Monthly Archives: September 2013

How much you love me-Chapter Three

How much you love me-Chapter Three

Chapter Three- When pride is in bloom

Sandy was totally caught in big surprise when Alexis holds her face and look at her eyes intently. She thought he is going to kiss her (what a crazy thought) … but Alexis said in a very hard voice…tilting her chin “Just a warning Miss Mendel, stay away from my uncle if you don’t want to get hurt. Little girls usually get burn when they play with fire…”

She almost fell to the ground when Alexis let her go.

He did not even glance back at her.

Sandy felt like her heart was struck with a knife. What in the world she got into. She came here to work not to get involved with anybody. All she wants is to earn that money that she desperately need for her father. She is not dreaming of finding a romance in this strange land. No way.

Sandy was not able to sleep that night. She wished she did not sign that contract. But her feelings are not important. What is more important is that her father will be able to receive proper treatment.

She was crying that night thinking of the future and her parents at home.

She remember her conversation with the doctor who attended her father which was the main reason why she accepted this job. Sandy could still hear the doctor saying: “The chemotherapy can help your father but we cannot give you the assurance how long will he be able to endure the treatment and whether it will improve his health condition.”

“Please help my father doctor… please…” she was crying when she asked the doctor for help at the time.

Her mother on the other hand barely say anything at the time. But Sandy felt that her mother was trying to be brave in that situation. When she decided to reply that employment opportunity Sandy knew that her mother did not want her to go abroad but she insisted.

“We cannot go against the plan of God Sandy. Granted that the chemo will help your father but for how long?”

She knew at the time that her mother was right. God has a purpose in everything but she was so stubborn to follow her own plan and not let God establish his plan for her and her family.

Sandy finally fell asleep with tears in her eyes. The next thing she knew was that there was a loud knocking on the door. She heard somebody asking if she was all right. Sandy replied nervously… “Y–Yes, I am all right. I just had a bad dream.

The bad dream was somebody played a joke on her and saw herself being thrown into the water. She does not know how to swim so she screamed for help. That was when she woke up and heard somebody knocking on the door.

Sandy was bothered by that dream. It was very scary thinking of herself on the water knowing that she could not swim. That was one of the reasons why much to her desire to enjoy the beautiful swimming pool of Villa Andreas that she stayed away from it.

Days had passed. Sandy found herself get attached to Yalena. Their relationship is more of good friends than a caregiver and an employer. She also found out that Yalena was not really a bad person as what her bestfriend Lora told her even before she accepted this job. Another thing also that puzzled Alexandra was that since she arrived in Athens she did not hear anything from Lora. She called Lora’s phone but no answer. It is not natural for Lora to ignore her call even when she was still in the Philipppines they maintained their communication with each other.

Sandy found herself so alone and so lonely. The feeling of being homesick was so strong that she almost said to Yalena that she wanted to go home.

One day Vasilli made an effort to approach Alexandra and extended an invitation to go out with him for dinner. That was her day off. Sandy accepted that invitation innocently because she felt so alone. She asked permission from Yalena if she can spend her day off with a friend and be back before dark.

Yalena did not know that it was Vassilli who invited her to dinner.

Vassilli took her to a famous restaurant in Athens. Vassilli was a gentleman as she found out and was fun to be with which is a total contrast of Alexis. “Why am I thinking about that nasty man?” Sandy thought.

“Is something wrong Alexandra?”

“No, nothing Mr. Vassilli. And please call me Sandy.” Sandy replied with a forced smile.

“Very well then, Sandy. We don’t have to be so formal anyway. Please call me Vassilli.”

“Okay V-Vassilli.”

“Here’s to our friendship Sandy!” Vassilli offered a toast to Sandy.

They spent that whole day in sight seeing and Sandy really enjoyed that dinner with Vassilli. She thought that was a nice day spent with somebody who was a good guide and very attractive man… and an important man she added.

Two days later after that outing with Vassilli, Sandy was summoned at the office of Alexis. Sandy’s heart was beating rapidly. What is wrong this time? She tapped the door nervously. “Be at peace Alexandra… for goodness sake…!” She was trying to calm herself silently which to her really sounds crazy.

“Come in!” was the abrupt reply from Alexis.

Sandy opened the door and found Alexis standing at the window looking outside. He did not even spare a glance at her. “Please close the door Alexandra.” Alexis said in a tone of voice that Sandy could not tell whether he was angry or tired.

Sandy closed the door and lean on it. Then Alexis face her and motion her to sit down. She sat down hesitantly. Alexis did not say anything but just looking at her and Sandy could not sustain that look. It confused her.

“So you went out with Vassilli?” Alexis asked softly.

Sandy just nodded.

“Where is your voice Alexandra?” Suddenly the atmosphere seemed like full of fire.

“Yes! And what is wrong with that?” Sandy asked bewilderedly.

“Everything is wrong!” Alexis thundered.

“That was during my day off!” Sandy said defensively.

“I already warned you Alexandra. Stay away from Vassilli.” Alexis said firmly.”Do I have to spell it for you or are you just so desperate to find a rich man to supply your needs?” Vassilli added sarcastically.

Sandy felt her blood pressure went up to two hundred. She felt like exploding upon hearing that very hurtful and insulting remark from Alexis. She was not able to hold her temper this time and slapped Alexis.

It was too late when she realized what she just did.

Instead of slapping her back, Alexis grabbed her and kissed her brutally. But that was just a split seconds. The kiss suddenly became so tender and probing that Sandy felt like wax in the arms of Alexis.

“How dare you…!” Sandy was crying.

Alexis could not say anything. He was shocked of what he did and what he discovered.

But instead of apologizing he said harshly “Get out Alexandra! Now!”

Sandy was crying when she left the office of Alexis. She did not even know that Amina was in the doorway standing and watching her leave the office.

Alexis was still in a shock of that discovery how Alexandra felt in his arms. He could not explain why he kissed her like that. He intends to punish her but he ended up liking to kiss her tenderly like a long lost lover.

“NO! I will not be fooled twice!” Alexis hit the table with his hands.

Amina who just came in was also surprised. “What happened Alexis?”

“Nothing! Will you please knock before you enter somebody’s office Amina?” Alexis said angrily.

“Why are you suddenly mad at me?” Amina asked tearfully.

“I am not in the mood to entertain anybody right now my “dear” cousin. So if you will excuse me… I have plenty of things to do and please lock the door on your way out.” Alexis said and started reading the pile of folders infront of him.

Amina felt strong resentment. “She made you angry, am I right?”

“No, Amina. You are the one who made me angry… so please leave me alone so I can finish these documents, okay?” Alexis said patiently.

“Why are you so mean to me and you are so nice to that mouse?”Amina asked with full of resentment over Alexandra.

“I-I’m sorry Amina. You see… I am so busy right now.”

You are not angry with me, aren’t you?” Amina asked.

“No, I am not.” Alexis smiled.

Alexis was not able to avoid the bold kiss that Amina deposited on his lips and then ran away like a kid.

Alexis could not help thinking again of Alexandra. There is so much warmth in those lips. He felt his whole body was in fire while he held her in his arms. “You are going crazy Alexis. Why did you kiss her anyway?” he whispered.

Alexis was too proud to acknowledge what he felt at the time for Alexandra. That was just plain chemistry.

Sandy was too embarrassed of what had happened. But she thank the Lord that nobody saw her and Alexis when he kissed her.

But she was wrong. Out in the window at the other side of the mansion, Vassilli was watching them from his room. Vassilli felt that rage of jealousy that he never felt before.

Yalena on the other hand was talking to Vassilli. “What is your intention Vassilli? Alexandra is not your type. You should stay away from her.”

“Is there something wrong in spending the day together maman? Does it really matter so much if I chose to invite your caregiver for dinner? I thought I was being nice to her.” said Vassilli trying to reason out to his mother.

“You are not being nice to her Vassilli. You are attracted to her! Am I right?”asked Yalena boldly.

“What? Maman… what makes you think that?”

“You love competition my son. I know you because you are my own blood. But I am telling you to stay away from Alexandra. Don’t hurt her. She is too innocent to be deceived by your charm.” Yalena said forcefully.

That left Vassilli speechless. He is not sure whether he just wanted to compete with Alexis but he could not explain either why he was thinking of Alexandra.

After that confrontation with Alexis, Sandy did not hear anything from him and did not even see him even once at Villa Andreas. Then one day the unexpected happened. Yalena collapsed while they were walking in the garden. Sandy called for help. Vassilli came and carried Yalena to her room and called the doctor right away. Sandy did not know what to do. She praised God that the doctor came right away and treated Yalena.

Yalena almost died with that heart attack. She is in a very frail condition that really needs close monitoring and care. Sandy was at her side day and night.

Yalena woke up with Sandy on the bedside.

“Sandy…”

“Ms. Yalena… Thank God you are awake now. Do you want something to eat?” asked Sandy.

Yalena was smiling at her. “Hmmm…. I think you are the one who needs to eat something dear. You look like you have not eaten for days.”

Sandy could not say no… she would be lying then. How did Yalena guessed she did not know.

“I am fine Ms. Yalena.” Sandy said with her usual big smile.

“You can’t fool me child. Get something to eat and please call Alexis. I need to talk to him.”

Sandy was about to say yes but Alexis just came in with flowers and fruits for his grandmother.

Sandy left the room silently after nodding at Yalena. She did not even looked at Alexis.

Sandy went out to the garden for a walk. She did not know what transpired in that room but it seemed that since that day Alexis kissed her… she is not ready yet to face the man.

In the room Yalena thanked Alexis for the fruits and the flowers. “Where have you been these days Alexis? You have not visited here for quite a while. Were you so busy that you cannot visit your grandmother even once in a week?”Yalena asked.

“Yes, I was so busy maman. Anyway, I trust that your caregiver has been very kind to you. So what happened? I thought Ms. Mendel should have known better that you are not fit to have a long walk in the garden!” Alexis said with a tone of voice that put the blame on Alexandra for what happened to Yalena.

“That was not her fault Alexis. I was the one who wanted to walk.”

“But she should not let you…”

“Do you think she can stop me if I wanted to walk around?” Asked Yalena.

Alexis was not able to reply. She knew her grandmother so well. She is very stubborn.

