Shaun King joins Mike Florio to preview NBC’s Sunday Night Football game pitting the San Francisco 49ers against the Seattle Seahawks. King thinks both young QBs have done a phenomenal job this season, but gives the winning nod to Colin Kaepernick due to the weapons he has at his disposal.
PFT Live: Shaun King credits 49ers’ young QB
The Dolphins got their Mt. Rushmore today, and three of them were easy: Shula, Marino, Csonka.
The only discrepancy between Pro Football Talk and PFT Planet came on the question of whether Bob Griese or Jason Taylor should get the fourth spot.
Watch the video, hear the debate, check out the voting results, and chime in below.
Along the way, feel free to argue for or against our decision to omit team founder Joe Robbie from the list of finalists.
Bet the latter.
“I don’t care what they have to say,” Pollard said regarding those who may criticize him for using such blunt language, via Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “If they feel like we’re going to carry guns and knives and try and stab people and try and kill them, shame on you. You are an idiot. For us, when we say kill, we want to go out there and knock the [heck] out of people, we want to hit you. And for me, we’re going to help you up because I’m going to knock you back down. I have been at plenty of pee-wee football games where I have seen my son, my daughter, and you hear parents, you hear women, white, black, Hispanic, Chinese, Japanese, telling their sons, ‘Kill them! Telling their daughters, Kill them!’
“Do I believe they mean kill them? Literally kill them? No. So if you have never played this game before and you want to take that and run with it, go ahead. Shame on you. You’re a fool.”
Some would say Pollard is the fool for so brazenly using the kind of tough talk that underscored the one-year banishment of former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who coincidentally now works for the Titans. The bounty scandal has driven “kill”-type comments out of the NFL mainstream, prompting strong reactions in those rare situations where, for example, Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray refers to firing up the “Gator Truck” or Bills defensive lineman Mario Williams says that he always hears defensive coordinator Mike Pettine say “Kill ‘em or hurt ‘em,” one day before saying Williams has actually never heard that.
Pollard’s defiance almost guarantees that he’ll hear from the league office, where Commissioner Roger Goodell is striving to make the game safer. Or to at least make the game appear safer.
“I really don’t care what the Commissioner is doing,” Pollard said. “I don’t think he has ever played football, he has never played in the National Football League and he has never walked in my shoes. And I haven’t walked in his either. I don’t know what he has to say about me, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t care what he has to say about me. I know that we have to have that mentality to play the game. You have to be [ticked] off, and you have to do some things to [tick] other people off. . . . If you don’t like that, I’m sorry for you. We’re not going to change, and we’re not going to apologize.”
Of course, Pollard is the same guy who declared that the NFL will be gone in 30 years, presumably due in large part to the mentality he so fiercely embraces. The end result is the kind of maddening inconsistency that helps explain why Pollard has bounced from team to team (to team to team) during his career.
For three of the spots on the Bills’ Mt. Rushmore, the process was easy: Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and O.J. Simpson.
For the last spot, things got slightly more complex.
I gave it to receiver Andre Reed, and PFT Planet awarded it to defensive end Bruce Smith.
Check out the video of the segment from the Pro Football Talk on NBCSN discussion, featuring Frank Wycheck, Ross Tucker, Erik Kuselias, and yours truly.
Last week, former NBA coach Phil Jackson called the term Redskins “highly offensive.” This week, a former NHL coach of Native American origin agreed with the assessment.
“I’d be very offended,” former Sabres and Islanders coach Ted Nolan told Tim Graham of the Buffalo News regarding the prospect of being greeted with a label the D.C. football team insists is an honor.
“There are certain things you can’t call black people or Chinese people or Jewish people. We as Native Americans, or First Nation people as we’re called in Canada, we find it offensive, too,” Nolan said.
“Sure, the Redskins name has been around for generations, but when you’re a person of that race and someone calls you a redskin, they don’t know why they’re saying it, where the word comes form or what the word means,” Nolan said.
“I never did like the word. And that’s where the president of the United States lives. It doesn’t compute.”
With that, Nolan becomes the most prominent Native American with ties to the sports world to speak out against the name. His words could influence other Native Americans to abandon their nonchalance regarding the term, causing opposition to become more organized — and to expand.
Controversial Chargers physician David Chao recently resigned his post with the team due to health concerns, along with a desire to spend more time with his family.
