Monthly Archives: May 2018

Dak Prescott drops some weight, since he’s getting older

Dak Prescott has lost 10 pounds since the end of the season and looking thinner and trimmer as the Dallas Cowboys began the start of the offseason program this week in preparation for the 2018 season.

I’m getting older, Prescott said Tuesday night. I figure I better fix my diet now. I guess I’ve dropped a few pounds, but it’s more about not eating the fast food, being 22 and realizing my metabolism is going to slow down.

Prescott said he is right where he wants to be and added that he will put on 5 pounds before the start of the season. He said the weight loss has nothing to do with him possibly running more in 2018, as the Cowboys move toward an offense more suitable to his skills.

I always drop a little weight in the offseason, Prescott said. I’ll gain a little more weight so I can take the hits and play at about 230-235 [pounds].

Background: You may not believe this, but I wasn’t a normal kid. My favorite baseball team became the Houston Colt .45s. That was in 1962, when the Colt .45s began and my uncle, who lived in Houston and had some commercial connection to the team, began to send me Colt .45 pennants and programs.

In 1963, a 19-year-old rookie, Staub, joined the Colt .45s. And whenever I ran into Staub, we both knew what I wanted. He patiently prepared to answer questions about that 1963 club.

But the Eagles have been linked to potential trades before, mainly because they don’t own a single second- or third-round pick after using draft capital to trade up for quarterback Carson Wentz in 2016. They also have a history of moving around in the first round, as five of their last seven drafts under the direction of Roseman have seen Philly pick either earlier or later than its original spot in the order.

Kustok has been working Nets games for years as a sideline reporter, but did not lose her rookie status under official Clicker rules because she did not have enough analyst plate appearances in previous years, making just a handful in 2015-16 and ’16-17. She took the lead role this season, doing more than half of the Nets’ games. She also has started to appear on First Things First, which is FS1’s morning show with Cris Carter, Nick Wright and Jenna Wolfe. She has earned more opportunities. … Knicks radio play-by-player Ed Cohen is the Rookie of the Year runner-up. Heard on ESPN New York 98.7 FM, Cohen provides a very clean listen, meaning he is right on top of the action, allowing listeners to see what is going on.

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Falcons waive Taniela Tupou

The Falcons have opened up a roster spot by parting ways with a defensive lineman who joined the team last year.

The team announced that defensive tackle Taniela Tupou has been waived with a non-football injury designation.

Tupou signed with the Falcons after playing in the Spring League last offseason and joined the practice squad after failing to make the cut to 53 players. He was called up to the active roster in October, saw action in one regular season game and then returned to the practice squad.

Cowboys at Texans

Oct. 7, 8:20 p.m. Not only is this a battle for bragging rights in the Lone Star State, it involves two of the game’s most exciting, young quarterbacks in Dallas’ Dak Prescott and Houston’s Deshaun Watson, who’s coming back from reconstructive knee surgery. The Cowboys should also enjoy a full season from Ezekiel Elliott, while the Texans will be get J.J. Watt back from another injury-shortened campaign. 

That profile complements outstanding college production. Vander Esch always seemed to be around the ball, finishing last season with 141 tackles, two interceptions and four forced fumbles.

At 6-foot-3, Evans also has some good size, but is 20 pounds lighter and doesn’t have Vander Esch’s freaky wingspan. Still, Evans brings plus-athleticism and a knack for making things happen on the blitz.

In the middle rounds, Memphis’ Genard Avery has appeal as a rush linebacker. Standing only 6-foot-1, the compact 255-pounder recorded 22 tackles behind the line in 2017.

And not just because he’s a good story, the Lions should seriously consider Shaquem Griffin in the later rounds. Despite missing a hand, Griffin isn’t hindered by the disability, tallying 92 tackles for Central Florida last season, including 11.5 sacks.

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Dad never allowed his son to feel an ounce of self-pity.

Now, that O’Leary-like doubt could creep back into his world. Griffin reminds everyone that his edge has been meticulously building from age four to 22. That his father, Terry, never treated him like he had one hand. No, it’d get ridiculous with Dad starting at 150 pushups per night and adding 25 reps each week.

Be it sets of 20, 10 or five, both twins had no choice but to hit whatever magic number Dad picked. And if they dozed off for some reason, Dad woke them up.

Shaquill scowls, repeats that he’s king, and in his defense, how in the hell could Griffin ever win a game of one-on-one? Seriously. All defenders are taught to force players to dribble with their weak hand. For most, their left hand. Politely remind Griffin that he, uh, doesn’t have a left hand, and he doesn’t back down. He insists he still finds ways to create space.

The matchup pits the past two NFC champions and is a rematch of last season’s tight divisional playoff round tilt, which the Eagles won 15-10

In the postseason victory, quarterback Nick Foles threw for 246 yards on 23 of 30 passing, leading one touchdown score and three field-goal drives, as the Eagles’ defense stymied Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ offense in Philly.

The kickoff rematch could have a different signal-caller under center for the Eagles. 2017 MVP candidate Carson Wentz hopes to be ready for Week 1 after suffering an ACL and LCL tear in mid-December that sidelined him for Philadelphia’s Super Bowl run. Wentz has begun the running portion of his rehab and could sit out the preseason if he’s not ready to return. Might Week 1 be the first time we see Wentz back under center for the Eagles versus Dan Quinn’s fast Falcons defense?

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Rutgers basketball handed another brutal Big Ten slate in 2018-19

Rutgers’ conference schedule won’t get any easier next season.

But it will provide more star power at home.

