Monthly Archives: November 2016

Defensive lineman Michael Bennett grabbed him a few moments

He has spent the past day spreading news of his engagement to friends and family in Norfolk, Virginia, reminiscing with them about a time when this kind of self-confidence and contentedness felt far away. The “old Kam,” as he calls his younger self, was shy and sometimes insecure while growing up in a housing project in Norfolk, where he was targeted by neighborhood bullies because his skin was too dark, his lips too chapped, his shoes tattered and his cornrows frayed. He also had a single mother whom many knew because of her transportation jobs. She drove a dump truck, delivered a newspaper, drove a bus and ran the trolley — sometimes working three jobs at once to support six children she was raising alone. “Everything bad people could say about a family that was struggling, I heard it,” Chancellor says.

Game Karl Malone Jersey But he was also a natural athlete, and by junior high he had become one of the city’s best basketball and football players. He was quiet and disciplined, setting his alarm for 6 a.m. summer workouts, and over time his peers began to credit his success less to ability than to work ethic.
Jahlil Okafor Game Jersey
Remember, the Titans spent their first-round pick in 2016 on offensive lineman Jack Conklin. They then added the downhill style of running back Derrick Henry in the second round, and they traded for DeMarco Murray. This team was building to control the line of scrimmage and pound the ball. I understand that with a young quarterback, and it’s the same style of football that is playing out in Dallas this season with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. Controlled tempo, physicality and a game plan that can facilitate more manageable production at the quarterback position.

However, when looking at the receiver position in Tennessee, I don’t see a group that has to be consistently accounted for from a defensive game plan perspective. Yes, tight end Delanie Walker can create matchups, especially in the red zone. And I know wide receiver Rishard Matthews has elevated his game this season. But the Titans lack a consistent deep-ball threat (or deep-ball speed), and they don’t have a true No. 1 like Dez Bryant.

Instead, they have a group that is being elevated by Mariota’s development within the system. From his anticipation to deliver the ball into tight windows to his ability to quickly read and diagnose coverages, Mariota is attacking NFL defenses like an experienced veteran.

Bradford’s health isn’t going to entice teams to throw a bunch of draft capital at the Rams

Keim has also scored a pretty significant win this offseason as well: restructuring the contract of wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Though the wide receiver will surely go down in history as one of the greatest players to ever wear a Cardinals uniform, there was some thought that the team would be forced to release him due to cap concerns. But just when those rumors were really starting to pick up steam, Keim announced at the NFL Scouting Combine that Fitzgerald’s deal was done and that the team had freed up around $13 Chris Wondolowski Authentic Womens Jersey million in salary cap space.

A lot has been written lately about my future. There are questions about my age, and what I have left in the tank. Of that, I will simply say this. For the first nine years of my career, I was used like a battering ram, punishing opposing defense over four quarters of a game. Maybe you stopped me the first five times I got the ball, but by the 15th or 20th time I got it, late in a game — let’s just say you were really feeling me at that point.

Veteran offensive lineman Michael Roos announced his retirement on Thursday via the Tennessee Titans’ official website. Roos earned a Pro Bowl selection and All-Pro honors in 2008. In 2009, he was part of the successful line that paved the way for running back Chris Johnson’s 2,000-yard season.

The Titans drafted Roos in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Eastern Washington and he started a total of 148 games. An emergency appendectomy in 2012 halted his streak of 119 straight games started to begin his career.

“I’m excited to begin the rest of my life, and I am grateful to do so now, while I am fully healthy,” Roos Claudio Reyna Authentic Womens Jersey said via “Thank you Titans fans for your support all these years. Cheers!”

The Philadelphia Eagles released guard Todd Herremans, who was one of the longest-tenured players on the existing roster, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan. The 2005 fourth-round selection started 124 games in 12 seasons with the team. He was healthy until Week 8 of the 2014 season before a torn biceps caused him to play injured in Week 9 and eventually sit out the remainder of the season. The move will save Philadelphia roughly $2.8 million in cap space.

