Roger Goodell takes on politics, Deflategate and rules changes

Roger Goodell had to chuckle when a Spanish-speaking reporter asked him about the NFL building its global brand, “instead of building something else.”

The end of that question was an allusion to the border wall between the United States and Mexico proposed by President Donald Trump.

Nothing out of the ordinary occurred during his meetings with teams at the 2006 NFL Scouting Combine.

“I really didn’t have any strange questions,” said Whitworth, who would become a Cincinnati Bengals second-round draft pick.

“Maybe I was just scary. I don’t really have that personality they want to mess with because I am usually so serious about stuff.”

Not everyone is so fortunate.

The 15-minute sessions are intended to help clubs get a better feel for the prospect they may be selecting. Most of them unfold without incident. But the way some squads conduct these “job interviews” leave players scratching their heads or, in extreme cases, hoping that they don’t get picked by the questioning party.

Take the case of Indianapolis Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo while he was going through the 2011 Combine.

“One team put on lowlights of all my worst plays and basically Pittsburgh Steelers Cheap Jerseys just asked me, ‘What were you thinking on this play? What happened here?’” Castonzo recalled. “It was brutal.”

That experience was benign compared to what happened with another club.

Tony Romo trade, free agency signing could be a career-ending mistake for a GM

Buyer beware. Fragile: Handle with care. Proceed with extreme caution.

Those are three admonitions I would give any NFL team considering the risky proposition of acquiring Tony Romo, either via a trade with the Cowboys or as a free agent if the quarterback is released.

“People have been calling me, ‘Hey, wanted to work out … let’s watch some film … I need to work on some releases,'” Smith said on the SiriusXM Blitz. “I had some DBs calling me, ‘Hey, you can give me some line work,’ and all that stuff. When I was at the Super Bowl, and it all (was) announced, I had probably about three or four people text me, saying, ‘Hey, let’s get up’ and I had some agents call me for their guy to help them work their guy out, get him prepared for the Combine.

“And I had to take a step back and I said, you know what? If I do all these things, now I’m getting my mind and body to say, ‘I can still play.’ So I had to text some guys and say, ‘You know what? I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to watch film with you and work out and train with you because that means I’m telling myself and my family I’m about to go play again. And I don’t want to go through that process. I’m done playing.’ So if I’m training anybody, their last name is Smith, meaning my kids.

The Falcons led the NFL in scoring this season with a franchise-record 540 points.

Ryan beat out Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who led the NFL with 40 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions with another four rushing touchdowns while carrying the Packers to an NFC North division title. Other MVP candidates who lost out to Ryan were Cowboys rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, who led the NFL in rushing as the Cowboys went 13-3 to win the NFC East and the Wholesale Cheap Jerseys NFC’s top seed, and Ryan’s counterpart on Sunday, New England quarterback Tom Brady, who set Toronto Blue Jays Cheap Jerseys an NFL record for touchdown-to-interception ratio with 28 TDs and just two picks.

Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster dances to ‘JuJu on That Beat’ with hospital patient

The team’s rookie class visited the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC on Monday and Smith-Schuster danced to the song, along with one of the hospital’s patients. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler captured the scene on video.

This wasn’t the first time the former USC wide receiver has danced to the song, and if he has success in Pittsburgh, it likely won’t be the last.

Inman, 28, was signed by the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2011. After failing to make the roster, he took his skills to Toronto and logged two 50-catch seasons Cheap Jerseys Cycling for the Argonauts in the CFL before signing with the Chargers in 2014.

The Packers began organized team activities on May 22 and ended the initial three days of practice on Wednesday. OTAs resume on May 31 with a minicamp scheduled for June 13-15.

That’s probably not what Wilson needed to say, considering the Cowboys just got finished with a seasonlong quarterback controversy that ended with Romo’s exit from Dallas for a foray into TV.

Here’s the full context of the quote: Have the Saints, in the Sean Payton-Drew Brees era, ever had a running back like Adrian Peterson? Trick question: There is no running back like Adrian Peterson, even the version the Saints scooped up after the Vikings let him go after 10 years.

There also has not been pressure to win again during the Payton-Brees era like there is now. This is Payton’s 11th year in charge; that Super Bowl win was eight years ago. At 38, Brees’s career clock is ticking. They’ve had three straight 7-9 seasons. In one way Cheap Jerseys 90 or another, the rest of the NFC South has passed them; two of their rivals have been to the last two Super Bowls.

