>Four of the five teams that gave up the fewest points during the regular season are the last four left with a shot at the Super Bowl Frank Ragnow Color Rush Jersey , something that had never happened since the NFL-AFL merger nearly a half-century ago.And three of the four toughest to gain yards against are still around, too.Still think that all a team needs to succeed in the modern game is an elite QB? Go ahead and take a close look at Sunday’s matchups for the conference championship games.Sure, Tom Brady (assuming his injured right hand is good to go) and the New England Patriots will be playing for the AFC title, just like they always do, but they’ll be going up against Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Over in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles will send Nick Foles out to face the Minnesota Vikings and Case Keenum, hardly a marquee matchup between quarterbacks, and one set up by injuries to other signal-callers.What this quartet of teams does have in common is solid defense, showing once again that while everyone is paying so much attention to one side of the ball, it’s the other that might truly matter the most. The more league rules and officiating tend to favor offenses, the more figuring out ways to slow that down is imperative.“When you have a defense that can shut that type of firepower down,” said Brian Robison, a linebacker on the Vikings defense that ranked No. 1 in yards and points allowed Youth Pernell McPhee Jersey , “it allows you to win ballgames.”Minnesota gave up 15.8 points per game. Jacksonville was No. 2 at 16.8, followed by No. 4 Philadelphia’s 18.4 and No. 5 New England’s 18.5.“There’s teams that have really good defenses that aren’t talked about,” Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy said. “We’re one of them.”It’s the first time since the 1970 merger there has been that sort of defensive dominance among the NFL’s final four. The closest was at the end of the 2010 season, when teams that ranked No. 1 (Steelers), No. 2 (Packers), No. 4 (Bears) and No. 6 (Jets) in points allowed reached the conference title games.“The most heralded guys on the field are the quarterbacks. So I would say, nine times out of 10, your detail goes into your offensive planning and things like that,” said Jacksonville’s leading tackler, Telvin Smith, who returned a fumble 50 yards for a touchdown last weekend. “Offense sells tickets, and defense wins championships. I’m happy I’m on the defensive side.”He is part of a young, talented and speedy D that rose to prominence quickly via a combination of shrewd drafting (linebackers Smith and Myles Jack Markus Wheaton Jersey Elite , defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler Jr., cornerback Jalen Ramsey) and free-agent signings that panned out (defensive lineman Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye, safeties Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson). Take a look at the regular-season rankings in various defensive categories, and you can’t miss the Jaguars. That helps explain how they made it this far with Bortles, whose 84.7 rating ranked 22nd among QBs with at least 100 pass attempts and whose 13 interceptions were exceeded by only six players.Campbell tied for second in NFL with 14.5 sacks, while Ngakoue added 12 and led the league by forcing six fumbles. Bouye tied for third with six interceptions, while Ramsey, Gipson and Church each had four. As a unit, the Jaguars were No. 2 in yards allowed at 286.1, trailing the No. 1 Vikings (275.9), with the Eagles (306.5) at No. 4. The Jaguars were also second in sacks and total takeaways, while they topped the NFL with seven defensive TDs.Exceptional defense can carry a team far: In nine of the last 10 seasons Chargers Derwin James Jersey , the No. 1 or No. 2 team in points allowed participated in a conference championship game. The exception was 2015, when the Seahawks led the league in that category but lost in the divisional round, and the Bengals ranked second but lost in the wild-card round.“Now it’s down to, ‘May the best defense win,'” Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham said. “We each get to showcase what we can do.”AP Sports Writers Dave Campbell in Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Kyle Hightower in Foxborough, Massachusetts; Mark Long in Jacksonville, Florida; and Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia contributed to this report.
Marty Hurney will be calling the shots once again with the Carolina Panthers.
Carolina re-hired Hurney as its general manager on Wednesday, marking his second full-time stint as general manager. Hurney previously worked for the Panthers from 1998-2012, beginning as GM in 2002. He rejoined the Panthers last July as on an interim basis.
Panthers COO Tina Becker said Hurney did an "exceptional" job in helping the Panthers to an 11-5 season last year.
"Marty's guidance and vision helped build the foundation for this team, and his work this season was instrumental in returning the team to the playoffs," Becker said in news release. "We believe he will continue to craft a roster that will win games and contend for a championship."
The Panthers reinstated Hurney as interim general manager last week after an NFL investigation found no wrongdoing into charges of harassment by his ex-wife.
Hurney had been on a paid leave of absence during the investigation and had disputed all accusations through his attorney.
Hurney returned to the Panthers in an interim capacity in late July 2017, prior to the start of training camp after owner Jerry Richardson abruptly fired Dave Gettleman. Gettleman had served as the team's general manager since 2013 and had helped the Panthers get to the playoffs three times in four seasons behind a team that Hurney largely constructed.
He said he's excited to be in charge of personnel decisions in Carolina.
"I have always felt a strong connection to this organization and viewed this job as one of the very best in the NFL because of the people here Cheap Ronald Jones II Jersey ," Hurney said. "Mr. Richardson and Tina have been open and honest with me from the beginning, and I am thankful for the trust they have placed in me."
The Panthers made three playoff appearances, won two NFC South titles, and played in two NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl under Hurney during his first tenure.
His last two first-round draft choices as general manager 鈥?quarterback Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Kuechly 鈥?both won NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Newton went on to become the league's MVP in 2015 leading the Panthers to a 17-2 season, while Kuechly was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in his second season.
Hurney also traded for tight end Greg Olsen and hit home runs on draft picks like center Ryan Kalil.
He also made a few mistakes along the way, including overpaying to keep some veteran players and trading up to get wide receiver Armanti Edwards from Appalachian State, a move that never panned out.
"I gained a lot of perspective being away and then back in an interim role last season," Hurney said. "I feel that I am the best person to help (coach) Ron (Rivera) and this team moving forward. We have a really special core of players in place, and I'm extremely excited about the direction we are headed."
The Panthers went 11-5 last season with Hurney as their interim general manager, but lost in the wild card round of the playoffs to the New Orleans Saints.
The Minnesota Vikings have finalized their trade with the Denver Broncos for quarterback Trevor Siemian to be the backup to free agent prize Kirk Cousins.
Though Siemian started 24 games for the Broncos over the past two seasons Authentic Jaire Alexander Jersey , he didn't balk at his unquestioned place as the second-stringer on the depth chart.
"I'm here for Kirk. I'm here for these guys, and I want to win a bunch of games here," Siemian said.
The Vikings announced the deal, which was agreed to last week, on Monday. They sent a 2019 fifth-round draft pick to the Broncos for Siemian and a seventh-round choice this year, after signing Cousins to a three-year, $84 million fully guaranteed contract.
Kyle Sloter, who was in training camp with Denver last summer, will be the third quarterback if all goes according to plan.
The Vikings let Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater become free agents. Keenum, coincidentally, signed with the Broncos.
Siemian went 13-11 as a starter Youth Malik Jefferson Jersey , as the Broncos moved forward with a combination of him, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler after the retirement of Peyton Manning. For his career, Siemian has 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions with a 59.3 percent completion rate. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman lauded Siemian's quick decision-making, but there's plenty of improvement that can be made.
"That's the fun part of this game too, right?" Siemian said. "There's so many dimensions you can grow as a player, and that's what keeps it exciting."
He struggled at times and hurt his shoulder, which he had surgery on almost three months ago. For a seventh-round selection out of Northwestern, though, Siemian has carved out a decent career. When he found out about the trade, he was vacationing in Mexico with his fiancee, and the news was warmly welcomed.
"There's a lot of places you could go. For me to be here with an organization that's knocking on the door of some really, really great things Eddie Robinson Jersey ," Siemian said, "I think there's a lot of people who would kill to be in this situation."
Siemian said he's on track with his shoulder rehabilitation from the procedure, about 11 weeks into the process.
"Everything's gone smoothly thus far, so I'm staying on top of it and feeling really good right now," he said on a conference call with Minnesota reporters.
The Vikings made a big splash by signing Cousins and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson last week, so the rest of their offseason moves will likely be minor in nature. They had to release valuable slot receiver Jarius Wright and cut running back Latavius Murray's pay to maintain a flexible amount of space under the salary cap, with needs remaining on the offensive line and in the secondary. Of their own players who became free agents, kicker Kai Forbath, punt returner Marcus Sherels and cornerback Terence Newman are the top unsigned priorities.
NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t currently occupying a playoff spot, but manager Dave Roberts spoke confidently Wednesday about playing in the postseason. New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway, on the other hand, is beginning to sound like a skipper who knows his team will be long forgotten by October.
Two teams headed in opposite directions will square off for the first time this season Friday night when the Mets host the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Right-hander Zack Wheeler (2-5 DJ Moore Jersey Panthers , 4.82 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Mets against Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood (2-5, 4.22).
Both teams are coming off series-deciding losses. The Mets suffered their third straight defeat Thursday when they fell to the host Colorado Rockies 6-4 in the finale of a four-game set. The visiting Dodgers were off Thursday after losing to the Chicago Cubs 4-0 in the last game of a three-game series Wednesday afternoon.
The series loss was the first in 10 series for the Dodgers (38-35), who are 21-9 since dropping two of three to the Miami Marlins from May 15 to May 17. The hot streak vaulted them from fourth place in the National League West to second place during the surge and gained 5 1/2 games on the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks, who hold a 2 1/2 game lead heading into Friday’s action.
In addition, Los Angeles has moved two games behind the Washington Nationals in the race for the second NL wild card.
The Dodgers did all this despite getting little to no contributions from stars such as Justin Turner, Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill, all of whom have been on the disabled list for the last five weeks, and Cody Bellinger, who has struggled most of the season. No wonder Roberts sounded so confident after Wednesday’s loss.
“We’re going to be somewhere in October,” Roberts told reporters. “I can’t speak to the opponent, but we’re going to be somewhere.”
It will take a miracle for the Mets (31-41) to be anywhere but a golf course when the playoffs begin. New York, which has lost 40 of 60 since an 11-1 start Austin Corbett Jersey , is 11 1/2 games out of first place in the NL East and 8 1/2 games back in the wild-card race.
