Tennessee Titans 2011 NFL Draft

The Titans had a miserable 2010 which is reflected in their no 8 pick. They desperately need to sort out their QB position, however with Gabbert and Newton likely gone, it will be interesting to see how they play it. A trade down to the mid teens would probably not be enough to guarantee picking up someone like Jake Locker,  so we think they will address their second biggest need which is a quality Cornerback. Here the choice would have to be Prince Amukamara with Jimmy Smith also being a posssible if he has gone. They could go Defensive End and Da’Quan Bowers despite his injury worries would not be too big a stretch.

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San Fransisco In The 2011 Draft at 7

On Paper San Fransisco looked a shoo in for the NFC West in 2010, but as Football is played on Grass or Turf and not paper, here they find themselves at no 7 in the 2011 draft. Most of their 2010 problems seemed to stem from the uncertainty at QB with the two Smiths vying for the coveted spot under centre. With Jim Harbaugh now head coach there is an argument for starting afresh with a new QB, However we think that he will give Alex Smith another chance and that will leave the 49ers free to address their biggest need by drafting DT Nick Fairley. Despite being 315lbs he managed a very impressive 40-Yard Dash in 4.90 and this expolsive speed will give some impact to a slightly lacklusture 49er pass rush.

If they pass up on Fairley or he has gone, they will be hoping that either Von Miller or Patrick Peterson is still available – either of which they would snatch without much thought, or they could go corner anyway and take Prince Amukamara who looks a slightly better prospect than the other possible 1st round Corner Jimmy Smith.  

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Cleveland Browns 2011 Draft

The Browns had an ok season in 2010 and in Colt McCoy may have unearthed their QB for the next 10 years. Given his lack of weapons and the poor O-Line in front of him his six TDs to nine interceptions can be forgiven and we think that the Browns should use their no 6 pick to give him someone to throw to. OK its a gamble having an inexperienced QB throwing to a rookie, but if they gel then the Browns will have the key part of a winning team for many years to come.

So we think they should go and grab either A.J.Green or if he is gone Julio Jones – at least one of them will be left. Will the Browns go this way, probably not given the management seem to love the defense and they could use a stud Defensive End, and no one would fit them better here than Robert Quinn, who can also fill in at OLB if needed. They do need an Inside Linebacker, however addressing this at pick 6 would be too rich and they should be able to fill this hole in the second round or possibly latter. Clemson star Da’Quan Bowers would have also came into the reckoning had he been injury free, however he is a bit if a risk at 6 given the knee problems.

So we think they should take a WR but they will probably go with Quinn.

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Arizona Cardinals 2011 Draft Options

After a couple of good seasons under the auspices of Kurt Warner the Cardinals reverted to type in 2010 ending up bottom of a very poor NFC West. Strangely for a team, who had such a poor season they look to have a reasonable squad, and with a couple of free agents and an inspired draft they could easily win the division in 2011.

Picking at 5 can be tough and it often leaves a choice of need or value. If the draft has went as expected the top two QBs will be gone and they will know that they could still get a Ryan Mallet or an Andy Dalton at 38. Thus there si no value in picking a QB at this stage and it will be almost impossible to trade down. They also seem quite keen on their encumberent QB John Skelton, who played ok in their last 5 games finishing with a 2-3 record.  So whos left who could fit the Cardinals needs?

Well in our opinion the value is Patrick Peterson and despite a Corner not being their most glaring need it will be hard for them to pass him up. Other options would include Von Miller in the event he was still available and possibly Anthony Castonzo or Tyron Smith who would both help protect Skelton if they continue with him.

Overall we expect them to go with Partick Peterson and in doing so have one of the leagues most talented set of corners.

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Cincinnati Bengals 2011 Draft Options

After a rare AFC North clean sweep in 2009, and with the arrival of T.O. expectations for last season were high, however as often happens the following season was a bust and here they are picking at No 4.

The Terrell Owens experiment doesn’t appear to have worked for them and with their only experienced WR Chad Ochocinco also looking unsettled things are not looking good at the Paul Brown Stadium.

