When the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced Saturday, there was one noticeable absence.

Terrell Owens was not among the new Hall of Famers standing on the stage at the University of Minnesota’s Northrop Memorial Auditorium.

The former NFL wide receiver was in Minneapolis this week, but left before Saturday’s announcement because he had committed to play in a basketball game in Los Angeles.

Dawkins was a teammate of Owens on the 2004 Eagles team that reached the Super Bowl. Owens had been critical of the Hall of Fame voting process, but Dawkins hopes Owens can let go of the grudge.

“I’m happy for him, I really am,” Dawkins told reporters Saturday, via Yahoo. “I hope he can take this and just enjoy it, and I guess call off the dogs a little bit.”

McDaniels was elevated to be Belichick’s quarterbacks coach in 2004, getting the chance to work directly with Brady while only a year older than him. By 2006, he was the team’s offensive coordinator for the first time before getting his first head-coaching shot with the Broncos.

That was also the time Belichick hired Patricia, fresh off being a graduate assistant at Syracuse, to be an offensive assistant. Two years later, Patricia flipped to defense to coach the Patriots’ linebackers, and eight years later, he was promoted to defensive coordinator, right when McDaniels returned as offensive coordinator.

The prestigious award honors NFL players who have shown not just excellence on the field, but have been leaders in volunteer and charity work.

Watt, who has missed most of the past two seasons to injuries, is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the Texans. He has long been active in charitable causes and stepped up big in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Houston. He began a fund-raising campaign with a goal of $200,000, which he matched the first $100,000. The campaign quickly went viral and Watt was overwhelmed by the donations that kept flooding in.

In addition to the hurricane-relief efforts, his Justin J. Watt Foundation, founded in 2010, has provided more than $3.4 million in funding for youth sports.

“We have long been proud and appreciative of J.J.’s passion and authentic care for others as he has consistently given back to the community, created memories for all ages and positively impacted lives around the world,” Texans founder Bob McNair said last month. “J.J. is one of the most selfless, giving and inspiring young men in the NFL and we are proud he is a Houston Texan.”bills_029

Parnell said players put their protest of President Donald J. Trump and his comments about the NFL above the American tradition of honoring the flag.

Parnell was particularity struck by the image of Alejandro Villanueva, the sole member of the team to come out of the safety of the tunnel before Sunday’s game and hold his hand over his heart while the national anthem played. All of his teammates, all of his coaches, stood yards away from him within the shadow of the tunnel.

Here is a look at The Post’s team-by-team draft analysis:

Cardinals: They addressed a need and got an immediate contributor at 13 overall in Temple LB Haason Reddick, a versatile player who can play inside and rusher the passer. They traded up nine spots in the second round to draft Washington safety Budda Baker, who has been compared to Arizona’s Tyrann Mathieu and Seattle’s Earl Thomas — good company.

The Indianapolis Colts plan to open the season with Scott Tolzien as their starter, with Andrew Luck still working his way back from shoulder surgery. The Carolina Panthers, likewise, have Cam Newton coming back from shoulder surgery, with Derek Anderson as the alternative. The Baltimore Ravens have Ryan Mallett behind Joe Flacco, who is coming back from a back injury. At least Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was sufficiently transparent to acknowledge that there were non-football considerations to the Ravens’ decision on Kaepernick.

Tolzien threw pick-sixes and finished 9-of-18 for 128 yards and was sacked four times. Brissett was 2-of-3 for 51 yards, leading the Colts to their only TD of the game.

6. Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver, Giants (4): Beckham already was one of the best receivers, but his infamous throwdown with Josh Norman and his various off-the-field antics — did he date Khloe Khardashian or not? — only added to the interest. Any time he’s on the field now seems like must-see TV.

7. Russell Wilson, quarterback, Seahawks (6): Whether or not you think he’s a giant phony, you keep paying attention because you never know what strange situation Wilson will be at the center of next. He made news with his offseason marriage to Ciara, and the Seahawks now officially are his team with the retirement of Marshawn Lynch.
“The game,” he said, “is like pro wrestling. I guess that’s why I don’t watch it. All show, little substance.”

