Johnny Manziel: I’m here for a reason; I’m here to play ball

Johnny Manziel had his Welcome to the CFL moment early in his preseason debut against the Toronto Argonauts. The incident led to the Hamilton backup quarterback exchanging words with an Argonauts player.

I was trying to help a guy up out of the pile and he wanted to say some foul stuff, Manziel said, via Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun. Listen, I’m not here to be pushed over. You can come at me because my name is in the papers or on TV, so you can come at me. I’m not backing down. I’m here for a reason. I’m here to play ball, and I’m not going to be treated like [expletive]. It is what it is.

I thought when he was coming to talk to me he was going to tell me that. You know… I’m still learning a lot of things up here. I’m jogging into the locker room at halftime with zeros on the clock, and we have another play. There are going to be some of those growing pains. Coach [June] Jones told me that when I got here. But we’ll take them in stride.

Left tackle Matt Kalil told Bill Voth of the team’s official website that he’s feeling normal again, after a year spent recovering from hip surgery. He was able to play last year, but said he didn’t feel like himself until training camp, and that resulted in a slow start for a guy previous G.M. Dave Gettleman gave a five-year, $55 million contract to.

Obviously, you saw during the season the first few games I was kind of just iffy and a little behind, Kalil said. Even coach Ron Rivera, one of the most positive coaches in the league, admitted: Early on he was stiff.

That slow start is something the Panthers can’t really afford this year, not as they’re looking for a replacement for All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell, who left in free agency. But Kalil said feeling healthy again will allow him to show more of what he’s able to do, and allow him to actually work on football.

I used to have to do what I could to survive. Now it’s to the point where physically nothing’s holding me back, he said. So I have a chance to excel and work on the things I want to work on rather than doing maintenance 24/7 and just trying to survive out there.

Aaron Rodgers on Packers’ rookie corners: ‘I’m going to dice them up a little bit’

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jets_096The Green Bay Packers drafted a pair of exciting rookie cornerbacks in Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson this offseason. And although Packers fans have high hopes for a secondary that’s been lacking in recent years, Aaron Rodgers has no intention of taking it easy on the young guys.

And let’s be real: This is what most of us in the media were there to hear, not about Wentz. Few thought we were going to see for ourselves something as football-relevant as evidence of Wentz’s progress, even when Pederson hinted in the morning press conference that Wentz had been participating in seven-on-sevens.

Player locker room interviews occurred later in the afternoon. There were 75 media members in attendance, according to an unofficial headcount: almost one reporter/photographer for every player on the Eagles’ 90-man roster. A three-deep throng surrounded Malcolm Jenkins’ locker, even though he had not arrived yet. (Eagles players took video of us circling an empty locker.)

Judge was 0-for-4 with three Ks and a walk in the Yankees’ 7-4 win in Game 1 before whiffing five times in a row in Game 2. According to ESPN, he is the first player in MLB history with eight strikeouts in a doubleheader.

Judge credited the Tigers pitching.

They were just hitting their spots in the corners, he said. That’s the biggest thing. When guys pinpoint their pitches and execute their pitches in certain counts, they usually do well in the mound. They just made their pitches and I just had a terrible day at the plate.

The five strikeouts were a career-high for Judge, who has had a pair of four-strikeout games, one this year and one last season.

No matter what you do in the past, either good or bad, it’s not going to help you in tomorrow’s game, Judge said. If I went 4-fo- 4 or 0-for-4, none of those at-bats are going to help me tomorrow when we’re playing Toronto, so why worry about them?

You learn from them. You learn from mistakes.

Dre Kirkpatrick and Carlos Dunlap not present for Week 2 of Bengals OTAs

jets_064The Bengals ‘ defense has some big names sitting out for the second week of OTAs taking place this week.

While most of the roster was present, the Bengals were without defensive end Carlos Dunlap and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.

Dunlap was expected to be out this week after skipping all prior voluntary OTA sessions this offseason. He’s entering a contract year and probably doesn’t want to risk an injury that could nuke his chances of a big payday. He also may be holding out waiting for a new contract.

