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The Belichick effect on Matt Patricia from those who played for both

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“He’s passionate. That’s how he was as a coordinator,” Flowers said. “He’s passionate. He’s going to get the best out of the players. He’s going to work you hard. The only difference is that he’s up there more, he’s addressing the team more.

“But obviously, he’s passionate, the same as he was. He’s not going to let you slack. There’s a reason I said what I said about him last year and why I came back to play for him again. Nothing but respect for Coach Patricia. I know what he’s going to do and how he’s going to get the best out of me as a player, all that.”nfl cheap jerseys nike

Being worked hard — that’s a trait carried from New England to Detroit. The outward passion, something Patricia hasn’t yet shown much of during game days, is a departure from his mentor Bill Belichick. And so far, not much has been changed — at least outwardly — from how Belichick does things in New England.10

That’s why when Patricia stares across the sideline on Sunday night at Ford Field, there will be obvious comparisons. He’ll see Belichick and the Patriots, the only NFL team he ever worked for prior to February, on the other side. The Lions and Patriots-influenced general manager Bob Quinn hired Patricia in February and started bringing the Patriot mindset to Detroit.

“You definitely see it,” said cornerback Sterling Moore, who was with the Lions in training camp and New England at other times during his career. “But I think that’s just something the greats do. You’re going to emulate. Kobe emulates MJ. You know what I’m saying? That’s just the way things go. So Bill is arguably the best coach to ever coach. So obviously he’s going to follow under his tutelage; he’s going to carry that here.”

Practices during training camp ran similarly to those in New England, including an intense focus on conditioning. Former coach Jim Caldwell didn’t run a lax environment, but it was much more easygoing in the Detroit locker room than the way it is now. At least one Jets player, Kelvin Beachum, said the defense the Lions run is similar to the Patriots’ defense.

Even some of the media components — coordinators on conference calls instead of news conferences; Patricia doing teleconferences at times instead of in-person news conferences — come directly from New England and are a departure from prior regimes in Detroit.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“I think guys knew coming in that things were going to be different,” said safety Tavon Wilson, who played for both Patricia and Belichick. “And I think guys are taking it, kind of rolling with the punches.”

Mike Tomlin disciplines Antonio Brown; teammates say WR in game plan

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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on Wednesday disciplined All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown for missing work Monday.

“He and I met yesterday for an extended period of time,” Tomlin said after Wednesday’s practice. “I’ll leave the nature of that conversation between us. There was discipline involved for his missed meeting on Monday.“cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Tomlin did not field questions. Brown is scheduled to address the media Thursday.9

Tight end Jesse James said Brown practiced fully Wednesday and is in the game plan for Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cornerback Artie Burns said the discipline is “between him and the coach,” but said the team supports Brown and expects him to play.

Brown was a no-show to Steelers headquarters the same day he tweeted “Trade me let’s find out” to a former Steelers public relations staffer who posted that Brown wouldn’t be the same player without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Defensive end Cam Heyward, one of four team captains, said he spoke to Brown this week but will keep details private. “I don’t make those decisions but, shoot, I’d be a little surprised if he’s not there [Monday night],” Heyward said.

Brown also got into a confrontation with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner on the sideline during Sunday’s 42-37 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, which dropped the Steelers to 0-1-1 this season.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Roethlisberger said he has spoken to Brown and is not taking his actions personally.

“He’s the best in the world,” Roethlisberger said of Brown. “When you’re the best in the world, you want to help participate, you want to win football games. We’re all a little frustrated because we’re not winning right now.”

Boston’s ‘Cora Four’ has the stuff dynasties are made of

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Led by 32-year-old player-manager Jake Stahl, the 1912 Red Sox won the American League by 14 games. They relied on a young roster that included future Hall of Famers Tris Speaker and Harry Hopper, both 24, and a 22-year-old “Smoky” Joe Wood. They went on to stun the New York Giants in a seven-game World Series showdown that crowned the inaugural first season at Fenway Park. That was also the year Speaker cemented his superstar status, hitting .383, stealing 52 bags and hitting 10 home runs.

