Combining the love of sports and writing:
-St. John's University (B.S in Journalism)
-Long-standing New York Knicks, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets fan
-Current NFL Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report
-Former Contributor for football.com (NFL and futbol website)
-Former Contributor for fanspeak.com (sports blog)
Now that you have the basics . . . I'll start off by saying fans can be experts on their beloved sports teams. That's how I started.
I can recall the heartbreaking 1994 NBA Finals when the Knicks were one game away from claiming a championship. The Knickerbockers were the first team the San Antonio Spurs crushed leading into their 21st century dynasty.
As a Raiders fan, I'm beholden to John Madden, not because he was the face of my entertainment as child playing EVERY single edition Madden on my Nintendo 64, Playstation and XBox but because he led the Raiders to prominence in 1970s.
Aside from watching old clips of Joe Namath run off the field with his No. 1 finger gesture in Super Bowl III, I'm still waiting for that defining Jets' moment.
Now it's my turn to make a contribution to the fanbases of these sports franchises that I most identify myself with—in the form of a columnist. But I'm not here to wave the pom poms for these teams. It's about giving cutting-edge analysis and the bold truth whether it's good or bad.
I've removed my fanboy hat and jersey in exchange for a keyboard and a wealth of resources used to put together truthful but entertaining opinions. My columns are open forums that set the table for spirited debates among myself and supportive passionate fanbases.
Everyone has an opinion, perspective or viewpoint, why not share it here? Bleacher Report is the stage and the world is listening.
My Analysis for Pittsburg Steelers: The outside linebacker spot has become a must for the Steelers. Harrison has not made up his mind if he is going to stick around for another run after 14 years, but management may decide for him at the end of this season. Bud Depree and Jarvis Jones are great assets on the outside but have been injury prone their first few years. Anthony Chickillo has shown signs of potential and has an uncanny ability of reading the offense better than most, but has not had enough opportunities to showcase his skills. Also Pittsburgh needs to find RB depth behind Le'Veon Bell. Bell is going to get “PAID”, for sure, for his rookie contract expires at the end of this season and with the Steelers having more extra padding for the salary cap this year it should be a no brainer. DeAngelo Williams is one of the best back ups in the NFL, but his time in the NFL is closing. Fitzgerald Toussaint may have good hands, but his down-hill running skills are more of a power runner, than finesse. The Steelers got him for a steal from the Ravens, but it has not panned out which they thought. As for TE the Steelers have a list of tall candidates with Ladarius Green at 6-6 and Jesse James 6-7 and have 3 more in the wings. But with the Steelers play calling for slants across the middle and quick releases this position get pounded and they can not keep a healthy TE on the field. Green had a phenomenal wk 13 and showed why we grabbed him from San Diego, but the Steelers need someone consistent as a playmaker and healthy to keep on the active roster.
My Draft Candidates Mock 1.1
OLB: Tim Williams—Alabama: a pass rush specialist with explosiveness off of end
Jordan Willis-- Kansas State= Best Large Pass Rusher in the Big 12
RB: As most of the candidates are Jr this year some have declared for NFL
Jeremy McNichols --- Boise State = vision, burst, power and toughness
D’Onta Foreman --- Texas= 2,000-yard work horse rusher
QB: If he is still there 3rd round, I would grab:
Brad Kaaya: Strong understanding of downfield projection and has mobility in pocket
CB: Gareon Conley – Ohio State=speed, movement skills and toughness
Cameron Sutton - TN =confident, fluid athlete at his best in man-to-man coverage
FS: Jordan Sterns – Oklahoma State = impact player 3 yrs w/ over 100 tackles
Johnathan Ford --- Auburn= fluid, aggressive athlete w/greater awareness of the ball
OG: Zach Banner (6-8,360lbs )- Southern California: MONSTER w/aggressive speed
Danny Isidora Miami ( FLA) : thick frame, natural power and surprising mobility
You the man Maurice keep up t he good work.
Maurice, it's killing us man, we need your insightful columns back. It's become a dark, dank cesspool of boredom since you've left!
Best. Raider. Writer. Ever.
I didn't realize you were a Jets' fan also since I only follow the Raiders' columns. I was one who thought we should have drafted Williams over Cooper. I have no complaints - Cooper appears the player we needed more - but you have to be pleased with how the first round fell for both of your teams. I've been a Raiders' fan since 1974 - the season we beat Miami with the Sea of Hands game. I enjoy your columns. Raider Nation doesn't need cheerleaders or Raider haters. Just keep calling it like you see it.
You're more than welcome, Maurice. As an aside, my Raiders knowledge comes purely from B/R's writers, so thank you very much for helping me in that regard!
You're welcome, Maurice. Always a pleasure! Keep up the good work.
Didn't realize you were an east coast guy, too...
So, its definitely too early for this, but Raiders are set to have something absurd like 70 million in cap space again next year. Since we wont really have anyone up for any big extensions yet, it seems we are going to HAVE to be big spenders next year, whether we want to or not. So, I decided to take a look at who is scheduled to hit free agency next year. Not many guys becoming available at positions of need. JPP will hit free agency at DE, but im not really too sold on signing a guy like that to a long contract., ofcourse my song might change with a big year, this year, but, his price would inevitably change with that as well. Wilkerson may become available, but im not sure the Jets really will let him walk, and im not sure he's really what we need in a DE either. At LT, there is only really Trent Williams, who I assume the skins will extend. The deepest position is easily wide receiver, with D Thomas, Dez, Aj Green, Julio Jones, TY Hilton, and Alshon Jeffery. Obviously a lot of players WILL be extended, but again, where the hell COULD the Raiders actually spend their money? If you get a chance, take a look-
One intriguing name is Bobby Wagner. I know we just signed Lofton, but if the Seahawks aren't able to come to an agreement with him, there are a lot of dots to connect him to the Raiders. Obviously Norton being our DC, and the fact that he was born in LA when the Raiders were there, and may be interested in coming back to LA if the Raiders return. Then ofcourse, the fact that the Raiders will have the money to pay him. I wouldn't normally advocate paying a MLB a huge salary, but again, I don't really see many other players worth paying for.