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Week Eight picks

The inability of referee Scott Green to properly apply the supposedly clear rule regarding going to the ground when making a catch not only cost the Vikings a win.  It also prevented me from extending to two my streak of victories over Rosenthal.

Yes, he beat me by one game in Week Seven, and the difference was the outcome of the Vikings-Packers game.

For the week, Rosenthal got 10 right and four wrong.  I was 9-5.

For the year, Rosenthal is 69-35.  I’m 65-39.

And though it pains me to type this (in part because I’ll never hear the end of it from him), Rosenthal currently has a better showing than all of the ESPN “experts,” including the Accuscore projections and the fan-based picks. 

Maybe he should apply for a job there.  They probably need someone with a sturdy shine box.


Broncos vs. 49ers in London

Florio’s take:  When the league picked this game to be the 2010 English export, it didn’t look like a bad choice.  The 49ers were viewed as the favorite to win the NFC West, and the Broncos were regarded as a middle-of-the-road team with the potential to improve.  Seven weeks into the season, the 49ers have only one win and the Broncos have two.  The decision to thrust quarterback Troy Smith into the starting lineup smacks of the desperation coach Mike Singletary surely is feeling, and even though Denver lost to one Bay Area team by 45 in Week Seven, Week Eight likely will bring a seventh loss for the Niners.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 30, 49ers 21.

Rosenthal’s take: The NFL should send teams to London earlier in the season, before they show how bad they really are.  The depleted Broncos defense gets worse every week, and the 49ers defense just made Matt Moore look like, well, Matt Moore from 2009.  This is a crossroads/gut check/insert cliché game for both coaches.  I trust Josh McDaniels and Kyle Orton far more than Mike Singletary and Troy Smith.

Rosenthal’s pick: Broncos 31, 49ers 21.

Jaguars at Cowboys

Florio’s take:  Four prior games between these two teams have been decided by seven points or less.  Continuation of that trend would help Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio, even if the Jags lose.  One more 20-plus-point blowout (the Jaguars already have suffered four) could get Del Rio fired.  The return of David Garrard and the departure of Tony Romo could help, but probably not enough.  But at least the Jags will possibly lose by less than 20.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 27, Jaguars 17.

Rosenthal’s take:  Jon Kitna versus the Jaguars secondary.  The immobile quarterback versus the force that provides no resistance.  If I was a betting man, I’d stay far away from this one because both teams are about as trustworthy as Florio’s hairpiece.  At least the Jaguars seem like they care. 

Rosenthal’s pick: Jaguars 20, Cowboys 16.

Dolphins at Bengals

Florio’s take:  From 1978 through 2000, the Dolphins won nine straight games over the Bengals.  Cincinnati has won the last two, but they haven’t played since Bill Parcells put his thumbprint on the Dolphins.  More importantly, the game won’t be played in Miami, where the Fins are 0-3.  Though the Bengals found some punch on offense against the Falcons, the Dolphins are more talented, more desperate, and (after believing they got screwed against the Steelers) more feisty.

Florio’s pick:  Dolphins 24, Bengals 16.

Rosenthal’s take: Chad Henne has quietly improved all season, and he should do well against a Bengals secondary without Adam Jones and possibly Johnathan Joseph.  Carson Palmer is also playing better, but it seems to take a 21-point deficit to warm him up.  The Bengals defense is providing too many chances for failed comeback attempts.

Rosenthal’s pick: Dolphins 24, Bengals 21.

Bills at Chiefs

Florio’s take:  Some (I’m looking at you, Rosenthal) think that Bills coach Chan Gailey has something up his sleeve for his most recent former team.  Pointing to an unlikely strong showing by Buffalo’s offense against a complacent Ravens defense, Rosey thinks the Bills can give the Chiefs a run for their money.  Let’s see if Rosey puts his money where his mouth is.  Arrowhead Stadium has been a-rockin’; Gailey and his team would be wise to not go a-knockin’.

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 31, Bills 14.

