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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Football

Myles Garrett created Twitter account in response to catfish attempt

Myles Garrett

Potential No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Myles Garrett joined Twitter this week, which was a big thing for him.

Garrett was anti-social media during his career at Texas A&M, and reluctantly joined Twitter. He did so in order to help prevent catfishing that was going on from impostors using his name on social media.

The Star-Telegram reports that an impostor used his name on social media to try soliciting minors for sex. He figured having a verified account would help prevent that.

“In the end, Myles ended up having a social media presence – which he still doesn’t desire – but it is what it is,” his mother, Audrey Garrett, told the Star-Telegram.

Garrett is over 11,000 followers on Twitter and had sent 15 tweets as of Thursday evening. The latest was about — you guessed it — trying to make sure nobody was getting fooled by Instagram impostors.

NFL teams have to love this. Not only is he conscientious, but avoiding social media for the most part will help him avoid some of the pitfalls many of his colleagues experience, such as this.

Report: Scot McCloughan has not been drinking

Scot McCloughan

When Scot McCloughan was finally fired by Washington earlier this month, a leak said that the GM was having alcohol issues. The other side of the story is that team president Bruce Allen was jealous of McCloughan and got rid of him for that reason.

Though McCloughan hasn’t spoken about his dismissal yet, we got a glimpse of his feelings via one of his former players.

Michael Robinson, who played for McCloughan in Seattle, spoke with the former GM on Wednesday and shared part of their conversation during an appearance on “The Wes McElroy Show” on Fox Sports 910 Thursday.

“He said, ‘Mike, I don’t have an issue right now drinking,'” Robinson said. “‘I haven’t touched a drink in a while. But of course they wouldn’t let me say it because they silenced me.'”

Robinson shares that McCloughan started “feeling the hate” from Allen.

“He knew the players loved him, and he started feeling the hate from Bruce Allen right around, well, he’s been feeling it, but when they didn’t let him speak (to reporters) at the Senior Bowl, he said to him that was his last straw, and he knew that he was on his way out,” Robinson told McElroy. “He said it was after a draft meeting, after the combine, Bruce called him up to his office and was just like, ‘Nobody likes you in this building. Nobody wants you here.’ And Scot was like, ‘Well, I guess I’m out of here.'”

McCloughan did not show up at the NFL Combine, which was highly unusual for an NFL GM. Those were all signs he was being pushed out. He ultimately was canned in early March.

McCloughan has a history of drinking problems, which Washington knew about when they hired him. But he also has an eye for talent that cannot be denied. It’s unfortunate Washington got rid of him so clumsily.

Packers to use Ty Montgomery as top RB?

Ty Montgomery

The Green Bay Packers chose not to bring back Eddie Lacy, which has left their backfield very thin at the moment. That could mean they are planning to address the position early in the draft, or it could say a lot about Ty Montgomery.

Montgomery, whose primary position in college was wide receiver, made the full-time switch to running back midway through the 2016 season. Still sporting No. 88 on his jersey, he exploded for 162 yards on 16 carries in Week 15 against the Chicago Bears. Can we expect more of that from him next season?

“Obviously it’s a very heavy lifting position, so availability will be Ty’s No. 1 statistic,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said this week, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “He’s a very talented young man, very bright, obviously understands the whole perimeter part of the offense now, so his utilization and the variation that he gives us as far as alignments and assignments and the different things that he can do will definitely benefit us as far as our offensive scheme. He just needs to have a great offseason … but this is a big opportunity for him.”

McCarthy was asked if he views Montgomery as a first-string running back

“I think Ty definitely has that ability,” he said.

While the sample size was not very large, Montgomery rushed for a whopping 5.9 yards per carry on 77 carries last year. He did, however, miss one game due to complications from the sickle-cell trait, and there are obvious questions about whether he is capable of being a workhorse.

Fortunately, McCarthy’s offense is extremely pass-heavy. If Montgomery can stay healthy, he could emerge as a dangerous dual-threat backfield option for Aaron Rodgers. Christine Michael is returning on a one-year deal, but there’s no guarantee he will make the team. At the moment, it appears the starting job is Montgomery’s to lose.

Chip Kelly: ‘No question’ Colin Kaepernick can win at NFL level

Colin Kaepernick

Chip Kelly only spent one season as Colin Kaepernick’s coach with the San Francisco 49ers, but he got to know the quarterback well enough to be certain of one thing — Kaepernick is committed to football.

Kelly spoke with Michael Rosenberg of The MMQB for a feature on Kaepernick, and the former NFL coach said he is unsure of why Kaepernick remains a free agent. With 32 teams and at least 64 active quarterbacks on every roster, Kelly feels there is no reason for Kaepernick to be unemployed.

