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Hal McCoy: Reds’ Hamilton deserves gold for his glove

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 12 zář 2017 09:58

Hall of Fame baseball writer Hal McCoy knows a thing or two about our nation’s pastime. Tap into that knowledge with an email to
Q: Why are references made to the NFL prototype quarterback but never to the MLB prototype pitcher? — DAVE, Miamisburg/Centerville, Beavercreek.
A: What is an NFL prototype quarterback? Is it the straight drop-back version or one that can throw on the run and tuck it and run? Quarterbacks are human and they all are different. Not everybody can be Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. It’s the same with baseball pitchers. What is a prototype? There is no such animal because they all approach their craft differently and some are great, some are average and some are bad.
»RELATED: Hamilton breaks thumb as Reds sweep Brewers
Q: How many Reds will win Gold Gloves this year? — J.R., Oxford.
A: Judging by the recent past, who knows? The Gold Glove award is voted upon by managers and coaches and they can’t vote for their own players. They all must have worn blindfolds when they played the Reds last year and didn’t give Billy Hamilton a Gold Glove. He is even better this year with his extraordinary catches and his arm. He doesn’t deserve a Gold Glove. He deserves a Platinum Glove. Third baseman Eugenio Suarez has played Gold Glove defense, but as long as the human suction cup that is Colorado’s Nolan Arenado is around, nobody but him wins the GG. Adam Duvall is a strong candidate, too. He is No. 1 in outfield assists in the majors and Hamilton is second. They won’t name two outfielders from a last-place team, so it is hoped they take off the blinders and vote for Hamilton.
»RELATED: Price says Reds have good foundation in place
Q: Of all traded Reds since 1960, who would make your “all-traded” team? — BEN, Butler Twp.
A: A great question, but a tough question because of so many trades. And some of the trades did benefit the Reds, even though the traded players did well with other teams. My team: Dan Wilson, catcher; Tony Perez, first base; Kurt Stillwell, second base; Ray Knight, third base; Frank Robinson, Paul O’Neill and Vada Pinson, outfield; Trevor Hoffman, right-handed pitcher; John Franco, left-handed pitcher.
Q: In all your years covering baseball have you ever seen a manager with four consecutive last-place finishes and three straight 90-plus-loss seasons retain his job? — TIM, Xenia.
A: First of all, if the Reds finish last this year it will only be the third straight time. And they haven’t reached 90 losses yet this season, which would be three straight. Fortunately, the powers-that-be must recognize that it isn’t Bryan Price’s fault. Perhaps by retaining him they are accepting the blame. The front office provides the players and made the decision to jettison so many accomplished major leaguers. And the persistent injuries to pitchers and catcher Devin Mesoraco aren’t his fault. The rebuild marches on and Price is carrying the flag.
Q: Will there be a place for Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed and/or Anthony DeSclafani? — BILL, Dayton
A: If you mean next season, that’s a major dilemma. Manager Bryan Price said he wants the rotation picked by the end of this season. With the emergence of Luis Castillo, Robert Stephenson, Sal Romano and Tyler Mahle, all pitching extremely well, where do those other guys fit. DeSclafani has been hurt much of the last two seasons. Can they depend upon him? Is Homer Bailey all the way back? I’d guess that because the Reds have only one left-hander in the bullpen (Wandy Peralta) that Finnegan and/or Reed are destined for the bullpen. And you forgot Amir Garrett, Rookie Davis and Jackson James Bradberry Youth Jersey Stephens. Can the Reds use a 10-man rotation?
Q: If Bob Castellini names me manager of the Reds next year, Rasiel Iglesias is my opening day starter. Do you agree? — TIM, Dayton.
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Revamped bullpen has Nationals looking like World Series thr

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 13 zář 2017 02:45

The big weakness for the Washington Nationals coming into the season was the bullpen, and everyone knew it. Even Dusty Baker admitted it took an emotional toll on him and the rest of the team.
Before July 31, Washington’s bullpen combined for a 5.07 ERA while allowing a 1.43 WHIP. In 39 opportunities, they converted 25 saves, while blowing 14.
The offense, which has scored the second most runs in baseball, was building leads. The starting pitching, statistically the best in Major League Baseball, was more than holding its own in sustaining those leads.
Once the game was handed to the bullpen, it was anyone’s guess what would happen next. That uncertainty, which led to Baker and the rest of the team publicly complaining about the unit, put pressure on general manager Mike Rizzo to make a move, sooner rather than later.
The team then acquired Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson in a trade with the Oakland Athletics.
There were questions as to whether the Nationals had done enough to address the bullpen, specifically if they’d still try to add a closer to the roster.
Some thought the move was smart, with one league source texting right after the trade, “Nationals just sured up their bullpen! Madson is a gamer – off the charts human being.”
Still, questions remained.
Doolittle and Madson, while experienced, both came with uncertainty. Madson is 37 and has injury concerns. So does Doolittle. Neither were guarantees to make a significant impact, considering their injury histories.
At the last second on July 31, Washington pulled off a deal with the Minnesota Twins for Brandon Kintzler.
Since then, the bullpen has significantly improved.
Kintzler was surprisingly not thrown into the closer spot – he had 45 saves the last two seasons in Minnesota — but he has been strong in 18.1 innings of work since coming over, putting up a 2.45 ERA. While Kintzler has never been considered a strikeout pitcher, his numbers have fallen in Washington, collecting nine strikeouts (less than one every two innings).
Madson started off his Nationals career not allowing a run in his first 12 appearances until allowing two on Sunday. He did miss some time due to a finger injury, but when on the field he has been strong.
Meanwhile, Doolittle provided the Nationals exactly what they needed: a legitimate shutdown closer.
He has converted 17 of 17 saves and has posted a 2.25 ERA with a 2.43 FIP and 24-6 strikeout-walk ratio.
His significance was on full display on September 8 in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Entering the ninth inning with a four-run lead, Shawn Kelley allowed a three-run home run to Maikel Franco to make it a one-run game. Doolittle entered and proceeded to strike out Tommy Joseph, Jorge Alfaro and J.P. Crawford to end the game.
Earlier in the season, the game could have ended with a different result. Instead, Doolittle entered in a high-pressure situation and closed things down.
With a much-improved bullpen, the Nationals are gaining on the collapsing Los Angeles Dodgers, who have lost 11 in a row and 16 of their last 17. They now trail the Dodgers by four games for the best record in the National League and if Los Angeles’ struggles continue, Washington could overtake L.A. for the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, giving them home field advantage throughout.
When Mike Rizzo made the moves to acquire Madson, Kintzler and Doolittle, he tried to fill a major need with a deep playoff run in mind.
Granted, they weren’t the flashy, big moves we’ve seen in the past, such as an Aroldis Chapman or David Robertson, but sometimes those aren’t the moves to make; instead, the ones that slide under the radar not only benefit a team now, but in Roger Maris Authentic Jersey the long haul. (Washington didn’t give up top-five prospects in either deal.)
Armed with a much stronger bullpen, the Nationals, one of baseball’s most complete teams, look like prime contenders to make a deep playoff run.
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DeAndre Hopkins knew Texans 'would come through' with record

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 13 zář 2017 03:25

HOUSTON -- DeAndre Hopkins had been waiting for this day for a long time.
This past Thursday, the Houston Texans wide receiver signed a five-year, $81 million extension with $49 million guaranteed, the largest amount of guaranteed money ever given to a wide receiver in the NFL.
With just a few exceptions, the Texans have extended their first-round picks before or during the fourth year of their rookie deals. After Hopkins had a breakout season in 2015, he left training camp and held out for one day, telling ESPN that he wanted “to be treated for what I'm worth.”
After the numbers Hopkins put up in his first four seasons in Houston -- 317 catches for 4,487 yards and 23 touchdowns -- he was expecting a big contract. And last week, he finally got that payday on the eve of his fifth NFL season.
“When you go out there and put up numbers like those, like I did the past four years, anything less than being top or being paid as a top receiver would be downgrading,” Hopkins said.
“But I knew this organization would come through. I didn’t want to play anywhere else but Houston, honestly. They took a chance and drafted me [with the] 27th pick overall, so I was appreciative of that.”
Hopkins had a dip in production in 2016 -- his worst season, with 78 catches for 954 yards and four touchdowns -- with quarterback Brock Osweiler throwing to him. But the Texans saw past what they think is an anomaly and rewarded Hopkins for his big numbers, especially because he’s done it with the quarterback carousel that has taken place in Houston.
Since 2013, Hopkins has caught a touchdown pass from eight different quarterbacks. According to Elias, only one other player in NFL history has done that. The Texans expect a big season out of Hopkins, and he and the team hope that Tom Savage can give him some stability at quarterback in 2017.
Hopkins said he was confident the contract would get done before the season started, because he knew the team believed in him and would take care of him.
“I was confident in this organization and this J.J. Jansen Youth Jersey team for believing in me,” Hopkins said. “I know what I did. I know the work I’ve put in over the past four years for them to do that.”
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Giants LB B.J. Goodson is ironman in 1st career start | Snap

