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Adam Schefter on MFB: ‘It’s in everyone’s best interests for Roger Goodell to be as transparent and as honest as possible’ 09.19.14 at 1:17 pm ET
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Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Middays with MFB on Friday to talk about commissioner Roger Goodell, who is scheduled to break his silence and address the media in a press conference Friday afternoon. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

“This is essentially him coming out to defend the league, to admit wrongdoing, because I think everybody would agree that the league just got this wrong along the way,” Schefter said. “There are so many layers to this and so many levels to it that the league just messed up. And they’re going to have to own it. And we’ve heard the owners say, ‘Oh, we want to make it right, we want to get it right.’ And I’m sure you’re going to hear Roger Goodell utter a similar message. But I would think and hope that you would expect more from Roger Goodell. He’s the leader of the NFL. He’s making $44 million a year. He’s the most important man arguably in all of sports. Somebody with that power, with that responsibility, should have an incredible message to deliver today. We’ll see what that is.”

Schefter said he isn’t sure what Goodell will be allowed to say based on the legality of the situation, but he’s hopeful the commissioner is forthcoming.

“I think Roger Goodell has to be as transparent as possible. Period,” Schefter said. “Now, there may be certain legal limits as to what he can say about Robert Mueller’s investigation or whatever it may be. But I think it’s in everyone’s best interests for Roger Goodell to be as transparent and as honest as possible.”

Regarding the possibility that Goodell punishes himself for the league’s mishandling of the recent issues, Schefter said that’s unlikely.

“I think there’s a disconnect between the public perception of Roger Goodell and the ownership’s feelings on Roger Goodell,” Schefter said. “I think the public, by and large, disapproves of the job he’s done, has lost respect for his leadership skills and abilities, questions his credibility, and has less faith in him than it’s ever had. I think we all could agree with that, that’s the universal public feeling — not universal, the majority of the public.

“I think ownership still believes that Roger Goodell has done a great job. He procured a tremendous CBA for the owners. He’s got television contracts that are lucrative beyond words. He got labor peace. He brought stability and profitability to the NFL. And so the owners, by and large, are very happy with Roger Goodell. Now, I think, and I’ve spoken to some who are curious to see what Robert Mueller’s investigation turns up. And should it turn up that he lied, which is going to be difficult to prove, I think, but should it somehow be proven, then he’s going to be out of office.

“But it’s one thing to say that he’s going to be out of office and it’s going to be proven that way, and it’s another thing to actually go do it. I am skeptical that they’ll be able to find that evidence or prove it, that he blatantly lied. Now, in the bylaws of the NFL constitution it talks about having the best interests of the league at heart and reflecting positively, and I think we all could debate whether or not that’s happened over the last few months.

“But I don’t see Roger Goodell saying, ‘And because we missed the Ray Rice decision I’m going to find me four game checks,’ or, ‘suspend me for two weeks,’ or whatever it may be, because ownership believes in him.”

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Read More: adam schefter, Dennis Allen, ray rice, roger goodell
Vikings place Adrian Peterson on exempt-commissioner’s permission list 09.17.14 at 6:15 am ET
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After initially deciding to activate running back Adrian Peterson on Monday, the Vikings gave in to public pressure and announced early Wednesday morning that the running back would be placed on the exempt-commissioner’s permission list, a move that will keep him away from the team while he deals with child abuse charges.

“While we were trying to make a balanced decision [Monday], after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian,” owners Zygi and Mark Wilfs said in a statement. “We want to be clear: We have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right. At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community.”

The team consulted with the league before reaching its decision.

“After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian,” the Wilfs said in their statement. “We are always focused on trying to make the right decision as an organization.

“We embrace our role — and the responsibilities that go with it — as a leader in the community, as a business partner and as an organization that can build bridges with our fans and positively impact this great region. We appreciate and value the input we have received from our fans, our partners and the community.”

The team was widely criticized for activating Peterson, who missed Sunday’s game against the Patriots after he was indicted last week in his home state of Texas. Peterson has admitted striking his son multiple times with a tree branch and causing visible injuries, but he claimed it was only a form of punishment similar to what he endured as a child.

The Radisson hotel chain suspended its sponsorship with the Vikings in response, and a number of other sponsors expressed disapproval. At least three companies severed ties with Peterson, and Nike stores in the Minneapolis area took Peterson merchandise off its shelves.

Peterson’s agent tried to put a positive spin on the move.

