Tebowmania could take a backseat next year as Tebow could back up Peyton Manning
Perhaps the biggest prize in NFL free agency is underway with Peyton Manning being release by the Indianapolis Colts March 7th.
While many are trying to land the 14-year veteran and 4-time MVP, one team has come out as a surprise contender to land the services.
Tim Tebow’s team, the Denver Broncos.
Any team would become substantially better with Manning at the helm of their offense, but Denver’s situation is very unique.
Denver has become the home of Tebowmania ever since the Broncos used a 1st round pick on the 2-time National Champion and Heisman Trophy winner from Florida. Fans have wanted Tim Tebow as the starter ever since the Broncos drafted him.
They got their wish this past season. After a bad 1-4 start, the Broncos started Tebow to see what they had with him. What was treated as an experiment by the Broncos turned into a 7-1 run, leaders of the AFC West, and media hype galore in pop culture
Then in the final 3 weeks of the season, the Broncos struggled badly with games against New England, Buffalo, and Kansas City. Despite losing their last 3 games, the Broncos held on and backed their way into the playoffs as AFC West Champs.
Thought to be getting ready to be blown out by the 12-4 Pittsburgh Steelers, Tebow led the Broncos with 316 passing yards, most by a Broncos quarterback in his first playoff game, and 2 touchdowns in a thrilling 29-23 overtime win. The Broncos would lose the following weekend at New England, 45-10.
Along with winning on the field, the media hype behind Tebow in Denver and around the country has fans crazy to see more of what Tebow can do on the field
Tim Tebow dominated headlines throughout the season…
As well as the pop culture world with the new phenomenon, Tebowing
While Denver did improve dramatically from the Andrew Luck sweepstakes (which Peyton Manning’s former team won while he was out for the year) to division champs and a playoff win, the team still has a ways to go.
While Tebow did play well for the Broncos, especially with all of the 4th quarter comebacks the team had with him, statistically Tebow struggled. He completed only 47% of his passes on the season. While the Broncos played Tebow very conservatively and did not want him to turn the ball over, he struggled with fumbles and interceptions in the Broncos 3-game losing streak to end the regular season.
But the Broncos do note the impressive 7-4 record to lead the team back into the playoffs and a 9-7 record in his first 16 starts, 2nd best among current NFL quarterbacks behind Tom Brady.
Putting Tebow’s numbers aside, let’s look at Manning and his fit with the Broncos. First off, the Broncos, out of all the teams who have contacted Manning to play for them, have the most cap space to afford him. The Broncos currently have $40-50 million they can spend in free agency, meaning they can land a big money contract for Manning.
As for the talent on the field, Manning would upgrade a young and coming group. The offensive line played fairly well throughout the season, and the Broncos could address depth and help in the draft up front. The Broncos were a solid rushing team, headlined by free agent pickup Willis McGahee. The receiver core is solid with young players Eric Decker and Eddie Royal, along with a late season resurgence of Demaryius Thomas. The tight end position is one problem spot for the Broncos offense that will need to be addressed.
Demaryius Thomas became a go-to receiver for the Broncos last season. Peyton Manning could keep that trend going very easily.
For the most part, the Broncos offense could be a surprisingly good fit for Manning. However, every decision has its cons, including adding Manning.
For starters, Manning’s health still seems to be an issue. Despite recent practices where coaches said Manning seems to look like the “old Manning”, there is still question about the regeneration of his nerves in his arms. Don’t forget 3 surgeries on his neck is always difficult on personal health as well.
While the Broncos may have lots of cap space to sign Manning, there are many other issues the team needs to address, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The Broncos have an older secondary with Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins and must get younger and add depth. Defensive tackle also needs an upgrade. Kicker Matt Prater was given the franchise tag to come back for one more year, but the Broncos will need to work out a contract if they want to keep him long-term. Don’t forget adding a safety valve tight end for Manning, which he always had with Dallas Clark in Indianapolis.
Perhaps the final issue with signing Peyton Manning to Denver would be the growth of Tim Tebow. Broncos Vice President John Elway and Head Coach John Fox was reluctant early on with Tebow starting for the team. Confidence grew during the team’s 7-1 start, however. Elway even told reporters that in preseason camp Tebow had earned the right to be the starter.
That confidence the Broncos have put on Tebow certainly now seems to be more of a media move if Manning should land in Denver.
Along with that confidence, the Broncos do want to see what they can be with a guy like Tebow, who they used a first round pick on. That will have to be put on hold or eventually end, as Tebow would fall back to second string and limited to the Tebow Package that he ran in his rookie season.
