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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Football

Report: Donald Trump told commissioners he believes NFL season should start on time

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump has weighed in on how he wants the sporting world to proceed in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump held a call Saturday with the commissioners of leading American pro sports, including the NFL’s Roger Goodell. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski, Trump told the commissioners he wanted the NFL season to start on time, and he hoped to have sports leagues playing in front of fans again by August or September.

As has been noted by public health experts, all timelines like this are dependent on how the virus behaves. We do not know precisely when the pandemic will peak and recede in the United States, and there are fears that it could return again in fall just in time for football season.

There remains the possibility that leagues could restart without fans, and MLB has looked at dates that would precede Trump’s timeline. No matter what he says, there is a significant amount of uncertainty right now, and no clear idea of when sports could start up again. We won’t have a clear idea about the NFL and college football until later in the summer, when we can assess how the virus is behaving and how the county is doing in identifying and combating its spread.

Jameis Winston, girlfriend Breion Allen got married despite coronavirus pandemic

Couples all across the world have had to change their wedding plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, and NFL quarterback Jameis Winston and his longtime girlfriend Breion Allen were among those who were impacted. However, they didn’t let that stop them from tying the knot.

Winston and Allen got married in a private ceremony over a week ago. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen revealed the news in a recent interview, and the new Mrs. Winston confirmed it with an Instagram post on Sunday.

“A week when nothing was going as planned. Our initial wedding had just been postponed and I was in a funk. But @jaboowins3 came through and put together a beautiful intimate ceremony in the privacy of our own home. And it seemed it was meant to be this way all along… #MrAndMrsWinston,” Allen wrote.

Winston and Allen have been together since the quarterback was a star at Florida State. Allen has stayed with Jameis through the disturbing allegations he faced in college, and she has always been quick to defend him against critics.

While Winston has been replaced by Tom Brady in Tampa Bay and is still searching for a job, it’s nice to see his offseason already had one major highlight.

Tom Brady thanks Patriots fans with emotional video

Tom Brady

Tom Brady has expressed excitement for the next chapter of his career in a number of different ways since he announced he is signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the six-time Super Bowl champion wants fans in New England to know they will always have a special place in his heart.

Brady penned a piece for The Players’ Tribune in which he wrote at length about how New England became his home but how excited he is to lead a new team. Not long after the piece was published on Monday, he thanked Patriots fans on social media and shared an emotional video.

There’s no reason Brady would ever hold any ill will toward Patriots fans. He will always be a legend in the New England area, and fans treated him like royalty for the better part of two decades. It’s possible Brady’s relationship with Bill Belichick got to a point where a divorce was necessary, but that has nothing to do with Pats fans.

As we mentioned before, we think Brady may have even intentionally chosen Tampa Bay to make sure he didn’t alienate many of his fans. With how important his TB12 brand is to him, that should not be all that hard to believe.

California governor Gavin Newsom doubts NFL season will start on time with fans

President Donald Trump wants to see the NFL season start on time with fans in the stands, but that desire is already getting pushback from a key state authority.

Trump said on a conference call with league commissioners Saturday that he believes the NFL should start its season on time in September, and hopes to have fans back in stadiums by that point. California governor Gavin Newsom, however, said he does not expect that to happen in his state, citing issues in Asia reopening businesses and sporting events.

Local authorities will have the final say on large events like this. We still don’t know where things will stand in late summer, but Trump’s belief about the NFL is clearly premature based on these comments. It’s no wonder that some analysts think that football season won’t go ahead as scheduled with comments like this.

Report: ESPN, NFL Network likely to do combined draft telecast

Roger Goodell booed

ESPN and NFL Network traditionally do competing telecasts of the NFL Draft, but like many things about the event, it sounds like that will be different this year.

According to Peter King’s Football Morning in America column, there is a growing likelihood that the two networks will combine to do one draft telecast that will be simulcast on both networks. ESPN’s studio is likely to host the telecast, with key NFL Network talent contributing to it.

The reason is, as with everything else, due to the coronavirus pandemic. It would be viewed as socially responsible to cut down and do one broadcast. In addition, NFL Network’s studios in California and New Jersey will be shut down due to state orders.

Things are still in the planning stages and nothing is final. It’s one of many ways this year’s NFL Draft will be unlike any other, though not by choice.

Cam Newton feels like ‘a fish out of water’ after release from Panthers

Cam Newton is still looking for a new home after his release from the Carolina Panthers, and he’s working on some other things, too.

Newton appeared on Instagram Live with Chris Paul on Monday to discuss how the quarterback is coping since his release. Newton admitted that he feels like “a fish out of water” since being released by the only NFL franchise he’s ever played for, but is looking to be guided to the right destination.

It’s still pretty clear that Newton didn’t want to leave Carolina. He ultimately wasn’t given a choice, and is having a hard time finding a new starting job elsewhere. It’s been reported that he’s willing to wait a while to find a new team, but for now, it sounds like his focus is on improving himself mentally.

Bucs QB coach feels like he ‘failed’ Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

Many feel like Jameis Winston got a raw deal in Tampa Bay, and his former quarterbacks coach appears to be one of them.

In an interview this week on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Buccaneers QB coach Clyde Christensen spoke both glowingly and regretfully about Winston.

“I love Jameis Winston, I loved every minute working with Jameis Winston, I really believe he’s going to get the right chance at the right place,” Christensen said, per Pewter Report’s Mark Cook. “Maybe like Ryan Tannehill where it takes backing up, who knows what the scenario will be, but he will rise to the top. I think he’s a starting, upper-echelon quarterback in this NFL and I do think he’s going to get these interceptions under control a little bit.

“In some ways I feel like I failed him a little bit,” he added about Winston. “As a coach you take that personal. I didn’t get it done, I didn’t help this kid. This kid’s better than 30 interceptions and we didn’t get that done and that I’ll have to live with.”

The 26-year-old Winston had been with the Bucs for his entire five-year NFL career, but Christensen was only hired in 2019. For what it’s worth, Winston saw a large increase in volume last year but also led the league in picks and saw his stock plummet, making him unlikely to even be a starter next season.

Now that Tom Brady and a new era have arrived in Tampa, Christensen is among others on the team who think Winston was somewhat scapegoated.