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Thursday, November 27, 2014


NFL Week 13 expert picks against the spread – Doc’s locks

Doc Brown is coming off his best week of the season, which means it’s time to fall back to reality with a poor week. After a 12-3 week against the spread, you know it’s going to be a .500 week at best. The good news is at least Doc hit the lock for the fourth week in a row, putting him at 15-4 (79 percent) for the season. It’s pretty darn hard to top that.

Below are the picks for Week 13 along with analysis below.

(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

Doc Brown Week 13

Doc Brown is locking the Steelers despite their inconsistent ways. They’re coming off a close win over the Titans on Monday night that they barely pulled out. They had a bye to get everything straight and they will be at home. They’re a vastly different team at home from the road, so being at Heinz will be a big help. The other thing is we saw how terrible the Saints looked against the run on Monday night. If Justin Forsett did that to them, what will Le’Veon Bell do? And if the Saints try to stack the box to stop the run, then Big Ben will beat them in the pass. Either way it should be a nice outing for Pittsburgh’s offense.

Some other notes: The Doc was initially high on the Colts until Washington switched QBs to Colt McCoy. Doc thinks Colt may be able to keep the Skins in the game close enough to cover. The Doc also thinks the Raiders will play well for a second week in a row. Teams that stink it up but finally get their first win of the season late in the year tend to play a second good game in a row, so that’s what we’re banking on. Lastly, Minnesota has been playing well and should continue that trend with a win and cover against the Panthers.

Darryl Talley is suffering, says he got f—ed by the NFL

Darryl TalleyDarryl Talley is one of the best players in Buffalo Bills franchise history, and the man is paying the price for sacrificing his body throughout his 14-year playing career.

The Buffalo News published a lengthy piece on Talley Wednesday night that is a must-read item.

The feature details the pain and struggles Talley is living with on a daily basis. He is 54 years old, suffering from memory loss, depression and poor health. His body aches so much that he cannot sleep more than 90 minutes at a time. He has had such a difficult time in his post-playing career that he has contemplated suicide on multiple occasions.

“When you go through the s— that I’ve gone through, you start to wonder: Is this really worth it? Is it worth being here, worth being tortured anymore?

“It would be just as easy to call it a day. But there are two reasons why I won’t. First of all, my parents didn’t raise a coward. The most important is I want to be around for my grandkids,” Talley told The News.

The two-time Pro Bowl linebacker who helped lead the Bills to four Super Bowls in the ’90s has struggled so much financially because of the failure of his company that he has had to be helped by his former teammates like Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith and Cornelius Bennett. They came together to help pay the deposit on the rent for the Talleys’ home in Florida. Worst of all, Talley believes the organization and league to which he sacrificed his body turned their backs on him.

“It’s the most disappointing thing ever to go out and play and to stand up for that shield and then to have them f— you the way they do,” Darryl Talley said. “I put team and league in front of everything, in front of my family.”

Talley wishes the Bills would do more to help him. He also feels like he got boned by the league because he has a type B disability plan, rather than the type A plan to which he believes he is entitled.

“When you’re done playing,” Darryl Talley said, “you’re like a piece of meat. They treat you like, ‘None of what you say is our fault. None of these injuries happened from playing football.’

Talley was a warrior for the Bills. He only missed one game in 12 seasons with Buffalo and five over his entire career. Missing so few games requires a player to play through injuries, and Talley did that multiple times.

[Related: Talley upset Vince Young didn’t show him proper respect]

The former linebacker guesses he suffered at least 100 concussions. He can’t tie a tie or flip up his collar. He says he was informed after his career that he had a broken neck. And guess what? Talley says he was cleared by the Bills to play the next game each time he had a neck injury. He also says the team claimed it didn’t have his medical records available when he called for them.

So if Talley is struggling so much, why does he stick around? Because the man wants to see his kids grow old. He wants to see his grandchildren. But it won’t be easy living day-to-day until that time comes.

Josh Gordon feeling snubbed by some Browns teammates

Josh GordonJosh Gordon was reinstated by the NFL last week after missing 10 games because of a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. This was the second straight season Gordon has been suspended, and he says he hasn’t completely felt welcomed by some of his Cleveland Browns teammates.

Gordon made his comments to former teammate Nate Burleson, who interviewed him for NFL Network.

