Former Giants WR Victor Cruz: Ben McAdoo firing a couple weeks ‘too late’

“As far as Coach McAdoo being fired, being released, I think it was long overdue, I think it was a couple weeks already too late,” he said. “Once you see guys in that locker room start to give these anonymous reports about how he’s handling them бн that’s when you know he’s completely lost the locker room and completely lost the players.”

McAdoo benched Eli Manning before Sunday’s matchup with the Raiders, ending the 2004 No. 1 overall pick’s consecutive regular-season games started streak at 210 games. The former Giants coach said he had the support of the powers that be to make the move, but after going down this road he was fired less than a week later.

Manning now could be the starting quarterback again, and McAdoo is no longer with the team.

Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell’s multiyear contract extension, signed earlier this year, appears to provide less job security than initially believed, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Caldwell has been on and off the hot seat since the middle of the 2015 season, when the Lions started 1-6 and he fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and offensive line coaches Jeremiah Washburn and Terry Heffernan, promoting Jim Bob Cooter to offensive coordinator and Ron Prince to offensive line coach.

“We had an agreement to acquire Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, subject to him waiving his no-trade clause,” Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said. “While we are disappointed in his decision, we will continue to make every effort to improve our club for the upcoming season.”royals_003

SDSU, Wieneke overwhelm New Hampshire to reach FCS semis

To some it would be ridiculous to say South Dakota State wide receiver Jake Wieneke could be overshadowed by anybody.

SDSU racked up 265 rushing yards against a surging New Hampshire defense that forced eight sacks and eight turnovers in two playoff wins. Isaac Wallace led the way with 79 yards and two touchdowns, while Christion and Mikey Daniels also scored on the ground. Christion’s 238 yards of total offense pushed the junior’s career total to a school-record 9,478 yards.

When UNH finally scored on Trevor Knight’s 75-yard pass to Kiernan Presley to make it 35-7 in the third quarter, SDSU’s Cade Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.

The win was the 148th of SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier’s 21-year career. To get to 150 this season, well …

Smith started in place of Manning in the 24-17 loss to the Raiders. It ended Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive starts and sparked an outrage among Giants fans.

His teammates noticed the negative attention it drew for Smith.

After the game, the Steelers made sure their defensive leader was part of the celebration although he couldn’t be at Heinz Field.

Ryan Shazier was able to FaceTime with his Steelers teammates from his hospital room as he continues to recover from Wednesday’s spinal stabilization surgery, stemming from a hit Monday against the Bengals. panthers_003

The Saints aren’t even close to being there yet with half the 2017 campaign remaining.

Try to comfort yourselves about the star players and starting quarterbacks continuing to drop like flies … by celebrating something of a throwback weekend in Week 11.

But if what New Orleans has accomplished following double-digit defeats against the Vikings and Patriots is proof, the Saints may very well have a legitimate shot at ending their season playing in Super Bowl 52 inside the same venue (U.S. Bank Stadium) where their season opened with a 29-19 road loss to the Vikes.

“Our coaches did a good job keeping us focused,” Saints linebacker Craig Robertson told Sporting News following the blowout of the Bucs at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. “They said just worry about the next game. It’s hard to lose, but we played two good teams. After we got that first win, guys relaxed a little bit and just played football after that.

As his competitors either falter or find their season over due to injury, Kamara (who leads the NFL in yards per carry) keeps going from strength to strength and as ESPN Saints writer Mike Triplett notes, is on pace to finish the season with 700 yards rushing and 700 yards receiving.

“Younger generations of NFL fans have grown accustomed to watching football from this angle through their love of video games. This telecast will have a look and feel akin to that experience. We’ll still have our full complement of cameras and will revert to traditional coverage when situations dictate, but the primary viewing experience of the game will come from the SkyCam angle.

“‘Thursday Night Football’ has always been about technical innovation and new technologies, and this production will fit perfectly with that.”
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None of the brands offered a signature shoe during the course of his rookie shoe deal — no 2017 draft pick received such an offer.

Following up his second triple-double, which featured a career-high 16 rebounds, Ball snagged 13 boards to go with eight points, four assists and only one turnover, none coming in the second half. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Ball and Magic Johnson are the only starting rookie point guards with 13 or more rebounds in back-to-back games since the ABA-NBA merger.

The shoes, which are being designed with suggestions from Kristen, will emphasize various CMV internet hashtags as well as the foundation’s website and Bucs-themed colors. CMV resonated with Marpet on multiple levels, including his own prior charitable endeavors spending time with sick children.

Given how strong their strengths are — power running, pass rushing, shutdown coverage — they don’t need to be perfect in the areas where they are weak. That doesn’t even account for how much their special teams have provided a boost the past two weeks.

