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#pounditWednesday, October 27, 2021

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James Franklin gearing up to leave Penn State for SEC job?

James Franklin

James Franklin has reportedly hired a new agent, and the move could signal that the Penn State coach is positioning himself to leave for a new job this offseason.

John Brice of FootballScoop.com reported on Monday that Franklin has hired Jimmy Sexton of Creative Artists Agency. He was previously represented by Trace Armstrong of Athletes First.

Sexton represents some of the biggest names in college football. He is the agent for several of the nation’s top coaches, many of whom coach in the SEC. Sexton’s client list includes Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin, Kirby Smart, Dan Mullen and Jimbo Fisher. At one point a few years ago, Sexton represented 11 of the 14 coaches in the SEC. Some of those coaches have since moved on, but his ties to the most powerful conference in college football are deep.

What does that mean for Franklin? Perhaps not a whole lot, as Sexton also represents many NFL coaches and prominent head coaches from other conferences. However, the move is noteworthy for Franklin since he is considered one of the top candidates to replace Ed Orgeron at LSU. Though, two top schools from different conferences may enter a bidding war for Franklin when the season ends.

Franklin has a buyout of roughly $4 million at Penn State. If he chooses to leave, other programs will have no problem paying that.

Penn State has lost back-to-back games after being ranked No. 2 in the country. They lost two weeks ago at No. 3 Iowa before falling in nine overtimes to Illinois on Saturday night.

Jerry Jones has hilarious take on Tom Brady milestone ball negotation

Jerry Jones

Tom Brady was fortunate that his 600th career touchdown ball was accidentally handed to a reasonable fan on Sunday. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed to get the important piece of memorabilia back, but Jerry Jones says the negotiation might have been a bit tougher if he were involved.

Not knowing that he had just caught the 600th touchdown of Brady’s legendary career, Mike Evans handed the ball to a Bucs fan who was wearing his jersey. The fan, Byron Kennedy, gave the ball back after speaking with a team staffer. During his Tuesday appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Jones joked that he would have been much more difficult for the Bucs to deal with.

“I’d be hard to trade with. I’d explain to everybody that that’s like asking for my baby,” Jones said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “Then I’d tear-up for him a little bit (thinking) about how I’m gonna have that when I’m 90. And then after all that, then I’d take offers.”

Kennedy probably could have held out for more, but the Buccaneers are hooking him up. The team has given him a bunch of memorabilia and a whole lot more in exchange for his cooperation.

There have been estimates that the ball would be worth upwards of $500,000, but Kennedy said he felt Brady deserved to have it. He also made one special request, though it’s unclear if Brady is going to deliver. Jones apparently would have made sure of it.

Did refs call most embarrassing penalty of season in Saints-Seahawks game?

Marcus Davenport penalty

The New Orleans Saints scrapped their way to a hard-fought victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, and they had to overcome one of the worst penalty calls of the season while doing it.

Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport was flagged for unnecessary roughness early in the third quarter. See if you can spot the penalty:

The officials did not explain the call. The flag was for unnecessary roughness rather than roughing the passer, so it’s possible the issue could have been the way Davenport steamrolled Seahawks offensive lineman Brandon Shell. He may have committed an illegal use of hands to the face penalty, but that’s not what was called.

It seems like the flag came out because Davenport touched Smith. The Seahawks would have picked up a first down on the play anyway, but the bad call gave them free yards at a time when they were trailing 10-7.

We’ve seen some truly horrible calls this season surrounding the quarterback, but that may have been the worst of them.

Tony Romo targeted over Tom Brady, Gisele joke

Tony Romo

Tony Romo made an innocent joke after Mike Evans accidentally gave away Tom Brady’s 600th career touchdown ball on Sunday, but there were plenty of people who did not find it funny. Some were downright appalled.

Romo and CBS partner Jim Nantz called Sunday’s game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During that game, Evans unknowingly gave Brady’s 600th career touchdown pass to a fan sitting in the front row. Romo and Nantz cracked a few jokes when a Bucs staffer came over to the fan to negotiate a deal to get Brady’s milestone ball back. Romo sarcastically speculated that the fan probably asked for a date with Brady’s wife Gisele.

Brady is married to arguably the most famous supermodel in the world. Gisele Bundchen a beautiful woman and full-blown celebrity. Who wouldn’t want a date with her?

Not surprisingly, that logic was lost on the Twitter mob. Romo faced a great deal of criticism on social media, a lot of which came from reporters and other verified accounts. One national outlet even wrote a column about it and called Romo’s remark “crude” and “problematic.”

The situation was a lot like the one we saw with Terry Bradshaw and Erin Andrews earlier this month. Romo obviously meant no disrespect to Tom or Gisele. If anything, he was complimenting Gisele. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to matter in 2021.

Pete Carroll had ultimate compliment for Russell Wilson

Pete Carroll smiles at a press conference

Pete Carroll was an extremely successful college football coach at USC before becoming an extremely successful NFL head coach with the Seattle Seahawks. Despite proving himself in college, Carroll does not have a big head, at least not publicly.

Carroll’s Seahawks have played their last two games without star quarterback Russell Wilson, who is out following finger surgery. They lost both games, as well as the game where Wilson got hurt, and are now 2-5.

