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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says 2018 Pro Bowl tight end Jared Cook has agreed to the terms of a free-agent contract with New Orleans.The 6-foot-5 White Josh LeRibeus Jersey , 254-pound Cook is a 10-year veteran coming off his best season yet. He caught 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns with Oakland last season and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time.Tight ends accounted for relatively modest production in the Saints’ eighth-ranked offense last season. Three tight ends — Ben Watson, Josh Hill and Dan Arnold — combined for 63 catches for 735 yards and four touchdowns. And Watson, who led the position group with 35 catches for 400 yards and two TDs, has retired.Cook, who turns 32 next month, was a third-round draft choice out of South Carolina in 2009 and was acquired by Tennessee on a draft-day trade with New England.He spent his first four seasons in Tennessee, where in 2011 he had 49 catches for 759 yards and three touchdowns.Cook later spent three seasons with the St. Louis Rams and one season with Green Bay before joining Oakland two seasons ago. For his career, Cook has 425 catches for 5,464 yards and 25 touchdowns. Kirk Cousins threw the ball right over the Arizona linebacker trailing Adam Thielen on third-and-1 Josh LeRibeus Jersey 2019 , a neatly executed seam route by Minnesota's star receiver after a stutter step sprung him open for a 13-yard touchdown catch .Then Thielen circled the offense together in the end zone for a choreographed dead-arm dance he recalled from college, his teammates clumsily swinging to an imaginary beat as the crowd celebrated a 10-point lead over the Cardinals early in the third quarter.There was nothing awkward about this 27-17 victory on Sunday for the Vikings , though. They played a back-to-the-basics game, leaning on some powerful running by Latavius Murray and a smothering defense."We know the offense is very capable of going out there and making big plays and scoring points, especially with the teams we've played with the past few weeks," linebacker Anthony Barr said. "If we do our job on defense, we're going to keep giving ourselves the chance to win."After Thielen scored, the Vikings forced a three-and-out when Harrison Smith had one of Minnesota's four sacks of Josh Rosen to take the rookie down at the 2-yard line. The Vikings took over in Cardinals territory at the 43, and three plays later Cousins sprinted across the goal line on an option-style keeper from the 7. The dead-arm dance broke out again Marcus Davenport Jersey White , and the Vikings (3-2-1) were in control."I like to embrace my limitations as a dancer," Cousins said. "I guess I'm honest about it. That's a dance I can get behind."Cousins has clearly embraced his role as a team leader, even though he's only been a member of the Vikings for seven months. He was nominated last week by defensive tackle Linval Joseph to lead the breakdown prior to pregame warmups on the field in Philadelphia with a message about finishing strong. On the flight home after the Vikings beat the Eagles, Joseph told him to be ready for a repeat. This time, Cousins screamed at his teammates to encourage a similar effort and urge the defense to harass the rookie Rosen.After drafting Teddy Bridgewater, trading for Sam Bradford and signing Case Keenum over coach Mike Zimmer's first four drama-filled seasons, the Vikings let all three of them leave as free agents and signed Cousins instead."The thing I love about this guy is his passion for the game, his intensity that he has," Zimmer said. "He's come in here and taken charge as a leader."Here are some other key developments from the game:ROSEN'S THORNSComing off his first career NFL win against the San Francisco 49ers Womens Marcus Davenport Jersey , Rosen faced a much stiffer test on the road against a Vikings defense that was in sync at all three levels after several displays of uncharacteristic vulnerability over the last few games. Rosen threw one interception while completing 21 of 31 passes for 240 yards, and the Cardinals were 0 for 10 on third down conversions. They were also stopped twice on fourth down tries."The opportunities are there," said Rosen, who took over for Bradford last month. "We find ways to miss them."The Cardinals had 269 total yards, which happens to be their season high."Am I concerned? Majorly," coach Steve Wilks said.DOUBLE DIPCousins and the Vikings recovered from that sack-fumble-touchdown trifecta in time for a 48-yard field goal by Dan Bailey on the last play from scrimmage of the first half that gave them a 13-10 lead. Then they took the second-half kickoff and went on the 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that included four catches for 47 yards by Thielen. The Vikings have actually been focusing on the importance of scoring on the last possession of the first half and the first one of the second half since Zimmer brought it up in a team meeting during organized practices in May."He calls it a 'double dip,'" Cousins said.KEEPING UP WITH JONESIn three career games against the Vikings, Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones now has 18 tackles Tre'Quan Smith Jersey White , five tackles for loss, 4陆 sacks, four quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, one pass breakup and a touchdown return of a blocked field goal.Jones chopped the ball out during a second quarter sack of Cousins, and Budda Baker scooped it up for a 38-yard touchdown return . The Cardinals also sacked Cousins four times, hit him seven times and deflected seven passes, but those became background highlights on an afternoon when the Vikings revived a dormant rushing attack with 195 yards on 32 attempts."Me being one of the captains and one of the leaders of this team, it's my job to stay on top of the guys and get this thing turned around Womens Alvin Kamara Jersey ," Jones said.ANOTHER LOSS FOR FITZGERALDThe Cardinals have lost 10 straight games at Minnesota, with the last win coming in 1977 when the franchise was in St. Louis. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has been a part of six of those , and the 15-year veteran's latest visit to his hometown might have been his last as a player."You hope you can change quickly, but all you can do is just keep working at it," Fitzgerald said.

Who was that guy posing as Sean Lee in the Cowboys loss to Carolina? A curious thing happened during the Dallas Cowboys loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. There was a linebacker on the field for Dallas wearing #50 Chuck Howley Jersey 2019 , but that was the only resemblance he had to the player we know as Sean Lee. It was almost as if an undrafted rookie had kidnapped Lee, stolen his uniform and made his way onto the field. All kidding aside, this might have been the worst game any Cowboys fan has seen Sean Lee play.Before we go any further, let’s just state this - Sean Lee is a stud. He’s one of the best linebackers in the league. We don’t want to get things confused. Now that that is out of the way let’s speak plainly, Sean Lee had a horrendous night. He might have missed more tackles in this game than he has in his whole career combined. There were at least three times Lee has his hands on the ball carrier only to fail to bring him down. There were other times where he just whiffed. Like the time he read a swing pass to Christian McCaffrey and had him dead to rights in the backfield. Only McCaffrey easily lost him on his way to a long gain.McCaffrey is no easy tackle in space, but it’s something Lee does routinely. Not on this night. Lee also had a lot of trouble reading the read-option from the Panthers, getting caught up inside in the wash, as Cam Newton casually scooted around the edge. Those were not always his assignment, but he’s the one usually covering for other people if they lose their assignment, tonight he just didn’t have his normal spidey senses.For the game, he was the Cowboys seventh-leading tackler. Seventh! It’s rare that he ends up out of the top three Dallas Cowboys Leighton Vander Esch Jersey , let alone that far down the totem pole. The Cowboys were fortunate that the rest of the defense held together, keeping the opposition to 16 points while getting very little help from their offense. Normally if Lee had a game like this, you would have thought the Cowboys would give up 40 points, but the Panthers aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut.Until proven otherwise, we can chalk this up to a blip on the radar, a one-time thing where Lee just wasn’t ready to play. Next week, we’d expect the General to be back to his sure-tackling, play-reading ways. For one night, though, we got to see what it would be like if drafting Sean Lee had actually been a bust pick. Thanks goodness it wasn’t. The Dallas Cowboys will travel to FedEx Field on Sunday to face the Washington Redskins in hopes of delivering a special package to Dallas fans - two victories in a row. Over the first six games, the Cowboys have alternated between wins and losses and haven’t compiled a two-game streak of anything. If this season is going to take off and mean something Womens Leighton Vander Esch 2019 Jersey , this team needs to put together a little winning streak. And what better team to get a streak going than the Redskins, a team Dallas has beaten four straight times. Not only have the Cowboys swept Washington in each of the last two seasons, their offense has put on a clinic by averaging over 32 points a game during that span. It sure would be nice to see them repeat that type of offensive production, especially on the heels on their 40-point performance against Jacksonville. Stacking a few good games on top of each other would do wonders in restoring some faith that this Cowboys team could be on to something in 2018. Can they pull it off? Will they make enough plays to get the win? Here are five things to watch on Sunday?1. Dink and Dunk youAlex Smith has a reputation for being a game manager. He’s not the type of quarterback that is going to hurt you deep. He has a career 7.0 yards per attempt type of quarterback. So, it should be no surprise that he’s averaging 7.0 