Friday, March 31, 2006

NFL Clamps Down on Celebrations

The buzz coming out of the NFL owners meetings this week was the elimination of the modern day end zone celebration.

The days of excessive celebration is over. All I can say is thank goodness for that. No more Joe Horn cell phones, T.O and his sharpie and Chad Johnson giving CPR to a football.

Don't get me wrong. I think guys should celebrate and be happy when they score. But that doesn't mean they should showboat, carry on a big production and put the emphasis on the individual over the team. Spike it, dunk it, jump into the crowd. That's fine by me - and the NFL too - just don't use the pylon as a putter.

Spikes, leaps into the crowd and simple celebrations are still allowed. The NFL isn't trying to take the fun out of the game - just the garbage that shouldn't be in it to begin with.

The vote was 29-3. An obvious sign that the owners are sick of this stuff as well. Under the new rules, the officials have the power to penalize a team 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff.

This will only make the game better. Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, Jerry Rice and Barry Sanders didn't need to gyrate and show off after a touchdown. Modern day players like LaDanian Tomlinson and Torry Holt act like they've been in the end zone before. The true superstars of the game know the NFL is better without all that junk.

It's gotten so bad that defensive guys start dancing after a simple tackle. I echo the sentiments of Dick Butkus who once said, "C'mon guys, act like you've been there before. That's your job. You're supposed to make the tackle."

Football is the ultimate team sport. One man can't do it alone. No matter how talented he his. The excessive celebrations are one of the few black eyes that this great game has. But thanks to some solid leadership on the part of the NFL owners, this black eye may start to clear up.

Other significant rules changes from the meetings:

1. Replay challenges will now be used on down-by-contact plays. In addition, the time officials have to review a challenge has been shortened from 90 to 60 seconds.

2. A rushing defensive player will be penalized for hitting a quarterback below the knees unless he is coming off a block or is pushed into the QB.

3. Long snappers will no longer have a defensive player lined up in front of him. They have to be at an angle now.

4. The Horse Collar tackle was expanded to include grabbing the back of the players jersey. (That's a dumb one. Sometimes the only way to make a tackle is to grab the jersey. In my opinion, it shouldn't have been put in).

While there's still work to be done, the Competition Committee has done a pretty good job making the game safer and better.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Coaches Clinic-Angle Drills


Defensive man Defensive man

Offensive man

Explanation: Place one offensive lineman and two defensive lineman as shown. On the count, both defensive men charge straight ahead. The offensive man blocks the defensive man as indicated by the coach. Coaches check for proper step, contact and leg drive.

For more information see:

Sunday, March 26, 2006

NFL Draft-Running Backs

This weeks podcast on the Corner takes a look at the running backs and fullbacks that should be selected on the first day of the draft.

This class is solid - not spectacular - so there should be plenty of talent available into the later rounds. In those later rounds lies my sleeper pick. Want to know who it is? Listen in to find out.

Hint: He's from the ACC.

Download mp3 here.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Coaches Clinic-Part 1

This is the first in a series on coaching football by the guys at Pigskin Playbooks. They have an awesome system for coaching youth football and it's advanced enough to work on the high school level as well. I asked them to make some lessons up for Carson's Corner and they were nice enough to agree.

This is the Corners attempt to bring you everything - and I do mean everything - pertaining to the game of football, including coaching. The first part of the series focuses on an overall defensive football philosophy.

Defensive Philosophy
Obtaining The Ball
  • Three downs and out
  • Interceptions
  • Cause and recover fumbles


  • Aggressive attacking defense
  • One play at a time

Play The Next Play

  • Force turnovers
  • Force teams to make mistakes
  • Be a great tackling team
  • Score on defense

To Do This We Must:

  • Be in excellent playing condition
  • Eliminate mistakes - make daily improvements
  • Great execution and second effort
  • Maintain poise and confidence at all times
  • Respect your teammates

To learn more about coaching at the youth football level and beyond, please visit to learn more.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Baker's Dozen - My Personal Big Board

One of the things I love to do is read stuff by Mel Kiper (ESPN) and Todd McShay from Scouts, Inc. and follow their ever changing big boards leading up to the draft.

It's always interesting to see who they feel is rising or falling. With each pro day and individual workout, evaluations are taking place by scouts and personnel people. A one second difference in a 40 time could be millions lost to a player. And right there is Mel, Todd, Gary Horton (War Room) or someone to sort it out.

Since I'm such an opinionated SOB, I thought I'd chime in with my own big board. I call it the Baker's Dozen. The 13 best players - regardless of position - I would choose from if I had the call in an NFL war room.

