Sean McDermott calls Zay Jones arrest ‘an unfortunate situation’

Bills coach Sean McDermott finally addressed wide receiver Zay Jones’ naked arrest, calling it “an unfortunate situation.”

McDermott spoke with reporters at the NFL Coaches Breakfast in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday morning, where he discussed Jones’ status with the team.

“Look, at the end of the day, it’s an unfortunate situation and somewhat disappointing. But it’s a situation to me that we can all take something from and learn from it,” McDermott said.

In eight career starts versus Texas, Skaggs is 2-2 with a 6.57 ERA. In four starts against the Rangers last year, he went 0-1 with a 7.79 ERA, and in three career starts at Globe Life Park, Skaggs is 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA.

Perez will make his second start of the season and will be working on regular four-days’ rest after earning a win Thursday afternoon in Oakland. In that game, Perez allowed three runs, all earned, on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings of work, with one strikeout and no walks.

Perez has gone 4-4 with a 3.27 ERA over 12 games, 11 of them starts, in his career versus the Angels. He has nine quality starts against Los Angeles, including in his past two outings, and the Rangers are 6-3 in those contests.

“(Lovullo) called me a m—–f—– twice,” Molina said after the game, which the Diamondbacks won 4-1, according to KPNX-TV. “If you’re going to call somebody that, you better be ready to fight.”

Molina said he hopes Major League Baseball will consider fining Lovullo for his comments.

“You can’t talk to a player like that. Or an umpire. You’ve got to be professional,” he said, according to MLB.com.

Lovullo was ejected for leaving the dugout to argue balls and strikes. Timmons, in comments to a pool reporter, called Molina’s contact with him “incidental” in explaining why the catcher wasn’t ejected.

Steelers GM on Le’Veon Bell: ‘He’ll be a Pittsburgh Steeler in 2018’

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert insisted this week ‘that despite some conflict and uncertainty, Le’Veon Bell will be with the team in 2018.

[H]e’ll be a Pittsburgh Steeler in 2018, Colbert said this week on PFT Live at the owners meetings, via Pro Football Talk. Unless he did something that he didn’t do last year, I think we can assume that if we don’t get a long-term deal done he’ll show up and he’ll be as ready as he can be. Ideally, [we] would love to have him there for training camp. Not only for himself but for the rest of the team.

Yet as the initial dismay from players and other observers suggests, administering this game changer of a rule in the name of safety promises to be more of a gray area when the full-speed games begin than it may have appeared when NFL owners passed it without the typical public airing.

Players haven’t had the chance to hear the discussions that we’ve had, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell explained Wednesday as the league’s annual meetings wrapped up.

Prescott’s backslide in 2017 was visible by any metric. Most notably he had three times as many interceptions (13) as he did in 2016.

He’s done a lot of good things, but he knows, we know, everybody knows he’s got to get better, Garrett said. One of the exciting things about him is he has such a determination to get better every day. He has a great spirit. He loves the game. He’s going to work very hard at it. I think he has to work on the physical part. The fundamentals have to continue to be refined. And that’s everybody. That’s footwork, delivery, getting away from center, his mechanics in the gun, getting the ball out quicker, being more accurate. All the things that every quarterback in this league is working on, he has to continue to refine those.

His understanding of what defenses are trying to do to us, how the offense overlays on the defense, he’ll continue to get better at that. But this guy is a natural leader. He’s had a lot of success right away. He has a great hunger to get better. And he’s certainly going to do that.

The NFL’s five best second-contract sleepers

During the past few years, rising caps and carryovers from previous eras have mostly mitigated the problem of the NFL team that spends too much in free agency. Just ask how the Jaguars are feeling about springing for corner A.J. Bouye and end Calais Campbell, or how happy the Rams were with tackle Andrew Whitworth.

Teams are more apt than ever to get what they pay for, as long as they aren’t wishcasting their tall, big-armed quarterback fantasies on mediocrity.

I’ve tried to hang with Pietrangelo during his extended slump, but it’s time to start letting him slide down the rankings. After an electric start to the campaign with 13 points in 13 games during the month of October, Pietrangelo has struggled to maintain fantasy relevance. He has only two power-play points since Dec. 1 and has even ceded power-play position to Vince Dunn on the first unit. Perhaps an injection of a new winger at the trade deadline can reinvigorate the Blues’ offense, but I won’t be holding my breath.

He originally joined the Panthers as a free agent in 2015, leading the team with seven interceptions. He had only four interceptions in 2016 and none last season when he was named a team captain for the first time.

Saquon Barkley is living up to high expectations at the combine. Here are the top prospects with the type of athleticism to turn heads during this week’s workouts.

Cardinals RB David Johnson. It’s not an accident that Johnson led the NFL with 2,118 total yards and 20 touchdowns in 2016, before missing almost all of last season with a wrist injury. Johnson’s lower-body power was on full display during the 2015 combine, when he posted a 41.5-inch vert, tied for third best among running backs since 2012.

Georgia RB Sony Michel. There are exceptions to explosive athletes at running back having good vertical jumps (Leonard Fournette posted only a 28-inch vertical jump last year), but Alvin Kamara (39.5), Kareem Hunt (36.5) and Christian McCaffrey (37.5) had three of the best verts of all the RBs at the 2017 combine. I’m interested to see if Michel’s workout results match his terrific tape.

The Eagles damned the Patriots’ final Super Bowl drive with good kickoff coverage

There are two gadget plays you probably remember from the Super Bowl. One was the now immortalized Philly Special. The other is the drop by Tom Brady on his own reception attempt.

But there was a third attempted by New England in the game, and while it was only a minor disaster in the grand scheme, it got the Pats’ final drive off to a rather inauspicious start.

As with everything the Patriots do, it’s about exploiting tendencies. Philadelphia kicked off nine times in the game. Six of them went for touchbacks.

Slater’s referring to this when it comes to leverage. Look at the acres of space on the backside.

Maybe New England had seen the way Philly covered kicks during the bye week and put this play in the bag of tricks just in case.

There are acres of space because the Eagles’ coverage team is keyed on Lewis returning the ball to his right. Had the Patriots sprung the trick on this earlier kick, it probably would have worked. But this might have been the play they noticed Philadelphia’s tendency to overplay a kickoff and lose its leverage.

Police chief William Baker spoke to the media Tuesday morning and confirmed local and state police were investigating a break-in at Gronkowski’s home, but would not comment on the items listed as missing.

“There were items stolen. We’re not going to release the nature of the items stolen. Obviously the people who committed the theft know what was stolen. It’s an investigative advantage for us to know that as well and not share it with the public, so I won’t have any further comment on that.”

Gronkowski has not commented publicly on the break-in, but reports out of Foxborough say law enforcement spent much of Monday night at the home gathering evidence.

Billionaire ‘frontrunner’ emerges to purchase Panthers

Billionaire David Tepper, who has a five-percent stake in the Steelers, is the frontrunner to purchase the Panthers, NFL.com reported.

Tepper, 60, is the founder and president of Appaloosa Management, a global hedge fund firm based in Miami Beach. He’s worth an estimated $11 billion, according to Forbes.

McShay said he believes the Browns still need to address the quarterback position, which is no surprise because hey, EVERY mock draft has the Browns taking a quarterback. He added, This pick obviously changes (or is up for grabs via trade) if Cleveland lands Kirk Cousins in free agency. Between off-field issues for Rosen and his tools and intangibles on the field, Darnold should be the pick. I understand why Kiper went with Josh Allen in his first mock, but Darnold is a little safer. He’s the best of the bunch at this point.

McShay wrote, Ridley is the clear No. 1 wideout in this class, and while I don’t think he’s a true No. 1 NFL wide receiver, he’s much better than his stats in a run-heavy Alabama offense indicate.

The other receiver taken in the first round is Christian Kirk, who McShay sees going to Carolina. It’s no secret that the Panthers need to get Cam Newton weapons, and Kirk would be a good start.

Freestyle skiing picked up steam with the men’s aerial event, where Oleksandr Abramenko delivered Ukraine’s first gold medal in Pyeongchang. In long track speed skating, Japan’s Nao Kodaira won gold at the women’s 500m, denying South Korea another win in one of the country’s most popular sports (Sang-hwa Lee got silver).

The United States is falling behind the pack a bit, sitting in a tie for sixth place with five golds, three silvers, and two bronzes. Their overall count took a big hit when gold medal contenders like Lindsey Jacobellis, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Nathan Chen failed to podium in their respective events. The Americans bounced back a little bit with Nick Goepper taking silver in the men’s ski slopestyle, but that was it for their Saturday efforts.

While Manning is No. 1 on the wish lists of both networks, ESPN is far more aggressive in its pursuit, the New York Post reports. ESPN is willing to back up the truck and is going all-out to recruit Manning as their new Monday Night Football analyst, sources said. For a frame of reference, Jon Gruden, who left the MNF analyst role to become coach of the Raiders, was believed to be the network’s highest-paid employee with a salary of more than $6.5 million.

My belief is that he’ll be back six to eight weeks from the time of surgery pretty comfortably.

As Rock M. Nation notes, four weeks from now would be Jan. 10, when Mizzou has a home game against Georgia.

On Nov. 26, just days after the surgery, Porter questioned the original timeline in a Snapchat post, writing whoever said it was gonna take 3-4 months to recover lied.

Who said that? Well, Mizzou. It seemed odd Porter would publicly call out the program like that, but perhaps this is another indication that the Tigers just wanted to be cautious with the initial diagnosis. That way there was no pressure from fanbase on Porter to return this season if he was unable to.

