Mass. College Football: Locals Invited To NFL Rookie Mini Camps

Merrimack's Isaiah Voegeli signed his undrafted free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday! (Photo Credit: Merrimack College Athletics)
Merrimack’s Isaiah Voegeli signed his undrafted free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday! (Photo Credit: Merrimack College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

As noted on our blog yesterday, Bentley University graduate student Nick Halloran was invited to this weekend’s New England Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp.

“Just amazing news, not a better way to start the day,” Halloran told the Boston Globe on Tuesday.

Halloran isn’t the only local college football player to earn an invite to a rookie mini camp this weekend as Framingham State’s James Muirhead will attempt to earn a spot with the St. Louis Rams, while Middlebury College’s Ryan Moores, who prepped at Governor’s Academy, will tryout with the Atlanta Falcons.

“I’m braced for it,” Muirhead told the Brockton Enterprise on Tuesday. “I understand what’s going to happen. But you know what? I’m not there to make any friends. I’m there to compete. I’m going there to get a job.”

Merrimack College’s Isaiah Voegeli became the fourth player in program history to sign with a professional team as the Hyannis native inked his name on an undrafted free agent contract Monday with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” Voegeli said in the college’s release.  “I can’t thank head coach Dan Curran enough for his help and guidance and preparation to get me to this point. This is a dream come true that I’ve dreamt about since I was 7, to just have a shot and I’ve been blessed this opportunity.”

Voegeli will leave the North Andover campus as the all-time receiver in multiple receiving categories, which includes catches (211) and yards (3,554). He also ranks second in program history with 34 touchdown receptions, too.

Prior to this year’s NFL Draft, the Boston Herald reported that Muirhead, Voegeli and Moores, along with Assumption College’s Nick Haag and Boston College’s Jim Noel worked out with the Falcons, Patriots and New Orleans Saints.

NFL News: Raheem Morris Fired, Rams and Colts Make Changes

Raheem Morris and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the season with 10 consecutive losses! (Photo Credit: BucStop.com)

By Brian Willwerth 

On Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers began a much-needed housecleaning. They fired head coach Raheem Morris. All of his assistants were canned, too.

It was pretty clear to, well, everyone that Morris had lost this team. A promising 4-2 season ended up as a 4-12 disappointment. Ten consecutive losses – many of them of the blowout variety, including Sunday’s hilarious, (and I mean that sarcastically) 45-24 drubbing at the hands of the Falcons. The score was 42-0 before halftime.

The 10-game losing streak matches the team’s longest ever in a single season, back in 1977. Over the final ten games, the Bucs gave up 31 or more points seven times.

Morris went 17-31 in his three seasons, and that includes last year’s surprising 10-6 campaign.

The defense allowed 494 points this season. Yes, that’s dead-last in the NFL. No other Tampa Bay team has allowed as much.  They gave up an average of 156 yards per game on the ground. Yes, that’s dead-last in the NFL. They were third from the bottom in total yards allowed per game, (394.) Only New England and Green Bay ranked lower in that category – no joking.

Quarterback Josh Freeman threw only six interceptions last year. This year? 22.

On the subject of turnovers, guess where the Bucs rank in that category? Yes, dead-last.

Other NFL News: 

* The St. Louis Rams fired their head coach Steve Spagnuolo, and general manager Bill Devaney. The Rams went 2-14 this season, as well as tied for the worst record in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts.

* Speaking of the Colts, they’re shaking things up as well. They’ve fired vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian. Indy, like St. Louis, won only two games this season, and will have the first pick in the NFL draft.

NFL Postseason Schedule Announced

By NoontimeSports.com 

The NFL announced the 2011 playoff schedule on Sunday, and here are the potential match-ups.

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 – Wild Card Round 

* (No. 6) Cincinnati at (No. 3) Houston Texans — 4:30pm eastern 

* (No. 6) Detroit at (No. 3)  New Orleans — 8:00pm eastern 

Sunday, January 8, 2012 — Wild Card Round 

* (No. 5) Atlanta at (No. 4) New York — 1:00pm easter 

* (No. 5) Pittsburgh at (No. 4)  Denver — 4:30PM eastern 

Saturday, January 14, 2012 — Divisional Round 

* Atlanta/New York/New Orleans at (No. 2) San Francisco (Afternoon) 

* Cincinnati/Denver/Pittsburgh at (No. 1) New England (Evening)

Sunday, January 15, 2012 — Divisional Round 

* Denver/Houston/Pittsburgh at  (No. 2) Baltimore (Afternoon)

* Atlanta/Detroit/New York at (No. 1) Green Bay (Afternoon) 

Sunday, January 22, 2012 — AFC/NFC Championship Games

* AFC Championship — 3:30pm eastern 

* NFC Championship — 6:30pm eastern 

Sunday, January 29, 2012 — NFL Pro Bowl

* AFC vs. NFC — Time TBA 

Sunday, February  5, 2012

* AFC Champion vs. NFC Champion — Time TBA 

Breaking Down The NFC Playoff Picture

Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

By Brian Willwerth 

With one week to go in the regular season, here’s the lowdown on the NFC playoff picture….

