Welcome to FootBall Fan Today

Posted in welcome football fans on April 28, 2011 by footballfantoday

Three friends with two favorite teams in two states with three opinions of the NFL, each one thinking that they know more about football than each other. That was the genesis of FootballFanToday.com, a site for the fans, by the fans.

Jason and Derek met playing chess in Washington State. Derek is a SeahawkFan4Life, including during the bad times. Jason and Marisa are both transplanted San Diegans who just happened to meet while living large in the Big Apple. Charger fans to their core, meet up with them sometimes at MJ Armstrong’s over on 1st AVE, NYC.

Football season is never really over. Keeping track of free agency transactions, combine work outs, who’s in and who’s out of the coaching carousel, player mumblings and grumbling and even who’s dancing with the stars will keep us busy on the professional level.

We will also be adding content from college down to pee-wee football with favorite team plays, coaching tips and techniques, best training workouts for the young athlete and how to keep the game fun for players and parents alike.

While the lockout continues, FootballFanToday.com is tracking the upcoming NFL Draft and will be providing live coverage with Jason and Marisa covering all the draft and trade transactions. With our VIP access, we will try to get you inside information of who we think will go where first.

Stay tuned for more football news for the fans, by the fans! Follow us on twitter @footballfan2day

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GM For a Day – Team Needs

Posted in 2011 NFL College Draft on April 28, 2011 by footballfantoday
by Anthony Ciano

1. Carolina Panthers – (WR, DT, DE, RB, CB) The Panthers have 40 of their draft picks currently playing in the NFL. Imagine how strong they’d be if they still had them. Every draft prognosticator out there says Cam Newton is their the first pick. If I were the GM I’d sign FA Billy Volek or Marc Bulger to mentor Clausen and take DT Marcel Dareus because he looks like a can’t miss prospect. WR AJ Green or CB Patrick Peterson work for me here too with no regrets!

2. Denver Broncos – (DT, DE, RT, TE) DT Marcel Dareus is the ideal fit, and I would take him here or look to trade down to try and get DT Nick Fairley or DE Robert Quinn. I can’t lose with either of these and gain great value. Just tied up a lot of money with FA Champ Bailey and traded Brandon Marshall last year for two 2nd so I will use the draft over FA’s to build depth and improve team.

3. Buffalo Bills – (NT-DE-OLB-OT-CB-ILB) Haven’t made the playoffs since 1999 and currently have 27 of their draft picks on the roster. First order of business is to re-sign Paul Posluszny as he anchors the defense. OLB Von Miller, barring someone moving up or a disturbance in the force, is my choice here, with DT Marcel Dareus as my 2nd. I would look to trade my 35th pick with bonus to get into the late 20’s and secure an impact player to fill another need. See y’all in Toronto by 2015.

4. Cincinnati Bengals – (QB!-DE-WR) The biggest problem with the Cincinnati franchise is the owner “Mike” Brown playing GM, according to Derek Allen. Just might be why they haven’t won a playoff game since 1990. Need depth everywhere and Coach Lewis doesn’t have many players willing to run through walls for him either. I would trade Carson, cut his brother, sign a veteran QB, and take AJ Green at WR and try to get QB Christian Ponder, or QB Ryan Mallet in the 2nd round. See me in 4 years and we will see if I am right!

5. Arizona Cardinals – (QB-CB-OLB) Many needs but I don’t take a QB here because if they start and we go 4-12, we may lose him forever. I would take CB Patrick Peterson, OLB Von Miller, and even consider CB Prince Amukamara. Calling Dallas or Washington would be considered as I try and move down for value, as I believe I can still fill needs there and pick up some picks. In the later rounds I’d try for a QB. The Cardinals had one of the NFL

6. Cleveland Browns – (DE-WR-OT-OLB) OLB Von Miller would make almost every team in the top 5 better but WR Julio Jones is the guy I like to help out the offense and he might be the best in this draft. This Czar would make a big splash and solidify my four man front by signing FA Cullen Jenkins from the Packers, they have great depth and aren’t looking to re-sign him.

7. San Francisco 49ers – (QB-NT-CB-OLB) Having invested in the O-line last year, and having spent some money in FA and hitting in past drafts, this team is primed for success NOW. With new coach Harbaugh I believe QB to be his biggest need and trading for Carson Palmer, or Kevin Kolb might be the best move of all. IF he can horse whisperer Alex Smith into playing at an 85 QB rating, this team could shock people in 2011.

8. Tennessee Titans – (QB-DT-G-C) Nick Fairley makes the most sense here and even though some call him a one hit wonder, he was awesome, but might be a bit of a risk. Instead, trading down and grabbing G/C Mike Pouncey or G/C Danny Watkins to bolster the O-line would be an ideal, no risk approach to this draft. Now if Blaine Gabbert is here, all bets are off and I end the drama trade by trading Vince Young to the Raiders or the Vikings. PS-Albert Haynesworth still has value, maybe he can be pried loose for a 6th rounder, and I know he’d love to come home. Re-sign Kerry Collins as he knows the system and can be a high-class tutor for my QB investment.

9. Dallas Cowboys – (DE-OT-C) Just not fair to see a team with this much talent and bankroll picking in the top 10! Prince Amukamara, CB LSU, if still here is the pick. Depending on what’s been done, may go with OT Anthony Castonzo to plug and play RT. Of course, a shiny new DE to cry havoc for Bob Ryan’s express would take some pressure off the corners and even help out the offense. This team could record 60+ sacks.

10. Washington Redskins – (QB-WR-RB-C-NT) Shanahan is off to a bad start in hog country. I don’t like him much but do respect his results. Grossman showed he can play a little but I would take a small risk here and take Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert if they fall, getting great value for need and both will sell some jerseys. If things don’t work out, then QB and coach are gone in 4 years. WR Julio Jones would also be a nice fit. I would consider trading down into the 18 range for more draft picks and drafting value BPA. A long shot would be to give the 10 to NE for their 17 and and their 60 picks. At 17 now I could draft a QB I wanted and get the BPA to fill a need.

