Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby calls in to PFT to discuss the upcoming NFL draft, his athletic abilities and his hopes for the future.
PFT One-on-one: Bradley Roby
Nine people have died and more than 30 more may have been killed in an Oakland warehouse fire during a Friday party. The Raiders will be honoring those affected by the tragedy.
The team has announced that it will match up to $30,000 donated at a YouCaring.com page created by the Oakland A’s.
The Raiders also will observe a moment of silence in recognition of the victims and their families before Sunday’s game against the Bills.
You can make a contribution here.
The Vikings weren’t the only team unhappy with the officiating on Thursday night. The Cowboys, despite prevailing, were displeased, too.
“They were inconsistent with their calls, and that was frustrating,” owner Jerry Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
It remains to be seen whether that’s enough criticism to warrant a fine from the league office. Typically, the rule against criticizing officials is applied strictly to owners, team executives, and coaches. Players enjoy plenty of leeway; Washington cornerback Josh Norman became a rare exception last month when he individually called out an official by his number.
Whatever the flaws with the officiating on Thursday, the Cowboys managed to win the game and extend their winning streak to 11. There’s a chance the owner’s decision to vent about the game being a closer call than it should have been will come with a price tag.
At a time when most believe the Cowboys have the best offensive line in football, one offensive coordinator begs to differ. Then again, he has a fairly clear bias.
“They are playing at a very high level,” Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley said regarding his team’s wall of blockers, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I said at the beginning of the year . . . that I thought they could be the best in the league. I think they are playing at that level right now.”
It’s a surprising development, given that for years the offensive line was a liability. Indeed, the Steelers won a pair of Super Bowls with subpar blocking.
The 2016 Steelers have allowed only 14 sacks in 11 games, second fewest in the league. The ability of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to extend plays likely has been a factor.
Regardless, it’s one of the big reasons for the success of the team’s offense. Despite some disappointments, the Steelers remain viable contenders in a conference that is still fairly wide open, especially with the Patriots losing Rob Gronkowski and the Raiders having a habit of playing up and down to the level of the competition.
Multiple American states have laws that essentially permit the modern-day equivalent of a duel. But instead of counting to 10 before firing, the gun can be drawn and the trigger pulled in the inherently subjective instant that someone concludes they are being faced with serious bodily injury or death.
In an item from Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post regarding the profound impact the killing of Joe McKnight has had on the Jets’ locker room, safety Antonio Allen shares some words that may not be profound but that nevertheless are rooted in common sense.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in this society with all these gray areas in the laws and this [‘stand your ground’] law, in particular,” Allen said. “We’ve got to fix it.”
At a time when football players like 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick have raised legitimate questions about the educational and training requirements applicable to police officers who patrol the streets with license to use deadly force, “stand your ground” laws essentiually give anyone that power — with absolutely no training on when and where and how it should properly be used.
If that sounds like lunacy, maybe that’s because it is. It’s one thing to use firearms to protect one’s home and family. It’s quite another to remove the firearms from the home and authorize their use by anyone who believes that an adequate threat has been encountered.
And good luck unspooling the facts and assessing whether deadly force legitimately was used, especially when one of the key witnesses to the exchange is permanently unable to testify.
So, yes, there’s something unsavory about the prospect of encountering a short-fused Dwight Schrute or Yosemite Sam, who spent all that money for his gun and who would kind of like to have a chance to use it. Until the states that allow a fire-ready-aim approach to interpersonal relationships wake up to the folly of these laws, the best approach for anyone who is out and about in those jurisdictions is to interact with no one, because who knows what’s going to prompt some hothead to pull his six-gun out of the holster and blast it?
The 2013 second-round pick becomes a free agent in March. But he’s recovering from a torn ACL, and by all appearances the Jets won’t be bringing him back. So what’s next?
“My mom told me something that was pretty special,” Smith said Friday, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post. “She’d been going to my games since I was a kid and never missed a game. And these past few years, I missed more games than I missed in my life and she said, ‘There’s always a time for that, there’s always a season where you feel like things aren’t going right. And then what comes after that is usually the best part of your life.'”
It’s always admirable to have a positive attitude, but that will take a football player only so far. At some point, positivity must intersect with talent, and Smith has done little during his NFL career to display that he has enough of it to win and keep a starting job.
Personally, the fact that Smith played college football in my home state of West Virginia makes me inclined to root for him. But I’m also realistic; the odds are stacked against him, even in a league without enough quarterbacks to go around. The key is to be a quality quarterback, and Smith has not yet demonstrated that type of ability on a consistent basis.
The Lions made a series of roster moves ahead of Sunday’s game at New Orleans.
Defensive end Armonty Bryant was activated from the reserve-suspended list after serving a three-game suspension, and wide receiver T.J. Jones was promoted from the practice squad.
Forsett had appeared in two games after being released by the Ravens for the second time this season. With the Lions’ younger backs now healthy and the need to get Bryant back in the lineup to help the pass rush, he was released.
Bryant had three sacks in four games for the Lions before serving his second suspension of the season. Banks played in four games for the Buccaneers earlier this season. He’s played in 23 career games.
The Seahawks made two linebacker-related roster moves Saturday.
Mike Morgan was activated from the team’s injured-reserve list. He had missed seven games after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia in October.
Morgan is a sixth-year player who’s been a valuable backup and utility man for the Seahawks. He played in four games and made one start before the surgery.
Jordan Tripp was placed on the team’s injured-reserve list. He made his second career start last week but suffered what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called a quad bruise and a knee injury.
The Chargers placed outside linebacker Jerry Attaochu on the season-ending injured-reserve list on Saturday.
Attaochu suffered a foot injury in last week’s win over the Texans. He had two sacks on the season and was also fourth on the team in special teams tackles.
To fill his spot on the roster, the Chargers promoted nose tackle Ryan Carrethers from the practice squad. Carrethers is a third-year player who’s previously spent time this season on the active roster and the practice squad. He’s played in 20 career games.
The NFL deserves far more credit than it has gotten for giving players one week to deviate from the obsession with uniformity, via the wearing of non-conforming clears that support a wide variety of causes. So at a time when the league is feeling surprisingly charitable — and may be shocked to learn that the sport won’t implode over the use of shoes that aren’t all the same color — here’s another idea.
It wasn’t mine. PFT Live producer Rob “Stats” Guerrera, who usually contributes little or nothing during the three-hour radio/TV show (I don’t really mean that, unless I do), uncorked a doozy on Friday.
The notion came after Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry, whose cleats on Sunday will raise awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, was asked to identify the one rule he’d change if the had the chance.
“I’m a happy-go-lucky guy, I’d probably say the celebrations,” Landry said. “Just let everybody bring back that old feel when Ochocinco was dancing and T.O. was dancing . . . . Things like that. Bring the love and energy back to the game.”
After the visit with Landry ended, Stats made this suggestion: For Week 17 of every season, the NFL should let players celebrate however they want.
There would likely need to be some limitations; a team paying homage to the Fun Bunch after a fourth-quarter first down in a blowout would take things too far. But for every touchdown scored that week, why not let the players do anything they want — short of grabbing their ding-dings or miming the dropping of a deuce?
It makes so much sense that it’ll never happen. The fact that the NFL has decided to give the players one week to wear non-conforming cleats suggests that maybe there’s hope that unwarranted concerns about creating acrimony among opponents (so what if it does?) and/or usurping the cheerleaders’ monopoly on sexually-suggestive messages will be set aside for one week per year.
Yes, the Patriots will be missing one of their primary offensive weapons for the rest of the year. But they’re developing another offensive weapon, much earlier than they usually do.
“It’s just encouragement to go out there in practice and work harder and harder and harder so our team can be put in the best situations to win,” Mitchell said, via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Of course, Mitchell still only has 16 catches for 235 yards on the year, so he has a long way to go to be one of the team’s true playmakers. But he’s been making progress lately, and by the time the playoffs roll around he could be in position to contribute like something more than a rookie.