At the end of the day, it is always a smart move for a team to go after Peyton Manning, including the Broncos. A career 65% completion percentage passer with nearly 55,000 passing years and 300 touchdowns, Manning has proved he is an elite quarterback in the game. The pieces are set for Manning to come in immediately and perhaps lead Denver to a Superbowl run.
The possibility of Manning coming to Denver seems to be growing by the hour
As for Tebow, don’t expect a move to be made by the Broncos to deal him. While Manning is an elite quarterback, he is 36 and probably going to last for only a couple seasons. Tebow could learn a lot from Manning, and should he come to Denver for a couple seasons, Tebow will grow as a quarterback learning from him. Think of Aaron Rodgers backing up Brett Favre and where he is at now.
Should the Broncos not land Manning in free agency, they must rally and put all their focus on Tebow running the offense this season. They must show that while not landing Manning would be a disappointment, they did have a winning record with a 2nd year quarterback and will get better with the off-season. After all, there is no lockout this summer, which clearly affected Tebow.
The Broncos must show their full support behind Tim Tebow if they cannot land Peyton Manning in free agency
Let the bidding for Manning begin.
A lot has happened from August 5th, 2011 to today, as pitchers and catchers workout and baseball clubs are gearing up for another summer season.
It was during the regular season last year when Juan Nicasio, who at the time was playing in AA minor league ball in Tulsa, was called up to the Rockies to be a starting pitcher due to injuries with Ubaldo Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa. Nicasio made his first start on National TV against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 28th, pitching seven innings and allowing only one run in a 15-4 blowout win.
After a string of strong starts, including his most impressive start against the Kansas City Royals on July 1st where he threw eight shutout innings in a 9-0 win, Nicasio suddenly became a rookie sensation and regular starter for the Rockies and a piece the organization felt would be crucial in the rebuilding process after the Rockies traded All-star Ubaldo Jimenez.
Nicasio started a game on August 5th against the Washington Nationals, which would soon became more than just a game for Nicasio.
Early in the second inning, the Rockies were down 2-0 and Nicasio was pitching against Nationals’ shortstop Ian Desmond. On an 0-1 count, Nicasio threw a hard fastball at 93 mph. Desmond created contact, and the ball flew hard off the bat in the direction of Nicasio.
Nicasio threw his glove up to his face after the hit, but his reaction was not quick enough. Nicasio was drilled by a line drive in his head, and Nicasio collapsed on the mound immediately.
Video of Juan Nicasio’s injury on August 5th vs. Washington. Warning: This video is one of an injury. Parential discretion is advised
A packed house at Coors Field was silent. Trainers from both teams immediately headed to the mound to check on Nicasio. Cameras caught Nicasio laying on the mound, breathing and in obvious pain.
Good news was that Nicasio was seen moving his arms some and talking, but doctors and trainers treated Nicasio with extreme caution as he was put in a neck cast and strapped to a board to be carted off the field.
When doctors took him to a Denver hospital, a battery of tests were done to determine what happened to Nicasio. What doctors found in x-rays was that Nicasio, who is 24, had fractured his C-1 vertebra in his neck.
After taken to a local Denver hospital, doctors determined Juan Nicasio had suffered a much more serious injury than they thought
After determining the injury, doctors had to do surgery.Doctors inserted two pins into the cracked C-1 vertebra to help it heal in one piece. A small metal plate was attached to the back of his neck to provide additional stability.
The team and trainers were concerned with Nicasio’s injury and whether he would be able to walk again, let alone pitch another big league inning.
The injury is so rare in baseball that Colorado Rockies head trainer Keith Dugger confesed he had never seen anything like it before. In fact, many baseball officials said it was the first type of injury they had ever heard of in baseball.
Following surgery, Nicasio was resting comfortable and eating in the hospital. And only 12 days after fracturing his neck, Nicasio was in front of the media for the first time since the injury at a press conference.
“I’m lucky. The ball hit me right there,” he said pointing to his right temple. “A lot of people who have that injury don’t live.”
12 days after surgery to repair a fractured neck, Juan Nicasio made his first public appearance, thanking everyone involved with the recovery process
Alongside Nicasio at the press conference was head trainer Keith Dugger, who talked about that injury on August 5th.
“The very first thing he said was, ‘My neck,’ ” Keith Dugger said. “And he knew he got hit in the face right away, but he said right away my neck hurts.”
