- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner50 mins ago
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Even though his former college teammate and roommate has been cut by two NFL teams in a three-month span, New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson nevertheless believes that Michael Sam has a future in the league.
Richardson called Sam a teammate for one year at Missouri and the two players were also housemates in an off-campus house in 2012. Sam was a seventh-round pick of the St. Louis Rams and was cut in August after a relatively productive preseason. The Dallas Cowboys signed Sam to their practice squad but released him early this week. Sam is trying to be the first openly gay player to appear in an NFL regular-season game.
Richardson, last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year, thinks Sam can play in the NFL.
“I see it, he definitely can play in this league,” Richardson told Yahoo Sports. “He needs to find a team, find his niche.”
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
You don't want to show up late on Bill Belichick's time, even if you're one of the NFL's best cornerbacks.
New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis showed up late to a meeting at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, so Belichick sent him home, the Boston Globe's Ben Volin reported, citing three league sources. Revis wasn't allowed to participate in practice or any meetings. The players were off Saturday to Monday after beating the Jets last Thursday night.
The Globe's story said Revis has accepted responsibility for his mistake. The Globe wrote that Belichick didn't make a "big announcement" to the team about Revis being sent home, but a source said, “The message was definitely sent. The rules apply to everybody.”
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
One of the great things about last season’s Seattle Seahawks, other than the immense talent on the roster, was the apparent togetherness.
“We all we got, we all we need,” right? The players rallied around coach Pete Carroll’s high-energy ways. They won a Super Bowl.
The last time a defending Super Bowl champion won a playoff game was the 2005 season. One of the reasons for that drought is champions dealing with inevitable coverage, real or exaggerated, that the chemistry isn't the same. Maybe over jealousy issues creeping into the locker room. Last week, the Seahawks were a pretty normal 3-2 team – maybe they didn’t run the ball enough, and the defensive line wasn’t quite as deep as last season ... normal football things. That was before the Percy Harvin trade.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
If you've traveled around this great country of ours and thought, "Man, there are Cowboys and Patriots fans everywhere ," guess what: you're absolutely right.
One of the more fascinating and borderline sinister aspects of social media is the way it reduces your most heartfelt dreams, desires, and fandoms to nothing more than data for a voracious Internet. But enough of privacy concerns. Let's check out where NFL fans reside!
Twitter has created an amazing heat map that tracks where NFL fans reside. You can see the entire map, you can zero in on a single team, or you can compare two different teams head-to-head. Certain teams (Cowboys, Patriots, Steelers) boast bandwagons that stretch from coast to coast. Others are, well, not so fortunate in the breadth of their fanbases.
Digging deeper in the data, we can find some fascinating insights, like:
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
Robert Griffin III practiced on Wednesday for the Washington Redskins, but that doesn't mean he's going to play on Monday night.
Griffin, who dislocated his ankle in Week 2, took some snaps in practice. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he was hopeful to make a final decision on who will start at quarterback against the Dallas Cowboys after practice on Thursday. It all sounds good for Griffin, but Gruden was cautious.
Griffin will first need to get cleared by the team doctors for full contact. Then Gruden needs to make sure Griffin feels ready.
"He was probably ready to go four weeks ago, in his mind," Gruden said after practice on Wednesday, in a news conference streamed on the team's site.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
The NFL games in London are done for a public-relations reason, to lay the groundwork for the league's desire to have a team there. For the teams who travel across the pond, they still have a football game and normal business to conduct.
That stinks for a guy like William Powell, who made the trip all the way to London just to find he'd been fired and needed to take a long, lonely trip home.
Powell, a practice-squad running back with the Detroit Lions, went to London to help the team prepare for its game against the Atlanta Falcons. But the Lions have some injuries at tight end, and are getting healthy at safety, so safety Jerome Couplin was cut for tight end Kellen Davis. The Lions wanted to re-sign Couplin to their practice squad, so someone had to be cut off the practice squad to make room.
So, cheerio, William Powell.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
On the first play of the second quarter of Sunday's victory against the San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles pulled off an impressive 16-yard broken-field run for a touchdown. However, the play ended with a vicious hit from cornerback Brandon Flowers. While Flowers left the game with a concussion, Charles stayed in ... even though he might have been at real risk for a concussion.
“It definitely hurt,” Charles told ESPN Radio. “It’s like, I woke up ... I mean, like, a couple plays later I was seeing light bulbs, like, light bulbs around my eyes, and I was trying to catch them. But I was in the game so I was like, ‘Alright, let’s get the ball and run again.'"
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
As if the Washington Redskins weren't having enough problems fielding a halfway competitive team, the debate on whether the team's name is racist or not simply will not go away. The Redskins-as-racially-offensive theme has hit the American mainstream, and unsurprisingly, people who aren't hardcore NFL fans or longtime "Hail to the Redskins" fanatics aren't quite as enamored with the name.
Here's the thing, though: surveys have consistently shown that a majority — a declining majority, yes, but still a majority — of Americans support the continued use of the "Redskins" name. Team owner Daniel Snyder himself has said he will NEVER (he insists on using all-caps) change the name.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
The Atlanta Falcons have descended on London and have begun preparations for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium. We think.
Based on a graphic the team sent out on social media, we're guessing that the Falcons' marketing folks did not book the team's itinerary over there.
Check out the graphic above. Notice anything wrong? Where to begin ...
First of all, it touts the Falcons team and staff taking THREE PLANES across the pond. Only one problem: The graphic shows them taking two — Atlanta to Baltimore, and Baltimore to London. Unless they made an unplanned stop in the Faroe Islands, or something.
The confusion is over the "to London" part; yes, their third plane apparently will go from London back directly to Atlanta, but goodness, it's not as if we can trust their logistical information at this point. Perhaps the team is taking three planes for its players, coaches and staff, but that would seem to be a bit excessive, no?
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
In the wake of the outrage comes the lawyers.Pro Football Talk is reporting that former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has filed a grievance against the team for cutting him in September.
First, a refresher: In February, Rice got into an altercation with his then-fiancee (now wife) in an Atlantic City elevator, striking her and knocking her unconscious. He was suspended for two games by the NFL in July; two months later, when tape of the actual striking surfaced, Rice was suspended indefinitely by the league and cut by the Ravens.
Now, Rice is apparently protesting the Ravens' decision to cut him, on the basis that the NFL's collective bargaining agreement only permits for one punishment per infraction. This is not an insignifcant issue; while this puts the NFL Players' Association in the position of having to defend someone whose conduct was reprehensible, the larger point stands. If the NFL and teams can continue to double-dip in terms of punishment based on this precedent, the system is open to abuse.