Jaguars’ ‘mercenary for hire’ Malik Jackson loves to get booed

Malik Jackson describes himself as a “mercenary for hire.”

Football is his business, and it was booming after he starred on the Denver Broncos‘ title team in the 2015 season. (You may remember him in Super Bowl 50 for scoring off Cam Newton’s first-half fumble) He cashed in last year in free agency, signing a six-year deal valued at $90 million with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He spoke to Yahoo Sports on how his business-minded mentality works with his new team. His matter-of-fact manner also carries over when he’s on the sideline and opposing fans want to give him an earful. As he explains in the Yahoo Sports video, he gives it right back. Ask some fans in Indy.

See the full story HERE at Yahoo Sports. 

8 things we learned from Lawrence Guy’s Pats Chat

Lawrence Guy is a new Patriot, and naturally, Patriots Nation has a lot to learn. On Tuesday morning, he helped expedite that process when he was a guest on Pats Chat hosted by Ashlee Feldman at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon.

Lawrence took questions from a live audience, as well as from Facebook live viewers, and he was an open book. Not only were some of his answers hilarious, they showed who Lawrence is when the helmet comes off. Here are eight of the best answers Lawrence had to some burning questions.

1. When it comes to his music, Lawrence is looking for lyrics.

“Right now, I’m listening to Childish Gambino. He’s very lyrical with his stuff, and he’s enjoying music and putting out good music. I’m all about lyrics.”

2. Don’t call him Larry, but he does have some other nicknames.

“They call me the Cable Guy sometimes. I’ve also been called The Trash Man, you know. The Garbage Man.” He didn’t give much explanation on this one.

3. Lawrence is pretty frank with the challenges of fatherhood.

“It’s not the changing of diapers. It’s that you think you’ve got a pee diaper, and you open it up and there’s poo everywhere. Just so much poo. You can’t even believe this little human made all this poo.”

4. He has a lot of tattoos, but one stands above the rest.

“[The tattoos] are all on the right side … I leave the left side for my family. My favorite one so far, I would say, I got my infinity sign right here. Me and my wife got these together.”

5. When asked what he does when strangers approach him on the street, Lawrence gave an incredible answer.

“I react normally. It all depends on the situation I’m in. I say hello or what not, but if I’m in a situation where I just want to go out, I tell them I’m a plumber. ‘You do plumbing?’ Yeah, I do plumbing. One time I told an Uber drive I was a construction worker, and by the time we got in a five minute conversation, he knew I had no idea what I was talking about. He was like, ‘You don’t do construction.’ I was like, ‘You’re right. I do real estate.”

6. Before football, there was another sport.

“I thought I was going to go all pro in soccer. I was never the goalie. The wouldn’t let me be goalie. But soccer, I’ve got handles. You should see me on FIFA — before all the updates and stuff. The old FIFA.”

7. He is the only human who didn’t cry watching This is Us.

Lawrence said he is watching Stranger Things, Ballers, Hunter X and This is Us. When Ashlee asked if he cries when watching This is Us, Lawrence was quick to say no. “No tears,” he said, but we’ve got to be honest. We’re not buying it.

8. He’s full of great advice.

One student asked Lawrence for advice as they pursue their own careers, and he had great words of wisdom. “Never give up. There’s always going to be a downfall in everybody’s path in life. You just can’t take that as, ‘I’m going to quit.’ You have to take that as, ‘I’m going to continue to fight for what I believe in.’ If you continue to fight, then no one can tell you anything.”

Watch the full video HERE at 

Training Camp Spotlight: Lawrence Guy

Defensive Lineman Lawrence Guy is highlighted as he transitions to the Patriots defense and treating every year like his first year in the NFL.

Watch the Training Camp Spotlight HERE on 

Eagles camp notes, quotes and tidbits: Wright time and place?

By Dave Zangaro

After spending his first two years in the NFL with two different teams, veteran defensive tackle Gabe Wright is hoping he’s found a home with the Eagles.

If nothing else, he’s more ready for his opportunity now.

“My mentality is a little different,” Wright said this week. “I didn’t really know how to be a pro then. I’ll admit to that.”

The Lions took Wright in the fourth round of the 2015 draft out of Auburn. As a rookie, he played in seven games and started one, but the Lions cut him before the 2016 season. Wright spent last season with the Browns, playing in five games as he split time between the active roster and the practice squad. The Browns cut him in May, and the Eagles signed him a few weeks later.

The number of roster spots on the defensive line is tight, but Wright has been steadily more impressive as camp moves on. He’s happy to be back in an attacking 4-3 defense.

“I tell my wife this all the time: Some people just have it when they get in, the Aaron Donalds of the world,” Wright said. “Some people always have it. Then there are those who take a little time, maybe even bounce around a little. Sooner or later, stuff just clicks. A new environment can help that, new surroundings.”

