Monday, July 15, 2019

3 reasons Marshal Yanda is a top 5 Ravens player of all time

by Chris Schisler 2 days ago

The four best players in the history are obvious. This is the case for why Marshal Yanda is the fifth best Ravens player of all time.

Marshal Yanda is one of the greatest Baltimore Ravens of all-time. He doesn’t get the glory that Ray Lewis had. He isn’t as flashy as Ed Reed. Nobody is like Terrell Suggs and Jonathan Ogden may have been the best left tackle in NFL history. Yanda belongs in a category with these four names. Here is why Yanda is the fifth best Ravens player of all-time:

1. A Legacy of consistency:

This will be Marshal Yanda’s 13th season with the Baltimore Ravens. He was drafted in 2007 as a third round pick and he has been a rock for the offensive line ever since. In the 162 games since he donned the number 73 for the Ravens, Yanda has 151 starts. That’s a fairly remarkable accomplishment when you consider how brutal life is in the trenches. Yanda has had a few major injuries that have sidelined him for major chunks of time however he’s proven to be one of the toughest and most durable linemen in the NFL. When the Ravens needed him to kick out to offensive tackle, he did it well. There’s nothing he can’t do for the Ravens’ offensive line.
The Ravens offensive line has had some real inconsistencies over the course of Yanda’s career. The Ravens struggled to find a post Ogden answer at left tackle before finding Ronnie Stanley in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Ravens have seen a handful of centers play next to Yanda. In fact, the Ravens have shuffled through every offensive line position except the right guard position. Other than maybe Justin Tucker, there hasn’t been a more consistent player for the Ravens. Yanda almost never gives up sacks and he is a great run blocker.

2. He’s the best at his position:

To be in the same class as players like Lewis, Reed, Ogden and Suggs you have to be a legend. It’s not just about being a top-tier player. Reed has an argument for being the greatest safety in the history of football. He holds numerous NFL records and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Lewis was a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee for a reason. He was a once in a lifetime player. Many believe that Ogden was the best left tackle in the history of the game. Suggs may not have been the best outside linebacker ever to lace them up, however he produced over 132.5 sacks and was with the Ravens from 2003-2018.
Yanda has to be in the conversation when you’re talking about the best right guards in football. Pro Football Focus has Yanda scored as the second best guard since 2006, with a career score of 92.7. Yanda is always one of the highest rated players in every edition of the Madden football video game. He has been to seven Pro Bowls and has twice been named to the All-Pro 1st team. Yanda isn’t just a great player in the scope of Ravens football. He’s one of the very best players the league has ever seen.
There are very few players you can even compare to Yanda. He is the gold standard when it comes to the offensive line. He is in the same category of players that Jonathan Ogden is in. He’s a rare kind of player that belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame five years after his retirement.

3. Longevity

Yanda has seen so many phases of Ravens football in his career. When he entered the NFL, the Ravens had one of their most disappointing seasons ever.  The 2007 Ravens went 5-11 behind a nightmarish quarterback back and forth between Kyle Boller and Troy Smith. The next season the Ravens had just gotten John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco. The Ravens went to the playoffs five straight years and won Super Bowl XLVII. 2013-2017 were years the Ravens mostly squandered. In those years the Ravens missed the playoffs in every season except, 2014. All of the sudden, Yanda is on the reigning AFC North champions.
Yanda retirement talk picked up this offseason but he put that to bed quickly. The Ravens gave him a contract extension through 2021. One of the biggest reasons Yanda has such a strong legacy is his longevity. He’s been with the Ravens over a decade and he’s not done. Should Yanda have two or three more seasons at his standard level of play the argument that he’s not a top 5 Raven of all time would start to become absurd.
There are very few offensive lineman in NFL history with the kind of resume that Yanda has. Ogden is the only offensive lineman the Ravens have ever had that compares to Yanda. Because of the nature of his position, people don’t give Yanda enough credit. He’s a legend and he’s a top 5 Raven of all time.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Phil Dawson hasn't made 'any decisions' on retirement, reflects on 'incredible' bond with Browns fans

July 11, 2019 01:21 PM UPDATED 10 MINUTES AGO

Sports Business

The 2012 season, Phil Dawson's last with the Cleveland Browns, might have been the best of the kicker's career.

