Bengals fans have a long history of not liking Steelers players, but apparently they aren't the only ones as four Steelers land on the top 40 hated NFL players of all time. A Ravens rookie was penalized for giving away a touchdown catch during a college Bowl game, but he can't wait to give back in the NFL. The Browns may have made the right pick with Corey Coleman, but that doesn't mean he will have an immediate impact in 2016.
Chris Moore was penalized for a play in the Hawaii Bowl this season, and on Christmas no less. I know the NFL is commonly referred to as the No Fun League, but the NCAA went to Grinch levels with that one. Even worse than the foul, the ball was taken from the child. Moore ended up giving him every piece of gear he was allowed to make up for the NCAA's lack of Christmas spirit. The penalty also gives us a chance to remember how ridiculous it is to try and put rules on celebrations in football with this.
Fortunately for Moore, the NFL has no rule against handing or tossing a football into the stands after a touchdown (as long as it's not thrown or punted -- cough, A.J. Green), so he will be free to give away as many of his touchdown balls as he sees fit. Except for the first one though, that one will surely be saved. According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN, Moore had this to say about his first touchdown. "I'm going to have to keep that one. Every other one after that, they can have them. I'm not going to lie about that. The first one has to go to mom."
Moore is currently buried on a depth chart that has several talented receivers, so he may have to wait to start giving away. It is nice to see a player so eager to make a kid's day though.
The Ravens recently found themselves in hot water when it was discovered they had players in full pads during rookie mini-camp. The Ravens thought rookie minicamp didn't fall under the same set of rules as other organized practices when they had rookies in full pads for a noncontact punt return drill.
It's no secret that the Browns haven't exactly been the model for consistency in the NFL. This is especially true when it comes to the offense for the Browns. Pat Shurmur, Brad Childress, Norv Turner, and Kyle Shanahan were all one year wonders for the Browns, and now Pep Hamilton and Hue Jackson will come in and try and do something that the others didn't manage to do and build a foundation. The hope for Cleveland, from top to bottom, is that this coaching staff can get a real shot at trying to right a ship that has seen far better days. The expectations have to be tempered early on considering the number the past group did on the team, but not having to learn a whole new offense next season is a step in the right direction.
Sometimes the right pick isn't the pick for right now. Bengals fans have grown accustomed to picking for the future for maintained success, and that's what the Browns are hoping to do with Corey Coleman. The rookie is a little raw coming out of Baylor and will be one of the focal points of an offense lacking very much fire power. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com had this to say about Coleman next season:
Coleman had success with short, catch-and-run passes combined with go routes to maximize his talents at Baylor. With NFL hashmarks, he won't have as much free room to work with, and he'll be facing much faster and physical competition across from him. We haven't even delved into the question of whether or not Robert Griffin III can put it back together this season. Coleman's emergence might have to wait a year or longer.
Robert Griffin III's play may have the biggest impact on Coleman's output for next season. If Griffin III struggles to connect on the deep ball then Coleman could disappoint more than expected. Although this is the same list that includes the Bengals William Jackson III, so hopefully Zierlein isn't always right.
In news that should surprise no one, the Steelers are one of the most hated teams in the league. Part of it is due to their success, but most of it comes from cheap shots and their coaches being very active with players from the other team during their games. The four players included on the list are Hines Ward, James Harrison, Ben Roethlisberger, and Mike Vick. To be fair, Vick is no longer a member of the organization, and the thing that makes him the most hated happened far before the Steelers acquired him, but Pittsburgh was the most recent team to give him a contract so they take on his hate, apparently.
Ward cracks the top 30 mostly due to his blocks that forced the NFL to change the rules, including one that broke former Bengals first round pick, Keith Rivers', jaw, which you can see here. Harrison's place at 15 isn't surprising. Harrison didn't exactly adjust to the NFL trying to become safer very well. He was often fined for his questionable hits on players. Roethlisberger comes in at eight due to his allegedly questionable conduct off the field. (Seriously though, twice?)
So next time a Steeler fan harasses you for hating the Steelers just remind them that everyone does.
The Steelers may have started a trend for teams. As the Ravens found out, the NFL is scaling back on unnecessary contact as much as possible during practice. They may have found a way to do that with robots. Yes, motorized football dummies scooting around the field. It helps reduce repetitive impacts while allowing players to maintain proper tackling habits. You can find an in depth look at it here.
One of the inventors of the Mobile Virtual Player aka MVP, Elliott Kastner, said they were only testing, but hope the product will be available next year for teams. It is something all teams could use, even if it cuts down on some reps for fringe players, the good outweighs the bad in this situation.