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Michael Silver

Michael Silver


Michael Silver joined NFL Media in August 2013 after spending six years covering the NFL for Yahoo! Sports. Prior to joining Yahoo!, Silver spent 13 years at Sports Illustrated, during which time he wrote more than 70 cover stories and authored 13 consecutive Super Bowl game stories for the magazine. In his role as NFL Media reporter/columnist, Silver appears on a variety of NFL Network programs and writes columns for NFL.com. 

 




November

DENVER -- The Kansas City Chiefs are not always easy on the eyes, and it's hard sometimes for even the keenest of observers to spot the collective grit that has propelled them to unforeseen heights over the past 13-plus months. Perhaps it was fitting... more

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- "This is how we roll," Kim Pegula says, laughing loudly as she sashays her large, dark SUV through pregame traffic, a trail of flashing lights serving as her beacon. In three hours, the Buffalo Bills, the team Pegula and her husband... more

LOS ANGELES -- She was leaning over a railing atop the wide, well-worn tunnel leading from the L.A. Coliseum's locker rooms to the corner of the west end zone, waiting for the chance to make a visual connection with her son before he took the field t... more

NASHVILLE -- On a gorgeous autumn afternoon in Music City, Mike McCarthy sat in a small corridor at the Loews Vanderbilt hotel and showed his hand. A day before his struggling team would take on the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium, the Green Bay... more

OAKLAND -- He had spent the bulk of his night imposing his will against an esteemed but overmatched opponent, relocating accomplished defenders like DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller as if they were bales of hay blocking the barn door. Then, with the subt... more

October

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- She is the hugely popular owner of the Buffalo Bills, an effervescent woman who, along with her husband, is hailed by many Western New Yorkers for keeping the local NFL franchise from relocating and revitalizing a moribund downt... more

SEATTLE -- He took a shotgun snap, got flushed to his right and backpedaled with a purpose, a pair of Atlanta Falcons defenders descending with ill intent and a spirited fourth-quarter comeback teetering on the edge of a cataclysmic crash landing. Th... more

OAKLAND -- Derek Carr felt the heat, racing away from onrushing San Diego Chargers linebacker Korey Toomer and hurrying a short pass to Amari Cooper that had no chance of being completed. With 1:15 remaining in the third quarter of a game the Raiders... more

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- He sat in a folding chair a few feet from the showering area of the visitors' locker room at University of Phoenix Stadium, flashing the tiniest hint of a self-satisfied smile under his ubiquitous Highway Patrolman's mustache. Je... more

September

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Nearly 10 years ago, midway through a nationally televised night game, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe threw a short pass to the left flat that was intercepted by New York Giants cornerback Sam Madison a yard shy of the en... more

DENVER -- The ball came spiraling off of Andrew Luck's right hand, and Aqib Talib saw it all play out in front of him: the interception, the runback, the joyous celebration in the north end zone of a pick-six that would turn a tense game with the... more

DENVER -- Last year, the Broncos captured a title  by following a formula for success that seemed cribbed from a bygone era: keep it conservative on offense and rely on a prolific defense to make pivotal plays in the decisive moments of close games.... more

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The house was rocking. The Cardinals were coming. And the cold, cruel hand of fate appeared to be on the verge of a corrective smackdown that would put young Jimmy Garoppolo in his place. The New England Patriots, without Tom Bra... more

It's the most important position in football -- and the most enigmatic. Players, coaches and executives open up about a nearly impossible job: quarterbacking an NFL team in 2016. On a mild, mid-October morning in Madison five years ago, Seattle... more

August

CLEVELAND -- As Hue Jackson made the short flight across Ohio in Jimmy Haslam's private jet on Jan. 13, he felt excited, exhausted, conflicted -- and very, very far from grounded. Only a couple of hours earlier, Jackson had agreed to become the head... more

CANTON, Ohio -- More than three hours before what was supposed to be the first game of the 2016 NFL season, the culmination of an emotional weekend in which thousands of fans expressed their admiration for a legendary Titletown gunslinger, the Green... more

Of all the striking sights Nikki DeBartolo has witnessed during her loud and eventful life, from raucous Super Bowl victory parties to bedside notes from childhood "first crush," occasional house guest and San Francisco sports icon Dwight Clark , the... more

July

ENGLEWOOD, Co. -- Last December, shortly before the end of his second season as a backup quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Mark Sanchez sent bottles of wine to coaches, front-office employees and other staffers as a token of his appreciation.... more

June

PHILADELPHIA -- To Doug Pederson's credit, he resisted the temptation to laugh. A little more than three months after accepting his first NFL head-coaching job, Pederson was confronted with a mini-crisis that raised eyebrows throughout the football... more

May

This story was originally published in August 2015. NEW ORLEANS -- When Deuce McAllister and I saw the semi out the window, midway through an improbable, emotional journey from Jackson, Mississippi, into the wake of a horrific storm, neither of us... more

This story was originally published in September 2015. HOUSTON -- The oversized man in the white toga struts into the kitchen, immediately commanding the attention of 40 sets of eyes. At first glance, the scene is reminiscent of John Blutarsky... more

This story was originally published in December 2015. Ronnie Lott remembers the moment he fully grasped the intensity of the rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, during a high-speed interaction that underscored the... more

April

LOS ANGELES -- He arrived fashionably late to the pre-draft dinner, leaning over to greet his esteemed guest from North Dakota just as the food arrived. Then Jeff Fisher, the battle-hardened head coach of the newly rechristened Los Angeles Rams, felt... more

Jeff Fisher and Les Snead arrived in Berkeley on a cloudy February morning , and as soon as quarterback Jared Goff began his private workout at California Memorial Stadium -- as if on cue -- the rain came pouring down like the Andy Dufresne escape s... more

March

Even without a fully healed right knee, former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack has vaulted toward the top of many NFL teams' draft boards. It now appears that Jack might stay there without running a timed 40-yard dash for NFL clubs. When Jack declined... more

While the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns attempt to work out a trade for Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers are preparing for a third scenario -- retaining the 28-year-old quarterback and allowing him to compete with Blaine Gabbert for the starting job... more

February

INDIANAPOLIS -- In addition to serving as a mass-evaluation extravaganza for 32 franchises, the NFL Scouting Combine is a weeklong circus of speculative schmoozing and spring-break-style socializing, and this year's annual pilgrimage to Naptown was h... more

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The superstar known as Superman had a choice to make, and on paper, it seemed like a super simple one: With the football on the ground and the Carolina Panthers' season hanging in the balance, Cam Newton -- the NFL's newly crow... more

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- He plays football with the subtlety of a 747 charging down a runway in a driving snowstorm, a physical corner who runs his mouth, gets in opponents' faces and backs down to nobody. And long before Aqib Talib developed into the... more

FOXFIELD, Colo. -- They call it "Club 58," but really, Von Miller's basement is even cooler than that, a festive and protected space where the All-Pro pass rusher and his Denver Broncos teammates can recline, unwind and enjoy the finer things a fabul... more

January

Before Super Bowl 50 writes the next chapter in the history of football in the Bay Area, NFL Media is examining local football heroes who were, in their own, unique ways, ahead of their time. Here's the story of an owner unbound by stone-age... more

DENVER -- He had been pressured, pushed around and downright pummeled for the better part of three hours, and now Tom Brady was down to his last chance, and it looked obscenely fat. Trailing 20-12 in Sunday's AFC Championship Game at Sports Authority... more

DENVER -- He was locked in a tense battle against a proud, resolute opponent, a brisk, Rocky Mountain wind and, most menacing of all, the cold touch of Father Time. Then suddenly, early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's Divisional Round playoff game... more

CINCINNATI -- Vontaze Burfict caught the ball, fell to the ground and immediately got up and took off running, sprinting three-quarters of a football field and into the south end zone of Paul Brown Stadium. A contentious, theatrical first-round pla... more

CINCINNATI -- The number with the 510 area code flashed across the low-resolution screen of my BlackBerry on an overcast late January afternoon four years ago, and when I answered it on the first ring, Hue Jackson, a football coach banished to... more

December

DENVER -- He poked at his kale and arugula salad, mining for dried cranberries and searching for answers. Hue Jackson, the Cincinnati Bengals' innovative offensive coordinator, knew his untested, fill-in quarterback would face a stern test against a... more