The 2018 edition of the Red Sox have an 11½-game lead in the AL East over the New York Yankees, with a magic number of two to clinch the division with 12 games left this season. This seems to be the year that 25-year-old Mookie Betts will cement his superstar status. He’s a front-runner for AL MVP, leading the majors in batting average (.337) and WAR (10.0), ranking second in runs scored (118), OBP (.431) and OPS (1.049), and third in slugging (.619).nfl cheap jerseys nike

But that’s where comparisons should end. The 1912 Red Sox hit a team total of 29 home runs in the dead ball era and scored a total of 799 runs over their 154-game season. Their competition was also limited to the seven other AL teams in the American League, long before baseball’s integration.10

The 2018 Red Sox have dominated with a formidable offense, leading the majors in almost every single category, helped by home-run-powerhouse J.D. Martinez. But with Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers in the infield, and Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi in the outfield, the Sox are doing it with something few playoff-bound Red Sox teams have had: a core of young, homegrown talent. A platform for success not just this year, but for years to come. And those four players might have a long future ahead of them playing for rookie manager Alex Cora.

“The next couple of years we’re going to be good due to the fact we’re kind of young, team-controlled, type of things. And you definitely sometimes think about the possibilities [in the] next couple of years,” Betts said.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

The 2018 Red Sox have had more than 500 games played by homegrown position players age 25-and-under this season. The most games they got from players that age or younger in any of their prior three World Series years (2004, 2007 and 2013) was the 257 games played by homegrown players 25-and-under in 2007. And while the current group of four shared little time together throughout the Red Sox affiliates, they have all dreamt of the special brand of success that comes from being part of a homegrown core.

Liverpool appear real deal as familiar failings torment Tottenham

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Liverpool extended their flawless start to the Premier League season by claiming a fifth successive league win to beat Tottenham at Wembley and record their best start to a campaign for 28 years.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Jurgen Klopp’s men have now emulated Kenny Dalglish’s 1990-91 team by winning their first five games, but as Arsenal ended that season as champions, history also serves to offer a reminder that Liverpool will still face challenges ahead.

But after losing 4-1 at Wembley last season, Liverpool avenged that defeat with goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino either side of half-time. Erik Lamela’s injury-time strike was scant consolation for a Tottenham side who slumped to back-to-back defeats.10

The victory underlines Liverpool’s billing as the most likely challengers to reigning champions Manchester City this term, but having started the season with three wins, Spurs are now a team searching for answers. They could and should have suffered a heavier defeat. In the end, they were perhaps unlucky not to have a chance to level in the dying seconds, following a possible foul on Son Heung-Min by Sadio Mane in the penalty area. Liverpool, the unluckiest team in the league last season in ESPN’s Luck Index , escaped, but a draw would have been harsh as they dominated and looked more dangerous from the outset. Spurs were unable to cope with the pace of the visitors’ counter-attacks.

Perhaps early-season fatigue is becoming a factor for Spurs, whose starting lineup included seven players who reached the semifinals of the World Cup this summer.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Liverpool, in contrast, had just one member of their starting lineup who endured a similarly draining World Cup, and that was Trent Alexander-Arnold.

But regardless of the mitigating factors, Spurs were second best from start to finish, with defensive mistakes costing Mauricio Pochettino’s team for both goals.

On this evidence, Spurs face another season of disappointment in the title race, but Liverpool are unquestionably the real deal.

Drew Brees’ advice to Baker Mayfield: ‘You are just a sponge’

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Praise from Drew Brees for this year’s first overall draft pick has not shaken the team’s resolve. Nor has a 15-for-40 game from the starter. Or a winning effort from the third overall pick in his debut with the New York Jets.

