Monthly Archives: November 2016

Hall of Fame displays Antonio Brown’s gloves from 600th catch

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is making his Hall of Fame mark early.

Brown became the fastest ever to 600 NFL catches on Nov. 20 against Pharoh Cooper Youth Jersey the Cleveland Browns, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame is honoring Brown’s work by displaying his gloves from that game, the 96th of his career.

The gloves were sent directly to the Hall and are in display in the Pro Football Today Gallery.

Tom Flores never did it. Neither did Daryle Lamonica, Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett or Rich Gannon, let alone Todd Marinovich or JaMarcus Russell.

None of them had that stark black glove, either, or worked exclusively out of the shotgun to limit the pain that would accompany taking the snap from Hudson.

Although Carr’s completion percentage fell from 75.0 percent (15 for 20) to 61.1 percent (11-18) after the injury, his degree of difficulty also increased. Call it playing catch up to the Panthers.

Per ESPN Stats & Information, Carr’s average pass went 9.1 yards past the line of scrimmage when he returned to the game, as opposed to 5.1 yards before his injury. Plus, he completed five of those seven passes that went at least 10 yards — including a touchdown — after Rob Havenstein Youth Jersey the injury. He was just two for four on such throws before.

“He’s a fighter, he’s a beast,” left tackle Donald Penn said of his quarterback. “He came in that second half and didn’t miss a beat. I don’t know what you guys are watching, but that dude is a beast.”

And Carr’s deepest completion was a 49-yarder to Michael Crabtree, a ball that went 44 yards through the air on the game-winning drive.

“Their safety got flat-footed and doubled (tight end Mychal) Rivera on the left side, and had Crabtree one-on-one, with their guy and his back turned,” Carr said. “And you know me; I’m going to give my guys chances to make plays, especially in that kind of yardage and situation.

Still, his degree of difficulty was up after his return, with his average pass going 9.1 yards past the line of scrimmage, as opposed to 5.1 yards before his injury, and his deep game actually improved.

Jay Gruden defends coaching gambles as players praise aggressiveness

The decisions were curious and didn’t work out. The natural inclination is to rip the coach. Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden certainly left himself open to second-guessing after taking gambles that even at the time seemed curious.

Full disclosure: I didn’t like Christian Okoye Authentic Womens Jersey the 55-yard field goal attempt with a kicker who hasn’t been in the same groove; I did not like the onside kick almost midway through the fourth quarter. Neither move worked out, and both failures left the Dallas Cowboys in great field position — once at their 45-yard line, the other time at their 47. And each one led to a touchdown drive.

The Cowboys entered Thursday with a two-game Thanksgiving losing streak. The last time the Cowboys lost three in a row on Thanksgiving was a four-game run of defeats from 1986-89. Last year the Cowboys trailed the Panthers 23-3 at halftime. The year before, they trailed 23-7 to the Philadelphia Eagles at halftime.

“It’s a huge swing,” right guard Zack Martin said. “Last year was ugly. I don’t know if we’ve ever, since I’ve been here, got beat like that [33-14 to the Panthers]. To come in here, short week and just focus and prepare the right way and get a big win, that’s huge for us.”

Since their last Super Bowl season in 1995, the Cowboys have had just six seasons with at least 10 wins. They won 12 games in 2014. They won 11 in 2009. They won 13 in 2007.

Turnovers determine the results of a lot of games, but that’s particularly true for De’Anthony Thomas Authentic Womens Jersey the Chiefs, who have forced at least two turnovers in six of their seven victories this season. The Chiefs don’t get a lot of big offensive plays and they tend to stall once inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, so they depend on turnovers to provide field position and to directly score points.

Cam Newton’s performance in Oakland: The Carolina Panthers are two games out of first place in the NFC South and will need a monster game from Newton to end the Raiders’ four-game winning streak.

Thanksgiving is a lonely time for young NFL players

The menu was pretty light from my first Thanksgiving in the NFL as a rookie with the St. Louis Rams. Instant mashed potatoes — the kind of stuff that comes in the big red box. Easy to make. I handled that. A precooked turkey. Throw it in the microwave? Yeah, cool. I guess that works. And a case of Icehouse. Longneck bottles, too. You know, dress it up nice for Keith McGill Authentic Jersey Thanksgiving.

That’s it. Dig in.

Gross? No doubt. But when four lonely rookies got together back in 2000 — without family — it was the best we could do. And we tried to have some sense of normalcy. Dinner, then turn on the Cowboys game, throw in a movie after. More beers. We laughed a lot. But it wasn’t the same. Not even close.

