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Full transcript of Manti Te’o interview

Manti Te'o AP

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o made a 15-minute appearance in the media room at NFL Scouting Combine Saturday. Here’s the full transcript of his comments:

Te’o (taking the stage and laughing): “That’s a lot of cameras.”

Q: How are you feeling?

Te’o: “ I’m kind of tired right now. A long day, medical exams. It’s all part of the process.”

Q: Are you tired of answering all the questions about the (fake dead girlfriend) incident?

“Yeah, about the incident, I’ve said all I need to say about that. How I’m handling it going forward is doing what I’m doing, focusing on the moment, focusing on football and the combine. Not everybody gets this opportunity to be here. I’m sure there’s

thousands and thousands of people who would like to be here in Indianapolis. Just trying to enjoy the moment.”

Q: How much have you been asked about it by NFL teams?

Te’o: “Quite a few teams asked me about it. Some go to certain lengths, some just ask me, ‘Just give me a brief overview of how it was’ then they get straight to business.”

Q: Why didn’t you play well in the national championship game?

“That’s because I didn’t. That’s all on me. I played hard and so did my team, but Alabama had a great game plan and so did we. They executed better than we did.”

Q: Was the other situation a distraction to you leading up to that game?

Te’o: “No.”

Q: Any teams not ask you about it?

Te’o: “No (laughs). They all ask me about it.”

Q: What are they asking you?

Te’o: “Just tell me the facts. They want to hear it from me. Just tell them basically what happened.”

Q: Do you think it might hurt you?

Te’o: “That I don’t know. That I don’t know.”

Q: Could you summarize the facts?

Te’o: “Just I care for somebody and that’s what I was taught to do. Ever since I was young if somebody needs help you help them out. Unfortunately it didn’t end up the way I thought it would.”

Q: Why wait so long to say something?

Te’o: “It was just a whirlwind of stuff. A 22-year-old, 21-year old at that time, just trying to get your thoughts right. Everybody was just kind of chaos for a little bit, so you let that chaos die down and wait until everybody’s ready to listen.”

Q: Do you understand people might doubt your version of events because it took you so long?

Te’o: “That I don’t know, people doubting because I took a while to come out. From our point of view we wanted everything to come out first and then have my side come out. The way we did I felt worked best for me. I’m very grateful for those who helped me to get through that time. I felt it went as smoothly as it could.”

Q: Have you gotten a sense from NFL people it might affect you in draft?

Te’o: “No, not really. They’ve told me that, . . . they’ve wanted to hear it from me what the truth was. They haven’t really said anything about it affecting me.

“Some guys just talk briefly for 30 seconds and the next 14 minutes is all plays and getting down to business. That’s how I prefer it to be.”

Q: Do you worry how you’ll be treated in the locker room, trouble assuming a leadership role?

Te’o: “No. I think I’ve learned the difference between the things I can control and the things I can’t control. And hopefully by doing the things I can control well I’ll have more favor in the other category. Whatever team I go to, I’m just going to be me, I’m going to work hard, I’m going to do my best to help the team win. And whatever happens happens.”

Q: Can you believe the fascination like this?

Te’o: “It’s pretty crazy. I’ve been in front of a few cameras, but not as many as this.”

Q: “What about when it came out, every news channel, lead story. You surprised?”

Te’o: “I was. It got overwhelming at times. The hardest part and I’ve said was just to see, not necessarily my first name, but my last name. Everybody here, you treasure your last name. That’s what you hold dear. That’s something that when you pass on, the only thing that stays with you, stays here is your last name. To see your last name everywhere and know I represented my family and all my cousins and aunties and uncles, . . .

Q: Are you prepared to deal with this for the next couple years?

Te’o: “Oh, yeah. For me, I hopefully I’m just looking forward to getting straight to football. I understand people have questions, but I’ve answered everything I could. For me I’d really like to talk about football.”

Q: Had you planned to go to the Senior Bowl, did this change your mind?

Te’o: “No. I didn’t get that far. I was still worrying about the national championship. I didn’t get that far.”

Q: Who are some of the teams you’ve met with?

Te’o: “I’ve met with the Texans and I met with the Packers.”

