SportsNet - July 2012
The NFC West is quietly becoming one of the NFL's tougher divisions, thanks to a host of underrated defensive talent. Here are the top five defensive players, currently dominating in the NFC West:
5. Adrian Wilson, S, Arizona Cardinals
For a long time Adrian Wilson has been the best blitzing safety in the NFL. The rugged veteran can still pressure the passer, but he has become savvy and disciplined in coverage.
Since Ray Horton took over the Arizona Cardinals' defense and installed a multiple zone blitz scheme, Wilson has become more versatile. The 32-year-old remains the leader of a rapidly improving unit.
4. Chris Long, DE, St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams may be mired at the bottom of the NFC West, but that's nothing to do with defensive end Chris Long. In the past two seasons, Long has finally lived up to his billing as the second overall pick in 2008.
The 6'3", 270-pounder has amassed 21.5 sacks in two years, including 13 in 2011. Long has a natural power that makes him a threat on the bull-rush.
The 2012 Major League Baseball season has been a great one for stories. But the main story that hits the front page almost everyday is: What did Mike Trout do last night? Mike Trout, Center Fielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, is having one of the best rookie seasons in baseball history for a position player. How historic you ask? Well let me try to put it in perspective for you. Look at these great rookie seasons before him:
Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners RF 2001
Stats: .350/.381/.457, 8 HR, 69 RBI, 242 H, 127 R, 56 SB, 126 OPS+, Gold Glove, MVP, ROY
Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals 1B 2001
Stats: .329/.403/.610, 37 HR, 130 RBI, 47 2B, 112 R, 157 OPS+, 4th in MVP
Mike Piazza, Los Angeles Dodgers C 1993
Stats: .318/.370/.561, 35 HR, 112 RBI, 81 R, 153 OPS+, 9th in MVP
Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox RF 1939
Stats: .327/.436/.609, 31 HR, 145 RBI, 44 2B, 11 3B, 131 R, 160 OPS+, 4th in MVP
Last week in China, Ferguson made a terse statement, obviously aimed at those fans critical of the lack of transfer action, that they were not "sitting on their bums, doing nothing". Yet after the announcements of the last few days. once again, actions speak louder than rhetoric. They may not be sitting on their bums, but they seem to be sitting on their hands.
Having just announced the signing of a new mega shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet that will net them almost £28m a year in revenue, they have now followed that up by announcing finally that they are listing up to 8.3 million Ordinary Shares at up to $20 a share. They will eventually list up to 20 million shares, thereby netting around $400m. At the same time, they are listing 2.5 million of their own family shares. It is anticipated that the Glazer family will make around $215 from the sale, further infuriating hard core Manchester United fans.
Boston Celtics News: Opening Day Of The Season Starts With A Bang As Celtics Face Off Against The Miami Heat
After the Celtics open their season with a must-watch matchup with the Miami Heat and old friend Ray Allen, it could take some time for the season to get truly interesting.
The Celtics visit Miami at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, where they will grit their teeth and watch the Heat's championship banner be raised to the rafters of American Airlines Arena. After that, the month of November includes one game against the rival Philadelphia 76ers, home and away dates with the new-look Brooklyn Nets and one home game each against the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Those inter-conference contests might draw some extra TV viewers, but neither game will mean much in the season's big picture.
The season's first 17 games seem relatively easy for the Celtics. They feature three games against the Milwaukee Bucks, two games against the Washington Wizards, plus road games against the rebuilding Detroit Pistons, the drama-weary Orlando Magic and the Chicago Bulls, who lost Derrick Rose to a torn left ACL and dismantled their strong bench in the offseason. In addition, nine of the first 16 games are at home for the Celtics.
Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta broke his hand in practice today and will likely undergo surgery, according to head coach John Harbaugh. Harbaugh said that he hopes Pitta will be able to return for the September 10 season opener against the Cincinatti Bengals. The team will know more after Pitta's surgery.
Pitta, a young tight end who has shared a starting role with Ed Dickson, emerged, especially late in the year, as one of Flacco's favorite targets. In 2011, he caught 40 passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns. In the post season, he notched on an additional 70 yards off of 7 catches, as well as a touchdown. While Pitta lacks the size and speed of Dickson, his sure-handedness and chemistry with Flacco make him a key contributor to the Ravens offense. He is also more valuable in the blocking game than Dickson.
In Pitta's absence, the Ravens will likely still run plays for both tight ends. The most likely candidate to see increased action is tight end Davon Drew, who was drafted by the Ravens in 2009, and spent the last two years on the practice squad. Drew practiced with the ones on Monday, taking Pitta's reps after Pitta left practice.