NFL says it will review Patricia ‘matter’ with Lions

The NFL said Thursday it will review the issue regarding new Lions head coach Matt Patricia being indicted for an alleged 1996 sexual assault.

The Detroit News reported Wednesday night Patricia had been indicted, but not tried, for sexual assault in 1996. Patricia said in a statement Wednesday night he was falsely accused of the allegation, and the Lions also released a statement supporting the head coach.

As someone who was falsely accused of this very serious charge over 22 years ago, and never given the opportunity to defend myself and clear my name, I find it incredibly unfair, disappointing, and frustrating that this story would resurface now with the only purpose being to damage my character and reputation, Patricia said in the statement. I firmly maintain my innocence, as I have always done. I would never condone any of the behavior that was alleged and will always respect and protect the rights of anyone who has been harassed or is the victim of violence.

My priorities remain the same — to move forward and strive to be the best coach, teacher, and man that I can possibly be.

Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant are entrenched as starters, wile Brian Poole serves as Atlanta’s nickel back. Rookie second-round pick Isaiah Oliver is also looking at a secure roster spot because of his draft status.

Unless Bethel manages to unseat Poole, he’ll likely be team’s fourth or fifth cornerback—depending on how Oliver develops—at best. If Atlanta decides $1.75 million is too much to pay a depth player and special teamer, it can release Bethel and pay out only $400,000 in guarantees.

The Baltimore Ravens selected running back Kenneth Dixon with a fourth-round pick in 2016, and he arrived with plenty of hype. The Louisiana Tech product rushed for more than 4,400 yards and a whopping 72 touchdowns during his collegiate career.
colts_082

Chris Thompson’s role won’t change with addition of Derrius Guice

Washington added Derrius Guice in the draft, but the team insists Chris Thompson’s third-down role won’t change. Thompson caught 39 passes for 510 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games last season before fracturing his fibula.

“Chris will be in there a lot, so I think the rotation that we will come up with will be quite beneficial to all the backs,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said, via John Keim of ESPN. “Keep them fresh, keep them healthy and then use their skill set accordingly.”

With the return of Josh Gordon and the trade for Jarvis Landry and the drafting of Antonio Callaway, the Browns suddenly have a crowded room at the receiver position. Does that make 2016 first-rounder Corey Coleman the odd man out? Perhaps.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer suggests that the Browns would trade Coleman, if the Browns receive a “decent offer.”

It’s unclear what that precisely means, but whoever gets Coleman would be banking on him playing much better than he has in two NFL seasons. Injuries (a pair of broken hands) have been an issue, and Coleman has only 718 career receiving yards in 19 career regular-season games. The question becomes whether he can be more durable, and whether he can do more when he plays.

Gone are last year’s leading receiver, Michael Crabtree, as well as last year’s No. 4 wide receiver, Cordarrelle Patterson. Jordy Nelson arrived in free agency, while the Raiders traded for Martavis Bryant and Ryan Switzer.

“We’ve got a competitive situation here at wide receiver,” Gruden said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “So I like that.”

Gruden said the trade for Bryant gives Oakland a big-play threat.

“Let me tell you, he brings a different dynamic,’ Gruden said.” He’s 6-foot-4 and he plays it. He’s 4.4- fast and he plays it. We just have to get him wired into the offense and Jordy Nelson’s experience and versatility has really been impressive that it’s allowed us to do some things in just a few days that is pretty cool. We like our receivers, and we think Martavis will make you think twice about doing some things.”
orioles_023

NBA, NBPA focus on lowering minimum age requirement

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association’s conversations on eliminating the one-and-done entry rule have centered on lowering the minimum age requirement no sooner than the 2020 draft, league sources told ESPN.

He also coached at Northern Illinois and Minnesota, where he was named 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year before seizures caused by his epilepsy forced him to step down after four-plus seasons and a 29-29 record (14-21 Big Ten). The Golden Gophers went to three bowl games during Kill’s tenure.

Kill has dealt with epilepsy his entire career, and he missed two Gophers games in 2013 while undergoing treatment.

He went on to become an associate athletic director for Kansas State in 2016 and returned to coaching shortly after, signing on as offensive coordinator at Rutgers for the 2017 season.

After suffering several seizures while with the Scarlet Knights, including one in the football office on Sept. 10, 2017, Kill quietly stepped away on Sept. 19.

He returned to SIU in March as a special assistant to Montemagno.

It is the benchmark for our roster’s cornerstone players — $30.

