NFL Draft draws best TV ratings since ‘Johnny Football’ in 2014

Driven by the drama of who the secretive Browns would take with the No. 1 overall pick, the NFL Draft posted its best TV ratings since Johnny Manziel left college four years ago.

“Going back to college having a 56-percent completion percentage,” Allen said. “Obviously, it’s not great. But I think that it’s a little blown out of proportion. I do think that I’m accurate. Jordan Palmer’s helped me out a lot throughout this process with getting my feet right. Once we did that [I’m] throwing the ball a little easier. The ball’s coming out and where it’s supposed to be.”

Allen went on to explain why his completion percentage might be low, but also defended the fact that he still led Wyoming to winning seasons.

“I think if you look at the film at the times that I did miss, my feet were jacked,” Allen said. “Going back to our offensive system I was asked to do a lot of things within our system. Threw the ball downfield a lot.

“I am the one to admit that I didn’t put the ball where it needed to be all the time. But, you know, given the circumstances that we had in Wyoming, we won two back-to-back eight-win seasons. It was a place where we ended up winning football games. I think that I helped out in that manner putting the team in the best position to win football games.”

Clowney, a Pro Bowl selection the past two seasons, will play his fifth year in 2018 under a $12.306 million club option. Currently, Broncos star Von Miller is the highest-paid defensive player and non-QB in the league, with the six-year, $114.1 million contract he signed in 2016. There’s no reason to think Clowney won’t get that kind of money.

Gaine certainly appreciates what Clowney means to the Texans defense.

“[I like his] height, weight, [and] speed,” Gaine said. “The production, the performance, the pass-rush ability. The guy’s a disruptive player. He plays the run well. So we’re doing our best to fortify our nucleus of players, and we’d like him to be a part of it.”

For his part, Clowney says he wants to remain with the Texans. Obviously, the price will have to be right.

“I want to be here, too,” Clowney said recently. “Hopefully, they lock me in. I want to be here forever. I know it will come soon. It would mean a lot.

“It would be great, something I always dreamed of. I don’t want to leave this team. I’ve been here since the beginning. I want to stay here. I want to finish my career here, so I’m looking forward to that. Hopefully, they lock me in.”dolphins_084

Hurricanes seeking GM after moving Ron Francis to new role

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis has been removed from his job and will transition to another position in the organization, the team announced Wednesday night.

The team announced that Francis will serve as president of hockey operations.

The move makes the future of head coach Bill Peters uncertain. He’s in his fourth season with the team after being hired by Francis, having compiled a 130-130-53 record.

“We’ve got to come out of the dressing room a little bit more organized and ready to play,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said.

Winnik scored on his 33rd birthday, prompting Peters to pull Ward for Scott Darling. Then, just 15 seconds later, on the first shot Darling faced, Staal broke free in the Carolina zone, faked right and dragged the puck left to poke a backhander in for his 10th goal in the last nine games .

“I want to win every time I get on the ice,” Staal said. “But when you pump ’em in like that for a bit, I think you feel a little bad.”

In seven games since Jason Zucker and Mikael Granlund joined Staal on the first line, the trio has combined for 16 goals and 19 assists. With 15 games to go, Staal has a solid chance at the third 40-goal season of his career.

I’d like to thank the Celtics for their gracious offer to play a video tribute on Feb 11th celebrating my 3yrs in Boston. But since it appears this has caused some controversy w/ Paul Pierce’s night I’d ask the Celtics instead to focus all of their attention on #34’s career.

Pierce made it known earlier this month that he’d rather Thomas not be feted on his special day, and told ESPN on Tuesday that he approached Celtics president Danny Ainge to tell him it wasn’t sitting right to have Thomas honored on the same day of his jersey retirement.

“Danny and I talked about it for 40 minutes,” Pierce said Tuesday afternoon. “He told me, ‘This is what we have planned,’ and at the end of the conversation, he said, ‘If you don’t want us to do Isaiah, we won’t.’ So I told him, ‘I really don’t.’ So that was it.”

Ainge said, though, that Thomas decided he didn’t want to go through with the video tribute upon hearing of Pierce’s feelings about sharing the spotlight.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Jonathan Toews executed their plan — and didn’t waste any time in overtime.packers_001

He won the Bills’ starting job, but success was much harder to find in Buffalo.

Cam Newton, quarterback, Panthers (22): Newton always will be a lightning rod, but even more eyes will be on him — and hot takes written about his every move — after a disastrous Super Bowl in which he played terribly, refused to chase his own fumble with the game still in doubt and then sulked like a baby during the postgame press conference.