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Mike Zimmer had just completed another interview for another head-coaching job, and at long last, the accomplished but perpetually passed over defensive coordinator felt he'd finally nailed it. "The GM walked me down to the c... more

MINNEAPOLIS -- His white pants were smeared with blood, his heart was pumping at an advanced rate and his brain was buzzing with possibility. As Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett bounded up the tunnel toward the visitors' locker room... more

November

He held up his right thumb as though it were an artificial appendage, or some sort of grotesque contraption one finds in a costume store just before Halloween. Glancing at the swollen, fleshy, misshapen digit, Brett Favre told me matter-of-factly, "W... more

OAKLAND, Calif. -- As an autumn wind whipped across the visitors' sidelines at O.co Coliseum on Sunday afternoon, and an unlikely division leader's fifth consecutive win loomed, three Minnesota Vikings at different stages of their football lives conv... more

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The least popular player in professional football was closing in on Sam Bradford, putting the oft-injured passer and the Philadelphia Eagles' fortunes in immediate jeopardy, and time seemed to stand still for the lone man standing... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- Midway through an outdoor corridor in the back of an ultra-hip lounge across the Bay on Tuesday night, two powerful pillars of Oakland football converged: Marshawn Lynch, the Seattle Seahawks' star running back, who holds his hometow... more

October

INDIANAPOLIS -- What the Chuck? In an ignominious moment that took the air out of a surprisingly tense Sunday Night Football showdown between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts -- you know, the defending Super Bowl champs, and the riv... more

CINCINNATI -- Michael Bennett flashed into the Bengals' backfield, just as Andy Dalton was flipping the ball to Rex Burkhead on a carefully crafted jet-sweep, and suddenly it felt to all the football-watching world like the high-flying home team with... more

When Myles Jack walked out of UCLA football coach Jim Mora's office Sunday afternoon, the Bruins' injured two-way star felt secure that he was ending his collegiate career on a mutually satisfying note. Having told Mora of his plans to withdraw from... more

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The gesture seems collegiate, perhaps somewhat redundant -- and, given the team in question, even a little macabre. When you consider the context of the 2015 New York Giants, a team reeling from the loss of its most celebrated... more

September

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carson Palmer may have toyed with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, albeit after getting spotted a two-touchdown lead before producing his first scoring drive, but the Arizona Cardinals' 35-year-old quarterback has certainly faced... more

GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- Pete Carroll's Seattle Seahawks bull-rushed their way into the ranks of the NFL elite, exuding a stress-free swagger as they blew out Peyton Manning in one Super Bowl and came within a painful yard of prevailing over Tom Brady in... more

DENVER -- As a man who has thrown more touchdown passes than any player in NFL history, and one whose personal performance standard rivals that of anyone who has ever stepped on a playing field, Peyton Manning isn't one to hand out high fives or hype... more

In the seven months between his triumphant jaunt across the confetti-drenched University of Phoenix Stadium turf and the legal victory that secured his presence for Thursday's Kickoff Classic in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Tom Brady kept a lower... more

August

CANTON, Ohio -- The muscular man in the purple jersey reached out his hand to greet me, and before my brain cells could fire out of their three-point stance, the damage was done. Making the most foolish mistake in sports journalism -- shaking the han... more

CANTON, Ohio -- Slipping into a glass-enclosed hotel elevator after buying a Sunday paper on an early December morning in Atlanta, I looked up at the only other passenger -- a 6-foot-5, 240-pound business acquaintance in a nondescript, grey sweatsuit... more

June

Bill O'Brien directed a seven-win improvement in Year 1 with the Texans. (Aaron M. Sprecher/AP) HOUSTON -- Ask Bill O'Brien to assess the stress of being a sports dad, and the Houston Texans' hyper-intense second-year coach holds nothing back.... more

May

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The cluster of remaining draft cards magnetically affixed to the St. Louis Rams' draft board Friday night formed the shape of a partial football helmet, with so many offensive linemen sharing the same, second-round rating that some... more

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- At certain uncomfortable junctures throughout his 20-year career as an NFL head coach, Jeff Fisher has had to adapt to circumstance, reshaping his offense as a pass-heavy attack, or one that takes advantage of a quarterback's mobil... more

