Brett Brown: I treat film study with Markelle Fultz like a ‘college classroom’

“That’s a slippery slope at times,” Brown said. “He’s had a great motor in trying to grow his conditioning in that regard, doing the same thing in the weight room. Picking the areas that you can continue to develop really an amazing basketball body.”

Troy has a productive offense as well, led by senior quarterback Brandon Silvers. The four-year starter enters the New Orleans Bowl having thrown for more than 10,000 yards in his career. Silvers has passed for 2,985 yards and 13 touchdowns with just six interceptions this season.

North Texas running back Jeffery Wilson, who has produced 1,215 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns this season, is doubtful for the bowl game because of a foot injury, according to Littrell. If he doesn’t play, he would finish his career ranked third in Mean Green history in rushing touchdowns (32) and fourth in rushing yards (3,205).

Steelers LB Ryan Shazier was transported to the hospital after a scary back injury on an attempted tackle in the first quarter. Late in the game, Vontaze Burfict was taken off the field with a head injury after an illegal crackback block by Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

While the injury to Shazier was unintentional, Smith-Schuster was called for two penalties for his hit on Burfict — one for unnecessary roughness and one for taunting as he stood over the injured Burfict.

“I don’t have any intentions to hurt anyone when I play football,” Smith-Schuster said. “I didn’t mean to hurt Vontez Burfict, I just wanted to throw a block for my teammate. I apologize for standing over him and that isn’t me. Praying he gets better.”panthers_015

Tom Brady threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns

Because of that, MLB voided the contracts of nine players the Braves would have been ineligible to sign: Venezuelan infielder Kevin Maitan ($4.25 million signing bonus), Venezuelan catcher Abrahan Gutierrez ($3.53 million), Dominican shortstop Yunior Severino ($1.9 million), Dominican right-hander Juan Contreras ($1.2 million), Dominican shortstop Yenci Pe?a ($1.05 million), Dominican right-hander Yefri del Rosario ($1 million), Cuban outfielder Juan Carlos Negret ($1 million), Venezuelan shortstop Livan Soto ($1 million) and Colombian right-hander Guillermo Zuniga ($350,000).

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama — The 6-1, 190-pound senior caught five passes for 171 yards, including a 31-yard reception on Alabama’s final drive to set up the game-winning 26-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts to freshman receiver DeVonta Smith for the 31-24 win. Ridley continues to be one of the best big-play receivers in the country.

Tom Brady threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns, while Dion Lewis added two total scores, including a 103-yard kickoff return, for New England. Emmanuel Sanders recorded six catches for 137 yards for Denver in the losing effort.

Field goal, Seahawks. Seattle drives down the field but it’s kept out of the end zone when Tyler Lockett is called for offensive pass interference on third down. Wilson throws an incomplete pass on the following play and the Seahawks are forced to settle for a field goal that cuts their deficit to 21-10.
nike_bills-086

The Vikings would love nothing more to stay at home for the entire postseason.

They took one step closer to clinching a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs with a convincing 24-7 win over the Rams.

The Chargers’ defense has an advantage on paper as it attacks a Cowboys’ offensive front that is struggling in Smith’s absence. Los Angeles is third in the NFL in sacks with 30, led by defensive end Joey Bosa (10.5) and Ingram (8.5), both of whom rank in the top 10 in the NFL so far this season. Meanwhile, Dallas has given up 11 sacks in the last two contests.

That gives Los Angeles a chance to continue Dallas’ frustration on offense. The Cowboys didn’t score a touchdown on Sunday night versus the Eagles and have reached the end zone just once in the last two games.

Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon tipped C.J. Beathard’s pass to himself and intercepted it at his own 25-yard line. The 49ers had driven 54 yards into Giants territory before the pick.

Giants tackle Justin Pugh was ruled questionable to return with a back injury.

49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard found tight end Garrett Celek for a 47-yard touchdown, yet another big play from the Sean Francisco offense. Robbie Gould made the PAT. 17-13, 49ers

Eli Manning found tight end Evan Engram for a 9-yard touchdown pass to cap a 10-play, 75-yard drive and take the lead back for the Giants. Aldrick Rosas made the PAT. 13-10, Giants
nike_bills-080

Washington’s best possible finish is 10-6. The Redskins haven’t reached 11 wins since 1991.

“I thought we were over that,” he said, adding, “Here we are on this losing streak. And, you know, I don’t want to believe it’s culture; I really don’t. And I’m around these guys every day. But at the same time we have lost four in a row; you can’t hide from that.”

