Smith confident Bucs can make quick turnaround (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:22:46 PDT)
Lovie Smith talks about making the Tampa Bay Buccaneers relevant again. Smith not only has a proven track record as an NFL head coach, but inherited a talented nucleus the club began accumulating under Raheem Morris and later Greg Schiano, who was fired after going 11-21 during a tumultuous two-year stint. ''I'm not going into meetings saying: 'Hey guys, we were 4-12 last year, we've got to get to 5-11, we've made improvement,''' said Smith, who went 81-63, won three division titles, advanced to two NFC championship games and made one Super Bowl appearance in nine seasons with the Chicago Bears from 2004-2012. ''It's all about winning.'' Smith and new general manager Jason Licht discarded Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis and his $16 million annual salary, providing additional salary cap space to overhaul the roster in free agency.
Falcons sign former Colts linebacker Pat Angerer (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:58:31 PDT)
The Atlanta Falcons have added depth and experience at linebacker by signing former Colts starter Pat Angerer. Atlanta lost linebacker Sean Weatherspoon for the season with a torn Achilles in June. Angerer, a second-round pick by Indianapolis in 2010, made nine starts in 2013 and had 63 tackles with one interception. Angerer finished last season on injured reserve with a knee injury.
LB Angerer, WR Ebert catch on with Falcons (The SportsXchange)
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:39:17 PDT)
The Atlanta Falcons went shopping for a linebacker after Sean Weatherspoon was lost for the season and found Pat Angerer. The Falcons also signed wide receiver Jeremy Ebert on Tuesday. Angerer, a former Indianapolis Colts linebacker, worked out for the Falcons on Tuesday and impressed them enough to land a job. Angerer's 2013 season ended with a knee injury after 11 games that was repaired with microfracture surgery.
Team Report - WASHINGTON REDSKINS (The SportsXchange)
(Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:55:22 PDT)
Redskins enter camp with new head coach
Team Report - MIAMI DOLPHINS (The SportsXchange)
(Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:55:22 PDT)
Dolphins patched holes, but questions remain
Chiefs' expectations change after last season (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:46:10 PDT)
One year ago, the Kansas City Chiefs were coming off a two-win season that led to the ouster of the general manager and coach, and the turnover of roughly half the roster. General manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid are firmly entrenched, and there has been less personnel turnover.
Shutdown Countdown: Carolina Panthers become the hunted in the NFC South (Shutdown Corner)
(Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:00:17 PDT)
Shutdown Countdown: Arizona Cardinals ... good team, wrong division (Shutdown Corner)
(Sat, 19 Jul 2014 06:26:15 PDT)
Former NFLers: Painkillers easy to get up to 2012 (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:56:56 PDT)
Dozens of former players joining a lawsuit against the NFL say teams kept handing out powerful painkillers and other drugs with few - if any- safeguards as recently as 2012. ''On flights home, the routine was the same everywhere,'' said Brett Romberg, who played center in Jacksonville (2003-05), St. Louis (2006-08) and Atlanta (2009 and 2011). ''The trainers walked up and down the aisle and you'd hold up your hand with a number of fingers to show how many pills you wanted. You just take what they hand you and believe me, you'll take anything to dull the pain.'' With the federal Drug Enforcement Administration beginning to look into accusations contained in the lawsuit - filed in May and covering the years 1968-2008 - the new allegations could dramatically expand the investigation's scope, legal experts said.
Lots of big names still on NFL's unemployment line (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:49:19 PDT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- MISSING: A handful of former NFL stars.
NFL preseason watch: New coaches, star rookies (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:12:12 PDT)
The NFL is back. Some training camps open this weekend, and the first preseason game is Aug. 3, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. If it seems like the Texans just ended the draft by taking Mr. Irrelevant (defensive back Lonnie Ballentine of Memphis), well, it was only two months ago. Players, coaches and front office staffs got some down time, albeit less than in past years, and with the Bills and Giants headed to the Hall of Fame game, their break was even shorter.
National Football League roundup
(Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:25:39 PDT)
(The Sports Xchange) - The presenters for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014 next month include children, a father, a media member and two former coaches. The seven inductees during the weekend of Aug. 1-3 in Canton, Ohio, are former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks, former Oakland Raiders punter Ray Guy, former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Claude Humphrey, former Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Walter Jones, former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed, former New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan and former Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams defensive back Aeneas Williams.
NFL roundup: Madden, Levy among Hall of Fame presenters (The SportsXchange)
(Thu, 17 Jul 2014 16:50:25 PDT)
The seven inductees during the weekend of Aug. 1-3 in Canton, Ohio, are former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks, former Oakland Raiders punter Ray Guy, former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Claude Humphrey, former Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Walter Jones, former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed, former New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan and former Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams defensive back Aeneas Williams. Brooks will be presented by son Decalon Brooks, Guy by former coach John Madden, Humphrey by daughter Cheyenne Humphrey-Robinson, Jones by son Walterius Jones, Reed by former coach Marv Levy, Strahan by media personality Jay Glazer and Williams by his father, Lawrence Williams.
Madden, Levy among Hall of Fame presenters (The SportsXchange)
(Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:28:24 PDT)
The presenters for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014 next month include children, a father, a media member and two former coaches. The seven inductees during the weekend of Aug. 1-3 in Canton, Ohio, are former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks, former Oakland Raiders punter Ray Guy, former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Claude Humphrey, former Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Walter Jones, former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed, former New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan and former Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams defensive back Aeneas Williams.
Lions sign OG Reynolds (The SportsXchange)
(Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:35:05 PDT)
The Detroit Lions signed offensive guard Garrett Reynolds on Thursday, agent Chad Speck said via Twitter.
Lions sign RB Winn (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:56:07 PDT)
The Detroit Lions signed 23-year-old running back George Winn on Wednesday.
