Our march to Tennessee was a triumphant one as we tasted victory against the invading gold miners in our last battle. Only if we would’ve known what these men they call Titans had planned for us. Our young officer, Capt. Brissett, lead our battalion with great leadership. But neither he nor I could have known that these men, these Titans, were nothing short of immortal. Like me, their General also has nagging battle wounds, but he led his Titans to victory. Their swords and shields are as much a part of them as their own beating hearts. I look forward to one day soon, rejoining my men in the trenches, and reclaiming our days of victory…
On a day where we honored our battalion’s retired Commander, Gen. Manning, our Vice President seemed to concede an early defeat by leaving the battle arena as he faced the crouching enemy. Today was bittersweet as I, once again, was not able to join my men in the trenches. But we were able to come away victorious against the invading gold miners of San Francisco. Now we depart these blood soaked fields to battle Titans from Tennessee. The journey will be short, but the fight will be long.
PHILADELPHIA — Usually they need time to marinate, slowly simmering in the weight room and meeting room.
That’s what rookies, for the most part, have done in the first two drafts with Eagles coach Chip Kelly in charge. There are some exceptions. Right tackle Lane Johnson comes to mind, but he was the fourth overall pick in 2013. Jordan Matthews was on the receiving end of nearly 900 yards last year after entering the league in the second round.
This year could be completely different.
There were rookies making plays all over the field during the Eagles’ 36-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
The team’s first three picks — receiver Nelson Agholor, cornerback Eric Rowe,and linebacker Jordan Hicks — flashed, their sixth-round pick, cornerback Randall Evans, recovered a fumble, and their seventh-round selection, 6-foot-9 defensive end Brian Mihalik, recorded the Eagles’ first sack. And don’t forget another sixth-round selection, JaCorey Shepherd, who was on track to be the starting slot cornerback until an ACL tear ended his season last week.
“The one thing you don’t know about a lot of those guys is what are they going to be like when you get them into a game,” said Kelly. “That’s the encouraging thing … Without seeing film, I felt a lot of guys stepped up and made plays. Eric Rowe with a fumble caused, did a great job stripping him. Nelson made big catch on our bench and on their bench turned it into a touchdown, then another catch, so we’re excited about those guys. It’s just one step for us, but we feel like we have a lot of good film to teach off of.”
Agholor turned a high, short throw from Mark Sanchez into a 34-yard touchdown that put the Eagles ahead to stay 7-3 with 3:27 left in the opening quarter. The first-round pick finished with three catches for 57 yards. Asked about the touchdown, all Agholor wanted to talk about was the two catches he didn’t make, including one that zipped right through his hands.
“First time I touched the ball was a dropped incompletion,” he said. “I had two hands on the ball, guy comes in and rakes it out, so at end of day, that’s on my mind more than the (touchdown).”
The team’s second-round pick, Rowe forced a fumble from Phillip Dorsett, the Colts’ first-round draft pick this year. Of course, there was some bad there, too. Rowe was beaten on deep over route by Dorsett.
“All I could do was run and catch up,” said Rowe. “When I saw him catch it — at practice we preach strip and get the ball out. I saw he was carrying the ball loose, I punched at it, but wrapped up and tried to get the tackle, too. Once I saw it come out, I was pretty pumped.”
As for Hicks, he made mistakes, too.
That’s what being a rookie is about.
Hicks missed a tackle on the Colts’ only TD of the day, a 9-yard run from Josh Robinson that made the score 26-10 with 7:08 to play in the third quarter. But there was the key block he made on what became a 92-yard punt return by Kenjon Barner with just four seconds left in the first half that sent the Birds into the locker room with a 23-3 lead.
With a crowded field of inside linebackers, it will be special teams where Hicks will learn to grow his game.
“We take a lot of pride coming in here,” said Hicks of the rookies. “This organization, coach Kelly’s done a great job getting guys here who care, who want to get better, who want to compete, who take practice seriously, who take getting better seriously. It’s the culture of this team. You come in here, you’re around his team for five minutes, you understand you’re around a group of guys who want to get better, who want to compete, who want to play for each other.”