11. Houston Texans – (CB-OLB-DE-NT-S) This team already got better by hiring Wade Phillips to turn the defense around. My first pick is CB Jimmy Smith CB Colorado. He may have inhaled a bit more than Clinton but he did man up. Besides, Bill Clinton turned out ok, if you consider being an ex-prez ok. Jimmy might be the best CB in this draft and an impact player from day 1. DE Cameron Jordan or DT Phil Taylor would also work nicely within a Wade Phillip’s defensive scheme.

12. Minnesota Vikings – (QB-G-C-DT-ILB) This team was just a lost turnover or two from the Super Bowl a couple of year ago. My new face of the franchise is…Jeff George, I mean Ryan Mallett. All kidding aside, this is the pick I make so long as the doctors (all) give me the ok. Has a huge upside, and man he can sling it! If not I make a play for McNabb, I mean I GO GET McNabb for a 2nd in 2012 if necessary. Picking up the BPA at the G or DT position would work here. I like DT Corey Liuget,, who’s making a late move up the board, as my special dark horse selection.

13. Detroit Lions – (OT-OG-CB) They won 4 straight to end 2010 and could be 9-7 this year with a few breaks. The Lions need to keep QB Stafford healthy in 2011 as he looks like the real deal. I would protect my QB with either OT Anthony Castonzo or OT Aldon Smith. If not I have an interesting choice between the BPA DE Cameron Jordan, if available, or a CB. Free agency might help the defense at the CB or DE positions as well.

14. St. Louis Rams – (WR-G-DL) Get receivers healed and grab an edge pass rusher and see what I have. This team has WRs; they were young and hurt in 2010 but I believe they can be good group. The NFC West is up for grabs and I want to win it now! DE Aldon Smith, DE Ryan Kerrigan, DE JJ Watt are all first on my radar with WR Julio Jones given a hard look. Worst-case scenario I go BPA and then circle some guys in FA.

15. Miami Dolphins – (QB-RB-C) This team may or may not believe in Henne as their QB, and I believe they don’t. That said, OG Pouncey at 15 is safe and Mark Ingram is probably good to go as well. Another option to consider is the fact that FAs RBs Brown and Williams are both on the wrong side of 30. I would call SD and try to move down to 18 and then take a RB or Ryan Mallett if there. If not maybe move down again, for value.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars – (QB-WR-DE-C) This team plays hard, but never seems to gets it done. Lots of options here, BPA I would go with QB Jake Locker. Put off early money to stay at the University of Washington to graduate while putting the Huskies into the playoffs for the first time in 8 years. He led them to victory in the Holiday Bowl over Nebraska. A seasoned collegiate that’s mature with a good system and coach, he’d also have a quality QB in front of him for tutoring. When they move to LA in 2 years, Jake would be the face of the franchise. I’d look to add quality depth through FAs on the market.

17. NE Picks here from Oakland Raiders trade for Richard Seymour.

18. San Diego Chargers – (OLB-DE-RT-ILB) The Bolts already struck it big with the signing of Bob Sanders if he stays remotely healthy. His presence on and off the field should be worth a few million. The Chargers must address ILB as they do not have enough on the team to play a scrimmage. I would stay at home and take OT Anthony Costonzo or DE JJ Watt. If WR Julio Jones is available, I take him for value and leverage with my tendered receiver. If all else fails, I try and trade down to 28 and try to get a pass rusher and picks.

19. New York Giants – (OLB-OT-TE-DT) The Giants front 7 needs to get better, and so does their pass protection. I’m not a big Eli fan but he has finally turned into a good QB. Getting him some upfront help is first on my to do list. OT is my real need here so Castonzo, Solder, or Carimi are in my sights. I personally love OT Castonzo and so do the Giants because of his Boston College roots. Giants better fix some things, and getting a new defensive coordinator could help too! I do not see them moving around in the draft. Giant will be active in FAs.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OLB-OT-S-DE This was a surprise team in 2010 and they will not catch many off guard in 2011. They are not afraid of red flags and if Da’Quan Bowers is available, I will grab him. OT Gabe Carimi is who should be here. I also am looking to get a book-end RT in the FA pool.

21. Kansas City Chiefs – (WR-OLB-OT) The Chiefs won some big games in September and then held on as SD failed to win out! I expect this year with a hard schedule and no surprise factor they will come back down to earth with a 8-8 year. I am going NT Phil Taylor but I will have to look hard at the BPA OLB Justin Houston or Akeem Ayers. Perhaps WR Akeem Ayers. Another route is to trade back in the draft for more picks.

22. Indianapolis Colts – ( LT-WR-QB-DT) Yeah I listed QB because the way this team plays, is awesome and if Peyton goes down they are 4-12. Payton Manning still hasn’t signed the new contract Robert Irsay says made him the highest paid player in the NFL. So, I would take a deep breath and draft Ryan Mallet here if I can. I need to think about tomorrow but I would also be tempted to get the best OT available, maybe Solder out of Colorado. I definitely would try and sign a FA RT.

23. Philadelphia Eagles – (CB-RT-RG-DE) Eagles have home run potential every play. That said, Michael Vick could go to the IR every play as well so they need to think protection. I go BPA top G or if OT Anthony Castonzo is still standing, it’s a no brainer. CB Jimmy Smith makes a nice fit as well.

24. New Orleans Saints – (DT-DE-OLB-RB) This team has a lot of talent and I’m adding to the pool with RB Mark Ingram to get some competition for Reggie Bush. Adding defense is a good idea and I like the BPA DE. A better defense makes what Drew Brees accomplishes with the offensive unit even more frightening.

