Brett Keisel (and his beard) joins PFT to relate his Super Bowl experience and announce the next time he’ll shave his face. Keisel played with Jerome Bettis when he announced Super Bowl XL will be his last game, and Keisel says that extra motivation is all a team needs to perform at the highest possible level.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Keisel relates Lewis to Bettis
The Washington Redskins were forced to deal with a critical officiating mistake late in their loss Sunday night against the New York Giants that left head coach Mike Shanahan believing they had converted a first down when head referee Jeff Triplette said otherwise.
It left the Redskins facing a fourth-and-one instead of a second-and-10 after a pass play that Shanahan likely wouldn’t have called if he was informed of the correct down and distance for the prior play.
It’s been just one of several clear officiating gaffes this season. While officials aren’t perfect and mistakes will be made, Redskins’ receiver Santana Moss feels like the level of officiating has reached a new low.
“It’s probably been worse this whole year as a total, not just this team. But I’ve watched a lot of football this year. It’s been the worst that I’ve ever seen,” Moss said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post.
Moss is in his 13th season in the NFL. He complained about inconsistencies between crews in rulings, specifically on what is and isn’t a catch. He hopes the league takes a closer look at the rules this offseason in an attempt to eliminate the variance in the rulings between officiating crews.
“I understand [there are] so many things being changed,” Moss said. “But at the end of the day, some of that stuff is crap. So hopefully somebody who’s in a higher position that can really watch this season alone and see some of the stuff that’s being called and hasn’t been called, they can go and try to critique that because it’s been the worst by far since I’ve been in the league.”
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has a reputation in the league as being a nasty, sometimes dirty, player. It’s a reputation that Suh himself knows he’s earned due to various transgressions on the field over his career with the Lions.
However, Suh is working to try to improve the way he’s viewed as a player. Suh joined Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Sirius XM NFL Radio and spoke about the image he’s created for himself over his first four seasons in the NFL and how he’s trying to change that perception. He points to the incident on Thanksgiving in 2011 when he stomped on Green Bay Packers’ center Evan Dietrich-Smith as the defining moment that has helped shape the reputation he now has as a player.
“It’s obviously tainted me and given me a bad rep, and well-deserved in that instance, but I don’t think one moment in somebody’s life is going to define them,” Suh said. “I’ve vowed, not only to myself personally, but to my family and my teammates and coaches not to have that happen again and not have situations like that that’s going to hurt them or make them feel that they can’t be proud of me or want me as a teammate.”
“That’s one thing that I just hope and wish people have the opportunity and take the light to be unbiased and really kind of take a look at my track record and not define me by one instance and one mistake in my life that I’ve had.”
Suh says he’s become a more mature player this season.
“I think I’ve definitely grown up quite a bit just understanding that if you’re not growing up, you’re just moving backward,” Suh said. I’m a person that always wants to move forward, always want to grow and learn and not be the smartest person in the room, because when you’re not the smartest person in the room, you’re always learning things. I’m a learner. That’s how I got to where I am now.”
Suh is playing fantastic football for the Lions this season. Detroit is leading the NFC North by a game over the Chicago Bears and hold the tiebreaker due to winning both head-to-head matchups this season. Barring a late season collapse, Suh and the Lions appear destined to make a return trip to the postseason after a down season last year.
Brandon Browner may ultimately be unable to play again for the Seattle Seahawks this season. However, it appears as though his health won’t be the reason that keeps him sidelined.
Browner returned to practice for the Seahawks on Wednesday after missing the last two games due to a groin injury. Browner came up lame in a game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 10. He’s been unable to work with the team the last three weeks because of the injury that Pete Carroll initially labeled as “serious.”
Carroll indicated Browner would likely be out at least four-to-six weeks due to the injury. However, Browner has responded much faster than the team anticipated.
“It was in a place that we found out he could recover quickly so he’s come back much faster than we thought,” Carroll said. “We thought he would be out a solid six weeks when it happened so he’s just responded tremendously.”
