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Category Archives: New England Patriots

Possible trades could make draft night nutty

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The recent trend of trades in the NFL has subsided for now, but it could continue. Specifically, it could continue on the first night of the draft.

Despite no clear consensus on how the top of the draft will or should unfold, specific teams eventually will finalize their boards, and presumably will have a short list of players they covet above all others. Some teams may decide to make a move up the board, with the ideal timing being when the pick they are acquiring is on the clock.

Then there are the two veteran players generating the most pre-draft trade buzz: Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. As to both players, the ideal timing to move them for picks would be to do so when the highest selection to be obtained is on the clock. This would require a deal to be done late in the process — or with complete and total secrecy. As to Beckham, that won’t be easy to accomplish, since he’ll want a new contract as part of the new location. Still, for both the Giants and the Patriots, waiting until the best pick they’d get is on the clock provides maximum value.

When it comes to acquiring draft picks, waiting until the pick is on the clock always provides maximum value. Which means that there could be a rash of trades in 23 days in Dallas, when the 2018 draft commences.

Mora said that former USC quarterback Sam Darnold is a better fit than Rosen for the Browns. Mora told Peter King of SI.com that Rosen “needs to be challenged intellectually so he doesn’t get bored,” that “[h]e’s a millennial,” that “[h]e wants to know why,” that “Josh has a lot of interests in life,” and that “[i]f you can hold his concentration level and focus only on football for a few years, he will set the world on fire.” Mora said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that “[i]f Josh manages his life off the football field and commits to being a great football player not just when he’s at the facility, but when he’s away from the facility, he is going to be amazingly successful.”

Mora appeared on Tuesday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show to further elaborate on Rosen. This time around, Mora was far closer to being over-the-top in his praise. Mora also insisted that he’s been “really clear” and “really consistent” in his message about Rosen, and that his views should be regarded as “very, very complimentary” and “very, very positive.”

“Things can be misrepresented at times when people decide to edit it a certain way,” Mora said.

Mora went on to say that Rosen does indeed need to be challenged intellectually, but Mora said that’s not a bad thing. He compared Rosen to other cerebral quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, pointing out that former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison recently told Mora that Manning’s inquisitive nature routinely kept meetings going longer than they otherwise would have gone.la_kings_003

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Blake Griffin reacts after trade to Pistons

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As he leaves the only team and city he has known since beginning his professional career nearly eight years ago, Blake Griffin expressed gratitude Tuesday to Los Angeles, the Clippers and their fans.

Griffin posted a brief statement on Twitter the morning after the stunning trade that sent him to the Pistons along with Willie Reed and Brice Johnson for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and a first- and second-round draft pick.

“From being a #1 pick, to Lob City, to six straight Playoff appearances, I am so proud to have been part of the success of the Clippers organization,” he wrote. “LA has been my home since I started in the league and I will be forever grateful to the city for embracing me and supporting me.”

Bennett scored 5:35 in after a Sabres breakdown in front of their own net. Bennett drove to the net to collect a loose puck and snapped it over goalie Chad Johnson, who was flat on his back.

Three minutes later, Bennett set up Jankowski’s goal by driving up the left wing and entering the Sabres zone. He fed a pass into the middle, where Jankowski used Nelson as a screen and snapped a 40-footer that sneaked in under Johnson’s left arm.

According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, Hood has drawn interest from a number of teams in the market for a scoring wing. Hood’s production has made him an attractive piece for a team to acquire ahead of the season’s final stretch. In entertaining offers for Hood, the Jazz appear to be heading in a different direction, while Hood is set for a large payday during the 2018 free agency period.

Provided Hood does not elect to play out the final season of his rookie contract under a qualifying offer, the team that makes a play to acquire him would essentially be making a move to include Hood in their long-term plans.

