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Lawrence Phillips charged with murder of prison cellmate (Shutdown Corner) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
Yahoo! Wed, Sep 02
Ex-NFL player charged with murder of prison cell-mate (AFP) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
A former NFL running back convicted of choking his ex-girlfriend into unconsciousness has been charged with murder in the strangling death of his cell-mate in a California prison. Lawrence Phillips will be arraigned on September 15 in the death of cell-mate Damion Soward at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, California, in April, the Kern County District Attorney's Office confirmed Tuesday. After a stand-out career at the University of Nebraska Phillips was drafted sixth overall in 1996 by the NFL's St. Louis Rams. Yahoo! Wed, Sep 02
Final preseason games, few starters to see action (The Associated Press) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
Backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo gets his last and probably best chance in the preseason to prepare to be the opening night starter if Tom Brady's suspension holds. Brady often sits out the entirety of the fourth exhibition game, and there's even more reason for him to hold a clipboard Thursday night. Garoppolo threw only 27 passes last year, most of it in garbage time. Yahoo! Wed, Sep 02
Ryan Clark called Trent Richardson the worst RB ever. Well, is he? (Shutdown Corner) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
Ryan Clark, the longtime NFL safety and current ESPN analyst, made some waves when he called Trent Richardson the worst running back of all time. He relayed a story of him discussing Richardson with Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin before the 2012 draft, when Clark was worried that the division rival Cleveland Browns were going to take Richardson. Tomlin told Clark not to worry, Clark said on ESPN . "He said, 'Because he doesn't dish out punishment, deliver punishment, he just absorbs punishment,'" Clark said. "He's like, 'He won't make it in the league.'" Outrageous opinions are the name of the game on the show Clark was appearing on, so take his "worst of all time" for what it's worth. But with this particular opinion, there's actually an argument that can be made that Clark is right. And Richardson, who was cut by the Oakland Raiders this week, still has a chance to latch on with another team and improve on what has been a disappointing career. Weirder things have happened. To figure out the answer of which running back is worst of all time, you have to consider just high-volume running backs who actually hurt their teams through inefficiency — I'm sure there is some undrafted free agent running back who played one game before getting cut who is technically the worst, but those type of players don't damage a franchise. Richardson, who was the third overall pick to the Browns, doesn't stack up well when considering his place among running backs. His 3.31-yard average is the most damning stat. Of players with at least 500 attempts in their careers, Richardson has the ninth lowest average according to Pro-Football-Reference.com (and he also added 1 yard and a fumble on four playoff carries). Of the eight players worse than Richardson, four finished their careers before 1950. Two, Brett Favre and Warren Moon, were modern quarterbacks. That leaves Lynn Chandnois, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1950-56, and made up for his 3.26-yard average by being a fine kick returner who made two Pro Bowls, and the player who probably does win the crown of worst ever if going by just stats: Michael Haddix. Haddix, the eighth pick of the 1983 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, somehow lasted eight seasons with the Eagles and Green Bay Packers despite averaging 3.01 yards per carry and having just one season averaging better than 3.2 (that was a still awful 3.5 in 1986). He scored three rushing touchdowns in 120 games, on 543 attempts. He did not score a rushing touchdown in his final six NFL seasons despite more than 400 carries. At least Richardson scored 17 times in three seasons (really, he did). Haddix wasn't the third pick of the draft like Richardson, and he wasn't traded for another first-round pick like the Indianapolis Colts did for Richardson, but he was still a mighty bust. Buddy Ryan once called him out for being overweight, saying he looked like a "reject USFL guard," according to a Philadelphia Daily News story from 1987 . Haddix switched positions and was a fullback for plenty of his career, but he still counts on the list. Leonard Russell probably deserves some mention too, because he ranked dead last in Football Outsiders' defensive-adjusted yards above replacement (DYAR) metric among all running backs from 1991-2012. And he was last by a landslide. The 14th pick of the 1991 draft to the New England Patriots had a total DYAR of minus-416 when nobody else had more than minus-300, and a six-year average of minus-69 when nobody else topped minus-50.  Yahoo! Wed, Sep 02
Lawrence Phillips charged with murder of prison cellmate (Shutdown Corner) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
Lawrence Phillips, once one of the biggest stars in college football and a top-10 NFL draft pick, has been charged with first-degree murder. In April, Phillips was investigated in his cellmate's death. Damion Soward. Soward, who was 37 years old, was strangled to death at Kern Valley State Prison in California. Now Phillips has been charged with murder, according to the Associated Press . The prosecuting attorney told USA Today she will not seek the death penalty in the case. Phillips was serving 31 years for two separate incidents. In 2005 he twice choked his girlfriend. Later that year he attacked three teens with his car after a pickup football game. Soward, who TMZ reported is the cousin of former NFL first-round pick R. Jay Soward, was serving 82 years to life for first-degree murder. Phillips is one of the NFL's all-time off-field character issue warning tales. The St. Louis Rams somehow thought it was a good idea to draft the talented running back sixth overall in 1996, even after he allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend. Phillips was an enormous bust after that, never showing the ability he displayed during a controversial career at the University of Nebraska. Phillips' story then took a much sadder turn once his football career was done. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab Yahoo! Wed, Sep 02
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