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#pounditSaturday, September 18, 2021

Football

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni explains why he wore Jalen Hurts shirt

Nick Sirianni Jalen Hurts shirt

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni is a big fan of his starting quarterback, and he had a unique way of showing that leading up to Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Sirianni was spotted at practice on Friday wearing a T-shirt that featured Jalen Hurts’ face in a pair of sunglasses. He offered a very simple explanation for why he wore it.

Sirianni is in his first season as head coach of the Eagles, and some of his methods have already been questioned. If you remember, he had a very interesting way of testing the competitive spirit of draft prospects. His decision to wear a shirt with his quarterback’s face on it was also unusual, but Hurts probably appreciated it.

The Eagles are off to a good start in the Sirianni era, as they blew out the Atlanta Falcons last week. Hurts played extremely well in that game. The second-year quarterback went 27/35 with 264 passing yards and three touchdowns. He added another 62 yards on seven rushes.

Everson Griffen suffered head injury in car accident caused by deer

Everson Griffin

Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Everson Griffen was a surprise addition to the injury report this week after he missed practice with a concussion. We now know that the injury was not related to football.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters on Friday that Griffen was involved in a car accident on his way to the team facility for Thursday’s practice. The crash was caused when he had to swerve to avoid a deer.

Griffen will not play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, as he remains in concussion protocol.

The unfortunate accident adds to what has been a pretty crazy several weeks for Griffen. The veteran pass-rusher rejoined the Vikings this offseason despite previously making some negative comments about Kirk Cousins. He was then cut in a procedural move before the season and re-signed the next day.

Griffen will have to clear the NFL’s concussion protocol before he can return.

Bill Belichick shares thoughts on supporting player amid social media backlash

Bill Belichick

New England Patriots running back Damien Harris has faced a lot of criticism on social media in the wake of his costly late-game fumble against the Miami Dolphins last week. Bill Belichick is notoriously ignorant when it comes to all things Twitter and the like, and the coach thinks his players would benefit from sharing the same mindset.

Harris fumbled in the red zone with minutes left in New England’s 17-16 loss. Belichick was asked on Friday about that crucial mistake and if he has any thoughts on players receiving social media backlash for blunders. You won’t be surprised by his response.

“I don’t really know or care anything about social media. I don’t even know what’s out there or isn’t out there, that’s irrelevant to me,” Belichick said. “It doesn’t matter. We played football before there was social media and it didn’t matter then, either.”

As for Harris’ fumble, Belichick said one mistake does not determine the outcome of a game.

“We all make mistakes. We can make a mistake at the beginning of the game, we can make a mistake at the end of the game,” the coach added. “Sometimes that gets magnified because of the timing of it, but there are other things that could have happened at different points of the game that would have had just as big or maybe even a bigger effect on the game.”

Belichick has famously mocked social media platforms in the past. There have been times where you’d swear he has never even used a cell phone or computer, but he probably plays that up. What we do believe is that he considers social media to be useless and a distraction. He’s certainly not alone with that.

Cris Carter opens up about how getting paid in college led to drug use

Cris Carter

Cris Carter is known for overcoming a drug addiction early in his NFL career to become one of the greatest wide receivers of all time, and the Hall of Famer says receiving illegal benefits while in college played a role in him going down the wrong path.

Carter was a guest on “Untold Stories” this week with Bleacher Report’s Master Tesfatsion. He shared some of his thoughts on the NCAA’s new name, image and likeness rules, which led to a discussion about him taking illegal benefits in the 1980s at Ohio State. Carter says a deal he signed with former sports agents Lloyd Bloom and Norby Walters contributed to him making poor decisions.

Carter met with Bloom and Walters when he was sent to Miami by Ohio State for a Playboy All-American photoshoot. He said he viewed making a deal with the agents as “cutting edge” and ahead of its time.

“I think they gave me $15,000. I remember picking them up in Columbus, that’s where we signed the contract like that next week,” Carter recalled. “I can’t remember if I’m driving or if I’m in the back. I’m counting the money. It was all hundreds. I think I got $10,000 to sign and $5,000 later on. Also I got a car and I got $500 a month that they Western Unioned.”

Carter was a freshman at the time and came from a poor upbringing, so he said he $500 was a lot to him.

“People start thinking, well, $500 a month — I’m a freshman. I’m gonna have this for three years,” he said. “I didn’t have to worry about all that. They gave me an application for an American Express. I was like, ‘I ain’t never had a credit card. I ain’t ever never lived in a house, I always lived in a housing project.'”

He didn’t spend the money wisely, however. Carter said he only smoked marijuana at the time, but the deal gave him enough money to experiment with hard drugs. That’s why he has concerns over athletes being able to earn money now while in school.

“To me, it’s not about the money. I do believe there is a way we can compensate, but giving young people unlimited amounts of income is not the best thing,” he said.

You can hear the relevant portion of Carter’s interview at around the 3:27 mark below:

Carter has tried to mentor other players who have had drug problems. He nearly ruined his career when he couldn’t stay clean, but he eventually turned things around. While most people seem to agree that student athletes have a right to profit off their own successes, Carter’s experiences are certainly a cautionary tale.

Washington trolls Giants on Twitter after win

Dexter Lawrence offsides

The New York Giants essentially handed the Washington Football Team a win on Thursday night with a costly penalty and poor execution down the stretch. It goes without saying that Ron Rivera’s team felt no sympathy for their division rivals. Neither did their social media people.

