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Falcons Nest: 2016 Season Preview

Welcome back to another NFL season football fans. The best time of the year is upon us, and I can't wait to see what the 2016 season has in store for us. This season I am lucky enough to follow and report for the Atlanta Falcons. I want to give a big thanks to Arthur Blank, new GM Jeremy, and the entire Falcons organization. It is a great opportunity, and I can't wait to see what this season has in store.  The 2015 season was quite the rollercoaster season for the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta started the season  5-0 behind a balanced offensive with Devonta Freeman carving defenses up on the ground, and Matt Ryan in the air. Once defenses began to figure out the Falcons scheme, Kyle Shanahan failed to adjust and the Falcons finished the season 3-8 and missed the playoffs with an 8-8 record. Now 2nd year head coach Dan Quinn enters into the next season with some new faces on the team. In free agency the Falcons spent over $100 million to improve this roster and a lot of that money went towards the big free agent signings in Alex Mack, and Mohamed Sanu. Offensive line has been a major problem for the Falcons for years, and the addition of Mack provides a veteran presence and a massive upgrade at the center position. Sanu gives Matt Ryan a 2nd receiver that the team desperately needed and didn't have in Roddy White last season. Another chunk of the money went towards pass rush. The Falcons invested $26 million into Derek Shelby and Adrian Clayborn to help get after the quarterback. This is a Atlanta defense that finished last in the NFL in sacks, and had rookie Vic Beasley lead the team in sacks with 4. The Falcons are likely looking at a similar season to 2015. They probably aren't going to go on the same road that the 2015  season saw, but 8-8 sounds right about where I have the Falcons in 2016. The NFC South is the Panther's division to lose, and I think the wild cards are coming out of the NFC North and NFC West. Now I think I've gone on long enough, let's see what the #RiseUp nation has to say about the Falcons and the upcoming season. Time to take it to Twitter.

This is a great question Jevon. The one name that I think all Falcons fans should keep their eye out for is 2nd year running back Tevin Coleman. Last season Tevin Coleman was actually outperforming Devonte Freeman in camp and was posed to be the starter before he got hurt. I hear that GM Jeremy really likes Coleman and wants to use a running back by committee this season. Coleman could be posed for a big year.

This is a bit of a hard one to predict Mike. Matt Ryan had a 2015 season to forget and was ridiculed for the many red zone turnovers that Atlanta fans witnessed last season. I expect Ryan to bounce back and have a much better 2016 season. With an improved offensive line, a great rushing attack, and a new weapon in Mohamed Sanu, Matt Ryan should have a great season. If I had to predict a statline, I would say something along the lines of 3,400 yards, 30 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Thanks for the question.


First off thanks for the question Aaerios. If I had to pick one player with the most to prove this year I would honestly say it's Matt Ryan. He's about to enter year four of a six year $105 million contract with the Falcons. He's in no question the franchise quarterback for this team, but Atlanta fans are starting to get restless. The Atlanta Falcons haven't reached the playoffs since 2012 when they were probably one 4th down conversion away from reaching the Super Bowl. Many fans felt like last season's team had more than enough talent to reach the postseason. Seeing that the Falcons improved in the offseason, I'm sure fans are going to be once again looking for the postseason. If they don't see an improvement over last season from Matty Ice, Falcons fans may be calling for a QB change.

Thanks for the great question Young Jedi. Obviously I don't know what the Falcons front office is going to do, and with the season not even officially started I'm sure their draft board is likely going to change over the course of the season, but the Atlanta Falcons have a few big needs. I'd say the biggest need is cornerback. Atlanta doesn't have another quality  corner to play alongside Desmond Trufant.  Jalen Collins seems to be the guy the Falcons want to develop and be that next guy, but he is going to miss the first four games due to suspension. After Collins, the quality of the corners takes a big dip. Next position to look at is quarterback. Matt Ryan is the franchise quarterback, but the Falcons have a need at the backup position. I wouldn't be shocked to see Atlanta take a quarterback in the late rounds. The last need is pass rush. Expect the Falcons to find a pass rusher early in the draft to pair alongside Vic Beasley.



