Andy Reid has officially been named the new coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Now what? Mike Florio breaks down what’s next for Reid and if a new starting QB is on his radar.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: What’s Reid’s top priority in KC?
A list of quarterbacks with connections to Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison.
Some free agent options for the Dolphins’ defensive front.
Will the Jets draft an offensive tackle?
The Browns will get a close look at many draft prospects at the Senior Bowl.
The Steelers pass rush will be crucial to their chances of winning on Sunday.
Early mock drafts are all over the map for the Texans.
Some reaction to the Colts firing General Manager Ryan Grigson.
A position-by-position report card for the Chiefs.
Raiders G.M. Reggie McKenzie reflected on free agent signings that worked out well.
A church outside San Diego took a shot at the Chargers.
An argument against the Giants using their top pick on a running back.
What did the Eagles learn about coach Doug Pederson this season?
The ups and downs for the Redskins running backs and tight ends in 2016.
Lovie Smith looks back at the Bears team he coached to an NFC title.
Breaking down the 2016 Lions draft class.
The Packers pass protection has plenty of admirers.
Said Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell, “It’s not what I need to do, it’s gaining the trust and the opportunities from the coaches. Every year you just need to keep getting better. Everybody is going to get better in the offseason.”
Ric Flair’s wavering football allegiances irk Panthers DE Charles Johnson.
A preview of what to expect from the Saints this offseason.
Lessons the Buccaneers can learn from the teams playing on Sunday.
Former Rams players helped out as coaches at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
49ers fans will likely be paying close attention to how Kyle Shanahan and the Falcons fare on Sunday.
Sizing up the Seahawks receiving corps.
The rule that wiped out a 22-yard gain and turned it into a 15-yard loss for the Cowboys on Sunday eventually could be earned from the rule book.
A vestige of the ’50s, the rule that allows the referee to flag the offense for unsportsmanlike conduct if a player not in the game approaches the huddle and then leaves without participating in a play could soon be expunged.
As one source with thorough knowledge of the rule book and its application told PFT on Saturday, current game mechanics aimed at giving the defense a fair chance to match any changes the offense may be making in an effort to confuse the opponent make the threat of a 15-yard penalty irrelevant. Put simply, the so-called (at least by me) Brice Butler rule has become outdated.
For now, it exists. And it’s no coincidence that referee Tony Corrente is the man who called the foul on Sunday in Dallas. Corrente called the foul the last time the rule was invoked during a Washington-Dallas game in 2014. He’s regarded as the lone stickler on this issue among the NFL’s referees.
At a minimum, the rule book could be (and should be) cleaned up to eliminate conflict between the actual rule regarding offensive players who quickly enter and exit (Rule 5, Section 2, Article 5) and a provision that lists the penalties for various types of illegal substitutions (Rule 5, Section 2, Article 8) and that inaccurately summarizes the text of the rule to prohibit a player from “mov[ing] onto the field inside the field numerals and leaves without participating in one play.”
Even if the rule isn’t changed or modified, the NFL may consider making it a dead-ball foul. Since the violation locks in before the snap, there’s no reason to wait until after the play to call it and to enforce it. That would lessen the potential impact of the call; last Sunday, the Cowboys wouldn’t have lost 22 yards before losing 15.
Then there’s the practical impact of clinging to this archaic rule. If Corrente had never thrown the flag, it never would have been an issue. The Packers wouldn’t have complained that they didn’t get a fair chance to match the offensive personnel and/or that the 22-yard gain should have been wiped out due to a technicality. If they had, many would have accused the Packers of complaining about a goofy technicality.
Instead, the issue has become a distraction to what was an excellent and memorable playoff game — even though (as PFT has learned) the Cowboys never complained about it.
The Patriots had a few injury concerns among their pass catchers this week, but it doesn’t look like they are going to result in any absences from the lineup on Sunday.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that wide receivers Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell are both expected to play against the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. Hogan had to leave last Saturday’s victory over the Texans after injuring his thigh in the third quarter, but expressed confidence all week about being well enough to play.
Mitchell has missed the last two games with a knee injury, but was able to participate in practice all week. Wide receiver Danny Amendola was also listed as questionable after returning from an ankle injury last week and having all three up along with Julian Edelman may not leave room for Michael Floyd as well.
The Steelers got a 3 a.m. wakeup call courtesy of a false fire alarm at their team hotel in New England, and the authorities were quick to act.
Sal Paolantonio of ESPN reports that Massachusetts State Police have apprehended a 25-year-old Boston man on charges of disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and pulling a false alarm at the Steelers’ hotel.
The false alarm was apparently planned out in advance by Patriots fans wanting to disturb the Steelers: Paolantonio reports that the man pulled the alarm, ran out of the hotel and jumped into a waiting car, fleeing the scene. But police were nonetheless able to catch up to them.
