This newspaper ad will probably get Tim Tebow to Jacksonville


Somebody finally took defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan’s joystick away from him and the Bucs have gone more with straight rushes instead of blitzes and stunts. This has unleashed the beast that is Gerald McCoy and everyone on defense has benefited from that.

The fact that McCoy had to go to the coaches and ask them to change the game plan again after he had to do it last year doesn’t inspire much confidence in their coaching abilities, however.

The emergence of rookie tight end Tim Wright. The first game of the season Tom Crabtree was out hurt and Wright still didn’t play a snap, I don’t believe. This was after all offseason the Bucs’ coaches and front office told fans over and over that they didn’t need a pass catching tight end in offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan’s offense. Now not only is Wright a big part of the Bucs’ passing game, he is also a weapon that can beat just about any linebacker one-on-one.

Most safeties don’t fare much better either. His numbers might not look all that impressive right now, but just the threat he poses with his speed up the seam forces opposing defenses to scheme for him, which helps to open up other parts of the passing game as well as the running game.

Still, Lester has quite a bit of experience and inherits exciting pieces from Fleck. The passing game will regress, but the run game might be strong enough to lean on. The run defense might get gashed, but the pass defense could be excellent.

WMU isn’t projected as the best team in the MAC — those honors go to perpetual bridesmaid Toledo — but the Broncos are still No. 2. They’ll probably win seven or eight games and bowl for the fourth year in a row. After season-opening road trips to USC and Michigan State, they could be favored in each of the next nine games.

It’s hard to move on from one of the country’s most unique coaches. But in Lester, WMU landed someone who is uniquely experienced and extremely Western Michigan.

NFL free agency: Chargers, LT Russell Okung reportedly agree to 4-year deal

Russell Okung, who played under a $5 million, non-guaranteed deal last season in Denver, has agreed to a far more lucrative free agent contract to join the Chargers.

According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Okung and the Chargers on Thursday agreed to a 4-year, $53 million deal, with $25 million guaranteed. And Okung doesn’t have to share a cut with an agent — he represents himself in contract negotiations.

The move saves the Browns not only the $6 million due RG3 for 2017, but also the $750,000 roster bonus he would’ve been due Saturday, an unidentified league source told

The roster move comes the day after the Browns acquired Osweiler from the Texans along with a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Elite Youth Nicolas Meloche Jersey Griffin, who turned 27 last month, has played in only 14 games over the past three seasons because of injuries. One of those 14 games was noteworthy last season because it was the Browns’ only victory — 20-17 against the Chargers — in a 1-15 season.

Elite Youth Logan Forsythe Jersey Instead, it was UCLA who came through after the camp, the first huge offer for the huge receiver. Colorado also extended an offer to him on Wednesday, followed by Oregon and Vanderbilt.

It likely won’t be the last. Ezeike has the potential to add good weight to his frame and be a matchup nightmare for opposing secondaries, either as a receiver or a flex tight end. Ezeike would like offers from other regions of the country as well, to see where he fits both academically, and athletically.

Derrick Hawkins of Stampede Blue put the Week 10 loss to St. Louis on the coaches

You’ll notice that you encounter people like this less often out among the humans than you will on the radio, or shrieking at Bomani Jones on Twitter. This is another good reason to go outside. It’s another good reason to go to a game, actually, with all the men and women who will be there, and who will be cheering just like you, and just like themselves.While one can argue only so much with a record of 8-1, especially when the Falcons are sitting at 2-6, it must be acknowledged that Seattle has looked bad against less-than-great teams over the past couple of weeks. The Seahawks beat the Rams by just five points a couple of weeks ago, and that vaunted Legion of Boom defense let the Tampa Bay Buccaneers run up a 21-point lead on them at home last week. A few weeks before, Seattle barely beat the Texans by a field goal in overtime. Are the Seahawks a good team? Yes. Are they one of the best teams in the NFC? Sure. Are they beatable? Definitely.
Local Takes: Seahawks

Losing Locker for the season doesn’t give Jimmy Morris of Music City Miracles much hope going forward:

This is just another tough injury for Locker. He just can’t seem to stay on the field.

