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Pro Sports Wrap - by Sam Ruesler

I don't want to make this an "I told you so" post, but I really did. It was a long time ago when I made the bold statement that Jeremy Maclin is the better receiver than DeSean Jackson. A few of you readers agreed with me, but most of you called me an idiot for saying this. Sure Jackson can make the big play, but he is extremely inconsistent, and Maclin is also capable of making a big play. And plus, Maclin doesn't drop as many passes and is far more consistent.

Last year, when both receivers were actually healthy, Jackson caught just 49% of the passes thrown at him. He did, however, average 22.5 yards per catch; and his ability as a deep threat is the only reason why he had such a great year in 2010. And even then, Jackson's season was overrated, as he is a very one-dimensional player. The only asset he brings to the table is speed, and the arm of Michael Vick is the reason why he is able to haul in these long passes. That's not saying he's a bad player, because Jackson is a good receiver. However, he isn't great, and those who believe he is a top ten receiver are crazy.

This season, Jackson has gone deeper more but is averaging less yards per reception (16.2). He is, however, catching 53.1% of the passes thrown at him and has still been able to average 8.6 yards per target. However, yards per target favors those who go deep more often. Maclin, on the other hand, has impressed me by having a 67.6% catch rate despite playing with injuries. It doesn't matter what you use, because both the advanced statistics and general scouting say that Jeremy Maclin is the better receiver. This isn't a reaction to this season, it's basically a reminder that Maclin is the better, more consistent receiver.

This whole post isn't going to be about a battle between two receivers, because I like to cover two points in my Football Talk posts. The Chicago Bears have yet to extend Matt Forte, but they have extended their best player at a different position; wide receiver.

Earl Bennett was given a four-year deal worth $18 million ($4.5 million per year), and he has a good rapport with quarterback Jay Cutler. In fact, he's Cutler's go-to-guy and the QB connects with Bennett much better than he does with the other receivers on the team.

He's the team's most consistent receiver and has led the Bears in catch rate during the past two seasons. Bennett is versatile and can split out wide or man the slot, and he is averaging 9.5 yards per target this season. Although Johnny Knox is averaging 11.7 yards per target, he only catches 52.8% of what is thrown at him and goes deep 43.4% of the time.

The Bears obviously need to get a deal done with Forte, because he's one of the best backs in the league and also has a big impact in the passing game. Not only that, but he is one of the few backs who can excel in front of a subpar run blocking unit. The Bears are arguably the worst pass blocking team in the NFL, but their run blocking isn't quite as bad (it's still bad though). Anyway, re-signing Bennett was a smart move, and it didn't take a whole lot of money to do it.
Re-signed for $4.5 million per year

The NFL's Worst Owner

February 14th 2011 15:54
It isn't Jerry Jones. Just starting it off and clearing up the air here. No, this owner runs my favorite team. What reportedly happened during a meeting between the players and the owners only cements my status on this man. Carolina Panthers' owner Jerry Richardson is the worst owner in the NFL. It's a Jerry, but it isn't a Jones. The following are some quotes from Mr. Richardson.

Richardson told Peyton Manning during the meeting, “What do you know about player safety?”

“We signed a [expletive] deal last time and we’re going to stick together and take back our league and [expletive] do something about it,” Richardson said.

Just wow. This was a meeting where everybody in the room was respectful and diplomatic. Everybody, that is, except Richardson. If you thought Dan Snyder was terrible, this might change your mind. See, here's the thing. At least Snyder is willing to invest money in his team. Even though some of the contracts are horrible, he actually spends money. The Panthers never sign top free agents. They don't even re-sign their top priorities. Julius Peppers was open to re-signing with Carolina, but they didn't respond to a phone call from Peppers. Peppers was angry- and had every right to be angry- that the Panthers didn't make an effort to re-sign him. Peppers celebrated an MVP caliber season and an NFC Championship appearance with the Bears. The Panthers were the worst team in the NFL.

I don't have high hopes for the Panthers right now, because they have several stars that are leaving for free agency. Among these guys are Charles Johnson and Richard Marshall. Both of them have had great seasons as well. Marshall has been a good cornerback for a while. After a breakout season last year, he requested a contract extension. Of course, the Panthers declined being too cheap to dole out cash to a player that deserved it. Marshall is angry as well, and it will take a nice stroke of luck for him to stay in Charlotte.

Marshall was one of the plethora of Panthers players that were picked in the draft that have had good careers. The reason why the Panthers went to the Super Bowl and three NFC Championships? Great scouting. The Panthers made it to the Championship game in 1998- the quickest for any team in history- because of their great drafting to start the franchise off in 1996. They also had the best record for an inaugural season. The Panthers have the chance to become a powerhouse once again, but the league has changed a lot lately. You need an owner willing to spend that has good relations with fans and players alike. Richardson fills none of those above categories.

Richardson treats Panthers' fans with complete negligence and disrespect. He raised ticket prices before this season even though the Panthers had a dismal year in 2009. They released many veterans and quality players like solid starting DTs Maake Kemoeatu and Damoine Lewis. The outlook for 2010 was bad, and the Panthers did do bad. Even before the season started, every Panthers fan was in rage. The Panthers had one of the highest ticket prices in the league, even though their performances weren't near the highest in the league.

Jerry Richardson is a straight up loser that doesn't care for his team, fans, players, or the league. He will do anything to keep his wallet bulging, even though he has enough already. Richardson needs to leave. His time in this league is done. The Panthers have a proud fan base that has had Richardson at the helm since its existence in 1996. It's time for a change. It's time for the fans to get what they deserve. An owner that cares. The perfect example of a great owner is Art Rooney. He cares about his coaches, fans, players, and franchise. That's why the Steelers are always a winner

People like him are the reason why fans and players alike are facing no football season in 2011. No magic Super Bowl moments or games like the Packers and Steelers. Nothing. All because owners want to be greedy. They aren't going bankrupt anytime soon, but their greed still keeps them going. Jerry Richardson is at the head of these guys.
Time for Richardson To Go

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