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Payton relished payback against Bountygate snitch Williams

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended for the 2012 season because of the Bountygate scandal, and though he doesn’t talk about it, he is thought to blame his former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, for assisting the NFL investigation that resulted in one-year suspensions for both Payton and Williams. Williams is now with the Los Angeles Rams, so an opportunity for payback came Sunday at the Superdome, where the Rams lost 49-21 to the Saints. Payton was clearly enjoying every touchdown and even called for a trick play – a 50-yard TD pass from receiver Willie Snead — with his team up by 21 in the fourth quarter. Saints right tackle Zach Strief said, “Nothing was different in his actions that I could see, but I know better.” Safety Kenny Vaccaro said Payton “was all fired up. We all know why.”

NotepadBetween the Lines: After the game Payton shook hands with Rams head coach Jeff Fisher but did not engage with Williams.


Kaepernick gets involved in Castro controversy

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick enraged Cuban Americans by wearing a T-shirt with Fidel Castro on it back when he began his protest of racial oppression. The subject was a major part of a telephone conference he held with South Florida reporters prior to his game against the Miami Dolphins. Kaepernick said he did not agree with many aspects of the Castro regime but that he agreed “with the investment in education. I also agree with the investment in free universal health care as well as . . . him helping end apartheid in South Africa.” Just days after that interview, Castro died, which inspired celebration in the Little Havana section of Miami and put many Dolphins fans in a mood to assail Kaepernick in Sunday’s game at Sun Life Stadium. He was loudly booed.


Gase slams reporters for misjudgment of Tannehill

With the recent surge of QB Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase had an I-told-you-so moment with reporters covering his team. The ‘Fins have won six games in a row, with Tannehill throwing 9 TDs to 1 interception. During this stretch the much maligned player has completed four passes longer than 45 yards. Gase told reporters: “Between him being able to play in the fourth quarter, and the deep balls, I’m kind of questioning you guys’ evaluation of skills right now. I’m just glad you’re not in personnel.”


Jamie Collins takes a shot at Patriots via Instagram

Jamie Collins, the Pro Bowl linebacker who recently was traded by the New England Patriots to the winless Cleveland Browns, sent out an Instagram that revealed he wasn’t very happy with Bill Belichick’s tightly run organization: “I may not be where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.” Although the Browns have continued to lose, Collins has played well in his four games: 19 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble. 

NotepadBetween the Lines: Collins clashed with Patriot coaches and wasn’t eager to sign a contract extension. Like other ex-Pats, he felt too much of his creativity was submerged in the name of teamwork.


Chris Simms says Texans can’t win with Osweiler

Brock Osweiler, who prior to this season signed a $72 million contract (half of it fully guaranteed) with the Houston Texans, came under heavy criticism on CBS Sports’ Monday QB. The show’s host, Adam Schein, said he’d reached “Brock bottom” with his performance Sunday, in which he threw three interceptions in a 21-13 loss to San Diego. “Blake Bortles is laughing at you,” Schein said. Former NFL QB Chris Simms said, “I don’t think the Houston Texans can win with Brock Osweiler as their quarterback.” The Texans are 6-5 this season. Rich Gannon said Osweiler “makes two or three poor decisions every game” and also faulted him for lacking touch on the deep ball and throwing too hard on short passes: “He tries to knock the receiver down.” Steve Beuerlein suggested that at 6-foot-8 he lacks agility: “I don’t know of anyone that tall being a successful quarterback in the NFL.”

NotepadDear Steve: You may be right, but there are players in the NBA who are 6-8 and taller and are very agile. LeBron James and Kevin Durant, for examples.


Dickerson says Fisher banned him from sidelines

Eric Dickerson has a Hall of Fame pass that permits him to stand on the sideline of all NFL games. But he says that didn’t deter Jeff Fisher from banning him from his team’s sideline. He told Fox Sports Radio that he will not attend any more Rams games as long as Fisher is head coach. A frequent critic of Fisher, Dickerson said the coach told him: “We’re not going to have you talking about the team and then have you on the sidelines. The players feel uncomfortable with you on the sidelines.” Dickerson said he thanked Fisher for calling him personally to deliver that directive.


Manziel sued for breaking a bartender’s nose

Johnny Manziel, who just can’t find enough trouble, is being sued by an Austin bartender who claims the former Cleveland Browns QB punched him in the nose and broke it when he refused to serve him more drinks. Documents on the lawsuit were shared on Texas Our Texas Facebook.   The bar employee is seeking at least $200,000 in damages. Manziel is scheduled to appear in a Dallas courtroom on Thursday, when misdemeanor assault charges pertaining to ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley are expected to be dismissed.


Hue Jackson cries after Browns’ record slides to 0-12

There’s no crying in baseball, but football is different, a more emotional game. Hue Jackson sobbed at his postgame press conference after his Cleveland Browns lost 27-13 to the New York Giants. “Being 0-12 is probably the hardest thing ever,” the coach said, pausing at the podium as his eyes filled with tears. Browns QB Josh McCown was sacked seven times, as an underperforming offensive line was missing one of its most reliable starters, guard John Greco, who was injured during the game and will miss the rest of the season.

NotepadBetween the Lines: There was further reason to cry, as Taylor Gabriel, a receiver the Browns cut during training camp, starred in an Atlanta Falcons romp over Arizona. The speedy slot receiver caught 4 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.


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