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‘NFL’ Articles

New England Patriots Thursday Super Bowl Pool Report

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN By Jenny Vrentas Pro Football Writers of America; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

Thursday Pool Report
New England Patriots Practice
January 31, 2019
By Jenny Vrentas
Pro Football Writers of America

ATLANTA—The Patriots held a walk-through practice Thursday afternoon at Georgia Tech’s indoor practice facility, focusing on situational plays during the one-hour, 20-minute session. Every player was a full participant, except for starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who did not attend the workout due to an illness.

“We’ll evaluate him tomorrow,” head coach Bill Belichick said, when asked about Hightower’s prognosis.

Defensive tackle Malcom Brown, who was limited on Wednesday with a calf injury, did everything in today’s session. Belichick expects him to practice Friday and be available moving forward. “If something happens tomorrow, that will be a different story, but I’d say he looks alright,” Belichick said.

Players were dressed in sweats or workout clothes (no jerseys) and did not wear helmets, except for the quarterbacks and defensive players who have the coach-to-player communication systems. Most players wore sneakers, though Tom Brady was in his cleats. Belichick noted that the team has already gotten in five practices since the AFC Championship Game, and will have another full-speed session on Friday, so he opted for the walk-through today.

“We got a lot out of the walk-through today and were able to run more plays at a slower tempo,” Belichick said. “So that’s the advantage. Practicing (at full speed) you get better tempo, you just get fewer plays.”

The starting offense and defense worked at opposite ends of the field against the scout team, focusing on third-down, red-zone and goal-line situations, in addition to some review. The team was relaxed but also focused, with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels rattling off play calls and Brady calling out adjustments to his receivers’ splits and routes. The Patriots also reviewed all the kicking situations—field goal, kickoff and punt—in between the periods when the offense and defense were working. The specialists did not kick in the walk-through; they kicked yesterday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where Super Bowl LIII will be played, and will do so Friday as well.

Right guard Shaq Mason was wearing a long-sleeve dri-fit shirt with the logo of Georgia Tech, his alma mater. Georgia Tech hung a “Welcome Back, Shaq” sign outside the locker room at their facilities, and Belichick also had Mason give the team a welcome message on Monday, similar to what linebacker Elandon Roberts did when the team practiced at Roberts’ alma mater, the University of Houston, before Super Bowl LI.

“The Georgia guys are not thrilled being at Georgia Tech,” Belichick quipped, referring to starting center David Andrews and running back Sony Michel, who both played for the University of Georgia. “But that’s alright. They’ll get over it.”

 

NFL Network announces televising of 19 Alliance of American Football Games in 2019

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; Andrew Howard, NFL Network; Megan Hanson, Alliance of American Football; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

 

NFL Network will Televise Alliance Matchups in

Primetime Beginning Opening Weekend

 

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – February 1, 2019 – The Alliance of American Football and NFL Network today announced a multi-year programming deal that will include live event coverage of The Alliance inaugural season. NFL Network will debut their Alliance coverage with The Salt Lake Stallions at The Arizona Hotshots on Sunday, February 10 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.

Following The Alliance’s opening weekend, NFL Network will air two games per week in primetime on Saturday and Sunday night.

“NFL Network understands the mission and vision for The Alliance and what we are trying to accomplish,” said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder and CEO, The Alliance. “This partnership will now keep professional football in its primetime television spot, allowing fans to continue watching America’s most popular sport well into the spring.”

“Having live football games on NFL Network in February, March, and April will be a great addition to our lineup and a nice complement to our coverage of the NFL Combine and NFL Draft,” said Mark Quenzel, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production at NFL Network.

2019 Alliance of American Football NFL Network Broadcast Schedule

  • Sunday, February 10 – Salt Lake Stallions at Arizona Hotshots
  • Saturday, February 16 – Arizona Hotshots at Memphis Express
  • Sunday, February 17 – Atlanta Legends at San Diego Fleet
  • Saturday, February 23 – Memphis Express at Orlando Apollos
  • Sunday, February 24 – San Antonio Commanders at San Diego Fleet
  • Saturday, March 2 – San Diego Fleet at Memphis Express
  • Sunday, March 3 – Atlanta Legends at Arizona Hotshots
  • Saturday, March 9 – Salt Lake Stallions at San Diego Fleet
  • Sunday, March 10 – San Antonio Commanders at Arizona Hotshots
  • Saturday, March 16 – Arizona Hotshots at Orlando Apollos
  • Sunday, March 17 – Birmingham Iron at San Diego Fleet
  • Saturday, March 23 – Salt Lake Stallions at San Antonio Commanders
  • Sunday, March 24 – Birmingham Iron at Memphis Express
  • Saturday, March 30 – San Diego at Salt Lake Stallions
  • Sunday, March 31 – Arizona Hotshots at San Antonio Commanders
  • Saturday, April 6 – San Diego Fleet at Orlando Apollos
  • Sunday, April 7 – Birmingham Iron at Arizona Hotshots
  • Saturday, April 13 – Atlanta Legends at Memphis Express
  • Sunday, April 14 – Arizona Hotshots at San Diego Fleet

*All games will air at 8:00 PM ET on NFL Network

About The Alliance of American Football

Led by some of the most respected football minds in the game, The Alliance of American Football is top-flight professional football fueled by an unprecedented Alliance between players, fans and the game. Founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Hall of Famer Bill Polian, The Alliance features eight teams with 52-player rosters playing a 10-week regular season schedule beginning February 9, 2019 on CBS, followed by two playoff rounds and culminating with the championship game at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on April 27, 2019. Additional broadcast and distribution partners include Turner Sports — TNT and B/R Live — as well as the NFL Network.