When asked after Monday night’s loss to the Saints how much the Seahawks miss Wilson, Carroll put it into perspective.

“I’ve been here a long time and if we didn’t have Russell I probably wouldn’t have been here a long time,” Carroll said.

He’s exactly right. Though Carroll is a great coach, success in the NFL begins and ends with how good your starting quarterback is. And Wilson is a Hall of Fame-level quarterback.

Carroll has coached the Seahawks since 2010 and went 7-9 in both seasons before Seattle drafted Wilson. They have won at least 10 games in every season since Wilson joined the team, except for in 2017, when they went 9-7.

Carroll is a great, defensive-minded coach, but he knows where his bread is buttered, and isn’t shy about saying so.

Marshawn Lynch shares how many Hennessy shots he took before Manning TV appearance

Marshawn Lynch before a game

Marshawn Lynch brightened the Peyton and Eli Manning alternative broadcast for “Monday Night Football” with an appearance at the beginning of the Seahawks-Saints game. He also may have been sauced up before the appearance.

During Lynch’s guest spot, Eli recalled the tale of how Marshawn would take a shot and a half of Hennessy cognac before games. The former New York Giants quarterback then asked Lynch whether the former Seahawks running back partook in the ritual prior to the interview.

Lynch said (perhaps jokingly) that he had three shots: one for each of them.

Well, the shots could explain why Lynch always seems to bring the humor during TV appearances. He even got a little vulgar during an announcing assignment earlier this year.

If the Mannings really want to have fun with Lynch, they all need to go ride on a golf cart together.

Watch: Jameis Winston yells at Tre’Quan Smith after play

Jameis Winston Trequan Smith

Jameis Winston was heated with teammate Tre’Quan Smith after a failed third-down play in the fourth quarter on Monday night.

Winston’s New Orleans Saints were tied with the Seattle Seahawks at 10 early in the fourth quarter. The Saints had a 3rd-and-12 situation and sent four receivers out on a pass play. Winston’s pass was batted down, and the Saints ended up punting.

After the third down play, Winston ripped into Smith on the sideline. He seemed to be furious with Smith, possibly for not lining up in the correct spot.

Prior to the play, Winston seemed like he had to direct Smith where to go.

Saints reporter Jeff Duncan said that head coach Sean Payton was also upset with Smith.

Smith was playing his first game of the season since being activated from injured reserve. He definitely did not seem to be on the same page his his quarterback.

Winston confirmed as much after the game.

Eli Manning had funny zinger for Tom Brady

Eli Manning in a coat and tie

Peyton and Eli Manning returned on Monday night after taking a break from co-hosting their “Monday Night Football” alternative broadcast for ESPN. They had a pretty special guest list for the Week 7 game between the Saints and Seahawks in Seattle.

In addition to Marshawn Lynch to start the game, the Mannings welcomed in Tom Brady. And it didn’t take long for the jokes to flow.

Eli, whose New York Giants beat Brady’s New England Patriots in the super Bowl twice, zinged Brady. The zinger arose when Brady told Peyton how he enjoyed competing against the former Colts quarterback. Naturally, Eli slipped in how he enjoyed his games against Brady too.

“I enjoyed much more the ones I played against Peyton than Eli,” Brady said.

Eli came back with his zinger, saying, “I enjoyed all of our games, Tom.”

Yes, of course Eli enjoyed those games. Those were the best moments of his career.

As for Brady, Eli’s Giants are responsible for Tom’s biggest disappointment.

Photo: Feb 5, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning during the Walter Payton man of the year press conference at Moscone Center in advance of Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Watch: Lauri Markkanen stared down Nikola Jokic after big dunk on him

Lauri Markkanen dunks on Nikola Jokic

Lauri Markkanen smashed on Nikola Jokic on Monday, and then he did some celebrating.

Markkanen, who is in his first season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, scored the first points of his team’s game against Jokic’s Denver Nuggets.

Markkanen got a steal then went coast-to-coast and took off for a dunk attempt from a few feet in front of the free throw line. He dunked over Jokic, who was trying to draw a charge.

After dunking the ball, Markkanen stared down Jokic.

Look at the disrespect! That’s the reigning league MVP, and Markkanen showed no regard for him!

Jokic isn’t a big dunker, so maybe he’ll have to settle for recording a triple-double to get revenge.

Urban Meyer doubles down on high expectations for Jaguars

Urban Meyer Jags

Things have not gone well for the Jacksonville Jaguars so far this season, but Urban Meyer does not want to hear any excuses.

The first-year head coach made a clear statement on Monday about his expectations for the remainder of the season. He said the Jaguars’ play at this point cannot be chalked up to a new system or a rookie quarterback in Trevor Lawrence.

In short, Meyer doesn’t want to hear excuses. Considering the team is 1-5, it’s fair to read this as a criticism of their play so far. Meyer definitely isn’t grading on a curve.

Jaguars players seem to have found some other reasons to blame for their struggles this year. That won’t stop Meyer from maintaining some expectations that border on ridiculous. With upcoming games against the Bills and Colts, it won’t be easy.