Brady, Belichick still get nervous for season openers after all these years


Brady, Belichick still get nervous for season openers after all these years

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have combined for nearly 60 seasons of experience in the NFL. They've won five Super Bowls together. They've been to two more. They are the most successful quarterback-coach tandem in league history. 

Yet when Thursday night arrives, before their most recent championship banner is revealed, before the five massive replica Lombardi trophies are put on display, they will be nervous. 

"Yeah, well, Opening Day is always a time where you have a lot of questions, butterflies," Belichick said on Tuesday. "Yeah, I think that’s part of opening day. A lot of unknowns on our team, a lot of unknowns on their team, a lot of unknowns when the two collide. So, we’ll see how it goes."

Brady and his teammates aren't expecting to be on the field to see the unveiling of the franchise's fifth Super Bowl banner. They'll be in the locker room, preparing, waiting, as the anticipation builds.

"Yeah, absolutely. You know, I think everybody does [get nervous]," Brady said. "Everyone works hard and it’s very unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen. We, as players, feel like that, too. We’re prepared, we’re confident, but you’ve still got to go out there and do it, and you’ve got to do it against a team that you’ve studied but not much this year. You know they’re working on stuff, we’re working on stuff, we try to execute at a high level and they do, too. Yeah, there will definitely be nerves and being anxious, but that’s part of football."

And for two of the best to ever perform their jobs, even after all these years, it's still a part of the deal on opening day.

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official


Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.