Week 2 AFCS Friday Injury Report: Jaguars, Patriots*, Colts, Texans, Titans, Redskins

Week 2 AFCS Friday injury report

The biggest changes from yesterday to today was teams saying who will be out for the games. “Questionable” doesn’t mean much, it’s a 50/50 call so teams don’t know. Typically though, if teams have a player DNP all week, he usually doesn’t play on Sunday.

Texans 0-1 @ Titans 0-1 CBS 1:00

Gamesmanship is going on, but more than likely all the Texans will dress out (minus Kayvon Webster). The good news for the Texans is their OL is healthy…If that O-Line could be considered, “good”. Nine players on the report is eyebrow raising after one game, but their opponent said, hold my beer.

The Titans are a walking triage unit. A banged up QB and two OL out are not a good thing for Tennessee fans. These two teams facing each other may end up being a war of attrition because neither offense looked good. Flip a coin on who wins.

Colts 0-1 @ Redskins 1-0 CBS 1:00

Not to be outdone by the Titans, the Colts have four players out. Andrew Luck without a tackle will have fans sweating a bit. Or a lot. In DC, this could be another loss for the boys in blue.

The Redskins look pretty healthy, with only Troy Apke out. Alex Smith will also be down an OL. Every team has issues with health on the OL except the Texans. Even so, Alex Smith is a better athlete than Andrew Luck, this match-up should go their way.

Patriots* 1-0 @ Jaguars 1-0 CBS 4:25

Like the Jaguars, the Patriots* have two RB’s who are banged up.But, it’s the Patriots* and more times than not, Belichick always finds a way to work around his roster.

Not to panic, but Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon doesn’t give one the warm fuzzies for this offense. However, the rest of the team looks healthy and having Brandon Linder and Jeremy Parnell full is a good thing to see. This should be the game to watch this week.

For the AFC South teams, the only thing left to wonder is which 46 will dress out on Sunday. This concludes the Week 2 AFCS Friday injury report. We will post game day rosters as they come in.

Myles Jack switching from Outside Linebacker to Middle Linebacker isn’t simple.

Myles Jack switching to middle linebacker

With the retirement of Paul Posluszny, the Jaguars drafted Leon Jacobs and moved Myles Jack (wasn’t down) to middle linebacker. How he does could determine how Jax does on defense. Yes, it’s that big of a move.

Little is said about the nuances that come from switching from being a Sam to being a Mike. It’s manyfold. The first factor in this is the Jags must feel very confident that Jacobs can handle the SLB position.

Before getting into this, know that moving Jack to the MLB means they think they’ll be playing with a lead most the time. 65% of time, teams with leads play sub packages. Hence, the last thing a team would want would be Jack riding the pine 35% of the plays.

Often when teams go from base to nickel, they usually sub a DB for the SAM. Since Jack is a hell of an athlete and strong enough to hang with tight ends, plus stop the run, they want to keep him on the field as much a possible.

How will moving change how he plays?

If a player is the Sam or Elephant, not only does he have a different responsibility, but how he sees the field, reads the entire offense, changes. Not only is he viewing plays from a different perspective, but his timing is affected, as well.

In a 4-3 defense, the SAM is a bit slower, but stronger. They time their first step, their tilt to arrive at the quarterback or whomever is on the edge to hit him with maximum force and the right height. With so many rules in place, they’re like a pitcher trying to throw a strike in a small area.

What they think, how they react is stems from the C gap. Quick twitch guys.

Moving inside changes everything. Besides making them cover Y’s/TE’s requiring them to cover more area, they also have to stop the run up the middle if the back gets past the tackles.

OLB in a 4-3 predominately tackle backs around the edge where speed is a big factor. When backs power up the middle, one arm tackles won’t get it. Their shoulders need to be squared up. They’re also looking at the play with more bodies in front of them.

4-3 defense (under)

The first step they take instead of barreling toward their target, is now one that requires a different technique and the ILB is who quarterbacks are looking to exploit with ins, slants, etc. Hence, he needs to be smart.

The short passing game goes through the ILB. Stink at stopping them and it’s going to be a long day. While a Mike has the DL to help stop runs up the middle, they’re often alone in the passing game. Sure, the safeties can and do move up, but if they’re involved, often it means the ILB didn’t do his job.

Fans should understand that it will take Jack a little while to nail this position because he needs to retrain his muscle memory on how to react to each play. Most likely, quarterbacks will throw in his area to challenge this. Don’t be surprised if he’s a little inconsistent until he’s had a few games under his belt.

Week 1 NFL Predictions: He Said/She Said

NFL Week 5 Game predictions - He Said/She Said

A fellow writer and I give our week 1 NFL predictions in a head to head match-up of the sexes. He’s a former coach, so he’s got the leg up on me, but I’ll be giving it the college try.



