Happy Friday, everyone!
Let’s get right to it
Good morning to everyone but especially to…
Doug Pederson is back in the NFL, and he has a new young quarterback to coach up. The former Eagles head coach has reached a deal to be the new man in charge of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Pederson, who led Philadelphia to a Super Bowl victory in the 2017 season, did not coach in any capacity this past season.
Pederson helped turn Carson Wentz into an MVP candidate in his second year in the league (2017), and he’ll hope to do the same with Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville. Lawrence ranked at or near the bottom of basically every passing category as a rookie, but given the dysfunction surrounding Urban Meyer and the poor roster around him, it’s far too early to write him off as a bust.
In addition to Wentz, Pederson, a product of the Andy Reid coaching tree, has coached:
So he has the chops to develop Lawrence.
It was not an easy hiring process for Jacksonville. In fact, Pederson’s hiring came on the same day Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich reportedly removed his name from consideration because he did not want to work with GM Trent Baalke.
Winning in Jacksonville will be no easy task, but it’s still a good morning for Pederson, who was unceremoniously dumped out of Philadelphia three years after leading the franchise to its only Super Bowl title and after making the playoffs in three of his final four seasons. Jaguars owner Shad Khan has shown patience with his coaches (maybe even too much patience) — something that wasn’t necessarily afforded to Pederson in the City of Brotherly Love.
And not such a good morning for…
DAN SNYDER AND THE WASHINGTON COMMANDERS
On Thursday, six former Washington Commanders employees joined leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee for a roundtable discussion about workplace misconduct inside the organization.
CBS Sports obtained opening statements from all six. Among the notable new developments…
- Former marketing coordinator Emily Applegate said she was harassed on a daily basis and told not to “speak… or look at” team owner Dan Snyder.
- Former video production manager Brad Baker said he was told to produce “essentially a soft-porn video” of cheerleaders “at the request of Dan Snyder.” Former cheerleader and director of marketing Melanie Coburn corroborated Baker’s allegation.
- Coburn said Snyder had private investigators sent to cheerleaders’ homes and offered money in exchange for public silence regarding the misconduct. Coburn also alleged she was harassed by a player in 2005 and was told “If it’s gonna be him or you [to go], it’s gonna be you.”
- Former cheerleader and marketing manager Tiffani A. Johnston said Snyder touched her inappropriately and without consent at a work dinner and that Snyder “aggressively pushed” her toward his limo before his attorney intervened.
“Daniel Snyder should not be managing any human beings,” Coburn said Thursday. “He needs to be held accountable for his actions.”
Snyder released a statement through his PR representative, saying in part “the allegations leveled against me personally in today’s roundtable – many of which are well over 13 years old – are outright lies.”
The NFL first launched its investigation of the team in July 2020. A year later, Washington was fined $10 million for a “highly unprofessional” work environment, though the exact findings have not been disclosed. In October 2021, in the wake of the email leak that led to Jon Gruden’s resignation, the Oversight Committee asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to turn over all documents and findings, but the NFL declined for confidentiality reasons.
Not so honorable mentions
Brian Flores is a finalist for Texans‘ head coaching job 🏈
Despite his lawsuit against the NFL, Brian Flores is a finalist to be head coach of the Texans, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson.
On Tuesday, Flores sued the NFL — as well as the Giants, Broncos and Dolphins specifically — alleging racial discrimination. Among Flores’ claims were that he had a “sham interview” with the Giants this offseason, a “sham interview” with the Broncos in 2019 (in which then-GM John Elway showed up late and hungover) and, lastly, that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him money to tank and tampered with a “prominent quarterback.”
- Flores, who is well-connected to Houston executives Jack Easterby and Nick Caserio given their time together in New England
- Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon
- Longtime NFL quarterback Josh McCown.
The Texans were among the teams mentioned in the Flores lawsuit because the team fired David Culley after just one season. Culley was put in an impossible-to-succeed scenario given Houston’s lackluster roster and the Deshaun Watson situation (Watson did not play in 2021, in large part due to numerous sexual assault allegations against him). Culley’s firing left just one Black head coach in the NFL: Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.
Five big questions ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline 🏀
The trade deadline is now less than a week away — Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. to be exact — and there’s plenty of intrigue for what the upcoming days may hold.
- Herbert: “Does anybody really want Ben Simmons? — Simmons is divisive, as far as star players go, and this is no less true among executives than it is among fans and writers. If you’re looking for reasons not to trade one of your best players and multiple first-round picks for him, you’ll find all sorts of them: his stubbornness about shooting, his free-throw yips in the playoffs, his desire to be known as a point guard… Is there a team out there for whom Simmons’ talent far outweighs all those concerns?”
Another big topic: Last year, the Magic hosted a fire sale at the trade deadline. Will any team replicate that? There are some contenders:
- Pacers (Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert)
- Kings (potentially… well… anyone)
- Trail Blazers (Jusuf Nurkic, Robert Covington)
- Wizards (Montrezl Harrell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and maybe even Bradley Beal)
Our NBA experts have done a phenomenal job prepping us for the deadline, so if you’ve missed any of it…
MLB asks for federal help in lockout resolution ⚾
We’re into the third month of the MLB lockout, and, without much progress toward a resolution, MLB has reportedly requested the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
According to its website, the FMCS is “an independent agency whose mission is to preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation.” The MLBPA still has to agree to use the FMCS for it to be involved with negotiations going forward.
The FMCS has a history of helping out MLB:
- 1980: Assisted the players and owners reach an agreement to hold off on work stoppage
- 1981: Helped put an end to player strike
The FMCS was also used in the 1994-95 strike, though it didn’t have as much success.
Pitchers and catchers are due to report Feb. 14, but that date is looking very unlikely at this point.
What we’re watching this weekend 📺
🏀 No. 13 Texas at No. 9 Baylor, 8 p.m. on ESPN2
🏀 76ers at Mavericks, 10 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 No. 17 UConn at No. 12 Villanova, Noon on FOX
🏒 NHL All-Star Game, 3 p.m. on ABC
🏀 No. 8 Baylor at No. 10 Kansas, 4 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 No. 9 Duke at North Carolina, 6 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Knicks at Lakers, 8:30 p.m. on ABC
🏀 No. 7 Tennessee at No. 10 UConn, Noon on FOX
🏈 NFL Pro Bowl, 3 p.m. on ABC/ESPN
🏀 Nets at Nuggets, 3:30 p.m. on NBA TV
🏀 No. 9 Baylor at No. 13 Texas, 4 p.m. on ESPN