Monthly Archives: November 2016

Robert Griffin III will be Washington’s starting quarterback in 2015

Robert Griffin III will be atop the quarterback depth chart when Washington resumes practicing this year. Head coach Jay Gruden acknowledged as much during his Wednesday afternoon press conference at the NFL Combine.

“We’ll go into the season Bryan Walters Authentic Womens Jersey with Robert as the number one guy,” Gruden said.

Gruden was quick and to the point, answering that question right off the bat. He also made it clear that the team had a list of things they expect RGIII to work on before the season starts, from footwork to anticipating his throws.

“He made a mistake, he admitted a mistake … I’m sure he’s doing everything he can to make himself better on and off the field.”

Spielman also brushed aside concerns about Peterson’s readiness to play. “When Adrian Peterson comes back, I’m sure he’ll come back with something to prove to everybody.”

Peterson has amassed 10,190 rushing yards and 86 touchdowns in his eight-year career. Peterson peaked in 2012 with 2,097 yards, the second-highest single-season total of all-time. However, Peterson only played one game in 2014 after being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list for being involved in a child abuse investigation. Peterson admitted to beating his 4-year-old son with a switch, something any team housing Peterson will C. J. Prosise Authentic Womens Jersey have to deal with come training camp. Currently, Peterson is awaiting reinstatement, which can come April 15.

Turning 30 years old in March, Peterson is hitting the imaginary line where many running backs begin a swift decline. The six-time All-Pro has three years remaining on his six-year, $86.28 million contract with $36 million guaranteed. If the Vikings decide to move on from Peterson, they would save $13 million against the cap in 2015 before netting $15 and $17 million in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Durant keeps Warriors rolling despite Green’s injury scare vs. Lakers

With Green out, the Lakers managed to cut what was a 22-point deficit to 12 with five minutes remaining. Los Angeles capitalized after Green’s exit, but that was the extent of the trimming. The Warriors shot 52 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range. They dished out 31 assists, the 10th consecutive game they’ve distributed 30 or more.

“We have games like that where it’s kind of sloppy,” Durant said, “but I think toward the end of the game we executed.”

With the Los Angeles Clippers losing to the DeVante Parker Authentic Womens Jersey Detroit Pistons on Friday, the Warriors took the top spot in the Western Conference standings.

The sold-out Staples Center crowd was greeted with the ultimate Black Friday gift in the second quarter.

Curry was all alone on the break and missed a wide-open, one-handed slam dunk. The crowd absolutely let him have it. The Jumbotron replayed the dunk attempt moments later, and all Curry could do was laugh.

“I had no second-guesses about that,” Curry said. “I’ve missed dunks before and obviously I want those two points, but it’s easy to kind of laugh it off. I count small victories. I didn’t get hung, so that’s good.”

Over the past week, however, Murray has enjoyed a massive uptick in opportunity Dion Jordan Authentic Womens Jersey and production, as he ranks 11th among shooting guards on ESPN’s Player Rater over the past seven days (as of Friday morning). Torrid from the field of late, Murray has averaged 21.7 points, 3.7 3-pointers made and 26.5 minutes over his past three games, all from the bench. Most encouraging is Murray’s usage rate of 25.8 percent, which signals an awesomely busy offensive role for the rookie shooter.

This production is occurring with Will Barton back from injury, so there is some promise for Murray to sustain a nice scoring clip from the bench. The likely reality is that this is a bit of an aberration and that Murray is merely hot from the field. The enduring point, in my opinion, is that Murray is proving he can create on this stage and shoot at an elite level and could eventually become a uniquely valuable specialist.

Ranked third among prospects in this past summer’s draft by ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton based on a blend of statistical and scouting information, the outcome spectrum below suggests Murray is a fine keeper commodity.

Jordan received another rude welcome from Dallas Mavericks fans on Wednesday night

There will always be hard feelings for Jordan in Dallas, but that’s a small price for him to pay for making the best move (or non-move) for his career. The boos during his visits to the American Airlines Center certainly don’t affect the good vibes he gets as the Clippers rack up victories.

