Monthly Archives: January 2017

Belichick saved his timeouts until after the two-minute warning against the Cardinals in Week 1 this season

Belichick, meanwhile, is just about the gold standard of NFL coaches in terms of decision-making, with only John Harbaugh of the Ravens looming as an obviously more aggressive coach. Belichick obviously has a strong weapon in Tom Brady and his ability to convert on fourth-and-short, either with concise passing or with one of Brady’s many successful sneaks. The future Hall of Famer is now 107-for-119 (90.0 percent) trying to convert on third or fourth down with 2 yards or less to go with his legs.

The one problem that has popped up, most noticeably in the Super Bowl, has been Belichick’s somewhat erratic timeout usage late in games. While some will claim in hindsight that Belichick was a genius to let the clock run against the Seahawks as they lined up for what looked to be a Super Bowl-winning score, it took a small miracle to stop Seattle, and the Patriots would surely have been better-positioned after a score had they used their timeouts. Arguments to the contrary are driven by hindsight and dubious.

The one problem that has popped up, most noticeably in the Super Bowl, has been Belichick’s somewhat erratic timeout usage late in games. While some will claim in hindsight that Belichick was a genius to let the clock run against the Seahawks as they lined up for what looked to be a Super Bowl-winning score, it took a small miracle to stop Seattle, and the Patriots would surely have been better-positioned after a score had they used their timeouts. Arguments to the contrary are driven by hindsight and dubious.

Belichick saved his timeouts until after the two-minute warning against the Cardinals in Week 1 this season and had it work out again; the Patriots nursed a two-point lead, sweating out a potential game-winning Chandler Catanzaro 46-yard field goal attempt — a dangerous game for a guy who had been 16-of-18 on kicks between 40 and 49 yards up to that point. Catanzaro missed, bailing out Belichick yet again.

Justin Houston is right. The Chiefs do have the best pass-rushing duo in the NFL, for now

Justin Houston and Tamba Hali have shredded opposing offensive lines in their four seasons together in Kansas City. The pair of Chiefs pass rushers have combined for 86.5 sacks since Houston entered the NFL as a third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Houston, 26, has quickly developed into one of the NFL’s most dominant pass rushers and led the NFL in sacks in 2014 with 22, just a half of a sack shy of Michael Strahan’s record of 22.5 sacks in a season. While Hali managed just six sacks — his lowest total since 2008 — he still went to the Pro Bowl for the fourth consecutive year.

Details of the trial have not yet surfaced. Washington released a statement from president Bruce Allen suggesting that the team did not receive a fair judgment.
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I am surprised by the judge’s decision to prevent us from presenting our evidence in an open trial. We look forward to winning on appeal after a fair and impartial review of the case. We are convinced that we will win because the facts and the law are on the side of our franchise that has proudly used the name Redskins for more than 80 years.

Blackhorse sued the team and won a decision in June of last year that was hailed by their legal team as “a milestone victory.” While the decision did not prevent Washington from using “Redskins,” it threatened to significantly hamper the team’s profitability by allowing others to use the name for their financial gain.

Mens Mark Jackson Jersey In 2009, Redman moved to California and started working out at USC where McNair was the running back’s coach. McNair sent tape of Redman over to the Steelers and the then-offensive coordinator Bruce Arians whom he knew from their time together at the Cleveland Browns.

Jimmy Butler delivered two clutch baskets in the final minute of the game to put Chicago ahead for good

As has been the case throughout the Bulls’ up-and-down season, Butler remains one of the few constants on the roster. His ability to take over games ranks among the best in the league. On this night, he got a little added motivation from an onlooker who didn’t realize the fire he lit under one of the league’s best players.

“I love it,” Butler said of the back and forth with the fan. “That’s the reason you play the game. To win, there’s supposed to be a little bit of pressure on you. You got to deliver, you got to make some shots. You got to get some stops. I think everybody in here wants that. They want to feel that pressure and deliver. It feels good.”

