Sorry, NFL, shortening the overtime period won’t improve player safety

At the NFL’s owners meetings in March, the competition committee discussed a proposal to shorten the regular season overtime rules period from 15 minutes to 10. The proposal was tabled at that meeting, but according to NFL Network’s Judy Battista, it’s expected to be approved when the owners revisit it next week.

The proposed change is ostensibly driven by player safety, but shortening overtime wouldn’t make much of a difference.

Battista reported in March that the proposal was centered around the idea that playing in overtime on a Sunday ahead of a Thursday Night Football game — with just three days between — gives players even less time to recover. Taking away the potential for five minutes of that overtime is unlikely to make a big difference in player health and safety, unlike, say, getting rid of Thursday games completely.

For one thing, the proposed change would impact a small percentage of games, based on recent history:

“So, that was part of my lack of understanding what had just happened. I didn’t get the whole gestalt,” she admits. “It really started to dawn on me. I realized what a huge issue this was. It was right up my bailiwick.”

But right now, everything the Bears gave up to get him leave some big questions in play. They had plenty of other needs, particularly on defense, that went unfilled during free agency and the draft.

Each has a suggested dress code, though they don’t overlap unless you’re Dad Wearing His Team Polo And Leaving After Communion Because Traffic Is Awful. But if you regularly attend religious services (which aren’t always Christian and don’t always occur on Sunday, I know) in an NFL city, you may have, at least once, seen a fellow believer wearing a jersey.
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At Michigan’s Pro Day, Peppers said he’d be the steal of the draft.

It’s likely Samuel will play wide receiver for the Panthers, and regardless — they just got much more dangerous. Cam Newton has been playing amazing football but the Panthers have had a lack of playmakers next to him on offense. They now have two more.

Sticking with the running back position, the Vikings took Cook out of Florida State. With the last few years of the Adrian Peterson era being tumultuous at best, the Vikings are now finally ready to move on with Cook, who will step right in and be a contributor from Day 1.

The Cleveland Browns, who took Myles Garrett with the first pick of the draft, passed up taking a quarterback twice despite having nothing interesting at the position. They finally took DeShone Kizer off the board at No. 52 overall, a pick they received from the Titans. Kizer has so much potential, but his tendency for frustrating mistakes make him a gamble. But he’s a gamble that will now be in Cleveland.

At Michigan’s Pro Day, Peppers said he’d be the steal of the draft.

“Whatever team takes me, it’s going to be a steal,” Peppers said, via the AP. “I don’t care what the draft experts — and things like that — what they have to say. I only care about what these GMs and coaches think about me. I just need the opportunity. That’s it.”

Hooker was languishing behind then-starters Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell, and he was tired of not playing. The Pennsylvania native was also homesick. He told his mother, Angela Dennis, that he wanted to transfer somewhere closer to home. She wasn’t having it.

“Her exact words were: ‘I don’t know what you’re going to do. But you’re not coming back home,'” Hooker said.

It’s a good thing he stuck it out, because he became a star.nike_broncos_3097

John Wall showed the Hawks why he’s a master of his craft

John Wall’s third quarter was a tour de force that made something clear: we are watching a master of his craft. In a 114-107 win, Wall steadily and methodically picked apart Atlanta’s defense, including one stretch where he scored or assisted on 19 of the Washington Wizards’ 20 points. It was a full, loaded display that blended excellence with flair and creativity, and it left anyone watching shaking their head.

Washington led most of the game, even though Atlanta never let them pull away. But the Hawks couldn’t find anyone that could bother Wall. He finished with 32 points and 14 assists on 12-of-24 shooting, breaking down Atlanta’s defense repeatedly with a feathery touch. Take this pass, for example.

Blandino’s decision is not an unusual move. Given the complexities of the NFL rulebook, it’s nice when the broadcast networks have people who can actually understand it and translate it for the fans at home who just can’t understand why Dez Bryant didn’t catch the ball even though it sure looked a lot like he did.

That doesn’t change the fact that his departure, which becomes official at the end of May, leaves a big void at a critical juncture in how the league handles officiating and replay. Blandino would have been the one making the calls with the new centralized replay system.

The league will need to find a replacement for a job that will almost certainly make that person the most hated suit in the sport (except for maybe Roger Goodell himself). Several options have already been kicked around, including assistants under Blandino or veteran referees.

