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What will the NFL make of Jabrill Peppers?


Elite Youth Kyle Hendricks Jersey There is perhaps no more polarizing player in the draft than Peppers. Is he a versatile defender, or is he just a player without a position? At Michigan he played all over the place, with varying degrees of success. He¡¯s registered at the combine as a linebacker, and that¡¯s where he was used the most Michigan. But at 6¡¯1 and 205 pounds, some teams may not see him as a linebacker.

While all the public eyes will be on 40 times and measurements, the real action at the combine will take place at night between teams and agents. Before a team can commit to Kizer, Mahomes, Trubisky or Watson, what happens with players like Jay Cutler, Jimmy Garoppolo, Mike Glennon, Tony Romo and Tyrod Taylor? The future of those veterans could be decided in Indianapolis, and alter the outlook of the 2017 NFL Draft.

The 40-yard dash is an overblown endeavor, but if there is a player who needs a good one, it is Smith-Schuster. At 6¡¯2 and 220 pounds, Smith-Schuster is obviously a well-built wide receiver. One of his flaws, however, is his speed. He can help himself if he can break into the range of 4.5 seconds. Teams will closely be watching the junior¡¯s footwork as well because he tends to be a little awkward at the top of his routes.

Going into the combine, a few big-name players have injuries that need addressed. That includes Ohio State safety Malik Hooker, who had surgery for a torn labrum and a hernia, and Washington wide receiver John Ross, who will have shoulder surgery after the combine. The latest injury news regards McKinley, the ace pass rusher from UCLA.
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For a pass rusher like McKinley, a shoulder injury pretty serious because he uses his arm length just as much as a quick burst to beat blockers. Considering the recovery is at least five months, that takes McKinley well past rookie training camp, which begins in July. Teams will want to get a good gauge on the severity of McKinley¡¯s injury to determine if he can be a factor in 2017 at all.

Atlanta’s first offensive possession was the only one that went well


It was an eventful first half for the Packers, but an uneventful half for their punter. The Packers managed to score on every possession of the first half, though to be fair to the Falcons, they did manage to hold the Packers to a field goal on one of the drives. But the Falcons couldn’t keep up offensively, and Green Bay took a dominant 31-7 lead into the half.

The Packers went 81 yards on seven plays (James Starks touchdown), 80 yards on 13 plays (Eddie Lacy touchdown), 63 yards on 12 plays (Mason Crosby field goal), 15 yards on four plays (Lacy touchdown reception, came after a Matt Ryan interception) and 53 yards in eight plays (Jordy Nelson touchdown reception).

Meanwhile, Atlanta’s first offensive possession was the only one that went well. That drive saw them go 72 yards in nine plays, capped off by a Steven Jackson 4-yard touchdown run. While that tied the game at 7-7, they didn’t find that kind of success again for the rest of the half.

Hoyer completed less than 50 percent of his passes, for goodness sake, but we’re supposed to believe that it was all because Gordon was a little out of shape? Come on, bruh!
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Hoyer was terrible plain and simple. And just in case you didn’t watch the game and the close score fooled you, understand that the Browns defense scored two touchdowns all by their damn selves. If they had any help they would have blown the Colts out of the water. Instead not only was Hoyer not a net positive for his team, he actually was a drag on them by missing open receivers and throwing interceptions in the redzone.

Game Youth Reshad Jones Jersey Another reason why the Browns need to make the change is that Hoyer can’t hit a fat bear in the ass with a two-by-four when it comes to deep balls lately. Gordon might be out of shape, but Hoyer overshot him when he had the closest defender beat by five yards off a double move in the third quarter. In the first half, Gabriel had his man by five yards and Hoyer over shot him too. It’s hard to game plan guys open deep by that much in the NFL. Defenses are usually too good to let it happen. When it does happen, a quarterback has to hit those throws. He has to!

Coughlin emphasized he wasn’t urging players to forge on through a “serious injury,”


“To look at Keenan, to look at his background, where he came from and what he was able to accomplish, you better believe he can share information to the players in that room on how to be successful in this league. It starts with toughness,” Coughlin said. “Now that’s not the first thing on most people’s lists when it comes to talking about receivers. But you talk about a guy who’s tough, he wouldn’t miss a practice with a separated shoulder. That’s a little bit of something that has to happen. This league can benefit from more of that attitude and this team from that attitude as well.”

Coughlin emphasized he wasn’t urging players to forge on through a “serious injury,” but noted: “You’re a pro. This isn’t passing camp. It’s a tough game, it’s a tough business. You’ve got to play through some things if your team is gonna succeed.”

Coughlin went on to level Jacksonville’s low-wattage offense as an operation in need of more balance. After the team “boasted” the league’s largest run-pass imbalance last season, Coughlin was asked if that dynamic bothered him.

“A lot,” Coughlin said. “I don’t think you’re helping the quarterback at all when you don’t rush the football. I think for our team to be successful in this division — noting that there are teams that’ll come in and run the ball and try to hold the ball, keep your offense on the sideline — we need to be able to do some of that as well.”

