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Tags: NFL

Report: Manziel Had Top QB Wonderlic Score



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CBS Sports:

Texas A&M redshirt sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel reportedly scored a 32 on the Wonderlic intelligence test, tops among the highest-ranked prospects at the position in the 2014 NFL Draft. [. . .]

For most teams, the timed logic and reasoning test is used to gauge calm and critical thinking in a pressure environment. The test is given by most teams at the Scouting Combine, when they also are put through athletic, medical and psychological testing.

Manziel is regarded as a top 10 prospect in the 2014 draft. As many as five quarterbacks could be drafted in the top 40 picks: UCF’s Blake Bortles, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Fresno State’s Derek Carr and Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garroppolo.

The rest here.

 

Tags: NFL

Two Redskins, One Uniform Number



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Via CBS Sports:

What number will Jackson wear in Washington? And that question isn’t as easy to answer as it might seem.

Since his rookie year in 2008, Jackson has worn No. 10. There’s a small problem with getting that number in Washington though: It’s already taken. And it’s taken by someone who Jackson probably won’t be able to buy off. That someone would be Robert Griffin III.

Even though RG3 has worn No. 10 since high school, Jackson is still holding out hope that the Redskins quarterback will give the number up, “We talked about it a little bit, but there hasn’t been a decision that’s been made yet so far,” Jackson said on Tuesday. “Maybe RG3 will wear No. 3 and I’ll try to get 10. We’ll see how it goes.”

This makes no sense, as Redskins management would first have to approve the switch. And if the two did switch, the NFL merchandising policy is that RGIII would have to personally buy all the old merchandise with his name and number on it. As RGIII’s jersey is a best-seller, that’s a lot of inventory he’d have to purchase. Plus, imagine all the angry Redskins fans who now have the wrong jersey.

RGIII later tweeted that he wasn’t switching numbers. Either Jackson was delusional when talking to Griffin about the jersey change or the media are quoting this out of context. 

Tags: NFL

Colts Owner Jim Irsay Arrested



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USA Today:

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay faces four felony counts after being arrested Sunday night by Carmel, Ind., police on preliminary charges of driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance, police said.

He was released from Hamilton County Jail at 1:30 p.m. ET Monday. He made no public comments as he exited the building and entered a BMW there to pick him up.

The Colts later issued a statement: “The Club continues to fully support Mr. Irsay but must refrain from commenting further at least until formal charges have been filed. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, March 26.”

The 54-year-old Irsay was arrested Sunday after driving at a slow rate of speed, stopping in the roadway and failing to signal a turn before police stopped him, Lt. Joe Bickel of the Carmel Police Department said in a release.

“During the course of the investigation, Irsay subsequently failed several roadside field sobriety tests,” Bickel said.

In an inventory of Irsay’s vehicle, “multiple prescription drugs were discovered in pill bottles,” police said. “These Schedule IV prescription drugs were not associated with any prescription bottles found in the vehicle.”

The rest here.

Tags: NFL

NFL Considering 42-Yard Extra Point



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Via Bleacher Report:

If you want an extra point in the future, you might have to really work for it.

The NFL is reportedly considering making PATs 42 yards, per Judy Battista of NFL.com:

The NFL Competition Committee has discussed experimenting this preseason with a longer — much longer — extra-point try. According to one member, the committee’s meetings this weekend included preliminary talks about placing the ball at the 25-yard line for the extra-point kick — which would make it a 42-yard attempt — rather than the 2-yard line, where it is currently placed.

A member of the competition committee said, “There is no consensus yet. We could experiment in preseason, but we are not there yet.”    

The reason for the proposed change is that extra points are too much of a given. It’s gotten to the point—no pun intended—where teams might as well be given seven points automatically for a touchdown because the PAT is essentially a free point.

The two-point conversion, however, stays at the two-yard line. So if the rule-change happens, we’re likely to see more two-point attempts.

The last rule change involving kickers — moving the kickoff to the 35-yard-line — resulted in almost half of all kickoffs ending up as a touchback. If PATs are too boring and kickoff returns too dangerous, maybe the NFL should just get rid of kickers entirely and replace the field goal with a variation of the giant Dr Pepper can?

A quarterback trying to hit a Dr Pepper can from 40 yards out? I’d love to see that every game. Plus, getting rid of the kicker would free up salary-cap space for real players. Make it happen!

