Posts From Mark Cook

NFL Releases Statement On Deflate-Gate

6 comments 📅January 23, 2015 2:00 pm

 From the NFL, released on Friday afternoon:

Our office has been conducting an investigation as to whether the footballs used in last Sunday’s AFC Championship Game complied with the specifications that are set forth in the playing rules. The investigation began based on information that suggested that the game balls used by the New England Patriots were not properly inflated to levels required by the playing rules, specifically Playing Rule 2, Section 1, which requires that the ball be inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch. Prior to the game, the game officials inspect the footballs to be used by each team and confirm that this standard is satisfied, which was done before last Sunday’s game.

The investigation is being led jointly by NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash and Ted Wells of the law firm of Paul Weiss. Mr. Wells and his firm bring additional expertise and a valuable independent perspective. The investigation began promptly on Sunday night. Over the past several days, nearly 40 interviews have been conducted, including of Patriots personnel, game officials, and third parties with relevant information and expertise. We have obtained and are continuing to obtain additional information, including video and other electronic information and physical evidence. We have retained Renaissance Associates, an investigatory firm with sophisticated forensic expertise to assist in reviewing electronic and video information.

The playing rules are intended to protect the fairness and integrity of our games. We take seriously claims that those rules have been violated and will fully investigate this matter without compromise or delay. The investigation is ongoing, will be thorough and objective, and is being pursued expeditiously. In the coming days, we expect to conduct numerous additional interviews, examine video and other forensic evidence, as well as relevant physical evidence. While the evidence thus far supports the conclusion that footballs that were under-inflated were used by the Patriots in the first half, the footballs were properly inflated for the second half and confirmed at the conclusion of the game to have remained properly inflated. The goals of the investigation will be to determine the explanation for why footballs used in the game were not in compliance with the playing rules and specifically whether any noncompliance was the result of deliberate action. We have not made any judgments on these points and will not do so until we have concluded our investigation and considered all of the relevant evidence.

Upon being advised of the investigation, the Patriots promptly pledged their full cooperation and have made their personnel and other information available to us upon request.  Our investigation will seek information from any and all relevant sources and we expect full cooperation from other clubs as well. As we develop more information and are in a position to reach conclusions, we will share them publicly.


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6 comments 📅January 21, 2015 9:40 am’s Bucky Brooks released his first mock draft earlier this week and offered up his opinion on who the Bucs will take, as well as the rest of the league. While most early mocks have had Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston going in the first two picks, Brooks doesn’t agree.

To view his first round mock draft, click here.

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Dominik Joins ESPN Radio To Discuss Mariota And Winston

21 comments 📅January 17, 2015 10:33 am

Oregon junior QB Marcus Mariota has declared for the 2015 NFL Draft - Photo by: Getty ImagesSeminoles QB Jameis Winston is entering the 2015 NFL Draft - Photo by: Getty Images

Former Bucs general manager Mark Dominik joined ESPN Radio recently to discuss the Bucs having the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and debated the two quarterbacks – Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota – and what he would do if he were still in charge in Tampa Bay.

To listen to the full interview, click here.

Dominik later joined the Mike & Mike Morning Show and spoke about the two quarterbacks and also shared his thoughts on Cardale Jones.

To hear that interview, click here.


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Kiper Releases His First Mock Draft And Has The Bucs Selecting…

16 comments 📅January 15, 2015 11:16 am

2007 NFL Draft
The season of NFL mock drafts is upon us and one of the most followed draft analysts Mel Kiper has put his first guesses on paper this week. ESPN’s televangelist-haired draft prognasitcator has the Buccaneers selecting Jameis Winston with the overall No. 1 pick in next April’s NFL Draft.