Wright said it helps to have other examples of players who didn’t thrive upon their arrival to the NFL. He specifically mentioned former No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney, who had his career slowed down by injuries until last season when he became a Pro Bowler.

While Wright admits he’s “nowhere near arrived,” he at least thinks he’s on the right track. He credits some veterans he’s played with over the last two years for helping him learn to be a pro.

As far as those lessons go, one came from former Eagles defensive end Darryl Tapp. When the two played together in Detroit, Tapp taught the rookie to use the cold tub after every practice. Wright still does it. Another lesson was that one bad day of practice can wipe out three good days — consistency is key.

Wright is just hoping to finally stick with a team.

“I hope so,” he said. “That’s how I’m looking at it. They say don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but this is everything for me. I’m just happy for the opportunity.”

Splitting time in the slot?

Since Jordan Matthews joined the Eagles as a rookie in 2014, he’s been the Eagles’ slot receiver. Things don’t seem quite that clear and easy anymore.

After Monday’s practice, offensive coordinator Frank Reich certainly made it seem like Matthews is in a competition with Nelson Agholor to earn playing time from the slot receiver position in 2017.

“Every spot is up for competition,” Reich said. “The way we kind of roll things is we’re always looking for guys who make plays. So Nelson has had a real strong spring and camp. So the way we do it is it’s kind of by play. Sometimes we’ll switch guys up. We’ll see what a defense does from a coverage standpoint, and then we want to attack that coverage.”

The questions about the slot position have come up recently since NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he expected Agholor to be the Eagles’ slot receiver and didn’t know what that meant for Matthews.

The Eagles’ receiving corps is much different now than it has been for the last few years after adding Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in the offseason. Reich brought up the extra competition on Monday when asked if things are different with the slot receiver position this season.

“So, yeah, I think it is a little bit different than last year,” Reich said.

But if Agholor does play in the slot, what does that mean for Matthews?

“Jordan can play outside,” Reich said. “We can be in four receivers and have two slots. We don’t want to take our tight ends off the field too much. We have a bunch of different personnel packages, and we’ll just continue to mix them up week by week.”

Getting a chance

During Monday’s practice, right guard Brandon Brooks left early with an ankle issue and was replaced by offseason acquisition Chance Warmack.

It’s notable that Warmack was the next guy up and not Stefen Wisniewski, who signed a three-year deal to stay in Philly this offseason.

“You know, I think Chance has gotten better every week,” Reich said. “[He has] really embraced what we do and how we do it. Obviously, being reunited with [offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland] has been a good thing. A great room — it’s a great culture in that room. So he’s very tough. Physical. Strong hands, very good run blocker. So those are the things you see in his game.”

Warmack was the 10th overall pick in the 2013 draft but has never quite lived up to that status. His hope in joining the Eagles was that his college position coach would be able to help him rediscover that magic.

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QB Matt McGloin Aims to Make Decision Tough for Eagles’ Coaches

By Dave Zangaro

Matt McGloin has one major goal this summer: make the decision as tough as possible.

McGloin is the Eagles’ third-string quarterback at this training camp. He not only has to hold off undrafted Dane Evans, but he also has to try to prove to the Eagles that keeping three quarterbacks instead of two is the right decision.

Then, he has to prove that he’s worth the spot.

“That’s all you can do is make their job difficult,” McGloin said this week. “If I don’t play well in preseason, it’s not a difficult decision. If I don’t play well in training camp and I don’t show these guys that I’m taking the right steps in the right direction and executing what they want me to do, then their decision will be very easy. I kind of feel like I’m in a good place right now and I need to keep moving forward and focus on the task at hand.”

Carson Wentz and Nick Foles are cemented in as the Eagles’ starting and backup quarterbacks. That’s not going to change no matter how McGloin plays. But his fate depends on whether or not the Eagles decide to spend a roster spot on a third-string quarterback.

Last year, the Eagles were prepared to take three quarterbacks into the season but those were very different circumstances. Sam Bradford was the starter, Chase Daniel was the backup and Wentz was the young draft pick. That obviously changed once Bradford was dealt to the Vikings; then, the Eagles took just two quarterbacks into the season.

The numbers make it difficult. The Eagles are allowed only 53 players on their season roster and just 46 are allowed to dress on game days. Spending a roster spot on a quarterback who will very likely never see the field is a tough proposition.

“Yeah, I mean, that’s going to be a tough decision because I think we have some good quarterbacks here,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. “There are a lot of roster considerations that get played into it. It’s hard to predict what those are going to be and what they look like. I’ve been places where you can only keep two because of roster considerations. But if everything – in a perfect world, sometimes you can keep three. I think that is truly a day-by-day decision.”

