Category Archives: Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers

Sports betting may force NFL to use full-time officials, enhanced replay

The NFL knows that it will never get every call right. With sports betting now available for any state that wants to adopt it, the NFL soon will have to try harder.

That may not be enough. To the extent that mistakes can be rectified via expanded replay review, the league will have to be willing to consider doing it. And the league also should seriously consider something I’ve suggested for several years now — the use of a video official who is part of the crew, who monitors the action away from the field via the various camera angles, and who communicates directly to the referee when the video reveals that a mistake is about to be made by the on-field crew, ensuring that the pre-replay call is as accurate as possible.

The league may argue that these enhancements justify the so-called “integrity fee” that all sports leagues hope to shake from the states that adopt sports wagering. The response should be that this isn’t about “integrity,” it’s about competence.

But Anthony Lynn already has a very lucrative job — he’s the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. Despite his professional success, the 49-year-old Lynn always regretted leaving college a few hours shy of his degree in 1992 to pursue an NFL career.

Lynn set out to change that, enrolling in online courses in 2014 with the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Saturday, he’ll finish the journey he started 30 years ago, as he graduates from UNLV with a degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Lynn’s family and Chargers owner Dean Spanos will be on hand for the ceremony in Las Vegas. Lynn told the Los Angeles Times he had not wanted to march in the graduation, but realized his story could be an example for others.

“I just wanted my papers. Mail me my damn diploma, I’ll give it to my mom, and I’m done,” Lynn said. “When I told my counselor, when I told her what my plans were — she had just assumed that I was walking the whole time. I never assumed I was walking.ravens_134

Darren Sproles expects “to be Darren Sproles” again

Darren Sproles said his recovery from a torn ACL and broken arm is on track, and the running back expects to return to form in 2018.

“I’m going to be Darren Sproles,” he said, via Dave Spadaro of the team website.

Sproles, who this week signed a one-year deal to return to the Eagles, was injured in Week 3 last season. He describes his feelings as “pissed” as he headed to the locker room.

He was rehabbing and considering the future when his 8-year-old daughter Devyn had a heart-to-heart with Sproles.

Last week, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made headlines for openly criticizing his team’s selection of backup, and potentially eventual heir to the starting job, Mason Rudolph.

Despite not playing all 16 games the past three seasons, Roethlisberger said he didn’t understand how Rudolph would help the Steelers win now. And asked about the rookie’s comments that it wasn’t Roethlisberger’s job to teach him the ropes, the veteran sarcastically replied.

I don’t think I’ll need to now that he said he doesn’t need me, Roethlisberger said during a local radio interview.

If he asks me a question, I might just have to point to the playbook.

And while there have been other bidders, and reportedly higher bidders, Tepper has been the favorite throughout the process. A billionaire hedge fund manager who owns a minority share of the Steelers (which would obviously have to be sold), Tepper has already been vetted by the league and has the support of a number of influential owners already. He also has more money than all the people reported to be involved in the process, which tends to be an important factor when expensive things are being sold.

During a tender moment a few days ago, Turay’s oldest sister, Fanta, began to cry tears of joy at her brother’s success.

It showed what an example I set for my family and for my African community, he said,to see that it’s important to graduate and that hard work can pay off. Just put your mind to it.

The work ethic instilled in Turay clearly stuck. He majored in information technology/informatics at Rutgers, and he’d like to put his degree to use right at Colts headquarters. That’s right: In between his attempts at beefing up the Colts’ pass rush, Turay wants to lend a hand to the team’s… IT department.

I did a lot of different things like web design, software development, coding, he said.sabres_077

Raiders cut Marquette King, Clive Walford

The Raiders released punter Marquette King and waived tight end Clive Walford, the club announced Friday.

King, originally signed by the club as an undrafted free agent in 2012, spent his first six years with the Raiders. He played 80 games, punting 426 times for 19,941 yards (46.8 average). He pinned 156 punts inside the 20 with 33 touchbacks.

He finished first in Pro Bowl fan voting last year, though he has never made an all-star game.

The Raiders signed King to a five-year, $16.5 million contract extension a year ago. His release saves the Raiders $2.9 million against their cap.

Former Panthers left guard Andrew Norwell wasn’t heard in any rumors regarding the Jags, but there he is, about to line up next to stud center Brandon Linder and further boost the blocking in front of Leonard Fournette for the league’s No. 1 rushing attack. The Jaguars don’t want to mess with the running game/physical identity that got them a quarter away from the Super Bowl. At the same time, they took a worthy flyer on a cheaper Robinson fill-in with former Colt Donte Moncrief and also kept Marqise Lee.

