The 9 most interesting NFL training camp battles

We are in the midst of training camp season. Let the battles begin! There are plenty of jobs open across the NFL, and these are the nine most interesting.

If any suspension remains after Goodell’s ruling, Brady is expected to challenge the decision in federal court. It’s possible that Goodell could cut down Brady’s suspension to less than four games, but the NFLPA has already begun work on a case to be heard in front of a federal judge and feels confident that it is a strong case, so the chance to eliminate a suspension altogether is likely going to be pursued.

That case is expected to be filed by the NFLPA in Massachusetts or Minnesota. Massachusetts would serve as a sort of “home field advantage” for Brady, while Minnesota has been a labor-friendly state in the past, and is the state that ruled in favor of Adrian Peterson after he took the NFL to federal court for upholding an indefinite suspension during the 2014 season.

Of course, it’s possible that no such case will be necessary. Goodell said that Brady’s non-cooperation with the league’s investigation played a factor in the punishment handed down and that “new information” provided by the quarterback could result in a different decision. If Goodell eliminates Brady’s suspension altogether, that would officially mark the end of DeflateGate.

The NFLPA has laid out a few points that it wants to attack the NFL on, including the fact that Goodell didn’t recuse himself. The union’s argument would be that Brady wasn’t treated fairly and didn’t receive due process. A league-funded investigation found him guilty, the league commissioner punished him and the league commissioner heard his appeal.

Gronk couldn’t last 5 minutes before twerking on ‘Celebrity Family Feud’

Rob Gronkowski immediately started talking about his dance moves on Celebrity Family Feud without much prompting. This was an invitation for Steve Harvey to call Gronk out.
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Landon Turner, G (senior): Turner takes the title of the ACC’s best interior blocker. He’s a strong blocker in the phone booth and will fit right in on an NFL team that runs a power line. He’s not going to be a guard who will get out in the move and pick defenders off in the open field, but he shouldn’t be expected to. If he can turn up his aggression a little bit this season, a spot in the top 100 picks in the draft should be attainable.

Quinshad Davis, WR (senior): Davis was expected to be a sensation a year go, but he had merely a decent season with 41 receptions for 470 yards and six touchdowns. Davis can extend to get some bad passes, which is a necessity playing for the Tar Heels. Although Davis may not profile as a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in the NFL, he has good size and good enough hands.
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Deon Bush, S (senior): As is the case with any of Miami’s draft-eligible players for 2016, a lot can change between now and next April. But of said group, Bush is the player I feel will end up with the highest draft grade by the conclusion of next season. His size, speed and ball-hawking nature should lead to a second- or third-round selection in 2016. With a big season, he could even end up among the first 32 players picked. (More on Bush here.)

Tracy Howard, CB (senior): Tracy Howard has all the tools to be a big-time college cover corner and a high draft pick. But his film needs to match his talent. Additionally, it will help his cause if UM moves him around some this year and lets him cover on the outside and the slot. (More on Howard here.)

Marc Stein makes his picks for the NBA All-Star starters

Game DeVante Parker Jersey When it comes to admiring the staggering numbers that Russell Westbrook and James Harden are putting up nightly, Kyle Lowry is like the rest of us. He too is in awe of the “ridiculous numbers” and admits it has been “unbelievable to watch.”

Game Clay Matthews Jersey But don’t let Lowry fool you. Quietly, the Toronto point guard is putting up superb numbers that are usually produced by the likes of Harden, Westbrook, LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

He thinks deeply about what it takes — what it means — to be a great quarterback. For years, when he discussed his craft, it was fascinating as he delved into the magnitude of responsibility on each play. But it was also a little sad. You could feel the pressure building inside him as he spoke, almost making the game a little more complicated than it needed to be — the curse of the over-invested.

“Most importantly, foreign players must have the willingness to blend in and be part of [everything],” Shao said. “Many teams now value this quality given Marbury’s story. Some players are willing to do everything to help their teams win while others — who have no intention to stay long in China — just focus on racking up stats for themselves so they can get another job later elsewhere.”

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall, the franchise’s most high-profile player over the past two years, will be released. He will be 33 years old in March, his production dropped significantly and he’s due to make a non-guaranteed $7.5 million in 2017. He was also a distraction in the locker room. His boisterous style chafed teammates, creating factions. For the sake of team chemistry, it’s probably best to move on from Marshall and lean on the team’s young receivers. — Rich Cimini

Then-Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford tweeted: ¡°He got a black squeeze!¡±

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The Sacramento Kings rookie center Hassan Whiteside tweeted: ¡°Dirk got himself a black girl hahaha.¡±

Then-Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford tweeted: ¡°He got a black squeeze!¡±

WNBA star Candace Parker used the line ¡°jungle fever¡± on Twitter and wrote ¡°love it¡± after they smooched.

