Jim Racalto

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Bill Belichick blasts New England meteorologists

The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos are set to meet in Foxborough Sunday afternoon, marking the 16th time Tom Brady and Peyton Manning go head-to-head.

However, the forecast around kickoff time, which is 4:25 EST, calls for  gusting winds and a chance of rain. Don’t tell that to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, though. He apparently doesn’t trust the weather man.

Per NFL.com:

“If I did my job the way they do theirs, I’d be here about a week,” Belichick said, never afraid to put meteorologists on blast. “Look, I’m not saying I could do it better than them, I’m just saying they’re wrong a lot. That’s a fact. They are wrong a lot. We all make mistakes. I’m not being critical of them. I’m just saying I don’t think you go based on that.”

Give them a break, Bill. Forecasting the weather isn’t as easy as game-planning for the New York Jets.

The Hoodie went on to defend his position, saying that a good percentage of gametime forecasts this season have been wrong. Inclement weather would favor the Patriots and help slow down Peyton Manning, but Tom Brady has also been catching fire as of late.

This game has all the makings of another classic, with the juggernaut Broncos rolling into New England to take on a hot Patriots team. I look forward to another exciting matchup between the two best quarterbacks of this generation.

RGIII: “God didn’t put us on this Earth to be normal”

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is set to make his return to the lineup Sunday when the ‘Skins travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. This is good news for Washington. The only question is what style of quarterbacking RGIII will be doing as he tries to save their season.

The ongoing debate between making RGIII a traditional passer or letting him play his running style has its pros and cons. Head coach Jay Gruden would love for him to be safer out there and be more of a pocket passer, but RGIII is most effective when he’s allowed to run the read option and take off when he gets in trouble.

RGIII put his own interesting spin on the situation.

Per PFT:

“I’m ready to go, ready to play, get back out there with the guys and have fun. That’s what it is,” Griffin said. “God didn’t put us on this earth to be normal. So I’m not gonna go out there and try to be a normal quarterback. I’m gonna go out there and be the quarterback he’s called me to be.”

Normalcy aside, the Redskins need to figure out rather quickly if RGIII can be their franchise guy for the long-term. If he can find a happy medium between being a traditional quarterback and a running quarterback, there’s a good chance he can get it done for the long haul. But any more injuries because of his reckless abandon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Washington parts ways with him.

Antwon Blake to replace Cortez Allen in Steelers lineup Sunday night

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen is going through a rough stretch of games, and has been very inconsistent this season. What makes it worse is that Allen seems to be regressing after receiving a five-year, $26 million contract extension. His progression the last two seasons warranted the new deal, and no one can put a finger on why his play has been so lackluster in 2014.

Head coach Mike Tomlin benched Allen in the fourth quarter of the Steelers 51-34 win over the Colts last Sunday. He was replaced by Antwon Blake, who stepped in and recorded a game-sealing interception.

Now, it looks like Blake will get the nickel corner duties ahead of Allen when Pittsburgh welcomes the Baltimore Ravens to Heinz Field Sunday night. Brice McCain and William Gay will remain the starters in the Steelers base defense.

This may not be a bad move regarding Allen. He needs to take a look in the mirror and fight through this slump. Corner is the hardest position to play besides quarterback in the NFL, and it’s a position that comes with a high level of scrutiny. He’s shown flashes of good play and superb athletic ability, but his fundamentals and technique seem to be way off thus far.

As for Blake, he’s finally getting his chance, as fans have been clamoring for him to see more playing time for three weeks now.

 

 

Garrett optimistic that Tony Romo can play Sunday

The Dallas Cowboys are taking a cautious approach to whether or not Tony Romo will play this weekend after he suffered a back contusion in Monday night’s loss to the Washington Redskins. Romo did not participate in Thursday’s walk through as Dallas prepares for an NFC showdown with the 6-1 Arizona Cardinals.

Per NFL.com:

Jason Garrett said Thursday the quarterback is “feeling better” and he’s “certainly” optimistic that Romo can play Sunday, per the team’s official website.

“Sounds like he’s feeling better,” Garrett said. “Yeah, but just talking to him, it sounds like he’s feeling better. And typically that happens the further away you are from an injury, hopefully the better it gets

Garrett also added that it is not necessary for Romo to practice, and he could be held out for maintenance.

The 6-2 Cowboys had a great first half of the season, and the last thing they need is Brandon Weeden stepping in against a tough opponent. Hey, at least Weeden can successfully hand the ball off to DeMarco Murray.

Date set for Adrian Peterson’s pre-trial hearing

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will have his pre-trial hearing for felony charges of child abuse on November 4. His actual trial date is set for December 1, but there are rumblings that his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, is trying to move that date up to November 18.

