BEREA, Ohio – Johnny Manziel might not have won the starting quarterback job in Cleveland, but the Browns are hoping the rest of the AFC North is still thinking about the dynamic-yet-raw first-round pick.
With Manziel’s college background running zone-read plays, and with his unique scrambling, and throw-on-the-run abilities, the Browns could employ a “Johnny Package” as soon as Week 1 against Pittsburgh – a selection of plays in which Manziel would replace starter Brian Hoyer for a snap here or there to provide a boost to the Browns’ offense.
Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent has been conditionally reinstated by the NFL and will be eligible to return to play by Week 11, according to a league statement. Under the terms of the statement, Brent is allowed to visit Valley Ranch after Week and, in Week 9, he can practice.
The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly planning to sign Michael Sam to their practice squad on Wednesday if the former St. Louis Rams defensive end passes a physical, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Sam was released by the Rams last week in a move that surprised some after he played well in the preseason and showed his ability to get to the quarterback. It was even more surprising that St. Louis didn’t keep Sam on its practice squad, but the former co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year was not on the unemployment line very long.
There have already been rumblings that Jerry Jones is bringing in Sam as a public relations stunt, especially after it was recently revealed that the Cowboys owner desperately wanted to draft Johnny Manziel in order to assure his team’s relevance. However, the Cowboys need all the help they can get on defense and are very thin at defensive line — especially after losing DeMarcus Ware in the offseason.
We’re not saying Sam is or ever will be anything close to Ware, but he has a legitimate shot at getting on the field if he impresses on the Cowboys practice team. I’m sure Jones will enjoy selling Sam jerseys, but signing Sam is almost certainly a football move.
I personally am not a Jerry Jones fan, but I have to give credit when it’s due, and this was a good move by Jerry.
Thanks to some upsets — and a couple of high-profile near-misses– shakeup was the name of the game as the Associated Press released its first poll of the 2014 season Tuesday afternoon.
In that Top 25 poll, Florida State, coming off a closer-than-expected win over unranked Oklahoma State, remained No. 1, although the defending FBS champs did see an erosion in their support. After receiving 57 first-place votes in the AP‘s preseason poll, the Seminoles claimed just 46 in Week 1.
With Week 1 officially in the books, the first wave of Top 25 polls has commenced in earnest, with the newly-dubbed Amway Coaches’ Poll the first to do the in-season 2014 honors.
Not so unexpectedly, preseason No. 1 Florida State remains at the top of the coaching poll. The Seminoles also stretched its lead on No. 2 Alabama, going from 88 points up on the Tide to 109 as well as picking up a first-place vote.
So it begins. Another season of the great game of NFL Football. My friend Les Fitzsimmons and I were talking about the Oakland Raiders earlier and it brought back memories of when the NFL seemed like it played on another level. Les is a 49ers fan, but we both laughed about his story on John Matuszak. What a player he was. Sit back, and enjoy a few minutes of what it was like back in the day.
Here ya go Les, I know you remember what football was like back in the day. Hope you enjoy remembering it.
The main story line to emerge from No. 10 Baylor’s 45-0 thumping of SMU on Sunday night was not the sharp teeth and elongated claws of the Bears’ defense, but the back of Heisman Trophy hopeful quarterback Bryce Petty. Petty was lifted at halftime of a 31-0 game after grabbing his left hip and noticeably grimacing multiple times throughout the first half. The senior connected on 13-0f-23 throws for 161 yards and rushed twice for 21 yards and an additional score, but missed a handful of deep throws to open Bears receivers.
One day later, we officially know why.
After undergoing an MRI on Monday morning, Petty was diagnosed with two cracks in the transverse processes of his back, as first reported by Dennis Dodd CBSSports.com.
“I’m bummed out because it’s never fun being hurt,” Petty told CBSSports.com. “Bummed out because I just watched tape and everything is off. You never want to make any excuses. When you’re throwing and I can’t torque [it's frustrating]. Every time I went to throw it would jolt. It felt like somebody was punching me in my side.”
Bruce Feldman of FOXSports.com also reported that Petty’s injury is one that heals on its own. If so, it just comes down to Petty finding a way to manage the pain.
Petty is listed as day-to-day and plans to play Saturday versus Northwestern State. Should it so choose, Baylor has both the time and the opportunity to rest its star gunslinger before the meat of the schedule arrives. The Bears visit Buffalo on Friday, Sept. 12 and then take a week off before opening Big 12 play at Iowa State on Sept. 27.
The Rams have another quarterback, just in case.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Ramsclaimed Case Keenum off waivers from the Texans.
Keenum was squeezed out in Houston when the Texans traded for Ryan Mallett, and he’ll slot in with the Rams behind Shaun Hill. Austin Davis was the only other quarterback on the Rams roster after the season-ending knee injury to Sam Bradford.
Keenum got eight mop-up starts for the Texans last year, and was the loser in each of them. But that’s hardly his fault, as he was merely the guy holding the wheel after the ship hit the iceberg and Matt Schaub was thrown overboard to save weight.
HOUSTON — The Astros fired manager Bo Porter on Monday, saying the dismissal had less to do with the team’s 59-79 record than the need for a “new direction” and a “united message throughout the entire organization.”
Baylor officially opened its brand new McLane Stadium on Sunday with a 45-0 victory over SMU. Robert Griffin III was in attendance for the unveiling of a statue in his honor and so was George W. Bush, who handled the pregame coin toss.
Prior to Baylor taking the field at home games, a tradition by the Baylor Line takes place. Freshmen gather in one of the end zones, charge onto the field, and create a tunnel for the Bears football team.
Unfortunately, some of the group had a memorable time for the wrong reason.
As the students rushed the field, a few ended up on the ground and were subsequently trampled. Thankfully, no one appears to have been seriously injured.
The Baylor Line has its own section behind the opponent’s bench and got a visit from the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner during halftime.