- Frank Coyle's Blog
- College Football Mondays
- Ahead of the Curve
- NFL News
- College News
- Order Publication
Saints March to NFL Title
Photo - QB Drew Brees - Saints
The New Orleans Saints finally reached NFL heaven with a thrilling victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. The Saints marched in to NFL history with a dramatic second half comeback to defeat the Colts 31-17 in Miami. It was the Saints first NFL title in the wild 43-year history of the franchise that included the loveable Aint’s of yesteryear to the team that rallied a city to recover from the horrors after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Brees rallied the Saints to upset the Peyton Manning directed Colts with some late game heroics.
“We just believed in ourselves and we knew that we had an entire city and maybe an entire country behind us,” said Brees, the game’s MVP. “What can I say? I tried to imagine what this moment would be like for a long time, and it’s better than expected.”
“Four years ago who ever thought this would be happening when 85 percent of the city was under water from (Hurricane) Katrina,” Brees said. “Most people not knowing if New Orleans would ever come back or if the organization and the team would come back. ... This is the culmination of that belief and that faith.”
Brees tied a Super Bowl record with 32 completions, the last a 2-yard slant to Jeremy Shockey for the winning points with 5:42 remaining in the game. He went 32 for 39 for 288 yards and 2 TDs while completing 29 of his final 32 passing attempts in a brilliant clutch performance. Head coach, Sean Payton, managed to boil it down to three words: “Brees was magnificent.”
Brees was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV after completing a Super Bowl record 32 passes. Of the seven incompletions, at least one was dropped while another was a spike. Two passes went for TDs and he also threw for a two-point conversion. For the postseason, Brees completed 71% of his passes with 8 TD passes and no interceptions while beating three divisional winners – the Cardinals, Vikings and Colts. The Saints trailed in each of those crucial victories by at least 7 points, a first time for the NFL postseason.
For the '09 season, Brees put up incredible passing numbers - a 70% completion rate with 4388 yards passing and 34 TDs and 11 interceptions. His leadership can not be measured as he has become the leader of a team that rallied around him and a city in pursuit of NFL history.
Saints’ coach Sean Payton deserves applause for several gutsy calls over the game especially the onside kick that opened the 2nd half that sparked the Saints’ comeback. The much maligned Saints defense made several key stops with Tracy Porter’s 74-yard TD interception return off an errant pass from Manning clinching the victory for the Big Easy.
For the '09 season, the Saints finished 16-3 overall and won three postseason games after winning only two in their previous 42 year history. They beat Arizona, Minnesota and Indianapolis (16-3) — all division winners — for their first title, scoring 107 points and allowing only 59.
Tebow and Rolle in Senior Bowl Spotlight
Photo - Safety Myron Rolle - Florida St
Senior Bowl Game – Sat - 4 pm Est
Senior Bowl – Game Day
The 2010 Senior Bowl comes to completion today with the All-star classic that NFL scouts will view extensively over the ensuing weeks. There are many high regarded pro prospects to view but none more interesting than Florida’s QB Tim Tebow and Florida St’s safety Myron Rolle. Both prospects have been scouted with a critical eye this week for various reasons. Each of these pro prospects have incredible intangibles to get the most out of their top athletic abilities.
QB Tim Tebow of Florida drew incredible attention over the practices this week and may be the most over analyzed prospect in recent memory. He improved over the week on his throwing mechanics and taking the snap under center. He struggled during the opening workout but displayed a shorter delivery over the week with fine ball security under center. His delivery will be a huge issue in NFL front offices this spring and he will have to show progress in his mechanics and adjusting to a pro set at the NFL Combine to dispel concerns about his pro potential. He is capable of being the catalyst for the South team today.
Safety Myron Rolle - 6-2 / 218 - Florida St suited up for football for the first time since Dec. 2008 this week. He has worked out since Dec. '09 to prepare for this All-star classic. He opted to go to Oxford, England on a Rhodes scholarship the past year to pursue his education. He is the first Rhodes Scholar to ever play in the Senior Bowl. He is a defender who carried a top 100 and NFL starting grade off his experience and athletic ability. He needs to have a good game and postseason to return to those levels. His workout efforts this week showed the talent that made him an All-American, in addition to the smarts to pick up a new system quickly and flash the talent that made him a star defender as a collegian.
