The Texans keep being a quarterback away from contending for the Super Bowl

Hoyer was OBriens choice. Much like Osweiler, by all accounts, was OBriens guy this year. That resulted in three interceptions and eight total by the two quarterbacks in two postseason exit’s.

The Texans keep being a quarterback away from contending for the Super Bowl. OBrien has won the division two years in a row and finished the regular season 9-7 all three years he’s been in Houston. The Texans play in a weak division just like the Patriots, by the way which shouldnt hurt.

And each year theyve hit the playoffs looking a little scary, like something of a threat but with half of the team scaring absolutely no one.

The Seahawks have patched together a line and crossed their fingers all year. Wilsons blind side is protected by George Fant, whose tale of being a converted basketball player is entertaining, but not always helpful. The rest of the line has been shuffled and replaced and reworked over and over.

Their big investment was one they made just this year, with first-round pick Germain Ifedi, drafted as a tackle and now playing guard.

Those kind of position changes, especially with players drafted low or signed from elsewhere, have worked in other places at other times. It hasnt worked at all in Seattle.

That’s inexcusable, especially with a franchise quarterback entering his prime years this was Wilsons fifth season, and he’s 28 and enough skill position talent to complement him. Theyre still uncovering potential stars out of nowhere, the latest being acrobatic wide receiver Paul Richardson. They’re still a 10-win, division-champion team. steelers_040

Ben McAdoo takes responsibility for hole Odell Beckham Jr. punched in Lambeau wall

Ben McAdoo has Odell Beckham Jr.’s back, at least somewhat, following another emotional outburst from the Giants receiver.

There’s a hole in the wall at Lambeau Field. We take full responsibility. I take full responsibility, McAdoo told reporters Monday, via MMQB.

Yeah, that hole it came from Beckham, who allegedly made it by throwing a tantrum after the Giants’ 38-13 loss to Green Bay.

Others in the Giants organization partially defended Beckham on Monday.

Tanaka is owed $22 million in 2018 and ’19, and $23 million in 2020, before he enters free agency after the 2020 season. 2017’s best-case, most realistic scenario for the Yankees isn’t exactly playing out: Tanaka would have pitched lights-out in 2017 and looked to opt out after this year, freeing the team of the money and potential future elbow issues.

Just a reminder: Tanaka was diagnosed with a partial UCL tear in 2014, his first year in the majors, rehabbed the injury, and has pitched since.

The Yankees have largely avoided bad contracts the past few seasons, and are even poised to shed some of them: Alex Rodriguez and C.C. Sabathia come off the books this year, after Mark Teixeira and others came off last season.

But truthfully, Tanaka has been as ineffective as infomercial diet pills, and it’s probably too late for him to turn this season completely around. Meaning he’ll stay in his contract, meaning he’ll be a Yankee for the next three years, meaning he’ll be owed a lot of money to be average to bad if he doesn’t improve.rams_087

Merchant said there is only one person whose opinion matters.

“I would, if the kids ask me,” he said. “I’m just so much older than them. I think it’s been so long, not many people remember me.”

Whenike_cardinals_1604t said there is only one person whose opinion matters.

“My first-year manager Woody Huyke, whatever he said about me, I would take to the grave,” Merchant said. “No other manager saw me at the best of my abilities.”

Huyke gave his take in an interview with the Post-Gazette in August 1987.

“If Ken Griffey (Jr.) has more ability, he must be one hell of a player,” he said. “(Merchant is) a front-line prospect, one of the better ones I’ve ever seen. I didn’t see Mickey Mantle when he was 18 years old, but Mark has all the tools to play in the big leagues.”

So about those comparisons? Merchant has heard them.

“Comparing Mark Merchant to Ken Griffey Jr. is like comparing the newspaper guy at your local high school to a Pulitzer Prize winner,” he said.

But as Merchant sees it, it’s not that simple. That’s why he defends himself.

“It’s bulls—,” he said. “There were things I could do on a baseball field that I didn’t see anyone else do. I wouldn’t trade my ability with anyone I saw.

“I can’t compare to someone with over 600 home runs. When I had my ability at 18, we were comparable. I only played a half season where I was injury free. It’s something I really don’t talk to anybody about.”

That’s because Quinn was in charge of making sure his entire team didn’t fall apart

Both that piece and his Q&A with showed a Michael Vick in a mood for reflection, regret and reconciliation, about a career self-sabotaged like few others in history.

A huge portion of the two stories were devoted to the day he started to fully come to terms with the future he had envisioned back with the Falcons once he got out of federal prison … how that future disintegrated before his eyes when the team drafted Matt Ryan in 2008, how he heard about it from another inmate and how the definitive signal that the Falcons were leaving him behind and moving on sunk in.

