Black Monday: NFL Coaching and Staff Changes

With the 2014 NFL season over, many teams did not finish where they wanted to be. With the famous “Black Monday” upon us, some teams have already taken the steps to clean house.

In Chicago, after finishing with a 5-11 record, head coach Marc Trestman was let go after his second disappointing season with the Bears. The Bears got Trestman in 2013 from the Canadian Football League, and the experiment next panned out. After giving Jay Cutler a 6-year contract extension over 100 million dollars, the Bears also let go of their General Manager Phil Emery.

NFL Player Jay Cutler

The Atlanta Falcons finally decided to cut ties with Mike Smith, a coach who finished with a 66-46 record in 7 years as Atlanta’s coach. While Mike Smith brought the franchise their first back to back winning seasons in history, Smith held a 1-4 post season record and coached the team to a 4-12 record in 2013 and 6-10 record in 2014, both seen as unacceptable by team owner Arthur Blank.

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In New York, there was no surprise when the Jets parted ways with both head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik. Ryan’s team was 4-12 this season, following an average 7-9 season in 2013. Ryan led his team to back to back AFC Championship games back in ’09-’10, but it wasn’t enough to keep him around, as quarterback Geno Smith showed no growth.

New York Jets v Tennessee Titans

Lastly, with the Michigan head coaching job open, 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh have parted ways. Harbaugh led his team to a 8-8 record this season. After 3 seasons with back to back appearances in the NFC Championship game, the growth of newly 100+ million dollar quarterback Colin Kaepernick has regressed and the ex-49ers coach will be going back to the college realm to coach Michigan.

While most coaching changes happen on Black Monday, some teams have not made a decision yet on their staff changes.

The Oakland Raiders will be interviewing new coaching candidates after firing their head coach Dennis Allen after the 4th week of the season.

The Clevland Browns and New York Giants seem to be leaving things as is also, both who had under achieving seasons.

Who do you think will replace these coaches? Sound off in the comment sections!

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Hip-Hop stars serve the community during the holiday season

Despite the tension among the nation regarding police brutality, a number of rappers have collaborated this holiday season in order to bring smiles to the faces of families in their communities, even if these smiles are temporary.

The DMV was well taken care of by lyrical powerhouse Wale and John Wall floor general for the Washington Wizards. These gentleman gathered their resources and brought a bit of happiness to a few local kids.

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The King Of The South took his royal reign to the west coast this holiday season. Along with proud Crenshaw representer and fiery spitter Nipsey Hussle, T.I. delivered gifts and donations to the 5th Annual Free Food and Toy Giveaway at Crenshaw High School.

Continuing in the spirit of giving back to the community, left coast collective TDE passed out toys to the youth and capped off the evening with a free concert at Nickerson Gardens Projects in the city off Watts, California. The spectacular six emcees from the TDE powerhouse were all present: Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad, SZA, Kendrick Lamar, & Ab-Soul. The label’s CEO,  recounted the event as one of the, “top 5 moments in [his] life”. HiiiPower indeed.

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Still riding the momentum of one of the hottest yet under appreciated albums of 2014, “My Krazy Life”, YG corralled a number of local youth and treated them to a shopping spree at a local Lakewood, California shopping mall. This was in conjunction with his non-profit foundation, 4Hundred Waze. The artist born Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson is proud of his Compton upbringing, and when asked of his show of generosity, he stated, “I’m gonna give them all a gift card with $120 or more on there and I’m gonna let them spend it in whatever stores they want……Its a blessing ya feel me? My city been supporting me; I made it out, so I feel like I gotta give back.”

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It was Snowman season this winter, and Jeezy made sure his presence was felt in the city. No stranger to giving back to those less fortunate, as evident by his charity founded in 2001, the Street Dreams Foundation. This year, not only did Jeezy sponsor the bill for 100 kids to see the new rendition of Annie, but he made sure they left with $10,000 worth of Christmas gifts and a lunch at Glo’s. While he is known as the Snowman in the city, when it comes to his community, Jeezy evidently has a very warm heart.

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Another southern powerhouse, Ludacris shows up at the Children’s hospital in Atlanta and brought a bit of holiday cheer to those who we not able to be in the comfort of their homes for the holidays. Birthed Chris Bridges, the emcee, actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist did not come empty handed. His not for profit foundation, the Ludacris Foundation came with coats, gifts, and laughter in tow. The giving spirit was so large that the event stretched over two days. Lots of love was spread.

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Other hip-hop artists that spread the holiday cheer far and wide included Future & 2 Chainz from Atlanta, Meek Mill in Philly, & Jadakiss in Yonkers. I commend these rappers for stepping outside of themselves and showing support for the communities that have supported them when they initially needed it in their careers, and still do. Sadly, a number of artists make contributions such as these regularly, and for no apparent reason, yet these happenings rarely reach the front page of your local news outlets. Community service is very important, as it makes you rich. Not in your pockets, but rich in spirit. I encourage you to give back around your community because you feel it within, and also, to continue to shine a light on the artists that do. These are some of the most influential role models in the eyes of our youth, and we want them to develop strong moral character at a young age. Do your part, and encourage others to do the same.