 

 

 

 

Tags: NFL

Love or Hate? Buccaneers Reveal New Uni Design



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Put me down as a “hate”:

Via @thekrinz, who compared the numbers to a Timex watch.

Tags: NFL

Aaron Hernandez Beats Up Fellow Inmate



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TMZ reports:

Aaron Hernandez ATTACKED another inmate at Bristol County Jail earlier today … and we’re told he beat the guy up pretty good … sources tell TMZ Sports. 

Sources tell us the former New England Patriots tight end — who is usually segregated from the general population — was allowed to take a walk in an isolated hallway … but somehow came into contact with another inmate. 

We’re told Hernandez recognized the other inmate and launched into an attack — beating the other man up pretty badly.  

Sources tell us … Hernandez and the other man had been beefing all day long. One source says the other guy had been harassing Aaron nonstop. 
 

Tags: NFL

Michael Sam’s Combine Report: Meh



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Via Bleacher Report on DE Michael Sam’s combine results:

Sam’s drill performances and athletic times were a mixed bag, as the former Missouri standout finished about average among defensive ends. [. . .]

Gil Brandt of NFL.com makes a strong point about Sam based off his performance in Indy: “Going into the conbine I thought Michael Sam was a man w/out a position in NFL. His 4.91 today might have confirmed it. .”

Teams expecting to see a guaranteed superstar in the making were probably disappointed. But for those hoping for splits that put Sam well within the “draftable” range, there is little reason to feel he’s fallen off any draft boards. [. . .]

The number that sticks out most, arguably, is Sam’s disappointing performance in the bench press. Those concerned about his strength aren’t going to walk away assuaged. Sam’s total of 17 reps at 225 pounds was one of the lowest figures among defensive linemen, better than only UCLA’s Cassius Marsh.

For comparison purposes, let’s take a look at how the top offensive line prospects did at the combine:

40-yard dash

1. Taylor Lewan (Michigan) – 4.87
2. Greg Robinson (Auburn) – 4.92
3. Trai Turner (LSU) – 4.93
t-4. Joel Bitonio (Nevada) – 4.97
t-4. Matt Patchan (Boston College) – 4.97

Bench press

1. Russell Bodine (North Carolina) – 42
t-2. Matt Feiler (Bloomsburg) – 36
t-2. Tyler Larsen (Utah State) – 36
t-2. Corey Linsley (Ohio State) – 36
t-2. Antonio Richardson (Tennessee) – 36

You can’t be a star defensive end in the NFL is you’re not faster or stronger than the offensive line.

Sam will be lucky to be drafted with these numbers.

 

Tags: NFL

NFL Prospect Michael Sam Faces the Media



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Yesterday was “media day” for defensive linemen entering the 2014 draft, and there was a “crush” waiting for Michael Sam with many questions on his sexuality. Via the Chicago Tribune:

Sam, attempting to become the first openly gay player in the NFL, faced an enormous media crush and a 35-question, 12-minute session at the NFL scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Sam came to the combine with a hope of elevating his draft stock. Here is some of what he had to say Saturday as he took questions from the media.

On whether he has any concern of experiencing any harassment or torment from fans of opposing teams in the NFL:

“No, I’ve been getting all kinds of great, positive (reaction) from all kinds of fans. When I’m on the field, I really don’t focus on fans. So I just focus on my responsibility, which is the guy right across from me.”

On whether he’d be comfortable in a locker room like Miami’s, in the wake of the bullying details that recently surfaced in the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito situation:

“If the Miami Dolphins drafted me, I would be excited to be part of that organization. But I’m not afraid about going into that environment. I know I have a handle of myself. I know how to communicate with teammates and communicate with coaches and whoever I need to communicate with.”

On whether he’s been overwhelmed by the volume of coverage his story has gotten this month:

“I’ve been missing in action. I haven’t really been paying attention to the media, so I don’t really know.”

On whether he noticed any difference in his relationships with teammates after he revealed to them he was gay:

“No, not at all. It was the same as the first day I was there.”

But Sam doesn’t want to answer all these questions about his sexuality:

On if he wishes his sexuality wasn’t a major story:

“Heck yeah. I wish you’d say, ‘Hey Michael Sam, how’s football going? How’s training going?’ I’d love for you to ask me that question. But it is what it is. I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player, instead of Michael Sam the gay football player.”

