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Helenio Herrera

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@Helenio Herrera How drunk are you?

Terrible penalty. Way to ruin what would have been an epic ending.
Lol I had a little to drink but most of my buddies were rooting for Philly and they were super obnoxious about it. The penalty was kind of a sham but couldn't have happened to a better team. I'd say it was still epic
 

Dave54

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Ahahahaahha that's gold my buddies from Philly thought they were kind of winning there at the end that was perfect

Non-Americans of the forum: Did you know that Kansas City is not in Kansas? Trippy.

My condolences to the forum eagles. Maybe once Reid retires
JUST A FEW MILES:)
 

Helenio Herrera

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Yeah I mean you could see him pulling on it but they don't call that at least half the time. Technically it's holding but it's soft af.
 

Puma

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10 years of FIF

Why Eagles LB Nakobe Dean is an ‘NFL unicorn’ determined to finish his college degree​

Zach Berman
Jun 22, 2023

Nakobe Dean waited only eight days after the Philadelphia Eagles lost Super Bowl LVII before he sat in a 30-person fluid mechanics class at the University of Georgia. He transitioned from a rookie season that stretched a month longer than most of his peers’ by taking a course on heat transfer.

Super Bowl Sunday, clean out your locker and participate in exit meetings in the days after, and make sure you’re in class taking notes the following Monday.

This is an atypical way for a professional football player to spend his first offseason. But Dean is the atypical type.

He’s a mechanical engineering major who aspires to open a prosthetics business. First comes his NFL career, but he has 26 credit hours remaining to earn his degree after completing six hours this spring in fluid mechanics and heat transfer. If anyone in the Eagles locker room wants to know how the diameter of pipes changes with fluid or how heat transfers between windows and walls, find No. 17. He can tell you. (Among the remaining courses is one on circuits. That one is going to be much more difficult, he warns.)

“I wasn’t just an athlete who went to school — I was a student-athlete,” Dean told The Athletic last week. “I was a student that had an opportunity to play a sport that I love. I knew my ‘why’ — going to school and getting an education.”

Dean would have been an impressive student in his own right — he had a 3.55 GPA before leaving school — but he also happened to be the best linebacker in college football as a junior in 2021. He left Georgia early and was selected by the Eagles in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Dean was mostly a special teams contributor as a rookie. But he’s expected to be the Eagles’ top linebacker in 2023, and the team (and Dean) is planning accordingly.

Before he could start the offseason program, though, he was back on Georgia’s campus. As a rookie with the Eagles, Dean put the wheels in motion. He set up his schedule in November for after the season, determining what was left on his transcript and what funds were available. The academic calendar started in early January when the Eagles were gearing up for the postseason. There were no virtual options for classes, so he learned the best he could through notes from his peers. Teammates heard he was going back to school, and some could empathize. Quarterback Jalen Hurts earned his master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma this offseason.

“There’s something in the Philadelphia Eagle water,” said Carla Lide-Buglione, the NFL’s senior manager of player engagement.

Lide-Buglione would know. She aids and educates about a league benefit that helps players earn their degrees. The NFL and NFL Players Association have a collectively bargained tuition reimbursement program that allows players to pursue a degree certificate or advanced education program. (It was held up during the coronavirus pandemic and is back in effect now.) It’s a tiered program based on the player’s credited season, ranging from $20,000 to $85,000. But Lide-Buglione called it “almost unheard of” for a player to return after his rookie season, in part because of the adjustment to the NFL.

“It’s extremely atypical. (Dean is) kind of like this NFL unicorn,” Lide-Buglione said. “Because to go back at the end of your rookie year, you’re playing on a Super Bowl team, it’s not the norm. And it just shows how much grit you have. You think differently, and you’re planning differently. And his motivation is his mom and his personal story and connection to her medical issue. And so it’s very atypical. We do not see a lot of this. We see most guys in their third, fourth, fifth year say, ‘You know what, I never finished my degree’ or ‘I’m thinking about getting a master’s. Let me take advantage of the league’s benefits.’”

Dean didn’t think twice. His mother is a veteran, and he spent time growing up in Horn Lake, Miss., going to the VA Hospital. This exposed him to veterans with lost limbs. He took an interest in prosthetics and was determined to learn more about them in college. He didn’t like chemistry, so he bypassed the pre-med track and instead studied mechanical engineering. He has since taken an interest in entrepreneurship, and he wants to combine the two majors to open a prosthetics business — with football as his day job, of course.

