Shutdown Corner

  • Paxton Lynch believes he'll have honest shot to win Broncos' starting QB job

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 48 mins ago

    Paxton Lynch was able to climb his way from third on the Denver Broncos’ depth chart to start his rookie season to starting two games as a replacement for starter Trevor Siemian. And as the Broncos have changed head coaches going into his second season, Lynch believes he’ll have every chance to win the starting job outright.

    “From what I’ve head, that’s how it’s going to be,” Lynch told Shutdown Corner this weekend by phone. “Hearing Coach Vance talk, when he first came in, that’s what it’s going to be like. I think it was that way last year, too, but … I wasn’t really sure [what his chances were].”

    Of course, plenty of rumors have floated about the Broncos’ potential interest in Tony Romo, or other veteran QBs who could be on the market. But Lynch has not invested in those now and is going off what he has heard from the new staff to this point: that he’ll get his chance, as things stand now.

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    “It’s exciting to have coaches who have been there, who know what the QBs go through,” Lynch said.

    “We’ve been signing trading cards and promoting the game, and it has been a blast,” Lynch said.

  • East Boston man arrested for pulling fire alarm at Steelers team hotel about 3 a.m.

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 4 hrs ago

    It appears one New England Patriots fan was willing to help his team on Sunday, even if it got him arrested.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers were staying at a Hilton hotel near Logan Airport, resting for Sunday’s AFC championship game when the fire alarm went off. State Police and Massport Fire responded to the alarm at 3:40 a.m., MassLive.com said.

    It was a false alarm, of course. MassLive.com said police arrested 25-year-old Dennis Harrison of East Boston and identified him as the one who pulled the alarm. Police found him walking around the property, even though he wasn’t a guest, arrested him and charged him with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and setting off a false fire alarm, according to MassLive.com.

    But it did wake up the Patriots’ opponent between 3 and 4 a.m. It woke up everyone else in the hotel too.

    Welcome to Boston. Who would've thought this would happen at the @Steelers hotel the night before the AFC Championship, at 3 am? pic.twitter.com/8qowNZGTfc

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  • Reports: Colts have fired GM Ryan Grigson after five seasons

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 23 hrs ago

    Well here’s a somewhat surprising one for a mid-January afternoon: via multiple reports, the Indianapolis Colts have fired general manager Ryan Grigson.

    It’s another odd decision by owner Jim Irsay, who waited until a disappointing regular season for the Colts had been over for three weeks before making the move, and just days before league personnel executives, scouts and coaches will descend on Mobile, Ala. for the Senior Bowl.

    Irsay may have bungled things for the second straight year. After the 2015 season, amid multiple reports of turmoil between Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano, who were both hired in 2012, not only did Irsay decide to keep the pair, he tied them to one another for even longer, awarding both with four-year extensions.

    But now, Grigson is out.

    At least one Colts player is not sad to see Grigson go. Behold, tweets from punter Pat McAfee:

    More NFL coverage on Yahoo Sports:

  • Jared Goff says Rams can run Redskins' deep passing offense under Sean McVay

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Jared Goff has had time to rest up from a trying first season, let his body heal, spend a little time in Mexico with his friends … but now he’s ready to go back to work. He has a new head coach, a new offensive system and new perspective heading into his first full offseason of work in the NFL.

    The Los Angeles Rams quarterback spent much of last season waiting his turn (for much of it as the team’s third quarterback) before starting the final seven games of the season and still seeking his first victory in the league. He’ll be doing it under his third head coach following the firing of Jeff Fisher, and with interim coach John Fassel being replaced by 30-year-old, first-time head coach Sean McVay.

    Goff is now back in Los Angeles (more on that below), and he’s excited to get working with McVay on a new direction offensively.

    “He’s ready, ready to get this thing turned around, as am I,” Goff told Shutdown Corner Friday night. “We’ve talked now a few times since he’s been hired, and it’s a great start.”

    “I thought after that first meeting, if he gets the job I am completely on board,” Goff said. “I was very, very pleased. Now the hard work begins.”

  • Bills' WR Sammy Watkins has foot surgery, will miss offseason

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    For the second year in a row, Buffalo Bills receiver Sammy Watkins will be unavailable for offseason team practices due to surgery.

    The team announced on Friday evening that the third-year receiver underwent “team scheduled” surgery, which we suppose was to distinguish from Tyrod Taylor’s earlier surgery that the Bills did not appear to approve of him having.

    Watkins’ surgery was done by Dr. Robert Anderson, and the Bills statement said Watkins won’t be ready to return to the practice field until training camp.

