Might not see Terrell Owens in a football uniform again.If Terrell Owens‘ career had not hit rock bottom by playing in the Indoor Football League, it did Tuesday when he was cut from the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League.Worse, the team was chasing a playoff spot and still got rid of the one-time Pro Bowl receiver.But why?Apparently, Owens refused to play in upcoming road games against the Nebraska Danger and Everett (Washington) Raptors. According to a statement from the Wranglers, T.O. got the boot because of typical Terrell Owens nonsense.“The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for Mr. Owens was his no-show to a scheduled appearance at a local children’s hospital with other Wrangler players and coaches,” the statement read. It is not the desire of the Allen Wranglers’ organization to disappoint fans by having our most notable player miss a scheduled appearance.”Reportedly, as part of being cut, Owens loses his ownership stake in the team — and almost assuredly any chance of a return to the NFL.
Howard Smith-USA TODAY SportsPhiladelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who has used two quarterbacks all season, joked that Nick Foles will start at the QB position for this week. The only thing is, the Eagles have a bye this week.Now that QB Michael Vick is healthy enough to play again, Kelly will have to answer a question seriously next week.How can you bench Foles? That is an answer Vick himself wants to know.“In all honesty, in all fairness, how can you take a guy out of the game who’s been playing so well?” Vick told WIP 94, via CSN Philly, on Thursday.“I’ve been in this stage before, and I know what it’s like. I understand the position that this team is in, and the one thing I never want to do is be a distraction or put our team or our coaches in a position where they feel like they’re not doing the right thing or I feel like they’re not doing the right thing. I trust what’s going on, I enjoy being a part of it, I love the game of football in general. So it’s important to me to be there in support and be ready if my name and number is called again.”Philadelphia has won three-straight games and is at the top of the NFC East behind Foles. He also hasn’t thrown an interception all season.“He had an opportunity to learn from me this year and last year and just sit behind me and pick my brain, and he also went out and played the game, and now he’s just taking that and everything is unfolding for him,” Vick said. “He’s going out there and everything he’s worked for and put into his game, he’s putting it to work, and that’s what you’ve seen.“He can potentially be a starter in this league for a long time. It’s just about timing, as of right now. As long as he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s going to continue to build that case.”
Audio and Video Equipment SpecialistSports teams rely heavily on being able to review footage of games, individual players, schemes, tendencies, etc. Teams always seek people skilled at editing videos and breaking them down for easy, specific viewing. It also can be an entrée into coaching. Mike Brown, who coached the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers twice and Los Angeles Lakers, started as a video coordinator.Public Address AnnouncerHave an appealing voice, read fluidly and have command of an audience? Working courtside or in the press box as the PA announcer could be for you. It’s a coveted job and an important one that puts you right in the middle of the action.
By Geoff Foster, Chris Herring and Kyle Wagner More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (Dec. 13, 2017), FiveThirtyEight sports editor Geoff Foster joins Chris and Kyle to break down the latest NBA news. The Golden State Warriors won six straight road games and then continued their streak with a win at home against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday. Have the Warriors overcome their early struggles? The group discusses. Next, when the Oklahoma City Thunder padded their team with stars earlier this year, they traded away Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott. But about a third of the way — and two player of the week awards for Oladipo — into the season, the Thunder’s big moves are suddenly looking less one-sided. The group investigates why the exiles are playing so much better on their new teams. Plus, a small-sample-size segment on the Minnesota Timberwolves.Here are links to what was discussed this week:Keep an eye on our 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.Despite the Warriors’ recent success, ESPN still ranks the Houston Rockets above Golden State.Victor Oladipo was named Eastern Conference player of the week for the second time this season.Doug McDermott has been proving his value to the New York Knicks.
More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed FiveThirtyEight Embed Code This past week brought a series of impressive feats from baseball phenoms. Pete Alonso set a record for home runs hit by a National League rookie. Rookie Aristides Aquino hit his 11th home run in just 17 career games, becoming the first player since at least 1900 to do so. And Yankee infielder Gleyber Torres set a record for the most homers since 1969 against a single team when he hit his 13th home run of the season against the Baltimore Orioles. On the show, we break down this era of unprecedented dominance by the young players of MLB.Looking ahead to the start of the 2019 college football season — which kicks off this weekend — we’ll preview which teams to watch for and make our own championship predictions.To round out this all-youth episode, we dive into the Little League World Series and the players whose names suggest that they are destined for greatness.What we’re looking at this week:Neil’s piece on youths in baseball.Forbes breaks down the college football rankings.The joys of Little League World Series fandom from The Ringer.
