Browse Month: November 2017

it’s about getting the ball in the hands of the playmakers as quickly as possible.

These jerseys are atrocious. The Thunder have had the worst uniforms in the league since their inception. When was the last time you saw something orange and blue and thought, “I want that.” Also, when was the last time you saw actual thunder and thought, “That looked orange and blue.” This team is in desperate need of a re-design. And the obvious solution here is to give Russell Westbrook creative control of the uniforms.

Kelvin Benjamin, knee, and Devin Funchess, hamstring, Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET: Both Panthers receivers have been on the injury report in recent weeks, but both appear to be in good shape heading into the matchup against the Buccaneers.

To that end, Thomas returned to limited practice Thursday and a full session Friday. His removal from the pregame injury report is a big comfort to fantasy owners who won’t have to worry about his status entering Sunday’s game against the Bears.

You know the biggest shame of this day? Because the NFL schedules cross-conference games once every four years, barring a Super Bowl meeting, Wilson and Watson won’t face each other again until they play in Houston … in 2021. So keep this game on the DVR. Cue it up on some ugly February or March day. Maybe you’ll yell at the TV the same way you did Sunday.

We start, though, with Newton’s pivotal calendar year, and how the Panthers’ vision of a slightly altered version of their franchise QB—a more sustainable version—has come to life. And yes, Newton’s March surgery is a big part of this, but the plan was set into motion well before then, and it’s actually one you’ve seen before.

“The model is Pittsburgh,” Rivera said, referencing Ben Roethlisberger’s growth a half-decade ago. “Look what they do with [Le’Veon] Bell, look what they do with [Antonio] Brown, it’s about getting the ball in the hands of the playmakers as quickly as possible. And you gotta put those guys in position.
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Switch a smaller guy onto him, and Griffin brutalizes fools in the post.

Hell, a lot of starting power forwards today are converted wings Griffin can smash anyway. The bigger test comes when teams switch the Griffin-Jordan dance, and slide their centers onto him. (Some opponents will start games that way as a bulwark against Griffin’s post game.)

Break up the Magic! Though if they keep this up, the front office might not! A big win over San Antonio on Friday turned heads, and Aaron Gordon has established himself as a contender for Most Improved Player — and toss Evan Fournier into the mix, too. One notable difference this season? A middle-of-the-pack pace team last season, Orlando ranks a zippy third in possessions per game this season.

A foundation of Elliott’s appeal was to call his accuser’s credibility into question, according to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The woman’s false statement to police about the events of the night of July 22, 2016, as well as her request that her friend lie to police on her behalf will surely be a part of it.

I don’t believe any ownership effort has the 24 votes necessary to force out Goodell. I also don’t believe there are 24 votes to slash Goodell’s compensation right now. And however some owners feel about Goodell, it’s going to be hard in an era of huge NFL wealth to slash his compensation … particularly when the contract extension is going to cover the next labor negotiations, which could be hugely rancorous.

In the 1970s, Khan developed a new bumper that revolutionized the auto industry. He then bought Flex-N-Gate, an auto parts manufacturer, and turned it into a billion-dollar business. His net worth is now $7.1 billion, which makes him, according to Forbes, the 72nd richest American. He used that wealth to buy two sports teams—the Jacksonville Jaguars and London soccer club Fulham FC—and that’s what’s brought him to town.
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You have to respect another man’s judgment for why they’re protesting …

From Cleveland we travel and hour and a half north, through wending country highways and fields of unending amber until we’re parked on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Every third student traipsing from dorm rooms and off-campus housing to a string of bars in the shadow of TCF Bank stadium is wearing maroon-and-gold striped overalls, purchased for $54.99 before tax at the school bookstore.

I just hope and I pray to God that this country finds the energy and the heart to come together as a whole.”

“While some people might focus on a tragic event and an evil act, to me, all I remember are the thousands of acts of kindness and love and warmth that came out of this.”

—Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana, returning to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives after he was wounded and nearly killed by a gunman on a baseball field in July

Maybe it was just simmering, palpable tension between Rivers and Paul. “There are times players don’t want to be coached by you anymore,” Rivers says, without mentioning Paul’s name. (Paul declined comment through his representatives.) Rivers has seen Paul’s remarks about the team’s culture. “Who controls the culture?” he asks. “The players. Always the players. And even with Chris’ comments, he thought about coming back. J.J. [Redick] was begging to come back.”

(Redick disagrees. “There was never any indication from my agent that I wanted to go back,” he says. “I didn’t beg to come back. I didn’t want to come back.”)

Detroit lost this game at the goal line, bungling three second-half red-zone opportunities. On their first two second-half drives, Detroit had first-and-goal from the Steelers’ 4, only to come away with just three points. The Lions, down one, turned the ball over on downs the first time around after calling two pass plays from the 1-yard line.
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The Chiefs rank second in the NFL in total offense

The Lions have run the ball seven times inside the opponent’s 5-yard line this season. Dwayne Washington (2.0 OTD) has handled four of those carries but has failed to score a touchdown. Incredibly, Washington has appeared in only three games and is responsible for four of the team’s five carries inside the 5 during those weeks (Ameer Abdullah handled the other).

Houston (3-3). Scott Hanson on NFL RedZone said just what I was thinking as the Texans wiped out Cleveland 33-17 on Sunday. “The Texans’ offense looks as impressive as any in football now,” he said. Last four games: 33, 57, 34 and 33 points, and Deshaun Watson is making everyone in southeast Texas forget the pain of losing J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.