“Do I think he is one of the top 64 quarterbacks in the world? There is no question,” Kelly said. “Does he have the ability to play quarterback on a winning team in the NFL? There is no question.

“There are 32 individual groups that make decisions on what is best. If you’re not part of those 32 teams, it’s very difficult to know what is going on.”

Coming from a guy who seemingly gave Blaine Gabbert every chance to beat out Kaepernick in San Francisco, that says a lot. Although, Kelly suggested Kaepernick sitting early in the season last year was more about health than anything, noting that he believes the 29-year-old “is going to be better next year” because he will be healthier.

Kelly said he is unsure if Kaepernick remains unsigned because of his controversial political stances, but he insists the national anthem protest never once created a distraction for the 2016 Niners.

“There was zero distraction,” he said. “He met with the team immediately after [his first protest]. He met with the other team leaders. He explained his position and where he was coming from. And literally, that was it. Colin was focused on football. He was all about the team and trying to help us win.

“When Colin is with us, he is 100 percent football. There’s not, ‘Hey, Coach, I don’t have time for this.’ That was never him. [The protest] never affected how he worked or what our workplace was like. And that’s a credit to Colin.”

One report claims Kaepernick has not found work because he needs to lower his expectations. Many people — including this star NFL defensive back — believe Kaepernick has been blacklisted by teams. In reality, Kaepernick’s political viewpoints are probably a factor, but teams would gladly overlook them if he was a good enough player.

Jason Garrett openly questions Tony Romo’s durability

Tony Romo back injury

Tony Romo will likely be looking for work in the coming weeks, and his current coach isn’t exactly doing him any big favors when it comes to boosting the quarterback’s chances of future employment opportunities.

While speaking with reporters on Thursday, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett praised Romo for being a “great football player” but also brought up Romo’s inability to stay healthy.

“Durability has been an issue the last couple of years,” Garrett said, per a video posted by Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram. “Nobody really knows how he can handle the course of a 16-game season, but that’s true for everybody. You take that risk with every player on your roster.”

The questions about Romo’s durability were unprompted. Garrett did pay Romo a bunch of compliments, but that’s probably not the type of thing the QB wants his coach calling attention to. While we all know about Romo’s multiple back procedures and the various injuries he has suffered, he probably would have preferred if Garrett said something along the lines of “he looks healthy and any team would be lucky to have him.”

With only the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos (possibly) being interested in Romo, it would not be shocking if the veteran decided to retire. Romo supposedly has at least one very appealing television job waiting for him if he calls it a career.

Report: Jets to hold private workout with Mitch Trubisky

Mitch Trubisky

The New York Jets are interested enough in Mitch Trubisky that are holding a private workout with the former North Carolina quarterback.

According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Jets coaches will travel to Chapel Hill on Thursday for a workout with Trubisky. They’re likely among several teams who will spend one-on-one time with the quarterback many believe will be the first off the board in next month’s NFL Draft.

The Jets have the No. 6 pick in the draft, so it’s possible they won’t even get a shot at Trubisky. The Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers could both use a young quarterback, and they pick first and second, respectively. The Niners signed Brian Hoyer and will likely look to acquire Kirk Cousins next offseason if not sooner, but the Browns reportedly have interest in Trubisky.

The general consensus among NFL talent evaluators seems to be that there are no quarterbacks in the draft who are ready to start at the pro level immediately. That said, the Jets don’t have many better options. Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg still have a long way to go, and veteran Josh McCown was recently signed as more of a stop-gap.

If you believe what one All-Pro offensive lineman said about Trubisky recently, you can understand why the Jets might feel lucky if they’re in a position to draft the 22-year-old at No. 6.

LaDainian Tomlinson joins Chargers as special assistant

LaDainian Tomlinson was a fan favorite during his nine seasons playing with the Chargers in San Diego, and the team is now hoping the former star running back can help drum up support in a new place.

Tomlinson is joining the Los Angeles Chargers as a special assistant to the Spanos family, according to a press release from the team. His goal will be to focus on engaging fans in the community.

“L.T. is one of the most beloved and iconic Chargers of all time,” Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos said. “His active involvement in our fight for Los Angeles is vital, and he represents the very best of what it means to be a Charger on the field and in the community.”

Tomlinson currently works as an analyst for NFL Network, and he will continue with that role in 2017.

The Chargers have to compete with the L.A. Rams for a market share, and that will be no easy task. If you saw the way fans in San Diego reacted after the team left, you get the impression not many of them will be remaining loyal to the team in L.A. Tomlinson’s job will be to help bridge that gap, though it remains to be seen how much one former player is going to help.

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