Category: Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns

NFL still needs to show more transparency under the Personal Conduct Policy

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Nearly four years ago, the NFL responded to its disastrous handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case by beefing up the Personal Conduct Policy, and by huffing and puffing about a new six-game baseline suspension for any player who is found to have committed similar offenses. On multiple occasions since then, the NFL has failed to impose a six-game suspension for a player who has committed similar offenses, and the league has failed/refused to explain the reason(s) for the departure from the six-game benchmark.

The NFL possibly decided that mitigating factors justified a reduction from six games to three, like they initially did when dropping former Giants kicker Josh Brown’s suspension from six games to one. (MDS has listed other similar instances that didn’t result in a six-game suspension.) Without sharing the information as to why the reduction was made, however, it’s impossible for anyone to assess whether the reduction was sensible or justified.

The analytics site tracks every player one every play of every game throughout the course of an NFL season, and they recently released their ranking of each team’s pass-blocking efficiency – the number of pressures allowed on a per-snap basis. In this measurement, the Falcons’ offensive line ranked 12th among the 32 NFL teams with a pass-blocking efficiency grade of 79.7.

The Falcons offensive line took a small step back in 2017 and allowed 18 sacks, 32 hits and 98 hurries on their 568 passing plays, PFF’s Mark Chichester writes. Throughout the year, the Falcons saw good pass-blocking performances from guard Andy Levitre, who ranked 13th among guards with a PBE of 97.6, right tackle Ryan Schraeder, who ranked sixth among tackles with a PBE of 97.1, and center Alex Mack, who ranked 14th among centers with a PBE of 97.9. Heading into the 2018 season, the new addition of Brandon Fusco could prove to be an upgrade for the team at right guard as Fusco’s PBE of 96.5 bettered the marks of fellow Falcons guards Wes Schweitzer (96.0) and Ben Garland (92.9) last year.

Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston suspended: Will he play Eagles in Week 2?

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Thursday, the reports were confirmed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Winston is preparing for a suspension that would last as long as three weeks.

Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby was with Winston during the alleged incident, but he’s in no danger of being suspended, a person with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media.

My reaction, not to what they said, but that that’s where we find ourselves here is sadness frankly, Silver said. A bit of resignation. But I don’t think it should take away from the fact that these players in our league, our coaches, are speaking out on issues that are important to them and important to society. I think, I encourage them to continue to do that and on top of that, maybe more importantly, look at the things they’re doing in their communities.

Maybe Goodell and the NFL believe they should take the high road with Trump, that getting into the sewer only gets them dirty.

That isn’t the Goodell from the past, though. The old Goodell would have had a lot to say.

When they just go up there and then don’t snap it right away, you say, well, we’ll hold our disguise, Arians explained last November, via Philly.com. And then they snap it [quickly], and you’d better be able to play defense out of your disguise. I think it’s really smart coaching.

While defenses search in vain for counter-strategies, McVay is back in the lab concocting innovations to push his team toward the promised land in his second season.

[McVay] is like Greg Maddux, Orlovsky attested, where he doesn’t necessarily overpower you, but you have no idea what’s coming and he’ll make you look silly.

Max Kepler (L), 38 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Yovani Gallardo): Sure, it’s a small sample, but it’s hard to get past the fact that Gallardo has allowed 13 runs in just 7 1/3 innings this season with more walks (7) than strikeouts (6). Needless to say, this is a hurler I want to get some exposure against on Saturday. Fire up Kepler, who gets the platoon advantage in a very enticing matchup.

Can the Honey Badger fortify the secondary?

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O’Brien is excited about the addition of a ballhawking safety in Tyrann Mathieu. An all-pro in 2015, Mathieu signed a five-year, $62.5 million extension with Arizona, but he declined to take a pay cut this offseason and was subsequently released by the Cardinals.

Mathieu comes to Houston out to prove he remains one of the most impactful defensive backs in the league. If so, he’ll bring a spark to a Texans defense that ranked 27th in takeaways (16) in 2017. The secondary will also need his leadership after safety Andre Hal was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

By the end of this past season, Roethlisberger had recruited other coaches on staff to be buffers of sorts between the two of them, as our insider Jason La Canfora reported at the time. I’m not saying Haley’s comment was a dig at Roethlisberger — I really think he was just being complimentary about his current quarterbacks — but their history is worth remembering here.

