Tag: pro football

NFL Network And Popeye Spinach Donate to Los Angeles Food Bank and Score for NFL AM

article by Lesa Lakin

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 6.16.44 PM
Left: NFL AM’s Erin Coscarelli, Rhett Lewis, LaVar Arrington & Terrell Davis

Spinach might just be the coolest vegetable in the game right now. Did you know October is Spinach Awareness Month? Yeah, neither did I… but the NFL Network and Popeye Spinach sure did and they’ve done something pretty cool.  As part of a fun segment for NFL AM, Popeye Spinach supplied 400 cans of spinach to create a motivating backdrop while hosts Erin Coscarelli and Rhett Lewis discuss the best players of the week with analysts Terrell Davis and LaVar Arrington. Rhett, LaVar and Terrell give their picks (the players that have clearly eaten their spinach and performed well and those who may need to well… eat a bit more). It’s engaging and super fun… well maybe not so much for the players who have had a rough week.

Check it out…it makes for some interesting weekly recaps:

Allens Popeye Spinach and the NFL Network donated the cans to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. The LA Regional Food Bank is dedicated to mobilizing resources to fight hunger in the community.

Eli Lipmen, Director of Marketing & Communications at the LA Regional Food Bank


Dallas Cowboy DeMarco Murray Sets Rushing Record by Running at Least 100 Yards in Seven Straight Games

635493464113730006-2014-10-19-Demarco-Murray2ARLINGTON, Texas —DeMarco Murray may have eclipsed former Cleveland Browns icon Jim Brown as the first back in league history to start a season by running for at least 100 yards in seven straight games.

But the fourth-year Dallas Cowboys workhorse knows he has a long way to go to reach the Hall of Famer’s elite level after his 128-yard, one-touchdown performance keyed a 31-21 defeat of the New York Giants Sunday.

“He’s probably one of the greatest running backs to ever play, and I have a lot of respect for what he’s done,” Murray said. “In no way am I trying to say I’m on his level by any means. He’s a great guy, a great activist in the community, a great player and a great person. And I’m not even in that category.

“I’m blessed to be mentioned.”

Murray, who leads the league in rushing with 913 yards and seven touchdowns, made history with his 1-yard run on the first carry of the fourth quarter, shaking off a gimpy right ankle that buckled on him late in the second quarter. He gave credit to his offensive linemen who kept prying open lanes against a Giants defense that stacked defenders in the box.

“That kid has had ‘professional’ written all over him since the day he walked in. He stepped back in there after wrenching his ankle and competed.”

And he’s the engine who makes these 6-1 Cowboys go.

Continue reading “Dallas Cowboy DeMarco Murray Sets Rushing Record by Running at Least 100 Yards in Seven Straight Games”

Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco 49ers Agrees to Six-Year Deal Worth Over $110 Million

Colin KaepernickColin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers struck a deal Wednesday on a six-year contract extension, which sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter is worth more than $110 million — including a record $61 million guaranteed.

The deal ties Kaepernick to the 49ers through the 2020 season and puts him among the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL. His signing bonus will be $12 million, sources told Schefter, unique in that most big contracts for quarterbacks are in the range of $24 million to $40 million. Kaepernick was scheduled to make $1.073 million this season.

When signing the contract, Kaepernick specifically requested that it allow the 49ers the flexibility to negotiate extensions with other players such as wide receiver Michael Crabtree. According to one source, Kaepernick specifically asked, “So this structure gives us room to try extensions with my teammates, right?” He was told yes.

“Colin’s hard work and dedication have played an integral role in the recent success of the 49ers organization,” general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “His work ethic, leadership and on-field production have positively influenced our team, and we look forward to his continued growth in all areas.”

Since taking over the starting job from Alex Smith midway through the 2011 season, Kaepernick led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl in 18 years after the 2012 season — losing by three points to Baltimore — and then to the NFC title game again last season, a three-point defeat to the Seattle Seahawks, the eventual Super Bowl champion.

The extension is expected to have strong implications for potential deals for Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and Alex Smith this year, along with those for Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson next year, when they are eligible to sign their first contract extensions.

A second-round draft pick out of Nevada in 2011, Kaepernick has thrived under former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh — and the coach has said how much he wants the mobile, strong-armed QB around for the long haul. Accomplishing an extension before the season is a big deal as the team begins its first year in $1.2 billion Levi’s Stadium at team headquarters.

“I really expect a real breakout year for Colin. Athletically, he looks bionic,” Harbaugh said during the organized team activity last week. “If you all remember ‘The Six Million Dollar Man,’ that’s what it looks like to me. He’s very gifted and he always has been. He has the look and feel of a guy who’s really going to break out, even more so than he already has. I’m really excited about everything about his game right now.”

