Malcolm Jenkins slapped Tom Brady’s butt and yelled, ‘c’mon Tom!’ after his Super Bowl drop

Tom Brady is a quarterback, not a wide receiver. Eagles cornerback Malcolm Jenkins made sure to remind him of that at Super Bowl 52.

Brady found himself wide open after handing the ball off to James White on third-and-5 and sneaking past a disinterested Philadelphia defense. He broke into the flat behind former teammate Chris Long while White pitched the ball to Danny Amendola, then stretched out to reel in a high pass that looked like a game-breaking gain for the Patriots.

The Eagles got to roast Brady on the other side of the ball 12 minutes later. Facing fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, quarterback Nick Foles dialed up a play that pushed him to the line of scrimmage as a receiver. Much like Brady had before, he slipped past the Patriot defense unnoticed. Unlike Brady, he caught his on-target pass from Trey Burton — giving the Eagles a 22-12 lead at halftime and making the most of a 70-yard, clock-draining drive.

“Although I wish I could have contributed more to help my team win, I have to get ready for the next opportunity,” Butler wrote. “Moving forward I will do what I have always done to work hard, and prepare for next season to be the best that I can be on and off the field.”

Butler had been demoted in practice leading up to the game, according to Kevin Duffy of MassLive.com. Johnson Bademosi, who started in just three games for the Patriots during the 2017 season, got more playing time than Butler after Butler played 98 percent of the team’s defensive snaps this season.

Despite his statement, it’s still a weird situation. We don’t know much about what went on, and Butler’s statement is more about appreciation and being peaceful than revealing anything.jays_066_04c0bbb73f469260-180x180

Panthers name Marty Hurney general manager (again)

Marty Hurney has been named the Panthers’ new general manager.

The team announced the deal Wednesday.

Earlier this week Luck told Sports Illustrated the focus right is now is still strengthening all those muscles and making sure that my shoulder can handle it.

Luck, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, missed all of 2017 and had been dealing with a rotator cuff issue since 2015.

McCown didn’t lead the Jets to the playoffs, but he had a bigger impact than anyone imagined. They failed to win a game that McCown didn’t start. If Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg had been under center throughout 2017, the Jets might have a higher draft pick right now.

In 2016, Chris Long was released by the Rams and ended up with the Patriots. He started seven games and collected four sacks, 22 tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery while also winning a Super Bowl.

The Warriors and Thunder will be meeting for the third time this season, with Oklahoma City having won the first two head-to-heads.

No team has beaten Golden State three straight times in the same regular season since Steve Kerr became the coach in 2014.

Only two have had that opportunity, both in the 2016-17 season. But the Warriors avoided three-peats by Memphis and San Antonio with road wins by an average of 13.5 points.

Kerr made a change to his starting lineup, inserting JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia at center for Thursday’s game against the Clippers after the Warriors had been having trouble in first quarters.

Despite being third in the NBA in net points at the All-Star break, the Warriors had a negative number in first quarters — minus-0.4 — while allowing opponents an NBA-high 30.0 points on 48.8 percent shooting.

Having his home burglarized and considering his playing future immediately following a Super Bowl loss has to be quite a difficult situation for Gronkowski to be in.

After Hart dropped that expletive, he was quickly escorted off the set — understandably so, you know. But again, this is a lesson of persistence. Why? Because this was Kevin Hart earlier.
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Winter Olympics medal count 2018: Norway running away with overall lead

With one week to go in the 2018 Winter Olympics, Norway has established itself as the top medal leader. As of Sunday evening, the Norwegians have 26 medals total, well ahead of Germany’s 18, Canada’s 16, and the Netherlands’ 13.

Norway added to its medal total after several strong performances on Saturday. The cross country team took the gold in men’s 4×10 relay, while Oystein Braaten topped the podium at men’s ski slopestyle. In the men’s Alpine ski downhill, Henrik Kristoffersen got the silver position behind Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, who picked up his second gold of this year’s games.

It’s a relatively quiet night, with no medal events in the NBC primetime window. Free skating returns with the ice dance short program, where American siblings Alex and Maia Shibutani are big podium favorites. Lindsey Vonn will ski again after placing first in the downhill training run, but that event won’t have its medals decided until Tuesday.

Other qualifying events to watch are women’s ski halfpipe, women’s snowboard big air, and women’s bobsled training runs. The U.S. women’s hockey team will play Finland in the semifinal round, with a potential Canada rematch looming.

Mikal Bridges was the scoring star for Villanova on Saturday, dropping a team-high 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field, including 4-of-7 from behind the three-point line. As good as Bridges was, Donte DiVincenzo may have been even better. The sophomore was 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, scoring 21 points of his own, and also chipped in nine rebounds and a team-high nine assists.

As a team, Villanova shot a scorching 38-of-63 from the field.

