Mike Florio looks ahead to the Week 10 matchup between the Jets and Seahawks which features Jets QB Mark Sanchez squaring off with his former college coach at USC, Pete Carroll. In light of Carroll’s early success in Seattle, Florio also ponders whether more college coaches will get a shot at NFL jobs, and previews the Thursday night matchup between the Colts and Jaguars.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Sanchez-Carroll reunion in Seattle
Of all the elements of the Ted Wells report which cast Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in a poor light, a series of text message exchanges between the pair of guys who got game balls where they needed to be and when are near the top of the list.
The messages, not all of which are able to be reprinted here on a family website, give a pretty strong suggestion that not only was Brady in on the deflation, but that he was signing autographs in exchange for special treatment.
The messages between Jim McNally [the officials locker room attendant] and John Jastremski [a Patriots equipment assistant] show a level of detail and planning that indicates this wasn’t a random, or one-time occurrence.
The first exchange was after an Oct. 17, 2014 game against the Jets when Brady complained about the pressure of the balls.
Jastremski wrote “Tom sucks. im going make that next ball a f—in balloon.”
McNally replied: “Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done…”
McNally, apparently not a fan of Brady’s (or at least his level of attention of air pressure) made several references to pumping the balls up to “watermleon” or “rugby” size, since Brady preferred softer ones for better control.
Prior to the next game, McNally wrote: “The only thing deflating sun..is his passing rating.”
There was then a discussion of McNally receiving free shoes and gear, and prior to the Jan. 10 game against the Ravens, the two of them were in the equipment room with Brady when McNally “received two footballs autographed by Brady and also had Brady autograph a game-worn Patriots jersey that McNally previously had obtained.”
McNally later referred to himself as “the deflator,” and chided Jastreemski by saying “im not going to espn……..yet.”
Those exchanges make it hard to imagine Brady had no knowledge of what’s going on, which he’ll need to answer for later.
Ryan Grigson complained to NFL about Patriots’ footballs both before and during AFC Championship Game
Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson complained to the NFL both before and during the AFC Championship Game that the Patriots were cheating by illegally deflating their footballs.
The Deflategate report released today says that Grigson first contacted the NFL the day before the game, sending the NFL’s football operations department an email stating that Colts equipment manager Sean Sullivan had told him it was commonly known around the league that the Patriots regularly violated the rules by deflating their footballs.
“As far as the gameballs are concerned it is well known around the league that after the Patriots gameballs are checked by the officials and brought out for game usage the ballboys for the patriots will let out some air with a ball needle because their quarterback likes a smaller football so he can grip it better, it would be great if someone would be able to check the air in the game balls as the game goes on so that they don‟t get an illegal advantage,” said the email from Grigson, which attributed that “well known” information to Sullivan.
NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino made a point of telling referee Walt Anderson before the AFC Championship Game to make sure the Patriots’ footballs were checked. But after the Colts intercepted two Tom Brady passes, both footballs were checked on the Colts’ sideline and found to be under-inflated. Word of that got up to Grigson, and he went to league officials to complain just before halftime.
“Grigson said that he made clear to [NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent and V.P. of game operations Mike Kensil] that he understood that there was a problem with the inflation level of a Patriots football—the precise issue the Colts had raised prior to the game—and that he was not happy about the situation. Kensil and Vincent told Grigson that they were on their way to look into the issue,” the Deflategate report says.
Now, more than three months later, the investigation has concluded that it’s more likely than not that those footballs were under-inflated purposely by the Patriots. Grigson was right to complain.
Tom Brady may face league discipline after the Deflategate investigation has come to an end.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged in his brief statement on the matter that the league will consider “possible disciplinary action.” Goodell didn’t mention Brady or anyone else by name in that statement, but the investigation concluded “it is more probable than not” that Brady was generally aware that Patriots employees were taking air out of footballs to give Brady a competitive advantage.
Given that, it also seems more probable than not that Brady will be disciplined. Brady’s name is mentioned 378 times in the Deflategate report. By contrast, Bill Belichick’s name is mentioned 32 times. If some high-profile member of the Patriots organization is going to be in trouble over this, it’s Brady.
What kind of discipline is Brady facing? That’s impossible to say, given that there’s never been a rules violation like this in NFL history. The league might consider a fine to be severe enough, but a suspension can’t be ruled out.
Brady is an NFL icon, perhaps the NFL’s biggest and best star of his generation. He now may have a permanently tarnished image.
The Bears aren’t wasting any time striking deals with their draft picks.
Chicago announced Wednesday it had agreed to contracts with first-round pick Kevin White and second-round selection Eddie Goldman.
A wide receiver from West Virginia, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound White will push to start immediately opposite Alshon Jeffery in Chicago. He was timed at 4.35 seconds in the 40-yards dash at the 2015 NFL Combine, tied for third-best among wideouts.
Goldman (6-4, 336) is likely to contribute at nose tackle for the Bears. The Florida State product was voted a first-team All-American by The Associated Press in 2014.
Third-round pick Hroniss Grasu, a center from Oregon, is the lone Bears draftee yet to reach a deal with the club.
Bills tailback LeSean McCoy garnered widespread attention Wednesday for his published remarks in ESPN The Magazine claiming his former head coach, Chip Kelly, had gotten rid of “all the good black players” in Philadelphia.
At a press conference today, Bills head coach Rex Ryan indicated reporters would be best asking McCoy about his comments.
“Anything that’s brought up with a guy in his past, with a different team, is better addressed with him, not me,” Ryan said, according to ESPN’s Mike Rodak.
However, Ryan also noted that he was “not going to put a muzzle” on his players, as ESPN noted.
As policies go, this seems a fair one: you can speak freely, but you have to own your remarks. It’s a policy Ryan has applied to himself over the years, which makes it easy to set down for the rest of the team.
The NFL has released the long-awaited DeflateGate report, and the short version of the findings by Ted Wells is that the Patriots seem to have done something funny here.
The full report was released moments ago, and in his summary, Wells writes that the irregularities in the balls used in the AFC Championship Game.
“For the reasons described in this Report, and after a comprehensive investigation, we have concluded that, in connection with the AFC Championship Game, it is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules,” Wells concluded. “In particular, we have concluded that it is more probable than not that Jim McNally [the Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots] and John Jastremski [an equipment assistant for the Patriots] participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee.
“Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady [the quarterback for the Patriots] was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.”
That’s a huge finding, particularly as it relates to Brady, who has previously avoided adding much fuel to the fire.
We’ll be going through the full report this afternoon and bringing you the latest on a complicated story.
In response to questions about teams meeting with undrafted LSU tackle La’El Collins on Tuesday, the NFL explained in an email to PFT that “clubs are prohibited from visiting a player who was eligible for the 2015 Draft at his campus or residence if the player has withdrawn from school and final exams have yet to conclude at the school.”
That explanation came a day after Bills coach Rex Ryan reportedly had dinner with Collins in Baton Rouge, Louisiana after contacting Collins himself. On Wednesday, Ryan confirmed that he broke bread with Collins but shared little else beyond the fact that he had gumbo rather than a reported lobster appetizer.
“I did have dinner with him. That’s really the extent of it,” Ryan said, via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com.
Rodak described Ryan as “uncharacteristically quiet” about the dinner, their conversation and the Bills’ level of interest in bringing Collins on board. Teams will likely continue to be on the reserved side when it comes to interest in Collins, who will be free to meet with the Bills, Dolphins and anyone else when LSU wraps up the school year on May 9.
And neither will anyone else.
The Buccaneers announced the offensive lineman would heretofore be known as Evan Smith, which was the name he went by until college.
He signed with the Buccaneers last offseason, after a stint with the Packers best known for being stomped on by the former Lions defensive tackle, who is now in Miami.
No explanation was given for the change, though we can only presume he was not adopted by Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith.
Former NFL fullback Marv Hubbard, a key cog for the 1970s Raiders, passed away Monday at age 68, the Raiders said.
A three-time Pro Bowler with Oakland (1971, 1972, 1973), Hubbard rushed for 4,544 yards and 23 touchdowns in eight NFL seasons. An 11th-round pick from Colgate, Hubbard played his first seven pro campaigns with the Raiders (1969-1975) before finishing his career with the Lions in 1977.
“He was a hard runner,” former Raiders head coach John Madden said of Hubbard in a statement issued by the club. “We used to use him — you think back now, people don’t do things like this, but we used to run him early to kind of wear the defense down and then in the middle we would pass and do all our stuff, and then when we got ahead we would run him to finish the game. He was a great game finisher.
“Once we got that lead, you weren’t going to get it back again. You weren’t going to get the lead back again. You weren’t going to get the ball back again, and we had the defense worn down, and we just kept feeding Marv Hubbard, and Marv Hubbard loved that part of football.”
Hubbard had been dealing with prostate cancer, his wife, Virginia, told the Bay Area News Group.
It doesn’t look like he’ll be able to convince anyone otherwise during the team’s voluntary work this offseason. Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com reports that Greene has not been with the team since their workouts started two weeks ago.
