Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Study: Youth football may ramp up later cognitive risks

Study cites youth football for issues

The authors concluded that incurring repeated head impacts in football between the ages of 10 and 12, a critical and sensitive window for brain development, may increase the risk of later-life cognitive impairment. During those early years, the brain is rapidly building connections between neurons.

Don't worry, Heads Up Football will keep our children safe.

Improving placekickers are the NFL’s one true constant

Kickers Are Forever

And the improvement in kicking dramatically changes the calculus of whether to go for it on fourth down in the dead zone.

No matter how good these kickers get, there's no excuse for kicking a John Fox Special (18-to-20 yarder) unless it's for the win. For the record, the Broncos kicked 10 of those in four seasons under Fox (only one with Tebow, in the playoff win over Pittsburgh); the Texans also kicked 10 of them under Gary Kubiak, but that was over eight seasons.

Harvard and Columbia physicists agree that Bill Belichick’s explanation is bogus

N.F.L. Investigator Seeks to Consult Columbia Physicist Over Patriots’ Deflated Footballs

Robert Kirshner, a cosmologist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., said that after the news conference on Saturday, Belichick would not receive invitations to give physics seminars anytime soon.

“I think Belichick is better at keeping pressure on the passer than passing a physics test,” Kirshner said.

Look, if the guys up at Hahvahd are unwilling to take up Belichick's theory, what's there to argue? 

Of course it’s possible to deflate 11 or 12 balls within 90 seconds

How easy is DeflateGate? News reporter shows that 12 footballs can be softened in just 40 seconds

So I loaded the dozen fully inflated pigskins into a big IKEA bag and did what I do best: Take my balls into the bathroom to simulate what the Pats assistant possibly did.

My personal DeflateGate took just 40 seconds. Add in a few bobbles and the time it took to get in and out of the bathroom stall, and the entire affair took me just 77 seconds — well under the 90-second deadline.

Not sure why the Deadspin folks can't fathom this, but how hard is it to stick a needle into a football? Are we supposed to assume that this was the guy's first time pulling off this trick, and he was fiddling around with a pressure gauge? Please.

Michael Bennett: Von Miller deserves $100M deal

Briefs: Patriots QB Tom Brady has high praise for friend Peyton Manning

“How much better can Von be? How many players have had as many sacks (49) as him through four seasons? He had 14 this year. He can rush. He can defend the run,” Bennett said. “J.J. Watt is a great player. But if Watt got a $100 million deal, I don’t see why Von won’t get the same.”

I don't know about $100M, but a glance at the top contracts for current linebackers suggests Von won't sign for any less than $20M in guarantees and probably $12M in average annual value. It's worth mentioning that Clay Matthews signed his position-leading deal a year before he was due to reach free agency, which is where Von is at currently.

Kiszla thinks John Fox cost Broncos a SB by employing a 4-3 front

Kiszla: Broncos need to return to 3-4 defense to return to Super Bowl

Since 2012, it has been painfully obvious to even a knucklehead like me that the Broncos are built to play a base 3-4 defense, rather than the four-lineman look favored by a coaching regime that wasted three precious years of Manning’s career with a defense that was plain, vanilla boring while valuing stability over intimidation.

Painfully obvious. Well, get ready for at least seven months' worth of articles about how the Broncos are going to put their defensive players in their more comfortable/natural positions. Can't wait!

Kurt Warner: Hard to know if Pats have ever played fair and square

DeflateGate adds to Kurt Warner’s suspicions that Patriots cheated against Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI

“I don’t want to believe that there was anything outside of his team beat our team,” Warner said at Media Day on Tuesday. “That’s what I want to believe. Yeah, there’s a sliver of a doubt…Was there any advantage they gained in any game? Not just our Super Bowl game, but maybe a game before that to get to the Super Bowl. All those things enter your mind. It’s not because I’m bitter. It’s not because I say they cheated, because I have no idea.”

One of these days, we're going to find out the Pats have opponents' radio communications tapped, aren't we?

More good quotes from everyone’s least favorite ex-Broncos coach

Josh McDaniels says he learned from 'a lot of mistakes' with Broncos

“I think I know now, each team is different, each player is different, I don’t believe everybody has got to be the same,” McDaniels said. “I think I’m a better listener than I was then. I was young, made a lot of mistakes, learned from them—hopefully—try to be a better person, a better coach. I learned every day from it,” he added. “The players on the team are the reason why we win, you don’t have to treat them all identically, they’re not going to be all the same, your ability to lead and motivate those guys differently is important.”

Mike Shanahan interviewed again with the Raiders 25 years later. Just sayin'.

Von Miller: We’re pretty much already running a 3-4 front

Broncos likely moving to 3-4 defense under Wade Phillips or Vance Johnson

“We’ve already been running something like a 3-4,” Miller said. “You look at our base defense last year, all DeMarcus had to do was stand up and it was a 3-4.”

One more requirement is a quality nose tackle. This is where Terrance Knighton, a free agent in mid-March, could move a tick or two higher on the Broncos’ list of offseason priorities.

Klis adds that Mike Smith is considering some time away from the game after having been fired by the Falcons. Also, the DP's headline writers are up to their usual standards, apparently.

Josh McDaniels has learned a few things over the past four years

Josh McDaniels eager for another head-coaching gig

“I think one of the things I really learned in Denver was the value of being a good listener,” McDaniels said. “Sometimes when you do something like that for the first time, you run through everything and try and be in charge of too many things. And sometimes, that’s a significant negative. I’ve tried really hard in St. Louis and here in New England to really gather some ideas.”

Too bad he didn't pick up these lessons pre-2009. Oh well...