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Category Archives: Jacksonville Jaguars

After Torres and Acuna, who are the next impact prospects to know?

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Gleyber Torres has been called up, and Ronald Acuna is on track to debut on Wednesday. Now that arguably the top two prospects for fantasy purposes are playing big league ball, who is the minor leaguer you’re following most closely — and potentially stashing on your bench — before an eventual call-up?

What’s to like: Once promoted, he’ll call one of the more hitting-friendly environments his home in Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park; and he has the kind of polished plate approach that should keep him out of painfully lengthy slumps and probably shorten his adjustment to major league pitching. I think he’s a borderline stash in 10-team, three-bench ESPN leagues right now — if you have the space to, obviously — because I think the call is coming for him within a matter of days, not weeks.

AJ Mass: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette are manning the left side of the infield at Double-A New Hampshire. On Tuesday night, Bichette had two triples and Guerrero drove in his 19th run of April in a win for the Fisher Cats. Both are likely to be in the Toronto Blue Jays lineup in 2019 — but I’m holding out hope that at least one of them gets a second-half look in 2018.

Showing no panic from allowing a goal to Evgeny Kuznetsov 17 seconds into the game and another to Alex Ovechkin 28 seconds into the third period, the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champions took another series lead in typical Penguins fashion.

Playing without injured forwards Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin, Pittsburgh naturally fed off Crosby, who had a goal and an assist.

“Right from Sid, he led the way for us and it’s right down the lineup,” said Guentzel, who had a goal and two assists and leads the playoffs with 16 points. “You can’t get down. There’s going to be highs and lows throughout the whole series. You’ve got to stick with it to the end and we were happy to get three and end up winning the game.”

Matt Murray stopped 32 of 34 shots, keeping the Penguins in the game and maintaining the lead late with a sprawling stick save on Brett Connolly with 2:30 left. Unsure of what would happen at the other end of the rink with Braden Holtby dialed in, Murray could only keep the puck out as much as possible after allowing the early-period goals to Kuznetsov and Ovechkin.

Murray denied Michal Kempny from point-blank range and kept the puck out from a hard-charging Devante Smith-Pelly early and missed no opportunity to give the Penguins the impressive stop when they needed it.jets_100

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Don’t tell that to David Johnson

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In Wednesday morning’s interview with SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio , host Adam Schein asked just how prolific new coordinator Mike McCoy’s offense can be if Bradford stays healthy this year.

“Oh, we’re going to be great if Sam Bradford ‘s healthy,” Johnson replied. “From me watching him personally, I’ve seen him do some great things. The biggest thing is just being healthy.

“Not just with the addition of him but with also with the linemen we got, the receivers and everyone else that we have added to the team on the offensive side, I think we definitely will be the top offense in the league this year.”

Bradford’s brilliant performance in the 2017 season opener (27 of 32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns) was one of the most impressive displays of ball placement we’ve seen in recent years. Playing behind a tattered offensive line the previous season, he led the NFL in completion rate (71.6) while topping Pro Football Focus’ accuracy ratings on deep passes (20 yards or more downfield).

A healthy Bradford is no afterthought, much less a laughingstock.

That said, there’s perhaps no bigger injury risk in the league. Despite Johnson’s optimism over the offensive line, it’s a shaky group tasked with keeping Bradford’s fragile limbs out of harm’s way.

In a recent poll conducted by NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, three of five NFL executives chose the Cardinals as the franchise most likely to trade up in the draft for a quarterback.

We’re waiting for a lot of results. I think there are a few more he’s probably got to go through, to follow up with some of the tests he’s had. I think they want to see some more on some things. I think he’s, for the most part, been through most all of them.

What are his symptoms?rams_008

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A Look At NFL.com’s Top Remaining Free Agents

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A Look At NFL.com’s Top Remaining Free Agents More The jump from the Oakland Raiders three free agent signings in 2017 to the 16 free agent signings in 2018 is eye-opening, and if I had to guess, Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Reggie McKenzie aren’t done yet. The duo have been persistent in their pursuit of bettering the 2018 roster, and with additions like wide receiver Jordy Nelson and linebacker Tahir Whitehead, I think they’ve done that. Free agency is a little more than two weeks in now, and many of the NFL’s premiere free agents have signed deals with teams; however, there are plenty of players still out there on the market.

I can listen to all the people patting me on the back, or I can listen to the people saying I need to get better. I know I need to get better, or else there would be nobody saying that. Keeping a list of all the haters is one way to go about it. It also may not be a great trait. Mayfield’s former tight end Mark Andrews, who has no motive to malign Mayfield, perfectly encapsulated Mayfield’s mindset, for better or worse.

I do. Makes a lot plays with his legs, moving around, buying time… but mostly his enthusiasm and competitive spirit is what I see, Favre says.

