The Hornets are solid.

Their defense should improve. Charlotte slipped to 14th in points allowed per possession, unthinkable for a Steve Clifford team, and conceded more 3s than anyone. Expect a more conservative scheme, where help defenders don’t creep so far into the paint.

They were a playoff lock before Batum’s injury, and should still ease in if he returns on time. They dutifully execute Clifford’s schemes. They just don’t have the dynamism or upside of the teams above them.

“And all of it had come out of that Al Campanis book that Tommy Lasorda preached from. Not only how to play — how you had to take on 3-0, how you had to lay down a bunt — but also how to dress for BP and how to represent the team.

“My main job with Dave was to turn him into a major league outfielder. He didn’t need much help on offense, but he couldn’t throw very well, so we spent a lot of that summer long-tossing.

“Even then, he had great people skills. The other players gravitated toward him. There was one time, though, that I had to fine him. I caught him eating on the bench during a game. That was not the the Dodger Way. I felt bad about it, though. ‘Dave,’ I told him, ‘the other guys look up to you. You have to set an example.'”

It was in those early years in the Tigers’ farm system that Roberts acquired the nickname Doc. The reason had nothing to do with his mental acumen, though he did have that. It was just an offshoot of his initials: DR. And that led to Hit Doctor, which was shortened to Doc.tigers_050-115x115

Hayward ran down all the different players Boston had acquired this season and expressed excitement.

There are questions, of course. The starting lineup will be light on 3-point shooting, assuming Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters and James Johnson can’t repeat career seasons. Reintegrating Justise Winslow’s busted jumper will be a challenge, though he fits nicely as a backup power forward alongside Kelly Olynyk.

But Miami goes 10-deep in proven rotation guys before you even count Bam Adebayo and Jordan Mickey. Erik Spoelstra will have them well-prepared, and leverage the math; only two teams allowed fewer corner 3s last season. That isn’t an accident. Miami’s conditioning is different than everyone else’s. Depth, coaching and effort win a lot of regular-season games.

Whether you’re a fan of Ball and his family or not, know this: If you draft him, you’re a fan. He is being compared to a young Jason Kidd because of his special passing ability and his knack for making everyone around him better. I don’t like buying into hype, but I have to admit it’d be fun to have Ball this Miguel Cabrera Womens Jersey season and ride the wave Authentic Jalen Collins Jersey to see where he can take my team. Taking Ball likely means passing on players such as Jrue Holiday and D’Angelo Russell, two other point guards with a similar ADP, so that’s something to consider. It’s also further evidence of the depth at point guard this season.

Make no mistake, Hayward is just as excited to play alongside Irving. The two gushed about each other during their dual introduction in early September. That dual news conference happened, in part, because all of Boston’s summer activity never afforded the team a chance to formally introduce Hayward before that.

During that conference,Irving, smiling next to him, leaned in with a proclamation.

Lightning forward J.T. Brown raises fist during national anthem

Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown raised his right fist during the playing of the national anthem before the team’s first road game of the season.

Delino DeShields Elite Jersey Brown, who was scratched for Tampa Bay’s season-opening win against Florida, remained standing throughout the anthem Saturday night. Brown, one of approximately 30 black players in the NHL, used the same protest before a preseason game against the Panthers last month.

Brown, 27, said in his statement that the racist remarks and death threats he has received on Twitter from people who disapprove of his method of protest prove why this topic must be talked about.

If they bounce back, the Sooners could become one of the more puzzling teams for the playoff selection committee. Oklahoma owns maybe the most impressive nonconference victory of any team in the country, having convincingly defeated ninth-ranked Ohio State 31-16 Week 2 in Columbus. Yet the 38-31 home loss to Iowa State won’t compare favorably to other one-loss contenders. It’s now the seventh year in a row that Oklahoma has dropped at least one game as a double-digit favorite.

This is still Oklahoma, Mayfield said. We’re still a top-15 team. And I guarantee you we’ll be on top toward the end.

To get there, the Sooners first will have to get past this weekend’s Red River Showdown, which will feature a pair of quarterbacks from the Austin area in Mayfield and Texas freshman Sam Ehlinger.
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Asked what he knew about Ehlinger, Mayfield sneaked in a jab while smiling: He went to Westlake, and he’s never beaten Lake Travis, Mayfield’s alma mater.

Lake Travis has a 10-game winning streak over Westlake. The high school rivals will meet Friday, the night before Oklahoma takes on Texas.

Rodgers lifts Packers over Cowboys 35-31 in another thriller

Aaron Rodgers threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams with 11 seconds remaining, lifting Green Bay over the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 Sunday in another thriller nine months after the Packers’ divisional playoff win on the same field.

Luck’s Colts? They just got a new general manager, coach Chuck Pagano is on borrowed time and the odds are great that everything will be torn down and rebuilt starting next season. They made the playoffs his first three seasons; now, they’re well on their way to missing them for the third straight year.

