Die aktivsten Blogs
Adam Jones took a big swing Seahawks Dontae Johnson Jersey , and the result was a popup. He slammed his bat to the ground in disgust and dutifully jogged to first base.
Somehow, that seemingly routine out became the catalyst for a six-run inning that carried the Baltimore Orioles past the Los Angeles Angels 8-2 on Sunday.
Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo hit consecutive homers after the Angels lost the popup in the sun, and the Orioles got a strong pitching performance from Kevin Gausman in snapping a seven-game losing streak.
Los Angeles was up 1-0 when Jones led off the fourth against Deck McGuire (0-1) by hitting a ball high in the air. Second baseman Ian Kinsler couldn’t catch sight of it, and the ball landed on the dirt between second and first for a gift single.
”Sounds funny to say, but those are the types of things that have been happening to us,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ”Kinsler’s as good a second baseman as there is.”
Machado followed with his 21st home run , Trumbo connected Tony Romo Jersey , and Steve Wilkerson singled in a run before Tim Beckham capped the surge with a two-run single.
The home runs were lamentable, but the popup was especially galling to the Angels.
”Obviously it’s unexpected. It happens,” manager Mike Scioscia said. ”He thought he had a bead on it and all of a sudden it disappeared in the sun.”
Jones got credit for a hit, but it sure didn’t feel that way.
”Sure, it’s just like an error,” Scioscia said. ”I don’t think (McGuire) was affected by it, but obviously it adds fuel to the fire and starts a rally for them.”
Trumbo homered again in the fifth and Trey Mancini also connected to help Baltimore secure its only victory during a seven-game homestand that began with four straight losses to Seattle.
Gausman (4-6) weathered temperatures in the upper 90s to go eight innings Authentic Alex Cappa Jersey , allowing two runs and six hits to end a run of eight straight winless starts.
The Orioles improved to 1-15 against the AL West and won at home for only the second time in 19 games since May 13.
Baltimore still owns the worst record in the majors, but there were plenty of smiles to go around on this day.
”We’re undefeated in July,” Showalter said with a grin. ”Sometimes, you have to laugh to keep from crying, right? We have good people. It just hasn’t happened for us, but we have half the season left. That’s the approach we’re taking.”
Kole Calhoun homered and Albert Pujols drove in a run for the Angels, who were seeking the first season sweep of Baltimore in franchise history. They settled for going 5-1 Jamal Adams Jersey , their fewest losses against the Orioles in one year.
THIS AND THAT
LA reliever Eduardo Parades has allowed five HRs in 16 1/3 innings. … Gausman did not allow a walk for the fifth time this season. … Wilkerson recorded his first career double, but Showalter said the rookie left with an apparent oblique injury. … Angels star Mike Trout did not reach base for only the 12th time in 85 games this year.
Angels: DH/RHP Shohei Ohtani (elbow) was scheduled to take live batting practice in California. Asked if the two-way star could be activated for this week’s series against Seattle, Scioscia replied, ”Let’s get by today, see how he does.” … RHP Garrett Richards (hamstring) could be ready to come off the DL on Wednesday to start against Seattle.
Orioles: OF Colby Rasmus was held out with an illness. … RHP Darren O’Day said he opted for season-ending surgery on his hamstring because there was no guarantee he would be healthy by September. ”I need to functionally get it fixed so it just doesn’t happen again,” he said. … RHP Chris Tillman (back) will need at least one more rehabilitative start after allowing five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday night.
Angels: After taking Monday off, LA faces Seattle on the road to launch a three-game series. Andrew Heaney (4-5 49ers Elite Jerseys , 3.95 ERA) is 0-3 with a 6.14 ERA in seven road starts.
Orioles: Following a day off Monday, Baltimore sends Alex Cobb (2-9, 6.75) to the mound in the opener of a two-game interleague series in Philadelphia.
The Jacksonville Jaguars look as if they will keep veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis around at least another year.
Jacksonville exercised club options Tuesday on Lewis and backup offensive linemen Tyler Shatley and Josh Wells.
The 33-year-old Lewis is the longest-tenured player on the team's roster. He is due to make $3.5 million in 2018.
A first-round draft pick in 2006, Lewis has 375 receptions and 4,502 yards in 156 starts. He ranks third in team history in catches and yards. He ranks second in touchdown receptions (33), trailing only Jimmy Smith (67).
Lewis and retired center Brad Meester (2000-13) are the only players in franchise history to appear in 12 or more seasons with the team.
Shatley has played in 46 games with eight starts since joining Jacksonville as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Wells has played in 32 games with three starts during his four-year stint with the Jags.
Running back Mark Ingram was a late arrival to the New Orleans Saints' offseason program and he'll be a late arrival for the regular season as well.
But he says he's not behind schedule and will hit the ground running when he finishes a four-game suspension to start the season.
Ingram Natrell Jamerson Jersey Saints , who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons, is being disciplined for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancers.
Ingram skipped New Orleans' voluntary OTAs, but participated in the first day of the team's mandatory three-day minicamp Tuesday. He said his absence wasn't a holdout as he enters the final year of his contract.
"The main reason I wasn't here for OTAs is I wanted to train on my own this offseason and switch up my offseason regimen this year," Ingram said after practice.
"I felt like there were things that I wanted to work on personally that I could get done better by myself. Noting against our program.
"There were a number of things I could focus on 鈥?my speed, my explosion, keeping my weight down, taking care of my body. I feel like the stuff I was doing while I was away made me a better player. I've been here seven years. I know our offense. As you get older you know exactly what your body needs to be its best."
Ingram said he kept Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis informed of what he was doing as he worked out with his father, former NFL player Mark Ingram, in the Boca Raton, Fla., area as he has throughout his seven-year career.
"I think he's in good shape," Payton said. "It's good to see him out there."
Payton said there's nothing new on contract talks with Ingram.
"I'd love to stay in New Orleans Steelers Authentic Jerseys ," Ingram said. "That's (the Saints') decision. If they see me in the future we'll get something done. But I have one year left. Whether it happens now or later, it'll come around."
The Saints are well positioned to handle Ingram's absence with the presence of Alvin Kamara, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year last season. Ingram and Kamara set an NFL record by becoming the first teammates to each gain more than 1,500 yards from scrimmage in the same season.
But after Kamara, New Orleans has little experience with Trey Edmunds, Jonathan Williams, Daniel Lasco and rookie sixth-round draft choice Boston Scott.
Former Saints running back Tom Hightower worked out for the team Tuesday, and former Chiefs and Broncos running back Jamaal Charles reportedly will visit with the team Wednesday.
"It's not the end of the world," Ingram said of his absence. "I'm going to be back. Those guys need to step up and I'm sure Alvin and the rest of the guys are going to do a great job of preparing and putting themselves in position for success. I'll be rooting on my teammates real hard."
Quarterback Drew Brees said he's "stayed in constant communication" with Ingram and knows "what he's doing to get himself ready to play."
"I know he's been training hard, working hard, preparing himself for the season," Brees said. "So it's great to have him back this week. It certainly hasn't distracted me. I don't think it's distracted anybody. We're not worried about Mark or his readiness to play when it's time."
When Ingram was suspended last month, his agent issued a statement claiming that Ingram had tested positive for a substance that is permissible with an NFL exemption Roquan Smith Color Rush Jersey , but an arbitrator ruled against Ingram.
"I fought (the suspension) hard and I don't agree with it, but I'm going to serve my suspension and I'm going to be ready when it's time," Ingram said. "Hopefully we're 4-0 when I come back, but I'll be back and I'll be ready."
Ingram, 28, made his second Pro Bowl by running for a career-high 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He also caught 58 passes for 416 yards.
Jon Gruden's first NFL draft since leaving the broadcast booth has been a busy one.
One day after trading back in the first round and making another deal to acquire veteran wide receiver Martavis Bryant, the Oakland Raiders remained one of the NFL's most active teams in the draft Friday night with a series of trades.
Oakland began by trading down in the second round and acquiring defensive lineman P.J. Hall from Sam Houston State with the 57th overall pick, then made another deal to move up in the third round to get offensive tackle Brandon Parker.
The Raiders later dealt away two more picks to move up to 87th overall and drafted linebacker Arden Key from LSU.
"I thought (general manager Reggie McKenzie) did a great job pulling the trigger, making some trades last night and today to help us basically get five football players," Gruden said. "It's exciting man, it really is."
The flurry of activity at the Raiders headquarters on the second day of the draft was to be expected as Gruden continues to remake the team in his image. In vintage fashion that would have probably made late owner Al Davis proud, Oakland acquired a pair of players from small schools and a third who has a history of off-field issues.
"My mom called me and she said maybe Mr. Davis was calling down the picks down from heaven Youth Mike Gesicki Jersey ," Gruden said.
The Raiders acquired Hall with an eye on improving the interior of their defensive line. Oakland had 31 sacks in 2017, only 1 陆 from players playing inside full-time.
Hall should be an immediate help. The 6-foot-1, 310-pounder had 42 sacks in four seasons at Sam Houston State and was the Southland Conference defensive player of the year in 2016.
"I was really surprised," Hall said. "I hadn't heard about me going in the second round at all during this process. It really shocked me once I got the phone call."
An edge rusher who alternated between standing up and lining up with his hand on the ground during his first three college seasons, Hall switched to defensive tackle as a senior where his quickness helped make up for a size disadvantage.
The Raiders are thin inside. Eddie Vanderdoes and Justin Ellis were the starters in 2017 but Vanderdoes is coming off a torn ACL in his left knee suffered in Oakland's final regular-season game. Jihad Ward, the 44th overall pick in 2016, has one career sack in 21 games.
"We love (Hall's) measurables. The only thing he's not is tall," Gruden said. "But this man is extremely powerful. We need an inside pass rusher. I've said that since I've been here, somebody that can disrupt running plays and penetrate, and this guy can do that."
Hall was taken on the second day of the draft despite not getting invited to the NFL combine in February. The snub, he said, was extra motivation.
"I was a little down about it for like a day or two, but after that I felt like it helped me Authentic Taylor Hall Jersey ," Hall said. "I got more time to prepare for my pro day and I had an excellent pro day. I crushed it. I feel that's kind of what raised my stock."
To get Hall, Oakland shipped the 41st overall pick to Tennessee in exchange for the 57th and 89th overall picks.
Then Gruden and McKenzie worked the phones and made another trade to grab the first pick in the third round. The Raiders traded the 75th, 152nd and 212th overall picks to Baltimore for the 65th, which they used to get Parker.
Parker is a two-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference offensive lineman of the year who started four seasons at left tackle for North Carolina A&T. According to the Raiders, Parker did not allow a sack during his college career, although he disputed that.
"I think I gave up maybe one or two sacks," Parker said. "I don't know where that came from."
Parker's selection came on the heels of the Raiders drafting Kolton Miller with the 15th overall pick. Miller is expected to compete for the right tackle job while Parker will likely back up left tackle Donald Penn.
Key had 26 陆 sacks during three seasons at LSU but left school early after a 2017 season filled with highs and lows. He was limited to eight games last year due to injuries after checking himself into rehab the previous spring.
