Rex Ryan backs QB Geno Smith

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The tension is http://www.chargers.us.com/Dwight_Freeney_Jersey mounting in the New York Jets’ locker room.

The struggling offense held a players-only meeting Monday, one day after a home loss in which the crowd was chanting for Michael Vick to replace Geno Smith at quarterback.

The embattled Smith, whose turnovers are one of the main reasons for the Jets’ three-game losing streak, was one of a few players that spoke at the meeting.

“The meeting was for us to kind of vent to one another about some of the things we can do better, and some of the ways we can get better as an offense,” said Smith, adding that it was a “group decision” to call the meeting.

He bristled when it was suggested the session was designed to air grievances.

“No grievances,” Smith said. “I understand semantics are a huge thing in http://www.officialushockey.com/mario-lemieux-jersey this market, but there were no grievances. I don’t want you guys to get that misunderstood. No one is hanging their head around here and no one is sad. No one is down on themselves.”

But there is an escalating quarterback controversy. Publicly, Rex Ryan and players have remained supportive of Smith, but their patience could be wearing thin after two straight poor performances by the second-year quarterback.

Smith didn’t do himself any favors by cursing a heckler in the crowd after the 24-17 loss to the Detroit Lions, an F bomb that resulted in a torrent of criticism and almost certainly will result in a fine from the NFL. The amount for a first-time offender is $11,025.

On Monday, Ryan spoke to Smith about the incident, telling him it was “inappropriate.” The irony is that Ryan did the same thing in 2011, incurring a $75,000 fine for yelling a profanity at a fan.

“Unfortunately, I made the same mistake,” said Ryan, adding: “Obviously, it’s something I regretted when I did it, and I know Geno feels the same way.”

After two straight Andrei Markov Canadiens Jersey home losses, the Jets (1-3) hit the road to face the San Diego Chargers (3-1). It might be good for them to get away.

Despite mounting pressure to change quarterbacks, Ryan reiterated they’re sticking with Smith, who has thrown at least one interception in 16 of 20 career starts.

“(It’s) because I believe in him,” Ryan said. “I believe we’re going to get it done and I believe he’s going to be one of the main reasons we get it done.”

Ryan may not have the final say on a quarterback change, which would be unusual for a head coach.

Asked if it’s his decision, Ryan said, “To say who’s going to outright make that call or whatever, I’d rather not say those things, but it would be a team decision” – an answer that fuels the perception that general manager John Idzik is calling the shots.

No doubt, Smith’s penchant for turnovers (seven in four games) came up in the players-only meeting. The players also discussed eliminating penalties and improving red-zone efficiency, the obvious bugaboos.

Smith said he took http://www.chiefs.us.com/Derrick_Johnson_Jersey ownership of his mistakes, saying he told teammates “just how disappointed I was with myself for the turnovers we’ve had. I know how hard I’ve worked on straightening those things out. We’ve emphasized those things, but I’ve allowed some of those things [to] happen that I can’t let happen.”

Only a handful of Smith’s teammates appeared in the locker room during the media period, perhaps trying to avoid sensitive questions about their confidence level in Smith.

Vick, 34, is well-respected among his teammates even though he has played only six snaps in a situational role. Vick said he supports Smith.

The Jets face an extremely difficult three-game stretch. After the Chargers, they return home for the Denver Broncos and have a short week to prepare for the New England Patriots on the road.

Smith acknowledged the season has reached a crossroad.

“You can obviously go in the tank and say the season is done with, or you can do what we’re going to do — get back to practice Wednesday and pick ourselves up,” he said.


Denver Broncos get leading tackler back

The Denver Broncos locker room was filled with more banter and bellows than usual Monday. Their early bye is over and Danny Trevathan is back.
The team’s leading AJ McCarron Authentic Jersey tackler last season, Trevathan missed the first three games after fracturing his left leg just below his knee during an Aug. 12 practice at training camp.

He’s expected to make his 2014 debut Sunday when the Broncos (2-1) host the Arizona Cardinals (3-0).

”Man, we’re so happy to have him back,” linebacker Nate Irving said, raising his voice and enunciating each word so that Trevathan could hear his high praise two lockers away. ”He’s the heartbeat of the defense, baby!”

Trevathan glanced at Irving and shook his head.

”But it feels good to see him out here running around,” Irving continued. ”It’s pretty good to know that he’s healthy and everything. Getting that extra guy back out there is pretty good for us. It. Boosts. The. Team. Morale.”