This is a really good one to close the article out on. Like I stated earlier the Falcons finished last in sacks last season with only 18. In free agency, the front office made pass rush a big need bringing in Adrian Clayborn, Courtney Upshaw, and Derek Shelby. I expect Vic Beasley to make a jump in his sophomore season and for his sack total to increase. As far as the team goes, I'd be happy if the Falcons could be middle of the pack as far as sack total goes.


This is all I have in store for this edition of Falcons Nest. In the next edition of the Falcons Nest, we will discuss all four weeks of the preseason, who has been cut from the team, and preview the week one matchup when the Falcons host the divisional rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Follow me on Twitter for updates for all thing Falcons @Texashomeboy1.  


   

    

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WrestleMania 32: The Big Flop in Big D

Roman Reigns wins the WWE Championship for the 3rd time. (WWE.com)

Wrestlemania 32 was the biggest event in the history of the WWE. The biggest event of the year was held in its biggest venue ever, Jerry World. Heading into the Pay Per View the roster was full of injuries to key superstars like John Cena, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, and Cesaro. Even with all the injuries, the card for WrestleMania 32 was stacked with Undertaker, Shane McMahon, Triple H, Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles all competing on the card. Even with this star studded card, Mania turned out to be a big flop. The matches were enjoyable to watch, but the wrong person ended up winning. To make matters worse, the WWE did nothing to build off of the momentum of WrestleMania 32. Today we are going to look into every match from the big show, and see what the WWE has done with the superstars since then. Let’s get into it.

League of Nations defeats New Day -

The League of Nations were supposed to be one of the top heel groups in the WWE, but turned out to be a major flop. The group wasn’t believable because Roman Reigns single handedly defeated the group. Defeating the tag team champions in New Day was supposed to help propel the League of Nations to the top of the WWE. After Wrestlemania, the WWE did nothing with the League of Nations and they eventually split up. Wade Barrett has since been released from WWE. Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio struggle to even appear on TV. The only person that has done anything since the League of Nations break up is Rusev. Since Mania, Rusev has dominated the midcard and is now the United States champion. As far as New Day goes, they’ve remained the tag team champions and on top of the tag team division. After seeing how both groups panned out since WrestleMania, it honestly would’ve made for sense for New Day to pick up the victory.

Andre the Giant Battle Royale: Baron Corbin Wins

The Andre the Giant Battle Royale is a match honoring the WWE legend Andre the Giant. It’s a 30 man battle royale at the grandest stage of them, with the winner getting a literal life size trophy of Andre the Giant. As far as the actual match, the WWE doesn’t put much stock into the winner. Since winning his first Mania match, the WWE has put little to any stock into Baron Corbin. He wins most of his matches, but the only real feud he has been in was with Dolph Ziggler. It was a short feud that Corbin ended up winning, but not many people paid attention too. There isn’t really much to fix with the winner as I think Baron Corbin is the perfect choice to win this match. The problem is the WWE needs to do more with this match. This could be a great way to build young superstars on the roster.

Intercontinental Ladder Match: Zack Ryder Wins

This match was very entertaining as most ladder matches are. This is one of the few matches I actually didn’t have any problems with. Zack Ryder winning the match was a great Wrestlemania moment and could’ve been a big surprise if it wasn’t ruined by a spike in betting odds for Zack Ryder the night before. After getting his moment, the Miz beat Ryder the next night on Raw to win the Intercontinental championship. The Miz has held the title every single day since and has been a great champion. The Miz just knows how to get under people’s skin and piss you off. As far as the other members go, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have become quality midcarders for the WWE, but are still being underutilized. Sin Cara and Goldust struggle to even make it onto to TV, and Dolph Ziggler is getting another crack at the WWE Championship. Of all the matches on the card, This match had one of the biggest impacts on the current WWE.

