Month: February 2018

Brady admits his personal life affected him in 2016.

His Deflategate battle against the NFL reportedly ended when it did only because Brady had a more important battle with which to concern himself back home.

Brady was willing to give up that fight in the name of personal priorities. There’s no reason to believe they would not trump an unnecessarily long playing career, either. And we know very well how Gisele feels about the matter.

But Brady also witnessed the physical deterioration Manning experienced through his last couple of seasons.

“Football is such a physical sport, and every game could be your last game,” Brady told reporters this week. “It’s the reality of the sport, so I’d love to plan for those things. I try to work hard at the things I need to for my body to feel good week after week and year after year.

McVay led Los Angeles from a 4-12 season in 2016 to an 11-5 record in 2017. He was the favorite to be named the league’s best coach for a while. It helped him out that Gurley broke out with 2,093 yards from scrimmage which earned him the offensive player of the year award. Donald anchored the team’s defense tallying 11 sacks and five forced fumbles on the way to being named the league’s best defensive player.

As for the Saints, it was the first time since 1967 a team has swept the offensive and defensive rookie of the year awards. Lattimore was a first-round pick out of Ohio State while Kamara was taken in the third round out of Tennessee. Saints quarterback Drew Brees was also named the Clutch Performer of the Year.

The Super Bowl in 2018 seems relatively easy to predict if one goes by the odds. The Patriots opened as 5 1/2-point favorites over the Eagles in Super Bowl 52, set to be played Sunday in Minneapolis. So of course the majority of SN’s experts are picking New England to beat Philadelphia. But not all.

Super Bowl picks and predictions are the bottom lines during the two-week hype train that is Super Bowl analysis. The matchup will be dissected and previewed to no end. Will Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots pad the numbers that make up their dynasty? Will the Eagles, with Nick Foles in position to become one of the most unlikely Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks in history, shock the world and win their first Super Bowl?bills_028

They’re all full of it to varying degrees, but none more than Roger Goodell’s NFL and his dutiful adjutants, the league’s compliant TV networks.

What’s ladled out — make that shoveled — as social altruism has formed Mount Manure, built on public relations cons and high-definition, high-in-additives baloney.

The annual presentation of NFL games played on Thanksgiving — up to three since 2006, instead of two, to maximize TV rights and get-out-there-and-shop commercial revenues — comes wrapped in home-and-hearth values with good wishes from “our family to yours.” And it’s self-evident nonsense.

“Her red bra was all that was supposed to show, no nipple, no exposure,” the insider said. “It was meant to be a little racy, but nobody meant for her breast to show. It became a big deal because Justin grabbed the costume much too hard and, instead of pulling the one small part, he tore the bra part, too.” (Representatives for Timberlake did not return calls for comment.)

Behind the scenes, there was confusion, as MTV executive producer Salli Frattini, recalled to ESPN The Magazine in 2014: “There was lots of chaos in the [production truck, and we played it back and we were like, ‘Oh, s – – t. What just happened?’ ”

New kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, who spent time in six NFL training camps over the past five seasons before finally getting a shot to play this week, was the star of the game for Oakland. The former Cal kicker went 4 for 4 on the day, hitting field goals from 20, 52, 52 and 43 yards in the win.

It’s fitting that the Raiders went with a kicker who has such an unusual backstory because the Raiders won in an unusual way. Going into the season, the biggest question in Oakland had to do with whether or not their defense would actually be able to stop anyone.

We know the Raiders can win a shootout, but can they punch you in the mouth and win with defense?

In 2003, Houston Oilers defensive end Elvin Bethea made a rather impolitic confession as he was about to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He admitted he rarely watches NFL games.
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The storm in Minnesota that dropped more than a foot of snow on campus kept Northwestern from traveling the night before the game.

The well-rested Wildcats arrived about eight hours before tipoff and wore down the banged-up Gophers with a seasoned, spirited rally.

Bryant McIntosh and Vic Law scored 18 points apiece for Northwestern, leading the comeback Tuesday from a 10-point deficit to beat reeling Minnesota 77-69.

“Everyone knows the struggles we’ve had throughout the year to try to find ourselves as a team. We feel like in the last two weeks we’re starting to play good basketball,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. “This was a big game.”

Scottie Lindsey added 15 points, Dererk Pardon pitched in 10 points and eight rebounds and Law pulled down 13 rebounds himself for the Wildcats (13-9, 4-5 Big Ten), who won their second straight game after losing five of their previous seven contests.

“I think we need to hold everybody accountable a little more, and I think that’s the biggest think right now, if guys ain’t doing the right job, they need to come out the game,” Thomas had said after the Thunder loss.

Dwyane Wade also called for further accountability; however, his message was aimed more at the players, stating “can’t no one be sensitive” if the coaching staff singled them out.

Maybe it’s no coincidence that the defense turned around after the team selected defensive end Myles Garrett with the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft. He’s ranked the 23rd-best edge rusher per PFF with the 10th-highest “Pass Rushing Productivity” rating — which measures pressure created on a per-snap basis with weighting toward sacks — from the right side.

With 13 picks in the 2018 draft — including five in the first two rounds — and nearly $59 million in available salary-cap space, the offense almost certainly will improve with investments in a franchise quarterback and other supporting cast members.

What the Browns have built to date, though, clearly hasn’t worked. So it’s unsurprising the team announced it had relieved Sashi Brown of his duties as the team’s executive vice president of football operations.

Instead of asking, “Given how links are distributed around the web, how relevant is each site?” you can ask, “Given how wins are distributed around this network, how good is each team?”
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Sean McVay became a top NFL coach of the year candidate in Year 1 with the Rams.