Bills v Ravens CBS

Jay: I’ll take the Ravens.  Look for more offense than you’ve seen from the Ravens in the past few years.  While I think Peterman is going to be a backup qb in this league for a long time because he can understand and teach the game at the next level, I see the Ravens being too good for Nate in his 2nd start.

Jules: Ravens. It seems Flacco is pulling an Alex Smith and awakening from a slumber with the addition of Lamar Jackson behind him. Meanwhile, the Bills are starting Peterman against a Baltimore defense. Yikes.

Steelers v Browns CBS

Jay: Sorry Cleveland, even without Bell, Hue Jackson is going to 1-32 in his career as the head coach of the Browns

Jules: Pitt. no offense to Tyrod Taylor, but I think he’s only had four games in his career with more than 300 yards, against the Steelers, he’s going to need all that.

Bengals v Colts CBS

Jay: I’ll take the Bengals because their roster is just better.  Andrew is the better qb, but I’m not sure where he stands yet.  I’ll take the Bengals here

Jules: Cincy is one of those teams that is always, eh. Andrew Luck is rusty and the Colts are, eh. Only giving Indy the edge because it’s a home game.

Titans v Dolphins Fox

Jay: I see a very low scoring game here.  I’ll take Vrable here to get his first win, but have very little confidence in this pick.

Jules: I love Vrable, but he’s a first time HC and Mariota has been sporadic. Going with Gase and Tannehill finally getting on the same page down in Miami.

49ers v Vikings Fox

Jay: I’ll take Kirk Cousins because I think with his defense leading the way, he will manage the game and not put the 49ers in advantageous positions.

Jules: First game that should be good to watch. Going with MN because I think Jimmy G against that defense won’t hold up.

Texans v Patriots* CBS

Jay: This is going to be a very good game to watch.  I’ll take the Pats, but that Houston defense is legitimately a top 5 defense in this league, and Watson gave the Pats (and every other team he played) hell.  I’m not sure there is a gameplan that Belichick can implement to totally stop Watson, but the book on Watson’s first reads, his drops, his tendencies…the book is out.  Look for the Pats to take away his first security blanket from the jump.

Jules: Not a fan of NE*’s defense, but also think Bilichick knows that Watson had eight plays, six involved throwing deep and he’ll find a way to disrupt him. Pats in a squeaker.

Buccaneers v Saints Fox

Jay: Saints…this pick is extremely self-explanatory

Jules: Saints. Fitzpatrick against their defense and Brees abusing theirs, going to be a long night for the Bucs.

Jaguars v Giants Fox

Jay: I think the Giants have some special players on the offensive side of the ball, but I need to see that O-line compete before I buy in. Jags win on the shoulders of their defense and Leonard Fournette.

Jules: #Duuuval! Eli moves like I do and I’m walking wounded. He has a new coaching staff, too. I’ll take King Ramsey over OBJ and Calaias Campbell over their OL. With that said, I can see smart Mr Manning targeting the linebackers early often for a lot of success between the 30’s. Not nearly as fortunate in the RZ.


Chiefs v Chargers CBS

Jay: Give me the Chargers at home (although this is the type of game they lose every year).  Too strong on defense and Mahomes is going to throw interceptions.

Jules: The Chiefs defense hasn’t shown much, almost rookie Mahones has been rookiesh. I’m going with Phillip Rivers and the Chargers, they’re the most complete team.

4:25 Games

Redskins v Cardinals Fox

Jay: Alex Smith manages his team into another win.  The playbook will be wide open and Alex is walking into the same type of offense he has been playing in with Andy in KC.

Jules: Choosing the team without a new coach and walking wounded QB, both defenses leave me yawning, so see this as a battle of offenses.

Cowboys v Panthers Fox

Jay: I need to see the Cowboys passing game before I get behind this team.  I think Carolina wins a tight one here.

Jules: I was never on the Dak train, think it was Jason Garrett and a fantastic OL/RB. With 1/2 that equation missing, more is on Prescott’s shoulders and I don’t think he can pull it off. However, Newton isn’t all that great either, but it’s a home game for them.

Seahawks v Broncos Fox

Jay: When in doubt, take the better QB.  Give me Seattle in a hard fought game.

Jules: Denver has a habit of winning its first games on luck, or good QB play or teams not having enough film on the ever-changing QB rosters. I know everyone is down on the Seahawks, but Denver has Vance puking Joseph and Case Keenum in a new offense. Seahawks because of Wilson unless Justin Simmons makes a pick.


Bears v Packers NBC

Jay: Even with the signing of Mack and the drafting of Smith, I’ll still take AR in Green Bay.

