Dave Shula coaching again, 22 years after the Bengals fired him

In four and a half seasons as head coach of the Bengals, Dave Shula went 19-52 and became known as a failure who managed to get a head-coaching job only because his father is Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history. After he was fired in 1996, Shula never coached again.

Until now: Shula has just started a new job as the wide receivers coach at Dartmouth.

Shula says he can now look back at his coaching career in Cincinnati and say he wasn’t so bad. After all, the Bengals had six straight losing seasons under Bruce Coslet and Dick LeBeau after firing Shula, and even though they’ve been better since hiring Marvin Lewis, they still haven’t won a playoff game since 1990.

These trades don’t give us clarity on what exactly will happen come draft day, but they do show teams are starting to feel confident about how the first few picks will go. The primary matters for the remainder of the draft process will be figuring out which teams covet which quarterbacks, and just how far they’ll go to get their guys.

The Browns’ trade for Tyrod Taylor does not take them out of the quarterback market in the draft. Darnold is the best quarterback in the class with the fewest concerns for the long term, and most around the league feel this is a done deal. Only a handful believe Wyoming’s Josh Allen has a shot to be considered at No. 1.

The Rams have been aggressive this offseason, especially on defense. With their offensive line already somewhat of a strength, they would be wise to add to it, keeping Jared Goff and Todd Gurley comfortable. The Rams then can continue to find offensive playmakers and defensive depth in the later rounds.

The project, where both the Rams and Chargers will play, also will have 200,000 square feet for use by NFL Media, making it the rent-free home of NFL.com and NFL Network. That surely went a long way toward getting the owners to pick Inglewood over the Chargers-Raiders proposal in Carson.

For Kroenke, the revenue will come from plenty of things other than 20 Rams and Chargers home games. He wouldn’t be spending the money, with zero public dollars involved, if he didn’t think a significant return on the investment were looming.

For the Rams, the enhanced game-day experience coming from a state-of-the-art stadium should result in more fans showing up for the game, and in turn more noise. Rams G.M. Les Snead addressed this dynamic during a recent visit to PFT Live.bills_072

Lions not likely to sign Ziggy Ansah to long-term deal

The Lions have until July 16 to sign franchise-tagged defensive end Ziggy Ansah to a long-term deal. It sounds like they won’t need that long.
pearing this week on PFT Live, Lions G.M. Bob Quinn seemed to indicate that the team is more likely to take a wait-and-see approach with Ansah in 2018, before deciding whether to make a multi-year commitment. Quinn spoke in terms of new coach Matt Patricia getting to know what Ansah. In theory, Patricia could see enough to conclude that a long-term contract is justified before the deadline for finalizing a deal — if Ansah signs the tender and shows up for the offseason program.

Barnes didn’t have that in his game two seasons ago, and perhaps not even last season. He barely ran the pick-and-roll, and when he did, it was stilted. His game has tilted a hair more toward traditional perimeter play this season. He’s setting fewer screens, and navigating around more as a ball-handler. His drives are up, and his isolations are down, per NBA.com and Second Spectrum. He is attacking the rim with a new physicality, especially when he goes left.

He’s jacking about 1.5 more 3s per game over last season, and a lot of the jump has come via tougher off-the-dribble bombs. He has hit 38 percent of those. His rebounds, assists and free throws have all ticked up.

But the gains are small. Two dimes and four free throws per game is still low considering how often Barnes has the ball. Barnes is growing. The NBA is really hard. Some players never grow at all. But Barnes’ growth has come in small increments.

“People think you have to be knocked out to have a concussion,” Rypien told The Spokesman-Review, via the Associated Press. “There are hundreds of times you shake it off and get back in there. It’s all about the cumulative hits. That’s what cause brain damage.”

Rypien, 55, said he has attempted suicide and suffers from persistent depression, anxiety and isolation. He once left a 20-minute audio suicide message, he said, and another time his wife, Danielle, found Rypien after he swallowed 150 Advil with a bottle of wine.

“It was the thought that people aren’t going to miss me,” Rypien said. “I was shameful and guilty of poor decisions, shameful and guilty of being depressed all the time. I didn’t want to be around anymore.”

Rypien, who spent six seasons with Washington, hopes his story helps others.bills_060

OBJ to report for Giants’ conditioning program

Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to be in attendance Monday for the start of the New York Giants’ offseason workout program, the wide receiver told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

Beckham is scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to New Jersey later Sunday. He plans to be at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Monday to “check in, workout in the gym and meet with some people.”

New England needed a linchpin against the run and a true nose tackle. Shelton came on strong as a run-stuffer last season and is better suited for Bill Belchick’s scheme than he was for that of Gregg Williams.

