Several Eagles players have said they will not attend the traditional Super Bowl champions’ visit to the White House.

As cleanup from the celebrations in Philadelphia continued Monday, some Eagles players had business of their own to handle, declaring they would not visit President Donald Trump at the White House.
Women's Dominic Moore Premier Royal Blue Adidas Jersey: NHL Toronto Maple Leafs #20 Home
Safety Malcolm Jenkins, Blake Martinez Jersey a leader in the player’s coalition that has met with NFL officials about social justice issues, explained his reasons Monday to CNN.
Limited Kids Tramaine Brock Jersey
There has long been precedent for athletes skipping championship commemorations at the White House; Celtics legend Larry Bird once passed on a visit with President Ronald Reagan at the White House, saying, If the president wants to see me, he knows where to find me. Yet they’ve become more common, and source of controversy, during President Trump’s time in office.

The Patriots attended last year’s celebration, although a sizable number of players were missing. The NBA champion Golden State Warriors opted not to accept their invitation last year when the president uninvited Stephen Curry for his comments on the president. The NCAA basketball champion Tar Heels did not attend a commemoration because of a scheduling conflict.

Conspiracy theories involving the Patriots have jumped the shark. Each cycle is more absurd than the last, and it has mutated into something almost as painful as the Patriots’ long-term success is for many.

New England’s 24-20 victory over Jacksonville in the AFC title game amplified the theories, and by now you know the routine. Max Kellerman questioned the officials on ESPN’s First Take. Memes of smiling referees and detailed video compilations of how the Patriots cheat were generated in excess after Brady led a fourth-quarter comeback. The narrative was scripture long before CNN’s Jake Tapper branded the Patriots cheaters. That’s how broad the reach of the perception runs.

Matt Calvert Authentic Jersey When you put it all together, it’s a bunch of loose strands that stretch too far off the field. The Patriots won the game. Moreover, the Jaguars lost the game. Jacksonville choked, plain and simple.

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur has added two more members to his coaching staff.

A source tells Sporting News that Deshea Townsend is being hired as assistant defensive backs coach and Ben Wilkerson is being named assistant offensive line coach for the Giants.

Townsend, 42, served as the Titans’ defensive backs coach the past two seasons. He branched into coaching after a 13-year NFL career that included 12 seasons as a Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back.

The top candidates speculated to (for lack of a better term) replace McDaniels not only sound great, but they could well fit better than McDaniels would have. That doesn’t change the fact that the Colts chose McDaniels as their best option of many, sold themselves to him above all the others — presumably including his previous and now current Patriots employers — and had Luck on board on the next stage of his interrupted career.

Now, the Colts have to start over and work from behind. Just dating this back to the day Chuck Pagano was fired, they had gone through 38 days of searching for their next coach and mapping out the immediate and near future. (Realistically, you know they had things in motion before that.) Will their next hire’s vision match that of McDaniels? Look similar? Look vastly different, or subtly different?

The timetable for his return to football is unclear, but he seems to be making progress.

Now that the underdog Eagles are the top dogs in the NFL, there are lots of lessons other NFL executives and coacheslearn from their impressive championship run.

Let’s start with having a general manager willing to take chances. I’m not just talking calculated risks GMs take with every player drafted, free agent signed and trade made. I’m talking about the big swings and major risks Eagles GM Howie Roseman took as he built this team.

There was the hiring by Roseman (and owner Jeff Lurie) of a first-time head coach in Doug Pederson, a move that was panned by many Philadelphia fans and media. One national publication ranked it the worst of the seven head coach hires in 2016.bills_031

If this were “Jeopardy!,” the answer would be: “What is ‘So what?’?”

Imagine being at the game and tapping a stranger on the shoulder while the game’s being played, to tell him, “Texas is 5/10 and KU is 5/9 on field-goal attempts, this half.” The guy would summon an usher, one with a straitjacket.

Kosar thought he was helping his father out of a jam, but later learned that Dad had his own $1 million contract with the team. Between that, never-paid-back loans to family and friends, and bad investments spearheaded by same, Kosar lost about $15 million.

Koonce tells of “an onslaught of requests from his family shortly after his first payday,” including from “aunts, uncles and distant cousins he barely knew.” Due to the familial connections, he found himself unable to say no. A trucking company he began with his sister cost him more than $500,000.

“Guys open up restaurants, and that is one of the most volatile industries you can get into,” said linebacker Bart Scott in the book. “[Friends] ask you to do it, and then you ask for their business plan and they say ‘What is that?’ Exactly.”

