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NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

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Are Eagles Now the Ultimate Madden Team with Nnamdi?

Posted: 30 Jul 2011 02:37 AM PDT


I have to admit I play Madden quite often so I know the game inside and out enough to justify the statement that the Philadelphia Eagles are going to be stacked at least when it comes to Madden ratings and will likely be the most used team in 2012.

One of my all time favorite teams to use has been the Philadelphia Eagles. Back in the Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook days that was one of the best Madden tandems around and I generally crushed everyone I played with them.

Currently they are my second team behind the Oakland Raiders (not anymore) and my favorite Madden player Jacoby Ford; I know, it doesn’t make any sense except for the speed, but I play better with him than any receiver in the game.

With my Madden expertise, I feel educated enough to make the statement these Eagles have a chance to be one of the most dynamic Madden teams in the franchises history both in rating and how you can use them. If you look across the board, there is only one definable weakness on the roster. The other are merely where they aren’t quite as stacked as they could be.

These ratings are based on the 2011 games final rankings and may fluctuate a little bit. I don’t expect any shocking downward changes for anybody and don’t be surprised to see many of these ratings actually increased.

Michael Vick 91 OVR– need I say more, the ultimate video game quarterback, if you can’t do something good with Vick on even on “pro” you need to return your copy of Madden to Gamestop. He’s the 7th best overall quarterback in terms of rating in the game.

LeSean McCoy 88 OVR– forms one of the best QB/RB duos in Madden, and we haven’t even gotten to wide receiver yet. He is fast and slippery and is rated amongst the top 15 overall running backs and with Vick they form the second best overall QB/RB duo.

Owen Schmitt 77 – Fullback is not a game changer and his Madden strengths are in the blocking game anyway. If Weaver is eligible to play in ’12, his rating will probably be down to an 84 because of injury but he is still one of the more versatille “video game esque” options in Madden.

DeSean Jackson 91, Jeremy Maclin 85, Jeremy Avant 77– This is where things get great on offense. I like to use four receivers at all times but that Jackson/Maclin combo stands tied among several as the best in Madden. Not to mention the overall jacked up speed attributes (ACC, AGIL, SPD). Avant is nothing special but he’s not terrible. Jackson is the 8th ranked Madden receiver and Maclin still sits at 30th, making both of them technically No. 1 receivers.

Brent Celek- 81- He has flashed 88 overall potential in the game makers eyes but after significant statistical drop-offs from 2009-2010 it’s hard to argue this isn’t justified. Still he is among the 22 best rated tight ends and is ranked 7th in CIT (catch in traffic), which means he is a very reliable target on quick throws into tight coverage over the middle. If there’s any “weak” spot amongst “Madden skill positions”, this is it, but I think the 91 QB, 89 RB, 91/85 WR with all of that dynamic speed makes up for an average tight end.

I also like using the Eagles because the offensive line is always good. The 91/89 left side of Peters and Herramans is one of the games best combinations (ranked third in terms of overall rating) while the average rating of the C/RG/RT is a decent 79, good for a 21st/22nd/17th best overall. Madden players don’t typically choose teams because of the offensive line, but the fact the Eagles boast a top left side and an overall average rating of 83.5 it’s by no means a weak unit and is complemented by the explosive offense.

Now lets get to why I really decided to write this…

The defense.

Madden addicts already know all about the potent Eagles offense, but with several acquisitions this defensive unit is top loaded with elite (7 over 85,) players now.

What a defensive line! Already containing the fourth overall RE in the game Trent Cole (95) they have now added they third overall LE in the game Jason Babin (89). That does seem a little skewed, and so I won’t pull a white lie about it to prove a point because the defensive end positions are somewhat interchangeable (all you have to do is edit Babin and change him to RE).

If you add up all defensive ends, he comes in at 13th overall, and together they form the second best overall defensive end tandem in Madden behind Freeney/Mathis. Already on this team we have the the second best QB/RB tandem, (tied) best receiver tandem, and second best DE tandem.

Defensive Tackle is nothing to cry about, if they retain Mike Patterson, both starters average 85 overall and that duo is good for 6th best in the game, giving them arguably the top overall front four in the game.

Linebacker, ugh, the weakness of the team, i’ve been rolling right along until now. This unit still has a chance to be upgraded but as it stands Bradley is gone and their only player of note is Ernie Sims and he comes in at a respectable 24th overall at his position with an 81 rating. The other two current starters clock in at a below average 74. The trick here is to move Brandon Graham and Juqua Parker out to linebacker to maximize this roster. Their rating may be lower as linebackers, but they both possess solid enough TACK ratings (75, 74) to get the job done as well as being rated significantly higher (74<79.5) players.

Alright, glad that’s out of the way, because here’s the fun part.

I mean, this is a Madden addicts wet dream, something that may actually improve his mood for the day, you already know what’s coming.

The most ridiculously rated cornerback trio in Madden history.

Nnamdi Asomuagha- 98

Asante Samuel- 94

Dominique Rodgers Cromartie- 87.

