HK 7 on 7: 2018 Season Preview

Discussion in 'Hard Knocks' started by JFace907, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. JFace907

    JFace907 Ron F'n Swanson

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    Here at the Hard Knocks Periodical we like to span the league and take the temperature on various topics the league has given us. Today we grabbed 7 journalists and asked them 7 questions. We look to get their hot takes and maybe even some insight on the team they make a living covering. Today we asked them to peek into their crystal ball and give us a preview of the 2018 system.

    The 7 journalists joining us in this edition are…

    Emmitt Smith – Dallas Times-Union (Dallas, TX)
    Chip Dawson – The Bumblebee Tuna Report (Atlanta, GA)
    Immanuel Alva – The Burgh Report (Pittsburgh, PA)
    Doug Prishpreed – Philly Daily News (Philadelphia, PA)
    Ralph Barton – Carolina Tribune (Charlotte, NC)
    Les Wins – Arizona Republic (Glendale, AZ)
    Shiloh Stintson – New York Post (New York, NY)


    EDITOR’S NOTE: Questions were sent to journalists in middle of Week 1 and had until Week 2 conclusion to answer. Timeliness of stats may vary


    1. Even after winning it all Big Ben has decided to comeback for another season. Is he going to regret the decision?

    Emmitt Smith : Yes and No. On one hand I see him guiding the Steelers back into the playoffs, as a wildcard team. Yet, I think the league has so much parity it will be too difficult to repeat, so in my opinion Big Ben should have road off into the sunset with his last SB title.

    Chip Dawson : Absolutely not, as long as Ben has that Steelers defense with all that speed to keep him on the field, the Steelers has a great chance of going back to back like a Drake diss. I called Big Ben the MVP in week 12 of last season and I was not far off because he was last seen hoisting up the Lombardi trophy.

    Immanuel Alva : If week 1 is any indication, yes, Big Ben will be dreaming about Par 3’s for the entirety of the season. The crutch that comes with being a Super Bowl Champion is having the target on your back, as well as a difficult schedule. Not only do the Steelers compete in a division that is out for one another's throats, but they have bit matchups against New Orleans, Buffalo, Houston, and Carolina. All playoff run contenders with tough defenses. However, we saw him face an onslaught of defensive juggernauts in the playoffs with wins over the Jets, Bills and the SB against Washington, so there is no doubt Roethlisberger can handle it. If Ben and the Steelers organization can handle the pressure of being defending champs, Roethlisberger should have a solid, not great, season to ride off into the sunset.

    Doug Prishpreed : He's going to regret it. Who doesn't want to go on top with one final Super Bowl victory? Ben should have taken a page out of The Bus' playbook and do as he once did. He could have done the team a real big favor a cleaned up a big chunk of the salary. I believe he’s only going down the hill now. I hope you prove me wrong, Big Boy!

    Ralph Barton : It's already been a less-than-stellar start for the reigning Super Bowl champs, with Big Ben throwing 6 picks. I think he'll come to regret his decision as the season goes on. Going out on top is what every player dreams of, but Big Ben seems to be testing his luck by staying around.

    Les Wins : I think so. Rarely do all-time great players have that chance to ride out into the sunset with a title. Of course Ben can still play, and the Steelers will again contend for the AFC crown. Unfortunately, the reality of the sport is this game is very unforgiving The chance to go out on top most likely won't be there again for Big Ben. More likely to be an 8 interception drubbing in a wild card game.

    Some heroes go out like Rocky...most go out like Apollo Creed.

    Shiloh Stintson : I don't think so because Ben still has LeVeon Bell, the "REAL MVP" of the HK last year. When you have someone you can hand off the ball 25-30 times a game and he becomes a huge threat anytime he touches the ball, it makes it easier as a QB. But it's just odd that Ben didn't want to go out as a Super Bowl champion. There's only a few that get that opportunity and it may or may not be something he regrets. To me he won't...that Steelers team is STACKED.

    2. Rams ownership executed their move to Los Angeles, but in a surprising move quickly sold the team to the “Hollywood Cowboy.” How will the Rams do in their first season in LA?

    ES : The Rams made some big moves during the "Hollywood's Cowboy" 1st offseason in LA. While I see them competing for a playoff spot, that division is solid and I think it will be too hard to overcome the Cardinals as Kaep takes over the keys to the Honda MG has built.

    CD : The jury is still out on the direction of the new LA Rams, however, it is off to the right start with a win in week one.