The Raiders see him as another outside edge rusher and a potential complement to Khalil Mack.
"He's made some mistakes," Gruden said. "He's had some difficult times in his young life. I know where he's been for the last several months, I know what he's been through in his career. He has a lot to prove and we have a lot to prove."
>The Latest on Week 14 of the NFL season: (all times local):12:10 a.m.The Pittsburgh Steelers are AFC North champions after a wild 39-38 victory over the division rival Baltimore Ravens.Pittsburgh blew an early two-touchdown lead and trailed by 11 points going into the fourth quarter before rallying. A 34-yard completion from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown set up Chris Boswell’s 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds left.Roethlisberger threw for 506 yards and two touchdowns Authentic Preston Brown Jersey , and Brown caught 11 passes for 213 yards.The win was emotional for the Steelers as they paid tribute to linebacker Ryan Shazier, who remains hospitalized with a spinal injury.Pittsburgh improved to 11-2 and has a chance to earn the AFC’s top playoff seed. Baltimore fell to 7-6 and remains in contention for a wild card.10:55 p.m.Joe Flacco has the Baltimore Ravens rolling.The Baltimore quarterback has thrown for two touchdowns as the Ravens have rallied from an early 14-point deficit to take a 31-20 lead over the Steelers through three quarters. Alex Collins is over 100 yards rushing for the Ravens. Baltimore is trying to prevent the Steelers from wrapping up their third AFC North title in the last four years.The Ravens have scored on five straight drives after giving up a pair of early touchdowns to Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell.The Steelers came out firing early while paying tribute to injured linebacker Ryan Shazier, who is in the hospital dealing with a spinal injury. The adrenaline wore off, however, and the Ravens got going behind Flacco.10:00 p.m.The Pittsburgh Steelers are 30 minutes away from the AFC North title.Le’Veon Bell scored twice in the first half and Chris Boswell added a pair of field goals as the Steelers took a 20-14 lead over Baltimore.Pittsburgh raced to a quick two-touchdown lead but the Ravens responded in the second quarter behind a Joe Flacco touchdown pass to Chris Moore and a touchdown run by Alex Collins.The Steelers are playing without injured linebacker Ryan Shazier, who is in the hospital recovering from a spinal injury. After an early emotional surge by Pittsburgh, the Ravens started to find cracks in the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense.鈥?AP Sports Writer Will Graves reporting from Pittsburgh.9:15 p.m.The Pittsburgh Steelers are off to an inspired start while taking a 14-0 lead over the Baltimore Ravens.Le’Veon Bell has scored both touchdowns for Pittsburgh, scoring on a 20-yard reception. He added a 1-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.The Steelers are playing without linebacker Ryan Shazier Jonathan Cooper Jersey 49ers , who remains in the hospital recovering from a spinal injury suffered against Cincinnati. The team is wearing Shazier-themed T-shirts underneath their jerseys and several players have an image of Shazier on their game cleats.Pittsburgh can clinch the AFC North title for the third time in four years with a victory.8 p.m.The Philadelphia Eagles have clinched the NFC East title, but lost quarterback Carson Wentz to a knee injury.Nick Foles replaced Wentz, and the Eagles beat the Los Angeles Rams 43-35 to improve to 11-2.The Jacksonville Jaguars now sit atop the AFC South after beating Seattle 30-24. They moved ahead of Tennessee after the Titans lost 12-7 in Arizona.The Chargers beat Washington 30-13 to stay tied with Kansas City in the AFC West.Denver snapped an eight-game skid by beating the New York Jets 23-0.7:10 p.m.The Philadelphia Eagles say quarterback Carson Wentz has an injured knee and won’t return to Sunday’s showdown against Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams.Wentz was hit hard as he scrambled into the end zone late in the third quarter on a play that was called back because of holding on tackle Lane Johnson. Four plays later, Wentz threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery to give the Eagles a short-lived 31-28 lead. The Rams then went up 35-31 on a 1-yard run by Todd Gurley.The Eagles quarterback went to the locker room, and he has been replaced by Nick Foles.鈥?AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson reporting from Los Angeles7 p.m.Seahawks all-everything linebacker Bobby Wagner has been ruled out against Jacksonville with a hamstring injury.Wagner left the game in the third quarter, went to the locker room for evaluation and treatment and did not return.LB K.J. Wright also left the game with a concussion and has been ruled out.It was the latest injury for a defense already playing without cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Kam Chancellor and defensive end Cliff Avril.鈥?AP Sports Writer Mark Long reporting from Jacksonville, Florida.6:40 p.m.There’s been a huge momentum swing in the Eagles-Rams showdown between division leaders.Blake Countess returned a blocked punt 16 yards for a touchdown to give the Rams a 28-24 lead early in the third quarter. The punt was blocked by Michael Thomas Cheap Pernell McPhee Jersey , and the ball bounced right to Countess in stride.It was the Rams’ second TD in less than two minutes. Jared Goff capped the opening drive of the second half with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins.The Eagles had taken a 24-14 halftime lead on three touchdown passes by Carson Wentz. They need to win to clinch the NFC East.鈥?AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson reporting from Los Angeles6:30 p.m.New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown has been ruled out against Denver with a left hand injury.McCown was hurt in the third quarter against Denver when he was hit by Broncos linebacker Shane Ray. McCown walked toward the Jets’ sideline holding his left hand before taking a knee. After being checked out, he went to the locker room.Bryce Petty took over for McCown, who also was shaken up earlier in the game while scrambling for extra yardage.In other injuries, long snapper Thomas Hennessy (head) and running back Elijah McGuire (ankle) are both out.鈥?AP Sports Writer Pat Graham reporting from Denver.5:55 p.m.Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers’ offense started out on a roll against Washington.The Chargers racked up 354 y
Cleveland Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer leads the big leagues with 109.3 pitches per game this season.
The 27-year-old emerging star would not have it any other way.
“I feel great,” Bauer said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer when asked about his high pitch counts. “I recover really well, and I’m glad I can get deep in the game for the team.”
Bauer will go for another triple-digit performance Wednesday night when Cleveland (35-30) visits Chicago (23-42) for the third contest of a four-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field. The teams have split the series’ first two games, with the Indians posting a 4-0 victory Monday and the White Sox bouncing back for a 5-1 win Tuesday.
It is not impossible for the White Sox to beat Bauer, but the challenge will be steep.
The right-hander is 5-4 with a 2.62 ERA in 13 starts this season. He has walked 29 and struck out 109 in 86 innings. He has registered double-digit strikeouts in each of his past three outings and in five starts overall this season.
No wonder Indians manager Terry Francona has left Bauer in the game for 100-plus pitches in every start this year.
“I just don’t see a reason (to pull him) http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-phillip-gaines-jersey ,” Francona said to the Plain Dealer. “I just feel he deserves to stay out there.”
In 14 career games (12 starts) against the White Sox, Bauer is 6-2 with a 3.55 ERA. He has fanned 89 in 76 innings.
The White Sox will counter with right-hander Dylan Covey (2-1, 2.22 ERA), who has emerged as an early bright spot during a rebuilding season. The 26-year-old struggled badly as a rookie in 2017, but he has looked much better since being promoted from Triple-A Charlotte in late May. He has not allowed an earned run in either of his past two starts.
In three career games (one start) against Cleveland, Covey is 0-0 with a 3.68 ERA.
Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor will try to stay hot at the plate after going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles Tuesday. The 24-year-old has a team-leading 23 doubles to go along with 14 home runs and 35 RBIs.
Five Indians players already have double-digit home runs. Jose Ramirez leads the group with 19, while Edwin Encarnacion (16) and Lindor (14) round out the top three. Yonder Alonso and Michael Brantley have 11 apiece.
Chicago is led in homers by Matt Davidson and Tim Anderson, who each have 11.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu will look for another strong game as he tries to strengthen his case to be a starter in the All-Star Game at Nationals Park. The 31-year-old is hitting .286 with 10 home runs and 38 RBIs Yasiel Puig Jersey , and his 25 doubles lead the club.
A second All-Star appearance would be special for Abreu.
“It will be excellent because we play this game for the fans,” Abreu said via an interpreter to mlb.com. “To have the honor to represent them, and they know what I’m doing, that is really big. If that happens, I would be really happy.”
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur has re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys Authentic Braden Smith Jersey , the team he initially joined after a workout in 2005.
Ladouceur will be going into his 14th season, the second-longest tenure among current Cowboys. He has played in 205 consecutive games and made 1,875 snaps without a miscue.
The only current Dallas player with the team longer is 11-time Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten, who was a third-round pick in the 2003 draft.
Last year Witten matched the franchise record by playing his 15th season with the Cowboys. The 35-year-old Witten is already signed for his 16th season in 2018.
Ladouceur went to the Pro Bowl in 2014. Last season marked the completion of a five-year contract extension.
Mike Sullivan knew the Stanley Cup hangover was coming. Even if the Pittsburgh Penguins coach danced around the phrase whenever the subject came up during the opening three months of the season as the two-time defending champions alternated between sizzling and sleepy.
”The first part of the year was a bit of a struggle,” Sullivan said. ”It wasn’t anything we didn’t anticipate as a coaching staff going into it.”
Sullivan didn’t panic – to be fair, he never really does – and instead offered a reminder to his team that nothing was inevitable.
Maybe not. It just sort of feels that way in Pittsburgh when Sidney Crosby and the Penguins are involved.
The proof came on Saturday night Authentic Trent Murphy Jersey , when a pair of third-period goals by the NHL’s best power play pushed Pittsburgh to a 5-2 victory over Montreal to clinch a franchise-record 12th straight postseason berth.
”If you don’t make it to the playoffs you can’t win the Stanley Cup,” said forward Patric Hornqvist, who picked up the 200th goal of his career in the first period. ”That’s the first step in this room, to make the playoffs. Now we have to make sure we try to get better every single time we come to the rink. We know what it’s all about in the playoffs. Hopefully we’ll have a really fun run.”
Something that’s become a rite of spring since Sullivan took over in December 2015. The Penguins became the first club in nearly 20 years to win back-to-back Cups last June and considering their play since New Year’s Day, they look like a very legitimate threat to give the NHL its first three-peat since the New York Islanders won four straight from 1980-83.
Pittsburgh is now 26-10-3 in 2018, a surge that’s pulled the Penguins within three points of first-place Washington in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals visit PPG Paints Arena on Sunday night.
”By no means are we satisfied Tarik Cohen Jersey Youth ,” Sullivan said. ”We know there’s another level to our team and that’s what we’re striving for.”
Phil Kessel, Riley Sheahan, Conor Sheary and Carl Hagelin scored for Pittsburgh, which dominated the largely listless Canadiens to improve to 17-1-1 in their last 19 games at homes. Matt Murray finished with 24 saves for the Penguins, who swept their season series with Montreal for only the second time in franchise history.
”We will use these last couple games to try to find some little things so we are ready to go for when the playoffs start,” Murray said.
Jeff Petry and Jonathan Drouin scored for the Canadiens Youth Jason Sanders Jersey , who lost for the fifth time in seven games. Antti Niemi made 28 stops but Montreal couldn’t handle the NHL’s top-ranked power play. The Penguins went 3 for 5 with the man advantage, including Kessel and Sheahan scoring less than two minutes apart in the third period to blow open a one-goal game.
