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NFL morning after: Oh, those crazy Jets

Arizona Cardinals v New York Jets Getty Images

The New York Jets aren’t good. But they are fun.

No, no, they’re not fun if you’re a fan of the Jets — I wouldn’t wish the experience of being a fan of this team on anyone. They’re fun for fans of the NFL’s other 31 teams because no matter what ridiculous thing happens with your team, you can say, At least we’re not the Jets.

Think about it: There are two 11-1 teams in the NFL right now, the Texans and the Falcons, and neither one of them has garnered as much media attention as the 5-7 Jets. Most of that media attention has been about what a clown show the Jets’ quarterback situation is, with Mark Sanchez struggling through another mediocre year and the much-hyped arrival of Tim Tebow turning into a big nothingburger. And then on Sunday, after Sanchez had completed just 10 of his 21 passes for 97 yards, with no touchdowns and three interceptions, Jets coach Rex Ryan finally decided he had seen enough of Sanchez’s poor play. Except that Tebow was out of the game with broken ribs. So Ryan had no choice but to put in third-string quarterback Greg McElroy.

And then McElroy proceeded to march the Jets down the field and for the only touchdown of the game, leading the Jets to a 7-6 win over the Cardinals. And just like that, a third name was added to the Jets’ quarterback circus.

On the 53-man rosters of the two teams playing on Sunday, there were six quarterbacks: Sanchez, Tebow and McElroy for the Jets, and Ryan Lindley, Kevin Kolb and John Skelton for the Cardinals. McElroy is the only one of the six who had never started an NFL game before, but he’s probably the best quarterback on either team.

Yes, I do think McElroy is the best quarterback on the Jets. Ryan was noncommittal after the game about whether McElroy would start next week, but the Jets might as well give him a full week of practice with the first-string offense and see what he can do in their next game, Sunday at Jacksonville. Because even if you don’t think McElroy is any good, here’s the truth about Sanchez and Tebow: Both of them stink.

That’s what makes the Jets so funny. This whole quarterback controversy is between two guys who aren’t good quarterbacks, two guys who probably aren’t any better than McElroy, a former seventh-round draft pick out of Alabama who until he took the field in place of Sanchez on Sunday had never played in an NFL game.

And McElroy probably isn’t the answer, either. There was a reason that NFL scouts watched him play at Alabama and didn’t think he was a high pick, and there was a reason that the Jets never bothered to put him on the field until Sunday. But McElroy should get the opportunity to prove himself.

Of course, for the Jets, the worst-case scenario might be McElroy playing just well enough down the stretch, against a soft schedule (all four of the Jets’ remaining opponents have losing records), to make people think he deserves to compete for the starting quarterback position next year. Because the only thing crazier than the mess the quarterback situation was this year would be a three-way quarterback battle with McElroy, Sanchez and Tebow next year. But while Jets fans would probably prefer not to have another quarterback controversy, it would give the rest of us a good laugh.

Here are my other thoughts on Sunday in the NFL:

The Chiefs did an amazing thing. A day after Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and killed himself in front of coaches and team officials, the Chiefs somehow managed to play — and win — a football game. Romeo Crennel — who witnessed Belcher’s suicide — somehow managed to pull his team together for Sunday’s game. Jamaal Charles — whose wife is the cousin of Kasandra Perkins, the girlfriend Belcher killed — somehow managed to gain 127 yards on Sunday. Crennel called playing football “the best thing we could do, if for no other reason it takes our minds off our misery for a few hours.”

Peyton Manning had the best four-yard completion in NFL history. In the funniest play of the day, Manning was rolling to his right on third-and-1 and not finding anyone open. But just as he was about to get pushed out of bounds by Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David, Manning saw that running back Knowshon Moreno had been knocked to the ground and was just lying there. So Manning threw the ball right into Moreno’s breadbasket, and although Moreno didn’t even see the ball coming, he did manage to hold onto it for a four-yard gain and a first down. Even the hard-nosed Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano was chuckling on the sideline at the way Manning had just picked up a first down against his team.

Tom Brady gets division title No. 10: Brady is the first player in NFL history to be the quarterback for 10 division-winning teams, after the Patriots clinched the AFC East on Sunday. Brady is ahead of Peyton Manning (who won eight division titles with the Colts and clinched the ninth division title of his career when the Broncos won the AFC West on Sunday) and Joe Montana (who won eight division titles with the 49ers and added a ninth with the Chiefs) as the quarterback with the most division titles.

