Monthly Archives: August 2017

New study finds there’s no cognitive risk from playing high school football

Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy (CTE) in football has become one of the biggest issues they face after finishing their careers. However, a recent study from JAMA Neurology suggests that former high school football players do not face an enhanced risk.

The findings from the study (which took on 3,904 men with an average age of 64.4 years) read as such:

Collins was a first-team All-Pro during the 2016 season and is feeling as good about the Giants’ chances as Pierre-Paul is.

The 1972 Miami Dolphins and 2007 New England Patriots are the only two teams that have ever finished the NFL regular season unbeaten. The Dolphins went on to win Super Bowl VII and end the year 17-0, but the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII to the Giants and finished 18-1.

During the 2016 season, the Giants allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL, but were near the bottom of the league in points scored. The team addressed its offensive struggles in the offseason by signing wide receiver Brandon Marshall and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker in free agency, and drafting tight end Evan Engram in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

I think the key is we added a lot of guys and people are like Wow, this year has to be a team that goes to a Super Bowl this year,’ Pierre-Paul said. But it’s all about the hard work.

Another double-digit win season would likely be enough to get the Giants in the postseason again, but apparently the team is thinking much bigger than that.

In this cohort study using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study among men graduating high school in Wisconsin in 1957, there was no statistically or clinically significant harmful association between playing football in high school and increased cognitive impairment or depression later in life, on average.

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Samuel L. Jackson REALLY didn’t want the Patriots to win Team of the Year at the ESPYs

It’s hard being a sports fan especially when you’re tasked with potentially handing an award to your least favorite team.

Foreman was able to post bond, which totaled $1,000 for the drug charge and $3,500 for the weapons charge. He was released around noon on Sunday.

Campus police responded to a report of the smell of marijuana coming from three separate vehicles parked on campus. Officers found marijuana in each of the vehicles, and a firearm in one. Foreman, the owner of the firearm, was taken into custody. The other occupants of each vehicle were charged with possession of marijuana and released.

Foreman was a third-round selection by the Houston Texans in the 2017 NFL draft. The team issued a statement via Twitter:

During his final season at Texas, Foreman rushed for 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns en route to being named last year’s Doak Walker award winner.

The only reason Williams is this far down on the list is his health a herniated disk could cost him his rookie season. But if Williams is able to get back on the field without missing much or any time, he’s got a good chance of putting up big numbers (after all, Joey Bosa missed the first four games for the Chargers and took home Defensive Player of the Year honors last season.) Philip Rivers might be nearing the end of his career, but he was still fifth in the league last year with 4,386 passing yards, and he turned little-known wideout Tyrell Williams into a 1,000-yard wideout. Mike Williams had 1,361 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior at Clemson.

The Broncos have had a hole at tight end since Julius Thomas departed for Jacksonville. Enter Butt, a fifth-round pick with second-round talent who is coming off a torn ACL. If he’s healthy this season, he’ll be a valuable safety net for a team with two young quarterbacks, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.

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Panthers unexpectedly fire GM Dave Gettleman

The Carolina Panthers announced Monday that general manager Dave Gettleman has been relieved of his duties. The move comes as a surprise despite the team’s 6-10 finish in 2016, primarily because of the timing.

After much thought and a long evaluation of our football operations, I have decided to relieve Dave Gettleman of his duties as general manager, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said in the team’s release. I want to thank Dave for the role he played in our success over the past four seasons. While the timing of this decision is not ideal, a change is needed.

Steve Smith has the last laugh

Smith, DeAngelo Williams, and Josh Norman all took pleasure in Gettleman’s firing.

Gettleman is the second general manager to be fired this summer, which is unusual. The Kansas City Chiefs also parted ways with former general manager John Dorsey in June.

Brandon Beane, the Panthers’ former assistant general manager, was hired by the Buffalo Bills to fill their GM vacancy in June. Beane would have been a natural choice to take Gettleman’s place, but Carolina will have to go in another direction now.

Darboh was an efficient and dependable wideout for the Michigan Wolverines, and he’ll join a Seattle depth chart that will offer him opportunities as a rookie. The Seahawks need a clear WR2 to step up behind Doug Baldwin, and while Darboh isn’t an explosive athlete, he’s steady enough to fill that role on a team in need of aerial targets.

Kupp is the most prolific receiver in NCAA history, but after dominating FCS opponents through four seasons at Eastern Washington, he has to prove he can get open against NFL defensive backs. He’ll have his work cut out the Rams ranked No. 31 in passing offense in 2016.

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This Pittsburgh Penguin got absolutely smoked by Terrell Owens during training drills

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang has been getting some offseason training in after recovering from a herniated disc that ended his season in April. Unfortunately for Letang, this recent bout of training has only served to embarrass the defenseman when former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens came to play.

And play he did, as Owens absolutely smoked Letang on a routine deke that left the Penguins defenseman in the dust and out of frame on the video in a heartbeat.

