hongwei28

Members
  • Content count

    86
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About hongwei28

  • Rank
    Member
  1. As the doors close on the AAF Austin Bryant Jersey Womens , the Lions should think about propping open opportunity for these five players."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Detroit Lions NewsDetroit Lions NotesDetroit Lions AnalysisDetroit Lions TransactionsDetroit Lions Game RecapsBreaking NewsIntroducing the 2019 Detroit Lions Draft Class! 脳Detroit Lions AnalysisDetroit Lions Opinion5 AAF players the Detroit Lions should consider signing New,23commentsAs the doors close on the AAF, the Lions should think about propping open opportunity for these five players.EDTShareTweetShareShare5 AAF players the Detroit Lions should consider signing Jake Roth-USA TODAY SportsThe AAF is dead, and it seems unlikely to recover. It will ultimately go down as a huge failure, not only for its collapse before the end of their inaugural season but for their complete unpreparedness for the league’s suspension.But not all is lost. For eight weeks, AAF players got a chance to showcase their skills for NFL scouts that were undoubtedly monitoring their play, looking for diamonds in the rough and potential depth pieces for the 2019 season. This offseason, Detroit Lions openly admitted they’ll be scouting the league. And while the Lions will build primarily through the draft at this point in the offseason, there are AAF players they should look into bringing in for camp. With the AAF suspended, player contracts are null and these athletes could be signed to any team at any time. Here are five AAF players the Lions should consider signing.TE Bug Howard A former North Carolina tight end, so what could really go wrong? Howard went undrafted in 2017, despite following in Eric Ebron’s footsteps in an extremely productive manner. His senior year at North Carolina saw 53 catches for 827 yards and eight touchdowns. In the NFL, Howard failed to stick on a roster, jumping from the Colts to the Browns to the Panthers. He never saw a regular season snap, but flashed a little in the preseason.In the AAF Austin Bryant Detroit Lions Jersey , Howard was third among all tight ends with 220 receiving yards. Playing mostly as an in-line tight end, Howard could be a short-yardage option for the Lions offense. He’s built to be a blocker too—at 6-foot-5, 228 pounds—but his form could use some refinement.LB Shaheed Salmon The Lions have a pretty big need for off-ball linebacker depth, and while Salmon probably wouldn’t push for playing time right away, he could certainly make a play for a spot on the roster or practice squad.Salmon saw his role with the Iron slowly increase as the season went on. He barely played in the first five weeks of the season, but in the final three, he was essentially a starter—and a brilliant one at that. In those three games, he picked up 11 tackles, one pass breakup, and PFF credited him with seven run stops. In Detroit, he could make a play for Jarrad Davis’ backup, and at just 23 years old (later this month), he still has room to grow. The biggest obstacle for Salmon is his steep developmental curve. Coming from Samford University, he’s got plenty of learning to do, but his flash of potential at the end of the AAF year may be enough for someone to give him a chance. WR Rashad Ross(UPDATE: Ross has signed with the Carolina Panthers)Ross is going to find an NFL team. It’s inevitable. The No. 2 all-time leading receiver in the AAF Austin Bryant Jersey 2019 , this wouldn’t be his first foray into the NFL. In fact, back in December of 2016, Ross had a stint on the Lions practice squad that lasted about a week. He’s been on seven other NFL teams since entering the league in 2013. Though he’s 29 years old, Ross proved to be a men among boys in the AAF. His value for the Lions isn’t just as receiver depth, though. Ross is also a proven kick returner, something the Lions roster is currently lacking. In 2015 with Washington, Ross returned 28 kickoffs for an average of 24.4 yards per return, including a 101-yard touchdown return. Ross would add crazy speed to a Lions receiving corps that doesn’t really have any. He reportedly ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. He’s worth another shot. EDGE Damontre Moore The former 2013 third-round pick was a draft season favorite of mine, but he thoroughly busted in the NFL, with unsuccessful stints for the Giants, Dolphins, Seahawks and more. But he has absolutely thrived in the AAF: 9.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, and 18 quarterback hits according to PFF. It’s safe to say Moore was the biggest disrupting force of any AAF defense:(Hi, Alex Barrett!)Though not a perfect fit in the Lions defense Austin Bryant Jersey Mens , Moore could certainly provide some depth behind new addition Trey Flowers, and in a pinch could play on the other side at Devon Kennard’s edge position.QB Garrett GilbertThe AAF was filled with some shaky quarterback play, but the Orlando Apollo’s passer was the only one who stood out in a good way. Gilbert finished the AAF season completing 157 of 259 passes (60.6%) for 2152 yards (8.3 Y/A), 13 TDs and 3 INTs. The Lions need some help at the backup quarterback position, and Gilbert is a name they’re a little familiar with. He spent a couple months on the Patriots’ practice squad back in 2014 (while current Lions GM Bob Quinn was there) and after he was waived by the team in 2015, the Lions scooped him up. He ended up being cut by Detroit after training camp, but now that Gilbert has refined his game a little bit, it may be the right time for Detroit to bring him back. There’s an awful lot of smoke around the Lions’ 8th overall pick being up for sale."Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn hasn’t exactly been the wheeling-and-dealing type in the NFL Draft over his three years on the job. In his first ever draft, he didn’t make a single trade despite having ten picks in 2016. The next year, Quinn only made a single trade, moving down in the third round to pick up a fourth rounder. Last season, Quinn was at his busiest. He not only traded up in the second round, but he traded back into the fourth round using 2019 draft assets.Despite a relative sparse history of trading in the draft, expectations are high that the Lions will be active during draft weekend this year. With Quinn openly saying his team is open for business to move down in the first round, and rumors about dealing with the Atlanta Falcons still burning hot Womens Teez Tabor Jersey , USA Today lists the Lions as one of the top five teams most likely to trade their pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. And author Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz has an idea of how they may do it.“Finding a team antsy enough to leap ahead of the Broncos at No. 10 to grab a passer could be the key to Quinn’s vision materializing,” he wrote.With so much smokescreening going on at this time of year, it’s hard to imagine all of these rumors are true. However, there has been an awfully large amount of smoke around Detroit and their desire to trade down this year. Could all these rumors actually materialize on draft day? Tori Petry of DetroitLions.com has a nice recap of what Lions players were up to this offseason prior to reporting for offseason training on Monday. Speaking of offseason training, the Lions shared a photo album of players arriving for work on Monday. Some notable players in the photos were newly-added Justin Coleman, Trey Flowers, and Rashaan Melvin. There were no pictures of Matthew Stafford, and the team declined to comment on whether he attended (remember: his wife has a brain tumor and could be getting surgery this week.)In case you were wondering, the 2019 Snacks’ Snacks Madness tournament has crowned its champion. Congratulations to the rightful winner, Oatmeal Creme Pies: Read it if you dare: Nate Atkins breaks down the film and specs of Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson, a potential first-round pick for the Detroit Lions. Now that the players are together again, it’s time for some serious trash talking. Quandre Diggs was the first to land a haymaker: If you read one thing today, it should be this: Chris Burke of The Athletic traveled alongside Lions head coach Matt Patricia to Alabama, where Patricia was asked to speak about killing bad football. It’s rare we get an in-depth piece on Patricia like this and Burke does a fantastic job.
  2. Joe Flacco will be part of game plan if active O. J. Howard Jersey White , Ravens’ John Harbaugh saysBaltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is expected to be active for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, although his role is unclear at this point.The Bucs Had A Punt Blocked By A QB Named TaysomTaysom Hill plays more than you’d expect from a backup to Drew Brees’ backup.Taysom Hill plays lowest snap percentage since Week 3 against BucsAnd makes the biggest play of the game.Bucs will have to weigh pros, cons of keeping Dirk KoetterThere’s a strong possibility, with two upcoming games on the road against strong defensive teams, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8) finish the 2018 season with a losing record.Dirk Koetter’s Market ValueWhen Black Monday comes in 20 short days and Koetter is fired, what other NFL team will desire him for their vacant head coaching position? New Jersey's governor bet that the New Jersey Devils will win the Stanley Cup, while basketball legend Julius Erving bet that Philadelphia's football team will repeat as champions, placing the wagers Thursday, the day betting on professional sports became legal in the state.The action took place at Monmouth Park, a racetrack in Oceanport near the Jersey shore, and at the Borgata, Atlantic City's first casino to jump into the sports betting market since New Jersey won a Supreme Court case a month ago clearing the way for all 50 states to offer it should they choose.At the track, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy placed $20 bets on Germany to win the World Cup soccer tournament, and his state's Devils to win hockey's Stanley Cup next season.Thirty minutes later and 70 miles to the south, Erving, better known to Philadelphia 76ers fans as "Dr. J.," put $5 on the Philadelphia Eagles to repeat as NFL champions. He made his bet at the Borgata at the same time New Jersey's Democratic state Senate President Steve Sweeney put $200 on his beloved Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl at 10-1 odds.New Jersey fought for eight years against a federal law that had limited sports betting to four states — Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon."We knew in our heads we were right, and we knew in our hearts we would win," Murphy said. "We've got a lot of good times ahead."Al Pniewski, of Hazlet, New Jersey, took the day off from his warehouse job at a food service company to bet $100 on the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the next Super Bowl, at 12-1 odds."My wife thinks I'm nuts for doing this http://www.buccaneerslockerroom.com/authentic-justin-evans-jersey ," he said. "This has been a long time coming. On college football Saturdays, me and my brother-in-law are gonna be here every weekend."Greg Visone, of Millburn, New Jersey, bet on Russia to prevail in its opening World Cup match against Saudi Arabia.Both Pniewski and Visone had previously placed bets with neighborhood bookies, as well as offshore internet sites. Both had gotten burned at least once dealing with the shady side of sports betting.Pniewski lost his money with a website when he tried to cash out, and Visone got lured in by fake odds of 40-1 on a soccer game that turned out to be 4-1 after he had wired his money to make the bet.Those sorts of experiences are among the things legal sports betting aims to prevent. New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement issued its sports betting regulations on Wednesday, and the activity is subject to numerous consumer protections.The line of would-be sports gamblers at the Borgata stretched out the door, down a staircase and into the parking lot before betting began at 11 a.m."I couldn't be happier," said Borgata President Marcus Glover.Murphy made two more bets at the Borgata: $20 on the New York Mets to win Thursday night and $20 on New Jersey NASCAR driver Martin Truex to win the Daytona 500.Jim Wood, a 63-year-old business owner from Margate, New Jersey, went to the casino's sports book in a suit and tie to bet $20 on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make it to the Super Bowl."I'm a huge Bucs fan," he said. "I went to the very first Buccaneers game in 1976. It's a great opportunity to have sports betting in New Jersey."Mike Sochasai of Toms River, New Jersey, was planning a four-team baseball parlay bet that seemed to depend on the New York Mets losing."When I would go to Vegas, this is always what we wanted to do here, but couldn't," he said.Dennis Drazin, who runs Monmouth Park, said the track has spent $5 million in the run-up to sports betting on physical renovations and legal fees, adding he was "euphoric" to see the first bets actually placed.Online sports betting will not start for at least 30 days in New Jersey. Until then, it is limited to casinos and horse tracks.Follow Wayne Parry at ://WayneParryAC
