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Brent’s official blood alcohol level comes in at 0.189 percent

Brent AP

Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent has received forgiveness from the mother of teammate Jerry Brown, who died in a car that Brent allegedly was driving drunk.

The authorities in Texas may not be as forgiving.

According to the Associated Press, the official incident report indicates that Brent’s official blood-alcohol concentration was measured at 0.189 percent.  That’s more than twice the legal limit.

Given Brent’s size (he’s listed at 320 pounds), Brent necessarily consumed a high degree of alcohol.

Brent reportedly declined to submit to alcohol testing after the accident.  He only complied after Brown died, which removed Brent’s option to refuse to have his alcohol concentration measured.

This means that some period of time passed between the incident and the testing.  Which likely means that Brent’s concentration was even higher when he was driving.

Brent has been placed on the Cowboys’ non-football injury list.  He faces discipline from the NFL if/when his case is resolved with a finding of guilt.  Several years ago, receiver Donte’ Stallworth was suspended one year after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter.

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Mike Pettine on Joe Haden: Great players need to make big plays when team needs them

Steve Smith, Joe Haden AP

Browns coach Mike Pettine said Monday that he wanted to take the blame for the team’s loss to the Ravens on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t find fault with anything that his players did on the field.

One example would be the 32-yard pass to Steve Smith that set up Justin Tucker’s game-winning field goal. Smith beat Browns cornerback Joe Haden on the play and Pettine said on Monday that his team’s best defensive player needs to make a play in those kinds of situations.

“He’s played well at times, but as you can see, at some inopportune times he’s not played well,” Pettine said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I think he’ll admit that, as well. That’s what we talk about. The great ones are going to make big plays when it’s needed, and I think that’s one area where Joe will look to improve.”

Haden hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts this season after signing a big contract extension over the offseason, something that Pettine said he doesn’t think is a result of the foot injury that bothered him late in the preseason. Haden’s history says that things will get better, which will be a welcome development for a Browns team that is a couple of big plays away from a 3-0 record.

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Week Three power rankings

Seahawks AP

1. Seattle Seahawks (No. 1 last week; 2-1):  Why couldn’t they have toyed with the Broncos like this in February?

2. Cincinnati Bengals (No. 5; 3-0):  It’s a lot easier to be among the NFL’s best when there aren’t playoff games to win.

3. Denver Broncos (No. 2; 2-1):  At least they won’t be intimidated if they play Seattle again in February.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (No. 7; 3-0):  How long until Cary Williams is doing shirtless situps in his driveway?

5. New England Patriots (No. 3; 2-1):  Given the way he secured the game-clinching interception, maybe Vince Wilfork should be moved to tight end.

6. Arizona Cardinals (No. 8; 3-0):  Bruce Arians isn’t the coach of the year; he’s the coach of the century.

7. Baltimore Ravens (No. 10; 2-1):  Given the way this team plays under duress, maybe the next conspiracy should be to start more conspiracies.

8. San Diego Chargers (No. 12; 2-1):  It’ll be hard to keep winning games if they keep losing running backs every week.

9. Atlanta Falcons (No. 14; 2-1):  They should have saved some of those points for later in the season.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 16; 2-1):  At a time when the Panthers were becoming the Steelers, the Steelers showed the Panthers who the Steelers really are.

11. New Orleans Saints (No. 11; 1-2):  Before Drew Brees was slammed to the ground, it looked like the Vikings were applying a sleeper hold to the Saints.

12. Detroit Lions (No. 17; 2-1):  Stephen Tulloch’s injury proves that the Lions haven’t had nearly enough practice celebrating things.

13. Chicago Bears (No. 13; 2-1):  Two non-convincing road wins are still a lot better than two non-convincing road losses.

14. Green Bay Packers (No. 4; 1-2):  Maybe they just stink.

15. Carolina Panthers (No. 6; 2-1):  Maybe they should reinstate Greg Hardy so he can play on the offensive line.

16. Indianapolis Colts (No. 15; 1-2):  Yes, the Jaguars are so bad that blowing them out results in a one-spot drop in the rankings.

