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NFL's Deion Branch Lamar Jackson Will Tear Up the NFL ... Bank On It

9/26/2016 10:59 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Super Bowl champ Deion Branch says Louisville's Lamar Jackson has a whole lot more football domination in his future ... as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

Jackson continued to make the rest of the college football world look silly this past weekend ... racking up another 7 touchdowns as his squad put the hurt on Marshall.

We talked with Branch ... who was a star for the Cardinals when Jackson was in pre-school ... and he told us he's convinced NFL defenses will one day get the same treatment.

"I like what I see from him as a quarterback ... he's showing flashes ... there's a lot of potential there."

Branch ain't just spitballin' folks ... he told us he's talked to Jackson personally and thinks not only are the physical tools there ... but the mental makeup as well.

"After the Florida State game we had a long conversation ... listened to everything I said ... he's a sponge."

Ex-Pats Star Troy Brown Belichick > Lombardi Greatest Coach Ever

9/23/2016 4:05 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Bill Belichick is a flat out BETTER COACH than Vince Lombardi ... so says a guy who won 3 Super Bowls with B.B., former star wide receiver Troy Brown.

Brown joined "TMZ Sports" (Friday night on FS1) to shed light on how Belichick's Tom Brady-less Patriots are 3-0 ... under a 2nd and 3rd string QB.

What T.B. says is shocking ... proclaiming B.B. a better coach than the man widely considered to be the greatest football coach of all-time, Vince Lombardi.

Watch the clip ... and check out the full interview tonight!

Mike Ditka 'Get the Hell Out' Kaepernick! There's Nothing to Protest, Anyway

9/23/2016 8:29 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Legendary NFL coach Mike Ditka says Colin Kaepernick should stop disrespecting the U.S. ... and just "get the hell out" of America if he doesn't like it here.

Ditka appeared on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas Friday morning when he was asked about Kaep's protest ... and he didn't hold back ... at all.

“Anybody who disrespects this country and the flag,” Ditka says, “If they don’t like the country, they don’t like our flag, get the hell out."

Not only does Ditka have no respect for the way Kaepernick is protesting ... he doesn't believe there's a reason to protest at all.

"I don't see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on." 

Check out the clip ... it's clear Ditka's fed up.

Julius Erving Proud of Mayweather's 6-Year-Old Protesters ... 'It's Healthy'

9/19/2016 1:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

NBA legend Julius Erving says he's PROUD of Floyd Mayweather's youth football team -- comprised of 6 year olds -- for protesting the National Anthem ... saying it's healthy for kids to "speak their minds."

As we previously reported, the Las Vegas Red Lions -- sponsored by Mayweather's TMT brand -- followed Colin Kaepernick's lead this weekend and took a knee during the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Dr. J says he loved seeing the protest -- because it shows that even 6 year olds can "bring attention to the issues."

He also gives props to adult team leaders -- explaining why encouraging young people to stand up for what they believe in at a young age is so important.

Chris Pratt Don't Quit On Russell Wilson 'Keep Him On Your Fantasy Team'

9/19/2016 11:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

**CELEBRITY FANTASY FOOTBALL ALERT**

If you're ready to drop Russell Wilson after that terrible game against the Rams ... WAIT!

Chris Pratt strongly advises you to keep him on your fantasy team -- and moments ago in NYC, he explained why. 

Then again, Pratt's a HUUUGE Seahawks fan. So ... take his advice at your own risk.  

'The League's' Steve Rannazzisi I Quit Fantasy Football ... 'No More for Me'

9/19/2016 9:14 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Steve Rannazzisi -- who starred on a show about FANTASY FOOTBALL for 7 SEASONS -- says he's officially quitting fantasy football forever ... and he's being completely serious. 

Of course, Steve played Kevin on "The League" -- the FXX show about a bunch of friends in an FF league together ... it guest starred a ton of real NFL players including Adrian Peterson, Antonio Gates, J.J. Watt. 

But when we got Steve out in L.A. over the weekend, he explained why he's sworn off fantasy for good.

Give that man the Sacko. 

Redskins Su'a Cravens' Mom I'll Make Him Wear Cowboys Gear ... For Ignoring My Calls

9/16/2016 1:27 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Washington Redskins rookie Su'a Cravens is about to find out why he should NEVER ignore his mom's phone calls ... even if she's a fan of his team's rival.

Cravens told reporters earlier this week that he was preparing for his first matchup with the Dallas Cowboys by shutting down all communication with his mom -- a DIE-HARD supporter of America's Team. 

Yolanda Cravens -- who admits she's slowly transitioning into a 'Skins fan -- tells us there will be consequences for Su'a's antics if the Redskins aren't victorious.

"If the Cowboys win, he has to wear something Cowboys. I don't know, they might throw tomatoes at him if he does that."

