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QBs Gustafson, Nelson work hard to improve draft stock (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 25 Feb 2017 06:50:10 PST)
Brady Gustafson sits in a conference room at Test Football Academy and breaks down film with former NFL quarterback Scott Brunner. How did Matt Ryan make that throw to Julio Jones? What defensive coverage did Tom Brady see on this touchdown pass?

NFL-National Football League roundup
(Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:07:25 PST)
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski says there is "no doubt" he will be ready for the start of the 2017 season despite undergoing the third back surgery of his career. "Yes, for sure," Gronkowski told Cari Champion on ESPN when asked if he expects to play in Week 1. "No doubt." Gronkowski, who underwent season-ending back surgery in December, played only eight games during the 2016 season after missing time with a hamstring injury and bruised lung.

Giants' punishment for illegal walkie talkie use is ... dropping 10 spots in the fourth round? (Shutdown Corner)
(Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:15:39 PST)
When the NFL announced its compensatory picks on Friday, it also closed the book on the New York Giants illegally using walkie talkies during a win over the Dallas Cowboys last season. The Giants dropped 10 spots in the fourth round, from pick No. 130 to pick No. 140. By that point in the fourth round, it’s quite possible whoever the Giants wanted at 130 will still be on the board at 140.

Jalen Robinette both a cadet and NFL hopeful (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:24:39 PST)
Except for the few who already have donned cap and gown, most of the 330 prospects heading to the NFL Combine next week have put their pursuits of a college degree on hold so they can focus on their football futures. The Air Force cadet and NFL hopeful who led the nation in yards per catch last year is carrying six courses while working out with ex-Stanford star Christian McCaffrey and 27 other pro football hopefuls at the Landow Performance training facility in suburban Denver. ''I'm a 23-year-old student in the dorm room,'' said Robinette, who makes the roughly 100-mile round-trip commute from the Air Force Academy six days a week, hitting the books in the morning and the weights in the afternoon.

Aaron Rodgers weighs in: Tom Brady is the GOAT (Shutdown Corner)
(Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:56:07 PST)
To a fair number of NFL followers, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the best player in the league at the position right now. Chatting from the golf course at this month’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger,” Rodgers addressed Super Bowl LI, which of course saw Brady and the New England Patriots post a historic comeback for the franchise’s fifth championship.

Gronk on Roger Goodell visiting Patriots: 'I don't even think he can even land in the airport' (Shutdown Corner)
(Fri, 24 Feb 2017 07:09:43 PST)
One fallout of the New England Patriots storming back to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI is that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell likely will be compelled to visit Foxborough for the season-opening game in 2017. It’s something Goodell hasn’t done since the game that launched deflate-gate — the 2014 AFC title game there against the Indianapolis Colts — more than two years ago. Goodell’s two-year saga with Tom Brady culminated in Houston with the commissioner shaking the quarterback’s hand after his epic comeback.

Tom Brady: The Movie? Fans divided and foes say they'll pass (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 24 Feb 2017 06:22:45 PST)
A new book and a major motion picture are in the works about the New England Patriots' star quarterback and the ''Deflategate'' suspension he overcame to earn an unprecedented fifth Super Bowl ring. ''The Tom Brady movie is such a bad idea! The dude is so uninteresting and has everything,'' said Trevor Twidwell, a Kansas City Chiefs fan from Tucson, Arizona, capturing dislike for Brady and the Patriots outside New England. Bestselling author Casey Sherman and Boston writer Dave Wedge are collaborating on the book under the working title ''Let's Go!'' - Brady's rallying cry.

Lions sign offensive tackle Pierce Burton (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:30:18 PST)
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Lions have signed offensive tackle Pierce Burton.

Tuesday's Sports in Brief (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 21 Feb 2017 23:50:08 PST)
With the Los Angeles Lakers mired in the worst years in franchise history, owner Jeanie Buss has turned to Magic Johnson to lead them back to championship contention. Jeanie Buss fired general manager Mitch Kupchak on Tuesday and put Johnson in charge of basketball operations. Jim Buss also was dismissed as the Lakers' executive vice president of basketball operations in a major shake-up of the struggling team's front office.

