Monthly Archives: April 2017

Whats the meaning behind Budda Bakers first name?

Former Washington Huskies safety Budda Baker is one of many reasons the 2017 NFL Draft has a loaded safety class. He went off the board on Friday night in the second round, the 36th overall pick by the Cardinals. Hes good.
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Players with McDowells combination of frame, strength, and explosiveness are rare. The 66 lineman is one of the longer players in this years draft, with arms that measure nearly 35 inches and hands that measure 10.5 inches.

McDowells size directly translates to his game. The former Spartan is strong enough to out-muscle opposing linemen with pure strength, so should he improve as a technician, McDowell could become dominant in the NFL and make plays like the one below on a frequent basis:

The linebacker didnt just play football for the University of Houston. He also suited up for its basketball team for two seasons. The cross-training improved Bowsers footwork in space and showed his versatile skill set. With NFL teams looking for guys who can contribute in multiple facets of the game, being a well-rounded athlete can only bolster his chances to succeed at the next level.

His measurables, along with his combine performance, is what started generating buzz for the relatively unknown prospect heading into the draft process. At the combine, he finished as a top performer among his position group in the 40-yard dash (4.65 sec), broad (127.0) and vertical (37.5) jumps, and three-cone drill (6.75 sec).
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As a latecomer to the game of football, Bowser still has immense upside, with enough talent to get him into the league and enough room for improvement to end up being a sleeper for the team.

Here are the player walk-up songs selected for the 2017 NFL draft

Walk-up music isnt just for baseball. Its also part of the NFL draft.
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Here are the songs the 2017 prospects have picked to play as they walk up to the podium.

DeShone Kizer wins for being the most up-to-date with Kendrick Lamars DNA. John Ross wins middle school throwback, Successful, by Trey Songz and Drake. Solomon Thomas wins true power anthem with Upgrade U, by none other than the queen, Beyonc¨¦.

*Note, Crew is by GoldLink, Brett Faiyaz and Shy Glizzy, not Grizzly. Close, though. The lack of success stories so far hasnt stopped teams from pulling the trigger on Air Raid quarterbacks early in the draft, though. A year ago, the Los Angeles Rams sent a significant package to the Tennessee Titans for rights to the No. 1 pick and a chance to select Jared Goff ¡ª a 64, 215-pound quarterback who racked up stats and accolades in the Air Raid offense brought to Cal by Sonny Dykes.

It doesnt look likely to dissuade teams from going after Texas Techs Patrick Mahomes or Cals Davis Webb in 2017, either. Both quarterbacks are products of an offensive system that has yet to develop a competent NFL starter, but its bound to happen eventually, right? Right?

If you want to pretend that you, too, are on your way to the podium (or just want to get amped as hell) heres a Spotify playlist with all the songs. Cook has first-round talent and fell to the Vikings in the second because of some off-field concerns. Minnesota did add Latavius Murray in free agency, but Mixon should be a long-term answer to the void left by Adrian Peterson.
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The Saints defense has been consistently bad over the last few seasons, and the need for improved secondary play was pressing. Williams is a ball hawk with great instincts, and hes well-rounded. Hes solid against the run, too.

Eli Manning involved in Giants’ fake memorabilia scheme, court documents allege

Giants quarterback Eli Manning was allegedly involved in the team’s accused fake memorabilia scheme, according court documents obtained by The New York Post.

Back in 2014, the Giants were accused in an ongoing civil-racketeering lawsuit of creating fake game-worn football gear to pass off as the real deal to make money from collectors and fans over the years. Now there might be proof their franchise player was involved.

Prior to Jackson joining the Knicks as president in 2013, the Knicks made the playoffs three consecutive years, highlighted by a 54-win 2012-13 season under head coach Mike Woodson. But things in New York devolved after Jackson took office.

In his full three seasons at the helm, the Knicks have amassed an 80-166 record, the lowlight of which was a franchise-worst 17-65 season in 2014. Only the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets have fewer wins during that span.

Jackson has bulldozed the Knicks’ roster twice and seems headed that direction for another season.

Anthony has his flaws. His defensive effort has long been in question, and his tendency to hold onto the ball in isolation situations cannot be ignored. But his penchant to do so is part of what has made him one of the league’s more feared scorers, and those predispositions were in place long before Jackson signed him to a five-year contract extension in 2014.

Anthony’s tenure in New York may have run its course, but Jackson’s track record as president leaves much to be desired. His moves have left more questions than answers, and the team’s record during his tenure equally indicts the roster and management.

If he follows through on the trade — which will require some effort given Anthony’s no-trade clause and 15 percent trade kicker — Jackson will have a clean slate to start building from the ground up.

