- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner27 mins ago
Bernie Kosar was removed from the Cleveland Browns' preseason broadcast and he's hitting the NFL and Browns where it hurts most: Claiming the team did so because of his slurred speech caused by concussions.
Concussions and the treatment of former players with health issues are two of the most controversial issues the NFL deals with, and Kosar checked off both boxes with his claim.
Here was Kosar's statement, via the Akron Beacon-Journal:
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner28 mins ago
One of the best all-around athletes ever to play in the NFL might be more than 16 years removed from his final NFL career, but Herschel Walker believes he still could play in the league right now.
Walker turned 52 years old in March.
“I can play in the NFL today,” Walker told USA Today. “I couldn’t take every snap. But running backs nowadays don’t play every down. Now they send in the choir section.
“Physically, I can still do it.”
We want what Herschel is having!
Walker's last game in the NFL was in the Dallas Cowboys' season-ending loss to the New York Giants in 1997. He returned two kickoffs that day for 36 yards and caught two passes for 16 more. Walker wasn't handed the ball.
Every few years, Walker makes some noise about coming back into the league, as he did in 2011 while promoting a UFC fight. He was a spry 48 at the time.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Most of us don't think about the gymnastics that go into making the NFL schedule. We just complain that the league will never announce the exact date when it will be announced, then enjoy fantasizing about the matchups once it's released, while finding where our favorite team was slighted.
Peter King of MMQB.com had a great look at how complicated it is to put together the schedule, and it included a few very interesting tidbits, including King speculating that the league made Packers at Seahawks the Thursday night season opener because it was worried that Broncos-Seahawks would be a repeat of the 43-8 blowout in Super Bowl XLVIII.
"The league obviously thought a Denver-Seattle opener was risky—based on the outcome of the Super Bowl. Those are my words, not theirs," King wrote.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
Weston Richburg drove his old Chevy truck recently from Mesa, Arizona, where he was training, to the Arizona Cardinals facility for a visit with the team. Then he drove home, 10 hours straight to Bushland, Texas — population 130 — where he grew up. There isn’t too much in the way of frills when it comes to Richburg, the blue-collar Colorado State center who just might be the best at his position heading into the draft.
After playing well at the Senior Bowl and testing well at both the NFL combine and his pro day, Richburg has proven that he deserves a chance to play with the big boys. Not long ago, almost no one thought that was possible. He was a fringe college prospect who had to beg college teams to come look at him, and the Rams’ coaches took a leap of faith on a 240-pound offensive linemen who had missed two high school seasons with a torn ACL.
- Anwar S. Richardson at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
The NFL has a lot of television network partners to keep happy, and that job got more difficult when CBS was given a package of Thursday night games this season.
The league for years used "Monday Night Football" to show its highlight game each week, but when NBC landed "Sunday Night Football" and ESPN went to Monday night, the league puts its best games on Sunday night. This year NFL needs to make sure CBS and FOX were happy with their regular Sunday schedules, give CBS some good games for Thursday night, and still make "Sunday Night Football" and "Monday Night Football" must-watch events.
That's not easy.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
Now that the games have been slotted into dates and the 2014 NFL schedule is set, it's time for superlatives.
What's the best game among the 256 regular-season games? What's the worst? What are the best and worst weeks of action? Who won schedule release day? Glad you asked. Here are the awards from the release of the NFL schedule on Wednesday night:
Best game: With all due respect to Seattle and San Francisco, we're not getting too many more Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning games, and there's one scheduled for Foxborough on Nov. 2. And it's not just the novelty of the two greatest quarterbacks of their generation facing off again; their teams might be the two best in the AFC. That was the case last season, and then the Broncos went on an offseason shopping spree and the Patriots added the best player to switch teams this offseason, cornerback Darrelle Revis. The regular-season game last year between the two teams was entertaining. This one should be too.
- Anwar S. Richardson at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
"Thursday Night Football" has traditionally been similar to holding out a cup of water for a marathon runner – they are desperate for anything to quench their thirst.
The NFL knows its fans are desperate for football, and mediocre primetime matchups were traditionally scheduled on Thursday night. It is usually the one time of year struggling teams like Jacksonville, Buffalo, Oakland and St. Louis can enjoy the national spotlight. The league must have figured it's football, and you're going to watch no matter who is playing.
However, that changed a bit this year after the NFL partnered with CBS to produce and televise seven games on Thursdays over the first half of the season. The NFL Network, which will simulcast the CBS Thursday games, will have seven late-season Thursday games all to itself. Also, two late-season games take place on Saturday, and this year’s schedule is banking on division rivalries to add more spice to the lineup.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
People get jacked for the release of the NFL schedule. So do we. And though lots will change — even before we get to training camp — there are some definite must-see games on the schedule.
Our challenge? Narrowing it down to one key one per week.
Here goes nothing:
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
C'mon. It's the season opener. Even with quality games elsewhere on the schedule — including Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos playing host to his former team, the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night — you can't go away from this one. Props to the NFL for pitting the Seahawks and Packers, combatants in one of the league's most controversial games in recent seasons, and not backing down from that talk. That's uncharacteristic of the league.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
It's been a while since every Thanksgiving NFL game was a great matchup. There's always a dud.
Not this year. By making a tweak with the networks, the NFL guaranteed three tremendous matchups, and it will be all NFC teams. The day starts with Chicago at Detroit, followed by Philadelphia at Dallas and capped off by the big one, Seattle at San Francisco, a rematch of the NFC championship game and one of the top few games on the entire NFL regular-season schedule. That is the best Thanksgiving schedule, top to bottom, in many years.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
The NFL isn't messing around with its 2014 schedule.
The world champion Seattle Seahawks will kick off the season with a game not against their archrivals, the San Francisco 49ers, or the team they beat in the Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos, but rather with a foe that created controversy two years ago.
Remember the replacement referee fiasco game — aka, The Fail Mary — in Seattle in 2012? Yep, the NFL powers-that-be have orchestrated a rematch in Week 1 on Thursday, Sept. 4 on NBC in prime time.
The league announced all 256 games for the regular season, and it features some interesting highlights:
• Three Thanksgiving games that feature all NFC teams for the first time.
• A new Thursday slate of games, split through the season by CBS and NFL Network, that kicks off in Week 2 with a rivalry game of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens.