Monthly Archives: September 2016

Mike McCarthy, predictable Packers struggle through same offensive issues

Jeff Janis won’t be able to play without a club cast protecting his broken right hand until after the bye week, so scratch him off your list of options to help jumpstart the Green Bay Packers’ lethargic offense.

But coach Mike McCarthy has plenty of others at his disposal. General manager Ted Thompson gave him seven receivers on the 53-man roster to start the season. Through two weeks, however, McCarthy has largely stuck with the same trio: Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson.

“We feel like we have the answers, and we’ll have a plan in place so that we can be more efficient.”

Yes, this was a thoughtful act by thoughtful people. Jenkins, the Eagles’ union rep and organizer of the protest, ran his plans by friends in the military. He has been in contact with the police commissioner in Philadelphia, and he wants to continue finding ways through his foundation to aid kids in underserved communities.

But he didn’t believe that locking arms in a show of unity would help his cause. “It doesn’t address the actual issue,” he said. “Although it looks great because you’re all together, the honest truth is that some guys on the team actually don’t care about the issues, which is fine.”

So Jenkins wanted and needed a statement that left no room for interpretation. “I think you immediately understand what the issue is,” he said, “when you see a black man raise his fist.”

Of all the top cornerbacks Beckham has faced in his two-plus years in the league, Norman had some of the most success. He found the answer to Beckham’s playmaking speed and explosiveness by getting into Beckham’s head.

Can Norman do it again? It may be the Redskins’ only chance to slow Beckham down.

With so much going wrong for Seattle offensively, the challenge becomes figuring out what the team should and should not worry about heading into its Week 3 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.

1. Scheduling quirk: The Seahawks’ perpetual issues along the offensive line become most acute when the team faces opponents with especially difficult defensive fronts, which is one reason the Los Angeles Rams have won the past three meetings between the teams.

The 2016 schedule served up matchups against Ndamukong Suh (Week 1), Aaron Donald (Week 2) and Muhammad Wilkerson (Week 4) during the season’s first month. Suh injured Wilson’s ankle. Donald had his way with Seattle during the Rams’ 9-3 victory Sunday. Wilkerson and the New York Jets’ defensive front will create problems as well.

Sam Bradford or Shaun Hill? Mike Zimmer won’t name QB before game

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he hasn’t decided between Shaun Hill and Sam Bradford for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, and added he won’t announce who his starting quarterback will be before the game.

Zimmer said he will tell the team once he’s made a decision. “So get your moles out,” he said.

To make room, the Saints are releasing second-year quarterback Garrett Grayson, according to a league source.

Evans was already participating in practice with his Saints teammates Wednesday afternoon.

The Saints deemed Evans, 33, expendable because of age and salary issues when they released him back in February. But their young guards haven’t progressed as well as expected and struggled mightily in the preseason. So they brought in Evans for a visit Tuesday after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks.

“His preseason in Seattle was, we thought, pretty good. He’s in good shape, he’s big, he knows our system,” Saints coach Sean Payton said Wednesday. “Those would be some of the traits that draw us to a move like that or the potential of bringing him in.”

Evans signed with the Seahawks in early August but was unable to crack the roster since they liked their young starting guards and opted for backups with more flexibility.

Evans started at right guard for all 10 of his years with the Saints after being drafted in the fourth round out of Bloomsburg in 2006. It’s unclear if he will resume that role immediately, or if the Saints will stick with projected starters Tim Lelito at right guard and Andrus Peat at left guard.

Evans established himself as one of the NFL’s premier offensive linemen during the past decade. He was named first-team All-Pro four times and signed a seven-year, $56.7 million contract in 2010 that was the richest for a guard in NFL history at the time.

Fitzpatrick tore ligaments in his left thumb last season when he finished a run against the Oakland Raiders by diving forward. He was done for the day, probably costing the Jets the game. They fell one victory shy of the playoffs, so who knows how that could’ve changed the complexion of the season?

When his coach’s comments were relayed to him by reporters, Fitzpatrick smiled.