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 13 zář 2017 04:43

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Giants linebacker B.J. Goodson played 13 defensive snaps last season as a rookie. He topped that total by the midpoint <a href=""></a> of the first quarter of Sunday night's 19-3 loss to the Cowboys.
Making his first career start, Goodson was over the field - and rarely came off of it. The 2016 fourth-round pick played 73-of-74 defensive snaps and finished with 18 tackles (14 solo). Goodson also played 9-of-24 special teams snaps.
Goodson's playing time could dip when linebacker Keenan Robinson returns from a concussion. But Goodson was such a play-making presence on Sunday that he may maintain a role in sub packages even when Robinson is back in the lineup.
Here are some additional takeaways from Sunday's snap counts:
*The Giants didn't ease first-round pick Evan Engram into his debut. Engram played 48-of-56 snaps. Rhett Ellison logged 19 snaps, while third tight end Jerell Adams played just two snaps.
After playing almost exclusively in three-receiver sets last season, the Giants mixed up their personnel groupings on Sunday. Three-receiver sets still dominated (72 percent), but the Giants mixed in two-tight end groupings on the rest of the snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.
Engram's playing time didn't yield big results, as he finished with four catches for 44 yards. He broke free for a 31-yard gain in the fourth quarter, but was otherwise held in check.
*Shane Vereen led the running backs with 31 snaps, but that total is inflated by the nine plays on the Giants' final desperation drive. Paul Perkins started and played 17 snaps, managing just 16 yards on seven carries. Orleans Darkwa had three carries for 14 yards, but his playing time was typically limited (eight snaps) despite production. <a href=""></a> Fullback Shane Smith played eight snaps.
*Second-round pick Dalvin Tomlinson started at defensive tackle and played 44-of-74 snaps. Jay Bromley, who has been battling a knee injury, played just 14 defensive snaps. Tomlinson played well with four tackles.
The Giants continued last season's trend of leaning heavily on top defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul. Vernon played all but two snaps, while Pierre-Paul was on the field for 66-of-74 snaps. Romeo Okwara played 18 snaps, mostly inside on passing downs, while Kerry Wynn played five snaps and rookie Avery Moss didn't see any action on defense.
Vernon had a sack when rushing from the inside, but it was an otherwise quiet night for the defensive ends against Dallas' formidable offensive line.
*The Giants top three cornerbacks - Eli Apple (74 snaps), Janoris Jenkins (73) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (52) - got extensive playing time. The Giants rarely used four corners against the Cowboys' physical offense, as Michael Hunter played just three snaps and newly acquired Ross Cockrell didn't play on defense. When the <a href="">Daryl Worley Youth Jersey</a> Giants used six defensive backs, they brought Andrew Adams (eight snaps) on as the third safety.
*Backup linebacker J.T. Thomas took Mark Herzlich's place as the top special teams player by logging 23-of-24 snaps in the kicking game.
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Hornets fall short to Blue Devils in season opener

