Is Jon Gruden really considering trading in his TV headset for a headset of a different kind? The suit and tie for a polo shirt and slacks? It’s certainly possible but maybe even more likely with each passing day. The University of Miami has made it known to the former Bucs and Raiders coach that he is their top target but just how mutual is the interest? The “U” is hot on Gruden’s trail and in fact, Miami’s A.D. is flying to Gruden’s home in Tampa to meet with him in person and Miami is already working on a marketing plan built around Gruden, per the Miami Herald.
I may be off base here, but hear me out. How much of the interest on Gruden’s end is just an effort to boost interest in NFL teams? I find it hard to believe that a guy with as big of an ego as Gruden would be content at the college level, even if it were Miami. In my opinion, he would be foolish not to kick the tires on NFL possibilities before committing to Miami. The options in the NFL are sure to be plentiful this off-season. For instance, say, the 49ers or the Browns or maybe even the Broncos, where he’d get to turn Tim Tebow into an NFL quarterback.
The possibility of Gruden coaching in Denver is perhaps the most intriguing. As I said, he would inherit the task of trying to turn Tim Tebow into a quarterback in the NFL, a task in which I think he would embrace with open arms. I’ve always been under the impression that Gruden really likes Tebow and thinks he would translate well to the NFL. I’m not sure I’d elevate it to man crush status but I could see those two doing well together.
Gruden goes back on the map and is relevant in the NFL again, while he gives Denver the high profile presence they have missed and were so used to during the years of Mike Shanahan and John Elway. So, blogosphere, here’s my question to you… is Jon Gruden the next Mile High hero to ride in on the white horse or is he really inclined to leave the booth to coach kids on Saturday’s?
UPDATE 5:00p.m.: Well, that about settles it. A report from ESPN says ‘zero’ chance that Jon Gruden will leave his Monday Night Football gig to coach at the University of Miami. This is what Gruden had to say in a statement:
“I am committed to ‘Monday Night Football’ and to ESPN. I enjoy working with Mike, Jaws and our entire crew and am just trying to get better at this job.”
Spurred on by chatter on my favorite Sunday morning pre-game show – NFL GameDay Morning – it has come to my attention that Peyton Hillis might be one of the biggest surprises of the first half of the NFL season. If you recall, Hillis’ start in Cleveland began much the same way as it did in Denver, listed down the depth chart at both tight end and fullback. Also like his start in Denver, Hillis was thrust into the starting spot for the Week 3 game against the Baltimore Ravens. The result was a 144 yard romp – a 6.5 yards per carry average – against the Ravens’ staunch rushing defense, which allowed just 3.4 yards per carry in the 2009 season. Hillis also added 36 yards on 7 receptions for a total of 180 all-purpose yards. The next week, Hillis again ran for over 100 yards at home against the Cincinnati Bengals, leading the Browns to their first victory in the 2010 regular season. A hamstring pull in practice limited Hillis in Week 5 against the Atlanta Falcons, though Hillis did add a 19-yard reception for a touchdown. Coming off a bye week in Week 8, Hillis set career marks in both rushing and all-purpose yards against the New England Patriots in Week 9, finishing the game with 184 rushing yards and 220 yards of total offense.
Yeah, I’d say that warrants him being a breakout star for the first half of the season.
Peyton Hillis may not always be remembered in Cleveland, but more so how he got there. Remember, Hillis was traded from the Broncos for Brady Quinn and draft picks back in March. At the time, it was a move that looked like it had some upside for Denver. Now, it might be one of the worst of Josh McDaniels tenure in Denver. That’s saying a lot because McDaniels has certainly made his share of bold and somewhat questionable moves during his time in the Mile High city, not to mention risky.
Oddly enough, Cleveland wasn’t the place where Hillis surfaced, but where he broke out.
Hillis attended college at the University of Arkansas -Fayetteville from 2004–2008. As a true freshman, Hillis gained 240 yards rushing, 97 yards receiving, and scored 8 touchdowns, ranking 4th in the SEC in total touchdowns and tying Georgia’s Thomas Brown for most touchdowns scored by a SEC freshman that year. As a sophomore was where he stated his claim. Hillis accounted for 947 all-purpose yards (including more than 200 in kick-off and punt returns) and seven touchdowns while also serving as a blocker for up-and-coming star running back duo Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.