Megatron keeps going. The Lions are having a disappointing season, but Calvin Johnson is having a phenomenal season. He’s on pace to break Jerry Rice’s all-time single-season record of 1,848 receiving yards, and on Sunday he became the first player in NFL history to gain at least 140 receiving yards in four consecutive weeks. Johnson had an absolutely incredible one-handed catch on a deep ball along the right sideline, a great catch that came so easily for Johnson that he never even bothered to put his left hand on the ball, even when he was securing it as he was tackled. It doesn’t get any better than Megatron at the receiver position.

Adrian Peterson is keeping pace with Emmitt Smith. Peterson ran for 210 yards on Sunday, putting him over 8,000 rushing yards in his career, in the 85th game of his career. Likewise, Smith went over 8,000 yards in his career in the 85th game of his career. I have no idea if Peterson will have the longevity of Smith, but it’s remarkable that Peterson — who is having the best season of his career — is keeping pace with the NFL’s all-time rushing leader.

Aldon Smith moves ahead of Reggie White. Smith, the 49ers’ outstanding second-year pass rusher, had a sack on Sunday to give him 31.5 so far in his two-year career. That’s the most sacks that any player has ever had in the first two years of his career, surpassing White, the Hall of Famer who had 31 sacks in the first two years of his career.

Andrew Luck commands an offense like a 15-year veteran. The poise that Luck showed in throwing two touchdown passes in the final three minutes of Sunday’s 35-33 win in Detroit was stunning. By drafting Peyton Manning in 1998 and Luck this year, the Colts have set themselves up to have a quarter-century or so of superb quarterback play. Think how jealous Jets fans must be.

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NFL: All players implicated by Al Jazeera will be interviewed, including Peyton Manning

DUBLIN, OH - JUNE 01:  Former NFL quarterback, Peyton Manning, plays a shot during the pro-am round prior to The Memorial Tournament Presented By Nationwide at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 1, 2016 in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Getty Images

Recent reports regarding the NFL’s intention to interview players implicated by the Al Jazeera PED documentary omitted reference to retired quarterback Peyton Manning. Some (me) thought this arose simply from the fact that Manning is no longer a member of the NFL Players Association, and thus not part of the push-and-pull and back-and-forth between the NFL and the NFL Players Association as the interviews are arranged.

On Monday, Peter King of TheMMQB.com dropped this intriguing nugget into his column when addressing recent developments in the PED probe: “As for Peyton Manning, since he’s retired, the league doesn’t plan to interview him—though for the sake of transparency and full disclosure, it would be a good idea if the league did.”

Via email, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT that all players will be interviewed, including the retired one.

It makes sense, for a variety of reasons. First, it’s the right thing to do. Second, it would be awkward if, for example, the NFL found that the Al Jazeera report was credible as to the active players but had no ultimate comment on whether the report accurately implicated the retired player.

Third, Manning already has said he’ll cooperate. With many believing that Manning eventually will return to the NFL as an executive with a team, there can be no loose ends from his playing days.

Of course, Manning sitting for an “it’s all lies” investigation is a far cry from a full-blown, turn-every-rock effort to obtain all relevant records from the Guyer Institute regarding treatment provided both to Manning and to his wife, Ashley, who allegedly received HGH for use by Peyton. It remains to be seen whether the league seeks such details, or whether the Mannings will provide it.

Regardless of how the investigation plays out, it will include an interview of Peyton Manning. Beyond that, time will tell.

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Marc Trestman “in a lot better position” in second year as Ravens offensive coordinator

Marc Trestman, John Harbaugh AP

The Ravens had a new offensive coordinator for the second straight year in 2015 with former Bears head coach Marc Trestman replacing Gary Kubiak after Kubiak moved on to the top job with the Broncos.

Trestman integrated things that Kubiak (and Jim Caldwell, who held the job in 2013 before becoming the Lions’ head coach) had used to build the offense last year. That process ate up a good portion of the offseason, something that Trestman didn’t have to deal with this year.

“It’s a little unnatural when you [first] come in, and there is a pre-existing offense in place,” Trestman said, via the team’s website. “It was a very good offense, as we all know. But I spent three months on it, trying to make sure that I simulated the things that were necessary for me to do my job. Coming into it a day after the season is over, you feel you are in a lot better position, because you aren’t using those 90 days out of 120 to learn another offense. It’s the offense you know now.”

