Monthly Archives: February 2017

NFL concerned domestic abuse scandal could stunt international popularity

This Sunday, the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins will kick off from Wembley Stadium, the first of three regular season games being played in London as part of the NFL’s emphasis on growing its international market. There is concern among league officials, however, that the recent domestic violence scandal could potentially stunt that growth, according to a report by the UK-based magazine Marketing Week.

“We’re in the process of measuring the fallout [on the UK brand] of the incident and will not know anything immediately,” said Mark Reeves, the NFL’s international commercial director. “It’s a negative issue for us and it’s our job is to make sure we rectify it quickly and accordingly. It has not impacted the relationships with any of our sponsors in the UK.”

While Vegas thinks the Niners can keep up and pull out a victory, SB Nation’s own experts weighed in, collectively thinking along the same lines:

Above, the Niners and safety Eric Reid either have a breakdown in coverage assignments or Reid simply waits too long to break on the crossing route. Brown’s speed kills.

On the next Cardinals’ possession, the attention that opposing defenses must pay to Fitzgerald once again comes into play.

It’s a two-man route combination, and against man coverage, this is deadly. Stanton pump fakes to Fitz on the slant. Reid bites. Why? It’s third down, San Francisco likely thinks the Cards will just go for the sticks to pick up a first down, and this is a common concept you’d see in that situation. Few players are tougher over the middle than Fitz, and he’s not easy to bring down. So that’s the thought process that Reid probably has in his mind, and he doesn’t give Brown enough attention. Rookie Jimmie Ward doesn’t jam, then can’t quite keep up in man coverage.

Beckham would probably enjoy knowing he has additional millions upon millions of dollars guaranteed to him via a second NFL contract

According to Spotrac, Beckham is signed through the 2017 season, and logic suggests the fifth-year option on that deal will certainly be picked up down the road. Some out there may even go so far to say the Giants need to sign Beckham long-term before any nasty negotiations that result in negative feelings on either side grow and cause distractions behind the scenes.
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All would do well to pump the brakes regarding the Giants offering Beckham any type of contract extension between now and the end of 2017. For starters, Beckham¡¯s rights belong to the Giants for the foreseeable future. So long as he remains healthy and available in terms of NFL rules and regulations, there is literally no chance the Giants will lose Beckham at any point during the club¡¯s current pursuit of a Super Bowl crown.

Limited Brandon Myers Jersey Yes, Beckham would probably enjoy knowing he has additional millions upon millions of dollars guaranteed to him via a second NFL contract, but the reality of the situation is that he is still playing to earn such a deal. The NFL is the ultimate ¡°what have you done for me lately?¡± league, and Beckham¡¯s most recent performance that included multiple drops in a playoff loss to the Packers still leaves a sour taste in one¡¯s mouth.

¡°I mean, it¡¯s however you guys want to interpret it as. Us as a team, we know what we have and what we did throughout the whole season and I wouldn¡¯t say the last quarter of that game is our legacy,¡± Sanu said on NFL Network. ¡°We did what we had to do throughout the season to make it on the big stage and we played well. It just so happened it didn¡¯t go our way.¡±

While Sanu said that the pain of the loss has ¡°definitely gotten better¡± over the last couple of weeks and that he¡¯s focused on moving forward to the 2017 season, he also admitted there are still days where he wakes up thinking about the missed opportunity. Channelling those feelings in the right way will be a must for the Falcons if they want to give themselves another shot to finish the job.

Jerry Kill has 2 simple reasons he¡¯s back in coaching after leaving due to health

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Helmet decals Minnesota players wore after Kill¡¯s exit Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Jerry Kill, who resigned as Minnesota’s head coach during the 2015 season due to epilepsy concerns, is back in the Big Ten after only one full season off. He’s Rutgers’ offensive coordinator going forward, making this his first season as an assistant coach since 1993 at Pittsburg State.