Rosenthal’s take:  I’m not sure people have really wrapped their mind around the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Bills racked up 514 yards on the Ravens.  514! The Harvard product is a joy to watch, with decisive, difficult throws often into tight windows.  He’s a great runner and seems to like contact.  And he has a red beard.  The Bills will keep losing most weeks because their defense is an embarrassment, but at least they’ll be fun to watch.

Rosenthal’s pick: Chiefs 34, Bills 31.

Redskins at Lions

Florio’s take:  For the third straight year, these two franchises meet in Detroit.  In 2008, the Redskins kept the Lions winless by only eight points.  In 2009, the Lions ended a 19-game losing streak with a win over the ‘Skins.  Assuming Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, back after suffering a shoulder injury in Week One, won’t throw four passes to DeAngelo Hall, the rested, ready, and confident (perhaps delusional) Lions should be able to get it done.  Last week’s meltdown by the Chicago offense concealed the fact that the Washington offense isn’t dramatically better, and the Lions look to be in line for their second win of the year.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 20, Redskins 13.

Rosenthal’s take: Signs the Lions have come a long way:  (1) they are still talking playoffs after a 1-5 start and it doesn’t seem completely insane; (2) they’ve outscored their opponents this year (thanks Rams!); (3) they are favored against a 4-3 Redskins team and I’d still give the points.

Rosenthal’s pick: Lions 24, Redskins 17.

Panthers at Rams

Florio’s take:  Like the other team that will contend for the NFC West crown, the Rams are tough at home and soft on the road.  This week, a win at home would pull the Rams to 4-4, and it would end a four-game losing streak against Carolina, a slide that began in St. Louis nearly seven years ago with a double-overtime loss to the eventual NFC Super Bowl representatives.  This time around, the Rams simply have the better team — which given the state of the Panthers isn’t really saying much.

Florio’s pick:  Rams 24, Panthers 13.

Rosenthal’s take: The Rams are winless on the road, so it’s good the league loaded them up with home games before a three-game road trip after Thanksgiving.  The Panthers finally found a passing game, which could make them a dangerous spoiler the rest of the way.  Every game for the Rams is dangerous because they aren’t that talented, but they’ve responded very well to losses this year.

Rosenthal’s pick: Rams 22, Panthers 20.

Packers at Jets

Florio’s take:  The Jets remain the hottest team in the NFL, with a swarming defense and a sufficiently competent offense.  Receiver Santonio Holmes had two extra weeks to hone his timing with quarterback Mark Sanchez, which should result in an even more souped-up passing attack.  The Packers aren’t remotely close to being Super Bowl ready, and without again getting a couple of gift calls on touchdown plays they can’t expect to win this one.

Florio’s pick:  Jets 27, Packers 20.

Rosenthal’s take: The Packers lost another linebacker for the season, while the Jets are fully healthy after their bye.  Revis Island is ready to re-open with tougher immigration laws and there’s a sense New York hasn’t played their best despite being 5-1.  All logic points to the Jets. (I’m sure Florio is taking his beloved Jets.)  All the more reason to take the Packers, who are ready to go on a run.

Rosenthal’s pick: Packers 26, Jets 21.

Titans at Chargers

Florio’s take:  Vince Young likely will return for a Tennessee offense that did fairly well without him.  But the two Tennessee losses have come against teams that run a 3-4 defense, the preferred attack of the Chargers.  And the Charger

s have much more talent than their 2-5 record suggests.  Assuming that the late surge in Week Seven against the Patriots woke up the four-time defending AFC West champions, the Chargers will stay alive for at least another week.

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 23, Titans 20.

Rosenthal’s take: The Titans have a knack for frustrating opponents and forcing them into mistakes.  The Chargers have a knack for frustrating their fans and making unforced errors.  The Titans lead the league in takeaways and have scored the most points off turnovers.  The Chargers have the most giveaways in the AFC.  Add it up, and Norv Turner’s head should explode sometime in the third quarter.

Rosenthal’s pick: Titans 26, Chargers 21.