  3. The Bengals’ path to sweeping the Ravens this season may be getting a little bit easier. Backup quarterback Lamar Jackson missed today’s practice with what’s being called a stomach issue per Adam Schefter. As a result Mark Walton Jersey White , third-string quarterback Robert Griffin III was the only quarterback to practice.Baltimore’s starting quarterback Joe Flacco was already not expected to play as he’s currently dealing with a hip injury, and Jackson was being prepped to start in his absence for the first time in his career. The Ravens have continued to say Flacco could start Sunday without practicing, however.Sidenote: “I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t play well” may be the best endorsement Flacco has ever gotten. The Ravens are considerably more healthier than the Bengals right now, but having both of their top quarterbacks battling injuries does not bode well for them at all and could tip the scale towards the Bengals if Griffin III has to play the entire game.The Bengals have some familiarity with Griffin as they were his opposition for his third start of his career six years ago when he was still the prized possession of the Washington Redskins. The Bengals beat Griffin’s team 38-31 all that time ago. A different Bengals team, and a much different Griffin will possibly take the field on Sunday.Griffin hasn’t started an NFL game since Week 5 of the 2016 season when he was the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat Griffin’s Browns in that game Womens Tyler Kroft Jersey , and Griffin hasn’t played a meaningful snap in the league since. The career arc for Griffin is a sad one, but the Bengals won’t play with any sympathy if he is forced to trot out there against them if Jackson can’t go. We’ll see if Jackson practices tomorrow and what his status for Sunday ends up being.As for the Bengals, Thursday’s injury report was mostly the same as Wednesday. The only real differences were Joe Mixon being limited with a knee injury, as well as Dre Kirkpatrick returning to practice while battling his concussion. Mixon’s injury is new, so it will be something to monitor closely on Friday. Kirkpatrick still needs to clear the league’s concussion protocol to play Sunday.The Bengals could be depleted at wide receiver Sunday Womens Clayton Fejedelem Jersey , as Josh Malone (hamstring) and A.J. Green (toe) continue to miss practice, while John Ross (groin) remains a limited participant. It looks like there’s a decent chance all three are out Sunday, which would leave the Bengals with Tyler Boyd, Alex Erickson, Cody Core and Auden Tate at wide receiver. Jeff Driskel A.J. Green Jersey , anyone? It looks like Darqueze Dennard and Vontaze Burfict are getting close to returning from their injuries, but since they haven’t gotten in a full practice yet, they might not play in Week 10 against the Ravens. The Bengals’ biggest practice of the week is on Thursday with Friday being more of a walkthrough. Hopefully they’ll be back by next week but there is some concern that Burfict’s injury is lingering.Bengals Injury ReportRavens Injury Report The Bengals were destroyed by the Chiefs on Sunday night, but quarterback Andy Dalton says his team needs to be careful not to overreact.Dalton noted that the 45-10 loss counts the same in the standings as any other loss, and he thinks the Bengals remain well-positioned in the AFC North.“It’s just one game. We’ve got another one next week Womens Geno Atkins Jersey ,” Dalton said. “As much as this one sucks, like I said, everything’s still right there. We’re in a great position. We’ve got to go take advantage of it.”It is, indeed, just one game. And if the playoffs started today Bobby Hart Jersey , the 4-3 Bengals would be in, as a wild card team, with tiebreaker edges over the 4-3 Ravens and Dolphins.But if the Bengals want to think of themselves as contenders, they need to be competitive with good teams. And the Bengals showed last night that they’re a long way behind the best team in the AFC.
  4. The schedule is starting to leak!"NBC Sports Matt Maiocco reported that the 49ers will travel to Florida to open the 2019 regular season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Maiocco also reported that the 49ers will host the Pittsburgh Steelers for the teams home opener. That won’t happen until September 22nd Garry Gilliam Jersey , so the Niners will have start the season with two road games. We will know that team later today. The NFL will release the remainder of the 49ers schedule today at 5 p.m.There is some intrigue with playing Tampa Bay. The 49ers traveled to play the Bucs in November of last year. I can already see your blood boiling of having to travel across the country for the second consecutive year. Tampa Bay just hired Bruce Arians, so it’ll be tough to know exactly what that offense looks like. Robert Saleh and company will likely have to do some digging based on his past, and really put stock into what Tampa Bay shows in the preseason. In regards to Pittsburgh, they will be completely revamped as the Steelers no longer have their two best players on offense. We’ll update this article as more of the schedule leaks.UPDATE: Week 14 on the road against Drew Brees.UPDATE: Week 12, Aaron Rodgers is coming to Levi Stadium. It may sound like a cliche, but walking into the Senior Bowl media day you could feel the excitement in Mobile, Alabama surrounding the start of the first Senior Bowl practice. The day started with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan stepping to the podium and the media wasted no time digging into Shanahan about his Senior Bowl plans.The theme of the day for Shanahan was “improvement,” he reiterated it again, and again. Shanahan said his goal is to make the players here better. “We just want to get them comfortable and put them in position to showcase their skills,” said Shanahan. The lore of Shanahan is already rubbing off on some of the prospects in Mobile. Louisiana State edge rusher C. J. Beathard Jersey , Jaylon Ferguson talked about the energy Shanahan brings, “he can light a room up,” said Ferguson. Other prospects like Old Dominion’s Oshane Ximines, and Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew both spoke about how Shanahan is already showing them how to be pro. Wide receiversMoving on from media day and to the practice field, one thing stuck out— there is no shortage of wide receiver talent on the field in Mobile. Going into Senior Bowl week there was already an idea that the 2019 receiving class was deep, and they did not disappoint on day one. At the Senior Bowl there’s a mix of twitchy underneath receivers paired with a few big bodied playmakers— good news for 49ers who could use a dose of both. West Virginia receiver Gary Jennings was a late add to the Senior Bowl roster, but looked like he belonged on day one. Jennings didn’t make any eye-popping plays, but he was continually consistent with every rep. He looked extremely smooth all over the field. He never had a defensive back glued to him, he created separation all day long with his route running ability. It was easy to spot how fast he got in and out his routes, which is something Shanahan preaches. Jennings’ teammate David Sills V also had a good day catching the football. Sills V just pops out as a 49ers-type player that Shanahan will fall in love with. A gritty wideout who catches everything and just seems to work really hard. South Carolina receiver Deebo Samuel showed why he’s considered one of the best players in Mobile in practice today. He’s a fluid route runner who has athleticism and versatility to play inside and out. Samuel is also extremely physical for his 6’0 size. Even in 7-on-7 and 1-on-1 drills where hitting is frowned upon Samuel’s physical presence was felt. The last receiver worth mentioning from the South roster is Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow. Yes Womens Alfred Morris Jersey , Renfrow is small, but he was quietly unguardable today. Renfrow uses footwork to create separation off the line of scrimmage and then it’s all over for the opposing defensive back. Renfrow was consistently open at the college level, but many questioned if that could translate to the next level, after one practice Renfrow is proving the doubters wrong. Similar to the Shanahan’s South group the North wide receivers balled out on day one of the Senior Bowl. UC Davis wideout and Alameda native, Keelan Doss answered a lot of questions about his game in the North practice. Davis has elite size, and is known as a big bodied jump ball receiver, but today his most impressive trait was his route running. He cut up Ladd-Peebles stadium with several dynamic routes. Texas defensive back Kris Boyd told me how impressed he was with the receiving group on the North side after practice. He said he had to go against Ohio State’s Terry McLaurin because he knew McLaurin’s speed would test Boyd. McLaurin, similar to several receivers in Mobile, impressed on day one. McLaurin caught an deep on a nine route in the first 1-on-1 session. It wouldn’t be a Senior Bowl recap without mentioning University of Massachusetts receiver Andy Isabella. Isabella’s electric speed was the talk of media day when Isabella mentioned he once ran a 4.26 hand-timed 40-yard dash. When it came time for Isabella to show his skills on the field he did not disappoint. What was most impressive was that Isabella didn’t do it with just speed. He showed his footwork skills to burst in-and-out of reps at several moment today. Isabella looks to be on track to be the next Tyreek Hill, Brandin Cooks type— an offensive weapon that would be scary for the NFL if Shanahan drafted him Offensive guardAnother offensive position the 49ers were heavily focused on is the offensive line. The line group was tasked with facing an Edge group that boasts several top-tier prospects like Ximinies Matt Breida Jersey , Ferguson and Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat. While the offensive line group doesn’t have a headlining players like the edge group, some linemen had good reps versus top competition. Oklahoma’s offensive guard Ben Powers was a wall in the interior 1-on-1 drills. He stuffed multiple defensive tackles at the line and showed good anchoring ability in the middle. Another interesting late add was Elon’s Oli Udoh. Udoh buried Ximinies on back-to-back reps on the outside. Udoh shined in the East-West Shrine game and is now parlaying a good performance at the Senior Bowl to elevate his draft stock sky-high.When Jon Gruden’s north roster hit the field, Washington’s offensive tackle, Kaleb McGary dominated the North’s edge group. He looked like one of the superior offensive linemen in Mobile on day one. 49ers GM John Lynch was spending time watching the edge-offensive line 1-v-1’s and McGary, Powers and Udoh might’ve played their way onto the 49ers radar. If you follow the Senior Bowl you’ll see several stories about the “losers” or “disappointments” of the first day of practice, but that’s not what the Senior Bowl is about— If you listened to anything Shanahan had to say in his opening presser this week is all about “Improvement.” Before stamping players as label of “loser” we have to see how they respond to the coaching the staffs here can provide.
