Monthly Archives: August 2017

Titans rookie Corey Davis to miss at least a week with hamstring injury

The Titans got a scare Friday when rookie receiver Corey Davis left practice early with a hamstring injury.

Davis, the fifth overall pick of this year’s draft, had an MRI later Friday and Titans coach Mike Mularkey said Davis avoided serious injury.

According to multiple reporters present at practice, it all started when the pair came together after an incomplete pass in the end zone during a drill. Things escalated when both players removed their helmets and started to go at it.

The Boston Globe noted that Edelman was seen throwing Gilmore to the ground before being pried off by fellow wideout Chris Hogan. Although the incident didn’t last more than 15 seconds, coach Bill Belichick upheld his rule that any fight during practice results in an automatic ejection and did not hesitate to kick them off the field.

Edelman, 31, led the Patriots in receiving last season with 98 catches for 1,106 yards. He had three touchdowns as he averaged 11.3 yards per reception.

Gilmore, 26, signed a five-year contract worth $65 million earlier this offseason after five seasons with the Bills.

The Cardinals, just one season removed from an NFC Championship Game appearance, are primed to turn the page on the Carson Palmer era as the veteran quarterback enters his age-38 season. If he retires, Cousins could slide into his spot in the lineup — and play for a coach who just wrote a book called The Quarterback Whisperer. Arizona has a worse offensive line than Washington, and the team’s receiving corps needs an infusion of talent — Larry Fitzgerald can’t play forever — but having David Johnson around is like having a cheat code in the backfield.

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Broncos announce Trevor Siemian will start first preseason game

Trevor Siemian will start at quarterback in the Broncos’ opening preseason game Thursday against the Bears.

Coach Vance Joseph made the announcement after practice Monday, indicating Siemian has outperformed fellow QB Paxton Lynch as the team tries to sort out the position.

Joseph and Broncos general manager John Elway have said the starter for the regular season will be determined by how well each quarterback does in the preseason.

Lynch will get his chance to start in the Broncos’ second preseason game Aug. 19 against the 49ers, Joseph said.

Siemian went 8-6 as the starter last year, taking over full time for retired Peyton Manning, while Lynch the team’s No. 1 draft pick in 2016 was 1-1 in games he started when Siemian was injured.

There’s no other athlete in sports that has put himself in meme culture the way that Beckham has. Viral video stars have gigantic audiences outside of sports. By putting himself in the middle of that, Beckham’s reach is greater than just NFL fans.

It might also be the thing that separates him the most. The Instagram stars mentioned above are just some of the wildly popular stars Beckham is hanging out with. It’s also much of what is being consumed by young fans and athletes. By seeing him in those videos, it only makes him that much more of a star in the eyes of many.

All of these things seem little, but it’s how young fans are molding some of their earliest sports memories. It’s fun, harmless, and he’s a good player. That’s a recipe for growing a fanbase for life.

He’s still just 24 years old, and pending any bad injuries, has a long career ahead of him. The way things are going now, we’ll be talking about Odell Beckham Jr. well after his playing days are done.

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Police say former Giants TE had 25 pounds of pot in vehicle

Former Giants and Jets tight end Adrien Robinson was arrested Monday after a traffic stop revealed he was in possession of about 25 pounds of marijuana, according to the Daily Item.

Robinson was pulled over on Interstate 80 in Union County, Pa., for an unknown reason when a search was conducted of his car and the marijuana was found. Online court records show he was charged with a felony count of possession with intent to deliver and a misdemeanor count of possessing drug paraphernalia.

Robinson played with the Giants from 2012-14. He earned a tryout with the Jets in 2016 but was eventually cut before the season started.

He had five catches for 50 yards and one touchdown in his NFL career after playing out his college career at the University of Cincinnati.

Robinson’s preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday afternoon, according to online records.

The deal Washington offered Cousins would have locked him up through 2022, but only would have included $29 million guaranteed over and above what he’ll receive playing under the franchise tag. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, that’s the primary reason a deal didn’t get done.

For one, the timing was bad for Washington. The team didn’t come to an agreement with Cousins before Derek Carr signed his massive five-year, $125 million extension, and that meant the team was looking at a blockbuster deal worth more than Carr’s to lock up Cousins.

Washington reportedly offered Cousins a deal averaging around $20 million a year back in February, according to The Washington Post’s Master Tesfatsion. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the team increased its offer in May, but it still fell short of his franchise tag figure. Cousins knew he could turn that down and still make about $24 million this season before testing the market in 2018.

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Buccaneers’ decade of futility is almost over

It’s certainly been trying times for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this decade. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2007 and are on their fifth head coach in nine seasons. If Dirk Koetter, who is headed into his second season as head coach, makes it to a third year, he’ll eclipse the tenures of his two predecessors, Lovie Smith and Greg Schiano.

