Show and tell: Steelers eye Giants WR who tips off plays

Once a week, a group of Pittsburgh Steelers defenders get with team scouts to scour the opposing team for tendencies — or, in some cases, telling signs.
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Safety Mike Mitchell, who organized the growing meeting, might learn from the scouts how a specific player struggles to get off jams or gets flustered easily.

For Sunday’s matchup against the New York Giants, Mitchell caught something specific with a New York playmaker.
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“I can’t use the name, but there’s a receiver that you know where every time he touches his gloves, it’s a pass,” Mitchell said. “Got that from a scout. It’s 100 percent. Little things like that.”

Steelers safety Mike Mitchell meets with scouts each week to look at opposing teams’ tendencies. Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz are the Giants’ primary receivers.

In the short term, very little should change for the Patriots, who are huge favorites to win the AFC East. At 9-2, their closest competition is the 7-4 Dolphins, who have won six straight games with the past five coming by seven points or fewer. FPI gives the Patriots a 97.7 percent chance of winning their division, more than any other division leader. Even if their true team strength drops with Gronkowski and FPI can’t yet realize that, the Patriots have a two-game lead and the tiebreaker on the Dolphins with five games left.

This should really benefit the trio of contenders in the AFC West more than the Dolphins or Bills. The Patriots currently have a 68.5 percent chance of coming away with the top seed in the AFC, per FPI, even though their 9-2 record is identical to Oakland’s. The Raiders are in second at 22.8 percent, mostly thanks to concern about their end-of-season slate, with three road games to come against their AFC West brethren. If the Chiefs beat the Raiders next Thursday and move into first place in the West, they would suddenly be a threat to the Pats, given that the Chiefs would then be 7-2 in the conference, lurking just behind the Pats, who are currently 7-1 in those games.

The margin of error for everyone on the Patriots, actually, is dramatically reduced by the Gronkowski injury. An offensive line that has been better this year after the return of legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia needs to keep things up; right tackle Marcus Cannon, in particular, can’t revert to the guy who made Patriots fans groan before an impressive 2016 season. The Patriots’ pass defense, a dismal 28th in DVOA heading into this week, can’t allow the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick to post 115.2 passer ratings.

And of course, as it always does, it comes down to Brady to elevate his game without his best receiver around. As Chris Wesseling of NFL Network noted in November, Brady has been a superstar with Gronkowski and basically a league-average passer without him. Here are Brady’s numbers since Gronk entered the league in 2010 in games with and without his longtime tight end.

Sean Payton: Brandin Cooks with zero targets was ‘unusual’

Coach Sean Payton said he is “not concerned” about receiver Brandin Cooks’ apparent frustration with his role in the New Orleans Saints’ offense.

Cooks wasn’t targeted despite playing 45 snaps in the Saints’ 49-21 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Cooks then made reference on Instagram to needing to become a “businessman,” and sources told ESPN that he has expressed growing frustration throughout this season — mostly over being used as a clear-out receiver instead of a primary option.

“Listen, Cooks is a real good football player, and we work extremely hard on these game plans,” Payton said Wednesday. “I’d say it’s a little unusual that we have a game where all of a sudden he’s not targeted. But the first play of the game is supposed to be his play, and we don’t get the right coverage look. We’ll keep working at finding those opportunities for him to get those touches.
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Lewis is going through struggles of his own this year with the Bengals potentially heading toward one of their worst records in his 14-season tenure (he went 4-11-1 in 2008 and 4-12 in 2010).

“I think coaches work harder, turn over more stones, they become better coaches, better people when … you’re a touch off,” he said.

“When you’re winning, you’re doing the same thing, you’re just not questioned by the masses here. It doesn’t change your outlook on things. I think the players have a hard time wondering why you’re climbing up their butt when you’re winning. Now they won’t have to question that right now. That’s part of it. It’s what we are in professional sports.”