Q: Why didn’t you attempt to go see a girl you cared so much about?

Te’o: “I did. We made plans, obviously it didn’t work out.”

Q: How many more teams do you expect to talk to and which ones?

Te’o: “I don’t know, I’m not sure. I know I’ll be meeting formally with 18 more teams. I don’t know specifically who they are. I’ll find out soon. I’m meeting with 20 total.”

Q: What are you telling teams you bring to the table as a player?

Te’o: “I think what I bring to the table is a lot of heart, a lot of energy and somebody that works hard. Somebody who hates to lose. I always say, ‘I hate losing more than I love to win.’ The reason why I love to win is because I don’t have to go through that feeling of losing. It’s those times where I lose that feeling that will stick with me. For teams I tell them, ‘You’ll always get somebody who’s humble, works hard, doesn’t say much and will do everything it takes to win.’”

Q: Have any lingering regret over all this?

Te’o: “I could have done some things different, obviously, done a lot of things different to avoid all this stuff. But throughout my experience my senior year, I wouldn’t do anything different.”

Q: Has this been embarrassing?

Te’o: “Oh, definitely. For anybody to go through, it’s definitely embarrassing. When you’re walking through grocery stores and you’re kind of like giving people double-takes to see if they’re starting at you ,it’s definitely embarrassing. I guess it’s part of the process, it’s part of the journey. You know it’s only going to make me stronger and it definitely has.”

Q: Have you gotten past the point of being embarrassed about it?

Te’o: “Oh, definitely. It definitely has gone. Obviously I’m here. If I was still embarrassed I wouldn’t be standing in front of you.”

Q: Can you understand what NFL teams are trying to get at?

Te’o: “Yeah, they want to be able to trust their player. You don’t want to invest in somebody you can’t trust. With everybody here, they’re just trying to get to know you, get to know you as a person and as a football player. I understand where they’re coming from.”

Q: Does that make you feel you’ve got a hurdle to overcome in the honesty department?

Te’o: “It could be a hurdle, but it could also be a great opportunity to show who you really are. That’s the way I’ve approached it and it’s been a great growing experience for me.”

Q: Ravens have been mentioned a lot as a destination for you. How much would you like to follow Ray Lewis?

Te’o: “Aw, definitely, whatever team I go to, but definitely the Ravens. Ray Lewis, I’ve grown up watching Ray Lewis. Just watching his intensity, his passion for the game, his love for the game, his work ethic. Everything in a linebacker that you want to be is in Ray Lewis, from leadership qualities, all that. He’ll be definitely missed in Baltimore and in the NFL as a whole.

“If I get to go to Baltimore, it will definitely be some big shoes to fill, but an opportunity I’ll be honored to have.”

Q: What’s different about you now?

Te’o: “For me I’ve learned just to be honest in anything and everything you do, from the big things to the small things. Secondly, to keep your circle very small and to understand who’s really in your corner and who’s not. I think going off of the season my team and I had, there’s a lot of people in our corner. Then when Jan. 16 happened, there’s a lot of people in the other corner. I just learned to appreciate the people that I have that are with me and to just make sure you always try to turn a negative thing into a positive.”

Q: What’s been the toughest moment since all this came out?

Te’o: “I think the toughest moment, to be honest with you, was a phone call that I got from my sister where she told me that they had to sneak my own family in their home because there were people parked out in the yard and stuff like that. That had to be the hardest part.

“And for me, something that I’ve always had a problem with is when I can’t do something about it; I can’t help. To know that my family was in this situation because of the actions I committed was definitely the hardest part for me.”

Q: As a player what kind of challenges can you anticipate at the next level?

Te’o: “The game gets even faster, a lot more complex. What I have to do as a player is I have to remember why I’m playing this game. It’s the same game I played when I was a little kid on the streets, same thing, football’s still the same shape. Obviously people are going to be professionals. This is where the best play. But as long as I don’t stray too far from who I am and what I believe in, I think the journey will be worth it.”

Q: Players have been arrested, had drug issues, does it bother you that you’re under the same scrutiny as guys who have been in jail?

