Does Chris Johnson have anything to prove, or is there nothing left in the tank?

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The Jets signing Chris Johnson for their backfield comes with a lot of flash. About 5 years ago, he ran for more than 2,000 yards with the Titans, for a blistering 5.6 average per run. And he added 14 TDs as well. He indeed had a pretty amazing season, that left many fans asking about who was the best RB in the league at the time, between him and Adrian Peterson. They picked him up only for a 2 year deal, paying him 8 million. Figure he’s 28 years old, 2 years sounds just about right.

Now with a change of teams, and a new start for him in New York, can he possibly return to his Pro-Bowl form, that many people raved about years ago. Johnson has always been that player who could be a long ball guy, who could take it to the house on any play. He could be their home run threat on the field, firing through the line. When Johnson pounded the ground for his monster season, it was only his second year in the league, and the amazing performance was one of the best single seasons ever for anyone at his position.

Now in New York, he also fits in to help Geno Smith at QB, being that he is a solid receiver as well. And what makes Johnson dangerous is the fact that he is such a dangerous pass-catching RB. He has been grabbing a little over 45 balls out of the backfield per season.

But there are many things going through my head for the Jets this season. The true fact is, they are more than stacked at the running back slot. Chris Ivory is built like a house on his burly and powerful 6 ft 225 lbs frame. He totaled up 833 yards on the ground last season, burrowing through defenses like they were cheese steaks. With an impressive 4.6 avg on the ground. But, he did have injuries that seemed to hound him throughout as well. Many that limited his time on the field. The Jets got by 1530 YDs last season with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, as their RBs, combining for a solid 4.3 per carry.

In a way, I think the Jets are hoping for a combination of Johnson and Ivory to take on a Bradshaw and Jacobs role that the Giants had in 2010 When they tore up the league for a combined 2058 YDs and 17 TDs. And again, with his pass catching ability, he could actually line up as a WR as well, or in the slot.

His last year in Tennessee was disastrous, getting buried behind the line of scrimmage almost all the time. Making us ask was his dramatic dip in production due to the knee injury? Or was it his line, or maybe that he isn’t quite the RB that many thought he actually was. Don’t get me wrong, Chris Johnson has great intangibles, he is mobile and is capable of busting off a pretty deep ball, but his power running is weak and he struggles with that tremendously. I’m curious to see how they will work Chris Johnson into their scheme. Johnson definately looks more comfortable when he is able to get to the outside again.

The Jets have been an organization that wallows in a pits of mediocrity. Their front office has been making bad moves and creating issues for seasons upon seasons now. I am sure that Chris Johnson feels confident that the Jets will feed him the ball all season long. And the fact that the OC Marty Mornhinweg likes his style, seems like he will see probably 50% of the carries. I think potentially Johnson can get about 1300 all-purpose YDs, the Jets O-Line is not dominating enough to think can they run the ball strongly 35+ times a game.

I don’t feel he is going to be the man in New York, although he’s athletic and quick, one if his main problems is that he can’t seem to be able to shed tacklers. Plus the fact that the running game has been de-emphasized in the NFL. He isn’t what he thinks he is, in my honest opinion. Numbers don’t lie, changes in scheme is going to be tough, his small size, his speed is only effective is he can get into an open field. I think that he was a good back with incredible speed. He is too small to keep taking the hits week in and week out. At only 195lbs, he keeps taking big hits and struggles to keep coming back.

He has had seasons where he has disappeared, his holdout in 2011, in which he ended up the season with a sad 1047 YDs and 4 TDs. There never has been any legitimate explanation for his falling off the charts, except that he is extremely dependent on his O-line. When he rushed for his massive 2,006 YDs, the Titans offensive line was awesome.

Johnson is an ordinary RB, who had one very special year. In the 5 years since his mega season, he’s averaged only 4.18 yards per carry.

2014 NY Jets Preview

SNYJets

Jets Preview by Rob Vinciletti:

Flying high or Stuck on the Run Way The 2014 New York Jets will be the franchise’s upcoming 45th season in the National Football League and the 55th overall. The Jets will attempt to improve their 8–8 regular season record after missing the playoffs for a third consecutive year. The Jets have made several moves this season to improve their team. New York was solid on defense with one of the youngest and most talented front lines. Their weakness which was addressed in the draft was in the defensive back area. They will need to be solid in that are as they have several games this season against teams who will look to throw the ball. So they must get pressure on the Opposing Quarterbacks so that their back field does not get exposed early on while they work out the growing pains. Especially with what looks to be the worst pass defense in the league. On Offense that Jets were a mess at times as they were turnover prone and suffered through the ups and downs of a then rookie Qb in Geno Smith. The Jets this season decided to stick with Smith as he downs have a strong arm and did shoe flashes of big play ability despite the lack of depth at the receiver position. This season in an attempt to limit his turnovers, the Jets brought in star running back Chris Johnson who will team with Chris Ivory to give the Jets the slasher and power back tandem that many teams covet. They will be able to stabilize the passing game with a solid run game. The Jets them brought in Eric Decker who was solid last season in Denver and drafted a bevy of receivers in the draft. The best addition and the hidden gem of the draft is Jace Amaro a high energy tight end out of Texas Tech who is a functional blocker and exceptional route runner. Amaro has been compared to Wes Welker when discussing his route running skills.

While he plays tight end he lines up like Saints Tight End Jimmy Graham in the slot where he caught over 90 of his 100+ receptions. He has break away ability and should rack up some nice yards after the catch numbers as well as giving the Jets another solid red zone option that they did not have last season. Coach Ryan who barely was able to hold on to his job last season, appears to be on more stabile ground right now as the Jets .500 record was mostly looked at as an over achievement. This year while he isn’t talking Super Bowl, he is commenting on the AFC East and his confidence that the New England Patriots could be passed for the Division crown. The AFC East appears to have a lot of parity so it remains to be seen if the Jets can Mesh well together and take off, of whether they will be stuck on the run way. Stay Tuned as this looks to be one of the more interesting teams in the NFL This season. Below is the Jets 2014 Schedule, roster, draft picks and player movement grids. 2014 Season Schedule Date Opponent Time/TV Thursday Aug. 7 Indianapolis Colts (Preseason) MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 7:00 p.m. ET CBS 2 NY Saturday Aug. 16 at Cincinnati Bengals (Preseason) Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 7:00 p.m. ET CBS 2 NY Friday Aug. 22 New York Giants (Preseason) MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 7:30 p.m. ET CBS 2 NY Thursday Aug. 28 at Philadelphia Eagles (Preseason) Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA 7:00 p.m. ET CBS 2 NY Sunday Sept. 7 Oakland Raiders MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 p.m. ET

CBS Sunday Sept. 14 at Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI 4:25 p.m. ET CBS Monday Sept. 22 Chicago Bears MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN Sunday Sept. 28 Detroit Lions MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 p.m. ET FOX Sunday Oct. 5 at San Diego Chargers Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA 4:25 p.m. ET CBS Sunday Oct. 12 Denver Broncos MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 p.m. ET CBS Thursday Oct. 16 at New England Patriots Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA 8:25 p.m. ET CBS/NFLN Sunday Oct. 26 Buffalo Bills MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 p.m. ET CBS Sunday Nov. 2 at Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO 1:00 p.m. ET CBS Sunday Nov. 9 Pittsburgh Steelers MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 p.m. ET CBS Sunday Nov. 16 — BYE — —

Sunday Nov. 23 at Buffalo Bills Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 1:00 p.m. ET CBS Monday Dec. 1 Miami Dolphins MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN Sunday Dec. 7 at Minnesota Vikings TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN 1:00 p.m. ET CBS Sunday Dec. 14 at Tennessee Titans LP Field, Nashville, TN 4:05 p.m. ET CBS Sunday Dec. 21 New England Patriots MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 p.m. ET CBS Sunday Dec. 28 at Miami Dolphins Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL 1:00 p.m. ET CBS Quarterbacks •3 Tajh Boyd •5 Matt Simms •7 Geno Smith •1 Michael Vick Running backs •40 Tommy Bohanon FB •23 Mike Goodson •25 Alex Green •33 Chris Ivory •21 Chris Johnson •29 Bilal Powell •35 Daryl Richardson •47 Chad Young FB Wide receivers •18 Michael Campbell •87 Eric Decker •82 Quincy Enunwa •81 Shaquelle Evans •19 Jacoby Ford •10 Clyde Gates •15 Saalim Hakim •84 Stephen Hill •11 Jeremy Kerley •86 David Nelson •17 Greg Salas •16 Jalen Saunders Tight ends •88 Jace Amaro •89 Colin Anderson •85 Jeff Cumberland •48 Terrence Miller •83 Chris Pantale •44 Zach Sudfeld Offensive linemen •75 Oday Aboushi G •65 William Campbell G •66 Willie Colon G •70 Dakota Dozier G/T •60 D’Brickashaw Ferguson T •61 Patrick Ford G •63 Dalton Freeman C •68 Breno Giacomini T •71 Ben Ijalana T •74 Nick Mangold C •79 Brent Qvale T •72 Caleb Schlauderaff G •67 Brian Winters G •76 Markus Zusevics T Defensive linemen •99 T. J. Barnes NT •78 Leger Douzable DE •93 Kenrick Ellis NT •92 Tevita Finau DE •64 Anthony Grady DE •94 Damon Harrison NT •62 Kerry Hyder DE •91 Sheldon Richardson DE •96 Muhammad Wilkerson DE Linebackers •95 Antwan Barnes OLB •54 Nick Bellore ILB •98 Quinton Coples OLB •55 Jermaine Cunningham OLB •56 Demario Davis ILB •58 Troy Davis OLB •48 Steele Divitto ILB •– A. J. Edds OLB •51 IK Enemkpali OLB •57 Tim Fugger OLB •53 Jeremiah George ILB •52 David Harris ILB •50 Garrett McIntyre OLB •97 Calvin Pace OLB •49 Trevor Reilly OLB •77 Zach Thompson OLB Defensive backs •39 Antonio Allen FS •32 Josh Bush SS •42 Brandon Dixon CB •34 Ras-I Dowling CB •38 Brandon Hardin SS •37 Jaiquawn Jarrett FS •31 Ellis Lankster CB •26 Dawan Landry SS •45 Rontez Miles SS •25 Calvin Pryor FS •43 Dexter McDougle CB •27 Dee Milliner CB •22 Johnny Patrick CB •24 Dimitri Patterson CB •41 Jeremy Reeves CB •36 Lowell Rose CB •30 Darrin Walls CB •20 Kyle Wilson CB Special teams •2 Nick Folk K •46 Tanner Purdum LS •4 Ryan Quigley P New Arrivals •The Jets signed Colin Anderson, T. J. Barnes, Tevita Finau, Michael Campbell, Dwight Jones, Dalton Freeman, Tim Fugger, and •Rontez Miles to reserve/future contracts on December 31, 2013. •The Jets signed Ras-I Dowling to a reserve/future contract on January 6, 2014. •The Jets signed Patrick Ford and Lowell Rose to reserve/future contracts on January 8, 2014.

The Jets signed Jacolby Ashworth and Nick Taylor to reserve/future contracts on January 14, 2014. •The Jets signed Brandon Hardin to a reserve/future contract on January 15, 2014. •The Jets signed Johnny Patrick off waivers on March 5, 2014. •The Jets signed Breno Giacomini and Eric Decker on March 12, 2014. •The Jets signed Michael Vick on March 21, 2014. •The Jets signed Jeremy Reeves on March 28, 2014. •The Jets signed Jacoby Ford[16] and Dimitri Patterson on April 1, 2014. •The Jets signed Chris Johnson on April 16, 2014. •The Jets signed undrafted free agents Tevon Conrad, Steele Divitto, Anthony Grady, Kerry Hyder, Terrence Miller, Brent Qvale, •Zach Thompson, and Chad Young on May 11, 2014. •The Jets claimed Daryl Richardson off waivers on May 16, 2014. •The Jets signed A. J. Edds and Markus Zusevics on May 19, 2014 Departures · The Jets released Antonio Cromartie on March 9, 2014. ·

