Doug Marrone embracing high expectations in Jacksonville

After the Jaguars announced quarterback Blake Bortles‘ contract extension, executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin said the deal came with “high expectations” that Bortles will improve in 2018 and beyond.

The Bucs have invested in their offensive line this offseason, and now they have the luxury of looking at either running back (if Barkley is available) or defense with their top-10 pick. Adding Ward to a secondary that already includes Vernon Hargreaves would help keep Tampa Bay competitive against the passing attacks in Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans.

Chicago has spent big on its offense via free agency, so expect the Bears to favor defense early in the draft. That starts with Edmunds, who can add value to multiple spots on Chicago’s defense inside to complement Leonard Floyd.

In recent months, Ken has found a new purpose by sharing Jamie’s story, speaking to community groups and high schools all across Michigan, educating people not only about the horrors of addiction but also the dangers of insurance scams such as The Florida Shuffle.

“Jamie’s legacy should be to save hundreds of thousands of lives and make everybody aware of what happened to him,” Ken says. “The more people we can make aware than I think we do Jamie’s name proud.”

Live coverage of Rounds 2 and 3 on April 27 (7 p.m. ET) will be shown on four networks: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN and ESPN2. Joel Klatt, Fox’s lead college football analyst, and Charles Davis will join NFL Network’s Peter Schrager and Chris Rose on the coverage.

The van in question is a 2007 Ford E-350. It replaces the Mercedes-Benz C300 coupe he was seen driving around the Tampa area before making this life transition. According to said ESPN report, Hawley decided on a cross country trip after watching the Netflix documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.

The scouts got this one right, although Bradford never developed into the superstar some projected he would. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told McGinn that Bradford was “a tall-stature guy who has that prototypical stand in the pocket,” which seems like a roundabout way of saying that the 6-foot-4 Bradford was tall. The flashpoint was obviously Tebow. bills_068

John Lynch leans on former teammate Martin Mayhew

John Lynch admits he didn’t know what he was doing when the 49ers first hired him as General Manager. So one of the people he leaned on to learn the job was former Buccaneers teammate Martin Mayhew, who spent 15 years in the Lions’ front office, including parts of eight seasons as G.M.

“He’s been of tremendous value to me,” Lynch told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “Elephant in the room, I hadn’t done this before, and I know what I know and I felt like I had some strengths and my experiences would come in handy, both as a player and as a broadcaster you get exposed to a lot. But there were some things that I just didn’t know, hadn’t been exposed to, so I knew I had to surround myself with good people.

Smith is already comfortable turning for righty hooks and floaters.

This won’t work every time, or even most of the time, obviously. Smith is young, prone to bad judgment. When Teague understood what was coming, he stonewalled Smith a little further from the basket.

Browns coach Hue Jackson says that people around the NFL see Taylor as a starting quarterback, and if the Browns hadn’t given up a third-round pick for him, some other team would have.

“Maybe people don’t think Tyrod has performed as well as he has because he’s not talked about as an upper-echelon guy in the league, but the guy has performed really solidly over the last several years,” Jackson said. “He’s made some tremendous plays. He’s led teams to the playoffs and winning seasons. He’s stayed healthy. He hasn’t turned the ball over, and those are things coaches look for. I’m just happy we got him. I know for a fact other teams wanted him, too. I think we’re fortunate to have this guy as our starter.”

Jackson has already declared Taylor the starter for the 2018 season. It’s unclear which other teams wanted Taylor that badly, but Jackson believes that the Browns aren’t the only ones who viewed Taylor as a player who can step in and start in Week One.

Titans agree to deal with Bennie Logan

The Titans have agreed to terms with former Chiefs defensive lineman Bennie Logan.

Logan, who visited Saint Thomas Sports Park last week, will add beef on the team’s defensive front, especially inside. He’s known for being a run-stuffer in the trenches.

That’s what we’re trying to do and just try to get better one day at a time, and I think it’s important for all the players to understand that getting better by themselves, it’s just as important for us to get better together, and I think that’s the beauty of being able to work together here. 

“We understand how this is structured here in the offseason, but it’s certainly important. In my mind, it’s important for everybody to be around so they can hear it, learn it and then do it together. This is the ultimate team game and we need to work together because it’s important that we are all on the same page as we move toward the fall.”

Flowers is entering what is presumed to be the final year of his rookie contract as the Giants are not expected to pick up his fifth-year option of their 2015 first-round pick.

