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NFL roundup: Titans, Wesley Woodyard agree to 4-year deal 03.14.14 at 12:36 pm ET
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Wesley Woodyard

Wesley Woodyard

Just two days after he visited with the Patriots, Wesley Woodyard agreed to a reported four-year deal with the Titans. According to ESPN.com, the contract is worth $16 million.

“Wesley is a player who has experience playing both 3-4 and 4-3 systems and in our new scheme he fits as one of those inside linebackers,” said Titans general manager Ruston Webster. “He is smart and fast. He also brings the leadership qualities and intangible that we look for in a player, which makes him a good fit for us.”

The former Broncos linebacker has served as a captain either on special teams or defense since his rookie season with the Broncos in 2008. He moved to the middle linebacker spot in 2013 after Stewart Bradley suffered a season-ending injury during a preseason game against Seattle.

– The Lions have re-signed tight end Brandon Pettigrew to a four-year deal, Detroit announced Friday. Pettigrew will reportedly make $16 million, $8 million of which is guaranteed.

Over the course of five seasons with Detroit, the 28-year-old Pettigrew has caught 284 passes for 2,828 yards and 16 touchdowns in 71 games. At the same time, Pettigrew has had six fumbles and 34 drops.

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NFL roundup: Antrel Rolle believes Giants ‘can go 12-0 from this point on’ 10.01.13 at 11:19 am ET
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Antrel Rolle

Antrel Rolle

It’s been a surreal start to the season for the Giants, as a 31-7 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday dropped the team to 0-4 for the first time since 1987.

Despite the Giants being outscored 68-7 over the last two games, some players, such as safety and team captain Antrel Rolle, believe that the team can still turn around its season in a major way.

“I believe we can go 12-0 from this point on,” Rolle said Monday. People can look at me like I’m crazy, but you know, I could really give a damn at this point. This is what I truly believe. I know the talent of this team, I know the mindset of this team, we just have to go out there and put it all together.”

While the Giants have been dreadful this season, the rest of the NFC East has not been much better, as the Cowboys (2-2) only have a two-game lead over New York in the standings and will face the red-hot Broncos this Sunday.

“This is a 12-game season for us at this point,” Rolle said. “Nothing that has taken place matters. That’s something that we’ve been preaching today. Guys just have to believe again. We have to get back that good feeling again, as far as winning.”

The Giants’ slow start this season has also put two-time Super Bowl champion coach Tom Coughlin on the hot seat, with fans, media and wide receiver Victor Cruz, who questioned some of Coughlin’s decisions in Sunday’s game.

However, defensive end Justin Tuck backed up his coach in a pretty definitive way on Sunday.

“If anyone turns on our coach, I would be the first one to punch him in the mouth,” Tuck said after the game against Kansas City. “And put that in print. It better not happen, I know that.”

The Giants will get the chance to win their first game of the season this Sunday when they host the Eagles at MetLife Stadium.

• The soap opera that is the Buccaneers and their situation with former starting quarterback Josh Freeman continues to develop.

After being benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon last week and spending Tampa Bay’s game against Arizona up in the press box in what was called a “mutual decision” by coach Greg Schiano, Freeman made the headlines again Tuesday by announcing that he has ADHD and entered into the NFL substance-abuse program after taking Ritalin to deal with the disease.

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets CB Antonio Cromartie no longer sure about playoff guarantee 11.27.12 at 7:50 am ET
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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:
NBA: Mavericks at 76ers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Vermont at Harvard, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Minnesota at Florida State, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Iowa at Virginia Tech, 7:15 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NC State at Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Maryland at Northwestern, 9:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Nebraska at Wake Forest, 9:15 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: North Carolina at Indiana, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who three weeks ago predicted a playoff berth, said he isn't sure what he believes now following the team's 49-19 loss to the Patriots. (AP)

♦ Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who three weeks ago was positive the Jets would rally and make the playoffs, was not as confident on Monday, as his team returned to practice following the 49-19 embarrassment vs. the Patriots on Thanksgiving night that dropped New York to 4-7.

“I don’t even know what I believe right now, the way we’ve been playing,” he said. “We’ve still got five games left. Anything can happen. My biggest focus right now is this one important game. I can’t worry about the playoffs right now.”

