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Thank LA Rams RB coach Thomas Brown for early rushing success



Fans can thank LA Rams RB coach Thomas Brown for early success running the ball

When the LA Rams hired Thomas Brown as the running back coach, not much was known about him. What was know is that he was hired by head coach Sean McVay from the coaching staff of the South Caroline Gamecocks. In fact, his college coaching career included time where he coached college running backs at Chattanooga, Marshall, Wisconsin, Georgia, Miami, and South Carolina.

Now, the impact of Brown at these schools is on record as some of the best running offenses in the NCAA.  To his credit, he has helped to develop some of the finest running backs in the NFL today, including Melvin Gordan and Nick Chubb.  So is it any wonder that the LA Rams running game is effective once more?

More than a football coach, he’s a class act

Thomas Brown is more than just an X’s and O’s kind of guy. He is someone who gives his all, and someone who raises the bar on and off the field.  In the crazy zaniness of 2020, NFL teams have been at the crossroads of a national pandemic, social injustice, and a custom-constructed set of NFL rules and regulations that were forged to address the myriad of new issues threatening the 2020 NFL season.

Through it all, Thomas Brown was one voice of reason for the LA Rams. Brown stepped up and helped the entire team through some very difficult times. Head coach Sean McVay leaned heavily upon Brown as the team worked towards actionable change.  Leading a team towards actionable change is not on a running backs coach job description, and yet there was Thomas Brown. He had just arrived on the team weeks earlier.

Leading the team in the direction they need to go

That’s why Brown was hired to the coaching staff.  The LA Rams needed a coach who could advance the current running backs progress, develop rookie running backs, and give valuable input to help the Rams add blocking in the backfield with a tight end or second running back to help in both running and passing plays.

In fact, it was the addition of Brown to the Rams coaching staff which contributed to the expectation of the Rams signing up a fullback for this season.  Instead, the Rams have expanded the roles of the tight end to include lining up in the backfield as an upback. That block/run/pass role was something the LA rams had to develop on the fly.  And Thomas Brown has been right there through it all.

Brown won’t be stopped by injury

On Thursday, October 15, Coach Brown was injured during practice. After examination and diagnostic imagine, it was determined that Brown has suffered from a torn Achilles Tendon, and would require surgery.  But he never missed a beat. In fact, he plans to be back on the field in a boot after the injury as well.

Now he’s coaching in a boot in the week leading up to the most important game on the early schedule. But it won’t stop him. In fact, it simply adds more fuel to the fire. And it’s that fire that makes him so indispensable so quickly to the Rams coaching staff.

The Rams running game is responding to the passion of the new running back coach.

Next: Bet on a big game from LA Rams OLB Terrell Lewis

The LA Rams have put up 698 rushing yards in the first five games this season. Per ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry, that is the most yards gained by the Rams on the ground in five games since 1987.  That comes off of a season where the Rams struggled to run the ball, and that impacted the Rams entire offense.  Now the Rams are running the ball well, which has energized the entire offense once more. Fans can thank Coach Brown for the early success of the running game.  But be sure to wish him a speedy and complete recovery too.

NFL Football

Atlanta Falcons prediction: Can the birds get their first win of the year?




The Atlanta Falcons are back in action for the first time since firing Dan Quinn.

At 1-4 the Minnesota Vikings aren’t much better than the 0-5 Atlanta Falcons. This has all the makings of a really bad pillow fight among two teams that had Super Bowl hopes coming into 2020.

This will be the fifth time that these two teams have met over the last seven NFL seasons, the Falcons are 0-4 in the previous four meetings. The Falcons last win against the Vikings came in 2011 when Matt Ryan threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns.

Here is how the staff at Blogging Dirty thinks the game turns out.

Jeff Benedict – Site Expert

When these two teams met last season, I was shocked at how bad the Atlanta Falcons had looked. Minnesota jumped out 28-0 and never looked back.

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook evolved into one of the best pass-catching running backs in the league and while he was able to rush for 111 yards, he didn’t embarrass the Falcons like he did other teams across the league.

He will be out Sunday, which is a big advantage for the Falcons.

This Vikings team is much different on the defensive side than they were a year ago and I think the Falcons will be able to take advantage of that.

