Players should get like five self-hand-gazes per season

This is getting out of hand. Every time a player scores with his weak hand, he holds it out in front of him and stares wide-eyed at it as if he has pulled a magic trick even he cannot believe. It doesn’t matter if the shot is a ho-hum uncontested layup.

I’m not sure who started this trend, but we need a hard per-player limit on it. Overexposure kills the appeal of anything. If James Harden mimed the “I’m cookin'” gesture after every big shot, we’d roll our eyes.

Players should get like five self-hand-gazes per season, and they should be required to save them for high degree of difficulty shots. Drop in a lefty jump hook in traffic, over some big fella’s outstretched arm? Stare at that thing like Bart after the cute neighborhood babysitter spit in his palm. Just don’t overdo it.

The first suspension — after a DUI charge for marijuana possession in August 2014 — infuriated Lisa Bell. For 40-plus years, Lisa kept a dry house for her children. But Bell, she says, has always been her most independent — and impulsive — child: When she told a 5-year-old Bell that he couldn’t reach into the cookie jar on top of the fridge, he scaled the kitchen counters while she wasn’t looking. She wasn’t pleased with this second suspension, either, but she believes her son has remained clean and is passing all of his drug tests.

The whole ordeal was a bit clumsy, but Bell said he wanted his explanation on social media for a moment, not forever.

“[The Steelers] know I’m not a bonehead,” Bell says. “I just had some things I had to improve on. I understand now that I’m representing my family, my team and the people around me. Things are magnified now. I maybe didn’t realize all the way at first.”

Bryant’s production accounted for more than 20 percent of the Cowboys’ total offensive yards and team scoring in 2014

Elite Andrew Sendejo Jersey “To tell you the truth, he was kind of dealt a pretty bad hand coming in here because of the turnover that we’ve had with such a young roster and a few other things like that,” Scobee said. “I think he accepted it as a challenge and an opportunity for him to really ingrain his culture here.”

A plate of hash browns and sausage just wasn’t quite enough for St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, who slowly picked his way through choices of eggs and bagels. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wasn’t in a hurry either and left a crowded group of reporters sitting patiently waiting for the six-time Super Bowl-winning coach to pick out an assortment of fruit.

Both looked like they woke up no more than 10 minutes before leaving to talk to reporters at the coaches breakfast at the NFL annual meetings, held in March of this year at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. Neither coach looked like they wanted to be there.

The Cowboys have been profiting off Bryant’s so-called “character concerns” since they drafted him with the 24th overall pick in 2010. He slipped in the draft that year because of a flap with the NCAA and the kinds of troubles associated with a difficult upbringing. The most money Dez Bryant ever made in a single season was $2,898,500 (in pro-rated bonus and base salary, per Over the Cap) in 2014. That was the last year of his original rookie deal.

Elite Andrew Sendejo Jersey Bryant’s production accounted for more than 20 percent of the Cowboys’ total offensive yards and team scoring in 2014 (don’t forget that the Cowboys’ offense included the league’s leading rusher this year, too). He’s been consistently one of the most productive receivers in the NFL and someone who’s very presence defines the Cowboys’ offense. He’s also just 26 years old.

Heckling fan gets Butler going late on McDermott’s career night

The talking started about midway through the fourth quarter.

After New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels took his name out of consideration Monday afternoon, the Niners were left with a candidate pool that includes only Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Seattle assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable. All of the others the 49ers have interviewed or expressed interest in interviewing have already accepted other jobs.
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And now the focus has turned to Shanahan. Whether that happened because the Niners lost out on McDaniels or because they truly prefer Shanahan as their top candidate doesn’t really matter at this point. What does matter is that the 49ers find a way to land Shanahan. If they don’t, the only other options are Cable — a choice that would go over among 49ers faithful about as well as if the team were to rehire Jim Tomsula — or another reboot of an already arduous search.

A Grizzlies fan kept yelling toward Butler with the usual fare, that he was watching him, telling the people around his section that he was getting into the All-Star’s head. After Butler rained down two consecutive jumpers in the final 60 seconds, giving the Bulls a lead they would not relinquish, he walked back to the bench and stared up at the fan with a bit of a smile on his face.

Jacob Larsson Elite Jersey “How are you going to do that to me?” the dejected fan said.

“I’m sorry,” Butler responded. “I love you, man.”

The Steelers’ offense resided in scoring territory all night

Kids Dave Robinson Jersey “This team is strong,” said center Maurkice Pouncey of the Steelers, winners of nine straight.

The Steelers were practically allergic to touchdowns Sunday, powered by Chris Boswell’s leg in an MVP performance for kickers. His six field goals set a postseason record.
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The Chiefs kept coming in the fourth quarter, driving 75 yards for a touchdown over more than seven minutes of game clock.

Then the defense stood up like it had all game.

“We know this is just the beginning,” tight end Martellus Bennett said. “And we have to play better if we want to get to where we want to go.”

Tom Brady threw two interceptions against the Texans — the same amount he threw all season. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
That was the clear and obvious message in the postgame locker room, where the players were obviously happy to have won but dissatisfied with the way they had played. Running back Dion Lewis scored three touchdowns, but his mind was on two fumbles. Brady completed only 47 percent of his passes and wasn’t exactly walking on sunshine about it.