  5. Listen Alfred Blue Jersey White , I don’t know.I really don’t.None of us do.Maybe things will be fine.The Texans lost in New England.Everyone loses in New England!Clearly there’s no walking back or excuse-making for that horrific crime scene of a bed [KITTENING] in Nashville last week.The Texans, on paper, should handle the New York Giants Sunday at NRG Stadium.If they do, great.If they barely win or lose the home opener?Pretty much everything changes for 2018.Let’s see how the Masthead sees Sunday’s match-up going.Tim:Texans 27, Giants 20.Diehard Chris - A Sensible Fellow Who Knows Hakeem Olajuwon is STILL Scraping David Robinson Bits Out of his Sneaker Treads:Texans 30, Giants 20.Titan Matt Weston, Slanderer of Blade Runner and a Huge Fan of the Texas Rangers, Currently 31 Games off the Pace in the AL West:Texans 23 Natrell Jamerson Jersey White , Giants 20.MDC [Editor’s note: MDC!!!]: Texans 31, Giants 21.Mike Bullock: Giants 34, Texans 13.Capt. Ron: Giants 24, Texans 20.BFmf’nD: Texans 27, Giants 13.Kenneth L.: Giants 27, Texans 17.Jeremy Brener: Giants 20, Texans 19.Luke Beggs: Texans 24, Giants 13.Optimistic?Pessimistic?Resigned?Nonplussed?Confounded?Bewildered?Mystified?Dumbfounded?Where are you this week with this team?How doyou see the game going?Would you like to provide your answers in the form of a question?If so http://www.thetexanslockerroom.com/authentic-d_onta-foreman-jersey , may I ask that you insert said answers in the comments section below? Florida is a swirling hellscape of plastic pink flamingos, cargo shorts, and Blake Bortles turnovers. Houston is once again living in the past, a fine, pretty okay past. In this week’s episode, Matt and BFD discuss Houston’s reversion back to before, DeAndre Hopkins v. Jalen Ramsey, pass protection Womens Dylan Cole Jersey , defensive reality checks, Jadeveon Clowney’s dominance, Blake Bortles getting benched, playoff odds, and [NAME REDACTED], who will be in town for Thursday Night Football as the Dolphins’ starting quarterback. The show has changed a little bit. It isn’t LIVE for now. If there is an outcry or desperate plea for us to broadcast LIVE, we can make provisions, but for now Ryan Griffin Jersey White , we aren’t broadcasting LIVE. It’s no longer hosted on Blog Talk Radio, and the show is better for it. If you don’t know, now you know.We do, however, still need questions from you. Post whatever questions you have for us below. No matter how intelligent, silly, or trivial they may be, we will get to them at some point during the show.After the show the direct link will be here Womens D'Onta Foreman Jersey , and the embedded player will be below. You can subscribe on Itunes here.You can subscribe on Android/Google here. You can subscribe/listen on Spotify here.You can subscribe/listen on Stitcher here.While you’re at it, you should write a lovely review and give us the five star rating we deserve. Keep that in mind when you download the episode this week.Thanks for staying awhile and listening. Enjoy the show while you do whatever it is that you do.
  6. The veteran cornerback signed to bring stability to a struggling cornerback room before moving to safety. He may not have a future at either position in Green Bay."When the Green Bay Packers signed Tramon Williams last offseason Womens Mike Daniels Jersey , the company line was he was there to play ball, not to be a de facto coach. After making multiple subsequent moves to solidify the cornerback room, Green Bay shuffled Williams to safety where he never quite impacted the game the way many thought he could. Free agency offers myriad safety options and a cache of high draft picks give Brian Gutekunst a host of chances to bolster that spot in 2019 and beyond. Where does that leave Williams? He can’t cost the Packers more than $6 million to coach. Cutting the popular veteran wouldn’t be easy. He’s well liked among fans and his work ethic provides an outstanding example for a young group of cornerbacks, but cutting him would result in just $1.2 million in dead cap, freeing up over $5.1 million in space this spring. That could be enough for someone like Bashaud Breeland who, at this stage in his career, is a much more impactful player, and nearly a decade younger. For that price, the Packers would likely prefer Breeland to be out there as insurance for Kevin King’s inevitable injuries or Josh Jackson’s potential struggles. Assuming he’d accept a contract of that size, Breeland offers much more bang for the buck. If Williams isn’t going to be a preferred rotation player at cornerback, what about safety? Ibraheim Campbell is an unrestricted free agent, Kentrell Brice is an RFA, Raven Greene is a former UDFA, and Natrell Jamerson was a late-season waiver claim Womens Jake Ryan Jersey , which leaves just Josh Jones at the position with any kind of real pedigree or experience.Campbell showed well in a brief stint last season and could be an intriguing tender option, while Brice should be an automatic pass. Keeping Tramon Williams may legitimately be the best option at safety for the Packers in 2019. At the very least, he’ll be popular among fans for simply not being Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Or maybe he’s not even the best corner-to-safety possibility. Moving Tony Brown, a physical corner who acquitted himself better than expected in 2018, to safety — where he could play deep, in the slot, and all over the field — offers a low-risk, high-reward possibility. Brown’s success at corner and Jackson’s relative struggles may also open the door for a position switch some have been suggesting since Jackson got to training camp last offseason. His zone background, instincts, and ball skills would be well suited to safety, while mitigating any issues his lack of deep speed presents as a cornerback. More importantly, they’re potential long-term options at safety, freeing the Packers up to make a shorter term bet in free agency for example. The risk of moving Brown in particular is essentially nothing, especially if Breeland returns to the team. Moving a former second-round pick simply represents a riskier allocation of resources Kenny Clark Jersey , but if Jackson is willing, it could be the best thing for him. There’s a middle ground where the Packers do both these things. Keep Williams for insurance, let him start the year, and with as often as Pettine plays three safeties, Williams’ presence won’t keep the safety-in-waiting from the field. This, however, precludes an upgrade which the Packers need. Josh Jones, the one returning safety likely to be solidly in the mix, works best as a box player coming downhill, or in man coverage. When he has to play deep half or deep middle, he can be slow to read-and-react. Think of him as an overhang defender, as the extra safety when they go to the big nickel. Green Bay still needs two other guys. Between a loaded free agent class of safeties and a versatile draft class, the Packers can almost certainly find an immediate upgrade as well as a long-term one if they so choose. It wouldn’t take paying Earl Thomas $12 million or even someone like Adrian Amos $8-10 million. Tre Boston got just $1.5 million last year and would have easily been an improvement over Williams. He’s available once again. Future rookies like Nasir Adderley and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson offer speedy, ball-hawking coverage ability deep and in the slot. Johnathan Abram and Deionte Thompson are heat-seeking missiles who are athletic enough to be assets in coverage Reggie White Jersey White , while Taylor Rapp is a jack knife the Packers could put anywhere on the field. If the Packers have short-term options better than Williams, particularly when it comes to spending the $5 million saved by cutting him, as well as a plethora of paths to long-term options, what value does Williams truly bring? He was signed to bring steadiness to a cornerback room that now has a future star and a culture-setter of its own in Jaire Alexander. Green Bay moved him to safety because Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was unreliable. An entire offseason could lead them to conclude there are other players on the roster who could fill that void more spectacularly than Williams, leaving him as a player without a position to play. Maybe new defensive backs coach Jason Simmons needs help. There’s no salary cap on coaches.Cheese Curds 8/9: Are you ready for some Packers football? Welcome to football season everyone! The Green Bay Packers kickoff their 2018 season tonight with their preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field. Today is the first chance for the rookie class and those on the roster bubble to show what they’ve got.With there now only being one cutdown from 90 to 53 prior to week 1, there will still be three more chances for those looking to prove themselves.As for the Packers, this will be the opening battle for the backup quarterback spot between DeShone Kizer and Brett Hundley. It will also be the first time we will get to see Jimmy Graham and Mo Wilkerson in a Packers uniform.There will be other roster battles to watch as well. You can read about those and more in today’s cheese curds.Five things to watch in exhibition vs Titans—PackersNews.comThis will be the first time Packers fans get to see new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s defense in action and they’ll be looking to make a good first impression in front of the home audience.JK Scott energizing Mason Crosby, Packers special teams—Packers.comWhen you draft a punter in the fifth round, he had better deliver the goods. So far the Alabama rookie has been living up to the hype and Green Bay’s veteran kicker has taken notice.Video: Randall Cobb excited for Packers’ new look offense—NBC SportsMike McCarthy might still be calling plays, but the Green Bay offense will look different that what we are used to and that has excited the veteran wide receiver.Zimmer sits Diggs, Rhodes for “undisciplined stuff”—NFL.comThe Vikings coach doesn’t care how much you make or how big your name is. If you act dumb, prepare to sit.
  7. Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah has been officially downgraded to out for the Lions’ Week 7 match up against the Miami Dolphins. The team announced the status change on their twitter account Saturday afternoon.The defensive end has only played in one game this season. He recorded a sack and four total tackles against the New York Jets in Week 1 but left the game with an injury in the second quarter. He has not returned to the lineup since but many were hopeful that he would be ready to play after the teams Week 6 bye. Ansah has been a staple of the Lions injury report since the Week 1 injury. The shoulder injury he suffered in Week 1 has forced him to be either limited or absent from practice for over a month now. He was the Lions first-round pick in 2013. The BYU product recorded 8.0 sacks in his rookie season and set a career high with 14.5 in 2015. He recorded 12 in his contract year last season but inconsistent play and constant injuries led to him being franchise tagged this offseason. This will be the 10th game that the defender has missed in the past three years. Ansah has recorded 45 sacks in his 74 career games as a Lion. Fellow defensive ends Kerry Hyder and Romeo Okwara will once again be tasked with filling the role of the former Pro Bowler. They have done a great job in doing so thus far Tracy Walker Jersey White , including a two-sack performance from Okwara in Week 5 against the Green Bay Packers. ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Kerryon Johnson has been a bright spot for Detroit in a season with plenty of struggles.Now the Lions are finally coming off a win — but Johnson exited that victory with a left knee injury.Detroit's rookie running back went down in the second half of Sunday's win over the Carolina Panthers, and although the Lions had to be pleased to snap a three-game losing streak, they face a daunting task over the next couple of weeks. Detroit has a short turnaround before its Thanksgiving game against Chicago — not a great situation for a player recovering from an injury — and then the Lions face the Los Angeles Rams.Johnson has boosted Detroit's previously moribund running game. He has rushed for 641 yards on the season — more than anyone on the Lions managed last season — but it's not clear when he'll be able to play again."Not sure what his situation is, but we've dealt with it in other areas on our team before. Just next guy up Ricky Jean Francois Jersey White , let's go," quarterback Matthew Stafford said."We have a bunch of guys in that room that are talented. If they need to play more, they'll play more. If they don't, then we'll roll with what we have."Detroit was already without wide receiver Marvin Jones (knee) against Carolina. Then Johnson left the game, but the Lions were able to win anyway thanks to some big catches by receiver Kenny Golladay.Detroit (4-6) still faces an uphill climb to make the playoffs. Its next two games are at home but against first-place teams. If Johnson isn't available Matthew Stafford Jersey , the path becomes even tougher."We'll take it day by day. We'll see how it goes," coach Matt Patricia said Monday. "We just have to stay even keel with all of it and make sure we prepare like we're just pushing forward."Johnson leads the Lions with 118 carries. LeGarrette Blount has 78 and Stafford has 21. No other Detroit player has more than nine. Blount is averaging only 2.3 yards per attempt."Certainly, Kerryon has a skillset that's great, just like a lot of our other guys do," Patricia said. "I think we have good players Womens Kerryon Johnson Jersey , we have dynamic guys, guys that can make plays in different ways and it's not cookie-cutter. Football is not that way. When you have a different player that's in and in the same position, it doesn't mean that they can do the same thing. You have to be able to adjust."The Lions could always bring in someone from outside the organization to help at running back, but there's not much time before the next game.Running back Zach Zenner, who signed with the Lions earlier this month Michael Roberts Jersey , could have a bigger role now. Zenner has played sporadically for Detroit since the 2015 season — he had 88 carries in 2016."No matter what it means for me, it's always disappointing to see a teammate get injured," Zenner said. "Kerryon's a good teammate, good person, good friend. So it's certainly tough to see him have an injury. I don't know what the situation is. Hopefully he'll be back http://www.lionslockerroom.com/authentic-a_shawn-robinson-jersey , ready to go, but if not, I'll be ready to do whatever I'm asked."
