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Ken Blaze- USA Today Sports

The recent off-field issues of Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon are obviously troubling, as he was already facing a year long suspension due to a 2nd failed drug test. While in the process of appealing his suspension, Gordon was arrested on July 5th in North Carolina for DWI. This certainly will not help his case when he goes to appeal his suspension.

Selected in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Supplementary Draft, Gordon signed a 4 year $5.3 million contract with the Browns. Gordon registered 50 receptions for 805 yards and 5 touchdowns in his first season. In the 2013 off-season, Gordon failed a drug test that resulted in a two game suspension for the 2013 season. Despite this, Gordon went on to have a career year that season, leading the league in receiving yards with 1,646, was voted to the Pro Bowl and named to First-team All Pro. Gordon also made history by becoming the first player in the NFL to ever have 200+ receiving yards in consecutive games!

Because of Gordon’s performance, Browns fans had something to cheer about, and after the selection of Johnny Manziel in the 2014 NFL Draft, the potential pairing of this quarterback-wide receiver duo was intriguing for the fans. Unfortunately Gordon would hit another minor speed bump the following day when it was announced he had failed another drug test, possibly putting to rest any chances of seeing these two on the field together in 2014.

Gordon flew under the radar and took the league by storm in 2013, and to see him possibly throw away a career of a lifetime is saddening. Gordon’s journey was kind of like one of those “feel good” stories. During his college career at Baylor, Gordon had issues with drugs and was suspended indefinitely prior to the 2011 College Football season. Gordon transferred to Utah, but never played as he sat out that entire season. Gordon got a chance to redeem himself and did so in just two seasons with Cleveland, and though he is still young at age of 23, if his past troubles continue to hinder him, he may not have a future in the NFL as teams may feel he could be a cancer and distraction in the locker room.

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Rashad McCants was a big part of North Carolina National Basketball Title team in 2005, but in an interview with ESPN’s Outside the Lines he took scam classes.  He didn’t write any papers, and Head Coach Roy Williams knew about not attending classes, plus tutors writing papers.  McCants mentioned in the interview that he had to show up to play, and have to attend class.  Williams and several of McCants teammates have denied it every happened, but this should open a Pandora’s Box.   If North Carolina violated any NCAA rules they should be accountable for their actions.   The NCAA should really take a hard look at the academic policies of North Carolina and make the necessary changes to clean it up.  The problem is that many other universities are doing the same thing by cutting corners academically to keep their star athletes eligible.    By doing that the team continue to be successful and that means more money comes to the university.   However, it compromised the academic standards of the university and call in the questions the legitimacy of their degrees.   They have to clean up the whole system and make a college degree stand for something.

Jameis Winston is the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback of the 2013 National Champions Florida State Seminoles, and a star relief pitcher for their baseball team.    However, he is making headlines off the field for all of the wrong reasons.     Winston had an alleged sexual assault  charge and was busted for stealing crab legs from a local Publix grocery store in Tallahassee.   The University suspended Winston for the theft, but the police down there delayed the investigation for nine months.    Florida State should have suspended Winston until he told them what happened the night of the alleged sexual assault.     Winston was not charged with anything, but he should still attend a code of conduct hearing about his actions like two other teammates did.    Florida State is faced with a federal review for the way they handled the investigation.   Winston and FSU could each deal with civil suits for the assault, and the whole matter is another example of universities protecting is star athletes from legal problems.    Instead of showing leadership they have become enablers and putting athletic achievement instead of making Winston accountable for his actions.

When are you are born with a talent and regardless of what it is you are responsibility to use it properly.  Some NFL players don’t have that sense.    During the NFL Draft there have been reports of Cleveland Browns wide receiver  Josh Gordon could get a year suspension for a positive drug test.    Gordon who while at Baylor University was kicked off the team for using marijuana, and was suspended for the first two games of the 2012 season for another failed drug test.    Gordon was an all-pro and made his first Pro Bowl after last season in which he caught 80 passes for 1,646 yards and 9 touchdowns.   Gordon may not get another chance with Browns because of this latest drug suspension.    Gordon could winded up like Davone Bess, a former  Browns receiver who was released in March after having drug problems of his own.    Justin Blackmon who was playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars and had great potential as a wide receiver.  However he has been in trouble with DUIs while at Oklahoma State, and has been suspended twice for violating the NFL substance abuse policy.   It was announced by the Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell that Blackmon will not be with the team for the 2014 season.     All three receivers NFL careers could be over because drug and alcohol problems.     These are cautionary tales about not getting involved with substance abuse and make the most of opportunities in the NFL and in life.

Michael Sam is in the NFL being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round on Saturday afternoon.    Sam, who in February came out as gay has one part of his journey completed.     The other part of his journey is now starting getting acceptance in the NFL.   Sam will be playing in a state that is very supported of him.      He will be playing for a successful NFL Head Coach in Jeff Fisher, and getting support via the social media even the White House sending a good luck message.     Michael Sam wants to be judged on what he does on the football field.    Now Sam is in the NFL and he will get his chance to make on the merits of his playing ability.

The Steelers started the fourth round of the NFL Draft getting wide receiver Martavis Bryant from Clemson.     He gives them a tall receiver with 4.42 speed and could get major reps in training camp.     In the fifth round, The Steelers took cornerback Shaquille Richardson from the University of Arizona.  He has played some safety well, and adds more speed in the secondary.    With their 2nd selection of the fifth round, they took offensive linemen Wesley Johnson from Vanderbilt.   He has the position flexibility to play center, guard, and tackle.  Since the offensive line could be a strength Johnson could be a valuable swing man.    In the sixth round, they took inside linebacker Jordan Zumwalt from UCLA.      He could be a major contributor on special teams and a future starter.   With their 2nd  selection of the sixth round,  they drafted defensive lineman Daniel McCullers from Tennessee.  He is 6-7 weighing 352 pounds, and he could be the successor to Casey Hampton as a run stuffing in the 3-4 defense.   In the 7th round, The Steelers last pick was tight end Rob Blanchflower from Massachusetts.     He is a great blocker, but needs to work on being a pass catcher. It doesn’t hurt to be mentored by Heath Miller.     The true measure of this draft will not be known for a few years.   Hopefully, some of these draft picks will be big contributors for the Steelers.

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I know I may and will receive a lot of heat for this piece, but as the saying goes “The truth hurts”. What exactly is the “truth” and who will it “hurt” in this situation? The truth being that Joe Paterno was never
told of a sex act between Jerry Sandusky and a young boy and how it would and should hurt the media’s narrative that Paterno enabled Sandusky to sensationalize their agenda without any facts. Former Penn
State Quarterback and Wide Receivers Coach Mike McQueary, who at the time was a graduate assistant, said he heard slapping sounds in the shower of the Penn State locker room. He went to look and see what it was, and expected to see a man and a woman having sex, but what he ended up seeing was Jerry Sandusky and a 14 year old teenage boy. Just what exactly did McQueary see, and more importantly what did he tell Joe Paterno is the question. McQueary has made so many different interpretation of events that it is hard to know for sure what he saw that night. After all, one of the accounts dropped against Sandusky stemmed from the McQueary episode.

As for the media, they took the ball and ran with the story that Paterno was told by McQueary that he witnessed Sandusky performing “Anal Rape” and Paterno did everything to sweep it under the rug to
protect the image of the football program. I feel sorry for the naïve people that the media preys upon because they know the majority of people will not do any real ounce of research or even realize that the”truth” is whatever the media says it is. (Meaning if the Main Stream Media reports it then it must be true)

All Paterno was told by McQueary at the time back in 2001 was that there may have been horse playing or some sort of inappropriate behavior going on, but was never clear to Paterno as to what it was. Here is an interesting note, prior to telling Paterno, McQueary went and told his father and Dr. Dranov (who was the boss of McQueary’s father)  to tell them what he saw. Dr. Dranov who was a mandated reporter, would have had to immediately call Child Welfare if McQueary told them he saw a crime take place between Sandusky and the boy. Oddly though, McQueary’s father and Dr. Dranov instructed Mike to tell Paterno of the altercation instead of reporting to the authorities himself. (Which is what one would think he would do had he actually witnessed a sex act between Sandusky and a boy.)

Here is the first part that easily debunks any “cover-up” orchestrated by Paterno. When McQueary told Paterno of situation, would not he right then and there say “Okay Mike, listen to me. Tell no one and we will just keep this between us.” Except Paterno contacted his immediate supervisor and Athletic Director Tim Curley to look into the situation, and that right there is the second part that debunks any “cover up” by Paterno. If he, or anyone in general for that matter wanted to cover something up, would they honestly get someone else involved? No, of course not! Part of what makes a cover up successful is that the less people involved, the greater chance it remains covered.

Once Paterno reported it to his supervisor, there was nothing legally and dare I say “morally” more he could do as he only could go off hearsay as he never witnessed anything. Paterno followed up with
McQueary asking him if he felt the situation was handled properly to which he firmly told him that it was so. So where is this “big conspiracy”? If you are going to say “Paterno should have done more”
Please explain thoroughly in full detail of what “doing more” is. Also, some suggest McQueary blackmailed Paterno into a coverup in exchange for the vacant Wide Receiver Coaching Position after Kenny Jackson left for a coaching job with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Well that too is easily quick to debunk as McQueary did not become the Wide Receiver’s Coach until three years later in 2004. I hardly think if someone was being blackmailed that it would take them more than three years to come up with a proposition.

I know I will be called a “Joe Bot” by many and that I have blinders on. Probably even an “enabler”, but that honestly does not bother me. What actually bothers me is that I am somehow diminished because I am a “Joe Bot” when the facts actually support this supposedly “Joe Bot” position. The people who know the most about this case should not be discredited simply because they had admiration for a guy who deserved admiration and due process. I guess that makes me a
“Joe Bot”, which I will proudly acknowledge that! Also I would ironically like to point out that  Frank Fina, lead prosecutor in Sandusky case, is a “Joe Bot” as well as he even said on national television that he did not find any evidence of Paterno partaking in a cover up in anyway!

 

 

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I was surprised that the Steelers drafted Ryan Shazier in the 1st round in the NFL Draft.    He could play both inside and outside linebacker and for Ohio State racked up over 100 tackles in the past two seasons.  He can rush the passer and drop back into pass coverage.   His shortcomings are lack of size, being over aggressive at times, his inconsistent tackling, and can be bullied by offensive line.  He has a good over all around game, but lack of strength could be his undoing in the NFL.     The Steelers still have to address the defensive line, secondary, and the receiving corps.   I will be blogging about the rest of the Steelers draft this weekend, but might a little busy watching the Penguins tomorrow night.

 

Most NFL teams when in a rebuilding mode, start by building around who they deem will be their franchise quarterback for years to come (i.e. Peyton Manning drafted by Indianapolis Colts). Sometimes the case may just simply be a team’s only hole to fill happens to be the quarterback position. Dating back to 1999, the Cleveland Browns thought they had filled that hole when they drafted Kentucky Quarterback Tim Couch with the first overall pick in that year’s NFL Draft. Needless to say, that experiment failed! As a matter of fact, many and I emphasize on “many” quarterbacks who were either drafted or signed by the Cleveland Browns never materialized or guide the franchise into becoming contenders. If you do not believe me, then just see for yourself!

In a Yahoo article back in September, it had noted that the Cleveland Browns had gone through 19 different starting quarterbacks since 1999 (The year Tim Couch was drafted). It is now 20 as Jason Campbell would be named the Browns starting quarterback midway through the 2013 season.

Many of these players never went on to have much of an NFL career or are still in the league but have not done much to date (Brady Quinn, Charlie Frye, Colt McCoy). Some, like Jake Delhomme, tried to revive their career’s by signing with Cleveland in hopes of reviving their career and the organization itself.

If you’re someone like Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, or any other quarterback waiting to be selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, you may be sweating bullets once the Cleveland Browns are on the clock and may be hoping and praying that you do not potentially have the chance to become the 21st starting quarterback for the Browns since 1999!

Article:http://sports.yahoo.com/news/cleveland-browns-had-19-starting-quarterbacks-since-1999-220000982–nfl.html

 

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Name: DaQuan Jones 

Height: 6ft 4in.

Weight: 322lbs.