The offensive explosion by the Wildcats proved to be too much for Xavier. The Musketeers got 26 points from All-American candidate Trevon Bluiett and were a sparkling 19-of-22 from the free-throw line. In the end, making 10 fewer three-pointers than their guests proved to be too much to overcome.

Saturday’s loss marked Xavier’s first defeat in more than a month. The Musketeers had won nine straight games since an 89-65 loss at then-No. 1 Villanova on Jan. 10. The defeat also marked the first home loss for Xavier, which had been 16-0 at home this season.

Villanova’s win kept its chances of winning its fifth Big East regular season title in as many seasons alive. Xavier currently sits atop the standings a half game ahead of the Wildcats, but that’s only because the Musketeers have played one more conference game.
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Mayfield acknowledged this past weekend that NFL personnel have talked to him about having more awareness of his social media use and trying to stay out of trouble.

We’re two completely different people, Mayfield said. I’ve always been a team-oriented guy. Not saying that Johnny wasn’t, but I’ve quickly earned the respect of my teammates because of how I worked.

I wasn’t given the natural talent that Johnny had. Because he’s a talent. And there’s a reason he got taken in the first round, amazing player. We’re just not the same mentally. Just wired differently.

But coaches have long praised his leadership and infectious energy.

It’s cost me a lot of shots over the year, he confirmed. It’s cost me a few tournaments here and there.

It’s been a lot because all it takes is one shot on a Thursday that you lose a tournament by a shot on Sunday. What people don’t realize, it’s not just something that happens on Sunday afternoon, this is cumulative and it’s par for the course, Tiger added. I’ve dealt with it for a very long time.

Or Friday at Riviera, where boisterous fans inserted themselves into the action on the field.

In particular, Henry highlighted what he believed was a passive approach at the plate under former hitting coach Chili Davis as the primary culprit for a 93-run drop-off in scoring from 2016 to 2017. But the Red Sox also never directly replaced retired slugger David Ortiz and witnessed injury- or performance-related drop-offs from several core players, including Betts, Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia and Jackie Bradley Jr.

For months, the Sox have been viewed within the industry as the favorite to sign free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez. They made him a five-year offer reportedly worth about $100 million, but with spring training underway, Martinez is among more than 100 free agents who continue to hold out.

In a compromising position, where the attack has been rightfully exposed for two-thirds of the match, The Special One decides his most expensive player should warm the bench.bears_025

Smith was a rotational linebacker going into this game, and he came out of it with a new car.

He was on the field, however, for two huge plays, his 69-yard interception return and a fumble recovery.

But this is where the voters should have looked deeper in the Seahawks’ 43-8 destruction of the Broncos. The Legion of Boom, behind Seattle’s pass rush, took control of this game from the beginning. Laying the boom on Denver’s running backs and receivers alike was Chancellor, playing safety like a fast and furious linebacker. The numbers were there, too, as he was in on 10 tackles and also had an interception.

In some ways, this was a strange topic to insert into the rally.

And the president oversaw it all from a Twitter app, sometimes spinning the backlash, sometimes egging the furor on.

There’s no doubt Namath set himself up to be MVP as soon as he guaranteed that his AFL upstart Jets would upend the established NFL power Colts.

It was 16-7 Jets in a game dominated by what their defense did against Baltimore quarterbacks Johnny Unitas and Earl Morrall. Namath wasn’t even his team’s most impressive offensive player. The New York quarterback was facilitated to victory by his running back, Snell, who rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries and added four catches for 40 yards. But of course, the better story was Namath, and the media buzz helped build up “Broadway Joe” on this one.

Trump woke up Monday and praised NASCAR owners who condemned the protests. “They won’t put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag,” he wrote at 7:25 a.m.

Six minutes later, he claimed that “many people booed the players who knelt yesterday (which was a small percentage of total).”jaguars_112

The Patriots will face a new challenger in their seventh consecutive AFC championship game Sunday.

The Jaguars follow the Ravens, Broncos, Colts and Steelers in trying to get the better of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

New England is not invincible, given it has split the previous six trips, including a home loss to Baltimore as more than a touchdown favorite five years ago. Jacksonville is a nine-point underdog in 2018, but it’s a team built mentally and physically to give the reigning champion a game.

The Jaguars won’t be trying to out-scheme Belichick or fool Brady. Many of them are too young to care about the Patriots’ mystique and won’t come into the game intimidated. They’ll line up and be confident that their immense talent on defense will win them another game.

The Jaguars trust Smith and Myles Jack to cover anyone on the second level, and before Paul Posluszny exits for Colvin on third downs, he plays the pass better than you think. Amendola and the Patriots’ backs were big factors against the Titans because they were so weak in back seven coverage. Jacksonville is the opposite of that, and it won’t mind giving up plays to Gronk if it can shut down everyone else.

