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Belichick continues to set the tone, even if it's usually a gruff one

Sports / Football /

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The greatest coach in the history of the modern NFL -- a league designed to disband dynasties and exhaust the men attempting to maintain them -- jostled a microphone into place and sighed.

"All right, well," Bill Belichick said from a podium late last Saturday, "I thought that was a real good effort by our team tonight."

A...Read more

NFC title showdown between Vikings and Eagles has a familiar feel to it

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA -- They have a backup quarterback at the helm, a defense that can steal all the oxygen from a stadium and an electrified fan base that can almost touch the Super Bowl yet is quietly convinced that, like always, something is about to go wrong.

The ring this franchise wears is a "0," as in zero Lombardi Trophies.

It's the ...Read more

Cut 6 times, Jaguars' Thompson now a win from Super Bowl

Sports / Football /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Peyton Thompson's apartment in Jacksonville is adorned with cards taped to the walls, each detailing formations and calls for all of the defensive back positions for the Jaguars -- right cornerback, left cornerback, free and strong safety.

Thompson is a student of the game, soaking in tendencies of blocking and tackling ...Read more

UCLA, USC prominent in Jaguars run

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES -- Nearly two decades have passed since the Jacksonville Jaguars played in the AFC championship game, so there are members of the organization who know something about patience.

Tight end Marcedes Lewis, for example, made the playoffs in his second NFL season in 2007. He thought it would be a regular occurrence.

"I felt like it was...Read more

Dolphins' Jarvis Landry seeks to be paid as a No. 1 WR

Sports / Football /

The negotiating strategy of Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry starts with this idea: Landry, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who averages roughly 100 receptions, 1,000 yards and five touchdowns a season, wants to be paid as a No. 1 wide receiver.

"With all this, 'What type of receiver is he -- slot or outside?' -- or all this, he's a No. 1 ...Read more

NFL rules that Raiders complied with Rooney Rule in hiring Jon Gruden

Sports / Football /

The NFL has determined the Raiders fully complied with the Rooney Rule in hiring Jon Gruden as head coach, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to the Bay Area News Group on Friday morning.

"The NFL confirmed today that its review of the hiring of Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden complied with the Rooney Rule and that the club ...Read more

Vikings, Eagles both came out winners in Sam Bradford deal

Sports / Football /

When Case Keenum (who replaced an injured Sam Bradford as the Vikings' quarterback this season) drops back to pass on Sunday in Philadelphia (a city hosting the NFC Championship Game in large part because of the emergence of Carson Wentz), he could find himself pursued by Derek Barnett, the promising young pass rusher the Eagles took with the ...Read more

Jets WR Robby Anderson arrested, accused of threatening officer's family

Sports / Football /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Robby Anderson, 24, a wide receiver for the New York Jets who lives in Sunrise, was arrested in that city early Friday morning after police say he was speeding, driving recklessly and made threats against a police officer.

Anderson is accused of threatening to rape the wife of the police officer who took him into ...Read more

Jeff Fisher delighted that Rams castoffs Case Keenum and Nick Foles are close to the Super Bowl

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES -- The viewing location has yet to be determined, but Jeff Fisher plans to be in front of a television for Sunday's NFC championship game.

Case Keenum is the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, Nick Foles for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Both played for Fisher with the St. Louis Rams in 2015, and Keenum came west with the ...Read more

Tom Brady a non practice participant with a hand injury

Sports / Football /

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots were all coached up to say the same thing about the injury status of quarterback Tom Brady, which meant basically nothing.

The injury report told enough to give the New England region a reason to pause.

Brady, who suffered a right hand injury in practice on Wednesday, didn't participate in Thursday...Read more

Greg Cote's NFL Championship picks

Sports / Football /

We were a lousy 1-3 straight-up in the Divisional Round last week, as I joined the millions of victims of the Minnesota Miracle -- or should I say the game-ending play not made by the Saints' Marcus Williams.

(Welcome to eternal infamy, kid. Your greeters are Bill Buckner and Scott Norwood. You have earned your place).

I fared much better ...Read more

While Patriots seek their sixth title, other three finalists hope it's finally their year

Sports / Football /

The New England Patriots have enjoyed an embarrassment of riches.

As for the other three NFL teams left standing? They have endured some rich embarrassments over the years, with plenty of heartache.

Jacksonville is among four teams that have never gotten to the Super Bowl.

Minnesota and Philadelphia are among the nine who have gotten there ...Read more

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz: 'Red zone, third down, I want to be the guy who gets the number called'

Sports / Football /

Zach Ertz wanted the ball. It was third and 7, and the Eagles were at Atlanta's 45-yard line in the fourth quarter while holding a two-point lead last Saturday, and they needed to convert a first down to keep a scoring drive alive.

Third downs were kryptonite for the Eagles during the final two weeks of the season, but Ertz, who has been a go-...Read more

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, an all-timer in regular season and playoffs

Sports / Football /

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- He is a free spirit on a buttoned-down team, but the New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski is as serious as anybody when it's time to get down to business, especially in the postseason.

With 835 career postseason receiving yards, he is 13 away from breaking the all-time mark for tight ends of 847 by Dallas Clark. He has 58 ...Read more

Jarvis Landry says Dolphins' handling of his contract was 'disrespectful'

Sports / Football /

MIAMI -- Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry says his negotiations with the team on a new contract have been "handled a bit disrespectful" but he still would like to remain with the franchise if they can agree on contract terms.

The Dolphins made an offer to Landry's agent, Damarius Bilbo, in early December and Bilbo made a counter offer in mid-...Read more

Colin Kaepernick's final push to $1 million to involve Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, others

Sports / Football /

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Colin Kaepernick hasn't appeared in an NFL game in more than a year, but his name, image and message remain prominent as the nation continues to be roiled by a cultural tug of war.

In a video posted on Twitter Wednesday, the former 49ers quarterback said he'd donate $10,000 per day for the next 10 days and that he was ...Read more

Jaguars are starting to call to mind memories of 2000 Ravens

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE -- Perhaps it hit Ravens fans as they were watching the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 45-42, at Heinz Field on Sunday in the AFC divisional round. Or perhaps they were too giddy about their archrival being knocked out of the postseason on their home field to even give it much though.

Either way, the Jaguars, who ...Read more

Eagles, Vikings defenses could mean a slugfest for Sunday

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles are preparing for the Minnesota Vikings' top-ranked defense, although their own fourth-ranked unit doesn't often take a back seat. The Eagles have allowed 26 total points during the last three games and opponents have averaged only 13 points per game at Lincoln Financial Field this season.

Las Vegas has set the over-...Read more

Eagles who've played with Case Keenum marvel at his journey to NFC title game

Sports / Football /

In 2012 and 2013, linebacker Bryan Braman and quarterback Case Keenum were Houston Texans teammates, Keenum spending 2012 on the practice squad, after going undrafted out of the University of Houston.

"No," Braman said Tuesday, when asked if he ever thought he'd be preparing to face Keenum in a conference championship game.

"I'm happy for him....Read more

Saints coach taunted Vikings fans with 'Skol clap' just before winning score

Sports / Football /

If you believe in karma, you along with the Vikings won on Sunday during the Minnesota's 29-24 miraculous comeback victory over the Saints in the NFC Divisional playoff.

Saints coach Sean Payton turned around and taunted Vikings fans with a Skol clap at U.S. Bank Stadium after New Orleans took a 24-23 lead with 25 seconds left. It was first ...Read more