Raiders

NFL head coaches get their walking papers

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NFL head coaches get their walking papers

From Comcast SportsNetTAMPA, Florida (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired head coach Raheem Morris on Monday after he posted a 17-31 record over three years, including a 10-game losing streak to end the current season. The team announced the change one day after the Bucs lost their final game of the season to the Atlanta Falcons, 45-24. The 10-game winless streak was the longest in a single season since 1977, when the Bucs lost 12 in a row to extend the longest losing streak in National Football League history to 26 consecutive games over two years. At 32 years old, Morris was the league's youngest coach when he was hired in January 2009, replacing Jon Gruden after Tampa Bay lost the final four games of 2008 to miss the playoffs following a 9-3 start. Morris guided the team to a 10-6 mark in 2010, with the Bucs narrowly missing the playoffs. The team also had a strong start to the current season, posting a 4-2 record with wins over playoff-bound Atlanta and New Orleans, before collapsing. "In these things it is not just one thing, but I will point to just the progress of the team and where we're at," Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said at a news conference. "Again, you can't point to one thing or another. You look at totality of the situation when making your decision." While injuries did contribute to the season-ending slide, so did inconsistent play -- starting with quarterback Josh Freeman. He threw for 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions after tossing 25 TD passes and being intercepted just six times in 2010. The Bucs turned the ball over a league-leading 40 times compared to 19 last season. The defense also surrendered a franchise-record and league-high 494 points and the Bucs lost eight games by double-digit margins and allowed 31 points or more seven times during the season-ending skid. Glazer said there's no timetable for naming a successor.

Rams fire coach Spagnuolo, GM Devaney
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Rams fired coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney on Monday, a day after the team wrapped up a 2-14 season that matched the worst record in the National Football League. The Rams made a six-win improvement last season and played for the NFC West title in the finale, but were just 10-38 overall in three seasons with Spagnuolo and Devaney calling the shots. Devaney had joined the front office a year earlier in 2008; the Rams were 12-52 in his four years as GM. He said in a statement Monday that while the record was disappointing, "I wouldn't trade that time for anything." Owner Stan Kroenke fired both men with one year remaining on their contracts, and with fan interest dwindling. The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis was little more than half full in the later part of the season. "No one individual is to blame for this disappointing season and we all must hold ourselves accountable," Kroenke said in a statement. "However, we believe it's in the best interest of the St. Louis Rams to make these changes as we continue our quest to build a team that consistently competes for playoffs and championships." Kevin Demoff, vice president and chief operating officer, said the search for both positions should be concluded in the next few weeks and that it didn't necessarily matter which position was filed first. Names of potential replacements for Spagnuolo began to surface weeks ago as the season unraveled, with former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden mentioned as natural fits. Demoff said a report that Fisher had already been scheduled for the first interview was "100 percent false." But he added that Fisher was a "potentially attractive candidate." The Rams will have the second pick of the NFL draft in April, the fourth time in five seasons the team has had the No. 1 or 2 selection.

Report: Unhappy with contract, Penn not reporting to training camp

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USATSI

Report: Unhappy with contract, Penn not reporting to training camp

Donald Penn is set to earn over $7 million this season in the second of a two-year, $11.9 million deal with Oakland. But the 34-year-old veteran wants more.

Penn, who has started all 16 games in each of the last nine NFL seasons, is not reporting to training camp because he is unhappy with his contract situation, according to Ian Rapoport. 

Penn reportedly wants to be paid like a Top 10 left tackle. He played like one last year. He allowed just 28 quarterback pressures in 676 pass-blocking snaps and gave up just one sack, though it was the takedown where Derek Carr broke his fibula. 

Penn stands 6-foot-5, weighs 305 pounds, and -- at left tackle -- occupies a crucial position of the offensive line that protects prized quarterback Derek Carr.

The Raiders don't have another solid option at left tackle, unless they disrupt the line and move left guard Kelechi Osemele over.

Penn has seen the Raiders invest heavily in offensive linemen since he signed on, with massive contract given to Osemele and Rodney Hudson in recent seasons. The Raiders just gave right guard Gabe Jackson a five-year, $56 million contract extension. 

The Raiders should have $14.825 million in salary cap space remaining this season after the release of Austin Howard and Taiwan Jones. 

 

Source: Giants' top pitching prospect expected to miss rest of season

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USATSI

Source: Giants' top pitching prospect expected to miss rest of season

SAN FRANCISCO -- With a postseason spot long gone, the Giants hoped to take a look at some of their top prospects in September. Another injury will likely keep that from being a reality for the organization's top minor league pitcher. 

Right-hander Tyler Beede is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a groin strain while warming up for his last start, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned. Beede, a first-round pick in 2014, will be sidelined at least four weeks, but he is headed to the club's facility in Scottsdale to rehab and keep open the possibility of being ready at some point in September.

The more likely scenario is that Beede pitches in the Arizona Fall League after the season in order to get more innings under his belt. After throwing 147 1/3 innings in Double-A last year, he was at 109 innings in Triple-A at the time of his injury. Beede is viewed as a 2018 rotation option, so the Giants will need him to get more work in before this year is over. 

The timing is brutal, and not just because Beede was potentially a month away from a September call-up. When he got hurt, Beede was coming off one of his best starts of his season with the River Cats. He allowed just one unearned run in seven innings on July 19, striking out five and walking one. Teammates raved about the stuff Beede showed that day, but he wasn't able to build off the start. He got hurt while warming up in the bullpen for his following start. 

The 24-year-old battled inconsistency at times in Sacramento, but of his final five starts with the River Cats, three were of at least seven innings with two-or-fewer earned runs. He certainly looked headed for a September call, and at times this year, he has been mentioned by team officials as a potential starter down the stretch. Overall, Beede had a 4.79 ERA in 19 starts. His final month was his best; he posted a 3.57 ERA in July. 

It's been an odd season for the Giants in terms of developing prospects. Christian Arroyo likely would have been called up after the Eduardo Nuñez trade, but he is also in Arizona, rehabbing after hand surgery. Austin Slater seemed to win the left field job, but a groin injury has him out for a couple of months and the Giants now want him to play winter ball to get extra at-bats. Arroyo and Slater have not officially been ruled out for the rest of the season, but it'll be hard for the Giants to get either player ready by the end of September.