Just as riveting, though, was Vick’s description of what he and those Falcons had created in Atlanta at their collective heights — which, of course, made the crash even more destructive and the subsequent rebirth more joyous.

Which brought him to his triumphant return in the farewell to the Georgia Dome at the end of the regular season, the prodigal-son story to top all sports-related prodigal-son stories.

Worse than the Falcons squads of 1980 and 2012 that squandered double-digit leads in the second half of playoff failures.

And for Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, worse than when he was Seattle’s defensive coordinator in a last-minute Super Bowl 49 loss to New England in what was the largest Super Bowl comeback (10 points) before Sunday’s contest. That’s because Quinn was in charge of making sure his entire team didn’t fall apart, and he failed.seahawks_012

Gisele Bündchen celebrates like crazy after Patriots win the Super Bowl

With his legendary physical and mental conditioning along with his emphasis on proper nutrition, Brady’s stated goal of playing until he’s 45 may actually be achievable. And that can create an opportunity for Belichick to trade his fine No. 2 quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, for a first-round pick and possibly more in order to bring additional talent to a championship team.

With all of these factors at work, the Patriots are the model franchise in the NFL, if not in all of sports.

I understand how hard it is to win consistently in the NFL after being in the playoffs 18 times during my career, including two Super Bowl appearances. I thought that was a pretty good record, but New England’s success in the Kraft-Belichick-Brady era is in another stratosphere.

“Dynasty” can be an overused term, but this Patriots franchise definitely qualifies with 14 playoff appearances in the last 16 years, eight straight AFC East championships and now five Super Bowl titles.

And likely more to come, very possibly as soon as next season.

Tom Brady led the Patriots to an epic rally to win his fifth Super Bowl title on Sunday night.

Perhaps no one was more excited than Brady’s wife, Gisele Bündchen.

Aaron Rodgers can’t be everything to the Packers

Through 10 games last fall, Aaron Rodgers wasn’t playing like Aaron Rodgers. Statistically, he was closer to second-year passer Marcus Mariota than a two-time league MVP. He was good, but not great.

Put a good quarterback rather than a great one in the Green Bay Packers’ lineup, and you get a 4-6 record. Replace him with prime Rodgers, and you get an eight-game winning streak and a spot in the NFC Championship.

Sorry Wisconsin: It turns out, Rodgers has a good reason for removing dairy from his diet.

Rodgers had a 96.0 passer rating through 10 games last fall, as Green Bay slid to third place in the NFC North and was in serious danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Then after a Week 11 loss, Rodgers said “I feel like we can run the table.”

Richardson may not have much room to throw shade at others when it comes to setting an example in the locker room. He’s been twice suspended by the NFL, once for a positive drug test and another time stemming from a 2014 arrest in Missouri where he evaded police at speeds exceeding 140 miles per hour.

He was also caught on SnapChat asking “where the hoes at?” before saying “f— this game” prior to New York’s 34-13 Week 15 loss to the Dolphins — an outburst that took place one week before Richardson took Marshall to task for his performance against New England.

Marshall has taken the high road in the feud.yankees_1096_3f2eb6852eedadd1-180x180

Fournette is arguably the most explosive pure runner to enter the league since Adrian Peterson.

This belief is magnified because Peppers is a two-way player. Remember Ohio State’s Chris Gamble? He had seven career interceptions at Ohio State, then had 13 interceptions in his first two years with Carolina. He enjoyed a productive nine-year career with the Panthers but never made the Pro Bowl. Gamble wasn’t a bust, but he’s not headed to Canton. The difference here is that if Peppers has that kind of career in the NFL, the side that thinks he’s overrated will proclaim he’s a bust.

Which brings us to the 2017 NFL Draft. Peppers’ performance likely clinched his status as a first-round pick, and that’s a question that still has wide-ranging answers. Is he Thorpe? Honey Badger? Gamble? Woodson? Su’a Cravens? Deone Bucannon? Somebody else?

Fournette is arguably the most explosive pure runner to enter the league since Adrian Peterson. With the backfield mess of Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon, he’ll get every chance to be the workhorse as the team leans on a power rushing attack with new football operations chief Tom Coughlin.

Fournette might struggle a bit if second-round tackle Cam Robinson has only limited effects on the team’s run-blocking woes, and if QB Blake Bortles isn’t more efficient to provide true balance to the offense. It will probably take something like a reasonable 1,200 yards rushing and double-digit TDs for Fournette to contend. It will take Jacksonville vying for at least a wild card for him to win.nike_steelers_3544

It’s low-hanging fruit, but Switzer takes it in stride.

