The NFL Playoffs have moved to the divisional round and looking to get one step closer to the championship game.
Sean Tomlinson, an NFL writer for the Bleacher Report joined the Sam Bourquin Show on a "Feel Good Friday" to break down the games as well as discuss other headlines in the National Football League, including the Rams' move from St. Louis to Los Angeles.
Starting with the Saturday games, Tomlinson says the Kansas City/New England matchup on Saturday is not a good matchup for the Patriots, considering their offensive line problems coupled with the Kansas City defense.
"Justin Houston (KC Defensive End) is a scary man coming off the edge," Sean explained. "It helps New England has some pieces back, but it'll be the proverbial nailbiter."
Sean says the Green Bay/Arizona game should work in favor of the Cardinals, who terrorized Aaron Rodgers in the regular season with multiple sacks.
For the Panthers and Seahawks Sunday, along with the Steelers and Broncos, Tomlinson said both matchups will be exciting.
"You can never underestimate (Steelers quarterback) Ben Roethlisberger's ability to come back from injuries and lead an injured team," he said.
January has been a crazy time in the NFL, with the Rams moving to L.A, and the possibility of the San Diego Chargers moving to La-La Land as well.
"I highly doubt San Diego will stay put, Tomlinson said.
Some have questioned the use of analytics, especially when it comes to football and the Browns. One man has shed some light on the topic and said it can be used and used successfully.
Josh Liskiewitz from Pro Football Focus.com joined Brad Russell in the Average Sports Show Thursday evening to talk about the use of analytics in football, especially with the hires of Paul DePodesta and Sashi Brown.
"It can point to a lot of tendencies in a lot of different things, such as the quarterback for instance," he said.
"It can be used to break down where he's accurate, where he's less accurate, how he fares against pressure, so this is beneficial for individual teams and defensive coordinators as well in terms of game plan and preparation."
The Browns have made headlines with the hiring of Hue Jackson from the Cincinnati Bengals and plan on making more headlines in the 2016-17 season with more competitive play on the field and more cohesion amongst front office, coaches, and players.
Zac Jackson from ProFootballTalk.com joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the hire and what it means for the organization.
"It's an A hire," Jackson said. "That said in the context of he hasn't hired an assistant yet or anything like that, but he understands the AFC North, he understands the importance of a quarterback, so his experience is a plus."
Jackson also said the former Bengals offensive coordinator has an unshakeable confidence that will permeate throughout the locker room.
Big news out of Berea as the Cleveland Browns have hired Hue Jackson as their head coach and a lot of people are applauding the move, saying the Browns are headed in the right direction.
Nate Ulrich from the Akron Beacon Journal joined the Average Sports Show Thursday just one day after the move was made.
Ulrich says he sees this as a big positive for the Browns moving forward.
The next step according to Nate includes the hiring of a General Manager, one who isn't afraid of the Browns' new power structure and the analytics approach, and also putting a coaching staff together that will get the best results not only on the practice field, but on Sundays as well.
The Browns have hired Hue Jackson as head coach, and many people have a renewed sense of optimism surrounding the team and the direction that they are heading.
Brent Sobleski from the Bleacher Report joined Brad Russell to talk about the move and what it means for the Browns.
"This feels completely different," says Sobleski. "This isn't the same old Browns, this is going out there and selling your vision, and not settling."
Jackson is a proven commodityin the pro football world, having been the head coach at Oakland and was recently the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals.
He was named the coach after Mike Pettine posted a 3-13 record in his second season as the Browns head coach.
Friday night at the Canton Memorial Fieldhouse, the Canton McKinley Bulldogs and the Jackson Polar Bears will get together for part two of their basketball series.
Rick Hairston joined the Sam Bourquin Show Thursday to talk about the matchup, and the atmosphere surrounding the game.
"We didn't take care of the ball in the first game," Hairston said. "We remember Jackson is a good basketball team, and they have more than just Kyle Young and Logan Hill."
Jackson won the first matchup by ten points in the early part of the season.
"You really have to play well to beat this team because they play with a certain amount of swagger and confidence."
The Polar Bears on the other hand are looking forward to getting on the road and playing a solid team. Tim Debevec joined the Sam Bourquin Show as well.
"It should be an exciting night, and you'll see something good from both teams."
He says his team is going to have to play better than they did in their first meeting in order to beat the Bulldogs.
"They have a lot of talent, it's going to be a big game for us.
Many people remember the tragic events surrounding November 14, 1970, in which Southern Airways flight 932 crashed en route to the Marshall University campus in Huntington, WV.
The crash killed all 75 members on board, including the team, coaches, support staff, and boosters for the football program.
Former Marshall football assistant coach Red Dawson was one of a handful of members from the staff not on the plane that day. Dawson joined the Sam Bourquin Show Wednesday to talk about his book, "A Coach in Progress: A Story of Survival and Revival."
