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Cowboys this offseason were “a little weird” after he spent the last eight seasons with the Packers Jahlani Tavai Jersey , but things were going great by the time workouts came to an end this month.Cobb signed with the Cowboys in March and he said during an appearance on ESPN Wisconsin that the decision was made easier because “there was never an offer put on the table” to remain in Green Bay for another season. Cobb chalked that up as the business of football, although he admitted that the Packers being out of sight doesn’t put them out of mind.“It’s like the ex-girlfriend that broke up with you,” Cobb said, via Jason Wilde of the . “When you see her five years later, you hope you’re in a better situation than you were before — married, with kids, and you’re able to say, ‘Yeah, I did better without you.'”Cobb won’t have to wait five years to catch up with his ex. The Packers will be in Dallas on October 6. PHOENIX (AP) — Roger Goodell laid down the law, and the owners readily changed NFL rules on reviewing pass interference, whether flagged or not.As the league concluded its spring meeting one day early, the owners passed by a shockingly overwhelming 31-1 margin that interference can be challenged by coaches and reviewed by officials next season.Owners voted on a one-year trial basis to include those often-controversial penalties in the officiating replay review system. Coaches still will have two challenges per game Will Harris Jersey , and in the final two minutes of a half or fourth quarter or for all of overtime, the replay official can order a review of offensive or defensive pass interference.The major change — owners traditionally have been highly reluctant to include any penalties in the replay process — stems from an egregious missed call in the NFC championship game that likely led to the Rams making the Super Bowl and the Saints falling short.“I told the owners we need to get to a place, and I felt strongly we should have OPI and DPI and that we should be able to throw flags (that were not thrown on the field,” Goodell said. “Everyone in there finally got to understand through a long process and a lot of discussion, everyone wanted to get it right. Some had to remove themselves from long-shared views.”The competition committee, which recommends rules changes to the ownership, had been split 4-4 on adding interference penalties, particularly non-flagged ones, to replay. But they tweaked the proposal, and it remains part of the overall replay system, which was a critical component.Falcons President Rich McKay, chairman of the competition committee Austin Bryant Jersey , said the analytics also played a role in the rules change. Of the 50 most incorrect on-field calls as determined by officiating director Al Riveron and his staff that were impactful, half of them were for defensive pass interference.“We felt this was a place to start,” McKay added. “There was a lot of discussion and definitely a block of people on the committee and in membership concerned about the ability to put a flag on. We got more comfortable as we worked it out that it would be captured in the replay system.”It might have been a pyrrhic victory for Saints coach Sean Payton, a member of the competition committee, but he was a driving force in persuading many people such an alteration was needed.“It’s great when we can arrive at what we think is a good change,” Payton said. “We wouldn’t have any of these on the docket had it not been for one play. I don’t think any of these would be on a replay discussion.“So my point is, I think we need to do a better job thinking forward and preparing, regardless of what’s currently out there. Where do we want to be in 2028? It’s a good way to work and come backward. I think we do that in a lot of other things. But I feel like at times we come in here each year and we’re in a little bit in a reactionary mode.”Not this time.Earlier in the day, the NFL owners voted down a proposal to replace the onside kick with one play from scrimmage, and tabled a suggestion to require each team to have one possession in overtime regardless of what happened on the first series of the extra period.Owners vetoed the idea of a one-year trial of a fourth-and-15 play from the offense’s 35-yard line to replace the onside kick, considered one of the game’s more dangerous plays. The powerful competition committee recommended the play by a vote of 7-1, but the owners were not swayed.The overtime change is championed by several clubs after the AFC championship game in January — and the 2017 Super Bowl — ended with a Patriots touchdown without the opponent getting the ball. New England won the coin toss both times.Currently Rashan Gary Jersey , the format is a touchdown on the opening possession of OT ends the game, but a field goal allows the other team a series with the ball. If that team also kicks a field goal, the game continues.Owners will next take up the overtime topic at their May meeting.Approved on Tuesday:— Making permanent all kickoff rules implemented only for the 2018 season. Studies showed this player safety initiative worked.— Eliminating the blindside block in an effort to expand protection of a defenseless player. It is now a 15-yard penalty if a player initiates a block in which he is moving.“As a former player and father of two that play ball, and having the opportunity to coach (youth football),” football operations chief Troy Vincent said, “this particular play, the blindside block, it ends careers, puts people on the shelf.“That particular technique, I was taught that. To have that removed out of our game is significant.”— Allowing teams to elect to enforce on an extra point kick or play an opponent’s personal or unsportsmanlike conduct foul committed during a touchdown.

