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T.J. Ward and Jairus Byrd were the two names spiraling out of control all around the NovaCare center on the eve of NFL Free Agency. Fans and media alike, were all waiting in angst hoping for an announcement that the Eagles have locked up one of these two, thought to be, best safeties on the market. Instead the name they heard was former New Orleans Saint, Malcolm Jenkins. I must admit, this signing did not signify greatness to  me, but instead seemed like another marginal upgrade that would bode well for Howie Roseman and his illustrious salary cap.

Fortunately for the Eagles, it looks after 3 games that Malcolm Jenkins has not only proved to be an A+ signing, but he has outplayed the other two prize possessions that were ranked before him by all of the prognosticators as well. As T.J. and Jairus are still looking for their first game changing interception, Malcolm recorded an interception for the third straight game, this time stepping in front of a Colin Kapernick pass and going 53 yards through traffic for a touchdown.

Obviously we are only 3 games into a 16 game season, but one thing is for sure: Jenkins was the right player to add to their secondary and implement their scheme. The former first round pick out of Ohio State was let go by the New Orleans Saints because he supposedly didn’t fit Rob Ryan’s system, which from the onset sounded like a problem that concerned many people in the media. His skills and mental attributes all started to come under scrutiny, as the Saints decided to go in another direction and sign Byrd instead.

Malcolm was drafted as a CB, but later was molded into a Safety because of his freakish speed and coverage ability. The Eagles haven’t had a Safety presence like Jenkins since the departure of the great Brian Dawkins, whose ball hawking skills and smash mouth style will never be duplicated. Ironically, Jenkins is the hardest-hitting safety the Eagles have featured since Dawkins left via free agency following the 2008 season, along with  similar leadership qualities as well as the ability to make big plays.

“It’s a mentality that, yeah, every time we have the ball we want to score. We’re the defense and we don’t touch the ball that much,” Jenkins said. “Every time we touch it, we want to score. That’s why you see guys turning and blocking and trying to escort the ballcarrier into the end zone. It’s a big deal when we’re able to do that and hopefully turn a game around.”

Watching him live, on film, or during replays, you can sense the passion he has for the position and the game. I have seen him jump routes with efficiency, direct the defense on coverage audibles, come up in the box to stop the run, and even make an important stop on special teams. He has definitely adapted to the soaring mentality of the Philadelphia Eagles and their fan base.

If you are expecting another #20, you will be disappointed. However, if you are looking an exciting playmaker, smart decision maker,  and a general on the football field, Malcolm Jenkins is starting to turn heads and making all the prognosticators look silly!

Reported By:

Tony Cutillo (@TCutillo23)


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Chip Kelly has taken the National Football League and its followers by storm. In some ways, Chip is revolutionizing the sport into what everyone involved ever wanted; a high scoring and exciting game, with very little timeouts or huddles.

The journey started in D-1AA as a successful offensive coordinator who found himself the most coveted college football coach in America. In his first game as the head coach of the Oregon Ducks his team managed just 153 yards and scored only 8 points. A season ticket holder wrote him asking for his money back. Kelly was so embarrassed and disappointed that he mailed him a personal check for $439.

In his four years at Oregon, Kelly built an impressive resume as he turned a good program into an elite powerhouse. During his tenure, he coached his way to a 46-7 record, appeared in four consecutive BCS Bowl Games and in 2011 came one possession short of winning the national title. While at Oregon, Kelly developed his own methodical philosophy and one that would eventually turned heads all across the NCAA. Traditionally, a typical college team would run 55-60 plays per game. Kelly, always looking to push the envelope of modernization, wanted 80.

After years of dabbling into the conversations of bringing his style to the NFL, he finally made his mind up when the Philadelphia Eagles hired him away from Oregon in January 2013 to rebuild their dwindling franchise. The doubters were everywhere stating things to the tune of his up-tempo offense wouldn’t work in the NFL and voicing the concerns of lack of confidence within the Eagles locker room. In his first season, Kelly brought his offensive philosophy to the NFL and finished 10-6 with the league’s 4th best offense, giving those same doubters something to think about. They paced the league with 99 plays of 20 yards or more, RB LeSean McCoy led the league in rushing and Pro-Bowl WR DeSean Jackson posted career best receiving numbers. While taking nothing away from these fantastic accomplishments, Kelly’s biggest impact may have been on the Quarterback position.

