DeMarcus Cousins blasts NCAA system after Zion Williamson injury

10

Cousins, who spent one season at Kentucky before being selected with the fifth pick in the 2010 NBA draft, said he enjoyed his time in college, but he has a different perspective after almost a decade in the professional basketball.

“I loved my experience in college,” Cousins said. “… But with that being said, just how crooked the whole NCAA business is — I actually saw a post the other day where I think the highest ticket for that UNC-Duke game was $2,500, $3,500. How much does Zion Williamson see? That’s who they’re coming to see, so how much of that is he getting? Actually, who does it go to? How does it benefit any player on that team? But if they were to get $20 and a free meal, they’re this bad kid, they get a bad rep, uncoachable, or thugs, whatever the case may be. So it’s bulls—. It’s been bulls—.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Cousins believes the G League route, over time, will gain more traction with younger players looking for a different route to the NBA.10

“The D League/G League route,” Cousins said, “I think that’s helpful. Obviously, it’s not a popular thing right now, but I think it will grow over time. You’ve seen a couple of young guys in that program already.

“So it was kind of cool what [LaVar] Ball did with his whole little league. I think it’s a cool thing. Obviously he doesn’t have the greatest name and people look at him in a foolish manner, but what he’s doing makes sense. He wants to help these kids. He understands how the college level, he understands how it’s corrupt. He saw what his kid went through. He sees what his other two boys are going through, so I think there’s ways [to fix the system]. Obviously everything with basketball is a trendy thing, so once the ball kind of gets rolling for that, I believe more people will be willing to join it.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was more demure in his thoughts regarding what Williamson’s next step should be.

“I have no comment on what he should do for his future,” James said Thursday. “If he needed any advice, he can find a way to find me, but it is not for you guys, it is not for someone to go sit across the table and say, ‘Well, LeBron said this about this kid.’

“He has to do what is best for him. His family has always been his support system. I just wish great health for the kid, but that’s not my lane to talk about what he should do going forward.”

Knicks’ losing streak sets single-season team record

9

The New York Knicks set a single-season franchise record Monday when they lost their 17th consecutive game 107-104 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Knicks, who last won Jan. 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center, broke their previous record of 16 straight defeats set in 2014-15 when they finished with a franchise-low 17 wins.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

This season’s Knicks team is now 10-46 — the worst record in the NBA — with 26 games to play.9

The franchise’s longest overall losing streak was over the course of two seasons, from March to November 1985.

Monday’s 17th straight loss also tied the Knicks with the New York Mets — who lost 17 in a row in their expansion season in 1962 — for the longest single-season losing streak by any New York-area team in the past 100 years.

As one of the three teams with the worst record in the NBA, the Knicks right now have a 14 percent chance of getting the first overall pick in the NBA draft.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Their next chance to end this current skid comes Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

How Christian Hackenberg is trying to rebuild his career in the Alliance of American Football

10

Hackenberg is constantly under pressure. Receivers have dropped passes and been slow on routes. His statistics — he has completed 24 of 58 passes for 189 yards, 1 rushing touchdown and 1 interception in two losses — aren’t good. He has thrown for less than half of the 393 yards that the league’s leading passer, Orlando’s Garrett Gilbert, threw for Sunday afternoon.

It has been rough, both from his own play and what has gone on around him. Of course, this is why Hackenberg is here as the quarterback for the winless Express in the nascent AAF. To prove he had conquered the throwing issues that plagued him with the New York Jets, turning a 2016 second-round pick into a player who has yet to take an NFL regular-season snap. To show that he can still play.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“I just view it as the chance. Right now it is the opportunity that’s at my door,” Hackenberg said last month, before his two woeful starts. “And I think as a player, as a person going through life, you can’t worry about the next chance or the chance that came before or what happened before.10

“If you’re worried about all that stuff you’re going to miss what’s standing there knocking in front of your face.”

He has shown improvement from his first week to his second week, but he’s a long way from where he wants to be — the NFL.

A little over a year ago, his throws lacked any control, and he needed to figure out why. During his exit interview with the Jets following the 2017 season, coaches said he had a significant flaw in his throwing motion. They didn’t know where it started. They didn’t believe it was fixable.

Hackenberg didn’t believe that.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“I’m a perfectionist when I think about things,” Hackenberg said. “If I can do this so many times in a row and then there are those three or four where it’s like, ‘Where did that come from?’ Why does that happen?

“I was searching and searching and searching for answers, coaches, and no one was giving me anything that necessarily worked.”