The Mets’ slide has been marked by extreme highs and lows on both sides of the ball. They have scored 42 runs in the last six games, a span in which the pitching staff posted a 5.14 ERA.
New York scored just 42 runs in 17 games from May 28 through June 15, during which its pitchers posted a 4.13 ERA.
“There’s no magic pill or magic wand to make everything sync up at the same time,” Callaway told reporters Thursday afternoon. “I think that’s been the tale of our season so far. Even when we’re not winning games, we have a part of us that’s going good. We just have trouble getting (everything) to sync up at the same time so we can get on a good run again.”
Wheeler didn’t factor into the decision in his most recent start on Sunday, when he gave up two runs in six innings as the Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3. Wood won the last time he took the mound last Saturday when he allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings in the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Wheeler lost his lone career start against the Dodgers on June 19, 2017, when he surrendered seven runs in two innings as the Mets fell 10-6. Wood is 0-3 with a 3.94 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets.
BOSTON — Obviously Sean Lee Jersey Elite , the Boston Bruins, having won the opener of the second-round series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, were greedy and wanted to also win Game 2 and come home in command of the series.
But the Lightning, clearly having shaken the rust of their layoff before Game 1, had other ideas, evening the series.
Still, the Bruins left Tampa having captured the home-ice advantage they lost by playing poorly down the stretch of the regular season to finish a point behind the Lightning in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.
Now, it’s a best of five with three set at TD Garden, the first of those Wednesday night in Game 3 of the conference semifinal.
“It’s 1-1. We’re in the playoffs, you’re not gonna walk through teams,” Brad Marchand said after the Game 2 loss. “We have home-ice advantage now, we’ll go home. This game’s over Reuben Foster 49ers Jersey , it’s done with, and we’ll move on.”
The Bruins weren’t thrilled with the officiating Monday night, but they also know they have to play better.
The Lightning knew they had to be better than they were in the opener.
“We talked about trying to turn the page, that’s what we had to do,” said Tyler Johnson. “We had to realize that it was only one game. We can come back and we expect better from ourselves. I thought tonight we had a really good game as a line. I thought Point and Pally played outstanding, and if we continue to do that, we’ll be good.”
They also know they have to be better with the series changing venues.
“I’ve been in that situation before, it’s a hostile environment,” defenseman Victor Hedman said Tuesday. “But these are fun games. This is what you want to play for and want to go through. We are playing a tough team. It’s a tough building to play in, but so is ours. So we are ready to play our game, play good road games and hopefully (get) two wins.”
The officials were roundly criticized for their work in Game 2, none louder than NBCSN’s Jeremy Roenick.
“We hate to harp on the refs sometimes Authentic Daniel Kilgore Jersey ,” Roenick said. “But tonight they deserve to get harped on because of the rinky-dink, ticky-tack calls like they called in the first period. … It’s unacceptable, it’s got to be better, it’s too inconsistent.”
Said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy: “They impacted the game and that’s where it’s frustrating.”
The Bruins won both home games against Tampa Bay in the season series and have won three straight and four of the last five — and are 17-4-0 over the Lightning at TD Garden over the last seven years. If you want to stretch it out, the franchise has just nine wins in 54 games in Boston, including playoffs.
But while Boston was 28-8-5 at home this season, the Lightning were a more-than-respectable 25-13-3 on the road.
While the Bruins went 3-1 at home in defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in Round 1, Tampa Bay was 1-1 in New Jersey and dispatched the upstart Devils in five.
The Bruins scored 22 goals in their four home games against Toronto.
But this is Tampa Bay.
“You don’t want to feed this team’s transition,” said rookie Charlie McAvoy. “They’re a good transition team. We pride ourselves on that. That first goal for us was a good transition. Their second goal they had was a quick transition. … That’s the way the game is going, the best teams can take advantage of opportunities there like they were able to.”
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lighting still have the top spot in the Eastern Conference in their sights when they host the 31st overall team, the Buffalo Sabres Braden Smith Youth Jersey , on Friday.
Coming off an impressive victory against the Boston Bruins earlier in the week, the Lightning need to win their final two games — preferably in regulation — to have the chance to overtake Boston for the Atlantic Division title, which also carries home ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Tampa Bay’s dominant 4-0 victory over Boston is the model moving forward for the Lightning, not just in the final two regular-season games but looking ahead to the postseason.
“We need to play the same way against everyone,” Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi said after practice on Thursday. “I think that’s where we get into trouble the last month or two, getting up for the big games, then letting down in the other ones. We’re up and down. We’re not playing the same way the whole time. As long as we can follow that effort up from Boston, we’re going in the right direction, for sure.”
The Lightning looked more like the team that was dominant during the early stages of the season, utilizing their team speed, getting pucks behind the opposing defense and establishing a strong forecheck presence. That limited the turnovers and put less pressure on the Tampa Bay defense along with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
“We played a better 200-foot game,” associate coach Rick Bowness said. “There wasn’t nearly as many east-to-west turnovers that just slowed us up and killed our attack. We worked a lot harder for 60 minutes; we stayed with it.”
Buffalo is in the exact opposite position Vikings Kendall Wright Jersey , having already secured the last spot in the league in another lost season for the Sabres.
Under first-year coach Phil Housley, Buffalo showed little improvement in the standings, but hopes strides were made in becoming more cohesive as a team learning a new system.
“I believe in our system,” Housley told The Buffalo News. “I believe in our structure. I believe when we play a brand of game that’s the right way — we’re on top of people and we’re not cheating the game and we’re doing things for the better part of the team — you can see we’re a good hockey team.”
The Sabres have beaten the Lightning twice this season, including an overtime win on Feb. 28 at Amalie Arena, but are just 2-7 in their past nine games, helping plummet the drop to the cellar.
“There’s no secret we’re in last place, and it’s a tough place to be,” forward Nick Baptiste told The News. “But there’s only room for improvement. If we can as a group kind of look at ourselves in the mirror and figure out what it is as an individual that you can bring to the table to be better in a team sense, it will help us immensely and improve this team.”
Artemi Panarin scored 6:02 into overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Panarin made an incredible individual move to drive by fellow Russian Dmitry Orlov and went backhand-to-forehand to beat Philipp Grubauer top shelf.
Game 2 is Sunday night in Washington.
Alexander Wennberg Baker Mayfield Jersey Elite , Thomas Vanek and Seth Jones scored in regulation, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 shots for Columbus, which got two power-play goals to continue a strong trend since the trade deadline.
Wennberg left the game with an upper-body injury in the third period and didn’t return. Jones, son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, drew a penalty late in the third period, almost put the puck in his own net and tied it on the ensuing power play with 4:26 left in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Washington got two power-play goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov on Josh Anderson’s five-minute major penalty for boarding Michal Kempny and an even-strength goal on the rush in the third period by Devante Smith-Pelly. Grubauer, who got the nod to start over 2016 Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Braden Holtby, made 23 saves in his second career playoff start.
LIGHTNING 5, DEVILS 2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Tampa Bay got early goals from four players – none of them named Nikita Kucherov or Steven Stamkos – before holding off New Jersey in Game 1.
Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde scored, helping the Lightning build a 3-0 lead that New Jersey trimmed to one goal before Alex Killorn and Kucherov Authentic Barkevious Mingo Jersey , who added an empty-netter, finished off the win.
Taylor Hall scored an unassisted goal in the second period, then assisted on Travis Zajac’s power-play goal that cut it to 3-2 midway through third against Andrei Vasilievskiy.
Killorn’s shot over the glove of goalie Kevin Kincaid’s glove restored a two-goal lead before Kucherov, who led the Lightning with 100 points this season, ensured there would be no comeback.
Vasilievskiy made 29 saves.
Game 2 is Saturday at Amalie Arena.
SHARKS 3, DUCKS 0
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Evander Kane scored two goals in his first career playoff game, Martin Jones made 25 saves and the Sharks beat the Ducks in their first-round series opener.
Brent Burns also scored and captain Joe Pavelski had two assists during a three-goal second period to help the Sharks easily take early control in the series between California rivals. San Jose and Anaheim have been regular playoff teams for the past 15 years, yet are meeting in the postseason for only the second time.
John Gibson stopped 30 shots for the Ducks, who lost a series opener at home in their third consecutive playoff series. Anaheim had won seven straight home games down the regular-season stretch, losing in regulation at home just once in 17 games since late January.
Game 2 is Saturday night at Honda Center.
BRUINS 5, MAPLE LEAFS 1
BOSTON (AP) – Brad Marchand Daniel Castro Colorado Rockies Jersey , David Backes and David Krejci each scored a power-play goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped 26 shots in Boston’s Game 1 victory over Toronto.
David Pastrnak also scored for Boston, and Sean Kuraly bunted one out of the air and into the net over goalie Frederik Andersen to make it 4-1 with seven minutes gone in the third period. Krejci bounced it in off Andersen from behind to make it 5-1 after Toronto’s Nazem Kadri was thrown out of the game and given a five-minute major for an elbow to Tommy Wingels‘ head.
Zach Hyman scored Toronto’s only goal, and Andersen made 35 saves.
Game 2 is Saturday night in Boston.
PREDATORS 5, AVALANCHE 2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Filip Forsberg scored twice in the third period and Nashville rallied to beat Colorado in Game 1 of the first-round Western Conference series.
Pekka Rinne made 25 saves, including a handful on Colorado’s Hart Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon.
Austin Watson had a goal and an assist for Nashville, which has won 11 straight over Colorado. Craig Smith and Colton Sissons scored a goal apiece, and Ryan Johansen had two assists.
Nikita Zadorov and Blake Comeau scored for Colorado.
Game 2 is Saturday in Nashville.
Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce got plenty of attention for his salty language during the Super Bowl celebration parade. The All-Pro says he tried to tone it down when he spoke inside the Phillies clubhouse on Monday.
But once Kelce started his speech, he found that old habits die hard.
"I probably cursed a little more, actually," Kelce said. "At least through the start of the speech I made an effort to not curse and then that quickly faded."
Wearing a red No. 62 Phillies spring training jersey Jason Witten Jersey , Kelce was the main guest during the first official day of team workouts.
"I played baseball all the way up until high school," Kelce said. "I threw my elbow out when I was like 12 years old, tore the plate off my bone, I didn't play baseball after that."
Kelce spent a lot of time watching pitchers throw their side sessions and said there was plenty he could take away from watching them interact with catchers.
"Baseball is an awesome sport," Kelce said. "I've just been picking up some of what goes on between the pitcher and catcher because I think there are a lot of similarities between the mental chess game going on there as there is with me and Carson (Wentz) kind of assessing defenses and stuff like that."
New Phillies manager Gape Kapler said that he spoke with Kelce separately and discussed the rapport Eagles players had with head coach Doug Pederson and the coaching staff.
"Jason and I discussed that and talked about how that communication was the two-way street," Kapler said. "He shared what a good communicator coach Pederson was and how that communication was critical in establishing and maintaining trust throughout the season."
Kapler said he felt the message Kelce gave his players was one that will inspire them and one they needed to hear as they begin the season.
"I think there were 8 to 10 (things) to take away, but the No. 1 was it is OK to fall down, be fearless, get back up, be bold and do it all over again," Kapler said. "Champions have stories to share and they're effective for a reason.
"Because they've been through the ups and downs, they've displayed courage Authentic Jay Bruce Jersey , they've come together as units, they know what it feels like to have people count them out and then to prove people wrong," he said.
Kapler said the Phillies' video production staff put together a piece for the team over the weekend that included some highlights from the other sports teams in the city, as well as some footage from the movie "Rocky" spliced in and some highlights of their own players.
The relationship with the city is something Kapler wants the Phillies to embrace.
"We feel like we're in a partnership with the city of Philadelphia, the fans of Philadelphia and certainly the sports teams of Philadelphia," he said. "You saw it today with Jason. He felt like he was a part of the Phillies family. He wore that 'Be Bold' T-shirt proudly, then he put on a Phillies jersey and a Phillies cap.
"This is an All-Pro center on the best offensive line in football from a Super Bowl championship team. And here he was in our clubhouse today sort of backing the Phillies. I thought that was pretty remarkable," he said.
Without a lacrosse field of their own Tre'Davious White Bills Jersey , youth teams in the Lower Sioux Indian Community in southwestern Minnesota have been traveling more than two hours to play in tournaments in South Dakota.
But the kids will soon be able to play closer to home, thanks to a $100,000 award from the Super Bowl host committee’s grant program. The tribe is using the funds to build its own lacrosse field, resurface a gymnasium floor and update equipment in a community kitchen to teach tribal members healthy cooking habits.
”We’re very hopeful this is going to have a significant impact on us,” said Brian Pendleton, president of the Lower Sioux Indian Community’s tribal council. ”All communities are striving to become healthier and have some better fitness opportunities.”
Throughout the past year, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund has awarded $5.5 million to projects that are dedicated to improving the health of children in underserved communities. The funding includes $1 million from the NFL; the host committee raised the rest through philanthropic donations.
The projects include an outdoor ice rink and skate park in the city of Roseau Cheap Customized Houston Texans Jerseys , on the northernmost edge of the state; programs to create sustainable, healthy food choices for residents on Minnesota’s Indian reservations; a wellness hub that will offer health services and classes to people in Minneapolis’ predominantly Somali neighborhood; and playgrounds for kids on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, where some children’s only option for outside play is currently along busy highways.
Dana Nelson, vice president of community and legacy partnerships for the host committee, said the committee gave out one grant a week – a total of 52 grants – in the year leading up to Super Bowl 52. The committee also decided to invest in programs around the state, not just in the Twin Cities, and worked with the Minnesota Department of Health to identify areas where health disparities were the worst.
Nearly 80 percent of the grants will impact children living at or below the state poverty line; 70 percent are serving kids of color Cheap Kalen Ballage Jersey , the host committee said.
”These are capital grants. They are going to new projects,” Nelson said. ”Five, seven, 10 years from now, kids will be enjoying all of this … probably without any idea it was connected to the Super Bowl, and that’s fine. We want them to be moving, eating produce and being healthier because of these grants.”
The final grant was awarded Thursday to Anwatin Middle School in Minneapolis. The school will use the $220 Cheap Customized Cleveland Browns Jerseys ,000 grant to upgrade its athletic field for flag football, soccer, cross country and other activities, and will also restore an Indigenous garden where students can produce nutritious foods and learn about native planting and harvesting.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell participated in a groundbreaking for the field. He said the Legacy Grant Program leaves a lasting impact in communities that host the Super Bowl – long after the game is over. School principal Ellen Shulam said ”this grant will ensure that Anwatin is a school where students can learn and grow safely, for many generations.”
The Latest on the NFL concussion settlement (all times local):
Lawyers representing former NFL players in their concussion claims estimate payouts from the settlement with the league will likely reach $1.4 billion.
The lawyers filed a status update Wednesday saying an actuary estimates the approved payouts to date and the number of players who had filed to be a part of the settlement are outpacing any previous estimate. The actuary says participation rates are 21 percent higher than estimated when the settlement was reached.
The $400 million increase in estimated payout came after a judge Wednesday denied for now a request from the league to appoint a special investigator to look into what the league said was extensive fraudulent claims against the settlement fund.
Judge Anita Brody says, as of now, the audit process seems to be appropriately ferreting out and denying those claims.
A federal judge has denied a request from the NFL to appoint a special investigator to look into what the league says is extensive fraudulent claims on the $1 billion concussion settlement.
Judge Anita Brody wrote in her ruling Wednesday that the league’s attorneys have demonstrated that there is ”sufficient evidence of probable fraud to warrant serious concern.” Brody says the already in place special master and claims administrator have effectively ferreted out those claims.
The league cited an independent study it said found more than 400 claims had been recommended for denial based on evidence of fraud by attorneys DJ Chark Color Rush Jersey , doctors and former players attempting to cheat the program.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers say they support Brody’s decision, noting more than $485 million has already been approved for valid claims.
The Panthers have signed offensive lineman Tyler Larsen to a two-year contract extension.
Larsen is now under contract through the 2020 season. Financial terms of the contract were not available Wednesday.
Larsen has played in 23 games with 15 starts over the last two seasons with Carolina http://www.texansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-justin-reid-jersey , working at center and guard. He played in 14 games with 10 starts last season in place of injured center Ryan Kalil. The Panthers ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing, averaging 131.4 yards per game in 2017.
Larsen is viewed by coach Ron Rivera as the team's long-term replacement for Kalil, who has already said 2018 will be his final NFL season.
The extension comes after the Panthers lost starting offensive linemen Daryl Williams and Amini Silatolu to injuries in training camp.
The NBA playoffs that start this weekend already have an extremely tough act to follow.
The regular season ended with a flourish.
Wednesday’s final night of the regular season was well beyond dramatic – an overtime game between Minnesota and Denver to decide the last berth, another overtime game between Miami and Toronto to determine some East fates, a 46-point first quarter by Philadelphia , an absurd 20-rebound, 19-assist night from Russell Westbrook.
And now, the best time of the NBA year is finally here.
The playoffs are back, with Golden State and Cleveland – who’ve met in the last three NBA Finals – not exactly looking like the overwhelming favorites the league has come to expect. A fourth straight Warriors-Cavs matchup is no guarantee. A fourth straight trip by either of those teams alone is far from certain http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-harrison-phillips-jersey , either.
It all starts Saturday, the 16-team tournament that will be a two-month grind following the six-month grind of the regular season.
”I feel pretty ready,” Toronto guard Kyle Lowry said. ”We’re ready to go.”
So are 15 other teams.
Start with the East pairings: Lowry and the top-seeded Raptors play No. 8 Washington, No. 2 Boston faces No. 7 Milwaukee, No. 3 Philadelphia gets No. 6 Miami and No. 4 Cleveland – with LeBron James bidding for an eighth consecutive appearance in The Finals – opening against No. 5 Indiana, a surprise team at the start of the season and one that isn’t a surprise anymore.
”We’re one of 16 teams that have a chance to win a championship,” James said. ”That’s all you can ask for.”
Philadelphia, after years of the rebuilding saga known as ”The Process,” has a chance as well. The 76ers are going into the playoffs on a 16-game winning streak.
”Take a deep breath Arden Key Jersey Elite , then reload,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said, talking about what he wants his team to do before getting ready for Game 1.
Out West, it’s No. 1 Houston meeting No. 8 Minnesota – which earned its berth by topping Denver in the NBA’s first win-and-get-in, lose-and-go-home regular-season finale in 21 years. No. 2 Golden State opens its quest for a third championship in four seasons against No. 7 San Antonio, No. 3 Portland drew No. 6 New Orleans and No. 4 Oklahoma City opens against No. 5 Utah.
”The playoffs are about moments, and you just want a chance to have those moments,” Miami guard Dwyane Wade said.
For the Timberwolves, Wednesday was a moment in itself. They needed overtime to beat the Nuggets and get into the postseason. It’s Minnesota’s first berth since 2004 Cheap Sam Hubbard Jersey , and ended what was the NBA’s longest playoff drought (which now is bequeathed to the Sacramento Kings, who last played a playoff game in 2006).
”They just made the plays at the end,” Denver’s Will Barton said of the Timberwolves. ”Give them credit.”
There are some rematches from the 2017 playoffs already waiting. Cleveland swept Indiana in the first round last year, and Boston needed seven games to oust Washington in a thrilling East semifinal series.
But the most intriguing should be the Golden State-San Antonio matchup – because once again, just like a year ago, the Spurs will almost certainly be without Leonard.
Those two teams played in the West finals last season, and the Spurs were up by 23 points when Leonard left in the third quarter after getting injured on a play where he tried a jumper and Warriors center Zaza Pachulia closed out aggressively. Leonard got hurt when he stepped on Pachulia on the landing; he and the Spurs haven’t been the same since.