“The lowest point of all this I think was the disassociation from a lot of friends you thought were close or you thought you were kind of cool with really not checking on you anymore, [not] hitting you up anymore, [not] wanting to hang out,” Gordon says in the interview, which will air Sunday, via Cleveland.com. “As far as even people in here (with the Browns), I don’t want to throw names around, but I can see it.

“I’m definitely really observant so I see how people might just be more standoffish (than) they were before. It’s kind of like a disease. People they want to see it, but they don’t really want to touch it.”

[Related: Gordon reportedly failed three drug tests in college]

Gordon may be uncomfortable about this, but he has to see things from the perspective of his teammates.

This is the second year in a row Gordon has been suspended for doing recreational drugs. In their eyes, he is choosing marijuana (or whatever else) over being a responsible teammate. The Browns meanwhile had a lot of success without him, so some players may feel like they don’t need him.

[Related: Cris Carter – Drugs the most important thing to Josh Gordon]

Gordon cannot afford to sulk; instead, he needs to prove to his teammates through his play and through his actions that he is there for them and that helping them is his top priority.


Mark Schlereth burns Skip Bayless over QB rankings


Most people cannot stand Skip Bayless and his trolling ways, and ESPN employees are no exception.

Bayless decided to offer up an opinion nobody was asking for regarding Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford, who will face each other in an NFC North matchup on Thanksgiving. Here are Bayless’ thoughts:

Former NFL player and current ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth saw the tweet, and he decided to take the bait and respond:

What was Schlereth referring to? Bayless tweeting in 2012 that he would take RG3 over Andrew Luck any day:

Yeah, how’s that one working out for you, Skip?

The only thing Schlereth better worry about is whether ESPN reprimands him; we know the network does not like analyst on analyst crime.

Rex Ryan reportedly knows he will be fired, plans to go into TV

Rex Ryan JetsRex Ryan led the New York Jets to an improbable 8-8 season last year, which many believe helped him keep his job. This time around, he won’t be as lucky.

The New York Post reports that though Ryan rallied to keep his job this season, Jets GM Jeff Idzik planned all along to replace Ryan after this season.

From The Post:

Sources told The Post that, during the offseason, Ryan bumped into scouts and other coaches from around the league who told him Jets general manager John Idzik had been telling people his plan all along was to replace Ryan after the season and bring in his own head coach.

“Did he think that wasn’t going to get back to me?” an angered Ryan told one confidant.

If Ryan is fired as many believe he will be, he would have no shortage of coaching opportunities. Whether he would be pursued as a head coach remains to be seen, but at the least, he would be a coveted defensive coordinator. But he may end up leaving teams wanting more.

Despite Ryan’s ability as a proven coach, The Post says the defensive mastermind is prepared to go into TV if/when he is fired.

Rex has become well known because of his gregarious personality and bold predictions, so he would be a natural on a TV set. It just would be surprising to see him give up coaching because of how long he has done it, and because of how much success he has had in the profession.

Floyd Mayweather takes another shot at Manny Pacquiao (Video)

Will a fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao ever take place? Probably not, but it will be a while before the two stop lobbing grenades at one another.

Mayweather has fired the latest shot with yet another post on Instagram. This time, Floyd posted a video that shows Pacquiao being knocked down multiple times while “Another One Bites the Dust” plays in the background.


Floyd recently posted a series of photos of Pacquiao laying down on the canvas and accused him of being broke and needing a payday. Pac Man later said that Mayweather acts uneducated and does not want to fight him.

Like we said, the fight will probably never happen no matter how many haymakers Mayweather and Pacquiao throw at each other on social media and in interviews. But if it does, Bob Arum wants us to believe it could take place here.

Bill Belichick sees only one similarity between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers

Bill Belichick media

It seems that the winning ways of the New England Patriots have put head coach Bill Belichick in no better of a mood than the one he was in after his team was destroyed by the Kansas City Chiefs two months ago.

Just as his scheduled press conference was about to come to a close on Wednesday, Belichick was asked if he sees any similarities between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers and the way both quarterbacks have elevated their games.

“They both wear No. 12,” Belichick said.

As Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com notes, Belichick then left the podium and walked out of the room.

Was it a reasonable question? Sure. Rodgers and Brady are two of the best quarterbacks in the game. They have both won at least one championship and are playing at incredibly high levels this season. Nevertheless, Belichick didn’t think the question was worthy of a thoughtful answer.