“This is the best possible outcome given the circumstances,” Ben Dogra told The Associated Press. “Adrian understands the gravity of the situation and this enables him to take care of his personal situation. We fully support Adrian and he looks forward to watching his teammates and coaches being successful during his absence.”

The 29-year-old Peterson, who was the 2012 league MVP, has his first court appearance scheduled for Oct. 8.

“We will support Adrian during this legal and personal process, but we firmly believe and realize this is the right decision,” the Wilfs said. “We hope that all of our fans can respect the process that we have gone through to reach this final decision.”

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Minnesota Governor calls on Vikings to suspend Adrian Peterson 09.16.14 at 1:49 pm ET
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Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said Tuesday that Vikings running back should be suspended until his child abuse cases have been resolved.

Dayton questioned the team for announcing that Peterson would play in Sunday’s game.

“It is an awful situation,” Dayton said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Yes, Mr. Peterson is entitled to due process and should be ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ However, he is a public figure; and his actions, as described, are a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the state of Minnesota. Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state. Therefore, I believe the team should suspend Mr. Peterson, until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system.

“However, I will not turn my back on the Vikings and their fans, as some have suggested. The Vikings belong to Minnesota — and in Minnesota. This has been the team’s only home, and our citizens, including myself, have been its most dedicated fans.”

Meanwhile, Houston television station KHOU reported that Peterson was involved in another case last year involving another 4-year-old son with a different mother. According to the report, the child’s mother filed a report with Child Protection Services but no charges were filed, despite texts in which Peterson allegedly admitted striking the boy while he was in his car seat, leaving the youngster with a scar on his head.

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Rodney Harrison on MFB: ‘I wouldn’t worry about Tom’ Brady 09.16.14 at 12:21 pm ET
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NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison checked in with Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the Patriots’ offensive issues. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Tom Brady appeared on edge after Sunday’s 30-7 victory over the Vikings. Although he did not reveal precisely what made him upset, there has been speculation that he’s frustrated with the offense.

“I don’t know what’s going on with Tom,” Harrison said. “From Tom’s perspective, he hasn’t played like Tom Brady the first couple of weeks of the season. He’s frustrated. Anytime you have a certain expectation of yourself you want to be able to reach it. I think Tom, I think he sees some opportunities that he left out on the field, and it’s one of those things where he’s never satisfied. That’s the thing that makes him great.

“So, I wouldn’t worry about Tom. Tom is very competitive. He’ll work hard, he’ll watch a lot of tape, he’ll get back to where we’re used to seeing Tom, and he’ll be fine.”

Added Harrison: “Just because he has a name — Peyton Manning, all these quarterbacks, they go through struggles. They go through times where their confidence level might not be where it was before. We’re human, we all go through certain situations. But I wouldn’t get too worried about Tom. You look at his history, you look at everything, his work ethic, everything he brings on a daily basis. Tom will work himself out of it.

“It’s two games, they’re 1-1, they know what they did wrong in Miami. That was a game they could have easily won. They come back, they improve in some areas against Minnesota, and that’s what Bill [Belichick] always talks about, he talks about one game at a time. And I don’t think you get too high, too low if you’re the Patriots. You understand the areas in which you need to get better — both as a team and as well as an individual.

“And I think that’s something that, I don’t worry about Brady. There’s other areas I might concern myself with. But when it comes to Tom Brady, I know his work ethic, I know his focus level, and I know he’ll be fine. He hasn’t looked the way we all expect him to look. But it’s two games. And it’s something that the rust eventually wears off, he’s going to gain more confidence in his players and maybe in himself, and he’ll be fine.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Rodney Harrison, Tom Brady,
Chandler Jones on MFB: ‘Guys were just flying around yesterday, and it was just fun being out there’ 09.15.14 at 12:25 pm ET
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Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, who had the highlight of Sunday’s 30-7 victory over the Vikings with his return of a blocked field goal for a touchdown, made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB and recounted his run to glory. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Bill Belichick noted after the game that the team works on blocking field goals every day in practice.

“Coach Belichick was right, we work on that every day. We work on it week in and week out, no matter who we’re playing. That’s one of the things we try to take pride in here in New England,” Jones said. “The biggest thing was, with blocking that kick, that was a team effort. A lot of people probably don’t understand — everyone thinks Chandler Jones went out and blocked that kick and stopped and scored — but that was 100 percent the 11 men on the New England Patriots, that was all of them. I feel like what people don’t understand is that other guys have to get penetration. Once everyone’s getting effective penetration, certain gaps opened up.”