 The NFL also doesn’t want the No. 1 overall pick to be disclosed before the draft starts.It’s not a surprising strategy Rock Ya-Sin Jersey , given the goal of maximizing the ABC/ESPN/NFL Network audience. But it creates a high degree of awkwardness when it comes to the armies of NFL reporters that ESPN and NFLN employ.PFT reported earlier in the day that the league has directed NFL Network and ESPN reporters not to report on the identity of the first overall pick. Via Andrew Marchand of the , ESPN producer Seth Markman channeled his inner Dwight Schrute, dismissing the report as “false,” with no details or elaboration.ESPN insider Chris Mortensen explained the network’s position with more than one word: “We are not tipping picks during the draft but as for the No. 1 choice, we can report if we get firm confirmation.”So what is “firm confirmation”? Does it mean a Cardinals source who is off the record? Does it require a Cardinals source who is on the record?Whatever the specific definition, “firm confirmation” is a high bar. Much higher than the bar that applies to plenty of “per source” reporting that happens in today’s NFL.ESPN insider Adam Schefter tried to make a joke about the whole situation , reporting that the No. 1 pick will be former Duke basketball standout Zion Williamson.Whoever the pick, there will be no “firm confirmation” for NFLN or ESPN until the Commissioner walks to the podium, hears the boos, and then announces that it will be Kyler Murray. HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien on Monday defended Jadeveon Clowney and his late offside penalty that factored into Houston’s 24-21 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, which ended a nine-game winning streak.“He’s an aggressive player and you never want to take away that aggressiveness,” O’Brien said. “In that situation Parris Campbell Jersey , he made a mistake, and I’m sure he’d be the first to tell you that. Andrew (Luck) did a good job on that play, and (Colts coach) Frank (Reich) did a good job of getting their guys coached up on it.”With two minutes remaining on Sunday and the Texans down 24-21 and needing a critical stop at midfield on third-and-1, Luck tried several times to draw the Texans offside before Clowney finally took the bait.The 5-yard penalty gave the Colts a first down and, ultimately, the win. The Colts (7-6) snapped a franchise-record winning streak by Houston (9-4) Will Harris Jersey , trimming the Texans’ lead in the AFC South to two games with three remaining.Clowney later refused to comment when approached by reporters after the game.O’Brien said Monday that on the play, there was a sense among the Texans defensive players that the Colts would try to run the ball in the short-yardage situation and that Clowney was not at fault for the loss.“He’s a very aggressive player who has made a lot of plays for us,” O’Brien said. “We didn’t lose the game because of that. We lost the game because we had four or five three-and-outs, gave up 199 yards to one receiver and we didn’t play our best game on special teams. That’s really more what it came down to.”Clowney had two tackles in the game and has 7 sacks on the season, second on the team to J.J. Watt’s 12½ sacks.“No one wants to lose,” O’Brien said. “It’s a bottom-line business when you lose a game like that. We’ve lost four games this year by a touchdown or less and that’s the NFL — these games are very , very tight. There are six to eight plays in a game that are critical and if you don’t execute those plays, you’re probably going to lose the game.”The receiver O’Brien was referring to was T.Y. Hilton who entered the game as the NFL’s leader in receiving yards per game at NRG Stadium with 122.3 and only padded his lead with a 199-yard performance on nine catches. Luck threw for 399 yards and two touchdowns.O’Brien said there are things the defense can shore up before the Texans visit the Jets on Saturday to avoid giving up more big plays in the passing game.“I think the big thing is, when you look at the tape, on those particular plays, we have not combined coverage and rush,” O’Brien said.“Whether it was the rush not getting home or the coverage playing too loose. We just have to continue to work at that and clean those things up Max Scharping Jersey , relative to who we’re playing. I don’t really get worried about anything and just make sure our guys understand where we need to improve.”

Coming off four consecutive seasons with losing records and with a new coaching staff Byron Murphy Jersey , the 2018 Bears weren’t expected to do much.But they went from worst to first, surprising many by winning the NFC North with a 12-4 record. NFC this year.“For our culture, our organization, we got off on the right foot, right?” Bears coach Matt Nagy told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “So we ended up 12-4, lost in the playoffs and now the big thing is let’s not get complacent. Just because we had a good year last year, that’s not here any more. We’ve got to start 0-0. But when you have good people like we do on our team — good human beings — it helps.”Nagy and the Bears are embracing where they are. Akiem Hicks has talked about the team not regressing, and Eddie Jackson has said they want to “top everything” the 1985 Bears did.Now, it’s a matter of winning the win.“There’s definitely pressure and expectations now Andy Isabella Jersey , but we wouldn’t want it any other way,” Nagy said. NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Alvin Kamara climbed into the Superdome stands, stood in the first row with his arms folded and soaked in the adulation of fans who were relishing their decision to stick around after all had looked lost.Kamara’s celebration of his 18-yard touchdown reception had an air of presumption, given New Orleans still needed a 2-point conversion to erase what had been a 15-point deficit when the Washington Redskins scored with 5:58 left in regulation. Then again, the Saints’ confidence was understandable; they haven’t lost in more than two months.Kamara climbed back down in time to take a pitch into the end zone for the needed conversion, and the Saints won their eighth straight when Wil Lutz’s 28-yard field goal capped a 34-31 triumph in overtime.“We just kind of hung in there. Guys believed,” said Saints coach Sean Payton, whose mind seemed to be racing as he labored to recall details of the frenzied final stretch. “There were a lot of things happening in a short period of time.”Drew Brees passed for 385 yards and two touchdowns, going 11 of 11 for 164 yards and his only two touchdowns on New Orleans’ final two possessions of regulation. His first TD went to tight end Josh Hill from 3 yards out with 2:53 to go and the last to Kamara with 1:05 left.“I tip my hat to Brees. That’s what he does. That’s what great quarterbacks do. But at the end of the day Zach Allen Jersey , we’ve got to make plays,” said Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger, whose first-quarter interception was Brees’ first turnover in four games. “We didn’t do our job. We beat ourselves for sure.”The unlikely comeback made New Orleans the first team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to win eight straight after starting 0-2.