Just top complicate matters long serving QB Carson Palmer has spat out his dummy and if he turns up for training in 2011 it will be to collect his bonus and not to put himself out for the team. We sympathise with Palmer who has not had the best of support and fully expect him to figure somewhere in the 2011 season (Arizona anyone?). However this leaves the Bengals looking decidedly short of firepower going into the new season, and with no clear indication on the timing of free agency they would be wise to sort this early in the draft.

WR wise they have some developing talent, with Andre Caldwell in particular showing some potential, so in our opinion addressing the QB position should be a priority, and either Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton would fit the bill nicely. Given we think Blaine gabbert will go at 1 our prediction is they will take Cam Newton

They have the 35th pick so they can get a WR then, and although Green and Jones will probably be gone there looks to be quite a bit of talent at this position this year so they should be able to pick someone up.

If they dont fill the QB role here then we expect they will grab A. J. Green.

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Lions to Appear on Monday Night Football for the First Time Since 2001

The Detroit Lions will host their first-ever Monday Night Football game at Ford Field this season in a division match-up with the Chicago Bears on October 10.

It will be the Lions’ first appearance on prime time since 2005 when they played a Sunday night game at Green Bay.

“Obviously we’re excited about it,” said Team President Tom Lewand. “First and foremost it’s a great testament to our team, to our players and what they accomplished at the end of the season and to our coaching staff.

“I think it’s also a testament to our fans in Detroit: the excitement and the enthusiasm that they showed for our team down the stretch last year and also for the hospitality they showed for the Giants and Vikings game that we hosted last year.”

The Lions last appeared on Monday Night Football in 2001 when they hosted St. Louis at the Silverdome.

This year’s game will have a Black and Blue feel with the Bears coming to town.

“Monday Night is special no matter who you’re playing and it always has been,” said Lewand.

“The Packers are the Super Bowl Champions, but the Bears still hold the crown for the division champion and the opportunity to get the chance to take them on for the first time next season at home on Monday Night football is certainly a special thing.”

The Lions’ other nationally televised game will also be a division match-up when they play host to the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day (November 24).

Full 2011 Detroit Lions Regular Season Schedule

Printable 2011 Schedule (PDF)

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Lions Annual Golf Tournament set for June 7th

Allen Park, Mich. — The Detroit Lions have announced the date for its annual spring fundraiser for Detroit Lions Charities (DLC), the Lions’ philanthropic foundation.  The 21st annual Detroit Lions (golf) Invitational will be held on Tuesday, June 7, at TPC Michigan in Dearborn.

The long-standing golf outing is one of the Lions’ major fundraisers that have helped DLC donate nearly $ 6 million to charity since 1991. Lions’ Head Coach Jim Schwartz will be the chairman for the event and will be joined by current and former Lions’ players, coaches and staff.

The Detroit Lions Invitational combines 18 holes of golf on one of Michigan’s outstanding courses with great food and the opportunity to bid on unique items through a silent auction. The outing concludes with an awards dinner featuring Coach Schwartz as guest speaker.  

The golf tournament is open to the public with sponsorship levels available.  For more information, contact Detroit Lions Community Affairs at 313-216-4171.

Sponsorships Form (PDF).

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Draft Spotlight: Andy Dalton

If you’re searching for experienced players in the 2011 NFL Draft, look no further than TCU’s proven winner at quarterback – the one who has set a record or two in his day.

Andy Dalton is an experienced pro prospect, a four-year starter and a Rose Bowl winner.

He’s TCU’s most prolific passer and that’s from surpassing famous alums like Davey O’Brien and Sammy Baugh in the record books. He went 42-7 in college and was a three-time bowl game MVP.

Because of his many intangibles, Dalton is one of the top quarterbacks being discussed in the upcoming draft. But he still feels like there are questions he needs to answer, mainly displaying improved arm strength.

Dalton mentioned the need to show teams his ability to make all the throw times on a few occasions during his combine press conference.