Since starting out 8-5 last season, the Bucs are 3-8. The Saints loss was their fifth straight, and the only teams in the NFL with worse records in 2017 are the winless Browns and 49ers, plus the one-win Giants. Koetter and the Giants’ Ben McAdoo ought to relate well to each other — second-year coaches given credit for quick turnarounds after questionable firings of their predecessors, with steep plunges the next year.

“We are all terribly saddened by this news of his passing,” Jones said. Too young and too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his loved ones and all of the people who were touched by his life.”

They also were both touted as offensive gurus who aren’t living up to the hype. The ceiling for Winston was considered extremely high, in their defense, but the notion that he’s on a treadmill in Year 3 is powerful.

The fact that the defense has downright regressed this season despite the Bucs loading up on that side of the ball over the last two years in the draft and free agency doesn’t help. Neither do the well-documented kicking woes. And neither does the fact that the general manager, Jason Licht, spanned Smith’s and Koetter’s tenures.
nike_bills-114

The AFC can boast having produced the past three Super Bowl winners.

And as a conference, that’s about it.

The AFC features six teams with winning records through the season’s first 10 weeks compared to 10 such squads in the NFC.

“The Kobe IXs are my favorite basketball shoe overall,” Fox said. “The IV is when he started the low-tops, and I’ll definitely try to get my hands on those.”

In a fun coincidence, the rookie charged with helping to lead Nike’s Kobe series isn’t “the new face of the Lakers,” as Magic Johnson dubbed Ball, but rather Fox, who plays for a Kings team that once had famous playoff battles with Bryant’s Lakers.

As part of an agreement between MLB and the players’ association, a club can use money from either its 2017-18 or 2018-19 signing bonus pool to sign a player but can’t combine money from both pools in one contract. The first $200,000 of a signing bonus will not count against a team’s limit, but the $300,000 maximum remains for teams subject to the penalty for exceeding their pool under the previous labor contract.

DeShon Elliott, S, Texas — Not only did Elliott begin Saturday as the nation’s leader with six interceptions, the Texas junior has ideal size at 6-2, 210 pounds. He didn’t hve an interception during Saturday’s 42-27 win over Kansas, but did have seven tackles and a forced fumble with a pass defensed.

Then it depends on how you like to cook the salmon. I sear it because I like it a little more rare. Four minutes on each side … flip it once, throw the sauce on, and it’s delicious.nike_bills-051

Packers RB Aaron Jones facing charges after Oct. 1 arrest

Green Bay Packers rookie running back Aaron Jones is facing charges and possible NFL discipline after an arrest last month during a traffic stop.

Jones could be subject to a suspension from the NFL, but the league isn’t likely to act until the legal case is resolved. Jones’ next scheduled court appearance is Feb. 1 for a pretrial hearing.

Cleveland vice president of football operations Sashi Brown disputes rumors he and the Browns front office intentionally botched an opportunity to acquire Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron.

The Browns and Bengals were set on the trade, but the Browns didn’t have the paperwork ready for the the 4 p.m. ET deadline Tuesday, making many wonder if the Browns tried to back out of the agreement.

According to Brown, Cleveland emailed Cincinnati a contract at 3:54 p.m. ET. The Bengals admitted they missed the Browns’ email and submitted their own paperwork at 3:59 p.m. By the time both teams realized what happened, it was too late and the deadline had passed.

Brees raised his grade from a B-plus just in time for this report card by proving that yes, he still can be Superman when needed. He went 11-for-11 for 164 yards and two touchdowns in the final two drives of the fourth quarter as the Saints rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Washington in overtime. Brees has played more of a supporting role over New Orleans’ eight-game win streak because the run game and defense have been so good — and since the Saints haven’t been hitting on the deep ball as consistently as usual. He was on pace for his lowest yardage and TD totals in 12 years with the Saints before Sunday’s win over the Redskins. But he is also on pace for a career-best completion percentage and now ranks third in the NFL with a passer rating of 104.3. — Mike Triplett
nike_cardinals-016

Three takeaways from Seahawks’ win over Cardinals

The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals 22-16 Thursday in Arizona thanks to some big plays from Russell Wilson.

Most of the game was choppy with penalties and injuries ruining flow, but Wilson entertained with his legs and arm to help the Seahawks (6-3) gain ground on the Rams (6-2) in the NFC West.

The Seahawks potentially lost All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman for the year after he left the game with a heel injury, and he indicated that it could be a serious injury. Still, the Seahawks continued to apply pressure on hapless Drew Stanton, forcing poor throws and stifling Peterson on the ground.

Seattle has now won five of its last six games, and defensive pressure is a big reason why they’ve enjoyed recent success.

The Broncos have lost five straight games and they have not been competitive in those matchups, losing them all by double-digits and a combined total of 97 points. Even worse, they lost by 28 and 25 points in back-to-back blowout losses to the Eagles and the Patriots. The Broncos are also the only team to lose to the Giants this season.