  8. Polite looks to be this year’s version of Orlando Brown http://www.thebengalslockerroom.com/authentic-randy-bullock-jersey , whom the Bengals had interest in last year."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections #BITESIZEFilm RoomRoster Transactions and ContractsOrange & Black InsiderSalary Cap And CBABreaking NewsKeep track of the 2019 Bengals draftFlorida EDGE prospect Jachai Polite visits Bengals New,11commentsPolite looks to be this year’s version of Orlando Brown, whom the Bengals had interest in last year. EDTShareTweetShareShareFlorida EDGE prospect Jachai Polite visits Bengals Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY SportsKentucky’s Josh Allen isn’t the only SEC pass rusher the Bengals are interested in drafting. Florida’s Jachai Polite was in Cincinnati late this week for a top-30 visit, per his instagram.Polite also appeared inside Paul Brown Stadium per Allen’s instagram story.Every year there is a highly touted prospect that has a fall from grace in the draft process. When Polite decided to forgo his senior year and declared for the NFL Draft in on New Year’s Eve, there was little debate about where he eventually get drafted. All the way leading up to the NFL combine, the first round seemed to be a lock for Polite, and then the everything changed following his week in Indianapolis.Measuring in at 6’3” and 254 pounds, Polite underwhelmed evaluators with a sluggish 4.84 40-yard dash and a mere 32” vertical jump, neither seemed indicative of his dominating tape at Florida. He sat out of all other drills. Before he even tested on the field Womens Nick Vigil Jersey , reports claimed that Polite turned off numerous teams when interviewing. He even stated that the Los Angeles Rams were the only team that “didn’t bash” him in the interview process. A bad week at the combine could’ve been easily forgotten had he blew everybody away a few weeks later at Florida’s pro day. Unfortunately, a 5.04 40 time only raised more red flags for Polite, who apparently was dealing with a bad hamstring during the combine and later re-aggravated it at his pro day.It’s safe to say that no team should be willing to spend a first-round pick on Polite, which would be wild to say just a few months ago. There’s simply too much risk to invest that high of a draft pick on a player who’s athletic testing doesn’t indicate long-term success, along with potential personal issues on top of that. But, the tape with Polite hasn’t changed, and his production against SEC competition is going to make a team take a chance on him soon after the conclusion of the first round. Whether that be sometime in the second or third rounds, or early in the fourth round, Polite will get a chance to make the last two months irrelevant. The Bengals represent an ideal team for him to make his mark on the NFL. With their triumvirate of edge rushers in Carlos Dunlap John Miller Jersey White , Carl Lawson and Sam Hubbard, Polite wouldn’t be asked to play a multitude of snaps and would be limited to do what he does best: get after the quarterback. Rounds 2-4 seem to be the sweet spot for Cincinnati to address the position, so the range fits as well.And don’t forget, Dunlap was also a Florida prospect that some teams were skeptical about regarding his off-field evaluation. Dunlap ended up with the Bengals in the second round in 2010 and neither side has looked back since. Dunlap and Polite’s situations are not congruent, but the slight similarities provide some form of precedent for the match. Gee...what should we talk about this week?Well, the Marvin Lewis era is over in The Queen City, and the team is on the lookout for a new head coach. Given all of the news in the rumor mill, it seems that the Bengals are keeping a lot of options open—both externally and internally.Who are some of the more intriguing names on the list of candidates? How long will it take a new hire to turn things around? Will he keep some of the in-house assistants in place?On this week’s episode, John Sheeran and Anthony Cosenza discuss these and much more surrounding the team’s coaching search. Join us and submit your questions below in the comment thread Geno Atkins Jersey , in the live chat in the embedded video and/or via our call/text line at (949) 542-6241. If you’re unable to join us live for here at Cincy Jungle or YouTube every episode, all Orange and Black Insider content is available here on CJ, as well as on our SoundCloud, Stitcher, through the Google Play Music app and YouTube channels,ART19 as well as on iTunes! You can tweet us @BengalsOBI or get in touch with us via email at theobinsider@gmail.com. Thanks for listening and go subscribe to our channels!
  9. TORONTO (AP) — Auston Matthews had two goals and an assist in his return from a left shoulder injury that sidelined him a month and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on Wednesday night for their third straight victory.John Tavares also scored twice Alan Quine Jersey Womens , former San Jose star Patrick Marleau added a goal, Mitch Marner had three assists, and Andreas Johnsson finished with two assists to help Toronto improve to 18-8-0 and match Buffalo for the NHL lead with 36 points. Frederik Andersen made 38 saves.Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson scored for San Jose, Logan Couture had two assists and Aaron Dell made 24 saves.Matthews sat out 14 games after taking a clean hit from Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba on Oct. 27. The 21-year-old center had 10 goals and six assists in the first seven games of the season, but was held off the scoresheet in three consecutive outings before getting hurt.He made an almost immediate impact against San Jose, taking a pass from Marner and finding Tavares at the edge of the crease on a power play at 3:38.The 39-year-old Marleau, who played 19 seasons with the Sharks, scored against San Jose for the first time, giving him at least one goal against all 31 NHL franchises.AVALANCHE 6, PENGUINS 3DENVER (AP) — Gabe Landeskog broke a tie midway through the third period and Colorado overcame Sidney Crosby’s natural hat trick to beat Pittsburgh.Colorado won its sixth straight and is 8-0-1 in its last nine.Nathan MacKinnon had three assists and an empty-net goal with 29 seconds left, his 18th goal of the season. Samuel Girard, Erik Johnson and Colin Wilson also scored for Colorado.Crosby erased a 3-0 deficit by himself. He struck twice in the final minute of the second period. His first came off his own rebound on a breakaway with 52 seconds to go, and struck again with 10 seconds left with Colorado defenseman Patrik Nemeth off for holding. Crosby tied it at 4:43 of the second to complete his first hat trick of the season. He has 13 goals.RED WINGS 4, BLUES 3DETROIT (AP) — Tyler Bertuzzi broke a tie with 6:53 to go with his second goal of the game and Detroit held on to beat St. Louis after blowing a 3-0 lead.Bertuzzi put in a loose puck from just outside the crease for his eighth goal of the season.Thomas Vanek had a goal and an assist, Andreas Athanasiou also scored, defenseman Mike Green had two assists and Jimmy Howard made 33 saves to help Detroit snap a three-game losing streak.David Perron scored twice for St. Louis, Vladimir Tarasenko added a goal and Jake Allen stopped 27 shots. The Blues have lost five of their last six.STARS 4, FLAMES 3, OTCALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Tyler Seguin scored 24 seconds into overtime to lift Dallas past Calgary.Jamie Benn knocked the puck into the slot, where Seguin was wide open and put a shot inside the goal post on David Rittich. The goalie argued he had been interfered with by Benn Petr Mrazek Jersey Womens , but the goal stood up after a video review.Seguin also had an assist, and Benn, Jason Spezza, and Gavin Bayreuther added goals to help Dallas snap a four-game road winless streak. Anton Khudobin made 30 saves. Garnet Hathaway, Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano scored for Calgary.DUCKS 3, PANTHERS 2SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Nick Ritchie broke a tie with 1:28 left with his second goal of the game, John Gibson made 42 saves and Anaheim beat Florida.Ritchie grabbed a loose puck in front and beat goalie James Reimer to the right side.Josh Manson also scored to help the Ducks win for the fourth time in five games. Evgenii Dadonov and Aaron Ekblad scored for Florida, Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists, and Reimer made 22 saves. NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Pekka Rinne is off to an even better start than last season when he finally won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie, and backup Juuse Saros ranks among the league’s top 10 for victories.With both goalies now signed to contract extensions, the Nashville Predators may have the best goalie situation both on and off the ice.“There’s tandems that are much better than others, Nashville has one of them,” said Martin Biron, a former NHL goalie and now Buffalo broadcaster. “And I think if you’re Peter Laviolette, if you’re the goalie coach and the staff, your job and your challenge is to keep them at the highest of levels for the whole season.”So far, the defending Presidents’ Trophy winners are doing just that.The Predators went into Tuesday night’s game in San Jose atop the league standings while also first in the NHL both in goals allowed (37) and 2.12 goals-against per game with Rinne and Saros (7-2-0) splitting the first 18 games. Rinne has been “ImPekkable” with a 6-1-1 record, leading all goalies with at least eight starts with a 1.47 goals-against average and .951 save percentage.“Every day he is and continues to be the backbone of this organization and team and has probably had the biggest impact on this organization,” Laviolette said.Rinne is 3-0-1 with a .740 goals-against average and .976 save percentage and a shutout, stopping 121 of 124 shots faced since returning from injured reserve on Oct. 31. The Predators signed Rinne to a two-year extension taking him through 2020-21 on Nov. 3 Jordan Schroeder Jersey Womens , and the goalie celebrated both the contract and his birthday with his second shutout of the season.Biron said Tuesday that he doesn’t see a big competition for the starting job in Nashville.