Is Jarrett Stidham ready to be Patriots starting quarterback? His former coach thinks so

  • NFL Patriots American Football

    A dozen quarterbacks were selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, and none were chosen by the Patriots.

    The first wave of free agency has come and gone with quarterbacks finding their new homes. The second wave seems dried up, too, with Andy Dalton now in Dallas and Jameis Winston in New Orleans. 

    So Bill Belichick either has something up his sleeve, or Jarrett Stidham will be the quarterback to lead the Patriots into the post-Tom Brady era.

    MORE: Why didn't the Patriots draft a QB? Bill Belichick keeps everyone guessing again with NFL Draft strategy

    Stidham has four passing attempts in an NFL career that began as the 133rd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Two of those attempts were caught by Patriots. A third was caught by Jets safety Jamal Adams and returned for a touchdown. His resume doesn't stand out, but Belichick must like what he's seen.

    Gus Malzahn, Stidham's coach at Auburn, offered some insight on why the Patriots seem to be comfortable handing over the starting job to the second-year pro.

    "It definitely helped him to learn under the best and see what that looks like, but he's the kind of young man, too, this is what he's been waiting on," Malzahn told ESPN.com. "I'll tell you, the moment won't be too big for him. He'll be up to the challenge, that's what I expect." 

    Stidham played his final two seasons at Auburn after transferring from Baylor in wake of the program's sexual abuse scandal. 

    "Even when he got (to Auburn), before he played his first game, you could just kind of tell he was a mature young man," Malzahn told ESPN. "Like a gym rat, always at the complex trying to learn, study film. When he got drafted by the Patriots, I thought it was a perfect spot for him system-wise — spreading the field. He's so good with protections, changing protections, and scheme-wise everything that goes with it, and just the flexibility the scheme gives him. I think that really applies to his strength."

    In 2017, Stidham led Auburn to the SEC Championship game, one win away from a birth in the College Football Playoff. He was considered a potential first-round pick before 2018, but fell down draft boards during the season after Auburn's top two receivers tore their ACLs in the spring. 

    Stidham was the second-ranked dual-threat quarterback after Kyler Murray in ESPN's 2015 recruiting rankings. Per the NFL Network's Peter Schrager, Stidham de-committed from Texas Tech in 2014 following Red Raiders' Patrick Mahomes performance in matchup vs. Baylor in which Mahomes, who was a true freshman[......]

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    New NFL uniforms 2020: Here are the jerseys for Patriots, Buccaneers, Falcons, Browns and Chargers

  • NFL American Football Patriots Browns Falcons Colts Rams Chargers Buccaneers

    New year, new threads.

    Nothing invigorates a fanbase like a new set of uniforms. New kits oftentimes signal a new era for teams, which brings hope and excitement for a lot of fans. It also brings about a lot of bad and hilarious Tweets ripping the uniforms.

    When Nike took over for NFL's uniform making in the early 2010s, a few things were promised: innovation and the future of design. The innovation in material and jersey technology have been apparent and effective while the design has seen varying degrees of success.

    MORE: Ranking Nike's NFL uniform redesigns

    This offseason, we've seen a lot of teams revert to old looks while others have been very fashion forward. In all, five teams have unveiled new uniforms with a few more to come.

    Here's how they all look with some of their more prominent changes:

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers new uniforms

    (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/f9/d1/buccaneers-uniforms-ftr_l9iw3a7f8ebo1h6w92jnt4ygl.png?t=1512479049&w=500&quality=80

    What's new: Maybe the better question is: what's old? 

    The Buccaneers spurned their futuristic-looking kits from their 2015 rebranding for something more traditional and familiar. 

    The Bucs say that their uniforms are inspired by the 1997 through 2013 era of Tampa Bay football, one in which they won their first and only Super Bowl in 2003. In fact, the number font is the same to that of those prior uniforms, with the red a deeper one to that of their prior uniforms. Buccaneers owner Ed Glazer pointed out some of the details of the new uniforms .

    This new but familiar look is a direct result of the valuable feedback we received from our fans. We are excited to return to our classic Super Bowl era uniforms while also introducing a sleek Color Rush uniform that showcases our signature pewter in a new and dramatic way. The refreshed classic design of our home and away combinations bridges our past with our exciting new future, and we are confident it will resonate with our fans.

    With a new all-pewter alternate uniform, the Buccaneers have just three uniforms in rotation for t[......]

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    Rams' Taylor Rapp burns an absurd 10,000 calories in a single day

  • NFL Rams American Football

    Taylor Rapp isn't using social distancing guidelines as an excuse to shirk his workout regimen.

    The Rams' second-year safety on Sunday shared on Twitter that he had completed something called the 10K calorie challenge, during which you apparently burn 10,000 calories in a single 24-hour period.

    How did Rapp accomplish this? Let him break it down for you:

    MORE: Rams' Aaron Donald says games without fans 'wouldn't be fun'

    With a 125-mile bike ride, 1.25-mile swim, 4-mile hike, 3-mile run and short workout (as if that wasn't already impressive), Rapp's day-long workout produced ...

