December 31, 2011
-- The NFL has fined Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch $10,000 for wearing cleats with pictures of Skittles on them in the team's Sunday loss to the San Francisco 49ers. It is Lynch's second uniform violation of the year — he was tagged for $5,000 earlier in the season for wearing green socks. Lynch's history with Skittles is well-known — what is less well-known is how the league can justify a $10k fine for this when Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Trent Cole was fined just $7,500 for a blatantly late hit on Lynch's teammate Russell Okung that ended the starting left tackle's season in the same game where Lynch first made his love of Skittles a national story. [Seattle Times]
-- Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor, who played with Robert Griffin III at Baylor before the Browns drafted him in 2011, believes that his former (and possibly future) teammate is scheme-transcendent — throw away all that "spread offense" talk just as everyone eventually had to do with Cam Newton.
"He's the type of athlete that could fit into any system," Taylor said. "He can run, he can pass. He can take snaps under the center, shotgun; whatever you need, he can do. I can't wait to see where he goes, I know he's going to go high. Wherever he goes, it's going to be a perfect fit for him… They said the same thing about Cam — 'Is he gonna adapt to the system?' And he's doing great right now with Carolina. They may not have won many games, but he's still doing good for a rookie quarterback. I think [Griffin] will, too."
The Browns currently hold the fourth overall draft pick, they could draft as high as third, and indications are that they might be convinced to draft over Colt McCoy if the right guy was on the board. Griffin, who won the 2011 Heisman Trophy, is a junior who has not made his declaration about coming out for the draft. [Akron Beacon-Journal]
-- Former Jacksonville Jaguars great Fred Taylor believes that the team's next head coach should be Jeff Fisher, who is almost certainly looking to break back into the coaching ranks following a year away from the game. Fisher build up the NFL's longest current tenure as a head coach while leading the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans from 1994 through 2010. "His track record speaks for itself," Taylor said. "You start talking about Bill Cowher and those guys they're pretty content behind the broadcast, the analyst's desk or whatever … He's going to be super motivated to go and kick Tennessee's [bleeps] each time they play." [Florida Times-Union]
-- Meanwhile, outgoing Jags owner Wayne Weaver, who fired Jack Del Rio in November, looks back at the similar firing of Tom Coughlin as perhaps his biggest mistake. "If hindsight you could change, I'll be honest with you: I probably would have never changed Coughlin," Weaver said. "I would have tried to have Tom take a step back and just be the coach. I thought about it, but I didn't think Tom would do it. I thought Tom's pride would never allow him to take a step back and me take the general manager's position." The team was recently sold to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan, who may want to rummage around for the receipt after getting a good look at the team he was left with. [NFL.com]
-- Minnesota Vikings cornerback Benny Sapp was cited for misdemeanor assault after an altercation with security guards at Children's Hospital in Minnesota on Friday. Sapp attempted to use a blocked-off entrance at the facility after dropping off his 11-year old son, pushed one of the security officers who told him he'd have to use another door, and then attempted to drive away from the scene with another security guard standing in front of his car. Sapp wasn't arrested for the incident, but according to Matt Lechner of Fantasy Football Source, the Vikings' 36 official run-ins with the police since 2000 still has them as the NFL's most arrested team from then to now. [Twincities.com]
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