One of the most beloved players from the last 20 seasons of Browns football is a kicker.
That says quite a bit about the success, or lack thereof, from the Browns since they returned in 1999. It also says a lot about Phil Dawson.
"I thought I had an understanding of the bond when I left in 2013," Dawson said in a phone interview on Thursday, July 11. "That's only been proven more true since. During the playoff run with the Niners in 2013, the outpouring of support from Browns fans was just amazing. They just expressed how happy they were that I got to experience that. That was incredible."
Dawson played 14 seasons with the Browns. He left after the 2012 campaign, which was one of the best of his stellar career.
Dawson earned his only Pro Bowl selection that year, during which he made 29 of 31 field-goal attempts and all 29 of his extra-point tries. The two misses remain a career best.
But the Browns — stop us if you've heard this before — were going through a regime change at the time. The organization had a new CEO-general manager tandem in Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi, and the Browns, according to, never made a formal offer to a kicker who had recently turned 38 and had played under the franchise tag for the last two seasons.
"It was incredibly difficult to leave," Dawson said. "I didn't really have the luxury of time at that time to reflect and let it all in. I had to go find a job and had to dive in and fully commit to my next challenge, as I always have. In some ways, I didn't absorb that whole process. It was extremely difficult. But there were no hard feelings because the people making the decisions were new. It would've been a lot more difficult if it was people I had been with for a long time. These were people I really didn't know. In some ways, that helped, but it was difficult to leave."
In 2013, Dawson set career highs in points (140), field goals made (32) and extra points (44). He was perfect on PATs and missed only four field goals. The 49ers, with whom he had signed a one-year deal worth $2.35 million, were 12-4 and advanced to the NFC championship game.
Two years later, Dawson made an emotional return to Cleveland as a member of the 49ers. The Browns honored him with a video tribute in the first quarter, and the gesture was followed by a standing ovation.
"I don't have words to express how overwhelmed I was at the love," Dawson said Thursday. "The Browns organization doing the welcome-back video, that just doesn't happen for visiting players. The feedback, the back-and-forth through social media, continues to be incredible. I do some public events, and I did one with Firestone, a big corporate event, and there was a huge amount of Cleveland people there. It turned into a dang reunion."
Dawson left the 49ers after the 2016 season. He signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
The 2018 season was one of his most difficult. The 44-year-old was limited to 10 games by a hip injury, and his five field goals and 30 points were career lows.
Not exactly the ideal way to enter free agency.
Dawson's 21-season résumé, though, stacks up with almost any kicker in league history.
He's made 83.8% of his field-goal attempts, which ranks 22nd all-time, and his 1,847 points rank second among active kickers and 11th all-time. His 305 games played are second among active players and seventh in league history — two ahead of Jerry Rice and three better than Brett Favre.
So is this it for a player who ranks second to Lou Groza on the Browns' all-time scoring list?
"I haven't made any decisions yet," Dawson said. "Every year, honestly, for the past seven or eight years, I come home in the offseason and assess where I am and where my family is, and then we all sit down and make a decision. We're in the process of doing that again."
Dawson and his wife, Shannon, have two sons, Dru and Beau, and a 13-year-old daughter, Sophiann. ("Three teenagers. Never a dull moment," he said.)
Dru, who is entering his senior season, is the starting quarterback for Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas. Beau played tight end as a freshman in 2018.
Watching his kids play is "an absolute blast," Dawson said.
Whether or not he will do so in 2019 as a current or retired kicker remains to be seen.
Dawson said there is "always some back-and-forth" between teams and his agent, Beachwood-based Neil Cornrich.
"One thing I learned from the NFL: You don't really know if someone is interested until they slide that piece of paper (with an offer)," he said. "Neil and I have a deal. He handles all of that, and when there are legs to it, we start talking about it from there. We have a really good working relationship and I really value his opinion."
Dawson is excited for the Browns and their many backers as the team enters a season with legitimate hopes to be a contender.
"The fans deserve a winner," he said.
And yes, he's heard from fans hoping he'll return to the team as a free agent.
"It kinda gives me a glimpse of what retirement would be like," Dawson said. "None of the people seem to realize that I used to miss kicks here and there. It's pretty awesome."
You can follow me on Twitter for sports information and analysis, and you can follow Dawson for responses to fans who are uncertain about what to do with his former No. 4 jersey.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Henery and Foreman headline 2019 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame class

·         Lincoln Journal Star

·         Jul 9, 2019 Updated 2 hrs ago

Alex Henery kicks a 57-yard field goal against Colorado in 2008.

