NFL Notes: Jets' Revis charged with 4 felonies after fight in Pittsburgh

NFL Notes: Jets' Revis charged with 4 felonies after fight in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH -- New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has been charged with four first-degree felonies and one misdemeanor after allegedly being involved in a fight with two men last weekend.

According to a docket sheet filed Thursday night, the 31-year-old Revis is facing two counts of aggravated assault, along with charges of robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and terroristic threats -- a misdemeanor -- after the incident Sunday at 2:43 a.m.

Revis' attorney, Blaine Jones, said in a statement Thursday that Revis was "physically assaulted while at that location by a group of at least five people."

But Pittsburgh police said in a statement that the alleged fight started when a 22-year-old man spotted Revis walking. After Revis confirmed he was the NFL player, the man started recording the interaction. Revis grabbed the phone and tried to delete the video. A 21-year-old man tried to help the other man, but Revis tossed the phone into the road, the report says.

An argument ensued, ending with another man helping Revis, according to the police statement. Police say the two other men claimed they were punched and knocked out.

Steelers: Team already working on Brown’s new deal
PITTSBURGH, P.A. – The Pittsburgh Steelers are following through on their promise to offer All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown a new contract.

General manager Kevin Colbert said Thursday the team has already begun negotiations with Brown, who has one year left on the $42 million deal that began in 2013. The 28-year-old Brown is coming off his fourth straight season of at least 100 receptions.

The Steelers gave Brown an advance on his salary in each of the last two seasons as a pseudo bonus and vowed last summer to prioritize giving him a long-term contract that could keep him with the team for the balance of his career. Colbert and Brown's agent Drew Rosenhaus are already in discussions and the team has no issues about Brown's occasionally eccentric behavior. Brown drew a strong rebuke from head coach Mike Tomlin last month for livestreaming from Pittsburgh's victorious postgame locker room following a playoff win at Kansas City. Brown later apologized for the distraction.

The dust up did nothing to alter Colbert's intentions to keep one of the league's most dynamic players for the long run (see full story).

Dolphins: Team plans to part with LT Albert
DAVIE, Fla. –The Miami Dolphins put on hold their planned release of left tackle Branden Albert when another team expressed interest in a trade shortly before the roster move was completed Thursday.

The Dolphins told Albert he won't be with them for the 2017 season. No trade can be completed until the start of the league year March 9.

The decision to part with Albert clears the way for 2016 first-round draft pick Laremy Tunsil to move over from guard.

Miami released four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Mario Williams, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. The departure of the four players will save about $20 million in 2017 cap space (see full story).

NFL: QB prospect Kelly barred from combine
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly's past troubles are the reasons the NFL revoked his invitation to the league's scouting combine.

A person familiar with the league's decision told The Associated Press that Kelly is barred from participating in the event because of charges stemming from a fight outside a Buffalo nightclub and for being dismissed by Clemson. Both incidents happened in 2014.

The person spoke to The AP on the condition of anonymity on Thursday because the NFL has not revealed the reason Kelly was not included on the list of participants released by the league a day earlier.

The decision to exclude Kelly is based on a memo the league issued to teams on Jan. 18 outlining reasons draft-eligible prospects will not be permitted to participate in the weeklong combine in Indianapolis that opens Feb. 28. The memo says prospects will be excluded if background checks reveal past convictions for violent or sexual offenses, or if they were dismissed by their school or the NCAA (see full story).

NFL Notes: Tomlin says Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for live stream

NFL Notes: Tomlin says Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for live stream

PITTSBURGH — The father in Mike Tomlin regrets the language he used to describe the New England Patriots during the postgame speech Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown's opted to livestream on social media after a taut playoff victory over Kansas City.

The coach in Tomlin has just as big an issue with one of his team's biggest stars forcing the Steelers to talk about something other than trying to find a way to finally beat Tom Brady when it counts.

A characteristically blunt Tomlin called Brown's decision to broadcast more than 17 minutes of Pittsburgh's giddy locker room to the world -- a move that caught Tomlin using a handful of profanities -- over Kansas City "foolish," "selfish" and "inconsiderate."

"Not only is it a violation of our policy, it's a violation of league policy, both of which he knows," Tomlin said Tuesday.

"So there are consequences to be dealt with from his perspective. We will punish him. We won't punish us."

Tomlin took responsibility for his choice of words, though he was unaware of being filmed as he spoke.

During Tomlin's brief remarks he attached an expletive to the Patriots, who earned a full day's head start on the Steelers by virtue of beating Houston on Saturday night, 24 hours before Pittsburgh outlasted Kansas City 18-16.

"The responsibility associated with being in this thing, just from a role model standpoint, it's something that I personally embrace," Tomlin said.

"It's something that we as a team and organization embrace. So that's why the language, specifically, in terms of the content, is regrettable," (see full story).

- The Associated Press

Report: Former Eagles DL Clyde Simmons joining Browns' staff
The Sporting News' Alex Marvez reported that the Browns are hiring Clyde Simmons to coach their defensive line.

Since 2012, Simmons has worked as the assistant defensive line coach for the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams under head coach Jeff Fisher and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Fisher was fired by the Rams with three games left in the 2016 season and Williams left Los Angeles for Cleveland, where he will also be the defensive coordinator.

Filling out his staff in Cleveland, Williams appears to be bringing Simmons with him from the Rams. Cleveland.com reported that Williams is also hiring his son, Blake, as the linebackers coach and Jerod Kruse as the defensive backs coach. 

Simmons spent the first eight seasons of his 15-year NFL career in Philadelphia, starting 108 of the 124 games he appeared in. Simmons recorded 76 of his 121.5 career sacks with the Eagles and also forced 12 fumbles, recovering 10, and scoring two touchdowns with the Birds.