New England’s best chance to move the ball through the air will be Gronkowski rumbling downfield — an out no other team has against the NFL’s best pass defense. Brady will also try to facilitate his receivers with some hurry-up possessions to catch the Jaguars in the wrong personnel groupings.

The Ravens enter their bye week with three losses in four games and a sub-.500 record. Their season hasn’t reached the point of hopelessness yet. But things aren’t looking particularly promising.

The Bears return from their bye and it will be interesting to see if they open things up for rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky in what remains of the season. Their success with Trubisky has come when he has been used in a supporting role rather than as the centerpiece of the offense. But at some point, the Bears will have to rev up the passing offense and see if Trubisky is ready to handle it.jaguars_046

Week 1 had some surprises but the games weren’t as competitive as you might like.

Teams barely averaged two touchdowns per game and the final margin of victory (13.6 points) was the highest it’s been since the opening week of the 2011 season. Injuries to key players were plentiful — David Johnson, Allen Robinson, Danny Woodhead and Kevin White are all expected to miss significant time — while other teams are still trying to find who can make an impact on their roster.

Weakness: Philly’s weakness? It’s what used to be the club’s unquestioned core power: the quarterback position. Losing Wentz to a season-ending knee injury in Week 14 stripped the Eagles of their beating heart and one of the game’s most promising young stars. Backup Nick Foles was exposed on Christmas against Oakland and was downright awful last Sunday against the Cowboys before giving way to third-stringer Nate Sudfeld. It really shows in Philly’s vertical air game, too, with Foles sporting a 2.1 passer rating on deep throws — small sample size noted — while Wentz produced a 94.9 mark before the injury. Eagles fans went from watching Wentz operate as a cannon-armed, pre-snap magician with next-level mobility and Brett Favre-level derring-do to wondering if the postseason might be a one-and-done affair with Foles at the controls.

Curry sinks one from way deepWithout hesitation, Steph Curry throws up a long-range 3-pointer with Enes Kantor in his face and connects.

In Keenum’s case, it’s not like the Vikings went cheap at quarterback. Sam Bradford was supposed to be their starter, with Teddy Bridgewater on the mend from the injury that caused them to trade for Bradford in the first place. Keenum, who is making $2 million in salary and bonus money this season, was added as an insurance policy. But Bradford got hurt. Bridgewater wasn’t ready to return, and Keenum played so well when he got his chance that Coach Mike Zimmer had little choice but to leave him in the lineup.

With Foles, it’s not as if he was responsible for the Eagles being the No. 1 seed in the NFC. That was very much the doing of second-year quarterback Carson Wentz, who was a front-runner for the NFL’s MVP award before suffering a season-ending knee injury in December. Foles had been signed to a two-year, $11 million contract — with a $3 million signing bonus and a $1 million salary for this season — to be a backup, and the Eagles turned to him only out of necessity.jaguars_023

The Rooney Rule was not created to be an obstacle to hirings, either on NFL sidelines or in front offices.

Yet that’s exactly how it appears teams are viewing it. Deepen the pool of candidates? No, check off a box before grabbing the guy they wanted all along.

The Raiders sent that perception all over the football world in their pursuit of Jon Gruden as head coach. The Browns sent the same perception in December when they hired John Dorsey as general manager. If they weren’t actually sidestepping the league rule by creating window-dressing job interviews with token candidates, they did a great impression of it.

The NFL gave the Browns a pass, on the absolute thinnest of arguments, even as John Wooten of the Fritz Pollard Alliance said to USA Today of the Browns’ process: “I am livid that the Browns would totally ignore the work all of us do to make the Rooney Rule meaningful.”

Bottom line: Gordon is worth a look in trade calls. I wouldn’t go crazy in chasing him but trading someone like Corey Coleman to an owner who doesn’t buy the resurgence is entirely feasible.

Doug Martin left the game in the second quarter of the Bucs game Sunday with a hamstring injury. The artist formerly known as the Muscle Hamster will reportedly get an MRI Tuesday.

The Royals had the No. 1 farm system in baseball in 2011 and won two pennants as a result, including a world championship in 2015. The Cubs hit the top five in 2013, ranked No. 1 in 2015, and won the World Series in 2016. The Astros had the No. 1 farm system in baseball in 2014 and won their first World Series in 2017.

I don’t think any of this is a big coincidence: Teams can’t buy championships. They can buy a player or two to finish off a good roster, but the bulk of a pennant-winning roster comes from within, either through cheaper players the team developed from its farm system or veterans acquired by trading such prospects.

Former Chargers safety Eric Weddle, now with the Baltimore Ravens, wrote on Twitter: “Chargers leaving is TERRIBLE. Sad day for everyone who supported the [C]hargers. City and people are amazing. SD will always be my home!!!”
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