yards again this season. He likes to throw the ball underneath and let his receivers do the work.Whether the Redskins keep the chains moving or not could come down to the Cowboys ability to make open field tackles. Despite DeAndre Hopkins hitting them with the spin cycle a couple weeks ago, the Cowboys have been solid at tackling this year. The defense swarms to the ball and does a good job wrapping up. The emergence of both Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch certainly helps in this department. And their defensive backs can tackle as well.Dak Prescott has turned into a dink and dunker himself. That’s fine when the team is efficient on third downs and moving the chains, but that has not been the case this season. The Cowboys are third-worst in the league at third-down conversions, successful on just 31% of their attempts.Expect a lot of short-to-intermediate stuff from both these teams. Dallas and Washington are two of the worst teams in terms of taking deep shots (stats courtesy of NFL Matchup on ESPN) and don’t expect much to change on Sunday.2. Another tough test for ZekeEzekiel Elliott has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in three of the last four games. The lone exception was his 54-yard performance in a Week 5 loss against the Houston Texans. The game against the Texans was the first time the Cowboys had faced a top 10 run defense this season, but they will face another one on Sunday when they’ll go against the Redskins sixth-ranked run defense that has only given up 90 yards per game.Last week, the Carolina Panthers had the leagues top rushing offense, churning out 154 yards per contest. The Redskins held them to just 81 yards rushing. With a strong interior defensive line that includes their last two first-round picks Cheap Leighton Vander Esch Youth Jersey , Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, they’ve been able to plug up the running lanes.The Cowboys have a strong running attack and are ranked second in the league in rushing with 147 yards per game, but they have shown themselves to be vulnerable. The Texans shadowed Zeke all game, forcing Prescott to make plays against them. Look for Washington to take a similar approach. The Cowboys will have to find ways to be effective on offense without living and dying by the legs of their star running back.3. It’s going to be a grindThe Cowboys won’t be the only team trying to establish the run on Sunday. Dallas ranks in the top 10 in rushing attempts, running the ball 28.7 times per game. The Redskins are even better with 29 rushing attempts per game. Adrian Peterson is sixth in the NFC with 77 rushing attempts and the Redskins will lean on him to get the ground game going.Whether it’s a grind-it-out running game or a lot of short passes, Smith is really good at keeping the Redskins offense on the field. Washington is ranked third in the league in time of possession. They don’t need to beat teams with explosiveness, but just with efficiency.The Cowboy take a similar approach, which could shorten the game if both teams are grinding away the clock. This makes it imperative for Dallas to make the most of their possessions. Any turnover or squandered red zone opportunity could prove costly.4. A big play or two is all it takesNot only are these two of the weakest teams in terms of taking shots down the field, they also happen to be two of the best defenses when it comes to limiting the big play. In fact, on a per game basis, the Cowboys are best in the league.Both these defenses are going to challenge the opposing offense to string together large volume-play drives. That’s where explosive plays can be huge in this game. They may be hard to come by Dallas Cowboys Trysten Hill Jersey , but any time a team can slip one in can be a big advantage.For the Redskins, their receivers are banged up as Jamison Crowder is dealing with an ankle injury while Paul Richardson has both knee and shoulder issues. Crowder is expected to miss a few weeks. The Redskins can still find big plays by utilizing their tight ends over the seam. Both Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis are capable of being nice weapons for Alex Smith.The Cowboys will be without Tavon Austin, who has the team’s most explosive play of the season so far. Cole Beasley had a big game last week, but look for the Redskins to try to take him away. This could be a game where Prescott looks down the field for his rookie receiver Michael Gallup.5. Home field advantage?The Cowboys have won every game so far at AT&T Stadium, but they’ve lost every game on the road. The team is hoping this trend will end this week. In 2014, the Cowboys went a perfect 8-0 on the road so this sudden inability to win away from home is perplexing. Ezekiel Elliott points to poor communication as being the culprit for the team’s road problems.Hopefully, the Cowboys can get those things worked out so they can come out of this week with a win. While they won’t have the roar of the crowd behind them, the Redskins have been having trouble filling seats. Cowboys fans travel, so they might have a little more support than they normally would in a hostile Washington environment.These are the things I’ll be keeping an eye on. What about you?

Eric Ebron isn’t playing as many snaps as he might have imagined. He’s making more of those snaps than almost anyone imagined.The former first-rounder Marlon Mack Jersey Stitched , who was cast aside by the Lions this offseason, is flourishing with the Colts despite playing a limited amount of snaps each game.Since he’s not the best blocker among their tight ends, they’re not asking him to block much. He’s played just 55.8 percent of their offensive snaps this year, and that’s higher than they wanted because of the injury to starter Jack Doyle.That makes his 39 catches for 463 yards and 10 touchdowns聽even more impressive.鈥淚 knew that they would allow me to make plays, allow me to be me and do what I do best,鈥?Ebron said, via Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. 鈥淚t was one of the reasons why I came here, and I knew Andrew (Luck) would facilitate it all good enough. That way, I鈥檇 be open.鈥滶bron played just 21 snaps last week, but scored three touchdowns.鈥淚鈥檓 OK with it Youth Ryan Kelly Jersey , because I know that when I am on the field, it鈥檚 a presence,鈥?Ebron said. 鈥淲hether it鈥檚 me getting the ball or not, my presence is felt.鈥滻t wasn’t in Detroit, which made it easy for the Lions to walk away rather than pay him more than $8 million this year. But he’s found his niche in Indianapolis, and finally looks like the player many envisioned five years ago. KANSAS CITY, Mo. 鈥?The Chiefs‘ Eric Berry and Spencer Ware joined the Colts‘ Malik Hooker and Tyquan Lewis in street clothes for their cold, snowy divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday.Or parkas, more accurately.The quartet of starters was among the inactives for the latest postseason matchup between the Chiefs and Colts. Berry was out with a heel injury and Ware remained out with a hamstring injury. Hooker was sidelined by a foot injury and Lewis by a sore knee in a significant blow to an Indianapolis defense that must contend with Kansas City‘s high-powered attack.Hooker had played 87 percent of the Colts’ defensive snaps this season, and an even greater amount during Indianapolis’ win over Houston in the wild-card round. George Odum Ryan Kelly Jersey Stitched , a rookie, will join Corey Moore and J.J. Wilcox in covering for him alongside strong safety Clayton Geathers.Colts coach Frank Reich said this week that Hooker would be a game-time decision, though he did sound optimistic when they had their final practice on Thursday.“Yeah, I mean obviously best-case scenario all the guys that we have a little dinged up, the best-case scenario is that they all go,” Reich said, “because if they are going we feel like they can play winning football even if they are dinged up. That will be our mindset going in, ‘Hey if you’re out there, we expect you to play winning football.”The Colts placed backup safety Mike Mitchell on injured reserve earlier this week with a calf injury, further depleting a defense that has played especially well during a five-game win streak.“In the sub packages Youth T.J. Green Jersey , his role was big,” Reich said. “You just count on Mike, I mean, especially in those sub packages. … Mike has been pretty instrumental.”Al-Quadin Muhammad got the start in place of Lewis at defensive end.As for the Chiefs, any optimism their three-time All-Pro safety would return for the playoffs seemed to evaporate this week when Berry never took the practice field. His heel kept him out most of the season, and a recurrence before their regular-season finale sidelined him again.Jordan Lucas was slated to start against Andrew Luck and the Colts offense.Ware, who assumed the starting role when Kareem Hunt was cut midseason, has not played in a month because of a hamstring injury. Damien Williams started again in his place.The Chiefs did get some positive news when wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who has been out with a foot injury since November, was active for the playoff game. Watkins was in a walking boot a few weeks ago but practiced all week T.J. Green Jersey Stitched , then tested his foot on the snowy field Saturday.100View Gallery Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj MehtaWhen inactives were announced 90 minutes prior to kickoff, Watkins was ready to go.“He’s done a nice job,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the Chiefs’ final practice of the week. “He had good work all three days and looked pretty good.”If only the same could be said of the field.It looked pristine a few weeks ago for the Chiefs’ regular-season finale against Oakland, but rain Friday that quickly turned to snow saturated the playing surface. The Chiefs kept tarps on it as long as possible, but they were removed two hours before kickoff and snow began to accumulate.The middle of the field was already turning into a quagmire during warmups, as was the south end zone, where players and personnel enter and exit the field. Workers were trying their best to keep it in shape with a tractor load of dry dirt and gravel.

The New York Jets' starting quarterback against the Buffalo Bills is ... still to be determined.All signs indicate it will be rookie Sam Darnold under center after he was a full participant at practice all week following missing three games with a strained right foot. Coach Todd Bowles declined Womens Odell Beckham Jersey , however, to announce Friday whether it will be Darnold or Josh McCown."We'll decide that on Sunday," Bowles said. "Between him and Josh, they both had good weeks."If Darnold plays, it would be his first game action since being injured against Miami on Nov. 4. Darnold was replaced the last three games by McCown, who had one touchdown pass and four interceptions while the Jets went 0-3.McCown fully participated in practice Friday after being limited Wednesday and Thursday by a sore back.The 21-year-old Darnold is healthy, but Bowles' decision will be about whether the rookie has his timing back after a three-game layoff."Just us deciding whether he's ready or not," Bowles said.The coach added that Darnold being a full participant all week and McCown being limited most of the week wouldn't play a factor in the final decision."They all were limited last week, and Josh played," Bowles said. "At this point in the season, I can put about 40 guys on there (injury report) limited that'll play."Bowles shed little light on what would go into the team's decision-making process. When asked what he saw from Darnold this week that he liked, he said simply: "Just that he was healthy."Despite the cloak-and-dagger gamesmanship, Darnold is fully expected to take the field against Buffalo to face fellow rookie Josh Allen.Darnold acknowledged that the final four games are important for him and the rest of the team, which is in the midst of a six-game skid, to finish on a positive note. Bowles said there are things Darnold can improve on as his first NFL season draws to a close."Well, everything Odell Beckham Browns Jersey ," Bowles said. "Obviously, as a rookie quarterback you're going to have improve on everything every week, and that's any one of our rookies at any position. He's got to get better with reads, and he will with playing time and everything else and progressions and getting in and out of the huddle, which he had been doing a good job at before he got hurt."Darnold has thrown for 1,934 yards, second to Cleveland's Baker Mayfield, among rookies. He has 11 touchdown passes along with the 14 INTs, but his 55.0 completion percentage and 68.3 quarterback rating rank near the bottom of the league.Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates thinks there might have been some benefit to Darnold watching for three games and resetting himself for the final stretch."Just sitting back, sitting and watching Josh, how fast he gets to Nos. 2, 3 (in his reads), the progression and how he recognizes defenses and moves off of No. 1 and the tempo of the game," Bates said. "I think the biggest thing is he experienced the first part of the season, then being able to sit and watch Josh execute the game plan, I think it's going to be worthwhile."Whether it's Darnold or McCown running the offense Sunday against the Bills Denzel Ward Jersey White , they could be without a few key playmakers.Linebacker Darron Lee was suspended for four games by the NFL on Friday for violating the substance abuse policy.Wide receiver Robby Anderson is questionable with an ankle injury that limited him the last two days of practice after fully participating Wednesday. Running back Isaiah Crowell, who leads the team with 680 yards rushing, is also questionable with a toe injury. One positive was that he was limited Friday after sitting out the previous two practices.Also questionable are cornerback Buster Skrine (shoulder/hip) and tight end Jordan Leggett (knee). Bowles' said Skrine was sore Friday, so the team limited him at practice. Misbehaving owners of sports teams have drawn headlines pretty much since sports have been around.Now, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft faces misdemeanor charges of soliciting a prostitute after police said he was twice videotaped paying for a sex act at a massage parlor in Florida amid a crackdown on sex trafficking.He joins a list of current and former NFL owners accused of crimes or social misconduct.Last year, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson sold the team after allegations surfaced of sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace. Following a six-month investigation by the league, he was fined $2.7 million. Richardson, the team’s founder, then sold the franchise to David Tepper for $2.2 billion.Cleveland Browns owner Jim Haslam had legal troubles while CEO of Pilot Flying J, one of the nation’s largest truck-stop chains. Company executives either pleaded guilty or were convicted in a fraud scheme worth more than $50 million. Haslam claimed he didn’t know about the scheme in which customers were underpaid on promised rebates for fuel purchases, and he was not charged.Haslam bought the Browns in October 2012, six months before the FBI and IRS raided company headquarters. The NFL never disciplined him.Jim Irsay, whose Indianapolis Colts won a Super Bowl for the 2006 season under his leadership, had acknowledged having a painkiller addiction in 2002 and sought treatment. The DEA investigated the case, but local prosecutors did not file charges.Then, in March 2014 Baker Mayfield Jersey White , Irsay was arrested near his home in suburban Carmel and was held overnight after he failed sobriety tests and police found prescription medications in his car. The police said the drugs in Irsay’s vehicle were not associated with any of the prescription bottles found inside. He was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, along with four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance; police also found $29,009 in cash.He again sought treatment and in September 2014 pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated, agreeing to undergo drug testing for a year. Irsay also admitted he was under the influence of the painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone when he was arrested.NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Irsay for six games and fined him $500,000.Ed DeBartolo Jr., who built the San Francisco 49ers‘ 1980s-90s dynasty with Bill Walsh as coach, was involved in one of the biggest owners’ scandals in the sport’s history. In 1998, he pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony when he paid $400,000 to former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards in exchange for a riverboat gambling license.DeBartolo was suspended from the NFL for one year in 1999 for his role in the gambling fraud scandal. He also handed over control of the team to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York, and never returned to the 49ers.Former Philadelphia Eagles owner Leonard Tose had to sell the team in 1985 to pay off more than $25 million in debts to Atlantic City casinos.Football hardly stands alone in the owners’ misbehavior market.Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott was sued by former employees during the days of the Big Red Machine for being a racist and, at one point, was quoted in The New York Times as saying Adolf Hitler initially was good for Germany; that her use of racially inappropriate words was in jest; and that she didn’t understand why certain ethnically insulting words were offensive.In 1993, Schott was suspended for one year by Major League Baseball and fined $25,000 for language that MLB’s executive council deemed “racially and ethnically offensive.”Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was fined $2.5 million and banned from the NBA for life in 2014 for racist comments he made to a friend. Sterling scolded her for posting pictures on Instagram in which she was accompanied by Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, both black.“Why are you taking pictures with minorities Womens Bernie Kosar Jersey , why?” Sterling was recorded as saying. “Don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. . And don’t bring him to my games, OK? … Yeah, it bothers me a lot that you want to promo, broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?”The Rigas family owned the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was forced to relinquish control of the team after indictments on bank and security fraud charges for raiding the coffers of their cable company, Adelphia. The Sabres played the 2003-04 season under NHL operation before being purchased out of bankruptcy by Thomas Golisano.Last year, NASCAR’s Brian France , whose family owns the stock car racing circuit and many of the tracks where it competes, was arrested in New York on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance. He immediately took a leave of absence and his uncle, Jim France, stepped in as chairman and CEO.Perhaps the most documented misbehavior by a franchise owner occurred with George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees.A 15-count indictment was handed up in 1974 in Cleveland federal court for violations of election laws. Steinbrenner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make illegal campaign contributions, then was suspended by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for two years. That suspension was lifted after 15 months for good behavior.Steinbrenner frequently was fined for publicly criticizing umpires and for tampering. He was forced to resign as the team’s managing general partner in 1990 for dealings with and a $40,000 payment to self-described gambler Howard Spira. Steinbrenner returned to his position on March 1, 1993.

