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#pounditTuesday, October 19, 2021

Football

Saquon Barkley admits to mental struggles following latest injury

Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley put in a lot of effort to come back from the torn ACL he suffered in 2020. That made his newest injury even tougher to take.

The New York Giants running back suffered a nasty-looking ankle injury during Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Barkley had to be carted off the field and did not return to the game.

On Thursday, Barkley admitted that suffering another injury was beyond frustrating. In fact, he initially refused to get onto the cart because of how it reminded him of his ACL injury.

Injury recovery can be as mental as it is physical. That’s especially true for Barkley given how much time the 24-year-old has missed.

The good news is Barkley’s injury does not sound as bad as it could have been. He’ll almost certainly play again in 2021.

Myles Garrett decorates yard with QB gravestones for Halloween

Myles Garrett

Myles Garrett is known for haunting opposing quarterbacks, and the Cleveland Browns star decided to make that the theme of his Halloween decorations this year.

Garrett decorated his front yard at his Cleveland-area home with several tombstones featuring the names of NFL quarterbacks. Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Ben Roethlisberger, Mac Jones and many others are featured in the graveyard.

It’s no surprise Fields has a spot in the QB cemetery, as we all remember how Garrett terrorized the rookie in his first NFL start a few weeks ago.

Of course, Garrett’s decorations led to some jokes about how he once tried to actually kill an opposing quarterback. It doesn’t look like that QB got a tombstone.

NFL wants to push out Raiders owner Mark Davis?

Mark Davis

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis hinted this week that he is not pleased with the NFL over the Jon Gruden situation. That is likely an indication that he believes the league wanted to force Gruden out. Is Davis concerned that he could be next?

According to NFL reporter Jason Cole, there are people around Davis who believe the league is trying to force him to sell the Raiders. That has led to Davis becoming paranoid.

The NFL has not handed out any disciplinary action related to the Gruden emails. Yet, despite that, Davis told a reporter this week that any questions about the emails should be directed toward the league because “they have all the answers.” That makes it seem like Davis believes the NFL railroaded his former head coach.

Is Davis worried about the NFL doing the same to him? Apparently some people believe that.

Davis has run the day-to-day operations of the Raiders since his father, Al, died in 2011. Al is a Hall of Famer and one of the most respected figures in NFL history.

There are a few theories about how or why the Gruden emails leaked. There are also likely a lot of people around the NFL who are concerned that their private communications could somehow leak. It’s possible that Davis is worried this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Has Urban Meyer lost the Jaguars’ locker room?

Urban Meyer

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan said recently that Urban Meyer needs to work to earn back the trust of his players. The more we hear, however, the more it sounds like Meyer may have never had it.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic wrote on Thursday that sources told him they don’t believe the recent embarrassing headlines created by Meyer have caused the coach to lose the locker room. Those sources believe Meyer “never had the locker room” in the first place.

Why? Apparently veteran players have not responded well to Meyer’s coaching style. That isn’t exactly a surprise, as Meyer had no NFL coaching experience prior to this season. College coaches often have a difficult time relating to NFL players, and that may be what has happened with Meyer in his first year in Jacksonville.

The report meshes with what we recently heard from an anonymous Jaguars player and two player agents. The player blasted Meyer and said he has never established credibility since he was hired by Jacksonville. The agents claimed Jags players view Meyer as a “fraud” and couldn’t believe the coach chose to remain in Ohio two weeks ago after the team lost to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Meyer has faced plenty of criticism since a video surfaced of him getting cozy with a young woman at a bar. But when the dust settles from all of that, the biggest question might be if he was even the right person for the Jaguars job to begin with. It sounds like there is a lot of skepticism about that, too.

Adam Schefter addresses editorial controversy with statement

Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter addressed his editorial controversy with a statement issued on Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Times published a story about the Jon Gruden leaked emails. The Times was able to track down some of the emails through an information request into a legal matter between Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder and former WFT executive Bruce Allen. Allen is the friend with whom Gruden was emailing in the chain of leaked emails that caused the coach to lose his job with the Raiders.

Snyder’s legal team was trying to get Allen to produce discovery for a defamation case Snyder is pursuing in India. Snyder’s team was disputing Allen’s assertion that he maintained a low profile while with Washington and was not the source of media leaks. An email exchange between ESPN NFL reporter Schefter and Allen was used as proof to dispute Allen’s claim that he was not a media source.

The email that received attention included Schefter telling Allen he would provide a draft of a story for Allen to review and approve before Schefter would publish it. Schefter even jokingly called Allen “Mr. Editor” over email.

Schefter’s journalistic integrity has been called into question since the details of his email exchange with Allen were made public.

“Without sharing all the specifics of the reporter’s process for a story from 10 years ago during the NFL lockout, we believe that nothing is more important to Adam and ESPN than providing fans the most accurate, fair and complete story,” ESPN said in a statement defending Schefter.

Schefter addressed the matter during both a radio appearance and in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“I’ve learned for a long time in this business not to discuss sources, or the process, or how stories are done, but I would just say that, basically, it’s a common practice to run information past sources, and in this particular case, during a labor intensive lockout that was a complicated subject that was new to understand, I took the extra rare step again to run information past one of the people that I was talking to,” Schefter told 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, according to Pro Football Talk. “You know, it was an important story to fans; a host of others, and that’s the situation.”

Schefter also issued a statement through ESPN.

“Fair questions are being asked about my reporting approach on an NFL Lockout story from 10 years ago,” Schefter said. “Just to clarify, it’s common practice to verify facts of a story with sources before you publish in order to be as accurate as possible. In this case, I took the rare step of sending the full story in advance because of the complex nature of the collective bargaining talks. It was a step too far and, looking back, I shouldn’t have done it. The criticism being levied is fair. With that said, I want to make this perfectly clear: in no way did I, or would I, cede editorial control or hand over final say about a story to anyone, ever.”

Schefter is widely regarded as the top NFL reporter. Schefter has previously described himself as an information broker, which helps him get so many scoops.

Aaron Rodgers answers whether he would ever play for Bears

Aaron Rodgers gets ready to throw

Aaron Rodgers has expressed that he does not want to remain in Green Bay much longer due to issues he has with the the team’s front office. He could end up on a new team next season, but would he consider going to one of his biggest division rivals? He was asked that question on Wednesday ahead of the Packers’ game at Chicago in Week 6.

Rodgers said he is well aware of how much Bears fans dislike him. He also said he liked the city overall, which led to a question about whether he could ever play for the NFC North rival.

Rodgers responded with a hard “no.”

Rodgers may say that now, but you never know what could happen. Brett Favre ended up playing for the Minnesota Vikings towards the end of his career. Rodgers shouldn’t close the door on playing for Chicago. But he probably couldn’t say that publicly, not while he’s still wearing green and yellow.

Derek Carr offers thoughts on Jon Gruden resignation

Derek Carr with a helmet on

Derek Carr shared his thoughts Wednesday on Jon Gruden’s resignation after offensive emails the head coach sent became public.

The Las Vegas Raiders had a day off Tuesday, the day after Gruden resigned following a meeting with team owner Mark Davis. They returned on Wednesday to practice at their facility, which is the first time many members of the team spoke with the media.

Carr, who has been the Raiders’ quarterback since 2014, summed up his thoughts with one quote: “I love the man, I hate the sin.”

Carr added more.

“I don’t condone, I don’t talk that way. My kid’s won’t talk that way…it’s hard, because I love the man so much,” Carr said of Gruden.

He also acknowledged that opening up peoples’ private emails and text messages would make many people uncomfortable.

“No one’s perfect, if we just started opening up everyone’s private emails and texts people would start sweating … Hopefully not too many, but maybe that’s what they should do for all coaches and GMs and owners from now and see what happens,” Carr said.

Carr said he wasn’t going to drift too far into his emotions because he needs to focus on getting his job done as the team’s quarterback.

Carr was a Pro Bowler from 2015-2017 and has been working with Gruden the last four seasons. There were rumors early on that Gruden might want to part ways with Carr, but the team’s feelings on the quarterback seemed to have changed this year.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Look: Jon Gruden’s parking spot at Raiders’ facility is empty

Jon Gruden in a Raiders hat

Jon Gruden once had the No. 1 parking spot at the Las Vegas Raiders’ facility. He was the head coach of the team, the final decision maker on personnel, and leader of the franchise. And now not only is he gone, but he is quite likely done with the NFL forever after offensive personal emails he sent were leaked and became public on Monday.

Not seeing Gruden on the sidelines coaching the Raiders will let it sink in that Chucky is no longer with the team. But something else conveyed the absence and abruptness of Gruden’s resignation.

Gruden’s parking spot at the team’s facility was vacant on Wednesday.

The Raiders had a scheduled day off on Tuesday.

Gruden, 58, was in the fourth year of his second stint as head coach of the Raiders. He coached them for their final two seasons in Oakland and was in the middle of their second season in Las Vegas when he resigned.

Now it’s up to the Raiders to rally under interim coach Rich Bisaccia. They are 3-2 this season following the Week 5 loss to the Chicago Bears.

Photo: Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden takes the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Burrow cutting down on talking following throat injury

Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow has been advised to cut down on talking as he recovers from a throat injury.

Burrow was taken to a hospital following Cincinnati’s Week 5 overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers to be treated for a throat injury. The young Bengals quarterback was diagnosed with a contusion following a precautionary exam. He was not required to stay overnight.

Burrow did not speak with the media Wednesday because doctors recommended he rest his voice. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said all was good with Burrow, but “we’re just limiting what he has to say and how he’s gotta use his voice through today.”

Burrow was the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft but was limited to 10 games due to a serious knee injury. He has passed for 1,269 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions in five games this season. His Bengals are 3-2. They will visit the Lions in Week 6.

Randy Moss threatens to fight media personality in deleted tweet

Randy Moss

Randy Moss was extremely emotional while sharing his thoughts on the Jon Gruden situation on Sunday, and the Hall of Famer drew a lot of praise for what he said. Jason Whitlock, however, is one member of the media who was not impressed. Whitlock was highly critical of Moss, and let’s just say Moss did not appreciate the feedback.

Whitlock published a story on Monday in which he used the spelling “Randi” for Moss’ first name. Whitlock intentionally used a feminine spelling of the name and berated Moss for “(using) Gruden’s leaked email to ascend through the pearly gates of victimhood.”

Moss saw Whitlock’s criticism and responded to Whitlock over Twitter with a threat.

Moss wrote “ON SITE!” to Whitlock before quickly deleting the tweet. One of Whitlock’s followers captured a screenshot:

That was Moss’ way of threatening violence against Whitlock.

What Moss meant was “on sight,” which is a way to say that there will be a fight the next time the two people see each other. The phrase “on sight” is
described by Urban Dictionary as “a phrase you use to tell a person once you see them no word will be spoken, but hands will be thrown.”

Most people know what the phrase means. Moss likely realized it was wrong to threaten to fight a fellow member of the media, which probably explains why he deleted the tweet.

You can see the clip of Moss talking about Gruden on “Sunday NFL Countdown” below:

That certainly isn’t the first time we have seen a former athlete threaten violence over something a prominent member of the media said. It was a bad look for Moss, and he probably knew it.