Tag Archives: Drew Brees

Under The Helmet with Norwich University Quarterback Matt Dunn

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Matt Dunn has been spotted under center this fall for the Norwich University football team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Norwich University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

In the words of Norwich University sophomore quarterback Matt Dunn, the Cadets current season has been a “decent” one so far.

Dunn has helped the Cadets enjoy a “decent” campaign by leading the Maroon and Gold on seven touchdown drives, including four two weeks ago during his team’s epic back and forth affair with Coast Guard Academy.

Against Coast Guard, Dunn tossed a career-high four touchdown passes, while completing 23 of 35 passes for 274 yards. His 23 completions and 274 passing yards were also career-bests, too.

Unfortunately, the Cadets fell to the Bears, 38-35, on a late touchdown drive that helped Coast Guard erase a four-point deficit with nine seconds remaining. But despite the setback, Dunn and his teammates seem to be thinking optimistically about their remaining games by keeping the focus on improving every day.

“Coach (Brian) Hayes, Coach (Greg) Vreeland, Coach (Sam) Chaves, and Coach (Kyle) Smesko are excellent coaches that put us in the best possible position to do well,” Dunn explained.

“All we need to do is execute on what they say (going forward), which I believe we have done for the past couple weeks. (We also) need to continue to do (what we are being taught in practice) for the remainder of the season, too.”

Prior to this past weekend’s conference clash with Springfield College, we caught-up with Dunn to discuss his second season with the Cadets.


Who has helped you improve as a quarterback this season? Do you feel you’re a better quarterback than you were last season? 

There have been a lot of people that have helped me improve as a quarterback, starting with Coach Hayes. He always helps us with our craft and makes sure we are doing the little things right correctly. Coach Hayes knows the game and the position, and when you do what he says you can really see the results.

Also, I credit my fellow quarterbacks Jeff Baldassari, Matt Chaffee, Hunter Powers, and Grant Willard, who are great teammates to lean on. We all help each other out every day with the focus on getting better and correcting mistakes. We are a tight group that loves to compete and we certainly make each other better.

I also owe a lot to my father for helping me improve, not only as a quarterback, but also as a player and teammate, too. I talk to him every day about football, school, military, other sports and life, and he always has the best advice for me. He keeps me centered after every game telling me what he saw and what I can improve on. He has always been a huge part of my success and I can’t thank him enough for that.

Everyone I mentioned (above) has and will continue to play a big roll in making me a better quarterback.

Have you always played quarterback? If not, what other positions have you played over the years before focusing on quarterback? 

Last season I played wide receiver after switching from playing quarterback for my entire life. I love being a part of every play on the offense, whether it is throwing the ball, running the ball or handing it off. I just like being involved. I give props to my linemen on offense and defense, who are constantly battling in the trenches on every play. I also give credit to the running backs and linebackers that go up against each other every day, too. And of course, I can’t forget my receivers and defensive backs that are the most athletic players on the field.

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Matt Dunn (6) is spotted under center during his team’s third contest of the season against Castleton University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Norwich University Athletics)

Being from Massachusetts, is it fair to say Tom Brady is your all-time favorite quarterback? If not, who is and why? 

I would be lying if I didn’t say I love watching Tom Brady play for the New England Patriots. He is absolutely my favorite quarterback but there are many others who I love to watch play the position, as well. I enjoy watching Drew Brees, Baker Mayfield, Tate Martell and Russell Wilson. They are all great quarterbacks that are considered “smaller” than the average quarterback like myself, but they still go out there and get the job done. They have prove that size doesn’t matter as long as you have the drive to be great, along with the work ethic, too.

What interested you in attending Norwich University? 

There were many things that interested me in attending Norwich University. First was the military – it has always been a dream of mine to serve my country.  My older brother Chris served in the Marines and told me about the officer career, which sounded right up my ally. Additionally, I was interested in continuing my athletic career with the Cadets’ football team, which was a huge part of coming to Norwich.

Additionally, what interested you in pursuing a major in Criminal Justice? What do you hope to do with your major following graduation? 

Criminal Justice interested me because of what I have seen others do with the degree. You can be a cop, work for the three letter agency or even do something with a security department for major companies. I hope to commission into the military upon graduation and once my service is complete to transition into either a police officer in Massachusetts at the state or local level or become a Boston firefighter. I believe the people who are police officers or firefighters have to greatest job in the world. They keep everyone safe and put their own lives on the line to do it. I certainly have a lot of respect for these brave men and women.

Finally, do you have a game day ritual? If so, what is it and how long have you followed it? 

Oh yeah, I’m a huge ritual guy. My main ritual is putting my equipment on the right side first before the left. I always put on my right sock, cleat or pant leg on before doing it on the left side. I have done that for as long as I can remember. It started when I played hockey and I have done it ever sense.

Noonan: NFL Divisional Playoff Predictions

Can Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos keep their playoff magic going on Saturday against New England? (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Here are my predictions for the NFC Divisional Round.

New Orleans 30, San Francisco 21: The Saints cashed in on five offensive series in the second half against the Detroit Lions last weekend, and are expected to keep their high-flying offensive attack going against the 49ers on Saturday. Drew Brees clearly is on a mission, which is why I believe they’ll defeat San Francisco, and advance to the NFC Championship game for the second time in three seasons.

New England 28 – Denver 16: The story of Tim Tebow has been fascinating, but against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, I’m expecting him to struggle, and possibly throw two or three interceptions.

Baltimore 28 – Houston 21: Earlier this season, the Ravens defeated the Texans, 29-14. Joe Flacco completed 20-of-33 passes for 305 yards and one touchdown, while Billy Cundiff kicked five field goals. Can Baltimore duplicate their week five performance against Houston on Sunday? My answer… YES!

