Jim Trotter Profile
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Steelers' defense focused on revival in 2022 NFL season after falling far short of 'the standard'
Aug 12, 2022
Jim Trotter checks in from Steelers camp, where he finds a defense seeking redemption. T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward and coaches in new roles explain what is motivating them heading into the 2022 NFL season.
Terry McLaurin, Deebo Samuel among seven NFL players who deserve a raise RIGHT NOW
Jun 13, 2022
We've seen plenty of mega deals handed out this offseason, but certain players remain underpaid. Jim Trotter spotlights seven veterans who deserve a significant raise RIGHT NOW, including a pair of dynamic wide receivers.
2022 NFL season: Three teams ready to make playoff run after missing out in '21
May 27, 2022
Are Jameis Winston and the Saints set to advance deep into the playoffs in Dennis Allen's first year as head coach? Jim Trotter spotlights three teams that are in line to put together a run after falling short of the postseason in 2021.
32 NFL teams, 32 people to root for: From Lamar Jackson to Lovie Smith to Laura Fryar -- and beyond
May 10, 2022
Objectivity is crucial in journalism, but Jim Trotter admits he has certain biases, particularly when it comes to various fine folks around the NFL. Here is one person to root for on each of the league's 32 teams.
A new day in Houston: Behind the scenes of a crucial week -- and draft weekend -- in the Texans' rebuild
May 02, 2022
From voluntary minicamp to the 2022 NFL Draft, last week was a critical stretch in Houston. Jim Trotter takes us inside the Texans' rebuilding process, with special access to new head coach Lovie Smith and second-year general manager Nick Caserio.
HBCU QB Aqeel Glass just wants 'an opportunity' to prove NFL bona fides
Apr 13, 2022
Over the past 10 drafts, a miniscule number of players have been selected out of HBCUs -- and none have been quarterbacks. Jim Trotter examines Alabama A&M star Aqeel Glass' efforts to make a name for himself in the NFL.
Broncos, Chargers gain ground on AFC West, rest of conference with aggressive start to offseason
Mar 15, 2022
No two teams have done more to close the gap in their division and conference than the Broncos and Chargers. Jim Trotter discusses their recent moves and why each could be seen as a legitimate contender.
Rams' Aaron Donald proves he's built for the moment in Super Bowl LVI victory
Feb 14, 2022
With Super Bowl LVI on the line, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald proved he was built for the moment with a game-sealing play to help his team take care of some unfinished business. Jim Trotter discusses the impressive performance and what's ahead for the Rams star.
Rams safety Eric Weddle exceeding expectations ahead of Super Bowl LVI in whirlwind NFL return
Feb 11, 2022
No one expected Eric Weddle to excel when he rejoined the Rams last month after two years away from the NFL. Yet all the safety has done is exceed expectations in the postseason. Jim Trotter explores Weddle's whirlwind return ahead of Super Bowl LVI.
Brian Flores' lawsuit reflects widespread discontent among Black coaches over NFL hiring practices
Feb 10, 2022
Brian Flores' lawsuit reflects widespread discontent among Black coaches over hiring practices around the league, Jim Trotter reports. Former NFL offensive coordinator Clarence Shelmon: "It's emasculating. It's devastating."
Aaron Donald rallies Rams, seals Super Bowl trip with crucial defensive play
Jan 31, 2022
Trailing the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald called his teammates together and spoke from a place deep in his soul. Jim Trotter recounts how his team responded.
NFL Divisional Round: Biggest winners and losers from Saturday's stunning playoff doubleheader
Jan 23, 2022
It's one-and-done for both No. 1 seeds, as the Bengals edged the Titans and the 49ers nipped the Packers. Reporting from Green Bay, Jim Trotter spotlights the biggest winners and losers from Saturday's Divisional Round games.
Just win, baby! Playoff-bound Raiders find way to prevail over Chargers in overtime thriller
Jan 10, 2022
On a night when they honored the late John Madden, the Raiders played in a manner reminiscent of a mantra from the franchise's halcyon days. Jim Trotter writes from the scene of a thrilling overtime win over the Chargers that sent Las Vegas to the playoffs.
Cincinnati Bengals claim first AFC North title in six years behind Joe Burrow-led youth movement
Jan 02, 2022
The Cincinnati Bengals claimed the AFC North title for the first time since 2015 after a late rally lifted them over the Chiefs. Jim Trotter discusses why these aren't the same old Bengals -- thanks to a youth movement led by Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase.
'Slippery' Travis Kelce saves his best for last in Chiefs' victory over Chargers on Thursday night
Dec 17, 2021
Jim Trotter chronicles the Chiefs' thrilling OT win over the Chargers, with "slippery" Travis Kelce playing a starring role. Kansas City's standout tight end scored back-to-back touchdowns Thursday night, the first of which forced overtime and the second of which ended the game.
Bewildered in Seattle: Russell Wilson-led Seahawks experiencing unprecedented struggles at 3-7
Nov 22, 2021
A week after being shut out for the first time in his career, Seattle QB Russell Wilson notched another ignominious first: three straight losses as an NFL starter. These are hard times for the Seahawks, Jim Trotter writes, with no easy answers for Pete Carroll and Co.