The Browns maintain they are on the long and winding path with Baker Mayfield, and Tyrod Taylor is their starter — even after he put up some poor numbers in the season-opening tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I wouldn’t want to live with 15-for-40 for a long time, because I do not think that we will be that again,” coach Hue Jackson said Thursday. “I really don’t. I understand the question, [but] I think that’s a non-issue. Again, first [game], chalk it up to what it is.”nfl cheap jerseys nike

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley pointedly emphasized the entire offense contributed to Taylor’s day, saying the group had 28 mental errors and gave the Steelers 100 yards with mistakes. Ten mental errors is not a winning effort, Haley said, and the 100 yards add up to seven points.10

Taylor’s game was an aberration in one sense. He has started 44 games in his career. The tie with Pittsburgh was the first time in those 44 starts he’s been below 50 percent passing. Jackson is aware of the numbers, but they won’t prompt him to turn to the draft’s first overall pick when the Browns play the Saints in New Orleans.

“He’s our future, and if he is, you don’t have to rush this thing,” Jackson said of Mayfield. “When everybody saw the numbers last week, I think everybody wanted to go, ‘OK, Tyrod’s out — let’s go to the other way.’ Let’s slow down a little bit here.”

Jackson said the Browns need to “let it all play itself out at the right time,” which was a feeling general manager John Dorsey expressed a week ago: Let things happen naturally with Mayfield.

“It just doesn’t happen overnight,” Dorsey said the week before the opener. “And that’s why we as an organization keep saying, for the betterment of the kid and the betterment of the organization, have a little bit of patience with this kid. He’s going to have some talent, but there’s no need to rush.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“I’ve seen when you rush too many of these guys in there; it’s not good. But If you have a degree of patience, it’s usually better in the long run.”

On the opposite sideline Sunday will be Brees, a future Hall of Famer who was drafted in San Diego when the Chargers had Doug Flutie as the starter. As a rookie, Brees played in one game. His advice for Mayfield?

Lions’ Eli Harold has endured far more than backlash

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What used to be enjoyable wasn’t anymore. His personality — once gregarious and fun — disappeared into a solitary sadness. He would go out occasionally. It masked his feelings — what he didn’t want to talk about with anyone, what he still hasn’t shared all that often, even now as a linebacker in the NFL, first with the San Francisco 49ers and now with the Detroit Lions.

He has been open about his past. When Harold was a junior in high school, his nephew Forrest Harold died of an enlarged heart while playing rec basketball at Old Dominion. Then less than two months later, his mother, Sheila Korvette Harold, died of pancreatic cancer. What he hasn’t been as open about is that he didn’t have the capability to cope. Throughout the rest of high school, he didn’t understand what he was going through. Then he got to college. And he sank.

“My freshman year in college, I had hit a point so low, it was like every day was just dark,” Harold says now. “I hated football. I hated friends. I hated everything. It was just — I was being a follower. I was drinking, and I never really liked drinking. I was a follower, doing things that I know weren’t me and — I don’t know, man.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“I really had to find myself.”9

When, years later, Harold became one of the 49ers who knelt along with Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid to raise awareness about social injustice and protest for change, he received hate mail in which hundreds of people called him racial slurs. He handled all of it — because after what he had been through, that was nothing. Words slid off of him. He built his shell. He knew real loss, real pain.nfl cheap jerseys nike

While not clinically diagnosed, Harold said he dealt with depression throughout his freshman year and part of his sophomore year due to the two deaths that he never really understood how to mourn. By sharing the story of his battle with mental health for the first time, he is hoping it might help others open up with what they might be going through.

“Of course, and just like men, we’re taught to be alpha males, you know what I’m saying. I feel like it helps,” Harold said. “When [the NBA’s] DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love had spoken out about it, I felt like a lot of guys, a lot of professional athletes, took a deep breath and a sigh of relief, because they didn’t want to be that first guy to open up about it.

“And no one really ever wants to be the first to do something. Not saying that you are a follower but that it opened up a gate for other grown men to express their feelings about the situation.”

