Is the Patriots’ Dynasty Over? Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft Apparently Hate Each Other
From the outside looking in, the New England Patriots don’t look like a team and a franchise in crisis. Brady looks, if not as good as ever, then still the NFL’s best quarterback and the MVP favorite at 40 years old. Outwardly, the Patriots appear to be moving toward Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis on February 4. Wickersham’s overarching theme in the piece is that Brady has grown too powerful and perhaps too large for the team and franchise. Perhaps less surprisingly, we also learn that Brady’s body has started to break down, despite the claims of the TB12 Method. Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, on December 24, 2017. The feud between Belichick and Brady threatens to end the Patriots' long period of success. The final piece of the triangle is Kraft, the Patriots’ owner. Kraft and Belichick met in mid-October, according to Wickersham, and Kraft ordered the head coach to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. It’s a striking piece that should do a good job of convincing even the most ardent of Patriots fans that the end of a dynasty may be near.
12:22 PMAfter I wrote a commentary Tuesday critical of the Oakland Raiders, who have seemingly gone around the Rooney Rule to pursue a reunion with former head coach Jon Gruden, several people on Twitter went at me about the franchise’s groundbreaking hiring record. Al Davis, the Raiders’ longtime principal owner and general manager until his death in 2011, was definitely a champion of diversity. In 1979, Davis promoted assistant Tom Flores, who is Latino, to head coach making him the league’s first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl and then a second one. Then in 1989, Davis made Art Shell, a Hall of Fame offensive lineman with the Raiders, the first black head coach in the modern history of the NFL. Until she resigned in 2013, Trask was a member of a very rare club as one of the most powerful women in professional sports. Yep. The Davis family has been much more progressive than other owners. And that has absolutely nothing to do with the current situation. Many have asked me whether I think OAK should be required to comply w/Rooney Rule or whether OAK should be given leeway b/c of Al’s legacy. — Amy Trask (@AmyTrask) January 3, 2018 Should the Raiders get a pass on the rule because of their hiring history?
Nike has released its 'City Edition' NBA uniforms but will they be a hit with fans? Check them out to see your team's newest look. USA TODAY Sports Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas will make his season debut Tuesday against the Portland Trail Blazers at Quicken Loans Arena, Cavs coach Ty Lue told reporters on Monday. Thomas, who spent the summer, training camp and first two-plus months of the season rehabbing his injured right hip, will be on a minutes restriction and will not play in back-to-backs right now, meaning he will miss Cleveland’s road game against his former team, the Boston Celtics, on Wednesday. Thomas, an All-Star in each of the past two seasons, hasn’t played since Game 2 of Boston’s Eastern Conference finals series against the Cavaliers in May. Thomas initially hurt his hip on March 15 in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and re-aggravated the injury late in the conference semifinals against the Washington Wizards. Thomas averaged 28.9 points and 5.9 assists last season, earned second-team All-NBA honors and finished fifth in MVP voting. He was the third-leading scorer in the NBA, trailing only Russell Westbrook and James Harden. In November, Thomas told USA TODAY Sports: “Every time something happens in my career, I always bounce back and it's bigger than anything anybody ever thought. And this is just going to be the same thing.”
Hue Jackson is a man of his word. Nearly a year after pledging to jump into Lake Erie should the Browns go 1-15 in his second season with the club, Jackson doubled down on his promise Wednesday, saying he would be going swimming regardless of whether winless Cleveland finds a way to defeat the 12-3 Steelers on Sunday. “I got to back it up.” With the odds stacked against the Browns, as they take on playoff-bound Pittsburgh, the second-year head coach has no plans to go back on his season-old vow. “I got to,” Jackson said. You just jump in. That’s going to be at my convenience and hopefully I can get a lot of people to come out. It’d be something that we’re going to make special. Don’t like to do it for the reason why I’m having to do it, but I have to make do on my word. I just think that’s what you do,” he continued. “I unequivocally believe without question that what Jimmy Haslam said is going to happen here,” Jackson said.
Gus Malzahn held a press conference this afternoon to open the week leading up to the Peach Bowl. -- Everyone made the trip. "He's going to play." -- Dontavius Russell coming back, "that's a big statement." Says he's one of the best players in the SEC and is a leader on the team. -- A decision on the 10th assistant coach will be made "after the bowl game." -- Kamryn Pettway stayed home with his family and is not here. Wasn't at SEC Championship Game either. -- "This (UCF) team is good. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn discusses Peach Bowl prep after arriving in Atlanta
Prisco's Power Rankings: Week 17 1:27 Loading This video is not available. x This video is not available. x This video is geo-restricted. Ads keep our content free for all to enjoy so please turn off any ad blockers to keep watching. This video is not available on your platform. x There isn't much drama in Week 17, which is part of the reason why the NFL decided to abandon Sunday Night Football this week. What we have this week instead are a bunch of meaningless games, other than the battle for top seed in the AFC, in the 1 p.m. EST window Sunday, followed by nine games starting at 4:25 EST that day that have playoff implications. This season, there were four teams that have gone from last to first – the Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints. They started slowly against Buffalo last week, but turned it on and ended up with a victory that puts them one more away from being the top seed in the AFC. The regular season hasn't been as good as in past years, but that could very well make for great playoffs.
And plenty of certainty in the NFL, too. First, to the seemingly sure things, start with the AFC. Does anyone really believe the conference title game won’t be at Gillette Stadium? The separation in the AFC is as stark as the wide-openness of the NFC. ”I’m not going to change,” Jackson said Sunday. It’s hard to argue that any of the six teams who get into the playoffs – the Eagles, Vikings , Rams , Saints and Panthers have qualified, with the Falcons or Seahawks getting the other berth – isn’t capable of a long run. Well, until they have to face the formidable AFC champ, New England or Pittsburgh. There are coaching complexities in the NFC, too. Could Wentz, despite missing the month, still walk off with it? – Will the Vikings be the first team to play in a Super Bowl they are hosting in their stadium?
The Tennessee Titans attempted an onside kick after DeMarco Murray scored to tie the game at 20 with 4:23 left in the third quarter. – Brett Martel reporting from New Orleans 3:15 p.m. New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams left in the second half against the Los Angeles Chargers with a back injury and will not return. Early in the second half, Falcons linebacker Deion Jones intercepted a pass that deflected off of receiver Ted Ginn’s hands and returned it inside the Saints 5-yard line. Jones, a former LSU player, now has intercepted Brees three times in his first four games against his hometown team. – Brett Martel reporting from New Orleans 2:19 p.m. Bills running back Travaris Cadet has been carted off the field late in the second quarter with a severe right ankle injury. – Brett Martel reporting from New Orleans 2 p.m. The Rams first took a delay of game penalty the Tennessee Titans declined, then Hekker threw deep to Michael Thomas only to have his pass knocked incomplete. Joseph on Friday said Lynch, who was listed as questionable with an ankle injury, was about 90 percent healthy and was good enough to back up. It’s Osweiler’s fourth start and sixth appearance of the season. The Titans need a win at home against the Rams to stay in the AFC South race.