This is the homepage widget area. To customize it, please navigate to Admin Panel -> Appearance -> Widgets and add widgets to Homepage Widget.

Studs at QB, RB and WR. As always, New England is the obstacle.

No Comments

Adding Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters via trades was a major coup. Will they be Rams for life? Probably not. Will they win a lot of football games in L.A.? Yes.

With Marshon Lattimore, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Michael Thomas, Cameron Jordan and Sheldon Rankins, this is the most exciting collection of young talent in football. Drew Brees is cool too.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens: I went to a couple camps, but I don’t feel like they were worth it at all. Because like Bake was saying, they just want to use you at the end of the day. When you get to that platform they just want to piggy-back. And the kids that come up after you and get to the next level, they use their name. I don’t think its right.

Darnold: For kids that don’t have a scholarship I think its the best thing for them. It depends on your perspective.

Rosen: I’d just be careful of it turning into how basketball is. It’s starting to dip into AAU with 7-on-Our generation grew up when 7-on-7 was catching on. Yes, it might be mutually beneficial, but I’d be careful if it starts to dip into one side of the pot a little bit. It’s a very tight rope to walk. There’s going to be behind-the-scenes corruption because of the power these people have with pulling strings behind the scenes.

Nowhere is that more evident than in how they use their quarterback in the hurry-up approach mentioned by Cousins. Much was made last season of McVay rushing the Rams to the line and then talking into QB Jared Goff’s headset. But McVay is far from the first to do that, and it’s a tactic Shanahan has employed. He leaned on it heavily last year when Garoppolo took the field before he could possibly have learned San Francisco’s entire system.

Adams is one of the most important members of an offense with the horses to drive Washington to a Pac-12 championship and playoff berth. He sat out this spring while recovering from a knee injury last October that limited him to seven games in 201Provided Adams is fully healthy by the time the Huskies travel to Atlanta for their highly anticipated season opener against Auburn, he will have a chance to solidify his status as an early first-round pick in the 2019 draft while protecting quarterback Jake Browning’s blind side and clearing holes for stud running back Myles Gaskin.

Nick Foles’ autobiography to debut on best-seller lists

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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.

NFL still needs to show more transparency under the Personal Conduct Policy

No Comments

Nearly four years ago, the NFL responded to its disastrous handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case by beefing up the Personal Conduct Policy, and by huffing and puffing about a new six-game baseline suspension for any player who is found to have committed similar offenses. On multiple occasions since then, the NFL has failed to impose a six-game suspension for a player who has committed similar offenses, and the league has failed/refused to explain the reason(s) for the departure from the six-game benchmark.

The NFL possibly decided that mitigating factors justified a reduction from six games to three, like they initially did when dropping former Giants kicker Josh Brown’s suspension from six games to one. (MDS has listed other similar instances that didn’t result in a six-game suspension.) Without sharing the information as to why the reduction was made, however, it’s impossible for anyone to assess whether the reduction was sensible or justified.

The analytics site tracks every player one every play of every game throughout the course of an NFL season, and they recently released their ranking of each team’s pass-blocking efficiency – the number of pressures allowed on a per-snap basis. In this measurement, the Falcons’ offensive line ranked 12th among the 32 NFL teams with a pass-blocking efficiency grade of 79.7.

The Falcons offensive line took a small step back in 2017 and allowed 18 sacks, 32 hits and 98 hurries on their 568 passing plays, PFF’s Mark Chichester writes. Throughout the year, the Falcons saw good pass-blocking performances from guard Andy Levitre, who ranked 13th among guards with a PBE of 97.6, right tackle Ryan Schraeder, who ranked sixth among tackles with a PBE of 97.1, and center Alex Mack, who ranked 14th among centers with a PBE of 97.9. Heading into the 2018 season, the new addition of Brandon Fusco could prove to be an upgrade for the team at right guard as Fusco’s PBE of 96.5 bettered the marks of fellow Falcons guards Wes Schweitzer (96.0) and Ben Garland (92.9) last year.

Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston suspended: Will he play Eagles in Week 2?

No Comments

Thursday, the reports were confirmed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Winston is preparing for a suspension that would last as long as three weeks.

Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby was with Winston during the alleged incident, but he’s in no danger of being suspended, a person with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media.

