Buck Stops Here: Milwaukee Unveils New Logo

The Milwaukee Bucks have a young and talented roster that the franchise is looking to nba_bucks-primary_final_1294x1572build around. However, for the 2015-2016 season the Bucks will have a new look with new uniforms and logos. The primary logo features a more aggressive and formidable stag that replaces the softer looking former logo. The new logo also features a subtle M that forms the neck while also having Milwaukee’s first letter having a prominent place in the logo.

The team has also changed the color palette adding cream as the secondary color over the previous red. With the red color gone, the Bucks will now use nba_bucks-secondary_final_1296x1296white and blue as their accent colors.

Overall the logo and colors feels more rustic which makes sense given Milwaukee’s mascot. The secondary logos are also solid new logs which not only look great, but play more to the state’s MJS MB_Secondary_Logo_2.jpgheritage.

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Quarterback Roulette: Where Will Top Prospects Land?

Jameis Winston: Round 1 Pick 1 winston-football-640

This pick has seemingly been locked for a long time. Winston has been the consensus top quarterback in the class and has been almost locked as the top pick for months. Barring some trade or a bold decision, it looks like Winston will be a Buccaneer. It makes too much sense. Tampa Bay has been desperate fort a franchise quarterback for years, Winston is from the Tampa area, the small market could help the media exposure around Winston, and Tampa has some great weapons on offense. With the state of the NFC South, it’s not that far-fetched that if Winston can play well from day one, the Buccaneers could compete for the division title.

Marcus Mariota: Round 1 Pick 2Unknown-1

The biggest question about this year’s draft will be where will Mariota go? Will he be drafted high or fall? Will a team trade up for him? Which team could trade for him? In this scenario I have Tennessee grabbing him here for one of two reasons. First, they need a franchise quarterback and Zach Mettenberger is probably not the answer. The other reason he could go here is that Tennessee could play the leverage game and try to trade him for more draft picks. Either way Mariota will probably be off the board sooner than later.

Bryce Petty: Round 1 Pick 19NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Baylor

Every year quarterbacks go earlier in the draft then projected. It is a quarterback driven lead after all and teams will be aggressive to get a quarterback before they come off the board. With two first round picks, the Browns have the luxury to use one of the picks on a quarterback while still getting a talented player with the other. I have Petty going with the later pick. Cleveland has made it clear that they are no longer sold on Manziel and Petty has the type of character make up a franchise would want at quarterback. Petty will need some time to sit and learn the playbook and with Josh McCown now on the Browns it has made it the perfect situation for Petty to sit and learn rather than playing right away. It also could give Cleveland the excuse to move on from Manziel.

Garrett Grayson: Round 2 Pick 6usatsi8192945

The Washington Redskins could be looking to move on from Robert Griffin III. However, they probably will not want to use a first round pick on a quarterback even if Mariota is available. In the second round Washington could take a shot on Garrett Grayson who has been battling Hundley and Petty to be the third quarterback off the board. Grayson has the size and enough arm talent to possibly be a future franchise quarterback in the NFL. While Griffin has more physical talent, the problems with his leadership and durability will have Washington looking for a possible replacement plan.

Brett Hundley: Round 2 Pick 23 UCLA UCLA (vs. Washington, Nov. 15)

Despite three different quarterbacks in 2014, the Arizona Cardinals were able to make the playoffs. However, with Carson Palmer’s health now a question mark the team needs a solid backup plan. Hundley could be the future starter in Arizona, and could be groomed in the meantime under Palmer. Arizona has the defense to be a contender but they will need a quarterback to get there. Hundley could be that option if Palmer is hurt again and Hundley’s skill set is perfect for not only this team but this division. With a division with great defenses and pass rushers, a mobile quarterback in the pocket is crucial. There’s a reason the NFC West has two of the most mobile quarterbacks in the league, it’s because this division has great defenses. Arizona needs a quarterback to get back to the postseason and Hundley is a great security blanket should Palmer get hurt again.

