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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Football

Report: ‘Nothing imminent’ between Eric Bieniemy, Colorado

Eric Bieniemy

Eric Bieniemy has received interest from his alma mater regarding their head coaching vacancy, but there is nothing imminent between the sides.

Colorado lost head coach Mel Tucker on Tuesday night when Tucker decided to leave for the Michigan State job. On Wednesday, CU announced Darrin Chiaverini would take over on an interim basis. 9News’ Mike Klis reported that there was mutual interest between Bieniemy and Colorado.

On Thursday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Colorado reached out to the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, but nothing is imminent.

Bieniemy, who was a star running back at Colorado, has been a coach with the Chiefs since 2013, and just completed his second season as their offensive coordinator.

Even though Bieniemy was passed over for multiple NFL head coach jobs, he might feel like it’s worth waiting to get an NFL job before dropping down to college, where he hasn’t been for several years.

Colin Kaepernick still has desire to play football

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick still wants to play football.

Of course, that comes with a caveat. Kaepernick wants to play football, but he wants to do so at the right price — at least according to XFL commissioner Oliver Luck, who revealed earlier this week that Kap had some pretty unrealistic salary demands for the start-up league.

But salary didn’t come up on Thursday when Kaepernick sat down with USA TODAY to discuss his upcoming memoir, which will be published trough his newly formed company, Kaepernick Publishing, in a partnership with Audible.

However, the word “desire” most certainly did.

“My desire to play football is still there,” Kaepernick said. “I still train five days a week. I’m ready to go, I’m ready for a phone call, tryout, workout at any point in time. I’m still waiting on the owners and their partners to stop running from this situation. So I hope I get a call this offseason. I’ll be looking forward to it.”

Kaepernick had an NFL-sponsored workout scheduled in November, but he ultimately chose to move the location and workout on his own after a disagreement with the league. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell later called it a “credible opportunity” that Kaepernick “chose not to take” and that the league had moved on.

Since that workout snafu, no NFL teams have expressed an interest in Kaepernick and he’s kept all alternative leagues/options at arms length.

Myles Garrett calls suspension ‘a blessing in disguise’

Myles Garrett

Cleveland Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett was officially reinstated on Wednesday after serving what amounted to a six-game suspension for striking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet during a Week 11 contest.

With the entire incident now behind him, Garrett expressed a sigh of relief, telling TMZ Sports it “feels pretty nice” to be back. He also acknowledged that the entire situation, suspension and all, was a blessing in disguise.

“Everything that happens to you is for a reason,” Garrett said. “If you take the lesson and make the best out of it, everything a blessing in disguise.

Although Garrett was feeling optimistic following his reinstatement, he refused to answer a question about whether or not he’s spoken to Rudolph since the incident. However, he did promise big things in 2020.

“When I get back onto the field, you’ll see,” Garrett cautioned.

Tyrod Taylor could start for Chargers in 2020, Anthony Lynn says

Tyrod Taylor

The Los Angeles Chargers and quarterback Philip Rivers “agreed to part ways” earlier this week, ending a 16-year run with Rivers leading the way — first in San Diego and then in L.A.

With Rivers now out the door, the Chargers will usher in a new era in 2020, including, quite obviously, a new starting quarterback. And while a first-round rookie or an experienced veteran are both possibilities, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn believes there may also be a third option.

Lynn, who reportedly signed a contract extension on Thursday, told AM 570 LA Sports in Los Angeles that last year’s backup quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, could earning the starting job out of training camp.

“Tyrod Taylor is a heck of a quarterback,” Lynn said. “We couldn’t have a better backup right now, and now he has an opportunity to maybe step up into a starting role. I’ve had Tyrod before, and I know what this young man brings to the table, in the passing game and the running game.

“One of the things he does very well is take care of the football. I believe every year he’s started in this league he’s been the No. 1 quarterback in taking care of the football. I believe more games are lost than won. So if we can just take care of the football and take it away, we’ll be okay.”

Taylor, a sixth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2011 NFL Draft, signed a two-year deal with the Chargers last year after spending the 2018 season with the Cleveland Browns. He also called Buffalo home from 2015-2017.

In 70 career games (46 starts), Taylor has completed 61.6% of his passes for 9,562 yards, 54 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. A dual threat, he’s also gained 1,843 yards and scored 16 additional touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

Steelers GM does not think Ben Roethlisberger is near retirement yet

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger will turn 38 in a few weeks and is recovering from a major elbow injury that required surgery, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are confident the star quarterback is not approaching the finish line of his career.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert provided a positive update about Roethlisberger’s rehab on Thursday and said he believes Big Ben could be better in 2020 than he was this past season.

That sounds somewhat realistic, but Colbert’s response to a follow-up question about Roethlisberger was a bit less believable. The GM was asked if he thinks Big Ben is nearing the end of his career and noted that Eli Manning is only a year older and just retired. Colbert said the Steelers don’t think Roethlisberger is “at the end of the road.”

Roethlisberger may not be at the end of the road, but he’s certainly getting very close. While he had arguably his best NFL season in 2018 with 5,129 yards, 34 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, he has already openly contemplated retirement. Legendary coach Bill Parcells once said if a player is thinking about retiring he is already retired, so where does that leave Roethlisberger?

Perhaps Roethlisberger will be motivated to prove he can return from a major injury and still play at a high level, which is something he has already hinted at. However, it would be a shock if he plays into his 40s like Tom Brady. Steelers fans should enjoy Big Ben while they still have him.

Teams concerned about Tom Brady’s ability to stay healthy?

Tom Brady

Tom Brady has not missed a game due to injury since he tore his ACL back in 2008, and the 42-year-old’s entire TB12 brand centers around his being able to stay on the field and take care of his body. However, that may not be enough to convince teams Brady is going to be a model of good health going forward.

Michael Giardi of NFL Network spoke with several NFL executives and scouts about their overall opinion of Brady, and the reporter says they all expressed some concerns about “sustainability.” While Brady has not missed a game in years, some teams are worried about the nagging injuries he has played through that have clearly impacted his game.

As Giardi notes, Brady sprained his MCL two years ago and was clearly hobbled over the final six weeks of the season. In 2019, Brady dealt with a variety of ailments including an elbow injury, foot injury and possible Achilles issue. Some of Brady’s inaccurate throws this season were attributed to his age, but they may have had more to day with him battling a significant case of tennis elbow throughout the year.

Ultimately, any team that is concerned about Brady’s longevity probably wouldn’t be interested in him in the first place. Even though Brady wants to play until he is 45, you can only expect so much from an NFL player in his mid-40s. The team that signs Brady — and we know of at least one that the Patriots consider a real threat — will be trying to contend for a Super Bowl in 2020. Anything beyond that would be a bonus.

Lions GM Bob Quinn emphatically shoots down Matthew Stafford trade rumors

Matthew Stafford

The Detroit Lions hold the third overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, and there has been some speculation that they could look to trade Matthew Stafford and select a quarterback at that spot. According to Lions general manager Bob Quinn, the first part is not going to happen.

A report from WDIV-TV in Detroit late Wednesday night claimed the Lions have been in discussions about trading Stafford for “a couple of weeks.” Stafford’s wife Kelly breathed more life into the speculation when she posted on Instagram that she wouldn’t mind moving to Los Angeles “if Detroit is done with us.”

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reached out to Quinn for his thoughts on the report, and Quinn shot it down in no uncertain terms. The GM told Birkett in a text message that the rumors are “100% false!!”

Stafford carries a cap hit of about $27 million for next season, and he has dealt with a significant back injury over the past two years. He missed eight games this past season because of it, but he was having his best year as a pro prior to that. The 32-year-old had 2,499 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and just five interceptions in eight games before the back injury sidelined him.

One option the Lions could explore is drafting a quarterback and having him sit behind Stafford for a year or two. Detroit would have to absorb $24.8 million in dead money if they released Stafford this offseason, but that number drops significantly if they part ways with him prior to the 2021 season.

Quinn made some comments last month that made it seem like the Lions expect to have Stafford back next season, so it would quite the surprise if that plan changes.