Leonard never returned to that series, and played in only nine games for the Spurs this season.
”There is no pressure on us,” Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge said.
There is on Golden State.
The Warriors are trying for a third title in four seasons Ed Dickson Jersey Seahawks , and will play this first round more than likely without Curry while he continues recovering from a knee injury. Golden State went 7-10 in its final 17 games, and clearly sputtered across the finish line.
But the records all reset now, and the Warriors have been waiting to get the postseason started.
”It’ll be our first meaningful game in about a month,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. ”Looking forward to that.”
With good reason. There’s a trophy to go chase now.
The smiling side of a handshake line at the end of the second round was a brand-new experience for Alex Ovechkin and Barry Trotz.
Ovechkin received a message of good luck and a pat on the chest from Sidney Crosby Authentic Denzel Ward Jersey , while Trotz got to enjoy a happy moment with longtime coaching friend Jacques Martin. Ovechkin acknowledged he’d been in that position a lot of times – though never as the one moving on to the third round.
The Washington Capitals reaching the Eastern Conference final for the first time since 1998 is perhaps most special to the superstar captain and his coach who had never made it out of the second round before. No coach in NHL history had been behind the bench for more games than Trotz and no active player had been in as many playoff games as Ovechkin without reaching the conference finals.
”There is a kinship there, there’s no question,” Trotz said. ”I’ve been at this for a while and it’s so hard to move forward sometimes. It’s always thrown in your face everywhere your turn. I know it’s thrown in Ovi’s face everywhere he turns, and he’s a great player in this league. … I knew the frustration because you’re so close and you just can’t get it, and you just got to stay with it.”
After 51 playoff games together, Ovechkin and Trotz will take part in their first East final starting Friday night in Tampa Bay against the Lightning. Now that they’ve gotten over a hump that defined their respective careers, Ovechkin, Trotz and the Capitals are in unfamiliar territory.
”It’s something new for us and cool,” Ovechkin said Wednesday, less than 48 hours after Washington eliminated the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. ”Right now it’s just satisfaction we beat the Stanley Cup champions finally and we move forward and now we’re going to play against a very good team Minkah Fitzpatrick Jersey , against very good goaltending and solid players over there.”
The Atlantic Division-champion Lightning present a formidable challenge, but the Capitals had to overcome something altogether different after losing in the first or second round in all nine playoff appearances that have come during the Ovechkin era dating to 2008. Beating the rival Penguins in overtime in a Game 6 on the road made the breakthrough even more emotional.
”We should be proud of that,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. ”It’s a big achievement. But I think we’ve got to be greedy. We’ve got to want more because this is a heck of a run. I don’t know if there is a group out there that knows how hard it is to get to this point.”
The Capitals are at this point with Ovechkin on top of his game with eight goals and seven assists, his best playoff output since 2009. And they’re here in large part because of Trotz, a well-respected, 19-year NHL coach who does not have a contract for next season.
”I had a summer which was very enlightening to me, and I just look at everything way differently than I ever have,” Trotz said. ”I just recognized that I can only control what I can control, and the other stuff I can’t.”
Trotz can’t control upper-body injuries to Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky or a three-game suspension handed out to winger Tom Wilson, only the decisions he makes in replacing them. So far Cardinals Elite Jerseys , Trotz has pushed the right buttons, like putting Braden Holtby back in net in Game 2 of the first round and promoting Jakub Vrana to the top line in Game 5 against Pittsburgh.
His players know Trotz is in control as he and the Capitals advance further into the spring than they have in 20 years.
”He wants to win a Cup,” forward Chandler Stephenson said. ”He doesn’t want to make it past the second round. It’s obviously a little accomplishment, a little confidence-boost. But we’re not done yet. We’re only halfway.”
AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed.
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers kept hoping Eric Sogard would find a way out of his funk and return to the form that made him a key component to last year’s surprising team.
It never happened and the Brewers finally ran out of time and roster space, leaving no choice but to designate the 32-year-old for assignment when Tyler Saladino was activated from the disabled list Thursday.
With Jonathan Villar unable to reproduce his 2016 magic, Sogard provided a spark atop Milwaukee’s lineup last season. He batted .273 with a .393 on-base percentage in 94 games and signed a $2.4 million deal to return to Milwaukee in 2018.
But he got off to a painfully slow start and saw his playing time diminish even further as Villar showed improvement at second base. Through 55 games this season, Sogard was batting .134 with a .241 OBP and .165 slugging percentage.
With Tyler Saladino returning from the disabled list and recently promoted Brad Miller swinging a hot bat, Sogard became the odd-man out.
“Eric got in a little slump, had some bad luck, and he could never get out of it DaeSean Hamilton Jersey Broncos ,” manager Craig Counsell said. As we’re getting healthier, we kind of ran out of space. He’s made a big contribution here, and was a real pro throughout all of this in how he prepared and provided us value.”
Counsell’s squad extended its winning streak to four games with a victory in the series opener and will try to move 18 games above .500 for the first time since the 2014 season Friday as it continues a four-game series with the Braves at Miller Park.
Rookie right-hander Freddie Peralta gets the nod for his sixth career start. He earned his first career loss in his last outing but still made a good impression, putting up zeroes for four innings after allowing three runs to score before recording an out in an 8-2 loss to the Reds on Sunday in Cincinnati.
“I thought he handled it very well,” Counsell said. “That’s a game where we’re probably two hitters from probably removing him from the game, and then he goes five innings and keeps us in the game.”
Peralta has been magnificent otherwise since returning for a second big league stint June 19. He’s 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in three starts and has struck out 22 batters while walking only four in 18 innings.
He also made a pair of starts for the Brewers in May and takes the mound Friday with a 3-1 record and 2.28 ERA overall.
Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz gets the nod for the Braves, as he tries to lock down a spot on the National League All-Star team.
Foltynewicz has an 0.87 ERA over his last nine starts, holding opponents to a .146 average during that stretch with 64 strikeouts in 52 innings.
Opponents scored more than one run against him in one of those outings and he’s held opponents scoreless in five of them, including his last time out when the Cardinals managed one hit against him in five innings.
He credits his slider for the recent run of success.
“I’m really proud of how far that pitch has come,” Foltynewicz said. “I’ve been working like a dog on it the past couple of years http://www.buffalobillsteamonline.com/lesean-mccoy-jersey , and it’s come a long way. I’m throwing it for strikes when I need to, especially in 3-2 counts. I get to 3-2 a lot, so it’s a good pitch for me.”
Foltynewicz has dominated the Brewers during his four seasons in the big leagues, posting a 1.48 ERA in four career starts against Milwaukee. He faced them twice last season, allowing two earned runs (five total) over 11 innings while striking out 15.
Marcus Mariota is proving to be a quick study with a new coach installing yet another offensive system for the Tennessee Titans.
Maybe Mike Vrabel will stick around for a while for Tennessee.
The Titans had a memorable opening series in Vrabel's preseason debut as coach before the Packers pulled away in a matchup of the backups for a 31-17 win on Thursday night.
"It was cool. I love this team Youth Terrell Edmunds Jersey , I do. I love these guys," Vrabel said about first time on the sideline leading the Titans.
Mariota was 2 of 3 for 42 yards with a 4-yard scoring pass to Darius Jennings on the opening drive of Mike Vrabel's first preseason game as Titans coach. Mariota also had one carry for 7 yards before leaving after the nine-play series.
It was a nice, if brief, start for Mariota. He's picking up a new scheme under his third head coach in four seasons.
"I thought we got into rhythm. We were able to go down and score a touchdown, which is always good. And hopefully we can just continue to build off of that," Mariota said.
Packers receiver Davante Adams needed just one series to show he was in midseason form before joining starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and many other Packers starters on the sideline.
But backup Brett Hundley showed glimpses of improvement under center, going 9 of 14 for 108 yards and an 8-yard score to running back Jamaal Williams on the drive after Tennessee's score.
Hundley did his best impression of Rodgers by hitting Adams in stride down the left sideline for a 48-yard completion. The Packers' No. 1 receiver had a step on new Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler before getting pushed out at the 3, setting up Williams' score two plays later.
"I thought he had a couple drives, obviously the big play, and that's what this game is all about," coach Mike McCarthy said. "You've got to hit your big plays."
Hundley also threw an interception. But It was a promising outing overall for him after the Packers struggled to move the ball through the air when Hundley was under center while Rodgers was sidelined with a broken collarbone in 2017.
"I think for me this year Odubel Herrera Jersey , the anticipation, it's the understanding, it's the game slowing down, so things are a lot easier," Hundley said.
Hundley, who is competing with DeShone Kizer for the backup job, got the start and played well into the second quarter. Kizer went 9 of 18 for 134 yards, hitting rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 51-yard gain to the Titans 11 in the third quarter.
Veteran Kenny Vaccaro started alongside All-Pro Kevin Byard at safety and had one tackle after playing into the second quarter. Formerly of the Saints, Vaccaro signed on Saturday after the Titans lost starter Johnathan Cyprien last week to a torn left ACL.
"He's come in and really focused on learning his job, becoming a good teammate, practicing hard Adidas Matt Duchene Jersey ," Vrabel said about Vaccaro.
"Really what we wanted to accomplish as a football team was establish our play style, and secondly was just try to create as many opportunities as we possibly could for our players." 鈥?McCarthy.
Titans: WR Corey Davis dressed and warmed up but did not play. The Titans' top wideout did not practice Monday or Tuesday after leaving practice early Saturday. ... S Dane Cruikshank (left shoulder) walked off after landing hard on the turf while trying to recover Quentin Rollins' fumble on a punt return.
Packers: S Jermaine Whitehead (back) left in the second quarter. S Josh Jones walked back to the locker room in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. ... WR Randall Cobb (ankle) and DL Mike Daniels (quad) were among 18 Packers who did not dress.
There were no apparent displays of protest by players on either team during the national anthem.
Titans: Host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 18.
Packers: Host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Aug. 16.