”At the end of the day, our penalty kill gives up three goals and if we’re not going to do the job right, we’re not going to pay the price,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said.
Niemi actually began the season as the Penguins’ top backup after Marc-Andre Fleury was traded to Las Vegas and Murray became fully entrenched at the top spot. The plan lasted all of a month. Niemi found himself on waivers in late October after going 0-3 with a 7.50 goals against average, all of the losses coming on the road.
While Niemi has rediscovered his game in Montreal Cheap Martavis Bryant Jersey , perhaps it’s fitting the Penguins reached the postseason with their former teammate – however briefly it lasted – in the opposing net. Niemi’s awful numbers in Pittsburgh weren’t entirely his fault. The play in front of him at times was lethargic.
The team Niemi faced on Saturday still has some issues in its own end, but the Penguins also have the kind of firepower few can match. Pittsburgh scored three goals in a 4:55-span in the first to erase a one-goal deficit. Kessel and Sheahan beat Niemi 1:49 apart in the third and the countdown to a potential three-peat was officially on.
”Obviously you want to go into the playoffs with a lot of swagger and a lot of confidence,” Hagelin said. ”Hopefully we can string a few more together.”
NOTES: Penguins F Derick Brassard missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. … Kessel left in the third period with an undisclosed injury and did not return. … The Penguins are now 9-7-2 on the first night of back-to-backs this season. … Pittsburgh C Sidney Crosby’s five-game goal streak ended, though he did have one assist. … The Penguins’ 12-year playoff run is a franchise record. The team reached the postseason 11 straight times from 1990-2001.
Canadiens: Host New Jersey on Sunday. The teams have split their first two games, each winning on home ice.
Penguins: will try to take the season series from Washington on Sunday night. Pittsburgh won two of the first three meetings.
More NHL hockey: .
Auston Matthews got a taste of playoff hockey last season. Patrik Laine has been waiting two years for this.
The third pick in the 2016 draft? Well Tony Romo Cowboys Jersey , Pierre-Luc Dubois is taking a surprising star turn in the spotlight of the NHL playoffs, too.
Matthews, Laine, Dubois and 2017 top picks Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick look unfazed as they handle significant responsibilities in the postseason. For the first time since 1991, four teenagers have scored a goal in the first round of the playoffs, and all five budding superstars are in top-six forward roles, combining for five goals and six assists.
”These guys are young guys,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said after Matthews’ Game 3 winner against Boston was the 20-year-old center’s first point of the series.
”They’re playing against real players and they’re young guys. You’ve got to go through some of these slappings in your life to kind of respond and learn how to respond and do things right.”
They’ve been doing a lot of things right all season. Matthews’ 34 goals led the Maple Leafs; Laine’s 43 for Winnipeg were second in the NHL; Hischier’s 48 points were second on the Devils; and Patrick’s 30 and gradual improvement earned him a promotion to the Flyers‘ second-line center spot.
Dubois was a bit of a surprise pick by Columbus behind Matthews and Laine at the 2016 draft, and he didn’t break into the NHL right away. Dubois wasn’t expected to mature this quickly and doesn’t get the kind of attention as last season’s top finishers for rookie of the year Authentic Erik Karlsson Jersey , but he’s used to that by now.
”I’ve always been the guy kind of under the radar,” said Dubois, whose 48 points were third on the Blue Jackets. ”All my life it’s been pretty much like that. I don’t really look to impress other people. I just want to play well. I’ve never been the guy that everybody talked about, so it never really fazed me.”
Dubois most impressively has earned the trust of old-school coach John Tortorella enough to be the Blue Jackets’ No. 1 center at age 19. Tortorella uses Dubois as an example to show older players how to handle situations, an ultimate sign of respect from a Stanley Cup-winning coach who doesn’t hesitate to put him on the ice against opposing stars.
”He accepted it, he excelled,” Tortorella said. ”He has a mental toughness for a 19-year-old kid, to accept that type of responsibility and want more. It’s a different guy. You’ve got to be careful with young kids, but he has showed me tremendous progress and instant mental toughness as I’ve gotten to know him as the season’s gone on.”
Laine isn’t tracking the stats of the other players in his draft class Lions Sylvester Williams Jersey , but he knows how they are doing. Similarly, Dubois enjoys watching Matthews and Laine while trying not to compare himself to them.
”They’re obviously really great players,” said Dubois, who picked up two assists in his first playoff game and scored a goal in his third. ”I know my game and people that know my game know that we’re all different players. There’s the offensive side of it, there’s the defensive side, there’s everything. Everything’s different about our games.”
Production ties them together with Hischier and Patrick, who also don’t look out of place at all in their first playoffs at 19.
New Jersey coach John Hynes said Hischier has been one of the Devils’ best players, which is the continuation of a season of learning for the first Swiss No. 1 pick.
”I’ve seen every city, every rink and just for me it was a lot of experience this year Denzel Ward Browns Jersey , and guys helped me a lot,” said Hischier, who scored in Game 2 against Tampa Bay and played more than 17 minutes in the Devils’ Game 3 win. ”Just all around I think I grew as a person and as a hockey player.”
Patrick wasn’t putting up a lot of points in the first half of the season but still felt he was playing well. Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol felt good enough about Patrick’s game that he promoted him and has reaped the benefits for the past couple of months and in the first round against Pittsburgh.
”It’s nice for your confidence,” Patrick said. ”I think I kind of progressed through the year and kept getting better with every role they put me in.”
Big roles aren’t a problem for Matthews and Laine, who are key drivers of play for the Leafs and Jets. Toronto finally got going against the Bruins in large part because of Matthews, who said he felt an earthquake in his feet when he scored in Game 3 and let out a scream to match.
After Laine scored the tying goal in Game 1 against Minnesota in what became the Jets franchise’s first playoff victory, he motioned to fans for cheers before jumping into the glass. The Finnish winger is used to scoring goals – and a lot of them – but in the playoffs it’s even more special.
”It was maybe a little bit nicer,” Laine said. ”I was saving my goals and celebrations for the playoffs. Now I can celly (celebrate) a little bit harder.”
AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in St. Paul, Minnesota Falcons Authentic Jerseys , contributed.
A former Ohio State and Chicago Bears offensive lineman has been charged with felony assault of a police officer.
Charges against 33-year-old Kirk Barton were filed after his arrest outside the Bogey Bar & Grill in Dublin, Ohio.
Police say the 6-foot-6 Barton was at the bar Friday when management asked deputies to remove him because he was intoxicated and knocking people over.
The Delaware County Sheriff's office says Barton was escorted to a taxi van without incident but couldn't provide his address. Deputies and the taxi driver were trying to determine the address when Barton allegedly slammed the van's sliding door on a deputy's arm.
Barton's attorney, Sam Shamansky, said Tuesday he hadn't reviewed all the evidence and didn't know how the case will proceed. He also expressed concern for the injured deputy.
Rodney Hood’s most significant moment in these playoffs came while sitting on the bench.
Well Youth Baltimore Ravens Jerseys , he’s getting up and getting in the NBA Finals.
Looking for an offensive weapon to negate Golden State’s size and ability to switch assignments on defense, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said he’ll play Hood in Game 3 on Wednesday night in hopes of cutting into the Warriors‘ series lead.
Hood, who began this postseason in Cleveland’s starting lineup, has been mostly a non-factor during the Cavs‘ spring run which included him refusing to check into the final minutes of a blowout win over Toronto in the second round.
That’s not an option now.
”We’re going to give Rodney a chance,” Lue said following practice at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday. ”He’ll get a shot and see how he does. He’s been working, staying ready. So we’ll see.”
Lue did not specify if Hood will start, when he’ll come in, how much he’ll play or whose minutes will be affected.
Hood promised to be ready for anything.
”I don’t know when it’s going to come or what stage of the game,” Hood said. ”I’ve been preparing. I’ve been working hard, so if I get the opportunity, just go out there and play. Just have fun.”
Trailing 2-0 Dallas Goedert Jersey Eagles , the Cavs are searching for some kind of spark and could find it if the 6-foot-8 Hood can tap into some of the offensive skills that made him attractive to Cleveland at the trading deadline.
He was acquired on Feb. 8 from Utah, and there were more than a few basketball experts who viewed the lean lefty as the best new piece on a day when the Cavs also dealt for guards George Hill, Jordan Clarkson and big man Larry Nance Jr.
Lue didn’t get nearly enough in Games 1 and 2 in Oakland from J.R. Smith (5 of 19) or Kyle Korver (4 points). Korver has been completely neutralized by the Warriors, who are not giving him any room to shoot.
”It’s hard because they switch out on everything,” Lue said. ”So all the actions you run for Kyle, they just switch out to deny and take him away. When they are helping on LeBron’s penetration, the one guy they’re staying at home on is Kyle. They’re not leaving his body.”
Unlike the 37-year-old Korver, Hood is quick enough to beat the Warriors off the dribble, create open space to shoot and maybe get to the rim. Defensively, he’s got length and mobility.
He’s shown flashes. The Cavs now need him to shine steadily.
”He’s very talented,” said forward Kevin Love. ”He’s a guy that can step in and fill up a scoreboard. Left-handed. A little bit unorthodox in the way that he plays. Just having that height on him and that wingspan Josh Rosen Cardinals Jersey , and the ability to not only make shots, but on the defensive end to switch out. Also play a guy like K.D. (Kevin Durant) at his size and just make it tough on both ends of the floor for their team. That gives all of us a lot of confidence that he can come in and make an impact.”
Hood’s short stay in Cleveland has been nondescript.
He averaged 16.8 points for the Jazz, but the 25-year-old never truly found his rhythm while coming off the bench for the Cavs over the regular season’s final 21 games. Still, he was in Lue’s starting lineup for the series opener against Indiana before Cleveland got beat soundly.
Hood saw spot duty the remainder of that series, and was essentially ineffective in three games against the Raptors before Lue tried to send him into the closing minutes of the clinching win on May 7 as the Cavs completed a sweep of the Eastern Conference’s top-seeded team.
When Hood declined, it upset a few teammates. Hood insisted he wasn’t protesting his reduced role and explained that there had been a mix-up. He apologized to the Cavs, many of whom laughed off the incident as minimal in a season overflowing with juicier drama.
While waiting for another chance, Hood has received positive support from Cleveland’s coaches and former teammates, including Joe Johnson who could relate to his plight after sitting in Houston.
Hood is confident he’s ready.
”Just going out there and try to help the team, on offense be aggressive and on defense just be physical,” he said.
Hood struggled during a playoff series with Utah against Golden State a year ago Marcus Davenport Youth Jersey , making just 1 of 15 3-pointers and shooting 12 of 38 overall.
Those stats don’t matter now.
The only number that counts is his and will soon be called.
The Atlanta Hawks are hiring a young coach in Lloyd Pierce to lead a rebuilding team that is about to add even more youth.
The Hawks announced Friday they are giving Pierce his first head coaching job in the NBA, choosing a man who has been an assistant with Philadelphia and Memphis to rebuild the franchise.