Foles did little to suggest otherwise in four mostly lackluster appearances to close the regular season. But he spent the month of January proving himself up to the challenge. With 352 yards (on 26-for-33 passing) and three touchdowns versus Minnesota, he produced one of the greatest QB performances in conference championship history. The game brought back memories of Foles’s 2013 season in Philadelphia, when he posted the third-best single-season passer rating in NFL history. But it was also a testament to the adjustments that Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson made to accommodate the different strengths of Wentz and Foles.Under both Wentz in the regular season and Foles during the playoffs, the Eagles’ offense averaged over 390 yards per game. But those yards were accumulated in different ways. Before Wentz’s injury, Philly was a balanced team whose aerial attack primarily relied on the power of its quarterback’s arm — often assisted by Wentz’s magician-like ability to improvise and buy time in the pocket. One thing it didn’t do, however, was ask receivers to do lots of work after hauling in the football. Through Week 14, Wentz led the league in touchdown passes per attempt and ranked third in air yards per attempt, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, but his targets were only 22nd in yards after the catch per reception.Foles connected on three 40-yard passes against the Vikings. But those have been big exceptions to the Eagles’ general approach with Foles at the helm, which has been to throw much shorter. In the playoffs, Foles’s average pass has traveled 7.1 yards through the air. Compare that with Wentz’s average of 9.8 air yards per attempt during the regular season, and you can begin to see how Pederson has shifted his offense’s focus. Forty percent of Wentz’s passes went 10 or more yards downfield, compared with 25 percent for Foles in the playoffs. And Foles has actually thrown a larger share of his passes to players at or behind the line of scrimmage (29 percent) than 10 yards past it. *Playoff games onlySource: ESPN Stats & Information Group Carson Wentz7.74.812.415.5%44.3%40.2% Philly’s passing offense changed in the playoffsDistance traveled through the air — and after the catch — for passes by Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks, 2017 season In today’s NFL, throwing shorter passes isn’t always correlated with better outcomes. But Foles is succeeding in large part because his receivers are taking those short passes and running for big gains after the catch. With Wentz under center, the Eagles’ pass-catchers produced only 98.6 yards after the catch per game (eighth-fewest in football); with Foles in the playoffs, they’ve nearly doubled that output (164.5 YAC/game). In particular, they’re doing a ton of damage on screen passes, which Pederson seldom utilized with Wentz. Running back Jay Ajayi, for instance, went from gaining just 7.4 yards after catch per game with Wentz during the regular season1In the five games immediately after Ajayi was acquired from the Miami Dolphins in late October. to 51.0 yards per game in the postseason, including nearly 30 receiving yards per game on screens alone. Foles is also making smart reads and getting the ball out very quickly. In the playoffs, he’s averaging 2.39 seconds before each pass, a mark that would have been fourth-fastest in the NFL during the regular season. (Wentz, for comparison, was 17th-fastest, at 2.54 seconds.) Foles has used that quick release to lethal effect when conducting the run-pass option — which is more than just a ubiquitous piece of announcer-speak during Eagles broadcasts. The RPO helps freeze defenses with the added threat of handing off to a dangerous runner like Ajayi, and it lends itself to the types of quick passes that Foles has excelled at this postseason. Philly ran plenty of RPOs even before Foles took over, but that section of the playbook has been crucial to Pederson’s resurrection of the Chip Kelly-era version of Foles.Now, it remains to be seen which version will show up for the Super Bowl this Sunday. The conditions have been right for Foles to succeed in the playoffs thus far — Philadelphia hasn’t had to play from behind much and has enjoyed one of the league’s most drastic home-field advantages. But there’s no telling what will happen if things go off script. That’s why the Eagles need to stay out of third-and-long, where the drop-off from Wentz to Foles is really glaring. (On third down with 8 or more yards to go, Wentz was the NFL’s top passer this season according to ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating; only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers was even remotely close.) They need to keep feeding the ball to Ajayi, who’s averaging roughly the same number of yards from scrimmage in these playoffs (98.5 per