As for the Redskins drafting Su'a ... Yolanda says there's only one team she REALLY didn't want to select him ... and her reaction is hilarious.

Check out the clip ... and call your mama, Su'a!

Donald Trump I Played High School Football ... Taught Me Life Lessons

9/15/2016 8:38 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Donald Trump has a pigskin past -- saying he played football "at a very low level" back in high school ... and learned some important life lessons on the gridiron. 

The GOP presidential candidate was touring the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on Wednesday when he explained how the game prepares people for the real world. 

FYI, Trump's classmates at the New York Military Academy have raved about Donald's athletic ability back in the day ... especially on the baseball field. 

"He was just the best, a good athlete, a great athlete," former classmate Ted Levine told Business Insider. 

"He could have probably played pro ball as a pitcher. I think he threw 80 miles an hour. I was the catcher. He made my hand black and blue every day."

"Could he play football? Could he play soccer? He could do anything he wanted. He was physically and mentally gifted."

0915-sub-donald-trump-football-01

Barry Switzer Dak Could Lead Cowboys ... to Cinderella Year

9/14/2016 9:44 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

The Dallas Cowboys could be the next Cinderella team in the NFL thanks to Dak Prescott ... so says Barry Switzer

The ex-Cowboys coach was in D.C. Wednesday where he raved about Jerry Jones -- and then gave a pretty optimistic outlook on the season to Dallas fans. 

No pressure, Dak ... 

Tony Gonzalez Rams Don't Trust Jared Goff ... It's His Own Fault

9/14/2016 8:01 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Don't believe this crap about Jeff Fisher benching Jared Goff for Week 1 so he could "sense and absorb the pressures" of the NFL ... he DOESN'T TRUST THE ROOKIE ... so says Tony Gonzalez

"Coach Fisher's been around for a long time," Gonzalez says ... "Obviously he doesn't trust him enough to even dress him ... so that says a lot right there."

Goff -- the #1 overall pick in the draft -- was listed as the 3rd string QB for Week 1 ... and was in street clothes as the Rams got blown out by the 49ers.

Fisher told the media he doesn't want to rush Goff -- even though the team traded SIX DRAFT PICKS to get him. Fisher had said he was pleased with Goff's progress. 

Yeah, right. 

Gonzalez played 17 seasons in the league -- and he says it comes down to one thing ... Goff had the entire preseason to win over the coaching staff ... and he blew it. 

Jets' Brandon Marshall Redemption Comes Thursday ... Bring On the Bills!

9/12/2016 10:07 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Brandon Marshall has a message for heartbroken Jets fans -- CHANGE IS COMING!! 

Of course, Marshall and Gang Green were edged out by the Cincinnati Bengals at home Sunday in the season opener ... and you could tell the WR was still bummed out Monday morning. 

Physically, BM says he feels good ... and he's ready to go on Thursday night when the Jets take on the Bills. 

"We'll come back Thursday and we'll get it done."

Lawrence Taylor Pleads Not Guilty to DUI ... In Cop Car Crash

9/8/2016 1:07 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0907-lawrence-taylor-gettyLawrence Taylor isn't going down without a fight -- pleading NOT GUILTY to DUI in an incident where he allegedly sideswiped a cop car ... despite the fact cops say he essentially confessed at the scene. 

As we previously reported, LT was arrested in Palm Beach, Florida on Friday evening after a lane change gone bad -- allegedly hitting a mobile home and a cop car in the process. 

During Taylor's arrest, cops say they asked how much he had to drink and he replied, "Apparently too much."

Cops also say LT reeked of booze and blew a .084 on a breathalyzer taken 5 hours after the crash. 

But despite all of that ... LT's attorney went to court Wednesday and entered a not guilty plea on the NFL legend's behalf to 2 charges -- DUI and not carrying a driver's license. 

No word on when Taylor's due back in court. 

Ex-Baylor Coach Art Briles Apologizes For College Rape Scandal ... 'I Did Wrong'

9/7/2016 5:12 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0907-art-briles-GETTY-01Ex-Baylor head coach Art Briles is apologizing for the way he handled the school's rape scandal ... saying he knows he "did wrong" and vows to be better in the future.

In an interview with ESPN Briles said he's aware "bad things" happened during his tenure in Waco  ... and now realizes he failed the school, because the buck stopped with him.

"I understand I made some mistakes,  I was wrong. I was the captain of this ship. The captain of the ship goes down with it."

Briles was fired back in May along with several members of the program when an independent investigation found Baylor higher-ups failed to properly address sexual assault allegations against football players.

Briles has said he plans to coach again ... and hired high-powered agent Jimmy Sexton last week in hopes to secure a job in 2017, but is adamant he's not making his apology as part of a job hunt.

"I'm not trying to plead for people's sympathy. I'm sorry. I'm gonna learn. I'm gonna learn to do better."

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