Adoree’ Jackson, the team’s 2017 first-rounder, has the talent to develop into a special No. 1. So this is a great deal for a reliable, durable No. 2. Butler will allow former Patriots teammate Logan Ryan to move into his more comfortable role in the slot. Butler lost his mojo with the Patriots in a tough 2017 season that ended with his Super Bowl 52 benching, but he can rebound to be the well-rounded cover man Tennessee desperately needed.

This was a bad loss.

Handed a 5-0 first-inning lead, Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery laid an egg in his second start of the season, then replacement Domingo German struggled in his season debut.

After chipping away, the Orioles pulled ahead in the seventh when rookie right fielder Anthony Santander hammered a 3-0 pitch by German into the right-field seats for his first career homer, a two-run shot that turned a 6-5 deficit into a 7-6 lead.

The Yankees came right back to tie the game in the home seventh when backup catcher Austin Romine, starting for the second day in a row, greeted reliever Darren O’Day with his third hit of the game, a two-out, game-tying RBI single.bills_033

Will Bryce Harper end up a Phillie?

Arrieta signed a three-year, $75-million contract with options in spring training.

The Phillies set up behind Arrieta: Cesar Hernandez, 2B: Carlos Santana 1B; Odubel Herrera CF; Rhys Hoskins, LF; Nick Williams, RF: Maikel Franco, 3B; Knapp; J.P. Crawford, SS.

The Phillies traded Galvis for pitching prospect Enyel De Los Santos in the offseason.

Jake Thompson, who earned his first career save with three innings of scoreless relief in Saturday night’s 20-1 win over the Marlins, was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Arrieta.

Arietta, who signed mid-way through spring training and needed to build up his pitch count before making his debut, had been optioned to Single-A Clearwater at the start of the season.

Though attendance at this juncture of the offseason is not mandatory under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, first-year Giants coach  Pat Shurmur left no room for interpretation when he said it was important for all players to show up given the amount of change in scheme, coaches and players.

Had Beckham opted not to report to East Rutherford, it would have been taken as a sign of a looming holdout. He is unhappy with his current contract — one year at $8.45 million — and wants an extension probably in the range of five years and $100 million , which would be record-setting for a wide receiver.

“When you build a chemistry, you can’t develop those relationships unless you are working together,” Shurmur said. “That’s why I think it’s super important that you have a high-attendance rate at the offseason. I know there is a resistance sometimes. But the players need to be there. Especially when you are adding new players and there are new schemes. That’s the best thing for them.”bills_001

Landon Collins says he ‘buried the hatchet’ with teammate Eli Apple

New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple has received a clean slate from the team’s new regime. He’s also been given a reprieve from teammate Landon Collins, who called him a “cancer” late last year.

Pretty bad. We’re about to hit the 20-year anniversary of the 1998 draft, which famously saw Colts general manager Bill Polian agonize over whether to take Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf, as Peter King documented for Sports Illustrated. Polian got his call right. The Colts grabbed Manning while the Chargers traded up to No. 2 and happily settled for Leaf, who threw 36 interceptions over 18 starts and was out of football by 2001.

Since then, it hasn’t been quite as easy. We’re still judging the most recent classes, and there are different ways to evaluate quarterbacks, but the first quarterback taken in the 19 drafts since 1998 has been the most productive and/or successful passer from that class only five times. It hasn’t happened since 2011, when the Panthers controversially chose Cam Newton over Blaine Gabbert and a bevy of dominant defenders with the first overall pick. (More on that later.) That was the fourth consecutive year in which the league correctly chose the most productive pro passer first, but the success rate wasn’t good before that and hasn’t been good since.

Their potential decision to select a quarterback is perhaps most intriguing, with Darnold apparently standing out among a deep class at the position.

“If Darnold is available, they’re taking Darnold,” the NFL talent evaluator said. “They don’t like [Josh] Rosen.”

Darnold is considered the top quarterback in the class by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, with Rosen at No. 3 behind Josh Allen.

Rosen’s coach at UCLA, Jim Mora, said on Path to the Draft that he would pick Darnold first if he were in charge of the Cleveland Browns, who have the Nos. 1 and 4 picks, though he noted that was because of Darnold’s fit and “blue-collar, gritty attitude,” via Dan Parr of NFL.com.

Either player would be an interesting addition for the Giants, for whom Eli Manning has started all but one game since 2005. He was benched last season during New York’s 3-13 campaign, however, and the organization could be looking for options beyond the 37-year-old.rams_068

What does Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins think of Donald Trump?

As players across the NFL kneeled during the national anthem last season, in order to call attention to the issues of racial inequality and police brutality, the hullabaloo surrounding the social act made its way to the oval office.