P.J. Fleck used an Easter egg hunt to surprise a walk-on with a scholarship

Its a really small part of a yearly rhythm of college football which it doesnt usually happen until preseason camp in August, but walk-ons receiving full scholarships are always touching moments.

As usual, P.J. Fleck took it to the next level here by having a full on Easter egg hunt for his team with over 1,000 eggs around the facility. At the end, an announcement of a scholarship offer for was hidden in the eggs for linebacker Blake Cashman. Still, five different linebackers recorded at least seven tackles for loss, and four of them return. Evan Colorito and Tre Thomas are dynamic at stuffing the run — they combined for 14.5 tackles for loss, and 12 of them were of the non-sack variety —and while starting weakside linebacker Kevin Davis is gone, Deonte Clyburn, who missed 2016 with a blood-clot condition, should return. He had nearly as many TFLs in 2015 (7) as Davis did last year (10.5).

In the 3-4 structure, the job of the linemen is to occupy blockers, not create havoc themselves. They did that pretty well, but CSUs run defense was inconsistent and finished just 100th in Rushing S&P+. In a ridiculous run league like the MWC, thats going to hold you back. Three of the top four linemen return, and Bobo plumped up the tackle two-deep with a couple of JUCOs — 270-pound, three-star play-maker Christian Howard and man-mountain Jamori Fox.
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And Cashman isnt just some player who never sees the field either. He played in all 13 games on special teams as a freshman, then as a sophomore led the team in sacks with 7.5. He was Big Ten player of the week once and was the defensive MVP of the Holiday Bowl.
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To top the whole day off, Fleck announced that the team was going to go out to dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse. The chefs come carve the meat tableside and its all-you-can-eat.

Isaiah Thomas expected to play Game 2, then return home to family

The Celtics have two days off before Game 3 Friday against the Bulls in Chicago.

Stevens said memorial services for Thomas’ sister had not been finalized but suggested the entire team would make an effort to attend.

The Celtics are doing everything they can to help Thomas navigate this difficult phase, especially while he’s on the opposite coast from much of his family.

Pavel Datsyuk’s return to Russia has culminated with another championship victory for the former Detroit Red Wings star.
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Datsyuk’s SKA St. Petersburg won the Gagarin Cup on Sunday, defeating Metallurg Magnitogorsk 5-3 in Game 5 to win the Kontinental Hockey League’s championship series 4 games to 1.

Datsyuk, 38, was injured for Game 5 but joined team captain and former NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk on the ice following the game to hoist the Cup.

Datsyuk, who won two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings, scored 12 goals and had 22 assists during the KHL regular season and added four goals and five assists in the seven postseason games in which he appeared.
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There were two postseason teams out of the 76 that started 2-10 or worse. The first team to do it was the 1951 Giants, who won the pennant, won the pennant, won the pennant that year. The second team to do it was the 2001 A鈥檚, who ended up with 102 wins (and finished 14 games out of first place). Those were excellent teams that started poorly for whatever reason, then rallied.

Mock drafts love the idea of Mahomes to Houston

He struggled last season with his consistency on his throws from week to week (his completion rate dropped from 62.9 to 58.7 percent between 2015 and 2016). Those struggles got him benched a few times last season.
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Kizer is the top quarterback in Mike Mayock’s most recent positional rankings, but his stock may have fallen a bit when his former college coach, Brian Kelly, expressed concerns about his NFL readiness. But Kizer impressed teams at the combine. San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, who holds the second overall pick, said Kizer “blew the doors off” his interview with the team. If teams are really that high on him now, he may not be available at No. 25.

Game Mens Nick Swisher Jersey Mock drafts love the idea of Mahomes to Houston. He’s the overwhelming favorite among quarterbacks right now, with 28 percent projecting the Texas Tech product to the Texans.

Chris Pokorny of Dawgs By Nature thinks the Browns could take advantage of Cincinnati’s offensive issues:

I expect the Browns’ defense to dial up some more creative blitzes, exploiting Cincinnati’s recent offensive struggles and the lack of success they had against us in Week Those short-field situations will benefit Jason Campbell, who has been making good reads to move the chain and put points on the board. This will be a similar game as the one in Week 4, with a slightly higher score.

The Giants are the favorites in Sunday’s game and are pulling away in Vegas.

UNC shot just 35.6 percent from the field on Monday. Jackson, the Tar Heels’ best player all year, went 0-for-9 on threes. Berry’s effectiveness was threatened throughout the tournament before he rallied for 22 points in the title game on his way to being named Most Outstanding Player.