PFT reached out to the NFL to see if we could get a look at some examples of plays that were legal before, but are now illegal under the new rule saying that “Lowering the head to initiate contact with the helmet is a foul.” We were told that the league could not provide any video to give specific examples.

The league needs to produce such a video. Until we see specific examples, we have no idea what this rule really means. Under the broadest possible interpretation, “Lowering the head to initiate contact with the helmet” happens multiple times on every play. What else is a lineman doing when he comes out of a three-point stance?

The NFL may instruct the officials only to call the most flagrant, violent hits. If that’s the case, this rule may be no more a game-changer than the “crown of the helmet” rule of 2013, which was treated as a big deal at the time but turned out to be a big nothing.

But until the NFL shows us all what is and is not a penalty under this new rule, we simply don’t know. Let’s hope players, coaches and officials all know what the rule really means before the season starts.

Gruden spent the past nine NFL seasons in a TV booth. The last game he coached was Dec. 28, 2008.

If the Masters  is tied after four rounds, the players advance to a sudden-death playoff that alternates between holes No. 18 and No. 10.

The last time the Masters ended in a tie after four rounds was in 2017, when Sergio Garcia won his first major with a birdie on the first hole, beating Justin Rose.

“They’re going to spend most of the this week — three hours a day — with strength and conditioning coaches, and they’ll spend one hour with their position coaches, starting to get into the scheme,” Gruden said. “This first week is pretty much going to get them acclimating to getting stronger, getting faster, getting into the best shape they can be in and build relationships with the strength and conditioning staff.

“Then they’ll be with their new position coaches as they start to learn the offense, the defense and the special teams.”

I’m really excited,” Gruden said. “It’s been a long time. We’ve been here preparing for this day for so long. It will be limited, but we’ll put the boat in the water and it will be fun.”

His importance to the Cowboys was never more visible than in Week 10 last season, when he needed to sit out because of a groin injury and his replacements, Chaz Green and Byron Bell , gave up a stunning six sacks to Falcons pass rusher Adrian Clayborn in a 27-7 blowout loss.

Smith said this weekend the rehab he’s been doing this offseason has him optimistic there will be no replay of that in 2018.

“I went to California and went to a facility out there and starting training and rehabbing a little early,” Smith said. “We just worked on the little things like stretching and taking pressure off my back and opening up my hips a little bit. It’s just little things but I’m feeling great.”

Tyron Smith spoke words this week that surely made Dak Prescott — and all Dallas Cowboys fans, for that matter — happy. bills_012

Report: Giants will take Sam Darnold if he is there

The Giants own the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft later this month, with the chance to either mine an eventual franchise quarterback of the future to replace Eli Manning, or add an elite prospect to a team that finished 3-13 in 2017.

If general manager Dave Gettleman opts to invest the premium pick in a quarterback, people in league circles believe that the Giants have made up their mind on who to choose.

There were concerns at the time about Ryan’s accuracy, but after completing just 59.9 percent of his passes at Boston College, Ryan is up to 64.9 percent as a pro. Brohm, a quantitative darling who completed 65.8 percent of his passes at Louisville, failed to unseat Rodgers and never developed into a successful pro. Flacco rose late up draft boards by virtue of his arm strength, although McGinn astutely noted that the famously quiet Flacco could be characterized as an introvert.

Stafford was another quarterback with a below-average 57.1 completion percentage in college, but he has improved his mechanics and accuracy as a pro, with the move to a short passing scheme under Jim Bob Cooter pushing him closer to 66 percent over the past several seasons in Detroit. Sanchez nearly parlayed his cool demeanor and lone year of college success into coming off the board second to the Rams, only to instead go to the Jets at No. 5 as part of a trade that the Browns somehow still lost.

Making it even better and smarter is the fact that leaked images of the new uniforms already have emerged. Also, the fake new uniforms, while not as good as the leaked new uniforms, are still better than the current uniforms.

An uniform gags on April 1 go, the Colts had the best one ever. Three years ago yesterday, Indy debuted all-white uniforms. Literally, all white. White on white. On White. Everything white. Helmets, logos, letters, numbers.

“From a strategic, football standpoint, how can they scout us?” former Colts tight end Dwayne Allen said in the video, which is still available. “They can’t see our numbers.”

