Tag Archives: excited

NFL Draft: Texans (and everyone else) excited for Johnny Manziel’s pro day

It’s unclear who held the record for the most hyped pro day in NFL draft history, but it doesn’t matter anymore. On Thursday, Johnny Manziel is setting that record.

Manziel is having his pro day workout for scouts on Thursday. NFL Network has a 90-minute show scheduled to cover it live, starting at 11:30 a.m. ET. And this isn’t your normal pro day, judging by the guest list. Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Gov. Rick Perry and former President George W. Bush are among those expected to be in attendance for Manziel’s pro day.

All to watch a guy in shorts throw the ball around. But, Johnny Football has never been low key about anything.

While the first freshman to win a Heisman Trophy will have his every move watched by powerful politicians and a live television audience, one group matters above all: The Houston Texans.

Houston has the first overall pick of the draft and the Texans have done a tremendous job concealing their plans for that selection. They’ve offered very few clues. Coach Bill O’Brien said the team will draft a quarterback … but that doesn’t mean they’ll draft one first overall. O’Brien said he doesn’t think any of the top quarterbacks are head and shoulders above the rest, and maybe that means he doesn’t think any are worth the first pick … though it might just mean Houston has a tough decision with the top pick.

Maybe general manager Rick Smith had a slip to USA Today when asked about concerns that Manziel would not fit in O’Brien’s offensive scheme.

“That’s not an accurate statement at all,” Smith said. “Bill O’Brien is a creative coach. He’s an innovative coach. And if he had a guy like Johnny Manziel, he’d figure out a way to utilize his skills.”

Smith paused, then, chuckled.

“Now when you write that everybody is going to say, ‘We’re taking him,”’ he said. “Which I love.”

Hey, it’s not much, but we have no other evidence at this point.

The Texans met individually with top quarterbacks Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater at their pro days, and will do the same with Manziel. The Houston Chronicle said the team plans to have all three quarterbacks come to Houston for more individual pre-draft meetings.

And at Manziel’s much-anticipated pro day, O’Brien said he’s looking forward to seeing how much Manziel has improved since his season at Texas A&M ended.

“Has he improved footwork-wise, throwing motion, knowledge of coverages?” O’Brien said. “You can see a lot in a pro day, but in a private workout, you’re one-on-one, and the prospect is taking your instruction right from what you say. And he’s doing things that you’re going to have him do in your system, whether it’s offense or defense.”

Manziel will have a chance to throw off his skills, most notably his arm strength and accuracy, with fellow top prospect Mike Evans as his main receiving target. The Texans obviously haven’t ruled out taking Manziel first overall, but many other teams will be evaluating Manziel on Thursday in case Houston goes in another direction.

One thing is for certain: There will be a lot of people watching Manziel’s workout on Thursday. It might be a while before there’s another pro day like it.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

Jermichael Finley excited to play again after spinal fusion surgery

Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley’s agent is getting the ball rolling for his client.

Finley wants to be back with the Packers, agent Blake Baratz told the New York Post. He’s not quoted linking his client potentially to the Giants, but plenty of dots are connected. The Giants need a tight end. Their new offensive coordinator is Ben McAdoo, who coached the Packers tight ends for six years. Giants safety Antrel Rolle has already tried recruiting him.

That’s all normal, but there’s one thing about Finley’s upcoming free agency that’s surely not: He’s still recovering from spinal fusion surgery.

Finley’s season ended on a huge hit by Browns safety Tashaun Gipson. He suffered a neck injury and spent some time in the intensive care unit. Then he had surgery to fuse together his C3 and C4 vertebrae. Despite how scary that sounds for a player who makes his living catching passes in the middle of the field, he wants to play tight end again.

“Jermichael is doing great, is working out, running routes, catching balls, and feels no different than he did pre-injury,’’ Baratz told the New York Post. “His fusion has to fully heal before he is 100 percent ready for contact, but we are all anticipating that occurring in the coming weeks. Jermichael is a rare breed that creates a mismatch for defenses. Whenever you have a player that can do that he is a valuable asset.’’

Even if Finley didn’t feel the same as he did before the injury, it’s not exactly good for business to say so publicly. Finley will have to be cleared medically by whatever team signs him, so he’ll need to prove he’s fully healthy.

Finley could come back. Peyton Manning won a MVP award after spinal fusion surgery, and he’s one of many who have come back after similar surgery. Given everything that Finley has been through in the last few months, hopefully he has a success story similar to Manning’s return.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

‘Duck Dynasty’ stars say they are excited to return to show after controversy

In an exclusive interview with Fox News as part of the “All-American New Year,” Robertson and his wife Korie told Bill Hemmer and Elisabeth Hasselbeck there is no bad blood between the family and the network and they are excited to continue the show in 2014.
FOX News

Which Apple announcement excited you most? (poll)

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Apple on Tuesday introduced its new iPad Air, a Retina Display iPad Mini, a new Mac Pro, and even a free upgrade to OS X Mavericks in a single step for Mac users still working on hardware as far back as an iMac from 2007.

There was no mention of an iWatch or the long-awaited and nearly mythical Apple HDTV, but clearly Tuesday’s media event still served up plenty for Apple fans to get excited about.

We put it to you, CNET legionnaires: which bit of hardware or software news from Cupertino had you running to Apple.com as fast as your little piggies could type out the URL to learn more?

Did you immediately start downloading your free upgrade of OS X Mavericks, or did you find yourself agonizing over whether silver or space gray better matches your personality? Or perhaps you could not care less about anything Apple announced, in which case we wonder how you ended up on this page. But still… welcome, and take our poll!

[Read more]

Related Links:
Friday Poll: What do you want most from Apple’s event?
7 things to expect at Apple’s Oct. 22 event
Apple’s iPad event reportedly set for October 22
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Apple officially sets its October 22 iPad event


Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Earl Thomas was so excited for a big hit, he flattened teammate in celebration (Video)

Seattle safety Earl Thomas is one of the best in the NFL, and part of the reason is his passion for the game.

If fellow Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor didn’t know about Thomas’ passion before Sunday, he found out after Thomas made a big play against Tennessee.

In the fourth quarter, Thomas had a big hit on an incompletion on a third down and 4, and he was fired up. He found Chancellor and got ready for a chest bump. But it turned into more of a chest obliteration. Thomas went up, and in his excitement went a little too hard and knocked Chancellor flat on his back.

The two probably shared a good laugh over the blooper, considering Seattle won 20-13.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter.

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

Jerry Jones can’t sleep because he’s so excited about the state of the Dallas Cowboys

It’s hard to follow the wave of emotions of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

After all, he’s a man who is 70 years old but with the brain of a 40-year old. Or so he says.

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But Jones twice said on his radio show on KRLD-FM Tuesday morning that he’s having trouble sleeping. And that it’s a good thing, based on the potential of the team the Cowboys are set to field this season.

“Can’t sleep, popped up at 4:30 this morning,” Jones said. “It’s just an exciting time to think that we’ve got the team on the field that we do. This is a big game, we open it up nationally at AT&T Stadium. [It's] almost more than I can handle.”

It’s a good thing, but also a pressure thing, Jones said. So both the pressure and the excitement are making for the short nights.

“I feel pressure because of the fact that we haven’t met our expectations,” Jones said. “These last two years have been arguably … the most disappointing years in my career with the Cowboys. So, we needed to make some changes, and we did and have. Now, will they work? Will they be effective and productive? That’s what’s there. But we’ve given ourselves a real chance to maximize what [Tony] Romo brings to the table, to maximize our talent.”

The Cowboys are debuting at No. 19 in the “Shutdown Corner” Power Rankings, but it’s obvious they have the talent to compete for the NFC East title. But we’d be worried about Jones’ sleep patterns if the team were to win a postseason game for only the third time since 1996.

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Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo! Sports

Detroit Lions seem excited to give Reggie Bush the ball a lot this season

When the games count, Calvin Johnson will return for the Detroit Lions, and Johnson will get many Matthew Stafford off-his-back-foot throws his way.

But this preseason, with Johnson missing two game because of a bruised knee, it’s becoming clear the Lions are also going to take advantage of their investment in running back Reggie Bush.

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Bush had 11 touches on the Lions’ first 19 plays against New England. And Detroit’s 21st play was an incompletion to Bush. Bush, signed as a free agent this offseason, was coming off a preseason game in which he had eight carries and five catches in a short outing.

The Lions wouldn’t keep feeding Bush the ball if he didn’t look pretty good, and he still has the same old slick moves once he gets into space.

On a screen pass in the first quarter, Bush stopped on a dime and let two defenders pass (how many times have we seen that from him?) and took off for a 67-yard gain. He had 103 yards receiving in the first half. Bush still has to get it going in the running game, considering he has just 21 yards on 18 preseason carries, but the box will be a lot less packed once Johnson is back on the outside.

