Mike Florio gives the Cleveland Browns some offseason advice. The Browns once again finished last in the AFC North. Florio thinks the Browns need to decide on a quarterback and whether they really believe in Brandon Weeden?
PFT Live: Do the Browns believe in Weeden?
As we run through our series of Mt. Rushmores for each NFL team, we occasionally run into a person who would be a candidate for a Mt. Rushmore that covers the entire NFL rather than just one organization.
Don Shula is one such person. He has won more games than any other coach, owns two Super Bowl rings and guided the Dolphins to a 17-0 season to become the only NFL team to go an entire year without a loss since World War II.
On Wednesday, though, the topic will just be the Dolphins when Shula joins Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network to talk about the three men who should join him as faces of Miami’s franchise. Shula will talk to Erik Kuselias about his greatest strengths as a coach, his memories of players like Larry Csonka and Manny Fernandez and much more.
Mike Florio, Ross Tucker and Frank Wycheck will also be on hand as the Mt. Rushmore for the Bills is unveiled as well.
It all gets started at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
The Titans have signed a veteran free agent, and his mission isn’t so much to kill as it to take up space.
The Titans were running short-handed up front anyway, with three starters limited to individual work during minicamp, so they needed some bodies.
Richardson would be solid backup when their regulars are well, but he’s started every game the last three seasons, so he lends some needed experience.
Bengals cornerback Adam Jones will be addressing NFL rookies at the league’s rookie symposium again this year as part of the effort to inform rookies about potential trouble and how to avoid it.
It’s a decision that some have questioned in light of Jones’ recent arrest on charges of assaulting a woman outside a bar in Cincinnati. During an interview with Mike Garafolo of USA Today proclaimed his innocence of the charges and defended his presence at the symposium – Why would I not keep talking to the youth and help the youth out like I did last year because of somebody else acting up? — as a speaker who could testify first-hand to how making the wrong decisions can impact one’s football career.
“My goal is to just give back to the community and the league and to let them know you’re accountable for everything you’re doing,” he said. “There’s nobody who’s gotten more chances than me and, when you do, when you’re back in those situations … you’re always going to be judged by your past, regardless of what anybody says. I just want to try to enlighten some of the guys so they don’t have to go through the things I went through.”
The assault charge still needs to work its way through the legal system, so Jones isn’t quite done going through the things he wants to enlighten rookies to avoid in the future. That’s all the more reason for him to give a speech that holds himself up as an example of someone who has made too many of the wrong decisions over the course of his career.
Attorney David Jaroslawicz, who represented the former Jets massage therapists in the lawsuit against Brett Favre, tells PFT that the case was dismissed not because of a settlement but because of a mistake in the paperwork.
“It is being refiled today,” Jaroslawicz said via email. “The injury was corrected. He did not have plates and screws in his arm, only in the right side of his face.”
Typically, a complaint can be amended freely and without court permission before the defendant submits a response. It’s unclear why that didn’t happen here, especially since re-filing the lawsuit means cutting a new check for the filing fee.
Instead, he’s running full-speed toward one.
According to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, Pollard has a hand-written message taped to the front of his locker at the Titans facility which reads: “Goal — Super Bowl. Mission — Kill!!!”
And lest you think it’s being taken out of context, here’s Pollard himself to explain.
“Our goal is the Super Bowl, and our mission is to kill,” the veteran safety said while pointing to the note. “And if someone doesn’t like it, then who cares? I really couldn’t care less. It is not our responsibility to make anyone else happy, to please you, to care about you.
“Our responsibility is to protect LP Field and our responsibility is to steal wins on the road. And our responsibility is to [beat you up] as a defense, and that’s what we’re going to do on every single play. You have to have that mentality because nobody cares about the Tennessee Titans. Nobody. So you have to take the respect. That’s what we have to do. . . . Yeah, this team can get to the Super Bowl.”
You’d think that a team that just hired Gregg “Kill the head and the body will die” Williams this offseason might be more sensitive to such language.
The Bills were quick to distance themselves from the “kill ‘em,” remarks attributed to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, and while Pollard enjoys the tough-guy act, the Titans would be wise to follow suit.
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is doing something new this season.
He’ll work with the same offensive coordinator for two straight seasons for the first time since entering the NFL. Pat Shurmur and Josh McDaniels were one and done in St. Louis, but Brian Schottenheimer is back for another year and Bradford says he has a “much better feel” for what Schottenheimer wants to do on offense than he did in their first year together. Schottenheimer concurs and says that the increased familiarity has led to a quantum leap forward for the offense.
