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Monday, April 24, 2017

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Titans owner Bud Adams seems ready to fire Mike Munchak

mike-munchakThe Tennessee Titans were destroyed 55-7 by the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, and the team’s latest brutal loss may cost head coach Mike Munchak his job.

Titans owner Bud Adams said on Sunday he was so disgusted by the game that he turned off the TV before the game ended. He also sounded like a man prepared to fire Munchak.

“I like Mike, I really do,” Adams told The Tennesseean Sunday. “But liking him and getting the job done are two different things,” Adams said. “If he is not getting the job done, that is what I have to find out. Right now, we are not looking very good. Something is wrong and I want to find out what the problem is and what needs to be done to fix it.”

The Titans are rebuilding with second-year player Jake Locker at quarterback. Locker was 13-for-30 for 140 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Adams says the offensive line was problematic.

“[Locker] didn’t have a chance,” Adams said. “They were on him like a dog on a cat. He was kind of fighting for his life.”

Adams told The Tennesseean he plans to talk with Munchak and the front office after the season before making any decisions. He wants to find out what Munchak thinks is wrong with the team. He also says he hears complaints from fans and empathizes with them.

“I’ll be 90 years old on my next birthday on January 3. I am in good health, but it is a chore to fly up to Nashville and when I get up there I don’t like to see them play poorly. The fans are not happy with me. I need to figure out what I need to do to make things work and see if changes need to be made.”

Munchak heard about Adams’ comments, and he hopes the owner will show patience with the team.

“You can’t lose perspective of the fact that sometimes it takes a little longer to build something than one season or a season-and-a-half,” Munchak said Monday, per The Tennessean. “We’ve had one offseason here since I have been head coach, so we haven’t had a lot of time with the players. We have a short period of time to fix it, but I feel very confident that we will.

“But I feel good about how we are going to get there, and it will be up to Mr. Adams to see if he agrees with me.”

You may recall that Adams put the entire organization on notice last month following the team’s embarrassing 51-20 home loss to the Bears. Between that defeat and this one, I think we know which direction Adams is leaning. Get ready to return to assistant coach life, Munch.

Merril Hoge: Tim Tebow as ‘phony as a three dollar bill’

tim-tebow-jetsESPN NFL analyst Merril Hoge has been one of the most vocal Tim Tebow detractors since the former Heisman Trophy winner entered the NFL, and he laid into the Jets quarterback on Monday in response to the report that Tebow asked out of the Wildcat package.

During “SportsCenter” on Monday, Hoge was part of a roundtable discussion that included Adam Schefter and Ron Jaworski. After a year of not having much negative to say about Tebow, Hoge got his chance to rip the quarterback.

“I think he’s phony as a three dollar bill,” Hoge said of Tebow. “At the end of the day, what have I heard? That he would do anything at any time. ‘You ask me to do it, I’ll do it.’ All of a sudden now it’s ‘I want to play quarterback or I’m not going to play Wildcat’? There shouldn’t even be this story coming.

“He said ‘I’ll do anything for the team.’ That’s all I’ve ever heard about him. I think shows what he’s really about.”

Hoge also cautioned the Jacksonville Jaguars, who reportedly are expected to sign Tebow to compete for their starting quarterback job.

“He is not going to win for the Jacksonville Jaguars. All he will do is set the franchise back further if that is a possible feat,” Hoge said. “This organization is down as far as you can get. The last person they need is a guy like this now that we’re starting to see his true colors.”

That’s as harsh of an assessment of Tebow one can have. I think we learned this week that Tebow is a person who can get upset, frustrated, or disappointed over promises that go unfulfilled, just like anybody else. We saw that he isn’t the model teammate the way he has made us believe, and that was pretty shocking.

I would also like to point out that Hoge is a phony as well. Hoge was so critical of Tebow last year that even LeBron James jumped in to defend the quarterback. Hoge was one of those people who said Tebow would never work in the NFL because he couldn’t throw well enough. But as soon as Tebow came in and led Denver on a six-game winning streak, Hoge was done criticizing him. Hoge even admitted he had come around on Tebow at that time. So for Hoge to criticize Tebow, then change his opinion after he was successful, and then go back to ripping him, also makes him a fraud.

Don’t forget what a phony Hoge is too for flip-flopping on Tebow last season instead of sticking to his original opinion.

H/T USA Today

Terrelle Pryor or Matt Leinart to start for Raiders at quarterback

Terrelle Pryor or Matt Leinart is expected to start at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders at the San Diego Chargers in the team’s season finale on Sunday now that Carson Palmer is hurt.

Palmer got hurt during the team’s Week 16 loss to the Carolina Panthers and is out with cracked ribs and a bruised lung. Raiders head coach Dennis Allen says Palmer was in the hospital for observation after the team returned to Oakland Sunday night, and that he is out for the game.

