Category Archives: Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals

Kemoko Turay recalls vividly the first time he approached his father about playing high school football.

You know, at that position, it kind of is what it is, Dallas’ executive vice president Stephen Jones said Wednesday, via the Dallas Morning News. I know Dak is going to have a great year this year.

I hope it’s up there. It’s going to be as he deserves.

The makeup of that creates an atmosphere that I think could enhance how we play tight end. The current group includes Geoff Swaim (9 catches in 28 games), Blake Jarwin (no catches in one career game), Rico Gathers (former basketball player who hasn’t seen the field in two seasons), rookie fourth-rounder Dalton Schultz and rookie undrafted free agent David Wells.

The puzzle pieces began to interlock, but this time it wasn’t the courageous and vulnerable showing their faces while the big boys wrote a check but steered clear of the spotlight. The Minnesota Lynx players, black and white women of the WNBA, came forward to speak about injustice. The Mount Everests of the game — LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Venus and Serena Williams, Kevin Garnett and Dwyane Wade — put a face to their politics. The best player, James, being the loudest social voice advocating for black people had not happened since Muhammad Ali in the mid-1970s. “I don’t want the people in the community to feel like we turned a blind eye to it,” wide receiver Kenny Britt said. “What would I like to see happen?

Change in America.” After the final breaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, and after 40 years of rejecting their inheritance — as Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan had — the players again believed they were part of a larger American struggle.

Wynn started 12 games at left guard in 2016 and some viewed him as a guard heading into the draft. But Wynn proved he can move outside by starting 15 games at left tackle in 2017 en route to a first-team All-SEC selection and recognition as a second-team All-American.

The position flexibility should fit in well with what the Patriots covet in offensive linemen.

Born and raised in West Africa, Vakaba Turay didn’t say much. Didn’t have to. His words still spoke volumes.

He didn’t (understand), Kemoko, now a rookie defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts, said.

He sat him down and said, ‘Mr. Turay, I want your son to play football.’sabres_253

Some of those limitations make it tough for Fultz to play big minutes with Simmons, who is clearly at his best with four shooters.

When teammates do hit him, he attacks immediately rather than looking at the rim from 3, which is something he actually had a tendency to do at Washington, as well.

Here’s a perfect example of exactly where Fultz is as a shooter right now while also showing his unique, herky-jerky nature and incredible shot-creation potential:

He turns down what would normally be a rhythm 3, getting into his comfort zone with a series of spins, step-backs, pivots and eventually a jump hook. While an impressive move, it’s also a lot of work for a contested 2 when a 3 was open.

Fultz was an average catch-and-shoot player at Washington, attempting only 60 such shots and ranking in the 57th percentile on guarded catch-and-shoot jumpers. His release and setup was never overly fluid, but he was far more capable than he is at this stage.

Among the baggage Lawson lugged with him to China was his battered confidence. The point guard had to go halfway across the world to rediscover and rebuild it.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that Lawson found himself living in Jinan, the capital of Shandong, a coastal province in East China that is a couple of hours away from Mount Tai, a UNESCO heritage site that is considered China’s most sacred mountain. Associated with birth and renewal, Mount Tai has 6,000 stone steps up to the top.

Despite how dominant Alabama’s offensive lines have been under Nick Saban’s rule, the Tide have seen only five first-rounders come from this position in the past 10 years. And with center Bradley Bozeman as the only Alabama OL prospect in this draft, Tide linemen should get shut out of the first round for the second straight year.

This has always seemed like LSU’s wheelhouse in the draft, and these Tigers could see a few guys taken up front again in 2018. The headliner is defensive end Arden Key, who has first-round talent but looks like a second-round pick right now.

Penn State is not going to be happy about the Buckeyes taking the modern-day Linebacker U moniker. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer has had three linebackers go in the first or second round in three of the past four drafts. Jerome Baker and Chris Worley both have a chance to get drafted at some point over the weekend.

The Tigers and Gators have gotten into quite the spat over the past couple of years about who really is DBU. Well, according to the draft numbers, it’s LSU. The Tigers lead everyone in the country, with 16 defensive backs drafted over the past 10 years, while Florida has 11.
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12-hour cancer surgery for Jim Kelly deemed a success

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly’s cancer battle reached a critical stage on Wednesday, with a 12-hour surgery intended to remove recurring cancer cells from his head and neck and to reconstruct his jaw. Doctors deemed the procedure to be a success.

“We successfully removed Mr. Kelly’s cancer from his upper jaw and lymph nodes from his neck,” Dr. Mark Urken said in a statement, via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “We then reconstructed his upper jaw. Mr. Kelly is resting comfortably post-operatively.”

