Category Archives: Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles

Browns schedule 2017: Cleveland faces AFC North gauntlet in first four weeks

There’s nowhere to go but up for the Cleveland Browns.

How far is questionable. Cleveland is coming off a 1-15 year in Hue Jackson’s first season as head coach. Can the Browns somehow have a .500 or better record in September and December? That was the key to a 10-6 season in 2007. Cleveland will know if that’s even remotely possible after an early-season AFC North round robin.

The Giants defense showed improvement last season, but the ground game was putrid and that resulted in mistakes by Eli Manning. If the G-Men can find a running game and the defense continues to make strides, they might score double digits in the win category. If the ground game is still nonexistent, the 9-7 prediction might be optimistic.

But for Russell, that’s not much redundant at all. Because neither he nor Lin is a pure point guard, he foresees a versatile, ball-sharing backcourt.

“I think it’s a go,” Russell told Sporting News last week at Gatorade’s Athlete of the Year event. “We just go. Whoever gets the ball, let’s run. I complement his game, he complements my game. He’s not a point guard, he’s not a shooting guard. I’m not a point guard, I’m not a shooting guard. I think we’re just basketball players trying to make the best of it.”

Russell averaged 15.6 points (on 40.2 percent shooting) and 4.8 assists last season for the Lakers, but was deemed expendable by the Lakers once it was clear the team would draft point guard Lonzo Ball. He had a rocky two seasons in Los Angeles, but says he bears no ill feelings toward his former team.

“It’s past,” Russell said. “I learned a lot and now I am moving on to a new opportunity. The situation is, you’re with one team and you go to another team and it is completely different. Brooklyn has been open arms from Day One for me, so I am looking forward to it.”
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NFL teams have the upper hand with player holdouts this year

Holdouts are always a big story during training camp. Star players, dissatisfied with their contracts, will sit out to try to force their team’s hand, and fans are pretty split on the approach. Some people think it’s selfish for a player to hold out. But staying home is often the best way for a player to light a fire under a team to get a new deal done.

The real fun begins when those three light beers you drank, for a mere $32, are done filtering through your kidneys. After waiting in line 20 minutes to pee, splashing through the puddle of urine and whatever filth is oozing out of the one overflowing toilet (have you ever pooped at a stadium when it wasn’t an emergency?) and sauntering up to the urinal, you get the privilege of standing next to that guy who wants to talk to you while your frightened, enlarged prostate is making the whole process that much more difficult.

While you’re standing in filth waiting to relieve yourself, you will miss a pick-six, a circus catch, or whatever the one absolute can’t-miss highlight it is that this game will feature. Not to worry — you can catch the replay on TV when you get home.

You could’ve seen that highlight in real time had you opted to save the money and watch the game from the comfort of your own home (where I’m assuming nobody pees on the floor). And you’d have an extra $400-$500 to bet on the games, which is not a huge waste of money, nope. — Ryan Van Bibber

Which game would you pick? We asked Twitter and here’s what they said.
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Ravens OL John Urschel retires from NFL at 26

John Urschel may have the greatest mind in the NFL. He is a Ph.D candidate in mathematics at MIT and has published multiple research papers in his time there as well.

Now he is retiring from the NFL at 26, the Ravens announced Thursday.

“This morning John Urschel informed me of his decision to retire from football,” coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “We respect John and respect his decision. We appreciate his efforts over the past three years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Kershaw, who is a leading candidate for both the National League Cy Young Award and MVP, walked straight to the team’s clubhouse following the second inning. He was replaced by Ross Stripling, who gave up an RBI double to Brandon Phillips in the top of the third.

Kershaw, who is 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA, had lost some velocity on his fastball from the first to the second inning.

He may have been injured during a second-inning pitch to Braves catcher Tyler Flowers. Kershaw grimaced after throwing a pitch and his battery mate, Austin Barnes, saw Kershaw’s reaction and went out to the mound to speak with him. Flowers walked, but Kershaw struck out Matt Adams to end the inning.

Kershaw did miss 2 1/2 months last year because of a herniated disk in his lower back. It has not been an issue this season and he has not missed any time. It is unknown if Sunday’s lower back tightness was related to last year’s injury.
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Hawks’ Dwight Howard fakes out Celtics fan who really wanted his jersey

Dwight Howard knows a fake fan when he sees one.

The Hawks center was ejected from Monday night’s game against the Celtics after receiving his second technical in the third quarter for hanging on the rim — an ejection the NBA later said never should have happened. On his way off the court, Howard wanted to give away a souvenir.

That’s where Antetokounmpo is still defining himself. His talent is obvious, and we’re seeing that his ability on both ends of the floor makes him, potentially, one of the best players in the league. He doesn’t shortchange his talent, and even this summer, when he went to Greece to train with the army and play for the national team, the Bucks sent with him strength and conditioning trainer Suki Hobson, as well as assistant coach Sean Sweeney, who has been instrumental in working on Antetokounmpo’s offseason development.

With his youth, though, Antetokounmpo is still prone to mental mistakes such as missed passes, ill-advised drives, over-aggressiveness. Antetokounmpo harps on those shortcomings. He studies game films and keeps notes on the mistakes he made, the things he could have done better. He doesn’t spend much time reliving the things he did well. He can be tough on himself, maybe too much so. But that relentlessness might be the key to unlocking the rest of his potential.

“I do worry that he’s too hard on himself,” Hammond said. “Jason (Kidd) worries about that, too, at times. But, in my 26 years in the NBA, I have had a chance to observe a lot of different players, observe Hall of Fame-type players. You know, just being around those guys, I think that is what those guys have, too. They’re never satisfied. They want to make every shot, they want to make every big play, they want to win every game and they want to be great. I think that’s kind of who those guys are.”
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Former NFL Films worker sues, claiming 20 years of sexual harassment

A former NFL Films worker has sued the company, claiming she was sexually harassed by multiple supervisors in her almost 20 years at the NFL’s in-house documentary producer.

According to NJ.com , Nadia Axakowsky filed a sexual harassment lawsuit last week in federal court in Camden, N.J. She worked at the New Jersey-based company from 1997 until her employment was terminated in 2016.

Henry signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent out of Western Kentucky in 2015, but was released during final cuts. He then signed with the Broncos and appeared in two games that season, but did not record a catch. After the Broncos released him, he re-signed with the Packers in 2016 before suffering a hand injury in the preseason that landed him on injured reserve.

Later that fall, Henry signed with the Ravens practice squad. But after experiencing severe shoulder pain, an MRI discovered a growth in his chest.

Henry died with his wife, Madison, and other family members by his side. In a Facebook post, his family wrote, “We are so proud of Mitchell’s fight with this terrible disease, proud of how he lived his life for the past 24 years, but most of all proud of his faith and acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.”

“We were very saddened to learn of the passing of Mitchell Henry,” Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement (via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). “During his time with the Packers, he quickly became a beloved member of our family and made a terrific impression on everyone in our organization. We were fortunate to have had him in our lives. On behalf of the Packers family, we offer our condolences to Mitchell’s wife, Madison, and his family and friends.”warriors_011-115x115

That activity was his modus operandi throughout Golden State’s four-game sweep.

The Thunder used Alex Abrines to screen Westbrook’s man, then had Steven Adams hold off his own defender to give Westbrook more room. Westbrook was initially cut off, but because Abrines kept moving, Westbrook was able to toss the ball back to him and get it back to attack an Eric Gordon closeout. That eventually led to a spot-up three.

More of this please, Thunder, while you still can.

Green began the play on Evan Turner, slid under the hoop to help on Maurice Harkless and Jusuf Nurkic, closed out on C.J. McCollum, and got his hand in Damian Lillard’s face on the three-pointer. For his efforts, he received no credit in the traditional box score. Yet without his roaming, no fewer than three Trail Blazers would have received high-quality open shots.

That activity was his modus operandi throughout Golden State’s four-game sweep. He tortured Portland with a devastating display of Easter Egg 25: The ability to put out any defensive fire, wherever it is. He was the enforcer roaming outside the usual defensive chain of command, a Darth Vader to Ron Adams’ Emperor Palpatine. (Though it’s hard to imagine the Warriors’ defensive guru as an evil tyrant.)

Good things came to both player and team who waited. Rodgers improved in his time as a backup, putting his rocket arm and athleticism together into the complete package when he finally got his chance.

He snuck into the No. 25 pick of the first round, but the Redskins chose to roll with Mark Brunell and Patrick Ramsey ahead of him as a rookie. In Year 2, Washington went with Brunell until it decided to promote Campbell in November.

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Bobby Knight on Indiana administration that fired him: ‘I hope they’re all dead’

Bobby Knight became an infamous figure in the world of college basketball for his chair-throwing temper tantrums and reports of emotional abuse of his players. His tumultuous relationship with the Indiana administration boiled over in 2000 when video of Knight choking Neil Reed during practice three years earlier surfaced. That, coupled with an accusation by a student that the coach grabbed his arm, prompted the university to fire him and Knight has not stepped foot in Bloomington since.

On Friday morning, Knight was interviewed on The Dan Patrick Show in advance of the premier of a Showtime documentary about the Hoosiers’ legendary 1976 season that saw the team go undefeated on its way to a national championship.

Knight’s long-held bitterness toward Indiana higher-ups is well-known, with some fans and writers calling for the university to cool on its overtures to and veneration of the former coach.

“After sitting down with my mom and my coaching staff, I made a decision to enter the NBA draft,” Fultz said. “Although the season hasn’t gone as planned, it’s truly been a blessing to be here. I learned plenty of life lessons on and off the court, especially from coach [Lorenzo] Romar and the coaching staff. I’m always going to be a Husky for life. Go Dawgs.”

Fultz, currently projected to be the No. 1 pick according to Draft Express, averaged 23.3 points, 6.0 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game. But despite Fultz’s exploits, the Huskies finished with a 9-22 record and were 2-16 in Pac-12 play. Their season ended with a 78-73 loss to USC in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday.

