Latest around the NFL: Hard Knocks, Roger Goodell, Deshaun Watson, Tua Tagovailoa and more


Hard Knocks ’22. The Lions will get the NFL Films treatment at training camp this summer. It’ll be the first time for Detroit on Hard Knocks, and I’ve got to think that while some teams have to be arm-wrestled into being the Hard Knocks team, the Lions under colorful second-year coach Dan Campbell will use it to their advantage–both in terms of fan engagement and bringing attention to a franchise that has been dormant. Campbell and his feisty, loud personality will be a natural for the HBO show. Hearing that Frank Reich’s experience on the in-season Hard Knocks was a good sales tool–Reich actually liked most of the late-season experience, even one that ended in week-18 disaster–and also hearing that Lions president Rod Wood was a big proponent of it. Why wouldn’t the Lions want it? They need the exposure. Interesting factoid: This will be the 17th edition of Hard Knocks, the hour-long weekly inside look at a team in training camp, and the first time an NFC North team has been featured.

Amazon football. Mystery is fun. And that’s what an Al Michaels-Kirk Herbstreit pairing is. The two men have no history, and as for how they’ll coalesce in the Thursday night booth this fall, I will guess pretty good. Michaels, 77, is a competitor; he’ll be intent on showing week after week he hasn’t lost his fastball. Regarding his partner, Michaels can make anyone sound good and smart. Herbstreit, the best college football analyst on TV, knows every eye and ear will be focused on him for the Sept. 15 opening game, and for a season of Thursdays after that. With the estimable Fred Gaudelli producing the games, it’s sure to be a seamless telecast on Amazon Prime, even if you might have trouble finding it. I won’t be surprised to see Amazon find a place for the growing importance of analytics on the Thursday telecasts. With the rise of analytics in 32 football buildings, it makes sense, when Brandon Staley goes for it on fourth-and-one from his own 18-yard line, to ask a top analytics person: “Was that smart?”

Roger Goodell. In his opening remarks to 700 club owners, coaches and top employees in Palm Beach on Sunday evening, Goodell celebrated the high the NFL is on—great competition in 2021 (each of the last seven playoff games decided by six points or less), playing well through the pandemic, with strong points about gains in diversity, equity and inclusion. If you were looking for him to say something strong about teams falling all over themselves to trade for a player with 22 civil cases involving sex charges, you’ll be disappointed. It went unmentioned. Lost opportunity there.

Bobby Wagner. Rams have legitimate interest, but not at Wagner’s price—he’s thought to be asking for about $11 million on a one-year deal. The 32-year-old linebacker is still playing very well, and he’d be a luxury item for the Super Bowl champs. If he wants to stay in the same division as the team that dropped him, Seattle, Wagner will have to recalibrate his asking price down. He may just find another team—Baltimore? Dallas?—with more money available.

Detroit Lions v Seattle Seahawks
Free-agent linebacker Bobby Wagner. (Getty Images)

Deshaun Watson. Not sure Watson changed any minds at his introductory press conference Friday. “I never did anything those people are alleging,” Watson said, one of three or four different ways of denying every sexual offense that he’s been accused. That’s a boldface clip-and-save in this story, particularly when a Houston police officer went on record after authorities investigated the cases and said the accusers were “credible and reliable.” Someone’s not telling the truth here. As for Watson’s fate, the NFL may do one of three things this year: put him on the commissioner’s exempt list (he’d be paid for a second straight season while sitting till the 22 sex-crime civil cases are decided); let him play while deferring discipline till the cases are done; or suspend him for some time this year regardless of the outcome of the cases. It’s a mystery as of this morning.

Jimmy and Dee Haslam. Not the most popular people at the league meetings on Sunday. I heard lots of grumbling from those who think a) trading six picks for a player who may be found guilty of heinous offenses or b) signing Watson to the richest guaranteed contract in league history and giving him an $80-million raise “stinks to high heaven,” as one team exec said. The Haslams had to know it was coming, and now that they’ve traded for and signed Watson, it’s not going away.

