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    • michael89156

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      Post count: 3229

      Cover-Two: Debating merits of NFL playoff expansion, more offseason topicsBy Chris Burke & Doug FarrarSI.comMay 30  2014jadeveon-clowney_zps7004da58.jpgFree agency and the NFL draft are in the books and full training camps are still almost two months away, but the NFL is far from quiet. Chris Burke and Doug Farrar debate the latest NFL headlines, including the seemingly inevitable expansion of the playoffs and the rookie they can’t wait to watch. True or false: Playoff expansion will be good for the NFL Chris Burke: True. Might there be an occasional season in which the seventh playoff team from one of the conferences is rather undeserving? Probably. In most cases, though, there will be more than enough talent on the additional postseason entrant to make it competitive — Arizona and Pittsburgh, the two teams just outside the bracket this past season, being perfect examples.  The NFL will sell this plan to the owners because it offers two extra first-round playoff games per season, meaning two extra teams get to haul in that revenue. And the league will sell it to the fans much the way baseball has sold tacking on wild-card teams: it will keep more franchises in the hunt deeper into the season, thereby making the games more meaningful across the board. Both ideas are accurate. There are dollars-and-cents reasons to push forward with playoff expansion, but giving more teams and more fan bases a shot at the Super Bowl is the real selling point. Doug Farrar: False, because the NFL won’t do it the right way. First of all, the league appears to be speed-balling the expanded playoff idea without seriously considering the compensation issues involved. This is fairly common when it comes to proposals put forth by Roger Goodell, who I consider to be a “ready, fire, aim” commissioner, but the probability that the NFLPA will sign off on expanded playoffs without a solid compensation structure is unlikely at best. Second, unless the additional wild-card teams added in each conference are somehow rewarded for having better records than the division winners they’d ostensibly visit, expansion simply adds a higher percentage of a major problem in the current playoff system — that better teams must travel in the postseason when they’ve occasionally had better seasons than their opponents. Ask the 2010 Saints, who had to take their 11-5 record to the home of the 7-9 Seahawks in the wild-card round, about that. If the league really wants to make the playoffs better and more equitable — as opposed to one more cavalier money-grab — it would take a good, hard look at the compensation and player health issues before even thinking about adding more teams and more games. Which rookie are you more excited to watch: Jadeveon Clowney or Johnny Manziel? Burke: Manziel. Seeing if Clowney can silence his critics will be a storyline to track, but Manziel has the potential to change an entire franchise’s fortunes if he can live up to the billing. Manziel was appointment viewing at Texas A&M and he will be again — at least so long as he’s having some level of success — with the Browns. I’m also voting for Manziel because of the matchups he will face should he claim the QB job. Just within the AFC North alone, he will have to deal with Dick Lebeau’s pressure 3-4 in Pittsburgh, the Ravens’ talented and quick group, and the Bengals’ very consistent attack. He’ll have to answer the bell every single week. Farrar: Clowney, without a doubt. I loved watching both players in college, but Clowney’s situation is set up so much better for early success. Yes, he’ll be moving from defensive end to outside linebacker, but there are precedents for players of his basic skill set and body type to make that transition fairly seamlessly. In addition, Clowney will have J.J. Watt on his line, and perhaps right next to him in nickel and dime fronts, and few players see more double teams than Watt. It’s difficult to know what to make of the quarterback situation in Cleveland. New head coach Mike Pettine almost seems defiant at times that he will not let any external pressures influence his decision between Manziel and Brian Hoyer as the starting quarterback. Of course, that makes perfect sense, but I wonder if the Browns aren’t setting themselves up for failure in the ways they handle this talented rookie who still needs finishing work, and — with primary receiver Josh Gordon in the league’s line of fire after yet another failed drug test — not too many enticing targets. First-year quarterbacks need optimal environments; the game is hard enough without the feeling that your own coaching staff is trying to prove a point. The Las Vegas Hilton has released its over/unders, with Jacksonville opening at the bottom for the second straight year (4.5 wins). Do you think the Jaguars will be the worst team in the league? Burke: No. I’m not sure they can climb any higher than third place in the AFC South this season, but this is a team trending in the right direction. Gus Bradley’s defensive personnel now fits much more squarely into the type of attack he likes to run, which should free him up to turn his guys loose more often in 2014. The offense should be better, as well, even with Chad Henne back as the starter, Justin Blackmon possibly out for the year and Maurice Jones-Drew running elsewhere. By 2015, I expect Jacksonville to be contending for a playoff berth; over this coming season, six or seven wins is not out of the question. Farrar: No. While I don’t think the Jags are ready for the playoffs quite yet (even if they’re expanded), I do not think they’ll be the worst team in the league. When I recently spoke with senior vice president, football technology & analytics Tony Khan about the ways in which Jacksonville has combined scouting and sabermetrics, I was very impressed. Of course, this has been a point of focus for Khan since his father, Shad, bought the team in 2011. But with a general manager in Dave Caldwell and a head coach in Gus Bradley who are all on the same page, I think the Jags have a legitimate shot at a trip out of the basement, at the very least. They’re putting something together good for the long haul. Who will be the worst team in the NFL? Burke: Ugh, I have no clue. Picking through this question for our post-draft power rankings left me with a headache — very few teams misfired in the draft, meaning that the NFL should be thrilled with the parity it has this season. For now, I’ll say Houston for the same reason that it was the worst team last year: It has no quarterback. The position probably held the Texans back from a few wins in 2013, so expecting marked improvement with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Savage or Case Keenum under center this time around is a gamble at best. Farrar: The Oakland Raiders. The great John Wooden used to say that one should never mistake activity for achievement, but that is just what Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie seems to have done in the offseason. Despite the highest salary cap reserves in the NFL by far, the Raiders lost their two best players (left tackle Jared Veldheer and defensive lineman Lamarr Houston) to free agency, and replaced them with veterans on the wrong side of the development curve. The quarterback situation is still unresolved, as it’s been since the days of Rich Gannon, and the addition of free agent Matt Schaub and second-round pick Derek Carr probably won’t change that in the short term, at least. And … the Raiders have an absolutely brutal schedule. Not only do they have to face three AFC West opponents who each appear perfectly capable of winning at least 10 games in 2014, but also they have to deal with the NFC West (by far the NFL’s best division) and two trips to the East Coast (Jets in Week 1, Patriots in Week 3). Unless McKenzie has something up his sleeve that we’re missing, it all adds up to a pretty brutal season for Oakland.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 8983

