Category: Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers

Nick Foles’ autobiography to debut on best-seller lists

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Nick Foles can add another achievement to his already impressive resume as he is now a best-selling author.

In addition to that feat, the book will also be on the best-seller lists of Publishers Weekly and USA Today, his publisher Tyndale House announced Thursday on Twitter.

In 2017, calling this position pedestrian for the Bears would have been a compliment. Kendall Wright in the slot was the only legitimate option for Trubisky. That prompted the Bears to break the bank for Allen Robinson, who is coming off a season lost to a torn ACL. They also added speed and versatility with Taylor Gabriel.

Chicago’s limited interest in keeping Cameron Meredith was a little surprising, but not so much when one considers the fact that the team then would have counted on two receivers coming back from torn ACLs. That’s not a comforting thought given how injuries have mounted against 2015 first-rounder Kevin White. The Bears’ signing of Bennie Fowler filled Meredith’s roster spot.

In trading up to draft rookie second-rounder Anthony Miller, the Bears found their Wright replacement, who is critical for Trubisky to keep hitting the routes on which delivered best last season.

Robinson, Gabriel and Miller are in classic roles: the finisher and the field-stretcher outside, the safety valve inside. The group is an organized 180 from Chicago’s previous mess at wide receiver, and anything it can get out of White would be gravy

Reports from OTAs suggest Bridgewater is making progress in the next stage of his recovery from the devastating injury he suffered two summers ago. It might be asking a lot for him to accelerate back to his most promising form in the course of a month.

The Jets took a flyer on Bridgewater because they could see his intermediate passing skill set working well with Bates’ West Coast stylings. For him to start ahead of McCown, it will likely take a spectacular camp, which can’t be ruled out. Bridgewater pushing McCown and staying even with him would be a win-win for the Jets, because it’s always nice to have all the options on the table.

Ugwoegbu will turn 23 in late September, meaning he would be older than most rookies yet still raw as a defender. He was born in London but grew up in Nigeria. His father was a political diplomat before he was assassinated when Ugwoegbu was a senior in high school. Ogwoegbu was suspended indefinitely by Oregon State during the spring due to undisclosed reasons.

While Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin each had 10 straight 1,000-yard seasons, Sanders retired after just 10 years and Martin only played in 11.

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Smith’s 15 NFL seasons and 226 games are numbers few running backs ever approach. Even Frank Gore — the NFL’s current immortal running back — is at 196 games over 13 seasons and 4,329 yards behind Smith.

For any player to reach Smith’s numbers, he’ll need to have remarkable longevity and produce at levels that are rare for the modern running back.

If a running back somehow managed to play for 15 seasons like Smith did, he’d need to average about 1,224 yards per season to take the record. A grand total of three running backs even topped that in 2017 — Kareem Hunt (1,327), Todd Gurley (1,305), and Le’Veon Bell (1,291).

Beginning when Favre took over the starting job for the Green Bay Packers in September 1992, he started every single week until he suffered a shoulder injury with the Minnesota Vikings in December 2010.

It was 297 consecutive starts in the regular season and another 24 in the playoffs to make a staggering 321 games in a row.

49ers GM Trent Baalke, replaced by John Lynch in 2017, is responsible for three first-round busts (Jimmie Ward, A.J. Jenkins, and former All-Pro but only two-year full-time starter Aldon Smith). There’s still time for Ward to shed his bust status — the Niners picked up his fifth-year option, which paves the way for him to add another season as a high-value starter — but he could be replaced on the list by 2015 pick Arik Armstead, who has just 11 starts and six sacks in three seasons.

Former Packers GM Ted Thompson also had three from 2005-14, Perry not included. Vikings top executive Rick Spielman clocks in with three busts between 2007 and 2014, a lineup that somehow doesn’t include Christian Ponder (35 starts in three years and a 38:36 career TD:INT ratio). He gets dinged for injuries to Floyd and Bridgewater as well as Patterson’s lack of traditional offensive success. He doesn’t really belong on this list, even if Laquon Treadwell (21 catches in two seasons) threatens to taint his record. He’s tied with some other respected names, including former Colts architect Bill Polian, at three busts apiece.

