Branden Albert was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars by the Miami Dolphins in March. On Monday, the Jaguars’ fourth day of training camp, Albert announced his retirement from the NFL.
After nine seasons playing in the National Football League, I have decided to retire from the game that has given me so much, Albert said via a statement released by the team.
Albert skipped voluntary offseason workouts to try to get a new deal from Jacksonville, but he did report for mandatory minicamp and training camp. Retiring could also cost Albert:
Belichick makes some great points. To attempt to make a true evaluation off of a player with little to no contact is nonsensical:
So I know everybody’s all excited when a guy catches a pass, but when the defense doesn’t jam him or they’re not allowed to really, because we don’t have heavy contact out there, aren’t competing for contact at the end of the play then it’s not quite the same as when all of that’s going on.
In other words, even the average Joe walking down the street has an opportunity to complete such plays. You can’t evaluate some of the best athletes in the world on less than half speed plays.
As Belichick so eloquently put it, It’s hard to evaluate how they’re doing competitively against somebody else when it’s really not a competitive situation.
This is essentially what Belichick was getting at:
The Patriots have been the most consistent team in the NFL during the Belichick era. They’ve made the postseason 14 out of 17 of his seasons �� one of them they were left out with an 11-5 record. Sprinkle in five Super Bowls, and the Patriots have been the NFL’s best franchise for the past 16 seasons.
It’s fine to enjoy training camp (and if you’re a Patriots fan looking for coverage, hit up Pats Pulpit), but don’t give it more meaning than it deserves. Real football will be here soon enough.
The Hall of Fame Game is here, kicking off the 2017 NFL preseason. This year, the game features the Dallas Cowboys going head to head with the Arizona Cardinals at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
Prescott never looked back, throwing for 3,667 yards to go along with 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He also finished with the third-best passer rating in the league (104.9). The other big story surrounding this team last year was Elliott asserting himself as the top dog on offense. He ran for a league-best 1,631 yards and 15 scores, which was the third-highest in the NFL.
Dallas also bolstered its defense over the offseason, using its first three draft picks on defensive end Taco Charlton and cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. This preseason game is the first step in Dallas’ quest to return to the playoffs.
Arizona, on the other hand, finished with a 7-8-1 record, the franchise’s worst finish under head coach Bruce Arians. The Cardinals had the second-best overall defense in 2016. This defensive unit ranked ninth against the run and fourth against the pass. However, Arizona’s defense lost a few big names, including safety Tony Jefferson and defensive tackle Calais Campbell in free agency. The Cardinals then used their first two draft sections on linebacker Haason Reddick and safety Budda Baker.
Offensively, Arizona finished with a top 10 offense. Quarterback Carson Palmer had an off year in 2016 but still racked up solid numbers, throwing for 4,233 passing yards to go along with 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. We’ll have to wait to see whether Palmer can shake off last season. The 37-year-old, along with the rest of the Cardinals’ starting players, will not play in the Hall of Fame Game.
The 49ers will have their fourth head coach in four years and are starting fresh with a new general manager, too. While the team added a lot of players in the offseason and double-dipped in the first round of the draft with Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster, it’s still a roster that’s far from being a winner.
Unlike the two seasons prior, the 49ers aren’t looking for a quick fix in 2017 they’re going to patiently rebuild. And that means wins may be few and far between.
Even Colin Kaepernick’s 90.7 passer rating in 2016 was only enough for one win in his 11 starts, and Brian Hoyer isn’t going to have much to work with when he steps into Kaepernick’s shoes. Kirk Cousins may be a possibility in 2018, but the chance to take Darnold could provide an alternate (and much cheaper) route.
New Orleans began last season with a 35-34 loss to Oakland. Its first victory was 35-34 over San Diego in Week 4. In losses to NFC South rival Atlanta, the Saints allowed 45 and 38 points.
This defense finished 27th overall last season. It was last in the league vs. the pass (273.8 yards allowed per game). It was next-to-last in points allowed (454). It was 27th in fewest sacks gained (30). It also trudged through a barrage of injuries.
Dennis Allen returns as the defensive coordinator. Veteran NFL coach Mike Nolan joins as linebacker coach.
Payton was asked if the defense will be better in 2017.
It has to be, he answered. I think it will be.
But the question is not if but how? Are we going to be better in takeaways? Pass defense? What can we do on offense to complement it? I think we just have to understand what it is we must do to get the best each week. In this league, you have to have an evolving, game-specific plan. I just know that we’ve had our share of 48-40 games, and that is something we have to change.
The game is now going to be the most anticipated matchup of the NFL season. The Patriots and Falcons are believed to have two of the best rosters in the NFL. I am here for the Falcons revenge game that like many other things in the history of the franchise will probably not go the way they want. Harry Lyles Jr.
At first glance, this sounds like a pretty bah humbug way to spend Christmas Eve. Both teams were The Emoji Movie levels of unwatchable last season, and even if the Browns are projected to at least quadruple their win total, the Bears will likely be courting perhaps even engaged to by then the No. 1 pick in the draft.
With two weeks left in the season, any number of teams will be fighting for playoff spots. But not these two. There won’t be much on the line at all, really. And that’s why this game is my pick. I mean, who wants to add to their stress during the holiday season?
