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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?
The St. Louis Rams announced Wednesday that they have fired defensive coordinator Tim Walton, and ESPN.com is reporting that the team will officially replace him with Gregg Williams — whom the team hired for this post two years ago.
The team issued a short statement on the Walton firing from head coach Jeff Fisher.
“I would like to thank Tim for his hard work and contributions to our defense. I wish him well in the future,” Fisher said.
Williams wasn’t long for the Rams’ defensive coordinator position in 2012 after being hired that year by Fisher, when the NFL came calling on Williams that March for his role in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal. The league suspended Williams indefinitely, and the Rams were forced to fire Williams and go in a different direction.
The team actually promoted Williams’ son, Blake, to the job for that season, and after he struggled to mesh with the staff, Fisher turned to Walton to coordinate the defense in 2013. Clearly, that, too, turned out to be a bad match for the Rams’ talented but young personnel.
Now it’s back to the elder Williams, who spent last season as a consultant with the Tennessee Titans but was not retained when head coach Mike Munchak was fired. This rehiring is fascinating because as close as Fisher and Williams were for years, working together with the Titans, their relationship had appeared to sour some, especially after Blake Williams was shown the door. Could son rejoin the team and work for Dad on the defensive side of the ball? Who knows?
Williams’ chore now will be to improve a defense that allowed a league-worst 68.1 percent passing and 8.1 yards per pass attempt against it, despite a wealth of young talent. There are four first-round picks, two second-rounders and two third-rounders of the team that figure to be key players, all since 2008, so the arrow points decidedly up. With sacks leader Robert Quinn anchoring a strong D-line, the rush really could be special — even in an NFC West division that might have four of the top 10 defenses in the NFL next season.
Walton struggled to develop the type of Fisher wanted. Instead, to protect the young cornerbacks and weak safeties, the Rams played a lot of softer coverages, and the plan backfired. Still, he was expected to retain his job until Williams reentered the picture.
But will the bounty shadow cast its way over this young — and heretofore undisciplined — defense? There’s also an issue of trust here. Williams clearly isn’t scared of Fisher’s recent track record for hacking defensive coordinators, but will the young players buy into Williams’ plan considering what happened in New Orleans? He not only fueled the bounty scandal and was a central figure in that culture, but he also turned state’s evidence (so to speak) on his former coaches and players when the league threatened lifetime banishment and castration.
It’s a fascinating rekindling, though, and there’s no doubt that these two — along with longtime compadres Chuck Cecil and Dave McGinnis, also on staff — have combined to watch over some quality defenses over the years. It appears that Fisher is all in with his old buddy, especially when he probably could have outbid the Buffalo Bills for Jim Schwartz, another old Titans friend, had Fisher known he wanted to replace Walton.
Chalk up the Rams as one of the more intriguing teams for next season. There isn’t a shortage of talent, nor of fascinating storylines, the Williams one pretty high among them.
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Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch does not like to conduct media interviews.
And it was obvious during Super Bowl media day on Tuesday.
Lynch reportedly was unsure if he would speak during the mandatory media session. He did not speak with the Seattle media for most of the 2013 season, which resulted in the league office threatening to fine him. Lynch decided to speak on Tueday, but for less than six minutes. That is when Lynch walked away from the hour-long session.
However, Lynch did not leave (heck, it was probably was a long walk back to the hotel). Lynch hung around and spoke with teammates, wearing dark sunglasses and a hoodie to conceal his identity. NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders tracked down Lynch, and that is when things became weird.
Lynch started the live interview with an s-bomb, which Sanders ignored. It ended with Lynch referring to himself in the third person as “Beast Mode,” his nickname.
What occurred between was like watching an awkward first date:
“You kind of shy?” Sanders asked.
“Nah,” Lynch said.
“You just don’t want to talk, really?” Sanders inquired.
“I’m just about that action, boss,” Lynch said.
Lynch said talking does not help him win games, and his short answers continued.