The average NFL player salary was in the $2 million range for 2009 and 2010

Despite that security and the healthy wage scale for NFL players of all levels, the failure to live within its means or other financial mishaps and hardships created issues among a portion of NFLPA membership that became anxious for the union to accept the league’s CBA offer. Examples of well-paid players who turned to short-term “lockout loans” at interest rates of 20 percent-plus include tackle Bryant McKinnie, cornerback Will D. Allen and quarterback Vince Young.

The average NFL player salary was in the $2 Cheap High Quality Soccer Jerseys million range for 2009 and 2010. The minimum salaries were $310,000 and $325,000 in those years, respectively. The minimum has increased to $465,000 for the 2017 season with the average player salary at more than $2 million annually.

“In 2009, we were faced with a major sort of signal that the owners were going to try and lock players out,” Atallah said. “We were trying to get as many players prepared as possible.”

Atallah said the NFLPA plans to recruit current and former players who went through the 2011 lockout and other work stoppages to offer advice if another labor lockout is on the horizon. Atallah also said “money management is probably the No. 1 thing that we have tried to impress upon players over the last couple of years.”

“We need players of every generation to really help the young guys understand what it takes to go through some ‘labor strife,'” he said. “For the players who went through it in 2011, the union administration and player leadership did everything it could to prepare players across the league. I think it needs to happen again with the same sort of fervor.”

He pauses a moment and plucks the beard he’s sporting to keep out the New Jersey winter

Mauk hangs on to every word as he breaks down film with the former NFL quarterback. The CFL might be the pathway toward the NFL. He’s simply willing to work at this point.

“The thing I like about working with (Fiedler) is that all these QB gurus, some have played and some haven’t,” Mauk said. “Jay is a guy that has played in the NFL, won in the NFL and is very well respected. That’s what I really love.

“To hear an actual sense of somebody that has actually done it and telling me from experience what I need to focus on. Not just going out there … the fact that he’s played in the NFL excites me.”

He pauses a moment and plucks the beard he’s sporting to keep out the New Jersey winter.

“It’s the same future I want,” Mauk said. “It’s where I want to be too and I’ll do whatever it takes to get there.”

That’s why the Sherman-Seattle saga has the look of a Cheap Fishing Jerseys combustible situation that will be a thorn in the team’s side during the 2017 season.

Carroll and Schneider acknowledging interest in parting ways with Sherman tells me they’re tired of his arrogant act. He has always been a highly visible, boisterous player who Cheap Bike Jerseys For Men thinks he’s smarter than most everyone else and is never shy about giving his opinions on any subject, football-related or otherwise.

Which was fine when he was Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 … not so great when his play is not at its peak and when he’s dissing coaches.

Mets scratch Noah Syndergaard due to ‘tired arm’

Defensive end. Demarcus Ware, who is the Cowboys’ all-time sack leader with 117, recently retired after playing his final three seasons in Denver. Dallas still hasn’t come close to replacing Ware’s productivity. No Cowboys player has registered more than eight sacks in any of the past three years since Ware’s release.

General manager. I know, this isn’t a player position. But Scot McCloughan’s dismissal has created a hole in talent evaluation at the most inopportune time of year (i.e. free agency and the draft). The firing and behind-the-scenes drama surrounding it — not to mention uncertainty surrounding Cheap Authentic Soccer Jerseys quarterback Kirk Cousins’ future with the franchise — have also put the franchise back in a negative light.

The Mets were forced to scratch ace Noah Syndergaard ahead of Thursday afternoon’s scheduled start against the Braves.

Manager Terry Collins told reporters Syndergaard is dealing with a “tired arm.” The injury is officially being called biceps tendinitis.

Matt Harvey will start in Syndergaard’s place Thursday against Atlanta.

Syndergaard, who is off to a fantastic start with a 1.73 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in his first four outings, dealt with blister issues during his first couple of starts this season.

While Syndergaard’s arm fatigue doesn’t appear to be anything serious right now, it will be something worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses. It is usually not a good sign when a 24-year-old is dealing with a tired arm during the first month of the season.
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NFL Draft 2017: Thursday night’s spectacle injected fun back into league

It wasn’t just teams who helped themselves Thursday night in the 2017 NFL Draft.

The league itself received a much-needed boost, too.

Blame who or what you want for last season’s eight-percent decline in television ratings. Colin Kaepernick, the presidential elections, millennials with shorter attention spans, concussion-scandal fallout, choppy sequencing of commercials, product oversaturation — it all played a part.

But the underlying reality is that the NFL itself was missing core elements that had helped it become America’s top sport. Quite frankly, the league wasn’t as fun to watch as in previous years.

Raw emotion from players was being sanitized through measures like crackdowns on end-zone celebrations. The NFL’s ability to connect with its fans organically also began to wane. All the money spent on hype and commercialization failed to create a product that seemed fresh and hip.

