First Openly Gay Player in the NFL?

On Sunday, Michael Sam, former defensive end for the Missouri Tigers, announced he was gay. Sam was a projected 3rd round draft pick before announcing he was gay. While many people believe this will affect his draft stock and his NFL career, I think otherwise. Sam was a star at Missouri from 2009-2013. Sam’s senior season he recorded 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for a loss. During his career at Missouri,  Sam accumulated 123 tackles, 36 for a loss, 21 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions.

Michael Sam was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, which upped his draft stock. Sam has size at 6’2″ and 255 pounds. He’s a great football player regardless of his sexual orientation. Sam shouldn’t be judged by the lifestyle in which he lives. I would draft Michael Sam no later than the 3rd round. Sam being gay shouldn’t matter one bit, and it definitely shouldn’t cause a distraction. Sam’s teammates knew about him being gay and look how great Missouri was last year. They had a 12-2 record and Sam was their best defensive player.

Michael Sam announcing to the world that he’s gay:

I’m all for Micheal Sam being openly gay , players shouldn’t have to hide who they are. Michael Sam’s sexual orientation doesn’t affect the way he plays on the field. Sam has talent and athletic ability and that’s all that should matter. I would never skip over a draft prospect because he’s gay; if a player can help my team succeed then I’m going to draft him and let him play. I think a team is going to give him a chance and he’ll run with it. Michael Sam will be the first openly gay player to play in the NFL and this will only open the door for bigger and better things in the future.

 

 

Why Tennessee Will Likely Cut Chris Johnson

Running back Chris Johnson has been great for the Titans up until a few years ago. In Johnson’s first three NFL seasons he put up more than 4,500 yards (4,598 to be exact) and 34 touchdowns. Johnson also averaged 4.9 yards per carry over that span. In Johnson’s last three season he’s only put up 3,367 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging only 4.1 yards per carry. His stats have dropped dramatically over the last three seasons. Johnson is set to make $8 million next season and the way its looking he’s on his way out of Tennessee.

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If asked if he would take a pay cut to help the team, Johnson replied with “no way” stating that it’s a “team effort.” Chris Johnson needs to take some responsibility for his lack of effort in his game after getting payed that big paycheck. The best thing for Chris Johnson to do is take a pay cut and prove that he is worth that money he was originally payed. If Johnson shows that he’s a team player then Tennessee may give him that money back in the form of a new contract in a few years.

Chris Johnson is still full of talent he just need to get his head out of the gutter and play like he once did. Johnson seems to be missing a big piece of his game let’s just hope he finds it before its too late. I can see the potential left in Johnson and I’d hate to see that potential walk right out the door, but Tennessee has too much salary cap issues to overlook Johnson’s big payday next season. With Johnson likely on his way out the next question is who will replace Chris Johnson at the start of the 2014 season.

Rick “The Horror” Story

Rick “The Horror” Story is a mixed martial arts fighter for the UFC. Rick Story followed me on twitter (Rick_Story) today, which is an accomplishment to me considering I write about sports, so I decided to write an article about this UFC fighter.

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Rick “The Horror” Story got his nickname because he is a nightmare for his opponents across the octagon. Story’s debut in the UFC was in 2009 at UFC 99, unfortunately that fight didn’t go as planned as he lost to John Hathaway by unanimous decision. Story never let that effect him though, as he embarked on a 6 fight win streak defeating the likes of Johnny Hendricks and Thiago Alves. After defeating former number one contender Thiago Alves, Story found himself fighting Nate Marquardt  at UFC on Verses 4 before Marquardt pulled out of the fight on the day of the weigh-ins and Story was forced to then face Charlie Brenneman and lost via unanimous decision. Since then Story hasn’t been able to find his groove inside the octagon.

Story has tremendous talent though being a former wrestler and football player in high school. It wasn’t until college that Story learned more mixed martial arts moves as a friend asked to trade takedown techniques for submission techniques. After that Story has always been into mixed martial arts and trained until asked to a fight.

As you can see story has great cardio, wrestling ability, striking, and talent. Story likes to take his fights all the way to the end, which shows he can last all 5 championship rounds. Story can control the fight having 9 of his 16 wins have been by decision and 6 of his 7 losses have been by decision. Story has the cardio and skill to last all rounds of a fight. I believe its only a matter of time before Rick “The Horror” Story is fighting for the UFC welterweight championship and return to his natural self.

Future NBA Star!

Remember the name Jarnell Stokes PF for the University of Tennessee. This guy was a highly rated recruit coming out of high school, ranked number 18 in the ESPNU 100. Stokes is a physical player and great in the paint. He’s proven he’s talented with his work at Tennessee. Putting up stats that you can’t just overlook. Let’s take a look at his production during his college career.