      It’s not as interesting since it was Cleveland that picked manziel. Now it’s just going to be a bunch of stupid.Since it will be clowney AND jj watts on the same defense, I think that's more worthwhile tv viewing. The other option will more than likely fill out the drama portion of the day for you.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 8044

      I think Farrar is a bold faced liar.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2603

      None of the above! I’m more excited to watch Mike Evans.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 3028

      None of the above! I'm more excited to watch Mike Evans.

      I was thinking the same, although I am very excited to watch ASJ as well. 

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 861

      +1

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2603

      I’m more excited to watch Peyton playing with a green football then Clowney or Manziel. LOL

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 6677

      Manziel of coarse.

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    • bigbucsfan

      Participant
      Post count: 82

      I don’t care if I even see Clowney play at all.  Manziel it going to be interesting.  It’s a shame the Browns picked him.  I cant think of a worse team to play for.  That’s a place QB’s go to die.  If he has success there, then he is the best QB in NFL history.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2775

      Manziel has zero chance for success.  His train wreck will be appointment tv. So Manziel.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 6677

      I don't care if I even see Clowney play at all.  Manziel it going to be interesting.  It's a shame the Browns picked him.  I cant think of a worse team to play for.  That's a place QB's go to die.  If he has success there, then he is the best QB in NFL history.

      had we drafted Manziel and Kuechly we would be perennial Super Bowl contenders.  To be so close yet so far a way.  The frustration of being a Buc fan.  I can’t really blame that Beatles kid for jumping ship.  When he became a fan in 2010 he thought this was an up and coming team. 

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 11045

      Manziel… I like to watch the overhyped crash and burn in spectacular fashion. Maybe he’s the next one.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 8983

      Manziel... I like to watch the overhyped crash and burn in spectacular fashion. Maybe he's the next one.

      How much satisfaction will you get from watching them ruin another qb?It's not entertainment. Pure and simple..had he been drafted by any other team, he would have had a chance. Cleveland ruins the whole what-if factor. You know it's going to be dumb ahead of time.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2775

      I don't care if I even see Clowney play at all.  Manziel it going to be interesting.  It's a shame the Browns picked him.  I cant think of a worse team to play for.  That's a place QB's go to die.  If he has success there, then he is the best QB in NFL history.

      had we drafted Manziel and Kuechly we would be perennial Super Bowl contenders.  To be so close yet so far a way.  The frustration of being a Buc fan.  I can't really blame that Beatles kid for jumping ship.  When he became a fan in 2010 he thought this was an up and coming team.

      It's funny you profess to know something about the game yet you think Manziel is a decent if not future HOF QB.  Not dialed in.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 9128

      They’re both going to be exciting to watch.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2673

      More excited to watch Evans and ASJ TBH.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2697

      None of the above! I'm more excited to watch Mike Evans.

      I was thinking the same, although I am very excited to watch ASJ as well.

      I agree... I would much rather watch our rookies and 2nd year players...

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 6677

      I’d rather watch the Bucs draft ballers and then watch them win a Super Bowl.  But that’s me!

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 11045

      Manziel... I like to watch the overhyped crash and burn in spectacular fashion. Maybe he's the next one.

      How much satisfaction will you get from watching them ruin another qb?It's not entertainment. Pure and simple..had he been drafted by any other team, he would have had a chance. Cleveland ruins the whole what-if factor. You know it's going to be dumb ahead of time.

      If he bombs its because he sucks on his own not because he plays in that dump of a city.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 6677

      He won’t bomb.  But I agree.  Cleveland shouldn’t be an excuse. 

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2673

      I'd rather watch the Bucs draft ballers and then watch them win a Super Bowl.  But that's me!

      Ok?

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2682

      Congrats to all posters for doing an excellent job of ignoring the attention whores on this board and not quoting them. Well done. (Edit – Well, almost well done. TampaBucks just took the bait.)Looking foreword to seeing our rookies and team overall. Only a few more months!

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 120

      Clowney is going to explode playing across from Watts.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2673

      Congrats to all posters for doing an excellent job of ignoring the attention whores on this board and not quoting them. Well done. (Edit - Well, almost well done. TampaBucks just took the bait.)Looking foreword to seeing our rookies and team overall. Only a few more months!

      Thanks! Hope you have a wonderful day!

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 6677

      Congrats to all posters for doing an excellent job of ignoring the attention whores on this board and not quoting them. Well done. (Edit - Well, almost well done. TampaBucks just took the bait.)Looking foreword to seeing our rookies and team overall. Only a few more months!

      what is the title of this thread about?  Oh, that’s right, Manziel and Clowney.  I’m in topic.  You are not.  Typical liberal who wants to resort to name calling and silence any opinion he doesn’t agree with. 

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 6677

      Congrats to all posters for doing an excellent job of ignoring the attention whores on this board and not quoting them. Well done. (Edit - Well, almost well done. TampaBucks just took the bait.)Looking foreword to seeing our rookies and team overall. Only a few more months!

      Thanks! Hope you have a wonderful day!

      dont worry about UFOJoe.  No one takes that quack seriously. 

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2775

      He won't bomb.  But I agree.  Cleveland shouldn't be an excuse.

      Manziel has zero chance of succeeding no matter where he plays in the NFL.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 9128

      The epic proportions of the meltdown on this board will be extraordinary!