“Don’t blame it on her. I am very glad that you came because I want you to call my lawyer Alexis. I have some things to discuss with him. I am not sure what the future holds but I want to be prepared and I want everything to be in order.”

“Maman!”

“Please don’t argue with me. I am just being practical.”

“But…” Alexis was about to reason but Yalena cut him off.

“No buts. Just do what I want you to do for me please…”

That ends the conversation. Alexis left and when he came back he had with him the family lawyer which arouse the curiosity of Amina and Vassilli who are both thinking of Yalena’s “Will.”

Outlook for the 2011 Cincinnati Bengals

Outlook for the 2011 Cincinnati Bengals
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Rookie wide receiver A.J. Green (Georgia) is expected to start right away and could win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
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Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton is about to become the new face of the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Cincinnati Bengals were 4-12 last season and tied for the second worst record in the NFL. The Bengals were in a lot of games, but made mistakes at critical points in games and it resulted in a poor season. However, the Bengals did become a better passing team, but it came at the cost of their run game.

This season, the Bengals want to rebuild their team by focusing on their run game since their Terrell Owens isn’t coming back and Carson Palmer apparently wants nothing to do with the Bengals.

In the 2011 NFL Draft, the Bengals addressed their wide receiver issues by selecting a playmaker in A.J. Green (Georgia) with their first-round pick. In the second-round, the Bengals found their new future quarterback in Andy Dalton (TCU).

With the addition of their rookies, let’s take a look at the Bengals’ current roster and see what positions are still in need of upgrades.

Quarterbacks (4)

Andy Dalton, Jordan Palmer, Dan LeFevour, Carson Palmer

Rookie Andy Dalton (TCU) is expected to receive the “bulk” of the snaps in training camp, but could end up as a backup to whomever the Bengals the bring in from free agency. Dalton isn’t ready to start this early because he hasn’t spent any time with the coaches, due to the Lockout. If Dalton were to start, the Bengals would be looking at a losing season with no more than five wins because Dalton would be overwhelmed with the differences in the NFL and College style of play. Dalton would struggle because the NFL playbooks are much bigger, their defensive players are much better and the media will be all over him if and when he messes up.

Jordan Palmer is a tendered restricted free agent, but will remain with the team with a possible chance to start if the Bengals can’t find a stopgap veteran and Andy Dalton proves that he isn’t ready to lead the team. However, Palmer has completed 10 of his 15 career pass attempts for 59 yards and 2 interceptions while in backup duty, so it remains doubtful that he would have success as a starting quarterback. If the Bengals are able land a quarterback in free agency, Palmer would be relegated to competing for the third quarterback job with Dan LeFevour, with the loser getting cut.

Dan LeFevour was productive as a college quarterback at Central Michigan but lacks NFL-caliber arm strength. LeFevour has drawn comparisons to Chad Pennington by ESPN NFL Draft Guru Mel Kiper, but will need to play like him in order to make the Bengals roster as their third quarterback.

Carson Palmer told the Bengals after the 2010 season that he wanted to be traded or he would retire. Palmer has grown frustrated with the Bengals’ struggles and wants a fresh start somewhere else. Palmer threw for 3,970 yards, 26 touchdowns and 20 interceptions last season, but his team finished with the second worst record in the NFL and it’s obvious that the Bengals are not going to be able to compete with the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011. The Bengals will eventually have to give in to Palmer’s trade demands because he is scheduled to make $11.5 million and will be a disruption in the locker room if he drops his retirement talk. Potential suitors for Palmer include: the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Redskins.

Free Agent Analysis:

Let’s pretend that Carson Palmer is on the Bengals roster. Their three quarterbacks would be Andy Dalton, Jordan Palmer, and Dan LeFevour. None of those quarterbacks has any starting experience in the NFL and that would leave the Bengals with a scary situation heading into Opening Day. Dalton needs a veteran former starting quarterback to help him deal with the everyday life in the NFL and career backups J. Palmer and LeFevour don’t know what it’s like to be the face of a franchise. Dalton is going to need a lot of help, especially since the Bengals have a new offensive coordinator and it will be a learning process for the whole offense. Potential Free Agents that could start for the Bengals immediately include: Marc Bulger, Matt Hasselbeck, J.P. Losman, and Alex Smith

Halfbacks (3)

Bernard Scott, Cedric Peerman, Jay Finley

Bernard Scott probably won’t be the starter in 2011 because he is not durable enough to handle the full time duties of a starter. Cedric Benson is expected to resign, but if he doesn’t the Bengals are expected to bring in other free agents. Scott had 61 carries for 299 yards and 1 touchdown in 2010. Scott averaged 4.9 yards per carry, but is more of a complementary back like Darren Sproles. Expect Scott to receive more carries and have a role as a third down back in 2011.

Cedric Peerman is an asset on special teams, but will end up competing for the third-string halfback job with Jay Finley. Peerman had 2 carries for 1 yard in 2010 and will need a strong preseason to remain on the Bengals.

Rookie Jay Finley (Baylor) became a starter in his senior year and had 195 carries for 1,218 yards and 12 touchdowns in his final season. Finley averaged 6.3 yards per carry and showed impressive patience and burst, but he is not a tackle-breaker or a homerun threat. Finley’s size (5’11’’, 208 pounds) and lack of speed make it unlikely that he’ll ever be a starter, but he should be able to beat out Cedric Peerman as the third-string halfback.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati needs a starting-caliber running back because Bernard Scott is too small (5’10’’, 197 pounds) to be counted on as the featured back of the Bengals. Cedric Benson is expected to resign with Bengals, but if that somehow doesn’t work out, the Bengals will need to look in the free agent market for their answer. Potential Free Agents include: Joseph Addai, Ahmad Bradshaw, Ronnie Brown, Michael Bush, Brian Westbrook, and DeAngelo Williams

Fullback (3)

Fui Vakapuna, Chris Pressley, James Develin

Fui Vakapuna was expected to be Cedric Benson’s lead blocker last season, but came down with a shoulder injury before Opening Day and was waived as a result. Vakapuna will get another chance in 2011 and should be able to beat out Chris Pressley as the Bengals’ starting fullback.

Chris Pressley is a good run blocker, but could become Fui Vakapuna’s backup, because Vakapuna is better at catching the football and if Dalton is named the starting quarterback, he is going to need backs to check down to as he steadily develops into a quarterback.

James Develin played on the defensive line and at linebacker in the Cleveland Browns’ rookie minicamp last year, but is listed as a fullback on the Bengals roster. Assuming it’s not a typo, Develin can considered a development project that will likely end up back on the Bengals’ practice squad in 2010.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati is probably going to start Fui Vakapuna at fullback since he would’ve started last year if not for a shoulder injury. If Vakapuna were to get hurt, Chris Pressley could easily take over.

Wide Receivers (8)

Chad Ochocinco, A.J. Green, Jordan Shipley, Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell, Quan Cosby, Shay Hodge, Ryan Whalen

Chad Ochocinco is in the final year of his contract, but is expected to be released once the Lockout ends because the Bengals are tired of his antics and believe that he doesn’t have the passion for football anymore. Once released, Ochocinco could have a bunch of suitors, but would likely sign with the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, or New York Jets.

Rookie A.J. Green (Georgia) is the favorite to become the Bengals’ No. 1 receiver in 2011, assuming Chad Ochocinco gets released. Green scored 23 touchdowns in 27 career college starts and his difference-making deep threat ability should allow him to help quarterback Andy Dalton develop into a NFL quarterback.

Jordan Shipley had 52 receptions for 600 yards and 3 touchdowns as a rookie last season. It was a very productive season for the slot receiver, whose role is likely to expand. Shipley had a concussion mid-season last year, but bounced back the week after by setting career highs for a game with 6 receptions for 131 yards.

Jerome Simpson will become the Bengals No. 2 receiver, assuming Chad Ochocinco is let go. Simpson was the Bengals fifth receiver last season and appeared in only 5 games, but had 20 receptions for 277 yards and 3 touchdowns. Simpson didn’t receive playing time at the beginning of the season because he struggled to grasp the old playbook. Simpson should be able to handle the new playbook this year though because he met with new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden immediately after the Super Bowl.

Andre Caldwell was the Bengals fourth receiver last year and appeared in 15 games last season. Caldwell had 25 receptions for 345 yards, but closed out the season in a strong fashion. Caldwell should receive the same role next season, assuming Chad Ochocinco is let go.

Quan Cosby made the team as a punt returner last season, but may become expendable in 2011. As a receiver, Cosby only had 2 receptions for 16 yards, so the chances that he’ll be back are slim because he didn’t do that well as a punt returner in 2010, averaging 7.5.

Shay Hodge went undrafted last season, but made the Bengals’ practice squad and was promoted for the Bengals’ last game of the season. Hodge didn’t play the last game, but he might be given a chance to make the 2011 team because he was A.J. Green’s teammate at the University of Georgia. Green is going to be a key member of the Bengals and if they can make him feel comfortable, it should help Green make an easier transition to the NFL.

Rookie Ryan Whalen (Stanford) is a possession receiver, but his 4.62 forty time and his size (6’1’’, 202 pounds), suggest that he won’t have much of a role in the Bengals’ offense. Whalen will probably end up on the practice squad, but could find his niche as a special teamer.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati doesn’t need any wide receivers since they are in rebuilding mode.

Tight End (3)

Jermaine Gresham, Chase Coffman, Garrett Mills

Jermaine Gresham had 52 receptions for 471 yards and 4 touchdowns. Gresham showed the ability to be a dominant tight end, but he was inconsistent with his blocking, route-running, and pass catching in his rookie season. Gresham’s struggles were to be expected though because he was a rookie, but his fundamentals should get better as he becomes more familiar with NFL’s style of play.

Chase Coffman appeared in six games in 2010 and only had 3 receptions for 30 yards. Chase Coffman added more muscle in 2010 could be developing into a better blocker. The Bengals are going to be switching their offensive plan and will be utilizing the run more, so Coffman’s blocking skills could ultimately decide how long he lasts with the team.