Value of Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey listed as $500K (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:11:38 PST)
The value of Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey is listed as $500,000 on a Houston Police Department report. The New England Patriots quarterback is listed as the complainant in the report dated Feb. 6, the day after the Patriots came back from a 25-point deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime. A Houston police officer was stationed outside the locker room on the day of the game, but access to the location was controlled by Patriots team security.

Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey valued at $500K
(Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:10:10 PST)
Tom Brady's missing jersey from Super Bowl 51, where the star quarterback led the New England Patriots over Atlanta for a record fifth crown, has been valued at $500,000 by Houston police. The number 12 Patriots jersey went missing in the aftermath of New England's 34-28 over-time triumph over the Falcons at Houston's NRG Stadium. Brady said he had stashed the prized souvenir in his bag and left it in the locker room.

How often have athletes snubbed the White House? (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 19 Feb 2017 23:12:06 PST)
The championship-winning team presents the leader of the free world with a personalized jersey. While presidents have been snubbed before, six players from the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots took it to another level by preemptively turning down an expected invitation from President Trump. ''The balance of power in professional sports now rests more with the performers than the owners,'' said Stephen Mosher, a professor of sports management and media at Ithaca College.

Falcons hire 7 assistants, including Flood, Weis Jr (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:44:00 PST)
The Atlanta Falcons have finalized their revamped coaching staff, less than two weeks after their disheartening loss in the Super Bowl to New England. The Falcons announced Friday seven new hires, including former Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood as assistant offensive line coach and offensive assistant Charlie Weis Jr., the son of the long-time coach. Also added to the staff under head coach Dan Quinn: Dave Brock (offensive assistant), Bush Hamdan (quarterbacks coach), Charlie Jackson (defensive assistant), Justin Outten (offensive assistant) and Jess Simpson (defensive assistant).

LaFleur's aim is to turn lowly Rams into high-flying Falcons (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 16 Feb 2017 19:22:19 PST)
As Matt LaFleur was helping the Atlanta Falcons prepare to play New England in the Super Bowl, he took special interest in one particular game, a 26-10 victory by the Patriots over the Los Angeles Rams. LaFleur knew he would be joining new Rams head coach Sean McVay's staff as offensive coordinator and ''paid a little more attention to that game,'' the 37-year old said Thursday. What that film showed is the scope of the challenge awaiting LaFleur, McVay and quarterbacks coach Greg Olson in overhauling the worst offense in the NFL last season.

Bouchard pays off blind date bet at NBA game
(Wed, 15 Feb 2017 19:18:14 PST)
Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard paid off her lost Super Bowl bet by joining blind date John Goehrke at a Brooklyn Nets NBA home game against Milwaukee. Goehrke, a 20-year-old University of Missouri student and New England Patriots supporter, won his dream date with Bouchard, who turns 23 on February 25, thanks to the Patriots' record-setting rally to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 earlier this month.

Roddy White says Charles Barkley lost $100,000 on the Falcons (Shutdown Corner)
(Wed, 15 Feb 2017 10:38:17 PST)
Roddy White spent years as a loyal soldier in the Falcons franchise, catching pass after pass from Matt Ryan … only to see his role reduced and, finally, ended altogether just before the team reached the Super Bowl. White remains close with many current and former Falcons, and he’s not shy about offering up his opinions on the team’s recent flameout against the New England Patriots. Speaking to Atlanta Journal-Constitution writers Jeff Schultz and Zach Klein on their “We Never Played The Game” podcast, White said he bet $40,000 on the Falcons, and Charles Barkley bet more than twice that amount: $100,000, according to White.

After losing Super Bowl bet, Zoo Atlanta names baby cockroach after Tom Brady (Shutdown Corner)
(Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:49:25 PST)
It’s not every day a zoo honors someone by naming a baby animal after them.