Jules: Bears in a squeaker. Shocking, but I think Chicago has a better overall team and while AR12 was the best QB in the league, I need to see him play a few games to see how healed he is…plus, there’s the Danica factor.



Jets v Lions ESPN

Jay: Welcome to the league Sam Darnold.  You’re going to see some things in this game that you haven’t even thought about Sam.  Look for Patricia to force Jim Bob Cooter to run the football and keep Stafford’s attempts below 40.  The signing of LeGarrett Blount was the indicator that they aren’t screwing around anymore in MoTown.

Jules: My father was born in Detroit and while he became a rabid Dolphins fan, his heart never left the motor city and he taught me all about Barry Sanders. Can Blount give Stafford the Sanders treatment? I’m betting he does. Normally I don’t pick new coaches, but I’ll take their defense over a barely 21 year old kid.


Rams v Raiders ESPN

Jay: Bright lights, big city.  Oh that’s right, this game is being played in the hole.  Doesn’t matter…the Rams are clearly better and will win this game.

Jules: Oakland has a new coach, no Khalil Mack, a roster on AARP benefits, so no one should pick them. I’m going to only because we’ve been agreeing too much.

Rugby tackling techniques could help NFL players adjust to new helmet rules

rugby style tackling for the nfl

As most know, the NFL changed the rules on how players may tackle each other – a player can’t lower his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. rugby tackling techniques help NFL players adjust to new helmet rules
Not sure about y’all, but I’m wondering how it will affect the players and the game from beyond the LOS. We know the linemen will have issues, but what’s the ripple out affect? From reffing to the play level. I asked a coach (who wants to remain anonymous, like the scout) what he thought about the change.

“I think everybody who has listened to football and interested in football needs to understand that things are changing right now,” Carroll

Jules: Could how the linemen play increase, rather than decease, injuries because they’ll now be playing differently. Could see them standing more up and less squatting.
Coach:  don’t know how this will effect injuries. I couldn’t even speculate about head injuries. What I can say is that I’m concerned about making players think, especially defensively.

The league and this stupid competition committee that is run like a political party with the stark difference being that there’s never any changes as to who’s on the committee have made playing both offensively and defensively very difficult. The head rules are going to make guys think. And if they’re thinking about it, they’re gonna get hurt.

They’ve now changed the kickoff rules to where you have to have 8 guys up front on KOR. All this will do will increase returns because most teams are going to kick it to the 5 yard line and bet that with not enough blockers in the back end of the return, they’ll be tackled inside the 25.

The change to the catch rule leaves some pretty large loops. There are going to be an increase in fumbles that were immediately ruled last season as incomplete passes. Defensive coaches are now more than ever telling their guys ‘dive on the ball if it’s even close’. What does diving include? It includes your head! The exact thing that they’re trying to protect, they’re now exposing!

Jules: With the O-line spending more time thinking, could sacks increase? That split second making the difference?

Coach: I don’t know that this will allow more sacks, because the defense is also put at such a disadvantage as well. From a competition standpoint, it pretty much evens out, especially on the line of scrimmage. If they’re going to call it the way they’ve talked about.

I think that the passing game has become so much geared towards the offense regarding rules (and there will be a re-emphasis on calling pass interference this season) that it’s pretty difficult to play in the back end of the defense. Yes, as football players, the first thing you’re taught is to keep your head up.

A form tackle is made with the core and middle of your body, not your head. But players are so good now and so elusive that it’s almost impossible to bring down a skill player using a ‘form tackle’. That’s where the head becomes involved. This is where the league has totally contradicted itself and is going to turn the helmet rule into another edition of the catch rule.

The helmet rule could affect every single position on the field. It will absolutely affect how a tackle sets, it will put a premium on more athletic lineman, which isn’t exactly a bad thing, but it really makes being a 6’2’’ Left Guard a pretty hard position because if shorter than either the 3 or 1 techniques, his head will be highlighted in the block whether he wants it to be or not.

Jules: Or like a Barry Church vs a Rob Gronkowski, it’s often tough for a “fair” match-up and flags can go both ways.

Coach. Exactly, there’s a 1,000 examples. These aren’t robots. They’re human bodies with brains. Something the competition committee still can’t grasp.

I think offenses will have some adjustments for the quick passing game that will help the OL out. I would be more concerned about the run game, especially the old G scheme runs if I was an OC.

Which could mean you’re going to see more zone type run actions (which is already happening anyway) because that’s what college players are more used to as it is. But I certainly think that your short yardage/GL game plan is absolutely in a different place this year than it was last year.

Jules: what happens if a team’s run game gets stifled, will that change a team like Denver’s run-first scheme in a bad way? Put more on the shoulders of the QB to carry the offense? If so, would that help a type who relies on the quick release?