But those interested in acquiring Dalton’s services should take a long look at his winning percentage in addition to his throwing ability.

Dalton, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback, won often for the Horned Frogs, leading the non-BCS team to back-to-back BCS bowl game appearances.

Though Dalton experienced a difficult loss in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, he led his teammates to a perfect 13-0 season in 2010 which culminated in a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin.

“I was able to accomplish a lot during my time at TCU,” Dalton said. “There wasn’t a better way to end it than to win the Rose Bowl.”

He was at his best as a senior, BCS win included. Dalton set single-season school records, completing 66.1-percent of his passes and throwing 28 touchdown passes. His 2,857 passing yards were a personal best as well.

Such experiences give Dalton confidence that he can achieve similar success in the NFL.

“I understand the game really well,” he said. “I think it’s the way the offense was for me and TCU put a lot on me. I knew a lot which allowed them to put a lot on me.”

Besides mental capacity, Dalton believes his attitude allows him to be a winning quarterback.

“I can’t stand to lose,” the back-to-back Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year winner said. “All my hard work is to win ball games.”

It’s not surprising Dalton’s mindset intrigues the 49ers, who were represented at his pro day most prominently by coach Jim Harbaugh.

The new 49ers head man is quite familiar with the prospect, having coached against Dalton twice in college. Harbaugh’s Stanford teams lost both those games.

TCU’s rise as a football program was no coincidence. It was a direct reflection of the strides made by No. 14 under center.

“I’ve been put in every situation,” Dalton said. “Hopefully teams see that I’ve played in a lot of games and won a lot of them.”

But how much was Dalton under center? Not as often as most pro-style college offenses. However, it’s something he’s working to improve prior to the 2011 NFL Draft along with speed and arm strength.

Dalton knows there are areas of his game he can improve, but he’s not searching for criticisms from the media.

“I don’t read into any of that stuff,” he said. “Like you’ve heard for a long time, one team has to like you. It doesn’t matter who says what. I feel like I have a strong arm and can make all the throws. I’m not focused on that stuff that anyone is writing.”

Ever since he began his football career as the kicker on his sixth-grade team in Katy, Texas, Dalton has been passionate about the game of football. His experiences in college only cemented his love for the sport.

“I’ve had to go through a lot and I’ve grown a lot,” Dalton said. “I’ve had to handle some adversity.

“Nothing seemed new to me, so hopefully that will help with this whole transition.”

Dalton entered college as a 185-pound, wide-eyed local kid. He redshirted in 2006 and became the Horned Frogs starter for four seasons. Dalton’s play, combined with a top-ranked defense enabled TCU to become a national title contender in 2010.

But Dalton has moved on from the Rose Bowl glory and is entrenched in draft preparation. With so many teams in search of quarterback help, Dalton has been visiting with a large number of teams. It seems like everyone wants to know more about him.

Dalton’s optimistic he can showcase everything he’s worked on since the college season concluded.

“I’m going to do whatever it takes to win ball games and to be a winner and to push myself to be the best I can be,” he said. “That’s all I can do. If I can go out and be the best then that’s all I can do.”

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Lions Announce 2011 Preseason Schedule

Allen Park, Mich.—The Detroit Lions announced today their 2011 Preseason Schedule that includes the preseason opener vs. Cincinnati at Ford Field and a nationally televised home game vs. the New England Patriots on Saturday, August 27. The Lions will travel to Cleveland in Preseason Week 2 and complete the preseason at Buffalo.

In the 2011 preseason opener, Detroit hosts the Cincinnati Bengals (August 11-15). The Lions and Bengals met every year in the preseason from 1970-2001 and the rivalry was renewed in 2003, 2007 and 2008. The two teams have played a total of 35 preseason games, with the Bengals holding a slight 18-17 series edge. Detroit has won the last two preseason games the teams played. Overall, Detroit has won the last six home games that have opened their preseason (2003-04, 2006-09).

The Lions take to the road the following week (August 18-22) when they travel to face the Cleveland Browns. The Lions and Browns have faced off 41 previous times in the preseason and Detroit owns a 22-18-1 lead in the preseason series.

