BLACKHAWKS AMONG TEAMS IN CONTENTION TO LAND JIMMY VESEY

Vesey is a two-time Hobey Baker Award finalist, and captured the award as the best player in college hockey last season after scoring 24 goals and adding 22 assists in 33 games with Harvard University, where he played four years.

The previous two Hobey Baker Award winners are Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames (2014) and Jack Eichel of the Sabres (2015), so the possibility of Vesey landing in Chicago could immediately give the Blackhawks another dynamic scoring option.

CANTON, Ohio — Tony Dungy would like to see the NFL’s Rooney Rule used in the manner it was intended.

He pointed to Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and Arizona’s Bruce Arians as examples of coaches who got jobs because teams were thorough in their searches.

Dungy, whose Indianapolis Colts won Super Bowl XLI in February 2007, has been a mentor to many NFL head coaches, including Tomlin, Lovie Smith and Jim Caldwell.

Tomlin has led the Steelers two Super Bowls, winning one in 2008. Smith, now the head coach at the University of Illinois, led the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl appearance, in which they lost to Dungy’s Colts. Caldwell, now the Detroit Lions head coach, served as an assistant on two different Super Bowl-winning teams.

Tomlin, Smith and Caldwell are black. Owners who hired them were willing to look beyond the norms, Dungy said.

“We’ve got to get past that.”

Dungy, who turned around perennial loser in Tampa Bay before winning the championship with Indianapolis, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday night. He went 139-69 as a head coach, and had only one losing record — in 1996, his first year with the Buccaneers.

The Redskins will be moving to a sparkling new stadium at some point soon. Soon enough, we’ll figure out where it will be.

PHILADELPHIA — Under Doug Pederson, the Philadelphia Eagles may well be replicating Andy Reid’s 1999 quarterback plan. It doesn’t look that way to Donovan McNabb, the centerpiece of Reid’s plan.

Myles Jack’s knee feels fine, but the pain from his draft-night fall still stings

When I ask Jack to retrace the process starting from our initial sit down in Arizona, he tried to link up dates and happenings, such as his workouts for teams and his medical re-check at the combine. The idea was a chronological look at how he went from a sure-fire top-5 pick to a second rounder with crushed dreams.

But, as expected, it was a bit of a fog, the whirlwind of it all muddying up the details of the journey.

“I thought it was all good, but then I don’t run my 40 and it blows up,” Jack said. “Then it quiets down some, and a week before the draft it blows up again.”

After his pro day in mid-March, where he didn’t run his 40, there were expectations in the NFL community that he would have a second pro day and run the 40. At one point, he even told me he would run it.

But then he and agent John Thornton made the decision not to run the 40. That became an issue. What was he hiding?

“I could have run it, but why go out there and put up a number that isn’t an accurate or a representation of what I can run?” Jack said “They see me on film moving fast, and if they got a different number, it was going to throw them off. I will probably never run another 40 again. I don’t even want to think about the 40 after that.”

The next step was a trip back to Indianapolis, the site of the NFL Scouting Combine, for the medical re-check. There were differing reports that came from that. There were red flags of sorts, and some team personnel I contracted were concerned. Others said there was no issue.

There was talk of more surgery. There was talk of cartilage issues, which meant bone-on-bone, which usually can mean a shortened career. And then the new dreaded surgical word popped up: Micro-fracture. Once upon a time, three letters used to scare football players: ACL. Now it’s micro-fracture.

As the news started leaking out about knee problems, Jack continued the process. He worked out every day. No pain. He had individual workouts for teams, including the Dolphins, , Raiders and Jaguars. No pain.

In the days leading up the draft, Jack was the most-talked about prospect. Would he fall out of the top 10? Would a team take a risk? Was he a risk?

Jack went to Chicago with the intention that he would still be a high pick. Two days before the draft, the New York Post quoted him as saying he might need micro-fracture surgery down the road. That led to more questions.

“I got asked by a reporter hypothetically if such and such happens will I have to have micro-fracture surgery?” Jack said. “He kind of outsmarted me. I have to own up to it to this day and me being young he got me. A meteor could wipe up us off the Earth. Hypothetically, anything can happen. Bottom line, he outsmarted me. I am not a candidate for surgery.”

The night of the first round of the draft, Jack gathered his family and went to the ceremony expecting to hear his name called. He didn’t.

“It’s really hard to talk about that night, the raw feeling of it,” he said. “You walk the red carpet. You invite people out, your girl, your mom, your grandma. Everyone is dressed up. You have your whole family in the green room waiting to hear your name called and you keep hearing other tables screaming and other people’s (walk-up) music being played. Then I look up at the TV and see (NFL Network Insider) Ian Rapoport talking about my knee. It was frustrating. What could I do? Show them I had a 50-inch vertical jump? Go play Arena Football? I didn’t know what I could do to end all the doubt.”
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Myles Jack poses with his mother on the red carpet on the first night of the NFL Draft.
Getty Images

When the first round was over, he retreated to his hotel. At one point, he told his family he wanted to be by himself.