Browner was limited in his first practice back with the team. Carroll said he’s unsure at this point whether Browner has a chance to play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers in a game that could clinch the NFC West for Seattle. However, reserves Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane stepped up and played well last week against the New Orleans Saints and are trusted to carry the load if necessary.
“We’re really excited because I know they’ll be more comfortable and they’ll continue to grow with the opportunity, so we’re in good shape there,” Carroll said.
Browner still may not play another game for Seattle this season. He’s awaiting a decision on an appeal of a possible suspension for a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy. The Seahawks are left waiting to hear a ruling on the appeal to see if Browner will be able to be a part of their playoff run in January.
“I don’t know any more than you guys know. So we’ll see what happens,” Carroll said.
Seahawks fans have managed to buy a brick at the new 49ers Stadium. As the Seahawks prepare to play their last game in the 49ers’ current home, the 12th Man plans to bid the venue a proper farewell.
Via CSNBayArea.com, 100 fans have pooled $1,800 to fly over Candlestick Park for 15 minutes prior to Sunday’s game a banner reading GO HAWKS-12.
The development comes at a time when the Seahawks’ intensely loyal fan base seems to be getting more active, more vocal, and more numerous.
The biggest challenge will come in February. If/when (when) the Seahawks secure a berth in the Super Bowl, will the 12th Man make the cross-country trek to New Jersey, where just one ticket will cost more than Sunday’s banner?
Earlier this year, a pair of young men managed to get Buccaneers G.M. Mark Dominik and former Bills G.M. Buddy Nix on the phone at the same time. Not realizing the breadth and the potency of the federal wiretapping laws, the men recorded the call and sold it to Deadspin for $200.
The authorities pursued federal charges against the men, Joshua Barber and Nicholas Kaiser. Now that the message has been sufficiently communicated to them and to anyone else who may do the same thing in the future, a deal has been cut.
Per the Associated Press, the charges have been dismissed. The men must abide by certain conditions for the next 18 months. (The terms presumably include no more wiretapping.)
The prank apparently began with the men hoping to get tryouts from various professional sports teams. They called Nix, posing as Dominik. (Which makes the whole tryout story seem a little odd.) Then, as Nix believed he was calling back Dominik, the men got through to Dominik on another phone, posing as Nix. They put the phones on speaker and started to record the conversation.
In October, Deion Sanders was fired by the charter school he co-founded. He was quickly reinstated.
Nearly two months later, Prime Prep Academy has once again fired the Hall of Famer.
Via the Dallas Morning News, school superintendent Rachel Sanders (no relation to Deion) made the decision. The chairman of the school’s board disagreed with the move, and the issue is expected to be addressed during a Friday board meeting.
“I never dreamed this,” Deion Sanders said, via WFAA-TV. “I just dreamed of having the best academic and athletic institution in the country, and we are going to have it. We are going to have it. . . . We just have to get this mess out.”
Roughly 75 students walked out of class in protest. After meeting with Deion, they returned.
“This is nonsense. We are sick of it,” Sanders said. “The kids don’t deserve it. Overpaid, underqualified administrators never worked in a school in their life. Total chaos. We have a formula to restore what was the dream at Prime Prep.”
It’s unclear what the formula is. Maybe it entails Deion getting fired a few more times. Inevitably, there will be litigation.
At some point, the Texas Education Agency likely will show up and start poking around, possibly finding enough irregularities to shut the whole place down.
During the Jets’ current three-game losing streak, their offense has been indescribably bad. Geno Smith recorded passer ratings of 10.1, 22.3 and 8.3 in three straight games, and the Jets have been thoroughly humiliated in losses to the Bills, Ravens and Dolphins.
But Jets coach Rex Ryan has not lost hope.
In fact, Ryan said after today’s practice that he thought the Jets’ offense turned in its best practice of the season, and that he believes it’s a great sign of the way the Jets can play over the final four games of the season.
“As far as we’re concerned, [it was] probably our best day of practice we’ve had offensively. Not that it’s a good sign, it’s a great sign for us. Guys came out full of energy, bouncing around. Obviously, we need that. It’s just hard to explain but it was out there today,” Ryan said.
Ryan said Smith had his best practice today, and Smith agreed with Ryan’s assessment.