Butler delivered on a night when the Grizzlies stifled him for most of the game. He came into the fourth quarter going just 3-for-11, but when the Bulls needed him most he rose to the challenge the same way he has done throughout the season.
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The Eagles will overhaul their wide receiver group and enter 2017 with two new starters. While Jordan Matthews did enough to hold on to his slot role, the outside tandem of Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor combined for just 757 yards and four touchdowns despite being targeted 144 times. Look for at least one addition via free agency (including a burner in the mold of DeSean Jackson or Kenny Stills, potentially) with more help to be sought in the draft. — Tim McManus

The Redskins will lose their top two receivers, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, to free agency. The Redskins have the cap space to re-sign them, but Jackson’s price tag might be out of their range and both will have multiple suitors. The Redskins will miss qualities of both players: Garcon’s toughness and Jackson’s speed. But they do have 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson, tight end Jordan Reed and receiver Jamison Crowder, and almost definitely would sign a veteran receiver to further help. — John Keim
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Look for the Bears to either trade or release Jay Cutler. The 33-year-old quarterback’s days in Chicago are likely numbered after he played in just five games in 2016 (he hasn’t played a full 16-game schedule since 2009). Cutler’s contract isn’t necessarily the issue — his base salary is only $12.5 million in 2017 — but the Bears open up $13 million worth of cap space if they get rid of him. Cutler led the Bears to one playoff berth in eight seasons. It’s time for a fresh start. — Jeff Dickerson

Rodgers ran an all-day clinic of precision, athleticism and sleight-of-hand fakes

The Packers have done just that ever since their quarterback stared down the barrel of a four-game losing streak and 4-6 record and strongly suggested they could “run the table.” They’ve won eight in a row, with the Falcons and the NFC Championship Game on deck.

It didn’t matter that his streak of 318 consecutive passes without an interception was snapped Sunday, or that his streak of 24 touchdown passes without an interception — the second-longest streak in NFL history to Brady’s 26 in 2010, according to the Elias Sports Bureau — also died inside AT&T Stadium. Rodgers walked out of the building with a lifetime memory nearly the equal of his one Super Bowl triumph six years ago. “This one’s special,” he said, “more special than we’ve had around here in a while.”
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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Game Jersey “Yeah, why not?” he said. “But remember, he’s not out there by himself. I think sometimes people have this perception that the quarterback has to lead the team. No, he doesn’t. He needs to do his job. If he does it exceptionally? Great. If he doesn’t? Guess what? We’ve got running backs, receivers, other guys, a defense and special teams to pick up the slack. It’s a team.”

Still, the tendency in the playoffs — especially at quarterback — is to rise to the proverbial occasion. Ryan admitted he tried to do that earlier in his career, and it was part of his 1-4 playoff record before Saturday’s game. Part of his development, it seems, is not trying to play better in the playoffs than he did during the regular season.

His cool control was never more evident Saturday than in the third quarter, when he backpedaled and held the ball against a Seahawks blitz to give Devonta Freeman just enough time to break away from linebacker Bobby Wagner. The extra time — Ryan didn’t panic and trusted Freeman to get to his spot — sparked a 53-yard gain.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin opened his news conference Tuesday by addressing assistant coach Joey Porter’s arrest

The city’s acting police chief is defending an officer who arrested Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter outside a bar after the independent Citizen Police Review Board confirmed it’s investigating the incident.

“I have concluded the officer’s account of the incident is accurate and our officer conducted himself in the professional manner that is to be expected,” Chief Scott Schubert said, referring to arresting officer Paul Abel. Schubert said he reviewed unspecified videos of the incident on Sunday, including some recorded by Abel’s body camera, in reaching that conclusion.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin opened his news conference Tuesday by addressing assistant coach Joey Porter’s arrest, saying it won’t be a distraction for his team this week.
Porter’s arrest has generated intense social media interest, and review board executive director Elizabeth Pittinger said it was that “high visibility” and “negative chatter” on social media surrounding the incident that prompted the review.
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J’Marcus Webb Mens Jersey When he was asked a follow-up question, Roethlisberger cited “two totally different sports” when he said he couldn’t compare Bell and Curry.

On Sunday, Bell set the Steelers’ franchise record for rushing yards in a playoff game with 167 yards in the 30-12 victory over the Miami Dolphins, breaking a mark set by Hall of Famer Franco Harris when he rushed for 158 yards in Super Bowl IX.

Andy Reid, the coach of the Chiefs, the Steelers’ opponent in the divisional round of the playoffs this weekend, on Monday called Bell “the most patient [running back] that I’ve ever seen.”

“That’s a unique style — one that he’s kind of created,” he said.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.

All players want three things: Structure, direction and accountability-Bill Cowher

“Some locker rooms have cliques,” he said. “Some corners are rowdy. Some corners are dignified. Some corners have guys talking about fishing and hunting and the newest bows and arrows. Some corners have guys strictly talking about chicks. Some corners are talking about God and their beliefs. There is not a foolproof plan to make all of that work together. But it boils down to respect and accountability. If you can find a way to get those two things in your locker room, it can work.

“Sean Taylor was doing an interview once and I threw a cream pie in his face. I had no idea his eyes would get irritated from the foam. It did. I apologized profusely for it. He accepted it. I felt bad. But I had hazed before.
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I had put a hot mix in players’ jock straps. I had put water in a guy’s helmet, put it in the freezer and when he later reached for his helmet it was all black ice. Some stuff is rite of passage. Some stuff is over the line. I do think guys are getting softer. A little more sensitive. A little more politically correct. I wouldn’t say that is a good thing. Or a bad thing. It’s a life thing. Today you just have to find ways to govern and manage.”

Though once suspended for the first quarter of the season, Brady has returned to lead one of the league’s better offenses. Along with Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman (if healthy), the New England passing attack should challenge the Pittsburgh secondary throughout the night.

It doesn’t help the Steelers’ cause that the NFL suspended running back Le’Veon Bell for the first two games of the season. In addition to providing Pittsburgh with one of the best ground games in the league, Bell proved a valuable asset in the passing game as well, hauling in 83 passes for 854 yards a year ago.

Game Kids Jamie Collins Jersey Over at CBS Sports, all but one of the panelists picked the Patriots to roll.

Cousins became even less likely to be moved once the NBA’s new labor deal was hatched

The Process 2.0 quietly opens his fantasy career as a 10th-round pick but explodes out of the gate. Embiid played 22 minutes, scoring 20 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and a 3-pointer against the Thunder. Then 14 points in 15 minutes. Then 18 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks in just 25 minutes.

Then Embiid rests on the B-side of a back-to-back.

The pattern continues. Explode, explode, explode … rest. Dominate, street clothes and repeat.

He is forced to pack in the thrills. He has an everlasting green light. The Process 2.0: 25.0 MPG, 19.2 PTS, 7.3 REB, 2.4 BLK, 0.8 STL, 1.2 3PM.

His usage rate is a Kobe-esque 33.6. His 3-point percentage is a Dirk-esque .386.

Authentic Youth Lynn Swann Jersey The minute restrictions and forced rest enrich Embiid’s story. Sightings of The Process are tantamount to spotting a passing meteor.

Chandler, 34, has two seasons left on his contract after this season valued at $26.5 million, but it remains to be seen how willing the Suns are to part with their interior anchor after Chandler encouraged the club to resist outside trade interest last summer.
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What self-respecting compendium of trade scuttle from the 2016-17 season would fail to include an update on DeMarcus Cousins?

Not ours.

But here’s the thing devoted fans of Trade Season — of our beloved Transaction Game — won’t want to hear:

Cousins became even less likely to be moved once the NBA’s new labor deal was hatched.

The Kings, as you surely know by now, are openly desperate to bring their 10-season playoff drought to a halt. Those who know Sacramento best continue to say that, as long as the West’s No. 8 seed remains within the Kings’ sights, they’ll be increasingly reluctant to part with their All-Star ?center.

Patrick Beverley is shutting down opposing point guards

The second-year 22-year-old Harrell averaged 10.5 points in December, headlined by a 29-point effort in a 140-113 win over an injured Los Angeles Clippers team. Houston is efficient with Harrell on the floor, averaging 117.9 points per 100 possessions and allowing just 103.9 ¡ª his 14-point net rating leads the team.

Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza, and Eric Gordon are still drilling threes
The Rockets¡¯ success is built on the three-point shot, and Morey certainly put the right pieces around Harden to ensure the team consistently knocks down perimeter jumpers.

Houston boasts four of the league¡¯s top 10 three-point shooters with Eric Gordon having made a league-leading 130 triples ¡ª more than Stephen Curry (126), Kyle Lowry (114), and Klay Thompson (105). James Harden ranks fourth with 110 made threes. Ryan Anderson (98) ranks seventh and Trevor Ariza (95) places ninth. The Rockets also have Patrick Beverley shooting 40 percent from downtown.