So far in 2018, the $30 Club includes the usual suspects. Mike Trout leads all players with $44 in roto earnings. Other club members include regulars Mookie Betts ($38), Bryce Harper ($35), Max Scherzer ($34), Charlie Blackmon ($30) and Manny Machado ($30).

There are a handful of players who are $20-plus regulars experiencing an early surge. These players may sustain their performances but are also candidates for at least moderate regression. They include Didi Gregorius ($39), Carlos Correa ($33) and Justin Verlander ($30). Aaron Judge ($34) is trying to prove that his $32 performance in 2017 was no fluke, but so far his earnings are driven as much by his batting average (.325) as his power (6 HRs).

For the following players, $30 in earnings puts them in uncharted waters. None has earned $30 before, and for some, that level exceeds anything industry analysts have ever projected.

Gentry, who served as an assistant on Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s staff when Golden State won an NBA title in 2015, joked that he should have stolen a playbook from his former team before he left town. He is looking forward to the challenge that Golden State still provides.steelers_051

Derwin James’ availability is a godsend for the Green Bay Packers since the organization’s primary offseason goal is to overhaul a porous secondary. 

Safeties aren’t generally seen as top prospects, yet James’ combination of size, athleticism, versatility and playmaking ability make him a surefire top-15 selection.

Simply put, guards are rarely drafted in the top 10 in the modern NFL, let alone the top 5. In the 51 years of the modern NFL Draft — since the AFL and NFL had their first common draft in 1967 — just 16 guards have been picked in the first 10 picks, with only five of them going in the first five selections.

So Amendola said he did what he had to do for his family, and accepted Miami’s offer.

While Amendola praised Belichick as the best coach ever, he admitted playing for him could be hard.

Head coach Todd Bowles is expected to be in attendance along with General Manager Mike Maccagnan, who also attended Rosen’s workout at UCLA’s Pro Day. The Jets contingent will then head to Wyoming on Friday for Josh Allen’s Pro Day before hitting Norman, Oklahoma to work out Baker Mayfield this weekend.

The Jets moved up to the No. 3 pick in a trade with the Colts last weekend and many expect they made the move to improve their chances of landing their desired quarterback in this year’s draft.

C.J. Anderson was the first Broncos rusher to top 1,000 yards in a season since 2013. But that wasn’t enough for Denver to keep him around. Anderson has been released and will hit the market as a free agent, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo .

Gay spent 10 of his 11 NFL seasons with the Steelers, deviating only in 2012, a season he played for the Cardinals. Despite his advanced age for a cornerback, his career is marked by remarkable durability. Gay has never missed a game, playing in all 176, starting 101. Pat Shurmur, the new head coach, has talked since he was hired about “availability’’ as an underrated quality in a player.
steelers_013

Smoak’s 2 HR, go-ahead slam in 8th rally Jays past Yanks 7-4

After fouling off a pair of curveballs, Justin Smoak figured he’d get a fastball from David Robertson.

Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery starts New York’s home opener Monday afternoon against the Rays, who had not announced a starter for their bullpen day. Tampa Bay is using a four-man rotation and plans to turn to its bullpen to get through a game every fifth day.

Ross (1-0), who allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, was pitching for the Padres for the first time since opening day 2016. He didn’t pitch again that season and eventually had thoracic outlet surgery. He pitched for Texas last year before returning to the Padres on a minor league deal.

Ross nearly made it unscathed through the order the first time, but Freeland singled to center with one out in the third. Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu walked to load the bases before Nolan Arenado doubled to left. Freeland and Blackmon scored but LeMahieu was thrown out at the plate on a relay throw by shortstop Galvis.

The Rockies added another run in the fourth and had another runner thrown out. With runners on the corners, Chris Iannetta singled to left to bring in Gerardo Parra. Trevor Story tried to advance from first to third and was cut down by Jose Pirela.

After being the designated hitter in the opener, he expected to be far more nervous to pitch. It didn’t show.

Reaching the upper 90s (mph) with his fastball and keeping the A’s guessing with a nifty splitter, Ohtani struck out six and retired 14 of his final 15 batters.

He didn’t hit while pitching, as Albert Pujols was the DH and went 0 for 5.

Ohtani (1-0) pounded his glove following a 1-2-3 shutdown fifth. He walked one, and the only damage against him came on Matt Chapman’s three-run homer in the second.

The 23-year-old righty briefly removed his cap and looked to the sky after the drive, then went back to work and blanked the A’s the rest of the way.

