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Titans fire offensive coordinator Chris Palmer

Chris Palmer AP

When Titans owner Bud Adams ripped his team and its coaching staff early this month, assistant coaches were said to be fearing for their jobs. Now one assistant has lost his job.

Titans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer has been fired, the team announced on Monday night. Dowell Loggains has been promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator for the rest of the season.

I have a great deal of respect for Chris Palmer as a coach and that was the reason we brought him here,” head coach Mike Munchak said in a statement. “I appreciate the time and effort he put in here and I want to wish him and his family the best moving forward. As an offense I didn’t feel like we were progressing the way that I had hoped. I believe we needed a change in direction and I hope to see that progress in our remaining games. Dowell has worked here for a number of years under some very successful coordinators and he is ready for this challenge.”

The 63-year-old Palmer has a wealth of experience running NFL offenses and has previously served as head coach of the Browns, offensive coordinator of the Texans and Jaguars, and a position coach with the Giants, Cowboys, Patriots and Oilers.

The Titans are 4-7 and coming off a disappointing 24-19 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday.

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Jason Garrett wants Joseph Randle to do more and say less

Joseph Randle AP

Cowboys running back Joseph Randle created some headlines when he suggested last week that DeMarco Murrayleft some meat on the bone” despite running for a league-leading 1,845 yards in 2014.

Murray responded by wishing Randle, who joins Darren McFadden, Ryan Williams and Lance Dunbar in the Dallas backfield, the best in his effort to taste some of that meat this year and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett also weighed in. Garrett spoke to Randle directly about the comment and shared the gist of that conversation with reporters on Wednesday.

“We addressed that with Joe really immediately,” Garrett said, via the Dallas Morning News. “I think sometimes comments like that get taken out of context or they are not really intended the way they come out. I think Joe has great respect for DeMarco as we all do. Joe did a good job with his opportunities. Joe and everyone else on our football team, we have to focus on what we do, not with what we say and I think he understands that. But the biggest thing is you need to focus on doing, not talking.”

After last year’s arrests for marijuana possession and shoplifting underwear, any advice that points Randle toward concentrating on football first and foremost is good advice as he tries to carve out a bigger role on offense in Dallas.

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Malcom Floyd thinks 2015 could be his final NFL season

Eddie Royal, Malcom Floyd AP

It was right about this time last year that Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd received full clearance to resume his NFL career after a severe neck injury ended his 2013 season in Week Two and called his ability to return to the field into question.

Floyd showed few ill effects from the injury once the season got underway as he started all 16 games and caught 52 passes for 856 yards and six touchdowns. The yardage and touchdowns tied his career highs and Floyd should play a prominent role in San Diego’s offense again in 2015, but that may be the end of the line.

Floyd, who turns 34 in September, is entering the final year of his contract and said that missing time with his four kids has him “thinking about shutting it down at the end of this season.”

“It’s a demanding sport,” Floyd said, via ESPN.com. “I dodged a bullet like two years ago. The injuries and what you go through off the field, as soon as I get home I can’t really do anything with my kids. But I don’t like to get too personal with that. I’m just happy and it’s a privilege to be out here. I’ve played 12 years and I’m happy with where I’m out now.”

With quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates also in the final year of their deals, there’s a chance that the Chargers Offense could look very different come 2016. If this is the last hurrah, Floyd says it’s “important” to go out at a high level and added that he thinks the Chargers “have all the pieces to win a championship” this year.

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Ryan Shazier: I have to prove myself to my teammates

Wild Card Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

Among the many disappointing developments on defense for the Steelers last season were the seven games that rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier missed as a result of ankle and knee injuries.

The injuries cost the Steelers a player they expected to be a key part of their defense and cost Shazier a chance to progress as a player through game experience. He finished the season splitting time with Vince Williams and Sean Spence at inside linebacker, something that wasn’t part of the plan when they took Shazier in the first round of the 2014 draft.

