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  1. Mike Neal, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, James Harrison & Dustin Keller are also mentioned amongst others. Gotta question the sources involved here, but... http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/peyton-manning-banned-ped-documentary-article-1.2477773 More from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/peyton-manning-human-growth-hormone_567f16e4e4b0b958f6599440 The credibility of the report hinges largely on whether Sly should be believed, or whether he's simply concocting stories to impress Collins. Several details lend significant credibility to Sly's assertions. First, Sly and the ring he is associated with do, in fact, obtain drugs for Collins, which the network says it retained as evidence.In a stunning scene, Taylor Teagarden, an eight-year MLB veteran, appears in one of the undercover videos, openly discussing his use of performance-enhancing drugs during the previous season. Al Jazeera confirmed that Sly did work at the anti-aging clinic that treated Manning; it is difficult to imagine how Sly would have had knowledge of any arrangement to ship drugs to Manning's wife if he were not operating with genuine insider knowledge. (Sly also describes an interaction with Manning, telling Collins that the quarterback is “really cool if you just sit down with him.”) Collins, in some ways, was the perfect athlete to put at the center of the operation. He's no stranger to the shade, having himself been tied up in a fraud scam in recent years. Beyond the allegations against Manning, the report calls into question the effectiveness of testing regimes meant to prevent performance-enhancing drug use in professional sports, from American leagues to the Olympics. Collins’ undercover quest took him from the Bahamas, where he connected with a doctor that claimed to supply performance-enhancing drugs to Bahamian Olympic athletes, to Canada, where he met naturopathic physician Brandon Spletzer and pharmacist Chad Robertson, who devised a “cutting edge” drug program for Collins that included up to 10 injections each day. Collins then connected with Sly, who has “taken smart drugs to a whole new level,” according to Spletzer. “The Dark Side” paints a picture of an underground marketplace where athletes can easily obtain drugs that are hard to detect even with sophisticated drug tests like those implemented by MLB, the NFL and the Olympics. And it raises questions about how serious the owners of professional sports teams are about rooting out drug use, which can make the games more exciting and profitable, while doing damage to the bodies of players, not owners. “No one’s got caught, because the system’s so easy to beat,” Robertson, the pharmacist, brags to Collins. “And it still is, that’s the sad fact. I can take a guy with average genetics and make him a world champion.” Robertson designed a program for Collins that included prescription fertility and hormone drugs, other substances labeled as “not for human consumption” and illegal drugs. Sly, meanwhile, preached the effectiveness of Delta-2, a hormone supplement that is “steroidal in nature” but is not an anabolic steroid, according to online product descriptions. “There's a bunch of football players who take this, and a bunch of baseball players who take it too," Sly tells Collins in the documentary. “Delta-2 is not for use by anybody subject to performance-enhancing drug tests,” state online reviews for the product. Major League Baseball has banned the drug explicitly. The report does not link Manning to Delta-2, but Sly and Robertson name multiple football players as customers, including Green Bay Packers linebacker Mike Neal. Neal, Sly says, connected him with multiple teammates, including defensive end Julius Peppers. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is another NFL player he has supplied, Sly says. Sly also names Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and Washington Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman as players who received the drug from him. He also claims in the report he gave drugs to Mike Tyson. Delta-2 is designed to stay ahead of drug tests, Sly explains on video. He tells Collins that he provided the drug to Dustin Keller, a tight end who last played for the Miami Dolphins and allegedly used Delta-2 while in college at Purdue University and then before the NFL Combine, according to Sly. (Keller did not respond to Al Jazeera’s requests for comment). “We just used Delta-2 because it wasn’t detectable,” Sly says. Sly also says that he provided Clay Matthews, Green Bay’s Pro Bowl linebacker, with the prescription painkiller Percocet to help him deal with pain before at least one game. He also brags in one undercover video that Matthews texted him in an attempt to obtain Toradol, a powerful painkiller that is banned in many countries but not in the United States. Harrison, Zimmerman and Howard all denied using the drugs to the network Neal, Peppers, Matthews and Tyson did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment. Robertson, the pharmacist, and Spletzer, the neuropathic physician, did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment. Sly, when pressed by Al Jazeera, backtracked, saying that his claims about supplying the drugs to athletes were “false and incorrect. In a subsequent statement to Al Jazeera, he walked back the comments even further, saying that Collins took advantage of him while Sly was grieving the death of his fiancée.
