What undrafted free agent could make Lions?


Dan, good question. It’s still pretty early and these types of things don’t typically get sorted out until late in training camp or if injuries cause attrition. But on first glance, two receivers have stood out the most to me throughout minicamp and the one OTA we watched. Teo Redding and Chris Lacy both have been written down in my notebook in positive ways every practice I’ve watched, usually making some sort of deep catch or circus-type reception. Now they are mostly going against undrafted rookie corners, too, so it is somewhat like talent versus like talent, but the two of them have made some plays in the unpadded workouts.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

If they start off training camp making similar moves, the buzz will only continue. It also helps here that if the Lions were to keep five receivers, that No. 5 spot would be wide open. The top three spots seem locked in with Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay. The No. 4 role should go to TJ Jones, who has been limited during the spring after suffering a season-ending injury last year. But a fifth receiver spot could go to one of those two guys or an undrafted rookie preseason sensation of years past, Jace Billingsley.10

This is a good question and one that doesn’t have an obvious answer at this point. First, it’s not clear how much longer Pasqualoni, 68, wants to coach. He still seems to have a lot of energy from what we’ve seen in practices, and he’s clearly passionate about the game based on conversations with him. It’s entirely possible that Pasqualoni’s eventual successor isn’t even on the coaching staff. Remember, too, that even if Pasqualoni is the coordinator, this defense is still in the mold of Matt Patricia and that won’t change as long as he’s the head coach.

But if you look at the current staff, defensive backs coach Brian Stewart is the name that stands out. Stewart has NFL experience as a coordinator in Dallas in 2007 and 2008 and has been a DC at three college stops: Maryland, Houston and at Rice last season. So he understands what it would take to run a defense and that is extremely valuable. So if I had to pick someone on the staff at this point, he would be my selection.

David, thanks for the question and for reading on the other side of the Atlantic! Really enjoyed my time in Porto last summer. As to your question, I’m higher on the Ragnow pick now than I was when it was initially made. Ragnow has slid right into the starting lineup (as a left guard, however, not a center), and considering Detroit’s clear plan to fix its run game through the draft, the pick made sense. Plus, there was not a run on defensive linemen immediately after, meaning that at least some teams questioned the value level of the defensive line prospects at that point.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

That being said, I still think the Lions could have done well with picking Taven Bryan at No. 20. While it’s tough to judge any line play during unpadded practices, the defensive linemen have not been standing out at all through the practices the Lions have opened to the media. It’s still early, but the defensive front continues to be the biggest question mark Detroit has.

Redskins’ Derrius Guice fast becoming man of the people


As the line of players dwindled Wednesday, one slowly worked his way down the autograph line until nobody was left. He signed; he chatted with some and laughed with others. Running back Derrius Guice already has become a man of the people, it seems, in only one month of being a Washington Redskin.

It’s too early to have a foregone conclusion on what any rookie might do in his first season. Most players should look good in the spring; they’re at their healthiest and no one is in pads.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

But it’s clear via social media Guice has become a player Redskins fans can’t wait to see in action. When it comes to Redskins rookies, the list of those who have generated a lot of buzz with their talent and personality isn’t long. In the past 20 years, LaVar Arrington and Robert Griffin III would be on that list. The late Sean Taylor was a buzzworthy player, mainly because of how much people liked his game. He was a big presence, but did not need the sort of spotlight others craved. Griffin just needed to smile and fans would swoon; he was charismatic, too. When camp was at Redskins Park, Arrington would pit groups of fans against one another, asking them to loudly cheer to decide where he’d go sign. He enjoyed it; fans ate it up.

Fans light up around Guice, mainly because he lights up around them. Whether it’s treating fans to a movie (and refreshments) on a whim or greeting them behind the ropes as players exit the field. Stories on the running back generate more action on Twitter and Facebook than almost any other. Just a Twitter mention of how no one seemed to be enjoying themselves more on the field than Guice warranted more than 275 likes. And counting.9

Guice also has quickly embraced his new city, tweeting about the Washington Capitals and even attending the watch party at the Capital One Arena for the Stanley Cup-clinching Game 5.