“My mom always made me (focus on) academics,” Dean said. “We never had nobody from my family go play college ball, or barely even in high school. … So for me to serve my family was always pushing academics, academics, academics.”

The NFL is also using Dean as an advocate for continuing education. He spoke on a panel earlier this month in Orlando, Fla., about his experience returning to school. Dean shared his story, explained his purpose and started a testimony that the league plans to continue tapping.

“He was speaking like a six- or seven-year player,” Lide-Buglione said. “‘I don’t know what tomorrow could bring, and I got to prepare for my second career now.’ A lot of times you don’t hear rookies or second-year players actually own that reality. That’s usually later on as a veteran player. And they’re like, ‘Oh, crap, I need to get involved in something. I need to prepare. I need to go back to school.’ To hear it from someone so young was like, ‘OK, this guy gets it.’ And I need to kind of bottle it up and pitch it to other younger players so that they can prepare as well, because we’ve seen over the years, peer-to-peer is what sells. The league could come up with the best marketing campaign, the best commercial. It’s hearing it from a Jalen Hurts. It’s hearing it from Nakobe.”

Once completed, the league sends a customized game ball with the player’s name, school and degree, accompanied by a letter from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recognizing the work done while playing.

“I hope I’m looked at as more than just an athlete and football player,” Dean said. “But looked at as somebody who values education, values business and entrepreneurship.”

Dean will get that recognition one day. He has 26 hours to go.
 

Sawyer

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Cook to Dolphins or Lions or Cowboys...
 

Puma

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10 years of FIF

How Pacman Jones, NFL poster boy for bad behavior, stepped in for fallen teammate’s family​

Zak Keefer
Jun 26, 2023

After the strip clubs and the suspensions, after the man who drafted him sixth overall called him “nothing but a disaster off the field,” after two NFL teams gave up on him, the CFL decided he wasn’t worth the headache and he flunked what he figured was his last chance at pro football, Adam “Pacman” Jones stood inside the tunnel at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, overweight and out of shape, his hamstrings screaming, his career in peril, and cried.

It was all slipping away, and Jones knew it. This mid-winter workout for the Bengals in early 2010 after a year in football exile felt like his last shot.

He needed a job.

Jones had become the NFL’s poster boy for bad behavior, arrested or questioned by police in eight separate incidents since being drafted in 2005, including a 2007 shooting outside a Las Vegas nightclub that left a man paralyzed and cost Jones $11 million in damages. He was brash, boastful and admittedly immature — “I was just being rebellion,” he once famously said — perpetually flirting with trouble and often finding it. At one point, the first defensive player taken in the 2005 draft was suspended 22 of a possible 28 games.

So the Bengals offered him a workout and nothing more. Jones arrived in terrible shape and pulled both hamstrings, limping off the field in frustration. He stood in the tunnel afterward with coach Marvin Lewis, tears streaming down his face, and begged for another shot. “I’ll do whatever it takes,” Jones said. “I’ll live in one of those stadium suites if I have to. I’ll come in and compete with the rookies for a job …”

Lewis stopped him. “Adam, you need to get in shape,” the coach told him. “Then maybe we’ll revisit this.”

It sure seemed like it was over. Too many mistakes. Too much baggage. Pacman Jones had once been worth the risk, his ability too great to ignore. No more.

“Hell yeah, it was close to going sideways,” he says now.

To that point, his play had never been the problem. He was a competitive freak steeled by a hardscrabble past, a product of the Atlanta projects, 8 years old when his father was killed in front of him, 10 when his mother went to prison on drug charges. He brawled every day in middle school, picking fights incessantly, and years later, that aggression, that bitterness, bled its way onto the football field, where he played without an ounce of fear.

Pacman — the nickname his mother gave him because he changed directions so quickly as a toddler — craved the inherent violence of the game. He was most at home amid the chaos.

His hunger was contagious. Coaches came to love it. At West Virginia, Jones would bait and badger teammates who’d coast during drills, driving them crazy. One happened to be a lanky, soft-spoken wide receiver from Louisiana dripping in talent but short on drive. Everyone called him Slim, and Pac antagonized him mercilessly.

“Man, I worked his ass every day,” Jones remembers. “Until finally, one day, it just clicked.”