Two teams that have inquired about Hood are the Pistons and Bulls. The Pistons made headlines with the report that they have put Avery Bradley’s name in the trade rumor mill, while the Bulls and Jazz have been linked in trade rumblings surrounding Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic. Because of Hood’s contract figures, Utah might need to add a player with an expiring contract like Derrick Favors or Joe Johnson to make a deal work.lions_084

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The short track turns speed skating into a contact sport.

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Asked whether the Angels’ long-term prospects have an impact on how much he wants to remain with the team, the 26-year-old outfielder replied, For sure. Trout said Eppler, owner Arte Moreno and manager Mike Scioscia are doing a good job to bring guys in and putting a great team out there.

Trout’s contract runs through 2020, after which he could become a free agent. At that point, he could well become the highest-paid player in history.

For this one, we need NFL players who have the speed but are also physical enough to withstand the contact — or are just too damn fast for it to matter.

Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is quick enough to just evade the other skaters. Look at him turn a short pass into a 57-yard score.

Leonard Fournette is 6’1 and 228 pounds. He’s not moving if other skaters run into him. And he’s got enough speed to leave an entire defense in the dust while he runs in a 90-yard score.

But as for the highlight of the winter, Obviously getting married.

On the field, Trout will lead a team with higher expectations than in the past couple of seasons thanks to the signings of Ohtani and infielders Ian Kinsler and Zack Cozart and the return to health of several pitchers. The Angels went 80-82 last year and haven’t won a postseason game since 2009.

People are going to think the expectations are higher, for sure, the two-time American League MVP said. We’re trying to get to the playoffs and make a push. We have one goal: to try to win a championship. We’re really excited to get this thing going.

Looking at the previous three years, the normal span for park factors, Chase Field drops from 116 to 100. That is, without the humidor, the venue projects to inflate runs by 16 percent over a neutral park. With the humidor, it portends to play neutral.
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Tom Brady: ‘You’re gonna see me playing football next year’

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Regardless of what happens in Super Bowl 52, Tom Brady has no plans to retire.

The 40-year-old Patriots quarterback told Westwood One’s Jim Gray during a radio interview he will be back next season.

Tadd Haislop: With multiple coverage looks and extreme talent in the defensive secondary, the Jaguars gave Brady and the Patriots trouble in the AFC championship game before New England pulled off yet another epic comeback. Yes, the Eagles enter Super Bowl 52 with a stout defense, but they don’t have the talent in the back seven to contain the Patriots’ passing game early the way the Jags could.

Knowing it will struggle to run against Philadelphia, New England will come out firing with its array of receiving options for Brady. The Patriots will build an early lead, which will force Foles and the Eagles into uncomfortable passing situations in catch-up mode for the rest of the game. Patriots 31, Eagles 10.

Matt Lutovsky: Foles looked great against a better defense in the NFC championship game, but it’s tough to expect a repeat performance on a bigger stage away from home. The Pats’ experience gives them the edge, and their pass rush can apply enough pressure to force Foles into some mistakes. Patriots 30, Eagles 20.

The closest, of course, involves Butler, too, which makes the irony of Belichick’s decision against the Eagles on Sunday night even more wrenchingly painful. Three years ago, Pete Carroll chose to pass from the 1-yard line instead of handing off to Marshawn Lynch. Butler made him and the Seahawks pay for that move, as his game-saving interception launched him from anonymity into stardom, the starting cornerback job and Super Bowl legend.

It goes without saying that the Patriots managed to lose while Tom Brady threw for a Super Bowl-record 505 yards. The Patriots only led once all night, though, and the Eagles rolled right back downfield to re-take the lead. Brady had to concoct magic in the last two possessions. For once, he couldn’t.

But maybe with Butler on the field — the whole game, half the game, a third of the game, however long — Brady wouldn’t have had to win the biggest shootout in Super Bowl history.bills_036

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Dragic scores 19 as Heat rout Grizzlies 107-82

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Goran Dragic and the Miami Heat got into a groove in the second half.

Big time.

