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Friday, April 20, 2018

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PJ Fleck’s wife Heather blasts reporter for being ‘negative and awful’

PJ Fleck

Minnesota did not enjoy great success in PJ Fleck’s first season as head football coach last year, but his wife Heather thinks that’s no reason to be criticizing her husband nearly five months later.

On Tuesday, Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse threw a bit of a cheap shot at Fleck while criticizing the Minnesota Wild for falling into a 3-1 hole in their playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets.

Heather Fleck caught wind of the tweet a couple days later, and let’s just say she wasn’t pleased. She responded by ripping Reusse for being so negative.

Reusse fired back with just one word.

The Gophers lost seven of their last nine games to close out the season last year after winning their first three, but it was only Fleck’s first year with the program. Most coaches need at least two or three years to build up their recruiting pipeline, so it’s a bit early to issue harsh judgment. If Fleck can get players to buy into his trademark motto next season, perhaps Heather will be able to rub her husband’s success in Reusse’s face.

H/T Land of 10

10 teams that need to nail the NFL Draft

John Dorsey

The NFL Draft is consequential for every team, make no mistake. Everyone can turn their franchise around with one perfectly executed weekend, though that’s obviously easier said than done. There are no sure things, and the whole event can be a bit of a crapshoot. Still, it’s the most straightforward way to infuse your organization with talent.

Ten teams, however, need to stand out and draft well for the good of the franchise more than others. There are various reasons for this — coaches with jobs and reputations on the line, aging cores that need to be augmented, or the weight of expectations. Whatever the reason, here are ten teams who are in dire need of a top-quality NFL Draft.

1) Cleveland Browns

The Browns, not known for drafting franchise quarterbacks, are almost certainly going to use the first overall pick in a bid to find a franchise quarterback. That alone ensures the stakes are high for them, but add the fact that they have the No. 4 pick, are coming off an 0-16 season, and are probably giving coach Hue Jackson one more year to show some progress, and you have an extremely consequential draft. If the Browns get this right — particularly with their top two picks — we could look back on this draft as the beginning of a turnaround. If not, it will be more evidence that the Browns are the dregs of the NFL. No pressure.


Report: Randy Gregory expected to apply for reinstatement in coming weeks

Randy Gregory

Randy Gregory is expected to apply for reinstatement from the NFL in the coming weeks.

Gregory was suspended for the entire 2017 season due to multiple failed drug tests, which have limited him to just two games over the past two seasons.

On Thursday, multiple Cowboys reporters said that Gregory is working towards reinstatement. The Dallas Morning News even says that the Cowboys would find a spot for Gregory if he does get reinstated.

Gregory was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round in 2015. He had failed a drug during the NFL Combine and has failed or missed multiple drug tests since then. A report in November said Gregory was working to turn his life around.

The 25-year-old defensive lineman has 20 career tackles and one sack.

WWE gets emergency restraining order against notorious fan

WWE logo

The WWE obtained an emergency restraining order against a notorious fan earlier this month.

You may recall that Armando Montalvo, who was described in the past as a “deranged” fan by WWE, was shot outside the WWE Performance Center in Orlando in 2015. He was believed to be in possession of a knife at the time. Montalvo also had spread urine and feces outside the building and posted a video on YouTube of it. The WWE obtained a restraining order against him at that time and has done so again.

TMZ Sports reports that WWE sought and was granted a restraining order against Montalvo for harassing WWE employees at an event venue in March. They also say he threatened wrestlers and staff in an Instagram video posted in April, which led them to seek the restraining order.

Montalvo showed documents on his Instagram account that seem to confirm the restraining orders he received.

Report: Peyton Manning was concerned about having to call Eli’s games

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning could have had his pick of broadcasting jobs for the upcoming season, but the NFL legend decided he is not ready to explore that career path just yet. Perhaps when his younger brother retires, Peyton will change his mind.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that one of the reasons Manning chose not to take a broadcasting gig was that he did not want to end up in the booth calling one of his brother Eli’s games. Peyton was so adamant about it that FOX reportedly tried to work out a situation where the New York Giants did not end up on Thursday night games if Manning was part of the broadcasting team. In that scenario, FOX would have to work with the NFL to make sure Giants games wound up on the network’s Sunday coverage.

While not wanting to call Eli’s games was not necessarily a deal-breaker for Manning, Marchand reports that it was “part of the process.” Plus, Manning is said to still have his eye on joining an NFL front office at some point, so broadcasting may not be his top choice for life after football.

Manning is a perfectionist who always strives to be the best at what he does, so you can understand why he would feel he can’t fulfill all of his job responsibilities without a willingness to criticize his brother. Based on the explanation Manning gave this week for passing on broadcasting gigs, it sounds like the door could still be open a few years down the road.

Report: Tom Brady focusing less on football this offseason than in past

Tom Brady

Until Tom Brady either shows up to a team-organized workout or publicly commits to playing in 2018, speculation will continue swirling that he is contemplating his football future. The latest report won’t help.

Albert Breer of The MMQB was told that the uncertainty surrounding Brady is more than a “non-issue” for the team, but no one expects the 40-year-old quarterback to make a formal announcement if he’s going to keep playing. If Patriots fans want to be worried about something, it should be that Brady is reportedly focusing less on football this offseason than he has in recent years.

Second, from what I’ve heard, Brady has made an effort to unplug this offseason. That doesn’t mean he’s straying from his diet or his training, but the focus has been less on football than in the past. A smoking gun? The trip he made to Qatar, which was to benefit his charity, was planned well in advance, and the return flight was scheduled for, and went out Monday night. That was the first day of the team’s offseason program, and it’s fair to say that he probably wouldn’t have set his plans that way in the recent past (at least since he moved his home base from Los Angeles to suburban Boston), particularly considering the optics coming out of the tumultuous season the Patriots did. Also, he brought filmmaker Gotham Chopra, but not trainer Alex Guerrero on the trip, and focused his time there on his family.

It should be noted that a separate report on Wednesday claimed Brady has continued with his normal workout routine and never given teammates the impression that he won’t be back.

Even if Brady isn’t contemplating retirement this offseason, you can understand why the talk makes fans uneasy. After all, this is a guy who once spoke about how he wants to play into his mid-40s, and the Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo based on that. If nothing else, it sounds like things are already unfolding a little differently for Brady this offseason.

Watch: Victor Oladipo called for most ridiculous foul in Game 2

Victor Oladipo Kevin Love foul

The officials almost seemed like they were out to get the Indiana Pacers’ best player early in Game 2 on Wednesday.

Victor Oladipo was called for three fouls in the first half of his team’s playoff game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which led him to be limited to eight minutes. He was called for two early fouls, and then this was the third, which was called in the second quarter.

Kevin Love clearly jumped into Oladipo to get the foul call, while Oladipo was jumping towards Love’s side to avoid contact. Love still drew the foul call.

Oladipo was one of three Pacers players called for three fouls in the first half, while only one Cleveland player was called for three. The Pacers wouldn’t be the only team complaining about calls in the NBA playoffs, and they certainly would be justified.

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