Charles Robinson

  • Texans' Wilfork has power to help lift Watt's game higher but will his influence extend to Clowney?

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    HOUSTON – Almost a month ago, when the Houston Texans' coaching staff lined up the annual training camp fitness test, the sun resembled a spotlight hanging in a coal furnace. To breathe was to embrace the sensation of drinking a glass of hot water.

    For an NFL staff, there is purity in this moment. It strips a roster down to reality. The guys who spend their offseason living in discipline will shine. The ones who don't? They wheeze. They vomit. They fail. Texans coach Bill O'Brien lives for that kind of truth. It shows him, right up front, the players he can lean on. And on July 31, he had his eye on Vince Wilfork.

    "Passed [it] in about 98-degree heat in Houston," O'Brien said, noting Wilfork needed only one attempt at the team's punishing series of 20 40-yard sprints. "It was hot as hell at 10 o'clock in the morning.

    "He's a pro's pro."

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  • Here are 4 biggest culprits in toxic RG3-Redskins relationship

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    Two preseason games – six offensive series – and we're already at critical mass with Robert Griffin III.

    For the past few days, the narratives have fallen into a 2014 greatest-hits groove. The Washington Redskins are at a turning point at quarterback … Griffin is still coddled and self-important … Head coach Jay Gruden has shown remarkable patience … The offense is demonstrably better under (choose one, or both: Kirk Cousins/Colt McCoy).

    Can we just file the divorce papers already?

    Seriously, this is old. The arguments are stale. The barely subtle finger-pointing inside the (growing) pro-Gruden and (dwindling) pro-Griffin media factions is reaching exhausted levels. Everyone has their camp and their talking points and we've all heard them before. So why are we still here? Why is Griffin still starting? And when can we move on? Because this franchise is more likely to cave in on a nickname change than it is to pay Griffin the more than $16 million he is due next season.

    The four biggest?

    This looked like an awkward fit for everyone involved.

  • Jeremy Maclin gives Chiefs deep threat but can Alex Smith deliver the ball?

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – When Andy Reid dispersed the 15-play script for the Kansas City Chiefs' first preseason game last week, a smile crept across the face of wideout Jeremy Maclin. The franchise's biggest offseason acquisition looked at the first play of the game and saw Reid reaching straight for some vertical hot sauce.

    The first order of business in Maclin's debut? A deep ball from quarterback Alex Smith to his new No. 1 receiver.

    And he could think of no better way to hoist Kansas City's flag in the 2015 season.

    "It was just letting them know," Maclin said. "It was saying, 'Hey, we can do this.'"

    In the weeks since, dispatches have been coming out of this camp in all forms of media, like Bigfoot sightings from the wilderness: I saw the Chiefs throwing the deep ball today. And lest anyone doubt them, Reid took the opportunity to punctuate this expected staple of the offense, dialing up Smith to Maclin right out of the preseason gate. Much to the liking of his quarterback and wide receiver tandem.

    The Chiefs will just keep trumpeting the expanding relationship between Smith and Maclin, and patiently try to fit all the other pieces into place.

  • 3 scenarios that'll extend deflate-gate for Tom Brady, NFL if no settlement is reached

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 10 days ago

    Finally, we know the loser in Tom Brady vs. the NFL: brevity.

    For all of those who hoped for a short battle and swift compromise, believing that logical heads had to prevail, you've been crushed. Barring some last moment epiphany between a gang of attorneys who are becoming richer by the day, Brady vs. the NFL will be placed in the hands of U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman on Wednesday. And no matter what Judge Berman decides (or when he decides it), Brady's travel plans made the only declaration that matters. He left New York on Tuesday with no settlement. And no settlement means no end in sight.

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    Consider each outcome and what it is likely to inflict:

    But winning appears to be more important than spending for these two sides. And maybe for that reason alone, deflate-gate will drag on far beyond Wednesday.

  • This is why Tom Brady can't surrender under NFL's strict settlement terms

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    Wednesday came and went, and the NFL and Tom Brady remained deadlocked. No settlement. No ceasefire. No discernible movement to dim the lights on the circus. Unless the NFL changes a key stance in the coming days, that won't change.

    From the NFL's corner of the ring, the key to unlocking the settlement is Brady having to "embrace that he shares responsibility" for the deflation of footballs prior to last season's AFC championship game, according to a source who spoke to Yahoo Sports on Wednesday. Further, an ESPN report said the league office insists Brady must "accept" the findings of Ted Wells' investigation. But the source said Brady is refusing, and that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft remains "100 percent" behind his quarterback's stance.

    Brady apparently sees any culpability as an admission of guilt. And agreeing to any form of "guilty" is off the table.

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  • Jawbreaker: Looks like another broken season for Jets after stunning injury to Geno Smith

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 17 days ago

    Is this where we start reminiscing about the New York Jets' serene run under Rex Ryan?