Campanaro was a 2014 seventh-round pick by the Ravens and saw time with them in each of the last four seasons. He only played 11 games in his first three years, but appeared 13 times during the 2017 season. He caught 31 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns while also running 10 times for 131 yards and returning 27 punts.

The Titans opened up a spot on the wide receiver depth chart by releasing Eric Decker this offseason. Adoree’ Jackson handled the punt return duties last season.

Zrebiec reports that the Ravens remain in the mix for Campanaro, so Thursday’s visit could spur a deal in one place or the other.

Portland likely will finish third, but not as likely as one would think when glancing at the standings. The Blazers have a brutal schedule remaining, including games at San Antonio and Denver, both fighting for playoff positioning.
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Blazers’ Damian Lillard met privately with owner Paul Allen to discuss future

Blazers star Damian Lillard met in secret with owner Paul Allen to talk about the future of the franchise and where the team is headed, according to a report from ESPN.

Lillard requested the meeting, which lasted about an hour, to “reaffirm his commitment” to the organization, but he also wanted to ensure he and the franchise were aligned with the same goals of winning a championship while he’s still in his prime.

Lillard has four years remaining on a contract that owes him $115 million.

The senior goalie stopped 74 of 75 shots in winning one game and tying one last weekend, including her 10th shutout of the season in a 0-0 tie with Connecticut College. She leads the NESCAC in goals-against average (1.00), save percentage (.963) and shutouts, and wrapped up quite a career there.

The mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida, school remains an unfathomable tragedy for those affected by it. That includes the members of the school’s boys’ hockey team, who won the state championship in their league less than two weeks after the shooting. The tragedy claimed the life of Jaime Guttenberg, sister of junior varsity player Jesse Guttenberg. The players placed their medals from that tournament win on memorials of the victims, with senior Matthew Horowitz telling the media that “we’re pretty much fighting for the 17 who passed away.”

Ty Lue says Tristan Thompson will start at center, Kevin Love goes back to the 4 and Jae Crowder will come off the bench.

During his spring tutorials, Gordon fields balls launched from a machine and fungoes directly off the bat, which behave less predictably. He looks natural on fly balls in the gap, while line drives hit straight at him or directly over his head pose more of a challenge.

“Once the season starts and we get the scouting reports, we’ll have a really good idea where he should play hitters,” Prieto said. “Right now, I want him to use his instincts. I want him to read swings and challenge himself to the pull side and the opposite side. He comes in every day, and he’s looking to get better. He doesn’t just want to be a good center fielder. He wants to be a great center fielder, and it shows in everything he does.”
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Butler hurt as Rockets beat Wolves for 11th straight win

Timberwolves: After Butler fell to the floor, the play continued and ended with Gibson committing a horse-collar-like takedown of Harden on a layup. Harden made the desperation heave and ensuing free throw to put the Rockets up 14. … Towns and fellow 7-footer Cole Aldrich served as human crutches in escorting Butler to the locker room.

Rockets: With a steal in the third quarter, Paul passed Allen Iverson for 12th on the NBA’s career list with 1,984. Mookie Blaylock is 11th with 2,075 steals. … In his second game with the Rockets, veteran small forward Joe Johnson had 10 points in 22 minutes.

“We see it every year,” Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook head NBA oddsmaker Jeff Sherman told ESPN. “It’s part of being informed of what’s going on.”

“The NBA is always a headache,” William Hill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich said. “Sharper players already have lower limits.”

However, this particular stretch might force one bookmaker into uncharted territory.

“It [may] get to the point as weeks go by [where I don’t] book those games,” Golden Nugget sportsbook director Tony Miller said. He did promise lower betting limits for games involving teams out of playoff contention.

Twenty-four games remain in the regular season, with the Warriors a half-game behind the Houston Rockets for the top spot in the Western Conference. Whether or not they’ve received enough rest during the break, they know it’s time to perform if they want to make a trip to the Finals for the fourth consecutive season.

Curry is confident that his team will be focused for the stretch run.

“We’ve got [24] games before the playoffs to chase another championship,” Curry said, “so [we’ll be] ready to hit the ground running when we get back.”