“It’s Pekka’s job, and Nashville giving him that two-year deal I think is basically saying that ‘We want Pekka, and it’s going to be like that,'” Biron said.Rinne has been a Vezina finalist four of the past eight years, making the seven-year, $49 million contract he signed on an earlier birthday in 2011 worth every penny. That deal ties him for the fourth-priciest contract among goalies with Marc-Andre Fleury (33) of Vegas and Boston’s Tuukka Rask (31). Fleury is under contract through 2021-22, and Rask hits free agency after the 2020-21 season.The Predators signed Rinne to a two-year extension worth $10 million on Nov. 3. General manager David Poile also signed Saros, 23, to a three-year extension in July worth $4.5 million. That means Nashville is projected to drop from seventh with $8.5 million of its salary cap invested in goaltenders to ninth next season with a $6.5 million average annual value, according to Sportrac.com.Rinne could’ve pushed for more money. Montreal’s Carey Price, 31, is getting $10.5 million a year, while Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers is being paid $8.5 million a year through 2020-21.Biron calls Rinne one of the hardest-working goalies he’s ever seen who’s in unbelievable shape. He also sees Rinne simplifying his game as he got older, like Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek and Eddie Belfour. Rinne still can scramble and react, which Biron thinks will keep Rinne playing at a high level for possibly four more years like Lundqvist.“Pekka can play at least through this next contract, and then after that we’ll see,” Biron said.It’s up to Nashville to make that extra cap space pay off after losing the 2017 Stanley Cup Final in six games and then in seven games in the second round last May. Poile persuaded defenseman Ryan Ellis to take a bit less money with an eight-year deal for $50 million in August, and his next task will be trying to get captain Roman Josi to agree to an extension next summer before the final year on the defenseman’s current deal.“Hopefully this helps in a way that makes this team stay together moving forward,” Rinne said. “I think we have an opportunity to keep this same team. And I think that’s David’s goal and obviously I like the sound of it. I love this group, and I really think we have a chance this year and years to come.”EARLY RETURNSTom Wilson of the Capitals returned to the lineup Tuesday night at Minnesota after arbitrator Shyam Das reduced the forward’s suspension by six games to 14 for his illegal check to the head of St. Louis forward Oskar Sundqvist at the end of the preseason.He made an immediate impact, scoring a first-period goal in a 5-2 victory.Nashville forward Austin Watson is eligible to return to the ice Thursday night when the Predators wrap up a road trip in Arizona after Das cut his suspension from 27 games to 18 after he pleaded no contest in July to a domestic assault charge.Das is the same neutral arbitrator fired by Major League Baseball in 2012 after he overturned Ryan Braun’s drug suspension. The NHL fired arbitrator James Oldham in 2016 after his decision to reduce Dennis Wideman’s 20-game suspension to 10 for striking and injuring an official Matt Calvert Jersey Womens , and either the NHL or NHLPA can fire the neutral arbitrator after each season.NWHL ALL-STAR GAMEThe Predators, who hosted the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, will be hosting the 2019 NWHL All-Star Weekend capped by an NHL-NWHL doubleheader on Feb. 10. This is the third straight year the NWHL has held its All-Star Weekend in an NHL market, starting with Pittsburgh in 2017 and Minnesota in 2018.Nashville will host St. Louis with a morning faceoff, and fans will be invited to stick around for the NWHL All-Star Game starting soon after the NHL matinee. The All-Star game will feature a pair of 25-minute halves with Shannon Szabados, goalie for the Buffalo Beauts and a three-time Olympian with Canada, captain of one team and Minnesota defender Lee Stecklein, a U.S. Olympic gold medalist in February, captain of the other team.GAME OF THE WEEKPatrick Marleau and the Toronto Maple Leafs visit his old team in San Jose on Thursday night with Erik Karlsson still settling in with the Sharks.LEADERS (through Tuesday)Goals: David Pastrnak (Boston), 16; Assists: Mikko Rantanen (Colorado), 20; Points: Mikko Rantanen, (Colorado), and Connor McDavid, (Edmonton), 26; Wins: Frederik Andersen (Toronto), 10; Goals-against average: Pekka Rinne (Nashville), 1.47; Save percentage: Pekka Rinne (Nashville), .951.
  10. B+ / 9th overallSince Ray Shero took over as New Jersey Devils GM in 2015 Womens Patric Hornqvist Jersey , his main focus involved adding picks to the organization, and since 2016 New Jersey has picked 26 players to replenish a system that did not produce much NHL talent early in the decade. (New Jersey had just 34 picks in the six drafts from 2010 to 2015 鈥?eight fewer than the 42 they started with.) Those deeper draft classes haven鈥檛 paid off at the NHL level yet outside of 2017 No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier. The Devils still have 21 picks in the next three drafts and will aim to keep adding assets while some of the players below help the team climb back into contention.1. Ty聽Smith (20th overall)D, 18, 5-11, 177 鈥?Spokane (WHL)52鈥?鈥?8鈥?4鈥?92018 draft, 17th overallSmith showed enough to make a serio... All-Access +All-Access Member AreaPremium content and in-depth analysis from our team of experts exclusively for magazine subscribers. Simply login to unlock the content or become a member for less than $2.50 a month.LoginBecome a Member PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Dan Craig sleeps maybe four hours a night leading up to outdoor games. He only goes out to dinner because he can check the status of the ice on his phone.“Your mind’s always going,” said Craig, the NHL’s vice president of facilities operations.After staging outdoor games in a deep freeze (Edmonton) and summerlike warmth (Los Angeles), the NHL seems capable of taking hockey outside just about anywhere in the U.S. and Canada knowing the ice will be almost as good as the sheets found inside.When the Flyers host the Penguins on Saturday night, it will be the 27th NHL outdoor game since 2003. Next season’s Winter Classic is at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, where the average high on Jan. 1 is 56 degrees (13.3 Celsius).No worries Phil Kessel Jersey , hockey fans.“We put the parameters out there as into what we feel the challenges are going to be at a certain climate in a certain area and this is what we’re going to run up against,” said Craig, who has worked all but two outdoor games. “And if we have to go to get different equipment, we go get different equipment. If we need more staff, we just go get more qualified people to come in and give us a hand to make sure that everything works the way it’s supposed to.”Weather is the biggest hurdle that can’t be controlled. It is instead managed by Craig, his son Mike, senior facilities operations manager Derek King and the 100-person crews that work each game. As he sat on the boards Thursday at Lincoln Financial Field, Craig pointed to the sky and acknowledged the swirling wind was on his mind.Still, improved technology and techniques learned over the past 15 years have helped perfect the science and execution of making and maintaining outdoor ice.“It seems like they’ve streamlined the process so they know how to react and how to handle different elements,” said Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk, a veteran of five outdoor games. “For the last few that I’ve been in Sidney Crosby Jersey , it’s all been pretty good. … If you can start with that, that leads to a better product in the game.”It starts with a 53-foot refrigeration truck that feeds coolant into aluminum trays set up on the field, and while indoor facilities have ice typically an inch or so deep, outdoor rinks go beyond 2 inches to protect the surface from the elements. Smaller Zambonis have less impact on the ice, and covering the surface with heat-reflecting insulation tarps helps. The ice can be monitored with sensors that provide real-time readings to a smartphone app.The ideal ice temperature is 22 degrees (-5.5 Celsius), but all was fine in Denver in 2016 when the air temperature was 65 (18.3 Celsius) because officials can just turn the A/C up.“When we’re monitoring the air temperature we’ll just make the sheet colder,” King said. “If we can keep it in the in the mid-40s, it would be great. But we’ve got a lot of control. … We have a lot of control of the truck, so we can manipulate our temperatures on the sheet with the air temperature.”Craig remembers the 2014 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor: The snow shoveling started at 5 a.m. and never really stopped. The sun has been just as big an impediment — it delayed the 2012 Winter Classic in Philadelphia because the glare was considered a danger to players. The ice at the 2011 Heritage Classic in Calgary had to be covered because it was so cold there were worries the surface would crack, the most concerned Craig has ever been.The tarps with air bubbles inside became a mainstay beginning in 2014 at Dodger Stadium to combat the Southern California sun as temperatures soared to almost 80 (26.7 Celsius) in the days before the game.“Sun was a huge issue for us in just the temperature on the ice, so we kind of came up with a system of how to cover the ice and reflect that sun Dougie Hamilton Jersey Womens ,” King said. “We still use those same ideas anywhere we go.”The Dodger Stadium experience showed the NHL’s ice crew it could adapt to just about any situation. Previous weather dilemmas also taught Craig and his staff they couldn’t just leave snow on the ice like so many nature-made rinks in cold climates, which paid dividends this week in Philadelphia when snow turned to sleet and then rain.“Everybody’s looking at us like, ‘Why don’t you just leave the snow?’ Well, it’s going to cause us 18 hours of work if we don’t get the snow off, like, right now,” Craig said. “(If) it happened to rain, the top is going to freeze and then the bottom is going to be nice and soft. Well, no. Where we were, it just goes all the way through and then it freezes to the bottom. Those are the types of things that we have learned over time: how to manage the different circumstances that were put into.”There are three more outdoor games next season — in Regina, Saskatchewan http://www.officialsharks.com/authentic-adidas-brent-burns-jersey , Dallas and the Air Force Academy in Colorado — and trips to Nashville and maybe even Las Vegas could be coming someday.Craig doesn’t see any challenge as too daunting and he is focused on giving players an unforgettable experience.“They step out there for the first time and they do about three laps around and the grins and their eyes are just phenomenal,” he said. “They’ve always been in organized hockey, they’ve always been indoors, they’ve always traveled and all of a sudden they get their chance. That’s when you see the guys and you just see them, they’re beaming because this the first time, they’re getting paid for it, they’re playing a game that they love and they’re playing it outdoors where we started.”