    IA : The Rams new ownership made a lot of trades and moves this offseason with an already talented roster. They got the job done in Week 1 against a very good Bears team, but seemed to have some nerves in their debut. I don’t think there will be a playoff run in the immediate future, unfortunately.

    DP : They have a good start to the season, but I can't see it lasting. The roster is there, but I still see one more season to go before this team makes a playoff run.

    RB : Bob has already made some crucial moves with the Rams, trading star receiver AJ Green to Miami. I see the Rams struggling in their first season as they get acclimated to a division that is possibly the toughest in the league. I predict a .500 team for the new Los Angeles Rams

    LW : I think they will do well. New ownership has a great understanding of the game and has great insight into what it takes to be a winner. They are much better off then before. The Rams willed themselves to a title in spite of their owner previous. "Hollywood Cowboy" beats "DSL Mummy" every time. *POW POW POW*

    SS : It's weird seeing the now "Hollywood Cowboy" now in LA, strutting his stuff in the hot summer breeze out there. The Rams will do fine because they have still IMO the best QB in the league in Aaron Rodgers. He still has Todd Gurley, a beast in the backfield and despite trading AJ Green away, he still has two young WR's in Donte Moncrief and Jordan Matthews. That defense still has the big time components like Donald, not to mention the great draft to overhaul their LB corps. The Rams will be one to look out for this year.

    3. We’ve seen a bit of parody in the NFC sending 3 different teams to the Super Bowl. Who are some early contenders to be that 4th team?

    ES : When you mention contenders one team is always mentioned for obvious reasons, the Washington Redskins. Aside from them in the NFC I would go with the New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, and Arizona Cardinals. As far as the AFC goes I would put the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, and of course the reigning champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the equation.

    CD : I think Green Bay. Green Bay has really good talent on the defensive side of the ball and I like some of the moves they made for that side of the ball. One thing that wouldn't surprise me is your very own Dallas Cowboys. They have a new owner over there that is not a stranger to getting it done

    IA : Well, apart from the usual suspects of Carolina and Washington, I think a couple teams to look out for are the New Orleans Saints and the Dallas Cowboys are poised to make a run at a playoff spot.

    DP : Without being too biased.. I believe the new ownership of the Eagles will skyrocket this team out of mediocrity. Spraynard Taargus III, who used to play Left Tackle for the Eagles, has the know-how to win. This will be the breakout season for "The Reverend" Jessie Jackson at quarterback.

    RB : If I had to pick a 4th team to continue the NFC's trend, I think it could be the Cowboys. With their stone wall defense and a strong running attack, Dallas may just have the formula to make some noise in the playoffs and possibly get their first Super Bowl appearance in over 20 years.

    LW : I think the Seattle Seahawks are due. They are the only team in the NFC West to not win a division title within the past 3 seasons, and they still have their core group together. I think they know their window is closing and the time is now.

    Another NFC team I would keep my eye on is the Chicago Bears. A questionable hire bringing in Coach Sporty that was absolutely lambasted by the Chicago media has turned into a fun storyline moving forward. They have an elite offense with three great receivers (White, Jeffrey, Janis) and a young hotshot QB in Linder. They are ready to make Chicago forget about the '85 Bears and start Superbowl shuffling again!

    SS : Eh gun to my head, the Rams. Just because they have one of the more complete teams in that conference. The other choice would be the Vikings, except they really didn't improve their team. They are bringing almost the same team from last year and that may not be enough to dethrone any of the other teams that made the playoffs. And yes I’m cheating because the Rams theoretically won the SB two seasons ago but it's a new coach and new style, so sue me...it's a new philosophy and era in LA...

    4. Speaking of 3 different teams, the NFC West has now sent every team to the playoffs at least once since 2014. That happened to be the last time the Seahawks made it. Can the Seahawks realistically keep with the pattern and punch a ticket to the postseason?

    ES : The Seahawks have built a solid team loaded with talent. The biggest obstacle has to be the division. It's so competitive out in the NFC west any of the four teams can win the division, so with that being said I can definitely see Seattle making a postseason splash if they can hold Their own in division play.

    CD : Well of course. Seattle is capable, I mean it can get tough with the new direction of the Hollywood Cowboy festering in the division, owner MG and his staff are no slouches, and the Niners are bound to get hot at any time

    IA : It really depends on what team shows up for Seattle. That division likes to beat one another up, and this year will be no different. I believe this race will come down to San Francisco and Seattle. Arizona picked up Gronkowski, but got rid of a great safety in Deone Bucannon. That NFC West is going to throw the ball a lot, and I believe missing Bucannon will prove itself. Los Angeles may just not be ready this year after the moves they made, the change of scenery and ownership moves.

