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The NFC North is loaded with solid head coaches

Blogged under Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Friday 29 July 2016 at 1:58 pm

The NFC North is loaded with solid head coaches.  Here is how I rank the head coaches in the NFC North heading into the 2016 season:

1.  Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers – 52-year old Mike McCarthy is a no-nonsense type of head coach.  He wants to win at all costs.  He led the Packers to a 10-6 (62.5%) record during the regular season last year and they were 1-1 in the playoffs.  He is now 104-55-1 (65.3%) in his first 10 years as the Packers’ head coach during the regular season and he is also 8-7 (53.3%) in the post-season.  He has won a Super Bowl as the head coach of the Packers!  His 104 regular season wins is #36 in NFL history and his 8 playoff wins is tied for #23!

2.  John Fox, Chicago Bears – 61-year old John Fox has been a solid head coach for a long time in the NFL.  The Bears were a mess when he took over and he got them to finish 6-10 (37.5%) in 2015.  He is now 125-99 (55.8%) during the regular season in his first 14 years as an NFL head coach.  He is also 8-7 (53.3%) in the playoffs.  He is 25th in regular season wins (125) and he is also tied for 23rd in playoff wins (8) in NFL history.  He has led teams to two Super Bowls as a head coach, but he has lost both of them.

3.  Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings – 60-year old Mike Zimmer could rocket up this list in the near future.  He has built the Vikings into a tough run the ball on offense and play great defense kind of football team.  They are definitely an old school and very effective football team.  The Vikings were 11-5 (68.8%) last year during the regular season before losing a heartbreaker in the playoffs to the Seahawks on a missed chip shot field goal.  Zimmer is now 18-14 (56.3%) during the regular season and they are 0-1 in his first two years in charge of the Vikings.

4.  Jim Caldwell, Detroit Lions – 61-year old Jim Caldwell seemed to be on thin ice when the 2015 season ended, but he kept his job.  The Lions were a disappointing 7-9 (43.8%) last year.  He is now 18-14 (56.3) during the regular season and he is 0-1 in the playoffs in his first two years in charge of the Lions.  He is now 44-36 (55%) in his first five regular seasons as an NFL head coach and he is also 2-3 (40%) in the playoffs.

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Here is how I rank the head coaches in the NFC East

Blogged under Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Thursday 28 July 2016 at 1:43 pm

The NFC East is a division in which half of the head coaches are new at their jobs.  Here is how I rank the head coaches in the NFC East heading into the 2016 season:

1.  Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys had a brutal season in 2015, as they finished with a 4-12 (25%) record.  In defense of Garrett, the Cowboys did have a lot of injuries last year.  Garrett is now 45-43 (51.1%) in his first six years in the regular season as the Cowboys’ head coach.  He is also 1-1 (50%) in the playoffs so far.

2. Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins – 49-year old Jay Gruden put his stamp on the Redskins last year, as he quit playing the RGIII game and went with Kirk Cousins as his starting QB.  The result?  The Redskins won the AFC East with a 9-7 (56.3%) record, before losing in their first playoff game.  Gruden is now 13-19 (40.6%) during the regular season with the Redskins in his first two years on the job and he is 0-1 in the playoffs.

3. Ben McAdoo, New York Giants – 39-year old Ben McAdoo gets a slight nod from me as the #3 head coach, as he was the Giants’ offensive coordinator last year, so at least he knows the players.  He rejuvenated Eli Manning last year and returned him to being one of the best QBs in the NFL.

4. Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles – 48-year old Doug Pederson has also been an offensive coordinator.  He worked last year for the Chiefs and he is an ex-NFL QB.  If nothing else, I think the Eagles will be a decent offensive team in 2016.

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Here is how I rank the head coaches of the AFC West

Blogged under Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Wednesday 27 July 2016 at 12:05 pm

The AFC West is loaded with pretty solid NFL head coaches.  Here is how I rank them heading into the 2016 season:

1.  Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs – Reid just keeps winning no matter when he coaches.  He led the Chiefs to a 11-5 record and then he went 1-1 in the playoffs.  Reid is now 31-17 (64.6%) in the regular season and 1-2 (33.3%) in the playoffs in his first three years with the Chiefs.  Reid is now 161-110-1 (59.4%) in his 17 years as an NFL head coach during the regular season.  He is also 11-11 (50%) in the playoffs so far in his career.  He is currently #16 in regular season wins (161) and he is also tied for #9 in post-season wins (11) in NFL history!

2.  Gary Kubiak, Denver Broncos – 54-year old Gary Kubiak led the Broncos to a Super Bowl win in his first year on the job in 2015.  He was 12-4 (75%) during the regular season and 3-0 in the post-season.  But it hasn’t always been peaches and cream for Kubiak.  Kubiak is 73-68 (51.8%) during the regular season in his first 9 years as an NFL head coach.  He is also 5-2 (71.4%) in the playoffs so far in his NFL career.