That’s all I can tell you. And then the next year after that, and the next year after that, some of those things that seem so insurmountable that first season, you realize you’re going to get through, things are going to work out and you’re going to find a way and it’s going to work well for you. I think that’s important in a tough season we all go through.”

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The Vikings could save $13 million in cash and against the salary cap in 2015 by releasing him

Hopefully that goes over well. It’s still exciting.”

He also seemed prepared for the Reshad Jones Authentic Womens Jersey idea of not wearing a New England uniform in 2015, though he admitted that scenario was the last thing on his mind while the Patriots were making their Super Bowl run last month.

At one point a Cleveland Browns beat writer asked him about Johnny Manziel and how last year’s must-see rookie quarterback’s first-year struggles will impact him. Winston waved it off, for one of the more refreshing moments of the 10-minute melee. He wasn’t worried about it, and reminded the audience that he was “not Johnny Manziel.” At least he wasn’t asked to “talk about” it.

The highlight of the whole affair came with just a few questions left on the clock when he reminded the huddle masses of pleated khakis about his weight.

“A lot of people thought I was fat, but I’m proving everybody wrong. I look good and I know it.”

The Vikings could save $13 million in cash and against the salary cap in 2015 by Ryan Tannehill Authentic Womens Jersey releasing him. Despite rumors over the weekend that the Vikings asked him to take a pay cut and that Peterson was seeking a trade to the Dallas Cowboys, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that neither was true.

In 2014, there wasn’t a defensive or offensive starter that ranked among the top-14 players in special teams snap counts, per Demovsky.

He’s dealt with multiple injuries that have slowed him down and he wound up being the No. 4 receiver on a middling Dolphins team in 2014. He caught just 29 passes for 295 yards and a touchdown last season, but should be able to find a backup job somewhere in the league at 27 years old.

The advanced metrics also gave him high marks, with Pro Football Focus rating him as the eighth-best safety in the league and giving him strong grades in coverage and against the run.

NBA shopping season is starting to warm up as Dec. 15 draws near

The passage of Thanksgiving does not typically spark a shopping frenzy in the NBA.

You’ll realistically have to wait another three weeks for that, until Dec. 15 hits and nearly 130 players who signed new contracts in the offseason become eligible to be stuffed into deals.

Yet there is a hint Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Authentic Womens Jersey of trade chatter in the air as November dribbles to a close. You wouldn’t describe it as anything super saucy yet, but there are players and situations to monitor. Such as:

Greg Monroe: Seven, zero, two and eight. Those are the minute totals Monroe logged in Milwaukee’s four games leading into Thanksgiving. The esteemed Zach Lowe and I had a good discussion on the Lowe Post podcast this week about the challenges in trading big men in the current market — specifically big men who are defensively challenged. The Bucks have explored the possibility of trading Monroe since last season’s deadline in February, which illustrates how hard it can be, but the limited role he has in Brewtown these days is akin to screaming that the 26-year-old is available.

Maybe it’s because Kerr lived on the periphery of so many rosters, and maybe it’s just best practices, but Kerr does intend to use everybody, even if it drives some fans crazy. It’s good for overall morale, and it’s insurance for when things go wrong and an understudy must step up.

Stephen Curry delivered a smooth, 34-point night after a rougher outing Len Dawson Authentic Womens Jersey Friday in Los Angeles. Again, Durant was casually excellent, this time to the tune of 28 points on 17 shots. Klay Thompson pitched in with 23 points on 17 shots. The trio did as they needed in Green’s absence, demonstrating how this superteam might differ from others: The Warriors can be down an All-Star and still look like the Warriors.

It requires everyone else to do their jobs, as happened on Saturday night, but it’s perhaps a unique advantage. The Warriors are better off having everyone, but they have so much and use so many, they can weather the moments when they don’t.