The Jets released Santonio Holmes on March 10, 2014. · The Jets released Mark Sanchez on March 21, 2014. · The Jets released Tevon Conrad on May 16, 2014. · The Jets released Dwight Jones and Jacolby Ashworth on May 19, 2014. Free Agents Position Player Free agency tag Date signed/released 2014 team Notes LB Nick Bellore RFA March 10, 2014 New York Jets CB Aaron Berry UFA June 2, 2014 Cleveland Browns G Willie Colon UFA March 19, 2014 New York Jets WR Josh Cribbs UFA TE Jeff Cumberland UFA March 7, 2014 New York Jets LB Jermaine Cunningham UFA January 13, 2014 New York Jets DE Leger Douzable UFA March 12, 2014 New York Jets G Vladimir Ducasse UFA March 24, 2014 Minnesota Vikings PK Nick Folk UFA February 28, 2014 New York Jets QB David Garrard UFA RB John Griffin ERFA WR Vidal Hazelton ERFA FB Lex Hilliard UFA T Austin Howard UFA March 12, 2014 Oakland Raiders CB Ellis Lankster UFA March 5, 2014 New York Jets LB Josh Mauga UFA LB Garrett McIntyre RFA April 9, 2014 New York Jets LB Calvin Pace UFA March 16, 2014 New York Jets S Ed Reed UFA TE Konrad Reuland ERFA RB Darius Reynaud UFA QB Matt Simms ERFA January 13, 2014 New York Jets CB Isaiah Trufant RFA March 12, 2014 Cleveland Browns CB Darrin Walls RFA March 5, 2014 New York Jets TE Kellen Winslow II UFA RFA: Restricted free agent, UFA: Unrestricted free agent, ERFA: Exclusive rights free agent, FT: Franchise tag Class of 2014- NY. Jets Draft Picks RD PK

Selection Player Position College Note 1 18 18 Calvin Pryor Safety Louiville 2 17 49 Jace Amaro Tight end Texas Tech 3 16 80 Dexter McDougle Cornerback Maryland 4 4 104 Jalen Saunders Wide receiver Oklahoma From Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Darrelle Revis. 15 115 Shaquelle Evans Wide receiver UCLA 37 137 Dakota Dozier Offensive tackle Furman Compensatory selection. 5 14 154 Jeremiah George Linebacker Iowa State 6 19 195 Brandon Dixon Cornerback Northwest Missouri State 33 209 Quincy Enunwa Wide receiver Nebraska Compensatory selection. 34 210 IK Enemkpali Defensive end Louisiana Tech Compensatory selection. 37 213 Tajh Boyd Quarterback Clemson Compensatory selection. 7 18 233 Trevor Reilly Outside linebacker Utah In closing we hope you enjoyed the MLB Preview. Check back weekly for insightful Previews, systems and Original content that wont be seen elsewhere. and In 2012 Rob was ranked #1 in MLB on some of the most prestigious Leader boards in and networks in the country and followed that up by hitting 73% on Top plays in Baseball last season which was another profitable season. This year MLB And NHL/NBA Playoffs have Cashed big again. In NFL +CFB Combined Rob is 56 games over .500 the past 5 seasons. Check Robs page daily for the finest Data and analysis in the industry RV

2014 NFC East Predictions

Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles win the division at 11-5

In a division that has been struggling for years, they are easily the best, I fully expect Nick Foles to show that he is a real QB. He wont put up the staggering numbers like last season with 27 TD and only 2 Ints,  but he’ll be solid. LeSean McCoy is only 26 and entering his prime as one of the best RB’s in the league and Darren Sproles will see a lot of time too at RB and as a kick returner. Maclin will have a bigger year than expected at WR, as long as he stays healthy. Four of their first 6 games are at home prior then they enter their BYE week so they could get off to a great start so my money is on Philly to win the division.

NY Giants 8-8; Eli comes in off a terrible football season. This is a year, something needs to change, with Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz as his main targets, I don’t see much happening this year either. A lot depends on Rashad Jennings, if he can be a RB1 that I think he can be.

Washington Redskins 6-10; Garcon has shown he can be a real threat, and DeSean Jackson will add deep ball play, and as long as RGIII stays healthy, they will score. But they still can’t stop teams from scoring as well.

Dallas Cowboys 8-8;Defense, defense, defense. There really is nothing more to say. Dallas may have the worst defense in the league and they even signed Michael Sam to the practice squad and he’ll probably make the team as a pass rusher since Dallas needs all of the help they can get. Their offense will be one of the best and a healthy Romo with Dez, Witten, Terrence Williams and DeMarco Murray. The new defensive rules will also help the Dallas offense, Romo haters will be mad, when he throws for 400 and the team loses, as their defense will need to step it up. Henry Melton and Anthony Hitchens wont cut it so others must step up. They are in a weak division but overall the 2nd best here and come up short of making the playoffs.

Written for VegasTopDogs.com

VegasTopDogs PAC 12 Preview

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We head on out to the west coast to check on the PAC 12 and breakdown who can challenge the Ducks of Oregon.

NORTH

OREGON DUCKS – Who knows how things would have played out last year if Marcus Mariota didn’t get injured. So we will take him at his word he is ready, and let the rest of the PAC 12 try to slow down this offense. October 11th is a huge road test vs South favorites UCLA. Ducks get Stanford at home with revenge and if they take care of business, a National Championship is possible.

STANFORD – Was as good as any team in the nation last year. But with just 12 returning starters, I don’t see 11 wins again. Tough schedule going on the road in the PAC 12 with 5 games where 4 of those teams combined to go 26-10 in conference play. They took care of Arizona State, Washington, Oregon and UCLA at home. They will all be licking their chops looking for revenge. Can’t leave out Notre Dame on the road.

WASHINGTON HUSKIES – I like where Sark has taken this program. I think new HC Chris Peterson will continue growing this team. What better coach to come in with a talented roster than a guy who went 92-12 at a mid-major, and had his Boise team get a pair of Fiesta Bowl wins. Normally I think teams lose a step when a new coach takes over, especially when they don’t even have their returning QB. But I feel this situation is different because of Peterson. The guy always get the most out of his players. Players who were probably a little below the talent he inherits here in Seattle. I can see them matching last years 9 wins.