The eight cities, stadiums and head coaches are as follows:

  • Orlando Apollos / Spectrum Stadium / Steve Spurrier
  • Atlanta Legends / Georgia State Stadium / Kevin Coyle
  • Memphis Express / Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium / Mike Singletary
  • Salt Lake Stallions / Rice-Eccles Stadium / Dennis Erickson
  • Arizona Hotshots / Sun Devil Stadium / Rick Neuheisel
  • San Diego Fleet / San Diego County Credit Union Stadium / Mike Martz
  • Birmingham Iron / Legion Field Stadium / Tim Lewis
  • San Antonio Commanders / Alamodome / Mike Riley

With a focus on player well-being on and off the field, The Alliance provides players with a commitment to safety and state-of-the-art equipment as well as a comprehensive bonus system, post-football career planning, financial counseling and scholarship support for postsecondary education. For more information, visit https://aaf.com/.


 

 

Giants RB Saquon Barkley named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

Saquon Barkley running into end zone 2018 photo By Keith Allison, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Winner Selected by Fan Vote on NFL.com/rookies

 

New York Giants running back SAQUON BARKLEY has been named the 2018 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, Pepsi and the NFL announced today. Barkley was recognized online at nfl.com/rookies and this morning during Pepsi’s Rookie Brunch Party in Atlanta, which featured a trophy presentation by ESPN’s Sam Ponder, a DJ set by Grammy-winner Lil Jon (who is also featured in Pepsi’s Super Bowl LIII commercial), and a performance by Pepsi’s Sound Drop artist Bryce Vine.

The No. 2 selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 scrimmage yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,212 scrimmage yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) as the only rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, he recorded 91 receptions in 2018, including a single-game franchise-record 14 catches in Week 2, tied for the most by a rookie running back in league annals. Barkley became the first Giants rookie to rush for at least 1,000 yards (1,307) and his 15 scrimmage touchdowns were the most by a rookie in team history.

Barkley was one of five finalists nominated for this honor. The other finalists were Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The five finalists were selected for their outstanding performances through the 2018 NFL season. Each week, five nominees were chosen for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week and fans voted for the winner on NFL.com. Those results were used to help determine the finalists.

This is Pepsi’s 17th year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the 16th year that Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year award.

2018 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

PLAYER POSITION TEAM
Saquon Barkley Running Back New York Giants
Nick Chubb Running Back Cleveland Browns
Darius Leonard Linebacker Indianapolis Colts
Phillip Lindsay Running Back Denver Broncos
Baker Mayfield Quarterback Cleveland Browns

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About PepsiCo:

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2017, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world enable PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit http://www.pepsico.com.

 

Los Angeles Rams Wednesday Super Bowl Pool Report

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY By Charean Williams Pro Football Writers of America; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

Wednesday Pool Report
Los Angeles Rams Practice
January 30, 2019
By Charean Williams
Pro Football Writers of America

FLOWERY BRANCH, Georgia — The Rams got back into their routine Wednesday afternoon with a one-hour, 33-minute practice at the Falcons’ team facility in Flowery Branch.

“It was great,” Rams coach Sean McVay said, “and it was good really for players and coaches. You almost get away from it a couple of days. It’s good just to sharpen yourself up, making sure we’re tightening all the screws on the game plan. I thought the players did a nice job just getting a little bit of a lather. It was really a big emphasis on above the neck, and then tomorrow and Friday will be good to kind of finalize the week.”

The Rams’ routine is a walk-through on Wednesdays. They got back to work with no helmets – other than those with the coach-to-player communication system – and no hitting while going at half speed.

Since Week 4, the Rams have held lighter practices on Wednesdays.

“Really where I got it from was just learning from our training staff as far as a sports-science approach, just being smart with our players,” McVay said. “Earlier in the year, we end up practicing on Wednesdays and then depending upon where we are injury-wise or how our team is feeling, for us this year was after Week 4, we ended up tailoring our Wednesdays back. Guys have handled it really well. I think it’s been good from a performance standpoint. We’re able to get a lot of reps, but we don’t get as much physical work as you’d like, but that’s why the Thursdays and the Fridays are so important to us.”

Even though it wasn’t full speed, the Rams were all business as the offense worked against the offense and the defense against the defense for two periods with a special teams period in between.

“I think really it’s good for me to go back and kind of clean some things up and make sure the players feel as comfortable and as confident as possible going into tomorrow and most importantly Sunday,” McVay said.

Safety Blake Countess (foot) remained out while kicker Greg Zuerlein (left foot) was limited. Those were the only two players listed on the team’s injury report.