Shazier has gained weight this offseason in an effort to be more durable and is relishing a chance to “wipe the slate” heading into a second season that he knows has to be better.

“I definitely have something to prove to my teammates,” Shazier said, via the Beaver County Times. “I’m just trying to help us get to the next level and get a seventh Super Bowl. I have to prove myself to my teammates, and that’s all that matters.”

Whether it is Shazier, safety Shamarko Thomas, linebacker Jarvis Jones or defensive end Stephon Tuitt, the Steelers aren’t lacking for young defensive players who need to take a big step forward in 2015. While the offense looks poised to put up big numbers again, any thoughts of a seventh Super Bowl title are going to remain unlikely if the defense isn’t significantly better than it was last season.

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LeSean McCoy says he’s done talking Chip Kelly, then keeps talking

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When you accuse your former coach of being a racist, it’s probably not reasonable to expect those comments to fade away quietly.

But Bills running back LeSean McCoy apparently got a little indignant when asked to expound on his remarks about Eagles coach Chip Kelly, whom he said got rid of “all the good black players.”

Via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, McCoy didn’t do a particularly good job putting the comments to rest, after initially saying: “I have nothing more to say about it. … I’m done talking about it.”

When asked a follow up, which is what happens when you make such an explosive charge, McCoy apparently confronted a reporter, saying: “Did you hear what I said?”

He also mixed in a “Y’all listening to me?” and threatened to end the interview if the questions about Kelly continued.

They did of course, adding: “I never regret nothing I say,” and that he didn’t think he caused a distraction.

“I don’t have to explain myself to nobody,” he said. “I don’t. I said what I said about what I felt at the time and I’m done with that.”

Gosh, someone should probably explain to him that he probably isn’t, especially since the Bills play the Eagles on Dec. 13, and that he can’t expect to throw a cannonball into the pool and not expect ripples.

He can choose to not talk about it, but if he wants to be considered anything other than a disgruntled former employee, he should probably come up with a better explanation.

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Jordan Matthews: Byron Maxwell is “easily” the best CB I faced

Byron Maxwell

Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews struggles against cornerback Byron Maxwell. But now Matthews is enjoying it.

Matthews said that when the Eagles played the Seahawks last year, Matthews considered Maxwell by far the best cornerback he played against. This year Maxwell has signed with the Eagles, and Matthews says that Maxwell remains the best cornerback he faces, only now it’s in practice and it’s making Matthews better.

“I know, for me, he’s been kicking my butt out here, it’s great to be able to compete against him,” Matthews told CSNPhilly.com. “Last year, if anybody asked me who was the hardest corner I went against, easily, easily 41 from the Seahawks. And then I turn on my TV and he’s on my team. It doesn’t get much better than that when it comes to competition.”

If Matthews is right, the move of Maxwell from Seattle to Philadelphia represents a major shift from the best team in the NFC to one of the teams that expects to be an NFC contender this year.

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Browns hold breath, but don’t think Dwayne Bowe injury serious

2015 Cleveland Browns Mini Camp Practice Getty Images

The biggest chance the Browns have at a big-time receiver didn’t make it through practice yesterday, though they’re hoping it’s not a big deal.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Browns wide receiver Dwayne Bowe left practice with a knee injury, and didn’t return.

“We might hold him out Thursday,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said. “I’ll wait to see the results of it. It wasn’t anything serious, but especially in the spring with anything, we’re going to tend to err on the side of being conservative.”

Bowe apparently got tangled up with a defender and came up limping, which is going to be a concern despite the severity. The Browns lack offensive punch, and without Bowe, it would be even worse.

But Pettine said he expected Bowe back next week, regardless.

“He’s been good,” Pettine said. “He’s been a veteran. He’s been a good role model for those young guys. Just the ability to win outside some of the back-shoulder throws we’ve been able to make. The other day, the first play of our red zone period, he caught a touchdown up the seam. Just a bigger body with a big catch radius. To me, that’s just something you can’t coach. We’re glad he’s here.”

