%ALT_TXT%% Bet at 5dimes
BettorsTalk.com- GamblersTalk.com- TopCappers.com- Sportsbook Reviews- Sportsbook Bonuses- Sports Matchups
Lost Password Recover - Contact BettorsChat
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 52
  1. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    NFL camp openings: Chargers again beset by key injury
    July 29, 2017

    COSTA MESA, Calif. -- It had an echo of business as usual when the Los Angeles Chargers placed wide receiver Mike Williams, their first-round draft pick, on the physically unable to perform list Saturday (July 29) as the team reported to the Jack Hammett Sports Complex for the beginning of training camp.

    In a tale all too familiar for the injury-plagued Chargers, Williams is trying to overcome a herniated disk in his lower back. The former Clemson star is joined on the active/PUP list by cornerback Jason Verrett (knee) and safety Darrell Stuckey.

    Players on the PUP list count against the 90-man roster and can be activated at any time before final roster cuts.

    Williams was seen as a key new target for quarterback Philip Rivers, who watched his favorite target, Keenan Allen, sidelined by injuries in each of the last two seasons.

    The annual proliferation of Chargers injuries relegates news of another -- even involving a first-round pick -- to the dog-bites-man category.

    But quarterbacks are big news on any NFL team, and so the most interesting headlines in the days leading up to training camp were about the travels of a couple of Chargers' signal-callers -- long-time star Rivers and newcomer Cardale Jones.

    First, Rivers announced that he will not move his wife and eight children from their home of eight years in Rancho Sante Fe, just north of San Diego. Instead, he will commute in a customized vehicle that will include a chauffeur and a rolling quarterback room, complete with video screens.

    "We just thought it was best for me and my family to go this route -- that it was at least worth a try this first season, being that it wasn't too far," Rivers said on local radio. "There's two things I didn't want to compromise: I didn't want to compromise my preparation/being a teammate. I love being a teammate, so I didn't want to compromise that because I'm going back and forth. And I wasn't going to compromise my time spent away from my family."

    Jones, Buffalo's fourth-round draftee out of Ohio State last year, traveled to southern California Wednesday after the Chargers acquired him in a trade with Bills.

    General manager Tom Telesco said the team had a high grade on Jones last year and was trying to get him since this year's combine.

    "Obviously we're looking for competition at that spot," Telesco said. "And with Cardale, he's a quarterback with some developmental traits that are hard to find."

    Jones trained in San Diego before the draft last year with quarterback guru George Whitfield, working alongside Rivers' brother, Stephen Rivers.

    "He's big. He's strong. He's got a strong arm," Telesco said of Jones. "He's a pretty good athlete, played at a high level and played well. But his body of work in college is not as large as you would like, so we know it's going to take some time. But it's hard to find a quarterback with those type of skills."

    Top summer battle

    --OK, it's a bit of a summer rerun. But the truth is the competition for spots along the offensive line -- once again -- will be among the most spirited in training camp. The Chargers surrendered on tackle King Dunlap and guards Orlando Franklin and D.J. Fluker in the offseason, eager to embrace change. They brought in left tackle Russell Okung and drafted Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp and won't it be fun to see which big body ends up where?

    Matt Slauson, as usual, is in the middle of anything in the Chargers' trenches. He was a stud last year at center. But he's versatile, and enough of a veteran that he'd able to slide over to guard to make room for someone at center. There's also Spencer Pulley and Kenny Wiggins sniffing around for snaps. Just maybe what was once a team weakness becomes a strength from fresh faces and agreeable depth. Either way, positions nearly all along the line will be for the taking.

    THE FACTS:

    TRAINING CAMP: Jack Hammett Sports Complex; Costa Mesa, Calif.

    COACH: Anthony Lynn

    1st full season as Chargers/NFL head coach

    0-1 overall

    THE BREAKDOWN

    2016 finish: 4th AFC West (5-11)

    STATISTICS

    TOTAL OFFENSE: 356.8 (14th)

    RUSHING: 94.4 (26th)

    PASSING: 262.4 (8th)

    TOTAL DEFENSE: 347.1 (16th)

    RUSHING: 97.9 (10th)

    PASSING: 249.2 (20th)

    2017 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

    All times Pacific

    Aug. 13, SEATTLE, 5:00

    Aug. 20, NEW ORLEANS, 5:00

    Aug. 26, at L.A. Rams (Sat), 5:00

    Aug. 31, at San Francisco (Thu), 7:00

    UNIT-BY-UNIT ANALYSIS

    QUARTERBACKS: Starter - Philip Rivers. Backups - Kellen Clemens, Mike Bercovici, Cardale Jones.

    Rivers continues to produce at a Pro-Bowl level. Is he minus blemishes to his game? No, as he often forces something to happen as he sacrifices statistics for the chance to win. But he remains a threat with his quick release and now he has a stable of receivers that could make stopping him even a taller order. Clemens is good in the quarterback room and has winning experience as a starter: the epitome of a solid backup. Jones, acquired in a trade with Buffalo just before camp convened, was inconsistent, but showed outstanding athletic ability and a strong arm at Ohio State.

    RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- Melvin Gordon. Backups - FB Derek Watt, Branden Oliver, Kenneth Farrow, Andre Williams, Kenjon Barner, Austin Ekeler.

    Gordon finished just shy of 1,000 yards last season as he rebounded from a disappointing rookie season. If he's fit from a knee injury, there's no reason why he shouldn't produce a Pro-Bowl caliber year, especially with the Chargers' balanced offense. New head coach Anthony Lynn, a former NFL running back, has loaded up with various options at backup. Oliver has been steady and Williams has shown a spark. Barner could be a sleeper.

    TIGHT ENDS: Starters -- Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry. Backups - Sean McGrath, Jeff Cumberland, Asante Cleveland, Sean Culkin.

    Gates needs but one touchdown catch to have the most for anyone at his position in NFL history. He's not what he once was, but he still has the frame and know-how to be a lethal weapon in the red zone. Henry had a big rookie season and there's few young players the Chargers' brass is higher on. Hunter had eight touchdown catches last year and he's learning at the feet of Gates. Cumberland will provide the muscle; same would go for McGrath.

    WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters - Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams. Backups - Mike Williams, Dontrelle Inman, Travis Benjamin, Isaiah Burse, Andre Patton, Mitchell Page, Artavis Scott, Jamaal Jones, Geremy Davis, Da'Ron Brown.

    Allen's return could elevate the Chargers' offense to another level. He has Pro-Bowl skills, but staying fit is a concern. Tyrell Williams stepped in last year and shined by producing a 1,000-yard season with seven touchdowns. Mike Williams, the top pick and former Clemson star, is battling a herniated disc in his back. Planning on him to contribute early seems unlikely, which opens the door more for Inman, and to some degree, Benjamin.

    OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters - LT Russell Okung, LG Matt Slauson, C Spencer Pulley, RG Forrest Lamp, RT Joe Barksdale. Backups - C Max Tuerk, G Donavon Clark, G Dan Feeney, G Brett Boyko, T Sam Tevi, G/T Chris Hairston, T Tyreek Burwell, G/T Kenny Wiggins, C Dillon DeBoer.

    It's a new look up front for the Chargers and some of these spots could still be switched. But the Chargers decided to go with youth in Lamp and Feeney and it's not farfetched to think both could end up in the starting lineup this season. Slauson's calm veteran demeanor will help steady a line that welcomes free agent Okung to protect Rivers' blind side. There is no bigger chore, or responsibility, on the team. Depth, which was once a concern here, could be a thing of the past if the injury bug doesn't make its annual visit.

    DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters - DLE Melvin Ingram, DT Corey Liuget, NT Brandon Mebane, DRE Joey Bosa. Backups - NT Ryan Carrethers, DT Damion Square, DT Caraun Reid, DE Jerry Attaochu, DE Darius Philon, DT Tenny Palepoi, DT Kaleb Eulls, DE Isaac Rochell, DE Christopher Landrum, DE Chris McCain.

    The Chargers make the switch to a 4-3 under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's scheme. The middle looks decent, with Liuget and Mebane, but it's on the edges that the Chargers think they have two game-changers in Bosa and Ingram. Looking to supply a 1-2 punch, they signed Ingram to a long-term deal on the heels of Bosa being the NFL's defensive rookie of the year. Depth might be a concern behind those two, but the Chargers think the pairing of Bosa and Ingram will have an impact.

    LINEBACKERS: Starters - WLB Korey Toomer, MLB Denzel Perryman, SLB Jatavis Brown. Backups - OLB Joshua Perry, OLB Kyle Emanuel, ILB Nick Dzunbar, OLB James Onwualu, OLB Mike Moore, OLB Nigel Harris.

    Perryman is a thumper and he plays with an edge that teammates seem to feed off. Brown is a keeper from last year's draft as is Perry. Transition here from the 3-4 is also worth watching as the team retools its roster to find players better suited for the scheme. Toomer's nose for the football would play in any alignment.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters - LCB Jason Verrett, RCB Casey Hayward, FS Dwight Lowery, SS Jahleel Addae. Backups - CB Trevor Williams, S Darrell Stuckey, CB Craig Mager, S Adrian McDonald, S Adrian Phillips, S Tre Boston, CB Desmond King, CB Ryan Reid, CB Trovon Reed, CB Brandon Stewart, CB Michael Davis, S Dexter McCoil, S Rayshawn Jenkins, CB Brad Watson.

    Like the offense, the secondary can have an impact in various ways. The tandem of Verrett and Hayward could make for a good pair, especially when considering the potential with the pass rushers. But Verrett has to prove his body can stand up to 16 games and Hayward has to provide an encore on a Pro-Bowl season that not many saw coming. Addae loves the contact, but his body often revolts. Depth behind him is a key and it seems to be there. Williams and Reed have the inside track to be the nickel back.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: K Josh Lambo, K Younghoe Koo, P Drew Kaser, P Toby Baker, LS Mike Windt, KOR Isaiah Burse, PR Isaiah Burse.

