NFL NoteBook: Change is Here
This week in the NFL, it was a slow one for most teams. However if you were a Lions or a Raiders fan, you were hit with either good news or bad news depending on how you perceived what's good and what's bad. Also, if you're a draft nut then you better brace yourself for the big news that came this week.
Aldon is “All Done”
This past Tuesday, Raiders defensive end Aldon Smith’s season came to a screeching halt when it was announced that he was going to face a one year suspension due to violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. This suspension stems from an arrest back on Thursday, August 6, in Santa Clara, California, earlier this year when Smith was with the San Francisco 49ers. He was driving under the influence and hit another vehicle. Smith originally drove away from the scene of the crime but then later returned. He was charged with hit and run, DUI, vandalism, and was booked with a bail of $26,000. Smith posted bail the next Friday morning (August 7) and was released from police custody. However, with that being his third arrest for DUI, Smith was released by the 49ers later on that day.
For the rest of the preseason, many teams stayed away from Aldon Smith due to his off-the-field legal problems. However only the Oakland Raiders decided to take a gamble on the talented-yet-troubled young defensive players. They signed him on September 11, to an incentive-laden one year deal that was worth up to a maximum of $8 million. Smith ended up playing in 9 games, prior to his suspension, and had 28 total tackles (21 solo & 7 assist) to go with 3.5 sacks. Smith’s will be eligible for return next season, around this time (Mid-November). Hopefully by then he’ll wake up and realize he needs to change something about his life before he hurts himself or hurts somebody else.
Lions Hire New Team President
If you are a Detroit Lions fan, this has not been a good year for you to say the least. Between underperforming players (i.e. Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford), a horrendous defense (31st in scoring allowed & 25th in total yards allowed), and a coach who seems like he’s lost out there, it’s easy to see why they’re 2-7 and essentially playing for a top 5 draft pick. So changes had to be made. Last month, they fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and earlier this month, the team fired both general manager Martin Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand.
Now after 2 weeks of searching, the Detroit Lions were able to fill one of their job openings. This past Thursday it was announced that the team appoint Rod Wood to the role of Team President. He’ll be overseeing the business side of the team and would report directly to Team owner Martha Firestone Ford. Although having no real football experience, Wood had a connection to the Ford family (Wood was the president and CEO of Ford Estates for the past 8 years). Upon the hiring of Wood, Mrs. Ford released an official statement:
“Rod’s familiarity with our organization in his role as President and CEO of Ford Estates and his accomplishments in the business world not only make him an ideal choice as Team President, but will also help ensure a smooth and positive transition for our organization. It was critical to me and my family to fill the President’s position as soon as possible, provided we identified the right person. I am confident Rod is the right person. I also believe Rod’s appointment now gives us the ability to move more decisively with respect to our search for a general manager."
Now as his first action as Team President, Rod Wood was tasked in helping Mrs. Ford, along with 4 other members of the Ford family, to find a new GM for the team. Hopefully he will do a better job this time around than the last guy.
Change in 2016
My fellow Americans. Though we get set for the big 2016 for the Presidential election, change is already on its way for the 2016 NFL season.
First, some ground-breaking news in regards to the NFL Draft. Per reports by ESPN NFL Insider, Adam Schefter, last Thursday the NFL has decided to allow teams to trade compensatory draft picks for the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft. For those who are not familiar in what a compensatory draft pick is, it is essential compensation for NFL teams who had a ‘net loss’ in free agency (i.e. more players leaving the team than new players being signed). Each player leaving and coming in is graded accordingly by salary and quality. The higher the salary and quality the higher the compensatory draft pick is. The usual range of compensatory picks are from rounds 3-7.
Also this past Friday, it was announced that the NFL is looking into the idea of cut preseason games by either one or two games without adding any more regular season games. Roger Goodell spoke on the sports talk show “The Doug And Wolf Show” out in Phoenix Arizona and had this to say.
Quote, “(W)e have spent a great deal of time talking about the quality of our preseason. The question from a football standpoint point, Wolf, is do we need three preseason games? Four preseason games? Or could we even go to two? I think the general view from our Competition Committee and many of our football people is that you certainly could get through with three preseason games. We have not talked about adding a regular-season game because that would have to be collectively bargained with the union. We would not have to, if we reduced from four to three, to do that through collective bargaining.” End quote.
Change is coming in 2016. Hopefully by then the whole ‘DeflateGate’ gibberish is at an end and also the NFL has improved more of their policies involving substance abuse, domestic abuse, and concussions.
Worth the Watch
Week 11 kicked off last Thursday Night with what may called a ‘dud’ of a game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars (for those who are interested, the Jaguars won 19-13). Although that game was a snoozefest, there are a few games in Week 11 you should checkout.
Sunday 1:00 PM
Dallas Cowboys @ Miami Dolphins
It’s the return of Cowboys QB Tony Romo after breaking his collarbone in a Week 2 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. With the team 2-7, can Romo come in and salvage the season? A matchup with the Dolphins should be what many believe to be the ‘jumping’ point of a Dallas playoff run.
Denver Broncos @ Chicago Bears
Say it isn’t so? Peyton Manning is benched? Well after his abysmal performance against the Chiefs last week at home (5-for-20 for 35 yards and 4 Ints for QB rating of 0.0), you can see why. Sure the Broncos are saying Peyton is ‘injured’ but it’s all just a cover up. Now we get to see the “Sheriff’s” deputy, Brock Osweiler, in action. Is he the future? Is he just another poser? We’ll find out Sunday against the Bears.
Sunday 4:25 PM
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
The battle for the NFC North has begun. Packers have lost 3 games in a row while the Vikings have won an impressive 5 games in a row. This is the first time these two teams will meet. Can Rodgers regain his Golden flare or will he be discount double-checked by the up-and-coming Teddy Bridgewater? Checkout perhaps the only close game of the week that will be worth watching.
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