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Frustrated Malcolm Jenkins of Philadelphia Eagles flips off New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton


NEW ORLEANS — Malcolm Jenkins‘ return to the Superdome on Sunday was filled with frustration, which spilled over both during the Philadelphia Eagles 48-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints and afterward in his postgame comments.

Cameras caught Jenkins giving his former head coach Sean Payton the finger after the Saints went for it on fourth-and-6 early in the fourth quarter with the Saints up by 31 points. Alvin Kamara beat Jenkins on the play for a 37-yard touchdown.

“I’m a competitor. I love Sean to death. I know what type of guy and coach he is. That was more so personal between me and him,” Jenkins told NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“We talked after the game. It’s all good. I know Sean. They’re going to go for it. I was more so upset that it was on me.”

Payton explained that he wasn’t comfortable electing for a field goal try from that distance, and didn’t want to get burned by not keeping the foot on the gas with almost a full quarter left. He heaped unsolicited praise on Jenkins during his postgame news conference.

“I think the world of him. He’s a tremendous player,” Payton said. “I hate that he got out of here. That was probably as big a mistake as we’ve made here in 13 years. He’s made up of all the right things, and he’s a tremendous competitor.”

Jenkins was clearly unhappy after the game. Usually the last one to leave the locker room, he exited without speaking to the media. A couple reporters caught up with him in the tunnel. The normally expansive Jenkins was short and in some cases, sharp, in his responses.

“[Being] winners of the Super Bowl last year doesn’t win you a goddamn game this year,” Jenkins said when asked about the team’s poor play following a title run. “So when you look at what we’ve done all year, our record is reflective of how we’ve played. It’s as simple as that. There’s nothing confusing about it. Just turn on the tape and watch. You get what you put in.”

Jenkins was a first-round pick of the Saints in 2009. He won a Super Bowl as a rookie and played in New Orleans for five seasons before leaving in free agency for the Eagles in 2014.



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Sean McVay says Los Angeles Rams could use some plays ‘stolen’ from Kansas City Chiefs


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Sean McVay is always looking for a new wrinkle to add to the Los Angeles Rams‘ offense.

This season, the Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) have provided plenty of content. So much, in fact, that the Chiefs might recognize a few plays Monday night when they play the Rams (9-1).

“I’d be lying if I said we have haven’t stolen some of their stuff this year,” McVay said Thursday. “They do a great job.”

Asked whether he planned to use any of the Chiefs’ plays against them, McVay said: “You’ll have to wait and see.”

McVay and his coaching staff regularly review film from across the league, but the Chiefs, who average 35.3 points per game, are a must-watch team.

“There’s so much tape and with the ability to easily access it week in and week out, it would be silly for us not to be able to look and see what the heck they’re doing,” McVay said. “Every single week they do something and you say, ‘That’s pretty good.'”

Patrick Mahomes has passed for a league-high 31 touchdowns, with 7 interceptions, as Kareem Hunt ranks third in the league with 13 touchdowns and Tyreek Hill is averaging 89 receiving yards per game. The Chiefs average 423 yards per game.

But keep in mind, the Rams’ offense is pretty good, too.

They’re averaging 448 yards per game — second in the NFL behind Tampa Bay — and Jared Goff has passed for 22 touchdowns with 6 interceptions.

Todd Gurley is at the forefront of the MVP conversation and leads the league in rushing yards, averaging 98.8 per game, and touchdowns, with 17.

The Rams average 33.5 points per game.



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Marcus Peters of Los Angeles Rams tells Saints’ Sean Payton ‘keep talking’


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — A rematch with the New Orleans Saints can’t come soon enough for Los Angeles Rams cornerback Marcus Peters.

On Thursday, Peters was asked about Saints coach Sean Payton’s postgame comment that the Saints got the matchup they wanted when Drew Brees threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas, whom Peters was covering. The play helped seal the Saints’ win, as the Rams suffered their first loss of the season, 45-35, last Sunday.

“They were going to travel Marcus to him, and that was fine by us,” Payton said after the game. “We thought we really liked that matchup — a lot.”

After practice Thursday, Peters shared his own thoughts.

“Tell Sean Payton to keep talking that s—. We going to see him soon, you feel me?” Peters said. “Because I like what he was saying on the sidelines too. So tell him to keep talking that s—. I hope he see me soon, you feel me? Then we going to have a good li’l, nice li’l bowl of gumbo together.”