More From ESPN Stats & Info

Colin Kaepernick’s extension through the 2020 season reportedly includes $61 million in guaranteed money, the most in any current NFL contract. Other Kaepernick observations:

  • Since his first start in Week 11 of 2012, he’s the third-highest-rated QB in the NFL with a Total QBR of 69.6 on the 0-100 scale, behind only Peyton Manning (83.3) and Aaron Rodgers (71.3).
  • According to Elias Sports Bureau, he is the sixth-youngest QB in NFL history to start multiple conference championship games. He’s started the last two, beating Atlanta in 2012 and losing to Seattle last season.
  • Including the playoffs, his record against the rival Seahawks is 1-3 with 3 TDs and 7 picks, and 20-5 with 35 TDs and 9 INTs vs. all other opponents.
  • Since his first start, he is tied for 4th in the league with 17 wins and ranks in the top 7 in both yards per pass attempt and yards per rush.
  • He completed 60.5 percent of his passes in the pocket last season, a steep regression from his first year as a starter in 2012 (65.7 percent).

In a sensational playoff debut in January 2013 against Green Bay, Kaepernick used his speed to run for a quarterback-playoff-record 181 yards and two touchdowns. Then, in a season-opening win against the Packers last September, he threw for a career-best 412 yards and three scores.

Continue reading “Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco 49ers Agrees to Six-Year Deal Worth Over $110 Million”

Michael Strahan to Join ABC’s “Good Morning America”

Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan is in negotiations to join ABC’s Good Morning America. Strahan will remain cohost with Kelly Ripa of Live with Kelly and Michael, the Disney-distributed syndicated morning show. He’s expected to join the GMA ensemble in the studio a couple of times a week.

Strahan, a former NFL player, is also an analyst on Fox’s NFL Sunday. He was a surprise choice to fill Regis Philbin’s shoes opposite Ripa on Live in the fall of 2012. Since then, he’s been widely praised for his warmth and versatility on-air. The Disney parentage of Live and ABC makes it feasible for him to shuttle between the two morning shows.

Sources said GMA’s discussions with Strahan have been going on for months and are not tied to Josh Elliott’s recent departure for NBC Sports.

article via Variety.com

Doug Williams Back with Redskins as Executive

Doug Williams
Doug Williams played three seasons for the Redskins, becoming the first African-American quarterback to play in a Super Bowl and earning MVP honors for his performance in Washington’s Super Bowl XXII victory. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

The timing wasn’t right in 2010 when Doug Williams started talking to the Washington Redskins about a front-office position. But it was right in 2014. And, after talking for a few weeks, the Redskins and Williams finally agreed on a deal.

The Redskins hired Williams to become a personnel executive under general manager Bruce Allen, bringing back a piece of the franchise’s storied past. Williams quarterbacked the Redskins to a Super Bowl win after the 1987 season. He became the first African-American quarterback to play in a Super Bowl and earned MVP honors after passing for 340 yards and four touchdowns in the Redskins’ 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos.

“It’s great to be home again,” Williams said in a news release. “I have only one mission: to help this team obtain the talent it needs so the fans can experience the Super Bowl they deserve.”  In 2010, Williams opted to become a general manager in the United Football League instead of joining the Redskins’ front office.

Williams spent five years as a personnel executive with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2004-08 — the same length of time that Allen spent as the Bucs’ general manager. Also, current Redskins coach Jay Gruden was an assistant coach with the Buccaneers during that period.

Williams stuck around after those two left, serving as the Bucs’ director of pro personnel in 2009. He was Grambling’s head coach from 1998-2003 and again from 2011-13 before being fired in September.  Williams has 17 seasons of NFL experience — nine as a player and eight in personnel roles. He played with Washington from 1986-89, was named a member of the 80 Greatest Redskins and is a Redskins Ring of Famer.

article by John Keim via espn.go.com

Russell Wilson Proves Doubters Wrong, Becomes 2nd African-American Quarterback to Win Super Bowl

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
Russell Wilson hoists the Lombardi Trophy in just his second season as an NFL quarterback. (ROBERT SABO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

He didn’t dominate, and he didn’t dazzle. He just won. Again.  And this time, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson did it on the biggest stage possible, in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, leading his underdog Seattle Seahawks to a 43-8 demolition of Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos on Sunday night.

In a game where he was supposed to be the “other” quarterback, the second-year pro did exactly what he had to do to win the Lombardi Trophy. Very quietly, he passed for 206 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl since Doug Williams led the Washington Redskins to victory in Supe XXII.

