Is early retirement an option for Jay Cutler?

What is Jay Cutler’s football future if the Chicago Bears are unsuccessful in their quest to trade the veteran quarterback leading up to the new league year on March 9?

If he is left without an attractive home once the offseason’s game of quarterback musical chairs comes to a close, it’s not inconceivable that Cutler will opt for early retirement.

Interestingly enough, it has become a pseudo-pitfall for head coaches in recent years. Intra-staff takeovers in Jacksonville and Tennessee over the last two seasons have led to permanent gigs for Doug Marrone and Mike Mularkey. Lynn, who was promoted to offensive coordinator after a staff firing earlier this season, was also elevated to head coach upon Rex Ryan’s dismissal in December and heavily considered for the Buffalo Bills opening.

Owners making these decisions are starting to understand the value of consistency and instead of expensive, broad searches elsewhere to find a replacement head coach are turning to tenured coordinators or former head coaches on their own staff.

“I’ve had people ask me why I’d want to bring two head coaches to the staff, guys who have been there and done it who may want to be in your shoes,” Lynn said.

Of course, this is not the main reason Lynn should be concerned. In a piece I did last month about the turbulent first few months of a first-time head coach, one of the aspects of the job that stuck out was the need to assert yourself against competing voices. A coaching room is full of diverse experiences and Lynn will be competing to ensure his opinions stand above those of men who have held the job before.

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Williams¡¯ movement skills are something Tennessee Titans general manager Ruston Webster has noticed.

“When you think of a 3-4 defense typically you think of a big two gap player,” Webster said. “It¡¯s rare to find players that can do that; play one gap, penetrate and get up the field and rush the passer. It¡¯s hard to find a guy that can block and be a receiver. When you have guy like Leonard who can do both that¡¯s something special.”

For a defensive lineman, being special means getting picked high in the draft. And at the top of the draft there are plenty of teams looking for a special talent on defense.

“At the end of the day, this is the NFL and this has been a dream of mine for a long time and I want to play for any team that takes me,” Williams said. “But if it comes down to it, I want to go as high as possible and that comes down to Tampa Bay and Tennessee.”
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Williams¡¯ ascent to being in the NFL, let alone the top pick, has been a rapid one. He didn¡¯t start playing football until his freshman year in high school and couldn¡¯t play Pop Warner because he was 6-foot and 220 pounds at 12. Williams said it wasn¡¯t until his sophomore season at Mainland High School in Florida that he knew football may be in his future.

From there, he was recruited to Southern California by former Trojans recruiting ace Ed Orgeron. At USC Williams became a stalwart on the defensive line thanks to his ability to move around the line. Moving around in Southern Cal¡¯s 3-4 defense is what Williams preferred.

Jrue Holiday Kids Jersey “It was more fun to create matchups and go up against some weaker opponents once in a while,” Williams said. “When the coaches switched it up for me, I liked it.”

The defensive lineman and linebackers are scheduled to get their medical exams and measurements

“What’s your assessment of the Golden State Warriors’ center personnel? Do you think Zaza Pachulia is proving to be a good fit? Is JaVale McGee showing true starter potential or is he still too prone to defensive mistakes?” — Alan Reder

Tyreke Evans Youth Jersey After his slow start, it seems like Pachulia has been about what we expected: an efficient scorer who can benefit from the talent around him, an excellent playmaker from the high post and a solid defensive rebounder. There might be some playoff matchups that are problematic, but for the most part he’s a solid starter.
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He notes that playing corner has helped him understand how to be a more effective receiver, but as Richard Sherman has noted many times during his career, that added understanding of nuance goes both ways.

Playing corner “helps me just as far as knowing what a corner wants to do,” he told media members gathered around a his table at Lucas Oil Stadium. “Knowing what they’re thinking as far as where I line up, as far as leverage, as far as when I get an inside release, and outside release, what routes are already in their head, eliminating things like that. I try to do things like that to manipulate how I run it. If I get an outside release, I’ll probably try to make an in-route, because the eyes on that are really different. Just try to manipulate as much as I can.”