The Saints first pick was their best value according to ESPN." />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesHorizontal - WhiteCanal Street Chroniclesa New Orleans Saints communityLog In or Sign UpLog InSign UpFanpostsFanshotsSectionsLibrarySaintsOddsAboutMastheadCommunity GuidelinesStubHubMoreAll 322 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections InterviewsNew Orleans Saints SatireWho Dat HistoryCanal Street Chronicles TutorialErik McCoy the top value pick for the SaintsNew Marcus Davenport Jersey White ,5commentsThe Saints first pick was their best value according to ESPN.CDTShareTweetShareShareErik McCoy the top value pick for the SaintsJerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsWe’ve already discussed how the New Orleans Saints had to be smart with their draft picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. What does that mean exactly? It means the Saints couldn’t afford to reach for a player and miss, so the Saints had to be “safe” relatively speaking, but taking players that were perceived as a good value at their selected spot.That’s why it should come as no surprise that when ESPN named the best draft value picks for each NFL team (Insider required), it was the Saints’ first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft that made the list:A report like this on McCoy obviously helps put minds at ease in WhoDat Nation if the Saints are forced to start McCoy at center earlier than expected.Between McCoy and the recently-signed Nick Easton, the Saints should be just fine on the offensive line front in 2019. The Saints offensive line was one of the best in 2018, and with the returning Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, Larry Warford, and Ryan Ramczyk, there’s no reason to think they’ll decline in 2019. The New Orleans Saints return home this weekend after two consecutive victories on the road, and six wins in a row. Their welcome home present is a meeting with the undefeated Los Angeles Rams, who have the one of the NFL's most explosive and diversified offenses. The Rams have the league's 3rd highest point production in the league this season, averaging 33 points per game (the Saints are second at 33.4), and their 443 total yards per game is the second highest in the NFL. The Saints defense is playing with more aggressiveness and higher confidence with each week. They still rank just 23rd in total yardage (374 per game) and points allowed (an average of 26.1/game) Womens Marcus Davenport Jersey , but have allowed more than 23 points just twice this season. They will now be tested against perhaps the most imaginative offense in the league. Let's have a look at some of the key matchups to watch when the Saints defense lines up across from the Rams offense. SAINTS PASS DEFENSE vs. RAMS PASS OFFENSE Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty ImagesNewly acquired Saints cornerback Eli Apple got his first start for the team on Sunday against Minnesota, just five days after being added in a trade with the Giants. Apple would wind up leading his new team in tackles, and despite two penalties, showed the type of man to man coverage ability that the defense had been lacking opposite of Pro Bowler Marshon Lattimore. The Saints hope that Apple's coverage skills will shore up what had been a glaring weakness for a 23rd ranked pass defense that is giving up 300 yards per contest. Marshon Lattimore is one of the better corners in the league, but the team has been extremely vulnerable with P.J. Williams and Ken Crawley, often heavily targeted by opponents. If Apple proves to be a solid compliment to Lattimore, then safeties Marcus Williams and Vonn Bell will be freed up for other coverage responsibilities, including extra support for Williams and Crawley when they're in the lineup. The communication in the secondary has been greatly improved, and New Orleans had not allowed a 300-yd. passer in the previous three games before Minnesota's Kirk Cousins threw for 359 last week. The Saints pass rush, especially from the defensive line, has been the strength of the team's pass defense. They sacked Cousins four times, and have 17 sacks on the year, with 15 coming from the defensive front. End Cameron Jordan is having another All-Pro campaign, and leads the team with 5 sacks and ten quarterback hits. Rookie Marcus Davenport (4 sacks) is making a bigger impact each week Tre'Quan Smith Jersey White , and has already shown why New Orleans traded up in the draft to select him. Tackle Sheldon Rankins (4sacks) is having a pro bowl season of his own. His disruptive presence in the middle not only collapses a pass pocket, but can change opposing blocking schemes, potentially putting Jordan or Davenport in one on one opportunities on the outside. The Saints linebackers have all proven to be effective blitzers, but have also been able to match up well in coverage against opposing backs and tight ends, taking some pressure off the secondary.Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsThird year Rams quarterback Jared Goff leads a passing attack that averages 292 yards per game, 7th best in the league, and is already one of the NFL's top signal callers. He has one of the strongest arms in the game, and very good athleticism to move away from the rush. He has three versatile wideouts to throw to in Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and former Saints playmaker Brandin Cooks, along with solid depth in Josh Reynolds and kick returner JoJo Natson. Kupp, who has 30 catches for 438 yards and a team high five scores, has missed the last two games with a knee injury but looks like he could be back this week. Woods is the team's leading receiver with 46 catches for 672 yards and 3 scores, while Cooks (35-643yds. Womens Alvin Kamara Jersey , 2 td) has been a big addition to the offense, adding another big play element. Rams running back Todd Gurley is nearly as dangerous coming out of the backfield as a receiver as he is a runner, catching 31 passes for 351 yards and 4 touchdowns. Goff has been sacked 17 times so far this year, but went down five times last week against Green Bay and five more times two weeks before that against the Denver Broncos. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images~ Matchup to Watch: Saints CB's vs. Rams WR's ~ Goff threw for 354 yards and 2 scores in the Rams 26-20 over New Orleans last season, although he was sacked four times. Saints cornerbacks Lattimore and Crawley both missed last season's matchup however, out with injury. Without them, Kupp and the since-departed Sammy Watkins combined for 12 catches and 198 yards. Kupp's quickness in returning from his knee injury is worth watching, but the Rams use all of their wideouts effectively on bubble screens and deadly crossing patterns to get them in open space. Lattimore and Apple will be challenged athletically, but will look to match up in man coverage, and all the Saints defensive backs must be physical with the shifty Los Angeles receivers. SAINTS RUN DEFENSE vs. RAMS RUN OFFENSE Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsThe Saints continue to lead the league in run defense, allowing opponents only 3.2 yards per rush and surrendering just 74 yards per game on the ground. Linebackers Demario Davis and A.J. Klein have been dominant as run defenders, and are the team leaders in tackles. The New Orleans defensive linemen are consistently winning their showdowns up front, not only pushing into the offensive backfield, but often allowing the linebackers free reign to opposing backs. Defensive tackles Taylor Stallworth and Tyeler Davison team with Rankins to give the Saints a wall in the middle Michael Thomas Saints Jersey , while Alex Okafor, Cam Jordan, and Davenport are good run defenders along the edge. Vonn Bell provides excellent run support from his safety position, and linebackers Manti Te'o, Craig Robertson, and Alex Anzalone are aggressive in flowing to the ball and keeping containment. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsThe Rams have the NFL's top ranked rushing attack, averaging 151 yards per game and 4.8 per carry. Todd Gurley has gashed defenses for 800 yards and 11 touchdowns, and is one of the (non-quarterback) midseason leaders for league M.V.P. The Rams use their receivers very effectively on end arounds, often resulting in a big gain when defenses crash inside on Gurley and lose containment responsibilities. Goff and the high flying passing game may get the headlines, but the Los Angeles offense centers around the abilities of Gurley, perhaps the best all-around back in the league. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports~ Matchup to Watch: Saints LB's vs. Gurley ~Gurley had 74 yards rushing and 54 receiving when these teams met last November, but the Rams had a heavy emphasis on the pass due to the absence of Lattimore and Crawley in the Saints lineup. Davis, Klein, and the rest of the improved New Orleans linebacking corps will face their most daunting task of the year. Gurley already has 1 Marcus Davenport Jersey ,151 yards from scrimmage this season and an eye-popping 15 touchdowns. He is just as dangerous bouncing a play to the outside as he is between the tackles. The New Orleans defense must get immediate hits on the talented running back to keep him from destroying them in the open field. WHAT TO LOOK FOR:Chuck Cook-USA TODAY SportsThe Rams have failed to score 30 points just twice this season, but both have come within the last three weeks, games where Goff was sacked a combined 10 times. New Orleans brought the Rams quarterback down four times in last year's game, and three times in a 2016 home win against Los Angeles, with Jordan totaling 3 sacks himself. The Saints run defense must be up to the task of at least slowing the dynamic Gurley, and put the onus on Goff to beat them. The Saints linebackers must be fast and precise in their coverage drops when L.A. does throw, hopefully altering the Rams crossing routes and impeding Goff's throwing lanes. Expect the New Orleans secondary to physical early at the line of scrimmage against the smaller Los Angeles wideouts. Lattimore and Apple are most effective at that style of play, and Brandin Cooks in particular (as Saints fans know) has struggled against physical man coverage.