Alex Henery, one of the most accurate kickers in college football history, headlines a class of six nominees, including four Huskers, that will be inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in September. 
Henery hit on a NCAA-record 89% of his field-goal attempts from 2007-2010 during his time in Lincoln. He scored a Nebraska-record 397 points by sinking 193-of-194 extra-point attempts. 
The Omaha Burke grad enjoyed a four-year career in the NFL. Henery is joined by Jay Foreman, Greg Jorgensen, Mark Behning and Lincoln High graduate Richie Ross as the 2019 inductees. Brad Smith, the former Chadron State coach and athletic director, becomes the 36th coach to enter the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame. 
A three-time national champion, Foreman finished his NU career with 233 tackles, was a Butkus Award semifinalist in 1998 and played eight productive seasons in the NFL with four different teams. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota, native recorded a career-high 97 tackles, including seven tackles for a loss and three sacks, during his senior season in 1998. 
Behning, who was on the offensive line of some of the more prolific offenses at Nebraska from 1982-84, earned All-Big Eight honors his senior season. Jorgensen, also an offensive lineman and two-time All-Big Eight choice, served as a starting guard for Tom Osborne's teams in 1975-77. 
Ross played at Nebraska-Kearney and was a two-time Division II All-American, catching 279 passes for 4,882 yards and 50 touchdowns for the Lopers from 2002-2005. Smith, who spent 18 seasons leading the Eagles, becomes the first coach since 2012 to be inducted into the hall of fame. 

Huntsville native, Super Bowl champion Trey Flowers gives back

Huntsville native, Super Bowl champion Trey Flowers gives back

By Carl Prather | July 9, 2019 at 9:14 PM CDT - Updated July 9 at 9:14 PM

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - From Ed White Middle School, to Columbia High School, to Arkansas, to New England, and now Detroit.

Huntsville native Trey Flowers returned to his hometown all for a good cause.

Flowers made a visit to the Huntsville Inner City Learning Center Tuesday.

Flowers came to give some encouraging words to the youngsters, and also gave a donation of $15,000 to the center as well.

“You know it's important to have a dream and focus on that dream,” Flowers added. “And continue to strive throughout. It may be some bad things, and some up and downs throughout life, but, you have to continue to stay focus and you know achieve your dreams.”

Flowers is preparing for his first training camp with his new team in Detroit. He will be joined by fellow north Alabama native Kerryon Johnson.

“It’s one thing to be playing against each other in High School, and then we meet up in the NFL at the highest level that you can play, it’s definitely a great experience.”

Copyright 2019 WAFF. All rights reserved.

Titans Superlatives

Posted on July 8, 2019

With 20 years in the books, we celebrate Titans past and present.
Big Contribution, Little Talk
Superlative given to a player that played a critical role during their time as a Titan, but might not receive exposure for their work. Whether their play lead other teammates to success or performed a job that has to be done, these players did what was asked of them and then some.

  • Ahmard Hall – Hall played a pivotal role in the Titans running game from 2006-2011. The Titans ranked in the Top 10 for team rushing in Hall’s first four years with the team. Paving the way for Chris Johnson during his last four years in Nashville, Hall had a big hand when Johnson hit the 2,000 yard rushing milestone in 2009. Hall also contributed on special teams.  
  • Craig Stevens – During his eight seasons with Tennessee, you rarely heard Stevens’ name called. That was a good thing. The reliable tight end was an excellent blocker, helping with a rushing attack that ranked in the Top 10 in the league during his first two seasons with the Titans. Along with his contributions on offense, Stevens was a fixture on the special teams unit.
  • Neil O’Donnell – Everybody remembers the magical 1999 season that lead to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV. What some might forget is the impact that O’Donnell had at the beginning of that season. Starting the next five games after McNair went down with an injury in Week 1, O’Donnell completed 104 of 172 pass attempts for 1,209 yards and tossed eight touchdowns. The Titans went 4-1 in that five game stretch.  
  • Karl Klug – Drafted in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Klug made an immediate impact with the Titans. As a rookie, Klug recorded seven sacks, which lead all other rookie defensive tackles. His production continued throughout his seven years with the Titans, as he finished his career with 21.5 sacks, 30 tackles for loss, and 5 forced fumbles. Klug’s athleticism allowed him to play on several of the special team units.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Coach Lindland’s Weekly Report: Adam Coon


5PM: Heavyweight was interesting. It was encouraging for both athletes. Adam (Coon) really impressed with his par terre, virtually all of his points came from gutwrenches, so that was important. Then there was Cohlton Schultz, who in my opinion, actually had certain advantages on the feet. How did you see their two matches?