That is Marshawn Lynch mowing down Titans’ All-Pro defensive lineman Jurrell Casey. There aren’t many running backs on the planet who can do that. Lynch averaged an impressive 4.2 yards per carry in the win (18 carries, 76 yards).

Despite it all, in 1988, given his third second chance, Wilson became an important part of a 12-4 regular-season team that included Boomer Esiason at quarterback and Ickey Woods, James Brooks and Wilson as formidable, multi-tasked running backs.

But the night before that Super Bowl, the word spread: There would be no Stanley Wilson. With the game in Miami, cocaine capital of North America, he had binged that day, apparently all day — the day before the Super Bowl, for crying out loud — and he was out of it, gone, done, through.

Last heard from, Wilson in 1999 was convicted of stealing $130,000 in property from a home in Beverley Hills to feed his addiction. He was sentenced to 22 years state prison in Lancaster, Calif.

24. Adrian Peterson, running back, Vikings (12): Peterson remains a source of fascination, but for many of the wrong reasons — namely, he is a child abuser who to this day doesn’t think he did anything wrong. On the field, Peterson will take an even bigger role in Minnesota’s playoff hopes now that Teddy Bridgewater has been lost for the season.
bills_004

Kelvin Benjamin was never an ideal fit as the No. 1 receiver in Carolina’s offense.

His two exceptional attributes are his catch radius and his ability to make contested plays. The latter has never been Cam Newton’s style. The Panthers quarterback is at his best when seeing a man open, not when he has to place a ball toward a receiver’s leverage when locked up with a defensive back. Benjamin’s separation ability was always lacking and it’s why the offense not only didn’t miss a beat, but also got exponentially better without him in 2015. To get picks in return for him was huge.

This is by far the biggest winner of the trade deadline. Wilson will be able to sleep far easier at night with Duane Brown at left tackle. Over their last 16 games, the left tackle position in Seattle has yielded 76 total pressures. Over Brown’s last 16 games, his given up exactly half as many. That’s over two pass plays a game where Wilson won’t have a defensive end barreling down on him.

That streak was finally snapped — after 154 snaps — with a two-yard run by Rod Smith. Dallas failed to convert its ensuing two-point attempt.

The Chargers were also in a pickle in the kicking game because Nick Novak injured his back in the first quarter when he missed a 35-yard attempt.

The Cowboys’ fortunes could hinge on the availability of running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is in a court battle over a six-game suspension. Elliott has 783 rushing yards — the second-most in the NFL this season — with a share of the league lead for rushing touchdowns (seven). The game charters at Pro Football Focus rate him as this year’s fourth-best back, illustrating how integral he is to the Cowboys’ chances. However, Dallas has already faced the tough part of its season in terms of rush defenses, so — should he ultimately be suspended — that could help offset the decline in talent from Elliott to backups Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden and Rod Smith.

It’s true that the Steelers have been handicapped in their past two losses to the Patriots, losing Le’Veon Bell early in last year’s AFC title game and Antonio Brown during this season’s meeting. The Steelers also outplayed New England until the zany sequence at the end of their regular season game. Still, the Steelers coming into New England is a movie we have seen before, and we know how it ends.cowboys_098

Strictly speaking, the NFL is actually the most American of the four major sports leagues in the United States.

From Da Coach, Mike Ditka, to Da President, Donald Trump, fired-up critics of kneeling and fist-raising during the national anthem have suggested that protesting NFL players are un-American.

“That’s a total disrespect of our heritage,” Trump told a crowd in Alabama last month.

“If you don’t respect our country, you shouldn’t be in this country playing football,” Ditka said in a radio interview Monday.

In Miami, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams are nobody’s idea of proven commodities and the Dolphins offense is still bad, so it’s hard to be revved up about these new co-starters. Drake has more lateral quickness and explosiveness, but Williams is my favorite: a more reliable, fast and powerful player who can catch it.

Back to Foles, who made good use of Ajayi (18/73) through the air and spread the ball to seven targets. Jeffery (5/85), Smith (5/69) and Agholor (3/59) — a largely invisible trio since Wentz went down — all sprung to life, while Foles showed much-needed, saucy chemistry with tight end Zach Ertz, who beat Minnesota’s coverage for 93 yards off eight grabs.

Brady joked that it was not all going to end because of a handoff in practice, of all things, but these are the kinds of misfortunes that cause hiccups for other teams and which the Patriots seem to find a way around.