“The day Sam walked back into the building [this offseason] we started making adjustments,” Schottenheimer said, via Mike Sando of ESPN.com. “We are a thousand years ahead of where we were last year.”
While an increased comfort level with the offense is significant, it isn’t the only reason why the Rams might feel like they’ve gone from working with stone tools to the Industrial Revolution in a matter of months. Adding wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey in the draft after signing tight end Jared Cook and tackle Jake Long has given the Rams offense a very different look than it had last season.
There are still questions to answer for a young Rams offense and there may be growing pains still to come, but the combination of new faces and organizational stability is a promising one for St. Louis.
The two-year contract extension that defensive end Justin Smith signed with the 49ers is likely to be the final contract that the 33-year-old signs in the NFL.
“Justin’s All-Pro contributions on the field, as well as his leadership on and off the field, are integral to our success as a team,” 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke said in a statement from the team. “Justin consistently sets a standard of excellence, serving as an example for everyone within our organization. This contract allows Justin to finish his career as a 49er!”
Smith said Wednesday that the fact that the 49ers shared his desire to continue their relationship made negotiations on the extension easy. Smith, who served as his own agent during talks with the team, is excited that things have worked out so that he’ll be able to finish his career with San Francisco.
Smith went further on the topic of going out on his own terms, saying that he wasn’t going to be the kind of player who hangs around to play something less than a lead role on the defensive line.
“That’s not going to happen,” Smith said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “I’ve said that, I meant that — I won’t be the guy that’s around for 10 snaps, 20 snaps. It’s either,I’m going or I’m not going. If I get my ass out here, I’m going.”
The NFL has shown in recent years a willingness to aggressively enforce the personal-conduct policy. Typically, the NFL will allow a first-time incident to make its way through the legal system before taking action.
The league gets more interested when a player has had two or more incidents.
That becomes problematic for Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who currently is involved in an investigation regarding an “associate” (reportedly Odin Lloyd) whose body was found roughly a mile from Hernandez’s home, in the vicinity of a rental car tied to Hernandez. Per TMZ, Hernandez also was sued last week in Florida for allegedly shooting a man in the face.
Even if Hernandez is never arrested, Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t, either. And Roethlisberger was suspended six games (reduced to four) after being sued for sexual assault in Nevada and later accused (but not charged) of sexual assault in Georgia.
So what will the league do about Hernandez? Not surprisingly, the league isn’t saying.
“We have no comment,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT by email.
Based on past situations, it’s safe to assume that NFL Security will conduct an investigation of its own regarding both incidents, coming to a conclusion as to whether Hernandez violated the terms of the league’s personal-conduct policy either in the shooting incident in Florida or the situation in Massachusetts. Discipline can be imposed even if he’s not formally accused of or charged with any crime.
The Bears added a layer of technological know-how to their football staff, hiring Mitchell Tanney as the team’s director of analytics.
Tanney, who has been the manager of football products for STATS LLC in recent years, will work with the front office and coaches on “player evaluation concepts and game situation principles,” according to a release sent out by the team.
Tanney, a former college quarterback at Monmouth, played in a variety of minor, indoor and international leagues.
The Bears are one of the league’s most traditional franchises, but have shown an ability to look at different perspectives. Adding a computerized data/scouting eye is another.
While General Manager Phil Emery had the obligatory old school scout background, head coach Marc Trestman was anything but a conventional hire. Adding someone to use numbers to add to the analysis brings a different perspective to the decision-making process, which can only help.
Wednesday appears to be the day that the 49ers are taking care of all family business.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that the team has extended the contract of offensive coordinator Greg Roman for two years, which means he’s locked up through the 2015 season. The news comes on the heels of word that the 49ers have agreed to a two-year contract extension for defensive end Justin Smith as well.
Roman came to the 49ers from Stanford with head coach Jim Harbaugh before the 2011 season. He helped quarterback Alex Smith to his best pro season as the team advanced to the NFC Championship Game in 2011 and then managed the move from Smith to Colin Kaepernick last season on the way to the Super Bowl. Harbaugh isn’t going anywhere, so it makes sense that the Niners would act to keep Roman around as well.
Another year of success may make that difficult, however. Roman was passed over this year, even with college roommate David Caldwell doing the hiring for the Jaguars, but his name will likely start popping up in head coaching searches if the 49ers continue to play well offensively.
There are worse problems to have, of course, but Roman would seem to have a good shot at coaching somewhere else before this extension runs its course.
June is a slow month for football. It hasn’t been a slow month for a certain football player’s lawyers.
The lawsuit, filed by Alexander S. Bradley, claims that Hernandez shot Bradley on February 13, 2013 while the two men were riding in a car. Bradley allegedly lost his right eye as a result of the incident, along with other injuries.
Per TMZ, the case was dismissed only four days after it was filed. Since it’s highly unlikely that any action was taken on the case that quickly, there’s a chance the case was settled.
Hernandez would have been much smarter to settle the case before it was filed. Between the lawsuit and the investigation in Massachusetts, Hernandez is now more likely to attract the attention of the league office, which is more apt to apply the enforce the personal-conduct policy when a player is involved in multiple off-field incidents.
Dave Jennings, a four-time Pro Bowl punter who played for the Giants and Jets and became a broadcaster for both teams after his playing career ended, has died at the age of 61.
Jennings, who had suffered from Parkinson’s disease since 1996, died at his home this morning, the Giants have announced.
“Dave Jennings was one of the all-time great Giants,” Giants owner John Mara said. “He was a valued member of the Giants family for more than 30 years as a player and a broadcaster, and we were thrilled to include him in our Ring of Honor. More importantly, he was an outstanding person who battled his illness with rare courage and dignity. We will miss him dearly.”
Jennings didn’t play high school football and went to St. Lawrence University as a basketball player, but he had a naturally strong leg and decided to walk on as a punter. He ended up being a three-time all-conference football player, and the Giants invited him to training camp in 1974. He spent 11 seasons as the Giants’ punter and then punted for three more years for the Jets, and he was a Pro Bowler in 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1982. After retiring as a player he worked both Jets games and Giants games as a radio announcer.
Broncos coach John Fox said last week that the target date for getting his offensive line back together was near the start of training camp.
That target’s not going to be hit.
According to Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post, center J.D. Walton had to have an additional surgery on his ankle this week which could mean he’ll miss the entire season. Broncos officials were holding out hope that if his recovery went smoothly, Walton might return for the second half of the year.
Walton missed most of last season with a broken ankle, and his absence will force the Broncos to adjust again up front.
Coupled with guard Chris Kuper’s recovery and the contract-related absence of franchise-tagged left tackle Ryan Clady, the Broncos already had plenty of question marks in front of quarterback Peyton Manning.
Now they have a bigger one.
As police investigation the circumstances surrounding the death of an “associate” of Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, the case includes whether the incident involved drugs.
According to the Boston Globe (which has temporarily lifted its pay wall for the story, meaning that more than five people will read it), two unnamed law-enforcement officials said detectives are trying to determine whether the apparent murder is drug related.
Hernandez failed multiple drug tests at the University of Florida, greasing the skids for a slide to round four of the draft.
As previously mentioned, WBZ-TV has identified the victim as 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. Per Tom Curran of CSN New England, a spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney has called the situation “fluid and ongoing,” and has declined to confirm the identification of the deceased.
Lloyd’s uncle told the Globe that Lloyd “possibly” is the person whose body was found near an industrial park roughly a mile from Hernandez’s North Attleboro home. WBZ-TV reports that Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend.
But he at least feels bad for the skipping.
Nicks told Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post that he had promised coach Tom Coughlin he’d attend, and said he apologized to Coughlin for not following through when he arrived at mandatory minicamp.
“I told him I would be there, but some things just took place and I had to take care of what I had to take care of,” Nicks said. “As soon as I got back, we sat down and talked and got things squared away. I apologized, and everybody knew where I was coming from. . . .
“Me and coach Coughlin have a great relationship. Like I’ve said, he’s one of the best coaches I’ve been around. I like our relationship, and I don’t think it could ever be soured.”
He was less clear if that held true for the Giants as a whole, hedging when asked if he wanted to retire there.
“I really can’t speak for my whole career,” Nicks said. “I enjoy being a Giant right now. I’m going to take care of what I can take care of as long as I’m a Giant, but I do understand the business side of football, too.”
By not talking about the business, it seems obvious it’s about the lack of a long-term contract and the protection it provides. And it’s well within Nicks’ rights to skip the voluntary workouts.
But by putting his admiration for Coughlin next to more nothingness about the organization, it also seems clear what he’s getting at.