    The Chargers are eager to see what comes of the Lambo-Koo competition. Despite Lambo coming back, he's no lock to stick. Kaser will be under a microscope, too, but not to the degree of Lambo. Burse opened some eyes last year as a returner; he was eons better than Travis Benjamin. But the return spot could have some emerging candidates as well. Windt is a steady veteran.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    NFL camp opening: Seahawks cook up surprise, sign Reece
    July 29, 2017


    RENTON, Wash. -- When the Seattle Seahawks reported for training camp here Saturday (July 29), the team confirmed rumors by celebrity TV chef Guy Fiere that the team had a surprise on the menu.

    Fiere tweeted Friday morning that versatile Marcel Reece was returning to the Seahawks, with whom he played the final four regular-season games and the playoffs. Fiere, a well-known fan of the Oakland Raiders, befriended Reece when the player was with that team and last year they worked together on a video.

    The team announced Saturday that it re-signed Reece.

    Reece was a popular player at the University of Washington in 2006-07, when he was primarily a receiver. With the Raiders, he made the Pro Bowl while lining up as a fullback, tight end and even wide receiver.

    After his release by the Raiders in September, Reece signed with the Seahawks in December after injuries diminished the team's fullback position.

    On Friday, the Seahawks traded linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for linebacker D. J. Alexander.

    Alexander played mostly special teams for the Chiefs. He started at inside linebacker in the team's 19-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 15 last season following Derrick Johnson's season-ending Achilles injury.

    "He was a good football player for us," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. "Gives him an opportunity up there."

    When the team begins on-field workouts, a key battle will take place at cornerback, where the Seahawks are looking for somebody to start opposite talkative Richard Sherman.

    With DeShawn Shead sidelined and probably headed to the PUP list with an ACL tear, Jeremy Lane will get significant playing time, either as an outside cornerback or slot option.

    Rookie Shaquill Griffin could challenge Lane for the job, or at least take over on the outside in nickel situations so Lane can move inside. Neiko Thorpe, DeAndre Elliot and Mike Tyson could also challenge for roles as well.

    THE FACTS:

    TRAINING CAMP: Virginia Mason Athletic Center; Renton, WA

    HEAD COACH: Pete Carroll

    8th season with Seahawks

    79-46-1 overall; 9-5 postseason

    12th season as NFL head coach

    113-79-1; 10-7 postseason

    THE BREAKDOWN

    2016 finish: 1st NFC West (10-5-1)

    STATISTICS

    TOTAL OFFENSE: 357.2 (12th)

    RUSHING: 99.4 (25th)

    PASSING: 257.8 (10th)

    TOTAL DEFENSE: 318.7 (5th)

    RUSHING: 92.9 (7th)

    PASSING: 225.8 (8th)

    2017 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

    All times Pacific

    Aug. 13, at L.A. Chargers, 5:00

    Aug. 18, MINNESOTA (Fri), 7:00

    Aug. 25, KANSAS CITY (Fri), 5:00

    Aug. 31, at Oakland (Thu), 7:00

    UNIT-BY-UNIT ANALYSIS

    QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Russell Wilson. Backups -- Trevone Boykin, Austin Davis.

    Wilson returns from the first injury-plagued season of his career looking to rebound from his least efficient season as a pro. Davis brings veteran competition to the backup spot with Boykin, who held the reserve job a season ago.

    RUNNING BACKS: Starters -- Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls. Backups -- C.J. Prosise, Alex Collins, Chris Carson, Mike Davis, FB Tre Madden, FB Marcel Reece, FB Kyle Coleman.

    Lacy's addition expresses a desire by Seattle to regain its running roots, which were lost following Marshawn Lynch's departure. Staying healthy will be critical as Lacy, Rawls and Prosise all missed significant time due to injuries last year. Collins and Carson will be battling for final roster spots. Reece, Madden and Coleman will compete to become Seattle's new fullback.

    TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Jimmy Graham. Backups -- Luke Willson, Nick Vannett, Marcus Lucas, Tyrone Swoopes, Steve Donatell.

    Graham set several franchise receiving records by a tight end last season with 65 catches for 923 yards. Willson returns as a trusted rotational player. Vannett looks to earn more playing time in his second season. Lucas, Swoopes and Donatell will have a difficult time cracking the roster.

    WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Tyler Lockett. Backups -- Paul Richardson, Amara Darboh, David Moore, Tanner McEvoy, Kenny Lawler, Kasen Williams, Rodney Smith, Cyril Grayson, J.D. McKissic, Darreus Rogers.

    Baldwin is Wilson's favorite target and became the first Seattle receiver to make the Pro Bowl in 17 years. Lockett is working to return from a broken leg suffered last December. Kearse had a down year last season and may be one of the few veterans on the roster in danger of losing his job in the preseason. Draft picks Darboh and Moore will be trying to create roles for themselves. Richardson had a strong conclusion to last season as he enters a contract year. Lawler, McEvoy and Williams will be in the mix for roster spots as well. Grayson is trying to return to football after being a track athlete exclusively at LSU.

    OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT George Fant, LG Luke Joeckel, C Justin Britt, RG Mark Glowinski, RT Germain Ifedi. Backups -- G/T Rees Odhiambo, G/T Oday Aboushi, C Joey Hunt, G/T Ethan Pocic, C/G Will Pericak, T Justin Senior, G Jordon Roos, T Robert Myers.

    A young group returns looking for a leap in performance from last year. Joeckel and Aboushi were the only free-agent additions to the squad. Joeckel's addition likely kicks Glowinski from left guard to right guard (where he played as a rookie) and Ifedi from right guard to right tackle. Joeckel will also compete with Fant at left tackle. Pocic will battle Ifedi at right tackle after being selected in the second round. Odhiambo and Hunt pencil into reserve roles, with Roos and Pericak pushing them for spots.

    DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LE Cliff Avril, DT Jarran Reed, NT Ahtyba Rubin, RE Michael Bennett. Backups -- DE Frank Clark, DE Malik McDowell, DE Marcus Smith, DE Cassius Marsh, DE Quinton Jefferson, DT Nazair Jones, DE Dion Jordan, DT Garrison Smith, DT Jeremy Liggins, DT Shaneil Jenkins, DE Tylor Harris, DE David Bass.

    A strong defensive front returns intact, while the additions of top draft pick McDowell and third-round pick Jones bolster the group. Avril and Bennett lead the pass-rush unit with Clark, McDowell and Marsh expected to add diversity to the attack. Marcus Smith was signed after being released by the Eagles earlier in the week. There will be competition for the backup tackle spots with Jefferson, Jones, Garrison Smith and Liggins fighting for spots. Jordan is attempting to take advantage of a second chance after two lost seasons to injury and suspension, but another surgery in June has set back the efforts.

    LINEBACKERS: Starters -- WLB K.J. Wright, MLB Bobby Wagner, SLB Michael Wilhoite. Backups -- OLB Terrence Garvin, MLB Arthur Brown, MLB Dewey McDonald, OLB Kache Palacio, OLB Otha Peters, OLB Ronald Powell.

    The most change on the roster comes at linebacker with Mike Morgan and Brock Coyle no longer with the team. Morgan was a starting strong-side linebacker last season. Wilhoite is the favorite to earn that job moving forward. The depth options could be completely overhauled as free agent additions Garvin and Brown could usurp spots from Pierre-Louis, McDonald or others.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- LCB Richard Sherman, RCB Jeremy Lane, FS Earl Thomas, SS Kam Chancellor. Backups -- CB DeShawn Shead, CB Shaquill Griffin, CB Mike Tyson, CB Neiko Thorpe, FS Bradley McDougald, FS Tedric Thompson, SS Delano Hill, CB DeAndre Elliott, CB Pierre Desir, CB Demetrius McCray, S Marcus Cromartie, S Jordan Simone.

    Shead is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last January, which creates uncertainty at cornerback. Lane, Griffin and Thorpe are the most likely candidates to receive that playing time opposite Sherman. The additions of McDougald through free agency, and Thompson and Hill through the draft, have overhauled the depth at safety behind Thomas and Chancellor. Elliott, Tyson and Desir will all be battling for roles as well.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: K Blair Walsh, P Jon Ryan, LS Nolan Frese, LS Tyler Ott, KOR/PR Tyler Lockett.

    For the first time since Pete Carroll's initial season in Seattle, the Seahawks will have a new kicker. Walsh is the only candidate on the roster to replace Steven Hauschka, who signed with Buffalo. Hauschka's inconsistency led to the Seahawks electing to move on, but Walsh has struggled recently as well in Minnesota. Frese and Ott will battle for snapping duties.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    NFL camp openings: Colts unsure when Luck will play
    July 29, 2017


    INDIANAPOLIS -- When the Indianapolis Colts veterans fleshed out the full training camp roster Saturday (July 29), the primary concern was whether quarterback Andrew Luck will be ready to play in the season opener.

    Team officials have been almost nonchalant in referencing Luck's return from January labrum surgery on his throwing wing to repair an injury that lingered since 2015. But there is increased concern about when he will be ready to play and that concern was heightened when he began camp on the physically unable to perform list, unable to participate in practice.

    Even Luck said he is not ready to commit to playing the regular-season opener on Sept. 10 against the Los Angeles Rams.

    "It's hard for me to look beyond, really, today's rehab session," Luck said Saturday. "That's the approach I have to take ... if you want to get truly healthy. If you want to get better than you were before the injury."

    But, in an effort to prevent panic, he dutifully espoused the party line.

    "I would say that there's no reason to freak out," Luck said. "I will be better than I was coming into this coming out. I know that. I don't know what day it's going to be, I don't know what week, I don't know when it's going to be, but I definitely will be.

    "So there's no reason to freak out. And on that note, football is the greatest team game in the world. No one person is bigger than the team and I've always felt that. We've got a solid, solid team that is forming at this complex. So, no reason to freak out."

