Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered an unexpected defense of Lions coach Matt Patricia’s character on Wednesday.
Ross told reporters (via the Detroit Free Press) at the NFL owners meetings it was his understanding that Patricia never “slept with” the woman Patricia was accused of sexually assaulting in a Texas hotel room 22 years ago.
The 1999 St. Louis Rams were coming off a 4-12 season, their second consecutive last-place finish in the NFC West. Dick Vermeil’s team hadn’t made the playoffs or posted a winning record in any of its nine previous campaigns, which produced a mark of 45-99. Even worse, starting quarterback Trent Green went down with a torn ACL and MCL in his knee during the Rams’ third preseason game, turning things over to a 28-year-old backup with one career NFL game under his belt.
You know what happened, of course. Kurt Warner stepped in and directed one of the best offenses in league history to a 13-3 season and the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory. Imagine if the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars — who were 47-97 the past nine seasons — lost Blake Bortles during the preseason and won a Super Bowl with third-stringer Ryan Nassib at the helm. Nobody can even pretend they saw the Rams coming.
As the Bears hold three sets of OTAs in May and June followed by a full-squad minicamp on June 5-7, it’s worth monitoring how Trubisky meshes with his new weapons. Chicago added Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton in free agency to better support the 2017 No. 2 overall pick.
On top of that, Trubisky is learning a fresh offense under the watchful eyes of new head coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.
Just having a bunch of brilliant offensive minds around me, I’m just getting a lot of information, Trubisky told reporters in mid-April. “I’m trying to be a sponge, and it’s been a lot of fun working with those guys and learning as much as I can.”
If the North Carolina product shines in the coming weeks, it may be a sign that he’ll continue to build on a strong finish to his rookie campaign.
Newly crowned San Francisco 49ers franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo also knows a thing or two about finishing strong. The 26-year-old wrapped up the 2017 season with victories in each of his first five starts as a member of the 49ers.
Tom Brady’s offseason absence will continue.
The Patriots quarterback won’t be at the opening of the team’s voluntary organized team activities on Monday, ESPN reported, citing an unidentified source.
“Even without those fines, this is going to be tough on the players, and I want a chance to speak with the coaches and other players to get feedback on this policy and to build on the good work and momentum that we have built up on these issues of social justice, on legislation, and all the things that we can do. I don’t think that this policy will interfere with that at all.
“I have a really good relationship with the players, and I hope we can keep that going and I trust that we will. I’m so proud of our players and their efforts to date. I think that is the most important thing to get across. I could not be more proud of the guys.”
Hooker tore his ACL and his MCL in an October 22 game against the Jaguars during his rookie season.
The 15th overall pick in 2017, Hooker played in seven games with six starts. He made three interceptions and four pass breakups.
Carolina is home to many who cheer on the Steelers, and Tepper has pointed out the parallels to the Panthers’ fan base, but the sale of the Charlotte’s team redefines “Pittsburgh South.”
Tepper is coming off seeing MIke Tomlin turn the Steelers into a steady force, even though the team has fallen short of winning a second Super Bowl with their longtime coach going on a decade. The Panthers have at least been close to the level of being championship-caliber every season under Rivera.
But the Panthers also have teetered on becoming what they were under John Fox a boom-or-mediocre team in the NFC South from one season to the next. Fox was 63-49 in his first seven seasons, only a game and a half shy of Rivera in the same span, with one less playoff appearance and as many NFC championships.
For the first time in three years, the Broncos won’t have a quarterback competition. Receiver Emmanuel Sanders likes it that way.
“You can sit back and say we’re all professional football players and you’ve got to deal with that situation, but at the same time, obviously you can’t gain the same chemistry,” Sanders said. “You don’t have the same mindset. You have to talk to two different quarterbacks. When you’re going into individual routes, you have to go to one guy and then go with the next guy. You don’t really gain that chemistry. You’re not maximizing the opportunity. Now we’re maximizing the opportunity, and hopefully it pays off.”
His base salary is dropping from $3.15 million to $2.575 million, with some incentives added back in to allow him to recoup some of the money. It cleared $500,000 in cap space.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges stemming from allegations that he attacked his then-girlfriend in their home in February.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 17, at which point Foster’s former girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, may testify under oath.
Ennis has recanted the allegations that led to the domestic violence case. Foster has been charged with domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon.
The 28-year-old woman initially told police that Foster dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of their house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times. She later issued a statement through her attorney saying her injuries were the result of a fight with another woman.
Former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett wasn’t drafted. He also hasn’t been signed as an undrafted free agent, yet.
Via multiple reports, Colts G.M. Chris Ballard told reporters on Saturday night that Barrett will get a tryout at the team’s rookie minicamp.
Barrett threw for 3,053 yards with 35 touchdowns passes and nine interceptions last year, adding 798 rushing yards. He was named MVP of the Fiesta Bowl to conclude the 2015 season and the Cotton Bowl to wrap the 2017 season.
Hindsight isn’t on our side yet, but right now this move gets the benefit of the doubt for a team that rarely deserves it.
With Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril gone and Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor both facing uncertain futures, the Seattle Seahawks are going through somewhat of a rebuild on the defensive side of the ball. But with the 141st pick of the 2018 draft, they landed a potential long-term puzzle piece at linebacker.