Coach: You’ll see more zone scheme stuff, which plays to more to that kind of QB’s ability. Teams won’t abandon the run game, it will be a slow shift towards getting the ball in your best athletes’ hands as fast as you can. I also think the NFL is entering the age where teams are absolutely going to have to cross train their RB’s to also be able to line up in the slot and play at the very least as an inside receiver, and be a threat.

I’m not saying LF is going there, but I do believe that the Patriots are on to something with that, have been on to it for a while now, and I think the league is now trending that way.

For years and years we’ve cross trained all OL so a lot of them have position versatility. We’ve done it with TE’s lining up as WR’s. The defense answered that by playing big Nickel. Now the offense is throwing the versatile backs out there, and it causes the defense to hesitate as to what personnel to line up in.

Jules: Some coaches have said they’re not going to worry about the helmet rules until they see how they’re called. While Carroll says it’s a very big deal.

Coach: With limited practice time in pads actually hitting each other, it’s not helping young players with some of their bad habits, especially tackling habits. If teams can’t get pads on guys to block and hit, it’s really hard to change much at all.

Dan Quinn and Pete Carroll are visionary because they have talked about getting all the defensive coaches in the league together to make a teach tape on how to use the rugby style tackles. I don’t know that it will happen, but I think it would be beneficial for everyone involved on the defensive side of the ball.

Jules: Pete had a rugby coach come in years ago to help the Seahawks, could we see more of that? The Jaguars’ defense was built by a Carroll disciple in Gus Bradley and now he’s in LA with the Chargers. I don’t recall either D-Lines taking big injury hits last season.

Coach: Other teams have introduced it. They just don’t broadcasted it. I know it’s something they do without pads on during OTA’s, which inherently means it’s a less violent type of hit. So yeah, I guess that is a possible answer to the helmet rules, but like Vance said, we don’t know yet.



rugby tackling techniques help NFL players adjust to new helmet rules

rugby tackling techniques help NFL players adjust to new helmet rules
rugby tackling techniques help NFL players adjust to new helmet rules
rugby tackling techniques help NFL players adjust to new helmet rules

Chest Pain is not a Straight Forward Diagnosis: Dr Sullivan Explains

In light of the tragic passing of long time NFL and NCAA coach Tony Sparano on Sunday July 22nd, a quick review of chest pain seemed to be timely and appropriate.

The first thing that needs to be said is chest pain is not a medical diagnosis.  Chest pain is a symptom.  It means it is treated by medical personnel like elevated blood pressure or an elevated temperature, a clue as to what maybe going on with a patient.

When people hear chest pain, most people assume this means heart attack, but in an emergency department/hospital setting heart attack or acute myocardial infarction as it is known in the medical community is only 1 of a whole list of conditions that include some type of chest pain as a symptom.

CHEST PAIN – Possible Diagnoses 

  • Acute Cardiac Syndrome – Acute Myocardial Infarction
  • Chest Wall Pain – musculoskeletal pain that is reproducible when chest is palpated
  • GERD – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (heartburn)
  • Panic Disorder or Acute Anxiety Attack
  • Pneumonia or Bronchitis
  • Pericarditis – this is diagnosed based on the presence of  a triad of symptoms and is not common
  • Pulmonary Embolism – this is related to a blood clot in the lungs
  • Heart Failure – generally occurs in patients with a history of previous myocardial infarction

A lot of people posted on various social media sites that Coach Sparano was admitted for chest pain and discharged the next day without proper diagnosis and died 2 days later so therefore the doctors didn’t do their job properly.

This is not an accurate assessment and most likely, he was discharged because the initial workup was found to be negative and based on current guidelines under which medical professionals are trained, the risk of remaining in the hospital was greater than the risk of an acute life threatening event occuring in the 24-72 hours after discharge.

Several algorithms are used, but basically if the initial workup is negative, patients are discharged home with follow up for further testing as outpatients scheduled in the week following discharge.  This testing can include advanced cardiac testing and if deemed necessary, based on the results of these tests, more invasive procedures like cardiac catheterization and angioplasty.

Chest pain is a complex symptom. The loss of Coach Sparano was a shock to everyone, but if you experience chest pain which is associated with heavy sweating and/or worse with exertion, are over the age of 40, have a family history of cardiac disease, have other conditions like obesity, diabetes, & hypertension, you are a current or former smoker or have had a previous myocardial infarction you should go to the closest emergency room, your family doctor or call 911 so you can be evaluated ASAP.

Coach did exactly what he was supposed to but sometimes bad things happen to good people despite the best efforts to the contrary.

Finally, my heartfelt condolences go out to the Sparano family and #Vikings everywhere.  Rest in Peace Coach Sparano, You will have a seat on the 50 yard line in heaven for eternity.