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Gruden: “There were trade rumors going on at that time

 [Al] asked me if I’d wanted to talk to the Glazers. And my contract was coming up. To make a long story short, I said, ‘Yeah, I’d like to talk to the Glazers.’ That didn’t make him very happy.” Nike Bruce Ellington Women's Red Limited Jersey: #12 NFL Alternate Houston Texans Vapor UntouchableBucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer: “Jon was a winner. Coming from Oakland, Jon had huge success on the offensive side of the ball. We had an unbelievable defense, and all we were missing was that side of the football. Getting a chance to get a young coach in his prime was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and so we did what we needed to do to make it happen.” (Game Nike Men's Cam Newton White Jersey) Carolina Panthers Road #1 NFL The deal was done by 3 a.m. on Feb. 18, 2002. The trade was for four draft picks -- first- and second-round picks in 2002, a first-rounder in 2003 and a second-rounder in 2004 -- and $8 million. Gruden would make almost $4 million per season for five years, more than tripling his salary. Trading for coaches wasn’t that uncommon at the time. Patriots owner Robert Kraft gave Leon Hess and the New York Jets a first-round draft pick in 2000 to land Bill Belichick. In 1997, Jets owner Hess gave a first-, second-, third- and fourth-round draft pick and a $300,000 charitable donation to the Patriots to land Parcells in a deal brokered by NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Cindy Gruden, Jon's wife: “We did get the call around 1 in the morning, and we were disoriented. So the news comes through, and we can’t get a hold of our agent, Bob [Lamonte], because it’s nighttime. Nobody does business -- I don’t know -- the Glazers do things sometimes in the middle of the night. So it came through, and we talked to Al Davis and the Glazers, and everybody was like, 'Are we doing this?' 'Yes, we are. It's done.'" Gruden: "Shortly after that, we agreed on a contract. I guess the trade had already been agreed upon between the Raiders and the Bucs. It all happened fast. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much that night." Cindy Gruden: “It was like, ‘What just happened?’ And then it’s all these emotions because California’s your home, the Raiders are your team and you love those people. You’d been through a lot with them football-wise, at least from a wife’s perspective. We live and die with our husbands as well. So you have all these emotions of leaving the place that you love, but going into a place that you also love. So it was an insane mix of emotions.” Gruden's family lived in the Tampa Bay area. His father, Jim, was the Bucs' running backs coach from 1982-83 and was a regional scout and director of player personnel. His brother, Jay Gruden, went to Tampa's Chamberlain High School and was the quarterback; he later became head coach of the Arena Football League's Orlando Predators. Gruden: “It was like a storybook opportunity for me to go home. ... I grew up with [former Bucs tight end] Jimmie Giles. I was a ball boy for the Bucs. [Former Bucs quarterback] Doug Williams, I idolized Doug.” Glazer: “It was euphoria. It was so exciting to know that Jon was coming to Tampa.” "That was just a crazy time in all of our lives. That was Julian Howsare Youth jersey just shocking. I was just totally just blown away that he was traded in the middle of the night. That was a first one for me [and] a first for a lot of people. I was happy for him. A special guy." Brown: “I tried to get ahold of him right away, and obviously I couldn’t, because he was already on his way to Tampa; and next time I saw him, he was on TV being introduced as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.” As news of Gruden's Womens Sean Rodriguez Jersey hiring spread through Tampa, Jeffrey Neil Fox, owner of the old Buccaneer Heaven, a memorabilia store just a few miles north of Raymond James Stadium, had to prepare for the Gruden frenzy, including the coach’s “alter ego.” Gruden’s facial expressions, combined with his blonde hair, freckles and boyish appearance earned him the nickname "Chucky" after a character in the 1998 horror flick "Child's Play." Fox: "We got on the internet and bought up every single Chucky doll there was. Initially, I got 100, but I ended up ordering, I think, 2,000 of them. We made them go back to Jake Rudock Womens Jersey press. We made the toy manufacturer make them up again. We had a little bit of a monopoly on this. ... My showroom looked Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Authentic Jersey like a murder scene [with so many people]. ... That Chucky thing went crazy." Johnson: "I called [Raiders quarterback] Rich Gannon when that went down, and he said, 'Brad, you're gonna love playing for him. He's gonna have you more prepared than anybody you've ever had before. He's gonna teach you a lot of football. And he's gonna give you a chance to win at a higher level.' And Rich was right about everything."

