Colts GM declares ‘the rivalry is back on’ after Josh McDaniels decides to stay with Patriots

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels turned down the Indianapolis Colts Tuesday night after the team officially announced him as their head coach earlier that morning. It led to general manager Chris Ballard holding a press conference Wednesday to address the situation.

At the end of his press conference, Ballard began gathering his things to leave, and said, “The rivalry is back on.”

It seems like a long time ago at this point, but the Patriots and Colts used to be one of the AFC’s greatest rivalries during the 2000s and early 2010s. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady used to go back and forth as the conference’s two best quarterbacks, but the New England would almost always get the best of Indianapolis.

So, yes, with all of that said, you could definitely say that the rivalry is back on.

Philadelphia natives, trying to prove their city wasn’t just drunk people jumping off awnings, are sharing photos and videos of fans just having a good time in the streets. One of the highlights is this clip of two fans playing rock-paper-scissors for ownership of a Broad Street sign, ripped down in celebration.

New England, on the other hand, had some real violence. The biggest flash point was on the UMass-Amherst campus, where a riot ensued following the Super Bowl. Six people were arrested, and 12 injured after fights broke out and projectiles were thrown. Ultimately riot police needed to be dispatched to disperse the crowd.

Boston itself was largely quiet, but the UMass-Amherst riot had more violence than Philadelphia experienced during its night of celebration, based on arrests made. In addition a student from the University of New Hampshire was arrested, and more are expected to be made following a party-turned-violent and people began setting off fireworks in the crowd and throwing bottles.
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Warriors to spend part of D.C. trip with local kids, as they won’t be heading to White House

With President Donald Trump tweeting last September that a White House invitation for the Golden State Warriors was “withdrawn,” the reigning NBA champs have decided to go on a private tour of an undisclosed locale on Feb. 27 in their lone visit to the nation’s capital, league sources told ESPN.

Head coach Steve Kerr left it up to the players to determine how they wanted to spend their time, and the players selected a venue in which local kids would join them. It will be closed off to the media, sources said.

The Warriors considered several options for the upcoming trip to Washington D.C., including a visit to Durant’s hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, sources said.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, two members of the Democratic Party, extended invites to the Warriors to celebrate winning their second championship in three years at the U.S. Capitol. Pelosi represents a congressional district that includes San Francisco.

But a consensus emerged around the option agreed upon because the players didn’t want to be seen as politicizing an event.

“At the end of the day, it’s about us celebrating a championship, so there’s no point in getting into the political stuff and all that,” forward Draymond Green told ESPN. “It’s about something we did great. Why make it about [politics]?”

The Washington Wizards will host the defending champs on Feb. 28.

DeShone Kizer was an absolute disaster as a rookie and the Browns will almost definitely move forward. As owners of the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the draft, Cleveland will likely find its passer of the future in April, but 2017 was plenty of evidence that starting a rookie right away isn’t the best idea.

John Elway made it clear that getting better at the quarterback position is the top priority after Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, and Brock Osweiler didn’t cut it in 2018. The Broncos will probably swing for the fences and also have the No. 5 pick to work with.

Martineau said Weber’s recovery time will be established after surgery, but the team expects him to be ready for training camp next season.

Weber has missed the past 26 games. He has six goals and 10 assists this season, his lowest output since he played 28 games as a rookie for the Nashville Predators in 2005-06. Weber is in his second season with Montreal after being traded for P.K. Subban.bears_121-223x223

Popovich is an NBA lifer, but even he has never seen an injury like Leonard’s strained quad tendon.

The star forward has missed all but nine games that San Antonio has played so far this season, and there’s still no timetable for his return.

Never, never, said Popovich, asked if this injury was similar to anything he’s seen before in a Nov. 23 ESPN story.

But in a recent ESPN story, the All-Star forward doesn’t appear to be in a rush to return to the court this season. He has been medically cleared to play for some time, but hasn’t convinced himself he’s ready to go yet. Popovich’s coaching will keep this team afloat, but without Leonard — who emerged onto the scene as the league’s premier two-way wing after winning NBA Finals MVP in 2014 — San Antonio’s fate this season appears bleak at best.

I’ll be surprised if he returns this season, Pop said. Well, we only have X number of games left in the season, and he’s still not ready to go. If by some chance he is, it’s gonna be pretty late into the season; and it’s going to be a pretty tough decision — how late to bring somebody back. So that’s why I’m just trying to be honest and logical. I’ll be surprised if he gets back this year.

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani — the so-called Shib sibs — will be the team to watch for the U.S. They are scheduled to be 18th in the order, the first pair from the U.S. Maia and Alex already have a bronze medal in Pyeongchang from the team event, and also have two U.S. titles and three Worlds medals.

Right after the Shibutanis is the American team of Madison Chock and Evan Bates. The third and final U.S. team in the program is the team of Madison Hubbell an Zachary Donohue, who will start 22nd out of 24 teams.

All three of those U.S. teams have qualified for the Grand Prix Final for three consecutive years, and all three are a threat to make it on the podium.

Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron both train with the team of Hubbell and Donohue, and both are threats to podium, especially the former, who took gold for Canada in the team event. Virtue and Moir are generally regarded as having a better short program than a free dance, so we’ll see where things stand after the first night of competition.

Below is all you need to know to watch the figure skating action from Pyeongchang on Saturday.bears_143

That does not mean that his three Olympic golds were not earned or that those tears he shed after he won gold were not real.

Meanwhile, the fact that Martinez will not need to bring his outfield glove with him — Boston boasts a terrific, young defensive outfield already — is a good thing, in theory. Perhaps it keeps him healthier. Martinez will keep outfield eligibility in fantasy all of 2018. He might not have it in 2019, but I would argue it is not relevant, even in a dynasty format. It should not stop anyone from acquiring Seattle designated hitter Nelson Cruz, for example, and Martinez is a lot younger and similarly productive. It did not stop fantasy managers from loving David Ortiz. Do not worry about positional qualifications in the early rounds of drafts.

As for others affected here statistically, there are a few. For one, the Red Sox will likely platoon lefty-hitting first baseman Mitch Moreland with right-handed Hanley Ramirez, and based on production, this is certainly wise.

It just means that the human story is more complicated than the heroic myth. There’s enough space for that, and people are intelligent enough, one would hope, to deal with it.

The redemption story can be fine for White for himself because he did have to overcome his own internal struggles, and an injury like he had to someone who has never suffered a serious injury must have been a shock and hard to deal with. But it’s dishonest to sell someone as a hero to the public, using all the good attributes to promote it while ignoring (or outright silencing) anything negative about him. At that point, it’s propaganda.

Losing David Ortiz is losing someone who is charismatic and a great leader, Werner said. I know there have been some comments that I respect that we didn’t have the most popular team, but when I look at (Andrew) Benintendi and Mookie Betts and Rafael Devers and Bogaerts and Bradley, I see energized, young, exciting players.

I don’t quite see it the way some of the fans see it. I respect their point of view, but I think we’ve got a fun team. And if it’s healthy, I think we’re going to be — we’ll bring the fans back.

Fuller burst onto the scene with a strong rookie season, but injuries and Chicago’s general badness has made the former first-round pick an afterthought as he stands on the brink of free agency. He missed the entire 2016 season due to a knee injury and had the Bears decline the fifth year of his rookie contract. But a solid season should make him a useful commodity in free agency in 2018. Fuller knocked down 22 passes and made a pair of interceptions to reclaim his value, and playing in a more stable environment than a rebuilding Bears team should do wonders for his career.bears_019

Washington attorney Cyrus Mehri had announced his intention to challenge Smith for the job.

That won’t happen now, and Smith will lead the union through the upcoming set of labor negotiations with the league and the owners. The current collective bargaining agreement lasts through 2020, and Smith has said publicly he believes there will be a strike by the players or a lockout by the owners in 2021.

“This approach with this secret constitution and vote of 14 disenfranchises 2,100 current NFL players, let alone former players,” Mehri said in a phone interview Tuesday night. “There are players on 26 NFL clubs that were not represented in this vote. They [the players] were instructed not to look at other viable candidates, such as my campaign.

“His legitimacy has been thrown out the window because he refused to compete like NFL players do every day. We’re going to right this wrong over time. We’re going to keep getting the word out. This robs players of their ability to control their destiny.”

Coach Jay Gruden has great confidence in backup Colt McCoy, who led the Redskins to an overtime victory at Dallas in 2014 – as do Redskins players. That’s largely why McCoy is signed through 2018, and why Gruden felt comfortable with just two quarterbacks on his roster last season rather than three. The downside of that decision, however, is that the team has no young quarterback in its pipeline.

Brady’s day did take a turn in the third quarter, however, when Rob Gronkowski was pulled down by two defenders, twisting his surgically repaired back awkwardly. Gronk left the game, but was listed as questionable to return with a groin injury, not a back injury. His status was unknown following the game, but he said “I’m good” to ESPN reporter Mike Reiss.

As the Post’s Mark Maske writes, while the Patriots proved reports of their demise were exaggerated, the injuries are starting to pile up for them.

The Panthers’ Newton brought back the dab briefly, but his game resembled the dismal lost season of 2016 more than the triumphant 2015 MVP-winning campaign. Newton had been sacked six times in three quarters and was blasted on two third-quarter plays, the last of which momentarily left him face down and in pain. He popped back up, though, and kept playing.
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The Broncos nearly squandered a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter Monday night to the Chargers but just held on to win on a blocked field goal with one second left.

Coach Vance Joseph got the victory in his NFL head coaching debut and QB Trevor Siemian played well enough to instill belief that he’s capable of getting the Broncos back into the playoffs.

The offense simply is not good enough without WR Odell Beckham Jr., who was sidelined Sunday night by the ankle injury he suffered during the preseason. Minus Beckham, there is no playmaker who allows the offense to transcend the deficiencies of the offensive line. It is not all that difficult right now to envision the Eagles supplanting the Giants as the primary challenger to the Cowboys in the NFC East.

