ProFootballTalk: Will Bradshaw land on his feet?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ESPN.com, 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.
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.
The Colts offensive line has handled a slew of injuries fairly well.
Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt wants to see more discipline from his team.
The Chargers have gotten a boost from their tight ends this season.
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.
The Packers haven’t gotten much from their tight ends.
Injuries have hampered the Buccaneers’ efforts to get consistency on the defensive line.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Early in last Sunday’s matchup with the Rams, it looked like it was going to be another one of those days for the Cowboys.
They fell behind the Rams 21-0 after Janoris Jenkins returned a Tony Romo interception for a touchdown, which seemed to signal that the Cowboys would have to deal with an ineffective quarterback for the third straight week. They got the Romo that they have long known and loved instead.
Romo was 12-of-15 for 172 yards and two touchdowns after the pick and the Cowboys came back for a 34-31 win that tied for the largest comeback in franchise history. Romo looked the best he’s looked all season, firing the ball downfield and moving out of trouble when pressure came to put together a vintage performance. It follows that Romo said he felt the best he’s felt on the field since his back surgery.
“I felt stronger, felt as if everything was firing, activation sequence, blah, blah, blah, stuff like that,” Romo said, via the Dallas Morning News. “That wasn’t necessarily as well as I wanted to probably play the first couple of weeks, but I’ve played through injury and stuff before. You just kind of manage it and play to the best of your ability.”
DeMarco Murray has been the most productive runner in the league through three weeks and the Cowboys have used him as judiciously as they ever have in his NFL career, something that should remain the case despite Romo’s return to form. Given the state of the defense, big deficits may not be so unusual over the next 13 games and the Cowboys will need both players if they want to continue being comeback artists.
Giants linebacker Jon Beason wanted to play Sunday.
But he’s going to have to prove he’s able to practice this week before he gets another chance on Thursday.
The veteran linebacker was inactive for last week’s win over the Texans with his latest foot injury, but hopes to return to the field Thursday night against Washington.
“We’re going to see to what extent Jon can be a part of our on-the-field work [this week],” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said, via Jordan Raanan of NJ.com.
Beason thought the worst when he aggravated the injury in Week Two. But after a visit to foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte (who knows Beason’s file well) and a change of shoes, he thinks he’ll get able to go this week.