RG3: Compare me to Aaron Rodgers

Robert GriffinGiven the precocious play of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, which mirrors the precocious play of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton a year ago, the comparisons are natural this week since they play each other.

But setting aside the lazy and frankly insulting implication that they’re similar, based on one obvious factor (not Heisman Trophies), Griffin said he’s aiming a little higher.

“I’d rather be compared to an Aaron Rodgers or a guy like that,” Griffin said, via Rich Campbell of the Washington Times, “someone who has won Super Bowls.”

While it’s easy to perceive that as a slam on Newton, it’s more about Griffin’s own goals. He’s exceeded every expectation this season, but the struggles of Newton make him mindful that he needs to keep working.

Newton called the season “humbling,” and Griffin said he doesn’t want to have the same thing happen.

“You try to appreciate everything and try not to weigh too much on your personal success so that you don’t have to be humbled,” Griffin said. “I don’t want to ever need to be humbled because I always appreciate things and make sure I continue to forward and try to do better.” Read more…

Violating injury report will cost teams draft picks

Mario WilliamsWith thee teams being fined $20,000 each in recent weeks for failing to disclose injuries in compliance with league rules, the penalty for the first offense isn’t much more than, given the value of NFL franchises, a parking ticket.

If teams become repeat offenders, however, the price will go up.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT that, if the Bills (as to defensive end Mario Williams), Redskins (as to quarterback Robert Griffin III), or Ravens (as to safety Ed Reed) commit further violations, the fines will increase.  Aiello also didn’t rule out the possibility of draft picks being stripped.

Aiello called it “unlikely,” but “multiple offenses of a very serious nature” could result in a team losing draft picks.

In the end, only the threat of lost draft picks will prompt teams to completely comply with the rules.  Fines will be viewed simply as a cost of doing business the way the teams want to do business — especially when the January 2012 comments from former Saints defensive coordinator Greg Williams make clear the fact that teams will target injured players for further injury. Read more…

NFL to investigate RG3’s injury

Robert Griffin III went to the locker room during Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons to take concussion tests. So how did the Washington Redskins announce his injury?

They officially said their rookie quarterback was “shaken up” and questionable to return to the game. They never updated his status. That characterization could land the Redskins in hot water.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed to NFL.com and NFL Network that the league is looking into if the Redskins followed league rules that require teams be accurate and timely in reporting injury information.
We also have an issue with how Redskins coach Mike Shanahan characterized Griffin’s injury after the game.
“When he really wasn’t sure what quarter it was, what score it was, we knew he had a mild concussion, at least according to the doctors,” Shanahan said. “(He) feels good right now, a lot better right now. But that was the situation why he didn’t go back into the game.” Read more…

Did the Rams play dirty against the Redskins?

Robert GriffinIf you ask James Laurinaitis, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, or Cortland Finnegan odds are they will say they were just playing football.

According to the Redskins quarterback these players were playing “unprofessional” and “dirty.”

“I don’t want to tip-toe the lines of anything that’s happened with bounties or anything like that, but they were definitely going after me,” Griffin told reporters. “They made it a point, obviously, all week to hit me. Some of the shots were cheap of that nature.”

Griffin said that when he played in St. Louis on Sunday, he thought the Rams were going far beyond what’s acceptable on a football field, not just playing physical football but playing dirty football.

“They were doing a lot of dirty things,” Griffin said. “I still think they have an extremely good team. That doesn’t take anything away from them. But the game was unprofessional. Who am I to talk? I’ve barely been a pro for very long, but from what I experienced against the Saints to that game, it was definitely unprofessional, and it does need to be cleaned up.”
Griffin said the Rams were telling him they were going to target him, and he said he’s fine with that. But he thought they were targeting him with shots that should have drawn penalty flags.
“They made it a point, obviously all week, to hit me,” he said. “Some of the shots were cheap and of that nature. It’s nothing I could control.
“Teams are going to try to hit me because they don’t think I can take a hit. I think I proved that over my career that I can, so it’s football. I remember one play, after the play, the guy said: ‘We’re going to hit you every play.’ I said, ‘Isn’t this football?’ It’s nothing that I’m not used to. It was extremely weird the way they went about it, though.” Read more…

Fantasy Football Week 2 waiver wire pickups

Alfred Morris

Source: Patrick McDermott

It was great having football back last weekend! Drafts are over and the craziness that was Week 1 is now in the books. Now comes the hard part. Deciding which of the several breakout stars of Week 1 to grab or just leave alone. However, the pickups made before Week 2 are usually the most important for grabbing potential studs. Study carefully and consider some of these choices we’ve made for you:

1. Alfred Morris-RB- Washington Redskins- No surprise with this pickup as he made fantasy headlines with his breakout week 1 performance vs the Saints. He compiled 96 yards and 2 touchdowns, singling himself as the new starting back in Washington. With his 28 carries it is no secret that Morris will be the main go-to-back and, at worst, will end up at least as a RB2 with many of the goal line carries going his way. To say this is a Must Add would be an understatement!  Just remember as long as Mike Shanahan is the coach there will be some mystery attached to any back on his team. Of course with the Rams on tap in week 2, Morris is an absolute start should you be lucky enough to get him.