The Jets, who have not won consecutive games all season, begin their final stretch with a game against the Cardinals on Sunday as they look to win out.

“Heck, yeah, that’s your goal,” coach Rex Ryan said. “Absolutely, that’s what you’re trying to do. Our goal was to beat New England also, but that never worked out. That’s why you play. You try and win every game that you’re in. I’m saying right now I’m not going to make a guarantee that we’re going to make the playoffs or that deal. We have to get better. It has to start right now.”

Added running back Joe McKnight: “We still are playing for something. We’re playing for our pride and we’ve still got a chance to get in the playoffs. We’ve got five games left. We need some things to happen. [Ryan] just told us to keep playing. The season’s not over. We’ve got five games left and we need to win these five games.”

♦ While the Jets are floundering, the Giants are crediting a 15-year-old cancer patient from Vermont for inspiring them before their 38-10 rout of the Packers on Sunday night. Adam Merchant Jr., who has been winning his battle with Burkitt lymphoma, gave a brief but emotional speech to the team after Friday’s practice, telling the players to “play like world champions.”

“When he said, ‘Play like champions,’ I think we all stopped and thought about it.” offensive lineman Chris Snee said. “We are the champions, and we need to play like that.”

Said defensive end Justin Tuck: “I told him he needs to go into motivational speaking, because he kind of woke us up a little bit.”

Merchant, who visited the team as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation program, was welcomed back to the locker room following Sunday’s win.

“They didn’t just make a wish come true,” Merchant told the New York Post on Monday, “they made a dream come true.”

Phil Jackson has had a couple of weeks to digest what happened in Los Angeles, where he almost returned to the bench before Mike D’Antoni was chosen to coach the Lakers, and he’s softened somewhat.

“We never discussed any terms, so there was never anything unfair about it,” Jackson told TMZ.com. “It was just a midnight kind of coup. … Yeah, it was kind of weird.”

Jackson, 67, said he has no plans to come out of retirement and coach again.

“The chances are slim and none, probably,” he said. “I wasn’t really looking to coach again, but that one was happenstance and it just came about.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 27, 1950, the Red Sox signed which future Hall of Famer from the Indians?

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant tells critics of Lakers to ‘shut up’ 11.02.12 at 8:06 am ET
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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: Bucks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Heat at Knicks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Washington at California, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kobe Bryant has patience for coach Mike Brown's offense, but not for critics of the team. (AP)

♦ The Lakers’ 0-2 start is not sitting well with anyone in Los Angeles, and much of the criticism is falling upon second-year coach Mike Brown. Kobe Bryant said he’s “amused” by the noise, but he doesn’t sound like he finds it very funny.

“I’ve won, so I can [tell people to shut up],” Bryant said Thursday. “For Mike, it might be a little tough to say that, so I’ll say it for him: Everybody shut up. Let us work. At the end of the day, you’ll be happy with the result as you normally are.”

Bryant said those who are pointing fingers at Brown’s Princeton-style offense don’t know what they’re talking about. He noted that the offensive philosophy isn’t that different from Phil Jackson‘s.

“I don’t understand,” Bryant said. “And I’m trying to bite my tongue and not calling them ‘dumb,’ which I kind of just did. But they’ve seen us win multiple championships here in an offense that was tough to learn, that was a sequence of options that weren’t set plays, that took five guys getting on the same page and working together.

“They know how that stuff works, so for them to be so stupid now, for them to say, ‘Oh, let Steve [Nash] dribble the ball around and create opportunities for everybody, or let Dwight [Howard] post up, or let me iso’ … It’s, I don’t want to say ‘idiotic,’ but it’s close.”

♦ The lawyer for Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith claims the player is missing more than $1 million, two days after Smith called the police because some family members were at his house looking for money.

“I’m not certain of the amount of money that’s gone,” attorney John Schorsch said. “I would suggest to you that the numbers are in the seven digits that need to be accounted for.  I don’t know how much of that, if any, is a legitimate gift and how much of that is squeezed out of him or how much of that is flat out taken.  And I know of the latter two categories it’s a bunch.

“I’m going to make sure all the money is justified, and it’s not going to be pretty.”