25. Seattle Seahawks – (QB-DE-G-C-RB-OT) This team could just go BPA every pick. Several intriguing choices to choose from. I’m going for Danny Watkins G/C to help rebuild the line and trade a 2012 pick for a veteran QB like Carson Palmer or Kevin Kolb to man the QB spot. Other guys that make sense too are hometown hero, QB Jake Locker, DT Corey Liuget and Colorado CB Jimmy Smith.

26. Baltimore Ravens – (RT-CB-WR-G) This team is close every year and needs to think of life without Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed. OLB Akeem Ayers, OLB/DE Justin Houston or OT Nate Solder all are in my sights. Getting a top CB is a priority as well and I wouldn’t mind picking one up from the FA pool, as a few are available like Ike Taylor or Richard Marshall, both whom desire long-term contracts.

27. Atlanta Falcons – (DE-TE-WR-CB) This team has all-decade TE Tony Gonzales but even he won’t last forever. I am going with TE Kyle Rudolph giving QB Matty Ice a security blanket for the next 5 years. I think they will try hard to sign their own FA’s. Next up I’m, going with the best rusher like DE Adrian Clayborn or DE Bowers, should he have fallen this far.

28. New England Patriots – (OT-DE-RB-OLB-G) Is this team bringing back Logan Mankins? If not protecting Brady better be on the top of the list, or I may need a new QB! I believe at 17, 28 and 33 they have the ammunition to continue this dynasty for the next 5 years. OT Anthony Costonzo at 17, G/C Danny Watkins at 28 and at 33 RB Mikel Lashoure are my choices if available.

29. Chicago Bears – (OT-WR-DT-CB) Protecting QB “Cuddles” is my first priority either in the draft or FA. For protection I like FA OT Ryan Clabo. At 29 I go top OT with Gabe Carimi or DT with Corey Liuget. This team plays tough and providing improvement at CB would help immensely. Might go FA for mid-level OT or WR as they don’t don’t want to spend big money.

30. New York Jets – (DE-NT-WR-S-CB) The Jets have lost their NT the last 2 years within a tailgate party of the Super bowl and Rex has done everything he can to hold it together without him. I believe they will go NT Phil Taylor at 30 if he is there, the problem is everyone knows he is the best pure NT in this draft, and there are a lot of 3-4 defenses without one. If I can’t get him I go with OLB Brooks Reed. Other possibilities are selecting CB-WR as they have Pro Bowlers wanting to get paid at both positions. Free Agents should all have the Jets on speed dial. After all it is NY and they will spend some money trying to fill needs and provide depth.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers – (CB-OG-T-NT) One thing that’s always said about the Steelers is that they do it the right way. They just missed another Lombardi trophy again last year. The O-line is getting worn down and they all could use some new shoes. Hampton at the Nose isn’t getting any younger; I would trade up to 25 with Seattle and grab NT Phil Taylor. Seattle would do well to take this deal as they need players and getting picks helps them. Other possibilities are at CB where they have been deficient for a few years now. If Phil Taylor is gone, get CB Jimmy Williams, hoping that the mentoring from such a venerable franchise can keep him off the pipe, at least in public.

32. Green Bay Packers – (OLB-WR-RB) It’s hard to think that this team that just won it all will be better and gets to add a top RB to the offense. I like Mark Ingram RB Alabama, or Brooks Reed OLB. I might have to try to trade down and draft a RB early in the 2nd round. I need to re-sign my own players. This team is very young and needs very few upgrades. Team can still be improved with late round selections and FA.

Oakland Raiders – (QB-OLINE!-Safety-CB) No pick in the first round but if you are a Raider fan, you know you received your gift wrapped 1st round pick last year in Richard Seymour, and improved to an 8-8 season because of it. We all know AL Davis covets speed and there is some with their 1st pick at the 48 slot. This year C Stefan Wiesnewski   would solidify the line and provide the QB with less pressure up the middle, a problem over the years. He can play all three interior positions and is very quick off the snap and exhibits superior upper and lower techniques. Tough and equally skilled at run and pass blocking, a natural team leader with a blue-collar work ethic. His dad and uncle both played for Penn State. His uncle Steve Wisniewski used to play for the Raiders and was just hired as their assistant offensive line coach, and while it may be strange to be coached by your uncle, this is a fit that shouldn’t be missed. But…we all know Al.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft Final

Posted in 2011 NFL Draft on April 27, 2011 by footballfantoday
By Jason Ciano
   

 1.   Carolina Panthers   Cam Newton QB Auburn
 2.   Denver Broncos   Marcel Dareus DT Alabama
 3.   Buffalo Bills   Von Miller OLB Texas A&M
 4.   Cincinnati Bengals   AJ Green WR UGA
 5.   Arizona Cardinals   Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri
 6.   Cleveland Browns   Julio Jones WR Alabama
 7.   San Francisco 49ers   Patrick Peterson CB LSU
 8.   Tennessee Titans   Nick Fairley DT Auburn
 9.   Dallas Cowboys   Prince Amaruka CB Nebraska
10.  Washington Redskins   Jake Locker QB Washington
11.  Houston Texans   Robert Quinn DE UNC
12.  Minnesota Vikings   Corey Liuget DT Illinois
13.  Detroit Lions   Tyron Smith OT USC
14.  St. Louis Rams   Aldon Smith DE Missouri
15.  Miami Dolphins   Ryan Mallet QB Arkansas
16.  Jacksonville Jaguars   Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue
17.  New England Patriots   Mike Pouncey G Florida
18.  San Diego Chargers   JJ Watt DE Wisconsin
19.  New York Giants   Anthony Castonzo OT Boston College
20.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers   Da’Quan Bowers DE Clemson
21.  Kansas City Chiefs   Phil Taylor NT Baylor
22.  Indianapolis Colts   Nate Solder OT Colorado
23.  Philadelphia Eagles   Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin
24.  New Orleans Saints   Muhammad Wilkerson DT Temple
25.  Seattle Seahawks   Danny Watkins G Baylor
26.  Baltimore Ravens   Jimmy Smith CB Colorado
27.  Atlanta Falcons   Kyle Rudolph TE Notre Dame
28.  NE Trade to Cinci   Christian Ponder QB Florida State
29.  Chicago Bears   Torrey Smith WR Maryland
30.  New York Jets   Akeem Ayers OLB UCLA
31.  Pittsburgh Steelers   Brandon Harris CB Miami
32.  Green Bay Packers   Mark Ingram RB Alabama
 
