Frank Schwab

  • Chris Matthews' dad missed his big play in the NFC championship game

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 10 hrs ago

    PHOENIX – Chris Matthews became an unexpected hero of the Seattle Seahawks’ crazy comeback win in the NFC championship game.

    It was so unexpected that his dad missed it while working his job as a police officer.

    Matthews hadn’t touched the ball in the NFL until recovering an onside kick in the final minutes of the NFC title game against the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks scored after Matthews’ recovery to take the lead, and eventually won in overtime.

    The rookie receiver didn’t log a catch or fumble recovery in the regular season, but his first NFL touch was a big one. So big that his police-officer father got a bit emotional.

    “My dad is kind of a serious dude,” Matthews said. “You won’t catch him too many times smiling or having a good laugh. When he does, it’s special.”

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    Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

  • Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick, complete opposites ... in some ways

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 10 hrs ago

    PHOENIX – There are countless ways in which Super Bowl coaches Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick differ, at least in public perception.

    There was a moment this week when a media member, before asking a question, identified himself. The coach at the podium replied with a hearty "What's up?!?" and we'll let you guess if that was Carroll or Belichick. Hint: It wasn't Belichick.

    Carroll is the youngest 63-year-old ever, a bounding ball of energy who is so keen on competing that he sometimes has players shoot baskets and keep score before team meetings. Would you believe it if I told you Belichick is actually younger than Carroll? He is, by about seven months. But Belichick plays the role of the grump, at least when he’s not taking questions about stuffed animals at Media Day.

    But maybe the two Super Bowl coaches aren’t so different after all.

    “He smiles!” Patriots receiver Brandon LaFell said. “He smiles in the meeting rooms, he jokes around. Bill is a great guy.”

    “They’re winners,” McGinest said.

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  • Jermaine Kearse becomes an instant legend with one historic play

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 12 hrs ago

    PHOENIX – Seattle Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse didn't get a podium at Super Bowl media day last year.

    They only have 15 podiums per team, counting one for coach Pete Carroll and another wasted on Marshawn Lynch. And Kearse's production, with 537 yards and one touchdown in his third NFL season, didn't indicate he would have one. But he did, because after the NFC championship game, everyone knows who he is.

    A kid who was about 10, one of the many kids asking players from both teams questions on media day approached Kearse's podium with the question he'll get asked a million more times before he dies.

    "How did it feel to make the game-winning catch against Green Bay?" the kid asked.

    "It felt good," Kearse said, going into a lengthy answer about overcoming adversity. 

    Comedian J.B. Smoove also approached Kearse. 

    "Amazing catch against Green Bay, right?" J.B. Smoove said.

    "Yeah," Kearse said. "I appreciate it."

    As you can imagine, life has been different for him since he closed out the Packers with a 35-yard touchdown in overtime.

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  • Patriots owner Robert Kraft wants NFL apology if investigation clears team

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    CHANDLER, Ariz. – New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft criticized the NFL, the way deflate-gate has been handled and reported on, said he wanted an apology from the league if its investigation doesn't turn up anything, and basically dropped the mic on the conversation of the entire matter for the rest of the week. 

    It was surreal. It was an unscheduled statement by Kraft before coach Bill Belichick's first news conference in Arizona for the Super Bowl. He was angry and frustrated and stood completely behind Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady and their claims that they didn't do anything to cause the Patriots' game footballs to be under-inflated in the AFC championship game. 

    And if the NFL investigation by Ted Wells doesn't provide proof, he wants an apology from the league.

    Wow.

    Kraft started his statement, which he said he wrote on the flight from Massachusetts to Arizona on Monday, by throwing his entire support behind Brady and Belichick.

    "It bothers me greatly their reputations and integrity – and by association that of our team – has been called into question this week."

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  • Doug Baldwin, Seahawks enjoy underdog role, even if it's invented

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    PHOENIX – Since late in the 2012 season, it’s unlikely any NFL team has had more kind words written and said about them as the Seattle Seahawks.

    I’d defy anyone to find anything that truly disrespected them. They were a deserving Super Bowl champion last season and have a possible dynasty forming. Everyone knows that. But if anything has been said as a slight to the Seahawks, it’s probably a good bet they’ve heard it and remembered it.

    Receiver Doug Baldwin’s rant outside the locker room after the NFC championship game gives a partial window into what motivates the Seahawks. Baldwin talked (passionately) about how he, the receivers and the team had been written off, especially when the team was 6-4 and in danger of missing the playoffs. He talked about how everyone wrote the Seahawks off when they were trailing the Packers 16-0 at halftime, and how could he even know such a thing?