It is nearly impossible to measure a QB’s impact on a game, but a QB is the main fuel behind the engine that continually wants to run. Without Kelly, Nick Foles posted a middling 79 QB rating, good for 23rd in the league. Under Kelly the rating grew to 119.2-making him the league’s most efficient QB. Foles went on to post some of the most fascinating numbers ever, including a 27 TD-2 INT ratio that is remarkable for any QB, let alone a beginner.

The Chip Kelly Project is the current blueprint for the entire NFL. His schematics have included everything from early night bedtimes and nutritional smoothies for stability. He has made everyone from the opposing teams and coaches, to the valuable men in pinstripes step up their game as they all try to keep up with his evolving system. Chip Kelly continues to be a man of very few words and expressions, but the one constant that continues to impress is his football intelligence.  Everyone has a brain, but just like his football system, the quickness in which the brain can process information is the key to continued success!

Reported By:

Tony Cutillo (TCutillo23)


 

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In a year where the Philadelphia Phillies have been nothing short of exhausting to follow and watch, Jonathan Papelbon has been one of the bright spots for a Phillies bullpen that wasn’t give much hope when the players reported to Spring Training.

Papelbon earned his 30th save of the year last week with a scoreless ninth inning against the Mariners on Wednesday and helped combine on a no-hitter against Atlanta. He’s now reached the 30-save mark eight times in his last nine seasons. Papelbon has never been the most popular player, but he’s put together some very impressive numbers over his career with 315 saves to go with a 2.34 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.

One of the reasons behind the unacknowledged accolades could be his domineer and attitude. He has never been known as the best guy in the locker room and was always available to say whatever was on his mind, no matter what the consequences would be. Papelbon has a pretty impressive track record and came to the Phillies under a lot of scrutiny because of a big time contract with whispers of a dead arm closer. Unfortunately for him, he came to the Phillies in the first stages of a team decline, not a phase he was expecting.

There have been moments of praise, along with times of disgust over these last three seasons as we have watched the continual ups and downs of a bad baseball team. Whether or not you want to give Papelbon the credit he deserves, the fact that there’s even an argument to be made for him will hopefully get you to appreciate a little more what the guy has done and is doing for the Fightins. Papelbon’s numbers in his three seasons in the Red and White are really quite excellent.

In 187 appearances from 2012-2014, here are his overall stats:                    

188 IP, 12-9, 2.35 ERA, 2.87 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, 203 K, 42 BB (4.83 K/BB), 100 Saves

He’s certainly not the cuddliest closer we’ve ever had and he probably won’t end up being worth $26 million over the next two seasons. However, he only trails Jose Mesa by 14 saves to become the Phillies All-Time Leader and what he’s done thus far when taking the mound for us in the ninth inning has been pretty undeniable, and deserves to be acknowledged.

Reported By:

Tony Cutillo (@TCutillo23)


 

 

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As we prepare for the start of the 2014-15 NFL Season, the concussion issue has already decided to veer its ugly head.  According to reports, there were 152 concussions reported last year throughout several different positions on the field. Unfortunately, this year has already been hit by the concussion epidemic as the NFL losses one of its premier stars for the rest of the preseason and possibly forever.

Wes Welker, one of the good guys of the league, suffered his third concussion in less than 10 months. This is major concern for his future health and well-being. Can the Denver Broncos wide receiver take a few more hits before he does irreversible damage that will rob him of his memory, set his moods swinging like a pendulum and make after life after football a living hell for him and his loved ones?

Nobody knows for sure, not even Welker himself. The prospects of a traumatic brain injury are enough to scare anyone half to death. “Every time you’re getting a concussion, it’s like withdrawing money from an ATM. However, you don’t know how much money God has put in your account and how long it is going to last,” said Dr. Kevin Crutchfield, a neurologist and concussions expert who is director of the Comprehensive Sports Concussion Program at LifeBridge Health in Baltimore.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or the body that can change the way your brain normally works. Symptoms of a concussion may not start right away; they may start days or weeks after the injury. This type of injury has plagued the NFL for years and continues to be a problem now and could be well into the future!

Reported By:

Tony Cutillo (@TCutillo23)


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Is there really such a thing as too much technology in baseball? Just as you thought watching a MLB Baseball game couldn’t get any better, it did. Back in March, Major League Baseball Advanced Media announced the formation of a new product that looked like the data-capturing system of our dreams.

StatCast is a 3-D tracking system that provides detailed metrics on the locations and movements of the ball, the players, and even the umpires. While the system is currently installed in only a handful of ballparks, Major League Baseball plans for all 30 stadiums to have it by 2015. Eventually, such systems will proliferate not just through the ranks of all professional sports but to youth sports, affecting everything from how games are taught to the statistical nomenclature of sport.

