Monthly Archives: February 2017

Devontae Booker may be due for a strong sophomore campaign

Devontae Booker may be due for a strong sophomore campaign, but the Broncos got little production from their tailbacks in 2016. An ineffective platoon of Booker, C.J. Anderson, Justin Forsett, and Kapri Bibbs failed to present a credible threat last fall, making things more difficult for young quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. Lacy could help ¡ª though bringing a player with conditioning concerns to the thin air of Mile High Stadium may not be a great combination.
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The Lions haven¡¯t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Kevin Jones in 2004 and currently have just $5 million locked up in running back salaries for 2017. Detroit has favored a platoon attack in recent years, which could make sense for Lacy; he has run well with limited touches and could be a fourth-quarter beast against tiring defenses. However, if the talented back is holding out for a starring role, a trip to his former division rival may not make sense.
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Understand that I hate most offensive linemen in general, and I think they aren’t nearly as smart as folks try to give them credit for and most of them are dirty as hell and many of them stink. Yes, stink. So for me to be going this hard about a holding call and defending an offensive lineman should give you a clue of just how egregious this was.

But noooooooo, the referee had to call this horse shit holding penalty on rookie left guard Gabe Jackson who was only doing what the Raiders drafted him to do, knock the opposition on their ass with overwhelming force. It wasn’t Jackson’s fault that instead of lining up a real linebacker in the box across from him the Patriots decided to line up safety Patrick Chung. All he did was come off low and hard and block Chung to the inside as McFadden ran right off his ass into the end zone. It was Chung who decided to try to spin off the block which is never advisable when you don’t have any leverage. Even then Jackson didn’t tackle him; he just maintained his grip on the front of Chung’s shoulder pads.

the Chiefs lost Charles and Eric Berry early against the Denver Broncos with ankle sprains

Limited Kids Ryan Howard Jersey When you think of great offenses in today’s NFL, the Patriots are usually one of the first teams that come to mind. They have ranked lower than eighth in total offense just once in the past decade (11th in 2006) and have been the league’s top scoring team three times in the last seven seasons.

“Right now, man, nobody’s doing worse than the Ryan brothers. We might say we are two of the best coaches, and I believe that, and I know that. We’re doing everything we can to do it, but we have to do more.”

Rob Ryan’s brother, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, has had similar struggles as the Jets have managed to force just two turnovers and rank in the bottom half of the league in points allowed, although they’ve given up the fourth-fewest yards of total offense.

The issues for the Saints appear to run deeper, as Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons managed to thrash the New Orleans for 445 passing yards and 123 rushing yards in Week 1. While the team had a shaky performance against the Cleveland Browns and a strong one against the Minnesota Vikings in the subsequent weeks, the Saints struggled in all aspects again on Sunday night.
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Next up for the Saints are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that has scored the fourth-fewest points, but had its best offensive performance of the year in Week 4, as the Mike Glennon-led team accumulated 350 yards of offense in a 27-24 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The result of the hearing, if no settlement is reached, could come down to semantics. Peterson’s missed hearing seems to give the NFL the out it didn’t have when a judge ruled that the league’s imposition of an indefinite suspension on Ray Rice was “arbitrary.” The fact that Henderson used to work in the NFL front office as the executive vice president for labor relations may not help Peterson’s cause.

The following week, the Chiefs lost Charles and Eric Berry early against the Denver Broncos with ankle sprains, yet fell just a couple yards short of knotting the contest at Mile High.

Harrison’s max speed is slightly quicker, but Poe can cover more ground

Contract site Spotrac.com calculated Poe’s market value and suggested he’s worth a five-year, $61 million deal with an average value of $12.1 million per year, though no one knows how exactly the interior tackle market will form, given the lack of competition (presuming Kawann Short is franchise-tagged by the Panthers).

(The site used contracts given to Muhammad Wilkerson, Gerald McCoy and Marcell Dareus in its calculation.) Damon Harrison, who signed a five-year, $46.25 million deal last year, was a revelation for the Giants, with his absence from the Pro Bowl constituting a glaring snub. Would Poe be worth $3 million-plus more per year than someone like Harrison?