The Carolina Panthers turned their attention to the secondary on the second day of the NFL draft 鈥?and added an extra draft pick along the way.
The Panthers selected cornerback Donte Jackson from LSU in the second round and safety Rashaan Gaulden from Tennessee in the third round Friday night, one day after taking wide receiver D.J. Moore from Maryland with the 24th overall pick in round one.
"That is an area we wanted to upgrade," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said of the defensive backfield.
Carolina, coming off an 11-5 season, also wanted to get faster on defense 鈥?and it did.
The 5-foot-11, 178-pound Jackson possesses high-end speed, clocked at 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combines. That tied him for the fastest 40-time among rookie cornerbacks.
"With Jackson, that is adding about as much speed as you can," Hurney said.
Coach Ron Rivera said the addition of Jackson and Gaulden gives them some swagger back in the secondary that they had been missing after the departure of All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman. Carolina's starting cornerbacks didn't have any interceptions through the first 14 games last season.
He feels like Jackson and Gaulden both have a big chip on their shoulder.
"My expectation is to be a starter from day one," Jackson said. "I am going to be more than ready and I anticipate being a starter."
Jackson could have a chance to start opposite James Bradberry as a rookie.
The Panthers traded last year's starter Daryl Worley to the Philadelphia Courtland Sutton Color Rush Jersey , although the Eagles later waived him following an off-the-field incident. Carolina added Ross Cockrell in free agency and Kevon Seymour made some plays at cornerback last season.
Jackson played in all 12 games last season for the Tigers and was a second-team all-SEC selection in 2017. He started 12 of 13 games and had 49 tackles, an interception and 10 pass breakups.
Jackson said not being selected in the first round 鈥?he was taken with the 55th selection overall 鈥?has left him with a chip on his shoulder "the size of this hotel that I am staying in right now."
"Seeing all of those guys picked before me when I was thought to be a first-round draft pick, that chip grew with every pick that I didn't see my name called," said Jackson, who was a member of LSU's SEC Championship 4x100-relay track team last year.
Hurney said Jackson has outstanding ball skills, and the reason he likely fell to No. 55 overall was because of his lack of size.
Rivera said while Bradberry will cover the opposition's bigger receivers, Jackson can handle the smaller, faster ones.
"We feel like he can play outside corner and nickel," Hurney said.
The Panthers view the 6-foot-3, 193 Gaulden as a safety, although he has played some cornerback and nickel back for the Vols.
Rivera likes that Gaulden has good speed for his size and feels he can cover tight ends.
"I can play anything in the defensive backfield http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kyle-lauletta-jersey ," Gaulden said. "It's just the confidence that I have had and through the coaches who trained me to be able to play any position in the back end. But I can play safety at a very high level and that is what the Panthers see me as."
Gaulden had only one interception during three seasons for the Vols, but had three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries last season.
"I try to get to the ball however I can," Gaulden said.
Carolina traded its other third-round pick, No. 88 overall, to Green Bay in exchange for the Packers' fourth- and fifth-round picks. The Panthers now have six picks on Saturday, including the first pick of the day, the 101st overall.
Hurney said that having the first pick in the third day of the draft is a "valuable spot."
Boston coach Brad Stevens loves the postseason because it offers a chance to ”bust narratives.”
The Celtics took their first step toward shattering the belief they can’t win without their biggest stars.
Al Horford had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Boston overcame Khris Middleton’s long 3 that beat the fourth-quarter buzzer Ravens Robert Griffin III Jersey , topping the Milwaukee Bucks 113-107 in overtime Sunday to open the playoffs.
The Celtics led 99-96 with 0.5 seconds left in regulation when Middleton took an inbounds pass on the far right wing and hit a contested 35-footer. Boston outscored Milwaukee 14-8 in the extra period.
Terry Rozier added 23 points, four rebounds and three assists for Boston in his first career playoff start. Jaylen Brown finished with 20 points. Rookie Jayson Tatum added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Rozier said he knows he’s under a spotlight this postseason with Kyrie Irving out for the season following his recent knee surgery.
”I just know I gotta step up,” he said. ”I know I gotta fill big shoes. I don’t feel no pressure. I’m glad to be in this position.”
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Boston.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 35 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists before fouling out in overtime. Middleton had 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Malcolm Brogdon scored all 16 of his points after halftime.
After a muted start, things opened for Antetokounmpo. But he said he must do a better job the defensive end against Horford going forward.
”He knows what he’s doing down there,” Antetokounmpo said. ”Hopefully in Game 2 I won’t play on my heels and I’ll play more on my toes and be able to defend without fouling.”
Part of the reason the Bucks were in bad spots is because they were hampered by turnovers. They committed 20 Cheap Dante Pettis Jersey , leading to 27 Boston points.
”That’s not getting shot up,” Middleton said. ”We feel like if we get a shot up, we’ll be good.”
An acrobatic, spinning layup by Tatum gave Boston a 108-105 lead in overtime.
It was 108-106 when Horford snared a rebound and got it ahead to Rozier, who was fouled. He made two free throws to put the Celtics in front 110-106 with 18.8 remaining.
Antetokounmpo made one of two foul shots with 14.8 seconds left, but he fouled out of the game while going for the rebound on his miss.
Rozier added three free throws to provide the final margin.
The game went to extra time following a wild finish in regulation that included back-to-back 3-pointers in the closing seconds.
Milwaukee was held to just two field goals over the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter as the Celtics built an 86-76 advantage.
The Bucks closed to 89-87 before Marcus Morris made a falling down jumper just inside the arc to make it 91-87.
It was 92-91 with less than a minute to play when a pair of free throws by Horford made it 94-91.
Antetokounmpo got free for a dunk. But Horford was steady again after being fouled, connecting on two more from the line with 15.2 seconds left.
Out of a timeout Minkah Fitzpatrick Dolphins Jersey , Brogdon got free on the wing and drained a 3 with 10.3 to play to tie it at 96.
Rozier dribbled the clock down before crossing over Eric Bledsoe, stepping back and swishing an apparent game-winner with a half-second showing the clock.
But after a Milwaukee timeout advanced the ball to half court, Middleton matched it with his own 3 over Brown as time expired.
”Both teams are going to keep fighting,” Bucks coach Joe Prunty said. ”That’s what this series is going to be. Each little play is going to matter.”
Bucks: Antetokounmpo has now scored at least 20 points in eight consecutive games against the Celtics. … Outscored the Celtics 58-44 in the paint.
Celtics: Improved to 23-20 in postseason overtime games. Except for Horford, who entered the Sunday’s game with 91 career playoff starts, Boston’s other four starters (Tatum, Aron Baynes Youth Cordy Glenn Jersey , Brown, Rozier) had combined to play only one playoff game between them. That lone start belonged to Baynes.
”That was part of our plan, to kind of lull them into a false sense of security.” – Stevens, joking on Boston’s play during Bucks’ 26-4 run in the second quarter to take a 10-point lead
Tatum brought the crowd to its feet early in the first quarter when he took an outlet pass from Horford and went in for fast-break dunk over the outstretched arm of Antetokounmpo .
Marcus Smart, who hasn’t played since March 11 and continues to work his way back from his March 16 surgery to repair a torn ligament, was also on the court getting up some shots before the game. He was recently cleared for non-contact shooting but hasn’t resumed full basketball activities.
More NBA basketball: The Tennessee Titans have added a veteran defensive lineman a day before kicking off their offseason program under new coach Mike Vrabel.
The Titans announced Sunday they have agreed to terms on a deal with Bennie Logan.
The 6-foot-2, 315-pound Logan has started 63 of his 74 games in the NFL with Philadelphia and Kansas City. He has 218 tackles Authentic Harold Landry Jersey , seven sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumbles recovered in his career. According to STATS Inc., Logan ranks ninth among defensive linemen for stuffs or tackles for losses on rushing attempts.
Philadelphia drafted Logan in 2013 out of LSU.
Logan helps replace Sylvester Williams, who was released last month one year into a three-year deal.
CLEVELAND — Cody Allen is one of the least acclaimed yet most productive closers in the major leagues. On Friday night. when the Cleveland Indians open a three-game series with the Oakland A’s Ravens Cheap Jerseys , Allen will be in uniform at Progressive Field for the first time as the Indians’ career saves leader.
In pitching the ninth inning of a 3-2 Cleveland win in Kansas City on Wednesday, Allen posted his 140th career save, breaking Bob Wickman’s franchise record of 139, which had stood since 2006.
“He means so much to all of us,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said of Allen. “This is a kid who was drafted in the 16th round, but through being a consummate professional, he’s now the Indians’ all-time leader. That’s pretty awesome. It’s a big accomplishment, and he’s not close to being done.”
Allen (2-3, 3.38 ERA) ranks seventh in the American League this year with 18 saves, but his year-in, year-out consistency has been his trademark. He has had at least 30 saves in each of the last three seasons. Only two other closers in the majors can say that: the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen and Boston’s Craig Kimbrel.
“This is something I’m extremely proud of,” Allen said of passing Wickman as the club’s saves leader. “It’s something I get to hang my hat on for my career. It’s very cool.”
The A’s (48-39) come to Cleveland with nearly the same record as the Indians (48-37), but what a difference a division makes. The first-place Indians lead the AL Central by 11 1/2 games. The A’s are in third in the AL West, 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros.
The A’s won two of three games from the Indians last weekend in Oakland. That was part of a longer streak in which the A’s have won eight of their last nine. Since June 16, Oakland is 14-3.
“I think we’re having a lot of fun,” A’s third baseman Matt Chapman told MLB.com Youth Kemoko Turay Jersey , “and no matter what the score is, I don’t think we count ourselves out. There’s no panic in the dugout. We just keep playing our game. We trust that we’re a good team.”
On Friday night, the A’s will send Paul Blackburn (2-2, 6.46 ERA) to the mound. In his last start on June 29 in Oakland, Blackburn baffled the Indians, pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings and giving up just three hits in a 3-1 victory.
