Roethlisberger has been with the Steelers, who took him with the 11th pick in the 2004 draft

“It doesn’t change our planning,” Colbert continued. “When we scout in the fall, we scout every position. Even when Ben was a young player, we still evaluated the quarterback class, because how the quarterbacks stack up (in the draft) is going to affect how the tackles stack up and how the receivers stack up. We always evaluate every position, and if Ben would decide to retire we would be prepared then to move accordingly. I hope we don’t get to that situation for a few more years.

“I’m working under the assumption that until he says he’s retired officially, then he’s not. If he decides to (retire), then we’ll act accordingly, but in the meantime we’re not going to get out of sorts with potential retirements… I’m hopeful and confident Ben will be back.”

Ben Roethlisberger has been with the Steelers, who took him with the 11th pick in the 2004 draft, his entire 13-year career. He figures to retire as a member of the Steelers, which is also how Colbert wants Bell to end his career.

The two sides have to work out a long-term deal and the Steelers could place the franchise tag on Bell by March 1 to prevent him from becoming a free agent on March 9. Bell was a second-round pick of the Steelers in 2013 and has rushed for 4,045 yards and 26 touchdowns despite missing 14 games because of injuries and suspensions.

Things went poorly with that, to put it mildly. Hey, if they hadn’t, the Chiefs would be dealing with someone else’s long-term negotiations, instead of with their single best defensive player and, if not the very best in the league at his position, one of the top three.

By rule, a player can be tagged three straight times. No team has been crazy enough to try it. There’s no reason to think it will happen with Berry. But that’s always hanging out there, right over the head of a key player in the middle of his prime reaching a career crossroads. texans_025

Saints C Max Unger out 5 months after foot surgery, report says

The Saints could have a big issue on their hands because of center Max Unger’s foot.

Unger recently underwent surgery to repair an injured foot, NFL Network reported, and will miss roughly five months, likely beginning the 2017 season on the physically unable to perform list.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the Colorado Crush as we make a push for a playoff spot the second half of the season,” Jones said in a statement. “I plan to give it my all and I’m dedicated to the challenges ahead. My goals are to raise the quality of play and make the remainder of the season a success for our fans and front office.”

Jones had previously served as the Crush’s defensive coordinator before taking over the 2-6 team following the departure of head coach Jose Jefferson.

Jones, 44, a two-time All-American at Florida State, was selected fourth overall by the Jets in the 1993 NFL Draft. He spent his entire 11-year career in New York. He started 129 of 142 regular season games, recording 1,021 tackles, nine sacks and five interceptions during his career.

The Colts once saw Allen as a top blocker and receiver to mesh with pure pass-catching tight end Coby Fleener in their double tight sets, but injuries contributed to Allen’s fade when Fleener moved on to the Saints in 2016. The Patriots noticed Allen suddenly was expendable for Indianapolis because of Jack Doyle, and New England pounced.

If healthy at 27 — three years younger than Bennett — Allen can produce like an ideal in-line complement to Gronk as both a field-stretcher and a finisher. There was a cap to what both Scott Chandler and Bennett could do as No. 2 tight ends in New England. Allen’s game has proved to provide a much higher ceiling.
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Why has Kizer’s personality overshadowed his on-field play?

Cook’s junior season also displayed his ability to be a threat in the passing game. The elusive tailback doubled his receiving yardage from 244 to 488 last fall as he emerged as a true all-around threat.

With 14.8 yards per reception in 2016, Cook proved he is a force near the line of scrimmage who can also make plays downfield.

An average performance at the 2017 NFL Combine tempered a lot of enthusiasm. Cook ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash, slower than expected, and failed to grade out among the top performers in the rest of the event’s agility drills. That, combined with ball protection concerns (13 career fumbles), durability (torn rotator cuff in high school and front and back of his labrum while at FSU) and off-field concerns dropped him to the second round.

Why has Kizer’s personality overshadowed his on-field play?

Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly didn’t help matters, suggesting Kizer could have benefitted from another year at Notre Dame. And then Kizer took it to another level.

“Imagine taking (Tom) Brady’s intellect and Brady’s preparation and putting it on a guy with Cam Newton’s body,” he told USA Today. Why can’t I be the greatest? The only thing stopping me from it is me. That’s what’s driving me now.”

Follow the action with our 2017 NFL draft tracker with pick-by-pick results and analysis updating in real-time for all seven rounds. The All-AAC standout is the new physical prototype for an NFL safety. At 6’4 and 224 pounds and sporting a near four-foot vertical, he has the size to compete with any receiver in the league for jump balls. While his height can leave him open to missed tackles, he does a good job of lowering his pads and wrapping up ball carriers, limiting mistakes downfield and making him a tactical weapon against the run.