Over the last week, McGloin has had extra chances to prove himself. Foles has missed practices with a sore elbow, so McGloin has taken over with the second team and has found mixed results.

How does he think he’s been performing?

“I think the ball has been coming out of my hand pretty well,” he said. “I think I picked up the system fairly quickly. I think my decision-making is good but it can always be better. Definitely mechanics you always need to work on. Really excited to work with the guys. There are a lot of good players out there who a lot of times make me look good. It’s a good group of guys out there. I feel like I’m in a good place right now. I just have to keep improving.”

McGloin, 27, isn’t like most third-string quarterbacks. He’s not some developmental player. He’s started in the league before. As a rookie in Oakland in 2013, McGloin played in seven games and started six. But McGloin has started just one game since.

The Penn State product joined the Eagles as a free agent this offseason after his rookie deal with the Raiders expired.

He decided to come to Philly to be reunited with quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who was his quarterbacks coach from 2013-14. McGloin said he didn’t hesitate to come to a team that already seemed to have its quarterback situation figured out.

If the Eagles don’t keep McGloin on their roster, the other option might be more appealing. They can reserve just two spots for QBs on the 53 – Wentz and Foles – and then keep another quarterback (maybe Evans) on the practice squad.

McGloin’s whole mission is to avoid that and prove that he’s worth the roster spot.

So what does he think he brings to the table?

“I think everything I’ve put on film so far,” McGloin said. “It’s their decision whether or not they want to keep me. Do they like what they see from me each and every day? Do they like how quick I picked up the playbook? Do they like what I do with the football? At the end of the day, do they like me as a quarterback? Those are the questions you’d have to ask those guys. I can only tell you what I think and I think I’m doing pretty well.”

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Colts’ Robert Turbin is haunted —and motivated — by four family tragedies

By Clifton Brown

INDIANAPOLIS – When Indianapolis Colts running back Robert Turbin reminisces about family, the memories are often painful. His brother, Lonnie, was fatally shot in 2012 as Turbin prepared for the NFL Scouting Combine. His sister, Trina, died from multiple sclerosis when she was just 21.

But through the years, Turbin has learned to channel his grief, to use it for motivation.

“I think about them a lot, but it’s really random,” Turbin said during a recent break from Colts training camp. “Music can take you back (to them). You’re riding in a car, a song comes on, and you go back to some of those moments you shared.

“When I’m on the field, I’m keeping them in my heart. They keep me stronger, and I try to use that to my advantage, more so now than I did earlier in my career. You want to use it as inspiration, but you may not know how. It took me some time.”

At age 27, Turbin believes this is his prime time in the NFL, a six-year vet determined to play a key role for the Colts this season. After testing free agency, Turbin re-signed with Indianapolis after the most productive campaign of his career. No NFL running back had as many touchdowns (seven) in fewer attempts (47), and Turbin was also an effective target (26 catches) and pass protector for quarterback Andrew Luck.

The Colts re-signed Turbin not just for his ability, but for his passion. He was furious when the Colts were eliminated from playoff contention last season in Week 16 after losing to the Oakland Raiders. The defeat ruined Turbin’s homecoming to the Bay Area, and after the game, he made his intentions for this season clear.

“I wanna be back here next year because I’m (expletive) coming back to help this team win a championship,” Turbin told IndyStar in December. “Period. With a (expletive) vengeance.”

Turbin’s return coincides with the Colts’ plan to limit the workload of 34-year-old starting running back Frank Gore. Turbin, Josh Ferguson and rookie running back Marlon Mack will receive plenty of training camp reps, and it is easy to envision Gore getting fewer carries than the 236 he had in 2016.

If there are more opportunities for other backs, Turbin wants them.

“I definitely have aspirations of being a starter, a great player,” said Turbin, who has never had more than 80 carries in six NFL seasons.  “You’d like to be the featured back and have success. I believe it will come one day. I know it will. I’ve been saying that for a long time, and I say it because I believe it. When that time comes, I’ll be ready.”

Turbin and Gore are friends, and spent time together in the Bay Area this summer where Turbin held his youth summer camp. Those close to Turbin know the adversity he has overcome, more than just the death of two siblings. His older sister, Tiffany, has a severe form of cerebral palsy that has left her paralyzed from the neck down, unable to speak. His mother, Lovie Mae Jones, has battled heroin addiction throughout Turbin’s life, which has affected his relationship with her.

“We talk,” said Turbin of his mother. “We’re not like super-close, but I have a lot of love and respect for my mother. She’s a good person. Everyone has their struggles they go through in life. I’ve understood that more as I’ve gotten older. Some things you can’t control. She had to fight some demons within herself every day. Unfortunately, it led to her not being able to be around a lot. But at least now, we can talk.”

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