I still also get why Bell wants to skip OTAs. He has a $14.5 million franchise tag waiting for him. He also doesn’t want to risk injury when he doesn’t have that longterm deal to fall back on. Not to mention, why would he bother wasting his time watching Ben Roethlisberger get applauded for doing what he shouldn’t be told he has to do (work with rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph ) when he can be making totally sick diss tracks to his haters. You know, those haters who say he isn’t focused enough on football, pushing him to make a song about it while not showing up to OTAs. Way to show them!

I am so apologetic to them right now. As a matter of fact, when I found out this went public, within seconds, I sent emails to Randy and Debbie both and I apologized and in no way did I mean for this to go public, and in no way did I mean for their names to be drawn out in public for this to happen.

Because we already knew that I wasn’t invited. And it made me even more sick when I saw them put out a statement that said Randy wasn’t involved in Old-Timers’ Day, because I thought someone told me he was. So I owe Randy Levine and even bigger apology, because he has nothing to do with this.

On Twitter, Leyritz, a Yankees playoff hero, called his exclusion from the event a joke,according to NJ Advance Media’s Brendan Kuty :

The 54-year-old retired catcher also liked a tweet that said, Randy Levine IS THE WORST.

Broncos RB De’Angelo Henderson OK after car accident

Broncos running back De’Angelo Henderson was involved in a car accident on Saturday night, but avoided any severe injuries.

Team spokesman Patrick Smyth announced on Monday that Henderson was taken to the hospital as a precaution and released after suffering minor injuries. Henderson was at the Broncos facility on Monday and is expected to participate when organized team activities start next week.

CBS Denver reports that the crash occurred when a vehicle that was reported as stolen in Denver collided with other cars, including the one Henderson was driving, while trying to elude police. The driver of the car faces charges of vehicular assault, eluding, motor vehicle theft, DUI-Drugs, and several other traffic offenses.

After all, the Bolts are even more stacked than when they won six of their final seven games last season. New center Mike Pouncey brings a strong veteran presence to the offensive line, safety Derwin James was an absolute steal in the middle of the first round on draft night, and they might even get a boost if their top two picks from last year—wide receiver Mike Williams and guard Forrest Lamp—are able to actually get on the field consistently in 2018.

“It’s going to be a cleansing of the Cleveland Browns,” Jackson said earlier this year. “That’s what it will be.”

Jackson said he was doing so for charity (specifically, his foundation which works to fight human trafficking), and would pledge $100 for every Browns employee who jumped in the lake with him.

It would have been more of a punishment had he done so in the winter, but there’s a reason he didn’t. Jackson had a stent placed in his heart in 2014, and his doctors forbade him for plunging into the frigid right-after-the-season water.

This year, the Jaguars will play the Steelers on Sunday Night Football in November, they’ll play the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football in December and they’ll play the Philadelphia Eagles in an exclusive time slot from London in Otcober. Don’t be surprised if they’re also on national television when they play the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys in late-Sunday afternoon slots during the first half of the season.  cardinals_039

Sean McVay optimistic about signing Aaron Donald to long-term deal

The Rams are optimistic they can get a long-term extension done with defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Rams coach Sean McVay said that he and Donald are trading texts, Andrew Siciliano of NFL Media reports.

Pete Carroll, Seahawks: Carroll turns 67 in September, and with the team going through a makeover, Seattle is getting sleepless about its near-future Super Bowl chances with Russell Wilson.

Anthony Lynn, Chargers: The Chargers’ electric finish to the 2017 season under Lynn suggests that, based on talent, anything less than playoffs this season will be considered a disappointment.

Mike Vrabel, Titans: His seat comes with mild heat, as Mike Mularkey wasn’t even safe after ending Tennessee’s nine-year playoff drought.

Pat Shurmur, Giants: Shurmur takes over a team that made the playoffs just two years ago because of defense, and it now has an improved offense. The tough part will be implementing new schemes.

Thanks to its most recent renovation project, which was completed in 2016, Hard Rock Stadium will have a new look when the Super Bowl arrives in 2020.

While the stadium’s seating capacity was reduced from 75,000 to 65,000, the renovation that featured new video boards, suites and seating pods is at least one of the reasons the NFL is returning for Super Bowl 54.