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 3027

      Manziel, not even close. I loved watching Tebow play, like a train wreck you couldn’t look away from. I’m be watching for Manziel, but for very different reasons than I’d watch Clowney.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2775

      It’s not like he has a choice in this matter.  Failure is JFF’s only option, the question is, which path to failure will he take?

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 10626

      Clowney for me. It will be interesting to see how he performs against blue chip NFL players.  Clowney will start game 1.  JFF may not make a start until mid season or later.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 5188

      Manziel.  It won’t even be close.  And the ratings will prove it.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 8983

      Manziel... I like to watch the overhyped crash and burn in spectacular fashion. Maybe he's the next one.

      How much satisfaction will you get from watching them ruin another qb?It's not entertainment. Pure and simple..had he been drafted by any other team, he would have had a chance. Cleveland ruins the whole what-if factor. You know it's going to be dumb ahead of time.

      If he bombs its because he sucks on his own not because he plays in that dump of a city.

      Tell that to all the other first round qb's they've ruined.It's likr the madden curse, only it's in cleveland, and it works against their qb's.Btw. They're already having problems that would hinder him if he started. It's a shame too, because I'd like to see him fail/succeed on his own as well.

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    • bigbucsfan

      Participant
      Post count: 82

      Tell that to all the other first round qb's they've ruined.It's likr the madden curse, only it's in cleveland, and it works against their qb's.Btw. They're already having problems that would hinder him if he started. It's a shame too, because I'd like to see him fail/succeed on his own as well.

      Agreed.  If Manziel would have been drafted by the Vikings, he'd be an immediate success.  To succeed in Cleveland will be very difficult.  If he does it, he's a QB God.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 11045

      Manziel... I like to watch the overhyped crash and burn in spectacular fashion. Maybe he's the next one.

      How much satisfaction will you get from watching them ruin another qb?It's not entertainment. Pure and simple..had he been drafted by any other team, he would have had a chance. Cleveland ruins the whole what-if factor. You know it's going to be dumb ahead of time.

      If he bombs its because he sucks on his own not because he plays in that dump of a city.

      Tell that to all the other first round qb's they've ruined.It's likr the madden curse, only it's in cleveland, and it works against their qb's.Btw. They're already having problems that would hinder him if he started. It's a shame too, because I'd like to see him fail/succeed on his own as well.

      That would only be true if any of those QBs they drafted were any good. I'll believe Cleveland is cursed when Tom Brady or Andrew Luck goes there and turns into Brandon Weeden.You'll get to see him succeed or fail on his own because it doesn't matter what area code you play that determines if you're going to be a good player or not. Cleveland is not a built in excuse for the Manziel fanboys.

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    • bigbucsfan

      Participant
      Post count: 82

      That would only be true if any of those QBs they drafted were any good. I'll believe Cleveland is cursed when Tom Brady or Andrew Luck goes there and turns into Brandon Weeden.You'll get to see him succeed or fail on his own because it doesn't matter what area code you play that determines if you're going to be a good player or not. Cleveland is not a built in excuse for the Manziel fanboys.

      Garcia went there and couldn't do anything.  Then he went to the Eagles and took them to the playoffs.  Then he went to the Bucs and took them to the playoffs.  Cleveland is the worst place for any QB to be.I still expect Manziel to be great though.  He's THAT good.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2775

      Tell that to all the other first round qb's they've ruined.It's likr the madden curse, only it's in cleveland, and it works against their qb's.Btw. They're already having problems that would hinder him if he started. It's a shame too, because I'd like to see him fail/succeed on his own as well.

      Agreed.  If Manziel would have been drafted by the Vikings, he'd be an immediate success.  To succeed in Cleveland will be very difficult.  If he does it, he's a QB God.

      Any team that drafted Manziel would have a failure on their hands. Doesn't have the skill set to succeed in the NFL and you know what, there isn't anything you can do about it.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2962

      Even if Manziel is a failure he’s definitely going to be more interesting to watch this year, if he hits the field enough. Clowney should be an impact player early on but Manziel is a lot more fun to watch than ay defensive player. Whether or not he can actually be successful in Cleveland is another story.

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