Erik Kuselias talks with Browns RB Trent Richardson and asks him to grade Cleveland’s season thus far. EK also asks if TRich is still scared of Nick Saban screaming at him if he fumbles the ball and who he’d like the Browns to draft this year.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: One-on-one with Trent Richardson
McNary’s hit negated an interception by Patrick Robinson. Walker was running a pass route when he was blindsided by McNary.
McNary wrote on his Instagram account that he believed the ball had been thrown to Walker and tried to let up when he realized that Walker wasn’t the intended receiver on the play.
“Almost simultaneously, I struck him on his pads to reroute him not knowing the ball had just been released,” McNary wrote. “Unfortunately he was hurt on the play and our team suffered the untimely penalty. It is never my intention to hurt a fellow player, as I pray for an injury free contest before every game. Not everyone can understand, but it is a fast, physical sport and I am very much a work in progress.”
Walker was helped off the field but returned later in the series to catch a touchdown pass.
Colts Coach Chuck Pagano told reporters Monday that he didn’t believe McNary made an intentionally dirty play.
“We don’t have cheap-shot guys on this football team,” Pagano said. “That’s not Josh. That’s not any of our guys. There was no malice there. It was a bang-bang play, [McNary] was reacting to what he thought he saw and it was unfortunate.”
Titans Coach Mike Mularkey said he thought the play was “unnecessary,” and it’s likely the league office will agree. McNary will find out by the end of the week if he’ll be fined for the hit.
As the 2011 lockout was coming to a conclusion, the owners made a series of concessions that cost them no money, at least not directly. Five years later, a real question has emerged regarding whether diminished practice time is resulting in a diminished product on Sundays (and Mondays, and now every Thursday) and, in turn, diminished ratings.
Plenty of coaches and General Managers insist that the reduction in practice time and intensity has harmed the sport, resulting in subpar offensive line play, poor fundamentals (like tackling), and bodies that aren’t “hardened” by fully-padded two-a-days and are more in-season practices in pads.
Others disagree, pointing to the immediate impact of a player like Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa as proof that full participation in the offseason program, training camp, and the preseason is overrated. Still, it’s one thing for a guy like Bosa to rush the quarterback; it’s another for a player to move in concert with other players, like offensive lineman and quarterbacks/pass-catchers do.
Last week, Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged that the practice rules should be re-evaluated in conjunction with the next round of Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. But Goodell prefaced those remarks but suggesting that everything is fine as it is.
“I just spoke to John Madden on Monday night for an hour,” Goodell said last Wednesday regarding the perception of reduced quality of offensive line play. “I had this conversation with him and actually made exactly the opposite point: That offensive line play looks better, and he agreed. And so I don’t see that. When you have either injuries or inconsistency on the front line, that’s a cohesive group, and when one person is missing that’s a difficult thing, and so that group does need time to gel. That often gets better as the season goes along.”
That wagon-circling/all-is-well mindset won’t help the NFL solve its current problems. The league needs to be honest with itself and everyone else (more importantly with itself) about the fact that fewer people are watching, or that the same people are watching less fervently.
Instead, the league seems to be tempted to adopt a position of inaction, hunkering down and treating the lost ratings points the same way Homer Simpson reacted to the first globs of hair that fell out of his head — by shrugging and saying, “Well, there’s still plenty more where those came from.”
The Buccaneers launch on Sunday a three-game home stand that starts with a Super Bowl XXXVII rematch against the Raiders, with the Falcons coming to town four days later. Fans who hold season tickets may be tempted to peddle their seats to Sunday’s game on the open market, and Tampa’s first-year head coach wants them to resist that urge.
“We as a team have to do our part, making [Raymond James Stadium] a place that opposing teams don’t want to play,” Koetter told the Buccaneers Radio Network, via JoeBucsFan.com. “So we need the crowd’s help on that. We do our part. We’ve got to play better at home. The other thing is, we got to keep the opposing fans out of the lower bowl. I mean, let’s keep those Raiders jerseys out.
“I keep beating that drum. I know I’m going to get criticized and [hear], ‘Hey, Dirk, your job is to coach the team.’ Yeah, it is. I promise you I’m going to do my part to the best of my ability. It’s just not a good sign for us to have that many opposing jerseys in the lower bowl. Hey all you fans out there, tell all your neighbors selling your tickets to Raiders fans, give’em away as Christmas gifts to somebody who’s a Bucs fan.”
Ultimately, the fans can decide what to do with the tickets. If they choose to sell them and make a profit, that’s their choice. The team’s job is to make the game sufficiently enticing that the fans would rather experience the game than pocket the extra cash.
To get to that point, the Bucs will have to bite the bullet and endure some home games that feel like road games. Which may not be a bad thing, given that the Bucs are 3-1 on the road, and 0-2 at home.
Veteran wide receiver Nate Washington worked out for the Buccaneers Tuesday.
