College Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network

Report: Rams have discussed bringing Peyton Manning to LA next season

02.03.16 at 12:01 pm ET
By   |   Comments

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Rams have discussed the possibility of bringing Peyton Manning to Los Angeles next season. While many suspect Manning will retire after this year, if he does give it a go in 2016 he apparently already is drawing interest outside of Denver.

Writes Schefter: Manning still must decide whether he wants to play again, and the Rams still are formulating their quarterback plans. But they are monitoring the Manning situation, per a source, which is a sign that the Broncos quarterback could have options next season.

It also sets up the possibility — even if it is remote — that Manning could finish his career in Southern California just as former Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas did with the San Diego Chargers in 1973 and former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath did with Los Angeles Rams in 1977.

The Rams quarterbacks entering 2016 are Case Keenum, Nick Foles and Sean Mannion. Needless to say, if Manning were to sign with the Rams he would be stepping right into a starting role with the team.

While Manning recently told Bill Belichick that this could be his “last rodeo,” it remains to be seen if he will give it one more shot next season.

Read More: Adam Schefter, Los Angeles Rams, Peyton Manning,

Report: 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick wants to play for Jets next season

02.03.16 at 11:23 am ET
By   |   Comments

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

After a dreadful season in 2015, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick reportedly wants out of San Francisco, and his preferred destination apparently is the Jets. This is according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, citing sources.

Kaepernick has experienced quite the fall from grace, as just a few years removed from leading his team to the Super Bowl he was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert midway through the 2015 season.

While he may want out of San Francisco, that is easier said than done. The 28-year-old has five years left on his $114 million deal he signed in 2014. The 49ers will need to decide if they want to trade Kaepernick, cut him or keep him right where he is. On April 1, his salary for the upcoming season ($11.9 million) will become guaranteed. That means if the team is going to make a move, it might need to do it relatively soon.

An additional and maybe more significant question is if the Jets actually are interested in Kaepernick. They are coming off their best season since 2010, and that was in large part due to the success of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. They also have 25-year-old Geno Smith, who has not had much success in the NFL, but Jets owner Woody Johnson recently was quoted as saying he has “the ability” if he sticks with it.

If the Jets do feel Kaepernick would be a beneficial addition to their team, trading for him likely would cost them more than signing him if he was cut by the 49ers. It remains to be seen what their level of interest is in Kaepernick, if any at all.

Read More: Colin Kaepernick, Geno Smith, New York Jets, Ryan Fitzpatrick

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Broncos send home rookie safety after detainment as part of prostitution sting

02.03.16 at 8:10 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Pistons at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Warriors at Wizards, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Timberwolves at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: St. John’s at Xavier, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Miami, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Penn State at Iowa, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Creighton at Villanova, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Marquette at Seton Hall, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Kansas State at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arizona State at Washington, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Red Wings at Lightning, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Chelsea at Watford, 2:45 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy

— The night before Super Bowl 33 between the Falcons and Broncos in 1999, Falcons safety Eugene Robinson was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. Now a radio analyst for the Panthers, Robinson talked to Carolina’s players Sunday, calling the incident the “worst night of my life.”

Apparently the Broncos could have benefited from Robinson’s advice. Practice squad safety Ryan Murphy was sent home by the team Tuesday after being detained and questioned by police as part of a prostitution sting in the San Francisco area.

According to reports out of nearby San Jose, a suspected prostitute led police to a car where Murphy and his brother were waiting, and Murphy’s brother was cited for solicitation.

“Although practice squad safety Ryan Murphy was not cited by police, we decided it was best for the team if we continued our preparations for Super Bowl 50 without him,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said in a statement. “Ryan is returning to Denver, but his status as a practice squad player has not changed at this time.”

Murphy, who grew up in Oakland and played at Oregon State, was drafted by the Seahawks in the seventh round last spring. He was waived in September, and the Broncos signed him to the practice squad in November.

— The Browns appear ready to move on from troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel, implying Tuesday that they will make a move in March, when the league’s new year begins and his release would minimize the impact on their salary cap.

“We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field,” new vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said in a statement. “Johnny’s continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Jibri Bryan, Johnny Manziel, Ryan Murphy,

Suns begin search for coach after firing Jeff Hornacek

02.02.16 at 9:11 am ET
By   |   Comments

Jeff Hornacek

Jeff Hornacek

In the midst of a disastrous season, the Suns have fired coach Jeff Hornacek and promoted Earl Watson to interim coach. General manager Ryan McDonough (a former Celtics executive) made the decision official with a team statement Monday morning announcing that Hornacek was out after 2 1/2 seasons at the helm.