RB James White (fourth round): You might remember him for scoring the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl 51.
DE IK Enemkpali (sixth round): You might remember him as the guy who broke Geno Smith’s jaw.
There were a handful of productive UDFAs to come out of this year. Isaiah Crowell was one of the Browns’ few bright spots last year, while Willie Snead and Allen Hurns became quality starters for the Saints and Jaguars, respectively. And of course, there’s cornerback Malcolm Butler, who did a thing in Super Bowl 49 and instantly became a household name.
Raiders: Oakland got its franchise quarterback and the draft’s best defensive player in the first two rounds. Not too shabby. The Raiders also picked up guard Gabe Jackson in the third round, and he’s been a solid presence on one of the league’s best offensive lines. This Raiders draft was a home run, landing the critical pieces that got them back to the playoffs in 2016.
Tom Brady cemented himself as the GOAT with another Super Bowl win, and it’s being rewarded in Madden 2018. EA Sports released the rankings for the best quarterbacks in the game this year, and it’s no surprise that Brady is back on top.
And he’s even making Brady do some of the work for him, according to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald.
Tom’s my chef. I told him I’m only eating them if you have them ready for me, Gronkowski said. And he said, ‘Deal.’
Gronk is the best tight end in the NFL, and it’s not close. But he missed eight games last season with a back injury that required surgery. Meanwhile, his seemingly ageless quarterback continued to be at the peak of his game. That’s why Gronkowski wants to adopt Brady’s approach to diet and health.
Just looking at Tom, seeing what he does every day, what he eats, talking to him, personally one-on-one, just learning about the body with him, just seeing how flexible he is, how pliable he is, how loose he is all the time, every day and ready to go, I just felt like it was the time in my career where I needed to devote myself at all levels, Gronkowski said, via Guregian.
The Jaguars made a bold gamble making Bortles, an intriguing but flawed prospect, the first QB off the board in 2014. Results have been mixed, at best. After a predictably rough rookie year, Bortles looked to make big strides in 2015, throwing for 35 touchdowns and 4,428 yards. However, his 2016 was a disaster. Bortles’ mechanics went to hell, as he developed a Tebow-esque throwing motion and horrific footwork. He committed to hand out turnovers like candy, the Jaguars bottomed out (again), and Gus Bradley got canned.
Now Doug Marrone is in charge, and one of his biggest challenges will be trying to salvage something from the Jags’ investment at QB.
Aaron Rodgers is only 33, but Tom Brady’s 40th birthday has the Packers quarterback thinking ahead. Rodgers doesn’t just want to be playing when he’s 40. He wants to still be playing for the team that drafted him back in 2005.
I do think it’s realistic, Rodgers said, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. I hope it’s in this locker room, though. That would mean it’s been at a high level.
Continuing to play at a high level is the key, because Rodgers knows that if he doesn’t, there’s no reason for the team to keep him around. But there’s another reason, too. He knows his legacy will be more meaningful if he doesn’t finish his career with another team.
Rodgers grew up in northern California, and as a young 49ers fan, he was disappointed that Joe Montana finished his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. Rodgers also had a first-row seat to Brett Favre’s retirement, and surely took note of how Packers fans responded to both of Favre’s un-retirements.
Harris has heard the system talk about Kaepernick and finds that troublesome.
There are quarterbacks in some NFL ‘systems’ right now that he can run better than some of the backups they have, Harris said. It is not that difficult to adjust your offense enough when you bring in a quarterback able to do what he has already shown he can do in the league. There is no question in my mind that he is a better choice than what some teams are currently playing with.
Harris believes there is hope for Kaepernick this season, and he believes he will eventually find an NFL team.
I think, in the end, teams want to win, Harris said. Injuries are going to happen. That is probably how he will get a chance. The injury factor is going to solve this. He is a young player who has a lot of football ahead of him. He has done a lot of good things contributing to others. I would like to see him get the opportunity to play. I think he will.
Early last season, the New York Giants were coming off three straight losses when head coach Ben McAdoo used the movie Step Brothers as motivation for his team to turn things around. It must have worked they reeled off six wins in a row and eventually clinched their first playoff berth in five years.
There are plenty of other theories on why Kaepernick isn’t on a roster right now. Some people think it’s his vegan diet, or maybe his work in the community keeps him from being focused on football. Michael Vick said Kaepernick’s hair may be holding him back.
But we all know the reason. Kaepernick chose to use his platform to protest the oppression of minorities in America. He did it in a peaceful way, and he backed up his protest by dedicating tireless work and hundreds of thousands of dollars so far to various community initiatives.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday the former Clemson wideout may need surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. If doctors decide to operate, the recovery period would rob Williams of his entire 2017 campaign. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport refuted that surgery was still an option, but the young receiver is still starting his NFL career on the PUP list.
The herniated disk kept Williams from all but one of the Chargers’ rookie minicamp practices this summer. He’s received two epidural shots in hopes of stemming the pain and spurring recovery, but unless his body responds soon, major surgery may be the only way to get him back on the field.
Preliminary signs for his recovery are favorable, though Williams still has a long way to go.
Garafolo also noted the rookie is back to running in practices, though he was officially placed on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) while the team figures out what to do with him.