Teddy Bridgewater, MetLife Stadium, Ryan Shazier
Norv Turner is ecstatic to have Teddy Bridgewater competing for the Minnesota Vikings' starting quarterback job.
Turner, who is entering his first season as the Vikings' offensive coordinator, has told Vikings.com that he is certain the team got a steal when – after trading back into the first round – it was able to select him No. 32 overall.
"I think he probably should've gone in the first 10 picks," Turner said of the former Louisville star, who at one point was projected as the top overall pick of the draft. "He probably should've gone at least in the first half of the first round, and then we're sitting there with an opportunity to get him when we did, it was a bonus to me."
Although Bridgewater's stock suffered largely from a poor performance at his Pro Day at Louisville, Turner said the quarterback "can make all the throws he needs to make."
JETS TO REWARD FANS FOR MAKING NOISE THAT HELPS AT HOME GAMES
So what do NFL fans get when they make enough noise to force the visiting offense to call a timeout or an opposing offensive lineman to be called for a false-start penalty?
Pride, certainly. Satisfaction, for sure.
But what else are they able to take away from all of their vocal efforts?
The New York Jets have come up with the most tangible reward yet: rewards points.
As part of a program where season-ticket holders will receive a wallet-sized smart card to replace paper tickets, the Jets are going to give fans points for attendance, being in MetLife Stadium for kickoff, and being as loud as possible.
For instance, fans will receive 500 points if their card is scanned at least 15 minutes before kickoff, and they'll get a 100-point bonus for a "fan assist," such as when the visiting team commits a false start, gives up a sack, or is forced to call a timeout because of noise-induced confusion at the line of scrimmage. Points increase for a fan who attends seven of the 10 home games, including the preseason, and for the longest-tenured season-ticket holders. Owning a more expensive seat also leads to more bonus points.
The points then can be redeemed for the opportunity to participate in the pregame "J-E-T-S!" chant on the field and, at the highest end, a seat in the box of team owner Woody Johnson or tickets to the Super Bowl.
"First and foremost, we wanted to honor the work the fans already do," Seth Rabinowitz, the Jets' vice president of marketing and fan engagement, was quoted as saying on ESPN.com. "We also wanted to give an additional amount of truth to the fact that, uniquely in football, being at the game really does influence the outcome, more so than any other sport, I think.
"If they take it to heart, and if they feel like cheering even louder, great. "That would be a tremendous help for us."
MIKE BROWN SAYS HE IS NO LONGER RUNNING THE CINCINNATI BENGALS
In comments he made to FOX 19 television in Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown said he is no longer running the club's day-to-day operations.
Brown said that those duties belong to his daughter, Katie Blackburn, and coach Marvin Lewis.
"They're doing it now," Brown said. "The ball's been essentially handed off."
On his role in the Bengals' three consecutive playoff appearances, Brown said, "Do I take credit for that? I wasn't out there taking credit when it wasn't going well, so maybe I ought to shut up and not take credit when it's gone a little better."
Still, Lewis told the TV station that Brown is at the team facility "seven days a week."
RYAN SHAZIER PROVING TO BE A QUICK STUDY FOR STEELERS
If it were up to Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler, his position group would only consist of veteran players.
"I don't like to play rookies because defensive football there's two things that can get you beat," Butler was quoted as saying on ESPN.com. "One of them is missed tackles. The other one is mental mistakes. Normally, when you try to learn this defense it's going to take you a little while to do it."
Nevertheless, the Steelers are going to be relying on a rookie linebacker this season, former Ohio State standout Ryan Shazier. The primary reason is the much-needed speed and athleticism he brings to the group, but Shazier also has shown signs of being mentally ready for the challenge.
"He understands concepts and picks things up a little bit easier than most rookies," Butler said. "I think Lawrence Timmons will help him and some of the other guys will help him learn to run this defense. We don't have a choice whether we can play him or not. We've got to play him and we've got to be faster and we've got to win." >>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for "Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford" on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com. We take your questions at 216-578-0850 and via Twitter @Browns_Daily.