“I’m feeling great, man,” Jordan said. “I’m feeling great.”

The #nohardfeelings hashtag from Luke Kuechly Authentic Jersey Chandler Parsons’ summer Instagram post with DeAndre Jordan does not apply to those who still reside in Dallas.

Jordan received another rude welcome from Dallas Mavericks fans on Wednesday night, as he was booed during pregame introductions and throughout the game, until the American Airlines Center crowd lost interest, which didn’t take too long in the home team’s lopsided loss.

Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

Contract: Signed through 2022 with a 2023 team option (that’s an AAV of $15.2 million with the option)

Why they should trade him: With three consecutive losing seasons and a player-development pipeline that has dried up, the Rays are in need of a talent makeover and more depth. Coming off a season with 36 home runs and 41 doubles, Longoria’s value is the highest it’s been in a few years. His contract isn’t onerous, even for the Rays, but he’s entering his age-31 season. As the old saying goes, better to trade a year too early than a year too late. If the Dodgers don’t re-sign Justin Turner, they could be desperate for a third baseman.

Why they shouldn’t trade him: Considering he Mario Addison Authentic Jersey signed a second long-term deal with the Rays, Longoria is the one guy who wants to play here. A rotation of Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Blake Snell and Drew Smyly has a huge upside for 2017, so the Rays could bounce back to playoff contention. Even as he’s played through some injuries, Longoria has been amazingly durable, having missed just six games the past four seasons. His contract is a bargain compared with others we’ve seen signed.

Possible trade partners: Dodgers, Cardinals, Braves, Giants.

Giancarlo Stanton has a huge contract, but still has huge power potential.

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins said his latest postgame catchphrase

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins said his latest postgame catchphrase — the “how do you like me now?” shout directed at general manager Scot McCloughan — didn’t carry any hidden message.

As Cousins ran off the field following Keith Mumphery Authentic Womens Jersey Sunday’s win over the Green Bay Packers, he stopped and shouted the line at McCloughan, then tussled the GM’s hair as he kept running into the tunnel.

Cousins, of course, is playing under the franchise tag, and his contract situation has been well-documented. Cousins wanted $20 million per season; the Redskins’ best offer was $16 million. That has led to much speculation on his future with the Redskins and whether they will meet his asking price for a long-term deal.

When you watch the video, the only player consistently facing double teams was Mike Daniels. Perry and Peppers each had a sack, but besides that the rush was almost non-existent. No wonder Kirk Cousins (145.8 rating) looked like Joe Montana.

And by the fourth quarter, Capers’ inside linebackers were Joe Thomas and Carl Bradford. They Kevin Johnson Authentic Womens Jersey gave the defense almost no chance against the run.

The more Thomas plays, the more obvious it is that he’s a niche player who’s a liability on early downs. And Bradford, who has hung around on the roster and practice squad for three seasons now, might not be long for the NFL.

If Blake Martinez can’t play next week because of a knee injury and Jake Ryan doesn’t return from a sprained ankle, the Packers simply can’t start Bradford at inside linebacker. They’d have to move Matthews back in there or get run over by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Even if Ryan plays they might want to consider playing Matthews inside, at least on downs where there’s a decent chance for a run. Thomas has too much trouble holding up in there as well.

Bradford, who was primarily an outside pass rusher at Arizona State, just doesn’t have the instincts and recognition skills for inside linebacker. That showed up almost immediately when he replaced Martinez late in the fourth quarter.

LeBron James lost respect for Phil Jackson when he called James’ business partners a ‘posse’

Less than a day after New York Knicks president Phil Jackson had some choice words for four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James, the King said he lost respect for the 11-time coaching champion.

In an interview with Adrian Dantley Authentic Womens Jersey ESPN.com’s Jackie MacMullan, the “Zen Master” labeled LeBron’s closest group of confidants and business partners as his “posse.”

The formula isn’t all that unfamiliar, though. The Clippers have an excellent offense led by CP3, Blake Griffin, and J.J. Redick, along with a strong defense anchored by DeAndre Jordan and Paul. After Tuesday’s games, the Clippers rank No. 5 in the league in offense and No. 1 in defense, per NBA.com/stats.

There are no schedule tricks here either. Their 10 wins include two over the Blazers and one each over the Thunder (the only team to beat L.A.), Spurs, Grizzlies, Jazz, and Pistons. They’ve beaten guard-heavy high-scoring teams, big-focused pounder teams, defensive juggernauts — everyone. The schedule will get harder — the Clippers visit Cleveland in two weeks, and still have four dates with Golden State to look forward to — but it isn’t as if L.A. has feasted on fluff. (This is unlike the Warriors, who are 8-2 against a very soft schedule.)

Kevin O’Connor at The Ringer cited L.A.’s bench as a big factor in the Clippers’ early success. The bench has indeed been fairly good, which is a major change for this franchise. Wesley Johnson and Austin Rivers have defended like hell for a five-man unit that relies on Raymond Felton to conduct and Jamal Crawford and Marreese Speights to cook. But O’Connor overstates the importance of the bench.

Here’s an irony. Phil Jackson, the proclaimed Zen Master himself, is potentially incapable Alec Burks Authentic Womens Jersey of introspection and self-awareness on certain topics. Jackson stuck his hand in a bear trap just for the rush, and ended up getting snared by the most powerful athlete in the world.

Tasker, Darryl Talley, and Andre Reed during halftime of a Bills game this season

“Tasker is thought of very highly among the voting members,” he said. “He is widely recognized as the best special teams player, coverage man, ever. And there are a lot of people on the committee who would like to see him make the final 15 so there could be a real discussion about his merits. But from 2000 to 2013, the Bills have had a string of candidates that you couldn’t put Tasker in ahead of.”

Many of those candidates, especially Levy, Kelly, and Montell Owens Authentic Womens Jersey Reed, have advocated on Tasker’s behalf after being elected. Levy even wrote a personal letter to the members of the Selection Committee stating his case.

“We always talk about three equally important aspects of football—offense, defense and specials teams. Yet, there has never been a hardcore special teams player that was selected for the Hall of Fame. We have one kicker. One punter. So, it’s so obvious to me that Steve belongs there. I used to tell my players all the time, what you do speaks so loudly that no one can hear what you’re saying. His career speaks for itself.”

After the NFL, Pot Saved Boo Williams’ Life. He’s Trying to Return the Favor.

The Houston Oilers drafted Tasker in the ninth round of the 1985 NFL draft. He shrugged off his disbelief and headed to Texas, not even knowing who the head coach was. “I just wanted to play,” Tasker laughed. “I mean, I get down there and Warren Moon is their quarterback? I was thrilled.”

Tasker would spend less than two seasons in Houston as a special teams player. After he hurt his knee halfway through his rookie year, a second minor knee injury sidelined him at the beginning of the 1986 season and he was put on injured reserved (IR) for a month and a half. Tasker was ready to come back in November but Houston had already added other players to the active roster. So they put him on waivers, thinking they’d pick him right back up as soon as there was an open active roster spot.Instead, Tasker was snatched up by the Buffalo Bills—a chance move that allowed Tasker to become arguably the best special teams player in NFL history.

“The coaches wanted me to stay in Houston. They put me on a ‘procedural’ Ndamukong Suh Authentic Womens Jersey waiver, which was like a placeholder,” he explained. “When a team does that, other teams know that player is off limits. But in ’86, the Bills had just hired Marv Levy, who was a special teams guy. And when my name came through the waiver wire, Marv said, ‘Pick him up.'”

Houston appeared to have one final chance when Clint Capela grabbed a rebound off a missed layup

Houston had some legitimate complaints late in the game, particularly after the Thunder tied it at 100. Roberson appeared to touch Harden as he missed a jumper, prompting an outcry from the Rockets’ bench.

In transition, Roberson scored on a lob pass from Russell Westbrook to give the Thunder a 102-100 lead with 1:43 to play. Rockets coach Authentic Kellen Davis Jersey Mike D’Antoni called timeout, and Patrick Beverley, out as he recovers from a knee injury, stood up and exchanged words with Roberson. Harden said Beverley was upset no foul had been called on his shot attempt.

“I would never want to hear that word about me and my — I don’t want to say crew — but people that I consider family or people that I come up (with), been through thick and thin with,” Anthony said Tuesday. “I’d want to be called a tight-knit group or family. That’s what I consider those close people to me.

“I think everybody would understand [why the term is offensive]. I don’t think you would have to be a rocket scientist or an educated person to understand Authentic Keyshawn Johnson Jersey what that means to us.”

LeBron James says he has lost respect for Phil Jackson after the famed NBA coach used the word “posse” to describe the Cleveland star’s business partners.

Phil Jackson discusses an L.A. return, his relationship with Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James’ departure from Miami. Oh, and the state of the New York Knicks.
Jackson, who was not made available to the media Tuesday, referred to James’ business associates as a “posse” during an interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan that was published earlier this week.

“It’s different words that different people use in different ways,” the Knicks star said. “To some people, the word ‘posse’ might not mean anything. It might just be a word. To some other people it could be a derogatory statement. It all depends on who you mention it to and who you’re talking about in essence.

“In this sense [Jackson] was talking about four, five black men. Do I think he meant it in any kind of way? I really don’t know. I don’t think he did. I would hope that he didn’t. Sometimes Phil just say things and he says the first thing that comes to mind. Probably he’s in his office right now regretting it. With Phil, you never know what’s going to be said, what’s coming, and depending on who’s listening. People take it the right way and people take it the wrong way. I just don’t understand him talking about LeBron right now in November.”

Dak Prescott ranks second in the league in Total QBR — behind only Tom Brady.

There was a bad feeling in the organization — that Romo was hurt again, and that the story of Romo from this point forward would be the need to always worry that the next hit could get him hurt again. They weren’t talking about life after Romo in late August, but they were thinking about it. And Prescott was already nibbling at the corner of that picture.

It is Sept. 19, and for the very first time, owner Jerry Jones gets the question.

The Cowboys expected Dak Prescott (4) to be the third-string quarterback this season. Instead, he was forced to start in Week 1. AP Photo/Ryan Kang
It is Nov. 6, and Romo wants back in, but you’re not going to hear him say it..

Oklahoma, which figures to slip into Jacob Tamme Authentic Womens Jersey the top 10 of the playoff rankings Tuesday night, appears to be the Big 12’s best hope for a playoff bid. The Sooners are the conference’s lone undefeated squad in league play. But West Virginia and even Oklahoma State still cling to hope as well. They’ll both be knocking on the door of the playoff top 10 come Tuesday.

Could one of those three pull the once unthinkable and close the gap this final month?

The numbers suggest there’s actually a Jake Matthews Authentic Womens Jersey window.

The analytics website FiveThirtyEight.com now gives the Sooners a 39 percent chance to make the playoff by winning out, which would include a win at West Virginia this weekend, followed by a home victory against Oklahoma State on Dec. 3. Oklahoma’s playoff rate, however, bumps up to 56 percent when combined with a Louisville loss to Houston on Thursday.

West Virginia, according to FiveThirtyEight, would have a 26 percent shot of making the playoff by defeating Oklahoma, Iowa State and Baylor to finish 11-1. But that number would jump up to 40 percent with a Louisville loss to Houston.

Oklahoma State, meanwhile, would have a 20 percent chance of sliding into the playoff by running the table with victories at TCU and Oklahoma. But according to FiveThirtyEight, that number shoots up to 32 percent when combined with a Louisville loss to the Cougars.

Not great odds. But not impossible odds, either.

So what exactly has to occur for the Big 12’s playoff dreams to improbably become a reality?

