Sports by the Numbers

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14 Apr

Decoding the MLB Standings After the First 2 Weeks

It's been an interesting start to the new season of baseball in 2013. Some teams we expected to do well are doing well (Braves, Tigers), the teams we expected to do bad are doing bad (Miami, Houston), some teams we expected to do well aren't doing so well (Angels, Reds, Blue Jays), and some teams we expected to do bad are doing well (Athletics, Mets, Red Sox). As we take a look into the standings, it seems like it all comes down to run differential: the number of runs scored minus the number of runs given up. The teams with mediocre RD are in the middle of the pack, while the teams with exceptional RD are out in front. 

Before I get into RD by league, I'll give a quick reference to the stigmas given to each league. It's said that the AL is a hitter's league, and the NL is a pitcher's league, and so far that has proven to be true, but only marginally. The 15 teams in the AL have scored 728 runs, 25 more runs than the 15 teams in the NL could muster. The NL teams have given up 692 runs, 47 less runs than the AL. We see a (-)11 RD in the AL, and a +11 RD in the NL. Simply put, the AL is scoring more and the NL is pitching better. No surprise there. The AL teams are scoring 4.36 runs/game, .10 better than the NL, and the NL teams are giving up 4.19 runs/game, .28 runs less/game than the AL. 

Now, for the breakdown in run differential:

American League

Total RD by division: 

East: +2 Best: Boston (+16), Worst: Toronto (-19)

Central: -13 Best: Detroit (+12), Worst: Minnesota (-18)

West: Even Best: Oakland (+30), Worst: Los Angeles (-22) 

Best Scoring Teams by Division (runs scored):Best Pitching Teams by Division (runs allowed)

East: New York (57): Boston (32)

Central: Detroit (58): Kansas City (39) 

West: Oakland (73): Texas (35) 

Worst Scoring Teams by Division (runs scored): Worst Pitching Teams by Division (runs allowed) 

East: Tampa Bay (33): Toronto (64) 

Central: Chicago (39): Minnesota (58) 

West: Los Angeles (40): Los Angeles (62)

National League

Total RD by division: 

East: +14 Best: Atlanta (+30), Worst: Miami (-25)

Central: -9 Best: St. Louis (+28), Worst: Milwaukee (-27)

West: +6 Best: Arizona (+16), Worst: San Diego (-28) 

Best Scoring Teams by Division (runs scored):Best Pitching Teams by Division (runs allowed)

East: New York (69): Atlanta (23)

Central: St. Louis (66): St. Louis (38) 

West: Arizona/Colorado (63): Los Angeles (32) 

Worst Scoring Teams by Division (runs scored): Worst Pitching Teams by Division (runs allowed) 

East: Miami (19): Philadelphia (57) 

Central: Milwaukee (32): Milwaukee (59) 

West: San Diego (38): San Diego (66) 

Some people may be looking at this going, "Well yeah, a better run differential equals better record", but that isn't always the case. A team can go 5-1 with a -10 RD if they won all 5 games 1-0 but lost their one game by 15. What Rd does let us see is the strengths and weaknesses of each team. While the Yankees are the top scores in the AL east, they are only 5-5 because their pitching isn't picking up with the hitting. 

Altogether, the league is very close as of now. The only standout teams so far are the surprising Athletics and the usually strong Braves. As the season progresses, we'll get a better picture on how each league stacks up against the other in hitting and pitching. 

Hope this game you a unique perspective on the league!

comments (3)
27 Feb

Charting Win Percentage for NFL Teams: NFC 2003-2012

I took a little time to research and plot out the win percentages of each team in the NFL so everyone can get a visual representation of how each team is trending. This post will feature the 16 teams in the NFC.  Here's the AFC Charts:Link

Each chart plots the Win % year-by-year over the past 10 seasons.