 

Football Fitness: Brats with a Burn

Posted in Football and Fitness on April 27, 2011 by footballfantoday

By William Lynch

The NFL season is rapidly approaching and we all know what that means, suds and buds in front of a 52 inch HDTV watching the biggest and baddest athletes smashing heads for our entertainment. The  question is do like football or do you love it? Do you watch your favorite team or do you watch every second of broadcast action every weekend? If you’re like me you are the latter, a true football fanatic!

On a typical Sunday during the regular season there are three broadcast games totaling over nine hours of football, not to mention two hours of pregame and another hour of post game highlights. Let’s just say on Sunday in my household it’s football all day long. But it’s not all hard-hitting action.

A recent study determined that on average there is only 11 minutes of action during a NFL game. What? It’s true; take away huddles, time outs, instant replays, penalties, half time and the biggest of all, commercials and you are left with a measly 11 minutes. Hardly enough time to hard boil an egg. Now I enjoy watching the instant replays and various shots of players and cheerleaders but I can do without the commercials. Here is where we are burn our 1000 calories.

During one game there is about 40 to 45 minutes of commercials, a complete waste of time until now. The average commercial break lasts two and a half minutes which just happens to be the perfect amount of time to get off the couch and do some highly effective full body exercises to boost our metabolism and burn calories.

First exercise I would suggest is the field goal squat. First get your base, feet just wider then shoulder width and toes pointed slightly out. Raise your hands above your head like the referee would after a made field goal. Squat down slowly like you are going to sit back on the couch and when your butt touches the couch, without completely sitting, pause and return to the starting position, that’s one repetition or rep. Repeat for the duration of the commercial break being sure to keep strict form. Make a note of how many you did and challenge yourself to complete more as the game and season goes on.

Another great one is the touchdown lunge twist. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hands out in front of your chest with your elbows slightly bent. It helps to actually hold something light in your hands to keep proper form. Take one bigger than normal step forward and bend at the knees. In the down position twist from side to side then return to the starting position. Now do the other leg and repeat for reps.

These are just two great examples of full body metabolism boosting calorie burning exercises. You can also do jumping jacks, sit ups,  and push ups. The possibilities are endless. The point is to get up and move during the game and not just to the fridge for some more snacks during commercials. The great Herschel Walker would challenge himself with push ups and sit ups during commercial breaks. He’s the perfect example of what health and fitness can do for you.

California Dreamin’

Posted in NFL Teams on April 26, 2011 by footballfantoday

by Derek Allen 

Putting a franchise in the NFL’s second largest market makes sense as most any team that moves to LA will make money. Whether they keep their own name or just adopt the Los Angeles moniker, the twice-spurned City of Angels fans will flock to support their newest team, and revenue will be off the charts.

Potential suitors for the City of Industry, the actual location of the proposed new stadium 15 miles east of Los Angeles, include Buffalo, San Diego, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Oakland, Minnesota and San Francisco.

All these have stadium issues that need to be worked out. San Diego and Jacksonville seem the most logical and while Minnesota has a season ending expiring lease, there are special circumstances in play probably preventing their move.

 Minnesota is a longshot mainly because their move leaves the NFL and the upper Midwest without a team from Seattle to Green Bay.

The first Minnesota general manager, Bert Rose, selected the Viking name in honor of the many people of Nordic heritage in Minnesota and the surrounding areas. Starting off as an expansion team in 1961 that played in Metropolitan Stadium, they’ve played in Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome nearly 30 years.

The Viking’s lease with the Metrodome ends officially in February 2012. The dome collapse gave Vikings owner Zygmunt Wilf’s another  trump card to use in his quest for a new playing site. The team has repeatedly said  it won’t sign an extension without a deal for a new stadium.

Supporters of a new stadium say that the 20 million in tax dollars alone generated by the Viking for the Minnesota economy is something they can’t afford to lose.

If Wilf does not have an agreement for a new stadium soon, he is free to pull up stakes and find a new home for his franchise, provided he gives sufficient notice. That notice must be filed no later than February 15 the year the move is scheduled to occur so right now frozen tundra fans, no worries. 

When moving a franchise from a smaller market to Los Angeles, a transfer fee of hundreds of millions of dollars must be paid and shared with the other owners in exchange for access to the Southern California Market. I’m sure he’d rather pay that towards the proposed 900 million dollar stadium currently being discussed in St. Cloud.

If a deal isn’t made for a new stadium soon, the Boyz n the Hood may not be the only ones gettin’ some California Love.

————

Urban legend has it that the first owner of the Chargers, Barron Hilton, agreed on the name his general manager Frank Ready suggested when he bought his AFL franchise for Los Angeles. “I liked it because they were yelling charge and sounding the bugle at Dodgers Stadium and at USC games.” Another version is that Gerald Courtney of Hollywood submitting the name in a contest.   

The Chargers’ lease with the Q expires in 2020 and can be bought out at any time between February 1 and April 30 by giving notice and a termination payment to the City. This clause has been in effect since 2004, the year the San Diego Padres baseball team left for Petco Field. While continuing to look for a new stadium site in San Diego County, Chargers’ special counsel Mark Fabiani would not commit to staying in 2012.

