Monthly Archives: February 2017

the Raiders fixed that problem by lining up in a 3-4 on early downs for much of the game

If LeGarrette Blount doesn¡¯t re-sign with the team and Lacy¡¯s price drops, the Patriots could turn to the former Packer to be their new bruising tailback. Head coach Bill Belichick likes backs who can catch the ball ¡ª James White and Dion Lewis immediately come to mind ¡ª and Lacy has always been an underrated receiver. New England has fewer than $3 million locked up in running back salaries next fall, but may prefer to stick with Blount or roll the dice in the draft instead.
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Carolina is expected to release longtime veteran Jonathan Stewart and his $8.25 million cap hit this spring, leaving room to add an impact runner to the roster. The Panthers probably aren¡¯t ready to hand the reins over to Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne just yet, so expect them to be active in free agency and the draft in hopes of putting a forgettable 2016 in the rear view.

Mens Starling Marte Jersey I lamented during the preseason that this approach was frustrating to watch because the Raiders, like most teams, play so much nickel defense that Mack wasn’t on the field much for first or second downs. Then he would come in on third down as a pass rusher with Tuck moved inside to defensive tackle and Woodley at which ever defensive end spot was opposite of where Mack lined up. Mack didn’t appear to be comfortable as a pass rusher because he was being shuffled in and out of the game every few plays.

On the other hand, with Mack at right defensive end, they were wasting Woodley on the bench which didn’t make much sense either.

Last Sunday against the Patriots, the Raiders fixed that problem by lining up in a 3-4 on early downs for much of the game. This allowed Woodley and Mack to play outside linebacker, something they are both very comfortable with.

Deion Sanders says 49ers players want Jim Harbaugh gone

Rumblings about Jim Harbaugh and his status inside the San Francisco 49ers’ locker room won’t go away, even with the team back to its winning ways. Following the Niners’ come-from-behind victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders said he is hearing that some players no longer want to play for Harbaugh.

“They want him out,” said Sanders, who is reported to have close ties to a prominent 49ers player. “They’re not on the same page.”

Harbaugh has led the 49ers to a 38-13-1 regular-season record, three NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl appearance — but has reportedly spurned his players.

“I really want to know if they’re really playing for the head coach,” Sanders said. “I got a question with that. Are you really down with your head coach, San Francisco 49ers? Because the way it looks and what I’m hearing, you’re really not down for your head coach. And that’s a problem.”

Aaron Burbridge Jersey In an email to Kaplan, NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello confirmed that the league has had discussions about a change in the tax status. According to Frank Hawkins, a former NFL finance executive, the subject that will draw the most attention from the league is stadium bonds and if they would need to be restructured:

If the NFL wishes to change, Hawkins said, more of an issue is that the league would need the consent of bondholders to alter the organizational structure and bylaws of the entity issuing the bonds.

The bondholders likely would ask the league to pay a fee plus legal costs of changing bond documents if they agree to the switch, Hawkins said.
Authentic Womens John Cyprien Jersey While the NFL is a multibillion-dollar operation, the actual change likely wouldn’t mean too much for the league, since the majority of the money is made by 32 teams that are each taxable entities. Only the league office, which has earned tax-exempt status for its role as a trade organization of sorts, is not responsible for taxes.

The MLB faced a similar controversy which caused it to drop its tax-exempt status in 2008, yet the financial effect of the switch was minimal.

Trent Cole wants to sign with a team that will let him off the leash

Soon-to-be free agent pass rusher Trent Cole wants to make it clear that he’s not done playing.

Cole took to Twitter today and said he will keep playing, emphasizing that he wants to sign with a team that will let him loose to go after the quarterback.

“No retirement happening here to make things clear,” Cole said. “It’s just time for somebody let me off the leash.”

Cole may be implying that he thinks the Colts didn’t let him off the leash. Cole finished last season with a career-low 2.0 sacks.

Of course, that’s in large part because Cole missed most of last season with a back injury. Some teams may question whether the 34-year-old Cole will ever be able to make it through a season healthy and return to his prior form. But he’s confident that he still has some football left in him.