17. San Francisco 49ers (No. 9; 1-2):  That “Who’s got it better than us?” chant could soon become, “Who doesn’t?”

18. Buffalo Bills (No. 18; 2-1):  Yep, we know how the “Bills start strong in September” book ends.

19. Dallas Cowboys (No. 23; 2-1):  This team is still a long way from glorywhole.

20. Houston Texans (No. 19; 2-1):  I have a feeling I won’t be hearing from many of the folks who had complained that the 2-0 Texans were only No. 19.

21. New York Jets (No. 20; 1-2):  It’s just a matter of time before Mike Vick is playing enough to get injured again.

22. Cleveland Browns (No. 21; 1-2):  The schedule softens considerably on the other side of the bye week.

23. Washington (No. 22; 1-2):  When they trade RGIII, they probably won’t get three first-round picks and a second-round pick.

24. Kansas City Chiefs (No. 28; 1-2):  With games against the Patriots and 49ers looming, that win at Miami likely helped avoid taking an 0-5 record into the bye week.

25. Miami Dolphins (No. 24; 1-2):  Losing two games in a row after beating the Patriots has become a trend.

26. New York Giants (No. 30; 1-2):  One win over a team with a fraudulent 2-0 record doesn’t mean everything is fixed.

27. St. Louis Rams (No. 25; 1-2):  It takes a bad team to make the Cowboys look that good.

28. Tennessee Titans (No. 26; 1-2):  Week One feels like it was a long time ago.

29. Minnesota Vikings (No. 27; 1-2):  A season of quiet optimism has yielded to loud pessimism.

30. Oakland Raiders (No. 32; 0-3):  Maybe they won’t go 0-16, after all.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 31; 0-3):  With all the focus on the team’s crappy offense, it’s easy to forget they have a crappy defense.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 29; 0-3):  Last week’s performance in the team’s new uniforms could make fans forget about all the horrible performances in the team’s original uniforms.

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Tom Brady is there for Patriots owner Robert Kraft

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Tom Brady hasn’t been left hanging often in his life, but he’s been caught on camera waiting for a high five a few times before.

So he felt sorry for Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who is still waiting for a high five from Mark Wahlberg which never came.

After that photo made a lap around the internet, Brady posted a photoshopped picture of him high-fiving his boss.

Not cool Mark! Mr. Kraft, I know how you feel,” Brady wrote on his Facebook page.

Somewhere, Logan Mankins has to be thinking the exact same thing.

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James Harrison’s return to Steelers a “done deal”

james-harrison2 Getty Images

Apologies to Thomas Hardy, but you can go home again.

Just ask James Harrison. Harrison spent a year playing for the Bengals and then retired last month, but none of that has stopped him from returning to the Steelers in the wake of Jarvis Jones’s wrist injury.

Reports out of Pittsburgh on Monday were that Harrison would be back with the team that employed him for 10 years and Harrison confirmed it on Tuesday morning when he announced a “done deal.” He also shared a picture of the moment he signed his contract with the team.

Arthur Moats is expected to get the starts in place of Jones, who was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return. Harrison’s experience with the defense likely helped push the Steelers in his direction as they shore up their depth after losing Jones for a long stretch and Ryan Shazier for a shorter spell.

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Kevin Kolb working to help Mexican hurricane victims

Kevin Kolb AP

Former NFL quarterback Kevin Kolb wasn’t used to having weekends off in the fall.

But what he saw while vacationing in Mexico scared him more than any hit he took in his career, and now he’s wondering where the help is.

Kolb, his wife and some friends were vacationing in Cabo San Lucas last week when Hurricane Odile hit, and he said he was alarmed at the lack of response or concern.

“Now that I’m back, the thing that is most disturbing is no one here realizes just how bad it is down there,” Kolb told Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “When we got to customs, we told him where we were coming from, and he said, ‘Oh, I heard there was a little storm down there.’

“This is a tragedy. It should be a full humanitarian effort down there, and for some reason, it’s not being made out to be as big of a deal as it should be.”

Kolb described in harrowing detail how they rode out the storm while stranded at their hotel, unable to get a flight out in advance of the storm. He and his wife piled mattresses on top of themselves in the bathroom as 125 mph winds lashed their hotel, before eventually heading for a shelter.

He and his friends eventually made it to the airport after the storm, and got on a Mexican military plane to Guadalajara, and then came back to Texas.