How Bucs' Jon Gruden gamble paid off with a Super Bowl

In the early-morning hours of Feb. 18, 2002, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent two first-round draft picks, two second-round picks and $8 million to the Oakland Raiders -- for a head coach. Eleven months and eight days later, Jon Gruden led his Bucs team against those same Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, and he delivered Tampa’s first and only Vince Lombardi Trophy with a 48-21 victory. #77 Reebok Authentic Jeff Carter Youth White NHL Jersey - Away Los Angeles KingsBucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer Derek Roy Authentic Jerseycalled it "a trade that shook the NFL," and it is still the biggest deal to acquire a coach in NFL history. It was a steep price to pay for Gruden, who will be inducted into the Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor during Monday night’s game, but as one of his former players Danielle Hunter Authentic Jersey said, “One Super Bowl is worth 20 years of mediocrity." Here's a look back at how the trade that made Gruden feel pressure went down, the historic “Chucky Bowl” and the aftermath for a franchise that hasn’t come close to the top of the NFL mountain since. Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown: “Right after the game in New England, he made a comment in the locker room that basically said ... 'You guys should have won.’ And I went up to him after he had finished, and I asked him what did ‘you guys’ mean? ‘Coach, you are a part of us.’ And he just sort of walked away from me." Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson: "I can't say that I remember any rumblings about it. ... Nobody thought he was going anywhere. He had come in and the mission was to get that franchise turned around and that had happened. ... Nobody thought he was going anywhere. We just thought he was having issues with negotiations like everybody else does and they'd get it worked out and we'd have our coach." Meanwhile in Tampa, the Bucs were struggling to find a replacement for Dungy. Bill Parcells opted to stay retired. They interviewed Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, LSU head coach Nick Saban, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Tampa Bay general manager Rich McKay wanted Lewis, but the Glazers believed they had their defense set already with coordinator Monte Kiffin and they wanted an DeForest Buckner Authentic Jersey offense-minded head coach. Brooks: “Up until that point, everybody was kind of scrambling, doing their own thing. But at the end of the day, we were not accomplishing anything because we didn’t have a head coach. So for a month, I worked out, I did this, I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing, wrong thing in terms of what the head coach wanted, because we didn’t have one.” Alstott: “We were in limbo. We were really in limbo for a time not knowing what to expect and hearing different names, and all of a sudden, here comes Jon Gruden out of nowhere, overnight.” Raiders owner Al Davis initially demanded two first-round draft picks, two second-round picks and future Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp, who had been NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1999, in exchange for Gruden. The Bucs went looking elsewhere. After talks with San Francisco 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci went nowhere, the focus turned back to Gruden. Bucs vice president Joel Glazer called Davis at his home around 10 p.m. on Feb. 17, 2002. The two talked for about 30 minutes, and the Bucs reiterated their interest in Gruden. Jon Gruden: “I had a phone in my house and when that phone rang, there was only one person -- Al Davis. And he’d call at times when you’d expect Al Davis to call -- usually when I was sleeping. So when the phone rang that night, I knew who it was. We had just lost to, I think the Patriots, in the playoffs. I was still bitter about the game. I know he was still upset about the game. I figured we were gonna talk about that." Brown: “I think [Gruden] knew something was coming. I think he had given the Raiders until Thanksgiving to get something done or he was going to leave, so I think everybody knew what was going to happen except the players. ... The players weren’t aware of anything of that nature.”

penalty magnets, plus more Seattle expansion news

Players who take or draw penalties at a higher rate than their NHL peers have always fascinated me. Like everything else in hockey that is quantifiable, these numbers require significant consideration of context, from players' roles on their teams to the nature of the penalties to something as nebulous as their reputations among officials. Giants Jersey (On that last point: How many dives draw a call or get ignored because that player is on "the list" with NHL officials?)I'm particularly fascinated with the penalty numbers for forwards, given that we assume most defensemen will take more penalties than they draw. (Please note that Colton Parayko of the St. Louis Blues leads in penalties plus/minus for defensemen, at plus-7 this season.) So let's take a gander at the forwards who have drawn the most penalties since the start of the 2016-17 season through Thursday night's games. All stats are via the great Corsica. 'Twas a time when one might assume that Connor McDavid's penalties-drawn rate would have been a product of reputation -- but, honestly, have you seen this guy play? He's drawing a penalty for every 37.1 minutes of even-strength ice time. Johnny Gaudreau is averaging one penalty drawn for every 40.98 minutes of ice time. But on average, David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins is drawing more than both of them: one penalty Joe Carter Womens Jersey for every 36.23 minutes of ice time since the start of last season. In all three cases, their Connor Barwin Jersey ability to get into scoring position is what forces opposing players to foul them -- and in some cases, their ability to know when to draw those penalties. Hey, that's an art form too. Nikolaj Ehlers is an interesting name on this list. He leads the Winnipeg Jets in penalties drawn, with eight more than Mathieu Perreault, the team leader in puck possession (53.16) over the past two seasons. Dustin, meanwhile, has been a master at drawing penalties for quite some time. Since 2014, Brown has drawn 70 penalties in 276 games, for a penalty plus/minus of plus-37 -- by far the best on the Los Angeles Kings during that stretch. Again, some names you expect: Zack Kassian and Patrick Maroon both have 11 major penalties since the start of last season. Jason Chimera, Matt Stajan and Michael Frolik are all energy-line players. Mikko Koivu is a bit of a surprise because he's one of the NHL's best defensive forwards by reputation. But given that he hasn't scored since Nov. 25, Wild Jonathan Ogden Jersey fans probably have other issues with him. Then we come to Ryan Johansen, who at times can be perplexing statistically, and this is no exception. His penalty plus/minus since the start of last season is worse than that of Cody McLeod (minus-15), whose job is literally to take penalties. Johansen's penalty plus-minus also is worse than any other defenseman on his team. Hey, things happen. As a center, Johansen has more defensive responsibility than do linemates Filip Forsberg (plus-2) and Viktor Arvidsson (plus-9). But Forsberg has drawn 22 and Arvidsson has drawn 26 in the past two seasons, so the question is, why doesn't Johansen draw more? Jon Lovorn is a senior captain for the University of Alabama's hockey team, an ACHA Division I program. He considers Newtown, Connecticut, his hometown, having moved there as a teenager. He was in high school five years ago on that horrific day when 26 people, including 20 children, lost their lives in a massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Lovorn has always found personal ways to honor the victims, including putting a piece of tape on his helmet that reads "Never Forget: 12-14-12." But on this five-year anniversary of the tragedy, he decided to do something more significant: He changed his jersey number from 21 to 26 in honor of the victims. And the tribute didn't stop there. Lovorn realized that Alabama had 26 games on its schedule. So he decided to honor the victims by wearing a sticker on his helmet that listed a different name for each game.'The Seattle NHL expansion bid feels like it's been strapped to a rocket in a way we haven't seen before. Like, we could wake up tomorrow and the Seattle Sasquatch Pilots will suddenly be in the Pacific Division standings as if they were a late Royal Rumble entrant or something. That feeling comes from what has been a yearslong process. The NHL was obviously doing its due diligence on the market during the previous round of expansion, in the hopes that some group would get its act together on the arena construction front. The league was having conversations with potential team owners -- billionaire David Bonderman and filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer among them -- about the $650 million price tag for a franchise, before the Seattle City Council approved the Key Arena refurbishment.,101282

