Browsing: nfl

Two military men — one a senior at the Naval Academy, one an Army combat vet — hope to land a spot on a professional football roster this season. Then, if all goes well, you might never hear their names again. Joe Cardona of Navy and Nate Boyer of Texas both seek to join the fraternity of NFL long snappers — men who fire a football between their legs at north of 40 miles per hour and rarely receive any notoriety unless something has gone very, very wrong. Cardona is ranked atop the NFL.com special-teams prospect list. Boyer’s play at Texas and his inspirational story (Green Beret-turned-Longhorn who never played…

To older football fans, Chuck Bednarik was “Concrete Charlie,” the last of the two-way pros who played on two championship teams with the Philadelphia Eagles and hit Frank Gifford so hard in 1960 that the New York Giants’ superstar didn’t play again until 1962. To a younger generation, he was the gruff throwback who once said Deion Sanders, a two-way star in a different era, “couldn’t tackle my wife.” He was a grandfatherly figure who was once approached by a video game maker for permission to use his likeness, which he granted only after the agency “actually had to explain that he would not…

If you’re a service-academy football fan who doesn’t keep up with the pro game, or even if you just decided to spend your Labor Day doing something other than refreshing the NFL.com practice-squad page over and over, here’s a brief recap of where some academy standouts found themselves as NFL teams trimmed down to the 53-man roster limit: Ben Garland (Air Force): The former standout defensive lineman for the Falcons made the Denver Broncos roster, but not on defense. Garland, who was promoted to captain in the Colorado Air National Guard in May, switched to offensive guard last year. He first…

In about a week, Minnesota Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer has gone from seeing his name on a watch list for NFL head-coaching jobs published by a newspaper of note to seeing it on the wrong end of what could be career-killing allegations. Priefer, a Naval Academy grad who reportedly flew helicopters as part of SEAL missions in the early 1990s, stands accused by former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe of “using homophobic language in my presence” in a response to Kluwe’s outspoken support of gay rights — outspokenness that, the punter says, cost him his job last May. Kluwe…

Former Army Black Knight Collin Mooney, the team’s single-season rushing leader, rose from the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad to the game-day roster late last season, playing in his first two NFL games and even making the stat sheet — five carries, 19 yards. Former Air Force Falcon Ben Garland recorded 115 tackles as a collegiate defensive lineman and spent all of 2012 in that same position with the Denver Broncos practice squad, only to transfer to offensive guard in preseason workouts this year in a move designed to improve his chance to make the 53-man game-day roster. Despite Mooney’s game…

Reserve Navy Lt. Eric Kettani has lost his day job, according to multiple media reports. The former Annapolis standout will be one of several players cut by the Washington Redskins to reach Tuesday’s 75-man roster limit,  ESPN and other outlets have reported. The team has yet to announce any cuts. Among the other reported cuts for the Redskins: Veteran wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth, who tweeted out a picture of Kettani in his (Navy) uniform before the team’s preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans and sent a similar image before Saturday’s preseason game against the Buffalo Bills: [HTML1] Neither player appears…

Eight quick gridiron hits (four here and four after the jump) as we begin the slow transition from Olympic fever to football frenzy. If symptoms persist, we suggest frequent check-ins with After Action’s picture-a-day countdown to kickoff. 1. Garland’s sabre surprise. Denver Broncos players have been active in charity efforts geared toward healing a community devastated by wildfires. But when it came to Air Force 1st Lt. Ben Garland, who is attempting to earn a roster spot on Denver’s defensive line, the giving was personal. Garland’s teammates gave him two silver sabres and an Air Force football helmet lost to…

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has trained with Marines. He’s visited service members in the war zone, in his backyard and in places few visitors, much less Super Bowl winners, go to. Even his pregame psych-up chant is based on a Marine cadence. So, when he fired off this tweet in response to the NFL’s handling of his teammates’ suspensions stemming from an investigation into bounties being put on opposing players, some might have seen it as out of character: If NFL fans were told there were “weapons of mass destruction” enough times, they’d believe it. But what happens…

A few service academy-related football notes to start off your week: 1. Praise from high places: We promised you updates on Air Force 2nd Lt. Ben Garland’s quest for an NFL job with the Denver Broncos, so we pass this along from Frank Schwab at The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette. Denver head coach John Fox offered some short remarks on Garland’s stellar work ethic during a post-rookie workout news conference late last week. Judging from the picture in that first link, the Air Force Academy grad’s strength and conditioning won’t be an issue. 2. Conference calamity: Speaking of early outs,…

Gunslingin’ quarterback Jeff George is making a comeback — again. No, not with the Colts, Raiders or Redskins — but instead on a field where his talents can do the most good. George, an Indianapolis native,  is set to play in a Feb. 1 flag football game pitting military amputees against former NFL players. The game will benefit Wounded Warrior Amputees (if you’re in the Indy area and want to check it out, tickets are $20 and can be purchased here). George has tight military connections, with his brother-in-law and father-in-law both Army officers. The quarterback played for several NFL…

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