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Terrelle Pryor may have the late Al Davis watching out for his interests
We're about to find out if the Terrelle Pryor experiment is a success. Once again, it appears the Matt Flynn experiment is a failure.
Despite Monday beginning with Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen saying he would not name a starting quarterback for Week 1 until game time Sunday, the San Francisco chronicle reported later in the day that indeed Pryor will get the
start this coming Sunday against the Colts.
Citing two league sources , the Chronicle said that "Allen told both Pryor and Matt Flynn his decision Monday morning and said he wasn't going to say whom he chose for competitive reasons."
Pryor actually started the final regular-season game of 2012 in place of an
injured Carson Palmer, but entered camp the backup behind Flynn, whom the
Raiders acquired from Seattle shortly before trading Palmer to Arizona in April.
But Flynn did not do enough to assert himself as the starter in the preseason,
struggling most in the third game -- typically the game in which the starters
receive the most playing time.
In that game against Chicago, Flynn was 3 of 6 for 19 yards with two
interceptions and a fumble with no touchdowns. In that same game, Pryor was 7 of
9 for 93 yards and accounted for two touchdowns, one passing and one rushing.
Entering the game to cheers, he led the Raiders to four scoring drives in all.
Then in the final preseason game last week against Seattle, Pryor started while
Flynn sat out with a sore arm.
Pryor's numbers were hardly scintillating in the preseason -- 17 of 32 for
221 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions; a 59.5 passer rating. But Al
Davis took Pryor in the 2011 supplemental draft (the late owner's final draft
pick) because of the former Ohio State standout's playmaking abilities. He led
the Raiders with a 9.4 yards-per-carry average in the preseason, running for 131
yards on only 14 carries with a 25-yard TD run. In Flynn's 13 drives this
preseason, the Raiders scored 10 points. They had 32 points in Pryor's first 14
This would be a case of unfortunate dejà vu for Flynn, who signed with
Seattle in the 2012 offseason but was beaten out by rookie Russell Wilson prior
to the start of the regular season. Flynn is guaranteed $6.5 million from the
Raiders this season.
As for Raiders fans, how'd you think they would react?
-- One fan was quoted saying "Terrelle Pryor is taking us to the superbowl"
-- Matteus Cornell (@bigdaddymatte) September 3, 2013 @TerrellePryor gonna
show wat he's got!!!!!!!!! #justwait
-- Chris Thomason (@CJThomason21) September 3, 2013 Okay Terrelle Pryor the
next Russell Wilson? Sorry Matt Flynn #raiders
-- Daniel Spurlock (@D_Spurlock) September 3, 2013 Terrelle Pryor will be the
starter, finally some good news
-- Carlos mendoza (@carlos10884) September 3, 2013 @TerrellePryor time to
Here are some Pryor highlights from the Preseason Week 3 game against Chicago:
Tim Tebow Poll "Is Tim Tebow's NFL career over?" courtesy of ESPN's Sportsnation
A Heisman Trophy, a riveting playoff game, an international following.
Tim Tebow won all that in his football career.
On Saturday, he lost his third NFL job in 18 months. It might be hard to find
The quarterback with two big problems - throwing the ball and reading
defenses - was cut by the New England Patriots less than 12 weeks after they
signed him and just five days before the season.
But, as Tebow sees it, this long journey is not over.
''I will remain in relentless pursuit of continuing my lifelong dream of
being an NFL quarterback,'' he tweeted.
Coach Bill Belichick gave the player whose profile was higher than his
production what may have been his last chance when he signed him June 11, the
day the Patriots' three-day minicamp began. And Tebow is grateful.
He thanked Belichick, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and owner Robert
Kraft, who said last Tuesday he was ''rooting'' for Tebow but would let
Belichick make the decision.
In his tweet, Tebow thanked the ''entire Patriots organization for giving me
the opportunity to be a part of such a classy organization.''
The Patriots cut 12 other players and put safety Adrian Wilson on injured
reserve. That left them with 51 players, two below the regular-season limit they
had to reach by 6 p.m. EDT.
Belichick didn't comment on Tebow's release.
But NFL.com analyst and former NFL executive Gil Brandt wasn't surprised.
