Monday, May 25, 2015

Jackson: Competition ahead at Dolphins OTAs


The Miami Dolphins are gearing up for a handful of positional battles as OTAs get rolling Tuesday.

The team is looking to see whether Jamar Taylor can cling to the starting gig opposite Brent Grimes, and a few players are in the mix on the offensive line. Linebacker will also be a point of emphasis.

Monday, The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson gave a nice breakdown of where Miami is at on the internal competition front.

Check it out HERE.

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RPT: Brady's appeal won't be heard by Wednesday


The latest shoe has (reportedly) dropped with DeflateGate.

According to the Associated Press, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's appeal regarding his four-game suspension in the wake of the deflated footballs "scandal" won't be heard by Wednesday, which marks the 10-day deadline.
"The collective bargaining agreement calls for it to be heard within 10 days," the report reads. "However, the league and the players' union can agree on delaying the hearing. The two sides don't agree on much else."
[READ MORE]

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Jim Schwartz lands with NFL as officiating consultant


Jim Schwartz has found a job.

Following a very successful but brief stint as the Buffalo Bills' defensive coordinator last season, the former Detroit Lions head coach was let go when the Bills hired Rex Ryan as their new leader in January.

Schwartz didn't latch on with anyone this offseason--likely at least somewhat influenced by timing (given he was let go later in the coaching hiring frenzy)--so it turns out he'll be working for the NFL in 2015.

As first reported by Fox Sports and later confirmed by the NFL, Schwartz will spend the upcoming season as a consultant to the league's officiating department.

[READ MORE from ESPN.com]

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tannenbaum: Suh must 'do more than just play well'


Ndamukong Suh has a job to do. Well, maybe more than just one.

This offseason, the Miami Dolphins showered the veteran defensive tackle with the grandest contract for a defensive player in NFL history: $114 million over six years, with $60 million guaranteed.

"A lot of resources are going to Ndamukong. We’re not hiding that," Dolphins executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum said Thursday, via the Palm Beach Post.

"In a cap system, players who take up a big part of your cap have to do more than just play well.”

For that kind of money, Miami wants Suh to be more than just a great player. Upon signing the mega deal, Tannenbaum has tasked him with another challenge.

[READ MORE]

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Dareus suspended for Week 1 following drug arrest


Marcell Dareus' off-the-field issues are starting to affect his on-field participation.

Following a plea deal last month where Dareus paid two traffic tickets for his role in a street-racing incident in Hamburg, N.Y., prior to the start of last season, the Buffalo Bills defensive tackle will now miss the team's season opener.

The two-time Pro Bowler was arrested in Alabama last May -- before his Fast and Furious ordeal -- on drug charges, and the league issued his one-game suspension Thursday. Dareus will miss Week 1 of the season, when the Bills take on the Indianapolis Colts.

"Last year, I made a mistake involving possession of a banned substance," the 25-year-old said in a prepared statement via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. "The NFL's discipline for this conduct is part of the drug policy, and I apologize to my family, my teammates, the entire Bills organization and Bills fans that I will miss one game as a result of my mistake. 

"I will work intensely that week and will be extremely happy to contribute to a win in week two for the Bills."


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gailey: Barring injury, 'Geno's the starter' for Jets


Looks like Geno Smith is getting a second, second chance.

New York Jets Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey, who acquired his former quarterback from Buffalo in Ryan Fitzpatrick this offseason, was asked Wednesday whether they'll be a competition this offseason for the starting role -- a legitimate question given Smith's rocky pro start.

The answer? An emphatic "no."

“Right now, Geno’s the starter,” Gailey said via Seth Walder of the NY Daily News. “That’s the way we expect it to be.

“I think you see an awful lot of talent there. And if we can get him where he puts all that together, I don’t know how good he can be. To be honest, I don’t know how good he can be, but he can be pretty good though.” 

The 24-year-old signal-caller has posted a 57.5 percent completion rate and 25/34 touchdown-to-interception ratio his first two seasons, while Fitzpatrick completed 63 percent of his passes and tallied 17 touchdowns to eight interceptions in 12 games last season.

READ MORE

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Carpenter: Extra-point change a step in wrong direction


Tuesday, the NFL announced changes to its extra-point play, moving the kick back to the 15-yard line.

A day later, Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter, among others, was already voicing his displeasure.

The 29-year-old spoke out on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday about the changes, saying the amendment allowing defensive points to be scored on the play is counterproductive to the league's recent safety measures.

"Being on-field goal protection is probably the worst job in football," he said via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. "I know that and all my linemen know that. Well now they just went from a play that there weren't too many collisions to a play now where not only is the defense coming to take that one point off, but also to add a chance to add two more to their score.

"For a sport that was trying to cut back on collisions, I think that you're probably just going to add a few more on those situations."

For reactions from other kickers around the league, click here.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wilkerson absent from Jets' first OTA practice


Muhammad Wilkerson wasn't expected to show up at the New York Jets' first OTA practice Tuesday. Turns out, he didn't disappoint(?).

According to the NY Daily News, the star defensive lineman was in fact absent from the festivities, as he has been so far this offseason.

"The real test will come during mandatory minicamp, when Wilkerson would be subject to fines if he held out," writes Seth Walder of the Daily News.

Wilkerson is seeking a long-term deal entering the final year of his contract with the Jets, who recently drafted fellow frontman Leonard Williams in the first round.