“We haven’t encountered a game like this in a while, and it was great to watch the team rally,” said Brees, whose team won its previous seven games more convincingly. “We have the confidence to win in a lot of different ways. We have the personnel to do it and the right attitude to do it.”The Saints (8-2) set up their final drive by stopping Samaje Perine on third-and-1 at the two-minute warning when a first down would have allowed Washington (4-6) to run out the clock.Washington moved into winning field-goal range in the final minute of regulation, only to be pushed back by a fluky grounding penalty that appeared to result from Kirk Cousins’ miscommunication receiver Jamison Crowder, followed by a sack.The Redskins received the ball first in overtime, but the Saints’ hobbled defense Hakeem Butler Jersey , which gave up more yards than in any game during its winning streak, forced a quick punt thanks in part to Cameron Jordan’s sack.“We had a surplus of emotion and a surplus of confidence,” Jordan said. “That was the difference-maker.”Mark Ingram capped a 134-yard rushing performance with gains of 20 and 31 yards on back-to-back carries to set up Lutz’s clinching kick.Cousins passed for 322 yards and three touchdowns, finishing 22 of 32 with no interceptions. His touchdowns went for 40 yards to Ryan Grant, 16 to Chris Thompson and 7 to Jeremy Sprinkle. Grant’s TD, which made it 24-13 in the third quarter, capped a drive extended by a successful fake punt on fourth-and-1 from the Redskins 15-yard line.Perine carried 23 times for 117 yards, including his 1-yard TD.HOBBLED DEFENSENew Orleans entered the game without veteran safety Kenny Vaccaro and then lost top cornerback Marshon Lattimore on Washington’s first possession when he twisted his left ankle diving to break up a pass in the end zone. Leading tackler A.J. Klein (ankle) also missed his first game.The Redskins gained 456 yards — their second most this season — against a defense that hadn’t allowed more than 347 yards in any game during New Orleans’ winning streak.QUESTIONED CALLCousins said he understood why the pivotal grounding penalty was called when he threw to an empty spot where Crowder had vacated, but he disagreed with officials’ interpretation.“If he had turned and looked at me and the ball had been 10 feet over his head Chris Lindstrom Jersey , I can just say the ball slipped out of my hand,” Cousins said. “That’s what I didn’t understand — how do you separate an inaccurate throw from no eligible in the area? I felt like an eligible was in the area, so I threw it in the area.”INJURIESRedskins: Running back Chris Thompson was carted off the field with what the Redskins said was a broken right fibula in the third quarter.“Chris was one of our best players if not our best player this year,” Cousins said. “It’s going to be challenging to continue to move the ball with all the guys we’ve had injured, but we’ll find a way.”Guard Shawn Lauvao left in the first half with what team officials described as a stinger. Reserve defensive end Terrell McClain left in the first half with an injured toe.Saints: Lattimore tried to return for the first defensive series of the second half, but lasted one play. Defensive end Alex Okafor left in the fourth quarter, favoring his left leg.UP NEXTRedskins: Host the New York Giants on Thanksgiving night.Saints: Travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams.

The place to focus on this week is Down South Connor McGovern Jersey , as in NFC South. matchups Sunday, two of them facing off when top dogs Carolina and New Orleans go at it in the Big Easy. Atlanta, meanwhile, hosts NFC North leader Minnesota. The Panthers and Saints are 8-3, and New Orleans has a win in Charlotte. So a season’s sweep by Drew Brees & Co. would make for a tidy tiebreaker. ”The fact is we play in a really tough division and there are a lot tough teams sitting at the top fighting for that spot, and we are all within a game of each other,” Brees says. ”This is a tough stretch, the toughest stretch as we could possibly have, but it is good for us. We need this. Hopefully it brings out our best football.” Maybe a comforting thought for the three teams involved is they all could be playing in January. ”It’s really crazy. You look at the NFC South, and there’s a chance that three teams actually make the playoffs, which is absolutely crazy to me,” Panthers veteran linebacker Thomas Davis says. ”I think it’s just the NFC South and the way we’ve been playing this year.” At 7-4, the Falcons trail by a game in the NFL’s toughest division. They go outside of it Sunday, but hardly get a relief: Minnesota (9-2) can beat you every which way and has won seven in a row. The matchup of the Vikings’ powerful defense and the Falcons’ revitalized offense is a spicy one. Nowhere is that more true than Atlanta’s brilliant receiver Julio Jones against Minnesota’s shutdown cornerback Xavier Rhodes. ”Don’t believe in the hype, don’t be afraid of the name, just believe in the game,” Rhodes says. ”I know he’s one of the best receivers in the league, and I’ve just got to go out and play with the mindset of having confidence going against him.” The week’s action began Thursday night with Dallas’ 38-14 home victory over Washington. Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes, including a franchise record-breaker to Dez Bryant, and Dallas (66) finally won without suspended star running back Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott shook off a hand injury and found Bryant on a 13-yard leaping grab in the end zone for the 2014 All-Pro’s first score in six games and 72nd of his career, one more than Hall of Famer Bob Hayes. Washington dropped to 5-7. Philadelphia (10-1) at Seattle (7-4) With the Eagles soaring toward the postseason behind the sensational work of second-year quarterback Carson Wentz and a dynamic defense that no one can run on, much attention will be centered on the hosts. The Seahawks uncharacteristically need to win with offense as the Legion of Boom has been ravaged by injuries and penalties keep mounting. Yet they can win that way thanks to Russell Wilson Foster Moreau Jersey , who deserves consideration in the MVP race, and re-emerging tight end Jimmy Graham. ”I have to find ways to get him the football. It’s not just him, it’s everybody, but I think that he really stands out. He can do some special things,” Wilson says. Philly has won nine in a row, four straight by at least 20 points. Only the 1999 St. Louis Rams did it five times. They won the Super Bowl. Los Angeles Rams (8-3) at Arizona (5-6) A nice bounce back by the Rams with a 26-20 win over New Orleans that followed a loss at Minnesota. This one can be tricky – witness what the undermanned Cardinals did to Jacksonville last Sunday. These teams went at it in London in October, a 33-0 Rams win that was Arizona’s worst performance and cost it QB Carson Palmer (broken left arm). Los Angeles has displayed balance on both sides of the ball and was especially hard on Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 21 yards on 11 carries in London. An LA win would even the series, which now is 38-37-2 for the Cardinals. Pittsburgh (9-2) at Cincinnati (5-6), Monday night The Bengals haven’t been bungling much lately, but this isn’t a matchup in their favor. Pittsburgh’s all-time edge in this series is 61-35, including two playoff wins at Paul Brown Stadium. The Steelers have won five straight and eight of nine in the rivalry. They also are 6-3 on Monday night vs. Cincinnati and have won 10 straight prime-time games. Pittsburgh