It was his baserunning and celebration at home plate after Aaron Hicks’ fifth-inning home run that had everyone laughing at him.

When Hicks hit a homer, I didn’t how fast to run, Gray said after the Yankees followed Monday’s loss to the Washington Nationals in the completion of a suspended game with a 4-2 win in the makeup of a rainout. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. Then I think I messed up the handshake there at the end. There was too much going on for me.

This was a rare chance to hit for Gray, who went into the game 1 for 10 at the plate in his career with a July 2015 single at Dodger Stadium off Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez when he played for the Oakland Athletics.

Plus, as Gray pointed out, It was the first time I scored. That was fun.

His first time up Monday, Gray was robbed of extra bases in the third inning when he hit a liner that looked headed for the right-field corner until Nats first baseman Mark Reynolds made a nice play.

Former Colts GM Ryan Grigson lands with Seahawks

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Former Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson found a new NFL home.

Grigson’s agent announced his client will join the Seattle Seahawks ‘ front office.

The host team always qualifies for the tournament, but there are questions about whether or not all three countries will be given automatic berths. FIFA will discuss it in the coming weeks.

Canada has not qualified since 1986, which is the last time the USA did not qualify, before 2018. Mexico is the lone team of the three to represent the CONCACAF Federation in Russia, and will play in Group G. It will open on Sunday with defending champion Germany (11 a.m. EDT FS1 and Fubo.tv ) in Moscow, and then take on South Korea Saturday, June 23 (11 a.m. EDT FOX and Fubo.tv ) and Sweden Wednesday, June 27 (10 a.m. EDT FOX and Fubo.tv).

LeSean McCoy, Nick Foles, DeSean Jackson, Michael Vick, Jeremy Maclin and Trent Cole were all gone within two years, leaving the roster in awful shape for 2015. Kelly was fired before the final game of the season after a 6-9 showing, and Roseman and Pederson were left to clean up the mess in 2016.

To think they could have gone with Bruce Arians instead.

Giants safety Landon Collins is a different player, but both he and Randall were highly ranked safeties coming out of college in 2015.

The Packers took Randall 30th overall, converted him to cornerback and eventually traded him to the Browns last March after three inconsistent, injury-plagued seasons. They got next to nothing in return.

Seahawks sign Austin Calitro, waive Dadi Nicolas

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The Seahawks signed linebacker Austin Calitro on Wednesday. They waived linebacker Dadi Nicolas in a corresponding move.

Calitro, who came into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Villanova in 2017, spent two weeks on Seattle’s practice squad last September. He also spent time with the Jets, 49ers and most recently the Browns.

Calitro finished the year on Cleveland’s practice squad before being signed to a futures contract in January.

She was surprised to learn I was only 16 and not 18, she recalled. She followed me and asked me to audition at 18, but I wanted to go to college first.

Wilkins went on to attend Louisiana State University, where she was an LSU Tiger Girl, graduating in 2014 with a degree in mass communications.

The scout kept in touch throughout the years, she said. She would reach out, saying, ‘Hey, don’t forget about us, we want you.’ 

So, after graduation, Wilkins headed to Dallas to try out — and wowed the judges, as seen on the CMT-channel show Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team. While video of her performance played, Kelli Finglass, the squad’s longtime director, said, There are rookie candidates that are stronger than the veterans . . . I thought Erica was a ‘wow’ solo.

I think he’s on a mission and I think he’s headed for the Hall of Fame. I want to see that statement made this year, next year and for as long as he plays, Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh thinks Suggs could still have his best football ahead of him.

He’s inspired, Harbaugh said. The guy is in phenomenal shape. He is at another level of conditioning.

Suggs said last month that he still thinks he can get better. Harbaugh agrees.

In addition to classic socialist theorists such as Karl Marx, Rapone says he found inspiration in the writings of Stan Goff, a retired Special Forces master sergeant who became a socialist anti-war activist.