[READ MORE]

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Lal was eying Bills' wideouts from across division


Since 2009, Sanjay Lal spent three seasons coaching the Oakland Raiders' receivers and three more with the New York Jets' wideouts.

During his time with Gang Green, he looked on from across the division at the moves the Buffalo Bills were making in acquiring young talent at the position.

Now, he has the chance to get work with the group. And he's excited about it.

“I’ve watched the Bills draft Sammy Watkins and Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods,” Lal recently told The Buffalo News. “And those are guys that I had on my list that I really liked and wanted to work with. Now, it just fell into place that I get to work with them.”

He also said that in the past, he was put in situations where the scheme and game plan didn't match the talent on the depth chart. “So these great plays that would work, that we know are going to work, are thrown out," he said.

Apparently, he doesn't think that will be an issue in Western New York.

[READ MORE]

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NFL changes extra point, 2-point conversion rules


Things won't be quite as easy for NFL kickers on extra points moving forward. And the post-touchdown decision-making for coaches just got slightly more complex, as well.

The NFL announced Tuesday its owners have approved the competition committee's proposal to move the extra point to the 15-yard line.

Two-point conversions, meanwhile, will remain at the 2-yard line, and the opposing defense will have have the opportunity to score two points on a return.

[READ MORE]

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Robert Kraft: It's unfair, but we won't appeal


The New England Patriots were docked two draft picks (a first next year) and $1 million for the DeflateGate saga--in addition to a four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady--but owner Robert Kraft has decided not to appeal.

Kraft issued the following statement Tuesday (click the link below to read the full transcript):
"It’s been an emotionally charged couple of weeks, as all of you know. I’ve been considering what my options are. Throughout this whole process, there have been two polarizing audiences. At one end of the spectrum, we’ve had Patriots fans throughout the country who have been so supportive and really inspirational to us and believing in us. I’m also mindful at the other end of the spectrum there are fans that feel just the opposite."
"What I’ve learned is the ongoing rhetoric continues to galvanize both camps and I don’t see that changing, and they will never agree. The one thing that we all can agree upon is the entire process has taken way too long. I don’t think anyone can believe that after four months [since] the AFC Championship Game we are still talking about air pressure and the psi in footballs."
[READ MORE]

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Patriots make roster moves, bring back LB Spikes


He's baaaaack.

After spending a year with the division-rival Buffalo Bills, linebacker Brandon Spikes is back in New England, according to WEEI.com. The 27-year-old spent the first four years of his career under coach Bill Belichick, and he'll rejoin fellow linebackers Jerod Mayo and Dont'a Hightower, who have each dealt with injury issues the past couple years.

Spikes, who signed a one-year deal Monday, had a down year with Buffalo in 2014, amassing only 54 combined tackles after posting more than 85 the previous two years. He missed a tackle one out of every 7.3 attempts last season, according to ProFootballFocus, and wound up near the bottom of the barrel in terms of efficiency among linebackers.

In other roster news, the Pats said sayonara to three players Monday, including utility man Devin Gardner. The quarterback/wide receiver was brought on as an unsigned free agent the beginning of the month after setting some school records as a signal-caller with Michigan.

New England also released special teamer and cornerback Chimdi Chewka, as well as linebacker Cameron Gordon.

For more on the Patriots' roster moves, click here.

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Tannehill 'had no expectations' about contract extension


There's been a lot of dissent over whether Ryan Tannehill is a franchise quarterback. Apparently, there's none among the Miami Dolphins' front office.

The 26-year-old inked a six-year contract extension with the team Monday, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Heralda deal reportedly worth $96 million. The fourth-year signal-caller will earn $45 million in guaranteed money through 2020, while averaging $16 million per year.

"You look back at all the great players over the years, and most of them spent a significant amount of time in one place," Tannehill told the team's website Monday. "I didn't know it was going to come this year. I had no expectations, but so fortunate, so blessed to be in this position and to be able to have the opportunity to stay here for the next six years."

The deal seems to be a positive for both sides involved, with Tannehill getting some job security and a decent paycheck, while the Dolphins shore up a better-than-average quarterback at a pretty good going rate.

Tannehill was 11th overall last season in passing yards (4,045), 12th in touchdowns (27) and 14th in passer rating (92.8).

For more from the former Aggie, including his thoughts on the team's revamped receiving corps, click here.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Reshad Jones says Louis Delmas isn't human


Louis Delmas isn't one of us, according to one of his teammates.

The Miami Dolphins safety Delmas sustained a torn ACL last December and has been on the road to recovery since. Fellow defensive centerfielder Reshad Jones said the road as been remarkably short.
“I don't think Louis is human,” Jones said Friday, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “He's actually back running around like he never had surgery. A couple guys have ACLs and they're rehabbing. 
"Louis is running, no limp, doing all the drills we're doing. He looks fine. We’ve got a good bond on and off the field. I like playing alongside of him.”
Jackson added that "from a health standpoint," Delmas' recover has been "one of the most impressive developments of this Dolphin offseason."

READ MORE

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Brady hasn't missed one voluntary offseason workout


In years past, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been a "maybe" regarding spring voluntary activities, as he's occasionally opted to train elsewhere--most notably California.

But in the wake of the DeflateGate suspension decision, Brady is sticking around his employer's facilities.

According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, Brady hasn't missed a single voluntary workout since the team's offseason program began April 20.
"He’s been there every day," writes Reiss. "For those who know Brady well, this news is hardly a surprise."
Read more "quick-hit thoughts" from the Patriots beat writer here.

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