Thursday, July 28, 2022

How Mel Tucker's Contract Changed College Football Landscape


Tuesday, July 26, 2022 - Dennis Dodd joins Tommy Tran to discuss how Mel Tucker's contract changed the college football landscape.


Reports on Riley Reiff: 'They need a guy like him'


July 27, 2022


League sources believe the Bears made a smart move by acquiring offensive tackle Riley Reiff earlier this week. According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, one personnel director believes the Bears struck gold with Reiff. 

“They need a guy like Reiff,” one personnel director said via text message to Biggs. “He’s a hard a-s and will be good in the locker room.”

The source also mentioned several teams were interested in Reiff, yet the Bears were able to snag him. 

Head coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles believe in bringing in competition to work against the other guys on the roster. No one can blame them. 

The offensive line before Reiff and Michael Schofield joined the team this week was a disaster. Larry Borom seems to be a ready fit as a starting tackle. Yet, Teven Jenkins, Braxton Jones and Sam Mustipher are all major question marks. 

Now, with Schofield and Reiff in the mix, the two are expected to start on the line along with Lucas Patrick, Cody Whitehair and Borom. That's a good enough offensive line that can help Justin Fields develop his game as the rebuild continues. 

The Bears will still have work to do come next March. Schofield and Reiff are each on one-year deals and both are on the wrong side of 30 years old. That being said, their deals are low-value, with Schofield competing with a base salary of $1.2 million and Reiff with $3 million (despite having the potential to make up to $12.5 million). 

In the mean time, the two bonafide veterans will be able to teach the younger offensive linemen while they wait their turn. Poles and the front office selected four offensive linemen in the 2022 NFL draft.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Chicago Bears sign OL Riley Reiff


July 26, 2022



The Chicago Bears have signed free agent offensive tackle Riley Reiff, general manager Ryan Poles said Tuesday.


The deal is for one year and worth up to $12.5 million, with $10 million likely to be earned, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.


A 10-year veteran, Reiff spent last season with the Cincinnati Bengals after a four-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings.


Reiff was a first-round selection of the Detroit Lions in 2012 and played five years for Detroit.


The move comes less than a week after Bears guard Dakota Dozier underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, sources told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Mitchell Schwartz, former second-round pick of the Browns, announces retirement


Updated: Jul. 15, 2022, 6:16 p.m. | Published: Jul. 15, 2022, 3:12 p.m.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (71) drops back to pass against the San Francisco 49ers.AP

By Scott Patsko,


CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Mitchell Schwartz, a 2012 second-round draft pick of the Browns and a four-year mainstay at right tackle for the team, announced his retirement on Thursday. Schwartz noted that he has dealt with a back injury for two years.


Schwartz started every game at right tackle for the Browns from 2012-15, but is often remembered by Browns fans for the way his time in Cleveland ended.


As free agency approached in 2016, the Browns made a contract offer to Schwartz, but the right tackle decided to test free agency. When Schwartz didn’t see offers he liked in free agency, he returned to the Browns, but the original offer no longer stood, according to a source at the time.


Schwartz ended up signing with the Chiefs, where he played for five seasons, was named a first-team All-Pro in 2018 and won a Super Bowl.


In his retirement message posted in social media, Schwartz noted his beginnings in Cleveland.


He thanked the Browns and former GM Tom Heckert “for drafting me and giving me my start. George Warhop, my first OL Coach, for believing in me and developing me through the early bumps and struggles, and for teaching me the vertical set (and the 3 step short set) that became my trademark pass set and allowed me to thrive,” Schwartz wrote.


Schwartz, who didn’t miss a game until the 2020 season, was a three-time second-team All-Pro.


Mike Furrey is the reason Darnell Mooney was drafted by the Bears


Brendan Sugrue 

In the lead-up to the NFL draft, there are scouts, coaches, and other front office personnel pounding their fists on the table for one player or another from colleges around the country.

Ultimately, the general manager has final say over who the team winds up choosing when they are on the clock, but behind that decision is conviction from any number of the front office or coaching staff who believe they found the next great NFL player.

In the case of Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney, it was his former position coach that pushed hard for general manager Ryan Pace to draft him two years ago.

Mooney was drafted by the Bears in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft. Coming out of Tulane, Mooney had success in college, but was viewed as a backup receiver and wasn’t expected to make a significant impact for multiple reasons. But Mooney burst onto the scene in a hurry and became the team’s WR2 his rookie year. He took even more strides last season to cement himself as the unquestioned WR1 now heading into his third season. None of it would have happened if not for former wide receivers coach Mike Furrey.

