May 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J -- New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who created a stir last week when he wasn't present for the start of organized team activities, remains a no-show at the voluntary workouts, which has head coach Tom Coughlin stumped.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Bill Austin, a Pro Bowl lineman for the New York Giants and a member of their 1956 NFL championship team, has died at his home in Las Vegas. He was 84.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J. -- Spring OTAs with the New York Giants are a chance for younger players to step up and show the coaches that they belong on the roster. But with snaps generally limited, sometimes players get lost in the shuffle.
With the advent of mobile quarterbacks Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kaepernick in 2012, some may have forgotten that it was Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers who started the NFL's post-Vick wave of functional throwing mobility with an epic 2011 rookie season in which he broke several records for first-year quarterbacks. The bloom came off the rode a bit in Newton's second season, when the Panthers put far more on his plate from a playbook perspective, and he struggled in ways he hadn't the year before. The Panthers ranked 18th in Football Outsiders ' opponent-adjusted passing offense metrics through the first half of the 2012 season, and Newton threw a total of just five touchdowns to eight interceptions in the months of September and October. Once former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and quarterbacks coach Mike Shula got things back on track with a faster-paced offense more reliant on the run game, Newton bent his own game back into shape. He threw 13 touchdown passes to just four picks in Weeks 10-17, the Panthers moved up to eighth in those same FO metrics, and Newton looked far more like the first overall pick who made such waves in his rookie campaign. With Chudzinski off to coach the Cleveland Browns and Shula now in charge of the Panthers' offense, Newton goes into Year 3 with a better idea of his NFL responsibilities, and a great deal of confidence. "Coach Chudzinski was a key to our success. He obviously moved onward and upward, and Coach Shula is going to pick it up and make a success on his own by putting the offense in the best positions possible," Newton told Shutdown Corner on Wednesday, during a media blitz for Gatorade's ' Beat the Heat ' campaign. "So for us, we want to take when we've started here and make it easier for us to communicate, hone in on our communication skills, and make everyone play faster." That would seem to indicate that the Panthers will run in the direction of current NFL trends that have teams playing faster, with more no-huddle sets, and with simpler play calls. That's not an indictment of Newton's football acumen; when the New England Patriots went with a heavy no-huddle system last season, Tom Brady's play calls were often reduced from things like "Gun Empty Left 75 Linda All Go X Under" to mini-calls such as " 39 Crack Blow ." Newton, who had a digit-based playcalling system at Auburn, now finds himself on the right side of that curve.
New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith said he wasn't recruited by Jay-Z and isn't concerned about the NFL Players Association investigating his decision to change agents after the April draft.
Give Giants coach Tom Coughlin credit for consistency. He still doesn’t mind flaunting the notion that voluntary OTAs are anything other than mandatory. Via Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, Coughlin was asked again today if he was disappointed in the absence of wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, and replied: “Certainly I am.” He also…
Running back Arian Foster's calf injury will keep him out of the Houston Texans' organized team activities and minicamp, coach Gary Kubiak announced Wednesday.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The defensive line was an offseason priority for the Atlanta Falcons.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is still trying to gauge what his team will look like this season.
No stranger to the operating table, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has a June date to have back surgery.

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