Click on the links below to enlarge the charts: 

NFC East   

New York Giants logo New York Giants  

  • Collins Year: '03 
  • Warner Year: '04 
  • Manning Years: '05-'12
  • Playoff Appearances: '05, '06, '07, '08, '11 
  • Conference Championship Years: '08,'11 
  • Super Bowl Champs: '08, '11 

Philadelphia Eagles logoPhiladelphia Eagles  

  • McNabb Years: '03-'09
  • Vick Years: '09-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '03, '04, '06, '08, '09, '10 
  • Conference Champions: '04 
  • No Super Bowl Championships 

Dallas Cowboys logoDallas Cowboys  

  • Carter Year: '03 
  • Testaverde Year: '04 
  • Bledsoe Year: '05 
  • Kitna Year: '10 
  • Romo Years: '06-'12 except '10  
  • Playoff Appearances: '03, '06, '07, '09 
  • No Conference of Super Bowl Championships 

Washington Redskins logoWashington Redskins 

  • Ramsay Year: '03 
  • Brunell Years: '04-'06 
  • Campbell Years: '07-09 
  • McNabb Year: '10 
  • Grossman Year: '11 
  • Griffin III Year: '12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '05, '07, '12  
  • No Conference or Super Bowl Championships 

NFC North   

Green Bay Packers logo Green Bay Packers 

  • Favre Years: '03-'07 
  • Rodgers Years: '07-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '03, '04, '07, '09, '10, '11, '12 
  • Conference Championships: '10 
  • Super Bowl Champions: '10 

Minnesota Vikings logo Minnesota Vikings 

  • Culpepper Years: '03-'05 
  • Johnson Year: '06 
  • Jackson Year: '07 
  • Frerotte Year: '08 
  • Favre Years: '09-'10 
  • McNabb Year: '11 
  • Ponder Year: '12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '04, '08, '09, '12  
  • No Conference or Super Bowl Championships 

Chicago Bears logo Chicago Bears 

  • Stewart Year: '03 
  • Krenzel Year: '04 
  • Orton Years: '05, '08 
  • Grossman Years: '06-'07 
  • Cutler Years: '09-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '05, '06, '10 
  • Conference Champs: '06 
  • No Super Bowl Wins 

Detroit Lions logoDetroit Lions 

  • Harrington Years: '03-'05 
  • Kitna Years: '06-'07
  • Orlovsky Year: '08 
  • Stafford Years: '09, '11-'12 
  • Hill Year: '10 
  • Playoff Appearances: '11 
  • No Conference or Super Bowl Championships

NFC South   

Atlanta Falcons logo Atlanta Falcons 

  • Johnson Year: '03 
  • Vick Years: '04-'06 
  • Harrington Year: '07 
  • Ryan Years: '08-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '04, '08, '10, '11, '12 
  • No Conference or Super Bowl Championships

New Orleans Saints logo New Orleans Saints 

  • Brooks Years: '03-'05 
  • Brees Years: '06-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '06, '09, '10, '11 
  • Conference Championships: '09 
  • Super Bowl Champs: '09 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

  • Johnson Year: '03 
  • Griese Year: '04 
  • Simms Year: '05 
  • Gradowski Year: '06 
  • Garcia Years: '07-'08 
  • Freeman Years: '09-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '05, '07 
  • No Conference or Super Bowl Championships 

Carolina Panthers logo Carolina Panthers 

  • Delhomme Years: '03-'06, '08-09 
  • Testaverde Year: '07 
  • Clausen Year: '10 
  • Newton Years: '11-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '03, '05, '08 
  • Conference Champs: '03 
  • No Super Bowl Championships

NFC West    (For some reason the chart doesn't want to copy/paste into here so you have to use the      link)

San Francisco 49ers logoSan Francisco 49ers 

  • Garcia Year: '03 
  • Rattay Year: '04 
  • Smith Years: '05-'07, '09-'11 
  • Hill Year: '08 
  • Kaepernick Year: '12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '11, '12 
  • Conference Champs: '12 
  • No Super Bowl Championships  

St. Louis Rams logo St. Louis Rams 

  • Bulger Years: '03-'09 
  • Bradford Years: '10-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '03, '04  
  • No Conference or Super Bowl Championships 

Arizona Cardinals logo Arizona Cardinals 

  • Blake Year: '03 
  • McCown Year: '04 
  • Warner Years: '05-'09 
  • Anderson Year: '10 
  • Kolb Year: '11 
  • Skelton/Kolb/Lindley Year: '12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '08, '09 
  • Conference Champions: '08  
  • No Super Bowl Championships 

Seattle Seahawks logo Seattle Seahawks 

  • Hasselbeck Years: '03-'07, '09-'10
  • Wallace Years: '08 
  • Jackson Years: '11 
  • Wilson Year: '12 
  • Playoff Years: '03, '04, '05, '06, '07, '10, '12 
  • Conference Champions: '05 
  • No Super Bowl Championships 

27 Feb

Alex Smith Trade Deal to Kansas City Has Been Confirmed

From ESPN: 

The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs, a league source confirmed to's John Clayton.

