Welcome to the latest Shutdown Corner podcast! On today's piping-hot episode, we have: • A brief appreciation of the Oakland Raiders, who finally managed to win a game • A look at the dwindling chances of the Kansas City Chiefs • The locks and upsets of the week • Which franchises have made their fans the most miserable? All this and more as part of the Shutdown Corner Podcast. Listen above and download below, and while you're listening ... Subscribe via iTunes right here. Non-iTunes subscription link here. Leave us a nice review here.
It's never easy when an icon starts to tumble. It's even tougher when the icon can't seem to remember how to do what put him on top in the first place.
Nearly two years removed from his landmark rookie season, Robert Griffin III is as lost on the field as he's probably ever been in his life. Poor decisions and poor execution have put Griffin at the center of all Redskins criticisms, and there are many indeed.
Tasked with navigating Griffin out of this mess is first-year head coach Jay Gruden, who's taken every approach from encouragement to blistering criticism. Now, he's trying a larger view.Speaking to the NFL.com's Albert Breer, Gruden took a more philosophical approach to Griffin's problems.
That horse most likely left the barn a long time ago. Gruden said what Griffin needs is a bit more of the never-stop-slinging of someone like Drew Brees.
From the penthouse to the doghouse in five days. Not even a week after scoring an amazing four touchdowns, New England Patriots running back Jonas Gray overslept, missed the start of practice, and was sent home.
Gray blamed his oversleeping on a dead phone. He drove to Gillette Stadium but was immediately sent home.
This was not the wisest time for him to have a misstep like this; the Patriots just signed LeGarrette Blount, who's already familiar with the Patriots system, making Gray a less-valuable commodity than he was just a few days ago.
____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter.
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Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago
Tuesday will be known as the Day of Running Back Reckoning in the NFL, a day when teams once and for all determined that running backs were as disposable as water bottles, useful only for so long.
Cleveland cut loose Ben Tate and Pittsburgh released LeGarrette Blount on Tuesday, big-name backs that didn't deliver on their promise (andthey are by no means alone in that designation). But the churn goes on: the Patriots claimed Blount, and the Vikings picked up Ben Tate.
ESPN's Field Yates reports that the Vikings weren't alone in putting in a waiver claim for Tate; both the Colts and the Cardinals made a run at him as well. But the Vikings were the team with the worst record, and therefore got themselves a brand-new running back. The Colts' and Cardinals' bids for Tate are interesting given their records; clearly both are looking for more depth in the backfield as they head to the playoffs.
Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago
For Marshawn Lynch, silence has a price, and that price is $100,000.
Lynch was fined $50,000 for not speaking to the media after Sunday's game, which triggered a suspended $50,000 fine from last season for the same reason. Lynch has now been fined three times for failing to adhere to the NFL's media policy. Hissilence during Super Bowl weekbecame one of the largest stories prior to the Seattle Seahawks' dismantling of the Denver Broncos. (That did, however, lead to Lynch's instant-classic line: "I'm just about that action, boss.")
On the plus side, the fines collected from players go to help out former players in need through two different foundations. So there's that.
Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago
Mother Nature apparently loves some snow football. More than five feet of snow has fallen on Buffalo in recent days, and the local football team has found itself in the midst of an unexpected civic crisis.
Let's start with the stadium itself. The Bills posted this photo on Twitter Wednesday morning:
PHOTO: The inside of Ralph Wilson stadium under a thick blanket of snow and blowing drifts. pic.twitter.com/7Hg3gFcOMI
Here's how Lot 6 looked during the storm:
PLEASE BE SURE TO PARK ONLY IN MARKED SPACES.
Anyway, the team is preparing for this weekend's home game against the New York Jets, apparently by saving the entire city of Buffalo one stranded resident at a time. Here's kicker Dan Carpenter, digging out the walks of his elderly neighbors:
Running back Fred Jackson was stuck inside with some canine friends:
Josh Gordon returns to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday following a 10-game suspension, but it's uncertain yet just how big of a role the All-Pro will play. Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine is preaching slow, steady progress, but Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, who will face Gordon, isn't buying the line that Gordon will be at anything less than full strength.
"We really won't know until the week goes on, just kind of where he is mentally, where he is physically, how ready he is, how he will be able to contribute to our offense," Pettine said of Gordon. "We're very excited to have a player of his caliber back, but we also can't get ahead of ourselves."
“They’ve stated that they want to get him out on the field as quickly as possible,” Smith said. “He’s a game changer. He’s a guy who with the guy in his hands, he can make plays. We are anticipating we will get a full dose of him."
Jay Busbee at The Turnstile 4 days ago
Sure, Lance Armstrong was pretty good at that French cycling race. But when it comes to good old-fashioned American beer drinkin' and runnin', well, he's not even in the mix.
Armstrong was invited to qualify for the first-ever Flo Beer Mile in Austin, Texas, an event where competitors must drink four beers as they run a mile. It's one of many such alcohol-and-exercise competitions, and it's apparently too much for the former seven-time Tour de France winner to handle.
In the time trials, Armstrong drank a beer, ran a lap, started on his second beer, declared "That was not what I expected," and dropped out, which makes him a wise man indeed.
“He drank Budweiser heavy from a 12 ounce can, no widemouth, following strict international beer mile standards," said Patrick Hitchens, who completed the beer mile in 6:08. "Perhaps his days with Michelob Ultra Lite put him at a disadvantage. He’s probably on his way to a gas station getting some Budweisers right now and practicing his chugging. He’s a competitor. I hope to see him out there again.”
Welcome to the latest Shutdown Corner podcast! On today's piping-hot episode, we have: • The question of whether there's any hope whatsoever for Robert Griffin III and the Redskins • A breakdown of the latest in the Adrian Peterson story, including a question of how much of this is a power play by the players' association
• A detour into scab players. What if the NFL replaced all its players? Would we still tune in? • The lightning round, with quick-hit questions on the Broncos, Ben Tate, the NFC South, and more All this and more as part of the Shutdown Corner Podcast. Listen via the YouTube link above or the download link below, and while you're listening ... Subscribe via iTunes right here. Non-iTunes subscription link here. Leave us a nice review here.
Adrian Peterson will not play in the NFL for the rest of 2014.
Peterson has missed the Minnesota Vikings' past nine games after being charged in Texas with committing reckless or negligent injury to a child. The felony charges stem from injuries Peterson's son sustained when Peterson disciplined the 4-year-old with a switch.
The NFL ruled on Tuesday morning that Peterson, who pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault charges, will be suspended without pay for at least the remainder of the 2014 season. The Vikings running back will not be eligible for reinstatement before April 15, 2015.
NFL executives discussed possible disciplinary actions on Monday. Arbitrator Shyam Das rendered the decision; the NFL Players' Association has already announced it will appeal. While not taking a position on the case itself, the NFLPA has used this case to express concern with the NFL's handling of disciplinary matters.
Peterson has been charged with child abuse for the use of a switch on his young son. Goodell's letter outlined the reasons behind the suspension, starting with the age of the child.
The NFL Players' Association immediately appealed the decision.