The really heavy-duty stuff, with multiple variables available within a single play, has seemingly limitless potential. Front offices can use it to measure defense or base-running skills. It was more concept than product, however, and 2014 was essentially going to be a year long beta test, with just three stadiums outfitted with the technology. These technologies, combined with new media devices that will deliver that information, will give fans a new level of feedback about the action on the field and create unprecedented access to players and the game.

StatCast has the potential to revolutionize the way we evaluate baseball. There’s still so much we don’t know about the system and how it’s eventually going to affect the public discourse on the game, but it’s impossible to watch these clips and not get excited. It is a certainty that the scaling and rollout of data at this size will be challenging, and we don’t actually know what kind of information will make its way into the public sector.

But we can dream. And clips like this, along with an actual name for the product, make those dreams seem ever closer to reality. Everyone can see a great play when it appears. But MLB Advanced Media’s new Statcast player tracking metrics explains how it happens.

Reported By: 

Tony Cutillo (@TCutillo23)


 

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Where has the Undertaker been? Since WrestleMania 30, the Undertaker’s status for WWE WrestleMania 31 has been in constant question. There seemed to be concern for Undertaker’s health following his first-ever loss at WrestleMania 30 against Brock Lesnar.

Lesnar and Paul Heyman were the two that Undertaker chose to end the illustrious streak. The looks and screams from the fans on that day can still be seen and heard from miles away. Ending the Streak wasn’t a popular idea, but now Lesnar is the hottest WWE superstar to date. He will be carrying the company for the next few months and the ratings are higher than ever before when he is on-screen.

Many WWE legends think Taker earned the right to retire with his streak intact. Stone Cold Steve Austin was just one of the wrestlers who thought the streak was so special that it should have remained unbroken.

Since WWE’s inclusion of Sting in their future plans, he has been very adamant on wrestling the Undertaker at WrestleMania 31. “Sting has been very vocal over the Summer Slam weekend that he wants to wrestle The Undertaker. “He’s pushed it hard in every interview,” states Dave Meltzer on wrestling observer radio.”

The unfortunate part about this whole scenario is that Undertaker looks to be in very bad health. In a recent picture on Twitter, two young girls got to meet the Dead-man and his appearance speaks for itself. To be personally honest, I think the last match was all the evidence we needed to see he was done. Something wasn’t right as his ring presence wasn’t as flawless as we are accustomed to it being. This is the same guy that carried matches and taught his students while in the ring. Unfortunately, it looked during that match the student was teaching the teacher.

Our memories of the Undertaker will not be the end of the streak, but instead the many vivid moments he has given us over the years. The years of constant punishment being sustained inside of the squared circle looks to have finally taken a toll on the Dead-man, leaving us to wonder if it is true. Is the Dead-man, finally dead?

 

Reported By:

Tony Cutillo (@TCutillo23)


 

 

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Name an industry that brings in $1.2 billion in revenue each year, employs more than 4,000 people, and had a double-digit percentage of growth every year from 2007 to 2012, according to one research firm. Yes, you guessed correctly if your answer was Fantasy Football!

The game is a simple head to head matchup  based on statistical analysis of real-life games with those of your opponent, who, given the same option may have chosen alternative players. The concept, which rewards the most knowledgeable and passionate of participants, has proved a powerful draw to fans keen to participate in the greater drama of their sport in some small way.

It is estimated that at least 26 million Americans play some form of fantasy sports league, a fact that has created an industry worth close to $1 billion a year according to the U.S.-based Fantasy Sports Trade Association. “The average amount that each of these players spends on their hobby might be $500 per year or so, moreover, these figures appear to be growing — even in a down economy — at near-double-digit annual rates.”

What once started out as a simple game over head to head competition has now become a calculated game of chess full of many risks and rewards. It takes more preparation time than that of preparing for the SAT’s. Fantasy Football is a big business and the imagesIQYM1SEDNFL players have taken notice.

How much time do you spend on your fantasy preparation? Do you spend more time every year?
Either way fantasy football is here to stay and will continue to grow. Cheers to the game that gives us the best opportunity to be a part of the inner workings of a professional franchise. We all have dreams and it is nice to embellish in the glory of what could be every once in a while!

Reported By:
Tony Cutillo (@TCutillo23)


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Is the Desean Jackson saga finally coming to an end.? As the weeks have gone on in this situation, we have had more and more National sports Outlets elaborate on this story, which leads me to believe this is real. The Philadelphia Eagles usually do really well at keeping things under wraps, but this time the story has spun out of control.