“I know there are still a lot of U.S. tourists down there, and we saw no U.S. support anywhere,” Kolb said. “We saw Canadian government officials helping, but where is the U.S.?”

Kolb said he plans to return to the hotel to help employees who worked to safeguard their guests, and lost much of what they owned in the process. But he’s wondering why more people weren’t aware of the destruction.

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Mike McCarthy focused on problems with offensive execution rather than scheme

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Getty Images

After the Packers scored just seven points in their loss to the Lions on Sunday, quarterback Aaron Rodgers said the team needed to do “a better job of adjusting” than they did against the Cover-2 looks they were seeing from Detroit.

Rodgers didn’t elaborate on the adjustments he would have liked to have seen and offensive coordinator Tom Clements said Monday that he didn’t know what Rodgers was talking about. Coach Mike McCarthy said that he questioned not being more aggressive in the passing game earlier in the contest, but also said that he wasn’t sure what adjustments Rodgers wanted to see and that the bigger problem with the team’s play had to do with execution rather than scheme.

“I’m not really up here to talk about scheme,” McCarthy said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “One thing I always talk to our players about all the time is scheme is not a crutch. The fundamentals and the things we do from an execution standpoint were not good enough, clearly, on offense.”

Playing both safeties deep was an invitation for the Packers to run the ball and they didn’t do it well enough, something that led to particular criticism from McCarthy. Rodgers didn’t set the world on fire either, however, and things have to get better across the board for the Packers to move back to the top of the division.

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Rex bites his tongue about bad call

rextrestman AP

A blown call by the officials cost the Jets a touchdown on Monday night, as a Jay Cutler fumble was wrongly blown dead just as Demario Davis was picking it up with a clear path to the end zone. But Jets coach Rex Ryan wouldn’t complain afterward.

When reporters pressed Ryan about the play, he declined to blast the officiating, perhaps conscious of the fact that he could get fined by the NFL if he did.

“I’ll let you guys figure out how frustrating that is,” Ryan said.

Davis was a little more talkative afterward.

“I knew it was a fumble,” Davis said. “I knew when I picked it up that it was a fumble. And it should’ve been a touchdown. I talked to a couple referees before [Monday] and they said that they are supposed to let that play stay open. They are taught to call that a fumble, because you always can review it. But if you blow it dead, then the play dies there. That came back to bit us in the butt. But we didn’t have the best officiating in our game. But it comes with the territory. That’s not an excuse for us. We have to play better.”

The Jets have to play better. But the officials also have to call the game better. Ryan knows he can only get away with saying one of those two things.

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Report: Cardinals grab running back from Chargers practice squad

Arizona Cardinals v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

With Ryan Mathews expect to miss the next few weeks and Danny Woodhead missing the rest of the season, the Chargers are a good bet to make a move to bolster their backfield at some point in the near future.

It appears they were too slow to have Marion Grice provide some of that help. Grice was a sixth-round pick in May and landed on the practice squad after failing to make the team in August, but Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego reports that the Cardinals gave Grice a physical on Monday and that they’ll be signing him to their 53-man roster.

The Cardinals have their own need for depth in the backfield in the wake of Jonathan Dwyer’s arrest and placement on the NFI list. Grice also might have welcomed a chance to return to the state he called home while playing his college ball at Arizona State. Grice ran for 79 yards on 17 carries against the Cardinals in a preseason game late in August.

Donald Brown and Branden Oliver are the only backs on the Chargers roster right now, something we’d expect will change before they next take the field.

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As Geno struggles, Vick looms

Vick Getty Images

Coach Rex Ryan still supports quarterback Geno Smith.  Because Smith needs support right now.  Because it’s not going well for him.  And because if it doesn’t turn around, it’s just a matter of time before Rex can no longer afford to support Geno Smith.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News points out that, as Smith continues to turn the ball over, veteran Mike Vick looms.  Vick, with more experience and arguably more talent than Smith, wasn’t given a chance to compete for the starting job — and he wasn’t afraid to say so.

Soon, fear of getting fired could get Rex to make a change.  With the 2-1 Lions coming to town followed by games against the 2-1 Chargers, the 2-1 Broncos, and the 2-1 Patriots on a short week, the margin for error is starting to shrink, and the climb is getting steeper.