WASHINGTON STATE – I’m putting the Cougars here. I like Mike Leach. He took over a crap program and looks like he has them on the right track. He won 3 games his first year with a garbage roster. 6 wins and bowl last year. Now in year 3 he has more of his scheme guys. 14 starters back, including 8 on offense. I think he can match LY’s win total and if things really go well, get 8 or 9 wins.

OREGON STATE – Sorry to say this, but I think it is time for HC Mike Riley to move on. 14 years is a long time. 5-7, 3-9, 9-4, 7-6. Not exactly setting the world on fire the last 4 years. The PAC 12 is getting to be a very deep, talented league. Maybe they catch fire and start 6-1 again and don’t lose 5 straight. I doubt it.

CAL BEARS – Can’t really get any worse for 2nd year man Sonny Dykes in Berkeley. They had a bunch of injuries on their way to a 1-11 season. They now have 15 starters back, 9 on offense. Granted their QB is a sophomore coming off a shoulder injury behind a poor OL. Bears have lost 16 of 18 in PAC 12 play so I really can’t see a huge jump here.

SOUTH

UCLA BRUINS – You know I like my HC’s entering their 3rd years. Jim Mora gets 17 starters back including Heisman hopefull QB Brett Hundley. This is a talented group. They lost back to back roadies last year to Oregon and Stanford. They get both at home here. They have to beat at least one of those teams if they think they are serious in their title hopes. The offense put up 37ppg and should be just as explosive and can make up for a weaker defense.

USC TROJANS – I do love me some Sark. I thought his hire to Washington was a great move, and coming home where he was a OC was just a matter of time. This is USC. There is NFL talent up and down this roster. Now they have a guy who will gel that together. It is his first season in LA, so I don’t expect perfection. The defense is always good and with Sark working his QB magic, the Trojans could steal the south.

ARIZONA and ARIZONA STATE – I will be honest. You can probably combine these two and not beat the teams above them here. I can’t really find a clear edge for putting one above the other. Logic says hey, Arizona State has a great QB who can put up points in a hurry (39.7ppg). In the next breath I see that the Wildcats have 2 returning defensive starters in a league that is getting some excellent QB play. Arizona is the more experienced bunch and should probably win more games. But I have zero faith in Rich Rodriguez as a HC. You will always get the truth with me. Maybe after watching some film I have find an edge or weakness here. For now, I think they are the second tier of the south.

UTAH UTES – Kyle Whittingham must be thinking why the heck did we come to this conference. Things haven’t been easy in Salt Lake in PAC 12 play. Back to back 5-7 seasons, 9-18 in league play the last 3 years. I think they Utes are in over their heads. I have said it before and will say it again. This conference is rapidly improving. The only reason Utah isn’t in the basement is because of the team behind them.

COLORADO – Oh the Buffaloes. Mike MacIntyre enters year 2 looking for more improvement. He took over a 1 win team and tripled that to 4. With 16 starters back, the roster is stacked with experienced players. I will tell you know that I see some real value betting these guys in spots this year.

Be sure to check VegasTopDogs.com  as we head to the SEC Conference next — SEAN HIGGS

2014 Top 10 NFL Fantasy Football Sleepers

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A Fantasy “Sleeper” is defined as a player (in this case NFL) who you believe will have a “breakout” season, while not being ranked in the Top 10 at his position before the season started. Here is my list for the 2014-15 season.

Jeff’s 2014-15 Top 10 NFL Fantasy Football Sleepers

1) Carlos Hyde RB (49ers)

My top-rated running back coming into the draft this past May. Carlos Hyde improved his production every season at Ohio State since his freshman season in 2010. Last season, he rushed for 1,521 yards and accumulated 15 touchdowns. In his College career, Hyde rushed for 3,198 yards, 6.1 Yards per carry, and 41 total touchdowns. Hyde runs like he’s mad at the ground and he is the perfect back for what the 49ers like to do. He’s big and physical, while having good feet and vision. I love his talent. Lets be honest here. Frank Gore is not getting any younger at the age of 31. The 10-year veteran is just 33 yards short of 10,000 rushing yards. Gore ran for 1,128 yards with 9 touchdowns last season, and has at least 250 carries for three straight years. Hyde is expected to receive at least 7-10 touches per game to start, but don’t be shocked if he’s a bigger part of the 49ers offense and in the starting lineup sooner rather than later. Aided by a very solid offensive line, look for Hyde to rush for 1000+ yards with 10 total touchdowns this season. Yeah, I said it!


2) Andre Ellington RB (Arizona)

Reminds me of Jamaal Charles quite a bit. There are some concerns that his small frame can hold up for 16 games. He played in 15 games last year, gaining 652 yards on just 118 attempts. Andre scored just 4 total touchdowns and I would expect that number to at least double if he stays healthy. There is no denying his skill-set and he did add about 8-10 lbs of muscle this off-season. He’s at the ripe age of 25 where many running backs have career type seasons. The Cardinals’ offensive line will be better than last season and might even become a strength of the team. Ellington is on the verge of stardom. Look for him to gather ginormous points in running, receiving, and scoring.

3) Terrance Williams WR (Dallas)

Miles Austin has taken his injured hamstrings to Cleveland. In all seriousness, I wish Miles the best and hope he can stay healthy for the Browns. Terrance has that great combination of size and speed. Listed at 6′ 2″, 209 lbs, Williams is one of the fastest players on the team, while using the slot to his advantage as well. The local boy had a solid rookie season with 736 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. His longest scoring play was an 82-yard skinny post from the left side against the Broncos. Look for Terrance Williams to amass 1000 receiving yards and at least 7 touchdowns, as most teams’ focus will be on trying to cover Dez Bryant with an extra safety. The Cowboys are expecting big things from Williams and you should too.