Butler was one of several teammates who spent part of the day hanging out at Wade’s mansion

Butler was one of several teammates who spent part of the day hanging out at Wade’s mansion, relaxing before one of the most hyped games of the regular season.

Wade received multiple standing ovations before and during the game. The first came during the player introductions, when the American Airlines Arena crowd cheered loudly as Wade’s name was announced. Wade was given another standing ovation at the end of the first quarter, when a tribute video played on the big screens in the arena.

Wade, who sat quietly at the end of the bench as the video played, walked back onto the floor after the video ended and blew kisses to the Maikel Franco Youth Jersey crowd. Fans continued cheering and chanting “D-Wade! D-Wade!”

Fernandinho, Brazil’s defensive midfielder, was booked at the six-minute mark, and appeared to be in for a harrowing, and possibly short night. Coach Tite pulled Paulinho back to help out the Manchester City man, leaving one fewer player committed to the attack.

Even then, Messi had a part in the move that nearly gave Argentina the lead, passing back for Lucas Biglia’s fierce volley, well saved by Alisson plunging to his right.

Brazil, then, were dependent on a flash of inspiration, and it came from the Neymar-Philippe Coutinho combination. They spent much of the game on opposite flanks, but here they worked together down the left in magnificent style. Neymar’s little pass left the visiting defence exposed, and Coutinho cut in and curled a superb shot into the far corner.

NO WONDER JACKSON WAS READY for his test. For some players, even great ones, threading the needle between “uber-competitive jerk” and “over-passive nice guy” is a career-long struggle. For KU’s freshman star, it is the baseline sum of his personality.

“Josh is great at it,” Lucas said. “Because of the demeanor he brings with him. Speaking for me, personally, I love it when guys, young guys, come back at it. Because I’m competitive too.”

“I will tell you this: If anybody in his camp, primarily Matt Harrison Youth Jersey his mom, thought he would back down because somebody came at him, I mean,” Self said before pausing, “that would … be something that was discussed for a long time. That’s not in their DNA.”

Adam Jones has come around on Odell Beckham Jr.: ‘He can do it all’

It took awhile, but Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones can now be counted among the believers in the ability of New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

“Oh, yeah, of course he’s in that top tier [of NFL receivers],” Jones said of Beckham on Tuesday ahead of their Monday night game against each other. “The kid is a freak. He can do it all. He’s got real good speed. He runs decent routes. He competes every play. He’s the real deal. He’s got a lot.”

When James went to Miami in 2010, he saw his shot total fall by two to three per game. But he kept his scoring rate nearly the same. He did it by becoming devoted to efficiency, hunting for shots that weren’t just open, but in parts of the floor where he knew he excelled. He also became focused on improving his 3-point shooting.

James and then-teammate Dwyane Wade would occasionally play games within games, trying to best each other in shooting percentage. Occasionally it miffed coach Erik Spoelstra, who thought James passed up open shots because he was focused on his percentages. During his four seasons in Miami, his true shooting percentage — which takes into account 3-point shooting and free-throw shooting — was 60 percent or better each year.

Add that all together and it’s Matthew Stafford Authentic Womens Jersey a lot of points, the type of numbers that might convince observers that he was a scorer.

“I’ve played with a lot of great teammates that have allowed me and entrusted me to do what I do,” James said. “Also it’s a testament to me just taking care of my body and working on my craft throughout my career.”

Yes, that body — it’s well-suited for scoring points, too. He’s 6-foot-8 and somewhere between 260 and 270 pounds. For most of the past 10 years, James has been devoted to body maintenance. Stretching, yoga, preventative training, cold tubs, hot tubs, hyperbaric chambers, dry ice therapy — he spent time with it all to extend his career. He has missed only 57 games in 13-plus seasons, and many of them were for rest.

His size also is a weapon; he just powers through contact. Since entering the league in 2003, James has 1,116 and-1s in his career, easily Michael Burton Authentic Womens Jersey the most of any player in that stretch. At his peak, he was averaging 1.5 and-1s per game.