Here are some of the notable things Jenkins said in his interview with The Atlantic about Trump, Colin Kaepernick , social activisim and support from Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie.

On brands not wanting to work with him because of his activism : “There were threats to me and my family — and brands and sponsors didn’t want to work with me, because of my political stance.

Typically, he plays at 265 pounds. Right now, I’m told he’s 260, but will be back up to his usual weight (if not a few pounds heavier) by the time camp rolls around. Given that scenario, there wouldn’t seem to be an issue.

Except Guerrero and his treatment of Patriots players beyond Brady is a polarizing subject in and around Patriot Place. Everything seems to be up for debate.

Plus, Gronkowski’s quest for pliability may have even stirred up some of the reported friction between Bill Belichick and his star tight end.

And yet history tells us that the league will wrongly evaluate these prospects. Chances are that one or two of these five passers will turn into superstars, but it’s unlikely that those one or two will be the first quarterbacks taken on draft night. Some fans are about to buy authentic team jerseys they’ll quickly regret. Thousands of scouts spent tens of thousands of nights in hotels around America for decisions nobody will want to claim three years from now. We should be able to do better than this.rams_013

Miami’s Bruce Brown going pro after two years, will hire agent

Miami Hurricanes sophomore guard Bruce Brown Jr. has decided to hire an agent and turn pro.

Coach Jim Larranaga says Brown informed him of the decision Monday. Brown announced earlier he would declare for the NBA draft, and by retaining an agent he’ll give up the option of continuing his college career.

Hurricanes freshman guard Lonnie Walker IV last week announced his decision to turn pro this year. The NBA draft is June 21.

And Philadelphia set a club record for the quickest two goals when Giroux fired past Lundqvist’s glove side with a wrist shot from the slot just 6 seconds after Raffl’s tally to make it 4-0. Raffl set up the play by intercepting a Rangers pass at the blue line and dropping a pass to Giroux.

The fans unleashed a thunderous “M-V-P!” `’M-V-P!” chant for Giroux when he was shown on the video board after his second tally.

And Giroux had the sold-out crowd of 20,028 in a frenzy when he scored his third on a breakaway with 9:49 left in the third period. Hundreds of hats littered the ice, causing a seven-minute delay, and Giroux smiled on the video board and waved to the crowd, which gave him a standing ovation.

“(Giroux) has worked hard,” Hakstol said. “He earned that and he’s very deserving of that moment.”

The Rangers (34-39-9), who are out of the postseason for the first time since 2009-10, ended their regular season with their ninth loss in the last 11.

The Angels couldn’t make up for another bad performance by their pitching staff, which wasn’t significantly bolstered in the offseason beyond the addition of Ohtani. The Angels walked 10 batters, the franchise’s most in a nine-inning game since April 21, 2006.

J.C. Ramirez (0-2) and his first two relievers issued eight walks and hit a batter in the first five innings alone. Oakland went up 3-0 on Stephen Piscotty’s RBI double and Semien’s key single in the second, and Ramirez didn’t return for the third after throwing 55 pitches and walking five of his 12 batters.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Ramirez felt tightness in his right forearm.

“When you’re uncomfortable throwing the ball, it’s not going to be the way you want it,” said Ramirez, who walked five of his 12 batters. “I was just trying to survive today, and that happened.”buccaneers_084

Ryan Shazier times 40s from wheelchair at Pitt pro day

Ryan Shazier will be involved with the Steelers in 2018 despite the fact he will not play due to a spinal-cord injury sustained last season, and Wednesday, Pittsburgh gave a glimpse into how the Pro Bowl linebacker may factor into the team’s plans.

The 25-year-old was with Steelers coaches at Pitt’s pro day helping time 40-yard dashes. He also said he was getting some pointers on how to evaluate players.

“Teaching me how to evaluate!!!” he wrote on Instagram.

“It’s tough when you can’t even turn your neck from right to left when you look around,” Gibson said. “Just try to get as much treatment as possible.”

Ben McLemore had 18 points for the Grizzlies, who moved one loss closer to a prime lottery pick and fell to 6-34 on the road.

The Grizzlies, whose streak of seven straight postseason appearances was snapped long ago, were sapped by the summer departures of stalwarts Zach Randolph, Tony Allen and Vince Carter. Mike Conley, Tyreke Evans and Chandler Parsons have missed a combined 143 games. Even Marc Gasol, who bested Towns for 20 points and 10 rebounds in the last matchup, sat out to rest. The starting lineup for this game had only one holdover, Dillon Brooks, from the March 26 meeting.