Mike Carey has more than two decades of experience as an NFL referee, but he’ll be forever immortalized as CBS’ rules expert who NEVER made the right call on the broadcast.
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I certainly feel a little better than I did four weeks ago

“He was not only a great player for us, but he was a great leader. I just think back to him during the 2007 season and the leadership he showed getting us to the Super Bowl and then winning that game and there’s no way we have a Super Bowl season if Michael Strahan’s not on the team.

“He meant a lot to this organization, and still does.”

This year’s Giants, of course, got off to an unthinkably poor 0-6 start. They have rebounded to win four straight, making Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium vs. the Dallas Cowboys a critical one. How does Mara feel about this year’s version of the Giants?

“I certainly feel a little better than I did four weeks ago,” Mara said. “Obviously we were all disappointed and surprised by the poor start that we had, but I am proud of the fact that our team stuck together and we’re now at the point where we can play meaningful games late in the year. Hopefully we can keep this thing going and make a run.”

There’s a problem in the Navy. Someone has been planting homing beacons on battle cruisers — and I only just realized I’ve never seen an episode of NCIS in my life. It’s something about Navy lawyers, and for CBS to be on-brand there has to be a character who hates millennials. Okay got it.

Tony Romo is: Special executive prosecutor Lance “Turmoil” Riggerson and things will never be the same again. He’s a no-nonsense Texan who doesn’t take guff, especially when that raucous Abby steals his fruit snacks — WHICH WERE A GIFT FROM HIS DAUGHTER! These homing beacons won’t investigate themselves, and who better to bust an international conspiracy than Tony Romo?

There will be a scene where he knocks the homing beacon off the battleship with a football, turns to the camera and says “Fourth quarter comeback complete.” — James Dator
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Colin Kaepernick responds to Trent Dilfer’s criticism

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick doesn’t appreciate criticism leveled at him following his team’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. The third-year quarterback responded to ESPN’s Trent Dilfer, who called him a “remedial” passer that struggles when teams take away his first read.

Dilfer’s core criticism stemmed from a perceived lack of development, which he elaborated to Sports Illustrated on Tuesday.

The 49ers’ tight end depth was tested on Sunday with Vernon Davis leaving the game with a concussion and backup Garrett Celek exciting with a hamstring injury. Neither player returned to the game. The 49ers’ offense has struggled mightily without Davis, so his health will be something to watch moving forward.

Davis wasn’t the only 49er to leave with a concussion, with rookie safety Eric Reid also suffering a concussion. This is the second concussion Reid has suffered this season and the safety is likely to miss Sunday’s game against New Orleans.

The Falcons dropped to 2-7 on the season with a loss to Seattle and Atlanta continues to deal with injury issues. Tight end Tony Gonzalez suffered a toe injury against Seattle. Gonzalez returned to the game and played through the injury, but said he would have to wait and see how it responds during the week, according to Vaughn McClure. Gonzalez has not missed a game since 2006.

Sam Baker missed Sunday’s game and head coach Mike Smith said he is concerned about the left tackle’s knee injury because it has lingered all season. There is a chance Baker will be placed on injured reserve. Atlanta will get some good news, with the return of linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who is expected to be activated from injured reserve early this week.

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Rhode Island hasn’t lost in over a month. It keeps going in NCAA tournament

Rhode Island basketball’s “upset” win over the Creighton Bluejays in the opening round of the NCAA tournament was anything but.

The Rams are red-hot, winning nine straight games since Feb. 18, including six by double digits. They were a popular bracket pick, catching a slight break against a Creighton team without its best player, Maurice Watson, who tore his ACL in January. But they not only beat the Bluejays, they won handily by 12, and somehow they’re suddenly recognized as a dangerous team after an ice-cold 10-6 start to the season.

But two seasons later, he flipped the script in a 23-10 season. Though he didn’t make the NCAA tournament, he wasn’t far — especially with sophomore guard E.C. Matthews, a four-star recruit who barely cracked the top 100, budding into a star.

The 2015-16 season was supposed to beak the Rams’ tournament drought since 1998. Devastatingly, Matthews tore his ACL in the first 10 minutes of the season, and Rhode Island never recovered.

A scoring guard who began attracting NBA attention as a freshman, Matthews made his name as a scorer. He was never incredibly efficient, but he’s improved, scoring 15 points on 43 percent shooting, including 34 percent from deep. He only shot 3-of-12 from the field in the win over Creighton, but that didn’t seem to matter. All four other starters scored in double digits as well.

