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Cutler says he’ll be ready to practice this week

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Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said he got treatment for a sore neck Monday morning, but expects to be ready to practice later this week.

Cutler left yesterday’s loss to the Vikings after taking a hard shot from Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen. He finished the drive but later came out.

Just tight,” Cutler said on his radio show on ESPN 1000. “Got some treatment this morning, so should be ready to go later in the week.”

“It was neck related. I was getting spasms. I wasn’t going to help anybody being out there.”

The Bears need him out there, and need him well if they’re going to keep the Packers from clinching the NFC North Sunday.

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Rex Ryan: We take comfort knowing Buddy lives through us

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Hours after the death of Buddy Ryan, Bills coach Rex Ryan has released a statement remembering his legendary father.

“On behalf of the entire Ryan family, we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their sympathies, prayers and warm thoughts with the passing of my dad,” Rex Ryan said. “He was many things to many people–outstanding coach, mentor, fierce competitor, father figure, faithful friend and the list goes on. But to me and my brothers Rob and Jim, he was so much more. He was everything you want in a dad–tough when he had to be, compassionate when you didn’t necessarily expect it, and a loving teacher and confidant who cherished his family. He truly was our hero.”

Rex, who hired his twin brother Rob as an assistant this year, said he takes pride in following in his father’s footsteps in the coaching profession.

“For Rob and me, we’ve had the great fortune of sharing the coaching profession that he was so proud of and cherished so much. There is no way we can possibly begin to measure how much football we have learned from him over the years and we are forever thankful to him for instilling within us his unwavering love for the game of football,” Rex said. “While today is a tough day for all of us in the Ryan family, we are consoled in knowing how much dad was loved by so many and the love he gave back in return. Though we will miss him dearly, we take comfort in knowing that his memory will live on through all of us.”

Rex and Rob got their first NFL job coaching on Buddy’s staff in his final stint as a head coach, with the Cardinals in 1994 and 1995.

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Danny Amendola feeling “really good” after surgeries

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16: Danny Amendola #80 of the New England Patriots reacts after a play in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s a quiet time around the league right now, which leaves players coming off of injuries with little to do other than make sure that they’re feeling well when it comes time for training camp.

Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola is in that group. Amendola had knee and ankle surgeries earlier this offseason that kept him off the field during OTAs and minicamp, but he didn’t sound like he expects the procedures to have much impact on the regular season during an appearance on ESPN Tuesday.

“I feel really good,” Amendola said. “I had a couple minor procedures done after the season. Everybody knows how long the season can be. I wanted to go into next season feeling as fresh and ready as I can.”

Amendola will likely be eased back into work once camp gets underway and he’ll join Chris Hogan, Nate Washington, Keshawn Martin, rookie Marvin Mitchell and others in a competition for snaps along with Julian Edelman at receiver. Taking a pay cut for the second straight year probably doesn’t hurt a healthy Amendola’s chances of emerging with a similar role to the one he played while catching 65 passes for 648 yards.

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Raiders survey sent to Las Vegas residents

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 23:  The famous neon "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign located at the south entrance to town is viewed on December 23, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Las Vegas, the popular Southwest desert tourist getaway, appears to be making a slow economic recovery following a tough global recession.  (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images) Getty Images

As the Raiders and Las Vegas continue a money-fueled mating dance, the team that may move to Nevada has officially commenced the process of getting to know more about its potential new neighbors.

Via Richard N. Velotta of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, an 83-question survey has been sent to more than 10,000 addresses in the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce’s database.

The Chamber of Commerce sent the survey as a community service, at no cost to the Raiders.

The survey addresses issues like potential interest in a move and seating preferences at a new stadium. It steers clear of the potentially controversial question of public vs. private financing.

And for good reason. Lawyers shouldn’t ask questions to which they don’t already know the answer, and pollsters shouldn’t ask questions that could lead to answers they don’t want to know.

A potential tug-of-war looms regarding the existing plan to use roughly $750 million in taxpayer dollars and a recent suggestion from a top economic consultant to the governor that the amount should be reduced by $200 million.

