Monthly Archives: June 2018

I really don’t look at myself as a defensive end or a linebacker or a cornerback or a safety.

When you turn on the film, you can’t tell that I have asthma. I’m at my best when people are depending on me. If it’s just on me and I don’t have nothing to do, I’m going to be lazy. On the football field, it’s every single day, every play, knowing that people are depending on me to make my play. That helps me elevate my game to another level.

Oh man, tearing my ACL in 2013 was one of the toughest parts of my football career. I was coming off a six-game suspension too [for violating the league’s substance abuse policy], and there was a whole lot of doubt and uncertainty. For the most part, it was just me and my mom in Pensacola, Florida I couldn’t drive, so she would take me to rehab, she’d bring me back home, feed me. And it was just me and her everyday. It was at that moment where I was like, I’m never going to be back here. There’s nothing worse than looking at an article and seeing: Von Miller tore his ACL, plus he’s coming off suspension. And when he played this year he wasn’t looking the same he did as the year before. Is he ever going to be able to be the same? I’m 24 years old and people think my best years are past me! [laughs] It was definitely a tough, trying time.

Even though I’m a defensive player, I throw 100 balls every day and catch 100 balls. I’m trying to go through the whole motion like Peyton Manning does. I try to be great at everything. I try to show them that I can run, I can pass, I try to get out there early and do all that stuff. I like to show the coaches that I can play offense and defense. But our offense, we’ve got a team full of killers over there… but if they need me, I’m ready to go!

A seventh-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2014, Hal has been a starter for most of the past three seasons, intercepting nine passes and making 155 tackles in that stretch.

From a lineup perspective, Houston seems to be well positioned to withstand Hal’s absence after signing veteran safety Tyrann Mathieu in free agency before taking Stanford’s Justin Reid in the third round of the draft.

But Hal’s battle will certainly be a galvanizing factor in the locker room until his expected return.

The news of Andre Hal’s diagnosis weighs heavy on the hearts of everyone in the Houston Texans family. Andre epitomizes what it means to be a Houston Texan through his leadership, community involvement and team-first attitude, said coach Bill O’Brien.

How Clint Frazier’s maturity is impressing Yankees

That’s been the story all season for the highly regarded slugger, who has mashed at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre while waiting for an extended chance at the big-league level.

Philly ran it to success and scored a touchdown from Nick Foles to Torrey Smith. GM Howie Roseman texted her after the play (!) to let her know that one was for you, which shows just how appreciated she was. Cullen also noted to McManus she was devastated by the team’s decision to fire her.

The ring is pretty sweet too. It features a whopping 127 diamonds, a nod to the Philly Special play from the Super Bowl victory. The Eagles have done just about everything right over the last few months and it’s extending to the offseason, even when it comes to dishing out jewelry to former team employees. The karma points keep piling up in Philly.

That’s scary, especially since they’ve since upgraded that group by essentially trading in their reigning receiving touchdown leader, Sammy Watkins, for Brandin Cooks. 

Cooks also would have led the Rams in touchdown catches last year after he recorded seven with the Patriots, marking the third consecutive year in which the 24-year-old 2014 first-round pick recorded at least 65 catches for 1,000-plus yards and seven or more touchdowns. 

But he won’t even be the centerpiece of a core that features reigning Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley in the backfield, two other high-quality young receivers in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods (both caught more than 65 percent of the passes thrown their way and averaged more than 13 yards per catch in 2017) and two highly drafted young tight ends in Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.

The only other quarterback besides Brees with three 2017 Pro Bowlers in his arsenal? Kansas City Chiefs prodigy Patrick Mahomes II, who will enter his first full season as the team’s starter with one Pro Bowler at all three supporting offensive skill positions.

Todd Haley: Browns may have best QB room I’ve worked with

During Todd Haley’s tenure as the offensive coordinator of the Steelers, there were reports that he didn’t see eye to eye with Ben Roethlisberger. Now Haley is offensive coordinator of the Browns, and his recent comments suggest that he’s happy to have different quarterbacks to work with.

Haley said the quarterback room he’s working with now may be the best he’s worked with — even though he was working with a future Hall of Famer in Roethlisberger, and even though Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield and Drew Stanton are not on Roethlisberger’s level.

That’s good news for Browns fans, who have wished for a long time they could find a quarterback situation like the Steelers have.