I get that, but at some point Michael Sam has to stop feeding the beast. For example, Sam showed up to yesterday’s news conference wearing a rainbow-colored “I Stand with Sam” pin, which helped feed the story that Sam says he’s trying to downplay. The pin made it into hundreds of stories about yesterday’s news conference. 

If Sam doesn’t think the questions about his sexuality are important, he does have the option of not answering them. 

Exit question: The Tribune reported that Sam answered 35 questions in 12 minutes. Is it too much to ask that press secretary Jay Carney, President Obama, and all politicians learn to answer questions with the same speed and clarity?

Tags: NFL

NFL Combine Report: Johnny Manziel



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Scouts are worried Manziel is too short to play QB in the NFL, but he has the hand size:

A week after promising he would measure “72 inches on the dot” at the NFL Scouting Combine, quarterback Johnny Manziel came up just short of the mark in the official measurement early Friday morning.

The former Texas A&M quarterback many expect to be taken in the top three picks in the NFL Draft, came in at 5–foot-11 3/4, and weighed 207 pounds, according to NFL Media analysts Gil Brandt and Daniel Jeremiah.

Manziel’s height is among NFL scouting concerns about his pro potential, although he is widely considered one of the top three quarterbacks in the draft, along with Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles.

Manziel’s hand size, also important to NFL scouts for quarterback evaluations (particularly smaller quarterbacks), measured large as advertised at 9 7/8 inches.

For comparison purposes, third-round pick (2012) and now NFL-Super-Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson from the Seahawks measured in at 5′11″ with 10 1/4″ hands

And I found this amazing stat:

Not a single quarterback under 6’0” has been drafted in the first two rounds since the 5’10” Ted Marchibroda went No. 5 overall to Pittsburgh in 1953.

Looks like Manziel will break that streak.

Tags: NFL

Michael Sam and Gays in the Military



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I was chatting with an Army friend of mine today about Michael Sam and if he thought Sam’s sexuality would be a “distraction” to a NFL team based on his experience with the military’s policy of allowing openly gay soldiers to serve. His response:

From my perspective as a senior officer with multiple deployments, there’s been zero fallout.  None.  It’s a non-issue in the military in my experience.

If a gay soldier in combat isn’t a distraction to his non-gay comrades, why should a gay player be a distraction to his non-gay teammates?

Discuss.

Tags: NFL

Cleveland Browns Fire CEO, GM



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Too bad Haslam can’t fire himself:

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said this morning that streamlining the organization’s structure and setting the stage for success drove today’s announcement that Ray Farmer has been promoted to general manager and that CEO Joe Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi will leave the team.

Banner also confirmed that president Alec Scheiner will continue in charge of the organization’s business operations. Last month, the Browns hired former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as their new head coach.

“I felt like the previous setup was cumbersome, and this new arrangement is much more streamlined and in line for what we want,” Haslam said at the 11:30 a.m. press conference. 

“I think this will work well. . . . We just took a step back. It was a normal time to do it with Pettine coming in. If we’re going to whiteboard this, we felt this was the best way to set things up.

“. . . For us to be successful, what does the (organizational) chart need to look like? Those are not easy decisions, but we feel Ray gives us a great chance to be successful in in free agency and the draft.

“We’re going to go to work, and we’re fully committed to make this organization a winner.”

The rest here.

Tags: NFL

Will Michael Sam’s Coming Out Affect His NFL Draft Status?



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Ever since Michael Sam declared he was gay over the weekend, the question in the sports-world is how his sexuality may or may not affect his draft status. For example, Rob Rang at CBS Sports seems to think it will, calling it a ”distraction” teams won’t want:

Sam’s homosexuality isn’t the point. There are gay players in the NFL now and almost surely teammates, coaches and front office executives who know about them. But by coming out, Sam turned a very bright spotlight on himself.

And the reality is teams would rather the bright lights shine on their superstars on game day. Any club drafting Sam would add distractions for players, and teams normally work to avoid any distraction.

I can see Rang’s point, but don’t agree with it. Sam’s sexuality will be a distraction if the people who cover the NFL in the media make it one. Sam told his teammates at Missouri before the season started last year about his sexuality and that didn’t seem to be a distraction to the team, so why would it become one just because he’s now playing in the NFL? 