Why were Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin, Brown and most recently Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon not immediately ejected, then suspended after end-zone demonstrations of crotch-grabbing and mimes of defecation and copulation?

Why is such shamelessly low behavior — likely rehearsed, no less — indulged with a quiet fine rather than with Roger Goodell’s loud, firm declaration that if you do such abhorrent, indecent dirt to our game and viewers, you’re going to suffer a punishment that actually works, actually deters?

And why, after CBS first caught Tom Brady on the sideline shouting “F—!,” was it replayed four times and in slow motion?

What is Goodell afraid of, the scorn of “freedom of expression” fools, the condemnation of the go-low TV and radio who would complain that the elimination of obscene conduct is more proof of the NFL as the No Fun League?

By the way, think this might be a good time for Gary Bettman to encourage the Nashville Predators to change their nickname?

Manuel missed five weeks of his rookie season with a knee injury and was benched after four starts in 2014 in favor of Kyle Orton, who led the Bills to their first winning season since 2004. Manuel never got the starting job back. Tyrod Taylor took over in 2015 and ’16, and Manuel left town complaining that he never got a fair shot — just 17 starts in four seasons. He signed a one-year deal with the Raiders to back up Derek Carr.

Jones was a two-time All-American at Georgia and winner of the Jack Lambert Trophy. But he turned into arguably the worst draft bust of Mike Tomlin’s tenure. Jones had just six sacks in four seasons and lost his job to James Harrison, who’s 11 years older. The Steelers let Jones go after 2016, and he signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals.

Gronkowski is coming off a huge game against the Bills, against whom he had nine catches and 147 yards (both season highs). New England’s No. 2 tight end is Dwayne Allen, who’s a strong blocker but hasn’t been used a lot in the passing game (five catches for 40 yards this season). This is good news for the Dolphins’ defense, which has been terrible covering opposing tight

The Falcons almost got a redo on this one. But on review, it was clear that the punt was tipped.

It would have moved the Falcons up five yards and given Matt Bosher a chance to punt it again. Instead, the Eagles got it on their own 28, and they went down and scored a field goal to pull within 10-9.

“I don’t want to sit here and speculate. … There is no news to report,” Gruden said Saturday. “I can’t say I haven’t taken any phone calls. I take a lot every year from coaches, some others. … Yeah, sometimes owners. Guys want to bounce ideas off me. I’m here to help people.”

Beyond Schefter’s insistence that this will happen, there was another report Monday morning indicating that we’re getting close to Gruden taking the job. Ian Rapoport echoed Schefter, saying that Gruden “will say yes eventually,” but he’s making sure the Raiders comply with the Rooney Rule. He’s also on tap to be in the booth for the Titans-Chiefs playoff game on ESPN this coming Saturday.

Jackson’s foundation, Malik’s Gifts, provides support and builds programs for at-risk children, military children and families, animal rescue missions and family emergency assistance. Jackson annually hosts youth football and soccer camps for 500 children ages 7-14. He supports the local NFL FLAG leagues for Boys & Girls Clubs across Northeast Florida by contributing $5,000 to offset registration and uniform costs.

Tarik Cohen pretended like the Vikings’ punt was heading his direction, while the ball actually went to Bryce Callahan on the other side of the field. From there, the Bears got the easiest touchdown they had all season:

It would be the Bears’ only touchdown of the afternoon in their 23-10 loss to the Vikings. But when you execute that play so perfectly, it’s worth acknowledging.

Alvin Kamara seems to be the clear pick for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, but this special teams play was devastating to the Bucs.

Kamara fielded the football 6 yards in his own end zone, before briefly appearing to walk it out, fake a knee, and take off for 106 yards and the touchdown:

In 2014, Hayward and his mother, Tish Hayward, created the Hayward’s Hands Foundation in Georgia. Hayward’s Hands mission is to reach people of all ages with programs and services to meet their particular needs through love and compassion. Hayward’s Hands started with a Thanksgiving meal its first year, and now annually hosts a number of events, including the Thanksgiving meal, a Christmas Toy Drive, youth football camps and scholarship opportunities for students in his hometown of Perry.blues_1659

Jaguars owner Shad Khan revels in team’s emergence as NFL power

bengals_001Six offensive plays into the 2016 and your No.

did he play well?

He began the needing 31 to reach 100.I do think he could be a bit better.Please note, it is at the discretion of the respective vendor or team.