Cubs have nothing to regret as Quintana delivers on crosstown swap

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It’s one of those conversations that Chicago baseball fans will be having for years to come: Did the White Sox rip off the Cubs in stealing prospect phenom Eloy Jimenez and pitcher Dylan Cease or did the Cubs come out on the better end in grabbing steady lefty Jose Quintana?

Common thinking on sports talk radio and bars around Chicago is that the Sox will reap the benefits for years to come, as Jimenez looks like a once-in-a-generation player. But here’s the thing: The Cubs are receiving the benefits right now, and their window for winning is in the present.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Quintana came up with the biggest win to date this season for the team he has played on since July 2017, following years of pitching for the non-contending White Sox. Quintana threw 6⅔ innings, giving up just three hits and no runs on Tuesday. It lowered his ERA to less than 4.00 for the first time since July 22 and his pitching line as a Cub to 20-12 with a 3.88 ERA and 1.24 WHIP8

He’s pitching his best baseball exactly when his team needs it most. The win kept the Brewers from tying the Cubs for first place in the National League Central. It was that big.

“There is a very confident look about him,” Maddon said. “He’s a very humble man, so you have to really look in there.”

Maddon is right. There isn’t a lot of flair to Quintana’s game — which could be the opposite to that of Jimenez, who hit .355 with a .597 slugging percentage at Triple-A this season. Jimenez already has penned a Player’s Tribune article, and he might very well be destined for greatness at the major league level.

But when the Cubs traded for Quintana, they had a big need in their rotation. No matter what Jimenez or Cease accomplish, no one can take away what Quintana already has meant to the Cubs. He might very well contribute to two postseason appearances with his new team before those two prospects even sniff the majors. That’s no small thing. In fact, that’s everything.

“I don’t worry about the trade,” Quintana said as he put on his shoes after Tuesday’s game. “If I do good or bad, I try to be focused on my job.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

That doesn’t mean he’s not aware of the enormity of it. After all, the Cubs and White Sox pulling off a midseason blockbuster isn’t exactly an annual occurrence.

Tina Thompson’s storybook career takes her all the way to Naismith HOF

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When Tina Thompson was a youngster, she envisioned her grown-up self a lawyer, sitting inside her Los Angeles office, framed Harvard degree on the wall.

She didn’t dream USC would offer her a basketball scholarship. Nor could she have predicted that she would be the first pick in the inaugural WNBA draft, or that she would be integral to the Houston Comets winning the first four league championships.

Thompson didn’t picture herself in a USA basketball uniform. Even as recently as a few years ago, she had no plan to coach, either, but after working as an assistant and later associate head coach at Texas, she’s in the early months of her first head-coaching job at Virginia.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

As for being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a nine-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist — that’s storybook stuff.10

“I never ever thought at one point in my life that this would be my reality,” said Thompson, 43, who will be inducted this weekend in Springfield, Massachusetts, as part of the 13-member 2018 class that includes seven-time WNBA All-Star Katie Smith and NBA legends Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash.

“It’s overwhelming, all aspects of it. The building is overwhelming. Being nominated is overwhelming. The idea of being housed in a place with so much greatness, players and people I’ve looked up to or admired my entire life. … It’s not something you think of.”cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

Admittedly, Thompson hasn’t had time to dwell on the honor given several months of change in her own life. After three seasons assisting Texas coach Karen Aston, Thompson was hired by the Cavaliers in April. She is settling into a four-story colonial house near the Blue Ridge Mountains and getting Dyllan ready for seventh grade. She added WNBA coaching veteran Karleen Thompson to the staff as associate head coach and is in the midst of her first preseason with the Cavaliers.

Quest for perfection pushed Katie Smith into Naismith Hall of Fame

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Katie Smith is one of the physically strongest women to ever have played basketball. The phrase “bruising point guard” fit her when she showed the versatility to take over that position.

