Connect :
listenlive
Blog Archives
Posts from September 2017
by David Newton posted Sep 11 2017 9:26AM
The thing that surprised me most in the Panthers' 23-3 win at San Francisco was how well rookie Christian McCaffrey adjusted his pass route on a Cam Newton scramble and made the reception for a first down. I knew he excelled at running routes but McCaffrey adjusted on the fly like a 10-year veteran.
by Chris Low posted Sep 11 2017 9:17AM
Jarrett Stidham hadn't played football for 22 months before last week's 41-7 win over Georgia Southern. John Reed/USA TODAY Sports
He's also one of Auburn's hardest workers and a film-room junkie and endeared himself to his teammates when he arrived on the Plains with the way he connected with everybody. "He reminds me of Peyton (Manning) with his demeanor, the way he carries himself and the way he transcends all barriers. He fits in with everybody and can relate to guys from all races, cultures and backgrounds," said Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner, who was on Tennessee's staff during Manning's last two years in 1996 and 1997. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn added, "He's such a great leader, and his teammates trust him. He's got that 'it' factor that attracts people." Stidham counters that it's more the "Stephenville, Texas" factor.

"Where I come from, Stephenville, Texas, we know how to work one way, and that's hard," Stidham said. "Even back in high school, it was like that, and I had that same mentality coming in here. I had to show these guys, not talk about it."

The stakes for both Stidham and Bryant go up considerably this week, as both face defenses that should be among the best they face all season. There's genuine respect on both sides.

Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and Stidham were teammates in the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game.

"I got an up-close look at him and just remember thinking he was one of the two best quarterbacks out there, for sure," Wilkins said. "He has a really good arm, is a great passer of the football and is a lot more athletic than people give him credit for.

"They will be ready to bring it against Clemson and ready to open things up and come after us."

Steele, who was the defensive coordinator at Clemson from 2009 to 2011 under Swinney, was especially impressed with Bryant's poise and how the moment didn't look too big for him in his first career start.

"He sure didn't look rattled, and it looked like he'd been doing it for a couple of years," Steele said. "We've got to find a way to make him uncomfortable, which isn't easy to do with a guy that can do everything he can and all the people they have around him."

Even though both are beginners when it comes to starting on the college level, Bryant and Stidham both have their pregame rituals down pat. Bryant simply likes "to chill." Stidham prefers to watch old 1980s and '90s movie cult classics, many of them for the first time. He took in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" last week.

"I'd never seen Spicoli, but I'm a big fan now," Stidham joked.

No bigger, though, than the Auburn and Clemson fans will be of Stidham and Bryant if they can help deliver more hardware to a pair of schools who've either won or played for four of the past seven national championships.
by Buster Olney posted Sep 7 2017 10:00AM
The New York Yankees suspected for weeks that the Boston Red Sox had illicitly stolen signs in some way because of the comfort in the swings of the Boston hitters. One of New York's hard-throwing relievers would try an off-speed pitch, and time and again, it seemed that the Red Sox hitter at the plate would dial down and taken an aggressive, healthy hack -- as if the batter had been lucky and guessed right.

But it happened again. And again. And again.

So the Yankees searched for answers about how this might be taking place, and on the evening of Aug. 18, the Yankees' staff discovered in video review what it determined to be incontrovertible evidence -- as first detailed in the New York Times on Tuesday afternoon. An assistant trainer received a message on his watch; the trainer informed a Red Sox player in the dugout; the player relayed that information to the runner at second base, indicating which pitch signal in the sequence of signs was real; the runner at second, instantly armed with the key to breaking the Yankees' signal-calling code, could detail the identity of the forthcoming pitch for the hitter at the plate.

David Dombrowski, the president of Boston's baseball operations, noted Tuesday that sign-stealing has been a part of the game for decades. But this was something different than the good ol' fashion cat-and-mouse game between the pitcher and catcher and the baserunner at second base.

If what the Yankees believe to be true is fully verified by Major League Baseball, this was like sign-stealing on steroids -- using technology to accelerate the process of decoding catchers' signs and giving the Red Sox a competitive advantage over teams that respected MLB's no-technology rules. If what the Yankees believe to be true is verified, Boston hitters had advance knowledge of markedly more pitches they were about to see than their opponents, because members of the organization ignored MLB's guidelines.

It's basically the same type of advantage a student would have over peers if he or she received the questions to a college exam before the test.


John Farrell refused to address the specifics of the Yankees' allegations. AP Photo/Steve Nesius
If Major League Baseball wants teams to take its no-technology rules seriously, it needs to come down hard on the Red Sox. If commissioner Rob Manfred lightly fines Boston, or renders some other toothless punishment, then he'll essentially greenlight other teams to try to replicate the Red Sox crime -- and guarantee that a game he is trying to speed up will instead be even further bogged down by mound meetings and infield conferences, as teams combat an even more complicated version of sign-stealing.

If what the Yankees allege is verified, then what the Red Sox did was brazen, and continued even after the Yankees initially reached out to the commissioner's office with an unofficial complaint.