- CSNPhilly.com

Broncos: Joe Woods promoted to defensive coordinator
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos coach Vance Joseph has promoted secondary coach Joe Woods to defensive coordinator, replacing Wade Phillips, who left for the Los Angeles Rams.

Woods, 46, was in charge of the Broncos' "No Fly Zone" secondary that led the league in pass defense each of the last two years behind All-Pro cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr., safeties T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart and nickel back Bradley Roby.

Woods has a quarter-century of experience coaching defensive backs including the last 13 seasons in Denver (2015-16), Oakland (2014), Minnesota (2006-13) and Tampa Bay (2004-05).

Joseph said Woods "is ready for this opportunity" and "no one will outwork Joe."

Harris said, "If we had to lose Wade at least we get to keep Joe," (see full story).

- The Associated Press

Eagles' defense gets whole new challenge in Antonio Brown, Steelers

Eagles' defense gets whole new challenge in Antonio Brown, Steelers

They started out facing a hapless offense with a quarterback who hadn’t played in nearly two years and a wide receiver who was a quarterback until last year.

Then they faced another hapless offense with a brittle, aging quarterback who had won 16 of his last 42 starts and a wide receiver whose production has dropped in each of the last three years.

Now, it gets real.

The Steelers come to town Sunday with Antonio Brown, the consensus best wide receiver in the NFL, and future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and the task will become much more challenging for a defense that has excelled the first two weeks of the season.

“There’s not many guys like Antonio Brown in the league,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said this week. “Just his skill set, his route running, the amount of targets he gets, his production, his ability to stretch the field.

“The closest guy in our division is probably Odell Beckham, but the production he puts year in and year out is really unmatched.”

Brown was a sixth-round pick of the Steelers in 2010, so the Eagles drafted Keenan Clayton, Ricky Sapp, Mike Kafka, Trevard Lindley, Riley Cooper and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim while he was available.

But nobody knew he was going to be this good.

Brown played sparingly as a rookie, then caught 69 and 66 passes his next two seasons, but from 2013 through 2015 he set an NFL record with 375 catches for 5,031 yards in a three-year span.

Brown has played 50 games since opening day 2013. Do the math and it comes out to eight catches for 104 yards per game … on the average.

“You’ve got to keep him in front of you and then when he’s in front of you you’ve got to tackle him,” Jenkins said. “He’s a great route runner, he’s got speed, he can get behind a defense, and if you play too soft, he’s a hard tackle in the open field.

“The biggest thing is you’ve got to make him earn it all the way down the field. You can’t give him a quick one over the top, and when he does get those short passes, whether it’s a screen or just a short-to-intermediate route, you’ve got to tackle him and just limit the yards after the catch.”

Brown was 8 for 126 in the Steelers’ opener vs. the Redskins but just 4 for 39 last week against the Bengals. That was just his second game under 40 yards since the 2013 opener.

With starting corner Leodis McKelvin out for a second week Sunday, rookie seventh-round pick Jalen Mills will likely find himself across from Brown a good part of the day Sunday (see story).

“There’s a lot of receivers out there, but he’s in the top for sure,” Mills said. “Big-play guy, very explosive when you get the ball in his hands, one of the top guys in the league for sure.

“As far as lining up against him, I know it’s going to happen. Not something I’m going to key in, because during the game I’m going to see each of their receivers, so my main focus is just playing technique football and not trying to overdo anything or key in on certain guys.”

This is the first time the Eagles have had a Week 3 game in which both they and their opponent were 2-0 since the 2004 Super Bowl season, when they beat the Lions at Ford Field.

Their first loss that year didn’t come until Week 8, when they lost to the Steelers in Roethlisberger’s sixth career start.

Roethlisberger is now in his 13th season and his seventh season with Brown.

“They're always on the same page with everything they're doing,” cornerback Nolan Carroll said. “Ben’s going to hold the ball until he gets open. It's one of those things, you’ve got to cover him until the whistle's blown. It could be a short curl route and he'll convert it to a fade and Ben's just going to wait and wait and just throw it. It doesn't matter if he has four or five guys on him, he'll still launch it.

“It's things like that, those guys are consistently on the same page. You just have to be aware of that and just throw him off a little bit.”

The Eagles and Steelers have met only once since 2010 — a 16-14 Steelers win in Pittsburgh in October 2012.

Brown had seven catches for 86 yards in that game with Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie covering him. 

But Roethlisberger and Brown have become a far more dangerous duo in the four years since.

“They have that relationship where they know the looks that they’re getting, they know the weaknesses of it, and they do a good job of having a lot of different checks and outlets built into the play call so if you stack the box and it’s not a good run, they can always check to a screen,” Jenkins said. “Then you’ve got Antonio Brown in space.

“If you have too many guys on the perimeter, they run it. Everybody’s choked up, they can throw it deep. So there’s a lot of outlets for them to get out of trouble and put themselves in the best situation.

“It’s really going to come down to those 1-on-1 matchups. Can you cover? Not only cover but tackle in space 1-on-1 and make them earn their way down the field play in and play out and not give up a cheap easy one over the top.”

Kickoff at the Linc is 4:25 p.m. Sunday. The Eagles have been 3-0 eight times in the franchise's 83-year history and just twice in the last 20 years — 2004 and 2014.

“The biggest thing is you can’t run away from the challenge," Carroll said. "It’s going to be a hard matchup, but guys have to be able to be in [Brown's] face and make him earn every catch.

"He’s going to have some catches but those tackles have to come with immediate tackles afterwards and limiting yards after the catch and making somebody else beat us.”

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