On balance, the Colts would obviously rather have a healthy Luck with a little X-and-O rust than a broken-down Luck who has the plays down pat. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be an issue for them, particularly early in the season.

He ran maybe three or four routes, but he looks good coming out of his breaks, Manning said. From what I have seen, he looks sharp and ready to go.

Saquon Barkley’s welcome-to-the-NFL moment may come before he goes up against another team.

Though many of his coaches and teammates have expressed how impressed they’ve been with the rookie’s power, speed, versatility and maturity, All-Pro defensive tackle Damon Harrison is most interested in learning about the toughness of the No. 2-overall pick.

The guy can play, man … [but] I’m excited to get out there in training camp so I can hit his ass and see what’s he made of, Harrison said Tuesday.

I told him it’s not Penn State. He’s not going up against Josh Banks and Wake Forest.

David Irving suspended first four games for substance abuse

The NFL has suspended Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving the first four games of the season for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Irving sat out the first four games last season for violation of the league’s performance-enhancing substances policy. It marks the fifth consecutive season the Cowboys will begin the year with a defensive starter suspended. DeMarcus Lawrence, Orlando Scandrick, Rolando McClain, Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory also have served suspensions since 2014.

The news of Andre Hal’s diagnosis weighs heavy on the hearts of everyone in the Houston Texans family, he said.

Hal has spent his entire four-year career NFL with Houston. He posted 47 tackles and three interceptions last season.

Hal’s diagnosis comes just three days after Giants GM Dave Gettleman revealed he was found to have lymphoma during a recent physical exam.\

I’m fine, just really sore, Baez said after the game (via the Chicago Tribune). It got me really good right on the elbow. I thought the pain was going to go right way, but it numbed my whole arm and even my ribs.

After icing and other treatments, (i)t’s actually feeling pretty good, Baez said.

Although he is hitting just .175 (7-for-40) in June, the Tribune writes that he arguably has been the Cubs’ most valuable player this season because of his power, fielding prowess and versatility.

Such a move undoubtedly would be seen as a publicity stunt — Tebow is 30 and has a .230/.317/.353 slash line in his minor league career. But that doesn’t mean this show shouldn’t get a stop at Citi Field.

I think that’s something I’ll have to figure out, pray about it and see where my heart’s at with everything, Tebow said. How do you put a timetable on dreams or ambition or heart?

Packers fan’s lawsuit against Bears could impact anthem debate

As the NFL braces for the NFL Players Association’s potential legal challenge(s) to the new anthem policy, the league should be concerned, at least a little bit, about the possibility of a lawsuit based on the First Amendment.

What’s that, you say? The First Amendment doesn’t apply to private employers? It generally doesn’t. But when private employers put their employees to work in a publicly-funded venue, the analysis possibly changes.

Coach John Harbaugh said that Crabtree has been great for our locker room and has shared the tricks of the trade with his younger teammates in hopes of lifting the entire group. If that happens, it will mark a big step in the right direction for a beleaguered receiving group and a new role for Crabtree as he moves into his second decade as a professional.

Mara also is one of the few NFL owners who has made public comments on Kaepernick, who claims the NFL colluded to freeze him out after he started the anthem protests in 2016. He did not play in 2017 and remains unsigned.

Kaepernick’s original message — furthered by those like Piscataway native Malcolm Jenkins of the Eagles — was to protest social injustices, police brutality and racism. The protests have been construed by some, like Trump, as anti-American and anti-military.

More on the NFL 2018 NFL Over-Under Win Totals: Browns poised to be an AFC wild-card contender You hopped onto a 73-9 team and he took the easy way out in my mind, Garrett during an interview on Thursday with 92.3 the Fan in Cleveland. It’s different when LeBron [James] left [Cleveland]. He went to [Miami to join] Wade and Bosh but it wasn’t something that was already guaranteed, something you already knew was going to have immediate success.

[James] had to gel and work things into place. According to Garrett, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Durant has ruined the NBA. KD broke the league, Garrett said. With KD, you just stick him in and he scores. You already knew what they had. They were 73-9 before and you put the second-best player in the world on an already all-time great team and of course you’re going to have success, pretty easy success. Anyone can have an off night and they can still find a way to win.

