Joe Starkey: We'll find out soon if the Steelers truly believe in Mason Rudolph

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — This offseason doesn't have to be as complicated as expected, at least not in regard to the most important position on the field.

If the Steelers truly believe in Mason Rudolph, they will part ways with Ben Roethlisberger and hand him the reins.

It's the perfect time — the obvious time, really — but only if the Steelers ...Read more

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Mike Bianchi: Hiring Urban Meyer is most important day since Jaguars were born

Sports / Football /

ORLANDO, Fla. — Congratulations, Jacksonville Jaguars.

You have done it.

You have pulled off the most significant, spine-tingling feat we’ve seen in Duval since Molly Hatchet released “Flirtin’ with Disaster.”

Except you are flirtin’ with dominance.

You have gone from the most unwatchable team in the NFL to the most interesting, ...Read more

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Rams' Jalen Ramsey neutralized top receivers all year. Next up: Packers’ Davante Adams

Sports / Football /

Former NFL safety Ryan Clark remembers meeting with Jalen Ramsey before the 2016 NFL Draft, and the two talked briefly about how an NFL team might use him.

Clark was aware of the defensive back from watching Ramsey at Florida State. But he underestimated his size until he saw him in person.

“You don’t realize how freaking big he is until ...Read more

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/Wally Skalij

Friendly fire: It's Rams’ Sean McVay vs. Packers’ Matt LaFleur

Sports / Football /

They coached together in the NFL in Washington, and then with the Rams.

Sean McVay and Matt LaFleur are good friends. Both say they are close as brothers.

That the Rams are playing the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional-round playoff game Saturday at Lambeau Field did not preclude the two head coaches from communicating this week.

“It ...Read more

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Ravens QB Lamar Jackson has a championship ‘obsession.' It started with a Super Bowl win.

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE — When Lamar Jackson is back home in South Florida, training with his private coach in the offseason, old friends will come around to watch him throw, and Jackson will start to laugh.

Together they’ll reminisce about the old days in Broward County, all those years spent growing up and goofing off, when nothing was more important ...Read more

Browns' Myles Garrett says he's due, wants to make impression on Patrick Mahomes

Sports / Football /

Browns All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett acknowledged “I’m due” after going without a sack in consecutive weeks against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While he finished sixth in the league with 12 sacks in the regular season, Garrett has recorded 21/2 sacks in the six games he’s been back since a tough bout with COVID-19.

'You just have to...Read more

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Rodgers, Packers begin their playoff pursuit

Sports / Football /

Last season, the Packers went 13-3, won a playoff game, expressed supreme confidence against the NFC's top defense and were squashed 27-0 in the first half of a blowout loss to the 49ers.

This season, the Packers again went 13-3 and again are expressing supreme confidence against a top-ranked defense heading into Saturday's NFC divisional ...Read more

Paul Zeise: There is a lot at stake for the quarterbacks competing in the playoffs

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — There is a lot of discussion around Pittsburgh about the future of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. This felt like the last hurrah for Roethlisberger, his last best shot at getting another Super Bowl ring. It didn't happen for him, and it is likely he will never hoist another Lombardi as a player again.

The interesting ...Read more

Seahawks free agent Josh Gordon returns to suspended list, and his NFL future seems cloudier than ever

Sports / Football /

SEATTLE — Whether Josh Gordon will again play in the NFL seems an even bigger question after his conditional reinstatement by the league was rescinded Friday.

According to the league’s official transaction wire, Gordon has again been placed on the suspended list indefinitely. He would have to be taken off the list to be eligible to play.

...Read more

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Sam Farmer's NFL divisional-round playoff picks

Sports / Football /

The Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer examines the divisional-round matchups this weekend in the NFL playoffs. Last week he was 5-1 on predictions, only misfiring on Cleveland's upset of Pittsburgh. Using point spreads with scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread would have been 5-0-1.