Whenever there's an NFL game going on, a committee

of 50 ex-NFL players will assemble in New York (or California or some other central location). The committee will consist of 25 former receivers and 25 defensive backs. You can change the numbers however you want -- maybe it's 10 at each position or 32 players and each team can nominate a wide receiver or a defensive back in alternating years -- but the idea is the same. Youth Replica Majestic Francisco Liriano Green Jersey - #46 MLB Houston Astros Salute To ServiceThese players have one job: Whenever there is a question about a catch that is challenged via the coach's flag or any of the automatic review situations, they get 60 seconds to watch replays of the catch and then vote "Yes" or "No." They will be provided with whatever catch rules the NFL wants to suggest, but at the end of the day, they have one principle which overrides that concept: If they think it's a catch, the voters on our panel should vote "Yes." If not, they should vote otherwise. And yes, before you ask: This should be treated like an episode of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." We should see the votes update in real time on the screen, although the individual votes should be kept anonymous to the public. There should be a bunch of cameras in the room. Shine a light on each player as we get to the final few and the vote's at 24-24 so we can watch Wes Welker and Jabari Greer agonize over their Anton Khudobin Jersey decision. Imagine the fans at the stadium roaring as they see the vote count rising in their favor on the video board. This could be great television. Players should be allowed to remain on the committee for up to 10 years, but we want to eventually find a consensus on what isn't a catch. As a result, while the votes should remain anonymous to the public, the league should keep track of the individual votes and prevent the five players who differed from the majority most frequently from joining the committee in the future. This would be bad if the consensus was wrong, but the consensus should be pretty in line with popular opinion with a large enough sample. No, this won't be cheap, and it wouldn't be a perfect solution. I suspect referees might not take kindly to giving away this element of power. Anthony Duclair Jersey It would also make for great television, and we would have far fewer controversial calls than we do now. We're never going to fix the catch rule. Let's at least have some fun with it and think outside of the box for a compelling and possibly entertaining solution instead. PITTSBURGH -- The game lived up to its advance billing and came packaged with a surreal ending Pavol Demitra Youth jersey that belonged on the third Sunday in January, with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake. The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers made breathtaking plays, a bogus rule stained the beauty of the event and Ben Roethlisberger ripped a page out of Dan Marino's old playbook and tried a fake spike that turned victory into defeat. Everything about the endgame was wild and crazy and unpredictable except, of course, the final result. The Patriots won and the Steelers lost because that's what always seems to happen when these two titans meet. The easy narrative after New England's 27-24 victory assigned the Steelers the roles of haunted losers, contenders who could've won more titles had they come along at a different time. A time when they wouldn't have gotten Bill Belichick'd and Tom Brady'd as often as they did. Just like Arnold Palmer could never beat Jack Nicklaus, and the old Lakers could never beat the old Celtics and the Buffalo Bills of the '90s could never beat whoever they faced in the Super Bowl, the Steelers could have left Heinz Field on Sunday night feeling like they'll never solve the Patriots. Pittsburgh had the defending champions on the ropes, all but waiting for Big Ben to throw the big right hand after the officials took a go-ahead touchdown off the board. Instead, with the clock ticking and nine seconds to play, Roethlisberger took the snap at the 7-yard line, did the ol' Marino fake -- the former Dolphins great once famously beat the Jets (who else?) on this form of sorcery -- and fired a fastball for Eli Rogers that instead hit the left arm of the diving New England defender, Eric Rowe. The ball bounced high and into the waiting arms of Duron Harmon, a reliable closer in these situations, and that was that. This was the ultimate Patriots play under the ultimate Patriots circumstances, and Malcolm Butler surely approved. As the Steelers did a zombie-like stagger off the field, they had to be asking themselves: How in the world did we lose this game? How can we control the ball for 35 minutes and put a bunch of hits on Brady and still fall short? How can we watch JuJu Smith-Schuster answer Antonio Brown's second-quarter calf injury and a painfully late Patriots touchdown and two-point conversion with an astonishing 69-yard catch and run, then still ask him to field questions about New England's dominance? Discount Jerseys NBA Jerseys Wholesale Basketball Jerseys NHL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys

Fortunately, Twitter fixed that for us

I asked about possible solutions to this problem back in October and certified genius chiefdog10 solved our crisis with what he called the "self-touchback." I like "reverse touchback," but the idea's his. When the ball is fumbled out of bounds through the pylon, don't turn the ball over. Just push it back to the 20-yard line. I'll add that the downYouth Nike Los Angeles Rams #6 Johnny Hekker White Vapor Untouchable Elite Player NFL Jerseyshould count, so the reverse touchback basically costs you 19-plus yards of field position but otherwise lets you keep the football. You're punished for fumbling, but it's not the eight-point swing (including the missing touchdown and the possession given to the other team) that comes with the current rule. These changes don't solve the catch rule problem, but they eliminate the most frustrating and confusing plays we complain about on Sundays. James' catch would have been ruled a completion and then a momentary fumble as he hit the ground and stretched forward, which he would have then recovered. The Steelers wouldn't have been awarded a touchdown, but they would have been able to get back on the ball at the 1-inch line. The league's catch rule is too complicated, and all the changes we've made have turned it into something like an overfit model. We're asking a lot of refs on a weekly basis Womens Josh Anderson Jersey as they deal with an increasingly speedy game. current replay system makes it so that referees often rule a big play a turnover or a touchdown on the field, which creates an automatic review but one inherently likely to lead to those decisions being upheld, given that ties go to the call on the field. The widespread unpopularity and confusion surrounding the catch rule means we have to start over. So, let's go with what Larry Fitzgerald suggested should be the new rule two years ago. If a receiver catches the ball and gets two feet, a knee, an elbow or Authentic Nickell Robey-Coleman Jersey a cheek on the ground, it's a catch. If he stays upright and the ball is stripped out of his hands or he bobbles it, the ball becomes a live fumble. Doesn't that feel refreshingly simple and comprehensible? We still need to come up with a clear definition of "catch," but let's try to keep that to the shortest possible definition. Maybe it becomes a catch at the moment when the receiver grabs the ball in his hands without bobbling it. Perhaps you put a time frame on it, like the receiver cradles the ball for a half-second or a full second. This will unquestionably increase fumbles, which will be fodder for the tiresome and flimsy arguments about how football has always been great and is now suddenly worse. That's fine. The league's turnover rate has been dropping steadily for decades. Fumbles are fun plays. Everyone loves to point. Players will also adapt and begin to protect the football earlier through the catch process. It will also mean more Ethan Westbrooks Womens Jersey catches, but how often do you hear people complaining that something was ruled a catch when it shouldn't have been? We're living in a golden age of receivers. Let's reward Antonio Brown and Julio Jones for being amazing There is a group of people out there who believe that the catch rule should revolve around what Bruce Arians refers to as "common sense." The eye test is almost always a phrase used to excuse anecdotal nonsense, but players and fans alike have seen enough football to know whether something's a catch or not. The plays in the NFL are simply too fast for a referee to judge in real time, and we shouldn't be using frame-by-frame replay to judge something that happened at top speed and overturn a catch over a slight budge seconds later. There is no language capable of solving the catch rule. So, if you know whether something's a catch or not from watching a play in context, let's use our eyes to decide. And since this is my idea, we're not turning things over to a head referee to watch on video. Let me introduce you to The Committee.