      93,963 steps53.27 miles traversed (not sure how that works out with the bike ride)18 hours and 21 minutes of workout timeA grant total of 10,521 calories burnedAnd all of this with 4 hours and 4 minutes of sleep

      While we only have Rapp's word on this, it stands to reason that he did indeed complete the challenge — which would be a truly absurd feat of human conditioning.

      To add context to what he accomplished, it's worth noting that, per SportsRec.com, a 200-pound player burns roughly 880 per hour playing football (Rapp weighs 208 pounds). If the average length of an NFL game is 3 hours and 12 minutes (ignoring, for our purposes, the significant downtime throughout) then Rapp could burn as many as 2,860 calories in a typical game. That means Rapp would need to play 3.67 games to burn as many calories as he did on Saturday.

      Hopefully Rapp properly fueled himself for that arduous workout — and if he didn't, maybe he can replenish some of those calories with some Memorial Day barbecue. He definitely earned it.

      [......]

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    Robert Kraft's Super Bowl 51 ring sells for $1.025 million at All In Challenge auction

  • NFL Patriots American Football

    Robert Kraft's Super Bowl 51 ring fetched more than $1 million as the Patriots owner auctioned off one of his prized possessions for charity.

    Kraft joined the All In Challenge earlier this month — a digital fundraiser helping to feed those in need amid the coronavirus pandemic. Bidding for the ring from New England's stunning 34-28 comeback victory over the Falcons in 2017 ended Thursday.

    FLASHBACK: Kraft wanted Trump to get 'stolen' SB 39 ring back from Putin

    The winner — after 35 bids — pledged $1.025 million for the piece, which the Patriots earned in historic fashion by overturning a 28-3 third-quarter deficit against Atlanta in Houston.

    As part of the deal, the winner will be flown on Kraft's private plane to Gillette Stadium, where they will receive the ring from the 78-year-old owner in New England's trophy room.

    MORE: Brady goes with Jordan meme in response to 28-3 tweet

    According to the All In Challenge website, more than $45.6 million has been raised overall.

    [......]

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    Brian Flores, more athletes react to George Floyd death, Minneapolis riots

  • NFL American Football MLB Night net

    Many people in the sports world have spoken out about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and ensuing protests across the country. LeBron James shared an image on Instagram of himself wearing a shirt that read "I can't breathe," Floyd's words to now-former police officer Derek Chauvin before Floyd died. Steve Kerr, Carson Wentz and DeMarcus Lawrence have also taken to social media in recent days to express their thoughts. 

    Friday was no different. High-profile athletes and coaches across all sports expressed their desire for racial justice and an end to police violence following Floyd's death on Monday. Dolphins coach Brian Flores made a powerful statement that the team posted on its Twitter feed. Joe Burrow, the first pick in this year's NFL Draft, tweeted, "The black community needs our help." Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence made a plea for understanding.

    MORE: NHL's Evander Kane challenges Tom Brady, Sidney Crosby to react

    Chauvin was shown in a video keeping his knee on Floyd's neck while arresting Floyd on suspicion of forgery. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, later died in the custody of Chauvin, who is white, and three other Minneapolis officers. All four officers were fired and Chauvin was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Minneapolis has been the scene of rioting and looting since Floyd's death.

    KAEPERNICK REACTS: 'We have the right to fight back'

    A sample of the sports world's growing reactions Friday:

    Jamal Adams 'trying' to force trade to Cowboys, putting Jets in impossible situation

  • NFL Cowboys Jets American Football

    Jamal Adams is dead-set on Dallas.

    In an Instagram video posted over the weekend, someone had spotted the All Pro safety (and potential future former Jet) in his car, when the person asked Adams whether he was "coming to Dallas."

    Adams' response: "I'm trying, bro."

    A move to Dallas won't be easy, as the Cowboys are going to be up against the cap number. And with Dak Prescott and Dallas reportedly negotiating a long-term contract extension, it's unclear where Adams is going to get his big payday. 

    MORE: The inside story on the 'Madden 21' cover

    The Jets-Adams breakup has been brewing since late 2018, with Adams openly criticizing the Jets' roster and the powers that be for having a weak roster devoid of "dogs." The team went to great lengths to get Adams those "dogs" in Florham Park, signing C.J. Mosley, Le'Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder before the 2019 season.

    The relationship between player and team was further fractured around the trade deadline in 2019, when Jets general manager Joe Douglas reportedly answered trade offers for Adams, but put the price so high that he was considered virtually untouchable.

    Really, to a certain point, you understand Adams' frustrations. He's been a winning player his entire football life, a vocal leader on the front lines of championship-caliber teams through college. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case with the Jets, as they've finished under .500 for the three seasons he's been on the team. The Jets are a "maybe" playoff contender for the upcoming season, which clearly isn't good enough for Adams, whose desire to be traded to a championship contender is apparent.

    While the Jets aren't contenders, Douglas has never been short to praise Adams in public when it comes to his talents and has been adamant that the plan is for Adams to stay a Jet for life.