4) Colin Kaepernick QB (San Francisco)

Currently being drafted No. 11 in mock drafts. Colin is poised to have his best season yet. The team is extremely motivated after how last season ended in heart break fashion. Actually, it’s been two straight postseason meltdowns so the motivation is there. The offense is loaded with the likes of Michael Crabtree, Anquan Bolden, Stevie Johnson, Vernon Davis, not to mention a very talented backfield. Lets not forget about Kaepernicks running ability. Only Russell Wilson ran for more touchdowns as a QB last season. The defense looks really good and I am expecting big things from this team in 2014-15. They are one hungry bunch. If you don’t get one of the Top 3 QB’s than wait and grab Kaepernick in the 8th or 9th round.

5) Jay Cutler QB (Chicago)

Jay Cutler is ranked anywhere from No. 12 to No.16 at the QB position. The Bears feature two of the league’s top 7 wide receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Not to mention a top 5 overall player in running back Matt Forte. Both receivers are capable of 1,000+ receiving yards and double digit touchdowns. Marshall accomplished the feet last year and don’t be shocked if both players reach that level this season. This offense is loaded and if Cutler can stay healthy he should have his best season to date. Cutler has never finished with a QBR of 90 or better in a season. He had a career high of 89.2 last season. This could be that year. He’s a steal in the mid rounds this season.

6) Tony Romo QB (Dallas)

The Cowboys will have a new offensive play-caller for the third straight season. Although Bill Callahan is still the offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan will be calling the plays. He loves to throw the ball early and often. Tony Romo’s career numbers are quite impressive with 29,565 passing yards, 64.6% completion percentage, and 208 touchdown passes. His 95.8 career QBR ranks fourth, behind Rivers, Manning, and Aaron Rogers. Romo had 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2013-14 for the second time in three years. Romo is better than most people think. At 34 years of age Romo has at least two very productive season in the tank. During his five-year tenure the Lions offense never ranked less than sixth in pass attempts. The Cowboys offense is loaded including a very good offensive line. The Cowboys defense figures to allow a lot of points, so the Cowboys might be playing catch-up more often than not. Romo has posted better stats than where he is being drafted for 6 straight seasons.

7) Emmanuel Sanders WR (Denver)

I am expecting big things from Sanders with the Broncos. Peyton Manning likes to throw touchdowns and Sanders will help fans forget about the departure of Eric Decker (Jets). Sanders is entering his fifth season at age 27, coming off a solid campaign with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had 67 receptions, 740 receiving yards, and six touchdowns. I would be shocked if Sanders didn’t have his best season to date with Manning at QB. Extremely quick and gets open more often than not. Sanders is a steal after the 10th round.

8) Sam Bradford QB (Rams)

At 26 years of age, the time is now for Bradford to take that next step. There are some signs he will. Sam was well on his way to posting career-best numbers last season after throwing 14 touchdown passes in seven games, Bradford suffered a season-ending ACL injury. The Rams have a plethora of young talent that is on the verge of breaking out. Chris Givens and Tavon Austin figure to get better. Kenny Britt was a great pickup an should help the Rams in red-zone scoring. Bradford could end being the “steal” of your draft.

9) Montee Ball RB (Denver)

Denver has a lot of talented running backs but Ball has the most upside. He didn’t win the starting job last season due to protection issues in both basic and blitz-heavy defenses. In this offense, the potential for 1,500+ rushing yards and 10+ touchdowns is certainly there. Ball averaged 4.7 yards per carry in 16 games. Solid. Look for Ball to have a huge breakout type season if he can stay healthy. He will also be a force in the passing game as well. Big things from Ball in 2014-15.

10) DeAndre Hopkins WR (Houston)

Considering all of the quarterback issues last season the Texans endured, Hopkins managed to put decent numbers with 52 receptions, 802 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. Just two seasons ago, Hopkins was the No. 1 receiver in a Clemson offense that featured Sammy Watkins. This guy is poised for a huge breakout type season and will be a nice point producer as a No. 2 or 3 receiver. Currently being drafted 30th among receivers which should be going up as more drafts get underway.

Good Luck on draft day!

Jeff Hochman/JHSL

New NFL Coaches for 2014

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Coaching in football, more than in any other sport, is essential to a team’s success. The Harbaugh brothers are flying high on different coasts, one going to three straight NFC title games and the other winning the Super Bowl (over the other brother, no less). New York fans have called for Tom Coughlin’s ouster a few times over the last six years, but he has helped deliver two Super Bowl titles, while Bill Belichick has had one losing season (his first, 2000) since taking over the Patriots, taking them to five Super Bowls. In the NBA, any team that has Lebron, or a trio of Duncan/Parker/Ginobili, for instance, would be a very good team, and likely a dominant one. In baseball, a team is essentially only as good as its starting pitching (or payroll). Joe Torre won four World Series with the Yankees, but many forget he was run out of town after coaching the Mets and Cardinals to poor seasons. Football is very different. There are so many players involved on the field that it requires an excellent coach and coaching staff to teach, motivate and organize into a successful unit.

Think for a moment about football on-field personnel: 11 starters on offense, 11 on defense, special teams players, and even specialized personnel, such as third-and-long defensive backs or running backs used only in short yardage situations. It takes hours of time, patience and talent to organize players into an effective group. As preseason kicks off this weekend, here are some teams that made coaching changes to try and upgrade weak areas. Lions: After underachieving and playing sloppy football under Jim Schwartz, Detroit has a new coach in Jim Caldwell. The mild mannered Caldwell won a Super Bowl two years ago as offensive coordinator with the Ravens. He has been a head coach before, too, taking the Colts to the Super Bowl, a loss to the Saints. He started 14-0 with the Colts, then got fired after a 2-14 campaign sans Peyton Manning. For the record, he does not have an impressive college resume, going 12-52 in conference play as head coach at Wake Forest. Browns: The revolving door in Cleveland continues! Toledo native Rob Chudzinski has brought in last year, then fired, so Mike Pettine steps in. He was the Bills defensive coordinator. He was not even on the Browns’ original list of candidates, but emerged as others either took themselves out of consideration or were hired elsewhere. He walks into a tornado.

