BACK IN THE BOX! Returned last season as the host of "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for Rochester Americans broadcasts on Sports 1280 WHTK, as well as studio host for game broadcasts and intermission updates. Looking forward to starting a second straight season this upcoming year.
Weekend morning newscaster on WHAM.
Sometime fill in host for Bob Matthews or John DiTullio, as well as hosting call-in shows during Yankees and Red Wings rain delays.
Graduated from West Irondequoit high school (in 1984) where I was the sports director at the student run radio station, WIRQ, as well as the "voice of the Indians" football and basketball radio broadcasts.
Graduated with a B.A. degree from Florida Southern College (in1988). Announced FSC basketball games on local cable TV. Also announced local high school football games on local cable TV.
Have worked for WBBF-AM, WPXY-AM, Sportsradio 990, and then moved on to Clear Channel in 1997, where I have worked for WHAM and WHTK since as a board operator, producer, newscaster, traffic reporter, weatherman and sports host, as well as all-around good guy.
I am also psyched to be back on the air hosting "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for the Rochester Americans radio broadcasts on 107--3 FM and 1280 AM.
I recently also started reading newscasts on Newsradio 1180, WHAM. It is a good opportunity for me, although I never saw myself as a "news guy". I am still enjoying the opportunity.
So we now know that the Houston Texans will be on the field for the AFC in the Super Bowl. Who will be opposing them? Last year, hardly anyone would have said the Giants, even as late as week 13 or 14. Will there be a surprise like that again, or will one of the favorites rise up again like Green Bay? Let's get to it.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5). One of the most competitive divisions in football, and one of the hardest to predict is the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles were favored last year, but fell on their face and missed the playoffs. This year they get their retribution.
Philly quietly finished the season winning 5 of their last 6. I expect that to continue this year. The Eagles are LOADED with offensive talent, but the key to their success will be if they can keep Michael Vick healthy behind a questionable offensive line. They certainly have the skill position talent with Vick throwing to game-breaker DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin as well as underrated Brent Celek. LeSean McCoy proved to be a monster with a huge year last year, including leading all RB's in touchdowns.
Defensively, they have the best secondary in football with Nnamdi Asomugha, Domenique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nate Allen. Trent Cole is a beast leading the pass rush, along with Cullen Jenkins. This year, I think they have more of the year everyone expected them to have last year.
2. New York Giants (10-6). It's hard to look at the Giants team on paper and say they won't win the division. They are just as good as Philly, if not better, on paper. Eli Manning stepped up into the upper echelon at the QB position last year, and with his 2nd Super Bowl ring, should be brimming with confidence. He has Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to throw to. They lost Jake Ballard but replaced him with Martellus Bennett, who could be even better after coming over from Dallas. They lost Brandon Jacobs to San Fran, but drafted David Wilson, who is younger and quicker.
Defensively, Jason Pierre-Paul is a monster along with Chris Tuck on the D-line, and the linebacking crew is quick and active. I think they could be vulnerable in the secondary though. Antrell Rolle showed signs of slowing down. Corey Webster can be burned, and Prince Amakumura is hurt. I just have a hunch that the Giants take a step back this year, but they still could make the playoffs and are always a difficult out.
3. Dallas Cowboys (8-8). The Cowboys were an 8-8 team last year, and many said they underperformed and had injury woes. I don't think so. I think they are an 8-8 team and will be again. Tony Romo is what he is, a good quarterback who makes too many questionable decisions while trying to make things happen. Dez Bryant is a potential stud, but has yet to realize his potential. Miles Austin is banged up already, but didn't have more than 70 yards in a game the last 3/4 of the year. Defensively, DeMarcus Ware is the best pass rusher going in the NFL, but the secondary has holes, even with #1 pick Morris Claiborne.
4. Washington Redskins (7-9). I am a believer of RG3. Robert Griffin starts in his rookie year, which often spells trouble. Cam Newton's success last year shows that a guy like Griffin can have immediate success though. He's a special player and can do a lot of things on the field, which should mean a couple more wins than last year.
Problem is, he doesn't have a ton of talent to help him out. Mike Shanahan hasn't decided on Tim Hightower, Roy Helu or Evan Royster as a back to lead them. Santana Moss is 33 and no where near the deep threat he used to be. He is also undersized for a possession guy. Pierre Garcon comes over from Indy to be the deep threat, but is relatively unproven as a #1. Was all his success so far just because of Peyton Manning? Defensively, Brian Orakpo is a pro-bowler, but they have a lot of holes elsewhere.