Te’o: “Everybody makes mistakes and one of the positive things about what I went through is I’ve learned to empathize with those who are going through the same thing. Those who are going through some hard times, who are getting attention that they don’t necessarily want. It just taught me to always give somebody the benefit of the doubt and say, ‘You never know, you never know what’s going on with a person.’”

Q: What about the difference between situations?

Te’o: “That’s something I don’t believe I can comment on.”

Q: Did you consider legal action against Ronaiah Tuisasosopo?

Te’o: “I think that’s the worst thing you could do. Both families are going through chaos. There’s not only people camped out at my house, there’s people camped out at his house. I went through what I went through and he went through his own share of stuff.

“I think that’s the worst thing for me to do is to do that. Always try and forgive. If you forgive, you’ll get the majority of the blessings. I always try to forgive and it’s definitely benefited me.”

Q: Are you dating anybody in real life?

Te’o: “No, not right now.”

Q: When your sister called about sneaking parents in, what was your emotion?

Te’o: “Just why? It should never get that way. As people we have to realize that we’re all people, somebody is somebody’s son, somebody is somebody’s daughter. And I try to picture it that way. Would you want somebody doing that to your son? Would you want somebody doing that to your daughter? If not, why do it? Through this whole experience I’ve learned that.

“Since I’ve experienced it, the things I see, the things I do, I try to always think ‘That’s somebody/s son. That’s somebody’s daughter. That’s somebody’s mom, dad. Whatever I do try to base what I do off of that.”

Te’o: “In closing, I’d like to thank everybody for being here. It’s been a hard but tremendous ride for me and my family and the University of Notre Dame. I’d like to thank my parents, my family, my friends, the University of Notre Dame and everybody who supports me. I couldn’t do it without all of you.

“Hopefully after this I answered the things I needed to answer and we can move on with football. So thank you, everybody.”

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Cowboys-Bears consecutive Thursday games not unprecedented

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The 2014 schedule taps the Cowboys and the Bears to play on consecutive Thursdays, against other foes on Thanksgiving and each other seven days later.

As it turns out, it’s not unprecedented.

In 2007, the Packers and Cowboys got together in Dallas on a Thursday night, seven days after the Packers played in Detroit and the Cowboys hosted the Jets on Thanksgiving.

The Cowboys won the battle of 10-1 teams, which created a ton of interest in the then-two-year-old NFL Network Thursday night package but also resulted in criticism of the relegation of a great game to cable TV.

It’s likely the Packers-Cowboys game has become largely forgotten because of another NFL Network game from later in the year that was sufficiently significant to prompt the league to simulcast it on NBC and CBS.

On the final weekend of the regular season, the Patriots faced the Giants for a game that had zero playoff ramifications but extreme historical implications.  The undefeated Patriots edged the Giants, 38-35, becoming the first team in league history to complete the regular season with a 16-0 record.

For the Giants, the shot of confidence that came from giving the Patriots all they could handle helped fuel a postseason run that included wins at Dallas, at Green Bay, and in the Super Bowl over the Patriots, stopping them from a 19-0 finish to the season.

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Seahawks narrowly avoided 11,010 miles of travel in 15 days

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At a time when Seahawks fans may be rightfully grousing about the lack of prime-time home games beyond Week One (that’s what happens when Oliver Reed’s advice from Gladiator is ignored), it could be worse.

Peter King of TheMMQB.com explains that the runner-up to the final schedule had the defending champions playing three road games in a row, with trips to St. Louis, Washington, and Kansas City.

The game at FedEx Field would have occurred on a Monday night, requiring the Seahawks to play only six days later at Arrowhead Stadium.

Per King, that’s 11,010 air miles over a 15-day stretch.  It’s quite possible, if not likely, that the Seahawks would have dipped into owner Paul Allen’s vast resources and set up shop somewhere east of the Mississippi for all or part of the fortnight plus a day away from the Pacific Northwest.

Still, extra days away from home would have been an extra burden for a team that already has plenty of schedule disruptions, thanks to its status as the defending NFL champions.

NFL senior V.P./broadcasting Howard Katz admitted that, absent a better schedule, the league quite possibly would have gone with that one.

