It might be a case of illegal clipping.
MMQB preamble, Homage to the Opening of High School Football Season:
One of the best things about touring training camps is that you come across all kinds of information. Unfortunately, some if it never gets published because it doesn't fit the story that's being written, or there isn't enough space for it.
HOUSTON -- While we digest the status of Mike Vick with his battered ribs and wonder if he'll ever play a full season of football again (he's played exactly one 16-game regular season), let's get updated on one team that's been very quiet in the first month of summer camp.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- To Bears coach Lovie Smith, the Olympic competition he watched every night after training camp meetings in his dorm room at Olivet Nazarene University was a vital football lesson for everyone in the game.
NFL player O.J. Murdock apparently focused during his last hours on his glory days as a track and football star at the Tampa, Florida, high school where police say he killed himself.
RENTON, Wash. -- I'll get to the upstart Cardinals, the recharged Chargers, Drew Brees tsk-tsk-ing the commissioner, what Peyton Manning hates and the third-round pick who leads all rookies in charisma. I know what you want. You want football. You want to see what I've seen. Five quickies from my first five camps:
So we're off with the 16th season of Monday morning quarterback. Pro football is the sport that never sleeps, and I was fortunate on my vacation to have union czar DeMaurice Smith, Colts rookie tight end Coby Fleener, Washington GM Bruce Allen and inspirational Tampa Bay defensive tackle Eric LeGrand writing, allowing me to sleep peacefully every Sunday night -- boy, I already miss that -- knowing the column was in good hands.
SAN DIEGO -- The Chargers were nearing the end of an 11-on-11 passing drill last Wednesday when coach Norv Turner approached wide receiver Robert Meachem with an important question.
Before I get to the state of the Texans, and the running back driving fantasy football players crazy, as well as a local boy in Queens having the time of his life and the latest in Bountyville, here's a preamble about the life span of the best prospects in football.
Thousands gathered on the San Diego shore to "paddle-out" and honor NFL great Junior Seau. KGTV reports.
Never during its 92 year history has the NFL experienced anything like this: battles everywhere, but not inside stadiums. They're occurring in federal courtrooms, where more than 100 former players are suing the league over various health issues they claim were caused by negligence on the part of everybody from the commissioner to trainers to coaches.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Subtract a reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year from the lineup of almost any team, and a lost season is likely in the offing. Certainly Super Bowl dreams would wither and die.
There's an old adage in sports that great players rarely make great coaches.
PHILADELPHIA -- The late March trade that brought middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans to Philadelphia has a chance to be one of the shrewdest moves of the NFL's offseason and should help solidify the middle of the Eagles defense, which got gouged repeatedly in 2011, especially during Philly's stupefyingly bad 4-8 start.
While the entire NFL world has been fixated on every detail and development in his year-plus battle with his neck issues, Peyton Manning wasn't the only player who had his 2011 ruined by injury. His lost season just happened to generate more media coverage than the plight of all other injured players combined, given that his absence set off a chain of events that rendered it the most impactful injury in league history.
The NFL is both beloved and exalted in the pantheon of spectator sports because absolutely no one knows what will unfold from week to week. But that doesn't stop us from predicting up a storm when it comes to the season just ahead. More than two months away from the full-scale opening of training camps, here are seven strong hunches we're willing to share in a bold foretelling of 2012's storylines to come:
With the draft and free agency having reordered depth charts around the league, it's time to take stock of the positional battles that will be worth watching unfold once training camps open. Here are 10 intriguing depth-chart competitions that warrant our attention this summer:
The 1994 Chargers were the only team in franchise history to go to a Super Bowl -- they lost, 49-26, to Steve Young and the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX -- but over the years a sobering series of tragedies has cast a pall over that achievement.
Grieving for a fellow player is, sadly, nothing new for members of the 1994 San Diego Chargers. Legendary linebacker Junior Seau, who was found dead Wednesday of an apparent suicide, is now the eighth player from that team to die.
Out of the rubble of a 4-12 season in 2010, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis headed south to Mobile, Ala., to coach a group of NFL prospects in the Senior Bowl.
The 2012 NFL Draft illustrated teams' focus on the passing game, with quarterbacks, cornerbacks and pass rushers flying off the board. Teams can now afford to be much bolder at quarterback thanks to the rookie salary slotting system, allowing them to take guys higher than graded and to give up on former first-rounders quicker than before. Next year's class doesn't have an Andrew Luck in it, so predicting the top QB picks will be tougher, but teams will always find players to fit that need.
Just because I'm not an instant draft-grade guy doesn't mean I can't opine about what we've just seen, and what we're about to see in the next few months. Take the quarterback position. Let's rank the 11 quarterbacks who got picked in the draft in two categories: who will have the biggest rookie-year impact, and who landed in the best spot.
The book is closed on the 2012 NFL draft after 253 players were selected in seven rounds over the past three days. As is the case every year, there were a lot of head-scratching moments. Highly-rated prospects slipped through the cracks while several players were chosen much earlier than their talents warranted. Here's a look at the steals and reaches from the past three days ...
NEW YORK -- The Morris Claiborne story fell into the laps of America on day one of the NFL Draft Thursday night, the same way Claiborne found himself a Dallas Cowboy.
When his team plays at home, the Red Sox manager holds press conferences in front of a red brick wall that lends an unintentional air of comedy or tragedy to his every utterance, the brick-wall backdrop being synonymous with stand-up comedy and firing squads and official announcements from the Boston Red Sox, for whom April has alternated between farce and doom.
Michael Brockers is hot, Ryan Tannehill may not be. The old draft trade chart is out the window, the Jags have an itchy trigger finger, Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd have the attention of the Rams, Seattle may not want to move as much as the current rumor suggests and, speaking of rumors, I'd advise you not to believe many of them about moving up.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we digest the NFL's just-released 256-game regular-season schedule ...
It's rare that I begin with the Stat of the Week in this column, but there's a method to my statness.
News item: Indianapolis owner Jimmy Irsay says the Colts wanted to work out quarterback Robert Griffin III and were denied by the quarterback's agent.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. --The most famous backup quarterback in NFL history stepped onto the artificial turf of the New York Jets practice facility at 12:06 p.m. on Monday afternoon. He smiled as he walked past the yard markers on the field, the click-click-click of cameras marking his every step. Tim Tebow then stepped up to the podium to address the congregation, and what he saw was a three-deep row of 36 cameras in front of him. "How's it going?" Tebow said. "Good to see all y'all. Lot of people here."
The Denver Broncos announced Wednesday night they had finalized a trade that sends high-profile quarterback Tim Tebow to the New York Jets.
Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter explains why Tim Tebow might make a good fit for the New York Jets.
Whether he becomes a bit player in the Jets offense or pushes Mark Sanchez to the sideline, Tim Tebow's arrival in New York carries immediate benefits but also some risk. In two short seasons, Tebow has become one of the most famous and polarizing athletes in sports, and now he joins one of the NFL's most volatile and unpredictable locker rooms.
Quarterback Peyton Manning is formally introduced as the newest member of the Denver Broncos.
Free agent quarterback Peyton Manning will play for the Denver Broncos, the team announced Tuesday.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Looking drained and sounding tired, Peyton Manning stood outside the Denver Broncos team meeting room Tuesday afternoon -- the room where he'd just been introduced as the Broncos quarterback by an elated John Elway --and Manning tried to explain why he picked Denver to play the rest of his career with, however long that may be.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The strange thing about Peyton Manning and the expectations his arrival in Denver creates is that the quarterback he's replacing, Tim Tebow, just led a mediocre team to an AFC West title, and Tebow threw a gorgeous touchdown strike to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime to beat a legit Super Bowl contender, Pittsburgh, in the playoffs.
Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino shares his opinion on the NFL bounty scandal and Peyton Manning's future.
The Denver Broncos are in ongoing contract talks with free agent quarterback Peyton Manning, a member of the Broncos organization told CNN on Monday.
(Editor's note: A few hours after this column was originally published, Peyton Manning told his agent to start contract negotiations with the Denver Broncos.)
For Peyton Manning, creature of habit that he is, no doubt the easiest thing would have been becoming a Tennessee Titan. The familiar and the comfortable have always held particular sway with Manning, and in his world, if he couldn't be a Colt, what could have been more familiar than playing his football in a blue-and-white-schemed uniform, for a franchise based in his adopted home state of Tennessee, and with a team that resides in the comfortable environs of the AFC South?
So now, with Peyton Manning in Denver, the Titans and the 49ers have to put the pieces of their broken dreams back together and go on without him.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we digest the doings of the first 24 hours or so of the NFL's always frenzied free agency period...
As this year's NFL free agency period opens, teams will be wrestling with age-old issues: risk vs. reward, talent vs. trouble, injury history, how a player fits in the team's current locker room and whether that player is worth potentially overpaying if his price rises in the open market. It's all part of the game of March.
Peyton Manning is no longer the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. Manning and team owner Jim Irsay announced the parting of ways during a rather amicable press conference Wednesday.
Peyton Manning parted company with the Indianapolis Colts Wednesday after a glittering 14-year career at the NFL franchise.
The Indianapolis Colts release four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning rather than pay him a $28 million bonus he is due.
Four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning is expected to announce today that he will be leaving the Indianapolis Colts, the only team he has played for in his 14-year career.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight from day one of the NFL's underwear Olympics at Lucas Oil Stadium....
Lots of responses about the 18-game schedule (many saying they have no idea what fans Roger Goodell is talking about when he says fans want two more regular-season games), but two notes first:
While the decision-making process regarding Peyton Manning's future in Indianapolis continues to unfold, new details about his problematic neck issues and his attempts to deal with them have surfaced.
With Peyton Manning's future in Indianapolis just days away from being decided, Colts owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday the team's franchise quarterback still controls whether he will remain with the only NFL franchise he has ever played for, but that the club cannot exercise the $28 million option bonus that is due Manning on March 8.
So let me get this straight: The guy who once said he plays when he wants to play wants to play again? Ah, but it takes somebody to want him to play for them, and that's where Randy Moss's big 35th birthday un-retirement announcement on Monday comes out sounding like the proverbial one-sided conversation at the moment.
Once upon a time, we thought we knew how the Peyton Manning story would end in Indianapolis. After a long and record-breaking run as the Colts iconic quarterback, face of the franchise and civic treasure, Manning would finally leave the game behind, slide into a comfortable and over-celebrated retirement and toss the keys to the next young passer unlucky enough to follow his act in the helmet with the horseshoe on it.
With the glow (and the now annual blame-game fallout) of the Super Bowl dying down, we turn our attention to the long NFL offseason, which won't end until teams start reporting for training camp in late July. Here are the 10 questions that most intrigue me as the league transitions into player acquisition and draft evaluation mode....
The road map to success in today's NFL starts with the quarterback and revolves around the passing game. Look at the league's top teams -- the Super Bowl champion Giants, runner-up Patriots, regular-season-best Packers, etc. -- most boast top QBs and highly productive pass offenses.
The New York Giants parade through the heart of Manhattan, celebrating a dramatic win in Super Bowl XLVI.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Call it the Reluctant Touchdown. Ahmad Bradshaw's awkward and unwilling flop into the end zone is part of Super Bowl lore now -- there with Rice-to-Montana, there with David Tyree's helmet catch, there with Lynn Swann's ballet, there with Mike Jones' tackle one yard shy. Those moments defined their times. In many ways, The Reluctant Touchdown defines ours.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we digest the Giants' impossibly dramatic and gritty 21-17 defeat of the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI Sunday night in Lucas Oil Stadium. As it turns out, it was a rematch, and a redux, indeed...
A ticker tape parade awaits the New York Giants this week when the team returns home as Super Bowl champions after defeating the New England Patriots on a last-minute touchdown.
There is no sweeter scenario for a Super Bowl broadcaster than a game hanging in the balance, and NBC's ratings for the Giants' 21-17 victory over the Patriots on Sunday will almost assuredly top last year's Super Bowl on FOX, which averaged 111 million viewers and became the most-watched television program in U.S. history. But how was the NBC broadcast for viewers? It's time to hand out grades.
Grading out performances from the New York Giants' nailbiting 21-17 win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI:
INDIANAPOLIS -- Eli Manning stirred controversy when he declared himself an elite quarterback at the start of the 2011 season.
Triumphing in a thriller, quarterback Eli Manning led the New York Giants on Sunday to their second Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots in four years.
Let's just come out and say what a lot of people are thinking this Super Bowl weekend: Indianapolis? Really?
Can the emotional stress among viewers of the Super Bowl lead to fatal cardiovascular events? John Lisk reports.
For the past few days, the NFL punditry here has been remarkably divided on predictions for Super Bowl XLVI. For every expert espousing New England Patriots' depth and balance there is another waxing rhapsodic about the New York Giants' "momentum" and "destiny." Las Vegas echoed this ambivalence, as the gambling line continues to shift.
Not in a long time has the pre-Super Bowl chatter been so dominated by one player's body part.
INDIANAPOLIS -- As if the strange coincidence of having the Super Bowl come to Indianapolis just as Peyton Manning's future hangs in the balance and the Colts continue remaking their organization wasn't enough, presumptive No. 1 overall draft pick and potential Manning replacement Andrew Luck arrived here Thursday to add one more layer of intrigue to the mix.
INDIANAPOLIS -- This city's outdone itself. It's been a great game site for the Super Bowl. So much to do downtown, all on foot, and the natives and even the drunks are in great moods. The meteorologists have helped, but there's something to be said for a vibrant downtown hosting everything at a Super Bowl, and holding the Super Bowl in a place where you never have to get in a car.
One of the great myths about the NFL is that the salary cap affords the league much better competitive balance than is possible in the cap-less Major League Baseball. This would not be a good week to be promoting that myth, seeing that the New York Giants and New England Patriots have become what Meryl Streep and George Clooney are to the Oscars. Ho-hum. The Giants and Patriots have filled one-third of the available spots over the past 12 Super Bowls.
Across the country, fans of the New England Patriots are wondering whether Tom Brady will return to top form this Sunday, whether Gronk's ankle will hold up, and whether cornerback Julian Edelman can shut down the Giants' dangerous receivers. But here in Beantown, folks ask still another question: Will the Pats go out and win this one for Myra?
INDIANAPOLIS -- The irony is too rich to miss here this week. The juxtaposition as stark as it could possibly be. Peyton Manning isn't in this Super Bowl, but somehow he still looms over it, with the drama surrounding his future providing a backdrop for a game that's chock full of intriguing storylines.
If you love the passing game, you'll love Super Bowl XLVI. In fact, it's a watershed moment in the evolution of pro football.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight from the exercise in pack journalism that was Tuesday's Super Bowl media day at the beehive known as Lucas Oil Stadium, which served to remind me once again that when it comes to this over-hyped event, alas, we're farther away all the time from chatting up Namath at poolside...
INDIANAPOLIS -- Sure, they seem unbeatable now. Dare we say, even super. The Patriots enter this week with a league-best 10-game winning streak that began in mid-November, and the Giants are on yet another improbable and magical postseason run, with five consecutive elimination-game victories to their credit and a world of mojo in their favor.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Lots going on as we draw nearer to The Rematch Bowl of Super Bowl 46. (That's right, I'm not a big Roman numeral guy.)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The next chapter in the Peyton Manning saga could take a decidedly defensive turn.
