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Brady: Patriots' Offense Hasn't Played Well For A Long Time

Tom Brady acknowledged the struggles of the New England Patriots' offense.

"I don't think we've played well for a long time," said Brady.

The Patriots rank 23rd in total yardage this season.

"That's obviously going to reflect in every statistic that you can find, that we don't have the kind of offense that's going to perform at a high level," Brady said in his weekly interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI 93.7 FM. "Everyone's connected. It all ties together. If we're not playing well, we're not going to have good stats."

Via ESPN


Ndamukong Suh Denies Speaking To Reports About Free Agent Future

Ndamukong Suh was asked numerous questions about his plans during the offseason on Wednesday following a report from Adam Schefter that he would like to leave the Detroit Lions in 2015.

During the news conference, Suh did not raise his voice or appear agitated -- it just seemed he didn't want to talk about his future.

"I cannot address that just for the simple fact that I have not spoken to any reporter about it or any reporters about supposedly what has come out," Suh said.

Teammates continue to say that Suh's contract situation is not a distraction and something he has to handle on his own.

Via Michael Rothstein/ESPN


Larry Donnell Lost In Fantasy Football Week 4 After Benching Himself

Larry Donnell didn't start himself in his own fantasy football league in Week 4 and lost as a result.

Donnell had 54 yards and three touchdowns against Washington, but he instead started Vernon Davis. Davis left the game injured after catching two balls for eight yards.

"Would've won if I played me," Donnell told The Record after practice Wednesday. "During the game, I'm like, 'Really?' That's the honest truth."

Via ESPN



Steve Smith: Panthers, Gettleman Released Me For Personal Reasons

Steve Smith believes he was released by David Gettleman and the Carolina Panthers for personal reasons.

"Yes, it was personal with me and Dave Gettleman," Smith said Wednesday on Charlotte radio station WFNZ. "Obviously, I did something that got under his skin."

Smith had called into the station Wednesday to refute an NFL Network report aired last week saying he had refused a pay cut and instead asked for a release from the Panthers.

 

"You wake up in the morning after a good win, and you just read reports about [how] you demand this and demand that," Smith said. "Man, I just find it interesting."

Gettleman allegedly told Smith that he wasn't as good as he formerly was, while also serving as a distraction to the team.

"I say, 'Well, is this about a pay cut?'" Smith said of a conversation with Gettleman. "He laughs and says, 'No, this is not about a pay cut, but thanks for asking.' And then says, 'We're going to trade you.'

"... I pick up myself, walk out, shower and I call my wife and say, 'We're done here. I will either be traded or released.' I knew from the jump I was going to be released or traded."

Smith first heard of his release on the radio.

"He doesn't even have the cojones to tell us to our face,'' Smith said. "We have to hear it from someone else. Then he calls and says, like everyone else says, 'It wasn't personal.'

"If the first thing that comes out is, 'It wasn't personal' ... Guess what? It was personal. Then he says that [I] could have called at any time. And now that I played well, you're going to say I was a distraction, I've always been a distraction.

"But yet, I didn't beat my wife. Yeah, I hit some teammates six or seven years ago, but I didn't beat my wife. I didn't get arrested for DUIs. I didn't fall off no motorcycles. ... I made mistakes, but building this big old crutch about it as if I pushed their hands."

 

Via David Newton/ESPN


Raiders Interested In Renewing Pursuit Of Jon Gruden

Mark Davis may contact Jon Gruden about rejoining the Oakland Raiders as head coach.

"I don't know," Davis said. "He may reach out to me, I may reach out to him. I may reach out to anybody. I'm not going to talk about future coaches."

 

Davis has previously pursued Gruden, according to Jason La Canfora. Gruden has been offered substantial money and power.

Gruden's primary issues are in regards to the Raiders' stadium plans, how they compete financially and what would be the new front office structure.

Via Jason La Canfora/CBS Sports


Study Finds 76 Of 79 Deceased NFL Players With Brain Damage

New data from the nation’s largest brain bank focused on traumatic brain injury has found evidence of a degenerative brain disease in 76 of the 79 former NFL players it’s examined.

The findings represent a more than twofold increase in the number of cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, that have been reported by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ brain repository in Bedford, Mass.

Players represented in the data represent a skewed population.

Nonetheless, Dr. Ann McKee, the director of the brain bank, believes the findings suggest a clear link between football and traumatic brain injury.

“Obviously this high percentage of living individuals is not suffering from CTE,” said McKee, a neuropathologist who directs the brain bank as part of a collaboration between the VA and Boston University’s CTE Center. But “playing football, and the higher the level you play football and the longer you play football, the higher your risk.”

An NFL spokesman did not respond to several requests for comment.

Via Jason M. Breslow/PBS


Raiders Name Tony Sparano Interim Head Coach

The Oakland Raiders have named Tony Sparano as interim head coach.

Sparano had served as the Raiders' offensive line coach.

Dnnis Allen was fired this week.

Via ESPN


Raiders Fire Dennis Allen

The Oakland Raiders have fired head coach Dennis Allen, the team announced Monday night.

Allen was 8-28 as Oakland's coach.

Allen was fired after the Raiders, who retooled their roster this offseason, started 0-4.

An announcement on the interim coach will come Tuesday.

Via ESPN


LaRon Landry Suspended Four Games For PED Violation

LaRon Landry has been suspended for four games for a violation of the NFL's performance enhancing drugs policy.

Landry is the Indianapolis Colts' starting safety.

The Colts signed Dewey McDonald from their practice squad in a related move.

Via Marc Sessler/NFL.com


Jovan Belcher's Brain Showed Signs Of Pervasive Brain Damage

Jovan Belcher showed signs of pervasive brain damage like that found in other deceased NFL players, according to a neuropathologist.

Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend in 2012 before committing suicide.

In a report obtained by "Outside the Lines," Dr. Piotr Kozlowski writes that he detected neurofibrillary tangles of tau protein, which is identified with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The tangles were distributed throughout Belcher's hippocampus, an area of the brain involved with memory, learning and emotion.

Dozens of former NFL players have been diagnosed posthumously with CTE, a neurodegenerative disease linked to dementia, memory loss and depression. The disease, researchers say, is triggered by repeated head trauma.

Belcher's body was exhumed one year after his death, and his brain was examined two weeks later.

If it can be shown that Belcher did have CTE, Belcher's daughter and mother, together, would be eligible for up to $4 million under the proposed concussion settlement between the NFL and former players.

Via Steve Delsohn/ESPN