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ESPN reportedly hires Rex Ryan to be NFL analyst 03.17.17 at 1:14 pm ET
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The Bills fired Rex Ryan last year after two seasons. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

The Bills fired Rex Ryan last year after two seasons. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

For the first time in 17 years, Rex Ryan won’t be coaching in the NFL next season. Instead, he’ll be bloviating on TV.

According to the New York Daily News, ESPN has signed Ryan to a multi-year deal to serve as an NFL analyst. The ex-Jets and Bills coach will have a spot on “Sunday NFL Countdown.”

ESPN is in the process of overhauling its signature NFL studio show. With longtime host Chris Berman stepping down, the program will take on a different feel next season. Though Trey Wingo and Suzy Kolber have long been considered the favorites to succeed Berman, sideline reporter Sam Ponder has reportedly gained momentum as a surprise candidate to fill the chair. Last year, ESPN added Randy Moss, Matt Hasselbeck and Charles Woodson to the analyst desk. They replaced Cris Carter, Keyshawn Johnson and Tom Jackson.

Ryan’s bombastic nature may have worked against him as a head coach, but it should suit him just fine as a talking head.

Read More: ESPN, Rex Ryan,
Report: Keyshawn Johnson out at ESPN 01.29.16 at 10:11 am ET
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Keyshawn Johnson is going to have to find something else to do.

SI.com is reporting that Johnson will not be returning to ESPN’s NFL pregame show “Sunday NFL Countdown.” The former Jets wide receiver’s stint with the network will end at the conclusion of the NFL season, which is when his contract runs out.

The 43-year-old Johnson has been with ESPN since 2007, announcing he was joining the network on the same day he revealed he was retiring from playing.

According to SI.com, the contracts of two other members of the show, Chris Berman and Mike Ditka, expire at the end of the 2016 NFL season.

Read More: ESPN, Keyshawn Johnson,
Jonathan Kraft welcomes ESPN back to Gillette: ‘ESPN was a conduit’ in Deflategate 11.23.15 at 9:01 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Jonathan Kraft played it politically correct with ESPN in town to broadcast their first game at Gillette Stadium since Deflategate.

Asked specifically about how ESPN handled coverage of Deflategate, which was perceived in New England as dramatically anti-Patriots, the team president took the high road.

“ESPN was a conduit for … I don’t think ESPN, the day after the AFC championship, said, ‘Hey, we want to go get the Patriots.’ I don’t believe that was something they wanted to do but as a conduit to the public, sometimes you get given information and that information is inaccurate,” Kraft said. “We’ve talked about it before and unfortunately, we ended up with what we ended up with.”

Kraft was referring to the tweet from Chris Mortensen that blew Deflategate into a national story. He reported that 11 of the 12 footballs were found to at least 2 PSI below the 12.5 PSI threshold, a report that was rebuffed by the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Super Bowl Sunday.

ESPN also had to issue an apology in the middle of an overnight broadcast for referencing a taped walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI based on an unsubstantiated report in the Boston Herald.

“A lot of the whole way the whole thing was covered by a lot of people… The real thing about the situation, if more people involved with football had more of a knowledge of ideal gas law, I think this would have been put to bed very quickly,” Kraft said. “It was admitted in the appeals hearing, no one had ever heard of it. That’s why they were shocked that air pressure in balls could have been that low. We tried to explain that. People weren’t interested. That’s where we are.

Kraft was then reminded of the 21 degree wind chill at kickoff.

“It is cold tonight,” said Kraft, who was asked if balls could lose a little PSI. “Probably.”

The league is also testing balls at halftime at some games. Kraft said he has not been privy to that information or aware of what the league is doing with that information.