Terms of the trade, which can't officially be completed until March 12 when the 2013 league year begins, weren't immediately available.

The trade agreement was first reported by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer on Twitter. 

Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick, lost his starting job to Colin Kaepernick while sitting out with a concussion but was professional at every turn and continued to mentor his replacement.

Before his injury, Smith had completed 26 of his last 28 passes -- including going 18-of-19 for 232 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a "Monday Night Football" win at Arizona on Oct. 29.

He then sustained a concussion in the second quarter of the 49ers' next game, a 24-24 tie against St. Louis on Nov. 11. Smith sat out the next game as Kaepernick dazzled in his debut as an NFL starter, beating the Bears handily at home on "Monday Night Football." Smith didn't start again last season.

The 28-year-old quarterback has thrown for 14,280 yards with 81 touchdowns and 63 interceptions in 80 career games.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

26 Feb

Charting Win Percentage for NFL Teams: AFC 2003-2012

I took a little time to research and plot out the win percentages of each team in the NFL so everyone can get a visual representation of how each team is trending. This post will feature the 16 teams in the AFC.  

Each chart plots the Win % year-by-year over the past 10 seasons.

Click on the links below to enlarge the charts: 

AFC East      

New England Patriots logo New England Patriots  

  • Brady Years: Since '03 except '08
  • 2008 decline=Matt Cassell starts, Brady tore ACL and MCL 
  • Playoff Years: '03, '04, '05, '06, '07, '09, '10, '11, '12 
  • Conference Championship Years: '03, '04, '07, '11 
  • Super Bowl Champions: '03, '04 

Buffalo Bills logo Buffalo Bills 

  • Bledsoe Years: '03, '04 
  • Losman Years: '05*, '06, '07     *Holcomb started 8 games 
  • Edwards Years: '07*, '08          *Losman started 7 games 
  • Fitzpatrick Years: '09*, '10, '11, '12   *Edwards started 7 games 
  • No playoff appearances '03-'12  

Miami Dolphins logoMiami Dolphins 

  • Fiedler Year: '03 
  • Feeley Year: '04 
  • Frerotte Year: '05  
  • Harrington Year: '06 
  • Lemon Year: '07 
  • Pennington Year: '08 
  • Henne Years: '09, '10 
  • Moore Year: '11 
  • Tannehill Year: '12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '08 
  • No Super Bowls from '03-'12 

New York Jets logo New York Jets 

  • Pennington Years: '03, '04, '06, '07 
  • Bollinger Year: '05
  • Favre Year: '08 
  • Sanchez Years: '09-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '04, '06, '09, '10 
  • No Super Bowls from '03 to '12

AFC North   

Baltimore Ravens logo Baltimore Ravens 

  • Boller Years: '03, '04, '05, '07 
  • McNair Year: '06 
  • Flacco Years: '08-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '03, '06, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12 
  • Conference Championships: '12 
  • Super Bowl Champions: '12 

Pittsburgh Steelers logoPittsburgh Steelers 

  • Maddox Year: '03 
  • Roethlisberger Years: '04-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '04, '05, '07, '08, '10, '11  
  • Conference Championships: '05, '08, '10 
  • Super Bowl Champions: '05, '08 

Cincinnati Bengals logoCincinnati Bengals 

  • Kitna Year: '03 
  • Palmer Years: '05-'07, '09, '10 
  • Fitzpatrick Years: '08 
  • Dalton Years: '11, '12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '05, '09, '11, '12 
  • No Conference or Super Bowl Championships  
Cleveland Browns logoCleveland Browns 
  • Holcomb Year: '03
  • Garcia Year: '04 
  • Dilfer Year: '05
  • Frye Year: '06 
  • Anderson Years: '07, '08 
  • Quinn Year: '09 
  • McCoy Years: '10, '11 
  • Weeden Year: '12 
  • No Playoff Appearances '03-'12

AFC South    

Indianapolis Colts logoIndianapolis Colts 

  • Manning Years: '03-'10 
  • Painter/Orlovsky/Collins Year: '11 
  • Luck Year: '12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '03, '04, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '12 
  • Conference Championships: '06, '09 
  • Super Bowl Champions: '06 

Jacksonville Jaguars logoJacksonville Jaguars 

  • Leftwich Years: '03-'05 
  • Garrard Years: '06-'10 
  • Gabbert Years: '11-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '05, '07 
  • No Conference of Super Bowl Championships 

