Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Steelers release running back LeGarrette Blount

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- LeGarrette Blount's early exit Monday night cost the volatile running back his job.

The Pittsburgh Steelers cut Blount on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after he jogged off LP Field with the clock still running in a 27-24 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
Coach Mike Tomlin called the decision to part ways with Blount ''in the best interest of the organization'' while bringing a swift end to the latest chapter in Blount's increasingly nomadic career.

The Steelers signed Blount to a two-year deal, $3.85-million deal in March to provide the running game with some needed heft. He ran for 266 yards and two scores but saw his playing time diminish in recent weeks. Blount took the field for just one play on Monday night while good friend Le'Veon Bell rushed for a career-high 204 yards and a touchdown.

Blount and Bell celebrated Bell's 5-yard dive early in the fourth quarter that pulled Pittsburgh within a touchdown, posing for a faux selfie on the sideline after the play was upheld on review.
Yet when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger lined up for the final snap, Blount headed for the tunnel. He was already dressed when his teammates entered the locker room and sat on the bus while the rest of the Steelers (7-4) soaked in their fourth win in five games.
''I know him, I know he's not a selfish guy, he's a team guy,'' said safety Mike Mitchell, who tried to coax Blount off the bus. ''But it's more so knowing his feelings were hurt. I just tried to get him to not do that but he's a grown man.''
One who quickly lost the support of the guys he lined up with every week.
''If you don't want to be here, don't be here,'' center Maurkice Pouncey said. ''At the end of the day you've got your decision to make as a man and he made it.''

Pittsburgh announced the move shortly after 1 p.m. and a half-hour later the nameplate over Blount's locker was already gone, though several personal items remained. While Pouncey called Blount ''a good teammate'' he wasn't exactly broken up about Blount's abrupt departure.
''We've got our star running back,'' Pouncey said. ''That's probably a good thing for our team that happened. At the end of the day if there was someone that was a cancer who ended up leaving on his own, that's a blessing for us.''

The Steelers promoted Josh Harris from the practice squad to take Blount's spot, though the reality is Bell will probably carry an even heavier workload as Pittsburgh tries to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
The 22-year-old Bell is the only player in the NFL with more than 950 yards rushing and 450 yards receiving but had forged a bond with Blount over the last nine months, though not always for the better. The two were both cited for marijuana possession - with Bell also being charged with DUI - following a traffic stop in August while they were heading to catch a team plane to Philadelphia.
Pittsburgh declined to immediately discipline the pair and they showed flashes of becoming one of the league's most dynamic backfields. Bell and Blount both went over 100 yards rushing in a victory over Carolina in Week 3, a moment that proved to be the high point of Blount's season. He ran five times for zero yards in a loss to the Jets on Nov. 9 and spent Monday night watching Bell have the best day by a Steelers running back in eight years.

Cornerback Ike Taylor believes Blount broke a vital part of football's ''code'' by his small act of defiance. Defensive end Cam Heyward praised the club for acting quickly rather than letting the situation stew during Pittsburgh's bye week.
''Of course you want everybody to be here but we don't have time for this,'' Heyward said.
Blount has developed a reputation as one of the league's more talented and tempestuous backs. He was suspended for nearly the entire 2009 season during his senior year at Oregon for punching a Boise State player. He enjoyed moderate success at Tampa Bay and New England, rushing for a club playoff record four touchdowns for the Patriots in a postseason victory over Indianapolis in January.
New England, however, made no move to re-sign him and he ended up in Pittsburgh. Yet while Bell flourished, Blount stagnated, and his frustration finally bubbled over.
''He's got to be smarter in that situation and know how it could be perceived,'' Mitchell said.

Source: sports.yahoo.com
Author: By WILL GRAVES (AP Sports Writer)
Photo: (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Browns waive disgruntled running back Ben Tate

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ben Tate doesn't have to worry about losing carries with the Browns any longer.
The team released the disgruntled running back on Tuesday, two days after he was given the ball just twice in a matchup against the Houston Texans, his former team.
Tate signed a two-year, $6.2 million free agent contract in March with Cleveland to be the Browns' every-down back. He rushed for 333 yards, but his playing time had been dwindling with the emergence of rookies Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West.

Last week, Tate said he wasn't satisfied with Cleveland's running backs rotation and the team decided to move on without him.
Browns general manager Ray Farmer explained the move in a release.
''With all the transactions we make while constructing our roster, it will always be our intent to do what is best for our football team,'' Farmer said. ''This move is no different and we wish Ben the best going forward.''

On Sunday, Tate was made a captain for the game against the Texans, his team for four seasons. But he had just two rushes for minus-9 yards and initially declined interviews following the game. Tate began to leave the locker room without talking to reporters, but was coaxed to stay by a member of the team's media relations staff.
Tate was short with his answers and got into a brief exchange with one reporter who suggested Tate didn't look happy.
''Did I tell you that?'' Tate said, with the reporter replying that Tate seemed unhappy.
''Oh it seemed. Do you know me personally?'' Tate said. ''Exactly, so you don't know. You're assuming now.''

Tate, who made six starts this season, rushed for 124 yards against Tennessee but hasn't been as productive in recent weeks. On Monday, Browns coach Mike Pettine was asked what had happened to Tate.
''Nothing I would speak on here,'' he said before praising Crowell and West. ''The young backs - and I've talked of this before about West - is that there's an explosiveness there with the young backs, just a little bit more pop. We wanted to see those guys out there. Sometimes it's not a matter of a negative against a guy. Sometimes it's more of a positive with the other ones, but we take everything into account when we discuss the running backs.''

Tate's departure came less than a week after he grumbled about playing time. As the Browns prepared to face the Texans, Tate was asked if he was satisfied with his role.
''I'd be lying if I said yeah,'' he said. ''It's not, but whatever the organization thinks is best for the team, then that's what we're going to do.''
Tate beat out West and Crowell for the starting job in training camp and began the season as Cleveland's primary back. He sprained his right knee in the Sept. 7 opener at Pittsburgh and missed two games. But he returned after the bye week with a bang, rushing for a career-high in yards as the Browns overcame a 25-point deficit - the biggest comeback in NFL history by a road team - to stun the Titans 29-28.

But Tate's opportunities faded as West replaced him as the starter in Cleveland's 24-3 win at Cincinnati on Nov. 6 and Crowell, an undrafted rookie, started over Tate on Sunday against the Texans, who selected him in the second round of the 2010 draft.
Tate's departure could give undrafted rookie Glenn Winston some playing time. He's played on special teams but the Browns have been anxious to see what he can do.

Source: sports.yahoo.com
Author: By TOM WITHERS (AP Sports Writer)
Photo: (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Week 10 Football ERA Cumulative Results

Weekly 2014 Cumulative Football ERA Formula results are published below with the usual cautionary disclaimer that these are NOT Power Rankings. To analyze these results, we primarily have to look at how teams change within the Rankings rather than looking at the Rankings as raw stand-alone data. Position is neither the best nor the sole criteria of analyzing the list as much as is observing change in the list (first derivative). In other words, how teams rise and fall from week to week during the long season is more of a primary criteria for evaluating performance.


Photo via SportsInteraction.com
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