There are plenty of unanswered questions about how the two new spring football leagues will operate. Alliance of American Football co-founder Charlie Ebersol made his league’s position crystal clear as to one of those questions during a visit to the #PFTPM podcast on Wednesday.
If they go with a non-quarterback first overall (either Bradley Chubb or Saquon Barkley ), they could still select either Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, or maybe even Sam Darnold with the fourth pick. Let’s say the Browns go with Chubb first overall, the entire draft is then in the hands of the New York Giants. With the No. 2 overall pick, they’ll probably take either a quarterback or Barkley. If they take Barkley, Cleveland will almost definitely take a quarterback fourth overall.
Gordon might be the most talented wide receiver in the NFL. In 2013 he caught 87 passes for a league-leading 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games, despite catching passes from the likes of Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer. Unfortunately, Gordon has had multiple drug offenses and has played in just 10 games in four seasons since then.
Now Gordon is saying all the right things about being back with the Browns and firmly committed to football. Mayfield’s development as a quarterback will go much more smoothly if he has Gordon on his side.
[James] grabbed me close. He told me that he lost a state final his junior year. He told me I was a special player and to keep my head up, said Staten, who later went on to play at West Virginia. He told me to remember the moment for the rest of my life. He told me to let that drive me for the rest of my life, never to feel like that again. Those were wise words, and I’ve tried to live by them.
The moment created a remarkable photo, James comforting and offering advice to a teenager in a devastating moment.
It’s just who I am, I guess. It’s not like it was planned. Obviously I just recognized the kid had a lot of talent. He played his heart out against our high school and he wanted to win that game just as bad as, you know, probably living, James said. And I mean he was just crying, like, a disaster, you know? I’ve been there. I was in my junior year…. I just wanted to try to give my words of encouragement in any way I could.
Whether quarterback Andrew Luck actually throws behind them remains to be seen, but the Colts at least like the progress they’ve made putting together a new offensive line.
There just needs to be a mental toughness and a leadership with guys who are all in and can mentally and physically do it play in and play out, coach Frank Reich said. Those guys have proven that over their career and they’re stepping up in their leadership role and really setting the tone for us, not only as an offensive line, but really as an offense in general.
The Colts also used one of their second-rounders on guard Braden Smith, adding another high pick to the mix. It’s a promising start, and if their quarterback actually ever throws again, they should be improved.
Flacco said it was unfortunate if people think he’s holding a grudge about the team’s decision to draft Jackson and that all has been well with the rookie since they started working together. Flacco said he’s welcomed Jackson with open arms and we’re all helping each other all the time because everyone’s focus is on putting the best team on the field come the regular season.
There’s been talk of a package of plays for Jackson that would get him on the field while Flacco remains the starter. The veteran said on Thursday that he’s OK with that if it helps the team win while adding that he thinks the best way to do that involves having him under center.
Flacco also fielded questions about what the future holds for him and acknowledged the obvious by saying that drafting Jackson represents part of the team’s plans. He said he didn’t know what that plan entails, but that he’s worried about right now because nothing can be promised beyond that.
But conversely, if you believe the fourth straight Cleveland-against-Golden State NBA Finals seems somewhat new and different, you also can’t be faulted. Never in the NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL have the same two teams slugged it out in the championship round four straight years. So that’s new.
The Patriot Way has come under attack in recent days, from those who claim that the Patriots don’t have fun. To no surprise, coach Bill Belichick says it’s not about fun.
Asked during a Thursday press conference whether it’s important for you to come up with ways for players to feel like they’re enjoying themselves as they’re putting in the work that you ask them to put in, Belichick was characteristically blunt.
We feel what’s important to us is to win, Belichick said. So that’s really what we’re trying to do.
Asked next about criticism from people like Eagles tackle Lane Johnson, Belichick was characteristically dismissive.
Browns safety Damarious Randall underestimated two things: the power of social media and passion of Cleveland fans.
Randall said Wednesday he never imagined that an innocent Twitter posting about the NBA Finals would blow up into a national story — and maybe something he lives to regret.
Last year, Foster didn’t participate in the offseason program due to a lingering shoulder issue.
[I]f he gets one snap of practice it’ll be more than what he got a year ago, Saleh said. So we’re excited he’s here. We’re excited that he’s working. We’re excited that he’s in meetings. He’s excited. The guys, his teammates are excited. Getting him up to speed won’t take as long and I promise you, when he gets out there, he’s going to be like a fireball. That’ll be cool to see.
Saleh said that he had no contact with Foster during his absence, which means that Foster is getting up to speed not only physically but also mentally. For a guy who at one point seemed to be destined for a lengthy suspension at best and termination of employment at worst, it’s a huge development both for him and for the team that he’s able to play at all.
We’re all excited, Saleh said. The whole organization matches his enthusiasm, and that’s not just because of Reuben the player, but Reuben the person. For people who don’t know him, and who don’t have the privilege to know him, really don’t understand what a great human being he actually is.
The Packers personnel department saw a series of changes to kick off the offseason after Ted Thompson stepped down as General Manager.
Thompson moved to a senior advisor role with Brian Gutekunst getting bumped up from director of player personnel to the G.M. job. Longtime personnel execs Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith moved to new jobs in Cleveland and the Packers announced the new structure of their front office on Friday.
Hamilton, which played most of its starters, had seven turnovers in the first half — two interceptions, three fumbles and two on downs.
Obviously you can’t turn the ball over like that and ever have a chance to win a game, Jones said. But he (Manziel) did some good things. He’s got a good game presence about him. He knew what was going on … he wasn’t rattled, he wasn’t flustered. Obviously he scrambled around and made a couple of plays. I think he’s going to get better and better every time he plays.
Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, entered the game late in the first half and played much of the third quarter. The 25-year-old was solid on his final possession, engineering a 12-play, 62-yard drive that took 7:27 off the clock but also included the intentional grounding penalty.
They finally gave me the clear to start back working out normal and going back into the meetings and stuff, Gathers said. For the most part, I was excited after getting cleared, but the people above had bigger expectations for me rather than me coming in and practicing and getting back on the field.
Really they didn’t tell me anything. But I could just tell by the drift of the season and the drift of the coaching staff that I probably wasn’t going to play last year anyway. I just look forward to getting back on the field this year.
Gathers is confident he could have helped last season. He’s more confident he will help this season with Witten and Hanna gone. He is competing with Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin, Schultz and undrafted rookie David Wells likely for three roster spots.
Gathers has worked hard on his blocking, seeking to become an all-around tight end.
It was agonizing [not playing last season], because I felt like I had finally got into a rhythm of what I wanted to do, and I think they saw that, Gathers said. It was tough to deal with, especially because in some of the games I felt like we needed a scoring punch and I felt like that was what I brought to the table. But playing for the Cowboys is bigger than being able to score touchdowns. You have to block and everything else.
Two weeks ago, the Kansas City Chiefs waived wide receiver Jordan Smallwood in order to sign another receiver, East Carolina’s Davon Grayson.
It is tough to evaluate running backs in spring non-contact practices, but Bowles likes what he has seen from Crowell.
Right now, he has been great, Bowles said. He is doing everything we have asked of him right now. He is running the ball, he is picking up his blocks and picking up the system well. It will be exciting to see him in pads.
If J.R. Smith is lucky, if fate is as kind to him, he will live a life similar to the one Roy Riegels lived in the many decades after he made what, for many, remains the signature gaffe in the history of American sports.
Twenty-nine months later, Smith is moving more like myself.
Maybe more than anything else, I think he’s moving more spontaneously now, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. You see him maybe get in a compromising position and react his way out of it physically maybe better than he had before.
The daughter of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen announced her desire to take over the leadership role of the team and was informed she hasn’t met the criteria.
The Pat Bowlen Trust issued a statement Thursday saying Beth Bowlen Wallace is not capable or qualified at this time.
The team was placed in a trust when Pat Bowlen stepped down in 2014 because of Alzheimer’s. The trust is overseen by three people, including team president and CEO Joe Ellis, who has final say on day-to-day operations until one of Bowlen’s seven children can succeed him as controlling owner.
Bowlen Wallace said in a statement that it is her desire to lead this team with the same passion my father did and help the Broncos become Super Bowl champions again.
The Broncos have made 18 of their 22 playoff appearances during the Pat Bowlen era. Since he was introduced as the majority owner on March 23, 1984, the team has the second-most regular-season wins (behind New England) and captured three Super Bowl titles.
