Mike Florio talks with Tim McManus of Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic about the Eagles’ big draft picks, the QB competiton between Mike Vick, Matt Barkley and Nick Foles and more. McManus says each QB has certain qualities that Chip Kelly values, but there’s not one complete QB on the roster.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: How will QB situation play out in Philly?
The Patriots were able to survive four games without their most important offensive piece, and now they could be getting another back midway through the season.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Patriots running back Dion Lewis is expected back on the practice field this week, which would open the 21-day window for him to practice and possibly be activated from the physically unable to perform list.
Lewis had to have a follow-up surgery after last November’s torn ACL, which set back his progress.
But getting Lewis back at some point this season would be a boost, considering the job he did for them last year prior to his injury (622 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in seven games).
The Bears are working quarterback Jay Cutler back into the lineup after he was cleared to return from his right thumb injury and he has some company on the back to practice list.
Runinng back Jeremy Langford practiced Tuesday for the first time since he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week Three with designs of getting in the lineup for Monday night’s game against the Vikings. Langford was the starter when he got hurt, but coach John Fox wouldn’t say if he’ll be returning to that role.
“Earlier in the season I mentioned that, way back in the day, there used to be a rule that if you were the starter, when you were hurt, it was yours when you came back,” Fox said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “Well, that’s not really necessarily the case as much anymore. It can be. You’re going to play the best guy, and there’s competition to be involved in that.”
As Cutler acknowledged, the Bears don’t have much choice other than putting him back into his old job. The Bears have Jordan Howard and Ka’Deem Carey on hand and both have gotten looks as the lead back with Langford out of the picture, which should make for a competitive backfield situation in Chicago over the coming weeks.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was furious that Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner wasn’t penalized for jumping over the line to block a field goal on Sunday, saying after the game that he was expecting a “bulls–t” explanation of it from the league.
Now Arians has his explanation.
NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said on NFL Network that Wagner did not commit a penalty because he did not land on a player. If Wagner had landed on someone after jumping up to block a kick, that would have been a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down. Wagner didn’t do that.
“There’s contact and then theres incidental contact,” he said. “He can run up and jump, but he can’t land on players. Now if he brushes a player or brushes a teammate with incidental contact, that would be legal. So he’s gonna run, jump and clear the line, block the kick. You look at the TV copy replay and you can see that there is some contact. His foot is going to brush the back of the snapper, but that is not significant contact. It’s incidental. He didn’t land on players. So that’s what made it legal.”
We’ll leave it to others to determine whether that explanation is “bulls–t.”
The Ravens had to wait a long while to get wide receiver Breshad Perriman on the field after drafting him in the first round of the 2015 draft thanks to a knee injury that made his rookie year a total washout.
Perriman then dealt with another knee injury this summer, limiting his practice time ahead of the regular season. Perriman has been able to get on the field for all seven Ravens games thus far, but his 14 catches for 183 yards have only made coach John Harbaugh want to see Perriman start taking greater strides in his development as a professional player.
“I told him, ‘I just am impatient. You have all this talent, and there is a lot to learn, but I just want to speed the curve up,'” Harbaugh said, via the Baltimore Sun. “Obviously, he said that he could not agree more. We just have to keep chasing it. It is going to happen, and let’s try to make it happen sooner rather than later.”
Perriman’s snaps went up when Steve Smith hurt his ankle, but his production hasn’t seen a similar spike. Wanting more out of a first-round pick is understandable, but asking for more than a player is ready to give is an easy way to be disappointed by the results and Perriman has looked like a player still finding his way in the NFL.
It’s been a rough year so far for the Vikings offensive line. Injuries, a revolving cast of replacements, and your boss calling you “soft.”
But they also realize there’s only so much they can do at the moment.
“I think it’s just playing better with what you have,” veteran left guard Alex Boone said, via Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I mean, what are you going to do? There’s not much you can do. It’s not like you’re not going to go down to Carl’s Jr. and find somebody.”