On the other end of the 4/1 spectrum was the “joke” from that same year by Bruce Irvin that he’d been arrested for drunk driving.

This year, Easter saved us from more of the same. Next year, when April 1 lands on a Monday, get ready to be on the lookout for more hijinks.rams_064

How good is Red Sox star Mookie Betts?

In addition to the annual “Snoopy Bowl” against the Jets at MetLife Stadium, the Giants have the opportunity to host some joint practices, which is something that first-year head coach Pat Shurmur has previously said he would like to do during the preseason.

You’ll note that this list doesn’t include Andy Dalton (15 points) or Colin Kaepernick (11). Opinions were split on the class. One scout rather hilariously told McGinn that there were only second- and third-rounders at the position in the pool and bemoaned the fact that there was no Bradford or Freeman. McGinn polled the scouts on Newton’s future, and only two of the 24 said he would become a perennial Pro Bowler. Nine said he would be a solid starter, while another nine said he would play without ever becoming effective. Four said he would be a bust.

The All-Pro tailback believes Arizona’s offense has the potential to reach the heights of the 2015 ” All or Nothing ” season if former Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford avoids the injury bug.

Obviously he’s really aggressive and seeing the ball right now really well. You’ve got to be careful in the strike zone with him, whatever the pitch is. He’s got that look right now when good hitters are in a pretty good groove where they’re kind of hunting that fastball. If you make a mistake with other pitches on the plate they can still do damage with that as well. We’re going to have to be on our game to have success against them and hopefully get in some more favorable counts where we can take advantage a little bit of that aggressiveness. To do that, you’ve got to get in some good counts against a hot hitter right now.

Is Drury still undergoing tests? rams_009

Indians put Lonnie Chisenhall on DL with calf strain, recall Tyler Naquin

The Cleveland Indians placed outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with a right calf strain.

Manager Terry Francona, citing early indications, said that Chisenhall could be sidelined for four to six weeks.

Cleveland announced the move before Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Royals. Chisenhall suffered the injury in Saturday’s loss to the Kansas City Royals.

Outfielder Tyler Naquin was recalled from Triple-A Columbus to replace Chisenhall on the active roster and will start in right field Sunday.

Chisenhall is batting .235 in 17 at-bats this season. Naquin began the season with the Indians and started in left field on Opening Day. He is batting .167 with one home run and two RBIs in 12 at-bats this season.

Another injured starter is exactly what the Angels don’t need with Matt Shoemaker and Andrew Heaney already on the shelf in their six-man rotation, but it’s no surprise for a team that struggled with injured starters throughout the previous two seasons.

“You walk 10 guys, and you’re not going to be in many games,” Scioscia said. “We were only OK because our bullpen kept it close.”

Brown is considered a potential late first-round pick even though he had a disappointing sophomore season that ended after 19 games because of a left foot injury requiring surgery.

He averaged 11.4 points and shot 27 percent from 3-point range for the Hurricanes, who went 22-10 and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Flyers’ captain scored his first two goals during Philadelphia’s dominating second period in which it outscored the Rangers 3-0 thanks in part to an 18-5 shots advantage.

Giroux put the Flyers ahead 2-0 with 7:36 left in the second when his shot from the left circle got through Henrik Lundqvist’s legs after a screen by Nolan Patrick.

Raffl made it a three-goal lead when he took the rebound of Radko Gudas’ shot from the point with a turnaround shot that got past Lundqvist’s right pad with 2:07 left in the period.buccaneers_080

Panthers’ Cam Newton involved in crash with dump truck

Cam Newton continues to prove he is the Man of Steel.

The Panthers quarterback was involved in a minor car accident with a dump truck Thursday in Atlanta, but escaped without injury.

According to TMZ Sports, Newton was driving his black Ferrari F12 when the collision occurred around 4 p.m. ET. He appeared to be unharmed when he was seen walking around the car, which suffered minimal damage.

The Atlanta Police Department confirmed that neither party wanted to fill out a police report. It remains unclear what caused the collision or who was at fault.

“Same reaction as I had to every last one of them this year,” he said of the newest entry. “I think it’s very humbling that cities and organizations want me to play for them, especially at this juncture of my career, so that’s it.”

The Knicks will try to win in Cleveland for the second time this season, after a 114-95 victory on Oct. 29.

