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The Confidential for Monday 11/16

Nov 16, 2015 -- 9:33am

Here is an early look at my Confidential for Monday November 16th. Enjoy and remember if you have a story for the confidential email it to matt@680thefan.com or tweet it @realmatlanta

Report: Alabama’s Lane Kiffin Interviewed For The Maryland Job

Lane Kiffin could be headed to the Big Ten. 

According to a report by InsideMDSports.com’s Jeff Ermann, the Alabama offensive coordinator recently interviewed for the Maryland job. Kiffin, who’s been with the Crimson Tide since 2014, “seems unlikely to return next year,” per the report

Kiffin hasn’t been a head coach since getting fired by USC in 2013. 

A Big Ten East Division with Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, Mark Dantonio, James Franklin and Lane Kiffin? Yes, please.



Texans coach Bill O'Brien interested in University of Maryland opening

Jason La Canfora

Texans embattled coach Bill O'Brien, perhaps headed to a showdown with general manager Rick Smith this offseason as ownership mulls a change in its power structure, is very intrigued by the opening at the University of Maryland, according to several sources close to the school, and his interest in the job is not lost on the school's primary boosters.


O'Brien, who had a successful but brief college head-coaching stint with Penn State before taking the Texans job, coached previously at Maryland as an assistant and, according to sources close to the school, prominent Maryland alumnus Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour, and other key figures in the hiring process are aware of O'Brien's interest. It is clear to many in the Texans organization that significant change is likely coming, with O'Brien and Smith not both remaining in the current roles in all likelihood, and owner Bob McNair has long championed Smith, creating an uneasy climate within the franchise.

O'Brien is only in his second year with the team, but turmoil has been increasingly common. The Texans are falling far short of expectations, and it is becoming increasingly common for coaches to be gone after just a year or two. The Maryland job is more attractive than many on the outside perceive, especially given Plank's financial and emotional commitment to the school and his desire to turn it into a Big Ten power, including a plan to build state-of-the-art training facilities.



'Bonus' Bobby Petrino in line for another big payday after victory

Louisville’s football coach is staking claim to a new nickname: “Bonus Bobby.”

Bobby Petrino led the Cardinals to their sixth victory of the season Saturday against Virginia, making Louisville bowl eligible and all but assuring that Petrino will get a nearly $300,000 bonus.

This will be in addition to the $500,000 bonus that was triggered a little more than two weeks ago when Louisville’s athletics compliance determined that the football team’s new single-year NCAA Academic Progress Rate will be at least 935.

The payments are by far the two most lucrative bonuses that have been earned by a public-school football coach so far this season, according to USA TODAY Sports’ analysis of coaches’ contracts and tracking of their bonuses. The next-largest bonus achieved so far is the $200,000 that Penn State coach James Franklin stands to get from a bowl appearance by the Nittany Lions (7-3).

Last season, Petrino was paid nearly $800,000 in bonuses — second among FBS public-school coaches to Missouri’s Gary Pinkel, who totaled $900,000, according to data compiled by USA TODAY Sports for football head coaches who are at the same school that employed them as the head coach last season.

On Saturday, the Cardinals (6-4) became the eighth bowl-eligible team for the Atlantic Coast Conference, which has nine guaranteed bowl bids this season.

Among the ACC’s six remaining teams, five are already eliminated from bowl consideration because they have seven losses – Boston College, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Virginia and Wake Forest.

Petrino’s achievement of the APR bonus increased the value of his bowl bonus, which, according to his contract, gives him an amount equal to 1/12th of the sum of his $3 million basic annual pay and the APR bonus if he gets it. So, if Louisville participates in a bowl game, Petrino will be due $291,667 rather than $250,000.


Houston Trolls Baylor After Loss With “Only Undefeated Team In Texas” Tweet

There are just five undefeated teams left in college football, and only one of them resides in Texas. Houston, behind an incredible fourth quarter comeback against Memphis that featured three touchdowns in the game’s final 13 minutes, is now 10-0 on the season. Baylor, after falling to Oklahoma 44-34, is now 8-1.

The Cougars decided to have a bit of fun at the Bears’ expense, sending out an interesting tweet right as the OU vs. Baylor game ended. Check it out:

#HTownTakeover @UHCougarFB

Houston - the ONLY UNDEFEATED team in the state of Texas. #HTownTakeover #GoCoogs



Reports: Julian Edelman suffered broken bone in foot vs. Giants, season ‘in jeopardy’

11.15.15 at 9:16 pm ET

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Patriots’ thrilling win over the Giants came with a cost.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman broke a bone in his foot in the first quarter, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo said his season is “in jeopardy,” but he could return for the playoffs.

Garafolo adds the injury is to Edelman’s fifth metatarsal and is believed to be a true Jones fracture.

On the final play of the opening quarter, third-and-4 at the Giants 26-yard line, Edelman caught a pass for 12 yards and was tackled by linebacker Jasper Brinkley at the Giants 14-yard line. Edelman went to the sideline and was checked out by doctors before walking to the locker room.

He was spotted in a walking boot and on crutches being carted to the team bus following the game.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter added later Edelman will have surgery Monday and “there is hope” he can return this season.

Edelman has been Brady’s most dependable receiver this year, catching 61 passes for 692 yards and a career-high with seven touchdowns.


From a tree stand in the woods, Brett Favre congratulates Peyton Manning

Brett Favre sent his congratulations to Peyton Manning like only Favre could: In a video message shot from a tree stand on a hunting expedition.

Manning on Sunday broke Favre’s NFL record for career passing yards (although he was later benched in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs).

Favre, who held the mark of 71,838 yards until Sunday, told Manning in a video message posted on the Broncos Facebook page: “I’m in tree stand. Yeah, you’ve interrupted me again,” before offering his congratulations. Favre called Manning, "The best."


Garnett becomes 5th player in NBA history to play 50,000 minutes

Minnesota Timberwolves veteran Kevin Garnett surpassed the 50,000-minute mark against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon.

The 39-year-old is just thefifth player in NBA history to reach that milestone.

NBA Minutes Rankings (Career)





Kareem Abdul-Jabbar



Karl Malone



Jason Kidd



Kevin Garnett

> 50,000


Elvin Hayes


Garnett was selected fifth overall by the Timberwolves in the 1995 NBA Draft, spending 12 seasons with the franchise before being dealt to the Boston Celtics ahead of the 2007-08 campaign. He won his first and only championship in 2008 as a Celtic.

