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Cut Candidates: NFC East (Rotoworld)
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Monday, 02 March 2015
Nick Mensio highlights 20 players from the NFC East who may be salary-cap casualties this offseason.
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Greg Cosell's Super Bowl preview: How New England will defend Seattle (Shutdown Corner)
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Monday, 02 March 2015
The No. 1 thing you have to defend against the Seattle Seahawks is the read option. There’s a very strong tendency within that play that we have seen in our film study, and I guarantee you New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick knows it as well. On 42 percent of Seattle's plays they use a 3-by-1 set (three eligible receivers to one side, and one to the other) counting tight ends. If Marshawn Lynch is offset to the side of the tight end, the single-receiver side, he will cut back and not follow the zone blocking 80 percent of the time. He will cut it inside before he crosses the center. That's a strong tendency to do it on four of five carries, and we'll look at how New England will have to defend it – something you can watch for in the Super Bowl. [ Watch Super Bowl XLIX live here and on NBC Sports - Sunday at 6 p.m. ET ] First, let’s take a quick look at an example of this tendency. Early in the third quarter back in Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys, the defensive end tried to play Lynch and the option. He couldn’t make a tackle on Lynch. The stacked linebacker, Rolando McClain, ran around a block, and Lynch was running clean into the secondary for a 32-yard gain. Notice how Lynch cuts back well before he crosses the center.
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2015 NFL free agent rankings (offensive players) (Shutdown Corner)
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Monday, 02 March 2015
NFL free agency starts on March 10, with teams hoping to find the next star who can push them to the next level. Here are Shutdown Corner's free agency rankings for offensive players, with every relevant unrestricted free agent set to hit the market: QUARTERBACKS 1. Brian Hoyer: Like most years, there are no great free-agent options at quarterback. Hoyer has looked good in a few spurts. He also got benched for Johnny Manziel last season when the Browns were still in the playoff race. With Cleveland signing Josh McCown, it appears Hoyer will hit the open market. 2. Mark Sanchez: On the bright side, he had eight starts with the Philadelphia Eagles last season and posted an 88.4 rating, and he has good experience with 70 NFL starts. But he has also shown he is  mistake-prone, and that’s unlikely to change. 3. Jake Locker: Injuries and inaccuracy ruined his Tennessee Titans career. But he was the No. 8 pick of the 2011 draft, and someone will talk themselves into him having a successful second act if he stays healthy (enormous “if”) as he enters his age 27 season. 4. Ryan Mallett: Tom Brady’s backups get overrated; being a great player’s backup doesn’t make one great by osmosis. Mallett is a big-armed, unproven commodity with 79 career passes and an unimpressive 61 rating in four seasons. 5. Matt Moore: He had a good season starting for Miami in 2011. He has thrown 29 passes in three seasons since. His past success hasn’t been totally forgotten. 6. Tarvaris Jackson: He hasn’t played meaningful snaps since 2011, but has settled in nicely to his new career as a solid, dependable backup. 7. Michael Vick: Vick brings a big name and that’s about it at age 35. It has been a while since he was a legitimate option as a starter, but you could do worse as a backup option. 8. Colt McCoy: If you want to be optimistic, you chalk up his Cleveland struggles to it being the curse of the Browns, and focus on a decent four-start stint with the Washington Redskins last season. 9. Shaun Hill: At age 36, Hill is better suited as a backup, a role he was forced into with the St. Louis Rams last season. But he can still be an effective backup. 10. Christian Ponder: One would think that disastrous start at Green Bay eliminated all hope the former first-round pick could rebound in his second NFL stop. But he’ll get a shot somewhere. Others worth noting: Jason Campbell, Jimmy Clausen, Matt Flynn, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Lindley, Tyrod Taylor, Scott Tolzien and T.J. Yates RUNNING BACKS 1. DeMarco Murray: No other free agent got MVP votes after last season (Murray got two of 50) or won a major award like Murray’s NFL offensive player of the year award (unless you count Justin Houston’s Deacon Jones award for leading the NFL in sacks). So Murray should be a hot commodity, right? Maybe not. The market for running backs is depressed with teams looking for cheaper options in the draft. Murray’s free agency will be interesting to watch. 2. Ryan Mathews: A fantastic back with two 1,000-yard seasons in San Diego, Mathews also is a constant injury concern. His ceiling is high -- if he can stay healthy. 3. Justin Forsett: Behind offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking attack with the Baltimore Ravens, Forsett had 1,266 yards and a great 5.4-yard average. He never had more than 619 yards in any of his first six NFL seasons. He’ll turn 30 in October, so will teams be willing to gamble on a repeat? 