Washington, 33, was released by the Patriots in August. He caught 47 passes for the Texans last year and has caught at least 40 passes every season since 2008.
Last week, the Bucs placed wide receiver Vincent Jackson on injured reserve. The Bucs signed veteran Cecil Shorts last month after he was released by the Texans but Shorts only has one catch on the season.
The Bucs also worked out fullbacks Austin Johnson and Will Ratelle on Tuesday.
The Seahawks played to a tie with the Cardinals on Sunday night, and quarterback Russell Wilson wasn’t happy about it.
Wilson said after thinking about the 6-6 tie in Arizona that the league needs to come up with a tiebreaking rule. Wilson’s idea is an interesting one: A final field goal to either win or lose.
“Let’s say we’re the away team. We win the coin toss, we get the ball on the 35-yard line going in. You kick one field goal,” Wilson said. “You can’t do anything else but a field goal. You make the field goal, the game’s over. If you miss the field goal, the game’s over and the other team wins. I just think that if you play that long, you’re putting your lives on the line. You should find a way to win. I don’t like ending in a tie.”
Wilson’s idea is wacky and has no hope of being implemented. But as long as we’re talking about wacky ideas that have no hope of being implemented, let’s think about some alternatives.
How about, instead of one field goal, each kicker attempting five field goals, and the team whose kicker makes more of them wins? That would make the ending like penalty kicks in soccer. Or they could have the kickers start with a chip-shot 20-yard field goal and then move back five yards until someone misses. Whenever they reach a distance where one kicker makes it and the other kicker misses it, the kicker who makes it wins the game for his team.
Or if you want to get really fun, how about having five 35-yard field goals attempted by five different players? Every team could have its kicker try one of those field goals, but then it would have to choose four other players who can try a field goal. It would be fascinating to find out which non-kickers are good at kicking field goals when the game is on the line. Ndamukong Suh and Odell Beckham are among the players who have been floated as fill-in kickers when their teams’ primary kickers have been injured. How fun would it be to see Suh and Beckham trying field goals with the pressure on at the end of a tied Dolphins-Giants game?
Or maybe kicking shouldn’t be involved in the tiebreaking procedure at all. How about a “shootout” with a one-on-one pass coverage format? The offense could have its quarterback and best receiver on the field, the defense could have its best cornerback on the field, and the quarterback would have one chance to throw a touchdown pass to his receiver with the cornerback in coverage.
Or the NFL could turn the Oklahoma drill into the tiebreaking procedure: The home team goes on offense with one player on the field as a ball carrier. The road team goes on defense with one player on the field as a tackler. If the offensive player gets into the end zone, his team wins. If the defensive player makes the tackle, his team wins.
The possibilities are endless. An XFL-style scramble for the ball? Each team picks its fastest player to race in a 100-yard dash? Each quarterback throws the ball as far as he can? Maybe you’ve got a better idea. Or maybe we should just accept that some games will end in a tie.
The Seahawks signed defensive end Malliciah Goodman on Tuesday.
Goodman played in 34 games over three seasons with the Falcons, starting 11. The Falcons released him in September when they trimmed their roster to the regular-season size of 53.
A fourth-round pick in 2013, he has two career forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
The Dolphins kicked the tires on veteran safeties James Ihedigbo, Sergio Brown and Major Wright on Tuesday as they tried to fill out the position with Reshad Jones done for the season with a shoulder injury.
They’ll be adding a veteran safety to the roster, but it won’t be any of those three men. Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that Bacarri Rambo will be the new addition to the Dolphins secondary.
Rambo was a sixth-round pick by the Redskins in 2013 and played 13 games for them over his first two seasons before moving on to the Bills. Rambo played 15 games and started eight times for Buffalo last season. He had 62 tackles, a sack, an interception and two forced fumbles with the interception and both forced fumbles coming in a November win over the Jets. Rambo was named the AFC defensive player of the week for that effort.
The Cardinals worked out wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Jonathan Krause on Tuesday, PFT has learned.
Dobson, a second-round pick in 2013, was cut by the Patriots in September and had two brief stints with the Lions this season. He visited the Colts last week.
Krause played in two games last year for the Eagles. He’s had brief stints with the Chargers and Buccaneers this season.
The Cardinals also worked out quarterback Mike Bercovici and linebacker Zaviar Gooden.
Will that approach continue for the 5-2 team?
“I sure hope so,” coach Gary Kubiak told reporters on Tuesday. “Hopefully we can have that many touches in a course of a game, but I saw two guys competing. I saw fresh guys on the field and I think that was good for us, but we were also getting more room to run. Those things go hand-in-hand.”
The competition with Booker has sparked a positive response from Anderson, according to Kubiak.
