New coordinator Gregg Williams inherits a St. Louis Rams defense that ranked seventh in sacks per pass attempt this season. That ranking seems high for a team that finished with a 2-14 record. But with Chris Long and Robert Quinn, the Rams do have two young defensive ends with strong pass-rush potential. Long had a career-high 13 sacks during the 2011 season. Quinn, a rookie, had five sacks while playing about half the defensive snaps.
Although New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham insisted earlier this year that he’ll retire whenever Drew Brees is done playing so that he doesn’t ever have to play with another quarterback, he’s been willing to bend the rules this week. Graham also has been reeling in passes from Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Carolina’s Cam Newton during practices as he soaks up his first Pro Bowl experience in Hawaii.
The Oakland Raiders formally agreed Thursday on a four-year deal to make Denver Broncosdefensive coordinator Dennis Allen their new coach. New Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie had decided Tuesday to hire Allen to replace the fired Hue Jackson as coach. The two sides finalized the details Thursday, a person familiar with the process said on condition of anonymity because the team isn’t publicly discussing the search.
Then there were three 5,000-yard passers (Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford) — one more than had existed before 2011 — as the league saw increased scoring, passing and rushing yardage over the 2010 regular season. It seems to be no coincidence that total tackles for the league saw an eight percent dip from the season prior.
This according to the Bloomberg Businessweek/Horrow Sports Ventures 2012 Power 100, which ranked Brees at No. 1, with the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers (No. 2) and the Patriots’ Tom Brady (No. 3) rounding out an NFL quarterback triumvirate that once again left the WNBA eating dust. Horrow Sports Ventures and CSE studied roughly 600 athletes from a field of 3,000, measuring on-field play, name awareness, social-media activity, appeal, influence, trustworthiness and overall popularity.
Topics: 2011 Madden Protectors Award, Bill Johnson, Brian De La Puente, Brian Schottenheimer, Carl Nicks, Drew Brees, Gregg Williams, Indianapolis Colts, Jahri Evans, Jeff Fisher, Jermon Bushrod, John Madden, Larry Holder, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Prilosec OTC®, Pro Football Hall Of Fame Coach JOHN MADDEN, San Francisco 49′ers, Sean Payton, St. Louis Rams, Steve Spagnuolo, Tony Oden, Zach Strief