Posts Tagged ‘2018 NFL Season’

True to his confident form, Josh Gordon said Tuesday that the Cleveland Browns have “the best receiving corps in the NFL.”

“Just based off of talent alone,” he told reporters at Browns minicamp, including Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “… That’s just my opinion, but (we’re) not short on talent at the wide receiver position at all.”

Gordon, who returned to the field last year for the first time since 2014 after overcoming off-field issues, is set to lead a receiving group that also features three-time Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry and 2016 first-round pick Corey Coleman.

Landry was acquired in a trade with the Miami Dolphins, and his production in short-yardage situations could nicely complement Gordon’s ability to stretch the field.

“He ain’t lying,” Landry said, when asked about Gordon’s assessment, per Zac Jackson of The Athletic.

Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013, the last season when he played more than five games, and Landry recorded an NFL-best 112 catches in 2017.

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The Seattle Seahawks have undergone significant changes.

Gone are mainstays Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, who moved on in the offseason, while the playing careers of Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor are uncertain after they suffered serious injuries in 2017. The Legion of Boom could be down another one of its three most important members, too, as Earl Thomas is holding out for a new contract.

In many respects, the Seahawks are starting over, and, according to their head coach, the team feels like it did in 2012 – the year it made the leap to contender after consecutive 7-9 seasons.

“It does feel like that,” Pete Carroll told Albert Breer of The MMQB. “There was a time when our star players weren’t star players yet – they were just coming up, and it was exciting to see that emergence. That’s what we’re counting on in the next year, seeing these guys start to come to prominence and make a spot for themselves.”

Among those expected to emerge on defense this year are defenders Jarran Reed, Frank Clark, Shaquill Griffin, and Nazair Jones. Throw into that mix rookies Shaquem Griffin, Rasheem Green, and Emmanuel Beal.

“It feels like four or five years ago. It feels fresh and wide open, it’s more of an open competition for some of the spots,” Carroll said. “And that’s a really good thing for us, because it does feed into the whole approach.”

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is entering the tail end of his career, but he’s certainly not approaching the upcoming season that way.

Manning is tasked with steering the Giants out of the NFC East basement after the team sputtered to a 3-13 mark in 2017. With a new managerial regime in place, along with second overall pick Saquon Barkley in tow, the Giants are expected to compete for a playoff spot again, even with Manning turning 38 next January.

Some believed the Giants should’ve taken in a quarterback with the No. 2 pick to replace Manning, while stating that he’s no longer good enough to lead the team to its third Super Bowl of his career. Manning, to little surprise, disagreed.

“That’s not the way I look at it,” Manning said to Art Stapleton of USA TODAY. “And I think I still have some peak years left, so we can make it right.”

Manning knows he has to galvanize the Giants’ fan base in a year where one of their principle rivals, Philadelphia Eagles, won the Super Bowl. If Manning is to be believed, the 2017 campaign should be viewed as an anomaly.

“There’s some excitement for this year, which is good,” Manning said. “Obviously, some changes, and when you have new players, new draft picks, free agency, so I think, you know, hopefully guys remember, hey, two years ago we won 11 games. Last year, obviously, we went through a tough streak, but that’s football, it can change very quickly from year to year, from good to bad or bad to good. So I think it’s good to see the fans are excited, and I’m excited to be back and want to give them something to keep cheering for.”

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is laser focused on restoring his status as arguably the NFL’s best running back.

After winning the rushing title during his rookie year in 2016, Elliott’s sophomore campaign was marred by a six-game suspension as he narrowly missed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau.

Elliott is hell-bent on leading the Cowboys back to the playoffs and is already taking on a much larger leadership role, running backs coach Gary Brown revealed.

“(He’s) been much more vocal,” Brown said to Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News. “It’s good for him. He’s in his third year. Coming out here being a more vocal leader, not just a leader by what he does on the football field, I think that’s really good for him and really good for our football team.”

Brown also believes Elliott is motivated by an intrinsic sense of needing a comeback season, believing that the star running back put an immense amount of pressure on himself following a tumultuous 2017 season.

“With what happened last year with the whole suspension and everything, I think he felt as though he didn’t accomplish anything,” Brown said. “But he did accomplish some things. Hopefully, he doesn’t put too much pressure on himself. If he doesn’t, I think well have a great Zeke.”

An electrifying talent with the ball in his hands, Elliott is tasked with leading the Cowboys back to the playoffs, while trying to unseat the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles within their own division.

Fresh off signing a three-year contract extension Thursday, Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson believes his team is ready to turn the page on a disastrous decade.

The Browns are perennial offseason winners, but their “success” in the spring and summer has translated to just one win over the last two seasons. Johnson, however, believes this trend has finally run its course.

“I truly believe if we can stay healthy and commit and follow our quarterback Tyrod (Taylor), and going into game one, I really believe this is a different look and different team (than years past),” Johnson said on Sirius XM NFL Radio Friday, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “This is the time of year when everyone likes to say ‘we look better, we’re different,’ but I can honestly say that it should be different.”

The 2015 third-round pick also praised general manager John Dorsey and the additions he made this offseason.

“We’re excited because we see the potential,” Johnson said. “We see the talent that we have and things we can do come this season if we just stick to it, everyone stays healthy.

“We see the things that Tyrod was able to do in Buffalo and we see what Jarvis (Landry) has done since he’s been in the league so we’re just excited for bringing guys on this offense that can help us make plays and score more points and win more games.”

Cleveland has not qualified for the playoffs since 2002, and has just two winning seasons this century.

It appears the NFLPA is preparing for a legal battle with the NFL over its new anthem policy.

The NFLPA has hired multiple law firms to begin researching potential avenues to fight the league’s policy, a source told Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

Florio suggests the players’ association could challenge in the form of a non-injury grievance under the collective bargaining agreement. In this case, the argument would center around the league’s failure to engage in good-faith bargaining with the union before altering the policy and removing a right it had previously given to players. The deadline for filing such a grievance would be in late July.

The NFL’s new policy, altered last month, requires any objecting player to remain in the locker room. Teams would be subject to fines if their players protest on the sidelines during the anthem.

A number of players have spoken out against the new rules, with some considering different on-field gestures prior to games.

Houston Texans safety Andre Hal has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects part of the immune system, the team announced Friday.

“The news of Andre Hal’s diagnosis weighs heavy on the hearts of everyone in the Houston Texans family,” head coach Bill O’Brien said in a statement. “Andre epitomizes what it means to be a Houston Texan through his leadership, community involvement, and team-first attitude. We are confident that Andre’s resiliency and infectious positivity, along with treatment and care from the best medical community in the world, will guide him through his recovery. The entire Texans organization is behind Andre and his family during this difficult time and we look forward to his eventual return to the team.”

Hal, who was heading into his fifth NFL season, posted 71 tackles and three interceptions across 16 contests last year. The 26-year-old inked a three-year, $15-million contract with the Texans ahead of the 2017 season.

“My faith in God and the support from my family, friends, teammates, and coaches will see me through this difficult time,” he said in a statement of his own. “I will not let this diagnosis stop me from fulfilling my dreams and I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me. I know how to beat this and I will beat it.”

Hal is still undergoing medical testing and is in the process of discussing his treatment options, according to the team’s release.