Jackson signed a $48.5-million contract with $18 million in guarantees in March of 2012. The receiver said he’s proven that he should be paid as a top-shelf receiver. Jackson told Nfl.com in January of this year:

“I’m going into the third year of my deal. Just feel it’s deserving. So we’ll see,” Jackson said. “I feel like I’ve proved everything on the field. To do some of the things that top receivers in this league do, I think like I’m right there at the top. So we’ll see how it goes.”

I think desean3this is where the wheels began to come off on the Desean Jackson bus.  Jackson’s $9.7 million contract in 2014 puts him seventh in average salary among wide receivers, not extremely pocket change for a charismatic talent.  The wide receiver position is known to contain a “Diva Persona”, something it seems Chip Kelly is not willing to deal with. The news is filled with reports today of Desean being moved way before the draft. Sal Paolantonio, ESPN National Reporter, was quoted as saying, “Desean Jackson’s act is wearing thin with Chip Kelly.”

The question is what will the Eagles receive and who will be able to replace him? Furthermore, if there was any time to replace desean4a speedster like Jackson, the Eagle have picked the time to do it. National analysts have already said that this is the deepest draft for the Wide Receiver position that the league has seen in years.  Desean led the team last year with 82 catches and 1332 yards. I n my opinion, the move is inevitable, but I cannot see the offense being able to replace his presence in the lineup.

Reported By: Tony Cutillo

***As always I aprreciate all comments and feedback…Come follow me @TCutillo23………

 


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It’s that time of year again when the weather breaks and the boys of summer are back. This is the first year of the Ryne Sandberg regime and it looks to be lacking one thing so far, OFFENSE! Yes it’s early, but after an offseason of the Marlon Byrd phenomenon, we really didn’t come into this year with the greatest of expectations.  However, some of us thought that a healthy Ryan Howard would bolster this team to competition, but as of now his stat line ( .182 BA, 0 HR and 9 K’s) in 22 AB’s is far from stellar. This is just one of the many storylines listed below for which I am concerned:

**Cole Hamels – another mysterious arm injury and throwing fatigue definitely does not sound promising.

**Jimmy Rollins—batting .133 so far with 2 hits in 15 AB’s…shocking

**Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez—the mysterious million dollar Cuban sensation that has been rocked so far, showing as much control as “Wild Thing” Rick Vaughn before the glasses.

**Dominic Brown—outfield skills still in question, but after a diminished second half offensively, starting out the spring at .091 is not helping anyone’s confidence.

**John Mayberry Jr.—tell me why he is still on the team????

**Bobby Abreu—our signed Left handed hitting specialist is hitting a fantastic .150 so far and is moving around as well as John Kruk from 1st to 3rd.

phiilies4As you can see, there are a lot of issues with this, which have just culminated during the first week of spring training. Can they turn it around? Anything is possible. However, if past history is an indictment on how this season plays out, we are in for a long summer!

Reported By: Tony Cutillo

***As always, your comments and responses are welcomed and appreciated…you can also follow me @TCutillo23…


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As the free agency period was approaching, there were many rumblings and opinions on who the Eagles would/should sign. I would say that 95% of the Philadelphia Eagles fan base was clamoring for T.J Ward or Jairus Byrd. These 2 players were thought to be rated the top at their position respectively, but the Eagles had other directions on their blueprint.jenkins1 Who was the guy whom they have been quoted as telling was their #1 target of the offseason? Well Eagles fans, meet your new starting Safety, former New Orleans Saint Malcolm Jenkins. Obviously, this isn’t the player everyone was hoping for when the clock struck 4:00ET, but this who the Eagles think can be their leader on defense, something they haven’t had since Brian Dawkins.

The Eagles were supposedly in contact with him on March 8 right after the non tampering had begun. Knowing all along that he was their guy, they signed him to a 3yr deal worth $16.5 million with $8.5 million guaranteed. Let’s take a look at what others around the NFL are saying:jenkins3

–good zone awareness to anticipate routes

–good range to get over the top in coverage

–tight in the hips which forced his move to safety

–tough tackler who gets his nose on the ball

–solid teammate, strong influence in the locker room

–defensive captain the last 2 years

As you can see, he has decent credentials and is definitely an upgrade from the departed Patrick Chung and Nate Allen. The only question I have is, “Why did the Saints let him go without any effort to resign him?” Also isn’t it ironic that they instead signed Byrd to a monster deal to be their leader, the guy Philly fans were begging for?

Reported By: Tony Cutillo

***As always, your comments and responses are welcomed and appreciated…you can also follow me @TCutillo23…