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Colts Radio Analyst Absolutely Destroys Ex-Eagles QB Carson Wentz



Colts radio analyst absolutely destroys Carson Wentz originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Add Colts radio voice Rick Venturi to the growing list of people connected with the Colts to blast beleaguered quarterback Carson Wentz.

Venturi, a former college head coach and longtime NFL assistant coach, is now the color analyst on the Colts’ radio network, and in an interview on radio station 107.5 The Fan with a host apparently known only as «JMV,» Venturi cast doubt on Wentz’ ability to continue as the Colts’ quarterback.

«A franchise can make a mistake,» Venturi told 107.5 according to the Indianapolis Star. «It can make a mistake evaluating people, be it a draft, a trade, free agency. It’s never an exact science. But the biggest mistake that any franchise makes, $15 million notwithstanding, is to make the second mistake, and that’s live with the first mistake. 

«To me, you make a hard decision. And right now, I would be leaning toward going in a different direction.»

The Eagles in February shipped Wentz to the Colts for two draft picks that wound up becoming the 18th pick in this year’s draft and a 3rd-round pick in last year’s draft that indirectly became Milton Williams.

Some believed being reunited with Colts head coach Frank Reich, his offensive coordinator with the Eagles when he had his big 2017 season, would rejuvenate Wentz after a disappointing 2020 season that saw him get benched for Jalen Hurts.

«He couldn’t have walked into a better situation,» Venturi said. «I bought into the deal. I made the highlight tape, I looked at him, I looked at all the tools that he had. He’s a multiple-tool player. When you look at him in isolation, there’s absolutely nothing that he cannot do. And he came to a situation with the quarterback whisperer, a guy who wanted him, who stood up on the table for him, who sold them to this organization.»

Although the former Pro Bowler put up decent numbers — 27 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and a 94.6 passer rating — he struggled in the last two games of the season, upset losses to the Raiders and Jaguars that knocked the Colts out of the playoff hunt.

In the 26-11 loss to the Jaguars — 14 1/2-point underdogs — Wentz lost a fumble, threw an interception, passed for only 185 yards and put up only three points until the final minutes of the game. That cost the Colts a playoff berth and meant Wentz would reach his 30th birthday without ever winning (or even finishing) a playoff game.

Dave Zangaro and Reuben Frank react to a wild turn of events in Week 18 that saw Carson Wentz and the Colts blow their playoff chances against the 2-14 Jaguars.

Venturi isn’t just some radio guy.

He’s a former head coach at Northwestern and coached in the NFL from 1982 through 2008 with the Colts, Browns, Saints and Rams. He also had two stints as an interim NFL coach, replacing Colts coach Ron Meyer when he was fired after five games in 1991 and replacing Saints coach Jim Mora when he was fired after eight games in 1996. He most recently served as Rams defensive coordinator in 2008.

But he’s had it with Wentz.

«When you look at Wentz, it’s very easy to be wowed,» he said. «But in the end, some players grow on you and some players grow negatively. He has grown negatively on me because what I see in the long haul is the guy who kills us with erratic throws, erratic periods of accuracy. 

«This kills me the most, because I think this is probably irreversible, is absolute head-scratching judgment issues that are just ridiculous issues. We’ve seen them over and over. I think he’s more blacksmith than surgeon. I think the big moments are his enemy. I doubt that’s reversible. Frank couldn’t do it. Who can?»

Wentz has earned just over $100 million so far in his six NFL seasons, about $79 million from the Eagles and $21 million from the Colts.

He has a $28,294,118 cap figure in 2022 but would count only $15 million in dead money — the remaining guaranteed money from his original Eagles contract — if the Colts release him. If they release him after 2022, they would absorb no dead cap money.

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Actress Regina King’s son Ian Alexander Jr. has died at 26: «Our family is devastated at the deepest level»



Regina King’s 26-year-old son, Ian Alexander Jr., has died, a spokesperson for the actor confirmed Saturday morning. 

«Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,» the statement read. «He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time.»

Alexander Jr. — King’s only child, whom she shared with ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr. — died by suicide, a spokesperson confirmed to The Associated Press.

The two were very close, with Alexander Jr. often accompanying his mother on the red carpet. They even had matching tattoos reading «unconditional love» in Aramaic, the AP reported.