Players to Watch
Jacoby Ford - WR - Clemson
Shay Hodge - WR - Ole Miss
Dexter McCluster - WR - Ole Miss
Andre Roberts - WR - The Citadel
Mike Iupati – OG -Idaho
Daryl Washington - LB TCU
Sean Weatherspoon - LB - Missouri
Chris Cook - CB - Virginia
Perrish Cox – CB - Oklahoma St
Kyle Wilson - CB - Boise St
NFL Draft - Mock Draft
Selection order prior to Super Bowl
x - Coin flip at NFL Combine to determine final positions * underclassmen
Photo - OG Mike Iupati - Idaho
Team / Player / Pos / School
1 St. Louis - Ndamukong Suh - DT - Nebraska
2. Detroit - * Eric Berry - S - Tennessee
3. Tampa Bay - * Gerald McCoy - DT - Oklahoma
4. Wash - * Sam Bradford - QB - Oklahoma
5. K.C. - * Carlos Dunlap - DE - Florida
6. Seattle - Russell Okung - OT - Oklahoma St
7. Cleveland - C.J. Spiller - RB - Clemson
8. Oakland - * Derrick Morgan - DE - Georgia Tech
9. Buffalo - * Anthony Davis - OT - Rutgers
x 10. Denver (Chicago) - * Jimmy Clausen - QB - Notre Dame
x 11. Jacksonville - * Rolando McClain - LB - Alabama
12. Miami - * Dez Bryant - WR - Oklahoma St
13. San Francisco - * Joe Haden - CB - Florida
14. Seattle (Denver) - Taylor Mays - S - Southern Cal
15. New York Giants - Brandon Spikes - LB - Florida
x 16. San Fran (Carolina) - Trent Williams - OT - Oklahoma
x 17. Tennessee - * Everson Griffen - DE - Southern Cal
18. Pittsburgh - * Brian Bulaga - OT - Iowa
19. Atlanta - * Earl Thomas - S - Texas
20. Houston - * Jonathan Dwyer - RB - Georgia Tech
21. Cincinnati - Sergio Kindle - LB - Texas
22. New England - * Navorro Bowman - LB - Penn St
23. Green Bay - * Brian Price - DT - UCLA
24. Philadelphia - Greg Hardy - DE - Mississippi
25. Baltimore - Patrick Robinson - CB - Florida St
26. Arizona - Jerry Hughes - DE - TCU
27. Dallas - * Arrelious Benn - WR - Illinois
28. San Diego - Mike Iupati - OG - Idaho
29. NY Jets - Terrence Cody - DT - Alabama
30. Minnesota - Jared Odrick - DT - Penn St
31. New Orleans - * Jermaine Gresham - TE - Oklahoma
32. Indianapolis - Brandon Graham - DE - Michigan
Underclassmen Declare for NFL Draft 2010 - Jan. 19, 2010
The National Football League announced Tuesday the names of 53 players who have been granted special eligibility for the 2010 NFL Draft on April 22-24. The NFL Draft will start on Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. est. The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. est while Rounds 4-7 will be held on Saturday, April 24 at 10:00 a.m. est. The entire NFL Draft will be televised by NFL Network and ESPN.
Photo - WR Dez Bryant - Oklahoma St.
Underclassmen had until Jan. 15, 2010 to declare for the NFL Draft 2010. They also had an additional three days to rescind their decision and retain their college eligibility. With the NFL players agreement expiring next offseason, underclassmen have discussed their options with family and coaching staffs to turn pro early. Any new players agreement and the future salary cap will probably undergo some critical changes especially related to the rookie salary cap and the dollar value of the overall draft selections.
Each of the 53 players has met the league's three-year eligibility rule and each has submitted a written application in which he renounced his remaining college football eligibility. The deadline for receiving applications was January 15. The 53 players this year match the total number that was granted special eligibility in 2008. Last year, special eligibility was granted to 46 players.
x - denotes players who are not listed in NFL group but who are eligible to enter NFL Draft 2010
Player / Pos / H/W / School / Class
QB Sam Bradford - 6’4” 220 - Oklahoma - Jr.
