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Dose: Super Bowl Matchup Set (Rotoworld)
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Tuesday, 09 February 2016
Jeff Brubach looks at news and notes from around the NFL in Monday's Daily Dose.
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Michael Bennett does it all at Pro Bowl practice (The Associated Press)
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Monday, 08 February 2016
Michael Bennett did his best imitation of Deion Sanders on Friday. Bennett, a Seattle Seahawks defense end and member of Team Rice for Sunday's Pro Bowl, did a little bit of everything at Friday's 45-minute practice session on Oahu's north shore. Bennett later lined up next to Philadelphia's Darren Sproles as dual punt returners during special teams drills and was the recipient of a reverse from the latter on one return.
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LeSean McCoy investigated over fight with off-duty cops (The Associated Press)
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Monday, 08 February 2016
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy is under investigation over a Philadelphia nightclub brawl early Sunday that left two off-duty police officers injured, one with a broken nose and broken ribs and the other with a possible skull fracture. The incident occurred early Sunday morning after an argument broke out between McCoy's party and the officers over a bottle of champagne. One officer had a broken nose, broken ribs and a sprained thumb and remained hospitalized, police said, while the second received stitches and had a possible skull fracture.
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Eagles release wide receiver Riley Cooper after 6 seasons (The Associated Press)
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Monday, 08 February 2016
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Eagles say they have released wide receiver Riley Cooper after six seasons.
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AP source: Vikings hire Pat Shurmur as assistant coach (The Associated Press)
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Monday, 08 February 2016
The Minnesota Vikings had one of the least productive offenses in the league this season, and coach Mike Zimmer clearly wasn't comfortable with the status quo. According to a person with direct knowledge of the hire who confirmed the agreement to The Associated Press, former Philadelphia offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has joined Zimmer's staff as an assistant. The person spoke to the AP early Sunday on condition of anonymity because the Vikings have not yet announced Shurmur's addition.
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Super Bowl rosters filled with castoffs from other teams (The Associated Press)
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Monday, 08 February 2016
Evan Mathis got released by the Eagles because Chip Kelly didn't want to give the two-time Pro Bowl guard a raise. Kurt Coleman got dumped by Kelly a year earlier. Mathis is blocking for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
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Carolina Panthers' star quarterback Newton downplays race debate (AFP)
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Sunday, 07 February 2016
San José (United States) (AFP) - Carolina Panthers star Cam Newton on Tuesday downplayed the significance of being only the sixth black quarterback in history to start a Super Bowl, insisting he wanted to be judged on his achievements as an athlete and role model. The 26-year-old favorite for this season's National Football League MVP title ignited a firestorm of debate last week by a comment which implied his critics were unnerved by his race as much as his skillset. "I'm an African-American quarterback that scares people because they haven't seen nothing that they can compare me to," said Newton, whose exuberant touchdown celebration displays have divided opinion this season.
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Eagles agree to 5-year deal with defensive end Vinny Curry (The Associated Press)
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Sunday, 07 February 2016
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Defensive end Vinny Curry and the Philadelphia Eagles have agreed on a five-year contract.
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Dose: Ertz Earns Extension (Rotoworld)
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Sunday, 07 February 2016
Graham Barfield checks in on Zach Ertz, Calvin Johnson, Amari Cooper and more in Thursday's Dose.
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Rams RB Gurley wins top offensive rookie award (The Associated Press)
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Saturday, 06 February 2016
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley, who came off knee surgery in college to rush for 1,106 yards, has won The Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
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Snowstorm wreaks havoc on sports schedule and team travel (The Associated Press)
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Saturday, 06 February 2016
A blizzard moving into the Eastern United States disrupted the sports schedule Friday, complicating team travel and blanketing the field where Sunday's NFC championship game will be played with a wintry mix. In Charlotte, North Carolina, crews scrambled to keep up with the storm, clearing snow and sleet from the tarp covering the Bank of America Stadium field. The Carolina Panthers host the Arizona Cardinals there in the NFC championship game on Sunday night.
