Ricky

I could never understand why people like Ricky Williams. Some people think he is a free spirit who loved marijuana and never listen to authority figures. To be honest he had a gift and wasted it by getting into trouble with smoking marijuana that equals with being suspended by the NFL. He did rushed for over 10,000 yards over his NFL career, but his drug suspensions cost him a chance of being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Williams was the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner out of the University of Texas, and the New Orleans Saints traded the whole draft for him. In 2002, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins and had two straight 1,000 yard seasons. The problem I had is that Williams was suspended for the first four games of the 2004 season for a violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Williams decided to retire from the NFL instead of accepting his punishment and taking responsibility for his actions. I watched an interview he did with the Campus Insiders Bonnie Bernstein, and Williams said he would not go into the NFL Draft, but instead traveling around the world. Williams didn’t want to be defined by being just a football player. However, when you have responsibilities to your teammates, coaches, and to the organization that pays you a lot of money to play. You don’t quit on them to do your own thing. How many coaches would put with Williams antics in my view not many.

Happy Valley

Bill O’Brien left Penn State after two seasons to become the new head coach of the Houston Texans. He was frustrated by the small minority of supporters of the late coach Joe Paterno. The search is on for a new head coach, and the favorite is Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin. The only thing that is in Franklin’s past is several former Commodores were charged with rape and the investigation is still going on. Larry Johnson Sr who is the interim head coach, and was a part of the coaching staff for the past 18 seasons. Mike Munchak, who was fired from the Tennessee Titans as their head coach could get an interview. Also being considered is former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach and Penn State assistant Greg Schiano. The problem I have is that Tom Bradley was not considered. Bradley who played and was long time assistant coach, plus was the interim head coach when Paterno was fired three years ago. How come Bradley is not getting a shot, but Johnson is an opportunity to become the head coach. They both worked with Jerry Sandusky and that is a big mystery to me.

Wild Card Weekend

The Wild Card Playoffs were some of the most exciting games in a long time. The Kansas City VS Indianapolis game was Andrew Luck’s time to shine, and despite throwing for 3 interceptions he threw for 443 yards and 3 touchdowns. Luck led the Colts back from a 28 point deficit to beat the Chiefs 45 to 44. The Chiefs were hit by major injuries to key players such as Jamaal Charles. The Philadelphia VS New Orleans also went down to the wire. The Saints didn’t rely on Drew Brees, but Mark Ingram rushing for 97 yards and at touchdown. Their defense held LeSean McCoy to 77 yards and held Nick Foles to 195 yards passing and sacking him twice. Kicker Shayne Graham who was signed late in the season kicked 4 field goals, including the game winning 32 yard with :00 to give the Saints their first ever road playoff win 26 to 23 over the Eagles.

The biggest surprise was San Diego taking care of the Cincinnati Bengals 27 to 10. Philip Rivers had a steady performance, and the Chargers relied on the running game rushing for 196 yards and 2 touchdowns. Their defense forced 4 turnovers and sacked Andy Dalton twice. The San Francisco VS Green Bay game was down to the wire finish. Colin Kaepernick had a good day throwing the football for 237 yards, but made big plays running the ball for 98 yards. Michael Crabtree had 8 catches for 132 yards, and made two big catches on the 49ers final drive that led to Phil Dawson 32 yard field goal with no time on the clock to beat the Packers 23 to 20.

Next Week’s Divisional Playoff games: Saturday New Orleans VS Seattle at 4:35 P.M.
Indianapolis VS New England at 8:15 P.M.

Sunday San Francisco VS Carolina 1:00 P.M.
San Diego VS Denver 4:40 P.M

Bad Calls

During the Kansas City Chiefs vs San Diego Chargers game last Sunday there were two calls that bothered me a great deal. The first call was late in the 4th quarter when the Chiefs place kicker Ryan Succop was lining up for a 41 yard field goal, but he missed it. The Chargers had 7 men on the line of scrimmage the new rule that was instituted this season make that illegal. That should have been a 5 yard penalty and Succop should have been allowed to kick a 36 yard field goal.

In the overtime period, the Chargers Eric Weddle tried to get a first down on a fake punt. Weddle made the first down but he fumbled the ball and the Chiefs returned the fumble for the apparent winning touchdown. However, the referee ruled that forward progress was stopped beyond the first down marker, and possession of the ball appeared irrelevant as the play was blown dead. The NFL announced that those mistakes were made, but that was of little concern to the Steelers who would have been in the playoffs if the Chiefs would have won.

The NFL Playoffs are starting this Saturday afternoon,and the officials assigned to the games can’t afford to make any mistakes that could hurt any of the playoff teams who are trying to advance to the Super Bowl.

Steelers Review

The Steelers finished the 2013 season 8 and 8 and missed the playoffs due to a 0-4 start to the season. There are a few things they will have to be change to get back to the playoffs.

1. The offensive line has to get healthy. Injuries to Maurkice Pouncey and other starters caused the line not to get together until later on in the season. If the offensive line is healthy Le’Veon Bell will gain over 1,000 yards and Ben Roethlisberger will have the protection to throw the ball to his corps of receivers.

2. The Defense has to get younger and better. The Steelers have the oldest starting defense in the NFL, and some of the starters will not return. Brett Keisel, Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor, Lamar Woodley, and Troy Polamalu may not return due to contract issues or the Steelers going with younger starters. In Polamalu’s case he would have to return and take a lower salary.

3. Needs in the Draft. The Steelers needs a wide receiver to help out Antonio Brown, They need help in the cornerback, and a safety for help in the secondary. A linebacker to help out Jarvis Jones and blitz the quarterback. They could use depth in the offensive line or defensive line.

The NFL Playoffs

The NFL Playoffs start Saturday afternoon and this is what going to happen.

Colts Vs Chiefs
The Chiefs have a complete team, but Andrew Luck has the talent to overcome their defense to win a playoff game. Colts

Saints Vs Eagles
Drew Brees and the Saints are great in the Superdome, but they are different team outside. Chip Kelly has made the transition from college to the NFL. Nick Foles can throw the ball, and Leshawn McCoy can run the ball. The Eagles defense can stop Brees and the Saints lack of running game. Eagles

Bengals Vs Chargers
The Bengals have talent on both sides of the ball, and the Chargers will have a hard time winning in a cold weather stadium. Bengals

49ers Vs Packers
The 49ers have a great team on both sides of the ball. Even with an healthy Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy the Packers will have a tough winning even with the game be played at Lambeau Field. 49ers

Week 17 Vs Browns

The Steelers played a workman like game as they defeated the Cleveland Browns 20 to 7. Le’veon Bell rushed for 90 yard and a touchdown. Bell passed Franco Harris for the Steelers rookie record of the most yards from scrimmage. Ben Roethlisberger had an okay game going 19 for 31 for 179 yards and a 9 yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery. The main story was the defense having 3 sacks and 1 interception. The defense held the Browns to 79 total yards rushing and Jason Campbell to 240 yards passing. Shawn Suisham made 2 field goals and 2 extra points to finish the regular season with 28 out of 30 of his field goals made and being 38 out of 38 in extra points. The Steelers finished 8 and 8 and with the Ravens and Dolphins losing today, they still had a chance to make the playoffs after the 1 O’clock games, but the Chiefs let victory sail wide right as the Chargers clinched the 6th and final playoff spot with an overtime win.

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