Thomas had a career day against the Rams and set a new franchise record for most receiving yards in a single game with 211.

Thomas caught 12 of 15 passes that he was targeted on.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Peters was the nearest defender on eight targets against the Saints, all of which were to Thomas. Thomas caught six of the eight targets for 127 yards and a touchdown.

After the game, Peters said he “just got beat” on the 72-yard play, which came on third-and-7 with 3:52 left, and that he was not pleased with his performances the last couple of weeks.

“Got up there in press, came back, he just beat me off the line,” Peters said. “Looked back and tried to make a play on the ball. S— happens like that in football.”



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Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay send ‘thoughts and prayers’ to victims of Thousand Oaks shooting


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams and coach Sean McVay offered their condolences and support to the victims, families and community affected by the mass shooting Wednesday night at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks that killed 12 people.

The shooting took place just over 4 miles from the Rams’ practice facility, which is on the campus of California Lutheran University, and 7 miles from the team’s corporate headquarters in Agoura Hills.

“Our organization’s thoughts and prayers are with the families and the victims that were affected by this terrible act that took place in our area,” McVay said.

Many Rams players, coaches and staff members settled in the Thousand Oaks area after the team returned to Southern California from St. Louis in 2016.

“Our thoughts and prayers are obviously with the people that it happened to,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. “It affects everybody, our team was talking about it, our players, our staff, everybody here. It’s a sad, sad deal. And we feel for the people involved, that it happened to.”

The Rams held a team meeting to discuss the tragedy. McVay said that left tackle Andrew Whitworth and several players were proactively seeking a way to use their platform to offer support to the local community.

One of the 12 victims of the shooting was identified as Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, who arrived at the scene of the shooting at 11:20 p.m. in response to several 911 calls, heard gunfire, went inside and immediately was shot repeatedly.

The Rams plan to honor the victims with a moment of silence on Sunday before kickoff against the Seattle Seahawks at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.



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Innovators Sean Payton, Sean McVay consider each other ‘must-watch’ – New Orleans Saints Blog


METAIRIE, La. — Sean Payton and Sean McVay will get a jump-start on their weekly film studies Sunday when they get the chance to watch each other live from the sideline.

Payton, 54, has established himself as one of the NFL’s all-time great offensive minds during his 13-year run with the New Orleans Saints and quarterback Drew Brees. And the 32-year-old McVay has quickly joined him in two years with the Los Angeles Rams and QB Jared Goff, despite being the youngest head coach in the league’s modern history.

Both have drawn comparisons to Bill Walsh and Joe Montana because of their innovation.

But both coaches also readily admit that they will shamelessly steal ideas from one another on occasion.

Payton said the 8-0 Rams have “absolutely” become one of the “must-watch” teams when he studies other offenses around the NFL for ideas.

Likewise, McVay said of the 6-1 Saints, “I’ve always studied their tape every week to see what they’re doing.”

What both of them are doing is lighting up scoreboards on a weekly basis. On Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET, the Saints (33.4 points per game) and Rams (33.0 PPG) will become the first two teams ever to meet this late in the season while averaging at least 33 points per game, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

“I think there’s some coaches that see things through the quarterback lens. Sean Payton is certainly one of those guys … and McVay is certainly that guy,” said ESPN analyst Matt Hasselbeck, who is part of a Sunday NFL Countdown crew that is going on the road for just the third time in the program’s 33-year history to be in New Orleans for this marquee showdown.

Hasselbeck, who played quarterback for another of the NFL’s all-time great offensive minds, Mike Holmgren, said there is something special about those playcalling coaches and quarterbacks who work in tandem like these two power couples.

McVay and Goff have gotten a lot of attention over these past two seasons — justifiably, since they are leading the NFL with 30.9 points per game since the start of the 2017 season after the Rams ranked dead last in that category in 2016, before McVay arrived.

Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are getting similar love with their prolific new partnership in Kansas City this season.

But Payton and Brees have clearly shown in 2018 that they aren’t ready to cede their title to anyone.

In fact, Payton has been throwing all-new wrinkles into his offense this season with an expanding read-option package led by third-string quarterback Taysom Hill. Just last Sunday night at Minnesota, he had three quarterbacks on the field at once — with Brees and Teddy Bridgewater spread out wide as receivers.

“Yeah, I think we like to feel over the last 13 years that we’ve kind of been at the forefront of the evolution of offensive football,” said Brees, who became the NFL’s all-time passing yardage leader last month. “Obviously with Sean and [offensive coordinator] Pete Carmichael and [quarterbacks coach] Joe Lombardi and others who have contributed to that. Kind of taking the personnel that you have and then being able to utilize it in some really unique ways.

“I’m intrigued from week to week. There’s always some wrinkles in there, that as I get the call sheet and look at it prior to meetings and everything, it’s like, ‘I can’t wait to ask him about this.’ Or maybe even saw it on film or something like that, and then all of a sudden we just create our own little variation to it.”

Although Brees has lined up as a receiver several times now this season, he still hasn’t caught a pass from anyone other than himself (on a tipped ball) since he caught two with the San Diego Chargers early in his career.

When asked if he’s going to catch one at some point, Brees quickly replied, “I hope so. I hope so. But I don’t know, we’ll see.”

‘Attacking success’

McVay called Payton one of the great playcallers “arguably of all time.” And the trait that both he and Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips singled out most was Payton’s “aggressive nature” — not surprising for a coach who famously called an onside kick to start the third quarter of a Super Bowl victory.

McVay also pointed to Payton’s decision to go for it four times on fourth down during a 20-play drive to open the Saints’ victory at Baltimore in Week 7.

“I think that mindset of never being afraid to fail and always attacking success is something that we try to do here,” McVay said. “And I have a lot of respect for that approach, because I think it demonstrates a confidence and belief in your players.”

Payton and McVay do things a little differently when it comes to personnel groupings. According to ESPN Stats & Information data, the Rams have had the most frequently employed five-player combination in the NFL this season when it comes to the skill positions (RB Todd Gurley, WRs Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, and TE Tyler Higbee have played 204 snaps together). On the flip side, the Saints haven’t used any combination for more than 51 snaps.

But what both coaches like to do is mix things up to gain information from a defense — and figure out where they can attack.

Both coaches will move their personnel around, perhaps lining up tight ends or running backs outside of the receivers to see if a defense is playing man or zone.

“They’ll create a little bit of quick movement and then shift and get set and maybe get some pre-snap information relative to what they think you’re doing and then get to some advantage plays,” said Payton, who pointed out that the Rams use a lot of tight splits and rarely line up their receivers outside the numbers. “They do a good job with their formations and kind of giving you a few different looks and running maybe three different plays off a similar formation.”

Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said what really makes the Rams offense stand out is how much it can hurt you with both the run and the pass, whereas some teams excel in one area and just try to “keep you honest” in the other. And because Gurley is so dangerous, Goff leads the NFL in play-action passing yardage this season. Hasselbeck said most defenses stack the box against Los Angeles with a single-high safety, but McVay is great at using that to his advantage.

Payton said when the Saints coaches put together a highlight reel of touchdowns from around the NFL every week, “Here’s Gurley from 28 yards, here’s Gurley from 30 yards, here’s Gurley catching a screen for a touchdown.”

Another thing Payton and McVay have both been credited for is knowing how to take advantage of the NFL’s changing rules — things like outlawing hits against defenseless receivers or limiting contact down the field.

“Sean Payton stands out in that regard, big-time,” said Hasselbeck, who pointed to the seam routes Brees has been throwing since guys such as Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham were in New Orleans.

Hasselbeck said the “Sluggo seam” route has become a staple in the NFL (a slant-and-go on one side and a seam route on the other, forcing a safety to choose). But, he added, “Drew is as good as anybody has ever been at throwing that play, and Sean is as good as anybody at calling it at the right time and scheming you up formationally to be in the right coverage.”

But Brees balked a little bit at the notion that the rules have helped him and Payton lead the NFL in passing yards by nearly 30 yards per game over any other team in the league since they arrived together in 2006.

“I don’t know. I don’t play the game any different,” Brees said. “If a guy’s open, throw it to him. Be accurate with the ball, move the chains, score points.”

‘We did this’

One of the first things both Payton and Hasselbeck pointed to when praising McVay is the work he has done with Goff, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016 who began 0-7 as a starter that season before his remarkable turnaround under McVay’s tutelage.

“Remember, there were questions whether or not he could play in this league,” Payton said. “Quickly, Sean did a great job of really looking into, ‘What are the things that he does well?’ I think they’ve done a great job with personnel. He’s put together an outstanding staff.

“And so I think his energy, his creative thinking, just his approach overall, he’s someone that obviously loves football. … I think he’s done an unbelievable job in just a short time he’s been there.”

The one thing McVay and Goff can’t approach for a while, however, is the continuity Payton and Brees have together, which Hasselbeck said is one of the NFL’s most undervalued commodities.

Payton and Brees can practically finish each other’s sentences — so to speak — as they explained in a detailed conversation with ESPN this summer about what goes into their sophisticated playcalls.

“I just remember when Drew Brees comes over and he hugs Sean Payton [on the sideline after Brees broke the passing yardage record] and it’s, ‘Hey, can you believe this?’ Kind of like a, ‘We did this,'” Hasselbeck said. “It’s pretty obvious that you’re almost at an unfair advantage when you have that kind of continuity at the quarterback and head coach/playcaller position.”

— ESPN Rams reporter Lindsey Thiry contributed to this report



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Sean Payton’s ‘new toy’: A ‘Thor-terback’ named Taysom Hill – New Orleans Saints Blog


METAIRIE, La. — Drew Brees laughed when he was asked how much fun Sean Payton is having with Taysom Hill this season.

“He loves it. Oh, he loves it,” Brees said. “A new toy. That’s Sean’s new toy.”

Can you blame him?

Payton is one of the NFL’s all-time great innovators. And he is suddenly getting the chance to add new pages to his playbook because of the New Orleans Saints‘ do-everything quarterback who has been compared to everyone from Tim Tebow to Kordell Stewart to Michael Vick to Jim Thorpe.

We’ve seen Hill line up as a read-option quarterback, running back, receiver, tight end, kickoff returner and special-teams coverage specialist. He has converted two fake punts (one passing and one running). And he has run the ball 18 times for 125 yards and a touchdown for a 5-1 team that is gaining steam.

During one practice session, Payton practically looked like he was drawing up a new play in the dirt (or the artificial turf, anyway), moving players around like chess pieces.

“It’s kind of a learning process, you know. And I think having this weapon now is really intriguing, because Taysom is so versatile, he can do so many things,” said Brees, who is now lining up as a wide receiver a few times a game — though the ball hasn’t been thrown his way yet. So for now, the Saints’ starting quarterback has one career TD reception, from LaDainian Tomlinson with the San Diego Chargers in 2003.

But the season is young.

“We’re still just kind of scratching the surface,” Brees said. “We’re still just kind of learning what we can do with all that stuff.”

When Payton was asked recently if he has always had all those wrinkles in his mind or if he has been designing them to specifically utilize Hill, Payton joked, “I hadn’t given it much thought with Drew, to be honest with you, in 12 years.”

Payton isn’t alone.

Hill is a rare athlete at 6-foot-2, 221 pounds who reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds at BYU’s pro day in 2017. Teammates and coaches marvel at his weight room prowess. Apparently coaches in college told him he wasn’t allowed to squat more than 700 pounds. Saints punter Thomas Morstead said when Hill squats 500 pounds, he looks like he’s just casually standing up out of a chair.

So when coaches see him, they all think, “What can I do with this guy?”

That’s how longtime special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff felt when he joined the Saints’ staff last season and asked to borrow Hill for his own purposes. (Hill finished the year with four special-teams tackles and has three more this season.)

That’s how Packers coach Mike McCarthy felt when Green Bay signed Hill as a 26-year-old undrafted rookie last year. Hill missed the 53-man roster cut; Green Bay wanted him back on the practice squad, but the Saints claimed him off waivers instead.

And that’s how Bronco Mendenhall, Hill’s first college coach at BYU, felt when Hill joined the Cougars in 2012 after a two-year church mission.

Mendenhall, who is now the coach at Virginia, said the Cougars rewrote their playbook to design an attack around Hill’s abilities as both a runner and passer — with a heavy emphasis on the read-option.

“When we saw him it was, ‘OK, he can throw it. But let’s research and design and develop this other component.’ So it was enough to change an entire style of play,” said Mendenhall, who laughed as he heard a list of everything Hill has done with the Saints this season.

“It doesn’t surprise me, it just makes me smile. It’s just like, ‘Yeah, totally. What else can he do? Is that all they’re doing with him? There’s gotta be something else,'” Mendenhall joked. “I wish during my career I could have him again, because you’re always trying to figure out how else you can innovate and be creative to get him on the field in a way to help you win.”

‘Part superhero and part quarterback’

Although Mendenhall can’t work with Hill specifically anymore, he has forever shaped the coach’s perception of the type of quarterback he’s looking for:

A superhero type.

Mendenhall said he couldn’t remember who it was, exactly. But someone on BYU’s staff referred to Hill as a “Thor-terback,” and the name immediately stuck because “he’s part superhero and part quarterback all in one.”

“There’s really nothing you could tell me that he’s done on the field that would surprise me. He leaps tall buildings in a single bound and he stops locomotives. And he does basically anything physically that I could ever imagine,” said Mendenhall, who said it wasn’t just Hill’s athleticism, but the combination of power and speed, great decision-making and his character as a role model that made the “superhero” idea so fitting.

And now, Mendenhall said, “That is our brand.”

“We have a player now in Bryce Perkins that is a little more Flash Gordon than Thor, but it’s still the superhero idea. That’s what we’ve been looking for,” Mendenhall said. “That’s probably the greatest compliment I could pay Taysom, is we want as many of those guys as we can, and he was the one that set the mold.”

Payton is likewise enamored with Hill’s “total package” skill set. Although he has standout speed for the position, he also has a great deal of power and physicality.

“Look, he does so many different things. He’s a football player,” Payton said. “When his game is over with, and it’s a grass field, [his uniform] is gonna be dirty.”

According to NFL Next Gen stats, Hill has covered 3.1 miles on the field this season — the most of any quarterback in the league because of his special-teams coverage snaps.

Injuries were Hill’s kryptonite in college, so to speak. He could have been a much bigger star if he hadn’t suffered four season-ending injuries during his five years at BYU.

He actually was touted as a Heisman Trophy contender heading into his first senior season in 2015 before he suffered his most devastating injury in the season opener against Nebraska — a Lisfranc injury that included fully torn ligaments in the middle of his foot.

He also suffered a knee injury in 2012, a broken leg in 2014 and a hyperextended elbow in 2016.

Yet Hill still managed to end his BYU career with 6,929 passing yards, 43 TD passes, 2,815 rushing yards and 32 rushing TDs.

“It’s completely gratifying [to see what Hill is doing today],” Mendenhall said. “His fortitude and his resiliency and his grit and his determination coming back from injuries, I think that just made him stronger and stronger and stronger.

“That almost works now to the opponents’ detriment — because he just became stronger through those than he already was before — which is almost not even fair.”

‘A competitor first’

Hill never gave up — and still hasn’t given up his dream of being a NFL quarterback, even though he is already a 28-year-old NFL sophomore.

But in the meantime, he’s embracing every opportunity the Saints throw at him. He said he is “a competitor first.”

“No, I did not picture my career going this way in the NFL,” Hill said with a smile. “Look, at the end of the day I want to have an opportunity to play quarterback in the NFL. But if I can help in the meantime, I’m all for it.

“I love to compete. I love to be on the field. And I’ll tell you what, it has been so much fun to be in the huddle with Drew, to be on the field with Drew, to learn from him. It’s been a highlight of my career.”

Payton was so enamored with Hill’s potential last year that he apparently told the Fox broadcasting crew during their production meetings that Brees’ heir is “in the building.”

However, Hill wasn’t consistent enough as a passer this offseason to lock down the No. 2 job behind Brees — which led New Orleans to trade a third-round draft pick for the more experienced Teddy Bridgewater.

So Payton just tweaked his vision for Hill.

Not everything the Saints have done with Hill this season has turned to gold. His attempted pitch to running back Alvin Kamara on a read-option play from the Baltimore Ravens‘ 4-yard line resulted in a fourth-down fumble this past Sunday. Hill also decided to keep the ball himself two weeks ago on a play when the tape later showed Kamara could have easily broken free up the middle for a long TD run. And Hill’s only NFL catch so far went for a 4-yard loss.

But the progress — and the growing faith the Saints have in Hill — is impossible to miss. He played a career-high 26 snaps in that critical Week 7 slugfest at Baltimore, including an 11-yard run during the go-ahead touchdown drive in the fourth quarter when he was lined up as a true running back and took a pitch from Brees.

According to ESPN Stats & Information tracking, Brees and Hill have been on the field together for eight of the Saints’ 24 offensive touchdowns this season. The rest of the NFL has scored a total of three touchdowns with two quarterbacks on the field.

Two superhero quarterbacks on the field at the same time. Apparently Payton is stealing some of his ideas from the Marvel movie universe.

No wonder he’s having so much fun.



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Cowboys’ defense gets boost with return of linebacker Sean Lee


FRISCO, Texas — A Dallas Cowboys defense that is ranked fourth in yards per game and second in points per game will welcome back their leader in weak-side linebacker Sean Lee on Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

Lee missed the last three games with a hamstring strain suffered Sept. 23 against the Seattle Seahawks but went through two full practices this week and is not on the injury report.

“If you’re ready, if you’re 100 percent, you play,” Lee said. “I’ve missed a lot of time already so I’m trying not to miss much more, trying to play as many games as I can. If you’re 100 percent and you can play, you need to play and I need to play. I haven’t played a lot this year, so I need to get out there and get snaps, continue to improve and hopefully help this defense.”

Unlike recent years, the Cowboys defense was able to withstand Lee’s absence, winning two of the three games and giving up just 26 points in the last two games. Jaylon Smith took over Lee’s role in calling the defenses, while rookie Leighton Vander Esch started at weak-side linebacker.

All three will split playing time against Washington.

“I think there are snaps for everybody,” said Lee, who missed five games last year with hamstring injuries. “I think we’ll all be out there trying to make plays together at some point. It’s good to have a lot of guys who can be out there making plays and it will help me getting back, helping everybody stay fresh all of the time.”

Jason Garrett said Lee has “had a good couple of days of practice.” The Cowboys have the bye week after playing Washington but that will not affect what the Cowboys do with Lee. He has started every game he has played since 2011, his second season.

“We have no hard and fast rules about if you’re injured and you keep your job or lose your job,” Garrett said. “We evaluate each situation individually. Each of the players who have gone in in that absence, they have played well. Leighton’s played more snaps. Jaylon’s played more snaps. Those guys handled the snaps well at linebacker. …

“You want to keep those guys alive in a role that can help our football team. Having said that, ultimately you make the decision that’s best for the football team. If a guy has been out and coming back and he’s healthy and ready to go and we think he gives us the best chance, we’ll put him back in that role.”



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Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott doesn’t dismiss report on Philadelphia Eagles interest in LeSean McCoy


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott did not dismiss a report Wednesday that the Philadelphia Eagles have inquired about trading for Bills running back LeSean McCoy.

“LeSean is one of our better players,” McDermott said to begin his news conference. “I thought he had a good game [in Sunday’s 13-12 win over the Tennessee Titans]. Really, we’re just looking forward to playing the Houston Texans [this Sunday].

“We get calls all the time. Incoming calls happen all the time. [General manager] Brandon [Beane] and I talk a lot. I won’t go into any more detail than that. Really, again, this is a big week for us. Another opportunity to get better. Another opportunity for us to develop as a football team against a very good opponent, in particular down there in a tough place to play.”

WIVB reported Tuesday that the Eagles (2-3) had called the Bills (2-3) about McCoy’s availability after placing running back Jay Ajayi on injured reserve.

Asked specifically Wednesday if the Eagles had contacted Buffalo, McDermott said, “I’m not gonna go into any more detail than I said.”

Then, asked if McCoy was available in a trade, McDermott responded, “Men, this is why I came out and started where I started [in the news conference]. If you just want to hear the same reply, I’ll give you the same reply. I respect where you’re coming from and the jobs you have to do. Respect where I’m coming from. He’s a valuable member of our football team, and I’m gonna leave it at that.”

“I heard about it [trade rumors], ” McCoy told reporters Wednesday. “I kind of just stay focused on the job, the task at hand. I’ll let that stuff work itself out. We’ll see what happens.”

The NFL’s trade deadline is Oct. 30, the day after the Bills host the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football in Week 8.

McCoy, who missed the Bills’ Week 3 win over Minnesota because of a rib injury, ran a season-high 24 times for 85 yards in Sunday’s win over the Tennessee Titans. In four games, McCoy has 170 rushing yards on 45 carries, as well as 10 catches for 64 yards. He has not yet scored a touchdown.

“I should have never gotten traded [from Philadelphia] anyway,” McCoy said. “I was killing stuff, you know? But I don’t ever really pay too much attention to it. This week we got the Texans. I’ll worry about that. Good defense, lot of big-name guys on that defensive line. I got my hands full this week. Last week was my first week of really getting out there running, try to get some rust off and actually get going play after play. Really felt good.”

The Eagles drafted McCoy in the second round of the 2009 draft and traded him to the Bills following the 2014 season.

McCoy is being sued by his ex-girlfriend in Georgia, who accuses him of being involved in a July home invasion in which she was beaten and robbed of jewelry. McCoy’s ex-girlfriend Delicia Cordon also accuses McCoy of physical abuse against her, against his son and against his dog.

Police in the Atlanta suburb of Milton, where McCoy owns the home in which Cordon was allegedly attacked, said last month that their investigation is ongoing but that McCoy has not cooperated.



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Sean McVay called 4th-down play because players wanted it


SEATTLE — The Los Angeles Rams offense wanted to go for it. Coach Sean McVay listened.

The Rams faced third-and-1 from their 42-yard line, leading the Seattle Seahawks 33-31 with 1 minute, 52 seconds to play Sunday at CenturyLink Field. Todd Gurley took a handoff, but an official measurement determined he gained only inches — not enough for a first down, which would have effectively ended the game.

Quarterback Jared Goff and the Rams offense jogged to the sideline as the punt team took the field, ready to rely on their defense to stop Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense a final time, with 1:39 remaining in the game.

But Seattle coach Pete Carroll called a timeout, and 30 seconds later, everything changed.

Goff and McVay huddled on the sideline.

Would they dare go for it in their own territory with 1:39 remaining, knowing that Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski earlier made a 52-yard field goal and could be given an opportunity to kick a game winner?

“We had a lot of time to decide and [McVay] was kind of going back and forth,” Goff said. “I was off, I thought we were punting. I went back on the field just to talk the official about something, and as I’m turning around the offense was running back on and I go, ‘All right, I guess we’re going for it.'”

Said right tackle Rob Havenstein: “We wanted to go for it. … We just kind of started moseying on back out to the field like, ‘All right, let’s do this, we’re going to go ahead and get this.'”

Earlier in the game the Rams had been stopped short of a touchdown on the 1-yard line. And in this situation, stopped short on third down.

So facing fourth-and-inches, McVay called for a quarterback keeper.

The 6-foot-4, 222-pound Goff dove over center John Sullivan and right guard Austin Blythe and he picked up a first down.

“We talk about attacking, and our guys, you can see they believe and wanted to go for it,” McVay said. “And when you have your players believe, you want to put the trust in them, and they delivered.”

Goff jumped to his feet and pumped his fist before he took a knee for the final two plays to end the game as the Rams improved to 5-0.

“It was all riding on that one play,” Goff said. “We got a really, really good jump on them up front and really just fell forward.”

Said McVay: “Everybody believes in being aggressive. It was a little bit of a whirlwind. But everybody is on the same page once we made the decision, it’s final, and fortunately you guys don’t have to kill me about it and it worked.”



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Kevin Durant jokes about joining Los Angeles Rams; Sean McVay — ‘Anytime’


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Kevin Durant, your spot on the next championship-caliber team is waiting.

Welcome to Los Angeles.

No, not the Lakers.

We’re talking about the Rams.

On Monday, a day after Durant expressed admiration in an Instagram Stories video for defensive tackle Aaron Donald and a desire to join the Los Angeles Rams, coach Sean McVay said he certainly had a role in mind for the 6-foot-9, 240-pound two-time NBA champion.

“I bet he’d be pretty dangerous in the red zone on some of those jump balls,” McVay said, smiling.

The Rams are coming off a 34-0 shutout of the Arizona Cardinals and are 2-0, as talk of a Super Bowl continues to grow louder.

The Rams feature one of the most dominant defenses in the NFL, with the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in Donald and All-Pro’s Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Ndamukong Suh. The unit has already posted six consecutive shutout quarters this season.

As for the offense, reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley is tied for first in the league with four touchdowns, and the offense is averaging 33.5 points per game behind third-year quarterback Jared Goff (a lifelong Warriors fan).

But still, McVay said there’s room for one more superstar: Durant.

“If he thinks about wanting to do that, we’ll welcome him,” McVay said, chuckling. “He can come kick it with us anytime he wants.”



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