College: Penn State

Position: Defensive Tackle

2013 Season Stats- 45 Tackles, 11.5 Tackles for Loss, 3.5 Sacks

2014 NFL Combine- 40 time 5.35  Bench Press (225lbs.) 25 reps  Vertical Jump 27.5 inches

DaQuan Jones really improved his Draft Stock last year at Penn State. He was named 2013 First Team All Big Ten and was tied 13th for tackles for losses in the conference.

 

Jones knows how to use his hands to create separation between he and the opposing blocker. Good at executing arm over move which allows him to win one on one battles.

Here’s another look

      Jones also displays great control and awareness on the field and does the little things to allow teammates to make big plays!

 Again good use of hands and arms, and helps set up teammates to make a play

 One area that Jones needs to improve in is his raw strength. Despite his size, he does tend to get overmatched and strength with opposing lineman his own size

While Jones will need to possess a bit more strength, he will need to lean up a bit while putting on more solid muscle onto his frame and increasing endurance at the same time. Jones could also improve his game coming off the edge a bit when pass rushing.

Overall, Jones is a solid player and makes teammates around him better, but may need some time to improve his upon his weaknesses to reach his full potential. Some draft experts have him as a 3rd or 4th round pick in the NFL Draft, but I would not be all that surprised if he is a late 2nd rounder.

Sources: http://www.sports-reference.com

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Name: Sammy Watkins

Height: 6ft 1in.

Weight 211lbs.

College: Clemson

Position: Wide Receiver

Career Stats: 240 Receptions (101 in 2013), 27 TD Receptions (had 12 in two of his three seasons at Clemson) 3,391 Receiving Yards

2014 NFL Combine Results: 4.43 40   Bench Reps (225lbs.) 16 reps   Vertical Jump 34.0 inches

 

Watkins has great breakaway speed and has no trouble catching the ball in stride thanks in addition to his great hands.

In addition to his great speed and hands, Watkins does well at turning the corner before running up field. Watkins is a definite “Game Changer” caliber player, and is a homerun threat to score whenever he gets his hands on the ball.

 

Watkins as mentioned, has great speed, hands, and is able to catch the ball while in stride. He will need to brush up a bit on route running skills as he will most likely have to adapt from a flashy style offense he had at Clemson, to a more crisp approach in the NFL. One other thing that might cause Watkins some trouble is his height (6ft 1in.), and his vertical leap is just a mere 34.5 inches, which may cause problems in jump ball situations.

 

Sources: http://www.sports-reference.com

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Name: Dee Ford                     

Height: 6ft 2in.

Weight: 252lbs

College:  Auburn

Defensive End/Outside Linebacker * 29 Tackles, 14.5 for loss (2nd in SEC) and 10.5 Sacks in 2013 (2nd in SEC) * 2014 Senior Bowl MVP 2014

NFL Combine 40 Time: 4.55 Vertical Leap: 35.5 inches Bench Reps (225lbs.) 29 reps

Good at quickly getting lateral to quarterback. Great at using his speed, pure Pass Rusher.

 

 

Ford shows excellent pursuit, not giving up on a play and will fight until the very end

 

Despite Ford’s exceptional strength and speed as a pass rusher, he is a bit undersized. Ford may primarily play at Linebacker, but will be used as an additional lineman on the end in pass rushing situations. Ford may need to add on another 10-15lbs. of muscle to make up for the height disadvantage he will face against most lineman when coming off the snap.

Ford has great feet, but needs to use his hands more instead of relying strictly on speed and pass rushing alone.

Sources: http://www.sports-reference.com

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When James Franklin was hired at Penn State people seen him as a great recruiter and a dynamic football coach.    Some Nittany Lions  fans believe that within a few years after going through the NCAA sanctions they can contend for Big Ten and a National Title.    The only problem is that Franklin had to deal with a  problem from the past.  Four of his former football players at Vanderbilt were charged with raping a young woman at a party.   All four players were kicked off the team, and prosecutors said that Franklin was cleared of any wrong doing.   He reached out to the victim during a medical examination because she helped out in recruiting.   Franklin called her for private meeting and asked to get 15 pretty ladies to be hostess to help out with recruiting  even though it is against NCAA rules.   Penn State  had to deal with the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal and the heavy sanctions laid out by the NCAA.  If Franklin got any trouble over this situation Penn State could be hit with more several sanctions like more scholarships reduction an a extend of the post season ban.   Penn Sate could not hired a coach that had any past problem of any kind because they could be preceded as choosing winning over integrity.

