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Erling Braut Haaland is nothing short of a miracle worker.
In a total of 54 minutes for Borussia Dortmund, the talented Norwegian forward as amassed an astonishing 5 goals. However, this isn’t just pure luck. Instead, it’s something we have never seen from a young forward in a long time.
Born in Leeds, Haaland comes from a very gifted family. His father, Alf-Inge, played professional ball for 22 years and enjoyed stints at clubs such as Leeds United and Manchester City.
Haaland’s tenure in England was short-lived and he moved to Norway at a very young age. From there, Haaland went on to sign with his hometown club, Bryne FK.
In his first season with Bryne, he played for their reserve side and scored 18 goals in 14 games. Showing his class at such a young age.
He then worked his way up and eventually signed with Norwegian giant, Molde FK.
One season with Molde went by, and Haaland became known as a reliable young striker, but this was a mere shadow of what he managed to become.
In his second season at Molde, Haaland scored four goals against an undefeated Brann side in twenty-two minutes. This is when Manchester United realized they talent Haaland posses, but they weren’t set on making a move just yet.
After an impressive run with Molde, Haaland joined RB Salzburg, a place where the legend of the 19-year-old began. After scoring a hat trick after a hat trick in league play and goal after goal in the Champions League, Haaland became the hottest wonder boy on the transfer market. However, with a 25 million dollar release clause instilled in his contract, it was up to Haaland to decide where he goes.
The kid who was only the second teenager in history to score a Champions League hattrick decided on joining the yellow and black in Borussia Dortmund.
After a short stint at Salzburg, that saw him become the only player in Champions League history to score over six goals in the first three group stage games, Haaland went off to Germany as confident as ever.
In Haaland’s first appearance for Dortmund, he was substituted in the 53rd minute. He then proceeds to score a hattrick only 23 minutes into his first appearance! The world was exploding over Erling Braut Haaland.
In the following game, Haaland managed to score two goals despite being subbed in the mid-second half. Haaland even scored a goal from a nearly impossible angle, and it became official that Haaland wasn’t your usual wonder boy.
Haaland possesses confidence in front of the net that is rare to see at any age. The Norwegian knows how to create space and attack a team with pace and with power. Explosive as can be, Haaland, standing at 6’4, has a physical advantage on nearly every player on the pitch and utilizes that to the best of his ability.
Another thing I often look for when analyzing young stars is their maturity. Haaland is very mature. He seems to go with the flow and is very low key about everything he does, another rare attribute to see in such a young player. Haaland has shown that he is confident, but he doesn't go overboard in any of his actions. He goes to the pitch, does his job, and then leaves.
Adding on, Haaland has a killer instinct in front of the net that hasn’t been seen in years. With the path he’s heading on, he can be the best player in the world.
I believe the next Ronaldo vs Messi is Haaland vs Mbappe.
Is Joe Burrow NFL ready?
Joe Burrow has what scouts love. Confidence, precision, the ability to take charge. However, there is still the question if he can translate his game to an NFL level, and in this article I will be analyzing the Heisman winner, seeing if he’s ready for the pros.
You cannot deny the accuracy Joe Burrow has, completing 78% of his passes this season while also dropping 60 touchdowns, a stat that led all of FBS.
Burrow puts his passes where he wants them and is able to throw into very tight spaces. He has a feel for the quarterback position that is incapable to teach. A lot of his success this season came from LSU turning their run-oriented offense into Burrow’s offense, which paid off. Burrow has a nice release of the ball and knows how to read a defense very well for a college quarterback. However, the Ohio native doesn’t possess NFL level arm strength, but his accuracy has seemed to overshadow that this season.
Burrow is comfortable at the line, and recognizes his mismatches and takes full advantage of them. For instance, Burrow has involved multiple wideouts into the game this season and made them potential first-rounders, players such as Thaddeus Moss, Justin Jefferson, and Ja'Marr Chase, have all evolved tremendously with Burrow as their quarterback.
