Jack Ham and Jack Lambert are inner-circle Steelers all-timers

That freak athleticism goes a long way in explaining his success on the field. Watt is a three-down linebacker who can chase down quarterbacks around the edge or shoot gaps between blockers. At Wisconsin, he’d roam throughout the backfield to find weak points in blocking schemes, attacking to create havoc so he or his teammates could capitalize. Here’s an example of that cerebral pre-snap planning, courtesy of the Big Ten Network.

He also has the flexibility to shadow tight ends or drop into zone coverage, notching four passes defended and a pick-six last fall. Solid fundamentals — strong hits at the point of contact and good wrapping of ball carriers — make him a sound tackler. That, combined with his ability to attack and shed blockers, should make him the kind of defensive player whose name is called over the PA several times each game.

Jack Ham and Jack Lambert are inner-circle Steelers all-timers, just as critical to Chuck Noll’s teams as Greene and L.C. Greenwood. The franchise has had 17 linebacker Pro Bowlers, by far the most of any position. The Steelers sucked in the ‘80s, but Ham and Lambert eventually gave way to Jason Gildon and Joey Porter, two star outside backers, at the turn of the millennium.

Porter, James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, and ageless wonder James Harrison have all keyed Super Bowl runs. A few of those occupy the top slots on the Steelers all-time sacks list, with Harrison at No. 1 with 79.5 career takedowns. The Steelers have had Hall of Fame-level QBs, but defense has been their central theme.

Linebackers are the ones who get cheered loudest when they run out of the tunnel at Heinz Field. They’re the ones whom we, as Pittsburghers, use to rationalize why other teams will always cower against us. (I’m not saying it’s a rational thing; it’s just a thing.) Pittsburghers love linebackers as much as they love eating french fries on their sandwiches, which is to say we really love them a lot.
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Do-it-all safety Marcus Williams brings versatility to Saints’ secondary

Marcus Williams, the ball-hawking Utah safety with fantastic athletic ability, has been selected by the Saints with the 42nd pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Mens Darren Fells Jersey The former Utes safety totaled five interceptions in each of the last two seasons, ranking second among Pac-12 players in both 2015 and 2016. Williams has the playmaking instincts and physicality to thrive at the next level.
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The free safety’s production speaks for itself. Williams was a playmaker throughout his collegiate career, totaling 11 total interceptions in three years. In 2016, the Utes finished the year with a 9-4 overall record, thanks in large part to Williams. One of the better run-stuffing safeties in this year’s draft class, Williams played a large part in Utah’s dominant defense which ranked 25th in rushing last year.

Harbaugh writes that Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the national anthem before games last season boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system. He notes Kaepernick was alone in that protest and adds:

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

Kaepernick remains a free agent this offseason, for reasons that likely have more to do with his activism than his on-field ability. Kaepernick’s football qualifications are certainly good enough for him to have a job, but it’s April, and he doesn’t.

Zay Jones wore an O.J. Simpson chase shirt while being drafted by O.J.s NFL team

The Buffalo Bills picked Zay Jones 37th overall in the NFL draft on Friday night. When the pick came in, cameras cut to Jones watching the draft on TV. This was his shirt:
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The shirt depicts a bunch of O.J. Simpsons — in a brigade of white Bronco SUVs — chasing a police car. Its a reimagining of the slow-speed chase Simpson and friend Al Cowlings led officers on in 1994, before Simpson was arrested on charges of double-murder. Simpson, of course, made his professional name with the Bills.
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Despite his historic season to cap off a three-year collegiate career, Foreman was still widely regarded as a second-tier running back in the 2017 class, behind talents such as LSUs Leonard Fournette, Florida States Dalvin Cook and Stanfords Christian McCaffrey.

Although his name was still called after players like Joe Mixon and Kareem Hunt, Foreman boosted his draft stock significantly with an impressive showing at the Longhorns Pro Day in March, clocking a 4.45 40-yard dash, 33 reps on the bench press and arriving at 61, 234 pounds — down 14 pounds from his listed 248 pounds while at Texas.

And heres Seahawks site Field Gulls on Griffin:

Standing at 60and possessing 32 3/8arms, Griffin possesses ideal size to plug in as a Seahawkycorner and should slot into Seattles rotation early. The Seahawks have not drafted a corner this high since Pete Carroll and John Schneider have come to town.

DeShone Kizer’s Sasquatch suit at the NFL draft is for a good cause

DeShone Kizer is dressed to impress for the NFL draft.

It¡¯s sponsored by Jack Links beef jerky (you may recognize the Sasquatch from their commercials) but it¡¯s for a cause — the company known for its cured meats teamed up with Kizer to support The Andrew Weishar Foundation.

Kids Heath Miller Jersey The Eagles and Cowboys played a close one this past season in October, which ended with Dak Prescott leading the Cowboys to a comeback victory.