“I thought Karl got off to a great start (against the Mavericks), and I thought that was important to play inside and out, and Jimmy was terrific, as was Taj (Gibson). Their toughness has added so much to our team. I thought Jamal (Crawford) and (Gorgui Dieng) gave us great minutes off the bench.”

In a bang-bang flurry of cuts, RedZone shows three straight touchdowns: Mohammed Sanu hits Julio Jones for a 51-yard touchdown bomb from the Wildcat formation; the Dolphins scoop up an errant snap to score a defensive TD; and Cam Newton runs it in on a bootleg on 3rd and goal at the goal line.

I will now embed the best of those three plays.

Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki played his 65th regular-season game against Minnesota, the most for any player. Nowitzki scored 10 points in 25:22. It was the 1,421st game of his career, leaving him three behind Kevin Willis for sixth on the NBA’s all-time list. … Six players scored in double figures for Dallas. … Antonius Cleveland was the first player off the bench for the Mavericks and played a career-high 17:51. He helped hold Andrew Wiggins to 1-of-9 shooting early.

Robby Anderson makes a RIDICULOUS catch in double coverage for a touchdown. This marks his fifth straight game with a touchdown.

Vancouver was missing top-line forwards Bo Horvat (broken foot) and Sven Baertschi (fractured jaw), but players weren’t using that as an excuse.
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Los Angeles now will look for its first three-game winning streak

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Subbing in for an injured Brad Marchand (undisclosed injury) on a top scoring line with Patrice Bergeron, Heinen has two goals and an assist in his past three games. While the 22-year-old is sure to lose that precious gig once Marchand is ready to return, he remains an intriguing daily fantasy option in the meanwhile. Marchand has yet to even be cleared for contact in practice.

Los Angeles now will look for its first three-game winning streak, playing at Sacramento where Ball will have a much-anticipated rookie showdown against De’Aaron Fox.

Despite shooting just 8-of-26 overall and 3-of-12 from 3-point range over his past two games, Ball is playing some of his best basketball of the season because of the way he has rebounded.

“We were expecting what we got [from Ball] which is him to make winning plays,” Walton said of Ball’s fourth-quarter play. “… Zo has a knack for making winning plays and he is obviously showing that he is a very, very good rebounder and we needed that.”

The network last week announced it would present “the majority” of play-by-play coverage during Steelers vs. Titans via SkyCam, giving its audience a video game-like viewing experience. Yes, EA Sports’ “Madden” video game series has become that influential.

NBC’s experiment with SkyCam as the primary broadcast viewing angle is a direct result of the positive feedback the network received during and after it was forced to use the angle in Week 7, when thick New England fog rendered the customary sideline view useless in the second half of the Patriots’ win over the Falcons.

“We’ve long talked about using SkyCam more in the live play-by-play coverage of the game,” NBC producer Fred Gaudelli told SN. “However, what has stopped us is some of the system’s limitations.

After letting one slip away in New Orleans, the Redskins try to regroup Thursday against the Giants.
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The Pistons enjoyed a productive weekend out west, winning back-to-back over the Clippers and Dubs.

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Sat: The number of times the player missed a game. Players are not charged “Stiff” points for sitting out, nor does it impact their overall consistency rating (CR), but it hurts their overall start percentage (Start%).

It is not clear when Gordon suffered the foot injury, nor has its exact nature been specified, but it was enough to restrict him in practice daily. He comes into the game against the Patriots as questionable, but according to ESPN.com’s Eric Williams, Gordon said he plans to play Sunday.

When the strike began, McConkey was torn. He was a football player. He wanted to play football. But his whole life he had been taught that teammates stick together, that it is us against them. “As much as I wanted to cross that picket line,” he says, “I was a team guy and it was hard for me to do that.”

Former Attorney General of New Jersey Peter Harvey, an independent advisor appointed by the league, spoke to the media via phone about what they learned over the course of the investigation. Harvey said that he came to the conclusion that Elliott had been physically violent toward his former girlfriend.

