- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
The Arizona Cardinals have hired Jen Welter, who is believed to be the first woman to hold an NFL coaching position of any kind, as a training camp/preseason intern working with the team's inside linebackers.
Head coach Bruce Arians was asked at the owners meetings in March about the possibility of female coaches in the NFL, and his response foretold this move:
“The minute they can prove they can make a player better, they’ll be hired,” Arians said.
Soon after that, he heard from a coach with the Texas Revolution in the Indoor Football League who told him about Welter, the former collegiate rugby player who played 14 seasons of pro football, mostly in the Women’s Football Alliance, and who was with the Revolution.
Arians was more than happy to give her a chance.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is not allowing the family of deceased linebacker Junior Seau speak on his behalf at the induction ceremony on August 8 in Canton, Ohio, and — despite an earlier report to the contrary — the family is not happy about it.
Seau's wish was that his daughter, Sydney, would speak for him upon his induction. But the Hall is falling back on a process they instituted back in 2010, shortening the ceremony by not allowing a formal speaker for deceased inductees.
Steve Strauss, legal counsel to the Seau family and partner at Cooley LLP, issued a statement on the family's behalf — and it's clear they are not thrilled with how things stand:
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
It's almost impossible to quantify what Russell Wilson's monetary worth is, vis a vis the Seattle Seahawks' salary cap. And that has stopped absolutely nobody from debating it.
With every figure that is tossed out there's a debate. People enjoy discussing it nearly as much as they like arguing about deflated footballs. The latest number is about $21 million per year, which Pro Football Talk said Wilson was offered and didn't accept. That leads to more parsing of the figures with arbitrary numbers: I think he's just worth $18 million, $19 million is a little high and I'd never go to $21 million! It turns into a game show.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
The alleged victim in the bizarre Miami Dolphins hazing scandal from a few years ago has decided to retire. But it has nothing to do with that.
Jonathan Martin, who was claimed by the Carolina Panthers this offseason after a one-year stint with the San Francisco 49ers, is walking away from football according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
Back injuries are no laughing matter, so Martin's decision is understandable. He never found his form in the league as the 42nd overall pick (second round) by the Dolphins in 2012. Martin, 25, started 16 games as a rookie and seven more in 2013 for the Dolphins before finding himself embroiled in a scandal that centered around former teammate Richie Incognito.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
I've seen it all now. It's over. The Jacksonville Sharks mimicking The Rock's "People's Elbow" finishing move as a touchdown celebration has set a bar for celebrations so high that it'll never be topped.
The Sharks, Jacksonville's Arena Football League team, scored a touchdown and ... ah, just watch:
Yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes.
Tiger Jones is the receiver who caught the touchdown and turned into The Rock for the celebration, Moqut Ruffins is the lineman who played along and London Crawford is the one who came in for the pin.
“This is why we call the AFL the All Fun League,” Sharks operating manager Jeff Bouchy told the team's site. “Tiger and his teammates have set a new bar for creative celebrations, and the team is fired up to be recognized by The Rock himself. ‘The People’s Team’ has a nice ring to it. It would be great if we can get The People’s Champion to Jacksonville to see The People’s Team. Can you smell what the Sharks are cookin’?”
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner18 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. 13: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Mention Chip Kelly to an NFL fan and you're likely to get an instant and emotional reaction. He's just one of those guys.
Some like him, others despise him. I'm not sure why anyone hates Kelly, other than the NFL is an insanely conservative league and anything out of the norm bothers people. And Kelly isn't the NFL norm.
Kelly was way out of the box when he was hired to be Philadelphia Eagles head coach. He had no NFL experience, playing or coaching, and was just seven years removed from the best job on his résumé being New Hampshire's offensive coordinator. He was known for a spread offense that was exclusive to college. The NFL had never made a hire like it before.
And, if you remove all the hype that has built up around Kelly, the hire has worked up to this point.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
St. Louis Rams special-teams coach John Fassel was boogie-boarding in California last week when he and another surfer notice a man flailing helplessly in the Pacific Ocean. That's when they took action.
Fassel and the man, Jim Burton, swam over to the unknown swimmer to assist. They never found out his name — and he didn't speak English — but helped him from going under, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Fassel told Schefter the drowning man was gasping, splashing and panicking and that his eyes were "rolling into the back of his head." Fassel believed that the man would have gone under in 20-30 seconds had they not gotten to him when he and Burton did.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
Joe Namath has joined in the search for two missing Florida boys, offering $100,000 for information that aids in their rescue.
Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos of Tequesta, Fla., both 14 years old, were last seen on Friday afternoon buying fuel for their 19-foot boat. The boys did not return as scheduled on Friday.
Namath, a neighbor of one of the boys, participated in a Sunday news conference. He noted that both boys were experienced boaters.
"Just keep on praying, man," he said. "It's hard, it's so hard. We've got to believe in their wherewithal, and we have some confidence in that area, no doubt. The good Lord's got to help us out."
The boys' boat was found late Sunday, capsized 67 miles off Ponce de Leon Inlet. Neither boy was with the boat. Coast Guard crews have searched more than 14,000 square miles of the Florida coastline.
- Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
This summer, NFL Films' Greg Cosell will be doing a series of posts for Shutdown Corner taking a deeper look into the finer points of football, explaining how fans can look for the subtle nuances that make the game so interesting beneath the surface.
Nothing is more important and gets more attention in the NFL than evaluating quarterbacks. And it's one of the hardest aspects of the game.
Evaluating quarterbacks coming out of college is becoming tougher because of the number of schools that run spread offenses. Even evaluating quarterbacks already in the NFL can be difficult. That's why you see so many misses at the position.
My views on quarterbacks are pretty well known if you're read my pieces on Shutdown Corner. In this post, I discussed the issue in great detail. There are many components, but basically I believe that quarterback play starts with strong pocket skills such as progression reading and proper mechanics.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
The NFL has let a decision on Tom Brady's deflate-gate appeal drag on so long that there will be various stories popping up. One this past week said some owners were pressuring NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to keep Brady's suspension at four games.
Then the story became trying to figure out which owners might be complaining to Goodell. In an interview on San Diego's "Mighty 1090," ESPN's Sal Paolantonio called out two owners who everyone guessed were culprits.
“[By reducing the suspension] you’re angering some of the hard-core owners out there,” Paolantonio said, via CSNNE.com. “I know who they are and I’m gonna name ‘em right now: Jim Irsay of the Colts. Steve Bisciotti of the Ravens and others in the AFC who believe the Patriots have gotten away with murder for years and have not been publicly punished properly.”