Will that do it for the Mike Munchak era? This team has no shot of making the playoffs now.
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Derrick Hawkins of Stampede Blue put the Week 10 loss to St. Louis on the coaches and didn’t rule out the need to make a change:
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If the Colts expect to make the playoffs, it’s time that the Colts management puts a boot into someone’s rear end. There’s too much talent and too much money having been spent to see this kind of product on the field. We didn’t get our butts kicked today for lack of players or playmakers. We got our butts beat for lack of preparation and the inability to make changes.

Be sure to check out SB Nation’s team blogs, Music City Miracles and Stampede Blue, for more analysis and highlights from the game.

AFC playoff picture: Bengals, Ravens in AFC North showdown

With the season just past the halfway point in 2017, the playoff picture in both conferences is starting to come into focus. Sunday features a number of big games with postseason implications, so here is a closer look at the bigger matchups of the day.
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Luck had no support as he aired the ball out for 353 passing yards before being pulled late for Matt Hasselbeck. He threw three interceptions as he was unable to read the Rams’ defense and ignore with the team’s potent pass rush. Poor blocking and non-existent running backs caused the offense to break down and the second-year quarterback was unable to turn the team around.

The team’s acquisition of Trent Richardson was supposed to steady the Colts’ offense and give the team balance, but working against the league’s 30th-ranked run defense still didn’t help much. Richardson finished with five yards on two carries as Indy worked from behind.

Kellen Clemens was supposed to be the incapable reserve quarterback charged with allowing the Rams to limp through the 2017 season. On Sunday, he became the team’s playmaker, throwing for 247 yards and two touchdowns on just 16 pass attempts.

Limited Youth Matt Moore Jersey Tavon Austin was a huge benefactor of the renewed Rams offense, as he finally broke out after being held in check for the first nine weeks of the season. Austin finished with 138 yards receiving and two touchdowns, as well as contributing on special teams when he returned a punt 98 yards for a touchdown.

Manti Te’o is the latest addition to help improve Saints defense

Manti Te’o is moving on from the Chargers. The fifth-year linebacker won’t join the franchise for its first season in Los Angeles, instead signing with the New Orleans Saints on a two-year contract, according to ESPN is Mike Triplett.

Te’o has been a steady linebacker as a pro, but he hasn’t lived up to the high standard he set as a high school and college athlete. He was the nation is No. 1 recruit coming out of Punahou School in 2008, which led him to Notre Dame. He won a laundry list of national awards as a senior, leading the Fighting Irish to a national championship game in 2012 while building himself into a second-round draft pick the following spring.

However, his run of success went into hibernation from there. His lone playoff appearance came as a rookie, and the Chargers are a dead-even 20-20 when he is on the field. Injuries have played a huge role in his ineffective play; he has yet to complete a full 16-game season as a professional.

He failed to make it out of September this past season; an Achilles’ injury limited him to only three games last fall. Fortunately, at age 25 he should be strong enough to make a complete recovery.

Oh yes sir, yes sir I can. I can get out there in the flats, and that is one main play [coach Lupoi] has shown me. That is no problem for me, it is my routine on Friday nights.

Some class of 2017 signing members are also recruiting Davis to stick with the Tide, including VanDarius Cowan.

Davis hopes to return to Tuscaloosa soon.

I went down to Tuscaloosa a few months back, and will be going back soon for the spring game.

Alabama has finished with the No. 1 recruiting class for seven consecutive years. As of March 21, the Tide has four commitments for the 2018 class.


Evgeni Malkin misses another game with upper-body injury

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Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin missed a second straight game with an upper-body injury, but Sidney Crosby picked up the slack, getting his 10th career hat trick Sunday and leading the Penguins past the Florida Panthers 4-0.

Crosby has poured in five goals during Malkin’s absence to move into the NHL lead with 40. His 80 points are tied with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for tops in the league.

After completing two 10-day contracts with the team, Stephenson had to either be signed for the remainder of the season or let go. Minnesota has chosen to go in a different direction, sources said, and Stephenson will become a free agent.

Stephenson, 26, is battling a nagging ankle sprain that has limited his time on the court. The Timberwolves elected not to fly him to Miami for Friday’s game because of the minor injury. Sources said he should be fully healed within six days.

He appeared in six games for the Timberwolves and averaged 3.5 points and 1.7 rebounds.

Adrian Gonzalez Jersey The seventh-year veteran started the season with the New Orleans Pelicans, but they waived him on Nov. 7 after he tore his groin.