This wasn’t the original plan. NFL owners in May voted to move Super Bowl 55, which had been scheduled to be played in Los Angeles, to Tampa Bay. The shift came as a result of weather-related construction delays at the new LA stadium site, which will instead host Super Bowl 56 in 2022. (More on that later.)

Tampa Bay was an easy choice to fill the Super Bowl 2021 location void thanks to its success as a host in the past. The city has hosted the Super Bowl four times, two in old Tampa Stadium and two in Raymond James Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Buccaneers.ravens_146

Ravens claim Kai Nacua off waivers

The Browns made some space for rookies this week by waiving three players.

One of those three found a new home on Tuesday. The Ravens announced that they have claimed defensive back Kai Nacua and added him to their 90-man roster.

Appearing on the Pardon My Take podcast, Payton talked about the Miller non-touchdown, admitted that it should’ve been called a touchdown, and then revealed that he visited Miller at the hospital in New Orleans. It was a touchdown, he said. And it was terrible, the injury he had.

He spent the better part of a week here.It was crazy. Later he added, Listen, he’s a great guy. I had never met him until he was in the hospital. So I went in and saw him that next week. We were bringing him some meals. It was real serious with the injury.And the non-touchdown.He did more than break his leg.

The catch — rather, the non-catch — happened on Oct. 29 (Week 8). During the third quarter, Miller seemingly caught a perfectly placed pass from Mitchell Trubisky to cut into the Saints’ lead. Live, it didn’t even look like a controversial catch.

Carolina currently has C.J. Anderson, who signed with the team Monday, Christian McCaffrey, Cameron Artis-Payne and Elijah Hood on the roster. The Panthers also have undrafted running back Reggie Bonnafon, who is expected to sign before the team’s two-day rookie minicamp this weekend.

When Ryan Tannehill went down last season, the Dolphins pounded the pavement for a veteran passer and lured Jay Cutler — for better or worse — to Miami.

This time around, coach Adam Gase is confident his quarterback room, backed by Brock Osweiler and David Fales, can pull its weight.

Nope, Gase said Thursday when asked if he’d feel pressure to sign a veteran if Tannehill was lost. Instead, the coach expressed confidence in his backups.

It depends on which one of those guys wins the No. 2 job. But those guys wouldn’t be on the roster if I wasn’t, Gase said, per Joe Schad of The Palm Beach Post. I am comfortable. I am comfortable with the two guys. Between David and Brock, I am comfortable. And if I wasn’t, then I would have somebody else here.

Ravens won’t pick up option on Breshad Perriman

Much like Kevin White in Chicago, the decision on Breshad Perriman is as much about availability as ability.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Ravens will not pick up the fifth-year option for 2019 on Perriman.

No one had a six-pack in the calendar, she says.

I wanted a rip-tuck picture for the calendar, but they smoothed it over because someone said, Guys don’t like six packs on girls.

(In a statement to The MMQB, outside counsel for the Saints said that until June 2017 the Saintsations were outsourced to a third party-organization, St.

All-Star LLC, including the 2015 and ’16 seasons, Davis’s first two years with the team.

The Saints discontinued the calendar after the 2016 season.) Growing up, Davis had an especially close connection to the Saintsations—her mom worked for them as a field director, one of several assistants for the squad—and always dreamed of dancing on the sideline in black and gold.

She joined the dance team at Jones County Junior College and tried out as soon as she was old enough for the Saintsations.

Wright played for the Vikings when Turner was the offensive coordinator in Minnesota and his time with the coach has left him confident that he knows all there is to know about the offense.

“I feel I could teach Norv Turner’s offense to a baby,” Wright said, via the Charlotte Observer. “I know every aspect of it. I know how he wants everything run. If Norv forgets something, he can just come ask me.”

Wright’s production slipped after Turner left the Vikings in the middle of the 2016 season, so he and the Panthers likely hope that a reunion sparks better results. It will be all the better for the team if it also helps spur Moore to early success as well.

Jerry Jones: Ezekiel Elliott free to focus on 2018 improvement More Ezekiel Elliott is getting a clean slate in 2018.

After being tied up in legal battles regarding his six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following a domestic violence incident, the running back will enter the upcoming season with a clear head and reestablished consistency.broncos_129_3d6b7eb78b9eb98d-180x180