It’s been nine years since the Patriots last won a Super Bowl. Will they win again soon? Tom Curran of CSN New England tackles that question and also analyzes the Patriots’ faults during their AFC Championship game loss.
PFT Live: Can Patriots bounce-back?
The Seahawks might lead the league in PED suspensions, but it’s apparently not for a lack of trying.
Seahawks General Manager John Schneider called Bruce Irvin’s suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances “very disappointing,” and said the team has “gone above and beyond what the league has done,” in terms of educating players.
Schneider’s remarks came on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon, and made it clear the team’s trying to curb a trend.
“This is something we take very seriously here,” Schenider said. “The league has done a great job of educating guys and we’ve actually gone above and beyond what the league has done. We have a guy in place here that helps our player development people. You do what you can. It’s very disappointing. Pete [Carroll] and I sat down with Bruce. Pete addressed it with the team. Bruce addressed the team.
“And, you know, really good organizations are the organizations that can take body blows. We look at this as a learning opportunity and one that obviously needs to be addressed, but this is also an opportunity for others to step forward.”
The Seahawks prepared for the suspension by signing free agents Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, but they’ll be required to change even more while they wait on Irvin to return and Chris Clemons to return from a knee injury.
“And we have to treat it really, quite honestly, like he sustained a high ankle sprain or something,” Schneider said. “And you make those adjustments whether it be in the game or during the offseason.”
Schneider said after doing research on players in college, he’s not surprised at the numbers of suspensions.
But given the concentration in his own building, he should be treating it like a different kind of outbreak, rather than just a four-week injury which will inconvenience his coaches.
And we’re back.
It’s been 10 days, but we’re back at 5:00 p.m. ET with another edition of Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network. Which means that we need your input for the final topic of the show.
Make your selection below, and then join us for the program. I hope I remember where the studio is.
A running back from Texas A&M, Michael was the No. 62 overall pick and Seattle’s first selection in the 2013 draft. He was the fifth running back taken.
Michael (5-10, 220) rushed for 417 yards and 12 touchdowns on 88 carries as a senior for Texas A&M, but he tested very well at the Combine, and he could vie for carries with second-year pro Robert Turbin behind starter Marshawn Lynch.
The media was allowed to watch the Eagles OTA on Monday, which meant there were plenty of eyes on running back LeSean McCoy as he left the field before the end of practice.
Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com reports that McCoy left the field to have his knee examined on the sideline and did not return to the field before the session came to an end. According to Mosher, McCoy did not appear to be seriously injured and Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer got the same impression when he spoke to McCoy briefly as the running back went to lunch. McLane didn’t add whether or not McCoy was going be dining in his car or not.
McCoy wasn’t the only player who wasn’t able to practice — several Eagles players were delayed by flight problems caused by weather issues around the country — but starting running backs needing to have their knees checked out tend to garner more than their fair show of attention.
When you throw in the fact that the Eagles are still figuring out things at quarterback, McCoy’s health becomes all the more important. If the initial read is correct, this is something that will be forgotten before the first burgers hit the grill on Memorial Day weekend and that’s all the better for the Eagles.
The league continues to huff and puff about the Pro Bowl, even as the TV audience blows the doors off the numbers generated by the World Series.
More huffing and puffing is expected this week in Boston, at the quarterly league meetings.
Yes, it’s become fashionable to wring hands and gnash teeth about the Pro Bowl. The consternation, of course, has served only to generate more interest in the inherently pointless exhibition, which exposes healthy players unnecessarily to injury.
The problem is that the players don’t play the game hard, and they shouldn’t. To get through a regular season and (for many) postseason unscathed and then to risk spending the offseason in rehab makes no sense, especially for players due to become free agents.
There are two ways to improve the game — devise a strategy for making the players play harder, or come up with a way to make a half-speed game of modified two-hand touch seem more interesting. The possibility of letting designated captains pick teams regardless of conference affiliation would fall into the latter category. Only a dramatic increase in the money paid to the winning team would result in players playing harder.
Still, the chances of the game being canceled are roughly equivalent to the chances of a team moving to L.A. in the foreseeable future. The league will keep talking about both, and the league surely will actually accomplish neither.
The Pro Bowl provides televised content for which the networks pay real money. As long as the ratings, and thus the money, are there, the Pro Bowl will remain.
Broncos rookie running back Montee Ball is getting plenty of work with the first-string offense at Organized Team Activities.
That’s because neither of last year’s top two running backs, Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno, are participating. McGahee is the only Bronco who has chosen not to attend the voluntary practices, while Moreno, who suffered a knee injury in the Broncos’ playoff loss to the Ravens, hasn’t been cleared for team drills.
The decision to draft Ball calls into question whether the Broncos plan to bring back both McGahee and Moreno. Denver is fairly deep at running back, with Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball and Jacob Hester also on the team. But Chafie Fields, McGahee’s agent, told the Denver Post that McGahee’s absence from OTAs doesn’t indicate that he doesn’t plan to be a part of the Broncos when mandatory work begins.