”It was critically important to find a dynamic teacher who could connect with and develop our young core while instilling the culture and high standards we feel are necessary in a successful program,” Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said in a statement. ”Lloyd Pierce checks every box, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him leading the Atlanta Hawks into the future.”
The Hawks have scheduled a Monday news conference to introduce Pierce.
Pierce, 42, spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach in Philadelphia where the 76ers just reached the Eastern Conference semifinals after finishing third in the conference with a 52-30 record. Pierce also spent two years as assistant coach with Memphis Grizzlies, including 2013 when they reached the 2013 Western Conference finals.
”This is a day I’ve been working toward for a long time and it’s an honor to be the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks,” Pierce said. ”I have great respect for Travis and strong belief in his plan to bring a championship to the city of Atlanta. After spending time with ownership, it’s clear they have a deep investment in and commitment to making this a model organization. This opportunity is a perfect fit for me, and I’m eager to get started.”
More youth is coming in the June 21 NBA draft. The Hawks have three first-round picks, so the rebuilding effort will gain momentum.
Pierce also has been an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors in 2010-11 Cheap Nick Chubb Jersey , and he was assistant coach for player development with Cleveland between 2007-10, which included three playoff berths and a spot in the 2009 Eastern finals. Pierce started as an assistant coach at his alma mater at Santa Clara between 2002 and 2007. He played four seasons with two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash a teammate.
Once the decision was made to part ways with former coach Mike Budenholzer, who was interviewing for other jobs, Schlenk emphasized he would seek a replacement to work with such young players as center John Collins and forward Taurean Prince.
Pierce replaces Budenholzer who left last month after five seasons with Atlanta . The Hawks went 24-58 this season, which was worst in the Eastern Conference and tied with Dallas for the NBA’s third-worst record. But they were rarely blown out, losing 21 games by fewer than 10 points with only seven losses by 20 or more points.
The last-place conference finish followed 10 straight playoff appearances. The Hawks hit bottom after the team that won 60 games only three years ago gradually lost such starters as Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague.
When outlining his plan last month to search for Budenholzer’s replacement, Schlenk emphasized he wanted to hire a coach best-suited to work with young players.
”Obviously one of the things that’s most important is having a coach who’s going to connect with our young players, continue to develop our young players,” he said. ”That’s going to be a big part of it.”
Teddy Bridgewater refused to think about the possibility of never playing football again.
Not when he was clutching his mangled left leg and screaming in pain. Not during the nearly two years of intense rehabilitation that followed.
Bridgewater made it back from a gruesome knee injury in August 2016 to throw two passes in a game late last season for the Minnesota Vikings. Still on the comeback trail Bo Scarbrough Jersey Elite , the 25-year-old quarterback is now with the New York Jets and eager for his next opportunity.
”I’m not going to give a percentage or anything,” Bridgewater said of his health during a conference call Wednesday, ”but I do believe that I’ll be able to perform at a high level.”
Speaking to reporters for the first time since signing a one-year deal with the Jets, he declined to give details about the status of his knee while simply saying, ”I’m feeling good.” Bridgewater also said he’s ”not comfortable” discussing whether he thought he’d be a full participant during organized team activities and minicamp this spring. Those conversations, he said, have to be done first with the Jets’ coaches and trainers.
”I’m very confident,” he said of regaining his form. ”I’m confident in myself, confident in the athletic training staff and the coaching staff here, that they can eventually get me back to the player that I once was. At the same time, we’re only in March and the only way to get better is to put the work in now. I’m excited about this opportunity that I have to not only be a Jet, but to work with the group of guys on this team, with the staff that’s here.
”I just can’t wait. I’m excited.”
Bridgewater was a first-round draft pick out of Louisville in 2014 and was selected to the Pro Bowl after his second season with the Vikings. But during a practice the following summer, he suffered a non-contact injury in which he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and dislocated the knee joint. It sidelined Bridgewater for essentially two full seasons, other than those two passes – one was intercepted – he threw for the Vikings late in a 34-7 win over Cincinnati on Dec. 17.
”There was never any doubt in my mind that I would get to that point again,” Bridgewater said. ”When I first stepped on that field for the first time last year, it was a great feeling to just know that everything Braden Smith Colts Jersey , all the hard work that I put in, all the time and dedication that everyone who was involved in me overcoming what I overcame, it was just a great feeling.
”It was very rewarding to not only myself, but everyone who was involved in everything that I went through.”
Minnesota moved on from Bridgewater this offseason, allowing him to become a free agent while signing Kirk Cousins to a massive deal to be the Vikings’ new starting quarterback. It was a quiet ending to what Bridgewater hopes is just the first chapter of his NFL career.
”Right now, I have to continue to just focus on the present,” Bridgewater said. ”I can’t look back. I enjoyed my time there, the fans are awesome and everyone there was top of the line, but I have to focus on the now and prepare myself for this upcoming season.”
Bridgewater joined the Jets because he said he liked the direction they are heading. His deal is worth $6 million, with a maximum value of $15 million with incentives, but includes just $500,000 in guaranteed money. In essence, Bridgewater is gambling on himself to show New York – and other NFL teams – that he can be at least close to the quarterback he was before the injury.
”It isn’t about proving to the people who counted you out or doubted you,” Bridgewater said. ”It’s about proving to the people who believed in you and showing them that, hey, your prayers, your belief Redskins Game Jerseys , it all paid off.”
Where Bridgewater will ultimately fit in the Jets’ plans is uncertain. They re-signed Josh McCown, the starter last season, to a one-year deal and he’s expected to enter the offseason program at No. 1 on the team’s depth chart. But while Bridgewater was on the call with reporters, Jets team brass was attending USC quarterback Sam Darnold’s pro day in Los Angeles.
New York traded up from No. 6 in this year’s draft to acquire Indianapolis’ pick at third overall. That means the Jets are likely focused on selecting one of the top quarterbacks available. They are attending the pro day for Wyoming’s Josh Allen later this week and have a workout scheduled with Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield on Saturday.
”Being a quarterback or just being an athlete, the ultimate competitor, as a player, I love competition,” Bridgewater said, ”because it not only makes you better but it makes the team better.”
No team in the NFL this season allowed fewer points or yards than the Minnesota Vikings, putting them in better position than any of their competitors to prove that old ”defense wins championships” adage to be true.
For the first time since the famed Purple People Eaters defensive line played in, and lost, four Super Bowls throughout the 1970s, the Vikings have a legitimate title contender with a dominant defense as the backbone.
”These last few weeks we’ve played really, really well. Defensively, we have a lot of good players. They understand this system and what their responsibility is, and they play very, very hard Tremaine Edmunds Bills Jersey ,” coach Mike Zimmer said. ”They’ve got this little edge on them right now that they don’t want to give an inch.”
Zimmer’s assessment came after the 23-10 victory over Chicago in the final regular-season game, in which the only Bears touchdown came on a trick punt return. Chicago ran 11 plays from the 10-yard line or closer in the fourth quarter and failed to cross the goal line.
The week before that, the Vikings defeated injury-depleted Green Bay 16-0 for their first shutout of the Packers in 46 years. In the game prior to that, they beat Cincinnati 34-7 with the only touchdown by the Bengals coming midway through the fourth quarter against Vikings backups on a 23-yard drive set up by an interception.
Tally that all up, and Minnesota’s starting defense has essentially surrendered a total of three points over the last three games. Even against three non-playoff teams, the average of 200 yards per contest yielded and the cumulative 6-for-40 third-down conversion allowance was quite a stamp to put on the 2017 performance.
”The thing about our defense is we’re very unselfish. At the end of the day, we understand that if we do what we need to do, do our jobs, do what the defense is called, nobody can stop us,” defensive end Brian Robison said. ”We just have to keep that mentality going forward.”
Robison is the longest-tenured player on the team, the only one remaining from 2009 when Brett Favre’s age-40 renaissance carried the Vikings to the NFC championship game. The defense was stout in that game at New Orleans, an overtime loss to the Saints, but that was Favre’s team. The 1998 and 2000 teams that also reached the NFC title game were about Randy Moss and Cris Carter and those record-setting passing attacks. Even the upstart 1987 squad that survived the strike and sneaked into the playoffs scored 80 points over the first two postseason games to reach the NFC championship.
The Vikings would not have finished 13-3 and earned a first-round bye without a productive offense. Case Keenum came out of backup-quarterback obscurity to finish seventh in the NFL with a 98.3 passer rating. Adam Thielen was named a second team All-Pro wide receiver. The Vikings finished seventh in the league in rushing. The identity and strength of this team, though, is unmistakably on the other side of the ball.
The Vikings were second in the league in both rushing and passing yards allowed, so there’s not one way to attack them that’s better than another. Defensive end Everson Griffen Authentic Patrick Omameh Jersey , linebacker Anthony Barr and cornerback Xavier Rhodes were all Pro Bowl picks. Safety Harrison Smith was widely considered one of the biggest snubs, having been given the highest performance grade for any player at any position in the NFL this season by the analytics website Pro Football Focus.
”I just think it’s the lack of egos. Everybody wants everybody else to succeed. Nobody cares to be the man,” Barr said. ”We all play together.”
Zimmer’s scheme is built up front around gap control to stop the run and a synchronized pass rush to pressure the quarterback, rather than giving Griffen or defensive end Danielle Hunter a free-range assignment to chase sacks. Barr and linebacker Eric Kendricks have the side-to-side quickness to be able to limit passing yardage to the running backs from and sprint through the ”A” gaps on either side of the center on a blitz. Rhodes and cornerback Trae Waynes are sound tacklers, usually effective in physical press coverage. Rhodes spent so much time locking up opposing star receivers that he didn’t see many passes come his way. Then there’s Smith, who can roam in zone coverage for an interception or a big hit, line up in the slot against a tight end or execute a blitz off the edge.
Disguise is a big part of the success, too, with Zimmer’s ability to call a game that keeps the other team uncomfortable about where the rush will come from or how the coverage will be mixed up.
”They’re fun to watch,” said Thielen, who has a field-level view when he’s on the sideline. ”The way they fly around. The way that they get to the ball when it seems the team has an easy first down and, boom, they’re right there closing the gap and stopping them short.”