“I think so,” Katz told King.  “We didn’t want to.  We were hopeful that we’d find a better one.  I think we would have, and we did.  If we had to play it, I think we would have had an interesting discussion with Roger [Goodell] about it.  We had many interesting discussions in this room about it — whether it was a fatal flaw or not.  I didn’t deem it fatal, but we were hoping we could find a way out of it.”

They ultimately did, balancing the various conflicts and other factors and sifting through more than 500,000 possible schedules and coming up with a winner after Katz and three others (NFL V.P./broadcating Onnie Bose, NFL senior manager of broadcasting Jonathan Payne, and NFL senior director of broadcasting Michael North) spent 70 days working hard to come up with a winner.

It’s in many ways a thankless job, with inevitable criticism no matter how much time and effort is spent to make the process as fair as possible for all 32 teams.  And the criticism will come from fans or players or front offices that don’t like one thing or another about a given team’s schedule.  Last year, the Bills complained about facing too many teams coming off of bye weeks; it’s likely only a matter of time before someone gripes about that this year.

Actually, since the draft should be today but have been moved back two weeks, that will be our next schedule-related project.

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Richard Sherman: Seahawks deal will be sign of respect

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The Seahawks and cornerback Richard Sherman are talking about a contract that will keep Sherman in Seattle for the long term.

Mike Florio of PFT reported earlier this week that the goal is to get a deal done before the draft gets underway in two weeks, but that the two sides have yet to reach a consensus on any terms at this point in the negotiations. Albert Breer of NFL Network spoke to Sherman on Wednesday and asked him if his goal was to become the highest paid cornerback in football and the man who has loudly proclaimed his superiority to other corners in the league said the value of the deal would be a sign of respect.

“Whatever they feel I am due. I will take it as respect,” Sherman said. “It’s all about respect in this game and the only way people show respect is the dollars. We’ll see what happens.”

Darrelle Revis got $12 million for this season from the Patriots and Aqib Talib got $26 million in guaranteed money (although some is guaranteed for injury only), which sets the bar Sherman would need to clear to become the best-paid corner in football. Franchising Sherman for the 2015 season would lead to a salary close to what Revis got in New England, which raises the likelihood that he’ll wind up being very well respected if he and the Seahawks can agree on a deal this offseason.

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Thursday morning one-liners

Stevie Johnson AP

Bills WR Stevie Johnson could be at a crossroads.

The Dolphins are turning over every stone for CB help.

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski wouldn’t talk to reporters, but he seemed in good spirits yesterday.

The Jets were the only New York team to host TE Eric Ebron on a visit.

The Ravens open the season with three division games, including two in a five-day span.

The Bengals are apparently ready for prime time.

Browns NT Phil Taylor is still in the dark as to whether the team will use the fifth-year option on him.

The Steelers are still a prime time fixture, with five night games.

The Texans will get a chance to see former QB Matt Schaub on Sept. 14.

The Colts’ first-round draft pick is already on the roster, and hoping to prove himself worthy.

The Jaguars open with four of their first six games on the road.

The Titans need CB help, according to one expert.

Broncos QB Peyton Manning would make a good gym teacher.

The TE crop in this year’s draft could yield some benefits for the Chiefs.

The Raiders have the league’s toughest schedule by the numbers.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers knows his team will have a tough December.

The Cowboys have one easy option decision to make, and one tougher one.

The Giants are working to develop a Green Bay vibe with their offense.

The Eagles hosted Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

The Redskins are still a prime time draw, with three national appearances.

The Bears figure to draft competition for their third WR spot.

New Lions WR Golden Tate is learning to communicate with QB Matthew Stafford.

The Packers come out of their bye week with four home games in five weeks.

The Vikings will play five open-air games in the final two months of the season.

The Falcons are putting an increased emphasis on run defense.

Former Panthers CB Captain Munnerlyn took a friendly shot at his old teammate DeAngelo Williams.

Saints C Tim Lelito hopes to take the next step this season.

The Buccaneers need more from their defensive line.

The Cardinals got stuck with the early bye week.

Sometimes it’s hard to see a plan with the way the Rams have handled WRs.

The schedule gives 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman a chance to make most of the division games.

