Connect with us

NFL

Ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Florida State Seminoles LB Geno Hayes dies at age 33

Published

on

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Florida State linebacker Geno Hayes, 33, has died after being diagnosed with liver disease two years ago.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of Geno Hayes’ passing,” the Bucs said in a statement Tuesday. “During his time with the Buccaneers, Geno was a beloved teammate and often the first player to volunteer his time to our efforts in the community. He frequently visited schools and had a remarkable ability to connect with children. Losing him at such a young age is heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with his family.”

He had been placed into hospice care at his parents’ home in Georgia earlier this month.

Hayes told ESPN before entering the hospital last month that he had been placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant at the Mayo Clinic and Northwestern Medicine in December after being hospitalized over 20 times in the past year.

Hayes, who played for the Bucs from 2008 to 2011, the Chicago Bears in 2012 and Jacksonville Jaguars from 2013 to 2014, was diagnosed with the condition while being treated for an unrelated medical issue.

Source link

NFL

New Baltimore Ravens OT Alejandro Villanueva likes idea of facing former team in Pittsburgh Steelers

Published

on

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — New Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva says he is looking forward to playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, his former team, while also throwing some shade toward wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Villanueva acknowledged Wednesday at his introductory news conference that he didn’t have many options in free agency after hearing from the Steelers that he was not getting re-signed. He listed facing the Steelers as one incentive in joining the onetime rival Ravens.

“The fact that I knew the Ravens is a team that plays hard, a team that plays AFC North-type football and I get a chance to play the Steelers as well was something that motivated me coming here for sure,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva signed a two-year, $14 million deal with Baltimore on Tuesday that includes $8 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He also drew interest from the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

He becomes the fourth multiple-time Pro Bowl player for the Steelers to play for the Ravens, joining cornerback Rod Woodson, safety Carnell Lake and tight end Eric Green.

As if this AFC North rivalry needed some added fire, Villanueva took a passing shot at Smith-Schuster when asked about the mindset in going to an offense with a drastically different philosophy.

Villanueva said it’s better for offensive linemen to play for a run-first team like the Ravens, adding, “I’m assuming it’s not as much fun for the receivers because they’re not getting all of the catches, they’re making the TikToks, and they’re having fun on their social media.”

Last season, Smith-Schuster gained attention for posting celebratory locker room dances on social media and performing TikTok dances on opposing teams’ logos.

Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

Buffalo Bills GM says his priority is to reach any set vaccination threshold

Published

on

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said during a radio appearance Wednesday that he would cut an unvaccinated player if it meant his team being able to return to some sense of normalcy.

Appearing on “One Bills Live” with hosts Chris Brown and former Bills player Steve Tasker, Beane presented a hypothetical scenario in which teams needed a certain number of vaccinated players to avoid having socially distanced or virtual meetings or wearing masks in the facility.

There is no official NFL mandate on vaccination, but Beane said he thinks it may be incentivized as such.

“The early indications are that if you’re vaccinated … that you are probably going to have to test once a week,” Beane said. “But if you’re not, then you’d have to test every day like we did last year. Still unsure about the masking, how that would go. I think there’s going to be some incentives to where, if you have X percentage of your players and staff vaccinated, you can live normal, let’s just call it. Back to the old days.

“If you don’t, it’s going to look more like last year. … I hope that, if those are the rules, we’ll be able to get enough people vaccinated and not have to deal with all the headaches from a year ago.”

Tasker then presented a scenario to Beane in which the Bills were one player away from reaching that ratio, asking if he would cut a player in order to return to normalcy.

Beane said he would, citing the advantage it would give the team.

“Yeah. I would. Because it’d be an advantage,” Beane said. “We’re laughing, but these meetings [last season] were not as productive as before. You guys saw it in the field house — sometimes we’d have three to four meetings going on, and sometimes you’re talking over each other. But it was the only way to pull it off and be socially distanced.

“So it would be an advantage to cut a player and fall under that umbrella.”

Last season, the NFL implemented myriad safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including daily testing, socially distanced or virtual meetings and a mask mandate while in the team facility. With the COVID-19 vaccine’s recent availability, however, it is unclear what the league’s policies will be for the 2021 season.

Vaccinations have been a hot-button issue locally. Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz said Bills games would be open at full capacity this season — but only to fans who are fully vaccinated. That sparked backlash from some, including safety Jordan Poyer‘s wife, Rachel Bush.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded to Poloncarz’s announcement, saying such a decision would have to get state approval but calling the recommendation “plausible.”



Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

Jacksonville Jaguars fire four longtime staff members as part of overhaul by coach Urban Meyer, source says

Published

on

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jaguars have fired four longtime employees in the scouting and personnel department, including one who has been with the franchise since its inception, a league source confirmed to ESPN.

Andy Dengler (assistant director of player personnel), Chris Driggers (director of pro personnel), Mark Ellenz (director of college scouting) and Paul Roell (assistant director of college scouting) were fired Monday. The group has a combined 66 years of experience with the Jaguars, and Driggers was one of five remaining staff members who joined the franchise in 1994.

These moves, as first reported by The Associated Press, are unsurprising because of coach Urban Meyer’s reorganization of the franchise. Meyer has expanded the coaching staff to 27, added a chief of staff in Fernando Lovo, and merged nutrition, strength and conditioning, and training into the sports performance department.

Meyer previously fired director of player health and performance Scott Trulock and strength and conditioning coordinator Tom Myslinski and hired Jeff Ferguson (director of athletic training) and Anthony Schlegel (head strength and conditioning coach).

In addition, Meyer has made it a point to say the franchise’s responsibility is to give the players the best of everything, which is why he is pushing for a stand-alone football facility.

Dengler joined the Jaguars in 1998 and spent the past eight years as the assistant director of player personnel. Ellenz joined the Jaguars in 2013 and had been the director of college scouting since 2016. Roell also joined the Jaguars in 2013; he and Ellenz were hired by then-general manager Dave Caldwell, who was fired in November.

Driggers started in the football operations department and then became the team’s salary-cap administrator. He joined the scouting department in 1998 and was promoted to director of pro personnel in 2015.

Alisa Abbott (executive director to the owner and president), Dan Edwards (senior vice president of Jacksonville tradition and alumni), Mike Perkins (senior director of football technology and special projects) and Tim Bishko (director of ticket operations) are the remaining staff members who have been with the franchise since 1994.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending