Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Onside Kick Family Hour: Let’s get ready for NFL training camp!

NFL training camps start this week! Good thing the Internet’s only NFL podcast* is here to help you get ready. Stephen White, Danny Kelly and RVB look ahead to camp, what they’re watching and who they’re looking forward to seeing on the field.

On this week’s show …

Tomlin has taken the Steelers to two Super Bowls since he took over, with the team winning the big game in Super Bowl XLIII. They made it back in Super Bowl XLV but lost to the Green Bay Packers, and since then have been in the playoffs two more times. Both of those were wild card round losses, and the Steelers missed the playoffs twice in between those appearances.

After the visit, Manning established the Chattanooga Heroes Fund to help support the families of those who died in the shooting.

“Our family has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the great city of Chattanooga, and it has a very special place in our hearts,” Manning said. “But on July 16th, this strong, welcoming community was forever changed by the tragedy that unfolded.

“The five servicemen who gave their lives, the police officer who risked his life in order to protect others and the actions of many other first responders were truly heroic. We are proud to team up with the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga to establish the Chattanooga Heroes Fund honoring these heroes and helping to provide for the future of their families.”

Those who would like to donate can go to the official website of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga at CFGC.org.

Player you’ll be buzzing about: DE Cassius Marsh — The Seahawks already could have used depth at pass rusher even before they lost O’Brien Schofield this offseason. That leaves a big rotational opportunity for Marsh, who is essentially starting his redshirt rookie year after playing just 71 snaps in 2014 before a foot injury ended his year.

Cleveland has defeated Golden State four consecutive times dating to June

There’s no denying the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, at the moment, appear to have a mental edge over the rival Golden State Warriors. Overcoming a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals to secure Cleveland’s first championship in 52 years and coming back from a 14-point deficit on Christmas Day certainly adds credence to that notion.

The Warriors have gone an NBA-record 126 regular-season games without losing a back-to-back, but the Cavaliers claimed a back-to-back-back against them on the grandest stage of all.

Indeed, Cleveland has defeated Golden State four consecutive times dating to June. In that span, two-time MVP Stephen Curry has averaged more turnovers (4.1) than assists (3.6). And most of his turnovers were of the flashy, high-degree-of-difficulty sort. Against most teams, he can get away with converting the razzle-dazzle highlight play. However, the Cavaliers have the defensive scheme and personnel to disrupt Curry, especially if he’s careless with the ball.

The highly creative decor that made headlines featuring Curry and Klay Thompson tombstone cookies and a skeleton prop with “3-1 lead” inscribed on the bass drum wasn’t James’ idea, sources close to the four-time MVP told ESPN. According to sources, James instructed his people to come up with something clever and artistic with a budget of approximately $150,000 for an invite-only gathering consisting of roughly 40 guests. He found out about the Warriors theme upon arrival.

Regardless of who came up with the Halloween concept, the Warriors didn’t find it funny. That’s why Monday’s game at Oracle Arena on Martin Luther King Jr. Day should mean more to the them from a mental standpoint.

A mid-January Warriors victory won’t completely rectify what has transpired in the teams’ previous four meetings, but it could be something to build upon if these teams are to meet again in June for the third straight year. No teams have ever met in the Finals three consecutive times.

Will Cleveland give Golden State an opportunity to clear its mental hurdle on Monday? It would be the ultimate mind game if the Cavs were to rest James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich laughed and called Epstein’s actions “flattering.”

In the wake of winning the World Series, Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein spent time reading up on the San Antonio Spurs to study the organization’s culture, according to an article in The Athletic.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich laughed and called Epstein’s actions “flattering.” But the truth is that several teams across numerous sports leagues have sought out the Spurs for advice on building a winning culture. For instance, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn has developed a bond with Spurs general manager R.C. Buford, who sent him a text message this week wishing him luck in the postseason.

“The culture that San Antonio has in their sport, although it’s different than our sport, is still about dealing with their players and coaches and how you want the organization to be seen,” Quinn told ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. “We can learn from everybody, man.”