According to Next Gen Stats, Harrison’s max speed is slightly quicker, but Poe can cover more ground. Personally, I think Poe is a slightly more versatile player, as he played a majority of his snaps in a defense that featured just two down linemen, three linebackers and six defensive backs. As my colleague Kevin Patra noted, his highs can be higher.

You’re simply betting that a long-term commitment to Poe will be more fruitful than, say, a short-term commitment to some of the other, cheaper veterans on the market, like Nick Fairley. Fairley can do less and is more effective on a bigger front, but could be significantly less costly.

Blount’s career season in 2016 — 299 attempts, 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns — is sure to place him in coach Bill Belichick’s favorable column, though it might produce some cursory interest from other teams looking at giving him another chance. His skills as a power back are undeniable, even if he failed to produce an ideal on and off-field product during his time with the Buccaneers and Steelers.

We could see him get phased out for a younger version of himself, especially if some of New England’s younger and cheaper options continue to evolve.

The problem is that they should have already been to that point before the Georgetown and Marquette games.

Germain Ifedi Limited Jersey Central Florida (19-7, 8-4)- UCF has crept back into the bubble picture even if a bid is still a long shot. Their #53 RPI and #183 non-conference SOS is difficult to overcome while wins over UConn and Memphis would have looked a lot stronger if we based resumes on the preseason top 25. UCF only has three top-100 wins and lost to UL-Lafayette. The fact we¡¯re even discussing the Knights is a product of this year¡¯s historically weak bubble.
From us right here at SB Nation in 2013:

The most remarkable thing about this North Carolina team isn’t that it’s lost six games, it’s the size of the hole it has consistently put itself in. The Tar Heels have trailed by 19 points or more four times this season: against Texas (19), Butler (29), Indiana (32) and N.C. State (28). They still have the potential to benefit greatly from what could be another historically weak bubble, but not if they lose games like the one tonight.
From XavierHoops.com in 2014:

The problem is that they should have already been to that point before the Georgetown and Marquette games. If it wasn’t for a historically weak bubble we’d already be on the outside looking in.

This is the challenge of seeing someone like Cousins as human and complex. If Cousins got into more trouble off the court, classifying his humanity would be easier. It¡¯s hard to argue against a player¡¯s criminal history during a sporting argument.

But from what we know, he¡¯s not a bad person at all outside the lines. He cares a lot about other human beings, seeing them as complex creatures worthy of attention beyond that required by his team obligations. In turn, many of them also see also him as more than just a basketball player. And, in turn, more than a guy that pisses off old sports reporters every other week.
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Gurley is referring to the ACL he tore on Nov. 18 against Auburn

This is the kind of solution I like because it doesn’t create a bigger problem in terms of taking away hope from fans of losing teams. Of course, there is still incentive to lose games here to improve your pick in such a draft — and drafting teams is the most difficult part of this scenario to imagine taking place in reality — but it’s now delayed a year, disconnected from the excitement of the upcoming draft and randomized because the first pick in such a draft wouldn’t necessarily be the worst team the following season.

Game Womens Sterling Shepard Jersey I think the simpler solution is to keep the system as is but delay picks a year — that is, record in the 2016-16 season determines order for the 2017 lottery — but I like this line of thinking.

For more on this draft idea, check out a similar proposal via FiveThirtyEight with a response from NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

I’d call it six consecutive seasons, since his rookie season isn’t really an increase. In that case, Hayward isn’t in particularly exclusive company: Thirty-eight players since the ABA-NBA merger have increased their scoring average five seasons in a row.

If that runner is Gordon, a team will be getting a speedy back with shiftiness in the open field. In Gurley, a team will be getting powerful running back with speed to take runs deep.

