Temple Inks 27 to LOIs on National Signing Day

Temple Inks 27 to LOIs on National Signing Day

The Temple University Football Owls have signed 27 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. In a press conference to announce those commitments on Wednesday, head coach Steve Addazio called it "the best incoming class in the history of Temple football." The 2012 class has been ranked the No. 1 in the MAC by Yahoo! Rivals.

Despite losing Bernard Pierce to the NFL Draft, the Owls still boast tremendous depth at the running back position. With Matt Brown, Kenny Harper and Spencer Reid already in house, Archbishop Wood product Brandon Peoples and Ocala, Florida recruit Jamie Gilmore join the ranks, with Gilmore potentially capable of contributing right away.

In character, Addazio was hesitant to commit to any decisions related to the depth chart with the season still months away, but did leave the door open for the possibility of a running back by committee. That said, as Addazio will so often remind those who ask, all options are always available and all hands are always on deck.

That, of course, brings us once more to the quarterback position. Unsettled for the last two seasons, the quarterback question almost looked answered at the end of last season, given the emergence and ensuing success of sophomore quarterback Chris Coyer. But now, the addition of Kevin Newsome could cause yet another QB controversy for Owls fans.

Newsome is a former four-star recruit who originally committed to the Nittany Lions of Penn State. After serving as the backup to Daryll Clark in 2009, Newsome was named co-starter alongside Matt McGloin in 2010 before both would lose the job to Rob Bolden. Newsome would transfer before last season, spending 2011 studying at a community college in Virginia. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Early in the press conference, Addazio spoke with enthusiasm about having his passing game settled, after the turnover from Gerardi to Stewart to Coyer last season. When asked, the coach gave Coyer the John-Elway-Tim-Tebow vote of confidence, stating that Coyer had earned the starting spot heading into camp, but guaranteeing little else. It is clear Addazio will continue his mantra that all positions are up for grabs so as to downplay what is in his own words "a sense of complacency." While that policy certainly makes sense, and makes few, if any, waves at other positions, the quarterback position carries with it a greater deal of importance and scrutiny. A controversy isn't guaranteed for next season, but it wouldn't be surprising either.

Other notable names in this year's class include DL Averee Robsinson (brother of Temple alum Adrian Robinson), LB Bret Niederreither (who received offers from other high-profile schools including West Virginia), WR Khalif Herbin (The 2011 New Jersey Star-Ledger State Offensive Player of the Year), and safety Nate Smith (who helped lead Archbishop Wood to 2011 Pennsylvania State Championship).

Much as in 2011, Addazio spoke at length about the importance of establishing a recruiting footprint in the Northeast. 20 of the 27 signees are from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with 14 from PA alone. Eight are from Southeastern Pennsylvania, with seven of those coming from the Philadelphian metropolitan area (four are from the Catholic and Public Leagues). The remainder of the class comes from Maryland (4), Florida (2) and Virginia (1). Of the 27, 20 have previously attended the Temple Football Camp.

Of note, 10 of the signees played in All-Star games following their Senior season, while four -- Michael Felton, Kyle Friend, Damiere Shaw, Kiser Terry -- are scheduled to play in the famed Big 33 Game on June 16 at Hersheypark Stadium.

Below is a position by position breakdown of the number of new team members at each position:

Quarterback (1)
Running Back (2)
Wide Receiver (6)
Offensive Line (3)
Defensive Line (6)
Linebacker (5)
Defensive Back (7)

Temple will open its 2012 season against Villanova in the Fourth Annual Mayor's Cup. It is the final game of the current agreement signed between the schools.

NFL Notes: Chargers withdraw offer to 1st-round pick Joey Bosa

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Associated Press

NFL Notes: Chargers withdraw offer to 1st-round pick Joey Bosa

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers have withdrawn their contract offer to first-round draft pick Joey Bosa and will restructure a new deal that takes into account his absence from the team.

The Chargers' statement Wednesday said they believe "Joey will be unable to contribute for the full 16-game season without the adequate time on the practice field, in the classroom, and in preseason games." They characterized their previous offers to the Ohio state defensive end as fair and structurally consistent with the contracts of every other Chargers player."

Bosa is the only first-rounder who has not signed with his team.

Negotiations stalled over when Bosa's $17 million bonus would be distributed and offset language in the contract.

San Diego said it offered an initial signing bonus payment larger than any draftee received in the last two drafts, and more money in 2016 than anyone draftee except Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

Giants: Owner Mara 'comfortable' with Brown suspension
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A visibly shaken Giants owner John Mara said Wednesday he was fine with the NFL's suspension of placekicker Josh Brown for one game, despite allegations Brown abused his ex-wife as many as 20 times prior to the Giants signing Brown to a two-year extension last spring.

The 37-year-old Brown was arrested in May 2015, when he allegedly grabbed his ex-wife Molly by the throat and held her down with his knee in their Woodinville, Washington home. Brown was charged with fourth-degree domestic assault. Five days later, the King County prosecutor's office dropped the charges because of insufficient evidence. Brown's ex-wife reportedly dropped the charges.

After the NFL hit Brown with a one-game suspension instead of the six games mandated by the league's new personal conduct policy, Molly Brown told media she was physically accosted at least 20 times, including once when she was pregnant in 2009.

Vikings: Bridgewater: 'Of course' I expect to play Sunday 
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater says he'll play this weekend in the first game at the team's new stadium.