The pecan pie Mom makes? Nope. Or the sweet potatoes with the marshmallows on top? Nah. And the family, the little kids running around, all the traditions you love about Thanksgiving? Didn’t have any of that either.

Only two of Sam Bradford’s 31 completions on Thursday went for more than 10 yards.

It appears, now as much as ever, the Vikings’ fortunes the rest of this season will hinge on their offense’s ability to mitigate the effects of injuries that have marred their line almost beyond recognition. The Vikings used their sixth different tackle this season on Thursday, when fourth-round pick Willie Beavers — whom the team had released at the end of training camp — stepped in at right tackle once Jeremiah Sirles hurt his hip.

When the Vikings aren’t able to throw downfield more frequently, they Kelechi Osemele Authentic Jersey run the risk of defensive backs being able to drive downhill on shorter throws, like Darius Slay did on his interception of Bradford on Thursday and Preston Smith did in the Vikings’ final drive in Washington in Week 10. And though they were able to put enough of a drive together to take the lead, they couldn’t bleed the clock or execute a two-minute drill once the Lions tied the game.

The Vikings are 6-5, and have to be two games better than the Lions over the last five weeks to win another NFC North title. With the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys coming to town next Thursday, the task will be tall. But no matter whom the Vikings play, with the state of their offensive line, it’s going to be difficult.

The Chargers allowed 72 more points in the second half through the first 11 games than the first half

“If I could thank anybody on this whole team this year, I’d have to thank him for helping me the most through this whole process,” Bosa said about Mebane. “He’s been doing it for — this is his 10th year — so he’s obviously Tyson Alualu Authentic Jersey been through it, just with offensive schemes and how to handle myself through the season. I mean we’re losing a great player and a great guy.”

Because of the late start Bosa has not hit the rookie wall and is surprised the regular season is coming to a close.

“I remember years ago, six weeks was like an eternity, that’s like your whole summer break — it was forever,” Bosa said. “Now six weeks is the snap of your fingers. It’s unbelievable how fast time goes. Just to know there’s a month-and-half left of my rookie year Yannick Ngakoue Authentic Jersey is pretty incredible.”

On Nov. 15, 2015, a seismic shift took place with the Broncos. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak yanked future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. An obviously injured Manning had thrown for just 35 yards to go with four interceptions.

The frustration the Broncos felt the last time they hosted the Chiefs helped inspire them to their Super Bowl run.

Brock Osweiler went into the lineup and started the next seven games of what became a championship season. During that run the Broncos overcame their own shortcomings on offense, dialed in a dominant defense and shrugged off any and all quarterback drama as Manning eventually went back in during the regular-season finale.

Which brings the Broncos to where they are at the moment, with the Chiefs again headed to Denver. They’ve had some minor quarterback drama, as Trevor Siemian has dealt with a left shoulder injury, and have had the same kind of shaky play in the offensive line they showed last season.

Fantasy vs. reality: Packers’ skill-position stats don’t translate to wins

The first nine games of the Green Bay Packers’ season present an interesting case study in fantasy football versus reality: Mike McCarthy’s players have some off-the-charts passing and receiving numbers, but it’s partially due to the lack of a running game.

Though fantasy football players who own Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Dan Hamhuis Authentic Jersey Cobb and even quarterback Aaron Rodgers should be relatively happy, the production hasn’t translated into enough victories for the one-dimensional 4-5 Packers.

So what does it all mean in the real world of football?

“From the moment I saw him in Bethlehem, I immediately imagined him being the best fighter in the division,” Duva said. “I thought it at that second. To be where we are now, in a position to become No. 1 in the world, this is the dream. Main Events has worked with some tremendous fighters and we’ve had some really good runs, but for the most part those were guys that came with Olympic medals and nobody was really surprised when they succeeded. To take Sergey from the point where nobody in Russia knew who he was, where he has never been given a leg up by anybody, where nobody wanted to even look at him to take him where he is today, I have to say, and we at Main Events couldn’t do that with anybody, but when a person came along with the skill and the desire to do it, it was the perfect marriage for us.

Duva had found the star she was searching for. Klimas, with a stable that also includes the outstanding junior lightweight titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko and a slew of other quality fighters, has become one of boxing’s most respected managers. And Kovalev has become one of the sport’s elite stars.

“I believed in myself and thanks a lot to Egis that he believed in me and he supported me,” Kovalev said. “He was with me like my angel. He gave me everything, this opportunity to do this.

“After three years we could not find good deal [and then] God blessed me and gave to us Daniel Sedin Authentic Jersey Kathy Duva and Main Events Promotions.”

The rest, whatever happens against Ward, is history.

