Can Good Magic upset Justify?

Baffert is 4-0 in the Preakness with the Derby winner and doesn’t see any reason Justify doesn’t have another big run in him.

I like being the favorite, Baffert said Wednesday. “I don’t want to be 50-1. I like knowing that I have a chance to win. When you come in and you’re like, ‘Well, I don’t know, we’re going to need the Stanford marching band to interfere a little bit,’ then you don’t feel that well. I just feel that when you know that there’s a chance you can pull this off and when you can win on the big arena, that’s what it’s all about.”

Justify already won on horse racing’s biggest stage when he held off a hard-charging Good Magic to capture the Derby on a muddy track at Churchill Downs. Rain is expected at Pimlico Race Course in the days leading up to the Preakness and on race day, which could set up a similar scenario to how jockey Mike Smith took Justify out to the lead before the final turn and pulled away.

He’s the best horse, said D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Bravazo and Sporting Chance. “He looks terrific, he’s doing well. I watched him all week. He’s going to be very, very hard to handle.”

So, how does Ross approach the 2018 season?

He eyes a rebound and he won’t be alone, as teammates A.J. Green and Brandon LaFell have told Ross to not overthink everything on the field and just play, according to the Bengals ‘ official website.

That’s one of my biggest things, Ross said. “I’m thinking about everything I’m doing and it’s taking away from how talented I actually am. They’re in my ear a lot saying, ‘Just relax. Be yourself. We can tell when you’re yourself. You perform better. You just have to stop thinking so much.'”

Ross has also gained valuable insight from former Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who has worked out with the Ross during the offseason.

He said, ‘You got drafted ninth because you’re talented and you work hard,’ Ross recalled. “‘Just continue to do so. You’ll get better.'”cowboys_069

Former Browns first-round pick Trent Richardson placed on suspended list to start Roughriders’ training camp

Former Browns first-round pick Trent Richardson was absent from the start of CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders’s training camp.

Richardson, who played four games last season for the Roughriders, was placed on the team’s suspended list to start the season.

“I don’t think so, no,” head coach Chris Jones told reporters when asked if Richardson would be in attendance when the Roughriders open camp May 20. “Right now Trent’s got some situations going on at home so we’ll just have to see where that goes.”

Sean McDermott, Bills: After getting Buffalo to the playoffs in his first season, he is working with a rebuilding team as the follow-up. That’s a tricky spot for an immediately successful coach.

Ron Rivera, Panthers: Carolina hopes it is not headed for the inconsistency that cost John Fox. A shakeup in ownership is coming, making this season critical for Riverboat Ron to make the right gambles.

Doug Marrone, Jaguars: There suddenly are thoughts of a Super Bowl in Sacksonville, so anything less than another AFC South title would be disappointment Marrone wants to avoid.

Magee, 25, played two games for the Falcons last season and has seen action in seven in his three-year career. He has five career carries for 17 yards.

He also has spent time with the Browns, Seahawks, Rams and Ravens. Magee played three games with the Ravens in 2015 and two games with the Seahawks in 2016.

Raymond James Stadium now boasts what its website calls the most advanced HD video system in use today. With two 9,600 square-foot boards (north and south ends of the stadium) and four 2,300 square-foot HD tower walls, it ranks as the third-largest video board system in the NFL.

NFL rules require a stadium to have been open two full seasons before it can host a Super Bowl, so a change needed to be made when construction delays meant the Rams and Chargers wouldn’t be able to play in their new stadium until 2020.ravens_147

Eli Manning wasn’t sure of his Giants future before draft

In hindsight, there were plenty of signs that the Giants were taking running back Saquon Barkley and not a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick.

But Giants quarterback Eli Manning admitted he didn’t know what his future held going into the process.

“It’s easy to get excited about your own paper team — that’s the guys you have on your roster — and that’s just because of the playmakers,” he said. “Look at Odell [Beckham], Saquon, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, those are all guys who have played in games and made big plays for us. You go in with a new left tackle, some offensive linemen, so on paper there’s a lot of playmakers, now it’s just a matter of us coming together as a team.”