    “We enjoy that," Baldwin said. "It adds some motivation, it adds some flair to it. We embrace it."

  • Was Richard Sherman right, does Roger Goodell have conflict of interest?

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    PHOENIX – Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, in his unique way, put the deflate-gate situation in a different context.

    Does NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have a conflict of interest?

    Sherman's comment was the result of a photo with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Goodell at Kraft's house before the AFC championship game, but a new GQ article on Goodell brings a lot of new perspective to the forefront.

    As GQ pointed out, Kraft was one of the strongest defenders of giving Goodell a salary of more than $44 million in 2013. Even if that doesn't matter at all in deflate-gate – no punishment has been given out, the NFL hasn't said anything meaningful on the investigation and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said the NFL hasn't even questioned him yet – it's fair for people like Sherman to put the puzzle together and wonder.

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  • Pro Bowl television ratings take another big dip

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    PHOENIX – The Pro Bowl started with a huge, sellout crowd. Before the fourth quarter even started, there were more than a few pockets of empty seats in University of Phoenix Stadium. It cleared out even more by the end, even though the game came down to the final seconds.

    Television ratings also reflected that fans might finally be tuning out the Pro Bowl. The television ratings, usually ahead of any NBA or Major League Baseball playoff game before the championship round, took a big dip for the second straight year according to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily.

    The overnight ratings (which aren't official, but just a first glance), according to Karp, were 5.6. That compares to 6.7 last year and 7.7 in 2013. Those are still huge numbers, compared to anything else ESPN was going to have in the Sunday night time slot, but it's still a huge drop.

    And after years of blindly watching the NFL's all-star game, fans are finally turning it off. That will get the NFL's attention.

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  • Somehow, we've turned Bill Belichick into a sympathetic figure

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    PHOENIX – New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he was embarrassed about all the time he had to spend studying and discussing footballs after the AFC championship. He’s right. 

    He’s likely not embarrassed for himself. He’s embarrassed over the insane overreaction to this deflate-gate controversy.

    Let’s get this out of the way so I can answer countless emails and tweets at once: I’m not a Patriots fan, I’m not from New England, I do not personally know Belichick and don’t really want to. I don’t care if the Patriots win or lose. They're just one of 32 teams to me.

    But as the Patriots arrive here on Monday for Super Bowl XLIX, I just can’t believe we’ve somehow made Belichick a sympathetic figure.

    I get it, people hate the Patriots and like conspiracy theories and playing detective. And nothing I say here will change your mind. If you decided last Monday that Belichick is a dirty cheater who deflated the footballs himself, that will be your opinion forever.

    “I’m embarrassed to talk about the amount of time that I’ve put into this relative to the other important challenge in front of us,” Belichick said.

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  • Tom Brady's feelings were hurt by deflate-gate last week

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Tom Brady's comments about the first week of deflate-gate will certainly draw a lot of compassion from people. Right.

    The New England Patriots quarterback said that as the controversy over the team using under-inflated footballs during the AFC championship game brewed, and Brady was blamed by many, he felt it.

    "I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt," Brady said on WEEI's "Dennis & Callahan Show." "Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me. What’s serving me is try to prepare for the game ahead. I’ll deal with whatever happens later. I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do. But this isn’t the time for that."

    Let's pause as everyone rushes for their violins.

    Even though his feelings were hurt by all of the things that were said last week, he turned it into a positive.

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  • NFL wants to make it tougher on kickers, but is that a good thing?

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Pro Bowl goal posts just looked weird.

    The NFL trotted out experimental goal posts that were much narrower than regulation, and the uprights were much higher, too.

    Adam Vinatieri was not a fan.

    The Indianapolis Colts kicker, one of the most accurate ever and probably the kicker with the best chance to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday (Jan Stenerud is the only full-time kicker in the Hall), missed two extra points and a field goal to the narrow goal posts. The NFL narrowed the goal posts from 18.6 feet to 14 for the Pro Bowl. They also had kickers attempt extra points to the 15-yard line for a 33-yard try instead of the normal 20-yard attempt. All of Vinatieri's misses were barely wide.

    "I probably would have made all my kicks today and walked out of here feeling a little happier than I am now," Vinatieri said.

    Kickers have gotten much better over the years. Extra points are automatic and field goals were made at better than an 80 percent clip this past season. Adjusting the goal posts and/or moving the distance for extra points would bring those percentages way down.

    "It's a game changer," Vinatieri said.

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