It sounds like a dysfunctional mess, but things are looking up for the Bucs thanks to having the one thing that’s eluded this franchise for decades: a legitimate franchise quarterback. Jameis Winston took some noticeable steps forward as an NFL sophomore, and the Bucs were one of the league’s hotter teams once the second half of 2016 came around, winning five straight games to enter the NFC’s playoff race. They faded down the stretch but still finished 9-7, the team’s first winning record since 2010.

Remember when the Patriots were scrappy underdogs and Brady was such an unknown commodity that John Madden pleaded for him to take a knee and play for overtime rather than risk a late interception? Brady, then in his second year with only 16 career starts to his name, had 81 seconds and zero time outs to go from his own 17-yard line into field goal territory at the tail end of a 17-17 game.

He showed off the talent that will make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer in response. His only incompletions were clock-stopping spikes and blitz-avoiding heaves to the sideline. New England drove to the St. Louis 30 to set up a 48-yard field goal with seven seconds left on the clock. Vinatieri’s kick split the uprights as time expired, giving the franchise its first NFL championship.

The only thing that can top a game-winning field goal as time expires over a two-touchdown favorite? The greatest comeback in professional sports. The Patriots trailed 28-3 midway through the third quarter, and a combination of Tom Brady’s wizardry and Atlanta’s steadfast refusal to run the ball in the second half allowed for the only overtime game in Super Bowl history. In the end, Brady and Belichick teamed up for their fifth NFL title and cemented their place as the greatest duo in league history.

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Jaguars aren’t letting Branden Albert return after retirement

Branden Albert might want a reunion with the Jaguars, but the feeling is not mutual.

The team on Tuesday released a statement saying they have mutually agreed to place the two-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle on the club’s reserve/retired list following a meeting with him on Monday.

He deserves to be paid, Mara said via ESPN, and we’re going to pay him. … I just don’t feel like there is any need to rush into it.

But he’s going to end up getting paid at some point.

In a video post Thursday on UNINTERRUPTED, Beckham said, I believe that I will be hopefully not just the highest-paid receiver in the league, but the highest-paid, period.

Mara admitted he could not imagine a situation in which a wide receiver becomes the NFL’s highest-paid player. But Beckham is still due a big pay raise when his rookie contract expires after the 2018 season. OBJ is making an average of $2.6 million per season under the deal. More than a dozen wide receivers will make more than $10 million this season, led by Steelers wideout Antonio Brown ($17 million).

I have a lot of room for growth. I see potential for myself that I know that I can (fulfill), but I need to do it consistently to be where I want to be, which is one of the best to ever play.

Todd Downing was promoted from your quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator this offseason. How is that transition going to him now calling the plays and how do you guys work on that during the preseason so it comes off without a hitch once the games are for real?

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Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins suspended 10 games by NFL

For the second straight year, Jalen Collins will begin the NFL season on the suspended list.

The league suspended the Falcons cornerback 10 games following a second violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Collins was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for also violating the league’s PED policy.

The humorous finish was Wilfork through and through, but the clearly sponsored tweet undersells his impact on the field.

He was a first-round pick by the Patriots in the 2004 NFL Draft and remained in New England for 11 seasons before playing with the Texans for two years.

During his career, he was on two Super Bowl-winning Patriots squads, made the Pro Bowl five times and posted 559 tackles, 16 sacks, 12 fumble recoveries, three interceptions and five forced fumbles.

Like many nose tackles, though, his impact couldn’t be measured in raw stats, as he frequently occupied multiple blockers, leaving linebackers, in particular, to range freely to make plays.

Good luck with those smoked meats, Vince. You deserve it.

Tannehill has developed into a highly efficient short- and mid-range passer. That has treated him and the Miami offense well, particularly this past season, in generating quality drives and utilizing Miami’s growing number of weapons. But Tannehill still has not emerged as game-winning quarterback in terms of third downs and in the fourth quarter — not one with whom Dolphins executives, coaches and fans should be comfortable.

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Panthers LB Ben Boulware: Beard makes me ‘one of the hottest ugly guys on the team’

Ben Boulware already has stiff competition at Panthers training camp, but it isn’t over football.

The rookie linebacker said he has the best beard on the team, but defensive tackle Star Lotulelei said his beard is the best.

(Lotulelei) has better length than me, but mine has more character. Boulware said while brushing his beard. I’m like the hot ugly guy. I’m pretty ugly, but this makes me look pretty hot.

It’s exciting as a quarterback to have the front office and guys upstairs put some money into the guys that are in front of you. Obviously, it’s a little bit of a tough loss with (left tackle Taylor) Decker going down for a little bit (with a shoulder injury). Hopefully, we’ll get him back sooner rather than later. We’ll see on that. But the two guys on the right side are Pro Bowl-caliber players, veterans that have played a lot of football, a lot of meaningful football. It’s nice to have those guys not only on the field but in the locker room leading a pretty young group from center to left tackle.

