Commissioner Roger Goodell answered many questions during a news conference Friday on what he got wrong on the Ray Rice case, in which the since-released Baltimore Ravens running back was initially suspended just two games for a domestic violence incident in which he knocked out his wife.
And while Goodell's answers and his role in the matter are important, one other key entity hasn't answered too many questions about its role.
The team's brass sat down with the Baltimore Sun to discuss the incident, in which Rice punched his then-fiancee in an elevator, and not much else has come from them (outside of coach John Harbaugh, who has his normal media availability). And the main takeaway from that interview was general manager Ozzie Newsome saying that Rice told the team the truth about what happened in the elevator.Sun, Sep 2110:00 AM PDTBaltimore at ClevelandPreview Game
Hey, good news for Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan: His four-game suspension was lifted as part of the league's new drug policy. And some bad news for Jordan: He just got another four-game suspension that he'll start serving immediately.
Jordan, the third pick of last year's draft, served two games of a four-game ban for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, and just as that was being shortened because of the new terms of the policy, he was given another four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Here's the league's statement (and take note: It's never good when a statement like this includes "however"):
"Per the terms of the Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances that took effect on Wednesday, the four-game suspension previously imposed on Dion Jordan of the Miami Dolphins has been lifted.Sun, Sep 211:25 PM PDTKansas City at MiamiPreview Game
About 35 minutes into NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's news conference on Friday afternoon, a disturbance erupted to his left.
A man was being dragged off by security, screaming about not being taken to an elevator as the conference (probably the most watched news conference by a commissioner ever, although Adam Silver and his Clippers announcement might win that race) ground to a halt for a few seconds. It also drew some social media jokes about how Goodell needed to add "security" to the list of things he needs to fix in the NFL. And the gate-crasher yelling about the elevator seemed to be a shot at Goodell and the domestic violence issue that has been under intense scrutiny since last week when a full video of Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in an elevator was released.
And we should have guessed that Howard Stern's radio show was involved, according to many reports, including one from Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post:
That was Benji from the Howard Stern show.
Howard Stern's guy Benji is still fighting with the cops outside. This is bonkers.
Fox Sports uploaded the video:
Motivation matters in the NFL. Look at Buffalo last week.
Buoyed by a great crowd that was fired up about the Bills being sold to local ownership, with a visit from Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and a tribute to late owner Ralph Wilson, the Bills played a great game. They destroyed the Dolphins. On the opposite end of the spectrum, look at moribund Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
Motivation is why I think the Denver Broncos win on Sunday.
For seven months, they've all heard over and over about 43-8, the score of the Super Bowl they lost to Seattle. Nothing about their otherwise fantastic 2013 season mattered. Just 43-8. They were poked fun of all offseason, more than any team that didn't actually win a conference championship. Sunday is a playoff game for the Broncos, who want to answer to all the 43-8 talk. It's not that big of a deal in the standings for the Broncos, but it's a big deal for their pride.Sun, Sep 211:25 PM PDTDenver at SeattlePreview Game
Everyone in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization, from coach Lovie Smith to the players to those who make copies in the office from Monday to Friday, should be embarrassed. What the Buccaneers put forth on Thursday night was one of the worst efforts you'll ever see on an NFL field.
It took five minutes of game play for it to be absolutely clear the Buccaneers had no interest in playing a football game. Already 0-2 with two home losses to backup quarterbacks, the Buccaneers let the Falcons easily move downfield and score on their opening drive. That was the start of the avalanche.
The Falcons had a 56-0 lead before the Buccaneers finally got on the board with a couple of meaningless touchdowns. The final score was 56-14, dropping the Buccaneers to 0-3. It was a very sharp performance for the 2-1 Falcons, but still an inexcusable night for the Bucs. They are making a strong case for being the worst team in the NFL, when there's a good amount of talent on the roster.Thu, Sep 18Tampa Bay14 - 56AtlantaGame Recap
Devin Hester has done one thing – return kicks – better than anyone in NFL history. He cleared up any doubt about that on Thursday night.