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 13 zář 2017 07:58

Lisbon scored at least seven points in each quarter and held off the Hornets enroute to a 35-24 victory on opening night at Malvern.
The Hornets had a couple chances to score late in the fourth quarter, but failed to capitalize.
Trailing 28-16, Malvern moved the ball to the Lisbon 30 when quarterback Drew Hutchison threw a 69-yard pass to Jacob Foster. On third down from the 29-yard line, Hutchison’s pass was intercepted by Seth Stokes to kill the drive.
With just under seven minutes remaining in the game, the Hornets recovered a Blue Devil fumble on the 27-yard line. Four plays later Hutchison hit Austin Patterson for a touchdown. Patterson was successful on the two-point conversion to cut the margin to four points.
Lisbon had trouble with the snap on the next series, but scored with 1:30 left in the contest to stretch the lead to 35-24.
Malvern wasn’t finished yet.
The Hornets took the kickoff and marched to the Lisbon 28-yard line. Hutchison threw an incomplete pass that drew two penalty flags: illegal receiver downfield on the Hornets and pass interference on Lisbon.
With 54 ticks left on the clock, the Hornets lined up to replay first down at the 28. On third-and-10, Hutchison was flagged for intentional grounding. On the fourth down play, Malvern was flagged twice, resulting in an unsportmanlike conduct penalty and Lisbon took over with 17 seconds left in the game.
Lisbon scored on their first possession of the game when Camron Summers capped a 52-yard run with a touchdown. The extra point was good which gave Lisbon a 7-0 lead with 10:13 left in the first quarter.
Lisbon quarterback Logan Bell connected with Seth Stokes for a second Lisbon touchdown early in the second quarter. The extra point was good and Lisbon took a 14-0 lead.
Hutchison led the Hornets to first-and-goal on the 2-yard line midway through the second quarter. On third-and-goal on the one-yard line, Patterson scored. He also ran the ball in for the two-point conversion with 7:27 left in the half making the score 14-8.
With less than two minutes until half time, Lisbon’s Justin Sweeney scored on a 57 yard run. The extra point was good and the Blue Devils led 28-8 at the half.
At the start of the second half, the Blue Devils received the kick-off and had four quick downs before punting to the Hornets. While looking for a receiver, Drew Hutchison was sacked by Tyler Toot for a loss of seven yards. After two quick downs, the Hornets faced a fourth-and-25 and punted the ball.
On the first play of the drive, Lisbon fumbled and Malvern’s Sam Earl recovered. Unable to muster a first down, the Hornets punted. Lisbon was also unable to gain ground, and after Earl sacked Bell, they punted the ball.
The Hornets’ Charles McClure blocked the punt and Moser recovered the ball for a touchdown with 5:01 left in the third quarter. Foster took the ball in for the two point conversion making the score 28-16.
Hutchison was 11 for 31 for 186 yards and one interception. Patterson had 41 yards on 13 carries and caught a pass for 16 yards.
Foster hauled in two passes for 116 yards and Gavyn Potts caught four passes for 24 yards. Derk Hutchison carried the ball eight times for 23 yards.
Defensively for the Hornets, Christian Grimm had one solo tackle and 13 assists, Potts had six solo tackles and four assists and Sam Early had Tony Watson Womens Jersey two solo tackles, six assists and a tackle for a loss.
The Hornets host Bishop Rosecans Sept. 1 for a non-conference game. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
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Indians' Jay Bruce: Scratched with neck stiffness

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 13 zář 2017 08:39

Bruce was scratched from Wednesday's lineup against the White Sox with a stiff neck, Paul Hoynes of reports.
Bruce missed the previous four games due to neck stiffness, and while he was originally listed in Wednesday's lineup, it appears the issue is still bothering him enough to keep him out for a fifth straight contest. Tyler Naquin subbed into the outfield for Bruce, who should be considered day-to-day
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The Yankee tailgaters: In NFL season, pinstripers party in t