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The starting safeties for the Jets in 2016 were Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor. Gilchrist came over as a free agent and played decent, but Pryor hasn*t lived up to his first-round status. With an upgrade needed in the back end of the secondary New York can look at the explosive Jabrill Peppers from Michigan in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Peppers is an athletic player who lined up at both safety and linebacker for the Wolverines. At 6-1 and 205 pounds he fits best at safety size wise in the NFL. However there are questions about whether or not he can step up to the plate when it comes to coverage. What he can do though is tackle.

Peppers had 66 tackles in 2016, with an impressive 13 going for a loss. New York head coach Todd Bowles has a defensive background and could surely find a spot for Peppers to play. While that most likely would be as an in the box safety, Peppers could also fill in as a linebacker in some packages as well, allowing the Jets to put another safety in coverage.

Lynch’s post-football career simply didn’t satisfy the competitive fire

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The opposite is the demonization by people like Kings play-by-plan man Grant Napear, who chose to see Cousins as the entire problem instead of part of it. This went beyond basketball and felt personal, which clouded his judgement in the same manner idolization would have.

It¡¯s human nature to shoehorn people into comfortable categories, even if it¡¯s lazy and a disservice to them. Judging athletes like Cousins as humans, with all of their wealth, talent, celebrity, and attention that magnifies and sensationalizes every action, is almost impossible.

It gets even harder when they are involved in a blockbuster trade. Transactions whittle players down to their points, assists, rebounds, and blocks averages. They turn these humans into picks and cash compensation. They become known for their contracts. This is particularly true during the trade deadline, when we¡¯re on the edge of our seats waiting for overnight Woj bombs. In the heat of the moment, we sometimes forget that these are human beings being uprooted because of their jobs.

In the whirlwind of money, picks, papers, and projections, what a player means to their teammates and city gets overlooked. Consider the Celtics players¡¯ reaction to the last-minute deal involving a declining Kendrick Perkins in 2011:

¡°There were literally tears in the locker room,¡± Doc Rivers told Sports Illustrated¡¯s Jake Fischer. ¡°There were guys crying. It was almost like a death.¡±

Arizona Cardinals Jersey Like Elway and so many other former athletes, Lynch’s post-football career simply didn’t satisfy the competitive fire. It’s a fire that Shanahan recognized still burns in Lynch when the subject of working together in San Francisco was first broached.

“What excited me so much about John is [that] John had a pretty good deal before coming here,” Shanahan said. “I remember when he told me why he wanted to be a general manager, and he really missed someone winning and losing at the end of a game.

NBA All-Star Game all about Anthony Davis and dunking

Things got a little nuts scoring-wise at the NBA All-Star Game. What were the most amazing numbers to come from the competition?

The 374 combined points are the most in All-Star Game history, five more than the mark set last season.

Kaluka Maiava Mens Jersey MVP Anthony Davis’ 52 points were an All-Star Game record by 10. The previous mark of 42 was set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962. Davis and Chamberlain are the only players with 40 points and 10 rebounds in an All-Star Game.

Davis is the first All-Star MVP to come from the host team since Kobe Bryant in 2011. Others to have that distinction in the past 25 years are John Stockton and Karl Malone (1993) and Shaquille O’Neal (2004 and 2009).
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“This is a surprise,” said Winston’s private quarterback tutor George Whitfield Jr. “He pitched all his life and never had any issues. He never had any surgeries. It’s probably some observation. He threw at the University of Michigan. I don’t know what part or whatever. I know he’s been working fine and playing fine. I’m sure they’re just making observations, because from a physical standpoint, he’s been doing everything. It’s actually kind of a shock.”

SB Nation presents: The five best quarterbacks in the NFL Draft

The news comes shortly after concerns were raised about Winston’s conditioning. Last week, an unflattering picture showing the quarterback working out made the rounds on the Internet. However, Whitfield Jr. revealed that the photo was outdated, and the signal caller had lost 12–15 pounds since it was taken. At the combine, Winston weighed in at 231 pounds.

Though the shoulder weakness will prevent Winston from taking part in the bench press, he still plans to participate in the throwing drills.