Manning was 27 and eight years away from his lost season following neck surgery. Luck is 28.

Authentic Womens Dwayne Allen Jersey It’s not the end for Luck; it should be a new beginning. He should have a long career ahead of him, with a franchise that has done this before 鈥?a period being honored and cherished this weekend, one that still has a chance to be repeated.

That’s the best-case scenario, and it’s pretty good.
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The worst-case scenario for the Colts, their franchise quarterback, his beaten-up body, his hefty contract and the mess of a team surrounding him 鈥?it’s not nearly as good.

I don’t think that should necessarily be a defining thing. With Eli, though, it is, and I think his passing numbers were good enough.

I’ll likely vote for Eli, just probably not on the first ballot. He’s going to be a real interesting guy to discuss. He’s got two Super Bowl rings and he’s got three or years where he just wasn’t very good. That’s going be the thing.

This is foreign territory for Luck because this is the longest he’s been without football at any level.

Philip Rivers didn’t want this, right? Playing home games in Carson, California, in front of Eagles fans who are cheering for him to get sacked and throw interceptions? Rivers turns 36 in December, has a house full of kids and a laundry list of statistical accomplishments that would stamp him for the Hall of Fame if he’d ever won half as many Super Bowls as Eli Manning did. But so far this year, he’s 22nd (46.2) in Total QBR, 20th in passer rating (87.8) and — just like Eli — 0-4. How confident can the Chargers be that Rivers will want to stick out the next three seasons and help them open the Rams’ new stadium in 2020? Not very. Who do they have in the pipeline behind him? Cardale Jones, who was acquired in a trade before the season. Rivers’ track record is the only thing keeping this ranking from plummeting into the bottom third.

Luck warmed up fellow quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett, Scott Tolzien and Phillip Walker before doing individual work with them and then some routes versus air throws with his receivers. Luck won’t practice Thursday, but he’s expected to participate in practice on Friday as long as he doesn’t suffer any setbacks.

There’s a pitch count, there’s a number, Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. We’ll keep an eye on him. We’ve got it scripted exactly how many throws he’ll have and what routes he’ll throw based on each day. … We’ll just look at it and evaluate every one, docs and trainers will and take it one day at a time.

He missed all of the team’s offseason workouts, all of the preseason and the first four weeks of the regular season while rehabbing from a posterior labrum tear in his right shoulder. He’s working to regain his arm and shoulder strength so that he can get to the stage where he’s whipping every throw around the field.

Going forward, however, some owners preferred a league-wide directive.

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Dan Snyder, the Washington Redskins’ owner and who declined to comment through a spokesman, argued that the protests needed to end because of the danger that the issue posed to the league’s bottom line. A $40 million NFL sponsor was considering pulling out, he told his fellow owners. Snyder kept repeating $40 million to add emphasis, amusing a clique of owners who did the math and realized that, after the players’ cut of the shared revenue, it amounted to considerably less than $1 million per club — hardly a game-changing sum for a league that last year had an average per-team profit of $101 million.
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A rematch from the memorable NFC divisional round last season — and a matchup of two of FPI’s top five teams in the NFC — is the highlight of the Sunday afternoon slate. The Packers currently are FPI’s pick to end up with the top seed in the conference, but only narrowly. Green Bay is projected to win the top seed 17 percent of the time, just ahead of the Falcons at 16 percent. Dallas, however, is in a slightly less enviable position, currently projected to make the playoffs only 30 percent of the time.

While the leverage for both teams to make the playoffs is similar — 19 percent for Dallas and 18 percent for Green Bay — the Cowboys’ situation is more desperate. A Dallas loss nearly halves its probability to reach the postseason, from 39 percent down to 20 percent, while the Packers would still be 60 percent to make the playoffs with a loss.

FPI has the game as a near coin flip, with the home Cowboys holding a slight 54 percent edge, so maybe we see 50-yard-plus field goals in the last 93 seconds again.

Ravens place Danny Woodhead on IR, sign Jeremy Langford

Danny Woodhead will be missing in action for the next two months at least.

DeAndre Hopkins Authentic Jersey The Ravens on Thursday announced they have placed the running back on injured reserve and signed Jeremy Langford from their practice squad in a corresponding move.

Doug Gilmour Womens Jersey Woodhead initially was expected to miss at least four weeks after reinjuring his hamstring in Sunday’s 20-0 win over the Bengals in Week 1 but will now be out until at least the team’s Nov. 19 matchup against the Packers.

After missing most of the preseason with a hamstring injury, Woodhead was off to a good start in Week 1 with three receptions for 33 yards, and one carry for 4 yards before exiting with the injury in the first half.

Fellow rushers Terrance West and Buck Allen will take on a heavier workload to fill the void.

Woodhead, 32, missed most of last season with the Chargers after tearing his ACL. He signed a three-year deal with the Ravens this offseason.

