Monthly Archives: May 2017

Colin Kaepernick is training to be a starting quarterback again

Colin Kaepernick is finally drawing some interest — this time from the Seahawks — on the free agent market. Seattle envisions him as a backup to Russell Wilson, but the man who’s training him says Kaepernick is in peak physical condition and ready to be a starting quarterback again.

Colin has been there since January, training with me five days a week, Hidalgo said. We have been getting ready for football as if he was a starting quarterback for an NFL team. When I read that people don’t know if Colin wants to play football … This guy’s been doing it five hours a day, five days a week, like he has a starting NFL job. And we don’t take days off.

Lacy reportedly weighed 267 pounds at one visit with a team as a free agent, so he had 12 pounds to drop by Monday. Head coach Pete Carroll didn’t seem too concerned about Lacy’s ability to get down to the target weight.
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He’s a big back, Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle. He’s a big guy. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. But there will be a real concerted effort to make sure he’s at his very best.
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And the team was planning to support Lacy in his efforts to get down to the target playing weight.

We have a real target for him, Carroll said. We’ll be on it on a regular basis and we’ll keep him in great shape.

Lacy’s size can be an asset, and the injuries that slowed him down with the Packers weren’t related to his weight. But being at a healthy playing weight should make him more effective on the field, and the prospect of an extra $55,000 each month is a pretty compelling incentive.

Braves’ Freddie Freeman is the MVP nobody seems to talk about

Deacon Jones Womens Jersey It seems odd to say that a two-time All-Star on one of baseball’s more popular teams could be a super-underrated commodity, but that’s where we are with Freddie Freeman.

Ignore for a moment that it’s early. Ignore that looks are sometimes deceiving. Ignore that it’s silly to jump to conclusions in April. Ignore all that to consider this: Freeman, who’s already out-performing nearly all other National League hitters in 2017, could be on his way to an MVP season — and a relative few give him much attention at all.
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Call this early crazy talk or a long shot if you want, but the Braves’ first baseman has flown criminally under the baseball radar the past couple of seasons as he’s developed into one of the game’s most exciting bats.

The skid: Haven’t made the World Series, ever (franchise started as Montreal Expos in 1969)

Need to know: You can’t think about this franchise’s drought without wondering what might have happened had the 1994 season not been canceled, with the Expos atop the National League with a 74-40 record, at least six games better than every other team. Sigh. The 2017 Nationals are in prime position to break the drought — if superstar Bryce Harper bounces back from a mediocre 2016 season and the stellar rotation stays healthy.

Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas continued his electric form while out-dueling Madison Bumgarner in a 2-0 win. Vargas tossed seven scoreless innings with nine strikeouts. He is now 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA this season.

Mookie Betts’ strikeout streak. Betts entered Wednesday night in the midst of an incredible streak of consecutive plate appearances without a strikeout. Unfortunately, his streak ended at 129 during the fourth inning of a 3-0 loss against the Blue Jays.

NFL Draft 2017: Raiders ‘totally comfortable’ taking Gareon Conley despite rape accusation

When news broke Monday night that top cornerback prospect Gareon Conley had been accused of raping a woman in Cleveland earlier this month, some speculated he might go undrafted. Even hours before the draft began Thursday, there were reports that Conley was expected to be picked, but probably not until about the third round.

But the Raiders surprised everyone by taking the former Ohio State star with the 24th overall pick despite the questions swirling around him, and they insisted afterward that they had confidence in their process.

“Bottom line, we’ve done miles and miles of research to make sure we were totally comfortable with our decision, which we were,” said general manager Reggie McKenzie, via USA Today Sports.

According to a Cleveland police report, an unidentified 23-year-old woman said Conley asked her up to a suite at the Westin Hotel in Cleveland to have sex, but she said she agreed only to go to the room to watch others have sex. She told police Conley raped her in the suite’s bathroom and then kicked her out of the suite.