It only seems fair now that Owens has to lace up skates and go one-on-one with Letang on the ice as the NHL season approaches. Considering the silky hands and skates Letang possesses in his natural element, we could be looking at quite the payback.

The study used data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, with players matched between March 1 and July 1, 2017. Controlled variables included adolescent IQ, family background, and educational level. This included three types of studied subjects: all controls, those who played a noncollision sport, and those who did not play any sport.

So for those who attended high school 60 years ago, playing football didn’t expose itself as a major risk factor for later-life cognitive impairment or depression that comes with CTE. Despite the game being quite different today with bigger, faster, and stronger athletes, it still found that the risk today is similar as it was then.

The study also stated that, cognitive and depression outcomes later in life were found to be similar for high school football players and their nonplaying counterparts. That’s got to be even more comforting knowing that it’s as if they never played at all.

For players that have taken their careers to the next level, and the professional level, this isn’t necessarily encouraging. However, there has to be some relief for people who may have questioned what football may have done to their bodies just from playing high school ball.

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Khalil Mack is endorsing Mack Trucks because Draymond Green told him to

It’s become borderline clich to say 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack hits like his namesake 18-wheeler. That kind of branding opportunity wasn’t lost on the good folks at Mack Trucks.

That’s the issue Falcons diehard and very famous actor Samuel L. Jackson faced when presenting the ESPY for Team of the Year. One of the nominees was the New England Patriots, and Jackson was not about to let that happen:

Smith’s tenure in Carolina didn’t end well, when Gettleman cut him after the 2013 season. In 2014, Gettleman suggested that Smith wouldn’t be in the NFL much longer. Then later in that season, Smith said Gettleman didn’t have the cojones (testicles, for those unfamiliar) to tell him about his release in person.

But it wasn’t just Smith Gettleman also cut DeAngelo Williams in February of 2015. Recently, Williams had a list of four teams that he wouldn’t sign with that included the Panthers, and has now taken them off his list with the Gettleman firing.

Josh Norman also known to do a little trash talking himself tweeted out some more subtle recognition. Gettleman and the Panthers failed to get a deal done with Norman last season and rescinded his tag, which led to him joining Washington even after being one of the best cornerbacks in the game.

Endel grew up an hour east of Kansas City, and to no surprise, grew up a big fan of the Chiefs and Royals. He’s been in Nevada since 1989.

If you saw my office, it’s covered in Royals and Chiefs stuff, he said.

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Aaron Rodgers pokes fun at Tom Brady’s diet while giving his Hail Mary secrets

Aaron Rodgers has made a name for himself with the Hail Mary touchdown pass, which he executed three times in a span of 13 months. If you see Rodgers and the Packers setting up for a Hail Mary, there’s a good chance he’s going to complete it. In a recent interview with Talk of Fame Network, Rodgers was asked about the secret to completing a Hail Mary:

You’ve mastered the art of the Hail Mary. You’ve hit them against Lions, Giants, and Cardinals. So what’s the secret to completing a prayer?

Rodgers: Heh, you gotta be clean living. You gotta live a really clean life.

Tuesday, Jerry Jones told reporters, As you well know, because of his style and personality, it’s like a rock star wherever he goes in terms of attention, he said. Anybody that’s experienced that knows that takes getting used to. You have to learn many aspects of that. Certainly Zeke is evolving and being subject to needing to learn how to deal with the media and social media the way it is today.

Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s vice president of communications, told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport the league is looking into the matter.

Wednesday, Jason Garrett gave reporters a similar message saying, We’re still gathering information on what that whole situation was.

The NFL has been investigating domestic violence allegations made against Elliott in 2016. The league presented its findings to Elliott on July 14, and sources told ESPN that Elliott is in the process of preparing a response.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Elliott could face a one- to two-game suspension for violating its personal conduct policy based on the results of the domestic violence investigation. Elliott was not charged or arrested, but the personal conduct policy is broad and is not dependent on the same burden of proof as the legal system.

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Watching NFL rookies get upset about their Madden ratings is so much fun

It’s that magic time again: Madden rating season. We get to watch as NFL players become angry at their video game analogs, and 2017 will keep up the tradition of rookies overrating themselves, then reacting to the numbers.

This year’s twist is having the rooks grade their ratings with emojis. The results were, as always, spectacular. At this point, you’d think they’d know nobody is getting over the mid-80s this early in their career, but still they keep doing it.

The money will also be matched by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, bring the total to $50,000 which will surely help Jarrius and his family. The Saints fan become something of a star last year at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, where he made a basket against players who towered over him:

Since then, he’s been to multiple sporting events as a special guest but not any as big as the ESPYs, where he’ll be honored on sports’ biggest stage. And it wouldn’t be possible without the help of people and organizations like the Saints, who are helping someone with so much passion for sports get better after battling a serious illness for years.

If you want to help Jarrius pay for his medical bills, you can visit his Go Fund Me here.