The Rockets have won 11 straight at home against the Timberwolves and will go for a four-game season series sweep in Minnesota on March 18. In their previous three meetings, Houston overwhelmed Minnesota from beyond the arc, making 19.5 3-pointers per game. But whether it was rust or an improved defensive strategy from Minnesota, Houston was limited to just 14 of 38 3-pointers on Friday night.
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Ryan Shazier will have some sort of role with the Steelers in 2018.

“I expect Ryan is going to be here one way or the other and have a role with the team one way or the other in 2018, for sure,” Steelers owner Art Rooney II said of the injured linebacker Wednesday, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Shazier, who is still recovering from a back injury in early December, would be entering the fifth year on his initial contract. After earning $9.56 million over his first NFL seasons, Shazier will count $8.7 million against the Steelers’ salary cap after the team exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie contract last year.

“Look, we have a great relationship with Ben. We’ll talk through things. The important thing is he wants to be here and he wants to continue beyond the contract. That’s great.”

“The only thing Nick would do is maybe on a Tuesday say, ‘My shoulder is a little sore.we just work on the short passing game?'” Long said. “I told him that wasn’t a problem.”

It became one during basketball season.

“He’s playing in a game and goes to throw a full-court,” Long recalled, “and I think his shoulder about dropped down to his knee. Somehow he was able to keep that shoulder working during (football) season, and it just couldn’t handle basketball.”

Foles was forced to undergo surgery. But as evidenced by his rifle 22-yard touchdown pass to Corey Clement in Sunday’s 41-33 win over New England, arm strength isn’t an issue.

Long, who retired as Westlake’s coach in 2009, watched Super Bowl 52 with pride not just because of Foles’ on-field prowess, but because of the well-respected person he became.

“It can’t be that for him,” Lee said. “Don’t let him fool you. He’s going to try to control his world and keep his mind as calm as possible for the most part, but things are going to flare up. I know Calais is going to go back and do what he’s supposed to do. I know he’s eager to go out there and make some plays so I can’t wait to see it.”

Campbell is a prime reason for the 7-3 Jaguars becoming one of the surprises of the league. He’s tied for the NFL lead with 11.5 sacks (a career high) and has been a linchpin to the Jaguars leading the NFL in scoring defense, total defense, takeaways, pass defense and sacks.nike-youth-cardinals-028

On Wednesday, the Tigers shot under 40 percent from the field in a 76-71 loss at Alabama that featured eight lead changes.

A particularly solid piece of trolling took place during an early TV timeout, when an Alabama fan brought onto the court to shoot for a prize just happened to be wearing a dark jacket with FBI spelled out in big yellow letters across the back.

Xavier Rhodes can cover any player on Pederson’s play sheet. The key factors here will be: A) Will safety Andrew Sendejo be physically ready to go? B) Can Minnesota’s edge rushers beat the Eagles’ tackles?

All of this comes down to the Eagles’ ability to stay effective on the ground. This could be a Leggie Blount game. He’s enjoyed a couple of huge days in the postseason before. If OC Frank Reich uses him to soften the Vikings up for some of these RPOs (run-pass options), Foles should see larger windows downfield. RPOs have become the new RPGs. You know, role-playing games, like “D&D” and “Baldur’s Gate.” Never mind.

This offseason, based on contracts and team outlooks, it’s feasible that half the league will swap starting quarterbacks. Several big names could become free agents. Three hyped passers — Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen — sit at the top of many draft boards. Plenty of teams who have enjoyed longtime quarterback stability have reason to consider a rebuild.

Simms’ performance against the Broncos was the single-most efficient game in Super Bowl history. He started the game completing his first seven passes, including going 6 for 6 for 69 yards and a touchdown on the Giants’ first drive. After a down second quarter (he only went 5 for 8, the amateur) he followed by completing 10 of 10 passes in the second half for 165 yards and two touchdowns.

He threw three touchdowns to three different receivers, and his 88.0 completion percentage and 150.9 quarterback rating are still-standing Super Bowl records.

Rodgers came up big in his only Super Bowl appearance — and against the league’s top defense, to boot. The Steelers had the most sacks (48) of any team, boasted the NFL’s top-rated scoring defense (14.5 points per game) and had the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in safety Troy Polamalu.chargers_007

The Jaguars might believe they are a QB away from joining the AFC’s elite.

