Skip to content

Cowboys closing in on Saints’ record for yards allowed

mattforte AP

Last year the Saints set a new NFL record by allowing 7,042 total yards over the course of the season, a pathetic defensive performance that resulted in New Orleans making wholesale changes on defense, including hiring coordinator Rob Ryan, who had just been fired by the Cowboys.

This year, Ryan has turned the Saints’ defense around. But his old team is threatening to break his new team’s dubious record.

After last night’s pathetic performance in a loss to the Bears, the Cowboys’ defense has allowed 3,880 passing yards and 1,669 rushing yards for a total of 5,549 yards on the season. That means if the Cowboys allow 1,494 yards over the final three games, they’ll break the record. That works out to 498 yards a game, and last night the Cowboys allowed 497 yards to the Bears.

New Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is taking a lot of the blame in Dallas, as he should. There was a time when Kiffin was among the most respected defensive coordinators in football, but that was a long time ago. Kiffin was an utter failure as a defensive coordinator while working for his son, Lane Kiffin, at USC, and he’s been a failure this year in Dallas. It would be a shame for Kiffin to end a fine career by coordinating a defense that sets an all-time record for yards allowed, but he’s heading in that direction.

Permalink 63 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
yo

49ers interview Seahawks exec Scott Fitterer for G.M. job

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  A view of San Francisco 49ers helmets on the bench during their NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 29, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers completed a pair of interviews with members of the Seattle Seahawks front office for their general manager job on Monday.

After speaking with Trent Kirchner in the morning, the 49ers announced they interview Scott Fitterer for the opening Monday afternoon.

Kirchner and Fitterer share the title of co-director of player personnel with the Seahawks under general manager John Schneider. The pair oversees both the college and pro scouting departments of the Seahawks.

The 49ers have interviewed or scheduled interviews with 10 different executives in their search for a replacement for Trent Baalke.

The 49ers also interview Seattle assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable for their head coaching job.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Which Super Bowl matchup would be the most interesting?

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: A sign outside the stadium promotes Super Bowl LI before the game between the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Getty Images

With four teams left, there are four possible Super Bowl matchups. So which one would be the best?

That’s, coincidentally, the PFT Live question of the day for Tuesday.

Answer below, drop a comment, etc., etc., etc.

Guests include Tom Curran of CSN New England and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Join us at 6:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio, with the simulcast starting at 7:00 a.m. ET on NBCSN. See you then.

Permalink 9 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

A.J. Bouye hopes the Texans want him back

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14:  A.J. Bouye #21 of the Houston Texans intercepts a pass in the second quarter against the New England Patriots during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

After a breakout season, Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye is headed for free agency.

The former undrafted free agent had two interceptions in the playoffs and stands to make significant money from some team for 2017 and beyond, but as the Texans officially closed the book on their 2016 season he said he hopes to return.

“[Returning to the Texans would] mean a lot because it [would] show that they wanted me and saw what I did this year and there are better things that are going to happen in the future from an individual and team standpoint,” Bouye said, per the Houston Chronicle. “I’ve been through a lot here with the organization, a lot of ups and downs, and they never gave up on me. I’m appreciative of that. I’d like to be back, but we’ll see what happens.”

Bouye played in 15 games in 2016, starting 11. He posted an interception and a career-high six pass breakups.

Plenty of teams need cornerbacks, and when those teams watched Bouye in 2016 they saw an ascending player who, at a listed height of 6-foot, matches up better with big wide receivers than plenty of smaller cornerbacks do.

Before 2016 Bouye had been a part-time player who had five career starts. Now he is a player who knows he is going to be in demand — unless the Texans sign him before free agency opens in March.

“[I think I proved] that I can play, that’s the main thing,” Bouye said. “That I’m also a team player and a hard worker. I just wanted to prove to everybody that I can play. My past here, I always looked at everything from an individual standpoint. I was always playing the victim. One of the things I had to do was take a step back and realize it’s more than just me. I was doing more for the team: special teams, playing safety, dime [linebacker]. At the end of the day, the more you focus on the team, it makes you play that much harder.”

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

When will Jim Irsay break his silence?

Jim Irsay after Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida on February 4, 2007.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Getty Images

Colts owner Jim Irsay has said nothing publicly about his coach and General Manger in the 15 days since the 2016 regular season ended. That could change soon.

Appearing on Monday’s PFT Live, Bob Kravitz of WTHR, who accurately speculated that Irsay was pursuing Peyton Manning and Jon Gruden to replace Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano, speculated that something could happen this week.