“It’s something I think about, to be the second African-American to win the Super Bowl,” Wilson said. “That’s history right there, man. It’s something special and it’s real.  There are so many guys before (me) who have tried to change the game and have done a great job of it.”

While Manning bumbled his way to two interceptions and meaningless Super Bowl passing records, Wilson never tried to do too much. He just calmly completed seven of his first 10 passes on the first two drives — including a 37-yarder to Doug Baldwin — to set up a pair of early field goals and set the tone in the runaway win. He was efficient the entire evening, completing 18 of 25 passes.

Not bad for a quarterback who said he routinely faced doubts because he stands just 5-11.  “I think the biggest thing is playing great situational football,” Wilson said. “We want to be smart. I just try to do my part. When we need a big play, I always try to make it, and keep the guys going.” Continue reading “Russell Wilson Proves Doubters Wrong, Becomes 2nd African-American Quarterback to Win Super Bowl”

NFL Receiver Andre Johnson Spends $17,000 on Toys for Kids (VIDEO)

Andre JohnsonIt has been an underwhelming season for the Houston Texans, but eleven straight losses have not gotten in the way of wide receiver Andre Johnson’s yearly effort to bring some smiles to the faces of kids who could use them.  Johnson has made an annual tradition out of giving twelve kids chosen by Child Protective Services in Houston on a shopping spree at Toys R Us. The kids have 80 seconds, in honor Johnson’s No. 80, to fill up carts with everything they can grab off the shelves. Every kid teamed up with a Texans cheerleader to race through the store and was guaranteed an entertainment system of their choice and two games in addition to anything else they grabbed.

“I remember times where I wasn’t able to get things that I wanted,” Johnson said, via the Texans website. “It just gives them a chance to go through the store and get whatever they want. They don’t have to ask anybody for it. Whatever they have on their Christmas list they can pick up.”

The Texans website has some great video from the event (seen below), which Johnson has hosted for seven years. The final tab for this year’s event was $17,352, which is a pretty impressive total given the short period of time the kids had to work even if it is a bit less than last year’s total.

article by Josh Alper via profootballtalk.nbcsports.com


Chicago Bear Devin Hester Ties Deion Sanders’ NFL Record for Return Touchdowns

Chicago Bears v Jacksonville JaguarsThe Redskins have been wary of Devin Hester hurting them in the return game.  Well, he did it anyways.  Hester’s 81-yard punt return score tied Sunday’s Chicago-Washington at 17 in the second quarter. The return touchdown was the 19th of Hester’s NFL career, which equals Deion Sanders’ league-record mark.

On the play, Hester caught the ball on the far sideline, then worked his way to the other side of the field, where he had a convoy of blockers. Hester got a couple more blocks — with Khaseem Greene’s knockdown of Logan Paulsen a highlight — and the legendary special-teamer was gone, en route to his 13th career punt return score.

Hester’s big play was another tough moment for Washington’s embattled special teams, which had all sorts of problems with the Cowboys’ Dwayne Harris in last week’s loss at Dallas.  Washington has stayed away from Hester on kickoffs, employing pooch kicks. Moreover, Sav Rocca’s punt on Hester’s touchdown wasn’t a bad effort, as it pinned the Bears’ returner near the sideline. But when Washington couldn’t stop Hester from reversing field, there was trouble ahead.

Hester’s touchdown was a highlight in a roller-coaster half for the Bears, who lost quarterback Jay Cutler to an injury in the second quarter.

article by Mike Wilkening via profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

Kerry Washington Marries Pro Football Player Nnamdi Asomugha

Nnamdi Asomugha, Kerry Washington

Not exactly a Scandal, but this is certainly a surprise!  Kerry Washington married San Francisco 49ers cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on June 24 in Blaine County, Idaho, E! News exclusively confirms.  According to sports gossip site TerezOwens.com, which was first to get wind of the happy news, Asomugha has been dating Vanity Fair‘s August 2013 cover girl since last summer. 

The 31-year-old three-time Pro Bowl star played with the Oakland Raiders, who drafted him following his graduation from UC Berkeley in 2003, for eight seasons and the Philadelphia Eagles for two before signing with the 49ers in April. The bookish athlete is no stranger to showbiz, either, having scored acting gigs on The GameFriday Night Lights and Leverage in recent years.

Like his bride, Asomugha is also a dedicated activist and philanthropist and  he has participated in the Clinton Global Initiative every year since 2009. This is the first marriage for Washington, 36, who went from generally lovely actress to mega-star over the past year thanks to her breakout roles playing not-to-be-messed-with political fixer Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal and Jamie Foxx‘s enslaved wife Broomhilda von Shaft in Django Unchained.

Continue reading “Kerry Washington Marries Pro Football Player Nnamdi Asomugha”