In the NFL, Hillis led the Broncos in rushing in his rookie season of 2008 (with only 343 yards, which is kind of impressive in an odd way) under Mike Shanahan, but McDaniels could find no place for him on a roster he was determined to remodel by demolition.
Right now, it’s probably safe to say that is one move that McDaniels regrets.
In week 10 Hillis and the Browns are set to take on the Jets as they try to keep the upset streak they’ve had going recently. Meanwhile, Josh McDaniels’ Broncos are at home and taking on the up start Kansas City Chiefs.
Exploring a trade for a cornerback the likes of Denver's Andre Goodman would upgrade the Ravens depleted secondary.
While roaming the radio dial this morning I heard an interesting proposal. Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun writes that trading with the Denver Broncos makes sense. Let’s take a look.
The Denver Broncos’ areas of weakness — linebacker, running back and wide receiver — are where the Ravens have depth.
If the Ravens trade, they will be looking for a starter-quality cornerback. One possible target could be Denver’s Andre’ Goodman, 31, who had 44 tackles and five interceptions last season.
Denver has already lost multiple players at linebacker, running back and wide receiver. The Ravens might dangle the likes of linebacker Antwan Barnes, running back Willis McGahee and wide receiver Mark Clayton. To acquire a cornerback from the Broncos, the Ravens probably would be willing to package a couple of players for the right cornerback.
The Ravens lost their top cornerback, Domonique Foxworth, for the season after he tore his ACL the day before training camp officially began. Trading for a guy like Goodman would instantly upgrade the Ravens weakest position. When or if the Ravens get Webb and Washington healthy that should be alright but the Ravens may be wise to use an area of strength to address an obvious area of weakness.
What would you do? The market for corners are especially thin, especially since former Raven Frank Walker is heading to Miami to talk with the Dolphins.
I’d have to agree with Jamison Hensley. A trade makes sense.
In the midst of all of the MLB recent trade deadline moves, the NFL and its various training camp story lines are just as prominent. This morning I thought it would be a good idea to take some time to look at some news and notes from around the NFL.
- Denver’s new favorite son has officially arrived. The Broncos and their first-round quarterback, selected No. 25 overall, have agreed to terms on a contract. Tebow will get a five-year contract worth between $11.25 million. Tebow’s guarantee will be in excess of $8 million.
- As always, things are happening in Redskins camp worthy of headlines albeit good or bad. Heres a shocker, embattled defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has failed his conditioning test again. It’s not all negative in Washington though. The ‘Skins and first round pick (4th overall) Trent Williams have agreed to a deal.
- Baltimore Ravens first round pick Sergio Kindle will reportedly miss all of training camp due to the fall he suffered. It has been reported that Kindle suffers from narcolepsy and that could’ve led to his accident. In my opinion, I think it’s a good possibility that Kindle misses the entire season. Per Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun Ravens Insider, Domonique Foxworth is missing from morning practice. It has now been confirmed that Foxworth has a torn ACL and is done for the year. Clearly, this is the position that the Ravens could ill afford. Anybody have Frank Walker’s phone number?
- Out on the left coast in San Diego, Chargers linebacker Shawn Merriman says he will not report to training camp. He is said to be upset with Chargers management over what he perceives as a lack of job security.
- Coming off of an injury and looking for a fresh start, Keith Bullock has come home and signed with the linebacker hungry New York Giants. It’s a one year deal that could be worth up to 2.5 million.
- The offensive line depleted Steelers have added proven commodity Flozell Adams to help offset the loss of the injured Willie Colon.
- Oh yeah, without taking a single snap, the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft gets 50 million dollars guaranteed. Must be nice.
Tebow is already being dubbed the 'Mile High Messiah' by Broncos fans
The 2010 NFL Draft has finally drawn to a close, and in case you missed it – or just decided to be more productive with those16 hours of your life – here are the major storylines you missed.
So see if you can follow along – the Denver Broncos picked up the 49ers fourth round pick by moving down two spots in the first round – from 11 to 13.
Then they picked up Philadelphia’s two third round picks to move down to 24th.