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Eli Manning accused of fake ‘game-worn’ memorabilia scheme

A lawsuit between Giants quarterback Eli Manning and a sports memorabilia collector, Steiner Sports, has been ongoing since 2014. The lawsuit alleges that Manning and the Giants were in on a scheme in which phony game-worn gear was passed off as real.

Items alleged to have been distributed include a helmet on display in Canton, along with two 2012 Super Bowl helmets and a 2004 helmet from Manning’s rookie season. According to the New York Post, the documents say Manning participated in the ruse so he could keep the real items.

The Giants, Eli Manning, team equipment manager Joe Skiba, Steiner Sports, and others, including team co-owner and CEO John Mara, are being sued for the allegedly fake memorabilia.

One of those eight is Tony Dungy, inducted in the Hall of Fame last summer, who gives Rooney, Noll and the Steelers all the credit for giving him a chance to be an assistant coach at age 26, after his playing days were over.

Rooney’s name, of course, will live on for years as part of the “Rooney Rule” he crafted in 2002, when he chaired the NFL’s diversity committee under then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue to open up the hiring process. It has since been expanded to women candidates and to front-office positions.

Meanwhile, though Ron Smith could become the next Kazee in the back, someone needs to become the next Smith. In Montgomery and Derek Babaish (who missed half the season), SDSU boasts only one corner who saw action last year. Safety is loaded — Baldwin and seniors Kameron Kelly and Trey Lomax combined for 4.5 TFLs, eight picks, and 20 breakups — but it appears Kelly has moved to cornerback, and if he gets hurt or has to move back, the second CB spot is up for grabs.nike_jaguars_855

Isaac has soft touch on the low block and has great mobility for a player his size.

The Nets have a host of needs, and they won’t be able to address them this summer swapping for Boston’s late-first round pick. But in this alternate reality, using cap space to pick up a power forward of Jonathan Isaac’s caliber would improve the Nets’ frontcourt.

Isaac has soft touch on the low block and has great mobility for a player his size. He competes at both ends of the court and runs the floor for easy buckets in transition, just like Nets coach Kenny Atkinson ordered. Brooklyn only has Trevor Booker, Quincy Acy, and Andrew Nicholson competing for the four spot.

Isaac would need to earn his stripes, but he could become part of a Nets team that is building a foundation for the future. He’d choose the Nets for immediate playing time and the opportunity to work with Atkinson.

NBC is “disappointed” with the NHL for forgoing the Olympics. It’s good to remember that NBC holds the NHL’s national television rights and the Olympic television rights.
The lack of NHL participation also is a big boost to the KHL, who could see Russian players return next season to get a shot at the Olympics.

Current NHL players aren’t being silent about the news either. Henrik Lundqvist has tweeted his disappointment. Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic also put out a cryptic picture of the Pyeongchang Olympic logo on his Twitter account. It’s likely many more NHL players will express their displeasure with the league in the coming days, and we’ve listed them all for you right here.

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That’s because Golden State’s defense is tailor-made to stop the Rockets

Houston’s ability to scorch teams from deep behind the three-point line usually rips apart defensive game plans. Not so with the Warriors. That’s because Golden State picks up shooters 28 feet away from the basket, sometimes further. Watch Klay Thompson and Patrick McCaw in this clip.

The Warriors’ defense is also a reason why Harden, arguably the league’s most feared isolation player, has turned the ball over so frequently. The Warriors take the three-pointer away, then make calculated gambles helping on a driving Harden.

With the seasons having gone as they have, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to see the Saints a strong betting favorite, even on the road. New Orleans opened as a 6-point favorite and line has since shifted even further in its direction. Some oddsmakers currently have New Orleans pegged as a 10.5-point favorite.

New Orleans is an obvious pick to win the matchup straight up, but there is more of a question when betting against the spread. The Saints’ 6-3-1 record against the spread isn’t nearly as good as their 8-2 record straight up. Even more troubling is that most of New Orleans’ success against the spread has come at home, where the Saints are 5-0-1 ATS. Their record against the spread drops to 1-3 on the road. Atlanta is just 2-8 ATS this season, but has fared much better at home, going 2-3.
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Both teams have been known to have prolific offenses in recent years, and the total opened at 53 points. New Orleans is once again lighting up the scoreboard, averaging 28.8 points per game, the second-highest total in the NFL.
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Richie Incognito blames Dolphins locker room environment in interview with Jay Glazer

That was the thrust of Richie Incognito’s interview with Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. The embattled Dolphins guard stuck to the misunderstood friendship line that’s been parroted throughout the week by Incognito and his teammates. That includes a threat to defecate in Martin’s mouth.

The veteran guard did tell Glazer that he regretted the use of racial epithets. He said that was a “product of the environment” in the team’s locker room.

“I’m proud of my guy for having my back and telling the truth,” Incognito said.

