Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Sports

Stats of old, new officials similar

NEW YORK — The numbers say there isn't much difference in the NFL with replacement officials. Comments from players and coaches say otherwise.

Statistics show similarities between the number of flags thrown this year by the temporary crews and last year by those locked out:

• Penalties per game is down from an average of 15.2 to 14.7.

• On safety calls, such as roughing the passer, unnecessary roughness (including hitting defenseless players), face masks and horse collars, the calls are nearly even: 75 this year, 74 last.

• Instant replay reviews are up by 16. But the percentage of reversals is down: 23 of 62 (37.1) this year as opposed to 21 of 46 (45.7) in 2011.

• Defensive pass interference and illegal contact penalties are up from 48 to 51.

The average time of game is about six minutes longer in 2012 than in 2011. (Each had one overtime game). The time it takes to administrate penalties likely is the cause.

The NFL said it knows things are far from perfect.

"We are going to continue to do everything possible to raise the level of performance of the current officials," spokesman Greg Aiello said Wednesday.

Game control and professionalism have become key issues this week.

"I'll be honest," Eagles running back LeSean McCoy said of the replacements, "they are like fans."

"There's no doubt the integrity of the game has been compromised not having the regular officials out there," Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. "We've got to get that taken care of."

Added Rams coach Jeff Fisher: "We just all hope, and I'm speaking on behalf of all 31 other head coaches, they get something done."

Redskin threatened: Redskins receiver Josh Morgan has received death threats via Twitter because of his blunder late in Sunday's 31-28 loss to the Rams. Throwing the ball at corner Cortland Finnegan cost the Redskins 15 yards, and Billy Cundiff missed a tying 62-yard field goal as time expired. "I heard everything, especially when they get you on Twitter and are sending you death threats and wishing you bad things and your firstborn," said Morgan, who added he won't close his account. "You never let it get to you. The only thing I take seriously is football and my family. Nothing really scares me." The Redskins said they are investigating. In other Redskins news, receiver Pierre Garcon, who sat out a game with a foot injury, returned to practice on a limited basis. His status has not been determined.

Falcon says sorry: Falcons running back Michael Turner apologized to teammates for his drunken driving arrest. Turner was pulled over by police in suburban Gwinnett County about 5 a.m. Tuesday, a few hours after scoring a touchdown in a 27-21 win over Denver. Police say he was going 97 mph. A police report released Wednesday said Turner told the officer he was at a strip club near the Georgia Dome and after initially denying he drank alcohol conceded he had several shots of liquor but "did not keep count."

Pats sign Winslow: Former Bucs tight end Kellen Winslow signed with New England. He replaces former Gator Aaron Hernandez, who is out indefinitely with a right ankle injury. The Bucs traded Winslow to Seattle during the offseason, and Seattle released him Sept. 1.

Giants-Panthers hurting: Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), tackle David Diehl (knee), receiver Domenik Hixon (concussion) and receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot) won't play tonight for the Giants against the Panthers. Bradshaw, Diehl and Hixon were hurt Sunday against the Bucs while Nicks aggravated his injury in the game. For Carolina, running back DeAngelo Williams, bothered by an ankle injury since training camp, will be a game-time decision.

Bills: Starting safety Jairus Byrd missed practice and is uncertain for Sunday with an injured right foot. Details weren't disclosed. … Running back Fred Jackson, out with a strained lateral collateral ligament in his knee, won't need surgery and could return soon.

Eagles: Receiver Jeremy Maclin (hip pointer) and left tackle King Dunlap (hamstring) did not practice. Maclin didn't practice last week and played Sunday. But coach Andy Reid said he doubted Dunlap will play.

Jaguars: Maurice Stovall, formerly a Bucs receiver now a tight end, signed. The Lions released him at the end of camp.

Lions: Corner Drayton Florence, starting because of injuries, went on injured reserve with a broken arm. But as allowed under a new rule, the team designated him as eligible to return after Week 10 instead of being out for the season. Starters Chris Houston (sprained ankle) and Bill Bentley (concussion) returned to practice.

Seahawks: Receiver Golden Tate was fined $21,000 for launching himself into Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee and striking him in the chest and chin with the crown of his helmet Sunday, ESPNDallas.com reported.

Concussions: A federal lawsuit filed in Mississippi on behalf of more than 50 former players alleges the league conspired to hide the dangers of concussions and brain trauma associated with pro football. About 140 similar suits have been filed around the country on behalf of 3,377 former players and are in the process of being consolidated.

Comments
HBO: Ex-Buc Scot Brantley battling Alzheimer’s, claim denied by NFL

HBO: Ex-Buc Scot Brantley battling Alzheimer’s, claim denied by NFL

Former Gators and Bucs linebacker Scot Brantley, also once a popular sports radio host in Tampa, is battling Alzheimer's Disease and has been rejected from the NFL's concussion settlement, according to tonight's episode of HBO's "Real Sports with Bry...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Academy at the Lakes wins first state softball title

Academy at the Lakes wins first state softball title

VERO BEACH —Academy at the Lakes waited two weeks to play in the Class 2A state softball tournament in hopes of winning what has been an elusive title.The Wildcats completed the first task Monday, cruising to a mercy-rule win over Fort Pierce John Ca...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

UPDATE, 6:04: Cash said the Rays don't know yet if Wendle will be  back Thursday or Friday, though with the Sox starting RHP Rick Porcello on Thursday that would make sense. …  Cash said OF Carlos Gomez (groin strain) will run the bas...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Bucs’ Mike Evans: Yards after catch must improve in 2018

Bucs’ Mike Evans: Yards after catch must improve in 2018

Mike Evans is one of just three receivers in NFL history to open his career with four straight 1,000-yard seasons, but he understands one area where he can make a big improvement in 2018: yards after the catch."I think last year was my worst year in ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Did ex-girlfriend’s Facebook post leak suspension of FSU starter Josh Ball?

Did ex-girlfriend’s Facebook post leak suspension of FSU starter Josh Ball?

A Florida State student from Lithia wrote a Facebook post Monday afternoon alleging the suspension of Seminoles starting offensive tackle Josh Ball.Little else was known a day later, but the details in the since-deleted post are consistent ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

The Rays have called up top prospect INF Willy Adames – though likely for a short stay.INF Joey Wendle was placed on the paternity list Tuesday, which allows him to miss up to three days.Manager Kevin Cash said Adames is headed back to Triple-A...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Gerald McCoy: Sorry, but Vita Vea is Maui from Moana

Gerald McCoy: Sorry, but Vita Vea is Maui from Moana

If you've been dipping your toes in the "Gosh, Vita Vea looks a lot like the guy from Disney's Moana" pool, Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has jumped in all the way.The Bucs' 347-pound rookie is massive, has a family history on the Pacific island...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Photos: Bucs open OTA practices

Photos: Bucs open OTA practices

“We’d love to have everybody here,” said coach Dirk Koetter, who said he was unsure if Pierre-Paul or Grimes would practice before next month’s mandatory minicamp. “That’s the perfect world, but we don’t live...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Lightning squanders chance to close out Capitals

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Lightning squanders chance to close out Capitals

The Lightning misses an opportunity to close out the Capitals in Washington, so there will be a Game 7 in Tampa on Wednesday night with a berth in the Stanley Cup final on the line.Andrei Vasilevskiy was fantastic, but the Lightning couldn't match th...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Jason Pierre-Paul, Brent Grimes absent as Bucs open OTA practices

Jason Pierre-Paul, Brent Grimes absent as Bucs open OTA practices

The Bucs started another chapter of their offseason Tuesday with the first OTA (organized team activity) practice at One Buc Place, with veterans Jason Pierre-Paul and Brent Grimes as the only healthy players absent from what is officially a voluntar...
Updated: 5 hours ago