Said NBA commissioner Adam Silver: “Michael Goldberg is a legend in basketball circles and has distinguished himself by his relentless advocacy on behalf of NBA coaches and his deep caring for everyone involved with our game. This new award reflects his vital and everlasting contributions to the NBA.”

The NBA Players Association has conducted its own year-end awards balloting after each of the last two seasons separate from the NBA’s array of year-end awards voted on by media members. The NBA’s annual Executive of the Year award is also voted on exclusively by league executives.

The coaches decided to follow suit to reward the winning coach for both on-court success and off-the-court impact in the community as well as to pay tribute to Goldberg, who became the NBCA’s first executive director in 1980, six years after it was founded.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to be recognized by this award,” Goldberg said in a statement. “I have been very fortunate to work with the National Basketball Coaches Association for over 35 years. During this time, I have found the coaches to be passionate, wise, and caring leaders. This award, determined by peer vote, is tremendously meaningful to our NBA Coaches, the League, as well as for my family and me.”

they have a ton of stuff to prove at this stage in the offseason

I had to set some parameters to this mini-study. So, the 15 carries thing was chosen with the thought that veterans and established players aren’t getting many carries in the preseason. The 4.0 yards per carry number was chosen because that’s a standard cutoff for the good/great running backs, who should average well above that, and the average/bad, who tend to hover in the 3-yard range.

87 running backs hit the 15-carry benchmark in the 2014 preseason, and 36 of them broke 4.0 yards per carry. Of those 36, I’d classify 8 as veterans with significant regular season playing time, or, enough to kind of know what you’re dealing with.

The only game Gaines missed in 2014 was the Rams’ season finale against the Seattle Seahawks after he sustained a concussion. The Missouri product snagged two interceptions and totaled 70 tackles, 15 passes defended and one fumble recovery in his first season.

Anthony Zettel, DE (senior): The thing that makes Zettel such an interesting prospect is his versatility. He shows off his spectacular strength — by tackling dead trees out of the ground in the offseason — and uses the fact that he’s a fast and technically sound to destroy interior offensive linemen. In the NFL, he projects best as a 3-4 defensive end.

Obviously, they have a ton of stuff to prove at this stage in the offseason. New coach Jim Tomsula needs to fill holes all over the roster, including the middle and right side of the offensive line. If Colin Kaepernick is to progress and take advantage of new weapon Torrey Smith this season, they really need to get that offensive line figured out.

But hey, that’s not all that’s worth watching in this one. The Texans also have a pretty important battle on their hands at the quarterback position. Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett are battling for the starting job and neither seems to have an edge at this stage. It sounds like they’ll need more than just this one game to figure out that battle.

Notre Dame star left tackle Ronnie Stanley had a solid game against Texas

Cleveland Browns offensive line coach Andy Moeller has been suspended indefinitely after being “involved in an incident,” the team announced on Monday. Details of the incident and allegations were vague, but eventually it was reported that Moeller is being investigated for allegedly assaulting a female guest at his home, via Pat McManamon of ESPN.

A woman called Berea, Ohio police alleging Moeller had assaulted her, but by the time police arrived they were unsure about pressing charges:

The Penn State offense under Coach James Franklin doesn’t seem to suit Hackenberg as well as the offense did when Bill O’Brien was in charge in 2013. Because of that, we may never know how good Hackenberg can be because his development is clearly being stunted at Penn State. This isn’t a one-game overreaction either. Hackenberg displayed many of the same issues last season when he completed only 55.8 percent of his passes and threw 15 interceptions compared to 12 touchdowns.

Because the alleged assault was not of a live-in partner of spouse, it was not classified as a domestic assault, according to the report. It is expected that more information will be available from the police on Tuesday.

“Over the weekend, Andy was involved in an incident, involving allegations that we take very seriously,” the Browns announced in a press release. “We have followed our internal protocol, determining that right now it is best for the team and for Andy to take time away from the organization to focus on his personal matters. We are going to respect the process of investigation on this personal matter and will have no further comment at this time.”

Notre Dame star left tackle Ronnie Stanley had a solid game against Texas. Stanley is without peer among college tackles in regard to his footwork and ability to move. His hand play could get better, though.