Who will drive MLB’s free-agent market?

In an ideal world, the best free agent at each position would be the first to sign, inking a record-breaking contract that sets the tone for the rest of his position mates.

Obviously, that rarely happens. In fact, it’s often quite the opposite, with the top free agents getting their best offers later in the process.

I call these head-of-class guys — the players I think will be the highest-paid at their positions — the “primary” free agents. Then comes the next level, the “secondary” free agents, who also have a hand in setting the market for the rest of Sharrif Floyd Authentic Womens Jersey their positions.

Still, while the Yankees load their farm system, they can use their finances to add new chips. They subtracted $23 million in salary by unloading McCann. Now, if they want to, they could go out and re-sign Chapman and Beltran, which would make them stronger for 2017, even as they prepare for the future.

In other words, the Yankees can rebuild and contend at the same time. That’s the beauty of being the Yankees.

That doesn’t mean they will be successful. McCann’s tenure in the Bronx is evidence that money can’t buy you wins. The winter prior to the 2014 season, the Yankees spent nearly a half-billion dollars. While Masahiro Tanaka’s contract and Beltran’s were good ones, McCann’s and Jacoby Ellsbury’s were not.

McCann wasn’t a bad player in Shaun Hill Authentic Womens Jersey New York, but he wasn’t great. He struggled against left-handed pitching and eventually lost his job to wunderkind Gary Sanchez. There was a sense from people close to McCann that he would welcome leaving the Bronx, because he didn’t want to be relegated to catching once a week and then only DHing against righties.

Instead, the Yankees possibly could bring Beltran back to DH. It will come down to money, but Beltran really likes New York. Chapman or Mark Melancon might be had for the bullpen. And they can still make a run at starting pitcher Rich Hill.

With the deal, the Yankees didn’t receive immediate help, but they did build for the future and still can compete in the AL East.

Despite shortcomings in the outfield, Tebow seemed to make strides at the plate as the AFL season progressed, especially in terms of catching up to fastballs. He repeatedly was rolling over and sending weak grounders to the right side of the infield during the opening week. In fact, excluding an 0-for-13 start, Tebow hit .245 the rest of the way in the league.

Dave Roberts goes from bullpen maestro to manager of the year

The pitching moves came early each night — and as a result, often — for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Dave Roberts in his first season as a major league manager.

Rich Hill no-hit bid: Sept. 10 at Marlins

Many managers will never be faced with removing a pitcher with a no-hitter intact, but Roberts did so twice in his debut season as manager. Rich Hill had thrown seven no-hit innings in just his third start since returning from injury. Hill, like Stripling, had dealt with injuries in recent years. And again, the caution paid off: Hill made three postseason starts for the Dodgers.

NL West champions: Sept. 25 vs Rockies

He didn’t just make pitching changes. Roberts Shaq Lawson Authentic Jersey guided a team that was without Clayton Kershaw from late June until the second week in September to a division title. They’d trailed by as many as eight games, but won the division on a walk-off HR by Charlie Culberson in late September. It was just the third time in Dodgers history they’ve trailed by at least eight games and still won the division.

“I think that all players feel comfortable Stephon Gilmore Authentic Jersey with certain roles, but everyone, for me, outside of the closer, when you are talking about the pen specifically the role is to pitch after the starter,” Roberts said. “So I think our guys, fortunately, bought into that role as far as pitching when called upon.”

Over stretches when Roberts was barely able to get five innings from his starters, while Kershaw was out for 75 days, Roberts turned a revamped offense and his bullpen’s performance into victories. The Dodgers went from a season-worse eight games behind the San Francisco Giants to a division title with a week to play.

Yet there may have been two bullpen moves that stood out over all the rest. On April 8, Roberts removed rookie Ross Stripling from a no-hitter at San Francisco. The bullpen was not able to finish the job. On Sept. 10 at Miami, Rich Hill had a perfect game through seven innings when Roberts removed him from the game. Again, the bullpen was not able to complete the task.

Both moves were made for health concerns. Stripling was two years removed from Tommy John surgery and in his first major league start. Hill was just two starts removed from a lengthy disabled list stint because of blister issues. The moves might have prevented history, but they also prevented losing both pitchers, who went on to participate in the postseason.

Looking back at it, Roberts would not change a thing.

“The thing that surprised me was the next day after dealing with some scrutiny — or second guessing, if you will — how I told myself I would do the same thing again,” Roberts said. “I think that under what I went through and how it was received, for me to say I would do the same thing over again really surprised me in a good way.”