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Like Michael Sam came out to his teammates at the University of Missouri in college football.   Derrick Gordon did the same thing at the University of Massachusetts in college basketball.   Gordon who is a sophomore guard had to hide from his teammates from who he really was.   When Gordon came out he became a different person, and started to get calls from people who are struggling to come out of the closet.  Hopefully in the future an athlete coming out will not be a big story.

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Northwestern_WildcatsNow that the National Labor Relation Board approved the Northwestern football team having a union. The university should not challenging the ruling, but should work with the players. The university should help out with the paying for medical coverage, meals, and spending money for the basic necessaries. The NCAA is making 10 Billion dollars from the basketball tournament especially from this weekend Final Four In Arlington, Texas. It would not hurt for colleges for to pay these athletes at least $10,000 as well as the regular scholarship. This is a complicated issue because other athletes in other sports want to get paid, and the Title IX ramification in dealing with female athletes.

 

After only three seasons in the NFL, former Alabama star quarterback Greg McElroy has decided to announce his retirement. McElroy who was selected by the New York Jets in the 7th round of the 2011 NFL Draft, played in just two games and losing his only game in which he was named starter. McElroy finished 19 of 31 in passing, 214 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. After suffering an ankle injury during the 2013 preseason, McElroy was let go by the Jets, but then was assigned to the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad. During his college career at Alabama, McElroy led the Crimson Tide to a National Championship in his junior season and finished with a career total of 5,691 passing yards, 39 touchdowns including 2 TD’s on the ground.

https://twitter.com/GVMcElroy/status/447006522057314304/photo/1

Source For Player Stats: http://www.sports-reference.com/

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During the 2013 BCS National Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Sportscaster Brent Musburger made interesting comment’s about Alabama quaterback A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend. With the camera panning to Katherine Webb, Musberger awed at her beauty and then made a remark that got a few eyebrows raising

“Now when you’re a quarterback at Alabama, you see that lovely lady there? She does go to Auburn I want to admit that, but she’s also Miss Alabama and that’s A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend, okay.”

Musburger then acknowledged McCarron’s mother who was sitting to the right of Webb, and then continued to gush over her looks

“Wow I’ll tell you,  you quarterbacks, you get all the good looking women, what a beautiful woman! Whoa!”

 

 

 

 

Musberger received some heat for his remarks and was heavily criticized by many in the media. Flash forward to over a year later, Musberger has seemingly caught himself in bit of a pickle yet once again over remarks towards young female college students!

During a Big 12 basketball game between Kansas and Iowa State, the cameras again panned to another young female, one who was taking a “selfie” with her phone, Musberger states “Take a look at our sixth man of the game brought you by Motel 6, and I am pleased with this selection! Oh yeah why not a “selfie”?!?! The fans of Iowa State, the sixth man of the game”

 

 

Musburger again is putting the sports world into a frenzy and has ESPN once more walking on eggshells. My advice for ESPN if they are worried for any more future potential comments about beautiful young women by Musburger, take him to the nearest veterinary to have him neutered.

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Everyone in the sports world obviously knows who Mike McQueary is. What they may not know is that McQueary had a gambling problem and perhaps even bet on games he played in while at Penn State! According to Deadspin, one of the games that raised some concerned stemmed from a game in 1995 versus Rutgers. In it, it states

In 1995, Mike McQueary threw a touchdown late in garbage time of a Penn State blowout over Rutgers. Then-Rutgers coach Doug Graber and Joe Paterno got into a shouting match after the game because Graber thought Paterno was running up the score. The touchdown put the 20-point-favorite Nittany Lions up 59-34. None of this is interesting at all but for a tiny anecdote about McQueary’s gambling habit while enrolled at Penn State, buried in ESPN’s profile on the Penn State whistleblower.

Several teammates have even stated they knew were aware of McQueary’s gambling problems and betting on the games they played in. A close friend even stated that “It got pretty bad” regarding McQueary’s gambling habits.