EJ Manuel takes over at QB and must prove that he’s up to the task. The Raiders’ next two games come at home against the struggling Ravens and winless Chargers. But then comes a quick turnaround for a Thursday night showdown, also in Oakland, with the Chiefs on Oct. 19, making it difficult to see Carr returning for that key game.

That was a stunning victory in Seattle, given the depleted state of the Redskins’ offensive line. It’s still difficult to imagine the Redskins contending for much of anything unless they can get far healthier and provide far more help to QB Kirk Cousins. But if they can hold things together a bit longer and some of their injured key players return, you never know.

The loss to the Redskins was alarming. Yes, the kicking misadventures of Blair Walsh played a key part in the defeat. But playing at home against a team with the sort of injuries that the Redskins had along their offensive line, the Seahawks should not have allowed it to come down to kicking. That’s the sort of performance that signals you might not be as good as you think you are.

The Raiders are talking about going 6-1 the rest of the way to reach 10 wins and secure a playoff spot. Nothing about how they have played suggests that the Raiders are about to go on such an extended run of solid play.
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The greatest shooter of all time is having the most efficient shooting season of his career.

When Stephen Curry became the first unanimous MVP in league history two seasons ago, he did it mostly thanks to delivering what was easily the best shooting season ever. Although the 3-point shooting gets most of the attention — rightfully so given the manner in which he obliterated his own record for made 3s while finishing second in the league in 3-point accuracy — it was far more than simply dialing in from downtown.

He essentially shot the same on 2s as MVP Shaquille O’Neal and converted a higher percentage at the free throw line than Steve Nash, the most accurate free throw shooter of all time. Taking it all into consideration — the 3s, 2s and 1s — Curry finished with a true shooting percentage of 66.9, the best ever by a 20-points per game scorer. It’s hard to fathom anyone putting together a more complete shooting season.

When asked before last Sunday about the celebrations across the league, New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick responded, with an expressionless face and the grimmest monotone, “We’re really more interested in trying to keep the other team out of the end zone. None of us really spend a lot of time on the halftime show.”

Sunday, Patriots wideout Brandin Cooks scored a touchdown and then jumped on tight end Rob Gronkowski’s back and rode him around like a horse. The Patriots, under Belichick, had of course been banned from premeditated celebrations.

Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots: Lewis is morphing into New England’s main ball carrier, having played more snaps than Mike Gillislee the past two weeks. The Patriots face a porous defense in the Chargers, who despite playing better of late, enter Week 8 with the NFL’s 31st-ranked run defense. And when New England takes a lead, that bodes well for Lewis, so I’m not alone in liking him in Week 8 and beyond.

The outcome of the Elliott case, at least for now, serves to further cement Goodell’s authority in matters of player discipline under the CBA, just as the NFLPA’s ultimately failed challenge in federal court of Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension did. Brady played the entire 2015 season after a judge overturned the four-game suspension of the New England Patriots quarterback. But Brady sat out the first four games of last season after the NFL prevailed on appeal. The Brady case also played out in New York, serving as a precedent for what happened in the Elliott case.
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It’s the same problem the NFL had before the rule was put in place in 2003, and at various times since.

Baseball runs into the same problem; its total of minority managers has risen to four, from three last season, but still far down from 10 in 2009. College football encounters it regularly, too. Baseball has a version of the Rooney Rule. The NCAA does not.

Failing to hire diverse candidates is problematic enough. The Fritz Pollard people make the effort to serve teams a list of candidates every hiring season. They fight constantly against impediments like the recent swerve toward head coaches with offensive play-calling experience, positions from which minority coaches are steered away.

They were one of the feel-good stories of the season. Sean McVay, the youngest head coach in modern NFL history, immediately turned Jared Goff into a franchise QB, RB Todd Gurley into an MVP candidate and the Rams into winners. They also have a defensive player of the year candidate in DT Aaron Donald. There’s no telling how the Rams will handle the bright postseason spotlight. But this team is plenty talented enough to be a factor in these NFC playoffs, as long as McVay makes sure the Rams are not satisfied merely to have gotten there.

On the first of three straight baskets by McIntosh, the senior point guard who’s the all-time program leader in assists, the Wildcats retook the lead at 60-59 with 7:37 left and never lost it again. Coffey’s dunk with 4:12 remaining brought the Gophers within 66-63, but that was the last time they made it a one-possession game.

The Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford set two NFL records with his performance Thursday but was outperformed by Case Keenum and the Minnesota Vikings, who won the NFC North battle, 30-23.

Stafford distinguished himself from the rest of the NFL players who have toiled on Thanksgiving, setting an NFL record for career passing yards on Thanksgiving Day. The record-setting pass was a six-yard touchdown toss to Marvin Jones and moved Stafford past former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who passed for 2,338 yards in 10 Thanksgiving games. Stafford was only 120 yards shy of Romo’s mark coming into the game.

But the day belonged to Keenum, who led the Vikings to their seventh straight victory and completed 21 of 30 passes for 282 yards and two TDs. Stafford completed 20 of 35 passes for 250 passes and two TDs.jaguars_005