Prescott¡¯s touchdown to Jason Witten in overtime sealed it, so you could understand why Eagles fans might be upset outside of the rivalry.

The crowds at the NFL draft are typically ruthless, with it normally being held in New York with plenty of upset Jets fans.

Philadelphia is another beast, and this is just a little preview of what we will likely see tonight, especially when Roger Goodell initially comes out to announce the first overall pick. New Rams quarterbacks coach Greg Olson believes that had plenty to do with the verbiage of an NFL offense.

A lot of things he was doing at Cal, he did it at the line of scrimmage with one-word codes, Olson told the Los Angeles Times. There¡¯s a little bit more to that in the NFL.

Kids Brooks Orpik Jersey Goff¡¯s difficulty with the NFL playbook looks like a hurdle for most of the 2017 class, as well. And many passers, like Goff, won¡¯t get much time to figure things out.

Tajh Boyd didn¡¯t play in an Air Raid offense at Clemson, but he admitted to Sports Illustrated that the spread concepts the team used made it tough for him in the NFL. As a Day 3 pick, Boyd didn¡¯t believe NFL teams had much patience for him to figure things out.

Dirk Nowitzki will return for his 20th season with the Mavericks

After playing his 19th season with the Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki has informed the team he will return for his 20th NBA season, according to Mavs.com. He will exercise his player option to opt into the final season of his two-year, $50 million contract.

Nowitzki joins just Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Kevin Willis, and Robert Parrish as the only players in NBA history to play 20 seasons. He and Bryant are the only players to spend two decades with one team.

Note where Game 5, if it happens, would be played: April 26 at Oracle Arena. Now check out Chance the Rapper’s tour schedule this spring.

Chance is getting bigger and bigger, but I initially thought maybe he wasn’t slated to perform at Oracle. I saw him in Dallas last year, and he played at a large concert venue rather than an even larger arena. (Highly recommend it, by the way.) But …

Welp.

We reached out to Warriors PR, and they gave us this statement.

When booking concert events at the arena during a playoff run, we typically schedule contingency dates for that event. The Warriors will have the priority on April 26th.

A formal announcement for the Chance the Rapper show is in the works, pending that the show will be moved.
There’s a good, maybe even great, chance the Warriors do sweep. That’s definitely possible, even though Portland is feisty and ended the season playing better basketball than when the year started. So it’s possible this all works out.

If not, and if you have tickets to both, start praying for a Golden State sweep. (Or just have a flexible schedule and you’ll be fine.) The Warriors will bring in at least 10 times the revenue that the Chance show will, and it’s televised. Of course they have priority. That’s no surprise.

Either way, it’s a nice little wrinkle if Golden State does go up 3-0.
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Loose horse leads Philadelphia police on dramatic carrot-filled chase

The NBA Playoffs begin Saturday, but these NBA teams and players have been building up to this moment for years. Theyve honed their skills, sharpened their set plays, and built in different counters to keep defenses off balance. The game is breathtaking, but there is a technical side to it that fuels those amazing athletic feats.

Arizona Cardinals Kids Jersey This list will attempt to celebrate some of those cool nuts and bolts that make the NBAs athletic greatness possible. Itll require some close viewing to spot these plays and player quirks, but they appear all the time. Consider this a hunt for the Easter Eggs of the NBA Playoffs.

Last years list had 36 items. Several of those still apply this year, but weve added an additional 31 for you to find as you watch these games. Each of the 16 teams is represented at least once. If there are any other special plays or player quirks youd like to highlight, drop them in the comments section. These teams and players do amazing things that should be celebrated, and Im sure I missed a bunch.
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A loose horse running the streets in Philadelphia has been captured unharmed following a dramatic police chase:

The Philadelphia filly, not to be confused with the baseball team of the same name, was finally cornered by police and given carrots to calm her down. I wish someone would give me carrots to calm down.

Its unclear from where the filly got loose, but police believe this good horse escaped from Fairmont Park stables.

Psst, James Harden, it’s too late for people to change their NBA MVP votes

Chris Mannix on Isaiah’s emotional weekend.

Westbrook and Harden, who are good friends, aren’t communicating at all during their playoff series. By the way, Westbrook is leading 9-5 in Matt Ellentuck’s MVP Scorecard race, though I think that Spalding meme is extremely generous.

The Clippers lost in humiliating fashion on Saturday night. Don’t blame Chris Paul, writes Zito Madu.

I’m not going to say that the Wizards are a little goofy because I’m just not sure how far they are taking this “Death Row D.C.” thing, to be honest.
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Authentic Youth Johnny Damon Jersey This is just incredible trash talk from C.J. McCollum to Draymond Green.

