Cleveland Browns will take center stage on HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’

HBO Sports announced Thursday morning that the 13th season of its ballyhooed behind-the-scenes look at an NFL team will feature the Cleveland Browns, who are coming off an 0-16 season and recently drafted Oklahoma product Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick in last month’s draft.

The season premiere will air at 10 p.m. on Aug. 7.

Earlier this month, Dorsey told ESPN Cleveland 850, the Browns’ radio affiliate, that, “I don’t think there’s anything good that comes out of Hard Knocks,” according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. But in a statement Thursday, he said that, “I feel a lot better and understand why the time is right.”

It’s not only just a different playbook, but it’s a different game plan each week too this time of year. That’s what is so important about OTAs and training camp. That’s the foundation of your playbook, where the verbiage, how you package everything together, protections, concepts, run plays and the play action, how it all ties together. Then every week it’s a different game plan from that foundation throughout the summer. When you miss that foundation, it’s tough.

This offseason, they’ll lay that foundation.

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook didn’t have a chance to finish strong as a rookie. Instead, his maiden NFL season abruptly ended when he tore his ACL in Week 4.

Through those four games, the second-round pick out of Florida State ranked third in the league with 444 scrimmage yards while averaging a splendid 4.8 yards per carry.

In April, Vikings athletic trainer Eric Sugarman told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press that Cook has “knocked the rehab out of the park.” He adding that Cook will participate in OTAs—which get underway next week—”on a limited basis.”

Richie Incognito placed on involuntary psychiatric hold after gym altercation, reports say

Former Bills guard Richie Incognito reportedly was involved in an altercation at a Florida gym and is being held under the Baker Act, which is an involuntary psychiatric hold in order to be evaluated.

According to TMZ, and confirmed by Boca Raton PD to WKBW, police were called but no arrest was made after Incognito was accused of throwing a tennis ball and then a dumbbell at another person while working out at a gym Wednesday.

Some are of the opinion that the Super Bowl should be held in New Orleans every year. After all, there’s a reason what’s now called the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is hosting the big game for an eighth time, more than any other venue. The city is hosing the game for the 11th time; three of New Orleans’ Super Bowls were played at Tulane Stadium.

The Superdome opened in 1975 and hosted its first Super Bowl in 1978, when the Cowboys beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XII. It last hosted a Super Bowl in 2013, when many of the stadium’s lights infamously failed during the third quarter of the Ravens’ win over the 49ers.

Philadelphia signed former Lions and Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow to a one-year contract in April. But Worrilow reportedly suffered a serious knee injury Tuesday in the first day of OTAs.

Kyle Shanahan, 49ers: The winning momentum from the end of 2017 should carry over for San Francisco after an offseason of extra work for Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Sean McVay, Rams: The expectations have gone from zero to Super Bowl 53 after LA’s aggressive offseason, requiring McVay to raise his own bar after a great first season.

Mike Zimmer, Vikings: Zimmer continues his steady leadership and defensive scheming, but Super Bowl expectations in Minnesota have shot through the roof with Kirk Cousins.

Marvin Lewis, Bengals: The lack of playoff wins has now met a lack of playoff berths, but it still seems like nothing negative on the field is capable of pushing Lewis close to the fire.

Jon Gruden, Raiders: The Raiders spent a ton of money to convince Gruden to return, and the mutual investment suggests this will last a couple seasons before real results are demanded.

Report: NFL tweaking ejection language in new helmet rule

The NFL is tweaking the ejection language in the new rule outlawing lowering the head to initiate contact with the helmet, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports. Ejections by on-field officials will be subject to replay review, but owners must approve the replay component.

NFL officials have not said how often they expect the new rule to come into play. But Maske reports that the league said during the meeting that based on game video from last season they found about five violations per game of the new rule. That doesn’t mean, of course, officials will see all five considering the speed of the game.

Officials attending the meeting told participants they were confident they could spot violations in the open field.

Video of four plays of egregious violations was shown to participants Tuesday, according to Maske. The plays subject to the new rule included Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan‘s on Packers receiver Davante Adams and Bengals safety George Iloka‘s hit on Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.

“This is another challenge to get it taught better,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “There’s definitely plays . . . that, ‘OK, that play needs to leave [the sport], and that play needs to leave.’ Maybe if we start with those plays first to say the egregious fouls [must be addressed], then it’ll kind of trickle itself down.”

Owners are going to start looking at it and say, ‘Hey, we can reduce the roster size. We can reduce those players. You’re talking about a lot of players that are going to start seeing the end of their careers, which I think is significant.”

DeCamillis kind of has a point, but he’s grossly overstating it. If/when the kickoff goes away, players who primarily show their value by their ability to make a contribution during kickoff coverage or kickoff returns risk losing their spots. But those spots will then be filled by someone else with a different skill set.

Putting it another way, no one is suggesting that dumping the kickoff will in some way justify reducing total rosters from 53 or active, game-day rosters from 46.

Broncos sign eight undrafted free agents, including Phillip Lindsay

Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay was one of eight undrafted free agents the Broncos signed, the team announced Tuesday.

Lindsay rushed for 3,770 yards in his career, ranking second in school history. He gained 1,474 yards and scored 14 touchdowns on 301 carries last season.

He spent 14 years as a coach with the New England Patriots, moving from an assistant in 2004 to the defensive coordinator for the past six seasons. He became a head coach in February when the Lions hired him following the Patriots’ loss in the Super Bowl.