The Lakers have enjoyed a massive leap in pace

I’ve added Murray in several deeper leagues (of at least 12 teams) with the hope he can emerge as a shooting specialist as a rookie and eventually evolve into a valuable combo guard in similar fashion to the career arc Brandon Roy enjoyed. Owned in just 11 percent of ESPN leagues, speculating if this is the start of a breakout trend for the professional freshman costs only a roster Parker Ehinger Authentic Womens Jersey spot at this point.

In terms of a veteran shooting specialist who shouldn’t have any problems sustaining minutes and 3-point production this season, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Nick Young is enjoying a revival to his best days with the Wizards. In fact, we can even deem Young’s impressive shooting prowess a breakout of sorts, as he entered Friday tied for sixth in the league in 3-pointers made (2.6 average) with Damian Lillard and Zach LaVine thanks to rare shooting freedom in Luke Walton’s reenergized scheme.

Carlisle on Barnes’ promising start:

“It’s a totally different mindset and metabolic approach to how he’s had to deal with offense in the last four years. He’s been clear-cut the fourth option at Golden State. When you’re playing with guys like, you know, [Stephen] Curry and Thompson and [Draymond] Green, you become kind of a bottom-feeder. You’re playing off of all the attention those guys get and now he’s one of those guys for us. This is a different level of responsibility. To say you’re now sitting at the grown-ups’ table is a great understatement.

“This is as challenging as it gets. but this guy wants to be great. He wants to learn. And he wants responsibility and you can’t say that about every 24-year old in his position. … And as a coach, if you have your choice of a kind of guy you want to Phillip Gaines Authentic Womens Jersey work with who’s a young player with the opportunity to get better, I wouldn’t take anybody other than Harrison Barnes right now just because of his attitude.”

The Lakers have enjoyed a massive leap in pace — their 4.3 percent increase from last season ranks third highest in the league — while Los Angeles’ 7.9 percent uptick in offensive rating is by far the highest in the NBA from last year to this season. As ESPN’s Baxter Holmes recently wrote, “Only a few months ago, Young believed the Lakers would trade him, buy out his contract or cut him.

Going to WAR: The mystery of Robbie Ray

In late March, the Diamondbacks named Robbie Ray their fifth starter. As is the case with most fifth starters, Ray’s outlook was uncertain. He might scuffle along close to the line known Andy Lee Authentic Jersey by statheads as “replacement level,” eating innings but allowing roughly as many runs as a scrubby Triple-A understudy would. He might carry forward the gains he made in 2015 and measure out as an average or better major league starter. Or he might continue adding velocity and tweaking his repertoire and turn into something close to an ace. With baseball, who can say until it has happened?

With Ray, though, it’s hard to say even after it happened. By wins above replacement, he was worth a pitiful 0.7 wins last year, worse than Archie Bradley (the pitcher Ray beat out for the fifth starter’s job) and Chase Anderson (the pitcher Arizona traded the previous winter to help make room for Ray). On the other hand, by wins above replacement, he was worth a robust 3.0 wins last year, tied with Cole Hamels and Marco Estrada.

It puts heavy emphasis on those things a pitcher controls, then attempts to determine the pitcher’s share of responsibility for everything else. According to tests run by its creator, Jonathan Judge, it’s the most predictive pitcher-evaluation model. It’s also beyond the average fan’s ability to dive into. Why does WARP like Robbie Ray? For most of us, the answer stalls at “because WARP likes Robbie Ray.”

Who is Robbie Ray, really? In 2010, he was drafted in the 12th round by the Washington Nationals. That doesn’t do justice to his talent at the time: He signed for nearly $800,000, about what a low first-round pick might have expected.

Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt’s OPS dropped by more than 100 points in 2016, but it was still a healthy .900.

Curtis: He adds lefty bullpen depth, but is not overpowering. He had 52 K’s in Brenton Bersin Authentic Jersey 30.1 innings in the minors, but skipped Triple-A in going to the majors. He’s likely ticketed for Triple-A.

