Houston Texans will be the HBO Hard Knocks team of 2015


The Buccaneers and other teams who were finalists to land the show this late summer can breathe a sigh of relief. The Houston Texans have officially been named the Hard Knocks team on HBO this season.

The country is about to get a first-hand look at possibly the best defensive player in the NFL, J.J. Watt; and his hardened head coach Bill O’Brien who is rumored privately to loathe that the Texans were tabbed the team who will welcome HBO film crews to their training camp this July.

To be honest, Hard Knocks is a pretty cool primer before the season starts, but it’s not a huge deal. It’s an hour a week which has some commercials to my recollection and very little substance to it. Sure, it’s nice reality television in an NFL setting, but if Direct TV doesn’t have a promotion going on for a free month or so of HBO, I might just skip it altogether.

Greg Cosell is talking Jameis Winston & Dirk Koetter

Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner has Greg Cosell writing for them – and Cosell is one of the best film men in the business at the present time. Cosell has some endorsing words for the Winston and Koetter marriage in Tampa Bay:

And the one thing about Winston is he’s willing to pull the trigger on throws. That’s a positive. And that makes it important that Winston has big targets to throw to. When you have size out there, those receivers can theoretically be open even when it looks like they’re covered. Winston will throw a pick every once in a while because he’s a rookie, but you don’t want to pull back on his conviction to pull the trigger. That’s who he is and that’s what his game is. Having Jackson and Evans will help.

One thing Koetter will have to determine is how good the offensive line is, because that will dictate how many deep drops he can call for Winston. You can argue the Buccaneers had one of the worst lines in the NFL last season, and they addressed that a bit in the offseason. But the one thing you don’t want to do with Winston, particularly because he’s not a naturally quick-twitch athlete, is get him in a situation where he gets hit a lot. If you get hit a lot early in your career you might start to see ghosts. The last thing you want a quarterback to do is anticipate and perceive pressure that isn’t there, so Koetter will have to keep that in mind with Winston.

Cosell talks about a lot of similarities between Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston, and points to the fact that the Buccaneers will need a running game to be successful.

Cosell ends his article by saying he believes Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter are an excellent fit.

NFL Network was awesome on Memorial Day Weekend

I wish I had known that NFL Network was running an America’s Game marathon this weekend (I did catch a few episodes in the middle of the night, half asleep) but didn’t see the ones I really would have wanted to see. I would have watched or DVR’d most of them. I missed out.

Prior to that marathon, they showed some awesome documentaries like Favre Forever – which I’ve seen before – and then today they did a ‘Football Follies’ Marathon. Just a bunch of NFL Films on a holiday weekend.

I love when they do stuff like this and wish they did it more often!

We are basically three and a half months from NFL football.

Extra Point Tries moved to the 15-yard Line

After all the talk of rule changes, and talk of a three-point conversion, at the end of the day a simple rule change was made that allows the extra-point to survive.

Two-point conversions will continue to be snapped from the two-yard-line. However, defenses can now return fumbled or intercepted two-point tries for two points of their own. Blocked extra points can also be returned for two points.

According to the NFL’s Competition Committee, the extra point change is just for 2015, which could open the rule to be revisited in the future.

The rule passed 30-2, with Oakland and Washington voting against the measure, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference announcing the change.

Previously, extra points were snapped from the two-yard-line, making it a 19- or 20-yard attempt. These ultra-short kicks, with very few exceptions, have been drama-lacking events.

As someone who is a traditionalist that loathes changes, I’m happy to see that there was no taking away the extra point. Yes, it’s unexciting and a formality and likely still will be – it will be interesting to see if any changes occur in the success rate of extra points in 2015. But I like the game as I knew it growing up. Let my kid’s generation see a completely new radical rule come into play.

There are 17 Sundays to come until Jameis Winston arrives


I just got confirmation that my Jameis Winston jersey has shipped. I look at the calendar and realize we have just 17 Sundays to go, and then on the 18th Sunday; Jameis Winston arrives. The most anticipated debut in the history of me being a football fan. I can’t think of anything else quite like this.

I’ll continue to play scrabble here on the blog, reacting to as much Buccaneers and NFL material as I can. Documenting the past, present, and future to show my love for the sport (my mother calls it pigskin worship).

We aren’t even to Memorial Day until next weekend, and yet I find myself thinking about those final August Sundays rolling away.

And in just over four short (long) months, we will have NFL football and the greatest season of all; fall. And the Jameis Winston era will officially be underway.