 

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Preston Parker gets three years probation for drug charges

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 14:  Josh Shaw #26 of the Cincinnati Bengals breaks up a pass intended for Preston Parker #15 of the  New York Giants during an preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 14, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

Former NFL wide receiver Preston Parker hopes to get back into the league.

But for now, staying out of jail will suffice.

According to Hannah Winston of the Palm Beach Post, the former Buccaneers, Saints and Giants wideout got three years of probation after pleading guilty to drug charges.

The 29-year-old Parker pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and paraphernalia. Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer told him if he violated his probation he could serve up to 16 years in prison, but he said he hoped to return to football.

“You’ve been given a lot of opportunities, this is your last chance,” the judge said. “I do hope you go back to NFL, but you need to do well on probation first.”

Parker was arrested in March after he ran a stop sign, and cops found drugs and a legally registered gun in his possession. He was later arrested for possession of marijuana, charges which are still pending.

The Giants cut him last September after a rough stretch of dropped passes. He entered the league with the Bucs as an undrafted free agent from Florida State.

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Miko Grimes say Brent wanted out of Miami

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 20:  Cornerback  Brent Grimes #21 of the Miami Dolphins warms up before a game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 20, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Many have blamed Miko Grimes for getting her husband, Brent, cut by the Dolphins. Miko Grimes recently suggested in an interview with Sarah Spain, Jane McManus, and Kate Fagan of ESPN Radio’s The Trifecta that perhaps Brent wanted out. She nevertheless contends it happened regardless of anything she said or did.

It had nothing to do with me,” Miko Grimes said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “It had everything to do with my husband wanting to leave the Miami Dolphins and them not wanting him to leave. You guys don’t know that, though. You’re listening to what [Dolphins owner Stephen Ross] is saying. That’s why I was able to say whatever I wanted to say because my husband wanted to leave.”

But even after the Dolphins cut Brent Grimes, they still wanted to bring him back at a reduced rate — which undercuts the idea that they no longer wanted him because of the things his wife was saying (attacking Ryan Tannehill, e.g.) and doing (getting arrested before a game, e.g.).

“When we signed with the Bucs, the Dolphins asked to match the offer,” Miko Grimes said. “So was Miko really the problem? Why would you want to match it? See what I mean. You guys don’t know what’s really happening.”

She added that 17 total teams called about Brent Grimes once he became available. Ultimately, Miko had significant say in the final outcome.

“My husband does not negotiate his contract. I do,” Miko Grimes said.

Ultimately, the Buccaneers had no qualms about Miko Grimes because they’d rather have the distraction that comes from a good player with an outspoken wife than the distraction that comes from having a crappy defense. While it appears that Brent Grimes inevitably would be let go by Miami due to his contract, the Buccaneers are happy to have him, and they apparently have no problem with anything his wife may say or do.

UPDATE 2:12 p.m. ET:  A prior version of this item failed to identify the hosts of the ESPN Radio program or its name. That oversight has been pointed out to us, so we have updated the story to include the information, the omission of which was not deliberate. Besides, it’s important for us to provide that courtesy at all times because ESPN and ESPN.com always take great pains to make sure that the full show name and host is mentioned whenever using quotes from radio shows on a rival network. Wait, did I say always? I meant rarely-to-never.

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Mike Singletary says he’ll be a defensive advisor to Rams this season

Chicago Bears linebacker Mike Singletary  competes in a flag-football legends  game during 2005 Pro Bowl week in Ko Olina, Honolulu February 11, 2005.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Getty Images

The death of Buddy Ryan on Tuesday has led to remembrances from around the football world, including many from players he coached across many stops in his long career.

Mike Singletary was one of the leaders of the most famous defense that Ryan put together. The 1985 Bears defense ransacked the league on their way to the Super Bowl, which ended with Ryan being carried off the field along with head coach Mike Ditka. Singletary has spoken about his respect for Ryan many times, including saying that he would have been just another guy if not for Ryan’s tutelage during the recent 30 for 30 film about that Bears team.

Singletary followed in Ryan’s footsteps by becoming a coach when his playing days were over and rose to head coach of the 49ers for two-plus seasons before moving back into the assistant ranks with the Vikings from 2011-2013. He’s been out of the league for the last couple of years, but said during an interview with 670 The Score in Chicago on Tuesday that he’ll be back at work in 2016.

He’ll be working with another of Ryan’s former charges as a defensive advisor for the Rams. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher spent 1985 on injured reserve after playing for the Bears for the previous four seasons and interviewed Singletary for a defensive coordinator vacancy in 2013 before moving in a different direction.

There’s been no word from the Rams about what Singletary’s duties will be in Los Angeles at this point, but, as with all defenses, the ultimate goal will be to get as close to that 1985 Bears ideal as possible.

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Bidwill calls Buddy Ryan one of the NFL’s “most colorful characters”

25 Dec 1995:  Coach Buddy Ryan of the Arizona Cardinals watches his players during a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.  The Cowboys won the game 37-13 and was Ryan''s final game. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Squire  /Allspo

Following the death of legendary coach Buddy Ryan, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill called Ryan one of the NFL’s “most colorful characters” in a statement released by the team.

Pretty fitting.

Ryan was the head coach of the Cardinals in 1994-95, his final job before retiring. Ryan coached for 35 years; he was head coach of the Eagles and Cardinals after famously serving as the architect of many great Bears defenses in the 1980s.

Bidwill’s full statement read: “Buddy was truly one of the great defensive minds in the history of our game and without a doubt one of its most colorful characters. All of us send our condolences to Rex, Rob and the entire Ryan family.”

Both Rob and Rex Ryan served under their father as assistants for those two Cardinals teams.

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Bears praise Buddy Ryan’s “unwavering confidence” in his players

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Legendary Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan has died at the age of 82. The franchise with which he became a household name has praised his work with the team.

“Buddy Ryan was the architect of the greatest defense our league has seen,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said in a statement issued by the team. “He was brilliant when it came to the X’s and O’s of the game, but what made him special was his ability to create an unwavering confidence in the players he coached. From the day he was hired in 1978, his defenses bought into more than the scheme, they bought into him and took on his personality.  Buddy was brash, intelligent and tough. He was a perfect match for our city and team, which is why George Halas took the extraordinary step of keeping him at the behest of his defensive players while transitioning to a new coaching staff in 1982. We will always be grateful for Buddy’s contribution to the Bears. He is one of the team’s all-time greats. Our prayers are with his family.”

It was Ryan, combined with coach Mike Ditka, who led the Bears to their only Super Bowl championship, in 1985. Ryan’s defense pitched back-to-back shutouts in the NFC playoffs before allowing only 10 points to the Patriots in the title game.

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Eagles say Buddy Ryan “forever left his mark” on the team and the city

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After Bears players carried defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan off the field following Super Bowl XX, he left Chicago for his first NFL head-coaching job, in Philadelphia. On Tuesday, the Eagles remembered the 17th head coach in franchise history.

“Buddy Ryan was arguably one of the greatest defensive masterminds in NFL history and forever left his mark on the Eagles organization and the city of Philadelphia,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a team-issued release. “Over the last 20-plus years, I had the pleasure of discussing football with Buddy and I always came away from those conversations intrigued by his knowledge and passion for the game. On behalf of myself and the entire Eagles family, I’d like to offer our deepest condolences to the Ryan family.”

Ryan coached the Eagles for five seasons, leading the team to a record of 43-38-1 and three straight postseason appearances. He thereafter coached the Cardinals for two seasons, after spending a year with the Oilers a defensive coordinator.

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Potential sale process for Broncos stadium naming rights commences

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19:  Denver Broncos fans cheer during the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) Getty Images

With the Sports Authority circling the drain and/or already passing through it, the Broncos will need another naming-rights partner at Mile High Stadium. The biggest question remains how that will actually transpire.