In Preseason Week 3, the Lions return to Ford Field for a nationally televised preseason game against the New England Patriots on Saturday, August 27 at 8 p.m., with the game airing on CBS (subject to local blackout). It will mark the seventh time the teams have matched up in the preseason with the last occurring in 2000 at the Silverdome. The Lions lead the preseason series 4-2.

Detroit closes out the 2011 Preseason when they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills (September 1-2). This year marks the 30th meeting between the Lions and Bills in the preseason, and they have squared off in the preseason each year since 2002. Detroit leads the series 17-11-1, including wins the past three years.

This year’s slate of preseason games includes the Lions three most common opponents since 1949: Cincinnati (35 games), Cleveland (41 games) and Buffalo (29 games).

Additional dates and times and individual game ticket information for Lions preseason home games will be announced at a later time.

PRESEASON

Date Opponent Network Time (ET)
August 11-15 CINCINNATI BENGALS WXYZ-TV ABC 7 TBA
August 18-22 at Cleveland Browns WXYZ-TV ABC 7 TBA
Saturday, August 27 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS CBS# 8:00 p.m.
September 1-2 at Buffalo Bills WXYZ-TV ABC 7 TBA


#Nationally Televised

WXYZ-TV ABC 7 TO AIR LIONS PRESEASON GAMES
In February, WXYZ-TV and the Detroit Lions announced a new broadcast partnership that will bring the excitement and energy of Lions football to a new and growing audience of fans during the upcoming 2011 season. The agreement, which incorporates unique, year-round programming and marketing initiatives, includes the following programming content on WXYZ various platforms:

  • Telecast of Lions preseason games and pregame shows in High-Definition TV
  • An exclusive one-hour weekly “live” pre-game show from Ford Field and all away games
  • Special Detroit Lions Training Camp updates
  • An April NFL Draft special
  • A regular season Monday night interview segment with Head Coach Jim Schwartz
  • A regular season Thursday night Detroit Lions player interview segment
  • Special Detroit Lions-oriented digital elements on wxyz.com and detroitlions.com

2011 LIONS SEASON TICKETS
Season tickets for 2011 are now on sale

  • 2010 Detroit Lions season tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling 313.262.2011 or visiting the team’s website, Detroitlions.com.

2011 LIONS HOME OPPONENTS

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49ers Announce 2011 Preseason Opponents

The San Francisco 49ers announced the team’s 2011 preseason opponents.

The 49ers open the preseason on the road in week one against the New Orleans Saints before returning home to host the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans. The team then travels south to face the San Diego Chargers in the preseason finale.

Times and dates of the 49ers games are yet to be determined and will be released as they become available.

Click here to purchase 2011 Season Tickets.

Preseason Week

Opponent

Network

Week 1 (Aug. 11-15)

@ New Orleans

CBS-5

Week 2

vs. Oakland

CBS-5

Week 3

vs. Houston

CBS-5

Week 4

@ San Diego

CBS-5


SCHEDULE NOTES

SAINTS

  • It marks the first time the 49ers will play a preseason game in New Orleans.
  • The 49ers and Saints have met only twice during preseason play. In 1967, the Saints defeated the 49ers, 24-10, in a game played in Portland, OR. San Francisco evened up the preseason series with a 27-12 victory in 2003 at Candlestick Park.


RAIDERS

  • The 49ers and Raiders all-time preseason series is tied at 19.
  • It marks the 11th consecutive year in which the two teams have met in the preseason.
  • The 49ers defeated the Raiders, 28-24, in Oakland in 2010.
  • The 49ers hold an 11-8 preseason series lead over the Raiders when playing at Candlestick Park.


TEXANS

  • It marks the first preseason game between the 49ers and Texans.


CHARGERS

  • San Diego leads the all-time preseason series 20-19.
  • It marks the 24th preseason matchup in San Diego, with the Chargers holding a 16-7 series lead at home.

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