Cowboys don’t pick up Terrance Williams’ option, making him a free agent

9

The Dallas Cowboys have declined to pick up the option on Terrance Williams’ contract for 2019, which will make the wide receiver a free agent on March 14, according to sources.

Williams was set to make $3.5 million in 2019 as part of the four-year, $17 million deal he signed in 2017. By declining the option, the Cowboys will save $2.25 million in cap space.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Williams had a forgettable 2018, catching just two passes for 18 yards in three games before being inactive for a game and ultimately placed on injured reserve for the season with a foot injury. He suffered a broken foot last winter, was held out of most of the offseason program and was limited for a time during training camp, and never appeared 100 percent. He also served a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, stemming from an offseason arrest.9

He also never found a role as the Cowboys opted to go more with free-agent pickups Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson, as well as rookie Michael Gallup, as the outside receivers in the first month of the season. Prior to 2018, Williams had played in all 80 games in his first five seasons and had 230 receptions for 3,359 yards and 20 touchdowns, including the final touchdown pass of Tony Romo’s career in 2016.

With the trade for Amari Cooper, the development of Gallup, the role of Noah Brown, as well as the possibility of re-signing Cole Beasley or Tavon Austin, the Cowboys did not have room for Williams. Wide receiver could be among the Cowboys’ draft needs as well.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

By not picking up the option, the Cowboys can potentially recoup a compensatory pick in 2020.

In other developments, a source told ESPN that the Cowboys have no plans to re-sign defensive lineman David Irving, who played in just two games last season after opening the year on a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Drew Brees bonds with Jared Goff, but not ready to pass torch

10

Drew Brees and Jared Goff were at the Pro Bowl together last year — a fate both would like to avoid this time around.

But it provided a special bonding opportunity for the quarterbacks, who will now square off when the New Orleans Saints play host to the Los Angeles Rams in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game (3:05 p.m. ET, Fox).new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

Goff, 24, said he appreciated that Brees was willing to share insight on things like his warm-up routine and approach.

Brees, who turned 40 on Tuesday, said he was glad to have the chance to “pay it forward” after so many veteran quarterbacks helped him out early in his career — even though his Saints and Goff’s Rams seemed destined for this type of showdown for NFC supremacy.10

“Listen, I was a first-, second-, third-year player in this league at one point. And I had an incredible mentor in Doug Flutie in San Diego,” said Brees, who then went on a brief tangent on how Flutie “never got the respect he deserved” as “one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play professional football” across the NFL, USFL and CFL.

“And I’ve had other guys, too. I remember the Super Bowl run in ’09, having Trent Dilfer reach out to me, having Kurt Warner reach out to me — and throughout my career, especially early on in my career, I had a ton of guys that I would speak to. And I always appreciated that, I always felt like that made a difference.

“And I told myself at that time that hopefully I could play long enough to where there’s guys that start asking advice from me. And I want to make sure that I pay it forward just like those guys did.”

As for Goff, specifically, Brees said: “Oh man, he’s tremendous.“cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

“There’s not many guys that are just better pure passers/throwers,” Brees said. “You watch what they do with their offense, there’s a lot of moving parts, and I think he handles it very, very well. He creates great timing and rhythm in the passing game. And obviously he had a phenomenal season last year, but he’s had an even better one this year. The future is really bright for him.”

Extending John Harbaugh’s contract is one coaching decision that makes sense

9

The Baltimore Ravens and coach John Harbaugh have an agreement in principle on a long-term contract extension, which is the one coaching decision this offseason that makes the most sense.

This is a reward for turning a spiraling Ravens team into AFC North champions and giving a vision for what to expect from new franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson. This is a strong vote of confidence for the best coach in team history and for a leader who has the NFL’s best postseason track record over the past 11 years aside from Bill Belichick.

The biggest reason this was a no-brainer resolution comes in the form of a question: Whom would the Ravens replace him with?cheap official nike nfl jerseys

Kliff Kingsbury? He went 35-40 in six years at Texas Tech — which included two seasons with Patrick Mahomes as his starter — before being dismissed in November.9

Matt LaFleur? He was the playcaller for the NFL’s No. 25 offense and got shut out by the Ravens in October.

Bruce Arians? The 66-year-old has previously had health issues and retired a year ago, saying, “I wasn’t enjoying the game as much as I had in the past.”new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

While no one knows how any of these surprising hires will pan out, Harbaugh has proven to be as sure of a bet as there is in today’s coaching landscape. He ranks second with 10 playoff wins since 2008, behind Belichick. Harbaugh has led Baltimore to the playoffs seven times in the past 11 seasons and has had one losing record over that span. The other coaches who can boast that achievement are Belichick, Mike Tomlin and Pete Carroll.

