Alumnus Andrew Zeller rises to the challenge of pro football.
Red Lion graduate Andrew Zeller has recently excelled to the next level of his athletic career.
In early May, Zeller posted on his Facebook page that he would become a Detroit Lion, signing a free agent deal the weekend of the NFL draft. An offensive lineman for the University of Maryland, Zeller is 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds.
Zeller went undrafted in the 2016 NFL draft but was happy to receive the call that he was waiting for: the call from his agent telling him he has been picked up by an NFL team.
“I anticipate a once in a lifetime opportunity that will require a strenuous challenge both mentally and physically,” said Zeller “but it is a challenge that I have dreamed of and one that I am willing to embrace.”
Coming this far was not just a walk in the park as any athlete or fan would know.
By Paul Jones
The Baltimore Ravens enter the 2015 season with high expectations. Under head coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens have only missed the playoffs one time since 2008.
After a very good 2014 season, the Ravens still did not meet their goal of a Super Bowl win. The team lost wide receiver Torrey Smith, linebacker Pernell McPhee, and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata who have all been staples in the Ravens organization.
But never fear, General Manager Ozzie Newsome is here. The Ravens bring in a very promising draft class with top picks wide receiver Breshad Perriman and tight end Maxx Williams.
Getting through the early part of the schedule will be tough for the Ravens but after that, the amount of good teams they play will lessen. Possible key games will be against the Chargers.
Saying the Eagles have had a busy off-season would be an understatement. Head coach Chip Kelly has drastically changed the Eagles’ roster to his liking.
The Eagles traded away their best running back LeSean McCoy for line backer Kiko Alonso who is known to be injury prone. G Evan Mathis departed as did wide receiver Jeremy Maclin who had been mainstays in the Eagles organization.
But there is a reason why they call Chip Kelly the “Mad Hatter”. With LeSean McCoy leaving, the Eagles signed Demarco Murray, who was the best runningback in the league last year.
They also added cornerback Byron Maxwell from Seattle and drafted WR Nelson Agholor with their first pick in the NFL draft. Quarterback Nick Foles was traded to the Rams in exchange for quarterback Sam Bradford, who is coming off of multiple knee injuries.
Some NFL analysts have doubts about the Eagles roster. Key games for this team may include the Cowboys, the Patriots, and the Giants.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in prime position to have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL with the trio of Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown.
The Steelers will have a tough start to the season due to suspensions. Key players Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant will both serving suspensions because of substance violations.
This season will also mark the end of an era in Steeler nation. Safety Troy Polamalu retired this offseason and rookie safety Shamarko Thomas will fill in for him.
While the offense will be prolific, the defense will not be the like past Steeler defenses. They did however draft linebacker Bud Dupree.
They will have tough games against the Ravens, against the Colts, and at the Patriots which can go either way.
By Taylor Bosley
As the NFL continues to hand out punishments to players for off-the-field offenses, the debate on the consistency of their disciplinary measures is growing, and more players are starting to join in on the conversation.
In February earlier this year, a video was released of former Ravens running-back Ray Rice dragging his unconscious then-fiance out of an elevator at an Atlanta Casino. After the video was seen by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the Ravens coaching staff and the public, Rice was given a “harsh” two game suspension and received lots of backlash from around the league.
After the NFL brought the hammer down on Rice, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was also suspended for an entire season after he tested positive for marijuana in the offseason. That was later reduced to 10 games once the NFL implemented a new drug policy in the wake of Gordon’s crime.
Current and past NFL players expressed their opinions on both players via Twitter after Rices’ suspension was announced.
Former NFL center LeCharles Bentley expressed through a tweet on Sept. 8 that he thinks Ray Rice should be in jail, and showed disapproval toward the original lenient suspension of two games. He also mentioned in the tweet that he would rather have Josh Gordon on his team, who was suspended for the season for failing a marijuana drug test, than a guy like Ray Rice who was accused of domestic violence.
Ray Rice was eventually given an indefinite suspension and cut from the Ravens when the footage of Rice actually striking his girlfriend was released by TMZ.
Terrence Knighton of the Denver Broncos also expressed his opinion of the punishment given to Ray Rice through Twitter.
“That man should be thrown out the the NFL and thrown into jail. Shame on those deciding his punishment. Smh,” tweeted Knighton, going on to say that if there is a way to open the case back up it should be done.
Other instances of inconsistent punishments in the NFL include when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault in 2010 in Georgia by an unnamed woman. The NFL gave him a six-game suspension, which would eventually be brought down to four games after he convinced Roger Goodell that he had turned his life around, reported USA Today.
Terrelle Pryor, who played for the Ohio State Buckeyes and was involved in an autograph-for-money scheme, had a suspension from college carried over into the NFL. He was given a five game suspension as a result and rather than serve that his senior year, he opted out and entered the draft.
Roger Goodell took the college punishment and transferred it over to the NFL; he did not want people thinking they could hide behind his league to get out of punishments.
Junior Dominico Vano, a color commentator for RLA-TV football game productions, feels the punishments for rules broken in the NFL do not match the act committed.
“I think they [the NFL] should be more consistent in their punishments,” said Vano.
As a result of the harsh criticism the NFL has received since Ray Rices’ suspension, the NFL has now implemented a new domestic violence policy, a six game suspension for the first offense and a lifetime ban for the second offense.
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