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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Browns QB Johnny Manziel gives finger to Washington sideline during game 08.19.14 at 8:11 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Reds at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Canada vs. Tennessee, noon (ESPN)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Mexico vs. Venezuela, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Texas vs. Illinois, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Arsenal at Besiktas, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Supercopa de Espana, Atletico Madrid at Real Madrid, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)


— Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel lived up to his billing in Monday night’s game against Washington, drawing attention for both his play and his behavior — and neither was positive.

On a second-and-7 play late in the third quarter of Cleveland’s 24-23 loss, Manziel rolled out near the Washington sideline and threw an incompletion. As he headed back toward his huddle, he stuck out his middle finger over his right shoulder.

“I get words exchanged throughout the entirety of the game, every game, week after week, and I should’ve been smarter,” Manziel said. “It was a ‘Monday Night Football‘ game and cameras were probably solid on me, and I just need to be smarter about that. … It’s there, and it’s present every game, and I just need to let it slide off my back and go to the next play.”

MASHUP: How should Johnny Manziel be punished for his gesture Monday night?

  • A fine (48%, 150 Votes)
  • A warning (18%, 57 Votes)
  • No punishment (17%, 54 Votes)
  • A one-game suspension (16%, 49 Votes)

Total Voters: 310

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It wasn’t clear what the Washington players said to Manziel to irritate him, although earlier in the game Washington linebacker Brian Orapko twice celebrated plays by doing the money gesture that Manziel is known for.

Manziel was not penalized, but he’s likely to face a fine from the league.

“It did not sit well,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said. “I was informed of it after the game and it’s disappointing. Because what we talk about is being poised and being focused — that you have to be able to maintain your poise.”

Added Pettine: “That’s a big part of all football players, especially the quarterback, that we have to keep our composure. So that’s something that we’ll obviously address with him.”

Manziel went on to throw a touchdown pass on the drive, but he finished the night just 7-of-16 for 65 yards. Starting quarterback Brian Hoyer also struggled, going 2-for-6 for 16 yards.

— When the Redskins next play on CBS, at least two analysts won’t refer to the team’s nickname.

“My very first thought is it will be ‘Washington’ the whole game,” Phil Simms, the network’s lead analyst, told The Associated Press.

Added Simms: “I never really thought about it, and then it came up and it made me think about it. There are a lot of things that can come up in a broadcast, and I am sensitive to this.”

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Read More: Johnny Manziel, Mike Pettine, phil simms, Steve Ballmer
Michael Sam on Tony Dungy: ‘Thank God he wasn’t the St. Louis Rams coach’ 07.23.14 at 12:32 pm ET
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Michael Sam responded to Tony Dungy‘s comments to the Tampa Tribune that he wouldn’t have drafted the openly gay Rams rookie because he would be a distraction and things wouldn’t go “totally smooth.”

“Thank God he wasn’t the St. Louis Rams coach,” Sam told ESPN’s Nick Wagoner on Tuesday. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Dungy. And like everyone in American, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.”

Dungy’s comments sparked controversy and discussions amongst many. The former Colts coach later clarified his take on Sam in a statement.

Whether or not Sam is a distraction is ultimately up to  Jeff Fisher. And the Rams coach told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning Wednesday that Sam has “absolutely not” been a distraction.

“Let’s define distraction,” Fisher said. “There were a couple of extra cameras during early OTAs. There may have been an extra camera yesterday as rookies reported and went on the field the first time. Mike’s a very passionate athlete. He’s very focused on trying to make this football team. … He worked really hard during the summer, and he’s doing a good job.”

Fisher said there will be no limits placed on Sam’s media availability during training camp. He said he has no problem with Dungy’s comments.

“I’m going to assume some that maybe things were taken out of context,” Fisher said. “But everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. Coaches are going to have differences of opinion during the draft. … I’m not concerned. Tony’s entitled to his opinion as everybody is and so are and right now we think we have a pretty good thing going.”

Read More: Jeff Fisher, Michael Sam, Tony Dungy,
Outsports’ Cyd Zeigler on MFB: ‘Everything adds up pretty clearly to Tony Dungy being a homophobe’ 07.22.14 at 3:45 pm ET
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Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler joined Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss former NFL coach Tony Dungy‘s comments about Rams rookie Michael Sam. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Dungy, now an NBC football analyst, told The Tampa Tribune that he wouldn’t have selected Sam because, “I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it” and things wouldn’t go smoothly.

“I am so tired of this distraction nonsense. You have cameras and questions and screaming fans everywhere you go,” Zeigler said. “That’s the NFL. It’s the biggest game in town. You are always in the middle of a media circus no matter where you go or what you do.

“Will Michael Sam bring some extra cameras? One hundred percent he will. So will Johnny Manziel, so will Jadeveon Clowney, so will lots of other people. That’s just part of the game. And to make decisions based on whether some extra cameras are going to show up or people are going to ask you questions in a press conference, this is insane. You’re supposed to be at the top of your profession. If you make decisions based on that you shouldn’t be an NFL head coach.”