Gerald McCoy Game Jersey wrote, ¡°Jessica quickly became a hot topic on Twitter for several reasons including shock and praise that she was on the arm of Dirk Nowitzki.¡± had a story with the headline: ¡°Dirk Nowitzki¡¯s Kiss Heard Round Twitter.¡±

¡°Honestly, this is the first I am seeing a lot of these tweets,¡± said Nowitzki, when shown the list of tweets that night at the 2011 ESPYS. ¡°That was a crazy time for me with the championship and The ESPYS and I¡¯m glad I got to spend it with Jessica.¡±

Hood will miss at least one game, but he is not expected to be out an extended period of time.

The severity of Hood’s injury was first reported by the Salt Lake Tribune.

“It’s unfortunate, for sure, and unlucky,” Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said Saturday night. “Hopefully, he has a speedy recovery. He’s a big piece of what we do. It sucks to see anybody go down.”

Hood, a third-year guard out of Duke, had 14 points before leaving the game. He is averaging 14.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists this season.

Chargers betting big on Melvin Ingram

I ain’t gonna lie, I am definitely a homer when it comes to Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram. I have been a fan of his since he was playing at South Carolina. When he came out of college in 2012, I felt very strongly that he would have a very nice NFL career. The one thing nobody can ever predict with any accuracy is whether a guy with a lot of potential will end up getting injured. It is the No. 1 factor for sidetracking promising careers, and those injuries always seem to come at the worst times.

Ingram didn’t exactly set the world on fire as a rookie. He was trying to get accustomed to playing a stand-up rush linebacker position instead of putting his hand in the dirt as a defensive lineman like he did in college. He was active for all 16 games and appeared to be getting better throughout the season as he became more comfortable with the position.

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
The top tier of wide receivers includes Dez Bryant, Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., Jordy Nelson, A.J. Green and Johnson, in some order. Well, of that group of eight, four — Bryant, Brown, Thomas and Nelson — have played every game the last two seasons. Odell Beckham Jr. dealt with one injury, then looked fine afterward. So the injured guys are Jones, Green and Johnson. Johnson is the oldest of that group, and has seen his numbers decline the last two seasons in a row. He’s still elite, still belongs in that top group, but he simply isn’t all-caps CALVIN JOHNSON anymore.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Take out a five-game season in 2010, and Vincent Jackson hadn’t dipped below seven touchdowns in a season since 2007 before his two-score year last year. The rookie Evans caught 12. If you are taking your pick of a Tampa Bay wide receiver, I think the obvious bet is Evans over Jackson (who is already one of our favorite sleeper candidates), but it seems unlikely to 12-to-two touchdown imbalance will maintain.

McDermott has discussed with the Bills the staff he would like to put together

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The Kansas City Chiefs were 7-1 against opponents that finished the 2016 season in the top 10 in scoring. And they didn’t collect those seven wins by employing a ball-control offense aimed at keeping the ball away from their high-scoring opponents.

They won most of those games by outscoring their opponents: 33 and 37 points against the Chargers, 26 against the Raiders, 27 against the Saints, 30 against the Colts and 29 against the Falcons. Only in a 21-13 win over the Raiders did the Chiefs fail to surpass their season scoring average of 24.3 points.

The Chiefs might be wise to remember that as they prepare for Sunday’s divisional round playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium. The Steelers are yet another opponent that finished in the top 10 in scoring, in their case tied for 10th at 24.9 points per game. Pittsburgh, in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell, has a collection of skill players that most other teams can only envy.
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Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott is meeting with Buffalo Bills ownership for a second time concerning the team’s coaching vacancy.

Bills owner Terry Pegula and his wife, co-owner Kim Pegula, tapped Bills general manager Doug Whaley to lead the coaching search after Rex Ryan was fired Dec. 27. Whaley, who will enter his fifth season as Bills general manager in 2017, said he was part of a “committee approach” that included team president Russ Brandon when Ryan was hired in 2015.

McDermott has discussed with the Bills the staff he would like to put together, and former San Diego Chargers coach Mike McCoy is a candidate for offensive coordinator if McDermott gets the job in Buffalo, the sources said. McCoy was the Denver Broncos’ offensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012 before becoming the Chargers’ head coach in 2013.

Horford is shooting 34.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc this season

The immediate nature of DFS has become a crucial additive to working the waiver wire and free agency in season-long play, while the knowledge base from mature samples in traditional fantasy helps us deftly survey the daily landscape. In the end, we’re simply chasing big box scores in both formats.