The Scarlet Knights will play four of the Big Ten’s top teams – national runner-up Michigan, NIT champion Penn State and NCAA Tournament squads Ohio State and Michigan State – home-and-home in 2018-19 and will also host Maryland at the Rutgers Athletics Center as part of their 20-game league schedule during head coach Steve Pikiell’s third year.

Lindor finished 1-for-5 Tuesday, with the homer flanked by a pair of warning-track fly outs. Rosario was 1-for-4.

These people need to cheer, Lindor said of the recovery from September’s catastrophic storm.

In the fifth, he made it happen.

This means that, over the next week, plenty of secret workouts and meetings can and will occur. Some of them will be leaked, deliberately by a given team. Others will be leaked by the player, to the team’s likely chagrin.

Of course, the fact that private workouts are permitted to happen through Wednesday of next week doesn’t mean that they should.

Pierre-Paul was the last of his kind — incredibly, the only remaining player from six consecutive draft classes, from 2008-13. Reese took 45 players in that span and now they are all gone, which is as damning a reason as any the Giants bottomed out in 2017.

Everything about this fit, moving forward, was wrong. New defensive coordinator James Bettcher is bringing his 3-4 front to the Giants, and JPP is much more of a classic 4-3 end. Could he stand up and rush the passer as an outside linebacker? He is 29 years old, with a history of back surgery, sports hernia surgery and a right hand that is not fully functional. The Giants did not envision an upswing for Pierre-Paul.

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Rare pair: Wisconsin high school wide receiver teammates share draft dream

Rare pair: Wisconsin high school wide receiver teammates share draft dream More If someone dares you to name a wide receiver born in this state over the past 50 years who has had more than a middling career in the NFL, don’t take the bet.

Then in 2017, a group of four former cheerleaders from the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raider filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL, claiming the league conspired to pay them low wages and to keep them from negotiating their pay. However, a judge dismissed the suit. With Davis’ federal claim against the NFL freshly filed, the spotlight is once again on the unfair and harmful policies professional cheerleaders endure on the job. Though she says she’s not getting support from her former teammates on the Saintsations, she plans to press on and try to make a change.

In her interview, she echoes a double-standard that professional cheerleaders have been calling attention to for years. While cheerleaders are forbidden from any contact with players, players are not banned from contacting or being around cheerleaders. That means that if a player shows up to a restaurant where a cheerleader is dining, the cheerleader has to leave.

Carson Wentz on Tuesday met with the media for the first time since the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII with Nick Foles leading the way. Wentz not surprisingly was asked about his recovery from a torn ACL in his left knee and where he is in his rehab. I’m not going into specifics, Wentz said at  NovaCare Complex, where the Eagles are in the process of starting up offseason activities, via NJ.com.

We’ve started running and all those things. I feel good about where I’m at and I’m trying to stay the course. It’s such a fluid process that it’s hard to put a time table on these things. I wish I knew as well. Things are going well and I’m happy with where I’m at … I feel very good. I started the running progression. However many weeks ago I was throwing. Just to start being able to do all of those things is a good sign. Wentz was asked if he expects to be on the field for a Thursday night showdown in Week 1 with the Minnesota Vikings.

That’s the goal, Wentz said. Much has been made of Wentz’s style of play, with the prevailing belief that his aggressive approach opens him up to injury. Wentz made it clear there are no plans to change the way he plays the quarterback position. First of all there will always be speculation, that’s part of the business, but I’m not going to change. I think I’m always going to learn.

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Report: Brady focusing less on football this offseason than in past

Until Tom Brady either shows up to a team-organized workout or publicly commits to playing in 2018, speculation will continue swirling that he is contemplating his football future. The latest report won’t help.

An undrafted free agent out of Southern Utah, Pringle played running back and receiver in college — rushing for 1,130 yards and 14 touchdowns on 228 carries and catching 26 passes for 329 yards in 33 games — before converting to cornerback as a rookie last season.

Pringle had been an all-league player on both offense and defense in high school.

After flashing some serious speed at his pro day, running a 4.42 40-yard dash, Pringle spent portions of last season on Jacksonville and Green Bay’s practice squads.

Pringle is the third player from Southern Utah to spend time on the Lions’ roster in recent years, joining safety Miles Killebrew and cornerback Josh Thornton.

The veteran pass-catcher openly shared his desire to play in the NFC East — facing Dallas twice a year — but none of those teams have come forward to chase him.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport listed the Ravens as a distinct possibility, a move that would pair Bryant with free-agent addition Michael Crabtree.

The Saints also are a candidate, as is Buffalo, but neither has emerged as a favorite to land the former Cowboys star. The timing isn’t ideal for Bryant — with teams zooming toward the draft — but there’s no question he’ll ultimately find work.

General manager Howie Roseman doesn’t want to deal his backup quarterback because he has the luxury of the best security blanket imaginable. That stance isn’t going to change until or unless Wentz returns to full health in his recovery from surgery to repair his ACL as well as his LCL.

On that note, Wentz assured reporters Monday that he doesn’t need to play in the preseason to be ready for the regular-season opener.

UTSA’s Marcus Davenport and Boston College’s Harold Landry would top the wish list.

Comparing Davenport to Ansah wouldn’t be too wide of the mark. Entering the league, both offered prototypical builds, elite athleticism, but raw talent. It’s easy to forget, Ansah only had 4.5 sacks during his college career. Davenport racked up 21, including 15 the past two seasons, but against a lower level of competition. His technique will need refinement to port that success to the next level.

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