JACKSONVILLE -- The Jaguars' war room had come to a hush, and all eyes -- and ears -- were focused on Dave Caldwell, the general manager on the verge of formalizing the third overall selection of the 2015 NFL Draft. And as Caldwell delivered the go... more

April

To see the full interview with Kevin White, tune in to "NFL Draft Kickoff" at 1 p.m. ET on NFL Network. SCRANTON, Pa. -- A little more than three years ago, Kevin White was so far removed from realizing his dream of playing in the NFL, he couldn'... more

March

The Colts have gone 11-5 in all three seasons under Ryan Grigson's watch. (Darron Cummings/AP) As a former standout offensive lineman at Purdue who spent a year with the Detroit Lions before beginning his career as a tireless talent evaluator,... more

Kiko Alonso was pumping iron last Tuesday when he was broadsided by the ping of his smartphone. A text from his agent, Steve Caric, informed Alonso, one of the NFL's top young defenders, that his boss would be calling ASAP. Uh-oh , Alonso thought t... more

February

INDIANAPOLIS -- He arrived at the NFL Scouting Combine and blazed a trail of reputational redemption, quickly shedding his stigma as an immature knucklehead and impressing coaches and talent evaluators as a bright, committed, intelligent leader full... more

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- "I can take a punch," Pete Carroll texted me late Sunday night, nearly three hours after the conclusion of one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played -- and about 170 minutes removed from one of the most universally reviled play c... more

January

PHOENIX -- On the second morning of the new millennium, Pete Carroll asked his boss, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, to come to his office and answer a very pointed question. That Sunday shaped up as a day of reckoning for Carroll, who a few... more

OAKLAND -- As much as Marshawn Lynch detests doing interviews, something the Seattle Seahawks' star running back reinforced during his "I'm just here so I won't get fined" auto-answer session during Media Day (and his "You know why I'm here" follow... more

SEATTLE -- Russell Wilson is not a seer, and he did not arrive at CenturyLink Field for Sunday's NFC Championship Game in Doc Brown's DeLorean. Yet the Seattle Seahawks' third-year quarterback does believe fervently in the power of visualization, and... more

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- He took a shotgun snap, went through his progressions and slipped gingerly to his left, avoiding outside pressure from Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence. And then Aaron Rodgers -- a man desperately striving to avoid an... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- Because he wears a horseshoe on his helmet, spins a football with exquisite touch and has taken full command of his surroundings since the time he became a Colt, Andrew Luck is inevitably compared to his legendary predecessor -- which... more

December

It was a wave that would have made Queen Elizabeth proud: There was Atlanta Falcons defensive end Osi Umenyiora, the football in his right hand and 50 yards of unfettered green in his field of vision, turning back toward the north end zone of the... more

GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler are rivals on the field, but they are also friends who happen to be members of a relatively small fraternity. And as a franchise quarterback who credits a supportive and open environment for helping hi... more

CLEVELAND -- The play is called "92 Weak," and when Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson delivered it to quarterback Andy Dalton with 30 seconds remaining in Sunday's obscenely one-sided Battle of Ohio, it might have seemed on its sur... more

SAN DIEGO -- In the wake of a disappointing afternoon in Green Bay that marked the end of their seven-game winning streak , the New England Patriots relocated to sunny Southern California, where they spent a week as surly snowbirds hell-bent on resto... more

November

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The bloody hand hung there in the frigid dusk, looking like a prop you'd find on a Twilight movie set. It was an eerie sight -- eerier still because the man to whom the hand was attached, Aaron Rodgers, seemed completely unfazed b... more

SEATTLE -- The Seahawks' smothering defense, the unit that swallowed up Peyton Manning and the Broncos' record-setting offense so resoundingly in Super Bowl XLVIII, got its swagger back Sunday, snuffing out the NFC West-leading Cardinals in a 19-3... more

He was sitting on the team bus outside of Arrowhead Stadium, preparing to head to the airport after a long, draining and disappointing day. A few minutes into a telephone conversation following the Seattle Seahawks' 24-20 defeat to the Kansas City... more

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Nearly 40 minutes into an interview that was beginning to feel like an inquisition, Aldon Smith lost his patience. For a few seconds, I feared the talented pass rusher with the tattered image might get up out of his chair and ca... more

