Monthly Archives: June 2018

Clay Matthews hit by line drive in charity softball game

A charity softball game took a serious turn Saturday when Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews took a line drive to the face.

Those young players include Davis and second-year tight end Jonnu Smith, who will eventually replace Walker, who turns 34 in August. The veteran doesn’t sound ready to give up his seat, though, which is fair, considering he’s still highly productive so much that he saw a three-position rise in the Top 100 rankings, ascending from No. 75 in 2017 to No. 72 in 2018.

As the last few campaigns have proven, when the Titans come to town, attention must be paid to Walker. Coming off their surprising playoff victory last postseason, perhaps that attention will follow him, even when the Titans aren’t in your nearest NFL city.

South Carolina scooped it up and took it to the end zone, but at that time in college football, players could not advance a fumble. It was a dead ball the moment the defender touched it. The rule, since changed, saved Georgia, which held on to win 31-26.

There were only four seconds left. So the moment a Burrillville (Rhode Island) High School basketball player stole a Chariho inbounds pass, he thought play was over. His whole team thought it was all over. The ball was chucked up into the air , and they celebrated what they believed to be their victory.

Little did they realize Chariho caught the throwaway and called a timeout before the time actually ran out. With less than a second left, a perfect lob play led to a Chariho game-winning layup.

Burrillville lost 60-59. It was the state championship.

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The New York Jets have been awful at pass-rushing positions over the last decade-plus.

Since 2006, only one edge defender, Calvin Pace in 2013, has registered 10 or more sacks in a single season. Yet again, New York didn’t address this issue in the offseason.

It’s likely Jordan Jenkins (5.5 career sacks) and Josh Martin (2.5) start again for the Jets in 2018, giving the team one of the two worst edge defender situations in the league (the Rams have the other). After packaging a plethora of picks to move up from the sixth overall selection to third, the Jets weren’t left with many draft assets to spend on pass-rushers.

With 2017 second-round pick Sidney Jones, 2015 second-round pick Ronald Darby, 2017 third-round pick Rasul Douglas, 2018 fourth-round pick Avonte Maddox and 2016 seventh-round pick Jalen Mills on the roster, it’s not that Philadelphia doesn’t have young players eager for the chance at more playing time. It’s just that none of them have had the year Robinson just posted under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

We’re splitting hairs, but experienced, proven cornerbacks may be the difference between the 2017 and 2018 Eagles.

A decade ago, the thought of NFL offenses resembling college spread attacks was unfathomable. Now, those spread concepts are part of some of the league’s most innovative offenses, including the Bears’. More Chase Daniel was a prototypical spread quarterback during his college days at Mizzou, expertly operating a fast-paced offense that racked up over 1,100 points in 2007 and 2008. At 6 feet tall, he was undersized for the NFL, but not for a college scheme that split receivers and tight ends all over the field and operated exclusively out of the shotgun.

Daniel’s savviness and talent fit the offense perfectly, and he earned a trip to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist as a result. But the prevailing thought when Daniel finished his college career in 2008 was that the kind of offense he – and plenty others – ran in college wasn’t remotely transferrable to the NFL. Fast-forward a decade later, and the spread hasn’t taken over the NFL, but some aspects of it have become part of a new wave of offensive ingenuity.

The Giants are mixing up their defensive line scheme, so they need more solid producers against the run for their rotation at end. That’s what Hill gives them.

The 49ers needed a little more coverage ability at outside linebacker, and Warner will be useful off the bench at first behind Malcolm Smith and Eli Harold.

The Broncos keep nailing this draft without taking a quarterback. After getting Bradley Chubb and Courtland Sutton to fill needs, Freeman is the ideal running back for their scheme to replace released C.J. Anderson. Freeman has a chance to see a lot of touches as a rookie over Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson.

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Gonzaga missed Killian Tillie (hip injury) in its loss to Florida State in the Sweet 16.

The big man, who connected on 48 percent of his 3-point attempts this season, will come back for another year to impress NBA scouts. That’s a significant development for Gonzaga.

Tillie is not the only intriguing pro prospect on the roster, however. Rui Hachimura, the 6-foot-8 talent, averaged 11.6 PPG, and Zach Norvell Jr. averaged 12.7 PPG and made 39 percent of his 3-pointers. This group will also get another year from savvy point guard Josh Perkins (5.3 APG).

Ozzie Newsome doubles up on tight ends after taking Hayden Hurst in the first round. While Hurst is complete as a blocker and a receiver, Andrews is more of a straight-up move receiver to complement new wideouts Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead.

Key has some great pass-rush upside, but unfortunately, he had a checkered career at LSU both on and off the field, and he couldn’t take full advantage of his wingspan and athleticism. The Raiders are banking on bringing out his best, first in a situational role.

Burks does a little bit of everything well, standing out most in coverage. He’ll be a backup inside linebacker in Mike Pettine’s 3-4 at first.

On the other side of things, the Jazz are just doing their thing. The ball moves, the floor stays spaced and eventually, a good shot is found from a high efficiency area. With Rudy Gobert putting Westbrook in a total and complete bind, it’s pretty simple stuff for Utah.

Some scattered boos around the arena as the Jazz open up a 15-point lead, with the Thunder looking completely a mess.

The Colts go for their second defensive end of the round for their transition to a 4-3. Lewis, like Turay, was taken for his pass-rush ability. Frank Reich is copycatting the Eagles in trying to have a deep rotation to go after quarterbacks. Lewis can slide inside on passing downs.

The Raiders got a more polished and athletic option for left tackle with Kolton Miller in Round 1. Here, they take a small-school project who they hope can round into starting right tackle in time. For now, Parker will learn as a swing reserve.

The Giants are moving to a base 3-4 under James Bettcher, and he goes after a Chandler Jones-like edge rush option. Carter has some first-round traits, but he needs to bulk up and work on his coverage to become a starter and stay on the field beyond obvious passing situations.

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