BROWNS’ MAY­FIELD UN­APOLO­GETIC FOR ON-FIELD AN­TICS

The Tribune (SLO) - - Sports -

Baker May­field won’t clean up his act. Crit­i­cized for taunt­ing for­mer Browns coach Hue Jack­son in the clos­ing min­utes – and an ear­lier crude ges­ture – dur­ing Cleve­land’s win Sun­day over Cincin­nati, May­field reit­er­ated he’s “not a cook­iecut­ter quar­ter­back” and doesn’t care how he’s per­ceived out­side his locker room.

After com­plet­ing a 66yard pass against the Ben­gals, May­field stared at Jack­son for sev­eral sec­onds while he ran down the field.

May­field de­fended his ac­tions Wed­nes­day, say­ing he has no plans to change his be­hav­ior. The 23-year-old May­field said: “I’m not try­ing to be any­body else. I’ve been who I am and that’s got­ten me here. I’m not try­ing to get any­body’s ap­proval.”

NO­TABLE

Pan­thers: The Pan­thers placed quar­ter­back Tay­lor Heinicke on in­jured re­serve with an el­bow in­jury. Kyle Allen is ex­pected to start this Sun­day against the Saints with Carolina elim­i­nated from the play­offs. The team has signed Gar­rett Gil­bert, who was with Carolina in train­ing camp, as a backup. The team does not want to ac­ti­vate Cam New­ton, who is strug­gling with a shoul­der in­jury, in Week 17.

Jaguars: Blake Bor­tles is get­ting an­other start for the Jaguars. It could be his last. Coach Doug Mar­rone an­nounced that Bor­tles will start the sea­son fi­nale at Hous­ton (10-5), giv­ing the em­bat­tled quar­ter­back a chance to close out the sea­son on a pos­i­tive note.

“We just feel like his mo­bil­ity will give us a bet­ter chance,” Mar­rone said.

Ti­tans: Quar­ter­back Mar­cus Mar­i­ota said he’s do­ing “ev­ery­thing in my power” to be avail­able Sun­day night against In­di­anapo­lis with a play­off berth on the line for the win­ner. Mar­i­ota did not prac­tice with what the Ti­tans listed as neck and foot in­juries. Mar­i­ota de­clined to de­tail what symp­toms he’s still deal­ing with after be­ing hurt on a sack late in the first half of Ten­nessee’s win over Wash­ing­ton last week­end.

Bron­cos: Coach Vance Joseph said rookie run­ning back Phillip Lind­say needs an op­er­a­tion on his in­jured right wrist and the re­cov­ery could take up to four months. Lind­say, the first un­drafted of­fen­sive player ever to earn a Pro Bowl se­lec­tion, got hurt Mon­day night in Oak­land shortly after sur­pass­ing 1,000 yards rush­ing.

Jets: Tru­maine John­son’s tough first sea­son with the Jets hit an­other rough patch. The team’s top cor­ner­back was held out of prac­tice for what coach Todd Bowles called “an in-house mat­ter.” Both Bowles and John­son de­clined to dis­cuss de­tails of their con­ver­sa­tion or why the player was kept off the field. John­son says he “of course” ex­pects to re­turn to prac­tice Thurs­day and play at New Eng­land in the sea­son fi­nale Sun­day.

Wash­ing­ton: Coach Jay Gru­den made it clear that D.J. Swearinger was cut for in­sub­or­di­na­tion after be­ing warned mul­ti­ple times about his crit­i­cism of the team to me­dia.

The safety called out the play-call­ing of de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Greg Manusky after the 25-16 loss to the Ten­nessee Ti­tans on Satur­day, a de­feat that ef­fec­tively elim­i­nated Wash­ing­ton from post­sea­son con­tention. Swearinger also im­plied that he works harder than mem­bers of the coach­ing staff when it comes to film-study prepa­ra­tion.

“I’ve had many talks with him in the past,” Gru­den said. “Ob­vi­ously, I didn’t get through to him so, again, that’s my re­spon­si­bil­ity. . . . Ob­vi­ously, he wasn’t happy. He voiced his dis­plea­sure many, many times. At the end of the day, we thought it was best for him to let him go and best for us mov­ing for­ward.