In this weekly series, I identify players available in more than 40 percent of ESPN leagues at each position. Some nominations are purely specialists capable of helping in one or two categories, while others deliver more diverse and important statistical offerings. Either way, I believe the names below — ordered by ownership rate at each position — can contribute positively to fantasy rosters.

Even while spending the season often ceding minutes and touches to the likes of Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler in Chicago last year, Rondo was 13th in the NBA with 12.6 potential assists per game, just ahead of the likes of Damian Lillard and Draymond Green.

“You have to wait for the right time. I promise you — and I’ve talked to some of the guys — we’re always looking to add. But it has to be right, and the timing was right for this move for Kelvin.”

Why doesn’t Bill O’Brien trust Deshaun Watson with the game on the line? Is Carson Wentz the league’s best quarterback? Taking a close look at the biggest conundrums through Week 8.

Will the Dolphins find a suitor for impending free agent Jarvis Landry? We lay out a handful of logical trades that could take place before Tuesday afternoon.

Some of that is he pitches well to the park: Minute Maid is pinched down the lines but fair to the alleys and center, and Keuchel does a good job of limiting pull fly balls. But he also just allows less hard contact. Maybe he just loves the mound.

He claims the alleged victim was “too intoxicated to drive” and she stayed over. The friend’s signed affidavit stated he slept across the hall and never heard or saw anything violent occur.
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Super Bowl 2018 halftime show: Justin Timberlake to perform in Minneapolis

The Redskins faced the Eagles Monday in their second “Monday Night Football” game of the season. The first came on Oct. 2 against the Chiefs, just three days after quarterback Kirk Cousins and wife Julie welcomed their first child with the birth of their son, Cooper.

Cousins missed one day of practice for the birth, but he wasn’t going to miss more than that. In fact, Cousins attended a quarterback meeting with the help of his backup Colt McCoy while his wife was giving birth.

An investigation by the Broward County (Florida) State Attorney’s Office determined there was “no reasonable likelihood” of a conviction for the incident that involved Landry and Estrella Cerqueira, who is the mother of the couple’s daughter.

“The victim maintains that the defendant did not intent to touch her [or] strike her, but accidentally did so,” assistant state attorney Stefanie Newman said in a memorandum.

It was hard to pinpoint anything notable in terms of fantasy when the Dolphins lost 40-0 to the Ravens on Thursday night. However, backup receiver Leonte Carroo had a career-high six receptions for 48 yards. This could open the opportunity for Carroo to get more playing time in the second half of the season, especially if DeVante Parker (ankle) remains sidelined. — James Walker

No. Butler’s skill set would likely be a better matchup against Travis Benjamin, whose run-after-the-catch ability has New England’s attention. The Patriots don’t always match up their corners, but if Stephon Gilmore returns to action, he would seem like the more likely option to check Allen, whether it’s in the slot or on the outside. — Mike Reiss

James Cook, the No. 55-ranked prospect in the country, is blazing a new path.49ers_220_77bc458c1668dc31-150x150

Aaron Rodgers breaks collarbone, could miss rest of the season

Aaron Rodgers left the Packers’ game against the Vikings on Sunday after taking a big hit from Anthony Barr. The Packers later announced that he broke his collarbone, and could miss the rest of the season.

The Panthers have had their own share of injuries to overcome, beginning earlier in the year, but are starting to find a rhythm with a new supporting cast. As Cam Newton gets further removed from his shoulder injury, he’s starting to look more like his 2015 self. He’s still without TE Greg Olsen, but has seemed to find a productive Plan B with Ed Dickson — who saw the majority of targets in Week 5 and had himself a career day.

Thompson’s family members, who live in Florida, haven’t been able to watch him play much in person. Thompson leads the Redskins in receiving yards (340) and rushing yards (175). But despite warning his family to go see him play the following week at home against the Cowboys instead, Thompson can’t wait for Monday night.

His big-time effort even earned him a nickname from veteran coach Andy Reid: “butt kicker dot com.”

Luckily for the Chiefs, they are still the top team in each power rankings. Unfortunately for the Packers, however, they took a huge fall. Yahoo Sports’ power rankings has Green Bay at No. 16. On the other hand, the Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, and Los Angeles Rams are in the top 10.

The Eagles, Panthers, and Rams are in the top 10 on ESPN’s power rankings, and the Steelers moved to the top five after beating Kansas City. Philadelphia is also the No. 2 team on NFL.com’s power rankings list, but the Rams are behind the Eagles at No. 3. However, the Atlanta Falcons slipped to No. 12.
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