Bruce Arians received one whale of a birthday present this week, as the Colts offensive coordinator became their interim head coach in the wake of Chuck Pagano’s leukemia diagnosis. While Pagano’s form of leukemia is treatable, he will be hospitalized for at least six to eight weeks, and has stated that he will probably be unable to coach the rest of the season.Arians, who will turn 60 this Wednesday, has previously been the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, and as WR coach and OC of Pittsburgh won rings for Super Bowls XL and XLIII. This week it was revealed that Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was still using some of Arians’ old plays in the no-huddle offense. It was only about a week after Arians retired from the Steelers that he became the Colts’ OC.The Colts are in the midst of a rebuilding process, which takes some pressure off of Arians.
After 14 memorable seasons that saw four MVP's, numerous passing records broken, 2 Super Bowl appearances, and 1 championship, Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts franchise found themselves at a crossroad.
Manning undoubtedly had the ability to play at a high level for at least another 3 years and his love for the game remained unchanged. However he was now 36-years-of-age, increasing in mileage, coming off of multiple neck surgeries, and with who many scouts proclaimed as one of the best quarterback prospects in years available in the fast approaching draft, keeping the aging Hall of Famer was seen as too much of a risk for owner Jim Irsay.
With the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts officially closed the book on the Manning era by selecting Sanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck made his preseason debut today in a 38-3 win over the Saint Louis Rams and needless to say: Colts fans have every reason to look forward to another decade of good football.
I have been attending all the Texans training camp days over the weekend and I went headstrong with players that I know are going to be great and want to be there to watch them start to make that leap. The first day I just wanted to watch Kareem Jackson and Brandon Harris who are my two favorite Texan's defensive backs, I do however respect that Jonathan Joseph is the best on the squad. As I watched Harris and Jackson I thought to myself that the tandem of those two corners should be fun to watch. Harris will now fill in the sub role of the departed now Bengal corner Jason Allen.
With Allen's departure Alan Ball was brought in. I am far from sold on Ball. Watching him in camp, Roc Carmichael seemed to outperform Ball. Which part of 2011 Cowboys secondary makes you think of any great corners? I just seem to remember the guys over there in Dallas that play in a 'billion dollar play pen' seem to get scorched and blow games. So I am not a Ball fan and really hope the Harris will be given a legitimate shot to be ahead of Ball on the depth chart and not be tied to some salary guilt trip feeling like you have to play Ball because you are paying him more
The 2012 NFL Draft is in the rear view mirror, but for burgeoning clubs like the Houston Texans, the expectations for the newest group of first-year players might play a pivotal role in the up-coming season.
Here is a look at the Texans' selections, and the how well GM Rick Smith did on draft day.
First Round selection, No. 26 overall: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois 6'3" 261 lbs; Expert Scout grade: 86.0
Mercilus is already drawing criticism about his game being a possible one-year wonder after he led the NCAA in sacks and forced fumbles last season in his first year as a starter. However, some see Mercilus's progress as just the start of perhaps break-out career, as he is expected to immediately contribute to the pass rush of last season's No. 2 ranked defense. Mercilus was probably the best overall player on the board and the Texans should feel fortunate to have had him available at No. 26.
Third Round selection, No. 68 overall: DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio St. 6'1" 211 lbs; Expert Scout grade: 71.50
In the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft, there are many candidates who are thought to be overlooked, or sleepers. Some because they are over-or-under rated, while others are considered a "big fish in a small pond" or could it be a big fish in a overlooked, untapped pond?
I had the opportunity to interview an incoming NFL Draft prospect that is just that, coming from an overlooked pond.
What is an overlooked pond? Any Division II or III school. Let me remind you of the talent that has come from these ranks: Jerry Rice, Larry Allen, Jacoby Jones, Brian Urlacher, Daniel Manning, Jahri Evans.
OK, you get the point that there are plenty of big names, Hall of Famers and Pro Bowlers that have come from the lower division schools. To the same effect, there also some great players who get overlooked completely that play in Division I like undrafted player Arian Foster or Victor Cruz.
Now that I have clarified that there are great players who are easily overlooked, it's time to get down to the 2012 NFL Draft prospect Donterrious Porter, defensive back and return specialist from Luther College.