Goober Pyle

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Goober Pyle last won the day on August 14 2016

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About Goober Pyle

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  1. Happy Birthday!!
  2. The Atlanta Falcons often talk about how important free safety Ricardo Allen is to the success of the defense. Now they have a chance to show him with a financial commitment. Allen is a restricted free agent, but that doesn't preclude the Falcons from rewarding him with a long-term deal, either heading into the 2018 season or at some point during the season. Allen made $615,000 in 2017 as an exclusive-rights free agent. “Yes, I believe we can create space for Rico and a number of other players,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said when asked if Allen could receive a long-term deal rather than just play under the one-year restricted free-agent tender. “That said, we are always striving for creativity. And decisions made on certain free agents, whether they be restricted or unrestricted, oftentimes are contingent on the creativity they enable or not.” The Falcons seem likely to at least place a second-round tender on Allen to ensure he doesn't reach free agency. Allen opened eyes across the league with his consistent play, so placing a lower tender on the 2014 fifth-round draft pick from Purdue wouldn't make much sense, as it would increase the possibility of losing him. “He's an eraser, he's got instincts, and he's very smart,” one league executive said of Allen. “The more he plays, the better he's going to look because he's going to get that experience. He's always been an instinctive guy because he was a corner. He's got a real good feel for the game. If the Falcons were to put him out there, you'd have a handful of teams jumping out at him because he's in the prime of his career.” A second-round tender was worth $2.553 million in 2016 and $2.746 million last year. It should be just under $3 million this year. The deadline for a restricted free agent to sign an offer sheet from another team is April 20, and the deadline for a team to withdraw the tender is June 15. Even if Allen were to sign an extended tender, that doesn't prevent the sides from reaching a long-term deal in the same breath. Allen is represented by powerhouse agent Drew Rosenhaus, who is accustomed to negotiating top-level contracts. Rosenhaus client Brandon Marshall, a linebacker for the Denver Broncos, signed a $2.553 million restricted-free-agent tender at the deadline in June 2016, and then immediately agreed to a four-year, $27.64 million extension that included $20.053 million guaranteed. The $2.553 million in the first year made it basically a $30 million deal for Marshall. The Falcons had a similar case with right tackle Ryan Schraeder, who signed a $2.553 second-round tender in March 2016 only to agree to a five-year, $31.5 extension that November, an extension that included $12.5 million guaranteed. Allen could bet on himself and play out next season under the one-year RFA tender, put together a Pro Bowl season, then command an even more lucrative contract in 2019. That appears to be the scenario for Carolina offensive guard Andrew Norwell, who played under the $2.746 million RFA tender this past season, played well, and now is expected to cash in as a top unrestricted free agent this offseason. However it all unfolds for Allen, he is due for a significant raise. Rosenhaus surely will argue that Allen deserves to be paid among the top-tier free safeties in the league based on his value to the defense. Allen played multiple positions throughout this past season and logged 902 defensive snaps. He was the team's most consistent tackler and was a designated “chief” as one of the team's leaders. The three highest-paid free safeties regarding average per year -- Arizona's Tyrann Mathieu, Minnesota's Harrison Smith, and Seattle's Earl Thomas -- make $12.5 million, $10.25 million, and $10 million per year, respectively, with Thomas currently looking for a new contract. New England's Devin McCourty averages $9.5 million, while Jacksonville's Tashaun Gipson, Denver's Darian Stewart and Philadelphia's Rodney McLeod each average about $7 million per season. When asked about his future in the moments after a playoff loss to the Eagles, the last thing Allen wanted to talk about was contract numbers. He did speak, in general terms, about his goals for next season and beyond. “My goal is just to push this defense as hard as I can, pulling the best out of my brothers,” Allen said. “For me personally, I want to take that next step and be considered among the elite safeties. I thought this past season, I did a good job of taking my chances when I needed to. I felt my game took another jump. But personally, I know I can play at an even higher level.” The Falcons rewarded their top two cornerbacks with long-term deals in 2017, signing Desmond Trufant to a five-year, $68.75 million extension ($41.526 million guaranteed) and Robert Alford to a four-year, $38 million extension ($21 million guaranteed). We'll see how much they are willing to invest in Allen. Dimitroff said the upcoming contract extension for quarterback Matt Ryan should create more flexibility for others. Again, the Falcons have gone out of their way to praise Allen's value to the defense. "He might not be that big, he might not be that fast, but he does the job and he gets it done," defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel said of the 5-foot-9, 186-pound Allen. "We were better on defense that he only had two missed tackles all year. Not a lot of free safeties can say that, maybe that being Earl [Thomas].” Allen appreciates the praise from his coaches and teammates, but he's more concerned about elevating the defense as a whole. The Falcons finished in the top 10 in total defense and scoring defense for the first time since 1998. “I think if we keep taking steps, there's no reason why we can't push this to a higher standard and become a top-five defense,” Allen said. “All we have to do is keep developing and maintaining our high standards. I think it will all play out the way it should if we keep doing if that way.”