Tua Tagovailoa. Talk about pressure. No player in the 2022 season comes close to the weight on his shoulders that Tagovailoa has. After Miami‘s mega-trade for Tyreek Hill, Tagovailoa now has Hill and Jaylen Waddle as top-10-in-the-league receiving threats, along with ace tight end Mike Gesicki and a rebuilt backfield (Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert). Let’s get down to business with Tua and the deep ball. Last year, just 5.3 percent of his completions (14 of 263) were on balls thrown 20 yards or more past the line of scrimmage. Patrick Mahomes had 36 such completions. Tagovailoa was 30th in the league in 20-yard-plus attempts with 29. His two deep threats are 4.29- and 4.37-second 40 guys. And there will a microscope on the third-year quarterback to see if he can take advantage of their ability to break games open. Considering that Waddle cost Miami two first-round picks, and Hill cost five picks (including a first and second), Tagovailoa’s going to feel the hot breath of backup Teddy Bridgewater by Columbus Day if Waddle and Hill get off to mediocre starts. 

Concussions. Since we clobber the NFL for all things head trauma, praise should be meted out when there is progress. I’m going to compare relative apples to apples here, using documented concussion figures from 2015 to 2019 and then 2021. (2020 is an outlier year because there were no preseason games due to the pandemic.) In preseason and regular-season practices and games in each year from 2015 to 2019, players suffered, in order, 275, 243, 281, 214 and 224 concussions; in 2021, the number was reduced to 187. My take on the biggest reason: Six years ago, about one-half of NFL players were using helmets strongly recommended by the league and players association. In 2021, that number rose to 99 percent of players using the highest-performing helmets.  

Instant replay. Interesting data on replay from 2021: The average replay review took 2 minutes, 27 seconds—down 61 seconds from 2020. The league credits added authority given to replay officials and the New York command center—either can communicate with the on-field referee to point out a mistake—and the use in every stadium of “Hawkeye” video technology. The Hawkeye system allows desired replays to be seen much quicker instead being at the mercy of which replays are shown by the TV crews at games. That’s a big reason why there’s no rule change on the agenda at the meetings for anything involving replay.

A weird ABC/ESPN TV thing. Don’t know how I missed this. (I think we all missed it.) Part of the NFL’s new TV contract with the networks is that on one Monday night this year, ABC will telecast one game and ESPN will telecast a different one. It’s likely the starts will be staggered—perhaps by 15 or 20 minutes so there won’t be simultaneous halftimes, perhaps by a longer period of time to allow for each telecast to get maximum eyes on each one. Next year, ESPN and ABC will have three such Mondays. As to why, I really don’t know … but what seems the most sensible is to stagger the starts by, say, 75 minutes, so that the second game starts as the first is on the verge of halftime. No idea of the broadcast team on the second game, with of course Buck/Aikman on one of them. Might be a hoot to have the other game feature a Manningcast, with Peyton and Eli as the lone voices.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. The new GM of the Vikings is an impressive guy. At his first league meetings as a GM, he took time Sunday to explain his philosophy about team-building in a time when the value of veterans stars and draft picks are changing drastically. I mentioned to him that I thought team construction was a continuum, with a GM having to constantly recalibrate how to build. “ ‘Continuum’ is a good word for it,” he said. “I think you’ve got to make sure you always know where your team is at all times. Sometimes you can deceive yourself.” I also liked two of the main things he was looking for when he interviewed head coaches: suppression of ego (“All that matters is what’s best for the team,” he said) and accountability for mistakes. You’re going to make some. In fact, you’ll make a lot. Admit them and move on, but don’t hide the mistake and then move on. Adofo-Mensah said he thinks the coach he chose, Kevin O’Connell, “has rare intellect and temperament.” Enjoyed my time with this Princeton grad you’ll be hearing a lot about.