The decision apparently was influenced by a fairly important external development. According to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today, a pair of San Diego hospitals had barred Chao from performing surgeries.
“I have been informed that Dr. Chao has lost his surgical privileges with the only two hospitals he had surgical privileges with: Scripps Mercy [Hospital] and Scripps [Memorial Hospital],” an attorney said in a sworn declaration submitted in connection with a pending lawsuit against Chao. “This has led, apparently, to Dr. Chao resigning his position with the Chargers. This will also inevitably lead to the closure of . . . Dr. Chao’s surgical practice.”
Chao’s attorney disputed the claim, arguing that Chao still had a page on the hospitals’ website. And then Chao disappeared from the hospitals’ website, according to Schrotenboer. A spokesperson for the facilities declined comment.
The Mt. Rushmore process moves to the AFC West on Friday, with the team that has won the division the last two years.
The Broncos, who once won a pair of Super Bowls with John Elway on the field, is now shooting for another one (or more) with Elway running the football operation.
It’s a given that Elway will have one of the spots. Vote for him and up to three others from the 12 finalists below.
We’ll pull the sheet off the mountain, as we always do, on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk.
The Panthers signed wide receiver Dale Moss on Wednesday, the NFL disclosed in its transactions.
Moss, 24, was waived by the Bears on June 10. The 6-4, 197-pound South Dakota State product entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Green Bay in 2012. He played basketball in college before transitioning to football in 2011.
Moss is the nephew of Johnny Rodgers, the 1972 Heisman Trophy winner for Nebraska.
In a corresponding move, the Panthers waived-injured another wide receiver, R.J. Webb. The nature of his injury is unknown. Webb signed with the Panthers on May 13 after trying out with the club during its rookie minicamp. The 25-year-old wideout played for Furman University from 2005 through 2009.
It’s been a day since the latest now-I’ve-seen-everything story emerged in the NFL, and there’s still not much clarity regarding the investigation involving the death of an “associate” of Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.
But as Tom Curran of CSN New England explained on Wednesday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, the process could still lead to an unfavorable outcome for Hernandez.
“[T]here’s so much to plow through and I think right now we’re at the table-setting stage,” Curran said. “There’s a sense that law enforcement is getting all its ducks in a row and then they’ll spill them on the table to put a case together.”
The Patriots remain tight lipped, both publicly and privately.
“Not a word,” Curran said regarding the team. “This is a period of time that the NFL kind of shuts down. I’m not sure even if [coach] Bill Belichick is in the country right now. I know he had a European vacation planned; he may be out of the country. Given the circumstances and the way this could conceivably go, because it’s not pretty, he might be in a situation where he might have to come back. I think that this is a serious situation that bears a lot of close watching over the next couple of days.”
The process, as Curran separately explained in writing, will entail a sweeping examination of all available and relevant evidence.
From the CSI-style stuff that modern juries now expect to see to electronic information harvested from cell phones and computers to surveillance systems that may have been in place at the industrial park where the body was found or at Hernandez’s home, plenty of potential proof is floating around. Curran says that investigators will instruct cellular providers to freeze any information in place, in the event that any of the witnesses try to destroy his or her phone.
And any attempt by any of the witnesses to erase or eliminate electronic evidence won’t look good when the time comes to determine whether folks are guilty of any crimes.
At this point, it’s unclear how many crimes were or may have been committed, beyond the most obvious one: Murder. In the coming days and weeks, more information will likely surface. For now, it’s still possible that things will go poorly for Hernandez.
In his first season in Atlanta after nine years in St. Louis, Steven Jackson is ready to get fewer carries. But Jackson thinks the carries he does get are going to lead to more wins.
Jackson says he’s ready for a lower quantity of carries but higher quality carries — meaning, he thinks the Falcons are going to have a lot of fourth-quarter leads, and they’re going to hand off to Jackson a lot to protect those leads.
“This offense has so many weapons that I’m going to get quality carries,” Jackson said. “I’m going to have opportunities — they may not be 25 carries a game, but they’re going to be quality carries that allow me to close out a game.”
That would be great news for Falcons coach Mike Smith, who said that in addition to Jackson running the ball, the Falcons will incorporate Jackson into their passing game as well.
“He’s a guy that can catch the ball out of the backfield, does a good job with checkdown screens, and he’s a big guy,” Smith said. “When he gets his shoulders going north and south, he’s a tough guy to tackle. We plan on hopefully getting him in space quite a bit, with him catching the ball out of the backfield.”