Incognito said that the two communicated with that kind of language, claiming he got a text message from Martin that said “I will kill your entire f’ing family.”

“I wanted to see my buddy, I wanted him to call me back,” Incognito said justifying the language he used in the voicemail message revealed Monday by Adam Schefter.

The Packers currently lose out in the tiebreaker to both Chicago and Detroit in the battle for the top spot in the and right now sit on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff picture. A win on Sunday over the Eagles, who somehow are still in the race for the NFC East title, will go a long way with at least one of the Lions or the Bears having to lose on Sunday (unless it’s a tie).

Nick Foles is coming off a seven-touchdown game against the Oakland Raiders and faces a Packers pass defense that ranks 20th in the league. While he likely won’t repeat his record-tying performance, this is a difficult game for Green Bay defensively.

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Doc Rivers says NBA needs to address ‘back-to-back’ scheduling

Although his Clippers team was the beneficiary of the Cavaliers’ decision to rest LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on Saturday night, trouncing Cleveland’s reserves 108-78, coach Doc Rivers said that the NBA needs to address the “back-to-back” scheduling of nationally broadcast games.

LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out for the Cavaliers, marking the second straight Saturday night the marquee ABC game was without several resting stars.

It’s easy to overlook the rest of Denver’s offense and focus on Peyton Manning, but running back Knowshon Moreno deserves credit for stepping up and proving he can be a difference maker. Over the last three weeks, he’s rushed for 175 rushing yards, and on Sunday he added 89 yards receiving and a touchdown. Moreno’s emergence gives the Broncos another weapon for defenses to contend with and more importantly, someone who can pick up first downs in short-yardage situations.

The Washington Redskins were in a good place entering the second half, but inexplicably abandoned the run and became one dimensional. Alfred Morris was running the ball well and the game was close, but Mike Shanahan’s team asked Robert Griffin III to do everything on offense over the final 30 minutes, which allowed the Broncos to key in him only. This resulted in a poor passing game and a collapse. Griffin will be the talking point this week, but offensive play-calling deserves to be the focus.

St. Louis is in a bad way right now watching Bradford go down with a torn ACL. The offense was already very inconsistent with Brian Schottenheimer at times being very cautious and predictable with the play-calling. Now you have to wonder does he go into a complete shell with a less experienced quarterback?

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The Jags are under new management, and it remains to be seen what the new brain trust thinks of Blake Bortles

Here’s how photographers captured the unbelievable catch that propelled the Patriots’ game-tying drive in Super Bowl LI.
They have played in nearly half of the Super Bowls since then. Brady is going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, and Belichick might well be remembered as the best football coach in history.

Yet their margin in the most important games of that span — the seven Super Bowls that have sealed the history of their dynasty — is incredibly thin. They have all been decided by one score, with an average point differential of 3.7. Viewed objectively, the Brady/Belichick Patriots are but a few plays away from never winning a Super Bowl — or winning all seven.

The Jags are under new management, and it remains to be seen what the new brain trust thinks of Blake Bortles. He absolutely took a step backward in 2016 and will have to show progress quickly if the team is going to commit to him long term.

The social media producer said Garrett’s comments were in the spirit of an upbeat event. All players in attendance went through a series of interviews before the event.

“He was definitely having fun and was in a playful mood,” the producer said. “One of the questions right before that was about his interest in dinosaurs. That’s what we do. We get fun little nuggets.

“It was 100 percent supposed to be fun. He was just having fun. He knew I worked for ESPN and that I was videoing him.”

In a separate video for KRIV-TV in Houston that was posted on Twitter on Thursday, Garrett said he would “definitely” like to play for the Browns.

Tom Brady excited his mom will attend the Super Bowl after recent health issues

Tom Brady’s mother, Galynn, has been dealing with health issues for the past 18 months, and it has been a big source of concern and stress for Brady, according to CSNNE.

His mother’s health might also explain why Brady was emotional at Super Bowl Opening Night when asked who his hero was, and he responded with his dad.

Tom Brady nearly brought to tears at Super Bowl media event after answering 7-year-old boy’s question asking who his hero was: “My dad.”

When asked about his heartfelt response, Brady said via NESN, “You just have different things that your family goes through throughout the course of your life. It has been a challenging year for my family for some personal reasons.” That turned out to be telling about his mother’s health.

Wilson continued, “Now you kind of recognize that people’s feelings are getting hurt, people’s lives getting changed, people are getting sent back or not let in back home to see their families for reasons that may not be worthy. Just because you believe in something or you’re from a certain place doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person.”

He also questioned whether or not Trump would last his entire term.

“I don’t know if [Trump’s] even going to be able to last four years, in my opinion. You don’t want to wish bad upon anybody, because if he doesn’t last four years, that means that something went wrong. So hopefully nothing goes wrong any more than what it’s already doing.”