In addition to the pink numbers on the AdvoCare and Fastenal Ford Fusions, all Roush Fenway Fords have sported ‘Driven for a Cause’ pink ribbon decals on the C-Post during the month of October. Roush Fenway personnel have supported the cause through at track apparel, wearing #DrivenForACause ribbons each weekend.

To make a dent in the Eastern Conference, the Pistons needed a player or two from their starting core to outperform expectations — and Tobias Harris obliged. He and CJ McCollum are the only players in the NBA this season to score 100 points while turning over the ball five times or fewer.
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These are mostly fine except for the weird neck-striping.

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After all, Glass had fired Crean, who fielded two Big Ten championship teams and three Sweet 16 squads in his nine years in Bloomington and was just one season removed from a Big Ten Coach of the Year campaign. But Glass was after national championships, even if the Hoosiers hadn’t claimed one in three decades. “I would argue their expectations cannot be met,” says one Division I assistant coach.

Back at the Cowboys headquarters, Prescott took a break from signing autographs to pull up a photo on his iPhone. He wanted to show off the new cleats Adidas designed for him to wear in the Oct. 8 game against the Packers, the first game of the NFL’s Crucial Catch campaign. The cleats were white with seven ribbons affixed to each side, each a different color to represent awareness for a different cancer. Near the heel was navy, for colon cancer.

I’m only mildly surprised the Dubs don’t have a ham-handed tech innovation weaved through their uniforms to represent their insufferable relationship with Silicon Valley.

Another team whose color scheme doesn’t really evoke its moniker. Why red, Raptors? I’m not sure what much else they could do, but these jerseys are pretty simple for a team named after a dinosaur. Maybe they should throw a triangular pattern on there inspired by an actual raptor’s feathery breast.

Duke Johnson Jr. (1.8 OTD) has scored three touchdowns at the midway point of the season, but his usage suggests he may not be able to match that total during his final eight games. Still the change-of-pace back behind Isaiah Crowell, Johnson has registered two carries from the opponent’s 1-yard line but no additional tries within the 17-yard line. The closest he has been to the end zone on a target is the 15-yard line. A lack of work near the goal line is nothing new for Johnson, who entered 2017 with three touchdowns and a 5.7 OTD in two seasons of work.
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Elliott is third in the NFL in rushing with 690 yards in seven games.

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“I [was] driving back from the party, and a little stressed out,” cubsfan333 told ESPN on Monday. “The party was pretty intense. A lot of kids, a lot of movement, a lot of candy.”

Had TCU and Penn State both won on Saturday and stayed undefeated, this could have been very neat and tidy for the committee. The Big 12 and Big Ten front-runners likely would have joined SEC heavyweights and unbeatens Alabama and Georgia in the initial top four, which will be released along with the entire top 25 on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET on ESPN and in the ESPN App). Instead, this looks to be a muddy mess of comparable one-loss teams, with Ohio State and Oklahoma potentially causing a great debate within the Selection Central meeting room.

Failla disagreed, writing that testimony from the NFL appeal hearing made it clear that Goodell was aware of the investigator’s views.

She also backed the NFL’s interest in timely penalties under its personal conduct policy, which three years ago was changed to stiffen penalties in domestic cases.

Elliott is third in the NFL in rushing with 690 yards in seven games. He’s tied for the league lead with six rushing touchdowns.

At the first stoppage, Lakers head coach Luke Walton called Ball over to chat, and Beverley went with him to eavesdrop. Four minutes into the first quarter, Beverley tangled with Ball at center-court, and Beverley shoved him to the floor. “Had to set the tone,” Beverley cooed. After the whistle, he climbed right back into Ball’s personal space. The Clipper bench erupted in approval.

Emmert said he’s confident that the NCAA governance model will survive, in part because no better alternative exists. If university leaders dissolved the NCAA, they would need another organization to direct college sports.bills_003

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