While Hornacek found success in his first year with the Suns, improving their record by 23 games, the team’s recent struggles could not be overlooked. Phoenix had lost 10 of 11 games, and 19 of its last 21. The Suns’ overall record of 14-35 ties them for fourth worst in the NBA.

While coaching may have been partially to blame for the Suns’ abysmal 2015-16 campaign, it is worth noting that they have some significant personnel issues as well. Star point guard Eric Bledsoe tore knee cartilage a month ago and will not play again this season. Backup point guard Brandon Knight has been out with a groin injury. Offseason acquisition Tyson Chandler has been battling multiple injuries, and forward Markieff Morris asked to be traded after his twin brother Marcus was dealt to the Pistons.

Assuming Watson, who retired from his NBA playing days two years ago, is not the permanent solution in Phoenix, some names that have been tossed around locally and nationally as potential candidates include former Suns coach Mike D’Antoni, recently fired Cavaliers coach (and Framingham native) David Blatt, Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton and former Celtics assistant and Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.

ESPN also reported the team was interested in former Suns point guard Steve Nash, but he apparently made it clear he has no interest in the position.

Read More: David Blatt, NBA, Phoenix Suns, Tom Thibodeau

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Cowboys RB Joseph Randle reportedly bet on sports before release

02.02.16 at 8:00 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Maple Leafs at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Panthers at Capitals, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Celtics at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Heat at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Timberwolves at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Georgetown at Butler, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Kentucky at Tennessee, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: South Carolina at Georgia, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: TCU at Oklahoma, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: UNLV at New Mexico, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Providence at DePaul, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Duke at Georgia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Indiana at Michigan, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: West Virginia at Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Colorado State at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Premier League, Liverpool at Leicester, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Joseph Randle

Joseph Randle

— When the Cowboys released running back Joseph Randle in November, it came as a surprise to many, especially considering Randle started the first six games of the season. Now a report out of Dallas indicates that Randle — who was arrested Monday for the fourth time in the last 17 months — was displaying signs of mental instability and had been betting on sports.

The Dallas Morning News, citing multiple sources, reports that Randle was placing wagers during the season. Owner Jerry Jones told the paper that he had no evidence that Randle bet on the NFL or could have compromised any Cowboys games.

“Not to my knowledge, not in any way,” Jones said.

However, Jones acknowledged Randle’s issues, which he claims were not evident until the season began, were too much for the team to overcome.

“All of that became apparent to us right during the season,” Jones said. “Not before the season. It became real acute, a combination of things. Some issues … became more apparent.”

Randle, whose agent said he no longer represents him, was arrested Monday on an outstanding speeding warrant after being turned away from his ex-girlfriend’s home. It capped a tumultuous two years in which he was arrested three other times — including once for causing a disturbance in a Kansas casino three weeks after his release by the Cowboys — and also got police’s attention when he called with a concern about his girlfriend before admitting “he was delusional, that he was imagining the whole thing,” a police spokesman said.

The Cowboys reportedly pushed Randle to seek help, but he refused.

“We asked him to do some things that he couldn’t do for whatever reason,” Jones said, “and that’s when we waived him.”

Added Jones: I really want him to get straightened around, and obviously he’s working on it.”

— The Raiders’ long-term future remains in doubt, but their 2016 plans are becoming more clear. Owner Mark Davis said Monday that the team is negotiating a one-year extension of its lease to remain at O.co Coliseum.

“As of today, right now we are in the process of trying to negotiate a one-year extension at the Oakland Coliseum to play the 2016 season there,” Davis said on the “TK Show” podcast hosted by San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami. “And after we get that done, we’ll sit down and try to figure out where the future of the Raiders lies.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Jerry Jones, Johnny Manziel, Joseph Randle, Mark Davis

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Lions WR Calvin Johnson reportedly told team he is retiring

02.01.16 at 7:55 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
College hockey: Beanpot, Harvard vs. Boston College, 5 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Beanpot, Northeastern vs. Boston University, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Cavaliers at Pacers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Bucks at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: North Carolina at Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Howard at Maryland-Eastern Shore, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Davidson at Richmond, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: SMU at Houston, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Texas at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: N.C. State at Florida State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Lions apparently are holding out hope that five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson will rethink his decision to retire, but reports out of Detroit indicate the man they call Megatron had long planned to hang up his cleats after this season.

According to an ESPN report, Johnson told family and friends before the season started that this would be his final year, and he told coach Jim Caldwell one day after the regular-season finale. The report indicates Caldwell asked Johnson to take his time before finalizing the decision, and Johnson agreed.

A person who knows Johnson well told ESPN, “He’s pretty content with his decision.”

Johnson, 30, has played nine seasons since being selected No. 2 overall in 2007 and is the team’s all-time leader in receptions (731) and receiving yards (11,619). He had an NFL record 1,964 receiving yards in 2012.