Washington’s official Twitter account savagely trolled the Giants after beating them on a last-second field goal.

The Giants have probably gotten used to losing in recent years, but the way they lost on Thursday was particularly painful. They forced an interception while trailing 27-26 with just a few minutes remaining and took over at the Washington 20. They quickly went three and out and kicked a field goal to take a 29-27 lead.

New York then held the Football Team to a 48-yard field goal attempt on the ensuing possession. Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins missed the kick, but Dexter Lawrence jumped offsides. Hopkins converted his second chance to give Washington the win. Lawrence was attacked on social media after the game.

The loss was as painful as it gets for the G-Men. Being trolled on Twitter probably added to that.

Daniel Jones addresses Kenny Golladay yelling at him on sidelines

Kenny Golladay Daniel Jones

Kenny Golladay was seen yelling at Daniel Jones on the sidelines during the New York Giants’ 30-29 loss to Washington, and Jones is downplaying the situation.

Golladay was shown yelling at Jones late in the game, while Jones said something back.

The Giants got an interception with just a few minutes left in the game, down 27-26. They took over at the Washington 20 but ran twice for one yard and then threw an incompletion before kicking a field goal to take a 1-point lead. Washington drove and kicked a field goal to win it, getting some help from a Giants penalty. On their possession before that, the Giants punted. Jones only targeted Golladay once while trying to pass to Darius Slayton twice.

Golladay, who was the Giants’ big free agent signing, had just 3 catches for 38 yards on eight targets. Sterling Shepard had 9 for 94 yards on 10 targets.

Jones downplayed things after the game.

Jones seemed to be protecting his receiver, which is good leadership. Jones was the star of the Giants’ offense. He passed for 249 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 95 yards and a score.

Taylor Heinicke believes he deserves Washington starting QB job

Taylor Heinicke

Ryan Fitzpatrick is out for the Washington Football Team with a hip injury, and Taylor Heinicke is the next man up. And so far, Heinicke is making his time count.

The 28-year-old started for Washington in Thursday night’s game against the New York Giants. He went 34/46 for 336 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also led his team into field goal range for the winning kick as time expired.

After the game, Heinicke was interviewed by NFL Network. He was asked whether he believes he deserves the team’s starting quarterback job and did not hesitate.

“I do,” Heinicke said. “And I have confidence that I can do it. If those guys in the locker room and the facility believe in me, that’s all that matters. I think they do. So we’ll try to keep this ball rolling.”

Washington lost in Week 1 to the Chargers. Heinicke saw some action in that game after FitzMagic got hurt. Now it will be his turn to lead the team. So far, he’s 1-0 as a starter this season. And teammate Terry McLaurin calls him a “baller.”

Dexter Lawrence gets hate messages after costing Giants with offsides penalty

Dexter Lawrence offsides

Dexter Lawrence was attacked with hate messages on Twitter immediately after costing his New York Giants on Thursday night with a penalty.

Lawrence’s Giants were leading the Washington Football Team 29-27 with five seconds left. Washington was lining up for a 48-yard field goal attempt on 3rd-and-4 from the Giants 30.

Kicker Dustin Hopkins missed the kick wide to the right. But he was bailed out by a penalty flag thanks to Lawrence jumping offsides.

The penalty gave Washington five yards, a first down, and a second kick attempt. This one was from 43 yards away, and Hopkins didn’t miss. Washington won 30-29 thanks to the second chance on the field goal.

Lawrence was immediately targeted with messages on Twitter.

You win as a team, you lose as a team, but it must really stink when your penalty cost your team the game.

Look: Giants used daring goal-line defense against Washington

Giants goal line defense

Defenses often will often load up along the defensive line when an opponent gets near the goal line. This is to counter the offense’s tendency to try and pound the ball in with short runs. But the New York Giants apparently didn’t get that memo, because they tried one daring defensive configuration from the goal on Thursday night.

Washington scored on a JD McKissic touchdown run just before halftime to make it 14-10. They took advantage of the Giants only using three down linemen while stacking one side of the field.

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke audibled to a run in the opposite direction, allowing McKissic to glide in for the TD.

So what was going on there? Both teams had used all their timeouts, and Washington had a 3rd-and-1 with 23 seconds left. The Giants were almost certainly not expecting Washington to run with no timeouts and risk getting no points.

That’s what made their defensive formation so daring, and what made Washington’s playcall a bold one.

Even without timeouts, the Giants learned that they shouldn’t make one side of the field so inviting.

Video shows Nick Gates suffered broken leg

Nick Gates stretcher

Nick Gates suffered a broken leg in the first quarter of his New York Giants’ game against Washington on Thursday.

Gates was pass blocking on a play with under six minutes left in the first quarter when a Washington defensive lineman appeared to roll into his leg from behind him. That seemed to snap Gates’ left leg, causing him to fall to the ground.

Gates received immediate medical attention and had his leg placed into an air cast before being carted off.

All of Gates’ Giants teammates came up to give him a pat on the cart. He raised his hand for the fans a few times and was even smiling as he was carted off.

The Giants said that Gates had suffered a lower leg fracture on the play.

Gates, 25, is in his third season with the Giants. Last year, he infamously got into a squabble with Aaron Donald.