Garrett Mills is a former fullback that converted into a tight end. Mills played 7 games for the Bengals in 2010, but only had 2 receptions for 19 yards. As a former fullback, Mills knows how to run block, which should help him earn a place on the Bengals’ roster.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati has three young tight ends and two of them are proven blockers. The Bengals’ tight ends should be good enough to help block outside blitzes and run block which should enable the Bengals to go along with their plan of running the ball more to ease quarterback Andy Dalton into the NFL.

O-Line (11)

Andrew Whitworth, Clint Boling, Kyle Cook, Bobbie Williams, Anthony Collins, Andre Smith, Reggie Stephens, Dennis Roland, Andrew Mitchell, Otis Hudson, Andrew Gardner

Andrew Whitworth allowed only 1.5 sacks last season, but committed 13 penalties as well. Whitworth is quickly becoming one of the best left tackles in the game, but if he wants to make a Pro Bowl, he’ll have to cut down on his penalties.

Rookie Clint Boling (Georgia) has the potential to become a solid pass-protecting guard, but should begin the 2011 season as Nate Living’s backup, assuming Livings resigns as expected.

Kyle Cook is an above-average run blocker and should be the Bengals’ starting center for the next few years.

Bobbie Williams has missed just three games over the last six years and has excelled in both run and pass blocking. Williams is 34 years old, but he is still in good shape and playing at a high level, so the Bengals have nothing to be concerned about just yet.

Anthony Collins should enter the season as a starter because the Bengals have a 7-2 record and average 110 rushing yards per game when he starts. Andre Smith was drafted to be the future right tackle of the Bengals, but Anthony Collins has severely outplayed them.

Andre Smith fractured his fifth metatarsal in his left food last November and remained in a walking boot 7 months after his surgery. Smith might be healthy by opening day, but given that this is the same foot that he broke in 2009, the Bengals better start Anthony Collins instead to Smith more time to recover.

Reggie Stephens made the practice squad last season, but his ability to play guard or center and his versatility should him a spot on the Bengals roster in 2011.

Dennis Roland is a restricted free agent and is expendable given his inconsistencies as a right tackle for the Bengals. Roland should remain with the team until cut down day, but unless he is able to show the Bengals that he has improved his game, Roland stands to be one of the players most likely to be cut.

Andrew Mitchell is a 6’5’’, 311 pound tackle with the potential to make a very good backup to Andre Smith. He’ll be competing with Dennis Roland for the last tackle spot on the team.

Otis Hudson and Andrew Gardner both signed reserve/future contracts and both will need strong preseasons if either of them stands a chance to make the team.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati is going to resign Nate Livings and they should be set after that.

D-Line (9)

Carlos Dunlap, Domata Peko, Tank Johnson, Antwan Odom, Geno Atkins, Robert Geathers, Pat Sims, Frostee Rucker, Clinton McDonald

Carlos Dunlap set the Bengals’ rookie record with 9.5 sacks last season. Dunlap played in a nickel role at the beginning of the season, but eventually earned more playing time and recorded all of his sacks over the final eight weeks. Dunlap will start at left end, since he is the Bengals’ most talented pass rusher, but he needs to work on his fundamentals and cutting down on mental mistakes.

Domata Peko had 42 tackles and .5 sacks as one of the Bengals’ captains last year. Peko is known as a run stopping defensive tackle, so the low number in sacks should be expected.

Tank Johnson had 10 tackles and zero sacks in seven games, but his season ended early with an injury to his right knee. Johnson is on thin ice and needs a strong training camp or he might lose his starting job to Geno Atkins. Atkins is a better pass rusher and certainly deserves the job, but Johnson has experience and is better against the run.

Antwan Odom has potential when he’s healthy, but an Achilles tear has hurt his production since he put up 8 sacks in just six games in 2009. Odom is set to make $4.5 million in 2011 and has only played in 21 games in his three-stint with the team, but he won’t get cut unless he struggles in training camp. Assuming Odom can bounce back to his former dominating self, the Bengals pass rush will be a force to be reckoned with

Geno Atkins appeared in all 16 games last season and had 3 sacks in a rotational role. Atkins ability to get to the quarterback should potentially allow him to replace Tank Johnson in the starting lineup.

Robert Geathers will play a rotational role as of now, but his $3.95 million contract is high for a backup. Either Geathers or Odom will be released, and while Geathers only had 1 sack in 16 starts last season, Odom’s injury history might keep Geathers on the roster.

Pat Sims is in the final year of his contract and is entering 2011 as a rotational defensive tackle. In 2010, Sims started 8 of the 14 games he appeared in and had 31 tackles and a career high 2.5 sacks. Sims is a nose tackle and might finally be developing some pass rushing moves. If Sims can get to the quarterback more in training camp, he could unseat Tank Johnson as a starter.

Frostee Rucker has three sacks over his four-year career in Cincinnati, but won’t be cut just yet because he is only scheduled to make $1.25 million. If Rucker has a weak training camp though, the media could influence the Bengals to get rid of him.

Clinton McDonald spent most of last season on the practice squad, but was promoted when Tank Johnson went down with an injury. McDonald is in the final year of his contract and if he doesn’t perform for the Bengals in training camp, it might be his last chance to play in the NFL.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati is set at defensive line and will likely be cutting a few players to save more cap room.

Linebackers (7)

Keith Rivers, Rey Maualuga, Michael Johnson, Roddrick Muckelroy, Dontay Moch, Vincent Rey, Dan Skuta

Keith Rivers finished second on the Bengals with 77 tackles despite playing most of the season with plantar fasciitis. Rivers also had 1 sack, but needs to work on his coverage skills. Rivers is only 25 years old and still has room to grow, but his improvement in stopping the run is encouraging.

Rey Maualuga is motivated for the 2011 season because his Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer called him “extremely average” Maualuga is also going to be switching to middle linebacker and the extra responsibilities that he’ll be given should help him become a better player.

Michael Johnson spent last offseason learning how to be linebacker, but Johnson was called upon to play defensive end because Antwan Odom had struggled since coming off his Achilles tear. Johnson flashed difference-making pass rushing ability in a situational role in preseason last year and the Bengals want to blitz more in 2011. Johnson will be ripe for the picking in coverage, but by him moving to strong-side linebacker, Rey Maualuga will be able to replace Dhani Jones. However, if Odom were to struggle again, Johnson would likely shift back to defensive end and another linebacker would step in.

Roddrick Muckelroy should step into the fourth linebacker role for the Bengals this season after playing in the goal-line package last season. Muckelroy rewarded the Bengals with two goal-line stands in his limited role and with a strong preseason, he could potentially change the Bengals’ coaching staff’s minds about moving Rey Maualuga to middle linebacker.

Rookie Dontay Moch (Nevada) will receive a situational role on defense and a huge role on special teams as a gunner. Moch’s size and speed (4.44 in the forty) will give him a huge advantage in punt coverage and be a nightmare for opposing teams’ returners.

Vincent Rey was promoted from the practice squad late last season, but only played on special teams. Rey had 3 tackles in two games last season, but should be able to secure a backup job considering that the Bengals are currently thin at linebacker.

Dan Skuta appeared in all 16 games last season and had 16 tackles and 1 forced fumble. Skuta played special teams primarily, but managed to start one game as well. Skuta obviously won’t start in 2011, but should be able to land at least a backup role.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati should resign Brandon Johnson once the resigning period starts. Johnson was Keith Rivers’ backup last season, but could potentially switch over to the strong-side linebacker position and compete for the starting job. Dhani Jones is getting older and the Bengals are in rebuilding mode, so it appears as though they’re willing to let him go. The Bengals aren’t expecting to make the playoffs in 2011 and want Rey Maualuga to get comfortable at middle linebacker.

Cornerbacks (7)

Leon Hall, Pacman Jones, Morgan Trent, Jonathan Wade, Brandon Ghee, Korey Lindsey, Rico Murray

Leon Hall is the Bengals’ top cover cornerback and is in the last year of his contract. Hall is currently one of the most underrated cornerbacks in the NFL and has made 58 starts in his first four seasons with a franchise-best 18 interceptions. Hall never receives any attention though because he plays for Cincinnati, but that could all change next year as he can expect a huge pay raise over the $3,037,500 he will make in 2011.

Pacman Jones should start opposite Leon Hall in 2011, assuming that the Bengals don’t bring in another cornerback and that Jones doesn’t get suspended. Jones was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest on July 10 and is scheduled to appear in court on July 18. If found guilty, Jones could lose a whole lot more as he is a repeat offender and would be facing another lengthy suspension by the NFL, possibly even a lifetime ban.

Jonathan Wade was burnt as a starting cornerback for the Lions, but held his own in his in his first start with the Bengals on Thanksgiving against the Jets. Wade faced Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes in man coverage, but did well enough to earn two more starts after. Wade could potentially be counted on as a starter if the Bengals opt to not sign any in free agency.

Morgan Trent was placed on injured reserve last season with a knee injury that he suffered back in Week 9. Trent has been a nickel and dime cornerback in his two season with the Bengals, but isn’t ready to challenge as a starter just yet. Trent is signed cheaply through 2012 and should resume the same role in 2011, assuming that he recovers.

Brandon Ghee had 9 tackles in six appearances last season, but could compete for the nickel job. Ghee possesses size (6’0’’, 190 pounds), speed (4.45 forty time) and athleticism, but lacks the ball skills and instincts to be a starter.

Rookie Korey Lindsey (Southern Illinois) is an underrated prospect with NFL ability and could possibly challenge for a nickel role. He has solid technique and showed great playmaking ability with his 14 career interceptions in college. Lindsey has even showed a willingness to stop the run, so he could potentially become a steal in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Rico Murray landed on injured reserve near the end of last season with an ankle injury after being promoted from the practice squad. Murray never made a play in 2010 and could be cut since he is set to make $480,000 and is not going to have any significant contributions.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati won’t be able to resign Jonathan Joseph, and Pacman Jones could get suspended, leaving the Bengals with a huge hole at cornerback. Potential Free Agents include: Phillip Buchanon, Chris Carr, Drayton Florence, Carlos Rodgers, Lito Sheppard, Ike Taylor, and Fabian Washington

Safeties (5)

Reggie Nelson, Chris Crocker, Tom Nelson, Robert Sands, Jeromy Miles

Reggie Nelson made 54 of 57 possible tackles and had 2 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles, while starting 6 of the 16 games he appeared in last season. With the departure of Roy Williams via free agency, Nelson will be counted on to take over the starting free safety job, allowing Chris Crocker to switch over to strong safety. Nelson has starting potential as he showed in his rookie season with the Jaguars when he had 5 interceptions.