Every year since 2011 , I’ve used a metric called the ‘Production Ratio’ to assess who the potential playmakers in the draft might be. The Production Ratio alerted us early to the likes of Kawann Short in 2013 or Aaron Donald in 2014.As there are bound to be playmakers available to the Cowboys outside the first round, the Production Ratio can help us get an early indication of who those playmakers might be.The Production Ratio was initially proposed by Pat Kirwan, and is really a very simple metric that adds up sacks and tackles-for-loss and divides the sum by the number of college games played. The resulting ratio is one tool among many - albeit a pretty good one - that measures the playmaking potential of front four players coming out of college. The Production Ratio is calculated as follows: The resulting number gives you a metric with which to evaluate a player’s playmaking ability, even if it isn’t a one-to-one measure of the frequency of splash plays (sacks or tackles-for-loss) a player recorded per game. That’s because officially, a sack also counts as a tackle for loss, so adding up the two numbers is a bit of double-counting. But in terms of the Production Ratio as originally described by Pat Kirwan, sacks plus the total number of TFLs go into the formula.The ratio is usually calculated over the entire college career of a prospect, but that method can be inaccurate because not every prospect has a four-year career in college. To correct for that, we’ll only look at the last two seasons of a player’s college career. For defensive tackles, a number above 1.0 for the last two years of college is usually indicative of a disruptive defensive tackle, a number above 1.5 generally denotes elite talent for a defensive tackle.But before we look at the defensive tackles in this year’s draft class, let’s look at the standout defensive tackles (two seasons and at least four sacks per NFL season to qualify) from 2010-2017 and see what their college Production Ratios looked like. Five of the 15 players shown above have a Production Ratio above 1.5 (blue cells), seven more have a ratio between 1.0 and 1.5 (green cells). So for 12 of the 15 players listed Dallas Cowboys Michael Gallup Jersey , the Production Ratio over their final two college years appears to have a correlation with future NFL success. Geno Atkins is the most obvious exception, but nobody in 2010 had any notion of what Atkins would become in the NFL. Chris Jones is the other obvious exception, but while he always had the physical potential (6-6, 310), he never put it all together in college, and didn’t even start until his final college season. In many ways, Jones is similar to David Irving (6-7, 290), except Irving never put it together in the NFL outside of an 11-game stretch (games 14-16 in 2016; games 5-12 in 2017) in which he put up 10 sacks and 11 TFLs. Just how impressive Irving’s run over that 11-game stretch was becomes clear when you understand the full scope of the table above: of the 169 DTs drafted between 2010 and 2017, only 15 averaged more than four sacks per season. As a general rule, if you want a disruptive guy in the middle, chances are you’ll have to get him at the top of the draft. But it’s also a fact that of the 15 most disruptive defensive tackles listed above, only seven were drafted in the first round Womens Michael Gallup 2019 Jersey , an indicator that it may be worth looking a bit closer at the college production of defensive tackle prospects, especially in the later rounds where the Cowboys will be drafting.Again, the mandatory caveat: There are a multitude of factors that determine how well a prospect will do in the NFL. College production is just one of them, but at the very least, the correlation shown above is intriguing.2019 Defensive Tackle ProspectsThe table below shows the current 34 top-ranked defensive tackle prospects for the 2019 NFL draft. The table is sorted by their ranking on draft website Great Blue North (GBN), with each player’s ranking on Draftcountdown (DC) and Drafttek (DT) added for further reference. It’s still early February, so you probably shouldn’t attach too much weight to these early rankings. But with the Cowboys picking 58th, and the depth of this year’s DT class, there’s a good chance eight DTs get picked before the Cowboys are on the clock. Similarly, players ranked 25th or lower are unlikely to get drafted at all, so the Cowboys’ sweet spot is likely somewhere between the 9th and 25th-ranked players.For your convenience, the table is sortable (just click on the blue column headers). Overall, this is not a particularly impressive DT class. Ed Oliver is the clear standout here Cheap Michael Gallup Youth Jersey , but he’ll be long gone before the Cowboys even turn on the lights in their war room. But there are three players above the 1.5 point threshold that currently look like they could be available when the Cowboys are on the clock, Khalen Saunders, Daniel Wise, and Youhanna Ghaifan.Khalen Saunders has been called the “Aaron Donald of the FCS”, and while he has a different body type than Donald, there’s no denying that he has some impressive athleticism for a 310-pound guy:Want to see that again?At Western Illinois, Saunders flew under the national radar most of his college career, but drew more attention during his senior year when he was named to multiple FCS All-American teams. But will his FCS production translate to NFL-level production? Daniel Wise. Kansas went 6-42 in the four years Wise played for the Jayhawks, so it’s no surprise he’s been flying under the radar in the build-up to this year’s draft. His production over the last two years (12 sacks, 28 TFLs, 87 tackles) is especially impressive given that he was probably the biggest threat on a bad Kansas defense and likely received a lot of attention from opposing teams.Tony Pauline of liked what he saw from Wise in the Week 6 game against West Virginia last year.Youhanna Ghaifan comes with some serious red flags, as Rotoworld summarizes:Based on his talent, Ghaifan looked like an early-round candidate for next year’s draft Dallas Cowboys Joe Looney Jersey , but his legal troubles had him declare early. Whether those troubles will scare off NFL teams remains to be seen. And that’s it as far as Production Points stand-outs. What you will find in this draft class are lots of players that can stop the run, can occasionally get into the backfield, can take on double teams, and have the anchor to hold their ground. But you won’t need to invest a premium pick for one of those guys.If the Cowboys are looking for that twitchy 3-technique they like for their scheme, their options appear slim, at least from a Production Ratio point of view. But they can find a lot of guys suited for the 1-technique position all over the draft. Of course, the idea of investing a high draft pick in a guy who can stop the run but can’t pressure the passer in a league that’s all about the pass seems to be kind of counter-intuitive, but so be it. The question is whether any of the prospects available for the Cowboys offer anything beyond what the Cowboys already have in guys like Antwaun Woods, Daniel Ross, and Maliek Collins (when he moves to the 1 on occasion), or a low-cost free agent signing.Ultimately, the Cowboys have to decide what type of players they want for their DT spots. If you want a big guy who can sit down on two offensive linemen, you can get a guy like that on the third day of the draft Womens Joe Looney 2019 Jersey , or you can get a cheap, proven veteran in free agency to do just that job - and invest your picks in positions that may be harder to find.The Production Ratio, like every other stat-based projection tool, is not going to be a perfect predictor of how successful these players are going to be in the NFL. But it does give you something to think about as you evaluate these players and their potential, and it may be one building block in identifying who this year’s playmakers will be - and who won’t. The NFL Combine will soon provide us with even more metrics, giving us an even bigger data base from which to assess players. The Cowboys defense stifled the Saints on Thursday night en route to a 13-10 win that more or less followed the script that Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence set out earlier in the week.Lawrence said that the Saints offense would have to “match our intensity” and that he believed the Saints would “start to get a little distressed” once they found things weren’t going as easily as they normally do on offense. The Cowboys wound up shutting the Saints out in the first half and held their visitors to 176 total yards for the game.After the game, Lawrence was asked if that was the best that the Dallas defense has to offer and Lawrence said that he thought the unit still had room to improve.“I can’t predict the future,” Lawrence said. “I don’t know what’s next to come. So I’m not going to call it the best yet. I really don’t think that was our final form. We’ve still got to get better.”Given what the Saints offense did in the first 11 games and how little it accomplished on Thursday, it’s hard to imagine getting much better on defense but this probably isn’t the best week to attempt to pick apart Lawrence’s analysis.