Aided by his teammates on the outside making a charge, Jones burst through the middle to swat the ball down.

“That’s exactly what it is — guys on the outside giving 110 percent off the edge and it’s opening up things on the inside, and my gap happened to be open. Now as far as me scooping it, that was just a lucky bounce, I feel like. I blocked it right into my running lane as I was attempting to block it and the ball just one-hopped right in front of my hands and I just started running. Devin McCourty threw a great block. It was a great 11-man team effort.”

Jones said he wasn’t sure who was running alongside him, so he just kept the ball and ran as hard as he could.

“I had an interview yesterday and they asked me what was going through my mind as I ran down the field,” Jones said. “First of all, I didn’t know it was that long. I didn’t think it was that long. What was it, 58 yards? It didn’t feel like 58 yards. Our coaches do a great job of conditioning us.”

Added Jones: “What was going through my mind was just, ‘Don’t get caught. Don’t get caught.’ Because I just know when I come into the meetings Monday and we put that up on film the whole team’s probably going to laugh at me if I’m running too slow or if I get caught by a placekicker. … That’s what was going through my mind, just, ‘Don’t get caught, don’t get caught, don’t get caught, don’t get caught.’ And then I crossed the line and I said, ‘Yeah, I didn’t get caught.’ ”

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Tom Brady on D&C: ‘I really don’t want to be involved’ in NFL controversies 09.15.14 at 10:25 am ET
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Coming off the Patriots’ first victory of the young season, quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan to discuss the game and address the recent NFL controversies. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The big news in the NFL this past week was the controversies surrounding Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, both of whom are out indefinitely due to domestic abuse issues. Brady declined to offer his take on either matter.

“I try to stay in my lane. All of those things, none of it’s really my business or my control,” he said. “I’ve just been focusing on the games and what I can do better. The things that are taking place on other teams or league-wide decisions, those are a different pay grade than me.”

Pressed to offer an opinion, Brady said: “I certainly have a lot of personal feelings toward all those things, but it’s just, there’s nothing I can do. If I make a comment about it, there’s nothing I can do to make a difference. The owners of the league, the commissioner of the league, the teams themselves, the players that are involved, they’re the ones that are speaking on it. It’s not really my responsibility to speak out about those things, because there’s a lot of other people doing the talking.

“I really don’t want to be involved in any of those things. I try to live and make the best decisions possible on and off the field and represent our organization and represent my family as best I can. Those things are happening. I just don’t want my name mentioned in any of those situations that are happening.”

Brady completed 15-of-22 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions Sunday, but he did not appear pleased after the 30-7 victory over the Peterson-less Vikings.

“I wasn’t unhappy. I was very happy we won,” he said. “I thought the defense played awesome. Special teams made some huge plays for us. Offensively I thought in the first half we did some real good, positive things. I just wish our execution overall would be a little bit better. That’s what we’ll work on this week, and we’ll try to make some improvements where we can, then hopefully we just continue to get better as we go.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Danny Amendola, ray rice, Tom Brady
Jerod Mayo on MFB: ‘It’s going to take a group effort’ to stop Vikings RB Adrian Peterson 09.12.14 at 2:27 pm ET
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Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo joined Middays with MFB on Friday afternoon to preview Sunday’s game against the Vikings. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Coming off a loss to the Dolphins in the opener in which the Patriots defense struggled to contain the rush, New England now must face standout Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

“Obviously, it’s going to take more than one person. It’s going to take a group effort, all the way across the board. Defensive line, linebackers — if he breaks through those guys, the secondary. It will take 11 guys to stop him on each and every play.

“They have a lot of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, with the receivers, the tight end’s pretty good. We’re also familiar with [Matt] Cassel, he can move around in the pocket and run the ball. It will take a group effort.”

The Patriots’ opener was disappointing especially for how New England squandered a 10-point halftime lead and was dominated in the second 30 minutes.

“We just didn’t execute at the same level,” Mayo said. “We were getting the turnovers in the first half and doing a good job. We need to put four quarters together, and that’s been our focus this week.”

Added Mayo: “Obviously we didn’t finish the game, but we wanted to. We were missing something, I’m not sure [if it was lacking a more aggressive attitude]. Execution — if we execute it will be a different story. Hopefully this week we can go out and put four quarters together.”

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