Head coach John Harbaugh agrees that it’s been smoother this offseason, saying that the offense is going to be in “much better shape” now that Trestman has more time in the job. While that may be the case, getting better results on the field will rest heavily on returns to health from quarterback Joe Flacco, wide receiver Steve Smith and others as well as strong play from an offensive line that will have a pair of new starters.

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Chris Givens likes the way Sam Bradford throws the deep ball

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 18: Chris Givens #13 of the St. Louis Rams makes a catch against the Kansas City Chiefs during a pre-season game at the Edward Jones Dome on August 18, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) Getty Images

Sam Bradford hasn’t exactly been known for airing it out in his career.

But when free agent wide receiver Chris Givens was looking for a new team this offseason, he signed with Philadelphia because he’s convinced Bradford is capable of it.

“His strengths match my strengths: he can get the ball downfield and I can get downfield,” Givens said, via Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com.

Givens did have his best season as a rookie, alongside Bradford in St. Louis. He hasn’t matched his rookie numbers since then, and Bradford hasn’t exactly established himself as having a cannon, as his 7.0 yards per attempt last year were a career high, and he has a pedestrian 6.5-yard career average.

Givens also said his plateauing had something to do with the guys who replaced Bradford after injuries, which puts the Rams problems into context.

“It was definitely frustrating but at the same time, I accept full responsibility for not working the way I should have in the offseason and being the receiver I was capable of [being],” Givens said. “I just got a little complacent and a little comfortable knowing that I had Sam and things like that, and once things went south a little bit and I really didn’t have a quarterback to play to my strengths, I couldn’t really do the things I needed to do to get open.

“So I just looked at that as an opportunity for me to look in the mirror and fine-tune the things in my game that it will take for me to take my game to the next level.”

The Eagles could clearly use someone with Givens’ kind of speed to stretch the field, but it remains to be seen if Bradford is the kind of guy who can take advantage of it.

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Dan Skuta was arrested recently for battery

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 27:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints is sacked by Dan Skuta #55 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 27, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

The amount of offseason arrests are down this year, but some NFL players have still wound up on the wrong side of the law.

Jaguars linebacker Dan Skuta is the latest addition to the ledger. Skuta was arrested on misdemeanor battery charges a little more than a week ago in Orlando and CBS47/FOX30 in Jacksonville reports he was released from jail on Sunday, June 19. Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union adds that Skuta was arrested after a fight in a bar.

The Jaguars have released a statement confirming their knowledge of Skuta’s situation, but offered no further comment about the circumstances of the arrest.

“The Jaguars are aware of the situation involving linebacker Dan Skuta and are currently gathering more information. The team has been in constant communication with Dan through this process in its entirety. No further comment can be made at this time.”

Skuta is in the second year of the five-year contract he signed with the Jaguars before the 2015 season.

UPDATE 12:53 p.m. ET: Per the police report of Skuta’s arrest, Skuta asked a woman at a bar for her phone number and an argument followed when she opted not to give it to him. Skuta allegedly “pushed her face with an open hand and into a glass window,” leading one of the woman’s friends to get police.

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Pete Carroll: Tyler Lockett “right in the middle” of our offensive plans

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 17:  Head coach Pete Carroll congratulates  Tyler Lockett #16 of the Seattle Seahawks after a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in the 3rd quarter during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Bank of America Stadium on January 17, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Doug Baldwin said recently that fellow Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett is “continuously improving” as he heads into his second season and it seems the team agrees that Lockett is ready for a prominent role in his second NFL season.

Coach Pete Carroll said that the team wasn’t quite sure what Lockett could do when he joined the team last season, but learned that “he can do everything” as his rookie year unfolded. As a result, Lockett finds himself “right in the middle of all our planning and all of our preparation” as they head toward the 2016 season.

Baldwin said that one of the things Lockett has been working on is beating press coverage at the line of scrimmage and Lockett believes his best tool in that effort is one of his defensive teammates.

The biggest thing is I’ve been going against Richard about 95 percent of the camp, and he’s just made me a better player,” Lockett said, via ESPN.com. “Going against Richard, I’ve got to be able to move him and get him off at the line, and I can’t use the same stuff every time because he’s a smart defender, so I’ve got to switch some things up. And if things don’t work, at least it doesn’t work in practice against him. If it does work, he’ll let me know and be like, ‘Hey, that was a good release. That really does work.’ And it just makes it easier for me to go against anybody else, especially on other teams, after I go up against the best DB in the league.”

There are still some things for the Seahawks to figure out on offense, including how to best use tight end Jimmy Graham and the right mix at running back with Marshawn Lynch out of the picture. However they answer those questions, the signals that Lockett will be a major contributor are hard to miss.

