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Jim Caldwell leaves Dolphins having never coached team

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Veteran coach Jim Caldwell won’t return to the Miami Dolphins‘ staff in 2020.

Caldwell, who was hired by Brian Flores in February as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach, never coached a game for the Dolphins. He took an indefinite leave in July due to an undisclosed health issue and did not return to his on-field role.

Caldwell is ready to resume coaching again. The two-time former head coach, who led the Colts to the Super Bowl in 2009, has been mentioned as a candidate for multiple vacant roles this offseason including the Philadelphia Eagles‘ offensive coordinator gig.

The Dolphins hired West Virginia senior offensive analyst Robby Brown to be the quarterbacks coach. Miami’s assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski was hired as the New York Giants quarterback coach earlier this month.

Caldwell is a highly respected coach throughout the NFL with a history of developing quarterbacks and running strong offenses. He was on Fritz Pollard Alliance’s recommendation list for teams looking to hire a new head coach. The Alliance is an independent organization that works with the NFL to champion diversity.

Flores has undergone a dramatic overhaul of his coaching staff as he leads the Dolphins into a very important 2020 offseason.

The Dolphins are in the market for a franchise quarterback and could find that player high in the 2020 draft. They have the No. 5, No. 18 and No. 26 selections in the first round.

The Dolphins also officially hired Chan Gailey as offensive coordinator, replacing Chad O’Shea, who was fired after one season. Josh Boyer was promoted to defensive coordinator after Patrick Graham left that role to take the same gig with the Giants earlier this month.

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Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay — NFL’s mask warning ‘directed at me’

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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay says he’s likely responsible for the NFL memo sent Monday to reinforce that coaches must wear face coverings at all times on the sidelines during games, and threatening discipline for those who don’t comply.

“I figured that memo was directed at me,” McVay said Monday evening during a video conference with reporters.

On Sunday, during a season opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys in front of a Sunday Night Football television audience, McVay roamed the sideline with his mask mostly worn under his chin, a clear violation of the league’s coronavirus safety protocol.

“I’ve been getting blasted all day about it, so I just love it,” McVay said, a bit tongue-in-cheek, before continuing in a more serious tone. “I will do better.”

In contrast to McVay, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, when shown on the broadcast, appeared to wear his mask throughout the 2 hour, 56 minute game.

McVay says he’s uncertain if he’ll stick with a face mask or potentially wear a neck gaiter when the Rams play the Eagles in Philadelphia next Sunday. A face shield, like the one Kansas City coach Andy Reid wore in the Chiefs’ opener that fogged up, seems to be a non-starter for McVay.

“I was definitely one of the main culprits of not following what the league wants,” McVay said. “I will definitely be aware of that and do better.”

The league’s coronavirus safety protocol says that anyone with bench area access, excluding players, must wear masks on game day, and that the mask must fit securely across the nose and mouth to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert contributed to this article.

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Fantasy football waiver wire for NFL Week 2

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We’re back! For those who are loyal readers of the ESPN Fantasy Football waiver-wire column, you may recall that yours truly has had the pleasure of writing this column for several years and looks forward to doing so again this season.

Here’s the drill: Every week we’ll review the players who are available in more than 50% of leagues who merit consideration as pickups for your roster. Keep this in mind: If you play in a 10-team league, the number of players who should be added is smaller than the number of players who should be added in a deeper league.

We’ll do our best to highlight these names each week to help you improve your roster right away.

So here they are, the Week 2 ESPN Fantasy waiver-wire pickups:

Malcolm Brown, RB, Los Angeles Rams (7.9%): While the Rams entered the season with enthusiasm about second-round rookie Cam Akers, it was Brown who shined in Week 1, as he carried 18 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns, adding a trio of catches for 31 yards for a standout night. Brown is a player the Rams have long valued — they matched an offer sheet he had signed with Detroit to retain him two years ago — and he earned a prominent role on Sunday as a result. He finished with one more carry than Akers and 2019 third-rounder Darrell Henderson Jr. combined and — importantly — was their best goal-line option.

Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts (34.4%): Coming into the season we knew Hines was bound for a role within the Indy offense given Philip Rivers’ propensity for targeting backs in the passing game. But Hines exceeded expectations early with a pair of touchdowns and now Marlon Mack could be out for the season. It’ll be the Jonathan Taylor show in Indy, but Hines’ role should remain quite steady.

Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles (27.2%): The Eagles believe they have a star in the making in Goedert, who sailed past 100 receiving yards and a touchdown in Week 1. With the Eagles already dealing with wide receiver injuries, Goedert is bound to see his fair share of targets and has weekly top-10 tight end upside.

James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (29.1%): Robinson generated some steam late in the preseason after the Jaguars released Leonard Fournette and with Ryquell Armstead on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He debuted impressively by handling all 16 running back rushing attempts for the Jaguars in Week 1, posting 62 yards and adding one catch for 28 yards. The reservations on Robinson stem from whether Jacksonville will consistently be in tight games and whether Chris Thompson will interrupt his passing-game usage, but basically every starting running back is a worthwhile addition at this time of the year.

Parris Campbell, WR, Indianapolis Colts (29.8%): Just prior to Week 1 of the 2019 season, colleague Mike Clay suggested DJ Chark Jr. as a second-year wideout ready to shine that season. Campbell was Mike’s pick this year and the early returns make Clay look what extremely smart. Campbell posted nine targets in Week 1, tied for the team lead, hauling in six catches for 79 yards and 9 rushing yards as well. He’s an intriguing chess piece for Indy’s offense and a player who has his best football ahead of him.

Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears (38.2%): The Bears have long been bullish on Miller as a player and he showed well in Week 1, leading the team with 76 receiving yards to go along with a touchdown. This is a talent play, as there’s a lot to like about Miller’s skill set and potential. While he doesn’t play in a major passing attack, we’re in lockstep with the Bears’ view of his talent and believe he deserves roster consideration.

Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (11.3%): Credit to Matthew Berry for all of his preseason love for Kelley, as he was one of the most common players on TMR’s roster in his 16 teams that he manages. Kelley got involved right away in his NFL debut to the tune of 12 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. While some will question whether there is room each week for a second Chargers back in fantasy lineups if Austin Ekeler is going to post 19 carries (like he did in Week 1), I’d bypass that debate for now and instead focus on the quality talent of Kelley and stash him as a depth-level back.

Scotty Miller, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3.4%): Miller generated some preseason steam after positive comments from quarterback Tom Brady and had five catches for 73 yards in Week 1. While the Buccaneers have so many players on offense who could contribute in a given week, I think Miller piques my interest most among those eligible for the column … for now. The matchup in Week 2 against Carolina bodes well for a fun Sunday.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Detroit Lions (21.3%): I went back and forth on whether to include Peterson on this list, as while he had 14 carries for 93 yards and added three catches in his Detroit debut, the Lions have two backs I believe will be decidedly more involved in future weeks in D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson. Peterson is a volume-dependent scorer, as he’s not a consistently dynamic pass-catcher (despite his contributions Sunday) with substantial upside in that aspect of the game. But if Detroit sticks with him as its lead toter, there’s going to be some value, particularly in non-PPR leagues.

Gardner Minshew II, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (14.9%): There weren’t many quarterback performances that had me immediately reconsider the surefire starters coming into the season, but it’s always worth monitoring what’s available. Minshew completed 19 of 20 passes and threw for three touchdowns in an upset over the Colts. He’s such a fun player to watch and a useful one as well. Though Jacksonville won in Week 1 with Minshew throwing just 20 passes, we still expect a ton of volume and good rushing ability from the mustachioed quarterback to boot.

Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals (47.8%): I’m including Burrow on this list now because I sense he might soon be available in too few leagues to be on it going forward. His debut was fun and had some impressive moments, most notably a designed, 23-yard quarterback draw for a touchdown. Beautiful. Burrow’s passing day wasn’t one to write home about, per se, but he has a favorable matchup Thursday night against the Browns that could lead to a breakout fantasy day. If you have any questions about your starter and are already pressing for quarterback insurance, I’d snag Joey B. now.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers (16.1%): It was just great to see McKinnon back on the field in Week 1 after two seasons lost to injury. Moreover, he scored a touchdown! McKinnon was clearly entrenched behind Raheem Mostert — who was terrific — and there are a lot of options in the San Francisco backfield, but he’s a name to keep in mind as a stash because of his special pass-catching skills. A deeper-league consideration.

Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team (0.4%): I’m filing this Week 1 performance away: Thomas had eight targets, four catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. TMR has been convinced all preseason that Washington would get creative with Thomas (a former college quarterback) and Week 1 confirmed as such. If you’re potentially researching tight ends to roster, here’s a name we won’t discourage you from considering.

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New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers make social justice statements prior to kickoff

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The New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers each made anti-racism statements prior to their Monday night matchup at MetLife Stadium.

In a continuation from their posts Monday morning, the Steelers held a long white banner that read “Steelers Against Racism” during the national anthem. Tight end Eric Ebron was among the players who held their fist in the air.

During pregame warm-ups, a handful of Steelers players along with coach Mike Tomlin wore T-shirts with social justice messages such as “Black Lives Matter” and “End Racism.”

The Giants had approximately 20 players kneel during the national anthem. Coach Joe Judge stood with his arms on the shoulders of safety Jabrill Peppers and defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson.

Earlier this month, when the anthem topic was brought up, Giants co-owner John Mara had said that his “preference is that everybody stand. But if you decide that in your conscience taking a knee is the right thing to do, I’m going to support your right to do that because I believe in the First Amendment and I believe in the right of people, especially players, to take a knee in silent protest if that is what they want to do.”

The Giants stayed on the field after pregame warm-ups and lined up on the goal line for “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” known as the Black national anthem. Nobody kneeled. The Steelers remained in the locker room. Giants outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, who has been outspoken about racial injustice, was clearly emotional and in tears.

For Week 1, the league directed every home game to play two songs during the pregame: “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing” and “The Star Spangled Banner.” The league does not require teams to be on the field during the anthem presentation, nor does it prohibit kneeling.

MetLife Stadium had “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” written in the back of the end zones. The Steelers wore “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts during early warm-ups while the Giants had “End Racism.”

The Steelers announced earlier Monday that all players would have the name Antwon Rose Jr. on the back of their helmets to honor and remember the Black teenager from Pittsburgh who was fatally shot in the back by a white Pittsburgh police officer in 2018. But left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a former U.S. Army Ranger, has the name of Alwyn Cashe written on the back of his helmet. Cashe, a Black Army veteran, was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for heroism in Iraq.

ESPN Staff Writer Brooke Pryor contributed to this report.



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