2. Kevin Ogletree-WR-Dallas Cowboys- Over 180,000 owners snatched up the wideout within 24 hours of his season début on Wednesday night vs the Giants. Over 2 million have grabbed the upstart WR in the 3 days that followed. If he’s still a part of your waiver wire, you can feel free to pick him up but temper your expectations as there are other weapons on the Cowboys (Miles Austin, Jason Witten) who, if they were playing at 100% last Wednesday and against a team with a viable healthy secondary, Ogletree doesn’t have the game of his life. If you have bench room, go ahead and get him. If not there are other WR’s available with a bigger upside. Read more…

Top first-year starting quarterbacks in 2012

Where do Andrew Luck and RGIII Rank on My Top 1st Year Quarterbacks?

Aaron Rodgers? Tom Brady? Drew Brees? Who cares about them? We know what we have in them, but if you’re like me, you care about the future.  With potentially 10 starting quarterbacks coming out of the past two draft classes, and now with six as new starters this year, who will do the best this year.  I know that’s a burning question to all of my dozen loyal readers, but you came to the right place.

1. Jake Locker – Tennessee Titans.  Locker was named the starting quarterback of the Titans earlier in the week, taking over for incumbent 37 year-old Matt Hasselbeck.  Locker has shown flashes of big play ability with his strong-arm and his legs, but accuracy has been his main problem.  After mostly sitting for a year, it is Locker’s time to show if he was worth of the #8 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.  What he does have going for him, other than said arm and legs, is a strong receiver corp highlighted by the troubled Kenny Britt — who will serve a short suspension and is coming back from knee injury — 1st round pick and RGIII’s #1 target at Baylor, Kendall Wright, and an up-and-down tight end in Jared Cook.  If Chris Johnson can rebound off a terrible 2011, Locker will have weapons all around him in a weak division that plays the Jaguars and Colts twice each.

2. Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins.  Known to many by RGIII, the #2 pick in this years draft, he has a lot of talent around him and a playoff caliber defense to help him through his rookie struggles.  Last year’s Heisman winner, now has Mike Shanahan, former coach of Hall-of-Famer John Elway, to guide him through his career, and upgrades at wide receiver with the signing of the speedy Pierre Garcon, the reliable Joshua Morgan (former 49er) and an improving Fred Davis at tight end.  You can’t forget that in Shanahan’s offense he could put me at running back and I could gain 1,000 yards — a solid run game is huge for any young starting quarterback. The only reason I don’t have RGIII as my top 1st year starter?  The schedule.  The NFC East goes three deep, maybe four depending on how good RGIII really is, and having to play the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Philadelphia Eagles six times a year makes this division one of the deepest, if not the deepest, in the NFL. Read more…

Top offensive NFC rookie prospects for 2012

The NFC is home to some of the NFL’s most explosive offenses, including the Packers and Saints. With the league being so geared towards passing attacks, it’s no surprise that the teams drafting early looked to quarterbacks and wide receivers to try to narrow the gap between their teams and the established offenses in the conference. Two of the top prospects were taken in the first five overall picks, and it didn’t take long for the third to fall off the draft board, either.

1. Robert Griffin III, Redskins QB
There were no surprises here, as Washington gave up a king’s ransom to move up to number two and draft either RG3 or Andrew Luck. With Luck off the board, the Redskins were more than happy to take RG3 and make him their QB of the future. In an organization that has run through a laundry list of quarterbacks in recent years, Redskins fans are confident that their team has finally solved that part of the equation.

As far as ability goes, there are few questions about what Griffin can do. The Heisman winner has an NFL arm and pairs that with the mobility to evade nearly any NFL defender. He will have to adjust to playing in an NFL-style offense, but many recognize that Griffin is an intelligent player who should be able to adapt over time. Read more here…

Fred Davis representing himself in bizarre lawsuit

Fred DavisThe latest piece of legal news relates to a fascinating case that somehow has remained off the radar screen for more than a year.