Bridgewater was coy after practice Wednesday about his shoulder injury, but he said "of course" when asked if he's expecting to take the field Sunday for the opener at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings host San Diego, and the third exhibition contest is typically when the starters play the longest in the preseason.

Last week at Seattle, Bridgewater was a surprise scratch from the lineup. Coach Mike Zimmer has refused to discuss his condition.

Offensive coordinator Norv Turner said Wednesday he didn't see any limitations with Bridgewater the day before.

Panthers: Rivera expects Short to get long-term deal
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Coach Ron Rivera says defensive tackle Kawann Short is "too important a player" for the Panthers not to sign him to a long-term contract.

Short has one year remaining on his rookie deal. He's outperformed his current contract, recording 11 sacks last season while being named NFC Player of the Month twice.

Rivera said Wednesday that "somewhere along the line, those are good guys, they'll figure it out. I believe they will. ... (Short) likes where he is. We'll see where it all unfolds."

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has a policy of not discussing contract negotiations in the media.

Gettleman also does not negotiate contracts once the regular season begins, so the Panthers essentially have two weeks to strike a deal.

Short said last month he has no plans to holdout.

Lane Johnson declares he's done taking supplements

Lane Johnson declares he's done taking supplements

No more supplements, Lane Johnson says. Those days are over.
 
Johnson, who faces a 10-game NFL suspension after a second positive test for a banned substance, said Wednesday he’s finished taking anything that could possibly put him at risk for a career-threatening third suspension.
 
Johnson claims the amino acid he ordered online and took was approved by the NFL but was tainted with a banned substance that didn't appear on the label, the so-called peptide found in Johnson’s sample.
 
Johnson also said he is planning to take legal action against the company that provided him with the amino acid.
 
“Going after them,” he said. “I have people on it to get it done.”

Johnson declined to identify the company that supplied him with the supplement.

Johnson was suspended for four games in 2014. A third suspension would result in a two-year ban.
 
“Seriously, I don’t want to have to go through this again,” Johnson said at his locker after practice Wednesday. “Unless something changes, the policy, I don’t trust anything.
 
“I can’t risk it. If it happens again, I miss two years and I’m just not going to risk that happening. I’m not taking any chances.

"Food and water. That's all I'm going to put in my system. Food and water. No supplements, no powders, nothing."
 
Johnson has been practicing with the second team and playing in the preseason games while he awaits his fate.

Johnson was the fourth pick in the 2013 draft, the Eagles' highest-drafted player since Donovan McNabb was the second pick in 1999.
 
Once Johnson’s B sample comes back — presumably positive, since Johnson has admitted taking the supplement — Johnson said he plans to appeal the suspension. But he said he doesn’t expect it to be reduced.
 
“Even if you prove it (was tainted), there’s nothing you can do,” he said.
 
It would be unusual for an NFL offensive lineman to not use any supplements at all.
 
“Look in everybody’s locker,” Johnson said. “Everybody’s got ‘em. But you just don’t know what’s really in them.”
 
Players say supplements help them not only to build strength and muscle but also in their recovery following games.
 
Johnson insists he can get by without them.
 
“You’ve got cold tubs, you’ve got different stuff you can do, foam rolling, soft tissue stuff,” he said. “There’s only limited (benefits) with that stuff. I think I’ll be fine.”

Meanwhile, he waits.

“It’s like waiting for an execution date,” he said. “It’s been living hell the past month.”

Isaac Seumalo to miss Saturday; Stefen Wisniewski sees game as audition

Isaac Seumalo to miss Saturday; Stefen Wisniewski sees game as audition

Since he joined the Eagles on a one-year deal this offseason, veteran Stefen Wisniewski has been focused on becoming a starter.
 
He’ll get a chance to show what he can do Saturday.
 
Rookie Isaac Seumalo, who has been working as the first-team left guard since Allen Barbre was shifted to fill in at right tackle for Lane Johnson, has a strained pec muscle and will miss Saturday night’s preseason game against the Colts. Wisniewksi will start in his place.
 
And the veteran sees the game as an audition for the starting gig.
 
“Yeah, I definitely think it’s an audition to be the starter,” Wisniewski said. “I think I’ve been playing starter-quality football all camp. And the job’s still open and just going to try to continue to do what I’ve been doing, play really well and show that I can be the starter.”
 
But can he actually win the job? Is there anything he can do on Saturday to keep Seumalo from retaking the left guard spot?
 
“I’m not saying he can’t win it,” head coach Doug Pederson said, “but I’m saying right now I’m not going to let an injury keep Isaac out of the starting rotation.”
 
Wisniewski, 27, has played in 77 career games and has 77 career starts. At the time he signed, he was clearly frustrated that a longer-term deal didn’t come his way. Now, he’s determined to keep his starting streak alive.
 
“That’s definitely my goal,” Wisniewksi said. “I’d be lying if I told you I wouldn’t be disappointed if I was the backup.”
 
Seumalo was plugged into the starting left guard spot just after a less-than-stellar performance against Tampa Bay in the first preseason game. At the time, it was a surprise to some that Seumalo was handed the job, even though he was a third-round pick.
 
Despite Seuamlo’s being in the lead, Wisniewski said he thinks the competition has been fair.
 
“Yeah, I mean, as far as I’m aware, it’s been an open competition and it’s still an open competition,” Wisniewski said. “That’s as fair as it can be. I’ve been getting a lot of reps at guard, so have the other guys. That’s all I can ask for.”