Chris Crocker missed the last six games of the season last year due to a torn MCL and PCL, but his recovery has gone smoothly enough that he’d be ready to play “tomorrow” if there were a game. Crocker will move over to strong safety in 2011 and let the faster Reggie Nelson play free safety. Crocker isn’t a ball hawking safety and the move should allow him to be more active against the run. Crocker had 43 tackles and 2 forced fumbles in 2010.

Tom Nelson missed the first 5 games of the season last year with an ankle injury, but was able to secure a special team role. Nelson never received a look when Crocker went down his injuries, so it’s obvious that the Bengals only view him as a backup.

Rookie Robert Sands (West Virginia) struggles to tackle in space and as a result, he will become Reggie Nelson’s backup despite his size (6’4’’, 217 pounds) to play strong safety. Sands showed good speed and great ability to cover ground in college which is why the Bengals feel more comfortable putting him at free safety.

Jeromy Miles made the Bengals practice squad as an undrafted rookie last season, but was later promoted for depth purposes when the Bengals lost Roy Williams and Chris Crocker to injuries. Miles should make the team in 2011, but it’ll be as a backup and probably as a special teamer.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati is set at safety and won’t bring in a high priced upgrade. The Bengals want to remain relatively cheap while they’re in rebuilding mode and want to see how Reggie Nelson and Chris Crocker perform together.

Kicker (2)

Mike Nugent, Clint Stitser

Mike Nugent suffered a torn ACL and MCL last season, but was among the least accurate kickers in the NFL prior to his injuries, converting only 78.9 percent of his field goals. Nugent converted 1 of 3 field goals from 40-49 yards away and 2 of 4 field goals from 50+ yards away. Nugent hasn’t earned anything and the Bengals’ kicker job is up for grabs

Clint Stitser converted 87.5 percent of his field goals but missed a 29-yard field goal as well as 2 extra points last season. Stitser doesn’t deserve to be the Bengals kicker, and will likely be cut.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati needs a kicker since Mike Nugent and Clint Stitser are among the worst kickers in the league. Potential Free Agents include: David Akers, Matt Bryant, Shayne Graham, Ryan Longwell, Olindo Mare, Jeff Reed and Adam Vinateri.

Punter (1)

Kevin Huber

Kevin Huber was among the best punters in the league last season, averaging 42.1 yards per punt with only 6 touchbacks and 28 punts inside the 20-yard line. Huber could become a Pro Bowler in the next few years because the Bengals offense isn’t expected score a lot anytime soon and he’ll be able to become more accurate as a punter.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati has a good punter who is a hometown boy, since he played for the University of Cincinnati.

Long Snapper (1)

Clark Harris

Clark Harris is known for his gloves that he uses when he snaps the ball. Harris is also known for replacing Brad St. Louis in 2009 after St. Louis struggled with his field goal snaps. Since then, Harris has done a remarkable job and has job security going forward.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati doesn’t need to upgrade this position

Kick/Punt Returners (2)

Bernard Scott, Quan Cosby

Bernard Scott averaged 22.4 yards per kick return last season, but likely won’t be the kick returner in 2011 if Bengals’ Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden gives him a bigger role in the offense.

Quan Cosby averaged 7.5 yards per punt return last season and could potentially be stripped of punt return duties. Cosby averaged 11.9 yards per return in 2009, but his drop in production plus the fact that he hasn’t scored a touchdown in his NFL career is why the Bengals will be looking elsewhere on their roster.

Free Agent Analysis:

Cincinnati will search their roster for potential returners and don’t need to look at the free agent market for help.

Bengals Unrestricted Free Agents (14)

Cedric Benson, Jonathan Fanene, Brandon Johnson, Dhani Jones, Johnathan Joseph, Reggie Kelly, Brian Leonard, Nate Livings, Evan Mathis, Chinedum Ndukwe, Terrell Owens, Marvin White, Roy Williams

Cedric Benson is expected to resign with the Bengals as the lead back and Bengals first-year Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden sounds like he’s planning on having Benson on the team next year. “We have to find a way to get the best possible scenarios to get Cedric as many touches as possible without killing him,” said Gruden. In 2010, Benson averaged 3.5 yards per carry and rushed for 1,111 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground. Benson was also more active in the passing game in 2010 and set a career high with 28 receptions and caught his first receiving touchdown in the NFL.

Jonathan Fanene was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, but is said to be the Bengals’ third priority when it comes to resigning players. Fanene had 6 sacks when he replaced Antwan Odom in 2009, but only had 1 tackle in the 2 games that he appeared in last season.

Brandon Johnson was Keith Rivers’ backup last season and could be resigned, but his comments about enjoying the Lockout could hurt him. “I’m actually kind of enjoying my time off,” he said. “I get a lot of family time in, I get to kick it with my friends, and I get to do a lot of traveling. I don’t have to spend eight hours at the stadium.” Cincinnati and other NFL teams will question whether he still loves to play football.

Dhani Jones has missed just three games during his 10-year NFL career and is coming off a season in which he led the Bengals in tackles with 125. Despite his productive season in 2010, the Bengals are in rebuilding mode and were expected to let the 33-year-old walk before the Lockout, so it’s unlikely that the Bengals will resign him.

Jonathan Joseph is 27 years old and is being called the second best cornerback available in the free agent market, behind only Nnamdi Asomugha. Joseph arguably has better ball skills than Asomugha and has flashed potential as a shutdown corner. The Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, and Seattle Seahawks are reportedly the favorites to land Joseph if he doesn’t resign with the Bengals.

HaHHH

Reggie Kelly is not going to resign with the Bengals because he offers nothing in the passing game and was only a mediocre blocker after a torn Achilles wiped out his 2009 season. The Bengals are going back to power football and need blocking specialist tight ends.

Brian Leonard is a four year veteran and was tendered at a second-round level by Cincinnati before the Lockout, so it appears that the Bengals still want to keep him. If resigned, Leonard would probably handle the third-down role again in 2011.

Nate Livings won the starting left guard job last year because Evan Mathis was returning from a foot injury in training camp. As a starter, Livings struggled to protect Carson Palmer, but according to Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander, Livings played well enough to keep his starting job in 2011. Livings has great size at 6’5’’, 332 pounds, but will have to improve his pass protection or he might be relegated to backup duty for the rest of his career.

Evan Mathis won’t be back with the Bengals next season because the Bengals have enough depth at guard, making him expendable. Mathis is a solid run blocker and has flashed talent in spot duty. Mathis won’t be one of the big name free agents this year, but he could have a big impact if he signs with a guard-needy team.

Chinedum Ndukwe wasn’t extended a tender prior to Lockout and is an unrestricted free agent. When a team fails to extend a cheap tender to a player, it usually means they’re set on cutting ties. Ndukwe finished last season on injured reserve with a torn left MCL, but he should be able to find a backup job elsewhere after the Lockout.

Terrell Owens blamed the Bengals’ coaching staff for the team’s offensive struggles and has overstayed his one-year welcome in Cincinnati. Owens had ACL surgery back in April, but should be healthy by Opening Day. Potential buyers won’t need to be concerned with his knee, but T.O.’s influence in the locker room could make some teams hesitate to sign him.

Marvin White was sign late last season to add depth and pitch in on special teams. White could be brought back considering that his price tag is going to be low.

Roy Williams has played in just 19-of-48 games over the past three seasons, and is not expected to return next season. His replacement is going to be Reggie Nelson, who fared better than expected in his first year with the Bengals.

Outlook for the 2011 Detroit Lions

Outlook for the 2011 Detroit Lions
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Calvin Johnson earned a trip to the Pro Bowl last season, but he will need to earn another in 2011 if the Detroit Lions have any hope of making the playoffs.
See all 2 photos
Ndamukong Suh was named the 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year after leading all defensive tackles with 10 sacks.

The Detroit Lions finished third in the NFC North last season with a 6-10 record. The Lions became a pass-heavy team and they lost battle on the ground as a result last year. The Lions lacked a complement to Jahvid Best and they were hit hard with injuries all over their roster.

In an effort to change their losing ways, the Lions decided to keep their coaching staff and if the team can stay healthy, they could have a chance at the postseason.

In the 2011 NFL Draft, the Lions upgraded the defensive line, by selecting Nick Fairley (Auburn) with their first-round pick. In the second-round, the Lions selected a downfield threat in Titus Young (Boise State) and added a complementary back to Jahvid Best with the selection of Mikel Leshoure (Illinois). The rest of the Lions draft was used to fill in the depth chart.

With the addition of their rookies, let’s take a look at the Lions’ current roster and see what positions are still in need of upgrades.

Quarterbacks (3)

Matt Stafford, Shaun Hill, Zac Robinson

Matt Stafford underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason and the operation involved repairing his AC shoulder joint along with having his collarbone “shaved” by Dr. James Andrews. Stafford has fully recovered since the procedure and vows to play 16 games in 2011. In 2010, Stafford completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 535 yards, 6 touchdowns and 1 interception. The Lions plan to throw the ball often in 2011 and if Stafford can stay healthy, he has the potential to have a breakout year.

Shaun Hill underwent back surgery on May 11 to fix a disk problem in his lower back, but should be healthy by now. Hill is in a contract year and has proved to be a capable backup when he had to spot start last season. Hill played in eleven games and completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Zac Robinson joined the Lions last November after they claimed him off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. Robinson is very athletic, but he has weak overall skills for a quarterback. Robinson likely won’t make the roster, but should be able to land a spot on the practice squad.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit is set at starting and backup quarterback. Robinson isn’t the ideal choice to be the Lions’ third-string quarterback, but they have more pressing needs to worry about. However, the Lions could resign Drew Stanton, since he was once seen as the long-term backup to Matt Stafford.

Halfbacks (5)

Jahvid Best, Mikel Leshoure, Maurice Morris, Aaron Brown, Ian Johnson

Jahvid Best is going to be the starter this season because he knows the Lions’ offense and his passing-game skills are crucial to the team’s pass-first system. Best is viewed as a perimeter runner and should also get the majority of the carries because Mikel Leshoure is viewed as a bruiser who will serve as the goal-line back. In 2010, Best averaged 3.3 yards per carry and had 4 touchdowns on the ground to go along with 58 receptions for 487 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air.