    Luck threw for 4,240 yards with 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2016 while trying to cope with the bad shoulder. After the January surgery he missed all OTAs and minicamp, but says he should be better off -- at some point.

    "It does feel different than it did last year because I still have a ways to go in strength, still have a ways to go," Luck said. "But I know every day it's improved and I really feel this way, especially in the last couple weeks, month, I see the light at the end of the tunnel, if you will. I truly feel in my mind and in my heart that I know I'm going to be better. I really, really know I'm going to be better.

    "No one wants to miss practice, no one wants to miss training camp, but I'm confident that when the time is right for me and when I'm able to practice -- whenever that is -- that I'll be up to speed and good enough to be productive in games and give this team my best."

    Interestingly, owner Jim Irsay and the Colts were aware of Luck's shoulder issues when they signed him to a five-year, $122.7 million contract that runs through the 2021 season. Luck is guaranteed $44 million.

    Meantime, attention logically turns to the backup quarterback.

    Scott Tolzien was the top backup last season after coming to Indianapolis from Green Bay. Tolzien played well in his only start, a home-field loss to Pittsburgh. Inexperienced Stephen Morris looked good in practice and in last year's preseason games. Morris was on the practice squad last year and could be ready to push Tolzien. Undrafted rookie Phillip Walker is also on the roster, but the Colts haven't ruled out bringing in another veteran quarterback as needed.

    The Colts restored safety Malik Hooker to the active roster on Saturday from the physically unable to perform list. The 15th overall pick in this year's draft tweaked a hamstring during a conditioning test Monday. The 21-year-old former Ohio State standout had hip and sports hernia surgeries before the NFL Scouting Combine. Hooker missed the Colts' offseason program.

    The Colts also placed defensive end Kendall Langford (knee) and center/guard Brian Schwenke (foot) on the PUP list

    THE FACTS:

    TRAINING CAMP: Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center; Indianapolis, Ind.

    COACH: Chuck Pagano

    6th season as Colts/NFL head coach

    52-34 overall; 3-3 postseason

    THE BREAKDOWN

    2016 finish: 3rd AFC South (8-8)

    STATISTICS

    TOTAL OFFENSE: 364.4 (10th)

    RUSHING: 101.8 (23rd)

    PASSING: 262.6 (T5th)

    TOTAL DEFENSE: 382.9 (30th)

    RUSHING: 120.4 (25th)

    PASSING: 262.5 (27th)

    2017 SCHEDULE

    All times Eastern

    Aug. 13, DETROIT, 1:30

    Aug. 19, at Dallas (Sat), 7:00

    Aug. 26, at Pittsburgh (Sat), 7:30

    Aug. 31, CINCINNATI (Thu), 7:00

    UNIT-BY-UNIT ANALYSIS

    QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Andrew Luck. Backups -- Stephen Morris, Scott Tolzien, Phillip Walker.

    Luck is still expected to be THE starter to begin the regular season, but his ability to at least be close to 100 percent is the big question. After not seeing any on-field work since the end of last season, he is expected to be rusty in terms of cohesion with his receivers. Tolzien and Morris will probably split the majority of the practice work once camp begins. Luck is slated to be on a pitch count when he is given the green light to return to the field.

    RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- Frank Gore. Backups -- Dalton Crossan, Josh Ferguson, Marlon Mack, Troymaine Pope, Robert Turbin.

    Gore is coming off a 1,000-yard season, his best season overall since coming to the Colts prior to the start of the 2015 campaign. While his age (34) is a factor, Gore hasn't really shown signs of slowing down. Turbin impressed last season in spot duty and will most likely see a lot more work in 2017. He was particularly impressive in short yardage and goal-line situations. His abilities as a receiver out of the backfield and as a pass blocker also got positive reviews. Mack caught the eye of Colts officials this past spring and will be used as a change-of-pace back. If he can master the pass-blocking duties, he has shown the ability to be used in the passing game as well. Ferguson, meanwhile, needs to have a strong camp.

    TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Jack Doyle. Backups -- Mo Alie-Cox, Darrell Daniels, Colin Jeter, Erik Swoope, Brandon Williams.

    Doyle has moved from the third tight end on the roster to being the team's starter in a relatively short time. He has proven to be dependable as a receiver and is a pretty good blocker. Doyle has developed a strong chemistry with Luck. Swoope will get the chance to be the No. 2 tight end after a strong second half of the 2016 season. Williams is also in the mix and could win the primary backup job with a good camp.

    WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief. Backups -- Kamar Aiken, Harvey Binford, Quan Bray, Chris Briggs, Fred Brown, Phillip Dorsett, Bug Howard, JoJo Natson, Chester Rogers, Tevaun Smith.

    Hilton and Moncrief are the Colts' top two receivers. Now, the question is who will make the push for the No. 3 spot. Aiken is a proven veteran who came to Indianapolis from Baltimore looking to be utilized more. Dorsett continues to flash at times but needs to become more consistent. He needs to play well and step up his overall performance. Rogers has been a pleasant surprise. Bray will be in the mix but will also be used on special teams.

    OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Anthony Castonzo, LG Jack Mewhort, C Ryan Kelly, RG Joe Haeg, RT Le'Raven Clark. Backups -- T Zach Banner, T Fahn Cooper, T/G Denzelle Good, T Blake Muir, G Adam Redmond, C/G Brian Schwenke, T Jerry Ugokwe, T Jeremy Vujnovich, T Andrew Wylie.

    Castonzo and Kelly are solid starters. Mewhort will be if he can stay away from the nagging injuries that have slowed his progress the past two seasons. Haeg looks to settle in at guard and could have a big future there. Clark got off to a slow start as a rookie last season but got better as the year progressed. Schwenke came over from the Titans and will provide solid leadership as a backup and potential starter. Good has started at guard or tackle; his natural spot is tackle. Banner is an interesting rookie with great size.

    DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DT Johnathan Hankins, NT Al Woods, DE Kendall Langford. Backups -- DT Henry Anderson, DE Tarell Basham, DT Josh Boyd, DE Margus Hunt, DT T.Y. McGill, DT David Parry, DT Hassan Ridgeway, DT Grover Stewart, DE Jhaustin Thomas.

    The Colts have been impressed by the potential of its rebuilt defensive line. Hankins comes over from the Giants and could play tackle or nose tackle. Woods is a former Tennessee Titans defensive lineman who looked good this spring. Langford is coming back from a season-ending knee injury. Anderson looks to be completely back from knee issues that have slowed his progress the last two seasons. Hunt is an ex-Bengals draft pick who will get a lot of opportunities. McGill just makes plays whenever he gets playing time. Ridgeway is also returning from injury issues but has impressed. Parry had off-field issues this spring. Rookie Basham and Stewart could push for playing time.

    LINEBACKERS: Starters -- OLB John Simon, ILB Jon Bostic, ILB Sean Spence, OLB Jabaal Sheard. Backups -- OLB Akeem Ayres, OLB Lavar Edwards, ILB Jeremiah George, ILB Edwin Jackson, OLB Barkevious Mingo, ILB Antonio Morrison, OLB Deiontrez Mount, ILB Lee Rhodes, OLB Garett Sickles, ILB Anthony Walker.

    Lots of new faces at linebacker for Indianapolis heading into the season. Simon, Bostic, Spence, Sheard, and Mingo were all signed as veteran free agents during the spring and all are expected to make immediate contributions. Jackson and Morrison saw a lot of playing time for the Colts last year. Walker is a rookie who impressed once he arrived at OTAs in the spring. He can play inside and outside linebacker. Rhodes is also in the mix as a top backup.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- CB Vontae Davis, S Clayton Geathers, S Malik Hooker, CB Rashaan Melvin. Backups -- CB Dante Blackmon, S/CB Darius Butler, S Matthias Farley, S Tyson Graham, S T.J. Green, CB Nate Hairston, S Lee Hightower, CB Chris Milton, CB Tevin Mitchel, CB Darryl Morris, S Tyvis Powell, S Andrew Williamson, CB Quincy Wilson.

    Davis is the only sure thing in the secondary heading into training camp. Geathers did not participate in workouts last spring as he rehabbed an old injury. Hooker was the team's top draft pick but was held out last spring after undergoing surgery once his college season was over. Butler is making the move from cornerback to safety this year. Green has ability but is still raw. Wilson, a rookie, could push for a starting job. Farley, Melvin and Morris have proven to be dependable backups who could produce as starters if needed.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: K Adam Vinatieri, P Jeff Locke, LS Thomas Hennessy, KOR Quan Bray, PR Chester Rogers, P Rigoberto Sanchez.

    Vinatieri is the only returning key starter for the Colts special teams unit. He will be 44 when the season starts, but he still has a lot of tread on his tires and remains as one of the league's premier kickers. Locke, coming from the Vikings, takes over as the starting punter after the surprising retirement of Pat McAfee. Also gone is veteran long snapper Matt Overton, who is expected to be replaced by highly regarded rookie Thomas Hennessy. Bray impressed as a kick returner last season. Rogers handled the punt return chores for most of the 2016 season.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    NFL camp openings: Lions must rebuild wall to protect Stafford
    July 29, 2017

    ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- When the Detroit Lions veterans reported Saturday (July 29) to fill out the training camp roster, quarterback Matthew Stafford was better prepared than previous years and, with his problematic finger healed, healthy and ready to go.

    And the Lions want to keep him that way.

    That means they must focus on the offensive line, where left tackle Taylor Decker looked great as a rookie last season, but tore the labrum in his right shoulder last month and is expected to miss half the season.

    Decker's potential replacements include draft bust Greg Robinson, acquired in a June trade with the Los Angeles Rams; oft-injured backup Corey Robinson, who missed all spring rehabbing from foot surgery; late-spring free-agent addition Cyrus Kouandjio, who was waived by the Buffalo Bills after a series of weird off-field incidents this year; and the underwhelming Cornelius Lucas.