“I feel like this class is definitely deep for the running back position,” Gurley said. “We have a lot of talent. My job is, I want to be the No. 1 pick. We’ll see how everything goes. I’m just trying to get my knee right.”
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Gurley is referring to the ACL he tore on Nov. 18 against Auburn. It’s stopping him from working out at the combine and at Georgia’s pro day on March 18. It’s not stopping the hype, however. The NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has Gurley going in the first round in his latest mock draft. Jeremiah’s NFL Network cohort Charles Davis slots Gurley into No. 16 in his mock draft. ESPN’s Todd McShay has Gurley at No. 31 in his mock draft.

THE THEORY GOES that everything that ailed Bryce Harper last season

In four not-so-fun days in Chicago last May, Bryce Harper batted 19 times and got 13 free passes. Incredibly, the long weekend of walks took a toll on his entire season.

THE THEORY GOES that everything that ailed Bryce Harper last season — ground zero for his grounding — can be traced back to the first weekend in May, when the Washington Nationals visited Wrigley Field for a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs.

Limited Mens Quincy Enunwa Jersey It was about as important as May baseball gets — a potential National League Championship Series preview between the teams with the two best records in the majors, featuring Harper, the reigning player of the month. At least, that was the billing. Instead, the series featured Chicago skipper Joe Maddon totally neutralizing the slugger.

Over a span of four days against the Cubs, Harper stepped to the plate 19 times and received 13 free passes. Four of them were intentional, including three in the finale, when he tied a major league record by walking six times and became the first player ever to reach safely in all seven plate appearances of a game without recording a hit (he got plunked in his other PA).
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Of the 27 pitches Harper saw in the finale, he swung at exactly zero. Only two were even in the strike zone. Overall for the series, of the 83 pitches that came his way, only 18 were in the zone, for a rate of 22 percent. For comparison, that’s about half as many strikes as Harper saw during his MVP year (41 percent zone rate), when he was pitched around more often than anyone not named Joey Votto. In other words, Maddon wasn’t about to let Harper beat him or his team. And it worked. The Cubs swept the Nats right out of Chicago. In the process, they stole Harper’s soul.

you probably don’t want to lose to Georgia State for the third consecutive year.

Dre Kirkpatrick, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback

Kirkpatrick is one of two Bengals in this category. With concerns surrounding fellow corner Adam Jones’ future with the Bengals, Kirkpatrick, becomes a priority this offseason. Coming off the best year in his career, he has earned the hefty contract he’ll be paid, whether in Cincinnati or elsewhere.

But the Bengals, despite appearing deep at the position on paper, don’t have much experience behind the two starters — something they value much more than most other teams in the league. Franchising Kirkpatrick could be a last-resort move the Bengals make to ensure their talented press corner remains a fixture in the team’s ascending secondary.

Biggest 2017 game: If you want to return to a bowl, you probably don’t want to lose to Georgia State for the third consecutive year.

Summary: Georgia Southern lost its way in Summers’ first season. The Eagles will try to re-up their option credentials, and the pass defense should improve, but Summers has a lot of holes to fill and, if Southern’s historical impatience is any indication, not a lot of time.

Georgia Southern’s spirit animal is a man named Erk. He runs the option on offense and takes your head off on defense.

When the school decided it wanted to play football, Erk Russell almost immediately led the Eagles to two I-AA national titles. He picked up the town of Statesboro, called it the most beautiful place he’d ever seen, and loved it like a father. His shadow might hang more fully over the Georgia Southern program than any other coach’s anywhere. And that’s quite the statement.

Erk’s influence over Georgia Southern is such that fans cannot imagine running anything other than the clean, beautiful option. And when a coach tries to change — or when he doesn’t love the option enough — the Eagles fail. It has become self-fulfilling.

The Packers probably got as much out of Gunter as could have been expected last season given his relative inexperience

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No wonder Bill Belichick, on the morning after the game, dismissed the insinuation that Brady worked harder this year because of his suspension. Brady, a consummate professional, worked his ass off, as always. But it turned out that he did have a deeper motivation, a starker one, which he hid until he couldn’t, making Deflategate seem smaller than he ever could by ripping the commissioner.

