The Buccaneers hope to pump up both sides of the ball. On offense, it sounds like they’ll be embracing the trend that the Eagles rode to a championship.
The run-pass option.
I think everybody in the league is probably going to do more of it this year, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said in response to the question of whether his team will be doing more of it in 2018. The success that Philly had, it’s a copycat league.
Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, who are supposed to be the future of the Timberwolves organization. But neither young player has developed the way Tom Thibodeau would have liked. Towns has superior offensive talent and showed flashes of putting it all together, but there are far too many times when he doesn’t have a solid presence defensively. As for Wiggins, he hasn’t shown consistency on either end.
Crockett spent seven weeks on the Jaguars’ practice squad last season before being promoted to the 53-player roster on December 26, 2017. Crockett did not see action in two games, and Jacksonville waived him January 13.
He originally signed with Green Bay as an undrafted rookie on May 5, 2017, after a four-career at Georgia Southern.
Smith, who went undrafted out of Iowa in 2016, spent time with the Colts and Raiders in 2017. He did not see any action last season but played two games with the Colts in 2016.
His production and effort haven’t always mirrored his physical gifts. Hand missed time in 2017 with an MCL sprain. He also had a DUI arrest last summer in which he was found asleep at the wheel of a parked car that was running with its headlights on.
His timed speed is a concern for some, but White tackled a lot of people who have been clocked faster at the combine. His instincts are top-shelf and he finishes tackles with purpose, amassing 94 tackles in 2017.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t in attendance for several recent OTA sessions, but he was back at practice with his Steelers teammates on Wednesday.
Instead, the offense is being worked to Newton’s strengths as a guy who was the MVP just two years ago. The quarterback and his coaches have focused on the details of individual plays being installed—from start to finish. The idea is to get investment on each one, so that Newton is playing quarterback, and not just playing football. If there’s a difference you’ll see, I’d say it may be a little like the makeover Ben Roethlisberger underwent about five years ago in learning to play the game a little more like a point guard, to get the most out of the guys around him. But I don’t have much question that the Panthers offense will be tailored to what Newton does well.
The Bears took Floyd with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft and he has missed 10 games so far in his two-year NFL career. Last year he was lost for the season in November with a knee injury, and he has also had head and neck injuries.
But even though Floyd will turn 26 in September and still hasn’t done everything the Bears were expecting when they made him a Top 10 draft pick, they still believe he has the potential to be a big part of their defense. He’ll show wheat he can do in training camp.
In Fulmer’s first two major league seasons (2016-17), he ranked fifth among AL pitchers with 0.81 homers per nine innings, and led the league in that category in 2017 (0.71). The 2016 AL Rookie of the Year made his first All-Star appearance in 2017. — Sopan Shah, ESPN Stats & Information
Zimmerman is one of the most prolific players in Nationals/Expos franchise history. He has the most home runs and RBIs of any player to wear either uniform, and has the second-most career games played. And he got to those records with a resurgent 2017 that included a career-high 36 home runs and 108 RBIs, his second-most ever and most since 2006, when he finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting. — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information
Yasiel Puig, who was pinch hit for a day earlier for what Roberts called in-house reasons, scored on a wild pitch to pull the Dodgers within 5-3 in the seventh.
Roberts pointed to the cramp and hamstring and abductor issues Wood has dealt with, but Wood didn’t blame any physical issues on his performance.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (right thumb bruise) played catch Saturday. … RHP Mike Soroka (muscle strain near right shoulder) will come off the disabled list and start Wednesday against the Mets.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler has bruised ribs, but scans and X-rays showed no further damage after the rookie was lifted from a start with pain in his side Friday. Buehler said Saturday he is uncertain how much time he’ll miss or if he’ll need to go on the disabled list. … LHP Rich Hill (blister) threw a four-inning sim game Saturday and Roberts said he threw the ball well. He threw 60 pitches without the blister covered. … Dennis Santana (right rotator cuff strain) was transferred from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list … INF Justin Turner (soreness left wrist) was not in the lineup for the fourth time in the last five games but is expected to be back Sunday. … RHP Kenta Maeda (right hip strain) is expected to throw a bullpen Sunday and if that goes well, the team can put him back in the rotation.
Treinen (3-1) retired five batters to win following a strong start Manaea. Winless since May 14, Manaea allowed six hits and two runs over 7 1/3 innings and had six strikeouts with no walks.
Kansas City’s offensive funk continued, although Moustakas gave his ballclub a jolt in the first inning when he laid down a bunt to beat Oakland’s defensive shift. But Moustakas was stranded at second, one of four runners the Royals left in scoring position.