Blackburn has started five major league games this year. In the one against Cleveland, he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and an opponents’ batting average of .150. In the other four starts, he’s 1-2 with an 8.83 ERA and an opponents’ batting average of .324. In two career starts against the Indians, Blackburn is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA.
Cleveland will counter with Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 4.24), who will make his first start since June 16, a 9-3 loss to Minnesota in which he was knocked out of the game in the second inning after getting hit in the right arm by a line drive off the bat of Joe Mauer.
Carrasco was placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day with a right elbow contusion. He made one rehab start at Double-A Akron on June 30, pitching four scoreless innings and giving up one hit with four strikeouts and one walk.
Carrasco’s last legitimate start was his best start of the year, a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on June 11. In that game, he pitched seven scoreless innings and gave up two hits and one walk with 11 strikeouts.
In six career appearances, including five starts Hayden Hurst Youth Jersey , against Oakland, Carrasco is 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA.
Russell Wilson's head knows football was the right choice. Baseball still has his heart.
A 2014 Super Bowl champion quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks, the 29-year-old began a week of workouts Monday with the New York Yankees.
"Is this just a stunt?" he said. "I think that if you really know me, baseball's been a part of my blood. It's been a part of who I am and where I've come from and what I've done. When you see me make plays on the football field, a lot of that's a direct correlation to baseball."
Wilson hit six homers in 39 swings as part of a batting practice group that included Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, the top sluggers in the major leagues last season, plus Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird.
A middle infielder who hit .229 over 93 games at Class A in the Colorado Rockies' system in 2011 and '12, Wilson became the Seahawks' starting quarterback in autumn 2012. He was selected by Texas in the 2013 winter meeting draft and attended spring training with the Rangers.
Wilson was on vacation in the Bahamas early this month when he learned he had been acquired in a trade by the Yankees, his favorite team growing up. While the Yankees gave playing time to football players Deion Sanders and Drew Henson, they said Wilson will not appear in any spring training games; they want to observe his leadership skills, and he wants to soak up the attitude of a franchise with a record 27 World Series titles.
"There's an aroma around here that I've got to figure out, and I can't wait to learn more about it and use that for my football career," he said.
Wearing pink sunglasses for BP, Wilson fell short of the fence in his first 17 swings with a 33-inch, 31-ounce Louisville Slugger, a personalized maple model H319C in black. He then hit three in his next four tries Leighton Vander Esch Jersey Elite , cleared the left-field walkway and clanked his final drive off the center-field batter's eye.
"It's just cool being able to pick his brain, that was the coolest part for me," Judge said. "When he's working out, everything is for a purpose."
Wilson was on the field hours early, working with shortstop Didi Gregorius. He and the Yankees were all smiles.
"Watching him take a ball from the outfield that was kind of an in-between hop and watching him moving his feet real well and create a longer hop, that's a savvy good-player move," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Wilson spoke to the team before batting practice about leadership principles and said Judge and Stanton would be tight ends if they played in the NFL. He wore No. 73 鈥?his football number, 3, is retired by the Yankees for Babe Ruth and his baseball number in high school was 7, retired by New York for Mickey Mantle.
He said his great uncle wears a Yankees cap every day, even to Seahawks games.
"I was always a fair-weather fan. I loved watching the best players, the best teams play. So when I was growing up, playing football, it was the Green Bay Packers at one point, then it was the 49ers, then it was the Cowboys Josh Gordon Jersey Youth ," Wilson said. "But for baseball growing up, I was always a huge Yankees fan, and I think it was because I loved the process. I love watching winners win."
Wilson has no intention to switch sports.
"I love playing the game I play now," he said. "Being the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, I'm one of 32 men in the world that get to do what I get to do. It's the best job in the world, and so for me I'm very passionate about that. And my focus is winning more Super Bowls, doing whatever it takes to do that."
He doesn't want to expand to a third sport and dabble with dribbling.
"I wouldn't be good at basketball. But baseball," he said, "it's like riding bike."
NOTES: Boone said he likely will break up Judge, Stanton and Sanchez with left-handed hitters in the batting order against most right-handed pitchers. Coming off left shoulder surgery, Judge is slated to play his first exhibition game Wednesday and in another Friday, both times in the outfield. ... OF Clint Frazier sustained a mild concussion Saturday while diving into a fence at Bradenton to deny Ryan Lavarnway an extra-base hit. Boone said Frazier likely will miss a few days but not more. "Foggy, that's how I felt all day," said of his condition Sunday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his country’s diplomats to seek changes to international doping rules in the wake of the nation’s drug scandals.
A month after the Winter Olympics took place without a full Russian team Authentic Rashaad Penny Jersey , part of the country’s punishment for past doping offenses, Putin said the Foreign Ministry should try to alter the key treaty underpinning anti-doping work worldwide.
He said Russian diplomats working with UNESCO should aim to ”refine” the existing International Convention against Doping in Sport so that ”the rules are fair and absolutely transparent.”
In his first comments on sports matters since winning a fourth term in Sunday’s election, Putin said the government would continue to ”defend the sporting honor of our country and its clean athletes, (and) stand up for sport without politics or double standards.”
Putin, in comments reported by state news agencies, didn’t say exactly what changes should be made or how they could be achieved. Short-term results are unlikely since the next conference on the convention isn’t due until next year.
CLEVELAND (AP) – Cavaliers forward Kyle Korver has been excused from the team to be with family following the death of a younger brother.
The team issued a statement late saying Korver’s brother, Kirk, died earlier in the day.
”We extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt best to Kyle and his entire family as they go through this very difficult time,” the Cavs said.
Korver is expected to miss Wednesday’s home game against Toronto.
Kyle Korver, who is in his second season with Cleveland, left the Cavs last week after his 27-year-old brother became seriously ill in Iowa. Korver played in Monday night’s home win over Milwaukee, scoring 12 points.
Korver’s personal situation comes one day after Cavs coach Tyronn Lue stepped away from the team for health reasons. The Cavs have also been dealing with an assortment of injuries as Rodney Hood, Tristan Thompson, Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman have been sidelined.
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) – The Ottawa Senators say the son of captain Erik Karlsson has died.
Erik and Melinda Karlsson were married last year and announced in November they were expecting their first child in the spring. Karlsson had been posting on social media about his son’s upcoming birth, most recently sharing a photo of he and Melinda on Feb. 19 with the caption ”just me and my little family.”
Karlsson sat out Ottawa’s 7-2 loss to Florida on Tuesday night. The team released a statement saying the Karlssons had ”the collective thoughts and prayers of the Ottawa Senators organization, the city of Ottawa and entire hockey community.” The team requested privacy for the family.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Buffalo Bills receiver Zay Jones has been arrested in Los Angeles following a naked Customized New Orleans Saints Jerseys , bloody argument with his brother, Vikings receiver Cayleb Jones.
A police spokesman says the player, whose legal name is Isaiah Avery Jones, was arrested Monday night after officers responded to a disturbance in downtown Los Angeles.
Officer Luis Garcia says Jones was breaking glass doors and windows when officers arrived and was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism.
The arrest was first reported by TMZ, which posted video of a nude Zay Jones pushing his brother in what appeared to be the hallway of an apartment building.
Jail records showed Jones was being held Tuesday on $20,000 bail.
The Bills said in a statement they were still gathering information about the incident and declined further comment.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin was charged Tuesday with threatening two former teammates who had harassed him in the NFL and with threatening his former prep school classmates, Los Angeles County prosecutors said.
Martin pleaded not guilty to four felony counts of making criminal threats and a misdemeanor charge of carrying a loaded firearm, district attorney’s office spokesman Greg Risling said.
A post on Martin’s Instagram page last month showed a shotgun and referred by name to the private Harvard-Westlake prep school in Los Angeles that he once attended.
The post also included mentions of the Instagram usernames of former Miami Dolphins players Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey and said suicide and revenge were the only options for a victim of bullying.
Drew Brees hardly sounds like a man in denial.
Following the first practice of his 18th training camp on Thursday, the 39-year-old Saints quarterback openly acknowledged how little might be left of his career. But he also expressed a determination to make the most of it.
"I understand that I don't have a whole lot of time left," said Brees, who'll be 40 in January and whose contract expires after the 2019 season. "You've got to work and have high expectations and sacrifice and do maybe even more now than I ever have."
Brees figures wisdom and experience have improved his game mentally in ways that mitigate the physical effects of aging, but that's not what he attributes most to his longevity.
He considers the single most significant evolution in his game over the past half-decade to be his increased emphasis on throwing mechanics 鈥?the placement of his feet, the rotation of his torso, the angle of his arm motion, the point at which he releases the ball, and so forth.
Brees regurgitates odd-sounding terminology he's learned from reputed throwing guru Tom House, such as "ankle eye Youth Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys ," meant to convey the idea that if the inside ankle of a thrower's push-off leg had an eye, it should be "looking" toward the target.
"I didn't think a whole lot about mechanics until about six years ago. I think I was just kind of a natural thrower. Like, I'd always been a pitcher in baseball, or shortstop," Brees said. "So you kind of reach a point where that's so second-nature that you just do it, and yet you don't really understand the elements of why are you able to get velocity, or the components that go into being an efficient thrower and being really accurate.
"As you get older, you begin to develop more of an appreciation for that," Brees continued. "Your physical skills begin to diminish, right? But you want to make those things repeatable and correctable if you do get off track. So, I'd say I've become more in tune with my mechanics."
It was hard to argue with the results during team drills Thursday, when Brees heaved a pinpoint pass over the top of the secondary to rookie receiver Tre'Quan Smith for a touchdown covering about 60 yards.
But when Brees misses a throw, he says he knows "exactly why I missed it," giving various examples of what might have gone wrong. "My feet were out of whack. Or, I didn't get proper rotation, or I let my (non-throwing) arm get outside the framework of my body; I didn't stay closed long enough. I didn't have my front shoulder down. I didn't have my ankle eye" facing the target.
In 2011, when Brees was 32 Authentic Albert Wilson Jersey , his 5,476 yards passing set a single-season NFL record eclipsed only once since, when Denver's Peyton Manning passed for one yard more in 2013.