Suarez is a vital part of Cincinnati’s rebuilding process. The Reds signed him to a $66 million, seven-year contract in March. The 26-year-old has been one of the few bright spots in Cincinnati’s tough start. He hit a three-run home run to complete a comeback win over the Pirates on Saturday night.

Instead of going to Philadelphia with the rest of the team, he will head to Cincinnati to be re-examined. Price said the Reds will turn to Pennington or Phil Gosselin to fill in while Suarez recovers on the disabled list.

“There’s no way to sugarcoat it,” Price said. “He’s a big part of our ballclub. Looks like he was starting to warm up at the plate.”

Bryant had three hits, including his second homer of the season, and walked twice one day after he committed a costly error in the ninth inning of Milwaukee’s 5-4 win.

The Cubs’ ninth-inning rally began when Victor Caratini reached on an infield single with one out and advanced when Arcia’s throw bounced past Thames for an error. Barnes then walked Jason Heyward and Javier Baez followed with a sharp bouncer to Shaw, who booted the ball to load the bases.buccaneers_024

NFL reportedly suspends Jalen Collins for fourth time

Jalen Collins is in trouble again.

According to ESPN, the former Falcons cornerback has been suspended for the first 10 games of the 2018 NFL season. While it’s not stated why Collins was suspended, he has been suspended three times before by the league for failing drug tests.

Collins, who was drafted in the second round of the 2015 draft by the Falcons, spent the first four games of the 2016 sidelined because he took performance-enhancing drug. He was suspended again for the same reason at the beginning of the 2017 season, but for 10 games.

The Warriors stretched the lead in the second quarter. Durant scored on a 3-pointer — his first field goal of the game — and added a driving layup to put the Warriors up 55-41. Golden State led by as many as 18 in the second quarter and were up 64-50 at the break.

The Suns never seriously challenged after that.

“These are the dog days right now,” Phoenix interim coach Jay Triano said. “You can see with the number of guys we’ve got banged up. A lot of guys can’t make it through (82 games). Teams that are going into the playoffs are going through the same things.”

Mahle surrendered nine hits in 4 2/3 innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

“It was one of those starts where you battle the whole time,” he said.

Cincinnati third baseman Eugenio Suarez fractured his right thumb in the fourth inning after a Taillon fastball came up and in. Suarez remained in the game to run the bases but was pulled in favor of Cliff Pennington when the Reds went back out on the field. There is no timetable for Suarez’s return.

“He’s one of our best players,” Cincinnati catcher Tucker Barnhart said. “Any time you lose a guy like him in the middle of the order, it’s rough.”

Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove remains in a non-throwing period after being placed on the disabled list last week with a right shoulder strain. General manager Neal Huntington said the plan remains for Musgrove — who excelled after being moved from the rotation to the bullpen last season for Houston — to work toward being a member of the rotation in Pittsburgh.buccaneers_009

Kelly’s surgery, which was performed at Mount Sinai Hospital, lasted nearly 12 hours.

The NFL’s decision to broaden the helmet-hit rule, making an ejection possible on such a foul, has brought out critics complaining that the league is becoming soft.

One prominent coach disagrees with the notion that taking out helmet hits will remove the physical nature of a brutal sport: New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, a member of the NFL’s competition committee that recommended the rule change.

A hospital spokeswoman confirmed to The Buffalo News that the surgery, which was termed complicated, was successful.

We successfully removed Mr. Kelly’s cancer from his upper jaw and lymph nodes from his neck, Dr. Mark Urken, the operating surgeon, said in a statement. We then reconstructed his upper jaw. Mr. Kelly is resting comfortably post-operatively.

The 25-year-old became eligible to apply for reinstatement in November but has yet to go through the process.

Gregory slipped during the 2015 draft from a projected first-round selection due to off-field concerns. The one-year ban marked the third suspension during the defensive end’s short NFL career. He previously served a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season for his first substance abuse violation and served an additional 10-game suspension for violating the policy a second time. He also failed the drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine.

You know, with the way the offenses are nowadays in the NFL, we need to have versatile guys that can cover, Quinn said. It’s a passing league and we need to have enough defensive backs that can play multiple positions to help us.

The Lions are largely done in free agency. The team will continue to re-shape its defense through the draft next month. How they address the roster, particularly the front four, will give us additional context clues on what the finished product might look like come August. Until then, we’ll just have to continue to watch Patricia’s Patriots film and try to imagine how Detroit’s current roster will similarly fill those roles.