An NFL record. If you watched much football last year, this won’t surprise you: Teams went for it on fourth down last year more than any other season. They converted 411 of 774 fourth-down tries, for an efficiency of .531. Talk about an explosion of risk-taking: In 2017, there were 1.89 fourth-down attempts per game. By 2021, that rose to 2.92 per game. I find this odd: The two teams with the fewest fourth-down tries last year both fielded mobile superstar quarterbacks. Seattle, with Russell Wilson, was four of 11 on fourth down. Kansas City, with Patrick Mahomes, was only 10 of 15. Andy Reid’s not a big fourth-down guy. In Mahomes’ four years as starter, KC’s gone for it an average of 14 times a year. That seems totally counterintuitive, doesn’t it?

Super Bowl food 2023: Appetizer, entrée, and dessert ideas for Super Bowl LVII inspired by the Eagles and Chiefs


As the countdown continues toward Super Bowl LVII, the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are getting their game plans set. But while they go over their plays, the rest of America goes over their menus in preparation for the big day. When it comes to the Super Bowl, everything is always the best — the best teams, the best performers and, of course, the best food.

But how can you impress your party in the kitchen while showing support for your favorite team? Let’s take a look at some iconic food from each of the Super Bowl team cities to prepare for Super Bowl LVII.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl LVII: Date, location, how to watch

Philadelphia Super Bowl food


Why have plain old fries when you could have crabfries? That’s exactly what Pete Ciarrocchi, the CEO of the legendary Philadelphia restaurant Chickie and Pete’s, said one day when creating this intriguing concoction.

While the name may be misleading, crabfries do not contain any actual crab, but rather a blend of spices and Old Bay seasoning that allow the dish to take on a subtle seafood flavor. Topped with a creamy, cheesy dipping sauce, the crinkle-cut fries are sure to take your taste buds to the next level.

Cheesesteak sloppy joes

It simply isn’t Philly without a cheesesteak. Keep it casual in your kitchen on Super Bowl Sunday with Katie Lee Biegel’s Philly Cheesesteak sloppy joes, an easy way to rep the Birds.

Can’t get enough of the cheesesteak? Bring some more Philly specials to the table with this cheesesteak dip, the perfect way to amp up your appetizer game and leave party guests feeling like they just took a trip to the City of Brotherly Love.

RELATED: Rob Gronkowski predicts Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII

Water ice

Is the action of the game heating up? Cool down with a classic Philly treat, water ice. First originating in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 1984, the icy dessert is now sold in over 600 stores nationwide. The original Rita’s Water Ice shop, however, still remains open for business.

You can even show a little extra passion for the Birds by whipping up this green apple variation, sure to leave you refreshed and ready for the Lombardi.

Kansas City Super Bowl food

Cheese slippers

If you’re looking for a classy, yet authentic appetizer to bring to the table, there’s no better fit than the cheese slipper. This ciabatta loaf baked with melty cheeses and topped with seasonal vegetables and herbs has Kansas City natives hooked.

While the bread is typically baked to perfection by local shops, test your own skill level with this gourmet slipper bread recipe that you can complete with the mouth-watering toppings of your choice.

RELATED: How many Super Bowls have the Chiefs been to, won?

BBQ burnt ends

It’s rare to hear the words Kansas City without barbeque following short after. If you’re looking to impress your guests with your Super Bowl food spread, get out to the grill and start showing off.

While many cities in America know how to cook up some excellent BBQ, the combination of the sweet flavors and mouth-watering sauce has made Kansas City a hub for barbeque lovers for decades.

BBQ burnt ends, while a bit time-consuming, are  well worth a little elbow grease. The dish is also one of the few in Kansas City with a distinct origin story. The meal first found its creation at Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque, a legendary African American restaurant in KC. Bryant originally made the burnt ends from the trimmings of pork belly, but since then, BBQ lovers have made incredible bites out of many styles of meat.

And if you’re feeling extra ambitious, try fixing up some classic Kansas City sides to pair with your entrée to perfection.