Tennessee Titans logoTennessee Titans

  • McNair Years: '03-'05 
  • Young Years: '06-'07, '09-'10 
  • Collins Years: '08 
  • Hasselbeck Years: '11 
  • Locker Years: '12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '03, '07, '08 
  • No Conference or Super Bowl Championships 

Houston Texans logoHouston Texans 

  • Carr Years: '03-'06 
  • Schaub Years: '07-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '11, '12 
  • No Conference or Super Bowl Championships

AFC West   

Denver Broncos logoDenver Broncos 

  • Plummer Years: '03-'06 
  • Cutler Years: '06-'08 
  • Orton Years: '09-'10 
  • Tebow Year: '11 
  • Manning Year: '12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '03, '04, '05, '11, '12 
  • No Conference or Super Bowl Championships 

San Diego Chargers logo San Diego Chargers

  • Brees Years: '03-'05 
  • Rivers Years: '06-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '04, '06, '07, '08, '09 
  • No Conference of Super Bowl Championships 

Oakland Raiders logo Oakland Raiders 

  • Mirer Year: '03 
  • Collins Years: '04, '05 
  • Walter Year: '06 
  • McCown Year: '07 
  • Russell Years: '08, '09 
  • Campbell Year: '10 
  • Palmer Years: '11, '12 
  • No Playoff Appearances 

Kansas City Chiefs logo Kansas City Chiefs 

  • Green Years: '03-'06 
  • Huard Year: '07 
  • Thigpen Year: '08 
  • Cassel Years: '09-'12 
  • Playoff Appearances: '03, '06, '10 
  • No Conference or Super Bowl Championships

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26 Feb

Will Steven Jackson be a Falcon next year?

Jim Lewis, reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, said Monday  that Steven Jackson has voided his final contract year with the St. Louis Rams. This doesn't necessarily mean that the Rams won't try to sign Jackson, but it would be smart to let him go since his $7 million contract is a little too pricey for the transitioning Rams. 

The top-teams that need a RB are the Packers, Giants, Broncos and Falcons, emphasis on the Falcons. Atlanta will most likely let Michael Turner go and upgrade to Jackson, the 29 year old running back who has put up at least 1,000 yards every year since 2005.  

Atlanta seems like the perfect fit for Jackson, who will probably finish his career with the team who signs him this off-season and who wants to finish his carrer with a Super Bowl contending team. There's no doubt anymore that Atlanta has the talent to make it there and who knows, maybe Steven Jackson is the missing piece of the puzzle for the Falcons who ended their season with a disappointing 28-24 loss to the 49ers.  

26 Feb

NFL Off-season 2013 A-Z: Chicago Bears

This is the sixth installment of a 32 part series on the 2013 NFL Off-season Team-by-Team Analysis. 

2012 Record: 10-6 (3rd in NFC North)

Key Free Agents: QB Jason Campbell, LB Nick Roach, LB Brian Urlacher, DE Israel Idonije, G Lance Lewis 

Coaching Staff: HC Marc Trestman, OC Aaron Kromer, DC Mel Tucker, ST Joe DiCamillis

Cap Space: Around $13.3 million

2013 Draft Picks: 20 (1), 50 (2), None (3), 114 (4), 146 (5), 178 (6), None (7) 

Off-Season To-Do List: 

-Begin the next generation of Bears defense. The Chicago Bears' defense is aging well, but it won't be too long until Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman and Julius Peppers retire. The Bears still have a couple years left to recruit replacements, but the time to start is now. Most mock drafts have the Bears picking TE Zach Ertz with their first pick, which is good because they do need a young TE, but the next few rounds should be dedicated to defense. If he's not gone by the second round, the Bears should set their sights on Arthur Brown, the 6 foot LB out of Kansas St. who is closely compared to NaVarro Bowman, the ILB for the Niners. Brown's best traits are his ball-seeking ability and the strength he has to complete tackles and push through blocks. Brown would eventually replace Urlacher. To replace Tillman, I'd like to see the Bears draft Leon McFadden, the 5' 10" CB from San Diego St.. McFadden is a strong zone defender with strong, fluid hips that help him make quick transitions between backpedaling and closing. The only downside to McFadden is his size, being only 5' 10" and 193 pounds. As for Peppers, it is difficult to give a prediction based on the foresight that DE's are going to go quickly in the first two rounds. 