>The Latest on the NFL conference championships. (all times local):9:40 p.m.Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles will be underdogs one last time.Foles threw for three touchdowns and the Eagles made big play after big play Buccaneers Elite Jerseys , winning the NFC title in a stunning 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings.Next up: the Eagles’ first Super Bowl appearance since 2005, against the team that beat them then, AFC champion New England. The Patriots are already being favored by 5 to 6 points by odds makers.Foles was on fire, throwing for 352 yards in a performance that might make the Philadelphia faithful miss injured Carson Wentz a whole lot less.Patrick Robinson ‘s spectacular 50-yard interception return got Philadelphia (15-3) started. Then Foles and his offense tore up the league’s stingiest scoring defense, with long TD throws to Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.LeGarrette Blount had an 11-yard scoring run when things were decided in the first half, and the Eagles were headed to an NFL title game the Vikings (14-4) hoped to be in at their own stadium.鈥?Barry Wilner reporting from Philadelphia.9:15 p.m.Bradley Cooper found plenty of silver linings in the Eagles’ playbook.Cooper, a real-life Eagles fan who also played one in the hit film “Silver Linings Playbook,” was dressed in Eagles green and sat among the scores of famous fans who went wild when Nick Foles threw his third touchdown pass of the game, a 5-yard score to Alshon Jeffrey that made it 38-7 over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game.Cooper and former Philadelphia 76ers great Charles Barkley were spotted cheering for the Eagles as the game turned into a rout.鈥?Dan Gelston reporting from Philadelphia._8:45 p.m.Billboards went up around Philly for the holidays that read, “Philly believes in you, St. Nick .”Who doesn’t trust in Nick Foles now?Foles and the Eagles stayed aggressive to open the third quarter and take a 31-7 lead against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game.Foles threw a 41-yard TD pass to Torrey Smith off a flea-flicker , his second 40-plus touchdown of the game. Foles was knocked for not being nearly as creative or elusive as Carson Wentz was in running an offense. But Foles has dominated the NFL’s top-ranked defense overall and has the Eagles thinking of playing in their first Super Bowl since they lost to Cheap Kerryon Johnson Jersey , yup, this year’s AFC champions the New England Patriots in 2005.鈥?Dan Gelston reporting from Philadelphia.8:15 p.m.The Philadelphia Eagles are halfway to the Super Bowl.Nick Foles stood in the pocket, had plenty of time to look for a receiver because of great protection and unloaded a 53-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery and Jake Elliott kicked a 38-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 24-7 lead over the Minnesota Vikings at halftime of the NFC championship game.The Eagles had rushing, receiving and a defensive touchdown that sent Eagles fans into a frenzy.Former Flyers great Eric Lindros , ex-Phillies slugger and World Series champion Ryan Howard , and diehard Eagles fan and Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout were among the star athletes at the game rooting on the Eagles.Disgraced comedian and Philadelphia native Bill Cosby even returned home to cheer for the Eagles.鈥?Dan Gelston reporting from Philadelphia.7:30 p.m.LeGarrette Blount powered his way up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown run to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead over the Minnesota Vikings in the second quarter of the NFC championship game.Blount could face a familiar team should he lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl. He won a Super Bowl last season with New England and led the Patriots with 18 rushing touchdowns. The Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday to win the AFC titleBlount knocked over safety Andrew Sendejo for his 10th career postseason TD. His 10 postseason touchdowns are the most for any player since 2013 and four more than any other player.鈥?Dan Gelston reporting from Philadelphia.__7:10 p.m.Eagles cornerback Patrick Robinson electrified the home crowd and tied the NFC championship game with a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown.Case Kennum was pressured by Chris Long and appeared to get his hand smacked on the throw. Robinson crisscrossed the field and directed traffic, pointing toward his blockers to guide him all the way to the end zone to tie the game at 7-7.Long and Robinson signed low-money free-agent deals in the offseason and paid big dividends in the title game. Long shared a pregame embrace with his father, Hall-of-Famer Howie Long .鈥?Dan Gelston reporting from Philadelphia.__6:54 p.mThe Minnesota Vikings made it look easy on the opening drive of the NFC championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles.Case Keenum threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Kyle Rudolph for the 7-0 lead . Eagles linebacker Naje Goode was late to react and left Rudolph all alone in the end zone.The Vikings moved 75 yards on nine plays and silenced what had been a crazed Eagles crowd. The Vikings may have more than the Super Bowl on their minds. Rudolph and two of his teammates mimicked the act of the Olympic sport of curling for their TD celebration.鈥?Dan Gelston reporting from Philadelphia.6:47 p.m.Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl.Brady shook off a hand injury and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 remaining , rallying the Patriots to a 24-20 comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship.The Patriots will play the winner of the NFC championship between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis in two weeks.Brady rallied the Patriots from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to secure an eighth Super Bowl appearance for he and coach Bill Belichick.Brady has won five Super Bowls, including last year’s 34-28 overtime rally against the Atlanta Falcons.6:10 p.m.A fight broke out in a parking lot near the Philadelphia Eagles’ home Here were the two primary goals for the Miami Heat on the final night of the regular season: Beat the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and get Wayne Ellington into the team record book.
Done, and done.
Ellington scored a career-high 32 points while setting Miami’s single-season record for 3-pointers Authentic Andrew Cogliano Jersey , and the Heat wrapped up the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs by beating the Toronto Raptors 116-109 in overtime Wednesday night.
”It’s just absolutely fitting that it would come down to an overtime game with this group,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ”It was a heck of a regular season. Now we’re on to the second act.”
That starts this weekend, when the Heat go to Philadelphia and take on the third-seeded 76ers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Kelly Olynyk, Dwyane Wade, Justise Winslow, James Johnson and Tyler Johnson each scored 11 points for the Heat, who got 10 each from Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo.
Ellington needed six 3s to beat the record of 225 that Damon Jones set in the 2004-05 season. He finished the season with 227, and now gets to go to his hometown to start the postseason.
”A big-time overtime win,” Ellington said. ”We feel like if you put us up against anybody in seven games, we can beat them. That’s the kind of team we feel like we are. It’s going to be a dogfight no matter what.”
Kyle Lowry scored 28 points for Toronto, which already had the top seed in the East wrapped up – but played its regulars in this one anyway. The Raptors will meet No. 8 Washington in the first round.
DeMar DeRozan had 19 points, Jakob Poeltl had 16 and Jonas Valanciunas scored 12 for the Raptors Youth Joseph Noteboom Jersey , who were outscored 11-4 in overtime.
”We had a goal set out that we would win 60 games before these 82 were up,” DeRozan said. ”That didn’t happen. Time to clear that. None of that matters now. Get ready for this weekend.”
Even with nothing standings-wise to play for, the Raptors had no qualms about using their starters. Lowry, DeRozan, Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka combined to play more than 120 minutes.
The Raptors were 22-60 in 2010-11, the season before coach Dwane Casey came to Toronto. They ended this season 59-23.
”It’s taken us a while to build our program, to get it where it is,” said Casey, a coach of the year candidate this season. ”This (Heat) program has multiple championships and we’re trying to get to that level organically. And it takes time. You’re just not going to wave a magic wand and turn a player into Magic Johnson or Larry Bird or anybody like that. It’s part of the process, and that’s something I know our organization is proud of.”
Ellington’s 3-pointer with 18.8 seconds left in regulation put Miami up two, and Poeltl tied it with a tip-in. But Miami scored the first five points of the extra session and didn’t look back.
A year ago on the last night of the season, the Heat were left teary-eyed and with a sour taste in their mouths after missing the playoffs.
This time Nick Chubb Jersey , Wade and Udonis Haslem toasted each other with flutes of fancy champagne to celebrate their 15th NBA season.
”It really means something, every time you complete a season especially as you get up there,” Wade said. ”So both of us are a little tipsy.”
Raptors: Key reserve Fred VanVleet left with 1:32 remaining in regulation after apparently getting hurt while trying to fight through a screen. He stayed down for several seconds near the Toronto bench before getting helped off the floor. … Toronto went 25-16 on the road, and 40-12 against East opponents.
Heat: All-Star point guard Goran Dragic missed the game with soreness in his right knee. The Heat are not concerned about his availability for Game 1 of the playoffs. … Miami finished 26-15 at home.
Tony Fiorentino, one of the Heat original employees who started as an assistant coach in the team’s inaugural season 30 years ago before transitioning to broadcasting, was honored in a halftime ceremony. Fiorentino has spent the last 15 season as the Heat television analyst, and will assume a team-ambassador position when Miami’s playoff run ends.
To say Poeltl is going into the postseason on a hot streak is an understatement. Poeltl ended the regular season having made 34 of his last 39 shots in the final eight games. Poeltl is also the only Raptors player who appeared in all 82 regular-season contests.
Raptors: Face Washington in Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Heat: Face Philadelphia in Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-7)
OPEN CAMP: July 18 Cheap Leighton Vander Esch Jersey , Owings Mills, Maryland
LAST YEAR: Ravens missed playoffs for third straight season, falling to Cincinnati in finale when victory would have earned Baltimore playoff berth. Though Ravens posted winning record for first time since 2014, disappointing finish was takeaway from season in which quarterback Joe Flacco struggled and defense played well in spurts. Telling statistic from 2017: Flacco averaged 5.7 yards per attempt, more than half-yard less than his previous low for single season.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: QB Lamar Jackson, WR Michael Crabtree, WR Willie Snead, TE Hayden Hurst, QB Robert Griffin III Isaac Yiadom Jersey Elite , WR John Brown.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: WR Jeremy Maclin, WR Mike Wallace, RB Danny Woodhead, CB Lardarius Webb, WR Michael Campanaro, defensive coordinator Dean Pees.
CAMP NEEDS: Ravens need to solidify offensive line, because heavy-footed Flacco will need time in pocket to be effective. Team will determine its starting center in camp, and can only hope rookie tackle Orlando Brown can shore up right side of line. Best lineman on team, guard Marshal Yanda Adidas Mike Green Jersey , participated in only two games last year, so depth at that position is must.
EXPECTATIONS: Ravens hope busy offseason will help get them back into playoffs and make some noise in January. General manager Ozzie Newsome, who will step aside after season, worked hard to get Flacco variety of targets 鈥?most notably Crabtree and Snead. New defensive coordinator Don Martindale promises more aggressive scheme and return to day when Ravens' defense was nasty and effective. It's uncertain how nimble QB Jackson will blend into mix, but Ravens spent good deal of time at minicamp finding ways to get him on field.
>WASHINGTON 鈥?Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots fans along Connecticut Avenue in Northwest D.C. were hopeful about Sunday’s big game.At Cleveland Park Bar and Grill, Pats fans predicted a strong finish.鈥淎s has been true in previous years, I think they鈥檙e going to be a second-half team tonight,” said a fan who declined to give his name. “Go Pats!鈥漅elated StoriesThe Latest: Defense helps Eagles win 1,000-yard Super BowlNational NewsMaryland native Hollins took complex route to NFLNFL NewsSuper Bowl Sunday is ‘Christmas’ for Wingo’s in GeorgetownWashington Youth Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jersey , DC NewsAn Eagles fan sitting close by said even though she is somewhat skeptical, she is still a die-hard fan. 鈥淵ou know, we鈥檝e never won before. I think it鈥檚 our time. The Patriots — it鈥檚 about time for the Brady era to end.鈥滱 few doors down at Fat Pete鈥檚 Barbecue, the upstairs level was like a Patriots palace.鈥淲hen we win, it鈥檚 gonna be shots and beers and cheers,鈥?said Christian, who tells WTOP he has been a Patriots fan for most of his life.And back at Cleveland Park Bar and Grill, an Eagles fan named Chip said Sunday鈥檚 loyalty is temporary. He usually cheers for the Washington Redskins, with the Seattle Seahawks as a backup.He thinks it鈥檒l be 鈥渁 close game Adidas Duncan Keith Jersey ,” and believes the Patriots might take the win home.Working, but kinda feels like hanging out, at Cleveland Park Bar and Grill for #SuperBowl. Fans of both Bowl teams here... and others鈥攁 nice mix. Pats fans, Eagles fans, Skins Fans, Giants fans. 馃榾 WTOP pic./MVjeQKiNGl— Liz Anderson (PlanetNoun) February 5, 2018 Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on to engage in conversation about this article and others.漏 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area..