Huston Street and Jonathan Papelbon also ranked in the top 10

Those results and Chapman’s inconsistency in the postseason point to the bigger picture: One reason relievers are so dominant these days — there were 51 relievers who pitched at least 50 innings with Seth Roberts Authentic Jersey an ERA below 3.00 in 2016 and 61 in 2015 — is precisely because they do pitch so few innings. Would Britton go 47-for-47 in save opportunities if he pitched 110 innings instead of 67? Would Chapman average 14 K’s per nine innings if he had to pitch two innings on Tuesday, two innings on Thursday and then again on Saturday? It may be smarter for managers to shift more innings to their best relievers and away from their sixth and seventh guys, but they do so at the risk of the best guys not being as effective.

Some things worth remembering:

In just about any complex negotiation, there is disagreement. There are fights. There are arguments. There are threats. There is middle ground that needs to be identified. It’s part of the process.

The labor agreement expires on Dec. 1, but it’s a very soft deadline, because there are no games being played; there are no player payrolls being met. There aren’t hard dollars at risk at the moment, only theoretical dollars. It really can’t be classified as a serious situation until one side or the other interrupts spring training, and that’s about 75 days away.

The two sides are making incredible money, dollars that their predecessors could have Shilique Calhoun Authentic Jersey only dreamed of. MLB executives rightly tout the growth in the industry, with its revenues now somewhere in the range of $10 billion.

In the postseason, I think the trend of shorter stints for starters may continue, although keep in mind that eight of the 29 starts this postseason of fewer than five innings belonged to the Indians and their somewhat unusual circumstance. Still, the overriding lesson that Francona understood is to manage with urgency in the postseason.

Bill Belichick: Josh McDaniels worthy of consideration for head-coaching job

Bill Belichick knows what it’s like to be a longtime NFL assistant coach in hopes of landing a head-coaching opportunity, and that seemed to be the impetus for him to tout three of his top staffers for that type of opportunity during his Tuesday conference call.

Specifically, Belichick was asked about a report on NBC’s “Football Night in America,” which was detailed by Pro Football Talk, that said offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was not included on an NFL Ken Griffey Authentic Womens Jersey preliminary list of head-coaching candidates for 2017. The list, which includes Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, is put together by the NFL’s Career Development Advisory Panel, according to PFT.

The Raiders emerged from Monday night’s victory against the Texans in Mexico City relatively healthy, though middle linebacker Perry Riley Jr. appeared to be suffering from a hamstring issue during the game. The problem from a team standpoint is that, because Riley wears the green dot communication helmet, adjustments have to be made quickly when he comes out of the game, and usually Malcolm Smith assumes the green dot helmet in Riley’s absence. Rookie Cory James and Ben Heeney, who’s on injured reserve, have also worn the green dot thus far this season.

The Chargers should get some players back after the bye week, with wide receiver Travis Benjamin (knee), safety Jahleel Addae (clavicle) and inside linebacker Denzel Perryman (hamstring) all on target to play on Sunday against the Texans. The addition of Addae, who missed nine games this season, will provide a boost to a San Diego pass defense ranked No. 28 in the league. “He has the most experience out of Michael Lorenzen Authentic Womens Jersey everybody in the room,” safety Dwight Lowery said about Addae. “So to bring his energy, physicality, passion and also knowledge of the defense is going to help us tremendously.”

Left tackle Taylor Lewan has a sprained left knee and is day-to-day after suffering the injury late in the Titans’ loss in Indianapolis. If he can’t go, the Titans are likely to play Dennis Kelly in his place. Kelly replaced Lewan after he was ejected early in Tennessee’s big Nov. 13 win over Green Bay. He plays as tackle-eligible in three-tight end sets. The Titans could bring in Brian Schwenke at left guard and move left guard Quinton Spain to left tackle on plays in which they want Kelly in that role.

NFL fines Aaron Donald $21,000 for Week 1 outburst

It has not been a banner start to the season for the Los Angeles Rams. The NFL is fining defensive tackle Aaron Donald $21,000 for his temper tantrum in the fourth quarter of the Ram’s 28-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football last week.