Seattle will need to have one of the better-hitting infields in baseball to make this work

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The core of the team remains intact: Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Felix Hernandez and Nelson Cruz are all back. But Dipoto has changed much of the roster around them.
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The most obvious change is in the outfield. Last season, the Mariners featured an offense-first group that ranked near the bottom of the majors defensively. So Dipoto went out and acquired Mitch Haniger, seemingly a throw-in of the deal that brought shortstop Jean Segura to Seattle, and former Royals speedster Jarrod Dyson. They’ll be joined on the outfield depth chart by Guillermo Heredia, incumbent center fielder Leonys Martin and former Yankees farmhand Ben Gamel.

All of these players are, or recently were, center fielders, at least in the minor league level. The outfield defense should be a lot better. But will it save enough runs to offset the potential loss of offense?

Seattle will need to have one of the better-hitting infields in baseball to make this work. Luckily, in Cano, Seager and Segura, the M’s might have just the group to be up to the task.

After shuffling their outfield to improve the defense, the Mariners will need their infield to carry an even bigger share of the offensive load in 2017.

Meanwhile, Cruz will DH full time as an offensive anchor. Dan Vogelbach, acquired from the Cubs in the deal last July that sent Mike Montgomery to Chicago to get the last out of the World Series, will platoon at first with former Athletic Danny Valencia. The Mariners need production from that position.

The Indians return nearly everybody from last year’s 94-win team. They’ve lost slugger and spiritual leader Mike Napoli. But they replaced him with a much more imposing hitter in Edwin Encarnacion. They’ll have Andrew Miller all season and hopefully a healthy Michael Brantley, who missed almost all of 2016, to anchor the outfield.

2017 NFL Combine: Full list of 330 players invited

The NFL released the list of players invited to the 2017 Scouting Combine on Wednesday, with a total of 330 prospects set to attend the event, which will take place from Feb. 28 through March 6.

The NFL Combine is the premier scouting showcase in professional sports, let alone the NFL. Prospects from all over the country (and sometimes the world) show up to the annual event to compete and display their talents for a shot at competing for a space on an NFL roster. To potential draftees, the combine is a week-long job interview. Players interview with coaches and scouts, take tests (physical, mental, and medical), run drills, and interact with hundreds of people who could potentially play a role in their getting drafted.

Many of the top names in this year’s draft will be attending, including superstar defensive linemen Myles Garrett, Jonathan Allen, Solomon Thomas, Malik McDowell, and Derek Barnett. This should be a star-studded draft class on both sides of the ball, with guys from all over the country getting looks as potential NFL draftees.

With 66 Combine invitees, the SEC predictably leads all divisions in total combine invites. Alabama (10), LSU (10), Texas A&M (9), Arkansas (8), and Florida (8) stand at the top of the conference, with several potential first-rounders coming out of those five schools. Alabama’s Allen, Reuben Foster, Tim Williams, O.J. Howard, Cam Robinson, and Ryan Anderson alone could all have a shot at day-one selections.

But Michigan leads all schools with 14 players invited. How does Rubenstein’s family feel about this? They’re as blown away as any of us are, frankly. His brother Dan Rubenstein, who also works at SB Nation, said this about his brother’s abilities:

Mahinmi was the poster boy of last summer’s free-agency bonanza before Miami’s modestly toothed reserve

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Limited Youth Brent Celek Jersey Jim Buss is Jeanie’s older brother and the closest to her in age. They’ve never been especially close. But family is family, and in this case, family is ownership, too.

And it was always very clear that their father wanted this arrangement — Jeanie runs the business side of the Lakers, and Jim the basketball side — to be part of his legacy.

So what Jeanie Buss decides what to do with her brother, with the Lakers on the verge of a fourth straight trip to the lottery, isn’t merely a personnel decision or business decision. It’s a deeply personal one.

From the moment Magic had dinner with her at a Lakers home game three weeks ago to discuss his new role, he became Jeanie Buss’ 6-foot-9 bronze-plated Hall of Fame shield for what comes next.

If his role is diminished, will Jim Buss dig in and fight back?

“I don’t want to sweat all over it!” he shouts, holding the VR headset in the air inside the Wizards’ practice gym.

