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Monday, June 24, 2019

Football

KC radio host Kevin Kietzman faces backlash for personal criticism of Andy Reid

Andy Reid

Kansas City radio host Kevin Kietzman is facing backlash for his criticism of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, which ventured into a personal realm.

Kietzman has been a host of “Between the Lines” on Sports Radio 810 WHB in Kansas City for over 20 years and is proud of his provocative commentary. He carried in that tradition Monday when talking about Reid.

Kietzman discussed the issues Tyreek Hill is facing and combined Hill’s disciplinary issues with the problems Reid’s sons have had. He concluded Reid has problems disciplining people. Here’s what on said on-air:

“Andy Reid does not have a great record of fixing players. He doesn’t. Discipline is not his thing. It did not work out particularly well in his family life. That needs to be added to this as we talk about the Chiefs. He’s had a lot of things go bad on him — He is not good at fixing people. He is not good at discipline. That is not his strength. His strength is designing football plays,” Kietzman said.

Kietzman’s criticism led to plenty of backlash, with much of it coming from fellow media members.

Reid and his wife had five children. His oldest son, Garrett, dealt with drug addiction and died of a heroin overdose in 2012. His son, Britt, has had drug and gun arrests.

Bringing up such personal matters in his criticism of the coach — looping it all into a bucket of discipline problems — is unfair and crosses a line. Kietzman could — and should — have limited his comments to Reid’s discipline of his players and left it at that.

The matter of Hill came up because the team reportedly is expecting a suspension from the league to be handed down to the wide receiver.

Jalen Ramsey not trash-talking opposing quarterbacks this offseason

Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey started off the 2018 season by blasting nearly every opposing quarterback he could think of. He won’t be doing it again this year.

The Jacksonville Jaguar cornerback was asked somewhat tongue-in-cheek on The Adam Schefter Podcast if he had any thoughts on his rival quarterbacks, and Ramsey wasn’t going to do that again.

“You want to do this again, huh?” Ramsey said, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com. “I’m not going to do this again but, we do play some good quarterbacks this year, of course, but probably the quarterback I’m most excited for is Nick Foles. I don’t have to play against him, of course. He is my teammate. He is a great teammate, the few interactions we’ve had has been great. Great man, great player as well. He has nothing to prove to anybody. He’s a Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP. So, I hope he comes out here and he plays free and knows he has the support of everybody.”

Ramsey said it comes as part of his growth as a player four years into his NFL career.

“I’m growing man, it’s year four for me,” Ramsey said. “It’s a different me. A lot of people think they know me, they don’t really know me. But hey, that’s ok.”

Ramsey unleashed a barrage of bulletin board material before the start of last season about all sorts of different quarterbacks. The Jaguars subsequently went 5-11. Maybe that helped dissuade him from doing it again, but either way, he’s learned a lesson.

Chiefs reportedly bracing for Tyreek Hill suspension within next month

Tyreek Hill

Tyreek Hill is not going to face any charges stemming from an investigation over whether he abused his son, but the Kansas City Chiefs are preparing for the possibility that he could still be suspended by the NFL.

Hill is currently still suspended indefinitely by the Chiefs, but he is expected to rejoin the team at some point in the near future now that the criminal investigation involving him has been closed. However, Nate Taylor of The Athletic wrote in his recent 53-man roster projection that the Chiefs believe Hill could be suspended for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy as soon as next month.

The NFL has likely continued with its own investigation even though law enforcement is moving on, and there have been multiple instances in the past where a player was suspended even though he avoided legal trouble. The same could be true for Hill, though a recent report claimed police were confident he did not play a role in his toddler son breaking his arm.

It was initially believed that an investigation into the claims against Hill would be reopened after his fiancee leaked an audio recording that suggested he was responsible for his son’s injuries, but prosecutors say the case is “no longer active.” Hill has denied all of the allegations against him.

Reason why Cam Newton was flying coach back from France revealed

Cam Newton

Cam Newton was in all likelihood the wealthiest person flying coach from Paris to the United States last week, but he has no one to blame but himself for getting stuck without extra legroom.

On Friday, a video shared on Twitter claimed to show Newton offering a man $1,500 to switch seats with him on his flight back from France so he could have extra legroom. The offer was rejected, and Newton appeared to be in disbelief. But why was he flying coach in the first place? According to Andy Slater, the Panthers quarterback missed his flight and the only way he could get back to Charlotte that day was with a coach seat on a flight that stopped over in Dallas.

That explains it.

Even though Newton had to purchase a coach seat, he probably figured there was no way someone would turn down over $1,000 just to swap with him. He was wrong.

Newton was in Paris to attend Men’s Fashion Week, which seems like exactly the type of event he would be interested in given some of the fashion statements he has made at his postgame press conferences. It’s unclear what caused him to miss his flight, but hopefully his legs weren’t too cramped up.

Dak Prescott has ‘high’ expectations for upcoming season

Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott is thinking big things entering the upcoming NFL season.

Prescott hosted his annual youth ProCamp at Northwest High School in Justin, Texas over the weekend. He spoke with Dallas Morning News reporter Jon Machota while he was there and said he had “high” expectations for the upcoming season.

“My expectations are high,” Prescott said, via Machota. “Not necessarily any ceiling on what I can do or what this team can do. It’s just been about work. Simply just working to get better in every aspect of my game, making sure my teammates are doing the same. We’re excited for the position we’re in.”

Prescott similarly told CBS Dallas Fort Worth that there was nothing other than themselves that could keep them from the Super Bowl.

Prescott is entering his fourth season in the league. He emerged as a rookie, throwing for 22 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions while the team went 13-3. He took a step back in his second year, but then he returned to form last season in his third year passing for 3,885 yards, 22 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He proved that as long as he has some quality receiving options, he can be successful, as he looked great once the team traded for Amari Cooper.

The big question surrounding Dak is his contract. He is set to make just over $2 million next season, his final year under contract. At last check, the two sides weren’t close on reaching a deal. He could be lined up to make some major money when he does sign.

Brett Favre: Packers should let Aaron Rodgers ‘play his game’

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers may not be given the same amount of freedom in head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense that some other top quarterbacks across the NFL get, and Brett Favre thinks that would be the wrong approach for the new coaching staff to take.

While speaking with reporters at the American Family Insurance Championship pro-am on Saturday, Favre said he is confident Rodgers is going to be “fine” but expressed some concerns over LaFleur and company potentially micromanaging him.

“The question is, how will they handle it with him. And obviously, that’s very important,” Favre said of Green Bay’s new staff, per James Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I mean, there’s more to the team than Aaron but we all have to admit that when he’s playing and playing well, which generally when he’s playing he is playing well, you don’t want to change what’s working. There’s other factors that you have to work on.

“I think you let him play his game and not disturb that very much. And it’s going to be interesting to see if that happens.”

LaFleur made a name for himself while working with Kyle and Mike Shanahan, and the system the Shanahans run does not grant a quarterback much freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage. Rodgers recently hinted that he is not on-board with that approach, though LaFleur insists the two have already had “good talks” about the offense.

Rodgers disagreed with McCarthy’s playcalling quite regularly toward the end of McCarthy’s career in Green Bay, and he reportedly took the liberty of changing some of those plays against the coach’s wishes. LaFleur probably doesn’t want him doing that, but Rodgers has earned more leeway than someone like Jared Goff or Marcus Mariota. It will be up to LaFleur to find the balance.

Report: Sony Michel ‘running full tilt’ after knee procedure

New England Patriots

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel underwent a knee procedure recently on the same knee that he injured in college at Georgia, but all signs continue to point to him being fully healthy by the start of the season.

Michael Giardi of NFL Network reports that Michel is making good progress since he had a knee scope earlier this offseason, and he has been able to run “full tilt.”

Michel missed three games last year during the regular season, but he was outstanding during the playoffs. He rushed for over 300 yards and scored six touchdowns in three postseason games and was a huge reason for New England’s success.

Michel suffered another knee injury late last season that looked like it had the potential to be very serious, but that was not the case. Because of his history, the Patriots will likely always play it safe with Michel during the offseason and manage his reps.