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#pounditTuesday, December 1, 2020

Headlines

Jerry Jones has laughable take on Broncos’ QB mess

Jerry Jones

The Denver Broncos were forced to start a practice squad wide receiver at quarterback on Sunday after several players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. It may have been an unprecedented situation, but Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones feels his team has faced just as much adversity this season.

Jones was asked about the Broncos starting Kendall Hinton at QB during his appearance on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday. He said he doesn’t think the situation was any more challenging for Denver than it was for the Cowboys when they had to start Ben DiNucci earlier in the year.

“I don’t know that Denver had any more of a challenge than we’ve had with DiNucci, or with the young QBs we’ve had,” Jones said, per Jon Machota of The Athletic.

Of course, there’s one big difference — the Cowboys drafted DiNucci to play quarterback. He was thrust into a starting role after both Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton went down with injuries but, again, he’s a quarterback. Hinton last played quarterback in college and had been on Denver’s practice squad as a wide receiver.

Jones may not have been very confident in DiNucci’s ability to start as a rookie, as evidenced by some remarks he made last month. That doesn’t mean the Cowboys’ QB situation was anywhere near as complicated as Denver’s.

Steelers’ Cam Heyward trolls NFL over early kickoff time

Cam Heyward

The NFL is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure this week’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens is played — even if the players are unhappy about it. Veteran defensive lineman Cam Heyward is among those who are clearly not thrilled.

Shortly after the NFL announced that the Steelers and Ravens will play at 3:40 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Heyward sent a tweet mocking the kickoff time.

The Pittsburgh-Baltimore game has now been postponed three times, and the most recent is to give the Ravens time to prepare after their rash of positive COVID-19 tests. You may find the reason the kickoff is so early in the day to be quite entertaining.

With the Steelers already having a game postponed this year, the NFL is doing everything it can to avoid having to add an extra week to the regular season. Heyward and others may not like it, but they’re being paid millions of dollars to show up and do their job in a challenging year. They should be able to handle it.

DK Metcalf felt motivated by Jim Schwartz’s pregame comment

DK Metcalf

DK Metcalf says he was motivated by a comment from Jim Schwartz prior to Monday night’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles.

Metcalf had a monster game with 10 catches for 177 yards in Seattle’s 23-17 win over Philly. He said after the game that the Eagles defensive coordinator said something in pregame that put a chip on his shoulder.

“I was in Detroit with Megatron, you’re not there yet,” Schwartz told Metcalf, the receiver said.

“Megatron” is Calvin Johnson, who played for the Lions from 2007-2015. He was a Pro Bowler in his final six seasons and led the league in touchdowns once, receiving yards twice, and receptions once. Johnson’s 1,964 receiving yards in 2012 set the NFL record for a single season. That came in Schwartz’s fourth year on the job, though the Lions finished 4-12 that season.

Metcalf isn’t at Megatron’s level yet, but he’s been awfully productive for Seattle, and he’s doing it on a winning team. He also ate up Darius Slay man-to-man and feasted on Schwartz’s coverages.

Schwartz only coached one winning team in his five seasons as Lions head coach. He’s also known for not watching his words. The advantage goes to Metcalf in that situation, even if DK still has lots of room to grow.

Photo: RealDeeRoss/Wikimedia via CC-BY-SA 4.0

This is why Broncos were forced to play but Ravens game got postponed

Broncos logo

Many fans have been wondering why the Denver Broncos were forced to play without a quarterback in their Week 12 game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, while the Baltimore Ravens continued to get their game postponed. It’s a very good question, and it has a reasonable explanation.

The short answer is that the NFL believed the Broncos’ COVID situation was contained, while the Ravens’ was not.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter offered an explanation during “Monday Night Countdown.”

“It’s all about identification, isolation, and then containment of the virus. As long as the NFL feels like it has identified, isolated and contained the virus, it believes it can play the games,” Schefter said. “If it can’t identify, if it can’t isolate, and it can’t contain — as was the case in Baltimore — they’re going to continue to postpone the game. That’s why the Broncos-Saints game on Sunday was played. Because the league believed the virus was identified, isolated and contained in Denver, whereas it wasn’t in Baltimore. And that’s why that game keeps shifting.”

The decision to postpone or cancel a game is not based on competitive reasons, but just about the virus.

The Broncos had one positive COVID-19 test, and that was for quarterback Jeff Driskel on Thursday. The league on Saturday ruled the team’s other three quarterbacks ineligible to play due to being deemed high-risk contacts. There were no other players deemed at high risk, nor other positive tests. Contrarily, the Ravens continued to have new positive COVID-19 tests trickle out each day, suggesting the virus had not been contained.

As far as the league is concerned, as long as they believe the virus is contained, then it is a team’s problem regarding who is or is not available. In that sense, the availability of players would not be too dissimilar to injuries, which can often put teams in unfavorable positions. Remember, even though Baltimore’s game against Pittsburgh has been postponed from Thursday to Wednesday, they will still be playing without Lamar Jackson, though they get some other key weapons back.

Matthew Stafford refuses to commit to future with Lions

Matthew Stafford

There have been some on-and-off rumors in the last several years about Matthew Stafford potentially seeking an exit from the Detroit Lions. On Monday, Stafford kickstarted that speculation once again.

Two days after the Lions fired their head coach and general manager, starting themselves on another organizational rebuild, Stafford spoke about his future with the organization. Stafford notably declined to commit long-term.

“I’ll figure that out and talk about that later on,” Stafford said, via Andrew Siciliano of NFL Network.

Stafford turns 33 in February. Were he to remain with the Lions, he would be playing under his fourth head coach since being drafted first overall in 2009. The team is not close to contention, and the reality is he’s moving into the back end of his career. If he wants to contend for a championship, he may have no choice but to move on.

There were a lot of stories like this last offseason. It’s safe to say there may be another round of them coming up once the Lions play out the rest of their regular season.

Dan Orlovsky rips Bruce Arians for ‘wasting’ Tom Brady

Bruce Arians

Bruce Arians has criticized Tom Brady publicly on multiple occasions this season, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach is the one who has come under fire in the media. Dan Orlovsky is the latest to take aim at Arians following the Bucs’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Orlvosky, a former NFL quarterback who now works as an analyst, ripped Arians during ESPN’s “Get Up!” on Monday. He said Arians’ refusal to incorporate more play-action is crushing Brady and the Bucs.

“The Buccaneers offensively are the walking definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. … The lack of play-action pass is something I’ve talked about for six weeks with this offense,” Orlovsky said. “Tom Brady, by every measure right now, is the second-ranked play-action passing quarterback in the NFL. It keeps him clean. It helps their offensive line (with) protection. It creates some of the chunk passes. They ran it five times yesterday.

“Right now Bruce Arians is wasting Tom Brady. He got served on a silver platter the greatest quarterback to ever play, and all you had to do was use him the right way. He’s completely failing Tom, and I’ve got fear that it’s gonna bury this football team.”

You can hear Orlovsky’s full remarks below:

It’s no secret that the 43-year-old Brady has some limitations at this point in his career. The offense he’s running in Tampa Bay is a lot different from the one he ran in recent years in New England, and many feel Arians has not shown enough of a willingness to adjust.

Tony Romo had similar criticisms of Arians during the broadcast of Sunday’s game. You can read what he said here.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Floyd Mayweather upset with black people for mocking Nate Robinson

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not happy with his fellow black people for mocking Nate Robinson.

Robinson was knocked out in his professional boxing debut on Saturday night by Jake Paul (video here). Robinson was knocked out so badly that he became the subject of all kinds of jokes.

Mayweather, a retired former boxer, understands what it is like to step into the ring and thinks the jokes are uncalled for. He especially took issue with the jokes that he considered to be black-on-black crime.

“Nate, I’m proud of you and I will always stand behind all my brothers,” Mayweather wrote on Instagram. “I will never kick my brother when he’s down. It’s ok for people to voice their opinions on social media, but no black athletes or black entertainers, especially black NBA players should make a mockery out of you. We are supposed to all stand with each other through the good, bad and ugly. I’m here to uplift you and let you know we all love you and congratulate you for just making an effort.

“SIDENOTE: The times I’ve had issues with another brother is when they came at me first. I was just defending myself.”

Not only can Mayweather relate to the difficulties of stepping into the ring and risking embarrassment, but he is also heavily respected by his fellow athletes, which is likely why he felt motivated to say that.

Here is some of what Robinson faced:

Despite being mocked, Robinson actually was appreciative for the support he received.

Tony Romo critical of Buccaneers coaches for not helping Tom Brady more

Tony Romo

Tony Romo delivered some criticism of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ coaches while calling Sunday’s game between the Bucs and Kansas City Chiefs.

Tampa Bay got off to a slow start and trailed Kansas City 17-0 in the first quarter. Romo lamented how Tom Brady kept getting knocked down and wasn’t being put into optimal situations.

“Where’s the play action stuff to give him time? Everything’s a dropback. Screen game hasn’t been great. It’s like all this stuff that’s easy for quarterbacks … they don’t have much of it,” Romo said on the broadcast.

Criticism of the Bucs’ coaches has been the theme of the week. The Bucs lost to the Rams on Monday night, and head coach Bruce Arians criticized Brady afterwards.

Brady’s play in his first season under Arians has led some to believe the coach is not using the future Hall of Famer properly. It seems like Romo feels similarly, or at least like the Bucs could be doing a lot more to optimize things for Brady.

Bruce Arians defends his comments about Tom Brady

Bruce Arians

Bruce Arians defended his comments about Tom Brady after last week’s loss that many took as criticism of the quarterback.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 27-24 to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 11. Arians was critical of Brady, saying the quarterback made bad reads and missed passes.

The comments led to questions about whether Arians and Brady are getting along well. The Bucs head coach defended himself and his relationship with Brady.

During the Bucs’ Week 12 game against Kansas City on Sunday, CBS reporter Tracy Wolfson shared some details about what Arians and Brady told her during conversations they had during the week.

Wolfson said Arians told her that “it’s not criticism, it’s honesty,” regarding his comments about Brady.

Wolfson further shared that “Tom Brady told us he needs to be better.”

Both men reportedly told Wolfson that their “relationship is a good one.”

These are all positive signs if you’re a Bucs fan. The team lost the game and then you had people saying Arians isn’t the right coach for Brady. At least publicly the two men are saying the opposite.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Patriots lose TD on controversial illegal blindside block call

Patriots blindside block

The New England Patriots had a special teams touchdown taken off the board in their game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday following a highly questionable call on a punt return.

Gunner Olszewski ripped off an 82-yard return for what would have been his first ever NFL touchdown, but linebacker Anfernee Jennings was called for an illegal blindside block. Many felt the play was clean, as Cardinals linebacker Ezekiel Turner was close enough to Olszewski to make the tackle and should have seen Jennings coming.

Here’s another angle of the play:

The NFL made all blindside blocks illegal beginning last season. An illegal blindside block is defined as “when a player initiates a block when he is moving toward or parallel to his own end line and makes forcible contact to his opponent with his helmet, forearm or shoulder.”

Based on the definition of the rule, you can see why the flag was thrown. Though, you could make the argument that Jennings actually stopped dead in his tracks and wasn’t really moving toward his own end line.

In any event, the touchdown was taken off the board and the Patriots had to begin their drive deep in their own territory. They ended up with a field goal to tie the game at 10-10.

Believe it or not, that probably isn’t the most aggravating blindside block call we have seen. That happened on a play in the Detroit Lions-Houston Texans game last year, which you can see here. The rule itself is probably more frustrating for fans than the application of it.