Chris Jericho defeats AJ Styles

AJ Styles first big match in the WWE and he is up against, Chris Jericho. It makes a ton of sense, because at this point in his career, Chris Jericho is in the WWE to make the young/new superstars look good. So this is the perfect opponent to get AJ Styles' WWE career started off on the right foot. Well as you can read by the bolded match result above, Chris Jericho defeated AJ Styles. Nearly everything about this feud was perfect. The build up to the match, the promos, the heated rivalry, the actual match itself all the way up until the last 30 seconds. Chris Jericho winning this match literally did nothing for WWE’s future. After the match, Chris Jericho took a break from the WWE. He would eventually return and since then has become a pretty good midcarder. As far as AJ goes, he has become one of the WWE’s top heel’s and has help build Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson into one of the top tag teams in the company. He’s done so well, that Vince McMahon has come out and stated that he’d wish that he had signed AJ Styles 10 years ago. That’s pretty high praise from a man who doesn’t care about anyone but himself. Having Chris Jericho win this match did nothing for Chris Jericho, and only slowed the development of AJ Styles in the WWE.

Charlotte wins the first ever Women's championship. (WWE.com)

Brock Lesnar defeats Dean Ambrose

This match was a major flop. When it was announced that Dean Ambrose would face Brock Lesnar in a street fight, the possibilities were endless. The actual product that was put out in Arlington, Texas was very underwhelming. For what was supposed to be a street fight, there was very little weapons involved in this match. Obviously just based on size, Brock Lesnar destroys Dean Ambrose. The stipulation of the street fight gives Dean a level playing field. I was expecting a pretty even match where Dean could outsmart Brock and use the weapons to his advantage. What actually transpired was the typical Brock Lesnar match. Endless suplexes, and a dominating performance with Brock ending up with the victory. I have no problem with Brock winning, but the way this match played out made Dean look very weak. Since the match, Brock has yet to compete in another match, and Dean has risen to the top of the WWE and become the WWE champion. This match kept the aura that Brock Lesnar has as the most dominant force in the WWE, but slowed the momentum of Dean Ambrose.

Undertaker defeats Shane McMahon

If talking about the circumstances for a match, and how much impact it had on the future of the WWE, no match in Cowboys stadium had a bigger impact than the Undertaker vs Shane McMahon in Hell in a Cell. The stipulations were so big, that the only place for this level of a match was Wrestlemania. If Shane wins then he takes control of the WWE away from the authority, and Undertaker is forced to retire. If Undertaker wins, then the Authority remains in power. The winner of this match seemed pretty obvious. Have Shane win to take the company into a new direction, and have a memorable match to send Undertaker out with a bang. The match was great with many memorable moments including Shane McMahon diving off the top of the cell onto the announce table. Undertaker winning this match makes no sense. After mania, we still have yet to see Undertaker in the WWE and that could’ve actually been his last match, as far as Shane goes, he became the GM of Raw for a long stint, and is now the GM of Smackdown. It made zero sense for Undertaker to win this match.

Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch

This was the only match that I had zero problems with. These three women stole the show and had the match of the night in Dallas. You couldn’t go wrong with a winner here, and Charlotte was a sensational champion after Mania. Becky and Charlotte had a long rivalry after Mania, and Sasha just took the title off of Charlotte. Becky is now at the top of the Smackdown Women’s division, and Charlotte and Sasha Banks are at the top of Raw. There isn’t much more to say about this match.

Roman Reigns defeats Triple H

This is the main event that honestly not many people wanted to see, and was the most predictable match on the card. The match itself was very forgettable, as I honestly don’t remember what happened. It was very obvious they were holding off until Wrestlemania to give Roman his big moment of winning the WWE Championship. Since Wrestlemania Triple H has yet to appear on TV, and Roman Reigns has slowly faded after a long title run. He is now competing for the US championship.