“It wasn’t a fake spike,” he told reporters after the game, via CBS Sports. “I was yelling ‘clock it’ because I felt like that was the thing to do, was clock it and get yourself one play. And it came from the sideline, ‘Don’t clock it. Don’t clock it.’ Well, at that time, everyone thinks it’s clocked so you don’t have any time to get everyone lined up. … Eli (Rogers) kinda ran a quick slant in there and at that time you just got to try to make a big play. And I didn’t make a good enough throw.”

Instead of a successful throw, Roethlisberger’s pass was intercepted by Duron Harmon, clinching the Patriots’ victory, 27-24.

However, CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora reported that Roethlisberger had the option of picking the plays, and that he went with the fake spike and throw.

Underlying numbers point to a team that’s once again ready to make some noise when it matters most.I ‘t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.Police say they seized: Kurt Churchill of Portugal Cove-St.The New Jersey Devils managed to not concede any more goals but it was another example of a second period letdown.But I’m just focused on being healthy, being a better player and being a better .

Adams was ruled out with a concussion after requiring medical attention on the field and wasn’t available to the media after the game. But Monday morning he shared his thoughts on the hit.

“I’ll never understand it. Game is already dangerous enough and we got Pro Bowl players out here head hunting and saying they ‘didn’t mean to harm me,'” Adams tweeted.

Adams didn’t stop there in his rant.

“There’s always been a philosophy in the league and it’s gone back several decades of philosophically whether you want to have a catch and a fumble or an incomplete pass, and the philosophy has always been incomplete pass. Otherwise, you’d have a million catches and fumbles. I agree with that,” Belichick said. “The catch in the end zone is very clearly stated, so you’ve got to complete a catch. It’s pretty clear.

Colts vs. Titans live stream: How to watch ‘Monday Night Football’ online

The Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts both think they’re better than their 2-3 records indicate, and both will try and get to .500 when they face each other on Monday Night Football. The game will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN (live streaming via WatchESPN).

Tennessee is trying to recover from a very rough patch. They lost, 16-10, to the Miami Dolphins in Week 5, and before that were completely annihilated at the hands of the Houston Texans. They allowed the Texans to put up 57 points, and they’ll be feeling that one for awhile.

The AFC South is a weird division that could go in a number of directions. The Jacksonville Jaguars lead it at 3-2, while the Texans and Titans have both flashed moments of high-level play. The division winner could wind up being 8-8, or they could win 11 games. A lot is up in the air right now.

Moving along to Kansas City and the Washington offensive line. It’s been featured a bunch in the first three weeks and it continues here. First, right guard Brandon Scherff gives Justin Houston some chin music on a slide protection. This is O-line porn.

Next, Trent Williams, Kirk Cousins’ blind side protector, gets a blind side block on a bootleg by Cousins. Trent goes down to check his gap on the zone run, then bounces out to protect Cousins. Zombo has no idea what’s coming.

My favorite part of these weekly videos is finding excellent blocks by skill position players. And we found another one by Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. The last time, JuJu knocked down a safety in the hole of a counter run. This past weekend, he helps a tight end knock down a defensive end on a goal-line run. This is beautiful from a receiver. I love it

Finally, we end in Dallas with the Los Angeles Rams. I can’t see the number on this receiver, but bravo, sir. Long runs/passes often turn into touchdowns when receivers throw blocks like this. The Dallas defender had no idea what was coming.steelers_001

Texans vs. Bengals 2017 live updates: Scores, highlights, and results from ‘Thursday Night Football’

The Texans scored the game’s only touchdown when rookie Deshaun Watson busted out a 49-yard run to put his team up for good. It wasn’t a pretty game, but Houston got the win and improved to 1-1. Cincinnati fell to 0-2.

He isn’t hitting the holes with the same speed and power we are used to seeing, and he also isn’t getting the lanes from the offensive line which became a regular occurrence in years past.

Whatever the case may be, after two weeks Bell looks like more like your everyday running back than a back wanting more than $12.5 million dollars a year.

Hull was an undrafted free agent in 2015, and spent the majority of his first season in the NFL on the Dolphins’ practice squad. In 2016, he played in all 16 games while making just one start.

Rookie linebacker Raekwon McMillan would be handy for the Dolphins right about now, but he tore his ACL in the preseason, effectively putting his NFL career on pause has he misses the season.

There’s little question that Matt Ryan will finish the year as a top ten quarterback in nearly every statistical measure you can dream up. If he can keep these streaks going and add some of those gaudy stats the MVP voters love, he might make a run at the award for a second straight season.2

Then Hali circled back around to the Chiefs

Hali shifted blame for the handling of the Sandusky case to Penn State’s former athletic director, Tim Curley, and the university’s president at the time, Graham Spanier.