RELATED: What to know about Rihanna, the Super Bowl LVII halftime performer

Chiefs chocolate chip cookies

While there is no specific dessert that defines the Heart of America, you can still show your Kansas City pride with these ever-colorful Chiefs chocolate chip cookies.

Make sure to have your food dye handy, because the red and yellow hue of these cookies are sure to show everyone whose side you are on.

Or, if you’re feeling artistic, design an eye-catching Chiefs jersey out of the fan-favorite rice krispie treats. Whether you make Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce or Chris Jones, you’ll have the tastiest Super Bowl jerseys around.

How to watch the Super Bowl 2023 – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs:

Check out ProFootballTalk for more on the 2023 NFL Playoffs as well as game previews, picks, recaps, news, rumors and more. 

How to watch Super Bowl 2023: TV channel, live stream info, start time, halftime show, and more


Super Bowl 2023 takes place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 PM ET at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals–in Glendale, Arizona as Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles will look to win their second Lombardi Trophy in franchise history and Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs make their third Super Bowl appearance in the last four seasons.

Not only will the match up feature two top seeds for the first time since 2017, but Super Bowl 2023 will be especially monumental because this is the first time that two Black quarterbacks will face each other in the league’s biggest game of the year.

RELATED: What to know about the 2023 Pro Bowl –  Dates, how to watch/live stream info, AFC, NFC coaches, competition schedule

Super Bowl 2023 will be nothing short of exciting, see below for additional information on how to watch/live stream the game as well as answers to all your frequently asked questions.

How to Watch Super Bowl 2023 – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs

  • Date: Sunday, February 12
  • Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Network: Fox

Who is playing in Super Bowl 2023?

The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Who is the home team in Super Bowl 2023 and how is it determined?

The Philadelphia Eagles are the home team in Super Bowl 2023. The designated home team alternates each year between the NFC and AFC champions. If it is as odd-numbered Super Bowl, the NFC team is the designated home team. If it as even-numbered Super Bowl, the AFC team is the designated home team.

Which teams have been eliminated from the 2023 NFL Playoffs?

The Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals have all been eliminated from the 2023 NFL playoffs.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs scores: Final bracket, recaps, results for every AFC and NFC postseason game

Who is performing the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023?

It was announced in September, that international popstar, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Rihanna will headline the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023.

RELATED: Super Bowl 2023 – What to know about national anthem, pregame performers ahead of Super Bowl LVII

Why does the NFL use Roman numerals?

AFL and Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt proposed using Roman numerals for each Super Bowl to add pomp and gravitas to the game. Roman numerals were, unsurprisingly, used in ancient Rome as a number system. I stands for 1, V for 5, X for 10, L for 50 and C for 100. That’s right: In 2066, get ready for Super Bowl C.

Super Bowl V was the first to use Roman numerals. They were retroactively added to the Super Bowl II to IV logos and have been used each year since⁠ until 2016. For Super Bowl L, or 50, the NFL tried out 73 different logos before breaking down and using a plain old “50.”

The Roman numerals for this year’s big game, Super Bowl 57, are LVII.

RELATED: Super Bowl halftime shows – Ranking the 10 best Super Bowl halftime show performances in NFL history

How many Super Bowls have the Eagles won in franchise history?

The Eagles have won just one Super Bowl title in franchise history, however, Super Bowl LVII will be their fourth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

RELATED: Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl History

How many Super Bowls have the Chiefs won in franchise history?

The Chiefs have won two Super Bowls in franchise history (1969 and 2019). Super Bowl LVII will be the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl appearance.

RELATED: Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl History

Who was the first Black quarterback to play in a Super Bowl?

Doug Williams was the first Black quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl. Williams, a product of Grambling State–a historically Black university–achieved the milestone on January 31, 1988 in Super Bowl XXII as the QB for Washington.

RELATED: FMIA Conference Championships – Eagles rout Niners, Chiefs outlast Bengals to set Super Bowl LVII stage

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