Quarterback Blake Bortles is dealing with a sprained shoulder

Fantasy owners will want to find out if running back Mark Ingram is OK after he was evaluated for a concussion last Thursday. Ingram and coach Sean Payton have suggested he’ll be fine, but it remains to be seen if he will miss any time. The Saints are also hoping to get back top cornerback Delvin Breaux (fibula) and left tackle Terron Armstead (knee) after an extra-long break between games. Breaux and Alfred Blue Authentic Womens Jersey Armstead are two of the top five players on the team and can help make a late-season playoff push if healthy.

Cordarrelle Patterson’s 104-yard kickoff return gave the Vikings a big boost against the Cardinals.

On a first down with 2:18 left in the half, Kelley picked up an easy five yards up the middle when Thomas failed to press the line of scrimmage and take on a block by center Spencer Long. Instead, when Long got out to Thomas he just walled the linebacker out of the play. It was only a five-yard gain, but teams will be able to do that all day.

Then four plays later, Kelley scored a big touchdown on a 10-yard run up the gut. If you watch the video, Martinez pressed the line and helped force Kelley to cut back. Thomas should have done the same and taken on a block at about the 9. But he’s not stout enough to, so he stood at the 7 and was worked over by tight end Vernon Davis.

That gave Kelley a two-way go, and the running back picked the open alley to the end zone. Instead of possibly going into halftime tied at 10, the Packers trailed 14-10. That was a big play. You can’t play inside linebacker five yards off the line of scrimmage. That’s Andre Hal Authentic Womens Jersey what got Sam Barrington cut earlier this season.

So yes, the Packers’ defense has collapsed in the last month. But while Capers is a convenient target, it doesn’t mean he’s the right one.

Jared Cook added an explosive element the Packers’ offense was missing while he was out with a severe ankle sprain. But if he impressed with his six receptions and 17.5-yard average, he also showed the concentration issues that have plagued him in his NFL career. You don’t normally think of tight ends as fumblers because they’re big and strong, but late in the game Cook failed to protect the ball when he ran into traffic after catching a screen pass, which allowed cornerback Josh Norman to punch it out. Washington’s recovery clinched the game.

Kevin Durant doesn’t ‘give a damn about no damn Drake Night’

Kevin Durant and Drake are friends. Drake even talked about how glad he was that Durant’s free agency decision made him happy. None of that matters when it comes to the results on the court, however.

The Toronto Raptors hosted the Warriors on Michael Jordan Authentic Womens Jersey Wednesday, and Drake was there to celebrate “Drake Night,” a now-annual tradition. That led to some friendly trash talk during the game. Or at least it seemed friendly.

First, Drake bumped into Durant during the middle of Durant’s interview. It didn’t seem like a coincidence. Durant certainly didn’t seem to think so judging by the death stare he shot at Drake.

The real kicker came later, when Durant was asked about the interaction he had with Drake on Drake Night.

The Rockets now sit at a cool 7-5 record, trapped in a four-way tie for fourth place in the Western Conference. And Harden is on pace to seriously compete for that coveted NBA Most Valuable Player award.

Jabari Parker does his best Kobe Bryant impersonation
Remember when Kobe wore No. 8 and was dunking all over people like a maxed-out NBA 2K17 MyPlayer with the game sliders on 100? If you don’t, here’s a friendly reminder as to why he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Well, Jabari Parker certainly remembers these days. And as a tribute to the retired Mamba, Parker brought the house down with silky smooth transition finish Bryant would approve of.

Maybe Parker was trying to one-up his teammate, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had his own Mike Dunleavy Authentic Womens Jersey highlight-reel jam Wednesday night.

Somehow, with all that talent, the Bucks (5-6) lost to a Miami Heat team (3-8) lacking a go-to option on offense.

