Monthly Archives: May 2018

Bucs LB Kendell Beckwith fractured ankle in car accident

Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith fractured his ankle in a car accident in Louisiana last week, putting his status for the start of the upcoming season in question.

General manager Jason Licht said that Beckwith had surgery Tuesday to repair his injured ankle, but did not yet know whether his timeline for recovery would extend into training camp or the regular season.

We’re very fortunate that it wasn’t life-threatening, Licht said. He’ll be out of OTAs and in training camp, we’ll have a better idea of how far along he is.

Brooks also said Oregon’s Royce Freeman and San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny would fill that need.

Brooks’ comments echo his sentiments from a year ago, when he told The Detroit News Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah were complementary backs and the Lions needed a crown-jewel type to lead the team’s backfield rotation.

The Lions finished last in the NFL in rushing, both yards per game and yards per carry, in 2017.

Coincidentally or maybe not given how  ugly Bryant’s divorce from the Cowboys is becoming there is a television monitor in the background of the workout with the on-screen words Are the Cowboys a playoff team without Dez Bryant?

Click here to see the video.

Bryant was released for salary cap purposes on April 13 and quickly made it clear that his preference was to sign with another team in the NFC East and exact revenge on the Cowboys twice per year.

The salary-cap flush Redskins seemed like the most logical destination… until Thursday.

The  Giants cut 12-year veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall, opening up a spot for a veteran in the wide receiver corps and an additional $5.1 million in cap space, possibly in anticipation of adding Bryant. 

I have interest in everybody, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said when asked about returning Bryant’s interest. We do our film work and you never know.

Marshall, who missed the final 11 games last season with an ankle injury, failed a physical and only counts for $1.1 million in dead cap. Just one day earlier, Marshall posted to his social media account a  message to Bryant that there was no room, but he quickly deleted it.

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Asked Thursday if he feels a need to use the draft’s No. 2 overall pick on a successor for his 37-year-old signal-caller, Gettleman labeled the idea hogwash.

You miss on a quarterback, you’ve really hurt the franchise for five years, Gettleman added. It’s a five-year mistake.

Over the years, we’ve been taught to distrust everything we see and hear during the NFL Draft’s smokescreen season. Gettleman can disarm reporters with the claim that he hasn’t lied since he got caught numerous times as a child, but that doesn’t mean he’s telegraphing his plans.

Gettleman isn’t lying about his team’s draft strategy. With a straight face, he can point out the dire consequences of swinging and missing on a quarterback at the top of the draft.

As a four-decade NFL lifer, though, he knows just as well that the cost to the franchise is equally steep if a running back, offensive lineman or pass rusher goes bust at the top of the draft.

Davis says the team’s rules are overbearing and unreasonable, and that she was unjustly fired from what was once her dream job. She has filed a civil rights complaint, and is speaking out about discriminatory policies in professional cheerleading. Professional cheerleading is a much more exhausting and high-pressure job than many people realize.

Cheerleaders don’t only dance and cheer during games; they also have to make promotional appearances, show up to photo shoots, sell products for the team, and practice for hours and hours each week. They are also expected to meet very specific guidelines regarding their weight, general appearance, and etiquette. To give an idea of the standards professional cheerleaders are held to, here are just a few of the etiquette and appearance standards cheerleaders are expected to meet if they want to keep their jobs. In 2014, the Los Angeles Times published sections  of the 2012 handbook for the Oakland Raiders cheer team, the Raiderettes.

Conventional wisdom had centered on USC quarterback Sam Darnold. In recent weeks, however, Wyoming’s Josh Allen has emerged as a potential alternative.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer collects and summarizes the various reports linking the Browns to Allen. The common thread? G.M. John Dorsey’s affinity for rocket-armed throwers. Last year, for example, the Chiefs (under Dorsey) moved from No. 27 to No. 10 to get Patrick Mahomes. And Dorsey spent years in Green Bay with Brett Favre as the resident gunslinger.

With the Giants reportedly interested in Darnold or no quarterback at No. 2, the Browns could try to cajole the Giants to move to No. 1, which then would allow the Browns to get Allen at No. 2. Falling any farther than No. 2 would make it more difficult for the Browns to get Allen.

If the Browns take Allen at No. 1 and the Giants take Darnold at No. 2, the Jets would then likely take Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen at No. 3, giving the Browns at No. 4 the de facto No. 1 overall non-quarterback.

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Report: Seahawks expected to cut second-rounder Malik McDowell, who still isn’t cleared

Malik McDowell, after one serious non-football injury and zero games played, is apparently on his final days in Seattle. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Seahawks are expected to cut McDowell, who is still seeking medical clearance, in the near future.

McDowell, taken 35th overall in last year’s draft, was expected to bolster the Seahawks’ defensive line in the years to come.

Last season, the Seahawks missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and they’ve spent the offseason moving on from Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Jimmy Graham, and Sheldon Richardson. More changes might be coming. Earl Thomas has been floated in trade discussions, and it’s not clear if Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor will be able to play football again. Meanwhile, the teams surrounding the Seahawks — the Rams and 49ers, namely — have only gotten stronger over the past year.

Hernandez is a first-team All-American. A powerful, 348-pound road grader, he could provide an immediate boost to Detroit’s ground game. Wynn, who has experience at tackle, is the more athletic option if the Lions put a premium on moving in space, whether pulling or attacking the second level.

In the second round, the Lions still could look for a guard, such as Auburn’s Braden Smith, or consider a top-tier center such as Ohio State’s Billy Price (who could slide a bit because of a pec injury suffered at the combine) or Iowa’s James Daniels.

