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Archives for: April 30, 2018

Texans impressed by Derek Newton’s comeback work ethic

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The Texans still don’t know if right tackle Derek Newton will be able to play again at his previous level. But they know he’s working diligently toward that goal.

After signing two free-agent quarterbacks, the Cardinals are likely out on a first-round passer unless one starts to slip. Instead, they can remain in semi win-now mode and bolster their defensive line. Payne has outstanding upside.

This is an obvious fit thanks to Ozzie Newsome’s love of Alabama players. The Ravens, despite their Michael Crabtree signing, still have a need at receiver. Ridley is the best wideout in the class.

The Chargers have done a masterful job building their defense, and one more leader inside could come close to completing what has a chance to be the NFL’s top unit in 2018. Smith deserves to go higher than this, but he might slip due to positional value.

“With the emotions of what happened, and I have a kid now, I said, holy Toledo, what is going on?” Edelman told the New York Times.

Police were able to determine the IP address of the boy who posted the threat. They say when police visited his house, he admitted posting it. There were two guns in the home, which belonged to his mother.

The boy is being held in a juvenile-detention center and was charged with making a false report of a threat of terrorism, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

The 2018 NFL Draft starts Thursday, April 26, and ends Saturday, April 28. The first round will be featured Thursday night, with the second and third rounds taking place Friday night; the final five rounds will be on Saturday.
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Former NFL player Bill Rademacher dies at 75

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Bill Rademacher, who played in Super Bowl III for the Jets, has died. He was 75.

The team reported his passing Tuesday.

The Jets signed Rademacher as an undrafted free agent out of Northern Michigan in 1964. He played as both a receiver and a defensive back during his five seasons with the Jets.

Presenting the seventh-annual list of role players, journeymen and castoffs thriving in unexpected circumstances around the NBA.

It just never happened. Kidd-Gilchrist is just 11-of-21 on post-ups this season, five fewer attempts than he tried last season, per NBA.com. He barely runs the pick-and-roll.

There are good reasons for all of this. With Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum on the floor, it is hard to justify shifting much off-the-bounce duty to MKG — even if plotting the chess pieces that way would loosen spacing. There is no room for another post-up threat with Dwight Howard hogging one block. Perhaps Kidd-Gilchrist hasn’t shown enough in practice.

It’s nevertheless been a difficult couple of months for Doleman, who rose to prominence three decades ago with the Vikings..

“When a doctor tells you that you have brain cancer, it changes your whole world,” Doleman said. “Those are the scariest words that you’ll ever hear in your life. When I first heard it, I was so devastated by it I couldn’t get any words out of my mouth.”

Per Tomasson, Doleman has glioblastoma. In addition to the radiation, Doleman is undergoing chemotherapy.

“We’re working on [the cancer] on a daily basis,” Doleman said. “It can heal, and it can come back. I ask Vikings fans to pray for me on a daily basis. Just one day at a time.”

Vikings fans and all football fans should say a prayer for Doleman.bills_057

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Nick Saban touts Minkah Fitzpatrick as a top-five pick

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A week after former UCLA coach Jim Mora was far less effusive than he arguably should have been when praising former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, Alabama coach Nick Saban has said all the right things about former Crimson Tide defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.

“As a player, is he a top-five pick? Yeah,” Saban recently told Scott Petrak of the Elyria (Oh.) Chronicle-Telegram.

In a question about Barkley, Manning was asked what a player like that could do for the Giants’ offense.

“You never know what is going to happen on draft day,” Manning said. “The Giants, that’s why they have all the scouts and Dave Gettleman and the coaches in doing all their work to figure out who is available and who is the best player to kind of help us out going forward. There is no point in speculating who you might draft or what’s going to happen here or there, we’ve just got to wait until draft night and see what happens.”

Prior to Monday, when the players could finally open up football communication with Shurmur and the coaches, Manning said he and Davis Webb have been watching video of Shurmur’s offense with the Vikings from last season to get an idea as to what the Giants will be doing this season.

So where does that leave Bryant, who is scheduled to make $12.5 million in salary and has a $16.5 million cap hit? Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys would meet with Bryant soon.

New receivers coach Sanjay Lal has exchanged text messages with Bryant and hopes to work with the star receiver this season.

