Shutdown Corner

  • AFC Championship: Can the Steelers' Killer Bs lead Pittsburgh past the Patriots?

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 13 mins ago

    Pittsburgh Steelers (13-5) at New England Patriots (15-2)

    Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET on CBS


    Key player: RB Le’Veon Bell. Yes, it’s obvious, but Bell has to be one of the five best players in the NFL right now. The Patriots’ M.O. on defense has long been to do what they can to take away a team’s biggest offensive weapon and make them win with everyone else. That’s not easy with Bell. The 24-year old has totaled 1,431 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns during the Steelers’ current eight-game win streak, and he sat out the regular-season finale against the Browns. That’s a great season for many players; Bell has done it in what amounts to half a season.

    And he’s been even better rushing the ball in the postseason: in the Steelers’ games against the Dolphins and Chiefs, Bell had 337 yards on 59 attempts, which averages out to 5.7 yards per carry. In New England’s Week 7 win over Pittsburgh, he had 81 yards rushing on 21 carries, and 10 catches for 68 yards, but did not score.


    Defensively, if New England stumbles and can’t slow Bell, it could open the door to the Steelers being able to dictate play.






  • Ravens lose leading tackler Zach Orr to surprising retirement after just three seasons

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 56 mins ago

    Baltimore Ravens linebacker Zach Orr missed the team’s Week 17 game with what the team said was a neck injury. He was put on injured reserve, but it didn’t seem like a big deal. The Ravens were already eliminated from a playoff spot. The Baltimore media didn’t make a big deal out of it.

    A few weeks later, Orr retired after just three NFL seasons. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Orr retired because of a “serious injury.” The Ravens couldn’t talk him out of it, Rapoport said.

    Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun said Orr is retiring due to a congenital neck condition. He didn’t sound concerned about it when the season ended, but further tests showed the condition. Orr was on the verge of getting restricted free-agent tender this offseason worth more than $2.5 million, Zrebiec said.

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  • Mark Gastineau says he has dementia, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 14 hrs ago

    Mark Gastineau, even with a terrible medical diagnosis that he believes comes from playing football, made it clear that he wouldn’t change anything about playing in the NFL.

    But the former New York Jets legend wants to make the game safer.

    Gastineau, in an interview with 710 WOR Radio in New York as part of USA Football’s “Heads Up Football,” said he has dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It’s always hard to say if football contributed to that, but it’s an easy connection to make.

    “I don’t want (my health) to overpower or overshadow the “Heads Up” program, I want it to be a warning to mothers and fathers to be able to put their kids in to safe places to be able to carry on a team sport that I think is going to be way far beneficial to them then if they didn’t have that in their lives,” Gastineau said.

    Gastineau said he thinks kids should still play football, but they should play with the proper technique. He said he thinks the proper techniques could have saved his health.

    More Jets news from Yahoo

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  • You decide: Did NFL Network intentionally leave Tom Brady out of playoff promo?

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 16 hrs ago

    If you’re reading this blog, you know this is a big weekend in the NFL. There are four teams left to fight for the two spots in Super Bowl LI in just a couple of weeks.

    And as it happens, the four remaining teams – the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers – all have top-notch quarterbacks.

    But one of them, it seems, isn’t worthy of being in a promo currently airing on the league’s own network.

    Eagle-eyed NFL Network viewer and Massachusetts native Anthony Collito posted this short clip on his Twitter feed on Friday:

    @jerrythornton1 @stoolpresidente @barstoolsports they forgot someone. #Oneforthethumb

    — Anthony Collito (@collitovision) January 19, 2017

    But NFL Network isn’t being petty, right?

  • As the AFC championship game approaches, many Steelers affected by the flu

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 16 hrs ago

    The Pittsburgh Steelers, already underdogs as they go to Foxborough for the AFC championship game, didn’t need any more hurdles to cross.

    But as the team prepares for the New England Patriots, almost a third of the team is reportedly battling a flu bug.

    Four Steelers players didn’t practice Wednesday because of “illness,” and tight end Ladarius Green was added to Thursday’s report with the same designation. ESPN said that according to Steelers receiver Cobi Hamilton, 15 Steelers have been affected.

    “We’re not making excuses,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, according to ESPN. There won’t be. We’ll be there, we’ll be ready to play, this is just part of normal things that happen over the course of a season.”

    The good news is that the four players who were out on Wednesday – kicker Chris Boswell, center B.J. Finney, receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and quarterback Zach Mettenberger – all practiced Thursday. But it’s not ideal for multiple Steelers players to be weakened by the flu, especially at the end of a long and grueling season.

