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#pounditSunday, September 27, 2020

Football

Ravens DC has high praise for Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes has the biggest contract in American sports history, but some within the game definitely feel that it isn’t big enough.

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale thinks Mahomes is still playing for less than market value, and even offered an idea of just how much he thinks the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback is worth.

“They could’ve paid him a billion,” Martindale said Friday, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “I’d still think he’s underpaid.”

Mahomes is so dynamic as a quarterback that Martindale isn’t the only one to think this. One of Mahomes’ teammates feels the same way. The Chiefs quarterback makes throws that few others can, and he’s a huge threat on the ground as well.

Maybe Mahomes could have gotten more money out of the Chiefs. He had other priorities when he was negotiating, though.

NFL makes changes to stadium crowd noise audio requirements

Roger Goodell

After two weeks, the NFL is adjusting its rules and regulations regarding the playing of artificial crowd noise in stadiums.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the league will no longer mandate that stadiums with 2,500 fans or more in attendance play the crowd noise. Stadiums with fewer fans than that will be allowed to play the audio up t decibels, an increase from the previous limit of 70.

This is definitely a process of trial and error. The NFL doesn’t want to be intrusive with the crowd noise. It also has to balance that with the fact that some stadiums do have real fans making actual noise. The league would prefer that not to create any sort of advantage that other teams don’t have.

Some coaches definitely hate the noise. It doesn’t seem to have seriously impacted any games, though. The league appears fairly satisfied with how it’s performing.

Former Patriots WR reveals huge favor Bill Belichick did for him

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick has a reputation for being a bit prickly, but one former New England Patriots player knows the other side of him quite well.

Donte’ Stallworth ended his NFL career playing for the Patriots in 2012. After trying and failing to make the team out of training camp, he was brought back in December due to injuries. In his lone game for the team, he caught a 63-yard touchdown pass, but injured his ankle, ending his season.

Stallworth fully expected to be released with an injury settlement. Instead, Belichick told him that he would be kept on the roster to collect game checks and get credit for playing a year in the league.

The move ensured Stallworth got credit for playing ten years in the league, which increases his retirement benefits.

Belichick is not known for doling out praise in public or private. It’s rare, but not unheard of. Stallworth clearly earned Belichick’s respect, and the Patriots coach did the wide receiver a big favor when he didn’t have to.

Jamal Adams has interesting reason for extra motivation against Cowboys

Jamal Adams

Jamal Adams says he has some added motivation for his Week 3 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Adams is native to the area, but the Seattle Seahawks safety said that isn’t the reason. Instead, he said he has an anonymous source informing him that he’s been labeled weak in coverage.

“I’ve seen a couple things, they said I struggle in coverage, so I can’t wait,” Adams said Thursday, via Brady Henderson of ESPN. “I got a little text from one of my buddies back home. He has the inside scoop on that. So, looking forward to it.”

Adams wouldn’t divulge who shared the tip with him, or whether they had any association with the Cowboys.

“I can’t tell you that, man,” Adams replied. “C’mon. I can’t give you the nuggets like that, man. I grew up with a couple guys who are still my brothers, best friends to this day. We talk every day, group messaging. What goes on in Dallas, it always comes back to me. I always find out the scoops.”

Adams loves motivation like this, and it’s not even the first time he’s leaned on it in 2020. It doesn’t really matter where it comes from. It seems to help the young safety, and he may be primed for a big game against Dallas now.

Davante Adams likely to miss Week 3 with hamstring injury

Davante Adams

Davante Adams left last Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions after suffering a hamstring injury, and it sounds like he is going to sit out in Week 3 because of it.

Adams has not practiced this week, and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said it is “probably doubtful” that the star receiver will play against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night.

The Packers are a notoriously cautious team with injuries, so we would be surprised if Adams played.

Adams is Aaron Rodgers’ most trusted target. The 27-year-old went off for 14 catches, 156 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 before catching just three passes against Detroit.

Soft tissue injuries tend to linger, so Green Bay would rather Adams miss time now than later in the season.

Rob Gronkowski clearly bothered by ‘blocking tight end’ talk

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski has been almost a non-factor in the passing game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers through two games, and many have concluded that he is simply no longer capable of making explosive plays. Could that talk be taking a toll on the star tight end?

On Friday, Gronkowski was asked about only drawing four targets from Tom Brady in two games. He joked that he’s a blocking tight end now and didn’t come out of retirement to catch passes.

Gronk was, of course, being sarcastic. He kept driving the point home, however.

Gronkowski is clearly nowhere near the same player he was four or five years ago. The way he has looked through two games with the Bucs is similar to how he looked in 2018 with the New England Patriots. He seems to lack the speed and explosiveness needed to separate from defenders, which is why Brady is no longer funneling passes his way.