Eric Ebron expects to play Ertz role in Reich’s offense

While the Indianapolis Colts ‘ defense is in the early stages of a comprehensive overhaul, new coach Frank Reich’s offense has a chance to take the league by surprise if Andrew Luck is healthy and the major offseason acquisitions come through.

One of those newcomers is former Lions first-round pick Eric Ebron, who expects to be featured in an offensive system that will borrow heavily from the Super Bowl champions.

Now that he has Reich and Luck in his corner, Ebron has found a new level of confidence in Indianapolis.

When Andrew Luck is healthy, he is one of the most dominant quarterbacks in this league, Ebron added. So I just look forward to playing with him. And whenever he gets healthy, I’ll just tell him, I’m 7-11, man. I’m always open, so just find me.

Jenkins, who for most of the past two seasons raised his fist during the anthem, has always said the protests were not about the flag or the military. Instead, they were about advocating for racial equality, and improved relations between police officers and the inner city communities that they serve.

All of this was written on the signs, which began with You Aren’t Listening.

Mike Glennon, Matt Schaub, Chase Daniel, Nick Foles, Teddy Bridgewater. All five of those quarterbacks are projected to be backups (if not third-stringers) in 2018, but all make more than Houston Texans franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson. 

Yes, it’s early to call Watson underpaid, but the 2017 No. 12 overall pick was lighting up the league and running away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award before suffering a torn ACL midway through the season.

Belichick: Relationship with Tom Brady always good

jets_059The Tom Brady- Rob Gronkowski Watch is officially over when it comes to the offseason workout program.

After being absent from the New England Patriots ‘ voluntary organized team activities, Brady and Gronkowski reported Tuesday morning for the start of the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp, as expected.

When McLeod went through some of the growing pains in his AHL transition, Kowalsky saw positive signs.

Even when he was caught out of position or holding on to a puck too long, he self identified the error.

Some of the mistakes he made, he knew right away when I was coming to him, whether it was on the bench or showing video, Kowalsky said. You like to see that. Some of these guys, where they play, they get coaching, but because they’re the superstars, they get away with some things from a habit and detail standpoint. He was making an effort to impress us that way.

Given the Devils’ depth at center entering the 2017-18 season, the team also had the luxury to give McLeod another season in juniors instead of throwing him into the fire early. Winning the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery and taking Nico Hischier No. 1 overall gave the Devils an NHL-ready center, and they already had Pavel Zacha, Travis Zajac and Brian Boyle in the fold.

Jenkins said it was a lost opportunity to have a meaningful discussion.

I feel like they could’ve had some productive talks, he said. You’re always looking to bring both sides together. Some positive could come out of a meeting like that. 

Recently, Trump hosted Kardashian for a discussion on prison reform. Kardashian also is pushing for a pardon of Alice Marie Johnson, a 62-year-old serving a life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense.

If you can meet with a Kardashian, there are some other activists that you can meet with as well, Jenkins said.   

With McLeod’s skill, speed and size, he could often take over play and do a lot of things on his own at the junior level. When he’s playing against opponents with similar size and speed at the pro level, that’s not the case for anyone, with a few rare exceptions.

Rockies’ Gonzalez scratched with back spasms

jets_058Colorado cleanup hitter Carlos Gonzalez experienced back spasms Saturday and was scratched from the Rockies’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Noel Cuevas replaced him in right field and Trevor Story moved up a slot to replace Gonzalez in the lineup.

Before the game, the Rockies also recalled left-handed pitcher Sam Howard from Triple-A Albuquerque to take the roster spot of left-handed reliever Harrison Musgrave, who was placed on the bereavement list following the death of his grandfather.

Manager Bud Black said Musgrave is expected back Wednesday.

Lester (7-2) allowed a two-out triple in the third to Austin Meadows, then retired Marte on a groundout. The left-hander struck out five and walked two in seven innings, improving to 5-1 in his past six starts.

Justin Wilson worked a perfect eighth, Steve Cishek retired all three batters in the ninth for his second save and the Cubs remained a half-game behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee.

Nick Kingham (2-3) allowed both runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. Pittsburgh lost for the sixth time in seven games and has dropped seven straight series. The Pirates are 5-16 following a 26-17 start.

