Report: Seahawks are expected to promote Larry Izzo to special teams coordinator

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Former Seahawks special teams coordinator Brian Schneider is reportedly headed to Jacksonville, and Seattle apparently didn’t have to look far to find his replacement.

The Seahawks will promote are expected to promote Larry Izzo to special teams coordinator, NFL media’s Tom Pelissero reports.

Izzo was Settle’s assistant special teams coach but took over the role when Schneider took a leave of absence for personal reasons early in the 2020 season. Schneider returned to the franchise later on in 2020, but Izzo continued to handle the coordinator duties.

Izzo has been with Seattle since 2018. He played 14 seasons as a linebacker with the Dolphins, Patriots, and Jets.

NFL announces 128 players making early entries into 2021 draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Allstate Sugar Bowl Semifinal Game - Ohio State v Clemson
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The deadline for players to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft has passed and the league announced the players who are leaving school early on Friday.

There are 128 players with eligibility left making the jump. Thirty of those players have already accumulated enough credits to get their degrees while the other 98 are leaving ahead of that point.

A full list of those players can be found below:

Paulson Adebo, DB, Stanford
Jack Anderson, G, Texas Tech
Calvin Ashley, T, Florida A&M
Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame
Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Larry Borom, T, Missouri
Bobby Brown, DT, Texas A&M
Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
Shakur Brown, DB, Michigan State
Tyson Campbell, DB, Georgia
Jackson Carman, T, Clemson
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Louisiana State
Brady Christensen, T, Brigham Young
Andre Cisco, DB, Syracuse
Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Samuel Cosmi, T, Texas
Aashari Crosswell, DB, Arizona State
Drew Dalman, C, Stanford
Christian Darrisaw, T, Virginia Tech
Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
Brendan DeVera, LB, ASA JC
Brennan Eagles, WR, Texas
Adrian Ealy, T, Oklahoma
Caleb Farley, DB, Virginia Tech
Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Paris Ford, DB, Pittsburgh
Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
Kendrick Green, G, Illinois
Olaijah Griffin, DB, Southern California
Darren Hall, DB, San Diego State
Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville
Trey Hill , C, Georgia
Anthony Hines, LB, Texas A&M
Darius Hodge, LB, Marshall
Jevon Holland, DB, Oregon
Jaycee Horn, DB, South Carolina
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Wyatt Hubert, DE, Kansas State
James Hudson, T, Cincinnati
Talanoa Hufanga, DB, Southern California
Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State
Jamar Johnson, DB, Indiana
Ernest Jones, LB, South Carolina
Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
Kelvin Joseph, DB, Kentucky
Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Florida State
Brenden Knox, RB, Marshall
Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
Terrace Marshall, WR, Louisiana State
Jalen Mayfield, T, Michigan
Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College
Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
Isaiah McKoy, WR, Kent State
Alim McNeill, DT, North Carolina State
Evan McPherson, K, Florida
Ifeatu Melifonwu, DB, Syracuse
Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
Dax Milne, WR, Brigham Young
Trevon Moehrig, DB, TCU
Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Israel Mukuamu, DB, South Carolina
Marcus Murphy, DB, Mississippi State
Josh Myers, C, Ohio State
Greg Newsome, DB, Northwestern
Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa
Tre Norwood, DB, Oklahoma
Azeez Ojulari, LB, Georgia
Joseph Ossai, DE, Texas
Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo
Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma
Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Blake Proehl, WR, East Carolina
Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
Chris Rumph, DE, Duke
Asante Samuel, DB, Florida State
Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
Stevie Scott, RB, Indiana
Penei Sewell, T, Oregon
Tyler Shelvin, NT, Louisiana State
William Sherman, T, Colorado
Jamien Sherwood, DB, Auburn
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Southern California
Benjamin St-Juste, DB, Minnesota
Caden Sterns, DB, Texas
Eric Stokes, DB, Georgia
Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
Patrick Surtain, DB, Alabama
Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State
Bryce Thompson, DB, Tennessee
Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State
Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
Joe Tryon, LB, Washington
Jay Tufele, DT, Southern California
Marlon Tuipulotu, NT, Southern California
Christian Tutt, DB, Auburn
Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pittsburgh
Alijah Vera-Tucker, G, Southern California
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Shaun Wade, DB, Ohio State
Ar’Darius Washington, DB, TCU
Connor Wedington, WR, Stanford
Pro Wells, TE, TCU
Rachad Wildgoose, DB, Wisconsin
Adam Williams, P, Memphis
Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech
Pooka Williams, RB, Kansas
Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
Trill Williams, DB, Syracuse
Marco Wilson, DB, Florida
Zach Wilson, QB, Brigham Young
Nahshon Wright, DB, Oregon State