So when she mentions all the things she did growing up in Ohio, such as ballet and tap dancing, they might not fit the “fierce competitor Katie Smith” image most have of her. But she brought the same mindset to those things, too.

“That was about following instructions and paying attention to details,” Smith said, citing two things she has always relished. “We competed in tap; it was about timing and being coached. When you look back, it all has the same makeup: trying to perfect something.”nfl nike jerseys for cheap

When Smith is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, she’ll still be trying to get the instructions and details just right. That’s how she’s wired. When inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in June, she was the only one of the honorees to come in under the wire of the allotted speech time. Nobody else was close.9

She’ll nail that again in Springfield, Massachusetts, because that’s what Smith does.

“I am a little bit more of a rule-follower than some,” she says, chuckling. Yet the intriguing thing is that Smith also broke the so-called “rules” of what you could expect from a 5-foot-11 guard in the women’s game. She played point guard, shooting guard, wing and small forward professionally, and she guarded all five positions.

In 2001 in Minnesota, she led the WNBA in scoring at 23.1 PPG. By 2006 she became a point guard distributor for a championship squad in Detroit. All the while, she was one of the WNBA’s most reliable defenders.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“That was part of Katie’s longevity, her ability to do what was asked of her,” said Seattle’s Sue Bird, who played with and against Smith in the WNBA and was also her USA Basketball teammate. “Early in her career, she was a straight-up scorer, but she was always cerebral, understood what was happening around her and why it was happening. To see her play point guard wasn’t surprising.

Jose Mourinho running out of time to boost Manchester United’s squad

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It was after a September 2016 Europa League game vs. Feyenoord that I first heard it suggested. “Do you think Mourinho is finished? I can’t see him being here too long if this is what it’s like,” a journalist said after Manchester United had been beaten 1-0 in Rotterdam.

Jose Mourinho had been manager for three months and United, who had been beaten at home days earlier by Manchester City and would lose at Watford the following weekend, were mired in a run of three straight defeats. That they began the 2016-17 season with three straight Premier League wins had long been forgotten.

Nearly two years later, Mourinho continues to divide opinion. There are many who would love to see him walk away or sacked; they think he is yesterday’s man and do not like what United have become under him.

Among fans, Mourinho still holds support from the majority. However, it slipped during the second half of last season, the lowlight of which was a Champions League exit vs. Sevilla, and it will get into dangerous territory if the upcoming campaign starts badly.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Throughout preseason, Mourinho has griped due to not having a full squad of players to work with and because the players he wanted to sign have not arrived. Is he right to be irritated?

Working without so many key men is not ideal, but was to be expected after the World Cup. Mourinho could have put a positive spin on the success of United’s players in Russia but, when you’ve gone on record saying you hope Serbia go out of so Nemanja Matic can return sooner, it shows your frame of mind.8

Few supporters have a problem with the club-over-country argument, but Mourinho has been backed in the transfer market. His net spend is £302 million; only Manchester City (£388m) have spent more.

The club has parted with £70m this summer but, despite spending around £30m each on Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof over the last two years, Mourinho wants to sign another central defender before the transfer window closes on Aug. 9.

Mourinho also sought a right-sided midfielder to add width; United’s best play in a 2-1 ICC win against Real Madrid on Tuesday came down that flank, with stunning goals involving Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata, Matteo Darmian and Ander Herrera.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

The manager is frustrated — I have covered United preseason tours since 1991 and never seen a boss so miserable as Mourinho this summer — but getting players from increasingly wealthy clubs with no interest in selling is not easy.

Atletico Madrid, a fine recruiter and producer of talent, were a selling club at the start of this decade and United made their best signing of recent years, David De Gea, from there in 2011.

Now, Atletico sell on their terms. United wanted Antoine Griezmann and he wanted to move, but was reluctant to say so. That is another issue: Clubs often demand that, if a player wants to leave, he states it publicly.