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Wilson Seen By Seahawks As Too Close To Front Office, Not Black Enough

Some players on the Seattle Seahawks reportedly believe Russell Wilson is too close to the front office and doesn't always take blame for his mistakes. 

"There is also an element of race that needs to be discussed," Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman wrote. "My feeling on this -- and it's backed up by several interviews with Seahawks players -- is that some of the black players think Wilson isn't black enough."

Kenny Mayne added this to Freeman's story:

“Two sources — one inside the team, one outside of the underachieving 3-3 Seahawks — tell me that much of what was written in Mike Freeman's Bleacher Report column is true,” Mayne said, via PFT. “(Freeman) wrote of turmoil involving since-traded Percy Harvin and the quarterback Russell Wilson that led to a more widespread internal battle pitting those for Russell Wilson and those against. 

"And Freeman surmised on his own an issue among some teammates regarding Wilson that quote, 'he isn't black enough.' A certain expected behavior based on color, apparently. One of the sources told me, quote, I don't know how he got all that stuff, but it's pretty much true. We do have a divide. We're working on it. Thursday that notion was not presented to Wilson, but over and again, questions came about Harvin's departure.”

First, as PFT's Mike Florio points out, Freeman didn't "surmise" this. It was his feeling "backed up by several interviews with Seahawks players." Second, "that notion" was presented to Wilson.

“There's no division in our locker room,” the third-year quarterback told the media. “There's none at all. If anything, I think we've continued to build, continued to grow. I truly believe that. I think that the guys that we have in the locker room, the guys that believe that we can still go 1 and 0 and still be a championship team; those are the guys that we have sitting in this room every day. Every morning when we wake up, we're looking for one common goal and that's to win football games.”

Via Ryan Wilson/CBS Sports

Fitzgerald Calls Lack Of Touches 'Champagne Problem'

Larry Fitzgerald helped lead the Arizona Cardinals to a Super Bowl and then spent several seasons as a great player on bad teams.

The Cardinals are now in first place in the NFC West while Fitzgerald's production has decreased dramatically.

“I always keep it in perspective how fortunate and blessed not only me but everyone in this locker room is,” Fitzgerald said, via Darren Urban of the team’s official website. “Not getting enough targets? Where I grew up we called those ‘champagne problems.’ This is my job and I love it, but I also put it in its proper place.”

Andre Ellington, however, is the only member of the Cardinals with more receptions.

“We all care about our touches and looks, don’t get me wrong,” Fitzgerald said. “We just don’t put our touches and looks in front of what we are trying to accomplish as a team. There is a distinct difference. You are playing ball your whole life, you are in the NFL, you’ve been ‘The Man’ your whole life, so you have to put that aside and focus on what is best for your team. I think everyone has a good grasp of that.”

Via Darin Gantt/Pro Football Talk

Peyton Manning Criticizes Video Game Operator

Peyton Manning was critical of the Denver Broncos' in-game entertainment in their 35-21 win over the San Diego Chargers.

Paul Cornick was called for a false start just after the two-minute warning, which Manning blamed on the video board operator.

"I got a problem with our scoreboard operator; I've got to have a little talk with him,'' Manning said after the game. "I'm not sure what he's doing. He's playing music and showing players dancing, getting the crowd fired up and we have the ball. I don't think we should be doing that.''

Manning also referenced a sequence from earlier in the second half, when Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was shown on the giant video board as the crowd booed and then Manning would be shown to cheers as the images went back and forth several times to alternating boos and cheers.

"And I don't think we should be showing their quarterback on the sideline,'' Manning said. "I thought that was kind of disrespectful . . . our scoreboard operator, it wasn't his best night.''

Via Jeff Legwold/ESPN

Cam Newton Won't Avoid Sherman, Also Won't Be Idiot

Cam Newton won't needlessly challenge Richard Sherman, but he also won't be afraid to throw in his direction.

"If the play is called for me to read it to Richard's side, by all means I'm going to do it," Newton said Wednesday. "And I'm going to give each and every receiver an opportunity to make plays.

"I'm not going to force it. I'm not going to be an idiot. I'm going to do a great job of protecting the football and be aggressively patient in taking what the defense gives me." 


Seattle's opponents already have as many touchdowns (6) throwing to Sherman's side as they did in 2014. 

Sherman will likely draw Kelvin Benjamin on a lot of snaps.

Via David Newton/ESPN

Lions Field Calls On Suh, Not Expecting Trade Before Deadline

The Detroit Lions have fielded calls on the availability of Ndamukong Suh via trade, but they don't plan on trading anyone ahead of the deadline.

"I don't have any plans to trade anybody," general manager Martin Mayhew said. "I'll leave it at that."

Suh will be a free agent this offseason and is widely expected to sign elsewhere.

"We kind of talk to everybody around the league, get calls from different teams and things like that," Mayhew said. "But I don't anticipate us making any moves at the trade deadline."

Via Kyle Meinke/MLive

Broncos Table Extension Talks With Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas

The Denver Broncos have tabled extension talks with Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas until after the current season.

Both players, two of the best receiving options in the entire NFL, are scheduled to become free agents.

The Broncos have negotiated with both men, but with neither close to a deal, Denver recognizes that it will have to wait until after the season to address it again.

Wes Welker is also playing on an expiring contract.


Via Adam Schefter/ESPN

McCoy Prefers Running With Foles Under Center

LeSean McCoy prefers running the ball with Nick Foles under center instead of in the shotgun.

McCoy had 149 yards in their most recent game with Foles heavily under center.

“It really helps out,” McCoy said Wednesday. “You can see it better. You can see the lanes better. If there is some pressure, you can adjust to it. In the [shotgun], you’re kind of going sideways and if there is pressure, it kind of knocks you back. I like under center more. 

“What makes me a good back is just vision. I think being under center, about 7 1/2 yards deep, I can see everything happen. I’m the farthest guy from the game. I’m all the way in the back. If a guy has leverage on a block, or a guy gets beat, I can see it. I can adjust to it. That’s why I like it better.” 

Via Phil Sheridan/ESPN

Arian Foster Has Regained 2012 Form

Arian Foster has become one of the NFL's best running backs again after an injury-plagued 2013.

Foster rushed for at least 100 yards in the Texans' past three games. Foster has averaged 122.7 yards, including 12 runs of at least 10 yards and 5.8 yards a carry in the past three games.

Foster, who missed more than half of last season because of injuries and underwent back surgery in the offseason, had 542 yards rushing in 2013. 

Via John McClain/Houston Chronicle

Agent Denies Story Of Lynch Losing It After Harvin Trade

Marshawn Lynch was reportedly upset over the Seattle Seahawks' decision to trade Percy Harvin, but his agent denies reports that he refused to get on the team's bus.

"These reports of @MoneyLynch going off and not wanting to get on bus are absurd," Hendrickson tweeted on Tuesday. "Please report accurate stories and not bogus ones."

Via Conor Orr/NFL.com

Favre: Austin Davis Could Be Next Brady, Warner

Brett Favre is a big believer in Austin Davis, who also went to Southern Miss.

"Austin can definitely play at this level," Favre said.

Davis had a completion percentage of 86 percent against the Seattle Seahawks.

"Not to sound off my rocker, but [Davis] -- in my mind -- can be the next Tom Brady or Kurt Warner. [Brian] Hoyer as well.

"Austin, like those mentioned, just needed a legit opportunity."

Via Ed Werder/ESPN