    On Saturday, backup guard Brandon Thomas and erstwhile starting defensive end Ezekiel Ansah were designated as physically unable to perform (PUP), while Greg Robinson and defensive end Cornelius Washington were placed on the non-football injury list.

    On the other side of the ledger, Kouandjio and cornerback Teez Tabor were taken off injured lists and should be good to go in the first practice Sunday.

    This probably means Kouandjio and not Robinson will get first shot at replacing Decker at left tackle. Also, it opens a spot for someone to push Washington early at defensive end.

    It was revealed that Stafford went against his previous beliefs in the offseason and hired a private quarterback coach. He would not name the mentor, but reports indicate it may have been Tom House of 3DQB, whose most notable recent client was Matt Ryan, who led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl last season.

    "I just think I want what's best for this team -- I want what's best for me as a player," Stafford said Saturday after reporting for training camp. "If I play well, our team is going to play well. It just goes to preparation and doing everything you possibly can.

    "When you're competing against yourself to be as good as you can possibly be, then why not give everything you got and find different people with different ideas who maybe can help you out?" Stafford said. "I just thought it was an opportunity and I went for it and enjoyed it."

    THE FACTS:

    TRAINING CAMP: Lions Headquarters and Training Facility; Allen Park, Mich.

    COACH: Jim Caldwell

    4th season with Lions

    27-23 overall; postseason 0-2

    7th season as NFL head coach

    55-47 overall; 2-4 postseason

    THE BREAKDOWN

    2016 finish: 2nd NFC North (9-7)

    STATISTICS

    TOTAL OFFENSE: 338.8 (21st)

    RUSHING: 81.9 (30th)

    PASSING: 256.9 (11th)

    TOTAL DEFENSE: 354.8 (18th)

    RUSHING: 106.3 (18th)

    PASSING: 248.4 (19th)

    2017 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

    All times Eastern

    Aug. 13, at Indianapolis, 1:30

    Aug. 19, N.Y. JETS (Sat), 7:30

    Aug. 25, NEW ENGLAND (Fri), 7:00

    Aug. 31, at Buffalo (Thu), 7:00

    UNIT-BY-UNIT ANALYSIS

    QUARTERBACKS: Starter - Matthew Stafford. Backups - Jake Rudock, Brad Kaaya.

    The Lions' hope this year rests largely on Stafford and the continuing maturation of his game. Stafford had arguably his best season as a pro last year, leading the Lions to eight come-from-behind victories, and he's in line to land a record contract extension soon. If he stays healthy, the Lions should be in the NFC North race. If not, they'll turn the team over to Rudock, a sixth-round pick last year who spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad.

    RUNNING BACKS: Starter - Ameer Abdullah. Backups - Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, Dwayne Washington, Matt Asiata, Tion Green, Mike James.

    The Lions ranked 30th in the NFL in rushing last season when Abdullah and Riddick combined to play in just 12 games because of injuries. Abdullah is healthy after undergoing Lisfranc surgery, while Riddick missed all of spring coming off double-wrist surgery. Abdullah should get the bulk of the carries this fall, with Riddick contributing as a pass-catching back and Zenner playing in a backup role.

    TIGHT ENDS: Starters - Eric Ebron, Darren Fells. Backups - Michael Roberts, Cole Wick, Robert Tonyan, Brandon Barnes, Khari Lee.

    Ebron has made steady improvement in his first three NFL seasons and the Lions are counting on another step forward this fall as he'll be an integral part of a passing game given the Lions' lack of depth at the wide receiver position. Fells is expected to play significant snaps as a blocking tight end, and the Lions spent a fourth-round pick on Roberts in April. Wick enters camp as the favorite for the fourth tight-end spot, assuming the Lions go deep at the position again.

    WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters - Golden Tate, Marvin Jones. Backups - Kenny Golladay, TJ Jones, Keshawn Martin, Jace Billingsley, Jared Abbrederis, Noel Thomas, Ryan Spadola, Michael Rector, Dontez Ford.

    Tate led the Lions in receptions in each of his three seasons in Detroit, but he's surrounded by an underwhelming cast of receivers. Marvin Jones had a disappointing first season in Detroit last year, though he is still the team's No. 1 deep threat. Golladay, a third-round pick out of Northern Illinois, had a promising spring, but rookie receivers tend to struggle in their first season. And TJ Jones, Martin and Abbrederis are among those dueling for the No. 4 receiver spot - a competition that might be decided by who wins the return job.

    OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters - LT Taylor Decker, LG Graham Glasgow, C Travis Swanson, RG T.J. Lang, RT Rick Wagner. Backups - LT Greg Robinson, LT Cyrus Kouandjio, T Cornelius Lucas, T Corey Robinson, T Tony Hills, T Storm Norton, G Laken Tomlinson, G Brandon Thomas, G Matt Rotheram, C Leo Koloamatangi.

    The Lions have put a huge emphasis on upgrading their offensive line under general manager Bob Quinn, but still enter this season with significant questions up front. Decker is out, likely for half the season or more, following June surgery on a torn labrum. Greg Robinson is the favorite to start in his absence, though he hasn't practiced with the team after a June trade. Corey Robinson was the No. 3 tackle last year, but is coming off foot surgery. Lang, one of two big offseason additions along with Wagner, should be a fine addition at guard once he's recovered from January hip surgery, and Swanson missed a month last year with a concussion.

    DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters - RDE Ziggy Ansah, DT A'Shawn Robinson, DT Haloti Ngata, LDE Kerry Hyder. Backups -- DE Armonty Bryant, DE Cornelius Washington, DE Brandon Copeland, DE Anthony Zettel, DE Pat O'Connor, DE Alex Barrett, DE Jeremiah Valoaga, DT Khyri Thornton, DT Akeem Spence, DT Jordan Hill, DT Ego Ferguson, DT Bruce Gaston, DT Jeremiah Ledbetter.

    When Ansah was healthy two seasons ago, he was one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. The Lions are counting on him returning to form this fall after a high ankle sprain limited him to just two sacks last season. If Ansah can't recapture that form, the Lions could be in for a long season as they have no other proven pass rushers up front. Hyder had eight sacks last season, but just one in the last eight games (including the playoffs). Washington should push for a starting job at left end, while Robinson and Ngata are a nice tandem inside, though one that won't put up big sack numbers. Spence is the top interior backup, while Thornton will serve a six-game suspension to start the year. Bryant begins the season with a four-game suspension giving Zettel a shot to to be the fourth end in the rotation at the beginning of the season.

    LINEBACKERS: Starters - OLB Tahir Whitehead, MLB Jarrad Davis, OLB Paul Worrilow. Backups - Antwione Williams, Jaylen Reeves-Maybin, Thurston Armbrister, Nick Bellore, Steve Longa.

    Davis, the Lions' first-round pick, takes over as the starting middle linebacker and play-caller on a defense that ranked 18th in the NFL last year. Whitehead, the team's leading tackler in 2016, is moving to outside linebacker and sat out all spring recovering from a knee injury. Worrilow can play middle or weak-side linebacker, and Williams will compete for time on the strong side. The Lions are high on fourth-round pick Reeves-Maybin, and plenty of linebackers should see the field in different packages.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters - LCB Darius Slay, RCB Nevin Lawson, FS Glover Quin, SS Tavon Wilson. Backups - CB D.J. Hayden, CB Teez Tabor, CB Quandre Diggs, CB Jamal Agnew, CB Johnson Bademosi, CB Adarius Barnes, CB Des Lawrence, CB Josh Thornton, S Don Carey, S Miles Killebrew, S Alex Carter, S Rolan Milligan, S Charles Washington.

    The Lions did a good job building depth in the secondary. Slay has emerged as one of the better cornerbacks in the game, and Lawson is an underrated defender. Hayden and rookies Tabor, a second-round pick, and Agnew, a fifth-rounder, should compete for time in nickel packages, with Hayden and Agnew having the ability to play inside. Quin is the NFL's ironman at safety, while Killebrew should see his role expand after playing primarily as a dime defender as a rookie. Carter, a third-round pick by Martin Mayhew at cornerback, is trying to make the team at safety.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: K Matt Prater, P Sam Martin, P Kasey Redfern, LS Don Muhlbach, KOR Keshawn Martin, PR TJ Jones.

    Prater and Martin form one of the best kicking tandems in the NFL. Both were Pro-Bowl alternates last season, when Prater made six game-winning or game-tying field goals and Martin set a franchise record for net punting. The ageless Muhlbach returns as long snapper, but the Lions have legitimate questions about who will handle return duties this fall. Martin and Jones can return both kickoffs and punts, and Jace Billingsley and Jamal Agnew could be in the mix as well.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    Carolina Panthers Outlook
    August 2, 2017

    Can McAffery Save Cam Newton?

    A video has surfaced of Christian McAffery sending one of his teammates to the ankle repair shop, and boy is the world of football excited for this young rookie. It’s especially interesting because the player that McAffery puts on skates is none other than former Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly. Is he the injection of pace that the Panthers need to overcome the Falcons in the NFC South?

    ODDS TO WIN NFC SOUTH - per BetOnline.ag
    Atlanta Falcons +155
    Carolina Panthers +225
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers +325
    New Orleans Saints +450

    It’s worth noting that McAffery was the fourth skill position player taken in the 2017 NFL Draft. Leonard Fournette (4th – Jacksonville), Corey Davis (5th – Tennessee) and Mike Williams (7th – Los Angeles Chargers) were all taken before the Panthers jumped on the athletic stud from Stanford at eighth overall.

    What do all three of those guys have in common? They’re known commodities. Fournette is as downhill as rock pounding running backs gets, while Corey Davis is a blazingly fast slot guy and Mike Williams is that giant x-type you find terrorizing the league currently.