The senior forward with a 7’2 wingspan is a problem on defense. Martin anchors a talented unit, sporting the team’s best defensive rating and a monstrous 2.5 blocks per game, good for the ninth-best rating in the country.

He’s also scoring 14 points on an incredibly efficient 60 percent effective field-goal rate, and pulling down seven rebounds.

He’s been a solid piece for Rhode Island for four years but has never been used at a higher rate than now — and he’s thriving.

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The Los Angeles market is attractive to both teams because of its size and built-in fan base

The Raiders have been working with the city of Oakland for over six years on their own proposal. With no public funding available, the possibilities in the East Bay are slim, at best.

The Los Angeles market is attractive to both teams because of its size George Fant Authentic Womens Jersey and built-in fan base. The Raiders called Los Angeles home as recently as 1994 while the Chargers began their existence in the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1960.

The NFL will be involved in any relocation process, no matter what teams or locations are involved. The league expects any franchise wishing to move to make a considerable attempt to build in its own market. The addition of the latest plan coupled with St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s move to build an 80,000-seat venue in nearby Inglewood is making the NFL’s return to Los Angeles seem imminent:

Exec VP Eric Grubman on LA: “Two potentially viable projects pushing ahead increases the probability that something could get done.” Huge.

More from exec VP Eric Grubman on http://t.co/iLSuC0pR8d. Key point: “This is a potentially positive development with lots more work to do.”

However, the Jets also hold the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft this April. The quarterback class is relatively weak, but there are two signal callers at the top projected to go early in Jameis Winston of Florida State and Marcus Mariota of Oregon. While many believe Winston will go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the top selection, there is debate on Mariota’s landing spot.

The GM revealed to the media during Wednesday’s press conference that the team will meet Germain Ifedi Authentic Womens Jersey with both Winston and Mariota at the combine, per Walder, and said they might select a quarterback with their first-round pick. If Maccagnan believes Mariota is the right fit, he could either hope the Heisman winner falls to No. 6 or make a minor move up to ensure the acquisition.

The Jets could also roll the dice in the second or third round and take a flier on Bryce Petty or Brett Hundley, much like former GM John Idzik did on Smith in 2013. In any case, it would appear Smith has a chance to win a camp battle.

The Red Wings’ offense still hasn’t found a groove, but next week’s four-game schedule should help

For those new to the Forecaster chart, here are some explanations: “O” (offense) and “D” (defense) matchup ratings are based upon a scale from 1 (poor matchup) to 10 (excellent matchup) and are calculated using a formula that evaluates the team’s season-to-date statistics, their performance in home/road games depending on where the game is to be played, as well as their opponents’ numbers in those Matt Moore Authentic Womens Jersey categories. The “Ratings” column lists the cumulative rating from 1-10 of that week’s offensive (“O”) and defensive (“D”) matchups.

Anaheim Ducks: We swear we are going to buy a billboard soon. Rickard Rakell needs to be owned everywhere. He’s back on the top line with Getzlaf and Corey Perry and scoring enough to make up for his lost time at the start of the season. Rakell has goals in three straight and has 11 points in 11 games this season. After a date with Carey Price to start the week, the Ducks travel through western Canada to pick on the defenses of the Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Flames. Will Rakell still be on a goal streak after next week? If he can slip one by Price, we like the odds.

Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings’ offense still hasn’t found a groove, but next week’s four-game schedule should help. The Stars, Islanders and — if they happen to catch Marc-Andre Fleury in a back-to-back set — Pittsburgh Penguins are all bottom-10 defenses for goals allowed per game. Henrik Zetterberg is being flanked by Anthony Mantha and Justin Abdelkader at the moment and his two wingers lead the team in shots this past week. But how about checking out defenseman Ryan Sproul? The rookie blueliner has five points in nine games including three on the man advantage.

If you’ve been on the fence about using the Flames’ new starting goaltender Chad Johnson, it may be now or never. Depending on how the back-to-back set is divided up this weekend, Johnson could end up starting four games next week. If he does well, you’ll probably be too late to scoop him up by the end of next week. If he does poorly, then the Flames will be looking for another answer or hoping Brian Elliott can quickly find his form.

Cam Ward’s numbers have improved, as expected given the performance of the team in front of him Michael Thomas Authentic Womens Jersey with the puck. But next week is ugly with the Rangers twice, the Boston Bruins and the Lightning. If you have another option, consider it.