Slim took off. Pac, too. They warred every day in practice, refusing to go against anyone else in 1-on-1s. They became best friends — “brothers brothers,” Jones says. They lifted the Mountaineers into contention, made it to the league, then almost blew it. Arrests. Altercations. Shootings. Suspensions. So much promise nearly squandered by so much irresponsibility.

One of them turned it around. The other never got the chance.

Which is why, a little over a decade later, when Jones saw Slim’s two boys growing into their own without their father there to guide them — and starting to garner some serious attention from college programs — he knew they needed a voice in their ear. He’d stayed in touch over the years, checking in with their mother and hauling the boys to football camps, sending them endless boxes of Nike and Under Armour gear.

Still, he told himself, Slim would’ve wanted more. So Pac called.

“Y’all need to uproot and move up here with us,” he urged Loleini Tonga, the boys’ mother. “We’ll help you out.”

So that’s what they did. Pacman Jones, once the NFL’s cautionary tale for reckless behavior, made Chris Henry’s family part of his own. They moved in with him in Cincinnati, where he drives the boys to school and picks them up after practice, where he trains them in the offseason, where he pushes Slim’s two sons the same way he once pushed their father, passing on the lessons learned from the opportunity they both almost threw away.

“I’ll tell you this,” Jones says, getting a bit heated. “I’ll be damned if these kids make the same mistakes I did.”

The questions come from time to time, mostly about football.

“What was my dad like to guard?” Chris Jr. will ask.

Uncle Pac can only smile. “Honestly? A lot like you.”

The resemblance is unmistakable. That easy smile. Those soft hands. The way Chris Jr. tracks the deep ball, smooth and effortless, without any wasted motion. His long, lean build — he’s pushing 6-foot-6 and 190 pounds entering his sophomore year of high school — and his reserved, soft-spoken nature.

“The way he talks, the way he walks, the way he runs, it’s a spitting image,” Jones says. “If you go watch big Chris’ film, then watch little Chris’ film — man, it spooks you a bit.”

“It’s eerie,” echoes Rich Rodriguez, who coached Jones and Henry at West Virginia. “You watch him play, and it’s like watching Slim all over again.”

Chris Jr. is a straight-A student who was piling up scholarship offers before he played a game of high school football; he’s currently among the top-ranked wide receivers in the Class of 2026. His options include Ohio State, Michigan, Georgia, USC and his father’s alma mater, West Virginia. Kali Jones, his coach at Withrow High School, says multiple coaches from high-major programs have Henry projected as a Top-10 NFL draft pick whenever he declares.

“I actually think he’s gonna be better than his dad,” Jones says. “He’s a generational talent.”

“He’s more of a physical specimen right now than his dad was as a college player,” adds Rasheed Marshall, the former WVU quarterback who connected with Henry for 22 touchdowns in their two seasons together.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a kid track the deep ball like him,” Jones says. “He’s more skilled than me and his dad were at his age.”

The boys moved in two years ago, and Jones and his wife Tishana later signed custodial papers to become their guardians. Chris Jr. goes by Man-Man. His younger brother DeMarcus, a budding basketball talent who’s already 6-3 heading into his freshman year — “Think Brandon Ingram,” Kali Jones says. “Really long. Really skilled. Gonna end up being 6-7 or 6-8.” — answers to Bubba. Their older sister, Seini, is headed to Ohio State on a hoops scholarship. Adding in Jones’ four children, the group is seven deep, and all have flashed considerable athletic potential.

The house is crowded. Mornings start early. At first, the 6:30 a.m. wake-up calls hit Chris Jr. and DeMarcus like a brick wall, but Uncle Pac wouldn’t budge. Chris Jr. hated it. He’d complain, day after day. Now he’s the first one up, usually around 5:45 a.m., anxious for his early workout.

Jones lined them up with a local trainer, and they spend the bulk of their offseasons at the gym he opened, J24 Athletic Complex, in the Cincinnati suburb of Amelia. Summers are a grind.

“You can’t get better without running routes,” Jones preaches to Chris Jr. So that’s what they do, for a full hour, twice a day, all summer long. Then they lift. Then they catch from the Jugs machine. Then they pore through tape.

“The routine don’t stop,” Jones says. “This ain’t something we came up with overnight.”

Easing up isn’t Pacman’s style. He wouldn’t do it with Slim in college, wouldn’t do it during his 12 years in the NFL, and he won’t do it with the teenage boys he’s brought into his home. When he lines up opposite Chris Jr. on the practice field, Jones won’t yield an inch. No easy catches. No room to breathe.