Alicia Wallace of the Denver Post reports that the Denver Metropolitan Football Stadium District’s board of directors decided on Monday to begin the process of making seeking bids from marketing firms for selling the naming rights, if the existing arrangement with the Sports Authority isn’t sold as part of the company’s ongoing liquidation of assets.

The name still could be sold as part of the trademarks and other intellectual property of the Sports Authority, a brand that had tangible value if attached to the right provider of goods or services. The current deal runs through 2020, at roughly $20 million per year.

Other than a marijuana company, no one has expressed interest in purchasing the naming rights to Mile High Stadium. It’s frankly hard to think of a partner more perfect than a marijuana company, given the name of the venue and the legalization of a substance that can get its users even higher than a mile.

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Bills call Buddy Ryan “a legend in our league in so many ways”

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His coaching career began in Buffalo, with the local university. Although Buddy Ryan never worked for the local AFL-then-NFL team, the Bills and Buddy have a strong connection, for obvious reasons: His son, Rex, is the head coach and Buddy’s other son, Rob, has arrived this year to work with his brother.

“Terry and Kim Pegula and the Buffalo Bills organization want to express their deepest sympathies and condolences to Rex, Rob and the entire Ryan family on the passing of their dad, Buddy Ryan,” the Bills said in a statement issued Tuesday. “Buddy was a legend in our league in so many ways. His defenses were innovative and he was a master at putting his talented and tough players in a position to succeed. He was a real game changer and much of his philosophies and defensive tactics are still utilized effectively by teams today. Buddy’s influence will be carried on by defensive coaches for generations to come, but none more so than by Rex and Rob. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the Ryan family today.”

Rob Ryan has recently said that he and Rex hope to restore the family name. It is a significant legacy for them to uphold, but it’s hard not to imagine the Ryan brothers committing every waking moment to getting the most out of their team in 2016, in honor of the man who always will be remembered as the architect of the best defense in NFL history.

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Peyton Manning consulted with Pat Summitt when deciding on future

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11:  Tyler Summitt (L) and Peyton Manning (R) present the Arther Ashe Courage Award to Pat Summitt onstage during the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) Getty Images

Pat Summitt didn’t coach football.

But according to Peyton Manning, the legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach who died this morning could have, and she helped make a mark on the Volunteers’ football program anyway.

During an interview this morning with “The Wake Up Zone” on 104.5 FM in Nashville, Manning said he consulted with Summitt when he was trying to decide whether to return to college for his senior season. Manning had already graduated and would have likely been the top pick of the Jets in the 1997 NFL Draft, but returned to Knoxville before going to the Colts with the top pick the following year.

I was honored to call her a friend, I enjoyed my time with Pat,” Manning said of Summitt, via Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. “Even though I never played for her, I always kind of felt like she was one of my coaches. And I always said that I wished I would have played for her.

“I think Pat Summitt could have coached men’s basketball, men’s football, she could have coached anything she wanted. She was that good of a coach.”

Summitt led Tennessee to eight national titles in her 38 years there, and won more games (1,098) than any other Division I coach (men or women). She also became synonymous with the University and the sport, so much so that one of the most respected figures in another sport relied on her for advice.

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Marcus Mariota fine with handing ball off 40 times “if we win games”

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 15:  Marcus Mariota #8 makes a hand off to Antonio Andrews #26 of the Tennessee Titans during a game against the Carolina Panthers at Nissan Stadium on November 15, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Getty Images

After the Titans removed the interim part of head coach Mike Mularkey’s title this offseason, Mularkey said that he hoped to build an “exotic smashmouth” offense and the team acquired running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry and offensive linemen Ben Jones and Jack Conklin to give them players they hope can help implement that physical style of play.

While the Titans are trying to put that approach in place, they are also trying to help Marcus Mariota grow as he moves into his second season as an NFL starter. If things go according to plan with the running game, Mariota may not have as many opportunities to show that growth in the 2016 season although he says that’s not a problem for him if it works for the team.