Garnett's a 15-time All-Star, former league MVP (2004), four-time All-NBA first team member, and former NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2008


Michael Jordan's Final Bulls Jersey Sells for $173,240 at Auction

How much is an iconic moment worth? In the case of Michael Jordan's final regular-season game with the Chicago Bulls, we have an answer: $173,240.

That's how much an unnamed person paid for the jersey at an auction Sunday, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell.

"No one who has been out of the game fewer than 15 years has had items sell for these kinds of prices," said Ken Goldin of Goldin Auctions. "Michael Jordan is the collectible equivalent of Babe Ruth."

The jersey is by far the priciest Jordan-related item sold at auction. Previously, the pair of shoes he wore during the infamous "flu game" sold for nearly $105,000.

What's remarkable about the jersey is that it's not the final time Jordan ever wore the white and red No. 23. He led the Bulls through the entire playoffs that season, culminating in his game-winning shot in Game 6 of the NBA Finals over Bryon Russell. Had that jersey sold for $173,240, given the story attached to it, it would have inherently held more value.

Instead, this just goes to show the power of the Jordan legacy nearly two decades after he last donned a Bulls uniform.


Chicago Cubs announce plans to create their own cable network in 2020

The Chicago Cubs want to branch out on their own. Having been part of the old Fox Sports Net Chicago and now, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the Cubs have shared cable channel space with the Blackhawks and White Sox. In cases of conflicts with the Blackhawks playoff run or during the summer with the White Sox, the Cubs often aren’t the Most Favored Nation having to move to an alternate channel.

So the Cubs with eyes on the end of their Comcast contract are hoping to launch their own regional cable network in 2020, possibly sooner. Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney told a local radio station that the team will move forward with plans to create its own channel.

“2019 is our last year with Comcast, so we’ll move over and launch our own channel in 2020.”

As it currently stands, the Cubs have an ownership stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, but apparently, that won’t be enough. The Cubs also have TV deals with WGN and WLS which also expire in 2019 and that will allow the team to put most or all of its games on the new channel.

Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein hinted that the team could even leave earlier if a buyout with Comcast could be worked out:

“My understanding is that we’d be open to a deal earlier than that as well, as long as a good one presents itself.”

As we have seen with the Dodgers, launching a network on its own can have growing pains. SportsNet LA is not available in all of the Los Angeles market as cable and satellite providers have balked with the channel’s per subscriber price. And Dodgers fans who were used to getting all of the games when the TV contracts were with Fox Sports West and KCAL have to depend on the radio now.


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The Confidential for Monday 11/9

Nov 09, 2015 -- 4:02pm

Here is an early look at my Confidential for Monday November 9th. Enjoy and if you have a story for the confidential, email it to matt@680thefan.com or tweet me @realmattlanta.


Plaxico Burress thinks Michigan State-Nebraska refs are corrupt and wants his dogs to take over

Michigan State lost its first game of the season and it wasn't without controversy. Nebraska wide receiver Brandon Reilly went out of bounds as he ran his route, only to come back in, make the catch and score the go-ahead touchdown. There is debate whether he was forced out -- as the officials ruled -- or went out on his own and should have been flagged for illegal touching.

Many thought Reilly should have been flagged and the touchdown nullified. Former Michigan State wide receiver Plaxico Burress was among them.

While there are arguments for both sides of the call, we would be interested in seeing Burress' dogs try to referee. Good dogs.

Plaxico Burress @plaxicoburress

When is running out of bounds as a WR come back in bounds and catch a TD! What the fuck is going on out here? @NCAA


Piece of shit ass officials! @ncaa Motherfuckers cheating and stealing!

I can't wait to hear their reason for this bullshit tomorrow. PIECE OF SHIT officials! All you girls should be fired! Fuck y'all!



Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema Accidentally Combines His Thoughts, Results in TMI

Come on, Bret. There are some things you just don't share with the media.

After his Razorbacks pulled out an unbelievable 53-52 overtime victory over the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema had an awkward moment at the podium during his postgame press conference when his thoughts got mixed together.

It was something that should've only been talked about between a husband and wife (if it was actually what he meant to say, of course).

Fortunately, Bielema immediately corrected himself and was able to laugh off the slip-up.


Missouri player says many on team don't support practice boycott

A Missouri Tigers player said Sunday night that the entire team is not united over the decision to stop practicing until grad student Jonathan Butler ends his hunger strike.

"As much as we want to say everyone is united, half the team and coaches -- black and white -- are pissed," the player, who wished to remain anonymous, told ESPN. "If we were 9-0, this wouldn't be happening."

The player, who is white, spoke on the condition of anonymity because coaches told the team not to talk to the media as they thought the situation "would blow over eventually."

On Sunday, coach Gary Pinkel and athletic director Mack Rhoades issued a statement that Missouri did not practice Sunday and indicated "it was clear" the Tigers "do not plan to return to practice until Jonathan resumes eating."

Mondays are regular off-days for the football team. The coaches told the players to watch film on their iPads and keep preparing for Saturday's game against BYU in Kansas City, the player said.

The player indicated the team had been aware of Butler's hunger strike for several days. However, some black players didn't decide to take action until Butler met with some players Saturday night.

"Not everyone agrees with the decision [to stop all football activities]," the player said. "Most people are pissed, including the black guys [on the team]."


Bill Belichick confirms it's 'always good to score points' while playing football  - A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO BILL BELICHECK

Bill Belichick is one of the most masterful football minds in the history of the sport. He just chooses to keep all that insight to himself and instead offers the media revolutionary tidbits like this.

"It's always good to run the ball. It's always good to throw the ball. It's always good to score points."

These things are all true and no one can deny it. Somewhere a casual observer probably saw that and thought this guy is an NFL coach? Yes, yes he is, a brilliant one.


Cam Newton snatched a Packers banner and now the fans want it back

The Carolina Panthers hosted the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Some Packers fans attended the game in Charlotte and some even brought a banner to show their support.

Cam Newton was not a fan of that banner, so he grabbed it and removed it.

After the game, Newton said grabbing the banner was about respect to the Panthers in their home stadium.

"We take pride in having an edge in playing in Bank of America Stadium, of playing in front of the Carolinas each and every week," Newton said via ESPN. "I feel it's my due diligence to protect this house. It wasn't just about tearing down a sign. It was respect."

Cam Newton on Packers banner in Charlotte: "You're not going to sell a Whopper at McDonald's."

While it may be a bit unnecessary for Newton to police the banners hung around the stadium, it's hardly the first time this has happened at a NFL game. Jason Taylor once ripped down a Cowboys fan's sign while Terrell Owens did the same to a sign in Cleveland.

The difference this time? Mike Dobs, the fan who owned the Packers banner, was upset to have it ripped down and taken. Via FayObserver.com:

Dobs wants the banner back so badly -- he said he paid $500 to have it made last year to hang in his home's "man room" -- that he told the police at the stadium that it was stolen, and he complained to the Panthers' management.

It's Dobs' understanding that the banner was destroyed. A Panthers employee said the organization would make it up to him, he said.

Assuming the fan merely wants the banner back, he may be in luck.

Jeff Darlinngton said he went to see if Cam tossed banner in trash. Nope. Security guard told me he folded it up, put under arm & walked into locker room with it.

As for the Panthers' official policy on signs, here is the section on signs supporting visiting teams:

No banners or flags expressing support of visiting teams may be affixed to or displayed on any surface. Hand held signs or posters that are in compliance with the balance of this policy are acceptable.

The NFL may need to call up Ted Wells to launch an investigation into whether the sign was affixed or not. Either that or the Panthers can return the sign/compensate the fan and make everything right.


Reggie Bush to sue city of St. Louis over injury suffered vs. Rams

Running back Reggie Bush, who suffered a season-ending and potentially career-threatening knee injury after slipping on concrete surrounding the field in St. Louis, has procured legal representation and plans on suing the city of St. Louis over the matter, according to a source close to the player. High-powered attorney Shawn Holley and her KWIKA firm is handling Bush's case, which will take aim at the Edward Jones Dome -- owned and operated by the city of St. Louis through its Sports Authority and Convention Bureau.


The NFLPA contacted the NFL about the safety issue at the stadium following the latest incident on the concrete, sources said. Bush was carted off with a season-ending injury and one, given this stage of his career, that could jeopardize his ability to play professional football again. The league and the Rams worked with the operators of the stadiums to make sure the problem is corrected, but obviously that's after the fact for Bush, a former first-round pick who had only recently gotten back on the field for the 49ers after battling injury.

Bush's suit will likely seek gross negligence given the potential danger of having such a slippery surface abut the playing field, the source said, especially considering this was not the first incident of this sort to take place there.

Holley was a member of the famed O.J. Simpson legal team working with Johnnie Cochran. Bush has been a client of hers in the past, and she has also served as an attorney for celebrity clients like Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan. Bush, 30, signed a one-year deal with San Francisco with a $1.6-million base salary and $500,000 roster bonus as well as the chance to earn $18,750 for each regular-season game for which he is active.


Byron Scott: Kobe said this could be his last year

NEW YORK — Lakers coach Byron Scott asked Kobe Bryant recently how he wants to handle his minutes this season.

Bryant's response was about next season - there might not be one.

Scott said Sunday that was when Bryant first told him this could be his last season in the NBA.

With the 37-year-old Bryant coming off Achilles, knee and shoulder injuries that cut short his last three seasons, Scott talked to him over the summer about how Bryant would be used, particularly when the Lakers played on back-to-back nights.

"We've talked about it a few days ago. Talked about it again and his feeling was, `Coach, this might be my last year. So if possible I would like to try to play every game,"' Scott said.

Bryant hasn't said if his 20th season will be his last. He told reporters Saturday that "if you asked me today, this would be my last year," but that he was leaving it open. His comments Sunday echoed that.

"My message has been consistent all the time. If I change my mind, I'll come back and play. If I don't, I won't," Bryant said. "I've been pretty consistent with that, so I don't know how much, what else can I say?"


Royals fan crowdfunds to try to keep Zobrist, Gordon in KC


So, ummm…this is something.

Shortly after the World Series ended, Kansas City Royals fan John Karpinski hit the internets and set up a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising enough money to keep both Ben Zobrist and Alex Gordon from packing their bags and heading elsewhere.“We’re in the second smallest market in MLB,” Karpinski wrote. “Did you get $10, $100, $1000 worth of enjoyment from this team? My guess is yes, and this is a way to help show Alex Gordon and Ben Zobrist that KC fans are different.”

It would appear as though the idea is to raise one million dollars(!) in an effort to prove to the All-Stars that Cowtown is the place to be. If the total is raised, the players get to keep the money or, as Karpinski hopes, donate it to charity.

Sounds cool, but, still…that’s not how baseball’s free agency system works, right?


Donald Trump Lifts ‘Saturday Night Live’ To Best Ratings In Years

Donald Trump once again proved his ratings Midas touch, with NBC’s Saturday Night Live the latest to get “the Trump bump.” The Presidential candidate’s highly publicized, controversial and met-with-mixed reactions hosting gig on the light-night show averaged a 6.6 rating in the metered-market households and a 2.7 in adults 18-49 in the local people meters with musical guest Sia, easily season highs in both categories.

The 6.6 metered markets household rating was the highest for Saturday Night Live in almost four years, since Jan. 7, 2012 (7.0/18 with host Charles Barkley and musical guest Kelly Clarkson). The 2.7 18-49 rating was the show’s highest in close to two years, since Feb. 1, 2014 (2.9/12 with host Melissa McCarthy and musical guest Imagine Dragons).


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The Confidential for Monday 10/19

Oct 19, 2015 -- 11:06am

Here is an early look at my confidential for Monday October 19th. Enjoy. 

Michigan's Fumble On Last Play Against Michigan State May Have Cost Jim Harbaugh $800,000

Jim Harbaugh’s $7 million contract as head coach of Michigan is laden with incentives for bonuses. The two biggest: $500,ooo for winning the national championship; $300,000 for playing in a college football playoff game.

The Wolverines went into yesterday’s game against 6-0 Michigan State with a 5-1 record and three consecutive shutouts. They had the game won–until a fumble by their punter on the last play of the game was returned by the Spartans for a touchdown.

