Former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin is looking forward to a fresh start with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Boykin, who enters his fourth season, also wanted to clarify his comments on Sunday, a day after the Eagles traded him to the Steelers for a conditional fifth-round pick, stressing that his former head coach Chip Kelly is not a racist. ''I said he was uncomfortable with men of our culture,'' Boykin said.
Racist? I don't know Kelly well enough to judge. But I know enough about Andy Reid to say that Kelly is following a guy who connected with most of his players.
By the end of 2004, Jerome Bettis was done. A dozen years in the NFL, most of them as the perpetually smiling blue-collared soul of the Pittsburgh Steelers, left him spent. The Steelers had just watched a 15-1 season evaporate a win shy of the Super Bowl.
The Seattle Seahawks signed All-Pro Bobby Wagner to a four-year, $43 million contract extension, making him the NFL's highest-paid middle linebacker. Wagner's contract is the second megadeal completed by the Seahawks in two days. Quarterback Russell Wilson signed a four-year, $87.6 million contract before training camp began Friday.
Sam Bradford was full-go on the first day of training camp. Bradford took snaps, fired passes and participated in all the quarterback drills with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. ''It's a big step,'' Bradford said.
Chip Kelly might be a bit crazy when it comes to personnel moves, but that doesn't make the Philadelphia Eagles coach a racist, no matter how hard people pitch that controversy. Running back LeSean McCoy was first to insinuate Kelly was racist, likely because he was hurt he was traded to the Buffalo Bills. Former Eagles lineman Tra Thomas joined in the chorus for some reason . Now the comments of cornerback Brandon Boykin, after he was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, are being put under the "is Kelly really a racist?" microscope. Ugh. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league todayl ] In a text to Derrick Gunn of CSN Philly, Boykin said Kelly is “uncomfortable around grown men of our culture.” “He can't relate and that makes him uncomfortable,” Boykin added in the text message to Gunn. “He likes total control of everything, and he don't like to be uncomfortable. Players excel when you let them naturally be who they are, and in my experience that hasn't been important to him, but you guys have heard this before me.” And immediately after the stories started coming that another player insinuated Kelly was racist. "Our culture" and "heard this before me" could be interpreted in different ways, but Boykin said Sunday that he wasn't saying Kelly was racist. "When you're a player, you want to be able to relate to your coach off the field," Boykin told reporters Sunday, according to ESPN. "There were times he just didn't talk to people. You would walk down the hallway, he wouldn't say anything to you. I'm not saying he's a racist in any way." Kelly wouldn't be the first coach who isn't that close to his players. But can we stop the Kelly-is-racist witch hunt? I'm just going to copy-and-paste this from when we went through this ridiculousness in May with McCoy : Kelly signed running back DeMarco Murray, who is black, to a $42 million deal this offseason to replace McCoy. He signed cornerback Byron Maxwell, who is black, to a $63 million deal this offseason. He also signed running back Ryan Mathews, whose father is black , and cornerback Walter Thurmond, who is black. The Eagles made six draft picks last week, and the first five picks were black players. The Eagles have seven black assistant coaches. Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez addressed the issue on Sunday, according to PhillyMag.com, and he shot down the notion and asked the media to quit asking players about it. "[During stretching today], guys were like, 'Sanchez, ain't you Mexican? And [Sam] Bradford aren't you Native American?'" Sanchez said, according to PhillyMag.com . "And Kiko [Alonso] is Colombian. We've got black guys, white guys, Polynesian guys. Come on, that's crazy, it's not even worth talking about. Stop asking the players about it, it's getting old." There's no doubt that Kelly marches to his own drummer when it comes to running the personnel department, but I don't think that gives anyone a right to casually accuse Kelly of being a racist. I don't think the Eagles cutting Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis, who is white, out of the blue this offseason was racially charged. Neither was trading Nick Foles or cutting guard Todd Herremans, who are also white. Kelly just isn't conventional and he isn't scared to make bold moves. Kelly makes many moves that are easy to criticize, but it's really not getting us anywhere to wonder if Kelly is a racist every time he makes a controversial move that happens to involve a black player. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab
LATROBE, Pa. (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have acquired cornerback Brandon Boykin from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft.
DeAngelo Williams is used to splitting carries. Just don't call the Pittsburgh Steelers' running back a backup. The way the Carolina Panthers' career rushing leader sees it, there will be plenty of work to do alongside Steelers star Le'Veon Bell.
The National Football League and its players union asked a federal judge to decide by Sept. 4 whether to uphold star New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension, which could resolve the "Deflategate" scandal before the regular season starts. Friday's request by the NFL Players Association on behalf of Brady was a surprise. The union had been expected to ask U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan to delay any suspension until he could rule on its merits.
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