As revenue goes it barely registers on the books. The NBA probably gets more from the contract with its frozen daiquiri vendor than it does the new deal it inked with casino giant MGM Resorts International.
With good reason. The deal announced with such fanfare Tuesday is arguably little more than a branding exercise – at least for now – and a chance to take baby steps into a sports betting partnership that would have been almost scandalous only a few years ago.
Still Authentic Marshall Newhouse Jersey , the NBA is now officially all in on sports betting. Other leagues will soon, undoubtedly, follow.
And sports may never be the same again.
Forget the image of a shadowy figure in a back room somewhere taking bets over the phone. Indeed, if the bookie you’ve used to make illegal bets over the years hasn’t made plans yet to get into another profession, you might suggest that it’s time.
Things figure to change in Las Vegas, too, if not all that much. Books in this gambling city have already expanded their offerings in recent years to include the in-game betting that the NBA believes will prove the need for its official data.
But the official seal of approval apparently means something, at least to MGM. So, too, might the official data the league provides at some point in the future.
And now that MGM has a deal with the NBA Landon Collins Giants Jersey , surely the NFL and Major League Baseball are going to want in on the action.
Credit NBA commissioner Adam Silver for inking a deal he called ”a leap of faith on both sides.” Silver realized early on that legalized sports betting was an opportunity for the league, not something to fear.
And when his idea of an ”integrity fee” paid to the leagues out of sports betting revenue failed to gain traction in the early adopting states, Silver pivoted to find another way to get a piece of what figures to be a huge revenue stream.
He quickly found the perfect partner in MGM, which might have some ulterior motives of its own. The company wants an NBA team for its new arena on the Las Vegas Strip, and there’s no better way to curry favor with the NBA than ink a deal with the league.
According to Silver and MGM officials, the casino company is buying data. And the party line is that it’s important, despite the fact Vegas bookies have prospered for decades without any need for official league statistics.
”I know the value of data,” MGM chairman and CEO James Murren said at a New York press conference with Silver. ”To be able to have the official NBA data for sports bettors around the world is very valuable. I was willing to, and I’ve paid for that.”
The money MGM paid isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, a few million a year over three years Cody Latimer Jersey Elite , according to reports. But if the NBA can convince other sports betting operations to sign up it could turn into a steady chunk of extra income for the league.
Not exactly the 1 percent of gross income the NBA was seeking from states considering legalizing sports betting, but that effort was going nowhere. In signing a deal to provide unspecified data to casinos, the league gets to profit from betting without getting hands terribly soiled with the actual messiness of it.
And new money is new money.
”This is a whole new world for us,” Silver said.
It’s hard to imagine that it was just a dozen or so years ago when the NFL refused to run an ad promoting Las Vegas on the Super Bowl, using the farcical argument that any association with gambling could ruin the league.
With the Supreme Court decision in May opening the door for legalized sports betting across the country, though, all bets are off. Instead of treating sports books like threats, the leagues are looking at them to boost profits.
What they see should have been apparent years ago: Americans want to be able to place a wager or two on their favorite teams, and they don’t feel there’s anything immoral about it.
In a perfect world, the bookies would go at it alone. They wouldn’t partner with the leagues that spent years trying to destroy them.
But for MGM Authentic Donte Jackson Jersey , at least, it’s a marriage of convenience. The casino giant is betting the NBA will help spread its brand, and maybe even pave the way for an NBA team in Las Vegas in the near future.
And that’s a bet that just might pay off.
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or Seattle fans don't need to worry about Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks quarterback didn't neglect his football duties during his week at spring training with the New York Yankees.
Wilson did his offseason gridiron drills each morning with his trainer before taking the baseball field.
"I'm definitely not sitting on the couch," Wilson said.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are heavy days for Wilson, with Wednesday and Saturday light days and Sunday typically off.
Wilson, who took batting practice with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge during his final Yankees' workout Saturday, gave an autographed football to all of his teammates.
A former minor league infielder, the Yankees acquired him from Texas last month and wanted to observe his leadership skills. He wanted to soak up the attitude of a franchise with 27 World Series titles.
Wilson did get an unexpected at-bat in Friday's game against Atlanta Authentic Mason Rudolph Jersey , striking out on a 2-2 pitch from left-hander Max Fried.
The 29-year-old Wilson led the Seahawks to the Super Bowl title after the 2013 season.
NOTES: Luis Severino had a strong three-inning simulated game, striking out seven and allowing two hits. Third in last season's AL Cy Young Award voting, the right-hander threw 37 of 47 pitches for strikes.
Severino said an opening day start would mean a lot.
"For now, I'm not thinking about that," Severino said. "Working on my pitches."
Severino could make his first spring training start Thursday against Philadelphia.
Spain has made a coaching change just two days before the start of the World Cup in a move that will be heavily scrutinized over the coming weeks.
Was it a surprise move? Absolutely.
But the history of coaching dismissals in soccer and every other sport is littered with strange timing Cheap Vita Vea Jersey , strange decisions and strange circumstances. Now Julen Lopetegui’s case joins them.
Lopetegui was fired as Spain’s national team coach on Wednesday after accepting a job to lead Real Madrid next season . He will be replaced by Fernando Hierro for the country’s match against Portugal on Friday.
Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales said firing Lopetegui wasn’t ideal, but had to happen after Madrid’s announcement.
”It’s a difficult situation, but we are not the ones who determined the action that had to be taken. The federation has its values and it has to maintain them,” Rubiales said. ”It may look like a weakness now, but with time this will make us stronger.”
Here’s a look at some other high-profile coaches in the United States who have had strange circumstances surround their dismissals:
LANE KIFFIN, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Kiffin’s self-described dream job ended with a spectacular thud in 2013 after he was fired during a 3 a.m. meeting at the Trojans’ private airport terminal. His dismissal came just hours after the team lost 62-41 to Arizona State. At the time, USC athletic director Pat Haden said ”It’s never the perfect time to do these things, but I thought it was the right time.”
WILLIE RANDOLPH Reuben Foster Jersey Youth , NEW YORK METS: Randolph’s firing in 2008 wasn’t necessarily a huge surprise because his job security had been a constant topic, but the timing was definitely strange. General manager Omar Minaya flew to the West Coast when the Mets were on the road and fired Randolph in the middle of the night, a few hours after the team had earned its third win in four games.
DAVID BLATT, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: Blatt led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2015 and had the team sitting at the top of the Eastern Conference standings in 2016 with a 30-11 record when he fired. Wins alone didn’t tell the whole story – Blatt and star LeBron James had an uneven relationship. Cleveland elevated Tyronn Lue to head coach and the Cavaliers won the championship later that year.
HUGH FREEZE, MISSISSIPPI REBELS: Freeze led Mississippi to a 39-25 record and a Sugar Bowl victory over five seasons. He looked like he was going to survive a lengthy NCAA investigation into the program, but was fired just before preseason practice in 2017 when school officials found a ”pattern of personal misconduct” that started with an investigation into a one-minute call to an escort service.
JOE GIRARDI, FLORIDA MARLINS: Girardi led the Marlins to a 78-84 record during the 2006 season which was quite an accomplishment considering the franchise had a $15 million payroll which was the lowest in baseball that season. His firing wasn’t necessarily about things that happened on the field: Girardi and team owner Jeffrey Loria clashed after Girardi asked Loria to stop yelling at umpires from his seat behind home plate. Girardi would eventually be hired by the Yankees and lead them to a World Series title in 2009.
Steve Sarkisian will return as the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator despite a decline in production in his debut 2017 season.
Sarkisian has been the target of criticism as the Falcons, who lost at Philadelphia in the divisional round of the playoffs last week Mike Hughes Jersey Elite , fell short of a return trip to the Super Bowl.
Coach Dan Quinn announced Thursday that Sarkisian will return in 2018.
After leading the league in scoring in 2016, the Falcons fell to 15th this season . Quinn said Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the full blame for the offense’s struggles.
”To be clear with you, if this was about one person, that decision already would have been made,” Quinn said, adding he has ”no issue with making changes, no problem with that but I have no interest in making change just for the sake of change.”
The Falcons finished 10-6 in the regular season and won a wild card game at the Los Angeles Rams before the 15-10 loss to the Eagles . The Falcons were scoreless in the second half. Sarkisian’s play-calling was second-guessed when Atlanta couldn’t score after having a first down at the Eagles 9. A fourth-and-2 pass from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones was incomplete.
Sarkisian was hired from Alabama after Kyle Shanahan was hired as San Francisco’s coach. Quinn offered the reminder that Shanahan also faced harsh criticism following is first season leading the offense in 2015. Atlanta led the league with 33.8 points per game in 2016.
”A number of people wanted his head” after the 2015 season, Quinn said. ”What has stayed the same and what I learned during that process is what you’re doing in order to build consistency Jaire Alexander Color Rush Jersey , you better be consistent.”
Quinn said the struggles on offense were ”not an indication of one play-caller or one player. It’s on all of us.”
Meanwhile, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said reaching an agreement on a contract extension with Ryan will be ”the number one focus” of the offseason.
Ryan is entering the final year of his six-year, $103.75 million contract. He will be 33 next season but is still seen as the team’s long-term starter who, like New England’s Tom Brady, can play to or beyond the age of 40.
”Personally that is my feeling,” Dimitroff said. ”He’s a guy who takes care of his body both on and off the field properly. … And of course we’re fortunate with the way the rules are set up in the league, they’re going to preserve our quarterback, hopefully. Again Youth Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys , we want him to be part of this organization for a long time coming.”
Dimitroff expressed optimism an agreement on Ryan’s contract extension could come quickly.
”I think it’s not going to be that difficult of a negotiation, quite honestly,” he said. ”I think we’re going to be in a good spot with it.”
NOTES: Quinn confirmed special teams coach Keith Armstrong will have a second interview in Arizona’s search for a coach . Quinn said Armstrong ”is terrifically qualified to lead a team.” … Quinn said he is ”in the middle” of his search to replace quarterbacks coach Bush Hamdan, who left to become the offensive coordinator at University of Washington. Among the candidates are longtime NFL assistant coach Greg Knapp, the Falcons’ former offensive coordinator under Jim Mora, and Jedd Fisch, who was UCLA’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach last season.
The Carolina Panthers are off the market.
The Panthers announced Wednesday they have signed a ”definitive agreement” to sell the team to David Tepper Trent Murphy Jersey Bills , the founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management.
The deal is subject to NFL approval.
League owners will meet next week in Atlanta, where they are expected to vote on the purchase. Since Tepper already has been vetted by the league as a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the approval process is not expected to run into any snags.
The transaction is expected to close in July, the team announced.
Tepper, who has been a minority owner of the Steelers since 2009, said Wednesday in a release that he’s thrilled to become the next owner of the Panthers.