According to Manti Te’o Jersey ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Gronkowski will miss Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. The tight end originally suffered the injury in a scrimmage against the Chicago Bears Aug. 15.

Though the Patriots were able to defeat the Cardinals without Gronkowski, his value to the team goes without saying. For the second consecutive contest, Jimmy Garoppolo will be forced to work with an undermanned offense. Tackle Sebastian Vollmer and running back Dion Lewis were placed on the PUP list prior to the start of the season.

The Patriots’ injury Matt Slauson Jersey woes will stretch to the defensive side of the ball this week as well. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who’s developed into one of the leaders on defense, is doubtful with a knee injury.

Throughout the Bill Belichick era, the Patriots have largely been able to withstand injuries and win games while stretching the edges of their depth chart. But with Garoppolo under center instead of Tom Brady for the first four weeks of the season, the challenge this season is more daunting.

In addition to the Patriots, a number of other teams are dealing with injuries to star players heading into Sunday’s action. Many are electing to pay through the pain, which is always a risky endeavor –– especially this early in the season.

It’s just a series of increasingly racist comments

Thank God for Stubhub. Fake Fake: I’m from Toronto. Buffalo hates us, and – well, to be honest, we really ‘t care. The truth is, they depend on us to fill their stadiums and arenas to root for their teams and drink their wonderfully affordable American beer. We know it. They know it. Go to any Sabres game when they’re playing the Toronto Maple Leafs and you’ll – it’s always a home game for Toronto. And they Carlos Boozer Jersey get all uptight about this fact. And we laugh, and laugh. And then we drive home to Toronto because why the hell would anyone live Buffalo.Can’t you just post our record for the last 14 years and save your time? : They have the lowest average ticket price the entire league, yet the supposedly rabid fan base can’t be bothered to show up.Buffalo, everything is named after, unremarkable, corrupt president whose only connection to the city is that he was assassinated there.

How fitting. The only president with any true connection to the city is Fillmore, who served three years after died. He was the last Whig and had no vice president. Behind the times and unprepared for disaster. Again, how fitting. We D’Angelo Russell Jersey have not had a good QB since. Our most famous all-time player is a sociopathic murderer. People still talk about winning AFL championships the 1960s, as if that somehow dulls the pain of never winning a Super Bowl. We have two good running backs, of course we are pissing them both off that they leave as soon as they can. We signed to a 4 billion dollar contract, and the most notable thing he did was threaten to kill himself when his gold digging fiancee dumped him, then sue her to get his ring back.You are stepping over rivers of urine as you walk anywhere the building. Andrew: Have you seen lately? It looks like there’s a very tiny black hole just behind his nose that is slowly sucking his face inward. Adam: You know those Conference Champions shirts that teams sell for exactly 10 days after they qualify for the Super Bowl but before they play it? You always wonder, Who the hell would buy that? After all, they’re totally useless after the Super Bowl – you either have nothing to celebrate or a more braggadocious shirt to buy. Bills fans wear those shirts to this day, unironically.The Bills suck because they hired a mildly successful coach from a college known for its basketball team and it’s a HUGE improvement. The Bills fanbase is 95% unbearable. Have you ever visited a Buffalo Bills message board or the team Facebook page?