A charter member of the AFL, the Los Angeles Chargers shared a stadium with the Los Angeles Rams in 1960 before moving to San Diego in 1961. Old San Diego Stadium was built nearly 45 years ago and while it’s had a couple of renovations and name changes, it is antiquated and needs to be replaced. It’s estimated that 17 million is lost every year in tax dollars at Qualcomm Stadium.

In an effort to sell out Qualcomm Stadium team officials announced that season ticket prices lowered for about 6500 seats in 2011.

The Chargers are trying to place a measure on the November 2012 ballot asking San Diego voters to authorize the construction and financing of a new stadium that’s estimated to come in between 800 million and 1 billion dollars.

San Diego finished with the best offense and defense in the NFL although they did have the third easiest schedule in the NFL in 2011, tied with Seattle. The Bolts won four of the five past AFC Division Championships and have dominated the AFC West the past decade. They made the playoffs four years in a row and were extremely unlucky not to make the playoffs last year.

If the city won’t help with a new stadium and they can buy out their lease, LA Sunshine might be welcoming a new team in town, sometime sooner rather than later. And to some folk, if and when that happens, It Was A Good Day.

————

The Jacksonville Jaguars name was selected in 1991 through a fan contest that included the choices Sharks, Panthers, and Stingrays. The franchise  became a reality on Nov. 30, 1993, in the expansion that also included the 29th team, the Carolina Panthers. EverBank Stadium opened on the site of the old Gator Bowl Stadium in 1995 and is actually a new stadium as the entire lower bowl was demolished and replaced. Remnants of the Gator Bowl, originally constructed in 1949,  were incorporated into the new structure.    

The Jaguar lease with the city is until 2029 and according to the terms of that extended lease, the “exit clause” allowing the team to move would be activated if they have three straight losing years. And the books would have to be opened to prove that. Additionally, lost rent payments  of 50 million dollars upwards would have to be negotiated and paid off as well.  

The Jaquars became the first NFL expansion team to make the playoffs three times in its first four years of play while playing in the league’s smallest market. The 2010 census indicates Jacksonville’s market is now bigger than New Orleans and Buffalo.  Because of low attendance  and to help reduce blackouts, in 2005  nearly 10,000 of the stadium’s 73,000 total seats were covered with tarp to lower the stadium’s official capacity.

Attendance dropped to about 40,000 in 2009 with 7  home games blacked out. The Jacksonville Jaguars may have the most fair-weather fans in the game, only showing up when the team is winning with established stars playing for them.

The team and city worked together in 2010 trying to keep the franchise viable and attendance increased well over 36%, the highest increase in the league. Over 62,000 fans were attending the games and all of their home games were televised.  After making great strides in ticket sales last year, the Jaguars’ season ticket renewals are going more slowly this year according to Jaguars majority owner Wayne Weaver, who also said that many see no reason to buy or renew season tickets until after a labor agreement is reached.

The law of diminishing returns may dictate to Weaver that he has no choice but to break the lease and pay the penalty costs to be the boss in a new city with a new stadium. If Jacksonville businesses and fans can not or will not support their team, not only are more black outs likely in 2011, but the Jaguar franchise may get a chance to find out if it’s true, that, It Never Rains In Southern California.

————  

Walking on (Limping off)

Posted in Stories on April 23, 2011 by footballfantoday

I am just a typical guy that happened to letter in five sports if you count chess. Ok so maybe that is not quite so typical but it never went to my head. I was a decent left offensive tackle on a good team working fairly well with what I had; a good first step with balance, and I didn’t get beat. I don’t want to sell myself too short though; I was as fast as Usain Bolt, for two steps.

After that I was at top speed no matter how many stop watches were used.

My senior year I was injured on an off-tackle play. As I blasted my man and starting identifying my next target, a LB submarined me with his helmet. I heard a pop and and even as I writhed in pain, I knew I wasn’t gonna quit. I made it back to the huddle trying not to limp too much and played until halftime. After reaching the locker room my knee went cold, tightened up, and I never played another down that year. I thought I would never play football again. Even though I lacked speed, size, and perhaps some talent, I still dreamed of playing college football; I certainly wasn’t getting a scholarship now.

That was during the mid 80s, it’s now the early 90s and I am a student in college teaching chess to kids in Tacoma, when a high school football coach looking at my size asked if I played in HS. No brag just fact I said I did and mentioned that I thought I used to be pretty good.

The next thing I know, I’m wearing pads going one on one versus his top defensive end.

First play I pancaked the kid. Well, he was giving up experience and 50+ pounds, and I had jumped the snap count. On the next snap I timed it good and drilled him fair and square, another pancake job, and this time I put him down hard.

Now keep in mind I hadn’t heard hike in 4-5 years and I was outta shape and no way in game condition. I usually took it easy unless a pile of French fries was on my horizon, in which case it was pity the fool who stood between me and my goal.

Anyway, on the third and final snap I again dominated my overmatched opponent and my ego soared. The coach is yelling and cursing something fierce about how I had an insane first step and that I should be playing defense and rushing the passer, and after a couple of months in the gym I would be starting for the University of Washington Huskies.

I heard the choir singing at this point so I was easily hooked, line and sinker into trying out for the Dawgs, playing football, one more time.

The following spring I walked-on at U-Dub for open tryouts. I went down with my cleats and some gym clothes, threw on some pads, and even though I was still a bit out of shape, I was going to give this a try. I had worked out for 3 months, running the treadmill and lifting some weights, so I believed I was ready to go.

The drills they were running were like those I ran in high school and I was doing ok against some Podunk kids that I don’t think ever even played Pop Warner, let alone against division 1 competition. I told them I was an offensive lineman so they shifted me over to doing some pass blocking drills. It was going well until the defense starting sending the CB on a blitz while I was engaged with the DE.