As a quarterback, what can you do to help accelerate the learning curve of your new left tackle whether it’s Greg Robinson or Cyrus Kouandjio?

As a quarterback, it’s just communication, right? The best thing I can do is be clear and concise with my communication to those guys. And it’s up to the center and left guard and those guys to kind of echo calls out. They do a really nice job.

We’ve got a good group up there, a bunch of smart guys that get us in and out of the right stuff if we need to change. For me, it’s just communicating, getting the ball out on time, have our receivers getting open quickly and all these things that tie into (pass) protection. It’s not just the guys up front blocking for as long as I want to hold the ball. It’s guys on the outside winning early, me getting the ball out on time, correct decisions and all that kind of stuff.

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Do dinosaurs exist? These Texans teammates can’t agree on the answer

Most people would agree that at some point long ago dinosaurs roamed the Earth. There are fossils to prove their existence, and other scientific data that says the same. But other people aren’t convinced, and likely won’t ever be convinced about the existence of dinosaurs.

We saw this a few years ago with William Haynes when he was on HBO’s Hard Knocks and now we have the same debate with another football player. While stirring up some training camp conversation with his locker neighbor, J.J. Watt discovered D.J. Reader doesn’t believe in dinosaurs.

The first thing we got to get Colin to do is cut his hair, Vick said on FS1 to Jason Whitlock. I don’t think he should represent himself in that way in terms of the hairstyle. Just go clean cut.

Everything takes precedent in terms of image and perception. You gotta clean it up, you gotta make sure you do it all right, Vick continued before saying, That’s what I would tell Colin if we were sitting face to face.

Outside of the respectability in Vick’s words, you have to understand who is setting the precedent that Vick defends himself with. White consumers, owners, coaches, and more are the gatekeepers of this ideology. Black hair has often made the majority uncomfortable, whether publicly or professionally. It’s been seen since the ’60s and ’70s as a political statement, especially an afro. But, it’s naive to think Kaepernick would be closer to game day if he had a fade instead of a fro.

If your hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed, Paul Mooney, a popular comedian, said in a documentary titled Good Hair, created by Chris Rock. If your hair is nappy, they’re not happy.

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Jets WR Quincy Enunwa suffers neck injury during practice

The Jets’ fourth-year wide receiver suffered a neck injury during Saturday night’s practice at MetLife Stadium which coach Todd Bowles described as similar to the one that kept Enunwa out of the team’s minicamp in June.

Sitting alongside NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Adams was asked at a fan forum about the potential impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease commonly found in football players. His response, via SNY:

If I had a perfect place to die, I would die on the field.

Fans in attendance applauded the answer, according to reporters covering the event.

The safety continued that thought with the mindset of a man who now makes hits for a living: I’m all for making the game safer, but as a defensive player, I’m not a big fan of it.

Adams, 21, was the sixth overall pick in this spring’s NFL Draft out of LSU. Jets coach Todd Bowles praised him and fellow rookie safety Marcus Maye on Sunday for their work early in camp, calling them much farther along than other rookie safeties he’s been around.

More importantly, San Francisco should have plenty of cap space to work with in 2018, which would make it easier for the Niners to win the bidding war that’s likely to ensue once Cousins hits free agency.

Yes, Cousins also has a relationship with new Rams coach Sean McVay, but this will really come down to whether 2016 first overall pick Jared Goff can play competently in year two. And if he doesn’t, Cousins would be walking into a situation with a ton of pressure to succeed right away on an offense that finished last season dead last in the league for scoring and yards per game.

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Bruce Arians was not pleased with the Cardinals after Monday’s practice.

The Arizona coach made the team run sprints at the end of their session, something he has only done once in his four years as head coach, according to USA Today.

So what prompted the drills at the end of the day? Not playing well.

The former Bengals quarterback had read a study by the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine that found 110 of 111 former NFL players’ brains donated to research after their deaths had CTE, which can only be diagnosed post-mortem.

CTE has been linked to repetitive head trauma but Esiason, who now works as a broadcaster for CBS, said things are better for current players.

The good news for the guys who are playing today, especially those who are playing for a long period of time, is they get paid a hell of a lot more money than we did, said Esiason, who was a four-time Pro Bowler. They have much better benefits and retirement benefits than we do.

Carr: With Connor, it’s just his poise. You can tell he’s played in an NFL game and a playoff game at that. We always joke in there. Something will come up and I’ll be like, I don’t know. Ask Connor. He’s the one with the playoff touchdown. (Laughs) So we have fun. But he is someone who has great poise, throws with great anticipation and he’s going to develop into a really good quarterback.

I truly believe that we have three starters in our room. EJ, obviously with his situation in Buffalo, when he showed up here I just wanted to show him how to have fun again. I joke with him. I just try and be a great friend, a great teammate. He’s having a good time just picking our brains and learning and getting back to having fun in football again. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s going to be starting again.

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