Overall it was a pretty good outing for the Lions in the third preseason game against the Patriots. The front was very tough, holding New England to 32 rushing yards on 16 attempts in the first half. The Lions forced four turnovers in the first 18:22 against an offense that is fairly good. Detroit led 16-3 at halftime before pulling most of its starters. Aside from Stafford throwing every pass with different and terrible mechanics, the Lions have a lot to be pleased with now that the preseason is done for almost all their starters.

If nothing else, they’ve learned this preseason that Bush can be quite a weapon to take some heat off Johnson once the regular season starts.

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Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo! Sports

An iPhone with “LTE-Advanced?” If you’re in the US, don’t get too excited

The Korea Times is quoting anonymous SK Telecom executives saying that Apple is in the middle of negotiations about using an LTE-Advanced technology called carrier aggregation in the next version of the iPhone. Doing so would enable potential download speeds of 150 mbps on SK’s network, which is twice as fast as the what the iPhone 5 supports on its LTE network today.

Whether or not this deal actually comes to fruition, keep in mind that there’s a reason this report is originating in Korea: there’s very little chance this capability would be available to most Apple customers in the U.S. when the supposed device becomes available.

Qualcomm, which is Apple’s supplier, already makes an next-generation LTE chip for Apple’s rival Samsung, and it’s in a version of the Galaxy S 4 optimized for Korea. With Apple on track for its yearly iPhone release some time this fall, it is very likely Apple will get similarly updated chip, which includes the potential for much faster speeds.

But while such a device could work in South Korea with SK Telecom, for example, it wouldn’t work anywhere else — at least not yet.

Carrier aggregation bonds two mobile transmissions together, allowing an operator to create a kind of super-connection. SK Telecom, however, is the only global operator that currently supports the LTE upgrade, though it’s on the roadmap of most of the U.S. operators. To make full use of carrier aggregation, U.S. operators first need to build their second LTE networks, which they’ve only just begun to do. As my colleague Kevin Fitchard has written before, it’s misleading to call carrier aggregation LTE-Advanced, since it’s only the first of many steps necessary to achieve a full LTE-A network.

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Dolphins QB Tannehill Excited To Be Throwing To New WR Wallace

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is happy the team supplied him with some new offensive weapons, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

Receiver Mike Wallace was running routes when Tannehill — impressed by his blazing speed — told him he should go only half speed.

“ ‘I am going half speed,’ ” Wallace responded, according to Tannehill.

“Everything I heard about him coming in has proved to be true — he’s as advertised,” Tannehill said. “Fastest guy I’ve ever thrown to. It’s exciting.”

NFL Gridiron Gab

From the combine: Marc Trestman excited to coach Jay Cutler

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has drawn criticisms throughout his career for his body language, but that won’t be an issue with first-year head coach Marc Trestman.

“Everybody has an opinion on that,” Trestman said of Cutler’s occasionally poor demeanor. “I’m excited to coach Jay. I’ve had a couple of opportunities to talk with him on multiple levels and excited to work with him in all facets of his game. I really am. He’s an extremely bright guy. He loves football. He’s got a great skill set. So we’ve got to work hard to provide him the resources he can to maximize his ability and that goes into everything we’re doing in all three phases with personnel department and with our coaching staff.”

Trestman added that the Bears have not have any discussions about extending Cutler’s contract, which expires after the 2013 season. Trestman also discussed linebacker Brian Urlacher’s future with the Bears.

“That’s an ongoing process. We evaluated our entire football team as much as we can without seeing him work, without having some formal time with him on the field,” Trestman said of Urlacher, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on March 12. “As we move forward through the process, through the process and the Spring, things are going to be resolved. But right now between (general manager) Phil (Emery), the personnel department and myself and the coaching department, we continue to talk about these things and process the information.

“But at this time we’re not going to go any further than that in our discussions.”

In addition to his previous duties as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes, Trestman has helped several college quarterbacks prepare for the NFL draft. One of the players Trestman tutored was current New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, who is expected to be available in a trade or as a free agent at some point this offseason. With Jason Campbell and Josh McCown free agents, the Bears could use a backup quarterback.

While Trestman cannot discuss a player under contract with another team, he was asked about Tebow’s progress as a professional. Trestman smartly used a “Sorry, I’ve been out of the country” tactic to avoid the topic.

“It’s been far too long removed for me to comment on what’s taken place. I’ve been focused on the CFL,” said Trestman. “I had a great opportunity to spend some time with Tim and work with him at the time just out of college. I’ve really been away from it from a standpoint of even commenting what he’s been through and where he is at the present time.”

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo! Sports