  3. Sorry....title should read “hired”. Apologies. Mods can correct.
  4. Trying to find a separate confirming tweet....thought I’d at least put it up....
  5. Since it's DLed, take it for what it's worth...
  6. Ive highlighted one of DQ’s quotes from the article....LOVE IT! Read the whole’s good. "I knew going in this would be a challenging season, and that our division would be tough. You've heard me say, 'The only fight that matters is the one you're in.' So when people bring up the Super Bowl? F--- that. We're not looking ahead. We're not looking back. We're looking at what's right in front of us." LOS ANGELES -- He has felt the sting of postseason heartache more acutely than any coach in recent memory, having twice watched apparent Super Bowltriumphs disintegrate in surreal fashion. So when Dan Quinn walked into the Daily Grill restaurant inside the Westin Los Angeles Airport on Friday afternoon with his wife, Stacey, for a happy-hour snack, it would have been perfectly understandable if the Atlanta Falcons' third-year coach had discussed his team's impending playoff date with the explosive L.A. Rams in stoic and cautious tones. The Falcons, after all, had survived a choppy and challenging regular season, sneaking into the postseason as the NFC's No. 6 seed only after defeating the playoff-bound Carolina Panthers on the final Sunday. And, in the eyes of many, they'd still failed to present a convincing case that they'd recovered from the emotional wreckage of the previous February, when they completed the biggest collapse in Super Bowl history. On a star-studded Saturday night in Tinseltown, with Snoop Dogg as the halftime performer, the Falcons would take the field as underdogs. Yet Quinn, a blue-collar grinder from Morristown, N.J., wasn't about to roll over and play dead, even for effect, as he entered the Daily Grill. "We just put two great weeks of practice together," he said. "I wouldn't want to play us right now." A little more than 24 hours later, the Falcons charged out of the north end-zone tunnel at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with purpose, intensity and focus. Then they went out and fulfilled their coach's prophesy, defeating the Rams by a 26-13 score and advancing to face the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles in next Saturday's divisional round. With Philly still reeling from the season-ending injury to star quarterback Carson Wentz -- suffered at the Coliseum in a December victory over the Rams -- the Falcons suddenly look quite capable of advancing to a second consecutive NFC Championship game. As Atlanta proved on Saturday, despite a regular season full of static and sharp crescendos, this is a team that knows how to turn it up at the right time. "Absolutely," said quarterback Matt Ryan, who completed 21 of 30 passes for 218 yards, including a fourth-quarter touchdown throw to Julio Jones while falling onto his back. "We're a battle-tested group that's been through a lot, and we thrive in those situations. That's a reflection of (Quinn). That's him: 'Who cares? The bigger the situation, the more we're gonna lock in and do what we do.'" As we stood outside the Falcons' locker room following Saturday's game, I asked Quinn to explain the source of his confident proclamation the previous day. "It's because there had been a shift in our team, and I recognized it," Quinn replied. "I think the shift probably took place for us after we lost at New Orleans (on Dec. 24). We had to play Carolina the next week with our season on the line, and we had to take a hard look at ourselves. "What I mean by a shift is, no more 'almost,' and no more 'except for.' We knew that if we really committed ourselves to getting the details down and eliminating mistakes, we'd be tough to beat. And trust me -- this team's been through the fire together. And when you come out the other end, there's a toughness and a togetherness that can be very powerful." When it comes to rebounding from crushing defeats -- and living with the almost and except for of confetti-deprivation -- Quinn has far more personal experience than he'd care to access. As the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator three seasons ago, he was deprived of a second consecutive Super Bowl championship by a painful yard. Then, last February, his Falcons were blowing out the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, only to blow a 28-3 third quarter lead and lose in overtime. When cutting-edge offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan left to become the San Francisco 49ers' head coach, some degree of upheaval seemed guaranteed. Sure enough, the Falcons' offense was less prolific in 2017 under new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian than it had been the previous year, when Ryan was the league's Most Valuable Player. Atlanta's fast and physical defense, however, is better than it was a year ago. And on Saturday, against a special teams unit that was the class of the NFL during the regular season, the Falcons came up with two huge plays that set a tone for the rest of the game. First, Matt Bosher's punt bounced off the foot of the Rams' Blake Countess and was eventually recovered by the Falcons' LaRoy Reynolds at the L.A. 17. That allowed Atlanta to take a 3-0 lead on Matt Bryant's 29-yard field goal with 7:13 left in the first quarter, despite the fact that neither offense had registered a first down. Then, after Bryant's 51-yard field goal made it 6-0 with 1:23 left in the quarter, first-team All-Pro kicker returner Pharoh Cooper coughed up the ball on a hit from Damontae Kazee, and teammate Kamal Ishmael recovered at the Rams' 32. Eight plays later, running back Devonta Freeman (18 carries, 66 