FOXBORO, Mass. -- During Bill Belichick's tenure in New England, the Patriots have gradually transformed themselves from a lunch-pail group of players who fed off other's disrespect to an offensively brilliant glamour team. The first group won Super Bowls; the second lacked a key ingredient for postseason success. They got it back Sunday to hold off the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in a win that felt more like 2001 than 2012.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight from a down-to-the-wire Championship Sunday. We had three-point thrillers, from coast to coast...
Grading out the performances in the New England Patriots' narrow 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game.
1. Joe Flacco picked a bad week to face Tom Brady.
Trent Dilfer gets it. He knows there's only one quarterback in this week's conference title games who's being subjected to the on-the-couch treatment from every NFL analyst on the planet, and he's well aware of how his own reputation and playing experience factors into the "can-he-do-it?'' debate that rages around Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco.
Denver Broncos vice president John Elway chose his words carefully when he endorsed Tim Tebow as the starter heading into next season's training camp. Elway said Tebow "earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into training camp," not that they were excited and fully committed to building around his young quarterback.
The surprise isn't that the Indianapolis Colts finally followed through and dismissed head coach Jim Caldwell on Tuesday. It's that they even considered retaining him for 2012 in the first place.
On the Ravens, Joe Flacco, Tony Corrente's very rough cancer treatment, Bill Leavy and the unfortunate power of Twitter's immediacy, and some tentacles from the Manning/Umenyiora trade concerning the Cleveland Browns:
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we wrap our brains around the new realities that the divisional playoffs have wrought: The Giants and 49ers move on, and the Packers and Saints don't. There's nothing like the plot twists you get in the NFL's postseason....
FOXBORO, Mass. -- Before Saturday night, New England hadn't won a playoff game in four years. From the looks of what the Patriots put on display against Denver, they're not going to have to wait four years before winning another.
Grading out the performances from San Francisco's New England's dominant 45-10 beatdown of the Denver Broncos in Saturday's AFC divisional round matchup.
Grading out the performances from the Ravens' 20-13 nailbiter win over the Houston Texans in Sunday's AFC divisional matchup.
BALTIMORE -- The ball tumbled toward the earth, to a spot nearly 70 yards from where Sam Koch, the Ravens punter, had put his foot to it. Jacoby Jones, the Texans returner, allowed it to hit the turf. Then he thought better of it and tried to catch it mid-carom. Almost immediately, he would wish that he hadn't.
1. It's a brave new world for both teams.
1. Tom Brady's paper-tiger Patriots need this win more than Tim Tebow's magical Broncos.
Sign me up for the notion that the NFL's divisional playoff round typically makes for the best weekend of the season, with the league's elite eight pairing off in four bursts of high-stakes elimination football. Here are eight of the best storylines that provide a backdrop of the action on tap:
Not the greatest weekend for start-to-finish drama, but the Denver-Pittsburgh overtime thriller made up for those earlier 21-, 17- and 22-point playoff games. Let me get some of the news of the weekend to you first, then get on to the dramatic non-game story of the weekend: the fight to beat tongue and throat cancer by veteran referee Tony Corrente, who worked Detroit-New Orleans Saturday night.
The NFL coaching saga known as the "Courtship of Jeff Fisher'' continued without resolution Wednesday as both the St. Louis Rams and Miami Dolphins awaited word of a decision from him regarding their head coaching offers.
We're down to the final eight teams in the NFL playoffs, and that means there are only 16 potential matchups remaining for Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium next month in Indianapolis. Don't worry, I did the math so you don't have to. Here's a pregame storyline or reason to care about each and every Super pairing, as we rank them from most intriguing to least appealing. As always, your results may vary...
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Midway through Tuesday's news conference at the Raiders training facility, Mark Davis was asked if his late father, Al, had left any sort of instructions about how to proceed with running the organization after his death.