Zeigler said it’s hypocritical for Dungy to feel this way given his history of advocating for troubled players, including Michael Vick, to be given second chances. Zeigler also cited Dungy pushing for gay marriage to be illegal in Indiana.

“He traded for Keyshawn Johnson, who wasn’t known to be a quiet wallflower in the locker room and he said he didn’t agree with Jason Collins‘ lifestyle,” Zeigler said. “Everything adds up pretty clearly to Tony Dungy being a homophobe. He does not agree with people being gay. He has a moral problem with me marrying my partner of 11 years and he does not want that in the locker room.

“To me, it’s one thing to say that. But the problem is Tony Dungy was the head coach of an NFL team. He was making hiring decisions, and when you’re in a position like that you cannot allow things like religion, gender, sexual orientation and race to enter into your head when you’re making those hiring decisions. That is un-American and unfair.”

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Read More: Michael Sam, Tony Dungy,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Tony Dungy’s comments on Michael Sam draw criticism at 7:51 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NES; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Giants at Phillies, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Indiana Fever at Chicago Sky, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA: Phoenix Mercury at Seattle Storm, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)


— NBC analyst and respected former NFL coach Tony Dungy raised some eyebrows with comments he made about Michael Sam, saying he would not have drafted the openly gay defensive end in order to avoid the distraction.

“I wouldn’t have taken him,” Dungy told the Tampa Bay Tribune of the Rams rookie. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.

“It’s not going to be totally smooth. … Things will happen.”

Dungy’s stance has raised questions, especially considering he has voiced public support for Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress, both of whom were major distractions due to off-field behavior that landed them in jail. Dungy also backed Tim Tebow.

Dungy also is known for his strong conservative religious beliefs, although he did express support last year for Jason Collins, who became the first openly gay athlete in major professional sports in America when he suited up for the Nets.

MASHUP POLL: Was Tony Dungy out of line to say he would not have drafted Michael Sam?

  • No, he was just being honest and did not cross the line (70%, 392 Votes)
  • Yes, there's clearly bias behind his comments (30%, 166 Votes)

Total Voters: 558

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The comments drew criticism as well as support on the web. Said former Vikings punter and outspoken gay-rights advocate Chris Kluwe:

“When it comes to someone who is a homosexual football player, he’€™s worried that something will happen in the locker room. I mean, no, I think it’€™s cowardly to say that, because it’€™s your job to make sure that nothing happens in the locker room. That’€™s exactly why you’€™re the head coach, in order to take care of something like that.

“And to try and pawn it off and say, ‘Well, I think it’ll be too much of a distraction,’ that really is just an underhanded way of saying, ‘I don’€™t want to deal with a homosexual player on my team and I’€™m going to do whatever possible not to have to deal with that situation.’ ”

The Rams have made it clear they won’t be swayed by opinions like Dungy’s.

“If you’re going to take a leadership position by drafting Michael, you have to expect the good and the bad,” Rams COO Kevin Demoff said. “We’re prepared for it, and I think we’ll shine through it.”

— Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby did not mince words when offering his opinion of the NCAA, saying “cheating pays” and predicting big changes on the horizon that fans of the current set-up will not like.

“You’re going to hate it going forward,” he said. “There’s a lot of change coming.”

Speaking at the league’s media day Monday, Bowlsby said enforcement is “broken,” and athletic programs are taking advantage.

“I think it’s not an understatement to say cheating pays presently,” he said. “If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions. … They’re in a battle with a BB gun in their hand. They’re fighting howitzers.”

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Read More: Bob Bowlsby, Michael Cooper, Michael Sam, Tony Dungy
Jim Caldwell set to be introduced as coach of Lions 01.15.14 at 11:20 am ET
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Jim Caldwell will be introduced as the new coach of the Lions on Wednesday afternoon at Ford Field. According to The Associated Press, Detroit wanted Jim Schwartz‘€™s successor to have a background with tutoring quarterbacks and experience as a head coach. Former coaches Mike Munchak and Gary Kubiak reportedly also were considered.

“We believe Jim is the right man to lead our team and deliver a championship to our fans,” Lions owner William Clay Ford said in a statement.

“We had a very specific plan and profile for our next head coach, and I am convinced that we found that man in Jim Caldwell.”

In 2013, Caldwell worked for the Ravens, initially as quarterbacks coach in 2012 before being promoted to offensive coordinator late in the same season. The Ravens won last year’€™s Super Bowl, but the offense took a step back this season, ranking 30th in rushing, 18th in passing and 29th in overall offense.

Caldwell served as head coach of the Colts from 2009-11, compiling a 26-22 record and a Super Bowl appearance in 2009. Before being named head coach, Caldwell was the quarterbacks coach for the Colts from 2002-08. Caldwell held the same position for the Buccaneers in 2001.

Tony Dungy, whom Caldwell worked under in Tampa Bay and Indianapolis, gave a positive review to Lions general manager Martin Mayhew.

