- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Even though his former college teammate and roommate has been cut by two NFL teams in a three-month span, New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson nevertheless believes that Michael Sam has a future in the league.
Richardson called Sam a teammate for one year at Missouri and the two players were also housemates in an off-campus house in 2012. Sam was a seventh-round pick of the St. Louis Rams and was cut in August after a relatively productive preseason. The Dallas Cowboys signed Sam to their practice squad but released him early this week. Sam is trying to be the first openly gay player to appear in an NFL regular-season game.
Richardson, last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year, thinks Sam can play in the NFL.
“I see it, he definitely can play in this league,” Richardson told Yahoo Sports. “He needs to find a team, find his niche.”
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Peyton Manning's record setting touchdown ball traveled to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Monday, not via a special security guard or in a decorative box. It went to Canton in a plastic bag, underneath an airplane seat.
And it flew coach.
That's right: The ball that was thrown by the Denver Broncos quarterback to set the all-time mark for most touchdown passes in a career didn't receive first-class treatment. Upon arrival at the Hall of Fame, however, it will have far more prestigious accommodations.
The ball, which is now safely at the Hall of Fame and already on display, was secured via a long and rather detailed process to ensure that ensured the institution of getting the right piece of history. After Manning threw touchdown pass No. 509, surpassing Brett Favre's former all-time mark, the plan was for the record-setting ball to get into the hands of the Broncos equipment manager who would then get it to Joe Horrigan, the vice president of communications and exhibits for the Hall.
Instead, several Broncos teammates staged a game of keep-away with the record-setting ball on the field, making a smiling and laughing Manning chase the ball around.Thu, Oct 235:25 PM PDTSan Diego at DenverPreview Game
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Character concerns over the recently acquired Percy Harvin are a non-issue for the New York Jets, even as leaks from the Seattle Seahawks and his old locker room raise eyebrows over his off-field issues.
The Jets acquired Harvin on Friday to bolster a passing offense that is second worst in the league and lacking a true playmaker. Harvin became expendable in Seattle in part because of his locker room antics, which reportedly include a fight with former teammate Golden Tate on the eve of the Super Bowl this past season.
If he is healthy, Harvin can add life to a bland Jets passing attack. But the character issues are a bigger question mark for the Jets, especially given the scrutiny of the New York media market and the string of distractions that have surrounded this team over the past few years. Reports and leaks have indicated Harvin has been involved in two fights over the past year in the Seahawks locker room.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner8 days ago
The Dallas Cowboys are riding a high, fresh off their win against the Seattle Seahawks to improve to 5-1. It's the first time the team has reached a high at this level in several seasons.
So why isn't the team even more popular?
Dubbed "America's Team" for years, the Cowboys actually are only America's fourth-most popular team according to a new Harris Poll conducted in mid-September.
The top dogs? The Denver Broncos, who hadn't ranked higher than eighth on their list between the time John Elway retired and when Peyton Manning joined the team.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner8 days ago
The road to Canton likely will be more difficult for running backs, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders said in an interview with Shutdown Corner.
Sanders, who was selected to the Pro Bowl for each of his 10 NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions, realizes that the path to the Hall of Fame is more difficult for today's running backs than even those from just a decade ago.
The league has not only become more of a passing league, but the increased use of shared backfields means that the workhorse running back who would get 25 carries per game are long gone. Now, many teams use two, if not three, backs with a featured back who at times might not get half the carries for his team in a game.
For instance, In 1998, Sanders' final year in the league, he accounted for 76 percent of his team's rushing offense and 77 percent of his team's carries. Those are percentages of a bygone era and without as many carries, the modern running back might not be able to put up the big career numbers that can lead to a Canton nod.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner9 days ago
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Things aren't going that bad with the New York Jets, quarterback Geno Smith said. It's just the media that wants you to believe that, he said.
One day after he threw an interception in a game for the 18th time in his NFL career (he has 28 career interceptions in 22 starts), Smith said this season hasn't been as bad as reports would indicate. The Jets are 1-5.
Smith was asked about the ups and downs of this his second year in the NFL during a conference call with the New England Patriots media, ahead of the Jets game at Foxboro on Thursday, and he pointed out what has increasingly become a contentious relationship with the New York media as being the source for the bad perception around this year. He was asked if this year has been "topsy-turvy," because that's what it seemed like from afar.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner13 days ago
The New York Giants are keeping it classy.
At an autograph signing on Tuesday, a fan better known as "License Plate Guy" posed for a photo with Giants cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jersey that read "SUPERBOWLS" and aptly numbered "0," Giants fan Joe Ruback (and you thought "License Plate Guy" was his real name) got the stars of the Giants secondary to make a hand gesture shaped like a zero.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, the Giants are reminding their opponents this Sunday that they haven't won a Super Bowl. Subtle trolling right there.
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was asked about the photo, which appeared on the official Facebook page for 'License Plate Guy.' For the most part, he took the high road in his answer.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner18 days ago
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is the latest NFL owner to give a good review to commissioner Roger Goodell.
While addressing his team's rocky start to the season and current quarterback controversy, Johnson was asked his thoughts on Goodell, who is currently under fire for his handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case. Many NFL fans and media want to see Goodell ousted as commissioner. T here haven't been any signs the owners are considering a move like that.
To Johnson, whose Jets were ranked the sixth most valuable franchise in the league by Forbes, with a value of $1.6 billion, Goodell has earned the right to continue with his job. Goodell has made the owners – and players, too – billions of dollars. That's one reason he has support among owners.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner21 days ago
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Kristian R. Dyer writes for Metro New York and is a contributor to Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KristianRDyer
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner25 days ago
His own physical running style saw a stunning NFL career end suddenly after only nine NFL seasons. But former Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander doesn't have any regrets about how he played the game. And he doesn't want to see current Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch change his own bruising style.
Lynch, the man known as "Beast Mode," has a physical approach to the game that routinely flattens would-be tacklers, leaving in his wake crumpled bodies and jarred helmets. But Alexander, who very much ran himself into the ground with his lowered shoulder and tough-sledding style, knows the temptation of trying to change a running style to prolong a career.
And he doesn't want that from Lynch.