-Sign another target for Cutler to throw to. The Bears have a pretty solid WR core already in Marshall, Hester and Bennett and according to mock drafts, he'll have another one in TE Zach Ertz after the draft, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up one of the big names on free-agency this off-season. It would be nice to grab Greg Jennings, but the guy is asking for more money than the Bears can afford. I'm a pretty big fan of Danny Amendola, and if the Bears can make an offer to Amendola that's more appealing than the one the Patriots will make, I think he would be a great addition to the team. 

-Build a stronger O-line. G Chris Spencer, T Patrick Mannelly and T Jonathan Scott are all free-agents in 2013. It can be agreed that Mannelly is as good as gone, but re-signing Jonathan Scott would be a good move. The backup only allowed 1 sack in 7 games, and the 29 year old would move to the starting position once Mannelly is gone, providing him a better opportunity to become the young backbone of the O-line. Dallas Thomas out of Tennessee would be a good option to consider during the draft, but if the Bears end up focusing on defense more than offense in the draft, they could always consider Andre Smith (CIN) or Jake Long (MIA) who are free-agents this year. 

2013 Schedule-Difficulty: 6/10

Home: Lions, Packers, Vikings, Cowboys, Giants, Saints, Ravens, Bengals

Away: Lions, Packers, Vikings, Eagles, Redskins, Rams, Browns, Steelers 

Projected Record: 9-7 (T-2nd in NFC North with Vikings)

Want to read the off-season preview for another team? Here's what I have done so far: 





Carolina Panthers 

Want more NFL news and opinions from the one of the best on Head over to the NFL Guru's page 

Did you like the article? Can I do something to improve it? Let me know in the comments section! 

25 Feb

NFL Off-season 2013 A-Z: Carolina Panthers

Readers: After you take a look at the article, take a minute to go over to the NFL Guru's page. He's a great writer who's articles offer great perspectives on everything going on in the NFL. It's definitely worth a visit and I would recommend following his page. 

This is the fifth installment of a 32 part series on the 2013 NFL Off-season Team-by-Team Analysis. 

2012 Record: 7-9 (2nd in NFC South)

Key Free Agents: DT Dwan Edwards, TE Ben Hartsock, S Sherrod Martin, LB Captain Munnerlyn

Coaching Staff: HC Ron Rivera, DC Sean McDermott, OC Mike Shula, ST Richard Rogers

Cap Space: Approx. (-)$12 million

2013 Draft Picks: 14 (1), 44 (2), None (3), 105 (4), 141 (5), 172 (6), None (7) 

Off-Season To-Do List: 

-Give Cam Newton a competitor. The 23 year old has played pretty well through his first two years as a starter for the Panthers. He's started all 32 games, passed for 7,920 yards with 40 touchdowns and 29 interceptions and a 85.3 passer rating. On foot, he's gained over 1,400 yards on 253 attempts, averaging just under 6 yards a carry. It's clear to see that Newton is everything we thought he would be coming into the league. The kid has a rocket for an arm and displays the leadership ability that every coach wants in his QB. But could he be better if he had some competition? Since Day 1, Newton was the starter in Carolina, so he's never really had to compete for his spot. The guy in the #2 spot is Derek Anderson, the former starter for the 2007-2009 Cleveland Browns, who is light competition for the younger, quicker, more accurate Newton. I'm not saying that the Panthers should draft a QB though (they've invested in Newton and don't have the cap space to anyways). What they should do is try to pick up Matt Flynn from Seattle. The former Packer has become the spectator to Russell Wilson and although he hasn't had a stellar career, his presence should be enough to show Newton that he doesn't have the starting job locked up just yet. 

-Draft Giovani Bernard and sell DeAngelo Williams. The Carolina Panthers simply don't have enough money left in the bank to hold on to Williams, who has shown decline since he ran 1,515 yards in 2008. The Panthers gave him a 5-year/$43 million contract in 2011 with $21 million guaranteed, but for a 29 year old back who only put up 737 yards on 173 attempts in 2012, the contract is starting to look like a bust. The solution? Put Williams on the market and draft Giovani Bernard, the RB out of North Carolina who ran for 1,253 yards on 239 attempts this past season and also recorded 362 yards on 42 receptions and 263 yards and 2 touchdowns from 16 punt returns. The kid has been compared to C.J. Spiller, and we all know how Spiller is doing in Buffalo. He could aslo return kicks for the Panthers who have had troubles finding a man for the position in recent years. He's expected to go in the second round of the draft where the Panthers will have the 12th pick. 