    Buffalo moved up in the 2014 draft to take Watkins 4th overall. He played and started all 16 games as a rookie, but played just 13 games in 2015 and eight this past season. Watkins had hip surgery and an ankle injury in 2015; he broke a bone in his foot last May, and the injury bothered him into the season.

    Watkins had 28 catches for 430 yards and two touchdowns last season.

  • Aaron Rodgers trolls the Falcons over them pumping crowd noise into Georgia Dome

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    For years, the Green Bay Packers would gladly share their suspicions that the Minnesota Vikings were pumping noise into the Metrodome.

    Same story in 2017, different dome.

    Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a dry sense of humor at times, and he got off a pretty good joke on Friday. He called back to the Falcons having a 2016 draft pick taken away for pumping crowd noise into the Georgia Dome.

    “It’s really loud in there,” Rodgers said, according to Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “Whether that’s all natural or not is yet to be seen.”

    That’s pretty good.

    Falcons fans will also want to throw off Rodgers, who comes in on an amazing hot streak. The Georgia Dome hasn’t always been known for how loud it can get (without help), but last week’s crowd for the divisional playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks was fantastic.

    The Falcons fans would probably argue that they don’t need the artificial noise for Sunday. They’re sure to let Rodgers hear it loud and clear.

  • NFL against the spread picks: A great Super Bowl matchup awaits, no matter who wins this weekend

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    It’s not too often – especially when a No. 1 and No. 2 seed are upset in the divisional round – that any possible Super Bowl matchup among the final four teams would be a good one.

    Yet, there’s no team in this final four that would ruin the Super Bowl party. Each team is intriguing in its own way. The Atlanta Falcons have the best offense. The Green Bay Packers have the most exciting player. The New England Patriots have the best coach, a legendary quarterback and a lot of history on the line. The Pittsburgh Steelers have the best No. 1 running back/No. 1 receiver combination since … well, it has been a while.

    Any matchup is fine. Packers-Patriots might be the most viewer-friendly, but Falcons-Patriots (with two of the three highest-scoring offenses in football) could be the more aesthetically pleasing game. Steelers-Packers would once again bring together two of the sport’s best fan bases on its biggest stage. Steelers-Falcons would have a ton of star power and a lot of points too. We can’t lose.

    Here are the against-the-spread picks for the championship round, using the Yahoo Pro Football Pick’em lines:

    Related NFL coverage on Yahoo Sports:

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  • Donald Trump says Tom Brady called to congratulate him, Brady doesn't want to talk about it

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    If the New England Patriots win on Sunday, how many questions do you think quarterback Tom Brady will get about President Donald Trump during Super Bowl week?

    It’s pretty clear how many of those questions Brady will actually answer, and it’s a nice fat zero.

    Brady and Trump are friends. That much has been pretty well established. But Brady, time and again, has refused to talk about Trump. It’s probably smart on his part. The Patriots hate distractions. Brady is better off just saying nothing and not mixing politics and football. Besides, Brady’s wife Gisele Bundchen told him not to talk politics in publicanymore.

    Trump says Tom Brady called him today: pic.twitter.com/bd46ygMPrf

    — Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 20, 2017

    So Brady was asked during his Friday press conference about Trump.

    Did you call him?

  • NFL draft: 95 underclassmen granted eligibility, which is four short of a record

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    The NFL released its full list of underclassmen who were granted eligibility for the 2017 NFL draft — 95 total, which is just short of the high-water mark of 98 set in 2014.

    Additionally, eight more players have completed their course work at their respective schools — four of them from Clemson — and are eligible, bringing the total number of early entrants to 103. The four members of the national-champion Tigers who set forth a plan to finish their classwork early: quarterback Deshaun Watson, running back Wayne Gallman and wide receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott.

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    The most loaded position of the early entrants is wide receiver, with 27 who declared early, which should make the position even deeper.

    More NFL coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Greg Cosell's NFC championship preview: Aaron Rodgers can still beat good defensive calls

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    We looked at some of the strategic elementsto watch for in the AFC championship game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. Now let’s break down some things to watch in the NFC championship game:

    PACKERS OFFENSE VS. FALCONS DEFENSE

    The problem with preparing for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, with how well he’s playing, is that a defensive coordinator can make a good play call and Rodgers can beat it anyway.

    We saw it in the wild-card round against the New York Giants, and we saw it last week against the Dallas Cowboys too. It has to be disheartening. You watch film, figure out the right call for the right spot, and Rodgers ruins it with a great play. The Atlanta Falcons will have the same problem this week.

    When people question if arm strength matters for an NFL quarterback, keep that play in mind.

    FALCONS OFFENSE VS. PACKERS DEFENSE

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