4. C.J. Spiller: The Bills didn’t get anything near what they paid for with Spiller, after they made him the ninth overall pick. He rarely got regular touches, and also dealt with plenty of injuries. He is still an intriguing talent who might benefit from a change in scenery. 5. Mark Ingram: After he looked like a first-round bust, Ingram emerged in his fourth season as a tough, productive runner. He has durability concerns but he should be a solid option for a running back-needy team, and it might be hard for the Saints to bring him back given their salary cap problems. 6. Frank Gore: One of the great San Francisco 49ers, Gore has 11,073 career yards on 2,442 carries. He is the epitome of toughness at the position, and last year had a good 4.3-yard average at age 31. Will the 49ers re-sign him? It seems like he still has something left. 7. Shane Vereen: Vereen is probably more valuable to the Patriots, who know how to use his talents as a receiver out of the backfield, than anyone else. 8. Stevan Ridley: Ridley tore his ACL in October, which complicates matters. He’s a powerful back who also has a fumbling problem and is a non-factor in the passing game. But he’s good between the tackles. 9. Reggie Bush: Even though he’ll be 30 before next season, Bush still has a lot of value. He’s great out of the backfield as a receiver and can still break a big run. 10. Roy Helu: He never established himself as a top option in Washington’ running game, but was great catching balls out of the backfield and doesn’t have many miles on his legs. 11. Ahmad Bradshaw: Bradshaw can still be an effective back when he’s healthy. That’s the problem: He’s rarely healthy. He hasn’t played 16 games since 2010 and he will be 29 next season. 12. Knowshon Moreno: The Broncos moved on from Moreno after a 1,000-yard season in 2013, and the Dolphins got just three games and 31 carries out of him because of injuries. He’s a solid all-around back and some team should get him at a discount. 13. Ben Tate: Tate was the top back in last year’s free-agent class, but that seems like decades ago. He was on three different teams last year, and if he signs somewhere this year he’ll have to prove he’s worth a regular role.
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Here's why QB Marcus Mariota faces uphill battle against a draft slide (Yahoo Sports)
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Sunday, 01 March 2015
While Jameis Winston has an avalanche of off-field issues, his game translates better in the NFL than Mariota's.
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Only Brady, Wilfork remain from Patriots' last title team (The Associated Press)
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Vince Wilfork still remembers the joy of being showered with confetti on the field where the New England Patriots won their last NFL title. ''Everybody looks at you as a world champion.'' Tom Brady was there, too, savoring his third Super Bowl win in four years. ''I was so young that I didn't understand what this was all about and how challenging this is,'' he said, ''because everything happened so fast at such an early part of my career.'' Now, in the latter part, they're the only players from that team that beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Jacksonville, Florida, who are on the squad that will play the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday night. As elder statesmen on a team with 17 players who weren't on the club last season, Wilfork and Brady advise youngsters who have helped keep the Patriots near the top of the league despite considerable turnover - 10 AFC East titles in 11 seasons starting when Wilfork was a rookie.
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Eagles hire Stephen Thomas as defensive assistant (The Associated Press)
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Eagles have hired Princeton's inside linebackers coach Stephen Thomas to be their defensive quality control coach.
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Only Brady, Wilfork remain from Patriots' last title team (The Associated Press)
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Vince Wilfork still remembers the joy of being showered with confetti on the field where the New England Patriots won their last NFL title. ''Everybody looks at you as a world champion.'' Tom Brady was there, too, savoring his third Super Bowl win in four years. ''I was so young that I didn't understand what this was all about and how challenging this is,'' he said, ''because everything happened so fast at such an early part of my career.'' Now, in the latter part, they're the only players from that team that beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Jacksonville, Florida, who are on the squad that will play the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday night. As elder statesmen on a team with 17 players who weren't on the club last season, Wilfork and Brady advise youngsters who have helped keep the Patriots near the top of the league despite considerable turnover - 10 AFC East titles in 11 seasons starting when Wilfork was a rookie.