Last season, Brees passed for 4,334 yards, his lowest total in 12 seasons with the Saints. Yet, Brees also reclaimed the NFL record for single-season accuracy with a 72 percent completion rate, topping his previous high of 71.2 in 2011, which was an NFL record until it fell to Sam Bradford (71.6) in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Saints were back in the playoffs last season, bolstered by a strong running game and improved defense. So Brees didn't see his 2017 yards passing total as a harbinger of decline.
The success of the running game "allowed us to stay more committed to it," Brees said.
And with a better defense, "we didn't have to take as many chances offensively and have to throw the ball 鈥?push the ball down the field," Brees continued. "Those are all good things."
Brees still talks of playing as long as possible, but eschews bold predictions about lasting into his mid-40s or beyond, unlike New England's Tom Brady .
Drew Brees says an emphasis on mechanics has helped him maintain his level of play as he's gotten older @brettmartel s://t.co/JWCs9wzZG7 pic.Ak9tKRAseo
鈥?AP NFL (@AP_NFL) July 27, 2018
And what about family? Brees has four children younger than 10 Anthony Averett Color Rush Jersey , but says he doesn't see his desire to be involved in their lives as a detriment to his football career. Rather, he contends, it makes him more focused when he is at Saints headquarters.
"I have to be able to leave this facility and go be with my family, be with my wife, be with my kids. They help balance me out," Brees said. "That enjoyment in my life helps me be a better football player and it also forces me when I'm here to be as efficient as possible, because I know now my time can't run over. I can't say, 'Oh, I'll stay an extra hour.' No. I have to get my work done by this time, so I get home and read my kids a book before they go to bed 鈥?or else I miss that opportunity and then that eats at me and then it throws off my balance."
Of course, good balance helps with throwing 鈥?for Brees, in more ways than one.
More NFL coverage: ://pro32.ap.org and ://AP_NFL
This offseason in Minnesota for Kirk Cousins has been shaped by get-to-know-them moments Pernell McPhee Color Rush Jersey , whether new coaches, plays or teammates with the Vikings.
Kyle Rudolph has made a sharp first impression.
”Boy, he’s a friendly target,” Cousins said one sunny afternoon last month after completing a pass to his strong-handed tight end during non-contact drills when he wore a wireless microphone to allow the team’s video production department to create a brief highlight clip for the website. ”It’s like throwing into a mattress.”
The eighth-year veteran has been happy to oblige his new quarterback, trying to, well, be the best piece of bedtime furniture he can be.
”That’s a new one for me. I’m OK with it. Try to make sure that he’s always getting a good night sleep, always be there for him. That’s kind of my role around here,” Rudolph said on Tuesday after practice.
Cousins recently described a play in a red zone situation when he looked at his two-time Pro Bowl tight end during his drop-back but sent the ball elsewhere. Quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski immediately offered some insight to the $84 million guaranteed man .
”In that situation, you might want to give Kyle a chance,” Cousins said, recounting what Stefanski advised. ”Even though he looks covered, you have to throw him the ball. He’s open. He can prove you right.”
Having Rudolph available for drills with the first-team offense has been a welcomed bonus for the Vikings, considering he had surgery on his right ankle in February after playing through pain down the stretch of the season. Rudolph said he’s a couple of weeks ahead of schedule on his rehabilitation.
”We have a new offense Authentic Isaac Yiadom Jersey , a new system, a new quarterback. I wasn’t getting any better over there by myself, so it’s good to be back out there,” he said.
Rudolph is not only the longest-tenured offensive player on the roster, but he and wide receiver Adam Thielen are the only ones who joined the team before Mike Zimmer was hired as head coach in 2014. Thielen was on the practice squad in 2013. In fact, Rudolph, Thielen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs are the only members of the offense who’ve been here more than three years.
Rudolph, who will turn 29 on Nov. 9, is coming off the most fruitful two-year stretch in the NFL. He had 81 catches for 532 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017 and, just as importantly, played in all 16 games for a third straight season.
He’s endured more than his share of injuries going back to his college days at Notre Dame, and that helped minimize any anxiety that might have come with a procedure done at this stage of his career. Rudolph counted five surgeries in the past 10 years.
”It’s funny when you sit there: The nurses are getting ready for pre-op, and the doctors are talking to you. I honestly feel like I’m in the dentist office getting my teeth cleaned. It’s so routine, at this point Baker Mayfield Browns Jersey ,” Rudolph said. ”I think at times, your family and friends are more worried about it than you are.”
With the skills Cousins has in completing play-action passes and new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo’s penchant for using his tight ends in all kinds of spots to maximize their matchup advantages with potentially cornerbacks and safeties, Rudolph is in position for another productive season.
”Obviously, he’s had great success with tight ends,” Rudolph said. ”What he’s able to do with all the playmakers and all of the chess pieces that we have on offense, it’s been a lot of fun to see.”
By rule, any substitute checking into an NBA game must first report his intentions to the scorer’s table. Denver’s Jamal Murray was on his way there during a game last month, then got derailed when an errant pass came flying his way.
That’s when referee Jason Phillips intervened.
Phillips could have easily been a stickler for rules and told Murray – who never made it to the table – that he had to wait until the next stoppage of play. But Phillips knew Murray was on his way to checking in long before the play was dead and allowed him to enter the game.
”Thank you,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said, and Phillips nodded.
There were moments of civility like this between referees, players and coaches this season. They just were overshadowed way too often. Now everyone is watching to see how things unfold in the playoffs.
The league wants to avoid more headline-grabbing confrontation with the playoffs starting Saturday and stakes and emotion becoming even higher, so officials met with all 30 teams , the last of those on Monday.
”We all make mistakes,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. ”It’s a game. We’re all a part of it. We’re all in the NBA. The officials are part of the NBA. So we have to understand that we’re all under the same corporation.”
There have been instances where they have looked more like combatants.
Referee Courtney Kirkland was taken off the floor for a week for getting too aggressive with Golden State’s Shaun Livingston. Warriors star Kevin Durant – who’d been ejected once in his first nine seasons – got kicked out of five games. Even LeBron James got tossed for the first time in his 15-year career.
It all led the NBA to announce in late January its plan to improve how players and referees get along. Former referee Monty McCutchen Ian Thomas Jersey Panthers , now an NBA vice president overseeing referee development and training, and NBA senior vice president Michelle Johnson met with clubs to listen to their perspective.
McCutchen’s biggest hope is finding a way to make communication better, on all sides. He stressed to teams that he wasn’t meeting with them solely to defend and protect officials.
”Our league needs strong officials,” McCutchen said. ”What we’re trying to shoot for is this idea that you can have strength without arrogance and you can show humility without having to give into weakness. And that sort of Goldilocks moment, where the porridge is just right, is the balance in which we can start to disagree about the play without being demeaning or condescending or arrogant to one another.”
That hasn’t been the case at times this season.
It’s rare that a call will truly decide a game, and the NBA is sticking to its pledge of transparency by continuing to release reports about calls made in the final two minutes of close games. The Last 2 Minute Reports have been widely panned by players and coaches, especially when those reports show that a big call didn’t go their way in a close loss.
For the 400-plus games that have met the criteria for such a report being publicly issued this season, the NBA has said 97.4 percent of the calls made – in other words, 39 out of every 40 – are correct. When factoring in no-calls, what the NBA defines as ”event accuracy” drops to 93.9 percent.
But there have also been some difficult moments.
Livingston and Kirkland butted heads in a game at Miami, earning the Warriors guard a one-game suspension and Kirkland’s discipline after the league determined they were both in the wrong in their argument over a non-call. Through Sunday, there were 79 ejections this season – up considerably from the 61 last season. The NBA said 902 technicals were called last season; that figure has also been topped this season, albeit only by about 30.
Draymond Green Packers Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jersey , who isn’t shy about getting technicals, has complained. So has Chris Paul, the president of the National Basketball Players Association.
”To be honest, we need to kind of just go out there and play, and not worry about anything but that,” Toronto guard Kyle Lowry said. ”We can’t worry about what happened, even legitimately. We have to just go play and not say anything and just do our jobs. I think that’ll be a focus for the rest of the season for our team.”
But Lowry knows, starting Saturday, everything gets magnified.
”You can’t get distracted or obsess on the officials or things that happen during the game that you can’t necessarily control,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. ”You can’t cross the line consistently and expect to develop the right mental toughness that you need to win.”
Patriots safety Devin McCourty thinks this offseason will include a more open and meaningful dialogue between NFL players and league officials after a series of player-led demonstrations during the national anthem this season attempted to raise awareness for social issues.
”I think it’s been incredible because when all these issues came up people talked about it being a big distraction. And you look around now Tremaine Edmunds Bills Jersey , you look around and you’ve got it’s like 4 or 5 different guys in the player’s coalition that have done different things and are playing in the Super Bowl,” McCourty said Monday at Super Bowl media night. ”So obviously you can do both. Players have shown throughout the years, whether it be community service work, charities – that you can do more than just play football.”
McCourty was one of several NFL players to engage in protests during the national anthem to draw attention to issues such as police brutality and racial inequality.
NFL owners and executives met with players Authentic Customized Chiefs Jerseys , who formed a Players Coalition in October before the league’s fall meetings in New York. There also were extensive phone conversations to get an idea of how the league could address the players’ concerns.
In December the NFL agreed to commit $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a three-segment plan that involves league players. The agreement was criticized by some players who disagreed with Eagles safety and founder Malcolm Jenkins choosing to exclude Colin Kaepernick from its meetings, and felt the agreement was a means to stop the anthem protests. But McCourty, still a member of the coalition, said he believes the NFL’s overtures are genuine.
He said the leadership from Jenkins Pernell McPhee Color Rush Jersey , who he will face in Sunday’s Super Bowl, has remained strong.
”I think he’s been incredible just for the fact that he put so much time in,” McCourty said. ”He just had a daughter I think a week ago. He’s still on phone calls, he’s still being leader of the coalition. So it’s been great to me almost for a year now to link on with those guys – him and Anquan (Boldin) Colts Quenton Nelson Jersey , what they’ve started.