Coach Matt Lindland: For me, that was a very intriguing matchup, period. You had a Cadet World champ and a returning Junior World bronze medalist, someone who is fully dedicated to Greco-Roman wrestling, and then you had a guy who is just coming off of a World silver medal and who just won the Pan Am Championships by pinning everybody in his path. Two guys, one who is up and coming and the other who has proven himself on the international stage at the Senior level. So you look at that matchup and you say, Okay, I know what Adam Coon is going to do, he is going to bodylock you. But if you can stay out of that bodylock situation, maybe you have a chance to beat him. And if anybody in our country has a chance to beat him, it’s Cohlton Schultz. And who knows? He might only be a year away from doing that, but it wasn’t his day.

Adam Coon has made some incredible adjustments. He is a brilliant guy. You can listen to his interviews, he believes that he might have had an easy draw at the World Championships? Who knows? I don’t know if there is such a thing as an easy draw at the Worlds. He did have a good path, but he still had to wrestle those matches — and he went out and took those matches to his opponents in the same manner.
But he also realized that he needed to make some adjustments because people aren’t going to just let him bodylock. He started to work on some other skills on the feet but the most impressive thing he improved on is his par terre offense. He and his coaches from Michigan are doing an incredible job preparing him and getting him ready. I’ve only had one camp with Adam (this year) and we worked on that gutwrench for three practices. I didn’t get a chance to see him use it. He actually tried a few lifts at the Pan Ams so you can tell he’s trying to add some new skills to his repertoire. He is going to come into this World Championships as hungry as a guy who has never medaled because he feels like he has something to prove.
5PM: No one can say he had an easy draw unless they believed he was going to beat Eduard Popp from Germany, which I did not. If people have a brain, they would know that was a match he probably wasn’t supposed to win and then he dumped Popp and pinned him. 

ML: Yes, but I think that’s what makes him so hungry to keep making adjustments and improvements, changing up things, and adding. You know, he’s not making big, gross changes. Adam still has a build for a bodylock. He has those long, long arms and knows how to move his opponent, get their feet moving. He has four or five different attacks from the bodylock position, as well. He can twist, he can suplex, run guys over, break them down. He has many versatile attacks from there. But — he might not get to that bodylock this year because people are going to stay away from him, so he’s adding other scoring opportunities and I have some things in mind for camp that I want to share with him.

But I am really excited to have Adam Coon on our Team again this year. The fact that he wasn’t in Final X for freestyle allowed him to prepare superbly and he did an outstanding job. And so did Cohlton.
Personally, I didn’t know what to expect. There were people who were predicting hard one way and there were people predicting hard the other way. The majority of the average fans probably picked Adam because of his accolades in the NCAA. The hardcore Greco fans were really leaning more towards Man, I think Cohlton Schultz can take this guy. But the size was a huge factor and the strength was a huge factor. Coon said it himself, that Cohlton would have tech’ed the 18-year-old version of Adam (laughs). And I believe that to be true. But he’s not wrestling the 18-year-old version of Adam Coon, he is wrestling a returning silver medalist from the World Championships who is hungry to go out and get us another medal for the United States. So I am really excited about Adam’s prospects this year.

FCS 2019 PREVIEW: Howard Football Wants A Serious Bounce Back

Howard is previewed as part of our two-month "Three-a-Days" series previewing all 126 FCS teams and 13 conferences -- every single day.

Published on July 01, 2019 at 7:30 PM EDT

Updated on July 01, 2019 at 8:35 PM EDT

HERO Sports welcomes you to "Three-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 126 FCS​ programs, with three teams being released each day from June 17 to July 28. Then, we'll preview all 13 conferences from August 1-4. Today, we present ... Howard.

We'll leave no stone left unturned when it comes to giving the FCS diehards all they could ask for this offseason. Learn about every program in the country, with HERO Sports.