Had Michigan–which entered this weekend ranked 12th in the nation–not fumbled away yesterday’s game they had a legitimate shot at reaching the national championship game. The only top 25 ranked opponent remaining on their schedule was the regular season final at Ann Arbor against Ohio State.

Beating number one Ohio State–who crushed Penn State 38-10 yesterday–would no doubt be an upset, but far from impossible. It would have also given the Wolverines a road to the college football playoffs and Jim Harbaugh a shot at $800,000.

Until his punter fumbled it away against Michigan State.


Michigan Punter Blake O’Neill Getting Death Threats, Suicide Suggestions On Social Media

Matt Lombardi

Here we go again. A college athlete makes a crucial mistake in a football game and all of a sudden, he has to worry about his safety. Michigan punter Blake O’Neill is currently getting blasted on social media after botching a punt on the final play of his team’s game against Michigan State, which led to the Spartans’ game-winning touchdown.

O’Neill is getting death threats and suicide suggestions. Ironically, fans were singing his praises after an 80-yard punt earlier in the day. 

@blakewoneill the entire state of Michigan hates you

— Cakey (@jaaake_f1) October 17, 2015

@blakewoneill why are u such shit

— Jibraan (@itsJibby) October 17, 2015

@blakewoneill whatever scholarship you’re on I hope you lose it, why couldn’t you just fall in it instead of trying to punt it Blake. Why.

— Brendan (@BizarreFratstar) October 17, 2015

@blakewoneill jump off of a cliff into a pool of spikes and cyanide

@blakewoneill dipshit loser, you might as well cut your hands off

— Cakey (@jaaake_f1) October 17, 2015

Most hated man in the world right now @blakewoneill


@blakewoneill I hate you. I. Hate. You.


Watch What Happens When A Local Reporter Mistakenly Tells Viewers That Michigan Beat MSU 

Like the rest of us, Jamal Spencer believed Michigan had the game in the bag. With 10 seconds left, the Wolverines needed only to punt the ball away and the Paul Bunyan trophy would return back to Ann Arbor. So Spencer, a sports reporter for WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids, took to the airwaves and pronounced Michigan as the winner as he stood outside The Big House.

Except, oops, boom goes the dynamite.

Evening anchor Eric Lloyd also apologized saying, “We tried bringing the most up to date stats as we could, as we were going live at the exact moment everything was happening. Had two scripts written and ready to go and got bad information off my phone while on air. And then we immediately corrected it when we could. I’m sorry for getting it wrong but in the end it was corrected and it certainly won’t be a finish forgotten by any of us.”

Poor Jamal, that’s not on him. Somebody, a producer, anyone needs to get in his ear before that shot goes live. And, at the very least, he owned up to it on Twitter. Feel bad for him. Even worse, according to his bio, Spencer is a Michigan State grad.


ESPN’s College GameDay Is Headed To James Madison Next Saturday

It seems like once per season, ESPN’s College GameDay shows a little love for the FCS level of college football. The past two years, it’s traveled to Fargo ahead of North Dakota State games. Next Saturday, they’ll be picking another subdivision school. GameDay announced Sunday morning that it’s headed to James Madison to cover the Dukes’ big contest against Richmond. They’ll be setting up shop in Harrisonburg, Virginia.


Kelly, Payton among USC coaching candidates - an undefeated record

The University of Southern California's head football coaching gig will be linked to several high-profile candidates. While the early rumors have centered on Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, two other current NFL coaches will also garner a look.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL Network's GameDay Morning on Sunday that New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly are among those who will be considered for the USC job.

Per Rapoport, USC is interested in Payton and will likely contact the Super Bowl-winning coach during the hiring process. Rapoport reported on Thursday that Payton is expected to consider other opportunities after the season. A move to college wouldn't require compensations to be paid to the Saints -- as it would were he to transfer to another NFL team. 

Payton's daughter attends Pepperdine University, located in Malibu, so moving to USC would bring the coach within closer proximity.

Rapoport reported that Kelly would have some interest in USC, but added "a source close to him points out that Chip Kelly really likes to be liked and wanted, so that may be driving some of his interest."

Just six weeks into the 2015 season, we have miles to go before the future of either coach will be determined. While USC boasts a major brand in a major market that can pay major dollars, whether Kelly or Payton or Harbaugh would want to recruit college kids is a big question mark. A query that we are far from answering.


An NFL undefeated record

AdamSchefter: Bengals, Broncos, Patriots, Packers, Panthers all unbeaten: Five undefeated teams entering Week 7 will be the most since 1970 Merger.


Andy Dalton could soon set a new NFL record for early-career road wins

In Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s fifth season, he is becoming one of the best in the game. And he soon could have an achievement that puts him among the best ever.

According to the NFL, Dalton now has 22 career road wins. That puts him only one road victory behind Dan Marino, Ben Roethlisberger, and Matt Ryan for the most in the Super Bowl era for a quarterback in his first five seasons.

More importantly, Dalton has six wins and no losses in 2015. Which continues to position his team for not just a playoff berth but the best way to avoid a fifth straight loss in the wild-card round —  a first-round bye.


Report: Titans QB Marcus Mariota to have MRI on injured knee

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota will undergo an MRI on his left knee Monday, according to a report from ProFootballTalk. 

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota will have an MRI on his left knee Monday after a low hit by Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reports. ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed Florio’s report. 

Mariota was able to stay in the game after the hit and wore a brace on the knee. Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt and offensive lineman Taylor Lewan said after the game they thought Vernon’s hit was dirty. Vernon was penalized for roughing the passer on the play.

“[T]he Titans hope it’s just an MCL injury, which can heal with rest,” Florio reports.

Save $2 on Keri® Daily Moisture

Mariota, the second pick in this year’s draft, completed 21 of 33 passes for 219 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in Sunday’s game. He was sacked six times and lost two fumbles as the Dolphins blew out Tennessee 38–10.  

During his rookie season, Mariota has completed 64.1% of his passes for 1,020 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. 


Cameron Heyward Will Probably Get Fined Again for Honoring Late Father

Cameron Heyward was fined $5,787 earlier this week for honoring his father Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, a longtime NFL fullback, who passed away from bone cancer in 2006, on his eye black. Per Fox officiating guru Mike Pereira, the Pittsburgh defensive end again violated the league’s uniform regulations, and will likely be fined over $11k this week. The NFL’s dogged quest for conformity is certainly irksome, and Heyward has clearly come to the conclusion that the amount of money he’s being fined is worth it to elicit conversation on the topic.