1. Green Bay Packers (14-2). Pretty much a no-brainer that the Pack win the division again. It's doubtful that they can go 15-1 again though, but they are good enough, you never know. Aaron Rodgers is one of the top two quarterbacks in the game today, and he is joined by the best stable of pass catchers in the game. Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver, James Jones, Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley are imposing and come at you in waves. With James Starks banged up, the Pack signed 1000 yard back Cedric Benson to add depth. The line is solid.
Defensively, the Pack were awful last year, and they still lost only twice. With players like BJ Raji, Clay Matthews, AJ Hawk, rookie Nick Perry, Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson, the Packers have studs all over the field. The Pack has it geared up and ready for another shot at a ring.
2. Chicago Bears (10-6). Jay Cutler is 28 and in his prime. He could be on the verge of a breakout year, especially with Brandon Marshall reuniting with him. The Bears rolled the dice and signed Marshall in the off-season, so now Cutler has his favorite target in Denver back with him. Matt Forte is signed and happy at running back and ready for another monster campaign if he stays healthy. Devin Hester is still a game breaker, both at wideout and on special teams. Brian Urlacher leads a very good defense, that along with a balenced offense, could be the surprise team of the NFC.
3. Detroit Lions. (7-9). This could be the biggest surprise team in the league in a negative way. The Lions have a powerful offense on paper. Matthew Stafford had a coming out party last year, and Megatron, Calvin Johnson, is a juggernaut at wideout. He is joined by up and comers Titus Young, Ryan Broyles and veteran Nate Burleson. Brandon Pettigrew is one of the best young tight ends in the game. A problem is the running game. Kevin Smith is the starter as of now, although the Lions would like Mikel Leshoure to eventually get the nod. He is coming off injury and has not looked good this pre-season.
The defense should be very good, but Nick Fairley would rather party, than devote himself to football. The rest of the defense made too many stupid emotional mistakes last year and need to grow up quick. Ndamukong Suh is probably the best interior defensive lineman in the game but needs anger management. I just think this team takes a major step backwards with too many mistakes both on offense and defense.
4. Minnesota Vikings (4-12). The Vikings are a mess and play in one of the toughest divisions in football. Christian Ponder is basically a rookie quarterback, who has upside, but it's a few years away. Adrian Peterson, their best offensive player, is coming off major knee surgery. Percy Harvin is an undersized wideout who is better suited for being a slot receiver than a #1. Jerome Simpson comes over from Cincinnati and is solid, but there is not much depth after that. The defense is horrible. Even Tim Tebow torched them last year for 35 points, while Green Bay scored 78 against them in their two games.
1. Atlanta Falcons (13-3). Much like the Eagles, the Falcons were supposed to dominate last year and it didn't happen. Much like the Eagles, it will this year. Why? Because it's now Matt Ryan's team. The Falcons promise to open things up this year, and rely less on Michael Turner. Good choice. They have the personnel to do it with Julio Jones ready for a breakout year as well as Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. Jacquizz Rodgers is younger, quicker and more powerful than Turner and should eventually split time. The defense is underrated but one of the leagues best, and should get back to where they were two years ago when they hosted the Packers in a playoff game.
2. New Orleans (9-7). Despite being severly hampered by "bounty-gate", the Saints still have a powerful offense. Drew Brees is still one of the game's best, but I think the supporting cast is weaker. They have a bunch of running backs, but only Darren Sproules scares anyone. Gone is Robert Meachem. Marques Colston seems slower the last couple of years. Lance Moore is undersized. Devery Henderson is inconsistent. Jimmy Graham became a star last year with a 1000 yard season, but I think defenses will be geared to stop him this year. Defensively, they will no doubt miss Jonathan Vilma, who is suspended for the year for his role in bounty-gate. Will Smith is suspended for the first month, and there are age and holes everywhere. Expect the Saints to lose a handful of high scoring shootouts.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9). The Bucs are the NFC version of the Buffalo Bills. No team in the NFC improved themselves more in the off-season. The Bucs added Vincent Jackson to be their #1 receiver. Mike Williams joins him and is young and strong. They drafted Boise State's Doug Martin and will start him. LaGarrette Blount returns to add depth. Josh Freeman should benefit from all those additions and get back to where he was two years ago when he was a rising star. On defense, they drafted Mark Barron and Levonte David, who should start immediately and provide major upgrades.
4. Carolina Panthers (4-12). Panther fans have high hopes this year after Cam Newton's rookie success. I just don't see it continuing. Steve Smith is already banged up. Unknown Brandon LaFell is the other wideout. DeAngelo Williams is getting up there in age and is oft-injured. Same for Johnathan Stewart, who lacks breakaway speed. The defense gives up a ton of points. Newton will still be very fun to watch, but it will be a one man show.
