COSTA MESA — They wore red jerseys, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees did.So for the two San Diegans who were Chargers teammates long ago, the joint practice Thursday in Orange County skewed toward touch football.A franchise quarterback wearing red can’t be breathed on, let alone knocked off his cleats.Almost as if to compensate, Rivers and Brees brought some thump afterward, in comments to reporters a football field apart. Advertisement Rivers took to task a football publication, implying that it twisted comments of his at the start of training camp, in effect pitting him against running back Melvin Gordon, a teammate who was, and still is, holding out for a better contract.“I know Melvin knows I’m pulling for him,” Rivers said, answering a question about Gordon. “And in saying that, that means you want what’s best for him. You want him to feel great. You want him to be at peace with how it all ends, and hopefully, it’s right … [Read more...] about Column: Rivers, Brees get in their hits during interviews
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COSTA MESA — What’s new with Philip Rivers as he works toward his 16th NFL season?At minicamp practice Wednesday, the Chargers quarterback wore a dark shield on his helmet.Very Darth Vader.“Just having a little fun,” Rivers said.What may be getting old with Rivers is not winning the AFC West title for so long. It’s been nearly a decade.Division winners are more apt than wild cards to reach the Super Bowl. While none of the West titles in San Diego between 2006-09 led to a Super Bowl berth, Rivers would like to get back on top.“We haven’t won the division in a long time, as we all know,” the quarterback said at his employer’s headquarters in Orange County.A 12-4 record last year, good for the AFC’s top wild card, did return Rivers to his first postseason since 2013. Also it raised expectations for this year.“Just enough to taste it again and be excited,” the quarterback said of the two playoff games six … [Read more...] about Chargers’ Rivers not masking his desire to win AFC West
When Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem at an N.F.L. preseason game in 2016, it began a controversy that would involve dozens of players and owners, athletes in other sports and politicians, including the president of the United States. His gesture has led to two and a half years of protests, formal grievances and vigorous denunciations. With a settlement announced Friday in Kaepernick’s grievance case against the N.F.L., one chapter in the saga has come to an end. A timeline: Aug. 26, 2016 Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, remains seated during the national anthem for a home preseason game. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he tells NFL Media. Kaepernick had been outspoken about issues like protests by white supremacists and police shootings of unarmed black men. “If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up … [Read more...] about A Timeline of Colin Kaepernick vs. the N.F.L.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A sportsbook in New Jersey is refunding bets on the New Orleans Saints due to the widespread belief that the team was victimized by a blown call by referees during its loss Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. PointsBet said Monday it will refund spread and money-line bets on the Saints, who lost the game after officials failed to call a penalty on a Los Angeles Rams defender who leveled a New Orleans receiver long before the ball arrived. Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman acknowledged after the game he should have been flagged for a penalty. "Came to the sideline, looked at the football gods and was like, 'Thank you,'" Robey-Coleman said. "I got away with one tonight." SUPER BOWL: Follow USA TODAY Sports for more coverage More: Super Bowl LIII preview: Patriots vs. Rams is a battle of old guard vs. new More: NFL officiating under fire: No-call vs. Rams is latest controversy in 2018-19 The Rams went on the win the game and eliminate … [Read more...] about Sportsbook refunds Saints bets over uncalled penalty vs. Rams
The NFL's conference championship games couldn't have provided much of a better platform for the league's stars. All four of the teams remaining boast a Pro Bowl passer, as the Patriots' Tom Brady, Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, Saints' Drew Brees and Rams' Jared Goff will all be in action on Sunday. And yet there's plenty of other skill-position talent that will be on display, including running backs Todd Gurley and Alvin Kamara as well as wide receivers Michael Thomas and Tyreek Hill, among others. And there's no shortage of notable names on the other side of ball, led by expected repeat defensive player of the year Aaron Donald. With all those marquee names in mind, we asked our NFL staff: Which star player will have the signature performance of Sunday and lead his team to the Super Bowl? Here are their answers: Nancy Armour Justin Houston. Maligned all season – and, let’s be honest, rightly so – Kansas City’s defense was a wrecking crew against the … [Read more...] about Which star NFL player will take over in conference title game to power team to Super Bowl?