Philadelphia Eagles

Marquis Flowers jabs back at Eagles' Lane Johnson

Marquis Flowers jabs back at Eagles' Lane Johnson

Marquis Flowers had a lot to say on Twitter on Monday. The Patriots linebacker, who chalked up his busy day of tweeting to offseason boredom, took aim at Eagles tackle Lane Johnson, who called the Patriots a "fear-based organization."

Flowers knocked the Eagles' Super Bowl resume, which includes just one win. New England has five championship titles -- all of which have come under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. But Johnson reasoned that he'd rather have one Super Bowl with the Eagles than five under Belichick.

"Obviously, do they win? Hell yes, they win. They've won for a long time," Johnson told Barstool Sports on the podcast, "Pardon My Take." "Do I think people enjoy and can say, 'I had a lot of fun playing there'? No, I don't. That's just the God's honest truth. They're successful, but when they go to interviews, they act like [expletive] robots. Hey, stop being a [expletive] head. We can be cordial for a little bit. You only get to do this job one time, so let's have fun while we're doing it. Not to be reckless, but I'd much rather have fun and win a Super Bowl than be miserable and win five Super Bowls. But hey, it is what it is."

That wasn't Flowers' only defense of Belichick on Twitter Monday. He backed his coach after seeing the Boston Sports Journal's critical analysis of Belichick's game plan for Super Bowl LII. The story was titled, "Bedard’s Defensive Breakdown: Marquis Flowers’ role among bigger failures than Butler issue." BSJ's Greg Bedard noted how Flowers seemed to be used in all the wrong ways on Super Bowl Sunday. Flowers didn't see it that way.

Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, now an ESPN analyst, also took exception to Johnson's criticism of "The Patriot Way." 

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WWE wrestler friend hints at Gronk retirement

WWE wrestler friend hints at Gronk retirement

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski appeared to be mulling retirement in the aftermath of the Super Bowl 52 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles a week ago. His friend, WWE wrestler Mojo Rawley hinted that Gronk might be entering the wrestling ring.

"It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of WHEN," Rawley told TMZ Sports of Gronk perhaps leaving football behind permanently at 28 to begin a wrestling career. Although he did add: "I can't speak for him."

Gronk teamed with Rawley last April at Wrestlemania: 

Eagles offensive coordinator Reich is new Colts coach

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AP Photos

Eagles offensive coordinator Reich is new Colts coach

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Colts' second choice for a head coach could turn out to be even better than the first.

And Frank Reich has the Super Bowl championship gear to prove it.

Five days after New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels reneged on a deal to take the Colts' job, Ballard hired Reich, the man who outwitted McDaniels last week and helped lead the Philadelphia Eagles to their first NFL title since 1960.

"Frank is a leader of men who will demand excellence from our players on and off the field," Ballard said in a statement released Sunday. "I look forward to working with Frank to deliver a championship-caliber team to the city of Indianapolis."

Terms of the deal were not immediately available, but Reich is expected to be introduced at a news conference Tuesday.

Colts officials posted a photo of Reich signing the deal on the team's website.

The move ends a search that spanned 41 days, included two coaching announcements and the embarrassment of McDaniels changing his mind Tuesday night just eight hours after telling the Colts he'd take the job.

On Wednesday, Ballard answered questions for nearly 20 minutes before finishing with "the rivalry is back on."

By hiring Reich, another touted offensive coordinator and a potential leading candidate next season, only added another chapter to the long and bitter series.

Exactly one week after backup quarterback Nick Foles executed an exquisite game plan to beat Tom Brady and the favored Patriots, the Colts brought back a longtime assistant who spent two seasons working with Peyton Manning.

But this wasn't just about sending a message.

"Frank has all the ingredients of a successful head coach: intelligence, innovation, character, organizational and leadership skills, and a commanding presence," team owner Jim Irsay said. "He also has a stellar reputation, and his myriad of life experiences and the people he has worked with make him the perfect fit for us and our fans. I feel extremely fortunate and could not be more excited for Colts Nation and the future of our franchise."

It sure didn't take long to make the decision.

Ballard interviewed the 56-year-old Reich on Friday, the day after Philadelphia held its victory celebration.

He replaces Chuck Pagano, who was fired hours after finishing the season with a 4-12 record and missing the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

Reich takes over a franchise that appears to have some key pieces in place - especially if Andrew Luck is healthy.

Luck missed the entire 2017 season after having surgery for a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. He went on injured reserve in November because of lingering pain in his right shoulder after he had started throwing a football.

On Wednesday, Ballard said Luck still hasn't thrown a football since October.

"He's going to do everything right to get himself ready to play and I'm very confident, he's very confident, that he's going to come back and prove a lot of people wrong," Ballard said.

The Colts also have a defense that showed steady improvement throughout the season, the No. 3 overall draft pick in April, nearly $80 million to spend in free agency and a promising backup quarterback in Jacoby Brissett, who started 15 games in 2017.

And the Colts already have three assistants on Reich's staff - probable defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, Mike Phair and Dave DeGuglielmo. All three agreed to join McDaniels' staff in Indy and have been promised by Ballard that they will remain on the staff.

Reich, meanwhile, returns to the franchise where he started his coaching career as an intern in 2006. He was named an offensive assistant in 2008, succeeded Jim Caldwell as quarterbacks coach the next season and became receivers coach in 2011.

In 2012, he coached the receivers in Arizona and then was hired as San Diego's quarterbacks coach in 2013. The Chargers promoted him to offensive coordinator in 2014 where he stayed until joining the Eagles in 2016.

Reich may be best known, however, for rallying the Buffalo Bills from a 35-3 deficit to a 41-38 overtime victory over the Houston Oilers in January 1993 - the biggest comeback in playoff history.

Now, in his first head coaching job, he will be paired with the architect of the second-biggest playoff comeback, Luck.

"Frank Reich was with me at the end of my tenure with the Colts," Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy wrote on Twitter. "He has a creative offensive mind. He's a great communicator and a high-quality person. The Colts are in great hands."

Reich graduated from the University of Maryland where he was a backup to Boomer Esiason. He won the starting quarterback job as a senior and spent 14 seasons in the NFL playing for Buffalo, Carolina, the New York Jets and Detroit.
© 2018 by  the Associated Press