“We told him if his toe was going to fall off, tape it back up and get out there,” Jackson joked after the game.

Instead, North Carolina just kept surviving. They were too strong on the inside, too poised on the perimeter, and had too much experience all over the roster to let this one slip away.

There’s only one order of business left for the Tar Heels. The group text needs a new name. Jackson hadn’t decided on one yet, but he has one idea in mind.

“Probably something about national champs.”

The Giants are the favorites in Sunday’s game and are pulling away in Vegas. The fact that Rodgers is out helps immensely, but the Giants have also looked like a much different team over the last three weeks. Eli Manning has settled down, throwing just one interception his last three games after throwing 15 over his first six. Meanwhile in the running game, Andre Brown has been a revelation. He had 115 yards rushing against the Oakland Raiders last week in his first game back off the physically unable to perform list.

Offensive consistency has aided the defense. After giving up at least 27 points in each of their first six games, the Giants have given up a total of 34 points in their last three games.

He was a good sport and answered her question but held his blank face throughout the interaction.

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Borje Salming Authentic Jersey Deontrey Hill, an elite guard prospect out of Warner Robbins (Ga.) Houston County is a massive lineman with good feet for his 6’4, 340-pound body. I really like his aggressiveness, but also his body control. It’s easy to get over-extended and off balance at that size and age (Hill is only 17). He told me that he will likely visit Auburn for the Tigers’ spring game this coming weekend, and maintains that he does not have a top school. But Georgia media I spoke with believe Hill will sign with Georgia.

The reporter doubled down on her error after Nadal mentioned he “lost, by the way” while shaking his head, saying that she knew, “but it’s a win anyway.”

He was a good sport and answered her question but held his blank face throughout the interaction.

This is not the first time a tennis reporter has mistakenly congratulated a player for losing a match. Tomas Berdych received an awkward question about how he felt entering the Wimbledon quarterfinals after losing a match in 2015.

Nicolas Mahut reacted in the best way possible to being mistakenly congratulated after a loss in the first round of the 2014 French Open. The moderator initially asked for questions in English, but after a reporter errored in congratulating him, Mahut changed his mind — “questions in French, please.”

Nadal was clearly not amused, but at least he took it well. Poor offensive line play was a primary reason the Vikings fizzled after a hot 5-0 start in 2016. Minnesota allowed 38 sacks and 104 hits on quarterback Sam Bradford, and the run game was stagnant.

Injuries were also a factor. Left tackle Matt Kalil was lost for the season to a hip injury, and guard Alex Boone missed time with a hip injury, too. Tackle Andre Smith landed on IR with a triceps injury, and Jake Long, who was brought in as a replacement tackle, also landed on injured reserve.

The run game wasn’t helped by the fact that the team also lost Adrian Peterson for most of the season to a torn meniscus, but Peterson wasn’t terribly productive prior to injury thanks to poor run blocking.

Tolzien threw his third pick as the Packers drove toward the endzone in the final two minutes

Limited Mens Andrea Bargnani Jersey New York extended its lead late in the third quarter. Manning engineered a long scoring march, going 6-of-6 on a 10-play, 63-yard drive that was capped by Brandon Jacobs’ 60th career rushing touchdown.

The Packers would answer, finding paydirt for the first time when Eddie Lacy hammered in from four yards out to make it 20-13.

Tolzien threw his third pick as the Packers drove toward the endzone in the final two minutes, breaking a streak of seven-consecutive completions. He finished the day 24-of-34 for 339 yards with no touchdowns.

The Giants ground game was expected to belong to Andre Brown, but it was Jacobs who found the endzone in his first action since Week 6. That being said, Brown had 15 carries — for 59 yards — to Jacob’s five, so Brown should reamain a fantasy threat moving forward.

Authentic Blake Martinez Jersey Nelson continues to be a fantasy stud no matter who’s throwing the ball to him, grabbing eight receptions for 117 yards. Lacy scored, but was otherwise disappointing as he rushed for just 27 yards on 14 attempts.

As I wrote on Friday, the NFL had to suspend Walden if they wanted to continue to maintain their emphasis on player safety. Grabbing a guy by the face mask, ripping his helmet off, and then headbutting him (while you still had your helmet on) – especially after the play (though it would be unacceptable at any time) is completely uncalled for and deserving of a suspension.

It should be noted that as of Chuck Pagano’s press conference at 1:30 p.m. eastern time, he still had yet to hear from the league regarding a possible suspension for Walden. But various media outlets are reporting the news and so it seems likely that it is indeed the case, although we want to counter that a little by adding in that the last we heard from Pagano, he hadn’t heard from the league yet.