Marshawn Lynch

Rob's Rants: Eagles' start; Seumalo's struggles; Marshawn's dancing

Rob's Rants: Eagles' start; Seumalo's struggles; Marshawn's dancing

Here's the latest edition of Rob's Rants in which CSNPhilly's Rob Ellis does just that about the hottest topics in Philly sports.

If I told you before the season the Eagles would be 1-1 after starting with two road games — one against a division opponent, the other in one of the tougher venues in sports — an objective person would have been satisfied. That doesn’t mean losing a very winnable game in Kansas City wasn’t a tough pill to swallow, but when you consider that the Birds' neighbors in the NFC East have not exactly looked like world beaters, there is room for much optimism if they can clean some things up. Despite his costly turnovers and tendency to hold the ball too long, I’m convinced Carson Wentz will be a star. The Eagles' defensive line has looked fierce. And certainly in part because of the line, the Birds' defensive backs — despite major injuries — have held up pretty well. There are absolute positives with this club. 

But here are some of the things with the Eagles and beyond that have me in rant mode. 

Get your tokens ready
Saying Isaac Seumalo has been bad is like saying Donald Trump is polarizing. Seumalo's been a turnstile. His play has been alarming through two games and Doug Pederson may need to make a decision fast to avoid getting Wentz killed. But the Seumalo issue runs much deeper than the surface. He was a third-round pick last year, 79th overall. The club’s next selection after Wentz. Third-round picks need to be able to play. 

Now, you could very well chalk his struggles up to growing pains. By Week 10 we may see a completely different player. But perhaps even more disturbing was the Eagles' judgment that Seumalo was ready to start. Howie Roseman dealt veteran Allen Barbre early in camp to Denver for a 2019 seventh-round pick. The Eagles did save minimal cap space as well. And while Barbre won’t be confused with Zack Martin any time soon, he was a competent player. Surely an upgrade from what we’ve seen from Seumalo thus far. The objective is to keep your franchise quarterback upright and available. So far, not so good. 

Escape plan
Since signing that monstrous contract prior to last season, Vinny Curry has made no big plays. That streak continued Sunday against the Chiefs. Go back to the fourth quarter, game tied at 13, K.C. driving with a 3rd-and-4 on the Eagles' 25-yard line. Curry had Alex Smith all but wrapped up for the sack, which at the very least would have forced Kansas City into a long field goal attempt. Smith escaped the 6-3, 279-pound defensive end and two plays later the Chiefs scored on a shovel pass to Travis Kelce to take a 20-13 lead. That play, along with the Eagles' two turnovers, were game-changing plays. Once again, Curry came up small.

Catch the Damn Ball Part II     
Last week this rant was directed at Alshon Jeffery. This week it applies to the Eagles' other big money offseason wide receiver signing. There were two plays Sunday that again weren’t easy but need to be caught by a good receiver. The pass catcher in question is Torrey Smith. The first drop on the Eagles' opening drive could and should have been a touchdown. Later in the game, Wentz made a nice back-shoulder throw that was covered well but the ball was where it needed to be and Smith could not bring it down. These plays are the difference between three points and seven points or keeping a drive alive or winning and losing. 

Cue Lee Ann Womack
I don’t think “I Hope You Dance” was what Marshawn Lynch was Beast Mode-ing  to on the sideline during the Raiders' 45-20 smackdown of the woeful Jets. In fact, it was “I’m Really From Oakland Tho” by Vell and DJ Mustard. Love it when those two crazy kids collaborate. New York in fact was not loving Lynch’s sideline moves. Some Jets players were upset that the Oakland native was dancing with time still left on the clock. There’s a simple solution to that issue: Stop him. If the score was flipped, Lynch would not have been shaking his groove-thing. It’s OK for a player to have fun and celebrate. It’s all about time and place. And by the way, the Jets should get accustomed to opposing players celebrating. In fact, when your front office’s objective is to tank the season, it could look like a conga line on the opposite sideline all season.

NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

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USA Today Images

NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

NEW YORK -- The NFL Players Association has appealed Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over the league's conclusion that its 2016 rushing leader injured his former girlfriend in three separate incidents last summer.

The union said Tuesday it will represent Elliott "to ensure that the NFL is held to its obligation of adhering to principles of industrial due process under the collective bargaining agreement."

The NFL suspended Elliott last week after a yearlong investigation into an Ohio domestic violence case that prosecutors declined to pursue. Elliott's attorneys blasted Commission Roger Goodell's ruling, saying the league "cherry-picked" evidence to reach its conclusion.

A hearing with Goodell or an arbitrator will be scheduled within 10 days with a decision "as soon as practicable" after the appeal is heard, according to the labor agreement.

The Cowboys open the regular season Sept. 10 at home against the New York Giants.

Panthers: Davis signs 1-year contract extension
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thomas Davis won't have to worry about ever playing for another NFL team.

The Panthers have signed the 34-year-old veteran outside linebacker Thomas Davis to a one-year contract extension, keeping him with the team through the 2018 season. The deal is worth $6.76 million and includes $3 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team doesn't release financial terms of contracts.

"I'm extremely excited. Everybody knows how I feel about being a Carolina Panther," Davis said in a team release Tuesday. "This extension solidifies me being here for the rest of my career, and I'm excited about that. Now I'm totally focused on winning a Super Bowl."

Davis' contract was set to expire after this season. Some blamed general manager Dave Gettleman's handling of extensions for Davis and tight end Greg Olsen as the reason he was fired earlier this offseason and replaced by interim general manager Marty Hurney. Olsen has two years left on his current contract but is seeking an extension, too (see full story).

Raiders: Lynch says teammates ‘proud’ of protest
NAPA, Calif. -- Marshawn Lynch isn't shedding anymore light on his decision to sit during the national anthem before the Oakland Raiders' first exhibition game.

Lynch declined to comment on why he chose to sit down Saturday night while the rest of his teammates stood during the anthem before a game in Arizona against the Cardinals.

That left his teammates to answer for him on Tuesday after the team returned for its first practice since that game.

"I'm proud of him," tight end Jared Cook said. "I think it's awesome. Everybody has points of discussion after what happened in Charlottesville just the night before. I think it's important for men in our position to step up and speak on unnecessary situations we find ourselves in as minorities in this country. That's why I'm proud of him" (see full story).

Jets: Whitehead out indefinitely with broken foot
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Lucky Whitehead has a broken foot and will be sidelined indefinitely.

Coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday that Whitehead was injured during practice Monday and it's uncertain whether he will need surgery. Bowles did not know if Whitehead will be out for the year, saying only that it'll be at least "a little while."

Whitehead, who was on crutches during the team's indoor practice, appeared to be the top contender to serve as the Jets' primary punt and kickoff returner.

The injury is the latest in a string of bad news for Whitehead, who has had a strange summer. He was waived by Dallas last month following a shoplifting incident that turned out to be a case of false identity. New York claimed Whitehead off waivers on July 26.

NFL Notes: Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill out at least 6 weeks, surgery an option

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NFL Notes: Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill out at least 6 weeks, surgery an option

DAVIE, Fla. -- Ryan Tannehill sat in the team cafeteria Friday, his left leg in a brace and propped on a chair as he watched practice from afar with a sullen stare.

He has again been demoted to the role of spectator, perhaps for the entire season.

Knee surgery is an option for the Miami Dolphins quarterback, although it's possible an operation can be avoided, coach Adam Gase said. But even then Tannehill is expected to be sidelined at least six weeks.

Tannehill, who missed the final four games of last season with two sprained ligaments in his knee, reinjured it in practice Thursday. An MRI was inconclusive, and the Dolphins are consulting with a multitude of specialists.

"I wouldn't say second and third opinions -- we're probably going deeper than that, talking to a lot of people, making sure we get the right information," Gase said. "Everything is on the table right now" (see full story).

Steelers: Coach Tomlin's contract extended through 2020
PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin's strong first decade with the Pittsburgh Steelers has earned the coach the chance to work well into a second decade with the organization.

Tomlin and the team have agreed to an extension that will keep the 45-year-old in Pittsburgh through the 2020 season.

Tomlin is 103-57 in 10 years with the Steelers, who have captured one Super Bowl, been to another and earned five AFC North titles during his tenure. He is one of eight coaches to win 100 games in their first 10 seasons.

Steelers President Art Rooney said Tomlin "continues to prove he is one of the top head coaches in the National Football League." Pittsburgh went 11-5 in 2016 before falling to New England in the AFC championship game.

Tomlin called his 10 seasons an "amazing experience," adding his focus is on helping the franchise win a seventh Super Bowl.

Patriots: Brady wants to keep past medical issues private
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady says he prefers to keep any medical issues in his past private, including whether he had a concussion last season.

In his first comments since the Patriots opened training camp, the quarterback said Friday he "isn't blind" to issues such as CTE, but remains confident in how he tries to avoid injury.

Brady's wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, told "CBS This Morning" in May that Brady played through a concussion on his way to a fifth Super Bowl title.

The NFL said it reviewed all reports from independent neurotrauma consultants and trainers who worked at Brady's games during the 2016 season and found no records that indicated he had a head injury or showed concussion symptoms (see full story).

Bills: LT Glenn to see specialist for foot injury
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills starting left tackle Cordy Glenn missed his second straight practice because of a left foot injury. Coach Sean McDermott says it's too early to determine whether the player will require surgery.

McDermott provided the update before practice Friday, a day after Glenn traveled to have his injury evaluated by foot specialist Robert Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina. McDermott declined to go into detail on the nature of the injury by simply referring to it as "general foot soreness."

Glenn was held out of spring practices before being cleared for the start of training camp last week. He was practicing on a limited basis before missing his first session on Thursday.

McDermott didn't provide a timetable in saying he expects Glenn to return to practice sooner than later.

Glenn has been a starter since his rookie season in 2012, and last year became one of the league's top-paid tackles after signing a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Raiders: It’s Marshawn Mania during training camp
NAPA, Calif. -- Marshawn Lynch plowed through the line, dreadlocks swaying on a rare cool summer morning in Napa then juggled the football to the delight of hundreds cheering from nearby bleachers.

They raised phone cameras to capture the self-proclaimed MoneyLynch's every move. A film crew followed, too.

It's Marshawn Mania in wine country. And Lynch sure seems to be loving the attention of his un-retirement, back in that familiar No. 24 jersey, just different colors now that he's with his hometown team.

Lynch joined the Oakland Raiders on a restructured two-year deal following an April trade from Seattle, where he had retired following the 2015 season. Now he has a chance to keep Derek Carr and Co. contending for an AFC West title and a shot at the Super Bowl.

"He's going to run through some people's faces, I think that's what he's going to do," Carr said. "He's going to protect the quarterback. ... He's good at that. Very physical. That part of the game is fun to him. I tend to like to slide or go over people, and he likes to go through them, so I don't have to do it."

Cowboys: Christie to see Jones inducted into HOF
TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is heading to Ohio to celebrate Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' entry into the NFL Hall of Fame.

Christie is scheduled to be in Canton on Friday and Saturday to see Jones' induction.

Christie is a lifelong Cowboys fan despite most New Jersey football fans favoring two of the Cowboys' biggest rivals: the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

He has sat with Jones in his box at many Cowboys games. Once, the two had an awkward embrace caught on camera when the Cowboys won a rare playoff game in 2015.

The Republican governor left New Jersey on Friday afternoon as President Donald Trump arrived in the state for the start of a 17-day vacation.