Villanova again appears championship-worthy, despite being overlooked

The eyes of college basketball will be upon the Champions Classic on Tuesday night in the “World’s Most Famous Arena” as No. 2 Kentucky faces No. 13 Michigan State, followed by No. 1 Duke taking on No. 7 Kansas in Madison Square Garden.

More than half of the 2016 ESPN 100’s top 10 players will be on display during the doubleheader. Many of their names — such as Bam Adebayo, Miles Bridges Frank Jackson and Josh Jackson — already have a familiar ring to them despite being freshmen.

NBA scouts will get information to watch. And even casual fans will tune in to see if the players can get their production to align with the hype that preceded them. The Final Four potential of those four programs will likely be discussed, too. But let’s not forget where the reigning champion resides.

No. 3 Villanova just sent all of college basketball a reminder of that Monday with its 79-76 win over No. 15 Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana. Villanova, not the teams with the shiny freshmen, captured the 2016 championship. And the Wildcats are poised to make it two in a row this season.

There may not be a player better at slashing to the basket than Nova’s Josh Hart. The 6-foot-5 guard considered leaving for the NBA a year early, but returned for his senior season.

He may not be a talent pro teams consider tanking the season for, but he knows how to play. How many guards could drop 24 points on the Marshal Yanda Youth Jersey Boilermakers with only one 3-pointer? Hart is not flashy, but he knows how to impact the game in many ways. By constantly challenging 7-footer Isaac Haas at the rim, he got the Purdue big man in early foul trouble.

Miles Bridges knows his surroundings and the expectations that come with being from Flint and going to Michigan State. “I think Miles Bridges is the next Flintstone,” coach Tom Izzo said. “He’s a blue-collar superstar.”

And he almost left.

“Everybody, literally Lorenzo Taliaferro Youth Jersey everybody, from Flint goes to Michigan State,” Bridges said. “I wanted to switch it up at first. I wanted to be different.”

In just the past year, a federal public health state of emergency was declared when lead poisoning — from a contaminated local water supply — was discovered among thousands of residents.

Or, as Bridges put it: “Everybody knows it’s tough out there.”

He stayed.

“I just felt it,” Bridges said. “I felt like I belonged there.”

quarterback Tom Brady is playing at an otherworldly level

The defense has shown leaks in recent weeks. Opponents have scored on 10 of the past 16 possessions against the Seahawks, and Pete Carroll’s group uncharacteristically ranks 26th in third-down defense. The Seahawks have played 244 defensive snaps in the past three weeks, more than any other team in the league. They are traveling across the country after playing on Monday night and are facing a Patriots team coming off of their bye. The best hope for slowing down Tom Brady is a ball-control offense that keeps him off the field, but given the Seahawks’ struggles running the football, that kind of game plan is unlikely to lead to success.

The good news for the Seahawks is Linval Joseph Authentic Jersey that they’re expecting to get strong safety Kam Chancellor (groin) back for this game, but they’ll still be without their most disruptive defensive player, Michael Bennett. The Patriots are going to move the ball, but slowing them down in the red zone will be key. Offensively, Wilson is still not a factor with his legs because of a knee injury, but he’s shown he can do damage from the pocket with his arm. Under Carroll, this has been a tough team to put away. Seattle has held a lead or been within one score in the fourth quarter of 96 straight games. Prediction: Patriots 27, Seahawks 24.

As far as I can tell, then, too many Marcus Sherels Authentic Jersey coaches call play-action by rote rather than looking at data to see who’s actually effective at it. An extreme example: The Chargers have gone to play-action on just 10.3 percent of Philip Rivers’ pass attempts since the start of 2012, even though over that span he has hurled 22 TDs with just six picks on play-action and his completions have traveled 37 percent farther, on average, than his other throws. Overall, there is actually a slightly negative correlation between how often NFL teams use play-action and how well they use it (as measured by improvement in ypa): minus-0.19, on a scale of minus-1 to 1.

Relentless play-action wouldn’t suit every team-it does require an offensive line that can hold blocks and a QB with a deep touch. But I think Buffalo should consider it. Last year Tyrod Taylor crushed it on play-action, connecting on 69.5 percent of passes for a whopping 18.6 yards per completion, second in the league. This season offensive coordinator Greg Roman was running PA on 23.1 percent of Taylor’s pass attempts, but since replacing Roman after Week 2, Anthony Lynn has cut Taylor’s play-action usage by a third. Free Tyrod Taylor!

I also think we’re sure to see Seattle bootleg and bomb a lot more off play-action in the second half of this season. Recovering from injuries, Wilson has gone to play-action on just 15.4 percent of passes this year, by far the lowest rate of his career. But when he’s on his game, defenses literally can’t believe their eyes. And the last time the Seahawks led the league in play-action, using PA on 34 percent of their passes in 2013? They won the Super Bowl.