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What NFL Team Could be the Dark Horse for Landing Marcus Mariota

Marcus-MariotaWhere will Mariota go? This has been the biggest question when it comes to the 2015 NFL Draft. At the moment, it is assumed that Florida State’s Jameis Winston will be drafted with the first overall pick. After that, the picture gets very murky.

Could the Titans draft Mariota? While the team does have Zach Mettenberger primed to take over the starting role, the Titans may feel that Mariota has more upside and better mobility to make up for Tennessee’s shaky offensive line then Mettenberger.

What about the Redskins? The Robert Griffin saga could be reaching its conclusion with Griffin’s option for next season counting for $16 Million  against the cap. The organization may decide that the once emerging star and rookie of the year has overstayed his welcome in the nation’s capital.

The Jets? Even though the Jets front office has been adamant that it will continue to try to develop Geno Smith, head coach Todd Bowles has said that the Jets will look to address the quarterback position in the draft. New York hasn’t had a franchise signal caller since Joe Namath and could feel that Mariota is their future franchise quarterback.

Even beyond those teams there has been numerous speculations especially that Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles, who have been wheeling and dealing all offseason, will try to move up to take Mariota even though Kelly denies this possible option. However, there is one team that people aren’t talking about who could be in the sweepstakes for Mariota’s services and has the ammunition to go up and get the quarterback. That team is…

The Cleveland Browns. Scratching your head? Let me explain. Despite the poor play at quarterback last season Cleveland finished with a 7-9 record and had a chance to make the playoffs. Cleveland is desperate for a franchise quarterback and thought that they might have found one in last year’s draft. Unfortunately, Johnny Football is now Johnny Rehab as last year’s first round pick has careened out of control.  While Cleveland still has holes at the wide receiver and tight end, the most glaring is quarterback.

While the Browns have signed Josh McCown
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Brownshe is a stop-gap at best at this point in his career. The team has no idea when Manziel will be back and more importantly if he can play in the NFL. Cleveland needs a franchise quarterback to build around and has something no other team has, two first round picks.

Cleveland could trade both picks, or move one pick will keeping the other first round pick this year in a package deal to move up and grab Mariota. If they elect to keep a first rounder this year, and presumably give up high future picks, the team could use that pick to give Mariota a play maker. Would Mariota make the Browns a contender over night? Probably not, but Cleveland is in a better spot then people think.

Despite their tough division and poor quarterback play last season the team finished with a decent record. Mike Pettine has a solid running game and an underrated defense. Like Rex Ryan, we know that Pettine’s square will have a formidable defense. If Mariota can come in and make plays then the Browns could make a run at a division title as soon as next year.

Will this happen? It’s anyone’s guess. While it would make sense for Cleveland to move up, they may feel there are better quarterback options later in the draft or they still, I don’t see how, but still have faith in Johnny Manziel. Either way, don’t be surprised if a franchise that’s been desperate for a franchise quarterback decides to pull the trigger and move up for Mariota.

One thing we do know. It’s going to be an interesting draft because Mariota could go anywhere.

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The Camundrum: Should Talbot Start Over the King?

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Talbot has been sensational since taking over the starting role

When Henrik Lundqvist went down earlier this year with a neck injury many Ranger fans felt that the injury would derail the team’s season. While Lundqvist is expected to return next week to the lineup, it may not be an easy return for the King.

Many expected that New York’s season would take a dive after losing their star player. Instead they have thrived behind their young goaltender Cam Talbot who has made it very interesting for the Rangers moving forward.

Talbot has been spectacular in the goal helping propel the Rangers into first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 17-6-4 record, 2.19 GAA, and .926 save percentage. Currently, Talbot’s statistics, including winning percentage are higher than Lundqvist’s totals this season.

There is no question that Lundqvist is still one of if not the best goaltenders in the NHL. However, after suffering a severe injury like the one Lundqvist is a hard one to overcome quickly. When he is on, there is no question that Lundqvist is the team’s starter. Still, he needs to prove that he is 100% healthy before New York relies on him to carry the team throughout the playoffs.

If Lundqvist struggles should the Rangers stick with the King or ride the hot hand in Talbot ?

If Lundqvist struggles should the Rangers stick with the King or ride the hot hand in Talbot ?