-Be smart about re-signing. The Panthers are about $12 million over the cap and have some key free agents to re-sign in the off-season, which means some players may be taking pay cuts (Chris Gamble, Ron Edwards, Jon Beason, Jordan Gross). If they cut DeAngelo Williams, they'll free up some cap space, but they still need to sign their draft picks and their key free agents if they hope to compete in 2013. 

2013 Schedule-Difficulty: 8/10

Home: Falcons, Saints, Buccaneers, Rams, Seahawks, Giants, Patriots, Jets

Away: Falcons, Saints, Buccaneers, Cardinals, 49ers, Vikings, Bills, Dolphins 

Projected Record: 6-10 (3rd in NFC South)

Want to read the off-season preview for another team? Here's what I have done so far: 




Buffalo Bills 

Did you like the article? Can I do something to improve it? Let me know in the comments section!

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25 Feb

Tom Brady agrees to a 3-year/ $27 million extension through 2017

Sports Illustrated's Peter King broke the story at 4:45 PM EST on Feb. 25th. The text below is directly taken from his article which is linked to on the bottom of the page. 

"Tom Brady took a huge step today to ensure he'll retire a Patriot, agreeing to a three-year contract extension that will keep him under center for New England through the 2017 season, when he will be 40 years old.

For the second time in his illustrious career, Brady is doing something players in this day and age simply do not do: As he did in 2005, Brady, a league source told, is signing a contract with New England that will pay him significantly less money than the market will bear, in large part to help the Patriots stay competitive for the next five seasons.

Amazingly, according to the source, the deal is for an eye-poppingly conservative $27 million, which is less than half his worth by any measure.

The extension will pay Brady a $3 million signing bonus immediately, in addition to salaries of $7 million in 2015, $8 million in 2016 and $9 million in 2017. Brady told Sports Illustrated five years ago he wanted to play until he was 40, at least, and this will accomplish that. He turns 40 on Aug. 3, 2017.

The upshot of the deal is to give the Patriots massive cap relief in a flat-cap era. He was due to count $43.6 million on the New England salary cap in 2013 and 2014. Now, his cap numbers will add up to $28.6 million in the next two years, a savings of $15 million in cap dollars at a time the Patriots have free agents they want to sign to help keep the team atop the AFC East, which they have dominated since Brady took over at quarterback in 2001."

Source: King

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25 Feb

Manti Te'o Runs a 4.82 40; Disappoints Harbaugh

Manti Te'o needed a good performance at the 40 yard dash to impress the coaches watching at the combine on Monday. He failed to do so, recording a 4.82. John Harbaugh can be seen on video shaking his head as he watched Te'o run. It looked like Te'o ran out of gas after the 20 yard line then coasted to the finish. 

NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock stated that Te'o only needed to run a 4.70 to lock up a first round draft spot but Te'o, trying to erase all doubts about his talent level, failed to do so. 

Teo's 4.82 is only milliseconds away from matching the 40 yard time of 4.87 that Dontari Poe, the 376 pound Chiefs DT, ran last year at the combine.  

So now that Te'o failed to improve his draft status, where does he sit now? Chris Wesseling, NFL writer, states that "Te'o could start falling on draft boards behind LSU's Kevin Minter, who was officially clocked at 4.81 in the 40. Several respected analysts have noted from film-watching that Minter did a much better job of shedding blocks at the line of scrimmage last season."  

With all of the controversy in the off-season, many people were curious as to how Te'o would handle the media at the combine and the attention from the scandal. It seems like he's done a great job ignoring it and focusing on the drills. It looks like the only thing holding him back from the first round in the draft is his own skill. 

25 Feb

The Full Transcript of the Manti Te'o Combine Interview on Saturday

USA Today

The following transcript was written by Darin Gantt and posted on on February 23rd. 

Link to original article 

Te'o (taking the stage and laughing): "That's a lot of cameras."

Q: How are you feeling?

Te'o: " I'm kind of tired right now. A long day, medical exams. It's all part of the process."

Q: Are you tired of answering all the questions about the (fake dead girlfriend) incident?

"Yeah, about the incident, I've said all I need to say about that. How I'm handling it going forward is doing what I'm doing, focusing on the moment, focusing on football and the combine. Not everybody gets this opportunity to be here. I'm sure there's

thousands and thousands of people who would like to be here in Indianapolis. Just trying to enjoy the moment."

Q: How much have you been asked about it by NFL teams? 