Like Michael Vick, nothing needs to be said here other than the obvious. That’s the best cornerback tandem in the game and the best cornerback trio in the game, period. It’s so damn versatile if you’re feeling ballsy you can just slide Asomuagha over to safety to compensate for the loss of Quintik Mikell; he’s still rated a 95.

That’s what I am going to do at least, I am somebody who prefers to control the Safety on defense and with the Raiders that’s what I typically do with Nnamdi.

Safety isn’t a flashy position for the Eagles but I would be willing to bet that Nate Allen will be ranked over an 80 in 2012. As it stands he ranks 21st amongst FS’s and making use of your roster if you slide Marlin Jackson to SS (where he stays a 78), he is ranked 26th amongst safeties there as well.

Overall, this roster has four three of positions where they are average (TE, right side of offensive line, safety) and one below average area (linebackers), but they have some of the top combinations at the most critical positions: QB/RB (2nd), WR (tied 1st) LT/LG (3rd) DE (2nd), DT (6th) and cornerback (1st***).

I don’t think there is a team that is more stacked at so many critical positions. QB, LT, DE, and CB are generally the highest paid positions in the game for a reason.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I will need to use anyone but the Eagles in Madden come August 31st, my gamertag is MVP SEAHWKS on Xbox live, lets give it a go.

FB Vonta Leach Still on the Open Market; Texans Among Five Teams with Interest

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 09:17 PM PDT

Fullback Vonta Leach still remains with out a team as of Friday evening as the free agency signing period truly opened, but that doesn’t mean the Texans and other teams are not interested in his services.

Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston reports thate five teams expressing interest in free agent fullback. The only team his agent would confirm is involved is the Texans where Leach has spent the past five years.

League sources say the other teams involved with Leach are the Cowboys, Ravens, Broncos and Giants. It’s not a good sign that Leach is still on the open market, as most players that wanted to stay with their former teams have already been able to come to deals.

Source: Burress Eyeing Eagles?

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 08:31 PM PDT

Plaxico to Vick: “You know how to throw a fade route?”

Will the rich become richer?

A source near former Steelers and Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress revealed Friday night that the tall pass catcher “has his eyes” on the Philadelphia Eagles.

At this point, why not Philly for Plax’s landing spot?

The Eagles are taking in the “unwanted” (Vick, Young, Burress) along with the guy everyone wanted (Nnamdi).

If Plaxico decides to join Vick in the city of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia sports media will have nothing but love to dish out towards the clear Super Bowl favorite Eagles.

Meanwhile, DeSean Jackson is likely contemplating an end to his holdout.  Why would he want to miss out on all the fun with the Birds?

Source: Rams, WR Sims-Walker Agree To One-Year Deal

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 08:09 PM PDT

Sam Bradford’s New Go-To Receiver?

Rams and NFC West favorites are meshing together quite nicely.

Sam Bradford saw both Donnie Avery and Mark Clayton lost due to injuries last season.

Danario Alexander, who I’m a big fan of, was considered Bradford’s No. 1 target heading into free agency.

That all has changed, as the St. Louis Rams have agreed to terms with Jacksonville Jaguars pass catcher Mike Sims-Walker, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.  The one-year contract is worth $3.7 million.

Heading into the 2011 campaign, the Rams’ franchise quarterback now can feel more comfortable knowing his team went out to provide him with an upgrade in protection and a big-play threat at wide receiver.

Also, don’t forget the Rams chose Wisconsin tight end Lance Kendricks and Boise State wideout Austin Pettis in the second and third rounds of last April’s draft.

The future is looking up for the supporting cast of Sam Bradford, so much, that St. Louis Rams and 2011 NFC West Champions have a good ring to it.

Could Seattle Seahawks Jump Into Kyle Orton Derby?

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 06:21 PM PDT

I know it’s probably not going to happen, but I won’t give up, I just am not 100 percent content with Tarvaris Jackson being the Seahawks starting quarterback scheme familiarity be damned.

I was happy to know that the parameters of a trade between the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins for quarterback Kyle Orton fell through. Denver reportedly did not like the Dolphins offer, and part of that reason could be that the Broncos ran out of teams to strike a deal with.

For now, he remains the Broncos starting quarterback at least in Training Camp and outperformed Tim Tebow during practice. This may be a ploy to signal they don’t need to trade him to drive up his value after all but putting him on the trading block with a humungous “for sale sign”.

If Pete Carroll is really just building a one year bridge to his franchise signal caller, why not Kyle Orton? I can’t wrap my head around how Jackson gives Seattle a better chance to win.

The reported asking price was a third round draft choice and Miami did not meet their asking price, if Pete Carroll could offer a fourth round pick for Kyle Orton I do not see a logical reason why he should not immediately pull the trigger.

When he discovered he needed an actual running back he had no qualms trading a fourth round pick for Marshawn Lynch. He will always be remembered for his “BeastQuake”, but it doesn’t change the fact he came to Seattle with some legal issues and question marks.