“I think we had a good practice today,” Smith said. “I liked the way that we executed. I liked the tempo. I can tell guys definitely want to turn things around and we understand that we haven’t played well as of late, so we’re doing everything in our power to get that changed. I think that was a result of us having a good practice today. Now it’s about just building consistency and turning one day into two.”
As badly as the Jets have played in the last three weeks, they’re actually not out of the AFC wild card race. The 5-7 Jets would probably have to win out to earn the No. 6 seed in the AFC, but maybe that’s possible. If the Jets’ offense can play the way it practiced.
So what’s wrong with running back Trent Richardson? Richardson essentially has said of the Colts, “It’s not me, it’s you.”
Via the good folks at StampedeBlue.com, receiver Reggie Wayne shared with Jake Query and Derek Schultz of WNDE radio comments Richardson made to the veteran wideout and de facto leader of the team after Richardson was benched this past weekend for Donald Brown.
“He came to me, he wasn’t pouting or anything,” Wayne said. “This was the next day after he found out he was demoted and he said, ‘Now I can sit back and actually watch the way it’s supposed to be done.’ He kind of feels that he was maybe forced into it early without actually learning it.”
It’s a common dynamic for offensive players acquired by a new team during the regular season. After spending weeks if not months studying and practicing and playing in a different system with different coaches and different players, it becomes difficult if not impossible to essentially change a tire on a moving car.
Really, when has an offensive player traded from one team to another during football season had an immediate and sustained impact? Missing pieces don’t get added on the fly; they get added in the offseason.
This means that Richardson could, with the benefit of a full offseason and training camp and preseason, learn the offense and the players and the coaches and become a significant contributor. Or maybe instead the Colts will decide to pay Donald Brown (who’s due to become a free agent in March) and keep him as the starter.
In his first press conference since Mike Wise of the Washington Post reported that tensions between Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and coach Mike Shanahan date back to the misuse of Griffin in January, Griffin addressed the level of trust that has developed between himself and the head coach.
“As much as it can develop in a year-and-a-half, two-year span,” Griffin said, via quotes distributed by the team. “I haven’t spent a lot of time here, obviously. I haven’t spent a lot of time in the league. It takes time to build that trust over time with a coach anytime.”
It’s hardly a ringing endorsement. Trust can develop quickly in an intense industry like pro football, if personalities mesh and behavior occurs that allows trust to arise. Given everything Shanahan and Griffin have been through together in less than two NFL seasons, if complete trust hasn’t become established yet, it may never.
That said, Griffin separately praised the team’s coaching staff.
“I think these guys have a great future,” Griffin said. “I love having them here and that’s all I can say. We’re focused on Kansas City, they’re focused on Kansas City and that’s all we can control.”
Griffin also was asked to identify the biggest misconception about the 2013 Redskins.
“Just the fragmented team,” Griffin said. “We’re not. We’re not a fragmented team. We’re all sticking together. Everybody understands what we’ve got to do these next four games and that’s the bottom line. You know, just all the false stories that keep coming out. It’s just one thing after another, day after day. Guys still have to continue to change the channel and not listen to any of that stuff and block it out.”
The comments come amid intensifying reports that Griffin and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan don’t see eye to eye. Which means that, once the season ends, owner Daniel Snyder likely faces a Griffin or Shanahan decision.
The good news for Griffin is that he won’t have to make a Magic Johnson-style power play. With a clear sense that the relationship between quarterback and coach isn’t ideal, Griffin can say all the right things while he waits for nature to take its course.
Vikings cornerback Chris Cook had a bad day Sunday, and he had a pretty bad day today, too.
On Sunday, Cook got torched by Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, then got ejected from the game when he made contact with an official while complaining about a call. Today, Cook was informed that the NFL is fining him $26,250 for his actions.
Cook said he regretted his actions.
“I kind of touched his arm,” Cook said, via the Pioneer Press. “I just got up and said, ‘That was bull,’ about the play two plays before. But I can’t do anything about the calls they make during the game. I’ve just got to be a man about it and move on to the next play. I let my emotions get the best of me. I know I can’t react like that, especially towards an official.”
