Skip to content

Marshall Faulk doesn’t want a safer game

Getty Images

The concussion lawsuits filed by former NFL players have generated a lot of interest of late, but not every ex-NFLer is involved in them.

Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk says that he never had a concussion in his 13-year career, which likely colors his opinion about moves being made to make the game safer. Faulk, who admits to worrying about how his body will hold up in 10 years, isn’t a fan of such moves and told Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as much in a recent interview.

“It’s pretty simple for me,” Faulk said. “Player safety is ‘Go play golf. Go play basketball where they call fouls for slapping you on the hand.’ … But it’s football. I hope guys get to play longer and there aren’t as many injuries as there were in the past. But I’m sorry, it is a contact sport. And I will feel cheated to a certain extent (if too many changes are made) because I want to watch the contact sport that I grew up loving and watching, but I know that’s no longer possible.”

Faulk’s opinion doesn’t make him unsympathetic to the players suing the league, however. Faulk likens the situation to that of smoking, where people are upset about a lack of information about the dangers involved instead of knowingly making a decision that might cause them harm. Smoking is still legal, but packs of cigarettes now come with warning labels about the potential damage they can do to smokers.

It’s not a bad analogy, because, as Faulk says, there’s a violent nature to football that you can’t eradicate without fundamentally changing the way the game is played. Players now know more about the risks involved in playing that game, which means they are free to make the same decision as smokers about whether or not to partake. The majority of the players will likely continue to make that choice, even if they share Faulk’s fear that things might be different a decade down the road.

Permalink 19 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Los Angeles Rams, Rumor Mill

Panthers reorganize scouting department

The Panthers have shuffled their personnel department a bit after the departure of assistant General Manager Brandon Beane for Buffalo, passing out some titles which should keep their scouting department largely intact.

The team hasn’t named a new assistant G.M., but pro scouting director Mark Koncz was named director of player personnel.

They also bumped veteran college scouting director Don Gregory to “senior executive scout,” putting him in an overseeing role for both pro and college scouting. They named longtime college scout Jeff Morrow their new director of college scouting.

“You are always looking to improve your scouting operation,” G.M Dave Gettleman said in a statement. “We made some moves after taking a look at everything. I feel really good about our personnel group, both pro and college. We feel this strengthens us even further.”

The Panthers also named Matt Allen the new director of pro personnel, Jonathan Fields a pro scouting assistant and Eli Montague an area scout.

Photo credit:

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Darrelle Revis won’t be punished by NFL after February incident

Getty Images

Darrelle Revis doesn’t have a job at the moment.

But at least if he finds one, the former All-Pro cornerback won’t have to worry about any future punishment.

According to Rich Cimini of, the league has completed its review of the case surrounding assault charges (which were dismissed in March) and has decided to do nothing.

The 31-year-old Revis hasn’t found a taker since being released by the Jets, and frankly this decision shouldn’t have much bearing on his future employment.

The Jets still owe him $6 million, so it’s not like he’s out there hurting for cash. But his play last year was nothing to create a robust market for himself.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Josh Doctson to work in full at OTAs

Getty Images

Wide receiver Josh Doctson’s rookie season was almost a total washout as the first-round pick played in just two games while dealing with an Achilles injury that kept him out of most offseason and preseason work as well.

Doctson moved along slowly in the early parts of this offseason and Redskins coach Jay Gruden said in April that the team was planning to continue with a cautious approach through their organized team activities. Those get going this week and Doctson’s outlook has improved.

Gruden said Monday, via multiple Washington beat reporters, that Doctson will be “full for everything” during OTAs.

That should be a plus for the offense as the departures of Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson has left space to fill alongside Jamison Crowder and Terrelle Pryor. Doctson went in the first round because the Redskins were convinced he could provide such help to the passing game and it looks like he’ll get a bigger chance to prove it this year.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Mike Zimmer will miss some OTAs after eighth eye surgery

Getty Images

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer disclosed over the weekend that he recently had an eighth surgical procedure on his right eye. On Monday, Zimmer has disclosed that the development will cause him to miss some of the team’s OTA sessions.

Zimmer told Paul Allen of KFAN that the fourth-year coach will miss an undetermined number of offseason practice sessions while he rests at home following the latest operation.

