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NFL News, Videos, Scores, Teams And More

Seating pinch to limit NFL scouting presence at ND-Texas

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While the Alabama-USC game played a role in the crowded seating arrangement, it’s not the first time it’s happened. Bianco said the measure has been necessary for some Texas-Oklahoma games at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas in the past, as well.

Bianco said the stadium press box at UT has seating for 112 people.

For general managers who attend, Texas LB Malik Jefferson will be one of the top attractions. He was the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2015. As a sophomore this fall, he won’t be eligible to be drafted until 2018 or 2019. Among Notre Dame’s top draft prospects are OT Mike McGlinchey, a fourth-year junior, and RB Tarean Folston, who will make his return from a season-ending knee injury suffered last September.

Buffalo Bills

1-10 percent: LeSean McCoy made it to the Pro Bowl despite running for just 895 yards last season, which made it his fourth, but he will need to produce at least two more dominant seasons like the one he rolled off in 2013 before seriously forming a Hall of Fame case. … Space-eating nose tackles like Kyle Williams don’t do well in Hall voting, unfortunately.

Marcell Dareus is an impactful enough interior disruptor to accrue the sort of sack totals HOF voters will look for, especially among players of this generation, but with one All-Pro nod in five years, he will need a sustained run to push his way into serious consideration. 15 percent

Marcus Mariota’s most impressive attribute through one NFL season has been the nonchalant recognition by teammates and coaches that the Tennessee Titans already boast a bona fide franchise quarterback and special talent as the face of the organization.

Appearing on Friday’s edition of Inside Training Camp Live with Charley Casserly and Rhett Lewis, new Titans running back DeMarco Murray was asked about his first impression of Mariota.

“I just think it’s his release,” Murray said. “His release is by far the fastest I’ve ever seen.”

It’s high praise considering Murray played with Tony Romo, owner of a trigger timed at 0.26 seconds versus Dan Marino’s gold standard of 0.30 seconds. Mariota’s release already rivals those of Romo, Aaron Rodgers and perhaps even Patriots stand-in Jimmy Garoppolo on the lightning-flash scale.

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Fredi Gonzalez should have been fired by the Braves these three other times

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If Gonzalez were given another chance, the 2014 season should have sealed his fate. Coming off the 96 wins and his playoff debacle, his Braves led the NL East for most of April and May. They were tied for first as late as July 20. After a win on July 28, they were 10 games over .500 and holding the top NL wild card spot.

They then lost eight straight.

Things temporarily got back on track, as they won seven of eight soon thereafter and inched to within 1.5 games of a wild card spot, but they would go an awful 11-22 the rest of the way. Going back to July 28, the Braves went 21-35 after that point in the season. Only Arizona was worse among all 30 MLB teams.

That is unacceptable under the circumstances.

The Braves were eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, Sept. 21. Firing Gonzalez the following morning would have been fine timing.

The Braves went through a rebuilding season in 2015 and finished 67-95. If Gonzalez wasn’t in the plans to be the manager of the future and Braves don’t mind firing him on Tuesday, why didn’t they just do it the day after last season and start the process anew in 2016 with a new manager? They haven’t yet promoted many of the youngsters, but there are a few (Mallex Smith and several pitchers).

The timing is just a bit of a head-scratcher. The Braves had to know they were going to be terrible this season. If they didn’t like Gonzalez, why did they start the season with him? It’s weird, that’s all.

Still, plenty of Braves fans are likely happy right now. Gonzalez should have already been gone and I count at least three specific dates going back to the Kimbrel incident in L.A.

The Braves on Tuesday parted ways with manager Fredi Gonzalez, who’d been on the job since 2011. The Braves, who are in the midst of a deep rebuild, were expected to be a bad team in 2016, but a 9-28 start has “surpassed” even the most bearish of forecasts. As the team gets set to reboot in a new suburban ballpark starting in 2017, they’re likely ready to enter the next phase of the cycle and, ideally, move toward contention, possibly as soon as 2018. The question for the front office is thus: Who best to lead them in the dugout?