I think Raheem Morris starts his Falcons coaching career with a win.

Joe Beasley – Contributor

I expect the Falcons to play with some type of fire. If interim head coach Raheem Morris wants a shot at this job or any other head coaching gig, he has to show he can somewhat fix this mess in Atlanta.

The offense does get Julio Jones back which is good for everyone except a young Vikings secondary. Add that to the fact that Dalvin Cook isn’t playing and you have a perfect storm for the Falcons to get their first win.

Besides, I’m bound to get one of these right.

Justin Churchill – Contributor

Last week the Vikings were close to beating the Seahawks. They have a very good offense but may struggle without Dalvin Cook in the backfield.

Their defense will give up a lot, hopefully allowing Todd Gurley to get back into a groove. However,  I think the Vikings will win this one.

Ross Terrell – Contributor

It’s officially a new era in Atlanta. Maybe just maybe Raheem Morris was gunning for this job the whole time. So he sabotaged Quinn to get his shot as head coach. Or maybe the Falcons downward spiral will continue.

Let’s hope the latter isn’t true and the Atlanta Falcons finally pull themselves off the mat.

Next: Falcons have a chance to get out of sports purgatory

Ethan Johnson – Contributor

The Atlanta Falcons will not win this game. The team may come out inspired and rejuvenated, or heartbroken because their coach is gone.

Either way, it doesn’t really matter because they haven’t beaten the Minnesota Vikings since 2011, and that streak won’t end Sunday.


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NFL Football

Buffalo Bills: 4 defensive tackles to consider trading for this season




Buffalo Bills

Sep 22, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) jogs off the field following his sack of Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (not pictured) during the first quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

These are four defensive tackles the Buffalo Bills should consider trying to trade for before the trade deadline.

The defensive line for the Buffalo Bills went through a significant change this past offseason. They saw free agents Jordan Phillips and Shaq Lawson leave in free agency but the front office replaced them with Vernon Butler, Quinton Jefferson, and Mario Addison as well as selecting A.J. Epenesa in the second round.

In addition to those offseason moves, the Bills had last year’s starting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei elect to opt-out of the 2020 season due to concerns around the pandemic.

After six games, it is clear that the changes have caused this defense to take a step backward stopping the run and the front office may need to look outside the organization on how to correct this.

The focus for general manager Brandon Beane should be to look for someone similar to Lotulelei in terms of a zero tech defensive tackle that can eat up space and take on multiple defenders. This will help force running backs into fewer lanes but also free up Tremaine Edmunds and the rest of the second and third-level defenders clear running lanes to get to the ball carrier.

These are four defensive tackles that could be available for a trade that makes sense for the Buffalo Bills.

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NFL Football

4 tight ends the Carolina Panthers should target in the 2021 NFL Draft




Carolina Panthers

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Ian Thomas

Which college prospects are emerging as early draft candidates for the Carolina Panthers at the tight end position?

The Carolina Panthers clearly have a need at the tight end spot which needs to be addressed next spring. They are getting next to no production from either Ian Thomas or Chris Manhertz through six games of the 2020 season and this is a stark contrast to what the team got from prolific veteran Greg Olsen for so many years.

It’s hard to deny that this isn’t what the Carolina Panthers expected coming into the season. They had high hopes for Thomas to step up and fill the void left by the Pro Bowler, who opted for one more shot at a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks before inevitably taking up a broadcast position next year.

Thomas hasn’t lived up to his billing this season. He has accumulated just six receptions, 39 receiving yards, and one touchdown from 11 targets, which simply isn’t good enough if the former Indiana standout wants to make a real go of things from a starting role.

Although all hope isn’t lost, he is clearly skating on thin ice.

There were fewer expectations on the shoulders of Manhertz. The veteran is seen as more of a blocking tight end and has aided the Panthers in this area. This has been of particular use to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and running back Mike Davis, depending on what play is called by Joe Brady.

If things continue as they are then this might be priority No.1 for the Panthers once the dust has settled on the 2020 season. Whether they bring in a veteran during the free agency period is up for debate, but there are plenty of exciting tight end prospects entering the 2021 NFL Draft that will also warrant consideration during the evaluation process.

Let’s take a look at four players at the position who could come into Carolina and potentially make a big impression.

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