Leinart was 3-for-3 for 31 yards passing in place of Palmer on Sunday. Pryor completed a pass, caught a pass, and ran for two yards in his action.

“I think we’ll stick with Matt and Terrelle for this week,” Allen said Monday. “We’ll get both those guys reps in practice with the first-team this week.”

Allen wants to see how the two perform in practice during the week before naming a starter.

“We’re not ready to make that decision. Our plan is to work both of them this week and then we’ll see how practice goes. Later in the week we’ll be ready to name a starter.”

Allen said that he thought Pryor “did a nice job” on the three plays he had against Carolina. He also called Pryor a work in progress, and indicated the second-year player may not be ready to lead the team.

“I think he’s still a work in progress,” Allen said of Pryor. “He’s worked extremely hard in practice. I don’t know that he has full command of everything that we’re doing, but I wouldn’t expect a lot different out of any other young quarterback. He’s got to continue to work, and he’s done a nice job.”

Allen did cite Pryor’s athleticism as an intriguing factor.

Based on what the coach was saying Monday, if I had to make a guess, I’d say Leinart will probably start the game, with Pryor still seeing plenty of action. What unfolds at practice during the week could change that. If I were Oakland, I would just give Pryor a shot. You know Leinart is only a second-string QB in the league, so why not give Pryor some game experience to see what he can do?

Below is video of Allen’s comments on Monday:

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Jason Pierre-Paul on loss to Ravens: ‘We went out there and pissed on our legs

The New York Giants were understandably upset after the Baltimore Ravens walked all over them and possibly their playoff hopes on Sunday afternoon. As we explained earlier, the G-Men will need to win and get a ton of help next week if they want to sneak into the playoffs. According to Jason Pierre-Paul, they wouldn’t be in the position they are in right now had they not urinated on themselves in Baltimore.

“Do we deserve it by the way we played? Do we?” defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul asked according to the NY Daily News. “I don’t think so, man. We went out there and pissed on our legs. That’s really all I can say.”

Eli Manning said he was shocked and confused by the loss, and one of his favorite targets seemed to agree.

“A team like this, with so much talent and so much ability on both sides of the ball, it’s kind of difficult to explain,” Victor Cruz said. “Coming into a game like this and not putting up points, and not being able to stop them, it’s disappointing.”

That has pretty much been the Giants’ thing for the past several years — they are a very difficult team to gauge toward the end of the regular season. Sometimes it works to their advantage, and others it leaves them on the outside looking in. Time will tell what effect this year’s brutal stretch has had on Tom Coughlin and company.

H/T Black Sports Online
Photo Credit: Alan Maglaque-US PRESSWIRE

R.A. Dickey writes a heartfelt farewell letter to Mets and their fans

Professional baseball may be nothing more than a business to certain players, coaches and ownership groups, but it seems safe to say it means a bit more to NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. The knuckleballer bounced around from team to team during his nine-year MLB career, but the New York Mets were the first one to give him a chance to prove himself as a full-time starter. It’s safe to say Dickey exceeded expectations.

In three seasons with New York, Dickey compiled a 39-28 record and an impressive 2.95 ERA. He struck out 230 hitters last season and made his first All-Star appearance at the age of 37. The Mets traded the right-hander to the Toronto Blue Jays last week, which inspired Dickey to write a heartfelt letter for the NY Daily News thanking his former team and the fans of New York. Here is a sample:

I never expected to be writing a farewell “holiday card” to Mets fans. I never expected to be doing anything but celebrating the joy of the season with my wife and kids and looking toward the spring, and the start of my fourth season with an organization that gave me maybe the greatest gift an athlete can get:

A chance.

A chance for a fresh start. A chance to prove that maybe I could be somebody on a big league mound, an authentic and trustworthy pitcher, not just a retread with a weird name and an even weirder pitch — a man who was so in need of financial stability that he had to get talked out of taking a guaranteed contract to go pitch in Korea.

The entire thing is worth a read, especially for those of you who think professional athletes only care about money. We have seen star players and popular general managers take out full-page ads thanking the fans, but very few put the type of effort into it that Dickey put into his piece. Kudos to the veteran for finding a way to genuinely express his appreciation.

H/T SI Hot Clicks
Photo credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Seahawks S Earl Thomas to Jim Harbaugh: Happy birthday, that’s what you get

Jim-Harbaugh-Pete-CarrollThe Seattle Seahawks were fighting for more than just playoff position when they destroyed the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. Pride was also at stake.

Earlier this season, the Niners won a hard-fought 13-6 battle against the Seahawks. After that game, Seattle safety Earl Thomas says Jim Harbaugh gave the Seahawks’ bus a sarcastic salute as he drove away from the stadium. On Sunday, which also happened to be Harbaugh’s 49th birthday, Thomas slung some sarcasm back at the Niners coach.