When Trevathan spun around, he was surrounded by a phalanx of cameras and teasing teammates.

”Give me a shout-out, Danny!” implored defensive lineman Malik Jackson from behind the scrum.

Trevathan had other ideas.
He slithered past the hoard, saying he had somewhere else to be.

Fierce between the sidelines but shy in public, he’ll make his statements on the football field, just like he did in 2013.

The third-year pro out of Kentucky is coming off a breakout season in which he led the Broncos with 124 tackles and intercepted three passes before collecting a team-best http://www.ramsshop.us.com/Brian_Quick_Jersey two dozen tackles in the playoffs.

If all continues to go well this week, Trevathan will return to his starting spot on the weak side next to Irving and opposite strong side linebacker Von Miller against the undefeated Cardinals.

Brandon Marshall, who collected a team-high 29 tackles in his absence, will return to playing alongside Trevathan in nickel situations or spelling him in the base defense whenever Trevathan needs a breather.

”I thought Brandon Marshall stepped in and did a real good job,” coach John Fox said. ”We’ve got some youth at that position, there were errors made, but all in all, just like our record, I think, two of the situations better than the third. We’ll welcome back Danny because he was one of our better players and it’s good to have him back.”

Denver’s defense saved the day with game-clinching last-minute plays against Indianapolis and Kansas City but couldn’t stop Russell Wilson’s 80-yard TD drive in overtime two weekends ago.

With Trevathan’s return to health, the Broncos have the defense that had coordinator Jack Del Rio so excited this summer, one that boosts star power in Miller, Chris Harris Jr., Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware, Rahim Moore and Terrance Knighton.

”It’s a huge deal,” Knighton said. ”I told him that today. I’m happy to have him back. He brings a lot more attitude to the defense. It’s not that B-Marsh didn’t, it’s just Danny’s more of a feisty guy. It will be good to have him back. It’s good that Brandon got that experience while Danny was hurt. So, it’ll allow our linebackers to rotate and have guys that they can trust go in and play.”

Marshall said he feels like he not only held things together during Trevathan’s absence but showed the Broncos they can count on him to play a bigger role.

”I thought I surprised a lot of people,” Marshall said. ”I surprised coaches, fans, my teammates, I thought. I’m not really sure if I had the full support of everybody, but I think going forward, I will – either as a backup player, or if I come in on nickel packages Tramon Williams Womens Jersey. So I thought I did well. I think I showed enough to get the support of everybody.”

Notes: LB Lerentee McCray (knee) and S David Bruton (ankle) sat out of practice.


Aaron Rodgers throws 4 TDs to lead Packers past Bears

CHICAGO — Aaron Rodgers urged Packers fans to http://www.dolphins.us.com/Dion_Sims_Jersey relax. Maybe they will after this one — the 700th regular-season victory in team history.

Rodgers threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns, and Green Bay shook off one of its worst offensive performances in years with a 38-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon.

The Packers (2-2) scored on their first six possessions to build a 38-17 lead. They racked up 358 yards after being held to 223, their lowest total since 2008, a week earlier in a 19-7 loss at Detroit.

They intercepted Jay Cutler twice in the third quarter to pull away from the Bears (2-2). That gave Green Bay five straight wins at Soldier Field, including the NFC title game four years ago and a playoffs-or-bust finale for both teams last season.

Rodgers called on Packers fans to take a deep breath during the week, and he gave them reason to exhale with this performance.

“I just wanted to http://www.officialramsnflshop.com/RAMS-JANORIS-JENKINS-JERSEY remind everybody that it’s a long season, and at some point, we’re going to get this thing figured out,” Rodgers said.

He had all the answers in this one, which allowed Green Bay to join the Bears (732) as the only teams with at least 700 regular-season wins.

Rodgers posted a 151.2 rating for the game, completing 22 of 28 passes, and had all the time he needed with five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen sitting out because of an illness.

He threw two touchdown passes each to Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, and a fifth got called back by a penalty. That happened early in the third when a scrambling Rodgers got hit by at least one defender while unleashing an awkward, wobbly 34-yard pass that somehow connected with Davante Adams in the end zone.

Cobb had seven catches for 113 yards. Nelson had 10 receptions for 108 yards, and the Packers came away with the win despite allowing 496 yards.

