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#pounditThursday, August 13, 2020

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Bruce Arians not afraid to cuss out Tom Brady

Tom Brady

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have been willing to do nearly anything to get Tom Brady under contract this year, but Brady is getting no such special treatment from Bruce Arians.

Arians says that Brady is being treated like every other player, which means he gets cussed out the same as anyone else.

“He gets cussed out like everybody else,” Arians said Thursday. “He did a little bit yesterday because he likes to throw the ball in walk-throughs and we don’t throw the ball in walk-throughs. But not very bad.”

Arians made the same comment last week, saying Brady would get cussed out like anyone else. The veteran quarterback probably appreciates that.

Even though he is a future Hall of Famer, Brady is used to being held to a high standard. Bill Belichick made it a point to show he wasn’t giving Brady superstar treatment in New England.

Ensuring that everyone is treated fairly helps establish a high level of accountability within an organization. That is the environment Arians is trying to create as he enters his second season with the Bucs. Tampa Bay went 7-9 last season and has higher expectations in 2020.

Jimmy Johnson will not travel for ‘FOX NFL Sunday’ this season

Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson announced on Thursday that he will not be traveling to Los Angeles to be a part of the studio team for “FOX NFL Sunday” this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At 77 years old, Johnson is considered to be in a higher risk category for the virus, which influenced his decision.

“After much consideration, and with the full support of FOX Sports, I’ve decided not to travel to L.A. studio for FOX NFL SUNDAY for the time being due to the pandemic. I will still contribute to the broadcast and I can’t wait to talk football with my guys remotely!” Johnson wrote on Twitter.

FOX Sports issued the following statement on the situation.

“Jimmy Johnson is a key member of the FOX NFL Sunday team, but more importantly, he’s family. We fully support and respect his decision to not travel to our Los Angeles-based studio for the time being due to the ongoing pandemic.”

As Johnson said, he will still be a contributor to the show, just not in person.

Johnson travels from Florida to be in Los Angeles for the popular NFL studio show, but things will be different this year. Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan and more recently, Tony Gonzalez, are among the members of the show. Earlier this year, Johnson was surprised on the show with the announcement that he made the Hall of Fame, which resulted in a great video.

Video: Everson Griffen fired up in first message to Cowboys fans

Everson Griffin

The Dallas Cowboys’ newest signing is fired up about joining the team.

Everson Griffen appeared in a video published by the Cowboys’ Twitter account on Thursday. Griffen was full of energy and talked about his excitement regarding the pursuit of a Super Bowl.

“Cowboy Nation, I’m here baby, EG! I’m excited to be with my teammates. I’m excited about this new journey. I’m excited about working towards getting this championship. It’s that time to grind, it’s that time to learn. It’s that time to go get it. Cowboy Nation, can’t wait! Let’s go, let’s go!” Griffin said.

The Cowboys signed Griffen to a one-year, $6 million deal on Wednesday. The 32-year-old had 41 tackles and eight sacks in 15 games for the Vikings last season and has 74.5 sacks in his career. This will be his first season with a team other than Minnesota.

Aaron Rodgers expresses his disdain for ‘clickbait’ and hot-take shows

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers considers himself a reasonable person and is not a fan of unreasonable opinion shows and clickbait headlines from the media.

Rodgers was interviewed by Kyle Brandt for his new podcast and talked about his disdain for the extreme clickbait content.

“Everybody’s trying to say the most outlandish thing possible to get the most clickbait. And I’ve said it many times about clickbait, is that my problem with putting ridiculous headlines on the story is that in this culture where the attention span is so short for so many people, even people probably listening to this interview or watching this who can’t stay on the entire time because they have other things to do and other things to look at on their phone,” Rodgers said, as transcribed by SI’s Jimmy Traina.

“All they’re gonna read is eight words on ESPN’s front page and that’s what these people are trying to get people to click on. If they get one second on that page, that counts as a pageview. And the more pageviews you get, the more ad revenue you get.