In a piece written by Dan Pompei in The Athletic that details Mooney’s hard-working attitude and relentlessness to be great, one nugget stood out about the process in drafting the 24-year old receiver. According to Pompei, Furrey was doing homework on the receivers coming out of the 2020 NFL Draft and paused when he got to Mooney. Furrey was enamored with him as a prospect and even compared him to Hall of Fame wide receiver and former teammate Issac Bruce when it came to his mindset.

“His desire and passion are rare,” Furrey told Pompei.

Furrey was the Bears wide receivers coach under Matt Nagy from 2018-21, his first coaching stint at the professional level. He was previously a wide receiver in both the arena football league and NFL and coached in college, where he is again after being let go from the Bears earlier this winter. Towards the end of his Bears tenure, Furrey became an easy target for fans given the lack of development of many of his receivers, but willingness to fight opposing defenders. He was known for hyping players up on the sideline more than anything.

Furrey won’t be on anyone’s list for favorite Bears position coaches anytime soon, but he seemed to have an eye for talent. Without him, Mooney would be producing with another team instead and if his workouts this season are any indication, he’s on the cusp of greatness.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Mel Tucker heads to Alabama as part of Big Ten educational trip on Selma and Montgomery


Head Coach Mel Tucker returns an autographed football to a fan during Michigan State University’s spring football practice at Spartan Stadium on Saturday, April 16, 2022 (Jenifer Veloso | Veloso

By Matt Wenzel |

Michigan State football will be well represented on an educational trip to Alabama about the civil rights movement.

Coach Mel Tucker, wide receiver Tre Mosley, offensive tackle Spencer Brown and tight end Maliq Carr are part of a group from the university taking part this weekend in the Big Life Series: Selma to Montgomery, it was announced Wednesday. Michigan State chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer Dr. Ashley Baker and women’s track and field standout Brooke Bogan will also represent the university on the trip.

The Big Life Series: Selma to Montgomery, was announced by the Big Ten during Black History Month this year as an action of the conference’s equality coalition. The conference will send a group of 100 athletes, coaches, administrators and staff on a trip that will also include representatives from the Pac-12 and ACC.

“We established the Big Life Series to help further prepare our student-athletes to impact the world beyond their athletic careers,” Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said in a press release. “Our trip to Selma and Montgomery is a first in a series of trips that our student-athletes, administrators, and members of the Big Ten Equality Coalition will take to inspire a meaningful dialogue about racial, social, religious, and cultural injustices in our nation. Big Life Series: Selma to Montgomery will empower our Big Ten Conference family to use their voices to drive change in their respective communities.”

The Selma to Montgomery marches, led by Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1965, were organized to fight for voting rights and the 54-mile route in 1996 was established as the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. Nonviolent marchers were stopped and beaten by law enforcement while crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965, in what became known at Bloody Sunday.

“This is an incredible opportunity to provide our Spartan student-athletes with an in-person learning experience in one of the most iconic historical sites of the Civil Rights Movement,” Baker said in a press release. “My hope is that we are able to embrace the learning, reflect on the experience, and return to our campus inspired to continue the push for change in our local community and beyond.”

The trip starts Friday night in Montgomery with viewing of the documentary series “Eyes on the Prize,” and a keynote speech from Sheyann Webb-Christburg, author and eyewitness of Bloody Sunday. On Saturday, the group will head to the First Baptist Church in Selma where students began the march to Montgomery.

Participants will march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge before returning to Montgomery to tour a variety of locations, including the Civil Rights Memorial Center, the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the Equal Justice Initiative Legacy Museum: From enslavement to mass incarceration, and the Interpretive Center at Alabama State University. Those on the trip will spend Saturday night listening to EJI Legacy Museum founder and social justice lawyer Bryan Stevenson before breaking off into groups to discuss their experiences. Those smaller sessions will be led by university diversity, equity and inclusion directors.

“I am so happy to be given the opportunity to go to Selma,” Bogan said in a press release. “I believe that going to see things such as the Edmund Pettus Bridge will really shine light on a new perspective for me. It’s one thing to learn about events and another to really be in the environment where said events actually happened. I’m excited for the knowledge and further understanding I’ll gain from this trip.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Buccaneers drafted Ko Kieft to be Ko Kieft, and that’s perfect


by Brandon Thornton | July 12, 2022


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Ko Kieft for his strength in blocking. All the Buccaneers need is for him to excel at what he does best, and that is ok.