Conley has denied the allegation and his attorney indicated he has witness and video evidence that will disprove the accuser’s claims. Police have not arrested or charged the 21-year-old in connection with the alleged incident, and he is expected to meet with them Monday.

Conley and his representatives spent the days leading up to the draft in a non-stop effort to convince potential NFL suitors that the player did nothing wrong.

While Conley told reporters on a conference call Thursday (via the San Francisco Chronicle) that he “could have made a way better decision,” he maintained his innocence and thanked the team for the opportunity.

“I appreciate the Raiders having faith in me not only as a player but as a person,” Conley said. “I am honored to be a part of this organization.”
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Glennon will arrive in Chicago with an even less-impressive resume than Osweiler

History — both Glennon’s and that of second-stringers groomed by their own clubs and then tabbed as starters elsewhere — doesn’t bode well for the Bears with this move.

Eleven seasons and counting have passed since a backup with no prior experience went to another team and led it into the Super Bowl. Seattle knows that all too well after Matt Flynn didn’t transform into another Matt Hasselbeck after arriving in 2012 from Green Bay.

Excluding Chicago, only nine of the NFL’s other 32 teams have first-string quarterbacks they didn’t draft. Four of them –— Arizona (Carson Palmer), Minnesota (Sam Bradford), Kansas City (Alex Smith) and New Orleans (Drew Brees) — field quarterbacks who were established starters for at least part of the previous season with their prior team.

That leaves Cleveland, Houston, San Francisco, Buffalo and the Jets. The Texans were the only one that reached the playoffs last season, and they’re already looking to replace Brock Osweiler after a horrendous first season following four years sitting behind Peyton Manning.

Game Youth Cedric Peerman Jersey Glennon will arrive in Chicago with an even less-impressive resume than Osweiler, who at least had his moments during a seven-game starting stretch in 2015.
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Hopper explained that he wanted to be closer to home for the birth of his daughter, Caleigh, last May. Instead of transferring to another school, however, Hopper said life steered him in another direction. He started to work at a family friend’s barbershop, earning $10 an hour.

He’s now thinking about supporting his family for the long term and knows the NFL would be the best avenue in which to do so.

What he has to prove to at least one team is that he is committed to playing football.

Hanley Ramirez powers Red Sox past Cubs to win series between curse-breakers

Two of the most storied — and for a long time, pitied — baseball franchises in MLB history battled one another this weekend in a series of curse-breakers.
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Both the Red Sox and Cubs suffered through generations-long World Series slumps only to see the curses haunting them recently snapped. Though the Cubs are fresh off their first World Series win in 108 years, they did not have fate on their side Sunday.

Tied 2-2 in the eighth inning, Chicago gave up four runs off of a wild pitch, a groundout and a throwing error to ultimately lose 6-2. The new, fortunate Cubs looked a bit like the old, forlorn Cubs late in this game.

Daniel Norris, who was acquired by the Tigers in the David Price trade, has shown flashes of electric stuff. He just needs to become more consistent with his off-speed pitches. The Tigers also have young Matthew Boyd, who may be the third-best pitcher on the team right now.
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The X-Factor is Jordan Zimmermann. The high-priced signing from last offseason has been disastrous in a Tigers uniform, which has made it tough to trust their supposed No. 3 starter.

Through the first month of the season, Detroit finds itself just one game behind the Indians and the surprising White Sox. The Twins are also a half-game ahead of the Tigers, so the AL Central looks set for a season-long battle. The Tigers may be aging, and their needle may be pointing downward slightly, but this team still has the pieces to contend for the postseason and more.

Late owner Mike Ilitch gave everything he had to see his beloved Tigers win another World Series, and with a little luck — and some summer moves — they could honor him with a special season.

Cleveland to host 2019 MLB All-Star Game, report says

Cleveland’s consolation prize for losing out to the Cubs in last fall’s World Series is on the way, though it will take a few years to arrive.

The Indians will host the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, Cleveland.com reported Thursday. An official announcement is expected at a news conference Friday.

Phil Taylor Elite Jersey Progressive Field last staged the Midsummer Classic in 1997, and four previous All-Star Games were held at Municipal Stadium.