Vikings at Patriots

Florio’s take:  Vikings coach Brad Childress has been talking lately.  A lot.  His words regarding the officiating in Sunday night’s loss to the Packers got him a $35,000 fine.  His barbs directed at the Patriots and Bill Belichick could get Chilly a butt-whipping on par with the 31-7 defeat his team absorbed from Belichick and company four years ago.  Brett Favre, who won’t play only if he can’t move, will be jumping on his “broke foot” when things go well, and he’ll be walking like John Wayne with hemorrhoids when things go poorly.  Count on plenty of Rooster Cogburn on Preparation H sightings.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 35, Vikings 13. 

Rosenthal’s take:  After the Patriots released Lawyer Milloy then lost to the Bills 31-0 to open the 2003 season, ESPN’s Tom Jackson said the “Patriots hate their coach.”   Three weeks after New England traded Randy Moss to Minnesota, it’s the Vikings that seem to hate their coach.  The rest of the country hates Brett Favre, who seems to know it and wear it on his face during every depressing press conference.  This is the week Moss begins to realize how good he had it in Foxborough.  

Rosenthal’s pick: Patriots 24, Vikings 14.

Buccaneers at Cardinals

Florio’s take:  Bucs coach Raheem Morris thinks he has is the best team in the NFC.  Less than two years ago, the Cardinals actually were the best team in the NFC.  Though the Cardinals have looked horrible at times, the managed to take down at home a Saints team that thumped the Bucs in their own stadium.  And that’s good enough for me.

Florio’s pick:  Cardinals 24, Buccaneers 20.

Rosenthal’s take: The “best team in the NFC” isn’t favored in Arizona, where the Cardinals are 2-0 this season.  If the Bucs are to live up to Raheem Morris’ hype, this is a game they win going away.  Arizona’s passing game is a mess, while the running game isn’t much better.  It’s a miracle they are 3-3. Still, these teams are more similar than different.  And they’ll have the same record after this one.

Rosenthal’s pick: Cardinals 19, Bucs 14.

Seahawks at Raiders

Florio’s take:  Here’s the toughest call of the week.  Tony Dungy thinks the Seahawks are the best team in the NFC.  Raiders cornerback Chris Johnson thinks his team is the most talented in the entire NFL.  The Seahawks had been unable to win on the road before taking down the Bears two weeks ago.  Before a far=less-than-full stadium against a Raiders team buoyed by a 59-point uprising against the Broncos on Sunday, the Raiders likely will finish an unlikely ascension to .500 at the halfway point of the season.

Florio’s pick:  Raiders 27, Seahawks 17.

Rosenthal’s take: Every time the Raiders win a game, they say they turned the corner.  Even though they haven’t won back-to-back games since 2008, I’m just crazy enough to believe them this time.  The Seahawks whole offensive gameplan seems to be “don’t throw interceptions” but they need a little more than that on the road.

Rosenthal’s pick: Raiders 23, Seahawks 16.

Steelers at Saints

Florio’s take:  At one point in September, it looked like this game would feature a clash of the best two teams in the league.  It remains half right, with the Steelers among the best of the bunch and the Saints sliding toward irrelevance.  Though the defending champs’ backs are being pushed against the wall, that 13-point loss to the Browns means the days of dominance have ended, at least for now.  A one-dimensional offense is no match for a multi-faceted Steelers defense, and this one could turn into a rout, which would mean the ratings will only double those from Game Four of the World Series.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 34, Saints 21.

Rosenthal’s take:  A lot of tough games to pick this week. I’ve debated this one for days, but the tiebreaker goes to the Steelers.  Even though Pittsburgh’s pass defense has looked shakier the last two weeks, New Orleans has struggled against far worse groups.  At some point, it’s worth recognizing the 2009 Saints passing attack just may not come back.

Rosenthal’s pick: Steelers 27, Saints 24.