If Fultz is selected No. 1 overall, it will be the second year in a row that the top selection in the draft did not play in the NCAA tournament. Ben Simmons’ LSU team finished 19-14 and declined an invitation to participate in any postseason tournaments once it became clear they would not qualify for the NCAA tournament.12

Every episode seems to top the last, as Friday’s chaos proved yet again.

And while one of the NBA’s crown-jewel franchises was thrashed by its archrival at Staples Center, Lakers governor and president Jeanie Buss watched from her usual seat near the baseline. At one point in the third quarter, when the Boston Celtics led by 31, actress Dyan Cannon came over from her baseline seat.

The Hollywood icon placed both hands on Buss’s arms in a comforting embrace, and as she spoke, Buss nodded. Amid a painful 115-95 blowout loss, it wasn’t an uncommon scene, as Buss received many hugs and, no doubt, words of encouragement from friends as her family’s infighting continues to drag the Lakers down.

Jeanie Buss was on hand Friday to see the Lakers fall to 19-43 with a 20-point loss to Boston. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
But it’s hard to imagine the Lakers’ drama playing out in Cannon’s world just up the 101 freeway.

At this point, even Hollywood might think such a script strays too far from reality.

But Friday marks a fitting time to discuss Durant, specifically, with the Celtics in town. The Celtics were never considered a free-agent destination, yet as they’ve steadily risen in recent years, that notion has changed a bit. And Boston became one of a handful of teams with which Durant sat down last summer, and the Celtics ultimately reeled in All-Star forward Al Horford, the top available free agent after Durant.

The Celtics last reached the NBA Finals in 2010, when they faced the Lakers. Yet since that point, both organizations have headed in opposite directions, rapidly so. One is focused on basketball, the other on everything but.

The Lakers are reality TV, every episode more surreal than the last.

Tom Coughlin sounds noncommittal about giving Jaguars’ QB job to Blake Bortles

If Tom Coughlin is excited about the fact that Blake Bortles is Jacksonville’s starting quarterback, he definitely has an odd way of showing it.

During a news conference Friday, Coughlin was asked directly if he was “committed to [Bortles] as the starter,” and let’s just say he didn’t answer with a resounding yes.
“Well, there’s plenty of work for everybody to do, Blake included,” Coughlin said, via the Jaguars’ official website. “To raise the game to a higher level, it takes all components, though, as well. … People being in the right place at the right time, the timing, taking care of the football, which is paramount to that position.”
Bortles has been a turnover machine since 2014, when the Jaguars selected him with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft. Bortles has led the league in picks once (2015) and finished in the top four during his other two seasons.

Overall, Bortles has turned the ball over 63 times since his rookie year (51 interceptions, 12 lost fumbles), which leads the NFL over that span. The ugliest part about Bortles’ interception total is that it includes 11 pick-sixes, which means he’s basically giving free points to the opposition.
“There can be no way the ball is turned over to that extent,” Coughlin said. “I think he’d be the first one to say that he has a lot of work to do, but we all have a lot of work to do, so I’m going to put it that way.”

A source with extensive knowledge of the efforts to develop improved football technologies tells PFT that the question of where to place the chip also has vexed those trying to come up with a way to determine digitally the question of whether the ball crosses a boundary or breaks a plane.

“If we are counting on the chip to provide exact ball placement at the time the runner is ruled down that placement will oftentimes be inaccurate depending on how the ball is being carried,” the source explained. “Assume the chip is in the left tip of the ball and the runner has that end tucked in his elbow. When he’s ruled down it’s the opposite end that accurately places the ball.”

Andrés Iniesta’s struggles were the saddest part of Barcelona’s collapse against PSG

Paris Saint-Germain embarrassed Barcelona on Tuesday, 4-0. It seemed that every PSG player decided to play at their best in the same game that each Barcelona player, minus Marc-André ter Stegen, who tried his hardest to keep the scoreline respectable, and Neymar, who was a futile positive in the attack, was at their worst. There’s an abundance of disappointments in terms of players, some who can serve better as vehicles for the systematic failures of Barcelona this season than others. That’s you, André Gomes. You’re the hill that Luis Enrique wants to die on.

Gomes has played badly before. He’s tedious in movement, cowers under pressure and seems to always push the ball too far ahead of him, even with his long legs. Sergio Busquets had tough games in the first few months of the season, where he looked as he did now, like a store-brand version of the maestro that he is. Giving the ball away, late in tackles or otherwise a step too slow and overwhelmed by attacks. He’s already in the tasking position of killing attacks and counters before they start, in a Barcelona team that leaves him in a frightening amount of space, which makes the job more difficult than it already is, and his sense of timing and position more paramount. When he plays badly, it shows in the worst way possible, as it did against PSG.

For Syracuse, they used the press to rattle Virginia and cause uncharacteristic turnovers, but it took fearless and accurate shooting to quickly close the gap. Virginia Tech didn’t use the press, but they did start dictating their own offensive pace in the second half, and the points eventually followed.

Still, that oversimplifies it.