“You see the numbers and the players that are affiliated [with the brand], and you know which shoes you’ve liked in the past and you see the progress that everyone has made,” Fox said. “If a brand hasn’t made that progress, it’s like, ‘Well, how much further can I help with that progress?’ ”

“Nike was very straight,” said Happy Walters, Fox’s agent. “[Nike] said, ‘Hey, we do have other big athletes here, and if you become a great athlete, maybe you’ll get your own shoe. But that doesn’t mean you will.’ That wasn’t as important to him.”
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The Packers go for it on fourth down near midfield trailing by 17.

The Packers go for it on fourth down near midfield trailing by 17. Hundley throws an incomplete pass on the play and Green Bay turns it over on downs.

Touchdown, Detroit. The Lions quickly answer the Packers’ touchdown with one of their own. Stafford connects with Theo Riddick on a screen pass that goes for 63 yards. Two plays later, he finds Marvin Jones Jr. for an 11-yard score as the Lions increase their lead to 27-10.

Philadelphia leads the second-place and defending division champion Cowboys (5-5) by four games with six to play after handing Dallas its worst home loss at 8-year-old AT&T Stadium.

“We’re winning those close games that in the past we would lose because we weren’t playing sound football,” Woodyard told Sporting News in a telephone interview.

“Coach (Mike) Mularkey said it best: Good teams find ways to win. Bad teams find ways to lose.”

The final push is upon us. Not only are we past the bye weeks portion of the NFL season — something that makes setting your lineup a less complicated process — but we are also down to the last two weeks of the ESPN Fantasy regular season. Pretty crazy, right?

D’Onta Foreman, RB, Houston Texans: At the tail end of a 34-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, Foreman appeared to take an awkward step, and after diving into the end zone, he remained on the ground where ankle was attended to by Texans medical staff. He was subsequently carted off the field. The early diagnosis is that Foreman has a torn Achilles tendon, pending further tests on Monday.nike_bills-084

Tom Brady plans to visit Mexico City again; Bill Belichick not so gung-ho on a return

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said after Sunday’s victory over the Oakland Raiders at Estadio Azteca that he plans on visiting again.

For coach Bill Belichick, there isn’t the same strong desire to return.

Losers of five of their past six games before Sunday’s win, the Raiders moved out of a three-way tie behind the Chiefs to enter their bye week before a game against the Patriots in Mexico City. The Dolphins’ ineptitude continued despite a solid game from Jay Culter, which kicks off our takeaways from the game.

Sunday’s night cap was an NFC East showdown in Dallas, where the shorthanded Cowboys lost to the powerful Eagles, who improved their NFL-best record to 9-1.

The warning apparently is other NFL owners — particularly those on the Compensation Committee — firing back at Jones’ threat to sue the NFL and individual owners over the five-year contract extension and negotiations in which he claims the committee has misled to the rest of the owners.

The expectations for Matt Ryan were extremely high coming off his MVP season and Super Bowl appearance. Even Ryan would tell you that he hasn’t played his best ball yet, but that it’s “close” based on certain moments when the offense has looked like last year’s high-octane attack. Adjusting to new coordinator Steve Sarkisian could be one reason Ryan didn’t start off as sharp as he wanted to.

Not working a lot with Julio Jones (foot surgery) and Taylor Gabriel (lower leg injury) leading into the season is another factor. And dropped balls plagued the Falcons through the first nine games, contributing to Ryan’s eight interceptions — one more than he had all of last season. That said, Ryan remains among the top quarterbacks in the league and has all the tools to lead the Falcons back to the postseason. But the critics likely won’t give him a pass until he wins a ring. — Vaughn McClure
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Finding the right stop-gap solutions for that staff could make Philly a sleeper entering next season.

There was once a time when this game looked like it might have massive playoff implications. Instead, the Broncos are going nowhere fast with an inept offense that has negatively affected one of the NFL’s best defenses.

Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler, who has completed 57 percent of his passes (70 of 123) for 663 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions in three career starts against the Patriots, will face the league’s worst pass defense. If he can’t keep Tom Brady and the top-ranked Patriots offense on the sideline, it will be a long night for the Broncos.

The Dolphins get their third straight prime-time game Monday in Charlotte. Miami has lost the previous two and its struggling offense will have its hands full against Carolina’s top-ranked defense.

However, OTL’s sources said that not only does Jones want Goodell out, but he also has his own candidate in mind to replace him. Though the sources didn’t know that person’s identity, the fact that Jones might be teeing up his own candidate has lost him potential support in ousting Goodell.

“Then Jerry will be completely in control of the league,” a source told OTL. “It’s turning off some owners.”

