NFL’s First Year Quarterbacks

The newest crop of highly drafted quarterbacks appear more ready to play in the NFL than expected.

Tom Brady
Tom Brady
Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes

This years crop of rookie quarterbacks entering the NFL appear to be more prepared to play now, at the NFL level, than expected.  The stage doesn’t look to big for any of them.  Some of the major reasons are, the teams who drafted these high profile quarterbacks, drafted quarterbacks who fit their current systems, or have the skill sets not only to fit in their systems and offensive philosophies, but have additional talents which will allow the teams and offensive coordinator’s (OC) to expand their current playbooks and strategies.   For those of you who might not understand, anytime you can cause a defensive coordinator’s (DC) to spend additional time game planning against a quarterback who can throw effectively out of the pocket as well as inside the pocket, and can create offense while extending plays with their scrambling abilities, become a DC’s nightmare.  It appears that Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson and DeShone Kizer, the top four quarterbacks drafted in 2017, have all demonstrated they posses those skills.  In my opinion they all seem to be having some significant success operating their teams offenses.  I know it is only preseason, but as a former quarterback, what I have seen from each one of these quarterbacks are very high skill levels, maturity in their decision process, which is making good reads and throwing on time, protecting the ball and on the field leadership.  These attributes and skills demonstrated in the preseason games I have watched, are early signs of what should be expected by these young quarterbacks plus what the future might hold.  All of these skills are necessary to become a starting quarterback in the National Football League.

If these young quarterbacks can keep up this type of consistent play throughout the preseason, then all the teams who drafted them are looking at the future franchise quarterback for their organizations.  This doesn’t happen often in the NFL, having this many first year quarterbacks ready to step up and play.  Don’t get me wrong, they are not polished players like Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, Drew Brees or Alex Smith, but they are in that mold.  There are several reasons why these young quarterbacks are having some early success. I think a major reason is the willingness of the head coaches and offensive coordinator’s to adjust their offensive schemes and philosophies to match to skill sets of their highly drafted quarterbacks.  This is a drastic change in how the NFL and teams have operated in the past.  Good for them and it is about time!

I look for this years group of drafted quarterbacks to be very successful, Whenever the opportunity presents itself.

The Outdoor Quarterback

Last Chance to Camp Before School Starts

The last chance camping trip before school starts and activities begin is a great way to end the summer, don’t miss out!

Kids campingThe last chance to camp with the family before school gets started is closing in.  Once school starts and the activities begin, it’s hard to get everyone on board to spend the weekend camping and enjoying what the outdoors has to offer.  I am not necessarily talking about taking a long road trip, just find a facility close by that allows overnight camping, load up your tent or camper, including the kids and spend a couple days of quality outdoor time.  Do a little fishing, wildlife watching, hiking or bike riding, anything to promote the outdoor experience.  I am sure the entire family will enjoy getting away from the house for a few days before the fast pace of school begins.  These are the types of experiences that create life long memories, family traditions and family entertainment.

I wish I could have had more of these types of family experiences, but sports and having a father in the military prevented that from happening.  As a father myself we tried to do things that involved the outdoors on a regular basis.  Float and canoe tips, fishing and cycling where always the most fun, and yes they included camping, cooking out and building camp fires where stories about Camp Tepee Tonka became legendary .  Now my kids are grown with families of their own and they still talk about those camping adventures.

I am going to make sure the grand kids get to experience the enjoyment of camping and exploring the outdoors.  Don’t miss the opportunity to use those last few days before everyone gets wrapped up with school, sports and other activities and go spend quality family time in the outdoors.  No excuses!

You can check with your state parks division, or a national organization such as American Camp Association, acacamps.org, to find suitable facilities which allow overnight camping.  Make sure you have permission to build a camp fire.  There are some states who are in a drought situation, so open firers may not be allowed.  Just make sure you check.  In most parks and camping areas, signs are posted regarding campfires.  Enjoy your adventure.

The Outdoor Quarterback

Where Is The Logic?

No one seems to have a consistent answer to the question, can a legally licensed hunter hunt in two states on the same day and shoot two legal limits while staying within the possession limit regulations?