Then there were the guys who weren’t even drafted this May but scooped up shortly afterward as free agents. Guys like tight end Eric Tomlinson and receiver Rasheed Bailey.
Tomlinson led the team in receiving, catching five passes for 61 yards and Bailey caught both passes thrown his way, one of which was a one-handed spear from Tim Tebow that went for 18 yards and bailed the team out of bad field position. Bailey’s two receptions covered 23 yards.
“The ultimate goal here is to win and win every week,” said veteran tight end Brent Celek, who added that he has been energized by this influx of youth. “When you have young guys that can contribute like that, it’s big. We still have a long way to go, but I love the attitude of not only these young kids but the whole team. It’s just a different attitude around here. I really hope it translates. At end of day we have to win games and I think we have the guys to do that. I’m excited. I know I’m getting older now, I’ve never been happier to be on a team than I am now.”
The thing that makes contributing as a rookie so difficult, at least in the opinion of nose tackle Beau Allen, who was one himself last year, is that there is very little break form the time the college season ends until the NFL season ramps up. Allen was one of only two drafted rookies from last year who made an impact on the field, with Matthews being the other.
“It’s a whirlwind for those guys because a lot of them have bowl games then all star games, the (scouting) combine, the pre-draft process, then OTAs and they get a couple weeks off before they’re in camp,” said Allen. “It’s just wild. They don’t get a lot of time off and that’s hard on the body.”
This year’s rookie crop seems to get it, and, right now, looks like several can come out sizzling from the start rather than slowly marinating.
Ed Kracz: 215-345-3069; email: email@example.com; Twitter: @kracze
Pat McAfee to Drive Pace Car for Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
May 08, 2015 | By IMS
This morning, Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee was announced on the Bob & Tom Show as the Pace Car driver of Saturday’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. To prepare for his role as driver of the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 on the IMS road course, he will get a tutorial Friday evening from two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk.
McAfee, Luyendyk and IMS president Doug Boles will be available for interviews at 7 p.m. Friday at the Yard of Bricks on the front straightaway.
“I’ve done some cool things around Indianapolis over the years but the opportunity to drive a Pace Car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has to be among the coolest,” Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee said. “But it’s a serious job too, and I’m lucky to have a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner as my coach. I can’t wait to hit the track and learn all those left and right turns.”
“The Angie’s List Grand Prix is an event that’s all about getting up close and personal with racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pat McAfee has long been an accessible fan favorite with the Colts, so I think we have a perfect match for Saturday afternoon’s race and look forward to seeing Pat lead the field to the green,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles said.
Our office has been conducting an investigation as to whether the footballs used in last Sunday’s
AFC Championship Game complied with the specifications that are set forth in the playing rules. The
investigation began based on information that suggested that the game balls used by the New
England Patriots were not properly inflated to levels required by the playing rules, specifically Playing
Rule 2, Section 1, which requires that the ball be inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per
square inch. Prior to the game, the game officials inspect the footballs to be used by each team and
confirm that this standard is satisfied, which was done before last Sunday’s game.
The investigation is being led jointly by NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash and Ted Wells of the
law firm of Paul Weiss. Mr. Wells and his firm bring additional expertise and a valuable independent
perspective. The investigation began promptly on Sunday night. Over the past several days, nearly
40 interviews have been conducted, including of Patriots personnel, game officials, and third parties
with relevant information and expertise. We have obtained and are continuing to obtain additional
information, including video and other electronic information and physical evidence. We have retained
Renaissance Associates, an investigatory firm with sophisticated forensic expertise to assist in
reviewing electronic and video information.