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NFL has no comment on James Harrison’s interview “stipulations”

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03:  (Editor's note: Image has been converted to black and white.) James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers takes the field during introductions prior to the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field on September 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Getty Images

Steelers linebacker James Harrison has expressed a willingness to be interviewed in connection with the NFL’s Al Jazeera-fueled PED investigation, subject to certain stipulations. Those stipulations include doing the interview: (1) at Harrison’s home; and (2) with Commissioner Roger Goodell present.

The NFL has told PFT via email that it has no comment on Harrison’s comments.

The league may have plenty to say if Harrison ultimately refuses to be interviewed if his stipulations aren’t met, as they likely won’t be. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension supposedly arose, at least in part, from his obstruction of the league’s investigation.

The league also could conclude that Harrison violated the PED policy, in the absence of a denial from Harrison that he violated the PED policy.

Here’s where it gets complicated, and also potentially fascinating. A PED suspension would be subject to appeal under the PED policy, which as of 2014 incorporates neutral arbitration. A suspension for obstructing an NFL investigation arguably would fall under Article 46 of the labor deal, which allows the Commissioner to have final say over all matters that potentially threaten the integrity of the game.

Either way, Harrison won’t be able to stonewall without consequence. The specific consequence eventually will be determined, possibly in court.

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Lawyer withdraws from Manziel case after texting mishap

johnny_manziel.vadapt.664.high.52 Getty Images

On Friday, the Associated Press published a text message that one of Johnny Manziel’s lawyers had accidentally sent to the news organization. Today, that lawyer is no longer representing Manziel.

The lawyer, Bob Hinton, said in the text that he had a receipt indicating Manziel had spent more than $1,000 at a drug paraphernalia shop, and suggested that if Manziel is required to undergo drug testing, he won’t pass. Today, Manziel spokeswoman Denise Michaels wrote on Twitter that Manziel’s lead attorney, Jim Darnell, said Hinton has withdrawn as an associate counsel in the Manziel case.

Manziel is currently facing a host of legal issues, the most serious of which is a domestic violence allegation brought by his ex-girlfriend.

Michaels also said this morning that Darnell insists Manziel will not plead guilty.

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Dominique Easley hopes Rams will see him a “just a great person”

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 23:  Matthew Slater #18 and Dominique Easley #99 of the New England Patriots react during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

Defensive tackle Dominique Easley became a free agent much earlier than expected when the Patriots waived him off their roster two years after drafting him in the first round.

Injuries hindered Easley in New England and his departure from the team was followed by an anonymous former teammate calling Easley a “locker room cancer” who was “disrespectful and irresponsible.” Easley has since signed with the Rams and took a chance to hit back at those whispers during an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Phil Savage and Amber Theoharis.

Easley said that he considers those comments “rumors” because he doesn’t know who made them and whether the opinion came from someone who really knows Easley. Easley said his main goals for the coming year don’t include changing any negative image of him that may be in place, but he also said he wants the Rams to have a different opinion of him.

“It’s really just, hopefully, that the Rams get to see what a great person and a great, hard worker I am and, really, just a great person,” Easley said.

Showing he’s a great person would be a good thing, but Easley’s long-range career prospects will look a lot rosier if he can also show that he can stay healthy and productive for an entire season.

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Mike Wallace: I’ll show people I have a lot up my sleeve

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 27: Mike Wallace #11 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the fourth quarter of the game against the New York Giants on December 27, 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Giants 49-17. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

Wide receiver Mike Wallace is coming off of the least productive year of his NFL career and he admitted recently that the speed that made him a star with the Steelers early in his career has slipped.

Wallace thinks he’s lost “maybe just a step, a half a step” from those days, which were also his most effective days as a professional wideout. Two years with the Dolphins and a year with the Vikings saw Wallace making fewer plays down the field than he did in his Pittsburgh heyday, which explains why he’ll be on his third team in as many years when he puts on a Ravens uniform this fall.

While Wallace acknowledges his speed might not be what it once was, he’s not bearish on the rest of his game. Wallace believes he’s polished the rest of his game over the year and that the fruits of that labor will present themselves this season.

“I think I’ve gotten better, even though [the] numbers don’t say so,” Wallace said, via ESPN.com. “I think I’ll get better this year, and I’ll show some people I have a lot up my sleeve.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said “you can do anything” with Wallace, which suggests the team plans to give him a chance to show he can succeed as more than a deep threat. Based on their results through the air last season and Wallace’s production in Minnesota, that development would work out well for both team and player.