Monday’s slate is highlighted by several aces in great spots — particularly Chris Archer, whose excellent matchup against the White Sox jumps him up into the same tier as truer aces like Max Scherzer and Noah Syndergaard. On the hitting side, we have Coors in play again (Rockies righties and Padres speedsters both providing upside). Plus. the Mets would be in a sneaky-great spot against Jose Urena in Miami if the team decides to the leave the roof open to the low-80s temperatures — a good 20 degrees higher than the next hottest park and 40 degrees higher than most. Even with a closed roof, this would still be the best “weather” of the day.

Anaheim logged its fifth consecutive 100-point season as a team.

“We had a plan. We tried to execute the plan. I’m not standing here saying it was perfect by any means, we had a lot of speed bumps on the way,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We’ve got our group together here over the last six weeks and we’ve played good enough to gain points.”buccaneers_029

Tony Romo finishes last in PGA Tour debut

Tony Romo isn’t going to make it to the weekend in his first shot at the PGA Tour.

On the heels of a back-nine collapse Thursday afternoon at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, things got even worse for the former NFL quarterback Friday.

Playing the back nine first, Romo made the turn at 8 over for the day and 13 over for the tournament, leaving him last among 132 players in a field that includes the likes of Jim Furyk, Davis Love III, John Daly and Graeme McDowell.

Warriors: It was the eighth time that Thompson has scored at least 20 in a quarter. … Durant didn’t score a point until he made one of two free throws with 6:27 left in the half. … Warriors last loss to the Suns on Nov. 9, 2014 in Phoenix. … Warriors have won in Phoenix the last seven tries. … With the win, Golden State is 10-4 in the second half of back-to-backs this season.

Suns: This was the 34th different starting lineup Phoenix has used this season. … Booker has missed the last 11 games but has not been declared out of the Tuesday night season finale. … Jackson was hurt in the team’s loss to New Orleans on Friday night.

The 27-year-old Grant has not missed a game in his four-year career, but the Ravens had an issue with his ankle during the physical, leading them to back out of the contract. That led to rampant speculation the team had a change of heart after learning the Raiders had cut receiver Michael Crabtree, who a day later signed a three-year deal with Baltimore.

Grant caught 84 passes for 985 yards and six touchdowns in four seasons with the Redskins, and makes a nice complement to star receiver T.Y. Hilton.

Beasley scored 20 points for the Knicks in their final home game of the season, which opened a home-and-home series. Rookie Frank Ntilikina added a career-high 17 and Courtney Lee also had 17.

“I feel like I’m getting better,” Ntilikina said. “I’m feeling more comfortable.”

The Knicks remained without injured starters Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter.buccaneers_001

Giants Asking For At Least Two First-Round Picks For Odell Beckham Jr

Adam Schefter, citing a league source, reports that the Giants have asked for at least two first-round picks in return for Odell Beckham Jr. According to Schefter, this doesn’t mean the Giants will get this return or even close to it for Beckham Jr, but they have asked for at least two first-round picks.

The Giants continue to leave the door open to a potential trade involving Beckham while also saying that they aren’t actively shopping him around for trade offers.

Boykin, 24, vehemently denied the charges in a statement released Tuesday shortly after the Seahawks cut him.

The former TCU quarterback has been arrested multiple times since leaving college. He was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor public intoxication and marijuana possession after he was a passenger in a car crash that injured several people in Dallas last March. That arrest led to another arrest in April 2017 for violation of the terms of his probation.

He was sentenced to probation in June 2016 following his arrest in December 2015 on misdemeanor assault and resisting arrest charges for allegedly striking a patrol officer after a bar fight. Boykin pleaded no contest to the resisting arrest charge and avoided jail time.

Falcons:Clearly I’m anticipating a strong RPI from the NFC South. With Super Bowl LIII set to be staged in Atlanta’s gleaming new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, added incentive for the Dirty Birds to get back to theFinalFourfirst. The Falcons’ unexpected offensive struggles in 2017 overshadowed a defense that’s quietly emerged as one of the fastest and fiercest in the league, able to slap a full-court press on anybody. But I expect Matt Ryan and Co. will shoot a lot straighter in Year 2 under Steve Sarkisian.

Rams: Sean McVay and Co. receive their payoff for their aggressive offseason, reaching the conference championship after a wild-cardexit in 2017.

Packers:Aaron Rodgers makes a triumphant return from injury and leads the retooled supporting cast back to Super Bowl contention.

Steelers:Big Ben & Co. take over as the top AFC team as the Pats struggle to break out of the Super Bowl defeat hangover.

Texans:Deshaun Watson returns to re-ignite the Houston Texans, who become this year’s turnaround contender.patriots_094-223x223