Lately, many reasons have been given for the sudden, severe drop in NFL TV ratings. All of them, to some degree, make sense.bills_003

Network analysis ranks teams by looking at the shortest paths of results between them.

Cool enough, but we live in meta times. When you further ask which team is most important to how the network is configured, the answer has even more fascinating implications: Teams that are most central to their networks tend to be involved in upsets.

If Purdue beats Chicago State head-to-head by 69 points, we can reliably say the Boilermakers are better than the Cougars. If Nevada beats Rhode Island, which beats St. Bonaventure, which beats Maryland, which beats Penn State, we can guesstimate the Wolf Pack are better than the Nittany Lions, but with much less certainty because there are many other connections to consider among those teams and their other opponents.

If a team always loses to superior foes and beats inferior squads — if it’s predictable — it won’t create many new “shortest paths.” It will simply reinforce existing connections.

“Rosa Parks’s legacy continues to inspire our citizens to pursue a better tomorrow and to build a country where every American child — no matter their skin color — can live without fear, dream without limits and take their rightful place in the great story of our nation.”

His appearance was brief, though. After the Texans went three-and-out (a 1-yard loss by Lamar Miller and two incompletions), he headed to the locker room and was declared out shortly after halftime.

He is now the sixth Texans player dealing with concussions and on Monday morning the Texans announced that Yates would start Sunday against the Jaguars. Tight ends Ryan Griffin and C.J. Fiedorowicz will miss the rest of the season because of concussions; running back Alfred Blue, wide receiver Braxton Miller and linebacker Jelani Jenkins missed the San Francisco game.

The Philadelphia Eagles have an eight-game winning streak of their own and on Sunday became the first team ever to outscore the Cowboys by at least 30 points in the second half of a game at Dallas, in the regular season or the playoffs. They are now the most efficient team in the NFL per Football Outsiders Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, which measures a team’s efficiency by comparing success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent, and the No. 1 ranked team per the game charters at Pro Football Focus.jaguars_006

Some fans definitely did not love Kaepernick’s anthem protests, as Giants owner John Mara could attest.

When asked if he would like to see Kaepernick get signed, Goodell said, “I don’t get involved in personnel decisions with the clubs. Those are decisions that the 32 clubs are going to have to make individually. They’re going to give whatever player they think can help them win that opportunity.

“And I think that’s what’s great about the NFL is that we’re a meritocracy, and you earn your opportunities and you get to keep your opportunities on the way you perform, ultimately,” the commissioner added. “That’s what the NFL is about. I think that’s why fans love the game. People go out and they earn those opportunities, and it’s a competitive league, which is great for us.”

“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara, who joined the Giants in 1991, said last month. “‘If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game.’ It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, more so than any other issue I’ve run into.”

“The celebrations so far have been playful and imaginative,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email. “As important, the players have been respectful to stay within the boundaries of sportsmanship and not draw the ire of their coaches with prolonged celebrations that result in delay-of-game penalties. Yes, in line with our expectations during the offseason when we worked with the players and clubs to liberalize the rule.”

What teams must keep in mind is that McVay grew up in an NFL family, as the grandson of former San Francisco 49ers executive John McVay, and was a football old soul. He also was set up to succeed in L.A., in part because of his own smart move in bringing in a highly accomplished veteran defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips. He had talent on the roster, and the Rams made a few good offseason moves. Hiring a young coach with great promise is only the beginning.

But it’s good to be Sean McVay and the Rams these days. And it wouldn’t be shocking for another NFL team to try to follow that blueprint for success.

Stop. No, really. Just stop. I don’t want to hear about “Spygate” or “Deflategate” taking away from the Patriots’ genius. Save those hater tears for someone else. Calm your nerves and remember why you love sports in the first place. The beauty of being a sports fan is seeing something special and dominant that’s unprecedented. That’s what this is. And lest we forget, the roots of this dynasty weren’t exactly gold-plated.cowboys_098

So much for offensive coaches landing all of the NFL’s head coaching jobs.