While Rex continues to support Geno Smith, he hasn’t ruled out giving Vick more playing time.  At this point, it’s impossible to rule out Vick getting all of the playing time.  Especially if the mistakes and losses continue to pile up in the coming weeks.

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Jonathan Goodwin’s high ankle sprain forces Saints shuffle

Drew Brees AP

The Saints are going to have to do some shuffling up front, as it appears center Jonathan Goodwin is going to miss some time.

According to Mike Triplett of, Goodwin suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s win over the Vikings, and will miss some time.

That leaves the job to Tim Lelito, who worked with the ones during training camp before Goodwin rejoined the team.

“I think we felt the whole time like we had two starters, and whoever they named the opening day starter was fine with us,” Saints right tackle Zach Strief said. “We feel good about both of ‘em. And hopefully we’ll get Goody back sooner than later.”

Strief said “nothing changed” when Lelito entered the game, but there was that one thing.

On his first snap, he launched a shotgun snap past quarterback Drew Brees, though Brees said he owned some of the blame for not fielding it.

“Listen, I gotta play shortstop,” said Brees, who went to Lelito to encourage him after that play. “I can’t let those balls get by me. I don’t care if they’re low, high, coming in hot, whatever. That’s my job. So I’m as mad at myself as anybody.”

He’ll need to work on turning that double play this week, because it appears Lelito is going to be feeding him for the next few weeks.

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Tuesday morning one-liners

Denard Robinson, Malliciah Goodman AP

Was Bills coach Doug Marrone too conservative against the Chargers?

The Dolphins defense wants to find a better approach to stopping the run.

The Patriots offense didn’t earn a high grade this week.

There were plenty of red zone chances for the Jets on Monday night.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh likes the team’s running back depth.

Said Bengals QB Andy Dalton, “We’re playing with a lot of confidence. It’s not just one side of the ball, it’s every phase of the game. It makes it fun. We have a lot of great guys on this team, and the coaching staff has done a good job of making it fun.”

The Browns could make some changes on special teams.

Power football helped the Steelers to a Sunday night win.

T Duane Brown said the Texans should learn a lot from their loss to the Giants.

The Colts offensive line has handled a slew of injuries fairly well.

Jaguars RB Denard Robinson’s playing time is going up.

Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt wants to see more discipline from his team.

LB Danny Trevathan hopes to rejoin the Broncos defense in Week Five.

The Chiefs expect RB Jamaal Charles and S Eric Berry to practice this week.

Raiders LB Khalil Mack felt good about his performance against the Patriots.

The Chargers have gotten a boost from their tight ends this season.

A late interception might not be enough to keep Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne in a prominent role.

S Stevie Brown appears to have fallen out of favor with the Giants.

The Eagles didn’t generate any pass rush against the Redskins.

It’s a crowded Redskins injury report with Thursday’s game approaching quickly.

Bears coach Marc Trestman pushed a lot of the right buttons on Monday night.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell isn’t concerned with the lack of production from the team’s rookies.

The Packers haven’t gotten much from their tight ends.

QB Christian Ponder is back in the No. 2 spot on the Vikings depth chart.

Falcons DT Ra’Shede Hageman will be returning to Minnesota in Week Four.

The Panthers don’t want WR/PR Philly Brown to apologize for Sunday night’s botched punt.

Saints WR Brandin Cooks continued building a strong rookie season against the Vikings.

Injuries have hampered the Buccaneers’ efforts to get consistency on the defensive line.

Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu is still building his confidence.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher took issue with the officiating in Sunday’s loss.

Said 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, “The mindset has to be, going forward, to fix. You push against something until it’s upright. That’s the process our team uses, and we have total belief in everybody associated with our program, coaches and players.”

Seahawks CB DeShawn Snead got engaged on the field after Sunday’s win.

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Mr. Electricity Jim Caldwell doesn’t want to curb players’ enthusiasm

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Getty Images

The season-ending ACL tear suffered by Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch while celebrating a sack is a textbook example of dumb luck.

But Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he won’t be changing his rulebook to keep players from expressing themselves in the future.

This is an emotional game,” Caldwell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “This is a game where guys have to go through quite a bit … to get accomplished what they’re trying to get [done]. It’s tough. Oftentimes you’re trying to defeat two to three people to get something done, and when it does indeed happen, when a guy lays it on the line, gives everything he has, it’s kind of an emotional reaction, oftentimes, and it’s tough to keep that under wraps.