“Martin called me and said we’re looking for a leader who can help turn our locker room into a winning one and to help us get the most out of our investment in Matthew Stafford,” Dungy told the AP. “I told Martin that Jim Caldwell is exactly what you’re looking for. He’ll lead by making people accountable and by being a role model on and off the field. And with his attention to detail and history of developing quarterbacks, Stafford is going to flourish just like Peyton Manning did with us in Indianapolis.’€

Lions players also voiced their approval of the hire. Running back Joique Bell called it a “great move by our front office” on Twitter.

“I’m excited because he has worked with some good coaches and he did a good job with the Colts,” Lions offensive guard Rob Sims told the AP. “Players seem to like him, so I’m looking forward to being a part of the next chapter of Detroit Lions football with him leading us.”

Read More: Detroit Lions, Jim Caldwell, Tony Dungy,
Black former NFL coaches say league must revisit minority hiring procedures 02.01.13 at 11:15 am ET
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Black former NFL coaches are saying the league needs to revisit its minority hiring procedures after 15 top vacancies — eight head coaching jobs and seven general manager jobs — have been filled by white candidates this offseason.

Former Colts coach Tony Dungy, former Jets and Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, and current Ravens assistant coach Jim Caldwell have said recently that the 2003 Rooney Rule — under which each NFL team has to interview at least one minority candidate for a coaching or general manager opening, according to the vision of Steelers chairman Dan Rooney — isn’t working the way it should.

“When you use the Rooney Rule and not correctly, you put a little bit of a bad mark on Mr. Rooney’s name, and that is not good,” Edwards, now an ESPN analyst, said Wednesday. “If it keeps going this way, we might need to take his name off the rule. It is not being used in the right manner that Mr. Rooney meant it to be.”

Before the rule went into effect in 2003, the NFL had had six minority coaches in more than 80 years. In the years since then, 12 have been hired. But when two black coaches and one black GM — Romeo Crennel of the Chiefs, Lovie Smith of the Bears and Rod Graves of the Cardinals, respectively — were fired after this offseason, all were replaced by white candidates.

“That’s one of the reasons that the Rooney Rule was put in place, because you’re trying to avoid those situations, if possible,” Caldwell said. “We’re at that stage where guys like Lovie Smith, who didn’t get an opportunity, who had won and been very successful previously … obviously, there’s some concern there, and that’s why I think the rule is going to be revisited.”

There are now four minority coaches in the NFL: the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, the Vikings’ Leslie Frazier, the Bengals’ Marvin Lewis and the Panthers’ Ron Rivera.

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Read More: Herm Edwards, Rooney Rule, Tony Dungy,
Tony Dungy: Ndamukong Suh has to change 08.18.11 at 12:42 pm ET
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Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was fined $20,000 for his late hit on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in last week’s preseason game. It marked the third time Suh has been fined for a late hit on a quarterback.

Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show Thursday, former coach Tony Dungy said that Suh needs to change.

‘€œHe’€™s going to have to change some of the things he does,’€ Dungy said. ‘€œI know he’€™s saying, ‘€˜Hey, they’€™re targeting me, they’€™re looking out for me.’€™ Well, you may be the comparison to Shaquille O’€™Neal: If you want to stay in the game and not foul out, even though they may be targeting you or looking at you differently, you’€™ve got to do some things to stay in the game. That’€™s what he’€™s going to have to do, and make adjustments.’€

Added Dungy: ‘€œThere are going to be times when you have to change. If they’€™re saying you’€™re hitting the man too hard, you have to change or else you’€™re putting your team in jeopardy.’€

Suh was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Last year he played in all 16 games and had 10 sacks.

Read More: Ndamukong Suh, Rumor Mill, Tony Dungy,
Jets coach Rex Ryan on playing Colts: ‘It’s personal’ 01.03.11 at 1:59 pm ET
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Jets coach Rex Ryan talked Monday about his team’s playoff game against the Colts, the team that defeated New York in the AFC championship game a year ago, and said, “It’s personal.”

Since 2005, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is 5-1 with 12 touchdown passes and two interceptions going against teams for which Ryan has been head coach (Jets) or defensive coordinator (Ravens). The one loss came when Manning was pulled in the third quarter of last year’s regular-season finale because the Colts had already clinched a playoff berth and were resting their starters. Manning is 2-0 vs. Ryan’s teams in the playoffs.

“I don’t know when I’m going to beat him, but I want it to be Saturday night,” Ryan said. “Is it personal? Yes, it’s personal. It’s personal against him, Reggie Wayne, all those guys, yeah. [Dwight] Freeney and [Robert] Mathis and those other dudes? Absolutely.”

Added Ryan: “I want to put the show on the other foot. I know this team does, too. We want him to experience [a loss] this time.”

Former Colts coach Tony Dungy said Sunday night on NBC that blitzing defenses like those of the Jets and Ravens aren’t generally successful against Manning. “I don’t think you can beat Peyton Manning with a  defense that’s just trying to fool you,” Dungy said.

Responded Ryan: “When you get out there [in the media], you’ve got all the answers, but you don’t have to play anymore. I respect everybody’s opinions, but the only I care about is my own.”

Read More: Peyton Manning, Rex Ryan, Rumor Mill, Tony Dungy