The punch line, of course, is rooted in the fact that New England recently has fielded shorter, quick, white wide receivers. Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola come to mind, while guys like Austin Collie and Griff Whalen got temporary looks from the Pats.

It’s low-hanging fruit, but Switzer takes it in stride.

“Those guys are Super Bowl champions and making millions of dollars in the NFL, so if you wanna compare me to someone that’s got rings and got money, then by all means, go ahead,” Switzer said. “They’re at the pinnacle. I don’t take the comparisons negatively or positively.”

The nightmare scenario would be Trubisky playing early and being overmatched. That would send him down the same path as Blaine Gabbert, who never recovered from the shellshock of being thrust into action prematurely by the Jaguars in his 2011 rookie season.

The best case is that Trubisky becomes this year’s version of the Eagles’ Carson Wentz even though the former tried to downplay any comparison.

“We’re in two totally different situations,” Trubisky said.

True. Even with Trubisky’s background as a novice, Wentz was an even longer shot to play as a rookie. Philadelphia was so unsure of how long it would take for Wentz to develop coming out of a non-FBS program (North Dakota State) that Sam Bradford was re-signed and fellow veteran Chase Daniel added as a high-priced backup.

The plan to keep Wentz in mothballs was scrapped by the end of the preseason. Bradford was traded to the Vikings and Wentz leapfrogged Daniel into the starting lineup.nike_steelers_1203

My lasting impression is a talented-but-arrogant quarterback who rarely smiled

One thing we know for sure: Cutler will not be afraid to call out players who mess up. He did that regularly to his teammates, either in words or in action. Who can forget the Cutler glare or his verbal attacks on his linemen after being sacked?

Cutler was condescending to his teammates, coaches, the media and fans. His unpopularity was never more evident than when he exited the 2010 NFC title game against the Packers with a legitimate knee injury but immediately was accused by players around the league of quitting on his team. In 2014, Bears legend Brian Urlacher said of Cutler: “Financially he is one of the elite guys in the NFL … he just hasn’t produced like an elite quarterback.”

Cutler’s 11 NFL seasons in Denver and Chicago resulted in a 68-71 record as a starter, a pedestrian 85.7 passer rating, one playoff win and one Pro Bowl appearance. He thought his arm was so good that he could force throws into tight windows, but the results too often were drive- and game-killing interceptions.

My lasting impression is a talented-but-arrogant quarterback who rarely smiled, was not a good leader and was not very coachable.

Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida: Wilson left Florida following his junior season and the 6-1, 211-pound DB plays with tremendous confidence. He has prototypical size and was a second-team All-SEC selection as he and teammate Jalen “Teez” Tabor comprised one of the best cornerback tandems in the nation. nike_steelers_1203

Cutler being rewarded with this gig is a sad commentary on the state of TV.

Why was Fox inspired to bring Cutler aboard when there are so many former players with much more star power and pizzazz; good guys who treat people right? He’s nowhere close to fellow rookie analyst Tony Romo in personality or Q Score.

Cutler being rewarded with this gig is a sad commentary on the state of TV. I think it’s the train wreck mentality — Fox execs believe viewers will tune in to see whether Cutler is as unlikable in the broadcast booth as he was on the field. The network will hope people are pleasantly surprised by his phony new persona.

So I’ll plan to turn down the TV sound and listen to the radio broadcasts of any game Cutler is on this fall.

Because I know who the real Jay Cutler is, and that leopard cannot change his spots no matter how hard he and Fox try to convince us otherwise.

The first name that popped up Friday was Jim Overdorf, the team’s senior vice president of football operations whose main focus is the salary cap. Plenty coaches and GMs have gone through Buffalo over the years, but Overdorf has remained in place since he came to the Bills in 1986.

Pegula said Beane will decide Overdorf’s future, as well as that of other executives, for that matter.

“I’m coming in eyes wide open with everybody,” Beane said. “So it shouldn’t be about Jim. I’ve known Jim for a long time and have a lot of respect for him. Great man. I’ve never got to work with Jim. I’m going to jump in. Just spoke to Jim a few minutes ago and said a hello. I’m looking forward to getting to know this process, how he does things. I’m going to influence him with how I do things. We’ll see how this works and go from there.”

Beane said all the right things Friday, as most GMs and coaches do during their opening pressers. Whether Beane and McDermott will be successful as a pair remains to be seen. As the Bills learned with Rex Ryan, talk is cheap. But, for once, the Bills have their two most important team-builders on the same page.nike_steelers_1193