The Browns were embarrassed by candidates who kept turning them down and he’ll have to deal in August with the Johnny Manziel media circus. At least he inherits a team with some good young talent. The offense was 11th in the NFL in passing with third-year WR Josh Gordon (1,646 yards, 18.9 ypc). Cleveland found a QB in 28-year old Brian Hoyer (5 TDs, 3 picks) who led them to a 3-0 run before blowing out his knee, a former Tom Brady backup. And the defense made huge strides, 8th in pass yards allowed, 18th against the run. The Browns have gone 31-15-2 under the total the last three years. Will that trend continue? Vikings: Minnesota shifts gears with the hiring of Mike Zimmer. He was the Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator. At first glance you wonder what is going on here. The Bengals? A team that flames out every postseason? Who wants anyone from that coaching tree? On the other hand, Zimmer is a respected and successful coordinator.

The Bengals have been great on defense and he did a similar turnaround with the Dallas Cowboys defense from 2000 through ’06. Zimmer was interviewed for several head coaching positions in recent years, but his blunt style was at odds with owners and GMs looking for diplomats and skilled media handlers. Bill Belichick has boring, blunt press conferences, but no one questions his coaching ability. Zimmer was DC for the Falcons when Bobby Petrino jumped ship in 2007and had this to say: “Petrino came in and resigned and said he would talk to us all at a later date. He’s a gutless [bleep]. You can quote that.” Wow!

The Vikings might not win just yet, but don’t expect sugar-coated press conferences from this new coach. Bucs: The NFC North is moving south! That is, former Bears coach Lovie Smith is the new coach in Tampa Bay and brings former Vikings coach Leslie Frazier in as defensive coordinator. Despite some train-wreck numbers last year (32nd in passing, 22nd in rushing), there is actually talent to build with. QB Mike Glennon was forced into a tough situation and played well with 19 TDs, 9 picks and the draft adds Texas A&M WR Mike Evans and TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (Washington), two of the top 38 picks selected in May. Smith knows defense and inherits a talented young front line that has been battling injuries. He turns the offense over to former Cal coach Jeff Tedford, who has a terrific record of developing QBs. This team lost to the Saints by 2, at the Jets by 1, won at the Lions as a +7 dog and lost to the eventual champion Seahawks 27-24 – on the road!

Written by Jim Feist of VegasTopDogs.com

Tennessee Titans NFL 2014 Season Preview

TennTitans

The Tennessee Titans come into 2014 with a new Head Coach as Ken Whisenhunt will be looking to right the ship and have the Titans competing in the AFC South and to make a surprise run at the Playoffs.

The Titans went and got OL Taylor Lewan in the 1st round of the Draft this season to bolster the line along with OL Chance Warmack in last year’s draft. The Titan’s had increased production in the running game last year, and I look for a bigger increase this season with a solid offensive line. Expectations are high for rookie RB Bishop Sankey as he is expected to fill the hole for CJ2K who went to the Jets in the off-season.

Dexter McCluster was also an acquisition for the Titans and I look for a good amount of touches to go McAlister’s way. Whisenhunt was the OC for the Chargers last season and he made great use of Danny Woodhead out of the backfield and McCLuster is the same kind of player. If Shonn Greene stays healthy, this gives the Titans a versatile backfield with a ‘Thunder & Lightning’ combo with Greene a Power Back in the Red Zone and Goaline situations. The biggest question this season is, “Can Jake Locker can stay healthy?” If he can avoid injury, then I see the Titans winning at least 6 or 7 of their 8 home games, and 1 or 2 road wins is not out of the question to get them at a possible 9-7 record and at least a shot at the Playoffs. The receiver core is solid with veteran Nate Washington, then youngsters Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright with another year under their belt. Tight End Delaney Walker is also a quality TE that came from San Francisco and I’ve seen this guy make some key catches in games and he is also an excellent blocker.

 

On defense, the Titans improved last year from allowing 29 ppg to only allowing 24 ppg and trimmed 36 yards ppg of their total defense allowed. I like the front 7 of the Titans this year, but the secondary might be a bit weaker but should still be competitive. Overall, the Titans have the 2nd softest schedule in the league and I like them to be a good ‘PLAY ON’ team early in the season as amateur bettors will not be giving the Titans any respect.

*** Brandon’s Power Play: *** ***Week 1 Sept. 7th Tennessee @ Kansas City*** Play on : Tennessee as an Underdog*** The Titans will travel to Kansas City looking for revenge from last year’s 26-17 loss they suffered at home. I fully expect the Titans to put forth a better effort in this game than last year. The Titans got off to a slow start in this game down 13-0 as Ryan Fitzpatrick was playing in his first game as Locker was injured. The result was three-and-out on the first 5 series for the Titans and they could never establish a running game. Fitzpatrick was 0-for-8 with an INT on passes 15+ yards down the field. This year, they will have Locker under center and I look for the Titans to take some shots deep down the field early in this one. Expectations are high for the Chiefs this season, but I am expecting a sub-par season under HC Andy Reid. The Chiefs were fortunate last season to benefit from a +18 turnovers. I don’t think they will be as lucky this year to have the ball bounce in their direction.

The Chiefs do not have a strong passing game as it’s more dink and dunk passes from Alex Smith, so I don’t see the secondary of the Titans getting exposed in this game. I would also like to note that the Chiefs actually only outgained 5 opponents this year and this is a major red flag as they somehow won 11 games. A lot of their wins came from the fortunate bounces of the ball going their way and I got the feeling that the Titans win the turnover battle in this game. McCLuster will also be eager to make some plays against his former team and I also feel he can help out with the scouting report as he knows the Chiefs offense very well. The last note is that the Chiefs have a road game @ Denver in week 2 and I think it’s safe to assume that the Chiefs will be ‘looking ahead’ to this game as they will be playing with double revenge from last season and actually had the 21-7 lead on Denver before Peyton Manning went on a tear en route to a 35-28 victory.

*** Closing thoughts:*** Like I said, the Titans are not expected to be competitive this season by many, but all indicators tell me they will present some very good value for us bettors and should be a profitable team to bet on in 2014. If Locker stays healthy, and if they can win some of the close games they will be in, I expect the Titans to be a sleeper team in the AFC.