Rookie Mikel Leshoure (Illinois) has drawn comparisons to Steven Jackson for his size and burst. The Lions want to use Jahvid Best and Leshoure like the 2008 Tennessee Titans used Chris Johnson and LenDale White. Best figures to be the “get the lead” back and Leshoure will be the “keep the lead” back.

Maurice Morris could get cut because he is set to make $1.625 million, and the Lion’s might not want to pay that much for a third-stringer. Morris has been productive though as he averaged 3.7 yards per carry last season and also had 5 touchdowns

Aaron Brown has had just 44 carries over the last two seasons, but his tenure with the team might be cut short with three solid backs ahead of him on the current roster. His only hope is that the Lions decide to dump salary by getting rid of Maurice Morris’s $1.625 contract.

Ian Johnson signed a reserve/future contract and likely won’t make the team, but practice squad isn’t out of the question for him.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit is set at halfback after using two high draft picks on halfbacks over the last two seasons.

Fullback (3)

Jerome Felton, Jake Nordin, Matt Clapp

Jerome Felton was tender to a contract, but he is unhappy about his role in the Lions’ offense and believes he deserves more carries in 2011. In college, Felton set a school record with 63 career rushing touchdowns. Felton will likely remain a Lion, but he won’t receive many carries with the addition Mikel Leshoure.

Jake Nordin is an exclusive rights free agent, but likely won’t be retained after he suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder last season.

Matt Clapp likely will be cut because he was suspended four games last season for violating an undisclosed league policy. Prior to the suspension, Clapp had been bouncing around practice squads

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit doesn’t need a fullback, but they need to have a discussion with Jerome Felton, to make him happier.

Wide Receivers (8)

Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Titus Young, Derrick Williams, Bryant Johnson, Stefan Logan, Tim Toone, Michael Moore

Calvin Johnson earned his first career Pro Bowl appearance last season with 77 receptions for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns. Megatron became one of the most dominating receivers last year and he should continue to grow on his success in 2011 because he will have more weapons around him and it should take off some double teams.

Nate Burleson encourages the drafting of Titus Young even though Young stands to take away some targets from him. Burleson had 55 receptions for 625 yards and 6 touchdowns last season which is kind of low, considering how many times the Lions passed the ball in 2010. Burleson will still be a No. 2 receiver, but he’ll need to play better for his team to have a shot at the playoffs.

Rookie Titus Young (Boise State) is an explosive playmaker and the Lions will use his downfield playmaking ability to stretch the field and occupy a safety, taking attention away from Calvin Johnson. Young will play outside opposite Calvin Johnson, pushing Nate Burleson into the slot in three-receiver sets.

Derrick Williams hasn’t done much in his two seasons with the Lions and will be on the bubble heading into training camp. Williams was billed as an explosive receiver when he entered the league, but he has yet to produce a score so far.

Bryant Johnson is expected to either be released or take a pay cut once the Lockout is resolved. Johnson is due $3.2 million, but he doesn’t deserve that money because of his lack of production and his tendency to drop passes. Johnson had just 18 receptions for 210 yards in 2010, and it appears that he’ll be looking for a new home.

Stefan Logan is an exclusive rights free agent and will definitely be back as a returner after proving to be one of the league’s top returners in 2010.

Tim Toone and Michael Moore signed reserve/future contracts, but likely won’t make the roster because the Lions have six receivers ahead of them with established roles.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit needs to release Bryant Johnson in order to save more cap room. Once they do that, their receiver position will be set.

Tight End (5)

Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Will Heller, Richard Dickson, Joe Jon Finley

Brandon Pettigrew has dropped 10 pounds since the end of last season and he plans to play 2011 in the 255 range. Pettigrew is hoping that it will help make him a faster tight end and allow him to have the same kind of production he had in 2010. Last season, Pettigrew had 71 receptions for 722 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Tony Scheffler is more of a downfield threat than Brandon Pettigrew, and he should receive an advantage on Pettigrew because Matthew Stafford will be under center and he throws a better deep ball than Shaun Hill. However, the addition of Titus Young will limit the effectiveness of Tony Scheffler because the Lions will use more three-receiver sets and fewer two-tight end formations in 2011.

Will Heller will have a minimal role this season because the Lions are planning to stretch the field and won’t use any three-tight end formations unless they are necessary. Heller is not really a receiving threat, so the only time he might enter a game is on special teams and in goal line situations.

Richard Dickson is probably going to make the practice squad because the Lions have no room for him on their current roster and he won’t beat out any of the three tight ends currently ahead of him.

Joe Jon Finley signed a reserve/future contract, but is going to make the team because the Lions’ top three tight ends are already set.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit is set at this position and their tight ends are perfect for their system because they can catch.

O-Line (10)

Jeff Backus, Rob Sims, Dominic Raiola, Stephen Peterman, Gosder Cherilus, Tony Ugoh, Donald Thomas, Jason Fox, Johnny Culbreath, Dan Gerberry

Jeff Backus has a partially torn pectoral muscle and is expected to miss the beginning of training camp. Backus will be 34 years old in September and has played at a respectable level, but is in the final year of his contract. The Lions need to decide if they want to keep Backus for a few more years or start thinking about a different long-term tackle.

Rob Sims has been a valuable trade acquisition for the Lions ever since they trade a fifth-round pick for him. Sims has solidified a longtime trouble spot at left guard for the Lions with his consistent performance in both the passing and running game.

Dominic Raiola has been mostly durable during his career, but he will be 33 years old in December. Raiola is signed through 2013, but the Lions will need to look for a replacement because although he was successful in their old zone-blocking scheme, Raiola will struggle as he gets older when the Lions ask him to power block.

Stephen Peterman played last season with a torn muscle on the ball of his right foot. The injury did not require surgery, but it did cause him “constant pain” throughout the 2010 season. If he can return healthy, it will do wonders for the Lions’ struggling running game.

Gosder Cherilus underwent surgery in the past two offseasons, but his most recent was on a knee injury and it required microfracture surgery. Cherilus participated in the Lions’ player-organized workouts and was reportedly “moving well”, so it appears that he should be able to build off of his promising 2010 campaign.

Tony Ugoh is a former Indianapolis Colt, but never developed as a NFL blindside tackle. Ugoh was a second-round pick, but has been considered a bust so far. The Lions signed Ugoh in December last season to give them more depth after they suffered significant injuries in their offensive line. Ugoh has the potential to become the Lions’ starting right tackle, but that’ll depend on the health of Gosder Cherilus.

Donald Thomas signed with the Lions in late November last season after Stephen Peterman went down with a foot injury. Thomas was a former starter as a Miami Dolphin, but he wasn’t active for any games in 2010. Thomas should make a solid backup in 2011 as he will have a better knowledge of the Lions’ playbook.

Jason Fox was a four-year starter in college, but will be a backup on the Lions for now. Fox has upside with his athleticism and size (6’7’’, 303 pounds), but he lacks the ideal strength of an NFL tackle. Fox had a minor knee surgery as a rookie last season and didn’t play until Week 17, so while he won’t start, he should be give the opportunity to compete for the Lions’ swing tackle behind Jeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus.

Rookie Johnny Culbreath (South Carolina State) has great size (6’5’’, 322 pounds) and athleticism (4.92 forty), but is considered a developmental project. Culbreath won the 2009 Lineman of the Year Award in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, but the talent in that conference isn’t nearly as good as the pros.

Dan Gerberry signed a reserve/future contract, but likely won’t make the roster as the Lions are expected to bring in another veteran backup via free agency.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit has two starting tackles that are coming off of injuries and remain question marks heading into the season. Tony Ugoh is unproven as a starter and the Lions can’t settle for uncertainties if they believe they have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs. Potential Free Agents include: Khalif Barnes, Alex Barron, Sean Locklear, Barry Sims, Langston Walker, and Ray Willis

D-Line (10)

Kyle Vanden Bosch, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Cliff Avril, Corey Williams, Lawrence Jackson, Sammie Lee Hill, Willie Young, Andre Fluellen, Barry Turner

Kyle Vanden Bosch had two vertebrae in his spinal cord fused together in early December last season, and figures to see a decrease in snaps in 2011. Vanden Bosch played in eleven games last season and he had 49 tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles, but he also gave the Lions so much more. In addition to helping lead the Lions’ player-organized workouts; he is being viewed as the “turning point” in the team’s attitude and improved play last season.

Ndamukong Suh was named the 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year after leading all the NFL defensive tackles with 10 sacks. Suh has great potential and could become one of the greatest defensive tackles all-time, but he needs to work on having more of an impact against the run.

Rookie Nick Fairley (Auburn) will play in a three-man rotation with Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams at defensive tackle. On passing downs, Fairley and Williams will play at defensive tackle and Suh will move to defensive end. Fairley is a good pass rusher and ranked seventh in the nation with 11.5 sacks last season.

Cliff Avril is hoping to get a long-term extension from the Lions after recording 8.5 sacks in just 13 games last season. Avril is a three-year player and received a first- and third-round tender, but he isn’t planning on signing the $3.3 million tender. If the Lions can lock up Cliff Avril long-term, they could have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL over the next few seasons.

Corey Williams only had 2 sacks in 16 starts last year and as a result the Lions went and drafted Nick Fairley to improve their pass rush. Williams’ role will decrease in 2011, but he will still see a lot of snaps since Ndamukong Suh will move over to defensive end in passing situations.

Lawrence Jackson was on the bench in the first half of last season, but he flashed both run-plugging and pass-rushing ability in November and December. Jackson won’t start, but he will be a viable rotational end and should be the player that gives Kyle Vanden Bosch a breather.

Sammie Lee Hill was well above average in pushing the pocket and stopping the run last season. Hill was just a situational run-stuffer last year, but his emergence could eventually make Corey Williams expendable. Expect Hill’s role to be reduced in 2011 though because Nick Fairley is going to take away both Hill and Williams’ playing time.

Willie Young only appeared in 2 games last season, but he had no impact in those games. Young is a former seventh round pick and will have to compete for the Lions’ final defensive end spot.