    McAffery brings something delightfully different to the table. He’s the epitome of “lightning in a bottle” and can acquire possession from a variety of different angles. At Stanford, McAffery terrorized the Pac-10 as a kick returner, receiver and running back. You probably already know this so there’s no point in listing all of his ridiculous college credentials.

    But what’s essential here is that the excitement buzzing out of Carolina Panthers training camp is well justified. Everyone on the team seems to understand that McAffery fills a void that the team lacked last year – a dynamic threat that isn’t Cam Newton.

    The team already has Jonathan Stewart, a bell-cow type of back who went for 824 yards and 9 touchdowns in 13 games last season. Stewart is a 10 year veteran of the sport and needs someone to properly split the load with. Usually, that guy has been Cam Newton (aka the most polarizing quarterback in the league).

    The 2015 NFL MVP and former number-one pick has been massively criticized for how he runs the ball and how effective he is at passing. And that whole sentiment about “traditional pocket passers” is absolutely ridiculous. Sometimes, a guy comes along who breaks the mould without completely redefining it. Newton has long known that he can’t run his way to a Super Bowl, and his numbers reflect that in a big way.

    His rushing attempts alone have dipped significantly. Last year was the first time he didn’t crest at least 500 yards rushing and 100 attempts rushing. He followed the same habit in his third and fourth year when he had to forcibly adjust his game to the NFL standard where you have to be a serviceable threat with your arm. The irony is that when Newton is rushing for all-time career highs he is putting up his best seasons. In his rookie year, Newton amassed 4,757 total yards with 126 rushing attempts. In his 2015 MVP season he ran the most times in his entire career with 132 attempts. Last year, he ran just 90 times and had one of his worst seasons ever, though injury played a big role there.

    Newton, the Panthers and everyone else knows that’s not the pathway to a sustainable career nor consistent success as a team. The problem with Carolina is that they’ve gotten boring. Everyone knows that Cam is going to try and lob it up to Benjamin or Olsen. Everyone knows that Jonathan Stewart is just going to ram it down your throat and try and break one. It’s staggeringly predictable.

    That’s largely why McAffery is such a salivating addition to this team. He can do so much out of the backfield, as a slot receiver and kick returner. Obviously, if Keuchly was trying to kill him in practice, that video might have been a different story but McAffery has making defenders miss his entire life.

    The NFC South is a serious dogfight. This division has the last two MVP’s, a future Hall of Famer in Drew Brees and Jameis Winston banging on the door. Cam is a +2200 MVP longshot to win the MVP at BetOnline.ag but McAffery is a very appealing +350 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.

    If McAffery can put up the kind of numbers – and the highlights – that he did in college, then Carolina could very well be an awesome team to bet on again in the regular season like they were in 2015. Why not get excited? The league is way more fun when Cam Newton is forcing arguments at the water cooler.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    Houston Texans Outlook
    August 1, 2017


    Shocker! O’Brien Likes His New Rookie Quarterback

    In what can only amount to jaw dropping news, head coach Bill O’Brien of the Houston Texans showered praise on rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. “He’s better than any other rookie quarterback I’ve been around,” said O’Brien. That’s high praise coming from a guy who’s been around highly touted rookies like Ryan Mallet.

    The running gag in the NFL is that if the Houston Texans like a quarterback, then he can’t possibly be that good. This is a team that invested in Matt Schaub, Sage Rosenfels, T.J. Yates, Matt Leinart, Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer, Tom Savage and Brock Osweiler. Their track record for grading NFL quarterbacks is simply awful. You’d expect one of those guys to be at least serviceable, right?

    That’s why it’s impossible to take O’Brien’s praise of Watson seriously. The guy’s a totally fine coach. He has a great team, and Watson is a super exciting talent. But assessing and developing quarterback talent haven’t been strength of this coaching staff (or the coach’s staff). So if you’re looking at the NFL futures markets with BetOnline.ag it’s very hard to figure out exactly where to pin your money when it comes to the Houston Texans.

    The quarterback position is truthfully the only thing they’re actually missing. They were the top-ranked defence in terms of total yards allowed last season, and didn’t have any huge gaps to fill in that department. Where they struggled is with a quarterback, and the general hope is that Watson just has to be decent and that fixes everything. Right? Let’s dive a little deeper.

    HOUSTON TEXANS REGULAR SEASON WIN TOTAL – 8 ½ GAMES (O/U -110)

    In 2016, the Houston Texans stumbled to a 9-7 SU and 6-9-1 ATS record that saw them beat the Raiders (without Derek Carr) and then get obliterated by the New England Patriots. No matter which quarterback is at the helm, this sort of record seems to be their destiny. The Texans have finished 9-7 SU for the last three years straight.

    It’s worth highlighting that they went 9-7 SU despite having Brock Osweiler on the field, and J.J. Watt of of it. So even if they get menial play out of the quarterback position, they are probably going to trip in to a 9-7 SU record. The main reason you bet the UNDER is because they got very, very lucky in some games last year including a 12-10 win over Cincinnati in Week 16 and a 20-13 win over Detroit in Week 8.

    You can check out all the NFL regular season win totals at BetOnline.ag by clicking here.

    NFL FINAL STANDINGS – HOUSTON +185 TO WIN AFC SOUTH

    One of the standard markets in the NFL futures is division winners, but BetOnline.ag takes it a step further with NFL Final Standings. You can specifically bet on where the Texans will finish in the AFC South. Right now, they’re poised to win the division according to the oddsmakers.

    Houston Texans Final Standings in AFC South
    1st (+185)
    2nd (+210)
    3rd (+260)
    4th (+450)

    As always, no bet really lives in a vacuum. The Indianapolis Colts have seemingly stepped sideways while the Tennessee Titans are also emerging as a real threat to take the division with +215 to odds to finish first. The only team the oddsmakers are set on is the always-awful Jacksonville Jaguars, who are -110 favorites to finish dead last in the division.

    So where do you fall on Houston?

    DESHAUN WATSON IS NOT A SAVIOUR

    We’ve seen rookie quarterbacks be amazing in their first season. Dak Prescott is a prime example of a player in a prime situation, but he also came from a program that ran a pro-style offence. Deshaun Watson did not, and that adjustment can be a massive one. Watson threw 17 interceptions in his last year at Clemson which should serve as a red flag. Those picks came because he was asked to run less in order to preserve his health for the important games.

    Watson is an incredible athlete, which is a given. But O’Brien runs a traditional NFL offence that is predicated on a pocket passer. That is not Watson’s strength. He’s most hostile when he’s agile, and lobbing up passes to a freakishly large target like Clemson’s Mike Williams (now a Charger) bailed Watson out of some spotty throws. Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins need accurate gunslingers.

    Now, mind you, scouting reports on Watson in general are a mixed bag and he doesn’t come in with the same sort of hype that guys like Newton, Mariota and Winston did. A lot of people believe that Houston reached for him in the first round, especially considering that they traded two first-round picks to get him.

    There’s always a chance that Watson is a breakout star. But Houston of all places has a notoriously bad record of overpaying for under-qualified quarterbacks. If all of your NFL futures bets regarding the Texans are hinging on Watson becoming the second coming of Dak Prescott, then you’re taking a much bigger gamble than you think.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    As Brady turns 40, some other old athletes for the ages
    August 2, 2017


    Tom Brady is celebrating his 40th birthday like no one before him.

    Having won a fifth NFL championship ring and a fourth Super Bowl MVP at the age of 39, the New England Patriots quarterback has shown no signs of aging even as he inevitably gets older. He'll turn 40 on Wednesday, and fans usually celebrate by singing ''Happy Birthday'' to him during training camp.

    Brady just keeps on going.

    Golfers such as Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin won majors in their 40s. Bill Shoemaker won the Kentucky Derby at 54. George Foreman was heavyweight champion at 45. But for team sports - especially at a position as important as NFL quarterback - it has been a while since an athlete has been this good this late in life.

    Here are some of the active fortysomethings in sports, along with all-time greats whose careers stretched into a fifth decade.

    BASEBALL

    Bartolo Colon, 44, is the oldest active player in the majors. But he is 2-9 with a 7.70 ERA.

    Ichiro Suzuki, five months younger, is a reserve outfielder for Miami. Carlos Beltran is a role player at 40, but for the best team in the AL.

    None of them is going to make anyone forget Satchel Paige, who, because of the color barrier, didn't reach the majors until he was 41. He stuck around for five seasons, and then made a one-shot appearance at the age of 58. Pete Rose led the majors in hits at 40, played every game the next year and broke the career hits record at the age of 44.

    Honorable mention: Carlton Fisk, who was an All-Star at 43 and played until he was 45 - as a catcher, the most grueling position on the field.

    BASKETBALL

    When you're 39, like Manu Ginobili, every game can be your last. So San Antonio fans gave him a huge cheer when he was pulled from the playoff game against Golden State that eliminated the Spurs from the Western Conference finals.

    ''It felt like they wanted me to retire,'' Ginobili said with a smile. ''Like they were giving me sort of a celebration night. And of course, I'm getting closer and closer.''

    But Ginobili, who turned 40 a week before Brady, is coming back for a 16th season with his only NBA team. Vince Carter, already 40, will be back with his seventh team.

    They'll have to keep it up to catch Hall of Famers Robert Parish, who played well after his 43rd birthday, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who started every game of his final season at the age of 42.

    HOCKEY

    Jaromir Jagr, 45, is looking for a team after finishing his 24th pro season with the Florida Panthers, when he played every game and scored 16 goals with 30 assists. The previous year, he was awarded the Masterton Trophy for perseverance and sportsmanship.

    But the king of longevity on the ice is Gordie Howe.

    Mr. Hockey finished in the top 10 of the NHL MVP voting every year until he turned 41. He took one more spin around the league, scoring 23 goals, and then took a few years off before a comeback with the World Hockey Association that brought him to the age of 50.

    He made another comeback in the NHL at 51, playing with his sons Mark and Marty on the Hartford Whalers and scoring 15 goals while appearing in 80 games.