Bill Cowher says Browns should cut Johnny Manziel; Mike Pettine refuses to address incident right after loss to Broncos

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Super-Bowl winning coach and CBS analyst Bill Cowher said Sunday he'd cut Johnny Manziel in the wake of his domestic incident and coach Mike Pettine refused to address it right after the crushing 26-23 overtime loss to the Broncos.

"I've watched Johnny Manziel now for a year and a half and I think he's a backup quarterback at best. And he's a distraction off the field," Cowher said on The NFL Today. "And listen, I believe in second chances but after the second chance, to me there's a zero-tolerance policy. He can't put himself into the position he put himself into.

"I would ask for his release and I would do it for this reason: in that locker room players want accountability ... and that's the message that needs to be sent right here, that you're accountable for your actions both on the field and off the field."



A 30 for 30 documentary coming on the 1988 Notre Dame National Championship team

If you mention “1988” to Notre Dame fans, you’ll get a smile in return. It’s the year when the Notre Dame football team coached by Lou Holtz won the college football national championship. That year, the Fighting Irish went 12-0 defeating Miami in the famous “Catholics vs. Convicts” game, traditional rival USC and culminating with its win over West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl.

It was quite an interesting season for Notre Dame and ESPN has commissioned a 30 for 30 documentary to be produced by renowned director Patrick Creadonwho is a Notre Dame alum and lived through the 1988 season as a senior on campus. Not only did he watch the games, but he was also friends with quarterback Tony Rice.

Filming has already begun. Creadon will interview Holtz for the documentary later this week and then former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Steve Walsh. While the work has started, there’s no affirmed air date or title for the project. All we know is that there will be a 30 for 30 on Notre Dame.

And the Catholics vs. Convicts game will be a big part of the film. While the two schools have met sparingly since 1990, once in the 2010 Sun Bowl and again in 2012, Creadon said the 1988 game transcended sports:

“This is an incredibly powerful and inspiring story on both sides of the football,” Creadon said. “The main story happened on the football field, but the secondary stories around it are unbelievable.

“(Miami coach) Jimmy Johnson and Lou Holtz had a very, very deep history before that game. There’s one involving former president Ronald Reagan. Everyone we’ve asked to be in the film has said ‘absolutely.’”



Lamar Odom update: He continues to improve but remains in ICU

The good news keeps on coming for Lamar Odom in his recovery. He remains in the ICU, and there are still a lot of questions ahead about his health and ability to function, but more and more it looks like he will survive this health crisis.

Here’s the latest on his condition, via E! News (part of the NBC Universal family):

E! News has exclusively learned that Odom passed a swallow test, a promising sign of neurological function and an important step because doctors took out his breathing tube and needed to ensure he could swallow on his own.

We’ve also learned that Odom was helped out of bed for the first time since being hospitalized Tuesday night. He was moved with assistance into a chair and his breathing showed no signs of distress. He continues to wear a mask to aid the flow of oxygen but he’s breathing on his own….

Overall, however, the former L.A. Lakers star is communicating mainly with hand signals, thumbs up or thumbs down. We hear he’s attempting to communicate with words but his speech is more or less limited to mumbles at this point.


Southwest Airlines flight to SFO turns back to LAX after fight

A Southwest Airlines flight landed at San Francisco International Airport five hours late after an incident onboard forced the pilot to return to the gate at LAX.

Southwest flight 2010 returned to LAX after the pilot declared an emergency. The plane was only in the air for 13 minutes. Law enforcement met the plane at the gate and took one person from the flight. The other passengers and crew switched planes and took off for SFO about two hours later, landing at 1:43 a.m.

A passenger says she witnessed a man harassing a woman about a reclining chair.


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The Confidential for Monday 10/5

Oct 05, 2015 -- 10:06am

Here is an early look at my Confidential for Monday Oct 5th. If you have a story that you think is confidential worthy email it to me or tweet it to @realmattlanta. Enjoy...

Monday Confidential

Georgia Fans On Twitter Got #FireRicht Trending

Georgia laid another egg in a big game against Alabama Saturday afternoon, getting blown out at home by the Crimson Tide, 38-20. It was only the Bulldogs’ first loss of the year, but as you’d imagine, fans are upset. Hundreds have taken to Twitter to call for the school to fire Richt. In short, they’re upset that UGA can seemingly never get over the hump.

Here’s a roundup – there are plenty worse out there, too. The hashtag #FireRicht was trending on Twitter for a bit.

Roy G Biv @jtdbear

Thanks @MarkRicht. Looks like the wife & I r getting divorced due to your coaching. Stop breaking up families. Pls resign. #FireRicht

redovian @redovian

dont worry UGA fans at least Coach Richt is a really great guy. its sooo much fun to watch this embarrassment every year. #firericht

Shane @Defy_Reality

I can't expect anything less. Richt is a perennial chole artist against top 10 foes. #FireRicht #Pathetic #UGAvsBama


DeMarco Murray unhappy with role in Eagles' offense

Murray said he knew what he signed up for in Philadelphia, where the plan going in was to spread the opportunities among multiple running backs. Still, Murray expected more.

“I knew I was going to be the lead guy,” Murray said. “I knew [Darren] Sproles and [Ryan] Mathews, two great guys. I knew this offense, a lot of guys touch the ball.”

So will he take it up with the coaching staff?

“I don’t need to go to anyone,” Murray said. “It is what it is.”

After four games last season, Murray had 99 carries for 534 yards. After four games this year? 29 carries for 47 yards. Yikes. At this rate, Murray, whom everyone expected to cross the 1,000-yard rushing mark, needs an average of 80 yards a game for the remainder of the season to reach that benchmark.

The worst part is he had a 30-yard rush in this game, meaning he came in with 11 yards in three games.

Considering he has yet to reach 50 yards this season, he may not accomplish it without some injuries to other players.


Decision on Philbin's future expected today

According to a report, Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin will learn his fate Monday.

Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com reports that Stephen Ross will decide if he'll keep Philbin as head coach by Monday.

