Playing Two Preseason Games Is Enough.

Two preseason games is all that is needed, save the star players for when it counts.

Playing four preseason games in the NFL is two to many.  I see the NFL going to only two preseason games in the very near futures, how about next year!  There are too many injuries, too many players who would have never made the roster who are now on the injured reserve list, which means they are being paid, in many if not all the cases, for the year.  At a quick look of players placed on the injured reserve list for this season is 236.  If all these players were minimum salary players that would be at total of $106,200,000.  Many of these players would have never made a roster and several of those players listed are making well over the minimum of $450,000.

One solution is to expand training camp.  Because of the Collective Barging Agreement, there are limited full pad practices and contact which should limit the chances of season ending injuries.  What I see that comes from expanding training camps is ongoing conditioning opportunities.  There are always early training camp nicks, pulls and stains.  Two weeks of additional practice, conditioning and physical therapy should eliminate major injuries and allow players time to be ready for meaningful games.  One preseason game for your starters and veteran players is plenty, that’s all we get now basically, and one game to evaluate free agents, rookies and players who are boarder line.  Don’t forget, all the teams will have two additional weeks of video tape to evaluate players.

One of the major complaints I hear regarding preseason games from fans is spending money and not seeing the starters play.  That was very evident by the number of no shows for the Chiefs final preseason game.  Most of the season ticket holders I talked to about this agree.  They want to see starters play, even if it is only one game.  They also agreed that too many starters, league wide, are getting injured before the regular season begins, like Julian Edelman, Spencer Ware and Shane Ray.

So NFL, save everyone money, protect key players and let all the fans see a full compliment of starts in the regular season.

The NFL is the greatest show on TV, but only if the stars are playing!

The Outdoor Quarterback

 

Texas A&M Board of Regents Member, Shut Your Mouth and Go Away!

Texas A&M Board of Regents member steps out of bounds with his personal comments after the A&M loss to UCLA.

One of the most disgusting comments I have ever heard in all the years I have played or been involved in sports, which totals 60, was that of a member of the Texas A&M Board of Regents this past weekend following the Texas A&M game against UCLA.  He tweeted and put on face book that the head coach at A&M, Kevin Sumlin, “when the time comes my vote will be that Kevin Sumlin needs to GO”.  How did this guy get placed in such a prestigious position, oh I know, family money.  He should be removed immediately if not sooner!  I will promise you he was singing coach Sumlin praises for the first three and half quarters of that game.  His comments were unprofessional, adolescent and most of all damaging to stability of the Texas A&M football program.  His comments were something you would expect out of a student not an administrator.  He has done more damage and harm to the program than anything the coach did or didn’t do during the game.  Let’s not forget that the staring quarterback go hurt, fractured his ankle, and the backup quarterback completed only 3 of 17 passes.  I am not putting the blame on him either, it is extremely difficult to stand on the sidelines for nearly the entire game and then to come in, when obviously the momentum has totally changed, and have an immediate impact.

I personally played in a game in college where we scored 28 points in the final 10 minutes of the fourth quarter for a comeback win.  A lot of things happened for us to have won that game, turnovers, kick returns and big plays on offense.  So lets give a little credit to UCLA and their quarterback, Josh Rosen, possibly the number one pick in next years NFL Draft, for making some great plays.

So my comments to the Texas A&M Board of Regents member is to shut your mouth, go away and keep your opinions confined to the Board Room.

The Outdoor Quarterback

September Is The Best Month Of The Year

Arrowhead
Arrowhead

I have always felt September is the best month of the year for several reasons.  First, it’s the start of the NFL regular season.  College football also kicks off, no pun intended.  Second, the early archery seasons open around the country, which means archery elk to me.  Next, the start of fantasy football.  Even I can say that watching the NFL has become a lot more fun and entertaining because of fantasy football leagues.  Our draft is coming up soon and is always the best party of the year.

Fantasy Party
Fantasy Party

If you happen to live in a city that has a competitive major league baseball team, then a run at the playoffs is icing on the September cake!

Back to NFL football and the upcoming hunting season.  Hopes are high for every team, even the Cleveland Browns.  They have some young talented players who have already lived up to or exceeded expectations.  As excited as I am for the NFL season to start, I can’t wait to hear the first elk bugle in the woods, it is a adrenaline rush like no other!  The anticipation is similar to that of the opening kickoff to a new season, hopes are high.

