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    Getty Will Anderson was given strong praise from a fellow Alabama star defender Alabama’s stud linebacker Will Anderson contributed in every way possible to a 63-7 rout of Louisiana-Monroe. He had five tackles (1.5 of them for a loss), a sack, and an interception that he brought 25 yards the other way into the Warhawks’ end zone for his first career touchdown. Nick Saban and co. were able to go up 2-1 in the all-time series between the schools with the win. Saban notoriously lost to ULM in his first season in Tuscaloosa back in 2007 but got even in 2015 with a 34-0 shutout. The defensive suffocation, led by Anderson’s all-around efforts, was right on par with the offense’s overwhelming two-level attack as to why the Crimson Tide was never in danger on Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Bryce Young threw two interceptions but was able to find the end zone 3 times through the air and once with his feet. The run game, in particular, shined against ULM. Alabama’s RB room went for 239 yards while...
    Getty Andre Reed Former Buffalo Bills star WR and Hall-of-Famer Andre Reed was inducted into Canton in 2014 in a class stacked with defensive giants like Derrick Brooks and Aeneas Williams. Reed recently spoke about being inducted into the Hall and the chances of New England Patriots great Matthew Slater getting the call once his career is done.Reed Scoffs at Notion Special-Teamers Aren’t Hall-of-FamersI had a chance to speak with Reed, who is one of the former athletes working with the NFL and Enthusiast Gaming on the Tuesday Night Gaming initiative. TNG allows fans to compete against current and former athletes on an upcoming YouTube program in select video games. NFL TNG debuts September 13 at 6:30 PM ET and will stream live on YouTube in the United States and Canada every Tuesday during the 2022-2023 NFL regular season. During the conversation with Reed, I asked him about the Hall-of-Fame chances of his former teammate Steve Tasker and current Patriots special teams wiz Matthew Slater. No career special-teams coverage player has ever been inducted into the Hall, but...
    The Chicago Bears continued preparing for Saturday’s preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns with a practice Wednesday at Halas Hall that focused primarily on third-down work. Coach Matt Eberflus wants to get a longer look at his top players and aims to play most of the starters and key regulars through the first half. Here are three things we learned Wednesday. 1. Eddie Jackson is eager for the season to start. The veteran safety has been in a positive mindset since camp began, and he made a bold proclamation after practice Wednesday. “A lot of people are doubting us,” he said. “And we’re going to shock a lot of people. (It’s) the way we continue to work and the chemistry we’re building, especially on defense.” Players from all 32 NFL teams make vows like that in August, and many never come to fruition. But Jackson has shown a combination of comfort and confidence since the spring, and he hasn’t been shy in expressing his belief in the new system under coach Matt Eberflus and defensive coordinator Alan Williams. Jackson also...
    When putting together his coaching staff, Mario Cristobal opted not to hire an on-field special teams coach or officially designate those duties to any of his 10 assistant coaches. Instead, the Hurricanes coaches will all have their hands on special teams, and two Miami off-field analysts will assist. “All the coaches are responsible for a phase in it,” Cristobal said. “I’m also involved in the entire thing, and we have two analysts assigned to it, and we work together so come game-time that we can direct it. I eventually give the call for each phase.” The two analysts helping Cristobal and his assistant run special teams plays are Danny Kalter and Marwan Maalouf. Kalter, a senior quality control analyst, has been with the Hurricanes since 2013. He first worked as a student volunteer from 2013-16 before becoming a graduate assistant in 2017. He was named a quality control analyst in 2020 and promoted to senior quality control analyst last year. Maloouf arrived at Miami this offseason and brings a wealth of coaching experience. He spent 15 seasons in the NFL...
    Getty Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich. The Indianapolis Colts have kicked off the 2022 season with training camp fully underway. There are a lot of new faces, including a new quarterback in Matt Ryan, but head coach Frank Reich is very impressed with one of the team’s young players. Shortly after practice in front of a full crowd on Saturday, July 30, Reich was asked if fans could expect a bigger impact from fourth-year wide receiver Ashton Dulin on offense. While Reich could have given a generic answer to the question, he was adamant about how highly himself and the rest of the coaching staff think of the 25-year-old. “I cannot emphasize how strongly we feel about Ashton Dulin,” Reich told reporters after practice. “He’s going to play a role in this offense. He’s proven it, he’s earned it…We love him. We’re all planning on him making a significant contribution not only to special teams, but to the offense this year.” Dulin hasn’t had a featured role in the Indianapolis offense, but that could change in 2022...
    Getty Josh Allen walks off the field after the Buffalo Bills lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott has been very guarded about exactly what went wrong in the team’s playoff collapse against the Kansas City Chiefs, calling it simply a matter of “execution” without going further. New special teams coordinator Matthew Smiley isn’t offering much more than McDermott, but did shed some new light on how the team allowed the Chiefs to race down the field in the final 13 seconds of the fourth quarter, hitting a field goal that forced overtime and allowed Patrick Mahomes to lead his team to victory on the first drive. The latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here! Join Heavy on Bills! Breakdown in CommunicationSpeaking to the Buffalo News, Smiley talked about his new role with the team. Former special teams coordinator Heath Farwell left to take the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Smiley was promoted from his position as assistant coordinator under Farwell. Matthew Smiley...