Matchup ratings are based upon a scale from 1 (poor matchup) to 10 (excellent matchup). These are calculated using a formula that evaluates the team’s year-to-date and past 10 games’ statistics, their opponents’ numbers in those categories and their performance in home/road games depending on where the game is to be played. The column to the left lists the team’s total number of games scheduled as well as home games, and lists the overall rating from 1-10 for that team’s weekly schedule.
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“I feel like he’s thinking two, three steps ahead of us, of all of us,” Horford said. “It’s one of those things that he sees things on the floor that we’re probably not even acknowledging and he just tries to exploit weaknesses. I remember last year going against [Boston] in the playoffs, we always had a hard time because he knew how to pick at us and find ways to get good shots.”
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Horford is shooting 34.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc this season. He has made 39 3-pointers through 26 games and is averaging a career-high 4.4 attempts per game. More than a quarter of his career 3-point attempts have come this season, his first in Boston, and Stevens has encouraged Horford to keep shooting them.

“I think it’s two things. One of them is I’ve put in the work shooting those 3s and getting comfortable with that shot,” Horford said. “But the other is really Coach allowing me and giving me the confidence to go out there and do it. Coach Stevens has done that and I’m going out there and if I’m getting good looks, I’m taking them.”

The Pelicans have won four straight

Friday provided 10 games the night before New Year¡¯s Eve. If you were out celebrating, as most were, here¡¯s what else you missed in NBA land:

When New Orleans dropped its first eight games and got off to a 2-10 start, the Pelicans plummeted down the Western Conference standings. But Jrue Holiday had more pressing matters to deal with, like doctors discovering his pregnant wife had a brain tumor.

Since 2007, the Patriots have hosted 12 playoff games, while going on the road just twice.

New England¡¯s 14-2 record is even more impressive considering it came with Brady forced to serve a four-game suspension at the beginning of the year due to DeflateGate. The Patriots went 2-0 with backup Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, and 1-1 with third-string Jacoby Brissett after Garoppolo suffered an injury.
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In Brady¡¯s return, he¡¯s been nothing short of fantastic for the Patriots. In 12 starts, Brady racked up over 3,500 yards with 28 touchdowns and two interceptions ¡ª setting the record for touchdown to interception ratio ¡ª and putting himself in legitimate contention for the NFL MVP award.

Limited Youth Ray Bourque Jersey It wasn¡¯t all Brady for the Patriots, though. No team has allowed fewer points, and New England is also in the top 10 in rushing yards and touchdowns.

The Patriots has proven year in and year out that it¡¯s a dangerous playoff contender, and the team¡¯s path to another Super Bowl goes through Gillette Stadium.

Ravens will start Jimmy Clausen vs. Seahawks in Week 14

The Baltimore Ravens will roll with Jimmy Clausen as the starter for Week 14’s home matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. Matt Schaub, who suffered a shoulder injury in the Ravens’ Week 13 loss to the Miami Dolphins, was limited in practice this week and will be inactive Sunday.

Clausen was Jay Cutler’s backup in Chicago prior to being waived by the Bears on Nov. 23 and has already faced the Seahawks once this season. The Bears lost 26-0, with Clausen going 9 of 16 for 63 total yards and zero touchdowns.

In reality, Denver ended up trying a fake field Limited Youth Pat Tillman Jersey goal that did not go well.

Ford ended up beating Stephenson for one more pressure late in the third quarter and he used the same long arm to a swat move again. I guess he figured if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and I’m not mad at him. That time Siemian had to throw the Chris Ivory Authentic Jersey ball away in Cody Latimer’s direction to avoid the sack on third-and-4, which forced Denver to punt on fourth down on the next play.

I personally felt kinda bad for Stephenson seeing as how it didn’t seem like the Broncos’ coaching staff gave him much help with Ford. Then again, they didn’t seem to account for Ford in the game plan much at all.

For instance, Ford ended up getting three more pressures on two naked bootlegs and one run/pass option where he wasn’t even blocked. Oh, and he also took down Denver running back Devontae Booker for a loss of 3 yards on a third-and-1 in the second quarter when he was unblocked as well.

This location of the linebacker, and alignment of the defense, would allow the center to slide all the way over to the left guard, knock that player over, and then the left guard can help the left tackle. However, the Chiefs and most systems, keep the center of the pocket clean first, with no help for the tackles.

The next clip is basically the same idea. The linebacker who they are working too is WAY outside the box, but the guys upfront treat it like that’s not true.