The 21-year-old Smith signed a four-year, $12.5 million contract in July 2011 after being drafted ninth overall out of USC, and he reportedly gave a substantial amount of money to his family. Earlier this year, however, Smith filed a protective order against his mother and stepfather, barring them from having any contact with him.

Smith’s mother, Frankie Pinkney, insists all money she received was “accounted for,” and she said the family dispute stems from Smith’s relationship with a 26-year-old woman. The girlfriend, Leigh Costa, says she’s not to blame.

“Nothing she says is factual,” Costa said of Pinkney. “I didn’t do anything. I’m a drive-by victim to his family’s chaos.”

♦ Former major league pitcher Pascual Perez was killed in his Dominican Republic home on Thursday, apparently during a home invasion. A prosecutor involved in the investigation said it appears that multiple assailants ransacked the home in an attempt to find money, and the attack might have been premeditated. Perez, 55, was found Thursday morning by his ex-wife with a fractured skill from blows to the head.

Perez went 64-62 in 11 major league seasons with the Pirates, Braves, Expos and Yankees. He was a member of the Yankees when he was suspended for the 1992 season after testing positive for drugs, and he never pitched again.

♦ Giants defensive end Justin Tuck is trying to get in either the Steelers’ heads or the referees’ heads — or maybe both — before Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium. On Thursday, Tuck said Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been benefiting from the officiating.

“I hope we get some holding calls because they have gotten away with murder,” Tuck told ESPN. “They’ve done a good job protecting Ben [Roethlisberger] — they don’t hold on every play. But we’ve seen a whole lot of it.”

The last time the Giants used this strategy was when offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride made a similar comment about 49ers defensive end Justin Smith three weeks ago. While the remark didn’t sit well with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, it apparently did not hurt, as the Giants rolled to a 26-3 victory in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, the Steelers were going to travel to the New York area on Saturday, a day before their game, but their hotel was without power as of Thursday due to Hurricane Sandy. So, the league waived its rule requiring teams to travel at least a day before a game, and the Steelers will fly in on Sunday morning.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 2, 1969, the Patriots won their first game after opening the season with seven straight losses. Which now-defunct team did the Pats shut out, 24-0?

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Youkilis reportedly engaged to Tom Brady’s sister 02.10.12 at 7:40 am ET
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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: Celtics at Raptors, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Lakers at Knicks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Jazz, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Ducks at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network)

SATURDAY:
NHL: Predators at Bruins, 1 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Canadiens at Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Nuggets at Pacers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Suns at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: UConn at Syracuse, 1 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: Cincinnati at Marquette, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Maryland at Duke, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Michigan State at Ohio State, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Harvard at Princeton, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kentucky at Vanderbilt, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Xavier at Temple, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

SUNDAY:
NBA: Bulls at Celtics, 3:30 p.m. (ABC; WEEI)
NBA: Heat at Hawks, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Jazz at Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: St. John’s at Georgetown, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Illinois at Michigan, 1 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: Boston College at Virginia Tech, 6 p.m. (ESPNU; WEEI)
NHL: Capitals at Rangers, 12:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Flyers at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kevin Youkilis reportedly will marry Julie Brady, sister of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. (AP)

♦ According to the Boston Herald, Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis recently got engaged to Tom Brady‘s sister Julie, a California schoolteacher who has a 5-year-old daughter.

The Inside Track report indicates that Youkilis, who married Enza Sambataro in Mexico in 2008 but reportedly parted ways in 2010, was with the Bradys in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl. Although, it should be noted that the Herald gossip columnists reported in October that Youkilis was spending time with a different Brady sister, Nancy (a story that was soon removed from the paper’s website).

♦ Giants defensive end Justin Tuck softened his stance on Jets coach Rex Ryan during a Thursday appearance on “Good Day New York.”

“I actually give Rex Ryan a lot of credit,” Tuck said. “Before he got there, people around here, this state, this area, looked at us as big brothers of Jets. And he’s kind of revitalized the Jets organization and it’s just unfortunate he’s not a Giant. But he’s done a great job of bringing the Jets back to the forefront.”

However, Tuck added: “But we have done a great job of winning Super Bowls, and that’s what counts.”