Andre Fluellen tendered a contract prior to the Lockout, but the Lions will probably release him because they have four defensive tackles ahead of him.

Barry Turner signed with the Lions last December after Kyle Vanden Bosch went down with an injury. Turner is a mediocre prospect and likely won’t make the team due to the Lion’s amazing depth.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit has one of the best defensive lines in the NFL and doesn’t need to sign anyone.

Linebackers (7)

Zack Follett, DeAndre Levy, Ashlee Palmer, Jordan Dizon, Caleb Campbell, Doug Hogue, Isaiah Ekejiuba

Zack Follett originally thought his career was over thanks to a degenerative neck ailment, but has apparently found some optimism. If he can pass a physical, he should be able to make the Lions as a reserve linebacker and as a special teamer. Follett is only listed as a starter because he has starting experience and because he’s a better option than anyone else on the current roster.

DeAndre Levy is expected to be the Lions’ middle linebacker in 2011 after playing hurt all of last season. When healthy, Levy is a good run stopper, but he needs to work on his coverage skills. In 2010, Levy recorded 72 tackles, 2 interceptions and 1 touchdown in just eleven games.

Ashlee Palmer is expected to compete with Bobby Carpenter (once he’s resigned) for an outside linebacker job. Palmer received 5 starts last season, but recorded 55 tackles, 1 sack and 3 forced fumbles in 16 games.

Jordan Dizon likely won’t make the Lions roster after tearing his PCL and ACL and damaging his MCL in the 2010 preseason. Dizon has a long journey ahead of him, but it’s doubtful that he can beat out the other players on the roster.

Caleb Campbell had 3 tackles as a special teamer after spending most of his time on the practice squad last season. The Lions are thin at linebacker, so it would appear his job is safe, but he won’t get a chance to become a starter.

Rookie Doug Hogue (Syracuse) is extremely athletic and is excellent in space, but he is still considered a raw prospect. Hogue needs to add bulk and must improve his coverage skills after frequently getting caught out of position in college. Hogue will be a backup in 2011, but he has plenty of upside.

Isaiah Ekejiuba is a career special teamer and should make the roster in that same role in 2011.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit is very young at linebacker and besides needing two starters, they need experience. The Lions plan to resign Bobby Carpenter, but Landon Johnson or anybody for that matter, would be the better option. Potential Free Agents include: Keith Bullock, Danny Clark, Thomas Davis, LeRoy Hill, Ben Leber, Kawika Mitchell, Mike Peterson, and Pisa Tinoisamoa

Cornerbacks (5)

Alphonso Smith, Nathan Vasher, Aaron Berry, Jack Williams, Prince Miller

Alphonso Smith emerged as a starter last season, but after he picked off a team-high five interceptions, his play began to slip and it started when Tom Brady torched him on Thanksgiving. Smith will start in 2011 unless the Lions are able to resign Chris Houston and sign a starting-caliber free agent.

Nathan Vasher is a starter on the current roster, but once free agency begins, he will likely be relegated to competing for the nickel job. Vasher used to be a starter for the Chicago Bears, but in his first season with the Lions, he only made five starts, producing just 19 tackles and 1 interception.

Aaron Berry played in just one game last season, but he recorded 3 tackles and 1 interception before suffering right shoulder injury that would require surgery. Berry had been in a competition for the nickel job prior to his injury, but he likely will be competing for the fourth corner spot.

Jack Williams missed all of 2010 after tearing his ACL in Week 10 of the 2009 season. Williams would’ve played sooner, but he had scar tissue that built up, preventing him full range of motion in his knee. However, Williams is healthy and has now been cleared for all football activities and should be in the mix for a backup cornerback job this summer.

Prince Miller made 8 tackles last season, appearing in just four games as a sub-package corner and as a special teamer. Miller will compete for the fifth corner spot and possibly as a punt returner.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit needs a shutdown corner if they are going to have any chance of making the playoffs. Resigning Chris Houston would give the Lions a solid No. 2 corner, but they need to sign a starting caliber corner so they can move Alphonso Smith into the nickel role. Potential Free Agents include: Nnamdi Asomugha, Chris Carr, Antonio Cromartie, Jonathan Joseph, Richard Marshall, Carlos Rogers, Ike Taylor, and Josh Wilson.

Safeties (5)

Louis Delmas, Erik Coleman, Randy Phillips, Amari Spievey, Paul Pratt

Louis Delmas played all of last season with a groin injury, but he was still able to lead the team with 84 tackles while also contributing 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Delmas has since recovered and has participated in the teams’ player-organized activities without any limitation.

Erik Coleman was a seven-year starter before losing his job to William Moore last season. Coleman has always been a productive tackler, but he is a coverage liability and hasn’t intercepted a pass since 2008. Coleman will be an upgrade over the Lions’ safeties from last year, but he will eventually get replaced by Amari Spievey once Spievey learns the nuances of the position.

Randy Phillips was an undrafted free agent last season, but that was because of a torn right labrum that made him miss the entire 2009 season. Phillips figures to be the Lions’ backup free safety this season after last years’ safeties proved to be incapable of producing when given the opportunity.

Amari Spievey was inconsistent in his first season as a strong safety, but he didn’t embarrass himself and is still in the Lions’ plans to be the long-term strong safety. The Lions brought in Erik Coleman as insurance, and though Coleman figures to win the starting job, Spievey will be close behind and ready to start if Coleman messes up.

Paul Pratt appeared in two games as a corner last season, but allowed the lone pass thrown his way to be completed for 15 yards. The Lions are going to move him to free safety as a backup, but he won’t see any more playing time there.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit could go out and sign a better strong safety than Erik Coleman, but they believe Amari Spievey will soon become their long-term strong safety.

Kicker (1)

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson is 41 years old, but he had missed just one game over the last 18 season before spraining his MCL in Week 9 last season. Before his injury, Hanson had converted 85.7 percent of his field goals, so it appears that he is still capable of kicking in the NFL despite his age.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit could bring back Dave Rayner as insurance, but Hanson will likely win the starting job because he is still kicking at a high level.

Punter (1)

Nick Harris

Nick Harris averaged 44.6 yards per punt last season and landed 24 punts inside the 20-yard line with only 8 touchbacks.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit has a good punter signed through 2012 and they don’t want to address the position until then.

Long Snapper (1)

Don Muhlbach

Don Muhlbach is in a contract year, but has done a good job to this point.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit is set at long snapper for this season, and if Don Muhlbach were to get injured, the Lions know that Dominic Raiola could fill in capably as a long snapper.

Kick/Punt Returners (1)

Stefan Logan

Stefan Logan averaged 26.3 yards per kick return and 12.1 yards per punt return in 2010. Logan also had a 105-yard kick return touchdown.

Free Agent Analysis:

Detroit is set at returner because Stefan Logan did a fabulous job last season.

Lions Unrestricted Free Agents (12)

Bobby Carpenter, Dylan Gandy, Corey Hilliard, Chris Houston, Landon Johnson, Turk McBride, Brandon McDonald, Julian Peterson, Dave Rayner, Kevin Smith, Drew Stanton, John Wendling

Bobby Carpenter is expected to compete for a starting outside linebacker job if he resigns with the Lions. Julian Peterson is a free agent and Zach Follett’s (neck) football future is in question, so the Lions need to resign him.

Dylan Gandy will be a backup if he returns to the Lions. Gandy will likely explore all of his options to see if any other teams value him higher than the Lions do.

Corey Hilliard was signed off the Browns practice squad last season because the Lions had too many injuries on their offensive line. Hilliard might come back, but the odds of him sticking on their roster are slim.

Chris Houston wants a long-term deal, but because he had recurring shoulder issues in 2010, the Lions want to see if he can still play at the same level he did last season. Houston is a fine No. 2 corner when healthy, but the Lions will still need to sign another corner even if they resign Houston

Landon Johnson might resign with the Lions this season because they are willing to “let him compete for a starting spot.” The Lions are thin at outside linebacker, so it’s not surprising that they want to retain Johnson despite the fact that he suffered two concussions towards the end of last season.

Turk McBride set career highs last season, racking up five sacks and 33 tackles in 15 games. If McBride were to resign with the Lions, he’d likely be a rotational end, but at least he would get a pay raise.

Brandon McDonald likely won’t be back with the Lions this season because cornerback is expected to be their top priority and McDonald isn’t one of the elite corners despite his starting experience from his time with the Cleveland Browns. McDonald fractured his forearm towards the end of last season and most teams will probably avoid signing him until one of their corners gets hurt.

Julian Peterson won’t be back with the Lions because they released him prior to the Lockout. By letting Peterson go, the Lions saved $8 million in salary cap room. Peterson will be 33 at the end of July and will need to sign a much cheaper contract.

Dave Rayner converted 81.3 percent of his field goals last season and was perfect from beyond 50 yards last season. Rayner wants to resign with the Lions, but only if they cut Jason Hanson. If the Lions choose the latter, Rayner should still be able to find a team in free agency.

Kevin Smith won’t be back with the Lions because they just drafted 2 halfbacks over the last two years. Smith averaged 3.8 yards per carry last season, so he might be able to find a backup job somewhere. The Cleveland Browns would be an ideal choice because Montario hardest is coming off of ACL surgery.

Drew Stanton completed 58 percent of his passes for 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in 6 games last season. Stanton would best off if he resigned with the Lions because he would become the Lions’ long-term backup to Matt Stafford, once Shaun Hill leaves.

John Wendling was a good special teamer last season, and could resign with the Lions in the same role. Wendling isn’t great in coverage as a safety though, so he likely won’t attract too much attention on the market.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Blue Version Thunderwave Cave Walkthrough

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Blue Version Thunderwave Cave Walkthrough
My Tiny Woods Hub
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Blue Version is a pretty fun game and takes a new approach to the pokemon series. This specific guide is for Tiny Woods Dungeon but I will write one on the other dungeons as I do them, and side ideas about the game.

Thunderwave Cave Basics

The Second Dungeon to journey through is the Thunderwave Cave and this time you are saving a Magnemite couple who were joined together when an electromagnetic wave passed through. You and your partner decide to go there and save the Magnemite so off you travel.