NFL-Atlanta zoo welcomes baby cockroach 'Tom Brady'
(Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:36:28 PST)
Atlanta Falcons fans no doubt were calling Tom Brady all sorts of names after this month's Super Bowl, and now the city has a cockroach named after the New England quarterback. Brady and the Patriots proved hard to kill off in the Super Bowl and Zoo Atlanta commemorated New England's historic 25-point comeback victory by paying off a losing bet to its northern counterpart. The Atlanta zoo and the Roger Williams Park Carousel Village in Rhode Island had agreed the losing side would name a baby animal after the winning team’s star quarterback.

Atlanta zoo names cockroach after Patriots QB Tom Brady (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 14 Feb 2017 09:56:47 PST)
More than a week after the Falcons fell victim to the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, an Atlanta zoo has named a cockroach after Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Zoo Atlanta says on its Facebook page that it had a bet with Rhode Island's Roger Williams Park Zoo that called for the loser to name a baby animal after the winning team's star quarterback. Both zoos figured the loser would be pretty bitter about the game, so they agreed the animal in question would be a Madagascar hissing cockroach.

Kyle Shanahan adds 3 more coaches to 49ers staff (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:48:32 PST)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has added three new members of his coaching staff.

Pats' QB Brady says Super Bowl comeback not his best game
(Mon, 13 Feb 2017 14:11:22 PST)
(Reuters) - Tom Brady set several records as he rallied the New England Patriots to an unthinkable Super Bowl win but on Monday the quarterback said his play in the NFL's title game was far from the greatest of his stellar career. Brady authored the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history when he shook off an uncharacteristically sluggish start to lead his team back from a 25-point deficit and secure a thrilling 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons. "I don't really think that is necessarily the case," Brady, 39, told TheMMQB when asked if that game marked the finest work of his Hall of Fame career.

NFL-Pats' QB Brady says Super Bowl comeback not his best game
(Mon, 13 Feb 2017 14:07:56 PST)
Tom Brady set several records as he rallied the New England Patriots to an unthinkable Super Bowl win but on Monday the quarterback said his play in the NFL's title game was far from the greatest of his stellar career. Brady authored the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history when he shook off an uncharacteristically sluggish start to lead his team back from a 25-point deficit and secure a thrilling 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons. "I don't really think that is necessarily the case," Brady, 39, told TheMMQB when asked if that game marked the finest work of his Hall of Fame career.

Super Bowl not my greatest game, says Brady
(Mon, 13 Feb 2017 11:03:06 PST)
Tom Brady may have set a slew of records in the New England Patriots' Super Bowl miracle win against the Atlanta Falcons -- but the veteran quarterback says his display was far from his greatest game. Brady, 39, secured a record fifth Super Bowl title after helping the Patriots overturn a 25-point deficit to secure a thrilling overtime win over the Falcons in Houston on February 5.

Pats owner unfazed with players skipping White House visit
(Mon, 13 Feb 2017 10:07:26 PST)
(Reuters) - New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft downplayed the growing number of his players who have said they will boycott a visit to the White House, saying on Monday that it is America and people are free to do what they want. At least six Patriots players have publicly said they will not make the trip to the White House - a longstanding tradition among pro sports teams after winning a championship - and some cited U.S. President Donald Trump as their reason. Kraft, a Trump friend and supporter who attended the presidential inauguration last month, said on NBC's "Today" show that players were able to make up their own minds and added that members of the team have skipped the visit in the past.

NFL-Pats owner unfazed with players skipping White House visit
(Mon, 13 Feb 2017 10:04:50 PST)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft downplayed the growing number of his players who have said they will boycott a visit to the White House, saying on Monday that it is America and people are free to do what they want. At least six Patriots players have publicly said they will not make the trip to the White House - a longstanding tradition among pro sports teams after winning a championship - and some cited U.S. President Donald Trump as their reason. Kraft, a Trump friend and supporter who attended the presidential inauguration last month, said on NBC's "Today" show that players were able to make up their own minds and added that members of the team have skipped the visit in the past.

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