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Monday, December 9, 2019

Football

Watch: Patriots coach Steve Belichick is like a clone of father Bill

Steve Belichick has received a lot of credit for the way the New England Patriots have played on defense this season, as it has been reported that he is operating as the team’s de facto defensive coordinator and is responsible for calling plays. While we don’t know for sure if that is the case, we do know that it is terrifying how much he sounds like his father Bill.

The younger Belichick spoke with the media recently about his football background and a few other things. If you closed your eyes while listening to the interview, there’s a legitimate chance you could have thought it was Bill.

Bill Belichick is 67 and does not look like he is going to give up coaching anytime soon. There’s a belief that Steve being on the staff makes Bill even more likely to stick around well into his 70s, which is a terrifying thought for the rest of the NFL. The fact that the greatest coach of all time is grooming his 32-year-old son to be just like him should be even more frightening for the league.

In classic Belichickian fashion, Steve ended the interview when asked who has been calling the plays for the Patriots’ elite defense this season. His official title is safeties coach, but it’s clear he has had a big hand in things with Brian Flores having left for the Miami Dolphins.

We first heard about Steve eight or so years ago when he walked on with a college team, and he has been on Bill’s staff since 2012 and been a part of three Super Bowl championships. If he has influenced this year’s team in any way, the Patriots may continue to dominate the NFL for even longer than we thought.

Odell Beckham Jr unsure of his future with Browns

Odell Beckham Jr Browns

Odell Beckham Jr has already been the subject of trade rumors in his first season with the Cleveland Browns, and some believe the team could look to move him this offseason. Not only is Beckham unsure if that will happen, but he also can’t predict whether or not he will want to remain with the Browns.

Beckham was asked on Thursday about his future in Cleveland, and he said he is very happy with the Browns but cannot speculate about how he is going to feel down the road.

Beckham did say there is nowhere else he wants to be playing at the moment, but his comments were a far cry from “I want to be a Cleveland Brown for life.” A lot of that has to do with the fact that he already went through this with the New York Giants, so he knows nothing in the NFL is a guarantee.

The Browns entered the season with huge expectations, and the addition of Beckham was a big reason for that. However, he has not been able to establish all that great of a rapport with Baker Mayfield, though he is still on pace for a 1,000-yard season.

Unless Beckham wants out, the Browns probably will not shop him around aggressively this offseason. They seem more likely to bring in a new coach than they are to make major changes to their roster, even if some around the NFL think a big trade could be coming.

Ron Rivera says he would be open to coaching at collegiate level

Ron Rivera

Ron Rivera has made it clear that he intends to coach in 2020, and there will likely be a number of NFL teams that are interested in hiring him as a head coach. Should he decide to coach at the collegiate level, he would probably draw even more interest there.

During an interview with 670 The Score in Chicago this week, Rivera said he would consider “the right” college job. Rivera played at Cal and mentioned the school as a possibility, though Journdan Rodrigue of The Athletic noted that he was likely joking about that.

Cal head coach Justin Wilcox has the Bears bowl eligible again this year for a second consecutive season, and he is not going anywhere at the moment. However, there would be plenty of programs that would be willing to offer Rivera big money if he actually wanted to make a change like that.

You can’t blame Rivera for keeping all options open after he just lost a job he held for nearly 10 years, but it’s hard to imagine him leaving the NFL. He has been coaching in the NFL since 1997, and he’s highly respected around the league. If you saw how passionate he was in firing back at his critics during his press conference this week, you get the sense that Rivera feels he has something to prove. He’ll almost certainly try to prove it in the NFL.

Cowboys DT Antwaun Woods arrested for drug possession, tampering with evidence

Antwaun Woods

Antwaun Woods has had a steady role with the Dallas Cowboys since the former undrafted free agent made the team last season, but he may be facing disciplinary action from the NFL after getting himself into some legal trouble.

Woods was arrested on Tuesday during a traffic stop and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media confirmed the details with the Frisco Police Department.

Woods has appeared in eight games this season and has recorded 15 total tackles and a fumble recovery. The nose tackle played in 15 games last year and played in the postseason despite having a significant injury.

Depending on how the situation turns out, Woods could wind up suspended. The NFL does not have to wait for a case to play out in court before handing out disciplinary action.

Adam Vinatieri undergoes MRI on knee, may not play in Week 14

Adam Vinatieri

Adam Vinatieri’s status for Week 14 is in doubt due to a knee injury, according to a report.

In Week 13, Vinatieri had yet another rough game for the Indianapolis Colts. He went 1/4 on field goals as the Colts lost to the Titans.

On Wednesday night, Colts head coach Frank Reich said Vinatieri had an issue with his knee in warmups before his bad game against Tennessee. The veteran kicker underwent an MRI on his knee Wednesday, and his status for Sunday is in doubt, NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reports.

Indy claimed Chase McLaughlin off waivers Wednesday, which seems to be a strong hint that they are preparing for Vinatieri to not play.

McLaughlin, 23, has gone 13/17 on field goals and made all 15 of his extra points this season, spent with two different teams.

Vinatieri turns 47 later this month and has had kicking issues throughout the year. He even considered retirement after a bad couple of games to start the season. This may be the end of his NFL career.

49ers suspend radio broadcaster Tim Ryan over Lamar Jackson comment

Lamar Jackson

San Francisco 49ers color commentator Tim Ryan has been suspended for one game after suggesting that Lamar Jackson is good at faking handoffs because of “dark skin with a dark football.”

Ryan made the comments in a Monday appearance on KNBR’s “Murph and Mac” when analyzing Jackson’s performance in Sunday’s Baltimore Ravens victory.

“He’s really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that thing,” Ryan said, via Matthias Gafni and Lauren Hernandez of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I mean you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point and if you’re a half step slow on him in terms of your vision forget about it, he’s out of the gate.”

“We hold Tim to a high standard as a representative of our organization and he must be more thoughtful with his words. Tim has expressed remorse in a public statement and has also done so with us privately,” the 49ers said in a statement. “We know Tim as a man of high integrity and are confident he will grow and learn from this experience.”

In his own statement, Ryan said he regretted his “choice of words” and apologized to Jackson.

Ryan, a former NFL linebacker, has served as a color commentator for 49ers games since 2014. This is not his first brush with controversy in his tenure with the team.

TY Hilton admits he may not return in 2019

TY Hilton

The Indianapolis Colts may not get top receiver T.Y. Hilton back before the end of the season.

Hilton admitted Wednesday that, while he’s doing everything he can to recover from his calf injury and get back on the field, but after a setback in practice last week, is not completely confident he will play again in 2019.

“I’m doing everything I can to get back out there,” Hilton said Wednesday, via Kevin Bowen of 1070 The Fan. “If I can, I can. If I can’t, then I’m going to have to shut it down, but I’m doing everything I can (to return).”

Hilton is officially considered week-to-week, but that’s not exceptionally helpful when there are only four weeks left in the season. He’s still not practicing and appears unlikely to play this week. This was only supposed to be a one month injury, but that setback could prove very costly during the month of December.

Hilton has five 1,000-yard seasons to his name, and had five touchdowns in seven games this season. The Colts are just 1-4 in games he sits out this season, and his absence has definitely been a factor as they’ve faded in the AFC South race.