“I think scoring touchdowns is a little bit different, but we want enthusiasm, we want our coaches to be excited about it, we want our players to be excited about it. So am I going to go with some kind of protocol that all of a sudden says, ‘Hey, never jump in the air, never do this?’ I’m not going to do that.”

Tulloch had played 131 straight games, but appeared to have torn his ACL with a hip-thrusting rendition of Aaron Rodgers‘ “discount double check” dance. Tulloch said it wasn’t planned in advance.

“You’re passionate about the game and you want to get up and celebrate, and people do it a million times, and it’s unfortunate that it happened to me,” he said. “But like I said, I’ve been healthy for nine years of my career; I’ve never missed a game, let alone damn near plays. Sitting on the sideline is new to me. It’s sickening, but I’ll be all right. I’ll get back right and be able to help this team move forward, if everything goes well.”

Caldwell suggested the injury might have occurred earlier in the game, but the way Tulloch went down as if hit by a sniper casts doubt on that.

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Hit on Welker not currently illegal, but it could be in 2015

Thomas Getty Images

Sunday’s Broncos-Seahawks game included a hit that has plenty of Denver fans crying foul that a foul wasn’t called.

Late in the fourth with the Broncos down 17-12 and facing third and 11 from the Seattle 24, quarterback Peyton Manning threw a pass to receiver Wes Welker.  Safety Kam Chancellor jumped up and intercepted the ball before it could get to the target.  Behind Chancellor, Welker absorbed a hit to the helmet from safety Earl Thomas.

A flag for unnecessary roughness would have overturned the turnover, giving Denver the ball back 12 yards closer to the end zone.

Per a league source, it was the right interpretation of the current rules.  Because Welker had not just made a catch, he did not fall within the “defenseless player” definition.  Likewise, because the interception had not clearly been completed, Welker did not enjoy the protections against a blind-side block.

The league nevertheless will study this specific situation in the offseason for a potential tweak to the rules that would give a receiver in that circumstance protection against the hit he absorbed in that specific situation.  For now, the hit landed in a gray area that allowed Thomas to avoid a flag and a fine.  In the future, that could change.

That won’t help Denver very much; they could have taken the lead 20-17 with less than two minutes to play, forcing Seattle to try to force overtime with a field goal, or to win it in regulation with a touchdown.

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Derek Carr: Raiders put a scare into the Patriots

derekcarr AP

The 0-3 Raiders aren’t exactly an intimidating presence in the NFL, but quarterback Derek Carr says they instilled fear in their opponents on Sunday.

Carr marched the Raiders deep into Patriots territory, and Oakland appeared to score a game-tying touchdown in the final minute of the fourth quarter before it was overturned on a penalty. Carr said the Raiders proved that they’re not an easy team to beat, and they’ll do the same this week, when they play the Dolphins in London.

“I guarantee we put a scare into them late and that’s for sure — no one expected that but we did,” Carr said. “That’s what we expect out of ourselves and now we’ve just got to finish it. It doesn’t matter if there was a holding call, it doesn’t matter what happens, it doesn’t matter we lost. We have to go back to work this week in London and fix what we need to fix. But if we come out with that same effort we’re going to be a good football team.”

The Raiders are a long way from being a good football team right now. But they did give the Patriots a good game. That’s a measure of progress.

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Lions expected to sign Josh Bynes

Josh Bynes, Brandon Tate AP

The Lions hired head coach Jim Caldwell and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin after they spent time on the coaching staff in Baltimore, where their paths crossed with linebacker Josh Bynes.

It looks like the paths will be crossing again. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Lions will sign Bynes off of the Ravens’ practice squad in the wake of losing Stephen Tulloch to a torn ACL.

Bynes got that practice squad spot thanks to the change in rules that opens up such positions to players with a fair amount of experience on the actual roster. Bynes has played in 26 games for the Ravens over the last three years, starting nine times and recording 79 tackles while picking up a Super Bowl ring after his second NFL season.

The move would return the Lions to six linebackers on the active roster. Given what happened to Tulloch, we’d suggest a limited celebration of that development.

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