Texans at Colts

Florio’s take:  The Texans obsessed over their Week One visit from the Colts, and it paid off.  Since then, the Texans have been roughly average.  They get another crack at the Colts on Monday night, at a time when plenty of Indy players are missing.  But as long as Peyton Manning remains healthy, the Colts will be tough to beat, especially at home.  Manning realizes the importance of not being swept by the Texans — and not falling to 0-3 in the division.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 33, Texans 27. 

Rosenthal’s take: Dallas Clark and Austin Collie will be missed, but I’m not really that worried about the Colts offense in this game. They have great depth and the Jeff George Colts could score 30 points on this awful Texans defense.  The bigger question is whether the Colts defense can snap out of their funk.  At home, in a huge division game, I’ll take my chances they make enough plays.

Rosenthal’s pick: Colts 38, Texans 31.

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Tom Brady is the 2017 MVP favorite

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In his 17 NFL seasons, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been named NFL MVP only twice. (Loser.) He’s nevertheless the odds-on favorite to win it again.

Via Greg Human of the Tampa Bay Times, the Bovada odds for 2017 regular-season MVP show Brady as the 4-1 favorite. Next is Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at 7-1. Newly-minted $25 million man (and Raiders quarterback) Derek Carr appears third, at 9-1.

Intriguing prospects include Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who at 50-1 may fare a lot better than that given his weapons in the passing game. Ditto for Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, who created MVP buzz in spurts last year, who has Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Cameron Brate, and O.J. Howard this year, and who is rated as a 66-1 underdog to be the league’s top dog.

And now for some safe bets, if you want to place a little action on the “no.” Steelers receiver Antonio Brown has 50-1 odds to win an award that no receiver has ever won. If Brown ever would generate the kind of numbers necessary to be in the conversation, it will mean that the guy throwing the passes has likely done ever more to win the award.

Likewise, Broncos linebacker Von Miller is a 100-1 pick. With a new coach, new coordinators, and an unsettled quarterback situation, Miller will be hard pressed to stand out enough to become only the third defensive player to be named league MVP (Alan Page did it in 1971, and Lawrence Taylor won it in 1986), especially given the many great offensive players throughout the league. So, basically, if I was a betting man, I’d be inclined to risk $100 to win $1 if/when Miller doesn’t win the MVP award.

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Robert Kraft: Amazon deal shows where NFL is headed on TV

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Amazon will stream NFL games to its Prime subscribers this season, which represents a new source of revenue for the NFL, but a small one: Although the precise amount of money Amazon has paid for NFL deals has been disputed, suffice to say it’s peanuts compared to what NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN and DirecTV pay for the rights to show NFL games on traditional television.

But while online streams are a tiny fraction of the NFL’s revenues today, that won’t always be the case, according to Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Eventually, Kraft believes, over-the-top content will replace traditional television for the NFL.

“This year we’re with Amazon and for us the future is OTT,” Kraft said, via the New York Post. “We’ll be very interested to see how Amazon goes as it’s behind the paywall. The thing we have to be careful of is millennials. They don’t watch TV, they don’t have TVs or subscribe to cable. So we have to bring that audience in. Partly it’s done through fantasy games and linking to that. Over-the-top is a great opportunity.”

Kraft is probably right about that: A younger generation of fans wants to watch football on phones and on the go, not while sitting in the living room in front of the TV. The NFL needs to figure out how to keep those fans involved — and how to bring in the same kind of revenue from those fans that it brings in from traditional TV viewers.

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Green Bay says it could host a draft as big as Philadelphia’s

AP

Philadelphia saw an enormous turnout for this year’s NFL draft, with the league claiming 250,000 people attended the three-day outdoor festival surrounding the event. But a crowd that big doesn’t necessarily mean the draft has to be in a big city.

Green Bay is pushing to host the draft, and Brad Toll, the president of the city’s convention and visitors bureau, says his city could manage a Philadelphia-sized crowd.

“My gut feeling is with the people they had in town, we could accommodate that,” Toll told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Between the Resch Center and Titletown District, we certainly have every bit of space they need.”