  2. This was written way before the preseason... "Desires to bounce runs wide too often. Not as trusting of blocking from B-gap to B-gap. Held to "stuffs" -- runs resulting in no yards or a loss -- on 19.2 percent of his carries. Feel and instincts as interior runner need improvement. Shows indecisiveness as one-cut runner. Would gear down and stutter-step to line, waiting for crease to show itself rather than adjusting on fly and taking what was available. Play strength through hole was only average. Used speed over strength to create many missed or broken tackles. Benefited from gaping running lanes. Ball security was an issue. Fumbled six times over his final five games, often being stripped while finishing run. Uncomfortable pass-catcher with marginal hands. Either dropped, double caught or smothered many throws. Pass protection needs work. Might have to come off field on third downs." http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/melvin-gordon?id=2552469 I typically pay head to the pros and cons outlined in scouting reports, but at face value, this assessment reads as if Gordon was a back who should have been drafted on day 3 rather than one chased after in a trade up to take 15th overall. He can't be that bad...
  3. I also used this strategy by accident in a 14 team redraft league before realizing there was an article outlining the tactic. I drafted WR/WR in the opening rounds, so I had to figure out some sort of mid-round RB strategy to compensate for it. I decided to target Houston's ground game, figuring that Houston's QB situation is so dire no matter who gets the starting nod that they'd be forced to rely on running the ball more. So after picking up Melvin Gordon in the 5th round, I took Alfred blue at the end of the 6th rd and then grabbed Foster on the way back in the 7th. Short of Polk upsetting the mix, this should allow me to lock up a high volume ground game regardless of who starts. I just hope the higher volume can compensate somewhat for defenses stacking the box, forcing Houston to win through the air (which was pretty much the way things went for the Texans last year anyway, so nothing really new there...). We'll see how it pans out....
  4. Your break down/analysis was pretty well thought out, but it doesn't really reflect what I saw down the stretch last year. Take Greg Jennings for example. While I'd have to concede Jennings isn't nearly the player he used to be, he would still have to be considered the significantly more accomplished WR when compared directly with Johnson. Furthermore, Jennings, like Wallace, also has experience playing both the flanker and split end roles and should thereby also be considered an interchangeable type player. According to such reasoning, Jennings should have been the more targeted player last year....but he wasn't. Come week 11 when Johnson started to play a more significant role, Bridgewater immediately began targeting him more so than he did Jennings. All that said, Jennings put up 4 TDs during that stretch (vs. Johnson's 2 TDs), I do believe a 2015 Wallace is a certain upgrade over a 2014 Jennings and I do believe Wallace will see more targets than Johnson. However, I don't think it'll be by a significant amount. I can see Wallace/Johnson playing out a 1A/1B type split in the receiving numbers.
  5. This paragraph is what concerns me about Geno: I do think the scheme and added weapons can work in his favor - I hope so at least. I do agree with the positive aspects of his skill set fleshed out in that article as well. That's what makes his poor decisions all the more frustrating. Some of that can be blamed on being young and inexperienced, but frankly even a college QB shouldn't throw the ball up for grabs under extreme pressure and should just eat it or get it out of bounds. I'm hoping he clearly beats out Fitzpatrick in camp and preseason, but if his "football IQ" doesn't translate onto the field and he still makes bonehead mistakes, they need to pull the plug early. The defense is too good to waste on a QB that will constantly put them in bad field position or even worse give the other team points. I watched an interview of Geno before the Jets drafted him and wasn't at all impressed. In the interview he was given a play with 4 options. Its been a few years and I don't remember them exactly, but lets say the primary WR was #1, second WR was the #2, the TE was the 3rd option and running it out of bounds was the last option on the play. After he was showed the play he was asked one or two quick fluff questions about leadership, work ethic, etc. After he gave canned, cliche' responses he was asked to repeat the options of the play he was given. After the #1 option, he responded with running it out of bounds as his 2nd option. In less than 60 seconds he forgot he even had a #2 and #3 option, let alone what those options were. In my opinion, he's not making boneheaded mistakes because he's young and inexperienced. I think he's making these mistakes because he just can't fully absorb a professional play-book; can't remember his reads. Everything I see from Geno now is reflective of what I saw in that interview 2-3 years ago. He might have some talent, but IMO he just doesn't have the cognitive capacity to string it all together, get it to click and succeed at this level. Now you've got a new coach, a new play book.... it's back to square 1 again. Throw in that youth and inexperience on top of it... I have no hope for this guy. Unless they really simplify the plays and/or have him run it if his first option isn't there, I don't see Geno holding off Fitz for very long.