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  • Katie Levitre, wife of Falcons' Andy, might be tougher than her lineman husband

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 18 hrs ago

    If you’re a parent and you remember the final weeks of pregnancy, you know that at a certain point, you’re on the baby’s schedule. Wouldn’t it be nice if your water didn’t break, say, at work in full view of 33 coworkers? Or that you don’t get the call from your significant other that it’s time(!) during overtime of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup? Sure. But once your bundle decides it’s time to come out, you can’t really argue.

    So on Saturday, when Katie Levitre, wife of Atlanta Falcons offensive guard Andy, arrived at the Georgia Dome to see her husband and his teammates play the Seattle Seahawks, she was a little uncomfortable.

    “My wife went into labor right before the game started,” Andy told Fox 5 Atlanta. “She came to the game and sat through the game while she was in labor.”

    Andy had no idea Katie was in labor until after the game.

    “I went and showered up, came outside we went home for like an hour, went to the hospital and then she gave birth,” he said.

    A photo posted by Andy Levitre (@andylevitre) on Jan 15, 2017 at 5:44am PST

    Lily weighed 8 pounds, 10.25 ounces and measured 19.25 inches.

  • Johnny Manziel: Story he's charging for Super Bowl-week selfies 'dumbest thing I've heard'

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 18 hrs ago

    Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, a Texas native, is scheduled to do two appearances with a Houston-area memorabilia shop in the days leading up to Super Bowl LI. He’ll sign items, of course, and take selfies.

    But apparently Manziel and the shop where he’s set to appear, Stadium Signatures, need to get on the same page.

    On Thursday, the 24-year old took to Twitter to dispute reports that he would be charging fans $50 to take a quick photo with him, the beginning of a brief but somewhat soul-baring set of messages.

    Just had this brought to to my attention. I'm not charging a penny for a damn "selfie" at the super bowl. Dumbest thing I've ever heard

    — Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) January 19, 2017

    “Just had this brought to my attention,” Manziel wrote. “I’m not charging a penny for a damn ‘selfie’ at the super bowl. Dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

    A short time after posting about the selfies, Manziel had a confessional of sorts.

    Related NFL coverage on Yahoo Sports:

  • President-elect Donald Trump picks Jets owner Woody Johnson as UK ambassador

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 19 hrs ago

    The NFL’s presence overseas just took a strange and interesting turn.

    President-elect Donald Trump said on Thursday that New York Jets owners Woody Johnson would be named to the post of U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. Trump revealed his newest appointment at a luncheon in Washington D.C. the day prior to being sworn in as the 45th U.S. president.

    Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV purchased the Jets 17 years ago on Wednesday. He is a longtime Republican donor who served Jeb Bush’s campaign before shifting his support to Trump once Bush dropped from the race. Johnson also served as vice chairman of Trump campaign’s victory committee and hosted several fundraisers for him.

    The ambassador position is considered a plum job, and Trump said Thursday that Johnson would be “going to St. James” — a reference to the Court of St James.

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    Follow @Eric_Edholm

  • Adrian Peterson wants to remain with Vikings but also eyeing Giants, Bucs, Texans

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 20 hrs ago

    The Minnesota Vikings could look a lot different next season if they decide to move on from Adrian Peterson.

    Peterson has an unwieldy salary-cap number and could be a victim of cost coming off an injury-decimated season and set to turn 32 in March. He told ESPN’s “First Take” that he wants to remain with the team in 2017 but has a list of teams he would prefer to play for in case he’s let go.

    “I see myself in purple. A lot has to take place,” Peterson said on Thursday. “I see myself finishing off in purple. It is a business at the end of the day, so with that, things could end up differently. … Hopefully we can work things out.”

    Peterson’s preference would be to go to a team that has a chance to compete for the Super Bowl — ideally one with a good defense, a good offensive scheme and a great coaching staff. His list includes the New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his hometown Houston Texans.

    “I have a mindset to be my best,” he said. “Going into the next season, I’ll be ready to roll.”

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  • Report: Seahawks could get docked a high draft pick for not reporting Richard Sherman injury

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 21 hrs ago

    The Seattle Seahawks didn’t say anything about cornerback Richard Sherman’s knee injury all season, but coach Pete Carroll revealed the news after the season ended.

    That could be quite costly to Seattle.

    ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the league is considering taking a second-round pick away from the Seahawks for not reporting Sherman’s knee injury on any injury report. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said that the Seahawks had already been docked a fifth-round pick for OTA violations, and the NFL could bump that penalty up to a second-rounder when it adds the Sherman violation.

    Carroll said this week that Sherman had a sprained MCL.

    “I didn’t realize that we hadn’t even revealed it,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, according to the team’s transcripts. “I don’t even remember what game it was, it was somewhere in the middle, he was fine about it, he didn’t miss anything. Same with Russell [Wilson], he was fine about it. I don’t know how they do that, but they did.”

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