These rankings are based on football ability, not just 40 times or vertical leaps or any of that jazz. While it's important to be fast, strong and athletic - it's also critical to evaluate players by a sometimes forgotten part of the process - CAN HE PLAY FOOTBALL EXCEPTIONALLY WELL!

Enough talk. Here for your entertainment and education - The Baker's Dozen Big Board:

1. Mario Williams, DE, NC State - This kid is more freaky than the Freak - Jevon Kearse. He's 6-7, 285 pounds of pure athleticism. His workouts at the combine, including a 4.6 in the 40, clinched the deal. Should be a top five selection. In my humble opinion, the player with the most promise in this draft.

2. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia - Has size, lateral quickness and mean streak to be a dominate left tackle for many years to come. Needs to get stronger but that will come. This is a guy you build your franchise around.

3. A.J. Hawk, OLB, Ohio State - Has a non-stop motor and is a tackling machine. His 4.5 in the 40 had scouts drooling and solidified him as the best linebacker in the Class of 2006.

4. Matt Leinart, QB, USC - Good size (6-4, 224) and excellent leadership abilities. Prototype drop-back passer that will have a long, all-pro career. A definite franchise QB. Arm strength in question, but how can you argue about a guy that was 45-2 has a starter and won two national championships in three seasons.

5. Reggie Bush, RB, USC - Comes right out of the Marshall Faulk and Thurman Thomas school of all-purpose backs. Excellent vision, cut-back ability and speed. Has the potential to be a 1,000 yard rusher and receiver before he finishes his career.

6. Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland - Wowed scouts at combine with best workout numbers ever for a tight end. Ran 4.38 in the 40, had a 40-inch vertical and a 10-8 broad jump. Excellent hands and bulk (254 pounds), but struggles sometimes with blocking. A tad undersized at 6-3, but he will cause havoc for defenses.

7. Michael Huff, S, Texas - Has everything you could want in a safety - size (200 pounds), speed (4.45) and he's a nasty tackler with a nose for the football. Can also play corner, making him even more valuable. A solid player.

8. Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon - Will be an excellent two-gap run stuffer, but needs to develop more stamina. Awesome size (6-4, 338) and strength. Has a tendency to play high but is thick and powerful. Just what you need from a run bashing tackle.

9. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis - A lot like Bush. Has nice vision, quickness and initial burst. Decent cutting skills and very compact and muscular. Decent hands and a good leader on and off the field. Lack of size (5-8, 200) and injury problems in high school and college could be red flags for some teams.

10. Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa - Awesome size for an outside backer (6-2, 243) and excellent speed (4.5). Is relentless in his pursuit of the ballcarrier. Goes sideline to sideline to make plays and uses his hands well. Needs a little work in his coverage skills, but should step in and be a starter right away.

11. Jimmy Williams, CB, Virginia Tech - The best shut down corner in the draft. Good size (6-2, 205) and closing speed. Williams is strong and used to play safety so he can help in run support. Decent leaping ability and soft hands.

12. DeMeco Ryans, OLB, Alabama - Has a motor that never stops. Powerful tackler and excellent pass rusher. Good leadership skills and solid work ethic. Only liability could be lack of speed (4.7) compared to other pro linebackers.

13. Winston Justice, OT, USC - This guy has some baggage which could hurt his draft stock. On the field he has the potential to be an elite tackle from the left or right side. Good height and has the body type to add more bulk. Good balance and fluid feet. Sat out season and has been arrested twice on misdemeanors.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

NFL Draft-Quarterbacks

Here's the very first podcast from Carson's Corner. In the first of our weekly podcasts leading up to the draft, the spotlight shines on the signal callers. Who will be taken on day one? Which QB is the super sleeper that will make someone very happy? The Corner has the answer.

Also, we discuss if Terrell Owens will be able to co-exist in Dallas and the impact that outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue has had in his 16-year tenure with the NFL.

Download the MP3 right here.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Back and Better Than Ever

Sorry I haven't written in a while. Certain personal issues came up that I had to deal with, but now I'll be devoting full-time to this blog and my other internet endeavors.

In addition to my football columns, we will now have articles on coaching, drills, training and news sections - all football related. Staring next week, Carson's Corner will conduct two podcasts a week.

One will be on coaching football - in particular youth football, and the other will be on the latest football news from the colliegate and pro ranks and my take on it. I think you'll find both infomative and interesting.

Here at Carson's Corner, we pull no punches. It's my opinions dished out piping hot. Sometimes some swearing will burst forth. If you're easily offended - don't listen. It's my blog, my podcasts and I believe in saying what's on my mind.

In closing, I really hope you enjoy it and drop me a line from time to time - even if you don't like it. Let me hear from you. I started this blog because I'm a football fanatic and I love to write. Those two combined make me compelled to do this. Enjoy!

Take care. Talk to ya soon!