There are 5 floors in this Dungeon so it is slightly longer than Tiny Woods, but still won’t take you hours to pass through unless you do it on purpose. Like Tiny Woods, and the other dungeons you will enter there are dangers to watch out for but you should level at least once or twice.

Requirements for Thunderwave Cave

Again with the probably not useful Capsule but there are at least requirements for this one.

There are no requirements for Thunderwave Cave besides saving Caterpie, which is a pretty impossible dungeon to fail unless you get some bad luck.

Which Pokemon Are In Thunderwave Cave?

In the 5 floors of Thunderwave Cave there are many pokemon to watch out for. No Electric types on the first few floors but don’t worry, they will soon try to defeat you and probably will as they defeated me. There are pokemon exclusive to only Blue version and only Red Version so don’t be surprised if you don’t see them.

Rattata: Found on floor 1-3.

Nidoran (F): Found again on floors 1-3.

Poochyena: Found on floors 1-3 and the last of the non electric pokemon.

Voltorb: Found on floors 3-5 and the first taste of electric pokemon (unless you don’t see any).

Elekid: Found on floors 4 and 5, and the pokemon who defeated me so watch it.

Plusle: Floors 4 and 5 but only on Red Version.

Minun: Only found on Blue version and on floors 4 and 5.

Dangers in Thunderwave Cave

You have read this far, so you have probably read my little cautions on who to look out for. There are more specific dangers to look out for though, ones that even took me down.

Elekid: Elekid knows and uses Leer quite often, lowering your defense and making you a target for the other pokemon unless you find a wonder tile fast. Elekid was who defeated me, almost fainting me and my partner twice before another one got us.

Poochyena: The Danger with Poochyena is other pokemon coming up from behind while you try defeating him/her. The more pokemon attacking you, the higher likelyhood you will be defeated.

Plusle: Not a problem for Blue version, but Plusle knows Thunderwave, paralyzing you and making you unable to attack until it wears off. You have low HP so it won’t take long for Plusle to at least get you in the low HP before you are unparalyzed if not defeated. (Might be Minun too, but I am not certain.)

Homemade Salmon Dog Food Recipe

Homemade Salmon Dog Food Recipe

Salmon Dog Food Recipe

Homemade dog food is all the rage these days – here is another variation in case your dog has allergies or needs to be on a fish-based dog food. It is easy and economical – and the best thing of all is that you KNOW exactly what ingredients they are eating since you make it yourself!

This is another of my son Jonathan’s recipes that he passed on to me and I am unsure of the source of it but added a few suggestions of my own. I don’t feed our malamutes salmon any longer but did for a number of years. With fish though, especially salmon, please keep in mind it has to be COOKED salmon, as it can be poisonous for dogs.

There are lots of ‘wild’ natural dog foods on the market currently and they are super pricey. This is a good alternative and without all the fillers and protein that are not necessarily digestible, it is definitely worth taking a look at.

I have heard that you can substitute mackerel for the salmon as well and did that when I was feeding our dogs salmon but again, would stress that it should be cooked or canned fish. I have talked to some breeders and mushers who are into the raw diet (BARF) but I have also heard many down sides to that type of diet. I could personally not stomach making it so decided against it from the beginning!

As in all things, talk to your vet, talk to breeders, and research, research to find out what best suits your lifestyle and your individual dog!

Photo by Audrey Kirchner

Salmon Dog Food Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 can of salmon – 14-15 ounces (remove bones)
1 beaten egg (or if intolerant to eggs could use egg substitute)
3 tablespoons cornmeal – I prefer using the coarser kind
Canola oil or other oil – or use cooking spray
1 potato
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery

DIRECTIONS

Combine the salmon, egg or substitute and cornmeal – mix well.
Form this mixture into patties.
Coat them with a little more cornmeal.
Then fry in a tiny amount of canola oil until brown on both sides.
Chop potato, carrot and celery into chunks.
Boil potato, carrot and celery until soft but not mushy.
Chop the salmon patties into small bites and stir together with the chopped and boiled vegetables.
A spoonful of cottage cheese can be added for moisture if needed.

NOTE:
Feeding RAW salmon to dogs if never recommended. Canned salmon is okay
to use because it has been heavily cooked – just remember to remove the
bones! You can substitute fresh salmon (as from a fillet) but make sure
that it is cooked, then flaked, removing all bones.

Salmon Roll For Dogs? What’s Next California Rolls?

Okay – this sounds like a sushi roll for dogs – but I checked on the lactose percentage. It is not that high for cream cheese and lactose products are not bad for dogs! This is again my son Jonathan’s forwarded recipe to me although this one I know comes from the Three Dogs Bakery Cookbook! Try it and see how your Fido likes it!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups canned salmon
8 ounces low-fat cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon beef broth.
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

Drain and flake the salmon, removing any skin and bones.
Combine salmon, cream cheese and beef broth.
Chill for at least 1 hour.
Shape salmon mixture into a 2 x 8 inch log and roll in pecans and parsley.
Slice into 8 pieces and serve.
Store unused portion in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Dog Food Content Recommendations – gourmetsleuth.com

 
Non-working Adult 
Young Adult
Puppy or Lactating Dog 
Protein
16%
20% 
24% 
Fat
10%
12% 
14% 
Carbohydrates
44%
38% 
32% 
Calories from protein
20%
24%
28%
Vitamins and minerals
A
B
C
A – Values recommended by National Research Council 
B- Values for “A” + 10% 
 C – Values for “A” + 10%
Chart from Dr. Sheefy/Js. Baker – Institute for Animal Health Cornell
Bone Appetit!: Gourmet Cooking for Your Dog
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Short Tails and Treats from Three Dog Bakery
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More Links On Making Dog Food

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More Links To Homemade Dog Food And Information On Salmon Dog Food

Dog food – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Salmon Dog Food Recipe
Recipe for Salmon Roll Dog Food includes salmon, cream cheese and broth.
WikiAnswers – Is cooked salmon good for dogs
Dog Health question: Is cooked salmon good for dogs? Salmon is OK for dogs only if it is has been thoroughly, thoroughly cooked and has no bones in it. Note that lox/smoked salmon is not necessarily cooked,
Homemade Dog Food: Canine Nutrition with Recipe | Suite101.com
So you’re cooking for your dog. How do you decide on the best diet for your best friend?

How To Make Homemade Dog Stew

More Homemade Dog Food Recipes

How to Catch or Tame a Nightmare Soul and Location- Forsaken World Pet Guide

How to Catch or Tame a Nightmare Soul and Location- Forsaken World Pet Guide
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My first ever Nightmare that I caught myself
Source: Myself, the Author of this Hub

What is a Nightmare?

A nightmare is a flaming horse that you fight as one of the first monsters in the Lunagrant Woods in the game, Forsaken World. This area is for level 40 players and up and has a wandering soul known as Nightmare. That’s what this guide is about, telling you how to catch and tame the Flamed Pony. So first make sure you have a tamer at level 40 (at least) so you can enter the Lunagrant woods and fight the soul without dying (It helps to have a team, but not necessary).

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Nightmare Soul in the Beginning of Battle
Source: Myself, again.

Close up of Soul

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Close of photo of the Nightmare Soul

How To Find and Capture The Nightmare Soul Pet

So now that you know where (Lunagrant Woods), you need to know the location in Lunagrant Woods and what time to find it. You see, wandering souls are not the kind of souls you get from killing monsters. A good hint is if it has a rock looking icon near it’s picture when you target the monster, if it does you might get a soul if not then it doesn’t drop one. Now, you can stop slaughtering the Nightmare if that’s how you thought you would catch one because it isn’t.

As the name implies, wandering souls are souls that instead wander around a map until they are caught or defeated and then they respawn later. Nightmare has a spawn time of four hours so although I don’t know when it will show up on any given day, if you know when it was last tamed it will be four hours after that. It also isn’t effected by realms either, so if you want you can check every realm every 15 minutes until you find one (or whatever time frame you choose).

The actual location is shown below this text, so look there to know where to look. When you get there just look around for the blue ghost looking horse in the photo above or the smaller one on the right to see what you should be looking for. This doesn’t mean the soul will be a blue pet (quality wise) as it is most likely going to be green, white doesn’t happen. It’s called Valley of Hope, so you can try to stay in that area and not wander too far away and still wonder where the soul is.

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Location in Lunagrant Woods where the soul wanders around.
Source: Forsaken World HQ

I found the Nightmare Soul, Now what?

Now you battle. The soul must have less than 50% health in order to be tamed, and you have to watch to make sure nobody in your team (if you have one) kills it before you can tame it. If that means recalling your pet or some heated fights, go right ahead, just don’t let the nightmare die.

If you find someone battling the soul already, you should probably leave them alone to get it themselves, which brings me to my next point. Do not assume since you are battling it that you can tame it, ANYONE CAN STEAL THE SOUL FROM YOU! I’m not saying that a ninja will jump out of the trees and tame the nightmare, but keep an eye on your mini map and zoom out on it a bit to look for other players.

If someone steals your soul, yell at them if you want to just don’t be a jerk about it. Even though its a jerk thing to steal someone else’s soul, it isn’t illegal in the game so you can’t do much except wait four hours for it to respawn.

Hopefully this helped you find and capture the nightmare soul, I was waiting until I actually caught one so I didn’t spill out rumors or false items. More wandering soul hubs to come as I reach them in my Forsaken World Journey. Remember to fight against the Storm Legion everyone!

How have historians explained the fall of the British Empire?

How have historians explained the fall of the British Empire?
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Introduction

As early as 20th century, there were cartoons popping up depicting the fall of British Empire. This was a sad way of representing the fate of the empire which was once called “Empire where the sun never sets”. The British had become quite content and prideful and had forgotten to establish safe borders and provide great sense of nationalism from being grateful for their past victories where they fought valiantly one after the other for centuries. They had become soft and comfortable as their wealth grew. Soon it proved to be obvious that there was no real benefit in doing business with the British as they lost their ability to protect commercial interests overseas and home. This pride weakened over the years and finally ended up knocking down its door after WWII. They found themselves fighting a war that they were not prepared and as the result had to pay a heavy price. We are going to see how the fall started and gradually.

