July 2014

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 gets inducted on Saturday. Shutdown Corner will profile the seven new Hall of Famers this week, looking at each of their careers and their impact on the game. Michael Strahan New York Giants, 1993-2007 Defensive end Greatest moment While Strahan's most impressive individual accomplishment is the single-season sacks record of 22.5 set in 2001, we all know that it comes with a bit of an asterisk after Brett Favre took it upon himself to run a play nobody had called, roll Strahan's way and lay down to give him the record. That doesn't diminish Strahan's great season, but we'll pick a different moment. In Super Bowl XLII, the Patriots took a 14-10 lead late in the game. Strahan, who like the rest of the Giants' defensive line had played tremendously that evening, gave the offense an unforgettable, goosebump-inducing pep talk on the sideline. "17-14 is the final, OK?" Strahan said. "17-14 fellas. One touchdown, and we are world champions. Believe it, and it will happen!" And it did happen. The Giants scored in the final seconds, and Strahan finally had his Super Bowl championship. That turned out to be his last NFL game.
Despite coming off one of the best years of his 12-year NFL career, Giants kicker Josh Brown is facing stiff competition from free agent Brandon McManus. ''I'm not fully surprised by it,'' Brown said. They (the Giants) have to do what they have to do.'' Brown connected on 23-of-26 field-goal tries (88 percent) and nailed all 31 of his PATs for 100 points last season. He's connected on 254 field goals in a career that includes stops in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati before joining the Giants.
Michael Strahan had one objective in mind when he came to the New York Giants as a second-round draft pick in 1993 out of Texas Southern. So that was my goal, to kind of just make my parents proud, make them happy, play as hard and just do the best I could do.'' The best he could do was pretty good: Strahan will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid is serious about what he has said about competition at the cornerback position. Sean Smith, last year's starter at right cornerback, moved to the second team for the last four days of organized team activities. His status hasn't changed three days into training camp. Another factor for changes may have been the memory of blowing a 38-10 third-quarter lead en route to a 45-44 playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
With training camp barely underway, Miami Dolphins rookie receiver Jarvis Landry has already showed an ability to catch the ball and the boss' eye. When team owner Stephen Ross was asked what player he's most eager to see this season, he named Landry, a second-round draft choice from Louisiana State. ''Jarvis Landry is somebody I think everybody is really excited about, speaking to the coaches,'' Ross said. ''I think he's really going to be somebody that's going to surprise a lot of people and really bring some excitement to this team.'' Landry was overshadowed at LSU by his close friend Odell Beckham Jr., a first-round pick by the New York Giants.
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch officially started his contract holdout Friday by not attending the first day of training camp. General manager John Schneider addressed Lynch's absence on ESPN radio in Seattle but would not say if the team would restructure the final two years on his contract. ---Andre Johnson spent months away from the team, but when it came time for the Houston Texans to report to training camp, the All-Pro wide receiver was back in formation. The 33-year-old wide receiver requested a trade and said he would not report to training camp after skipping offseason workouts and minicamp.
Up on a podium, Jason Pierre-Paul can't stand still during an interview session. Pierre-Paul has rapid-fire answers for just about anything he is asked, from the state of the New York Giants' defensive line to his own health to some missing teammates. Pierre-Paul knows one thing for sure: success for the Giants' defense will depend a whole lot on his having a bounce-back season. Not since the 2012 season has Pierre-Paul felt as good as he does now.
Jon Beason admits he is taking "baby steps" in his recovery from the foot injury he suffered during the offseason program in June, but still hopes to be manning the middle linebacker spot when the New York Giants begin the regular season. Beason suffered a ligament tear and a small fracture to the sesamoid bone in his right foot, and began training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list. Beason has also spent significant time in the film room with Jameel McClain, his replacement in the middle of the Giants' defense. He signed with the Giants on March 15, and likely will slide outside once Beason is healthy.
Injured middle linebacker Jon Beason said Friday he is hopeful he can play in a preseason game for the New York Giants. The 29-year-old Beason is running on an underwater treadmill, is active in the weight room, and he's eager to get back on the field. Obviously, I'm going to do what they tell me, but I would love to get in the preseason and get some reps.'' Beason was acquired last October and his first game was the sixth straight loss for the Giants to open the season.
Reggie Wayne is back to being his old self. A little more than nine months after injuring his right knee, the perennial Pro Bowler was finally back on the practice field catching passes from quarterback Andrew Luck and working overtime receiving balls from the JUGS machine. Yep, things are getting back to normal for the Colts.

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