Coppolella has stayed opportunistic this winter

Eight of the top 10 teams could comfortably be called rebuilders, teams that traded away major-league talent in 2016 to add prospects. Even the Yankees, whether or not they used the term, were in rebuild mode last season, landing three top-100 prospects in their two big deadline deals. And yet there’s also one team here that nearly reached the World Series last season, but is this high in the organization rankings because of the money it spent on Cubans in 2015 and because of some shrewd drafting that predates the current front office.

Atlanta has been hoarding prospects, especially pitching prospects, for two years now, and the result is a system that is primed to produce good young players just as the team moves into its new stadium.

Their High-A rotation in 2017 could include four first-round picks and a major international signing, only one of whom will be 21 on opening day. It’s as if someone told Coppolella the axiom that you can never have too much pitching, and he just said, “hold my beer.”

They do have position players, primarily guys up the middle, including three high-end shortstop prospects, multiple center fielders, and the best prospect from last year’s July 2 class, Kevin Maitan, who might not stay at shortstop but has earned comparisons at the plate to a young Miguel Cabrera.

They do lack power bats in the system, primarily at the upper levels, but there is just so much pitching here that it overwhelms that concern — and if they just have a normal attrition rate among that pitching depth, they’ll have plenty of young arms left over to fill a major-league need via trade.

Coppolella has stayed opportunistic this winter, adding prospects who had fallen out of favor with their organizations, including two of Seattle’s top six prospects. You can make an argument for the Yankees deserving the top slot; I won’t dispute that they have more position-player talent. My vote is for the deluge of arms and up-the-middle players heading for Atlanta, giving them the best farm system in baseball.

Players appreciate the culture Bradley’s brought to Jacksonville

Players appreciate the culture Bradley’s brought to Jacksonville, and that has made the Jaguars a legitimate destination for big free agents like Julius Thomas and Jared Odrick. But culture alone isn’t good enough to keep a job in the NFL.

“I think Dave Caldwell and [team owner] Shad Khan are a lot more lenient of a staff than he’d ever get in the NFL, so they’re going to give him more time, at least I hope so,” Scobee said. “I hope it doesn’t take a lot of time for us to start winning more games because I’d like to start seeing us win now, and so would everybody else. But Gus has patience and so does Dave and so does Mr. Khan.”

Patience afforded Bradley time to implement his culture, and now that culture needs to deliver wins.

Elite Kids Kevin Hogan Jersey Brock Osweiler, Broncos: Peyton Manning retired after reports surfaced of John Elway engineering a trade with the Browns. Unfortunately, that came after the draft, and the Osweiler Era starts now. This the best news the Chiefs and Chargers have had in a long, long time.

RG3, Browns: Finally, Cleveland gets the quarterback they coveted in 2012, and for mere pennies on the dollar compared to what it would’ve cost them at the time. Griffin’s had his critics in the past, but I’ve got a really good feeling that Northern Ohio is fertile ground for his inspirational sayings.
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Cardale Jones, 49ers: After quietly sweeping aside Jim Tomsula, Jed York and Trent Baalke needed to find a head coach capable of grooming a talented rookie signal caller (if only Jim Harbaugh were available). He should thrive in Brian Schottenheimer’s system.

Kirk Cousins, Washington: We’ve finally discovered the next Andy Dalton. Offensive genius Jay Gruden was so confident in the KC Masterpiece that he convinced Dan Snyder not to draft Cardale Jones.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers came to Atlanta

All quarterbacks, especially the great ones, go through crises in confidence. As with Young, we usually learn about them much later, after their playing days are over and their legacy is secure. Ryan has always said the right things publicly, even when he was taking bullets for teammates — especially when he was taking bullets for teammates. On the play that probably haunts him more than any other — the incomplete pass at the goal line that lost the 2013 NFC Championship Game — his primary option ran the wrong route, crippling it from the start. Ryan dutifully accepted responsibility for it, a little over-accountability, as Walsh would say. But players later told me that Ryan made the correct read.

In that pivotal meeting years ago, Walsh told Young that no matter what he is conditioned to believe, it takes 11 guys to succeed. The quarterback is the most important piece, but not the only one. Nobody wants to admit it, especially when the greats routinely transcend dire circumstances, but it’s true.

“We’re trying to cut through the filters,” Vincent said.

