And So It Begins…Bills Begin Training Camp

As a child born in the 80’s, the “glory days” for the Bills in the 90’s for my young football mind, were under appreciated by me.  I loved the Bills because my Dad did, and as a young boy growing up in Western New York, did I even have a choice?  Even as I developed my own love for them in this time, my appreciation for football, or any professional sport for that matter, was mere dismal compared to where it is today.  Since those “glory days” though, my love for the Bills has come with a very high cost, the cost of countless heartbreaks.  The Bills have become a dictionary version of a “roller coaster ride”, constantly bringing us up, filling us with such anticipation and shear excitement, then within seconds were flying back down screaming our heads off at our HD televisions.  Another definition I think of associated to us Bills fans is that of the word insanity.  Doing the same thing every year, hoping that maybe this is the year, and then experiencing the same results, that being the Bills on the outside looking in.

Drew Brees = Winning

Drew Brees moved one step closer to getting the new contract he wants when he won his franchise tag grievance on Tuesday.

Brees was arguing that the next franchise tag he’s assigned should be counted as his third as he was tagged in 2005 as a Charger and this offseason as a Saint.  The new collective bargaining agreement language had been vague in regards to franchise tags and the expected salary from using them.

A Package Deal

The Miami Dolphins pick up of Chad Ochocinco is perhaps the perfect deal.

The Dolphins are thin at receiver and it has been one of the main things to hold them back recently.  With the addition of Ochocinco, if he makes the 5 man rotation, or even becomes a starter, they open up their receiving corps by a great deal.  The only thing he really has to prove is that he can learn the plays and routes.  Reportedly, he had too much trouble with that in New England, but I’m not so sure about that.  In New England, I think it was more the fact that the Patriots just had too many other choices and Brady preferred them over Ochocinco.

How To Win At Football

As I was listening to the breakdown on ESPN of the Atlanta Falcons this morning, a couple of things popped into my head about how to win at football.

Sometimes stating the obvious is just too difficult for the sports media talking heads.    They like to analyze and then analyze again and their analyze their analyzing.  They have to fill up 24 hours of cable time you know.  In all this analyzing, they almost always miss the obvious point.  There are really only two ways to win at football.  Are you ready?

Lawsuit Central

The NFL used to epitomize big rivalries, hard hits, underdog comebacks, fans and fun.  These days, however, it seems to be focused on one thing, lawsuits.

Everybody is suing everybody in the NFL over everything.  The big lawsuit involving about 2000 former players and their families over brain injury and brain related diseases and what the NFL knew and when they knew it continues its march through the court system and looks to be one of biggest stories in the NFL this year.

Keep Calm and Gronk On

The Patriots intend to Gronk on for a very long time to come.  They just wrapped a deal to keep tight end Rob Gronkowski with the team until potentially 2019.

In a deal that is sure to shake things up in the NFL, the Patriots signed TE Gronkowski to a contract extension that includes an option, which would potentially keep him with the Patriots organization until the year 2019.  That’s 7 years away and an almost unheard of thing in the NFL to this point.

So Long, Farewell….

This week the Patriots ended one of the weirdest experiments I think I’ve seen them do, so far.  They let Chad Ochocinco go and thus ended something I never understood in the first place.

Let me go on record by saying that I think he’s a good receiver and I think he still can be somewhere.  Also, let me go on record as saying that through interactions with him on Twitter and Facebook, he is not only a loud-mouth, self-absorbed guy, he actually says some things that are kind, that are uplifting, that are inspiring and that are genuine.  He’s not what the media makes him out to be in my experience at all.

Becoming A Habit

There are many after Justin Blackmon’s DUI arrest who are saying it’s just a rookie mistake.  it may be true, but a mistake made more than once starts to become a habit and Blackmon is now a two time offender.

There were those in the NFL who said that the Jaguars ignored serious warning signs about Blackmon’s character and off the field issues when they took him with the fifth overall pick.  Blackmon had been arrested in 2010 for DUI but Oklahoma had expressed no major concerns in pre-draft interviews with NFL teams.  Still, Blackmon had demonstrated that he had used poor judgement.  Perhaps the Jags wrote this off as so much college behavior and didn’t get any indication from OU that Blackmon was going to have further issues or had other issues of character outside of this arrest.

Help Wanted

The NFL faced the very real possibility on Monday that they will have to seek out replacement referees for the upcoming season.  Not quite putting out the Help Wanted signs yet, but getting closer every day.

On Monday, the NFL locked out existing referees when mediation over contract talks came to a halt.  The referees current contract ended after the 2011 season and talks have not gone well.

An Impressive Offseason for the Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills, for the first time in many years, have had an offseason filled with moves worthy of conversation.  The new approach for the Bills front office started last season when the Bills brought in veteran linebacker Nick Barnett, re-signed their best defensive lineman, at the time, Kyle Williams, and early this offseason re-signed their number one receiver, Stevie Johnson.  The Bills really made a huge and surprising splash when they signed highly sought after, free agent, Mario Williams to the most expensive defensive contract in NFL history.