”I have learned a great deal about the community and the team over the past several months and look forward to becoming part of the Carolinas,” said Tepper, who was born and raised in Pittsburgh. ”I want to thank Jerry Richardson and the other Panthers partners for all they have done to establish and develop the NFL in the Carolinas. It has been a remarkable 25-year journey and I promise to build upon the Panthers’ success on the field and in the community.”
Tepper has a net worth of more than $11 billion, according to Forbes.
He is paying an NFL-record $2.2 billion to purchase the team, according to two people familiar with the situation. The people spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t release the selling price of the franchise.
The release didn’t mention if Tepper plans to move the team or keep it in Charlotte.
Jerry Richardson, the team’s founder and only owner, abruptly announced he was selling the team last December after coming under investigation from the league for sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace.
That investigation is ongoing.
Richardson http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-alex-mcgough-jersey , who rarely comments to the media, said in the release that bringing the expansion Panthers and the NFL to the Carolinas in 1993 was enormously fulfilling for him, his wife, Rosalind, and all of the team’s partners.
”We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support over the last 25 years,” Richardson said. ”You have taken the Panthers into your hearts and made them part of this warm and supportive community.”
Richardson has had a strong relationship with the Rooney family in Pittsburgh through the years and is familiar with Tepper.
”I look forward to turning the stewardship of the Panthers over to David Tepper,” Richardson said. ”I have enjoyed getting to know him in this process and am confident that he will provide the organization with great leadership in both its football and community initiatives. I wish David and his family the very best as they enter this exciting new phase of their lives.”
Tepper will have full ownership of the team. He’ll need to sell his ownership stake in the Steelers once he becomes the Panthers owner.
Richardson had owned 48 percent of the franchise and the Panthers had several minority owners under the previous regime.
Tepper is expected to be more outspoken that the relatively recluse Richardson, who hasn’t granted an interview with the media in more than a decade.
Tepper once criticized President Donald Trump before the election, calling him ”demented, narcissistic and a scumbag.”
A noted philanthropist, Tepper told CNBC’s Squawk Box the day before the presidential election that Trump ”masquerades as an angel of light, but he is the father of lies.”
Tepper disputed Melania Trump’s claim that her husband was a generous Cheap Orlando Brown Jr. Jersey , giving person in a campaign appearance. He contended Trump did not give money in the wake of some New York-area disasters.
”During Sandy, the big Sandy benefit, the big 9/11 benefit, not one dime. Not one dime! You can’t tell me this is a charitable, generous person,” Tepper said on Squawk Box in November 2016.
Tepper went on to say, ”One thing I do with my wife, this is a thing called the Golden Rule. It has nothing to do with investments-nothing to do with investments. It says do unto others as you would have others do unto you. And that’s not being done with Trump – not at least on the good side. It just was a turning point. That’s my upbringing. I can’t help it. I can’t take it anymore. And when you lie about that stuff and you lie about fundamental beliefs.”
Mike Vrabel played 14 years in the NFL and the first-year Tennessee Titans coach is more than willing to pick up a pad for drills to get his point across.
And if someone knocks off his sunglasses during the process, not a problem.
”Yes, that’s fun,” Vrabel said Thursday after the Titans’ first day of training camp. ”That’s when you know it was a good punch. I use that as a barometer when the sunglasses go flying off. But, they’re doing it the right way. They’re delivering a blow and trying to transfer power to stop a guy’s charge Raiders Nick Nelson Jersey , in that case, the punt team and get out and cover.”
The Titans’ season opener and Vrabel’s debut as a head coach in a regular-season game is just 45 days away on Sept. 9 in Miami. His preseason debut comes Aug. 9 in Green Bay, and Vrabel was starting to drive his wife and son crazy being at home waiting for the start of training camp.
”You wake up in the middle of the night thinking about should I call a time-out in this situation? Then I’m like, I’m really losing my mind. It’s just good to have the players back,” Vrabel said.
Not only did Vrabel play in the NFL and win three Super Bowl rings, he’s been an assistant at Ohio State and with the Houston Texans. That means he got to watch some of football’s best make crucial decisions during games, including Bill Belichick, Urban Meyer and Bill O’Brien.
Now it’ll be Vrabel’s turn to decide, and he’s been doing his best to prepare for kickoff by doing what he did so much of as a player: watch tape to help figure out what he can and can’t challenge, figuring out how to use his timeouts, defending an opponent trying to run clock at the end of a game.
”We’ve got a library of 10 years,” Vrabel said. ”You can go back and pretty much get whatever game we want and pull up a scenario and play it out.”
For now Da'Ron Payne Color Rush Jersey , Vrabel is trying to improve a Titans team that is coming off consecutive 9-7 seasons and the franchise’s first playoff victory since January 2004 – all of which wasn’t good enough to keep Mike Mularkey on the job . Music plays throughout practice to help simulate game-day noise, and his assistants spent parts of Thursday’s session working on fundamentals like tip drills.
The Titans saw their coach throw himself into camp with the same participation and intensity he displayed during offseason organized team activities.
”Oh man, that feels good all the time when you get to hit the coach a little bit,” three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said. ”It just shows you know the stuff that he was doing OTAs wasn’t a fluke. He’s continued to do it.”
Rookie linebacker Rashaan Evans joked that going up against a coach could be a way to work out some frustration. He said it was impressive to see Vrabel working in the trenches, and his new head coach already has given him a tip on how to play better.
”He’s always told me not to think so much but just to play ball,” Evans said. ”He says you’re going to make mistakes. But you play fast and aggressive, everything else goes that’ll get corrected.”
NOTES: Two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan reported for training camp Wednesday with his agents talking with the Titans about a contract extension past this season . Lewan did not take part in team drills, and he said that might be the Titans waiting until the new deal is done. Vrabel disagreed, noting Lewan already is under contract but missed the team’s mandatory minicamp in June . The coach said the left tackle will rejoin team drills when the Titans feel he’s ready.
鈥?Todd Haley’s contract as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers is up.And coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t sound as if he’s in a rush to decide whether Haley will be back next season.Tomlin sidestepped several attempts to endorse Haley’s return on Tuesday as the AFC North champions continued to dissect what went wrong in an upset home playoff loss to Jacksonville . Asked if he anticipated any changes to his staff Tremaine Youth Edmunds Youth Jersey , Tomlin demurred.“I don’t know where these roads are going to lead,” Tomlin said. “Some contracts are up. Some aren’t. I’m not ready to discuss that.”Haley just finished his sixth season with the Steelers and has helped design one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses.Led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell and All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (13-3) has finished in the top three in total yards in three of the past four years.Though Haley and Roethlisberger have found a level of detente following a somewhat bumpy start to their relationship, Haley’s occasionally fiery approach has made him a touchstone when things don’t go well.While the Steelers piled up more than 500 yards against the NFL’s top-ranked defense on Sunday, they also made a couple of curious play calls on fourth down that halted their momentum.Bell was stuffed for a loss on a toss play when Pittsburgh needed just 1 yard in the first quarter and Roethlisberger threw incomplete to rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster on fourth down in the fourth quarter when advancing the ball a matter of inches would have extended the drive.The Steelers, however, have gone away from using the quarterback sneak in recent years to help Roethlisberger avoid the contact.Tomlin brushed off the notion that the sneak is no longer a part of the playbook Jordan Whitehead Jersey Buccaneers , saying “to suggest there’s a resistance to it in concept, I’m not ready to say that.”Tomlin also isn’t ready to say much about his staff.Offensive line coach Mike Munchak has interviewed for the open head coaching job in Arizona and wide receivers coach Richard Mann is retiring.Hines Ward, a two-time Super Bowl winner who is also the leading receiver in franchise history, spent time with the team during the season as a volunteer assistant, though Tomlin declined to get into any specifics about any sort of future role for Ward or anybody else for that matter.“I’m not going to have a lot of definitive answers (right now),” Tomlin said. “I don’t want to provide you misinformation.”Tomlin called his 11th season a “wild and challenging and fun ride.”One with more than its fair share of bumps created from within.From the “botched” decision to stay out of sight during the national anthem in Chicago in September to wide receiver Martavis Bryant’s trade demand to Tomlin openly talking about having to face New England twice 鈥?hinting he expected the Steelers to face the Patriots in the AFC championship game more than a month before it would become a reality 鈥?hardly a week passed with the attention focused somewhere other than the field.“We realize oftentimes it may create a storm around us, but that’s not us,” Tomlin said. “We don’t care. We can’t care. We can’t control it anyway.”Not exactly.Outside of linebacker Ryan Shazier’s life-altering spinal injury Cheap Customized Los Angeles Chargers Jerseys , the Steelers created most of the noise that surrounded them.While Tomlin said it’s on him to help his players learn to use the attention directed at them and their own social media agendas “for good” he’s also aware that none of it matters so long as his team wins.For a franchise where success is only measured in Lombardi Trophies, 2017 ended in disappointment, one the Steelers will have a longer than expected offseason to process.“It ended the way it ended and looking back at it, there’s nothing we can do about that other than learn from the experience,” Tomlin said. “Hopefully that strengthens us for our next journey.”One the Steelers are starting earlier than expected.
A look at what’s happening around the majors Wednesday:
The Nationals could use a spark before the July 4 fireworks go off in D.C. Washington is at risk of falling below .500 for the first time since May 2 as it continues a series against Boston at 11 a.m. EDT. The Red Sox thumped the Nationals 11-4 on Tuesday, giving Washington its fourth straight loss and 16th in 21 games to fall to 42-42. That slide has the preseason NL East favorites chasing the Braves and Phillies in the division. Erick Fedde (1-3, 6.00) tries to stop Washington’s skid against Boston left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (9-3, 4.11).
THE SHO GOES ON
Shohei Ohtani is back from the disabled list Authentic Customized Steelers Jerseys , albeit without full use of his electric right arm. The Japanese two-way sensation has been cleared to hit and was in the Angels’ lineup as a designated hitter Tuesday night, but he won’t be pitching anytime soon due to a Grade 2 sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament suffered more than three weeks ago. Ohtani has received stem cell therapy and a platelet-rich plasma injection on his right elbow, and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to return to the mound this year. For now, Los Angeles welcomes him as a hitter. He entered Tuesday batting .289 with a .907 OPS and six homers in 114 at-bats.
Gerrit Cole (9-2) will pitch on regular rest for the Astros after a slight tweak to their rotation. Lance McCullers Jr. was initially scheduled to start at Texas, but Cole will pitch instead. Justin Verlander (9-4) will follow Thursday at home against the White Sox and McCullers goes Friday. Manager A.J. Hinch said the switch keeps Cole and Verlander pitching every fifth day, and provides extra rest for McCullers (9-3) and Charlie Morton (10-2). The reset rotation means likely All-Star selection Verlander is scheduled for the final game before the break. ”This is always going to be the priority,” said Hinch, the All-Star manager who then won’t have Verlander available to pitch for the AL team on July 17 in Washington D.C.