Per Kuharsky, Greene is spending time with his three-week-old son and spoke to the team about the need to handle his paternal obligations. He is expected to take part in the team’s mandatory minicamp next month.
Cobb joins last year’s leading rusher Bishop Sankey, Greene, Antonio Andrews and Lache Seastrunk on the running back depth chart in Tennessee. Greene has run for 687 yards on 171 carries in two years with the Titans and is set to make $3.5 million in 2015, all but $833,000 of which the Titans would get back under the cap if they parted ways with the veteran.
The Chargers have been working out without safety Eric Weddle for the last couple of weeks and it looks like they’ll continue to be without one of their top defensive players.
Weddle is in the final year of his deal and wants a new contract with the Chargers, something that General Manager Tom Telesco said he has “no doubt” they’ll be discussing now that the draft is over. Until those discussions pick up steam, however, Weddle said he’ll be doing his work apart from the team.
“I’m not coming in anytime soon until something on their side is said,” Weddle said during an appearance with Dan Sileo of The Mighty 1090. “They know where we’re at and they obviously know their stance, so we’ll see what happens from there.”
Weddle said that he’s been in contact with defensive coordinator John Pagano about changes to the team’s defensive playbook and the team doesn’t have any mandatory work until minicamp starts on June 16. That leaves some time to start working toward an agreement that would keep Weddle from deciding whether he wants to risk fines as part of his push for a new deal.
The brother of a Pro Bowl safety is among 19 undrafted free agents who have reached deals with the Falcons.
Ward (5-7, 201) rushed for a career-high 696 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Beavers in 2014. He suffered a season-ending torn meniscus in Oregon State’s upset of Arizona State in November.
The Falcons also reached agreements with the following rookie free agents: North Texas linebacker Derek Akunne, Tarleton State defensive tackle Chris Brown, Central Oklahoma wide receiver Marquez Clark, Azusa Pacific offensive lineman Cody Clay, Louisville safety Terell Floyd, Northern Arizona tight end Beau Gardner, Wisconsin defensive tackle Warren Herring, Fort Valley State cornerback Mike Lee, Cincinnati offensive tackle Eric Lefeld, Oregon linebacker Derrick Malone, Houston defensive tackle Joey Mbu, Central Florida cornerback Jordan Ozerities, Florida Atlantic safety Damian Parms, Ottawa University wide receiver Joshua Stangby, Auburn safety Robenson Therezie, New Mexico State center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke, Texas Central cornerback Kevin White and Indiana wide receiver Shane Wynn.
The Bengals picked two offensive tackles with their first two picks in the draft and one of them will join Mike Florio on PFT Live Wednesday.
Jake Fisher was Cincinnati’s second-round pick and we’ll find out how his first few days as a member of the organization have gone. We’ll also see if he’ll share any of the team’s plans for him during his rookie season and get his reaction to Andrew Whitworth’s public comments about the team drafting players who could be replacing him in the lineup.
We also want to hear from PFT Planet. Email questions at any time via the O’Reilly Auto Parts Ask the Pros inbox or get in touch on Twitter at @ProFootballTalk to let us know what’s on your mind.
It all gets started at noon ET and you can listen to all three hours live via the various NBC Sports Radio affiliates, through the links at PFT, or with the NBC Sports Radio app. You can also watch a simulcast of the first hour of the show by clicking right here.
And he doubled down on those comments by making a serious allegation.
In an interview with ESPN the Magazine, McCoy said Kelly was uncomfortable with him, with an uncomfortable reason for it.
“The relationship was never really great,” McCoy said. “I feel like I always respected him as a coach. I think that’s the way he runs his team. He wants the full control. You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest. That’s the truth. There’s a reason. . . .
“It’s hard to explain with him. But there’s a reason he got rid of all the black players — the good ones — like that.”
McCoy didn’t elaborate, and the Eagles didn’t comment on the statement, which they’re inevitably going to have to do.
McCoy’s statements track along with the accusation/non-accusation of ESPN talker Stephen A. Smith in March, who suggested the same sinister motive.
But clearly, McCoy has a problem with Kelly that goes beyond skin deep.
Five days ago, the Cowboys drafted defensive end Randy Gregory. Much longer than five days from now, the Cowboys will be part of Gregory.
Gregory’s forearm carries a large tattoo in the shape of the star the Cowboys wear on their helmets.
“This journey is a marathon, not a sprint!!” Gregory proclaimed in the message with the photo that he posted on Twitter.
He’s right. But a tattoo is permanent, unless someone wants to take much more time than it took to get the tattoo to get it removed. And in today’s NFL, rarely does a player spend his entire career with one team.