The Indianapolis Colts and starting defensive lineman Margus Hunt have agreed to terms on a two year contract extension Le'Raven Clark Jersey Stitched , the team announced via Twitter.We have signed DT @Margus_Hunt to a..."The Indianapolis Colts and starting defensive lineman Margus Hunt have agreed to terms on a two year contract extension, the team announced via Twitter.The deal is reportedly a two-year, $9 million extension that includes a $1 million more in incentives — sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Hunt appeared in 31 games and started in twenty for the Colts over the last two years, after being signed as a free agent after his time in Cincinnati.The defensive lineman played a pivotal role in the Colts’ success up front on the defensive side of the ball, as the unit managed 38 sacks and did not allow a 100 yard rusher. Indianapolis also boasted a very much improved defense in 2018-19 finishing 5th in points allowed per game (27.1) and 7th in yards allowed per game (386.2). Hunt, 31 Youth Jordan Wilkins Jersey , will enter his seventh season as a pro in 2019. He has 75 career appearances, including 20 career starts. With their defensive lineman locked up, the Colts are set to return at least three members of the starting defensive line next season. NASHVILLE, Tenn.聽鈥斅燭he Indianapolis Colts have Andrew Luck healthy and throwing the ball all over the field.That’s more than enough with an injured Marcus Mariota stuck watching from the Tennessee sideline.Luck threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns and the Colts beat the Titans 33-17 on Sunday night for the final spot in the postseason as the AFC’s No. 6 seed.With the Texans winning the AFC South title earlier Sunday with a victory over Jacksonville, that left the Colts and Titans playing for the second wild-card berth and a visit to Houston on Saturday.“It’s been a lot of fun,” Luck said. “It’s been a journey Jordan Wilkins Jersey Stitched , that’s for sure. I think what this team is doing is enjoying the journey.”Luck remained perfect against Tennessee, notching his 11th victory for the most wins by a quarterback since at least 1970 to win his first 11 starts against one franchise. He helped the Colts (10-6) 鈥?under first-year coach Frank Reich 鈥?end their postseason drought by winning for the ninth time in 10 games after a 1-5 start.“I mean you’re 1-5, and that’s special,” Reich said. “It not only takes the whole team for 10 weeks, so that’s very special.”The Titans (9-7) snapped a four-game winning streak with Mariota sidelined by neck and foot injuries. They missed a second straight playoff berth under first-year coach Mike Vrabel.“We made a decision that Marcus wasn’t going to play tonight,” said Vrabel Indianapolis Colts Abdurrahman Ya-Sin Jersey , who gave no details on when the decision not to start Mariota was made nor the seriousness of his injury. “We’ll continue to evaluate him and try to worry about his health and every one of those guys’ health 鈥?Marcus included.”The Colts intercepted two of Blaine Gabbert’s passes in the final 9:05 to finish off their 13th win in the last 15 games in the series.Marlon Mack ran for 119 yards and a TD for the Colts. Adam Vinatieri kicked field goals of 53 and 25 yards. The NFL’s oldest active player missed his final extra point.Derrick Henry, who took the Titans’ first offensive snap out of the wildcat, finished with 93 yards.Tennessee was missing three defensive starters with four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jurrell Casey placed on injured reserve Monday and linebacker Brian Orakpo scratched for a third straight game. That left the Titans unable to pressure Luck even with the Colts missing center Ryan Kelly because of a neck injury.And Luck simply shredded a Tennessee defense that came in as the NFL’s No. 2 scoring defense giving up just 18 points a game and sixth against the pass.He drove the Colts 92 yards before hitting Dontrelle Inman with an 11-yard TD pass and finished off a 90-play drive that used up nearly 10 minutes with a 9-yard pass to Eric Ebron. That left the Colts up 14-0, having held the ball for nearly 17 of the first 21 minutes.Luck also added a 1-yard TD toss to Ryan Hewitt on the opening drive of the third quarter for a 24-10 lead.“The most satisfying thing is to walk in the locker room, look at your teammate and say, ‘We did it Womens Abdurrahman Ya-Sin 2019 Jersey ,’ and we did it,” Reich said. “Those are three of the best words that you can ever say to your teammate. To me, that’s really the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”Titans linebacker Jayon Brown almost singlehandedly kept the Colts from putting the game away before halftime.Brown returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. After Adoree Jackson inexplicably grabbed at a bouncing punt that put the Colts at the Tennessee 9, the Colts had a TD run by Mack erased by a holding penalty on center Evan Boehm. Two plays later, Brown stripped Mack of the ball and recovered it.Ryan Succop kicked a 38-yard field goal that pulled Tennessee to 17-10 at halftime. Gabbert threw a 22-yard TD pass to Luke Stocker to pull the Titans to 24-17 late in the third quarter.100View Gallery Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj MehtaINJURIESThe already banged-up Titans had tight end Luke Stocker leave with an injured knee early in the second quarter followed by receiver Tajae Sharpe being helped to the sideline with an ankle. Stocker returned. Sharpe didn’t.Colts defensive end Tyquan Lewis hurt his knee late in the first half and did not return. Colts receiver Ryan Grant hurt a toe.FLYING FLAGSThe Colts would have won by a bigger margin if not for penalties that wiped out not one, but two touchdowns. They at least salvaged a Vinatieri field goal after Jordan Wilkins’ TD run in the fourth quarter was erased by a formation penalty. The Colt were flagged 12 times for 96 yards. The Titans Indianapolis Colts Abdurrahman Ya-Sin Jersey , who came in as the NFL’s least penalized team, finished with nine penalties for 75 yards.UP NEXT:Colts: Wild-card game in Houston on Saturday.Titans: Try to get Mariota healthy and find a better backup.