The day after the Yankees identified the video evidence that they felt demonstrated Red Sox cheating, sources say, they reached out to the commissioner's office and were informed that they would be contacted by Dombrowski. That did not happen. A Red Sox source maintained that nobody within the commissioner's office reached out to Dombrowski at that time and that the Red Sox were told that Yankees GM Brian Cashman intended to call Dombrowski.

In that day's game -- after the Yankees had first been in touch with MLB -- the Yankees again collected video of what they believed to be the same sequence of events:

Athletic trainer checks his watch; athletic trainer speaks to a player in the dugout; player in the dugout communicates with a runner at second; and with the clear view of the catcher, the runner decodes the signals for the batter and relays that information to the hitter.

When the Yankees front office had still not heard from Dombrowski by Aug. 23, four days after their initial contact with MLB, it filed a formal complaint, along with the video evidence.

On Tuesday, neither Dombrowski nor John Farrell addressed the specifics of what the Yankees alleged. But the Red Sox did file their version of a countersuit against the Yankees with MLB, suggesting that the Yankees have been using a YES Network camera to steal signs. Yankees manager Joe Girardi dismissed that possibility, and if MLB finds no credibility to the Red Sox allegation, that should be a factor in determining a penalty against Boston.

Because that will mean that given the choice between being accountable and acknowledging a transgression -- a clear violation of a written rule -- the Red Sox instead tried to obfuscate, to muddy the conversation about sign-stealing. Everybody's doing it is not an acceptable response because, quite frankly, not everybody's doing it -- and certainly not in the manner the Red Sox were.
by Chris Low posted Sep 7 2017 9:57AM
Tennessee receiver Jauan Jennings was hurt in Monday's 42-41 double-overtime win over Georgia Tech and will be out indefinitely, coach Butch Jones said Wednesday.

Jones didn't specify the nature of Jennings' injury, which kept the junior out of the second half of the victory, but sources told ESPN that Jennings dislocated his wrist.

Jennings underwent surgery Tuesday. No timetable for his return has been given.

When Jennings exited the game Monday, Tennessee didn't have a wide receiver in uniform who had a career touchdown catch until Marquez Callaway caught two scoring passes in the second half.

Jennings finished the 2016 season with 40 receptions for 580 yards and seven touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in a victory over Florida and a Hail Mary reception to beat Georgia.

Jones also said offensive tackle Drew Richmond would be available for Saturday's game with Indiana State (0-1). Richmond was suspended for the Georgia Tech game due to a violation of team rules.
Filed Under :
Topics : Sports
Location : FloridaGeorgiaTennessee
by Chris Low posted Sep 7 2017 9:50AM
Tennessee receiver Jauan Jennings was hurt in Monday's 42-41 double-overtime win over Georgia Tech and will be out indefinitely, coach Butch Jones said Wednesday.

Jones didn't specify the nature of Jennings' injury, which kept the junior out of the second half of the victory, but sources told ESPN that Jennings dislocated his wrist.

Jennings underwent surgery Tuesday. No timetable for his return has been given.

When Jennings exited the game Monday, Tennessee didn't have a wide receiver in uniform who had a career touchdown catch until Marquez Callaway caught two scoring passes in the second half.

Jennings finished the 2016 season with 40 receptions for 580 yards and seven touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in a victory over Florida and a Hail Mary reception to beat Georgia.

Jones also said offensive tackle Drew Richmond would be available for Saturday's game with Indiana State (0-1). Richmond was suspended for the Georgia Tech game due to a violation of team rules.
Filed Under :
Topics : Sports
Location : FloridaGeorgiaTennessee
by David Newton posted Sep 7 2017 9:47AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera didn't hesitate on Sunday when asked where quarterback Cam Newton was in his rehab from offseason shoulder surgery a week before the opener at San Francisco.

"I think he's ready,'' Rivera said. "You wish he'd had a few more snaps and played a little bit earlier in the preseason so we'd have more to go on. But what we saw, we liked.

"We liked how everything seems to be meshing together as an offense. We'll see how it goes as we continue to work this week.''


Cam Newton has been a full participant in practice the past week as the Panthers began installing the game plan for San Francisco. AP Photo/John Raoux
Newton had surgery on March 30 to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. The 2015 NFL MVP was limited in throwing much of the first four weeks of training camp and played only one series -- a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive -- during the four preseason games.

But Newton has been a full participant in practice the past week as the Panthers began installing the game plan for San Francisco.

The staff was so confident with where Newton is medically that third-string quarterback Joe Webb was released on Saturday. Carolina still will carry three quarterbacks after claiming former University of Miami star Brad Kaaya following his release by Detroit.

But Kaaya was brought in to be developed for the future with backup Derek Anderson, 34, in the last year of his contract. Webb, 30, hadn't taken an in-season snap at quarterback since he was at Minnesota in 2013.

General manager Marty Hurney said releasing Webb was tough because of his versatility and locker room presence. But he echoed Rivera's sentiments on where Newton is.

"We have been on a plan since training camp,'' Hurney said. "I think we feel very confident. We do feel very confident. Every day he takes more and more. He's looked good. He's felt good. We have a lot of confidence in him.''
On Air  Now
Russillo & Kanell 1pm-4pm
Local Forecast
Event Calendar