We already explained why Bucs fans should temper their expectations about Gronkowski, and Bruce Arians seemed to reaffirm that with some remarks this week. Gronk could have a few big games, but he’s no longer a true game-changer at his position.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Report: This team has shown the most interest in Antonio Brown

Antonio brown

The Houston Texans left a big hole in their offense when they traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, and they may be thinking about trying to fill it with Antonio Brown.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on “Get Up!” Friday morning that a source close to Brown told him the Texans have shown the most interest in the star receiver of any team that has inquired. He said the interest “comes with a huge caveat.”

“That comes with a huge caveat — nobody is signing him right now with the eight-game suspension that could be even longer because he still has an unresolved case with his former trainer Britney Taylor,” Fowler said. “But, Seattle came and went and some other teams came and went. Houston’s at least poking around here, so it’s worth watching as the team sits at 0-2 without a No. 1 receiver.”

Brown is eligible to return in Week 9, assuming his suspension remains eight games. We should see interest in him ramp up as that date gets closer.

Brown was suspended over numerous off-field issues, including allegations of sexual misconduct from two different women. Since those allegations came to light, Brown was charged with burglary with battery after he and his trainer, Glenn Holt, allegedly attacked a moving truck driver. Brown pleaded no contest to a charge in that incident and avoided jail time.

If all of that weren’t enough to give NFL teams pause, Brown also streamed a live video on Instagram back in January that showed him berating police officers in front of his children.

Brown, 32, spent very brief periods with the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots last season. The seven-time Pro Bowler should still be capable of playing at an elite level, as he caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018.

Steve Smith rips Gardner Minshew after poor game

Steve Smith

Analyst Steve Smith was critical of Gardner Minshew after the Jacksonville Jaguars lost 31-13 to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.

Minshew had a dud of a game, going 30/42 for 275 yards with an interception and lost fumble in the defeat. Smith ripped Minshew during NFL Network’s postgame show, putting the quarterback on his “struggle bus.”

“He is the franchise quarterback … for the struggle bus. In the second half, he didn’t have a completion over 10 yards until the end of the fourth quarter. He didn’t look very comfortable back there,” said Smith.

Smith then singled out Minshew’s struggles against the zone defense.

“I think we got him figured out a little bit. He couldn’t read zone coverage if zone coverage popped him upside his moustache and went in his nose. He still wouldn’t get it. He struggled, because he couldn’t get past himself,” Smith said.

Smith has long been known for talking big, so it’s no surprise to hear him bring this kind of criticism. Minshew will probably accept the criticism and acknowledge he needs to play better.

The 24-year-old threw for six touchdowns and two interceptions in Jacksonville’s first two games and was nowhere near his best on Thursday.

Video: Cam Robinson ejected for making contact with official

Cam Robinson

Cam Robinson was ejected from Thursday night’s Jacksonville Jaguars-Miami Dolphins game for making contact with an official.

The Jags had the ball and lost a fumble in their territory late in the third quarter. Robinson was at the bottom of the pile fighting for the ball.

As the officials tried to sort through the pile to determine who had the ball, Robinson made contact with two referees. A flag was thrown after he pushed official Bruce Stritesky off of him.

A different official threw a flag on the play over Robinson’s contact and ejected the Jags lineman from the game.

Players are not allowed to make contact with referees and can be flagged for doing so, which is what happened in this case. The penalty gave the Dolphins the ball at the Jacksonville 5-yard line. Miami scored a touchdown on third-and-goal to extend their lead to 28-7.

Both announcer Troy Aikman and rules analyst Mike Pereira expressed disagreement with the call on the game’s telecast. They argued that the officials should take Robinson’s intent into consideration.

Jets fans hold laughable ‘protest’ to get Adam Gase fired

Adam Gase

New York Jets fans staged a protest on Thursday in an attempt to pressure the team to fire head coach Adam Gase. Let’s just say it was not very convincing.

The person who runs a Twitter account called @OptimisticJets organized a protest for 1 p.m. Thursday outside the Jets’ facility in New Jersey. The announcement about the event encouraged all die hard Jets fans to gather and “voice our suffering.”

And that’s exactly what a handful of Jets fans did. Shortly after 1 p.m., some reporters took a trip over to One Jets Drive to see what the turnout was like. We’ll let the photos do the talking:

Woof. But don’t worry, the organizer of the event is not giving up.

We certainly can’t blame Jets fans for being fed up with Gase. While he’s only in his second season with the team, the results have not been good. He was supposed to turn things around for the Jets offensively, and you need look no further than these stats to see how Gase is doing in that department. Things haven’t been much better defensively, as we saw when New York somehow gave up a first down on this play last weekend.

If Gase doesn’t turn things around quickly, he’s going to lose his job. We just don’t think the four fans who showed up at Thursday’s “protest” are going to tip the scale.