There is plenty to love about the coaching job Sean McVay has done this season with the Los Angeles Rams.

He helped Jared Goff become a franchise quarterback and running back Todd Gurley an MVP candidate. He took a team that hadn’t had a winning season since 2003 and instantly transformed it into an NFC powerhouse. He made the Rams matter in L.A. and around the NFL.

In Carolina, Devin Funchess — the remaining big-and-slow Panthers WR — gets a volume boost, though he’s a pale imitation of Benjamin. This trade doesn’t mean Funchess is suddenly faster or has better hands. And in fact, Greg Olsen could return from his broken foot in a few weeks, and Carolina may have a more speed-oriented receiving attack in mind, utilizing the likes of Curtis Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and Russell Shepard more. In a week without byes, Funchess needs to play better before he emerges from the ranks of the WR3s.

McDermott lands in a far different situation in Buffalo. The Bills have not made a playoff appearance since the 1999 season. Ryan spent two seasons there attempting to get the team back to the postseason and couldn’t, failing to deliver on his pledge to make the Bills an on-field bully. Things looked particularly scattered at the end of the season when the team opted to sit down quarterback Tyrod Taylor for contractual reasons but then sent interim coach Anthony Lynn out to explain a decision in which he had not participated.

Lynn was the favorite for the job heading in. McDermott was coming off a season in Carolina in which the Panthers’ defense, minus inexplicably jettisoned cornerback Josh Norman, ranked 21st in the league. Carolina, coming off its Super Bowl appearance, failed to make the playoffs. But McDermott’s good work in previous seasons was not forgotten. He, like Joseph, had the advantage of being available right now. Teams with coaching vacancies like that, especially given the intense competition to fill out coaching staffs with top assistants.cowboys_097

When I think back on my seven years playing for Coughlin, it all comes down to attention to detail and preparation.

Two teams promoted their own offensive coordinators: the New York Giants with Ben McAdoo and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Dirk Koetter. Three hired someone else’s offensive coordinator: the Cleveland Browns with Cincinnati’s Hue Jackson, the Dolphins with Chicago’s Adam Gase and the Philadelphia Eagles with Kansas City’s Doug Pederson. The 49ers hired Chip Kelly, the offensive-minded head coach fired by the Eagles. The Tennessee Titans made their former offensive assistant turned interim coach, Mike Mularkey, their full-time coach.

O’Hara: It was stressed constantly that although you can’t win the game on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, you can certainly lose it. That was driven home from the time I got there in 2004 until I retired. To be prepared for any situation gave us great confidence heading into any contest, let alone Super Bowl XLII against Belichick and the Patriots. I specifically remember one instance of this in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLII.

“There is no question the league is suffering negative effects from these protests,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has since gone on to wage his own war against Goodell and fellow owners, said in October. “I care about a lot of things, but our ability to be substantive is based on having a strong NFL, a league that people are really interested in and want to watch games. At all times, if I am anything, I am first and foremost a proponent of making the NFL strong. Making us have as many people watching the game as we can and watching in light of what we are doing and that’s playing football.

“If all this makes you stronger to represent messages, let’s don’t do it in a way that tears down the strength of the NFL.”

“It’s pretty obvious that getting public financing for a stadium in the state of California is very, very difficult,” Carter said in a phone interview. “It’s been the crux of the Chargers’ problem in San Diego for a very long time. Are the Chargers better off in L.A.? Maybe marginally so. But that’s compared to what has become a contaminated situation for them in San Diego. It’s a better option. It may not be the ultimate option.”

The Rams spent this season playing in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Chargers’ temporary home for the 2017 and ’18 seasons will be the StubHub Center in Carson, where they will have a seating capacity of around 30,000.
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The Steelers dedicated the victory to Ryan Shazier, Ron Cook writes.

The Steelers’ crazy victory Sunday night might end up being a huge win. Pittsburgh seemed to be dead late Sunday, down by two possessions in the fourth quarter, with a defense the Ravens’ running game was shredding. They had an emotional week, playing six days after linebacker Ryan Shazier suffered a harrowing spinal injury. But somehow, behind 500 yards from Ben Roethlisberger, more than 200 of which went to Antonio Brown, the Steelers pulled it out, 39-38.

It clinched the AFC North for Pittsburgh. More important, it helped protect their first-round bye. The Steelers will play the Patriots next week in a showdown that will decide the top seed. If the Steelers had lost, and for most of the second half it seemed like they would, they would have been in danger of falling into a tie with the Jaguars and out of the second seed. Now, their bye is pretty secure.

Smith-Pelly did not protest during the anthem before the Capitals game on Monday.

This isn’t the first time that the anthem protests crossed into a league known for its more conservative fan base. Last month, Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first Major League Baseball player to participate in the protest.

I’m kneeling, Maxwell told reporters after his first anthem protest, for the people who don’t have a voice.

The NFL declined to comment Sunday through a spokesman.

No Club, its employees or agents shall enter into any agreement, express or implied, with the NFL or any other Club, its employees or agents to restrict or limit individual Club decision-making, the CBA says, adding that applies to whether to negotiate or not to negotiate with any player and whether to offer or not to offer a Player Contract to any player, among other things.

The CBA also says: The failure by a Club or Clubs to negotiate, to submit Offer Sheets, or to sign contracts with Restricted Free Agents or Transition Players, or to negotiate, make offers, or sign contracts for the playing services of such players or Unrestricted Free Agents, shall not, by itself or in combination only with evidence about the playing skills of the player(s) not receiving any such offer or contract, satisfy the burden of proof set forth бн above.

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