Emmanuel Moseley will also be part of the cornerback group after starting 30 games over four years at Tennessee.
Sheldon Richardson isn’t the type of player who will consistently put up big individual numbers, but his impact is glaring on tape.
Pro Football Focus does its best to contextualize that impact using advanced stats, with Mark Chichester noting: Richardson was a force in both the run game and in the pass-rush last year and through 17 weeks of the 2017 season, he racked up 36 total quarterback pressures and 22 run stops, which ranked ninth and 17th among defensive tackles this year, respectively.
Together, his 61 total impact plays were good for the seventh-most among interior defenders.
The Vikings defense allowed the fewest points and yards of any unit in the league last season and that was a major reason why they found themselves in the NFC title game against the Eagles in January.
That would be a stark contrast to what they had built on the outside, where for years the prototype of 6-foot-2, 210 pound wideouts was all they ever brought into camp.
Austin, paired up with Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer would make three receivers under 5-foot-10 for Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan to play with.
That vision didn’t last long, as less than two hours after acquiring Austin, the Cowboys shipped off 2017 fourth-round pick Ryan Switzer to Oakland to reunite with special teams coach Rich Bisaccia.
Last year Gumbel and Green were considered the No. 2 CBS team, behind Jim Nantz-Tony Romo and Ian Eagle-Dan Fouts.
Warner may be miffed that the tiebreaker wasn’t skill or experience but the fact that Witten played for the Dallas Cowboys. Never mind that Witten never played in a conference championship game or a Super Bowl. The Cowboys are still America’s Team, and they now have three former players who are perched in some of the most prominent spots in broadcasting, with Troy Aikman as the lead analyst at FOX (for Sunday and Thursday), Tony Romo as the lead analyst at CBS, and Witten as the lead analyst for Monday Night Football.
Sara Blackwell, who represents Davis and Ware, sent the NFL a settlement proposal: If commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL’s lawyers agree to a four-hour meeting with her clients to prepare a set of regulations for all NFL cheer teams, they will settle all claims for $1 each.
Earlier this week, the NFL (though not Goodell himself) agreed to meet with the group, and Blackwell plans to suspend the complaints for now.
Many have argued that the NFL just shouldn’t employ cheerleaders anymore.
In case anyone missed it, Chris Mara, the Giants Vice President of Player Evaluation, was on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sport Radio channel Friday.
Yanagi was replaced by Erik Kunttu from Syracuse, where he had worked alongside new Lions head coach Matt Patricia, and Richardson by William Brown.
Yanagi was the Lions’ director of video operations since 2004, and Richardson was assistant video director since 1991. They filmed practices and games and processed the footage for the coaching staff’s immediate use following practices and games, as well as for in-game adjustments, through tablets used on the sidelines.
Yanagi joined the Lions from the San Francisco 49ers and was the first Japanese-American video-operations director in the NFL.
Richardson’s promotion in 1991 marked the first time a black man was hired as an assistant video director in the NFL. Richardson began working with the Lions as a janitor in 1989, and was promoted to office manage in 1990, before joining the video department.
The surprising news came after ESPN earlier Tuesday ranked the Saints as the NFL’s fourth-best team in its post-draft power ratings, behind only the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC. The New Orleans Saints’ potent running game will be short on some firepower to start the season. Will Ingram’s suspension throw a wrench into the Saints’ lofty ambitions? It certainly won’t help.
The NFLPA doesn’t name the owner, but its release meshes with what Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported last month. According to PFT, Bengals owner Mike Brown asked Reid questions about his protesting plans. Brown reportedly told Reid, who was visiting the team in free agency, that he plans to restrict players from protesting during the national anthem and then asked Reid for a response.
One year after Always Dreaming cruised to victory over a muddy Churchill Downs track, could rain dampen the 144th renewal of the Kentucky Derby ?
The answer, according Accuweather.com, is maybe.
The Ravens are hoping Flacco can rebound in 2018 from three straight mediocre seasons by surrounding him with better offensive talent. Three wide receivers were signed in free agency (Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead), and South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst was drafted earlier in the first round at No. 25.
Still, it’s fair to wonder whether the additions are enough to make Flacco the difference-maker he was when he led Baltimore to victory in Super Bowl 47. At age 33 and with a mounting injury history, the odds are against it. Plus, the Ravens now have a viable way to get out of the $63 million in base salary remaining on the final three years of Flacco’s contract, which is set to expire after the 2021 campaign.
The wideout depth chart boasts Josh Gordon, Landry and Corey Coleman. The team also took a huge risk on fourth-round rookie Antonio Callaway. In addition, the offensive line could struggle after Joe Thomas retired in March.
Sometimes those types of things escalate, but more often they’re just cyclical. Especially when the two depend on each other for continued success.
Could it be that this is the year all of this does matter, and I’m wrong when I say none of it does? Sure, it’s always possible. But I doubt it.
There’s also the stark difference between how the two men approach life. Brady may seem like a robot, but he’s passionate. It’s why you often see him screaming and fiery.
Brady still sees himself as that player who was snubbed by the NFL and drafted in the sixth round. It’s still his motivation, his warp core. In many ways, Brady, who has played 18 seasons and in eight Super Bowls, is a man who is all heart and emo wrapped in an indestructible shell.