1. Inside Jon Gruden's 'Maniacal' Obsession with Football

    TAMPA, Fla. — At this hour, a beautiful Florida sunrise is still a promise. The birds have not yet begun to sing...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 1 month ago 615,390 reads 111 comments

  2. How NFL Teams Really Make Their Draft Picks

    Jerry Jones was infatuated with Johnny Manziel , the rock-and-rolling, Heisman-winning quarterback out of Texas A&M. Thought he'd be the perfect fit for the Cowboys...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 2 months ago 120,826 reads 60 comments

  3. Not Just Another Gronk: Rob's Little Bro Glenn on a Different Path to the NFL

    Somewhere at sea in February, Rob Gronkowski was gyrating, bopping and grooving. The bass was turned up so high, the dolphins must have felt it. The man known as Gronk was shirtless, wearing shades, a Zubaz bandana and a ball cap that read "HYPE...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 2 months ago 485,236 reads 46 comments

  4. Inside Eric Weddle's Free-Agency Chess Match

    Eric Weddle became an unrestricted free agent last week after nine years as a member of the Chargers . On Monday, he signed with the Ravens . Weddle granted Bleacher Report exclusive access to his free-agent experience...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 4 months ago 161,560 reads 227 comments

  5. The Dream Team That Wasn't: A Cautionary Tale for Free Agency

    In the summer heat on a sprawling campus built into the side of a mountain about halfway between Philadelphia and New York, quarterback Vince Young, wearing a green visor and a red ...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 4 months ago 145,890 reads 95 comments

  6. The Origin and Evolution of 'Riverboat Ron': How Madden Mentorship Shaped Rivera

    The story begins in 1977 at the old Edgewater Packing Company on Cannery Row by Monterey Bay, a place known for arcade games and a magnificent antique wooden carousel. A 15-year-old is here with his friends, doing things that teenagers do...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 5 months ago 135,025 reads 83 comments

  7. The Manning-Brady Era, as Seen by Some of Its Top Defensive Players

    For a decade-and-a-half, they have been each other's great impediments. If Peyton Manning had played in another time, Tom Brady might have six Super Bowl rings instead of four...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 5 months ago 145,030 reads 365 comments

  8. The Greatness of Larry Fitzgerald, as Seen Through the Eyes of His QBs

    With each passing year, each game, each reception, the greatness of Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald becomes clearer...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 5 months ago 199,076 reads 134 comments

  9. The Secrets of Bruce Arians' Success: Style, Risk, an Open Mind...and Old Guys

    Night before the game. Hotel ballroom. All Cardinals players present. Bruce Arians walks to the front of the room. The noise stops. He speaks...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 6 months ago 189,876 reads 120 comments

  10. Overlooked Kirk Cousins Has Studied His Way to the Top of the Game

    The winner of a contest to announce the first of the Redskins' two fourth-round picks in 2012 took the microphone. "With the 102nd pick in the draft," Bridget Dowd said, "the Washington Redskins select Kirk Cousins , quarterback, Michigan State...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 6 months ago 167,776 reads 246 comments

  11. How Russell Wilson Made the Leap from Super Bowl Star to Superstar

    What has been perceived as a leap has, in fact, been a climb. Russell Wilson 's performance down the stretch this season is the culmination of a methodical, paced effort...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 6 months ago 162,325 reads 328 comments

  12. Death, Hollywood and the Duersons' Complicated Relationship with Football

    On the television stand in the bedroom of Tregg Duerson's home is a burgundy leather Bible. A name is embossed in gold on the cover. David R. Duerson...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 6 months ago 250,547 reads 110 comments

  13. Inside Malcolm Butler's Journey from 'Reject' Prospect to Revis Replacement

    There Malcolm Butler is, leaping in the end zone to break up a potential Nate Washington touchdown in a Patriots victory over the Texans . And there he was, hobnobbing with Taylor Swift backstage at the Grammy Awards in February...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 7 months ago 252,398 reads 145 comments

  14. How Andy Dalton Destroyed Your Cheap Punch Line

    Bolder. Held together. Reaching new heights. There is change in Andy Dalton that cannot be ignored. And then there is his hair. Spectacularly different, vividly red and unconventionally styled, it has become his trademark...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 7 months ago 86,931 reads 167 comments

  15. Vilified, Vindicated, Victorious: La'el Collins Is a Man on a Mission

    Pulling to the outside, La'el Collins sent the Pro Bowl linebacker in front of him sprawling with a devastating hit...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 8 months ago 399,556 reads 151 comments

  16. How James Jones Found His Way Home

    James Jones stood there on 3rd-and-3, split out left, waiting for the snap on the Packers ' second series of the season. It had been just seven days since the 31-year-old rejoined his old team, and he was still living out of a suitcase...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 8 months ago 138,796 reads 68 comments

  17. Making the Leap: How Carolina's Josh Norman Became an Elite NFL Cornerback

    There is something special about this chestnut-colored American Saddlebred with a white patch on his forehead. Josh Norman calls him Delta 747, Delta for short. If the mood strikes, Delta can fly...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 8 months ago 56,223 reads 95 comments

  18. The Mystery of Dion Lewis: Where Did Pats RB Come From, and Can Anyone Stop Him?

    New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis seemingly has emerged from crumb rubber, musket smoke and pixie dust, so we are inclined to chalk him up to mystery...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 9 months ago 226,269 reads 205 comments

  19. What Keeps Carson Palmer Going?

    I first met Carson Palmer 13 years ago. He wore khaki pants and a white button-down shirt with pinstripes. He was fresh-faced and clean-shaven. In his eyes was the glint of promise that you see in a man who is about to accomplish great things...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 9 months ago 175,006 reads 117 comments

  20. Everyone's Been Wondering About Michael Vick, And Now They'll Find Out

    It was March, and people were wondering about Michael Vick . The season before, he did not beat out Geno Smith for the dubious privilege of quarterbacking the Jets . He received three November starts and lost two of them...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 9 months ago 79,330 reads 128 comments

  21. The Evolution of Ryan Grigson, the NFL's Most Unconventional GM

    INDIANAPOLIS — Van Halen is blasting through the enormous Klipsch speakers. The big plates are clanging and banging in the Colts weight room. Beneath a loaded barbell, general manager Ryan Grigson finds a moment of clarity...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 10 months ago 156,569 reads 92 comments

  22. The Evolution of the Legion of Boom: Becoming Even Better Through Brotherhood

    RENTON, Wash. — Kam Chancellor is a training camp ghost, a presence everyone feels but cannot see. For most of camp, the only time Earl Thomas made the practice tape is when ...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 11 months ago 147,022 reads 116 comments

  23. Can Melvin Gordon Become the Chargers' Next LaDainian Tomlinson?

    SAN DIEGO — In the Southern California summer sun, Melvin Gordon takes the football from Philip Rivers in his midsection and steps hard into the gap between center and left guard...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 11 months ago 110,826 reads 136 comments

  24. Jared Allen Buying into the New Bears Regime—and a New Position

    BOURBONNAIS, Illinois — After the 2013 season, the Minnesota Vikings were looking for a new coach. Jared Allen , whose contract was expiring soon, had something to say about it...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 11 months ago 77,292 reads 66 comments

  25. How Ben Roethlisberger Grew Up and Became One of the NFL's Great Teammates

    On a sunny summer morning at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex on Pittsburgh's South Side, we find wide receiver Markus Wheaton running a crossing route. He catches a dart from Ben Roethlisberger in an OTA practice...

    Dan Pompei Written by Dan Pompei about 11 months ago 304,550 reads 190 comments