Belichick was also asked about the fact that he has never coached against Rodgers, who was injured the last time the Patriots and Packers met. One reporter asked how that affects game-planning, if at all.

“It is what it is. Whatever hasn’t happened, hasn’t happened,” he said. “I don’t really worry about it.”

Aristotle couldn’t have said it any better.

Devon Still’s ex-girlfriend Channing Smythe says Still owes child support for Leah


Devon Still’s ex-girlfriend Channing Smythe has accused the Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman of refusing to pay child support. Smythe is the mother of Leah Still, the 4-year-old girl who is battling pediatric cancer and has captured the hearts of millions across the world.

In a letter from her attorney to the NFL, Smythe alleges that Still has refused to pay months of child support and has left her and Leah on the brink of homelessness. Smythe told the NY Daily News that she lives in New York with Leah and has had to borrow cars to take the young girl to her appointments and treatments.

“I don’t consider him a deadbeat dad,” Smythe said Wednesday. “I know he loves and cares for his daughter and he is there for her. I just need him to help me financially.

“I have an outstanding medical bill for Leah for an ambulance for her. I have been unable to pay the ambulance bill, and it is not covered under insurance. If I were receiving child support for Leah I would be able to pay this bill, but since Leah’s father is refusing to provide child support I am unable to pay the bill for the ambulance.”

Still, who split with Smythe after Leah was born in April 2010, is now engaged to another woman. He responded to the NY Daily News story on Twitter Wednesday night.

Smythe said that she knows Still loves Leah and appreciates the way he spends time with her, but added that Leah deserves “both love and child support.”

Neither the Bengals nor Still’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, have commented on the allegations.

H/T Deadspin

Report: Jets prevented Rex Ryan from talking about father Buddy’s health issues

Rex Ryan

Why would the New York Jets not want Rex Ryan to discuss his father’s health issues?

Ryan’s father, legendary former NFL coach Buddy Ryan, is battling cancer. Rex went to visit Buddy during the Week 11 bye, but apparently the Jets don’t want him talking to reporters about the 83-year-old’s illness. Here’s what Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News wrote in a recent column.

Last week, the Jets prevented Rex Ryan from sharing details about his bye-week trip to Kentucky to see his 83-year-old father, Buddy, who has battled cancer in recent years. Ryan was happy to discuss the visit, but a media relations official intervened presumably because of the News’ critical stories about Idzik.

Asked who made the decision to prevent a willing Ryan from sharing stories about his father, the media relations official said, “I don’t have to tell you.”

Mehta speculates that the muzzling of Ryan is further proof that the Jets plan to fire him at the end of the season. He also says Idzik is on a “witch hunt” to determine who has made critical remarks about the GM to the media.

If the Jets are preventing Ryan from discussing his father’s health issues so that he is easier to fire, that would be pathetic. We can’t say it would surprise us given the current state of the Jets, but it would be beyond classless.

H/T Pro Football Talk

NFC East teams have tried to hire Chip Kelly’s former DC Nick Aliotti


The Philadelphia Eagles rank in the top four in the NFL in both total yards per game and points per game. They finished the 2013 season ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, in those categories. The numbers don’t lie — Chip Kelly’s offense works.

It worked at Oregon and it works with the Eagles. In fact, teams are so desperate to slow down Kelly and his offense that they have made an effort to hire his former defensive coordinator, Nick Aliotti.

“I have been asked by everybody in the NFC East,” the now-retired Aliotti told John Canzano of OregonLive.com on Monday. “The Giants asked me to come back when Chip got the first job. I didn’t feel right doing that. Some teams have called when they’re getting ready to play the Eagles and they call and have certain questions on the thing. Unless I know the guy and he’s a good friend, I don’t get involved with that.”

We have heard of teams signing players strictly for intel, but reaching out to an NFL coach’s former assistant for help is less common.

While Aliotti saw Kelly’s offensive system every day in practice for several years, he probably doesn’t hold the key to stopping it. NFL teams can dig up tape from any Oregon game from 2007-2012 (and I’m sure they have), but actually stopping the high-powered attack requires speed and stamina on defense. When Kelly’s offense is firing on all cylinders, you probably can’t stop plays even if you know they are coming.

H/T Crossing Broad

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