Trevor Bauer tries to carry over an outstanding June when the Indians play at Kansas City. Bauer (7-6 Derrick Nnadi Jersey Elite , 2.45) was 3-3 with a 2.18 ERA last month, striking out 62 batters in 41 1/3 innings. He gets probably his easiest test of the year against the Royals, who scored a major league-low 58 runs in June – the second-lowest output was Tampa Bay at 87.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-10)
OPEN CAMP: July 26 Rasheem Green Jersey Elite , Davie, Florida
LAST YEAR: Dolphins regressed in second season under Adam Gase. As rookie coach he led them to 10 wins and playoff berth, but in 2017 Dolphins never recovered from quarterback Ryan Tannehill's season-ending knee injury in training camp, and deteriorated into wildly inconsistent, undisciplined team. They led to start fourth quarter in only two games and were outscored by 112 points, fourth worst in NFL. Owner Stephen Ross decided to keep organization's core leadership intact, but Gase and executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum may need turnaround to keep jobs beyond this year.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: S Minkah Fitzpatrick, G Josh Sitton, DE Robert Quinn, WR Danny Amendola, WR Albert Wilson, C Daniel Kilgore, TE Mike Gesicki, RB Frank Gore http://www.chiefsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-derrick-nnadi-jersey , RB Kalen Ballage, QB Brock Osweiler.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: DT Ndamukong Suh, WR Jarvis Landry, C Mike Pouncey, G Jermon Bushrod, K Cody Parkey, QB Jay Cutler, QB Matt Moore, TE Julius Thomas, LB Lawrence Timmons.
CAMP NEEDS: Dolphins will count on two players with no NFL experience to assume significant roles. Linebacker Raekwon McMillan, their most promising rookie in 2017, is back after knee injury in first exhibition game ended his season. Fitzpatrick is expected to make immediate impact after being taken with 11th overall pick in April. Most of all, Gase needs to keep Tannehill healthy as quarterback comes back from two serious injuries to left knee since December 2016.
EXPECTATIONS: Tannehill became starter as rookie in 2012 and has still never taken postseason snap, and there's plenty of reason to doubt that will change this year. While he returns Authentic John Ross Jersey , Dolphins bid adieu to three players with Pro Bowl resumes in Suh, Landry and Pouncey. There were financial reasons, and Gase also wanted change in culture. He believes addition of such veterans as Gore, Amendola and Quinn represents upgrade, but oddsmakers disagree. They project Dolphins to again be six-win team.
Chris Paul is a win away from finally reaching the Western Conference finals in his 10th season in the playoffs.
But the Houston guard isn’t looking ahead to what most expect will be a showdown with the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the next round.
After all, he’s been in this situation before in 2015 with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Paul is normally reticent to discuss his past playoff failures, but the nine-time All-Star was candid about that particular letdown when he was interviewed on TNT moments after Houston took a 3-1 lead over the Utah Jazz with a 100-87 win in Game 5.
He was asked if he’s allowed himself to think about being in the finals for the first time.
”It’s the process man,” he said. ”I’ve been here before, 3-1. (Expletive) went bad real quick, you know what I mean?”
The collapse that Paul is referring to came at the hands of the Rockets. Paul and the Clippers raced out to a 3-1 lead in the conference semifinals. They got blown out in Game 5, wasted a 19-point second-half lead in a loss in Los Angeles in Game 6, then fell in Game 7 at Houston.
Paul got prickly later when asked to expand on his comments and share what he learned from that series. He deflected the question with a joke before finally mumbling: `don’t relax,’ before James Harden stepped in to save his teammate from the uncomfortable moment.
”He’s not even thinking about that honestly,” Harden said. ”We’ve got a game on Tuesday and we’re going to do whatever it takes to close it out.”
Houston’s game against Utah is one of two games on Tuesday. In the other game Justin Jones Jersey Chargers , the Warriors also have a chance to finish off their series with the New Orleans Pelicans after taking a 3-1 lead with a 118-92 win on Sunday.
This is Paul’s fifth appearance in the conference semifinals after losing to the Spurs 4-3 in 2008 while with New Orleans, being swept by San Antonio in 2012 with the Clippers and losing 4-2 to the Thunder with that team before that 2015 debacle against the Rockets.
Coach Mike D’Antoni said the most important quality Paul has brought to the Rockets in his first year with the team is his toughness and edge. He doesn’t expect to see anything different out of him on Tuesday despite having the opportunity to finally shed the label that he can’t get out of the second round.
”It’s hard to go up another notch. I think he’s on full-tilt all the time,” D’Antoni said. ”You’d have to talk to him a little bit (but) I’m sure it’s on his mind.”
For the Jazz, they’re hoping that they can recreate the success they had in Game 2 when they led by as many as 19 points early, and held on for a 116-108 win.
”We were on a different level in Game 2 and I think we’ve just got to get back to that,” rookie Donovan Mitchell said.
Utah could get a boost in Game 6 with the return of Ricky Rubio. He’s missed the entire series with a strained left hamstring, but was listed as questionable before Sunday’s game and could be well enough to play on Tuesday.
However, they could be without reserve point guard Dante Exum in Game 6 after he left Sunday’s game in the third quarter with soreness in his left hamstring.
Here’s a closer look at the Pelicans-Warriors game.
PELICANS AT WARRIORS
Warriors lead series 3-1. Game 5, 10:30 p.m. EDT, TNT
NEED TO KNOW: The Warriors have been dominant on their home floor for two straight postseasons, having won a franchise-record 14 consecutive playoff games at Oracle Arena and already closed out the Spurs at Oakland in Game 5.
With a 15th straight home playoff win, the Warriors would tie Chicago for an NBA record. The Bulls did so from April 27, 1990, to May 21 Authentic Malik Jefferson Jersey , 1991.
”We’ve got to win one game at Oracle and that’s the one that we play next,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. ”That’s as far as we need to look. Obviously it’s a monumental task. It’s been done before. As I said to the guys, `We just got to go and play and you’re not out until they win four games.”’
KEEP ANY EYE ON: Stephen Curry continues to find his groove and this will be his fourth game back from nearly six weeks sidelined with a sprained left knee. His minutes are increasing each game he plays, up to 31 in Game 4.
Curry is 22 for 51 with 12 3s so far this series.
TOUGH CHALLENGE: The Pelicans never know which Golden State star might be on any given night – or all of them at once.
The Warriors led wire to wire in Game 4 following its 19-point embarrassment in Game 3. Kevin Durant is coming off a 38-point performance, but it could be Klay Thompson’s turn, or Draymond Green chasing another triple-double.
”The bigger the game the better Draymond plays,” coach Steve Kerr said, ”the more intense he is, the more focus he has. He’s going against Anthony Davis night after night and just doing an amazing job in concert with his teammates. Draymond’s a rare guy. Every time the moment gets bigger, he gets better and not everybody can say that.”
Durant has scored 20 or more points in 16 straight postseason games.
PRIORITY ON SHOOTING: Gentry gives New Orleans little chance of staying in the series and staving off elimination without a big scoring performance. The Pelicans lost 118-92 on Sunday and shot just 36.4 percent – 32 of 88 and 4 for 26 on 3-pointers.
”You’re not going to beat them if you’re not going to score 115 points, I don’t care how good your defense is,” .
HOUSTON TEXANS (4-12)
OPEN CAMP: July 26 Rashaan Evans Jersey Elite , Greenbrier, West Virginia
LAST YEAR: Texans had first losing record since 2013 as they dealt with numerous injuries, including to rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson and superstar defensive end J.J. Watt. Watson was bright spot in disappointing season for his play in seven games before he tore anterior cruciate ligament in right knee in practice. He threw for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns, giving Texans hope they’ve finally found franchise quarterback after years of misfires and disappointment. Another positive was continued improvement of 2014 top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. Defensive end finished second in NFL with career-high 21 tackles for losses and his 9 1/2 sacks, 21 quarterback hits and two forced fumbles were also career bests. He had career-high 59 tackles and started all 16 games for first time in career after struggling with injuries in first two NFL seasons before playing 14 games in 2016
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: S Tyrann Mathieu, G Senio Kelemete Kenny Young Jersey Elite , G Zach Fulton, OT Seantrel Henderson, CB Aaron Colvin, QB Brandon Weeden.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: LB Brian Cushing, OT Jeff Allen, OL Xavier Su’a-Filo.
CAMP NEEDS: Texans will have eye on two of their biggest stars who are returning to field after sustaining season-ending injuries last season. Watson must show surgically repaired right knee has healed and that he still has same burst and playmaking ability he showed as rookie last season. After Watt played eight games over last two seasons because of injuries, including broken left leg last season Authentic Justin Upton Jersey , Houston must see if Watt can return to Defensive Player of Year form. Texans will also use camp to see how offensive line fits together and hope revamped group protects QB much better than last season, when team allowed second-most sacks in NFL.
EXPECTATIONS: If Watson is healthy and can build on limited work as rookie, Houston’s offense will be much better. Defensive front will get boost if Watt can stay on field to play with Clowney, and secondary should be much improved with addition of Mathieu and Colvin. With Watson and Watt leading team, Texans should shake off last season’s struggles to contend for third AFC South title in four years.
After splitting a four-game weekend set in Seattle, the Boston Red Sox return to work Tuesday night when they open a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
The Red Sox went into their off day on Monday just a half-game behind the New York Yankees, but they have won six of their last nine games thanks to a starting rotation that has been among the best in baseball during the last two weeks.
Chris Sale will look to keep that going Tuesday when he takes the mound for his 16th start of the season. The left-hander snapped a three-start losing streak his last time out Chiefs Authentic Jerseys , allowing just a run in six innings of a 5-1 victory over Baltimore.
Sale had allowed 10 runs in 10 1/3 innings against the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros on May 27 and June 1, respectively. He rebounded by holding the Chicago White Sox to a run in eight innings while striking out two on June 8 in a 1-0 Red Sox loss before getting back in the win column against the Orioles.
“I have a good rhythm and tempo going for me right now,” said Sale, who has held opponents to no more than a run in nine starts this season. “I’m feeling good. That’s the way I like it.”
He’s 10-6 with a 4.21 ERA in 26 career appearances (18 starts) against the Twins, who also had Monday off after a 3-3 road trip that saw them drop two of three to the Detroit Tigers and take two of three from the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians.
They’ll begin the day third in the division, five games behind Cleveland and 2 1/2 behind Detroit.
“It was a good series win (in Cleveland),” third baseman Eduardo Escobar said. “We’ll be ready Tuesday for another series at home. This team will be OK. We go out there and play hard every day http://www.falconsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-logan-paulsen-jersey , but sometimes you have to give credit to the other pitchers.”
The Twins will turn to their own budding ace for the series opener.
Right-hander Jose Berrios is 4-1 with a 2.47 ERA in his last six starts. He has allowed more than two runs just once during that stretch and has struck out 51 while walking only 12 in 43 2/3 innings, including 24 strikeouts with two walks in his last three outings.
Berrios took no-decision his last time out. He held the Tigers to a run, seven hits and a walk while striking out seven in six innings, but the Twins’ offense and bullpen couldn’t get the job done in a 5-2 loss.
“He threw a hell of a game,” reliever Addison Reed said afterward. “That was fun to watch. He works his tail off, and it shows when he’s out there. The thing that I’m most (upset) about tonight is not getting him the ‘W.'”
Berrios has one previous career start against the Red Sox. He allowed four runs and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings of a 4-1 loss at Fenway Park last season.