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Former NFL players having a harder time staying out of trouble

Handcuffs-on-prisoner-Uriel-Sinai-Getty-Images Getty Images

The news that current NFL players have found a way to stay out of trouble comes with a curious footnote: For whatever reason, a rash of former or otherwise not currently employed players have been finding trouble in recent days.

It started with former NFL receiver Davone Bess, who could have ended up with much more than a dog bite on his arm after a lengthy standoff with police in Arizona.

Then came former NFL tight end Richard Gordon. He was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. The far more troubling news came from the reality that he had an AR-15 in his car and harbored plans to shoot up a strip club.

Next was former NFL cornerback Stanley Wilson II, who was shot while both trying to break into a home and naked. (Apparently, he visited other homes before he happened upon a homeowner who also owns a gun.)

The week was capped by free-agent NFL quarterback Tarvaris Jackson allegedly pointing a gun at his wife and threatening to kill her. Jackson was freed on $2,500 bond, a decision that hopefully came after the relevant authorities concluded that Jackson would do harm neither to his wife nor anyone else.

Maybe it’s just a fluke occurrence, a confluence of bizarre events that happened all in the same week. Regardless, it should be cause for concern for the league. The events become newsworthy for obvious reasons; the men accused of wrongdoing played in the NFL, so the NFL gets mentioned every time something like this happens.

Surely, resources are available to help former players who need it. First they need to want the help. And then they need to know specifically how to get the help.

Hopefully the guys who were arrested last week will get the help they need, along with any other former NFL players who may otherwise be destined for a similar outcome.

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Dan Quinn prepared to trust his gut on conversion calls

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 13:  Head coach Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons  looks up at the scoreboard during the fourth quarter of their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 38-0.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Getty Images

Falcons coach Dan Quinn is content to let others use their brains.

He’s trusting a different body part when it comes to his decisions about going for two-point conversions or fourth downs.

Sometimes, it’s gut,” Quinn said of the call, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Falcons went 8-8 last year, losing five games by four points or fewer. But they only went for the two-point conversion after three of their 38 touchdowns, converting one. The Steelers led the league with 11 attempts, and are openly lobbying to do it more often.

But Quinn’s not sure he’s ready to go that far.

“How many things are they going to do from the 2-yard line?’” Quinn said. “You score 50 touchdowns. What 50 two-point plays are you running from there? . . .

“Like most things, knowing when you have an advantage, take it. Those guys like Mike [Tomlin], Sean [Payton] and Mike McCarthy are three coaches that I really respect a lot. If they have a decision about it, I’ll respect that. It might not be ours at the time. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect it.”

The Falcons have tried to beef up their analytics department to funnel more information to Quinn. But he’s still not sounding convinced it’s a cure-all.

“There is a time for it,” Quinn said. “Real information and knowledge is power. But at the same time, it’s feel. The shift of the game may feel differently.”

But after a year of close losses, the Falcons may feel differently this year.

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Monday morning one-liners

Jerry Jones AP

A positive take on the Bills’ offensive plans.

More than 1,300 players took part in a Dolphins-hosted 7-on-7 tournament over the weekend.

A projection of the Patriots’ 53-man roster.

CB Marcus Williams is in line for a bigger role on the Jets defense.

Darren Waller is making the move to tight end for the Ravens.

Jeff Luc switched to fullback to make a bid for a Bengals roster spot.

Browns TE E.J. Bibbs isn’t taking a roster spot for granted.

Steelers LB L.J. Fort learned about the NFL game from D’Qwell Jackson.

WR Jaelen Strong held a football camp before the Texans get back to work at training camp.

A scout’s view of Colts DT Hassan Ridgeway.

TE Braedon Bowman could go from undrafted to the Jaguars 53-man roster.

The five biggest moves of the Titans offseason.

Who are the top safeties in Broncos history?

C Mitch Morse is getting ready for his second year with the Chiefs.

Raiders rookies learned more than playbooks in the last couple of months.

The 1963 Chargers are waiting for company on the organization’s list of champions.

A running list of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ best offseason quotes.

Where might the Giants make an addition to the roster?

Eagles DT Mike Martin sees similarities between Carson Wentz and Marcus Mariota.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden and owner Dan Snyder got a picture with Axl Rose at Sunday’s Guns N’ Roses concert.

LB Nick Kwiatkoski impressed the Bears as a throwback-type player.