For all the angst over Brady’s well-being — blood, stiches, gloves — he completed 26 of 38 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns. A few passes sailed, but even Brady couldn’t bring himself to say that the injury bothered him, worrying that it would sound arrogant to say he was impaired after he had such a good game.

It is an admirable mindset, and one that almost always serves the Steelers well. But this was a precious missed opportunity and they knew it. The Steelers will need all the breaks they can get going into the playoffs, with Brown’s status uncertain, and home field would be a very good one to secure. In the locker room, there was pin-drop silence. General manager Kevin Colbert stared straight ahead, stone faced. cowboys_063

Tom Brady agreed that the tight end who has been among the league leaders in offensive pass interference penalties is frustrated

Minnesota’s defense also is excellent against the run (No. 2-ranked) and must not get worn down in the pass rush, as Drew Brees did to them with his up-tempo offense in the second half of the divisional game. But Foles is definitely not Brees, so look for more blitzes to be called by Zimmer and defensive coordinator George Edwards. Vikings Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen has an advantageous matchup with Eagles left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaita, who may need some extra help. Also, corner Mackenzie Alexander will need to play better in coverage than he did against New Orleans.

“He’s 270 pounds, so when they put a 190-pound player on him, any time there’s any contact, just by inertia the other defender is going to move,” Brady said on his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Kirk and Callahan” show. “You basically limit it to a noncontact play and it’s just try to out-quick someone, which obviously those guys are a lot quicker.

The NFL determined after a lengthy investigation that Elliott was guilty of domestic violence in a series of incidents last year in Ohio involving his former girlfriend. Elliott was not charged with a crime by authorities in Columbus, Ohio. The personal conduct policy allows the league to take disciplinary action even when a player is not charged with a crime, however.

The punishment fits the crime. Gronkowski may be one of the players who transforms the offense and an enormously entertaining guy, but he caught White unaware with his late hit, slamming his helmet against the ground on a play that was already dead. Granted he was frustrated at how overmatched defenders play him, but that’s no excuse.

Gronkowski opened his postgame remarks with reporters by apologizing for the late hit on White, who had stepped in to intercept a Tom Brady pass late in the Patriots’ victory over the Bills in Buffalo. White was out of bounds, the play was dead and yet Gronk bodysurfed him, a move for which he was flagged for unnecessary roughness. Danny Amendola was flagged for the same thing, as was Buffalo’s Micah Hyde. The Bills’ Jerry Hughes was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct involving an official, so, somehow, the Bills were the ones losing yards on the play.

“First off, I definitely want to apologize to No. 27,” he said of White, who went off with a head injury and is in concussion protocol. “I’m not in the business of that. I was just really frustrated at that moment.”
cowboys_026

Mayfield is great at going through his progressions, and won’t tip his hand by staring down receivers.

Mayfield, a walk-on-turned-Heisman winner, has a 6-1 frame and thick lower body that allows him to fight through contact (and has prevented him from suffering major injuries). He’s a great athlete who can create plays when the pocket breaks down, throwing accurate balls on bootlegs and rollouts. Pre-snap, he demonstrates complete understanding and control of the offense; during the play, he shows outstanding decision-making ability.

He has a concise delivery, lightning release and great velocity on his ball. He has outstanding arm strength and can hit any throw on the route tree with ease: Mayfield is great on short, intermediate and deep routes, though he occasionally throws a touch behind receivers on crossing routes.

“I just tried to do the exact same thing by just throwing it over his head out of bounds, thinking he’s still in the area, the ball’s going at him. If he had turned and looked at me and the ball had gone 10 feet over his head, they would have said ‘Oh, just an inaccurate throw.’ But I guess because he didn’t turn and look at me, they’re allowing that to affect the judgment of the call. It just gets to be a little grey.”

Since becoming Washington’s starting quarterback in 2015, Cousins has completed 1,034 of 1,525 attempts (67.8 percent) for 12,121 yards, 73 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. His passer rating of 99.7 over that span ranks fifth among 22 quarterbacks with at least 1,000 pass attempts. Only two future Hall of Famers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees, and the 2016 MVP, Matt Ryan, have a higher total passer rating since 2015. The order changes slightly — Brady, Ryan, Brees, Cousins — if you use adjusted net yards per pass, an updated version of passer rating that has a slightly higher correlation to team wins.

The offensive line, held together with duct tape and glue, ranks 29th this season for pass-blocking ability, per Pro Football Focus, and has seen Cousins pressured on 36.6 percent of his drop-backs in 2017, the highest rate during his three-year run. Yet his passer rating under pressure this season is 81.6, a career high and the sixth-highest in 2017.cowboys_004