Harbaugh is at a different level than these other candidates, which is why he presumably would have been at the top of the list for any team looking for a new head coach. He has a Super Bowl ring, 114 victories (including playoffs) and a reputation for getting the most out of his team despite injuries, the lack of game-changing playmakers and uneven quarterback play.

If a team had offered draft picks in a trade for Harbaugh, that would have been an intriguing proposition for Baltimore. But an argument can be made that Harbaugh has kept the Ravens in the playoff race at the end of the season nearly every year despite some disappointing drafts.

Greg Manusky is returning, but Redskins’ need for change remains

10

Whether they were going to hire another coordinator or just on fact-finding missions in recent weeks — it certainly sends a strong signal one way when you’re talking to available coordinators — the bottom line remains the same: They have to find a way to improve.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Even if the Redskins wanted to replace Manusky, it was a tough sell to the best available candidates. Their head coach, Jay Gruden, is entering Year 6 with one playoff appearance, three years ago; they have only around $20 million in cap room; and they have questions at quarterback. A potential hire would have to have confidence that the organization has the resources to build what is needed.10
The Redskins also will try to find a way to retain defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. He was still under contract with the San Francisco 49ers through this season, but that deal has expired. The Redskins want to keep him and are confident he’ll stick around. He has family in Florida, and the Redskins allow him the flexibility to go there often. Tomsula just has to decide if he wants to continue. (For what it’s worth, assistant head coach/offensive line coach Bill Callahan remains under contract and, as of now, the Redskins expect him back too.)nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

While secondary coach Torrian Gray still might return, the Redskins clearly want more help with the back end. San Francisco just hired Joe Woods as a passing-game coordinator; the Redskins were interested in him, as well. They could create a similar role for someone else. That way, Manusky can focus on the base defense and the run game and someone else can concentrate on helping improve on third down. That was, by far, the biggest issue with the Redskins’ defense this past season. They ranked 29th in third-down defense; in the last nine games, they ranked last, allowing a staggering 49.1 percent of third downs to be converted.

Of course, when players read or hear about other possible coordinators being interviewed, you have to wonder about the impact. Does this lessen Manusky’s voice or respect? Realistically, every coach at Redskins Park has to view their situation as a one-year deal.

There certainly seemed to be a difference in how the front seven defensive players viewed the situation last season as opposed to the secondary. It’s doubtful the front will stop heeding Manusky’s words, even after these past couple of weeks, and it’s equally doubtful the secondary is ready to embrace anything. In other words, not much has changed. That’s why the Redskins still need to bolster the coaching staff, while also adding a few more talented players.

Austin Hooper, now a Pro Bowler, could thrive in Dirk Koetter’s offense

9

When asked this week what he expects from a Dirk Koetter-run offense, the Atlanta Falcons’ Pro Bowl tight end didn’t come back with some elaborate response.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“I don’t know much,” Hooper said. “I just know he was the coach at Tampa and he’s now our offensive coordinator. I know he was in Atlanta prior to getting the head-coaching job [in Tampa]. So, we’ll see.

“I’ll let you know when I know what we’re running.”9

True, it’s not exactly clear how the typically pass-oriented Koetter will adjust during his second stint as a coordinator in Atlanta, with coach Dan Quinn wanting to maintain the same outside/inside zone principles the Falcons established under Kyle Shanahan and attempted to sustain under Steve Sarkisian. But no matter how the sharp-minded Koetter plans to call it, there’s a good chance Hooper will continue to thrive as a pass-catcher in what is likely to be a tight end-friendly offense. Under Koetter’s watch, tight ends such as Cameron Brate (80 targets for Tampa Bay in 2016) and Marcedes Lewis (81 targets for Jacksonville in 2011) have been used heavily.

Of course, no one is putting Hooper in the same conversation as Gonzalez. However, Hooper has the potential to be a reliable threat for years to come. He was named a Pro Bowl alternate and subsequently added to his first Pro Bowl roster this week after Zach Ertz of the Philadelphia Eagles pulled out.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“It’s a huge honor that not a lot of people get to be a part of,” Hooper said. “Just looking forward to the opportunity. It just solidifies the hard work that I’ve put in has paid off in a big way. I’m very fortunate.”

Hooper, who just completed his third NFL season, is fresh off a career-best 71 catches for 660 yards and and four touchdowns. He was targeted 87 times, second most on the team behind Julio Jones’ 170 targets. Hooper credited his former position coach, Wade Harman, for elevating his game to a Pro Bowl level.

Solskjaer’s arrival at Man United has led to more goals by in-form forwards

10

Manchester United are not just winning games, they are doing so by scoring freely; the team that netted just 11 times in seven games before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as manager has scored 17 goals in the six played since then.

But while once shot-shy forwards have been praised — most often by their new boss — issues remain. Poor form saw Romelu Lukaku lose his place in the team; injuries mean Alexis Sanchez has played only 27 minutes of the five league games on Solskjaer’s watch; Jesse Lingard, who hit two in the Norwegian’s managerial debut at Cardiff, has not scored since.

Therefore, this is not a finely tuned machine, but rather one that is gradually cranking back into action, with some parts performing better than others. Across the board, though, confidence is up.nike cheap nfl jerseys

Marcus Rashford has become the main striker, vindicating Solskjaer’s faith by scoring in four of five league games having managed three in 14 and becoming deeply unhappy under Mourinho, when he wasn’t used in his favoured central role.10

Anthony Martial, meanwhile, has also started regularly and his mood is better than at the start of the season when he wanted to leave. His fellow Parisian Paul Pogba has scored four, set up four and been United’s best player since Solskjaer took charge, which bodes well for the upcoming Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain.

Andy Cole, who spent six years at the club and was a teammate of Solskjaer, still lives in Manchester, watches every game and considers himself a United fan. As a scorer of 121 goals while at Old Trafford, he is well qualified to evaluate the current crop of strikers.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“Romelu has got to find his mojo again,” Cole says of Lukaku. “He has come off the bench and scored two in two, but that mojo comes from confidence. I watched him this season under Jose and I could tell, as a former centre-forward myself, that he was low on confidence. The first thing which starts to go is your movement. Romelu wasn’t moving.

“You stop making the runs because you stop believing in yourself. I’ve been in that position and I’d watch him making hand gestures about where he wanted the ball to go, but psychologically you don’t really want the ball. It’s all about confidence and when his returns he’ll start scoring.”

Liverpool again show they will sacrifice style in favour of results on the road to the Premier League title

9

In any title-winning season there are games that end up being almost forgotten: staging posts along the road that offer essential nourishment but nothing in the way of vivid scenery.

Should Liverpool see the job through in May, this laborious win over an excellently drilled Brighton side will only merit a few seconds of the highlight reel. It will not matter one bit, because these may prove to be their most important three points of the entire campaign.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Make no mistake, there were question marks over Jurgen Klopp’s side before this one; the smallest of signs that their narrow defeat at Manchester City had opened up wider wounds would have been seized upon. If that sounds harsh, it is just the way things work these days when you are in the throes of a title race with a margin for error that appears smaller than ever.

“From a maturity point of view, I would say it was the most mature of the season,” Klopp said of a slow-burning affair that was decided three minutes after half-time by a Mohamed Salah penalty. At full-time Klopp allowed himself an understated fist pump, and it was a reaction in character with the previous 90 minutes. There was not a lot to warm the blood — not even when Brighton, who had fulfilled one of Chris Hughton’s primary objectives by still being in the game with 10 minutes to go, sent the cavalry up at the end. But there was a coolness, a shared purpose, a diligence to Liverpool that has been the hallmark of their current campaign as much as the full-throttle approach that characterised the previous two.9

“We are not the Harlem Globetrotters,” Klopp said. “We have to deliver a result, and that’s difficult.” It was a revealing statement, because it reiterated that Liverpool are absolutely content to be mean and grim-faced when it suits them. Last season they won this fixture 5-1, blowing Brighton away either side of half-time. That never looked on the cards this time but nor, really, did any kind of mishap once they were ahead. With six minutes to play Roberto Firmino could be seen tracking back 30 yards to dispossess Anthony Knockaert, thwarting a promising counter for the hosts. in the time that remained there were big defensive interventions from Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk, and those were the moments that satisfied Klopp as much as any.c

“It was obviously a big challenge for everyone to stay calm and concentrated because each little situation can be a massive threat on the counter or whatever,” he continued. “And not to make any fouls because Brighton are unbelievably strong on set pieces. That level of concentration is difficult to keep, but they did it.“nike cheap nfl jerseys

It was a particular relief that Fabinho, whose increasing prominence in midfield had been a big factor in Liverpool’s recent form, stayed firm at the back. He faced a gnarled, wily customer in Glenn Murray, and when he let the striker go in the 15th minute, watching in relief as the resulting header looped over, their shortage of centre-back bodies seemed at risk of being laid bare. Fabinho took an arm in the face from Murray shortly afterwards but would respond later with one of his own; after that rocky start he looked well attuned to the physical battle and excelled just before the hour, too, with a vital block from Pascal Gross’s goal-bound shot.