In addition to those 128 players, the league also announced that three players who inquired about their draft status were informed they can be selected without special eligibility. They are:

Walker Little, T, Stanford
Foster Sarell, T, Stanford
Jordan Smith, LB, Alabama-Birmingham

Tom Brady on Antonio Brown: We all wish he could be out there with us

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
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Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians announced Friday that wide receiver Antonio Brown is out for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the Packers, a chance from his earlier stance that Brown would be a game-time decision.

Brown is one of several effective offensive weapons for the Buccaneers, who can likely effectively replace him. Still, quarterback Tom Brady lamented that Brown won’t be available.

“We’re gonna have to find a way to win,” Brady said Friday, via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “It obviously sucks for Antonio. We all wish he could be out there with us, and other guys are gonna have to step up and do the job.”

Brown caught 45 passes for 483 yards with four touchdowns during the regular season, notably making 11 receptions for 138 yards with a pair of TDs in Week 17. He’s caught three passes for 59 yards and a TD on six targets in Tampa Bay’s two playoff victories.

Bruce Arians: No determination on Vita Vea’s status for Sunday

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Chicago Bears
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Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea has been designated to return from injured reserve, but a decision about playing this weekend remains up in the air.

Vea has practiced every day this week and head coach Bruce Arians reiterated on Friday that he has looked good in his return from a broken leg. He didn’t say whether he will show off how far he’s come against the Packers.

“He’s looked real good. He’s been running around for almost three weeks and had a real good practice yesterday and a good one today. So we haven’t made that determination yet but we’ll see if we want to activate him or not but there is a chance,” Arians said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Buccaneers will have to activate Vea on Saturday afternoon if he is going to play on Sunday.

Report: Jaguars hiring Brian Schneider as special teams coordinator

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Head coach Urban Meyer continues to fill out his first NFL staff in Jacksonville.

According to a report from Tom Pelissero of NFL media, Brian Schneider is expected to become the Jaguars special teams coordinator.

Schneider had been with the Seahawks since Pete Carroll took over as head coach in 2010. Schneider stepped away from the team in September for personal reasons, and assistant coach Larry Izzo filled the role. Schneider returned to the club later in the season, but Izzo continued as Seattle’s coordinator, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.

Schneider rounds out the Jaguars coordinator positions. Meyer reportedly will hire another former Seahawks coordinator, Darrell Bevell, for OC. Former Ravens defensive line coach Joe Cullen will serve as the defensive coordinator.

Antonio Brown will not play on Sunday

Wild Card Round - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Washington Football Team
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Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown will not play in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the Packers.

Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians said today that Brown’s knee injury will keep him from playing at Green Bay.

Arians said yesterday that Brown would be a game-time decision, but apparently Brown isn’t making the kind of progress that would allow him to be ready to go by Sunday.

Despite the absence of Brown, Tom Brady will have a wealth of weapons on Sunday, with receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scott Miller and Tyler Johnson, running backs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate.

Ravens hiring Rob Ryan as inside linebackers coach

Washington Redskins v Green Bay Packers
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Rob Ryan is back in the game.

He will be joining the Ravens’ coaching staff as the inside linebackers coach, according to multiple reports.

Ryan was last in the league in 2019 as Washington’s inside linebackers coach. Before that, he was assistant head coach for his brother Rex in Buffalo in 2016. Rex was also the Ravens’ defensive coordinator from 2005-2008.

According to Jeff Zrebiec of TheAthletic.com, Baltimore defensive coordinator Don Martindale is very close to Rob Ryan. The two worked together when Ryan was the Raiders defensive coordinator from 2004-2008 and Martindale was the linebackers coach.

Scott Fitterer on Deshaun Watson: No hypotheticals, but we’ll be in on every deal

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
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Plenty of people want to know what will happen with Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson this offseason and the topic was on the table at Panthers General Manager Scott Fitterer’s introductory press conference on Friday.

Fitterer was asked if the Panthers would pursue a trade for the quarterback. He said he wouldn’t delve into hypotheticals about specific players, but added that the team will “be in on every deal.”

He also said that his first order of business is getting to know his new team.

“But before we do anything outside, I need to find out who we have here,” Fitterer said, via Joseph Person of TheAthletic.com.

Teddy Bridgewater, P.J. Walker, Will Grier, and Tommy Stevens are the quarterbacks currently on the roster in Carolina.

Reports: Anthony Weaver to become Ravens defensive run game coordinator

Baltimore Ravens v Houston Texans
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The Ravens have filled one of the holes on their defensive staff.

Baltimore is hiring Anthony Weaver to be its defensive run game coordinator and defensive line coach, according to multiple Friday reports.

Weaver was previously with the Texans, having working for the franchise since 2016. He spent his first four seasons as defensive line coach. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2020.

Weaver replaces Joe Cullen in Baltimore, who just departed to become Jacksonville’s defensive coordinator.

The Ravens made Weaver their second-round pick in 2002, and he played four seasons as a defensive end for the franchise. Weaver spent the last three years of his playing career with the Texans.

Washington names Marty Hurney executive VP of football and player personnel

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It’s been known for a while that Marty Hurney would be joining Washington’s front office, but now it’s official.

After naming Martin Mayhew General Manager earlier Friday morning, Washington announced Hurney is the club’s executive vice president of football/player personnel.

Like Mayhew, Hurney will report directly to Ron Rivera in the club’s coach-centric structure.

“Marty Hurney is an excellent evaluator of talent and someone whom I trust and have worked with in the past,” Rivera said in a statement. “He knows the amount of hard work it takes to operate a successful personnel department. Marty has a proven track record as a successful scout and General Manager and will be a vital part of shaping our roster. Both myself and [team owner Dan] Snyder agreed that he would bring an enormous amount of experience to our operation. It is also fitting that Marty started his career here working for the legendary Bobby Beathard. I look forward to collaborating with both Marty and Martin in the years to come.”

Hurney was a public relations intern for Washington back in the late 80s. He served as Carolina’s G.M. for a second time starting in 2017 on an interim basis before getting the permanent job in 2018 — working alongside Rivera until he was fired in 2019.

The Panthers fired Hurney in December.

Sean McDermott anticipating Patrick Mahomes will play on Sunday

Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills
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Even before the final injury reports are out, Bills head coach Sean McDermott has a sense for what he’s going to see from the Chiefs.

McDermott said in his Friday press conference that though the Bills did some work on both Patrick Mahomes and Chad Henne, they think Mahomes will be out there for the AFC Championship Game.

“At the beginning of the week we weren’t quite sure, but it’s probably trending in that direction,” McDermott said, via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “That’s what we’re anticipating.”

Mahomes was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but was able to take the majority of snaps in yesterday’s session.

Some in the league think Josh Allen has caught Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills
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On Sunday, two of the best quarterbacks of all time will meet in Green Bay. Then, two of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL will meet in Kansas City.

Most would say that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes currently is the best in the game. Some who know the game and who study it carefully are wondering whether Bills quarterback Josh Allen has caught up with Mahomes.

Simms and I separately have been hearing talk along those lines based on Allen’s incredible improvement in 2020. And the point often made is this: There’s a difference when it comes to seeing Allen perform in person.

Size, speed, mobility, accuracy. Incredible velocity when he throws. Uncanny ability to sprint one way and throw the other.

Mahomes continues to have unquestioned talent, and he’ll continue to be among the best in the game for as long as he plays. But Allen has reached that level, too, and he’s still not even 25.

Allen has a chance to persuade plenty of others that he’s caught Mahomes on Sunday. Even if the Bills lose, seeing them on the same field on the same day with a Super Bowl berth on the line will provide a clear apples-to-apples comparison between two of the finest young quarterbacks to ever play the game.

Mayor thinks San Antonio will have an NFL team by the end of the decade

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San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg believes his city is next up for an NFL franchise.

“I said I think last year or the year before, I think San Antonio is an NFL city within 10 years, I still stand by that,” Nirenberg told KSAT. “And that is because of the evolution that’s happening within the National Football League, the fact that it too is becoming an international league, particularly with its sights on Latin America, and we know the role San Antonio plays in that. We are the seventh-largest city in the United States and we knock events out of the park.”

It’s true that San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in America and the biggest without an NFL team. But what matters more to the NFL is the size of the television market, and there are seven metropolitan areas with more TV households than San Antonio that don’t have NFL teams: Orlando, Sacramento, Portland, St. Louis, Raleigh-Durham, San Diego and Salt Lake City.

But Nirenberg is eager to prove that his city can make it work in the NFL, and he’s interested in hosting games at the Alamodome for any team that needs or wants to play games away from its usual home field, in an effort to show what San Antonio can provide.

“There is an opportunity, potentially, to play host to some games in the interim. And that I think is the experience we need to continue to have to show we are a 365-day-a-year NFL city potentially in the near future,” he said.

San Antonio has done that before, hosting three Saints games after New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. At the moment, neither a franchise relocation nor an expansion team appears to be imminent. But Nirenberg wants the NFL to know San Antonio is available — and some owner may use that availability as leverage to get a better stadium deal in a team’s current location.

Falcons hire Frank Bush as linebackers coach

NFL: JAN 03 Jets at Patriots
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The Falcons announced four more members of head coach Arthur Smith’s staff on Friday.

Frank Bush will be the team’s linebackers coach. Bush spent the last two seasons as the linebackers coach and assistant head coach of the Jets. He also served as their defensive coordinator for the final four games of the 2020 season after the Jets fired Gregg Williams.

Bush has had stops with various other teams over his three decades as a coach, including a stint with the Titans from 2011-2012 when Smith was also on the Tennessee staff.

The Falcons also announced that offensive assistant Danny Breyer will remain with the team. The previously reported hirings of offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford and quarterbacks coach Charles London rounded out the announcements.

It’s time to ditch the coat-and-tie coach press conferences

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It’s business suit season in the NFL. It shouldn’t be.

When coaches are hired to run NFL teams, they show up for their introductory press conferences in suits. That’s the way it is, because that’s the way it’s always been.

But why does it have to keep being that way? Coaches don’t wear suits on the sideline, not anymore. Coaches (like most of the population) wear suits to court, to weddings, and to funerals.

So why do teams keep jamming their new coaches into suits and ties? Quite often, they’re nearly as miserable as Ralphie in his pink nightmare bunny costume. They’re usually incredibly uncomfortable, even when the suit fits.

Sometimes, the suit doesn’t fit. Sometimes, the suit is 10 sizes too big. Sometimes, the tight collar can cause all sorts of unusual facial expressions. Sometimes, the guy in the suit starts talking about biting off kneecaps.

Regardless, at a time when the first impression made by the coach should be natural and authentic, the moment all too often comes off as forced and fake.

In the current business suit season cycle, progress has been made. Chargers coach Brandon Staley showed up for his press conference without a tie. Urban Meyer ditched the jacket and dress shirt for a polo and a Jaguars half-zip pullover. And no one has complained about it.

Eventually, some team will realize that it’s an opportunity to unveil a new officially-licensed hoodie or polo shirt or whatever it it that carries the team’s logos and colors. That’s what he’s going to be wearing when he’s working; why shouldn’t he wear it the first day he shows up for his new job?