1) If Elvis Dumervil can transition from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB, I think the Baltimore Ravens made a damn fine acquisition. His pass rush basically replaces that of Paul Kruger, who left via free agency for the Cleveland Browns. Kruger, with only 6 career starts received a 5 years, $41 million deal from Cleveland, and Dumervil, with 75 career starts received a 5 years, $35 million (with $9 million reportedly in incentives). That's a very good deal for the Ravens.
Dumervil had a classy exit message via Twitter as well;
Can't say enough about the Broncos fans, my great teammates, equipment staff, training staff, media staff, Mr. Bowlen, Coach Fox, John Elway and the city of Denver. Its been an unforgettable 7 years. I am looking fwd to this next chapter of my career.
2) Speaking of classy exits, former Ravens safety Ed Reed took a full page ad out in the Baltimore Sun. If Reed can stay healthy, the Houston Texans will receive a big boost for their defense with his play.
3) I like the new rule that the long snapper on PATs and FGs is a considered a defenseless player, and can't be hit. Patrick Mannelly may play to 50. Also the NFL will no longer allow defenses to rush more than six players on either side of the snapper for PATs or FGs, another smart rule in the name of safety.
4) After having some time to think about the new leading with the crown of the helmet rule, I have to say I agree with the spirit of the rule, I just have questions on how the rule will be interpreted. I don't think many runners are trying to spear a tackler, most are dipping down to lower their pad level. If a runner lowers their shoulder, but a defender tackles in a way that they are hit by the helmet first, is that a penalty?
5) Dr. James Andrews may have put his foot in his mouth with his recent comments about Robert Griffin III. I'll have to assume that the patient has given the doctor permission to speak about his rehab, because if not, Dr. Andrews may be in violation of HIPAA. He does contradict himself with his recent quotes;
"I've been real mum on talking too much about RG III. He wants his recovery to be fairly private, but ...
I can tell you he's way ahead of schedule. His recovery has been unbelievable so far, RG III is one those superhumans. First patient I ever had like that was Bo Jackson. And recently I, of course, had Adrian Peterson, who is also superhuman. They have an unbelievable ability to recover, where as a normal human being may not be able to recover."
As a Chicago Bulls fan, I can tell you the expectations heaped on Derrick Rose after seeing Adrian Peterson return so quickly was unfair. So nothing like getting the Washington D.C. fan base riled up with lofty expectations for RGIII.
6) Are you still using that old Jimmy Johnson draft value chart that gives points to each slot in the draft? It's a good tool to use for draft speculation, but there is a newer chart floating around out there, and it was created by someone at Harvard. It's actually from 2011, but it does provide a good read for those of you that are really into the NFL Draft.
7) The NFL Draft is exactly one month from today, and I can't wait.
8) I failed to get an article up about this last week with all the Brian Urlacher news buzzing, but I had to make sure I gave mention that on March 22, former Chicago Bears wide receiver Harlon Hill died after a lengthy illness. Hill was rookie of the year in 1954, NFL MVP in 1955, and his name adorns the NCAA Division II player of the year trophy. He's still #2 all time in receiving yards and recieving TDs for the Chicago Bears.
9) I read a hilarious sentence today from NFL.com. It was from a story about Kellen Winslow and his desire to return to the NFL now that his knee injury is feeling better. The Cleveland Browns are a logical destination because of his history with their new head coach Rob Chudzinski. Chicago Bears fans try not to laugh out loud after reading this;
It remains to be seen if Winslow is still on the radar following the Kellen Davis signing.
10) The four Mock Drafters at CBSSports.com all have updated their mocks for today, and 3 of the 4 still have the Bears going with a linebacker even after the Bears signed two LBs in the last few days. Two mock drafters went with Georgia's Alec Ogletree, one went with Kansas State's Arthur Brown, and the lone non LB drafter went with UCLA defensive end Datone Jones.
While Jones isn't really filling a need for the Bears, I understand the logic behind the pick, and I would be OK if the Bears went with either of these three players in the first round.