Three options to fix the NFL's catch rule

Under the NFL's definition of a catch, the league was right to take away what looked to be a game-winning Jesse James touchdown catch at the end of Sunday night's Patriots-Steelers game. There are still unanswered questions -- notably, if the call was as easy as the explanations of Alberto Riveron and Tony Corrente Joe Flacco Womens Jersey have suggested, why it took what felt like 10 minutes to overturn the call -- but everyone on the league side of things seems to agree that the review was processed properly and led to the correct call. Youth Nike New York Giants #52 Jonathan Casillas Limited Olive/Camo 2017 Salute to Service NFL JerseyHere's the problem, though: Just about everyone who has watched a football game before also thinks James caught that football. Watch the replay. The Patriots defenders who surround James after the play aren't arguing it's incomplete. Bill Belichick, who would have been pictured frantically gesturing on camera in the case he thought it was a drop, isn't depicted. Jim Nantz says "there's no doubt it's going to hold up," as he and Tony Romo spend two minutes watching replays before it even occurs to them that the ball spun slightly as James hit the ground. Limited Men's John Riggins Olive Jersey: NFL Nike Washington Redskins #44 2017 Salute to ServiceThe rule was interpreted correctly, but the rule is bad. There are plenty of problems with the NFL right now, but many of them are either intractable or downright unfixable. The catch rule is not one of them. The NFL has to fix it, and that might require a totally radical sort of solution. Let's make arguments for three very different types of changes to the much-hated catch rule. While the NFL's catch rules certainly aren't perfect, they've evolved the way they have for a reason. Tangible in-game examples (like the Bert Emanuel rule) have driven practical changes to the laws over time. They're never going to fix the problem and make everyone happy all the time, but no rule on paper is ever going to address every possible in-game catch situation. As a result, the league needs to be proactive about monitoring how the rule is impacting games and be comfortable making changes every year or two accordingly. With that in mind, the league's catch rule isn't really all that bad over the first 99.9 yards of the field. Most of the complaints we've seen over the past few years, starting most memorably with the Dez Bryant catch, revolve around touchdowns and would-be touchdowns. Those plays are always going to stand out in the mind because of their importance, but they're also where the current rules seem to fall apart. The Calvin Johnson rule, so called for taking a touchdown away from one of the league's star wide receivers in Week 1 of the Paul Martin Jersey 2010 season, simply doesn't work. It leaves too much up for interpretation and offers little clarity into what receivers actually need to do to ensure a touchdown. James' catch fell short because he failed to, as Corrente described, "survive the ground." The ball moved slightly as James hit the ground, but independent of rulebook, it's clear that James caught the ball, only for it to budge slightly as he leaned forward to try to push ahead of the plane. To Womens Pierre Garcon Jersey improve matters, let's get rid of the surviving the ground rule and stop taking away touchdown catches for balls that narrowly drop slightly after a player's established contact. Runners can score touchdowns just by flashing the ball over the plane of the goal line, but receivers currently need to complete their catch to the ground to become runners and qualify for touchdowns. Under our rule change, a player becomes a runner as soon as he catches the ball and gets two feet (or one knee or elbow or cheek, as Damiere Byrd exhibited Sunday) inbounds. This rule isn't perfect, but it's an improvement. We don't have to go back to the "football move" conundrum with this change. The receiver doesn't have to turn upfield or hold on to the football until his teammates have started their synchronized celebration. If the receiver bobbles the ball on the way to the ground and never actually makes a firm catch, that's an incomplete pass. Otherwise, if he catches the ball on his feet (or back) and establishes himself inbounds, it's a catch. To go along with it, let's fix the actual worst rule in football, when a fumble through the pylon becomes a turnover and a touchback for the other team. Nobody likes this rule outside of the one game every three or four seasons in which it benefits their team. The problem is that the solution of simply giving the ball back to the offense on the 1-yard line basically gives offensive players a free opportunity to reach Womens Torey Krug Jersey for the pylon with no repercussions, given that a swatted ball near the pylon is almost always going to go out of bounds. Wholesale Jerseys From China NBA Jerseys For Sale Cheap NFL Jerseys Paypal Discount NFL JerseysWholesale NFL Jerseys Supply Wholesale Jerseys ChinaWholesale Jerseys Paypal