Te'o: "Quite a few teams asked me about it. Some go to certain lengths, some just ask me, 'Just give me a brief overview of how it was' then they get straight to business."

Q: Why didn't you play well in the national championship game?

"That's because I didn't. That's all on me. I played hard and so did my team, but Alabama had a great game plan and so did we. They executed better than we did."

Q: Was the other situation a distraction to you leading up to that game?

Te'o: "No."

Q: Any teams not ask you about it?

Te'o: "No (laughs). They all ask me about it."

Q: What are they asking you?

Te'o: "Just tell me the facts. They want to hear it from me. Just tell them basically what happened."

Q: Do you think it might hurt you?

Te'o: "That I don't know. That I don't know."

Q: Could you summarize the facts?

Te'o: "Just I care for somebody and that's what I was taught to do. Ever since I was young if somebody needs help you help them out. Unfortunately it didn't end up the way I thought it would."

Q: Why wait so long to say something?

Te'o: "It was just a whirlwind of stuff. A 22-year-old, 21-year old at that time, just trying to get your thoughts right. Everybody was just kind of chaos for a little bit, so you let that chaos die down and wait until everybody's ready to listen."

Q: Do you understand people might doubt your version of events because it took you so long?

Te'o: "That I don't know, people doubting because I took a while to come out. From our point of view we wanted everything to come out first and then have my side come out. The way we did I felt worked best for me. I'm very grateful for those who helped me to get through that time. I felt it went as smoothly as it could."

Q: Have you gotten a sense from NFL people it might affect you in draft?

Te'o: "No, not really. They've told me that, . . . they've wanted to hear it from me what the truth was. They haven't really said anything about it affecting me.

"Some guys just talk briefly for 30 seconds and the next 14 minutes is all plays and getting down to business. That's how I prefer it to be."

Q: Do you worry how you'll be treated in the locker room, trouble assuming a leadership role?

Te'o: "No. I think I've learned the difference between the things I can control and the things I can't control. And hopefully by doing the things I can control well I'll have more favor in the other category. Whatever team I go to, I'm just going to be me, I'm going to work hard, I'm going to do my best to help the team win. And whatever happens happens."

Q: Can you believe the fascination like this?

Te'o: "It's pretty crazy. I've been in front of a few cameras, but not as many as this."

Q: "What about when it came out, every news channel, lead story. You surprised?"

Te'o: "I was. It got overwhelming at times. The hardest part and I've said was just to see, not necessarily my first name, but my last name. Everybody here, you treasure your last name. That's what you hold dear. That's something that when you pass on, the only thing that stays with you, stays here is your last name. To see your last name everywhere and know I represented my family and all my cousins and aunties and uncles, . . .

Q: Are you prepared to deal with this for the next couple years?

Te'o: "Oh, yeah. For me, I hopefully I'm just looking forward to getting straight to football. I understand people have questions, but I've answered everything I could. For me I'd really like to talk about football."

Q: Had you planned to go to the Senior Bowl, did this change your mind?

Te'o: "No. I didn't get that far. I was still worrying about the national championship. I didn't get that far."

Q: Who are some of the teams you've met with?

Te'o: "I've met with the Texans and I met with the Packers."

Q: Why didn't you attempt to go see a girl you cared so much about?

Te'o: "I did. We made plans, obviously it didn't work out."

Q: How many more teams do you expect to talk to and which ones?

Te'o: "I don't know, I'm not sure. I know I'll be meeting formally with 18 more teams. I don't know specifically who they are. I'll find out soon. I'm meeting with 20 total."

Q: What are you telling teams you bring to the table as a player?

Te'o: "I think what I bring to the table is a lot of heart, a lot of energy and somebody that works hard. Somebody who hates to lose. I always say, 'I hate losing more than I love to win.' The reason why I love to win is because I don't have to go through that feeling of losing. It's those times where I lose that feeling that will stick with me. For teams I tell them, 'You'll always get somebody who's humble, works hard, doesn't say much and will do everything it takes to win.'"

Q: Have any lingering regret over all this?

Te'o: "I could have done some things different, obviously, done a lot of things different to avoid all this stuff. But throughout my experience my senior year, I wouldn't do anything different."

Q: Has this been embarrassing?

Te'o: "Oh, definitely. For anybody to go through, it's definitely embarrassing. When you're walking through grocery stores and you're kind of like giving people double-takes to see if they're starting at you ,it's definitely embarrassing. I guess it's part of the process, it's part of the journey. You know it's only going to make me stronger and it definitely has."

