James Harrison impresses in his debut for Patriots
James Harrison just wanted to play. The New England Patriots provided the opportunity in his first game with the club.
The 39-year-old linebacker played 34 snaps in Sunday’s victory over the New York Jets, per Next Gen Stats. The count was just four shy of the 38 snaps Harrison saw all season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yeah, James worked really hard, Belichick said. He worked really hard to get things down and to handle the roles that he was in today. Very professional, has a lot of experience but not in this system so he had to do a lot of things to try to acclimate himself to what we do, and terminology, and adjustments and so forth. He really worked hard on that. He got better every day. You could see that through the course of the week. Sometimes it piles up and the load just becomes — there’s a diminishing return effect. In his case, I would say that wasn’t the case. Each day that it went it got better. I thought he made a couple of plays out there today. We’ll see how it goes going forward, but yeah, he worked very hard.
If Harrison recaptures the form he displayed last January — when he dominated during the Steelers’ playoff run — the addition could be a game-changer for the Patriots’ defense.
A day after teammates refused to respond to Jalen Ramsey predicting a Super Bowl win for the Jags at a fan event, Tom Brady continued to reiterate The Patriot Way tone.
It’s how you play, not what you say, Brady said Tuesday morning on WEEI’s Kirk and Callahan show.
Brady dismissing bulletin-board material is a useful in-the-moment tactic, considering the Pats are known to use all the motivation they can. Bill Belichick famously read his team the Philadelphia Eagles’ planned parade route before Super Bowl XXXIX. If you provide the trash talk, the Pats will use it. They won’t, however, respond publicly in kind.
Brady went on to heap praise on the Jaguars’ swarming defense.
Raiders preparing 10-year, $100M deal for Gruden
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis is poised to commit to Jon Gruden for the next decade and pay a mountain of money for the privilege.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Raiders are preparing to sign Gruden to a 10-year, $100 million contract, per sources informed of the deal.
The pact, once finalized, is believed to be the richest coaching contract in NFL history, according to Rapoport. NFL teams do not disclose financial details on coaching deals.
The 10-year deal with a massive salary underscores the Raiders’ commitment to bringing back Gruden after trading him to Tampa Bay in 2002. Gruden spent the past nine NFL seasons as a color commentator for the ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcasts.
With a move to Las Vegas on the horizon, Davis will pay a boatload to provide the Raiders with a glitzy coach who will marshal the franchise through the transition.
But there are also the lowlights of the game, such as Mark Sanchez’s infamous butt fumble.
So what happens when you combine the two? You get…the butt interception.
Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore is having one heck of a year and is a leading candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year. He’s also apparently the beneficiary of some good football karma.
That physics-defying catch stunned even Lattimore.
I must be living right, I don’t know, Lattimore said, via ESPN. I don’t know. They’re gonna have to call it what they want. … But it was a great play and we won, so that’s all I can think about.
Case Keenum: We’ll cross free agency road eventually
Keenum doesn’t have a track record of such success beyond 2017, turns 30 next month and will undoubtedly command a somewhat significant amount of money from a quarterback-needy team. Understandably, the Vikings might be wary of meeting such a potential financial commitment.
For perspective, consider this: Bradford entered the season the unquestioned starter. Bridgewater’s future was still very uncertain. Keenum was only brought in as insurance, the usual backup a team hopes can be dependable in case of emergency.
What’s certain is no one is bringing the magic of 2017 back for one more kickoff. We’ll see if any of the quarterbacks return to run it back in 2018.
Vikings fans, unbelievable year. Not the way we wanted to finish. But so many memories I will cherish for the rest of my life. Much love #skol
The inn is full. We are completely sold out. The NFL bought the whole hotel out, Kim Zoulek, sales and marketing director for Minneapolis Hilton, told MPR News last week. The hotel is the largest in Minnesota with 821 rooms and is located about a mile from U.S. Bank Field.
Even the travel packages being offered by PrimeSport — which is owned by a ticket and hospitality company that itself is partially owned by the NFL’s owners — aren’t offering much in the way of close lodging. Of the five hotel/ticket packages available Monday afternoon, only one offers lodging at a hotel within walking distance of the stadium. The package costs around $25,000 for two people and doesn’t include airfare. Cheaper options are available, but you’ll be staying in places such as Bloomington, St. Paul or the far northern reaches of Minneapolis, about a 25-minute drive from the stadium.