He practices it and his mindset is he’s going to beat the shift, Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. If guys can do it, managers are going to have to make adjustments.
Alex Gordon doubled off Treinen with one out in the ninth and moved to third on a groundout before Drew Butera fouled out to Lucroy to end the game.
A fan sitting in the second deck behind home plate caught two foul balls on consecutive pitches, both of them bare-handed.
There are plenty of unanswered questions about how the two new spring football leagues will operate. Alliance of American Football co-founder Charlie Ebersol made his league’s position crystal clear as to one of those questions during a visit to the #PFTPM podcast on Wednesday.
If they go with a non-quarterback first overall (either Bradley Chubb or Saquon Barkley ), they could still select either Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, or maybe even Sam Darnold with the fourth pick. Let’s say the Browns go with Chubb first overall, the entire draft is then in the hands of the New York Giants. With the No. 2 overall pick, they’ll probably take either a quarterback or Barkley. If they take Barkley, Cleveland will almost definitely take a quarterback fourth overall.
Gordon might be the most talented wide receiver in the NFL. In 2013 he caught 87 passes for a league-leading 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games, despite catching passes from the likes of Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer. Unfortunately, Gordon has had multiple drug offenses and has played in just 10 games in four seasons since then.
Now Gordon is saying all the right things about being back with the Browns and firmly committed to football. Mayfield’s development as a quarterback will go much more smoothly if he has Gordon on his side.
[James] grabbed me close. He told me that he lost a state final his junior year. He told me I was a special player and to keep my head up, said Staten, who later went on to play at West Virginia. He told me to remember the moment for the rest of my life. He told me to let that drive me for the rest of my life, never to feel like that again. Those were wise words, and I’ve tried to live by them.
The moment created a remarkable photo, James comforting and offering advice to a teenager in a devastating moment.
It’s just who I am, I guess. It’s not like it was planned. Obviously I just recognized the kid had a lot of talent. He played his heart out against our high school and he wanted to win that game just as bad as, you know, probably living, James said. And I mean he was just crying, like, a disaster, you know? I’ve been there. I was in my junior year…. I just wanted to try to give my words of encouragement in any way I could.
Whether quarterback Andrew Luck actually throws behind them remains to be seen, but the Colts at least like the progress they’ve made putting together a new offensive line.
There just needs to be a mental toughness and a leadership with guys who are all in and can mentally and physically do it play in and play out, coach Frank Reich said. Those guys have proven that over their career and they’re stepping up in their leadership role and really setting the tone for us, not only as an offensive line, but really as an offense in general.
The Colts also used one of their second-rounders on guard Braden Smith, adding another high pick to the mix. It’s a promising start, and if their quarterback actually ever throws again, they should be improved.
Flacco said it was unfortunate if people think he’s holding a grudge about the team’s decision to draft Jackson and that all has been well with the rookie since they started working together. Flacco said he’s welcomed Jackson with open arms and we’re all helping each other all the time because everyone’s focus is on putting the best team on the field come the regular season.
There’s been talk of a package of plays for Jackson that would get him on the field while Flacco remains the starter. The veteran said on Thursday that he’s OK with that if it helps the team win while adding that he thinks the best way to do that involves having him under center.
Flacco also fielded questions about what the future holds for him and acknowledged the obvious by saying that drafting Jackson represents part of the team’s plans. He said he didn’t know what that plan entails, but that he’s worried about right now because nothing can be promised beyond that.
But conversely, if you believe the fourth straight Cleveland-against-Golden State NBA Finals seems somewhat new and different, you also can’t be faulted. Never in the NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL have the same two teams slugged it out in the championship round four straight years. So that’s new.
The Patriot Way has come under attack in recent days, from those who claim that the Patriots don’t have fun. To no surprise, coach Bill Belichick says it’s not about fun.
Asked during a Thursday press conference whether it’s important for you to come up with ways for players to feel like they’re enjoying themselves as they’re putting in the work that you ask them to put in, Belichick was characteristically blunt.
We feel what’s important to us is to win, Belichick said. So that’s really what we’re trying to do.
Asked next about criticism from people like Eagles tackle Lane Johnson, Belichick was characteristically dismissive.
Browns safety Damarious Randall underestimated two things: the power of social media and passion of Cleveland fans.
Randall said Wednesday he never imagined that an innocent Twitter posting about the NBA Finals would blow up into a national story — and maybe something he lives to regret.