If Detroit went that route, Glasgow would most certainly stay at guard.

Beyond the perceived need for a starting guard, the Lions are otherwise in reasonable shape up front for 2018. Still, the team also should be mindful of a backup plan for Lang in 2019.

I think the NFL really views this event as an event for diehard football fans, Estis said. So I think having team sections like that, down on the floor, close to the stage to create all that really cool atmosphere of hardcore fans, I think that’s what the NFL wants, and I know they’re working hard to make sure that fans from each of those markets end up in those seats.

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Third-year review on Lions’ 2015 draft: Not good

It’s often said you don’t know what you have with an NFL draft class until three years have passed. With that in mind, and sticking to an annual tradition, I’ve re-evaluated the Detroit Lions’ draft from three years ago, prior to the upcoming round of rookies being added to the roster.

After another disappointing training camp last year, he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

Abdullah’s best season was his rookie year, when he led the team in yards from scrimmage. Working in tandem with Joique Bell, Abdullah averaged 4.2 yards per carry, caught 25 passes and was one of the league’s better kickoff returners.

He appeared primed for a breakout in 2016, but a Week 2 foot injury prematurely ended his season. And when he returned last year as the featured back in the rotation, he struggled in the role. Despite flashing some big-play ability, his efficiency bottomed out at 3.3 yards per attempt. Even if given the benefit of the doubt because of inferior blocking and play-calling, the results weren’t good enough.

The game was preceded by a moment of silence to remember the lives of Erin Popovich, the wife of San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, and former first lady Barbara Bush. 76ers coach Brett Brown is a former a Spurs assistant who has remained close with the Popovich family, and said Erin Popovich was a star, like a real star. A very strong woman, and somebody that will be missed.

Among those in the sold-out crowd were former Heat point guards Mario Chalmers and Jason Williams, the starters on Miami’s three NBA championship teams. Both got warm ovations when shown on the videoboards around the arena.

That message was underscored by the Seattle Seahawks’ decision to sign a quarterback with no experience instead of keeping a scheduled meeting with Kaepernick after he reportedly didn’t declare he would no longer protest. The former 49ers quarterback, who led the team to the Super Bowl and came within a play of winning the title, has not been in trouble with the law.

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Herbstreit: UM’s Maurice Hurst a ‘steal’ in NFL Draft

The way ESPN’s college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit sees it, Michigan All-American defensive tackle Maurice Hurst will be a steal in the upcoming NFL Draft.

It’s almost as if (players like Hurst) get forgotten, Herbstreit said. People better remember. Just turn the film on. He is a quick, he’s a little undersized but makes up for it with his quickness, and he’s a playmaker. We’ve got these big guys, inside guys, and I’m telling you, Mo Hurst will be one of those guys.

I don’t know where he’s going to go — my guess is somewhere in the first round — but he’s gonna be a guy next year everybody’s watching and he’s making plays in the backfield, and people are going to be going, ‘Who’s this guy?’ I think he’s slipping through the cracks and hopefully somebody, if he’s healthy and everything is OK, somebody is going to get a steal in my opinion with whoever picks him up.

A current player said Bryant told him, speaking of the Cowboys: They are going to wish they never let me go. 

NFL fans, and especially Cowboys fans, are going to find All or Nothing, the Amazon series on the Cowboys’ 2017 season, pretty fascinating. It comes out April 27, but I’ve watched the review copies.

Not to get too deep into this, but the best thing about it is access. Most teams hate these types of shows. The culture of football is still secretive, and teams want to shut down access instead of granting it.

These series are the opposite and give us a rare, and actually not too polished or phony, look at the Cowboys.

As you might guess, owner Jerry Jones is the star of the show.

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Bears were more worried about some knees than others

For another $1 million dollars, the Bears could have made sure Cameron Meredith was theirs this season.

But apparently the concerns over his reconstructed knee forced them into a cautious valuation, and so they lost him without compensation yesterday when they didn’t match the Saints offer sheet for the wide receiver. They tendered the former undrafted rookie at the lowest level of $1.9 million, when tendering him at $2.9 million would have gotten them a second-round pick if someone would have signed him away (or more accurately, scared off any suitors for a year).

Granted, Robinson has better back-of-the-football-card stats than Meredith, but not by a margin larger than the difference in their paychecks. Robinson had a 1,400-yard season in 2015, but in 2016, his 73-catch, 883-yard, six-touchdown stat line isn’t much different from Meredith’s 66-888-4.

Considering the Bears monitored Meredith’s rehab all last season, they’re in the best position to know what’s happening in that knee. But given General Manager Ryan Pace’s track record of finding qualified receivers vs. the Saints’, it’s worth wondering whether they were penny wise and pound foolish on this deal.

Drafted in the first round, Davis was tasked with the difficult challenge of starting at middle linebacker from Day 1. He played every defensive snap in six of his first seven games — only missing time in the outlier due to a concussion – but had noticeable struggles in coverage and with his pursuit angles, leading to being one of the league leaders in missed tackles.

By mid-season, the coaching staff reduced the rookie’s role, pulling Davis off the field on obvious passing downs. The idea was to narrow his focus on Sundays and work on his coverage skills on the practice field, building him back up to the complete linebacker he needed to be.

If Week 17 was any proof, the development plan put in place was a success. Davis played every snap in season-ending win over the Green Bay Packers and delivered his finest performance. He recorded a season-high 12 tackles (without a miss) and forced a fumble.

More: Patricia likes LBs, but would Lions take one in first round?

The strong close to the year buoyed Davis’ spirits heading into his first offseason.

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