After learning about Patricia’s past, Lions president Rod Wood had little hesitation defending the coach.

Nicolas, a former sixth-round pick from Virginia Tech, spent last year on the physically unable to perform list because of a ruptured patellar tendon suffered in January.

While he hasn’t been able to resume his NFL career, he is in talks with the Canadian Football League, McMahon said. Greene was a few games shy of qualifying for his NFL pension, his attorney added.

He’s genuinely a really nice, good guy, McMahon said. He’s never been in trouble. Everything was going well out with the Chiefs and this happened.

Running back Paul Perkins has been waived by the Giants with a non-football injury, the team announced Thursday afternoon.

After selecting Saquon Barkley No. 2 overall in last month’s NFL Draft, Perkins’ days on the roster were numbered as the Penn State product will likely be a three-down contributor and the Giants also signed veteran Jonathan Stewart as a free agent back in March.

Falcons in “great spot” with Julio Jones

Wide receiver Julio Jones hasn’t been working with the Falcons in their offseason program and he generated some attention last week when he stripped his Instagram account of pictures of him in the team’s uniform, but neither are a cause for concern for the team.

General Manager Thomas Dimitroff took wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the first round, but that move is designed to complement Jones rather than shake anything up in their wide receiver group. Dimitroff said that the team feels comfortable about its relationship with Jones “and how he perceives everything.”

Taking away their last names takes away a piece of their credibility—they’re ambassadors for a professional football organization.

I can’t think of another serious female athlete or performer who isn’t known by her last name.

Some teams tell women that this is for their protection from would-be stalkers, but when I perused the cheerleading websites for the 26 NFL teams that have squads, I found a lot of information in the cheerleader bios (college, hometown, industry she works in).

The AAF also plans to put a team in Atlanta, and the league founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian also is reportedly discussing the possibility of playing games at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

The dustbin of sports history is filled with dirt from the cleats of defunct pro football leagues. The potential proliferation of gambling could make these alternative professional gambits more viable. People will want something on which to bet, and once they place their bets they’ll have an incentive to watch the game on which they’ve wagered.

When Davis taught at dance camps and workshops and chose to use her full name, she wasn’t allowed to say that she was a Saintsation.

Davis wants to build a career in the dance world, and not being able to reference a job as a professional dancer when trying to book other jobs didn’t help.

They say, this is going to be the best years of your life, you’re going to do so much networking and you are going to get a great job after this, Ware says.

But when you meet someone and you can’t use your last name, how are they going to find you?

McCourty: 0-16 season brings new perspective to Pats

An 0-16 season might be considered a lost one to most.

Turns out the most recent one — Cleveland’s winless trudge through 2017 — is bringing an unexpected asset to the reigning AFC champion.

This is according to longtime New England Patriot Devin McCourty, who is welcoming his twin brother, former Browns corner Jason, to the team. Yes, the rich are getting richer.

When you don’t make it to the playoffs and you’re watching those games, I think there’s envy in every game you watch, Jason said. As you’re watching other teams, whether it’s Dev as my twin brother or maybe a team you beat throughout the season or a team you came close [to beating]… there’s definitely professional envy because you want to be there. That’s what you train all offseason for.

He’ll likely get that chance with New England this season — and he’ll get to do so alongside his brother.

Kaepernick is obviously the biggest face of the NFL’s anthem protests, but Reid represents another example of a politically outspoken player whose market has suspiciously shriveled up. Both players have filed collusion grievances against the NFL. How long has it been since Colin Kaepernick played in the NFL? It has been 492 days since Kaepernick laced up his cleats for an NFL team. Since then, no NFL team has signed him, but that hasn’t stopped them from signing quarterbacks with… more limited track records. What has Colin Kaepernick been up to? Even without an NFL contract, Kaepernick has stayed in the headlines.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Brown personally met with Reid when Reid visited the Bengals on Monday. Brown, according to the source, initiated discussion regarding the issue of kneeling during the anthem. The conversation almost exclusively centered on the topic, with Brown explaining that he intends to prohibit it — and with Brown at one point asking Reid for his response.

Ex-Rutgers WR Ahmir Mitchell to transfer after dismissal

Which B1G team returns the most starters in 2018?

Ash had a close relationship with the Mitchell family since he recruited Damon to Arkansas in 2013.

After sitting out last season under NCAA transfer rules, the younger Mitchell got off to a fast start during spring camp and was listed as a starter on the spring depth chart in 2017. But he suffered a torn ACL about one week into camp last summer and never got involved in practice again.

Sanders declined to comment on Haspel’s offer to withdraw or internal White House discussions, but she stressed that Haspel is a dedicated public servant qualified for the role and that she has the full support of the president.

And so, this might be the end of his decade-long NFL career due to a neck injury that cut short his 2017 season. In January, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said that Avril (along with safety Kam Chancellor ) will have a hard time playing football again.

If this is the end of Avril’s career, he’ll be remembered as a tremendous pass rusher who helped the Seahawks win their first Super Bowl in his first season with the team. A third-round pick back in 2008, Avril spent the first five years of his career with the Lions , racking up 39.5 sacks. In 2013, Avril landed with the Seahawks along with fellow defensive lineman Michael Bennett two of the most important signings of the Seahawks’ incredible run atop the NFC.

That said, he yielded more starts to Juuse Saros in the fantasy playoffs than was ideal for most managers. Next year, he’ll celebrate his 36th birthday in November, and Saros has shown some potential as a starter, so I won’t be overly invested in Rinne.