This one brother, a very fine and talented individual I might add, for some reason zeros in on me; completely and succinctly annihilating  me each time.

I never saw him coming, and boy it hurt! This sequence repeated itself several times, me getting completely obliterated while entangled with the DE. Now I don’t know if he thought I dated his momma, but he was wearing me out. Our school colors were purple and gold and my body was matching after an hour of this torture I was enduring because of my delusion that I could play ball for the Huskies.

I held my own in other passing and pulling drills but the speed and power these kids hit with was crazy. LBs were detonating my body on contact, just killing me, and I was not in shape. Now it would have been nice if one of the coaches would have stopped the fight like in boxing, but no luck, I was black, purple, and bloody, but I didn’t give up. Now I’m not trying to say I was like Rudy and eventually walked on, started a game and scored a touchdown. No this story has another true ending; as I limped home after being completely and thoroughly decimated, I realized the game had passed me by. I quit after practice that day and have never looked back since.

I heard the preacher this time too, only the choir was singing a new song, I was done.

I never again want to think about the beat downs those linebackers, defensive ends, tackles and cornerbacks administered to and on me that day. The speed and strength in college is so much more than in high school, I can only imagine what the next level up is like; the thought of getting hit by those guys gives me chills.

To this day I advise kids and parents alike, before you put on the pads, understand that there will be lots of pain and punishment, and if you get past that, somewhere out there, it’s fun too.

From the timeless Helmet phone commercial to the first year that the cyborg Mel Kiper Jr. and his bullet proof head first appeared on ESPN, I was hooked on the NFL Draft. I have been following since 1980 and I have missed seeing only 2 picks in 30 years. I am a bit of a sports fanatic and enjoy writing about football especially, as well as other sports occasionally.

I hope my true story brought you some laughs. I look forward to sharing with you my knowledge and insights about this sport we love.

And that fine young gentleman that was wearing me out? It would not surprise me if he played in the NFL, retired and became a successful businessman.

Let the games begin.