In the second quarter, Hester weaved through the Buccaneers' special teams on a punt return and got into the open field. He beat the punter and strolled into the end zone for the 20th return touchdown of his career, breaking Deion Sanders' record of 19. That gave Atlanta a 35-0 lead. Hester even showed Sanders some love by putting his left hand behind his head and high-stepping the final few yards, one of Sanders' signature moves when he was returning punts and interceptions for touchdown with the Falcons.
Hester, who is in his first season with the Falcons after spending his first eight seasons with the Bears, redefined the position of returner. He never really became more than a role player at receiver for the Bears, although the Falcons are getting a lot out of him. Hester also scored on a reverse at the start of the second quarter (and he also forced a fumble on a great hustle play in the first quarter). Even though Hester naver became a star on offense, he's the most electifying return man ever.
The only signs of life the Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed early Thursday night lasted about two seconds.
Falcons tight end Levine Toilolo caught a short pass, which wasn't a surprise since every Falcons player seemed open against a Buccaneers defense that looked disinterested in playing. Toilolo fumbled when he was hit, and Buccaneers safety Mark Barron started to run with it. But Falcons receiver Devin Hester ran Verner down quickly and punched the ball out from behind, then recovered to give Atlanta the ball back.
That's how the entire first quarter went for Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Hester, the longtime Chicago Bear who is off to a tremendous start in Atlanta, scored on a reverse on the first play of the first quarter to give the Falcons a 28-0 lead. The Buccaneers, who lost two home games to backup quarterbacks to start the season, looked clueless as the Falcons swamped them.
Ray McDonald has become far better known for being arrested for domestic abuse, right after the NFL announced its tougher domestic violence policy, than anything he has done on the field as a defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers.
There is more interest in McDonald than usual, which is why the San Jose Police Department says it released details of a second domestic incident at McDonald's house from this past May, one in which McDonald's fiancee allegedly grabbed a gun during an argument.
The police report, via CSN Bay Area, detailed the incident in which police were called to the home. The SJPD said it released the report due to “overwhelming media interest.”
“An engaged couple (a male and female subject) were in an argument when the female subject became upset, grabbed a firearm (handgun) registered to the male subject, and held it at her side,” according to the report.Sun, Sep 211:05 PM PDTSan Francisco at ArizonaPreview Game
The bond between the Kemoeatu brothers is so tight that when Chris' career with the Pittsburgh Steelers ended because he needed a kidney transplant, that was it for Ma'ake and his Baltimore Ravens career too.
"He couldn't play anymore, and I didn't want to be in a position where he couldn't play but I'd keep playing," Ma'ake Kemoeatu , a former nose tackle, said according to the Associated Press. "As soon as my brother's health was at risk I wanted to stop everything."
Chris Kemoeatu's health was more important than football, and Ma'ake Kemoeatu helped him in an incredible way, not only quitting his NFL career but donating a kidney.
The kidney transplant surgery on Aug. 27 went well, and the two talked to the media on Wednesday. Ma'ake, now 35, quit the Ravens in 2012. Chris, now 31, was a guard for the Steelers for seven seasons before his health forced him from the game.Sun, Sep 215:30 PM PDTPittsburgh at CarolinaPreview Game
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Now, before I get to Eagles coach Chip Kelly's outright lie about why Philadelphia cut receiver DeSean Jackson, I know why he did it.
Before Jackson's first game against Philadelphia since the Eagles cut him, Kelly was of course asked about why the team cut Jackson this past offseason. The Redskins signed Jackson shortly after he was cut. There were plenty of rumors about why the Eagles let him go, including one explosive story from NJ.com that said the team was worried about Jackson's possible gang activity.
Whatever Kelly's real reason, Jackson was gone after a 1,332-yard, nine-touchdown season. And it serves Kelly no purpose to say the real reason. He doesn't want to make Jackson any more motivated than he already is, not to mention that he doesn't need the union looking into what his reason was.