But the problem facing Green Bay is less about the physical space to fit that many people than about the hotel rooms to accommodate them. Green Bay has just 4,700 hotel rooms while neighboring Appleton adds another 3,000. The Philadelphia region has more than 35,000 hotel rooms.

The NFL wants to make the draft an event big enough that football fans will travel from around the country to attend. Green Bay may not be big enough for that. But they’re going to try to convince the NFL they can handle it.

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Bengals think Andre Smith can be a “terrific” guard

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The Bengals lost two starting offensive linemen as free agents this offseason, leaving them with openings at left tackle and right guard as they built their team for the 2017 season.

They filled one of those spots by reaching out to a former member of the team, although Andre Smith’s won’t be returning as part of the plan to replace Andrew Whitworth at left tackle. Smith played right tackle in his first tour with the Bengals, but is set to take over at right guard for Kevin Zeitler.

Smith said he’s noticed things move faster at guard, something that may be exacerbated by practicing against defensive tackle Geno Atkins, but offensive line coach Paul Alexander says the transition has been a successful one thus far.

“I think Andre has a chance to be terrific at guard,” Alexander said, via the team’s website. “He’s getting to start from the beginning this year with the base techniques and then learn the offense as he goes. If we all of the sudden picked him up a week before the season and said, ‘Go play right guard,’ I don’t think he could do it. But going through this progression I think he’ll be fine.”

If all goes well, the move would benefit both the Bengals and Smith personally as the shift could prove to be a career extender as he closes in on a decade as an NFL offensive lineman.

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Friday morning one-liners

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A look at how S Micah Hyde fits with the Bills.

The Dolphins have set their schedule for training camp.

LB Shea McClellin’s playing time could drop with David Harris joining the Patriots.

A trip through the Jets’ depth chart.

Ravens rookie CB Marlon Humphrey is expected to play on the outside.

Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah hopes to pick up where he left off last season.

LB Christian Kirksey has grown into a leader on defense for the Browns.

Can Knile Davis spark the Steelers kick return game?

A breakdown of the Texans tight ends.

The Colts website takes a look at some projected stats for the team.

Jaguars rookie CB Jalen Myrick hopes he made a good first impression on the team.

The Titans have running back options beyond DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.

A Broncos fan won a chance to share a steak dinner with rookie T Garrett Bolles.

The Chiefs’ decision to fire G.M. John Dorsey caught many people off guard.

A look at the reaction to QB Derek Carr’s extension with the Raiders.

Rookie G Forrest Lamp didn’t pay attention to commentary on the Chargers’ decision to draft him.

Will WR Lucky Whitehead stick on the Cowboys roster again this year?

DE Devin Taylor is bidding to make the Giants.

How will the Eagles spread out work in their backfield?

Getting to know Redskins director of college scouting Kyle Smith.

Bears rookie TE Adam Shaheen went from basketball to football because he “missed hitting somebody.”

How will Derek Carr’s new deal impact Lions QB Matthew Stafford’s forthcoming contract?

A look at the Packers’ push to host the NFL Draft.

A position battle preview ahead of Vikings camp.

Play action passes will remain part of the Falcons offense in 2017.

Panthers LB Luke Kuechly is slinging soup.

OL Jack Allen is ready to compete for a Saints roster spot.

The Buccaneers’ social media team took issue with Nate Burleson’s wide receiver rankings.

S Ironhead Gallon hopes he makes an impression on the Cardinals beyond his name.

How good will the Rams defense be this year?

The 49ers should have a spirited competition for tight end jobs.

Will Eddie Lacy’s arrival get the Seahawks back to a power running game?

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NFL players support protesting Texas youth team

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Much like Colin Kaepernick, the Beaumont Bulls paid a price for their protest.

But unlike the unemployed-for-no-valid-reason quarterback, the Bulls are getting some NFL backing and are back on the field.

According to Tim McManus of ESPN.com, a group of NFL players donated $20,000 to help the Texas youth team, after their season was canceled last year after taking a knee during the national anthem.