Last year, Alexander Jr. posted a tribute to his mother on her birthday, writing, «To be able to watch you take this lifetime by its neck and make it yours is something i will forever be grateful for. But to have you as my mother is the greatest gift I could ask for. To be all that you are while always having the time to be there, love and support me unconditionally is truly remarkable.»

Alexander Jr. was a DJ who went by desduné. He had just recently released a song called «Green Eyes,» which King posted about on her Instagram last week. According to Alexander Jr.’s Instagram, he had a show scheduled for January 28 in Los Angeles.

King is known for her roles in the movie «If Beale Street Could Talk» and on the television show «Watchmen.» She also directed the 2020 film «One Night in Miami…» She has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, four Primetime Emmy Awards and two NAACP Image Awards over the course of her more than 30-year career.

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German navy chief resigns over Putin comments



Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht visits the navy base in Warnemuende, Germany, December 17, 2021. Bernd Wuestneck/Pool via REUTERS

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BERLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Germany’s navy chief stepped down on Saturday after drawing criticism for saying Russian President Vladimir Putin deserved respect and that Kyiv would never win back annexed Crimea from Moscow.

«I have asked Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht to relieve me from my duties with immediate effect,» Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schoenbach said in a statement. «The minister has accepted my request.»

Schoenbach made the remarks to a think-tank discussion in India on Friday, and video was published on social media. The comments came at a sensitive time as Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine’s borders.

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Diplomatic efforts are focused on preventing an escalation. Russia denies it is planning to invade Ukraine.

In New Delhi, Schoenbach, speaking in English, said Putin seeks to be treated as an equal by the West.

«What he (Putin) really wants is respect,» Schoenbach said.

«And my God, giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost… It is easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably also deserves,» Schoenbach said, calling Russia an old and important country.

Schoenbach conceded Russia’s actions in Ukraine needed to be addressed. But he added that «the Crimea peninsula is gone, it will never come back, this is a fact,» contradicting the joint Western position that Moscow’s annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 cannot be accepted and must be reversed.

Prior to Schoenbach’s resignation, the defence ministry publicly criticised his remarks, saying they did not reflect Germany’s position in either content or wording.

Schoenbach apologized for his comments.

«My rash remarks in India … are increasingly putting a strain on my office,» he said. «I consider this step (the resignation) necessary to avert further damage to the German navy, the German forces, and, in particular, the Federal Republic of Germany.»

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had called on Germany to publicly reject the navy chief’s comments. Schoenbach’s comments could impair Western efforts to de-escalate the situation, Ukraine said in a statement.

«Ukraine is grateful to Germany for the support it has already provided since 2014, as well as for the diplomatic efforts to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict. But Germany’s current statements are disappointing and run counter to that support and effort,» Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said separately in tweet.

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Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Catherine Evans and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Butler announces retirement



Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler announced his retirement on Saturday evening in a statement released by the team.

«It is an emotional day as I announce I am retiring from my football coaching career,» said Butler. «I have spent every year since 1990 as a coach in the NFL and the NCAA, but the time is right for me to walk away after a successful career both playing and coaching the game I love.

«I want to thank the Rooney Family, Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin and all the coaches and players that I have been involved with over my entire coaching career. I look forward to spending more time with my family, whom have been so supportive of me throughout the years. I wish nothing but the best to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I will be cheering them on during my retirement.»

Butler served as the team’s defensive coordinator since being promoted to that role in January 2015. He had previously served as the team’s linebackers coach for 12 seasons from 2003-14. Butler was a part of two Super Bowl winning teams with the Steelers (Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII).

The Steelers lead, or tied for the lead, in overall sacks for the last five years under Butler, setting an NFL record in 2020 when they did it a league-high four years in a row.

In 2020 the Steelers broke an NFL record with a streak of 70 games with at least one sack, breaking the record set by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 69 straight games with at least one sack (1999-2003). The team extended the streak to 75 games, which is still the NFL record.

He came to the Steelers after an NFL coaching career that began with the Cleveland Browns (1999-2002) and before that in the college ranks at Arkansas State (1998) and Memphis (1990-97).

Butler played in the NFL for 10 seasons (1978-87) for the Seattle Seahawks.

Butler was a three-year starter at inside linebacker for the University of Memphis, leading the team in tackles his junior and senior seasons and being named as Associated Press All-American in 1977.

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