Mike Tomlin gets 2-year extension from Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers have extended head coach Mike Tomlin through the 2018 season, the team announced on Thursday. It’s a two-year extension, and if Tomlin keeps his position through the length of his contract the Steelers will hit an intriguing milestone.

In 2019, it will have been 50 years since the team hired Chuck Noll to coach the team back in 1969, and if Tomlin is still in charge, he’d be just the third head coach in franchise history over that time span. Noll coached the team from 1969 through 1991, Bill Cowher took over from 1992 to 2006 and Tomlin has been the coach ever since.

Tomlin’s new deal will pay him “at least” $7 million per season, which makes him among the league’s highest-paid coaches, according to ESPN.

Adam Gotsis, DE/DT (senior): With Gotsis’ athleticism and pure talent, there will be NFL teams drooling over him by season’s end. And standing at 6’5, 282 pounds, Gotsis also has the versatility to play defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense, or strongside defensive end in either a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense. The best thing that Gotsis can do to improve his draft stock this season is go out and play. He’s got a little bit more experience around him this year, so the opposing offensive lines now know that there is more than just Gotsis to worry about now. With that, it seems pretty likely that Gotsis could have his best season on the Flats this year.

Jamal Golden, FS (senior): Golden is on the fringe of being a good NFL prospect. He has got the athleticism down. He also showed last year that not only is he capable of making big plays when he needs to, but that the ability came from watching film. He is also a very good returner. The thing that I believe is holding him back is sustained success. He proved last year that he was better than a lot of people thought. If he can continue to show that he’s a good safety, which means playing good coverage in addition to just being a ballhawk, Golden definitely will be given a shot in the NFL.

McCarthy would not say what the plan was for Nelson this week

The Packers didn’t even wait until game day to rule out Nelson from Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys. Coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday that team physicians Dr. Pat McKenzie and Dr. John Gray would not clear Nelson to play and that he would be re-evaluated on Monday.

McCarthy would not say what the plan was for Nelson this week.

“Can’t tell you if Jordy’s going to practice Wednesday, but he did all the work in the [regeneration] workout today,” McCarthy said Monday. “So that’s a good sign.”

Nelson was injured in the Packers’ wild-card win over the New York Giants on Jan. 8 when safety Leon Hall hit him in the ribs after Nelson couldn’t hang on to a catch near the sideline. Hall was not penalized or fined for the hit. Without Nelson, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers still threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns without Nelson in Sunday’s 34-31 win over the Cowboys.

Last week, Rodgers said he was hopeful Nelson could return for the NFC title game.

“We’re going to try to get this one and hopefully get him back if he can’t play this week,” Rodgers said Thursday.

“He’s been a warrior all season. I don’t think he’s missed a practice hardly all season. Different without him out there, but we’re hopeful he’s going to be able to heal quickly and be able to go.”

In the regular season, Nelson led the Packers in catches (97) and receiving yards (1,257) and led the entire NFL in touchdown catches (14).

Cleveland often will trap Curry on the pick-and-roll, hoping he tries a circus pass rather than making the routine one out of the double. Frequently enough, he chooses the former, and the results haven’t been favorable for the Warriors.

Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter’s charges reduced after being arrested after win

The Pittsburgh Steelers are riding high following Sunday’s 30-12 win over the Miami Dolphins. Outside linebackers coach and former Steelers player Joey Porter, however, ended his night with an arrest for an altercation with a police officer.

The Steelers placed Porter on leave from the team on Monday, according to NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano. He spent four days on team-administered leave, but was allowed to come back for the team’s game against the Chiefs.

Porter was arrested at 9:30 p.m. last Sunday night outside of a bar called The Flats on the south side of Pittsburgh after an altercation with a doorman and security guards.

According to the court complaint, the doorman later identified as Jon Neskow told Porter he couldn’t enter the bar because, “Last time you were here, you threatened to kill me.” When Porter then lunged at the bouncer, an off-duty officer pushed him back.

Cobb said the final play was not an actual playcall. Rodgers just told each receiver what to do, like a kid drawing in the dirt. Seriously.

Rodgers and the Packers were 4-6 after their first 10 games, but they’ve been able to piece things together and make a run that’s taken them to the NFC Championship game, and perhaps even further.

The Kansas City Chiefs also entered the draft order, at No. 27, following their 18-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It didn’t surpass the thrilling matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys, which drew the best ratings of any Divisional round game in league history. Still, in a season where low NFL television ratings have been a key storyline, such strong viewership for Steelers vs. Chiefs suggests that primetime Sunday divisional games should be part of the league’s plans moving forward.

NFLPA gets concussion lawsuit dismissed

A federal judge in Missouri has dismissed the concussion lawsuit filed last summer by several former players, including six-time Pro Bowler Neil Smith and Vikings defensive lineman Christian Ballard, against the NFL Players Association, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. The lawsuit alleged that the union did not provide accurate information to its members about the risks of head injuries.

The former players were seeking “medical monitoring and financial compensation for long-term chronic injuries, financial losses, expenses and intangible losses,” and specifically mentioned that the NFLPA did not do enough to warn the players about the effects of traumatic brain injuries.

Florio reports that the judge cited two specific flaws in the lawsuit:

The judge found that the claims are barred by the federal Labor Management Relations Act, and that they were not timely filed under the six-month deadline that applies to claims under the Labor Management Relations Act.

In a statement issued by the union immediately following the filing of the lawsuit last July, the NFLPA defended itself by claiming that it “has made the health and safety of its members a priority,” and boasted that the improvements in concussion-related protocol and education among the players has been “a direct result” of their efforts.

This is not the first (nor likely the last) time former players have filed a concussion lawsuit. In 2013, the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with more than 4,500 players in a suit against the NFL for brain injuries suffered on the field, which was later revised to remove cap limits on the settlement. A final settlement is still pending.

Although this most recent case has been thrown out, it’s still subject to appeal, so we’re likely not done talking about the NFL and concussion lawsuits for some time.

Panthers sign Derek Anderson to 2-year contract extension

The Carolina Panthers announced a two-year contract extension for Derek Anderson on Wednesday, securing the services of the veteran quarterback through the 2017 season. The deal is worth $5 million, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

Anderson, who spent his first five seasons with the Browns and Cardinals, has been the backup to Cam Newton in Carolina for the past four seasons. He saw his most extensive playing time as a Panther last year, starting in two games for an injured Newton. He beat the Buccaneers in both games — Week 1 and Week 14 — and overall last season in six games he completed 67 percent of his passes for 701 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions.

In Denver, the fate of a potential Super Bowl run could be determined by the play of left tackle Ty Sambrailo, who replaces the injured Ryan Clady. The best-case scenario for Sambrailo is being this year’s version of David Bakhtiari of the Green Bay Packers. In 2013, Bakhtiari was supposed to be developed as a backup, but was forced to start after Bryan Bulaga was lost for the season. Sambrailo was thrust into a critical starting role protecting Peyton Manning and will face players like Khalil Mack of the Raiders and Justin Houston of the Chiefs twice this season. The Broncos are poised for another deep playoff run, but Sambrailo’s play may determine just how far.

The Packers lost cornerbacks Davon House and Tramon Williams in free agency, leaving a need for talent in the secondary. Green Bay added it with Damarious Randall, the team’s first-round pick this year. After sitting Green Bay’s first preseason game, Randall’s first snap in the NFL came while lined up against Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Randall doesn’t isn’t the answer, the Packers also used draft picks on corners Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter.

NFL coaching tracker 2017: Rumors, hirings, and news

There are currently six head coaching jobs open in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, and San Francisco 49ers all on the hunt for someone new to lead the way.

Collectively, the six teams finished 30-66, but that’s weighted down by the poor records of the Jaguars, Rams, and 49ers. The Broncos never intended to begin a new coaching search after a 9-7 season, but were forced to look for a replacement for Gary Kubiak after he stepped down Monday due to health concerns.

One possession later, the veteran quarterback hooked up with his go-to receiver again for a 62-yard touchdown. Brown beat man-to-man coverage. Roethlisberger found Brown running across the middle, and the veteran receiver ran past defenders for the long touchdown. That touchdown extended Pittsburgh’s lead to 14-0.

Moore threw an interception to Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier during Miami’s second possession of the second half. Late in the forth quarter, the veteran quarterback threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to running back Damien Williams to cut the lead to 30-12.

Moore threw for 289 yards to go along with a touchdown and an interception.

Believe it or not, this is the first time where Brown, Bell, and Roethlisberger all appeared in a playoff game together. If this game is any indication of how this offense will perform with all three players in the lineup, Steelers fans have to be excited.

This offense was clicking on all cylinders. When Pittsburgh is balanced on offense, this team can light up the scoreboard. Opposing defenses in the playoffs, beware of this offense.

Boston missed the playoffs last year because they ran out of room in a tight conference

While it seems fickle to worry about lost points in January, consider that the three teams around the Bruins all have two or more games in hand. With potentially all the wild card spots taken thanks to the Metropolitan Division’s surge last month, that leaves four teams — or more if the Maple Leafs continue to win — fighting for three playoff spots.

Officials, of course, have always hated these reports. But now players are being vocal about their dislike of the reports. Kevin Durant was the victim of an incorrect non-call on Christmas Day that was highlighted in an L2M report. Instead of feeling vindicated, he said the L2Ms throw referees under the bus and are unfair.

LeBron James has also been a vocal critic of the reports. LeBron’s argument has been that focusing on the last two minutes negates the work officials do the other 46 minutes of the game. Good work, in his estimation. Stan Van Gundy agrees.

At the same time, per The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, some teams are pushing for full 48-minute reports to maximize transparency. This would seem to allay concerns LeBron and Van Gundy have, that mistakes in the final minutes get more attention than correct plays in the first quarter. If the NBA moves to All 48 reports in lieu of L2Ms, it seems as though some critics would be on board. But the refs surely don’t want that.、

Hell, this man’s heart currently has its phone out watching the Dunn highlight repeatedly. Oh damn, now the heart is trying to think of a funny caption for its quote tweet.

Josh Norman gets frustrated and headbutts Odell Beckham Jr. in Giants vs. Washington

Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman have a history that dates back to Week 15 of last season, when the two were basically fighting on the field.

Many words were exchanged since then, and it appeared we had a fresh and ferocious rivalry between two of the leagues best at their respective positions.

In the third quarter of the Giants game against Washington, Norman headbutted Beckham after a play, and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The two were pretty peaceful in their first matchup, but clearly this one hasn’t gone exactly the same way. The Giants are currently leading Washington 10-0, with Beckham having five catches for 44 yards.

Led by linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, Kansas City has one of the best front sevens in the NFL. This unit can rush the passer and defend the run by clogging up rushing lanes.

Like their front seven, the Chiefs defensive backfield is one of the best in the league, as well. Cornerback Marcus Peters and safety Eric Berry have been stellar this season. They are both one of the best players at their respective positions.

Offensively, quarterback Alex Smith did what he does best. He made plays with his arm and legs, avoided turnovers, and kept drives alive. He finished the regular season with (passing yards, touchdowns, and interceptions).

Tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Tyreek Hill were exceptional this year, as well. Kelce is a tight end who can help block in the run game, and he has the speed and size to have an effect on the game as a receiver.