“As the Vikings begin OTA practices, Coach Zimmer will be taking time away from the team to dedicate to recovering from eye surgery and restoring his health,” the Vikings said in a statement. “We all agree Mike’s health is the priority and we believe rest and recovery are in his best interest for the long term. We anticipate Mike back on the field in a few weeks.”

The OTA process represents the culmination of the offseason program, during which much of the offense and defense for the coming season is installed. Apart from the impact of Zimmer’s absence on this preparations, the situation will serve for any of the players who were on the roster last year as a reminder of one of the most bizarre and disappointing seasons in team history.

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Bruce Allen believes July 15 will be “driving point” in Kirk Cousins contract talks

Getty Images

When he was asked about his desire for a long-term contract recently, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins said that he’s in a “good place” right now and noted that many players are on one-year contracts without anyone making a major fuss.

It was team president Bruce Allen’s turn to talk about Cousins’ contract status on Monday and cited Cousins’ comments when saying the team was comfortable going into the season with Cousins playing on the franchise tag. Allen also said that the team remains interested in extending Cousins’ deal because the quarterback has gotten “better and better” and that he’s “always an optimist” about things working out.

If a deal is going to be struck, it sounds like it might not come until we draw closer to the July 15 deadline for tagged players to sign multi-year deals.

“It’s ongoing,” Allen said, via Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post. “There’s been constant dialogue, I don’t want to say it’s been every day. I really believe July 15, the league deadline, is really going to be the driving point to it. It’s ongoing.”

There hasn’t seemed to be much momentum toward a deal, but we’ve seen the deadline lead to action in other cases where an agreement seemed like a longshot. In a little less than two months, we’ll know which side of the fence the Cousins talk wind up.

Permalink 8 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Giants bringing Devin Taylor in for a visit

Getty Images

The Giants have written big checks lately for pass-rushing defensive ends, but they still need some depth.

A league source confirms to PFT the Giants are bringing former Lions defensive end Devin Taylor for a visit.

Taylor had 7.0 sacks as a reserve two years ago, but only 4.5 last year as a starter in Detroit.

After signing Olivier Vernon a year ago and extending Jason Pierre-Paul this offseason, the Giants are covered with starters but could use more depth.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

Gerald Hodges visiting Bills, Giants

Getty Images

The Gerald Hodges job tour continues.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the free-agent linebacker will visit the Bills today and the Giants on Tuesday.

Hodges recently met with the Jets. Before that, he visited with the Chiefs and Seahawks.

Hodges, No. 61 on the PFT Free Agent Hot 100 list, previously played for the 49ers. Because the window has closed on the compensatory draft-pick formula, any team that signs him won’t have that count against their net free agency gains/losses for the purposes of dishing out extra third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, and/or seventh-round picks.

Permalink 2 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Orlando Franklin visiting Jags, Sam Barrington visited last week

Getty Images

The Jaguars are slated to have wide receiver Victor Cruz in for a visit this week, but he’s not the only veteran free agent on their radar.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports and PFT has confirmed that guard Orlando Franklin is visiting the team on Monday. Franklin was released by the Chargers last week.

Franklin started 26 games for the Chargers over the last two seasons and has been a regular in the starting lineup since joining the Broncos as a second-round pick in 2011. The Jaguars are in need of a left guard, although there’s been some speculation that the loser of the left tackle competition between Branden Albert and Cam Robinson could slide inside.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Jaguars also had linebacker Sam Barrington in for a workout last week. He split last season between the Chiefs and Saints and would be a depth pickup for Jacksonville.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

New overtime rule could let receiving team win with just a field goal


When the NFL changed its overtime rule in 2012, it was supposed to guarantee both teams the ball, unless the team that received the overtime kickoff scored a touchdown on its first possession. But as the NFL prepares to change its overtime rule again, that “guarantee” is no longer so solid.

The league is expected this week to shorten overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes. That means that if the team that receives the opening kickoff marches into field goal range on a long, sustained drive, it could just try to run out the clock until there’s a second or two left in the game, send out the field goal team and win the game with a kickoff at the end of a 10-minute opening possession.

Granted, 10-minute possessions are rare, but they’re not unheard of: According to Pro Football Reference, since 1999 there have been 29 possessions that took 10 or more minutes off the clock and ended in a field goal. An additional seven possessions that took 10 or more minutes off the clock ended in a missed field goal.