In his analysis Kiper wrote: “The bottom line is Winston is the most advanced on-field quarterback in the draft, and while the Buccaneers have a nice set of weapons for an emerging quarterback to utilize there’s little evidence they have a future franchise quarterback on the current roster. Questions about Winston’s maturity and off-field decision-making are more than fair and could have him written off some draft boards if he can’t convince teams he can be a franchise leader. But on the field you get a big, durable, mobile, strong-armed talent with a high football IQ and an ability to read, anticipate and process at a very high level what defenses are trying to do. I would not draft with him with the goal of starting him in Week 1 — his 2014 season proved there’s work to be done — but if Winston realizes his potential, he’s a possible superstar.” also mocked Winston to the Buccaneers but some other sites have the Buccaneers going in a different direction.’s Rob Rang has Tampa Bay going defense with USC’s Leonard Williams and Dane Brugler mocked Marcus Mariota to Tampa Bay.

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Cowboys Lock up Marinelli According To Rapoport; Won’t Be Coming To Tampa Bay

5 comments 📅January 13, 2015 5:40 pm

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has signed a new deal with the Cowboys and won’t be reuniting with Lovie Smith as several media outlets reported on Sunday.

Marinelli and Lovie Smith first coached together in Tampa from 1996 to 2000 under Tony Dungy. After  Smith accepted the Rams’ defensive coordinator job in 2001, Marinelli stayed in Tampa under Jon Gruden where he served as the defensive line coach, as well as assistant head coach from 2002-2005. And after a three-year stint (2006-08) as head coach in Detroit, Marinelli reunited with Smith in Chicago, where again he was the defensive line/assistant head coach from 2009 to 2012.

That relationship had many assuming that Smith and Marinelli would once again be on the same sidelines after Marinelli’s contract  with Dallas ran out following this season.

On Tuesday during a press conference, head coach Jason Garrett told the Dallas media he wanted Marinelli back and that Marinelli had told him that he would also like to return to the Cowboys.

The Cowboys are also in the process of locking up Garrett to a new contract before turning their attention to signing a number of their own free agents players.




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East-West Shrine Spotlight: Arizona Tackle Mickey Baucus

1 comment 📅January 13, 2015 4:21 pm

Under cool rainy conditions on Monday afternoon, the West team coached by former Seahawks quarterback Jim Zorn, didn’t waste any time putting on the pads and getting physical.With numerous scouts and front office personnel from around the NFL in attendance huddled under umbrellas trying to sty dry, the West team players took to the field looking to make an impression and get noticed by the league’s top talent evaluators.

One player who seemed to make an impression was Arizona’s 6-7, 309-pound offensive tackle Mickey Baucus, including at one point making two pancake blocks on a single play.

Baucus talked about his career at Arizona.

“I am happy with it (career at Arizona) for the most part,” Baucus told following the soggy practice. “I struggled a little bit at times against some of the premiere pass rushers like (Washington Huskies linebacker) Hau’oli Kikaha, but I just want to tune up and perfect my technique while I am here.

“I played left tackle for four years at Arizona. But did play a little bit of right tackle due to injuries. I think I have the versatility to play guard, although I haven’t done it but personally I think I have the ability.”

Baucus saw Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota up close and personal during his time with the Wildcats and came away impressed.

“He is a complete player, and is just a freak of an athlete and makes all the right decisions and he is everything you want in a quarterback,” Baucus said. “He is a game-manager and a playmaker and he never seems to get rattled. But it is good feeling knowing we are only one of a few teams that beat him twice though.”


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Cowboys Want To Keep Marinelli In Dallas

6 comments 📅January 13, 2015 9:44 am

Shortly after the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday multiple reports came out that Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli would soon be joining the Buccaneers in the same capacity.

And while it still may happen, the Cowboys have every intention of trying to keep Marinelli coaching in the Big D.

On Monday, head coach Jason Garrett spoke to 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.

“I know Rod Marinelli has done a fantastic job for us since he’s been here,” Garrett said. “He’s done a great job coordinating our defense this year. We have every intention of keeping Rod Marinelli in his current role as defensive coordinator. We’ll take care of the business things after we take care of the business of today, but Rod’s a hell of a coach and has done amazing things with our football team this year.”

In a press conference on Tuesday Garrett also stated that Marinelli has expressed an interest to stay in Dallas.

Marinelli and Bucs head coach Lovie Smith have a long history together, including time together in Tampa Bay as part of Tony Dungy’s staff. According to reports, the Cowboys have a three day window to exclusively negotiate with Marinelli and will not grant permission for him to interview with another team unless it’s for a head coaching job.

Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones also said the focus is on keeping his team together.

“We’ll be trying to sign our guys. My priority is to sign our staff. Rod and others.’


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NY Post Makes Strong Case For Mariota As Best College QB Ever

8 comments 📅January 11, 2015 1:16 am

While many will still debate for the next three and a half months whether Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota can step in right away and contribute to an NFL team next fall, there is no questioning his athletic career and accomplishments in college.

Mariota has put together a stellar career as a four-year starter, so impressive that Howie Kussoy of the New York Post says Mariota may be the best college football player ever.

Kussoy wrote about Mariota in his latest column for the Post.

“When Marcus Mariota walks off the field at AT&T Stadium on Monday night, the Heisman winner could walk off with Oregon’s first-ever national title, and then walk away from the rest of his college career, having captured the two most coveted trophies in college football in less than a month.

But that incredible accomplishment would still not be nearly as remarkable or improbable as where he would then be placed — as perhaps the greatest college quarterback of all-time.

Unlike so many quarterbacks, Mariota has played since he was a redshirt freshman, starting every game of his career and throwing a touchdown pass in every game, while going 36-4. He also is on pace for the lowest interception percentage in college football history, having thrown 13 interceptions on 1,130 attempts.

A dual threat defensive dilemma, Mariota’s rushed for more than 700 yards in each of his three seasons, adding 29 rushing touchdowns to 10,463 passing yards and 103 passing touchdowns, while completing nearly 67 percent of his career passes. This season’s magnum opus featured 55 total touchdowns and three interceptions, earning him the second-largest margin of victory ever in the Heisman voting.”

NFL general managers, scouts and fans will still debate how Mariota’s game will translate to the NFL all the way up until next April’s NFL Draft, but with a win against Ohio State next Monday night, Mariota almost certainly cements his legacy as the top college quarterback of our generation.

To read the full NY Post column by Kussoy, click here.

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Notre Dame’s Kelly Praises Winston, But Said Mariota Is Also Outstanding

2 comments 📅January 8, 2015 5:49 pm

The NFL Draft isn’t until April 30 but the early topic of conversation has been the comparisons of Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota. The Duck’s superstar has yet to declare but most assume Mariota will move onto the NFL following Monday night’s college football championship game against Ohio State.

On Thursday, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly joined the Colin Cowherd radio show to discuss the two and gave a glowing recommendation of both but said if he were choosing who to take with the first pick it would be Winston.

“I think one of the things that we’ve lost in college football is we get lost in all of these measurables,” Kelly said. “One of the huge measurables for me is football intelligence. He knows the game. He’s very smart. If I’m making that first pick and I need a quarterback, I’m taking Winston because he’s got football intelligence.

“I think he’s got a really good sense of the game. He understands time and place, he understands how momentum plays in, he’s not a robot, he’s not just an athlete out there. At the quarterback position, you want somebody who understands the game and understands the important plays that need to be made.

“Again, in the NFL, you’re going to have to manage through the pocket. There are very few Russell Wilson’s out there, and (Winston) can manage the pocket. I like him.”

While Kelly said he would choose Winston he also is impressed with Mariota.

“They can outscore you., (and) without (Marcus) Mariota at the quarterback position, they’re not the same team,” Kelly said. “So we’re still going to come back to, who is the player on the field for Oregon? It’s still the quarterback. He’s an outstanding quarterback, and defensively I think they’re better than people believe.”


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Report Says Winston Decision Won’t Come Until Next Week

3 comments 📅January 6, 2015 2:10 pm

The Winston watch will continue into next week it appears, this according to ESPN who said Winston’s father, Antonor Winston said the timetable for an announcement will be sometime after Monday’s college football championship game.

Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota are the two best quarterback prospects but neither has officially declared for the April 30 NFL Draft.

The Buccaneers hold the overall No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft and most expect Tampa Bay to go quarterback with that selection.

Underclassmen have until January 15th to make their decision known to the NFL.

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