Paterno’s career ended in disgrace because of his failure to report Sandusky, who was convicted for sexually assaulting minors in Penn State’s football facility. He was fired after 46 years as the Nittany Lions head coach, and the university even removed its statue of Paterno that stood outside of Beaver Stadium. Spanier and Curley were both convicted and sentenced to jail time for not alerting law enforcement to the situation.

Then Hali circled back around to the Chiefs, who start back at training camp Thursday:

Let’s look at the Super Bowl champs I am sure they had 100% attendance for OTAS AND OFFFSEASON WORKOUT this year. I maybe wrong.

The numbers for Brees support his belief that he hasn’t slowed down at all. He led the NFL with 5,208 passing yards in 2016 — only the ninth 5,000-yard season in NFL history, five of which were done by Brees.

It’s anyone’s guess if ages 38 and 39 will be as nice to Brees as they were to Brady, but as long as his play doesn’t drop off, he could overtake Manning on the career leaderboards.

In 11 seasons with the Saints, Brees’ worst totals were 4,388 passing yards in 2009 and 26 touchdown passes in 2006. In both seasons, he earned a spot in the Pro Bowl.

The average season for Brees in his 11 years in New Orleans is a preposterous 4,888 yards, 35 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. But reaching Manning in 2016 in either yards or touchdowns wasn’t realistic.

Manning sits at 71,940 yards with 539 touchdowns. Brees has 66,111 yards and 465 touchdowns.

We get a Walt Frazier lottery suit!

Four current players, three former players (two also performing duties in the front office), three head coaches, two general managers, one team co-owner and one legendary broadcaster will be in attendance in the hopes that their envelope is opened last. Wait, should we rank all 14 representatives based on no specific criteria at all? Yes, let’s do this.

Excited to represent Philly at the Lottery and also excited to see which young fella is gonna have this draft reaction when they get drafted

We get a Walt Frazier lottery suit! Will it be made entirely of ping-pong balls? Will it have Markelle Fultz’s face embroidered on the inside pocket? Nothing is off the table.

In all, according to stats, 31 of the Celtics’ 75 3-point attempts in this series have come with a defender 4-6 feet away from the shooter, or what the league deems “open.” They’ve gotten 32 “wide open” 3-pointers.

In all, 35.3 percent of all the Celtics’ shots in this series have been 3-pointers either open or wide open — without a defender within four feet. The Wizards were not a great closeout team in the regular season, but only 26.4 percent of the shots opponents took were 3-pointers without a defender within four feet. During the season, 29.8 percent of the Celtics’ shots were open or wide open 3s.

James’ philosophy appeared to be: I’ll sleep when the Pacers are dead.

With the other three Eastern Conference series tied or close, the Cavaliers could get more than a week of rest before being required to start their next round. That was an alluring incentive for the league’s oldest team.jets_001

Mike Ditka blasts ‘a—hole’ journalists hounding Tom Brady over Donald Trump

Iron Mike Ditka never disappoints.

Nearly a year after he called President Barack Obama the “worst” president ever, the outspoken ESPN analyst ripped sports journalists concerned about Tom Brady’s friendship with President Donald Trump, Obama (again) and protesting 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The Redskins used a first-round pick on TCU’s Josh Doctson last year, but there’s no guarantee he can shake off his tricky rookie foot injury (Achilles’) and be a reliable producer in his second season. Calling upon him to be a No. 1 who can both stretch the field and finish in the red zone is unreasonable.

So is assuming Reed, with his history of concussions and a recent shoulder issue, can be counted on to provide an athletic mismatch over a full season. That makes Davis, 33, coming off a resurgence and coming with a much cheaper price tag than that of Garcon or Jackson, a no-brainer to re-sign.

Going into the 2017 season with Doctson and Crowder as the top two returning wide receivers would set up Cousins for post-contract regression. Cousins has built good downfield chemistry with both Garcon and Jackson. It would be impossible — in short term, at least — for him to re-create it with a newcomer. Crowder was a key go-to guy for Cousins, too, but he’s better suited to have impact inside.

Here’s the rub: The market is inflated for veteran wideouts. The Redskins might have no choice but to be lukewarm on retaining Jackson, because his big-play flair will attract many teams in need of a pure home-run hitter. He likely will be well overpaid, around $10 million per season. Garcon, for some of the same reasons Washington loves him, is set up to get $9 million-plus from one of several suitors.texans_138