In 1763 Great Britain attained the height of its power and dominion which led many Englishmen to believe they were destined to change the course of the world, shaping it in Britain’s image similar to what the Roman empire, they felt greedy to make more money and power. This led them to loose their foothold in the colonies. The British who lost the American colonies were not solely responsible to the catastrophe which over took the empire. As Benjamin Franklin said’ The British Empire was at Best, a fragile Chinese vase which required more delicate handling’.Here we will try to understand why the British Empire started to decline from starting of the tale in 1781, when General Charles Cornwallis’ surrendered the American colonies to George Washington, and ends with the British transfer of Hong Kong colony to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

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Economic downfall

One of the main reasons for the downfall of the British Empire was in its economic. This effect had started with the rise in cost for military expenditure and war with its colonial rivals Spain, France, and Holland .The money raised for the military-expenditure was taken from the colonies, by adding harsh laws, restricting trade routes, imposing high taxes and controlling the exports to other colonies has made the life in these colonies difficult. Those who benefited most were none other than British Empire because it was largest colonial power during that time. This led to many colonies to revolt against the empire. British fortunes suffered high tide of during the imperial the conquest from 1897 to 1907. During the Boer war in 1899-1902, British government felt war against Boer republics within the South African proved to be costlier and longer .Even though they won the war, British empire saw the world position erode. With increase threat of new colonial power which rose in the 19th century like United States and Germany which stated to make a major naval and army force which led to colonization of Africa. To counter act the treat, British Empire had to build even bigger force. This led to increase in expenditure from which money was taken from other colonies.

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See all 6 photos

Mercantilism

Another reason for downfall of the British Empire is Mercantilism. Mercantilism according to Oxford dictionary is belief in the benefits of profitable trading. It is widely used in the sixteenth to eighteenth century. The main goal is to increase nation’s wealth by imposing harsh government regulations concerning nation’s commercial in the interest of the British Empire. It is believed that national strength can be strengthened by limiting imports via increasing the tariffs and maximizing exports within in the empire. This approach assumes the wealth of a nation depends on possession of precious goods like gold, silver, spices. This is brought stagnant by the economy as every colony wanted to export and no one wanted to import, this led to various revolts against this idea and stressed for free trade later. One such example is in colonies in America. As British Empire, was largely shaped on Economic Nationalization’. This was done through mercantilist approach. It projected to grid the nation for ear by recruiting its financial strength and fall of its rivals. This led to many measures in the colonies like introduction of laws of trade. Some these were Navigational ACT, STAMP ACT, SUGER ACT, and TEA ACT. The purposes of these acts were solely to fulfill the demands of the mother country, like to consume its manufactures, produce raw material and to adopt its shipping. It was meant to hit on France, Spain and Holland in the struggle of world dominance. The first act passed was the Navigational Act came upon in 1651 and was enacted by the British Parliament into statute law.The acts declared the following things: only English or English colonial ships could carry cargo between imperial ports, certain goods, including tobacco, rice, and furs, could not be shipped to foreign nations except through England or Scotland, the English Parliament would pay “bounties” to Americans who produced certain raw goods, while raising protectionist tariffs on the same goods produced in other nations, Americans could not compete with English manufacturers in large-scale manufacturing.

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Triangular trade

This British mercantilism system is emphasized on triangular trade. The routes linked to American Colonies were West Indies, Africa, and England. Each port provided shippers with a payoff and a new cargo. But in the Southern Colonies, the implementation of Navigation Acts has lowered tobacco prices which led to economies suffer. The triangular trade also led to a rise in slave population and increase in merchant population, formation a of wealthy class which then had dominated trade and politics throughout the colonies. This had led to smuggling of goods from other colonies .To counter act this, capital punishment and harsher laws which were enforced by government. This fuelled anger among the people which led to the revolution and later led to independence of America from British showing first sign of decline according to Brendon, a Cambridge historian in his book The Decline and fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997.

Decolonization and the Collapse of the British Empire – Student Pulse
Before World War II it was stated fairly, “The sun never set on the British Empire.” For decades, this was true: the British colonial Empire touched all corners of the globe. After the War concluded, however, a worldwide process of decolonization…
Parliament and India, 1858-1947 – UK Parliament
In the first half of the 20th century, having been the “Jewel in the Crown” of the British Empire, India became the first part of that Empire to secure separate nationhood and independence.

The main fall happened after World Wars. Britain could no longer be able to afford the expense of administering one quarter of the world’s population, even though they had emerged victorious in the wars. They were lots of conflicts in home and abroad. After the war the whole Europe was left in ruins and saw transfer of power from European rivals to United States and Soviet Union. British government wanted to protect its own land which comprised 1/600th area of the World.

Also, as the result of the war, British government understood that the various colonies of the empire were capable and deserve to govern themselves. These colonies could not be kept quiet anymore by giving them the excuse that “these countries are incapable of governing themselves”, as they had started to demand either through armed rebellion or peaceful protest and politics to the right to self-governance.

During the war, Britain had taken loan from United States to defend itself from enemies, which had made them Bankrupt. It found it hard to pay the loan and defend the colonies, causing the fall the empire.

According to Hyam, the empire was assailed by, and succumbed to, nationalist pressure and also added British imperialism folded under international criticism during the Cold War. But, British policymakers thought that the empire might be able to contribute to the West’s anti-Communist struggle in the emerging Cold War, but American anti-colonial rhetoric and geopolitical dominance effectively ended its hopes.So policymakers, embraced for disengagement from the empire as a way safeguarding Britain’s international credibility and prestige. This was made unavoidable by successive post-war developments that is by opposing imperialism in Europe specifically Britain, France, Germany. This then made difficulty in balancing the ideals of the Commonwealth with the emerging European Community has led to decolonization in the world.

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Over the years the British have transformed themselves from industrial colonist to full time military colonist. Even though they were been luck during course of period, especially wars against their old colonial rivals like Spain, France, Dutch to New rivals like Germany, has cost them a lot. But in 20th century, the world has lost interest in Post-imperialism especial after the World War, which led to new organizations like the United Nations which helps new states to govern themselves.

Brendon, Piers. The Decline and Fall of the British Empire,

The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997 (Vintage)
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Has the British Empire lost its standing among other countries in the world from the time disintegration ?

yes
no
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Can You Use your Mobile as PC?

Can You Use your Mobile as PC?
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Ubuntu going to revolutionize again!

Features:

Easiest web apps installation.
Lowest hardware requirement.
Virtual Desktop Support.

The new Ubuntu OS offers much more.

“When the phone is connected to keyboard, monitor and mouse, users get the same experience as they are using a PC” offers the makers of Ubuntu, Mobile phone manufacturers have to support this OS, which is now dominated by giants like google powered android and apple iOS

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What’s in this new OS?

Seamless Navigation

Observers reported, success of the OS depend on the extend of support given by manufacturers in coming month. In countries like India the phones to PC ratio is 10:1, hence this function is very important. Users choose PC to create content and phones to access the content. Using the computing power of the latest chip, users are able to create contents and improve productivity. In Ubuntu powered mobiles, Navigational system cleverly exploits all four edges of the phone screen for scrips that give access to navigation options & apps control and settings and pop up display space. Users need unlock phone everywhere they want to use it or come back to home screen to access contents.

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Enhanced Apps Performance

Web applications based on HTML v5 can be installed on the new OS and can run along with the other apps pre-installed. Softwares made for Ubuntu computers will also work like charm in this phone. The OS could work on even low end hardware because the apps uses the full hardware capabilities. The most interesting part is mobile phone gaining the features of a PC if its connected to a keyboard, monitor and a mouse. This can be done via cables, bluetooth or dock provided with the phone.

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Virtual Desktop Support

As we can see the boom in the mobile technology, devices with powerful quadcore processors will be easily available by the next year.At that time Ubuntu-loaded devices are expected to be the market monopoly. Corporates of India are already showing keen interest exploring such options.

What Its Like Being In Love. . . For Those Who Really Dont Know

What It's Like Being In Love. . . For Those Who Really Don't Know

Working Through the Pain

To me, the only way to filter out pain from my heart is to write down what I feel. Sometimes, that means writing an entry in my journal or writing it down in the form of a poem. The poem below is something I wrote back when I felt that my world was ending due to a love that went wrong. To me love was something that only brought me grief and sorrow.

What It’s Like Being In Love. . . For Those Who Really Don’t Know

It’s puffy red eyes,

It’s cracked lips and neglected hair,

It’s a lemon drop on an open wound,

It’s deep loneliness. . .

It’s a damaged heart,

It’s feeling like there’s no air,

It’s being able to sleep but lacking rest,

It’s a cold summer and crappy holidays. . .

It’s having to look at you and think of her,

It’s forgiving you, but not forgetting what you did,

It’s being ignored and not cared for,

It’s being used and misled,

It’s being kissed with open eyes. . .

It’s not noticing the change of season,

It’s barely being able to sustain life,

It’s trying to filter out anger through tears and having dry eyes,

It’s still feeling the butterflies in my stomach from our first kiss and not being able to release them,

It’s being fragile and about to break. . .

It’s talking to you and feeling like I never finished saying what I wanted to say to you,

It’s knowing that you don’t even care,

It’s not being able to concentrate,

It’s constant pain and no cure,

It’s being disappointed with life.

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How Does Twitter Make Money?

How Does Twitter Make Money?

It must be hoax!

How does twitter make money? This is something I often wondered. After all, I’ve never seen a single advert on twitter. So if they’re not selling adspace, and it’s a completely free service, how does twitter make its money? It’s a simple question, and deserves a simple answer.

So here is is. A quick answer to a quick question.

Google and Bing pay Twitter for their ‘firehose stream’. The ‘firehose’ is a stream of data (tweets) about trending or popular topics. Google and Bing use the firehose to get unique comments on these trending topics. This is the major source of profit for Twitter. It may seem like a waste of the search engine’s money, but it is actually quite useful for them to seem more up-to-date and personal.

There are also the promoted tweets. These are basically advertisements in themselves. Companies can purchase promoted tweets to try and generate more interest in their business. The result is the same as if Twitter was selling adspace –Twitter makes money, and businesses get more interested customers.

So that’s it. That’s the long and short of it. Twitter may introduce other features in the future to generate profit from, like a premium account of some sort. But, for now, Twitter will remain completely free to the everyday user.