Q: Have you gotten past the point of being embarrassed about it?

Te'o: "Oh, definitely. It definitely has gone. Obviously I'm here. If I was still embarrassed I wouldn't be standing in front of you."

Q: Can you understand what NFL teams are trying to get at?

Te'o: "Yeah, they want to be able to trust their player. You don't want to invest in somebody you can't trust. With everybody here, they're just trying to get to know you, get to know you as a person and as a football player. I understand where they're coming from."

Q: Does that make you feel you've got a hurdle to overcome in the honesty department?

Te'o: "It could be a hurdle, but it could also be a great opportunity to show who you really are. That's the way I've approached it and it's been a great growing experience for me."

Q: Ravens have been mentioned a lot as a destination for you. How much would you like to follow Ray Lewis?

Te'o: "Aw, definitely, whatever team I go to, but definitely the Ravens. Ray Lewis, I've grown up watching Ray Lewis. Just watching his intensity, his passion for the game, his love for the game, his work ethic. Everything in a linebacker that you want to be is in Ray Lewis, from leadership qualities, all that. He'll be definitely missed in Baltimore and in the NFL as a whole.

"If I get to go to Baltimore, it will definitely be some big shoes to fill, but an opportunity I'll be honored to have."

Q: What's different about you now?

Te'o: "For me I've learned just to be honest in anything and everything you do, from the big things to the small things. Secondly, to keep your circle very small and to understand who's really in your corner and who's not. I think going off of the season my team and I had, there's a lot of people in our corner. Then when Jan. 16 happened, there's a lot of people in the other corner. I just learned to appreciate the people that I have that are with me and to just make sure you always try to turn a negative thing into a positive."

Q: What's been the toughest moment since all this came out?

Te'o: "I think the toughest moment, to be honest with you, was a phone call that I got from my sister where she told me that they had to sneak my own family in their home because there were people parked out in the yard and stuff like that. That had to be the hardest part.

"And for me, something that I've always had a problem with is when I can't do something about it; I can't help. To know that my family was in this situation because of the actions I committed was definitely the hardest part for me."

Q: As a player what kind of challenges can you anticipate at the next level?

Te'o: "The game gets even faster, a lot more complex. What I have to do as a player is I have to remember why I'm playing this game. It's the same game I played when I was a little kid on the streets, same thing, football's still the same shape. Obviously people are going to be professionals. This is where the best play. But as long as I don't stray too far from who I am and what I believe in, I think the journey will be worth it."

Q: Players have been arrested, had drug issues, does it bother you that you're under the same scrutiny as guys who have been in jail?

Te'o: "Everybody makes mistakes and one of the positive things about what I went through is I've learned to empathize with those who are going through the same thing. Those who are going through some hard times, who are getting attention that they don't necessarily want. It just taught me to always give somebody the benefit of the doubt and say, 'You never know, you never know what's going on with a person.'"

Q: What about the difference between situations?

Te'o: "That's something I don't believe I can comment on."

Q: Did you consider legal action against Ronaiah Tuisasosopo?

Te'o: "I think that's the worst thing you could do. Both families are going through chaos. There's not only people camped out at my house, there's people camped out at his house. I went through what I went through and he went through his own share of stuff.

"I think that's the worst thing for me to do is to do that. Always try and forgive. If you forgive, you'll get the majority of the blessings. I always try to forgive and it's definitely benefited me."

Q: Are you dating anybody in real life?

Te'o: "No, not right now."

Q: When your sister called about sneaking parents in, what was your emotion?

Te'o: "Just why? It should never get that way. As people we have to realize that we're all people, somebody is somebody's son, somebody is somebody's daughter. And I try to picture it that way. Would you want somebody doing that to your son? Would you want somebody doing that to your daughter? If not, why do it? Through this whole experience I've learned that.

"Since I've experienced it, the things I see, the things I do, I try to always think 'That's somebody/s son. That's somebody's daughter. That's somebody's mom, dad. Whatever I do try to base what I do off of that."

Te'o: "In closing, I'd like to thank everybody for being here. It's been a hard but tremendous ride for me and my family and the University of Notre Dame. I'd like to thank my parents, my family, my friends, the University of Notre Dame and everybody who supports me. I couldn't do it without all of you.

"Hopefully after this I answered the things I needed to answer and we can move on with football. So thank you, everybody."

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