Now they just have to wait to see when he’s back there.

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Bengals making Rex Burkhead a receiver-running back hybrid

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns Getty Images

In his first two NFL seasons, Bengals running back Rex Burkhead rarely got the ball, with just 16 total touches. This year, the Bengals plan to change that.

Although Burkhead remains third on the running back depth chart behind Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, the Bengals like Burkhead’s ability enough that they’re going to find ways to get the ball in his hands. That means playing him about half the time at running back and half the time at wide receiver. Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson says it’s all about getting the best players on the field.

“He’s very talented,” Jackson said of Burkhead, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “You have a talented player on your team you see if you can find a way to get him involved. He can do a little bit of everything. He can run the ball, too. He can catch, protect. He’s one of the better players on our team so we will see what we can do with him.”

Burkhead lined up at wide receiver in the Bengals’ playoff loss to the Colts and had his best game of the season, catching three passes for 34 yards and also picking up 23 yards on his only run of the game. Now Burkhead is learning to play receiver regularly.

“When you’re coming out of the backfield you’re usually going against a linebacker and you’re usually going against straight-up man. Or it’s a simple zone you can read off of,” Burkhead said. “Now you’ve got cover-2, quarters, cloud coverages, and other things you have to learn about. And you’re running against nickel, dimes with corners and safeties. So it’s new, especially when I’m running some routes I’ve never run before.”

If Burkhead can learn to run those routes, he can play a big role in the Bengals’ offense — something he hasn’t done in his first two seasons.

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Survey says: The Gronkowskis are headed to Family Feud

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Nothing against America’s favorite tight end and the undisputed Id of the NFL, but it’s not like he was going to match up against Aaron Rodgers on “Celebrity Jeopardy!

But that doesn’t mean Rob Gronkowski hasn’t found a game show home.

Via FOX Sports, the Patriots tight end and his family are reportedly going to film an episode of “Family Feud” this weekend.

Gronk’s brother Chris broke the news during an appearance on The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” show, among other  festive stories about the first family of offseason fun (you really don’t want to know about the swordfighting).

Frankly, this could be a hoot, as Steve Harvey has rescued the popular game show from the regrettable Louie Anderson and Richard Karn eras, restoring it to somewhere close to its Richard Dawson-hosted heights.

And if they win the fast money, look out. There will be dancing.

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Yahoo will stream Bills-Jaguars game from London

SUNNYVALE, CA - JANUARY 22:  The Yahoo logo is seen on a sign outside of the Yahoo Sunnyvale campus January 22, 2008 in Sunnyvale, California. Yahoo is poised to lay off hundreds of employees in hopes of increasing profits and boosting its stock price. No date is set for the layoffs but it is likely that the notice will come around January 29th when the company reports quarterly earnings.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Getty Images

For the first time ever, an NFL game that otherwise would have been nationally televised won’t be. Instead, the early-morning game (American time) from London between the Bills and Jaguars will stream over the Internet.

Previously, the NFL hadn’t decided which Internet company would show the game. The choice has been made; the game will be streamed globally by Yahoo.

“The NFL has always been committed to being at the forefront of media innovation,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a news release. “Through this partnership with Yahoo — one of the world’s most recognizable digital brands — we are taking another important step in that direction as we continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving digital media landscape.”

“We’re thrilled that the NFL has chosen Yahoo for this historic opportunity,” Yahoo president and CEO Marissa Mayer said. “It marks a significant change in the way users can access this amazing content. The NFL and Yahoo have both long engaged football fans around the world. Our partnership provides the ultimate football experience — with digital availability, designed for the modern fan.”

According to John Ourand of SportsBusiness Daily, Yahoo will be paying “fair market value” for the October 25 game. It will be available on Yahoo and various related properties for free.

