The first thing you need to know about John Ross is that he’s fast, a fact that his NFL Combine time confirmed. Ross clocked in at 4.22 seconds, beating out Chris Johnson’s 4.24-second 40 at the 2008 combine.
We didn’t need the electronic time to know it, though: Ross spent his fall terrorizing college defenses, when healthy, and causing nightmares for Pac-12 defensive coordinators.
The Bengals surprised the football world when they drafted him with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He missed their season opener with a knee sprain, but he’s expected to make his debut in Week 2, on Thursday against the Texans.
Ross was one of the biggest keys to Washington’s run to the College Football Playoff in 2016. He was the player that always had to be accounted for, then accounted for again. He was changing the looks of a defense and a game simply by being on the field. He’s that scary.
What does this mean for the Bengals offense? Probably not much. Zampese’s replacement, Lazor, will have the unenviable task of trying to find points for a team with a poor offensive line.
What does this mean for Marvin Lewis? Now in his 15th season, Lewis has zero postseason victories and entered the year on the hot seat. It’s about as blazing hot as it can possibly get now.
University of Houston men’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson challenged the basketball community to pitch in and donate shirts and shoes to those in need. This week starts school for many affected communities and his call for donations aims to provide clothing for those who lost everything in the floods.
Offers and shipments are already rolling in, and baseball coach Todd Whitting put out the same challenge to the collegiate baseball community as well.
DeMarco Murray has been the Titans’ lead back so far this season, but a hamstring injury allowed Derrick Henry a big second half against Jacksonville on Sunday. Henry now has 117 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries through two games. He’s averaging 5.9 yards per carry, a league-high 2.3 of which has come after initial contact. Henry’s strong play may earn him a larger role, but Murray still played more snaps on Sunday and figures to remain in that role against Seattle this week, assuming he’s healthy. If Murray misses time, Henry will be in the RB2 mix in what should be a low-scoring affair.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Many fantasy players figured Fitzgerald would play a huge part for the Cardinals in the wake of David Johnson’s injury, evidenced by his 91.7 percent start rate in ESPN leagues, he managed just 5.1 PPR fantasy points (and 2.1 in non-PPR). In 204 career NFL games, only 19 times did he have a lower score.
Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens: For only the third time in his career, Wallace was held to one catch or fewer in consecutive games — note that he had a five-game streak during 2015 Weeks 8-12 — as he followed up his-1.8 point PPR effort of Week 1 with a mere 1.7 PPR fantasy points on Sunday. While Wallace — and for the most part the Ravens’ passing game — hasn’t needed to do much while leading for a large portion of each of their games, it’s a troubling development nevertheless considering Jeremy Maclin has scored touchdowns in back-to-back games to begin his Ravens career while earning nine targets to Wallace’s four in those contests.
Odell Beckham Jr. has not practiced since injuring his ankle on Aug. 21, but the Giants receiver is still hopeful to play Sunday against the Cowboys.
“I wouldn’t count it out,” Beckham told reporters Wednesday. “My heart, it’s just not going to make this easy, so I can say it’s a day-to-day thing, really trying to get better. It’s been two weeks, so I’m itching, I’m itching, but just patience and trusting.”
“We think by having the player and the examining physicians and athletic trainers in the tent, we’ll get a better concussion screening examination done and it’ll improve our ability to diagnose and detect these injuries on the sideline.”
On if it will be difficult to adapt to a new defense: “No, I don’t think so. Not too much. I played with (former Steelers secondary coach and Browns defensive coordinator) Ray Horton. We had the same defense, and I played with him twice.”
From celebrations to a long list of funny quotes during his chats with the media, Bennett hasn’t been one who tries to blend in. And his laughably small shoulder pads are no different.
Coach on the hot seat: Marvin Lewis, Bengals — Lewis is firmly on the hot seat after the Bengals went 6-9-1 last season. Despite taking the Bengals to the playoffs seven times and winning four AFC North titles in his 14 years as the team’s coach, Lewis has not won a single playoff game. The Bengals don’t appear to be in a position to contend with the Ravens and Steelers atop the division this year and that could mean the end of Lewis’ tenure in Cincinnati.