Written by Brandon Shively of VegasTopDogs.com

2014 NFL Season Wins Over/Unders

NFL 2014

So it isn’t even August yet, but that won’t stop me from coming out with some NFL Regular Season Win Total prop bets.

I did a radio show about a month ago when the lines first started to creep out, and I waited a bit before posting on the website. Although it is really never to early to talk NFL, I just felt like the season never really ended with the late draft.

AFC EAST

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS –(Best Bet) OVER 10.5 – These guys have 11 straight 10+ win seasons. I tried betting against them last year with the team below them here. I won’t fade the Hoodies until they break this streak on their own! MIAMI=”” DOLPHINS=”” –=”” OVER=”” 8=”” NEW YORK JETS –UNDER 7 – I think this bunch were overachievers last season. I didn’t think they would win many games. They managed an 8-8 record with a QB who tossed 21 INTs. I can’t discount this defense. They are very good. But I do see a bit of regression overall. Vick isn’t the answer and Geno is still raw.

BUFFALO BILLS – OVER 6.5 – This was almost my Best Bet in this division. I mean, you traded away a #1 pick to move up. This offense should take a big step forward, and I think overall the team is better.

AFC NORTH

CINCINNATI BENGALS – OVER 9 – Looking at the North, I see a weak division, and the Bengals with loads of talent. Pittsburgh and Baltimore really didn’t improve much in my eyes and the Browns, well, it’s Cleveland.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS and BALTIMORE RAVENS — 8.5 —

I think both of these teams have some issues on both sides of the ball. They will be facing teams from the NFC South, which I think is a very tough division. I see 7-9, 8-8, 9-7 depending how something break personnel wise.

CLEVELAND BROWNS – UNDER 6.5 – Johnny Football or not, this is still the Browns. The defense is ok, and the offense is scary. As in, scary bad. The WR situation is not looking good.

AFC SOUTH

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – OVER 9.5 – I will be honest. I thought these guys overachieved last year. Heck, the last 2 years with Luck. But they are talented and this division is a little weak in my eyes.

HOUSTON TEXANS – OVER 7.5 – I will tell you this, I was thinking under here. But I think the defense is too good to overlook. They QB situation can’t be any worse than last year. How many picks for 7 were thrown last season?

TENNESSEE TITANS – OVER 7 – This is one of my sleeper teams. Sometimes, you know how you don’t see a team coming. Not sure why, but I think this is that team this season.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (Best Bet) – OVER 4.5 – This team was dreadful but still won 4 games last season. I liked what I saw in Bortles. And although I don’t think he will be a day 1 starter, this team didn’t quit last year. I think that is a good sign of leadership from the coach down.

AFC WEST

DENVER BRONCOS – OVER 11 – Will lay a bit of juice with this number. And why not. This offense was unstoppable last year. Why won’t it be this year? We are looking for wins, not covers. I think the defense is better which should be helpful. Ware and a healthy Von Miller. QBs will be running for their lives.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – UNDER 8 – 11 wins last year. I loved KC last year. It was by Top Total of the year. That was because Andy Reid was getting to face his old rivals in the NFC East. Not so lucky this year facing the NFC West. I look for a slide back to reality.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – OVER 8 – This team surprised me last year. I think they are as good or better than last season. With KC and Oakland, I see them getting a sweep and half the wins they need.

OAKLAND RAIDERS – UNDER 5 – Just Win Baby. Holy Cow. This team is terrible. I don’t care who they signed. How decent the defense is. What veteran guys are here. I am not expecting much.

NFC EAST

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – OVER 9- I didn’t think much of Kelly in his first season. But getting 10 wins. Most impressive. I think this division is weaker, and he is getting his players. That means they will be better.

DALLAS COWBOYS – 8 TIE – I can’t go any other way. These guys have been 8-8 the last 3 years!

NEW YORK GIANTS – OVER 7.5 – Eli was brutal last year. I think he is better than that.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (Best Bet) UNDER 7 – New coach. New system. RG III will need some time to get accustomed to things.

NFC NORTH

GREEN BAY PACKERS – UNDER 10 – With Aaron Rodgers, anything is possible. But I think there are still too many questions on defense.

DETROIT LIONS – 8 TIE – These guys are like the Cowboys in that they have lots of talent and no clue how to win.

CHICAGO BEARS (Best Bet) – OVER 8 – I like this coach. Out of the CFL he was great last year. With a healthy Cutler and these WRs watch out.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS – UNDER 6 – What is there to say here? AP is wasting away.

NFC SOUTH

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – UNDER 9.5 – I do think the Saints are very talented. Hands down the best QB here. But I think the rest of the division is catching up.

ATLANTA FALCONS – OVER 8 – Weren’t these guys in a NFC Championship game a couple years ago? They are talented and will be back to their winning ways.

CAROLINA PANTHERS – UNDER 8 – This was almost my South Best Bet. I think Cam will be taking a step back as his offensive line is getting an overhaul. Plus he loses a WR in Smith, who, well you just throw the ball in his direction and he would catch it. Awful lot of pressure on the defense to win 13-10 games.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (Best Bet) – OVER 7 – Like the Titans, this is my NFC surprise team. I like their moves. Like what I see from the coaches. These guys might be in the playoff hunt.

NFC WEST

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (Best Bet) -UNDER 11 – Defending champs. And they are good. But when you just dominated the Super Bowl, you will get every teams A-Game. We will be dog hunting as these lines will be inflated all year long!

SAN FRANCISCO 49ers – UNDER 10.5 – As good as this team is, they aren’t the best in division. And I think the guys below them are closing in. Toughest division in the NFL.

ARIZONA CARDINALS – OVER 7.5 – These guys won 10 games last year. I think they are as good or better. Would not shock me to see the division winner at 10 games, a couple at 9-7 and even 8-8 here.

ST LOUIS RAMS – OVER 7.5 – Another improving team. When you are bad for years, you get some talent. The defense is chock full of good players. The offense is improving. Fisher will have these guys ready this year to make a big jump.