Sanu refused to blame the loss on offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who drew intense scrutiny for his late-game play-calling. In lieu of milking the clock, Shanahan stayed aggressive.

There’s nothing wrong with bringing rookies around slowly but when an offense is as punch-less as Minnesota’s has been over the last year, they have little choice but to expedite the learning process for Treadwell.

Oh look, Kansas State made ¡®Texas state champs¡¯ t-shirts again


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Kansas State football has managed to do something that¡¯s pretty impressive in recent years: Consistently beat schools from the state of Texas. The latest win came over Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl last December. The victory brought K-State¡¯s win total against Texas schools in 2016 to 5-0, having Big 12 wins over Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor, and, TCU coming during the season.

Naturally, K-State got some t-shirts to commemorate the accomplishment. Wildcats AD John Currie posted photos of them from his Twitter account.

This actually isn¡¯t the first type of these shirts that Kansas State has made. Here was 2011’s version, after the Wildcats beat all four of the Big 12¡¯s Texas programs, which still included A&M at the time, prior to the Aggies¡¯ move to the SEC in 2012.

That leaves Jim Irsay as the marquee figure because you never know what random comments the owner will make. Just check out Irsay’s Twitter page if you need further proof of that.

Another noticeable thing that will come out of cameras shadowing every move the Colts make is that people will see the number of clich¨¦s that coach Chuck Pagano likes to use.

Pagano’s sayings are so well known that the Indianapolis Star ran a 90-second video of some of the coach’s favorites this past October. His cliches might work on his players, but who knows if they’re good enough to keep viewers entertained on “Hard Knocks.”

Andre Ellington Authentic Jersey “Mostly fine” describes the unit as a whole, actually. App State ranked 75th in Special Teams S&P+ — neither good nor bad. Punter Bentlee Critcher and punt returner Jaquil Capel are gone, but I figure this unit will be about the same in 2017.

He can still sign a five-year extension this summer, for about $180 million


Not only did George miss all seven of his 3-point attempts, he wasn’t particularly close, demonstrating poor shot selection by pulling off the dribble. George was better around the basket, lobbing the ball to himself for a dunk and twice dunking on after-timeout plays designed for him.

Limited Kids Ronnie Stanley Jersey (Looks around for Pelicans fans.) (Whispers) OK, look, Davis may have set the scoring record and won MVP, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, Westbrook was the best player on the court. It took Davis 32 minutes and 39 shot attempts to score his 52 points. Westbrook scored 41 in 20 minutes on just 26 shots (plus two free-throw attempts). See, he can be efficient! And while Davis was mostly set up by teammates, Westbrook had seven assists.

“If I was in the NFL, I’d really want to grind him a little bit and see if he could be an NFL-quality corner because the length intrigues me,” fellow NFL Network analyst and draft guru Mike Mayock added.

“With all those big-bodied wide receivers, more and more teams are looking for corners that are 6-feet and above,” Mayock said. The way the league thinks is there’s too many 5’8 and 5’9 corners that are losing jump balls outside the numbers and in the red zone.”

Elite Womens Derek Newton Jersey Lippett acknowledges it may be a possibility. “I just try to keep an open mind as well,” he said. “So it’s been cool. I’ve been committed to being a receiver, but I have started to work a little bit at defensive back drills, here and there.

That’s a question for another day. He can still sign a five-year extension this summer, for about $180 million, but he has limited incentive to do so. The real motivation was to re-sign in Sacramento. But he’s under contract for next season, so the Pelicans have time to work it out.

Syndergaard has zoomed past all those men to the top of this rotation.


Vincent Valentine Authentic Jersey Meanwhile, Syndergaard has zoomed past all those men to the top of this rotation. His teammates seem highly amused by his pronouncement (by the hardest-throwing starter in the big leagues, you understand) that he’s intent on throwing even harder this year. Not that they’re putting it past him.

“You know,” Collins deadpanned, “there are freaks in this game.”

“No. I probably shouldn’t say that. … But when we went to the World Series two years ago, our starting pitching carried us. So to me, it’s all about pitching.”

Terry Collins, on whether the Mets can win the World Series if their starters don’t stay healthy
If all goes according to plan, there might eventually be five freaks in this rotation. The Mets are taking steps this spring to help all of them save their bullets for the moments when they come in handiest. They’re all on a revamped throwing program that gives them an extra day of rest between bullpen sessions, includes strict orders not to throw to any base during fielding drills and has introduced more running to build up their legs this spring — because “you pitch from the ground up,” Collins said.

Authentic Craig Conroy Jersey At least some of that program is a result of conversations the manager had with former Braves great John Smoltz about how those celebrated Braves staffs prepared every spring to pitch deep into October.

“Playing bad isn’t fun,” Nats teammate Trea Turner says. “It doesn’t matter what you’re hitting — if you’re not living up to your own expectations, then it’s hard to have fun. I think Bryce had fun from the standpoint that we won the division and went to the playoffs, but on a personal level, I’m sure it wasn’t nearly as fun as when he won the MVP.”

