Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cowboys unsure who their starting running back will be

Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones has said he’s very comfortable with the group of running backs he has on his roster. But what the Cowboys don’t know is which one of those running backs will be primarily responsible for replacing the departed DeMarco Murray.
Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown says he isn’t sure if Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden or Lance Dunbar will be the starter, but he’s confident that some combination of the three of them will add up to a good running game.
“We’re very confident in what we have,” Brown said, via the Dallas Morning News. “We got some very good football players. With the addition of Darren it’s going to be a nice group. I can’t say who is going to be the lead dog right now, but those guys are going to compete and we’re going to do what’s necessary to win games. I think we have three capable guys who can go out and do what we need to do. I’m not concerned about it at all.”
As great as Murray was last season, Randle was also very good in limited action as his backup: Randle gained 343 yards on 51 carries, a whopping 6.7 yards a carry. He would seem to be the likely choice as the starter.
The addition of McFadden to go with Randle and Dunbar gives the Cowboys some depth in the backfield, and those running backs will be running behind the best offensive line in the NFL. Despite the loss of Murray, Brown’s optimism is justified: The Cowboys’ running game should be just fine, even if there’s not a clear-cut starting running back just yet.

Author: Michael David Smith
AP Photo via

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A trade is also possible for Russell Wilson

It remains too early to know how quarterback Russell Wilson’s long-term future will play out in Seattle. It’s not too early to identify the potential outcomes.
On the surface, there are three options for the Seahawks and Wilson beyond 2015: (1) new multi-year contract with Seattle; (2) exclusive franchise tag, which prevents him for entertaining offers elsewhere; and (3) non-exclusive franchise tag, which allows another team to sign Wilson to an offer sheet, and to give up two first-round picks if the offer sheet isn’t matched.
There’s also a fourth option. The Seahawks could trade Wilson.
A trade on or before the 2015 deadline for doing so is highly unlikely; with the offseason programs concluded, it would be too hard for Wilson’s new team to get the most out of him. It also would be too hard for the Seahawks to prepare another quarterback, whether it’s a quarterback on the roster or someone who would be signed or, in theory, acquired via a Wilson trade.
Making a trade before October even less likely is the reality that, before the two sides would divorce, they’d have to want that outcome. They’re not there yet, and there’s no reason to think they’ll be there before the trade deadline.
But they could be there by February. If ongoing discussions (discussions that could be continuing as soon as this week) fail to result in a long-term deal, the Seahawks could opt for a trade of Wilson over mere placement of the non-exclusive tender and acceptance of a pair of first-round picks from whichever team convinces Wilson to sign.
Here’s how it likely would unfold. The Seahawks would apply the exclusive franchise tag, preventing another team (like the Rams, a division rival) from pursuing Wilson. The Seahawks then could shop Wilson, simultaneously controlling his next destination and seeking compensation other than a pair of first-round picks.
They could seek more than two first-round picks. (If Robert Griffin III was worth three ones and a two, what is Wilson worth?) The Seahawks could seek the first overall pick from whichever team earns it, if there’s a clear-cut franchise quarterback emerging in the 2016 draft. They could try to get a veteran quarterback as part of the package.
And that’s where it gets very intriguing. Three and a half decades after the Raiders and Oilers swapped Ken Stabler and Dan Pastorini, the Seahawks could send Wilson to another team for its starting quarterback.
Plenty of teams would consider that. From Seattle’s perspective, the challenge would become finding the right fit for the offense — and for the short-term and long-term interests of the franchise.
In the end, Wilson would get what he wants, a contract making him the highest-paid player in the game. And the Seahawks actually could end up with an arguably “better” quarterback who is willing to accept less money in order to pursue championships and to cement his own NFL legacy.

Author: Mike Florio
Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images

Thursday, June 25, 2015

David Carr explains why younger brother Derek is a better QB

As the first overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft, David Carr was a disappointment. As the second-round pick of the Raiders in the 2014 NFL draft, Derek Carr showed a lot of promise.
David says his younger brother is going to be a better quarterback because Derek has the mental makeup needed, whereas David never got comfortable while trying to be the face of the expansion Houston Texans.
“He understands the game more than I did, so his confidence level is just off the charts,” David said on 95.7 The Game. “[His] leadership ability is kind of where I was never at early on in my career. He’s able to go out and get guys that are seven, eight years older than him to actually buy in to what he’s doing, and believe that he can play, and believe that he can go out and lead the team.”
David Carr’s rookie season was brutal, as he was sacked 76 times, fumbled 21 times and threw 15 interceptions. He thinks his little brother always looks more comfortable than he ever was.
“He just has a natural ability to throw the ball, just effortlessly, and it’s not really difficult for him,” David said. “It literally is effortless for him to throw the football.”
The Raiders hope Derek keeps looking as comfortable as he did as a rookie. And they hope they can build a better team around him than Houston ever built around David.

Author: Michael David Smith

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Rob Ryan once left Rex in jail after a fight

In a rollicking look at the raucous Ryan family, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News shares some tidbits about the fraternal twins who seem to be a lot more identical than biology would suggest.
The profile of Bills coach Rex Ryan and Saints Defense coordinator Rob Ryan includes plenty of interesting anecdotes, including the one about the time Rob decided to leave Rex in jail.
It happened after the brothers got into a fight following an argument over whether Rob would serve as Rex’s wingman on a date with a young lady. Rob declined, they argued, Rex got drunk, they argued some more, and then they wrestled. Eventually, Rex caught Rob with a right hand and got in their car and left, wearing a tattered and bloody shirt.
“I get pulled over by a cop. He sees me and doesn’t know what he’s got,” Rex told Graham. “I said, ‘I just got in a fight with my brother. You can take me back there, and he’ll explain it.’
“They take me to jail and then called my brother. He said, ‘Nah, leave him in there.'”
Rob emerged from the fracas with a broken ankle and a broken nose. Rex, obviously, eventually got out of jail.
If you’re in jail or otherwise has some time on your hands, check out Graham’s article.

Author: Mike Florio
AP Photo

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