Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Geno Smith Blame Game

When a player plummets down the draft boards like Geno Smith did last weekend, you can almost see the suspicious glances being thrown around Radio City Music Hall. How did it happen? Why did it happen? And - perhaps most importantly - who is to blame?

The first person the finger points at is Smith himself. He was savaged by several draft scouts for not having the leadership qualities that are required for an NFL quarterback. Reports emerged of him spending more time on his phone whilst on pre-draft visits than actually talking to staff. In other words, red flags kept popping up, and Smith didn't seem to be doing anything to dismiss them.

However, it was clear who Smith blamed - Select Sports Group, his agents. The dust had barely settled on the weekend's events when Geno fired his advisers ostensibly putting all the blame on them. At first glance, it seemed to be a petulant move by someone who didn't get his own way, but scratch the surface and there may be some truth in it.

SSG were pegged as the sole reason why Smith skipped the Senior Bowl, thus missing out on one of the best opportunities to impress scouts pre-Draft. Add to that the apparent lack of any obvious PR moves when Smith got some pretty bad rap from Pro Football Weekly's draft scouts, and you can maybe see why Smith was a bit miffed.

In reality, no one party can really take all of the blame, but what's important for Smith now is that he doesn't just surround himself with Yes men, but with a strong team who can deal with all of the flack he is currently getting and - more importantly - the mud flinging he will no doubt receive as starting quarterback of the New York Jets.

GB Junior Lions open practice announced

The GB Junior Lions Open Practice tour goes North and to Motherwell, Scotland on May 18th.  Over the past several months the Lions have held sessions in the South of England, Midlands and will now be hosted at the Ravenscraig Sports Centre.  After this key date, the 300+ players on the GB database will be cropped down to around 70 players for invitational camps held in July and Sept.

Whilst there’s no competitive game this year, the National program have been in talks with several countries and are hopefully to confirm a friendly game for the end of the year.  This would set the program up well for the 2014 qualification games, and a chance to better their recent 3rd place finish at the EJC2012 qualification tournament.

Head Coach Damien Anderson said “This is a great opportunity for players in the North to be recognized at the highest level of British football, and we hope to strengthen the program with this trip”.

The practice starts at 10am and will cost £10.

Players are asked to register by filling out the forms HERE

Any players under 18 will also require consent forms

Premiership North Power Rankings

1. East Kilbride Pirates
The Pirates have yet to play in 2013, opening their campaign with a trip down to Coventry on Saturday. The new-look Jets will be a challenge for the strength of the Pirates' travelling squad, but we expect them to still be sat in the #1 spot on these rankings come next week.

2.  Tamworth Phoenix
Well, that was pretty routine. Tamworth dispatched Lancashire with consummate ease on Sunday, recording a shut-out and notching a handsome 46 points in the process. Make no mistake, these boys are intent on pulling up a few trees in this expanded Premier Division, and head up to Yorkshire looking to make it 2-0 for the season

Premiership South Power Rankings

1. London Blitz
The Blitz bow out early of their European campaign after losing by only a point, that’s gotta hurt. However, now they can focus on the ‘bread and butter’ of their game, the premiership. They finally get their first game under their belt this weekend against the Aztecs who have had an extra week to get over the undoubtedly upsetting result against the Warriors. This game should provide our first yard stick to measure the two power house London teams.

2. London Warriors
A shut out and a good offensive performance against a rival is going to have the Warriors smiling this week. It seems that the touchdowns are coming both through the air and on the ground, with former Portsmouth standout Afo Olowale scoring 4 touchdowns in the first game alone, breaking tackles along the way. Defensively the Warriors seem to have gone back to their shut out ways, with the Olympians never really being able to sustain long drives and great pressure up front ending in numerous sacks and tackles for losses.
The Warriors now face a trip up to Cambridge to face the Cambridgeshire cats this weekend in the third of a 3 game streak.

AFL Week 6 Preview

Friday 3rd May

Danube Dragons @ AFC Rangers - 18:30 GMT

The Danube Dragons looked like a real contender after their first two games but have now lost two in a row and find themselves mid-table and needing a win to get back on track. That win looks almost certain to come on Friday, as they take a trip to play against the AFC Rangers who are a hapless 0-4 at the bottom of the table and appear to be getting weaker with each week they play.

In terms of things to keep an eye on in this matchup I'm afraid I can't provide you with anything riveting, you'll just have to see how long Ogun and Dally stay out on the pitch to pad their stats before the backups come in, and I'm sensing that's at half time. The truth of the matter is that the Rangers have been very poor and even with the addition of another import in Brandon Moore, they still haven't given anyone hope to back them for a win.

Players to Watch
Dragons: Thomas Haider, Wide Receiver #13. Dally's best and most reliable target, Haider is the leagues leader in catches per game and touchdowns at the wide receiver spot.

Rangers: Brandon Moore, Running Back #21. Was not a factor at all on offence in his first game and even though he made a good contribution on the defensive side of the ball the Rangers need him to produce his best with the ball in hand to give them any hope of winning.

Prediction: No contest, Dragons 47 - Rangers 10


In the spirit of yesterdays post with Ravens draft pick Brandon Williams walking on his hands, we bring to you more "OH MY GOODNESS" moments from current and future NFL stars.

Jason Pierre Paul back flips his way to the Giants

Jarron Gilbert jumps out of a pool!

Blast from the Past: Glasgow vs Birmingham 1994

As part of an agreement with the Britball Film Archive we will be sharing video of a classic Britball game every week. This week it's a match between Glasgow and Birmingham:

1994 BAFA Glasgow -v- Birmingham from The Ref That's Left on Vimeo.

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