They’ve done everything but so far, including dragging Jake Long out of what appeared to be retirement to start at left tackle. And the lack of continuity is as important for an offensive line as any group in the game, and with both starting tackles on IR, that’s hard to find.
But the ultimate indignity was being labeled “soft” by head coach Mike Zimmer, who added for good measure: “We didn’t block anybody.”
“We’ve got to play better. That’s the bottom line,” Boone said.
When the “soft” remark was run by him again, Boone kept it low-key.
“I feel like we’ve got to play better. I think when you get your quarterback hit that many times it’s a problem,” Boone said. “So we’ve got to play better.”
Of course, there’s a meat-grinder aspect to the Vikings season as a whole, but after Sam Bradford was sacked six times and hit 13, they may need more than a sack of burgers (or the guy who sells them) to fix things.
The Jaguars have picked up an NFL-low 21 third-down conversions this season.
The Eagles are the best team in the NFL, according to the stats at Football Outsiders.
Never mind football. It could be months before Texans offensive tackle Derek Newton is able to walk again.
Newton tore both patella tendons in Monday’s loss to the Broncos, and was kept overnight in Denver to stabilize his injuries before he was flown home.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, more tests were expected once he returns home to reveal the true scope of the damage, though it is obviously severe. Newton is expected to be in a wheelchair for several weeks before he’s even able to get on crutches, and it could be three months before he’s able to walk on his own. His legs have been immobilized, though he is able to wiggle his toes.
“We’re still gathering a bunch of information,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Tuesday. “He’ll obviously be out for the season. I can’t give you any specifics on the injuries and things like that because we still have doctors’ visits.
“He stayed overnight in Denver and he’s on his way back now. I feel bad, just a tough injury, but I know he’s going to work hard to come back.”
Such injuries have been career-enders for other players such as Wendell Davis and Gary Baxter, and even one patella tear would require a lengthy rehab. Newton is already consulting with Dr. James Andrews, in anticipation of the surgeries he will need to start the process.
Until the MRI results come back, we won’t know if Newton suffered additional injuries (like a run-of-the-mill ACL tear).
“To lose your brother like that, we hold him dear to our hearts,” said tackle Chris Clark, who replaced Newton in the lineup. “When that happened to him, we all felt that internally. That’s not just another guy that went down. That’s our brother.
“Can you bounce back from that? I’m not talking about the team. I’m talking about him as a player. How do you even start rehab? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. We have a tight-knit group. We hold each other accountable and get things done together.”
Newton signed a five-year, $26.5 million contract in 2015, which included $10 million guaranteed.
The Steelers finally got their new Ferrari off blocks, and took it for a first spin around the block.
Tight end Ladarius Green went through his first practice of the season with the Steelers yesterday, as they hope to get the big-money offseason acquisition on the field after the bye. He’s been on the physically unable to perform list after offseason ankle surgery.
“I was excited,” Green said, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “A little nervous. It was good to get out there with the fellas.”
Green said he thought his ankle “held up good,” and that he was eager to see how he responded today, in their final workout before the bye week.
And while the Steelers don’t exactly lack for offensive options, adding Green to the mix would be huge. He was signed to replace the retired Heath Miller.
He even caught some passes from starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (recovering from a knee surgery of his own), and Roethlisberger said on his radio show on 93.7 FM that Green: “Looks good to me — but don’t have much to compare it to.”
When Green was on the sidelines during minicamp practices, Roethlisberger joked about the high-octane jolt he could provide.
“You’re like a brand-new Ferrari in the impound lot that I’m just looking through the fence at,” Roethlisberger said to him then.
A few more test drives, and they might be ready to put him on the open road.
But there are other ideas. Picking the best one becomes the basis for Wednesday’s question of the day on PFT Live.
Cast a ballot, battle it out in the comments, and suggest any other ideas you may have.
Most importantly, tune in a 6:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio and/or 7:00 a.m. ET on NBCSN. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle will join us at 7:35 a.m. ET to discuss the Brock Osweiler Experiment through seven starts, and Ross Tucker will give us a call at 8:35 a.m. ET to talk about a variety of things, including but not limited to in-game urination etiquette.
