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Charles Woodson on Raiders: ‘We suck’

Charles-Woodson-RaidersCharles Woodson may end up wishing he had just retired over the winter before the 2014 season is over. The Oakland Raiders are 0-2 heading into a road game against the New England Patriots. They were demolished at home by the Houston Texans on Sunday in a game that was never close. Woodson was disgusted.

When speaking to reporters after the game, Woodson offered a very brief assessment of his team.

“We suck,” the 37-year-old veteran said, via Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle. “That’s as blunt as I can put it.”

While Week 2 typically isn’t the time to panic or throw in the towel, the Raiders have looked like one of the worst teams in the NFL. They allowed 188 yards rushing against Houston. Rookie quarterback Derek Carr threw two interceptions and padded his stats in garbage time when the game was out of hand. The Texans were up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Oakland has long had a reputation for being a place where careers are laid to rest, and this season could wind up being a continuation of the trend. Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley have yet to show that they can help the Raiders’ struggling defense.

Head coach Dennis Allen is now 8-26 in his third season with the Raiders. It would be fairly surprising if he survived the year. Woodson might be the only one saying publicly that the team sucks, but he can’t be the only one on the team that feels that way. Things are a lot different in Oakland now than they were the first time he was there.

Report: Jay Gruden thinks Kirk Cousins is better fit for offense than RG3

Kirk-CousinsSince he was hired as head coach of the Washington Redskins, Jay Gruden has remained committed to Robert Griffin III — at least publicly. Despite reports from training camp about New England Patriots officials saying Kirk Cousins looked like the best quarterback at Redskins training camp, Cousins never stood a chance at starting. He does now, and you have to wonder if Washington is better off for it.

After Griffin suffered an ankle injury on Sunday that could keep him out for a significant period of time, Cousins took over and completed 22 of 33 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Mike Wise of the Washington Post, Gruden has believed Cousins is a better fit for his offense all along.

[WATCH: The play where RG3 injured his ankle]

Wise reports that RG3 has had trouble picking up Gruden’s offense, but Gruden knew starting Cousins would create major issues within the Redskins organization. The first-year head coach has been committed to helping Griffin become a better pocket passer, though he has reportedly questioned privately if RG3 is the right man to lead the team over the long term.

Early indications are that Griffin suffered a dislocated ankle and could miss anywhere from a month to the remainder of the season. While Wise was quick to point out that he in no way believes Gruden was rooting for an injury, he did ask a longtime team employee if he had ever seen a team look so happy after its franchise quarterback and top offseason acquisition (DeSean Jackson also left with an injury) had to leave the game.

“No,” the employee told Wise, choosing not to elaborate.

The Redskins did win 41-10, so that’s probably why they were in high spirits. Gruden said he was “sick” over the RG3 injury but expressed full confidence in Cousins.

“I feel like we can win any game with Kirk Cousins … Kirk is a special guy,” he said. “He started four games last year and didn’t have great success, but obviously has a skill set that I feel like is very much suited for what we do. He can handle it mentally, and obviously, physically. I feel that he can make every throw in the book and we are going to move forward with Kirk.”

Again, no one is accusing anyone of rooting for injuries. That said, you can’t ignore the fact that it will be interesting to see how Gruden’s offense operates with Cousins running it instead of RG3. If Cousins plays like he did Sunday going forward, a quarterback controversy is not out of the question.

H/T Around the League

Colin Kaepernick flagged for using N-word? (Video)

Colin Kaepernick may have become the first player in NFL history to be penalized for using the N-word on Sunday night. After he threw a crucial interception in the fourth quarter, Kaepernick appeared to have some sort of verbal altercation with Chicago Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston. A flag came in late.

At first, an official stepped in and simply tried to separate Kaepernick and Houston. Then the flag came out, and Kaepernick received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for using “inappropriate language.” Cris Collinsworth reminded viewers that the NFL vowed to eliminate the use of certain words over the offseason. We know the N-word was one of them after the Richie Incognito bullying scandal.

Common sense would tell you that NFL officials aren’t going to flag a player for dropping the F-bomb or anything like that, otherwise the field would be littered with laundry. It’s probably safe to assume Kaepernick used some sort of racial slur. He also gave the Bears extra yardage, leading to a Chicago touchdown and a permanent lead change.

Colin-Kaepernick-N-word

There were several players who were not in favor of the NFL banning the use of the N-word. Some even described it as a term of endearment, but the league obviously disagrees.

Video via Kissing Suzy Kolber

Brian Hoyer admits he was ‘mad’ when told Johnny Manziel was going to play

Johnny Manziel Brian Hoyer

Brian Hoyer kept a tight grip on the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback job on Sunday when he led his team to an upset win over the New Orleans Saints. From the sound of it, Hoyer may have been even more motivated by Johnny Manziel seeing his first regular season action.

Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan decided earlier this week that he was going to use Manziel at some point on Sunday. When informed of that, Hoyer was not happy.

“As mad as I was when he told me, I think it mentally helped me prepare for it,” Hoyer said, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. As much as it might irk me to go off the field, if it’s going to help us win, then I’m all for it. I think as a competitor and as a quarterback, when there’s only one of you on the field, it’s hard for you to get taken off. But I think for me, I was mentally able to stay in it.

“I think a lot of guys might not be able to handle that, and I think because they were up front with me, Kyle was up front with me, and said, ‘Look, we may do it. We may not. If we need to use it, we might.’ I think that helped me.”

Manziel came on for three plays — two handoffs that netted zero yards and an incomplete pass. Hoyer, on the other hand, completed 24 of 40 passes for 204 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. He seemed even more motivated after Manziel’s second appearance, as he went on to complete 15 of 19 passes for 136 yards and orchestrate two scoring drives after that point.

Hoyer’s game-winning, 14-play drive was a thing of beauty. He took the Browns 85 yards and helped put them in position for a chip-shot field goal. Maybe Shanahan needs to make him angry more often.

Keenan Allen: Richard Sherman is not a shutdown corner

Richard-Sherman-interviewThe San Diego Chargers got the best of the defending Super Bowl champions on Sunday, and part of the reason for that was their willingness to throw toward Richard Sherman. Rather than ignoring Sherman’s side of the field completely like the Green Bay Packers did, the Chargers stuck to their game plan and came out on top. And Keenan Allen was apparently not impressed with Sherman’s skills.

After the game, Sherman would not speak with the media but did send a tweet addressing the Chargers players who said he was “exposed.” Allen, who caught five passes for 55 yards, downplayed Sherman’s ability.

“He’s just a normal guy,” Allen said, via ESPN.com’s Terry Blount. “We can go at him. We took some shots at him. We are not going to shy away from him. He’s not really a shutdown corner. We definitely wanted to come out and show we could go any way we wanted to and that we were in control of the game.”

There was one play in particular where Allen beat Sherman on a nice double move (you can watch it here), but Sherman allowed only three catches. Most people wouldn’t call that getting “exposed.” Allen is the Chargers’ No. 1 receiver and was dominant as a rookie last season, so you could even argue that Sherman did his job. Malcolm Floyd didn’t see it that way.

“Keenan was lighting up Sherman,” Floyd said.

I definitely wouldn’t call that type of production “lighting up” anyone, but I will say that Sherman ignoring the media after the game was not a good look. No one loves to talk more when they’re successful than Sherman. If you’re going to talk that much when you win, you shouldn’t run and hide after a loss.

Jason Kipnis curses out Indians fan who calls team ‘pathetic’

Jason-Kipnis-IndiansThe Cleveland Indians were swept by the Detroit Tigers over the weekend in a crucial three-game series that may have spoiled their chances to win the AL Central. The Indians are now 6.5 games out of first in the division and 5 behind in the wild card race. One fan traveled to Detroit for Saturday’s game and was disgusted with what he saw.

After the Tigers came from behind to beat Cleveland thanks to a two-run homer in the eighth by Alex Avila, the fan took to Twitter to blast his team. He got a very animated response from Jason Kipnis.

Jason-Kipnis-tweet

Here’s the embedded version of Kipnis’ tweet without the salty language censored:

[Read more...]

Jonathan Papelbon crotch grab on Philly Daily News back page

Jonathan Papelbon crotch newspaper

Just in case there were any doubt about whether or not Jonathan Papelbon made a deliberate crotch grab towards the fans who were booing him, the Philadelphia Daily News ends the argument.

Just remember …

I don’t know anyone who gets that wide and low in their stance to adjust themselves. Just saying …

Photo: Twitter/BoopStats