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 13 zář 2017 09:28

New York Yankees starter CC Sabathia has been tailgating at Oakland Raiders games for three decades. It started when he was a 5-year-old and his dad, CC Sabathia Sr., hit the gas pedal at 2 a.m. for the six-hour drive from Vallejo, California, to the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Back then, little CC would sleep during the trip and be raring to go by 8 a.m. with his dad, his uncles and all his buddies.
"It was like a big caravan thing," Sabathia said.
As a 20-year-old rookie with the Indians in 2001, Sabathia bought his own season tickets for the Raiders, and he has been going ever since to tailgate at what is called "CC's Barbecue." He invites teammates, such as Aaron Hicks, and opponents, such as Matt Garza, who share the common bond of the Silver and Black. They join a large group, sometimes 50 or 60, for the barbecue, which is prepared by Sabathia's cousin, Darnell Jones, a chef.
The tailgaters wake up at 4 a.m. so they can be in line to enter the parking lot by around 6. Breakfast burritos are followed by games of dominoes and cards before watching the 10 a.m. PST games from around the league during lunch.
Just like their father did 30 years ago, Sabathia's kids -- CC and his wife, Amber, have two sons and two daughters -- run freely around the parking lot, throwing footballs and playing games.
"They are Raiders," Sabathia said. "You are not a casual Raider fan. They are bred. They are. It is a lot of fun to pass that on. They love it."
Sabathia does try to keep it low-key. His season tickets are located on the road side because it's a bit less crazy there, he said. A recovering alcoholic, Sabathia said there is no beer or liquor at his tailgates.
The 6-foot-6, 300-pound lefty is probably the biggest sports fan on the Yankees, but he isn't alone as a tailgater. Hicks, a potential All-Star outfielder, joins Sabathia for a game or two and also tailgates on his own, going to about five games a season. Also a Raiders fan, Hicks usually forgoes StubHub and uses the professional athlete’s go-to -- his agent -- to help locate tickets.
Last year, Hicks, who lives in Arizona, attended two games with Sabathia. He relished the beans, collard greens, chicken, ribs, burgers, dogs and sausages at CC's Barbecue -- an absolute feast.
Hicks grew up in Long Beach, California, and his older brother, Joe, was a Raiders fan. When he was a teenager, it became a family tradition to watch the games. When Hicks doesn’t go with Sabathia, he attends games with Joe, a longshoreman. They arrive as early as 8:30 a.m. to tailgate for a 1 p.m. game.
“I just like hanging out with family and just watching the game,” Hicks said. “I’m away from family for so long, it is always fun to have something that we do together. Tailgating is one of the things that we do. I can definitely relate to being a fan. I understand being a fan.”
The Yankees’ tailgating and fandom aren't limited to the Raiders or NFL football.
Chase Headley shares a season-ticket plan for the Nashville Predators. During the Stanley Cup playoffs, he was living and dying with the action on the clubhouse televisions. He got the tailgating bug while at the University of Tennessee. He used to get to games about three-and-a-half hours early and enjoy some bratwurst, steaks and burgers.
“Something easy like that,” Headley said.
Because he and his wife have young children, it's more difficult to fit tailgating into their offseason schedule, but they try to squeeze in a UT game and a Titans game. Like Sabathia and Hicks, Headley keeps it positive in the stands.
“I’m not a booer,” Headley said. “The vast majority of fans are great. But it is always interesting when I hear somebody yelling at a game, and I am like, ‘You have no idea what is going on.’ Or a quarterback makes a throw, and it looks like there is no receiver there. He may have the right read and the receiver did the wrong thing. I always find that interesting.”
Reliever Dellin Betances had the chance to play college baseball at Vanderbilt, but when his boyhood team, the Yankees, picked him and offered him a million dollars, he never went south. He hasn't tailgated yet, but it's on his bucket list.
“It's something I want to do that I’ve never done,” Betances said. “I want to do it at one of those big schools in the South. I feel like that Harrison Butker Kids Jersey would be the ultimate experience -- any of those Alabama games.”
As for Sabathia, he supports the Raiders' move to Las Vegas, set for 2020. He has played in the Oakland Coliseum and knows it doesn’t compare to modern stadiums.
“By the time they get there, I’ll be retired,” Sabathia said. “It will be the same. It will be fun to go there for a weekend and hang out.”
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Breaking down structure of Texans' new contracts

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 13 zář 2017 10:07

The Texans are using a cash model for their contracts as they manage the salary cap.
Instead of paying large signing bonuses and spreading out the salary-cap impact, the Texans are opting for roster bonuses in the first year shortly after the contracts were signed.
They did that for tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz's three-year, $21.5 million extension, free safety Andre Hal's three-year, $15 million contract, fullback Jay Prosch's three-year, $5.75 million contract and tight end Ryan Griffin's three-year, $9 million deal.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins' $81 million contract extension had a hybrid structure with a $7.5 million signing bonus, an $8.5 million roster bonus due Monday and fully guaranteed base salaries of $8 million in 2017, $12.5 million in 2018, a $12.5 million salary in 2019 guaranteed for injury at signing that becomes fully guaranteed at the end of the 2018 season.
Hopkins has nonguaranteed base salaries of $12.5 million, $13.5 million and $13.915 million in 2020, 2021 and 2022. After the first year of the contract, there's an annual salary de-escalator of $250,000.
Fiedorowicz got $10.097 million guaranteed through guaranteed base salaries of $3.097 million in 2017 and $5 million in 2018 along with a $2 million roster bonus to be paid Monday.
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Deja vu blues for Panthers as they return to Levi’s Stadium?