New York 24 – Green Bay 21: This is a total shot in the dark, but the Giants have gained a great deal of momentum over the past few weeks, and might have what it takes to knock out the defending NFC and Super Bowl champions. I like New York’s front seven on defense, especially since they could provide a great deal of chaos toward quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If the Giants pressure the Packers, and force a few turnovers, then expect Big Blue to walk away winners on Sunday.

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?

NFL Week Eight – Rapid Reactions/Thoughts

Ray Rice rushed for three scores against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, and helped his team rally to score 24-points in the second half!

By Matt Noonan 

It’s been a rather interesting season.

No one would have imagined that after roughly eight weeks, (excluding Monday’s game between Kansas City and San Diego), Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Detroit would be in contention for playoff spots.

Did anyone expect the Indianapolis Colts or Miami Dolphins to be winless, especially after eight weeks of the regular season?

Finally, who truly believed that Matt Hasselbeck and the Tennessee Titans were going to be a good team?

Again, it’s been quite an up-and-down season, but here are some rapid reactions and thoughts from Sunday’s slate, enjoy.

Philadelphia Runs Past Dallas’s Defense: Against the Cowboys defense, which was ranked first in the league against the run, the Eagles rushed for 239-yards and two scores thanks to LeSean McCoy, who finished the game with 185 yards on 30 carries, and quarterback Michael Vick, who added 50 yards on seven carries.

Indeed, Rob Ryan’s defense has experienced a great deal of success this season against the run, but perhaps a game like Sunday’s against the Eagles might help sure up the front seven for the remainder of the season.

Both squads are currently in a three-way tie for second place with Washington, and two games behind New York.

Blame Game – Bill Belichick:Against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick once again proved that he’s human.

In the fourth quarter, Belichick chose not to challenge a Rob Gronkowski catch, which appeared to be a touchdown. He also elected to attempt an onside-kick that completely failed.

In some ways, many fans might consider this the second coming of 4th-and-2 from ’09 against the Colts, but all in all, there’ll certainly be a lot of questions directed toward the field general on Monday at Gillette Stadium when he meets with the media.

Great Endings: Sunday featured some bizarre, yet interesting endings.

In Baltimore, running back Ray Rice finished the game with three touchdowns, and 63 yards on 18 carries, as the Ravens beat the Arizona Cardinals, 30-27. Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 31-of-51 passes for 336 yards, but didn’t toss a single touchdown.

In Carolina, Christian Ponder led the Minnesota Vikings down the field, and set up a Ryan Longwell field goal, which helped the “Purple People Eaters” defeat the Panthers, 24-21, as well as end snap a two-game losing streak.

In New Jersey, the New York Giants rallied to score 10-points during the final quarter to beat Miami, 20-17. Quarterback Eli Manning connected with wide receiver Victor Cruz on a 25-yard pass late in the final quarter, which secured the win for Big Blue.

Finally, in St. Louis, the Rams snapped their six-game losing streak by upsetting the New Orleans Saints, 31-21. Running back Steven Jackson rushed for 159 yards and two scores, while quarterback A.J. Feeley completed 20-of-37 passes for 175 yards and tossed one touchdown too. Saints quarterback Drew Brees finished the game with one touchdown and two interceptions.

NFL Week Six – Hot Topics

Jason Garrett should be blamed for the Cowboy's most recent loss, especially for his conservative play calling!

By Matt Noonan 

Sunday was a busy day across the NFL, but also one that featured a great deal of surprises.

Here are a few thoughts on some key issues that have been discussed by fans, talk-show hosts and bloggers across America on Monday.

Patriots-Cowboys: This was indeed an epic contest that featured two teams going in completely different directions.

With roughly four-minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and Dallas leading New England by a whooping three-points, head coach Jason Garrett elected to run the ball three times, as well as punt on fourth-down, which set up the heroic Tom Brady, who led the Patriots to a game-winning touchdown.

Dallas should have won this game, especially since they forced the Patriots to turn the ball over four times, (two interceptions, two fumbles), but instead, they imploded and handed their opponent another easy “w.”

New England’s offense gassed Rob Ryan’s defense, while Garrett took the ball out of his quarterback’s hands during the team’s final few drives, and put the weight of the contest on rookie running back DeMarco Murray’s back, which probably wasn’t the right decision.

Overall, it wasn’t a pretty game for either team, but an important victory for the Patriots and another heartbreaking loss for the Cowboys.

Sean Payton’s Injured Leg: This was indeed an accident, but again, something you don’t see every day, right?

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham caught a pass from quarterback Drew Brees and then collided with head coach Sean Payton, who tumbled to the ground on the team’s sideline. Payton was then assisted to the team’s bench and doctor’s identified his injury – a torn meniscus and fractured bone in his left leg, which was repaired on Monday.

Although, while reports have stated, Payton won’t be able to put pressure on his left leg for roughly eight weeks, one might wonder if this particular accident will propel the Saints downward?

My answer… No!

Brees discussed his coach’s injury with reporters on Sunday, but didn’t seem concerned. The Saints are too good of a football team to let a minor issue, such as a Payton’s injury get in their way, especially against the winless Indianapolis Colts.

Harbaugh-Schwartz handshake: This was bizarre and strange at the same time.

I can’t recall the last time two coaches sparred with one another after a game concluded, but I am convinced that San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh wanted to rub his nose in Jim Schwartz’s face after his team’s fifth win of the season.

I expect the league and commissioner Roger Goodell to fine both coaches for acting inappropriately.

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