Chris Stratton (R), 3 percent, San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: After recording a loss to the Dodgers in his initial start, Stratton has a rematch, this time at home. Stratton pitched well last time. He fanned four with no free passes in 5.1 innings but served up five hits and three runs. The Dodgers are off to a slow start, sitting third from the bottom in terms of weighted on base average (wOBA) with a right-hander on the hill.

Chad Kuhl (R), 2 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds: Equipped with a 95 mph fastball, Kuhl is better control away from taking the next step. Last season’s 8.1 K/9 is promising, though his 4.1 BB/9 needs work. Kull didn’t walk anyone in his opener, fanning four Tigers in 5.2 innings, but he was touched for eight hits and four runs. PNC Park is a good place to pitch, so for those digging deep, Kuhl is an option.

The Dolphins signed Brock Osweiler and David Fales this offseason, neither of whom would preclude them from drafting a quarterback and having an understudy/potential replacement.

The Pacers are essentially locked into the fifth spot, as even with their own good play they haven’t been able to keep up with the 76ers and Cavaliers. Most likely, they’ll end up facing the Cavs in the first round. Indiana won three of the four regular-season meetings.

The Heat have moved up thanks to some head-scratching losses by the Wizards. While moving up sounds nice, they are now fairly likely to face the Sixers, who even without an injured Joel Embiid (whose return date is uncertain) have been on a tear.

For quite a while, Milwaukee appeared to be on track for the No. 8 spot, but the tumbling Wizards have opened the door for the Bucks, who can grab the No. 7 spot by winning out.
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Steelers sign Jon Bostic

The Steelers, desperate for help at inside linebacker, are signing Jon Bostic to two-year contract. Bostic must pass a physical Monday morning before the signing becomes official.

Bostic is only 26, but he is well-traveled over his first five NFL seasons, playing for four teams since being drafted out of the University of Florida in 2013.

Bostic, who was selected by the Bears with the No. 50 overall selection in the second round, started nine games as a rookie and eight more in 2014 before being traded to the Patriots for a sixth-round pick early in the 2015 season.

Patrick Hynes, a state GOP spokesman, called recent polling on Trump’s popularity a “lagging indicator” of his standing with New Hampshire voters. He predicted that Trump would gain more credit for the Republican tax overhaul, as well as for bringing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the negotiating table.

“As that message sinks in, his numbers will continue to go up,” Hynes said.

Trump has started gearing up for his reelection bid. He is actively raising money, and he recently named a campaign manager and other staffers. Such moves further raise the entry barrier for potential challengers.

Traditionally, when sitting presidents have faced primary challenges, those challenges have come from the party’s base — from the left wing of the Democratic Party or the right wing of the Republican Party. In Trump’s case, it appears a challenge would be less on ideological grounds than over his ability to govern by accepted norms.

But all the way to $9 million per year Hitchens is now one of the highest-paid off-the-ball linebackers in the NFL, but there’s little evidence to suggest he’s ascending into a difference-making inside linebacker. At that price, Kansas City better be getting a Pro Bowl tackle machine.patriots_036

Harrison is one of the most talented (and nastiest) edge rushers to ever play the game.

“More than 4,500 living players maintain that they have symptoms of football-related brain damage. That’s nearly a quarter of all living NFL alumni,” the authors write, later adding that “former players are over five times more likely than other men their age to suffer from dementia.”
But brain injuries are just one part of the problem, as an NFL career ravages not just the brain, but the body.

He was arrested in 2008 on simple assault charges, and in 2010, he was fined more than $100,000 for various dirty hits, the most notable a body slam of Titans quarterback Vince Young. Harrison has always played with a nasty disposition, and he’s not afraid to speak his mind.

Dobler was an interior offensive lineman for the Cardinals, Saints and Bills through the 1970s, and perhaps no offensive lineman played with a nastier edge. Dobler tried to hurt defensive linemen, and he let you know he was trying to hurt defensive linemen. Dobler’s unapologetic play made him one of that era’s most hated players on the field and by opposing fans.

The most recent relevant veteran quarterback trade data point is the Eagles receiving a 2017 first-round pick (14th overall) and a conditional 2018 fourth-round pick from the Vikings for Sam Bradford after Teddy Bridgewater went down late last preseason with a gruesome knee injury.