There’s never been a 15-minute possession (the longest drive of any kind in the Pro Football Reference database lasted 12:29), so this wasn’t a concern with the longer, 15-minute overtime. But with a 10-minute overtime, it’s a real possibility that a receiving team could win with a field goal, and the kicking team never gets the ball.

Permalink 49 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Michael Bennett says he will “boycott” local newspaper

Getty Images

Near the end of last season, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman took some time off from speaking to reporters following a press conference argument that saw Sherman threaten to ruin a reporter’s career.

Sherman eventually apologized for that and resumed speaking to the media, but now one of his teammates has elicited memories of that stretch by vowing not to speak to one of Seattle’s newspapers. Defensive end Michael Bennett responded to a tweet from the Seattle Times about a column by Matt Calkins by saying he would “boycott” the paper and encourage his teammates to join him in refusing to speak to reporters from that outlet.

Calkins wrote a column calling Bennett “as direct and as fearless as they come” in regards to both his play on the field his commitment to issues and causes he believes in off of it. Calkins also criticized Bennett for bouts of “immaturity” when dealing with the media and closes the column by writing that he loves Bennett’s message but “sometimes, I wonder about the messenger.”

There’s nothing too unusual about players taking an issue with something written or said about them in the media. These things often blow over in time, so we’ll have to see if this proves to be an exception.

Permalink 36 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Vinny Curry said he played through knee injury last year

Getty Images

Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry responded to a big contract with a lackluster season, but he’s explaining now there was a reason for that.

Via Eliot Shorr-Parks of, Curry said during an interview on 94 WIP that he tried playing through a knee injury which bothered him all season.

I messed my MCL up,” Curry said. “I tried to play through it, and in the long run it ended up hurting me. It is going to be a better year, everything has been perfect so far.”

Curry said he suffered the injury prior to the opener against the Browns. He was on the injury report with a knee problem the first three weeks of the season, but then wasn’t listed.

Curry played well in stretches, but had just 2.5 sacks last season, far from what many expected after the Eagles gave him a five-year, $46 million contract extension.

His kind of cap figure ($9 million next season) will keep the attention on him, and with the Eagles using their first-round pick on defensive end Derek Barnett, Curry will need to get back to producing soon.

Permalink 5 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Celebration rule change of some sort coming

Getty Images

The celebration rules, they are a-changing. It’s still unclear what they’ll be a-changing to.

Despite an expectation in the days preceding the annual meeting in March that changes of some sort would be made to the rules regarding player celebrations, the rules never changed. In fact, the topic never even came up again.

It’s coming up now. Via Peter King of, the ownership meeting set for Tuesday in Chicago will result in changes to the current 15-yards-and-a-five-figure-fine punishment for things that currently are forbidden. But it remains unclear what will and won’t be allowed, and what the consequence will be for doing something that will, when things change, be forbidden.

Currently, players are prohibited from: (1) going to the ground when celebrating; (2) celebrating in a group; and (3) using the ball as a prop. King points out that maneuvers like shooting the ball through the uprights as if they’re a basketball hoop (which Washington tight end Vernon Davis did a year ago) will be allowed. It’s still not clear what won’t be allowed.

We’ve argued in the past that, whatever the rules may be, the sanction should be a fine and not a penalty. This allows the league office to carefully consider whether a violation occurred, without requiring the officials to determine in the heat of the moment whether (or not) to take out the flag and tilt the playing field by 15 yards.

As noted by King, Commissioner Roger Goodell, his staff, and a “large group of players” met twice this offseason to discuss the issue. Based on King’s report, it sounds as if, at a minimum, the prohibition on using the ball as a prop will go away. Still, there will be a line, somewhere; in Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin used the ball as a prop in one very specific (and some would say hilarious) way, which the league surely doesn’t want to endorse or embrace.

So whatever they decide to do on Tuesday in Chicago, the new rules need to be clear, and they need to be consistently enforced. Discretion should be at a minimum for the officials. Ideally, the officials won’t be involved at all, with the downside of a downright inappropriate celebration being a postgame fine, not an in-game penalty.

Permalink 26 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Monday morning one-liners

Getty Images

Second-round OL Dion Dawkins is getting used to life with the Bills.

Dolphins coach Adam Gase is taking precautions against injuries in OTAs.

T Conor McDermott may face an uphill climb to make the Patriots.

What can the Jets expect from QB Christian Hackenberg?

Ravens players checked out the Preakness this weekend.

The Bengals alumni were well represented at coach Marvin Lewis’ golf tournament.

