Safety DeJon Gomes has an excellent opportunity in front of him and it would help both him and the Redskins if he could take advantage of it.A fifth-round pick in last years draft, Gomes played enough to get his feet very wet in 2011. He appeared in 15 games, getting in on defense in eight of them. Gomes first start came in Week 11 against the Cowboys and he played 74 of the 77 defensive snaps, posting seven tackles, three assists, and two quarterback hurries.He started the last four games of the season, playing 122 of 249 snaps. Gomes never did match the solid performance he turned in during that Dallas debut but his play was passable for a rookie.This year, starting safeties LaRon Landry and O. J. Atogwe are gone. However, Gomes play was not good enough to cause the Redskins to immediately promote him to the starting job. The team brought in free agents Tanard Jackson, Brandon Meriweather, and Madieu Williams and drafted Jordan Bernstine in the seventh round. It will be a challenge for Gomes to make the team and to get as much playing time as he did last year.It seems a good bet that Jackson, who played for defensive backs coach Raheem Morris in Tampa Bay, will get one of the starting safety jobs. Meriweather might be penciled in for the other one at this point in time but Gomes, Williams, and Reid Doughty will all have an opportunity to knock him out of the job before training camp is over.Since the NFL lockout wiped out the offseason program last year, Gomes needs to take full advantage of it this year. He has looked fine during OTAs but, as Mike Shanahan always says, you cant judge running backs or safeties until they put the pads on. That wont happen until training camp starts in late July.He will be one to watch during training camp. If Gomes can build on what he learned last year during the offseason this year and put everything together in August he has a chance to get a lot of playing time and perhaps even start a lot of games.Even if Gomes cant nail down a starting job in 2012 he could prepare himself to get one next year. Williams, Meriweather, and Jackson all signed one-year contracts and none of them is necessarily considered to be a long-term solution. If Gomes can be a solid role player this year he could set himself up well for the future.That would be good not only for Gomes but for the team. They will be operating with a reduced salary cap next year and if they can fill a starting job with a player who is making around the third-year minimum salary of 630,000 they will have more money to work with elsewhere.
Is it crazy to give a quarterback who threw for more than 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns last season the same MVP odds as a guy who went 0-3 in three starts and tossed just four scores in 2015?
According to the sportsbook Bovada.lv, no, it's not crazy at all. So that's why, when looking at their opening odds for the 2016/17 NFL MVP, you'll find Kirk Cousins right next to Mark Sanchez, with both signal callers listed at a long 150/1.
Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Tannehill, David Johnson, Alshon Jeffrey, Le'Veon Bell and Sam Bradford also check in at 150/1. Some of those names, like Jeffrey and Bell, should makes Redskins fans feel good, since they're both premier players at their position. But others, such as Sanchez and Bradford? Yeah, not so much.
The top five guys most likely to win the award are Aaron Rodgers (4/1), Ben Roethlisberger (7/1), Cam Newton (15/2), Russell Wilson (8/1) and Tom Brady (9/1). Meanwhile, if you squint hard enough, you can see Robert Griffin III near the bottom of the list at 250/1.
Not that this reminder is necessary, but here's a reminder anyway: Anything can happen in this league, so these rankings are not the be-all and end-all. Last year, for instance, Newton had 50/1 odds of being named MVP, and then he went out and did it anyway.
So, with that in mind, while Cousins is no favorite, perhaps his loaded arsenal of targets can help him claim the valuable piece of hardware. The NFL is a wild place, after all — but still probably not wild enough for Sanchez to rise to the top of the sport, which is why him landing next to Cousins hurts more than a little bit.
Longtime Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green died on Friday morning from complications stemming from a cardiac arrest.
He was 67.
Green spent ten seasons as the Vikings head coach, amassing a 97-62 record which included four NFC North titles, eight playoff appearances and one NFC Champuionship game appearance.
After taking a break from coaching, he returned in 2003 to coach the Cardinals, spending three years at the helm, finishing with a 16-32 record.
Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington was lined up across from Smith-coached offenses throughout much of his career.
As a former Penn State Nittany Lion, Arrington had much respect for Green, a Harrisburg, Penn. native and former coach at Northwestern, a fellow Big Ten school.
Green was one of the NFL's great people and great characters.
While he will always be remembered for his most-game meltdown after the Cardinals blew a 20-point lead to the Bears in a Monday Night Football game in 2006, Green's lasting memory will be his commitment to respecting the game and teaching it the right way.
For a franchise that's known for assembling some incredibly stout defenses throughout its history, the Steelers have recently constructed an offense with a surplus of talent all over the depth chart.
But that offense was dealt a major blow Friday morning.
Le'Veon Bell, the team's star running back who in just three seasons has become one of the league's most feared players, is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy, according to ESPN. The reason for the penalty, though, isn't because he failed a test, it's because he missed one.
The appeal process is reportedly still going on, but if Bell doesn't win that process, he'll miss the first quarter of the 2016 schedule.
While the news obviously hurts the Steelers, it benefits the Redskins.
Washington is hosting Pittsburgh in the season opener on Sept. 12, and its run defense wouldn't mind seeing No. 26 on the sidelines in a sweatshirt during the matchup. The Black and Gold do still have the very capable DeAngelo Williams — who rushed for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015 while filling in for an injured Bell — plus the always dangerous Antonio Brown, but their unit will of course be less threatening without its top tailback.
ESPN reports that Bell's appeal date hasn't been determined yet, but it should be heard before any meaningful football starts. He was also suspended for the first two contests last year following an arrest for a DUI and marijuana possession that occurred in August 2014.