Recently I was asked a question regarding waterfowl hunting and the interpretation of a law or regulation involving a duck hunt that may occur on a same day between two states.  The question was logical the answer had zero logic.  I have an answer, but I told the individual that I would first like to call the local game warden and get his view on the very convoluted law or regulation. Here is the scenario, if an individual owned property in one state and had the opportunity to hunt the same day in the adjacent state, could he in fact hunt both states on the same day and harvest a legal limit of ducks, in both states?  Of course all the proper licenses and stamps for both states where in hand and the hunter would have been totally legal.   Now to be even more descriptive explaining the event, one hunt took place early morning in one state and the second hunt took place late in the afternoon in another state, on the same day, over 4 hours away.

The answer I got back was no, they couldn’t.  There was also some confusion on his part because it is a federal regulation and not a state regulation, but the state game warden must enforce the regulation.  His initial response was, this is a very confusing issue.  It is referred to as the Aggregate total of birds.  I asked him to explain, he did his best but we were both confused at the end of the discussion because he said, it is all based on the flyway you are hunting in.  For instance the Mississippi flyway or the Central flyway.  I said okay, if that is the case, if I hunted in the Mississippi flyway in the morning than I should be able to hunt in the Central flyway in the afternoon.  He didn’t have a answer to that question and was going contact a federal agent for a definitive answer.  So, because there are different limits in each state, as he was trying to explain the very confusing regulation, there is an aggregate of the total number of ducks you could take in a day.  So I set up another scenario with him, in Missouri you can shoot 6 ducks, four of which can be mallards, and two of those can be hens, plus you get two bonus ducks such as teal, wigeon, gadwall, etc…   if I shoot my limit of 6 ducks in Missouri, 4 mallards and two bonus ducks, can I then move over to Kansas and shoot one more mallard because in Kansas you can shoot 5 mallards?  Even though I have exceeded the aggregate of 6 ducks!  Do I have the right to shoot the 5th mallard?   No answer!

I, and many other hunters who hunt in two states, don’t see any logic in this regulation or law.  If I have paid for all my licenses and stamps and I am totally legal to hunt in both states, haven’t I paid for the right to hunt in both states and shoot a legal limit in both.  I understand there are regulations and laws regarding possession limits, but if I am well within the possession limits then I should, legally, be able to hunt both states on the same day.  How about using a little logic here.

The Outdoor Quarterback

Time To Tune Up

Time to tune up your hunting and fishing equipment. Fishing is still good and the early archery seasons are just around the corner. Don’t let equipment malfunctions be the reason for your hunting or fishing trip to go south. Simple maintenance is all it takes.

As I was going through my hunting and fishing gear I realized my hunting and fishing equipment needed tuning up.  My urgency was more with my fishing gear because there are still plenty of good fishing opportunities left.  With that said, early archery elk season is not that far off either.  I have already started my body tune up but as I was looking at my archery equipment, it dawned on me that I had not taken care of some routine maintenance issues on my bows, releases and arrows.  It’s a good idea to routinely check your bow strings and cables.  If the strings are frayed and dry make sure you wax them.  I use a leather glove to apply the wax to the string, that way I can create friction to melt the wax in and on the string.  For your cables just check to see if there is any unusual wear and make sure they fit correctly on your wheels or cam’s.  Check all the fasteners on your bow, make sure they are secured, including your sites and rests.  Don’t forget your D-loop and peep.  Just a solid once over will normally work, but don’t take anything for granted.  You can live with operator error, it’s the mechanical issues that causes most of hunting heart burn!

For your arrows, check for any irregularities in arrow flight.  They could have been nicked or the fletching could be torn or separated from the arrow.  Both of these can alter your arrow flight significantly.  Make sure your inserts and knocks are secure as well.  None of these checks take long, it is just good practice to routinely check all of your equipment.  Don’t forget your releases.  They will sometimes collect dust or some other foreign object.  Both of those will cause release malfunction, trust me I learned that lesson the hard way.

I know I am guilty of not changing my fishing line near often enough.  It is a simple task that I ignore way to much.  I don’t fish for a living but I have opportunities to fish where there some real quality fish and there is nothing more frustrating than to loose a good fish because of fishing line integrity.  So I changed the line on all my reels,  Now if I loose a fish more than likely it will operator error and not the age of the line.

I have some of the same neglect issues with my reels, I just expect them to work!  Not so fast my friends, they need tuning up just like any other piece of equipment.  They collect dust and need to be cleaned and lubricated periodically to work properly.  So in addition to new line on my reels, I did a complete oil and lube job on all of them.

My confidence is much higher now that my hunting and fishing equipment has been tuned up.  No more neglect!