''He has had a great career and I think it's probably time for him to admit
that he just wasn't right up to NFL standards,'' Brandt said. ''I'm sure that
whatever he does in life he'll be a huge success.
Tebow was surely that at Florida, where he won the Heisman and two national
championships while surrounded by talented teammates.
He was a success with Denver, for one season, when he went 7-1 in his first
eight starts in 2011 then threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on
the first play of overtime to give the Broncos a 29-23 playoff win over the
Tebow knelt on one knee - an expression of faith known as Tebowing - in the
But then a career of accomplishment descended into adversity.
Tebow led the Broncos into Foxborough the next weekend and lost 45-10 while
completing barely a third of his passes.
He was traded to the New York Jets the following March and languished on the
bench while coach Rex Ryan ignored fans' calls for Tebow to replace a struggling
Mark Sanchez. Tebow threw just eight passes, ran only 32 times and was cut last
For six weeks no team wanted him until the Patriots signed him to a low-risk,
two-year contract with no guaranteed money. One person with knowledge of the
deal told The Associated Press that Tebow would make the veteran's minimum
salary, $630,000 in 2013, with incentives.
At least he wouldn't be in the center ring of a media circus that surrounded
him in New York, not with Belichick's tight rein on players' interactions with
If anyone could turn him into a good NFL quarterback, it seemed, it would be
Belichick. And McDaniels was a booster of Tebow, drafting him in the first round
in 2010 as Denver's head coach. There even was speculation that Belichick might
find other positions for the mobile Tebow to play, but he worked out only with
And his passes still bounced at receivers' feet and flew over their
''We see things like the pass that he threw in overtime to Thomas,'' Brandt
said. ''I think we see that every once in a while. It really gets us excited
about the guy.
''I don't know if he's ever going to be a quarterback, and the reasons that I
say that is that I think it's very, very hard with somebody that doesn't have
real good accuracy (and) I don't know if he has a real good feel for the
Now, barely two weeks after his 26th birthday, Tebow's NFL career may be
''I can't predict that,'' said John Fox, who took over as Denver's coach in
2011 and traded him after the season. ''I wish nothing but the best for him, as
I've said many times. He did a lot of good things for us, was great to this
organization and to this coaching staff, myself included.''
The Patriots have carried just two quarterbacks in three of the past four
seasons. So with Ryan Mallett entrenched as the backup to Tom Brady, Tebow's
challenge was a difficult one, even before the preseason started. Then he posted
a quarterback rating of just 47.2 with two touchdown passes, two interceptions
and seven sacks in three exhibition games.
Tebow's last play with the Patriots, and perhaps in the NFL, was a 9-yard
touchdown to rookie free agent Quentin Sims with six seconds left in a 28-20 win
over the New York Giants on Thursday night.
With two scoring passes, it was the best of Tebow's three games during a
shaky preseason in which he completed 11 of 30 passes for 145 yards and ran 16
times for 91 yards.
''It's not just one game (that matters),'' Belichick said Friday about the
player evaluation process, ''although every game is important. But the body of
work, the camp, the rate of improvement, the ability to do the things that
players are going to be asked to do at their respective positions (also
After his last game, Tebow said he wasn't sure it would be enough to keep him
on the team.
But he didn't plan to worry.
He would ''go to sleep when I get home, wake up, come work out, watch the
film,'' Tebow said. ''See what I did good, see what I did bad, try to learn from
it and get better.''
NOTES: The Patriots cut punter Zoltan Mesko after three solid seasons in
favor of rookie Ryan Allen. They released three other veterans - defensive
linemen Jermaine Cunningham and Justin Francis and linebacker Jeff Tarpinian.
Also cut were defensive lineman Marcus Forston, who spent last season on the
Patriots practice squad, and seven rookie free agents - Sims, linebacker
Ja'Gared Davis, defensive backs Kanorris Davis, Justin Green, and Stephon
Morris, offensive lineman Chris McDonald and running back George Winn.
HOWARD ULMAN (AP Sports Writer)
Ravens' Retired Linebacker Ray Lewis
Remember when the lights went out during Super Bowl XLVII? Retired Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis says that was no accident.