After that three-run shot, Scioscia came up to me and said I’m doing fine, Ohtani said.
patriots_178

The free-agency dominoes started falling in the NFL on Wednesday, reshaping the league hierarchy with every move.

Wednesday marked the beginning of the new league year, when all 32 teams could go official with trades, free-agent signings, cutting pesky salaries before guarantees kick in and more.

The Bengals were in the market for a backup after losing quarterback AJ McCarron to the Bills in free agency.

McCarron was Dalton’s primary backup from 2015-2017 and started three regular-season games and an 18-16 loss to the Steelers in the AFC wild-card game after Dalton got hurt in 2015.

Ballard’s long-term plan comes into focus The Colts’ free-agency plan has been sharply criticized so far, with Indy unable to sign any big-name free agents.

Only rotational pass-rusher Denico Autry has been brought in by second-year general manager Chris Ballard, who had the third-most cap space at his disposal entering free agency.

However, Ballard continuously stated that the Colts wouldn’t pay premium prices for B-level players despite their ample cap space, and emphasized the team’s desire to build through the draft and construct a roster capable of competing for a long time.

Ballard added after the announcement of the trade that the move was ideal for the Colts because it still allows them to get a premium player while still being able to replenish our young talent.

But the Jets can take it further.

According to Mike Nash of Jets Wire, Jets safety Jamal Adams tried to recruit free-agent wideout Jordy Nelson before deleting the social media post. Nelson later signed with the Oakland Raiders.

No need to delete—the Jets need offensive weapons to help the quarterbacks. Running back should be a priority too, but with Robby Anderson in hot water, a jolt to an already weak wideout depth chart is a must. It didn’t turn out to be Nelson, but it could be Terrelle Pryor, Mike Wallace or an upside guy like Cody Latimer.

Well, the Oakland Raiders might be the poster boy for this predicament coming out of a season where tight end Jared Cook led the team in receiving. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree combined to catch 15 touchdowns, which sounds great, but they also combined to only catch 106 of 197 targets.

That would explain why the Raiders signed Jordy Nelson.patriots_123

Watch the all-time best Dunk Contest throw-downs

The NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest has gotten better in recent years, but it used to be awesome, featuring not just All-Stars but superstars.

Way back before the All-Star event was filled with 11th men and no-name rookies, the most athletic stars in the NBA used to actually compete, and it was righteous.

Here is a rundown of the best individual dunks in the contest’s history. (Spoiler alert: There are none from the past five years.)

This is the dunk. When I hear the phrase “slam dunk,” it’s Vince Carter dangling on the rim like it’s his squaredance partner that immediately comes to mind. This is just an ultimate display of physical skill and creativty. Who thinks to do that?

There are plenty of things people can criticize Dwight Howard for, but creativity isn’t one of them. In 2009, Howard took advantage of the “getting props approved” rule, bringing in a 12-foot rim, Superman cape and phonebooth for him to change from Clark Kent to the Man of Steel. He makes leaping to the insanely high basket look like a cakewalk, only leaving a desire for him to have gone even higher.

Booker scored 31 points with 10 assists before leaving the game in obvious pain. He will reportedly have X-rays on his ribs and hip areas to determine the exact injury.

Booker now has 16 games with at least 30 points this season, but the Suns are only 8-8 in those games. After being snubbed from this year’s All-Star game, Booker moved to point guard, leading the Suns’ young offensive attack. A natural shooter, Booker has dealt with the switch well, but the Suns are just 3-9 this month.

You can choose to lock lineups either on a weekly basis or on a daily basis. If you choose the weekly setting, your lineups for the week have to be in before the first game on Monday, and this is a good setting if the managers in your league don’t have a lot of time to spend obsessing about their teams throughout the week. It’s a more casual setting. The more hard-core baseball fan typically prefers a daily setting, which requires attention pretty much every day of the MLB calendar. lions_085

Which teams should be next winter’s big spenders?

When it comes to the bottom-line total of wins and losses, rebuilding can be a difficult time for fans, even with the knowledge that it’s part of a long-term plan for future success. The Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs have their forever-flags, but Houston did see attendance drop from 3.1 million in 2004 to 1.6 million in 2012 while even the attendance of the Wrigley Faithful has had its ups and downs, dropping below three million in 2012-2015. But coming out of that rebuild? That’s an exciting time for a team and for fans, the team shifting toward prioritizing current wins rather than future ones.