The Outdoor Quarterback

2107 NFL TRAINING CAMPS

NFL Training Camps.

All of the NFL training camps are now open which means preseason games are just around the corner.  First is the Hall of Fame game played in Canton Ohio.  The Hall of Fame game jump starts the NFL year.  This game provides all the football addicts their first taste of the upcoming season.  Training camp and preseason games gives us the opportunities to see what is in store for us fans.  I always want to see how new pieces to the offensive and defensive puzzles are going to perform.  I want to see how the draft picks react to the speed of the NFL game.  I want to see if the game, at this level, is to big for the rookies.  Most importantly I want to find the player who is going to help me win my Fantasy League!  That is why training camps around the league are important to me this year!  Watching training camps on TV, traveling to some in person.  I want to know more about players and their roles on certain teams and in certain situations.  I will admit I do listen to the analysis of so called experts and their opinions on players, how they are going to fit in and what affect they are going to have on their teams offense or defense.  The only problem is they have been more wrong about players than I have!  Anyone can pick a Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers or Drew Brees or Le’veon Bell, I have to find the unknown player, the player who no one wants and will somehow or someway get me out of the dark depths of last place in my Fantasy League.  That is why NFL Training Camps this year are important to me!  I am on a Mission and I will find him!

I highly recommend going to a NFL Training Camp.  Seeing these players up close and personal is the best way to evaluate young talent against veteran players.  First hand information like that is invaluable!  That is going to be my approach to NFL Training Camps 2017.

Although, I may have a more scientific method of selecting my fantasy team this year.  I will take pictures of all the top players from each position, starting with quarterbacks, tack them to my archery targets, go back to 70 yards, shoot an arrow and whoever it hits, that’s my guy at that position.  This method just may work!

The Outdoor Quarterback

South Dakota

Great trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota, home of Mt. Rushmore. The Black Hills were awesome, saw deer and buffalo at Custer State Park. Drove on the Needles Hwy, saw the Corn Palace and Wall Drugs. Mt Rushmore was worth the trip alone. I have always made fun of South Dakota, my wife is from there, but the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore should be on your bucket list.

Recently I took a trip with my oldest daughter and two of my grand kids along with my wife to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Before I tell you about the trip I need to explain a little history with me and South Dakota. First my wife was born and raised in Sioux Falls SD, I spent one summer, while we were in college, working there. I have always given her a hard time about SD and to some up the humor and the hard time I gave her, we were watch a movie, comedy, and one lines in the movie was “if you don’t start doing your job we are going to ship you to South Dakota”. From that point on I have always joked about her home state.
On our recent trip we went to Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, drove on the Needles Highway, panned for gold and toured the gold mine. On our way to Sioux Falls we stopped at the famous Wall Drugs and then on to Mitchell to visit the famous Corn Palace. Of course my wife and I had done and seen all of this before, but my oldest daughter, now 40, and my grandson and grand daughter had not. To my surprise my daughter was more excited about seeing the free ranging buffalo than anything else. Of course Mt. Rushmore was impressive, but having the buffalo walk in front and in back of our vehicle was pretty impressive. I have hunted my entire life and I have seen a lot of wildlife, bears, elk, moose, deer, antelope, Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Lion and etc… but I must admit seeing free ranging buffalo was pretty impressive, especially some of the herd bulls. It is hard to imagine how big they truly are until you are within close proximity of one, which we were. And to think what the Native Americans used, for a long time, bows and arrows, to take down these massive animals. They did not have the compound bows like we have today or the carbon arrows with razor sharp broad heads. No, they used bows and arrows made of wood and broad heads made of chiseled stone as well as spears. As a professional hunter, primarily a bow hunter, I can’t tell you how impressed and amazed I am.
But, back to the story. If you haven’t made the trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota you must make it part of your bucket list of things to do and see, it is impressive not to mention historical. There is something for the entire family.
Enjoy the adventure.

The Outdoor Quaterback

NFL Mini Camps

NFL training camps are just around the corner. Take a day and visit the NFL training camp nearest you. It is a great experience for NFL fans of all ages.

NFL mini camps are over, which means that the start of the 2017 NFL season is just around the corner, it also means that fantasy football drafts are not far behind.  The NFL Mini Camps give the die hard fantasy team owners a early look at this year crop of NFL rookies, some who may come up big on your fantasy teams.  I know, unless he gets hurt in preseason, Christian MaCaffrey is going to be on my teams. The teams Mini Camps are a great resource for evaluating rookies. There will be several rookies who will add value to your fantasy rosters, so go online and see what the teams are saying about their rookies, what they showed in Mini Camp and what role they may play during the 2017 NFL Season.  Get a head start on your competition.