The oldest basketball court in existence is in a Paris gym and is in terrible shape. From a stat perspective, Boise State is still one of the surest things around. The Broncos are projected 29th in S&P+, and their games can be broken into two categories: road tossups (four games with win probability between 50 and 55 percent) and likely wins (seven at 75 percent or higher). There are no sure losses, and if quality recruiting produces breakthrough guys, BSU will have another big year.

Those tossups make me nervous, though. BSU has figured out how to lose a couple of games it should win in each of the last two years, and, well, what if a couple of big, new contributors don’t emerge?

The Seahawks are among the most complete teams in the NFL

The Seahawks scraped out close wins against the St. Louis Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Weeks 8 and 9, and there was some trepidation among the fanbase that the team was slipping. Last week, they bounced back in a big way with a 33-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons on the road.

The Seahawks are among the most complete teams in the NFL. They rank top 8 in the NFL in both total offense and total defense. They are No. 1 in the NFL in rushing offense (153.4 yards per game) and No. 2 in pass defense (178 yards per game allowed).

Authentic Womens Peyton Manning Jersey They’ll be without cornerback Brandon Browner for some time, but Harvin’s return on the other side of the ball should help offset the loss.

Elite Mens Tavon Austin Jersey The fourth-place team in CONCACAF goes into an intercontinental playoff with the fifth-place team in Asian qualifying. The average fourth-place hex team ends on 13.2 points, though this number is highly variable from cycle to cycle. This year, it鈥檚 tough to envision the third- and fourth-placed teams being separated by more than a point or two. The best ever fourth-place team had 16 points, while Mexico only needed 11 points to make the intercontinental playoff during 2017 qualifying.

Sean Donovan from The Phinsider addressed the lack of production from rookie Dion Jordan.

At one point the excuse was that he was a developing rookie. After a couple of solid outings in limited work, it became a bad joke. Now, Jordan’s lack of snaps is is a full-blown controversy. The Dolphins coaches refusal to increase Jordan’s workload is a mystery to almost all observers, and there isn’t any indication that it’ll change this season.

Lions vs. Steelers 2017 game preview: Will Detroit stay atop the NFC North?

Limited Theoren Fleury Jersey The Detroit Lions are now alone atop the NFC North and will have an opportunity to pick up a key road win when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers.

At 6-3, the Lions have a one-game lead over Chicago and Green Bay in the division race. Four of Detroit’s final six games will come at home, so adding a road win in Pittsburgh would put the Lions in very good position for the playoffs. Detroit is 3-2 on the road this season, one of the main reasons it currently leads the division.

The 2017 season has gone the opposite direction for Pittsburgh. The Steelers are just 3-6, but are coming off a 23-10 win over Buffalo. The once-stout defense has had plenty of issues this season and Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom-third of the NFL in points allowed.

Sunday’s meeting will be just the fourth game between the two teams since 2001; Pittsburgh is 3-0 in the previous three contests.
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The whole world was moving into a future where France had the lead, adjusting expectations and opinions accordingly. Then, just for a moment, everything was in limbo. And finally 鈥?brutally, suddenly, mechanically 鈥?we were jerked back into a different reality.

We don’t just see this in football – and we don’t just see it in sports. We’ve structured our system to keep people from failing. Most of the time that’s a compassionate, humane, just position. People get sick by no fault of their own. Workers get laid off suddenly. Shit happens that’s of no fault of their own, and it’s just to have a society where there’s a safety net to catch them.

Gary Kubiak’s offenses were fueled by elite play from the front five

With the offseason near, and Vegas throwing a wrench into the draft plans, most teams will likely be scrambling to sign and make deals to accommodate their biggest players. The Jets, however, will have just four unrestricted free agents to deal with and have a projected $6.3 million in cap space to work with.

The only big-name UFA coming off the books at the end of the season will be Pavelec, and with their cap space they’ll have plenty of room to get Marko Dano, Copp, Brandon Tanev, Ben Chiarot, and Hellebuyck under contract. Some smart management this offseason can set them up well for a bright future.

No one knows what the penalty would be for players who do defy the NHL and head to Pyeongchang in the middle of the 2017-18 season. It could range from fines — for the players themselves and/or the owners — to suspensions, much like how players sit out a game if they miss the All-Star Game.

And if players do get “permission” from either the league or their owner, will the national teams even accept them? The European teams might, and Russia no doubt will, but the catch is a bit more for the United States and Canada. The NHL has the most sway over Team USA and Team Canada as the countries are the league’s center of power, and it’s not unreasonable to wonder if the league would attempt to come down on the national teams as well.

In their heyday, Gary Kubiak’s offenses were fueled by elite play from the front five, consistently creating cutback lanes on Houston’s signature Outside Zone play while providing harassment-free pockets for Schaub (and the weird gallimaufry of QBs that Schaub’s injury thrust on the scene in 2011). But all good things must come to an end, and debatable resource allocation by the Texans’ front office, along with the cruel dictates of Father Time, hastened that end along.

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