Bryan, who is consistently discussing his desire to wrestle again, mentioned in a Facebook video with his wife Brie Bella that he is growing out his hair for a hair versus mask match in Mexico.

The Chiefs rank second in the NFL in total offense, and while Andy Reid’s getting much deserved credit, no one should overlook the contributions of coordinator Matt Nagy. He’s earned a reputation as a great creative mind, and he’s clearly had serious input in what’s become the league’s most innovative offense. So he could be a head coaching candidate to watch when we get to December and January.

There are some decent signs for Bortles, though, particularly that he has thrown for 571 yards and two scores while completing more than two-thirds of his attempts during the Jaguars’ past two games.

“Especially visiting teams, a lot of the owners come up to me and say, ‘Hey, who are you going to play next year? We’d love to come.’ ”
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The Jaguars are giving us all a good look at how you can win without much from the quarterback position.

Hart has returned home to a wrestling ring, and his indie appearances are accumulating as he regains trust and credibility.

“Wrestling is the greatest sport on the planet,” said Hart. “When you walk away from wrestling, when it’s done right, and that feeling you feel is something you’ll never feel from any other sport in the world.

“All I do now is eat, sleep, and train. And take care of my cats.”

Blake Bortles currently ranks 24th in pass attempts, and has averaged just 22 attempts in Jacksonville’s three wins. He’s hit on 60% of his throws in just one of his team’s five games, and opponents are well aware that the key is to put the ball in his hands.

“They’re running the ball well with easy play-action passes off it,” said one defensive coach who faced the Jaguars in September. “They’ll struggle to win if he has to score in the two-minute drill. He still doesn’t read coverage that well, and panics against five-man pressure and tight coverage.”

Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills, knee: Clay underwent arthroscopic surgery to address a meniscal tear in his left knee after injuring it in Week 5 and remains on the road to recovery.

To be fair to Aho, he had only five assists at the end of October last season, which is precisely what he has now. On the other hand, he has played two more games this October and more than three minutes of additional ice time per contest, which makes his stats this season a little more troubling. The Hurricanes’ attack is going to get things going at some point, but for now, your roster would be better served by one of the aforementioned targets.

“I felt like Texas had everything those [other] schools had to offer, but all in one,” he said.
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The NFLPA filed with this court for a preliminary injunction.

There was an evidentiary hearing on Oct. 30 involving both sides. Judge Katherine Polk Failla issued her decision that evening, and she ruled against Elliott.

Sunday: Buffalo (on the road) 23, Atlanta 17 … Rams (on the road) 35, Dallas 20 … Carolina (on the road) 33, New England 30. In the outlier game: Houston (at home) 57, Tennessee 14. Fifty-seven on a Dick LeBeau team, with a rookie quarterback doing the damage.

“Nobody saw a lot of these coming,” McVay said over the phone from Texas on Sunday afternoon. “But that’s the NFL every year, isn’t it?”

Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling wrap up the Sunday action each Monday morning on “The MMQB: Ten Things” podcast. Subscribe on iTunes.

Now would be a good time to remind you of my baseball genius. Preseason NL MVP pick: Kyle Schwarber, Cubs. Batted .211. Hitting so badly early in the season he got sent to Triple-A for a couple of weeks.

The lawsuit hinges on testimony from Elliott’s appeal hearing that revealed the NFL director of investigations, Kia Roberts, concluded that the accuser “was not credible in her allegations of abuse” and recommended no suspension for Elliott. That was not was not included the league’s investigative report. Further, Roberts was barred by Lisa Friel,canucks_009 Special Counsel for Investigations for the NFL, from the meeting with Roger Goodell where they arrived at the decision to suspend Elliott.

Roberts was the only person who interviewed both Elliott and his accuser.

Kyle Simpson is the head basketball coach at Southport High in Indianapolis (though he’s originally from small-town Milan, Indiana, he notes with pride, home of the 1954 high school state champs). Simpson’s father coached in Indiana. His grandfather did, too. “The high school coaches that I’ve talked to,” he says, “they wanted somebody that understood the landscape of Indiana high school basketball.”

Telyse adopted the 13-year-old half brothers in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

A tour guide, as well, to the excitement that surrounds the program. In Schilling’s four years in Westwood, he would go out to lunch nearly every day with Alford and the UCLA staff. They’d go on campus or close to it, but Schilling can’t recall a single time anyone asked for an autograph or a picture. “Now, if we have a kid on an unofficial visit?” he says. “Shoot, there’s pictures already online. It’s just a different thing.”

How to use something to make you a better person, or to think positive about it or to take the better route because of it, is what I think I can do more than anything.”

When Zaevion was three, a man fired 16 bullets into their home in the 2800 block of 17th Avenue South, with one striking and later killing Johanna Hollis, Zaevion’s mother, while she held him in her arms.

“My mom was sitting in the chair. She got up and ran,” Hollis’ eldest daughter told the Pioneer Press in 2008. “She had her son in her hand, the 3-year-old, and put all the babies in the kitchen, and when she was standing by the doorway, the bullet grazed my cousin in the face and hit my mom in her artery.”

Her messages still ring loudly in her son’s ears, especially the one about her being his story. This wasn’t the story Prescott wanted, but he’s come to understand that he can serve another purpose beyond raising cancer awareness and education—a beacon for others who have also lost loved ones, and may not be sure if or how they can move forward.

So rather than watch Kizer go into the kind of rut in which he spent most of his last year at Notre Dame, they figured the best thing to do was give him a breather and let him evaluate the good and bad of the beginning of his NFL career.
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