Last year, Foster didn’t participate in the offseason program due to a lingering shoulder issue.
[I]f he gets one snap of practice it’ll be more than what he got a year ago, Saleh said. So we’re excited he’s here. We’re excited that he’s working. We’re excited that he’s in meetings. He’s excited. The guys, his teammates are excited. Getting him up to speed won’t take as long and I promise you, when he gets out there, he’s going to be like a fireball. That’ll be cool to see.
Saleh said that he had no contact with Foster during his absence, which means that Foster is getting up to speed not only physically but also mentally. For a guy who at one point seemed to be destined for a lengthy suspension at best and termination of employment at worst, it’s a huge development both for him and for the team that he’s able to play at all.
We’re all excited, Saleh said. The whole organization matches his enthusiasm, and that’s not just because of Reuben the player, but Reuben the person. For people who don’t know him, and who don’t have the privilege to know him, really don’t understand what a great human being he actually is.
The Packers personnel department saw a series of changes to kick off the offseason after Ted Thompson stepped down as General Manager.
Thompson moved to a senior advisor role with Brian Gutekunst getting bumped up from director of player personnel to the G.M. job. Longtime personnel execs Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith moved to new jobs in Cleveland and the Packers announced the new structure of their front office on Friday.
Hamilton, which played most of its starters, had seven turnovers in the first half — two interceptions, three fumbles and two on downs.
Obviously you can’t turn the ball over like that and ever have a chance to win a game, Jones said. But he (Manziel) did some good things. He’s got a good game presence about him. He knew what was going on … he wasn’t rattled, he wasn’t flustered. Obviously he scrambled around and made a couple of plays. I think he’s going to get better and better every time he plays.
Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, entered the game late in the first half and played much of the third quarter. The 25-year-old was solid on his final possession, engineering a 12-play, 62-yard drive that took 7:27 off the clock but also included the intentional grounding penalty.
They finally gave me the clear to start back working out normal and going back into the meetings and stuff, Gathers said. For the most part, I was excited after getting cleared, but the people above had bigger expectations for me rather than me coming in and practicing and getting back on the field.
Really they didn’t tell me anything. But I could just tell by the drift of the season and the drift of the coaching staff that I probably wasn’t going to play last year anyway. I just look forward to getting back on the field this year.
Gathers is confident he could have helped last season. He’s more confident he will help this season with Witten and Hanna gone. He is competing with Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin, Schultz and undrafted rookie David Wells likely for three roster spots.
Gathers has worked hard on his blocking, seeking to become an all-around tight end.
It was agonizing [not playing last season], because I felt like I had finally got into a rhythm of what I wanted to do, and I think they saw that, Gathers said. It was tough to deal with, especially because in some of the games I felt like we needed a scoring punch and I felt like that was what I brought to the table. But playing for the Cowboys is bigger than being able to score touchdowns. You have to block and everything else.
Two weeks ago, the Kansas City Chiefs waived wide receiver Jordan Smallwood in order to sign another receiver, East Carolina’s Davon Grayson.
It is tough to evaluate running backs in spring non-contact practices, but Bowles likes what he has seen from Crowell.
Right now, he has been great, Bowles said. He is doing everything we have asked of him right now. He is running the ball, he is picking up his blocks and picking up the system well. It will be exciting to see him in pads.
If J.R. Smith is lucky, if fate is as kind to him, he will live a life similar to the one Roy Riegels lived in the many decades after he made what, for many, remains the signature gaffe in the history of American sports.
Twenty-nine months later, Smith is moving more like myself.
Maybe more than anything else, I think he’s moving more spontaneously now, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. You see him maybe get in a compromising position and react his way out of it physically maybe better than he had before.
The daughter of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen announced her desire to take over the leadership role of the team and was informed she hasn’t met the criteria.
The Pat Bowlen Trust issued a statement Thursday saying Beth Bowlen Wallace is not capable or qualified at this time.
The team was placed in a trust when Pat Bowlen stepped down in 2014 because of Alzheimer’s. The trust is overseen by three people, including team president and CEO Joe Ellis, who has final say on day-to-day operations until one of Bowlen’s seven children can succeed him as controlling owner.
Bowlen Wallace said in a statement that it is her desire to lead this team with the same passion my father did and help the Broncos become Super Bowl champions again.
The Broncos have made 18 of their 22 playoff appearances during the Pat Bowlen era. Since he was introduced as the majority owner on March 23, 1984, the team has the second-most regular-season wins (behind New England) and captured three Super Bowl titles.