yards) scored a three-yard touchdown -- with a huge assist from Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, who essentially bull-rushed him into the end zone as 190-pound L.A. safety Lamarcus Joyner waged a losing leverage battle. "We weren't ourselves early in the ballgame, including myself," conceded Ramscoach Sean McVay, who'll likely earn Coach of the Year honors for the dramatic turnaround he engineered during his rookie season. "Once we settled in, Atlanta made enough plays to beat us, which is why they're who they are. They're a team that played for the Super Bowl last year and fought through some adversity to get back to the playoffs, and they're very tough." The Rams cut the lead to 13-7 when second-year quarterback Jared Goff -- with whom McVay has forged a highly productive partnership since arriving as the youngest head coach in modern NFL history -- lofted a gorgeous 14-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp. A 38-yard strike from Goff (24 of 45, 259 yards) to wideout Robert Woods (nine catches, 142 yards) set up Sam Ficken's 35-yard field goal with three seconds remaining, cutting the Falcons' halftime lead to 13-10. At that point, the Rams felt pretty good about their situation, all things considered. Quinn, however, felt even better about the Falcons' plan, which focused on containing the Rams' star running back, Todd Gurley (14 carries, 101 yards; four catches, 10 yards) while freeing up Freeman (18 carries, 66 yards) and fellow halfback Tevin Coleman (14 carries, 40 yards) on outside-zone runs. Credit Sarkisian with making smart halftime adjustments that allowed the Falcons to methodically move the ball, with Ryan repeatedly finding Jones (nine catches, 94 yards) and Mohamed Sanu (four catches, 75 yards) on underneath patterns. "At halftime I said, 'We get the ball first; let's go down and have a nine-minute drive to start the half,'" Quinn said. "And exactly what I hoped would happen, did happen." Technically speaking, the Falcons held the ball for the first 8:15 of the third quarter, driving 76 yards on 16 plays to set up Bryant's 25-yard field goal. Bryant's 54-yarder made it 19-10 with 19 seconds left in the third quarter, and after the Rams cut the lead to six, Atlanta responded with an eight-play, 83-yard scoring drive that essentially ended L.A.'s season. "We didn't play our best," Goff said late Saturday night. "I think Matt managed the game really, really well, and that speaks to his overall experience." Ryan's biggest plays came midway through the fourth quarter. On second-and-13 from the Atlanta 38, he flipped a short screen to Sanu, who slipped to his left and raced ahead for a 52-yard gain. Two plays later, on second-and-goal from the 8, Ryan faked a handoff to Freeman and rolled back to his right. As Ramsedge rusher Connor Barwin charged toward him, Ryan planted his feet, but his rear foot slipped on the soft Coliseum grass, and his body weight shifted backward. No matter: Ryan lofted the ball to his right as Barwin arrived, and his star receiver caught it and swept inside the right pylon. "It was an added degree of difficulty," Ryan joked as he left the locker room. "I couldn't really see everything, but I knew I threw a good one." Said Jones: "I saw him fall??? and then I saw the ball." The Rams had one last gasp, but Goff's apparent five-yard touchdown strike to tight end Tyler Higbee with 2:11 remaining was reversed on a replay review, and soon the Falcons were in victory formation and looking ahead to Saturday's showdown with the Eagles. "We're gonna have to do it the hard way," Freeman said. "Last year, we had a bye in the first round, and then we won two home games and were in the Super Bowl. But sometimes, you've gotta go the hard way, and I like these tough challenges. And at the end of the day, we're right where we want to be. "We're going into another tough environment, and basically, nobody likes us but us. People are gonna end up vibing on us, cause they don't have any other choice. We've been getting a lot of BS from people on the outside all year -- since February, really. But once again we're back in the playoffs, back in the second round. I'm super proud of us." As the Falcons filed out of the Coliseum and into the Los Angeles night, no one exuded more pride than their confident coach. He certainly has the steadfast support of his boss, Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who said of Quinn: "He's great at getting the team ready for games like this, for getting them in the right place. I think his experience in Seattle, and especially now in Atlanta, has prepared him for that. It's not a God-given talent; I think it's one you really have to develop. He's done that, and he's got us peaking at the right time." If the Falcons truly are peaking, they have to be considered a legitimate threat to win the conference, which would give Quinn another shot at Super Bowlredemption. It's a sore subject that he hasn't shied away from addressing, but one that he's perfectly willing to compartmentalize for the cause. "The resiliency showed by this team is what's important," Quinn said. "'Cause everyone wants you to get back to the Super Bowl and replay that, and you don't get to replay it. You learn from the scars, but you don't get to replay it. "I knew going in this would be a challenging season, and that our division would be tough. You've heard me say, 'The only fight that matters is the one you're in.' So when people bring up the Super Bowl? F--- that. We're not looking ahead. We're not looking back. We're looking at what's right in front of us." At this point, if you're still overlooking the defending NFC champions, you might want to reconsider. Rest assured they have the Eagles' attention.