    In 1997, he made a cameo with the Detroit Vipers at the age of 69 - making him the only hockey pro to play in six decades.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    Don't look for Dak, Zeke, Carson or other stars for HOF game
    August 2, 2017


    CANTON, Ohio (AP) �� Don't look for too many stars on the field Thursday night when the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals kick off the NFL preseason in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game.

    Don't look for many starters, either.

    For those who believe four preseason games are too many, seeing their team play in Canton isn't a welcome sight. Both coaches, Jason Garrett for Dallas and Bruce Arians for Arizona, will covet getting an extra chance to watch their rookies and fringe guys compete. That's it.

    As for the Dak Prescotts, Jason Wittens and Ezekiel Elliotts from Big D, forget it. Same for Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson for the Cardinals.

    "This will be about the young guys," Arians says, although top draft choice Haason Reddick of Temple , who is making a switch from defensive end to linebacker, will see limited action, too. He "is not going to play a ton," Arians said.

    Both teams are heading to Ohio from out west, with Dallas holding early training camp in Oxnard, California. The reason they were chosen for the game is simple: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner will be inducted into the hall on Saturday night. Fitzgerald plans to stay for the ceremonies, as does Witten.

    Some things to look for as the Hall of Fame game switches from its usual weekend spot to Thursday night on NBC.

    BACK IN THE SADDLE:
    Kellen Moore is likely to see his first action since the end of the 2015 season with the Cowboys, when he made his first two career starts. He made his NFL regular-season debut off the bench that season, his fourth year in the league. It was mop-up duty back then, with Dallas finishing a 4-12 season ruined by Tony Romo's twice-broken left collarbone.

    Moore broke his right ankle as Romo's backup in training camp last year, the first domino to fall in Prescott's path to the starting job. Romo's back injury last preseason cleared the way for Prescott. Moore is healthy again, and a backup again - this time to the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

    NOT IN THE SADDLE:
    Not only will Palmer, coming off a mediocre season, be sitting out, so will his backup, Drew Stanton. The quarterbacking duties will fall mostly to journeyman Blaine Gabbert, seeking a spot in Arizona after supplanting Colin Kaepernick as San Francisco's starter last year. With the 49ers going 2-14, Gabbert didn't exactly light up the Golden Gate Bridge.

    DEBUT FOR TWO?
    While it's unclear how the defensive rotation will work, two young defensive ends are eagerly awaiting their NFL debuts: Dallas rookie first-round pick Taco Charlton and second-year player Charles Tapper. A third-round pick last year, Tapper missed his rookie season, preseason included, with a back injury. Improving the pass rush is a high priority for Dallas, and these two prospects are supposed to be part of the solution.

    FIELD IS READY:
    Last year's game was canceled when the field was unplayable , an embarrassment to the hall and league that left an empty spot on the national TV scene, too.

    Hall of Fame President David Baker promises the new turf will be as good as any the Cowboys and Cardinals will play on. He said it "passed the test with the NFL's game operations folks." Baker joked that the football team and cheerleaders from McKinley High School next door had been successfully practicing on it.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    First Coach Fired in 2017
    August 2, 2017


    Who Will Be First NFL Coach To Be Fired

    The oddsmakers at BetOnline.ag have released an interesting NFL futures market recently. It includes betting odds for which coach is going to get fired first. For the sake of brevity, I’m only listing coaches who have odds of less than 20-to-1 to be fired during the 2017 NFL season.

    First NFL Coach To Be Fired in 2017
    Todd Bowles (NYJ) +550
    Marvin Lewis (CIN) +550
    John Fox (CHI) +600
    Chuck Pagano (IND) +600
    Hue Jackson (CLE) +1000
    Jim Caldwell (DET) +1000
    Bill O’Brien (HOU) +1400
    John Harbaugh (BAL) +1400
    Sean Payton (NO) +1400

    That above list has nine guys on it, and the two headliners seem like strange choices. Marvin Lewis is the second longest tenured coach behind Bill Belichik, who has a comical +20000 number in this NFL futures market. It would be a shocker to see the Bengals all of a sudden lose faith in a guy they’ve stood behind since 2003. During that span, Lewis has had 10 winning seasons and is coming off just his fourth losing one after going 6-9-1 SU last year. The Bengals, like the Steelers, are not about serious turnover.

    As for the Jets, they went out of their way to acquire Todd Bowles two years ago after he had served masterfully as a star defensive coordinator with Bruce Arians in Arizona. Despite the odds at BetOnline.ag, Bowles feels relatively safe. The guy who isn’t? Whomever put together the worst NFL team we’ve seen since the winless Detroit Lions. The Jets could very well go winless after jettisoning all of their useful players. None of that has to do with Bowles.

    Both Chuck Pagano and John Fox seem weirdly safe for different reasons. It’s not easy finding a good head coach, and the Chicago Bears would do themselves a lot of favors surviving this season with Fox instead of blaming him for any problems. They’re in a rebuilding process after finally moving on from Jay Cutler and Fox – like Bowles with the Jets – is a very important part of that.

    Pagano seems to have the undying faith of lunatic owner Jim Irsay, and if he hasn’t been fired yet he’s not getting launched towards the unemployment line anytime soon. Contracts don’t equate to job security all that much, but It’s worth noting that Irsay handed Pagano a four-year extension just last year when they went just 8-8 SU. For the record, the Colts went 8-8 SU last year as well.

    Where this market actually gets interesting is in the 20-to-1 range. Jay Gruden, Adam Gase, Doug Pederson, Ben McAdoo and Mike McCarthy are the five guys that have that exact number. Of those five, I actually think McCarthy is the best bet because there have been simply too many rumblings about how predictable the Green Bay Packers seem to be getting. They took a massive leap forward at the end of the 2016 season, but before that it was utter turmoil. McCarthy is already on a shorter string than most fans imagine, and the memory of the Super Bowl he helped lead the team to is fading fast.

    But let’s remember that most NFL teams don’t fire head coaches midseason. It’s become more rare. Jeff Fisher of the Los Angeles Rams was the first to be handed a pink slip in 2016, and he was quickly followed by Gus Bradley in Jacksonville, Rex Ryan in Buffalo, Chip Kelly in San Francisco and Mike McCoy in San Diego. Almost all of those firings came right at Week 17.

    The reason is simple. Owners are realizing more and more that finding a new head coach is a laborious task that’s compounded by idiot general managers and team presidents. The guys who are on really thin ice are also in terrible situations, so it’s hard to drop the axe on their necks.

    If you’re cranking my arm, however, the guy I’d put money on is probably Jim Caldwell. All the other guys seem too well liked, or in precarious situations that aren’t entirely their fault. Bowles is in the worst situation possible but there’s nobody on the staff really ready to take his place if he’s fired. It might not matter if the Jets just don’t think that Bowles is the guy to rebuild this wayward franchise. The fact that he has no successful experience as the man in charge doesn’t bode well for him overall.

    To be clear the best way to play this market is if you’re a fan of a certain team and you absolutely hate your head coach to begin with. So If you’re in Indy and you are no longer standing by Chuck, or you’re sick and tired of watching Caldwell stare blankly in to space while the game unfolds, then fire away.

    In terms of value, Bowles is still a great take at +550. He inarguably has the worst team in the league. Someone’s going to eventually take the blame for that and I don’t know if he has the credentials to fully insulate him.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    NFL notebook: Rams DT Easley (knee) out for season
    August 2, 2017


    Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Dominique Easley is out for the season after an MRI confirmed a torn ACL, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

    The Rams confirmed that Easley will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, but did not specify the injury.

    "We received word that it is going to be an injury that's going to require surgery, and he's going to be out for an extended period of time," head coach Sean McVay said on the Rams' website. "But he's a guy that's done all the things we've asked of him. And we love Dominique. We're going to embrace him."

    Easley went down with a knee injury during a full scrimmage on Tuesday. The fourth-year veteran was helped off the field by two trainers and then carted to the locker room.

    --The Miami Dolphins confirmed running back Jay Ajayi has been diagnosed with a concussion and ruled out of practice.

    Ajayi, 24, was hit hard during Monday's full-contact practice and was escorted off the field. He will miss at least a week of drills, sources told the Miami Herald.

    The 6-foot, 223-pound Ajayi led the Dolphins last season with 1,272 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games to earn his first Pro Bowl selection. He also caught 27 passes for 151 yards.

    Dolphins starting safety Reshad Jones was activated off the non-football injury list and will practice for the first time since training camp opened a week ago. He tweaked his calf during personal workouts this summer.

    --Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller is out indefinitely with a broken collarbone after leaving practice with the injury.

    Fuller was a first-round pick in 2016 and earned a starting spot opposite DeAndre Hopkins.

    Dropped passes were an issue for Fuller, but head coach Bill O'Brien said Fuller worked diligently in the offseason and was looking like a more complete receiver.

    Fuller caught 47 passes for 635 yards and two touchdowns last season.

    --Jacksonville Jaguars running back I'Tavius Mathers was released from a hospital, one day removed from sustaining a cervical spinal cord injury during practice.

    The team announced the update on Mathers, noting that the medical staff will work with him to "decide the best course of action for his recovery." He was back at EverBank Field on Wednesday.

    Jacksonville also signed third-year running back Tyler Gaffney to fill the roster spot made available after offensive lineman Branden Albert opted to retire.

    Mathers, 23, was strapped to a board and carried off the practice field Tuesday following a collision with a defensive back during a run-game drill.

    --Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti continues to be torn whether to sign controversial free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick because of the possible backlash from fans.

    Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome support the signing of Kaepernick but have met resistance from Bisciotti, sources told ESPN's Dianna Russini.

    Newsome responded to Wednesday's report from ESPN regarding Kaepernick.

    "We are going through a process, and we have not made a decision," Newsome said in a statement. "Steve Bisciotti has not told us we cannot sign Colin Kaepernick, nor has he blocked the move. Whoever is making those claims is wrong."