“You’re going to lose football games in this league, but the way it’s gone about it, not being competitive is probably the thing that concerns me the most,’’ Elway said. “I think we have it on our football team. We’ve got to learn to be able to battle through those. Obviously, they’ve come in clumps and we haven’t been able to overcome it. But until we do overcome that, you know, it’s going to tough to win football games.’’nike_patriots_2110

Case Keenum gets solid reviews from Vikings coach Mike Zimmer

Case Keenum has been called excitable. His accuracy has been critiqued.

One thing he’s never been knocked for is being overly conservative. That’s a big plus in the eyes of Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

“I don’t know if he would have put it in the same spot four weeks ago,” Thielen said. “He’s just starting to realize how we like the ball and what we do best as receivers and tight ends and running backs. I think he’s always had a ton of confidence about what he can do individually, but now it’s kind of gaining that confidence in other guys.”

Philadelphia, with the NFL’s top record, now owns a four-game lead over the 5-5 Cowboys in the NFC East with a perfect 4-0 division record heading into Week 12. While the Eagles have a playoff berth all but locked up, the Cowboys are going to need to start winning without Ezekiel Elliott and get some help if they are to reach the postseason.

Carson Wentz got off to a hot start but a quiet second quarter left the Eagles trailing 9-7 at halftime. The Dallas defense was solid in the first half, at one point holding the Eagles to four consecutive 3-and-outs but in the second half, things quickly changed. The first three Eagles’ possessions resulted in TD drives of 75, 90, and 85 yards, all but breaking the Cowboys spirit in the third quarter.

After Philadelphia went up 29-9, a sack-fumble returned for a touchdown followed by Dak Prescott’s third pick prematurely ended his night.
nike_patriots_1526

Steelers’ Marcus Gilbert suspended 4 games for drug violation

The NFL has suspended Pittsburgh Steelers starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert four games for violating the league policy against performance-enhancing substances.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement that the organization was “disappointed” and that Gilbert will not appeal his suspension.

“Marcus Gilbert missed a significant amount of time. Chris Hubbard’s play made it a nondiscussion,” Tomlin said. “We didn’t talk about it a bunch because his play was above the line. … You guys know our mentality. The standard is the standard.”

For insurance, the Steelers have second-year tackle Jerald Hawkins and have added tackle Jake Rodgers to their practice squad.

Gilbert is the third Steeler in as many years to miss multiple games because of suspension, joining Martavis Bryant (four games in 2015, all of 2016) and Le’Veon Bell (two games in 2015, three in 2016).

Tyler Ennis also scored and Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter each had two assists as the Wild snapped a two-game losing streak. Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves.

Niederreiter has scored in five straight games, the second-longest streak in franchise history.

Jordan Nolan scored twice for the Sabres. Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart also had goals. Robin Lehner made 17 saves after replacing Chad Johnson following the first period. Johnson stopped 10 shots.

The Wild scored three goals in a 5:29 span in the first period and led the rest of the way.

Foligno fed his former Sabres teammate Ennis for the first goal nine minutes into the game. Granlund scored unassisted to put the Wild ahead with 7:32 remaining in the period.
broncos_085-500x500

Connor McDavid is really good at hockey, but really bad at …

Most players can pinpoint the exact moment they realized Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid was special.

“I played against him when he was 12,” Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski said. “I remember he was the best kid on the ice — by far.”

For Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, the epiphany came on one of the first plays of a November 2016 game in Edmonton. “[McDavid] was skating so fast up the ice,” Kane recalled. “Our defenseman was going backward. He had to turn around and skate forward — like, directly at our net. McDavid still got a breakaway and got a shot off.”

Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans’ brother filmed Saban doing the Electric Slide, and it went viral. If you scour the internet, you’ll find him doing the Cupid Shuffle and The Wobble. “Hey,” Saban said, “I’ve been able to step through ever since I was in high school.”

After the owners finished, Troy Vincent stood up. He was offended by McNair’s characterization of the players as “inmates.” Vincent said that in all his years of playing in the NFL — during which, he said, he had been called every name in the book, including the N-word — he never felt like an “inmate.”

That sparked a back-and-forth with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who said NFL owners are historically responsible for the success of the NFL. However, McNair later pulled Vincent aside to apologize for the comment and then released a statement Friday after his words were made public in ESPN’s report.

It would have made for about 90 seconds of complete bonkers celebration in Houston, and then we would have gone to bed early because the game wouldn’t have been close anymore. Instead, Stripling walked off the mound with a big “thanks, God” smile and we got two more innings of exciting baseball.
flames_079