Le’Veon Bell expecting big year from his Steelers replacement

New Jet Le’Veon Bell may have had a contentious exit from the Steelers, but he is rooting for big things from the running back who replaced him.

Responding to a Pittsburgh Steelers Twitter poll on Tuesday asking how many touchdowns running back James Conner will have this season, Bell tweeted 17.

Conner tweeted back to Bell: “Sounds about right.”

Conner, who was Pittsburgh’s primary running back in 2018 after Bell was a holdout for the season, had 13 touchdowns, 12 rushing and one receiving in 13 games. He also rushed for 973 yards on 215 carries while adding 55 receptions for 497 yards.

Bell, who signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets in March, had 11 touchdowns, nine rushing and two receiving during the 2017 season. He also ran for 1,291 yards on 321 carries to go along with 85 catches for 655 yards.

It’s likely both teams and their fan bases will be curious to see how the two running backs fare this season.

Patrick Mahomes puts up video game numbers on and off the football field

The 23-year-old wearing a sweatshirt and funky jogger pants could almost be mistaken for any other young man engaging in lighthearted banter while playing video games on a Tuesday morning. But after an MVP award in his second NFL season, Patrick Mahomes II tends to stick out, even when engaging in everyday activities like gaming.

Though so much has changed in Mahomes’s life after he laid waste to NFL secondaries with more than 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns, he still reverts to a ritual that dates back to his middle school days: hours-long offseason video gaming sessions.

“It’s been something that I’ve taken with me all the way since I was that young,” Mahomes said during a promotional event for new in-game content for “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” at Treyarch’s offices.

Video games, especially shooters like Call of Duty, have served as a way for Mahomes to escape the pressures of his life on the field while still flexing his competitive muscles. The practice has endured from his time as a multisport high school star in Texas, then to Texas Tech and now as one of the NFL’s youngest MVPs. Gaming has aided him in even more ways than stress relief at the pro level, helping him build chemistry and cohesion with his teammates on the Chiefs.

“I have a great group of guys on my team who are also young, and so we all get on, we play and kinda get lost in it for a while,” Mahomes said of his teammates, who make up one of the youngest rosters in the league. Gaming online has also helped him keep in touch with his friends from high school, he said, which helps keeps him grounded as his star continues to rise.

Despite his profession, his habit does not extend to Madden NFL, a game he finds too close to his real world. Instead, Mahomes prefers shooter games, like Call of Duty and “Fortnite” even if the latter title presented him with an odd moment when his character was killed by a player wearing Mahomes’s own jersey in the game.

While he will bring his PlayStation with him on the road, he’ll play only for an hour or two on Mondays and Fridays during the season, when the Chiefs aren’t playing or practicing. In the offseason, his sessions will stretch closer to three or four hours.While the Chiefs have no problem with his gaming, and certainly prefer it to him playing basketball, not all parties in Mahomes’s circle are as thrilled.

“My girlfriend gets a little mad at me sometimes because I’m in the game room playing for three or four hours,” he said.

Playing with several journalists at the Treyarch studios, Mahomes demonstrated how his gaming experience can manifest on the field. During matches played with some men more than twice his age, he emerged as the clear leader of the group, barking out commands to his teammates while making split-second decisions. He adapted his strategies based on the game’s maps, called out the locations of opposing players and, just as he did this past fall, displayed a bias for aggressiveness.

When the game concluded, he had earned player of the game honors. His secret?

“I was getting a lot of kills and not dying a lot,” Mahomes said.

Odell Beckham Jr. defends Baker Mayfield

The Daily Dawg Tags brings you all the Cleveland Browns news you need to know, including Odell Beckham Jr. defending Baker Mayfield.

Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield have only been Cleveland Browns teammates for a month, but they are already defending each other like they have been brothers forever.

Mayfield was a subject in an Instagram post by Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller. The image showed Miller standing over Mayfield after sacking him during last season’s Week 15 match-up.

Mayfield seemed to take the post in stride and commented on the post. But Beckham also responded to the post in a joking manner and defended his new quarterback.

Beckham and Mayfield quickly showed good chemistry during Beckham’s introductory press conference two weeks ago, and it seems to have carried onto social media as well. Perhaps their good relationship off the field will create strong chemistry on the field as well. Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller posted a photo of him sacking Mayfield when the Browns earned a 17-16 victory at Denver Broncos Stadium at Mile High last December, and new Cleveland wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was quick to defend his new quarterback.

“DON’T YOU EVER DISRESPECT MY QB,” Beckham Jr. posted, followed by three crying laughing emojis.

The entire scenario may only come off as a joke considering the players are all friends with each other, but it is good to see the new teammates meshing well together already. It goes to show all of the comments about Beckham hating Cleveland already are misguided.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs in Week 8

One of the best potential matchups of the 2019 NFL season will be played in primetime in Week 8.

According to Terez Paylor of The Athletic, NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas Chiefs are scheduled to welcome two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to Arrowhead Field for “Sunday Night Football” on Oct. 27.

The two elite quarterbacks could put on quite a show.

Mahomes was the breakout superstar of the 2018 NFL season, throwing for 5,381 yards and 53 touchdown passes for the 12-4 Chiefs last season. Kansas City advanced to the AFC title game but were defeated by the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Field in overtime.

Many have compared the creative and rocket-armed Mahomes to Rodgers, who is coming off a disappointing and injury-plagued 2018 season.

In fact, Rodgers commented on Mahomes’ meteoric rise last November.“I don’t want to disrespect him with this, but I see a lot of my young self in him,” Rodgers said. “He rolls around, runs around, makes plays. He has a big arm. He’s talented. Plays with a great swagger. He’s fun to watch.”

Rodgers and Mahomes will now go head-to-head for the first time in the spotlight of a nationally televised game from one of the best atmospheres in pro football.

The Packers have won two of the last three meetings with the Chiefs, although the one loss spoiled Green Bay’s otherwise undefeated regular season in 2011. Four years later, the Packers beat the Chiefs by a 38-28 final at Lambeau Field.

Did they stop taking these after mine?

Six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady shared the hilarious photo of himself at the NFL Combine for the anniversary of the New England Patriots selecting him at the 2000 NFL Draft.

The photo shows a younger and slender Brady in gray shorts. He tweeted the photo Tuesday to celebrate 19 years after the Patriots selected him in the sixth round of that draft.

“19 years ago today the @patriots took a chance on the guy in this photo: Me (199). Thank you to EVERYONE who’s helped me to prove them right!” he tweeted.

He added: “Also, did they stop taking these photos after mine??”

Brady, 41, is the best example of any team finding a hidden gem late in the draft. The Patriots selected him with the 199th overall pick that year out of Michigan.

In 2001, he took over as the starting quarterback for an injured Drew Bledsoe and the rest is history.Brady has won a half-dozen Super Bowl titles, received 14 Pro Bowl selections and won three MVP awards.