- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner37 mins ago
There’s still more than a week until the college bowl games begin, and more than a month until underclassmen are required to declare for the 2014 NFL draft. But you draft-hungry folks will want to check out these 10 bowl games that feature the most combined talent between the two teams. And yes, we left off the team featuring the possible No. 1 pick in the draft. Sorry, Louisville.
1. Orange Bowl: Ohio State vs. Clemson — They instead should call this the Green Bowl, as in the future earnings of all the talent that will be in Miami this night. Perhaps the quarterbacks, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd and OSU’s Braxton Miller, are a bit overrated from an NFL standpoint. But there is talent galore on both sides of the ball. Clemson WR Sammy Watkins could be a top-10 pick. The Buckeyes have a pair of possible first-round defenders in CB Bradley Roby and LB Ryan Shazier. Clemson DE Vic Beasley, despite being undersized, is an elite pass rusher. OSU RB Carlos Hyde has come on, as has OT Jack Mewhort. And both teams have some great 2015 talent as well. This one is loaded.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Dr. Dre apparently didn't remember that people in Seattle buy headphones, too.
The "Beats by Dre" line of headphones added 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as an endorser. Finding an athlete to endorse the high-end headphones can't be tough, considering they seem to be a part of every league's dress code at this point.
Kaepernick's ad shows him on the team bus headed to a stadium, obviously supposed to be in Seattle. The ad shows the Seattle skyline and the fans are wearing Seahawks colors, so it's not hard to figure out. And the fans scream at him, throw things at the bus, and seem to be ready to assault him when he walks off. There's a few middle fingers thrown his way in the extended version, which you can check out here. Kaepernick puts on his headphones and totally drowns out the unruly mob.
The commercial is obviously way over the top, but you can see why Seattle fans would be mad at Dr. Dre, who was once one of the top names in hip hop before becoming a headphones mogul.
Sales in Seattle might not do so well after this.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
When we've considered what might prevent the Seattle Seahawks from reaching the Super Bowl, having their quarterback hijacked was not high on the list of possibilities.
Of course, that's not really happening, but a fascinating development happened on the final day of baseball's winter meetings: Russell Wilson, the former baseball player who gave up the sport to play football, was selected in the Rule 5 draft.
— MLB Draft (@MLBDraft) December 12, 2013
So what does that mean? Not much. More than anything, it speaks to how good an athlete he is, and what might have been had football not panned out.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
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Productivity experts will tell you that multitasking, the act of trying to do multiple things at once, is the surest way to do absolutely nothing well. Productivity experts have won no Super Bowls and thrown no NFL touchdown passes, because Peyton Manning is a multitasking maestro and he seems to be doing just fine.
The photo above, via the Denver Broncos, popped up over the weekend. It's pretty much perfect and self-explanatory on its own, what with Peyton wearing his helmet in the cold tub while watching his iPad. What more do you need?
Now, we have context for the photo. Starting from the bottom and working up, Manning is rehabbing his injured ankle in the cold tub. He's watching game film on his iPad. (You or I would be playing "Temple Run 2," which is why we're not NFL quarterbacks.) And the helmet? Well, the offense was running drills on the practice field, so Manning brought along his helmet so that he could listen in on offensive coordinator Adam Gase's playcalling and strategizing.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
Following Monday night's 45-28 loss by the Dallas Cowboys to the Chicago Bears, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he wouldn't mind seeing the defense being a little more aggressive.
Jones' son, Stephen, the Cowboys' executive vice president, took that a big step further: He told ESPN that the Cowboys' defense didn't even bother showing up in the game.
"You turn on the tape and guys we count on week in and week out didn't show up," Jones said following an NFL owners meeting in Las Colinas, Texas. "I don't know what it was, but we didn't get it done, and I've got to believe we can do better than that."
Watching the unit allow 490 yards of offense and scoring drives on the first eight possessions was enough for Stephen Jones to name names — and some big ones — for the poor effort.
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner6 hrs ago
Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey is expected to face a Massachusetts grand jury this week in regards to the ongoing criminal investigation of Aaron Hernandez, his friend and former college teammate, according to The Palm Beach Post.
Andrew Abramson and Hal Habib of The Palm Beach Post said Pouncey missed practice on Wednesday and was in Boston being questioned about the alleged illegal acts committed by Hernandez, who has been charged with the murder of associate Odin Llloyd in Massachusetts.
There were reports in October that said prosecutors were broadening their investigation and looking into the possibility Hernandez was involved in interstate gun trafficking. It is unclear if authorities view Pouncey as a witness or possible suspect.
However, the Miami Herald reports Pouncey is expected to play for the Dolphins against the New England Patriots on Sunday.
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has observed the criticism his officials have received for several bad calls this season. It explains why the league is contemplating a way to fix how in-game replays are handled.
Goodell was interviewed at the Special League Meeting on Thursday, and admitted there have been officiating problems this season.
“I think our officials do an incredible job, but there's always room for improvement," Goodell told NFL Network reporter Albert Breer. “We've had some errors that we think we need to correct. Some of the things we're discussing is how to do that, whether there are changes to replay, or to how we train or what we do on the field.”
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has a few verbal crutches. You cover a man for six years, you get to know them well.
"Setback" is a favorite of his. "Anytime" prefaces a lot of his sentences. He did it five times on Wednesday. One of his other favorites that amused the Broncos media corps for a long time when he was coaching in Denver was when he'd start an answer with "to be honest with you."
"To be honest with you," Shanahan said on Wednesday, discussing benching quarterback Robert Griffin III for Kirk Cousins, "as I’ve stated before, I wanted to give Robert as many reps as he possibly could have."
That was always a humorous one, because what did it mean the rest of the time when he didn't say it?
On Wednesday he had a good punch line when answering one of many questions on the Redskins' quarterback situation.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
As a player, Terry Bradshaw played in plenty of bad-weather games as quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he never played in a cold or snowy Super Bowl, and doesn't think anyone else should either.
The Hall of Fame quarterback sounded off on Wednesday about this season's Super Bowl being held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. It will be the first Super Bowl held outdoors in a cold-weather city.
Bradshaw did not like it and he expressed this on the “Joe & Evan Show” on WFAN in New York (viaCBS New York's website):
“Thank you commissioner, thank you Super Bowl committee for putting us in New York,” Bradshaw said. “And we all know why we’re in New York, it’s because they were paid for that stupid stadium in New Jersey … By the way, not a gorgeous stadium either.”
Bradshaw does have a point about the cold and sterile MetLife Stadium one of the worst stadiums built in any sport in recent memory. Then he started to swing away at the possibility of snow and cold-weather having an effect on the game.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
After Week 9, the Detroit Lions were in great shape to win the NFC North crown.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone that week. The 5-3 Lions were on a bye, then went and beat the Chicago Bears a week later.
After Week 9, the Baltimore Ravens were 3-5 following a loss to the Cleveland Browns. The offense was an absolute mess. The Super Bowl champs were struggling badly, and seemed irrelevant to the 2013 season.
It's Week 15 and both teams are in the middle of a tight playoff race. That's a positive for one of them.
The Lions have lost three of four since that win against the Bears seemed to put them on a fast track to the North title. They're 7-6, tied with the Bears and just a half game clear of the Packers, with the possibility of Rodgers' return hanging over the division race. Detroit isn't a franchise known for success, and they seem insistent on making the road to the division title much tougher than it should be. Now they have to deal with a tough Ravens team and don't know yet if running back Reggie Bush, who injured himself in snowy pregame warm-ups last week, will be available.