“I was sitting in the living room trying to figure out what happened,” Jack said. “It wasn’t the way it was supposed to go.”

The next morning, Jack was antsy. So, like he has a lot of times in his life, he needed a gym — a basketball gym. He and his uncle and brother took an UBER to a court to play some hoops. It was after one of his dunks that his uncle said he needed to film it and send it out on social media, a sign that he was fine. Jack slammed one down, the uncle taped it and it went out into cyberspace leading up to Day 2. It went viral.

“It had over 1 million interactions on social media,” he said. “It kind of took off.”

Even then, some skeptics analyzed the way he came down. Was he protecting the knee? That’s how bad it got.

“I was starting to think there was an obsession with my knee,” Jack said.

That night, the Jaguars moved up to the fifth spot in the second round to take a player they considered strongly in the first round. Jack’s nightmare was over. He was in the NFL, even if it cost him a bundle during the process.

Jack was on the field this past weekend for the team’s rookie orientation. He was the only linebacker on the field, so he did a lot — with no problems. He learned the middle, which is where he will eventually become a star. The Jaguars have already compared him to Seattle’s Bobby Wagner.

“I would say he’s in really good shape right now,” Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said. “I think he’s in the 230s, something like that. He just looked in good shape and I know he feels good about where his weight is right now. He moved around pretty good.”

That doesn’t mean the knee talk is over. It might be that way his entire career. The doubters seem to be waiting for the moment when it becomes an issue.

“A METEOR COULD WIPE UP US OFF THE EARTH. HYPOTHETICALLY, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.”– Myles Jack

“Time bomb?” Jack said. “Who came up with that? Who knows what will happen in the future? I don’t even sweat my knee. I don’t even guard it. I don’t count my steps. My muscle memory is back. I can do it all.”

On his first night in Jacksonville, Jack went to a local restaurant for chicken wings with some of his new teammates. As they waited for the order, a fan came up to him.

“You should have went in the first round,” the man said. “If it wasn’t for your knee.”

Jack said he just smiled.

“All I can do is tell them it’s fine,” he said. “It was a different journey than I expected. But I am here now. All I can do is go out and play football. Just play ball, and see what happens.”

By any reasonable measurement, Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs of his era, and probably in NFL history. He’s led the league in rushing yards three times and rushing touchdowns twice. He’s made the Pro Bowl in every season that didn’t get cut short due to injury or suspension and he’s a four-time first-team All-Pro. In nine seasons, he has rushed for 11,675 yards and 97 touchdowns. Those figures rank 17th and 10th all-time, respectively.

According to AP himself, the back end of his career is going to be even more special. “Not to be cocky or anything, but I know, at 31, my end is going to be better than my beginning,” the Vikings star told Peter King of The MMQB. “One thing I know, and will remain true: These young guys will never outwork me. I put my body through the grind. Just knowing how my body remains healthy, age is not really affecting me. It’s my mindset. I don’t get into the 30-year-old running-back thing, that you’re done at 30. I am getting stronger with age. Honest, last year [when he won his third rushing title at age 30] was a disappointment to me, because I know I can do more. Honest, it was.”

Peterson considers last year — when he led the NFL in carries, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns — a disappointment? Well, I guess that’s one way to make sure you’re always motivated.

Cowboys linebacker hurt in paintball outing gone awry

Speaking of “never again”, that’s probably what second-year Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson is saying after he took a ball to the eye during a recent paintball expedition. The mishap has left Wilson sidelined him for the start of training camp.

“That’s real hard to grasp and figure those issues,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Friday, according to ESPN.com. “I’m being trite when I say it because it’s a serious enough issue to keep him off the field for a couple of weeks.”

Poor Wilson started camp on the NFI list and the team hopes to get him back in about 10 days. Next time he should just come to the bar with me.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Chargers first-round draft pick, defensive end Joey Bosa, will not report with his teammates Friday as he remains unsigned, according to a source close to Bosa.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco confirmed that the main sticking point in stalled contract talks between the club and first-round pick, defensive end Joey Bosa, is how guaranteed bonuses are distributed.

A source close to Bosa said the No. 3 overall pick would like his bonuses all up front. The Chargers have offered to pay Bosa in two installments, with the heftier amount coming at the first payment.

One notable name missing from the Cowboys’ team charter to training camp in Southern California: linebacker Rolando McClain. It’s worth wondering if the suspended starter will join the team ever again.

