- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
Well, it has all come full circle when it comes to the draft game of determining what is a red flag for a prospect.
You know the deal, a college player has an arrest or a failed drug test or got kicked off the team, it's a red flag. Too many red flags and you move down. Half of the draft chatter in April is either about hips, upside or red flags. Or, as it turns out with Marcus Mariota, too few red flags are a red flag.
Yeah, this is a doozy. Brett McMurphy of ESPN apparently talked to Oregon coach Mark Helfrich during Helfrich's visit to the network on Wednesday. And McMurphy said that a NFL coach and general manager told Helfrich that the fact that Mariota had no red flags at all — like, apparently he didn't even lag in returning text messages or chew his nails or fail to clear his dirty dishes after dinner or anything at all that bothers anyone — was in itself a red flag.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
It's a small world, after all. And apparently all of them are fans of the Washington Redskins. All 7.8 billion of them.
The Redskins put out a report this week, analyzing their reach and the impact of their training camp coverage from 2014. In the report, the Redskins claim a media reach last year of “7,845,460,401 unique visitors of print/online coverage of the 2014 Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp from July 24-Aug. 12.” That comes via the D.C. Sports Bog at the Washington Post.
For those not good with math or an understanding of the Internet, that means that over 7.8 billion people, each one of them unique, followed Redskins training camp in some capacity . Again, the report is claiming 7.8 billion people, each one of them different, in some way, shape or form, followed the team last summer.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
Even those watching deflate-gate play out and supporting Tom Brady had to raise an eyebrow at the news that the cell phone he was using at the time of the purported incident was destroyed.
And even after Brady offered up his reasoning for why the phone was put out of its misery, the question remains: Who in the heck thought this was a good idea?
Was it the NFLPA? Was is Brady's agent? Brady himself?
NFLPA executive George Atallah spoke with 120 Sports on its "Football Fix" show on Wednesday and discussed the future Brady litigation. He was asked whether the union advised Brady what to do — or not do — with his cell phone, as it related to the investigation of Ted Wells or the follow-up meeting with league commissioner Roger Goodell.
Atallah's response said a lot without actually saying a lot.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
No matter how heated an NFL debate can get, it's just football. Yes, even if it's concerning the madness of deflate-gate.
Almost everyone understands this, but the NFL took precautions for any few crazies who might not. According to the Portland Press Herald, on Tuesday the NFL asked the police in Scarborough, Maine, to look after Goodell's property there. Goodell announced on Tuesday that he was upholding the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
“They did reach out and let us know about the decision and that it might not be popular,” Scarborough Police Chief Robbie Moulton told the Press Herald.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
Shutdown Corner is previewing all 32 teams as we get ready for the NFL season, counting down the teams one per day in reverse order of our initial 2015 power rankings. No. 1 will be revealed on Aug. 8, the day before the preseason begins with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton.
NO. 11: CINCINNATI BENGALS
Making the playoffs four straight seasons in the NFL is a tremendous accomplishment.
It's hard. There's too much turnover and there's too much luck involved to assume you can grind out enough wins year after year to qualify for the postseason. The Cincinnati Bengals have won 40 games and tied one over the last four seasons. Before this run, the franchise had never made the playoffs more than twice in a row. Cincinnati once missed the playoffs 14 straight years.
It's a four-year run that should be celebrated to some extent. But we all know it's not, and instead it has become a punch line because of what has happened when the Bengals actually take the field in the playoffs.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
The last time New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft addressed deflate-gate, he stood on a podium and accepted the punishment of the team by the NFL. He didn't say it at the time, but he thought by doing so he would help Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension.
It didn't help. The suspension was upheld on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Kraft was angry. Kraft apologized to the fans for accepting the Patriots penalties. He said he was wrong to do so.
"I was wrong to put my faith in the league," Kraft said. "Given the facts, evidence and laws of science that underscore this entire situation, it’s completely incomprehensible to me that the league continues to take steps to disparage one of its all-time great players and a man for whom I have the utmost respect. Personally, this is very sad and disappointing to me."
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
Tuesday’s announcement that Roger Goodell will uphold Tom Brady’s four-game suspension didn’t amount to a conclusion in the case. But it made one conclusion very clear: Everyone loses with this story.
Yes, you can have your jokes about lawyers, iPhones (poor Samsung) and “Free Brady” t-shirt makers getting theirs. Fine — those profiting off this circus are the insignificant minority here who win, like umbrella salesmen price gouging during a downpour.
In short, everyone loses with this story, which should have been snuffed out months ago but now has taken an afterlife of its own. Everyone involved — Brady, Goodell, the NFLPA, the rest of the NFL, the fans — we all lose.
Even the NFL, which will see profit in the form of gonzo ratings in the season opener between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers, lose in this deal. Their short-term gain will have serious long-term effects.
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
In his most defiant public address since the deflate-gate scandal broke after the AFC championship game, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady emphatically defended his innocence on Facebook.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady's four-game suspension on Tuesday, citing the QB's destroyed cell phone as an important factor in his decision, and the four-time Super Bowl champ threw his counterpunch on Wednesday morning, claiming he replaced a broken Samsung with an iPhone 6.
I am very disappointed by the NFL’s decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me. I did nothing wrong, and no one...
Here is Brady's statement in full, punctuation mistakes and all:
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry will return to the practice field on Wednesday, less than eight months after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
The Chiefs announced on Tuesday night that Berry has been cleared by doctors and will practice when they start camp. Chiefs coach Andy Reid announced in late May that Berry had completed cancer treatments, but it was still unclear when he could return to football.
It's wonderful news all around that Berry won't even miss a day at the start of training camp.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Lost in the hubbub of Tom Brady's suspension remaining at four games was some good news for the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Yes, they occasionally accomplish things together.)
Running back Le'Veon Bell was able to have his three-game suspension pared down to two games after a settlement between the NFL and NFLPA.
Bell had been arrested in August 2014 on DUI and marijuana possession charges when he was pulled over by police with then-teammate LeGarrette Blount. Marijuana was found in the car as the two players drove to the airport last preseason for a game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The offense occurred under the old NFL drug policy, and yet Bell's initial suspension — the three games — was consistent with the new guidelines. The two sides settled, and Bell will miss games (and be docked games checks) in Weeks 1 and 2 at the New England Patriots and home against the San Francisco 49ers, respectively. Bell will be eligible to return to action in Week 3 against the St. Louis Rams.