Mark Murphy: Changes to Packers structure have worked well so far

The Packers made significant changes to their front office and coaching staff this offseason as Ted Thompson stepped down as General Manager and new coordinators were hired on both sides of the ball.

Murphy said he thinks a more aggressive approach in free agency has helped the team and that the draft was run extremely well, although a more meaningful evaluation of everything in Green Bay will have to wait until the results on the field come in this fall.

There is no change to the amount of 11-on-11 work that teams can do, but chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills has spoken to each team in hopes of seeing the number of concussions drop this summer.

It’s not a matter of having five or six recidivistic clubs that we have to discipline into line, Sills said, via This is a leaguewide issue where everyone has to understand it’s on all of us to work on. It might sound trite to say, but any concussion we save is important to us. We want to put the awareness out there … and make sure we’re making it as safe as we can.

First-round pick Calvin Ridley was added to the lineup to give the offense another playmaker with explosive potential on the outside. Given the impact Austin Hopper and Justin Hardy can make as fourth and fifth options in the passing game, the Dirty Birds’ WR corps will be quite imposing this fall.

Report: NFL to suspend Jameis Winston

Report: NFL to suspend Jameis Winston More Wide receiver Demetris Robertson is leaving California after two years. Robertson tweeted that he’s decided not to continue my education and football career at Cal because of personal matters. The tweet didn’t say what Robertson will do next….

Now that the word is out on McVay’s machinations, defensive coaches are sure to strike back with their own tricks. Might they align in a vague Cover 2 shell, for example, only to change the look once the play clock strikes 15 seconds?

There’s a huge intangible value in peace, Tagliabue told Sherman. There’s a huge intangible value in allies. 

A series of scandals and poor decisions have weakened Goodell and lost him allies. As a result, he lost the sense of toughness that once served as a suit of armor.

The fear factor is gone. Trump senses this. He knows the NFL is now almost rudderless, so he can attack and it will bend to his will.

Goodell’s shrinkage looks even worse when his actions and (non-words) are compared to the words of his NBA counterpart. Commissioner Adam Silver was asked before Game 3 of the NBA Finals for his reaction to LeBron James and Steph Curry saying their teams wouldn’t attend any White House ceremony.

The Bucs open the season with games against the Saints, Eagles, and Steelers.

The golf season’s second major is coming to the New York-metro area for the first time since 2009, with the U.S. Open Championship trophy on the line at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island.

The weekly and four-day championship ticket packages have already sold out, but you can still buy tickets for the practice rounds, as well as individual rounds Thursday-Sundy, right here.

Juniors (18 years old and younger) receive a complimentary gallery ticket when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Active military personnel can pick up complimentary tickets for the Monday-Wednesday practice rounds and retired military can purchase tickets for those days at half price.

NBA Draft 2018: Ranking the top 50 prospects

Still, the decision to swap an early second-round pick out for a pick next year before even knowing who might be available at that spot is a curious one. In recent years, Warriors’ Jordan Bell was picked at No. 38 in 2017 and Heat’s Josh Richardson at No. 40 in 2015.

Besides their second-round picks, the Sixers also own the Lakers first-round pick ( No. 10 ) and their own first-round pick (No. 26).

And there was Charlie Weis, who went 41-49 at the college level. Not every Belichick disciple has failed, with Nick Saban being the most notable of the success stories while someone like Texans coach Bill O’Brien has seen both success and failure as he continues to write his post-Belichick story. But more often than not, Belichick’s assistants have flopped as head coaches, and it’s worth wondering if their failures are at least partly due to Belichick’s unrelenting system not working without Belichick there to run the system himself.

Holder struck out the first two hitters that he faced – Mark Reynolds on 12 pitches, then pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy on three – before ending the inning by inducing Pedro Severino’s popup to short.

That was huge, Gray said. Walking off the mound there, at that situation you’re just kind of hoping that we can get out of the inning with a tie game. To do what (Holder) did was incredible, and I feel like after he did that you could feel a jolt go across the bench and we knew we were going to win this game.

This was a tough little travel schedule for us for sure, Gray said. Coming back home, it’ll be late, but we get to go back home and we’ll try to get some sleep and show up to the park (Tuesday) trying to be ready to play at home.

Stanton was 4 for 5 with a double, three singles and two RBI in Monday’s second game, raising his season average to.252. This was the third four-hit game of the season for Stanton.

Nats superstar center fielder Bryce Harper is hitting.212 with a NL-leading 19 homers after going 0 for 4 with a strikeout in Monday’s second game.

It better have gone out because I stood there for a little bit, Stanton said.

Why Giambi turned down Yankees job

Did Gardner hurt his knee on a play? Bang it on a coffee table?

No, he said, it wasn’t necessarily any one injury or any one thing. Just kind of an over-time thing, I guess.

Aaron Judge, who was the Yankees’ DH in the game, got a kick out of watching the play unfold from the dugout.