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 14 zář 2017 02:33

Carolina opens 2017 season at San Francisco 49ers after first and only previous visit to four-year-old stadium was Super Bowl 50 loss
CHARLOTTE - When the Carolina Panthers open the 2017 season on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. at the San Francisco 49ers and Levi’s Stadium they’ll be at the venue of one of the franchise’s most disappointing losses.
The Panthers lost 24-10 to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 in their first on only previous visit to the four-year-old, 68,500-seat stadium.
But if you ask team leaders like quarterback Cam Newton or linebacker Luke Kuechly, their return to the Santa Clara stadium is no storyline.
“Who cares?” Newton said when asked about it Tuesday. “It’s a football game.”
Kuechly says he’s so focused on 2017, he has no interest in looking back to 2015.
“That was awhile ago and we’ve moved on from it,” Kuechly said.
Later, when reminded that the Panthers stayed in Santa Clara during their extended road trip to Seattle and Oakland just last season, Kuechly offered this:
“I think looking back ... would be detrimental to the guys. It’s the first game of ’17 against San Francisco and not the last game of ’15 and Denver.”
So how much has changed for the Panthers since that 2015 season in which they went 15-1 in the regular season then rolled to the NFC title before losing in the Super Bowl?
Thirteen starters remain from that team, including Newton and Kuechly. The others are running back Jonathan Stewart, center Ryan Kalil, guards Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner and tight end Greg Olsen on offense and free safety Kurt Coleman, linebackers Shaq Thompson and Thomas Davis, tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short and end Charles Johnson on defense.
Thirteen other players also remain from the 2016 Super Bowl - quarterback Derek Anderson, kicker Graham Gano, wide receiver Devin Funchess, running backs Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzy Whittaker, defensive back Colin Jones, long snapper J.J. Jansen, linebackers Ben Jacobs and David Mayo, offensive tackle Darryl Williams, tight end Ed Dickson and defensive linemen Kyle Love and Mario Addison.
Among the newcomers are rookie running back Christian McCaffrey, who was then a sophomore at Stanford. Ironically enough, McCaffrey attended Super Bowl 50 with his father Ed McCaffrey, a former Denver Broncos receiver.
Yet, no matter who is on the Panthers’ roster or the opponent or the venue of Sunday’s season-opener, the result has previously told much about how Carolina’s season may or may not play out.
Carolina has had six winning seasons in its history - and four of them came after a victory in the season-opener.
Only when the Panthers went 11-5 in 2005 Kent Tekulve Kids Jersey and 12-4 in 2013 did Carolina bounce back for a winning season after losing in Game 1. And of the 14 season-opening losses, nine began seasons that ended with a losing record.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is 2-4 in his six season-openers, with the wins coming in 2014
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For offense to click, Cam Newton says, he can’t worry about

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 14 zář 2017 03:28

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton wasn’t having any part of feeding the Sean McDermott homecoming storylines Wednesday.
No disrespect to the Buffalo Bills head coach and former Panthers defensive coordinator, but Newton says he has enough to worry about.
One thing Newton no longer concerns himself with: Keeping all of his receivers and pass-catchers happy. (It helps that there are no Steve Smith-type personalities demanding the ball.)
This became a topic this week because rookie running back Christian McCaffrey was targeted seven times in the season-opening victory at San Francisco – equaling the combined targets for starting receivers Kelvin Benjamin (five) and Devin Funchess (two).
Tight end Greg Olsen, shooting his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season, had two catches for 18 yards on four targets.
Newton says he used to worry about spreading the ball and appeasing the type-A personalities in the receivers meeting room.
Not anymore.
“Years past I’ve had that approach. But now I leave that solely up to the play-caller,” Newton said.
Offensive coordinator Mike Shula, the aforementioned play-caller, said the distribution of targets is influenced by the defensive looks. It’s also a process, with McCaffrey’s involvement (five catches for 38 yards and 13 carries for 47) opening up the field for other receivers.
Newton said he lets his reads dictate where he’s throwing, and he’s not going to play favorites.
“When that play call is called, it’s up for me to go wherever the defense dictates the ball to go,” he said. “And not picking any favors, not picking any type of person that hasn’t touched the ball, yet. I’ll leave that solely up to coach Shula and his staff.”
Rivera not worried
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he understands Thurman Munson Youth Jersey that “guys want to have the ball in their hands” and want to make plays.
But Rivera said he didn’t have a problem with how the ball was shared in the 23-3 victory over the 49ers.
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The Panthers’ 53-man roster was set for [url=http://www.texa

