Charles McDonald: Remembering late ESPN reporter Vaughn McClure, one of the most authentic people you'd ever meet
The first time I spoke with Vaughn McClure, the ESPN NFL reporter who suddenly died at 48 last week, was through a simple direct message on Twitter during the 2017 season.As someone who desperately wanted to break into sportswriting, was a diehard fan of the Atlanta Falcons and generally followed Black sportswriters, Vaughn was someone I immediately looked up to. It wasn’t just the fact that he looked like me and covered my favorite team. He also did an impeccable job. Vaughn’s Falcons reporting was so damn good that my fellow tortured fans and I started calling him “NostraVaughnus.” Basically...
New York Daily News
Mike Sielski: History favors the Eagles on Thursday against the Giants. It's the Doug Pederson way.
The Eagles are 5-0 on Thursday Night Football games during Doug Pederson’s four-plus years as head coach, but in his household, that blemish-free record has somehow become an easy excuse for Jeannie Pederson to bust her husband’s chops. An NFL team gets half as much time to prepare to play on a Thursday as it does to play on a Sunday, and it doesn’t seem to make much sense that the Eagles would be so much better under those circumstances.“My wife tells me all the time, ‘You can put a game plan together in a day and go win on Thursday night. Why can’t you do that for a Sunday game?’ “ Pederson ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Dolphins debut brought tears for Tua's parents, now they're determined to be there for his first start
As the Miami Dolphins celebrated their shutout victory over the New York Jets in the locker room Sunday, rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa walked by himself back onto the Hard Rock Stadium field to share a moment with the two most important people in his life.Tagovailoa walked to the 15-yard line, near where the first drive of his NFL career ended, to sit down, lean back on his left elbow and hold his iPhone in his right hand for a FaceTime call with his parents, Galu and Diane, to soak it all in.“I think the most important thing that came out of my conversation with my parents was just that t...
Legendary ex-Vikings coach Bud Grant, 93, reflects on his lifelong avian affinity
WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA – Bud Grant had seen moons as full as the one that hung in the otherwise dark sky on a recent early morning, but few that were bigger, rounder or brighter.Bouncing in his truck over a harvested barley field, the retired Vikings coach peered into the shadowy edges of the vehicle’s headlights for the wetland near which he and others with him would hunt.Now 93 years of age, Grant has been retired from football for more than three decades. He’s lived longer than he thought he would, and all but a handful of his close friends are dead. But of regrets, he has none.“I love every ...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Paul Sullivan: Is Tony La Russa too old? Would the young Chicago White Sox — and their big personalities — be given freedom by a 76-year-old manager?
Shortly before his 87th birthday and after more than a decade of being in the background of the decision-making, Chicago Bears owner George Halas decided to take the reins of the organization from general manager Jim Finks and select a new head coach.Halas settled on Mike Ditka, the former Bears tight end who was then serving as a special teams coach with the Dallas Cowboys.At a news conference announcing the Ditka hiring, Tribune reporter Bill Jauss questioned whether Halas had the mental faculties to be making decisions at his age.“There’s not a senile bone in this body!” Halas replied.You a...
Armando Salguero: Tua Tagovailoa era begins. How and why the Miami Dolphins are switching quarterbacks
Give Brian Flores a round of applause for being unpredictable.When it made total sense to bench Ryan Fitzpatrick and start rookie first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa — namely, after Fitz threw two interceptions without a touchdown and hurt the Dolphins in a loss to Seattle — the coach stuck with his beloved veteran quarterback.Flores staunchly defended Fitzpatrick and flat-out said Tagovailoa “isn’t ready” to be the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback. That was two weeks ago.But now that Fitzpatrick has since recovered, has helped the Dolphins to two consecutive victories, including a stirring ups...
Manish Mehta: GM Joe Douglas must come out of hiding, denounce Adam Gase and accept responsibility for Jets mess
Joe Douglas spent the offseason waxing poetic about his mercurial head coach. He talked tough about “angry” folks offended by low preseason expectations and scoffed at “a quote-unquote soft schedule” down the stretch last season. He was defiant and arrogant, dismissing the notion the Jets were still a dysfunctional mess.The general manager’s brazenness has been replaced by silence amid an 0-6 start that has turned this franchise into a laughingstock. He has retreated and refused to explain this utter disgrace.Leaders embrace challenges and shine during tough times. They provide hope.They don’t...
New York Daily News
Jim Souhan: A playoff win may have doomed the Vikings' future
Mike Zimmer, on Monday, said the Vikings’ woes are “100%” his fault.Kirk Cousins, on Sunday, threw three interceptions in a half against a team that had managed two interceptions in its first five games, giving him the league lead in interceptions, then admitted that if he continues to play this way, he won’t finish the season as the starting quarterback.General manager Rick Spielman is responsible for the personnel that has failed to produce on the offensive line, and has a defense ranked 28th in yards allowed and 31st in points allowed.The star running back, Dalvin Cook, is recovering from a...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Mike McCarthy takes Dallas Cowboys woes personally, says 'I'm not getting it done'
FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones might not be ready to point the finger at coach Mike McCarthy for the team’s dismal 2-4 start, but the coach is taking the blame for the squad’s string of slow starts and their terrible turnover tally.“I, frankly, don’t want to be rude. I have no assessments for you,” McCarthy said after Monday night’s 38-10 blowout loss to the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium . “I think we all understand what the score is. We didn’t play very well on offense, defense or special teams. Most importantly, I didn’t coach very well. I have a continuing issue with b...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Brad Biggs' Week 7 NFL Rankings
With the Green Bay Packers getting blown out in Tampa, the Seattle Seahawks moved into the top spot in Brad Biggs’ NFL power rankings for Week 7. The first-place Chicago Bears, meanwhile, moved up three spots to No. 11.Last week’s ranking in parentheses.———1.Seahawks 5-0 (2)The Seahawks are coming off their bye week and need to tighten their defense. They also need to improve on third down. They were 0-for-7 in their Sunday night win over the Vikings in Week 5 and are converting 32.6% for the season, which ranks 31st. The upside? The Seahawks have faced the second-fewest third downs in the lea...