When you have a book called “Just Give Me the Damn Ball,” you know you have an outspoken and controversial player. Johnson developed a reputation and a nickname — “Me-Shawn” — that followed him throughout his career. He was deactivated from Tampa Bay’s roster in 2003 after continuous fighting with Bucs coach Jon Gruden. Johnson finished his career with 814 catches and 10,571 yards.

Gastineau was one of the NFL’s better pass rushers of the 1980s and was part of the “New York Sack Exchange.” He set the NFL record with 22 sacks in 1984, a record that stood until 2001. On the field, Gastineau’s sack dances led the league to prohibiting them after the ’84 season. Off the field, Gastineau had a highly-publicized relationship with Brigitte Nielsen. He used steroids throughout his career, and he had a history of legal troubles with domestic violence and drug abuse.

The Packers had won their previous two games in overtime to get to 7-6 and still had legitimate playoff hopes with Aaron Rodgers returning from his broken collarbone. But the dream all but died in one rough afternoon in Charlotte. Rodgers threw for three touchdown passes and 290 yards. But he was done in by three interceptions, the final one coming with the Packers down by one score and having recovered an onside kick.

“It’s not the fairy tale that we were hoping,” Rodgers said after the 31-24 loss. “As I lay in that surgery bed eight weeks ago thinking about this moment, I obviously saw it going differently.”
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Sports Insights’ contrarian betting strategy for Week 1 of the NFL

The 2017 NFL season is set to kickoff on Thursday with the Kansas City Chiefs traveling to New England to take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots. While Week 1 doesn’t get rolling until the first week of September, the frenetic appetite of NFL fans inspires the mainstream sports media to pump out 24/7 NFL content months in advance. Fantasy football has only amplified this further, as fans are digging for more content, statistics, trends and edges all summer long to win annual bragging rights among their league mates.

The NFL held a conference call Tuesday morning to try to determine whether to play or postpone the game, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, but no decision has yet been made.

The storm had strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane as of Tuesday morning.

“I’ve never been through anything like that,” said Gase, a Michigan native in his second season with the Dolphins. “I don’t know what to expect. I just want our guys to think, ‘Hey, we know what we’re doing.'”

Seifert: 10. That game in Denver jumps out to me. Since the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era began in 2001, the Broncos have won seven of 10 games against the Patriots in Denver. The Broncos are in transition under a new coaching staff, but significant history is in place to make this a decent possibility.nets_024

NFLPA president Eric Winston: We’re ‘ready to help’ Colin Kaepernick

Could help be on the horizon for Colin Kaepernick?

During a Q&A session with Dom Cosentino of Deadspin.com, NFLPA president Eric Winston revealed the organization has reached out to the controversial quarterback and made itself available to assist him in any way it can.

“Doc knows how to win championships. That is what we prioritize, and that is what Doc will focus on,” Ballmer said in a release. “He is key to integrating our new players with our returning players and taking us to new heights on the court.” He added: “Lawrence is someone I learn from every single time I hear him talk. He gets recruiting, talent development and identification, salary cap strategy — he gets it all. I know the team will be well positioned with him leading the front office.

“It is great to have two independent voices — and two of the league’s absolute professionals — working in partnership for our team. With these two guys at the helm, we will have great success.”

Rivers’ moves have been put under the microscope this offseason as a report came out that the way he treated his son Austin (after he acquired him and paid him a hefty salary) was a factor in Chris Paul deciding to leave the franchise.

Paul was traded to the Rockets for an assortment of players before he was able to hit free agency. The point guard denied the report, but there was more than one complaint about how Rivers went about building the team and his inability to get the Clippers to the Western Conference finals when Los Angeles had one of the best rosters in the NBA.

The most damning of moments was blowing a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Rockets in 2015. Rivers is 18-22 as a head coach for the Clippers in the playoffs.dolphins_008

Chris Paul’s son was on the bench while the Clippers blew out the Lakers

The Tuesday night game between the Los Angeles franchises was extremely one-sided as the Clippers blew out the Lakers.

The final score was 133-109, and the Clippers’ starters didn’t even play in the fourth quarter. Chris Paul knew the game was so far out of hand that he allowed his son to sit on the bench with him as they enjoyed the Lakers’ beatdown together.

While this is certainly a nice father-son moment, it’s also showing a lot of disrespect toward the Lakers. When was the last time you remember seeing someone’s kid on the bench during a game? Steph Curry got negative feedback for having his daughter at his press conference.

Meanwhile CP3 has his son on the bench with him. A lovely sight. I encourage this love but it’s so disrespectful to a lackluster Laker team.