Laughing, Judge said, (Severino’s) an athlete out there. I think he’s just trying to win that Gold Glove. So he did a pretty good job of it. That was pretty impressive right there.

Apparently Sanchez and Severino rehashing the play in the Yankees dugout was entertaining, too.

But John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of championships and governance, said that the Rules Committee did not feel Mickelson’s actions met that criteria.

Strangely, the USGA deemed that Mickelson played the moving ball, rather than moving or stopping it, which could have brought disqualification into play.

Mickelson’s playing partner, Andrew Beef Johnston, seemed to get a kick out of the whole thing. The two players shared a laugh after the bizarre turn of events and Johnston later said he’s never seen anything like it.

The Minnesota Vikings veteran cornerback now appears ready to absorb another responsibility, but this time on the back end of coverage.

Newman took repetitions at safety during the team’s minicamp and his performance impressed defensive coordinator George Edwards.

Whether he is playing his natural position or helping out at safety, Newman’s importance to the Vikings defense and willingness to help out when called upon can’t be overlooked.

Jaguars sign DeAndre Smelter, waive Michael Hughes

The Jaguars announced the signing of first-year receiver DeAndre Smelter. To make room on the roster, the team waived defensive tackle Michael Hughes with an injury designation.

Smelter has appeared in two career games, both with the 49ers in 2016. He caught one pass for 23 yards.

Last season, he spent time on the 49ers’ practice squad.

I consider myself a revolutionary socialist, the 26-year-old Rapone told the Associated Press in a series of interviews. I would encourage all soldiers who have a conscience to lay down their arms and join me and so many others who are willing to stop serving the agents of imperialism and join us in a revolutionary movement.

Rapone said his journey to communism grew out of his experiences as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan before he was accepted into the US Military Academy. And those views only hardened during his studies of history as one of the academy’s Long Gray Line.

The Cowboys have insisted Elliott has learned his lesson and expect him to stay out of trouble. Owner Jerry Jones reiterated that Saturday night, saying the running back has a new sense of awareness, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Jones said he trusts the running back as much as he trusts himself.

He added, though, that Elliott still needs a talking to — sometimes daily — to remain on the straight and narrow. But the Cowboys have no concerns about Elliott between now and training camp.

In less than a year, Elliott has gone from sometimes being a migraine for the Cowboys to being a team leader, who has preached to his teammates the importance of working the next five weeks.

It’s why many in the organization are predicting a big year for Elliott.

We feel really good and really confident with where we’re at, Reich said.

Andrew Luck says he had a ‘little mental block’ throwing a regulation football

This week, Andrew Luck was spotted at Indianapolis Colts practice throwing a football for the first time in quite a while. Reports out of Colts camp were joyous and Luck himself said there is no doubt that he’ll be ready to go for Week 1 of the 2018 season.

So while Luck throwing at minicamp was certainly a positive sign, it looks like the Colts may not be out of the woods here just yet. Once we get the report that Luck is throwing regulation footballs, that’ll be our best sign yet that he may indeed be ready to play for the first time since Jan. 1, 2017.

The team has already issued a statement saying they are aware of the matter and are investigating further. In the meantime, Woodside has been allowed to keep practicing with his Bengals teammates during their final OTA session this week before heading into a summer break.

New Jersey hopes sports betting will  boost the state’s struggling casino and horse-racing industries, as well as provide the state with new tax revenue.

You’ve got to be at least 21 years old to place a bet.

The Somerset Patriots will host three Bark in the Park Nights during the 2018 baseball season.

Beyond that, none of the players seemed to take issue.

The setup was fine, said Patrick Reed, who finished 3-over. I mean, I didn’t think there was a hole where that was set up unfair or anything like that. I felt like the pin placements were fine. You had to hit quality golf shots. They set up the golf course like a U.S. Open, like it should be. If you hit a great shot, you’re going to be rewarded. If you don’t, you’re going to struggle.

I felt like the USGA did a great job with the setup, added Dustin Johnson, who shot 1-over. I felt like it was fair. You know, it was hard, but it was fair. It wasn’t anything tricky or, you know, unreasonable by any means.

Garrett Bolles hopes to play heavier in 2018

Broncos 2017 first-round offensive lineman Garrett Bolles started all 16 games as a rookie. In an effort to have a bigger impact in his second season, Bolles hopes to get larger.

He’s going to have a lot of catching up to do, Guenther said, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. We’re going to have to have a plan for that, for sure. Really, I’m concerned about the guys that are here now working. These guys have been busting their tails every day — coming in early, meeting with the coaches, being great in the meeting rooms, communicating on the field. We do a lot with one-minute situations today, so it was really good to see.

Back in late March, when strident comments from Giants co-owner John Mara sparked days of speculation and rumor that Beckham could be traded, NFL Media reported that Beckham wouldn’t set foot on a field until he gets a new contract. Although Beckham has since set foot on the field during preliminary phases of the offseason program, Beckham has yet to participate in actual football practice, because he hasn’t been medically cleared to do so.