There are plenty of other bad general managers out there — Mike Tannenbaum drafted Vernon Gholson, Kyle Wilson, and Quinton Coples for the Jets between 2006 and 2012 — but few ever got the chance to stick around long enough to really rack up an awful track record. Even Jeff Fisher, harbinger of football mediocrity, did … fine … with his picks as VP of player personnel with the Rams.

Trent Richardson is a non-factor in the win.

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The Rams head into their bye week looking every bit like the new team we thought they could be. Bradford is finally throwing the ball down the field more than five yards at a time, and the offense is averaging more than 25 points per game.

Despite back-to-back losses to the Packers and Patriots in the last two games before the bye, the Rams are 5-3.

Among those causes was Louisiana House Bill 265, which was supported and pushed by Saints players Ben Watson and Demario Davis. The bill will return voting rights to thousands of people with past felony convictions, along with those on parole or probation, and was signed into law by the Louisiana governor last week.

Jenkins also brought attention to Chris Long donating his entire 2017 salary to organizations devoted to educational equality.

Jenkins has made similar efforts to influence lawmakers, even spending three days on Capitol Hill in 2017 with three other NFL players to advocate for criminal justice reform. Jenkins made clear Wednesday that Trump disinviting the Eagles isn’t going to curb his fight, and he won’t let Trump misrepresent what they’re fighting for.

But still, 10 wins and a playoff appearance is quite a turnaround for a team that looked lost and hopeless just a year before. Kromer wins Coach of the Year, beating out Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers.

There’s only person in St. Louis disappointed by the results: owner Stan Kroenke. Leaving the dreary fringes of the Rust Belt for Los Angeles is going to be that much harder to do with a playoff team on his hands. With a twirl of his villainous mustache, Kroenke mutters to his right-hand man that it’s back to the drawing board.

In the Giants’ case, they currently have $21,036,807 in dead cap money thanks largely to their trade of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to the Bucs. (When a team trades a player, his remaining prorated signing bonus accelerates into the current year’s cap.)

Dead money, if it’s not controlled, can choke a team’s cap space, which in turn can prevent it from potentially exploring extending some of its younger stars to contract extensions.

So how can you be sure your Philadelphia Eagles-inspired rally for patriotism has been attended by actual Eagles fans? Here’s a step-by-step guide to separate Philly’s finest from the interns and pages just looking for an excuse to stand outside for a while.

The Braves have been one of the season’s biggest surprises so far.

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And two: There are legions of people all over the world who still totally dig it.

With that lullaby out of the way, let’s run through some first-half awards. All of them are made up. There will be no ceremony and no cash prizes. Recognition is its own reward.

The Cream Power Trio: Yes, it’s a classic-rock reference you probably don’t get unless your vinyl-record collection is not meant to be ironic. In most years, the title odds of the Astros’ juggernaut would near 40 percent by now. But they’re not, because the second- and third-best teams in baseball are also in the American League and are also exceedingly strong. Boston currently has the second-best title odds (13 percent) and the Yankees are third (12 percent). Since you’re wondering, in this power trio, the Astros are clearly Eric Clapton, the jazzy Red Sox are Jack Bruce and the bam-bam Yankees are the perfect Ginger Baker. Look it up, kids.

They might not even boo him. Well, OK, they totally will. But maybe for not as long.

This week, we forgo the usual Jersey Foul fare to mention a foul jersey, at least in the eyes of Czech National Team fans.