He also said he hoped that the Beckham headlines would subside with time. His star receiver has reported to the offseason conditioning work, entering the final year of his contract. That may be kicking the can down the road, but for the moment, Manning’s still the guy in charge of the can.

After weeks of speculation about whether Brady is upset with the team and/or openly revolting against coach Bill Belichick, Brady finally had a chance to make it clear that nothing has changed. That nothing is different. That nothing is wrong. And while at times he said some of the right things, his failure to address the elephant in the room means that the thing with tusks and a long trunk still lingers.

Many continue to believe that the elephant emerged because Belichick benched cornerback Malcolm Butler during Super Bowl LII for no apparent reason at the time, and with no explanation provided since then. As Brady said Monday (via Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston), “Malcolm kept coming over to me during the game and he was like, ‘Get ’em, Tom.’ And I’m like, what defense are we in that Malcolm isn’t on the field?”

While the specific circumstances suggest that it was disciplinary, the broad picture points to Butler’s looming free agency, his failure to accept the team’s best offer on a long-term deal, and perhaps Belichick’s reluctance to give Butler a chance to be the star of another Super Bowl, forcing the team to give him what he wants financially or to apply the franchise tag in order to keep him around.broncos_038_5944b9f2f5b99565-180x180

Texans hire James Liipfert as college scouting director

The New England pipeline to Houston is flowing again.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans are hiring Patriots national scout James Liipfert as their new director of college scouting.

Liipfert has been with the Patriots the last nine seasons, which means he worked alongside Texans head coach Bill O’Brien there. Liipfert began there as a scouting assistant in 2009.

Even before this past season, Miller’s career had been disrupted by untimely injuries, but he’d found a way in recent years to catch on with the Bears. From 2015-17, he caught 101 passes for 1,161 yards and 11 touchdowns in 33 games. Now, he’s trying to make his way back onto the field after undergoing at least nine surgeries since the injury. It’s not yet known if he’ll be able to do so, and the Bears brought in free agent tight end Trey Burton this offseason to pair with 2017 second-round pick Adam Shaheen. Meanwhile, the league tweaked the always-confusing catch rule this offseason. Under the new rules, Miller’s near-touchdown would’ve been ruled a touchdown.

Prosecutors forged ahead with the case anyway, telling the grand jury that Sanders implicated Greene and that video existed of Greene handing over the gun. Neither the surveillance video nor video of the interview with Sanders were played for the grand jury, McMahon said.

The grand jury’s entire review of the case took 11 minutes, and 5 of those minutes were instructions given to the jury, the attorney said.

Prosecutors presented manufactured, fabricated evidence to the grand jury, the suit states. Defendants knew that this charge was completely and utterly unsupported by probable cause, and a total fabrication contradicted by physical evidence, documentary evidence, other witnesses and even (Sanders).

Khaseem Greene, left, with his attorney Josh McMahon during a June 2017 hearing.

Greene was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2013 and played in 25 games over two seasons before he was cut by the team. The Kansas City Chiefs later signed him to a contract which allowed him to compete for a roster spot during summer training camp.

No option for Laken Tomlinson, but 49ers interested in deal

The 49ers had two decisions to make about fifth-year options on 2015 first-round picks by May 3 of this year.

They exercised the option on defensive lineman Arik Armstead‘s contract, but, as expected, they will not do the same with guard Laken Tomlinson. That doesn’t mean Tomlinson will be out the door after the 2018 season, however.

Routines got watered down to look better for the girls who couldn’t really dance, she says.

If you gained a little bit of weight or if you didn’t sell enough calendars, you weren’t going on the field.

Everything but your ability determined whether you got to dance or not.

At most high school and college programs, cheerleaders and dancers are considered part of the athletic program and treated like any other student-athlete.

“I think he’s got a little bit of a chip on his shoulder to prove some people and naysayers wrong,” Ballard said on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Bill Polian and Alex Marvez. “That’s a beautiful thing with a quarterback that I think is top five in this league.”

Ballard did his part to help Luck by picking a pair of offensive linemen early in the first two rounds of the draft and four skill position players later in the process. When Luck will be able to do everything on the field with those new teammates remains unclear — Ballard said he hopes “we’ll be ready to roll come training camp” — and Luck will be able to keep building that chip until that point comes.