Last September, the Beaumont Bulls 11-12-year-old team took a knee. The Bay Area Football League promptly suspended coach Rah Rah Barber. This year they’re back as the Southeast Texas Oilers, as members of a different organization.

Malcolm Jenkins and Torrey Smith of the Eagles; Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty; and free-agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin were among the players who wrote the checks to support their start-up. Jenkins and Boldin heard about the situation during a panel discussion in Houston  during Super Bowl week set up by Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (That’s Ross as in Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.)

“We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it’s OK to stand up for what you believe in,” Jenkins said. “We didn’t want them to walk away from the season feeling punished for trying to do the right thing. We wanted to make sure that was rewarded and acknowledged and encouraged, so that was our main motivation for helping.”

The donation covered the cost of equipment needed for the team to take the field this fall.

Oilers vice president April Parkerson said the movement began with her son Jaelun, who was troubled by the shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota by a police officer. And following the example set by Kaepernick, the team decided to take a knee as he did.

“We thought about it long and hard because we are a military family,” April Parkerson said. “We had the support of friends and family and we all believe in doing the right thing and we all took a knee together. It just took off from there.”

The team told the Bay Area Football League about the planned protest before a Sept. 10 game, but opinions changed quickly against them, including death threats coming in by social media.

Jenkins was among the players to lodge similar protests last year, raising a fist during the anthem for all but one game.

“As role models, when you step out there and you demonstrate something, especially something as big as what happened last year with the protests in the NFL. . . . I think it’s definitely the responsibility of those out in front to think about the impact that it has on everyone behind them,” Jenkins said. “Because some of these kids and coaches and youth teams don’t have the same protections and securities that we have. And so I think it’s definitely a responsibility to at least thoroughly explain why you demonstrated, why you’re doing what you’re doing, so that people understand the risks and consequences, and that you also encourage them and support them.”

Now if they can just find a team willing to support the guy who started the movement.

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Deshaun Watson calls his work ethic a lifestyle

AP

The Texans drafted former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson in the hopes that he’d be the same kind of leader in the NFL that he was in college, where he led his team to a national championship. The early returns are very, very positive on that front.

John McClain, the longtime NFL reporter who covers the Texans for the Houston Chronicle, wrote on Twitter that Watson has been everything the Texans wanted in a franchise quarterback, and more.

“I can’t overstate how hard rookie QB Deshaun Watson worked in the offseason. Stayed after practice. Worked on days off. What a work ethic!” McClain wrote.

Watson saw that tweet about his work ethic and added, “It’s a lifestyle.”

Whether Watson can develop into an NFL-quality passer remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that he will put in the work.

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Browns see improvement from 2016 fourth-round pick Ricardo Louis

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Wide receiver Ricardo Louis was one of 14 draft picks to make the Cleveland Browns last season. However, Louis, a fourth-round pick out of Auburn, had some difficulty making the transition to the NFL and only managed 18 catches for 205 yards in his rookie campaign.

But with a year under his belt, the Browns and Louis feel like he’s better situated to contribute for the team this season.

Now he lines up at the line of scrimmage and hears the play and sees the defense and recognizes the coverage, he goes 100 miles per hour,” wide receiver coach Al Saunders said, via Pat McManamon of ESPN.com. “He’s a talented young man. I’m thrilled he feels really comfortable in what he’s doing and am really excited when we get him to the preseason and take that transition and get into real physical football and play the game when things aren’t what you expect it to be.”

Head coach Hue Jackson echoed the sentiments, saying Louis has “really improved” since last season. Louis agreed that he’s taken a sizable step forward as well.

“There’s a lot of things that you have to be very specific on when it comes to being in the NFL,” Louis said. “You have to be detailed with everything you do as far as preparation and taking the next step.”

That 14-man class will have to be significant contributors eventually for the Browns to build toward contending status. A jump forward from year one to year two is typically expected from players moving into the pros. Louis appears situated to be a more trusted option in 2017.