    --Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates will attend former teammate LaDainian Tomlinson's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday.

    Gates, however, will not be accompanied by quarterback Philip Rivers, who will remain with the team for Saturday's joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams, coach Anthony Lynn said.

    "Antonio's going to go and be with L.T. at the Hall of Fame, and Philip's going to stay and be with the team," Lynn said. "We're going to the StubHub for the first time. It's a dress rehearsal for our organization, for our players. We've got a lot of things to work through that day, and Philip wants to be there. He was torn. He wants to be with L.T. as well.

    "But like I said, we're all good. L.T.'s happy. And this whole deal is about L.T., anyway."

    --New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard was carted off the practice field after sustaining an ankle injury.

    Giants coach Ben McAdoo told reporters it appears Shepard avoided serious injury.

    "It looks at this point like he has a rolled ankle, a basketball-type ankle," McAdoo said. "We'll see how he responds to treatment and go from there."

    Shepard needed to be supported by trainers after suffering the injury in practice before being taken inside to undergo tests.

    --The Indianapolis Colts signed free agent offensive tackle Arturo Uzdavinis and waived tackle Jerry Ugokwe.

    The 6-foot-7, 305-pound Uzdavinis most recently spent time with the Minnesota Vikings before being waived on July 26. He also spent time with the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2017 offseason.

    In 2016, Uzdavinis spent time on the practice squads of the Jaguars and Chicago Bears. He originally signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent on May 6, 2016. Uzdavinis spent the 2016 offseason and training camp with the Texans before being waived on Aug. 30.

    The 6-7, 321-pound Ugokwe signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent on May 4. He participated in the three-day rookie minicamp and 2017 offseason program.

    --The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed rookie wide receiver Shaq Hill and waived/injured wide receiver Jhajuan Seales.

    The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Hill originally entered the league in May with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent after playing at Eastern Washington. He was on the roster when Houston opened camp on July 26 but was waived two days later.

    Hill played four seasons at Eastern Washington and caught 178 passes for 2,818 yards and 34 touchdowns. In his senior season, he caught 77 passes for 1,157 yards and 17 TDs.

    Seales signed with the Bucs on Sunday. He spent the first part of the offseason with the Chicago Bears after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    Crowded House; Steelers have depth, diversity at receiver
    August 2, 2017


    LATROBE, Pa. (AP) Their All-Pro wide receiver spent the day welcoming newborn son Apollo into the world. Their talented but enigmatic project watched practice in a long-sleeved T-shirt and shorts waiting for the NFL to fully reinstate him after a year away from the game for running afoul of the league's substance abuse policy.

    The guy with more receptions of 40-yards or more than anyone on the team last fall jogged around with his surgically repaired left knee wrapped in ice.

    Oh, and perhaps the NFL's best running back remains in Miami, his pen yet to sign his franchise tender.

    And yet even without Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Sammie Coates and Le'Veon Bell on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger weren't exactly lacking for options.

    There was veteran Justin Hunter - trying to catch on in Pittsburgh after splitting last season with Miami and Buffalo - using every inch of his 6-foot-4 frame to haul in a pass in the back of the end zone. There was Eli Rogers - a slot guy by trade - lining up on the outside and winning a 50/50 ball. There was 20-year-old rookie Juju Smith-Schuster - fresh off an ankle injury that forced the second-round pick to watch the opening few days of camp from the sideline - making a sliding grab one minute then showing off his blocking prowess for former Steeler wide receiver Hines Ward the next.

    Brown will slip back into his familiar No. 1 role when he returns. Bryant will be given every chance to show he can be the No. 2 provided he keeps taking all the necessary steps. After that, the picture is considerably blurry. And that's a good thing for an offense that expects to be among the NFL's most dynamic.

    Maybe that's why Roethlisberger is even chattier than usual these days. The depth and diversity at wide receiver has never been greater in his 14-year career. So is the potential.

    ''I want them to know what I see and I expect when we're out there,'' Roethlisberger said.

    Namely, production. Lots of it.

    Roethlisberger won't lack for options, a sharp contrast to the makeshift group the Steelers took to New England in January. Bryant was suspended. Coates wasn't anywhere close to 100 percent. Markus Wheaton was on injured reserve. Tight end Ladarius Green in sweats dealing with a concussion.

    In their place were seventh-round pick Demarcus Ayers and undrafted free agents Rogers and Cobi Hamilton. Hamilton provided Pittsburgh's lone touchdown, a 30-yard rainbow to save a little face at the end of a 36-17 blowout. It was also a cap on Hamilton's rise from a player who began 2016 on his couch to significant contributor on a division champion.

    Seven months later, Hamilton is well aware a job come early September is anything but assured. That's the business.

    ''Every team drafts a wide receiver, every team went out and got a wide receiver from another team,'' Hamilton said. ''This is kind of how it goes.''

    Brown, Bryant and Smith-Schuster's spots are secure. Darrius Heyward-Bey remains one of the fastest players in the league and is a special teams ace. That leaves two spots at most to emerge from a cluttered group that includes Hunter, who has played for three teams over the course of the last two seasons searching for the right landing spot.

    Hunter has spent most of the opening week working with the starters while Bryant clears the league-mandated procedural hurdles required to end his winding path back to the team. The former second-round pick hasn't wasted any time making an impression, making at least one highlight reel grab during every session.

    ''I thrive off competition,'' Hunter said. ''I like the offense and how they distribute the ball real well during the season. I just wanted to be a part of it.''

    Hunter and Smith-Schuster give the Steelers some insurance in case of another misstep by Bryant, one that Bryant knows would likely end his career. He and Roethlisberger sat down for a heart-to-heart recently to clear the air after Bryant took issue with the quarterback's public admonishment of him following Bryant's most recent suspension.

    Roethlisberger stressed he and Bryant ''were never really off the same page'' and that ''there never was an issue.'' Roethlisberger is more concerned with getting Bryant back on the field, saying Bryant has ''paid his dues.''

    Bryant's absence, however, will provide Hunter, Smith-Schuster and everyone else an opportunity to get a long look. There's no doubt Brown is the alpha dog. After that, it's kind of wide open. While the receivers insist they're not counting reps, when one of them gets going, the rest take notice.

    ''When (Hunter) made two great catches with the (starters), it's like `OK, now I've got something I've got to do when I come back,''' he said. ''At the end of the day, we're going to play the best players the (most) and it's going to help us win the Super Bowl.''

    NOTES: RB James Conner is day-to-day with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder. ... Brown wasn't the only Steeler to welcome a new addition on Wednesday. Defensive end Cam Heyward was excused from practice to attend the birth of he and wife Allie's second child.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    The Latest: Man on probation wishes for Christie's nachos
    August 2, 2017


    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) The Latest on Gov. Chris Christie restraining himself from dumping his nachos on a baseball fan who heckled him at a game (all times local):

    8:25 p.m.

    A former high school classmate of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who masterminded the 2013 George Washington Bridge lane-closing scheme says he wasn't as lucky as a baseball fan who got away with heckling Christie at a Milwaukee Brewers-Chicago Cubs game.

    Christie on Wednesday reminded people he didn't dump his nachos on the Cubs fan who heckled him days earlier.

    But former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official David Wildstein tweets he wishes all Christie dumped on him ''were some nachos.''

    Wildstein contradicted Christie's account that he didn't know about the plot to deliberately create traffic jams at the bridge until months afterward and was sentenced last month to three years of probation. He said then he had put his faith ''in a man who neither earned it nor deserved it.''

    Christie wasn't charged in the traffic jams scheme at one of the world's busiest bridges.

    ---

    3:30 p.m.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reminding people he didn't dump nachos on a Chicago Cubs fan who heckled him.

    Speaking Wednesday at an event in Trenton, the Republican governor said won't quit attending baseball games. The declaration came three days after he confronted a heckler at a Milwaukee Brewers-Cubs game.

    Christie was carrying nachos when he was caught on video calling fan Brad Joseph a ''big shot.'' Christie says Joseph heckled him once, and that he confronted him after a second jibe.

    Christie was loudly booed at a recent a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets after snagging a foul ball.

    His next opportunity to be booed could come Friday when he attends the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    Vikings kicker competition: Will winner be Forbath or Koehn?
    August 2, 2017


    MANKATO, Minn. (AP) Whether they pick Kai Forbath or Marshall Koehn, the Minnesota Vikings badly need their kicker to come through after all those points squandered last season.

    Koehn sure delivered last year.

    While Forbath was settling in after a midseason switch from Blair Walsh in Minnesota, Koehn was making carpet and tile drop-offs for a flooring company in eastern Iowa. He lived with his parents and tried to keep his leg, mind and body in shape on the side between deliveries.

    ''It was a really good gig,'' Koehn said. ''My boss was pretty good to us.''

    Kicking for the Vikings would be a pretty good job, too.

    Their home games are indoors, after all, about a 4 1/2-hour drive from the Iowa City area where he was raised and eventually became a pro prospect with Iowa. He started as a walk-on and tallied 95 points in 2015 for the Hawkeyes, the ninth-most in program history.

    Koehn vied last year in Miami with Andrew Franks, who'd been the Dolphins' kicker in 2015, before being cut at the end of training camp. Koehn has the home run hitter's leg, giving him a probably advantage in kickoffs and long-range field goals, but Forbath has the 58 games of NFL experience and an 86.6 percent conversion rate for career field goals.

    ''I've been in a couple competitions like this, and I know it brings out the best in both guys,'' Koehn said. ''Hopefully that'll happen here too.''

    Forbath made 15 of 15 field goals in seven games for the Vikings, despite missing three extra points. The scramble for a roster spot is familiar to him too.

    ''Obviously it's a competition, but I don't see it that way,'' Forbath said. ''I just see it as a way for me to get better. Obviously it's the best man wins, but I don't focus on what anyone else is doing. I just kind of focus on myself and getting myself ready.''