As both a runner and a receiver, Jackson should be an upgrade over last year’s No. 1 running back, Michael Turner. The presence of Jackson makes an already good offense better.
The Cowboys have unanswered questions at safety, but at least they have them all under contract at the moment.
Wilcox could challenge for a starting job this year among an odd lot of players in the secondary there, but his speed (he’s a former receiver and running back at Georgia Southern) and hitting ability figures to lead to a role on special teams in the short term.
In the never ending quest to make the in-stadium experience more desirable than staying at home (except for the “clear plastic bags only” thing), teams are looking for ways to upgrade their NFL venues.
The Jaguars announced today that they’re joining the battle to have the biggest and best video systems.
The team unveiled today an agreement with Jacksonville to make roughly “$63 million in major enhancements” to EverBank Field. The enhancements will include new video boards in each end zone, measuring 55 by 301 feet each.
That’s 301 feet. As in one foot longer than the length of the field.
A new platform area will be added to the north end of the stadium, which will result in the removal of 7,000 seats.
The Jags will kick in roughly $20 million, with the City of Jacksonville picking up the rest. The Jags will be responsible for any cost overruns.
Jaguars fans already are declaring that this means the team will never move. And while it makes the abandonment of Jacksonville less likely, it’s still too early to rule out a split schedule between Jacksonville and England.
After all, it’s only $63 million in enhancements. It’s not like they’re building a new stadium.
Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that the Titans have signed cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson, one of their two third-round picks in April’s draft. With Wreh-Wilson under contract, the Titans only need to sign first-round guard Chance Warmack to put a bow on their entire draft class.
Wreh-Wilson made 39 starts and intercepted eight passes during his career at the University of Connecticut, but probably isn’t headed toward a starting job in his rookie season with the Titans. Jason McCourty will start at one corner and Tommie Campbell has been pushing Alterraun Verner, who has also seen time at safety during OTAs, for the starting job on the other side.
Second-year player Coty Sensabaugh also figures into the mix somewhere, so Wreh-Wilson isn’t just going to have immediate playing time handed to him during camp.
As we run through our series of Mt. Rushmores for each NFL team, we occasionally run into a person who would be a candidate for a Mt. Rushmore that covers the entire NFL rather than just one organization.
Don Shula is one such person. He has won more games than any other coach, owns two Super Bowl rings and guided the Dolphins to a 17-0 season to become the only NFL team to go an entire year without a loss since World War II.
On Wednesday, though, the topic will just be the Dolphins when Shula joins Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network to talk about the three men who should join him as faces of Miami’s franchise. Shula will talk to Erik Kuselias about his greatest strengths as a coach, his memories of players like Larry Csonka and Manny Fernandez and much more.
Mike Florio, Ross Tucker and Frank Wycheck will also be on hand as the Mt. Rushmore for the Bills is unveiled as well.
It all gets started at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
The Titans have signed a veteran free agent, and his mission isn’t so much to kill as it to take up space.
The Titans were running short-handed up front anyway, with three starters limited to individual work during minicamp, so they needed some bodies.
Richardson would be solid backup when their regulars are well, but he’s started every game the last three seasons, so he lends some needed experience.
Bengals cornerback Adam Jones will be addressing NFL rookies at the league’s rookie symposium again this year as part of the effort to inform rookies about potential trouble and how to avoid it.
It’s a decision that some have questioned in light of Jones’ recent arrest on charges of assaulting a woman outside a bar in Cincinnati. During an interview with Mike Garafolo of USA Today proclaimed his innocence of the charges and defended his presence at the symposium – Why would I not keep talking to the youth and help the youth out like I did last year because of somebody else acting up? — as a speaker who could testify first-hand to how making the wrong decisions can impact one’s football career.
“My goal is to just give back to the community and the league and to let them know you’re accountable for everything you’re doing,” he said. “There’s nobody who’s gotten more chances than me and, when you do, when you’re back in those situations … you’re always going to be judged by your past, regardless of what anybody says. I just want to try to enlighten some of the guys so they don’t have to go through the things I went through.”
The assault charge still needs to work its way through the legal system, so Jones isn’t quite done going through the things he wants to enlighten rookies to avoid in the future. That’s all the more reason for him to give a speech that holds himself up as an example of someone who has made too many of the wrong decisions over the course of his career.