    Getty The Vikings are considering signing Dede Westbrook after he returned punts for the team in 2021. While the Minnesota Vikings have plenty of returning talent on both sides of the ball, special teams remains a concern. With third-year receiver K.J. Osborn expected to play a large role in the offense after a breakout sophomore season, Minnesota has zero NFL experience in its prospective punt returners, second-year receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette and sixth-round pick Jalen Nailor. Entertaining more options for return men, the Vikings invited an old friend to the team’s practice facility on Tuesday. The latest Vikings news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Vikings newsletter here! Join Heavy on Vikings! Vikings Considering Re-Signing Dede Westbrook: SourceOn May 31, Dede Westbrook, who spent four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars before playing for Minnesota in 2021, visited the Vikings for a tryout. And even before Westbrook arrived for his workout Tuesday afternoon, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reported that the Vikings are considering re-signing him, but there is competition for the 28-year-old receiver. “The source...
    Getty Matt Haack and Tyler Bass celebrate a field goal in a game against the Tennessee Titans. The Buffalo Bills did some work to boost their special teams during this week’s NFL Draft, which could mean the end of the line for two specialists currently on the roster. With another season starting with Super Bowl aspirations, the Bills focused more on immediate needs in the recently ended draft, selecting players who will fill roster holes and largely staying clear of longer-term projects. That included a potential upgrade at punter and an athletic linebacker who could push out a special teams ace, leading to some roster battles at training camp. The latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here! Join Heavy on Bills! Bills May Have Found Their New PunterThe Bills made waves on Day 3 of the draft by picking one of the most high-profile special teams players in years, the big-footed San Diego State punter Matt Araiza, who earned the nickname “Punt God” in college. Araiza earned the Ray Guy...
    Getty Rich Bisaccia with Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis. Despite helping lead the Las Vegas Raiders to an improbable playoff run last season, Rich Bisaccia wasn’t hired to take over the full-time coaching job. While he showed great leadership qualities, the team lacked a certain amount of polish and had to win a lot of close games. Bisaccia landed on his feet quickly and was hired to be the special teams coordinator of the Green Bay Packers. He got a chance to keep the Raiders job and owner Mark Davis gave him an interview but he ultimately decided to go with Josh McDaniels, whose expertise on offense is a more valuable skill set. Bisaccia is as classy as a coach can be so he’s not about to start taking shots at his former team. He had his first chance to speak to the media since not getting the Raiders job and talked about how last season affected him. “Last year was a unique year in my personal career, and certainly with the players and coaches that went...
    Getty Former Las Vegas Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia. The Las Vegas Raiders defied the odds last season by making it to the playoffs with an interim head coach in Rich Bisaccia. Once the season ended, it looked like there would be a chance he’d keep the head job going forward but the team decided to go in a different direction and hire Josh McDaniels. Bisaccia quickly landed on his feet and landed the special teams coordinator job with the Green Bay Packers. He’ll also be bringing in one of his top special teams players from the Raiders. The Packers announced that they’ve signed cornerback Keisean Nixon to a contract. Welcome to Green Bay! #Packers sign CB @keiseannixon ????: https://t.co/BbLSgd5RZ0 #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/Hz3e7JAvU8 — Green Bay Packers (@packers) March 26, 2022 Read More From Heavy Bet $5, Win $150 Whether Your Team Wins or Loses During March Madness Nixon joined the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He was able to make the roster due to his ability to be an impact player on special teams....
    Getty Buffalo Bills linebacker Tyler Matakevich reacts to a play in the 2022 AFC Wild Card playoff game. The Buffalo Bills have made some key additions this offseason, but an insider believes there will be at least one more significant subtraction coming for a team still looking for cap space. Bills general manager Brandon Beane said early in the preseason that the team would not be able to make any huge moves due to their tight cap situation. While that was not entirely true — the team would make a splash by signing Von Miller — the Bills are still in need of some room to make more moves, and one insider believes a special teams ace could be on the chopping block. The latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here! Read More From Heavy Bet $5, Win $150 Whether Your Team Wins or Loses During March Madness Join Heavy on Bills! Another Cut Coming for Bills?The Bills have already released a number of veteran players to create cap space,...
    The NFL’s new league year began Wednesday, opening the door for free agents to sign with new teams or reach agreements to stay with their current organizations. As Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles prepares to rework the roster in his second month on the job, the Tribune will track all of the Bears arrivals and departures and provide insight into what they mean. Saturday The Bears are re-signing safety and special teams ace DeAndre Houston-Carson on a one-year, $1.77 million deal. What it means: Houston-Carson has been the most important player on special teams the last several seasons and his value only increased when given a chance to play more on defense in 2021. Houston-Carson, playing a variety of roles in the secondary, finished tied for sixth on the defense in tackles (47) and the Bears rewarded him Saturday, agreeing to terms on a one-year, $1.77 million contract that is fully guaranteed, a source said. The 28-year-old was tied for sixth in tackles despite missing the final four games after suffering a broken arm. He had an interception and...
    Getty Taiwan Jones #25 of the Buffalo Bills secures the ball after a muffed punt return by Mecole Hardman #17 of the Kansas City Chiefs in the first quarter during the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 24, 2021. Whether the Buffalo Bills like it or not, the final two minutes, especially those final 13 seconds, of their AFC playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs on January 23 will be one of the most discussed series of plays until the 2022 NFL season starts. During a week of media appearances leading up to Super Bowl LVI, Bills quarterback Josh Allen fielded non-stop questions on the heartbreaking overtime 42-36 loss, and during a recent appearance on About the Game Pod, Buffalo’s special teams captain, Taiwan Jones, broke his silence on what was arguably the most exciting playoff games in NFL history. ALL the latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here! For Jones, it appears enough time has passed since the devastating defeat against the Chiefs to speak about what...
    Getty Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels. New Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels continues to put together his coaching staff and has already made his most important hire in defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. Considering McDaniels will be running the offense, the next most important hire he’ll make is for special teams coordinator. Rich Bisaccia served the role for the last four seasons and was beloved by players. He’s getting hired by the Green Bay Packers so the Raiders had to find a replacement. The team was briefly linked to former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge but he decided to go back to the New England Patriots, per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. With Judge no longer an option, McDaniels turned his sight to another familiar face. According to Mike Klis of 9News, the Raiders are hiring former Denver Broncos special teams coordinator Tom McMahon. Source confirms former Broncos special teams coordinator Tom McMahon will get the same job with the Las Vegas Raiders. McMahon and McDaniels go back to STL Rams days. #9sports...
    Although months and months of work go into preparation for the NFL draft, sometimes decisions that can shape the future of a player and a franchise are required in a matter of seconds. With less than a minute remaining to make their second-round pick in 2006, the Tennessee Titans had Devin Hester on the phone. They informed him that they planned to select him with the 45th pick, congratulated him and began to make travel arrangements to get him to Nashville. Suddenly the Titans ended the call, and before their time was up, they had turned in a card with the name of USC running back LenDale White. Hester shed a few tears, but he was back to being himself when the Chicago Bears called 12 picks later and did in fact draft him — launching the career of the greatest returner in NFL history. White scored 24 touchdowns for the Titans but was out of the league after four seasons. Hester went on to electrify a city, bringing the crowd at Soldier Field into a frenzy...
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NFL is taking a hard look at special teams, which had a disproportionate number of injuries this season. While league executive vice president Jeff Miller stopped short of saying rules changes to further limit kick plays could be coming, the concern over the amount of concussions and lower extremity injuries was clear in a Zoom call Monday. According to Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, and Miller, one in six concussions came on special teams. Add in 30% of major knee injuries (mostly ACL tears) and 29% of other lower body injuries were on kick teams. Considering that only about 17% of all plays involve special teams, those numbers are alarming. “That’s a primary area of focus on the health and safety side,” Miller said, “to take a look at kickoff and punt. That jumps up in what otherwise is a very good story.” The “good story” includes a decrease in concussions overall. But the concussion rate on punts in particular could lead to action as soon as the owners’ meetings...
    Former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge could become the next special teams coordinator on Josh McDaniels’ Las Vegas Raiders staff. After a disastrous two-year run leading the New York Giants, former head coach Joe Judge could reunite with Josh McDaniels on his Las Vegas Raiders coaching staff. McDaniels already successfully pried former Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham away from incoming head coach Brian Daboll. Having had a previous working relationship with Graham in New York and McDaniels with the New England Patriots, it would make a ton of sense for Judge to be the Silver and Black’s new special teams coordinator. He would be replacing Rich Bisaccia. With the former Raiders interim head coach taking over the special teams disaster going on with the Green Bay Packers, this would be a move that would not be shocking at all. Raiders have shown interest in former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge becoming their special teams coordinator position, per source. Judge is staying patient with opportunities after two years in New York so this might not happen. But the...
    Jay Feely stood on the Arrowhead Stadium sideline witnessing one of the best quarterback duels in the NFL's 102-year history, the capstone to what many are calling the greatest weekend of games the league has ever seen. Mesmerized by the back-and-forth between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, Feely came to a stark realization in the deafening din: he was yelling just like everyone else. CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM "This was the greatest weekend of NFL football ever," Feely said Monday, echoing a popular sentiment in the wake of a quartet of divisional round games that featured last-second field goals and lifelong regrets. Clutch kickers secured walk-off upsets for the 49ers at Green Bay, the Bengals at Tennessee and the Rams at Tampa Bay before Harrison Butker's 49-yarder sent the Chiefs' nightcap against Buffalo into overtime Sunday night. Mahomes then put the Chiefs in an unprecedented fourth consecutive conference championship at Arrowhead Stadium with a 42-36 win with an 8-yard TD toss to Travis Kelce, whose playground improvisation helped put the Chiefs into field goal range with...
    Jay Feely stood on the Arrowhead Stadium sideline witnessing one of the best quarterback duels in the NFL’s 102-year history, the capstone to what many are calling the greatest weekend of games the league has ever seen. Mesmerized by the back-and-forth between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, Feely came to a stark realization in the deafening din: he was yelling just like everyone else. “This was the greatest weekend of NFL football ever,” Feely said Monday, echoing a popular sentiment in the wake of a quartet of divisional round games that featured last-second field goals and lifelong regrets. Clutch kickers secured walk-off upsets for the 49ers at Green Bay, the Bengals at Tennessee and the Rams at Tampa Bay before Harrison Butker’s 49-yarder sent the Chiefs’ nightcap against Buffalo into overtime Sunday night. Mahomes then put the Chiefs in an unprecedented fourth consecutive conference championship at Arrowhead Stadium with a 42-36 win with an 8-yard TD toss to Travis Kelce, whose playground improvisation helped put the Chiefs into field goal range with 3 seconds left in regulation. “I had...
    Getty Eagles RB Kenny Gainwell has taken over the kick-return duties for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles’ decision to switch kick returners largely went under the radar. Jalen Reagor was having some ball security issues, so Kenny Gainwell took over in Week 15 against the Washington Football Team. Like a wardrobe change at the Oscars, it was over before anyone noticed. Gainwell took three kick returns back for 71 yards, including a long of 31 yards on December 21. And, after fumbling his first one in Week 16, the rookie running back ripped off two returns for 30 yards versus New York on December 26. Gainwell hasn’t been exponentially better than Reagor, but give him time. He’s just getting started. “I continue to play my role and do my thing,” Gainwell told reporters. “I’m a guy who stays motivated throughout anything, and I just take it day by day. I have a positive spirit about everything. I just come to work, do my job, and continue to work.” [email protected] on how his rookie season has gone so...
    Getty Head coach Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers reacts during the first quarter of the NFL game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on December 12, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Another miserable performance for the Green Bay Packers special teams unit will not prompt head coach Matt LaFleur to make a change to his staff. The Packers had quite a few things go wrong for them on special teams during Week 14’s win over the Chicago Bears, particularly with their kickoff and punt coverage. In the first half alone, they allowed Bears rookie Khalil Herbert to gain at least 40 yards on back-to-back kickoff returns and were unable to stop Jakeem Grant from taking one of their midfield punts 97 yards to the house. The Packers also had some difficulty with fielding the ball. Malik Taylor muffed a punt that went out of bounds at the 5-yard line in the first half. Amari Rodgers then muffed another one at a critical point early in the fourth quarter; though, it was saved thanks to Bears...
    GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — As they close in on a third straight outright division title and chase the top seed in the NFC playoffs, the Green Bay Packers still have causes for concern. There’s the depth of an offensive line that took one more hit as right tackle Billy Turner suffered a knee injury Sunday. There’s the health of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who said his fractured pinky toe started feeling worse during a 45-30 victory over the Chicago Bears. And then there’s the special teams, the Packers’ glaring weakness. The Packers (11-3) beat the Bears (4-9) despite allowing Jakeem Grant to score on a 97-yard punt return and deliver a 34-yard return that set up a field goal. That 97-yarder was the longest punt return by any Bears player since at least 1960. “When you’re playing an explosive returner like that, you need everybody to be perfect,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said Monday. “Unfortunately, we weren’t perfect. We were far from perfect.” That also applied to other aspects of Green Bay’s special teams, A muffed punt return by Amari...
    The Miami Dolphins have elevated two young defensive backs up from the practice squad ahead of Sunday’s home game against the Carolina Panthers to address injuries that could water down the special teams unit. Jamal Perry and Brennan Scarlett, two key special teams contributors, were placed on injured reserve earlier this week because of the knee injuries they each suffered in last week’s 24-17 win over the New York Jets. And cornerback Elijah Campbell was placed on injured reserve on Saturday because of a knee injury and toe injury he’s recently suffered. Campbell and Perry were both primary gunners, responsible for running down field on special teams to tackle punt returners. Players put on injured reserve must miss at least three games, but are eligible to return to the 53-man roster if they can recover before the season is over. It doesn’t help that rookie cornerback Trill Williams suffered a hamstring injury during practice this week and has been ruled out of Sunday’s contest, and that safeties Jevon Holland (knee/ankle), Brandon Jones (ankle/elbow) and Eric Rowe (hip)...
    Vince Biegel took a circuitous route to land back on the Miami Dolphins’ active roster this week ahead of the team’s Sunday home game against the Carolina Panthers. Already missing the entire 2020 season with a torn Achilles, the outside linebacker that contributed significantly in 2019 was injured with a calf strain in training camp this year. He was released with an injury settlement in early September, freeing him up to join another team. Biegel found himself signing back onto the Dolphins’ practice squad in October, elevated for two different games and, with fellow outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett placed on injured reserve following Sunday’s win at the New York Jets, Biegel was the natural replacement, signed for good to the 53-man roster. “I think the game of football is a journey and sometimes the gift is the struggle,” said Biegel on Wednesday. “It’s been quite a journey this year, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m just thankful to be back with a great organization like the Dolphins and help this team come out and win ball games.”...
    Getty Ex-Chiefs TE Deon Yelder. The New York Giants placed special teamer and reserve safety Nate Ebner on injured reserve on Wednesday, November 24th. The former second-team All-Pro selection has not appeared in a game since Week 7, as he’s dealt with lingering ankle and knee injuries. In his second season with the Giants, Ebner did not re-sign with the team until early September after withdrawing from Olympic rugby sevens contention due to injury. A former special teams stalwart with the New England Patriots, the Ohio Native captured three Super Bowl titles during his eight-year run in Foxborough. In six games this season, Ebner has logged 134 snaps on special teams (82%). Set to turn 33 years old on December 14th, he will once again be a free agent next offseason.Giants Make a Flurry of Moves at Tight EndFilling Ebner’s spot on the Giants’ 53-man roster will be tight end Chris Myarick, who was a free agent signing from the Giants’ practice squad. Myarick has appeared in four games with Big Blue this season, logging offensive snaps in...
    Welcome to the Wednesday episode of “The David Hookstead Show.” On today’s episode, we’re talking about ESPN reportedly removing Sage Steele from TV after her recent comments, Andrew Wiggins says he felt forced to get vaccinated, Shad Khan releases a statement about Urban Meyer, some old comments from the Jaguars coach are coming back to haunt him, Tyson Fury guarantees a knockout against Deontay Wilder, Conor McGregor reveals UFC 257 PPV buys and Dave Chappelle’s new special “The Closer” is outstanding. Let’s dive right in! TOPICS: ESPN Reportedly Suspends Star Following Her Comments About The Vaccine And Obama NBA Star Says He Felt Forced To Get Vaccine After Refusing To Do So For Months Jaguars Owner Releases Statement On Urban Meyer’s Fate. Will His Reaction Surprise Fans? Urban Meyer’s Old Comments On What Makes A Team Bad Are Coming Back To Haunt Him In A Huge Way ‘The F**k Out’: Tyson Fury Makes Bold Prediction For His Fight Against Deontay Wilder Conor McGregor Reveals The Stunning Amount Of PPV Buys For His Second Fight Against Dustin Poirier...
    The Pittsburgh Steelers may have picked up some momentum before halftime against the Green Bay Packers if their outstanding special teams play wasn’t called back. The Steelers blocked a Mason Crosby field-goal attempt and Minkah Fitzpatrick returned the ball 75 yards for what could’ve been a touchdown. However, the officials ruled that Steelers cornerback Joe Haden was offsides during the play and negated the touchdown. CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) catches a pass against Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden (23) in the third quarter at Lambeau Field. (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports) The score would’ve put Pittsburgh up 16-14 at the very least before halftime. Green Bay would seal the victory, 27-17, over Pittsburgh. Haden made clear in a tweet the referees got the call wrong. "I wasn’t offsides," he wrote. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin expressed some frustration with the team’s lack of attention to detail, especially on offense. Green Bay Packers' Randall Cobb catches a touchdown pass in front of Pittsburgh Steelers' Minkah Fitzpatrick during the second...
    Getty Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler addressed his first-week benching by the coaching staff. Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cam Dantzler admitted he was surprised when he was benched for the Vikings’ season opener. The team’s No. 1 cornerback a year ago as a rookie, Dantzler was penned as the team’s most significant breakout candidate by Pro Football Focus in January. However, Dantzler struggled through the preseason as veteran free-agent Bashaud Breeland overtook him for the starting outside corner role. Dantzler proved his mettle in Week 2, breaking up a pass on third down in the end zone in the fourth quarter that kept the Vikings’ chances alive in an eventual 34-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He played 16 defensive snaps, allowing only two catches for 23 yards on four targets and a 54.6 passer rating. “It was quite a surprise, but I feel like that humbled me and made me hungry,” Dantzler said in his first press conference since his benching. “So I just came to practice each and every day and worked harder, so that won’t ever happen...
    "Do better:" Advocates say Biden should seeks to double refugee admissions America’s Travel Ban Made No Sense © Provided by NBC Sports Replay Video SETTINGS OFF HD HQ SD LO Skip Ad Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones saw something he didn’t like from his special teams in Sunday’s win over the Chargers. The Cowboys tried to block a Chargers punt on fourth-and-20 in the second quarter and ended up with a roughing the punter penalty, giving the Chargers an automatic first down. Jones said on Tuesday that he prefers a more conservative approach to special teams. “To be very candid with you, I’m a little more conservative,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, via the Dallas Morning News. “We won a national championship with special teams when I was in college. So, I’m a fanatical special teams interested fan, whatever. I do believe that the turnovers or the bad plays in the kicking game are the equivalent of turnovers. They usually change possession and can change field position. . . . I really like to choose...
    By: KDKA-TV News Staff ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (KDKA) – As the Steelers get prepared for their home opener against Las Vegas at Heinz Field in week two following an unexpected season-opening victory against the Buffalo Bills, the league is taking notice of the Steelers’ defense. READ MORE: It Was A Bad Choice: W. Va. Governor Jim Justice Calls Out Unvaccinated As Cases COVID-19 Cases Rise “I learned that this defense has a chance to be really special and they’ve been building toward that over the last few seasons, but make no mistake, they won that game along with special teams. Yes, the offense woke up in the second half and made enough plays to win that game, but it was the defense and a big play on special teams that was the story of it,” said NFL on CBS analyst Evan Washburn. While the first half saw the offense held off the board, it’s not much of a concern for Washburn, because, with rookies and a new coordinator, they’re finding their way. To start the year, the...
    Getty Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dennis Gardeck (left) and outside linebacker Haason Reddick (center) celebrate with Zach Allen after a sack on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts at State Farm Stadium on December 20, 2020, in Glendale, Arizona. Ahand injury in practice and continued recovery from ACL surgery will sideline Arizona Cardinals special teams captain Dennis Gardeck for at least three weeks. The Cardinals placed Gardeck on injured reserve Saturday, September 11, a day after ruling him out for Arizona’s season-opener against the Tennessee Titans. The Cardinals were being cautious with the 27-year-old linebacker and limiting his participation in practice and training camp following ACL surgery in January. Despite those efforts, Gardeck sustained a hand injury in practice Thursday, September 9. Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters Friday, September 10, the injury likely would sideline the fourth-year special teams star beyond the Sunday, September 12, season-opener in Tennessee. Arizona signed linebacker Kylie Fitts from the practice squad to fill Gardeck’s spot on the active roster. The Cardinals also promoted cornerback Antonio Hamilton from the practice squad to the active...
    Getty Head coach Matt Nagy and the Chicago Bears have added a speedy WR. The Chicago Bears are signing former Houston Texans wide receiver Isaiah Coulter after his recent tryout, the team announced late on August 22. They also placed linebacker Austin Calitro on the injured reserve list after he sustained a hamstring injury in Chicago’s 41-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the team’s second preseason game. That very bad and lopsided loss shined a glaring light on what seems to be one of the Bears’ biggest issues heading into the 2021 NFL season: special teams — and that’s likely the primary role Coulter may fill. ALL the latest Bears news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Bears newsletter here! Join Heavy on Bears! Bears Lost Both Top Returners From Last SeasonThe Bears were wretched on both offensive and defensive special teams in the loss to Buffalo, allowing a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown, with the Bills averaging just under 30 yards per punt return. Not good. Not only that, but Chicago has yet...
    The Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Rams’ joint practice session was cut short Thursday due to a fight during special teams reps. The Raiders and Rams held the joint practices ahead of their preseason matchup over the weekend. But the two days were marred by skirmishes. According to ESPN, the end of practices was started and stopped four times before the practices were ended. CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM "I thought we had great work today until right at the end of the special teams period. I have no idea what that was, but that’s enough of that crap. It’s not good for football, that’s not good for anything. So, that’s the end of that practice session," Gruden told reporters after practice Thursday. When asked about whether there was a message to the team, Gruden said there wasn’t. LIONS' DAN CAMPBELL ON CUTTING VETERAN LONG SNAPPER ON HIS 40TH BIRTHDAY: 'I’M AN A--HOLE' "There is no message. They know better. Everybody knows better, and again it wasn’t everybody fighting," he added. "It will be on TV;...
    If you’re looking for one of those sappy college football videos where a walk-on is surprised with a scholarship, you’ve come to the right place. After all, who doesn’t like to see a little hard work rewarded? In fact, inject that into my veins! The latest deserving athlete comes from the Big Ten: Minnesota’s Derik LeCaptain. CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM In what appeared to be a standard team meeting, LeCaptain was amongst a group of Gophers who were handed an oar at the front of the meeting room. The oars are a nod to head coach PJ Fleck’s famous "row the boat" motto. Each oar had a word or message on the back of it and the players were expected to tell the team what the word/message meant to them. When LeCaptain was given his oar, he turned it over to reveal "you’re on scholarship". Upon reading it aloud, the team went crazy and immediately swarmed the redshirt sophomore. Overcome with joy and tears, LeCaptain wasted little time calling his family to share the good news:...
    ‘Hollywood Remixed’: Marlee Matlin on ‘CODA’ and Authentic Deaf Portrayals Current Credit Card Interest Rates © Provided by NBC Sports Replay Video SETTINGS OFF HD HQ SD LO Skip Ad Rams rookie receiver Ben Skowronek fractured his forearm in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Chargers. He underwent surgery Monday, and Sean McVay said Wednesday that Skowronek will miss 4-6 weeks. The Rams selected Skowronek in the seventh round of the draft this spring. He played four snaps on offense and three on special teams in the preseason opener and made one tackle on special teams. The Notre Dame product made 29 receptions for 439 yards and five touchdowns in 11 college games last year. Ben Skowronek will miss 4-6 weeks after surgery on broken forearm originally appeared on Pro Football Talk
    ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Former South Carolina coach Will Muschamp is leading what Georgia coach Kirby Smart calls a “total team effort” to coach the Bulldogs’ special teams with Scott Cochran away from the team for health reasons. Cochran, Alabama’s former strength and conditioning coach, was hired by Smart to the on-field position before the 2020 season. Though Cochran was named the Bulldogs’ special teams coordinator, Smart said after Saturday’s scrimmage other assistants, including tight ends coach Todd Hartley, always contributed. “It is really a total team effort,” Smart said. “It always is. It was last year.” Georgia announced last week Cochran “is currently dealing with health issues and is taking time to prioritize his mental health and well-being.” Muschamp, who joined Georgia’s staff as a defensive analyst, has moved on field to help fill the void left by Cochran’s absence. Smart said Muschamp played a lead role on special teams as South Carolina’s coach and “brings a lot of energy to the meetings.” “The players respect him and the job he’s done, and so far I’ve been really...
    More from: Drew Loftis Fantasy football: The strategy behind drafting kickers, if you must The tricky dilemma fantasy football owners face drafting tight ends Fantasy football: The innovative solution for breaking ties Fantasy football: Auction drafts are the way to go Its time to stop the PPR madness in fantasy football Anyone who still lives by the saying “defense wins championships” has never played fantasy football. From a strategic perspective, the position of defense/special teams is only marginally more important than kickers in most fantasy formats. The predictability from season to season is sketchy — the 49ers were supposed to have one of the best defenses last season but suffered a rash of injuries, the Dolphins came out of nowhere to score the fourth-most points at DST, the Patriots a couple of seasons back had an incredible early run when they seemed to score defensive or special teams touchdowns every week. The point being, it is hard to both pick the best or top sleeper units. This is part of the reason the Madman often streams DSTs from week...
    Getty Victor Bolden Jr. runs the ball for the 49ers in a 2017 game in Seattle. The Detroit Lions are in the process of trying to find difference makers to round out their 2021 roster, and one of the biggest spots to watch in terms of this figures to be special teams. Detroit needs a return man to step up during camp, and early on, there have been a few players who have done just that for the team. The latest Lions news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lions newsletter here! Join Heavy on Lions! After practice on Wednesday, August 4, special teams coordinator Dave Fipp talked about several of the players who are in the mix at the position. As he said, there are multiple good options for the Lions so far that have emerged during camp. Play Detroit Lions Training Camp Media Availability: Aug. 4, 2021 | Dave Fipp, Tim Boyle, Anthony PittmanWatch Detroit Lions special teams coordinator Dave Fipp, quarterback Tim Boyle and linebacker Anthony Pittman...
    Getty Nsimba Webster was waived by the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday, creating an open spot on the special teams side. Though not necessarily considered a significant roster loss, the Los Angeles Rams do have a spot to fill in one area of the field heading into next week’s training camp: The kick return game. Return man and wide receiver Nsimba Webster was waived on Tuesday. Webster, who signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2019 out of Eastern Washington, got lost in the wide receiver shuffle but found his way onto the field through special teams. Webster has since been claimed off waivers by NFC West rival San Francisco, with the 49ers adding him on Wednesday afternoon. The #49ers claimed WR Nsimba Webster off waivers from the Los Angeles Rams. He appeared in 21 games over the past two seasons, and averaged 6.3 yards on 32 punt returns, 22.4 yards on 18 kick returns. — Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) July 21, 2021 The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Webster only saw action in 21 of 34 games, but again...
    Getty Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb Sometimes the low-hanging fruit is the most appealing. Such would explain Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott pegging second-year wide receiver CeeDee Lamb as his “breakout” candidate for the 2021 NFL season. “My expectations are super high,” Prescott said of Lamb during last week’s mandatory minicamp, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “I’m so excited for CeeDee. So excited for just his growth from our five games together to just getting back out there in OTAs and throwing it to him and watching him get off the line, run routes, go up and get contested balls time and time again. It’s exciting. It’s exciting what he’s going to offer and it’s exciting what he brings to this whole receiving corps and this offense. He’s a special playmaker that we’re privileged to have and he’ll be big time and definitely have a breakout season.” The latest Dallas Cowboys news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cowboys newsletter here! Sign up for the Heavy on Cowboys Newsletter! CeeDee Was Pacing for Incredible NumbersThe...
    The New York Jets’ most vital improvements may be on special teams Geoff Magliocchetti May 21, 2021 ShareTweetFlipRedditThe New York Jets’ special teams improvements will vital in taking their first steps toward their leadership’s vision. When an NFL team comes off a two-win season and adds a second digit to its playoff drought, a macabre gift is offered in the form of an offseason where almost any move made will push the organization in the right direction. Even if the New York Jets weren’t coming a season considered garish even by their own star-crossed standards, they certainly had one of most productive offseasons in the NFL. The hiring of Robert Saleh brought rave reviews domestically and abroad. The end of April saw them find their newest franchise quarterback (Zach Wilson) and finish creating what could be one of the deepest receiving corps in the league (draftee Elijah Moore joining veteran newcomers Corey Davis and Keelan Cole). Defensively, they stocked up on veterans of 4-3 sets that Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff...
    The Kansas City Chiefs’ offseason is off to a good start despite some tough decisions ahead. The Chiefs are expected to lose a number of talented players, including one Sammy Watkins from their receiving corps. Yet, on Tuesday Kansas City announced they’re bringing back another wideout, just not the biggest name of the bunch. Marcus Kemp only caught one pass last season, but that was enough to make an impression. Kemp made his influence felt on another unit –Dave Toub’s special teams group. Kemp first signed with the Chiefs in 2017 as an undrafted free agent, and has been a regular on special teams since 2018. Yet, he tore his ACL in the 2019 season, which stalled his progression and forced the Chiefs’ hand come 2020. Kemp had to fight for his roster spot the majority of the 2020 season, only to finally get the ax late in the year. Now, the Chiefs are admitting their mistake by bringing back the familiar face. Chiefs have indeed re-signed WR Marcus Kemp. Chiefs might lose some of their veteran special teams...
    Getty Ryan Nall has been retained by the Chicago Bears While rumors about Russell Wilson’s potential interest in the Chicago Bears flew around the league, the team made a quiet and rather small move: they re-signed running back and key special teams performer Ryan Nall, as reported by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network. Chicago signed Nall in 2018 as an undrafted free agent, and after making the practice squad that year, he has made steady gains with the team ever since. He made the 53-man roster in 2019, getting called up in November that year. He played in eight games, getting his first touches as a pro. Nall had two carries for eight yards, and he played even more this past season. The 25-year-old running back made the roster last year, and he appeared in all 16 games in 2020. He was a minimal contributor on offense, netting just three carries for no yards, but he played a slightly smaller role in the passing game, catching eight passes on nine targets for 67 yards and a score....
    NEW YORK (AP) — Brant Boyer has been retained by new Jets coach Robert Saleh as New York’s special teams coordinator. This is the third coaching staff Boyer has been part of with the Jets since being hired by then-head coach Todd Bowles in 2016. Boyer was also retained in 2019 after Adam Gase became coach. Saleh was complimentary of Boyer following his introductory news conference on Jan. 21, saying several people had called him vouching for the special teams coordinator. “He’s held in such high regard,” Saleh said then. Boyer has guided a consistently solid Jets special teams unit during his tenure, despite several personnel changes — particularly at kicker. In 2018 and ‘19, New York was ranked in the top 5 among special teams units. Kicker Jason Myers and kick returner Andre Roberts both were selected to the AFC’s Pro Bowl squad after the 2018 season, while Roberts made All-Pro. The 49-year-old Boyer is a former linebacker and special teams standout who played 10 NFL seasons with Miami, Jacksonville and Cleveland. He began his coaching career as...
    Courtesy of Vikings Ryan Ficken was officially named the Vikings' new special teams coordinator. The Minnesota Vikings officially announced Monday that longtime special teams assistant coach Ryan Ficken will fill the team’s special teams coordinator role. Ficken will call the shots on special teams for the first time in his 14 years after former special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf was not offered a new contract to begin the new year. with the Vikings as he’s one of the longest-tenured coaches with the franchise Players, both current and former, shared their approval of the hire, including former special teams star-turned Pro Bowl wideout Adam Thielen and the franchise’s all-time fourth-leading tackler Chad Greenway. Die-hard Vikings fan? Follow the Heavy on Vikings Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Skol Nation! Vikings Sound off on Ficken’s PromotionMinnesota’s official announcement of Ficken’s promotion over Twitter was met with resounding approval. Thielen, who spent three seasons on special teams before becoming a starter, is evidence of the development Ficken has played a part in during his time with the Vikings....
    Getty Matt Prater celebrates a game-winning kick in Detroit. The Detroit Lions didn’t have much go right this season on the field, but one of the things that did was special teams. Not only did the Lions have an elite punter and a solid return group to go with a kicker that routinely banged through his share of record-breaking field goals, Detroit blocked kicks and was solid as a whole through most of the season. That work led them to be featured on a very interesting list. According to veteran NFL writer Rick Gosselin, the Lions were the third best special teams group in the league this past season. Annually, Gosselin ranks special teams groups in the league and the Lions had a solid standing when it came to the list for Gosselin. They placed just behind New England and Seattle on the list. Here’s what Gosselin wrote at Fan Nation and the Talk of Fame Network as to why: “The Detroit Lions were a surprising third-place finisher. They were terrible — finishing 5-11 with the NFL’s 20th...
    Derek Watt had to be helped off the field after this scary moment at Paul Brown Stadium. On a Pittsburgh Steelers punt, fullback Derek Watt went in to make the tackle on Cincinnati Bengals return man Alex Erickson and suffered an apparent head injury. Watt’s head collided with Erickson’s knee on the made tackle. While Erickson was not able to advance the ball, Watt lied on the Paul Brown Stadium turf completely motionless. We know the Bengals and Steelers have a bitter rivalry that often resorts to on-field violence, but this was just a football play and one that Watt needed assistance to make it to the Steelers sideline. #Steelers’ Derek Watt thankfully got up and walked off the field. A nasty collision minutes in the game. pic.twitter.com/hM7Gw32a7U — NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 22, 2020 Pittsburgh needs to win this game to stay alive for the No. 1 seedThough the Bengals are only 2-10-1 on the season, there is no wiggle room for the Steelers if they want to have home-field advantage in the AFC this season. After winning their...
    The team behind Black Mirror are back with their latest project, and instead of telling yet another story about how technology could ruin our lives, they have 2020 firmly in their crosshairs. The show’s creators, Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, have made a mockumentary called Death to 2020, which will hit Netflix on December 27th.  The special, which “tells the story of the dreadful year that was” according to its synopsis, blends news footage with appearances (and probably acidic comments) from fictional characters. The trailer includes some of the well-known faces who appear in Death to 2020, such as Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant, Lisa Kudrow, Kumail Nanjiani, Tracey Ullman, Leslie Jones, Cristin Milioti and Joe Keery. 
    INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Anthony Lynn made his NFL playing career on special teams and started his coaching career there. Now, special teams might be his undoing as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers melted down in a 45-0 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, allowing touchdowns on a punt return and a blocked field goal. They also missed a field goal and committed two penalties on punt returns with a false start and 10 men on the field — all in a disastrous first half. “It was unacceptable, special teams was,” Lynn said. “The whole operation. Today got confusing on the field. It was unacceptable.” It was the worst loss in franchise history, surpassing a 49-6 defeat to Kansas City in 1964, and one which raised serious doubts about Lynn’s job status with four games remaining in his fourth season. Lynn said he has talked frequently with owner Dean Spanos, but whether he will be back for 2021 has never come up. “He’s frustrated as hell, just like I am right now,”...
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