“That’s a lot of talent and a lot of excitement,” Mariota said while at a football camp in Williamsburg, Virginia, via the Daily Press. “Now it’s on our shoulders to bring that together, build a chemistry for the season, and hopefully lead to some wins. I told Coach Mike that I’ll hand the ball off 40 times a game if we win games. That’s what’s important to me, to giving us an opportunity to win. Having those two workhorses back there should help us out.”

Hitting 40 rushing attempts a game might be a stretch, but any significant uptick should bode well for both Mariota and the Titans. If defenses are focused on stopping the run, there should be chances for Mariota to make plays down the field with matchups in their favor. Hitting them should lead to more points and leads that would set the Titans up to use their two new backs and upgraded offensive line to run clock on the way to a rise in victories.

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Legendary defensive mastermind Buddy Ryan dies at 82

26 Jan 1986: Defensive coach Buddy Ryan and defensive end Richard Dent of the Chicago Bears celebrate after the Super Bowl XX game against the New England Patriots at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Bears defeated the Patriots 46-10 Getty Images

Buddy Ryan, a longtime coach who built perhaps the greatest defense in NFL history with the 1985 Bears, has died at the age of 82.

Beloved by his players and hated by opposing offenses (and sometimes hated even by his own offenses), Ryan masterminded Chicago’s 46 defense that won Super Bowl XX. He later served as head coach of an Eagles team that had a great defense in its own right, and ended his coaching career as head coach of the Cardinals in 1994 and 1995.

Ryan’s 35-year career as a football coach began in 1961 as a defensive line coach with the University at Buffalo Bulls, and in 1968 he moved to the Jets, helping them win Super Bowl III. He spent two years with the Vikings in 1976 and 1977 before George Halas hired him to coach the Bears’ defense in 1978.

It was with the Bears that Ryan saw his greatest success. Although Mike Ditka was the head coach, many thought it was Ryan’s coaching of the defense that really made the 1985 Bears one of the best teams in NFL history. After Super Bowl XX, the Bears carried both Ditka and Ryan off the field.

A fiery competitor, Ryan’s best-remembered moment in coaching came at the end of the 1993 season, his only year as defensive coordinator of the Houston Oilers. Upset with the Oilers’ offensive play calling, Ryan punched offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride in a nationally televised sideline skirmish.

Ryan is survived by his twin sons, Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Bills assistant coach Rob Ryan.

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Tom Cable: J’Marcus Webb can do something cool for Seahawks

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 22: J'Marcus Webb #76 of the Oakland Raiders looks on during the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings on August 22, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Raiders 20-12. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Seahawks saw tackle Russell Okung and guard J.R. Sweezy depart as free agents this offseason in moves that removed a pair of veterans from a line that didn’t impress too many people in 2015.

Their plan to replace them didn’t involve any pricey free agent additions of their own. The Seahawks shopped in a less expensive aisle and came home with tackle J’Marcus Webb, who started 16 games for the Raiders last year after spending two years as a backup with the Vikings.

Webb’s record, which includes three years with the Bears, isn’t one that inspires total confidence in his play. Offensive line coach Tom Cable prized Webb’s experience, however, and believes that he can help the team as a right tackle.

“And just having J’Marcus here, my whole plan with him, I told him every day during offseason workouts, ‘This is going to be the best year of your career if you’ll give yourself to this thing,’ Cable said on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan. “And what I mean by that, he’s kind of been up and down. He’s been all over the place, in Chicago, Kansas City, Minnesota, Oakland last year. I think, again, it’s about getting someone to believe in him, and that’s my job, and in getting him to believe in himself. And if those two things can marry up right, I think this kid can really, really do something cool for us. And we need him to.”

Webb’s just one part of a rebuild that has Garry Gilliam moving to left tackle, Justin Britt taking over at center and rookie Germain Ifedi walking into the lineup at guard on his first day. Cable calls it a “blast” rebuilding the line and it will be one for the Seattle offense if Cable’s work keeps Russell Wilson from getting blasted as often as he was last year.

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