  11. PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A pep talk by new coach Scott Gordon has helped turn James van Riemsdyk’s game around.Van Riemsdyk recorded a hat trick Leo Komarov Jersey Womens , and Nolan Patrick had two goals and two assists to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 7-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.Van Riemsdyk scored a power-play goal with 7:56 left in the second period, scored on a deflection late in the second and added an empty-net goal 1:17 remaining in the third. He has five goals and two assists during a three-game point streak after having just one point in his previous seven games.The Flyers’ big offseason signing, van Riemsdyk had slumped and stood at six goals through 27 games when interim coach Gordon had a heart-to-heart with the veteran center following Philadelphia’s 5-3 loss at Washington last Tuesday in a game in which van Riemsdyk was demoted to the fourth line.“It was nice to get clarification,” said van Riemsdyk, who signed a five-year, $35 million contract last summer. “Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re not doing it the way they want you to do it.”Gordon, who replaced Dave Hakstol last month, was an assistant in Toronto, where van Riemsdyk prospered. The coach wanted to see van Riemsdyk get back to what worked with the Maple Leafs, particularly making his presence felt in front of the net.“It’s one of the areas I felt he can be better,” Gordon said. “I know what he’s capable of. I can fall back to Toronto, what I saw there and what I wasn’t seeing here.”Van Riemsdyk’s first tally Womens Kyle Palmieri Jersey , a power-play goal with 7:56 left in the first period, turned the tide after Minnesota jumped to a quick 2-0 lead. Philadelphia’s power play came in ranked 30th, connecting at just 12.8 percent, and Gordon made major changes by installing five forwards onto the top unit. It paid off when van Riemsdyk deflected Jakub Voracek’s slap shot to pull the Flyers within 2-1. The goal was upheld after a video challenge by Minnesota.“It’s nice to see we were able to score in bunches tonight,” van Riemsdyk said.Philadelphia tied a season high for goals.Wayne Simmonds also had two goals for the Flyers. It was just the second win in the last 11 games for Philadelphia, which began Monday with the fewest points in the league.Jason Zucker, Marcus Foligno, Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Suter scored for Minnesota. The Wild dropped to 0-5-1 against Metropolitan Division teams.“You can’t make the mistakes we’re making out there and hope to win a hockey game,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said.Philadelphia outscored the Wild 3-1 in a busy second period.Foligno struck first, following his own miss from right in front of Carter Hart, to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead.Patrick entered without a goal in 24 straight games before the first of his two scores tied it at 3. Then he made it 4-3 with 4:32 remaining with a highlight-worthy play. Travis Sanheim took the initial slapper from the point, and Patrick moved his stick between his own legs and shot behind his back after the rebound caromed hard off the back boards for his seventh of the season.“That’s something you practice in the summer http://www.officialbluejackets.com/authentic-adidas-david-savard-jersey ,” Patrick said.Asked if he had ever scored a goal like that, Patrick said: “In a beer league.”Simmonds lifted a shot over Devan Dubnyk with 5.2 seconds left. Boudreau pulled Dubnyk after the second, replacing him with Alex Stalock.A fluky goal with 11:42 left in the third pulled the Wild within 5-4. An attempted clearance from in front of Hart bounced off Suter and back into the goal. It was waved off at first, but the officials reversed their initial decision after a video replay showed that Eric Staal was pushed into Hart by defenseman Robert Hagg.Simmonds answered with his second of the game 2:25 later on a breakaway.Notes: Scott Laughton had three assists, while Giroux had two. … Philadelphia D Andrew MacDonald returned after missing the last six games with a lower-body injury. … Philadelphia improved to 9-9-3 against Western Conference teams.UP NEXTWild: Host Los Angeles on Tuesday night.Flyers: Host Boston on Wednesday night. DENVER (AP) Now that was more of the start Nashville was looking for. The finish? Not as much.Filip Forsberg scored another creative goal, Pekka Rinne rebounded from a rocky performance with 31 saves, and the Predators withstood a furious rally by the Colorado Avalanche for a 3-2 win in Game 4 on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.”I guess probably some teams, every once in a while, can say everything is perfect. Everything is awesome,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. ”But most times you’re trying to work on something, trying to get better at something.”For the first time all series, the Avs were held scoreless in the opening period and the Predators built a 3-0 cushion heading into the final period.Colton Sissons and Craig Smith also scored for the Predators Anthony Mantha Jersey , who can close out the series Friday when it shifts back to Nashville for Game 5.”We don’t want it to end at all,” Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon said. ”We’re still in it. It’s not over yet.”Rinne was solid early after being pulled from the last game. Cruising along and up 3-0, the Vezina Trophy finalist allowed Gabriel Landeskog’s 5-on-3 power-play goal in the third and another on Alexander Kerfoot’s tap-in off a rebound with 8:59 remaining.Colin Wilson nearly tied with about 2 minutes left when his shot appeared to hit the post. The Avalanche pulled backup goalie Andrew Hammond late, but couldn’t get the tying goal. Tyson Jost sent a shot over the net at the buzzer.”It was a good push by them,” Forsberg said.Forsberg worked his puck-handling magic in the first period by dancing around defenseman Duncan Siemens and juking Jonathan Bernier for his third goal of the series. The ever-creative Forsberg had an artistic goal in Game 1 as well, when he sent the puck through the defenseman’s legs before scoring.”Just tried to use my speed wide and use that speed all the way around the net,” Forsberg said.Bernier allowed three goals on 26 shots before being replaced by Hammond to start the third period due to a lower body injury. Hammond had eight saves.Forsberg and his crew came out with a little more spring in their skates for Game 4. This may have played a role: The team went through an up-tempo practice the day before. It was a way to avoid a sluggish start like Monday when Colorado scored three times in the first period of Game 3.The strategy worked. Nashville controlled the tempo except for a frenzied stretch in the third.”We knew we weren’t going to go 16-0,” Forsberg said. ”We were going to lose a game throughout these playoffs and obviously we were just looking to bounce back.”Now, the Avs are looking to regroup.”I’m obviously upset at the result, but I loved our third, there’s no question,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. ”But we need to find that urgency earlier.”There was a scary moment in the second period when MacKinnon’s stick caught teammate Mikko Rantanen near the eye. Rantanen left with a towel pressed against his face Darren Helm Jersey , only to return a few minutes later.But not before the Predators scored another goal as Smith zoomed out of the penalty box and beat Bernier with a wrist shot to make it 3-0.From there, things turned a little testy. Landeskog hit a tumbling Ryan Johansen, who headed to the dressing room. He returned in the third period.P.K. Subban got the crowd fired up early by shooting a puck into Colorado’s net in the pregame warmups. He’s stepped into the villain’s role after delivering a blow to the side of MacKinnon’s helmet during Game 3. Subban was booed each time he touched the puck.The Predators came out firing on all cylinders, even going on an early 5-on-3 power play for 1:20. They but couldn’t get anything past Bernier, but they did knock Bernier’s mask momentarily out of commission when Viktor Arvidsson’s slap shot caught him square him in the cage. Bernier skated over to the bench to grab his backup one. He later returned to his original one.NOTES: Predators F Calle Jarnkrok returned after missing the last 16 games with an upper-body injury. … Rinne felt honored to be a finalist for the award that goes to the league’s top goaltender. ”Even though it’s an individual award, I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” he said. … Avs D Samuel Girard missed a third straight game with an upper-body injury. … Avs F Carl Soderberg took a bit hit from RW Ryan Hartman in the third that drew a charging penalty.—
  12. NEW YORK (AP) — After a sluggish start in their first game out of the Christmas break http://www.officialpredators.com/authentic-adidas-ryan-hartman-jersey , the New York Islanders picked up their intensity in the latter part of the second period and then steamrolled the Ottawa Senators in the third.Mathew Barzal had two goals and an assist to help the Islanders rally for a 6-3 win over the Senators on Friday night for their fifth win in six games. Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Anders Lee, Johnny Boychuk and Casey Cizikas also scored for New York, which came back from a pair of two-goal deficits.“A little bit of that hangover from the break,” Lee said. “You could tell we were weak in some areas, mentally and physically. Once we engaged a little bit and figured it out, we really played a hard game and were able to take it over.”Thomas Greiss gave up three goals on 17 shots before he was pulled 6:11 into the second period. Robin Lehner, who began his career with Ottawa, came on and stopped all 10 shots he faced to improve to 7-0-3 against his former team.“Just a couple of missed assignments,” Barzal said of the Senators’ early goals. “Greisser has been a rock for us all year. … Lehner came in and played great.”The Islanders trailed 2-0 early in the second and 3-1 later in the middle period. New York then scored the last five goals, including four in the third.Lee started the comeback as he took advantage of a giveaway by the Senators in their own zone. Goalie Mike McKenna got the puck behind his net Ryan Johansen Jersey , passed to Ben Harpur in the left corner, but Harpur’s pass to Nick Paul went off Paul’s stick in the right circle. Lee got the puck and beat McKenna for his 14th with 2:32 to go in the middle period.Boychuk tied the score 3-3 at 2:57 of the third as he fired a slap shot from the right point. It was his second of the season, with both goals coming in his last four games.“Anytime you’re down two, try to get one before the end of the period,” Lee said. “We got that. And for Johnny to come out in the third and rifle one home really set the momentum for the rest of the game.”Barzal, who got his team-leading 25th assist earlier in the game, gave the Islanders their first lead at 4:51. Barzal made it 5-3 after a turnover by the Senators in the neutral zone, beating McKenna from the inside edge of the right circle for his seventh with 7:36 left.Urged to shoot more by coach Barry Trotz, Barzal converted on both of his shots on goal in the game.“I’m trying to look at the net a little more,” he said “I’m just trying to make the right play. If the shot’s there the shot’s there, if it’s not it’s not.”Cizikas added an empty-netter with 54 seconds left for his career-high 10th.Mark Stone Viktor Arvidsson Jersey , Matt Duchene and Cody Ceci scored for Ottawa, which has lost six of eight (2-5-1). McKenna finished with 33 saves as the Senators fell to 4-13-1 on the road.“We scored three goals,” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said. “We were solid, had control of game. We gave them two goals — they got life and momentum. … There were some giveaways and they scored two goals.”The game got chippy late with several fights, including pushing and shoving after the final buzzer.Stone got the Senators on the scoreboard late in the first period, taking advantage of a giveaway by the Islanders in their own zone, beating Greiss from the left circle for his 17th with 3:42 left. It gave Stone eight goals and 17 points in his last 15 games.Duchene scored on the power play at 2:47 of the second to make it 2-0. It was Duchene’s third goal in three games since missing six games with an injury.The Islanders scored a little more than 20 seconds later after a giveaway by the Senators. McKenna played the puck behind his goal to the right and tried to send it up along the right side boards, However, Barzal got the puck in the left circle, passed across to Bailey on the right side and he put it in before McKenna could slide over at 3:11.Ceci restored the Senators’ two-goal lead exactly 3 minutes later with his fifth.Lehner replaced Greiss after that and Ottawa didn’t score again.NOTES: Ceci appeared in his 400th career game, becoming the fifth defenseman and 19th player in franchise history to reach that milestone. … Stone now has five goals and 11 points in 13 career games against the Islanders … Duchene has 11 goals and 25 points in his last 18 games. … Islanders F Jordan Eberle sat out due to soreness. … Lehner was drafted by Ottawa in second round of 2009 draft Robin Lehner Jersey Womens , and went 30-36-13 in five seasons with the Senators.UP NEXTSenators: Host Washington on Saturday nightIslanders: At Toronto on Saturday night for the first matchup against former captain John Tavares. Dallas coach Jim Montgomery had his return to Denver spoiled three weeks ago, but he gets another shot at leading the Stars to a win in the city where he made his mark with the University of Denver for five seasons.Montgomery’s Stars fell to the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in a Nov. 23 game that they led with less than three minutes to go. Two late goals flipped the script, but they want to exact revenge when the teams meet again on Saturday night at Pepsi Center.For Dallas, losing in the third period against Colorado has become a season-long trend. The Stars are 2-6-2 in games in which they are tied after 40 minutes. It’s a big reason they are 16-13-3 more than a third through 2018-19.Article continues below ...“I didn’t know that stat, so I guess that’s something we have to correct,” veteran Blake Comeau told NHL.com after Thursday’s loss at San Jose. “Any time you go into a game, especially on the road, you’ve got to find a way just to grind it out and at least come away with a point.“We’ve had some games where we’ve had leads going into the third or we’re tied in the third and we come away with nothing, so that’s something we definitely have to get better at. We have to be a team that can close games out.”Dallas has a built-in advantage going into Saturday night. While Colorado was losing 4-3 in overtime in St. Louis on Friday night, the Stars were kicking back in their Denver hotel.They also added another player to the roster with the recall of forward Denis Gurianov from the Texas Stars of the AHL.Gurianov, 21 http://www.officialdevils.com/authentic-adidas-cory-schneider-jersey , was fourth in the AHL in scoring at the time of his call-up with nine goals and 19 assists. Gurianov joins 19-year-old defenseman Miro Heiskanen on the roster, giving Dallas two solid young players.Heiskanen, the third overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft, is averaging 23 minutes of ice time this season and has 15 points from the blue line.The Avalanche boast several good, young players, too, starting with the leading scorer in the NHL in 22-year-old forward Mikko Rantanen. Rantanen has 53 points and his linemate, center Nathan MacKinnon, is second with 48 points.The other player on that line, captain Gabe Landeskog, has 19 goals and 19 assists Jesper Bratt Jersey Kids , giving Colorado one of the most formidable lines in the NHL.They have led the Avalanche (17-9-6) to near the top of the Central Division but have stumbled a bit after a 9-0-2 stretch.No. 1 goaltender Semyon Varlamov has been pulled from his last two starts and has allowed 14 goals in the last four games.“I wish I could say it’s just one thing and we go and fix it,” Stars coach Jared Bednar told HockeyBuzz.com after practice Thursday. “It’s really not; it’s our whole game, really. When you’re a step slow, we don’t look as good. When we’re not playing with the pace and tempo and intent to play a north game, we don’t look as good.”Varlamov will likely be in net Saturday after Philipp Grubauer started against the Blues.