Kravitz didn’t report anything per se, but he shared his gut feeling that changes could be coming. He also said that he believes the pursuit of Manning likely had ended, with the ball in Manning’s court if he decides he’s ready to take on the task of running a team. Further, Kravitz added one name to the mix who had previously not been mentioned in connection with the Colts: Former Broncos and Washington coach Mike Shanahan.

Irsay’s ongoing silence coupled with reports of efforts to upgrade does little to allow Grigson and Pagano to proceed with the kind of clear mandate that they need. Then again, an 8-8 season that placed the Colts at third place in the division will tend to create uncertainty, especially when the owner has made it clear that he expects multiple championships during Andrew Luck’s career. Five years in, they’re going the wrong way.

Permalink 23 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jaguars hire Tyrone Wheatley as running backs coach

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 22:  Tyrone Wheatley #47 of the Oakland Raiders runs to the outside as defensive end Trevor Pryce #93 of the Denver Broncos pursues him on September 22, 2003 at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 31-10. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Jaguars have announced the hiring on Tyrone Wheatley as their new running backs coach.

Wheatley previously coached under new Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone in the college ranks and with the Bills.

Wheatley, 44, had a 10-year career as an NFL running back with the Giants and Raiders. He’s spent the last two seasons as running backs coach at his alma mater, Michigan.

“I am excited to have Tyrone join our staff and work with our running backs,” Marrone said in a statement. “I have worked with him for five years and know the type of leader and teacher that he is. He is an exceptional coach and will bring out the best in his players. He brings a charisma, attitude and Super Bowl-playing experience to the staff that will be vital.”

The Jaguars reportedly interviewed Chip Kelly for their offensive coordinator job on Monday.

Permalink 11 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Pete Carroll admits to injury-reporting violation

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 07:  National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell (L) talks with head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks before the NFC Wild Card game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Detroit Lions at CenturyLink Field on January 7, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) Getty Images

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll accidentally wandered into quicksand on Monday during a radio appearance, admitting that cornerback Richard Sherman played for much of the year with an MCL injury to his knee that never was disclosed. At his end-of-season press conference conducted later in the day, Carroll admitted to the violation.

“I didn’t realize that we hadn’t even revealed it,” Carroll told reporters, via the transcript generated by the team. “I don’t even remember what game it was, it was somewhere in the middle, he was fine about it, he didn’t miss anything. Same with Russell [Wilson], he was fine about it. I don’t know how they do that, but they did.”

Carroll seems to believe that, because Carroll never missed practice or game time due to the injury, the injury didn’t need to be disclosed.

“He never missed anything, just like Russell [Wilson], Russell never missed anything and Tyler [Lockett], they all had it during the course of the season and they just made it through it,” Carroll said, overlooking the fact that Russell’s MCL injury was properly disclosed. “They never complained, they didn’t want to miss a practice and they basically didn’t miss anything but they were legit, it was legit injury, it showed up and the whole thing. That’s a challenge for anyone. Guys over the league are going through the same thing, our guys just happen to be doing it as well.”

None of this changes the fact that the Seahawks failed to disclose the injury.

“I’m feeling like I screwed that up with not telling you that,” Carroll eventually conceded. “He was OK, so I don’t know, he never missed anything I guess is probably why.”

Still, that’s not the standard. Plenty of players who never miss practice or games nevertheless are disclosed on the injury report. While the league rarely slaps a team for violating the rules, the league rarely has such clear evidence of a violation fall into its lap.

Coupled with a pair of offseason workout violations from the past three offseason, the NFL could be inclined to take potentially significant action against a team that has developed a pattern of breaking the rules. Or, perhaps more accurately given the prevalence of cheating in the NFL, that the Seahawks have developed a pattern of getting caught.

Permalink 86 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jets sign Brian Winters to four-year extension

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 23:   Brian Winters #67 of the New York Jets in action against  James Hurst #74 of the Baltimore Ravens during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 23, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Jets won’t let right guard Brian Winters hit the open market as a free agent this offseason.

The team announced on Monday evening that Winters has signed a four-year extension with the team. No financial terms were included in the announcement, but multiple reports peg the value at around $8 million per year.

Winters was a third-round pick in 2013 and has started 41 games over his four seasons with the team. Thirteen of those starts came in 2016, although he ended the season on injured reserve thanks to a torn rotator cuff.

Winters turned in good work when he was healthy and his return gives the Jets some certainty at an uncertain spot for the group. Four players ended the year on injured reserve and veteran tackles Breno Giacomini and Ryan Clady could be moving on. Brandon Shell, a 2015 fifth-round pick, likely fits in somewhere, but center Nick Mangold’s $9 million cap number has led to discussion about his future with the team.