I will be doing a full NFL Preview and your CFB Conference Previews in a few weeks. – Sean Higgs of VegasTopDogs.com

NBA draft top prospects – how will they live up to their hype?

draft-lottery

Well it’s time during the NBA playoffs, that we can enjoy the teams making their pushes and hustling for the NBA title this year. But, in the same breath, there is also something else going on, something quieter, in the background of the NBA. The losers who didn’t make the playoffs. Those waiting and watching, and they can get to turn, to find their star players who are coming from college to the NBA in this years draft. This years draftees look strong and ripe and overall it appears that this is going to be a very good draft.

One thing is for sure, just weeks after the crazy-ness of March Madness has ended, and we got to see players pick up their games under the push of the limelight, it always seems to be that there’s simply nothing like playing big time in the NCAA Tournament to move up the NBA draft board. It brings a time for the college stars to have their possibility to showcase their skills in serious pressure-packed conditions against the country’s best athletes. The intensity of the tourney carries a huge weight on the shoulder of the ballers.

Winning big when it matters is a great accomplishment, and certainly Shabazz Napier, benefited from his play. And a great player I also see not getting the attention that I think he justly deserves is Michigan States forward Adreian Payne, who was first-rate during the season, scoring 16 and hitting 50%, including shooting 42% from the 3pt line.

Kansas superstar Andrew Wiggins can play all over the court, and most people have fallen in love with the 6-8 200lb guard. He could perhaps have the best potential to become the next “it” guy. He has impressive dimensions and his athleticism is almost unmatched. And topping that with the fact he plays defense very well, he can be a very potent player for years to come. Julius Randle has an excellent ability to impact any game he is in with his ability to get his teammates involved, whether he is crashing the boards, finding someone hanging around outside the arc looking for an open trey, he has many more ways than one to get a team production. Jabari Parker is the realest star to me, coming out of the college pool this year, who ever gets him will have a starter immediately, and a potential franchise player for years to come.

You really cannot go wrong between Parker, Wiggins and Napier. Even if they don’t all instantly pan out, all 3 have such unique abilities and upside that there’s minimum reason to pass over them in the draft.

Perfect example of season by season is Joel Embiid who was not even really considered a really effective player entering the college season, but Embiid made his cause with his ability to score in the low post and also change the game forcibly on the defensive end. Especially with the fact that the NBA seriously lacks big men who can reign down low in the paint, on both ends of the floor. I don’t see Embiid owning the league quickly, but as a long-term project who will improve over the years.

Napier is unbelievably athletic, he has a lot to bring to a team. I think that many, including myself, have really missed on how good Napier is. He has astounding quickness, an impressive jump shot, and great rebounding ability, with 6 a game for a 6-1 guard. He should, and will be a top 10 pick.

Overall, Parker has the whole package going for him to me. He can move the ball and has great handles. He can defend and rebound and has a great NBA body. I’d personally prefer Parker over anyone else out there. Wiggins has the highest crown, with his abilities. Embiid is a legitimate building block, but his back issues are a huge reason I wouldn’t take him. I have also seen the likes of Hasheem Thabeet, become a waste in the NBA quickly. I have my concerns. Napier will be the surprise guy somebody will steal. And Adreian Payne will be a solid 4 for years to come who can stretch defenses.

Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com

2014 VegasTopDogs NFL Draft Predictions

Mock Draft
It’s almost here, that wonderful time of the off-season, we all look forward to like a special holiday for grown ups, NFL draft day. I know I am as excited as you are, waiting to see who my team is going to grab in the 1st round, who can we sneak out in the 3rd, and make it all come together. This HAS to be the year, right?

Draft season, brings everyone together as a unit, like a load of team colored, jersey wearing soldiers, to cheer, jeer, moan and groan at who picks up who, and who passes on who. Will your team be drafting who you are hoping for, or will they let you down? It’s a day, where we all are GMs of our teams, and looking at who we think our teams should be drafting. With all the teams and their hopes in the offseason, bad teams try to get better, teams like Cleveland and St. Louis are thought to be instantly teams that are expecting a great turnaround from last year simply from having 2 picks in the 1st round. But not so fast, it all comes out in the wash during the upcoming season.

So we will go through the 1st round, Mock draft style and let you know who they teams should be taking in their slots.

1. Houston Texans – Jadaveon Clowney, DE
2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)- Sammy Watkins, WR
3. Jacksonville Jaguars- Khalil Mack, LB
4. Cleveland Browns- Mike Evans, WR
5. Oakland Raiders- Greg Robinson, OL
6. Atlanta Falcons- Jake Matthews, OL
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Taylor Lewan, OL
8. Minnesota Vikings- Johnny Manziel, QB
9. Buffalo Bills- CJ Mosley, LB
10. Detroit Lions- Calvin Pryor, S
11. Tennessee Titans- Darqueze Dennard, CB
12. New York Giants- Louis Nix III, DT
13. St. Louis Rams- Justin Gilbert, CB
14. Chicago Bears- Timmy Jernigan, DT
15. Pittsburgh Steelers- Kyle Fuller, CB
16. Dallas Cowboys- Kony Ealy, DE
17. Baltimore Ravens- Xavier Su’A-Filo, OL
18. New York Jets- Odell Beckham, WR
19. Miami Dolphins- David Yankey, OL
20. Arizona Cardinals- Blake Bortles, QB
21. Green Bay Packers- Zack Martin, OL
22. Philadelphia Eagles- Merqise Lee, WR
23. Kansas City Chiefs- Gabe Jackson, OL
24. Cincinnati Bengals- Dee Ford, DE
25. San Diego Chargers- Anthony Barr, LB
26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts)- Derek Carr, QB
27. New Orleans Saints- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S
28. Carolina Panthers- Cyrus Kouandjio, OL
29. New England Patriots- Ra’Shede Hageman, DT
30. San Francisco 49ers- Jason Verrett, CB
31. Denver Broncos- Kelvin Benjamin, WR
32. Seattle Seahawks- Eric Ebron, TE

What makes this draft so great is because it is so deep and so talented, on all levels. I think that this draft could produce a couple handfuls of Pro-Bowlers easily. Maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m right on, but we will find out soon enough. Looking forward to this Thursday, May 8th, so let’s do this!!

Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com