By: Joe Cardoso
One thing we can all agree on is that the sport of football is a brutal and cruel game. Players can go from on top of the league to a where are they now trivia question real quick. In that same breathe when a system doesn’t fit a player a change of scenery and coaching can do the trick. With the season on tap, it’s time to see what players make my annual pressure busts pipes list. How do I come up with the list? I look for players or coaches who didn’t live up to expectations, injury-shorted season, or a big contract matched with a bad season. And of course, players who are on a team that just didn’t know how to use them right. The list is always random and fun to talk about it. Can the Eagles reapeat? What wil the Patriots do this year? Are the Jaguars for real? So many questions and the players will give us the answers.
- Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers:
While with the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees Jimmy was a monster. He was the next big thing at the tight end position. And then he left for Seattle and nothing was ever the same. Now he is on the Packers and has an elite QB to help him bring his career back to life. Will we see New Orleans Jimmy or more of the same banged up and production drop off we have seen in the past?
- Kurt Cousins, Minnesota Vikings: Raise your hand if you picked him to be the FIRST quarterback to have a FULLY guaranteed contract. With $84 million in the bank can Kurt get this team to the next level? NFC title game blowout seems so long ago and you best believe all eyes each game are on #8.
- Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks: Oh Pete if only we ran the ball in the Super Bowl would we be here today? The Legion Of Boom is gone and you still have done nothing to keep Russell Wilson standing upright. But with his hip coaching style and a little luck will he make it through the season?
- Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins:
Remember when he was the “next big thing” coming off a solid season he suffers a knee injury and the team falls apart. Now it’s been almost 20 games missed and the Dolphins team and fans want results. Losing his top wideout to the Browns and his former running back is a Super Bowl champion. Its go time for the former first rounder.
- Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars:
But Joe he was so close to a Super Bowl how is he on this list? Because I for one STILL do not believe in him and I think most of the leagues and fans would agree. As a fan of a good underdog story, I would love to see him rip it this season. Until then he’s on the list.
- Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns:
As if being a Brown isn’t pressure enough, now you have $75 million dollars to earn. Linking up with Tyrod Taylor and the new look Browns can he help change the culture in Browns land?
- Jimmy Garoppolo: San Francisco 49ers: Let it be known I am a big time Jimmy G fan, that being said he played a hand full of games. So now the question is can he keep it going? With a full offseason with the squad and also the league has seen the tape can Jimmy G show us why Tom Brady wanted him out of New England.
- Eli Manning, New York Giants: A 2X Super Bowl champ under pressure? Welcome to the NFL baby where it’s all about what have you done for me lately. The team showed some faith by not picking a QB in the draft. They added a stud in the backfield and some help on the offensive line. At age 37 Eli is on the back 9 of his career but wants another ring. Can he shut up the haters and get big blue back on top?
- Richard Sherman, San Francisco 49ers:
Wasn’t long ago he was the talk of the NFL but injuries and a team changing around him led to some doubting him. With a huge chip on his shoulder, Sherman will have a chance to be the elite shutdown corner he was. Coming off a serious injury and his age this could be a make or break season.
- Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns:
I can’t put Marvin Lewis on this list since he has some sort of FBI level of dirt on the Bengals. But Hue my man this is IT! 1-31 record says it all. On paper, this is the best Browns team in a long time, but they don’t play the game on paper. Know as an offensive coach this is his time to show what he’s got and get the team heading in the right direction.
For more great NFL content, debate and conversation follow @NutsAndBoltsSp or me @JoeCardoso301. Until next time football fans!