One key for Mitchell, a fourth-round draft pick from Georgia, has been learning how to get away from press coverage.
“He is catching everything in practice,” cornerback Eric Rowe said, via Howe. “We have tight coverage on him, especially in one-on-ones, and he is still making the catch. It could be a 2-yard gain, but the fact is he is still making the catch. I’ve seen that a lot better from him. At practice, I used to get really good jams on him at the line to kind of stun him, but now he is starting to figure out different types of releases so he won’t get stopped at the line, kind of get off the press and get open even better.”
It’s all part of earning the trust of one of the greatest quarterback in league history. Once Mitchell secures the faith of Tom Brady, Mitchell could further diversify an offense that will need all the help it can get with Rob Gronkowski likely done for the year.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is done for 2016.
Gronkowski has been placed on injured reserve after back surgery, the team announced.
Although the NFL does give each team one “return” designation to bring a player back from injured reserve, the Patriots have already used that designation on backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett. So Gronk can’t play again until 2017.
It’s a huge disappointment for Gronkowski, who is among the best tight ends ever to play the position when healthy — but who struggles to stay healthy for any significant period of time. This is his third back surgery, which raises questions about his future.
But for now, thoughts are on his present. Gronkowski will get to work rehabbing his back and attempt to be ready in time for the start of offseason work. And the Patriots will attempt to adjust their offense to losing its best playmaker.
The Jaguars made a wide receiver swap Sunday, promoting Shane Wynn from the practice squad and placing Rashad Greene on their injured-reserve list.
Greene has an Achilles injury.
With Greene out for the year and Allen Hurns out Sunday due to a hamstring injury, Wynn will likely be in uniform and make his NFL debut vs. the Broncos.
Wynn broke into the NFL with the Falcons in 2015, then spent some time with his hometown team, the Browns. He later spent time on the practice squad with the Jets, Chargers and Saints and has spent this season on the Jaguars’ practice squad.
The Colts will have quarterback Andrew Luck on Monday night.
Luck doesn’t appear on the final injury report in advance of the game against the Jets, which means that he has been cleared to play, 12 days after landing in the concussion protocol following a win over the Titans.
The franchise quarterback missed Indy’s Thanksgiving night visit from the Steelers, which the Colts lost to fall to 5-6.
Questionable for the game are tackle Denzelle Good (shoulder), receiver T.Y. Hilton (back), and defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway (back). Hilton took a hard hit to the lower back from Steelers safety Mike Mitchell in the Week 12 loss.
The good news for the Packers is that quarterback Aaron Rodgers remains on track to play, despite a hamstring injury suffered on Monday night. The bad news for the Packers is that Rodgers won’t have 40 percent of his offensive line.
The Packers also added cornerback Damarious Randall to the injury report with a groin injury. He’s questionable for the matchup with the Texans.
Despite being two games behind the 7-4 Lions, the 5-6 Packers have the inside track to the division title. If they pick up one game over the next four weeks (and the Lions play at New Orleans, at the Giants, and at Dallas), the Week 17 game between the Lions and Packers becomes a playoff play-in game.
During his first two NFL seasons, Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney missed 15 games with injuries and fell short of expectations. But this year, Cloweny has stayed healthy and become the difference-maker on defense the Texans hoped he’d be.
Unfortunately, now Clowney is hurt again.
The Texans announced today that Clowney’s elbow and wrist injuries are serious enough that he will not travel with the team to Green Bay for tomorrow’s big game against the Packers.
Without Clowney to pressure Aaron Rodgers, the Packers’ offense should benefit. And beating the Packers will get that much harder for the Texans.
Tomorrow’s game has playoff implications for both teams. The 6-5 Texans have a half-game lead in the AFC south, while the 5-6 Packers are two games back in the NFC North.