Red Sox hope to win from losing

When Mookie Betts made his postseason debut last month, he did something in his very first at-bat that he hadn’t done in his final 78 regular-season plate appearances.

He struck out.

Baseball’s version of a solar Stephen Curry Authentic Jersey eclipse occurred Oct. 6, in the first inning of Game 1 of the Boston Red Sox’s ill-fated Division Series against the Cleveland Indians. Betts swung through back-to-back-to-back fastballs from Indians starter Trevor Bauer, only the 15th time in 731 plate appearances that he whiffed on three successive pitches.

Red Sox manager John Farrell reasonably chalked it up to nerves. And Betts wasn’t the only Red Sox player to come down with a case of good, old-fashioned playoff jitters. Fellow postseason first-timer Jackie Bradley Jr., a center fielder known for his booming arm with bull’s-eye accuracy, pulled two home-plate-bound throws up the first-base line.

“Now we know what to expect [in the postseason],” Betts Ted Ginn Jr Authentic Jersey said. “It’s going to be really important for the years going forward. We’ll know what to expect and how to handle adversity and how to go about the games and whatnot. It’s going to be definitely a positive.”

Said Bogaerts: “It was a great experience. A lot of pressure, but we have to learn how to control it, how to think in that moment. Just not overthinking a lot of stuff, trying to be in the moment and being focused.”

The Red Sox wouldn’t be the first team to learn how to win by losing.

Last year, the Chicago Cubs were humbled in a National League Championship Series sweep against the New York Mets in which young sluggers Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber combined to go 9-for-52 with 16 strikeouts. And Red Sox fans need not be reminded of the Aaron (Bleeping) Boone gut punch in 2003 that preceded the Curse-busting World Series exhilaration a year later.

But the comparison the Red Sox hope to follow is the Philadelphia Phillies’ recent run. Like the Sox, those Phillies were built around a strong core of position players. In 2007, in their first exposure to the playoffs, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino went 9-for-43 with 16 strikeouts while getting swept in the NLDS by the Colorado Rockies.

Dawg (almost) bites man: Inside an enduring image from Georgia-Auburn rivalry

Nobody can say for sure whether the dog was acting out of playfulness or malice, but Auburn receiver Robert Baker was nearly bitten all the same 20 years ago when he encountered Georgia’s bulldog mascot Uga V.

The memorable 1996 meeting between Georgia and Auburn featured plenty of history. It was the 100th playing of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry — a series that continues Saturday at Sanford Stadium — and it became the SEC’s first overtime game, with Brad Marchand Youth Jersey Georgia winning 56-49 after four extra periods. But two decades later, the game is perhaps best known for the moment where Uga stood his ground against the encroaching Tiger.

“The noise [from the crowd after Baker’s first-quarter touchdown catch] scared the dog and startled it,” said Uga’s sideline handler Charles Seiler, whose family has long owned the line of bulldog mascots. “Bulldogs are kind of bred to run and catch things, and in a playful way, I think the dog turned around and there was this big guy coming his way and so he lunged out at him. It was a good thing that I had the leash and that the leash was short or Uga would have lit him up.”

Eddie McDoom has become a Michigan fan favorite nine games into his career with the third-ranked Wolverines. The true freshman has whittled out a slowly expanding role for himself as the team’s jet sweep specialist from his spot at wide receiver. He’s won the attention of the Big House crowd thanks in equal part to his ability to leave defenders and the dust and, of course, a name made for football.

It didn’t take him long to figure out what they were yelling the first time he sped up the sideline for 19 yards in his college debut against Hawaii.

“I was just like, well, that’s pretty sick,” he said.

Morris McDoom was born in Jamaica and moved to Brandon Carlo Youth Jersey Florida shortly after his 18th birthday. He’s not exactly sure of the genealogy that produced his surname. He imagines that the Irish and English who came to the Caribbean had some influence on the spelling, which can be found on many islands in the area and in parts of South America’s northeast corner. One theory posits that the name is an anglicized version of a village in Guyana.

Belinda tried to research its meaning many years ago when she married into the family. But the best she could come up with was to laugh and say it just meant she was Doomed for life once their wedding made it official.

What matters more now for Michigan football, and perhaps the College Football Playoff race, is not where McDoom came from but where he is headed. And how fast he’ll get there.