Seahawks CB Richard Sherman was part of a discussion on race at Harvard.

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Herschel Walker says he could still play in the NFL, doesn’t rule out teaming up with Trump

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Herschel Walker is 52.  The trade that sent him to Minnesota for a truckload of players and draft picks turns 25 this year.  And Walker says he can still play in the NFL.

That’s what he told Jarrett Bell of USA Today.  But at least Herschel’s delusions of grandeur are, well, somewhat reasonable.

I couldn’t take every snap,” Walker told Bell.  “But running backs nowadays don’t play every down.  Now they send in the choir section. . . .  Physically, I can still do it.”

Walker may have learned how to talk big from the man who once owned his rights with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals.  And Walker said that Donald Trump would be good for the Buffalo Bills and the NFL.

“He would be a great owner, and a credible owner,” Walker said of Trump.  “He may rub some people the wrong way, but you can’t argue with his success as a businessman,” Walker said. “You want an owner with some flair. He knows how to promote.”

Walker’s connection to Trump extends to The Celebrity Apprentice, where Walker was a contestant in 2009.  Walker could end up being Trump’s NFL apprentice; Walker didn’t rule out joining Trump, if Trump buys the Bills.

First, Trump needs to buy the Bills.  Before Trump can buy the Bills, Trump needs to make an offer for the Bills.  Before Trump makes an offer for the Bills, Trump needs to quit talking about making an offer for the Bills and, you know, make an offer for the Bills.

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Ryan Clady: We should be able to make it back to the Super Bowl

Ryan Clady AP

The Broncos advanced to the Super Bowl last season, but left tackle Ryan Clady didn’t get much of a chance to share in the fun.

Clady missed the final 14 regular season games and all of the playoffs with a Lisfranc injury to his left foot, leaving him to serve as spectator and cheerleader as Denver advanced through the AFC. Clady’s expected to be back at speed in time for the regular season and he’s balancing his regret for missing last year with the belief that there’s a pretty good chance that the Broncos can repeat as AFC champs.

“It was definitely tough, not being able to control what was going on out there. It was probably one of the hardest games I have ever watched,” Clady said, via the Denver Post. “It’s part of the game. Injuries happen. … But barring injuries we should have an awesome team, and we should be able to make it back to the Super Bowl.”

Clady joins John Fox, John Elway and other Broncos who have set the bar for the 2014 season at a high level after losing to the Seahawks and grabbing big names in free agency to spruce up the defense. Anything less than a title will be seen as a major disappointment in Denver and there’s plenty of time for them to keep hearing that before the games even start.

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Jacobs family says they’re doing “everything we can” to keep Bills in Buffalo

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There are several reasons why Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs has risen to the top of the list of potential buyers of the Buffalo Bills, running from his Buffalo roots through his current involvement in the sports world and his company Delaware North’s involvement in concessions at several NFL stadiums.

Jacobs released a statement saying that he wouldn’t sell the Bruins to bid on the Bills, an issue raised by the NFL’s ban on owning teams in different sports that play in different cities. It is a rule that Rams owner Stan Kroenke got around by transferring Denver NBA and NHL teams to family members and Jacobs’ son is a principal at Delaware North that could play a similar role if there’s a desire to make a bid.

Jeremy Jacobs Jr. wouldn’t say whether or not there would be a bid, but did say they have spoken with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and others about their interest in keeping the team in Buffalo.

“We are using our resources, our contacts, our relationships to do everything we can to ensure the Bills stay in Buffalo,” Jacobs Jr. said, via the Buffalo News.

There are also gaming interests shunned by the NFL held by the Jacobs family that would need to be dealt with, but, like the cross-sport ownership, they probably can be if the Jacobs’ are motivated to do more than use their contacts and relationships to keep the team where it is.

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Congratulations, your team is going to the Super Bowl

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OK, so you’ve had a night to sleep on your favorite team’s NFL schedule.

And no matter how you feel about it, you probably don’t feel as good as the fine folks who cover your team for ESPN.

The worldwide leader asked its fleet of beat writers to count up wins and losses for each team after last night’s schedule release.

And they came up with a record of 290-222. Which is neat, except mathematically impossible by 34 games, unless they’ve figured out how to let both teams win on Monday Night Football.

No division was more optimistic than the NFC West, which will apparently feature three 12-4 teams (the Seahawks, 49ers and Cardinals).

Granted, the writers operated independently of one another, and it’s an assignment which was given to them by someone else.

But it just goes to show how pointless it is to try to predict wins and losses in April, before the NFL Draft, before injuries hit, before rosters are picked.

Besides, when I picked them, the league went 222-290.

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Stevie Johnson: The goal is the playoffs, and that’s it

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The Bills still haven’t made the postseason in the 21st Century, having last reached the playoffs at the end of the 1999 season, when they lost in the Music City Miracle. But Bills receiver Stevie Johnson thinks this is the season it can happen.

Johnson told the Buffalo News that he doesn’t have any personal goals for 2014, but he does want to do everything he can to help his team play into January of 2015.

“Playoffs,” Johnson said. “Playoffs and that’s it. All those personal goals, they don’t really mean nothing. Last year was kind of frustrating, but when I look back on it, it was a good thing. The whole individual stats and stuff is out the window. It’s just playoffs now. It’s winning.”

Winning has been an elusive goal for the Bills, who have finished 6-10 three years in a row. Johnson bouncing back from his disappointing 2013 season would go a long way toward getting the Bills where they want to go.

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NFL wary of putting Seahawks home games in prime-time due to recent blowouts

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The Seattle Seahawks will host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, Sept. 4 for the kickoff of the 2014 NFL season. However, it’s the only time this year the defending Super Bowl champions will be at home for a nationally televised prime-time game.

The Seahawks have four prime-time games on their schedule this season. But after the season opener against the Packers, Seattle has to play on the road for their remaining three nationally televised games. The Washington Redskins host the Seahawks on Monday Night Football in Week 5. The Seahawks play in San Francisco against the 49ers on Thanksgiving night in Week 13, and will travel to face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday Night Football in Week 16. The latter two games will be televised on NBC.

According to a league source, the NFL was wary of putting Seahawks home games on in prime-time due to their track record of blowouts in nationally televised games played in Seattle the last several seasons.

The last three times Seattle has hosted a prime-time match-up, the games have been extremely uncompetitive. The Seahawks hammered the divisional-rival 49ers 42-13 and 29-3 in Sunday night games the last two seasons. They also beat the New Orleans Saints 34-7 on Monday night in December.

In addition, Seattle beat the Philadelphia Eagles 31-14 at home on Thursday night in 2011. The only close game played against the Seahawks in prime-time in Seattle the last three seasons was the 14-12 loss by the Packers in September 2012 that ended on a somewhat memorable play.

While Seattle fans surely enjoyed those outcomes, games that appeared to be highly competitive prior to kickoff quickly turned into duds to a national audience.

The Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles all host three prime-time games in 2014. Fifteen more teams host two prime-time games. The defending champion Seahawks only get one at home.

The Seahawks will still get plenty of national exposure, as defending champions should, with four scheduled nationally televised games. However, beyond the first game of the entire 2014 NFL schedule, they won’t get a chance to host one inside the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field.

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No grand prize winner in Rams schedule contest

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The St. Louis Rams were willing to pay a cold, hard $100,000 in cash if someone could correctly guess every aspect of their 2014 schedule before the lineup was officially released on Wednesday evening.

Much like Warren Buffett’s $1 billion contest to correctly predict the outcome of every NCAA Tournament game, the Rams contest also went by the wayside without a grand prize winner.

However, not everyone will walk away empty-handed.

Per a team release, two fans from Jefferson City, Mo. tied for second place and will be offered season tickets for the entirety of the 2014 season.

The contest required fans to pick all 16 games and the bye week in order. It also stipulated that entrants needed to correctly pick the day on which all games will be played.

Four entries had streaks of four consecutive weeks correctly predicted. Only one entry was able to correctly guess as many eight games correct in the week those games will actually be played.

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Seahawks executive Scot McCloughan resigning to tend to personal matters

San Francisco 49ers 2009 Headshots

The Seattle Seahawks are losing a key member of their front office staff.