The Lions expect DE Brandon Copeland to be a contributor.

OL JC Tretter has been ready for whatever the Packers have asked of him.

CB Trae Waynes is pushing for a starting job in his second year with the Vikings.

How will the Falcons approach extra points this season?

Where do the Panthers rank among the league’s best receiving groups?

Breaking down the matchups between Saints WR Brandin Cooks and cornerbacks around the NFC South.

Vernon Hargreaves is getting tutored by older Buccaneers cornerbacks.

Cardinals LB Chandler Jones makes this list of the league’s best edge defenders.

The Rams have gotten to work in their new community.

49ers RB Carlos Hyde feels like the team is adjusting well to coach Chip Kelly’s practices.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has a new personal logo.

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Stanley Wilson targeted three homes (one clothed) before he was shot naked

IRVING, TX - DECEMBER 31: Stanley Wilson #31 of the Detroit Lions celebrates on the field during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium at Texas Stadium on December 31, 2006 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Getty Images

Before he was shot while doing some naked breaking and entering last week, former Lions cornerback Stanley Wilson II had targeted three other homes — at least one of them while clothed.

According to Aimee Green of the Oregonian, Wilson was shot while breaking into the home of 78-year-old Robert McCall.

Police found the Stanford graduate naked in the back yard. He remains hospitalized, but is scheduled to appear in court today to hear charges of one felony count of first-degree burglary, one misdemeanor count of first-degree criminal trespass and two misdemeanor counts of second-degree criminal trespass.

The shooting happened last Wednesday afternoon, after he had been in at least one other home. The homeowner said Wilson stuck his head in her door after entering through the garage, but left without incident.

“He said, ‘Do you need anything?'” the woman said. “I said, ‘No, what are you doing in my garage?’ And then he said, ‘Isn’t this where I’m supposed to be?’ I said, ‘No.'”

She said Wilson was nicely dressed and polite, though she thought it unusual he wasn’t wearing shoes. That was apparently only the beginning of his neighborhood walkabout, and he lost clothing as he went.

It’s a strange story, fitting with a family tradition. His father once missed a Super Bowl because coaches found him doing cocaine in a hotel bathroom the night before the game.

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James Harrison: I’ll only give a PED interview if Goodell comes to my house

Wild Card Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

The NFL plans to send investigators to the first day of Steelers training camp to interview linebacker James Harrison about allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Harrison says other ideas.

In a statement he posted on Instagram, Harrison said he’ll give an interview, but only if Commissioner Roger Goodell shows up at his house to do it.

“I never had a bully before in my life and I’m DAMN sure not about to have one at this point. But since I’m a nice guy & don’t mind helping to clear the air in the name of the NFL Shield, I’ll do this interview,” Harrison wrote. “WITH THESE STIPULATIONS: The interview will be done at MY house. BEFORE training camp. On a date of MY choosing. AND Mr. Goodell must be present.”

Harrison has said many derogatory things about Goodell, including, “I hate him and will never respect him.” Goodell probably won’t be taking Harrison up on the invitation to his house.

What’s clear is that the NFL’s investigation of the Al Jazeera documentary about performance-enhancing drugs is a long way from over. The other players accused in that documentary — Peyton Manning, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Mike Neal — are also subject to the NFL’s investigation. Those players, however, haven’t made comments as inflammatory as Harrison’s.

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Calvin Johnson thinks Lions could be tougher to defend without him

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 07: Calvin Johnson #81 celebrates his first quarter touchdown with Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 07, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Getty Images

When Lions quarterback said last week that the Lions might be tougher to cover without retired wide receiver Calvin Johnson, it sounded like the thing a quarterback has to say.

But Johnson, at least, believes he has a point.

The former Lions wideout suggested that others might not have always taken advantage of the double-teams he drew, and the element of mystery could work to their advantage.

“Well, I felt like it should have been easier because they were going to double me a lot of the time, especially in certain situations, so it’s breakout time for somebody to make something happen,” Johnson said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “One on one, that’s what you want. So, put it like this year, I don’t know who if anybody’s going to get double-teamed, so I think they have the playmakers. So if Matt can get them the ball, they make the plays, they can be good, man.”

Johnson still led the Lions with 1,214 yards on 88 receptions last year, showing it wasn’t his play that was holding them back.

They added wide receiver Marvin Jones in free agency, and they’re hoping they get more from tight end Eric Ebron, but at the moment, being better without one of the best wideouts in the recent history of the NFL seems more like a wish than a plan.

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