Cook said he sat down with Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and agrees with Frazier about his need to control himself.
“It went pretty well,” Cook said. “I know I have to keep my composure. I was just frustrated with some things that happened in the game and lost my composure. I can guarantee it won’t happen again.”
As a player in the final year of his contract, Cook also knows he isn’t exactly doing himself any favors in free agency right now.
“My future — that’s really the biggest thing that’s at stake for me,” he said. “It’s a contract year. It’s been a pretty rough year by my standards. I’ve just got to go ball out these last four games.”
And Cook needs to not let his emotions get the best of him these last four games.
The six-figure fine imposed by the NFL on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, along with the lingering possibility that a draft pick will be forfeited or modified, leave open a fairly important question.
Does the NFL believe Tomlin meant to do it?
“Intent is not a factor in discipline because it cannot be determined,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT via email. “An individual is fined for an action that is a violation.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean the NFL would have applied the same penalty if the league believed Tomlin intended to step toward (and onto) the field of play after Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones broke free from the Steelers’ kickoff coverage. It only means that the league couldn’t (or didn’t try to) discern intent.
Tomlin strongly denied that he meant to step from the middle of the white sideline stripe to the edge of the field, with one field in the field itself. Given his track record, Tomlin received the benefit of the doubt.
Still, the available video evidence allows reasonable minds to differ on whether, in the heat of the moment and with only a flicker of intent, Tomlin opted to make himself into a distraction/obstacle for Jones.
From the league’s perspective, that wasn’t enough to infer that Tomlin did it on purpose. If the league had come to that conclusion, chances are the discipline would have been far more significant.
The Cardinals were missing a pair of key offensive players at Wednesday’s practice as they started preparing for their game against the Rams.
Running back Andre Ellington was on the sideline after missing their Week 13 loss to the Eagles with a knee injury. Ellington predicted he’d play this weekend while talking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m fine right now,” Ellington said, via Darren Urban of the team’s website. “It’s a day by day thing. I’ll be ready to go on Sunday.”
Ellington’s status was up in the air all last week before he was inactive for the game. Coach Bruce Arians said after the game that he was never that close to playing, which makes his Wednesday absence feel a concern even if Ellington says otherwise.
Wide receiver Michael Floyd was also out on Wednesday. Arians said that he thought Floyd would be back at practice on Thursday because he knows he won’t play against St. Louis. The Cardinals need a win this Sunday to avoid the possibility of falling two games out of playoff position with three games left to play.
With everyone getting back to work around the league, it’s a good time to start looking ahead to the matchups that we’ll be watching in Week 14.
The crew at Pro Football Talk on NBCSN will start getting us ready for the action during Wednesday’s show. They’ll take a look at some of the biggest storylines for the week, including the games with the greatest bearing on the playoff race. One of those games will feature the 49ers hosting the Seahawks and a look at that will be part of the discussion.
They’ll also have all the news from around the league on Wednesday, including the fine handed down to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, as part of the effort to give you everything you need to know every day of the week.
It all gets started at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
The Lions have given running back Reggie Bush days off from practice here and there this season, always citing the knee that kept him out of one game early this season as the reason for his absence.
As a result, the fact that Bush didn’t take part in practice on Wednesday wouldn’t normally be particularly noteworthy. It catches one’s attention when you notice that the listed reason was his calf and take note that Bush took part in Tuesday’s informal practice with the team, however.
There’s been no indication about severity out of Detroit, but the appearance of a new injury is going to make his practice status something to watch over the rest of the week. Joique Bell has served the Lions well as both a complement to Bush and a lead back when Bush has been out or ineffective this season.
It apparently wasn’t, and now has ended his season.
The Browns have placed Bryant on the non-football injury list because of a similar problem, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports.
Bryant was hospitalized earlier this year after he fell ill during a game against the Bills. At the time, he said doctors discussed performing an ablation in the future, but didn’t think it would be necessary then.
He went through a similar problem when he was with the Raiders, thinking then it wasn’t a serious problem either.
Bryant has played well for the Browns, starting all 12 games, with 3.5 sacks.