A source confirmed to PFT that Seahawks’ senior personnel executive Scot McCloughan is resigning from his position in order to tend to personal matters that require his attention. The move was first reported by Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.

McCloughan joined the Seahawks in 2010 in a supporting role to general manager John Schneider. McCloughan had previously been the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers before stepping down following the 2009 season. McCloughan’s departure from San Francisco was also to tend to a “private personal matter.”

McCloughan has been a key figure in building the rosters of both of the NFC West’s powerhouse teams.

McCloughan drafted Dashon Goldson, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Joe Staley and Patrick Willis during his time with the 49ers as GM and VP of football operations. He then helped identify key players for Seattle such as Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson, K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner that allowed Seattle to win their first Super Bowl in February.

It’s a big blow to the Seahawks personnel department. McCloughan intends to build his own independent scouting service to work from home so he can be around his family.

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Nevada sports book makes Eagles biggest favorites of Week One

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About an hour after the regular season schedule was released Wednesday night, the LVH Las Vegas Hotel and Casino had already installed favorites and underdogs for the opening week games.

Jacksonville is the biggest Week One underdog on the LVH SuperBook board. The Eagles are 11-point favorites over the visiting Jaguars in the season opener for both clubs.

No other club is favored by more than a touchdown, and only the Broncos and Bears are favored by more than six points. Denver is a seven-point favorite vs. Indianapolis, while Chicago is a 6.5-point favorite vs. Buffalo.

All but three home teams are favored in Week One. The only home underdogs are the Cowboys (vs. the 49ers), the Buccaneers (vs. the Panthers) and the Dolphins (vs. the Patriots).

Finally, the Seahawks are five-point favorites vs. Green Bay in the opening game of the regular season.

Here are the LVH’s Week One lines:

Thursday, September 4

Green Bay at Seattle (-5)

Sunday, September 7

New Orleans at Atlanta (-2)

Cincinnati at Baltimore (-2.5)

Buffalo at Chicago (-6.5)

Washington at Houston (-2.5)

Tennessee at Kansas City (-5.5)

New England (-3.5) at Miami

Oakland at N.Y. Jets (-4.5)

Jacksonville at Philadelphia (-11)

Cleveland at Pittsburgh (-5)

Minnesota at St. Louis (-5)

San Francisco (-3.5) at Dallas

Carolina (-2.5) at Tampa Bay

Indianapolis at Denver (-7)

Monday, September 8

N.Y. Giants at Detroit (-4)

San Diego at Arizona (-3.5)

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Marcus Trufant set to retire after signing deal with Seahawks

St. Louis Rams v Seattle Seahawks Getty Images

Cornerback Marcus Trufant is set to retire as a member of the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday after spending the entirety of his 10-year career with his hometown franchise.

The team announced Wednesday that Trufant had re-signed with the team with the intention of announcing his retirement at an 11 a.m. PT press conference on Thursday.

Trufant grew up in nearby Tacoma, Wash. and attended Washington State University. He was selected by the Seahawks with the 11th overall pick of the 2003 NFL Draft and played the next 10 seasons with the Seahawks. Trufant was selected to the Pro Bowl and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2007. He racked up 85 tackles and seven interceptions that season for Seattle in his best season as a professional.

The Seahawks made the playoffs seven of Trufant’s 10 seasons on the roster and won the NFC West five times with an appearance in Super Bowl XL in 2005.

Trufant spent time in training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season before being released. He finishes his career with 644 tackles, 21 interceptions, five forced fumbles and two touchdowns.

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Packers-Saints provide this year’s World Series alternative

2011-world-series

Before 2010, the NFL avoided scheduling Sunday night games on the days reserved for the World Series.  That year, the league decided to challenge baseball directly.

In every year since then, the NFL has scheduled a Sunday night game against the World Series.  This year, the Packers visit the Saints for the Sunday night of Week Eight, against what likely will be Game Four of the World Series.

Then, the next night, the Redskins face the Cowboys in Dallas on Monday Night Football.  The game will be played against what likely will be Game Five of the Fall Classic, which has in recent years taken a back seat to the Boys of Fall.

It’s too bad Mark Cuban never bought a baseball team.

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