It’s impossible to speculate how Guice will develop as a player. Thus far he looks patient, but decisive when he cuts. Rob Kelley looks good, too. But what happens when the defenders are in full pads and going a lot harder than they are in the spring? We won’t get a taste of that until the preseason games begin in two months. In college, Guice ran with violence; more of the same is expected with the Redskins, but who knows to what degree.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Guice also showed Wednesday he can catch. He doesn’t let the ball get into his chest, grabbing it with his hands. He’s able to gather his feet quickly and turn in stride. Protection, not his hands, will dictate how well he does when the Redskins have him in passing sets.

Paul Pogba: Lionel Messi isn’t criticised for playing style, but critics won’t change me


Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has said criticism of his personality and style of play will not make him change.

Pogba recorded 10 assists in the Premier League last season — bettered only by the Manchester City quartet of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling — but has found his place in the France team questioned ahead of the World Cup.

In a poll run by France Football following the 3-1 friendly win over Italy, 73 percent said they wanted to see Pogba dropped by coach Didier Deschamps in favour of Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso.nfl cheap nike jerseys

“A lot of people are proud of what I do and what I represent,” he told France Football. “When they meet me in person, they’re surprised and say to themselves I’m really nice.

“From the outside, they don’t have that image and think I’m a star, arrogant, that I’m going to look down on them. It’s funny. In fact, I’m just me. Those who don’t know me look only at appearances.

“There will always be people who think: ‘Ah, he’s a bighead, ah, he shows off,’ and everyone has the right to their opinion. You have the right to criticise me — to speak. But that’s not going to change me.”44

On his style of play, Pogba added: “I have always been like that. What I have won, I have won by being like that. I’m like that. It’s my playing style. You’re not going to criticise [Lionel] Messi when he walks on the pitch. He scores three goals and you’re going to say: ‘Ah, but he walks on the pitch?’ No.

“People can’t tell me how I have to play. No-one can tell me how I have to play. If I’m in this position today, it’s by being like this. No one has told me how to be. It’s my football, that’s all. People either love it or not.

“Do I need that for people to love me? Do I need that for people to judge me differently? Or speak better of me?”

In February, United boss Jose Mourinho appeared to aim a dig at Pogba when he praised Scott McTominay for being “a humble kid.”

“Honestly I think Scott deserves more than what he’s getting,” Mourinho said. “I think maybe because he’s this kind of kid profile, a normal haircut, no tattoos, no big cars, no big watches.”

Pogba faced criticism in April when Gary Neville questioned his decision to start the derby against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium with blue hair.

“The problem with Pogba is he doesn’t help himself,” former United and England defender Neville said. “I always think if you’re wise you don’t attract attention when things aren’t going your way, but Pogba doesn’t work like that.”cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping

Pogba scored twice as United fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and postpone City’s title celebrations.

Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius suffered concussion in Champions League final


Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius suffered a concussion in the Champions League final against Real Madrid that may have impacted his performance, Massachusetts General Hospital confirmed on Monday.

Karius, 24, made two crucial mistakes which contributed to Real Madrid’s 3-1 victory in Kiev after being floored in a collision with Madrid’s Sergio Ramos while defending a corner prior to Madrid’s first goal early in the second half.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Liverpool’s medical team were concerned about the possibility of Karius suffering a concussion in the incident with Ramos, sources told ESPN FC, and their fears were confirmed in an examination carried out in the United States last Thursday — five days after the final.43

“After carefully reviewing game film and integrating a detailed history — including his reported present and immediate post-contact subjective symptoms — physical examination and objective metrics, we have concluded that Mr. Karius sustained a concussion during the match,” Mass General said in a statement.

“At the time of our evaluation, Mr. Karius’s principal residual symptoms and objective signs suggested that visual spatial dysfunction existed and likely occurred immediately following the event. Additional symptomatic and objectively noted areas of dysfunction also persisted. It could be possible that such deficits would affect performance.”