Joe Flacco participated in his first full practice since tearing his ACL last season. He wasn’t thrilled with his accuracy, but just his presence on the field is great news for the Ravens.

Nelson hits PUP after tweaking non-ACL knee

Jordy Nelson’s much-anticipated return to the field will come later than expected.

NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday from Packers camp that the Green Bay wideout recently tweaked his knee working out, which prompted the team to place him on the PUP list.

Thankfully for Nelson, though, the injury is to his left knee — not his surgically repaired right one — leaving the receiver to say: “It’s not the ACL. No one needs to freak out.”

Said Nelson: “I’m not going into details of stuff. You guys know I don’t like to talk about injuries. I’ve already had to give you more than what I wanted to, to be honest. But we’re all on the same page, we’re going to be back hopefully — not worried about it.”

Nelson went on to call the setback a mere “hiccup,” joking: “I hate the hiccups. They’re so annoying, aren’t they?”

He doesn’t appear alarmed, but any complication for the 31-year-old Nelson is enough to keep Packers fans up at night. Still, it’s actually encouraging that the pass-catcher’s latest issue has nothing to do with the ACL.

“Obviously I want to be out there and the more practices you have, the better,” Nelson said of missing reps with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. “But it’s nothing we’re panicking about right now. As long as we’re on the same page mentally, it’ll carry over to the game.”

It’s not a sunny development for Nelson, but we fully expect him to be ready for the start of the season, which should help this once-explosive offense turn last year’s troubles into a memory.

Here are other injuries we’re tracking on Tuesday:

1. The Indianapolis Colts placed defensive tackle Henry Anderson and tight end Darion Griswold on the PUP list. The Colts also moved safety Clayton Geathers to the non-football injury list.

2. Safety Tyrann Mathieu, cornerback Justin Bethel, defensive tackle Frostee Rucker and linebacker Zack Wagenmann were placed on the PUP list, the Arizona Cardinals announced.

I’ll be off that list shortly… I got work to do…

Tom Brady reveals his favorite recipe from his $200 ‘cookbook’

“Bruce Smith was 100 percent football player,” Kelly said, per the Bills’ official web site. “He was one of those guys when people talk about being the best, ‘I want to be the best. I want to do this. I want to do that.’ Bruce Smith was all about wanting to be the best possible football player he could be. He wanted to be the best that ever played, and pretty much, as I look at it, even though he was a teammate of mine, I think he definitely is one of the best defensive ends ever to play the game.”

Smith, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with late Bills owner and founder Ralph Wilson Jr. in 2009, finished his NFL career with 200 sacks — still the all-time record (171 with the Bills; 29 in Washington, where he played his final four seasons). He made 11 Pro Bowls, was selected as a First-Team All-Pro eight times (tied for the most among defensive ends in NFL history along with Reggie White), and twice won the AP Defensive Player of the Year.

Though Smith’s number has not yet been retired, no Buffalo player has worn it since he left the team in 1999. That streak will continue as long as the franchise is intact. It’s an incredibly well-deserved honor for one of the best defensive players in NFL history.

If you watched the Bengals’ playoff loss to the Steelers back in January, you probably noticed that there was some bad blood between the two teams. Or to be more accurate, there was a ton of bad blood between the two teams.

The Bengals will get a chance at revenge in September when they travel to Pittsburgh in Week 2. However, for some players that date is too far away. They want revenge now, which is why they’ve volunteered to help the other football team in their city: FC Cincinnati.

The United Soccer League team started playing this year and on Saturday, they’ll be playing host to a team from Pittsburgh.

Since every Bengals fan in Cincinnati seems to hate Pittsburgh, the soccer team decided to milk that theme: They invited Giovani Bernard, Vontaze Burfict, Jeremy Hill, Kevin Huber, Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick and Domata Peko to be honorary captains for the soccer game.

The Seahawks corner had a simple reason for picking Brady at the best starting QB: He has more Lombardi Trophies than any other current starting quarterback.

“Wasn’t Kobe [Bryant] the best player in the NBA with his five rings? Tom’s got four rings. He gets the nod because of that,” Sherman said.

Of course, if that’s the benchmark, then the second-best quarterback in the NFL is either Ben Roethlisberger or Eli Manning, who each have two Super Bowl rings (I’ll take Big Ben). Then you have Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Joe Flacco, who all have one ring (I’ll take Rodgers and Wilson before the other two).

After Brady retires, whenever that happens to be, that’s when the debate of best active starting quarterback will actually get interesting.

Russell Wilson on NC State departure: Coach told me to ‘give it up’

Russell Wilson’s transfer from NC State to Wisconsin came after coach Tom O’Brien chose to go with Mike Glennon over Wilson as the Wolfpack’s starting quarterback heading into the 2011 season. This we have known for years.