“It doesn’t feel great,” Brady said. “We work pretty hard to play a lot better than we played.”

The silver lining here, if you’re a Patriots fan, is that the Patriots didn’t look their best Saturday because they didn’t need to. They haven’t needed to for a while. They’ve won eight games in a row, but the only team they’ve played during that time that finished the season in the top 20 in passer rating was the Miami Dolphins. Houston’s defense gave New England everything it had Saturday, but none of that mattered once Brock Osweiler started throwing interceptions.

Davis made an impact right away as a safety

Darron Lee, LB (RS sophomore): Lee exploded onto the scene in 2014 to become Ohio State’s most consistent playmaker on defense. Lee is in the Ryan Shazier/Shaq Thompson mold, one who can excel in multiple areas from the linebacker position. He excels in coverage and rushing the passer, and is solid against the run. If Lee builds on his 2014 campaign, he will be one of the most feared linebackers in the country and a first-round selection if he decides to leave Columbus.

Brad Craddock, K (senior): The senior kicker from Australia won the Groza Award last year and has made tremendous growth after struggling with short kicks and extra points his first year. He worked with Matt Stover, which is where his growth started, and now he might be Maryland’s best player.

Sean Davis, CB (senior): Great athlete from a small DC high school. Davis made an impact right away as a safety, starting a few games as a true freshman and then holding down a starting job ever since. He switched to cornerback midway through last year and thrived, and he helps make one of the best secondaries in the conference. Physical player with good instincts.

Martellus Bennett, CHI
As originally pointed out by @RMSummerlin, Bennett’s production relies heavily on the first three weeks of the season. Since leaving the Dallas Cowboys in 2012, 32 percent of Bennett’s fantasy points have been scored between Weeks 1-3. If that weren’t enough, an astonishing 10 of his 12 touchdowns (83 percent!!!) the past three years have also been scored during the first three weeks of the season. In other words, cash in and sell high before he becomes just another bust.

Julius Thomas, JAX
The Jacksonville Jaguars big free agency addition has gotten off to an inauspicious start. Thomas suffered a fracture to the back of his hand, and will miss the rest of the preseason. He was already worth a downgrade based on his new team, but missing the preseason does not help him establish chemistry with Blake Bortles. He is still likely to put up solid numbers, but do not expect anything near what we saw with Peyton Manning.

Chart show combined TD and INT for all eligible QBs.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater took over starting duties early in their rookie seasons in 2014. Johnny Manziel — the only other first-round quarterback from the 2014 NFL Draft — made just two starts, while Derek Carr — an early second-round pick — started 16 games for the Oakland Raiders.

None of those quarterbacks set the world on fire with their play as rookies, although Bridgewater’s 85.2 passer rating was much higher than the average for a rookie. While Carr and Bortles showed flashes of potential, their respective 76.6 and 69.5 ratings were among the NFL’s worst for starters.
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Only a few outliers regressed after rookie year
The good news for the Raiders, Jaguars and even the Vikings is that quarterbacks improve on a relatively consistent basis in their second seasons. Only four of the quarterbacks taken in the first round over the last 10 seasons regressed in their second season after starting eight or more games as a rookie, while the majority took a step forward:

Spence, a 2016 second-round draft pick, originally downplayed the injury, stating that it was a “partial tear.” He was back playing the very next week in the Bucs’ 17-14 win over the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football. The Bucs had only one healthy starting defensive lineman in the game. Spence wore a neoprene shoulder harness from then on, which was designed to keep the shoulder in place.
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On trying to reset the joint, Spence said, “It didn’t feel good … I knew it was the last game and I just wanted to give it all for my team. So I did. I wasn’t going out … I love these guys. I was going to put all I could into playing for these guys.”

He did not miss a game because the injury. He finished the season with 5.5 sacks, fifth among rookies and third on his team behind veterans Gerald McCoy and Robert Ayers.

The Cardinals’ offense is off to one of the most impressive starts in NFL history

Youth Devin McCourty Jersey The Cardinals scored 42 more points in a blowout victory over the winless Lions Sunday in Detroit, moving to 4-1 while strengthening their lead in the NFC West. That 4-1 record is impressive by itself, but the way Arizona is blowing teams out through five games matches some of the most impressive team starts in NFL history.

With the win, the Cardinals have now outscored their five opponents by 100 points, one of only nine teams to have managed that feat that since the merger in 1970. In their four wins, Arizona’s average margin of victory has been 25.5 points, or an average score of 42-16.5. Those are some ass whippings.

The Denver Broncos had a chance to extend a similar level of divisional dominance on Sunday, when they made it eight straight wins over the Oakland Raiders. The last time the Raiders beat the Broncos was September 2011, and since then, the Broncos have won 21 of 23 games against AFC West teams, as well as a playoffs victory over the San Diego Chargers in January 2014. Denver won the game, 16-10.
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Before that divisional matchup between the Raiders and Broncos kicked off at 4:25 p.m. ET, there were eight games at 1 p.m. ET, including a high-profile matchup of the Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengals. After a pair of losses to start the season, the Seahawks earned back-to-back wins to even their record at 2-2, but faced a tall task on the road against the undefeated Bengals.