After signing Zack Cozart, the Angels are headed to the postseason if

After landing infielders Ian Kinsler and Zack Cozart over the past two days, the Los Angeles Angels look as if they are headed to the postseason in 2018. Given the avalanche of acquisitions the Halos have made since the season ended, that makes their general manager, Billy Eppler, the early favorite for American League Executive of the Year. It will be a resurgent year in Orange County ... Men's Nike Baltimore Ravens #87 Maxx Williams Black Alternate Vapor Untouchable Limited Player NFL JerseyIf Shohei Ohtani is healthy and lives up to his billing. Landing Ohtani was a watershed moment in the history of the Angels and there isn't a team in the majors that wouldn't have celebrated the signing of the super-talented 23-year-old two-way star. But Ohtani to prove his raw talent translates to the big leagues, and he has to prove that his elbow is sound enough to head up a rotation in need of an ace. If stick-a-fork-in-him Albert Pujols doesn't leak even more value from being required to play first base more often to make room at DH for Ohtani. If Andrelton Simmons can retain some of the offensive gains made in 2017, when his .752 OPS was 65 points better than his career average. If Cozart's defensive value holds up at third base, which seems like a pretty good bet because you always like a shortstop's chances to hold down other infield positions, and Cozart has consistently put up positive defensive metrics through his career. Still, he'll be 32 and playing for a franchise other than Cincinnati for the first time. Plus, his debut at third base for the Angels next season will be his first appearance at the hot corner in the majors or minors. L.A. needs Cozart's defensive value to hold up because his OPS during last year's career season at the plate (.933) was 217 points better than his big league norm. He might not give all of that back but, then again, Cozart is a post-peak player entering a harsher offensive environment than the one he enjoyed at Great American Ballpark. f the lineup isn't too right-handed. Right fielder Kole Calhoun could be the only lefty-hitting everyday player, depending on how often Ohtani is in the lineup and how often last year's primary third baseman, Luis Valbuena, gets to play. If the rotation enjoys a semblance of health. Asking manager Mike Scioscia to pull off the same kind of juggling act he did last season is tough. Ohtani is already an injury question mark. Matt Shoemaker threw just 77⅔ innings last season. Garrett Richards has made a total of 12 starts over the past two years. Tyler Skaggs missed all of the 2015 season, started 10 games in 2016 and spent much of 2017 battling an oblique injury. JC Ramirez had stem cell treatment after the season for a damaged ligament in his pitching elbow. You get the idea.If Parker Bridwell doesn't turn into a pumpkin. Because his peripherals suggest that he might. If the back end of the Ereck Flowers Womens Jersey bullpen holds up. And it might, thanks to breakout 2017 performer Blake Parker, hopes for a healthier Cam Bedrosian and the signing of former Brave Jim Johnson, who had a long-ball problem last season for Atlanta. If Kinsler isn't ready to fall off a cliff. After all, this is a middle infielder who turns 36 in June and lost 106 points of OPS in 2017. It might have just been an BABIP issue -- he dipped to .244. Still, you have to worry at his age that his spike in walk rate suggests a slowing bat as it sometimes does. On the bright side, Kinsler's defense still graded out well above average, even if his defensive runs saved total dipped into single digits. If the outfield defense holds up. Even though Kinsler is slowing and Cozart isn't quite as impactful at a new position, a healthy Angels team should have one of the best infield defenses in baseball. Los Angeles is also well situated in right, where Calhoun is consistently better than average and a reliable source of highlight reel fodder. Justin Upton has been a consistent performer on both outfield corners. But in center field ... we must float a sacrilegious possibility. What if Mike Trout really is more like the minus-6 DRS defender he was last season than the plus-6 he was the season before that? His downturn was backed up by Statcast, where he rated as four plays below average. Just sayin'. If Upton doesn't wilt under pressure from his newly extended contract. Simmons, Cozart and Upton all enjoyed career seasons at the plate in 2017. Upton seems less likely to regress based on his career numbers, even though his OPS did jump from .775 to .901. But his career mark is .828. However, that .775 mark in 2016 was the lowest Ethan Pocic Jersey Upton has had since his rookie season and it came on the heels of the six-year deal he signed in January of that year. That deal is the one the Angels extended this winter.