Some of Burrow’s stats are inflated due to his offensive line. While watching him play this season, he had five to ten seconds to throw the ball, if not more. When he gets to the NFL (most likely Cincinnati), he is going to have a fraction of this time to find an open receiver, and it will definitely be a tough transition from going to college football’s best offensive to line to one of the NFL’s worst. Burrow has shown flashes where he can dazzle around defenders, but I haven’t seen enough to give him a true grade on his ability to throw under pressure, and this is about what I have seen, not what I haven’t.
Overall, Burrow’s accuracy is elite and he makes players around him much better. Despite his arm strength worries and is the offensive line, Burrow’s talent is still undeniable. He can throw a pass right on the money, and that's not something you can teach. I am going to give his passing rating a B+.
Joe Burrow has elite footwork. From his drop backs to ability to escape under pressure, Burrow has much better footwork than given credit for. Burrow is able to avoid sacks with ease (although he doesn’t get pressured much), and he’s also able to extend a play on the run. In his college career, Burrow ran for over 2000 yards, more than 600 of them coming from this past season.
For not having the best physical attributes, Burrow surprises a lot of people while out of the pocket.
His drop backs are also very smooth and he’s very relaxed while under center. He keeps his eyes downfield and is smart enough to know when not to escape.
Overall, his footwork is very clean, and he is able to extend a play very well. For a quarterback who lacks physical attributes, Burrow’s footwork is nearly flawless. I am going to give his footwork an A-.
In the NFL, especially if you’re going to a horrendous team, you better have some strong mental strength. To me, Burrow has shown extreme mental strength this season and he’s as cool as a cucumber under pressure. Burrow has ice in his veins, and it’s shown when he plays. He doesn’t let one bad play (which he didn’t have many of this season) get to him.
Burrow is confident in his ability, and that was shown during the National Championship. A lot of his big plays come from him having the courage and belief in himself to make the throw.
In summary, Burrow has insane mental strength that you rarely see in a quarterback coming out of college. Many people notice rookies having trouble finding themselves throughout the season, especially when they're losing, but Burrow doesn't fancy me to do that. Calm, collected, and determined, Burrow has all the mental attributes you look for in an NFL quarterback.I will grade his mental ability at an A.
Overall, Joe Burrow is a prospect like no other. Despite being 24 by the time he’s a rookie, I can’t see any team passing up on the option to draft Burrow. Many teams are even considering trying to trade up to get the services of the LSU quarterback, and it’ll definitely be a bidding war on draft night if any team wants to move up to the number one spot, currently held by the Washington Redskins.
I am not 100% in on Burrow, as he had one of the best teams in college football history around him, but as I said earlier, his talent is still undeniable. I am going to give his overall grade as a B. I think he has much more upside than downside and can become a real force in Cincinnati as long as they build around him. Coming into week one, expect him to be the starter and leading the huddle for whoever holds the number one pick when Rodger Goodell steps up to the podium, that be the Bengals or a team putting all their chips on the table to get Burrow.
'Tis the season to shake up the franchise, and for these four teams, they have done just that. The Cowboys, Giants, Panthers, and Redskins have all hired new coaches this offseason, leaving the Browns as the only team without a current head coach.
In this article, Chris Dailey will be grading the four head coaching hires this offseason, giving readers insight on each coach and if they are the right fit for their respective team.
Cowboys: Mike McCarthy
The Cowboys have talent, that’s for sure. The Cowboys have spurs like Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, Leighton Vander Esch, and somebody who gets a lot of hate for not much reason, Dak Prescott. Prescott is a genuine guy, and a heck of a ballplayer, throwing for over 15,000 yards and 97 touchdowns since 2016.
However, whenever Dallas has faced must-win situations in the past ten years, their coaching staff let them down time and time again. Now, that is all expected to change. America’s team decided not to extend Jason Garrett’s contract and followed that up by hiring Super Bowl-winning coach, Mike McCarthy, and all of a sudden, the Cowboys' future looks bright.