Garnett’s best days were with the Timberwolves, his original team, where he won the 2004 MVP and established himself as an elite defender and perennial All-NBA selection. But he got Minnesota to one Western Conference Finals, never to a Finals and didn’t do his big winning until 2008 when he was traded to Boston. With the Celtics he won a title in ’08 and advanced to one other Finals in ‘10.

So if he’s going to be considered for a bronzing, it has to be on the basis of what he accomplished in his first 12 seasons with the T’Wolves. There’s no doubt he did more as a player there than anyone else in history; he had two second-place finishes in the MVP (losing to Shaq in 2000 and Duncan in 2003). But in terms of where he stacks up in NBA history against the all-time greats, his Hall of Fame candidacy in 2021, when he’ll be an automatic first-ballot selection, is going to be his crowning achievement. Great worker and terrific competitor. But sorry, no statue.steelers_130

Cutler, 34, spent the first three seasons of his career with the Denver Broncos and the last eight with the Chicago Bears.

That’s news to Cutler’s agent, Bus Cook, who told ESPN’s Adam Schefter just last week that his client wants to play football and hasn’t mentioned retirement. But Cook only handles football contracts for Cutler and has evidently been left out of the loop by the quarterback’s pursuit of another job outside of the NFL.

“You’d have to talk to Jay about that,” Cook told Garafolo on Thursday. “Any football player would be smart to explore his options in case he doesn’t play anymore. But Jay is as talented as any quarterback out there right now.”

According to ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson, FOX auditioned Cutler to be the replacement for John Lynch who left the network to become the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers. With Lynch out, FOX is currently without a broadcast partner for Kevin Burkhardt.

Cutler, 34, spent the first three seasons of his career with the Denver Broncos and the last eight with the Chicago Bears. After releasing the quarterback in March, the Bears moved on by signing Mike Glennon in free agency and trading up to select Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

The referees handed out technicals to Beal and Jason Smith on Washington, as well as Bazemore and Taurean Prince for Atlanta. (Smith and Prince exchanged some shoves after this gif ends, which is why they were lumped into the punishment.)

But the bigger issue is how strict the NBA will be with their longstanding rule that players who step onto the floor during a scuffle will automatically receive a one-game suspension. Infamously, Amar’e Stoudemire was suspended from Game 5 of the 2007 Western Conference semifinals after he did it. You can clearly see from the screenshot that Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris have moved from the bench to the court.

However, both did that before Beal pushed Bazemore, and they Elite Womens Lou Gehrig Jersey quickly retreated back to the bench after that happened. Likewise, in Youth Morris Claiborne Jersey another angle you can see John Wall at least one step onto the court, though he didn’t make it much further than that.

After the allegations went public, Conley released a statement calling them “completely false.”

So how does a team produce such up-and-down results?

It would be shocking if anyone beyond the league’s big three could win this tournament. Bubble teams in other conferences should hope nobody else does, because that would tie up an at-large bid for one of UCLA, Arizona, and Oregon. It’s a situation that probably won’t come up, based on how the season’s gone so far.

After the Bruins, Wildcats, and Ducks, the Pac-12 has USC as a likelier-than-not tournament team. The Trojans only lost eight games in the regular season, all in league play, and have great wins against UCLA and SMU.

But the second team out entering the night’s lineup, the Iowa Hawkeyes, weren’t so lucky. The Indiana Hoosiers buried the Hawks by 22, 95-73, in the first Big Ten Tournament second-round game of the night. As I wrote earlier, Iowa needed to get to a Friday quarterfinal against the Wisconsin Badgers to have a shot, but now Indiana is the team with a renewed chance. However, the Hoosiers might need to make Sunday’s final to have a real shot, and if they get that far, they might as well go ahead and cut the nets down.

So how does a team produce such up-and-down results? Injuries didn’t help. Quarterback Nick Mullens missed a couple of games due to a, uh, creatively gross injury (the Eagles lost both games in his absence), the offensive line had to deal with shuffling at a couple of positions, and the depth chart shifted around at least a little bit on the defensive line and in the secondary.

Really, though, the volatility was baked in, at least a bit. Southern Miss’ defense was incredibly aggressive, willing to sacrifice big plays for big stops, and either things worked wonderfully or didn’t work at all. The defense was less volatile but still produced plenty of big plays at some points and none at others.

Hopson recruited his tail off in 2017; per 247, he signed a better class than either Frank Wilson at UTSA or Butch Davis at FIU, and he has 16 new three-star toys. He returns a pretty continuous two-deep, too, which could mean better consistency. That, or a change at quarterback will make things every bit as up-and-down.
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