming into OTA’s and while Rivers publicly states he won’t bother till the season is over, Weddle has been very outspoken about the Chargers not respecting him and thinks that he is not in the teams long term plans. Only time will tell what can happen here, but with Los Angeles creeping ever so close for this team the faces and location of this franchise could look very different come next offseason.

2) Antrel Rolle, 32, Chicago Bears

Freshly landed in Chicago Rolle hopes to continue his success there as he did while in New York. 87 tackles and 3 interceptions last year landed him as one of the better safeties in the league. Rolle doesn’t stand out with lightning fast speed or aggressive coverage but his game is well rounded as he plays excellent pass coverage, and solid run support and ran the teams defensive backfield last year quite successfully. Now on the back half of his career Rolle hopes to play a significant role in getting the Bears defense back to what it used to be.

*Stats provided by: Pro Football Focus, NFL.com*

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The NFL Over-30 Team Part 1

After seeing all these posts about this upcoming season relating to best and worst teams, sophomore slumps, up and comers, and the list goes on and on. I decided to take to the chalk board and do some research and come up with an All Star team of players older than 30. No hate on offensive linemen because we know without them, nobody else would be good however they are not on this list. It’s split it up into two pieces and this first one will be offensive players only.  

Quarterbacks:

1) Aaron Rodgers, 31, Green Bay Packers

AaronRodgers-800x415

If there was ever a tough choice this was it. Quarterbacks these days usually don’t drop right into your hands especially ones that will land in Canton someday. “Highest-rated passer of all time” The NFL adopted the QB rating system in 1973 and at the time the top rater was Len Dawson and since that day only 9 players have been at the top of this list and back in 2010 Rodgers took over as number 1 with a rating of 104.9. Yes 104.9 which is more than 8 points higher than second which is Hall of Famer Steve Young. Since 2008 Rodgers has averaged 8.13 yards per pass attempt which is good enough for first, behind him is Philip Rivers at a close second with 8.11 YPA. The list goes on and on for #12 and there are so many reasons to think he’s not slowing down anytime soon. So Lions, Bears, and Viking fans just sit back and hope your defenses find a way to slow him down because there’s no stopping him.

2) Tom Brady, 37, New England Patriots

There won’t be a list out there with Quarterbacks that doesn’t have Brady on it, unless your looking at one for negative stats. For over a decade Brady has torched NFL defenses for stunning numbers and picking up 3 Lombardi Trophies and 2 league MVP awards and 10 Pro Bowls on the way. Not to mention more division titles than any other quarterback of all time. In 2007 we all saw the greatest offense of all time take the field and win week in and week out led by this man. Brady has over and over shown us that he doesn’t need the big name receivers or flashy running backs to succeed, just as long as the football is inflated correctly!

Honorable Mention: P. Manning, D. Brees, B. Roethlisberger, P. Rivers

Running Backs:

1) Adrian Peterson, 30, Minnesota Vikings

AP

 Six fastest player to reach 8,000 yards and thats saying something in todays NFL. Even With only 21 carries for 75 yards and no touchdowns and that whole circus of a year he’s had off the field, he’s still the best in the game. Why do you think no matter how much he complains publicly and says he wants out the Vikings say he won’t be going anywhere this year, because he’s the best in the game. This year AP has hit that “golden age” where running backs go to die and thats 30 years old. If Bridgewater and Co. want to succeed this year they need to hand the ball of to him 20 plus times and have a conservative pass game similar to what you’ll see in Orchard Park this season. I believe we will see the old Peterson because this for all intended purposes is a try out for him, because we know next year he will be somewhere else and if he wants one last deal he’s going to need to have a great year.

2) Reggie Bush, 30, San Francisco 49ers

This was a tough choice as well seeing as there are not many running backs still in the game over 30. However Bush has one thing that the rest of them really don’t and that is hope. He’s in the perfect situation for this upcoming season. On his fourth team Bush seems ready to prove that he was worth a top 2 pick in the draft 10 years ago. Statistically we most likely won’t see a 1,000 yard rusher again, and even that only happened twice (2011,2013) but he’s a great back out of the back field worthy of 40-50 catches and 500 yards with the ability to return kicks. He’s been set in the perfect style offense to compliment his game so only time will tell if he makes the best of it.

Honorable Mention: F. Jackson, D. Sproles, D. Woodhead, S. Jackson

Wide Receivers:

1) Brandon Marshall, 31, New York Jets

marshall_bears1Talk about making the best out of your situation. Marshall has had to deal with the sleepy Jay Cutler for the larger part of his career and still managed to crack 1,000 yards and 10 plus touchdowns almost every season. Also on his fourth team Marshall hasn’t really fallen into a receivers perfect situation now having Geno Smith as his gun slinger. The Jets however have improved and seem promising with their new head coach and additions on both sides of the ball. Geno hasn’t had much talent around him to start his career and Marshall might just be what he needs to start showing his worth in this league, because one thing is for sure if he doesn’t get him the ball Marshall will let him know publicly.

2) Larry Fitzgerald, 31, Arizona Cardinals

In his 12th season Fitzgerald has never missed more than 3 games and has played 16 games in 8 of them showing that he is truly an iron man. One of the most iconic moments in Super Bowl History came when we watched Larry running down the middle of the field looking up at the huge jumbotron in the stadium to see who’s behind him. Yes his stats have been down lately especially last season but you couldn’t put Dez Bryant into that system last year and have him succeed with the quarterbacks that played after Palmer went down. Your guaranteed about 70 catches and 8-1,000 yards with great leadership and what offense doesn’t want that. It does help that everyone loves Fitz and the fact that he’s a class act and always has been.

