‘All of Nothing’ Drives Home Ruthlessness of NFL

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 7.8.2017

The second season of Amazon’s ‘All of Nothing’ series starts off with Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher informing the team that he was fired.  From here the show takes you through the ins and outs of the Rams 2016 season and finishing off with the hiring of a new coach and the 2017 NFL Draft. It’s a long journey and one that NFL Films tells very well.

The Rams 2016 season was teed up pretty well for the producers of ‘All or Nothing’. You had the move from St. Louis, the trade to get quarterback Jared Goff with the #1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, young stars like running back Todd Gurley and defensive tackle Aaron Donald and a schedule that saw them log more miles than anyone during the 2016 season. Add in the unexpected firing of the head coach and you have enough material to fully flesh out 8 hour long episodes.

This series is not HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’. In fact ‘All or Nothing’ doesn’t even touch on training camp. It dives right into the season and does a pretty good job of avoiding the typical NFL game camera angles while it’s at it. There are solid shots from the sidelines and great sound from the coaches throughout the season. From their homes, to the meeting rooms to the sidelines.

One aspect of this show that was very interesting goes back to something that former Notre Dame head coach and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz once pointed out and that is when a coach is fired it’s not just him who is effected. It’s the assistants and their families too. ‘All or Nothing’ does a great job of driving that home. How the families deal with the never ending moves from city to city. For example, offensive coordinator Rob Boras ended up as the tight ends coach for the Buffalo Bills shortly after being let go by the Rams following the season. So in under a year he had moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles to Buffalo while his family was still in St. Louis. It gives you a great look at how much of grind an NFL season can be not just for the players but on the coaches.

This season of ‘All or Nothing’ is compelling and could be compelling for someone who isn’t the biggest football fan. It shows how difficult and ruthless this game can be on the players, the coaches and the families and how everything can change in an instant. It’s story telling at high level and worth checking out.


Winners of the Draft

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The 2016 NFL Draft is finally over and the Cleveland Browns came out on top. No I am not kidding. The Browns traded out of the second slot in the first round, accumulated draft picks and then snagged former PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year Scooby Wright III with the 250th pick in the seventh round. Yes, they won but they were not the only winners.

The Browns need a lot of help on the field and while there seems to finally be some direction in the front office, only time will tell if they got the help they needed. The front office did send all of the right signals by moving out of the number two slot in the first and ending up with 14 picks overall.

Their first round pick, Corey Coleman, may be the best wide receiver in the draft while third round pick Carl Nassib was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and has a lot of room to grow. Throw in former USC quarterback Cody Kessler, Colorado State wide receiver Rashard Higgins and the aforementioned Wright and that is a heck of a draft.

The Browns were not the only winners. Many feel that the Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos all had outstanding drafts.

The Jags walk away with arguably two top 10 picks with cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Myles Jack. Jack fell into the second round due to health concerns but even with those concerns, he’s still one of the better athletes in the draft.

The Rams traded up to get Cal quarterback Jared Goff with the first overall pick but then took South Carolina wideout Pharoh Cooper in the fourth round and signed all time PAC-12 receptions leader Nelson Spruce as a free agent. Talk about surrounding your new QB with weapons.

Eddie YarbroughDenver traded up to get their QB of the future in Paxton Lynch. Add in former Utah running back Devontae Booker along with free agents wide receiver Bralon Addison of Oregon and defensive end Eddie Yarbrough of Wyoming. The defending Super Bowl champs proved to be shrewd and calculated.

We won’t really know what teams did well and what teams didn’t do well for a few years. At first glance the Browns, Jags, Rams and Broncos seem to be headed in the right direction. He chose well, filled needs and didn’t over stretch. Now let’s see if it pans out.

You Can’t Go Back

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Now that bowl season has wound down and the NFL playoffs kick into high gear this weekend, this is about the time that college kids start making some dumb decisions. They exit school early for the NFL Draft. A lot are ready but many are not and when it comes to quarterbacks, two in particular (Paxton Lynch and Jared Goff) could use more time in the oven.

Paxton LynchPaxton Lynch is a three year starter out of Memphis. He has the size, mobility and a decent arm but in no way is he going to be confused with John Elway. He looked great at times but he also struggled at times like in the bowl game against Auburn.

Where Lynch has slipped is in his accuracy and looking off his first read. While a lot of times in the Memphis offense it was take the snap and throw to your first read, Lynch didn’t have to look for anyone else. His completion percentage improved over the years but with a catch and throw style, that should improve.

JaredGoffJared Goff is like Lynch. Three year starter, spread offense and has a very good arm. Goff like Lynch struggled at times. Goff’s are more obvious than Lynch’s in that Goff would throw interceptions against top defenses on the road.

In Goff’s ESPN Gameday, first big road test against Utah….he threw five interceptions. Against Oregon he completed less than 50% of his throws and in The Big Game against Stanford, it was a lot of underneath throws in Cal’s sixth straight loss to the Cardinal.

Look, Bucky Brooks, Todd McShay, David Benoit, Mike Mayock and others know a whole lot more about this than I do but I know what I see. What I see are two quarterbacks who may be faces of the franchise in two to three years but are not top 10 NFL picks right now. Yes their upside is tremendous but they could both use an extra year of seasoning. An NFL team would be better off trading down and grabbing North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz or Michigan State’s Connor Cook in the second round.

If they are forced to start right away for Cleveland OR San Francisco then they will struggle big time and it may be a struggle they don’t recover from. They both need to sit two years at least. It would only be one year if they stayed in school another year. One thing is certain now, they cannot go back to playing college football.