Even while still a cadet, Rapone’s online postings alarmed a West Point history professor, who wrote Rapone up, saying his online postings were red flags that cannot be ignored. Rapone was disciplined but still allowed to graduate.

Giants’ Odell Beckham coaches drills at youth camp

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Though first-year head coach Pat Shurmur emphasized building a communicative relationship with the mercurial Beckham, it started out as a rocky offseason between the two sides.

Unhappy with the headlines created by his off-field behavior, the Giants reportedly listened to trade offers for Beckham.

The surgical scar on Beckham’s ankle was visible, but he certainly didn’t show caution as he played with campers, doing 1-on-1 matchups, throwing passes and swiping the ball from campers who caused fumbles. He made a few patented one-handed catches, of course.

Thursday’s unexpected development is the latest chapter in New Jersey’s seven-year fight to legalize sports betting. Five pro and college sports leagues sued the state repeatedly since 2011 to stop the plans.

He headed sales of teams and construction of stadiums. Goodell tried to convince Grubman to stay, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports, but he follows other high-ranking executives to leave the league in recent months. Former COO Tod Leiwicke left to become the president of the future NHL Seattle franchise, and former executive vice president of communications Joe Lockhart departed to spend more time with his family. Grubman graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1980 and served in the nuclear submarine service aboard USS Boston, SSN703.

Roster construction in the NFL is an around-the-clock endeavor with different angles and divisions: short-term acquisitions merge with long-term thinking as general managers and their personnel staffs work to build a roster set up to compete both now and down the line. As NFL teams get set for what amounts to football summer vacation, we have a chance to take stock of roster decisions facing each franchise on a macro-scale: These aren’t necessarily decisions that must be made immediately.

He told me last year, ‘(this is the) best Father’s Day present ever,’ Bob Koepka said. And I said, ‘It is. Until next year.’ I’m going to say the same thing again.

Two years in a row, I haven’t gotten him anything, Brooks Koepka said with a smile. Next year, I’m not going to get him anything, either. It might bring some good luck.

Koepka learned more than just how to play golf from his father. He also was taught the value of patience and perspective. When he was good enough to make the high school team as a sixth grader, the brash 12-year-old made an announcement as the family drove back from his first nine-hole match: He was going to quit school and turn pro.

Leonard Williams isn’t thirsty for a new contract

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Things didn’t end well the last time the Jets handed a big contract extension to a defensive lineman drafted in the first round.

If you utilize all of your resources at Alabama, you’re definitely going to be prepared, Fitzpatrick said. Whether it’s the coaches, the physical training staff or just whatever. If you put 110-percent effort into it, you’re going to be prepared. Just the scheme, it’s almost the same exact thing. There’s small little differences that you’ve got to learn, but the scheme’s almost the same exact thing as Alabama. I’d just say the scheme and overall, I think we were prepared really well at Alabama.

The decision was made to lie, and paint the picture that these players are anti-America, anti-flag, anti-military, Jenkins wrote in a lengthy social media post. We will continue to fight for impacted citizens and give a voice to those who never had one.

Jenkins outlined the many things Eagles players did last year, including teammate Chris Long donating his entire salary for the year to charity.

We’ve fed the hungry, we’ve mentored our youth, we’ve fought to create opportunities for communities and individuals who have been disenfranchised, we’ve given scholarships, and the list goes on, he wrote. It’s not our job. No one elected us to do this. We do it because we love this country and our communities. Everyone, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, deserves to be treated equally.

Golden Tate is as frank and open as any Lion, so surely he could give some insight into the changes, right?

I really don’t want to talk about last year, Tate said Thursday as the mandatory minicamp concluded. We’re just out here trying to compete, that’s it, point blank. We have high expectations and we’re chasing those every day.

The basics of the offense actually might not be much different with Jim Bob Cooter back as offensive coordinator. But the defense will be completely remade under Patricia and coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, and the demands will be different.

The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House.

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Unfortunately, only a small number of payers decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!

Meanwhile, support from Pennsylvania politicians rolled in.

Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) tweeted that the team could visit Congress as his guest.