“Greg Zuerlein kicked a little bit, and he’s on track,” McVay said. “And I believe Blake will be good, but we want to be smart with him earlier this week.”

Countess, who was listed as questionable on the team’s status report Friday, did some work with the trainer on the side at the start of practice.

“Feel good, feel really good [injury-wise],” McVay said. “I think Blake will be OK with his foot and same thing with Greg. Really that’s all you can ask for this time of year to be as healthy as we are.”

The Falcons have made the Rams feel as at home as possible with Rams’ signage throughout the facility.

“They’ve done a great job,” “I really just think it’s been a first-class operation since we got here in Atlanta. They’ve made us feel very welcome. They’ve done an outstanding job of being great hosts. The facility was set up, and we really can’t ask for much more than that.”

 

Falcons guard Ben Garland named 2018 NFL/USAA Salute to Service Award recipient

 

Garland’s commitment to supporting U.S. military members, veterans and their families

to be recognized at NFL Honors in Atlanta

 

Ben Garland

The NFL and USAA, an Official NFL Salute to Service Partner, named Atlanta Falcons offensive guard BEN GARLAND as the recipient of the 2018 Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. The award was created to acknowledge the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support members of the military community.

Garland will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 2, the eve of Super Bowl LIII, at 9 PM (ET and PT) on CBS. NFL Honors will be taped earlier that evening at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. USAA, a leading provider of insurance and other services to U.S. military members, veterans and their families, will contribute $25,000 in Garland’s honor to the official aid societies representing all five military branches. The NFL will match USAA’s donation of $25,000, which will be donated to the Garland’s military charity of choice.

“From his time at the Air Force Academy and continuing throughout his NFL playing career, Ben Garland has embodied and demonstrated the understanding and appreciation for the service and sacrifice of the U.S. military and their families for which this award stands,” said Vice Admiral (Ret.) JOHN BIRD, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. “In the true spirit of the ‘Salute to Service Award presented by USAA’, we salute Ben for his tireless effort to support our military, veterans, and their families, as well as his own service to our country as a member of the Colorado Air National Guard.”

“I am honored to win the award, but, honestly, I am just honored to be part of an organization that puts military first from the top down, from Arthur Blank to our Head Coach,” said Atlanta Falcons offensive guard and 2018 Salute to Service award recipient BEN GARLAND. “They do so much for our military and I am proud to be with an organization that is the spear in the NFL of showing how to do it right and how to truly give back and say thank you to the military members that absolutely deserve it.”

In 2018 alone, Ben traveled on two USO tours; the first to Italy and Germany and the second to Iraq and Kuwait. Ben seeks out any opportunity that he can to visit with military, shake their hands and say thank you.

When Ben is back stateside, he is extremely involved and focused on helping veterans get back on their feet after their service and helping to raise awareness for PTSD. In 2018, he participated in the Armed Forces Mission’s Georgia LOSS Walk at Patriot Park in Fayetteville, Georgia. Ben walked alongside veterans, service members and their families in honor of “Turning the Tide on Veteran Suicide”. Each year that Ben has been with the Atlanta Falcons he has participated in the annual Fishing with the Falcons event. This year, Ben traveled to Orange Beach, Alabama to go on a chartered fishing trip with wounded veterans.

As a current member of the Colorado Air National Guard, Ben also finds time to support his fellow active duty service members. He donates game tickets each week to service members, visits the Air Force Academy at least once a year to speak to the current students, works with Georgia Tech ROTC to inspire young officers and meets with local young officers to mentor them.

In October 2018, all 32 NFL clubs nominated coaches, active and retired players, and team executives and personnel, who best demonstrated support for the military community. The nominees were publicly announced in November and the submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges. Nominees’ credentials are evaluated based on the positive effect of the individual’s efforts on the military community, the type of service conducted, the thoroughness of the program and level of commitment.

The panel of judges, consisting of representatives from the U.S. military, the NFL and USAA, includes:

  • ANDRE ROBERTS, 2017 Salute to Service Award recipient
  • VICE ADMIRAL JOHN BIRD (Ret.), U.S. Navy veteran and USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs
  • CHAD HENNINGS, Air Force Academy graduate and three-time Super Bowl champion
  • VINCENT JACKSON, Former NFL player & 2015 Salute to Service Award recipient
  • JIM MORA, SR., Marine Corps veteran and former NFL head coach
  • LENNY BANDY, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and NFL Vice President of Security

Below is the list of previous Salute to Service Award recipients.

YEAR RECIPIENT TEAM
2017 Andre Roberts Atlanta Falcons
2016 Dan Quinn (Head Coach) Atlanta Falcons
2015 Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2014 Jared Allen Chicago Bears
2013 John Harbaugh (Head Coach) Baltimore Ravens
2012 Charles Tillman Chicago Bears
2011 K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr. (Late Owner) Tennessee Titans

 

The Salute to Service Award presented by USAA is part of the NFL and USAA’s year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community. To read about all 32 nominees, visit www.nfl.com/salute.

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About USAA

The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to more than 12.8 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit usaa.com.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; Catherine Ellis, NFL; COURTESY NFLmedia.com


 

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