Charlottesville won’t change Eric Reid’s mind about standing for national anthem
August 16, 2017
49ers safety Eric Reid is sticking with his decision to stand during the national anthem this season in the wake of the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Va.
Reid knelt with then-teammate Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem last season in protest of perceived racial oppression in this country, but he said in April he would stand this season since the protest’s goal of creating a national dialogue had been accomplished.
“It doesn’t change my plans,” Reid said of Charlottesville, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s important to discuss the issues that we have in our country. I think it’s becoming more and more apparent. Maybe people didn’t see what the black community saw when me and Colin were doing our protests, and other players were doing (their) protests, last year. I think it’s more apparent now after this past weekend.”
In the meantime, Watkins is expected to get some reps in during the Rams’ second preseason game Saturday against the Raiders.
“He’ll be ready to play some plays,” McVay said. “Unless something changes, that’s our plan, is to get him a handful of snaps and get him some looks.”
Watkins, 24, was dealt from Buffalo to Los Angeles on Friday along with a sixth-round pick for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-rounder. He had four catches for 39 yards in the Bills’ preseason opener Thursday against the Vikings before being traded.
The No. 4 overall pick of the 2014 draft, Watkins had 153 catches and 17 touchdowns in 37 career games in Buffalo, although he missed 11 of the team’s last 32 games due to a litany of injuries.
Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and new Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, Bennett’s former Seattle teammate, sat during the national anthem before their teams’ respective preseason games this past weekend.
Olympic sprinter destroys John Ross’ 40 time after Bengals receiver says he’s faster than Usain Bolt
May 8, 2017
John Ross made waves before the NFL draft by saying he could run the 40 faster than Usain Bolt. Now another Olympic sprinter has shown how preposterous that idea is.
Christian Coleman is a track star at Tennessee and a 2016 Olympian. After hearing Ross call out Bolt, he decided to take to the football field to put down a 40 of his own — and utterly destroyed Ross’ 4.22 he ran in Indianapolis.
One of the longstanding arguments by football fans is that players are much faster than they appear at the combine because they’re running on turf, not a running track like sprinters. Coleman’s 40 appears to blow this idea out of the water.
In Ross’ defense, his claim was based largely on ESPN’s Sport Science, which is vaguely sports and not scientific.
“I would compare my speed to Usain Bolt’s just basically using the same technology that (ESPN’s) Sport Science did. They said I have faster foot contact than him, he has longer strides,” Ross said Thursday. “I think it would definitely be a good race. In the 40-yard dash, I think I would get Usain Bolt. Usain Bolt, I know I can get you in the 40. Whenever you want to meet me up, we can do it.”
Considering Coleman’s personal best in the 100 meters is 9.95 seconds and he beat Ross’ 40 time by 0.10 seconds, we can probably infer that Usain Bolt — who holds the world record with 9.58 seconds — would blow him out of the water.
Kyrie Irving had just stunned the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day with a falling fadeaway at the buzzer. The Thunder were warming up to face the Minnesota Timberwolves in the next game as it happened. It sure sounds like Westbrook yells “THANK YOU, KYRIE” as he ran into the tunnel after hitting his last shot.
Westbrook denied it, of course. He said he was saying “Thank you, Jayme,” in reference to the daughter of a team trainer. Unfortunately, ESPN’s Royce Young also debunked the Kyrie dig.
Rob Gronkowski becomes fastest tight end in history to catch 40 touchdowns
March 31, 2017
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski made history on Monday Night Football.
With his touchdown in the third quarter, Gronkowski became the fastest tight end in history to reach 40 career touchdowns, according to the Patriots’ official Twitter account. Gronkowski accomplished the feat in 47 games, shattering Antonio Gates’ mark of 71 game.
At this pace, Gronkowski could be the all-time touchdown king among tight ends when it’s all said and done. Of course, keeping up this ridiculous pace won’t be easy.
Toledo’s defense had plenty of strengths in 2017; the Rockets were efficient on standard downs and strong at creating third-and-longs. They were disruptive up front, and they didn’t allow a ton of big passes.
They were incredibly all-or-nothing in run defense, however, and if they weren’t creating second-and-long, they were getting gashed on first down. Plus, though they didn’t give up many explosive passes, the ones they allowed were poorly timed: in their first two losses (BYU, Ohio), they allowed 22.3 yards per completion.
Toledo’s defense was easily the most volatile in the MAC, allowing the lowest success rate and the biggest big plays.
Woodside spread the ball around beautifully; about 26 percent of his passes went to Z-receivers, 24 percent to slot receivers, 17 percent to tight ends, 17 percent to X-receivers, and 16 percent to running backs. He loses his slot man (Corey Jones) and his tight end (Michael Roberts), plus Hunt, but this incredible variety, plus the return of star Z-man Cody Thompson (1,269 yards, 13.1 per target), suggests Toledo should handle those losses.
Kevin Love is out six weeks after a knee scope. Wounds are adding up for the Cavaliers
February 18, 2017
A score between roughly 89 and roughly 98 translates to a four-star grade, meaning the average signee in each of these classes was essentially a mid-four-star.
But classes are differently sized, based on scholarship availability, current regulations, and other factors.
The biggest issue is that the tag strips players of almost all leverage during a time when they’re hoping to cash in on big seasons. Getting tagged essentially locks you in with your current team for one year, with little hopes of testing the free agent market.
Granted, there’s the “non-exclusive” tag, which gives players the right to negotiate with other teams, but there’s a major catch — if an opposing team makes an offer the original team doesn’t match, they give up two first-round draft picks as compensation. Those are incredibly huge assets to give up for one player, so naturally, teams generally don’t make the jump. Therefore, the player is stuck with his team even under the non-exclusive tag.
Welp. Kevin Love is out six weeks after a knee scope. Wounds are adding up for the Cavaliers. LeBron remains confident as long as he is healthy. The concern at this point is that LeBron will be exhausted before the playoffs even begin. Here’s Tom Haberstroh making the strong case that LeBron should be taking entire games off.
“It was tough,” Strop said. “We had some tough moments. But our fans have always been there, even when we were losers, so I’m really happy for Cubs fans.”
They are no longer lovable losers, and outside the clubhouse, the fan base is preparing for a spring training like no other. It will be a six-week lovefest unheard of at this time of year.
“In the clubhouse, there is a buzz,” newcomer Brian Duensing said. “Outside the clubhouse, there’s a buzz. You can definitely tell there’s something different down here than other places. … It’s exciting. This atmosphere rubs off on you. You just want to be part of it.”
Tyreek Hill is hot, even in freezing Chiefs vs. Raiders game
December 11, 2016
The Chiefs took a 7-3 lead over the AFC-leading Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football when Alex Smith hit Tyreek Hill with a 36-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Hill, the fastest player in the NFL, outran everyone to haul in the score.
He topped himself later in the quarter when he ran back a 78-yard punt for another return:
To be fair, Whalen had never practiced the play before, according to Colts punter Pat McAfee. Safety Clayton Geathers was supposed to be the center, but left the game with an injury, and Whalen, though unprepared, had to step in for him.
Whalen didn’t realize that he wasn’t supposed to snap the ball unless the Patriots responded by misaligning or trying to substitute, giving Indianapolis the opportunity to catch them with 12 men on the field.
The Patriots will be without wide receiver Danny Amendola indefinitely as he recovers from an ankle injury, and Whalen will help fill Amendola’s role.
Whalen spent three seasons in Indianapolis, and was signed by the San Diego Chargers after Danny Woodhead was placed on injured reserve early in the 2016 season. Over eight games with the Chargers this season, Whalen had two catches for 22 yards.
Gasser was charged with misdemeanor simple battery in that incident, and prosecutors later dropped the charge.
Manslaughter in the state of Louisiana is defined as taking someone’s life due to “sudden passion or heat of blood immediately caused by provocation sufficient to deprive an average person of his self-control and cool reflection.” If Gasser is convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.
Peyton Manning at quarterback means it’s all or nothing for the Broncos
December 7, 2016
Peyton Manning will start at quarterback for the first time in nine weeks when his Denver Broncos host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC playoffs on Sunday. He will also try to be on the upside of what has been his bizarre boom-or-bust playoff history over the last nine seasons.
In Manning’s last nine trips to the AFC playoffs with the Colts and Broncos, it’s been all or nothing for his teams. There have been six one-and-done appearances and three Super Bowl appearances going back to the 2005 season. He’s perfect in AFC title games in that span, but has also lost four times in the Divisional round when his team had either the No. 1 or 2 seed.
Campbell, a former NFL tight end, was drafted by the New York Giants in the third round of the 1999 draft. Saints head coach Sean Payton coached Campbell during his time in New York, and Payton was also on staff when Campbell was with the Dallas Cowboys. Campbell signed with the Saints prior to the 2009 season and was placed on injured reserve before the season began. He retired following the Saints’ Super Bowl victory.
His coaching career began the following season, when Campbell was hired by the Dolphins as a coaching intern. The Dolphins promoted Campbell to the tight ends coach position in 2011, and he remained in that role until being named interim head coach early in the 2015 season.
Payton had glowing praise for Campbell when he was named the interim head coach in Miami, per Triplett. “He’s a fantastic guy, a great worker, a great teammate,” Payton said. “He’s someone that is tough, strong. I can’t say enough good things.”
Campbell will be working with a position group in New Orleans that includes tight end Benjamin Watson, who is coming off of a career season. In his 12th season in the NFL, Watson had 825 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Watson was one of Drew Brees’ favorite targets, and his 74 receptions were second only to the team’s leading receiver, Brandin Cooks.