Harden notched his third triple-double on the season, continuing to chase Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Tiny Archibald, the only players to average 30 points and 10 assists in a season. Through 12 games, Harden is at 28.7 points, 12.6 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game with a Player Efficiency Rating of 30.3.

Did we mention he can dance, too?

“I don’t give a damn about no damn Drake Night.”

The signs of promise Jay Cutler showed last year have dissipated

The goal: pick out teams in which the future looks either dramatically better or worse than it did when the season started.

Even given low expectations, the Bears have been disappointing. Injuries have ravaged Chicago, with 14 players on injured reserve and free-agent-to-be Alshon Jeffery suspended. The signs of promise Jay Cutler showed last year have dissipated, and the expected improvement from the defense has pushed them to only 24th in defensive DVOA. The development of first-round pick Leonard Floyd — who has 4.5 sacks and six hits over the past three weeks — is promising, but there are precious few building blocks on this team, which looks to be years away Eric Ebron Authentic Womens Jersey from contending with the QB situation a mystery.

So who is the best wide receiver in the NFL right now? With the help of six NFL assistant coaches and personnel, we reached a verdict. And the results might surprise you.

The NFL rulebook also uses this umbrella to address random (or seemingly random) turns of fate. If a player is knocked down on the field of play by, say, a photographer who is out of position, the play is to be ruled palpably unfair and the assumed yardage is to be marked off. And the commissioner has the right to overturn the outcome of a game because of a palpably unfair act that wasn’t adjudicated adequately by the referee.

Rare is the time when a non-player impacts a play in real time. (A notable exception from college: The 1982 “Band is on the Field” game.) And there are no confirmed instances of the implementation of the palpably unfair clause, even if you could argue that it was warranted when Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin ended up on the field during a kick return in a 2013 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

On the other hand, you could assume all kinds of rule manipulation by Glover Quin Authentic Womens Jersey NFL teams if the palpably unfair limitation wasn’t in place. The 49ers used their opportunity at a perfect moment, but it’s not something anyone can build a long-term strategy with.

As always, the chart lists the NFL’s Week 11 referee assignments filtered by penalty frequency in their games this season.

The Thunder weren’t shy about the importance of the result

The play, in so many ways, is a perfect summation of Russell Westbrook. It isn’t always about making the smart basketball play. It’s often about making the awesome basketball play. He battles against convention and conservatism, pushing the Authentic Bryce Petty Jersey boundaries of what’s right and wrong. In no way was that brash dunk the right play. But it ended up that way because Westbrook made it so.

The Thunder locker room was jovial after the game, with players talking about how the dunk energized them. The Thunder had lost four straight after a 6-1 start, including back-to-back losses against lesser opponents in the Magic and Pistons. And late in the third quarter, down 10, the Thunder were facing the prospect of a fifth straight.

He was watching the same Vine pretty much everyone else in the NBA world was: Russell Westbrook putting Clint Capela on a vicious left-handed poster. But it was a special kind of poster: It came with five seconds left and the Thunder up by only three Authentic Buster Skrine Jersey points. The rare, elusive, dagger poster.

And to make it even better, Westbrook had called his shot.

“I told Vic before the game that I’d get a left-handed dunk today, didn’t know when,” Westbrook said. “But I guess I saved the best for last, right?”

Oladipo confirmed that Westbrook made the lefty promise: “He told me that before the game. Yes, he did. I don’t know where it came from, but the fact he did it the very last play is incredible. His memory is outstanding.”

The interesting wrinkle to the play is that it was wholly unnecessary, and in many ways, very unwise. The Thunder led by three with possession, 12 seconds left and no shot clock. The Rockets had to foul, and the Thunder needed only one free throw to ice the game. Rookie Alex Abrines ended up with the ball and inexplicably went to the rim, missing a stumbling layup. The Rockets couldn’t control it, though, and the Thunder got the ball back. Westbrook curled off a screen and took the inbound pass, and like Abrines, went to the rim. But unlike Abrines, he was going to make sure he ended it.