Mahinmi was the poster boy of last summer’s free-agency bonanza before Miami’s modestly toothed reserve, Tyler Johnson, stole that label. After eight seasons in the NBA, and only one as a full-time starter, Mahinmi received a four-year, $64 million contract from Washington to fill a bench role. Combine Mahinmi’s age (he just turned 30) with the fact that he’s fresh off of a monster deal, it doesn’t seem that he would be the most likely candidate to be a VR guinea pig.

It turns out that a knee injury and a free throw affliction made him a perfect test case. Mahinmi’s career free throw percentage is just under 60 percent, including a recent season in which he shot just 30.4 percent.

“It’s more like building muscle memory, but for your brain. Kind of like, OK, if you see it, your brain is going to register it. And then, when you shoot live, you’re going to think about it and see yourself shooting and making. You know you can do it.”

Bennett took exception to the Israeli government¡¯s plans to make him ¡°an influencer and opinion-former¡± on its behalf

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett will not participate in a sponsored trip to Israel, he announced via Twitter. The trip, planned by the Israeli government, is intended to combat the negative perception of Israel and will include several NFL players. Bennett won¡¯t be one of them.

Bennett took exception to the Israeli government¡¯s plans to make him ¡°an influencer and opinion-former¡± on its behalf, with the expectation that he would become ¡°an ambassador of goodwill¡± for Israel. Bennett, who expressed his support for Palestinians, said he was unaware when he agreed to the trip that was the Israeli government¡¯s expectation, and that he will not ¡°be used in such a manner.¡±

Limited Womens Shayne Corson Jersey He¡¯d shot just a putrid 1-of-11 from three-point range entering the waning moments of the Detroit Pistons¡¯ Sunday night matchup against the Toronto Raptors, and there was no sign the two-way wing would begin heating up any time soon.

Matt Garza Kids Jersey But as the old basketball adage goes, ¡°shooters keep shooting.¡± And Caldwell-Pope nailed a floater with 48 seconds remaining before draining an open corner three-pointer to give Detroit an unlikely 102-101 victory over Toronto.

¡°Just hope it goes in,¡± he told reporters after the game, according to MLive¡¯s Aaron McMann. ¡°That¡¯s what I was thinking. I had a rough night shooting the ball from field and three. So when I came out of the locker room, everyone was like ¡®just keep shooting.¡¯ I just kept shooting, and it had to be the game-winning shot.¡±

Flyers alumni most likely to kick Vladimir Putin¡¯s ass, ranked

Over the weekend, news broke that the Flyers alumni will be taking part in a good will tour through Russia, in which they will play several games against Russian squads. The Inquirer reports that Philadelphia will play three games across Russia: in Kazan on February 16, in St. Petersburg on the 18th, and outside in Moscow¡¯s Red Square on the 20th.

Part of Putin¡¯s appeal in Russia is that he¡¯s constantly portrayed in public as a macho, do-it-all type guy, which is why he suits up in hockey games and is constantly shirtless on horseback. But the Flyers alumni have no reason to go easy on him, as Joe Watson implied to the Courier-Post:

Just weeks ago, Julien said that his players don¡¯t have enough talent to take nights off. In recent weeks, as the heat grew, Julien seemed more and more defensive about not being the lone fault for the Bruins¡¯ struggles. And it¡¯s hard to argue with him.

¡°If the individuals aren¡¯t hitting the net and aren¡¯t scoring, I don¡¯t know that we can do much about it. We harp on it. We harp on them to hit the net. We show clips. But at one point, responsibilities have to be shared.¡±
Firing a coach when your team¡¯s problems are this perplexing can serve two purposes: it can serve as a wake-up call to your players and a chance to change their play style.
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Game Kids Cameron Fleming Jersey Julien spent 10 years behind the Boston bench. As Cassidy mentioned in his press conference, most of the players in Boston have never played for another NHL coach. Veterans on the team likely feel a heavy sense of guilt and responsibility for Julien¡¯s dismissal. That can drive a team to work harder.

But so can systems and habits. Both Sweeney and Cassidy emphasized that one of the first changes they¡¯ll implement is harder practices and faster pace in games and during drills. On one hand, that could be a good thing. Perhaps faster play, faster transitions out of their own zone will lead to better scoring chances.