“You’d have to ask the league about that,” he said. “I think it’s great that they want to learn more and understand more. So I think that’s a good thing. I think if you really wanted to have a perfect test of it, you’d probably want to do it at every game and have a methodical approach. That might be in the works for next year. They sent a memo out at the start of the year and said they would be doing it at select games.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: conduit, Deflategate, ESPN, New England Patriots
Tom Brady talks team payroll and his offensive failures: ‘I hope they’re correctable’ 10.01.14 at 12:53 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Questions about the Patriots’ organizational depth and quality are now being directed at Tom Brady.

Brady was asked Wednesday during his 10-minute press conference if he thinks the issues with the struggling offense are correctable based on the talent around him.

“I hope they’re correctable,” Brady said. “That’s what we’re trying to do and that’s why we go out and practice. There’s always going to be mistakes in football. Every team is very competitive. They have very good players. They draft high. They have a lot of talent. They have the same money they can spend on their team as we can spend our ours. It’s a tough league and when you don’t play, and certainly you don’t play well on the road, and we go behind, those are things we’ve got to try to correct. We have to try to certainly do a better job of playing from ahead and try to get ahead and stay ahead.

“It’s a great opportunity for us this week to do that. This is a team that also likes to get ahead and stay ahead. They’ve done that in all their games this year. That’s why they’ve been pretty successful.”

Brady is referring to the fact that the Bengals, the opponent Sunday night, have taken big leads in each of their first three games to post a 3-0 record.

Brady was asked if he heard the comments made by ESPN analysts Trent Dilfer and Steve Young, claiming that the Patriots ($11.4 million under the cap) aren’t spending nearly enough to provide him with the offensive weapons and line that he needs for protection.

“Nope,” Brady said. “I don’t. I haven’t paid attention and I probably don’t pay attention much because I understand what’s going on. I know probably a lot more information than you guys have, a lot more information than they have. We’re just trying to focus on things we can do to get better. I said earlier today that it’s not like we’re going to come out and say all the things. We’re going to try to let our opponents figure out the things we’re not doing well, the things we are doing well. It’s a long year so we have a lot of football to play.

“We have a lot of high character guys in our locker room. We have a lot of mentally tough guys and that’s what it takes. This is not the time to fold the tents up and call it a season. We’re 2-2. We’re tied for the best record in our division, not that that’s a great feat by any stretch but we’ll see what we’re made of as we continue to fight through these tough weeks. Hopefully, it builds character and resiliency. The mistakes that we made last week, we have to try to figure out a way to improve on those things so that we can come out and play a great game this week because that’s what it’s going to take.”

Read More: Cincinnati Bengals, ESPN, New England Patriots, Steve Young
Adam Schefter on D&C: ‘I don’t believe’ Jets coach Rex Ryan alerted refs to Patriots’ push move 10.22.13 at 11:08 am ET
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ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to discuss the Patriots’ Week 7 loss to the Jets, as well as other news from around the NFL.

Sunday’s game ended in controversy, as the Patriots were called for breaking the NFL’s new “pushing rule” while Jets kicker Nick Folk attempted a 56-yard field goal to win the game in overtime.

The call against New England gave Folk the chance to attempt an easier 42-yard field goal, which he subsequently made, giving New York the 30-27 win.

Following the game, rumors spread that Jets coach Rex Ryan had tipped off the officials that the Patriots have used this push technique.

However, Schefter said that he doesn’t believe that was the case.

“Nope, I don’t believe that. I mean, I’m not going to tell you that that’s not the case, I don’t believe that,” Schefter said. There aren’t many people who know the rules better than Bill Belichick, and I think that he went through these drills in camp this summer, and taught these guys, at that point, certain things that you could do. I think there seemed to be some sort of discrepancy about what was in the rulebook and what was being called on the field.

“If you heard Belichick yesterday during the press conference, he excused the player, he put it on him that that’s what we taught during training camp, and that’s what I sense happened. That’s my read into it. … Let me say this, if Rob Ryan had indeed alerted Rex Ryan to that fact as you guys believe or sense, my guess is that Rex wouldn’t have saved it, he would have used it earlier.”

Tom Brady has gone through one of the roughest seasons of his career, as he has posted a 55.4 completion percentage with just eight touchdowns in seven games.