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Family suing Broncos Stadium after deadly fall last October

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The family of a man who died in a fall at the stadium formerly known as Sports Authority Field at Mile High last October is suing the Metropolitan Football Stadium District seeking an unstated amount of damages.

According to 9NEWS, the family of Jason Coy filed a claim dated April 11, 2017 alleging that the staircase when Coy fell to his death was “inherently dangerous to patrons” of the stadium.

“On October 24, 2016, while attending a Denver Bronco’s football game as an invitee inside the Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Mr. Coy fell to his death in a fire escape corridor and staircase, inside the North East concourse of the stadium,” the suit states. “The subject corridor was designed, built, and maintained as a fire evacuation escape route and egress method for invited game attendees. The corridor and staircase contained a vault and open shaft that was inherently dangerous to patrons, and Mr. Coy slipped over a handrail near the top of the staircase, falling to his death, at or near the base below. We believe the Stadium District, and others, failed to make the subject staircase and stairwell, reasonably safe for invited guests/patrons, and this failure led directly to Mr. Coy’s fatal injuries.”

Coy was attending a game between the Houston Texans and Broncos the night he fell.

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Jeremy Kerley isn’t fond of former Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey

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San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jeremy Kerley isn’t going to mince words when it comes to his opinion on Chan Gailey.

Kerley played under Gailey with the New York Jets in 2015. It was his worst season as a pro as Kerley caught just 16 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns with the Jets.

Coming off of arguable his best season, Kerley didn’t bother to blunt his opinion on his former offensive coordinator during an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

What changed a lot for me was in my fifth year, in New York, somebody telling me that, for whatever the reason was, I wasn’t good enough to play in that offense or I wasn’t a fit for that offense,” Kerley said. “And even though I knew I was, it still pissed me off to the point where I was just like, you know, what can I do to try to separate myself or stand out more. And I think, just from that point on and 2015 was by far my worst year in the league. I absolutely hated the NFL. I wasn’t getting any playing time at receiver; I was just strictly punt return. Me and Chan Gailey were always … we didn’t see eye-to-eye. I didn’t have a lot of respect for him. It was probably the same for him.”

Gailey was hired to serve as offensive coordinator after Todd Bowles was brought in to replace Rex Ryan as head coach. Gailey served in the role the last two seasons before retiring at the end of the year. Unsurprisingly, Kerley lasted just one season playing in Gailey’s offense before moving on to the 49ers last year (after a brief stop in Detroit).

“Chan was just one of those type of guys that he has his mind set up before he sees whoever’s there,” Kerley said. “I mean, he just wasn’t a fit for me, so when we came in it was kind of like, I had just signed a four-year, $16-million extension. So I’m assuming this is my time, I’m going to play or I get to maximize my play. And it was the exact opposite. I can’t speak highly of a guy who never really let me have an opportunity to prove. And then the fact that he would always bring in guys that were my same height or my same size after guys went down or whatever happened, it brought me to believe that maybe he just doesn’t really like me.

“For whatever the reason was, I just feel like we were going to bump heads after that. I don’t say this about a lot of people, but I don’t really have a lot of respect for that and how that situation went.”

Kerley ended up in a much better situation with the 49ers. He caught a career-high 64 passes for 667 yards and three touchdowns last year for San Francisco. The three touchdowns matched a career-high. The showing earned his a new three-year deal with the 49ers this offseason.

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Who are the best five quarterbacks in the NFL, right now?

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With Derek Carr getting paid, the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL are set. Based on the disputed (but widely recognized) “new money” analysis, they are: (1) Carr; (2) Andrew Luck; (3) Drew Brees; (4) Kirk Cousins; and (5) Joe Flacco.

That doesn’t necessarily (or actually) make them the five best quarterbacks. Identifying the five best quarterbacks in the NFL will be the focal point of Friday’s PFT Live question of the day.

We’re not looking for five quarterbacks you’d start a team with. We want your five quarterbacks based on guys you would take right now to help you win a game.