But how is he able to resume coaching after being convinced he needed to step down because of his treatments, which he’d said were leaving him unable to do his job at full capability? Kill endured multiple seizures in public, including on the sidelines during games, leading him to turn the job over to assistant Tracy Claeys, who’s since been fired*.

Two reasons, he explains:

Not only has he lost 25 pounds because of a low-carb diet designed specifically for his condition, but he noted the requirements of being a coordinator are nowhere near those of being a head coach, especially in today¡¯s college game.

Garoppolo, 25, started two games for the Patriots in 2016 while Brady served a suspension at the beginning of the season due to Deflategate. The 2014 second-round pick suffered a shoulder injury that kept him from starting in all four games, but in his time on the field he tallied 502 passing yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Limited Womens Patrick Chung Jersey Ben Volin of The Boston Globe speculated that Garoppolo could fetch an early second-round pick for the Patriots and teams like the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, or San Francisco 49ers could be in the running. The Houston Chronicle also said the Houston Texans could be another possible trade destination for Garoppolo.

If Garoppolo does get traded, his mom will certainly be one of the first in the know.

Idina Menzel Super Bowl national anthem video

Game Coty Sensabaugh Jersey As is the case every year, the Super Bowl got started with a national anthem performance everyone will be talking about, this time being by singer Idina Menzel.

The voice behind “Let It Go” from Disney¡¯s animated blockbuster Frozen and a well-known Broadway musical star, Menzel sang this year’s anthem in 2:05, slightly over the 2:01 set by the oddsmakers. One other prop bet involved whether Menzel would forget or omit at least one word of the anthem, with “yes” set at +400 (4-1 odds) and “no” set at -600 (1-6 odds).

He¡¯s 6¡¯7, 230 pounds, a five-star recruit, and if you¡¯ve seen his past highlights (see: the Vince Carter impression and the broken scoreboard) it¡¯s easy to understand why people have been fawning over him. Not only is he built like he¡¯s ready to play pro, he plays like it as well.

Here¡¯s Williamson throwing down a vicious dunk in slow motion against Northside Christian Academy on Saturday. You will notice a defender attempting to block Williamson¡¯s dunk and failing miserably ¡ª he doesn¡¯t even get close to the ball:

Alex Ovechkin scored a second-period power-play goal for Washington. Ovechkin’s goal was his 22nd against Lundqvist, the most he has scored against any goalie in his career.

The first-place Capitals lost their second straight after a six-game winning streak. Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves for Washington.

Elite Babe Herman Jersey Tied 1-1 entering the third period, Grubauer made two saves on Jimmy Vesey. Lundqvist answered as he made a nice glove stop on John Carlson’s slap shot about seven minutes into the period. Burns had 20 shot attempts, but only seven were on net. He had nine shots blocked and four were off target. … Hayes recorded his 100th career point with his assist on Spooner’s goal. … Marleau tied Joe Mullen for 43rd place all-time with his 502nd career goal. … Krug played his 300th career game.

The Cubs used their surplus of position players to plug Chapman’s hole

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Have you heard? It has been 109 years since the Cubs have won back-to-back World Series titles. The world will be enraptured watching their quest to repeat. Doesn’t have quite the same ring as the curse of the billy goat, does it?

No, now the Cubs are just the plain old defending champions and a dynamic baseball team whose title window is wide open. Fowler and closer Aroldis Chapman were the big-ticket losses this season. But Chicago also lost depth in its pitching staff with fellow departees Jason Hammel, Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill and Joe Smith. Not to mention the well-covered retirement of David Ross, who now will split his time between taking it easy, performing duties in the Cubs’ front office and working as an analyst for ESPN.

The Cubs used their surplus of position players to plug Chapman’s hole, sending Jorge Soler to Kansas City for Wade Davis. If Davis is healthy, that’s a wash. Not only is Davis on Chapman’s tier as an end-of-game option, but he’s likely to be more amenable to an expanded role when the postseason comes around. Fowler’s spot will be filled by a combination of former Cardinal Jon Jay and Albert Almora, the latter a potential Gold Glover if he can hit enough to stick in the lineup.

Now, the Red Sox did make one huge Chris Sale-type blockbuster: Chris Sale. That’s enough to put them close to the top of the list, but Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech both project to provide real 2017 value — if they were still in the depth chart, especially Moncada. The Red Sox would have had a lot more trouble getting them playing time than the White Sox will.

Alex Smith Authentic Jersey Seattle didn’t make one huge Chris Sale/Adam Eaton-type blockbuster trade this winter, but the Mariners did make an impressive number of incremental gains, similar to how you win a game of chess against a competent foe.

ZiPS sees Jean Segura, Drew Smyly, Mitch Haniger and Jarrod Dyson as safer bets than the players general manager Jerry Dipoto traded away, and some of the lesser names involved, such as Danny Valencia or Carlos Ruiz, provide real value as role players.

Broncos OC Mike McCoy: ‘I can make any of our quarterbacks better’

Of all the things Mike McCoy has said since he returned as Denver Broncos offensive coordinator, his comment about working with quarterbacks is rock solid.

“I’ve worked with all kinds of quarterbacks. I think we can make an offense that works for all our quarterbacks,” McCoy said. “… I think I can make any of our quarterbacks better and adjust to what they do best.”

McCoy, the former San Diego Chargers head coach, has indeed “worked with all kinds of quarterbacks.” This is the guy, after all — with the help of current Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase — who took apart a traditional pro offense in a week to install an option-based attack for Tim Tebow in 2011.

Gettleman never looked back. He uses the same philosophy on free agents that he once advised his wife Joanne to use on shopping the day she came home frustrated with the price of clothing.

“I said, ‘It’s simple. Just don’t buy them. Get your girlfriends together and don’t buy it, and the prices will come down,’ ” Gettleman said last year.

Short insisted after the season that his situation and Norman’s were entirely different. But Short also will be controlled in part by what his agent tells him.

He missed the last six sessions of OTAs a year ago trying to drive talks but showed for the mandatory minicamp, when it would begin costing him money.

Again, Short didn’t sound in January like a player looking to hold out, even though at 28 this is his best shot at a big-time deal.

“Everybody would like to avoid that,” he said of the tag. “If it happens, it happens. If it happens, I’m still going to be professional about the situation.”

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking.

The Patriots glided down the field after the Panthers tied the score

The Patriots were trailing 22-21 in a wild fourth quarter when they faced third-and-9 from the Panthers’ 21-yard line at the 3:40 mark. A field goal would have provided a precarious lead given the Panthers’ ongoing offensive explosion, but Brady found receiver David Givens for an 18-yard gain to the Panthers’ 3-yard line. Vrabel’s ensuing touchdown reception put them up 29-22, and they never trailed again.

The Patriots glided down the field after the Panthers tied the score, and Adam Vinatieri’s 41-yard field goal with 4 seconds left clinched it. He had missed only one field goal all season, but the NFL average conversion rate from 41 yards that season was a relatively low 71.4 percent.

Ryan Fitzpatrick couldn’t get it done. Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg probably aren’t ready. The Jets are a rebuilding team without an obvious answer at QB. They could go any number of directions here.

Mike, my old friend, the McCaskey family has stated on numerous occasions they have no plans to sell the team. That’s just the way it goes. But I do believe the family, especially George, cares deeply about the franchise. George is, after all, a self-proclaimed die-hard Bears fan who just happens to be the team chairman. He wants to win. They just have not found a recipe for success since Jerry Angelo and Smith were let go. Angelo and Smith made their share of mistakes — we all do — but they had a blueprint for how to win football games. Their methods didn’t always excite the masses, but the Bears were never an afterthought from 2004 to ’12. All you can hope for is that the family eventually figures it out, because they’re not going anywhere.

