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Seneca Wallace “not worried” that McCoy is the starter

Seneca Wallace AP

No matter how short training camp is, it would be stunning if Colt McCoy wasn’t Cleveland’s starting quarterback when the Browns start their season.

Seneca Wallace, who re-signed with the team this offseason, won’t give the job up without a fight.  Wallace sees the switch to a West Cast offense under new coach Pat Shurmur as an advantage for him.

“It’s great to know that you’re going into a situation where you’ve already got the upper hand on a lot of that stuff,” Wallace told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “Terminology is very similar to what I’m used to and that’s one of the biggest things.”

Wallace joked that perhaps he’ll keep some secrets to himself.

“Yeah, I can’t disclose everything to [McCoy],” he said. “I’m still trying to go out there and play for my position, you know? But I’m not going to hold everything back from him. If there’s something he wants to know about the offense, I’d definitely be willing to try to share and help him out as best I can.”

The Browns will presumably cut Jake Delhomme after the lockout. We doubt at this point the Browns will add any true competition for Wallace as McCoy’s backup.  Even if Wallace doesn’t quite sound ready to be a backup just yet.

“Colt is a younger kid and he’s from Texas and people know him,” Wallace said. “He should get the opportunity to be the starter and I’m not worried about that. But I’m comfortable with this system and I’m going to prepare every day like I’m the starter. That’s what I’ve got to do.”

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06/10: Blaine Gabbert, Larry Kennan

Mike Florio talks with Jaguars first round pick Blaine Gabbert about fitting in with his new teammates. NFLCA executive director Larry Kennan discusses the brief filed to the 8th Circuit on behalf of the coaches. And Florio counts down the worst moments in Houston Texans history.

 


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Dolphins will add veteran QB, regardless of Tyler Thigpen

Bears' Urlacher sacks Dolphins' Thigpen during fourth quarter NFL football action in Miami AP

The Miami Dolphins are looking for someone to compete with Chad Henne for the team’s starting quarterback job.  Tyler Thigpen is not that guy.

G.M. Jeff Ireland said Thursday that re-signing Thigpen is an option, especially if Thigpen is a restricted free agent.  But Ireland made it clear they will add another veteran even if they bring back Thigpen, according to Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Thigpen has enjoyed some decent moments in his career, but struggled badly in a shutout loss to the Bears last year. It would make sense for Thigpen to have a reunion with Chan Gailey in Buffalo.

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Raheem Morris says he has been talking to players

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

The temporary lifting of the lockout in late April served as a stretching of the rubber band, giving teams the ability to talk to players and making it hard, once given the chance to chit-chat, to ever go back.  Since then, it has been reported by folks like Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com that lockout-forbidden communications are occurring, and NBC’s Rodney Harrison, who is still plugged in with plenty of players, told PFT Live he knows it’s happening.

The league apparently has opted to look the other way, possibly due to the rampant nature of the violations.  Really, would it be fair to chase down one team and then not use those same resources to catch someone else?

As a result, we’ve said that the only teams who’ll get in trouble will be the teams whose coaches or players choose to talk about the fact that they’re talking to each other.  And Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris has given the NFL the first piece of potential proof in this regard.

Per JoeBucsFan.com, Morris recently told Steve Duemig of WDAE radio that Morris talks to players like LeGarrette Blount, Sammie Stroughter, and Dez Briscoe “all the time.”

We’ll defer to JoeBucsFan.com’s partial transcript for the context.  Though the comment may not be a smoking gun, it could be strong enough to at least prompt the NFL to place a phone call to One Buc Place, at a minimum to let Morris know that if he continues to say things of that nature the league eventually will have to do something about it.

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Marvin Lewis sees Andy Dalton as an opening-day starter

Marvin Lewis AP

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is continuing to say that if Carson Palmer returns to Cincinnati, he’ll be the starter. But Lewis also says he thinks rookie Andy Dalton will be ready to start Week One.

“There’s no question when we selected Andy Dalton we selected him with that in mind that he’d possibly be our opening-day starting quarterback,” Lewis said on ESPN 101 in St. Louis, via SportsRadioInterviews.com.

Palmer has been quiet publicly, but privately he has reportedly decided to retire if the Bengals won’t trade him. The Bengals say they won’t trade him, and Lewis sounds like he’s at peace with the idea that Palmer is done playing football.

“That’s his prerogative, so at this point in his career he decided to retire,” Lewis said. “It’s a good decision that he made to move on with the rest of his life and we understand that and accept that.”

And so Lewis, knowing he can’t force Palmer to return to the Bengals, is now trying to put a happy face on the idea of heading into 2011 with no better option than Dalton.

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Prosecutor presumes Britt won’t face jail time

Kenny Britt AP

Kenny Britt was arrested for the sixth time in two years this week, and for the sixth time it’s for a relatively minor offense. Hudson County (New Jersey) prosecutor Edward DeFazio points out Britt is unlikely to receive jail time for his latest offense.