While the Lakers pine for LeBron, his next home remains a mystery

Ever since she chose her seats nearly two decades ago in second row across from the home bench at Staples Center, Los Angeles Lakers co-owner and president Jeanie Buss has entertained celebrities, business moguls and NBA power brokers there. Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is a frequent guest. Her former fiancé Phil Jackson sat there for a half on the night Shaquille O'Neal's jersey was retired. On any night, you might find Larry David, Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Connors or P.K. Subban in that prime seat. Sitting with Buss at a Lakers game -- even for a few minutes -- is making it in L.A. Men's Pittsburgh Penguins #13 Nick Bonino Adidas Green Premier Salute To Service NHL JerseyNBA agent Rich Paul got the invitation on the night of Oct. 23. He had just settled into the third row behind the visitors bench to watch the Lakers debut of his client Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Paul, of course, also represents the biggest star in the NBA -- LeBron James -- who is expected to become a free agent after the season. And as we saw when he was a free agent in 2010 and 2014, James has the ability to change the balance of power in the entire league. Men's Replica Majestic Jorge Soler White Home Jersey - #12 MLB Kansas City Royals Cool BaseSo when Paul, wearing one of his trademark high-end leather jackets, walked over to Buss' seats and sat next to her during the first half, NBA Twitter began to buzz. Buss was sitting with LeBron James' agent. LEBRON'S AGENT! Authentic Guy Lafleur Jersey Was the fantasy of sports talk radio -- that LeBron will consider the Lakers in free agency -- legit? Or was this just another celebrity photo op at a Lakers game meant to wag the dog? Intentionally or not, LeBron has also fueled the Lakers rumors on several occasions. In July, he showed up to a Lakers summer league game in Las Vegas and sat courtside to watch Lonzo Ball in the midst of winning MVP. In September, he and his wife toured a private high school in nearby Sherman Oaks. And what about the second home in Brentwood -- the brand-new one with upgraded amenities that was even nicer than the mansion he owns on famed Rockingham Drive -- that he was in the process of purchasing? When the Lakers signed Caldwell-Pope this summer, it was widely believed that at least some of their motivation was to use the season to show him and, by extension, Paul what the Laker life was all about -- well, what the Laker life Saku Koivu Jersey was like after Buss boldly fired her brother Jim Buss and longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak in February, replaced them with Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, who then drafted electric rookie Lonzo Ball, whose overzealous father had seemingly spoken his path to the NBA's glamour franchise into being. But Buss felt boldness was necessary after the Lakers had fallen into the lottery four years in a row. Los Angeles is a town that doesn't tolerate mediocrity for very long. Be interesting or be forgotten quickly here. And with Kobe Bryant two years into retirement, the Lakers were flirting with irrelevance. They needed new energy and Matt Martin Jersey new stars as soon as possible. Enter Ball, who has drawn comparisons to luminaries like Johnson and Jason Kidd. And enter salary cap space, which the Lakers have made little secret they intend to use to pursue superstar players -- like James and Southern California native Paul George -- in free agency next summer. James has signed three deals with the Cavs just since 2014. In each of those deals, Paul and his partner Mark Termini have prioritized getting James maximum money, not just for that season, but timing the deals so James can maximize his earning potential for the rest of his career. Their position has always been to sign for the max and to maintain maximum leverage over both James' career and the franchise. In fact, when James left the Miami Heat and returned to Cleveland in 2014, there really wasn't a negotiation at all. Paul and Termini met with his suitors -- the Suns, Lakers, Bulls, Mavericks, Heat and Cavs -- and told them to be prepared to offer a max contract and not Authentic Lucas Nogueira Jersey a penny less. If James chose their franchise, he would subsequently decide how many years he'd sign for. Several of the teams walked into the meeting without max cap space, including the Cavs, and it forced action. (Cleveland traded three players and offloaded $10 million to clear space for James in 2014.) The middle of the regular season is not the time for final decisions, but James' position on maximum contracts hasn't changed, sources said. Here's what that means: Teams who hope to pitch James next July ought to plan to have the max to offer, which is projected to be about $35 million. For now, there are no plans for James to grant a Kevin Durant-esque discount to any team so that friends can get paid or a better roster can be constructed. Something else a team will need: stars. The last time a team was able to pry James away from his hometown, it took an incumbent star, Dwyane Wade, and a joining star, Chris Bosh. Wholesale NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys Paypal Cheap Jerseys Online Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Paypal NHL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale NFL Jerseys Supply Cheap Hockey Jerseys

So is it completely crazy for a team of the Chargers

caliber to be just 7-6 and have only a 47 percent chance, per FPI, to reach the playoffs? The 2017 Chargers are one Damian Jones Jersey of 16 teams since 2008 with an FPI rating between 5 and 6 following Week 14, and among those, they are one of only two to have a 7-6 record. (The 2008 Eagles, a team with a similar profile, was 7-5-1 at this stage.) Overall, those 16 teams averaged more than nine wins at this point in the season. For what it's worth: Only one team in that span with an FPI over 6 has had only seven wins at this point in the season and none has had fewer. In other words: The circumstance L.A. finds itself in is not totally crazy but certainly unusual. (Oakland Raiders Jim Plunkett Limited Nike Men's Black Jersey) NFL #16 2016 Salute to Service FPI evaluates team strength going forward, but Kevin Long Womens Jersey what about how the Chargers have actually played over their 13 games this year? For that we can use efficiency, our measure of expected points added per play that is downweighted for garbage time, adjusts for season averages and places teams on a 0-100 scale. The Chargers rank ninth this season with an efficiency of 59.45. have been 28 teams through Week 14 with an efficiency score within Brooks Robinson Jersey two points of that number through 14 weeks since 2008, and seven of them had only seven wins (including one with a tie). Nike Baltimore Ravens #5 Joe Flacco Name & Number NFL T-Shirt - PurpleNone of those teams has had a worse record than 7-6. The group averaged a little more than eight wins. So what happened to put the 2017 Chargers in this situation? Fans might be quick to point out the two late-game Younghoe Koo kicks from the first two weeks of the season. In Week 1, Koo kicked what would have been the game-tying field goal against the Broncos in the final seconds, but Denver called a timeout first, and his second kick was blocked. The following week, Koo missed what would have been a go-ahead field goal with nine seconds left against the Dolphins. Before Koo's attempt against the Broncos, Los Angeles had a 38 percent chance to win; against the Dolphins, the missed kick brought their chances of winning from 80 percent to zero. That second kick, especially, is both significant and relatively unlucky. But have the Chargers been unlucky overall this year? It's hard to say -- plenty of teams miss plenty of field goals, and plenty of fluky occurrences happen across the league on a weekly basis -- but the answer is: probably at least a little bit. Given the level at which they've played this season, the Chargers probably ought to have a better record than they do. So if L.A. reaches the playoffs, the team will likely be the biggest AFC threat to the conference's two powerhouses, the Patriots and Steelers. But the Chargers still have to get there first. For more from ESPN Analytics, visit the ESPN Analytics Index. We've reached college football bowl season, and we're one step closer to the 2018 NFL draft. In fact, the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is a month away, on Jan. 15. In this edition of my Big Board for next year's draft, I've added the Heisman Trophy winner for the first time, plus a defender from the SEC who has really had a strong season. There are a few other changes from 1 to 25, too. A reminder about my Big Board: I'm projecting to the NFL. This is about much more than stats. My projections are based on size, athletic ability, statistics and what I hear from people around the league. Speaking of size, what's listed here is provided by the schools. These numbers could vary greatly when players show up at the NFL combine. True height and weight matter a lot for almost every position. Note: One asterisk denotes the player is a junior, and two asterisks denote the player is a redshirt sophomore for the 2017 season. Barkley is a lights-out athlete with tremendous balance, a great lower body and quick feet. He had 1,728 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns in the regular season, and he rushed for 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and 1,076 yards as a freshman. Barkley (5-foot-11, 230 pounds) also will help in the passing game. He had 47 catches this season after having 48 in his first two seasons at Penn State combined. I he'll run under a 4.4 40-yard dash and test well at the combine. Barkley could be a top-five pick in 2018, and he's going to get Elandon Roberts Womens Jersey an elite grade from me.