NFC: Rams at Green Bay

Saturday, 1:...Read more

Reports: Falcons make offer to Titans OC Arthur Smith

Sports / Football /

ATLANTA — The Falcons made an offer Friday to Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to become their new head coach, according to NFL Media and ESPN.

The Falcons have not immediately confirmed the reports, but posted them to their team website. NFL Media is league-owned and the Falcons are part-owners.

Smith, who has no NFL head...Read more

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Urban Meyer eager to get started rebuilding Jaguars into a winning franchise

Sports / Football /

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Despite winning three national championships and never having a losing season in 17 years as a college coach, Urban Meyer still yearns for more to achieve.

At 56, the desire was strong enough for Meyer to come out of a comfortable two-year retirement to make the jump to the NFL for the first time to assume the challenge ...Read more

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Jets hire Niners' defensive coordinator Robert Saleh as head coach

Sports / Football /

NEW YORK — The Jets let Robert Saleh out of the building, but they didn’t let him get far.

The San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator agreed in principle on Thursday night to become the 20th head coach in Jets franchise history, just one day after completing his in-person, second interview at the team’s facility in Florham Park, N.J...Read more

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Tom Krasovic: Browns' road playoff victory takes San Diego coach back to '69

Sports / Football /

SAN DIEGO — If you were stunned to see the Cleveland Browns go up 28 points on the Pittsburgh Steelers last week in an NFL playoff game, it didn't mark you as a football rube.

In Rancho Bernardo, football lifer Dale Lindsey stared in disbelief.

"I was shocked to see what was going on," said the University of San Diego's head coach, who ...Read more

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Michael Rand: If Chiefs' Eric Bieniemy is passed over again, NFL will need to confront ugly truth

Sports / Football /

It's hard to say exactly what is more insulting or ludicrous: A tweeted report suggesting there's a "very strong chance" Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy won't get a head coaching job again this offseason OR the reasons offered for that suggestion.

The tweet in question from The Draft Scout's Matt Miller:

"Been texting with an ...Read more

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2021 NFL mock draft: Two rounds

Sports / Football /

Everyone who watched Alabama's Heisman winner DeVonta Smith torch Ohio State for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the first half of the national championship game came away with the same conclusion: Smith is really good.

In fact, most would expect the talented, record-breaking Smith to be the first wide receiver's name they hear called in the ...Read more

Bill Plaschke: Rams' Jared Goff can show he is ‘the man’ with heroic performance at Green Bay

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES — Shortly after being named Saturday’s starting quarterback by default, the affable Jared Goff was asked if he was irked by all the mystery.

“No,” he said tersely.

That was it. No expression. No explanation. No expounding. Just, no.

Which, given Goff’s competitive nature, probably means yes.

Hell hath no fury like a ...Read more

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Ravens vs. Bills scouting report for the AFC divisional round: Who has the edge?

Sports / Football /

Coming off their first playoff win with quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Ravens will face the NFL’s hottest passing offense when they travel to Buffalo for an AFC divisional-round showdown with the Bills on Saturday night. Here’s who has the edge in each phase of the game:

RAVENS PASSING GAME: Quarterback Lamar Jackson finally ended talk that...Read more

Browns' Kareem Hunt eyes Super Bowl, bragging rights in emotional return to Kansas City

Sports / Football /

As Browns running back Kareem Hunt faces the team that drafted him, there are many layers to his return to Kansas City.

How he nearly threw away his NFL career with off-the-field transgressions, including shoving and kicking a woman in February 2018 and lying to the Chiefs about it. His longing for a Super Bowl and the pain it brought him to ...Read more

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Jeff Seidel: Lions new GM Brad Holmes is an exciting hire who wants 'game wreckers'

Sports / Football /

DETROIT — There is a lot to like about Brad Holmes, the Detroit Lions' new general manager.

This is the guy who helped pick Aaron Donald after the Lions picked Eric Ebron.

Case closed. Drop the mic. Welcome to the Motor City.

That’s enough of a resume, by itself, to endear him to Lions fans, many of whom look at the Lions’ decision to ...Read more