Some think this is an experiment aimed at determining whether games routinely could be streamed online to large audiences, with the goal of carving off a piece of the broadcast package for an Internet deal when the current broadcast contracts expire after the 2022 season. But here’s where the NFL knows that it needs to tread lightly. With free TV still generating the biggest audiences (since millions still get their TV via rabbit ears, not cable) and with Congress surely poised to rip up the NFL’s broadcast antitrust exemption if the NFL begins restricting access to games, it’s highly unlikely that the NFL’s tent-pole events will migrate to the Internet.

It’s no accident that the press release concludes with this: “In keeping with the NFL’s long-standing commitment to make its games available on free, over-the-air television, the game will also be televised in the both the Buffalo (WIVB-TV) and Jacksonville (WTEV-TV) markets at 9:30 a.m. ET.”

Still, Yahoo or Google/YouTube give the NFL a viable alternative to DirecTV for the out-of-market Sunday Ticket package, or for the popular RedZone feature currently available via satellite and cable.

Ultimately, the expansion of live NFL content to the Internet adds a leaf to the table for the next round of broadcast negotiations, which means that the NFL will find a way to squeeze even more money out of the rights to televise games, even if some of the games no longer will be televised on, you know, televisions.

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PFT Live: Brian Hoyer, Seahawks talk with Bob Condotta

Houston Texans OTA's Getty Images

The Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton reached agreement on a contract extension on Tuesday, which will push the watch for new deals to places like Indianapolis and Seattle.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times will join Mike Florio on Wednesday’s edition of PFT Live to talk about the latest on Russell Wilson’s push for a contract. Wilson said Tuesday that he believes all will work out with the Seahawks while also indicating that he’s willing to play out the final year of his rookie deal if that’s how things go.

Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer isn’t hunting for a new contract, but he is trying to land the starting job in Houston. He’ll drop by the show to fill us in on how that effort is progressing as offseason workouts begin drawing to a close. Vikings radio broadcaster Paul Allen will also join Florio to review running back Adrian Peterson’s first day back with the team.

We also want to hear what PFT Planet thinks. 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.

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Suspension didn’t deflate Tom Brady jersey sales in May

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Rookie quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston had the top-selling jerseys in the NFL for the month of May, which isn’t much of a surprise  since it was the first month that jerseys were available for purchase by fans of the Titans and Buccaneers.

Tom Brady’s fans have had a lot more time to pick up a No. 12 jersey, but that didn’t stop them from making his jersey the top seller among NFL veterans last month. Brady finished at No. 3 in the monthly rankings at NFLShop.com and may have seen a boost from fans trying to show their support for the Patriots quarterback after the NFL suspended him for four games as a result of the investigation into the use of deflated balls in the AFC Championship game. That the support benefits the NFL financially may not have entered into the equation.

Russell Wilson and Odell Beckham rounded out the top five for May and offensive players took the first 11 spots on the list before Texans defensive end J.J. Watt broke the string at No. 12.

Should Watt prove popular with viewers of Hard Knocks this summer, he may be able to crack the Top 10, although he may get some competition from Tim Tebow in the event that Tebow sticks with the Eagles. Tebow wore No. 15 with the Broncos and Jets and ranked 15th in May after buyers picked up No. 11 Eagles jerseys to add to their collections.

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Eagles encouraged by what they’re seeing from Sam Bradford

Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez AP

There’s at least one quarterback who looks good in Eagles camp, even if he’s the one doing the least.

Teammates were impressed with what they saw from quarterback Sam Bradford, who took part in 7-on-7 drills for the first time yesterday as he comes back from his latest torn ACL.

“Sam Bradford looks really good,” wide receiver Jordan Matthews said, via Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com. “I’m not gonna ruin the surprise, the kid can throw the ball, though.”

The Eagles are giving Bradford the benefit of patience, as he didn’t take all the reps, splitting the work with the ones with Mark Sanchez. But he’s also their most talented quarterback when well, so they’re going to give him a chance to get that way.