Former NFL quarterback Brady Quinn will join the show, which will be the last radio/TV show featuring yours truly until July 24. (The TV show is preempted for most of the next month due to that Tour de France thing.) I’ll explain over the weekend the plan for fresh video and audio content during my supposed vacation, since I never actually take a vacation because my job isn’t really a job.

Join us at 6:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio. The show then shifts to NBCSN at 7:00 a.m. ET.

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Woody Johnson nominated for Ambassador to UK, with brother set to run Jets

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The Jets confirmed Christopher Johnson will become chairman and CEO if the Senate confirms Woody Johnson as U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain. President Donald Trump nominated the Jets owner on Thursday, 153 days after he unofficially named Johnson to the diplomatic post.

Christopher Johnson, Woody’s brother and also a team owner, will directly oversee all day-to-day team operations in his brother’s absence.

“The New York Jets have been an integral part of our family since 2000, but this is a unique opportunity for Woody. His patriotism and commitment to our country have always been a passion of his,” Christopher Johnson said, via a team press release. “Over the years, we have learned that ownership of the New York Jets is a special responsibility. Personally, if Woody is nominated and confirmed, I would be honored to oversee the organization, continuing to build a team on and off the field that our fans are proud of and deserve.” 

Woody Johnson, now 70, and his family purchased the Jets on Jan. 18, 2000. Woody, a fourth-generation member of the founding family of Johnson & Johnson, is a veteran Republican fundraiser.

“On behalf of the entire organization, we would be extremely proud to see Woody nominated and confirmed as U.S. Ambassador. We could not be more excited for him and his family,” Jets President Neil Glat said in the release.

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Raiders, who have yet to announce Derek Carr deal, call Friday press conference

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The Raiders have yet to officially announce Derek Carr has a new deal, but they have called a press conference for 10:30 a.m. PT on Friday at the team facility. Although the team doesn’t specify the reason for the press conference, it will come as no surprise when they announce Carr’s signing.

Besides Carr’s tweet confirming the deal was done, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio tweeted his congratulations to Carr: “Congrats w extension!! Continue to be the great teammate and leader you R. God Bless you & your family! #RaiderNation #ReturnToGreatness”

Carr will become the highest-paid player in NFL history when he signs the five-year, $125 million deal, which includes $40 million fully guaranteed at signing. According to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Carr was out of the country on vacation but is on his way home.

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Patriots announce David Harris signing, cut DeAndrew White

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Linebacker David Harris is officially a member of the Patriots.

Word of Harris’ agreement with the defending champions came on Wednesday, but the move was announced by the team on Thursday along with the roster move they made to clear space for Harris’ arrival. They have waived wide receiver DeAndrew White.

Harris, who was released by the Jets earlier this month after 10 seasons with the team, signed a two-year deal with New England with a reported base value of $5 million. He’s the latest acquisition in a busy offseason that has seen New England use their cap space to add veterans all over a roster that was already coming off of a Super Bowl title.

White made the 49ers as an undrafted rookie in 2015 and played in four games. He caught two passes and returned six kickoffs in those appearances and moved on to the Patriots practice squad after getting cut last year. He’ll now have the chance to catch on elsewhere before training camp and may face shorter odds than he did with a Patriots team well-stocked with wideouts.

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Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert competing to backup Carson Palmer

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The Cardinals will have an interesting training camp battle between two players they hope never see the field. Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert will compete for the job behind starting quarterback Carson Palmer.

Considering Carson is 38 and entering his 14th season, the Cardinals could choose to keep both backups on the 53-player roster. Coach Bruce Arians said the decision about how many quarterbacks to keep will depend on whether the third quarterback is better than another reserve at another position.

Who’s the best player, regardless of position?” Arians said, via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN. “Obviously, he’s not going to help special teams, and if you think there’s one you really, really like for the future [you keep him].”

Stanton has served as the team’s backup the past four seasons, while Gabbert signed with the Cardinals on May 11.

The Cardinals started four quarterbacks in 2012 and three in 2014, but Palmer has started all but one game the past two seasons.

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