The offenses were so effective — or the defenses struggled so badly — that neither team punted. That happened only once before in a regular-season NFL game, 22 years ago.

“Interesting,” Nelson said. “Obviously, turnovers were a big thing. It’s fun, especially when you’re putting up points and having a good time.”

The Bears basically matched Authentic Josh Harding Womens Jersey Green Bay score for score before Cutler threw those interceptions. He wound up passing for 256 yards and two TDs but fell to 1-10 lifetime against Green Bay, counting the postseason.

Matt Forte ran for 122 yards on 23 carries. Martellus Bennett had nine catches for a career-high 134 yards, but Chicago came up short after back-to-back wins at San Francisco and the New York Jets.

“I thought we were playing well, I thought we were moving the ball well,” Cutler said. “We were changing it up. I thought (coach Marc Trestman) called a really good game. We just had some unfortunate things happen to us that kind of derailed us, and they didn’t.”

Mason Crosby kicked a 53-yard field goal on the opening possession of the second half to extend the Packers’ lead to 24-17, and things unraveled for the Bears after that.

Chicago had the ball on the Green Bay 24 when Cutler hit cornerback Tramon Williams in the chest with a pass. The ball ricocheted to Clay Matthews, who returned it 45 yards. That led to an 11-yard scoring pass from Rodgers to Nelson, making it 31-17.

Another interception set up another TD for the Packers. This time, Brandon Marshall went long when Cutler expected him to cut back toward the quarterback.

The pass went right to http://www.chargers.us.com/John_Phillips_Jersey Sam Shields, who crossed the field on a 62-yard return to put the ball at the 11. Chicago’s Jonathan Bostic got called for a hold, negating a field goal by Crosby to start the fourth quarter, and Rodgers hit Cobb from the 3 to make it 38-17.

The Packers took a 21-17 lead to the locker room after the two teams combined for 508 yards. Chicago missed a touchdown by inches when Bennett got stopped just short of the end zone on an 8-yard catch. Cutler thought Bennett reached across the goal line before getting taken down, but the call was upheld after a review.

Then, in the third quarter, Green Bay created some breathing room.

“I don’t feel like I need to prove anything, but it sure is nice when people start doubting us to go out and have a performance like this,” Rodgers said.


Saints’ defense remains biggest concern

ARLINGTON, Texas — So which was the anomaly? The New http://www.broncos.us.com/Von_Miller_Jersey Orleans Saints’ stunning defensive turnaround in 2013? Or their stunning regression this season?

Sunday night’s debacle in Dallas shouldn’t be pinned on the Saints defense alone. The number of guilty parties after their 38-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys was roughly equal to the number of seats on the team plane. And nobody was shying away from that fact after the game.

But the Saints offense has a track record that offers hope and optimism going forward. Heck, they even tried to turn this one into a real game with two quick second-half touchdown drives.

It’s the defense that remains the biggest question mark after yet another meltdown Sunday night. It let Tony Romo throw for 262 yards and three touchdowns, while DeMarco Murray ran for 149 yards and two scores.

“Definitely, I think now after these couple games, it is a big deal now,” said safety Kenny Vaccaro, one of many who had started to chafe at the constant line of questions about what was wrong with the Saints defense after the first two losses. “First, it’s like, ‘OK, we’re starting slow.’ But once you’re 1-3 it’s like, ‘OK now we gotta. …’ The first 25 percent of the season’s over. So I don’t know.”

Those questions were especially hard to ignore this week in Dallas, where so many people who follow the Cowboys were asking both before and after the game if the bloom was off the Rob Ryan rose?

Ryan was hired as the Saints’ defensive coordinator Brooks Reed Youth Jersey last year after being fired by the Cowboys following a disappointing second season as their defensive coordinator in 2012.

It seemed like Ryan got the last laugh on the Cowboys when New Orleans routed them 49-17 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome last season. But now Ryan has admittedly found himself in a spot once again where he needs to “prove it.”

The New Orleans defense was supposed to be more loaded than it’s been in any time in the Sean Payton-Drew Brees era. They finished fourth in yards allowed and points allowed last year, and then added Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd for good measure.

Instead, they’re currently ranked 29th in the NFL in yards allowed, 27th in points allowed and 31st in turnovers forced (one, which came way back in the first quarter of Week 1).