The league-wide trend toward hiring offensive coordinators as head coaches was interrupted Wednesday when two defensive coordinators landed jobs. The Denver Broncos hired Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as their coach. The Buffalo Bills struck a deal with Carolina Panthers defensive boss Sean McDermott as their successor to Rex Ryan.

The NFL’s sudden fixation with defensive coaches might not last long. Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay was having a second interview Wednesday with the Los Angeles Rams for their head coaching vacancy.

Nnadi has been a thorn in the side of offensive lines for some time. His hustle and strength make him a likely NFL starter. His height (listed at 6-foot-1) and length measurables are question marks, though. Can he make scouts forget those numbers and leap into the mid-first round, like Sheldon Rankins did in Mobile a couple of years ago? Nnadi is also jostling for position with Stanford’s Harrison Phillips, who’ll be competing at the Senior Bowl, as well as underclassmen. He needs a big week of winning one-on-one battles and holding the line of scrimmage.

James finished with 18 points and remains seven shy of becoming the seventh player in NBA history to reach the 30,000-point plateau. His next chance is Tuesday when the Cavs visit San Antonio.

James entered the fourth quarter within reach of 30,000. But after he missed two shots, James was replaced with 6:37 remaining and the Cavs trailing 128-101. The 33-year-old hoped to make history in front of his home fans and family, but it wasn’t to be.

“Deshaun was getting ready to have what looked like it was going to be ridiculous rookie year,” said Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay, the chairman of the NFL’s rulemaking competition committee. “Wentz was playing as good as any player playing in our game today. And Aaron Rodgers is now coming back. We’ll see. High-profile injuries always are upsetting because they do drive a lot of the popularity and focus of the game. But as far as is it different than years past? I don’t know yet.”

The Packers at least can look forward to Rodgers’s return Sunday. They probably would have been one of the league’s top teams if Rodgers had been available all season. Instead, they are 7-6 and clinging to long-shot hopes to reach the NFC playoffs.cowboys_056

New England loves to spread the workload around with its running backs and Rex Burkhead (34) could be the one to take advantage in Week 10.

Rex Burkhead, RB, Patriots: Owning a New England running back in fantasy football is often maddening as Coach Bill Belichick likes to spread out the workload, one that can change on a weekly basis. And each Patriots tailback has shined at various points this season. Burkhead, signed during the offseason, was injured for several weeks before returning in late October.

To be honest, I think as a team we kind of don’t understand why we got written off because we’re playing with a backup, Wisniewski told co-host Ed McCaffrey and me earlier this week on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Nick Foles is a really good quarterback. He’s made a Pro Bowl in the past. He’s got a great arm. He’s athletic, he’s smart, and you can see that as his reps grow with the first-team offense he keeps getting more and more confident.

Everyone likes to make it about one player — the quarterback. But it’s a team sport. Wentz was having a great year. Obviously that’s a big loss. But we’re 13-3 and the No. 1 seed not just because of Wentz but because we’ve got a heck of a defense, our running game has been great, we’ve got a lot of talent on offense and good special teams.

Elliott and the Union were subjected to an arbitration process in which, among other things, there was a League-orchestrated conspiracy by senior NFL executives, including NFL Senior Vice President and Special Counsel for Investigations Lisa Friel, to hide critical information, which would completely exonerate Elliott, the filing stated.

I’ve always believed NFL conference title games are the most pressure-filled of all playoff games. For any team other than the Patriots, for whom it’s invariably Super Bowl victory or bust, a loss in this round is the ultimate downer.

I’ve been to the conference championship six times, and my teams won twice (1976 Vikings, 1999 Titans) and lost four times (Vikings in 1977, 1987 and 1998 and Titans in 2002). We lost the two Super Bowls in which my teams played, but it was absolutely more painful to lose in the NFC/AFC championship games.
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The BBWAA has taken away LeBatard’s vote for life.That can be a swing their way eventually.