Per PFT:

In the Peterson case, prosecutors could indeed be looking for a way to work things out.  In addition to the challenge of facing Hardin, one of the more accomplished and experienced lawyers in the country, a grand jury originally refused to indict Peterson.  While an indictment eventually came, the inability of the prosecution to secure an indictment while having the stage to itself doesn’t bode well for the prosecution’s ability to secure a conviction under the very high “if it doesn’t fit you must acquit” standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

For Peterson, the sooner this case gets resolved the better so he can return to the football field. However, it is still unclear what type of disciplinary action the NFL may take under the league’s personal conduct policy, especially if he pleads guilty and takes a lesser charge. Either way, it will be known soon enough whether a trial will take place or if there will be a plea bargain.

Jets fans react harshly to Eric Decker’s love tweet

The New York Jets are currently 1-7 this season, and they’re dead in the water for all intents and purposes. Unless they reel off eight straight wins and a plethora of mathematical miracles swing their way, the playoffs aren’t happening for Gang Green in 2014.

That didn’t stop wide receiver Eric Decker from trying to boost morale and show some love to the fans on Twitter. However, unfortunately for Decker, the fans didn’t exactly return the loving feelings.

 

Read the rest of the replies to Decker here, courtesy of Yahoo.

49ers’ Anthony Davis reminds everyone that he doesn’t play basketball

Anthony Davis is probably a common name throughout America. After all, there are two of them that we know of in professional sports. The New Orleans Hornets stud center, and the San Francisco 49ers left tackle.

Apparently, the Niners’ Davis gets confused for the Hornets’ Davis quite often once basketball season starts, which it did yesterday. So football Anthony Davis sent out a hilarious tweet, reminding everyone that he isn’t basketball Anthony Davis.

Champ Bailey has decided to retire

12-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey has decided to call it a career, according to comments from his agent.

The 36-year-old Bailey has not generated much interest from teams after being cut from the Saints before the season. He had tryouts with the Ravens and Lions, but an agreement was not reached with either team.

Per PFT:

The seventh overall pick of the 1999 NFL draft, Bailey was named an All-Pro cornerback for Washington twice before he was traded to Denver in exchange for Clinton Portis and a second-round draft pick. That turned out to be a wise trade for the Broncos, as Bailey was named All-Pro five more times in Denver and was chosen to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2000s.

Bailey spent his golden years with the Redskins and Broncos. He will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2019, and most likely will be a first ballot entrant into Canton.

Jay Gruden doesn’t plan on a quarterback controversy

The Washington Redskins have had a revolving door at quarterback this season. First, incumbent starter Robert Griffin III was injured, paving the way for the guy many thought showed enough promise to maybe take over the starting job, Kirk Cousins. Cousins’ play took a huge downward spiral, leading to head coach Jay Gruden benching him last game in favor of Colt McCoy.

McCoy entered the game against the Titans last week and led the ‘Skins to a 19-17 win, and then led them to an impressive 20-17 win Monday night over a hot Dallas Cowboys team. The question still remains, will RGIII regain his starting spot when he returns, or will McCoy play well enough to keep the job on an interim basis?

Gruden says Griffin III will get his job back, and there will be no controversy.

Per PFT:

“We went into training camp and did all the OTAs with Robert Griffin as our starter, so when Robert’s back, Robert’s our starter,” Gruden said after Monday night’s win, via the Washington Post.  “That hasn’t changed.  I haven’t varied off of that or wavered off of that. In my mind, Robert, when he’s ready, he’ll be ready to go.”

One thing is for sure: McCoy has definitely jumped Cousins on the depth chart. I am not ready to crown him, or claim he will compete to start somewhere in 2015, but if RGIII isn’t 100%, why not keep McCoy in there? At 3-5, the Redskins aren’t dead in the water just yet, and it makes more sense to stay with the hot hand if he’s winning games.

But, at the end of the day, you have to think that RGIII still gives Washington a better chance to win, even with McCoy’s impressive play the last two weeks. As Gruden once said, we’ll cross this bridge when we come to it.

Broncos player punches cab driver, hides from police, then gets cut from team

On Wednesday, John Boyett was a member of the Denver Broncos practice squad.

On Thursday, John Boyett was no longer a memeber of the Denver Broncos practice squad.

What happened in between? You’ll have to read it to believe it.

Per USA Today:

According to police, in between being on the practice team on Wednesday and being released on Thursday, Boyett punched a cab driver, stole a shovel from a construction site, hid under mulch in attempt to elude police, told officers to call John Elway, and slammed his head into a patrol car window.

Boyett apparently started his night off at a local sports bar, where he became overly intoxicated and began acting belligerent. The night spiraled downward quickly for Boyett, who was cut from the Broncos after they learned of the incident.

Last year, while acting in a similar belligerent fashion as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Boyett also tried to use his NFL status to avoid arrest. He was cut by them, also.

If Boyett happens to catch on with another team, let’s hope he doesn’t opt to put a third strike on his rap sheet.

 

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