Right now, Sam, according to CBS Sports, is ranked 110 in the draft and the 11th best defensive end in the draft which should make him a third- or fourth-round pick. And as far as I can tell, the only thing that’s dropped Sam’s prospects from a second- or third-round pick was his performance in the Senior Bowl on January 25, not his recent announcement. 

Sam’s next big challenge is the NFL combine. His 40 time and his bench-press reps will be much more important than who he dates in determining where he gets drafted.

 

 

Tags: NFL

Seattle Defense Deciphered Manning’s Hand Signals



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Via Sports Illustrated, here’s Richard Sherman on how Seattle was able to beat Peyton Manning:

“All we did was play situational football,” Sherman says. “We knew what route concepts they liked on different downs, so we jumped all the routes. Then we figured out the hand signals for a few of the route audibles in the first half.”

He demonstrates the signs Manning used for various routes, and says he and his teammates were calling out plays throughout the game and getting them right. . . . “Now, if Peyton had thrown in some double moves, if he had gone out of character, we could’ve been exposed.”

Adds Sherman: “Me, Earl [Thomas], Kam [Chancellor] . . . we’re not just three All-Pro players. We’re three All-Pro minds.” Yes they are. The whole piece here.

 

Tags: NFL

When the Right is Wrong: NRO’s Super Bowl Picks



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Congratulations to Jonathan Adler, William Bennett, and Kevin Glass for picking the Seahawks to win in our Super Bowl symposium. The rest of us have some work to do on our analytical skills.

But let’s give credit to Cliff May for the most honest and accurate prediction: “If the Las Vegas oddsmakers can’t predict who will win, I’d be foolish to try.” Nobody had the Seahawks in a blowout.

And the honorable mention goes to Ed Craig who picked the Broncos IF they met four conditions — none of which they managed to accomplish.

Now, on to the Sochi predictions! 

Tags: NFL

Terry Bradshaw to Skip Super Bowl after Father’s Death



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When Super Bowl Wagers Go Bad



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Headline from today’s Los Angeles Times:

Museum’s Super Bowl bet shows pitfalls that come with Native art

Wait, what? Museums in Denver and Seattle are betting art on the Super Bowl?

Museums risk consequences if they treat native peoples’ spiritual objects simply as regular artworks, as the Seattle Art Museum learned this week when it briefly wagered a ceremonial tribal mask from British Columbia in a playful bet with the Denver Art Museum on Sunday’s Super Bowl.

The two museums announced early this week that a 135-year-old Nuxalk mask would be sent from Seattle to Denver as a three-month loan if the Denver Broncos won the game, and “The Broncho Buster,” an 1895 bronze statue by Frederic Remington, would head in the opposite direction should the Seattle Seahawks prevail.

But the Nuxalk Nation, based in Bella Coola, Canada, objected, and the Seattle museum quickly removed the raven’s head mask from the bet. It substituted a large 1901 screen drawing of an eagle by Japanese artist Tsuji Kako as its stake in the bet.

Charles Nelson, hereditary leader of one of the Nuxalk Nation’s 18 families, said Seattle Art Museum director Kimerly Rorschach apologized by telephone on Wednesday and has agreed to bring the mask to Bella Coola and make a public apology.

“What happened was upsetting for sure,” he said Wednesday, not just because the tribe considered the mask, which has spiritual significance, inappropriate for a lighthearted bet, but because the museum didn’t consult with the Nuxalk Nation before making it.

Oh, and it gets worse for the Seattle Art Museum:

The two museums’ original news release about their bet described the Seattle wager as “a majestic Native American mask reminiscent of a mighty ‘Seahawk’” whose “open mouth suggests the ferocity of this bird of prey, possibly a supernatural ‘man-eater’” used in “dance-dramas.”

The Seattle Art Museum’s online collection catalog is more circumspect, identifying the mask as an image of Raven, a spirit with “many … manifestations” including “culture hero, trickster or supernatural being associated with family songs and dances.”

Nelson said the painted raven, crafted mainly from alder wood and red cedar bark, is a Sisawq Society mask, worn by hereditary Nuxalk leaders in ceremonies such as weddings and the naming of newborns. 

So, basically, the clowns at the Seattle Art Museum are more insensitive to Native American culture than Dan Snyder, owner of the Redskins.