My reaction, not to what they said, but that that’s where we find ourselves here is sadness frankly, Silver said. A bit of resignation. But I don’t think it should take away from the fact that these players in our league, our coaches, are speaking out on issues that are important to them and important to society. I think, I encourage them to continue to do that and on top of that, maybe more importantly, look at the things they’re doing in their communities.

Maybe Goodell and the NFL believe they should take the high road with Trump, that getting into the sewer only gets them dirty.

That isn’t the Goodell from the past, though. The old Goodell would have had a lot to say.

When they just go up there and then don’t snap it right away, you say, well, we’ll hold our disguise, Arians explained last November, via And then they snap it [quickly], and you’d better be able to play defense out of your disguise. I think it’s really smart coaching.

While defenses search in vain for counter-strategies, McVay is back in the lab concocting innovations to push his team toward the promised land in his second season.

[McVay] is like Greg Maddux, Orlovsky attested, where he doesn’t necessarily overpower you, but you have no idea what’s coming and he’ll make you look silly.

Max Kepler (L), 38 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Yovani Gallardo): Sure, it’s a small sample, but it’s hard to get past the fact that Gallardo has allowed 13 runs in just 7 1/3 innings this season with more walks (7) than strikeouts (6). Needless to say, this is a hurler I want to get some exposure against on Saturday. Fire up Kepler, who gets the platoon advantage in a very enticing matchup.

Can the Honey Badger fortify the secondary?

No Comments

O’Brien is excited about the addition of a ballhawking safety in Tyrann Mathieu. An all-pro in 2015, Mathieu signed a five-year, $62.5 million extension with Arizona, but he declined to take a pay cut this offseason and was subsequently released by the Cardinals.

Mathieu comes to Houston out to prove he remains one of the most impactful defensive backs in the league. If so, he’ll bring a spark to a Texans defense that ranked 27th in takeaways (16) in 2017. The secondary will also need his leadership after safety Andre Hal was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

By the end of this past season, Roethlisberger had recruited other coaches on staff to be buffers of sorts between the two of them, as our insider Jason La Canfora reported at the time. I’m not saying Haley’s comment was a dig at Roethlisberger — I really think he was just being complimentary about his current quarterbacks — but their history is worth remembering here.

It was his baserunning and celebration at home plate after Aaron Hicks’ fifth-inning home run that had everyone laughing at him.

When Hicks hit a homer, I didn’t how fast to run, Gray said after the Yankees followed Monday’s loss to the Washington Nationals in the completion of a suspended game with a 4-2 win in the makeup of a rainout. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. Then I think I messed up the handshake there at the end. There was too much going on for me.

This was a rare chance to hit for Gray, who went into the game 1 for 10 at the plate in his career with a July 2015 single at Dodger Stadium off Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez when he played for the Oakland Athletics.

Plus, as Gray pointed out, It was the first time I scored. That was fun.

His first time up Monday, Gray was robbed of extra bases in the third inning when he hit a liner that looked headed for the right-field corner until Nats first baseman Mark Reynolds made a nice play.

Former Colts GM Ryan Grigson lands with Seahawks

No Comments

Former Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson found a new NFL home.

Grigson’s agent announced his client will join the Seattle Seahawks ‘ front office.

The host team always qualifies for the tournament, but there are questions about whether or not all three countries will be given automatic berths. FIFA will discuss it in the coming weeks.

Canada has not qualified since 1986, which is the last time the USA did not qualify, before 2018. Mexico is the lone team of the three to represent the CONCACAF Federation in Russia, and will play in Group G. It will open on Sunday with defending champion Germany (11 a.m. EDT FS1 and ) in Moscow, and then take on South Korea Saturday, June 23 (11 a.m. EDT FOX and ) and Sweden Wednesday, June 27 (10 a.m. EDT FOX and

LeSean McCoy, Nick Foles, DeSean Jackson, Michael Vick, Jeremy Maclin and Trent Cole were all gone within two years, leaving the roster in awful shape for 2015. Kelly was fired before the final game of the season after a 6-9 showing, and Roseman and Pederson were left to clean up the mess in 2016.

To think they could have gone with Bruce Arians instead.

Giants safety Landon Collins is a different player, but both he and Randall were highly ranked safeties coming out of college in 2015.

The Packers took Randall 30th overall, converted him to cornerback and eventually traded him to the Browns last March after three inconsistent, injury-plagued seasons. They got next to nothing in return.