Bortles said his delivery is “more efficient, quicker,” but will that stick during practices and especially games?

“That’s the true test of, ‘Did it stick?'” Bortles said. “There’s only one way to figure that out and that’s go and play.”

Rivers recommended the league refrain from scheduling teams playing in marquee nationally broadcast games for two games in as many days.

The Tigers gave an example that we all can use. Rather than shooting your shot for the sake of shooting your shot

Princeton would have had a better chance if head coach Mitch Henderson had asked his team to chill out over the last three minutes of the game. If Bell could have pleaded with Cannady, after passing him the ball, to just chill, the Tigers might still be dancing.

Elite Youth Micah Hyde Jersey The Tigers gave an example that we all can use. Rather than shooting your shot for the sake of shooting your shot, calm down and think it through. Yes, that three-pointer for the victory would have made for an awesome story, but you only need two points and you have a lot of time left. Pass the ball inside, make the defense commit, and if you can¡¯t get a clean shot or foul, pass it out and then shoot your shot. Exhaust all options first. Just relax and work out the problem before heaving up the ball.

In basketball and in life, sometimes you need to chill out. Understanding that can take you further than trying to make the impossible happen all the time.

Consider Westbrook¡¯s decision tree here. The Thunder do not have numbers: Victor Oladipo and Taj Gibson are sprinting down the court ahead of Westbrook, but the Raptors rotated two back on the steal. DeMar DeRozan is shaded toward Westbrook to stop the ball, and Cory Joseph is running back with Oladipo and Gibson. Westbrook is the fastest player on the court, but Toronto¡¯s other defenders are collapsing back as well. Toronto is getting back pretty well off of a live ball turnover, all told.
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This will be debated for time immemorial: did Westbrook intend to nutmeg Joseph? Because of where Gibson is, and because Oladipo has to reach back a little for the pass, it appears the pass is intended for the big man. That would indicate the pass was intended to go behind Joseph.

But on repeat viewings ¡ª I mean, repeat viewings ¡ª it appears that if Westbrook had passed behind Joseph, Gibson may have had to reach back for the ball, slowing his momentum and perhaps leaving a tougher lay-up. As it is, the bounce pass through Joseph¡¯s legs would have hit Gibson in stride if Oladipo hadn¡¯t been there to receive it. It would have been a tiny bit ahead of Gibson, just as it ended up a tiny bit behind Oladipo. However, Gibson also appears to be slowing up so as not to trip his teammate.

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Oregon’s Dillon Brooks hit an Arizona player below the belt. Was it a cheap shot?

Oregon star Dillon Brooks appeared to take a cheap shot at Arizona’s Allonzo Trier in the second half of the Pac-12 tournament championship game on Saturday night. The referees reviewed the play and decided it only was a common foul, not a flagrant.

What do you think?

It’s important to remember that Brooks also gave us one of the most gorgeously cinematic flops of this or any season:

If you’re curious about which free agents may be available, we’ve got the top 100 ranked for your convenience.

We are also keeping track of the major signings for all 32 teams.

A strong finishing kick, one that featured victories over postseason-contending Butler, Seton Hall, Creighton, and Marquette, elevated the Friars from an afterthought to bubble possibility. Early-season victories over the America East champion Vermont and Rhode Island further boost Providence’s case, but losses to St. John’s and DePaul in conference and Boston College out of it might give the Committee second thoughts. Or those three defeats might just mean Ed Cooley’s squad is destined for Dayton.

Honestly, the Friars should have sent their mascot to scare the Committee straight.

Per NCAA rules, they weren’t allowed to comment on the commitment at the time, but their excitement was visible. Scheyer, who had spent two years watching Tatum play, knew exactly what he was getting.

On Saturday, as the team celebrated the ACC title, Scheyer thought back to the first time he saw Tatum play.

“I watched Jayson for about seven seconds, and I said, ‘this kid is perfect for Duke,’” Scheyer said. “His feel for the game is just so mature for his age.”

ESPN ranked the pair first and third overall in the class of 2016. They joined a Duke recruiting class with Frank Jackson (10th), Marques Bolden (16th), and Javin DeLaurier (44th). Adding that class to an already talented roster made the Blue Devils nearly invincible on paper.

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