Sweet Carolina: With Cam Newton back in tow, time for re-energized Panthers to think NFC South title
Nov 14, 2021
Doubt the Panthers if you like, but Jim Trotter no longer can. In a season that seems to get wilder each week, with the improbable becoming the norm, Trotter writes it would not be surprising if the Panthers claimed the NFC South.
Titans answer questions while Rams create them in Tennessee's easy win at Los Angeles
Nov 08, 2021
Without Derrick Henry, Tennessee's defense stepped up, creating two early turnovers that led to 14 points in the Titans' 28-16 victory over the Rams. Reporting from Los Angeles, Jim Trotter explores a tale of two contenders.
Saints' defense unfazed by having to stop Tom Brady in crunch time
Nov 01, 2021
Though the Saints suffered a major blow with the injury of quarterback Jameis Winston, Dennis Allen's defense flummoxed Tom Brady once again. Jim Trotter says this prideful unit is the key to New Orleans making a push for a fifth consecutive NFC South title.
Short-handed Packers pull together, topple NFL's last unbeaten team in Arizona
Oct 29, 2021
Despite missing three wide receivers, the defensive coordinator, the starting left tackle and two talented cornerbacks, the Packers pulled together in Arizona and handed the Cardinals their first defeat. Jim Trotter chronicles a fascinating game with a wild finish.
Mason Crosby overcomes struggles, kicks game-winning FG to lift Packers past Bengals in wild affair
Oct 10, 2021
It's not often that a kicker gets multiple shots to put away an opponent. For Packers veteran Mason Crosby, that moment came against the Bengals on Sunday afternoon. Jim Trotter recaps a wild Week 5 clash in Cincinnati.
Brandon Staley's Chargers show poise, readiness in win over Raiders on Monday night
Oct 05, 2021
The Chargers have a long history of disintegrating in the biggest spots. But with head coach Brandon Staley and quarterback Justin Herbert, Jim Trotter says Los Angeles is resilient and resourceful, refusing to bow when moments become heavy.
Cardinals snap eight-game losing streak to Rams with statement-making win in Los Angeles
Oct 04, 2021
The Cardinals snapped an eight-game losing streak to the divisional rival Rams on Sunday, winning the marquee matchup in impressive fashion. Jim Trotter says Kyler Murray and Co. made quite a statement, especially on one particular drive.
Matthew Stafford, Rams prove the hype is real in win over defending champion Buccaneers
Sep 26, 2021
The Rams don't shy away from making the big move, and their blockbuster trade for Matthew Stafford is already reaping rewards. Jim Trotter details the substance behind the hype in L.A. following Sunday's 34-24 win over the Buccaneers.
Matthew Stafford leads Rams to resounding victory over Bears in Los Angeles debut
Sep 13, 2021
In his Rams debut at sparkling SoFi Stadium, Matthew Stafford passed for 321 yards and three scores, finishing with an almost-perfect QB rating of 156.1. Jim Trotter reflects on the veteran's performance in Los Angeles' 34-14 win over Chicago.
2011 NFL Draft class worthy of greater appreciation a decade after entering league
Sep 03, 2021
Jim Trotter examines the highly decorated 2011 NFL Draft class' place in history a decade after it entered the league and discusses the topic with some members of the group who are still adding to their legacy.
Chargers' bolt is BACK: 'Alpha leader' Derwin James drives culture of accountability in Los Angeles
Aug 26, 2021
After missing most of the last two seasons, Derwin James is on a mission to be great and elevate the Los Angeles Chargers. Jim Trotter discusses James' unique impact and how he's driving a culture of accountability.
New team, old approach: J.J. Watt returns to training roots in rebirth with Arizona Cardinals
Aug 18, 2021
J.J. Watt is a man on a mission, hell-bent on proving he can still be an impact defender for his new team, the Arizona Cardinals. Or, as Watt's personal trainer put it to Jim Trotter, "He wants to go out and shock people."
Cleveland Browns' defense hounding hyped offense with upgraded cast of 'dynamic playmakers'
Aug 11, 2021
Cleveland's offense carries great expectations into the 2021 NFL season, but Jim Trotter says the upgraded defense is making life hell for Baker Mayfield and Co. at Browns training camp. And this has Myles Garrett thinking big: "Go to the playoffs and make a run."
Quarterback translator: Is Justin Fields truly the backup? Could Derek Carr prematurely retire?
Jun 17, 2021
Will Justin Fields truly back up Andy Dalton? Would Derek Carr really retire before playing for another team? Is Ben Roethlisberger still the focal point of Pittsburgh's offense? Jim Trotter translates five QB-related comments that generated headlines.
Justin Herbert's big challenge in Year 2? Overcoming the 'worst thing' for young QBs: coordinator turnover
May 21, 2021
What impact does coaching turnover typically have on young NFL quarterbacks like reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert? Jim Trotter explores the topic with the Bucs' Bruce Arians, Saints' Sean Payton and more.
NFL free agency winners are teams that take care of their own
Mar 25, 2021
The New England Patriots went on a spending spree in free agency this offseason, signing a plethora of new talent. However, the Pats aren't Jim Trotter's free agency winners. That honor belongs to two teams who've taken care of their own.