With Game 3 all but over in the final 30 seconds, the Devils and the Tampa Bay Lightning let their emotions turn into a 10-player melee.
LSU’s Arden Key would be a value pick if he falls all the way to 51, where the Lions select in the second round. Or Alabama’s Da’Shawn Hand, a former 5-star recruit, would provide more of a big-bodied 3-4 end for Patricia’s multiple front who also would give the Lions the ability to replace Washington this year and save some cap space.
However the draft plays out, the Lions would be wise to find a way to come out it with a quality defensive end. An addition at the position isn’t mission critical to fill an immediate need, but is of vital importance to the team’s long-term outlook up front.
Retaining Ansah, or securing a one-for-one replacement in free agency next year, is likely to cost north of $15 million per season. Being able to draft and develop would give the franchise an option with a far more reasonable price tag, providing greater cap flexibility to bolster the roster at multiple other spots.
In addition to November’s game, the NFL will hold one regular-season game in Mexico annually from 2019 to 2021. We are thrilled to be a part of the NFL’s international initiatives once again, and we are excited to face the Rams at historic Estadio Azteca this fall, Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in January’s statement.
The support for the NFL in Mexico has grown significantly since our initial trip in 1996. We look forward to returning to Mexico and connecting with a new generation of fans this season. The game will be a home contest for the Rams, who will play the rest of their home schedule at the Los Angeles Coliseum until their new stadium is ready to open in 2020. It will also be the first time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters will face his old team since being traded to the Rams this offseason. Southern California and Mexico share strong historic and cultural ties and this game will provide an opportunity to celebrate the special connection between these two regions, Rams owner Stan Kroenke said.
Stephen Jones, on the other hand, didn’t see things as clearly.
I think it’s always difficult because Dez was an amazing player for us, the Cowboys chief operating officer and executive vice president said during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday. He helped us win a lot of football games. At the same time, these things happen in our business.
A lot of us have been in here working out for a few weeks, but this is the official start. Phase Two is in three weeks includes individual on-field workouts and drills as well as team practice conducted on a separates basis. In other words, there’s no live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills permitted. And Phase Three is scheduled to get under way in May with organized team activities (OTAs).
Cowboys dates for those workouts are set May 22-24, May 29-31 and June 4-6. OTAs feature no live contact, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted. A rookie minicamp will be held the first or second weekend after the NFL draft. The Cowboys’ mandatory minicamp for all players is scheduled for June 12-14 and training camp will get underway in late July in Oxnard, Calif.
At this point, the Lions are still in the conditioning phase of the offseason program and won’t delve into schematic alterations until next month. On offense, it’s more likely to be tweaks than an overhaul given coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and many of the assistants from that side of the ball are returning under Patricia. But on defense, things are expected to look significantly different.
Davis, who slogged through his rookie season adjusting to a new scheme, feels his understanding of weekly preparation has him equipped for the upcoming changes.
I was able to see what study habits I had — were they good, were they bad? Davis said. Now, I’m able to kind of skip past that rocky phase and go right into this type of studying helps me, this type of studying doesn’t help me; this amount time that I put in on the film helps me, this amount of time doesn’t help me.
Marshall, 33, had been consistently working out at the Giants’ facility since the injury. He wanted to return to the team, and he doesn’t seem to have an intention of retiring.
Gleyber Torres is not in the lineup tonight for Triple-A Scranton:
A person close to top prospect Gleyber Torres told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday he’d be surprised if the Yankees call up Torres within the next couple of days because it would seem such a blatant exploitation of the service clock rules.
When it comes this close, it’s hard for someone to not make a business decision, the source said.
The Yankees could explain a Torres promotion as a way of filling a need, however.
Torres, who left Monday’s game at Triple-A with a stiff back, has played seven straight games at third base. A natural shortstop, the Yankees have been preparing him at second base and third base — two weak positions on the major-league roster.
He’s hit.366 with a homer and 10 RBI in 41 at-bats over 11 games at Triple-A and was in the mix to win the Opening Day job at second base until his poor spring training performance.
The Yankees don’t know when regular third baseman Brandon Drury (severe migraines) will get off the disabled list, though he performed a light workout and took batting practice outdoors for the first time in more than a week Monday. Doctors have given Drury a battery of tests to see what’s causing his headaches and blurred vision and Drury is taking a prescribed anti-inflammatory to combat the the pain.
