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Friday, February 15, 2019

Yanda’s seventh Pro Bowl adds to legacy





·         Feb 14, 2019 Updated 16 hrs ago


Editor:
Marshal Yanda earned his seventh Pro Bowl this past season. These are seven consecutive that Marshal has played. He also earned the Ed Block Courage Award, voted on by his Baltimore Ravens teammates.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame currently has 326 members, 286 which are players. There have been more than 26,000 men who have played in the NFL. Only about 1 percent make it all the way to the hall of fame. Three Iowa Hawkeyes have been enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Emlen Tunnell, Paul Krause and Andre Tippett.
By comparing just the number of Pro Bowls, Marshal has equaled or passed 179 of the 286 players already enshrined into the hall of fame.
Here are just 30 hall of famers he has passed so far: Troy Aikman, Marcus Allen, Jerome Bettis, Terry Bradshaw, Earl Campbell, Larry Csonka, Terrell Davis, Eric Dickerson, Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, Carl Eller, Dan Fouts, Red Grange, Bob Griese, Charles Haley, Michael Irvin, Charlie Joiner, Jim Kelly, Curtis Martin, Randy Moss, Joe Namath, Ozzie Newsome, Ray Nitschke, Terrell Owens, Ken Stabler, Bart Starr, Roger Staubach, Lynn Swann, Andre Tippett and Doak Walker.
Since 1936, there have been 253 Hawkeyes drafted into the NFL. I believe Marshal has already earned the Iowa Hawkeyes NFL Mount Rushmore alongside Tunnell, Krause and Tippett. One of Marshal’s top awards is the Bruce Matthews Award, for the top offensive linemen in the NFL. He should also receive the NFL All-Decade Team for 2010-2019 and someday be inducted into the Baltimore Ravens’ Ring of Honor.
Marshal proudly wore the black and gold for the Iowa Hawkeyes. I believe someday he will be wearing gold again, that will be the day Canton, Ohio presents him with a gold jacket for being the first native Iowa Hawkeye to be enshrined into the hall of fame.
Tim Hollett
Anamosa

Trey Flowers issues reminder of Super Bowl dominance



By SAM QUINN 17 hours ago (February 14, 2019)



The New England Patriots may have given Tom Brady his sixth Super Bowl ring by defeating the Los Angeles Rams in the big game two weeks ago, but the star of the show was their incredible defense. They held the explosive Los Angeles Rams to only three points in that game, and while just about everyone on defense did their job in the legendary performance, the player that stood out was clearly Trey Flowers. He generated a ton of pressure on Jared Goff while also proving invaluable in run-support to help secure the victory for New England, and on Thursday, he took to Twitter to remind the world of the monster game he and his defense played.


This is particularly relevant now, with less than a month to go before free agency begins. Flowers is going to hit the market if the Patriots don't use their franchise tag on him, and he is going to be worth a fortune. His low sack totals don't tell the story of what he brings to a defense. He is perhaps the most well-rounded 4-3 defensive end in football right now, capable of dominance against both the run and the pass, and his playoff run should have sent his value through the roof.
The going rate for top pass-rushers right now is around $15 million per year. According to Spotrac, the highest-paid defensive end in the NFL in terms of average salary is Olivier Vernon at $17 million per year, and he signed his contract three years ago. With an expanding cap and the whole NFL able to bid on him, it wouldn't be inconceivable for Flowers to top that.

The Patriots have been hesitant to give out that kind of money in the past. They had Chandler Jones on their roster, but rather than pay him the $16.5 million per year the Arizona Cardinals are paying him, they traded him. New England prefers to pay several players mid-range salaries rather than go whole hog for any one star. That strategy has delivered them six championships, so it would be hard to argue its overall effectiveness.
And perhaps Flowers knows that, and is reminding the Patriots with this tweet just how valuable he is. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Patriots won the Super Bowl on defense alone. The offense produced only 13 points. That doesn't mean the Patriots are weak on that side of the ball, but with Brady entering his age-42 season, New England won't be able to rely on him forever. Their best bet at sustaining this success when he retires might be defense, and Flowers is the best player they have on that side of the ball. Paying him now could save them a lot of headaches later.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Appreciating Rex Burkhead's outstanding efficiency in Super Bowl LIII






By: Henry McKenna | February 14, 2019
When New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead touched the football in Super Bowl LIII, good things happened.
Plenty of Patriots had a play or two that had a major impact, a play that will live in the minds of fans. Running back Sony Michel scored the game’s only touchdown in the Patriots’ 13-3 win. Rob Gronkowski had the 29-yard reception that put the Patriots on the 2-yard line for Michel’s touchdown. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore had an interception that ended a fourth-quarter Rams’ drive. Defensive end Trey Flowers had a sack that put the Rams out of field goal range. The list goes on.
Burkhead didn’t have one of those plays. But his performance was still admirable and, frankly, unheralded. He finished with seven carries for 43 yards (6.1 yards per carry) with a 26-yarder in the Patriots’ final offensive drive, which ended in a field goal that essentially clinched the game. Burkhead also had two receptions for 15 yards. He touched the ball on nine of his 19 snaps. He did that in a game where running back James White, one of the heroes of Super Bowl LI, was surprisingly absent with two carries for four yards and one receptions for five yards.
Burkhead did what he had done all year: a little bit of everything. None of his touches went for negative yardage, except for a reception which got wiped away due to an unnecessary roughness penalty that gave New England 15 yards.
Burkhead hasn’t become a household name because of injuries and a crowded backfield over the last two years. His contributions tend to fly under the radar. However, he’s provided reliable on all four downs with 18 special teams snaps (67 percent).
In an offensive game where everyone but Julian Edelman had an inefficient game, Burkhead was a sneakily productive piece.

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