Redskins tight end Fred Davis was sued in early 2011 by Makini Chaka, a 33-year-old self-described “celebrity broker,” who says she organizes parties for famous people.  Luke Mullins of the Washingtonian tells the story of the litigation and its various twists and turns, including the fact that Davis has been acting as his own lawyer.
And it shows.
“It’s just all made up and flagellant,” Davis told the judge during an April 10 hearing.

Chaka, who also is representing herself, claims Davis dumped juice on her head and busted her lip at a D.C. nightclub.  She also has accused Davis in court documents of assaulting, harassing, and threatening to kill her.  Chaka obtained a temporary restraining order in January 2011, which she has since claimed Davis violated. Read more here…

NFL players to watch: Running back

Shonn Greene - Buffalo Bills v New York Jets

As the 2012 season approaches optimism is in the air no matter what team you are pulling for, heck even the Dolphins said they should win the AFC this year!  So as we look forward to this season, I am going to share a short list of players that will be better in 2012.

This week we cover the Running Backs!

Shonn Greene, New York Jets – Generally speaking, Greene has been a bit of a disappointment in the fantasy football world the past two seasons.  With that being said, last season was a significant improvement for the stocky back.  The Jets are expected to return to a heavy ground and pound offense under direction of new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.  Add into the equation that Tim Tebow will see snaps in every game, even if it is only in the wildcat (which I highly doubt).  Despite Tebow stealing carries from Greene, this should cause defenses fits and should help Greene out significantly.  Greene has also showed that he is improved in the passing game, so he is not going to come off the field much.  This offense could help Greene put up close to 1,500 all purpose yards.

Roy Helu, Washington Redskins – The Shanahans were extremely frustrating to fantasy owners last year with their handling of the running backs in Washington.  However Helu’s ability is hard to ignore.  The second year back out of Nebraska showed flashes of being a franchise back, compiling 640 rushing yards and 379 receiving yards in sporadic playing time.  This season, if Helu can remain on the field, he should have a highly productive season.  Robert Griffin III and the Shanahan boot game will prevent defenses from over committing, making the stretch game deadly.  A healthy Helu could easily topple the 1,500 all purpose yards mark, and in PPR formats he will be a beast. Read more here…

Griffin is blowing the Redskins away with his arm strength

Robert Griffin III Pic

Robert Griffin III may be known to many for his elusive skills to avoid a rush inside the pocket, but for the Washington Redskins they are blown away by his arm strength.
The Washington Redskins have held nine days of offseason practice so far — a three-day rookie camp and six OTAs — so they’ve gotten a chance to formulate early impressions of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. While Griffin has a reputation is some circles as a running quarterback, Les Carpenter of Yahoo! Sports suggests it is instead Griffin’s arm strength generating the most buzz around club headquarters.
Per Carpenter, members of the Redskins’ organization have nicknamed Griffin’s arm strength, simply, “The Arm.”
“It’s more of running to your left and flicking your wrist and throwing the ball 70 yards,” described backup quarterback Rex Grossman, comparing Griffin’s arm action to Michael Vick’s. “His arm almost comes off like a whip.”
Redskins tight end Logan Paulsen says Griffin’s throws are made on a beeline because they “come so hard they don’t have time to rise or fall.” Read more here…

NFL Draft 1st round recap: 6.0

Justin BlackmonRounding out our NFL Draft analyses, here is our 6th and final recap of the 1st round draft picks of the 2012 NFL Draft, as we analyze the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, and Indianapolis Colts top draft choices.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars-WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State

With the addition of Blackmon (81), if Gabbert can’t make an improvement from a disastrous rookie season, the Jags may be looking at a quarterback in 2013

Acquired the rights from TB

With the 5th overall draft choice in the NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars traded up from the 7th overall pick to grab quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s future, top receiving target, 2-time Biletnikoff Award winner Justin Blackmon.

At Oklahoma State last season, Blackmon caught 121 passes for 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns for the 2011 Fiesta Bowl Champion Cowboys. Only the 2nd Biletnikoff Award winner ever in college football, Blackmon has solid wide receiver size (6’1, 215) and should certainly help bolster an extremely weak Jacksonville passing offense.

After releasing veteran quarterback David Garrard in favor of Gabbert, the Jaguars finished with the NFL’s worst total offense (259.3 yards per game), worst passing offense (136.2 yards per game), compiled the 2nd-worst completion percentage (51.2%), the worst average yards per pass attempt (5.4), the 2nd-lowest total passing touchdowns (12), and compiled the NFL’s worst passer rating (62.2).  Read more here…

Heisman quarterbacks don’t always work out in the NFL

This is a journey into the deep dark abyss of college quarterbacks who dominated Saturdays but failed when it came to Sunday in the NFL.  Over the past 12 seasons, ten college quarterbacks have won the Heisman trophy, including Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow,  Matt Leinart, and RGIII.