♦ The NHL officially announced that the 2013 Winter Classic will be played in front of an expected 115,000 fans at the University of Michigan’s Michigan Stadium, with the Red Wings hosting the Maple Leafs. There will also be college hockey games at Comerica Park, home of the Tigers.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 10, 1989, which former Providence College star who went on to a successful NBA coaching career was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame?

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Dysfunctional Jets say teary, expletive-laden goodbyes 01.03.12 at 6:45 am ET
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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: Red Wings at Stars, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Sugar Bowl, Michigan vs. Virginia Tech, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Michigan State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Louisville at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Alabama at Georgia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

A silent Santonio Holmes leaves the Jets practice facility Monday. (AP)

♦ After Sunday’s forgettable performance in a season-ending loss to the Dolphins, the Jets made a memorable exit from their practice facility in Florham Park, N.J., on Monday. The day featured a crying coach, an obscene linebacker and a silent receiver being trailed by a media horde after being stripped of his captaincy.

Coach Rex Ryan admitted that he was both angry and tearful while meeting with the team. Ryan also announced that the team no longer would have any captains, after his awarding of a ‘C’ to Santonio Holmes backfired when the receiver alienated some of his teammates during the season and especially in the final game, culminating with his benching for the final drive.

“Normally, I’m a guy that really has the pulse of this team, and I don’t think I had the pulse of the team the way I’ve done in the past,” Ryan said after the meeting. “When I met with players, I think that became clear to me.”

Ryan said he expects Holmes will return to the team. The receiver has three years remaining on a $45 million contract he signed last offseason. Holmes did not speak to the media Monday, gathering his belongings and departing with a PR official while reporters trailed him.

Said one Jet: “He’s been a problem all year. He’s not going to change.” Added another: “He’s a cancer. It’s like dealing with a 10-year-old.”

Cornerback Darrelle Revis also avoided the media. Linebacker Bart Scott, rumored to be on the way out despite having a guaranteed contract, gave the middle finger to a photographer and told him to take a picture of it (which the photographer did) and then told him, “Get out of my [expletive] face.”

According to Ryan, the frustration is understandable.

“For whatever reason, I don’t think we were as close as a football team as we were the first two years, and now we’re sitting on the outside looking in,” Ryan said. “We’re watching the other teams in playoff games, and we think we should be in. I think that’s painful. Beyond belief, that’s painful.”

♦ The Giants have been successful the past two weeks after trading verbal jousts with their opponents, so apparently they’ve decided to stick with that strategy leading up to Sunday’s playoff game against the Falcons. On Monday, Giants defensive end Justin Tuck was asked about the Falcons offensive line’s reputation for dirty play.

“Yeah, we’ve seen it,” he said. “We know they have that quote-unquote ‘reputation.’ Most people, you would call them dirtbags.”

As for the rest of the Falcons, Tuck offered this backhanded compliment: “They’re a balanced attack where they do a lot of things pretty good, [but] I wouldn’t say they’re great at anything.”

Real Clear Sports has its list of the top 10 games of 2011. No. 1 is the Cardinals’ victory over the Rangers in Game 6 of the World Series on David Freese‘s 12th-inning home run. No. 2 is the Mavericks’ comeback against the Heat in Game 2 of the NBA finals.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 3, 1998, the Patriots lost to the Steelers in the divisional round of the playoffs, 7-6. Which Patriots receiver set a team record with nine receptions for 104 yards?

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets coach Rex Ryan says he won’t change brash ways 12.27.11 at 8:03 am ET
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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:
NBA: Celtics at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Jazz at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Notre Dame, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Nebraska, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Blues at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (Versus)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Jets coach Rex Ryan said Monday that he doesn’t plan to change his brash behavior, even after his boasting backfired with Saturday’s loss to the fired-up Giants.

“That’s who I am,” Ryan said on a conference call. “Do I regret it? No. Did it work out? Nope. It never worked out. I’m never going to say I regret anything that I believe in my heart, and I’ve always said from Day 1 I’m going to be true to myself. When I leave this job 10 or 15 years from now, I’m going to be true to myself. Maybe it’s not the traditional way of doing things. But for me, this is who I am. I made the statements and I’ll stand by everything I said.”

Ryan also spent some time defending quarterback Mark Sanchez and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who have come under fire for the team’s struggling offense.