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Eagles player Nate Allen detained, questioned in Florida (The Associated Press)
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nate Allen says he's cooperating with police in Fort Myers, Florida, after being detained for nearly five hours over the holiday weekend.
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Tom Gamble rejoins 49ers as senior personnel executive (The Associated Press)
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Tom Gamble is returning to the San Francisco 49ers as a senior personnel executive. The 49ers announced Gamble's hiring Thursday. Gamble spent the past two seasons as the vice president of player personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles. The team revamped its front office after the season, and the Eagles said they agreed to part ways.
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Eagles hire Stephen Thomas as defensive assistant (The Associated Press)
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Eagles have hired Princeton's inside linebackers coach Stephen Thomas to be their defensive quality control coach.
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Another false fire alarm wakes up Patriots at Super Bowl hotel (Shutdown Corner)
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
While New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been popping garlic like PEZ to get over his cold , the best remedy is a good night's sleep, and someone has been trying to prevent that the past few nights. For the second time in three nights, the hotel where the Patriots are staying for the Super Bowl in Phoenix experienced a false fire alarm, according to a Twitter post from the NFL Network's Kimberly Jones. [ Watch the Super Bowl live on Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports - Sunday at 6 p.m. ET ] However, Brady said Wednesday night's alarm didn't disrupt his dreams, since the false alarm apparently occurred in a different portion of the hotel than where the players are staying. Our own Eric Edholm is live on the scene to give us the latest on the QB's all-important cold remedies and sleeping patterns. Brady sounds nasally but said 4:40 am fire alarm didn't wake him up. He slept well last night. — Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) January 29, 2015 False fire alarms are nothing new in NFL circles, and the finger often gets pointed in the direction of opposing fans. T he Philadelphia Eagles were awakened by an alarm prior to playing San Francisco this past September, blaming 49ers fans for interrupting their REM, and the Miami Dolphins had a similar experience in Buffalo last season, when the Bills faithful were the prime suspects.  New Englanders have been on the other end of that blame game, as the New York Jets were awakened by a false fire alarm in 2009. For the record, the Eagles, Dolphins and Jets all lost their games after receiving an early wake-up call. The Pats have a few more nights before the Super Bowl, and the hotel might be wise to staff a few people to monitor the fire alarms going forward — as long as they're not from Seattle (alarm-gate!). Meanwhile, you'll have to excuse  Bill Belichick if he's not his usual peppy self at Thursday's press conference.
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U.S. activists keep domestic violence in Super Bowl spotlight (Reuters)
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
By Daniel Wallis PHOENIX (Reuters) - As fans gather for Sunday's Super Bowl in Arizona, billboard trucks are expected to travel around Phoenix with messages reminding revelers of what critics see as an inadequate NFL response to domestic violence involving star NFL players. Dispatched by an anti-sexism group to the airport, hotels and other venues, the trucks will bear slogans including "55 Cases of Domestic Violence Unanswered" and call for commissioner Roger Goodell to resign. "Plain and simple: The NFL doesn't have the leadership to fix their violence against women problem, and Goodell needs to go for that to change," said Nita Chaudhary, cofounder of the group UltraViolet, which claims Goodell has ignored 55 incidents of domestic violence involving NFL players.
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Raiders to incorporate no-huddle into offense (The Associated Press)
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Friday, 27 February 2015
Oakland coach Jack Del Rio confirmed that the Raiders plan to incorporate the no-huddle offense into their system next season. He also spoke about his relationship with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, whom he fired when both men were coaching in Jacksonville. Del Rio's comments on Oakland using the no-huddle come on the heels of reports quoting quarterback Derek Carr saying the Raiders would have it as a significant part of their offense.
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Surprise players often star in Super Bowls (The Associated Press)
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Friday, 27 February 2015
Almost all football fans know Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch and Rob Gronkowski. The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks wouldn't be playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday if it weren't for their superstars. Jermaine Kearse caught a touchdown pass in overtime in Seattle's win over Green Bay in the NFC championship game.
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