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By: Darius “DJ” Jackson

Twitter: @Jack_Moves

Good Soil and Good Growth

Growing can be a fast or slow process depending on the soil you place yourself in to grow. Just as plants thrive in different seasons and in different environments so do people. If you want to really grow you have to change your environment from time to time. This means letting go of places, people, things, and mindsets. You must let go of the old to receive the new. Your environment can be your greatest asset or your greatest liability. The reason most of us don’t succeed in life is because of fear. Our number ONE fear is the fear of letting go the familiar and the comfortable. We all want to hold on to those friends of ours who aren’t going in the same direction as us, we all want to continue to go those places that are only holding us back, keeping us stuck in mess, and we all want to hold onto our old mindset that has us in the same position year in and year out. In order to grow, you must change! You cannot grow without change, it is impossible. This change will be one of the hardest things you have to do but nothing easy is worth having so push through this pain and grow.

Here are some things that can help you grow and help you navigate through different soils for good growth.
1. Know thyself to grow thyself. You have to know where you are going, what you are trying to accomplish, and who you want to become before you can grade the soil you are in. To grade the soil you are in, ask yourself is this soil (people, place, or thing) helping you reach your where, what, and who you want to be. If it is not, this is a good indicator the soil you are in or around is only holding you back from true growth. For maximum growth, change yourself and your environment at the same time.

2. Your growth will and always will be in direct correlation to the people you spend the most time with. If the people you spend the most time are the same, or are equal to you, it is time for change. The key is to find people that are larger than ourselves to grow. We often overlook this one due to it is hard to get away from the people we enjoy spending our time with regardless of if it is benefiting us or not. Choose to grow instead of remaining comfortable. This area of change is often the most important because people have the greatest impact on our growth.
3. Lastly, growth comes with change and change always comes as a result of action. If you don’t create the environment you want, you will always be stuck with the environment you get. So begin mapping out a plan of who you want to become, what you want to achieve, and when you want to get there.
“You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success – or are they holding you back?”
by W. Clement Stone.

Check out more from Carlos Cody here —–>

Behind the Scenes: Breezy Castilleo #Ignorant

Dropping at the Top of 2015, Breezy Castilleo is set to release his much anticipated video “Ignorant”.
Featuring Eazy Comedy and shot by Ted Cotton, the video has all you want in a hip-hop project.
In this special behind the scenes look,
@HighLifeVisuals_ takes us up close and personal as the video is being shot.

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Video Credit
IG: @HighLifeVisual_
Twitter: @HighLifeVisuals
Without any further ado…..check out this behind the scenes exclusive!

Josh Smith, you just got LET GO!

Time is up in Detroit for former 1st round pick Josh Smith. The Pistons cut the forward after signing him to a 4-year, 54 million dollar deal in 2013. After only play for less than two years, Smith still had $26 million left on his contract.

The Pistons cut an aging Smith (29 years old), even with him averaging 13.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game this season. Since becoming a Piston, he averaged 15.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists, but did not produce the numbers Detroit had hoped for.

“Our team has not performed the way we had expected throughout the first third of the season and adjustments need to be made in terms of our focus and direction,” coach and team president Stan Van Gundy said. “We are shifting priorities to aggressively develop our younger players while also expanding the roles of other players in the current rotation to improve performance and build for our future.”

Smith has 48 hour to get claimed by another NBA team. If a team does not claim him, then he can sign with another team as a free agent, to a contract with new terms.

Smith was drafted with the 17th pick in the 2004 draft by the Atlanta Hawks.

Who do you think needs Josh Smith the most?

Would a contender sign him as a role players? Or will a struggling team like the Knicks or Lakers give him another chance to start?

Let us know in the comments #PTP

Marshawn Lynch: Problem or Solution?

After recently being fined $100,000 by the NFL for not speaking to the media after football games, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has begun a new tactic to avoid fines.

Danny McCray, Marshawn Lynch

Lynch for the last two weeks, has stopped to speak to the media, however has been very short with his answers.

Most recently, after the Seahawks dismantled the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix stadium 35-6, Lynch was the subject of his most annoying shenanigan thus far.

As reporters asked Lynch questions about being sick before the game began, in addition to a question about his 79-yard touchdown run in the game, Lynch offered the same answer: “Thanks for asking”.

Check out the link below for the full (60 seconds) of Lynch responding to reporters questions.

Video: Lynch brushes off media 

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Personally as a member of the media, I find it quite annoying that Lynch is unwilling to provide relevant answers in post game interviews. The NFL is Lynch’s employer and in his contract it states that he must speak to media, granted it doesn’t say what he has to say, I feel as if Lynch is being pessimistic and is wasting the time of the media, and his own time.

If you don’t want to speak to the media Lynch, either take the fine, or find a new league to play in. But please stop wasting the media’s time with your antics. You are an amazing football player and the media just wants to know how that makes you feel sometimes.

What do you think? Should Lynch get fined for not speaking to the media? Do you have an issue with his responses?

Let us know in the comments #PTP…..