“Hell no!” he’ll shout. “Nothing free with me!”

He likes to bark. Chris Jr. likes to work in silence. And every once in a while, the long and lean 15-year-old college prospect will slip past the 39-year-old former pro and snag one down the sideline, never muttering a word.

Jones can only shake his head.

“Damn, boy,” he’ll say in between breaths. “You just like your dad.”

Five months after he showed up out of shape, pulled both hamstrings and begged Marvin Lewis for another chance, the Bengals gave Pacman Jones one last tryout. He saved his career. “One of the best workouts I’ve ever seen in my life,” Lewis says.

Jones lasted eight years in Cincinnati. He was first-team All-Pro as a punt returner in 2014 and a Pro Bowl cornerback a year later. A career that had long teetered on the brink of collapse, sabotaged by Jones’ decisions, finally stabilized.

More than that, he flourished.

“Always told myself I’d get the last laugh,’” he says proudly.

Chris Henry never got to see it. They’d been on similar paths since they arrived in Morgantown in the early 2000s, two naïve teenagers with some hard lessons awaiting them. Jones got in a fight his freshman year, accused of hitting another student with a pool cue at a bar. A week later, Rodriguez called him into his office. “You can have a great future, or you can screw it all up,” the coach told him. “I’m not gonna play around with you.”

Jones sat there silently, nodding with every word. The staff never had another issue with him. He became an honor roll student, an All-American defensive back and a lethal punt returner, playing with a fire that sparked the entire team.

“I loved coaching him because he could take coaching,” Rodriguez says now. “Some guys you get on hard and they just go into a shell and don’t respond. He wanted every challenge.”

Henry was different — more reserved, more insular. Harder to read. Harder to coach.

Early on, he barely spoke. “Chris would say nothing, and I’m not sure he really liked practice,” Rodriguez says. “But he was so, so talented.”

“Reminded me of Randy Moss,” Jones adds.

He’d take plays off. He’d take entire practices off. Rodriguez’s run-first, spread offense required every receiver to finish their blocks through the whistle, but Henry would loaf, faking his way through workouts, irritating coaches to no end. Rodriguez threw him out of a couple of practices, and once, a film session.

“The one piece that Chris was missing was that come-to-work dynamic,” Marshall remembers.

But Jones was always there, always pushing and prodding. He couldn’t stand the idea of taking a rep off, so he let Henry hear it. Jones made his life miserable. “When you have one guy at 100, and another who’s at 25, they’re gonna clash,” Marshall remembers. “Those two had their moments.”

Rodriguez had to halt more than a few practices.

“And it wasn’t just Chris,” Marshall adds with a laugh. “Pacman got into it with every single person on the offensive side of the ball.”

Henry had to learn, had to grow, and it was Jones who helped him realize his talent. In their last year in Morgantown, the Mountaineers climbed to as high as sixth in the country.

The two went 77 spots apart in the 2005 draft, Jones to the Titans in the first round, Henry to the Bengals in the third. Jones flamed out in Tennessee, then Dallas. Henry damn near did the same thing in Cincinnati, routinely testing — and exhausting — the franchise’s patience. He was arrested on five separate occasions, and at one point, suspended indefinitely by commissioner Roger Goodell.

Lewis tried. Over and over. Before a game in Pittsburgh during Henry’s rookie season, the coach pulled his young wideout aside, reminding him how close Heinz Field was to Morgantown. This wasn’t going to be your typical road game, he warned.

“The fans are gonna be on you. You need to maintain your composure.”

“I got you, coach,” Henry assured him.

Thirty seconds later, terrible towels waving, fans howling, Henry was giving them the finger.

For Lewis, at times, it was maddening.

“Look, if football is important to you, you can’t do these things,” he told Henry once or twice, maybe a dozen times.

The most remarkable layer to Chris Henry’s story, his former coach says, was the transformation. The immaturity that dogged his early years in the league started to fade after he met Loleini. They were planning their wedding during Henry’s fifth season.

But then there was an argument on Dec. 16, 2009, about how much to spend. Chris wanted to keep things modest. Loleini got in the truck and started to drive off; Henry jumped in the back, then toppled out. The injuries he sustained — blunt force trauma to the head — cost him his life.

He was just 26, with three kids at home — Chris Jr. was 2 — and half his career still in front of him.

“Broke my heart,” Rodriguez says.