As if Cleveland doesn’t have enough to fell good about at the moment, there’s also the hope that springs eternal from the Browns.
No, they can’t match an NBA title celebration and an opening night win by the Cavaliers, or a 1-0 lead in the World Series by their baseball neighbors, but there’s always the 2017 NFL Draft.
Via Scott Patsko of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns would own the top overall pick, if the season ended today. And the fact they’re already tracking that speaks volumes about the 0-7 Browns.
Of course, if the season ended today (to steal a line from the witty and urbane Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times), a lot of people would be wondering why it happened on Wednesday and what about the last 10 weeks of the season.
In addition to what would be their own first and 33rd overall picks by virtue of being the only winless team in the league, the Browns also own the Eagles’ first-rounder from the trade to move up to get Carson Wentz, and the Titans’ second-rounder from the move to get offensive lineman Jack Conklin.
While the final order of draft picks is based on playoff results and ties broken by strength of schedule, the 3-4 Titans would currently be picking 10th overall, giving the Browns the first, 26th, 33rd and 42nd overall choices.
Based on current records, the 49ers would pick second overall, followed by the Bears, Panthers, and Jets.
Of course, the season doesn’t end today, so a lot could change. Even if Cleveland’s status doesn’t.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is still unhappy about the field goal block attempts of Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner from Sunday night’s 6-6 tie.
Wagner twice leaped over Cardinals long snapper Aaron Brewer in an attempt to block kicks. Wagner succeeded in blocking the first one while Chandler Catanzaro’s 24-yard field goal hit the left upright to thwart Arizona’s chances to win the game in overtime. Arians was livid after the blocked kick and was seen screaming at officials on the sideline. He also lost a timeout for attempting to challenge the play, which is not reviewable.
In an interview with Tom Pelissero and Bill Polian on Sirius XM NFL Radio, Arians believes that such plays are dangerous and shouldn’t be legal in the first place.
“The Competition Committee went through that play and the officials wanted it taken out,” Arians said. “The committee left it in, but it cannot be officiated. Whether he touches, whether it was leverage, was his foot within the framework of the defensive lineman’s feet before he jumped, all those things that go into that call, I think it’s bad for football.
“Because what you’re going to have to do now is start having centers raise their face up and get kicked in the face and things that are just dangerous to the players. I think it’s a dangerous play as it is and should be taken out of the game.”
Wagner grazed Brewer’s back with his left foot on his first attempt to leap over the line. His second attempt had guard Earl Watford attempt to block him with an extended arm, but he still cleared the line into the Arizona backfield. If Wagner had landed on Cardinals’ linemen in either attempt, it would have been a penalty. Incidental contact isn’t considered to be enough to warrant flags. Players also can’t use teammates or opponents as leverage either when attempted to block kicks in such a way.
Arians believes it creates a safety issue for long snappers. If such plays are going to be legal, then the offense will need to compensate to block leaping players. That could prove problematic in Arians’ mind.
McNary’s hit negated an interception by Patrick Robinson. Walker was running a pass route when he was blindsided by McNary.
McNary wrote on his Instagram account that he believed the ball had been thrown to Walker and tried to let up when he realized that Walker wasn’t the intended receiver on the play.
“Almost simultaneously, I struck him on his pads to reroute him not knowing the ball had just been released,” McNary wrote. “Unfortunately he was hurt on the play and our team suffered the untimely penalty. It is never my intention to hurt a fellow player, as I pray for an injury free contest before every game. Not everyone can understand, but it is a fast, physical sport and I am very much a work in progress.”
Walker was helped off the field but returned later in the series to catch a touchdown pass.
Colts Coach Chuck Pagano told reporters Monday that he didn’t believe McNary made an intentionally dirty play.
“We don’t have cheap-shot guys on this football team,” Pagano said. “That’s not Josh. That’s not any of our guys. There was no malice there. It was a bang-bang play, [McNary] was reacting to what he thought he saw and it was unfortunate.”