“He’s following the same routine he’s had his whole career,” Fields said. “He’ll be there. He’s ready to compete. No messages.”
McGahee may be ready to compete, but every day he’s not there is a day that Ball gets another opportunity to show the coaching staff that he deserves to be the team’s No. 1 running back.
There are jobs up for grabs on the linebacker depth chart in Pittsburgh this year and one of the players expected to be in the thick of competition for them has signed his rookie contract.
The Steelers announced Monday that sixth-round pick Vince Williams has agreed to a contract with the team. Williams joins safety Shamarko Thomas as members of the 2013 draft class to agree to deals. There are seven other players, including first-round linebacker Jarvis Jones, still unsigned.
Williams wasn’t invited to the combine despite starting his last two years at Florida State, where he had 13.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. He’ll be part of the mix at inside linebacker behind Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote and his bid for playing time will get a boost if second-year player Sean Spence’s physical condition ends up being closer to the more negative prognostications floating around this offseason.
Williams is one of the new faces making for a different looking Steelers team at OTAs this month. His work at those sessions will help determine how much we see of that face.
Yes, the NFL offseason will be changing. But not the way the NFL had envisioned.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the league and the NFLPA are on the verge of a deal that would move the draft to May, something the league has wanted. The change would apply to at least the next three years.
It’s unclear when in May the draft would occur, but it’s safe to assume that the draft would fall in the window for the Nielsen’s ratings sweeps.
The quid pro quo apparently will come from the movement of the start of the league year (and in turn the launch of free agency) from after the Scouting Combine to before it. While at first blush this suggests the new league year will land in February, the more likely outcome is that the Scouting Combine will happen in March.
Regardless of the precise dates for the Scouting Combine, the change means that the Combine no longer would be the league’s annual tampering swap meet. The market already would be open, and agents would be trying to do deals with teams instead of merely laying the foundation for those deals in a way that violates NFL rules.
The league had wanted to move the Combine to March, to delay the launch of free agency to April, and to nudge the draft to May. The NFLPA wisely balked, since it would delay the transfer of offseason funds from teams to players.
Instead, free agency (and the “signing day” concept the NFL is developing) would happen in late February or early March (like it used to), the Combine would come after that, and the third significant event in the NFL offseason would happen in May, blending seamlessly into OTAs that extend into June, followed by a six-week quiet period that never really is quiet.
If the new approach maximizes opportunities for fans to follow the NFL and further increases interest, it’s hard for a website that derives its audience and revenue from covering the NFL to complain. But we’ll probably find a reason to.
There’s a new Superman movie coming out this summer and Jets owner Woody Johnson appears to be in the spirit.
Johnson, who is at the league meetings in Boston, spoke to reporters on Monday about the arrest of running back Mike Goodson and said that the team was gathering information about the incident. Mike Garafolo of USA Today reports that he also attempted to reassure those worried about the image of the Jets by saying that the team is about “truth, justice and the American way.”
That’s also what the Man of Steel has devoted himself to depending for most of the last century. He’s had a lot more success in his endeavors than the Jets, especially if you leave Superman IV out of the discussion, but some may argue that kryptonite is an easier to overcome than Mark Sanchez.
Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Goodson was at the team’s facility as they started OTAs Monday but that he did not participate in the workout. There’s no timeline for how long the fact-finding will continue before the Jets might take any action.
Goodson was charged with five drug and gun counts last week after police responded to a 911 call about a car parked in on Route 80 in New Jersey. Goodson was not driving the car, but was charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of a loaded handgun and possession of hollow point ammunition.
In the new, post-2011 CBA NFL, offseason workouts are supposed to feature less intensity, because they’re supposed to include no contact.
As it was before 2011, it’s sometimes easier said than done.
After practice, Spence said the fight happened because Spence fired off the ball too aggressively on the first snap.
“Hopefully [Zuttah] respects me for that because I want to be a part of the team,” Spence said. “It’s just me not knowing the speed. . . . Now I know I need to throttle it down a little bit but at the same time get my work.
“I’m not going to back down from nobody so I mean I had to let that be known here on the first day here. So, hey, there it is.”
Contact during offseason workouts often occurs via young players trying to prove themselves. Which makes it more important for the coaching staffs to educate the young players as to the limits of permissible contact during these sessions.
Actually, there’s supposed to be none. Which means there’s a chance the NFL and/or the NFLPA will be looking into the situation.
The Chargers aren’t taking the same approach since drafting the Notre Dame linebacker.
According to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, the Chargers have decided to not make Te’o available to the local media until mid-June, calling it an “organizational decision.”
It’s an odd approach for first-year head coach Mike McCoy.
The longer they play keep-away with Te’o, the longer the list of sideshow questions has a chance to grow.