    DP : I do believe they will be able to. I find it hard to realistically see them winning the division in a real tough NFC West. I think Seattle will be there with a wildcard spot.

    RB : The Seahawks have one of the most talented rosters in the league but also have the misfortune of playing in the most competitive division in the league. I may cover this team for a living, but I don't see them making the playoffs this year.

    LW : As previously stated, I really think they can. They still have dangeRuss. They still have the LOB. The challenge is if they can finally figure out their inter-division rivals. They should have a nice shot of finally overcoming the Cardinals now that they have a new head coach and seem to be off to a bad start. The 49ers and Rams both are great teams on paper but I feel the Seahawks match up well.

    Some people are ready to bury the Seahawks. I am not, and Coach JFace knows it is now or never. I think they can realistically sneak a division title at 9-7.

    SS : They could but they have to take down the Rams. The Cards are in disarray, I think that Colin Kaepernick move may turn out to be a bad move for them...that guy just isn't a good HK QB. The Seahawks just need to keep it simple. Run the ball, play ball control, and work that defense.

    5. Who had the best offseason when combining trades, free agent signings, and draft success?

    ES : I like what the Dallas Cowboys done with the offseason. Trading Tyron Smith and still having quite possibly the best O-line in the league. Smith turned in to WR Brandan Hester an 80 ovr red zone target, a 1st from the Chargers next yr, all-pro LG Duane Brown, 2nd next yr, 3rd next yr. So big things yet to come there. While in free agency they added starting LBer Nico Johnson, and TE Marcellus Bennett.

    CD : I think the Miami Dolphins are off-season winners. Not much talent and direction on that team and under the new direction they were able to get some quality linebackers, a shutdown corner, Bret Hundley a QB to fit their system which also did well under the ownership of Coach III his one year in Green Bay and AJ Green.

    IA : It is too early to tell, but a lot of teams made a ton of trades and moves, while others stuck with their roots. I like what the Bengals did. They improved their defensive front seven after struggling with stopping the run last year. It was no secret that their offense was deemed “boring”, although that was done by some of the softest minds in the league. They went out and brought Dri Archer, an explosive player, back to the AFC North, as well as added three new receiving targets for QB Scott Morris in Doug Baldwin and drafted one of the most sought after WRs in USC’s Phillip Small and speedy TE Mason Milton. The tools are there in Cincinnati, now can the coaching staff get the most out of it?

    DP : I like the Packers' trading for Sheldon Richardson. I like Arizona getting Gronk. I think the Rams and the Falcons had a hugely successful draft. I think the Eagles did well. Started off by signing a Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram to form a three-headed monster with Tre Mason. Then drafting a corner to start alongside Pro bowler David Scott and to replace the aging Maxwell. They also drafted a very shifty slot receiver in the second who will be a handful this season. Just to top it off, they traded for two new pieces to improve a poor offensive line.

    RB : To me, 3 teams stood out the most in terms of free agent signings: the Dolphins, the Bengals, and the Packers.

    The Dolphins added Brett Hundley and AJ Green to solidify their offense and both acquisitions have already seemed to pay dividends.

    The Bengals, on the other hand, made most of their moves on defense, adding some quality players along their front 7 and some starting-caliber players at wide receiver in Doug Baldwin and rookie Phillip Small.

    The Packers made perhaps the biggest splash of them all as they acquired Tyrann Mathieu, Sheldon Richardson, and wide receiver Calvin McElroy to make them into a more well-rounded squad.

    LW : I liked what the Patriots did solidifying their secondary through free agency (FS Revis), trade (SS Bucannon) and draft (1st round rookie CB LeVeon Griffin). That was a team with a crazy amount of offense that needed to make moves to help stop the pass. When you have Julio Jones and Dez Bryant, who needs Gronk? The Patriots are fully loaded now and have no excuses. The AFC East will be one of the most competitive divisions in football, but I feel anything short of a playoff bid is a disappointing season for New England.

    SS : The Patriots had an interesting offseason. I wasn't on board with them trading Gronk but I'm guessing he was more of a luxury with two beasts on the outside in Dez and Julio. And they did shore up their secondary with getting SS Deone Buchanon back in the deal. They signed Revis to play safety and he'll be a pure ballhawk back there despite him losing his youthful speed. He still can ball. They also grabbed Newsome to rush the passer and he's a super fast kid who may rack up 10-15 sacks this season. They also drafted a Edleman clone in Wes Marsh to work the slot. The Patriots will be a force this season.