Winning is an honor that recognizes an athlete as the best of the best as related to college football.  Unfortunately this coveted collegiate prize has been somewhat of a curse for quarterbacks; a stigma that says you’re the best in college but not good enough for the NFL.  Since 2000, of the nine quarterback Heisman winners, all have gone on to have some interaction with the NFL. Unfortunately for Cam Newton, their track records aren’t in his favor, or are they?  Let’s take a look, and you decide.

#9 –  2000 Heisman Trophy winner, Chris Weinke, Florida State

Weinke Spent seven years in the NFL from 2000-2007 with the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers.  His career statistics were 15 TD, 26 interceptions, 3,904 passing yards, and a 62.2 passer rating.  For his lack of contributions in the NFL, Chris Weinke was a BUST!

#8 – 2001 Heisman Trophy winner, Eric Crouch, Nebraska 

Coming out of college at 5’11 it was thought that Crouch was too small to play NFL quarterback.  He was originally drafted by the St Louis Rams as a wide receiver where during his one season with the team he racked up a whopping zero receptions.  In 2005 Crouch attempted a comeback signing with the Kansas City Chiefs but was sent to NFL Europe where he played safety.  Eric Crouch was a BUST!

#7 – 2002 Heisman Trophy winner, Carson Palmer, USC

To date, Carson Palmer has spent eight seasons in the NFL with the Bengals and a few games with the Oakland Raiders. He has thrown for over 22,000 yards, 154 touchdowns with an 86.9 passer rating.  He is the only Bengals quarterback to pass for over 4000 yards in two seasons.  His accomplishments make Carson Palmer a BEAST!

#6 – 2003 Heisman Trophy winner, Jason White, Oklahoma 

 White is the only of our Heisman heroes to go undrafted.  He tried out with the Chiefs but the team did not sign him.  He again tried out with the Titans and this  time he was offered a contract but instead decided to leave the game of football  because of his bad knees.  Jason White is without a doubt a BUST!

#5 – 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, Matt Leinart, USC

Matt, Matt, Matt…To date, Matt Leinart has five years in the NFL with theArizona Cardinals and the Houston Texans. In those five years he has thrown for less than 4,000 yards with 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.  Coming out of college most thought he’d be the next great thing but this guy wasn’t fooled!  He proved he wasn’t hungry for the NFL when he opted to return to USC for a final year after back to back Rose Bowl and National Championship victories and a Heisman Trophy.  Although his career isn’t over it’s not going anywhere fast and because of that, Matt Leinart is a Big Time BUST!

 #4 –  2006 Heisman Trophy winner, Troy Smith, Ohio State 

After four years in the league Troy Smith threw eight touchdowns and five interceptions with the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers before signing with Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League. The highlight of Troy’s career was a sideline blowup with last season with then 49ers Head Coach, Mike Singletary.  Troy Smith was a BUST!

  #3 – 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow, Florida 

Tebow is only entering his third season in the NFL.  Tebow led the Broncos into the playoffs and stunned the Steelers but would eventually lose to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. After John Elway stated he was going to help Tebow, something better came along and Tebow was traded to the New York Jets.  Although the jury is still out on Tebow as to whether or not he can be a successful NFL quarterback, Tebow gets the benefit of the doubt and a PUSH!

 #2 – 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, Sam Bradford, Oklahoma 

In his rookie season Bradford threw 18 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and accumulated just over 3,500 passing yards.  Despite his 76.5 passer rating, Fantastic Sam almost led the hapless St. Louis Rams to the playoffs in 2010.  Bradford definitely has tremendous upside but has not improved upon his rookie numbers in 2011.  Although his time is short, we’ve seen enough of Bradford to classify him as a BEAST!

 #1 – 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, Cam Newton, Auburn 

And then there was one!  Fasten you seatbelts this one’s gonna get a little bumpy. With virtually no off-season to prepare due to the lockout, Cam Newton entered the NFL pre-season in a quarterback competition with Jimmy Clausen.  Despite his poor statistical pre-season the Panthers decided his time was now, and the keys to the franchise were handed to the rookie. What did Cam do? He broke the rookie record for passing yards in his first game. He also broke the NFL record for rushing touchdowns as a quarterback.

Of the previous eight quarterbacks, all were Heisman winners, but only two, were the number one overall pick in their respective NFL Drafts.  They were, Sam Bradford and Carson Palmer; two of the three beasts on this list.