Then they gave San Fran’s fourth rounder to the Patriots to move back up two spots to pick wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
Then they gave up Miami’s second rounder (from the Brandon Marshall trade), the first of Philly’s two third rounders, and their own fourth rounder to Baltimore to get back in the first round at 25 to take quarterback Tim Tebow.
All this wheeling and dealing has some people puzzled, and most people were expecting Tebow to get drafted in the third or fourth round. I guess we’ll see just how smart the Broncos really are.
As for what position or role Tebow will play for the Broncos, everyone has an opinion.
Many people have many ideas for Tim Tebow in the NFL.
Some believe he’ll be a fine H-back because of his sturdy stature and hard running style. Others think he’d be a terrific special teams player because of his desire for the game.
That’s all well and good, but no one really bothered to ask the offensive minded Josh McDaniels what he thought of his first round pick.
“He’s a quarterback, he’s a quarterback. That’s all he’s going to do.” McDaniels said.
Tebow may be the most controversial draft pick ever – a proven winner and Heisman winner who a lot of people think would be a sixth-round pick if not for the Florida jersey. Not often do you find that combination. By taking him and taking on that risk, McDaniels has proven once again that he is willing to do what he wants, when he wants, no matter what people think. It’s a quality often to be admired, but if his gut proves wrong, it could be a quality that sends him out of the NFL in a hurry.
At the time that Tebow was drafted, I was texting back and fourth with a good friend of mine who happens to be the world’s biggest Broncos fan. I said much of the same by reiterating that McDaniels better hope that Tebow pans out because his coaching legacy in Denver depends on it. He agreed for the most part but he brought up a very interesting point. He told me that McDaniels is the safest coach in the NFL because owner Pat Bowlen doesn’t change coaches very often so McDaniels has at least three years to make something of it.
That may be true, but I do believe that it’s all on McDaniels. He’s the same guy that turned Matt Cassel in to a quarterback and called the plays for Tom Brady, but this is by far his biggest project. He’s got his work cut out for him. Last year, McDaniels traded the team’s franchise quarterback in Jay Cutler followed by trading one of the best receivers in the league in Brandon Marshall. Now, he’s added Tim Tebow by mortgaging a good chunk of his draft. Not to mention trading for Brady Quinn earlier this off-season.
With Tebow, the upsides are huge. Tebow could instantly give the Broncos the best Wildcat – Wild Horses out in Denver – formation in the NFL. He could be deadly on the goal line as a run/throw threat. And if Josh McDaniels, who is supposed to be a wonder with quarterbacks and coached up Matt Cassel, who didn’t start a game in college, can work his magic again, Tebow could be a long time in Denver.
The things we know are that Tebow is a winner, that he has a huge work ethic, and that there won’t be any off the field issues – after the Marshall fiasco, I’m sure that played into the draft choice. These are great things for a football player to have, and he could be very successful even if just in a limited role. One of the biggest knocks on him is a lack of experience under center, but that limited role could be to only be on the field in the shotgun, which McDaniels loves anyway and already uses a lot. If that’s what it takes to get the good Tebow qualities on the field and get some wins in Denver, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Tebow getting some snaps early on.
“We want players who are tough, smart, have great character, love football and are passionate about coming here and helping the Broncos win a championship,” McDaniels said. “I think both players fit that role and I think that’s something that we’re looking for in all of our players. What we’re trying to build here is team chemistry and a team that cares about winning and winning a championship, and that’s it.”
And Tebow was nothing but thankful for the chance the Broncos have given him.
“My greatest joy in Denver,” Tebow said, “is going to be to repay Coach McDaniels for believing in me.”
In my opinion, it won’t be long before Mr. Tebow has a chance to do just that.
Day two wouldn’t exactly be classified a frenzy. We haven’t had a lot of player movement but there were certainly no shortage of rumors. Let’s get to it.
UPDATE: 7:00PM – The Arizona Cardinals finally gained something in free agency. They were starting to be known as the off-season talent supplier. Today though, the Cardinals pulled off a trade with the New York Jets for safety Kerry Rhodes. The Jets will receive a fourth round pick this year and a seventh rounder next year.
UPDATE: 7:45PM – The Washington Redskins and free agent guard Artis Hicks have reached a contract agreement. The former Viking will be in D.C. under a 3 year contract.