If he rolled by the reporters who cover the Chargers on a daily basis, they would have exhausted all the controversial material already, and would be on to talking to him about whether he can play three downs, or how his adjustment to the NFL was going.
Instead, the organization is making it look like a guy who seemed to be embracing the joke in order to make it go away has now chosen to go back in hiding.
One of the Dolphins’ best defensive players was reportedly absent from the team’s workout on Monday.
Safety Reshad Jones was not present for their workout on Monday. Presence is voluntary at these workouts, but Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins didn’t know where Jones was and spent most of the morning trying to track him down after he’d been a regular participant so far this offseason. Neither Jones nor his agent returned phone calls seeking comment about his whereabouts.
Salguero also reports that there has been speculation among some of Jones’ teammates that the safety is unhappy with the slow pace of negotiations regarding a new contract. Jones’ rookie deal expires after the 2013 season and there have reportedly been “intermittent discussions” about a deal that would keep Jones in Miami for the long term.
Jones started every game for the Dolphins last season and led the team with four interceptions. That helped him hit escalators in his contract that bumped his 2013 salary from $575,000 to $1.323 million, which is likely well below what he’s seeking in a longer deal. As with most players under contract, Jones has limited leverage once mandatory work gets underway so this absence may linger through OTAs if the contract is indeed the reason for Jones’ absence.
With the franchise-tagged defensive tackle Randy Starks also looking for a new deal, Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland still has a good bit on their plate after an offseason that’s been a busy one in Miami right from the opening bell.
UPDATE 2:43 p.m. ET: An earlier version of this story indicated Monday was the first day of the OTAs. The Dolphins reached out to PFT to clarify that Jones missed a workout today and that OTAs officially begin on Tuesday, something Salguero has also updated in his original report. The team does not know if Jones will be in attendance Tuesday or whether he was absent.
Last season, after Lions receiver Calvin Johnson suffered a concussion, the Lions said he didn’t.
Today, Johnson reportedly confirmed that he played with three broken fingers in 2012. And while the team has not yet addressed the contention, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Johnson actually didn’t break any fingers.
He also apparently didn’t say that he broke his fingers, based on the questions asked and answers provided.
A portion of Johnson’s quotes appears in Chris McCosky’s story in the Detroit News. There’s no specific quote from Johnson acknowledging the fingers were broken.
This doesn’t change the fact that he suffered some sort of injury to the fingers on his left hand that has left them crooked, but the injury report for last year only shows Johnson as having a “thumb” injury twice, in Week 13 and Week 15.
Thus, broken or not, Johnson played with finger injuries last year. Which can make slightly more difficult the task of using the fingers and the hands to catch footballs.
I spent last night watching the Penguins blow a 1-0 lead to the Senators on NBC Sports Network, before eventually losing in double overtime. The game-tying goal came with 28.6 seconds to play.
Over on the parent network, Tim Tebow showed up after the clock expired.
For the season finale of Donald Trump’s The All-Star Celebrity Apprentice on NBC, Tebow arrived at the final task with a check for $100,000, which went to finalist Trace Adkins’ charity. But Tebow got there after the deadline for gathering funds, so Adkins didn’t get credit for the money.
Adkins still raised more than fellow finalist Penn Gillette, and Adkins ultimately was named The All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, a title that as far as we can tell is meaningless. Like Vice President of the United States.
It’s unclear when the segment including Tebow’s appearance was taped, and whether the money came from his pocket, his foundation, or elsewhere.
It was clear that Tebow showed up with $100,000 less than expected. Adkins said multiple times that Tebow was coming with $200,000.
Regardless, it was a generous contribution, which will go to the American Red Cross. And it possibly gives Tebow an opening to join the show for its next season, since he quite possibly won’t be otherwise occupied.
If Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano ever gets tired of having to tell people Josh Freeman is his starting quarterback, someone should probably mention to him that it’s kind of his own fault.
“We have a starting quarterback, and it’s Josh Freeman,” Schiano said, via Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times.
According to the report, Schiano said he’s trying to be honest, and doesn’t mean to put pressure on Freeman by saying such things in the national media.
“I guess nationally, they don’t sit here with me every day like you guys [local media] do,” Schiano said. “From the day we arrived, our whole program has [been based on] competition, . . . That’s what we believe in. It’s the most competitive sports league in the world. It’s competition, and I love it.
“But we have our starting quarterback, and it’s Josh Freeman. I’m not looking to find another.”
If he really wanted to clear things up, he could always, you know, stop leaving the door open a crack every time he talks about Glennon.
Or, if he wanted a stronger statement on Freeman and how much he loves him under center, he could give him a new contract to replace the final year of his rookie deal.
But it doesn’t appear at the moment that Schiano intends to do either.
And that’s fine, as long as everyone’s clear about the implication sent by those actions.
He likes Freeman, right up until the point he decides he doesn’t.
So Schiano’s apparently going to have to keep clarifying all the things that he keeps saying, whether to the national or local media.