“Whether it’s second week of April, whenever, we’re going to be really happy to have him back,” Francona said, “because that’s a position then that you don’t have to platoon, you just kind of wind him up and let him go play.”

It’s a tough thing to feel when you feel like you’ve got to be perfect, especially kicking .You can’t do it.Hickson, 27, was the 19th overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers 2008 and spent three seasons with the Cavs, peaking 2010 when he averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds.Sponsor: Sen.And it’s easier to stick with guys like him that work hard and ‘t complain about things and ‘t make excuses.A few observations: 1) The weight that Smotrycz and Horford has put looks to have a large part of it be below the waist.

The Warriors did, however, manage to keep from feasting on lobs.When the Kings traded Bernier to Toronto, I can tell you that Ranford and Lombardi and a number of people that Kings front office – who I think you guys believe have a clue about how to win – they were sick to their stomach trading Bernier.These hugs have become a ritual between the two after every win.

Considering those shots represented around half of his shot attempts over the last two seasons, it bodes well for his fit with LeBron James, who functions as the point guard on offense for the Cavaliers. It also helps that Hill has spent most of his career playing alongside an All-Star in the backcourt, such as Paul George in Indiana and Gordon Hayward in Utah. It should make for a much smoother transition than the one we just witnessed with Thomas.
lions_131

Super Bowl 2018 streaming: All you need to know for watching Sunday’s game live online, on TV, and radio

All eyes are on Minneapolis this week heading into Super Bowl 52. On Sunday, the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles in a rematch of Super Bowl 39. There are plenty of options for viewers to catch the game live when things kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Live streams can be found at NBC Sports, Yahoo! Sports (iOS | Android), and FuboTV.

Still looking for their first Super Bowl title, the Eagles have embraced their underdog identity, and the defense should be a good matchup against Brady. But if they want to lift the Lombardi Trophy, they need Foles to be at his absolute best. Even the smallest mistake could change the game. There’s no margin for error when playing Brady and Belichick, so Doug Pederson and Co. will need a perfect game plan on Sunday.

This year’s game will pit the New England Patriots’ growing dynasty — in search of its sixth NFL championship — against a Philadelphia Eagles team that has never won a Super Bowl. Philadelphia will head into Sunday’s game the same way it has throughout the playoffs — as a significant underdog. New England opened as a 6-point betting favorite to claim another Lombardi Trophy.

That’s because MVP candidate Carson Wentz, the second-year quarterback whose emergence helped the Eagles recognize their true potential, won’t be on the field. The North Dakota State product tore his ACL in Week 14, handing the reins of one of the league’s deepest offenses over to Nick Foles. The former Pro Bowler has had an up-and-down run as the team’s replacement, but he’s peaking at the right time for Philadelphia to make a run — he threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s NFC Championship win over the Vikings.
bears_037-223x223

Yes, Justin Timberlake will headline the halftime performance at the Super Bowl in 2018.

No, there is no word on whether Janet Jackson will make an appearance. The incident in Houston 14 years ago has been referenced often since Timberlake was announced as the halftime performer, but don’t expect history to repeat itself in Minneapolis.

P!nk’s performance of the national anthem in Minneapolis will be her first time appearing on the Super Bowl stage.

P!nk joins the ranks of many performers who have sung the Super Bowl national anthem, including Luke Bryan, Lady Gaga, Idina Menzel, Renée Fleming, Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, Whitney Houston, Harry Connick, Jr., Garth Brooks, Natalie Cole, Vanessa Williams, Luther Vandross, Cher, Faith Hill, Mariah Carey, Dixie Chicks, Beyoncé Knowles, Christina Aguilera and many more. (A complete list of national anthem performers from past Super Bowls is listed below.)

In addition, on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), actor and director Alexandria Wailes will perform in American sign language both the national anthem and “America The Beautiful.”

The opening song in this halftime performance features young girls in cheerleading costumes singing:

“You’ve got to be a football hero, to get along with the beautiful girls. You’ve got to be a touchdown getter you bet, if you want to get, a cutie to pet.”

The 1995 Super Bowl halftime show, produced by Disney, was meant to help build a buzz around the new Indiana Jones Adventure ride at Disneyland. With the random addition of Patti LaBelle and Tony Bennett, it ended up being one of the most strange, confusing and hilarious halftime performances of all time.

We can thank this halftime show for pushing the NFL to become more of a halftime concert than a Broadway production. Michael Jackson performed his halftime show the following year.
bills_048