“If he were to be convicted he could get probation, and technically he could be subject to jail time,’’ DeFazio told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “But as a practical matter, since he has no criminal convictions, there is a presumption that he would not be incarcerated.”

Britt will be a tricky case for the league’s personal conduct policy when the lockout ends.  He keeps getting arrested, but they have been for the kind of misdemeanor cases that often get ignored.

“I don’t like to say this, but these things in the overall scheme of things are not the most serious matters we have to deal with,’’ said DeFazio, who earlier this week dealt with Britt pleading guilty to careless driving. “But he just can’t seem to avoid people and places that present problems. This incident, on the face of it, is not very serious.”

Britt is accused of resisting arrest and tampering with evidence by destroying a blunt when some plainclothes cops approached him.

Titans coach Mike Munchak sounded concerned, but he’s not allowed to talk to Britt.

“Any time any of our players have issues it is concerning, no matter what the issue is. We want the best for them. This is a tough time because we don’t know,” Munchak said.

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Mark Tauscher unsure if he’ll continue playing football

Packers' Tauscher holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy and his son Maxwell after the Packers defeated the Steelers in the NFL's Super Bowl XLV football game in Arlington AP

Mark Tauscher, who has played all eleven of his NFL seasons in Green Bay, says he’s not sure if he will continue to play football in 2011.

He’s under contract for $4.1 million next year, but it seems next to impossible that the Packers will pay that number.  Perhaps the Packers would give Tauscher a chance to make the team with a reduced contract, but the longtime right tackle doesn’t sound like he was sure he would even try to play.

“You know, I haven’t really figured out what I’m going to do yet,” Tauscher told Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Friday at a charity golf event run by Greg Jennings.

Tauscher will just focus on getting healthy for now.

“Honestly I’m just rehabbing my shoulder and trying to play some golf,” Tauscher said. “When the lockout ends I’m sure I’ll get things figured out, one way or another, and see where we’re at.”

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PFT Live: Blaine Gabbert and NFLCA Executive Director Larry Kennan

Blaine Gabbert AP

The week in PFT Live closes strong this Friday with two newsmakers.

Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert joins the show to talk about being the quarterback of the future in Jacksonville, and what the present has been like following the team’s player-only workouts this week.

NFL Coaches Associate Executive Director Larry Kennan also will call in to talk about the controversy surrounding the brief his organization filed in favor of ending the lockout, which many coaching staffs have said they were unaware of.

Tune in live at noon.

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Ndamukong Suh still talking about Lions going 16-0

Chad Henne, Ndamukong Suh AP

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said in March that Detroit can go 16-0. Three months later, he’s not backing down.

“Like I said before, we can go 16-0,” Suh told the Detroit News today. “One of the reasons I’m saying this is because we should shoot for the top. And if you don’t want to be a Super Bowl team, what are you playing for? If you are satisfied with winning games and just making the playoffs, I think you should expect more. There is more to just playing and trying to win games. That is my mentality and that is my approach. We should come in with the attitude of the sky is the limit and we want to be the best.”

To Detroit fans, Suh’s prediction may bring back some uncomfortable memories of former Lions quarterback Jon Kitna, who insisted before the 2007 season that the Lions would win at least 10 games. After the Lions went 7-9 that season, Kitna emphatically stated that they’d win more than 10 games in 2008. And then the Lions went 0-16.

Granted, there are more objective reasons for optimism about the Lions now than there were three years ago. And Suh isn’t saying the Lions will go 16-0, just that they can go 16-0.

But on the Lions, who haven’t had a winning record since 2000 (the year before Matt Millen was hired as team president), it sounds a little ridiculous to talk about 16-0, when even 8-8 would represent significant progress.

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Plaxico Burress says he’s a better pass catcher after prison

Plaxico Burress AP

The way Plaxico Burress figures it, he’s a better receiver now than he was before he went to prison. After all, the degree of difficulty catching passes behind bars was higher.

“There weren’t a lot of guys throwing perfect spirals in there. I had to work to catch those balls,” Burress said with a laugh to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the Wall St. Journal in his first post-prison interview.

Burress doesn’t break a lot of new ground in the conversation, saying that he’s listening to Michael Vick’s advice to focus on his family first now that he’s a free man.  Vick and Burress spoke during the week, but it sounds like Burress has spent most of his time trying to corral his 18-month old daughter Giovanna, who was born while Burress was in prison.

Asked about his future, Burress said “you never know” whether he could return to New York.  He just wants to get a playbook from some team and get back to work soon.

“I know what I’m capable of,” the soon-to-be 34-year-old said. “All I need to say to teams is ‘don’t judge my future by my past.’ Just let me come out and play football.”

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Answering questions on the future of Plaxico, Santana Moss

Some storms in West Virginia made Thursday’s PFT Live a little more challenging than usual, but the show went on with your help.

Florio answered questions regarding the futures of Plaxico Burress and Santana Moss in the segment below, along with the latest on the Vikings possibly moving to Los Angeles.