Buehler began Friday with four perfect innings and was still cruising in the sixth when manager Dave Roberts became concerned about a drop in Buehler’s velocity. Roberts and a trainer ran to the mound and spoke with Buehler before removing him. Roberts said Buehler was having some difficulty breathing.

The team plans to have Dr. Neal ElAttrache review CT scans and X-rays of Buehler’s ribs.

A timetable, right now, is really wide open because we don’t want to jeopardize anything with his mechanics or anything to be compromised, Roberts said. We want to make sure he’s in a good spot physically and mentally before he makes another start.

The Dodgers have been plagued by injuries, especially to the starting rotation. Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dennis Santana are all on the disabled list. Santana was transferred to the 60-day disabled list Saturday with a right rotator cuff strain.

It’s possible Buehler could land on the DL, too.

Kellen Winslow’s representatives strongly deny burglary allegations

jets_057Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II recently was arrested for suspicion of burglary. His agent and lawyer insist that Winslow was doing nothing wrong.

Lawyer Harvey Steinberg told NBC News that Winslow emphatically denies committing any burglary.

A neighbor at the trailer park told that, when confronted, Winslow claimed he was looking for his dog.

It is time for the NFL to remedy inequities and force NFL teams to stop exploiting women, read the letter, which was distributed to the media. If not, you and the NFL can expect a backlash the likes of which will show the NFL what women’s power is all about.

Please inform me as to what steps you plan to take to demonstrate leadership to remedy the sex discrimination in pay and working conditions for NFL cheerleaders. We look forward to receiving your response in writing within one week from today.

But the Jaguars likely play it safe with Cann, which gives Walker more reps in what is shaping up as a training camp battle for the job.

I’m taking care of [the injury] in the training room, doing individual drills, making sure I can still do what I can do but anything else as far as playing time and when I’ll be back, you’ve got to talk to the training staff and the coaches, Cann said.

It says a lot about our pitching, Palka said. I don’t know stats-wise, but you look at the lineup that’s the best lineup (in baseball). Our pitching did awesome.

Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson and Trayce Thompson added one RBI apiece for Chicago, which has won six of its last 10 overall. The White Sox finished their seven-game road trip at 4-3, capping their second winning trip of the season.

If you get some pitching, you catch the ball as consistently as you possibly can, you get a little timely hitting, anything is possible, Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. They’ve proven that over the last week or so.

Chiefs OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif wants to put ‘M.D.’ on his jersey. He totally should

jets_056Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a lot of things. He’s an NFL player, obviously. He covered the 2018 Olympics as a correspondent for Radio-Canada. On Tuesday, he’ll add medical doctor to his resume.

Duvernay-Tardif wants his Chiefs jersey to reflect that last accomplishment.

I want to put Duvernay-Tardif M.D. on my jersey,Duvernay-Tardif said, via Aaron Rose of the Kansas City Star. I’ve already started a conversation with the league office and they say that anything is possible.

If I make it to the Pro Bowl in the same year that I graduate from medicine … and win the Super Bowl, then I don’t know what I’m going to do,Duvernay-Tardif said. All my goals will be accomplished.

If you can get through med school successfully while playing in the NFL, you should be able to put any name you want on the back of your jersey. I’d probably go with something less subtle, like, THAT’S DR. DUVERNAY-TARDIF TO YOU,but if Duvernay-Tardif wants to go with Duvernay-Tardif M.D.then the league should honor that.

He studies the taps and recommends a new IPA, from Scofflaw Brewing Co., determined to show off the best Atlanta has to offer.

As the piano intro to Don’t Stop Believin’blares, Lewis beams. It’s game day, and he loves this unpredictability. When his wife told him this morning he’d need to bring Jazz to his Royals game today, a rush of adrenaline passed through him.

That’s what you live for! he shouted. I shut it down for game day. Shut it down early.

He treasures each at-bat, each jump shot and is always an open book to his kids after years of neglect. They all know about the jail time, the bankruptcy and the concussion issues. Part of the reason Lewis is working nonstop is because he isn’t counting on the NFL helping him. At all. Three times he has requested disability from the league. Three times he’s been denied. Part of Lewis thinks the NFL is exacting revenge because he was part of the concussion lawsuit.

But Lewis says the NFL, which did not respond to a request for comment, also considers disabledthe inability to literally function day to day, overlooking cognitive damage. That’s Roger Goodell’s problem with players past.