QB Jimmy Clausen - 6’3” 220 - Notre Dame - Jr.
QB Jevan Snead - 6’4” 230 - Ole Miss - Jr
x - RB Toby Gerhart - 6’1” 235 - Stanford - Jr
RB Jonathan Dwyer - 5’11” 230 - Georgia Tech - Jr
RB Jahvid Best - 5’ 10” 195 - California - Jr.
RB Ryan Matthews - 5’11” 225 - Fresno St - Jr.
RB Joe McKnight - 6’ 210 - Southern Cal - Jr.
RB Darius Marshall - 5'10" 190 - Marshall - Jr
x - RB Toney Baker - 5’10” 225 - N.C St - Jr.
RB Shawnbrey McNeil - 5’9” 190 - SMU - Jr
WR Dez Bryant - 6’1” 215 - Oklahoma St - Jr.
WR Arrelious Benn - 6’2” 220 - Illinois - Jr.
WR Dezmon Briscoe - 6’2” 200 - Kansas - Jr.
WR Golden Tate - 5’10” 190 - Notre Dame - Jr.
WR Damian Williams - 6’1” 190 - Southern Cal - Jr
WR Mike Williams - 6’1” 200 - Syracuse - Jr
WR Antonio Brown - 5'10" 175 - Central Michigan - Jr
WR Demaryius Thomas 6’3” 230 - Georgia Tech - Jr
WR Carlton Mitchell - 6’4” 215 - South Florida - Jr
x - WR Chris Bell - 6’2” 210 - Norfolk St - Jr
TE Jermaine Gresham - 6’5” 255 - Oklahoma - Jr
TE Rob Gronokowski - 6'7" 270 - Arizona - Jr
TE Aaron Hernandez - 6’2” 250 - Florida - Jr.
OT Anthony Davis - 6’6” 325 - Rutgers - Jr.
OT Bruce Campbell - 6’6” 310 - Maryland - Jr.
OT Bryan Bulaga - 6’6” 310 - Iowa - Jr.
OC Maurkice Pouncey - 6’5” 315 - Florida - Jr
DE Carlos Dunlop - 6’6” 290 - Florida - Jr
DE Derrick Morgan - 6’4” 270 - Georgia Tech - Jr
DE Jason Pierre-Paul - 6’5” 260 - South Florida - Jr
DE Everson Griffen - 6’3” 265 - Southern Cal - Jr
DE Thaddeus Gibson - 6’2” 240 - Ohio St. - Jr.
x - DE Jerome Hayes - 6.2” 255 - Penn St. - Jr.
DE Jason Worilds - 6’2” 245 - Virginia Tech - Jr
DE Kevin Basped - 6'4" 240 - Nevada - Jr
DE Clifton Geathers - 6’7” 280 - South Carolina - Jr
DT Gerald McCoy - 6’3” 300 - Oklahoma - Jr.
DT Brian Price - 6’2” 300 - UCLA - Jr
x - DT Abe Koroma - 6’3” 315 - Western Illinois - Jr.
DT Linval Joseph - 6’6” 290 - East Carolina - Jr
LB Rolando McClain - 6’4” 235 - Alabama - Jr.
LB Navorro Bowman - 6’ 225 - Penn St - Jr.
LB Rennie Curran - 5’11” 225 - Georgia - Jr.
CB Joe Haden - 5’10” 180 - Florida - Jr
CB Dominique Franks - 6’ 190 - Oklahoma - Jr
CB Donovan Warren - 5’11” 195 - Michigan - Jr
CB Amari Spievey - 5’11” 185 - Iowa - Jr
CB Kareem Jackson - 5’11” 190 - Alabama - Jr
CB Joshua Moore - 5’11” 185 - Kansas St - Jr
CB Dennis Rogan - 5’10” 180 - Tennessee - Jr.
CB Jerell Norton - 6’ 185 - Arkansas - Jr.