The 2019 edition will end a run of four consecutive All-Star Games in National League cities, as Cincinnati, San Diego, Miami and Washington will have hosted since the Twins’ turn at Target Field in 2014.

The players were awestruck.

Dan Skuta Elite Jersey It was a World Series atmosphere and it was just the first two weeks of the season, Murphy said. It was just crazy.

Crazy for everyone, including the documentary crew.

The Braves had become not only the focus of Atlanta sports, but of national sports. Forced to adapt on the fly, the crew encountered a new level of stress.

The Rangers were another team that didn’t have to do too much this offseason. They signed Mike Napoli to alleviate the departure of Mitch Moreland and missed out on Edwin Encarnacion. Signing Napoli is slightly a lateral move, but if he can continue his career resurgence that he found with Cleveland, then the offense will be in good shape, even with the unexpected retirement of 1B Prince Fielder. The Rangers also still have faith in Joey Gallo, so we’ll see whether that faith is rewarded in 2017.

Clock is ticking for Jaguars to make latest offseason additions pay off

Of everything that it means for Tom Coughlin to be in charge back in Jacksonville, the most important is that he buys them time.

The Jaguars needed that, because the expiration date was approaching on all the big drafts and hot free-agent moves they’ve made in recent years.
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The way the Jaguars have kept running in place, way behind the pack in a weak division, the expectations for this offseason’s moves are kept in check. They look good on paper, but so did the teams before. To be honest, bringing on Coughlin as executive vice president looks great on paper itself … with the first game four months away.

There’s more work to be done, Coughlin told reporters after the draft wrapped up Saturday. We’ve made progress, but until we go on the field and we get something done that’s what it is – it’s progress.

Limited Youth James Young Jersey The Bengals play their third home game in the first five weeks against the Bills. Buffalo beat Cincinnati 16-12 last season. That’s a game the Bengals can’t afford to lose. Cincinnati should have a good idea of where it sits in the AFC North race when it travels to face the rival Steelers.

Cincinnati needs to go 3-1 in November in order to have any postseason hopes. That means winning on the road against Jacksonville and Tennessee and taking their best shot at Denver, then returning home and beating the in-state rival Browns. That would set Cincinnati up for an interesting November.

Eagles’ Torrey Smith pays adoption fees of 46 animals at Baltimore animal shelterWhat a defensive-minded debut for Lynch as general manager. He made a terrific, immediate trade with the Bears to stockpile picks and was still able to get two cornerstones for the defensive front-seven in end Solomon Thomas (No. 3) and inside linebacker Reuben Foster. San Francisco is seeing great early results with its hire, including him not panicking and forcing QB. Houston no longer has a QB problem as it contends for an AFC title. The defense and offensive supporting casts are good enough to lift Watson into more winning ways after he led Clemson to a national title. The Texans had to be aggressive to get him once Mitchell Trubisky (Bears) and Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) went earlier than expected. Torrey Smith may not play for the Ravens anymore, but he isn’t done giving to the city of Baltimore. According to BARCS Animal Shelter in Baltimore, Smith and his wife Chanel paid the adoption fees for cats and dogs — 46 total — at an adoption event on Saturday. They also made an “extra donation” on top of the fees. Smith spent four seasons playing for the Ravens, from 2011-14, winning a Super Bowl with the team in 2013. He caught 213 passes for 3,591 yards and 30 touchdowns over his four years there. He also spent four seasons playing for the University of Maryland from 2007-10. After his playing career in Baltimore ended, Smith joined the 49ers for the 2015 and ’16 seasons. He signed with the Eagles in March.

What a defensive-minded debut for Lynch as general manager. He made a terrific, immediate trade with the Bears to stockpile picks and was still able to get two cornerstones for the defensive front-seven in end Solomon Thomas (No. 3) and inside linebacker Reuben Foster.

San Francisco is seeing great early results with its hire, including him not panicking and forcing QB.