Here’s a picture of the ferocious man-eater used in baby-naming ceremonies:

Tags: NFL

Bullying Update: Jonathan Martin Didn’t Cooperate with NFLPA Investigation



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USA Today reports:

While the Miami Dolphins await the release of a league-appointed investigator’s report on issues of workplace conduct, the NFL Players Association is getting close to wrapping its own probe into the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito situation that dominated headlines during the 2013 season.

One major difference: Martin refused to speak with attorney Richard Smith, whom the NFLPA retained in November to interview witnesses and examine Dolphins management’s role in alleged abuse that preceded Martin’s departure from the team.

“We were able to talk to every player involved and were privy to the information about the administration in Miami,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.

“We weren’t able to talk to Jonathan Martin, which was unfortunate. But we’re going to conduct our workplace evaluation and our report is concluding.”

Martin left the team after a cafeteria prank Oct. 28, and his representatives subsequently turned over evidence of alleged abuse at the hands of his teammate Incognito, who was suspended for conduct detrimental to the club.

At the Dolphins’ request, the NFL appointed prominent attorney Ted Wells to direct what it called an “independent” investigation into issues of workplace conduct. Martin, 24, met extensively with Wells on Nov. 15 and again Dec. 6, but not Richard Smith.

“He refused to talk to us,” DeMaurice Smith said. Asked if he knew why, Smith said no.

The NFLPA intends to wrap up several other active investigations into team and medical staff conduct before next month’s scouting combine, Smith said.

It looks the the report will be issued sometime after the Super Bowl. As for Richie Incognito, he’s fighting back and sources told Fox News that he intends to be back in the NFL next year.

Tags: NFL

Pete Carroll Might Be a 9/11 Truther



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Pete Carroll has some explaining to do if he thinks he can come to NYC (allegedly) spouting this crap. Deadspin reports:

Is Seahawks coach Pete Carroll a 9/11 truther? That all depends: Does badgering a former four-star general about whether 9/11 was real make one a truther?

Here’s what happened, according to a couple sources: Late last spring, retired general Peter Chiarelli, who had just finished his term as the Army’s vice chief of staff, visited Carroll at the Seattle Seahawks headquarters. Chiarelli was expecting a pleasant meeting. After all, the pair had what important businesspeople tend to call synergies: Chiarelli—who grew up in Seattle—is a big Seahawks fan. His post-military work concerns traumatic brain injury research, a cause of some significance to the NFL. And both have plenty of experience leading groups of men on grand American stages.

The sit-down between Chiarelli and Carroll started off normally enough. They talked about the team, and then about head trauma. Chiarelli, who commanded the American forces in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II, talked about the brain injuries he had seen there. But Chiarelli’s mention of Iraq sent Carroll in another direction: He wanted to know if the September 11 attacks had been planned or faked by the United States government.

In particular, Carroll wanted to know whether the attack on the Pentagon had really happened. Chiarelli—who was the top-ranking Army official inside the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into its western side—explained that it had. He said he had lost many colleagues. But Carroll didn’t stop there. He ran through the whole 9/11 truther litany.

“Every 9/11 conspiracy theory you can think of, Pete asked about,” said Riki Ellison, the former NFL linebacker who now runs the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance and introduced Carroll to Chiarelli. Ellison, along with Seahawks offensive line coach Pat Ruel, was at the meeting as well. “And he didn’t stop at 9/11—he had lots of questions about the role of the military today.” (Carroll does seem to have some fondness for the military. He lectured at a military-sponsored “conference on small unit excellence” in 2009, and last year Ellison connected him with Army soldiers at Camp Carroll in Korea.)

Carroll isn’t crazy, Ellison said. He’s just skeptical. “Pete grew up in California during Vietnam, and during Watergate. That’s just the perspective he brings to the table.”

So did the discussion last year turn hostile? A source close to Chiarelli, one who wasn’t present when he spoke to Carroll, told us that it did. He said the general had to leave the room because Carroll had rankled him so thoroughly. Ellison told us that that wasn’t true, that the discussion had remained friendly and “fun” throughout. A spokesman for Chiarelli at his foundation, One Mind for Research, did not respond to repeated phone and email requests.

The rest here.

Tags: NFL

Spoiler Alert: Budweiser’s 2014 Super Bowl Ad Is Pretty Good



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Enjoy:

 

 

Tags: NFL

Super Bowl Weather Panic Is Over



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Headline at NJ.com:

Super Bowl weather: Near-perfect conditions expected for game day

Well, that’s not much fun.

Tags: NFL

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