First, a quick review. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported late last week that Kaepernick was scheduled to work out with the Seahawks but that the trip was canceled when Kaepernick declined to stop kneeling during the national anthem. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport then reported that the workout wasn’t canceled but postponed, and the Seahawks were pursuing a more nuanced conversation about Kaepernick’s plans than just whether he was going to kneel.
Now, this is what I can say with certainty. Schefter’s report was accurate. According to a league source who’d know, the Seahawks did want Kaepernick to tell them he wouldn’t kneel, and Kaepernick wouldn’t agree to do that. That’s the truth. A fact.
This next part is more speculation: What might have happened is that the Seahawks told Kaepernick they didn’t want him to kneel, but then the team got a notice from the league stating, Um, fellas, we’re in a legal battle about collusion with Kaepernick. You can’t do that. So then the Seahawks tried to change the story. Again, that’s just speculation.
But it brings us back to that original question: Why is the NFL still so scared of Colin Kaepernick?
Gabe Kapler smiled and joked often during his pre-game meeting with reporters before Thursday’s opening contest of a 10-game Phillies homestand which begins with four games against a Pirates team off to a strong start.
And there’s plenty of room for improvement. Carlos Santana is hitting.131, J.P. Crawford.182 and Jorge Alfaro.194.
This homestand – the longest of the season – could be a big springboard if the Phillies can maintain their recent momentum and show a little more on the offensive end. They will face Arizona and Atlanta for three games each after the four-game set with the Pirates.
The three opponents have a combined record of 34-18.
* The Phillies wore the powder blue uniforms that were a staple of the 1970’s teams on Thursday and Kapler said he was a big fan.
I love them, this was my childhood hat, said Kapler, showing off the old-school P. I’m proud to wear (this uniform) today. I had a satin Phillies jacket when I was young. I wasn’t a Phillies fan, but my mom got me a satin jacket for Christmas. And our dog was named after Pete Rose.
Asked if the dog gambled as well, Kapler said he did but quipped he always bet on himself.
* Reliever Tommy Hunter could be close to a return. The free-agent signee has missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury.
Hunter is scheduled to pitch his next rehab game on Friday for Double-A Reading.
He’ll do his thing and we’ll read and react from there, said Kapler. We’ll take it step by step and continue to make (his return) TBD.
He profiles as a guy who can give us one-plus (inning). His flexibility makes him unique. He can be ready to go earlier in the game. His ability to go through the left-handed part of lineup is what is exciting and he can dominate right-handers as well.
To help LaFleur, the Titans brought former New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis aboard to serve in a thunder-and-lightning timeshare with bruiser Derrick Henry.
The Los Angeles Rams will host the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football from Mexico City on Nov. 19, the Rams announced Wednesday, one day before the NFL unveils the rest of the 2018 regular-season schedule.
Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN from Estadio Azteca for what will be the NFL’s second Monday Night Football game in Mexico City, two years after the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans did the same.
I think that would just create this unique dynamic. If you remember last year when our Drew Pearson stood up to announce our second-round pick in Philadelphia, and it created such a stir in the auditorium there. I think that’s something everybody looked to and said,’That’s actually the kind of atmosphere that you want at one of these events.’ So by having all the teams represented down right in front of the stage, I think we’ve just created some really interesting atmosphere.
Fortunately, although the benches and bullpens emptied, there were no punches, so it did not cause any fighting. On the contrary, the retaliation started the brawl.
In the seventh inning, the second time Austin came to bat following the play at second, Joe Kelly plunked him. I do not believe that the entire Red Sox team or coaching staff is to blame, however, because Austin had been at the plate once already after the incident, and it was the same score, so I doubt there was any sort of conspiracy to hit him. Kelly likely acted on his own.
Granted, the Sox did join the brawl when Austin understandably charged the mound, but that was because they had to protect their teammate, regardless of what he did.
Although Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin was fined for jawing with Red Sox coaches, Kelly and Austin were the only players suspended, marking them the culprits of the brawl. However, hatred clouds misunderstanding, and there are cloudy skies whenever the Yankees and Red Sox face off. Although both organizations have shown class since their respective inceptions, and I am not one to condone violence in baseball, I can say that I will enjoy the rebirth of a legendary rivalry that has been around longer than I have.