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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

1) Former NFL referee Mike Carey is out as the CBS's NFL rules expert, and I was surprised to learn that he was actually correct close to 90% of the time when they asked his expert opinion on a call.

Carey was constantly criticized for being wrong, even though he wasn't as wrong as often as we think, but I think the bigger issue is that these "rules experts" get things wrong at all. The NFL rule book still leaves too many rules open to interpretation, which just leads to confusion from crew to crew and from paid expert to paid expert.

2) Speaking of rules, the NFL is banning hooded sweatshirts from being worn underneath player's jerseys. Former Green Bay Packers' wide out and current free agent James Jones wore a hoodie last year, and I never understood the point. Why give a defender something to grab on to? Why not just use a non-hooded sweatshirt to stay warm?

Not surprisingly, "The James Jones Rule" has obviously brought out a response from Jones himself. "I knew that was going to happen, but I'm like, ‘Man, why they picking on the hoodie?' " Jones told Milwaukee's ESPN 540 AM on Friday. "If it's because the hoodie covers the name, like they say ... you know, there's a bunch of guys in the National Football League that have got long hair and (it) covers their name. So I don't know the real reason, but (Commissioner) Roger Goodell and them, (maybe) they do it for safety reasons. I'm not mad, but I am kind of angry that they attacked the hoodie."

He does have a point, I think the long hair is dumb too. Jones also added, "We've got bigger and better things in our league that need to be fixed."

Also true, but wearing a hood under a jersey is ridiculous.

2a) This may be interesting only to me, but James Jones' full name is James Earl Jones.

3) Another new rule with a Packers connection is the coin flip rule. Remember when the coin didn't flip before overtime of the Packers vs Cardinals playoff game last year?

Now there's an actual rule in place that says the coin must flip, and in the event the coin doesn't flip, the original heads/tails call from the visiting captain must remain.

4) Denver Broncos' franchise tagged pass rusher Von Miller is unhappy with the last contract offer from the Broncos. The total money was reportedly $114.5 million over six years, but Miller wants more than the $39.8 million in guaranteed money Denver offered. Yes that's a lot of money, but the top defenders in the NFL are getting north of $50 million guaranteed, and Miller believes he deserves to be in that company.

Miller didn't hide his displeasure with Denver general manager John Elway by cropping out his boss on an Instagram post.

The latest is that the Broncos want Miller to play the 2016 season on the tag, but Miller is still seeking that big money long term deal.

5) Speaking of big money, the Philadelphia Eagles extended defensive lineman Fletcher Cox with a six year deal worth $103 million and an eye-popping $63 million in guarantees. Cox is a very good player and his best football may be in front of him.

I know Von Miller had to crack a sly smile when he saw Cox's numbers come across the wire, because for as disruptive as Cox is, Miller is still the better player.

6) Tough luck for Baltimore Ravens 2nd year wide out Breshad Perriman, who missed all of last year with a PCL injury. He now has a partially torn ACL that he'll have surgery on today. Depending on the severity of the tear, there's a chance Perriman can suit up in 2016.

7) Noted loudmouth Stephen A. Smith, who is not, nor has be ever been a lawyer, claims that he would have won the O.J. Simpson murder trial for the prosecution.

"Christopher Darden and Marcia Clark did an absolutely horrendous job as prosecutors. Because if it were me, there's no way in hell that Johnny Cochran would have beaten me with that evidence that I, that they, had. I'm telling you right now, I'm not even a lawyer. There is no way that you would have put 12 jurors in front of me with that evidence and I would have lost it, even to Johnny Cochran. I'd have won that trial. I've often said that."

I'm waiting to hear how Smith would have been able to defend Jordan better than Ehlo in game 5, how Smith would have been able to knock out Rocky Marciano, how Smith would have been able to split the uprights better than Scott Norwood in SBXXV and how Smith would have been able to throw a football over them mountains.

8) Former NBA journeyman Nate Robinson, who played with the Chicago Bulls during the 2012-13 season, tried out with the Seattle Seahawks yesterday. The 32 year old, three time dunk contest champion played cornerback as a freshman for the University Of Washington in 2002 intercepting 2 passes. The Seahawks passed on offering him a deal, but they did say they'd keep in touch for something down the road. Robinson may have another try out or two lined up as well.

9) The New England Patriots drafted Chandler Jones two picks after the Chicago Bears went with Shea McClellin in the 2012 NFL Draft. Many Bears' fans were upset at the pick, basically because Jones was available. During their four year careers, Shea with the Bears and Chandler with the Pats, Jones held the sack advantage 36 to 7.5.

Bears fans quickly soured on McClellin, but for some odd reason this offseason the Patriots decided to trade Jones to the Arizona Cardinals and sign McClellin to a three year contract.

Jones has a chance to play his former team week one this season and he's ready to go, "It doesn't matter [who the quarterback is]," Jones explained. "Whoever is back there, I'm getting after him, for sure."

The soonest that McClellin can play his former team would be the 2018 season when the Bears host the Pats, unless they meet up in the Super Bowl the next two years.

What's more likely, a Bears vs Patriots SB during the 2016 or 2017 season, or McClellin still being on the Patriots during the 2018 season?

10) NFL.com's Bucky Brooks is making some statistical projections for the top rookies in the 2016 season and he spotlighted the Bears' top pick, Leonard Floyd, with a predicted stat line of 55 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries.

Here's Brooks' best case scenario for Floyd's 2016 season.

Floyd gives John Fox the electric pass rusher that he typically builds a championship defense around. Although the Georgia standout has size and strength to go with power, he overwhelms opponents with his first-step quickness and acceleration off the edge. Considering the number of pass-happy teams within the division, Floyd's ability to get after the passer could be a game changer for the Bears.

I wouldn't put it past Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to let Floyd drop into coverage on occasion as well. He was solid in pass coverage at Georgia and he has the speed and length to play zone and even man to man on tight ends. Perhaps a few passes defended should be added to that projected stat line above.

Here's Brooks' worst case scenario for Floyd this year.

Despite Floyd's versatility and explosiveness, he struggles to make an immediate impact off the edges as the Bears' designated pass rusher. He not only lacks the strength and power to win against elite offensive tackles, but also fails to display the hand skills to counter physical tactics with arm overs, swipe maneuvers and rip moves off the edge. Considering Floyd's limited production as a pass rusher in college, the Bears rookie leaves some thinking he might be a better athlete than playmaker off the edge.

While this is possible, Bears' GM Ryan Pace talked up Floyd's hand use after the draft. Hopefully the professional coaching he's been getting, and his sticking at one position, will be enough to get Floyd the confidence needed to make an impact as a rookie.

What are some of your thoughts on the NFL this week?