“Happy Birthday — that’s what you get,” Thomas told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. “Yeah, he [honked at us]. It seems like he tries to be a professional in front of the camera, but he does his antics, like that, when the cameras aren’t around. He’s just a big kid. We don’t worry about that stuff. We just play the game. The best team won [Sunday], and it was convincing.”

There was the honking incident, and there is also the long history between Harbaugh and Pete Carroll that dates back to their days at Stanford and USC. Harbaugh’s Cardinals held a 27-point lead over Carroll’s Trojans late in a game back in 2009, and Harbaugh decided to go for two. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who had a similar “happy birthday” message for Harbaugh after the game, wanted Carroll to return the favor on Sunday when Seattle held a 42-6 lead.

“I’m not gonna lie to you,” Sherman said. “I told Pete, ‘Let’s score and go for two.’ He said, ‘We have more class than that.'”

It’s easy to get the impression that these are two teams that don’t feel any fuzzy feelings toward one another, and there are many reasons why. Should they meet again in the playoffs next month, the rivalry would make for great entertainment.

Could this be the Miami Dolphins’ new logo? (Picture)

Dolphins-new-logo

In another week, the Miami Dolphins will head into the offseason looking to continue their rebuilding project. Over the summer, there was some speculation that the team could unveil a new logo for the 2013 season. According to the Dolphins fan site DolFansNYC.com, there is a good chance the image you see above is a very close sketch of what the new logo will look like.

According to the site, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee spike with a group of Dolphins webmasters and told them that the new logo would be a mix of modern and retro and that navy would still be an accent color. Here is how DolFansNYC.com says the photo surfaced:

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Mark Sanchez jerseys have apparently hit the clearance rack (Picture) (UPDATED)

Mark-Sanchez-jersey-clearance

Was Sunday the official start of the Greg McElroy era in New York? Chances are the New York Jets will pursue another option at starting quarterback when the offseason begins, which means there is also a good chance Mark Sanchez may have taken his last snap with the team. Otherwise, it would probably cost you more than $10 for his Jets jersey.

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James Laurinaitis: Buccaneers had tells that were easy to read

James-Laurinaitis-RamsJames Laurinaitis enjoyed a big day in the St. Louis Rams’ win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, as he recorded 12 tackles, an interception and defended two passes. At certain points, it almost appeared as though the fourth-year linebacker knew what the Bucs were going to throw at him. According to him, that’s because he did.

“We just felt like coaches do a phenomenal job of getting us prepared,” Laurinaitis said after the game, via the Tampa Bay Times. “We felt like we had a good beat on these guys going into the game, and what they were trying to do. They had some tells. So we’ve got to credit the coaches and credit the guys for studying hard.”

At one point in the second quarter, the Bucs were down only 7-6 and had the ball at midfield. Laurinaitis changed the momentum of the game when he recovered on a play-action pass and stepped in front of Vincent Jackson for an interception.

“There are a lot of tells you can get from teams week to week, this team a little more so,” he said. “So you just know when certain guys are in the game, you think more run. If other guys, think more pass. And they broke some tells. That always happens, teams self-scout, they do tendency breakers. But when they come back to the core of who they are, they go back to those tendencies.”

Tampa Bay’s offense has struggled for several weeks, which is one of the reasons they have lost five straight games. Predictability could certainly be one of the contributing factors to the Bucs’ losing streak.

Eli Manning: Bad loss to the Ravens was ‘shocking’ and ‘confusing’

After an embarrassing loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the New York Giants will need a ton of help next week in order to make the playoffs. The G-Men have to beat the Philadelphia Eagles at home and have the Dallas Cowboys lose or tie, the Minnesota Vikings lose and the Chicago Bears lose. Stranger things have happened, but the chances are looking slim.

As for that 33-14 loss in Baltimore, Eli Manning was baffled that his team has put itself in the position it is currently in.

“It’s shocking,” Manning said according to the NY Post. “It’s one thing to lose and it’s one thing to be in there and something happens at the end of the game and [another to] not give yourself a chance. To get down early and getting no momentum, get no spark that can get us going and consistently not making plays that are there and not executing to our ability, it can be confusing.”

Since starting out the season 6-2, the Giants have lost five out of their last seven games. They have been outscored 67-14 in their last two games, during which Manning posted a passer rating of 58.5. The only thing New York can do now is attempt to take care of the Eagles and hope for the best.

“All we can do is go out and try to get back to playing better,” Manning said. “Whatever happens after that, you can’t worry about it. … So whether we make the playoffs or we go into the off-season, at least we go into that last regular season game and … we have a sense that we played well and ended on a good note.”

The Giants have stumbled into the playoffs and gone on to win the Super Bowl twice in the past five years, so in a way this is their style. They seem to enjoy digging themselves out of a hole, but the one they’ve created this year could be too deep to crawl out of.

Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE

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