In Bill Belichick’s 17 years as New England Patriots head coach, one could make the case that his team has never been as well positioned as it is entering the second half of a season.

Another Scot on the warpath over funding is Doctor Who actor David Tennant who’s been conjured up by his mater

With the exuberant appearance of Venezuela’s remarkable Bolivar youth orchestra under its charismatic conductor Gustavo Dudamel still reverberating from last August’s prom the Hall, tonight the orchestra’s founder, Venezuelan pianist, economist and politician José Abreu, is to receive honorary membership of the Philharmonic Society. Abreu joins a distinguished list stretching back to the composer Carl Weber 1826, but it is his work bringing music making to deprived children – el Sistema – and the foundation of the Bolivar orchestra 1975 that has brought the award. He’ll receive it with the words of Holloway, former Episcopal bishop of Edinburgh now chairing the Scottish Arts Council, ringing his ears. Holloway, a doughty and outspoken bishop, decries the Kam Chancellor Authentic Jersey scandal of a policy towards troubled children.. that only starts cascading financial resources into their lives when they start offending. He’s chairing a Scottish version of the Sistema which starts work Raploch, Stirlingshire, this. Another Scot on the warpath over funding is Doctor Who actor David Tennant who’s been conjured up by his mater, the Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, to do battle against a £600 cut its budget. Nothing I have managed to achieve would have happened without my training.. Scottish actors are valued and admired throughout the world, says Kevin Pierre-Louis Authentic Jersey Tennant. As everyone knows, you tangle with the Doctor at your peril. With the Queen away on official visit to Turkey and Prince and Princess otherwise engaged, it fell to Andy Burnham, the culture secretary, to present honorary CBE to the French-Algerian fashion designer Farhi yesterday for her services to retail. Farhi, London for more than 30 years, worked for French Connection before creating her own label and empire that also embraces restaurants London and New. The award compensate a little for Farhi’s recent experience of being robbed at knifepoint outside her London home. The Duchess of has accused Daily Mail columnist Allison Pearson of being beastly to her daughter Beatrice, by describing the 19-year-old as a pampered Miss Piggy. Remarkably however the duchess – Sarah Ferguson as was – chiefly complains that Pearson doesn’t return her phone calls and hasn’t accepted her invitation to lunch. There’s grand, and then there’s grand as a Mail columnist.
What they’re learning the Area Career Center’s automotive technology program benefit students, whether they go on to college or straight to work. But it also has made them winners at this year’s North American Auto Show Detroit. Instructors Ron Richards and Brelinski and 12 seniors earned the highest team score during the Tech Trek scavenger hunt on. 12 during the show’s Industry Day. The grand prize is automotive diagnostic tool valued at $It’s used to communicate with a vehicle to diagnose why those malfunction indicator lights have lit up on the dashboard. It’s pretty sweet, said Pondell, a senior from Grass Lake who teamed with Hanover-Horton’s Sprunger the hunt. I can’t wait to use it. This was the first year the career center program took a team to this competition, which is sponsored by Snap-On Tools and the Detroit Auto Dealers Association. We’re very proud, Richards said. A lot of schools had been there before, to show up for the first time and do well is a testament to our program here. The students split up into two-person teams and had 90 minutes to scour the auto show displays seeking the answers to 50 questions related to technology and vehicles. The questions covered things like how electric vehicle can travel on 85-watt battery and the gross weight of a new special edition pickup. We didn’t get any questions ahead of time, Brelinski said. They’re only developed the day before the contest by industry experts. The group did prepare by studying a map of the displays on their way to the show they could find their way around the exhibits. We would read all of the questions and find all of them that were at the area we were at and do them all at once while we were there, Pondell said. It was fun, but it was kind of hard not to get sidetracked by all the new cars. When it was over, Richards took first the instructor’s challenge and Brelinski took third. The team of Jared Pace of Concord and CJ Salkowski of Napoleon took second place the student challenge and Ryker Mast from and Turner Lawson from Waldron placed fifth. Students who went to the challenge had to earn their way based on grades, attendance, personality and work ethic, Brelinski said. These were not easy questions or things you could find on the surface, he said.You had to search for the answers and talk to the representatives at the displays to get others. The win is just added bonus to the education students the class get every day, Brelinski said. This is a good career to be all over the country right now, Brelinski said. Vehicles are more complicated and more expensive and people are holding onto their vehicles longer they have to have quality people to service them to keep them on the road.