The playing rules are intended to protect the fairness and integrity of our games. We take seriously
claims that those rules have been violated and will fully investigate this matter without compromise or
delay. The investigation is ongoing, will be thorough and objective, and is being pursued
expeditiously. In the coming days, we expect to conduct numerous additional interviews, examine
video and other forensic evidence, as well as relevant physical evidence. While the evidence thus far
supports the conclusion that footballs that were under-inflated were used by the Patriots in the first
half, the footballs were properly inflated for the second half and confirmed at the conclusion of the
game to have remained properly inflated. The goals of the investigation will be to determine the
explanation for why footballs used in the game were not in compliance with the playing rules and
specifically whether any noncompliance was the result of deliberate action. We have not made any
judgments on these points and will not do so until we have concluded our investigation and
considered all of the relevant evidence.
Upon being advised of the investigation, the Patriots promptly pledged their full cooperation and have
made their personnel and other information available to us upon request. Our investigation will seek
information from any and all relevant sources and we expect full cooperation from other clubs as well.
As we develop more information and are in a position to reach conclusions, we will share them
During the 2013 draft, Colts fans thought, “We’ve got to pick offensive lineman, Luck needs protection.”, and when the Colts selected Donte Moncrief in the 3rd round. The reaction was poor, and most were confused by the pick. At the time we had great wide receiver depth. Why pick another one?
Indianapolis has always had a ‘Pick the best player available’ philosophy. It has of course always payed off. The Colts have always drafted very well. It looks like they did again with Moncrief.
Donte stands at 6’3″ and 220 pounds. So hes not a huge wide receiver, but is bigger than most of the Colts wideouts ( Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton). He clearly has the NFL speed, at 4.34. Interestingly enough, its the same 40 yard dash time that T.Y. Hilton recorded during the combine.
He proved his speed Sunday, and that he can beat slower DBs; with 2 long touchdowns of 48 and 79 yards. His total stats from Sunday game against the Redskins were; 134 yards, 3 receptions, and 2 touchdowns.
Moncrief could very quickly replace the struggling Hakeem Nicks as the number 3 receiver soon. Look for Donte to be getting more snaps and more targets in the coming weeks.
Colts Vs. Patriots. Manning Vs. Brady? Nope. This time its Andrew Luck, the leagues best young quarterback. Colts team with an explosive offense Vs. a Patriots team with a complete turnaround season.
After a 41-14 loss to Kansas City in week 4, the Patriots sat at 2-2; wondering what the future held. Could they still compete? Patriots future hall of hame quarterback Tom Brady went as far to say “I don’t think we’ve played well for a long time”. Since that statement the Patriots have been 5-0. That stretch be highlighted by a 43-21 win over the Denver Broncos.
As for the Colts they’ve been torching it all season long, besides bad 51-34 win against Pittsburgh; they’ve had a great season offensively, leading the league in yards per game (451.2), points per game (32.2) and passing yards per game (337.4). This will present some issues for a Darelle Revis led Patriots secondary.
The game deciding match ups will be receivers vs corners. T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne will face an impressive Patriots secondary with Darelle Revis and Brandon Browner. Vontae Davis and Greg Toler will face a less impressive Patriots receiving core led by Julian Edelman. This will be the deciding factor. Whoever can score more points through the pass game. Brady Vs. Luck. 2 fantastic passing quarterbacks with good receivers.
As for these defenses, the Patriots are banged up, missing Jerod Mayo and Chandler Jones. Although New England is 11th in the in total defense, but do allow 22.0 points per game. For Indianapolis they’ve been solid all season, but not wonderful. They are first in the league in 3rd down conversations allowed with a lowly 32, but are allowing opposing offenses to score 23,4 points per game.
In the past the Colts have taken a beating from Brady and the Pats. New England ended the Colts season last year in a 43-22 blowout, and Andrew Luck threw interceptions. However this year I think things will be different. The Colts are a different team, and have improved on both sides of the football; they’re going to cause problems for that Patriots defense. This game is going to come down to 4th quarter performances. Who wants it more? Who will outplay the other? We will see Sunday night, 8:30 on NBC.