I think the impetus was research, McKay said. The more we saw of the concussion plays and the more there was a common technique, it became apparent that, listen, we need to get out of situationally saying if a player is targeted or if a defenseless player is in the air — we need to get to the technique to protect the person doing the hitting also. It could be Ryan Shazier. It could be many others. I don’t think that play was the impetus because I think that the research and the data was there before.

Many players have taken to social media to express concern about the change.

In all honesty the refs already pretty bad with enforcing the defenseless player rule!, Lions defensive back Quandre Diggs wrote on Twitter. We have people that’s never played the game making rules!patriots_092-223x223

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NFL free agency: 49ers team needs, targets line up with gold mine to spend

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The 49ers are happy about what big second-year cornerback Akhello Witherspoon (6-2, 195 pounds) could become as a cover man holding down one side, but they need help otherwise at the position. They should look to add one outside starter in free agency and draft a couple more defensive backs, as well, given safety Eric Reid is unlikely to be re-signed.

The Patriots’ Malcolm Butler, the Bears’ Kyle Fuller and the Bills’ E.J. Gaines all are good veteran candidates to start opposite Witherspoon. The Rams’ Trumaine Johnson is a boom-or-bust playmaker who has faded of late, and Witherspoon has a chance to be a better version of him.

Unlike most teams outside of the playoff race, the Lakers don’t own their first-round pick in 2018, so the team’s big picture remains focused on free agency and whom Johnson and Pelinka can lure this summer or next. Additionally, management would love to see the young Lakers keep learning what it takes to win with continued improvement from Ball, Ingram, Kuzma and Hart.

And if Thomas finds a way to do what he hopes to — rebuild his value back to that of the player who averaged nearly 29 points per game a season ago and earn a lucrative long-term deal that likely would come from another team — without disrupting the Lakers’ growth, the remainder of this season will qualify as a success for a team that is just three wins shy of matching its total from a year ago.

This week’s contributors are: Chris Forsberg, Ian Begley, Nick Friedell, Ohm Youngmisuk and Michael C. Wright.

What is the likelihood that the Boston Celtics would scale back Kyrie Irving’s minutes and/or workload during the stretch run to keep him fresh for the playoffs?

Chris Forsberg: Celtics coach Brad Stevens has worked hard to manage Irving’s minutes, as reflected by him ranking 42nd overall in minutes per game before the All-Star break. This despite the fact that Boston has routinely had to rally from behind this season.

To put Irving’s 32.8 minutes per game in perspective, the entire Minnesota Timberwolves starting five averaged more minutes per game before the break than Irving (ease up there, Thibs!)

With Witherspoon, Adrian Colbert, Jacquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward, the 49ers have some good young pieces in the secondary. One more big addition, via free agency or the first round of the draft, would give their back-end defense a lot of promise in Year 2 under Saleh.patriots_034

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Could an NSYNC reunion be coming at Super Bowl 52?

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With Justin Timberlake headlining the Super Bowl 52 halftime show, the opportunities are endless for collaborations and special guest appearances.

Not only are Chris Stapleton and Alicia Keys featured on Timberlake’s new album Man of the Woods, but he also has songs with the Black Eyed Peas, rappers Timberlake and T.I., as well as Madonna, among others.

Timberlake is actually setting a record this year for the most Super Bowl halftime show appearances as he also performed with Janet Jackson in the infamous 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. Given the controversy that followed that incident, there likely won’t be a reunion between the two on this stage.

Then again, just last week, Ronda Rousey claimed she was in Bogata, Colombia to fake out her fans and make them believe she wasn’t signing with the WWE. What do you know? She did!

So while all signs point to there being no early-2000s reunion at the halftime show, maybe that’s what they’d want you to believe. We’re holding out hope that there could be some surprises in store — TMZ has already reported a Prince hologram is in the works — at halftime of the Eagles vs. Patriots Super Bowl 52 matchup.

Awards voted on by the Associated Press include MVP, Coach of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, and the Sportsmanship Award.

The NFL also has awards where fan voting is factored into the equation. The FedEx Air and Ground Players of the Year (won last year by Matt Ryan and Ezekiel Elliott, respectively) have three finalists apiece. Alex Smith, Carson Wentz, and Brady are the three quarterbacks vying for the first, while the second is down to running backs Kareem Hunt, Le’Veon Bell, and Todd Gurley.

Brady may not be the only lock to take home some prestigious hardware Saturday. J.J. Watt’s humanitarian efforts helped raise more than $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief in his adopted hometown of Houston. While fellow Payton Award finalists Greg Olsen and Ben Watson are deserving nominees, it will be tough to match Watt’s impact in terms of community building in 2017.bears_086-223x223

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