Robert Woods, the Bills’ top receiver in 2016, maxed out at 613 yards good for No. 71 in the league. Woods has since departed for Los Angeles, and while Sammy Watkins will return, constant questions about his health cloud his future with the team. Enter Jones, who was second among FBS receivers with 1,746 yards last fall. Jones has a steep learning curve after going from East Carolina to the AFC East but should immediately slide into a starting role in Buffalo.

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Bruce Arians dedicates this season for ‘everyone who’s dealing with cancer’

The Arizona Cardinals are going to have Bruce Arians on the sideline for at least one more season.

Arians underwent surgery in February to remove a cancerous spot on one of his kidneys, as revealed in his new book, The Quarterback Whisperer. My energy has returned, he said in his new book via I’m told I’m cancer-free again. I’m ready for at least one more season of NFL football — maybe more.

Arians has been hospitalized three times in the past eight months. In August, he dealt with symptoms associated with Diverticulitis, which affects the digestive tract. Three months later, he received tests for chest pains after their Week 12 game against the Vikings.

The other problem is head coach Mike McCarthy. He’s only slightly better than John Fox at clock management, while also being predictable, conservative, and, to hear Greg Jennings tell it, lacks a killer instinct.

McCarthy’s got a 5-6 record in the playoffs since the Packers won Super Bowl XLV in 2011. Although Jennings was long gone by that point, no game better embodies his complaint than the 2015 NFC Championship game when the Packers had a 16-0 lead over the Seahawks in Seattle, before ultimately losing 28-22.

His decision to keep defensive coordinator Dom Capers around for 2017 won’t help solve the issue either.

But McCarthy’s Packers have been to the playoffs every year since 2009. They’ve won the NFC North* five out of the last six seasons. So why are you being so hard on poor Mike McCarthy, you ask?

*Please note that the NFC North also includes the Bears, Lions, and Vikings.

Consistency is nice. Never being able to transcend a certain level of comfort, however, is unacceptable in the NFL, even more so when Aaron Rodgers is your quarterback. Sometimes winning enough to get your team into the playoffs without ever being a real threat to win the Super Bowl isn’t acceptable anymore, or at least it shouldn’t it be.

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John Elway signs five-year extension with Broncos

John Elway is staying in Denver. Word broke today that Elway and the Denver Broncos have agreed on a contract that would keep Elway as Vice President of Football Operations/GM through 2021.

Broncos President and CEO, Joe Ellis, announced the new five-year extension on Monday.

With the Minnesota Vikings less than two weeks away from making their way to Mankato for Training Camp, we’re hopefully going to be hearing more stories about offseason preparations and things of that nature. From some evidence that we’ve been given today, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater might be more prepared than some of us were expecting.

Bridgewater today posted pictures on his Instagram of some of his workouts, and in the pictures that he posted, you can clearly see that he is no longer wearing a brace on the knee that he injured a little less than a year ago.

Now, this obviously doesn’t mean that he’s ready to get back on the field yet in a live-fire situation. But given the nature of his injury and what we’ve all heard he would have to go through to be able to get back, it appears to be another encouraging development.

Bill Belichick’s push to add young veterans in exchange for draft considerations left his team without a pick until the third round, but the Patriots still may have come away with a top-tier talent in defensive end/linebacker Rivers. He had 15 sacks in 16 games last season for Youngstown State, which despite its FCS status played a lineup of solid teams. He’ll have the chance to contribute right away thanks to his ability to rush the passer one of New England’s few weaknesses in 2016 but he’ll face a steep learning curve in the jump going from facing Duquesne to the Steelers.

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Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman saved a man from choking on brisket

Chicago Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman probably didn’t expect to save someone from choking on brisket at an Austin airport while on his way to training camp.

On Sunday, July 23, Freeman’s flight to Chicago was delayed, so he took the time to eat a brisket sandwich he ordered from the airport’s Salt Lick Taco Bar. A few moments later, he saw Marcus Ryan choking on some brisket at a nearby table.

Ryan was eating brisket and quickly rose to his feet, in a story recounted to the Chicago Tribune. He had a concerned look on his face. Ryan was choking.

Freeman decided to thrust himself into the situation and apply the Heimlich himself. He performed the maneuver two times.

On Tuesday, Davis pushed back against the notion that he or Olsen’s contract talks were the reason for the firing. Offensive tackle Michael Oher also came to Gettleman’s defense and said he built a strong personal relationship with the executive.

Hurney has spent the last few years as a radio host on ESPN 730 in Charlotte. Now he’ll step back into his old role for a while and try to make sure the team is ready for a rebound after disappointing in 2016.

That led him to Arizona, where a spot in the desert helped revive his career. He ran for more than 800 yards in 15 despite playing in only 11 games to help the Cardinals advance all the way to the NFC Championship Game. He was poised to capitalize on that performance in 2016, but a groin injury ended his season after only four games.

David Johnson, who had 1,239 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns last year, will still be the team’s top back. But Chris Johnson will have an opportunity to make an impact in rotation.

He’ll work on a bounce-back season with the Cardinals, though he’ll have to prove Father Time wrong. Johnson will be 32 next season, making him one of the league’s oldest backs.

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