Jason Ciano

Top 300 2011 NFL Draft

Posted in 2011 NFL College Draft on April 23, 2011 by footballfantoday

 by Jason Ciano

Rank Player Pos. Pos. Rank School
1 Patrick Peterson CB 1 LSU
2 Von Miller OLB 1 Texas A&M
3 Marcell Dareus DT 1 Alabama
4 A.J. Green WR 1 Georgia
5 Nick Fairley DT 2 Auburn
6 Robert Quinn DE 1 UNC
7 Da’Quan Bowers DE 2 Clemson
8 Prince Amukamara CB 2 Nebraska
9 Julio Jones WR 2 Alabama
10 Blaine Gabbert QB 1 Missouri
11 Cam Newton QB 2 Auburn
12 Mark Ingram RB 1 Alabama
13 Cameron Jordan DE 3 California
14 Tyron Smith OT 1 USC
15 J.J. Watt DE 4 Wisconsin
16 Anthony Castonzo OT 2 Boston College
17 Adrian Clayborn DE 5 Iowa
18 Ryan Kerrigan DE 6 Purdue
19 Aldon Smith DE 7 Missouri
20 Gabe Carimi OT 3 Wisconsin
21 Mike Pouncey OG 1 Florida
22 Derek Sherrod OT 5 Miss St
23 Jake Locker QB 3 Washington
24 Nate Solder OT 4 Colorado
25 Cameron Heyward DE 8 Ohio State
26 Corey Liuget DT 3 Illinois
27 Jimmy Smith CB 3 Colorado
28 Muhammad Wilkerson DT 4 Temple
29 Phil Taylor DT 5 Baylor
30 Akeem Ayers OLB 2 UCLA
31 Christian Ponder QB 4 Florida State
32 Danny Watkins OG 2 Baylor
33 Aaron Williams CB 4 Texas
34 Jabaal Sheard DE 9 Pittsburgh
35 Brandon Harris CB 5 Miami (Fla.)
36 Mikel LeShoure RB 2 Illinois
37 Torrey Smith WR 3 Maryland
38 Martez Wilson ILB 1 Illinois
39 Davon House CB 6 New Mexico State
40 Kyle Rudolph TE 1 Notre Dame
41 Justin Houston OLB 3 Georgia
42 Ryan Mallett QB 5 Arkansas
43 Stephen Paea DT 6 Oregon State
44 Leonard Hankerson WR 4 Miami (Fla.)
45 Brooks Reed OLB 4 Arizona
46 Randall Cobb WR 5 Kentucky
47 Ryan Williams RB 3 Virginia Tech
48 Marvin Austin DT 7 North Carolina
49 Jerrel Jernigan WR 6 Troy
50 Rodney Hudson C 1 Florida State
51 Marcus Cannon OT 6 TCU
52 Benjamin Ijalana OG 3 Villanova
53 Christian Ballard DE 10 Iowa
54 Curtis Brown CB 7 Texas
55 Jon Baldwin WR 7 Pittsburgh
56 Colin Kaepernick QB 6 Nevada
57 Orlando Franklin OT 7 Miami (Fla.)
58 DeMarco Murray RB 4 Oklahoma
59 Drake Nevis DT 8 LSU
60 Rahim Moore FS 1 UCLA
61 Bruce Carter OLB 5 North Carolina
62 Stefen Wisniewski C 2 Penn State
63 Andy Dalton QB 7 TCU
64 Kenrick Ellis DT 9 Hampton
65 Brandon Burton CB 8 Utah
66 Allen Bailey DE 11 Miami (Fla.)
67 Quinton Carter FS 2 Oklahoma
68 Sam Acho OLB 6 Texas
69 Ras-I Dowling CB 9 Virginia
70 Titus Young WR 8 Boise State
71 Jurrell Casey DT 10 USC
72 Daniel Thomas RB 5 Kansas State
73 Chimdi Chekwa CB 10 Ohio State
74 Jerrell Powe DT 11 Mississippi
75 Quan Sturdivant ILB 2 North Carolina
76 Luke Stocker TE 2 Tennessee
77 James Carpenter OT 8 Alabama
78 Will Rackley OG 4 Lehigh
79 Dontay Moch OLB 7 Nevada
80 Kendall Hunter RB 6 Oklahoma State
81 DeAndre McDaniel SS 1 Clemson
82 Jarvis Jenkins DT 12 Clemson
83 Clint Boling OG 5 Georgia
84 Edmond Gates WR 9 Abilene Christian
85 Chris Carter OLB 8 Fresno State
86 Greg Jones ILB 3 Michigan State
87 Jordan Todman RB 7 Connecticut
88 Shareece Wright CB 11 USC
89 Lance Kendricks TE 3 Wisconsin
90 Mason Foster OLB 9 Washington
91 Marcus Gilchrist CB 12 Clemson
92 Shane Vereen RB 8 California
93 James Brewer OT 9 Indiana
94 Tyler Sash SS 2 Iowa
95 Terrell McClain DT 13 South Florida
96 Greg Little WR 11 North Carolina
97 Chris Conte FS 3 California
98 Pernell McPhee DE 12 Mississippi State
99 Johnny Patrick CB 13 Louisville
100 Ahmad Black SS 3 Florida
101 Jordan Cameron TE 4 USC
102 Marcus Gilbert OT 10 Florida
103 Lawrence Wilson OLB 10 Connecticut
104 Virgil Green TE 5 Nevada
105 Niles Paul WR 10 Nebraska
106 Ricky Stanzi QB 8 Iowa
107 Tandon Doss WR 12 Indiana
108 Taiwan Jones RB 9 Eastern Washington
109 Jason Pinkston OT 11 Pittsburgh
110 Delone Carter RB 10 Syracuse
111 Jacquizz Rodgers RB 11 Oregon State
112 Curtis Marsh CB 14 Utah State
113 Ian Williams DT 14 Notre Dame
114 Kristofer O’Dowd C 3 USC
115 Stephen Schilling OG 6 Michigan
116 Colin McCarthy ILB 4 Miami (Fla.)
117 Pierre Allen DE 13 Nebraska
118 Robert Sands FS 4 West Virginia
119 Jalil Brown CB 15 Colorado
120 Brandon Hogan CB 16 West Virginia
121 D.J. Williams TE 6 Arkansas
122 Da’Norris Searcy SS 4 North Carolina
123 Charles Clay FB 1 Tulsa
124 Chris Culliver FS 5 South Carolina
125 Greg Romeus DE 14 Pittsburgh
126 K.J. Wright OLB 11 Mississippi State
127 Jamie Harper RB 12 Clemson
128 Terrence Toliver WR 13 LSU
129 Roy Helu RB 13 Nebraska
130 Rob Housler TE 7 Florida Atlantic
131 Greg Salas WR 14 Hawaii
132 Buster Skrine CB 17 TENN Chattanooga
133 DeMarcus Love OT 12 Arkansas
134 Kelvin Sheppard ILB 5 LSU
135 Sione Fua DT 15 Stanford
136 Joseph Barksdale OT 13 LSU
137 John Moffitt OG 7 Wisconsin
138 Rashad Carmichael CB 18 Virginia Tech
139 Ross Homan OLB 12 Ohio State
140 Alex Henery K 1 Nebraska
141 Tim Barnes C 4 Missouri
142 Pat Devlin QB 9 Delaware
143 Lee Ziemba OT 14 Auburn
144 Nate Irving ILB 6 NC State
145 Jaiquawn Jarrett FS 6 Temple
146 Jeremy Beal ILB 7 Oklahoma
147 Ugo Chinasa DE 15 Oklahoma State
148 Alex Green RB 14 Hawaii
149 Cortez Allen CB 19 Citadel
150 Ronald Johnson WR 15 USC
151 Stanley Havili FB 2 USC
152 Derrick Locke RB 15 Kentucky
153 Denarius Moore WR 16 Tennessee