After four straight losses in the Wild Card round of the postseason, the Bengals have doubters that won’t be shaken until Andy Dalton proves he can take them further, but the fifth-year quarterback is playing at a much higher level than he ever has in his career and leads the NFL in yards per attempt.

The Giants were the 32nd-ranked defense last season. They finished 10th in total defense this season

Game Brandon Tanev Jersey This wasn’t even part of the equation when the Giants’ free-agent haul was graded a B-plus earlier this year by ESPN analysts, which included three former front-office executives. A re-grade probably would net them an A-plus. Just about every move worked out as planned, or better.
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It was the perfect storm, with the right players and just enough money to spend, spend and spend some more. The Giants committed $105.3 million of guaranteed money to their big three signings. They handed out more than $200 million in contracts to insta-fix a defense that desperately needed help.

“I think we did what was necessary to correct the last-ranked defense in the league last year and I think we did a good job,” linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Casillas said.

The Giants were the 32nd-ranked defense last season. They finished 10th in total defense this season.

A prep standout at regional athletic power DeMatha High – NBA Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley and former Pro Bowl running back Brian Westbrook are among the school’s other notable alumni – in Hyattsville, Maryland, Wake was one of the nation’s top defensive players in his recruiting class. Then, he performed well while playing linebacker and defensive end in college at Penn State.

Wake just knew he was on a straight-line path to having a great NFL career. Why wouldn’t he be? Surely, NFL decision-makers would recognize Wake’s talent. On to the draft, a big contract and the next phase of the grind, Wake figured.

He figured wrong. During the 2005 draft, Wake heard name after named called. He knew those players would get their shot to fulfill a dream. His name wasn’t part of the process. The situation was as unsettling as you can imagine. However, Wake isn’t the type to give up. The undrafted rookie free agent signed with the New York Giants. He was on his way, Wake thought.

2017 World Juniors scores: Sweden takes care of Slovakia with commanding quarterfinal win

While the focus of the 2017 World Junior Championships has been on the likes of Canada and the United States, Sweden has quietly gone about their business in dominant fashion.

Mens Garrett Grayson Jersey That continued unabated on Monday. Sweden polished off an 8-3 win over Slovakia in the quarterfinals, advancing to the semifinals for the 11th consecutive tournament. Slovakia hasn¡¯t advanced past the quarterfinals since a surprise bronze medal in 2015.
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For what it¡¯s worth, the NFL isn¡¯t alone in hating fun.

To those complaining about goal post dunk penalty: You’d really be complaining if the game were delayed 25 minutes to fix the goal post.

The league has said it will review its stance on celebrations this offseason. Perhaps the NFL will make the right call and stop penalizing players for enjoying themselves and being happy about their own success.

Baalke has been with the Niners organization since 2005 when he was the Western region scout. He followed that up with positions as director of player personnel, vice president of player personnel and earned the promotion to general manager in 2011.

His career as an executive also took him to the New York Jets and Washington as a national scout before heading to San Francisco.

There¡¯s a key moment in the game on Saturday that marked the point where the two streaking teams diverged into their current fates. In a highly charged atmosphere, one team couldn¡¯t control itself, and the other channeled its emotions into a win.

Bills GM Doug Whaley says he had no idea Rex Ryan was in danger of losing job

It looks like Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley will keep his job with the organization, but his press conference Monday sent a message that he isn’t very tuned in to the team’s decision-making process.

“I wasn’t privy to any part of Rex Ryan being fired until I was told by [Bills owner] Terry Pegula,” Whaley told reporters. “We usually have those discussions at the year-end evaluation along with all the players, all our staff, all my staff. I wasn’t privy to that conversation so I can’t answer that.”

SB Nation’s Thomas George reported that Rex Ryan asked ownership that, if the plan was to fire him, to do it as soon as possible rather than wait until after the season. But the ownership’s choice to make that decision while leaving the team’s general manager entirely in the dark seems baffling.

Peterson is due to receive a $6 million roster bonus in March and receive an $11.75 million base salary in 2017. The Vikings have until Feb. 5 to decide if they will pick up his 2017 salary or avoid the $18 million cap hit.

“I’ve been taking in a lot here the past couple weeks, and just the fans here,” Peterson said, via “I’ve been here for 10 years, and we have a great team. We have some great things going on in Minnesota. I would love to continue to be a part of that.

“I’m going into this thinking about my guys and wanting to be back with my guys. [I realize] that at the end of the day, it is a business, so I always just let the chips fall where they may. But I would love to finish my career here and try to help bring a Super Bowl to Minnesota.”

Peterson was the No. 7 overall selection in the 2007 NFL draft and has 11,747 career rushing yards with the Vikings along with 97 rushing touchdowns. With 253 more rushing yards, he would become the 16th player in NFL history to reach 12,000 yards and he needs three more rushing touchdowns to become the ninth player to reach 100.