The Rams pick up insurance to Todd Gurley."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Daily Dawg ChowRufio’s PlaybookCommunity Mock Draft2019 NFL Mock Draft: Los Angeles Rams Select RB David Montgomery at No. 31New Odell Beckham Jersey White ,13commentsThe Rams pick up insurance to Todd Gurley.EDTShareTweetShareShare2019 NFL Mock Draft: Los Angeles Rams Select RB David Montgomery at No. 31Reese Strickland-USA TODAY SportsWith the 31st pick in the 2019 DBN Community NFL Mock Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select...David Montgomery, RB, Boston CollegeThe selection and write-up were made by Topanga Jeff:Pokorny: “It was frustrating to hear the Rams constantly say that Todd Gurley was fine last postseason, only to see him get one or two carries on gameday. The Rams’ lack of depth at running back proved to be a killer (even though CJ Anderson did a respectable job). I like the move of shooting for depth here; even if Gurley is healthy Womens Myles Garrett Jersey , let’s try to prolong his career by getting him fewer touched during the regular season.”The New England Patriots are up next, led by Midnite Moses.2019 DBN Community Mock Draft ResultsPickTeamUsernameSelectionPickTeamUsernameSelection Odell Beckham may have tipped the Browns’ first regular season opponent."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Daily Dawg ChowRufio’s PlaybookCould the Browns be opening the regular season against the Jets in Week 1?New,37commentsOdell Beckham may have tipped the Browns’ first regular season opponent.EDTShareTweetShareShareCould the Browns be opening the regular season against the Jets in Week 1?David Dermer-USA TODAY SportsThe 2019 NFL regular season will likely be announced within a week or so, but it sounds like some players have already gotten a peek at part of it. Last night on social media, new Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. may have given away who Cleveland will be facing in Week 1:It’s the type of tweet that reads Womens Nick Chubb Jersey , “Wow, after all of the crazy changes to my football life the past month, I’ll be headed right back to New York in Week 1.” The Browns don’t play the Giants this season, but they do play the Jets at MetLife Stadium, where Beckham has played his entire career.Further fueling speculation came when Jets safety posted a picture of the team’s new uniforms on Instagram Bernie Kosar Jersey , and then Beckham commented with, “See you [in] Week 1.”Some fans wanted to see the Browns vs. Patriots right off the bat, but the limelight for Cleveland’s first game could still be pretty big. The NFL is already celebrating their 100th season by featuring the Packers and Bears rivalry in the opening game. This would be the 50th anniversary of Monday Night Football, and the very first Monday Night Football game was between the Jets and Browns. Therefore, it has been speculated that the Browns will face the Jets on Monday Night Football in Week 1 — for the East Coast game at 7 PM. Add in the fact that both teams have promising young quarterbacks and other buzz-worthy players (Beckham for the Browns and Le’Veon Bell for the Jets) David Njoku Jersey White , and you’ve got your game. Cleveland would also be going up against their defensive coordinator and interim head coach from a year ago, Gregg Williams.What do you think of the possibility of the Browns vs. Jets being featured on Monday Night Football in Week 1?

METAIRIE Youth Marshon Lattimore Jersey , La. (AP) — Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan doesn’t sound interested in reviewing how the Saints gave up 48 points in Week 1 or 37 points in Week 3.“Early in the year, they gave up some points and yards and things like that, but you just really look at them in their last I guess three or four ballgames,” Linehan said.The more recent version of New Orleans’ defense hasn’t allowed more than 17 points in any of its past three games.“They’re just really doing a good job of getting stops and creating negative plays for the other team, whether it be sacks or turnovers,” Linehan said. “We’ve got a big challenge.”Indeed, for all the offensive star power in Thursday night’s Saints-Cowboys clash — from New Orleans’ Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara to Dallas’ Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper — it is also about defenses that have played well lately. Or in the Cowboys’ case, most of the season.Dallas has not allowed an opponent to score more than 23 in any of its past three games, has not allowed 30 points in a game all season and ranks third in the NFL in points allowed per game at 19.4.“They’re playing extremely well,” Saints coach Sean Payton said of the Dallas defense. “Their front gets after the quarterback. I think that their back end is really good relative to their scheme. … They’re well-coached and I think that they’re playing with real good passion. It’s one of the better defenses we’ve seen.”Saints quarterback Drew Brees was similarly effusive in his praise.“Defensively, they fly around. They’re very well-coached, disciplined Marshon Lattimore Jersey Stitched ,” Brees said. “They are just doing all the things that the great defenses do — getting pressure on the quarterback, good against the run. So really in every facet of what you would say is winning football, championship-caliber football, these guys are doing it right now.”Cowboys coach Jason Garrett cited coordinator Rod Marinelli’s work and an infusion of “some good young pieces on all three levels of our defense over the last couple of years” as reasons why Dallas has played well on that side of the ball this season.“The guys have a good understanding of what we want them to do and I think we play hard,” Garrett said. “We’re physical, we run to the ball and take great pride in being a great defensive unit.”Both defenses feature relatively young players in prominent roles, such as defensive end Taco Charlton, linebacker Jaylon Smith and safety Xavier Woods in Dallas, and defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, linebacker Alex Anzalone and cornerback Marshon Lattimore in New Orleans.Meanwhile, each team has a playmaking defensive end in his prime: Cameron Jordan for the Saints and Demarcus Lawrence for the Cowboys. Their linebackers also are led by accomplished veterans in New Orleans’ Demario Davis and Dallas’ Sean Lee.New Orleans ranks No. 1 in the NFL against the run, which creates a compelling matchup against Elliott, the NFL’s leading rusher.Some of the Saints’ success against the run stems from the fact they’ve played with large leads, which leaves opponents little choice but to try to come back through the air.“At the same time Youth Ryan Ramczyk Jersey , you see the first, opening, couple drives — three-and-outs — limited success in (opponents’) run game,'” Jordan said. “There’s also been games where we had to play all four quarters, all 60 minutes and even beyond that, and we still come out with the same result.”Dallas is tied for fourth against the run as it prepares to face Kamara and Mark Ingram, and ranks 12th against the pass.The Saints have a less flattering No. 30 ranking against the pass, but have been able to counter that with turnovers, such as three in the red zone against Atlanta last week. And they’ve gotten good pressure on quarterbacks, with 13 sacks in the past three games.“I don’t think quarterbacks are getting comfortable back there,” Saints defensive tackle Tyeler Davison said. “There’s not space for them to step up. You can’t escape on the edges. I feel like when quarterbacks play against us now, they have to have that clock in their head. They know that, ‘If I don’t get this ball out, something’s going to happen to me.’ Especially with our offense doing so well Ryan Ramczyk Jersey Stitched , it allows us to pin our ears back and go attack the quarterback.” METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Injuries prevented defensive end Alex Okafor, middle linebacker Alex Anzalone and nickel back P.J. Williams from participating in the playoffs when the New Orleans Saints nearly advanced to the NFC title game last season.The fact that all three have played virtually the entire 2018 season only begins to tell the story of how relatively healthy the Saints are as they return to the postseason as their conference’s No. 1 seed.And the bye week they earned will only help.“Health in general is an important aspect of this game and the best attribute is availability,” said Okafor, who tore his Achilles in the 10th game of the 2017 season and managed to come back strong enough to play in all 16 games this year.“In the last playoff game I played in, for Arizona against Carolina, we were down to our third-string quarterback. So to be able to have the opportunity to go into the playoffs where most of this team is healthy is huge for us — and I think it’ll show.”None of the nine New Orleans players on injured reserve were major contributors this season. Two of the biggest names on the list are 2018 free-agent acquisitions who played less than half the season — defensive back Patrick Robinson, who played in three games, and receiver Cameron Meredith, who played in six.If there is one area of concern, it is the offensive line.Left tackle Terron Armstead, the club’s second-highest-paid offensive player, was not present during the portion of Wednesday’s practice open to reporters. Same for starting guards Larry Warford and Andrus Peat.Armstead has been dealing with an ailing pectoral muscle that has sidelined him for six of the past seven games. He tried to come back in Week 16 against Pittsburgh, but didn’t make it through that game.Warford was listed with a knee injury when he was scratched from the regular-season finale. Peat Youth Marcus Williams Jersey , who is one of New Orleans’ most versatile linemen, played in Week 17 but left with a hand injury.The good news for New Orleans is its banged-up linemen can get extra rest this week, and that the main contributors at all other position groups appear fit.The health of 39-year-old quarterback Drew Brees hasn’t been an issue. He even got Week 17 off after leading the Saints to a 13-2 record in the first 15 games. Also getting last weekend off was running back Alvin Kamara, one of the Saints’ most productive players in both the running and passing game, with 1,592 yards and 18 touchdowns from scrimmage. Michael Thomas finished the season healthy after setting a franchise record for yards receiving in a season with 1,405. Running back Mark Ingram has said he feels relatively fresh after playing in 12 games since returning from a four-game suspension to start the season.There were times when the Saints’ passing game looked as if it could use the deep threat Tedd Ginn Jr. provided before his knee injury, which led him to undergo arthroscopic surgery and spend more than half the season on injured reserve. But Ginn came back in Week 16, played well, and said he feels good after getting additional rest last week.All the more reason for Brees to like the Saints’ prospects.“Obviously staying healthy is very important for any team that’s making a run,” Brees said. “You want to have the right guys in key places.”On defense, all of New Orleans’ top producers appear ready to go, from leading sack men Cameron Jordan and Sheldon Rankins up front to linebackers Anzalone and Demario Davis, who were two of the team’s top three tacklers. On the back end Marcus Williams Jersey Stitched , second-year pro Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans’ best player in pass coverage, played in every regular-season game, as did safety Vonn Bell, the club’s second-leading tackler.Defensive end Marcus Davenport and fourth-year interior lineman Tyeler Davison both missed time with foot injuries earlier this season, but returned to solidify a defense that racked up 49 sacks this season.“We’ve been fortunate that injuries have not been a big factor in our season,” Davison said. “And most of the ones we have had, the people that had them were able to fight through it.“We do have a deep team, so when somebody has gotten hurt, somebody else was able to step up,” Davison continued. “But you don’t want your best players getting hurt. That obviously plays a huge role.”