“And I think it’s really low-class journalism. Some of the headlines that get put on some of these articles that have nothing to do with what’s actually, content-wise, in the article. I think it’s poor journalism. I think it’s a total lack of integrity. I don’t want to look at that and I don’t want to listen to four people on some show yelling at each other about opinions. Do they really feel that way? Or are they trying to be the most outlandish opinion possible so they get the most views when it gets retweeted on Twitter or posted on a 10-second blurb on ESPN.com? I just think it’s really done a disservice to the industry of journalism for sure.”

Rodgers raises plenty of valid points that many people have complained about for a while. He has been in the public eye for over 15 years and understands the way it works. He’s also called out false rumors plenty of times when he has seen them.

His interview with Brandt had plenty of interesting details, including his thoughts about the Packers drafting Jordan Love. Rodgers is under contract through 2023 but recognizes that his future with the Packers is in jeopardy.

Gregg Popovich messes with reporters over Spurs’ playoff streak ending

Gregg Popovich

The San Antonio Spurs’ season on Thursday finally came to an end, and for the first time since 1997, they will not be part of the playoffs. Gregg Popovich may be proud of the franchise’s accomplishment, but it’s not something he wants to focus on.

The longtime Spurs head coach was asked after the team’s 118-112 loss to Utah on Thursday about the playoff streak ending. He decided to mess with reporters about it.

“The streak? What are you talking about? ….Did you talk about the streak at all before it ended? Or was this important when it ended?” he asked, seeming like he was annoyed with the reporters. Then he broke down, saying, “I’m just screwing with you.”

Popovich says his focus is on the future, not the past, and that the streak ending is “fake news.”

“It means a lot to a lot of people, but I don’t dwell a lot on the past. What’s important is the moment; looking to the past doesn’t do much good,” he said.

“I could care less about (streaks). I am thrilled about the way they played here.”

The Spurs arrived in Orlando knowing they were a very long shot to make it into the playoffs. They had a good showing in the restart, posting a 5-3 record, but it wasn’t enough. Players like Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl got a chance to showcase their skills, while young players like Derrick White and Dejounte Murray also had nice flashes.

The West remains a tough conference and it’s hard to see San Antonio being able to compete with the top teams any time in the near future, but that won’t keep them from continuing to develop. Popovich also plans to continue coaching next season. The 71-year-old previously said he is taking things year-to-year.

Russell Wilson offers thoughts on ‘Let Russ Cook’ movement

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson is regarded as one of the best players in the NFL, but there has long been a perception that the Seattle Seahawks limit him.

Despite never missing a regular season game during his career, Wilson has topped out at 4,219 passing yards in a season, which is a low amount for a quarterback who can sling it. The belief is that the Seahawks focus on running the ball and playing stout defense, and then when they get into tight situations in the fourth quarter, they finally let Russ loose.

The result has been cries to “Let Russ Cook,” which would mean allowing him to throw the ball around early in games rather than late.

Wilson was asked about that on Thursday and said he would like the team to treat every quarter like the fourth quarter.

Wilson is a six-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl champion, and he’s really now starting to be recognized for the talent he possesses. He was just ranked No. 2 on the NFL’s Top 100 players list for 2020.

The more Seattle opens up their offense, the more Wilson will get a chance to cook and show how dominant of a player he is. But despite rumors about them opening things up, Seattle has mostly been reluctant to do so.

Buddy Hield indicates he is unhappy with role for Kings

Buddy Hield does not seem pleased with the status quo for Sacramento.

Speaking with the media Thursday after the team’s final seeding game, the Kings swingman was asked if he was content with his role moving forward. Rather than saying yes, Hield instead said, “Y’all know me, y’all know how I talk, y’all know how I feel about this stuff, y’all can read me well, so I’ll let y’all answer that for yourselves.”

The 27-year-old Hield was demoted to the second unit by the Kings in the middle of the season and continued to come off the bench in bubble play. He wraps up the 2019-20 campaign with averages of 19.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game, marking a slight regression from last season.

Questions also recently arose over Hield’s conditioning, and his happiness is a problem that the Kings will have to address since Hield’s four-year, $94 million extension with the team kicks in beginning next season.