Honorable Mention: A. Boldin, A. Johnson, R. White

Tight Ends:

1) Antonio Gates, 34, San Diego Chargers

p1_gatesPart of the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2nd team All-200s Team, 8 consecutive Pro Bowls from 2004 to 2011 and widely considered one of the best to ever play the position. Gates came out of college as a basketball player converted to tight end and the Chargers took a gamble and its paid off now for over a decade. He’s the chargers all time leading receiver along with half a dozen other records. He serves as a mentor to his teammates and players around the league. He managed to get his second highest touchdown total last year with 12 and 800 yards at 11.9 per catch running around out there with fresh legs. He has said publicly that he does want to reduce his snaps during the regular season so he’s ready to go down the stretch for a playoff run and the Chargers have high hopes this year especially with the new addition Melvin Gordon at running back. When its all over Gates will be a first ballot HOF and the game will definitely miss him.

2) Jason Witten, 33, Dallas Cowboys

You want a guy who won’t miss a single game…ever? This is your man, Witten has played in 191 total games in his career and hasn’t missed one since 2003 his rookie season. Four 1,000 yard seasons and only five fumbles in his entire career. Another class act who lets his play do his talking and is just a flat out hard worker. Another player who someday could be in Canton and it will be a tough day for all Cowboy fans when he decides to hang up the laces. Both Witten and Gates both seem to have a connection with their respectful quarterbacks and seem to know what each other are thinking and its fun to watch.

Honorable Mention: V. Davis, H. Miller

All these player here can just flat out play the game of football and of course there are dozens more that lead teams and are very successful. Stay tuned for all defensive positions and thanks for reading.

*Stats are provided by NFL.com & NBCSports*

The madness of Sports in March

So here it is, my first blog! So how about March so Far? We are almost half way through the month and already so much in the sports world has happened! Whether it has to deal with the NFL, or college basketball,  NBA, or spring training for baseball. 

               I’m going to touch base on a few major points amongst these topics but before that I want to give a brief sports history of myself so you can better know me! So since I was knee high I had my foot in the door in multiple sports, with my favorite being football. I started playing when I was ten years old, my favorite childhood memory I will never forget is when I was ten years old my father had bought me a field goal post about ten feet high made of plastic and I had it set up in my yard for about three years straight. I would go outside sunshine, rain, or snow and would play by myself throwing the ball in the air and catching the ball and running to score touchdowns for hours. Sometimes I would make the games exciting by “dropping” the ball and having some crazy fourth quarter comebacks. I would even be broadcasting the game out loud, just having so much fun. Thats where my love for sports started, and I went on to play three sports in high school and then joining the military, now I am at college for my first semester. My favorite sports teams are the San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers, North Carolina Tarheels, and the New York Rangers. I know what your thinking, why am I a southern California fan when I live in Western New York? Well thats because of the family I grew up in, my father has been a fan of each of these teams since the 70’s and he picked them based mainly off of their jerseys. So i followed in his shoes and became a fan as well, but now to the sports section of this blog.

               So how about NFL Free Agency?? It started on Tuesday and there has not been a shortage of headlines that’s for sure! I have an opinion on signing players through free agency and I want you opinion. If it comes to a major name especially at the Quarterback then I understand dropping 100 million in a contract. However  I am a strong believer that good teams build through keeping their star players more than one contract and building through the draft NOT free agency. You often spend way more money through FA and end up over paying because of a bidding war and more times than not you get a dud. If you going to sign someone then I think the smart moves come in that second wave or the tier 2 players. You get them at a great price tag and they usually give more effort because less money is guaranteed and there are more playing incentives. Also there are those players who need a fresh start or are trying to recreate themselves and they tend to play harder as well and are less likely to be cancerous to the locker room. So with that being said what in the world are the Eagles doing? I hope Chip  Kelly really has this masterful plan because right now he just looks crazy, getting rid of your teams best qb, rb, and wr? all in one week, that’s absolutely unheard of. If this doesn’t work out then he just bought himself a ticket straight back to Eugene and the world of college football. I also wonder what is going on up in Buffalo. I totally get bringing in Lesean McCoy even with losing your best defensive player it still is good in my book. My question is Matt Cassel, do you think he is the future of this playoff hungry football team? If he becomes the starter then I think he becomes the leagues worst starter, I have watched more than a dozen games the past two years where Cassel was the starter and to be nice, he was god awful. So I hope he is just there for competition and they have a plan to bring in someone through the draft.

              My last topic I want to hit on briefly is Championship week in college basketball. What a fun time, some teams have no chance of making the dance without winning their respective  conference championship but every year there is a couple who win and “steal” a spot from an at-large bid. I love this time of the year! Does anyone else remember the Syracuse vs UCONN six overtime game back like 6 years ago I think? That might be the greatest college game EVER! I just love and buy into the whole cinderella story, or the underdog and especially if your team needs to win 5 games in 5 nights to make it into the tournament? Oh yeah that happens a lot too! I wonder though if anyone is going to take out Kentucky, it’s amazing what they have done this year by going undefeated so far and it looks like they are on a crash course for the title game next month. 

No matter what your favorite sport is, the month of March is going to be a lot of fun! The best part about sports is the element of surprise, the fact that you never know what is going to happen makes it just that much better.I am pretty excited to start this blog and hopefully get a few people on here who are mutually excited and want to talk the game of sports with me. A lot of the information I am going to post has a slight bias and is opinion based, but you cant be a freelance writer and not have some sort of bias! Well for those of you who read my blog thank you!! More stuff to come, I will mainly post once or twice per week with the exception of a major event that I just cant wait to talk about. Until next time!

-Jeremy