If one theme was pounded home in the run-up to this draft, it was that this quarterback class was nothing special. This was not the year to give in to the usual quarterback panic — the fear that you’ll miss one if you don’t grab one right now, no matter who he is and how much you had to talk yourself into liking him.

The last thing the Jets needed to do was to repeat what they’d done Cheap Authentic Jerseys each of the previous four years (and five of the previous six): draft a quarterback without a clear-cut plan for him. Drafting them high, drafting them low and drafting them to add to the ones already on the roster, including the ones they signed as free agents.

Isaiah Thomas’ last 24 hours have not been easy after flying cross-country for sister’s funeral

The Boston Celtics only had one day’s worth of rest in between their first- and second-round playoff series. That minibreak was even shorter for Isaiah Thomas, who traveled cross-country and back in the last 48 hours to be with his family for his sister’s funeral.

Just a day before Game 1 of Boston’s first-round series against the New York Giants Cheap Jerseys Chicago Bulls, Thomas’ sister, Chyna, passed away in an automobile accident in Washington state. Thomas played the next day, somehow mustering the strength to score 33 points on 55 percent shooting.

This is the what we were waiting for this entire time in the Rockets-Thunder series. Game 1 was fine, and Game 2 gave us things to talk about, but Game 3 was thrills from front to end. Oklahoma City led most of Game 3 on Friday, but Houston kept eating into the deficit over and over again. With less than a minute left, James Harden tied the game. On the next possession, Steven Adams tipped in a Westbrook shot that ended up giving them the decisive advantage.

The game swayed back and forth between players shooting free throws, and a couple crucial Westbrook misses gave us all the drama we needed. It ended on a missed Harden three right here, which could have ended the game and the Thunder’s playoff hopes had it splashed in.
Put Russell Westbrook and James Harden duking it out continuously at this level, and I could watch it for days.

Blake Griffin suffers a season-ending injury in the playoffs for the 2nd straight year

Blake Griffin’s season is done, with the Clippers announcing their star big man will miss the rest of the playoffs with an injury to the plantar plate in his right big toe. It’s the second straight year that Griffin has suffered a season-ending injury in the postseason, and it comes in a playoff series that Los Angeles leads two to one against the Utah Jazz.

The injury happened in the second half of Game 3 on a seemingly innocuous drive to the rim where Griffin suffered minor contact. Here’s the play when he apparently hurt himself:

The Broncos were always going to have a tough draft. Their biggest Texans Cheap Jerseys position of need — offensive line — fell victim to one of the weakest classes of blockers the league has ever seen. Even so, the team did well to add Garett Bolles, a high-ceiling tackle, on day one. With a prolific defense already in place, Denver focused on rebuilding its offense, adding a pair of big-name talents on day three. Jake Butt and Chad Kelly may never reach the dizzying highs of their college careers, but were low-risk, high-reward pickups for John Elway.

Can’t see the Lightning not taking a defenseman here. Valimaki isn’t the right-hand shot their system could use, but he is a well-rounded, two-way defenseman with size and budding leadership qualities. Valimaki finished with 61 points in 60 games and looks more and more poised as he adapts to the North American game.

A pitcher was ejected for losing control of a curveball in the Orioles-Red Sox game

Kevin Gausman entered Wednesday night’s game with 17 walks in 30 innings. He leads the AL in earned runs, and he leads the majors in hits allowed. He has not been very good this season. He has not been very good at all.

You might say that he is the kind of pitcher who could lose control of the occasional curveball. Like this:

Before the series even started, there was a Chance the Rapper concert scheduled at Oracle during what would have been Game 5. Expecting the Warriors will sweep the Blazers, though, feels a bit presumptuous. No one on Golden State is expecting that, to be fair. But is the NBA? Well, no need to worry because the sweep happened.

If Game 5, had happened, it would have been played on April 26 at Oracle Arena. The same night as the Chance concert.

Chance is getting bigger and bigger, but I Cheap Elite Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Embroidered NFL Jerseys initially thought maybe he wasn’t slated to perform at Oracle. I saw him in Dallas last year, and he played at a large concert venue rather than an even larger arena. (Highly recommend it, by the way.) But …

The same loophole that allowed Thon Maker to enter the draft last season allows Diallo to do the same thing this year. He joined Kentucky midseason but didn’t play, making him possibly the first-ever one-semester-and-done prospect.

Diallo was a no-brainer five-star recruit as a 6’5 shooting guard with a strong upper body and elite athleticism. He might need a year or two in the D-League to improve his handle and midrange scoring package, but he looks like the rough outline of everything you want out of a two-guard. He makes a lot of sense for a team like Portland with multiple first-round picks.