Bradford’s still wearing a brace on his left knee, and he didn’t do all the work, letting Sanchez work with the starters during situational drills later in practice. But the fact he’s working this much now can only be a good sign.

Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Bradford was “right on schedule,” keeping him from being the first ACL-tearer in the history of the NFL to be behind schedule.

“We all think there’s three phases: There’s medical rehab, there’s performance rehab and then there’s prepare to play,” Kelly said.

There are far worse fallback positions to have than Sanchez, who proved with the Jets he can be good enough to help a good team to playoff success. But Bradford has the talent to be something more than that, so it’s worth them giving him all the time he needs.

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Cromartie on Milliner: Don’t say he’s a bust

New York Jets v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

Two years ago, the Jets used the ninth overall pick in the draft on cornerback Dee Milliner. This year, Milliner is battling just to make the roster. So does that make Milliner a bust?

Not according to fellow cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who says Milliner is just going through the natural growing pains of a young player who has had to deal with injuries.

“It’s not a point of saying, ‘He’s a first-round bust,’ because I don’t believe that,” Cromartie told NJ.com. “He shows a lot of potential in what he can do, when he’s healthy.”

Cromartie believes there’s a role for Milliner on the Jets.

“Dee can play,” Cromartie said. “That’s something that he has to figure out himself, and come in into the system, and say, ‘I’m ready to go, I’m healthy, I’m going to be ready to go when training camp gets here, and I need to show everyone that I can come in and play with the best of them.’ ”

Cromartie may be right. But Milliner is running out of time to prove it.

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Chargers, San Diego meet for the first time on new stadium

Chargers Getty Images

It took more than 14 years to get it started. It took less than two hours to bring it to an end.

The first meeting between the Chargers and San Diego on a potential new stadium for the team happened on Tuesday, according to David Garrick and Roger Showley of U-T San Diego. It lasted more than an hour, with no details released.

“Today we and our negotiating team met with Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos and his adviser Mark Fabiani for more than an hour,” the office of Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement. “It was a productive discussion on a variety of issues, and both parties agreed to meet again within the next several days.”

The ultimate question is whether the Chargers are serious about staying in San Diego or merely looking for an excuse to leave — and whether the powers-that-be in San Diego are simply trying to slap together something that allows the blame to be placed on the team if/when the team leaves.One way or another, answers are inevitable. And they’ll come in a lot less than another 14 years.

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Marcus Mariota picking up offense “pretty quickly”

Marcus Mariota AP

The biggest questions about quarterback Marcus Mariota leading up to this year’s draft had to do with how quickly he’d be able to make the transition from running the University of Oregon’s spread offense to running an NFL scheme, something that didn’t worry the Titans enough for them to pass on Mariota with the second pick in the draft.

Mariota is still early in the process and not much of consequence can be gleaned from organized team activities, but the Titans can be pleased that Mariota’s not having a hard time grasping what the team is asking of him. Quarterbacks coach John McNulty says that the rookie hasn’t been overwhelmed by all the information about the scheme being thrown at him this offseason.

“The fact that we’ve been able to handle it makes it a lot easier,” McNulty said, via ESPN.com. “There hasn’t been any point where we’ve said, ‘OK guys this is too much.’ He’s been eating it up pretty quickly.”

It probably helps that the much discussed need for Mariota to learn how to play the game while taking snaps under center might not be quite as pressing as some thought. As mentioned in Wednesday’s one-liners, the Titans expect to play out of the shotgun quite a bit and McNulty said, via the Tennessean, that they’ll operate out of it “probably 50 or 60” percent of the time this season.

That would actually be a drop from last season, when the Titans took 64.9 percent of their snaps from the shotgun. That had a lot to do with how often Tennessee was playing from behind, something that should happen less often if Mariota’s able to continue his quick immersion into the NFL once the Titans start facing defenses other than their own.

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