  13. LAS VEGAS (AP) After the Winnipeg Jets lost Game 3 of the Western Conference final Justin Braun Jersey Kids , goaltender Connor Hellebuyck didn’t seem fazed and spoke like a confident veteran rather than a third-year player whose team appears to be unraveling.The Vezina Trophy-finalist went as far to say he liked his game better than the guy about 200 feet across the rink – 14-year veteran Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped 33 of 35 shots and improved to 10-3 in the postseason.”I like my game, I like it a lot more,” Hellebuyck said after making 26 saves in Wednesday’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. ”I like my details and will continue chugging away and getting better every single day.”If Game 3 is any indication of the type of game Vegas will bring into Friday night’s Game 4, Hellebuyck needs to get better urgently.”I think we’ve been capitalizing on some chances we’ve been getting,” Vegas forward Cody Eakin said after Thursday’s practice. ”Getting to the dirty area, smackin’ `em into the blue paint. He’s a heck of a goalie and he’s played very well all season and all playoffs for them. It’s just one of things where you have a game plan, you stick to it. Whether it’s the bounces or capitalizing on a rush or whatever it may be, we’re just trying to finish every chance we get.”Like 35 seconds into Game 3, when a premature poke-check by Hellebuyck led to a goal by Jonathan Marchessault. Hellebuyck’s ill-advised mistake allowed Marchessault to use a forehand-backhand deke and give Vegas the momentum early with a 1-0 lead.In the second period, Hellebuyck went behind the net and lifted the puck to clear it but Erik Haula was there to knock it down and feed James Neal, who found the open net to give Vegas a 2-1 lead just 12 seconds after Mark Scheifele tied the score.Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice refuses to blame his goalie, though, and seemed fine Thursday, with the rather braggadocious manner Hellebuyck speaks with, despite allowing three or more goals for the second consecutive game and fifth time in his last nine games.”It’ll be across the crease, no chance in hell he’s getting that puck, and he believes he can stop that puck,” Maurice said. ”I don’t plan to stomp that mentality. He believes he can stop everyone Youth Kevin Labanc Jersey , and then he moves on pretty darned well. He doesn’t carry it too heavy with him. He’s got confidence in the right way.”So does Fleury, who leads the NHL with a career-best 1.70 goals-against average during the playoffs. And if the Jets can’t get more production outside of Scheifele, they’ll find themselves on the brink of elimination after Friday’s game.Scheifele, who now owns the NHL record for most goals scored on the road in a single playoff with 11, has 14 goals and six assists in 15 games. But for a dangerous team that gotten this far because of its depth, guys like Vegas defensemen Nate Schmidt, Brayden McNabb and Shea Theodore have shown they can keep the Jets in their own zone or disrupt things in the neutral zone.”A few miscues and they made us pay for it – that can’t happen,” said Scheifele, who has three of the Jets’ seven goals in this series. ”They’re going to have their games, we’re going to have our games. We can’t sulk on this too long. We gotta pick ourselves up and be ready for a big game on Friday.”The Jets showed some life in the third period on Wednesday, and certainly outplayed what appeared to be a weary Vegas team over the final 20 minutes, but Fleury was outstanding in coming up with tremendous highlight saves to preserve the win.”I think we’re starting to get a better understanding of how we have to attack and how we have to approach the net,” Maurice said. ”At 2-1, we’re all aware that we’re down 2-1, but it’s still fairly early in the series. Both teams are going to come out guns-a-blazing and try to give the other team nothing.”History is against the Jets, who are trailing in a series for the first time this postseason. Teams with a 2-1 lead in the conference final (or NHL semifinals) have won the series 35 of 43 times (81.4 percent) since 1975.And unless Hellebuyck’s confidence translates into keeping the puck out of his net, and Scheifele gets some help at the other end, history is bound to repeat itself.— LAS VEGAS (AP) — A season after their surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final, the Vegas Golden Knights are finally starting to look like an expansion team.The Knights were in sixth place in the Pacific Division on Monday after a slow start to a season that finally saw them make progress after a five-game home stand capped by Sunday night’s 4-3 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators.“Somebody just said in the dressing room we had a five-game home stand and we’re 3-1-1 Martin Jones Jersey ,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “And it doesn’t feel like that because (we started) off 1-4 when we got back home. So, we had a good home stand but it doesn’t feel like that.”Perhaps it’s because last season the Golden Knights were 8-3 through their first 11 games and just three points out of the division lead. They had outscored the opposition 41-31 as they got their inaugural season off to a rapid start. Vegas also allowed three or more goals just four times in that span. The season, of course, ended with them falling short of the Stanley Cup.This season so far, Vegas has been outscored 30-26 and the Knights have allowed three or more goals seven times.Noticeably missing from the second line are James Neal, who at this time last year led the team with seven goals and 10 points, and David Perron, who had contributed four goals, four assists. Neal is now in Calgary and Perron is in St. Louis and their presumed replacements — Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny — are on the shelf.Stastny has missed the last eight games and isn’t expected to return until December, while Pacioretty came off the ice Friday after being drilled by Tampa Bay’s Braydon Coburn. He didn’t play Sunday. Cody Eakin did, and left the game in the first period after being leveled by Mark Borowiecki.The team is also still without lead defenseman Nate Schmidt, who is serving a 20-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance, while defenseman Deryk Engelland recently returned from an injury.“Everybody has injuries, you have to come out to play our game and do the best you can when you’re in the lineup. … We’ve done that from last year, and I think most teams do that,” Gallant said. “You do the best you can with what you’ve got.”The top line of Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith has combined to score 25 points. And while the second and third lines have been plagued by lineup changes due to the injuries and have yet to find the right chemistry, the fourth line of Ryan Reaves, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and William Carrier have produced several quality shifts.Reaves http://www.officialsharks.com/authentic-adidas-logan-couture-jersey , who arrived in February with a reputation for being an enforcer, has hardly looked like the bruiser who has had more than 60 fights in his career. His mere presence has provided a consistent energy the Golden Knights can count on for a spark. Of his three goals this season, two were game-tying shots and the other was a game-winner.“Ryan Reaves is a fan favorite, he is a tough guy and it definitely energizes our group,” Gallant said. “He is a popular player and he puts the work in and does a lot of work for the physical side of it, but he is also playing real good hockey for us.”He is part of the team’s power-play package that needs immediate improvement. After going 1-for-5 on Sunday, they’re now 4-for-37 (10.8 percent) on the power play, ranking 29th in the NHL. They have scored four in their last five games, however.“It’s not only the shots that we have, it’s also the quality of shots that we have,” said Marchessault, who leads the team with 11 points, including Sunday’s game-winner in overtime with a penalty shot. “The quality needs to be better. We need to cash in on all of our chances. We just need to come back to our bases. It’s about playing well defensively and we definitely need to get better from everybody, especially facing the injuries we have right now.”Vegas heads to Nashville on Tuesday and St. Louis on Thursday, before returning Saturday to host Carolina.“We want to win, we want to play better, and we want to make sure things are going,” Gallant said.