At the time of the press conference, it was still unsure whether Nicasio would pitch again for the Rockies. Confidence was high for both Dugger and Nicasio who made bold predictions for the upcoming season.
“He’ll report early to spring training. That’s the initial outline right now,” Dugger said.
When reporters asked if Nicasio would pitch again, Nicasio told reporters, “I want to pitch again” with a smile on his face.
Fast forward to February 21st, 2012. The Colorado Rockies are preparing for the upcoming 2012 season in Scottsdale, Arizona. Pitchers and catchers have reported to start throwing and getting ready for the season.
One of the pitcher throwing bullpen sessions was, in fact, Juan Nicasio.
Colorado Rockies Manager Jim Tracy called it nothing short of a “miracle” that Nicasio was throwing again just six months after his injury.
After beating the odds, Juan Nicasio is now competing for a starting rotation spot for the Rockies this upcoming year
“It just continues to be amazing,” Tracy said. “But it says a whole lot about the individual. You try to come up with a word to describe what has been going on, because there’s a lot of people involved here — our trainers, his doctors.”
As for the 2012 season, the Rockies are looking to rebuild a starting pitcher rotation, with Jorge De La Rosa being out until the All-star break after successful Tommy John Surgery last season.
Perhaps another big step on the way for Juan Nicasio, who beat the odds with his injury and will be on the mound this year.
From the Big Plays to the Fallout After
Pregame: As the AFC Champion New England Patriots and the NFC Champion New York Giants were warming up for the Superbowl, all eyes and talk leading up to the game were on Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski, who caught 90 passes and 17 touchdowns during the regular season, was hampered by a high ankle sprain he suffered in the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Patriots kept a close eye on Gronkowski to see what kind of factor he could be in the game, but it appeared his ankle injury would limit his production in the game, which it did.
Rob Gronkowski, who admitted he wasn’t 100% entering the game, was held to two catches and 26 yards in the game.
First Half: After the Giants took the opening possesion of the game for six minutes and punted, Tom Brady and the Patriots started their first drive at their own 5 yard line. On 1st down, Brady went play action and was given plenty of time until Giants defensive end Justin Tuck got free and brought the rush. Brady threw a deep ball down the middle of the field incomplete. Referee John Parry flagged Brady for intentional grounding on the play, however, as no reciever was in the vicinity of the ball. Because the foul occured when Brady was in the endzone, The Giants were awarded a safety and the ball following the play.
And in his first play on the field, Tom Brady and the Patriots found themselves down 2-0. Not the way any team would like to start off the game.
On the ensuing drive, Eli Manning and the Giants marched down the field into the redzone, showing balance with Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs in the running game as well as Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks in the passing game. The Patriots appeared to force the first turnover in the game when Victor Cruz was stripped of the football and the Patriots recovered at the 7 yard line. However, the Patriots were flagged with their 2nd big mistake of the game, as they had 12 men on the field during the play. The Giants kept possesion of the ball and made the Patriots pay, as Eli Manning hit Victor Cruz on a slant pass which he corraled to help give the Giants a 9-0 lead they would have at the end of the 1st quarter.
Victor Cruz and the Giants had many reasons to salsa after taking a 9-0 lead in the 1st quarter
In the second quarter, the Patriots would begin to answer for their early mistakes. After Stephen Gostkowski put the Patriots on the board with a field goal, the Patriots would start their next drive at their own 4 yard line (but were backed up to their own 2 yard line after a false start on 1st down). The Patriots took 14 plays to march 96 yards and score a touchdown as Brady hit running back Danny Woodhead from 4 yards out with 8 seconds to go in the half. Brady completed all 10 passes on the drive, including hitting Rob Gronkowski for a 20 yard play to convert an early first 3rd down conversion.
As both quarterback entered the locker room for the half, both quaterbacks were completing a very high percentage of their passes. Eli Manning for the Giants completed his first 9 passes of the Superbowl, a first in Superbowl history.
Danny Woodhead’s 4 yard touchdown catch gave the Patriots a 10-9 lead at halftime. The Patriots only lead for 8 seconds in the first half
Halftime: As the Giants and Patriots were in the locker room making halftime adjustments, everyone else was ready to see the show Madonna would put on for the halftime entertainment. Despite Madonna’s release of a new album coming in March, she stuck with mostly her older hits, as she sang Vogue, Music with a brief appearance by LMFAO, and Like a Prayer with an appearance by Cee Lo Green.