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Eagles announce DL coach Chris Wilson, to the surprise of Mizzou (Shutdown Corner)
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Saturday, 06 February 2016
MOBILE, Ala. — Tis the spirit of recruiting season, and the art of the flip. Except this was pulled off by an NFL head coach and not with a player, but an assistant coach. Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson held a media session at the Senior Bowl on Wednesday and had some breaking news: the team had signed DL coach Chris Wilson to fill out his staff. Normally, this news might only interest Eagles fans as a footnote type of move. But considering that Wilson had been on his job a little more than a month at University of Missouri, it certainly raised some eyebrows in Columbia, Mo. Especially after the school had posted an extensive feature Wilson on its website only a few hours prior to Pederson’s announcement with the headline “A Championship Vision.” Whoops. (Note: Minutes after we posted the above link, Mizzou took the Wilson story down and made the video above "private.") Asked about flipping Wilson to go to the NFL, Pederson said: “Just sitting down and talking to him. He wanted the position — he made it known he wanted the position. I came away feeling really good and comfortable and look forward to working with him for many years.” Here’s guessing the feeling is not as good and comfortable at Mizzou. Wilson was hired on Dec. 21 to replace former DL coach Craig Kuligowski, who was considered an institution at Mizzou and who had coached up a series of talented linemen, helping earn the school the “D-line-ZOU” nickname for the NFL talent it had produced. Recent Missouri draft picks at the position include Michael Sam, Kony Ealy, Markus Golden, Shane Ray, Sheldon Richardson and others. New Mizzou head coach Barry Odom surprised many when he didn’t bring back Kuligowski, who was considered an elite recruiter. He quickly jumped ship and joined Mark Richt’s new staff at Miami (Fla.). Wilson has had an interesting path in coaching, bouncing from Mississippi State to Georgia to USC and then Mizzou — for 38 days — since 2012 before bolting to the NFL this week. Wilson's move was reminiscent of Cowboys special-teams coach Richard Bisaccia, who left for that job after accepting a gig with Auburn 22 days prior in 2013. This is only par for the course for Mizzou, which has had a strange year-plus with the retirement of Gary Pinkel, racial protests on campus, the suspension (three times) of starting quarterback Maty Mauk and a fall to 5-7 after two straight SEC title game appearances. And it's perhaps only fitting that less than a week before National Signing Day that a recruit — in this case, a coach — is flipping on his commitment. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm
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NFC title game features 2 vet coaches, strong communicators (The Associated Press)
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Saturday, 06 February 2016
Between them, Bruce Arians and Ron Rivera have won the last three AP Coach of the Year awards, and they are front-runners for this year's honor. Arians' Cardinals (14-3) and Rivera's Panthers (16-1) meet Sunday for the NFC championship, with the winner making his first trip to the Super Bowl as a head coach. Rivera has guided Carolina to three consecutive NFC South titles, something no franchise had managed.
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NFL Playoff Preview: Cardinals, Panthers set for great NFC matchup (Shutdown Corner)
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Saturday, 06 February 2016
Arizona Cardinals (14-3) at Carolina Panthers (16-1) NFC championship game Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET on CBS CARDINALS AT A GLANCE How they got here: The Cardinals had the second-best record in the NFL this season, trailing only the team they'll face on Sunday evening. This is a really strong team from top to bottom. Quarterback Carson Palmer had a great season, even if he had his struggles in last week's win over the Green Bay Packers. They are deep at receiver and running back David Johnson gave the ground game a boost late in the season. They're aggressive on defense and have impact players at all three levels. They're also really well coached. There aren't many weaknesses.  