Let’s take a look at some potential candidates to fill the job in Atlanta on a permanent basis …

Brian Snitker

Snitker, 60, was named interim manager on Tuesday and reportedly will manage the team for the remainder of the 2016 season. He’s been the manager of Triple-A Gwinnett since the start of the 2014 season. Prior to that, Snitker spent seven seasons as the Braves’ third base coach. Snitker knows the system, obviously — including many players presently on the roster — and as a minor-league manager in that very same system, he’s accustomed to handling young and untested talents. On that point, the Braves have a lot of young and untested talents on the way. The next permanent manager’s most important job will be helping all these high-ceiling prospects that the Braves have compiled transition to the highest level. Snitker for the rest of 2016 has a chance to prove he can do that. Maybe he’s not the favorite, but let’s recall that Pete Mackanin recently rose from interim to permanent choice in Philadelphia under similar circumstances.

Bud Black
Given where we are in the season, there are certain to be more pitchers set to regress than those who look primed to maintain an extremely low or high BABIP. Yet there are a few who have the defensive backing (or lack thereof) to defy the gravitational pull of a .300ish BABIP. We will get to those select few pitchers, but not before we first direct our attention to pitchers whose BABIP rates are out of whack with the level of help they are getting from their defenses.
Due for Better Times

The Giants, Mets and Twins are below-average defensively, but each staff has a composite BABIP above .320 that is worse than what their UZR/150s would suggest. Johnny Cueto is having a fine season, but his .342 BABIP and 1.16 WHIP are suspiciously high for someone who has excelled at avoiding hits on balls in play over the years. Neither Matt Harvey nor Steven Matz are known for pitching to contact, but both have been penalized by BABIP rates above .330. While Matz’s mark looks fluky, Harvey’s .384 BABIP has been inflated by a 34 percent line drive rate, so owners should be cautious about expecting a full rebound. On the other hand, as long as Matz can put his elbow issues behind him, he could be set to improve on an already strong season.

Ervin Santana has done a good job of getting strikeouts and inducing soft contact, but a .341 BABIP has left him with a 1.50 WHIP. That mark should shrink with time, though whether he can get more run support is another question.

Only the Rangers have a higher outfield UZR/150 than the Astros, yet batters have been hitting .222 against Collin McHugh on flyballs in play. In each of the previous two seasons, McHugh has posted rates below .090, which put him more in line with the major league norm. Especially since McHugh has been pitching to contact more often this season, he has been particularly hurt by his high BABIP, but it also makes him an excellent buy-low candidate.
Rough Roads Ahead

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Texans extend GM Rick Smith through 2020

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It’s interesting that Foster would start on the sidelines after the running back insisted last week he was healthy. This seems like a more of a precautionary move for Miami. After all, Foster is a soon-to-be 30-year-old back coming off an Achilles injury, with a history of soft-tissue injuries.

It’s hard for a former No. 3 overall pick to be a forgotten man, but that’s what Dion Jordan has become in Miami. On Friday, he took a step back toward the field.

Jordan was conditionally reinstated by the NFL after being suspended for all of 2015, the league announced Friday. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport first reported the development. Jordan will undergo counseling and will be re-evaluated before the start of the season. He will be eligible to play in Week 1 if he meets the conditions set by the NFL.

Jordan had been suspended indefinitely since April 2015 without pay following multiple violations of the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

Eifert says he’ll never play in Pro Bowl again if asked

Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) July 29, 2016
While the sentiment is understandable, Eifert, along with many of the NFL players in attendance, did a lot of good in Hawaii and will continue to do a lot of good during Pro Bowl week. As we noted in a piece from the Pro Bowl draft held at the Wheeler Army Airfield in Wahiawa, Hawaii, Eifert went around asking troops for their autographs in a lighthearted display of respect. Unfortunately, an awkward landing in the game soured the experience on the game as a whole.

Clearly, the Pro Bowl needs to be re-evaluated. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was open about his dissatisfaction with the current state of play and Giants quarterback Eli Manning was honest about the temptation for players to try and protect themselves in a game that doesn’t count. So hopefully this can be an agent of change, so that players like Eifert can continue to bring unique experiences to fans during a week of festivities without the worry of missing time.

While they wait, the Bengals are hoping to break in 2015 third-round pick Tyler Kroft, who caught 11 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown during his rookie season.

