James C Black

  • Will Cowboys' offseason haul be worthy of gold club or fraud section?

    James C Black at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    When the Dallas Cowboys signed undrafted offensive lineman La'el Similar Collins last week, they in essence added their third first-round talent from the 2015 NFL draft. In addition to their selection of cornerback Byron Jones at No. 27 overall, they nabbed linebacker Randy Gregory late in the second. Gregory, of course, would have been a first-rounder if not for a failed drug test prior to the NFL scouting combine and subsequent concerns about his maturity and reliability.

    Take these three rookies, add in veteran free-agent signee end Greg Hardy and the Cowboys have had one of the best offseason hauls during the NFL's free-agency era – on paper.

    Of course, that paper will be balled up in disgust if a couple of the aforementioned newcomers flame out and Dallas falls far short of winning a Super Bowl in the next 3-4 seasons.

    Gold club

    1994 San Francisco 49ers (Free agency: CB Deion Sanders, LB Rickey Jackson, LB Ken Norton; NFL draft: DT Bryant Young)

    Counterfeit collection

  • 2013 Memorial Cup: Saskatoon Blades ride robotic approach, rabid crowd to surprise win over Halifax Mooseheads

    James C Black at Yahoo Sports 2 yrs ago

    SASKATOON — In a game full of emotion the Saskatoon Blades took a different approach in their game against the Halifax Mooseheads at the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

    “One of our mottos in this tournament is to play like robots whistle to whistle,” said Blades forward Josh Nicholls.

    The idea is to keep an even keel – regardless of the opponent -- and disregard the many momentum swings faced during a game.

    The game plan worked as the Blades skated to a stunning 5-2 victory over the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions. For the first 50 minutes of the game, the Blades kept Halifax’s high-powered offense – lead by the top line of Jonathan Drouin, Nathan MacKinnon, and Martin Frk -- in check. They were physical and made life in the crease difficult for Mooseheads goalie Zach Fucale.

    “We were wearing them down,” said Nicholls, a New York Rangers prospect. “You could see their frustration. They were starting to come at us after the whistles and stuff like that. They have a highly skilled team and we knew we’d have our hands full, and we knew what it would take and we were able to do that.”

    “You see the love and the passion for the game in this city with a crowd like that,” said Sutter.

  • Chiefs take OT Eric Fisher No. 1 in NFL draft

    James C Black at Yahoo Sports 2 yrs ago

    As had been widely projected in the final hours leading up to the NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected offensive tackle Eric Fisher with the No. 1 overall pick Thursday.

    Fisher, from Central Michigan, was taken over higher-profile and fellow left tackle Luke Joeckel. Fisher will be expected to help upgrade an offense that now has quarterback Alex Smith at the helm and finished 31st in passing last year (183.6 yards per game).

    Fisher becomes the third offensive tackle selected with the No. 1 overall pick since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. The first two were Orlando Pace with the St. Louis Rams in 1997 and Jake Long with the Miami Dolphins in 2008.

    [Related: Eric Fisher an unlikely No. 1]

    The 6-foot-7, 306-pound Fisher really began to generate buzz at the Senior Bowl, where he was one of the week's stars. He then backed it up by performing well at the NFL scouting combine a month later.