Karius collided with Ramos in the 48th minute but did not appear to receive treatment, and Real Madrid scored their first goal a little more than two minutes later. Karius tried to roll the ball out to a defender, only for Madrid striker Karim Benzema to stick out his boot and redirect the throw into the net.nfl cheap nike jerseys

The German then made a further error in the closing stages of the game, allowing a long-range effort from Gareth Bale to slip through his grasp to give Madrid a 3-1 lead.

Karius was in tears after the game and wrote an apology for his performance after being widely blamed for Liverpool’s defeat. Merseyside Police said they were investigating comments and threatening posts directed at Karius on social media.

Ramos was also heavily criticised, but largely for an earlier incident that caused Liverpool star attacker Mohamed Salah to leave the game with an injured shoulder. Over 500,000 people signed an online petition for the Spain international to be punished for the play.

Blake Snell ties AL record with seven straight K’s to start game


Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell tied the American League record with seven consecutive strikeouts to start a game against the Mariners on Sunday.official nfl jerseys cheap

Snell, who was born in Seattle and pitched for nearby Shorewood High School, matched the mark set by Joe Cowley of the Chicago White Sox on May 28, 1986, and also reached by Carlos Rodon for the White Sox on Sept. 30, 2016.

The modern-era major league record is eight straight strikeouts to start a game, set by Jim Deshaies for the Houston Astros in 1986 and matched by Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets in 2014. Snell also tied a club record for most consecutive strikeouts at any point during a game.32

The all-time record is nine strikeouts to start a game, set by Mickey Welch for the New York Gothams in 1884.

Snell struck out the side in the first two innings on swinging strikes, and he tied the record with a called strike three on Guillermo Heredia to open the third.

Denard Span, the Mariners’ eighth batter, worked the count full before grounding out to second to end Snell’s strikeout streak. Snell struck out Mike Zunino to end the third inning for his eighth K of the game.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

Snell had 12 strikeouts through six innings but was removed from the game in the bottom of the seventh inning after throwing 100 pitches.

The Mariners rallied off the Rays’ bullpen and won the game 2-1.

Olney: The time is right for dynasty-minded Astros to be all-in


If A.J. Hinch makes an induction speech at Cooperstown someday, he could thank Lance McCullers Jr., Brad Peacock and Charlie Morton for helping to make him look really smart during the Houston Astros’ inaugural championship run.

Hinch rightly received credit for eschewing the traditional bullpen structure after Ken Giles’ declining performance midway through October last year, and for picking the right guys at the right time to get outs late in games. But unless the hands in the all-hands-on-deck strategy had performed as well as McCullers, Peacock, Morton and others did, Hinch probably would have been second-guessed for eternity (which,cheap nfl jerseys china as fellow manager Bruce Bochy once noted, is what happens when you lose in the postseason). McCullers closed out the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, Peacock shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the World Series and Morton finished the World Series, while others pitched in, as well.

But the situation was unbelievably fragile, and as the Astros try to become the first team since the 1998-2000 Yankees to win the World Series in consecutive years — and the Astros’ MLB-leading run differential in 2018 suggests they have a hell of a shot — they should probably acquire at least a bullpen safety net before the July 31 trade deadline. This is one of two developing holes for Houston, which made the most important deal last summer when it acquired Justin Verlander.31

If you recall, Jay Bruce had an excellent season for the Mets last season and yet there were no ardent trade suitors before the deadline, and he passed through waivers unclaimed. In the end, the Mets dumped him on the Indians for some salary relief. Inevitably, there will be similar opportunities for the Astros, who might be able to improve their left-field situation without having to surrender much prospect value.

There is a right time and a wrong time for contenders to trade. The Braves, for example, are probably in the pennant chase a year before anybody expected, and while it makes sense for Atlanta to make some modest auditions, a blockbuster for someone like Manny Machado would be a very expensive luxury at a time when the Braves need to continue fostering their farm system.

But for the Astros, the timing for doubling down and fixing problems could not be more perfect. official nfl jerseys cheap They are right in the middle of their window to win, as they have a historically great rotation and a dangerous lineup. But they’ll have to run the AL gantlet in the playoffs before they have a shot at back-to-back titles, and they’ll probably need a better bullpen to survive the Red Sox/Yankees/Indians steel-cage matches. Whether it’s Giles or somebody else, they could really use a lockdown closer.