S Eric Berry - 5’11” 200 - Tennessee - Jr
S Morgan Burnett - 6’ 200 - Georgia Tech - Jr
S Reshad Jones - 6’2” 215 - Georgia - Jr.
S Earl Thomas - 5’10” 195 - Texas - Soph
S Chad Jones - 6’1” 220 - LSU - Jr
S Major Wright - 6’ 205 - Florida - Jr
Top 50 Prospects for the NFL Draft
Dec 28, 2009 - * Underclassmen
Photo - DT Nda Suh - Nebraska
Prospect / Pos / School / Ht / Wt
1 Ndamukong Suh - DT - Nebraska - 6’4” 300
2 * Sam Bradford - QB - Oklahoma - 6’4” 220
3 Taylor Mays - FS - Southern Cal - 6’3” 235
4 Russell Okung - OT - Oklahoma St - 6’5” 310
5 C.J. Spiller - RB - Clemson - 5’11” 195
6 * Eric Berry - S - Tennessee - 5’11” 205
7 * Gerald McCoy - DT - Oklahoma - 6’4 300
8 Jerry Hughes - DE - TCU - 6’3” 255
9 * Brian Bulaga - OT - Iowa - 6’5” 315
10 * Derrick Morgan - DE - Georgia Tech - 6’4” 270
11 * Rolando McClain - LB - Alabama - 6’3” 230
12 * Carlos Dunlap - DE - Florida - 6’5” 290
13 * Jimmy Clausen – QB - Notre Dame - 6’3” 215
14 Terrence Cody - DT - Alabama - 6’4” 360
15 Brandon Spikes - LB - Florida - 6’3” 255
16 Brandon LaFell - WR - LSU - 6’3” 210
17 * Joe Haden - CB - Florida - 5’10 190
18 Ricky Sapp - LB - Clemson - 6’4” 245
19 Trent Williams - OT - Oklahoma - 6’5” 320
20 Jared Odrick - DT - Penn St - 6’4” 300
21 Dez Bryant - WR - Oklahoma St - 6’1” 215
22 * Anthony Davis - OT - Rutgers - 6’5” 325
23 * Jonathan Dwyer - RB - Georgia Tech - 5’11” 230
24 * Arrelious Benn - WR - Illinois - 6’1” 210
25 * Marvin Austin - DT - North Carolina - 6’3” 310
26 * Damian Williams - WR - Southern Cal - 6’1” 190
27 Colt McCoy - QB - Texas - 6’3” 215
28 Sergio Kindle - LB - Texas - 6’4” 255
29 * Bruce Carter - LB - North Carolina - 6’3” 225
30 Charles Brown - OT - Southern Cal - 6’5” 295
31 Brandon Graham - DE - Michigan - 6’1” 265
32 * Greg Jones - LB - Michigan St - 6’1” 225
33 Mike Iupati - OG - Idaho - 6’5” 330
34 Syd'Quan Thompson - CB - California - 5’9” 190
35 Ciron Black - OT - LSU - 6’5” 325
36 Tony Pike - QB - Cincinnati - 6’6” 230
37 Greg Hardy - DE - Mississippi - 6’4” 265
38 Mardy Gilyard - WR - Cincinnati - 6’ 190
39 Tim Tebow - QB - Florida - 6’3” 245
40 * Greg Romeus - DE - Pittsburgh - 6’6” 270
41 * Bruce Campbell - OT - Maryland - 6’7” 310
42 Sean Weatherspoon - LB - Missouri - 6’1” 245
43 Patrick Robinson - CB - Florida St - 5’11” 190
44 * Dezmon Briscoe - WR - Kansas - 6’2” 210
45 Jermaine Gresham - TE - Oklahoma - 6’6” 260
46 Perrish Cox - CB - Oklahoma St - 6’ 195
47 Corey Wootton - DE - Northwestern - 6’6” 275
48 Jordan Shipley - WR - Texas - 6’ 190
49 Brandon Ghee - CB - Wake Forest - 6’ 190
50 * Chris Jones - FS - LSU - 6’1” 225
NFL Power Rankings – Week 15
Team of the Week – Dallas Cowboys
Player of Week – RB Jerome Harrison - Browns
Rookie of Week - DeSean Jackson - Eagles
Photo - WR DeSean Jackson - Eagles
The Eagles’ rookie receiver DeSean Jackson had another strong performance this past Sunday that was instrumental in the Philadelphia win over the 49ers. Jackson has been a difference maker for the Eagles as both a receiver and return specialist that helped them clinch a playoff berth Sunday and has them in position to win the NFC East title. Against the 49ers, Jackson caught 6 passes for 140 yards and a first quarter TD that set the pace for the victory. Jackson went over the 1000 yard mark as a receiver during the game. For his rookie season, he has caught 56 passes for 1087 yards and 8 TDs for a league leading 19.4 yard average per catch. Of his total receptions, 36 catches have produced first downs with 10 receptions of over 40 yards, the highest total in the entire league. He ranks among the NFL’s top ten in virtually all receiving categories and is the leading rookie receiver in every area. He is a leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year award with only two weeks left in the regular season.