HOWARD (4-6 IN 2018)


COACH: Ron PrinceAt School: 1st year (0-0 record) Overall: 5th year (17-20)
2018 OFFENSE: 33.6 ppg (21st in FCS)
2018 DEFENSE: 34.1 ppg. (94th in FCS)
KEY GAME: Oct. 26 - @ North Carolina A&T: If Howard wants to jump back into the MEAC race, this is a game it will have to prove itself in. Last year and in 2017, they didn't play each other because of MEAC schedule rotation. Now, the Aggies are back on the schedule with a heap of curiosity out there about how the Bison -- behind uber-talented QB Caylin Newton -- will stack up.
SUM IT UP: Last year, Howard lost four games by less than a touchdown and is a hungry program because of its impressive 2017 season -- which produced seven wins and its first-ever FBS win (at UNLV) and nearly a second the next week (at Kent State). That 2017 team was young, so you have to think last year didn't sit well with the Bison program. Its players will be hungry to fix that​ this year and certainly has the weapons to make things happen. Losing head coach Mike London to William & Mary was a hit, but the school really did well with the hiring of Ron Prince, who has been an NFL assistant and the head coach at Kansas State. Prince returns to the FCS/I-AA level after a 19-year hiatus, as he was an assistant in the 1990s at James Madison, Cornell, S.C. State and Alabama A&M.
This offense is potent and is almost completely intact from last year. There's the Caylin Newton (yes, for the millionth time -- Cam's little brother) to Jequez Ezzard connection in the passing game to consider. Ezzard isn't the only skill player who can make plays, though he did average 26.6 yards per catch. If the O-line can find a couple of new studs up front, this offense will be just as good if not better than it was last year when it posted the 15th best total offense average in the FCS. Don't be surprised when the Bison hit the 40-point mark a bunch this fall. 
Defense is where the Bison really want to see serious improvement, especially against the run. Teams were able to grind down the defense and the turnover margin was statistically one of the worst in the FCS. Bottom line? Howard wasn't slowing anybody down last year and wasn't forcing turnovers, so that's something the team wants to remedy. There is talent here, for sure. Safety Tye Freeland held ACC scholarship offers and was the No. 4 overall rated FCS signee in the HERO Sports 2017 signing day rankings. He has played like a star from day one, and he and LB Marcellos Allison are solid cornerstones. If this unit could take a defense giving up 34.1 points per game to say, 25 points per game? Then this team is going to be competing for a MEAC championship.
OUR TAKE: This is a very strong program that made a great hiring decision with its new head coach. Last year was a head-scratching blip, but easily could have been an eight-win season. This year, the first two games (at Maryland, at Youngstown State) will not be easy, nor will the trip to Harvard in October. The Bison didn't back down from anybody with that non-conference schedule. But once Howard hits the meat of that MEAC schedule, it is going to win some ballgames. Look for a win-total around seven, maybe eight if the defense really turns it up a notch. That'll be the key to whether this is a .500 season or an eight-win season. 
TOP RETURNEE: Sr./WR Jequez Ezzard (HERO Sports Preseason All American - 26.6 yards per catch - 40 catches, 1064 yds, 12 TDs).
THE FOUNDATION: Jr./QB Caylin Newton (1st Team All MEAC - 2,629 yds passing, 22 TDs -- 504 yds rushing, 4 TDs); Jr./FS Tye Freeland (66 tackles, 8 PBUs, 2 INTs); Sr./WR Kyle Anthony (1st Team All MEAC - 53 catches, 659 yds, 6 TDs); Sr./LB Marcellos Allison (3rd Team All MEAC - 71 tackles led Howard last year); Sr./OL Phillip Flemming (returning starter); Soph./SS Jayson Robinson (48 tackles, 5 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles); Soph./LB Zamon Robinson (32 tackles, 9 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, 5 hurries); Soph./RB Dedrick Parson (706 yds rushing, 9 TDs - leading rusher in 2018). 
TOP NEWCOMER: Fr./DB Cassan Dixon (No. 118 rated FCS signee in the HERO Sports 2019 rankings -- reported an N.C State offer among others)
THE QUOTE: "We are looking forward to one of the most ambitious schedules in Howard University football program history. This schedule provides our program with a challenging inventory of traditional & non-traditional opponents. This level of national exposure is befitting of a top-tier institution like Howard University and its stakeholders. It also aids in our ambition to become the District of Columbia's college football team." -- Head Coach Ron Prince said during spring ball

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