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The pass sailed directly over the blue-and-white star in the center of the AT&T Stadium turf, and a split-second after Carson Palmer released it, he had that sinking feeling that all quarterbacks loathe. And for good reason: Rooki... more

October

The climax was playing out like another Edward Jones Dome nightmare, the home team on the verge of surrendering what was left of a once-healthy advantage and suffering another disheartening defeat. Like everyone in the stadium Sunday , not to menti... more

The first time Herschel Walker touched the football for the Minnesota Vikings -- 25 years ago next Wednesday -- he took a kickoff four yards deep in the Metrodome end zone and raced 51 yards down the right sideline. And in the Texas Stadium press box... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jimmy Irsay sat at his desk on an early August afternoon, reflecting back upon a moment that changed everything. Above the Indianapolis Colts owner's head, displayed in a glass case, hung one of the most famous instruments of the 20... more

DENVER -- Peyton Manning lined up a few yards behind center, crouching at the precipice of history. Bearing down on the north end zone of Sports Authority Field with a chance to become the second NFL quarterback to throw his 500th career touchdown pa... more

September

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- He runs with the blunt force of The Equalizer , pushing through holes that look almost invisible, finding yards where they don't otherwise exist. As one of the least likely star running backs in NFL history, Frank Gore is ab... more

As Demaryius Thomas came down with the football just inches inside the back of the end zone, the raucous roar that typically courses through CenturyLink Field suddenly disappeared, replaced by the haunting sound of 68,447 Seattle Seahawks fans -- and... more

DESOTO, Texas -- "I hate the word diva , by the way," Dez Bryant said, his eyes ablaze with passion, his raspy voice nearly trembling with intensity. "I hate it. That fits me nowhere." We were 30 minutes into a sit-down interview for NFL Network's... more

Before Sunday, if I'd shared a story involving several Buffalo Bills powerbrokers, screaming and slamming into lockers, you'd have assumed it detailed another blowup between coach Doug Marrone, general manager Doug Whaley and team president Russ Bran... more

SEATTLE -- Marshawn Lynch strutted over with his pads unfastened, a black skull cap covering his prodigious dreads, his feet covered only by blue-and-neon-green Nike socks. A few seconds later, the world's most enigmatic running back fielded a report... more

NFL Network Viral gold from the "Fail Mary" telecast: The dumbfounded reactions of Aaron Rodgers and a certain NFL columnist. SEATTLE -- Even before the fiasco of a finish that made replacement refs an everlasting symbol of ineptitude -- an... more

August

The Cowboys expect the NFL to announce its punishment of former defensive tackle Josh Brent before the start of the 2014 season, possibly as soon as Friday. According to a team source, the Cowboys -- who plan to re-sign Brent as soon as he is able to... more

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Five years ago, on a surreal Sunday in pro football's most storied stadium, Brett Favre returned to Titletown in white and purple, and tens of thousands of former Favre-o-philes loudly and repeatedly voiced their displeasure. Fro... more

July

Walt Zeboski/Associated Press George Seifert (left) was well aware of Joe Montana's football talent, but who knew about the QB's gift of gag ? Deep in the heart of Sierra College -- the dry, dusty and heartlessly hot erstwhile summer home of... more

CINCINNATI -- On a mid-June morning at Paul Brown Stadium, Andy Dalton sits attentively at the start of a quarterbacks meeting, softly reciting a polysyllabic play call while watching tape of his perfectly timed sideline throw to star wideout A.J. Gr... more

May

In the past five months, the Cleveland Browns have given us an awkward and abrupt firing of a rookie coach , a drawn-out and dysfunctional search for a replacement, the subsequent dismissal of the team's feuding CEO and general manager, a reported... more

ST. LOUIS -- The war room carries a prodigious mystique, fueled by a public faith in the draft's transformative powers and the fact that professional football teams conduct this weighty bit of business shrouded from public scrutiny. And yet, for the... more

ST. LOUIS -- In the war room, history came suddenly. With the clock running out on the seventh and final round of the 2014 NFL Draft on Saturday evening and the St. Louis Rams holding two of the last eight picks, Rams coach Jeff Fisher turned to ge... more

Four years ago, I rolled up to a plush house in a modest North Texas neighborhood well before sundown and waited for Dez Bryant to arrive. It was the night before the 2010 NFL Draft , and Bryant, a notoriously tardy and polarizing ex-Oklahoma State... more

It's the ultimate delay of game call, a move that has provoked a chorus of complaints: In personnel and coaching circles, the reaction to the decision to push this year's draft back two weeks to Mother's Day weekend has been akin to an entire eleme... more

April

If Alex Mack was looking for a metaphor -- for his fresh start with the Browns, the deep freeze the franchise applied to his fleeting Floridian flirtation or both -- the Pro Bowl center was confronted with an obvious one Tuesday morning when he peeke... more

The Washington Redskins just raided a division rival's top playmaker, signing Philadelphia Eagles castoff DeSean Jackson five days after the explosive receiver hit the market , and all across the football-watching world -- and throughout the mean st... more

March

In conjunction with NFL Network's "49ers Dynasty Week," Michael Silver spoke with former team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. The conversation, in which DeBartolo ponders a potential return to NFL ownership, took place prior to news breaking about the deat... more

If there were ever a 21st century football player to whom the term Born to be a Raider applied, Richard Dominick Incognito would seem to be that guy. Known for his nasty and sometimes over-the-line work in the trenches -- and cast as an outlaw in... more

February

INDIANAPOLIS -- It is a metal fastener, and a metaphor, and -- in the eyes of one proud franchise searching for employees and answers at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine -- a highly relevant and potentially revelatory topic of conversation. I'm talkin... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- He stood at the podium with his head held high, his voice projecting poise and confidence, his statements full of reason and devoid of defensiveness. As coming-out parties go -- so to speak -- Michael Sam's first press conference s... more

The blue, green and white confetti was still swirling at MetLife Stadium when the doom and gloom began descending across various media platforms, social and traditional: Sure, the Seattle Seahawks were the NFL's best team this season, as proven... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Seattle Seahawks spent the bulk of the 2013 season lulling millions of football fans into adopting a distorted perception of their relative might. They conserved their comprehensive displays of excellence for key moments... more

January

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- It was a notorious NFL coaching shaft, a premature termination on par with the final scene from the last "Sopranos" episode. Nineteen years ago, Pete Carroll was his era's version of Rob Chudzinski , a one-and-done head coach w... more

NEWARK, N.J. -- Right around the time he was unveiling the seven-letter slight that poked fun at a vanquished Tom Brady -- the notorious U Mad Bro? social-media missive dropped in October 2012 -- Richard Sherman began to realize he might be part of... more

EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael Silver wrote this piece after an exclusive interview with Marshawn Lynch last week, when the running back wasn't sure if he would attend Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day. On Tuesday, Lynch did indeed appear at the event to briefly... more

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks opened their locker room to the media Thursday afternoon, three days before the flight across the country for a week's worth of Super Bowl XLVIII hype, and, as with Sundays at CenturyLink Field, it was all about... more

SEATTLE -- He was brash. He was defiant. He was mouthy. He was combative. And Richard Sherman was absolutely sure he would have the last word, because that's the way the dude is wired , his legions of denigrators be damned. This was on Friday nigh... more

SEATTLE -- Richard Sherman called it last March, on that surreal Monday when the Seattle Seahawks traded for dynamic wideout Percy Harvin and -- before the football world had digested the news -- the San Francisco 49ers swung a tit-for-tat deal for... more

SEATTLE -- The seaplane soared high above the Space Needle, giving restricted free agent receiver Brandon Marshall a magnificent view of the Seattle skyline and Qwest Field. Then it turned southeast and landed atop Lake Washington, drifting gently to... more

In an exquisitely concise text message requiring a mere three words and three exclamation points, Pete Carroll captured the essence of a phenomenal NFL Final Four that millions of football fans have been hoping might happen for the past 12 months.... more

SEATTLE -- You don't spit into the wind, or so the saying goes, but if you're Russell Wilson, the uncannily mature young leader of a loaded football team, and the pocket is collapsing on third-and-8 with 4:41 remaining in the first half of a... more

Now that Jay Gruden has agreed to become the next head coach of the Washington Redskins , and Hue Jackson has been promoted to succeed him as the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive coordinator , the professional lives of two young, embattled quarterbacks... more

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- He strode out of the Lambeau Field tunnel and into the bitter chill, his bare arms exposed for Titletown and all the football-watching world to see. On NFL Network NFL Replay will re-air the San Francisco 49ers' 23-20 wi... more

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- They gathered in the visitors' locker room at Lambeau Field on a wet and frigid January afternoon 17 years ago, searching for collective focus, ferocity and inspiration. What they heard in the adjacent training room made the San... more

On the first day of 2014, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took a page out of the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs' Quick-Fix Playbook , choosing Lovie Smith as the next coach of their talented but underachieving team. Just as the Chiefs did one year ago in hiring... more

December

In a drastic move that virtually no one saw coming -- but which, in retrospect, seemed like a page out of the Factory of Sadness playbook -- the Cleveland Browns fired first-year coach Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night, hours after the completion of a... more

When Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos 21 months ago, he was a fallen star with an uncertain future. Coming off four neck surgeries and coming to grips with the possibility that his career would end prematurely, Manning seemed to be coaxi... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- He sat in the cramped, musty locker room and braced himself for a verbal beatdown, a familiar sting of disappointment slicing through the thick, chilly air. On a glum, early December Sunday in 1980, a young quarterback named Joe Mo... more

While second-year Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is likely safe for 2013, coach Dennis Allen is very much on the hot seat. Going into Sunday's game against Kansas City, a source familiar with the mindset of ownership said that the... more

"Oh man, do I have a story for you," Michael Thomas said, a few minutes after emerging from the sweetest postgame shower he'd ever experienced. "You won't believe how I got here -- and how I almost didn't get here." On NFL Network NFL Replay... more

DENVER -- Greatness comes in many forms, and in 2013, when every waking moment is a de facto photo op, we recently were treated to an unlikely glimpse of an all-time great in quite an unusual position. It is often said in NFL circles that "you... more

"That (expletive) was nuts!" -- Philadelphia Eagles guard Todd Herremans When a team storms back from a 14-0 third-quarter deficit to claim a 34-20 victory, in a late-season battle of division leaders staged amid a blizzard that looks like a scen... more

When a pair of mediocre teams awash in drama and dysfunction get together on a chilly December Sunday, there is ample reason to refrain from becoming conspicuously enthusiastic. Yet, in the ever-egalitarian 21st century NFL panorama -- where disbel... more

As he celebrated his team's fourth consecutive victory Sunday night, a 24-21 triumph over the Arizona Cardinals that ranked as the Philadelphia Eagles' most impressive result of the 2013 season, veteran tight end Brent Celek wanted to talk about his... more

November

As the Arizona Cardinals trudged off their home field following a thoroughly demoralizing "Thursday Night Football" defeat to the Seattle Seahawks last month, Larry Fitzgerald had that old, sinking feeling. The playoff picture How would your tea... more

ATLANTA -- Last January, at the end of a bipolar Sunday at the Georgia Dome , they were 10 yards away from the Super Bowl. Ten months later, to borrow from the Rolling Stones' abbreviated psychedelic phase, the Atlanta Falcons are 2,000 light y... more

The time had come to speak to his players about the task at hand, as Pete Carroll does virtually every Saturday night during the NFL season, but the Seattle Seahawks' relentlessly upbeat coach called an indulgent and understandable audible.... more

Back in late September, before terms like racist , bullying and leadership void became buzzwords associated with the Miami Dolphins, Jeff Ireland seemed to be comfortably lodged on his general managerial throne. With the Dolphins off to a 3-0... more

Eight months ago, on the final night of the annual league meeting, I sat in a booth at City Hall Steakhouse in Scottsdale, Ariz., and talked about leadership with Richie Incognito. Before the first appetizer arrived, Incognito, a Miami Dolphins gua... more

Ron Rivera had a decision to make, and he didn't hesitate: With the Carolina Panthers leading by four points and facing a fourth-and-1 from the Atlanta Falcons' 14-yard line with five minutes left in the first half of Sunday's game at Bank of America... more

October

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Cincinnati Bengals disembarked from their flight here Wednesday night with a bounce in their step, flying high from a four-game winning streak that most recently included a comprehensive destruction of Rex Ryan's defense... more

As the Detroit Lions took their final timeout with 1:14 remaining in Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, veteran linebacker Stephen Tulloch knew his team faced a daunting set of circumstances. Trailing by three and powerless to stop the clock... more

TAMPA, Fla. -- Greg Schiano arrived with a bang, ticking off Tom Coughlin in just his second game as an NFL coach and unrepentantly puffing out his chest in response. Barring a shocking and almost inconceivable turnaround during his second season... more

Down they went, nearly two hours and 400 miles apart, a pair of strong-armed leaders hobbling off the field in obvious pain. And by the time the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams had flown west and returned to their respective homes Sunday night, th... more

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When Patrick Peterson takes the field Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, the Arizona Cardinals' third-year cornerback will put his considerable talents on display for 63,000 fans and millions of NFL Network viewers.... more

When Aaron Rodgers saw Randall Cobb hit the turf in agony after taking a direct shot to the knee, the Green Bay Packers' star quarterback was mad enough to start a fight. Instead, against all odds, a relatively civilized debate ensued -- though Rod... more

Mike Zimmer paced along the Paul Brown Stadium sideline in the middle of a monsoon, at one with the elements, enjoying every drop. Minutes from completing a masterpiece and closing out a crucial victory over one of the greatest quarterbacks of all ti... more

CLEVELAND -- For 10 consecutive Sundays during the 2012 regular season, Brian Hoyer sat on his sofa, grabbed the remote and looked for signs that his NFL career might not be over. Ultimately, he couldn't bear to watch. Released on the final... more

September

The Houston Texans were headed for a biceps-flexing victory over the powerful Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, clinging to what remained of a 17-point second-half lead while marching toward a potential game-clinching field goal, when a calamitous chain of... more

ST. LOUIS -- Because he has had so much success so quickly, Jim Harbaugh's résumé has a glaring hole: While marching steadily along a gold-plated coaching path from the University of San Diego to Stanford to the Bay-breeze-kissed sidelines of... more

He stood on the Metrodome sideline with a knot in his stomach and a glimmer of hope in his heart, waiting on the happy ending that never comes. Brian Hoyer So often in D'Qwell Jackson's eight-year career with the Cleveland Browns, the under... more

PHILADELPHIA -- Last December, two days before the Philadelphia Eagles' most recent appearance on "Thursday Night Football," I stood with Andy Reid on the edge of the team's outdoor practice fields at the NovaCare Complex and wondered aloud if the b... more

The iconic iPhone ring tone sounded shortly before midnight Pacific Time, at the end of a riveting and revealing second Sunday of the 2013 NFL regular season, and the man on the other end of the line sounded energized enough to suit up and do it all... more

Rex Ryan's team had been written off by America, its situation messier than Miley Cyrus twerking on the VMA stage. Surely, it seemed, the New York Jets were headed for an inglorious fall -- but their defiant head coach stood tall amid the negativity.... more

Two yards, and it could all be his: an emotional victory, a measure of redemption and the finishing touch on what surely would be the most satisfying opening-day performance of a long and luxuriant NFL career. Anquan Boldin, the San Francisco 49ers... more

DENVER -- Peyton Manning's Mile High Aerial Circus, Act II, had its dress rehearsal 12 days ago, and the head coach who experienced it from the opposing sideline came down with an acute case of altitude sickness. Reflecting on the dizzying no-huddl... more

Once upon a time, on a website far, far away, we used to take a weekly, top-to-bottom trip around the National Football League known as "32 Questions." Thanks to some grumpy men in purple, that ended abruptly last September, leaving far more than 3... more

August

As a man coming off a season-long banishment that sent his franchise into an extended patch of turbulence, Sean Payton wouldn't seem to be a likely candidate for a Wanna Get Away? experience. Trust him, or anyone else in The Crescent City: He... more

He set his feet, steeled his gaze and uncorked a heavenly heave, a 60-yard Hail Mary headed toward a pair of Seattle Seahawks receivers on the right side of the Georgia Dome's south end zone. And, quite naturally, Russell Wilson convinced himself tha... more

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