Steelers get ‘natural bone,’ practice in the Saint Vincent basketball gym

Players did not wear pads and the practice focused mostly on installation. This was the 12th practice, and the Steelers have avoided heavy rains for much of the first 11.

Several Steelers who were battling soft-tissue injuries participated, including cornerback Artie Burns, outside linebacker Bud Dupree and wide receiver Markus Wheaton. Tomlin is hoping to increase their work in the coming days.

The Steelers host the Eagles on Thursday night.

In other injury news, rookie offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins re-aggravated a shoulder injury in Friday’s preseason opener against Detroit. The Steelers say they are waiting for an update. This one could be serious. Hawkins wasn’t going to start, but he’s held his own in training camp. The fourth-rounder looks the part of an NFL left tackle.

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Second-year running back Karlos Williams passed his physical and practiced Monday for the first time since reporting overweight to Buffalo Bills minicamp in June.

Williams spent the first two weeks of training camp on the active/non-football illness list. He is eligible to participate in the remaining three preseason games but is suspended for the first four games of the regular season after violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

“Right now we feel good about where he’s at, and he’s able to do some good things without those [soft] tissue issues,” coach Rex Ryan said Monday. “He’s worked hard and we’ll see what happens.”

A fifth-round rookie, Williams averaged 5.6 yards per carry last season and scored nine touchdowns. He did not participate in organized team activities and arrived at mandatory minicamp in less-than-ideal physical condition.

“At the end of the day, no one will ask you anything else except if you won [gold],” Krzyzewski said. “While you’re approaching that winning the whole thing, you’re asked a whole bunch of other things.

“I think we’re getting getting better offensively and we have to get better defensively. Just a succinct comment in that regard.”

Translation: Coach K essentially just confirmed that this tournament has already been too tough to worry one whit about style points.

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Controversy surrounds Mike Glennon and his newborn baby’s name

So where does this leave us? If the Glennons intended to name their child Brady after Tom Brady, then it seems logical they’d just be open about it. But then why would Winston say Glennon wanted his son born on Tom Brady’s birthday?

We’re having a hard time believing Brady’s name isn’t Brady-influenced in some way. The popularity of the name Brady has soared ever since Tom started winning Super Bowls.

Mike Glennon can deny it all he wants, but that baby was named after Tom Brady.

The artificial turf at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, will be replaced for next year’s Hall of Fame Game, according to a source with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. All logos will be stitched into the surface so there will not be any issues like there were Sunday when the field was deemed unfit for the Packers-Colts preseason opener.

In addition, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported there is a thorough ongoing review regarding all aspects as to what caused the paint issue that led to the game being canceled.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders’ first unofficial depth chart of the 2016 season was released Monday with no real surprises, although it was intriguing that the defense was listed as a 4-3 base. They have flashed both 3-4 and 5-2 looks in camp. Still, fullback Jamize Olawale was listed as a starter ahead of four-time Pro Bowl selection Marcel Reece, who has three games remaining on a four-game suspension, and tight end Lee Smith was ahead of Clive Walford, who is still rounding into shape after his offseason ATV accident. Strong safety Karl Joseph and defensive tackle Jihad Ward were the only rookies listed as first-stringers. They were Oakland’s first- and second-round draft picks. — Paul Gutierrez

San Diego Chargers

Even though he turns 35 in December, Philip Rivers has thrown the ball with some zip through the first week of training camp. Rivers credits his live arm to a conversation he had with Peyton Manning about staying healthy late in his career. Rivers limited the amount he threw during the offseason, and he also will be on a pitch count during training camp. By limiting his throws, Rivers should help keep his arm fresh for the duration of the season. — Eric D. Williams

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Lance Moore signs with Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons signed former Bengals wideout Mohamed Sanu in the offseason to play opposite Julio Jones. But behind Atlanta’s two starters, receiver slots are up for the taking. Moore will be battling Justin Hardy, Aldrick Robinson, rookie Devin Fuller, Eric Weems and a cavalcade of no-names for a spot on the roster.

Atlanta’s hoping the addition of Moore will help the Falcons’ offense reach its goal of scoring 30 points per game, as asserted by team leader Matt Ryan this week. We’ll see if Moore is there in September to see Ryan’s fantasy play out.

Cleveland Browns

1 to 10 percent: Joe Haden has two Pro Bowl appearances to his name, but inconsistent play and injuries make it unlikely he’ll string together a sustained run of Pro Bowls. (It does help that most of the league’s top corners are in the NFC.)

Joe Thomas has played nine years and made nine Pro Bowls, throwing in six first-team All-Pro appearances for good measure. Every other player who started their career 9-for-9 made it to the Hall of Fame. So will Thomas. 99 percent

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Football and good hygiene rarely go hand in hand.

But Chicago Bears inside linebacker Danny Trevathan is an exception to the rule.

In just his first season in Chicago, Trevathan is already renowned among his teammates for the sweet scent he exudes inside and outside of the Bears’ locker room.

“I take pride in smelling good,” Trevathan said Thursday. “And it’s starting to spread, so hopefully it’ll start to rub off on some of these guys. I just know it’s smelling good around here. Everybody’s got a bottle [of cologne] on them.”

Pro Bowl right guard Kyle Long is credited with alerting the media to Trevathan’s pleasant odor.

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No NFL rookie has sold more jerseys so far than Ezekiel Elliott

Because of that choice, Lawson (the 19th pick in last week’s NFL Draft) has himself a big fan in the Big Artistotle 22 years later.

“He was a hell of a player at Clemson,” O’Neal said, per the News. “I think he’s going to do big things in Buffalo, has the potential to come in and dominate early. The sky’s the limit for him. I can’t wait to see him play.”

How did Shaq become a Lawson fan? Simple.

“I have Google alerts any time ‘Shaq’ comes up,” O’Neal said. “The past four or five years — I think I’ve ran into about 150 athletes named Shaq — Shaq Lawson kept coming up. So I’ve known who he was and been a fan of him. I’m most proud of him.”

Shaq is not only a fan of his namesake, though. He’s also an advocate. He’s trying to get Lawson (and all the other Shaqs) an ensorsement deal.

“I told Reebok we should sign up all the Shaqs,” O’Neal said, though he may have been joking. “They said they were going to look into it.”

For what it’s worth, Nike is now the official uniform provider of the NFL. It used to be Reebok. Maybe O’Neal can work some kind of deal to get them back in the game when Nike’s contract is up.

When Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley were hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars back in 2013, they took over a team that had just finished 30th in the NFL in both yards and points allowed. After three full seasons at the helm, not much has changed for the Jacksonville defense on the stastical surface.

The 2015 Jags finished 24th in yards allowed and 31st in points allowed. In many other defensive metrics, things have largely stayed the same under the new regime as they were the year before they took over.

One thing that has changed drastically, though, is the personnel. Of the 32 players that stepped on the field for the Jaguars defense in 2012, only three remain with the team: linebacker Paul Posluszny and defensive linemen Ryan Davis and Tyson Alualu. The other 29 are all gone. Some, like Brandon Marshall, Terrance Knighton, Darryl Smith, and C.J. Mosley, are thriving to different extents elsewhere. Others are out of the league altogether.

In three offseasons prior to this one, the Jaguars devoted just north of 53 percent of their free agent spending to defensive players, but invested most of their draft capital (determined by the Jimmy Johnson draft value chart) in building out an offense. This offseason, though, the Jags ramped up the devotion to defense, using all but one of their draft picks on defensive players after spending nearly 60 percent of their free agent money on defense as well.

Six of Jacksonville’s seven 2016 draft picks were used on defensive players, the lone exception being Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen. Their first two picks – former Florida State safety Jalen Ramsey and former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack – were considered by some to be the two best defensive players in the draft. After taking those two early, Jacksonville loaded up on defensive linemen in the second half of Day 2 and Day 3. Sheldon Day, Yannick Ngakoue, Tyrone Holmes and Jonathan Woodard can provide depth behind all those expensive free agents the Jags have dropped coin on over the last few years.

But this isn’t an unheard of strategy, actually. Current Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, then with the Bengals, demanded a trade and said he would retire if Cincy didn’t acquiesce to his demands.

“I have $80 million in the bank. I don’t have to play football for money,” Palmer said in 2011. “I’ll play it for the love of the game but that would have to be elsewhere. I’m prepared to live my life.”

Bengals owner Mike Brown wouldn’t budge on Palmer’s request until the Raiders and Hue Jackson (shortly after Al Davis’ death) swooped in with a godfather offer that involved multiple first-round picks. Palmer was dealt to Oakland and eventually traded again to Arizona.

There’s also precedent for how the Eagles might handle Bradford walking away. Back in 1999, the franchise had a situation involving a not-quite-ready quarterback taken No. 2 overall. Sounds familiar!

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Dolphins’ Dion Jordan conditionally reinstated by NFL

The Oregon product failed to make much of an impact as a rookie, then was suspended a total of six games over two suspensions in his second season for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Another failed test in April of 2015 knocked him out for all of last season. Now Jordan is talking big that he can take advantage of this opportunity.

“I’m not about to waste it. I can’t waste it. And I (expletive) love doing it,” Jordan told Tom Pelissero of USA TODAY Sports this offseason. “I just turned 26 years old, so life starts to hit you in the face. Who are you outside of those shoulder pads and helmet?” Jordan asked. “And it’s weird, but I feel like it’s a blessing for me at this point in time to think about it, instead of waiting ’til they really tell me I can’t play football no more.”

It’s anyone’s guess whether Jordan can make much of an impact for this Dolphins defense. He has the versatility that teams crave in 2016 and could at least be helpful as a situational pass rusher. The Dolphins have a boom-or-bust front line with Mario Williams, Cameron Wake, and Jordan representing great potential with big questions.

The Vikings placed defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis and tight end Rhett Ellison on the PUP list. The team also placed quarterback Taylor Heinicke on the non-football injury list as well as offensive guard Mike Harris on the non-football illness list.

Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert is done with the Pro Bowl.

Eifert, lest we forget, underwent a small procedure to fix the ankle he tweaked in this past season’s All-Star game and is not sure when he’ll return to the field. According to the team’s official site, Eifert told reporters Friday that his walking boot will come off a week from now and added that there is no specific timetable for his return to practice.

Houston is banking on Smith’s shrewd moves to deliver excellence in the AFC South for the next four seasons. Over the past three years, the Texans have developed through his guidance into a consistent contender, thanks to a well-developed defensive core. With the additions on offense of quarterback Brock Osweiler and running back Lamar Miller in free agency, the organization is hoping to finally put all the pieces together.

Arian Foster signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins last week, but he won’t be on the field for the start of training camp.

The Dolphins announced Friday morning that Foster was one of five players who will begin workouts on the physically unable to perform list.

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Agent’s Take: Cap issues could dictate next moves for the Chiefs and Jets

The Jets remain in a contract stalemate with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The suggestion that he would rather retire than accept the Jets’ offer, which is reportedly in the neighborhood of $7 million to $8 million per year, is believed to be just posturing.

The two sides should be able work out a compromise. Although Christian Hackenberg was taken in the second round, the Jets want Fitzpatrick back, because having him under center represents the team’s best chance to get to the playoffs. The 33-year-old journeyman doesn’t have any other viable starting opportunities and was never going to get anything close to Sam Bradford’s two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles averaging $17.5 million per year, which has $22 million fully guaranteed.

A little less than $4 million of cap space probably isn’t enough to sign Fitzpatrick without some maneuvering. The Jets also have to sign first-round pick Darron Lee, whose expected four-year, $10,221,645 deal will have a $1,858,481 2016 cap number.

Signing franchise player Muhammad Wilkerson long term would solve the Jets’ cap problems, because a deal would give him a 2016 cap number significantly lower than his $15.701 million franchise tender that’s current counting on the books. Such a deal seems unlikely because he is believed to seeking a deal in excess of the $16,666,667 per year with almost $52 million in guarantees three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt received from the Houston Texas in the six-year contract extension he signed in 2014.

Restructuring Darrelle Revis’ five-year, $70,121,060 deal could create the most cap room of any player under contract, because he has a fully guaranteed $17 million salary this year. It’s probably better to leave his contract as is, since the Jets can walk away from the deal with minimal cap consequences after the 2017 season when there isn’t any guaranteed money. This ability could be compromised with a restructure.

Reworking Brandon Marshall’s deal, which runs through the 2017 season, may be a better idea. He has the third-highest cap number on the team at $9.5 million and there isn’t any signing bonus proration with his contract.

Fitzpatrick’s return could make 2013 second-round pick Geno Smith vulnerable, because teams rarely keep four quarterbacks. The league trend is to go with two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster with a third on the practice squad. General manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles don’t have a vested interest in Smith, who was drafted by former general manager John Idzik.

Gabbert worked with the first-team offense throughout the offseason as Kaepernick recovered from surgery to repair a torn left shoulder labrum in addition to procedures on his right thumb and left knee.

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Cowboys move into new, over-the-top, $1.5 billion practice facility

It’s Texas, it’s the Dallas Cowboys, it’s Jerry Jones. So of course we expect it to be over-the-top. But a $1.5 billion practice facility (we talkin’ bout practice!) seems a bit much, even for Jerruh.

But that’s exactly what the team has now, and the Cowboys officially moved into the facility – known as The Star – on Thursday.

The Cowboys packed up their headquarters in Irving, the iconic Valley Ranch, last month, after calling it home for over 30 years. They broke ground on The Star, about 20 miles away in Frisco, two years ago. The team website for the complex touts it as “an experience for fans worldwide” (emphasis theirs), a partnership between the franchise, city, and the Frisco school district.

Said Rice: “People need homes. People need shelter when they’re in a crucial situation. I’ve donated a lot of money to charities, but I had a situation where it was a national crisis. I’m not saying I’d be (donating the salary) to get on the field, but it’s something that will show where my heart is. My heart is about finishing the right way and helping people along the way.”

Rice has been working out near his home in Stamford, Connecticut. He married Janay soon after the incident and the couple have a four-year-old daughter, Rayven, with a second child due in September. Having not played since 2013, Rice has fielded no interest from NFL teams this offseason.

Since the incident, Rice has made a series of visits to colleges and also to the Ravens, where he shared about his mistakes.

“I think the biggest donation that you can give to domestic violence is your time,” Rice said. “I’m not just going to be giving it because I have money. I’m going to be giving it because I did the background and the research and spent a lot of time with people who understand the cause.

McClain notes that Watt is expected to be ready for the Texans’ season opener against the Chicago Bears.

However, citing a source, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweeted that Watt’s recovery could take up to 10 weeks, which could lead to him missing at least the first game.

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