“Are you excited about the game,” Sanders asked.
“Hell yeah. Yeah,” Lynch said.
Sanders continued to pry, but could never get Lynch to open up.
“You don’t like podiums, do you?” Sanders asked.
“Nah, it ain’t my thing,” Lynch said.
“What is your thing?” Sanders asked.
“Laid back, kicked back, mind my business, stay in my own lane,” Lynch said
Lynch added he would be there when the Super Bowl began on Sunday.
He just was not around long for interviews on Tuesday.
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Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs is having a retirement party on January 31.
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is probably not on that invite list.
Jacobs was a fourth-round pick by the New York Giants in 2005. After winning two Super Bowls with New York, Jacobs signed with San Francisco in 2012. Jacobs did not play much in San Francisco, which he complained about through social media, resulting in a suspension. Jacobs was eventually waived prior to the playoffs.
Even though Jacobs is retired, his bitterness toward Harbaugh is still active.
“He is a bitch, and that’s why he’s never won anything,” Jacobs said as a guest on WFAN’s “Boomer and Carton” show (via CBS New York).
That was a start, but Jacobs had more to say when asked about his biggest regret.
“I have one regret in my career, and that’s going to the 49ers when I could have stayed in New York, Jacobs said. “I just wanted to see what stuff was like with another team and it didn’t work out.”
Jacobs proceeded to say, “I’ve got two rings. Harbaugh, though, he’s a bitch. So it doesn’t matter.”
In fact, Jacobs backed up his thoughts about Harbaugh on Twitter:
Oh wow what is that in my hand lol pic.twitter.com/0HrKyrAjWY
— Brandon Jacobs (@gatorboyrb) January 23, 2014
It is good to know a player can retire, but his resentment never has to leave.
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You don’t expect to rent a car and find a high-powered rifle left behind in the back seat.
Judith Fleissig, a 58-year-old woman from Rochester, N.Y., was surprised when the SUV she rented in South Florida on Jan. 4 included an AR-15 rifle left behind by the previous renter.
Even more surprising is that the person who left the gun behind was Lauren Tannehill, the popular wife of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Lauren Tannehill didn’t break any laws by leaving the legally-owned gun behind in a bag.
“Though dangerous if it would have landed in the wrong hands, it’s not criminal,” Broward County sheriff’s spokeswoman Keyla Concepción said to the Sun-Sentinel.
Through the Dolphins, the Tannehills said they view it as a personal matter.
Fleissig didn’t even notice the bag in the back set until two days after they rented the car. The Sun-Sentinel said her daughter found the bag.
“We got out of the car, we were kind of freaked out,” Fleissig said. “I didn’t want to touch it. I took a picture, zipped it back up and went to the police station. They came out and took it. “[I thought] ‘this vacation is getting better and better.’”
The police said Lauren Tannehill, a model who got a lot of on-air time when the Dolphins were featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” simply forgot the gun in the car. The Tannehills probably won’t make that mistake again.
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You may never have heard of Geeksphone, unless you take a particular interest in Firefox OS, but the Spanish manufacturer could be about to garner some global attention. It says it’ll launch a new handset at Mobile World Congress next month that will …
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Ford has something special sitting in its booth here at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. In fact, it brought two special somethings in the form of the Ford Mustang 1 Concept that first saw the light of day in 1962 and the very first production Mustang that rolled off the production line in 1964.
These classic creations are sharing floor space with the brand-new 2014 Mustang in honor of the pony car’s 50th Anniversary. Since Ford’s latest ‘Stang already made its auto show debut (at a number of locations, including Los Angeles), we think it’s pretty cool that the Blue Oval did something special for its home-town show.
Check out both the Mustang 1 Concept and first production 1964.5 Mustang above and below.
Patents, especially software patents, have become a major point of contention of late. Patent trolls are on the rise and the US government is, somewhat ambiguously, taking steps to lessen … Continue reading