Adrian Griffin issues response to ex-wife’s domestic abuse allegations

Adrian Griffin

Adrian Griffin responded on Thursday to allegations of domestic violence from his ex-wife Audrey.

On Wednesday night, Griffin received the opportunity to act as head coach of the Toronto Raptors and got the win as his team beat Philly 125-121. Griffin said the evening marked his “Cinderella” moment.

“For one night, I felt like Cinderella. I had the glass slippers on. It was an awesome feeling. Tomorrow it’s back to reality,” he said.

Griffin’s ex-wife saw the plaudits her ex-husband received and decided to share her story, wondering how Adrian could get away with what he has. She posted allegations on Facebook of what she claims Adrian did to her. She shared a screenshot of her Facebook post on Twitter and made several NBA media members aware of her post.

In her post, Audrey Griffin accused Adrian of choking her, throwing her into a wall, locking her out of the house, sleeping around, and giving her sexually-transmitted diseases.

Adrian Griffin responded in a statement issued through the team Thursday.

“This morning, accusations were made against me on social media by my former wife that I vehemently deny,” Griffin said in a statement. “We are involved in a longstanding legal dispute over alimony and child support arrangements. I am disappointed to have to address false accusations in this way, and I apologize for any distraction this has potentially caused for our team at this important time.”

The Raptors also issued a statement.

“When we saw these allegations this morning, we were dismayed – Adrian is a valuable member of our team. Our leadership immediately spoke with him, and he flatly denied the allegations in the post. We will support the process as he and his former partner settle these matters.”

Griffin, 46, is in his second season as the lead assistant coach on Nick Nurse’s staff. Griffin played college ball at Seton Hall and spent nine seasons as a pro in the NBA before going into coaching. In 2018, The Oklahoman said the two were involved in a divorce petition.

Zach Plesac thinks his media portrayal has been unfair

Zach Plesac is offering his side of the story amid the incident that led to his being sent home for a violation of health and safety protocols.

The Cleveland Indians righty took to Instagram on Thursday in an attempt to set the record straight. Plesac admitted that he broke curfew when he went out to dinner and hung out with friends in Chicago but said that he practiced safe distancing. The 25-year-old added that his actions were not malicious and that he thought his portrayal in the media has been unfair, per AP’s Tom Withers.

Here is Plesac’s full six-and-a-half minute video:

Plesac was not allowed to fly home with the team after the excursion was discovered, and his decision to go out reportedly angered teammates and club officials. It was later found out that Indians teammate Mike Clevinger had gone out with Plesac as well, and he was also sent away to quarantine.

You can’t blame the Indians for taking the protocol violations seriously, but Plesac clearly feels that the portrayals of him as a bad teammate and an irresponsible person are very far off-base.

NCAA cancels championships for fall sports, will consider bubbles for future

Mark Emmert

The NCAA announced on Thursday that they have canceled championships for fall sports, but president Mark Emmert is focused on ensuring other sports are able to compete in the future.

“We cannot now have fall NCAA championships. Because there are not enough schools participating … if you don’t have half the schools participating, you can’t have a legitimate champion,” Emmert said in a video posted on social media.

“But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t and can’t turn towards winter and spring and say ‘how can we create a legitimate championship for all those students?'”

Though there will not be fall championships, Emmert still hopes students are able to remain engaged with their coaches in the fall and stay ready to play.

The NCAA also canceled championships for winter and spring sports earlier this year, which is why Emmert says he wants to prioritize having championships for those teams next year. Notably, Emmert says they will consider various options to ensure safety of athletes, such as the use of predetermined sites and a possible move towards bubble or semi-bubble models, which he describes as “doable.”

Keep in mind, what the NCAA decides for fall sports does not apply to college football, whose champion is crowned by the College Football Playoff, not the NCAA. Conferences like the Big 12, ACC and SEC are still considering playing seasons this year. Since they have their own conferences, relationships, and TV contracts, they could act independent of the NCAA.