is 11-2 on Monday nights under Mike Tomlin, including 6-2 on the road. The Bengals are 11-23 on Monday nights, dropping its past three. During their loss in Pittsburgh on Oct. 22, the Bengals managed only one first down and 19 total yards in the second half. New England (9-2) at Buffalo (6-5) Shield your eyes, Bills fans, as we convey the numbers in this lopsided series. Under Bill Belichick: -The Patriots are 29-5 overall vs. Buffalo; -New England is 17-2 in games played after Halloween against the Bills; -Tom Brady is 26-2 vs. Buffalo in games he plays more than one half; -With a 15-2 record at Buffalo since 2000, Belichick has more wins at Orchard Park, New York, than any Bills coach since Wade Phillips went 17-7 from 1998-2000. And, Brady’s 26 wins against Buffalo are tied with Brett Favre for most by a quarterback against one opponent in NFL history. Favre had 26 wins against Detroit. OK, Bills fans Anthony Nelson Jersey , you can look now. Detroit (6-5) at Baltimore (6-5) A pair of wild-card chasers looking up at strong division leaders. Detroit blew its chance to really tighten the NFC North by losing at home on Thanksgiving Day to Minnesota. Now, the Lions must concentrate on getting a wild-card invitation. Lions WR Marvin Jones Jr. has eight TD catches, tied for second in the NFL, and if Matthew Stafford can go despite a bothersome ankle, they would be testing the No. 2 pass defense. Baltimore had an NFL-high 18 interceptions and 26 takeaways for a turnover differential of plus-11. Terrell Suggs is the acknowledged leader of the unit that is reminding some of the glory days. Indianapolis (3-8) at Jacksonville (7-4) The tide has turned toward Jacksonville in this series, which Indy still leads 22-11 despite losing three of the past four. As the Jaguars push for a playoff berthbehind their sack-happy defense led by Calais Campbell – the DE needs one sack to break the franchise record set by Tony Brackens (12) in 1999 – they might want to test the Colts’ weak pass defense. But the Jags are a run-first team behind rookie RB Leonard Fournette. Indy’s RB, Frank Gore , needs 27 yards rushing to pass Jerome Bettis (13,662) for sixth on the NFL’s career list and 49 yards to pass LaDainian Tomlinson (13,684) for fifth. Houston (4-7) at Tennessee (7-4) When the Texans set a team record in a 57-14 romp over the Titans in October, rookie Deshaun Watson was behind center. He’s sidelined by a torn ACL, and DeAndre Hopkins – the NFL leader with nine TD catches – gets the ball delivered by Tom Savage now. NFL interceptions leader Keith Byard will also be seeking Savage’s throws as Tennessee looks for a sixth win in seven games to maintain at least a share of the AFC South lead with Jacksonville. Kansas City (6-5) at New York Jets (4-7) Two spiraling clubs, although much more has been expected of Kansas City, which opened with wins over New England and Philadelphia. But Chiefs coach Andy Reid is 5-0 against the Jets, while QB Alex Smith is 3-0. It will be noteworthy how Darrelle Revis fares for KC. The formers Jets star signed last week as a free agent. Revis’ second stint with the Jets ended when New York didn’t bring him back in offseason after subpar season. He played with the Jets from 2007-12 and 2015-16. Expect plenty of rust. Cleveland (0-11) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-6) We know what you’re thinking: Cleveland got off the schneid last season in Game 15 by beating the Chargers for the Browns’ only win. For that to happen again would be a huge upset considering how LA has gone from 0-4 to contention in the AFC West. The Browns are 1-26 in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson and 4-44 in the past 48 games – the worst stretch in NFL history. The Chargers could go sack-happy with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. New York Giants (2-9) at Oakland (5-6) Tell us this: Was there more consternation from Raiders fans over the move to Las Vegas, or from Giants fans over the benching of Eli Manning? Considering the Giants can’t block or run the ball, and have had their two best receivers on IR for months, blaming the quarterback who led them to two Super Bowls seems off-target. Oakland remains on-target in the AFC West, where it trails slumping Kansas City by one game. The Raiders also are weakened at wideout, where Michael Crabtree is suspended and Amari Cooper has been battling an ankle problem while in the concussion protocol. Tampa Bay (4-7) at Green Bay (5-6) A shootout would seem possible with both defenses vulnerable to the pass. So can Jameis Winston, expected to start after missing three games with a shoulder injury, taking advantage for Tampa Bay? Winston has four games this season with at least 300 yards passing Jeffery Simmons Jersey , tied for the most in one season in team history. Despite losing at Pittsburgh with some strange clock management and play calling, the Packers did get backup QB Brett Hundley’s best showing since coming in for injured Aaron Rodgers. It would help Hundley if he could create some rapport with Jordy Nelson, who has not had more than 35 yards receiving in each of the five games started by Hundley. Denver (3-8) at Miami (4-7) Forget any shootouts here. The Dolphins are anemic with the ball, and the Broncos are unsteady as Trevor Siemian returns at quarterback. Neither side is much good in the takeaway-giveaway department, either. Denver, which has lost seven straight, is next to last in turnover differential at minus-16. Miami is third worst at minus-10. The Broncos rank next to last with 24 turnovers. Of most interest might be the coaching matchups. Denver’s Vance Joseph was Miami’s defensive coordinator last season, while Dolphins coach Adam Gase was a Broncos assistant from 2009-14. San Francisco (1-10) at Chicago (3-8) The Niners have lost all five road games, but they have something fresh going as QB Jimmy Garoppolo makes his first start since the trade from New England at the end of October. San Francisco also brings back Robbie Gould, whokicked for Chicago from 2005-15 and is the Bears’ all-time leader in points (1,207), field goals made (276), and field goals of at least 50 yards (23). Chicago has lost four straight and John Fox is 12-31 in three seasons with the Bears. — The Packers used to struggle for ways to stop Randy Moss when he was a receiver for the Vikings, but Moss may wind up helping the team out this year.Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling‘s offseason work got a rave review from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and part of the reason may be because of who the wideout has been working out with. Valdes-Scantling is being tutored by Moss as he prepares for his second NFL season.“I’m still training with him now. We train Monday through Thursdays,” Valdes-Scantling said during an appearance on NFL Network. “He’s teaching me the game. He’s a 14-year [veteran], Hall of Famer. Couldn’t ask for a better mentor to go out and teach you how to be a great wide receiver.”Valdes-Scantling has a similar build to Moss, but the 2018 addition to the Hall of Fame’s advice has not centered on how to be more like him. Valdes-Scantling said Moss has advised him not to “try to emulate anybody” and be his own player once he’s back on the field for the Packers.If that player can step into a bigger role alongside Davante Adams, that would work out well for Green Bay.