Despite lacking an internal candidate to replace Philbin, the report says that Ross wants to show key players he's committed to winning.

The Dolphins have started the season 1-3 and are heading into their bye week.


Todd Gurley “exploded” this week

Rams running back Todd Gurley took more than a half to get rolling against the Cardinals on Sunday, but the train really picked up speed once it left the station.

Gurley ran for more than 100 yards in the fourth quarter and finished with 146 yards on 19 carries that did plenty to show why the Rams made him a first-round draft choice this year. Gurley reeled off several big plays, including a 52-yard jaunt that set up a touchdown, on his first big day as a professional player.


Max Scherzer Becomes First Pitcher Since Nolan Ryan In 1973 To Throw Two No-Hitters In Same Regular Season

Max Scherzer, who in June came within an out of a perfect game and sandwiched that no-hitter with a one-hitter and five more perfect innings, no-hit the Mets tonight en route to becoming the first hurler since Nolan Ryan in 1973 to hold two teams hitless in the same regular season.

Your browser does not support iframes.

Scherzer’s only baserunner came via a Yunel Escobar error on a routine ground ball. He struck out 17, including nine in a row in the final three innings


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Compares Cowboys D to Poor Border Control

Sometimes Politicians are funny on Twitter.

Other times you wonder how in the world did they get elected. Every time I think that, I just remember that we had a member of the Bush family as Presidents for 12 total years and another is trying to get in. I also remember that Donald Trump is now a viable presidential candidate. This is the society we live in.

So, I can’t even be surprised by this tweet from Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Gregg Abbott Border Cowboys Tweet

I am sure he will say he was hacked or give a fake apology soon enough, but I think this Twitter user had the correct way to handle this.


Awful Humans Infest Cardale Jones' Mentions

Cardale Jones threw for 245 yards and a touchdown in a road win against an undefeated Power-Five opponent on Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately, this performance was deemed unacceptable by many Buckeye "fans," who took to Twitter to lambaste the college student putting his body on the line for our entertainment.

Warning: The following Tweets feature profanity and general idiocy.

Please jump off a cliff so JT can start. You have horrible mechanics and force way too much RT @CJ12_: S/O to them Bucks 5-0

— Sean Michael (@HBK_SeanMichael) October 4, 2015

@CJ12_ Aren't you 6 foot 5. I didn't know they stacked shit that high #jt #barrett # OSU

— Chandler (@chandler_staats) October 3, 2015

@CJ12_ is a 3 hit wonder. Please bench him Urban! #ByeFelicia

— Jennifer Janssen (@jen_thaboss) October 3, 2015

Last year I left during any OSU game that @CJ12_ made it into, now I'm wondering how bad JT looks in practice to loose his job to this scrub

— Craig McClain (@cmichaelmac) October 3, 2015

@CJ12_ you're ass . Idk how the fuck you won a championship for us.

— pidge(diehard216fan) (@pidgemerkin) October 3, 2015

@CJ12_ you're so trash it's hard to watch I hope you know that

— Ryan Lair (@RyanLair) October 3, 2015

Kevin Harris @BeTru2ThaGame

@CJ12_ hey u stupid bitch get 2 more TDs and I won't wish aids on u tonight

Joshua Talarcek @jtalarcek

@CJ12_ stop tweeting Rhonda rousey and start playing football you dumb fuck!


Jones is undefeated as a stater, so perhaps this backlash is a bit of an overreaction.

It's understandable to have differing opinions about the quarterback situation, but only the worst among us vent those opinions through hateful social media speech aimed at a college student.


Brian Cushing’s wife gets upset with Houston talk show host

Megan Cushing, the wife of Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, wasn’t about to let a Houston sports talk radio host criticize her husband’s teammates without at least some objection.

Our friend Nick Wright, who hosts locally for 610 Sports in Houston and CBS Sports Radio nationally on the weekends, was critical of Texans tight end Garrett Graham while watching the team get destroyed by the Atlanta Falcons Sunday. He posted a perfectly fair opinion/criticism, but Cushing did not appreciate it and told him so:

nick wright @getnickwright

Garrett Graham just isn't good. Simple as that.

Megan Cushing @megan_makena

@getnickwright why don't you go out and there and try it yourself ??

nick wright @getnickwright

Being better than a talk show host at football isn't the goal. It's to be better than your weekly competition...

Megan Cushing @megan_makena

@getnickwright as a "talk show host" you can criticize them with some respect..

Wright then followed up with a legitimate question, asking Cushing what a respectful way is to criticize a player. Cushing didn’t respond, but things got semi-awkward when Graham’s wife Ericka stepped in and encouraged everyone to share a group hug.

The exchange just goes to show that it is easy to criticize when there are no consequences, but it’s an entirely different thing when you know people are listening or following what you say. Oh, and Mrs. Cushing probably should stay above the fray even though watching the Texans get crushed is frustrating.


Cops: Priest Pulled Gun On 8-Year-Old Because He Was A Cowboys Fan

Father Kevin Carter of St. Margaret of Cortona in Little Ferry, Nj. was arrested on Friday and charged with one count of fourth degree aggravated assault with a firearm and one count of third degree endangering the welfare of a child for an incident that occurred back on September 13. According to Bergen County prosecutor John Molinelli, Carter pointed an antiquated Civil War-era musket, which apparently was still functioning, at the boy and said, “I’m going to shoot you.” The reason, according to Molinelli, was:

“The young boy was apparently a fan of a particular football team, the priest was not. So perhaps we have indication it started out as that.”

Carter is a Giants fan and that other football team is apparently the Dallas Cowboys, according to persecutors. You may recall that September 13 was the day that the Giants and Cowboys faced off and the Giants laid down a truly impressive collapse.Carter, 54, called the boy into a rectory room, where he had him stand against a wall. Then he pointed the gun at his head, according to several witnesses. A colleague contacted the archdiocese two weeks later, who then in turn contacted local cops. Carter has worked at St. Margaret for two years. Ironically, he is the current police chaplain for the Little Falls Police Department.

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The Confidential for Monday 9/28

Sep 29, 2015 -- 8:57am

Here is an early look at my Confidential stories for Monday September 28th. Enjoy!

If you have a story for the confidential send it to me on twitter - @realmattlanta or email it to matt@680thefan.com.



