- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
The title of Ben Utecht’s book is “Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away.”
Not much more needs to be added to that. Utecht, the former tight end for the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals from 2005-09, suffered five major concussions in his college and pro career. We’ve heard plenty of these stories by now, so we know where it’s headed: Utecht finds himself battling memory loss.
The MMQB’s Emily Kaplan wrote about Utecht’s battle with long- and short-term memory loss, and his book about it. Utecht wrote it as a way to document the memories he still has.
“This book is a keepsake,” Utecht told The MMQB. “I wanted to provide content for my daughters to be able to hold on to, to have forever.”
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
Even if your name is something relatively common, like Jason or Charlotte, chances are high that at some point, your neighborhood Starbucks barista has misspelled your name on your cup.
But for those of us with unique names, the struggle is real.
Just ask Washington rookie safety Su’a Cravens.
The second-round pick from the University of Southern California has already developed a routine in his new home of getting his weekly coffee, but he’s had to make a little change.
“I go to Starbucks every Sunday and order my white chocolate mocha. Venti. I don’t tell them my real name because the last time I told Starbucks my real name they spelled it ‘Suwqua’,” Cravens told CSN Mid-Atlantic. “She spells it like that and then when my name comes she goes ‘Sewer.’”
After a few weeks of hearing his name mangled, Cravens came up with a new strategy.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
Josh Norman plans to say whatever he wants this season, but the NFL receivers he talks about aren’t going to quietly take his trash talk.
Norman said a lot of things in an ESPN the Magazine piece this week, and he talked about how he shut down Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas in Super Bowl 50.
“I don’t know what he was out there for,” Norman told ESPN. “He was supposed to be an all-world guy, and I shut him down.”
It’s true that Thomas had just one catch for 8 yards. And Norman wasn’t necessarily bragging about how great he was in the Super Bowl; he lamented that he dropped two possible interceptions in the Carolina Panthers’ loss. It’s also fair to note that the entire Broncos passing game suffered all season with uneven quarterback play.
But there’s really only one comeback that matters, and Thomas had it.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner6 hrs ago
Usually when a team drafts a player in the second round, they can afford to be patient with him. He can play a role as a backup, take some reps as a special-teamer while he learns the ins and outs of the playbook.
But with a kicker, it’s not so easy.
A lot has been written in a short time about Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo, the former Florida State standout the Bucs took in the second round this year – the highest a team has drafted a kicker in over a decade (New York Jets, Mike Nugent, 2005).
Aguayo is struggling. Really struggling.
The 22-year-old missed his first kick in the preseason, an extra point. Then he missed two field goals last week against Jacksonville, one from 32 yards and the other from 49.
And now this, from Tampa Bay’s joint practice with the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday:
— Pat Donovan (@PatDonovanNFL) August 23, 2016
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
NFL coaches, front-office personnel and owners are probably better off saying nothing about domestic violence. We all know when they talk tough, they don’t really mean it.
It’s easy to make proclamations in an interview though. Like New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo did in January, when asked by the New York Postwhat he won’t tolerate as a head coach. According to the Q&A transcript, McAdoo gave one answer:
“Domestic violence is something that we’re all cracking down on in this league,” McAdoo said. “That’s something that’s important to us as an organization, important to me as a man, and important to me as a coach.”
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
The whole story of Tom Brady and his thumb was strange.
He had to be scratched from a preseason start after reportedly “slicing” his right thumb with some scissors, while digging something out of his cleats. Brady’s agent Don Yee told NFL.com that Brady “will be OK in time,” and what the heck did that mean? Then Brady was gone from practice Sunday and Monday, supposedly for personal reasons, and Bill Belichick wouldn’t acknowledge any part of it. And when you pass on offering any information, it invites speculation.
Brady was back at New England Patriots practice on Tuesday, and even met with the media, who got a look at the damage to his right thumb. Rather, the lack of damage. Here it is, via Phil Perry of CSNNE:
Shot of the damage to Tom Brady's right thumb. I think he'll be ok. pic.twitter.com/rdJadYffY1
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
Even before he took an NFL snap, there were many who believed that Tim Tebow might be better suited as a fullback or H-back-type player if he wanted to have a career in the league. Once Tebow was drafted and he struggled as a signal-caller – he couldn’t make decisions quick enough and he was inaccurate – the calls for him to switch positions, or maybe try his hand in the Canadian Football League, only grew louder.
But Tebow refused. It was quarterback or nothing. So nothing it is; Tebow spent training camp with the New England Patriots in 2013 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, but the 2010 first-round pick hasn’t played a meaningful snap in the league since 2012.
So now Tebow has turned his attention to baseball. He hasn’t played the game since his junior year of high school over a decade ago, but he’s been working out on the diamond, and feels he’s ready to try out for teams.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Russell Wilson started his college career at North Carolina State and wanted to marry Ciara in North Carolina, but the state’s controversial transgender bathroom law caused the couple to scrap those plans.
Wedding planner Mindy Weiss told The Knot that Wilson and Ciara moved the wedding from North Carolina because of House Bill 2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which restricts bathroom access for transgender people in government buildings and public schools. The law has drawn the ire of LGBTQ groups, and apparently the Seattle Seahawks quarterback and his Grammy award-winning wife don’t agree with it either.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Last week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced an increased reimbursement package for fans who traveled to Canton, Ohio to see the Hall of Fame game, only to have it canceled due to field conditions.
But it may not be enough to stop a fraud claim.
Attorney Michael Avenatti, who has hinted at filing a claim that the Hall and the NFL defrauded fans, believes he’s found a smoking gun, so to speak, that the league and Hall officials knew the game wouldn’t be played but let the thousands of fans into the stadium anyway.
Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee recorded a podcast the day after the game was supposed to be held, and said, among other things, that “There was a big ‘no tweeting’ policy, like nobody’s allowed to say (expletive)” among instructions given to teams after they were told of the cancellation.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Plenty of athletes seek help for their mental struggles between the lines. But it’s rare to see a rookie do it before his first game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo, one of the most accomplished college kickers in recent history, has been off to a rough start to the preseason. According to team insider Roy Cummings via 620 WDAE Radio, Aguayo is consulting both a kicking coach and a “mental coach” after missing an extra-point try and two field-goal attempts in his first two professional games.
Former NFL kicker Ryan Longwell and former Bucs special teams coordinator Billy Miller have been enlisted to try to help Aguayo with his mechanics. The mental coach is there to help repair Aguayo’s confidence, which he says has been shaken “a little bit.”