"I'm not gonna accuse nobody of nothing — because I don't know facts," Lewis says on an upcoming installment of NFL Films’ "America’s Game" series. "But you're a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. (Laughs) No way".
"Now listen, if you grew up like I grew up — and you grew up in a household like I grew up — then sometimes your lights might go out, because times get hard. I understand that. But you cannot tell me somebody wasn't sitting there and when they say, 'The Ravens (are) about to blow them out. Man, we better do something.' . . . That's a huge shift in any game, in all seriousness. And as you see how huge it was because it let them right back in the game."
As with all conspiracy theories, the attendant circumstances did seem to fall
into a convenient narrative. At the time of the blackout, the Ravens were
beating the San Francisco 49ers by 22 points. Somebody or something needed to
stop the Ravens’ momentum or the big game was going to be a big dud. So then,
boom, the lights go out and guess what? The 49ers got back in it. All the way
Baltimore ended up winning 34-31, and Lewis got his second Super Bowl ring.
Enjoy the vintage 90's "Sabotage" music video by the legendary Beastie Boys and
comment if you think Ray Lewis is right about his sabotage theory below.
How the 2013 NFL Draft made it to Primetime
The legend goes that when a fledgling ESPN asked NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle to televise the 1980 NFL Draft, even the PR-savvy Mr. Rozelle doubted anybody would tune in.
Fast-forward 33 years and John Brody, senior VP-sponsorship and sales for the NFL, expected 50 million viewers to watch the three-day event across ESPN, NFL Network and NFL Mobile last Thursday through Saturday nights.
Among league sponsors and advertisers, the NFL Draft is now viewed as a
"tentpole event" where they can directly connect their brands to the country's
most-popular sports league, Mr. Brody said. A confirmed 19 sponsors activated
around this year's event at Radio City Music Hall vs. 16 in 2012. Among them:
Anheuser-Busch; Nike; Verizon
; GMC; Visa
; EA Sports; Under Armour;
Gatorade; and Castrol.
Despite the recession, ad support is growing for the NFL Draft, which now
competes with entertainment and reality shows in the heart of prime time.
Advertisers spent roughly $15 million across ESPN and NFL Network in 2012 vs.
$11.9 million in 2011, according to Kantar Media.
Current NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell moved Round 1 to Thursday nights in
2010 from its longtime perch on Saturdays. The gamble paid off: ESPN's Round 1
coverage last year averaged 6.7 million viewers and a 4.4 rating vs. 5.1 million
viewers and a 3.4 rating in 2009.
"To the credit of the NFL, it's the most robust league," said Ernest
, founder of branding consultancy Ernest Industries
"They announced the [2013 regular season] schedule and people went crazy.
It was as if they let us know they were bringing the McRib sandwich back."
"Our sponsors crave more access and more connection to the game the same way
the fans do," according to Mr. Brody. "Our partners are enablers: They're the
ones who connect the sport to the fans."
Here's how sponsors such as Verizon, A-B and Nike integrated their brands
into the festivities:
- Verizon was the presenting sponsor of Round 3. The company hosted
a "Draft Eve" party Wednesday, where its executives and customers
mingled with top draft picks and NFL starts.
- Bud Light signed on to sponsor Round 2 Friday night as well as sponsor
ESPN's coverage. Bud Light's promotion offered to fly 32 NFL fans to New York
(one representing each team's fan base) and give them a VIP experience that
included a dinner reception with 32 NFL alumni, along with green-room access at
- Nike, which took over as the NFL's official outfitter last season from
Reebok, provided top prospects with No. 1 Nike jerseys. Similarly, the league's
official cap, New Era, handed out special "Draft Caps" to prospects onstage.
That's prime product placement when prospects ascended the stage for the
traditional handshake and hug with Mr. Goodell.
By: Michael McCarthy
Unlike the first, second and fourth weeks of the preseason, starters for each team will play a significant portion of the game. Both the Panthers and Ravens will also employ more detailed game-planning in preparation of the regular season.
While it's still only an exhibition game that means relatively little in the
grand scheme of things, Thursday's matchup should give the most accurate glimpse of where each team is at going into the 2013 season.