NASHVILLE Tytus Howard Jersey , Tenn. (AP) —  Not even in a preseason game, experience at least his predecessor had a year ago.So the Tennessee Titans‘ new offensive coordinator tests himself calling plays when watching TV copies of old games and at each step of the offseason program.That’s the approach he’ll follow through training camp and the preseason all building up to the season opener Sept. 8 in Cleveland.“So we’ll see how that is after Week 1,” Smith said Thursday.Smith replaces Matt LaFleur, hired in January as the Packers‘ new head coach. That hiring owed more to LaFleur’s experience as a coordinator with the Rams and coach Sean McVay than production with the Titans, who were one of the NFL’s worst offenses in 2018.Yes, Tennessee ranked seventh in the league running the ball with Derrick Henry piling up 625 of his 1,059 yards in December. But the Titans were 29th throwing the ball, and Mariota managed only 11 touchdown passes with eight interceptions. Only five teams scored fewer points than Tennessee’s 310 — an average of just 19.4 points per game.Vrabel promoted Smith from tight ends coach to coordinator, a coach who had been with this franchise the past eight years working for four different head coaches. Smith also spent two years with Washington with first Joe Gibbs, then Jim Zorn. This is his first time as an offensive coordinator for the man who played offensive line at North Carolina.So Smith said he studies TV copies of games for situations Gary Jennings Jr. Jersey , including the end of a half or games for a better feel than a coach’s game film showing all 22 personnel on the field. He also hits pause to make his own calls. Yes, he knows there’s no pressure watching on a screen or live on the practice field.Vrabel used a similar approach a year ago preparing for his debut as head coach, watching TV copies of games to test what he might do. He’s working closely with Smith this offseason, the same way he is with Dean Pees who is 69 and has been to two Super Bowls with two different teams as a defensive coordinator.“If I do it with Dean, there’s probably a pretty good chance that I would do it with Arthur and every one of our coaches,” Vrabel said. “Just try to make sure that we’re all on the same page.”Easing Smith’s transition is Mariota, the quarterback who has been with Smith the past four seasons through coach Ken Whisenhunt, coach Mike Mularkey and his offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie and now Vrabel.“He makes it easy for us to go in there and to talk and to communicate what we like, what we don’t like and I think even out here … he’s done a great job of pushing the envelope with our guys and doing his best to get the most out of everyone,” Mariota said of Smith.Henry certainly approves.“I love Arthur Ugo Amadi Jersey ,” Henry said.The Titans are keeping the same offense as last season, meaning formations and the phrases for motions remain unchanged. Smith made it very clear this offense will have some changes as he tweaks or adds plays from other schemes.“I’m not above stealing a great idea …,” Smith said. “But you’re just sitting here saying, ‘What is somebody doing that is a good idea? Does it fit what we’re doing? Does it fit some of our players?’ And we’re always looking at that as long as they give me the opportunity to be in this role.”NOTES: Pees spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since deciding to return for another season. Pees dismissed any worries about his health, saying he was fine. Pees missed a loss at Indianapolis Nov. 18 when taken to a hospital, and Pees said he had an issue with a nerve in the back of his head causing symptoms similar to a stroke. … The Titans announced after practice that they have agreed to terms with guard Nate Davis, their third-round draft pick out of Charlotte. Receiver A.J. Brown out of Mississippi, taken in the second round, is the lone remaining unsigned draft pick. Rebuilding in the National Football League can be a shorter process than in other sports if done right, but it is a necessary evil nonetheless.Attempting to rebuild through free agency rarely leaves satisfactory results when not combined with wise draft choices Devin White Jersey , which is something the New York Jets are experiencing right now. Whether it's the result of bad quarterback play and inept offense or swiss cheese defense that can't stop anyone - or all of the above - there are some NFL squads in desperate need of big changes.Those teams that are successful in both free agency and in the draft quickly rise to the top of the league and the Oakland Raiders are a shining example of that. For others, it may take a bit longer, but just showing signs of greatness can be enough to hold fans over and prove that a team is on the rise.Normally having a young, up-and-coming quarterback can be enough to turn a team around, while in other instances great play from the defensive side of the ball can kickstart a team's return to respectability. It doesn't matter how a team gets there as long as the end result is multiple playoff berths and a Super Bowl victory.Curious to know which teams need a rebuild and which teams are on the rise? All of your questions will be answered below, so let's go.