“My impressions are he’s a competitive guy,” Lal said. “Obviously he’s not happy with what happened last year in terms of his game. I’m excited to work with him and help him as much as I can.

“I think together we can go good places.”

Lal also is excited by the additions of Thompson, who he worked with in Buffalo in 2014, and Hurns, who Lal met in the recruitment process. Lal’s recommendations convinced the Cowboys to sign both receivers.bills_046

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Jake Arrieta throws four innings in first start, Phillies fall to Marlins

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Phillies’ prized right-hander  Jake Arrieta was pulled after four innings and 74 pitches in his first start with his new ballclub against the Miami Marlins on Sunday, a no-decision in a 6-3 defeat.

Arrieta was almost out of the inning without further damage after Anderson flew out, but Lewis Brinson reached on catcher’s interference and Braxton Lee flared an 0-2 pitch into left for a two-run single.

Arrieta needed 32 pitches to get through the first and there was action in the bullpen, but he settled down and allowed just one baserunner the next three innings as the Phillies rallied to tie the game. He was pulled for pinch-hitter Pedro Florimon in the bottom of the fourth.

Meanwhile, the Phillies rallied from the 3-0 deficit with two runs in the first on Odubel Herrera’s RBI double and Nick Williams’ run-scoring single in the first and Rhys Hoskins’ RBI double in the third against Miami starter Trevor Richards.

Arrieta signed a three-year, $75-million contract in spring training with options. Because he signed so late, Arrieta wasn’t ready to start the season and made his debut in Sunday’s eighth game.

The former Cy Young Award winner’s signing boosted the Phillies’ rebuilding efforts and gave a young pitching staff a veteran presence.

The right-hander was topping out at 92-93 mph. His final line was 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.

Arrieta’s next start should come Saturday in Tampa Bay. The Phillies fell to 3-5.

Manziel’s first-quarter touchdown was vintage Johnny Football — a scramble out to the right followed by an off-balance dart to the back of the end zone to former Baylor receiver Antwan Goodley.

For the first time in over two years on Saturday, Johnny Manziel took snaps in a competitive football game.

Playing in The Spring League in Austin, Texas, Manziel quarterbacked the South team for around two quarters in total, completing more than 50 percent of his passes and throwing a touchdown pass in an 11-7 loss.

Manziel was 9 of 15 for 83 yards and a touchdown, but also took three sacks. The former Cleveland Browns first-round pick had the ball down four points with just two minutes to go, but couldn’t pull off the comeback. bills_013

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For some teams drafting a quarterback high, disaster is inevitable

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With possibly four quarterbacks taken in the first five picks and five (maybe six) quarterbacks taken in the first 32 selections, each of the teams that writes the name of a quarterback on a first-round draft card will believe that they are getting a franchise-changing guy. In the end, up to half (or more) could be dead wrong.

History tells us that quarterbacks have a ceiling that can’t be determined until they’re in the NFL and either busting through it or bumping against it. Most if not all incoming players have flaws, especially the quarterbacks.

While Rodgers challenged to be the first overall pick in the draft, the 49ers chose Smith, with Rodgers falling all the way to the Packers at 24. Many observers were concerned that Rodgers was a product of Cal coach Jeff Tedford, who previously sent Akili Smith, Kyle Boller and Joey Harrington to the pros with limited success. One NFL personnel director told McGinn that Tedford quarterbacks “all throw the ball the same way,” while another said Rodgers “is very rigid mechanically.” It’s difficult to think of a quarterback in NFL history who is more fluid in getting rid of the football off-schedule than Rodgers.

The unnamed friend of Dorsey also believes that the Browns will take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley at No. 4, resisting the temptation to trade down.

Of course, it’s hard to know whether the Browns will use the pick or trade it without knowing what another team is offering for the fourth pick. But the idea of the Browns choosing not to pass the pick and stockpile more of them makes sense. Teams that have traded up in recent years have done fairly well, for the most part (and with a few significant exceptions, like the trade for RGIII).

With the Browns technically on the clock, there’s no reason for the Browns to be coy about their intentions. But there’s also no real reason to be transparent. Maybe they could still drop a spot or two and still get Allen. Maybe if they drop a spot or two hoping to get Allen but get someone else, maybe they want to be able to say that’s the guy they would have taken at No. 1.rams_065

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Besides the nationally televised game in Washington, the Jets don’t have any national TV preseason games this year.

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Their other three will be televised locally only.

Those last two opponents are the same every year. Because the Jets “visited” the Giants last year, they had just one true preseason road trip, to Detroit. The Jets also hosted the Titans.

If you are in on the Bruins, the choices are obvious. The trio of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand is a formidable one, with Torey Krug a dominant choice on defense. For secondary scoring, David Krejci is always a playoff threat, having twice already led the league in scoring for the playoffs. That makes Ryan Donato an especially good sleeper, as he gets the best of both worlds. Donato plays with Krejci at even strength and on the power play with that top line. In the crease, Tuukka Rask is always a good choice in the playoffs when the Bruins are primed for a run; he has 53 games of playoff experience with a .928 save percentage.

The Blue Jackets have a tough road, with a first-round matchup against the conference champions and a potential second-round match against the defending Stanley Cup champs. Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson have been connecting well in the second half, and Seth Jones has put together a breakout on the blue line.

Collins, who started the first 47 games of his three-year NFL career, was in tears in the locker room after he suffered the injury in Week 16 of last season. But he showed up with a positive outlook Monday for the first day of the voluntary offseason strength and conditioning program.

“My arm is doing great,” Collins said.

Asked a follow-up question about the rehabilitation process, he said, “It was very minimum, but everything is back to 100 percent.”

Collins is a key piece  in defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s 3-4 scheme because of his versatility. He starts at strong safety but could be asked to slide into a hybrid linebacker role in certain situations. rams_010

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Karablog: Jameson Taillon, Gregory Polanco continue impressive starts

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The surprising Pittsburgh Pirates enter the second full week of the season a cool 7-2, after taking three of four games from the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. Sunday’s heroes are not exactly new names to fantasy managers, but right-hander Jameson Taillon and outfielder Gregory Polanco did not emerge as the statistical superstars so many predicted they’d become last season; Taillon fell out of the top 200 in ESPN average live drafts and Polanco was a 14th-round selection. The upside for each is, of course, considerably greater, presuming health. Ah, there it is. Health cures all!

Next up, rest. That’s Landeskog’s plan anyway — lay on the couch with his dog and watch the Masters on Sunday. Then, get ready for Nashville.

“If we play the way we played tonight, we have a good chance,” Bernier said.

Leading 2-1 late in the third, MacKinnon beat Allen with a shot over the goaltender’s shoulder. MacKinnon had been held without a goal since March 18 when he had two against Detroit. He finished with 97 points — the most by an Avalanche player since Joe Sakic had 100 in 2006-07.

But with NFL viewership falling nearly 20% over the past two seasons, Manning is viewed as a game changer.

The five-time NFL MVP was the league’s most popular player during his career. With his multiple endorsements and “Saturday Night Live” appearances, Manning would appeal to both advertisers on Madison Avenue and viewers.

“Peyton is worth every penny. Advertisers love him — and the league wants this to happen,” said another source.

With Manning’s vast knowledge of football and penchant for film study, network executives are hoping he is getting bored with retirement.

His new life has been filled with charity events, such as singing with country music star Thomas Rhett last week in Indianapolis, and ceremonial appearances like Daytona. He sold his stake in 31 Papa John’s restaurants in the Denver area just two days before the league dropped the brand as its official pizza sponsor.

TV networks can’t wait around forever for Manning to make up his mind.buccaneers_081

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NFL free agent news: Bills improve O-line with Russell Bodine, Marshall Newhouse

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In the span of two minutes Monday, the Bills announced moves that completely revamped their offensive line.

Buffalo first announced the signing of center Russell Bodine, and then followed it up shortly after with the signing of offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse.

Another addition to the offensive line. We have signed OL Marshall Newhouse to a one-year deal.

Bodine signed a two-year contract, while Newhouse settled for a one-year deal.

Royals: C Salvador Perez (left knee sprain) hit and ran bases for the first time prior to the game, and reported feeling “pretty good.” Yost said his All-Star could be back early in the four-to-six-week timeframe that was given when Perez got hurt just before Opening Day.

Royals LHP Eric Skoglund makes his season debut against RHP Felix Hernandez as the three-game set continues Tuesday night. Skoglund has not pitched in a game since an exhibition March 17, thanks to rainouts and postponements that have wrecked the Royals’ early schedule.