Warriors outgun Cavs to take 2-0 series lead


Golden State’s high-powered offense was too much for the Cleveland Cavaliers as the Warriors claimed a 122-103 victory in Game Two of the NBA Finals on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant combined for 59 points in a wire-to-wire victory that puts the defending champions just two wins away from their third championship in four years.

Two-time league MVP Curry ended with nine three-pointers, an NBA Finals record, while dishing out eight assists and grabbing seven rebounds in his 33-point performance.

Despite the offensive fireworks, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said it was an improved defensive effort that led to the win.

“We just played a more intense defensive game tonight than we did in Game One,” he told reporters.kids nfl jerseys cheap

“It’s not about scoring, it’s about the defensive intensity.

“We’re happy with the way we played. But we know this is just getting started.”20

Surprise starter JaVale McGee ignited the home crowd by hammering down some alley-oops to give the Warriors an early lead.

Coming off a tough loss in Game One, the Cavs stayed within striking distance for most of the contest until a flurry of second-half three pointers by Curry overwhelmed the visitors and sealed the win.

LeBron James, who scored 51 points in Thursday’s loss, faced a more dogged defense on Sunday but still managed 29 points on 10-20 shooting while playing nearly the entire game.

Cavaliers’ forward Kevin Love provided a spark with 22 points but it was not enough to pressure the Warriors, who shot 57 percent from the field and 41 percent from behind the arc.

Cavaliers’ coach Tyronn Lue said he was happy with how his team battled back from a 13-point halftime deficit to keep it a single-digit game for much of the third quarter.

“I was very proud of our guys, the way we competed in that third quarter because we could have let go of the rope down 13,” he said.nfl football jerseys china

“We came out, we fought. We kind of saw some things offensively that worked, so we have to continue to keep capitalizing on that.”

Kerr said the Warriors would not take their series advantage for granted, especially since they blew a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers in the 2016 Finals.

“We’ve been here several times, I don’t think I’ll need to say much,” Kerr said.

“The guys in the locker room, they already know that. They know how hard it’s going to be in Cleveland.”

Game Three is scheduled for Wednesday in Cleveland.

Steven Adams blames ‘fat fingers’ for ‘like’ of Melo barb on Instagram


A “like” by Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams on a comment on an Instagram post critical of Carmelo Anthony is said to have been an accident, a team spokesman told ESPN.

On a post featuring four Thunder players — Adams, Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Paul George — with the caption “Who’s more valuable to OKC?” Adams liked a comment that said “All of them except Melo.”19

Adams contacted Thunder PR early Monday morning from New Zealand to make them aware of the situation, saying it was an accident made while scrolling through his feed, blaming his “fat fingers.”discount authentic nfl jerseys

Anthony, who just turned 34 a few days ago, has a $27.9 million player option to remain with the Thunder that he can either pick up or reject by June 29. Anthony was inconsistent in adapting to a new role with the Thunder in 2017-18, scoring a career-low 16.2 points per game on a career-low 40.4 field goal percentage. Following the season, Anthony expressed frustration with his role, seemingly setting the table for an exit from OKC.

“I think everybody knows that I’ve sacrificed kind of damn near everything — family, moving here by myself, sacrificed my game for the sake of the team, and was willing to sacrifice anything and everything in order for this situation to work out,” Anthony said of his season with the Thunder. “So it’s something I really have to think about, if I really want to be this type of player, finish out my career as this type of player, knowing that I have so much left in the tank and I bring so much to the game of basketball.”kids nfl jerseys cheap

Tom Brady’s back, building connections a bit later than normal


When wide receiver Jordan Matthews was deciding among free-agent offers in March, there was a significant factor that tipped the scales in favor of the New England Patriots.

His name is Tom Brady.

The chance to catch passes from and develop a rapport with Brady was one of the driving forces behind Matthews’ accepting a modest one-year deal with New England that he could have trumped elsewhere.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Fellow receiver Kenny Britt has a similar story. When he was released by the Cleveland Browns in December, he had a chance to earn a larger paycheck elsewhere, but he elected to come to New England on a two-year deal. One of the big factors in his decision was the chance to play with Brady.