But it was the performance of her new single Give Me All Your Luvin that stirred the most buzz, but not in the best way. Madonna was joined by artists Nicki Minaj and MIA, who make brief singing appearances in the song. While most people seemed to like the song, it was an obscene gesture by MIA and her swearing which caught the most attention. MIA flipped off a camera and she uttered her last line “Yeah I don’t give a sh*t”. A brief blurred camera shot was shown, but did not appear until after the gesture and singing occured.
Most people and critics seemed to enjoy the show, but it was the British artist MIA that stole the show and conversation.
While Madonna did seem to get approval of the performance…
It was MIA who stole the show and headlines
2nd half: The Patriots got the ball to start the second half, and wasted no time in scoring their second touchdown of the game, putting together an impressive 8 play, 79 yard drive.
Brady hit Aaron Hernandez for the 6th time in the game over the middle for a 12 yard touchdown reception to give the Patriots a 17-9 lead. The touchdown completion was Brady’s 16th completion in a row, a new Superbowl record. The previous record was held by Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers, who completed 13 straight.
Aaron Hernandez picked up the slack for the Patriots with the injury to Rob Gronkowski, and also caught Tom Brady’s Superbowl record 16th straight completion with this touchdown early in the third quarter
After another Patriots touchdown, the Giants got the ball and marched right back down the field, but were held to a 38 yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes to make it 17-12 with 6:43 left in the quarter.
After the Giants finally recorded their first sack of the game and forced the Patriots to punt, the Giants got great field position and again drove down the field, but stalled. A sack by Rob Ninkovich on 3rd down forced a second field goal by Tynes to cut the Patriots lead down to 2, trailing 17-15 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
On the second play of the 4th quarter, the game produced its first turnover of the game. Brady threw deep down the field after avoiding the Giants pash rush, but slightly underthrew tight end Rob Gronkowski. Giants middle linebacker Chase Blackburn, trailing Gronkoski , undercut the tight end and leaped in the air, grabbing the pass and avoiding it being knockout of his hands by Gronkowski. Giants ball.
Chase Blackburn was able to pick off an underthrown pass by Tom Brady in the 4th quarter for the game’s only turnover. The Patriots had a shot to recover 3 Giants fumbles, but 2 were recovered by the Giants offense and one recovered by the Patriots was nullified by having 12 men on the field
On the drive, Eli Manning and the Giants avoided turning the ball back over by recovering their own fumble, but the Patriots defense made a stop and forced the Giants to punt.
New England begin driving down the field when Wes Welker, the NFL’s leading reciever with 122 catches in the regular season, dropped what would of been a 20 yard completion with no one around him. New England was forced to punt, and the Giants got possesion at their own 12 yard line with 3:46 to go and a timeout left.
Eli Manning and the Giants made the biggest play of the game, when Manning hooked up with a 38 yard completion down the sideline to Mario Manningham, the longest play of the game. Manningham caught the pass and was able to barely drag his two feet inbounds before falling out. New England challenged the play, but lost, resulting in losing a timeout and some momentum.
Mario Manningham made what people considered “The Catch 2.0”, referring to the other unbelievable catch made by David Tyree when the Giants played the Patriots in Superbowl XLII
Once the Giants got to the New England 6 yard line, it appeared the Patriots were willing to allow the Giants to score, when a huge hole opened up as Eli Manning handed off to Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw tried to stop and fall down short of the goaline, but his momentum carried him too far as he fell backwards into the endzone for a Giants touchdown. The Giants failed the 2-point conversion, making it a 21-17 Giants lead with 57 seconds remaining in the game.
When the Patriots got the ball, Brady threw 2 incompletions. On 3rd down, Brady was sacked by Justin Tuck, forcing the Patriots to use their final timeout. The Patriots did convert a 4th and 16, when Brady connected with Deion Branch at the sideline for 19 yards and a first down.
New England got themselves to their own 49 yard line. After a short pass incompletion at the sideline as Deion Branch couldn’t drag his feet, Brady was left to throw a hail mary to the endzone for the win. Brady avoided a pass rush and threw the ball high into the air at the endzone. Kenny Phillips, the safety for the Giants, tipped the ball but could not bat it down. The ball fell slowly down, as Rob Gronkoski made a late diving effort to try and grab the ball.
The ball fell to the turf. Eli Manning and the Giants began to rush the field, as the Giants defeated the Patriots, 21-17. This marks the second straight Superbowl meeting between the Giants and Patriots that Manning and the Giants were able to win. In 2008, New York played New England in Superbowl XLII in Arizona, with the Giants ending the Patriots undefeated season by upsetting New England 17-14.