Make no mistake, back injuries are terrifying for athletes even if most recover fully. That’s even true for a 19-year-old like Porter Jr.

The most famous recent example of a basketball player to undergo a microdiscectomy is Dwight Howard. Howard had the procedure done in April 2012 before he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Anyone who saw him play in LA knew he didn’t look like the same agile, limber center that dominated the league as a member of the Orlando Magic even six months after the surgery.

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan added a gold to his country’s count with a brilliant showing in the free skate. American Nathan Chen had an even better showing, but a poor short program in the preceding round hurt his total score and he did not podium. Japan also got a silver from figure skating thanks to Shoma Uno, while Spain picked up its first ever figure skating medal and fourth ever Winter Olympics medal with Javier Fernandez securing bronze.

The evening also saw the women’s super-G event, where American Lindsey Vonn was hoping to medal. Unfortunately, she struggled and finished tied for sixth place. Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic won a surprise gold with a time of 1:21.11. Anna Veith of Austria took the silver, while Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein won the bronze.

In the women’s slopestyle finals, also late in the evening, Sarah Hoefflin and Mathilde Gremaud of Sweden took gold and silver, with Isabel Atkin of Great Britain managing a surprising bronze.

Luck spent his first three seasons in the NFL taking every significant snap for the Colts.

Yeah, so I’m in the middle of sort of a little bit of throwing, but strengthening and preparing my shoulder to be able to handle the throw load that is part of being an NFL quarterback, Luck said. So the focus right now is still strengthening all those muscles and making sure that my shoulder can handle it. … And as much as I have to catch myself — as much as I want to grab a ball and throw it a million times — I know I have to build up to be able to handle that point, and right now I’m in that building phase still.

His past three seasons, though, have been full of injuries. He has missed 26 games over the past three seasons because of shoulder, rib, kidney and concussion injuries. He hasn’t played in a game since Week 17 of the 2016 season.

It’s a similar problem on defense with Seabrook and Keith. The latter remains a solid top-pairing defenseman even though he clearly doesn’t have the same legs as he used to, but Seabrook looks like a fraction of himself on the ice. And while the coaching staff has at times worked to ease the load on Seabrook to make him more effective, he’s averaged nearly 22 minutes per game this month. Unsurprisingly it hasn’t gone great.

Man, we connected right away, Souza said. His personality and mine kind of match up, the way we think. What an amazing man he is.

Lovullo wouldn’t say what would be done at second base with Drury gone to the Yankees. The Diamondbacks still have plenty of middle infield help.

One possibility would be to shift Ketel Marte from shortstop to second. Ahmed would mostly play at short with Chris Owings filling in all over the infield as well as in the outfield. Daniel Descalso also can play just about anywhere.

Earnhardt, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, will serve as the grand marshal and give the command for drivers to start their engines. Other notables in attendance include former NFL quarterback and five-time MVP Peyton Manning, Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron, and Chipper Jones, one of baseball’s newest Hall of Famers.

As anticipated, the scene surrounding Danica Patrick’s car prior to the race was chaotic. Among those wishing Patrick well before her final NASCAR race was her family and close friends, along with boyfriend and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Howley is the only Super Bowl MVP from a losing team, on the Cowboys’ side in a mutually ugly 16-13 loss to the Baltimore Colts.

Howley did record two interceptions in the game, but it wasn’t like the Colts, even with QBs Johnny Unitas and Earl Morrall struggling as much Dallas’ Craig Morton, didn’t have a worthy winning offensive candidate.

That was Mackey, the transcendent Hall of Fame tight end. Not only was Mackey’s effort strong with two catches for 80 yards — including a 75-yard TD that tied the game in the second quarter — but it also would have been a bonus to further the legacy of well-respected competitor.

“Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!” he wrote. And a few hours later, he posted a video to demonstrate what standing for the anthem looked like.

Come Sunday morning, again weekending at his resort in New Jersey, Trump lurched between topics. His administration’s “great job with the almost impossible situation in Puerto Rico.” His “wonderful Secretary of State,” who was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with North Korea.

The president had not mentioned the NFL again by noon, as football fans across the country prepared for pregames, and perhaps more knee-drops.

But his tweets had done their work. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) was pushed to weigh in on the protests on a Sunday news show.

Taylor finished with six catches for 81 yards — a cleaner line than that of Dawson. It was hard to figure out who to dub MVP since everybody on a star-studded defense came through.

As Trump castigated football players, a humanitarian crisis unfolded in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, which had been left without power and isolated by a hurricane the previous week.

As The Washington Post reported, top White House aides had gone dark for days as the island’s residents struggled to survive — as Trump “fixated on his escalating public feuds with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with fellow Republicans in Congress and with the National Football League.”

By Thursday, the administration was defending itself against accusations of negligence. The acting homeland security secretary spoke of Puerto Rico’s recovery as a “good news story” on TV.