The Czechs changed the logo on their national team jerseys, going from what looked like a family crest to … a lion with a crown that also looks like it might have a puck in its mouth. According to Brian Kenety of Radio Praha, it’s a stylized illustration of a white lion wearing a gold crown, which some detractors say looks cartoonish. Even some players have gone on record as against it: Right winger David Pastrnak said he didn’t understand it, and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec called it a disgrace. Supporters argue it looks rather flash, like many NHL team jerseys.

Anthony Davis is technically extension eligible but he has not met the years of service criteria (seven or eight years) for a super max even after earning All-NBA honors in consecutive seasons. Davis is eligible for a three-year, $98 million extension that would start in 2020-21, but he will wait until next July, when he can sign the largest contract in NBA history — five years, $228 million.

The Cardinals scored all of their runs in the ninth off Matt Wisler, including a leadoff home run from Jose Martinez.

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Cardinals C Yadier Molina played in his 1,800th game, joining Hall of Famers Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith and Enos Slaughter as Cardinals to play in at least that many. Molina entered the majors in 2004 and has spent his entire career with St. Louis. He ranks 12th among active players in games played.

To make room for Fried, the Braves designated OF Peter Bourjos for assignment. Bourjos, in his first year with the Braves, was batting .205 in 36 games. He also played for St. Louis in 2014 and 2015.

Cardinals: RHP John Gant (2-2, 3.48) is coming off his best start of the season, giving up one hit over seven innings as St. Louis beat the Cleveland Indians 4-0 on Monday. This is his first appearance against his former club since a 2016 trade that saw the Cardinals send starting pitcher Jaime Garcia to the Braves in exchange for three minor leaguers, including Gant.

Lorenzen’s pinch-hit grand slam off Jacob Barnes in the seventh inning completed an eight-run rally, Cincinnati’s biggest of the season. Lorenzen’s fifth career homer drew a curtain call from the crowd of 24,640.

The Reds have always put together some good-hitting pitchers, going back to Travis Wood and those guys, Brewers catcher Erik Kratz said. You have to know who those guys are and where they want the ball and not throw it there.

Tyler Mahle struck out a career-high 12 batters in 5⅔ innings, three shy of the Reds’ rookie record. David Hernandez (3-0) pitched the top of the seventh.

The Reds fanned 18 batters, a club record for a nine-inning game.

Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor had some advice for Randall when it comes to picking sides and making your opinion public on social media.

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Don’t hit send, he said. Should have been smarter about the whole situation, about the tweet. Whether you feel that way or not, don’t tweet it.

Coach Hue Jackson, who plans to jump into Lake Erie on Friday to make good on a promise he made when the team was going 0-16 last season, knew Randall would get some heat for his tweet.

Randall is from Florida, but said he became a fan of Curry’s after the shooting star made a name for himself at Davidson College and went pro. Randall said he also likes Cleveland’s superstar LeBron James, but not as much as Curry.

I am not anti-LeBron. I am actually a big LeBron fan as well, but when he’s going against Steph, I would rather Steph over LeBron, he said. But at the end of the day, I mean they are both great, great players, and I definitely respect everything that LeBron has done for this community and for this city and state. He is one of the greatest players to ever touch a basketball if you ask me.

Others might sit on the bench. Or stay in the tunnel. They could wear hats with a message on them. They may kneel momentarily between quarters of a game.

Those are just some of the ways players tell me they are considering protesting this fall.

Last week, the NFL banned players and league personnel from kneeling during the playing of the anthem. Players who decline to stand must stay in the locker room, or their teams could be fined.

While a handful of players told B/R they felt the new rules wouldn’t stop further protests, that feeling wasn’t entirely unanimous. However, there was a greater sense of agreement on what they thought of the league’s choice to pass the new policy in the first place.

Disappointed, but not surprised, Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith, one of the league’s most socially active players, told B/R. The next steps are the same as they have been. Continue to work toward holding police accountable for their actions, fight to change the criminal justice system and create better educational and economic opportunities for our communities…. We just want to do our part to make America a country that is truly equal for all.