Houston no longer has a QB problem as it contends for an AFC title. The defense and offensive supporting casts are good enough to lift Watson into more winning ways after he led Clemson to a national title.

The Texans had to be aggressive to get him once Mitchell Trubisky (Bears) and Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) went earlier than expected.

Torrey Smith may not play for the Ravens anymore, but he isn’t done giving to the city of Baltimore.

According to BARCS Animal Shelter in Baltimore, Smith and his wife Chanel paid the adoption fees for cats and dogs — 46 total — at an adoption event on Saturday. They also made an “extra donation” on top of the fees.

Smith spent four seasons playing for the Ravens, from 2011-14, winning a Super Bowl with the team in 2013. He caught 213 passes for 3,591 yards and 30 touchdowns over his four years there. He also spent four seasons playing for the University of Maryland from 2007-10.

After his playing career in Baltimore ended, Smith joined the 49ers for the 2015 and ’16 seasons. He signed with the Eagles in March.
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The Lions didn’t really address their biggest needs this draft

Washington did everything right in the first period of their Game 2 against the Penguins … except score. The shot count read at 16-5 in favor of the Capitals after 20 minutes, but it took a minute and 15 seconds for the Penguins to score into the second period.

The game spiraled from there, which saw Braden Holtby let in three goals on 14 shots and sit out the third period in place of Philipp Grubauer. Now they head into Pittsburgh down two games in the series. Gulp.

The Lions didn’t really address their biggest needs this draft, failing to pick up a running back despite a deep class and neglecting to add a pass rushing threat. Teez Tabor plays much better than his testing numbers and Jarrad Davis can come in and start from day one, but the consensus is Detroit could have done much more with its opportunities.

The Packers failed to address their tailback needs early in the draft, instead repairing a fractured secondary by adding Kevin King and Josh Jones in the first two rounds. They’d add two solid college backs on day three with Aaron Jones and Devante Mays, along with yet another receiving weapon in Malachi Dupre.

Honestly, I think that’s bigger than running the full route tree in college, he says. As a receiver, you pride yourself on being able to run routes, and I think that running routes isn’t all that hard. But something that is a little bit tougher for maybe some people is reacting and reading a defense on the fly, and I think that’s something that has really helped me in being in this offense.
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Game Womens Jamie Collins Jersey Hansen ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds at the NFL combine. He did 11 reps on the bench press, and jumped 35 inches vertically and 119 on the broad. His best combine drill might’ve been the 20-yard shuttle, an agility test, which he completed in 4.13 seconds. That was ninth-best among receivers in Indianapolis.

Steve Kerr’s illness could keep him out for the rest of playoffs

Elite Sami Vatanen Jersey Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is expected to miss more than just Game 3 with illness, according to the Mercury News’ Marcus Thompson. After Kerr missed Saturday’s game with severe symptoms that put him, at the worst moments, in excruciating pain, Kerr’s return to the bench might not happen anytime soon.

Kerr has felt poorly throughout the first-round series against the Trail Blazers, and on Saturday, his condition had worsened enough to keep him from the sidelines. Lead assistant Mike Brown took his place and led Golden State to a 119-113 victory, putting the Warriors up 3-0 in a series with Kevin Durant possibly returning in Game 4 on Monday.

The next day, Kerr gave a quick press conference at the Warriors facility, elaborating a bit more on his struggles.
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With things getting worse, I just made the decision I couldn’t coach. As of now, I’m consulting with my doctors. I’m hoping for some improvement. If I can get some improvement, I’ll get back on the sidelines. But I’m not going to do that unless I know I can help the team.

Anunoby tore his ACL in January and Indiana promptly collapsed after he went down. He’s a physical marvel with super long arms and explosive leaping ability around the rim. He projects as a versatile defensive forward who would fit nicely next to offense-first types in Denver like Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

I’ve typically had Leaf in the 20s in these mocks, but there are plenty of projections that have him as a lottery pick. We know Stan Van Gundy loves shooters at power forward and Leaf fits the profile.