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#pounditMonday, September 26, 2022

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Report: Josh McDaniels heard from ownership after Raiders’ loss

Josh McDaniels in Raiders gear

Aug 4, 2022; Canton, Ohio, USA; Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels reacts during the Pro Football Hall of Fame game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Josh McDaniels is 0-3 as the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach, and that is causing frustration within the building.

The Raiders lost a heartbreaker to the Tennessee Titans by a score of 24-22 on Sunday, with the team failing to convert a potentially game-tying two-point conversion with 1:14 left. The loss dropped the Raiders to 0-3, a huge disappointment for a team that harbored playoff aspirations prior to the season.

That unhappiness apparently went all the way up to Raiders owner Mark Davis. According to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN, McDaniels had a closed-door meeting with Davis prior to the coach’s media availability Sunday.

Obviously, no one is suggesting that McDaniels’ job is in any danger after just three weeks. This does illustrate how frustrated the Raiders are with their poor start, though.

There have been some unusual claims to come out of the Raiders so far during McDaniels’ tenure. While all three losses have been close, the inability to get over the hump is disappointing, and tweaks certainly may be necessary.

Tua Tagovailoa leaves with frightening injury in Week 3

Tua Tagovailoa shoved to the ground

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa left Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills following what was a scary scene, but he later returned.

Tagovailoa’s head slammed head off the turf on a hit from Bills linebacker Matt Milano that drew a roughing the passer penalty. He appeared dazed when he got to his feet and then nearly collapsed after taking a few steps. You can see the frightening sequence below:

Tagovailoa was immediately pulled off the field. The Dolphins announced that he was being evaluated for a head injury. He cleared concussion protocol and returned in the second half.

Tagovailoa was 8/10 for 76 yards a touchdown and no interceptions before exiting the game. The former Alabama star is off to a good start this season and has led the Dolphins to a 2-0 record.

Chargers being extra cautious with Justin Herbert due to Tyrod Taylor mishap?

Justin Herbert talks with the media

Jul 27, 2022; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) speaks following training camp activities at Jack Hammett Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Herbert is reportedly pushing to play through a rib injury on Sunday, and he may wind up having a pain injection in order to do so. The thought of that likely sends a collective chill down the spines of Los Angeles Chargers fans, but it sounds like the team is taking all necessary precautions.

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the Chargers’ medical staff will use an ultrasound imaging monitor to assist with administering a pain injection for Herbert if the star quarterback choose to go that route. Herbert would also have to sign a waiver advising him of the risks of the injection.

Mortensen adds that doctors have encouraged Herbert to take a “long view.” Wearing a rib protector would not help with this particular injury, which has been described as fractured rib cartilage.

A lot of what Mortensen reported is standard procedure, but it is noteworthy because of what happened to Tyrod Taylor back in 2020. Taylor planned to play through a rib injury in Week 2 and had a pain injection administered by Chargers team doctor David S. Gazzaniga. Taylor suffered a punctured lung as a result of the injection and could not play after that. Herbert, who was a rookie at the time, started in Taylor’s place and never looked back.

Gazzaniga is still the Chargers’ team doctor. He is currently being sued by Taylor over the 2020 mishap.

Herbert is a true game-time decision for Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. If he decides to rest rather than play through the injury, he may be looking at a multi-week absence.

Arkansas kicker misses winning field goal in most ridiculous fashion

Arkansas lines up for a field goal

Arkansas lost to Texas A&M 23-21 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday night in absolutely brutal fashion.

The Razorbacks were down 23-14 and scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make it 23-21. The Aggies drove in response but missed a 53-yard kick, giving the Hogs good field position. Arkansas drove down to the 16 and looked to be in position to take the lead with a field goal, but things didn’t go as they hoped.

Arkansas got pushed back to their 25 after a loss of nine. They ended up attempting a 42-yard field goal with 1:30 left.

In a twist we have never previously seen, Cam Little’s kick hit the top of the upright and doinked back onto the field.

We’re not saying he hit the upper part of the upright. No, Little’s kick sailed over the highest part of the upright and then landed on the top of it, and bounced back to the field.

Little was in total disbelief after the missed kick, as were Arkansas fans. That was like a trick shot he executed perfectly, only that’s not at all what he wanted.

That goes down as Arkansas’ first loss of the season after a 3-0 start. What a tough way to lose.

Missouri gives away game to Auburn with embarrassing mistakes

Nathaniel Peat drops the ball

Missouri absolutely embarrassed itself at the end of Saturday’s loss to Auburn.

Missouri lost to Auburn 17-14 in overtime after twice blowing the game.

For starters, the game was tied at 14 and Missouri had the ball at the Auburn 3-yard line with just under a minute left. They took a 5-yard loss but centered the ball for kicker Harrison Mevis. Mevis wound up missing as easy of a kick as it gets, as he sliced a 26-yard field goal attempt as time expired.

It’s nothing short of shocking to see a kicker miss such an easy field goal like that. But what’s even more surprising is that Mevis is one of the best kickers in the country and had never previously missed from inside 30 yards.

As if that weren’t bad enough, Missouri continued to break the hearts of their fans.

Auburn kicked a field goal to go up 17-14 in the first overtime. Nathaniel Peat rushed for five yards on first down. Then on second down, Peat rushed for 19 yards and was heading for the end zone to win the game. But he lost control of the ball when he reached out with it to try and score.

Here is another angle of the mistake.

What an absolute heartbreaker.

Missouri is now 2-2, while Auburn is 3-1.

Video: Matt Campbell calls timeout to berate referee

Matt Campbell angry

Iowa State coach Matt Campbell was so furious with a targeting call on Saturday that he burned a timeout just to let the referee know about it.

Campbell was fuming over the officiating in the first half of Saturday’s game against Baylor. The Cyclones were hit with a controversial targeting ejection on their first defensive series, and things did not get better. Campbell finally blew his top after his team was penalized for a block below the waist on this play.

Campbell had had enough. He was so furious with the officials that he actually called timeout just to have more time to berate them.

Campbell’s anger seemed justified, but it’s not often that you see a coach go that berserk. Fortunately, it was the first half, so he probably didn’t need that timeout as much as he might have in the second.

The Iowa State coach is certainly known for having a short fuse with referees sometimes. This might be one of his better tantrums, though.

Albert Pujols celebrated with ex-MLB star immediately after hitting 700th HR

Albert Pujols celebrates

On Friday night, Albert Pujols made history. And he didn’t go to join his St. Louis Cardinals to celebrate right after crossing home plate. Rather, he went behind home plate to celebrate with a former All-Star who was sitting in the first row: Adrian Beltre.

Take a look at career home run No. 700 for Pujols, which came with two on, two out, and his Cardinals up 2-0 on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pujols took a 1-1 breaking ball from Phil Bickford deep to left for a huge homer.

Pujols went over to celebrate with his teammates, but that was after he veered straight to Beltre first.

Beltre is a fellow Dominican Republic-born slugger, and fellow former Dodger. The four-time All-Star hit 477 home runs over 21 seasons. Pujols is in his 22nd season and up to 700 now. Pujols is just the fourth player in MLB history to hit 700 career home runs. Barry Bonds (762*), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) are the others.

Pujols has been on a tear this season, and the circumstances of his 700th home run game share just how good he has been. He’s been so hot that he reached 700 by hitting two home runs against the Dodgers in the same game.

Pujols now has 21 home runs and an .858 OPS for the season. He’s having his best season since his first year with the Angels in 2012 when he posted an .859 OPS. Even at age 42, the Cardinals are still getting the best seasons from Pujols — much better ones than the Angels ever got.

Matt Rhule responds to ESPN analyst’s big claim about Panthers

Matt Rhule during a game

Aug 27, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are off to an 0-2 start to the season, and ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky believes what he termed “coaching malpractice” is a big reason for that. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule does not see it that way.

During Thursday’s edition of “NFL Live,” Orlovsky shared what he is convinced is evidence that the Panthers were tipping plays in their 19-16 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. The former NFL quarterback said he went through the game film and noticed that the Panthers almost always ran a run play or a run-pass option when Christian McCaffrey was lined up a yard deeper in the backfield than Baker Mayfield. When McCaffrey was lined up at the same depth as Mayfield, Orlovsky says that meant Carolina had called a straight pass play.

You can see the full breakdown below:

Orlovsky sounded quite sure of himself, but Rhule says the analyst is wrong. Rhule responded to Orlovsky in detail on Friday and talked about all the different types of plays the Panthers run from the formations Orlovsky highlighted. The coach made a good point, which is that the Panthers ran for 146 yards and averaged more than 6.0 yards per carry.

If the Panthers were tipping plays, they certainly will not be in their Week 3 game against the New Orleans Saints.

Rhule is in his third year as the head coach of the Panthers. The team won just five games in each of his first two seasons. Whether Carolina is or is not tipping plays won’t matter for his future with the Panthers if the results do not improve quickly.

Mike Tomlin answers whether Steelers will make QB switch

Mike Tomlin with a headset on

Aug 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin watches the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Mitch Trubisky and the Pittsburgh Steelers have had plenty of struggles offensively through the first three weeks of the season, but head coach Mike Tomlin is not ready to make any drastic changes.

Following his team’s 29-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night, Tomlin was asked if he will consider making the switch from Trubisky to rookie Kenny Pickett. He said he has not even given it a thought.

“I’m not in that mindset,” Tomlin told reporters, via Michael Baca of NFL.com. “I’m interested in reviewing his tape and looking at the totality of it and figuring how we collectively get better. So, the answer to that question is definitively no.”

Trubisky did not play terrible against the Browns. He went 9/13 for 109 yards and a rushing touchdown in the first half. The Steelers took a 14-13 lead into halftime, but they could not get anything going in the second half. They managed just three more points in the final two quarters. Trubisky finished with 207 yards after throwing for just 168 yards last week and 194 in Week 1.

The stat lines have been reminiscent of the ones we saw from Trubisky when he was with the Chicago Bears, which is not what Pittsburgh was hoping for. Tomlin may have hinted recently that he thinks there is another issue for the Steelers besides quarterback play.

Tomlin obviously is not ready to start a rookie, but the pressure will continue to mount if the Steelers don’t turn things around. There has not been a losing season in Pittsburgh since 2003, so fans will get restless pretty quickly if Trubisky and the offense don’t show more.

Report: Ime Udoka accused of making unwanted comments to woman

Ime Udoka claps

Nov 15, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka reacts in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

A new report has provided more background surrounding the situation involving Ime Udoka.

Udoka on Thursday was suspended for the entire season by the Boston Celtics for multiple violations of team policies.

A report from Shams Charania on Wednesday night said that Udoka had engaged in an improper intimate but consensual relationship with a team employee.

Though the relationship apparently began as consensual, the woman’s feelings on things apparently changed.

Charania reported on Thursday night that the woman “recently accused Udoka of making unwanted comments toward her.”

Here is what Charania wrote in his story for The Athletic:

“Some members of the Celtics organization first became aware of the relationship in July, sources said. At that time, team leadership was led to believe by both parties that the relationship was consensual. But sources said that the woman recently accused Udoka of making unwanted comments toward her — leading the team to launch a set of internal interviews,” Charania reported.

Based on the report, the woman’s feelings on the relationship — or the way Udoka interacted with her — changed.

The 45-year-old coach has been suspended the entire season. Joe Mazzulla has been named the interim coach.

Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season, which was his first year on the job.