Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago
MOBILE, Ala. – It's the final days of Senior Bowl week. So, just follow the Pittsburgh Steelers and take notes.
If history has taught us anything about this week, that is the lesson. The Steelers, more than any team in NFL history, have figured out a way to cull talent from this event. Whether it's Hall of Famers, consistent Pro Bowlers, solid starters or niche performers who slide perfectly into a system, a large portion of the Steelers' storied history has taken part in this week's game.
Among the take? Eight Hall of Famers: defensive tackle Joe Greene, quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw and Len Dawson, running back Franco Harris, wideouts Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, and centers Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson. When wideout Hines Ward becomes Hall of Fame eligible later this decade, that number could swell to nine.
And all played in the Senior Bowl.
How about linebackers Joey Porter, LaMarr Woodley, Larry Foote and Kendrell Bell? All were in the Senior Bowl. Defensive back Carnell Lake? Yep. Solid Super Bowl building blocks like Antwaan Randle-El and Max Starks? Absolutely.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago
SEATTLE – The game had been over for a few moments, and Doug Baldwin was heat-seeking, headed straight for his audience. A small throng of media had clotted in the halls of CenturyLink Field, and the Seahawks wideout hit the brakes and wheeled around with a derogatory pitch.
"You ready? Y'all ready for it?" Baldwin said in blended anger and excitement, as eyeballs honed in.
"Three-and-three! Remember the beginning of the season when we were 3-3?!"
Baldwin moved closer.
No matter who Baldwin is blaming, his mantra is hardly new. Long before Seattle clawed back on Sunday, championship-caliber teams have bathed playoff runs in faux-disrespect. This is a necessary component to accomplish a rare feat in today's NFL: winning it all and then pulling it together and getting back to a Super Bowl one year later.
"I can't wait until next year," he said to Carroll.
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago
It was a maligned offseason of re-engineering. Best-laid plans that went very wrong cost the Green Bay Packers dearly against the Seattle Seahawks and ended in a quick scuttling.
In Green Bay, it's the debacle known as the "Quad" 4-3 alignment. To the rest of the NFL world, it's not really known at all. That's because the Packers orphaned the scheme in October, after watching the designs fail miserably. And it wasn't just orphaned. It was seemingly razed, buried and erased from film. That much was evident to Seattle coach Pete Carroll this week as he digested Green Bay film snippets from the second half of the season.
The "Quad" will go down as one of the staples in 2014 when the Packers got worse. Ditching it and sticking with more historically successful 3-4 alignments, that is where Carroll and the Seahawks saw the Packers improve. And not just better, but downright dominant against the run.
"We thought this is the team we'd be playing," Carroll said of the season opener. "Like [they're playing] right now."
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago
Charles Woodson in 2006. Deion Sanders in 1994 (and 1995). Reggie White in 1993. This is the territory that awaits the Detroit Lions’ Ndamukong Suh – who is poised to become one of the most talented defensive free-agent signings in league history. And in the midst of his prime, no less.
Suitors? They will be plentiful, according to three league sources familiar with teams seeking defensive line tuneups this offseason.
The sources told Yahoo Sports there could be as many as 10 teams interested in making titanic pitches to Suh. That number includes Suh’s current team, the Lions, which still has the option of restructuring some contracts and retaining the four-time All-Pro via the franchise tag. At a price of $26.7 million for 2015, the weight of that one-year contract would be potentially crippling to the franchise, but the three sources said Detroit is keeping the option on the table. Head coach Jim Caldwell nearly admitted as much Monday, emphasizing that retaining Suh was a top priority for the franchise.
Asked to outline the primary issues governing who will land Suh, the sources overlapped on three main factors:
2. Behavior discussion
3. Motor discussion
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 20 days ago
ARLINGTON, Texas – There won't be any getting around the infamy. Not for Detroit Lions fans, anyway. Not in a city where this latest cold, dead postseason failure will be planted 6 feet under – next to the Oakland Raiders' "Tuck Game;" adjacent to the Green Bay Packers' "Fail Mary" and not far from the San Diego Chargers' "Immaculate Deception."
There is a hole somewhere in there, waiting for Detroit's 24-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Another postseason opportunity squashed, adding to a gruesome 1-11 postseason record since 1957. But this one might be one of the most painful, thwarted by a phantom flag – a fourth-quarter pass interference call against Dallas that was inexplicably (and as video evidence later showed, incorrectly) reversed.
A moment and a loss that brought even the hardest of hearts – like Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh – to crack.
Suh excused himself a few seconds later, breaking down as he exited to a hallway.