    Don't rule it out for the most cursed NFL franchise in the infancy of this season. Use another descriptor if you prefer: plagued, snake-bitten … all have applied this preseason. But none has been as stupid or embarrassing as Tuesday, when the Jets announced they lost starting quarterback Geno Smith for possibly as long as 10 weeks with a broken jaw. A loss that didn't occur in a game or practice, which would be unfortunate but understandable. No, this came off the field and at the hands of the Jets themselves, specifically the fist of 2014 sixth-round pick Ikemefuna Enemkpali, who allegedly knocked Smith out of action with a shattering locker room sucker punch.

    "We are down [a quarterback]. It's something we're dealing with. The team knows it's something we don't tolerate, something we can't stand. You don't walk up to another man and punch him in the face."

  • Robert Griffin III says he's not feeling added pressure ahead of make-or-break season

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 23 days ago

    RICHMOND, Va. – Robert Griffin III was baking inside his helmet by the time practice was wheezing down in 93-degree weather at the Bon Secours training center on Wednesday. Having just finished running the Washington Redskins' four-minute offense – during which coach Jay Gruden ran onto the field and barked instructions between each play – the quarterback jogged over to his head coach and tilted his helmet back.

    Gruden shouted at a personnel grouping, and Griffin smiled, patting his coach on the rear end. Sort of a "you tell 'em, coach" moment. He then pivoted back to his offense, weaving between every guy, slapping hands and giving out fist bumps. A skeptic – and Griffin has more of those than he can count – might have thought it was a show. Some not-so-subtle theatrics for those who study his leadership on a daily basis.

    But the truth was, in that very moment, Griffin appeared to have come by the enjoyment honestly. Even a cynic would have to admit that he looked…well… loose .

    "Listen," he said. "We know the importance of this camp and this season – for everyone involved."

    Griffin laughed and shook his head.

    Rookie playing a role

     

  • Joe Flacco brushes off revolving door of Ravens offensive coordinators

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 24 days ago

    BALTIMORE – Four years running, Joe Flacco has been fielding the same questions from a DMV line of reporters, and prepping the same standard answers.

    Your offensive coordinator, Joe. What about your new offensive coordinator?

    From Cam Cameron to Jim Caldwell, Gary Kubiak to Marc Trestman.

    The Baltimore Ravens' quarterback shrugged it off Monday night. Part of the job. He's a veteran, so it's not the big deal it once was. In truth, Flacco has the ability to mold his offensive system nearly as much as his merry-go-round of coordinators. If anything, it's more of a recycled dialogue than a total culture change. Which is a good thing in 2015 because this is a Ravens team that looks remarkably balanced and Super Bowl worthy, despite having only five starters left from the team that won the championship in 2013.

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    "I think we're moving in the right direction," Flacco said. "But it's early. There is always still a lot of work to do."

    Rookie playing a role

  • Jets coach Todd Bowles already in damage control mode – and there's still hefty QB issues

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 25 days ago

    FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – When someone informed New York Jets coach Todd Bowles on Saturday that his oft-maligned quarterbacks had yet to throw an interception in training camp, he playfully stepped on it.

    "Shhhhh," Bowles said in a near whisper. "Don't say anything."

    Don't jinx Bowles. He doesn't need it. Not now. It's been only a few days in camp, and he's already well ahead of the preseason quota on headaches. From Sheldon Richardson's July arrest, to rookie Devin Smith's injuries, to Muhammad Wilkerson's contract and tweaked hamstring, to a right guard situation that's up in the air, Bowles has been engaged in a troubleshooting marathon.

    Oh, and lest he forget, there's the whole quarterback situation, which needs to get a whole lot better – quickly.

    Oh, and the news breaks the day of your first training camp practice.

    And quarterbacks Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick? No interceptions in camp?

    With that in mind, here are some other observations from camp …

    Rookie playing a role

    Veteran fighting for a job

  • One of Chip Kelly's biggest problems with Eagles: culture shock

    Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 26 days ago

    PHILADELPHIA – Chip Kelly isn't Andy Reid. And that is part of this problem with Philadelphia Eagles players.

    Maybe he's aloof. Or single-minded. Or hard to talk to. Maybe he's more concerned with what a player can do for his team rather than whether he's clicking with someone emotionally. Racist? I don't know Kelly well enough to make any judgment like that. But I know enough about Reid to say that Kelly is following a guy who connected with most of his players. A guy who was, in a way, the big teddy bear who ran player-friendly practices and managed a familial atmosphere with his roster.

    Maybe Kelly hasn't done that. But Reid did , and from what I gathered from a handful of Eagles sources, that's at least part of what we're seeing now.

    Let's unpack exactly what happened with Brandon Boykin, who was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday. Shortly after he was traded, Boykin told CSNphilly.com:

    It felt impersonal. It didn't feel like family.

    Some other observations from training camp …