Around the NFL: Schefter's Snafu, New XFL-NFL Partnership, USFL Debuts Digital First Down Markers, More

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Around the NFL: Schefter’s Snafu, New XFL-NFL Partnership, USFL Debuts Digital First Down Markers, More

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When will Adam Schefter (and others in similar positions) learn to take a few seconds to think before they hit send?

Adam Schefter’s Comments Upset NFL Players

Schefter is one of the biggest news breakers in the football world, but that doesn’t mean he’s perfect by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, Schefter has had a troubling run of sticking his foot in his mouth of late. Tragic news surfaced on Saturday morning that Dwayne Haskins was struck and killed by a dump truck. Instead of just reporting the news, Schefter tied Haskins’ NFL performance to the narrative of his reporting, which upset a few big-name NFL players and former players.

Cardale Jones (a former Ohio State signal-caller) and Lamar Jackson (2019 NFL MVP) were among those who took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with how Schefter framed the horrific news:

 

Jones, Jackson, and everyone else who took issue with Schefter’s since-deleted tweet, are right in their frustration. There’s a way to do things, especially when you’re reporting about someone’s tragic passing, and Schefter made a lousy decision by framing the news with football – and football struggles in particular – as a necessary tie-in to the news that has rocked the Pittsburgh Steelers and the friends and family of Dwayne Haskins.

If Schefter is looking for some notes on how to handle something like this in the future (and there will be no shortage of them), maybe he can take a page from his ESPN teammates who shared a touching tribute to Haskins from SportsCenter:

XFL Partnering with NFL Alumni Academy

The XFL said in a statement this morning: “The XFL today announced it has entered an exclusive partnership with the NFL Alumni Academy, an elite in-season training program for “NFL Ready” players led by former NFL coaches and players. Together, the XFL and the NFL Alumni Academy will enhance the football ecosystem by combining their scouting and training expertise to develop the next best players in the game and offer more opportunities to play professional football.”

XFL president Russ Brandon called the new partnership “monumental for the XFL and the entire football ecosystem.”

“This is a monumental partnership not only for the XFL but for the entire football ecosystem,” said Russ Brandon, XFL President. “The NFL Alumni Academy has found great success over the past two years training and mentoring up-and-coming players, many of whom have gone on to play in the NFL, and we are collaborating to create another avenue of opportunity for players to showcase their talent. We are completely aligned in our player-centric philosophy, and we’re eager to continue to explore the bounds of this partnership.”

The NFL Alumni Academy provides a pathway for the top-graded free agent players released from NFL training camps to return to the NFL by allowing them to develop their skills further and realize their potential by training under the tutelage of elite former NFL coaches, players, and performance coaches.

Both the NFL and XFL have said that the XFL will not serve as a developmental league in what we see in other sports, with the G-League and MiLB having direct affiliations with teams and serving as minor league teams. Still, this type of partnership will allow players looking for work to develop, which is a win for everyone involved.

The USFL Unveils Digital First Down Technology

No more chain gang running onto the field for close measurements? That’ll be the case in USFL games. This is the technology that the NFL needs to look into adopting. Streamline the process and remove the stoppage in the games for the measurements. I love it.

Extra Points …

•   Schefter wasn’t the only media personality that botched their reporting of this news on Saturday. Former NFL great Dez Bryant took to Twitter to voice his displeasure about a radio hit by Gil Brandt on NFL Radio and call on the NFL and Roger Goodell to do something about it:

Brandt said that Haskins “was a guy that was living to be dead.” What!? What would possess someone, a former NFL executive, to say something like that about a kid who just lost his life? This type of banter is uncalled for and unnecessary, and both Schefter and Brandt should be embarrassed by their handling of the Haskins’ reporting.

•   Former NFL running back and assistant coach Gary Brown passed away at 52 this week. Brown was most recently the running backs coach at Wisconsin, and in his eight-year playing career, Brown played 99 games with 47 starts. He had 1,116 touches for 4,931 yards and 24 touchdowns in his career, with 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 1993 and 1998.

•   The NFL Draft is right around the corner, so let’s revisit this Laremy Tunsil fiasco:

•    Mike Vrabel delivered a figurative death punch to Will Compton on Twitter yesterday 😂:

•   NFL mock draft season is in full effect. Jordan Reid’s latest at ESPN has Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson going to the Jaguars with the top overall pick in the draft. Reid also has Ohio State wide receiver going to the Packers in the first round and Tulsa offensive tackle Tyler Smith.

•   The Washington Capitals mourned the passing of Dwayne Haskins before their game on Sunday evening:

•   As did many players across the NFL this weekend:



Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.