Britt got a brief taste in December, but the target was always 2018 to make what he hopes will be a fruitful connection. In past years, that usually meant the start of the voluntary offseason program in April, but this year is different and highlights why Brady’s presence at June’s mandatory minicamp Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday is particularly significant.

It’s all about connection.8

Brady and Julian Edelman will be fine. Ditto for Brady and Rob Gronkowski. But for pretty much everyone else, these past seven weeks are usually when Brady gets a good feel for players he hasn’t worked with as much and shares with them what he expects. This year, that includes Matthews, Britt, Cordarrelle Patterson, Phillip Dorsett (he arrived in September after the offseason/training camp) and first-round draft picks Isaiah Wynn and Sony Michel, among others.

As Brady has noted, this time sets the stage for training camp, and if a team has a productive camp, that often means a good start to the regular season. There is a trickle-down effect, and that means Brady and the Patriots have some catch-up work to do on the field. It starts Tuesday at mandatory minicamp.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

As for the connection off the field, which can be equally important, Brady and his teammates reported to Gillette Stadium on Monday for the team’s “Fantasy Camp,” which is the signature event of the year for the Patriots’ charitable foundation. Fans pay a significant amount of money, with all proceeds going to the team’s foundation, to experience a day in the life of the players.

On a rainy Monday, Brady took the field at the team’s indoor facility in his blue Patriots jersey, and those fans who might have been forecasting the worst — that Brady might stay away from mandatory responsibilities because there was more to his absence than family considerations — could exhale.

Where’s Ha Ha? Clinton-Dix’s OTA absence raises questions


As such, it came as something of a surprise when the offseason program turned to Phase 3 and Clinton-Dix was nowhere to be found. The first day of public and media access last month brought no questions about it. In the two days of open practices that followed in the ensuing weeks, more questions — but few answers — have emerged.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

Next week could be telling as it relates to Clinton-Dix’s attendance. That’s when the Packers hold their only mandatory event of the offseason: the three-day minicamp that runs June 12-14. Even if McCarthy excuses some veterans, as he has in recent years, Clinton-Dix almost certainly won’t meet the requirements. In the past, McCarthy has let players with five years of NFL experience skip the camp. Clinton-Dix has four.7

The former first-round pick is signed through the end of this season and would play this year under the fifth-year option on his rookie deal, at a salary of $5.957 million.

Still, Clinton-Dix’s absence could be, at least in part, contract-driven. He switched agents, moving to Dye, within the past year, presumably to help with a new deal once his rookie contract runs out. He no doubt would like a contract extension commensurate with those of the top safeties in the league. The sum of his rookie contract, including the option year, puts him 32nd among safeties in average salary per year, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Eric Berry of the Chiefs is the NFL’s highest-paid safety, at $13 million per season. Clinton-Dix is not among the players who have workout bonuses in their contracts, so he isn’t losing any money.

“I’m excited about the scheme and things that are going on inside of that [play]book,” Clinton-Dix said in April “It’s all smiles from me. I’m excited about it. I’m excited to work. I’m excited to be here.”

Clinton-Dix could be one of the most important players in Pettine’s plans, especially considering that the Packers let veteran safety Morgan Burnett leave in free agency to sign with the Steelers.

Clinton-Dix’s 2017 performance did not come close to the production he had in 2016, when he made his first Pro Bowl. But there were so many issues across the defense — all of which led to Dom Capers’ firing after nine seasons — that Clinton-Dix said he spent more time trying to prevent big plays than he did trying to make them.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“Last year, we had to do what was best for the team,” Clinton-Dix said in April. “I wasn’t involved in a lot, but like I said, last year was last year. I didn’t meet the standards I set for myself personally. If you ask a guy from a different team, three picks and 80 tackles with not being involved in the scheme, I think they would think they had a great year. But with a guy like me with the high expectations I set for myself, I expect more, and I expect more from myself this year. I have to work on a lot of things to get better at, and I’m excited about it.”