Bears' Mitchell Trubisky ready for rematch against Lions

DETROIT -- Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains hinted that Mitchell Trubisky might have the green light to challenge Detroit's secondary on Saturday. Men's Authentic Majestic Carlos Rodon Green Jersey - #55 MLB Chicago White Sox Salute To ServiceThe Bears have been relatively conservative with Trubisky much of the season, but the offense loosened up in last week's 33-7 victory against Cincinnati. Trubisky passed for 271 yards (25 of 32) and one touchdown in what most consider the best all-around performance of his rookie season. The most impressive Authentic Melker Karlsson Jersey part of Trubisky's afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium his accuracy, but the first-year quarterback even began to push the ball further downfield as Chicago's lead grew over the beleaguered Bengals, who played without several members of their starting secondary. The biggest beneficiary of Chicago's slightly expanded vertical passing game was veteran receiver Kendall Wright, who caught a season-high 10 passes for 107 yards. "It's finally getting to the point where you saw the chemistry between him and Kendall -- kind of taking it to another level there," Loggains told reporters this week. "He's played with each one of these receivers now for a couple weeks and I think we were more aggressive in the game and that was our plan going into it. I don't know if it was anything more than trusting those guys and their preparation and they were ready to take the next step that way." Trubisky targeted eight different players in the win against Cincinnati. "The more you can throw with a person and you're teammates the better you're going to get," Trubisky said. "You're just going to build that chemistry and we've really just gotten on the same page and been able to trust each other. The more routes you run the better the timing is." Of course, the Lions (7-6) are a different animal -- literally and figuratively. Detroit is still very much alive in the NFC playoff picture, and they've successfully defended their home field against the Bears since 2012. Trubisky, however, completed 18 of 30 passes for 179 yards, one touchdown and rushed for 53 yards in the Bears' 27-24 loss to Detroit on Nov. 19. Trubisky believes he can build off the first meeting against the Lions. "It will be good because we've got a lot of film on them, especially from the matchup we played them," Trubisky said. "So preparation is very important this week, just getting a good tell on them, what they've been running. So really first, second down and third down is going to be crucial. We want to stay on the field to again convert third downs and come away with more points. Last time a couple times the penalties got us and that one turnover. So we're just going to take care of the football and play our game and hopefully we can take all of the positives we did from the last game and carry them over to this game coming up." It's a good thing for the Los Angeles Chargers that Bill Parcells' famous line -- "You are what your Ron Greschner Jersey record says you are" -- isn't exactly true. Your record is what your record is, but that isn't a perfect indication of how good a team is. Inherently, fans know this. That's why people don't question when one team is favored against another that has a better record. It's also part of the reason there is so much buzz around the Chargers right now, despite L.A.'s newest franchise being 7-6. The Chargers appear to be better than their record. There John Collins Womens Jersey are a few reasons for that, including the fact that L.A. is 7-2 in its last nine games after starting the season 0-4. But even besides that, the buzz is warranted. Los Angeles' AFC team has a Football Power Index (FPI) rating of plus-5.5, which means it is, according to the model, 5.5 points per game better than an average team and the fifth-best team in the NFL going forward despite being only 7-6. That's the same record, by the way, that the Bills have, despite Buffalo's FPI rating of minus-5.8, the fourth worst in the league. The Chargers' success stems mostly from pass plays on both sides of the ball. The passing offense and passing defense rank fourth and third, respectively, in expected points added per play this season.