Tagged in: quarterbacks

Lions desperately seeking victory against struggling Eagles

Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions are desperate for a victory, growing tired of being the NFL’s only winless team.

The first-year coach was fired up about the chance to turn around the long-suffering franchise when he was hired 10 months ago, but seven setbacks without success have taken a toll.

Campbell cried in front of cameras and reporters after a comeback fell short earlier this month. And, he didn’t hide his hopes and emotions about the Lions (0-7) possibly beating Philadelphia (2-5) on Sunday at home.

“It would mean everything, look, particularly going into a bye, too,” Campbell said softly. “Any time it would be good, but man, you end on a right note and we get those guys, get their bodies back a little bit and then you come back in. You almost feel like you’re starting over somewhat.”

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Likewise, the Eagles and their first-year coach are shooting for a victory to potentially start the process of salvaging their season after dropping two consecutive games.

“This is what I said to the team: ‘The results aren’t there right now, but what’s going on here is that there’s growth under the soil,'” coach Nick Sirianni recalled. “I put a picture of a flower up, and it’s coming through the ground, and the roots are growing out. The roots are continuing to grow out. Everybody wants to see results. Shoot, nobody wants to see results more than us, right?”

Opposing quarterbacks are completing 74.4% of their passes against the Eagles.

If that holds up, it will break the NFL record of 72.7% set by the Lions in 2016. Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr was 31 of 34 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns last week versus Philadelphia. Carr’s 91.2% completion rate was the second highest by a quarterback throwing at least 30 passes in NFL history.

“That needs to get corrected because it’s hard to play winning football when the ball doesn’t hit the ground,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said.

Second-year running back D’Andre Swift, who is from Philadelphia, has been perhaps the brightest spot during a dim season in Detroit. After being slowed in training camp with a groin injury, the former Georgia star has steadily improved even as defenses have focused on trying to slow him down.

Swift had a season-high 144 yards of offense last week, giving him an average of 93.3 yards per game this season, and matched his career high with eight receptions. He leads NFL running backs with 42 catches and 391 yards receiving. Swift leads the Lions with five touchdowns, three more than any teammate.

Campbell stated he sees similarities to Alvin Kamara, who he coached in New Orleans. “They can both, I think, somewhat take a game over,” Campbell said.

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New England Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore reports to training camp

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who had skipped June’s mandatory minicamp, reported to the team on Thursday, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates. Gilmore was subsequently placed on the active/physically unable to perform list due to a partially torn quad sustained in December.

While the majority of Patriots players report for training camp on Tuesday, quarterbacks and players recovering from injuries were booked to arrive Thursday.

There was a question whether Gilmore, the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, would report. He had stayed away from voluntary practices in the spring, as well as mandatory minicamp, while publicly expressing a desire for the team to upgrade his contract.

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Gilmore is scheduled to earn a base salary of $7 million in 2021.

The Patriots had advanced him $4.5 million of his 2021 salary last year, contributing to the under-market wage for this season.

Gilmore, who turns 31 in September, is in the final year of the five-year, $65 million contract he signed with the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent in 2017. The deal included $40 million in injury guarantees and $31 million fully guaranteed at signing.

At the time, a contract with those guarantees and an average of $13 million per season was viewed as a strong deal. The cornerback market has since exploded, with Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams topping it with a contract averaging $20 million per season.

“I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out. Every player should be paid what they’re worth. That’s just how it is,” Gilmore told longtime NFL reporter Josina Anderson earlier in July.

Of his quad injury, Gilmore told Anderson: “I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt since the surgery. I’ve been running a lot, building full speed.”

Gilmore was one of eight players placed on the PUP list on Thursday, with quarterback Jarrett Stidham another notable player on the list.

Outside linebacker Chase Winovich, defensive tackle Byron Cowart, linebacker Terez Hall, tight end Dalton Keene, core special-teamer Brandon King and wide receiver Devin Smith were the other players placed on the PUP list.

Running back Rhamondre Stevenson (fourth round, Oklahoma), linebacker Cameron McGrone (fifth round, Michigan) and safety Joshuah Bledsoe (sixth round, Missouri) were rookies previously placed on the active/non-football injury list.

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Jason Garrett expected to return as New York Giants’ offensive coordinator

New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is expected to return after a shaky campaign in which the team concluded 31st in total offense and points scored, a source told ESPN.

Although Garrett will stay, there will be some variations to the Giants’ offensive staff, among them the possibility of internal alterations when it comes to the responsibilities of those currently on staff. Increased responsibility for quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski, wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert and tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens is possible.

In addition, the Giants are searching for a new offensive line coach, with assistant line coach Ben Wilkerson and former Houston Texans line coach Mike Devlin among those being interviewed. Tolbert is also reportedly in the running to be the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator.

This was the anticipated outcome with Garrett despite the Giants’ offensive struggles, especially after the coaching carousel had spun for weeks and there was no word on his future. The belief is that some stability for quarterback Daniel Jones and the offense could be valuable. Jones has already had two offensive coordinators and systems in his first two NFL seasons.

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“As far as the potential of Jason leaving, of course it makes you a little antsy,” general manager Dave Gettleman said after the season. “Just imagine, anybody, any of you guys, having your fourth editor in four years. It’s the same thing. It’s no different. We’ll adjust and adapt and do what we have to do, and obviously anything we do moving forward, Daniel is a big part of it. We’re certainly conscious of that piece, to answer your question.”

Garrett, 54, came to New York after nine seasons as the Dallas Cowboys’ head coach.

But it was at the request of ownership that first-year coach Joe Judge looked at the former Giants backup quarterback to be his coordinator.

Despite Judge signing off on it, the marriage seemed arranged and wasn’t perfect in Year 1. It became obvious that Garrett might not be the perfect match with Judge when offensive line coach Marc Colombo was fired midseason. Colombo and Garrett had spent years together in Dallas. Colombo wasn’t happy that Judge was bringing in veteran offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo as a consultant, and the situation deteriorated from there.

DeGuglielmo’s contract has since expired, and he is not expected to return, according to multiple sources.

Garrett sidestepped a question late in the season about whether he would return for a second year with the Giants.

“I’m just excited about the opportunity we have this week,” he said before the season finale against the Cowboys. “Really, I’ve just tried to stay in the moment in any position I’ve had as a player or coach in the NFL. That’s typically when you play your best and coach your best. That’s really what I’m focused on.”

Before his nine-season stint as the Cowboys’ head coach, Garrett was Dallas’ offensive coordinator. But he hadn’t called plays since 2012. The Giants’ offense also took a serious hit when star running back Saquon Barkley tore his knee in Week 2. Barkley, along with Garrett now, also is expected back for next season.

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