UPDATE: 8:25PM – Free agent DT Fred Robbins will almost certainly reunite with St.Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo - his D-coordinator for two of his six seasons with the New York Giants. If things go well, Robbins will fly to St. Louis on Sunday to sign a contract.
UPDATE: 8:42PM - Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that RB Thomas Jones will visit Kansas City on Monday.
UPDATE: 9:05PM -Adam Schefter ESPN reports via Twitter that former Colts CB Marlin Jackson is scheduled to visit the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday.
UPDATE: 9:35PM -Free agent DE Dwan Edwards will visit the Denver Broncos this weekend. The signing will possibly be setting up a reunion with his former Ravens teammate Justin Bannan who signed earlier on day one. At one point is appeared that Baltimore wanted to keep both Bannan and Edwards, but it appears they’ll get outspent.
With the NFL’s free agency officially underway as of midnight on Friday, we’ve already seen a lot of happenings around the NFL.
I will do my best here to keep a running log of the biggest moves and rumors. It’s a daunting task for sure but I’ll give it my best shot. It may be late, but better late then never.
- In the first few hours of free agency we saw the Jets bolster the DB position along side Darrel Revis, by trading for the Chargers’ Antonio Cromartie. In exchange for Cromartie, the Jets will receive A 2011 third-round pick will go to the Chargers. It could turn into a second-round pick. On the heels of trading for Cromartie, it was found that he has more legal problems to deal with. Talented player, but an interesting situation the Jets have found themselves in.
UPDATE: 2:05PM – The Chicago Bears continue to stay busy. They have completed a signing for RB Chester Taylor. Taylor has agreed to a 4 year deal.
Julius Peppers will be joining Taylor in Chicago. He is taking a physical and a deal is imminent.
UPDATE: 3:00PM – ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Seahawks are strongly considering signing Broncos wideout Brandon Marshall to an offer sheet.
UPDATE: 5:30PM – SI’s Peter King tweets that the Ravens are “closing in” on a deal for WR Anquan Boldin.If this deal gets completed, the Ravens would be adding a much-needed weapon to Joe Flacco’s arsenal. I wonder if Boldin does indeed get traded would Derrick Mason still fit in Baltimore?
UPDATE: 6:30PM – The Ravens have indeed dealt for Anquan Boldin. Bolin signed a three-year, $25 million extension on his current deal, including $10 million in guaranteed new money. He’s due $28 million over the next four years. It looks as though Baltimore has finally found a number one receiver. (At least they hope he’s a number one.)
The Baltimore Ravens couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add a talented pass catcher to their roster: three-time Pro Bowl standout Anquan Boldin. Under the circumstances, the Ravens made a good move in signing Arizona receiver Anquan Boldin. The Ravens were limited as far as the offseason moves they could make because they were one of the top eight teams in the NFL a year ago.
Baltimore obtained Boldin from the Arizona Cardinals on Friday for a third- and fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft. Baltimore also got a fifth-round pick from Arizona.
The 29-year-old Boldin has amassed at least 1,000 yards receiving in five of his seven seasons, including 1,024 yards on 84 catches last season.
Boldin received a new four-year, $28 million deal with Baltimore in which $10 million is guaranteed.
Granted, he won’t be putting up his monster numbers like in Arizona, where they averaged about 3,401 pass attempts per game, but he’ll be a huge weapon for the offense. Anybody who says this trade isn’t smart, or is ill-advised is pretty dim and ill-advised themselves. Try to tell me that those two players selected in the third and fourth round would’ve become NFL stars. Now try to tell me that it’s worse to have a current NFL star than to draft one. Yeah, didn’t think so. A huge addition, Boldin is the answer to every Ravens fan’s prayers for the past 10 years.
UPDATE: 8:18PM – LB Carlos Dansby is the latest Arizona Cardinals player to change addresses. Dansby is now a Dolphin. He’s expected to get $43 million over five seasons. $22 million is guaranteed and he’ll make $27 million in his first three years.
UPDATE: 10:09PM -One last note before I shut it down for the night. In a move that makes me happy, my New York Giants have signed former Arizona Cardinals SS/CB Antrel Rolle to a five-year deal worth $37 million, an NFL record for a safety. Rolle gets $15 million guaranteed and $22.5 million over the first three years.