To read the rest of the article, click here http://deadspin.com/mcqueary-gambling-allegations-put-19-year-old-game-in-n-1537313917

Though I tread lightly on this, I wonder if any of this ties into McQueary’s testimonies and statements (which he has changed his stories multiple times) to the alleged incident of former coach Jerry Sandusky in a locker room shower with a 14 year old boy (not 10 like the media claims.) Perhaps when approached by authorities about an issue that happened a while back, McQueary panicked and maybe thought they knew about his alleged point shaving and gambling habits from many years ago. Though it turned out to be regarding Sandusky, one can make the argument that McQueary told authorities whatever they wanted to hear regarding Sandusky and the teenage boy so that in one way shape or form he could cover his backside! If you want more information about the alleged “shower incident” regarding Mike McQueary and Sandusky with the teenager go to the following

http://www.framingpaterno.com/betrayal-joe-paterno-chapter-two-mcqueary-episode

http://framingpaterno.com/definitive-case-mike-mcquearys-story-not-be-believed

http://www.framingpaterno.com/exclusive-evidence-real-story-ten-year-old-boy-shower

http://www.framingpaterno.com/exclusive-bombshell-audio-proves-espn-withheld-key-info-their-mcqueary-profile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXWodkR0LxM

 

Is Mike McQueary really a “whistleblower” or is the reason he is suing Penn State is to pay off some of his gambling debts as opposed to his claims it has been hard for him to find a steady job? (Former Defensive Coordinator Tom Bradley was just hired onto the West Virginia Coaching Staff) McQueary is also in the process of getting a divorce.

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There has been a report about North Carolina dealing with academic fraud with their football and basketball players. Mary Willingham, a former tutor who taught remedial reading help to student-athletes. She also talked about how she steered to classes they never attended. Since 2011 she enabled these athletes to pass classes they never went to. Willingham spoke out and she lost her job because of it. It bothers me that colleges were us fix grades and student-athletes would pass classes they never attended. The NCAA is a $16 billion dollar business and it stinks how they would allow colleges and universities to pass student-athletes who don’t attend classes.   The NCAA do a lousy job not only helping athletes, but not holding universities and colleges accountable for not teaching their student-athletes.

                                                               Christian Petersen/Getty Images

 

Name: Ka’Deem Carey

 

Height: 5ft 10in

 

Weight: 207 lbs.

 

College: Arizona

 

3 seasons at Arizona 4,329 Rushing yards 48 TD’s  77 Receptions 679 yards  4 TD’s

     Led nation in rushing his Sophomore year during 2012 season with 1,929 yards

     Ran for 1,885 yards in Junior year, despite missing the 1st game of the 2013 season due to suspension.

 

   2014 NFL Combine

    ran a 4.7 40

    Bench Pressed 225lbs for 19 reps

    4.38 seconds on 20 yard Shuttle

    32.5 inch vertical

    115.0 inch broad jump

 

 

 

 

 

 #1 rated Running Back prospect in 2014 NFL Draft

 

    Vision- identifies the open field and adjusts quickly right after the snap

 

 

 

  

 

 

        Footwork- Quick on his feet, instantly able to shift into different directions

 

 

 

      Deja vu..Actually it is just more great footwork by Carey!

 

 

 

 

      

     Carey is also not afraid to get physical and will fight for that extra yard if he has too! This tangible will definitely come in handy in short yardage situations!

 

    

 

 

 

     3rd Down situations- 5.93 yards per average in 2012, 6.37 yards per average in 2013 on 3rd Down

 

 

     Ka’Deem Carey is able to slash his way through defenders with great foot work, amazing field vision. He does lack breakaway speed but stays lateral (north and south run style). Even though he is not afraid to get physical and will fight for extra yardage, he leaves himself vulnerable to hits to his upper body. Carey has the talent to be a 1st round draft selection, but with plenty of other talent and teams needs he may not go that early, but expect him to be selected no later than the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft!

 

 

 

 

Sources: http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/kadeem-carey-1.html

               http://www.cfbstats.com/2013/player/29/1038520/rushing/situational.html

 

 

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