It’s just a series of increasingly racist comments. Starting with subtle racists longing for the days of some obscure white player from the 60’s, and making its way to overt racists calling a gang member for wearing a baseball hat backwards.Wash the sheets all you want, but if you get out your black light you can still Nix’s DNA all over the organization. Justin: While spending the past nine years central southwest, I had the pleasure of watching EJ bumblefuck his way through several seasons at State and somehow manage to not up badly enough for the Seminoles to lose too often. Everything about the kid screamed fourth-round draft pick until good ol’ boy Nix showed up to the draft.dies fast Buffalo – almost instantly. Terry: The worst part about life is being a Bills fan. Fuck Gailey.The Bills playoff drought has now seen three popes. Adam: Probably nothing sums up the entire Bills experience better than a conversation I had once a San Francisco hotel elevator. A husband and wife walked with me, wearing full 49ers gear. They asked where I was visiting from, and I said Buffalo. The husband immediately looked at me and said, I’m sorry. This was 2009, when the 49ers were still one of the shittiest teams football too.The third preseason game is the most important. to recap ours, we lost 30, our best player’s step-grandfather went on a murder spree, and we’re working out Leinart and Beck. The sad thing is, expression didn’t change when I heard about any of this. You come to expect these things when you’re closing on two decades since your last playoff victory and there’s a decent chance team officials are employing a type scheme concerning the owner.Fuck Nix, Crypt Keeper wannabe, and the whole city of Buffalo. I Time Warner never brings back I ‘t have to watch favorite team get slaughtered by the end of the 1st quarter every week. Kyle: It’s the running our team- : a marketing genius with no football knowledge whatsoever. He previously served as the team’s general manager, which again, is extremely troubling considering he knows absolutely nothing about football. He’s a former college baseball player who initially worked the front office for the Marlins, which kind of makes sense. Now he’s the President and Chief Executive Officer of NFL team. How the did this happen? Seamus: Hating on Buffalo is like on a with terminal bladder cancer who also survived the Rwandan genocide as a kid. There is nothing Buffalo except very cold, obese people scrounging for the meager scraps of a -depleted industrial past. Nolan: The date was October 11th, 2009. completes 2 for 23 yards with a pick.

Every is sweet its own way

Menu The New Knicks look for their fifth consecutive victory over the Magic Wednesday night when the two teams collide at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks have won both games this season between the two and both were. New has won two of its last three, including a 106 home victory over the Atlanta Hawks on. exploded for 42 points on 15-for-28 shooting and 9-for-12 from 3-point range. J.R. Smith and Amare Stoudemire both netted 18 points off the bench. ‘s nine triples tied a franchise record and the Knicks shot 59 percent from Rick Nash Jersey beyond the arc. He matched John Starks, Latrell Sprewell — who did it twice — and. He’s playing unbelievably high right now, Knicks center Tyson Chandler said of. It seemed every time he put it up it was going. He kind of put the team on his back. has scored at least 20 points 29 straight games, which is tied for the longest stretch franchise history. Chandler, who join as an Eastern Conference All Star next month, only had two points and three rebounds against the Hawks, who shot 60 percent from the field on. The Magic have lost six a row and only managed 77 points against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Moe Harkless, recently inserted into the starting lineup, posted a career-high 16 points. scored 15. One night after going off for 31 points thanks to eight made 3-pointers, J.J. Redick only had five points against the Nets on 2-for-13 shooting. Jameer Rod Gilbert Jersey only managed nine points. During the Magic’s six-game slide, has allowed 103 ppg. If you want something to change you’ve got to make a change, said. We can’t wish and pray that a team won’t make shots; we have to make them miss shots. We can’t worry and pray that the ball go ; we have to put the ball the hole. Harkless started place of Arron Afflalo, who missed the Nets’ game with a strained left calf. Afflalo is listed as day-to-day. This is the Knicks second of a five-game homestand, while is on the second of a five-game road swing. The Magic’s last victory against the Knicks came at MSG on Jan. 16 of last year.

PITTSBURGH — As it turned out, the team many doubted would have the right stuff to succeed the new NHL had the perfect blend of Europeans and North Americans, of experience and youth, of skill and grit. It was a winning combination, a championship formula. The Detroit Red, hockey’s most successful franchise for more than a dozen years, are back on top after winning their fourth Cup championship the past 11 seasons with a 3 victory Wednesday over the Pittsburgh Penguins Game 6 of the finals at Mellon Arena. This club completed a successful transition from of Red hockey dominated by Yzerman, Shanahan and Sergei Fedorov to one that now is led by Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, two of the best all-around players the league. The main link between those eras, Nicklas Lidstrom, became the first European captain of a Cup winner. Zetterberg won his first Cup and became the second European player to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. The Red won championships when they could spend freely, and now they’ve won with payroll limitations.