There is another segment with viewer calls about the lockout from Thursday if you missed it. You can also subscribe to the show via iTunes.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
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Team checklist: New Orleans Saints

Mickey Loomis AP

The Saints have already added some big pieces this offseason in Shaun Rogers to go with first round picks Cameron Jordan and Mark Ingram. So what else does G.M. Mikey Loomis need to do when the lockout ends?

1. Set a reasonable price for Reggie Bush and stick to it.

Coach Sean Payton says he wants to keep Bush and we believe him. Bush was Payton’s first pick in New Orleans and no one believes in him more. Bush needs to take pay cut reflective of his status as an injury-prone role player, especially because the Saints already have Ingram, Pierre Thomas, and Chris Ivory.

We’re not sure if Bush really wants to stay. If he wants more than $4-$5 million a year, let him walk.  We’d be surprised if the Saints come up with a new deal before they have to cut him.

2. Bring back Roman Harper.

Despite his struggles in coverage in the playoffs, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams knows how important Harper is to the defense. We’d make Harper a bigger priority than Bush.  This should be a no brainer.

Continue reading »

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Woodley: Ravens won’t make Super Bowl in “this lifetime”

NFL Super Bowl Football AP

If the football season starts on time, the Week One tilt between the Ravens and Steelers looks like the best game on the board following the season opening matchup between the Packers and Saints.

And just in case the game wasn’t going to get hyped enough, Steelers linebacker Lamarr Woodley is here to help.

Asked on NFL Network if Joe Flacco would ever lead the Ravens to a championship, Woodley responded just how we would expect him.

“No, not at all because they have to go through one team — that’s the Pittsburgh Steelers in that AFC championship. So in order for them to get to the Super Bowl, they have to beat us, and we’re not gonna let that happen once we get that close. So that’s not gonna happen in this lifetime,” Woodley said as transcribed by Sean Leahy of USA Today.

For a while last year, it looked like the Ravens would get past the Steelers.  But a 21-7 halftime lead in Pittsburgh imploded with three third quarter turnovers.

It’s the greatest rivalry in the NFL.  It’s also one more reason we all hope the lockout is resolved before any games are missed.

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Not-so-secret talks expected to resume next week

DeMaurice Smith AP

There were a lot of good signs to take from the latest round of not-so-secret talks between the NFL and the NFLPA* this week, which were capped off by a Manhattan dinner between Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith.

(Let’s hope Goodell didn’t chose to eat at La Familigia.)

An even better sign is that the two sides plan to continue talking.  Gary Myers of the New York Daily News writes that there will be “more talks to come next week.”

“This is the first time since the meetings started last year that both sides are motivated at the same time to get a deal done,” Myers writes.

Myers thinks a deal could get done by early-to-mid July.

“Right people, right format, right time,” one source told Myers. “It’s the optimum moment for reasonable people to find reasonable solutions to problems that are not insolvable.”

At times during the lockout the two sides have seemed anything but reasonable. That finally seems to be changing.

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AEG has spoken with five teams about purchase, relocation

Press Conference Held To Annouce Name Of NFL Stadium In LA Getty Images

As Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times recently said during an episode of PFT Live, the biggest threat to the push for a new stadium in L.A. comes from a slowing of the momentum toward a deal.

The momentum train received a hot salsa enema on Thursday night, when AEG president Tim Leiweke said that his boss, Philip Anschutz, is prepared to purchase majority interest in a team — and that AEG has spoken to five franchises about this possibility.

According to the Orange County Register (via SportsBusiness Daily), the teams are the Vikings, Chargers, Rams, Raiders, and Jaguars.

“St. Louis, Jacksonville, not extensively, certainly Oakland, San Diego, Minnesota are still in the mix,” Leiweke said.  “We’re not packing any [moving] vans right now.”

Leiweke also said that AEG is prepared to pay any fees associated with a team getting out of its current lease.  “Just as an example, if it’s San Diego, they would have to pay $24 million under their agreement to get out of the lease,” Leiweke said.  “We would pay that.”

In our view, that helps make the Vikings the top candidate, given that after the 2011 season the cost of getting out of the lease at the Metrodome will be zero dollars, and zero cents.

Leiweke undoubtedly made the disclosure in order to build momentum toward the finalization of a “memorandum of understanding” with the Los Angeles City Council.  Leiweke has said that the so-called “MOU” must be finalized by July 31 in order to keep the project on track.

“If it [the council] goes away for the summer without the MOU we’ve got to rekindle this again in mid-September and we’re not going to make 2016,” Leiweke said.  “If we get the MOU by July 31st, what it proves to the NFL is that we could in fact get a deal done here.”

Meanwhile, anyone in Minnesota who hopes to keep the Vikings from going the way of the Lakers should realize that, if they don’t get a deal done for a new stadium in Minnesota soon, the time for packing the moving vans could be coming.

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