“It’s nothing about the scheme,” Saints middle linebacker and captain Curtis Lofton said. “What it comes down to is you gotta whup the man across the line from you. And if you don’t do that, then you’re not gonna be successful. If you gotta man him up, then you man him up. If I gotta tackle the running back, I gotta tackle the running back. It’s plain and simple. There’s no magic schemes. You gotta whup somebody in front of you.”

So what is it, exactly, that’s not working for the Saints defense?

The only correct answer is, “Everything.”

They haven’t been able to force turnovers. The pass rush has been practically http://www.bearsshop.us.com/Matt_Slauson_Jersey non-existent — this may be the biggest head-scratcher of all since both Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette emerged as 12-sack guys last season. Blitzing hasn’t worked, and not blitzing hasn’t worked.

They missed tackles in bunches in both Week 1 at Atlanta and Week 4 at Dallas. They had breakdowns in their coverage assignments during the first two weeks before Ryan simplified his checks and adjustments last week. And that seemed to work in a 20-9 win over the Minnesota Vikings. But it sure didn’t work at Dallas. Nothing did.

“I felt like we were heading in [the right] direction, we took a small step. But we took three steps back today, and that can’t happen,” said Lofton, who insisted confidence hadn’t wavered — but that reality hasn’t disappeared, either.

“You can’t run from 1-3,” Lofton said. “So when you watch film, we don’t point fingers around here, we use thumbs. The first thing I’m gonna do is see how I can get better and help this team win. If each guy does that and is accountable to each other, then we’ll get where we need to get to.”


Smith leads the way as Ravens beat Panthers 38-10

The most surprising aspect of Steve Smith’s performance http://www.ravensshop.us.com/Deonte_Thompson_Jersey against the Carolina Panthers was that it didn’t include taunts or bluster.

Smith opted to punish the Panthers through his play on the field, and by the end of the afternoon the 35-year-old receiver had made a definitive statement.

Smith burned his former team with seven catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Baltimore Ravens to a 38-10 victory Sunday.

Smith spent 13 seasons with Carolina before he was released during the offseason in a cost-cutting move. Proving he’s still got a knack for making the big play, Smith scored twice in the second quarter to help put Baltimore (3-1) in front 21-7 at halftime.

And he didn’t get in the face of the defender on either occasion.

”I didn’t have anything good, bad or indifferent to say. I just played. At the end of the day, honestly they didn’t deserve anything I had to say that would be derogatory – and I didn’t need to,” Smith said. ”They didn’t even deserve me to spin the ball on them. I just caught it and put it down and went about my business.”

His first touchdown came on a pass that deflected off the right hand of teammate Owen Daniels. Smith caught the ball in stride and took it into the end zone to complete a 61-yard play.

Nothing the Panthers haven’t seen before.

”He did some really good things,” Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. ”And that’s who Steve is.”

Smith also scored from 21 yards out with a diving reception. He celebrated in dignified fashion, taking the ball with him to the sideline for safekeeping.

Before the game, it was evident Brian Quick Youth Jersey to Ravens coach John Harbaugh that Smith was going to keep his yapping to a minimum.

”He recognized the gravity of the situation,” Harbaugh said, ”the need to get control of those emotions.”

It was also a huge day for Joe Flacco, went 22 of 31 for 327 yards and three touchdowns.

Carolina (2-2) has lost two straight, both in lopsided fashion against AFC North foes.

Cam Newton completed 14 of 25 passes for 197 yards. Under duress for much of the afternoon, he was sacked twice.

Newton received little help from a running game that was without leading rusher Jonathan Stewart (knee), and DeAngelo Williams left in the second quarter with an ankle injury.

Carolina’s defense was also spotty. One week after yielding 264 yards rushing in a loss to Pittsburgh, the Panthers gave up 454 yards of offense and 25 first downs.

Worse, the Panthers lost a fumble, didn’t force a turnover and were penalized seven times – twice for having 12 men on the field.

”Apparently we’ve got to look at what we’re doing and make sure it gets corrected,” Rivera said. ”We’ve got to find answers and we’ve got to do it quickly.”

Flacco led four drives of 80 yards, all of them resulting in touchdowns. Justin Forsett ran for 68 yards, backup Lorenzo Taliaferro gained 58, and each scored.

The Panthers held the ball for nearly eight minutes on the opening possession and drove to the Baltimore 17 before a penalty and sack took them out of field goal range.

After that, neither team got close to scoring until Smith caught the deflection to put the Ravens up 7-0 early in the second quarter. After the score, he took a bow in the end zone, ran off the field and heaved the ball into the stands.

Carolina tied it with an 80-yard drive, capped by Newton’s 28-yard pass to wide-open rookie Kelvin Benjamin in the front left corner of the end zone.

Baltimore quickly responded. Flacco threw for 39 yards and Forsett ran for 41, capping it with an 11-yard touchdown for a 14-7 lead.

After the Panthers went three-and-out for the first time, Smith got his second touchdown despite being harassed by cornerback Melvin White, who was called for pass interference. What made the score even more special was that Flacco fumbled the snap, scooped up the ball and lofted a floater that found its mark in the end zone.

Torrey Smith’s first touchdown of the year, on a 24-yard catch, made it 28-7 in the third quarter.

Baltimore clinched it with a 12-play drive for a 35-10 lead with 11:34 remaining. Flacco went 5 for 5 for 56 yards on the possession, twice hitting http://www.ramsshop.us.com/Zac_Stacy_Jersey Steve Smith.

Afterward, someone asked the veteran receiver how he planned to mark the occasion.

”Watch a few highlights, eat a little apple pie, move on,” he replied.

Notes: Retired TE Todd Heap was inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor at halftime. … Carolina FB Richie Brockel left in the first quarter with an ankle injury. … Baltimore DT Brandon Williams got his first career fumble recovery. … It was Steve Smith’s 46th career 100-yard game.


Roger Goodell meets 11 ex-players

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Greg Hardy Womens Jersey chief assistant Troy Vincent were told by 11 former players Tuesday that the league must act immediately when someone is accused of domestic violence.
At a 3½-hour meeting to discuss ways to improve the league’s personal conduct policy, the former players also said teams must be held accountable when players misbehave.
“One question asked around the room was, when an arrest occurs, do you take them off the field or let them play and let the due process take care of itself?” said Vincent, the NFL’s vice president of football operations. “To a man, they said, `Take them off the field, pay them, and let due process take care of itself.”
At the meeting were Hall of Famer http://www.panthersshop.us.com/Jj_Jansen_Jersey Mike Singletary, plus Matt Birk, Eddie Mason, Patrick Kerney, Willie McGinest, Roman Oben, Marty Lyons, Charles Way, Tony Paige, Scott Turner and Robert Porcher. More weekly meetings are planned among league officials and former players, current players and team owners.
“I felt like the clock was on after last Friday and the clock was on that we can’t talk to enough people,” Vincent said of a news conference at which Goodell announced the league will re-examine how and when it should discipline players for violating the policy.
“You begin this discussion with http://www.panthersshop.us.com/Jason_Avant_Jersey people it means the most to: the players and the owners,” Vincent added. “Let’s begin by bringing in some of our `thought leaders.”
The NFL has faced heavy criticism of its personal conduct policy after incidents this year involving Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald and Jonathan Dwyer. Goodell repeatedly has said he mishandled the punishment of Rice for punching his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator.
Vincent said the meeting became emotional at times as the players stressed the importance of “making sure everyone is accountable.”
Singletary, the great former Bears linebacker, pointed out the need to “find who is most influential person in this person’s life” and then get the message across that if the player can’t accept societal and league rules, “the lines are long behind them, and the people on those lines are ready to step up and assume the responsibility.”
Vincent said he felt the league got http://www.panthersshop.us.com/Kawann_Short_Jersey a bit closer to finding solutions to swifter and more emphatic punishments for players who violate the personal conduct policy.
“You can’t negotiate the game,” Vincent said, his voice cracking. “The one thing we all got to fight for … we are talking about the game and we all got to be all-in. We all have got to answer the questions of where are we today, how did we get here, why is this happening, how do we stop this and manage this?
“We don’t have time to wait on anybody to give us direction. There is one thing we don’t negotiate, it’s the game.”


Titans vs. Colts preview

The Indianapolis Colts got Antoine Bethea Authentic Jersey off to a slow start, losing their first two games of the season until the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars helped them get their first victory Sunday. The Tennessee Titans opened the season with a victory, but have dropped their last two games while being outscored 59-17.
The Colts and Titans meet at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday to see which team can even its record to .500.
ESPN.com Colts reporter http://www.49ers.us.com/Blaine_Gabbert_Jersey Mike Wells and Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky discuss this AFC South matchup.
Wells: At the start of the season, there were some questions about whether Jake Locker was the right guy to quarterback the Titans. Now he’s dealing with a wrist injury. At what point do the Titans determine if he’s truly their quarterback of the future?
Kuharsky: Soon. They want http://www.49ers.us.com/Carlos_Hyde_Jersey to give him a thorough look and a fair chance. He played a great game in Kansas City, a terrible first half against Dallas and a terrible game in Cincinnati. But coach Ken Whisenhunt doesn’t appear to be shaping his offense around Locker’s skill set. Locker simply isn’t capable of doing what Kurt Warner or Philip Rivers did with Whisenhunt as the playcaller. This is Locker’s final year under contact.
At some point, if he still http://www.49ers.us.com/Dan_Skuta_Jersey isn’t playing well, they have to decide he’s not the future and then get a look at sixth-rounder Zach Mettenberger to find out whether he’s the answer. Otherwise, they’ll need to spend a high draft pick to compete with Mettenberger and Charlie Whitehurst in 2015.


Hope Solo – Does domestic abuse have a double standard

The dust is http://www.coltsofficialauthentic.com/COLTS-GRIFF-WHALEN-JERSEY settling around National Football League (NFL) players Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy after each man was arrested for separate cases of domestic abuse. Now another prominent athlete is making headlines for similar reasons – female football star Hope Solo.

In June, the US national women’s team’s star goalkeeper was arrested and charged with two counts of domestic abuse in connection with an assault on her sister and 17-year-old nephew.

She has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial in November.

Rice is suspended from the NFL indefinitely and Peterson and Hardy have been benched. But Solo continues to play for two teams, including the US national side.

Nike has publicly ended ties with Rice and Peterson, but nearly three months after Solo’s arrest, the company has not said a word about its sponsorship deal with her.

This summer, the US Soccer Federation issued this gentle statement:

“We are aware that Hope is handling a personal situation at the moment,” US Soccer spokesman Neil Bluethe told USA Today.

“At the same time, she has an opportunity to set http://www.officialushockey.com/patrice-bergeron-jersey a significant record that speaks to her hard work and dedication over the years with the national team. While considering all factors involved, we believe that we should recognise that in the proper way.”

Since then, Solo broke the record to which Mr Bluethe referred – the women’s national team record for shutouts.

Some commentators say she should have been sent off the field months ago.

“Solving the problem in the NFL while ignoring the issue elsewhere would accomplish little as a whole,” writes John Smallwood for the Philadelphia Daily News. “If we are going to address domestic abuse, let’s address it, regardless of the status of the accused perpetrator.”

Thousands of young girls flock to stadiums to watch Solo play, he notes.

“How is it OK to showcase Solo to those girl fans – some of whom unfortunately will become victims of the same domestic abuse she is accused of?” he asks.

ESPN’s Kate Fagan came out in favour of a strong punishment for Solo. “The issue is about anger and power, about controlling relationships with violence, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator,” she wrote. “The US women’s national team is sending the wrong message by allowing Solo to continue playing.”

But as if Chargers Eddie Royal Kids Jersey to demonstrate the complicated nature of this case, Fagan felt compelled to follow up days later. While she stands firm in her desire to see Solo benched, she says she was uncomfortable with how many people were using Solo’s actions as a way to neutralise the discussion of domestic violence within the NFL.

“See?” she wrote, summarising the arguments that troubled her. “Women commit domestic violence, too, so let’s just call it even and get back to watching some football!”

That approach, she writes, is a mistake.

“The reason the ‘NFL and domestic violence’ story is so important is because it’s holding up a mirror to the rest of society,” she writes. “We can get somewhere better by examining the NFL’s failures. Every minute we spend talking about Hope Solo is a minute spent walking down a dead end.”

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe chat show, BBC World News America presenter Katty Kay emphasised that Solo’s case, while serious, was not representative of the norm.

“Let’s not try and use that as an example to suggest that women are as guilty of domestic violence against their partners, because it is overwhelmingly men who beat their wives,” she said.

Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic agrees, citing the main US anti-domestic violence law.

“There is a reason why we call it the ‘Violence Against Women Act’ and not the ‘Brawling With Families Act’,” he writes.

For Slate’s Amanda Hess, the differences between the NFL and the US Soccer Federation make them difficult to compare.

“Isn’t it more likely that the lack of public pressure in Solo’s case simply represents the relative lack of attention that women’s soccer receives as compared with pro football?”

And http://www.bengalsnflofficialproshop.com/BENGALS-KEVIN-HUBER-JERSEY unlike the NFL, she writes, US Soccer is not burdened with “a systematic, decades-long history of ignoring the fact that certain players abuse their partners.”

Solo herself posted on Facebook and Twitter saying, “Once all the facts come to light and the legal process is concluded, I am confident that I will be fully exonerated.”

Officials are waiting to see what the court decides.

“Abuse in all forms is unacceptable,” US Olympic Committee chief officer Scott Blackmun said in a recent email to USA Today.

“The allegations involving Ms Solo are disturbing and are inconsistent with our expectations of Olympians. We have had discussions with US Soccer and fully expect them to take action if it is determined that the allegations are true.”

While they wait, fans are forming their own opinions – and women’s football, never as popular in the US as the NFL, is getting attention for all the wrong reasons.


NFL security department not built to watch players

NEW YORK – The National Football League’s internal security apparatus would be the envy of many American police departments.
Run by a former commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, its staff includes former agents from the upper echelons of the FBI. The league employs a network of private security contractors. The NFL reported http://www.buccaneersshop.us.com/Michael_Johnson_Jersey spending $2.3 million on ”investigator fees” in its last annual filing with the IRS.

Yet for all that muscle, the league has insisted for weeks that it was unable to obtain security camera footage showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee in an elevator at a New Jersey casino.

That could be because the NFL’s security team isn’t really set up to investigate players accused of crimes.

Ed Reynolds, who played with the Patriots and the Giants before becoming an executive in the league’s security office, said a bigger part of the operation involves educating players about the perils of being public figures, conducting background checks, and keeping team personnel from falling victim to grifters, shady investment advisers or identity thieves.

”Typically, there are a large number of scams,” said Reynolds, who left his NFL job in 2008. ”Ponzi schemes were big.”

NFL security is now under scrutiny because a law enforcement official told The Associated Press he mailed a copy of the Rice video in April to Jeffrey Miller, the NFL’s chief security officer.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said repeatedly that no one at the league saw the recording until TMZ posted it this month. Miller denied receiving it. The league has hired former FBI director Robert Mueller to investigate.
Mueller’s probe is likely to focus on an NFL security operation Buccaneers Tim Wright Authentic Jersey that has long walked a fine line between keeping players safe and gathering information about their misdeeds.

Miller has led the department since 2011. He joined the NFL after leading the Pennsylvania State Police from 2003 to 2008. His most high-profile job at the NFL has been overseeing the league’s investigation into allegations that New Orleans Saints players were paid bounties for big hits on opposing players.

The NFL’s director of security services, Lenny Bandy, was a lieutenant colonel in the same Pennsylvania police force. The league’s director of investigations, John Raucci, was the FBI’s attache to the U.S. Embassy in London during the 2012 Olympics. Another FBI veteran, Raymond DiNunzio, is the league’s director of strategic security programs. He was an FBI section chief in a counterterrorism unit before becoming a top deputy for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

In addition to the central staff, the league employs a network of private eyes – also mostly retired law enforcement agents – assigned to each team.

NFL franchises also hire their own security personnel who are responsible for the day-to-day protection of stadiums, players and fans. These operations, also typically led by former police or federal agents, report to the team owners, not to the league, although there is often collaboration.

The security department helps players perform background checks on people they are thinking about doing business with. NFL security representatives find themselves investigating impostors who pose as players and run up restaurant and bar bills in their names. Team security officials throughout the league have been known to send representatives to nightclubs known to be frequented by players, to make sure they aren’t getting into trouble.

League and team security officials, however, are no police force.
Between 2006 and 2008, when he was playing for the Denver Broncos, Bears receiver Brandon Marshall had a series of domestic disturbances with then-girlfriend Rasheedah Watley, who accused him of physical abuse.

Watley’s father, Clarence Watley, told the AP he had numerous conversations at the time with the Broncos’ security director about Marshall’s behavior. Watley said he found him to be sympathetic, but those talks didn’t lead to any punishment for Marshall.

Watley said he finally complained to the commissioner’s office, but was never contacted by a league investigator. The NFL did ultimately suspend Marshall for one game after an assault charge. Marshall was later acquitted and denies physically abusing Rasheedah Watley.

Reynolds said the security department’s No. 1 job is to ”protect the integrity of the game.”

When players did get into legal trouble, Reynolds said, the security staff would typically reach out to police departments and prosecutors and gather basic information. But he said that the league would not independently interview witnesses or alleged victims, in part because of fears about interfering with an official police investigation.

”Those are law enforcement matters, best left to law enforcement,” he said.

Goodell has said that the league’s current practices for investigating player arrests may need to be overhauled.

”We gather almost entirely all of our information through law enforcement. And that’s something else we’re going to look at . is that the right process?” he told reporters a week ago. ”We have to be very cautious in not interfering with a criminal investigation, but we’ll evaluate that. Should we do more to get that information?”

Ross Garber, an attorney who has supervised corporate internal probes for the law firm Shipman and Goodwin, said there is no law preventing the NFL from mounting its own investigation into worker’s misdeeds while a separate criminal investigation http://www.buccaneersshop.us.com/Clinton_Mcdonald_Jersey is underway. Private companies do it all the time.

But it must be done carefully, he said.

”One of the things you always want to avoid is any allegation of witness tampering. If there is an ongoing investigation, and there are individuals who know about the facts … investigators can talk to those people, but have to be very careful about how they do it,” he said.

Corporate security personnel, he said, also have to make sure they aren’t violating criminal laws to gather information, like accessing private computers without permission or paying for information or evidence.

”You also have to make sure that doing things that are not distasteful, even if they are legal,” he said.


Hope Solo: Does domestic abuse have a double standard?

The dust is settling around National Wes Welker Youth Jersey Football League (NFL) players Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy after each man was arrested for separate cases of domestic abuse. Now another prominent athlete is making headlines for similar reasons – female football star Hope Solo.

In June, the US national women’s team’s star goalkeeper was arrested and charged with two counts of domestic abuse in connection with an assault on her sister and 17-year-old nephew.

She has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial in November.

Rice is suspended from the NFL indefinitely and Peterson and Hardy have been benched. But Solo continues to play for two teams, including the US national side.

Nike has publicly ended ties with Rice and Peterson, but nearly three months after Solo’s arrest, the company has not said a word about its sponsorship deal with her.

This summer, the US Soccer Federation issued this gentle statement:

“We are aware that Hope is handling a personal situation at the moment,” US Soccer spokesman Neil Bluethe told USA Today.

“At the same time, she has an opportunity to set a significant record that speaks to her hard work and dedication over the years with the national team. While considering all factors involved, we believe that we should recognise that in the proper way.”
Since then, Solo broke the record to which Mr Bluethe referred – the women’s national team record for shutouts.

Some commentators say she should have been sent Brian Cushing Kids Jersey off the field months ago.

“Solving the problem in the NFL while ignoring the issue elsewhere would accomplish little as a whole,” writes John Smallwood for the Philadelphia Daily News. “If we are going to address domestic abuse, let’s address it, regardless of the status of the accused perpetrator.”

Thousands of young girls flock to stadiums to watch Solo play, he notes.

“How is it OK to showcase Solo to those girl fans – some of whom unfortunately will become victims of the same domestic abuse she is accused of?” he asks.

ESPN’s Kate Fagan came out in favour of a strong punishment for Solo. “The issue is about anger and power, about controlling relationships with violence, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator,” she wrote. “The US women’s national team is sending the wrong message by allowing Solo to continue playing.”

But as if to demonstrate the complicated nature of this case, Fagan felt compelled to follow up days later. While she stands firm in her desire to see Solo benched, she says she was uncomfortable with how many people were using Solo’s actions as a way to neutralise the discussion of domestic violence within the NFL.
“See?” she wrote, summarising the arguments that troubled her. “Women commit domestic violence, too, so let’s just call it even and get back to watching some football!”

That approach, she writes, is a mistake.

“The reason the ‘NFL and domestic violence’ story is so important is Authentic Isaiah Frey Jersey because it’s holding up a mirror to the rest of society,” she writes. “We can get somewhere better by examining the NFL’s failures. Every minute we spend talking about Hope Solo is a minute spent walking down a dead end.”

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe chat show, BBC World News America presenter Katty Kay emphasised that Solo’s case, while serious, was not representative of the norm.

“Let’s not try and use that as an example to suggest that women are as guilty of domestic violence against their partners, because it is overwhelmingly men who beat their wives,” she said.

Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic agrees, citing the main US anti-domestic violence law.