|NFL Black Monday roundup: Jim Harbaugh reportedly heading to University of Michigan||12.29.14 at 11:26 am ET|
It’s officially Black Monday in the NFL with a number of coaches and general managers already being let go — less than 24 hours after the regular-season ended.
— It all began Sunday night when Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers mutually parted ways. Harbaugh had one year remaining on his five-year, $25 million contract. He ends his tenure in San Fransisco with a 49-22-1 record, including a Super Bowl appearance in the 2012 season.
In a move that has been talked about for weeks now, it seems almost a certainty that Harbaugh will be the next coach at the University of Michigan. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the school plans to announce the hire on Tuesday.
Ryan lasted six seasons in New York, going 50-52 (including the postseason). The Jets rallied around him Sunday in their win in South Florida against the Dolphins.
“After extensive thought and reflection about the current state of our football team, this morning I informed Rex Ryan and John Idzik that they will not be returning for the 2015 season,” owner Woody Johnson said in a statement. “Both Rex and John made significant contributions to the team, and they have my appreciation and gratitude for their efforts and commitment. Over the years, Rex brought the Jets a bold confidence and a couple of great postseason runs, which all of us will remember.”
|Bears RB Matt Forte on Sunday’s postgame incident: ‘People yell and scream in the locker room all the time’||10.23.14 at 8:00 am ET|
FOXBORO — Following the Bears’ 27-14 home loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, much was made of a reported heated locker room incident where Brandon Marshall reportedly called out some of his teammates, including quarterback Jay Cutler.
The players and their coach are putting the incident behind them, calling it a non-issue.
“It’s really no big deal what happened after the game,” running back Matt Forte said on a conference call Wednesday. “Nothing really happened. People yell and scream in the locker room all the time. It just so happens that they heard some stuff. After a loss like that, being our third loss at home, we’re going to have to rally no matter what.”
“I’ve been in NFL locker rooms for 20 years. To me there was nothing there that was at all out of the ordinary or unique, in my opinion,” coach Marc Trestman added. “Players moved on today. That’s really it. That’s really all there is.”
Some of the frustration stems from their performance at home — going winless in three home games so far this season. They have played much better on the road, going 3-1 — their latest a 27-13 win over Atlanta two weeks ago.
“There’s really no secret,” Forte said. “We’ve played solid football when we go win on the road, and at home it’s just changed for some reason. On the road, we’ve taken care of the football pretty well, and our defense has gotten a lot of takeaways. Last week on Sunday, our defense played well enough for us to win the game, but we had too many turnovers. For us to win the game and after this game and the bye week when we start playing some home games, we need to carry that over to our home games, too, and play consistent football where we’re not turning it over.”
The biggest key for the Bears this season has been taking care of the ball. It’s been pretty cut and dry, as when Cutler throws an interception the Bears are 0-4, and when he doesn’t they are 3-0.
“It’s one of the main things we talk about is taking care of the football, protecting the quarterback and establishing the run game,” Forte said. “In the games that we’ve won, we’ve done that. In the games that we’ve lost, we haven’t done it. It’s not a secret formula to winning games or how we play well. We just have to play consistently like when we’ve won the games that we have won.”
|Ex-CFL coach Marc Trestman: Players like Armstead, Vega can make transition to NFL||02.21.13 at 2:01 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — When it comes to looking for under-the-radar talent, the Patriots went north of the border this offseason, landing defensive linemen Armond Armstead (of the Toronto Argonauts) and Jason Vega (of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers).
Armstead is a 6-foot-5, 300-pounder who was a three-year star for the Trojans in college. After a junior year spent at defensive end ‘ where he had 43 tackles, six of which were for a loss (three sacks) ‘ he was set to open his senior year at defensive tackle, but suffered a heart attack before his senior season and was never cleared to practice. As a result, he went undrafted, and ended up with Toronto of the Canadian Football League, where he led the 44 tackles and six sacks to help the Argonauts to a Grey Cup championship.
Vega, who stands 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, is a native of Brockton who played his college ball at Northeastern. The 25-year-old spent the past two seasons playing for the Blue Bombers, recording 66 tackles and 12 sacks. At Northeastern, Vega battled through injury issues (including a broken elbow) to record 137 tackles and 14 sacks in 41 games. He was not selected in the 2010 NFL draft. (For more on their acquisition, check out this story from last month.)
New Bears coach Marc Trestman — who was hired by Chicago after spending the last five seasons in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes — talked Thursday morning at the scouting combine about the transition for players from the Canadian game to the NFL.
‘There’s some players up there that have shown that they can play in the NFL,” Trestman said. “That’s been proven over time. There haven’t been many, but the guys who’ve shown up down here have done a pretty good job of fitting in. The players up there are very similar to the guys down here in terms of their character — they want to master their craft and be the best they can be. Some of them have had the opportunity south of the border and done well.
‘These guys love football up there. They have dreams of wanting to do it down here. Those that can will give it a try; those that can’t have experienced a lot of exciting football up there.’
In the end, Trestman said that football is football.
‘There are multiple differences, obviously,” he added. “But just generally, the ‘box’ is still the ‘box,’ the blitzes you seen in the CFL are similar to the blitzes you see south of the border. The field is wider, it’s intelligently created, it’s a three-down league. The defensive line is a yard off the ball, the field is a mile long and a mile wide. And we’re playing with 12 and multiple motions.”