Can Cody Kessler hold off competition to be the Browns’ quarterback?

Five Steelers with something to prove during OTAs.

The Texans start OTAs on Monday.

Predicting the Colts’ starting lineup this fall.

A gunshot wound was one of the obstacles RB Tim Cook dealt with on his way to the Jaguars.

How much will the Titans’ offensive philosophy change this year?

The Broncos’ quarterback competition takes a step forward with OTAs here.

WR Jeremy Maclin’s Chiefs teammates were among the guests at his wedding.

A vote for former Raiders QB Jim Plunkett to get into the Hall of Fame.

Working with Anthony Lynn when Lynn was a player helped special teams coach George Stewart land a job on Lynn’s Chargers staff.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett had several of the team’s players at his football camp in New Jersey over the weekend.

OTAs will give the Giants a chance to start learning if standing pat on the offensive line was the right call.

The Eagles’ offseason moves look good for QB Carson Wentz.

Running backs will be worth watching at the Redskins OTAs.

Bears TE Zach Miller was surprised that Jay Cutler took a job as a broadcaster.

A look at WR Golden Tate’s role in the Lions offense.

Will the Packers offense take a page from the Patriots?

Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph wound up in victory lane during his visit to a NASCAR race.

Falcons rookie LB Duke Riley is used to following in Deion Jones‘ footsteps.

Is DE Julius Peppers going to be a Reggie White-like addition for the Panthers?

RB Mark Ingram visited a big Saints fan on his first day home after a liver transplant.

The Buccaneers aren’t being shy about making sure WR DeSean Jackson knows their expectations for him.

Said Andre Ellington of transitioning to wide receiver with the Cardinals, “It’s the terminology, that’s the hardest part and weaving through traffic, so to speak, without the ball. At running back, you’re doing that with the ball. At receiver you’re doing that trying to get open.”

With Tavon Austin sidelined, other Rams wide receivers will get increased chances in practice.

The 49ers have a lot of new faces competing for jobs this offseason.

Tyrone Swoopes is trying to go from quarterback to tight end with the Seahawks.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Bears considering moving Kyle Long again


The Bears have been fortunate that Pro Bowl offensive lineman Kyle Long is versatile, and they’re thinking about tapping into that again.

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears are considering moving Long to left guard this year and flipping free agent pickup Josh Sitton to right guard.

Long has played tackle in the past, but the Bears obviously prefer him inside. The only complication to this move is that Long’s still rehabbing last year’s ankle injury, so it’s unclear when the adjustment will begin.

Sitton has plenty of experience at right guard, having started the first four years in Green Bay on the right side. Long hasn’t played left guard since college, but it shouldn’t be that much of a problem for a player of his experience.

Permalink 7 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Ben Roethlisberger still “proud” of self-reporting concussion

Getty Images

With the attention brought to concussions and the diagnosis of them by Tom Brady’s wife, many are talking about the fine line between getting one and talking about it.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees has admitted that he would try to hide the injury from his wife.

But one guy who has self-reported during a game said that he’s glad he did.

In November 2015, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took himself out at Seattle complaining of peripheral vision issues, and was taken to the locker room for testing.

I’m proud of it,” Roethlisberger told TheMMQB’s Peter King on his podcast. “I have been just like Drew [Brees] where I haven’t reported things before either. Probably everybody who has ever played the game of football hasn’t reported an injury. For me it wasn’t about an injury—I’ve played through many injuries—but when you talk about your head, that is a different ball game.

“You can replace a lot of body parts, but you can’t replace a brain. You see the effects of it from past players, players who have taken their lives, the CTE, all that stuff and, you know, I’m thinking about my family and long term. I love this game and I love my brothers that I play football with, and I would encourage any player who has an issue with their brain to just report it properly . . . We are blessed to play this game but we also have a life to live.”

Of course, not everyone has the same kind of financial and starting job security as Roethlisberger, who can know with great certainty that he’s going back on the field for the Steelers as soon as he’s well.

So it’s worth wondering that if Brady was struggling in any way, if the presence of potential heir Jimmy Garoppolo on the Patriots sideline would influence him to keep it to himself. Brady knows all too well about backup quarterbacks getting on the field because of injury and never leaving it, so it’s reasonable to think that could motivate a guy who wants to play for many more years.

Permalink 18 Comments Feed for comments Back to top