Who is on the committee?
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Limited Alexander Mogilny Jersey The process is managed by Vincent’s office and includes a representative of the league’s two scouting combines — National Football Scouting and BLESTO — as well as one evaluator from each of the league’s 32 teams. The profile of the team rep varies per club, but Vincent characterized all of them as “decision-makers.”

How many players apply for an evaluation?

The range since 2010 has been between 149 and 214 players every draft season, according to league data. If on a rare occasion there are more than five interested players from a single school, the college coach decides whose applications to send.

What attributes are the players evaluated on?

NFL preseason scores and results 2015: Tim Tebow scores, rookies impress in Eagles’ 36-10 win over Colts

There were a number of storylines heading into the final matchup of Week 1 of the preseason between the Colts and Eagles. Running back Frank Gore almost signed with Philadelphia at the start of free agency before he changed his mind and inked a three-year deal with the Colts a couple of days later. Longtime Eagles Trent Cole and Todd Herremans were suiting up against their former club for the first time, and, of course, Chip Kelly is either crazy or a genius.

But not so shockingly, Tim Tebow will likely be the most talked about player following the Eagles’ 36-10 victory Sunday. He made his triumphant return to the preseason field in the third quarter, and the fans who stuck around Lincoln Financial Field were treated to plenty of Tebow Time thanks to three Colts turnovers while he was in there.

The Cardinals have been one of the more surprising teams in the league over the past couple seasons. They’ve been dominant in one of the toughest divisions in the league, and that’s even with huge issues at the quarterback position. Carson Palmer is solid, but he’s somewhat injury-prone and the Cardinals need to concentrate on keeping him upright.

For the Chiefs, the biggest thing to pay attention to is that Eric Berry will be in action on Friday. Berry missed the end of the 2014 season due to cancer, but he recently returned to the team. Head coach Andy Reid has already announced that Berry will be playing. It’s a great story about a great player, so it’s definitely worth checking out. Other than that, the Chiefs are primarily looking to get out of this one without injury, as they don’t have a bunch of major position battles to figure out at this stage.

The Bills finished 7-9 in 2016 and have missed the postseason for 17 consecutive seasons

For the first time, fans who want to guarantee themselves a ticket to the Super Bowl if their team makes it can do so ahead of time.

On Location Experiences, which is partly owned by the NFL owners’ venture fund, is offering fans of the eight remaining teams the opportunity to reserve seats to the game contingent on their team making it.

In order to participate in the offer, fans have to declare their team and put down a $1,000-per-ticket deposit as well as a credit card. If their team wins the AFC or NFC on Jan. 22, the card is automatically charged with the entire amount. If their team does not make it to Super Bowl LI, the deposit made is completely refunded.
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Discussions Wednesday will focus on contract details, although there are other issues to sort through before the sides can come to an agreement, the sources said.
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McDermott spent the past six seasons leading the Panthers’ defense after two seasons (2009-10) as the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator.

Panthers assistant head coach/secondary Steve Wilks is expected to be promoted to defensive coordinator should McDermott be named the Bills’ head coach, a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

The Bills finished 7-9 in 2016 and have missed the postseason for 17 consecutive seasons. In 31 games as Bills coach, Ryan had a 15-16 record.

He is a Philadelphia-area native who got his start with the Eagles: McDermott grew up in the Philadelphia area and was an Eagles fan, interning for the team during his final two years of college at William & Mary.

The braver they’ve gotten with all shooting, all the time

“We wanted Kelly to slip a screen, and Isaiah to either turn the corner or make the right read, and [two defenders] went with Isaiah — they blitzed Isaiah — so Isaiah made the right read and threw it to Kelly,” Stevens said. “And then we wanted Al in the corner because sometimes that¡¯s a unique position for a big man defending to be in. And he¡¯s made shots, he spaced the floor. Him spacing the floor in the fourth quarter was huge for us.”
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Stevens had the presence of mind to sub in Olynyk, a shooting threat and solid ball-handler, in place of Marcus Smart, whom Philadelphia might have allowed to fire away. Olynk did a nice job drawing Embiid from the corner by putting the ball on the floor and forcing the rookie to shuffle over with help while Olynyk’s defender, Ersan Ilyasova, recovered from swarming Thomas. Horford patiently waited for the ball to come and made a clutch shot.