Titans Coach Mike Mularkey said he thought the play was “unnecessary,” and it’s likely the league office will agree. McNary will find out by the end of the week if he’ll be fined for the hit.
As the 2011 lockout was coming to a conclusion, the owners made a series of concessions that cost them no money, at least not directly. Five years later, a real question has emerged regarding whether diminished practice time is resulting in a diminished product on Sundays (and Mondays, and now every Thursday) and, in turn, diminished ratings.
Plenty of coaches and General Managers insist that the reduction in practice time and intensity has harmed the sport, resulting in subpar offensive line play, poor fundamentals (like tackling), and bodies that aren’t “hardened” by fully-padded two-a-days and are more in-season practices in pads.
Others disagree, pointing to the immediate impact of a player like Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa as proof that full participation in the offseason program, training camp, and the preseason is overrated. Still, it’s one thing for a guy like Bosa to rush the quarterback; it’s another for a player to move in concert with other players, like offensive lineman and quarterbacks/pass-catchers do.
Last week, Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged that the practice rules should be re-evaluated in conjunction with the next round of Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. But Goodell prefaced those remarks but suggesting that everything is fine as it is.
“I just spoke to John Madden on Monday night for an hour,” Goodell said last Wednesday regarding the perception of reduced quality of offensive line play. “I had this conversation with him and actually made exactly the opposite point: That offensive line play looks better, and he agreed. And so I don’t see that. When you have either injuries or inconsistency on the front line, that’s a cohesive group, and when one person is missing that’s a difficult thing, and so that group does need time to gel. That often gets better as the season goes along.”
That wagon-circling/all-is-well mindset won’t help the NFL solve its current problems. The league needs to be honest with itself and everyone else (more importantly with itself) about the fact that fewer people are watching, or that the same people are watching less fervently.
Instead, the league seems to be tempted to adopt a position of inaction, hunkering down and treating the lost ratings points the same way Homer Simpson reacted to the first globs of hair that fell out of his head — by shrugging and saying, “Well, there’s still plenty more where those came from.”
The Buccaneers launch on Sunday a three-game home stand that starts with a Super Bowl XXXVII rematch against the Raiders, with the Falcons coming to town four days later. Fans who hold season tickets may be tempted to peddle their seats to Sunday’s game on the open market, and Tampa’s first-year head coach wants them to resist that urge.
“We as a team have to do our part, making [Raymond James Stadium] a place that opposing teams don’t want to play,” Koetter told the Buccaneers Radio Network, via JoeBucsFan.com. “So we need the crowd’s help on that. We do our part. We’ve got to play better at home. The other thing is, we got to keep the opposing fans out of the lower bowl. I mean, let’s keep those Raiders jerseys out.
“I keep beating that drum. I know I’m going to get criticized and [hear], ‘Hey, Dirk, your job is to coach the team.’ Yeah, it is. I promise you I’m going to do my part to the best of my ability. It’s just not a good sign for us to have that many opposing jerseys in the lower bowl. Hey all you fans out there, tell all your neighbors selling your tickets to Raiders fans, give’em away as Christmas gifts to somebody who’s a Bucs fan.”
Ultimately, the fans can decide what to do with the tickets. If they choose to sell them and make a profit, that’s their choice. The team’s job is to make the game sufficiently enticing that the fans would rather experience the game than pocket the extra cash.
To get to that point, the Bucs will have to bite the bullet and endure some home games that feel like road games. Which may not be a bad thing, given that the Bucs are 3-1 on the road, and 0-2 at home.
Veteran wide receiver Nate Washington worked out for the Buccaneers Tuesday.
Washington, 33, was released by the Patriots in August. He caught 47 passes for the Texans last year and has caught at least 40 passes every season since 2008.
Last week, the Bucs placed wide receiver Vincent Jackson on injured reserve. The Bucs signed veteran Cecil Shorts last month after he was released by the Texans but Shorts only has one catch on the season.
The Bucs also worked out fullbacks Austin Johnson and Will Ratelle on Tuesday.