  7. Devonta Freeman missed two games with a concussion and returned like nothing had happened. No pain, all gain. He hasn’t avoided collisions. He has, to the contrary, seemingly sought out bodies to plough into and step over. It’s a style borne out of the “throwback” sandlot football games of his youth in the Miami projects, a game of survival that reflected his surroundings. “It was every man for himself,” Freeman said. “You throw the ball back to the group, the pile and whoever gets it, everybody else tries to tackle you.” So Freeman dodged them. Or he ran through them. He played offense the way others played defense, a strong safety’s mindset tucked into a running back’s head. “I always wanted to play defense,” he said. “I love contact.” Pause. “If I played defense now, I’d get fined way too much.” The Falcons, nearing a playoff berth at 9-5, enter the final two weeks of the regular season, still clinging to a chance to win the NFC South Division again. To do that, they will need to upset New Orleans (10-4) in the Superdome Sunday, then finish off with a victory over Carolina. Those accomplishments require continued ferocity and greatness from Freeman. He has become the heartbeat of this offense. In consecutive wins over New Orleans and Tampa Bay, he had 46 carries for 217 yards, two touchdowns, five receptions and left a trail of bruised bodies behind him. In his three games back, he has averaged 5.02 yards per carry. After Freeman ran over Tampa Bay safety Chris Conte on Monday Night Football, analyst and former coach Jon Gruden said, “If you’re a young running back, get some tape of Devonta Freeman.” When Freeman sees a safety or a linebacker closing in on him, coach Dan Quinn said, “He sizes him up.” Should he juke him? Should he pound him, lowering his shoulder and his head and driving into him with the force of a raging bull? Seemingly more often than not, he chooses the latter. “Because he’s short and he has power downstairs, he can deliver a punch,” Quinn said. Freeman’s sports analogy: “It’s like when LeBron James slam dunks over somebody and the whole crowd goes crazy, it’s that monster (coming out). When I run somebody over it feels like that. When I line up, there ain’t no friends.” He runs with no fear. He runs with passion. He runs with that unique blend of joy and violence. It makes perfect sense. Freeman knows he is here for a reason. Not in football, in life. So many friends didn’t make it out of the “Pork and Beans” projects in the open sore neighborhood of Liberty City, which grew out of old “Jim Crow” laws that barred African Americans from living in many areas of Miami. When asked where his passion and aggression comes from, he smiled and said, “It would take all day for me to tell you.” He continued, “Growing up. Seeing things in the neighborhood I was in. Watching my momma. Watching my grandma and my auntie, may they rest in peace. I feel like my childhood prepared me for everything that’s coming my way now. At the time, I couldn’t see why I was going through this. I couldn’t see why there wasn’t food all the time. I couldn’t see why we didn’t have some of the best Christmases. When I had to walk four miles to school. When my grandma had to walk through the projects with a big purse and no type of protection, just to go to work, back and forth.” Violence surrounded him every day, a way of life most fans who watch him on NFL Sundays can’t relate to or even comprehend. “Just being in shootouts. Being in the middle of the ‘O,’ as we used to call it. It was like a big ‘O’ in the middle of the projects, where we played football. There was a dice game over here. There were guys selling drugs over there. A shootout just started over there. And we were playing football. You start thinking: To get out of this, what are you going to do? I had to have tunnel vision. I had to have discipline.” It was almost 10 years ago to the day when his life could have ended. He was 15 years old. He was in Overtown, long infamous for violence and riots, including one during Super Bowl week in 1989. But on this particiular day, one or two days before Christmas, Freeman can’t be certain, he was at a neighborhood get together in the ‘O.’ “I had on a fresh pair of shoes, a fresh outfit, a red hat,” he said. “We were all just hanging out. A lot of high school kids. A couple of adults. Guys and girls. Just chillin’, talking to our friends. Then we heard something. I don’t know if it was a 22-millimeter gun, or a .380 or a firework. The sound was like a little pop. Then there was another pop. Then pop-pop-pop and…” Freeman makes a sounds almost like a machine gun. “All types of guns are going off. It was cross-action. There’s a guy shooting from there and a guy shooting from here. Everybody starts running. I’m running to get across the street. And as I’m running, I just see people dropping.” Falling? “Getting hit. There was a football player I knew. He played for Booker T. Washington. He passed. I went to his funeral. I actually worked his service. There were girls who got shot. That could’ve been me. I heard bullets flying past me. I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through that.” Does Freeman ever wonder how he survived, why he’s here? “I don’t want to say God has his picks or his chosen ones, because I feel like we’re all equal,” he said. “But I feel like He definitely had angels around me to protect me in that environment and that situation. Everything He prepared me for is now how my life has turned out. “I don’t feel like there’s anger in me. It’s a passion. It’s not like I’m bitter about something. I’m thankful. I’m scratch-free.” Last season ended badly with a Super Bowl loss. But Freeman was rewarded with a five-year, $41.25 million contract extension, with slightly more than $22 million guaranteed. Nobody in his circle is going hungry any more. Freeman has been dinged a few times. But he’s not changing. “I feel like I’d be cheating myself if I tried to change my running style,” he said. “In this business, anybody can have a concussion, anybody can get injured. So you just have to go out and leave no doubt.”
  8. FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan cooked up something to reward his primary protectors. Ryan bought his offensive linemen and tight ends Big Green Egg grills and accessories for Christmas. Left guard Andy Levitre posted a locker-room picture of the gift. "Really cool," Pro Bowl center Alex Mack said. "Just an awesome gift. The appreciation Matt shows us is honoring. He works really hard. And we're doing our job to the best of our ability. For him to thank us is really generous of him." Guard Ben Garland, who started the past two games in place of the injured Levitre (triceps), noted how Ryan didn't just take care of the starters. "He got them for everybody," Garland said of the grill, which can retail for upward of $600. "I've seen quarterbacks get it for a few guys, but to get it for every single [offensive lineman and tight end] -- practice squad, doesn't matter -- I don't think I've ever seen a quarterback do that. That's incredible." Rookie Sean Harlow, inactive for every game this season, appreciated how Ryan didn't leave him off the list. "I wasn't expecting that at all," Harlow said. "I really appreciated it. It's great that he thought about us all and gave us something that we could all use." Mack already has one to use in Atlanta but plans to ship the one Ryan gave him to his home in California for some offseason cooking. Harlow, meanwhile, has never had one before. "I always drive by it going to the stadium and stuff and I'm like, 'I don't know what a Green Egg is,'" Harlow said. "Now I know." Ryan bought his linemen enhanced garment bags last season. "It shows that he has a lot of respect for us and what we do," right tackle Ryan Schraeder said. "We take a lot of pride in trying to keep him healthy and upright. We take it personal because his health is important to us, and we don't like him getting hit. We want him to be successful and get the ball to everyone else. "Matt's always been good to us like that, regardless of what's going on that year. Every year I've been here, he's always shown a lot of appreciation for the line." Ryan has been sacked 18 times in 478 dropbacks through 14 games. Last season, he was sacked 37 times in 587 dropbacks through 16 games. The Falcons rank fourth in the league in sacks allowed per pass attempt. The Falcons (9-5) have a chance to secure a postseason berth and keep their NFC South title hopes alive with a victory over the New Orleans Saints (10-4) on Sunday.
  9. Falcons SS Keanu Neal, who had a key forced fumble and recovery in the red zone Monday night, told me he changed out his cleats immediately after slipping in the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium, which led to Bucs TE O.J. Howard's 30-yard TD. ``It was bad,'' Neal said of the field. ``I mean, I'm not the type to make excuses. It was bad, but you have to adjust to whatever.'' Neal said that's the first time he's had to switch out shoes this season. Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer