Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

Center Jason Kelce, already a two-time Pro Bowler, rose to even greater fame during the Philadelphia Eagles‘ run to Super Bowl LII last season as a leader of the wholly-embraced ‘underdog’ team.

An eighth-year veteran, Kelce cites the Eagles’ loss of several experienced players in the offseason as reason for a 4-5 record through the first 10 weeks.

“Last year, it just seemed like everybody was clicking. We had guys like Brent Celek who had been here a long time who was very accountable, Torrey Smithwho had been in the league for a long time, very accountable. Mack Hollins was a guy that gave great effort. LeGarrette Blount and all of these running backs that, they had their limited amount of stuff that they had to know, but they knew what to do, and they knew how to do those things. That’s what we’re missing. We’re missing that accountability,” Kelce said Wednesday, according to Tim McManus of ESPN.

Celek retired after being released by the team. Blount joined the Detroit Lions in free agency, Smith was traded to the Carolina Panthers, and Hollins is on injured reserve due to a groin injury.

The Eagles opened the 2018 campaign as the NFL’s 11th-youngest team by average age. They ranked 23rd in that department at the beginning of the 2017 season.

Kelce says the Eagles haven’t been able to replace the value brought last season by players who had been around a long time and who knew the “ins and outs of the game.”

“This isn’t just players, this is coaches, this is everybody. Everybody takes accountability in making sure that everybody is ready to go,” Kelce said.

“(Last year) there was a much greater level of accountability from a cohesive standpoint of everybody working together.”

The Eagles are tied for second place in the NFC East heading into a Week 11 matchup against the 8-1 New Orleans Saints.

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General manager John Dorsey hasn’t revealed much about the Cleveland Browns’ head coaching search, but he does have one person in mind.

Dorsey told reporters on Wednesday that Gregg Williams will be interviewed for the position, via Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot.

Williams was named the interim head coach after Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were relieved of their duties on Oct. 29. Freddie Kitchens was also promoted to offensive coordinator at that time.

After raving about the job Williams and Kitchens are doing, Dorsey said he’s looking for a head coach with character and a high football acumen, and someone who can lead a young Browns team, per Cabot.

“I just want the best possible head coach to move this thing forward regardless of age. It could be a woman, too,” Dorsey said, via Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com.

Dorsey declined to say if he’s been scouting any college coaches, according to the Chronicle-Telegram’s Scott Petrak. Lincoln Riley has been connected to the job, though the Oklahoma head coach said he “doesn’t have that itch” to make the jump to the NFL.

“When we had the first pick in the draft, I didn’t say much. I’m not going to say much (about the coaching search),” Dorsey said, via Cabot.

Since firing Jackson, Cleveland has gone 1-1. Currently on their bye, the Browns will look to improve their 3-6-1 record in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

 

New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan’s job isn’t in jeopardy despite the team being 23-35 since he took over in 2015, SNY’s Ralph Vacchianoreports, citing several sources.

Maccagnan received praise for the trade that helped New York draft quarterback Sam Darnold, and he also has the Jets set up to enter the offseason with $100 million in cap space, allowing him to execute the 2019-focused vision he brought to team headquarters nearly four years ago.

Detractors of Maccagnan, including former Jets coach Rex Ryan, would argue his moves over the last three seasons, aside from Darnold, have done little to spring New York out of long-term mediocrity.

Regardless, the Jets are expected to give Maccagnan another year to turn around the franchise’s fortunes. Head coach Todd Bowles, however, is expected to be fired at the end of the season.

The NFL is moving Monday night’s game between the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs from Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum due to poor field conditions, the league announced Tuesday.

“We have worked extensively with our partners at Estadio Azteca for months in preparation for this game,” NFL executive vice president of International Mark Waller said in the statement. “Until very recently, we had no major concerns. But, the combination of a difficult rainy season and a heavy multi-event calendar of events at the stadium, have resulted in significant damage to the field that presents unnecessary risks to player safety and makes it unsuitable to host an NFL game.”

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Scott Zolak

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Unreal. Here’s the field in Mexico

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NFL officials reportedly met at Estadio Azteca to determine the state of the field and make a decision on whether to relocate the game or not.

Several players reportedly considered boycotting Monday’s game over the inclement field conditions.

The contest is expected to be one of the best of the season, with the Rams and Chiefs each entering with just one loss.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones dismissed the notion that he’s interested in replacing head coach Jason Garrett with Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley.

“That’s pulled out of thin air. I think that Coach (Lincoln) Riley is outstanding. It doesn’t surprise me because of proximity and his success but it’s total speculation,” Jones said Tuesday, according to Jeff Cavanaugh of 105.3 The FAN.

Jones told reporters last week that he doesn’t anticipate making any coaching changes this season, but it hasn’t stopped reports about the Cowboys being interested in Riley. Meanwhile, Riley said he had no interest in leaving for the NFL after the Cleveland Browns fired head coach Hue Jackson in October.

Jones also rejected the notion that he considered firing offensive coordinator Scott Linehan during the bye week. Linehan’s called the Cowboys’ offensive plays since 2014 and has officially served as the OC since 2015.

“We’ve never even contemplated the idea of Scott not calling plays,” Jones said Tuesday, according to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.

All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell did not report to the Pittsburgh Steelers to sign his franchise tender by the 4 p.m. deadline Tuesday, rendering him ineligible to play at all this season.

Bell passed up $14.5 million in 2018 by electing not to sign his franchise tag. It was the second straight year he received the tag from the Steelers, preventing him from hitting the open market.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert confirmed in a statement that Bell didn’t sign the tender.

The 26-year-old will now prepare for his long-awaited free agency, where he’ll be the top available running back – if not player.

In five seasons with the Steelers, Bell was selected to three Pro Bowls and named to the All-Pro team twice. He finished three of the past four seasons ranked among the top five in rushing, while also providing plenty of value in the passing game.

The Steelers have hardly suffered without Bell, as second-year tailback James Conner has thrived in an every-down role this season.

Former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson will join the Cincinnati Bengals‘ coaching staff in an unknown role, sources told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Jackson coached in Cincinnati from 2012 to 2015 in a variety of roles, ending with a two-year stint as offensive coordinator that earned him the top job in Cleveland.

The Browns fired the 53-year-old at the end of October after he amassed a record of 3-36-1 during his tenure with the team. Jackson will get a chance at revenge, though, as the Bengals play the Browns in Weeks 12 and 16.

It’s the second significant coaching move of the day for the Bengals, who fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin after allowing 51 points to the New Orleans Saints in Week 10. Head coach Marvin Lewis is set to take over the defense.