The Steelers were awakened by the alarm but may still be able to get a decent amount of rest before today’s 6:40 p.m. ET kickoff.
The Packers called up a wide receiver from their practice squad on Saturday, giving themselves a healthy body at the position in the event that one or more of their three unhealthy ones isn’t able to play against the Falcons on Sunday afternoon.
Max McCaffery may be headed for an afternoon as an observer, however. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison will all be in the lineup for the NFC Championship Game unless they have trouble during pregame warmups.
Nelson missed last week’s game with broken ribs suffered against the Giants in the Wild Card round and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Nelson ordered extra kevlar padding to protect his injury. Adams and Allison also drew questionable tags on the team’s injury report after missing practice during the week.
Safety Morgan Burnett is also expected to be available. He injured his thigh against the Cowboys in the divisional round.
The Steelers had their night of sleep interrupted early on Sunday morning by a fire alarm.
Alarms began going off at the hotel where the team is staying ahead of Sunday evening’s AFC Championship Game around 3 a.m. and Rich Walsh of KDKA reports that the entire building had to be evacuated while the fire department responded. The ringing continued for 30 minutes before everyone was allowed back to their rooms.
Walsh reports hotel personnel told him that the alarm was a false one. The person responsible for triggering that false alarm isn’t known, but it would not be the first time that a visiting team (or one preparing for a neutral site game) had to deal with attempts to throw them out of their comfort zone.
The Steelers have the late kickoff on Sunday with their game against the Patriots getting underway at 6:40 p.m. ET.
The trip to Atlanta did not go smoothly for the Packers.
Although the team was supposed to get a flight from Green Bay to Atlanta, dense fog in Green Bay prevented that, as the plane that was supposed to take the Packers to their destination couldn’t land in Green Bay because of the fog.
As a result, the Packers had to board buses from Green Bay to Milwaukee, then fly from Milwaukee to Atlanta.
The Packers landed in Atlanta at 8:30 p.m. ET, much later than road teams usually arrive on a Saturday before a game. So while the Packers made it to their Atlanta hotel in time to get a good night’s sleep, it wasn’t as smooth a trip as they would have liked before the NFC Championship Game.
The apples-to-apples comparison of last year’s conference championship games to this year’s conference championship games will be hampered by one major difference between the broader circumstances from this same weekend from 12 months ago.
Last year at this time, much of the northeast was buried in snow after a blizzard hit on Friday and Saturday, the two days before the AFC and NFC title games. So with millions snowed in, millions tuned in.
On average, 53.3 million watched the Patriots-Broncos game, which went down to the wire. The Cardinals-Panthers game, which was a blowout, averaged 45.7 million.
This year, with no snow and seasonably warm temperatures throughout much of the country, it will be very difficult for Packers-Falcons and Steelers-Patriots to match those numbers, no matter how compelling the games are.
Colts owner Jim Irsay finally has done that which seemed quite possible if not likely three weeks ago: He has fired G.M. Ryan Grigson.
At a press conference to announce the move, Irsay said that Peyton Manning will not be joining the team as the G.M. But Irsay may have taken his position on Peyton Manning a bit too far by claiming that Manning and Jon Gruden joining the team was “never in the cards.”
Multiple reports indicated that Irsay tried to woo Gruden and Manning as a package deal. The two men are close friends (it’s not quite The Odd Couple, but it’s close), and the goal was to get both of them. If those reports were all #fakenews, Irsay should have shot them down days ago.
Irsay said he has a list of G.M. candidates, that it could expand, and that he’ll interview current Colts executive Jimmy Raye III for the job. (I think Irsay knows who he’ll hire, but he’s trying to ensure the perception of a full and fair search.)
As to coach Chuck Pagano, Irsay explained that Pagano will be back for 2017, but it’s obvious he’ll be on the hot seat — especially if the new G.M. comes from outside the organization. Every coach wants his own quarterback and every G.M. wants his own coach, and half-measures of this kind rarely work.
The outrage over the holding call that wiped out what would have been a game-tying two-point conversion last Sunday night in Kansas City was entertaining but, ultimately, not accurate. Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher held Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
In his weekly officiating video, NFL senior V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino confirmed the accuracy of the call made by referee Carl Cheffers, whose assignment on such plays when positioned on the right side of the quarterback includes watching the interaction between the left tackle and the man he’s blocking.
“We talk about position, body position,” Blandino said. “We talk about feet. If the blocker can maintain good feet and he can maintain position in front of the defender and if he can stay square to the defender and he can continue to move his feet, we’re not gonna have a foul for holding. If the defender gets outside his feet and the blocker has to reach, now he reaches with his left arm across the body of the defender and he’s gonna grab . . on the jersey. When we see that, now we have to look for restriction. Does he materially affect the defender’s ability to get to the ball carrier?”