The Outdoor Quarterback

2017 NFL Draft

Well it has come and gone, the 2017 NFL Draft. Were you happy with what your team did, where you surprised, like I was, with what your team did. I thought the Chiefs had a very good draft, the surprise was them moving up from 27 to 10 and then drafting a quarterback. I know this organization loves Alex Smith and as a former quarterback, I can’t think of any quarterback who could have stepped in to the Chiefs situation and have performed any better or more efficient than Alex did or has done. What is obvious to the Chiefs is that Patrick Mahomes III has the skills and capabilities they have identified and believe will translate in to a starting quarterback for the Chiefs at some point in time. In Patrick’s case, he is going to learn from two great sources, Alex Smith and Andy Reed. Having the luxury of not being thrown in to the fire right off the get go and being able to learn the differences of the NFL game, is invaluable. Several of our other selections were in areas we needed help, WR, DE, LB and you can never have too many good running backs. Good job Chiefs I am looking forward to meeting all the new draft choices and free agents at the rookie dinner.

The Outdoor Quarterback

Today’s Officiating

College basketball officiating today is a JOKE. There is so much talent at the collegiate level these days, the athletes that is, until the whistle blows and the ball is tossed, then it rapidly goes in the toilet. If you watched the NCAA Tournament opening week and then watched the Sweet Sixteen, so far, someone ordered the officials to slack off on calling fouls. I saw charging where nothing was called, come on guys it has to be charging or blocking, one or the other! You’ve got a 50 50 chance of getting it right.  I thought for a moment I was watching the NBA, because of all the traveling that wasn’t called. The one play that irritates me the most in college basketball is when they allow a player to back himself into the key while the defender has position when the offensive player just keeps backing in until he secures a shooting position in the key, BTW, for well over 3 seconds, and there is a no call, IT’S CHARGING BOYS!  Oh yea, I had to look online to see if 3 seconds in the key was still a rule violation.  Twice in a Sweet Sixteen game, I took a stopwatch and played back a couple of plays where an offensive player was in the key, with the ball, for 7 seconds on one play and 8 seconds for another. I watched the official under the basket and never once did I see him look at the offensive player in the key for any length of time or start a 3 second count. Embarrassing is the only word that can accurately describe the officiating. This just wasn’t in one particular game, it was consistent in all four games played. Which leads me to the obvious conclusion, someone gave the officials orders to cut back on calling fouls or rule violations. These young athletes are extremely talented, but the talent can’t fully be put on displayed when the officiating is so unprofessional and inconsistent. Now for my last example of the butchery in college basketball officiating. Would someone please define carrying or palming the ball, because from what I have seen, no one, most of all the officials, have a clue. I saw two calls in games played this weekend of palming the ball, then looked at ten different plays in the same games of exactly the same dribble with no calls. How is anyone, particularly the players, suppose to have any idea of what palming the ball is!

I have learned the new slogan for College Basketball Officials, “I am going to do what I am ordered to do not not what is written in the official rules of basketball!”

The Outdoor Quarterback!

At Least Investigate!

What a great college football game between Clemson and Alabama, one of the best college game I have ever seen.
Not having a dog in the hunt or I should say not cheering for any team particularly, I hope this blog will at least promote an investigation into the officials of the game. They were equally as bad for both teams, but early on during the first possession for Alabama, the defensive end for Clemson was off sides so bad on three plays that even a visually impaired person could have seen it and the officials only called it once. Even the broadcasters mentioned it and kept saying something about the player being off sides.
Playing 10 years of professional football myself, I can recognize when a player is clearly lined up past the line of scrimmage, the officials couldn’t! What about the way the officials handled the clock just before half time, embarrassing not to mention that it cost Clemson a time out at a critical moment in the game.
You cannot convince me that the possibility of foul play and or corruption exists, there can be no other explanation of the ineptitude of the entire crew, they just couldn’t have been that bad, POP WARNER OFFICIATING comes to mind.
If the NCAA does not take a look into this than maybe the investigation should be directed towards them and whoever selected this crew.
My wife’s quote, “they are God awful”.

The Outdoor Quarterback.