Blake Bortles is a natural leader who has a team-first attitude.
He proved that last Saturday when he signed an extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars that is so team-friendly that you wonder why he agreed to it.
It is a good deal for Bortles only if he doesn’t have a good year.
The three-year, $54 million deal that could go up to $66.5 million with incentives has $26.5 million in guarantees. The fifth-year option would have cost the Jaguars $19 million. So for $7.5 million, the Jaguars now have him under contract for three years at an average of $18 million a year.
And it lowered his cap number this year to $10 million.
Continue reading “Bortles’ willingness to sign a bad deal (for him) is a head-scratcher”
The NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis has become a major media event that kicks off the offseason and has helped turn the NFL into a year round sport.
Most newspapers send reporters, the NFL Network will have 52 hours of programming and NFL Media is covering it with an army of 22 reporters.
Even fans now can apply for tickets to watch some workouts and even press conferences.
Not bad for an event that is largely a waste of time except for the media coverage the NFL gets out of it.
Most scouts would be better off staying home and watching film of the players actually playing football.
Continue reading “Continued rise of the useless NFL scouting combine still baffles”
College football’s recent National Letter of Intent Day has become a major media event.
The high school athletes hold press conferences for one of the most memorable days of their lives as they announce where they’re signing and the media grades the recruiting classes of the colleges.
But before the high school seniors head off to college, they and their parents should read a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Mike McIntire entitled, “Champions Way: Football, Florida and the Lost Soul of College Sports.’’
The book chronicles how many of the athletes are exploited, funneled into no-show classes and often leaving school without a degree or a future in pro football.
And the football program – supported by free-spending boosters — often seems bigger than the university.
Continue reading “Riveting new book further exposes the seedy underbelly of college football”
Is this the way a sports dynasty sometimes ends?
Not with a bang, but a whimper, a victim of too many self inflicted wounds.
We now wonder if this is where the New England Patriots are after their Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Are they the victims of too much hubris, too much believing “The Patriot Way” is infallible, too much believing in one man having all the answers?
Is The Patriot Way still the right way? Will they make another Super Bowl?
Continue reading “Is this the beginning of the end for the Patriots?”
With 16 seconds left in the famed Ice Bowl in 1967 and trailing the Dallas Cowboys by a field goal, the Green Bay Packers called their final timeout and Bart Starr went to the sidelines to talk to coach Vince Lombardi.
The two men weren’t wired, but Starr has retold the story of that conversation many times.
The Packers had failed on two runs to get in the end zone, and Starr told Lombardi the runners were slipping on the ice and he thought a better option was for him to run a quarterback sneak because he could get better footing.
Lombardi said something like, “Ok, let’s run it and get the hell out of here.’’
Behind blocks by Jerry Kramer and Ken Bowman (who never got the credit he should have on the play), Starr went under the Dallas lineman and scored the winning touchdown. Two weeks later, the Packers won their second Super Bowl and fifth NFL title.
Continue reading “Foles’ big moment evokes memories of Bart Starr’s iconic Ice Bowl play”