”I think that for a lot of us it’s just being able to add to it and bring whatever our passions and feeling are to it from what he’s already started. I think sky’s the limit for what the coalition can be.”
McCourty also has an appreciation for the different voices brought into the conversation throughout this season.
He was one of the players originally invited into meetings with owners, and he said Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his son, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, are still keeping communication lines open.
”We’ve been really fortunate here. Whether it’s me talking to Robert Kraft or Jonathan Kraft -they’re very receptive Authentic Keke Coutee Jersey ,” McCourty said. ”They want to be involved. Jonathan came with us to Harvard Law School. It seems like it’s gonna be a really good step. I think it’s been really good to get the NFL involved. Because it’s a huge resource being in the NFL. There’s no reason not to have them involved…It’s bigger than just coming together. It shows what the NFL can be about.”
A person familiar with the situation says Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry’s contract option for next season has been exercised by the club.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club has not announced the move. The person says Gentry was informed of the decision before the Pelicans swept their first-round playoff series against third-seeded Portland.
ESPN first reported the club’s move.
Gentry is in his third season with the Pelicans and has gone 116-134, including four victories in this season’s playoffs.
New Orleans missed the playoffs during Gentry’s first two seasons, during which the team was hampered by a combination of key injuries or other matters that caused extended absences of key personnel.
When veteran Todd Desgrosseilliers was recovering from battle wounds Authentic Frank Ragnow Jersey , he went back to a boyhood love: fly fishing. The organization he now leads has 8,500 participants, one of whom was so inspired by Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing that he told Desgrosseilliers: ”This program saved my life.”
Desgrosseilliers’ group for disabled veterans is one of many receiving funding though the Bob Woodruff Foundation , which this week secured an agreement with the NFL to support such initiatives.
”The Bob Woodruff Foundation provides us with a grant each year that supports one of our largest programs, rod building,” Desgrosseilliers says. ”We had over 900 veterans participate in it as part of a larger core of activities we have that include fly fishing education and outings.
”When our participants are able to come to the meetings, the rod building provides them with an activity that kind of brings them together Clive Walford Jersey Elite , creates camaraderie.”
Such pastimes create more than that. For Desgrosseilliers, who learned to fly fish with his great-grandfather and grandfather in Maine, it has been an effective therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and vertigo he suffered after a traumatic head injury in combat.
There are 222 programs nationwide under the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing umbrella. They stage local and regional events as well as national destination trips; 400 members will go on a variety of excursions this year, including to Alaska or the Florida Keys.
”It’s a group of disabled veterans coming together with folks who care about them, and they are involved in an activity that is fun,” Desgrosseilliers says. ”We partner our programs with fly fishing organizations to provide the (3,500) volunteers who know how to do the fly fishing basics.”
The Woodruff Foundation was founded in 2006 after reporter Woodruff was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. To date Paul Worrilow Jersey Elite , the foundation has invested more than $55 million to find, fund and shape programs that have empowered veterans, service members and their families.
Its $2 million affiliation with the NFL announced this week will bolster the grant work done by the foundation.
”The NFL is such a prominent American brand and one that has a longstanding commitment to the veteran community,” says Marshall Lauck, the foundation’s chief growth and marketing officer. ”This is not something new to them; their history with supporting veterans and active military members is strong. This is a time with increased interest on their part in how they can most effectively support the veteran community (through nonprofits).
”Our expertise can be very helpful for the NFL in its goals in supporting these communities.”
One program receiving grants from the foundation is Hire Heroes USA. Hire Heroes provides individualized personal assistance to transitioning veterans and military spouses, helping them with interview coaching, resume coaching or finding the right fit for a veteran entering the workforce.
That group recently passed the 25 Cheap Dalton Schultz Jersey ,000 mark for veterans being hired.
Another organization, Bunker Labs, helps veterans with entrepreneurship opportunities.
There are some similarities to NFL players transitioning from the sport into the ”real world” and veterans adjusting after leaving the service.
”I think the challenge we had with the NFL was in putting together what is mutually beneficial in finding that common ground,” says Anne Marie Dougherty, executive director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. ”We can meet what their organization and brand priorities are. There’s not only affirmation of the need in this space, but also an investment in the solution.
”One of the uphill battles we continue to have working in this space is we have been a nation at war for the longest time in our history. And there is a sense for something to get media coverage it can be … not positive. This is a really important time for us. We will put this money to good use.”
A National Arena League football player is accused of firing a gun in an arena parking lot as players confronted each other after a game in Columbus, Georgia.
Florida's Jacksonville Sharks said in a statement there was an "altercation" between Sharks and Columbus Lions players outside the Columbus Civic Center Saturday night.
Muscogee County Jail records show that Sharks defensive end Leon Mackey faces charges of discharging a gun near a highway; and reckless conduct causing harm/endangering safety.
Columbus police didn't immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.
The team said the league has suspended Mackey pending the outcome of the police investigation.
Mackey Robert Golden Color Rush Jersey , who played at Texas Tech, participated in the Minnesota Vikings training camp in 2015. The Sharks say he went to high school in Wilmington, Delaware.
Francisco Lindor sensed the Cleveland Indians needed a lift coming off back-to-back losses.
Nothing like a leadoff homer or a late tiebreaking drive to get the job done.
Lindor and Jose Ramirez connected Authentic Sam Darnold Jersey , Mike Clevinger struck out 11 in seven innings and the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2 on Thursday afternoon.
Lindor opened the game against Carlos Rodon with his 15th home run. He also singled and scored in the seventh when Ramirez broke a 2-all tie with a two-run drive to right-center against Chris Volstad (1-4) for his 20th homer.
”That’s one of the reasons I want to lead off – to get the team going, to do my best to score early and give the team the lead,” Lindor said. ”Whether it’s a home run, a base hit, I ended up scoring in the first inning. It’s important. It tells the team, `All right, it’s time to go, we’ve got to win today.”
And this one, he said Authentic Tre'Quan Smith Jersey , was ”extremely important.”
The Indians got another run with two outs in the eighth when reliever Juan Minaya dropped the throw from first baseman Jose Abreu while covering the bag on Greg Allen’s grounder. That allowed Yan Gomes to score from second to make it 5-2.
Clevinger (5-2) gave up two runs and five hits while walking just one batter.
Cody Allen worked the ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances as the AL Central leaders salvaged a four-game split.
Abreu went the opposite way with a two-run homer to the right-field bullpen in the first. But Clevinger shut down the White Sox after that, beating them for the second time this season.
”It was a nice piece of hitting by Abreu, but Clev threw the ball so well,” manager Terry Francona said. ”He put that behind him, and then he got them out the rest of the way.”
Rodon went five innings in his second start back from shoulder surgery in September, allowing two runs and two hits. The 25-year-old left-hander walked three and hit two batters while striking out four.
Manager Rick Renteria said it’s ”like a little bit of spring training” for him. But Rodon wouldn’t go there.
”Nah, I don’t want to make that excuse,” he said. ”When you show up at this level, it’s time to compete. Go out there and compete for the team Pat Valaika Colorado Rockies Jersey , try to win the ballgame.”
Lindor has three leadoff homers this season and six in his career. And Abreu moved ahead of Jim Thome and into a tie for 12th place with Minnie Minoso on the White Sox’s all-time list with 135 homers.
Indians: The Indians activated OF Brandon Guyer (strained neck) from the 10-day disabled list and designated OF Melky Cabrera for assignment. Guyer was in the lineup for the first time since he collided with a fan while chasing a foul ball at Houston on May 19. As for Cabrera, manager Terry Francona said the team ”didn’t see a way we were going to be able to keep” him with Guyer back and OF Tyler Naquin (strained left hamstring) just about ready to return.
White Sox: RHP Nate Jones (strained muscle in forearm) called it ”a relief” tests showed no structural damage in his surgically repaired arm. He said he had been ”self-treating” himself for a few weeks after experiencing some soreness but realized he needed more help when he felt a burning sensation during Tuesday’s win over Cleveland. Jones had Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow last season. He is 2-2 with a 4.01 ERA and four saves in 27 appearances this year. … Renteria said OF Avisail Garcia (strained right hamstring) – on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte – ”feels healthy, feels sound.”
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (10-2, 1.99) goes for his major league-leading 11th win as the Indians open a three-game series against RHP Kyle Gibson (1-4, 3.45) and the Minnesota Twins.
White Sox: RHP Reynaldo Lopez (2-4, 3.26) eyes his second straight win as the White Sox open a three-game series against RHP Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.01) and the Detroit Tigers. Lopez pitched into the seventh at Boston on Sunday.
Cleveland Browns starting right guard Kevin Zeitler will miss several weeks of training camp because of a calf injury.
The 28-year-old Zeitler did not practice Thursday, one day after being hurt and walking off the field with a trainer.
"Kevin is going to be OK, but he will be down for a little while Authentic Korey Toomer Jersey ," coach Hue Jackson said. "It is unfortunate, but we will get him back. Hopefully, he'll be ready to go in the next couple weeks or so. Those things do happen in training camp."
Zeitler has started all 48 games over the past three seasons, including 16 in his first year with the Browns. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder played with Cincinnati from 2012-2016.
Cleveland's offensive line is in flux following the retirement of 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas.
Left guard Joel Bitonio, a second alternate for the Pro Bowl last season, has been moved to left tackle, where he is trying to block defensive end Myles Garrett in practice. Garrett was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2017.
"Myles is bringing it, and that's the best look he can get every day Tremaine Edmunds Jersey ," Jackson said. "It's really fun to see because Joel is not giving up anything. It's a battle and he's doing well."
Third-year pro Spencer Drango has filled in for Zeitler on the first team and will remain there.
"Spencer has played left guard, he's played left tackle and he's been on the right side before, so he has been all around," Jackson said. "That is a comfort that we have."
The Browns hold their annual "Orange and Brown" scrimmage Friday.