This season he had 88 catches for 1,214 yards — his sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season — with nine touchdowns.

The Lions have finished with losing records in seven of his nine seasons, making the playoffs only twice.

“I would love to see him back, but it’s his decision to make,” Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah said after Sunday’s Pro Bowl. “He’s a great guy who has a lot of respect for the game. … He’s a professional, and he’s somebody that I look up to.”

Added Raiders rookie receiver Amari Cooper: “You never want to see the greats leave the game. You feel like they’re going to be making plays forever. You want to be like them growing up, and you still want to see them make plays.”

— Former Rams coach Mike Martz is not pleased that Terrell Owens was named a Hall of Fame finalist in his first year of eligibility while former Rams receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt were left off the list for the second straight year. And he doesn’t mind letting everyone know how he feels.

” ‘Surprised’ isn’t the word,” Martz told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You can’t print how I felt when T.O. leapfrogged those two. That’s just plain out-and-out ridiculous.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Calvin Johnson, Mike Martz, Terrell Owens, Zika

Thinking Out Loud: Kris Dunn still holds key for cold-shooting Friars

01.29.16 at 5:25 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering what’s happening with former Friar Billy Donovan.

— From ESPN.com on Kris Dunn: “I’d like to see him value the ball more,” an NBA executive said. “But that will happen when he gets to the NBA, or else he won’t play.”

— Kris Dunn not playing for the Friars won’t ever happen. At least not until he decides to relinquish his eligibility over the next few months. But for this Providence team to travel to the NCAA Tournament in two months and have any success? Dunn needs to value the ball more, now.

— I also would argue he needs to recognize which of his teammates has a hot hand — if any — and simply not force a situation. Look, if no one can hit a shot, make something happen yourself. Get into the paint, create contact and get to the line.

— Speaking of not hitting a shot — or any. That pretty much sums up the Friars’ performance at the Dunk on Tuesday night against seventh-ranked Xavier. For my money, the Musketeers are the best team in the Big East this season, and certainly the most balanced. Providence is right there, but the Friars just don’t have the kind of consistent depth that X has. Nor do they have the shooters X has.

— Villanova has streaky shooters, and the fact that the Friars nailed eight 3’s and shot 46 percent from the floor in their Philadelphia win last weekend simply shows you what they are capable of doing when they make shots. Four of the past six games, the Friars have been in the high 20s, low 30s in shooting percentage. It’s hard to beat Marquette and Seton Hall with those numbers, much less knock off top 10 teams.

— Xavier’s potential is unlimited — the Musketeers are a true national title threat with their balance, depth and strength. When ‘Nova connects on its shots, it’s right there with the Musketeers. When Providence hits shots? It’s better, potentially, than both — thanks to its star players in Dunn and Ben Bentil.

— The trouble right now is the Friars are having a hard time hitting the broad side of a barn with a bale of hay.

— Or as my high school coach once said about me: “Rookie, you couldn’t hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle.” Thanks for the positive reinforcement, coach. I’m not sure I would actually want try your suggestion, but you did give me something to remember for the rest of my life. So there’s that.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Ben Bentil, Buddy Cianci, Kris Dunn,

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam not ready to give up on Johnny Manziel

01.29.16 at 8:51 am ET
By   |   Comments

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel

While many have given up on Johnny Manziel’s future with the Browns, it seems team owner Jimmy Haslam is not ready to throw in the towel just yet

When asked by reporters Thursday night at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards if the Browns’ relationship with the controversial quarterback could be fixed, Haslam said, “I don’t think there’s any question about that.”

While Haslam did not seem ready to close the door on Manziel, the question remains whether new coach Hue Jackson is willing to start off his new gig with someone like Manziel under center. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Jackson clearly stated in his interview with the Browns that he wanted the team to move on from the troubled quarterback. Additional reports have stated that Jackson has met with several different Browns players, but never Manziel.

When pressed to comment on Manziel’s future with the team, Haslam said, “We have a certain expectation for our players, and that includes Johnny, and he’s got to live up to those expectations.”

A highly valued voice in the organization is Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown.

“I know a lot of kids that if you don’t know how to deal with them you lose them,” Brown said. “They don’t come ready made. But on the other hand, the argument is that he’s a man. He should know how to conduct himself. He has an opportunity. We’ve got all of that.

“But I like him, and I hope that they are able to relate, and I think if they are able to relate that he will respect the coach. I don’t want to see him traded or anything like that. I just think that’s never the answer to anything.

