Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

T.J. Ward as good as advertised

Mason's Five Thoughts from Camp Day 5
www.denverbroncos.com

5. The full-contact, short-yardage period saw the No. 1 defense twice get the better of the top offense. Jackson, Williams and safety T.J. Ward were chief among those responsible. When the two defensive linemen crash through against the run, Ward arrives to finish off the play and close any gaps on the flank. Ball didn’t have much room as a result, but did eke out one first down.

Quick reminder--T.J. Ward is a tackling machine.

It will be fun to see Ward pound his cousin and Raider Maurice Jones-Drew when the bodies hit the floor.

Sanders: PMFM works harder than Big Ben

Emmanuel Sanders: Peyton is a far better leader than Ben
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

“I feel like Peyton is a far better leader, in terms of staying after practice, catching balls, wanting guys to get on the same page with him, things of that sort,” Sanders said. “This is the first time that I’ve had a quarterback that every single day after practice — no matter what his accolades, NFL MVP, Super Bowl ring — he keeps guys like me and [rookie receiver Cody] Latimer after practice. . . . He’s not one of those guys you’ve got to chase down. He’s going to be right in the same spot, ready to work, every single day. I just feel like that’s a difference from a mental standpoint.”

I know - shocking, right?

Corporate thief tells party animal to tone it down

Jimmy Haslam should worry about his own headlines
q.usatoday.com

He was speaking of Johnny Manziel, the frat-boy rookie quarterback. You know, headlines like, “Manziel Parties With Justin Bieber,” or “Video Shows Manziel With Rolled Up $20 Bill.”

Haslam presumably was not referring to headlines like, “FBI Alleges Pilot Flying J Fraud,” or “Truck Stop Giant Settles Discount Case.”

Really, we shouldn't be surprised by the f#$%ed up priorities on display here. After all, this is a league that punishes its players far more for free tattoos procured in college than for spousal beatings handed out by current NFLers.

Big Vick: @#$% Seattle

Klee: Fed up with Seahawks smack, Broncos fire back
gazette.com

“(Bleep) Seattle,” Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson told me after practice on Monday. “Write it down. Take a picture.”

Alrighty, then.

There’s aiming high, and then there’s this

Goal for Eli Manning in 2014 is to complete 70 percent of his passes, NY Giants’ QB coach says
www.nydailynews.com

“The high 60s is kind of the goal, to be in the top of the league,” Manning added. “Sure it’s realistic. It’s a combination of the offense and the players we have.”

That's just silly. The only QBs with lower completion rates than Eli's 57.5% in 2013 are guys who, in a word, suck.

Perhaps the Giants mean they want Eli to complete 70% of his throws during practice?

No Females League VP fumbles explanation of Rice suspension

NFL V.P. Adolpho Birch struggles to justify Ray Rice suspension
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

“I’m a little taken aback by the conversation, to be honest with you. The reaction is overwhelming and no one seems to think that he did a particularly good job of answering the questions,” Greenberg said minutes after the interview with Birch ended. “I do not feel that most people listening to that discussion feel they got an adequate explanation of how they arrived at two games.”

Interesting that the Worldwide Leader's post about the so-called explantion doesn't acknowledge Greenberg's comments. Guess the MNF network doesn't want to piss off the No Females League.

Raiders keeping it unreal

Raiders Preview: Putting the Pieces in Place
mmqb.si.com

The last thing Allen and his staff want is to endure the growing pains of a rookie quarterback. They’re already on owner Mark Davis’s hot seat, and the belief is that, with year three having all along been the “realistic” target for visible progress in a massive rebuilding effort, another bad record could spell the end for this regime (that includes general manager Reggie McKenzie).

Of course, it’s not realistic to think Oakland’s offense is suddenly set to turn things around—especially given that the team’s much-anticipated free agent spree came in the same year that a raised salary cap made more than half of the league competitors on the open market. But realism has not been an obstacle for any Davis in recent years.

The Oakland Raiders: where every coach and GM go to die.

Shanny: We knew Peyton wouldn’t sign with us

Shanahan: Like Elway Did, Manning Needs Support, Too
denver.cbslocal.com

“Knowing that his brother (Giants quarterback Eli Manning) is in the NFC East, we knew it was going to be a longshot. He was nice enough to talk to us, but at the end of the day, I tried to put myself in his footsteps. There’s no way, if I’m a father, why would you go to play in the NFC East against your brother? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Not sure what fatherhood has to do with any of this, but the one nice thing about Shanny being unemployed is that we get these otherwise rare nuggets of frankness. Makes us wish he'd have signed on with FOX.

Champ Bailey likely starter with Saints

New Orleans Saints' Champ Bailey fully displaying his fire for football
www.nola.com

Saints coach Sean Payton justified the signing by saying the foot injury slowed Bailey down rather than old age and Bailey’s play on film in 2012 was outstanding.

Judging by what I’ve seen from Bailey this offseason, he seems to be the favorite to win the starting job at cornerback opposite Keenan Lewis. Bailey has seen all of his playing time with the first-team defense through three days of training camp rotating practice reps with Patrick Robinson.

Don't know about you, but I'll tune into more than my normal share (meaning zero) of Saints games next season to see which version of Bailey they got.

Was it the guy from 2012 or 2013?

Raiders players delusional as their fans

Upbeat Raiders report to camp feeling healthy and motivated
www.sfgate.com

“This is our year,” Raiders punter Marquette King said. “I know fans say that we say that every year, but this year we really mean it. I say that with all of my heart.”

Awww, look, Dear. How adorable. This year, the Raiders really mean it.  

Even the punter, with his itty bitty heart.