Once he is, what will he do?

There continues to be no indication that the Giants and Beckham are closing in on a new contract. Beckham reportedly wants more than $20 million per year. The Giants apparently want to wait before making a commitment, primarily for reasons unrelated to Beckham’s skills and abilities. Beckham arguably should refuse to put himself at any degree of physical risk until he gets what he wants.

49ers great Dwight Clark, known for ‘The Catch,’ dies at 61 after battle with ALS

Dwight Clark, the San Francisco 49ers great most widely known for making The Catchfrom Joe Montana to defeat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship Game, died Monday. He was 61.

Clark’s wife, Kelly Clark, revealed the news about her husband, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

I’ve been asked if playing football caused this, Clark wrote. I don’t know for sure. But I certainly suspect it did. And I encourage the NFLPA and the NFL to continue working together in their efforts to make the game of football safer, especially as it relates to head trauma.

I could be (cleared), but at the same time, at the end of the day, we still won’t take any risks, Collins said. It’s minicamp. We’re not playing for anything right now.

Collins made the mistake of thinking he was 100 percent healthy once before. A few days later, in early April, he found out he needed a second surgery because the bone didn’t heal correctly after he first was injured in Week 16 of the 2017 season.

I’m very close, Collins said of being 100 percent. Just right now, we’re just taking the precautions, not putting me into the team things, getting my arm caught or anything. We’re right around the corner from the season, so we’re not about to risk anything.

Collins isn’t even willing to risk falling behind in learning new coordinator James Bettcher’s defense. The Giants are rotating four safeties Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams, Orion Stewart and Curtis Riley through the first-team defense in his absence.

Luck’s return faces another issue: The Colts are installing a new offense under coach Frank Reich. 

eagles_332For me, coming off missing the entire year with the neck, I knew I was going to have to play a different kind of way, a different sort of physical state, Manning said. I was looking for things like positive feedback from receivers on whether the ball felt the same coming in and then when you get into the game and you throw a deep out. We played a preseason game and I threw a deep comeback route, and that was a thing to check off the box. You want to do everything for the first time again. You want to get hit, you want to make a tight throw, have a two-minute drive. I wanted to do all those things again.

The Golden Knights have scored the opening goal in the first period of all nine of their postseason home games…. Washington needs three more wins to become the second team in NHL history to win a Cup after trailing in all four postseason rounds, joining Pittsburgh in 1991…. T-Mobile Arena reported 18,702 fans in the sold-out building, setting a franchise record for attendance.

Torres definitely has been all that and more since he received his first big-league call-up on April 22 after a few years of being labeled one of baseball’s best prospects.

Through Tuesday’s 2-for 5-night, Torres is hitting.321 with nine homers and 26 RBIs… and two walk-off hits counting his game-winning homer that beat Cleveland on May 6.

Being that young and playing for this organization, there’s a lot of pressure, Sabathia said. For him to be able to deliver in these moments, it just means there’s more to come.

Torres’ error total is up to seven, a team-high, but he’s mixed in a whole lot of tremendous plays, too.

Rams’ New Inglewood Stadium Reportedly Now Costs More Than $4 Billion

The projected cost of the Los Angeles Rams’ new stadium in Inglewood, California, which is scheduled to open in 2020, has reportedly exceeded $4 billion.

On Monday, Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal reported the investment by Rams owner Stan Kroenke and wife Ann Walton Kroenke is more than double the next highest amount paid for an American athletic venue ($1.7 billion for MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey).

Reasons for the increased costs include access roads, utilities and making sure the stadium could withstand an earthquake, per Kaplan. The final total could approach $5 billion when the new NFL Network building is factored into the equation.

Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park is also expected to house the Los Angeles Chargers, though the Rams are the primary equity partner in the high-priced facility.

So, Fuller will be adjusting to a new role in a new defense in a new city, all as he tries to prove that his standout second season wasn’t a fluke.

The first impression he makes at next week’s initial OTA sessions will be worth monitoring.

Having the Preakness favorite has never bothered Bob Baffert before and it doesn’t bother him with Justify.

Coming off an impressive victory in the Kentucky Derby , Justify is the 1-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s second race in a field of eight horses. Derby runner-up Good Magic is the second choice at 3-1, but Justify is the horse to beat with the chance to give Baffert his seventh Preakness winner and a shot at a second Triple Crown in four years after American Pharoah did it in 2015.

We’re fully embedded into offseason mode, moving away from the draft and towards training camp. It’s a long way down the road, relatively speaking, but it’s also not too far away to start asking questions about certain teams. For instance, what will the Seahawks ‘ offense look like in 2018?  No one knows, because there is so much changing. Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett are the only sure things in terms of pass catchers, Rashaad Penny was added to own the backfield in the draft and Brian Schottenheimer replaced Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator. It’s not unreasonable to expect them to struggle a little bit. Unless they just unleash Russell Wilson anyway.cowboys_071