Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Thank god it's TGIF.
Former 49ers head coach Bill Walsh's first book lives on as a Super Bowl road map - ESPN The Magazine - ESPN
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL football coach of the past 30 years hated his legacy. He hated it from the moment he retired at age 57, in January 1989, days after winning his third Super Bowl as head coach of the 49ers. Bill Walsh had felt fried for years, and during that last season he was in "a claustrophobic panic," as a friend later described it. Or "just eking by," as his son Craig recalls. That 1988 season had been the most wrenching of his career, because the 49ers were not a great team. They were a 10-6 team that happened to win it all, and the grind swallowed Walsh to the point that he was, as his son says, "like a zombie." So he secretly decided to retire during the season, and in the whooping and wet locker room after the Super Bowl, Walsh wept alone, head in his hands. He wasn't happy. He was relieved. It was over.
FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Introducing Snap-Weighted Age
Remember how absolutely ancient the Pittsburgh Steelers defense was heading into 2011? If not, here's an NFL Network segment about it. Alternatively, you can dust off -- better yet, purchase! -- Football Outsiders Almanac 2011 to read about the oldest defense this century. Buried in our analysis was this sentence: "The planned lineup going into 2010 averaged 30.5 years of age, although the actual lineup for the season ended up averaging 29.5 years because Ziggy Hood replaced an injured Aaron Smith." The implications of that sentence is where we'll end our journey today, but let's start with a little bit of background on how to measure a team's average age.
NFL Moneyball – Is the Tight End the Position to Exploit? " No Fair Weather Fans
The biggest misconception I had about "Moneyball" was that I thought it was all about money. I am not a baseball fan and hearing about it from friends and media always seemed like a nice little story, but not something that would apply to football. The salary cap and spending floor/ceiling would be enough to keep teams from trying a similar system in the NFL. Of course, that was when I only saw Moneyball as a formula for spending money on your roster. Moneyball is really about exploiting the market.
Senior Bowl history: Game serves as annual springboard for NFL draft - SBNation.com
The Senior Bowl has helped springboard NFL careers since 1950, and especially more recently, with 52 participants from the last five years going on to be drafted in the first round.
Senior Bowl Day 3 takeaways: Top Running back - NFL.com
Day three of the Senior Bowl is in the books. Once again, I'm here to recap what you may have missed from the NFL Network coverage. You can also check out our recaps for day one and day two.
Senior Bowl Report: E.J. Manuel sets himself apart in Mobile while his mother recovers at home | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
It's tough enough to raise your draft stock at an All-Star week under the best of circumstances, but former Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel is doing so through Senior Bowl week with a lot on his mind back at home. While Manuel is looking good on the field and appearing poised in media sessions, his mother, Jackie, has been recovering from her final round of chemotherapy in a fight against breast cancer. Jackie Manuel was diagnosed before the 2012 college football season, and her son spent that season alternating between worrying about his mom and putting together a pretty impressive season for the Seminoles. Manuel told Alex Marvez of SIRIUS NFL Radio that his mother will undergo surgery on Feb. 1, and that he will spend a few days with her before resuming his training.
Senior Bowl: Wednesday prospect notes | National Football Post
Texas' Marquise Goodwin, Trufant, RBs, DEs...
Mike and Charlie: The player evaluation process
In light of the Senior Bowl, Mike O'Hara sits down with current Detroit Lions' assistant director of pro personnel and Hall of Fame tight end, Charlie Sanders, to find out what's the most important part of the player evaluation process.
Desmond Trufant's draft stock soaring; Ezekiel Ansah too raw? - NFL.com
Now that we are through three full days of Senior Bowl practices, it's time to single out a few players who have seen their draft stock rise or fall here in Mobile:
2013 Senior Bowl: Breaking Down The Practices in the Film Room | Articles | Draft
For the second year in a row, I (and Josh Norris) was able to get access to the "XOS Film Room", which does a fantastic job of compiling all of the video of practices for NFL teams at and after the Senior Bowl event.
Senior Bowl: Wednesday prospect notes | National Football Post
Texas' Marquise Goodwin, Trufant, RBs, DEs...
Senior Bowl Summary - Eight Players Who Struggled Most This Week | National Football Post
Russ Lande gives him thoughts on eight players who struggled the most at the Senior Bowl.
Senior Bowl Report: So far, the Denard Robinson experiment is a major work in progress | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
Well, we knew it was going to be a process. When former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson announced that he would enter the 2013 NFL Draft as a receiver, we knew it would take some time before Robinson, no matter how athletic he might be, would be able to show a comprehensive command of the position -- or even sparks of the ability to excel as a pass-catcher.