“Just devastating,” adds Marshall.

“Everybody was crushed,” Jones says. “How could you not be?”

Chris Jr. wears No. 1, DeMarcus No. 5, an ode to their father’s No. 15.

Jones watches Chris Jr.’s games from the bleachers, trying to bite his tongue, often failing.

“It’s hard to stay f— quiet,” he says with a laugh.

On the basketball court, he sees DeMarcus’ stock climbing this summer, much like his brother’s did on the football field. Jones linked DeMarcus up with a more prominent AAU team after the boys landed in Cincinnati, betting the bigger exposure will pay off.

“He’s been one of the top 20 players at his age in the country since he was 11 or 12 years old,” Jones brags.

Lewis says he gets a half-dozen calls a year from former players and their wives raving about the week their son spent working with Jones at J24. The longtime Bengals coach, who was in Cincinnati for Henry’s tumultuous run and untimely death as well as Jones’ late-career revival, attended Jones’ wedding in 2014. He looked around and saw who was there, then weighed what it said about a man who’d finally, finally, finally gotten out of his own way.

Jones’ high school teammates and lifelong friends were all on hand, the community Pacman refused to leave behind. Coaches from every stop, Jones’ father figures since he was a teenager. Both the Titans’ and Cowboys’ directors of security, the men tasked with keeping him out of trouble during his first two NFL stops. Jones didn’t last more than two seasons with either team.

“Here’s the thing about Pacman Jones that not enough people know,” Rodriguez says. “He’s got the biggest heart you could possibly have.”

He also has a story, muddied by his own mistakes, that he wants his children — needs them — to learn from. Being rebellion nearly cost him everything. He hides nothing. “Visit the past,” he’ll tell them, “but don’t stay in the past.”

Jones recently admitted on Shannon Sharpe’s show, “Unfiltered,” that he was diagnosed as bipolar in 2015 but refused medication until he retired in 2019 because didn’t want it affecting his play. “I did have anger issues,” he said. “And still do sometimes.”

“We all know the things I went through,” Jones says, looking back on all of it. “Our house, it’s a glass house. It’s all out there. I got the respect of the youth because I made my mistakes, took it on the chin and bounced back way harder.

“They understand they can’t do what I did. It’s not gonna happen. The bullsh– I put myself in? No way.”

That’s the message, hardened by the lessons he’s left with and what it nearly cost him. Pacman Jones’ story was never simple, and that’s why a man most might assume to be the worst role model for a pair of blossoming teenage athletes could be precisely what they need.

“I don’t want no recognition. I don’t even want this story written,” Jones says. “I’m just so thankful I was able to help these kids out. Their dad would be proud of them.”

Jones didn’t even tell his old coaches. Lewis found out from his son; Rodriguez heard from a former player. There’s a lot of talk of “family” around football programs, Rodriguez says, and most of the time, it’s nothing more than empty platitudes. Not in this case. “He’s doing this because he loved Chris and he loves those kids,” the coach says. “Nothing more.”

Years ago, after the accident, when Pacman promised Loleini he’d do anything for Slim’s family, he meant it. In his mind, this wasn’t so much a decision as it was a duty. “Pac wouldn’t have felt right moving on in life unless he did this,” Marshall says.

“Honestly, I treat them like I treat my own,” Pacman adds. “And I want all my kids to do better than I did, you know?

“Don’t you?”
 

Coasterfreek

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Pac Man Jones? Not the memories I want to have.
 

Sawyer

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Jefferson the #1 wr in Madden 24, nice.
 

ChillBro

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This is Da Bears year. Fields MVP candidate. Book it.
 

ChillBro

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Dude, you're smoking some strong shit!

Fly Eagles Fly!
Fields is this year's Jalen Hurts! we finally gave him a decent o line and now he has a real #1 WR in DJ Moore. it is time!
 

Sawyer

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This is Da Bears year. Fields MVP candidate. Book it.
As a vikings fan I feel your enthusiasm however I can't help but laugh very hard and loud 🤣
 

ChillBro

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As a vikings fan I feel your enthusiasm however I can't help but laugh very hard and loud 🤣
Hahahaha you and @ADRossi with the lions...but its ok atleast the packers will be trash so our division is up for grabs
 

Nerazzurri_Ninja

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My earliest memories of American Football involve the Cowboys winning the superbowl, decades later still waiting on my AMERICAS TEAM to achieve that lvl
 
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