- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
Welcome to the latest Shutdown Corner podcast! On today's please-let-the-Super-Bowl-get-here episode, we have a smorgasbord of football-related topics to discuss. We welcome in Shutdown Corner's Eric Edholm, and we cover every topic under the sun, from the game itself (we're split right down the middle on who will win) to the best matchup to the legacies of Tom Brady and Russell Wilson to, well, Katy Perry and halftime shows. Settle in, you'll have a good time. Listen up, and while you're listening ... Subscribe via iTunes right here. Non-iTunes subscription link here. Leave us a nice review here.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
PHOENIX – Speak to a handful of NFL fans long enough, and eventually one will bemoan the lost art of tackling, and specifically the lack of proper tackling fundamentals in the pro game.
Tackling in the NFL is insanely hard. You try bringing down LeSean McCoy or Jamaal Charles in the open field. But the Seattle Seahawks have seemingly figured it out.
It’s a topic that coach Pete Carroll takes very seriously. This past summer he put out an instructional video "Hawk Tackling" on the fundamentals of tackling. The Seahawks have used various other sports to learn techniques, like baseball and steer wrestling. They’ve taken a big cue from rugby. Carroll’s main message is for players to not use their head in tackling, using the shoulder instead.
Maybe it’s a coincidence that the Seahawks preach tackling fundamentals constantly and also have been the best defense in the league by a mile each of the last two years. But there’s likely some correlation.Sun, Feb 13:30 PM PSTNew England at SeattlePreview Game
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner6 hrs ago
PHOENIX – Jon Ryan started working on being a punter at 7 years old. He became really good at it too.
Ryan is good enough that he is the punter for the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. He has been one of the better punters in the NFL for his nine seasons.
And now he’s known mostly for the one pass he has attempted in his pro career.
Ryan threw a 19-yard fake field goal touchdown to offensive lineman Garry Gilliam in Seattle’s NFC championship game win. A television station from Seattle excitedly approached him this week, and most of the questions weren’t about his punting technique.
“It’s so funny,” Ryan said. “For 26 years of my life I’ve been punting footballs and working my butt off to become a good punter. Now all I’m known for is throwing a football. At the same time, it’s a lot of fun.”
We love trick plays. Give us a hook-and-ladder or flea flicker or Statue of Liberty play and we’re set. When you think of Boise State, you probably first think of either blue turf or the myriad of trick plays they used to win the Fiesta Bowl in 2007.
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
In an open letter to his most vocal doubters, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon addressed his alleged sixth violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, which could cost him the entire 2015 season.
Responding on Medium.com to, among others, ESPN personalities Stephen A. Smith and Cris Carter as well as NBA on TNT's Charles Barkley — who respectively said, "I harbor no sympathy for him whatsoever," "my concern is his well being," and "Gordon is going to die if he keeps going on this road" — the 2013 All-Pro dismissed those who cast aspersions, if only because they do not know him.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
CHANDLER, Ariz. — The understudy is being asked to step up into a leading role this week.
Backup quarterback JImmy Garoppolo has been spending his entire rookie season learning the New England Patriots' complex offense and trying to match the brilliance and knowledge of starter Tom Brady. But he also has a second job during the season: acting as the scout-team quarterback for the Patriots' defense, giving it the looks needed during the week of preparation leading up to games.
His assignment in Super Bowl XLIX might be his toughest acting job yet. Yes, Garoppolo has been asked to play the role of Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck, and others — 18 weeks worth, and many of them daunting tasks, each with a different skill set.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
Even as his former team prepares for the Super Bowl, Aaron Hernandez is now on trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd. Opening statements in the trial began Thursday.
Hernandez has been charged with first-degree murder in the June 2013 death of Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player and an acquaintance of the former New England Patriot. At the time of his death, Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.
Lloyd's body was discovered in an industrial park in North Attleborough, Mass. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty. Hernandez's associate Ernest Wallace Jr. is also charged with the murder. Another associate, Carlos Ortiz, was charged with being an accessory after the fact.
The case is unfolding in Bristol County Superior Court under the eye of Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh. Eighteen jurors were seated, of which 12 will decide Hernandez's fate and six will serve as alternates.
Hernandez has also been charged in the June 2012 deaths of two men in Boston following an incident in a nightclub. However, Garsh has ruled that jurors will not be permitted to hear the details of the Boston case in this particular trial.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
PHOENIX – Marshawn Lynch didn't have a one-line script.
For his last media obligation of Super Bowl week, the quiet Seattle Seahawks running back expressed confusion why the media keeps showing up to hear what he has to say. He expressed at Media Day on Tuesday that he was just there to avoid a fine, and Wednesday he explained that the media knew why he was there. He kept repeating the same lines until his five-minute obligation was done.
This time, at the end of a long-winded question to start off, Lynch surprised everyone by wondering aloud why the media continued to document his few words.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
So this is a new wrinkle for the Super Bowl: Richard Sherman might, just might, miss it because of the impending birth of his son.
The Seattle Seahawks cornerback has decreed it unlikely he'll miss the game against the New England Patriots, but his girlfriend Ashley Moss is expected to deliver their first child, a son, in the next week. As a precautionary measure, she's in Arizona, and if she were to go into labor, she'd deliver the boy at a local hospital.
As for whether the boy would show up on Super Bowl Sunday, Sherman had this to say on Thursday: "He's not supposed to come Sunday. I think he's going to be a disciplined young man."
Earlier, Sherman had noted that impending fatherhood had changed his perspective on this particular game, and allowed that it could give him extra motivation on Sunday.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago
The Seattle Seahawks' "12th Man" gives an enormous home-field advantage to the defending Super Bowl champs, binding team and fans together. But as this short Yahoo Sports video notes, Seattle shares the "12th Man" moniker with Texas A&M University.
How did each "12th Man" come to be? What must the Seahawks do to use the trademarked "12th Man"? And which team's fans believe they're the REAL 12th Man? What do Seahawks players who played at A&M think? All that and more right here.
So far, the 12th Man has traveled well from Seattle to Phoenix, showing up at all public events and making itself known. Seattle's home-field advantage is nearly insurmountable because of the 12th Man; how much of that will carry over to Sunday's game?
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
While New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been popping garlic like PEZ to get over his cold, the best remedy is a good night's sleep, and someone has been trying to prevent that the past few nights.
For the second time in three nights, the hotel where the Patriots are staying for the Super Bowl in Phoenix experienced a false fire alarm, according to a Twitter post from the NFL Network's Kimberly Jones.
However, Brady said Wednesday night's alarm didn't disrupt his dreams, since the false alarm apparently occurred in a different portion of the hotel than where the players are staying. Our own Eric Edholm is live on the scene to give us the latest on the QB's all-important cold remedies and sleeping patterns.