The Panthers welcomed Beason back to practice this week, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, and there's a good chance he'll at least get some tune-up snaps against the Ravens Thursday.
Beason, 28, underwent micro-fracture surgery on his right knee this offseason and has since been eased back into camp work. He's played in just five games over the last two seasons, thanks to a number of injuries, but the Panthers hope he'll return close to the player he was during a four-year stretch from 2007-10 in which he averaged over 130 tackles a season.
With Luke Kuechly now manning the inside linebacker duties, Beason is penciled in at weak-side linebacker. The Panthers could have a very good trio of linebackers if Beason is healthy and active on the outside.
The first step for Beason will be a return to live game settings. He might get that chance against the Ravens.
The Panthers know that any rise in the standings in 2013 will be fueled by quarterback Cam Newton. This reality makes his dress rehearsal against the Ravens all the more important.
Newton, 24, has been somewhat erratic in his two appearances this preseason. Facing the Chicago Bears and Eagles, Newton has completed just 11 of 23 passes
for 128 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His passer rating over the two exhibition games is hovering just above 60.0.
The Panthers won't care about preseason performances if Newton takes a big step in the regular season. However, getting the young quarterback some confidence against a still-jelling Ravens defense would go a long ways in jumpstarting the offense ahead of the team's Sept. 8 opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Ravens are unbeaten in the 2013 preseason, but this team likely feels a little uneasy about how it has played on both sides of the football early on.
Quarterback Joe Flacco has thrown a pair of
picks on the first team offense that has been sloppy at times. Against the Atlanta Falcons last week, Flacco hit on a 77-yard touchdown to Torrey Smith, but picked up just 54 yards on his 18 other plays. A strong performance against Carolina would help settle any worries about the rhythm of the unit before the the start of the real games.
The new-look defense has also had some struggles, especially against Atlanta. The Falcons scored 20 first-half points, led in large part by Matt Ryan and Steven Jackson. The Ravens' run-defense was especially poor, as Jackson rushed for 42 yards on eight carries in two quarters of work.
Another poor showing against the Panthers isn't the end of the world for the reigning champions, but head coach John Harbaugh will want better. Facing Newton will be an especially important test for a defense that has many new parts
fitting into place.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, veterans Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark are expected to play "extensively" on Thursday against the
The two were signed last Tuesday, largely in response to a rash of injuries to Joe Flacco's receiving corps. Neither played more than a handful of snaps against the Atlanta Falcons while attempting to learn the offense last week.
The Ravens will want to see both over a larger sample size Thursday, when the starters and veterans are expected to play more snaps than in the first two preseason games. It'll be important for Flacco to continue developing timing and chemistry with both players, as each could play a defined role once the regular season begins.
The Ravens won't be attempting to teach the old dogs any new tricks, but both need to show they can provide the Baltimore offense with something tangible.
Neither the Panthers nor the Ravens can be too thrilled about the way their first two preseason games have turned out. Carolina has struggled at times on
offense while Baltimore has been up-and-down on both sides of the football.
Tonight's game should give a better indication of where both teams are really at. Game-planning for starters, who will play deep into the first half and possibly into the second half as well, will present a clearer picture.
The Panthers obviously don't want to show all of their offensive cards in an exhibition game, but expect the play-calling to be more creative for Newton, who needs a spark before Week 1.
The Ravens will want to see a better showing on the defensive end, especially in stopping the run. The Falcons gashed Baltimore with the first team defense on the field last week.
Overall, both teams will want to see improvements across the board, but without adding any significant injuries. If the Panthers and Ravens can both accomplish that goal, Thursday night should be considered a win for both, regardless of the final score.
It’s the latest research in the budding field of Twitter modeling, and as with much in statistics, it sounds a bit like magic. The researchers pulled several million football-related tweets from the Twitter fire hose during the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. They then analyzed and cataloged the sentiment by team, ran the data set through a number of statistical models, and came upon several that either matched or beat traditional forecasts.
Conventional, non-Twitter prediction methods predict the winning team around 58
percent of the time. But by combining conventional methods with Twitter-based
models, the researchers were able to predict the game winner with 65.9 percent
accuracy. Models that used both Twitter and traditional data also made the most
accurate predictions on other sports-betting metrics, like the combined number
of points both teams scored.
“We ﬁnd that simple features of Twitter data can match or exceed the
performance of the game statistical features more traditionally used for these
tasks,” the researchers conclude. “It is hoped that our approach and dataset may
be useful for those who want to use social media to study markets, in sports
betting and beyond.”
That, ultimately, might be the coolest takeaway from this research — the
implication that economists could keep plumbing Twitter for insight on a
yet-unimagined range of topics and fields. Twitter modeling isn’t exactly new,
of course: We’ve already seen the network predict elections
, the stock market
, box office revenues
and the spread of contagious disease
. But there’s a
suggestion here that we’re just beginning to unlock Twitter’s predictive
potential: The network could predict any number of real-life phenomena — from
whether your home team wins its next big game to when hit-and-runs will occur
In an opinion piece
for the Washington Post Sunday, sociologist Fabio Rojas
(who has done a bit of work in this field
himself) concluded that social
media modeling will be the death of the political polling industry — it’s far
more accurate, he argues, to analyze tweets than poll results.
That augurs an intriguing new world where social media-fueled predictions are
both more common and accurate. Thanks to Twitter, we could someday guess any
number of details about the future ahead of time — down to the results of
football games before they’re even played.
Article By: Caitlin Dewey
Source: Washington Post
We love sports in large part because of the uncertainty. It isn't scripted, and we can never be sure how it's going to turn out. Andrew Luck
is one of the rare cases of something being interesting because
we know precisely how the story is going to end.
Luck is everything he was made out to be coming out of Stanford. The Colts quarterback is practically a lock to be a
great player. Everyone can see that. And following his maturation into being that great player is going to be fascinating.
Luck has looked very good in the preseason as he prepares for his second season. In the preseason opener last week, he was 4-of-6 for 51 yards in limited work. Against the Giants he played one quarter, and one drive into the second quarter. He went 9-of-13 for 107 yards and two touchdowns, and when he took a seat the Colts led 17-3.
If someone said that, in about five months, Luck would be universally acknowledged as a top three NFL quarterback, would you be that surprised?
He had some things to work on after a very good rookie season, and looks much better in year two. He still has the athletic ability and the big arm, and in very brief preseason work it's obvious this familiar offense fits him well.
Last season Luck worked in Bruce Arians' vertical offense, and attempted more passes of 20 or more yards (101) than any other quarterback, according to Pro Football Focus. Joe Flacco was second with 92, and only five quarterbacks in all attempted more than 80. And Luck was good on those deep throws, completing 35 (his receivers had eight drops, too). But he had six interceptions (only Drew Brees had more on deep passes, with seven), and the heavy vertical attack also helps explain his 54.1 completion percentage. Not that he didn't do very well in that offense – he threw for 4,374 yards and led the Colts, who were 2-14 the year before, to a very surprising playoff berth.
Now with Pep Hamilton as offensive coordinator, Luck is running the same offense he did at Stanford. Mainly because Hamilton was Luck's offensive coordinator during the quarterback's final season at Stanford. In the Colts' two preseason games it's easy to see that Luck will be asked to complete a lot of high-percentage throws. He looks comfortable and confident. His completion percentage should skyrocket. It's 68.4 percent this preseason. His interceptions probably will go down, although he did get lucky Sunday night when Giants cornerback Aaron Ross dropped one on a play that Reggie Wayne eventually hauled in for a circus touchdown catch. Luck performed admirably in a new offense last year, but he seems like a perfect fit in Hamilton's scheme that has plenty of West Coast elements.
Luck's physical ability is special, even among NFL quarterbacks, and he showed it off against the Giants. His 18-yard touchdown throw to T.Y. Hilton on third and 11 was made with pinpoint accuracy right over the cornerback – and was also a very athletic catch by a rapidly emerging Hilton. His best play against the Giants was probably an incompletion. He rolled left, then contorted his body to deliver a perfect strike downfield between two Giants defenders to tight end Coby Fleener. Fleener dropped the throw. It was still a jaw-dropping pass.
Andrew Luck is turning out to be a savior for the Indianapolis Colts