Is it Flacco’s responsibility to help Jackson take his job?

Jackson may become the starter at some point this year, particularly if Flacco gets hurt, or it could happen in 2019 or 2020 but regardless of when it happens (and it seems clear it will happen someday), is it Flacco’s responsibility to get the kid ready to take his job from him?

Yes, Josh McCown has said he’s eager to help Sam Darnold, the New York Jets ’ first-round draft pick, in any way he can.broncos_130_f9d4167b136da44f-180x180

Mark Ingram suspended 4 games. What does this mean for the Saints?

The New Orleans Saints ’ Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram is facing a suspension for the first four games of the 2018 season for a violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, according to Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate.

Ingram, 28, earned his second trip to the Pro Bowl in 2017 when he finished the year with 1,124 rushing yards, 416 receiving yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. All three were career best totals for the running back.

The Saints have some winnable games on the schedule while Ingram is sidelined:

He’ll be set to return before a Week 5 matchup at home against Washington. But the real impact of the suspension could be that it phases Ingram out of New Orleans entirely.

I was always cheering my guys on, always texting them if someone went down, ask how they were doing, keep their heads up, if someone was released whatever it may be, Griffin said. I always stayed in contact with those guys. Titans linebackers Brian Orakpo and Wesley Woodyard and defensive linemen Jurrell Casey and DaQuan Jones were on hand for Griffin’s announcement.

As such, they’ve got someone in Pederson’s ear at all times during the game, going over potential fourth-down (and more) scenarios. They have a guy who’s name is Ryan Paganetti. The way I would really dumb it down is to say he’s almost like a 12-year-old playing ‘Madden.’ What I mean by that is you’ve got this 12-year old who, all he does all night and all day is play ‘Madden,’ and he knows all the scenarios and the situations and when to go for it and when not, they’re kind of like savants in that way, Kempski explained.

He’s constantly in Doug’s ear, before — it could be second and 12 and he could be talking about whether they want to go for it on fourth down in advance. There’s just a lot of time between plays in the NFL. Doug’s still calling the plays, so there’s only so much that a head coach can think of in between plays. So he has this guy in his ear from the booth. sharks-022

They will keep winning the AFC and reaching Super Bowls as long as Brady can still play, and there’s little indication he’s going to slow down any time soon.

This is hardly the first time a coach and quarterback haven’t gotten along. John Elway and coach Dan Reeves despised each other but still went to three Super Bowls together. Terry Bradshaw hated Chuck Noll, and they won four titles.

Sanders issued a tweet in support of Haspel and rebuking her detractors on Capitol Hill late Saturday afternoon.

There is no one more qualified to be the first woman to lead the CIA than 30+ year CIA veteran Gina Haspel, she tweeted. Any Democrat who claims to support women’s empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite.

Giuliani says Trump doesn’t have to comply with a Mueller subpoena and could invoke the Fifth Amendment

President Trump would not have to comply with a subpoena issued by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and could invoke the Fifth Amendment if he does sit down with him, one of his lawyers said Sunday.

Highsmith also admitted that he wasn’t a big fan of Josh Allen due to the quarterback’s inaccuracy. Since completing passes is 75 percent of a quarterback’s job, it makes sense that Highsmith didn’t want the Browns to take Allen.

When the topic of Josh Rosen came up, Highsmith hinted that Rosen dropped on his board because of a strange encounter that the Browns executive had with the UCLA volleyball team.

I was at an airport, Highsmith said. UCLA’s volleyball team was in front of me. You heard so much about Rosen. He’s this or that. We all know how people talk. So I asked one of the volleyball coaches, ‘What’s Rosen like?’ He said, ‘Aaaaa, you should probably ask his girlfriend. She’s one of the players. She’s over there.’ I’m like, ‘All right coach. That’s good enough.’

At that point, the story abruptly ends with Highsmith making a bizarre observation about Rosen completely based on his encounter with the UCLA coach.

I don’t know what all this means, but there was something about him that bothered me, Highsmith said.

So what exactly happened at the airport?tigers_052-115x115