● Four days have passed since Wash­ing­ton cor­ner­back Josh Nor­man tried to fight Ten­nessee tackle Tay­lor Le­wan, and Nor­man re­mains fu­ri­ous that Le­wan came to Wash­ing­ton’s side­line to taunt him after the Ti­tans’ 25-16 vic­tory Satur­day af­ter­noon.

As he stood at his locker, Nor­man seemed stunned that any player would do such a thing.

“Max­i­mum dis­re­spect,” Nor­man said. “Ul­ti­mate dis­re­spect.”

Le­wan ap­proached Nor­man as the cor­ner­back sat de­ject­edly on the Wash­ing­ton bench. Stand­ing just feet from Nor­man, Le­wan made a mo­tion like he was shoot­ing a bow and ar­row at Nor­man, an im­i­ta­tion of a cel­e­bra­tion Nor­man has used in the past. Le­wan said he did this be­cause he be­lieved Nor­man was in­ten­tion­ally try­ing to in­jure Ti­tans run­ning back Der­rick Henry dur­ing the game.

“It’s not our fault you’re not rel­e­vant any­more,” Le­wan added later.

Car­di­nals: D.J. Swearinger, re­leased abruptly by Wash­ing­ton this week after pub­licly crit­i­ciz­ing the de­fen­sive coach­ing, didn’t need much time to find a land­ing place. He’s back in Ari­zona with the Car­di­nals, where he played part of 2015 and all of the 2016 sea­son.

Speak­ing in front of his new locker, Swearinger called it a “rocky Christ­mas” and ac­knowl­edged that he was wrong to speak out against Wash­ing­ton de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Greg Manusky and crit­i­cize the team’s strat­egy in a 25-16 loss to Ten­nessee.

Still, he was sur­prised, he said, that it led to his re­lease from the team.

“Just liv­ing and learn­ing,” Swearinger said, “un­der­stand­ing you know it wasn’t my role to call out the de­fen­sive coaches even though we had a re­la­tion­ship. Me and the coaches had a good re­la­tion­ship. But it’s just learn­ing. I keep my mouth shut next time and just keep mov­ing and play foot­ball, do what I do on the field.”

Pa­tri­ots: Ear­lier this month, Gisele Bünd­chen once again talked about how she hasn’t been able to per­suade hus­band Tom Brady to re­tire from the NFL, telling Ellen De­Generes that “I haven’t been very suc­cess­ful” at get­ting him to step down. Now it looks as if the Pa­tri­ots quar­ter­back isn’t go­ing to hang it up after what has be­come a some­what dif­fi­cult 2018 sea­son.

“I ab­so­lutely be­lieve I will,” Brady said when asked by Westwood One’s Jim Gray about whether he’ll be back in 2019. “I know I’ve talked about it a long time. I have goals to play not only next year but be­yond that. And I’m go­ing to try to do it as best as I pos­si­bly can. I’m go­ing to give it ev­ery­thing I have, like I al­ways have. It will cer­tainly be a chal­lenge. I don’t take any of these things for granted. But I hope I can keep play­ing. I hope I can keep play­ing at a cham­pi­onship level.”

Bills: An avid Bills fan from Texas who’s bat­tling can­cer has been given a trip to Dis­ney World thanks to the ef­forts of a fan club known as the Bills Mafia. Ezra Cas­tro is known as Pan­cho Billa for his game-day out­fit that in­cludes a som­brero and face­mask in the NFL team’s red, white and blue col­ors.

The 39-year-old mor­ti­cian from Dal­las has at­tended nu­mer­ous Bills games on the road and at New Era Field in Or­chard Park, earn­ing him the honor of be­ing named the in­au­gu­ral mem­ber of the Buf­falo Fan Wall of Fame. Last Sun­day while watch­ing the Bills-Pa­tri­ots game at a Dal­las-area bar with other Buf­falo fans, the Bills Mafia sur­prised him with an all-ex­penses-paid trip to Dis­ney World in Florida for him, his girl­friend and their two young chil­dren.

DAVID RICHARD AP

Cleve­land Browns quar­ter­back Baker May­field (6) is un­apolo­getic about star­ing down his for­mer coach.

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