GREEN BAY , Wis. (AP) —  Rodgers gets ready for his 15th season, he’ll be working with a new coach and offensive coordinator.Plus, for the first time in his career, he’ll be directing a new offense.At least there will be a constant for the 35-year-old quarterback: the return of Luke Getsy as quarterbacks coach.A quality control coach in 2014 and 2015 and receivers coach in 2016 and 2017, Getsy spent last season as offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Mississippi State. His presence should ease the adjustments for the two-time MVP.“You’ve got to earn people’s trust, show them how much you care before they’re going to care about you and want to do well for you,” Getsy said on Monday as the team introduced the staff of new coach Matt LaFleur.“I think that phase is probably going to just happen quicker, naturally, being here for four years and creating a relationship. That part of it makes the transition much easier.“Installing a new offense and the new principles and all that stuff, we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re going to rely on the relationship as far as the mutual trust Dexter Williams Jersey , respect we have for each other, but we’ve got a lot of work to do to get him to dive into this offense fully and being able to function at a high level.”LaFleur said that Getsy’s history with the team was another reason for his hiring.“Certainly, we’re going to find the best quarterback coach that’s out there,” LaFleur said. “Some things that I really did like about Luke was the fact that he played quarterback in college. I reached out not only to Aaron, but a couple other guys with him being in the building before, just to find out what they thought of him as a man and as a coach, and everybody gave him a thumbs-up.”Rodgers’ introduction into the new offense can’t start until the beginning of the offseason program on April 1.There’s a lot for the new coaching staff to do before the players return in six weeks, including preparation for the scouting combine, which begins later this month.LaFleur, Getsy and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett all will have input in the quarterbacks room. Making sure they’re delivering the same message to Rodgers and fellow quarterbacks DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle will be key.“We’ve got three quarterback guys that are going to be hitting him from all angles Max Scharping Jersey ,” LaFleur said. “I know that I need to be in that room as much as I possibly can because I am going to be the play-caller. I think that relationship between the play-caller and the quarterback is absolutely critical. I don’t foresee ever missing a quarterback meeting.”Getsy arrives at the change with a unique perspective. He spent four seasons teaching former coach Mike McCarthy’s playbook. Now, he’s spent a few weeks learning LaFleur’s playbook. Getsy said terminology will be the biggest change for Rodgers.“It has the West Coast roots. The backbone is what he’s comfortable,” Getsy said. “The timing, the rhythm and all that stuff that he’s really, really good at, I think that’s all there.“The principles are there. It’s just speaking the language. That’ll be the biggest thing — for everybody — because there’s a lot of people in this building that have been here a while and have been ingrained in the previous terminology.”Notes: LaFleur finalized his staff on Monday by promoting Chris Gizzi to strength and conditioning coordinator and retaining Mark Lovat, Thadeus Jackson and Grant Thorne as assistants. Gizzi spent the past five seasons working under Lovat, who had been the coordinator since 2010. “That is a critical hire,” LaFleur said. “You talk about the guys that are going to talk to the team the most, it’s going to myself , it’s going to be the special teams coordinator and it’s going to be the strength coach. Those three positions are absolutely critical to our success moving forward.” DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins need to figure out how to win on the road, since that’s where they’ll be if they make the playoffs.And if they don’t win Sunday at Minnesota , there probably won’t be a postseason for Miami.The Dolphins (7-6) remain in contention for an AFC wild-card berth thanks to Kenyan Drake’s improbable touchdown on the final play Sunday to beat New England. But there have been no miracles on the road, where coach Adam Gase’s team is 1-5 and has been outscored 177-103.That includes losses of 38-7 at New England and 42-23 at Houston, and blown double-digit fourth-quarter leads at Cincinnati and at Indianapolis.What’s the problem?“It’s a little bit of probably everything,” Gase said.The issue actually dates to last season. The Dolphins have lost 10 of their past 11 away games and have been outscored 350-170.They’re simply a different team at home, where this year they swept all three AFC East opponents. Their division road record is 0-2.“If I tell you our guys don’t get a little more amped up for the division opponents at home, I’d be fibbing,” associate head coach Darren Rizzi said. “There’s a little bit more extra incentive there.”Motivation shouldn’t be an issue the rest of the way Cullen Gillaspia Jersey , home or away. To make the postseason for only the third time since 2001, the Dolphins likely need to sweep their final three games.And two of those are on the road. Can Miami pull off another miracle?“We just hope we have more wins,” Drake said. “I hope it doesn’t come down to any more miracles, because I don’t think my heart can take any more of that.”Drake’s game-winner kept Miami in the playoff picture despite a road record that’s the worst among contending teams. Gase dismisses the mindset of his players as the problem.“I don’t see a difference in the way they prepare, the focus,” he said. “Guys are wired in at the opposing stadium. The energy, the attitude — I don’t see a dropoff.”In victories the past two weeks, the Dolphins wore their 1960s-style uniforms, so maybe a throwback look on the road would help.Gase has tried everything else. Since becoming coach in 2016 he has experimented with changes in the travel routine, including altering the departure day Tytus Howard Jersey , in search of a better road result.This week Miami will leave on Friday.“Over the last three years we’ve tried as many different things as we can,” Gase said, “even talking to some of the veteran players to see if there’s something strange about why we haven’t won on the road.”A solution has proved elusive. Under Gase, Miami is 16-7 at home and 7-16 on the road.“Obviously it’s something we need to improve,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “It’s definitely something we look forward to correcting this week.”