“I think C.J. has been playing well,” Kubiak said. “I think last night we did a better job up front; we gave him some more room to run. I think when guys push each other, last year it was C.J. and Ronnie [Hillman] pushing each other and I think [Booker] . . . is becoming more comfortable with what we’re doing. We’re more comfortable with [Booker] on the field in pass protection right now. We’re just growing as a group. Here we go in Week Eight and hopeful those kids keep coming along. It’s going to make us better if they do.”
With a quarterback who is still finding his way in his second NFL season and first year as a starter, it’s critical to have a strong running game. With 190 yards on Monday night from the team’s top two tailbacks, it doesn’t get much stronger than that.
The lawsuit arising from the cancellation of the Hall of Fame game is getting nearly as nasty as the ongoing presidential campaign.
The latest salvo comes not in the form of a court filing, but through comments from lawyer Michael Avenatti to Julia Marsh of the New York Post regarding the hiring of Hall of Fame president David Baker in 2014.
Under an article titled “How Roger Goodell let a check-forging politician run the Hall of Fame,” Marsh explains that Baker “once forged a signature on a check to himself for $48,000 from a health care nonprofit where he was the director.” Although Baker stopped payment shortly after writing the check, he was sentenced in 1988 to a one-year suspended sentence, probation, and community service for attempting to use the money for a failed Congressional bid. He had faced up to three years in prison for the felony forgery charges.
“Either they did not know about it or they knew about it and blew it off,” Avenatti told the Post regarding the decision to make Baker, a former AFL Commissioner, the head of the Hall of Fame.
The article in the Post generally touts “strong ties” between Goodell and Baker, but specifically cites only that Goodell was Baker’s main NFL contact when Baker ran the Arena League, and that the pair “regularly dined together and discussed how to bolster the sport.”
The connection has little or no relevance to the pending litigation against the Hall of Fame and the league, but that’s what happens in litigation, which often can be every bit as nasty as a political race.
The team announced that they have signed veteran Stevan Ridley and promoted Terron Ward from the practice squad.
Ridley spent the summer with the Lions and Colts, but failed to crack the backfield rotation in either spot. He played eight games for the Jets last season, running 36 times for 90 yards after wrapping up rehab for the torn ACL he suffered with the Patriots in 2014. Ward played in 13 games for the Falcons last season.
To make room on the roster, the Falcons released linebacker A.J. Hawk and offensive lineman Mike Person. Hawk signed with the team a few weeks ago when they needed some depth due to injuries, but never saw a defensive snap and may be at the end of the line after 11 years in the NFL.
Crooks with the brainpower of the Wet Bandits decided to burglarize the home of an NFL player while he was at a game.
“After a great win, came home to find my house was robbed,” Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware tweeted after Monday night’s 27-9 victory over the Texans. “Never about the material things for me but my safety. Thank God for hidden cameras.”
That’s right, Ware had hidden cameras in his house. Which, via the Denver Post, obtained clear images of the faces of the perps.
They were at least smart enough to wear blue gloves to conceal their fingerprints. They should have opted for masks, too.
Police said that “valuables” were taken from the home, but they did not specify what was stolen. Meanwhile, perhaps one of them will be selling a Broncos Super Bowl ring on eBay soon.
Through an account that creates no electronic paper trail. But with a picture of the ring that has his face reflected in it.
For the second time today, the Patriots have made a trade.
New England has sent tight end A.J. Derby to Denver, ESPN reports. The Broncos gave up a draft pick for Derby, likely a conditional late-round pick next year.
The Patriots drafted Derby out of Arkansas with a sixth-round pick in 2015. He spent his entire rookie year on injured reserve. He has played in four games this year, but only sparingly.
In Denver, Derby will add some depth at tight end and contribute on special teams.
New England also acquired linebacker Kyle Van Noy in a trade with the Lions. Trading Derby and acquiring Van Noy keeps the Patriots at 53 players on the roster.
The Bills have promoted rookie wide receiver Ed Eagan from the practice squad.
Eagan had spent the last four weeks on the Bills’ practice squad. The Bills released offensive tackle Michael Ola to make room for Eagan, who could see immediate action in a receiving corps that’s been hit hard by injuries.
Eagan, an undrafted rookie, spent the offseason with the Cowboys and Browns.
The Texans offense failed to produce a touchdown in Monday night’s loss to the Broncos and quarterback Brock Osweiler turned in the latest poor performance in a season that’s seen more of them than the Texans were hoping to see when they signed him to a four-year, $72 million contract as a free agent.
The Texans also weren’t hoping to hear any questions about whether they plan to stick with Osweiler as their starter, but coach Bill O’Brien got that query when he met with the media on Tuesday. O’Brien said that he has not considered turning to Tom Savage or Brandon Weeden while admitting that the quarterback and everyone else on the offense needs to do a better job.
Plenty of others have pinpointed Osweiler’s play as a major problem for the Houston offense and another bad outing against the Lions this weekend will send the Texans into a bye week where their quarterback’s struggles will continue to be a major issue.