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NFL News and Notes

Posted by in NFL General on February 3rd, 2010 | Comment »

With the big game only a few days away, the main focus in the world of football is on the Super Bowl line as it is a last chance for some NFL predictions and picks until August. As always, during the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl many NFL teams undergo some heavy changes in the coaching department as well revealing some indicators on players that potentially will be let go.

Offseason Recap

Head Coaches

There have been some big headlines on the Head Coaching front with Pete Carroll leaving USC after one of the most dominant tenures in college history to become the President and Head Coach of the Seahawks. Carroll has been given total creative power and brought with him to Seattle his offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who was allegedly considering the same postion with the Bears before Carroll was given the job. Carroll also brings with him former great linebacker Ken Norton Jr. to be his linebackers coach. It will be interesting to see if Carroll starts stockpiling some of his former USC players.

Other notable head coaching changes:

Mike Shanahan is now the Redskins Head Coach, and allegedly will not get interfered with by meddling owner Dan Snyder.

Chan Gailey becomes the Buffalo Bills new Head Coach in a questionable decision by the Bills front office. Gailey has been out of the game for a year, and has not been highly regarded in many.

Assistant Coaches

The offseason started a little too early for the liking of the New York Giants this year who finished a disappointing 8-8 after a 5-0 start. A big reason for this was the collapse of the defense. 2009 Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan paid for it with his job as the Giants have brought in former Interim-Head Coach of the Bills, Perry Fewell to man the top defensive coaching spot. Fewell coached under Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin as a defensive backs coach in Jacksonville in the late 90’s.

Other notable assistant coaches on the move:

Mike Nolan moves from Denver to Miami to be their D-Coordinator.

Romeo Crennel signs to be the D-Coordinator of the Chiefs and Charlie Weis has signed on as O-Coordinator as President Scott Pioli has reinstituted his old championship coordinating team from his Patriots days on the Chiefs.

Mike Martz signs with the Bears to be Jay Cutler’s offensive coordinator

Fired Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn has become the QB’s coach in Baltimore, a job that he used to do well. Zorn was made Head Coach when he was not even being considered as an offensive coordinator around the league. This seems to be a good fit for Zorn, who gets to work with a burgeoning star in Joe Flacco.

Old faces heading to new places

Panthers DE Julius Peppers has been considered one of the best pass-rushers in the game for the majority of his career. The Panthers have been using the Franchise tag on him for many years and look like they will not this year. Peppers is the best player currently on the market, and most certainly the best defensive end.

Potential new home: Green Bay, New England, Kansas City

Other big names potentially on the move:

Donovan McNabb QB, Eagles

Anquan Boldin WR, Cardinals

Joey Porter 3-4 OLB, Dolphins

LaDanian Tomlinson RB, Chargers

Chester Taylor RB, Vikings

Michael Vick QB, Eagles

Reggie Bush RB, Saints

Super Bowl News

The big question approaching Super Bowl Sunday is the health of Colts DE Dwight Freeney. Freeney has been one of the most dominant DE’s in the league this year, like in many other years prior. With two minutes left in the Colts win over the Jets, Freeney tore an ankle ligament trying to avoid hitting Jets QB Mark Sanchez. The Colts pass-rush has done a great job taking the pressure off their extremely young corners. Without a pass-rush, Drew Brees will be tough to stop. Freeney is a game-time decision, but the Colts are practicing as if he will not be able to play. I expect Freeney to get on the field, but a 3rd degree ankle sprain is next to impossible to comeback from so quickly. If you’ve ever seen one up close and personal, you would understand why.

Betting Tips: The spread without Freeney should be less than the 5.5 points the Colts are currently giving. This game becomes more of a toss-up now and could make for some gaudy offensive numbers for Drew Brees. Brees should be considered as a better value bet for MVP without Freeney playing up to his ability.

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