  6. I was offered a mid 2nd round rookie draft pick in exchange for Jordan Matthews AND a 3rd round rookie pick. SO tempting...
  7. What's the benefit to announcing this now? I guess one could argue that it gives Geno confidence, but why not make it an open competition? Maybe this is the whole purpose behind the decision... Geno has everything he needs to succeed at this point: good line, good WRs, full staff support, solid D that can keep games close... absolutely no excuses whatsoever... this creates an all or nothing / sink or swim situation for him.
  8. It's about time. I thought they drafted well, too, which means they did something different with their drafting process despite holding on to the old personnel until now.
  9. I can't see a day 2 draft pick, even after a pre-season shredding of 2nd and 3rd string Ds, getting the week 1 start over Oliver given he has the better part of experience & familiarity with the system if nothing else. Beyond that I don't even think the SD staff themselves know where things will go from there. Maybe a rookie takes half the carries week 2 and takes the start going into 3, but right out of the gate I think it's Oliver short of SD taking a RB day 1. I took Oliver as a cheap flier, and my only interest in what SD does with him is in the number of carries he gets with a start. His 2014 stats hint that he's a performer when he gets 15-20+ carries; gets the opportunity to "warm-up", "get into a rhythm" or whatever the heck you want to call it. If they're going to go DeAngelo/Stewart-like with 8 - 12 carries per back, I'd bet the farm it ain't going to work out too well for Oliver or San Diego. Edit: Mistakenly typed "Oakland" instead of "San Diego" in the last line.
  10. I'm really interested in seeing what Oliver could do with a more featured role, but I can't realistically imagine any NFL franchise rolling with a strategy that would have them going into week 1 with an unchallenged, UDFA atop the depth chart. I'll be very surprised and very high on Oliver if this is still the actual situation come August.
  11. I agree, but that's also where it's hard for me to get excited about anything with the Jets...hoping they'll actually make the right call(s) with these opportunities going into next season...
  12. To my knowledge other than this incident he has a very clean history and seems to be well respected by all that have been around him during high school, college and in the NFL... A friend of mine worked as a bouncer near Rutgers and would occasionally see Rice come around from time to time. He said Rice always came off as a d-bag who demanded respect and special treatment from everyone he met because he was so high on who he was even back then. I doubt the fame and million dollar paydays that came to follow since then have aided him in learning any lessons of humility leading up to the TKO of his wife. Then again, these days he may not be so proudly walking around proclaiming, "Do you know who I am?" to every unsuspecting, average Joe who is just doing his job....
  13. If the Jets trade anything for that dude, I'm done. Hell would be the Jets having either Manziel, RG3 or Winston as the starting QB next year. As a result, I'm expecting that to happen. Or all 3 -QG I almost feel like even Andrew Luck would fail with the NYJ. This organization is just far too dysfunctional in its management. Even if they somehow did land a QB like Luck, they're just so inept when it comes to the scouting and drafting of offensive talent that they'd probably fail building around a key player like that without making equally significant changes in their scouting and game planning personnel. The Jets have so long subscribed to the philosophy of building around a strong defense that this team hasn't even tried to find and draft first-round quality talent for their offense. The last time Gang Green went O within the first 32 picks was when they took Sanchez 5th overall in '09 and TE Keller at 30th overall the year before (but only after taking DE Gholston 6th overall with their other 1st round selection). You'd have to go back almost 15 years to the 2001 selection of Santana Moss @16th overall just to list 3 offensive players the Jets drafted in the 1st.
  14. You've got to wonder how much FF is playing a role in it all. Its popularity has skyrocketed over the last decade with millions if not billions of dollars worth of business built around it. Now all of the sudden anything that can effect someone's playing time becomes news-worthy and relevant because there's a HUGE FF audience there to gobble it up. Modern forms of media/communications, from videos taken via cell phones to Twitter comments, are feeding the frenzy. They've made the world a much smaller, much less personal place where even the most insignificant "news" can spread worldwide instantly. I think what makes it even worse is that all of this is occurring in a landscape where people have thin skin, are easily offended and have become either sue-happy or sue-paranoid. It's sad that we now live in a world where a dumb comment made in front of someone's cell phone can put a multi-million dollar contract in jeopardy only a few hours later.
  15. What I'd like to know is: who, within the NFL brass, thought that guys like myself, with FT jobs, a wife and kids, would actually be able to pull off watching football 3-4 days a week?