♦ Now that they’re done arguing with the Jets, the Giants have moved on to focusing their hatred on their next opponent, the Cowboys. “I do not like the Cowboys and they don’t like me,” defensive end Justin Tuck said Monday. “And that’s how it’s supposed to be.”

Meanwhile, Giants coach Tom Coughlin joked about the knee injury he suffered on the sideline Saturday when Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin hit running back D.J. Ware out of bounds and knocked him into Coughlin.

♦ Sixers guard Lou Williams tweeted Saturday about an incident in which he avoided being robbed because of his community service work. Tweeted Williams: Almost got robbed today. But homie said he recognized me and the good I’ve done for his hood so that made him change his mind… WOW.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 27, 1959, which Bruins player began a 22-game point-scoring streak in the B’s 6-1 loss to the Blackhawks in Chicago?

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Giants’ Brandon Jacobs revels in ‘bully’ label 12.09.11 at 7:50 am ET
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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:
College basketball: Richmond at VCU, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

SATURDAY:
NHL: Bruins at Blue Jackets, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Washington vs. Duke, noon (CBS)
College basketball: Ohio State at Kansas, 3:15 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Harvard at Boston University, 4 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Kentucky at Indiana, 5:15 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Michigan State at Gonzaga, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Army vs. Navy, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)

SUNDAY:
NFL: Patriots at Redskins, 1 p.m. (CBS)
NFL: Bears at Broncos, 4 p.m. (Fox)
NFL: Raiders at Packers, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)
NFL: Giants at Cowboys, 8:20 p.m. (NBC; WEEI)
College basketball: Stony Brook at Boston College, 5 p.m. (NESN: WEEI)
College basketball: Detroit at Alabama, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs apparently doesn't mind being called a bully. (AP)

♦ The Giants and Cowboys have been engaging in a war of words leading up to Sunday night’s game. On Wednesday, Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins called trash-talking Giants running back Brandon Jacobs “a bully.” The 6-foot-4, 264-pound Jacobs said he didn’t mind the accusation, bragging, “I am a bully.”

Added Jacobs Thursday: “I think people who call out bullies are afraid of bullies. If you call me a bully, that’s how I see it. They’re just sitting back there waiting for us to come there, and we’re going to come in there ready to play football.”

Jacobs has struggled with injuries this season, most recently a hamstring strain that caused him to miss Thursday’s practice. But he’s expected to play Sunday, and Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck predicts big things from him. Said Tuck: “I always tell him, ‘First they’re going to try and face you up. Second quarter they might slide and ask for their teammate to help them. Third quarter, man, they’re going to be jumping out of the way.’ I’m hoping that he understands how dominant of a back he can be when he wants to be.”

♦ Vikings defensive end Jared Allen had some interesting things to say about two NFC rival cities. The 2-10 Vikings play the Lions on Sunday, and Allen said he isn’t looking forward to visiting the Motor City. “I don’t like going to Detroit,” he said. “It’s gloomy, it sucks, everything’s brown. There’s snow on the ground. If I had to live in Detroit, I think I’d drown myself in the river.”

Added Allen: “There’s two cities like I don’t go out to eat or don’t do anything. It’s Detroit and New Orleans. New Orleans looks like I’m driving through a third-world country every time I get off the plane, I’m like, ‘Oh, flak jacket.’ I’m trying to get down. I’m like, ‘Ah, crap, I can’t carry my gun here. This sucks.’ ”

♦ Eagles rookie linebacker Casey Matthews, who a few weeks ago said he didn’t think anyone would ever understand his team’s fans, had some more interesting things to say Thursday.

“It’s hard,” Matthews said of playing in front of the Philadelphia faithful.  ”One of the earlier games, they harassed my family and made my fiancee cry. It’s tough. It’s frustrating. That’s just how they are here. If you win they love you, so I guess we’ve just got to turn things around and just start winning again.”

Matthews said his fiancee attended a game with his aunt and cousin, and she was identified by fans because she was wearing his jersey.

♦ A youth hockey official in Minnesota is being accused of giving a player a concussion by knocking him to the ice, where the 14-year-old hit his head. Minneapolis Storm coach Ben Anderson pulled his team off the ice after the incident and said the game would not continue unless the linesman was removed. The officials instead issued a match penalty, which means the coach is suspended until a formal hearing, scheduled for Sunday.