1. San Francisco 49ers (12-4). Many experts are expecting the 49ers to fall back to the pack this year. How? In this division, they are by far the best, which means probably a guaranteed six wins alone for San Fran. They added Mario Manningham and Randy Moss to the receiving corps and Brandon Jacobs to the running corps. Alex Smith is a year wiser and should have much more confidence coming off a trip to the NFC Championship game. The Niner defense is still the best in the league, led by Patrick Willis, who is the best pound for pound inside linebacker in the NFL. Aldon Smith is a monster coming off the end rushing the passer, and Donte Whitner is still a pro-bowler. Jim Harbaugh is a great coach and has even more to play with this year than last.
2. Seattle Seahawks (8-8). The Seahawks signed Matt Flynn away from Green Bay, paid him a boatload of money, and he most likely won't even start. Rookie Russell Wilson is tops on the depth chart and the rookie from Wisconsin looks like the RG3 of the west coast. He's only 5-11, but had a stellar pre-season and can make things happen. Marshawn Lynch spent a great deal of the season in beast mode and should do well again this season if he can stay out of trouble. Seattle has a surprising amount of depth at the wide receiver positions with Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Ben Obamanu and Doug Baldwin. Zach Miller is a very good tight end. The defense is young, underrated and can get even better.
3. St. Louis Rams (4-12). In Sam we trust. Sam Bradford suffered from the sophomore slump last year, but it wasn't all his fault. A bad coaching staff and a ton of injuries made for a revolving door of pass catchers. This year, the Rams have Danny Amendola back from injury and drafted Brian Quick. Stephen Jackson is getting up there in age, but still should have a couple good years left in him. Just in case, the Rams drafted Isiah Pead, who looks like he has major upside. Defensively, they are starting to surround Chris Long with some talent, as three 1st rounders (Michael Brockers, Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins) could all start
4. Arizona Cardinals (2-14). Ken Whisenhunt is a genius. How else can you explain the Cardinals going 8-8? They gave up more points than they scored (-36), and this year, they look far worse offensively. John Skelton will most likely start over the overpriced and ineffective Kevin Kolb. Beanie Wells is injured more than he is healthy. Ryan Williams--same thing. Larry Fitzgerald is all they have. Andre Roberts disappointed, so they drafted Michael Floyd, who might start. Early Doucet is decent depth, but that's about it. The defense will have to be very good for this team to do better than 2-14.
In the wild card round of the playoffs, the Giants head west to take on the 49ers in a rematch of last seasons NFC championship game. This time, the niners prove they learned form last year, as they shut down the high powered offense of the G-men and win 23-17.
In the other game, the Chicago Bears head to the city of brotherly love to take on the Eagles. Assuming both Cutler and Vick are healthy, this is a very intriguing matchup. I think in this case, you take the home team, as Vick has more ways to beat you than Cutler. He gets it done, angering dog lovers everywhere in the process.
The next week, the Eagles head to Green Bay to take on the Pack on the frozen tundra, while San Francisco heads to the Georgia Dome to take on the Falcons. Green Bay has their way with the Eagles, and it's defense that does the trick, as the Philly offensive line can't deal with Clay Matthews and company. Vick never has time to throw and is sacked five times, while throwing a couple of picks. Pack roll 34-17.
The Falcons again disappoint in the postseason, as they lose at home in the conference semi-finals for the second time in three years. It's just a bad matchup for them, as the 49ers defense harrasses Matt Ryan into numerous bad throws, while Atlanta can't stop the balanced offense of San Fran, as Vernon Davis catches 6 for 107 yards and two scores as the niners win 37-13.
The road to the Super Bowl once again rolls through Green Bay. The 49ers are undaunted though. Best offense in the league against the best defense. Just like last season, when the Giants manhandled the Pack, the niners do the same thing, getting out to an early lead and holding on. Aldon Smith makes Aaron Rodgers his personal rag doll, sacking him 3 times, and once again, the Pack becaomes too one-dimensional. San Francisco wins 30-23.
IN THE SUPER BOWL, the Houston Texans are going for their 1st Super Bowl crown. The 49ers are going for their sixth! The Texans play-action San Francisco to death. With the niners geared up to stop Arian Foster, Matt Schaub riddles them for 345 yards, four touchdowns and no picks. Houston's defense forces a couple of Alex Smith interceptions, and the rout is on, as the 49ers can't play catch-up. Your Super Bowl winner is the Houston Texans by a score of 37-21. Matt Schaub is named Super Bowl MVP and goes to Disneyland,
to donate to clinical research trials for my blinding eye disease, please visit www.curechm.org