    Walsh never recovered from his failed 27-yard field goal try in the closing seconds of a 10-9 loss to Seattle in the first round of the playoffs after the 2015 season. After missing four extra points and four field goals in the first nine games, Walsh was released .

    One week before that, the Vikings included both Forbath and Koehn in a group of six free-agent kickers for a tryout. With that, plus about two months of organized spring workouts and the first week of training camp now on tape, the front office and the coaching staff have already had plenty of time to formulate an opinion about which of the two will be better to keep for 2017.

    The kicks that will really matter, though, are about to come in the form of four preseason games. That starts with Minnesota's opener at Buffalo on Aug. 10, with both Forbath and Koehn likely to take turns on extra points, field goals and kickoffs. The Vikings are also choosing a punter, between Ryan Quigley and Taylor Symmank.

    ''You always want a strong-legged guy, but again, Kai is better than he was a year ago in my opinion. Marshall is a strong-legged guy. Marshall, his task is to be more consistent on field goals, and Kai's is continuing to be consistent on field goals and of course extra points for both of them and to be better on kickoffs as well,'' special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said.

    Though Forbath has live action in the league on his resume, Koehn is no stranger to pressure after kicking in Big Ten games with an ardent fan base behind him. As a junior in 2014, in the second game of the season, he missed two field goals under 40 yards.

    ''Basically got booed off of Kinnick Stadium,'' he said.

    Then he bounced back the next week with a 44-yard make late in the fourth quarter to tie the game against rival Iowa State.

    ''That's what your coaches want to see, how you're going to respond when you're down,'' Koehn said. ''You can't let one kick affect the next.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    Preseason Betting Tips
    August 2, 2017


    It may be HOT and many folks are still on vacation, but August kicks off the best time of the sports betting calendar: Football season! Competition on the field won't be as intense as September, of course, as wins aren't as important as evaluating young talent and trying to keep players healthy. However, there will be betting lines available on preseason pro action and it's possible to cash winning tickets. Here are some things to keep in mind when watching preseason football.

    Coaching Strategy: An understanding of what coaches are trying to accomplish each week in August is essential. With four preseason games to play, NFL coaches will typically go with starters one quarter or less in the first August game, one quarter-plus in second game, the first half and into the third quarter in the third game, and then very little in the fourth game. Keeping starters healthy while getting them some competition against the opponents' first stringers are the obvious reasons.

    Coaches will often use "vanilla" game plans, working on short passes and running plays. This is why preseason totals are lower than the regular season. Last year, the NFL Hall of Fame game was cancelled (Colts/Packers), but the previous season the Giants topped the Bills, 17-13. QB Eli Manning threw only seven passes and the five other QBs in the game were named Nassib, Painter, Tuel, Lewis and Manuel – no future Hall of Fame signal callers in that group!

    Three years ago in the first preseason game, the high-powered Broncos offense played the 49ers, but it sailed 'under' the total in a 10-6 Denver win. Four years ago, the high-powered Saints played the Cardinals and the total was 34. It stayed 'under' in a 17-10 New Orleans win with four turnovers as the teams combined to go 9-of-28 on third down.

    If the game had been during the regular season, the total would have been closer to 44. In fact, when the Saints did open the regular season the total was 50 against Washington and their lowest total all year was 49. In the third preseason game, starters are projected to play the most. Working on basic plays and keeping things simple are often the case for the first two weeks of preseason.

    Home Field: While home field is a big edge when games count in the post and regular seasons, home field can be less important in preseason, especially in Week 4, the most meaningless of games where coaches are more focused on the opener the following week. Last year the home team was 8-8 SU, 6-10 ATS in Week 4. The last three preseasons the home team is 24-23 SU, 18-27-2 ATS. That's not unusual. Five years ago, the home team was 7-9 SU, 6-10 ATS in Week 4.

    Newspapers: Keeping tabs daily on what local beat writers are commenting on is important. Many times coaches will hint at potential strategy, such as "We're going to open up the passing game a bit in the first half this week. Or, "Our starters will play two series just to get their feet wet." These tidbits are key and a successful sports bettor knows how to evaluate coaching comments, injuries, and how strategy changes may influence the side and total.

    A few years ago in a preseason game, the Atlanta Falcons coach was furious with his team's play the week before and announced that the starters would play the entire three quarters. The line jumped from Atlanta as a 2-point favorite all the way to 5, and went off at 6 by kickoff. Sharp bettors wasted no time in hammering the Falcons, who won and covered the game easily, all because of the extensive game plan (and anger) revealed by the coach.

    Quarterback Play: Quarterback is the single most important position on the football field. Think of the Super Bowl matchups the last decade: How many below average QBs have gotten their team to the big game? The Ravens in 2000 with Trent Dilfer and Chicago's Rex Grossman. Last February's Super Bowl pitted two of the best in the game, Matt Ryan and Tom Brady.

    QB play is essential and a key this time of year as starters don't play the whole game. When wagering on a favorite in preseason, it's important to carefully evaluate the No. 2 and 3 QBs as they often play as much as the starter or more. A team with a great starter expected to play just two series, with a rookie or poor backup QBs playing most of the game can be at a disadvantage.

    Coaches: Coaching is such an important part of football, as so many players need to be organized and taught various roles each week. Some coaches are more demanding in preseason, while others are more laid back. Notice that Bill Belichick is 45-32 SU, 42-31-2 ATS all time in preseason. A year ago in preseason, the Pats won their first three preseason games but packed it in for Week 4, losing 17-9 at the Giants, getting outscored 14-3 in the second half with rookie QB Jacoby Brisset getting sacked 3 times.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SIN CITY
    Posts
    70,873
    Credits
    88,880

    Default

    NFL notebook: Dolphins QB Tannehill suffers knee injury
    August 3, 2017


    Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill sustained an injury to his left knee during Thursday's practice.

    ESPN reported an MRI exam revealed that Tannehill did not suffer a tear in the knee, but the extent of the damage and how long Tannehill will be sidelined remain unclear.

    Tannehill was scrambling toward the sideline and went down without contact. Trainers were examining his brace-covered left knee before taking the 29-year-old inside for further evaluation.

    Tannehill sustained a sprained ACL and MCL in the same knee last season, but did not require surgery. He missed the Dolphins' last three regular-season games and their playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    --Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton did not throw at practice for the third consecutive day because of right shoulder soreness.

    Head coach Ron Rivera said a change in the offensive scheme means Newton will run less this season, but that was before the Panthers ran into Newton's nagging right shoulder issue that prevented him from throwing passes Thursday and three straight training camp workouts.

    Newton fled the practice field on a utility cart, first speeding away from media in reverse across the football field before shifting into drive and fleeing toward the locker rooms. Joe Webb was a stowaway in the bed of the cart.

    --The Philadelphia Eagles added depth to their secondary by signing free agent defensive back Corey Graham to a one-year contract, the team announced.

    Graham will be reunited with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who held the same title while the former played with the Buffalo Bills in 2014.

    The 32-year-old Graham spent the majority of his career at cornerback before shuffling to safety for the last two seasons in Buffalo.

    Philadelphia likely will use Graham as a cornerback with the team aiming to upgrade from Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson, rookie Rasul Douglas and Ron Brooks.

    --The New York Jets have attempted to trade defensive end Sheldon Richardson on a few occasions this offseason, but to no avail.

    Richardson told the New York Daily News that he was asked to take a pay cut to make a trade work.

    Richardson is slated to make $8.1 million this year and can be a free agent at the end of the season. He recorded 62 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 15 games last season.

    --Tennessee Titans rookie wide receiver Corey Davis will undergo an MRI exam after sustaining a hamstring injury during seven-on-seven drills, coach Mike Mularkey said.

    Davis' soft-tissue injury comes on the heels of him missing the first two days of training camp while finalizing his contract. Davis, who was the fifth overall pick of the 2017 draft, received a four-year contract worth an estimated $25.4 million, with a $16.6 million signing bonus, according to The Tennessean.

    --The New England Patriots think the world of Tom Brady, with the term "GOAT" (Greatest Of All-Time) often linked to the five-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

    The Patriots showed their appreciation for Brady on his 40th birthday by bringing five baby goats to training camp. The adorable creatures were each fitted with a No. 12 jersey.

    The team also set up a mammoth "GOAT" sign in his honor.

    --The San Francisco 49ers waived wide receiver Bruce Ellington, the team announced.

    Ellington did not play last season after being placed on the injured reserve list with an ailing hamstring in August.

    The 25-year-old reeled in 19 receptions for 215 yards and two touchdowns in his two previous seasons with the 49ers.

    --Seattle Seahawks rookie defensive tackle Malik McDowell reported to training camp and was promptly placed on the non-football injury list, the team announced.

    McDowell, who was a second-round selection of the 2017 draft, reportedly sustained a concussion and facial injuries in an ATV accident a couple weeks ago.

    --Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, was dedicated hours before the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys were to meet in the Hall of Fame Game.

    A larger-than-life statue of Benson also was unveiled.

    Benson gifted $10 million toward the construction of the 23,000-seat stadium in 2014. He also made a $1 million contribution toward the creation of Legends Landing, an assisted living facility which will be part of the Player Care Center at Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village.

    --The Jacksonville Jaguars announced that long snapper Carson Tinker will miss the entire season after sustaining a torn ACL in a non-contact drill on Wednesday.

    Tinker, an undrafted free agent out of Alabama, has been the Jaguars' long snapper the past four seasons. He signed a four-year contract extension prior to the 2015 season.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
BettorsTalk.com- GamblersTalk.com- TopCappers.com- Sportsbook Reviews- Sportsbook Bonuses- Sports Matchups
Lost Password Recover - Contact BettorsChat
bettorschat.com Webutation
@MEMBER OF PROJECT HONEY POT
Spam Harvester Protection Network
provided by Unspam
Member of the Anti Hacker Alliance