"It was hard times, for a long, long time," Dawson said. "It didn't leave for a while, we tried to go forward, and that's what we've tried to do."
The story was depicted in the 2006 film We Are Marshall. The Thundering Herd have bounced back on and off the football field, and the community of Huntington has embraced them fully.
Dawson will be at the Dover Public Library in Dover, OH Friday January 15 at 7 p.m.
The Browns coaching search has come to a close as Hue Jackson becomes the team's 8th head coach since their rebirth in 1999.
Steve King from BrownsDailyDose.com joined the Sam Bourquin Show Wednesday to talk about the move and the fact that the new braintrust of Jimmy Haslam, Sashi Brown, and Paul DePodesta found their guy, the man they believe will get the Browns franchise where it needs to go.
"They felt that if he went to New York, he was gone," King said. "Hue had an interview in New York for the Giants job, he had a good conversation with Jimmy Haslam, and how he's the coach, so it was a good move that the Browns got the guy they wanted."
The Browns have made Hue Jackson their new head coach, and now it's time to hit the ground running.
Scott Petrak from the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the Browns' new head man and what he plans to do in order for the team to be competitive in the NFL.
Petrak says one of the things he wants to establish early is who the next General Manager is going to be. The next move is to establish who will quarterback the team.
"The question is if not Johnny (Manziel) then who?" Petrak asks. "You have to establish that position with who you want to draft."
Jackson comes from Cincinnati as the offensive coordinator for the Bengals.
With 83 days until Opening Day and just 18 short days until Tribe Fest, baseball season is on a lot of people's minds.
Cleveland Indians Communications Coordinator Joel Hammond joined the Average Sports Show Tuesday to talk about the event and some of the key elements that will take place on January 30.
Hammond says it's a great way for fans to interact with players in a relaxed setting.
"That's one of the biggest things we've heard from fans is how accessible the players are during Tribe Fest, and it's a great experience for them, (players and fans alike."
Some of the players who will be at Tribe Fest include Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley, Danny Salazar, and more.
The event will be held at Aloft Cleveland Downtown from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
You can get General Admisson tickets for just $5 at Indians.com/TribeFest.
The Akron Rubberducks baseball team has brought back Dave Wallace for his third year as the manager of the team, and Wally says he's excited for a third season with the club.
Wallace joined Brad Russell in the Average Sports Show to talk about some of the new staff that will be joining him in Akron and what he's learned in his three years as the skipper of the Rubberducks.
Both pitching coach Tony Arnold and hitting coach Tim Laker will be on the staff in 2016 and Wallace says he's ready to work with some solid baseball men.
"The way I look at it, I'm probably going to learn a lot more from those guys, then they're going to learn from me," Wallace said.
As far as expectations for the upcoming season at Canal Park, Wallace said it's all about getting better and getting them one step closer to their ultimate goal of being in the big leagues.
The high school basketball season is in the middle of January, and there's just a little bit of time left before the postseason starts.
Tim Cole, the head coach of the Springfield Spartans boys' basketball team joined the Sam Bourquin Show and talked about how his first season is going with the Spartans.
"The kids have bought in, they're having a lot of fun, the parents have bought in, and every day they (the players) are coming in , ready to work hard, and they're enjoying it."
The Spartans have been relying on senior post player Jordan McLane to provide not only hustle and muscle, but also be a leader for his teammates on the floor.
He's really learned how to make his teammates better," said Cole of McLane.
The Spartans have games coming up against Streetsboro at home on Friday as well as Ravenna and Cloverleaf next week.
The Cleveland Browns are still searching for a head coach and there are a few solid candidates out there from Sean McDermott from the Carolina Panthers, to Hue Jackson from the Cincinnati Bengals, Whoever it is, it will be a unique and challenging experience, due to the new front office structure and the implementation of analytics in choosing a roster and making football decisions.
Steve King from BrownsDailyDose.com joined the Sam Bourquin Show on Monday to talk about the ongoing search.
"I think its going to be one of the guys everyone is talking about, (Matt) Patricia, (Teryl) Austin, and Hue Jackson," King said. "There might be some coordinators for teams who are still in the playoffs, but those guys are the ones most people are talking about."
The Malone University Pioneers have a new head football coach.
Fred Thomas is the new man in charged of the football team after former coach Eric Hehman took a job at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois.
Thomas joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday to talk about the new position and how he plans to put his stamp on the program.
"It's been pretty busy," Thomas said. "We had our first team meeting yesterday, we start weight training soon, and we will hit the ground in recruiting."
Fred plans on recruiting the Canton area along with some of the other area Ohio athletes and some speedy kids out of Florida. He also said the revamping of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium will be a selling point for recruits.
"With effort and toughness, I think that will breed success," Thomas explained.