Coaches deploying more shooters over defensive specialists could be creating some powerful snowball effects. Fewer defense-first guys being on the floor means scoring is easier for everyone. When scoring is easy, teams might become complacent on defense, figuring they can just get it back on the other end. Fast breaking at every opportunity takes a physical toll; players have to sneak in rest, and they might exhale when the other team has the ball.

Youth Trevor Ariza Jersey Coaches are perfectionists. They want to field lineups that can play airtight defense. But the math is so stark, they feel almost compelled to stock the floor with shooting at the expense of size, rebounding and defense.

The braver they’ve gotten with all shooting, all the time, the more they’ve realized the tradeoffs appear to work in their favor. Three is so much more than two, and the threat of a 3-pointer makes the best 2s easier to find; the league is on pace for its highest 2-point shooting percentage ever, according to research from pocket square king Kevin Pelton.

NFL playoffs 2017: Bracket, schedule, scores, and more

The NFL regular season is in the books and the playoffs are right around the corner. Only 12 teams are left standing as they battle to lift the Lombardi Trophy in February. The NFL announced its schedule for the postseason and now we know precisely when the top teams are going to scrap, at least initially.

In the AFC Wild Card round, the Pittsburgh Steelers will play host to the Miami Dolphins, while the Houston Texans will host the Oakland Raiders. On the other side, things were dependent on the Sunday Night Football game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

David Savard Youth Jersey ¡°His versatility is outstanding,¡± Adams said of Durant. ¡°He¡¯s a terrific defender, who played with great defensive consistency in our playoff series. We will expect a lot out of him in that regard.¡±
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Durant has over-delivered on Adams¡¯ expectations.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr hearkened back to his team¡¯s playoff series against Oklahoma City as an example of how Durant could influence Golden State¡¯s defense.

¡°He¡¯s playing more [power forward] and playing in smaller lineups ¨C Oklahoma City generally stayed pretty big when Kevin was there ¡ª which changes his responsibility,¡± Kerr said in November, according to the San Jose Mercury-News. ¡°We need him in there rebounding, boxing out, covering up the paint and penetration, so it¡¯s a little different vibe for him.¡±

The Warriors have turned from trying to fold Durant into the defensive scheme to relying on him to protect the paint. Golden State is much better defensively with their newfound anchor on the floor.

Greg Olsen looks like a wet blanket in a crowd of dabbing Carolina Panthers

At this point, if you don’t know that Panthers quarterback Cam Newton loves to smile and dab, you’re probably living under a rock. His teammates appreciate his dabbing, too. On Sunday after the 38-0 shellacking of the Atlanta Falcons, Newton’s teammates joined and dabbed with him.

There was one exception though. While most of the Panthers rounded up together for the dabbing photo op, tight end Greg Olsen didn’t join in. He sticks out like a sore thumb, looking as stoic as ever behind a sea of jubilant Panthers.

Justin Gilbert Mens Jersey But despite Olsen looking like a wet blanket, he made up for it when he went back home and showed NFL fans that while he doesn’t dab himself, his son is pretty good at it. Although, does it sound like Olsen said dash in the video? He may just be showing his age since he corrected himself in the tweet. At least he didn’t call it bapping.
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Bring back hazing. the reason theres so much mediocrity in the NFL is because nobody hazes each other anymore. Teams were better when players use to put icy hot in each others jock straps and make them crabwalk through a field of bull mettle. If your not able to get abused by your teamates and best friends how are you suppose to react when a opponet does it.

Danny Kannel of ESPN got it right whe he said there was a war on football by the libs. Its classic strategy to divide and conquer making real Americans simultanously fight a war on football and Christmas, and its up to us to answer the call and defeat them. Next time someone tells you that we shouuld quit football because there are to many concussions feel free to point them back to this infographic:

Johnny Manzell couldnt even make it til kickoff to start breaking the law. The young man trotted over to the stands to give out autographs instead of working on a signature win, and one fan asked him to sign a $100 bill. I like to have fun just as much as the next guy but defacing public currency is litarely a felony. Its funny because that was probly only the second most illegal thing Johnnys done with a hundred dollar bill that day, but its nice to see him flattening it out for a change. Maybe Johnny should worry more about whether or not Benjamin is marked up on the field not the sideslines.