Last September, the possibility of a White House visit for the NBA champion Golden State Warriors broke down after Trump took issue with star guard Stephen Curry saying he would not attend a celebration. Instead, the Warriors focused on education and community service during their February visit to the nation’s capital.

What it would bring to the program here, the level of visibility and acknowledgment, is almost incalculable, Ostrowsky said. I happen to believe Rutgers is an internationally renowned research institution. I also believe its athletic programs deserve to be of the same quality. You can have both. You can absolutely have both.

Ostrowsky calls Winkler the best advertisement for Rutgers.Winkler, who plans to pursue a career in cyber security after getting his degree in the Rutgers Masters of Business and Science program, already has a Big Ten title with a record-setting throw. He understands the importance of his next competition.

(Winning an NCAA title) would mean a lot to me to bring that to the Rutgers family, he said. Where my training is and how I feel mentally overall is better than ever. There is no reason for me to expect anything less than the best I’ve ever done.

NFL teams up with Woodruff Foundation to help veterans

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When veteran Todd Desgrosseilliers was recovering from battle wounds, he went back to a boyhood love: fly fishing. The organization he now leads has 8,500 participants, one of whom was so inspired by Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing that he told Desgrosseilliers: This program saved my life.

Desgrosseilliers’ group for disabled veterans is one of many receiving funding though the Bob Woodruff Foundation , which this week secured an agreement with the NFL to support such initiatives.

It’s a group of disabled veterans coming together with folks who care about them, and they are involved in an activity that is fun, Desgrosseilliers says. We partner our programs with fly fishing organizations to provide the (3,500) volunteers who know how to do the fly fishing basics.

Kelley, who’s listed at 233 pounds, said he feels lighter and faster and is just trying to get back into the swing of things. He and Thompson had long talks about staying positive and not letting injuries stunt their growth. Gruden said consistency is the biggest need for Kelley.

Rob’s never been an issue as far as work ethic is concerned, Gruden said. He’s always gone out and done his job and been very engaging in the meetings, comes out here and takes what he learned in the meeting room and accepts the challenge and plays well. Nothing’s changed with the way he’s played. He’s accepted the challenge and done some really good things.

Kelley joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and led the team with 704 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground. He managed just 194 yards and three touchdowns in seven games last season as his yards per carry dropped from 4.2 to 3.1.

Mike Maccagnan spent two years watching Sam Darnold before picking him

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The Jets will get their first look at quarterback Sam Darnold on their field this week when they hold their rookie minicamp, but General Manager Mike Maccagnan has spent a lot of time watching Darnold on other fields.

The easy thing to say in the wake of the news of Mark Ingram’s four-game suspension is that, by the end of 2017, he wasn’t even the best back on his own team. And that’s probably true. Rookie Alvin Kamara emerged as a more dangerous and versatile weapon. But in a way, Kamara’s growth was enabled by Ingram, who shouldered the load in picking up tough yards inside, short yardage and on the goal line. My sense is the Saints would lean towards leaving Kamara in that versatile role, against the temptation to use him more.

Kamara’s never been a workhorse, and as one scout put it, is better usedas a sniper rifle than a machine gun. The numbers from 2017 illustrate that. According to Football Outsiders data, Ingram played 571 snaps (55. 0 percent) on offense last year, while Kamara was on the field for 464 (44. 7 percent). On top of that, when they were on the field together, the coaches were free to use Kamara as a matchup guy, which created all kinds of problems for defenses. And while Kamara had 201 touches on offense, just 120 of them were on the ground.

Barnwell also was at the center of the Kyle Flood academic scandal after a university-led investigation found the now-deposed Rutgers football coach pressured an instructor to get Barnwell academically eligible in the spring of 2015.

In September 2015, Barnwell was dismissed from Rutgers along with four teammates after they were charged with aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit a riot. Middlesex County prosecutors said the “unprovoked attack” on April 25, 2015, in New Brunswick left a 19-year-old male student with a broken jaw.

Barnwell pleaded guilty to the offense in order to enter pre-trial intervention, a probationary program for non-violent first-time offenders. When he originally failed to meet the program’s requirements, he was given a second chance at wiping his record clean.