Permalink 17 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

All signs point to Sunday night divisional-round game becoming the norm

KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Inside linebacker Ryan Shazier #50 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a play against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s not exactly the discovery of plutonium by accident. But Sunday night was an awakening for the NFL.

Ever since the NFL first started staging Saturday night wild-card and divisional-round playoff games, the possibility of shifting the Sunday schedule from 1:05 p.m. ET and 4:40 p.m. ET to 4:40 p.m. ET and 8:20 p.m. ET had been lingering. And then, with a shift of a single early Sunday game to prime-time necessitated by weather issues in Kansas City, the league apparently will be declaring “eureka!” and making the move permanent.

The league had resisted this in the past because it creates a competitive disadvantage where, as in the case of the Steelers, they traveled home late Sunday night and will travel again before Sunday’s game. Meanwhile, the Patriots played at home on Saturday, don’t have to travel at all, and get extra time to prepare, rest, etc. (And no matter what the Steelers have said or will say publicly, they were not happy about the shift in the starting time for Sunday’s game.)

The next question is whether the league will do the same thing on the Sunday night of the wild-card round. The possibility that a team playing on the first Sunday night of the playoffs would have to play on the following Saturday could be a factor, especially since the home game in the divisional round has 13 or 14 days between games.

The overriding factor continues to be (drum roll, please) money, and the NFL will make more of it if games are dropped into prime time on Sunday night. Also, the league will get even greater exposure from games played during windows that will be conducive to more people watching.

Which makes it odd that it took an experiment born of need to get the NFL to realize what had been hiding in plain sight for years.

Permalink 43 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Mike Groh interviews for Eagles wide receivers coaching job

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 15: Brandon Marshall #15 and wide receivers coach Mike Groh on the field during pregame warms up before a game against the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field on December 15, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Eagles interviewed Mike Groh for their vacant wide receivers coaching job on Monday, ESPN’s Adam Caplan reported.

Groh was the wide receivers coach for the Bears from 2013-15 and spent last season as the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator with the Rams. Groh has also coached in the college ranks including a stint as offensive coordinator under his father, Al Groh, at Virginia.

The Eagles had previously interviewed Bills wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal for the job, which opened following the dismissal of Greg Lewis earlier this month.

Permalink 5 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Greg Manusky expected to interview for promotion in Washington

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 26:  Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky of the Indianapolis Colts looks on from the sideline during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 26, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Steelers defeated the Colts 51-34.  (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) Getty Images

The list of candidates for the Redskins’ defensive coordinator job added several names on Monday.

Rob Ryan interviewed with the team and Jason Tarver is expected in later in the week. They are also slated to speak to an in-house candidate.

John Keim of ESPN.com reports that outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky will interview for the coordinator job. Manusky joined Jay Gruden’s staff last year after spending four years as the defensive coordinator for the Colts. Manusky, who played for the Redskins in the late 1980s, has also been the top defensive coach for the Chargers and 49ers.

Mike Pettine and Gus Bradley have also interviewed for the job, with Bradley also believed to be a candidate with the Chargers and a possible choice for Tom Cable if he were to get the 49ers head coaching position.

Permalink 10 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Broncos interviewing special teams coaches

broncos helmet getty Getty Images

The Broncos interviewed Bears assistant special teams coach Richard Hightower for the team’s special teams coach position on Monday, Mike Klis of News9 in Denver reported.

Klis reported that Greg McMahon, former Saints special teams coach, will interview for the job on Tuesday.

McMahon was fired by the Saints earlier this month after nine years as special teams coach and 11 with the team.

The Bears hired Hightower last January. He has 10 years of NFL coaching experience including stints in Houston, Washington, Cleveland and San Francisco.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Bears expected to hire Jeremiah Washburn as offensive line coach

DETROIT, MI - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL,  Jeremiah Washburn of the Detroit Lions poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by NFL via Getty Images) Getty Images

Jeremiah Washburn spent seven years coaching offensive linemen with the Lions and it appears he’s headed back to the NFC North after spending last season in Miami.

Alex Marvez of Sporting News reports that the Bears will hire Washburn as their offensive line coach. They parted ways with Dave Magazu at the end of the season as John Fox shuffled some parts of his staff after a 3-13 season.

Washburn was the assistant offensive line coach in Miami last season and worked under Chris Foerster, who was blocked from interviewing with the Rams about their offensive coordinator vacancy. Washburn was the head line coach in Detroit from 2013-15 and the assistant in his first four years with the club.