Meanwhile, a league executive said Jones’ injecting himself into the process, despite not being a member of the owners’ compensation committee, has increased Goodell’s determination to sign a new long-term deal.

There are some high-ceiling arms in the system as well, but chances are that isn’t going to be the backbone of the 2018 pitching staff. nike_patriots_3214

Hill is expected back this week, but McVay isn’t yet certain about Webster or Robey-Coleman.

The Giants’ unexpected performance came less than a week after co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said the embattled McAdoo would remain in charge through at least the end of the season. Days later, McAdoo and his team held what he termed “a brutally honest” team meeting in which mistakes and lack of effort plays were shown for all to see after the two losses by a combined 82-38 margin.

“In consultation with the NFLPA and his lawyers, and after careful deliberation and review of the recent Second Circuit decisions, Mr. Elliott has decided to forego any further appeals and will serve the remaining suspension.

This decision arises from a practical assessment of the current legal landscape. Mr. Elliott’s desire for closure in this matter is in his best interests, as well as the best interests of his teammates, family and friends. This decision is in no way an admission of any wrongdoing, and Mr. Elliott is pleased that the legal fight mounted by him and his team resulted in the disclosure of many hidden truths regarding this matter, as well public exposure of the NFL’s mismanagement of its disciplinary process.

It’s safe to say there weren’t any sizable expectations for Case Keenum before the season started because he was never supposed to be in this position. He has shattered every notion tied to his role as a backup and has helped position Minnesota as a legit contender in the NFC. He’s now 6-2 as a starter after guiding the Vikings to their sixth straight win on Sunday against the Rams, and has proved why he should remain the starting quarterback despite having Teddy Bridgewater waiting in the wings. Regardless of where he signs next season, Keenum has earned himself a nice payday by proving he can be more than just a viable backup. — Courtney Cronin
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Cowboys’ Jerry Jones reportedly threatens to sue NFL, owners over Roger Goodell contract extension

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has threatened to sue the NFL and some fellow owners individually over negotiations to extend commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract, The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing two unidentified people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Times reported that during a conference call last week with the league’s compensation committee, composed of the owners of the Chiefs, Falcons, Giants, Patriots, Steelers and Texans, Jones informed them that legal papers had been drawn up and would be served this Friday if the committee did not scrap its plans to extend Goodell’s contract.

The Times was unable to get comment from Jones, Boies’ firm or the league for its story.

While Gordon can’t officially practice until Nov. 20, hejoin his teammates on the grass fields for conditioning work and individual drills, per NFL.com.

After his first day back, Gordon posted a video on Instagram sharing shots of the practice field and he said, “The first day back in the building went great. The real work begins now. Let y’all know where I’m at. Let’s go.”

On Wednesday, Gordon addressed the media for the first time since his reinstatement and shared nothing but positive words about where he is both mentally and physically as well as expressing gratitude for another chance in the NFL.

“Now I know I have the support in place outside and inside the building and my life is just in a conducive space of where I need to be for me psychologically, physically, it’s all coming together so right now in this point and time in my life I’m feeling well. I’m feeling great,” Gordon said. broncos_091-500x500

Nate Burleson Q&A: Former NFLer is Sending Shoes to Africa

Athlete fashion is now meeting purpose. Former NFLers Nate Burleson, Marcel Reece, and Rashad Jennings, as well as Ravens safety Eric Weddle, have teamed up with New York shoe brand Awl & Sundry to help put shoes on kids in Africa.

The Jets lost by seven. Huge call, obviously, one that separated the Jets and Patriots from the tie in the division entering the weekend to a one-game lead for New England at the end of the day. I reached NFL officiating vice president Al Riveron, who insisted they’d seen enough evidence. “As the runner is going to the ground,” Riveron said, “he loses control of the football.

In order for him to re-establish control, he has to have the ball when he touches the ground, and he has to survive the ground—when he hits the ground he must retain control of the ball …

It’s the type of trade that could only happen in-season, after a team like the Jaguars is able to identify a specific need. The Bills saved millions, and the Jaguars got a chance at an upgrade in what could be a playoff season. More teams in the future should think outside the box and make moves like this, but it will take a while for others to follow suit, even though such a trade makes sense for both sides.

A day earlier, Kershaw stood alone on the mound after the Dodgers’ dramatic win in Game 4, trying to get a visual for the biggest start of his career.

This was definitely not how he pictured it.

The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner cruised into the fourth with a 4-0 lead before things suddenly fell apart. After Correa hit an RBI double, Gurriel launched a tying, three-run drive.

Kershaw whipped his head around to watch Gurriel’s drive sail, his face immediately showing shock, utter disbelief and frustration, all wrapped up in one expression before he bent over, hands on his knees.flames_081