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Iowa State DB Nigel Tribune arrested for OWI

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In a statement, first-year Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said Tribune has been suspended indefinitely.

“We are aware of the charges filed against Nigel and we are in the process of gathering more information,” Campbell’s statement said. “Nigel has been suspended indefinitely from the football team under the student-athlete code of conduct policy.”

Tribune has seen significant action in each of his three seasons with the program. He was the only true freshman to play for the Cyclones in 2013, when he played in 10 games, starting seven, and totaled 30 tackles and an interception. In 2014, he started all 11 games at cornerback and had 64 tackles, three interceptions. He also had 13 pass breakups on the season – sixth-best in the country.

Tribune played in 11 games (eight starts) in 2015 and had 37 tackles, seven pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

The Cyclones open up the 2016 campaign at home against Northern Iowa on Sept. 3.

Colin Kaepernick is healthy just in time for his training-camp battle with Blaine Gabbert.

For the first time since undergoing three surgeries, reported Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, Kaepernick received medical clearance from his Colorado doctor for full participation in practices.

Meanwhile, Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden will open camp on the PUP because of an ankle issue. Haden was limited to just five starts last season due to multiple injuries and concussion problems.

Gordon was at the complex Tuesday and met with coach Hue Jackson, executive VP of football operations Sashi Brown and other members of the franchise.

Franchise player Eric Berry won’t be the only Kansas City Chiefs defensive star missing from the start of training camp.

Coach Andy Reid told reporters Tuesday that he doesn’t expect outside linebacker Justin Houston to participate in camp.

Ware and West signing identical three-year, $4.2 million deals (worth a maximum of $8.2 million with salary escalators) suggests that the Chiefs have a succession plan in place at running back. Charles is scheduled to make $6 million this year in his comeback with two reconstructed knees where he turns 30 years old late in the season. The $6 million includes a $2 million bonus for reporting to training camp. Charles could be asked to take a pay cut where this $2 million bonus is converted into not-likely-to-be-earned incentives, which could be earned back by performance, to lower his $5,312,500 cap number.

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David Amerson’s success secret? No more video games

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David Amerson finished last season as one of the NFL’s most-improved cornerbacks. Deep-sixing the Xbox helped.

After signing a four-year, $38 million extension last week, the Raiders cover man explained how he went from getting cut by Washington last September to becoming a plug-and-play starter for Oakland.

“It wasn’t really rocket science, to be honest with you. Once I got here, I matured,” Amerson said Tuesday, per Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. “Instead of going home and playing video games all night and stuff like that, it was a much different approach. I was going home and I was in my playbook or watching the film or looking at my notes on whatever team we were playing that week. It was really just the little stuff. That’s what football is.”

Amerson acknowledged that he “matured” after the Raiders signed him, saying: “I came in the league and I was 21 years old. Not saying I’m much older now, but three years, I’m 24 now, I’ve learned a lot in three years. When I got here, I was in the right mindset. I was in the right mindset and the right maturity level and professionalism. I was taking that transition of becoming a professional. I think it worked out for the best.”

It certainly did for the Raiders, who used the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Amerson as a starter from Week 4 on and plan to do so again across from free-agent pickup Sean Smith. The Redskins, though, wish Amerson’s awakening came sooner after seeing so little from the player they used a second-round pick on in 2013.

That’s the risk in dumping developing talent, though. You never know when the light will go on — a maddening guessing game for general managers, with this round going to Oakland’s Reggie McKenzie.

The Star features two outdoor practice fields, a 12,000-seat indoor stadium that the city’s high school teams will use, a franchise hall of fame, and an entertainment area with shops, restaurants and a hotel.

A new day.. A new way..The Cowboys Way! Welcome to the Star! The new home of the @dallascowboys pic.twitter.com/sTf6ORjGBE
— Charlotte J Anderson (@CJonesAnderson) July 21, 2016

“I think The Star and our new facility out at The Star will be special,” Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It will be great for the players to have a facility like that to go in and out of the Ford Center and have times when you need to get out of the weather and get their jobs accomplished. Then, I think you’ll see it’s state of the art in every way in terms of the training room and the training table and nutrition. All the things we’re going to offer for our players to hopefully help them be champions.”

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