- The Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins says that Cowboys WR Jon’Vea Johnson, who is on the NFL Reserve/COVID-19 list, is “feeling good” according to his agent Fletcher Smith. Johnson isn’t sure how he got the virus, but Smith said he doesn’t know if Johnson will report on Tuesday for another test.
- ESPN’s Ed Werder notes that tweets from Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence indicate that he has decided to play the 2020 season after expressing concerns about the pandemic and his wife being pregnant.
Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the Eagles will be relying on players like LT Andre Dillard and WR Jalen Reagor to make a big impact as the 2020 season gets underway. HC Doug Pederson spoke to McLane about what to expect as football returns in Philadelphia.
“Every year, there’s going to be a rookie or two that really steps up and performs and catches our eye,” Pederson said of the young players on the team. “It doesn’t matter if he’s a guy on offense or defense. He can be a starter on special teams.”
“We took a look at our roster obviously and felt that where Jason is and the type of player he is, obviously his leadership on the football team, that the transition would be relatively easy.”
- NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport mentions that one benefit for the Giants is that they get CB Deandre Baker out of the building while he awaits his serious legal fate, and they can now have a chance at recouping money that was allotted to Baker.
- NorthJersey.com’s Art Stapleton notes with Baker on the exempt list, as well as the release of K Aldrick Rosas and Malcolm Elmore, two of the roster spots will likely be claimed by K Chandler Catanzaro and possibly LB Markus Golden.
When the Panthers made the decision for a fresh start, most around the NFL saw Ron Rivera as the clear-cut top option available on the coaching market. So when he landed with Washington, it raised some eyebrows. And over the course of the past several months as the franchise has dealt with a name change, ugly divorces with players and a rotten organizational culture exposed yet again to the light with revelations of serial sexual harassment by multiple members of the front office, many have wondered if Rivera regrets his decision. He answered those questions with an emphatic negative.
“I said this in my first press conference. I’ll be honest with you. Maybe it’s my own ego, okay. But I really felt that this is an organization that needed somebody to come in and lead, and I felt like I could do that. I could come in and lead this organization. And that’s why I’m here because I really do believe that,” Rivera said via the Athletic’s Ben Standig.
Rivera went on to explain how he was drawn to the young players on the roster that reminded him of when he started in Carolina, the history of the organization and the vision owner Dan Snyder cast when recruiting him to the job. He also disagreed with the characterization he took the job for the money.
“I get it. People have an opinion. But don’t come at me if you don’t know me because if I really wanted the money, you don’t think I’d have pitted the Giants and Cleveland and Washington and Dallas against each other?” Rivera said. “No, I was enthusiastic about this job from the beginning. And this is where I am. This is what I think everybody (needs) to understand. I didn’t come here for the money. Okay, I made a lot of money in Carolina. I could have sat the year out, and collected a very good paycheck, played a lot of golf and got my handicap down.
“I just look at this, and I think to myself, this is an opportunity, and that not too many things are gonna dampen my spirit about this. I know it’s going to be hard. Believe me. This is not all roses. And it hasn’t been all roses. There’s been a lot of thorns, but that’s all part of it. Because to get to the roses when you go on up the stem, you’ve got to get past the thorns. So that’s what I’m going to do. And again, the biggest thing I tell everybody to understand is about culture, trying to build and develop a sustainable winning culture. I will do the best I can and hopefully in three, four, or five years because that’s how long the military says it takes to change a culture. So, if I have the time to do it, believe me, I am doing everything I can to do it. I just like where I am.”