Food for Thought: Should Green Bay Have Followed Atlanta's Lead in Learning Info About the Zone Read?
16 carries for 181 yards, with two touchdown runs of 20 and 56 yards. And these stats weren't made by All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, either.
Green Bay coaches should remember these numbers too well. After all, they were made by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is an artist when it comes to running the zone read, having run it to perfection under former Nevada head coach Chris Ault during his time as Wolfpack quarterback. Both the Packers and the Falcons got a taste of what Kaepernick and the zone read are capable of, and how it has added life to both the passing game and the running game. The Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks also ran the zone read under their rookie quarterbacks in Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, respectively. And they, like Kaepernick, are artists in reading the defensive ends and deciding whether to keep it themselves or hand it off to their running backs, and it was a big reason the 49ers, Seahawks and Redskins were among the best when it came to running the football.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to trade a first-round pick for cornerback Darrelle Revis. The deal would make the Bucs a dangerous team defensively in 2013.
Revis seems destined to dealt by the New York Jets and Tampa appears his most likely destination. NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal cites a report from Sports Illustrated's Peter King, stating the Buccaneers are willing to trade their first-round pick for the star cover man.
He is certainly worth that to Tampa Bay's defense. Revis can turn a solid group into a unit that will frighten opponents in the new season.
In 2012, the Buccaneers were the stingiest run defense in the NFL. They yielded a mere 82.5 yards per game on the ground.
Yet the defense still ranked 23rd in points and 29th in yards surrendered. The chief problem was a pass defense that ranked bottom of the league.
A handful of positions in the world of sports—center field for the Yankees, tailback at USC—test every individual who plays them against some of the giants in the history of the game. One such position is middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears.
Now, there will be a new would-be star in that role for the first time in 13 years. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Brian Urlacher and the team have broken off contract talks, and the career Windy City icon has played his last game in a Bear uniform.
With the end of the Urlacher era, it’s time to reflect on the Chicago career of the most successful and popular Bear of this century. Even in the lofty company of Bear MLBs, number 54 stacks up remarkably well.
They haven't gone public with it yet, but it's an open secret the Philadelphia Eagles will switch to a 3-4 defense under new head coach Chip Kelly. Their early free agency signings show how that 3-4 defense is taking shape.
Compared with recent seasons, the Eagles have been low-key in free agency. That's certainly a wise policy after being burned by the big spending that produced the so-called "dream team." However, staying below the radar, doesn't means the Eagles haven't been active and Smart.
So far they have added four new pieces to their secondary. Safeties Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips will compete to start right away. As will new cornerbacks Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams. However, it is up front where the Eagles have made their best moves and have been most revealing about their choice of defensive scheme.
One of Philly's first deals was to secure former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga. His arrival was the first major hint at a move to a 3-4 front. Sopoaga is a hulking nose tackle, the kind of run-stuffing force every 3-4 needs in the middle.
Signing Steven Jackson gives the Atlanta Falcons the best offense in the NFL. The Falcons have agreed the signing of the star free agent running back, according to NFL.com.
Jackson expands the repertoire and scoring potential of the Falcons attack. He will provide the perfect complement to the league's most dangerous passing game.
Quarterback Matt Ryan already has the perfect blend of pass-catchers. At wide receiver, Julio Jones stretches the field vertically, while Roddy White works the outside.
Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez, who recently confirmed he will 'return' for another season, works underneath. The only element missing is a dynamic and versatile weapon in the backfield.
Jackson is exactly that. The stellar veteran offers the same level of bruising, power-running that the departed Michael Turner did.