Inglewood council approves NFL stadium plan

A plan to build an NFL stadium on the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack was approved unanimously by the Inglewood city council Tuesday night, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The stadium plan, spearheaded by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, was originally created in January and would create an 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood, a suburb just southwest of downtown Los Angeles. According to the L.A. Times, an economic impact report commissioned by the city estimated that the privately funded stadium would be the most expensive in U.S. history at about $1.86 billion.

This is the first Veteran’s Combine and will be held in Tempe, Ariz. Approximately 100 players will be chosen to take part in the proceedings, helping a few guys enjoy another opportunity. In the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, Sam struggled with a slow 40-yard dash time of 4.91. Going into the event, Sam was projected to be a third- to fifth-round selection, but dropped in the draft.

Sam is the first openly gay player to attempt to make a career in the NFL. The 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year is now on the outside looking in and earlier this week, signed on to be a contestant in ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Sam has maintained throughout that he wants to continue playing football.

The main questions around that change are centered around the offensive line and running backs, of course, because it’s a system that requires slightly different style of players.

“I think that you never know until they get out there and do it,” Elway said in Indianapolis when asked if the Broncos’ current personnel on the offensive line fits the new system. “I think that it’s a combination that’s not strictly zone but that’s part of it. We also have power and gap schemes within Gary’s system. We’re going to find out but we also know that we’ve got the people that can do it and we’ll also look on the market and see what’s available out there and try to create the best football team and create some competition.”

Thomas Dimitroff, a former Patriots scout, nears summit as Falcons GM

“You’ve hit those tough spots and then all of a sudden the light shines through,” said Thomas Dimitroff, comparing football to mountain climbing. “You’re climbing again and you’re hoping to hit that summit of the mountain.”
Arriving at Super Bowl LI, Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has been reflecting on a roller coaster of emotions, as the past few years have been among the toughest in his career and personal life.

And then McDaniels added: “Some of the things I failed at before, I think I learned from and am better for it. I think I am.”

Though Bowlen had said, after he fired Mike Shanahan to close out the 2008 season, that no Broncos coach would have personnel power again, McDaniels ended up making personnel decisions. He traded quarterback Jay Cutler before he had coached his first game and made an assortment of deals in those two seasons that didn’t pan out.

Some players, at the time, said they had a difficult time connecting with McDaniels. Hindsight is certainly 20-20 and McDaniels is now a 40-year-old coach who has put himself in position to try again.

“Hopefully I’ll continue to grow from it, moving forward,” he said.

Russell Wilson says Donald Trump may not last 4 years in the White House

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is the latest NFL player to chime in on President Donald Trump, doing so in a Facebook Live video while at the barbershop.

“Despite anybody’s political issues or views, everybody has a right to choose who they want to vote for,” Wilson said. “But this thing’s getting out of hand. It’s getting out of hand, people. … When you think about, it’s only been what, two weeks? Or even less? We’ve got to attack this issue here.”

Wilson also disclosed that he voted for Hillary Clinton.

In referencing Trump’s executive order that suspended entry of all refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations, he said, “We go to the LAX airport, and there’s people all over the place fighting for their lives and protesting.

“All the protests that have gone on through the African-American community, through obviously the Muslim community too, if we’re going to be a nation that says we’re equal, we have to be equal — obviously being smart, all that kind of stuff.”

Feb. 6-7, 2016: The day before Super Bowl 50, Beyoncé drops the video for her single “Formation,” which would later appear on her album Lemonade. This leads to rumors that she’ll perform the song during the halftime show. The next day, Beyoncé performs “Formation” and is pretty much the highlight of the halftime show, upstaging both Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and honestly, the Panthers-Broncos game itself.

Feb. 1, 2017: In the middle of Super Bowl week, while everyone’s preparing for the big game — whether it’s the media and players doing work on radio row, or the fans flying in with their expensive tickets — Beyoncé drops news that she’s pregnant with twins. The internet, predictably and understandably, loses their shit.