However, if Lundqvist struggles in his return before the playoffs it might be better for this team to do the unthinkable, bench the King. In the NHL Playoffs it’s the team with the better goaltender or hotter goaltender at the time that makes a run. Given how well Talbot has played this season and if Lundqvist is not at 100%, it makes sense to start the player who gives the team the best chance to win.

Even though the Rangers will probably start Lundqvist no matter how he plays in his return, the organization should keep a short leash on him in the playoffs. If he does not play well in a series, the Rangers should not be afraid to pull their star goaltender and play the hot hand.

The Rangers have the potential to not only make it back to the Stanley Cup Finals, but to win their first championship since 1994. However, they will need strong goaltending to get there and will need to figure out who gives them the best chance to win. The King or Cam Talbot?

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Giving Geno Fitz? Why Ryan Fitzpatrick Could Mean Trouble for Geno Smith

Ryan+Fitzpatrick+Chan+Gailey+Buffalo+Bills+SchVIE4xutflWhen the New York Jets traded for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick they sent a clear message to their “franchise” quarterback Geno Smith. Put up or shut up. After two frustrating years filled with interceptions and movie trips to see Gone Girl the night before games, Geno Smith’s career in New York could be on life support.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is by no stretch a true franchise quarterback, but at the moment could be the Jets best option for opening day starter in 2015. Why? Chann Gailey is the Jets new offensive coordinator and has worked with Fitzpatrick before. Not only does Fitzpatrick know Gailey’s system, but his best success in the pros was in this system. In three seasons Fitzpatrick threw for more the 10,000 yards and 71 touchdowns in the new offense the Jets will run. Without Gailey, Fitzpatrick has only thrown for 52 touchdowns.

Now will Geno Smith be given ever opportunity to win the job out of camp? Yes, but this will be the final opportunity. Smith has the talent to be a very successful NFL quarterback, but has to show the consistency and mental toughness that are required to be effective at the position. With the new weapons around him and the attempt by the Jets to improve the offensive line, there will be no more excuses for Smith especially with a more than capable backup in Fitzpatrick.

Is New York a legitimate contender with Fitzpatrick? No, but they at least have a solid game manager who won’t turn the ball over and keep them in games. Wither way this is a defining year for Geno Smith. Either he will prove that he can be the future franchise quarterback for the Jets, or he will force New York to once again look for their first true franchise quarterback since Joe Namath.

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San Francisco’s Championship Window Has Officially Closed

8589130422384-colin-kaepernick-49ers-wallpaper-hd-e1401299183624It’s over. The championship window for one of the NFL’s bedrock franchises has slammed shut. After three straight NFC Championship game appearances, the 49ers finished 2014 with an 8-8 record and inexplicably fired a coach with a career .688 winning percentage. While it was going to be an uphill battle without Harbaugh, in the span of 24 hours the 49ers championship window came to an abrupt end.

The once vaunted defense lost its leader in Patrick Willis who after eight seasons and at the ago of 30 decided to suddenly retire. Veteran defensive end Justin Smith soon followed suit in announcing his own retirement while key players were lost in free agency. Guard Mike Iupati will head to division rival Arizona, feature back Frank Gore has moved on, and Michael Crabtree have all played their last snap for the 49ers. While the team did sign defensive end Darnell Dockett, they still have fallen behind the rest of the division.

The Seahawks have landed arguably one of the best tight ends in the game in Jimmy Graham while St. Louis may have found their franchise quarterback in Nick Foles. While the toughest division in the NFL continues to get tougher, the 49ers have regressed not only on the field, but also on the sideline.

The biggest question for the 49ers will be Colin Kaepernick. Two years ago Kaepernick had the fourth best QBR in the NFL. In 2014 his QBR fell to seventeenth in the entire league. There is no question that he has regressed and there are rumors that organization maybe shopping their starting quarterback.

True, the 49ers could rebound in the draft, but with rumors swirling that quarterback Colin Kaepernick is now on the block, the question could be not if but when San Francisco will blow up the current roster and start to rebuild.

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