Son of Jets coach trash talks Geno Smith, Antonio Cromartie


The son of New York Jets tight ends coach Jimmie Johnson displayed some of the most foolish Twitter behavior we have ever seen.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Jay Busbee, Johnson’s son was tweeting from the Twitter handle “@JimmieJ82” from the Jets’ locker room after the team’s loss to the Eagles Sunday. In one tweet he called Geno Smith a “bum a–” and shared a photo of the quarterback taking a photo with some kids:

Next he took aim at Antonio Cromartie. What he probably wasn’t planning for was to get a response from the cornerback, which is what happened. Take a look:

Johnson deleted the tweets, apologized for them, and changed his Twitter handle. Here are the apologies from his new account:

Those tweets were really stupid on my part. Will apologize to both of them if I get the chance.

— J (@Jtre88) September 28, 2015

Social media damage is already done but I'm apologizing to Cro again tomorrow.

— J (@Jtre88) September 28, 2015

And we all thought Marshawn Lynch’s mom was creating a controversy with her comments? This was easily the most questionable use of Twitter by a coach or athlete’s family member we’ve seen.


SportsCenter Verified account @SportsCenter

Nick Chubb recorded his 12th straight 100-yard rushing game, tying Herschel Walker for longest streak in UGA history.

@ESPNStatsInfo: Devonta Freeman: 5th RB in Falcons history with 100 Rush yards and 3 Rush TD in a single game (1st since Michael Turner, 2010)

@RLiuNFL: The @AtlantaFalcons are 3rd team in @NFL history to have rusher w/ 100+ yards & 3+ TD AND receiver w/ 150+ yards & 2+ TD in same game

Scott Kacsmar@FO_ScottKacsmar - football outsiders

Matt Ryan: 1st QB to reach 30 GWD before his 10th season. He's 3 games into his 8th season. @TheFalcoholic

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Todd Gurley’s Rams debut contains no highlights

It’s a good thing the Rams have preached patience with running back Todd Gurley.

Because his professional debut gave little indication that he’s 100 percent recovered from his injury, or close to his pre-injury form.

The No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft made his NFL debut yesterday, but had just 9 yards on six carries, with one 5-yard reception in their loss to the Steelers.



Wife of Dolphins CB arrested for battery before game


Damn Miko

Video evidence shows Grimes on the ground yelling and screaming profanity as she is handcuffed. In the video you can hear people talking about Grimes crossing where she wasn’t supposed to be.

Grimes, who is the wife of Dolphins CB Brent Grimes, was arrested by Miami-Dade police and charged with battery of a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest with violence.

Grimes is accused of breaking through a restricted area despite warnings from police officers and then becoming belligerent, telling them they couldn’t tell her what she could do. She apparently was seen as a threat to officers and was taken down to the ground. She allegedly only calmed down after being threatened with a Taser.

Local 10 News in Miami says Grimes allegedly head-butted a police officer and continued swinging her elbows and kicking as she was put into a police car.

Brent was made aware of the incident after the game but did not comment about it to reporters. Here is video from the incident.




Cam Newton: Ref told me I wasn't 'old enough' to get call


There has always been suspicion that some star players get calls in their favor based on reputation, and Cam Newton seemed to confirm that after Carolina’s win Sunday over New Orleans.

The Panthers quarterback says he was told by referee Ed Hochuli that he was “not old enough” to get a personal foul call after being hit late on a play in the fourth quarter against the Saints.

“I was really baffled by what was said to me,” Newton said after the game via The Charlotte Observer. “I was rolling out trying to string out the play and create some type of opportunity to get a completion and the defensive lineman, you know, kind of hit me. It was close. It was right on the cusp. Was it a late hit? I don’t know. But the response that I got was, ‘Cam you’re not old enough to get that call.’”

The play happened when Newton rolled out to throw a pass to Greg Olsen in the fourth quarter and was hit by the Saints’ Tyler Davison.

“I’m looking at him like what? Jesus. I didn’t think you had to have seniority to get a personal foul or anything like that,” Newton said. “You just have to be accountable. It’s one thing to be frustrated in a situation where you see a personal foul on the opposing quarterback get called, and then for me when it’s something around the same range and for that flag not to be called, it’s…I’m ticked off. Really.”

Pro Football Talk reports that Hochuli denies making that comment. What, like you actually believed he would admit to saying it if he did? The guy forcefully stands by even his bad calls.

It’s fairly well known that rookies and young players don’t get the same calls veterans do. There’s a reason the phrase “star treatment” developed.



Kevin Sumlin's 'Everybody' speech leads to epic celebration


Just when Arkansas and head coach Bret Bielema thought they were minutes away from upsetting No. 14 Texas A&M Saturday night, the Aggies pulled the rug from underneath them, defeating the Razorbacks in overtime, 28-21, to remain undefeated. 

Texas A&M was obviously excited in the locker room after the game. And as head coach Kevin Sumlin gave his “Everybody” speech, the anticipation continued to build. The team was ready to erupt, as you can see from this video posted by AggieFBLife.



J.J. Watt has tremendous ‘Saved by the Bell’ Twitter exchange


JJ Watt had the kind of social media exchange Sunday that any true child of the ’90s would die for.

Watt, who had five tackles in the Texans’ 19-9 win over the Buccaneers, shared a photo on Twitter of him with actor/TV host Mario Lopez.

JJ Watt @JJWatt

Bayside must have had a BYE week. #WhereIsKellyKapowski

Watt captioned the photo with a “Saved by the Bell” reference by shouting out Bayside High, the fictional school where the show’s cast members attended. Then his hashtag was “where is Kelly Kapowski,” which was actress Tiffani Thiessen’s name in the show.

Thiessen caught wind of the tweet and sent a fantastic response.

@jjwatt I heard you were looking for me. I'm in LA catching up on my reading. Btw, good game today.

The Instagram photo shows her reading the Men’s Fitness magazine featuring Watt on the cover:

That left Watt’s mind blown. “This. Is. Awesome.” was his response.


Purpoted Sex Tape of Jennifer Lopez & Ojani Noa's Eyebrows to Be Released by Noa's Business Partner

Lopez withdrew her claims to the footage while the case was in arbitration, freeing up Noa's business partner to unveil the videos.

Lopez and Noa were married from February 1997 to January 1998. And, apparently, 

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The Confidential for Thursday 9/17

Sep 17, 2015 -- 12:27pm

Here is an early look at my confidential today. 

If you have any confidential stories for me email them matt@680thefan.com


Terrell Owens' Verbal Altercation Outside Starbucks Captured on Video

Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens was involved in a verbal altercation with a man outside of a Brentwood, California, Starbucks. 

According to TMZ Sports, the man threw a cup of liquid and was shouting racist remarks at Owens, leading to the former All-Pro getting in the man's face. TMZ Sports released a video of the incident both inside and outside of the establishment. (WARNING: Videos contain insensitive language):

The man has reportedly filed a police report against Owens, claiming he was hit with a hot cup of coffee, and police are still investigating.

TMZ Sports identified the man as "Arman," who denied throwing anything at Owens and claimed Owens "kicked me in the Starbucks." He also said he wanted to make Owens "mad and sad."

There is no evidence in the video, which was captured outside of the coffee shop, that Owens physically assaulted the man. The two have a heated exchange for just over one minute before they appear to go their separate ways.      


LSU leads all colleges with 40 players on NFL rosters

No college football program produces more NFL talent than LSU.

The NFL today released a breakdown of Week One rosters that showed 40 NFL players went to LSU, more than any other college. The Tigers have had at least four players selected in 10 consecutive NFL drafts. Last year’s draft class was among the best that any college has ever sent to the NFL, with Giants receiver Odell Beckham winning the rookie of the year award and LSU teammates Ego Ferguson (Bears), Jeremy Hill(Bengals), Jarvis Landry (Dolphins), Trai Turner (Panthers), Lamin Barrow (Broncos), Zach Mettenberger(Titans), Alfred Blue (Texans) and James Wright (Bengals) all getting drafted as well.

After LSU, Miami comes in second, with 37 players on NFL rosters, followed by USC with 35. Alabama and Georgia each have 34, Florida and Florida State each have 31, Oklahoma has 30, Notre Dame has 29 and Clemson has 28.

Four of the six colleges that have the most players on NFL rosters are from the SEC. None of the Top 10 are from the Big Ten.


Report: Mike Lupica out at New York Daily News in wave of layoffs

Mike Lupica appears to be out at the New York Daily News. That’s according to a report by POLITICO Media’s Joe Pompeo, who named the sports columnist as the biggest name among the round of layoffs the paper was enacting on Wednesday.

Initially, it was reported that Lupica essentially had a “target on his back,” as one of the Daily News‘ highest-paid staffers. Sources later told Pompeo that management and Lupica were unable to reach terms on a new contract, presumably one that would have cut his salary significantly. Sports editor Teri Thompson is also among those who have been laid off.

Lupica had been with the Daily Newsfor nearly 40 years, since 1977. At the time he joined the paper, he was the youngest writer to ever have a sports column at a New York newspaper. For that reason alone, Lupica’s layoff would be huge media news. With that tenure, he can rightly be considered a New York sports institution. Just last year, the Daily News named him as one of the 50 most powerful people in New York sports (ranking him No. 21), something that must now seem bitterly ironic.


Curry’s Under Armour deal reportedly in Harden range

Now, the player who beat Harden for MVP – Stephen Curry – is getting his own mega-sponsorship deal.

Under Armour release:

Stephen Curry made a surprise appearance at Under Armour’s Global Headquarters in Baltimore today to join Founder and CEO Kevin Plank in announcing the extension of his partnership with the brand through 2024.

Steph Curry's initial Under Armour deal paid him about $4m per year - new deal said to be closer to Harden's $200m adidas deal with stock.

Curry – who still has two years remaining on his four-year, $44 million contract extension – is one of the most underpaid players in the NBA. Apparently, he was also one of the league’s most underpaid endorsers.


Jonathan Taylor at Southeastern La. after Georgia, Alabama dismissals

Defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, who was dismissed from Georgia and Alabama after arrests on allegations of domestic violence, is now on the football team at Southeastern Louisiana, Outside the Lines has confirmed.

An athletic department spokesman for SLU, a Football Championship Subdivision school, verified that Taylor is enrolled and a member of the football team. However, Taylor is not eligible to play until 2016, his final season of eligibility, spokesman Kemmler Chapple said.

Taylor was arrested in a July 2014 incident in which he allegedly assaulted his then-girlfriend in a dorm at the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs dismissed him immediately, and he enrolled and played the 2014 season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi, where, according to his attorney, Kim Stephens, numerous SEC schools began recruiting him.


Blake Bortles: Fans questioning our play calling are like kindergartners questioning college students

Jaguars fans have been criticizing the team’s play calling after Sunday’s loss to the Panthers, and quarterback Blake Bortles thinks that criticism is based in ignorance.

Asked today what he thinks about fans saying the Jaguars’ play calling needs to get better, Bortles bristled.

“I don’t know,” Bortles said. “It’s like a kindergartener saying something to a college kid.”

In one sense, Bortles is right: NFL quarterbacks and coaches know far more about the game plan and the playbook than the fans do. Fans who question quarterbacks and coaches about play calling are questioning people who know far more than they do.

But that’s what fans do, and Bortles had better get used to it. The fans’ passion is the reason Bortles gets paid millions of dollars to play football, and when Bortles plays badly as he did on Sunday, the fans are going to have a problem with it. Fans will also have a problem with Bortles comparing them to kindergartners, a statement that he probably wishes he could have back.

Todd Gurley participates in first full practice with Rams

Rams coach Jeff Fisher and his staff informed Gurley that he'd been cleared to return to practice in seven-on-seven and team drills a couple days ago. Since, he'd been champing at the bit to get back on the field and do more than just the individual work and side sessions with athletic trainers that had been his staple in this training camp.

After doing some light work in seven-on-seven, the Rams installed Gurley with the first-team offense at about 5:18 p.m. CT. Quarterback Nick Folesfaked a handoff to Gurley and threw downfield. On the next play, Gurley got the ball on a pitch, darting to the left.

To Fisher's eye, all was well for Gurley on his first day involved in all aspects of practice.

As expected, Gurley wore the yellow "no contact" beanie on his helmet after receiver Brian Quick removed it permanently Tuesday morning. Quick handed it off to Gurley in a short but quick ceremony.

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