Player Acquisition System: If you choose Waivers, then any player who is dropped from a team will be placed on waivers for a day or two, during which time each team has the option to put in a waiver claim for him. The team with the highest waiver priority that made a claim will get that player and move to the bottom of the waiver order. This is a simple system, which is good for beginners and is the standard format. Free Agent Auction options allow teams to bid on unowned players, using their Free Agent Auction Budget (FAAB, a dollar amount set by the commissioner).

Season Acquisition Limit: Most leagues allow unlimited waiver moves (such as adding a free agent), because owners want to be actively trying to improve their rosters all season long. However, you do have the option of limiting such moves, which could be handy if your owners have limited time to commit to the league.

5 winners and 5 losers from the Lions’ 24-10 win over the Giants

The New York Giants have some serious offensive problems to deal with and led to a 24-10 win for the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.

New York has the complete inability to run the ball, and its offense relies on Eli Manning to avoid swarms of pass rushers in time to throw to a receiving corps made up of deep threats. It’s a less than ideal situation.

Detroit had some offensive struggles of its own, but the team’s defense looked good and the offense did what it needed to get to 2-0 and drop the Giants to 0-2.

Here were a few of the winners and losers from Monday night:

Watson was the best player in Clemson history, and he almost destroyed the Alabama Death Star in 2015’s national title game before he finished that job in a rematch a year later. Not only was a bad word never spoken about Watson. His teammates advocated for him relentlessly, and his head coach said that passing on him would be akin to passing on Michael Jordan.

Tom Savage has only had three career starts, including Week 1’s game against the Jaguars when he was pulled for Watson at halftime. O’Brien has had a quick trigger with quarterbacks in Houston, despite previously being heralded as a quarterback whisperer.

O’Brien has gotten just enough out of his bottom-tier quarterbacks in Houston, but he hasn’t had anyone who could be a game-changer. Watson could be that guy.
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Andy Dalton would get a mean mug for a receiver setting him up like that. If Russell Bodine did the same, you really couldn’t blame him. Watt shook his soul.
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Dalton played a bad game on Thursday night. He was 20-of-35 passing with 224 yards and no touchdowns. The Bengals offense was just a drag to watch.

Tony Romo would be the WORST person to watch a movie with

Imagine former NFL star and current color commentator Tony Romo invites you over for a movie night — you’re gonna say yes, right? You pretty much have to: Romo was a good quarterback, a great broadcaster, and generally seems like a swell guy.

But let’s be real — movie night with Tony Romo would be the absolute WORST.

Since taking a job at CBS to replace Phil Simms, Romo has made a name for himself by predicting what will happen before a play transpires.

In other words … he’s a spoiler machine. Earlier today, he even correctly predicted a touchdown in the Patriots-Saints game.

Goodell’s contract expires in 2019 and many assumed an extension would be in place before the season began. Now the negotiations have hit a snag. It’s believed Jones is operating as a seventh voice on the committee, standing for the 26 owners not represented on the committee and reportedly believes the commissioner should take a pay cut.

One source even countered, insisting, “This is about money and a guy (Goodell) making way too much money on a grossly stupid contract for the job.”
The initial reaction is to assume Jones is standing up for fans who hate the direction of the NFL under Goodell’s leadership, but that’s not the case. Owners are happy with the commissioner, they just want him to make less money.

“Jerry’s not saying, ‘Don’t hire Roger.’ He’s saying, ‘I hate this (proposed) deal, redo it,'” said one source.
Neither Jones nor the NFL is commenting on the report, and it’s unlikely any contract snag will result in Goodell not being the commissioner in the future — but debates are being had internally on whether Goodell is making more money than he deserves.


The offense is still searching for its first touchdown of the season.

Jermaine Kearse was rarely in the weekly fantasy discussion during his time in Seattle, but that has quickly changed in New York. Kearse posted seven catches for 59 yards in Week 1 and caught four passes for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Oakland on Sunday. Incredibly, he sits fifth among wide receivers in fantasy points. Kearse’s prospects have been helped by Josh McCown playing a bit better than expected. The veteran passer has been charted as off target on an NFL-low 5 percent of his throws. He’s completed 67 percent of his throws despite dealing with six drops (second most). Kearse isn’t a must-start yet, but he should be owned in all leagues and is in the WR3 mix against Miami this week.

Jacoby Brissett joined the Colts on Sept. 2 and seemed like a vast improvement over Scott Tolzien despite losing in Week 2. The good news is if Brissett can win one or two games, Andrew Luck could be healthy in time to face the entire AFC South slate. With no one currently better than 1-1, the division is very much up for grabs.
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Game Youth Adeiny Hechavarria Jersey But the defense has shown a lot of improvement. The 49ers allowed the most points last season, but currently rank 10th in points allowed per game.

For an offense that some thought could be among the worst all time, the Jets are scoring some points. They’ve averaged 16.0 points per game so far, which is the same as the 2-0 Panthers and better than teams such as the Seahawks, Texans and Bengals. And hey, the Jets are currently the highest-scoring team in New York, topping both the Bills and Giants.