Rank / Team / Record
1. Indianapolis Colts (14-0)
Colts have only the Jets and Bills left for a perfect season record.
2. New Orleans Saints (13-1)
The Saints fell to a fired up Cowboys club that ended their dreams of an undefeated season.
3. San Diego Chargers (11-3)
Chargers have won nine games in a row and are probably the most dangerous team in the league right now.
4. Minnesota Vikings (11-3)
Viking’s HC Brad Childress and QB Brett Farve have to work out some differences after their poor performance vs the Panthers.
5. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4)
Eagles clinched a playoff spot and now hope to claim the NFC East title with the Broncos coming to town.
6. New England Patriots (9-5)
Patriots look to clinch AFC East title with Jaguars visiting NE this week.
7. Arizona Cardinals (9-5)
Cards won NFC West title and may look to rest some veterans over final weeks.
8. Green Bay Packers (9-5)
Packers lost to the Steelers ending their five game streak that forces them to clinch playoff spot over final weeks.
9. Dallas Cowboys (9-5)
Cowboys won a huge game in New Orleans that puts them in the drivers seat for one of the final NFC playoff berths.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (9-5)
The Bengals lost a heartbreaker vs the Chargers in their first game since their tragic loss of veteran receiver Chris Henry.
11. Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
The Ravens are taking care of business and a definite playoff sleeper going forward over next month.
12. Tennessee Titans (7-7)
The streaking Titans have won seven of their last eight games, but face the red hot Chargers in one of the pivotal games of the entire season on Christmas day.
13. New York Giants (8-6)
The Giants bombed the Redskins, but it may have come too late to claim a playoff berth.
14. Denver Broncos (8-6)
The Broncos lost a horrible game to the Raiders that have them fading form the playoff picture.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)
Steelers win a thriller vs the Packers and face their divisional nemesis the Ravens this week that may decide AFC playoff picture.
16. Atlanta Falcons (7-7)
Falcons may have ended the Jets playoff hopes last week with 4th quarter victory.
17. New York Jets (7-7)
Jets let it all get away from them by losing to the Falcons at home in December.
18. Miami Dolphins (7-7)
The Dolphins lost a wild game vs the Titans that virtually ends their playoff hopes.
19. Houston Texans (7-7)
Texans still can’t get over the .500 level and claim a playoff berth.
20 .Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7)
The Jaguars pushed the Colts to the limit, but came up short and are only a miracle to land a playoff spot.
21. San Francisco 49ers (6-8)
The 49ers lost to Eagles that ends their playoff hopes, but this club is dangerous in the coming seasons.
22. Carolina Panthers (6-8)
Panthers jumped on the Vikings in their best ’09 performance of a very disappointing season.
23. Buffalo Bills (5-9)
The Bills find a way to lose games and face some key changes this offseason.
24. Chicago Bears (5-9)
The Bears have lost eight of their last ten games that may lead to wholesale changes in front office and coaching staffs.
25. Oakland Raiders (5-9)
The Raiders have actually won three of their last five games that gives hope for next season.
26. Seattle Seahawks (5-9)
The Seahawks lost to the Bucs last week. The BUCS.
27. Washington Redskins (4-10)
The only thing that Washington can salvage from this horrible season is if they can beat the Cowboys this week.
28. Cleveland Browns (3-11)
The Browns have won two in a row for the first time in over a year.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (3-11)
The Chiefs lost to the Browns. The BROWNS.
30. Tampa Bay Bucs (2-12)
The Bucs shocked the Seahawks for their second win of the season.
31. Detroit Lions (2-12)
Lions are one of the worst organizations in sports.
32. St. Louis Rams (1-13)
The Rams are simply terrible and a few drafts away from being competitive.
QB Jimmy Clausen & WR Golden Tate Turn Pro
Photo – WR Golden Tate - Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame junior QB Jimmy Clausen and junior receiver Golden Tate announced in a joint press conference Monday that they intend to forgo their final season of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft 2010. Clausen leaves Notre Dame ranked first or second in 32 Irish passing categories including tops in career completion percentage, completions per game for a career and tied for first in lowest career interception percentage. He completed 695 of 1,110 pass attempts for 8,148 yards with 60 TDs and 27 interceptions while starting 34 of 35 games played for his three seasons with the Irish.
The 6-3, 223-pound QB completed his best season at Notre Dame this fall while completing 68% of his passes for 3,722 yards with 28 TDs and just 4 interceptions. Clausen set a new Irish record by passing for at least 300 yards in seven games, in addition to four 4th quarter comebacks for victories that are the most in a season by an ND passer.
Clausen said. "The Notre Dame experience has been a positive one and the highlight of my young career and wouldn't change it for anything. I want to thank Coach Weis and Coach Powlus as well as all the other coaches and staff that include the trainers, doctors, equipment managers, academic support, and everyone associated with the football program, especially Joe Montana and Joe Theismann. "I want to thank each one of my teammates for always being there for me through all the trials and tribulations the past 3 years. I would also like to thank my teachers and professors, fellow students, athletic director Jack Swarbrick, Father Jenkins and the entire Notre Dame Nation for all their support. Notre Dame has the best fans in the country. I will always be a Golden Domer For Life!
Tate departs as one of the most prolific receivers in Notre Dame history recording 2,707 receiving yards on 157 receptions with 26 TDs. Tate set Notre Dame's career receiving record in the final game of the 2009 season and also registered more games with at least 100 receiving yards in a season and in a career than any other Irish player. He ranks second in career TD receptions and is tied for third in career receptions. He is also an American Football Coaches Association All-American and Biletnikoff Award finalist after he flourished in his third season as a receiver totaling 93 catches for 1,496 yards and 15 receiving TDs. During the ’09 season, he set school records this year for most receptions and receiving yards in a season and tied the school mark for most TD receptions in a year. He added two rushing TDs and one punt return for a TD and totaled 1,915 all-purpose yards, 2nd most in Irish history.
"First off, I would like to thank God my savior without him none if this would be possible," Tate said. ""I would also like to thank my family, especially my mother and father for always being there. I have so much respect for someone who can raise a knucklehead like myself. They have done a great job.
"This was a very tough decision for me," Tate said. "I have made so many great friends at Notre Dame and the coaching I received in football and baseball has been the best. But after talking with my family and Coach Weis, I am going to pursue my dream and enter next year's NFL draft.
Underclassmen Declared for the NFL Draft 2010
Sam Bradford - QB - 6-4, 220 - Oklahoma - Jr
Jimmy Clausen - QB - 6-3, 220 - Notre Dame - Jr
Dez Bryant - WR - 6-1, 215 - Oklahoma St - Jr
Dezmon Briscoe – WR - 6-2, 200 - Kansas - Jr
Golden Tate - WR - 5-10, 190 - Notre Dame - Jr
Abe Koroma - DT - 6-3. 317 - Western Illinois - Jr
Date for declaring for the NFL Draft 2010 for underclassmen is January 15, 2010 Players have three days after the declaration date to rescind and change their minds and return to school for the College 2010 season.