  14. It didn’t seem to matter much who was pitching against DJ LeMahieu. After striking out in his first at-bat Authentic Jordan Whitehead Jersey , the Rockies leadoff hitter was as locked in as he’s been all season. Especially in the ninth inning when Colorado trailed. LeMahieu hit a two-run homer in the ninth and set a career best with five RBIs as the Rockies rallied past the San Francisco Giants 9-8 on Thursday to snap a four-game losing streak. ”It was a good one to win,” LeMahieu said. ”I feel like we’ve been on the other end of that for the last couple of weeks so it was good to win that one late.” Nolan Arenado hit his 19th home run, tying him for the National League lead with Washington’s Bryce Harper. Trevor Story added three hits for Colorado, which had lost four straight at San Francisco. The Rockies blew leads of 5-2 and 7-5 and were down 8-7 before scoring twice off closer Sam Dyson (2-2) to avoid a series sweep. Chris Iannetta hit a leadoff single in the ninth and was replaced by pinch-runner Pat Valaika. After pinch-hitter Tom Murphy popped out, LeMahieu sent a full-count pitch from Dyson into the left-field stands. Two nights earlier, Dyson got LeMahieu to ground into a game-ending double play with the tying run on base. ”It was roughly where we wanted,” Dyson said. ”I figured we’d go (inside) like we did two nights ago. Just didn’t get it far enough in there.” It was a big hit for a ballclub that had been 0-37 when trailing going into the ninth. ”That was a big swing when the momentum shifted back to them in a big way,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”It takes a special moment and a special swing to get it back on our side and DJ put a great swing on that ball. It was awesome.” LeMahieu had an RBI single as part of Colorado’s four-run fourth. His two-run single off Ty Blach in the seventh gave the Rockies a 7-5 lead. Each of LeMahieu’s hits came off different pitchers. ”He knows the opposition, he knows pitchers,” Black said. ”He’s as prepared as any player I’ve been around.” Adam Ottavino (4-1) gave up two runs but retired three batters to win. Wade Davis pitched the ninth for his 22nd save. All three games in the series were decided by one run. Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer, Joe Panik had two hits and two RBIs while Pablo Sandoval and Andrew McCutchen also had two hits for San Francisco. The Giants trailed most of the afternoon but took an 8-7 lead in the eighth when Alen Hanson doubled in two runs. ”That was a hard fought game Authentic Rashaan Evans Jersey ,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. ”Tough one when you have a lead in the ninth and we couldn’t hold on to it. Sam was just a little bit off.” Arenado homered off starter Chris Stratton in the first, his 10th this season in the opening frame. It was also Arenado’s 10th career home run at AT&T Park, tying former Rockies infielder Troy Tulowitzki for second-most among visiting players. Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt has 11. Neither starter factored in the decision and had nearly identical lines. Stratton allowed five runs on eight hits in four innings. Colorado’s Jon Gray also gave up five runs in four innings but yielded seven hits with seven strikeouts. BACK TO BACK Giants catcher Nick Hundley threw out a pair of runners trying to steal second base in consecutive at-bats in the eighth. Story hit a leadoff single but was thrown out. Gerardo Parra then reached on an error but was quickly erased when he tried to take second GOLDEN COMPANY Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, a noted Dodgers fan, attended the game and sat next to the Giants dugout, at one point reaching over to shake hands with Bochy. TRAINER’S ROOM Giants: C Buster Posey was held out of the starting lineup due to the pitching matchup but had a pinch-hit single in the eighth. UP NEXT Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (4-3, 4.62 ERA) faces the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game series in Los Angeles on Friday. Anderson is unbeaten in nine road starts this season. Giants: LHP Andrew Suarez (2-4, 4.43) takes the hill against the Diamondbacks on Friday. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays were a wobbly 34-40 on June 20, but have pitched their way back to .500 mostly without true starting pitchers. On Saturday, five relievers combined to outduel Justin Verlander in a 5-2 victory Authentic Harold Landry Jersey , and as the series wraps up Sunday, the Rays are on even footing with the pitching-dominant Houston Astros on the mound. “It’s pretty remarkable what they’ve strung together here as of late, and today was no different,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said after Saturday’s win. The Rays turn to their best starter of the first half in Blake Snell, who looks to be a first-time All-Star with a 10-4 record and a 2.31 ERA. Snell has taken only one loss in his last eight starts, and was superb against the Astros on June 19, throwing seven innings and holding a potent lineup to one run and three hits in a 2-1 victory. He managed to survive seven walks, including three in one scoreless inning, getting key double plays to work his way out of predicaments. In his last seven starts, Snell has a 1.27 ERA. He is 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA in four career starts against Houston. The Rays, who have been above .500 for only three days all season Authentic Da'Ron Payne Jersey , face a stiff challenge Sunday in Astros right-hander Charlie Morton. Morton (10-1, 2.54) hopes to continue a career resurrection since coming to Houston. Before arriving, he was 46-71 in his career. Since joining the Astros, he’s 24-8 in two seasons with a career-low ERA this year and a career-best strikeout rate of 11.5 per nine innings. Morton is 3-0 in his last four games, with three earned runs allowed in his last 19 innings and none in his last two starts. He faced the Rays on June 20 and dominated, throwing six innings and holding Tampa Bay to two hits and one unearned run. He was even better in his last start, holding Toronto scoreless in seven innings while striking out 13, one off his season and career high. Houston manager A.J. Hinch doesn’t like playing at Tropicanaa Field, and his team’s bats have been stifled in all three games, including Thursday’s 1-0 victory. The Astros have lost eight games this season with Verlander starting, and in six of those losses Authentic Derrius Guice Jersey , they’ve scored a total of five runs. “I hate the results at this ballpark, if you look back at what we’ve done,” Hinch said. “Those are facts. It is what it is. We have another game (Sunday). We need to figure it out before then.” Astros standout Alex Bregman said the stadium has given Houston problems, but some of the credit should go to Rays pitchers, who have given them fits this weekend. “I don’t know if it’s the ballpark. I think they just have a good staff,” Bregman said. “They have been playing really good ball as of late.”
  15. All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey did pretty much the same thing that upset his Jacksonville Jaguars teammates last week. He started looking ahead. Ramsey told thousands of fans awaiting the team’s return from Pittsburgh late Sunday that the Jaguars ”are going to the Super Bowl and we are going to win that (expletive).” Jacksonville (12-6) Taven Bryan Color Rush Jersey , of course, has the AFC championship game at New England remaining before even getting to the Super Bowl. The small-market franchise is winless in seven games in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and 1-10 all-time against the Patriots (14-3). Ramsey’s comments surely will find their way north. ”You come back and you’ve got all the fans here and things of that nature,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. ”Obviously that’s something that everybody, they want to do when you get close. Whether you have to say it or not? The one thing I do know is the road to it always leads through New England. ”Our focus isn’t on anything else but the New England Patriots. It will be a great challenge for us obviously.” The Jags took exception to the Steelers talking about facing the Patriots instead of them, and used it as motivation in a 45-42 victory Sunday. Nonetheless, they stood behind their outspoken and ultra-talented defender. ”To me, it’s just a man that has confidence in his team,” defensive tackle Abry Jones said. ”What’s he going to say? He knows what we’re going up there to do. It’s not like he ain’t saying nothing that’s not true.” Fellow defensive tackle Malik Jackson said the difference between Ramsey’s remarks and comments from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, running back Le’Veon Bell and safety Mike Mitchell is the timing. ”We’re so close that I think it’s OK to say, `Hey, we’re going to do this,”’ Jackson said. ”It’s one of those things that I think he believes in himself after the game he just had, locking down one of the best receivers in the game. ”He’s pretty hyped and he wants to let everybody know he’s hyped, so I think he’s just happy and he understands that we have a giant in front of us and we’ve just got to pay all the attention to this team. ”We don’t even know who’s going to play in the Super Bowl because we’re not looking ahead to that.” Ramsey was unavailable during the team’s open locker room session Monday. ”He’s going to talk Minkah Fitzpatrick Color Rush Jersey , but we’re going to show up,” defensive end Yannick Ngakoue said. ”I just don’t like when people talk all week. You talk reckless and you lose.” The Jaguars voiced their displeasure with being overlooked by the Steelers last week and were really vocal after the victory at Heinz Field. Players yelled, ”Where’s Mike Mitchell at now” as they came off the field. ”I feel like they took us lightly. I don’t know why because we whooped them the first time,” Ngakoue said. ”You’ve got to respect all your opponents. That’s why we’re not big in trash-talking. We’re big in playing on Sunday. ”Real guys, real people don’t talk. We throw the first punch. We threw the first punch and we got the victory.” And now they have a matchup against the NFL’s most successful franchise over the past two decades. The Jaguars are 1-3 against New England in the postseason, with the lone victory coming after the 1998 season – before coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady teamed up to take five Super Bowl titles. Jacksonville’s win came against coach Pete Carroll and backup quarterback Scott Zolak. The Jags are 0-7 against the Brady-Belichick combination. ”We’re not going to go out there like the Steelers the week before and talk about people in a bad way and give them bulletin board news,” Jackson said. ”We just continue to work and earn respect. … We just keep proving people wrong. (Blake Bortles) keeps proving people wrong, and we just keep going on it and pounding people. It’s just awesome to see and awesome to be a part of. ”We understand we have to do what we have to do or we’ll be watching the Super Bowl at home like everybody else.” — With perhaps the most frustrating road trip of their season in the rearview mirror, the Minnesota Twins return home Thursday looking to get back on track in the opener of a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Target Field. Minnesota went 1-8 on their I-94 excursion that began by dropping two of three to the Chicago White Sox and ended with sweeps by the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers. As a result, the Twins now sit 13 games under .500 and 12 games behind American League Central-leading Cleveland, holding down third place in the division. “I think we’re all frustrated,” manager Paul Molitor said after the Brewers hit three solo home runs in a 3-2 victory over the Twins at Miller Park on Wednesday. “You win one game and you’re on the road for 10 days, playing good teams. “We’re creating some of our own problems. At the same time, we’re not catching a lot of breaks. We’ll get home, looking forward to that. Have a nice homestand before the break. We’ll try to get these guys ready for a series with Baltimore tomorrow.” The Twins will turn to Aaron Slegers (0-0, 3.38 ERA) for his first start of the season in the hopes of turning things around. He has made just one other major league appearance this season Mike Hughes Color Rush Jersey , allowing two runs over 5 1/3 innings of relief May 30 at Kansas City. He has a 5.66 ERA in five career outings, including three starts, in the big leagues overall. Slegers has never faced Baltimore. Like the Twins, the Orioles come into the series looking to snap out of a slump. They have lost nine of their last 10 games, including two in a row to Philadelphia this week. Manager Buck Showalter still has confidence his team can turn things around. “There are some really good people in that locker room and I’d really like to see them get a return, but you can’t will it. You can’t just hope it,” said Showalter. “It’s got to be one pitch at a time. You can’t look at the big picture.” Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.48) gets the start for Baltimore on Thursday, and he is looking for his first victory since May 21. He has a 3.21 ERA over his last five outings, four of which were quality starts. Keeping the ball in the park has been a big reason for that recent run of success. Cashner had allowed 11 home runs through his first nine starts but only three over his last seven — and none his last time out when he held the Los Angeles Angels to a run on four hits and a pair of walks while striking out four over six innings of work. “That’s what I try to do every time I take the mound, just keep the team in the game and grind it out, no matter if it’s pretty or ugly,” Cashner told the Baltimore Sun. “Just try to get through the seventh. Maybe next time I’ll get through the seventh. I thought I got stronger as I went along. The breaking stuff was better, the offspeed was better. Something to build on as we go and keep moving forward.” Cashner will be making his first career start at Target Field but is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in two previous starts against the Twins, who tagged him for five runs (four earned) over five innings on March 31 in Baltimore.