    6. Speaking of the draft, who is a player on each side of the ball to put on our Rookie of the Year award watch?

    ES : For defensive rookie of the year I'm going to go with top cb Marquis Elmore. He was the top cb on most teams draft boards and he went to a team in the Miami Dolphins that will play to his strengths. As far as offensive rookie of the year, I have to go with Rannell Keith of the Kansas city Chiefs. Top HB on everyone's board who fell out of the top 15. Going to be Jamal Charles replacement and I'm going to go out on a limb and say they don't miss Charles at all.

    CD : Offense: Tampa Bay: WR: Vasty Charles Defense: CB: Marquise Elmore

    IA : I’d like to think HB Rannell Keith will eventually get the starting role in Kansas City and have a breakout year. I was surprised to see him not get the workload in Week 1. Unless that changes, I like HB Deron Ingram in Washington and WR Phillip Small in Cincinnati. Defensively, I think you have to put some stock early in the CBs, especially Elmore and Lamb. Look for Houston’s Evan James to be another playmaking rookie for the Texans.

    DP : Keshawn Tracy, OLB on Chicago will I think be the one to watch on the defensive side of the ball. Rannell Keith is the best running back I've seen coming out of the draft in a long time. He's a rare blender of speed, quickness, and power. He'll be going through you if he doesn't make you miss at first.. He deserves the rock in Kansas City.

    RB : On offense, I'm going to have to go with the aforementioned Phillip Small. Small went over 100 yards and scored once in his debut and those numbers will only increase as he gets more comfortable in Cincinnati's offense.

    LW : Offensively, I think an overlooked young player who will makes waves is tight end Tyronne Lee out of Texas. The Panthers snagged Lee with the 30th pick in the draft and what a steal he will turn out to be. I think his speed at the position works towards that offenses strengths at finding mismatches and confusing the defense. I expect him to have a big season working next to and learning from Greg Olsen and is my dark horse for OROTY.

    On the defensive side of the ball, I think the clear favorite is Keorris French out of Appalachian State. The LA Rams selected him with the 4th overall pick, making him one of the highest 1AA players every taken in the NFL draft. He is going to anchor the middle of that defense for the next decade and I expect him to be near the top of the league in tackles, tackles for loss and interceptions compare to his peers at linebacker come season end.

    SS : Redskins RB Deron Ingram. Looks like he's going to be the feature back and he's going to be a monster.

    On defense, I'll choose whatever rookie the Texans have...that seems to be a safe bet there.

    7. In prediction sure to go wrong style, give us the two teams in February battling it out for the Lombardi Trophy. If you’re feeling froggy enough, go ahead and give us a winner while you’re at it.

    ES : I'm going to go with the Buffalo Bills vs. the Arizona Cardinals. Yes I know, I know mg doesn't win playoff games. But this is the year he breaks the curse and gets to the HK Super bowl. Arizona will lead the entire game until late in the 4th when the bills will take the lead for good. Final BuF-38 Ari 28

    CD : New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys

    IA : Buffalo v Washington with the Redskins finally breaking the snide.

    DP : I'll go Jets v Panthers with the Jets hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end.

    RB : I know I mentioned the Cowboys before as a possible NFC pick, but I think this will be the season we see a repeat team in the Super Bowl. I can't see any team other than the Redskins making it to the Super Bowl again. Give me the Buffalo Bills from the AFC, but I expect to see Washington hoisting the Lombardi Trophy when it's all said and done.

    LW : The way I see it, there will be some new blood in the title game this year. Lets pretend the Steelers, Jets, Bills, Saints, Redskins and 49ers don't exist.

    Give me the Houston Texans, led by AJ Gates and young QB Wes Webb facing off against the ferocious Carolina Panthers.

    Panthers start slow but force some turnovers late and a 20-yard scamper by Superman Cam with under 30 seconds left dooms the Texans. 37-34.

    SS : Redskins and Bills, I'll take the Skins to win, 34-27
     
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  2. JFace907

    JFace907 Ron F'n Swanson

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  3. Cimmy24

    Cimmy24 Candy Ass Self

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    Uhm, HELLO.... BobJr .... Our MONEY?!!??!?
     
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  4. Coach_III

    Coach_III DAWGS

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    Yes please
     
  5. _MG_

    _MG_ Watching Folks Swim

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    ^^^^^this
     
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  6. Kasper

    Kasper The Ghost Himself

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    Well fucking done boys!
     

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