“Those are some tough moccasins to walk in,” adds the NL exec. “Bryce is so good, and so much has been put on him so early. Mike Trout didn’t have those expectations, but this guy did, and he’s also put a lot on himself. He wants to please everyone and he feels like he’s got something to prove. He loves when he does well, but when he doesn’t do well, it really pisses him off.”

South Carolina beat out most of the major schools in the Southeast to land Williams’ pledge


“They’ve got a deep and talented roster, so don’t let that new guy tell you he ain’t got any players. I can tell you that right now,” Muschamp said. “There are some good football players in that locker room.”

At the high school level, Jamyest Williams is undoubtedly the crown jewel of this class, as the No. 8 cornerback in the nation:

This is a big deal. South Carolina beat out most of the major schools in the Southeast to land Williams’ pledge. He is widely considered one of the best cornerbacks in the country, and I’ve said before that if he wasn’t 5’9, 173, but rather 6’1, 180, he might be the No. 1 defender nationally. Williams has good speed to pair with great instincts and aggressiveness.

He is not afraid to be physical and make a tackle or attempt to jam bigger receivers.
OrTre Smith ranks as the No. 19 WR in the country, and the nation’s No. 9 ATH, Shi Smith, will likely join him as a wideout. Recruiting is as much about appearances as anything else, and Muschamp looks good heading into Year 2:

[T]he optics of signing a top-20 class is a good look for Muschamp’s first full cycle. It’s sending a message to other recruits that Muschamp can recruit with the other big programs in the country and that top level guys like Jamyest Williams want to spend their better years in Columbia.

NHL midseason status report: The road ahead for Eastern Conference playoff favorites


We¡¯ve entered the final stretch of the 2016-17 NHL season. With the March 1 trade deadline bearing down on us and the playoff races in chaos, it¡¯s time to finish our league-wide status report series with a look at the Eastern Conference.

Limited Mens Sebastian Janikowski Jersey We¡¯ll start with the teams currently residing in playoff positions, even if they¡¯re hanging on to them by a thread or two. Here¡¯s where each stands and what lies ahead as they sprint to the finish.

The irony of sending the Flyers through a good will tour of Russia should not be lost on any of us, of course. This is the team that kicked the ass of the Russians so badly in 1976 that they skated off the ice in the middle of the game, conceding defeat while a ruthless Spectrum crowd ridiculed them. The Red Army team only returned to the ice after Ed Snider threatened to withhold payment for the game. Flyers won, 4-1.

It¡¯s even more interesting because of one player who might be suiting up on the Russian side: President Vladimir Putin. Putin is an avid hockey fan and has played in some high-end exhibition games, although there are some questions about whether or not he¡¯s actually good or whether his opponents are going easy on him. (He once scored eight goals in a game against former pros, so … we know the answer here.)
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¡°Probably the only thing that we can¡¯t do for them: We can¡¯t shoot,¡± Julien said. ¡°I¡¯m not pointing blame for the sake of pointing blame, but when we talk about creating scoring chances, that¡¯s what we (the coaches) do: We need to give these players a certain style of play that will create scoring chances.

Miller is to this award what Bill Belichick is to Coach of the Year


Belichick is 32-9 in his classic gray cutoff hoodie, according to a chart complied by Mike Dussault of Belichick wore it during his third Super Bowl win, with his late father on the sideline. He wore it during his second Super Bowl loss to the Giants. It became what the houndstooth hat was to Paul “Bear” Bryant: a signature piece, worth selling and even worth emulating — most blatantly by Josh McDaniels when he coached the Broncos. Belichick would shorten the sleeves himself, literally cutting the drag.

“Hoodie sleeves are annoying and restrict mobility, and he has short arms anyway, so one day he just said, ‘F— this,’ and chopped them up,” a former Patriots assistant said. According to friends, Belichick donated used hoodies to charity. But this year, he didn’t wear any kind of hoodie — blue or gray, sleeved or not — in a game until Nov. 27 against the Jets. Meanwhile, it became routine for him to appear for weekday and even postgame news conferences looking like he had raided Brooks Brothers (or at least a Brooks Brothers outlet).

Yeah, you know. Just a basic, ho-hum, 13.5-sack season for Miller — chicken farmer, Old Spice pitchman and nemesis of quarterbacks.

With J.J. Watt out of the picture, Miller is to this award what Bill Belichick is to Coach of the Year: You could give it to him every season and it would be hard to make a case that you’re wrong. The sack numbers are what they are. This season’s 13.5 represent only the third-highest single-season total of his career, and he has cracked double figures in five of his six NFL seasons. But Miller’s value goes beyond sacks, and it’s hard to watch a Broncos’ game without feeling as if he’s either taking it over or occupying the opposing offense’s attention.
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Game Youth Brad Richardson Jersey Bravo to Khalil Mack of the Oakland Raiders for doing his best Miller impression, and what Landon Collins did for the New York Giants deserves a hat tip. But Miller is the best defensive player in the league right now.