Indianapolis was sort of old and dusty and definitely minor-league, with a rickety ballpark and a downtown with nothing happening, at least compared to Cincinnati. Maybe not quite how native Hoosier David Letterman described Indy of the 1960s on Saturday (like a minimum-security prison with a racetrack), but still far behind mid-sized cities like Cincinnati. More Letterman: People would say, ‘Dave, we’re planning a trip to Indianapolis, what should we do?’ This was years and years ago. I said, ‘This is what I’d do if I was going to Indianapolis. I’d rent a car and go to Chicago.’

Under the new rules, players placed on injured reserve can return to practice after six weeks but cannot play for additional two weeks.On the other hand, two-time NBA champion would also be impact player the Warriors’ bench backcourt consisting of Livingston, and Patrick McCaw.He’s the sixth from Cincinnati Moeller since we’ve been here.Her , , who was 10 years old when she was sentenced to prison, today is a Klamath County sheriff’s deputy.

Jim Harbaugh (Michigan): One mediocre season away from being called a flop in Ann Arbor. Should he get out of town ahead of the posse for safer climes of TV?

Phil Simms (CBS Sports): Good soldier went from the No. 1 CBS announce team to the NFL Today studio without complaint. But there’s nothing like a lead analyst gig. If ESPN came knocking, would Simms say no?

“It was something different, before and after the hurricane,” says Altuve. “The Houston fans have been great all the time. Before the hurricane they were supporting us while we were playing, but after you felt like they were there for each other and for us at the same time. I don’t know how to explain it, but it was a great feeling.”

No sport can close the wound of such devastation. But no sport can provide a better salve than baseball. Its restorative properties are bound in its ubiquity: Baseball is there every day (or darn near close), which gives it a reliability and normalcy that become especially valuable in disruptive times. It also provides a conveyor belt of hope. Don’t like today? Tomorrow, bearing another game, can be better, or maybe the one after that. One day at a time.patriots_105_4c3213c4bb1c3d7a-180x180

Stefon Diggs rescued the Vikings’ playoff hopes out of nowhere with a last-second touchdown

The Vikings had one last chance to shock the Saints on Sunday night. Stefon Diggs made it count.

Diggs hauled down a deep out from Case Keenum, made one defender miss, and then sprinted into the end zone as time expired to end one of the most memorable playoff games in NFL history.

The Virginia transfer posted perhaps this season’s most impressive triple-double when he scored 33 points to go with 10 assists and 10 rebounds in the Hilltoppers’ win over Marshall on Saturday. After the game, Thompson said that when he read Orlando Mendez-Valdez had recorded the school’s first triple-double in 2009, “I was like, ‘I’m going to be the second one. Watch.”

We got a little song playing over the highlights, a country song … I don’t know what it is, but the words are something like, I don’t give a damn about nothing … Save a horse, ride a cowboy. I don’t know. It’s one of those songs I always think of. I played running back and rushed the quarterback. I rushed for like 1,250 yards and 24 touchdowns, and I had something like 16 and a half sacks that last year. Man, I loved it. That tape reminds me how much fun it was.”

Orakpo’s play-making ability off the edge has made a significant difference the Titans’ defense compared to last year.I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.You’d also have to go back to 2014 to find the last time Cromartie either made a Pro Bowl, or intercepted a pass.That was Nov.

The possibility of Moore making the move was the subject of Cowboys media speculation this past week following the departure of quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, a move first forecast last Monday by Sporting News. Wilson’s contract is expiring and will not be renewed.

Moore is only 28 in comparison to Garrett, who was 39 when hired as Miami’s quarterbacks coach in 2005 by then-Dolphins head coach Nick Saban. Moore, though, has spent five of his six NFL seasons under the tutelage of Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, dating back to when both began working together with the Detroit Lions in 2012.patriots_088_f0e4bcfcd0a8d385-180x180

Titans coach Mike Mularkey to return in 2018, negotiating extension

Not only will Mike Mularkey return in 2018 as the Titans coach, he’s in negotiations for a contract extension.

The Tennesseean first reported the extension Sunday and that Mularkey has spoken with team owner Amy Adams Strunk, who gave Mularkey a vote of confidence last week.