“I don’t know if [people] think [Brady’s] losing it. I mean, we’re talking about one of the greatest players who’s ever played the game, period,” Schefter said. “Now, he’s not as bad as people are saying, and he’s not as good as people are saying. But I will say this: What I have heard about him this season is that he has not been overly sharp, he has not made great decisions, he has not been Brady-like in delivering the ball. … He has been off.

“He has not been the same. It has not been the same and I don’t know why. … To me, there still are few quarterbacks in the league that I’d rather have, and I don’t think he’s losing it. I just think it’s one of those years where, again, you see the talent that surrounds people and how it affects them.”

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Read More: adam schefter, ESPN, New England Patriots, New York Jets
No passing fancy for Bill Belichick: Pats coach wants no talk of Dan Marino or passing records 12.28.11 at 1:24 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Bill Belichick was not in the mood to wax poetic about Dan Marino and the fall of the NFL passing yards mark on Wednesday. But it wasn’t without several attempts on parts of several media members in attendance for his weekly Wednesday look ahead to the coming opponent.

Reminded that not only did Drew Brees pass the mark on Monday night in the win over the Falcons, but his own quarterback Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers of the Packers could all pass the previous mark of 5,084 yards set by Miami’s Marino in 1984.

The exchange began with the following question: With quarterbacks around the league throwing for so many yards this year, what really changed this year as opposed to several years ago?

“Well I think we’ve seen production in the passing game,” Belichick said. “I mean, look at Marino’s, that was 20 years ago, or whatever it was, and we’re talking about that record now standing for quite a while. I think it’s all a function of execution. There have been great passers in this league for a long time, great receivers, great tight ends, great runners, great defenders. So sometimes each year falls a little bit different. I don’t have a great explanation for it.”

Shalise Young of the Boston Globe offered this follow-up: As a defensive coach, though, with all the rules that have been made the last few years, would Marino have thrown for far more yards [under the current rules]? If Marino was playing now, do you think he’d have thrown for 5,500 yards?

“Yeah, I don’t know. If if’s and buts were candy and nuts, everyday would be Christmas,” Belichick said in a wry and droll reference to Dandy Don Meredith. “I don’t know. I have no idea.”

Young: Do those rules help though?

Belichick: Which rules are you talking about?

Young: The rules of not being able to hit quarterbacks, and how receivers you can’t touch them further downfield.

Belichick: Those rules have been in place for 15 years.

Young: But there’s a bigger emphasis on them in recent years. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: aaron rodgers, Bill Belichick, Chris Berman, Dan Marino
Devin McCourty as a captain and other things to look for in Patriots-Dolphins opener 09.12.11 at 1:11 pm ET
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The Patriots take the field tonight in Miami Gardens as a team bound and determined to learn from the last two seasons that ended prematurely in postseason losses on their home turf to the Ravens and Jets, respectively.

They’ll do so with three new captains – Devin McCourty, Logan Mankins and Matthew Slater– joining the established leadership of Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo.

McCourty, in his second season, provided leadership in his rookie season out of Rutgers simply by the way he played.

He became just the fourth player in Patriots history to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie, joining Mike Haynes (1976), John Stephens (1988) and Curtis Martin (1995).

His seven interceptions in 2010 fell just one shy of Haynes’ Patriots rookie team record. One of McCourty’s seven picks came against a quarterback he’ll be facing at Sun Life Stadium tonight – Chad Henne.

Some other morsels to chew on in advance of tonight’s game:

* Tom Brady is 12-6 career vs. the Dolphins, with five of the six losses coming in the same stadium he’ll be playing in this evening. His only loss at home to the Dolphins came on Jan. 1, 2006, when he played just the first quarter. Brady is 4-5 all-time in South Florida, including the only shutout loss of his career, 21-0, on Dec. 10, 2006 – also a Monday night. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty, ESPN, Miami Dolphins

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