The player’s father said the referee pushed his arm up under his son’s chin like a football block. “I was yelling ‘You just hurt my kid,’ ” said the father, who asked that his last name not be used to protect his son’s identity. “The linesman who had knocked him over and the other linesman were standing there — they weren’t doing anything.”

The player is expected to miss a few weeks. Said the father: “I’d like [the officials] to be suspended just like our coach was suspended. I’d like them to not take the ice the way my son can’t take the ice.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 9, 1992, the Red Sox signed which free agent who eventually wound up in the Hall of Fame?

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Yale investigates coach’s claim of Rhodes scholarship candidacy 11.18.11 at 7:51 am ET
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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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY FRIDAY:
No games scheduled

SATURDAY:
NHL: Bruins at Islanders, 7 p.m. (NESN)

SUNDAY:
No games scheduled

AROUND THE WEB:

Yale football coach Tom Williams is backtracking after implying he was a candidate for a Rhodes scholarship. (AP)

♦ Yale quarterback Patrick Witt has been the subject of stories nationwide for his decision to play in Saturday’s rivalry game vs. Harvard and skip his interview for a Rhodes scholarship. Now, Yale coach Tom Williams is getting publicity because he implied he faced a similar decision when he played at Stanford in the early 1990s. But, as The New York Times discovered when it did some investigating, Williams apparently never even was a candidate — let alone a finalist — for a Rhodes scholarship, despite his Yale website biography stating that he was.

On Thursday, Williams insisted he never meant to mislead anyone, and he clarified the situation. “There is no intention to deceive,” he said. “I never said I was a finalist for the Rhodes candidacy. The Rhodes shouldn’t have any record of me, because I didn’t do it. I didn’t go through the process. I pulled out long before it got to that point.”

Yale president Richard Levin said the school will investigate the matter.

♦ University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel was fined and suspended for Saturday’s game against Texas Tech after being arrested for DUI. In The Kansas City Star, Blair Kerkhoff admires the school for being tough on the 59-year-old coach, although he notes the punishment could have been even more harsh.

♦ Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck has not had a good season, with just two sacks after recording 11½ last season, and he’s the first to point the finger at himself. “I do suck,” he said. “I’m a very honest person. … I’m not a very good player now. I do look at myself on field, and I don’t like what I see.”

♦ If you’re looking for something to make you feel better about the Red Sox in this offseason of discontent, check out local author Saul Wisnia‘s new book, “Fenway Park, The Centennial: 100 Years of Red Sox Baseball.” The book is filled with stories, anecdotes and pictures detailing the ups and downs of the team since its inception. It’s a thorough, well-presented collection that combines historical accounts with first-person recollections, and profiles players as well as fans and ballpark employees who have contributed to the character of the Fenway experience. It also comes with a DVD presentation about the early days of the Sox, hosted by Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 18, 1997, the Red Sox acquired Pedro Martinez from the Expos for which two pitchers (one who was a player to be named later)?

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Report: Giants’ Osi Umenyiora to return to practice Monday without new contract 08.15.11 at 9:08 am ET
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Osi Umenyiora

Osi Umenyiora ended his new-contract holdout that started July 30 and returned to practice Monday, the AP reported.

“No deal has been reworked,” Umenyiora told the AP in an e-mail Sunday. “What has been offered has been unacceptable and shows they don’t really respect the fact I sacrifice my health for the franchise. I will play under my current deal because I love and respect my coaches, my teammates, the fans, and myself. Not for those incentives.”

Umenyiora said the Giants put $7.1 million worth of incentives over the next two seasons into is existing contract, but he rejected them.

Umenyiora hasn’t practiced since arriving at the Giants’ training camp a day late. The delay happened because Giants GM Jerry Reese told Umenyiora they were reworking his contract, but Reese did not tell the AP what was discussed.

Umenyiora recorded 11.5 sacks in 2010, tied with Justin Tuck for most on the Giants. He was third on the team among defensive linemen behind Tuck and Barry Cofield with 48 tackles (33 solo).

He led the NFL with 10 forced fumbles.

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