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 14 zář 2017 04:52

The Panthers’ 53-man roster was set for all of about two hours Saturday before it wasn’t anymore.
Panthers interim GM Marty Hurney pulled off a trade with his former assistant Brandon Beane, sending wideout Kaelin Clay to Buffalo and a seventh-round pick in 2019 in a deal that brought second-year cornerback Kevon Seymour to Charlotte.
Seymour, a sixth-round pick from USC last year, can play inside and outside corner and gives the Panthers more depth at a spot where they were a little thin. Seymour missed time during training camp with foot and shoulder injuries and struggled in coverage as a rookie.
Clay becomes the latest ex-Panther to jump on the Charlotte-to-Buffalo train, following Bills head coach Sean McDermott, Beane and several players.
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The best and worst fantasy football matchups for Week 2

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 14 zář 2017 07:38

For fantasy football, we care about offense. Defenses matter (especially if, like me, you were one of the lucky ones starting the Jaguars’ or Rams’ defenses in Week 1), but we’re looking for yards and points.
Week 1 failed in that regard. The past four years, Week 1 has seen teams average 350 yards and 2.3 touchdowns per game, averaging 22.7 points. Well, in Week 1 of this year, teams averaged 314.1 yards, 1.9 touchdowns, and 20.2 points. This means that there is a really good chance you are disappointed with your fantasy team after Week 1 … but most of your leaguemates are as well (in my home league, 10 of 12 teams failed to meet projections).
The old saw goes that offense is ahead of defense early in the year, that scores start high and tail off. If that’s true, then we could be in for a long season from a fantasy perspective. But for now, let’s treat Week 1 as a slightly disappointing blip, and look ahead to Week 2. Below, we’re taking a look at some good and bad fantasy situations from the first week of the season with all 32 teams in action.
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Fact or Fiction: Predictions for Giants vs. Cowboys

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 14 zář 2017 08:44

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact: I thought about doing something like, “The Cowboys offensive line vs. the Giants defensive line,” but I thought it was a bit of a cop-out because it isn’t an individual matchup. If the Giants do win that battle up front, however, they should win the game. Jenkins did an excellent job against Bryant in their two matchups last year. Bryant, however, had a completely healthy offseason for the first time in a couple years and he should be at his best on Sunday night. He came on strong at the end of last season once his foot got healthy. Bryant is the Cowboys’ big play threat through the air, and if Jenkins can handle him man-to-man with limited help, it will allow the Giants to assign a safety to help against the run.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact. On Sunday night, like it does every game, the game plan starts with stopping the run. But the Giants were so effective last year, particularly against the Cowboys, because they also shut down one of the biggest playmakers in the NFL. Jenkins helped limit Bryant to just two catches for 18 yards, one of which he forced Bryant to fumble.
LANCE MEDOW: Fiction: Last season, Janoris Jenkins was very effective against Dez Bryant as he had just two catches for 18 yards in both games combined. Despite Jenkins containing Bryant, both contests were decided by a total of four points, and that’s a reflection of both teams having numerous weapons on both sides of the field. How the Giants’ linebackers and safeties defend running back Ezekiel Elliott and tight end Jason Witten is worth watching, but that involves a variety of personnel as opposed to one specific matchup, so the most intriguing head-to-head battle will be Jason Pierre-Paul against Dallas right tackle La’el Collins, who has moved from left guard to take the place of the retired Doug Free. Collins has started 14 games over his first two seasons with the Cowboys and played tackle at LSU, but this will be his first campaign at that position on the NFL level. Given how effective the Cowboys’ offensive line has been over the last few seasons, it’s a matchup worth keeping an eye on throughout the game.
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Sizing up LaDarius Gunter