“Yeah, I thought about it,” Westbrook said of the situation. “That’s why, you’ve got to make it. That’s the risk you take.”

Westbrook paused for a moment.

“At least,” he said, grinning a bit, “that’s the risk I take.”

Colin Kaepernick on not voting: ‘There’s more than one way to create change’

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is well aware of how his decision not to participate in the recent presidential election while promoting a message of change has been received.

Asked Tuesday why he opted not to cast a vote for measures beyond the choice of a president, Kaepernick offered a familiar response in taking aim Steve Smith Sr Youth Jersey at the system and stating his belief that voting isn’t the only way to make a difference.

“I thought a lot of different things about the process and what I could and couldn’t do,” Kaepernick said. “Once again, the system of oppression is what I have an issue with.”

The Sacramento Bee reported this week that Kaepernick, who has knelt during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality and oppression all season, has actually never been registered to vote in California or in Nevada, where he attended college.

Kaepernick did not confirm that he’s Terrance West Youth Jersey never been registered but again pointed to his feelings about the voting system when asked about not registering to vote now or in the past.

“Once again, I addressed that, I continue to address it, I don’t agree with the system of oppression and that’s something I will continue to not agree with,” Kaepernick said.

He might truly have needed to be “Superman” to escape or get rid of the ball.

Credit Kansas City for taking advantage of a deficiency with Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil (shoulder) out for a second straight game and left tackle Michael Oher (concussion) a sixth straight game.

But regardless of who was to blame, it perhaps revealed a much bigger issue for the Panthers (3-6) as they prepare for Thursday night’s game against New Orleans (4-5) at Bank of America Stadium.

They need to invest more up front to guarantee the franchise quarterback the kind of protection he needs to avoid those types of collapses.

They need to spend draft picks on offensive lineman if they want to protect Newton long term and continue to be a run-based offense.

General manager Dave Gettleman has drafted only three offensive linemen in four years, none higher than guard Trai Turner in the third round.

The last time the Panthers drafted a tackle in the first round was 2008, when they selected Jeff Otah with the 19th overall pick. He hasn’t played since 2011.

Griffin expects a similar response in dealing with some people’s disappointment in Clinton’s defeat

“These sleeves get tight,” Obama said. “Can I tear these out? Can I rip them?”

Before all of the fun outside, the Cavs were given a private tour of the White House and spent time with Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

“The day’s been amazing,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “I mean, it ranks right up with winning a championship for me. Get a chance to come to the White House, meet the President of the United States, meet the First Lady. Having our team here, whole Russell Wilson Authentic Jersey organization. I mean, this is a great moment and I’m very honored, very humbled by the whole day.”

The Cavs also met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in the Roosevelt Room to brainstorm ways in which law enforcement can strengthen its relationship within local communities.

“I was just trying to be myself and help my team win while doing what I can on both sides of the floor while bringing some energy,” Curry said. “Obviously confidence is everything, so I have to keep that consistency.”

Curry was feeling it yet again. After knocking down three triples in a row in the third quarter, just to try his luck, he raced up the court and launched a shot just past half court that clanked off the front of the rim.

The traveling Warriors fans were waiting to explode out of their seats had the shot gone in.

“I’ve seen it all [from Steph], but it’s still entertaining as hell,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “That one shot he took [near half court], I’ve seen him do it many times, but it never gets old.

“I think [Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian] Lillard and Steph are probably the only two that have that sort of ridiculous range.”

The Warriors’ franchise point guard felt otherwise about that half-court heave.

“Honesty it was a dumb shot,” Curry said. “I Shaun Alexander Authentic Jersey probably should have heat checked from somewhere closer. I had Draymond [Green] egging me on the whole way down the court. So it was like that demon and angel on your shoulders: Which one are you going to listen to? Obviously it would have been fun to make it, but I think I’m like 0-for-2 on the year, 0-for-3 on the year on shots like that, so I might need to reassess that.”