The foul occurred when Harrison tried to break free from Fisher, and when Fisher knocked Harrison down.
“The other factor, we have a rip . . . technique,” Blandino said. “Where the defender’s gonna bring his arm under the arm of the blocker, try to gain leverage, and get through to the quarterback. When there’s a rip, there’s no foul for holding unless the defender’s feet are taken away. And you can see clearly the defender’s feet are gonna be taken away as he’s taken to the ground.”
The explanation is useful, but the simpler point is that it looks like holding, clearly and unmistakably. So while it was surely disappointing for the Chiefs to have two critical points taken from the board in the closing minutes of an elimination game, the foul occurred — and kudos to Cheffers for having the will to throw the flag at a time when plenty of officials take a “let them play” approach, which essentially means when obvious fouls aren’t called, “Let them cheat.”
The Packer have called in reinforcements for their ailing receiving corps.
Max McCaffrey, a rookie receiver who has yet to play in an NFL game, has been promoted from the Packers’ practice squad to their active roster. That means he could play tomorrow in the NFC Championship Game against the Falcons.
Three Packers receivers — Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison — are questionable for the game Nelson is dealing with an illness and broken ribs, Adams has an ankle injury and Allison has a hamstring injury.
McCaffrey signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent after the 2016 NFL draft but did was cut at the end of the preseason. The Packers signed him to their practice squad in December. A three-year starter at Duke, McCaffrey is the son of former Broncos receiver Ed McCaffrey and the older brother of potential 2017 first-round draft pick Christian McCaffrey.
To make room for McCaffrey on the 53-player roster, the Packers placed offensive lineman JC Tretter on injured reserve.
If you’re wondering what Colts players think about the decision to fire G.M. Ryan Grigson, look no farther than the Twitter page of Colts punter Pat McAfee.
After Indianapolis radio personality and former college basketball coach Dan Dakich sneered at these observations from “the punter,” McAfee removed any doubt that he was talking about Grigson: “‘All Pro punter’ please and thank you.. also someone who has seen your best friend treat humans absolutely horrendously for 5 years.”
It’s stunning stuff from McAfee, but I’ll take honesty over robotic Foxboro cliches any day. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see whether any teammates join in the chorus or publicly dispute McAfee’s views about Grigson.
Nearly three weeks after the Colts’ season ended and a full week after it became obvious that owner Jim Irsay was courting Peyton Manning to run the team and Jon Gruden to coach it, Irsay finally has made a move.
With Irsay expected to announce that G.M. Ryan Grigson has been fired, the question becomes what will be Irsay’s next move?
Presumably, he already knows. And that’s both a good thing and a bad thing.
It’s good because it means Irsay has achieved his obvious goal of landing an upgrade before dumping Grigson. It’s bad because it means that Irsay could have a hard time complying with the Rooney Rule, if it’s widely believed that Irsay already knows who he is going to hire.
For that reason alone, don’t expect Irsay to name a successor — unless he has pre-complied with the Rooney Rule. Which would mean that he has been interviewing candidates while Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano have been hanging out to dry.
Grigson has three years left on his contract, which means he’ll be paid by Irsay minus whatever he makes elsewhere. And “elsewhere” could potentially be a return to the Eagles front office, where Grigson worked before being hired by the Colts.
After five seasons and little progress, Ryan Grigson is out as the General Manager of the Colts.
Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay fired Grigson today, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. The Colts have announced that Irsay will speak to the media later this afternoon, but they have not confirmed that Grigson is out.
It has been widely reported that Irsay would love to change the structure of his front office and work out a deal to put Peyton Manning in charge. It is unclear if firing Grigson is a step toward hiring Manning, or whether Irsay just decided to can Grigson and start searching for a new G.M. now.
It is also unclear whether head coach Chuck Pagano’s job is safe.
The Colts will now get a very late start on the offseason, as most teams have their front office personnel in place and are already making preparations for free agency and the draft. But Grigson had ample opportunity to build a team around Andrew Luck in Indianapolis, and he failed to do so. As a result, he’s out.
In fact, heading into Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, Brady has a career postseason passer rating of 87.4. That happens to be exactly the same career postseason passer rating as both Manning brothers.
The three players are tied for 15th in NFL history in career postseason passer rating.
Brady is often described as the most “clutch” passer in NFL history, Peyton is often described as the greatest regular-season passer but largely a postseason disappointment, and Eli is often described as a player who has delivered his best performances in the biggest games. There may be less to that than meets the eye, however: We remember Brady as having a great playoff game when he passed his team into field goal range and Adam Vinatieri makes it, while we remember Peyton as having a bad playoff game when he passed his team into field goal range and Mike Vanderjagt missed it.
As far as the NFL’s official passer rating stat is concerned, the three are equals in the postseason.