Falling: Bengals — The Bengals had an underwhelming offseason coming off last year’s disappointing season. They didn’t do much in free agency and got some boom-or-bust draft picks in wide receiver John Ross, running back Joe Mixon and pass rushers Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson.
The Rams opened the 2017 season with a dominant 46-9 win over the Colts, but there weren’t many at the L.A. Coliseum to see it.
Whitworth has raved about the young head coach and even compared his consistency to Alabama’s Nick Saban.
How did McVay become an NFL head coach so fast? McVay played wide receiver for Miami of Ohio from 2004 to 2007, then joined the Buccaneers as a coaching assistant after he graduated in 2008. The coach of the Buccaneers at the time was Jon Gruden and his younger brother Jay Gruden was another offensive assistant.
When Jay Gruden became the head coach of the United Football League’s Florida Tuskers in 2009, he scooped up then-23-year-old McVay to be his tight ends coach. A year later, McVay was back in the NFL as an assistant tight ends coach for Washington.
Jay Gruden eventually got the head coaching job in Washington after a successful stint as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator and he promoted McVay — 28 at the time — to become the team’s offensive coordinator.
Under Gruden and McVay, the team turned to Kirk Cousins at quarterback and improved from No. 26 in the NFL in scoring in 2014 to No. 10 in 2015. That rise and his work with Cousins convinced the Rams that he’d have a strong chance at grooming Jared Goff and turning around the team’s last place offense from 2016.
“It’s addressing a situation that warranted being addressed,” interim general manager Marty Hurney said. “We look at all these cases individually, and we decided there was an opportunity to reach a win-win solution.”
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will not play in Sunday night’s opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
With Beckham sidelined, second-year receiver Roger Lewis is expected to take a majority of his snaps. Offseason acquisition Brandon Marshall is also expected to play a bigger role.
There is a five-step process to be cleared from the concussion protocol, including a step that says a player must return to practice as a full participant. Due to the short week, the Texans only have one practice before the game.
Ellington was the Texans’ No. 2 receiver on Sunday, with Will Fuller out with a broken collarbone and Jaelen Strong suspended.
Strong will be back for Week 2, but Houston will still be without Fuller. Along with DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans have Braxton Miller and Andy Jones available at wide receiver. Running back Tyler Ervin could see time at receiver as well.
If the three tight ends are not cleared to play, the Texans could promote Evan Baylis from the practice squad. The undrafted free agent had four catches for 32 yards in three preseason games.
“New head coaches will hire former head coaches (on their staff), but I think there’s reluctance for the first-time general manager to hire a former GM because of concerns it would show weakness and sometimes reservations when you’re not totally self-secure. It’s like, ‘This guy might end up taking my spot because he may know how to play office politics a little better or he has more seasoning.'”
The offset is having an advisor who can offer guidance about how to handle what Dominik called “all the other stuff that comes across your plate.”
Rodgers is one of the league’s best. He’s the primary reason the Packers were able to play their way out of a 4-6 start to a 10-6 finish last year. He’s been named league MVP twice in his career, and is usually in the conversation for the honor every season. Aaron Rodgers is the Packers offense, and as long as they have him on the field, they’re in contention.
Rodgers is under contract through 2019, and he’s averaging $22 million per year. He’ll be 36 when his current deal is up, but he hasn’t missed a game since 2013 and he threw for 40 touchdowns next season. He’s still in his prime, and he’ll be worth every penny when Green Bay does extend him.
“There was a lot of refreshing going on,” he said. “But it was exciting talking to him prior to and after the game. I tried not to dump so much on him. It’s a difference when you’re Cam Newton. And it’s a difference when you’re big brother. So now I try to find a fine line and give him a lot of the experiences I’ve [had].”
Newton said it’s like passing information on to a son or daughter.
“You can tell your kids everything they’re about to go through, but as soon as they go through it they’re like, ‘Man, I remember you telling me,'” he said. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, I told you.’
The 2015 NFL MVP was more concerned about living up to the standard “little” brother Caylin Newton set on Saturday in leading Howard University to one of the biggest upsets in college football history based on the point spread.