Going Long

Going Long
Finding Danny Watkins
Finding Danny Watkins
A late-bloomer who seemed too good to be true, a first-round bust who helped get a once-untouchable coach run out of town, and to some, a hero. The bizarre football life of a man who was built for football, but born for something else
By Emily Kaplan
Going Long
A Quarterback in the Wind
A Quarterback in the Wind
Washington drafted Robert Griffin III to be a savior, but Sunday’s loss to the Rams felt like a funeral procession. Is there any hope for a franchise quarterback who’s been relegated to mop-up duty?
By Emily Kaplan
Going Long
A Marshawn Kind of Way
A Marshawn Kind of Way
A prodigious back known as Beast Mode, Marshawn Lynch is many things to many people: quiet, ornery, a thug and a jerk. But those who know him best say he’s an introvert who won’t conform—and the best teammate they’ve ever had
By Robert Klemko
Going Long
Where Pride Still Matters
Where Pride Still Matters
To the west of Boston, two affluent towns renewed their heated gridiron rivalry for the 127th time on Thanksgiving morning. Yet bragging rights seem so inconsequential to the backstories that challenge our notion of life in the suburbs
By Robert Klemko
Going Long
Steve Smith Rules
Steve Smith Rules
How does an undersized, overly confrontational wideout survive 14 years in the NFL? He starts by following a plan that also describes his personal ethos
Going Long
The Good in the Game
The Good in the Game
Football is under attack from seemingly all angles. Led by four captains from four different countries, a school in Maine reminds us about the sport’s virtues and why we play. The girl? You better not take her lightly either
By Greg A. Bedard
Going Long
‘Gotta Coach Somebody’
‘Gotta Coach Somebody’
Greg Schiano’s 2014 season has included a volunteer high school job, an NFL Network gig and a lot of self-reflection. Once known as an old-school autocrat, he plans on being a changed man when he returns to the sideline
Going Long
Joe Greene, and the Three Who Aren’t There
Joe Greene, and the Three Who Aren’t There
As Greene’s iconic 75 becomes just the second number retired by the Steelers, here’s a look back at what became of the fabled front four that anchored the Steel Curtain defense of the 1970s—a quartet as dominant as any in history, and as distinctive as their nicknames: Mean Joe, Mad Dog, Hollywood Bags and Fats
Going Long
Waging Four Battles and Relying on Joe Cool
Waging Four Battles and Relying on Joe Cool
The Ray Rice scandal rocked the NFL, but not the Ravens’ locker room. Once the domain of a spitfire linebacker named Ray Lewis, it’s now the province of a ho-hum quarterback who prefers talking over yelling. A look at how Joe Flacco has kept Baltimore on track—and how the team upgraded at running back
By Jenny Vrentas
Going Long
A Twist in Irving Fryar’s Redemption Story
A Twist in Irving Fryar’s Redemption Story
It was an uplifting tale: A troubled player hits bottom, finds God and turns his life around, preaching the Gospel and dedicating himself to helping others. Now, however, the former 17-year NFL receiver is facing charges of bank fraud, and the possibility that he’ll end up back where his turnaround began—in jail