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 15 zář 2017 03:44

CHARLOTTE – LaDarius Gunter is known for pressing the issue with receivers, but upon his arrival in Carolina, he found himself pressed between a pair of receivers.
Gunter, a physically imposing cornerback claimed off waivers from the Packers on Tuesday, has his locker situated along wide receivers row – between Devin Funchess and Fred Ross.
"He's in the hood over here!" Funchess exclaimed.
"I know I've got to be on point," Gunter said. "Wide receivers like to talk trash, so it should be fun."
Gunter believes going against imposing receivers like Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin will help him tackle the tall order he could face against the NFC South's stacked lineup of receivers. It will be interesting to see how he stacks up with Carolina's cornerbacks that hang out along Thieves Ave. on the other end of the locker room.
Gunter joins starters James Bradberry and Daryl Worley as corners at least 6 feet tall and at least 200 pounds. At 6-2, he's the tallest of the bunch.
"Anytime we have somebody here to compete with and challenge us each and every day, that's cool with me," Bradberry said.
Bradberry hasn't had much of time to size up his new teammate but knew that Gunter was a starter in Green Bay a season ago.
"He's a guy who started 15 games last year. He's a guy who can contribute for us," Rivera said. "I like his size. He's long and physical, and he has good ball skills. He plays with his eyes and his hands and has good movement."
Undrafted in 2015 out of the University of Miami – where he played with injured rookie cornerback Corn Elder – Gunter was one of two undrafted rookies to make the Packers' initial 53-man roster. He played little during the regular season, but with Sam Shields injured, he was thrust into action in an NFC Wild Card victory over Washington.
A solid showing there combined with an injury riddled 2016 season for the Green Bay secondary set Gunter up to pace the Packers secondary in snaps and lead the team with 15 passes defensed. This offseason, however, Green Bay signed veteran corner Davon House away from Jacksonville and used the 33rd pick in the draft on corner Kevin King.
After Gunter played two snaps in Green Bay's season opener, the Packers waived him.
"Green Bay gave me two great years. I'm grateful for it. Now it's time for me to move on," Gunter said. "I want to take all the momentum I had in the preseason, bring it here and see where my season goes."
Gunter forced a fumble in the Packers' preseason Derek Newton Womens Jersey opener, and in the final preseason game he had a sack and an interception over the course of three plays.
His mindset fits with those plays and should fit with the Panthers.
"Find the ball. Get the ball," Gunter said. "I just want to come in and compete."
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If the Bills want to make a statement, go down to Carolina a

Příspěvekod Angel92 » 15 zář 2017 04:54

Last week was the homecoming game for the Bills. You know, the game where college football programs typically schedule a weakling they can beat up on so that everyone enjoys the weekend. That’s what last Sunday was for the Bills.
They laid waste to the Division II patsy known as the New York Jets, doing so in front of dozens of alums back in Buffalo to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Houston comeback game. It gave everyone in Bills Nation a warm and fuzzy feeling at those post-game tailgates, but now it’s on to the Division I portion of the schedule. In other words, back to reality.
MORE: Maiorana: For once a Buffalo Bills victory we saw coming against dreadful Jets
The Bills head to Carolina for the Panthers’ home opener Sunday, and among several things the Bills are going to find out is that Cam Newton is not Josh McCown, Luke Kuechly is not Demario Davis, and Kawann Short is, at the very least, the equal of one of the Jets’ few studs, Leonard Williams.
MORE: Panthers' Luke Kuechly: 'LeSean McCoy is dangerous. That’s all I need to say’
The Panthers are talented and tough, a team that was in the Super Bowl just two years ago and is considered a true playoff contender this season in the NFC. It’s a huge test for the Bills, but if they really want to give their fans something to shout about, go down to Carolina and win.
The Bills were supposed to run the ball well against the Jets, and they did. They were supposed to shut down one of the most putrid NFL offenses in recent memory, and they did. They were at home, and even in the worst of times, the Bills are almost always tough to beat at New Era Field, and they were. In short, they were supposed to beat New York, and they did.
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