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5 NFL Players Who Need To Speak With Actions, Not Words

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5 NFL Players Who Need To Speak With Actions, Not Words

Actions not words, NFL Players
Ed Mulholland- USA TODAY Sports

Actions speak louder than words. That saying has always been extremely relevant in the NFL.

There are a lot of players in the league today that have had significant declines in production in the past year or two and always seem to talk a big game. Most of them still feel like they can get back to an elite level, but it seems like this season will be a very important one for them. Certain players just need to keep their mouths shut and play football. They need to get out of the spotlight and start working towards a successful 2013 season.

A few players on this list might not talk a big game, but they certainly need to step up their play or else they’ll get benched. The other players on this list have already started off on the wrong foot this season. Some of them have not showed up for organized team activities or have been saying the wrong things in front of the camera.

Regardless what they think, film doesn't lie. When watching these players on film, they have talent; however, their talent doesn't reflect the production on the field. These players need to do a better job managing the game and becoming more dominant. These players can play, but they need to show it on the field.

This is definitely a put up or shut up season for these players, and if things don’t go the way they intend it to go, then the coaches will certainly be looking for replacements.

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5. Cam Newton

Cam
Derick E. Hingle- USA TODAY Sports

There’s no doubt that Cam Newton loves the spotlight. Fans can see his face right in front of the camera prior to every game. Obviously, the kid has talent and had a great rookie year by winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2011. However, his sophomore season did not reflect his rookie season. Newton put up decent numbers, but the wins and losses is what matters. The Carolina Panthers went 6-10 in 2011 and then went 7-9 2012. In the first 10 games of the 2012 season, Newton had a record of just 2-8. However, he ended the season on a high note by leading the Panthers to a 5-1 record in their last 6 games.

The one thing that Newton proved in 2012 is that he does not have the clutch gene. In the 9 games the Panthers lost, 7 of them were decided by a touchdown or less. He needs to have more confidence in himself so he can finish the games and start adding more wins to the W column.

If Newton can keep the turnovers to a minimum and start generating some wins, then he can talk all he wants. Otherwise, he needs to stay away from the cameras and start focusing on how to turn around the Panthers franchise.

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4. DeSean Jackson

DeSean Jackson
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

As we all know, Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson is a big talker. He loves getting in the face of his opponents and really isn’t afraid to tell people how good he is. Jackson signed a five-year, $51 million contract prior to the 2012 season. Following the contract, Jackson ended the season by playing in just 11 games and had 45 catches for 700 yards and just 2 touchdowns. Jackson has had some great seasons in his short NFL career, but he needs to get back to being a dynamic player who can change the game in just one play.

The reason why this is a big season for Jackson is that he is carrying a big salary that has no room for mediocre performance. Jackson needs to prove that he is worthy of that money and become a top-five NFL wide receiver. If he can’t become a Pro Bowl player this season, then be prepared to see some of that money go towards Jeremy Maclin’s new contract after the 2013 season.

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3. Andre Smith

Andre
Thomas Campbell- USA TODAY Sports

Andre Smith is a guy who has loads of talent but a poor work ethic. Smith is constantly complaining about his contract and feels like he is entitled to become one of the highest paid tackles in the league. Smith eventually realized that he is not going to get the money he wants and settled for a three-year, $18 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. I understand he had a solid 2012 season, but we can tell that Smith is not happy about his current contract. There are now multiple reports stating that Smith will not attend minicamp and will be fined. He will miss it due to personal reasons; however, he also missed organized team activities as well.

Smith had a very good 2012 season, however, he has been very inconsistent in years past. He needs to prove that he can become a consistent right tackle year in, year out. If he winds up having a poor 2013 season, then the Bengals are going to have to think twice about having him in the starting line-up.

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2. Michael Vick

Vick
Jim O'Connor- USA TODAY Sports

Michael Vick’s career with the Philadelphia Eagles is holding on by a thread. If Vick has another poor season or loses his job, then be prepared to see him with a new team in 2014. Vick has a great arm and is still very athletic, but what’s stopping him from becoming a great quarterback is his decision making. Vick can throw anywhere on the field and is pretty accurate, but he is constantly making poor decisions that lead to turnovers.

Chip Kelly’s offense is built around a high-tempo, quick-thinking scheme that Vick can either flourish or fail in. He probably has the best arm at Eagles camp right now, but he definitely is not the best decision maker. This could mean that Nick Foles can take the job away from Vick before the regular season even starts. If that happens, then Vick is on his way out.

Vick is also growing impatient with not knowing who the starter is. He wants Kelly to name the starting quarterback before training camp. This is where he needs to keep quiet and just perform. If he is confident that he is the best quarterback at camp than just go out and prove it. It’s as simple as that.

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1. Mark Sanchez

Sanchez
Kevin Hoffman- USA TODAY Sports

Mark Sanchez isn't a big talker, but we all know that this is possibly his last shot at being a starter in this league. He has a young gun behind him in Geno Smith, who is fighting for a job. If Sanchez can’t outperform Smith, then I can’t see him being a starter anywhere else in this league.

Sanchez will probably never become an elite quarterback in this league, so he needs to just try and add as many wins as possible in the 2013 season. He also needs to stay away from the media and try to focus on gaining respect in the locker room so the Jets can turn their franchise around. If he can’t do that than there will definitely be some changes in New York next offseason.