With Rob Gronkowski now retired (for real this time, we think) Cameron Brate is the penciled-in starter at tight end for the Bucs as of this writing. While this writer is perhaps admittedly a bigger fan than most when it comes to Brate thanks to his durability and availability coupled with his underrated ability as a receiver, it’s no secret that his blocking has left much to be desired.

Behind Brate are two rookies. The Buccaneers’ fourth-round pick Cade Otton out of the University of Washington, a school that’s become a factory of sorts for the Bucs in recent years, is getting the most pub due to his Gronk-like run-after-catch skills and being a natural receiver. He is also a pretty good blocker in his own right. Obviously this isn’t saying Otton will be Gronk, but the similarities are there from a skillset perspective.

With these two tight ends getting the glamour work with Tom Brady, another rookie will do the dirty work.

The Bucs also drafted tight end Ko Kieft Kieft out of Minnesota in the sixth round. Kieft is an absolute bowling ball of a tight end. He stands at 6’5″ and tips the scales at 265 pounds and is a throwback in every sense of the word.

Kieft’s biggest strength is his blocking. He’s been called a blocking specialist leading up to the draft, so it’s easy to see why the Buccaneers made him the second tight end they drafted. As it stands, it looks like Kieft can fill out the “Luke Stocker role” while Otton and Brate handle the majority of the receiving work, but that’s not to say Kieft isn’t a capable receiver when called upon either.

With new head coach Todd Bowles stating the Bucs will be running the ball more, and Byron Leftwich and Brady on board, Kieft’s skills as a blocker could pay off in dividends for Tampa Bay.

Now sure, it’s entirely plausible that Kieft could be on the outside-looking-in for the final 53-man roster, especially with the Bucs potentially shopping for another veteran at the position, but if they go to battle with these three tight ends, they’re in far from rough shape.

While a veteran with limited starting experience and two rookies may not seem ideal on the surface, with Brady anything is a possible, and it’s a tight end room makeup he’s found success with in the past anyway.

Ko Kieft may not be the dangerous receiving threat other tight ends are, but he doesn’t need to be. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted him to be himself, and his skillset is exactly what they needed, whether it’s at the forefront of people’s minds or not.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Ranking the 5 most important Giants free agent signings of the offseason


by Zak Musso | July 11, 2022

It’s July, which means training camp is going to get here before you know it. With the offseason rapping up, it is time to revisit just how wild the last six months have been in New York for the NY Giants.

After starting the season 4-7 a year ago, the Giants had an embarrassing stretch of incomprehensibly bad football, losing six straight games to end the season, culminating with Joe Judge having so little trust in the offense in Week 18, that he called a kneel down on third down from their own two yard line in the second quarter.

The late season debacle led to the firing of Judge and the forced retirement of the dreadful Dave Gettleman. The Giants decided to replace them by traveling to western New York, snagging the two top lieutenants of the Buffalo Bills, Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll. The Giants made countless roster changes, which includes the mass exodus of many veteran Giants players like Logan Ryan, Evan Engram and James Bradberry. It is clear the Giants roster got significantly younger, adding 11 players in the draft, all with a legitimate path to playing time in their first season.

In his first free agency class as the lead decision maker of the Giants, Schoen was not able to do much, as the Giants were in salary cap hell thanks to Gettleman’s incompetent resource management skills. Schoen did the best with the little he had to work with, and went out and added three impact players through free agency, while also adding multiple veterans to be mentors to the young roster. Here are the top 5 Giants free agent signings this offseason.

5. LS Casey Kreiter

While Kreiter is by no means a household name, re-signing him to a one year, $1.12 million contract was a no brainer for the Giants. Kreiter plays one of the more underrated positions in the NFL, long snapper, where he was a Pro Bowler in 2018 with the Denver Broncos.

Over the last two seasons, the Giants have had the worst offensive production in the NFL, so Kreiter has spent plenty of time on the field.

Kreiter has helped Giants kicker Graham Gano nail 60 of his 65 field goal attempts the last two seasons, good for a 92.3 make percentage. With about half of NFL games being decided by one score or less, every point matters.

Having a reliable long snapper with a Pro Bowl perigee is essential for any team with winning aspirations.

4. RB Matt Breida

The Giants desperately needed a veteran to back up Saquon Barkley at the running back position, and Breida is a fine choice. In his five year NFL career, Breida has rushed for 2,281 yards on 466 attempts and seven touchdowns, while catching 83 passes for 729 yards and six touchdowns. Breida averages 4.9 yards per rush attempt, which is surprisingly better than Barkley’s career 4.5 yard average.