3.  Jack Del Rio, Oakland Raiders – 53-year old Jack Del Rio has a lot of experience as an NFL head coach, but he has gotten so-so results to this point in his career.  He led the Raiders to a 7-9 (43.8%) record in his first year in charge for the Raiders in 2015.  He is now 75-80 (48.4%) in the regular season in his first 10 years as an NFL head coach.  He is only 1-2 (33.3%) in the playoffs so far in his career.

4.  Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers – 44-year old Mike McCoy almost got fired at the end of the 2015 season, as the Chargers were a pretty poor 4-12 (25%) last year.  He is now 22-26 (45.8%) in his first three regular seasons as the Chargers’ head coach.  They are 1-1 under McCoy in the playoffs.

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Amare Stoudemire retires from the NBA

Blogged under Basketball,Bloglockers,Comings & Goings,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Tuesday 26 July 2016 at 9:33 pm

33-year old PF/C Amare Stoudemire has decided to retire from the NBA.  He played in 52 games (36 starts) for the Miami Heat last year during the regular season and he averaged 14.7 minutes, 5.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game.  Stoudemire also played in 9 games (2 starts) in the playoffs for the Heat last year and he averaged 9.1 minutes, 3.3 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.  Stoudemire was a six time All-Star before he started having knee problems.  He played in 846 games (696 starts) in his 14 years in the NBA and he averaged 31.0 minutes, 18.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocked shots per game.  He has also played in 78 games (62 starts) in the playoffs in his NBA career and he averaged 30.7 minutes, 18.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 1.3 blocked shots per game.  It was the right time for Stoudemire to walk away from the NBA, as he was running on fumes the last couple of years.

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Greg Jennings has decided to call it a career

Blogged under Big Football News,Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,Milestones by joelapinski on Tuesday 26 July 2016 at 2:08 pm

32-year old WR Greg Jennings has decided to retire from the NFL.  Jennings played in 16 games (5 starts) for the Miami Dolphins last year and he caught 19 passes for 208 yards (10.9 avg) with 1 TD grab.  He is most known for his time with the Green Bay Packers, where he was a Pro Bowler in both 2010 and 2012.  Jennings played in 143 games in his 10 years in the NFL and he caught 571 passes for 8,291 yards (14.5 avg) with 64 TD grabs.  Jennings retires tied for 80th in receptions (571), #79 in receiving yards (8,291) and he is tied for #60 in TD grabs (64) in NFL history!

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The AFC South is full of so-so head coaches

Blogged under Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Sunday 24 July 2016 at 7:45 pm

The AFC South if full of so-so head coaches for the 2016 season.  Here is how I rank them heading into the 2016 season:

1.  Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans – 46-year old Bill O’Brien showed that he could win without a QB last year, as he got to the playoffs with Brian Hoyer as his starter.  He led the Texans to a 9-7 record (56.3%) last year and then he had a nightmare game in the playoffs.  O’Brien is now 18-14 (56.3%) during the regular season in his first two years with the Texans and he is 0-1 in the playoffs.  Look out for the Texans this year!

2. Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts – 55-year old Chuck Pagano led the Colts to an 8-8 (50%) record last year.  He did a great job keeping the Colts in the playoff hunt despite using five QBs last year.  He is now 41-23 (64.1%) in his first four years as the Colts’ head coach during the regular season.  He is also 3-3 (50%) in the playoffs so far in his career.

3.  Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars – 50-year old Gus Bradley has slowly been building the Jaguars the last three years.  The Jaguars were 5-11 (31.3%) last year, but they really jumped big time on the offensive side of the ball.  He is now 12-36 (25%) in his first three years with the Jaguars.

4.  Mike Mularkey, Tennessee Titans – 54-year old Mike Mularkey has never been much of a head coach, but the Titans gave him the keys to the car anyway.  He was 2-7 (22.2%) for the Titans last year when he took over for Ken Whisenhunt.  Mularkey is now 18-39 (31.6%) in his first four years as an NFL head coach.

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The AFC North is loaded with pretty solid head coaches

Blogged under Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Friday 22 July 2016 at 7:12 pm

The AFC North is loaded with solid NFL head coaches.  No rookies here!  Here is how I rank the head coaches of the AFC North heading into the 2016 season:

1. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers – 44-year old head coach Mike Tomlin takes a lot of flak from fans of his own team a lot of times.  He does take some goofy chances at times that often blow up in his face….but….he continues to win a lot of games.  A lot of that is because of the play of Ben Roethlisberger.  Tomlin led the Steelers to a 10-6 (62.5%) record during the regular season and they were 1-1 in the playoffs.  Tomlin is now 92-52 (63.9%) in his first 9 years with the Steelers during the regular season.  He is also 6-5 (54.5%) in the playoffs, winning the Super Bowl in 2008.  Tomlin is #44 in NFL history with his 92 wins!

2. John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens had a down year due to injuries in 2015, as they were only 5-11 (31.3%) on the season.  53-year old John Harbaugh is now 77-51 (60.2%) during the regular season in his first 8 years with the Ravens.  He is also 10-5 (66.7%) in the playoffs for the Ravens and they won the Super Bowl in 2012.  Harbaugh is tied for #13 in NFL history with his 10 playoff wins!

3. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals – 57-year old Marvin Lewis is good enough to get the Bengals to the playoffs.  The Bengals were 12-4 (75%) during the regular season before melting down in the playoffs and losing at home against the Steelers.  Lewis is now 112-94-2 (54.3%) in the regular season in his first 13 years with the Bengals.  Those 112 wins are already #34 in NFL history…..but….he is also 0-7 in the playoffs!

4. Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns – 50-year old Hue Jackson is getting his second shot as an NFL head coach in 2016.  He was 8-8 (50%) with the Oakland Raiders in 2011.  Jackson is going to be a good NFL head coach but it might not show right away in his won/loss record, as the Browns are in the early stages of a rebuilding project.

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Dennis Green has passed away

Blogged under Big Football News,Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Friday 22 July 2016 at 2:02 pm

Former NFL head coach Dennis Green has passed away at the age of 67 years old.  Green was a rock solid coach in Minnesota for the Vikings.  He was 97-62 (61.0%) during the regular season in his 10 years with the Vikings.  He was also a disappointing 4-8 (33.3%) in the playoffs for the Vikings.  He then moved on to coach to the Arizona Cardinals.  He did not have the same success there.  He was 16-32 (33.3%) in his three years with the Cardinals.  In all, Green was 113-94 (54.6%) in his 13 regular season as an NFL head coach.  His 113 wins rank 33rd in NFL history!

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Here is a look at how I rank the head coaches in the AFC East

Blogged under Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Thursday 21 July 2016 at 6:59 pm

The coaches are going to have a big role on where the teams wind up in the AFC East in 2016.  Here is how I rank the head coaches of the AFC East:

1. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots – This was the easiest pick in ANY division, as 64-year old Bill Belichick is already a Hall of Fame head coach.  Does he cheat?  Probably.  Does he win a lot of football games?  Certainly!  Belichick led the Patriots to a 12-4 (75%) record last year during the regular season and then they went 1-1 in the playoffs.  Belichick has now been a head coach for 21 years in the NFL and he is 223-113 (66.4%).  He is #5 in NFL history with those 223 wins!  He is also 23-10 (69.7%) in the post-season as a head coach.  Belichick is the all-time leader in NFL history with those 23 playoff wins and he also has won 4 Super Bowls!

2. Rex Ryan, Buffalo Bills – 53-year old Rex Ryan did a rock solid job last year with the Buffalo Bills, as he led them to an 8-8 record.  He is now 54-58 (48.2%) during the regular season in his first 7 years as an NFL head coach.  Ryan does his best work when he gets his team to the playoffs, where he is 4-2 (66.7%) so far in his career.

3. Todd Bowles, New York Jets – 52-year old Todd Bowles led the Jets to a 10-6 record (62.5%) last year, and they just missed the playoffs with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting QB.  Think about that for a minute!  He is now 12-7 (63.2%) in his first two years as an NFL head coach.  He has the potential to leapfrog Ryan this year in my rankings.

4. Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins – 38-year old Adam Gase is getting his first shot to show what he can do as the head man in Miami.  You always have to work your way up, so I will always put a first time rookie head coach at the bottom until he shows me something.

 

 

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Meet the biggest seller at the MLB Trade Deadline in 2016……The Tampa Bay Rays

Blogged under Baseball,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Tuesday 19 July 2016 at 8:30 am

The Tampa Bay Rays are sitting at 35-57 on the season, which has them in last place in the A.L. East, 18.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles.  They are also 16 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second Wild Card spot in the A.L.  I look for the Rays to be the biggest sellers at the trade deadline.

The Rays have what other teams need……starting pitching.  They also have some young starting pitchers that are locked up on decent contracts.  That makes them very, very valuable.  Lefty Matt Moore and righty Jake Odorizzi have been having a ton of scouts at games that they are pitching in.  They both have outstanding value to contending teams, because they will be a part of their rotation for a long, long time.  That being said, the Rays should maximize the return for either of them while attaching outfielder Desmond Jennings or first baseman Logan Morrison to any deal for either of them.  Lefty Drew Smyly and righty reliever/starter Erasmo Ramirez could net the Rays a decent prospect for each one.  Chris Archer is a guy that the Rays want to keep, but if they get an offer that they can’t refuse….they are going to take it.  I also could see the Rays dealing lefty reliever Xavier Cedeno or righty reliever Kevin Jepsen at the end of this month also, but they would probably be a sweetener in a deal, because I don’t think either of them would bring much in return if traded by themselves.

The Rays will also likely try to deal some position players later this month.  I would not be surprised to see them deal 1B/DH Steve Pearce, SS Brad Miller or outfielders Brandon Guyer, Steven Souza and/or OF/DH Corey Dickerson.  The Rays could deal these guys on their own or they could package them together or with a pitcher or two.

The Rays should move as many of the guys mentioned in the paragraphs above, as they need to restructure the roster for the future.  The only guys that they should keep for sure are 3B Evan Longoria, CF Kevin Kiermaier, 2B Logan Forsythe and All-Star closer Alex Colome.

 

 

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