RENTON David Montgomery Jersey , Wash. (AP) — to an abrupt end Wednesday when the linebacker was placed on injured reserve after injuring his left leg in the Seattle Seahawks‘ win over Minnesota.Coach Pete Carroll said Kendricks will need surgery to repair what sounds like a pair of injuries to his left knee and leg. Carroll didn’t get into specifics.“There’s a little nick in there. There’s a couple of things they’re going to work on. It’s not a terrible knee injury but it’s going to take a little bit,” Carroll said, noting it likely would have taken Kendricks at least six to eight weeks of recovery to come back.The injury brought an end to a roller coaster season for Kendricks. The Minnesota game Monday night was his first following an eight-game suspension handed down by the NFL after Kendricks pleaded guilty to federal insider trading charges. Kendricks was originally suspended indefinitely but the suspension was reduced.Kendricks started the season in Cleveland but he was released in late August after he was charged. Seattle signed him before Week 2 and he played in three games prior to his suspension.“It’s just been such a difficult season for Mychal. My heart goes out to him,” Carroll said. “He wants to be part of this thing so badly. He doesn’t get to this time around. We’ll look forward to getting him back next time and being with us.”When and if Kendricks ever rejoins the Seahawks is likely in the hands of a federal judge. Kendricks is expected to be sentenced sometime in the first couple months of 2019.He may still be recovering from surgery when that happens. Kendricks was hurt in the third quarter of the 21-7 win over the Vikings but missed only a couple of plays. He was examined by trainers and returned to the field. Kendricks played 76 percent of the defensive snaps.“Getting back with the guys, getting acclimated to the system and practicing well, it turned over to the game, the game is just like practice,” Kendricks said after the game. “We’ve been practicing well and we play well. And we came away with the victory.”Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said that for a few moments, it seemed like a revolving door playing next to him. Kendricks left the field to be replaced by Shaquem Griffin , and then he was replaced by Austin Calitro before Kendricks was back on the field.“I didn’t know the extent of the injury,” Wagner said. “Something might have happened, he mentioned something, but he said he felt good, said he was OK and went out there. I didn’t know it was that extent until after the game.”With Kendricks out, the Seahawks will likely rely on Calitro in the short term with the hope that veteran K.J. Wright will be able to return before the end of the regular season. Wright has played in just three games this season due to surgery to repair a knee injury suffered in the preseason. He returned in Week 8 and played three straight weeks before missing the past four games.“He’s getting close. This will be an important week to work him back in and then hopefully a couple of weeks from now we’ll have a chance to get him back,” Carroll said.Calitro has proven to be a capable fill-in after some struggles early in the season and he could end up being one of Seattle’s main options going into next season. The second-year player started three games at weakside linebacker this season, but Calitro said it was the game he started in Week 2 at middle linebacker that really helped his development.“The game just finally slowed down for me. I don’t feel like I’m playing catch up as much as I was at the beginning of the season,” Calitro said. “I got comfortable with both positions and know how each position is fitting off each other.”NOTES: Carroll sounded hopeful that WR Doug Baldwin (hip/groin) would be able to return this week against San Francisco , saying he would be monitored day to day. But he all but ruled out guard D.J. Fluker (hamstring), saying it would be “something special” for Fluker to be ready. Both players missed last week’s game. Fluker was replaced by Jordan Simmons, who played well in his second start of the season. … Seattle promoted LB Emmanuel Ellerbee to take the roster spot of Kendricks. Patrick Mahomes and Kirk Cousins will meet on the football field for the first time in 2019. They squared off this weekend as basketball-team hype men, and the end result was Mahomes 1, Cousins 0.Cousins spoke at a Michigan State pep rally on Friday night, in advance of Saturday’s semifinal game against Texas Tech. Mahomes, the NFL’s 2018 MVP, spoke to Texas Tech’s team on Saturday afternoon, hours before tipoff.“It was great Connor McGovern Jersey ,” redshirt senior Norense Odiase said, via Courtney Cronin of “He was excited. You could see his blood rushing, veins popping. He was turnt. Travis Kelce was there as well. It was a blessing to have those guys come.”“He came in our film session, and he said he’s proud of us,” sophomore guard Davide Moretti told Cronin. “We did something that nobody [at Texas Tech] has done before. He was cheering for us, and he said that we’ve got this because he knows how hard we play and how hard we’ve worked for it. He’ll cheer his butt off for us.”And it worked. The Red Raiders will play in the championship game for the first time ever on Monday night, against Virginia. Mahomes surely will be there again, cheering his butt off in the stadium where Cousins plays his home football games — as few as five months before Mahomes squares off against Cousins in the stadium where Mahomes plays his home football games.

Thursday night will be a big one for Nick Bosa , but he’s not the only member of the family getting some news about his future this week.Field Yates of ESPN reports that the Chargers have exercised their option on Joey Bosa‘s contract for the 2020 season.will remain under team control for two more seasons and there will likely be talks about a longer stay in L.A.Bosa was the third overall pick in 2016 and missed the first four games of his rookie year with a hamstring injury he suffered after signing his contract late in training camp. Bosa had 10.5 sacks as a rookie and 12.5 sacks in his second season before being limited to seven appearances last year by a foot injury.Bosa remained productive once he was healthy enough to play and will look to continue making his case for a huge second contract while wearing a new number in 2019. KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes awoke early on Tuesday to open presents with his little sister and the rest of his family, then the Chiefs quarterback hopped in his car for a quick trip to Arrowhead Stadium.Where he watched film. On Christmas.He got in his usual couple of hours of game-week prep on what is typically a day off for NFL teams, then hopped back in his car and headed home for the family feast.Then he watched more film. Still on Christmas.It’s that dedication to Mahomes’ craft that has helped the second-year pro become an MVP candidate as a first-time starter. He already has shattered numerous franchise records, including yards passing and TD passes in a single season, and Mahomes has positioned Kansas City for a third straight AFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs with a victory Sunday over Oakland.The biggest wild card for the Chiefs entering the season has become their one constant.“It’s the process. You set up the schedule for a reason,” Mahomes said Wednesday Drew Lock Jersey , when the rest of the Chiefs returned to practice.“You follow the same schedule — game plan, watch film, practice — and you do the same things you’ve been doing to have success.”At this point, why would Mahomes deviate from his routine?He’s thrown 48 touchdown passes to lead the NFL by a dozen, and his 4,816 yards passing trail only Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He leads the league in yards per attempt among QBs that have started all season, and only the Saints’ Drew Brees has a better quarterback rating.Speaking of ratings , Mahomes only has had three games in which his rating has failed to reach 100, and the Chiefs still won all of those games. He’s thrown a TD pass in every game except one, and that was a 30-14 rout of Jacksonville.And he’s thrown at least three touchdown passes in 10 games, with a pair of six-touchdown efforts in shootouts against the Patriots and Rams.“You just trust the process,” Mahomes said in explaining his unflappable nature. “Trust that your teammates are going to make the big plays they’ve made all year, and trust in my ability not to do too much. You just play the same game you’ve played all year.”Or the same game he’s played his whole life.Few were convinced that Mahomes would seamlessly transition from the Air Raid system of Texas Tech to the versatile, complex West Coast offense of Andy Reid. But the Chiefs coach saw enough of him last season in practice that Reid was willing to trade away Alex Smith and give him a shot.Now T.J. Hockenson Jersey , the Chiefs are promoting Mahomes in MVP hype videos as they barrel toward the playoffs.“I am happy for all these guys, whatever accolades they get,” Reid said. “Patrick has worked hard for all of that stuff. There are a lot of great players in this league, so all the sudden you get pointed out as doing that, it’s important. Then it’s important to get back to what is real and that’s the game. But I am happy for him. A lot of work went into that for him.”Right, the game. The one that Mahomes was in the film room prepping for on Christmas, while the rest of his family was relaxing at home. The Chiefs have already squandered two chances to lock up the division title Justice Hill Jersey , and they could fall all the way to the No. 5 seed with a loss Sunday.So it makes sense that Mahomes was cramming for the Raiders on Tuesday.Even if it didn’t mean straying from the norm.“Everybody is excited for the opportunity,” Mahomes said, “getting to play a division opponent, a rival in our division, then get to play at Arrowhead Stadium. We want to stay here from here on out. If we come out and play like we know we can, we can make a run at this thing.”Notes: RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif returned to practice for the first time since breaking his fibula and tearing ligaments in Week 5 against Jacksonville. It begins a three-week window in which Duvernay-Tardif can get up to speed. “We’ll just bring him back gradually,” Reid said. “It’s just a matter of getting caught up with the speed of the game.” … Reid said WR Sammy Watkins was out of a walking boot and “moving around ,” though his return remains uncertain. He hasn’t played a full game since early November.