Much like every other Lions postseason that fans have known.
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 27 days ago
Say yes. Schmooze. Engage the media. Play office politics. Don't be overly independent. Be flexible with compensation. Do all of this, and you might be the proper head-coaching fit for the San Francisco 49ers.
But read your history before signing on. It's ugly. And it repeats itself.
Jim Harbaugh is out, and it seems the chief requirement for this franchise will be: Just don't be Jim Harbaugh. If there is some way to be the complete opposite of Jim Harbaugh, do that. All the time , if possible. Appease the power structure first, win second.
Forget Camelot and all the championships, when Bill Walsh micromanaged his roster on a molecular level. A new 49ers program has been coded. And you don't skip commands.
Harbaugh had to win and slap backs, and make everyone feel good in the process. Maybe things would be different if he had won a Super Bowl early, like Bill Belichick did in New England. But he didn't, so he got the same sendoff Belichick got in Cleveland, except with a whole lot more winning on his résumé.
And finally …
ARLINGTON, Texas – Tony Romo emerged from the locker room Sunday with a little of that Texas swagger on his chest.
Not figuratively. His choice was something more literal following the 42-7 face-stomp of the Indianapolis Colts. Slipping through a doorway afterward, the T-shirt worn by the Dallas Cowboys quarterback flaunted block letters:
"COWBOYS RUN THE EAST".
That's a fact. The New York Giants tripped at the starting line; the Washington Redskins devoured themselves from within and the Philadelphia Eagles fell into a tailspin. The playoff-bound Cowboys don't just run the NFC East this season. They own it.
For this franchise, it's a significant step forward. The Cowboys look as complete as they ever have, drawing forth memories of the 1990s: stout offensive line, bell-cow running back, opportunistic and speedy defense. Team owner Jerry Jones is smiling. Seemingly everyone is in line for contract extensions this offseason.
The writing on the wall for Adrian Peterson's suspension appeal came in the form of a telephone that never rang. In an odd way, that might be the perfect scenario for the Minnesota Vikings.
Peterson's appeal appeared dead shortly after arbiter Harold Henderson ordered the league and NFL Players Association to find a way to resolve Peterson's appeal without Henderson playing the final judge and jury. But the NFL never reached out to strike a resolution, a source familiar with the proceedings told Yahoo Sports. Instead, the source said, the league stood pat, confident Henderson (a former NFL executive) would rule in its favor, which seemed likely, considering Henderson was appointed by league commissioner Roger Goodell … who was, in effect, Henderson's boss when he worked for the NFL.
When this whole suspension appeal started, Peterson and his backers had simple goals: get the suspension reduced to as few games as possible; get the financial hit lessened as much as possible; and most important, get Peterson reinstated as quickly as possible because a suspension extending to April limits the market for Peterson's services.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson lost his appeal of a suspension for violating terms of the NFL’s personal conduct policy, the league announced Friday.
Peterson was seeking reinstatement after being suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last month after pleading no contest to misdemeanor wreckless assault for spanking his 4-year old son with a switch. Goodell suspended Peterson through April 15, but Peterson and the NFL Player’s Association appealed for instant reinstatement.
Peterson now must wait until April 15 to apply for reinstatement, at which point the league will once again review his conduct and make a determination.
The decision, issued by arbitrator Harold Henderson, is being contested by the players' union, which issued a statement immediately after the ruling that said, "The NFLPA expected expected this outcome, given the hearing officer's relationship and financial ties to the NFL. The decision itself ignores the facts, the evidence and the collective bargaining agreement. This decision also represents the NFL's repeated failure to adhere to due process and confirms its inconsistent treatment of players.
For this quarterback, it all started with fanfare, excitement and an eye toward the future. But injuries derailed that promise. By year three, if the media wasn't throwing around the word "bust," the fanbase was willing to do it.
Sound familiar? If you're a fading fan of Robert Griffin III, it should.
But look through the lens of history, and you might be surprised. We could be talking about Drew Brees. Or Alex Smith. Or Aaron Rodgers. Much like Griffin this season, that trio of very successful NFL quarterbacks finished their third season in the league under some significant doubts.
This isn't meant to liken Griffin to any of those players. But in the midst of frustration in Washington, it's worth noting that some of the greatest quarterbacks in league history hit walls in the first three years of their careers. Imagine if the Packers had grown impatient with Rodgers' medical issues and slow development, and cut him loose. It would have been a franchise-sinking decision. Or imagine if Rivers hadn't held out as a rookie and took the starting job from Brees. There's no telling how it would have changed Brees' historic career.