Baltimore had previously expressed interest in signing Kaepernick during the 2017 offseason, but the two sides never reached a deal.

Kaepernick filed the grievance against the NFL in a complaint that teams have colluded to keep him out of the league as a result of his stance on social issues that sparked when he took a knee in protest during the national anthem, and Newsome and Harbaugh are the latest to be questioned.

The depositions come a day after the Ravens signed Robert Griffin III, who also hasn’t played since the 2016 season, to a one-year deal.

Newcomb became the third starting pitcher to toss at least six scoreless innings with no walks and at least nine strikeouts at Coors Field. Jon Gray and Hall of Famer Randy Johnson are the only other two to accomplish the feat.buccaneers_025

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Drew Brees, Sean Payton to serve as pallbearers at Tom Benson funeral

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Saints quarterback Drew Brees and New Orleans coach Sean Payton will serve as honorary pallbearers for the private funeral of Tom Benson, the team announced Thursday.

Roger Goodell and Adam Silver are among five current and former league commissioners expected to attend the service scheduled for Friday at St. Louis Cathedral. A number of NFL owners, including Jerry Jones and Jerry Richardson, will also pay their respects.

Benson, owner of the Saints and Pelicans, died March 15 at the age of 90. The New Orleans native had been hospitalized with the flu nearly a month ago, but it was announced that he died last Thursday at the Ochsner Medical Center with his wife by his side.

Rockies: CF Charlie Blackmon was back in the starting lineup after missing Sunday’s game with a back injury. He was taken out of Saturday night’s game in the 10th inning because of back spasms. “I’m glad it cleared up quickly,” Blackmon said earlier Monday. “One game (off) here and there is sometimes a necessity.” … RHP Jeff Hoffman, on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, is slated to make his first rehab start Tuesday for Class A Lancaster.

“We stopped getting stops. We were defending really well up until that point,” Magic forward Aaron Gordon said.

Terry, the savvy veteran guard, immediately gave the Bucks a spark by forcing a turnover on the inbounds play after Bledsoe’s two foul shots. Muhammad gave the Bucks a presence off the dribble to help make up for the absence of the free-wheeling Antetokounmpo.

“Shabazz played a (great) game all night long, played in attack mode … got to his strengths in the paint,” forward Khris Middleton said.

The Bucks led comfortably the rest of the way to close out the regular season at the Bradley Center. A new arena is scheduled to open in the fall on an adjacent lot in downtown Milwaukee.
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Male Cheerleaders Joining the Los Angeles Rams’ Squad Make NFL History

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Two men, Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, will be making history as the first male dance cheerleaders in the NFL as members of the Los Angeles Rams’ squad.

I thought,’Why not me Why can’t I do this’ And called my friend and I asked her when auditions were for the Rams and she told me Sunday (March 11) and I showed up, Peron told Good Morning America in an interview after the announcement.

If you don’t make changes to make it safer, we’re going to do away with it. It’s that serious, Murphy said of what the message to the collection of coaches and coordinators would be. It’s by far the most dangerous play in the game.

It seems highly unlikely a change would occur in time for the 2018 season — they’re not there yet, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said Wednesday on Up To The Minute Live. But in looking further down the road, it’s not difficult to imagine a game that simply switches possession by placing the ball on a team’s own 25.

The most important indicator that this is more possible than one might have expected: Concussions are even happening on kicks that aren’t returned.

When you’re a playoff team, you’re trying to eliminate all the distractions that you can. And we’re going to be a playoff team and we’re going to have these issues, Ballard said. It becomes a slippery slope. We have rules in place for a reason. I think they’re good rules. It gives you a chance to interview and then, after the season, whatever happens, happens. In our case, he changed his mind and we moved on.

According to Holder, the rule proposal never underwent a vote. Instead, it was simply tabled, which means we don’t know which way the Colts would’ve voted. But based on the way Ballard is talking, it certainly sounds like they would’ve voted against it if it were entirely up to him.

What if you hire a guy and he’s halfway in Ballard said. Even though it was painful, and everybody reacted, I kind of didn’t see what the big deal was. You move to the next scenario. That’s just what we do. People are so scared of the unknown. I say just keep moving forward. What if a guy signs a contract and then, two weeks later, has second thoughts What are you going to do What are the legal ramifications nike_broncos_1479-500x500

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