Key player: The Cardinals have a standout, versatile defensive player in Deone Bucannon. He was drafted as a strong safety, but plays more of a linebacker role in the Cardinals defense, which often uses extra defensive backs. His athletic ability will be very important in defending the Panthers' diverse run game, and also he can help out against tight end Greg Olsen. Bucannon is also an effective blitzer. He'll be a key for the Cardinals in slowing down a Panthers offense that led the NFL with 500 points this regular season. Listen to Yahoo Sports' Grandstanding podcast for more: Grandstanding: A Yahoo Sports podcast Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed Why they’ll win: The Cardinals will be watching the second half of the Panthers-Seahawks game film closely. Seattle started getting some big plays in the passing game after halftime. The Cardinals thrive on big plays in the offense, and a few of them could turn the game in their favor. The same is true on defense, because the Cardinals call a very aggressive defensive game. The Cardinals will gamble, and if they hit their big plays, they'll be in position to win. Why they’ll lose: The Cardinals gave up a little more pressure than usual against the Packers last week, and that's a concern against a Carolina team that did a good job getting to Russell Wilson in the first half last week. After playing very well for 15 games, the Cardinals were drubbed in the regular-season finale by Seattle and struggled to put away the Packers in the wild-card round despite being big favorites. Palmer suffered a dislocated finger late in the season, and maybe that's affecting him a bit. If Palmer is not the MVP candidate he was all season due to his finger, the Panthers pass rush or whatever reason, it'll be hard to beat a Panthers team that has won 16 of its 17 games. Keep in mind: David Johnson caught everyone's eye with a huge Week 15 game against the Philadelphia Eagles on "Sunday Night Football." SInce then, Johnson had 39 rushing yards against the Packers in Week 16, 25 yards against the Seahawks in Week 17 and 35 yards on 15 carries in last week's playoff win. Johnson is still a huge factor in the Cardinals' passing game, but it's worth watching if he can get a running game going against a tough Panthers front seven. PANTHERS AT A GLANCE How they got here: There's such a difference between being 16-1 and 17-0 at this point. The Panthers don't have to deal with constant attention for a push toward the first 19-0 season in NFL history. It would have been a fun story, but it's a lot less of a distraction for the Panthers in their pursuit of a championship to have that one loss. Of course the Panthers got to 14-0 before finally losing a game. Their hot streak continued right into the playoffs, as they led 31-0 against the Seahawks in the first half and held on in the second half for the win. Key player: Jonathan Stewart had 989 yards in 13 games, then missed three with an injury. He was back Sunday and had 106 yards and two touchdowns against a tough Seahawks defense. Stewart gives the Panthers offense a huge lift. He aggravated his injured foot a bit against the Seahawks, but should be fine for Sunday. Why they’ll win: It'll probably come down to Cam Newton playing a big game. Newton has been phenomenal all year, and it's arguable no quarterback is more important to his team's offense because the Panthers also feature Newton extensively in the run game. Newton is coming off his worst game on the ground all season, with just 3 yards on 11 carries, and didn't do a ton in the passing game either because the Panthers were sitting on a huge lead in the second half. It's hard to imagine the Panthers will win again without Newton playing a huge role. He's the favorite to win NFL MVP for a reason, and he'll be in a big spot on Sunday. Why they’ll lose: The Panthers defense has looked a little more vulnerable lately. The Giants heated up against them in a hurry and almost pulled off a huge comeback win in Week 15. The Seahawks outscored Carolina 24-0 in the second half on Sunday. The secondary has some holes, especially with cornerback Charles Tillman out the rest of the year, and the Cardinals can exploit that. There isn't really a blueprint on how to beat the Panthers, considering they lost just once all year. These are two fantastic teams, without many weaknesses between them, and one of them has to lose. It won't be because of some fatal flaw on either side. Keep in mind: Defensive tackle Kawann Short doesn't get the publicity of Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis or Josh Norman, but he's a huge part of the Panthers defense. He had 11 sacks this year from the middle, and an interior pass rush like that disrupts opposing offenses. This week Short will have a tough challenge, as he'll spend many snaps against Pro Bowl Cardinals left guard Mike Iupati. OUTLOOK It became apparent sometime in December that these were probably the two best teams in football (or two of the top three, because you can clearly make a case for the New England Patriots too). These teams are 30-4 combined, counting playoffs. It's a titanic matchup against two franchises that have never won a Super Bowl, with two quarterbacks who have never advanced this far in the playoffs. It's hard to go against the Panthers, who were 15-1 for a good reason. But the Cardinals are capable of beating them, even on the road. It's a classic instance of, if they played 10 times each side would probably win five. This could be a classic. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or follow him on Twitter! 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