WrestleMania 32 turned out to be a huge flop. Yes, there was injuries to key superstars, but this card had the potential to be a great show. Not only was the show disappointing, but the WWE has done very little with the card since the PPPV has passed. Let me know your thoughts on WrestleMania 32 and the WWE currently by leaving a comment below and tweeting me @Texashomeboy1.


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Going into the 2017 season, Charlie Strong once again has an open competition for the Quarterback position. (USA Today.)     Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

August is one of the most exciting times of the year. NFL training camps have started, College Football is right around the corner, and most importantly, it’s the month of my birthday. With the upcoming College Football season less than a month away, the nerves and excitement are at an all time high. At the University of Texas, the nerves have never been higher for Charlie Strong and the gang. After back to back losing seasons to start his career as the Texas head coach, many fans and reporters are beginning to question if he is the man for the job. What has led to this downfall for the Texas Longhorns is a list of problems, and at the top of the list is quarterback play. The Longhorns have struggled to find a great quarterback to lead the helm since Colt McCoy left Austin in 2010. Last season, Charlie Strong gave the keys to freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard. Heard is a QB who slowly improved as the season progressed, but was never a guy who struck fear ;into the opposing team's hearts. He could win you a game with his feet, but is never going to beat a team with his arm. Heading into the 2016 season, Texas once again went into spring with an open QB competition. This time it was a three horse race, between returning QBs Jerrod Heard and Tyrone Swoopes, and incoming freshman Shane Buechele. Heading into the spring game, the QB competition was down to Buechele and Heard. Shane Buechele outplayed the second year QB and quickly grabbed the attention of all Longhorns fans. Now heading into the first week of camp, it seems Shane Buechele has finally taken the starting job.

As you can see in the tweet above, with the improvements of Tyrone and Shane, the Longhorns have decided to move Jerrod Heard to the wide receiver position. This seems like a better fit for Heard as he was more of an athlete than a quarterback. Even though Charlie Strong hasn't announced a starting quarterback yet with the opening game against Notre Dame just a few weeks away, I fully expect the freshman to get the start. Tyrone Swoopes has been one of Texas' biggest improvers over this offseason, but I can't see coach Strong starting a QB who was used more as a goaline running back than a passer. I expect Charlie Strong to announce Buechele as the starter in the near future. So, what exactly is Texas getting with the Lamar high school product?


Shane Buechele is the man around town for the Texas Longhorns.

Shane Buechele was a 4 star recruit and the #4 dual threat quarterback in the nation who committed to the Longhorns on February 23rd and was one of the first commits for the Texas 2016 recruiting class. This allowed Buechele to be a big  recruiter for the Longhorns, and enroll early to Austin to put himself into the QB competition. When watching film of the quarterback, he seems like the perfect fit for the offense that new coordinator Sterlin Gilbert wants to run. Charlie Strong brought in the former Tulsa offensive coordinator this offseason to help recruit in state quarterbacks and to help the transition for the high school QB's to college. Texas was one of the few big 12 teams last season that didn't run the spread, up-tempo offense that is very popular among high schools in Texas. Shane Buechele is the prototype for what Gilbert wants in a QB. Shane has the ability to make plays with his arms and legs. He can make all the throws, has an excellent deep ball, and has the ability to make quick reads. He has a chance to shine with the amazing rushing attack that Texas will provide with D'Onta Foreman and Chris Warren, and the plethora of targets to throw to in John Burt, Collin Johnson, Armanti Foreman (D'Onta's brother) and Devin Duvernay.

Shane Buechele has given Longhorns fans a hope and excitement that this team hasn't seen since the days of Colt McCoy. The freshman QB could be the savior that the Longhorns have been looking for. This is a team that's full of talent, and is just a quarterback away from being a great team. Hopefully Shane Buechele is the QB that Texas fans have been praying for.

Let me know your thoughts on the Texas QB situation and the upcoming college football season by leaving a comment below and tweeting me @Texashomeboy1.








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