It’s tough to be recognized as a good player on a bad team. A year ago, Johnathan Joseph was viewed as one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and now he is rarely mentioned. He’s still playing well, however, attacking the football with his usual prowess and sticking on receivers like glue. The Jaguars’ receivers know this and are going to have their hands full tonight like they did a couple of weeks ago with Joseph. In that game, he showed why he continues to be one of the better cornerbacks in the league.
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under Houston Texans, The Tape Never Lies on Dec 05, 2013
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under San Diego Chargers, The Tape Never Lies on Dec 04, 2013
The signs were there. He played in the weak MAC conference. He was one dimensional. He was callow. He had stretches of production-less play. Worst of all, he was prone to the trainer’s table. But the Chargers still selected Larry English with their 16th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, thinking they’d just acquired a top-flight pass-rusher that they could team with Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips.
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under The Tape Never Lies on Nov 28, 2013
It’s been a tough three years for the Ravens’ Jimmy Smith. The plus-sized cornerback has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. He’s made back-to-back big plays in a goal-line stand to propel his team to a Super Bowl and been beaten like a drum to prevent his team from winning a game. But now more than halfway through his third season, Smith is starting to become the player the team envisioned him to be when they selected him in the first round of the 2011 draft.
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under Kansas City Chiefs, The Tape Never Lies on Nov 27, 2013
It was the winter of 2009 when Scott Pioli was given the keys to the Kansas City Chiefs’ storied franchise. It had endured a tumultuous 2-14 season and like any other bad team, it had a myriad of issues. One of those issues was a struggling defense.
It had given up nearly 28 points per game, good for 29th in the NFL, and needed a new direction. Pioli, previously a longtime New England Patriots VP of player personnel, knew what a good defense looked like. He’d worked under one of the greatest defensive masterminds ever in Bill Belichick at various stops since the early 90s and saw many top notch gameplans. Unsurprisingly, Pioli went the route that Belichick did, installing a sturdy two-gap, 3-4 defense instead of continuing the lax one-gap, 4-3 defense that the Chiefs had been playing in the years prior.
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under Ryan Tannehill, The Tape Never Lies on Nov 22, 2013
Ryan Tannehill sat in front of a television screen that read ANTICIPATION in bold white letters. This was quarterback camp with Jon Gruden, who was sitting parallel on the left side the squared glass table. Gruden was grilling him about his ability to lead receivers to the ball on national television. Was he good enough at it to justify being considered as highly of a prospect as peers Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III?.
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under Oakland Raiders, The Tape Never Lies on Nov 20, 2013
Matt McGloin wasn’t supposed to be starting last Sunday. He sure as hell wasn’t supposed to be throwing touchdowns. He was the fourth option for the Raiders this past summer, after Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor and Tyler Wilson. But he beat out Wilson and then beat out Flynn for a roster spot. Then Pryor got injured. Now it’s McGloin’s time, and he didn’t disappoint.
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under Carolina Panthers, The Tape Never Lies on Nov 15, 2013
It hasn’t even been two years and they’re already talking about No. 59 as the league’s best linebacker. No. 59 is Luke Kuechly, of course. He’s the leader of the Panthers’ rejuvenated defense, one that struggled mightily last season but has come together to become stout this season. A big reason why is Kuechly, who has raised his play to another level against the run and pass, especially the latter.