Now Pete Carroll needs an actual starting quarterback. For a similar fee they would acquire someone who has none of the issues or question marks Lynch had when he was acquired. If most teams could be guaranteed they would be getting Kyle Orton and Marshawn Lynch in the fourth round, most would be pretty pleased.

In fact, it’s tough to argue Orton comes in with any issues. The guy is a consummate professional who has done nothing but win games with a contender and put up statistics with a pretender. He put a happy face on when he was “the replacement” for Jay Cutler and even after two years of good (equal?) quarterback play he is being tossed aside for someone who many people think can’t throw (I like Tebow though).

Two weeks ago I argued that Orton was the best quarterback option potentially available this off season and I stand by that remark.

At least statistically there is no denying he had a better 2010 then any quarterback who swapped teams this off season; including Hasselbeck, McNabb, Kevin Kolb, and Tarvaris Jackson.

See, he just doesn’t belong on that list!! Jackson should not be a starting quarterback!! I am very happy they didn’t pay the kings ransom for a guy with a worse career passer rating, but I would rather have Kolb then Jackson at least (not at the price though, have fun getting your secondary shredded Arizona).

Someones going to get (or keep) Orton, and that team is going to get another year of very good production from the quarterback position.

Pete Carroll, someone in the Seahawks’ front office, if you happen to be reading this, please just think to yourself and answer this question, you don’t have to lie to yourself, just to your fans.

Is the quarterback situation better with Tarvaris Jackson or if you acquire Kyle Orton and have to forfeit a fourth round pick?

Kind of like how Seattle paid a ransom for Charlie Whitehurst last off season, only to watch an equal aged, equally mobile, and far more talented Jason Campbell get dealt for a fourth round pick

You can view all Seahawks comings and goings as they happen on our Free Agency Tracker as well as Seahawks Roster Needs

You can view up to date Seahawks free agency news and rumors by clicking here.

Steelers LB James Harrison Says Comments About Roger Goodell Were “Inappropriate”

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 06:17 PM PDT

While it’s a big unknown if there will be a punishment for what James Harrison said about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, today the Steelers LB took a step to try and mend fences with what was written in Men’s Journal

"The interview that I did and the comments that I made about Roger Goodell were inappropriate, at the least," Harrison said today at Steelers camp. "They were way out of line, and I was speaking out of anger and frustration at the time. Any comments that I made that offended anyone, I apologize."

Harrison said he hasn’t spoken to the NFL or to Goodell about his statements, but has talked with teammates, coach Mike Tomlin and Steelers president Art Rooney II about what was said.

When it comes to ripping QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Rashard Mendenhall, the Pro Bowl LB said the people in his locker room know what kind of person he is and weren't bothered by what he said.

"That's all behind us," he said Friday. "Those comments [toward teammates] were taken out of context with a long conversation. It's not anything I haven't talked to those guys about or my teammates about."

St.Louis Comes to Terms on a Deal with Veteran CB Al Harris

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 06:05 PM PDT

Former Packers, Eagles and Dolphins cornerback Al Harris has come to terms on a deal to join the Rams. The CB and the team agreed on a one-year deal where he will be reunited with head coach Steve Spagunolo.

The head coach and Harris know each other well from Spagunolo being a defensive assistant in Philadelphia during four of Harris' five seasons with the franchise.

A 13-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowler, Harris spent seven years in Green Bay before injuring his knee during the 2009 season. He appeared in three games for the Miami Dolphins last year before becoming a free agent this offseason.

Former Chargers LB Kevin Burnett Signs with the Dolphins

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 05:14 PM PDT

The Dolphins moved quickly on Friday to fill the hole left from the release of Channing Crowder, as reports say the team has inked former Chargers LB Kevin Burnett.

According to Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald, the team has agreed to a five-year deal with Burnett. San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee says the deal is worth $10 million.

Last season Burnett started all 16 games, putting up 95 tackles, six sacks, five passes defensed and two interceptions in 2010. Crowder was one of the teams better run stoppers, and Burnett will be called upon to fill that role, and also they will look at him to put pressure on opposing QB’s.

Source: Dalton, Bengals Agree To Contract

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 04:30 PM PDT

The Future Of The Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals’ second round draft pick Andy Dalton has signed a four-year contract, worth $5.2 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Dalton, the former Texas Christian signal caller, is expected to start under center for the Bengals Week 1 in Cleveland.

Paul Brown Stadium will see their fair share of Dalton to A.J. Green hookups in the Queen City this Fall.

Source: Bears Center Kreutz Absent From Reporting Day

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 04:17 PM PDT

Bears Leaving Olin Out Of Their Plans?

Chicago Bears free agent center Olin Kreutz bypassed the team’s reporting day Friday as contract talks go on between his agent and the team, according to a source near the predicament.

The 49ers have already sent Kreutz a contract proposal Wednesday night, a source said.

Since being selected out of the University of Washington in the third round of the 1998 draft, Kreutz has been the centerpiece of the Bears’ offensive line.

The former Husky hasn’t missed a game since 2002.

To read more visit Bears Gab

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