The big difference between Breida and many veteran running backs is his electric game changing speed. His ability to catch passes out of the backfield perfectly fits Daboll and Mike Kafka’s offense, and makes him an ideal third down back if they elect to take Barkley, who is a great receiving back as well, off the field.

By playing for Daboll in Buffalo a season ago, Breida should know the offense well, potentially earning him more time on the field than if elected to sign elsewhere.

3. OL Jon Feliciano

Jon Feliciano joins a long line of Buffalo Bills players and coaches that departed this offseason to join the new look Giants. After being an important guard for Buffalo the last two seasons, Feliciano will be the Giants starting center this season, helping to anchor an offensive line that will likely feature four new starters.

Feliciano is a 6-4, 325-pound mauler who new Giants offensive line coach Bobby Johnson described as a “dirtbag,” but in a positive way. The Giants could use some physical nasty linemen, and Feliciano is the perfect choice for that.

The aforementioned Johnson was the offensive line coach in Buffalo last season. Feliciano’s familiarity with Johnson’s line sets and Daboll’s offense makes him the perfect choice to play the center position. His knowledge of the offense should help the rest of the offense get up to speed quicker, and help him develop the necessary center-quarterback chemistry with Daniel Jones.

2. Tyrod Taylor

The Giants signed Tyrod Taylor to a two-year, $17 million deal earlier this offseason. When Daniel Jones got hurt last season, the Giants offense was incapable of functioning with Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm at the quarterback position. Giants fans are well aware that if you do not have competent quarterback play, you have no chance of winning.

Tyrod Taylor is the best backup quarterback in all of football, and he is better than about five to 10 current starting quarterbacks. Taylor has thrown for 10,736 yards in his career with 59 touchdowns, while rushing for 2,001 yards, so he will be more than ready if called upon.

His playing style is similar to Jones, as both have big arms and tons of athleticism they utilize. Having similar qualities to the starting quarterback is a big asset, because the offense will not change if Jones goes down this year due to injury, like he has in parts of his first three seasons.

1. Mark Glowinski

Mark Glowinski is by far the most important free agent signing for the Giants this offseason. Glowinski, an offensive guard with Indianapolis last season, combined with All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson to form one of the best duos in the football .

Jordan Raanan, the Giants beat reporter for ESPN, perfectly illustrated what the Giants are getting in Glowinski.

“The Giants seem to be adding a dependable veteran who is an upgrade from what they had last season with Will Hernandez and Matt Skura. Glowinski hasn’t missed a game in three seasons. In 2021, he finished 34th in pass block win rate, one spot ahead of Hernandez. But he was 11th in run block win rate, light years ahead of any Giants guard. Pro Football Focus had him ranked 21st among guards. No Giant was in the Top 50. So, clearly, by any metric, Glowinski is an upgrade. This is what constitutes a significant signing for the Giants this offseason.”

While Glowinski’s ceiling may never be a Pro Bowl caliber player, he is significantly better than any other guard on the roster, and given the cap room Schoen was left with, signing Glowinski may turn out to be a steal.

Glowinski, Andrew Thomas, Jon Feliciano, and Evan Neal are four locks to start on the offensive line this season, forming what should be the Giants best offensive line of the last decade. The Giants goal for this season is ultimately to learn whether or not Jones is their franchise quarterback and signing Glowinski to help form a competent offensive line should finally give Jones time to show whether or not he is the future.


Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Davis Mills: Pep Hamilton brings out the best in quarterbacks


Posted by Charean Williams on July 4, 2022, 11:11 PM EDT


The Texans believe in Davis Mills. Or they at least have seen enough to want to see more of him this season.

The Texans didn’t sign a veteran to compete with Mills for the starting job, and they didn’t draft one. The way Mills played as a rookie won him a chance in 2022 to see if he is the team’s franchise quarterback.

Mills, 23, has a better roster around him this season.

He also now has Pep Hamilton as his offensive coordinator.

“I mean, he’s just a great coach all together,” Mills told John Hunter Crumpler of USA Today on Saturday. “He’s been in the position and done it at a high level for a long time and been around some great quarterbacks and helped them become great quarterbacks. He played quarterback himself and will still come out and sling the ball around at practice to show us what needs to be done.”

Mills played at Stanford. Hamilton worked with another former Stanford quarterback in 2014 with the Colts as Andrew Luck passed for a career-high 40 touchdowns and led the team to the AFC Championship Game.

“He wants the best out of us and we push him as well to give us his best everyday,” Mills said. “We’re all pretty tight in the QB room, and we’re excited to see what’s next this year.”


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