Sean Tomlinson

Recent Posts

peyton wave2

The only thing worse than figuring out how to start a goodbye post is settling on something poetic, and filled with more cornball sauce than one can possibly tolerate. And even worse than that is writing about how to write your goodbye post as you’re writing it.

Thankfully, this isn’t a goodbye post. Phew.

It’s a public service announcement of sorts because it’s moving day around here. In the larger, broad Internet sense, I’m not going anywhere. I just won’t be here specifically, with all content moving over to our fancy new author pages, which is where you’ll also be able to find Alen Dumonjic‘s tape guru work.

You’ve likely noticed that since last summer the format here has changed, and we’ve gone from being news-based and pumping out bundles of quick-hitting posts daily, to instead focusing on more in-depth work, taking the time to explore ideas and concepts surrounding the game of football. The reaction to news hasn’t at all gone away, but now there’s time to be more nuanced.

Officially this is the final post for 100 Yards and Running (previously Goal-Line Stand), and the last time you’ll see new content under the banner above, with all the old content that’s given you smiles and me sweats archived and staying here. Also officially: that same content will be available in a fresh, shiny, and new location.

So come on over. Draft season is heating up now, and the 2014 NFL schedule will be announced tonight. Before you know it late July will be here, with training camps opening and a glorious new NFL season upon us. The league calendar will keep flipping away, I’ll keep writing, and you’ll keep reading.

clowney wave2

As mock draft machines continue pumping out scenarios with May 8 mercifully almost two weeks away, there’s an important fact to remember: the draft board in its current form is a filthy lie.

Since the introduction of the rookie wage scale through the 2011 CBA, trading up to grab the draft darling of your choosing has been far more affordable. Last year that resulted in eight trades on the opening night of the draft, and the 2012 draft was utter chaos. Including the trade that eventually landed Washington Robert Griffin III two years ago, only four of the top 10 picks were used by their original owners.

The constant jostling for the right player and draft value throws more mud on a process that’s already pretty dirty and difficult to predict. There are always trading hot spots, with some obvious and others not so much. As I see it there are five right now, and they’re driven by the likelihood of a falling quarterback (or falling quarterbacks), and Jadeveon Clowney lust.

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blaine Gabbert2

As a draft filled with uncertainty at the position approaches, there are lessons to be learned from the profiles of (relatively) recent quarterback busts.

Here are their stories.

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sammy watkins2

Sammy Watkins and Eric Ebron have something in common. Not physically — one is a secondary busting wide receiver, and the other is a much bulkier (though still fast) tight end. But they could both share some rarely occupied draft space in 17 days.

Ebron is likely a top 10 pick, and last week I looked at how much of a relic even the top 20 tight end has become. Over the past 15 years, only four players at Ebron’s position have cracked that glass ceiling. They were so far ahead of their peers that a far higher draft investment was deemed not only safe, but essential.

Watkins is about to join even more exclusive company, surrounded by mostly generational talents. No biggie.

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khalil mack2

The truth is an elusive animal in late April around the NFL kingdom, a prized commodity few are motivated to share. Each year the posturing prior to the draft is rooted in deception, with the gamesmanship coming through leaked rumors meant to divert attention away from the real course of action.

That makes for a turbulent and blurry time. It’s all in good fun for you, the league viewer and consumer, because the rumor business is what drives the draft, along with the stereotypical finger guns blazing image of a general manager fleecing his peers. Kevin Costner forever.

Two extra weeks have made the rumor mud slinging even longer and greasier this year, and we’re about to enter the heart of it. The proverbial “how do you separate the signal from the noise?” isn’t the right question here. No, instead go with this: is there a signal at all?

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terrell davis2

The ’90s were a wonderful time in our lives. I fondly remember a weird blue hedgehog thing, a dance that looked like a circular convulsion, and devices that played actual CDs in your pocket.

I also have glowing memories of NFL happiness, and the various ways glee was expressed. The younger folk amongst us may not remember a time long ago when the NFL allowed real fun and individuality to exist on the field. But it happened, and it was glorious.

So come with me, and let’s pass the time on this default Friday afternoon by remembering the best touchdown dances of the ’90s.

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chris Johnson run2

Chris Johnson can be annoying. It’s annoying when he shuffles and scans in the backfield, blatantly missing an open running lane. It’s annoying when he slams into the hind regions of his offensive linemen, gaining something between little and nothing. And it’s annoying when he wastes his still game-busting speed.

But Chris Johnson can also give you — the viewer, the coach, or the general manager — a wide football smile. Even during a 2013 season when he averaged a career low 3.9 yards per carry, Johnson still sporadically found a way to go kaboom when given an opportunity in space, with two catches for 40 yards or more. That may sound meager and meh, but despite all the yardage he’s accumulated throughout his career and a 2009 season when he set the record for yards from scrimmage, two of Johnson’s five career +40 yard catches came in one year.

That’s an isolated example of his burst, and an intentional one. At this point in the career of a running back who turns 29 next September with 2,014 touches to his name, avoiding the annoying Johnson while harnessing the speedy Johnson is all about isolation. As a free agent he needed to land in a situation where the workload could be spread, and his legs would be kept fresh and optimized.

He needed to land with the New York Jets.

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