Senior Bowl Summary - Ten Players Who Shined The Most This Week. | National Football Post
Russ Lande offers his thoughts on 10 players who had a great week of practice at the Senior Bowl.
Ten observations from Senior Bowl week | National Football Post
Questions at QB, my top two DBs, talent at OT, Denard Robinson, the best barbecue in Mobile and more.
The Tape Never Lies: Looking at the top five offensive players to watch during the Senior Bowl | 100 Yards and Running | Blogs | theScore.com
There’s a meaningful game this weekend and it’s not the Super Bowl (duh) or the Pro Bowl. It’s the Senior Bowl, where many seniors (and a couple of juniors) will be showcasing their talents in front of scouts, hoping to get a shot in the pros. Because of the lack of NFL this weekend, the next two installments of The Tape Never Lies will feature five separate prospects from the offensive and defensive side of the ball that intrigue me and are worth monitoring as draft season approaches because of their potential at the next level. First, let’s start with the offense.
ProFootballWeekly.com - Iowa's Hyde looks forward to NFL draft
Hyde has good size for a cornerback at 6-foot-1 and just over 190 pounds, and he's got plenty of positive game film for scouts to pore over dating to 2009. But Hyde has a lot of work ahead of him over the next three months, so he's signed up with the TEST Football Academy in San Diego to prepare for the scouting combine and April draft.
ProFootballWeekly.com - Robinson adapting to new position at Senior Bowl
Denard Robinson's transition to wide receiver includes some new habits and adjustments.
Senior Bowl: South Practice - Day 3 | RookieDraft.com
The South practices have been a little less enthusiastic and there’s been less to glean from this team, as opposed to the North squad who got so much done earlier today that they let practice out nearly twenty minutes early.
2013 Senior Bowl: Thoughts on Day Four (South Practice) | NEPatriotsDraft.com - 2013 NFL Draft
Today was the last day of Senior Bowl practice and despite the players being in only helmets and shorts I was able to get pretty good notes, thanks to 7 on 7 passing drills as well as defensive line technique work.
2013 NFL Mock Draft: How Senior Bowl Is Affecting Draft Board | NEPatriotsDraft.com - 2013 NFL Draft
Many prospects have either moved up or down the 2013 NFL mock draft board this week as a result of their performance in practices at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Senior Bowl Notes
The final day of full pads practice is in the books as NFL teams begin the mass exodus from Mobile, Alabama. As they leave the buzz is filtering out who scouts liked as well as who they did not. Here’s a look.
NFL Draft 2013: Khaseem Greene prospect profile - SBNation.com
Greene may be the greatest defensive player in Rutgers history.
Senior Bowl 2013: Mike Glennon, Marquise Goodwin, Desmond Trufant standing out - SBNation.com
N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon, Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant are some of the top Senior Bowl performers.
Lane Johnson 2013 NFL Draft scouting report - SBNation.com
A complete breakdown of the Oklahoma offensive tackle.
Senior Bowl 2013: 'Denard Robinson, athlete' - SBNation.com
The former Michigan quarterback knows his role has to change for a shot at the NFL.
CAMPBELL: Zone-read option gets Super Bowl stage - Washington Times
Don’t let the Harbaugh brothers divert your attention from a coaching matchup that will have a greater effect on the final outcome of Super Bowl XLVII — or, as we might eventually remember it, the first Super Bowl of the Quarterback Zone Read Era.
Top 5 Bears with expiring contracts - Chicago Bears Blog - ESPN Chicago
Henry Melton, DT: The question isn't whether the Bears want to re-sign Melton; it's at what price. The Bears negotiated with Melton's camp during the regular season, but the two sides were unable to strike a deal. When that happens, it's for one of two reasons, or sometimes both: money and years. With a combined 13 sacks over the past two seasons and a team-high 24 quarterback pressures in 2012, Melton probably deserves to be one of the higher paid defensive tackles in the NFL, but that range can cover anywhere from $5 million to $6 million a year or more. Finding the right dollar amount is obviously important, and so is the length of the contract. The Bears' preference likely would be to sign Melton to a five-year deal, while he will no doubt be looking to commit to just four years so he can potentially reach free agency again around the time he turns 30. The franchise tag is always an option, but that mechanism, while collectively bargained in the NFL CBA, can lead to awkward and potentially messy situations. If the Bears want Melton badly enough, the two sides should be able to work out a deal. But keep in mind the Bears have several needs to address this offseason, and only so much salary cap space, so they can't overpay to keep just one player.