McCarthy, a Pittsburgh native, coached the Green Bay Packers from 2006-2018, where he went 125-77-2 and won Super Bowl 45 with Green Bay. McCarthy, a proven winner, is everything the Cowboys need. That being somebody who can come in and produce immediately.
I like the hire and I think Jerry Jones made the right decision. Jones hired somebody who knows how to lead, especially a storied franchise. McCarthy was the right fit for the Cowboys job and I am going to give the hire an A-.
Giants: Joe Judge
The big apple has a new head coach in town.
In an interesting turn of events, the New York Football Giants have hired Patriots Special Teams Coordinator and Wide Receivers coach, Joe Judge. Judge has worked under both Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, who both love the 38-year-old. Belichick even called the Giants to recommend Judge for the job, showing how much faith the mastermind of the Patriots dynasty has in Judge.
Judge has won a total of three Super Bowls and 2 BCS National Championships in his time as an assistant. A proven winner, Judge is a no-nonsense coach, resembling one of the most successful coaches if Giants' history, Tom Coughlin. Judge is also set to become one of the youngest coaches in the NFL, standing only behind Sean McVay of the Rams.
Judge’s hire comes as a surprise to nearly every NFL fan, as Matt Rhule was the definite front runner for the job. However, Rhule decided to head down south to Carolina when he realized Judge was finalizing a deal with New York.
Judge will now take over a team with lots of potential. With rising stars such as Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, and Sterling Shepard, the Giants are a few key pieces away from being a playoff contender, especially if none of the teams in the NFC East step up their game next season.
I think Judge’s hire will be a good long term move for New York. He provides stability into an organization that seems lost. He’s a proven winner, something New York hasn’t done in several years. I am going to give the hire a B+.
Panthers: Matt Rhule
Matt Rhule is going to be sleeping well tonight. Rhule signed a 7-year contract worth $60 million, however that could increase up to $70 million with incentives, all of this making Rhule the 6th highest-paid coach in the league.
Rhule was the head coach at both Baylor and Temple, with his only NFL experience coming from a year with the Giants when he was the assistant offensive line coach. His time in college was very successful, leading two losing teams, Baylor and Temple, to bowl game contenders. Baylor could’ve made the College Football Playoffs this year, but two losses to Oklahoma crushed their chances.
Rhule was expected to head to the Giants, and with his connections and praise from the Giants staff, it seemed as if it was meant to be. However, the Panthers' owner, David Tepper, loved what he saw in Rhule and made sure to get him while he was available.
I like the move Tepper and the Panthers made, as Rhule has shown he can turn a franchise around. I know Rhule is excited to join an NFL organization but disheartened to leave Baylor, a place he called home. Rhule had a very strong connection with his locker room, and the players saw him as somebody they can rely on, showing Rhule’s leadership skills.
Tepper and the Panthers made a bold move by getting a coach with barely any experience of coaching at and NFL level, however, I think it’s a good hire. Rhule has seen how the game has evolved and adjusted to it, and if he can that in the NFL, he can become one of the best coaches in the league. I am going to give the hiring an A-.
Redskins: Ron Rivera
The Redskins hired ex Panthers coach Ron Rivera, and he will now serve as the head coach for the team of the capital.
Rivera, 58, was on the iconic ‘85 Bears team that won 20. The California native then went on to coach the Carolina Panthers for eight years and helped lead them to a 15-1 record and Super Bowl appearance in 2016. However, after a lackluster start to the season this year, Rivera was fired by the Panthers as both sides knew that they were headed in different directions.
Rivera then interviewed for the Redskins and was hired right away. The Redskins need a coach that can win and develop talent, and that is exactly what Rivers did at the Redskins. He took young stars with potential, like Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey, and made them faces of the franchise.
Despite his great background, the Redskins still have Dan Synder making the important decisions, and it seems as if the coaches have no say under him. My only concern about this here is if Snyder will let Rivera take the driver's seat, or if he will only be riding shotgun.
Overall, I am going to give this hire a solid B-.
Founder, The Sports Court