Elk
Elk

There are the obvious players everyone will try and draft, Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, Drew Brees, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell if he ever signs his franchise tag contract, which he will.  The trick is to find players that earn points who are hidden gems.  Tyreek Hill last year would have been one of those players.  I think a player who seems to fly under the radar is Golden Tate of the Lions.  He may be one of the best number two receivers you can pick up.  Another player I would take a close look at is rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp from the LA Rams.  He not a number one, but I think will catch a lot of passes, he is a sleeper.  Another receiver, who has a new quarterback throwing to him, is Ted Ginn.  His new quarterback is Drew Brees.

So what makes September so special?  I shoot my bow everyday, get ready for my fantasy league, train for the first hunt of the fall, watch the Royals make a run at the playoffs and prepare for the start of the NFL season.  What is it they say?  “It just doesn’t get any better than this”.

The Outdoor Quarterback

NFL Left Tackles Are How Valuable?

Tyron Smith
Tyron Smith

How valuable do think left tackles are to starting NFL Quarterbacks? Just ask them!  The most valuable is what you will hear.  Over years of watching NFL games and analyzing quarterbacks, I have found that successful quarterbacks, statistically speaking, have one thing in common, experienced tackles both left and right.  It is those Quarterbacks, who are fortunate to have veterans at the tackle positions, extend their careers and realize great successes.  More and more teams are putting a premium on their tackles particularly the left side.  Most NFL Quarterbacks are right handed which makes the left tackle the protector of the quarterbacks blind side.  It is critical for quarterbacks to feel totally confident that their blind side is taken care of.  When you can play with confidence you can play with focus, great left tackles affords quarterbacks that luxury.

Next time you watch Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer and Matt Ryan play, focus in on their left tackles, watch how they move their feet, extend their arms, use their hands.  They have developed techniques essential to playing the tackle position at a very high level, a true blessing to the quarterbacks.  Just look at the number of tackles in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Several NFL starting tackles have been injured and are out for the season.  Pay attention to teams who will begin to struggle with their passing games because of the loss of their starting left tackles.  Really good left tackles are not just sitting around waiting for a phone call, they are already on a team.  The teams who won’t see much of a drop off in their passing game are teams who understand the importance to having depth at that position.  The Seattle Seahawks will be a team to watch, their starting left tackle, George Fant, is out for the season, and they are scrambling to find a replacement.

George Fant
George Fant

NFL Quarterback owe their careers to great offensive lines, but no one on that line is more important than the left tackle!

The Outdoor Quarterback

Make Your Western Hunts Fun, Get In Shape

cardio
cardio

For several years I have help guided elk hunters in northern New Mexico, around the Chama area.  I have found the majority of hunters I guide come from the mid-west or the eastern part of the country.  I have discovered many, if not most, of those hunters are not in good enough shape to really enjoy their hunts.  It is simply a lack of cardiovascular conditioning.walkingforcardio

I have experienced hunters being so out of breath that when the moment of truth came, they could not steady themselves to draw their bow or steady their rifle.  In most all of those cases the hunter never got a opportunity to shoot.  We have found that once an elk gets withing shooting range, either with a bow or rifle, you have around 11 to 15 seconds to make the shot.  Once you get in that range there is very little time to catch your breath, steady your rest or calm yourself down.  If you can eliminate a couple of those elements at the critical moment, you will increase your opportunity for success.

Getting yourself in really good shape, referring to your cardiovascular conditioning, you can take care of the heavy breathing interference.  If you can control that part then becoming steady to draw your bow, mount or shoulder your rifle becomes a none factor.  Calming yourself is a matter of focus.  If you are out of shape your focus and attention to details leading up to your shot no longer exists.  Everyone gets excited when a shooting scenario presents itself, it’s natural, it is those hunters who are in good physical condition and that can bring their emotions under control quicker, will experience success more often.

The conditioning philosophy is relevant in just about every sport.  When professional athletes get fatigued, their performances quickly declines.  The same will happen with hunters.  I know when quarterbacks throws come up short it is usually because their legs are tired.  You have seen it with major league pitchers, when they begin to loose command of their pitches, it is normally their legs that get tired not their arms.

Getting in shape for a western hunt requires that you must improve your cardiovascular condition.  Work your legs and your core.  Exercises to Improve Cardiovascular Endurance.  This year make your western hunt more enjoyable, get in shape!

The Outdoor Quarterback

 

 

NFL’s First Year Quarterbacks

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

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,

Tom Brady
Tom Brady

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

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

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

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.