154 Zach Hurd OG 8 Connecticut
155 Kendric Burney CB 20 North Carolina
156 Brian Rolle OLB 13 Ohio State
157 Julius Thomas TE 8 Portland State
158 Lawrence Guy DT 16 Arizona State
159 Chykie Brown CB 21 Texas
160 Austin Pettis WR 17 Boise State
161 Joe Lefeged SS 5 Rutgers
162 Jeremy Kerley WR 18 TCU
163 Owen Marecic FB 3 Stanford
164 Deunta Williams FS 7 North Carolina
165 Cliff Matthews DE 16 South Carolina
166 Vincent Brown WR 19 San Diego State
167 Casey Matthews ILB 8 Oregon
168 Adrian Moten OLB 14 Maryland
169 Greg McElroy QB 10 Alabama
170 Derek Newton OT 15 Arkansas State
171 Cecil Shorts III WR 20 Mount Union
172 Andre Smith TE 9 Virginia Tech
173 Bilal Powell RB 16 Louisville
174 Chris L. Rucker CB 22 Michigan State
175 Brandon Fusco C 5 Slippery Rock
176 Ryan Jones CB 23 NW Missouri State
177 Keith Williams OG 9 Nebraska
178 Martin Parker DT 17 Richmond
179 Jeron Johnson SS 6 Boise State
180 Ryan Whalen WR 21 Stanford
181 Jerrard Tarrant FS 8 Georgia Tech
182 Josh Bynes ILB 9 Auburn
183 Stevan Ridley RB 17 LSU
184 Cedric Thornton DT 18 Southern Arkansas
185 Dane Sanzenbacher WR 22 Ohio State
186 Jah Reid OT 16 UCF
187 Zane Taylor C 6 Utah
188 Da’Rel Scott RB 18 Maryland
189 Doug Hogue OLB 15 Syracuse
190 Dwayne Harris WR 23 East Carolina
191 David Arkin OG 10 Missouri State
192 Ricky Elmore DE 17 Arizona
193 Justin Rogers CB 24 Richmond
194 Henry Hynoski FB 4 Pittsburgh
195 Bryon Stingily OT 17 Louisville
196 Schuylar Oordt TE 10 Northern Iowa
197 Byron Maxwell CB 25 Clemson
198 Shiloh Keo SS 7 Idaho
199 Mike Mohamed ILB 10 California
200 Tori Gurley WR 24 South Carolina
201 Mistral Raymond FS 9 South Florida
202 Anthony Gaitor CB 26 Florida International
203 David Carter DT 19 UCLA
204 Brandon Bair DE 18 Oregon
205 Chas Henry P 1 Florida
206 Evan Royster RB 19 Penn State
207 DeMarcus Van Dyke CB 27 Miami (Fla.)
208 Jason Kelce C 7 Cincinnati
209 Jeff Maehl WR 25 Oregon
210 Tyrod Taylor QB 11 Virginia Tech
211 Darvin Adams WR 26 Auburn
212 Mark Herzlich OLB 16 Boston College
213 Chris Hairston OT 18 Clemson
214 Justin Boren OG 11 Ohio State
215 Scott Lutrus OLB 17 Connecticut
216 Weslye Saunders TE 11 South Carolina
217 Jermale Hines SS 8 Ohio State
218 Chris White ILB 11 Mississippi State
219 Nate Williams SS 9 Washington
220 Richard Sherman CB 28 Stanford
221 Stephen Burton WR 27 West Texas A&M
222 Dion Lewis RB 20 Pittsburgh
223 Chris Neild DT 20 West Virginia
224 Markus White DE 19 Florida State
225 Jonas Mouton OLB 18 Michigan
226 Ryan Donahue P 2 Iowa
227 Aldrick Robinson WR 28 Southern Methodist
228 Jake Kirkpatrick C 8 TCU
229 Ricardo Lockette WR 29 Fort Valley State
230 Lee Smith TE 12 Marshall
231 Taylor Potts QB 12 Texas Tech
232 Andrew Jackson OG 12 Fresno State
233 Derek Hall OT 19 Stanford
234 Anthony Sherman FB 5 Connecticut
235 Thomas Keiser OLB 19 Stanford
236 Kai Forbath K 2 UCLA
237 Josh Thomas CB 29 Buffalo
238 Eddie Jones DE 20 Texas
239 Willie Smith OT 20 East Carolina
240 Eric Hagg FS 10 Nebraska
241 Anthony Allen RB 21 Georgia Tech
242 Mike McNeill TE 13 Nebraska
243 Nick Bellore ILB 12 Central Michigan
244 Ryan Winterswyk DE 21 Boise State
245 Dom DeCicco SS 10 Pittsburgh
246 J.T. Thomas OLB 20 West Virginia
247 Courtney Smith WR 30 South Alabama
248 Sealver Siliga DT 21 Utah
249 Chris Matthews WR 31 Kentucky
250 Ollie Ogbu DT 22 Penn State
251 Noel Devine RB 22 West Virginia
252 Zach Williams C 9 Washington State
253 Mike Person OG 13 Montana State
254 Josh Jasper K 3 LSU
255 Trevis Turner OT 21 Abilene Christian
256 Jabara Williams OLB 21 Stephen F. Austin
257 Loyce Means CB 30 Houston
258 Adam Weber QB 13 Minnesota
259 Korey Lindsey CB 31 Southern Illinois
260 D.J. Young OT 22 Michigan State
261 Marshall Williams WR 32 Wake Forest
262 Daniel Kilgore OG 14 Appalachian State
263 Mark LeGree FS 11 Appalachian State
264 Mario Harvey ILB 13 Marshall
265 Charlie Gantt TE 14 Michigan State
266 Lazarius Levingston DE 22 LSU
267 DeJon Gomes SS 11 Nebraska
268 Kevin Rutland CB 32 Missouri
269 Kyle Adams TE 15 Purdue
270 Mario Fannin RB 23 Auburn
271 Danny Aiken LS 1 Virginia
272 Shaun Chapas FB 6 Georgia
273 Akeem Dent ILB 14 Georgia
274 Colby Whitlock DT 23 Texas Tech
275 Reid Forrest P 3 Washington State
276 Matt Bosher P 4 Miami (Fla.)
277 D’Aundre Reed DE 23 Arizona
278 Chris Prosinski FS 12 Wyoming
279 Derek Epperson P 5 Baylor
280 Lester Jean WR 33 Florida Atlantic
281 Quentin Davie OLB 22 Northwestern
282 Dan Bailey K 4 Oklahoma State
283 Allen Bradford RB 24 Southern California
284 Cheta Ozougwu DE 24 Rice
285 O.J. Murdock WR 34 Fort Hays State
286 Preston Dial FB 7 Alabama
287 Jimmy Young WR 35 TCU
288 Jock Sanders WR 36 West Virginia
289 Greg Lloyd ILB 15 Connecticut
290 Ray Dominguez OG 15 Arkansas
291 Scott Tolzien QB 14 Wisconsin
292 Anthony Gray DT 24 S. Mississippi
293 Ricky Henry OG 16 Nebraska
294 Devon Torrence CB 33 Ohio State
295 Alex Linnenkohl C 10 Oregon State
296 Karl Klug DE 25 Iowa
297 T.J. Yates QB 15 North Carolina
298 Robert Hughes FB 8 Notre Dame
299 David Sims SS 12 Iowa State
300 Nathan Enderle QB 16 Idaho