Drew Brees' career defined not just by numbers, but turning doubters into believers
Mar 14, 2021
All Drew Brees ever wanted was a chance. Jim Trotter recalls a memorable encounter with the quarterback in 2004, back when the Chargers had just drafted his replacement and Brees' athletic mortality appeared to be staring at him in the face.
Does race remain a factor in the evaluation of NFL quarterbacks?
Feb 24, 2021
The 2020 season witnessed a record number of African American quarterbacks starting for their teams. And it all happened with little fanfare, which begs the question: Is race no longer a factor in the evaluation of NFL quarterbacks? It's a question Jim Trotter asked several prominent people in and around the game.
Devin White's postseason dominance proves no challenge, moment too big for Bucs' rising star
Feb 04, 2021
Facing the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV will be the greatest challenge of Devin White's young career, but his dominant postseason performance has already shown no moment to be too big for the Bucs linebacker, Jim Trotter writes.
Bruce Arians' NFL career résumé nearly complete as Buccaneers advance to Super Bowl LV
Jan 24, 2021
With the Buccaneers' victory over the Packers in the NFC title game, Bruce Arians is closer than ever to winning the Super Bowl title that has eluded him as a head coach. Jim Trotter chronicles Arians' journey and how Tampa Bay embodied the coach's boldness in Sunday's win.
Lamar Jackson rewrites playoff narrative as Ravens beat Titans in Wild Card Round
Jan 10, 2021
Narratives about Lamar Jackson being one-and-done in each of the last two postseasons circled heading into Sunday's Wild Card Round. Jim Trotter explores how the Ravens star QB overcame doubters and a deficit to help Baltimore finally beat Tennessee.
Cleveland Browns finally deliver fans postseason berth behind a confident Baker Mayfield
Jan 03, 2021
The Cleveland Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to earn a postseason berth for the first time since 2002. Jim Trotter says the Browns' confidence in Baker Mayfield helped end the team's playoff drought -- finally giving fans reason to celebrate.
Seeking a second chance, former NFL head coaches share valuable lessons learned
Jan 01, 2021
Raheem Morris says it best: "The first time you're a head coach, you think you know what the job entails, and you really don't." Jim Trotter talks to former head coaches now seeking a second chance in the big chair. What lessons did they learn? Biggest regrets?
COVID-19 season taking heavy toll on NFL players' significant others: 'It's changed our lives completely'
Dec 30, 2020
COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of life in 2020. And in this unprecedented NFL campaign, the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on players' significant others. Jim Trotter reports on a season of high stress and sleep deprivation.
Unpredictable NFC East still undecided heading into Week 17
Dec 27, 2020
After Washington fell to the Panthers and the Cowboys eliminated the Eagles, the race for the NFC East crown will be decided in Week 17 -- with three teams still alive and the eventual winner guaranteed to finish with a losing record. Jim Trotter assesses the chaos in the division.
Predicting topsy-turvy NFC East with all four teams still alive
Dec 21, 2020
In the aftermath of a three-loss Sunday for the NFC East in which only the Cowboys stood victorious, the division remains up for grabs. Jim Trotter weighs in on which team will be left standing atop the pile when the regular season ends.
Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger after loss to Bills: 'We're not playing good football'
Dec 14, 2020
The Steelers may have clinched a playoff berth thanks to Miami's loss, but after falling to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night -- Pittsburgh's second straight loss -- turning things around could be a challenge, writes Jim Trotter.
Jared Goff responds to critics -- including coach Sean McVay -- in Rams win
Dec 06, 2020
Following a turnover-plagued loss to the 49ers, Rams QB Jared Goff took some criticism from his own head coach. How would he respond? Well, in phenomenal fashion, fueling a Rams victory over the Cardinals, Jim Trotter writes.
Philip Rivers' unpredictability makes Colts NFL's most frustrating team
Nov 08, 2020
The Indianapolis Colts put themselves in good position at the half to beat Baltimore before a poor finish by Philip Rivers derailed any chance of victory. Jim Trotter discusses why the veteran QB's unpredictability makes Indy the NFL's most frustrating team.
Steelers beating Ravens without their A-game a scary proposition for rest of NFL
Nov 01, 2020
The Steelers prevailed in the NFL's fiercest modern-era rivalry, holding off the Ravens 28-24 to remain unbeaten -- and they did it without playing their best Sunday. Those two developments should put the rest of the league on notice, Jim Trotter writes.
2020 NFL trade deadline: Could Sam Darnold or Dwayne Haskins provide QB spice?
Oct 28, 2020
When it comes to NFL trade deadlines, the reality of what transpires often fails to match the breathless speculation of what could be. But Jim Trotter says two young quarterbacks could spice up this year's proceedings.
Kyler Murray leading Arizona Cardinals back to respectability
Oct 26, 2020
Cardinals QB Kyler Murray rallied his squad from a 13-point deficit to an overtime victory over the previously undefeated Seahawks. Jim Trotter looks at how Arizona came back to beat Seattle and the transitions each team is undergoing.