    It certainly seems like Adams hasn't read the situation well. Good NFL general managers answer calls for players all the time. Douglas is in Year 2 of his plan to build a title contender, and the team has little impetus to rush a contract extension with a less-than-premium defensive position on the field.

    Of the 2017 draft class, not even Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes has received a contract extension yet, and Mahomes just came off a Super-Bowl winning season and is a fo[......]

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    Malcolm Jenkins questions viability of NFL season: 'Football is a nonessential business'

  • NFL Saints American Football

    Malcolm Jenkins signed a free-agency contract with the Saints in March after six seasons with the Eagles. Now, he's questioning whether it's wise for the NFL to let his second stint with the franchise that drafted him begin on schedule.

    The 32-year-old safety who spent his first five NFL seasons in New Orleans after being selected by the Saints in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft doubles as a CNN contributor hired to comment on social issues. On Thursday, he used that platform to express his concern with what the NFL hopes will be a complete 2020 regular season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    MORE: NFL cancels 2020 Hall of Fame Game, ceremony

    "The Night net's a lot different than the NFL because they can actually quarantine all their players, or whoever's going to participate," Jenkins said, referring to basketball's plan to resume its 2019-20 season with all games taking place in Orlando, Fla. "We have over 2,000 players, even more coaches and staff. We can't do that. And so we end up being on this trust system, the honor system where we just have to hope that guys are social distancing and things like that.

    "And that puts all of us at risk. Not only us as players and who's in the building, but when you go home to your families. I have parents that I don't want to get sick.

    "I think until we get to the point where we have protocols in place, and until we get to the place as a country where we feel safe doing it, we have to understand that football is a nonessential business. And so we don't need to do it. So the risk has to be really eliminated before I would feel comfortable with going back."

    Jenkins later clarified his stance in a video.

    The NFL to this point has not done much to alleviate the inevitable concerns associated with playing a season during a global pandemic. Like Jenkins, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who has tested positive for the coronavirus but is feeling well, also is concerned about the viability of the season.

    "I just feel like there's a lot of moving parts that have to be figured out," Elliott said Wednesday (via ESPN). "I just don't know how they can keep the players (healthy). You gotta put the health of the players first.

    "And it's not even so much, I would say, the players' health — because I got corona, and it really didn't affect me much. But a lot of people have kids — they may have kids with asthma; they may have newborn babies; their parents or grandparents may live with them. ... We have to find ways to make sure that players and their families — and the coaches also and their families — aren't put at risk."

    Because the league was fortunate the outbreak[......]

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    Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce ran Post Malone's beer pong table all night

  • NFL Chiefs

    Among the glorious perks associated with winning a Super Bowl are passes for backstage and suite access at concerts. So of course Post Malone was willing to invite Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce to a meet-and-greet before the rapper's show in Kansas City the same day the Chiefs held their parade in February.

    Post Malone's mistake was evolving that meet-and-greet session into a clash at the beer pong table, where he learned the quarterback and the tight end are just as lethal with ping pong balls as they are with footballs.

    MORE: How much Mahomes will actually make on new deal

    The story appears in a GQ article published Tuesday that details Mahomes' unique offseason. Well before the COVID-19 outbreak shut down live sports in the United States and before Mahomes raised his powerful voice in the name of activism — and certainly before he signed the richest contract in the history of sports — the 24-year-old was simply enjoying an evening many 24-year-olds would envy even more than the night he led Kansas City to a title.

    Yet Mahomes and Kelce were not about to suppress their competitive juices just because they were Post Malone's guests. Below is the whole story from GQ:

    "The day that the Chiefs paraded their Super Bowl trophy through Kansas City, Post Malone happened to be playing in town. What better way to extend the party? 'We didn't buy tickets,' Mahomes says. 'But once we won the Super Bowl, we're kinda like, Can we get a suite?' (They could.)

    "The rapper invited the quarterback to swing by for a quick hello before the show. The courteous Mahomes brought along a jersey 'as a thank-you for having us out.' As Mahomes and his teammate Travis Kelce sized up the scene backstage, Post challenged the two to a friendly game of beer pong. ('I guess he loves beer pong,' Mahomes points out. And Bud Light. 'That's, like, his thing.')

    "Post's invitation turned out to be ill-advised. Mahomes and Kelce are the most effective quarterback-tight end duo in the NFL, and apparently they're capable of doing as much damage on a sad-looking folding table backstage at a concert as they do on the field on Sundays. Though Mahomes described his beer pong game that night as merely good, he told me Kelce had been 'unconscious.' When I asked him about it, Kelce said, 'I don't know if I've been that hot on the pong table ever in my life.'

    "As the pair rallied off a series of quick wins, Post Malone — wearing his brand-new Patrick Mahomes jersey, red like the Solo cups on the table — grew increasingly ruffled. (In an email, the rapper admitted to me that he's a 'pretty f—ing competitive beer pong player.') Post tried switching partners. He played with a buddy. Then another. He teamed up with Swae Lee, who had joined Post on tour.

    "After nine or ten games, Post is interrupted by his manager. It's time, he's told, to[......]

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