The game was amazing, of course. But what made it different from other Patriots Super Bowls was its subtext: family. The Patriots weren’t just mercilessly doing their jobs; they were doing their jobs for each other. They spoke all year of how this particular team jelled differently than others, and insisted that it wasn’t a clich¨¦.
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The morning after the Super Bowl, Belichick, unprompted, spoke about how much it meant that his three kids were with him for the win, how much it mattered that his mother watched it, and how much he missed his late father. And then there was Brady. He always says that he doesn’t want to be a distraction for the team, but in choosing to speak about his mother, to alert the world to an internal worry, he risked distracting himself. He has always excelled under pressure by ignoring it; now he was raising the stakes.

They have six corners on the roster who are under contract for next season — LaDarius Gunter, Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, Josh Hawkins, Herb Waters and Makinton Dorleant.

The Packers probably got as much out of Gunter as could have been expected last season given his relative inexperience. He played just 10 snaps on defense as a rookie in 2015 only to become their No. 1 cornerback — by default — this past season. He led the cornerback position in playing time in 2016 with more than 1,000 snaps. And there’s always the chance he could develop into the next Shields or Tramon Williams — both undrafted players who became standout starters.

The Lakers’ forays into their past haven’t been successful lately

Dwight Freeney Limited Jersey With Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson now back in the fold as an adviser to co-owner and president Jeanie Buss, it’s natural to wonder if and how he might try to incorporate his “Showtime” sensibilities into the franchise.

The Lakers’ forays into their past haven’t been successful lately, but if the team can absorb some of the pass-happy, up-tempo style of their 1980s predecessors, head coach Luke Walton will be thrilled.
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“You know, there’s similarities,” Walton said at practice on Monday. “Obviously, the way the Showtime Lakers played and the up-and-down tempo, that’s how we want to play. We want to get out. We have versatile forwards that can handle the ball. We have multiple wings that can bring it up.

The Knicks showcased their most impressive defensive stand of the season in a 94-90 win against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. Their increased defensive effort was attributed to an intense film session on Saturday where players voiced their opinions with the coaches’ defensive game plan.

“We really had a say so,” said Lance Thomas, who played in his first game since suffering an an orbital fracture against Toronto. “Then the coaches gave their input. And then we figured it out. … Most of the time we don’t really have the say so. We listen to our coaches.”

During the session, the players preached trust on defense, making the second and third rotations to help their teammates. The Knicks also made an adjustment to move their big men up from the paint in an effort to force downhill attacking guards into making quicker decisions.

Jonathan Toews, Connor McDavid want the NHL to attend the 2018 Winter Olympics

The looming specter of the NHL¡¯s participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics loomed over the All-Star break, and now a few more players are expressing their eagerness to attend despite their owners¡¯ wishes.

Gary Bettman repeatedly told the media over the weekend that the NHL is still intent on not making any concessions to the International Olympic Committee, who they believe should fund most of the travel expenses for players.

Game Womens Marcus Williams Jersey At the real heart of the issue, however, is the owners¡¯ unwillingness to pause the 2017-18 season for two weeks, suspending business while players play in South Korea under inconsistent TV coverage.

Bettman spelled that out during an interview with Sportnet¡¯s Ron MacLean.

MacLean: ¡°So you think [Olympic participation] hasn¡¯t meant a lot, then? You think you haven¡¯t gotten the bang for your buck?¡±

Bettman: ¡°It¡¯s not a question [of that] … You know, when we were in Vancouver, or Salt Lake City, it¡¯s a whole different Olympics. Particularly in terms of how it¡¯s viewed and followed in North America. And the logistics are a lot easier in terms of travel and wear-and-tear. When you¡¯re halfway around the world, the whole dynamic is completely different, including the coverage that the Games themselves get.¡±

¡°I think the players do want to go, but I think it should be of interest to the players and the league. I think the NHL should be in the Olympics.¡±
Game Womens T.Y. Hilton Jersey And Toews isn¡¯t the only player speaking out. Maple Leafs winger and American James van Riemsdyk followed suit …