Washburn worked with his father Jim in both Detroit and Miami, where the elder Washburn is on the Dolphins staff as a senior defensive assistant and pass rush specialist.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Andy Reid more measured than Travis Kelce about late holding call

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid speaks during a news conference after an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. The Steelers won 18-16. Reid doesn’t believe the holding penalty on left tackle Eric Fisher that cost Kansas City a tying 2-point conversion against Pittsburgh on Sunday night should have been called. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File) AP

Arrowhead Stadium was rocking after Alex Smith found tight end Demetrius Harris in the end zone for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, but the joy at tying the game ended when referee Carl Cheffers explained the reason for a penalty flag on the field.

Left tackle Eric Fisher was penalized for holding Steelers linebacker James Harrison and the score remained 18-16 Steelers when the Chiefs couldn’t convert from 10 yards further away. Tight end Travis Kelce had a colorful reaction to the holding call after the game, saying that Cheffers shouldn’t be allowed to wear a striped shirt on an NFL field or as an employee at Foot Locker.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Sunday night that he wanted to see replays of the Fisher-Harrison interaction before sharing his thoughts on the call. He shared them on Monday and found common ground with Kelce about the quality of the call if not the way he chose to express it.

“There are certain things you agree with and don’t agree with during games,” Reid said, via ESPN.com. “It really doesn’t matter now that we’re sitting here. I don’t want to be fined any money but I would tell you I was probably leaning the other way. I thought Fish did what he needed to do on that particular block to get that done and the problem is when [Harrison] slipped it can look worse than it is. I know Fish is going to have a lot of eyes on him for that call, and I’m not sure I completely agree with what took place, but it did. The call was made and we live with that.”

Reid is correct about it not mattering much what the Chiefs think of a call that can’t be changed, no matter how hard it might be to think of anything but that ruling and the loss that followed in the near future.

Permalink 33 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Antonio Brown video creates problem for player, team

KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers congratulates wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 following the Steelers win against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) Getty Images

For Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, the far more significant problem arising from his decision to post live video from the locker room after Sunday night’s win over the Chiefs flows from the undoubtedly strong reaction his head coach will have to the maneuver — especially because the video itself includes an admonition from Mike Tomlin to be smart on social media. But Brown’s behavior created a pair of other problems, for him and for the Steelers.

For starters, Brown violated the league’s social-media policy, which prohibits tweets, live videos, etc. from 90 minutes before kickoff through the conclusion of the post-game media obligations. For that infraction, Brown undoubtedly will be fined.

The broader problem from the team’s perspective is that Brown’s decision to broadcast live video triggers a violation of the league’s TV contracts. The broadcast partners have exclusive rights to video shot in the locker room after the game, and the teams or the league can’t use it for 24 hours. While it’s unlikely that NBC will make a fuss about it, it’s the kind of practice that teams need to prevent; if unchecked, it eventually could trigger a claim that the deals are being breached.

Permalink 33 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Texans part ways with George Godsey

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 30:  Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans talks with offensive coordinator George Godsey on the sideline in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images) Getty Images

At a time when some have been wondering whether the Texans will have a mutual parting with coach Bill O’Brien, the team has indeed experienced a mutual parting, but one level down from the top of the coaching staff.

The Texans have announced that they have parted ways with offensive coordinator George Godsey.

“I’m grateful for the tireless work ethic and contributions George has made to our team over the last three years,” O’Brien said in a team-issued release. “I wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

Earlier in the day, O’Brien hinted that changes could come at the offensive coordinator position.

“We’re looking at everything,” O’Brien told reporters. “Look, George does a lot of good stuff for me — every coach does. I have even met with Bob [McNair] yet. I haven’t met with Rick [Smith] yet. We look at everything. Every coach is evaluated. I’m evaluated. I haven’t even heard about my evaluation from the owner. Look, I expect to be here next year, but we will begin the evaluation process here in a minute. Now, don’t take that and run with it, either. I’m going to be the head coach here next year. Again, just trying to inject some humor into it, but again it will be a headline. Everything is evaluated and that’s the process that starts here this afternoon.”

Apparently, the end result of the evaluation process was that O’Brien will return. He’ll return with a new offensive coordinator.

To make a quality hire, O’Brien will have to convince the person to whom he offers the job that it will be an assignment that lasts more than one season. Given that every joke has a kernel of truth, that may not be easy to do.

Given that the Texans are tied to Brock Osweiler for another season, it may be even more difficult to do.

Permalink 38 Comments Feed for comments Back to top