game) as he did during his All-Pro season with Miami in 2016. And perhaps most importantly, Foles needs to keep playing mistake-free football: Only 8.2 percent of his passes have been off-target this postseason — a rate that would easily have ranked No. 1 in the league during the regular season.He could do all of that, of course, and still fall short: Tom Brady could always reach into his bag of comeback tricks, and there’s also the small detail of Brady and Bill Belichick’s 15-0 record in the playoffs against teams that they’re facing for the first time in a season. But putting those metaphysical factors aside, the Patriots have their own vulnerabilities. They aren’t exactly a defensive powerhouse, having ranked ninth-worst in the NFL in expected points added during the regular season. And although that number improved as the year went on, they still allowed the league’s fourth-highest QBR on passes that traveled fewer than 10 yards through the air — the kinds of throws they’re likely to see a ton of from Foles and company. If the Eagles can execute their newfound offense and resist Brady’s supercharged comeback powers, there are plenty of reasons to think Foles (of all people) will be the one to deliver Philadelphia its long-awaited Super Bowl parade down Broad Street.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Around Thanksgiving, the idea that the Philadelphia Eagles would make it all the way to Super Bowl LII wouldn’t have surprised many people. Philadelphia started the season 10-1, and quarterback Carson Wentz emerged as the front-runner for league MVP honors. But after Wentz was lost to injury in Week 14, the Eagles’ title chances seemingly disappeared, too. Backups — like Philly’s stopgap, Nick Foles — seldom carry a team to Super Bowl glory. Yards/Completion …% of Passes by Air distance QuarterbackThrough AirAfter CatchTotal<=0 Yds1-10 Yds10+ Yds Nick Foles*5.56.712.228.646.025.4
A day after the news about the contact between a convicted sex offender Charles Eric Waugh and Ohio State student-athletes, the OSU athletic department released an official statement addressing the matter. “The issue surrounding the individual from Kentucky is being treated by the Department of Athletics as a student-athlete welfare issue,” the OSU athletic department said in a press release late Friday. “When the University became aware that this individual had been seen in pictures-taken in public places-with student-athletes, proactive precautions were taken and the Department of Athletics alerted more than 1,000 OSU student-athletes about this person.” On Thursday, The Lantern obtained an email sent from OSU athletic director for compliance Doug Archie informing Buckeye student-athletes that the university was aware of the contact made between OSU players and Waugh. Listed on Kentucky’s sex offender registry, Waugh, 31, made contact with OSU student-athletes and coaches through social media, using the Twitter handle, @BdubsTriviaGuru. One of the players Waugh made contact with was four-star linebacker recruit Alex Anzalone from OSU’s 2013 class. In a photo circulating around the web, Anzalone is seen with Waugh, fellow 2013 OSU recruit Joey Bosa and Notre Dame verbal-commit Mike Heuerman. On Friday, Anzalone announced his de-commitment from the OSU 2013 class. At this time, it is not clear whether the de-commitment is related to his contact with Waugh. Other OSU student-athletes in contact with Waugh on Twitter include Buckeyes football wide receiver Verlon Reed and former OSU offensive lineman and Cleveland Browns signee, J.B. Shugarts on May 3 and April 28, respectively, In the email sent to OSU student-athletes, Archie warned student athletes of the potential problems that could arise when making contact with a registered sex offender. “The individuals who you associate with on social networking sites (i.e., Twitter, Facebook) can have negative implications on your reputation and the university,” Archie said in the email. “Please remember to choose your ‘social media friends’ carefully!” Archie’s email also included a mugshot of Waugh, as well as links to informational sites about how to block Twitter and Facebook users. Waugh was not made available after The Lantern requested comments from him on Thursday. However, Charlene Waugh, Charles’ Waugh’s mother, told The Lantern she was not aware that the email had been sent to OSU student-athletes, but said that plans were in the works “to clear her son’s name on Tuesday.” In its official statement, the OSU athletic department said Waugh is not associated with OSU in any manner. “He is not a booster. He has not engaged in any activities on behalf of the University,” the athletic department said. “The Department of Athletics will continue to monitor this issue and it will remain proactive in its efforts with regard to precautions for its student-athletes.”