NFL Camp Preview: Eyes on Fitzpatrick at Texans camp (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:10:20 PDT)
The Houston Texans will have full-contact drills in the third practice at training camp - the first day it's legal. The first day of practice is July 26, and the Texans will also work against the Falcons on Aug. 13-14 and at Denver's camp Aug. 20-22. Coach Bill O'Brien wants his players to be tough mentally and physically, and he's going to have more full-contact practices the first week than former coach Gary Kubiak had during his eight seasons. Fans are having a difficult time believing Ryan Fitzpatrick can turn the Texans from the worst team in the NFL into a playoff contender, but that's the plan.
NFL Camp Preview: Falcons take new OL camping (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:49:30 PDT)
After missing the playoffs by a lot with an ugly 4-12 record last season, head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan will try to get the Atlanta Falcons back in gear when training camp practice begins July 25 at their Flowery Branch, Ga., facility. The Falcons revamped the front wall and hope it will improve on last year's horrid performance -- 44 sacks allowed and only 77.9 yards rushing per game, worst in the league. The new line features 2014 first-round draftee Jake Matthews at right tackle along with free-agent signee Jon Asamoah at right guard, Sam Baker back from knee surgery at left tackle and Justin Blalock at left guard. At center there is a battle between Joe Hawley and Peter Konz.
Team Report - ATLANTA FALCONS (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:14:17 PDT)
Falcons look to be bigger and stronger
Who is 49ers' third (or fourth?) receiver and how will the offense evolve? (Shutdown Corner)
(Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:32:00 PDT)
Saw a great statistic this morning from ESPN's Bill Williamson: The San Francisco 49ers' third-leading receiver the past three seasons have caught 25, 41 and 20 passes.
And those were by fullback Bruce Miller, tight end Vernon Davis and a receiver/kick returner (Kyle Williams) who is no longer in the NFL.
For perspective, the Denver Broncos had five players with more than 60 receptions last season. The Atlanta Falcons had seven players in 2013 with more than Miller's 25 catches.
Naturally, a lot of that was by design — the 49ers ranked third in the NFL in rushing attempts and dead last in passes thrown — but it also was because of personnel. The team was badly shorthanded at wide receiver with Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham coming off major injuries and unavailable until later in the season, often using 1-WR formations with Anquan Boldin as the main (and only) threat. Davis also acted as a wide receiver essentially (no, this isn't a contract discussion) out of necessity.
So what happens this season?
The Niners have Boldin back. They have a self-proclaimed healthy Crabtree. They still have Davis, and he's eager to prove his financial worth. The team also traded for Stevie Johnson. That's four legit receivers, and we haven't even mentioned former 1,400-yard receiver Brandon Lloyd, former first-round reclamation project Jonathan Baldwin, former second-round tight end Vance McDonald or fourth-rounders Quinton Patton (2013) or Bruce Ellington (2014).
From paper thin to rather loaded, right?
Silva's Pre-Camp Team Rankings (Rotoworld)
(Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:25:00 PDT)
With training camp fast approaching, Rotoworld's Evan Silva ranks the NFL's Rosters 1-32.
Towns, Turner win national prep athlete awards (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:49:20 PDT)
Karl Towns Jr., a 7-footer headed to Kentucky to play basketball, and Brianna Turner, a Notre Dame recruit, were honored Tuesday night as the national prep athletes of the year. Towns led his St. Joseph High School team to three straight state titles before graduating a year early this spring. Towns' mother, who is from the Dominican Republic, jumped up, yelled and pounded her son's back when he was announced as the boys' winner by presenters Steven Jackson of the Atlanta Falcons, 2010 winner Brandon Knight of the Milwaukee Bucks and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.
Team Report - BALTIMORE RAVENS (The SportsXchange)
(Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:02:55 PDT)
Ravens hope to add deep pass to offense
NFL Training Camp dates, details (The SportsXchange)
(Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:30:41 PDT)
Following is the training camp list of sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates.
Shutdown Countdown: Active New York Giants want to bounce back (Shutdown Corner)
(Sun, 13 Jul 2014 08:57:17 PDT)
Shutdown Countdown: Atlanta Falcons get tougher on both lines (Shutdown Corner)
(Sat, 12 Jul 2014 09:11:29 PDT)
NFL roundup: Texans unlikely to trade WR Johnson (The SportsXchange)
(Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:21:36 PDT)
The Houston Texans are unlikely to trade disgruntled star wide receiver Andre Johnson, according to the Houston Chronicle. Johnson, 33, recently requested a trade and will not report when the team begins training camp on July 25, according to NFL Network. After the Texans went a disappointing 2-14 season, Johnson reportedly expressed that he does not wish to be part of another rebuilding project. ---The Indianapolis Colts signed free agent wide receiver Aaron Burks and waived wide receiver LaVon Brazill on Friday.
Vikings DE Nealy suspended 4 games (The SportsXchange)
(Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:20:36 PDT)
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Spencer Nealy was suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances, the league announced Friday. The 24-year-old Nealy, an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, did not play in a game last season. Nealy will be eligible to return to the Vikings' active roster on Monday, Sept. 29 following the team's Sept. 28 game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Analysis: Best quarterbacks are more than passers (The SportsXchange)
(Fri, 11 Jul 2014 08:08:02 PDT)
Good quarterbacks are much more than passers. They are leaders who instill confidence and make teammates play better together than the sum of their individual talents. Great quarterbacks insist on it.
NFL Analysis: Megatron dominates stats-bloated WRs (The SportsXchange)
(Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:30:37 PDT)
As NFL offenses take advantage of favorable rules, wide receivers are bloating their statistics with unprecedented prolific displays across the league, so mere numbers may be a bit deceiving when naming the top pass-catchers in the league.