Read More: Cleveland Browns, Hue Jackson, Johnny Manziel,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Pat Riley defends LeBron James; David Blatt reportedly lost respect of Cavaliers veterans

01.29.16 at 8:00 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Magic at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Rockets at Thunder, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Lakers at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: VCU at Davidson, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Manhattan at Iona, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kent State at Ohio, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— LeBron James has been taking heat as a coach-killer since the conference-leading Cavaliers fired David Blatt last week, but his former team’s boss indicated that description is not accurate — at least not as far as he knows. Amid a report that a Heat minority owner said James asked for Miami coach Erik Spoelstra to be fired a few years ago, Heat president Pat Riley said that request was never made.

“Not from him to me, ever,” Riley said Thursday. “So a lot of stuff is following him out the door. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s just the nature of it. But as far as that goes, no, he never, ever walked in and said anything.”

James, who left the Heat two year ago to return to the Cavaliers, has staunchly denied every requesting a coach be removed at any point in his career. However, his actions made it clear he preferred Tyronn Lue, the assistant coach who was promoted to replace David Blatt last week.

Apparently James was not alone in lacking respect for Blatt. ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst said on ESPN’s TrueHoop podcast that all the team’s veterans felt the same way.

“I’ve never seen a coach dynamic with a team like I saw with David Blatt,” Windhorst said (via ProBasketballTalk’s Dan Feldman), adding: “I saw a guy who completely was unable to get even a modicum of respect from a majority of his players.

“And I also saw star players and veteran players — not just LeBron, OK. We know LeBron had issues with him. But basically any player that had any sort of veteran status in the league, more than Joe Harris and Matthew Dellavedova — all the veterans didn’t like him, either. He wasn’t able to win over about anybody.”

Blast, the Framingham native who had a very successful career coaching in Israel and Russia, reportedly wants to continue coaching in the NBA.

— The Cowboys apparently are leaning toward parting ways with defensive end Greg Hardy. As if he wasn’t enough of a handful with his sordid past and his confrontations with teammates and coaches, his focus during the season reportedly was not always on the field.

According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, Hardy’s condition and attendance were negatively affected by his partying ways.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: David Blatt, Greg Hardy, LeBron James, Pat Riley

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Panthers’ Cam Newton says he’s ‘an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people’

01.28.16 at 8:12 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Knicks at Raptors, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Bulls at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Cincinnati at UConn, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Iowa at Maryland, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Robert Morris at Mount St. Mary’s, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: UAB at Western Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Michigan State at Northwestern, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oregon at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Richmond at George Washington, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Southeast Missouri State at SIUE, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Washington at UCLA, 10 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Loyola Marymount at BYU, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— While there’s been a lot of talk about the Super Bowl quarterbacks, in New England the focus has been on Peyton Manning, who helped the Broncos knock off the Patriots in the AFC championship game in what might be his final season. That changed Wednesday, when Panthers star Cam Newton declared, “I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.”

Newton has been called out for his on-field celebrations during his team’s 17-1 season, but he apparently believes there’s a racial undertone to the criticism.

The likely league MVP, Newton said he has not changed his approach, and the only difference is he’s in the spotlight this season due to his individual and team success, leading some to judge him without knowing him.

“I said that prior to me being in this situation,” Newton said of being misunderstood. “But when I said it then it was like, ‘Oh, he is immature,’ or, ‘Oh, he’s young, and this, that and the third.’ I felt a certain type of way then and I feel a certain type of way now — nothing has pretty much changed. They talk about maturity. They talk about skill set. … The only thing that has changed [about me] is that we’re winning now.”

Panthers coach Ron Rivera defended Newton for enjoying himself after touchdowns.

“I think some people believe you should be stoic when you play this game,” Rivera said. “But a lot of people disagree and think you should have fun. This is a kids’ game. I know there is a lot of money involved, but at the end of the day it’s about entertainment. If you aren’t enjoying yourself, don’t play the game — it’s that simple.”

Panthers cornerback Charles Tillman noted that the 6-foot-5, 245-pound QB wins in an “unconventional way,” and that might leave some fans unsettled.

“Some people can’t accept that,” Tillman said. “He is setting a precedent as far as for how quarterbacks are now — and how they may become. He’s in a league of his own. He has created his own category for winning.”

— Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman was contrite after decking an official from behind during Wednesday’s game against the Predators, insisting it was an accident.

Wideman, an 11-year veteran who played for the Bruins from 2007 to 2010, looked to be in pain as he was skating to the bench after taking a hit from Predators forward Miikka Salomaki. Wideman then appeared to be surprised to see linesman Don Henderson in front of him along the boards, and he cross-checked the official from behind, then continued on to the bench.

“I took a pretty hard hit down in the corner and had some pretty good pain in my shoulder and my neck and I was just trying to get off the ice,” Wideman said. “And I was kind of keeled over and at the last second, I looked up and I saw him and I couldn’t avoid it.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Cam Newton, David Blatt, Dennis Wideman, LeBron James