COSTA MESA , Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers teammates and going through workouts at this week’s mandatory minicamp.Whether or not he is back for the start of training camp remains to be seen.Gordon is going into the final year of a rookie contract and will earn $5.6 million this season. The fifth-year running back said after Tuesday’s practice that he didn’t want to miss any practices but also didn’t rule out not being present when the team conducts its first training camp practice on July 25. Gordon’s agent and the team are in discussions, but nothing is resolved.“We’re going to see. I would like to go out there and have it done. We’re talking right now, and that’s kind of where I’m going to leave it,” he said.Gordon was a huge reason why the Chargers made the playoffs for the first time since 2013 last season. He was sixth in the AFC in yards from scrimmage (1,375), ninth in rushing (885 yards) and scored 14 touchdowns en route to making his second Pro Bowl.Gordon said he is caught up in what has been a trend throughout the league — the undervaluing of running backs.“We’re definitely devalued. That’s kind of how we are looked upon right now,” he said. “I know what I bring to this team Alexander Mattison Jersey , and I’m sticking with that.”Despite three straight seasons with over 1,200 yards from scrimmage and 10 or more touchdowns, there are some durability questions about Gordon. He missed four games last season, including a three-game stretch in December after spraining the MCL in his right knee. Gordon returned for the Chargers’ final four games, which included the playoffs, but he was not the same back. He averaged 5.2 yards before the knee injury but only 2.9 yards when he returned.“I kind of felt later in the year and in the playoffs that I wasn’t my best. It kind of sucked not being at my full potential and not giving it everything I have even though I did what I could,” he said.Gordon took a couple months to get healthy at the end of last season before beginning his offseason program. He spent most of the offseason training in Florida with other NFL running backs before rejoining the team this week.“Everything. It’s a wide range of speed , power, explosiveness. We’re doing catching drills,” Gordon said when asked what he worked on. “I’m trying to be well-rounded and work on my all-around game.”Coach Anthony Lynn said one of his biggest goals during training camp will be to make sure the veteran players do not get too much work during the preseason with the idea that it will help his team be healthier late in the season.Gordon could also benefit from added depth in the backfield. Austin Ekeler was a good change-of-pace back last season while Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome showed some flashes late last year. Lynn lauded Newsome on Tuesday for how much he has improved during offseason workouts.However, Gordon remains the leader of the group.“Melvin Gordon is extremely important to us. He’s gotten better every year that I’ve been here,” Lynn said. “If he just goes out and keeps doing what he’s been doing, that contract stuff will take care of itself.”NOTES:OT Russell Okung is not at minicamp due to an undisclosed injury. Lynn did not say if the veteran left tackle would miss the start of training camp. … First-round pick DT Jerry Tillery has signed his contract. Five of the seven draft picks are under contract with S Nasir Adderley (second round) and OT Trey Pipkins (third round) unsigned. Vikings COO Kevin Warren soon will become the Commissioner of the Big 10. In a profile of Warren, Daniel Kaplan of raises this question: Could Warren be the next Commissioner of the NFL?Kaplan Daniel Jones Jersey , citing unnamed sources with “close ties to the NFL,” writes that those persons view Warren as a “future Commisioner,” and that his upcoming Big 10 job will “be only a steppingstone, not a final stop.”Consultant Marc Ganis, who has close ties to the NFL, tells Kaplan that Warren is “one of those handful of people that are in the NFL right now that could very well be considered as a future Commissioner.”Warren’s name has indeed come up regarding the possibility of becoming the next Commissioner. Two other names that also have emerged on the grapevine include NFL Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy & Growth Officer Chris Halpin and, somewhat surprisingly Ed Oliver Jersey , Hall of Fame defensive back Aeneas Williams.Williams was spotted at the annual meetings in Arizona, and that’s where the chatter of Williams potentially succeeding Goodell first surfaced.The NFL seems to be intent on naming a Commissioner with extensive football ties and history, in lieu of finding a professional CEO who may have no prior connection to the NFL. As the league grows, so does the importance of considering options beyond the shell of people with experience working for, in, or around the NFL and one or more of its teams. While it’s important to have people who know the business in key positions of leadership, the ultimate leader of the game need not be someone who has spent decades , years, months, or even weeks working in or playing football.

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