The Green Bay Packers will be the No. 1 seed. They’ve won the North, and have clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The San Francisco 49ers are champions of the West. They can clinch the No. 2 seed and first-round bye if they beat the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday.

The New Orleans Saints won the South last night, with Drew Brees’ record-breaking performance.  They can still get a bye if they beat Carolina, and San Francisco falters.

The  Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons are the wild cards. That’s etched in stone.

The real drama lies in the NFC East, where the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants will face off in a winner-take-all showdown in primetime at the Meadowlands. The winner wins the division; the loser is out. Think NBC is licking its chops?

Daily Noontime – December 16, 2011

Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons flew past Jacksonville on Thursday, 41-14! (Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports)

Good Friday to all, and welcome into yet another tremendous rendition of the Daily Noontime! Here’s some headlines, and news to jump-start the day! 

Headlines: 

* Matt Ryan tossed three touchdowns on Thursday against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, which helped the Atlanta Falcons win their ninth game of the season, 41-14.

* According to reports — former Dallas Cowboy and current Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd is expected to face drug charges1000 pounds of marijuana per week.

* After losing to the Falcons on Thursday, Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew expressed that this particular game was “embarrassing.”

* According to an article from the Denver Post, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has apparently inspired office workers and bosses to be a tad bit nicer these days.

* The Chicago Cubs are heating up their interest in pursuing former Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder.

* NHL.com has confirmed that Philadelphia Flyers defensemen Chris Pronger is expected to be out for the remainder of the season, as well as the playoffs too.

Games to Watch: 

* Toronto at Buffalo (NHL) – 7:30pm eastern 

* Dallas at New Jersey (NHL) – 8:00pm eastern 

* Anaheim at Chicago (NHL) – 8:30pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

Here’s another stupendous video about Tim Tebow, enjoy! 

Daily Noontime – December 15, 2011

The Atlanta Falcons host Jacksonville on Thursday, and certainly they'd like to earn another victory! (Photo Credit: Betfirms.com)

Happy Thursday to all, and welcome into another tremendous and astounding rendition of the Daily Noontime! Here’s some news and headlines to jumpstart your day, enjoy! 

Headlines: 

* The Atlanta Falcons will host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, and certainly, another win will help boost their chances toward a winning. season.

* The NFL announced it’s new TV deal with CBS, FOX and NBC on Wednesday, and well… there are a few changes that all fans will enjoy.

* Patrice Bergeron and the Boston Bruins picked up an important road win on Wednesday, as the Black and Yellow defeated the Ottawa Senators, 5-2.

* One of the biggest stories from Wednesday was that the NBA officially allowed the New Orleans Hornets to trade Chris Paul to the Los Angles Clippers.

* According to reports, the Orlando Magic have officially ended trade talks for center Dwight Howard.

* Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has officially decided to appeal his one-game suspension.

Games to Watch: 

   * Philadelphia at Montreal (NHL) – 7:30pm eastern 

* Calgary at Tampa Bay (NHL) – 7:30pm eastern 

* New York Rangers at St. Louis (NHL) – 8:00pm eastern

Video of the Day: 

Patrice Bergeron has experienced a great deal of success against Ottawa, and with that being said, here’s a video of his hat trick last year against the Senators at the TD Garden, enjoy! 

NFL Playoff Update

The NFL playoff race is alive and well!

By NoontimeSports.com 

With four games left in the regular season, here’s a quick look at the races for the division titles and wild cards.

AFC

EAST:  Nothing has changed since last week. The Patriots and Jets both won on Sunday, so New England still owns a two-game lead over New York, as well as the tiebreaker.

NORTH:  This is now a two-team race. Baltimore and Pittsburgh are both [9-3], with the Ravens owning the tiebreaker. The Bengals pretty much lost any hope of winning the division when they got blown out by the Steelers yesterday.

SOUTH:  The Texans continue their amazing season. They’re [9-3], and remain two games ahead of the resurgent Titans. These two teams meet on the final weekend of the season. Houston won the first meeting in Nashville.

WEST:  This should be fun to watch down the stretch. The Broncos moved into a tie for first place with the Raiders at [7-5]. Denver rallied to beat Minnesota, while Oakland got blown out in Miami on Sunday.

WILD CARDS RIGHT NOW:  Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. The Bengals are in a four-way tie for the final spot with the Raiders, Titans and Jets.

NFC

EAST:  The Cowboys and Giants both lost on Sunday, so Dallas still has a one-game lead. These teams still play each other twice in the next four weeks, starting with next Sunday night.

NORTH:  The Packers have clinched the division.

SOUTH:  The Saints increased their lead over the Falcons to two games. New Orleans is hitting on all cylinders right now, and has already beaten Atlanta once.

WEST:  The 49ers have clinched the division.

WILD CARDS RIGHT NOW:  Chicago and Atlanta are both [7-5]. So is Detroit.