Fox added sideline reporter Chris Myers to its crew, along with Erin Andrews, for the playoffs. Myers delivered, corralling Diggs and Keenum for emotional on-field interviews about scoring the winning touchdown with no time on the clock.

This game was over. But I don’t stop playing ’til the clock hits zero, Diggs told Myers.

For two months the Astros expanded upon the civic role they played at the Brown Convention Center, this time with their bats and gloves. They couldn’t replace a flooded home, but they could bring cheer at a time when that emotion was all too scarce. Hope grew with each win, even if many people had to watch the games with their soaked belongings piled curbside. A diversion became a dream come true for a city that had gone more than half a century waiting for a World Series championship. At that point only Indians fans were enduring a longer streak of titleless seasons.

In the worst of times, from 2011 to ’13, the Astros lost 106, 107 and 111 games. They were so bad and so irrelevant that a game in 2014 received a 0.0 local rating, which means the folks at Nielsen could not prove that a single person in Houston watched the Astros lose 9–1 to the Angels.

Three years later, at precisely 10:57 p.m. CST on Nov. 1, more than three out of every four television sets turned on in the Houston area were tuned to the Astros—a community of 2.4 million believers restored in spirit by the day-to-day achievements of a baseball team. The last out of the World Series, a ground ball off the bat of Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, bounced to—where else?—the outstretched glove of Altuve.

Tomlin had to decide before the Cleveland game about whether it was more important to keep his players in a routine or assure his key veterans would be as healthy as possible. Given that the Steelers never have completed a playoff run with Bell healthy, and that wide receiver Antonio Brown was not around for the team’s second playoff game in the 2015 season, this seemed an easy choice to make.

Steelers fans might remember 2008, when they played a meaningless final game against the Browns. The team was favored to reach the Super Bowl that season, but used Roethlisberger in the final game with the idea of keeping him sharp. Instead, he was hit hard by two Browns defenders and didn’t get off the ground for 15 minutes. patriots_038_c4275d49b20e8e2c-180x180

Baylor’s Matt Rhule has reportedly turned down the Colts’ head coaching job

Baylor head coach Matt Rhule passed on the Indianaplis Colts’ head coaching job, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports.

Rhule has spent one season as Baylor’s head coach. It was ugly. Baylor went 1-11, including early losses to Conference USA foe UTSA and FCS opponent Liberty. Before that, Rhule was the head coach at Temple, where he went 28-23 in four years — but 20-7 over his last two, when he reached double-digit wins twice and won the AAC in 2016. Rhule has a strong reputation in the college football community.

No matter what happens this postseason, the Vikings have a big decision to make: All three QBs are set to become free agents. Perhaps plans will change if, say, one of those guys hoists the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 4. But with beasts like Thielen and Diggs, will it even matter?

Even so, Irving’s reversal was shocking: He had just been to three straight Finals, he hit a championship-sealing three-pointer in 2016, his star rose considerably when James returned to Cleveland in 2014, and he had just completed a career year. Irving seemingly had everything most young stars want: a chance to compete for a title, a defined role, a quality roster, a max contract, plenty of shots and touches, a signature sneaker deal, a jersey that ranked among the league’s best sellers, and numerous national endorsements. But Irving lacked two things: A team to call his own, and a clear understanding of James’s plans once the four-time MVP hit free agency in 2018.

To celebrate Gruden’s introductory press conference Tuesday, Raiders fans stood outside the team’s training facility with their Chucky dolls.

The 54-year-old signed a 10-year contract worth about $100 million, according to ESPN.

The sports network, Gruden’s former employer, created a hilarious comparison chart of Gruden vs. Chucky.

Needless to say, Raiders fans are very excited about Chucky’s return to Oakland.

A two-year starter at cornerback and a four-year starter as the team’s punt returner, Stroman proved to be the Hokies’ most reliable defensive back and one of the best punt returners in the country. As a returner, Stroman offers rare short-area quickness and decisiveness in the open field. He sets up potential tacklers well, adjusting speed and accelerating in the open field.patriots_012_c43e18b0b3faa78c-180x180