The Giants were able to avoid a hail mary by Brady to be answered…
And Manning became the 2nd quarterback in NFL history to win 2 Superbowl MVP’s. He finished 30 of 40 for 296 yards and 1 touchdown
Aftermath: There were plenty of headlines to follow after Superbowl XLVI.
The biggest news came with the halftime show and comments made by a certain supermodel in attendance at the Superbowl.
First, the NFL and NBC immediately issued apologies to the public for the obscene gesture made by MIA during the halftime performance, but both seemed to blame the other’s as well as themselves for the mishap.
“There was a failure in NBC’s delay system,” the NFL said. “The obscene gesture in the performance was completly inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans.”
NBC fired back with their own statement as well: “The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show,” NBC spokesperson Christopher McCloskey said. “Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.”
Meanwhile, Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, the wife of Patriots Tom Brady, voiced her frustrations after the game, where she was heckled by a Giants fan who told her “Eli Manning owns your husband.”
Gisele fired back, saying “My husband cannot f***ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time.”
Gisele Bundchen, with Tom Brady after the Superbowl, criticized Brady’s recievers with crucial drops late in the game.
As for the good following the Superbowl, Eli Manning made an appearance to Disneyworld to celebrate the Superbowl win, followed by an appearance on Dave Letterman, where he recieved a loud standing ovation.
Manning, who before the season was asked if he was an elite quarterback and said he was, proved it with a strong finish to the season. The Giants also became the 1st team in NFL history to win the Superbowl after winning 9 games in the season, finishing the regular season at 9-7. The Giants beat 4 straight teams with better records than them to win Superbowl XLVI.
Off-season: As football officially has come to an end, the major headline being followed will be on the other Manning in the NFL. Peyton Manning, who missed the entire season recovering from neck surgery, is unsure of his status remaining with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts would owe Manning $28 million if he remains on the Colts roster on March 8. The Colts also have the 1st draft pick in the NFL Draft this off-season, with prized quarterback Andrew Luck from Stanford entering the draft early.
Manning’s future with the Colts, where he has been for the past 14 seasons, remains in the hands of owner Jim Irsay, who has been cleaning house and appears to be gearing up for a rebuilding process
While Eli now has more Superbowl rings than Peyton (2 to 1), it appears Peyton will have far more headlines as the NFL now will enter into a busy off-season.
Missouri Impressive, Ready for the SEC
Sends Message to SEC About Recruiting
After having a sub-par season in its final year with the Big XII (5-4 conference, 8-5 overall), there were many skeptics about the impact the Missouri Tigers could have when it enters its first season with the SEC this fall.
Those skeptics found out on signing day Missouri is ready to play with the “Big Boys” down south.
On Wednesday, Dorial Green-Beckham, from Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest High, announced to a packed gymnasium he would attend the University of Missouri to play football. Green-Beckham, a wide receiver, was touted the number one high school recruit by Rivals.com and USA Today.
Green-Beckham picked Missouri over other SEC schools Arkansas and Alabama, as well as Texas and Oklahoma.
Dorial Green-Beckham signing with Mizzou could lead to a pipeline of Midland Region Recruiting for the Tigers and the SEC for years to come
While Green-Beckham’s decision may surprise many who follow high school recruiting, Missouri did make the strongest push to keep the 6’6 receiver in state with a scholarship offered his freshman year.
With Green-Beckham signing with Missouri, the Tigers have the 21st ranked recruiting class in the NCAA. It is also the first time since 1986 Missouri signs the top recruit in high school, when they signed Florissant running back Tony VanZant.
Whether or not Green-Beckham will redshirt or start his true freshman year remains to be seen, but he is expected to make a huge impact on the Tigers offense. At 6’6 and 220 pounds, he set a national receiving record with 6,356 yards in his career. Green-Beckham is a freakish athlete with great mobility and quickness to go along with his size.
And with Missouri’s spread offense, there is without question Green-Beckham can put up impressive numbers for the Tigers. While the Tigers averaged 475 yards and 32 points per game, Missouri’s passing attack only averaged 231 yards per game, 64th in the NCAA. Green-Beckham will help the passing offense immediately with his presence, whether he will catch the bulk of the passes from James Franklin or open up room for fellow receivers T.J. Moe and Michael Egnew.
While there is already a loud buzz is in the air for the University of Missouri as they begin their first season in the SEC, which is home to the last six National Champions in college football, it appears the Tigers have made the most noise so far for the new SEC as they land Green-Beckham.