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Stokes is a tall, strong basketball player standing at 6’8″ and weighing 260 pounds. When stokes was a freshman in 2011, he averaged 9.6 points per game and 7.4 rebounds. Those stats aren’t too shabby. In his sophomore year in 2012, Stokes had 12.4 points per game and 9.6 rebounds, quite impressive. Then his junior year approaches in 2013, which is still going on, so far he’s averaged 14.0 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game. Those stats are his best yet and so good that he’s the only player in the nation with a double-double. Stokes has put up almost 900 points and 680 rebounds.  Now that’s a player hard at work.

A special on Stokes:

After watching that video tell me you aren’t jumping on the Jarnell Stokes bandwagon. Stokes can dominate in the paint and also have a nice touch when shooting. He can almost do it all on the court. Stokes wasn’t a top rated recruit for nothing. This guy is no joke and he plans on dominating in the NBA for many years to come. I just wanna be the first to say watch out for this young stud on the court for the Tennessee Volunteers and someday in the NBA!

A Breakout Year!!

Look for Justin Hunter, wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans, to have a breakout season in 2014. Hunter has great length, speed, leaping ability, and terrific hands. Hunter was a former wide receiver at the University of Tennessee. This guy is very smart on the field and knows what to look for in defenses and exploit those weaknesses.

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Justin Hunter made an impact when he was a wide receiver at the University of Tennessee. Hunter caught 106 receptions for 1,812 yards and 18 touchdowns. His freshman season he caught 16 receptions for 415 yards and 7 touchdowns. He averaged 25.7 yards per catch. His sophomore season was cut short by an ACL tear week 3 vs Florida. He still managed 17 receptions for 314 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, he returned better than ever his junior season when he caught an astonishing 73 receptions for 1,083 yards and 9 touchdowns, pretty good for someone coming off an ACL injury.

Hunter is 6’4″ and 203 pounds. He uses his big body and leaping ability to snag passes out of the air. He caught 18 passes for 354 yards and 4 touchdowns in the little playing time he had during his rookie year. He averaged 19.7 yards per catch, which is pretty impressive if you ask me. He showed promise after his first two NFL catches were for touchdowns.

Justin Hunter can also make acrobatic catches as he did his rookie season:

He has also made game winning catches in his short-lived career:

This is why I believe Justin Hunter will have himself a breakout season in 2014, his second NFL season. He’s gonna add experience, muscles, and weight to his tall body. Keep an eye out for Justin Hunter all you fantasy football fans like myself. My prediction for Justin Hunter next season, if he’s injury free and his playing time picks up, is 67 catches for 1,127 yards and 7 touchdowns.

The Hiring of Ken Whisenhunt

When the Titans hired Ken Whisenhunt I, personally, wasn’t surprised. It was the obvious choice for a team moving in the Titans direction, which is to the top. The Titans are stacked on both sides of the ball and with a whole new staff coming in they should improve their 7-9 record by a few games. Whisenhunt is what the Titans need on their franchise. He’s proven to be a very successful coach.

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Ken Whisenhunt has a track record for turning teams around. Whisenhunt was an offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-2006 and helped lead them to a Super Bowl in 2006, beating the Seattle Seahawks 21-10. He then left the Steelers for a head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals. He coached there from 2007-2012, leading them to their first ever Super Bowl appearance. Sadly enough, that was cut short by his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, as they lost 27-23. Whisenhunt was 45-51 as a head coach over that span. Whisenhunt then decided to take his talents out west to the San Diego Chargers in 2013 as their offensive coordinator, leading them to the playoffs before getting knocked out. Which brings us here to the Tennessee Titans, where in my opinion he will have his most success as a coach given the talent he’s provided with .

Ken Whisenhunt has proven to bring the best out of quarterbacks. He coached Kurt Warner and helped lead that team to the promise land. He also helped Philip Rivers get back to his pro bowl stature. Whisenhunt was given a great, young quarterback to coach in Jake Locker. Locker has shown promise if he can just improve a few details of his game. First and foremost, stay healthy, no quarterback can become an elite quarterback on the sidelines. Second, he needs to improve on his accuracy and vision. Lastly, he needs to make better decisions with the football, which means don’t run every chance you get and stay conservative. Once you cross that line of scrimmage and make your way up the field those quarterback hungry linebackers are making a b line for your head. I think Whisenhunt will help Locker with those minor details and all of a sudden Tennessee may have found their franchise quarterback of the future.

Then we get to the rest of the team, the defense and the rest of the offense. Tennessee has talented guys on both sides of the ball. The offense shows guys like: Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, Delanie Walker, possibly Chris Johnson if he can get back to his normal self, Chance Warmack and some other players. The defense has guys like: Jurrell Casey, Zach Brown, Alterraun Verner, Michael Griffin, and Bernard Pollard among others. They have all the pieces to have a formidable team they just need to improve on those small details. Add a few pass rushers, a middle linebacker, offensive tackle, maybe another offensive weapon, and a running back pending on what happens to Chris Johnson. They get some guys to fill these needs and they could very well find themselves in the mix for a Super Bowl championship.