Jul 10, 2009
It sure seems that every time we log onto to our computer over the past month or so there is another headline about the death of a celebrity. The list includes Bea Arthur, David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Billy Mays (he may not have been a celebrity, but his infomercials were entertaining), Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.
Unfortunately death did not escape the football world as former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was found shot to death this week. McNair who was a 1995 draft pick of the Houston Oilers was a big part of the teams identity as they moved to Tennessee and became the Titans. He spent a decade with the Titans before finishing his career with the Baltimore Ravens. During his 13 year NFL career McNair was always an upstanding citizen. He was a hard worker who often epitomized leadership and he frequently played through pain.
The fact that he always showed such good character as an employee of the NFL makes the details of his death extremely hard to believe. McNair was found shot in bed along with a 20-year old woman named Sahel Kazemi whom he apparently had been having an affair with. The death was ruled a murder / suicide as Kazemi shot McNair multiple times, before taking her own life. Many people including his wife, kids, friends, former teammates and fans were stunned by the details of his death. It is sad that this is the final memory that we will all have of “Air” McNair. This is a man who could have been an ambassador for the NFL for years to come, instead his life was taken too soon because of an extremely poor decision.
Ironically just a over a week ago the NFL wrapped up their annual Rookie Symposium, which is basically an orientation to the NFL that helps teach incoming players the Do’s and Don’ts of being a NFL player. Many young players have a hard time transitioning from being a college student to a millionaire celebrity. Sadly the death of Steve McNair has taught these players another huge lesson in decision making.
For this week’s NFL News and Notes segment the Bruno Boys will take a look at a few of the rookies that made headlines during the Rookie Symposium and study their potential fantasy football impact.
Michael Crabtree declares he will be ready for training camp
San Francisco 49ers first round draft pick wide receiver Michael Crabtree has been dealing with a stress fracture in his foot during the offseason and has yet to practice with the team, but reports are that he is progressing well. He has been running individual drills with the coaches without setback and he has stated that he will be ready for the start of training camp.
Crabtree has a chance to be a dynamic player in the NFL and has the making of a future fantasy football stud. His impact this season will greatly depend on how quickly he can get involved in team drills in training camp. The Bruno Boys currently have Crabtree ranked as the #40 wide receiver in our preseason rankings. If he gets into camp on time he is worth a late round flier as a WR4. He had 41 touchdowns in just two seasons in college and the 49ers will look for him to be a red zone target on a team that is pretty thin at wide receiver.
Stafford finds Lions offense familiar
Quarterback Matthew Stafford who was the number one overall pick by the Detroit Lions was quoted as saying that his new team’s offense looks familiar to him and that it is helping him get acclimated to his new playbook. He went on to say that the Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan uses a lot of the same concepts that his college team the University of Georgia uses, just with different names and that it is helping to make for an easy transition for him.
This is good news for the Lions who are coming off an 0-16 season and have not had a franchise quarterback since Bobby Layne over 50 years ago. Stafford currently ranks #33 on the Bruno Boys Quarterback Rankings as it appears that he will likely start the season behind Dante Culpepper on the depth chart. The Lions are in rebuilding mode and don’t have a need to rush their young quarterback, although new head coach Jim Swartz has said it will be an open competition for the starting job. Even if Stafford gets the starting job to start the season he shouldn’t be considered more then a low-end QB2 as the Lions will likely struggle once again this season.
Shonn Greene looking to make an impact with the Jets
Reports out of New York are that Jets coaching staff have labeled rookie running back Shonn Greene as a “fourth quarter back”. Greene is a strong back who likes to grind it out between the tackles, which could translate into him getting the ball in crunch time when the Jets are trying to run out the clock.
Greene is third on the depth chart behind Thomas Jones and Leon Washington, but the rookie is determined to make an impact any way he can and he has said he will do whatever the teams needs him to do to help them win. Greene is ranked as the #56 running back by the Bruno Boys, but he is worth keeping an eye on. He may be third on the depth chart in New York, but it appears that the Jets coaching staff will look for ways to get Green involved in the offense.
Browns look to line up Robiskie in multiple spots
Cleveland Browns rookie wide receiver Brian Robiskie has stated that the Browns coaching staff has had him lining up in multiple spots on the field in offseason workouts in order to have him ready to play all the different receiver spots. This is something Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has done with other guys as it helps him get a better read on a players abilities.
Robiskie was thought of by many as one of, if not the most polished wide receiver in this years draft. He has been around the NFL his entire life as his father Terry Robiskie is a former NFL running back and a current Atlanta Falcons assistant coach. Robiskie currently ranks as the #66 wide receiver in the Bruno Boys preseason rankings. He is worth a late round pick as he has a good chance to get significant playing time in his rookie year. Braylon Edwards is the only player on the Browns current roster with at least 30 receptions in a season. The team traded tight end Kellen Winslow to Tampa Bay during the offseason and wide receiver Donte Stallworth whom the Browns signed as a free agent is currently in jail and serving an indefinite suspension by the NFL for striking and killing a man with his Bentley this winter.