The Cowboys signed George Iloka Charles Haley Jersey 2019 , but could they still add another safety?"After bringing in a few safeties for visits in free agency, the Cowboys finally signed one when they reached a one-year deal with George Iloka. The natural reaction was that the Cowboys have now signed their safety, and any new additions at the position would come from the draft. But is that necessarily so?Consider that Iloka is only on a one-year deal, and while we don’t know the particulars of that deal, it is likely to be a very inexpensive contract. When Iloka became a cap casualty from the Bengals in August of last year, he eventually signed a one-year deal with the Vikings. It was cheap.While Iloka had some good years with the Bengals, his production and playing time was nothing to write home about last year with the Vikings. It’s hard to imagine that he got too much of a raise to sign with Dallas. His guaranteed money will likely be low meaning that he could be released if he is not making the grade. Additionally, the Cowboys could part ways with Kavon Frazier with very little dead money if they so desired. The point is that besides Xavier Woods, no other current Cowboys safety is a dead-bolt lock to make the roster. The Cowboys could do what they want.And what they may want to do is to bring on Eric Berry. The Iloka signing could merely be a low-risk insurance policy to add some stability to the position. It may not be the end game.The Cowboys apparently were concerned with Berry’s health after they met with him.What we don’t know is how concerned were the Cowboys? Were they concerned to the point he was un-signable for them, as in they didn’t think he could play this season? Or were they concerned only to the point that they needed an incentive-laden contract that provided an easy out if Berry couldn’t make it? Berry may have balked at the latter if that is what the Cowboys were thinking. The longer Berry doesn’t find any other suitors, though, the more his price will drop. We’re not trying to raise any hopes, but the possibility still exists. The Iloka signing does not preclude the Cowboys from pursuing Eric Berry if they think his health is worth the risk. It may just be about what kind of contract Berry would sign. The fact is that a healthy Berry is better than any safety on the Cowboys roster. Could the Cowboys still want to see if he can be that player once again? The NFL spent a lot of time and effort in the offseason simplifying what constitutes a catch and trying to make the game safer with new rules that require both offensive and defensive players to use their heads and not their helmets.Blunders, however, are here to stay.Take Rob Gronkowski's spectacular 28-yard catch between two Texans defenders — which maybe wasn't really a catch — that set up a touchdown in the final seconds of the first half, giving the Patriots a 21-6 lead on their way to a 27-20 victory Sunday.The catch stood as called, not because NFL headquarters confirmed the reception upon review Dallas Cowboys Jaylon Smith Jersey , but because the league didn't buzz the officials on the field fast enough to stop the next snap so they could further scrutinize Gronk's grab."New York did get back to us," referee Tony Corrente said. "However, unfortunately, they didn't get the game officials on the field until after the (next) play had already started."Crucially, the catch/non-catch stood as called.Houston coach Bill O'Brien, who would have been penalized for throwing his red challenge flag inside the 2-minute warning, could have called timeout to allow the league office more time. But he said he didn't have a good view of the play himself.Anyway, the clock was running and O'Brien figured the Texans could hold New England to a field goal.They couldn't.Tom Brady threw a 14-yard TD pass with 23 seconds left.O'Brien said Monday he thinks it was indeed a catch by Gronkowski."On the coach's film, I really do," O'Brien said. "He went up; he caught it; he kept both hands underneath it. Now relative to some TV angles and some other video angles that I've seen, maybe it was questionable. From the coach's vantage point on the coach's tape, it looked like a catch to me."We'll never know what Al Riveron, the NFL's senior vice president of officiating, would have ruled.SEATTLE SLOWSeahawks coach Pete Carroll was slow on the draw in Denver after Broncos rookie running back Royce Freeman put the ball on the ground for an apparent fumble Sunday. But just like Brady in Foxborough, Case Keenum hustled up to the line and the Broncos got the next snap off quickly."They were going fast and I had a couple of seconds to throw it and I've got to find an official," Carroll explained after Seattle's 27-24 loss. "I threw it, but he said it was too late to call it Womens Jaylon Smith 2019 Jersey , which I'm sure he was right about that. I just needed to respond a little bit faster. I didn't hear the word from upstairs as quickly as I needed to get it executed before they hurried up."That's how the hurry-up does help you once in a while."Or hurt you.FLAG FOOTBALLThere were 26 penalties enforced in the NFL opener between the Eagles and Falcons to go with offsetting penalties on a Philadelphia punt in the fourth quarter.Eagles coach Doug Pederson, however, is convinced the officials accidentally called a foul on them when it was actually on Atlanta.The officials called holding on No. 39 of the Eagles even though there wasn't anyone on the field for Philly wearing that number. Replays showed that No. 39 on the Falcons, Deante Burton, committed holding.OUT OF SIGHT ...Seattle six-time Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas ended his holdout last week after his pay-me-or-trade-me demands were ignored by the Seahawks. He had an interception that set up Seattle's first touchdown of the season.Two-time Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell stayed away from the Pittsburgh Steelers amid public criticism from some of his own offensive linemen. And his replacement starred.By reporting to the Seahawks last week, albeit begrudgingly, Thomas assured he won't miss out on his roughly $500,000 weekly paychecks, although he still wants more than the $8.5 million he'll make in 2018, in the final year of his contract."During the game I'm not thinking about it," Thomas said. "I'm out here having fun with B-Mac (safety Bradley McDougald) and the guys. So, I'm not thinking about it. When I get asked about it, it definitely runs across my mind."Bell's contract dispute triggered teammates to turn on him last week, when center Maurkice Pouncey said, "Honestly it's a little selfish. I'm kind of (ticked) right now. It sucks that he's not here. We'll move on as a team."That, they did.On a day quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled throwing three interceptions and fumbling twice, Bell's sub Cheap Jaylon Smith Youth Jersey , James Conner, was steady, scoring two touchdowns, rushing for 135 yards and adding 57 more on five catches as the Steelers escaped Cleveland with a 21-21 tie.His 192 total yards matched Bell's best game from last season."I'm so tired of Le'Veon," Steelers right guard David DeCastro told reporters. "I'm so tired of it. Let's just worry about the guys that are here. I know you guys have stories to write and what not. I love Le'Veon, but we have to worry about the guys that are here. That's the only people that matter."TWITTER TROLLDez Bryant is no longer with the Dallas Cowboys, but on Sunday his thoughts sure were .The free-agent wide receiver called out his former team with a series of critical tweets as the Cowboys lost their opener, 16-8 at Carolina.Bryant was released in April after eight seasons with the team and remains unsigned.When one fan asked Bryant to have his agent call Cowboys owner Jerry Jones so Dallas could re-sign him, the three-time Pro Bowl selection said he could be a good fit in New England or with the Cowboys' NFC East rivals in Washington.Learning that Jones left the locker room quickly without comment as most reporters were interviewing running back Ezekiel Elliott, Bryant responded, "I love Jerry ,""I honestly don't think HE wanted me gone so I feel his pain," Bryant wrote.AP Sports Writer Tom Withers contributed to this report.

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