Dennis Dixon could be laying foundation for next phase of his career | ProFootballTalk
Dixon lobbied in December for the ability to run the scout team when Baltimore was preparing to play the Redskins and quarterback Robert Griffin III. Dixon is doing it again, as the Ravens get ready for Colin Kaepernick. So at what point does someone decide to give Dixon a chance to do in a game what he’s doing in practice? Perhaps soon, given that his former offensive coordinator at Oregon, Chip Kelly, is now the head coach of the Eagles.
Horton says he could have delivered Norv Turner to Cardinals | ProFootballTalk
"Unequivocally," Horton said regarding whether he could have delivered Turner. "All the way throughout the process. "His wife, Nancy, wanted to come here," Horton said. "Everybody was aware, I talked to Norv. His wife wanted to come here, they have a daughter in San Diego. They wanted to be close to home. They were excited about the possibility. He had worked with [quarterback] Kevin Kolb at the Senior Bowl."
Max Unger front and center
Seahawks center Max Unger grew up in Hawaii, so his "homecoming" as the starting center of the NFC squad for Sunday’s Pro Bowl is being celebrated by more than just his family and friends.
Mel Kiper's regrading of the 2012 NFL draft - ESPN
Summary: Give John Schneider and Pete Carroll all the credit in the world. I had major questions on value and even need with some of their picks, and in most cases, the Seahawks proved me wrong. At the time I wrote, "Let's be clear: I think the Seahawks drafted guys they really wanted, and with a plan in mind for how to use them." Did they ever. Russell Wilson might be the defining pick of the draft, already a star and a guy Seattle got at No. 75 overall. I really liked Wilson as a prospect, and said on the set I thought he'd be "a great test case" for short quarterbacks. My question of the pick also had to do with the fact that Seattle had acquired Matt Flynn. If Wilson had been 6-foot-2, I think he would have been a top-5 pick -- said it then, say it now. Is that evaluation still reasonable? Has Wilson proven that short QBs can't all be lumped together? Ultimately, evaluators will still have questions about whether short QBs can succeed because they simply have so few of them to evaluate. The sample size for guys at Wilson's size who've succeeded as he has is so small that not only is Wilson almost unique, I don't see a QB like him coming along for years. But there's no way around the fact that he was a great pick, perhaps the best of the draft when you consider where he was taken.
I also had questions about the value of Bobby Wagner at No. 47 overall, but he was a home run, an impact starter and a guy who will be a fixture for years to come. Robert Turbin, Jeremy Lane and Greg Scruggs also look like great picks. The one pick I really questioned then and still feel the same way about is Bruce Irvin at No. 15 overall. There's no question Irvin can rush the passer, but that's really all he can do, and I still don't see him as a good value at that spot because he's so one-dimensional. I wrote then, "I wouldn't be surprised if Irvin gets 10 sacks in 2012, but that's really his game. He's not a three-down player yet." He still isn't, and is a total liability against the run, as we saw against Atlanta in the playoffs. He finished with 8.0 sacks, but has plenty of development left if he wants to become more than a situational player. I think you want more of a complete player at that point in the draft. Still, this was an exceptional draft, a very good one in terms of immediate value and likely a defining one for the franchise based on Wilson alone.
New grade: A
Senior Bowl Report: North team players get one more chance to impress in unusual surroundings | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
As much as Senior Bowl week has become an official NFL function for all intents and purposes, and comes with many of the trappings that it entails, there are times when the practices become downright informal. So it was on Thursday morning for the North team. While the South team practiced at the usual friendly confines of Ladd-Peebles Stadium, the "Yanks" were shipped off to Fairhope Municipal Stadium a few miles away. The smaller but well-kept field is right in the middle of a park, so you'll see the odd dog-walker traversing around the disc golf course. Inside the stadium, however, it was business as usual. Ted Thompson of the Green Bay Packers and John Schneider of the Seattle Seahawks were catching up with the Oakland Raiders' coaching staff, in charge of the North team all week, and no doubt trying to get intel on the next great low-round steal, or shore up their own thoughts on that possible high pick.
Charles Haley offers sack tips to 49ers' Aldon Smith - NFL.com
When San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hit a dry spell, former 49er pass rush specialist Charles Haley had a few suggestions.
The NFL open market and Matt Flynn, part deux | Seahawks Blog | Seattle Times
Who wants Matt Flynn? ESPN’s Adam Schefter isn’t sure anyone does to be a starting quarterback. At least that’s what he said Wednesday on ESPN Radio in an appearance with Mike and Mike. We ask that question here in a more earnest fashion, trying to outline those teams that might have a desire to add Flynn.