Month: February 2018

Smoot likes Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.

The biggest uncertainty entering Sunday was the availability of the New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who is nursing an ankle injury. The Giants ruled him inactive an hour and a half before their matchup against the Cowboys in Dallas, the first “Sunday Night Football” game of the season. Last week, Beckham said, “I’m itching. I’m itching, but [it’s about] just patience and trusting.”

“They’re completely different backs,” Gruden said. “I think it depends on what your vision is offensively, what you want to do. I know Jonathan Stewart is 30 years old now. Fozzy Whittaker is there. They’ve got some pretty good backup young backs. But if you want a feature back, if you want an I-formation tailback, Fournette is your guy. I just think he’s built for the long haul. He’s a punishing runner. I do like him a lot.

“McCaffrey, he’s a jack of all trades. I think you’ve got to be able to use him creatively in your passing game. That’s where, to me, he is the best. If that’s your offense, I think McCaffrey is for you. If you’re looking to be a little bit more conventional, take the burden off your quarterback and pound the ball, Fournette is your guy.”

So, certainly with Eric Rowe involved, having a full offseason, OTAs, training camp and doing a good job for us from that standpoint. I think all those guys that go out there and play have earned some time on the field and whatever that is, depending on how the game is going, kind of just plays itself out when we’re in the particular situation we’re in as far as the game is concerned.”

If Cousins departs, the Redskins will be forced to do two things: Draft a young prospect, ideally with their first-round pick; and sign a veteran free agent to challenge for the starting job while the rookie learns Gruden’s system.

In his first mock draft of the offseason, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. on Thursday predicted the Redskins will take Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield 13th overall.

But Mayfield would suit owner Daniel Snyder’s style, bringing Heisman Trophy buzz and credentials (for the second time in six years) to energize a dispirited fan base.
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Each week, national NFL writer Mark Maske ranks the league’s 32 teams.

This week, the New England Patriots maintain the top spot in the rankings but find a new contender for No. 1 right below in the Minnesota Vikings. The Panthers, Steelers and Rams round out the top five headed into the final week of the regular season, while the biggest mover, the San Francisco 49ers, rockets into the No. 14 spot thanks to a four-game winning streak engineered by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Steelers bounced back from their defeat to the Patriots and took care of business Monday against the overmatched Texans, even without WR Antonio Brown in the lineup. Despite Brown’s uncertain status for the playoffs, there remains no reason to doubt a Steelers-Patriots rematch in the AFC championship game.

GM Sashi Brown said Monday that he didn’t sabotage the botched trade for Bengals QB AJ McCarron on purpose. That’s good. Unfortunately for him, the alternative explanations are not that much more reassuring.

The Packers remained in position to lock up at least a wild-card berth by beating the Minnesota Vikings, 38-25. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers three two touchdown passes to wide receiver Jordy Nelson, another to Davante Adams, a fourth to tight end Richard Rodgers and added a rushing touchdown of his own to set up a Week 17 clash with the Detroit Lions that could decide the NFC North. That would be contingent on a loss by the Lions on Monday night when they face the NFC-leading Dallas Cowboys.

Meanwhile, the Vikings, burned badly throughout the first half by Green Bay wide receiver Jordy Nelson, have only themselves — or at least their secondary — to blame. It seems that instead of following Coach Mike Zimmer’s game plan to have cornerback Xavier Rhodes shadow Nelson, the defensive backs felt they knew better, and let whoever was on the same side as Nelson take him. jaguars_072

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Either teams want to follow the Rooney Rule, or they don’t.

Walton has had the team go through monthly meditation sessions with Andy Puddicombe, co-founder of a meditation and mindfulness app company Headspace. Phil Jackson used the app and had Puddicombe work with the New York Knicks during part of his tenure as team president in New York. The app guides users through sessions that can be as short as three minutes.

Jamie Redmond, at the time an assistant coach at Ramsey’s private, faith-based high school in Nashville, went to San Antonio in 2013 to watch Ramsey play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He had come to know a quiet kid who liked to learn, and earlier that season, Redmond’s son asked to meet Ramsey. The player had come over, taken a knee and made eye contact with Cade before connecting with the boy and sharing a long talk with him. Ramsey was Cade’s hero.

Long before he became the Jacksonville Jaguars’ best defensive back and perhaps their most impactful player overall, he couldn’t have been nicer, more patient, more willing to toss the ball and connect with him.

But then the All-America game began, introductions made, and when Ramsey’s name was announced he jogged slowly. He played to the cheers. He ran his mouth.

“Just showboating,” Redmond recalled this week. “I’m like, that’s not the Jalen I know.”

If they don’t, there should be consequences … beyond the ones they keep suffering on the field, that is.

Burfict added to the tension going into Monday’s game with comments published earlier in the day by ESPN, in which he reiterated his previously stated suspicions that Brown had “faked” the severity of his injury. The game was a violent, penalty-marred affair in general, and after Smith-Schuster’s hit on Burfict, Bengals safety George Iloka was penalized for hitting Brown in the head after the latter caught a touchdown pass.

“AFC North football,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said simply, upon asked by ESPN’s Lisa Salters after the game about its roughness. He praised Shazier as a team leader and said he was anxious for more news about the linebacker.
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It’s gotten so bad, so quickly that coach Tyronn Lue’s job could be at stake

The president began Wednesday tweeting that players’ kneeling to protest racial injustice and police violence during the national anthem is disrespectful to the United States.

Why did he want to throw the ball incomplete? As Cousins explained it, when the offense works on the two-minute drill in training camp or practice, if they need a field goal and reaches field-goal range, “we pretty much play conservative at that point.” The Redskins were at the New Orleans 34-yard line, needing only a field goal to win, so Cousins thought that threshold had likely been met.

“And the call came in to run it, and so my thought process is we’re running a one back power play, and I’m gonna hand it off,” Cousins told Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier. “We’re running at all costs. And we had no timeouts left, so once [Samaje Perine] runs it, basically we’ve got to kill it on second down and then the field-goal team comes out on third down and kicks it.”

Devonte’ Graham, Kansas’ leading scorer, finished with 11 points on 4-of-19 shooting.

“I just missed shots,” Graham said. “I told the guys in the locker room that you could put this one on me because I felt like I let the team down today. I had good open shots, but I was just missing them.”

Kansas led for most of the second half before Young made two critical, unselfish plays. James’ 3-pointer with 1:09 remaining on an assist from Young put the Sooners up 82-80. Manek later drained a 3-pointer, also on an assist from Young, to make it 85-80 with 25 seconds to play.

Ty Montgomery, RB, Packers: Montgomery (ribs) didn’t practice Thursday and his chances at playing in Week 11 are looking bleak.

Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins: It’s not a great matchup for Reed and the Redskins, and he appears to be a game-time decision against New Orleans. So what’s an owner to do? Sit Reed and go with the player you’ve been using to fill in.
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