Every is sweet its own way, this one is sweet because we’re a salary-cap world and people thought three years ago our organization was going to go on a downturn, General Manager Ken Holland said. This validates the program. It is the Red ‘ first title since 2002 and the 11th franchise history. And they did it with more Europeans than any previous Cup-winning club. We don’t look at passports, we like skill, we like them to play hard, Holland said. Babcock makes them organized, he pushes them. It’s a global game, said Babcock, who won his first Cup his fifth as NHL coach. are phenomenal players, they’ve won the Olympics, the World Championships, other things. Why wouldn’t they win this? We have some of the best players the world, some of the most competitive, and it showed tonight.

With the Nuggets up nine, and threatening to pull away the fourth quarter

With the Nuggets up nine, and threatening to pull away the fourth quarter, Will Bynum did everything he could to keep the Detroit Pistons the game. It started with a pass. Bynum got picked up by Harrington Anthony Collins Jersey on a defensive switch, and was easily able to dribble into the lane past the larger, slower defender. As two other Nugget players converged to stop Bynum’s penetration, he dumped the ball off to Daye cutting along the baseline for easy layup. That was about all the passing Bynum could be bothered with as he put on a scoring clinic the rest of the quarter, using his quickness to either get to the hoop or create separation for a step-back, mid-range jumper. It didn’t matter who the Nuggets assigned to contain Bynum, and they tried just about everyone, he simply couldn’t be stopped. The Pistons managed to trim the Nuggets’ lead to one with six minutes remaining, but were never able to take control.

Bynum continued to pour the points, finishing the final quarter with 17 on 8 shooting, but it was the former Pistons Austin Seferian-Jenkins Jersey point guard Chauncey Billups who slammed the door on Detroit’s rally. Billups, largely defended by Bynum, went on a fourth-quarter scoring binge of his own. the final five minutes of the game, Billups scored 14 points, including four three-pointers, living up the to the Mr. Big Shot nickname he earned hitting dozens of clutch shots on the Palace court. Bynum’s defensive woes were unfortunate, but somewhat expected. To be fair, he’s at a major size disadvantage trying to Billups, and it was clear that carrying the scoring load drained a significant portion of his energy. can’t capitalize on big opportunity When Stuckey went down with a shoulder injury late the first quarter, and Hamilton at home with the flu, found himself line for expanded role.

Yet, when the Pistons needed someone to step up on the offensive end, was only able to provide a brief spark before fizzling out. During a three-possession stretch the third quarter aggressively attacked off the dribble – knocking down a pull-up jumper from the free-throw line and drawing a pair of shooting fouls at the rim. It appeared he was ready to take over the game. Instead, he closed out the quarter missing two wide-open threes and giving up a steal that resulted a fast-break layup on the other end. After drawing a somewhat questionable offensive foul on the first possession of the fourth quarter, gave up a big to J.R. Smith after failing to get around off-the-ball screen. Kuester pulled shortly after, ending his night with more than nine minutes left the game. ‘s final numbers were pretty disappointing. He finished with 15 points on 4 shooting, one assist and three turnovers.

It should be noted, did perform admirably on the defensive end. Despite the aforementioned Smith, played aggressive, harassing defense on Billups and Smith during the second and third quarters, limiting the effectiveness of both players. played tough Coming into Wednesday’s contest with the Pistons, had been playing his best basketball over a month. Over ‘s last four, he had posted 29-point and seven-rebound averages. Against Detroit, he finished with 18 points after being held to 5 from the floor. managed to fill up other areas of the stat sheet, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out seven assists, but he was also coerced into five turnovers. Tayshaun deserves most of the credit for ‘s struggles, doing excellent job preventing him from establishing position on the low block, staying front of him when he faced the basket and forcing him to regularly settle for mid-range jump shots. It certainly didn’t hurt that the two times beat of the dribble the first quarter he blew the layup attempts.