Game Kids Trevor Linden Jersey We¡¯re always looking to the past here while grumbling about the present and looking forward to the future. It¡¯s one of St. Louis¡¯ many charms. We¡¯ve hosted the 1904¡¯s World¡¯s Fair and Olympics (which wasn¡¯t the total disaster people claim it was… except for the marathon.

Game Kids Tom Brady Jersey Hammel is a flyball pitcher whose 38.1% flyball rate was 18th in baseball last year among qualified starters, according to Fangraphs. He experienced elbow tightness in September, causing him to miss his last start, and he did not pitch at all in the post-season.

NFL playoff picture and scenarios 2015, Week 14: Top AFC teams can clinch on Sunday

The Broncos failed to clinch on Sunday. Five teams were eliminated from contention entirely, and the Patriots moved into the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Updated playoff picture here.

At the beginning of Week 14, every team except the Cleveland Browns was still alive in the postseason race. While teams like the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers aren’t going to make it to the playoffs, the tightness of the wild card races in both conferences has kept almost every team mathematically alive into mid-December.

Speaking of bad divisions, the AFC South went 1-3 on Sunday, with the only win coming from the Jacksonville Jaguars, who laid a 51-16 smack down on the Indianapolis Colts. The Texans’ wild card hopes are almost over, and their Week 15 matchup with the Colts could be a win-or-go-home situation.

In the AFC West, the Broncos failed to clinch their division while the Kansas City Chiefs keep sneaking up, now sitting just two games behind. These teams split their regular season series, but Kansas City holds a slight edge in division record, so keep an eye out on that race. Andy Reid’s squad has somehow won seven in a row despite losing Jamaal Charles halfway through the year.

Authentic Youth Khari Lee Jersey Finally, let’s bid a fond farewell to the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers, who were officially eliminated from postseason contention this week. Better luck next year, and check out the latest draft position here.
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Here are the complete standings after Sunday’s games.

Let’s start with how alignment of the tight end and/or the wide receivers can help a tackle. Anytime a tight end is in a two-point stance, within 2 yards of the tackle either on or off the ball, one of their main goals is to distract the defense end, either with body presence or a physical chip, then run a route.

Here are two examples of both. (I’ll be using lots of clips of my brother Mitchell, the right tackle for the Chiefs, because I know the scheme, and I know what his job is).

free safety Harrison Smith should have a direct path to Elliott

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace doesn’t have any problem with exchanging holiday pleasantries with his former Pittsburgh Steelers teammates when the division rivals play on Christmas.

“Just because I tell you Merry Christmas doesn’t mean I wouldn’t score a touchdown on you,” Wallace said Wednesday. “I can tell you Merry Christmas on the way to the end zone.”
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In his first year with the Ravens, Wallace had his biggest game of the season in the earlier meeting with the Steelers. He caught four passes for 124 yards in a Nov. 6 victory over the Steelers, which included a 95-yard touchdown (the longest offensive play in Ravens history). That was the last time he’s reached the end zone this season.

At the snap, second tight end Gavin Escobar had taken a decoy release into the right flat, called a shoot. It’s a fake pass meant to fool safety Andrew Sendejo and Barr into thinking Prescott is running a bootleg. Sendejo takes the bait and backpedals about 10 yards into the secondary. Barr also misreads the play and leaps so far upfield that he has essentially performed Witten’s block on himself.

As Elliott crosses the line of scrimmage, only three Vikings defenders are unaccounted for. Barely losing speed, Witten abandons Barr and cuts downfield to temporarily seal off linebacker Kendricks.

Racing in from the left, free safety Harrison Smith should have a direct path to Elliott, but because Free has pushed his helpless defender so far downfield, the Vikings DB gets caught up in the wash of bodies. Escobar then reverses course out of the flat and races toward the middle of the field to block Sendejo. Downfield, Terrance Williams protects Elliott’s outside shoulder with a block on cornerback Terence Newman.

Game Kids James Wisniewski Jersey Minnesota has held strong against the Cowboys’ offense so far, using stunts and varying fronts to confuse and interrupt Dallas’ pre-snap blocking reads. But on this series, the Vikings open in a vanilla 4-3 under front, with their right end, tackle and nose tackle all shaded to the Cowboys’ left.