Ohio State women’s soccer’s season will continue after a big day on and off the pitch. On the field, the No. 21-ranked Buckeyes beat Nebraska, 1-0, in a Big Ten Tournament opening-round match Wednesday to advance to the next round of competition. Off the field, five OSU players received conference honors, the Big Ten announced. OSU, the Big Ten Tournament’s No. 2-seed, got the eventual game-winner from sophomore midfielder Ellyn Gruber just before halftime. Buckeyes freshman goalkeeper Jillian McVicker made one save in the game to help OSU advance. Prior to the game, the Big Ten Conference announced that five OSU players had received honors, including record-setting senior forward Tiffany Cameron. Cameron, along with junior midfielder Danica Wu, was named a first-team All-Big Ten selection to add to her recent success. On Monday, Cameron was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the second consecutive week after scoring twice in a 5-0 win against Indiana to become OSU’s all-time leading goal scorer. After entering the match against the Hoosiers tied with former Buckeyes Lisa Collison and Lara Dickenmann for the all-time goals lead with 35, Cameron grabbed the record herself with two goals in the team’s regular season finale. Wu was a second team All-Big Ten selection last season and earned the first-team honor despite missing four games on international duty with Canada’s U-20 team. OSU senior midfielder/forward Kendyl Reed, McVicker and junior goalkeeper Rachel Middleman were also honored by the conference, according to a Wednesday OSU release. Reed was tabbed a second team All-Big Ten selection after posting one assist in 18 starts for the Buckeyes while McVicker was named to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman Team after allowing just four goals in almost 734 minutes in goal this season. Middleman was the Buckeyes’ sportsmanship honoree. Members of OSU women’s soccer were not immediately made available for The Lantern’s Wednesday request for comment. OSU (14-4-1) will continue Big Ten Conference play Friday against either No. 3-seeded Michigan or No. 6-seeded Wisconsin. Kickoff for the tournament’s semifinal-round game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. in Bloomington, Ind.
No Ohio State football players were selected in the first round of last year’s draft, but thanks to Johnathan Hankins, the Buckeyes should be represented on the draft’s first day this time around.The junior defensive tackle made an unsurprising decision when he announced Monday he would bypass his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL draft. Hankins, a second-team Associated Press All-American this season, is very likely to be a first-round draft pick.He could even be the first top-10 draft pick from OSU since former defensive lineman Vernon Gholston was selected with the No. 6 overall pick in 2008.Hankins has the measurables and skill set that NFL teams look for in a nose tackle. At a listed weight of 322 pounds, Hankins is a massive man, and with that size comes great strength and power. He supplements that girth with a rare level of quickness and athleticism for a man of his size, which truly makes him a special player and NFL prospect.In order to contain his size and explosive combination of strength and quickness, opposing offensive lines consistently double-teamed Hankins throughout his OSU career.In two full seasons as a starter, Hankins was very productive, picking up 122 tackles and 15 tackles for loss, but much of his impact doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. He is not a great pass-rusher, but by consistently occupying blockers, he frees up lanes for his teammates to make plays.By entering the draft, Hankins enters a class that is highly competitive among defensive tackle prospects. Utah’s Star Lotulelei, Alabama’s Jesse Williams and Georgia’s John Jenkins are all massive but athletic nose tackles like Hankins, and all should be first-round picks. Even with all of that competition to be among the draft’s top picks, it would come as a big surprise if Hankins falls outside of the top 20.Defensive tackles with Hankins’ size, athleticism, ability to impact plays and collegiate productivity don’t come along in every draft class. With the potential to be a top-10 draft choice, it is hard to blame him for choosing to make the jump to the next level. He should have the opportunity to play immediately, and he will get paid for it.By leaving one season early for the NFL, Hankins sacrificed the opportunity to be part of a Buckeyes team expected to make a national championship run in 2013. On the other side of the equation, the Buckeyes lose one of their best defensive players, and will have no returning starters on the defensive line next season.Even with Hankins’ early exit and the graduations of 2012 starters John Simon, Nathan Williams and Garrett Goebel, the Buckeyes should still have a strong defensive line next season. The Buckeyes have done a great job recruiting defensive linemen over the past few years, including sophomore Michael Bennett and freshmen Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Tommy Schutt, all of whom played well in limited action this season, and will likely form the Buckeyes’ starting front four next year.Of the four departing linemen, Hankins will be the toughest to replace, as the Buckeyes do not have another player on the roster with Hankins’ combination of size and explosive athleticism. But even with his loss, the Buckeyes have enough talent on defense to be a championship-caliber team in 2013.Hankins has the versatility to excel at the next level in the middle of a three-man defensive front or as one of two defensive tackles in a four-man front. That makes him an attractive option for any team in need of a defensive tackle. Potential teams who could draft Hankins include the Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings.The 2013 NFL draft begins April 25. If not the first defensive tackle selected, Hankins should at least be among the top two or three.