The defensive lineman and linebackers are scheduled to get their medical exams and measurements, and also are required to meet with the media and continue interviewing with interested teams. The defensive backs finally arrive in Indianapolis on Friday, and shortly afterwards will go through the registration and orientation process on their first day at the combine.

Can the Cubs repeat their brand of all-time awesome on defense?

Limited Kids Ronald Leary Jersey The 2016 Chicago Cubs were the most extraordinary team in baseball history. Not because they won 103 games in the regular season — there have been 36 other teams that’ve done at least that well. And not because they won the World Series — every season ends with someone winning the World Series. In these ways the Cubs were great, but they weren’t exceptional.

Where the Cubs really shined was in preventing hits. If you don’t give up hits, you don’t give up runs, and the Cubs allowed opponents to hit just .212, the lowest mark since 1968. That’s remarkable already, but more than you might think from just that number.

Game Blair Walsh Jersey We have to turn to Batting Average on Balls In Play, or BABIP, a stat that suffers from long-acronym syndrome but is really quite intuitive. All it describes is batting average on at-bats without home runs and strikeouts. It functions as a good measure of team defense. The Cubs allowed a BABIP of just .255, putting them absurdly ahead of the rest of the majors last season:

BACK IN THE wind-chilled shadows of Sunrise Mountain, Bryce Harper punches the clock at his old stomping grounds. This is not a one-time thing — it has been a regular occurrence throughout the winter. It’s also a stark contrast from last offseason, when he worked out in relative luxury at the Boras Sports Training Institute in Southern California (he has logged some time there this winter too), and never took a single swing at Harper Field. The fact that he decided to return to his roots is no coincidence.

“He needed to get back to normalcy and feeling like he used to,” says Thomas, the high school coach. “He needed to get back to familiarity.”

Sophomore Tyler Bass was responsible for the kickoffs and might be a decent replacement for placekicker Younghoe Koo

Melvin Ingram, Los Angeles Chargers linebacker

Ingram was the last first-round pick of the A.J. Smith era, which in theory could mean general manager Tom Telesco might not be as inclined to pay big money for Ingram.

Considering the improvements in the Chargers’ pass rush from 2015 to 2016, however, the team will have to think long and hard about whether it can afford to lose the 2012 first-round pick. Ingram teamed with Joey Bosa to form one of the best edge rushing pairs in all of football. Being able to retain the linebacker and keep one of the league’s strongest front sevens intact would be huge for the Chargers, new head coach Anthony Lynn and his defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

One bright spot in 2016: special teams. The punts were pretty short, but the Eagles ranked fourth in field goal efficiency, ninth in kickoffs, and 30th in punt returns on the way to a No. 30 ranking in Special Teams S&P+.

Sophomore Tyler Bass was responsible for the kickoffs and might be a decent replacement for placekicker Younghoe Koo, but the departure of both Koo and punt returner Montay Crockett hurts.

Summers has recruited well here. We’ll see how quickly that can make a difference. Four three-star freshman ends could make a difference, along with three freshman linebackers and a JUCO transfer (Tomarcio Reese). If you can get contributions from a couple, and you luck out from an injuries perspective, maybe you can duct tape a decent front seven together.

Injuries could be devastating, though. End Logan Hunt and tackle Darrius Sapp are the only returning linemen with more than two tackles last year, and senior Chris DeLaRosa and sophomore Todd Bradley are the only linebackers with more than 2.5. There are a lot of former three-star guys up front (not just the freshmen); they’ll need to play like it.

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Draymond Green recorded the 1st NBA triple-double without the points

Draymond Green is an NBA All-Star for a reason beyond scoring: he contributes to all areas of winning. And the Warriors¡¯ point forward showed why he¡¯s an invaluable piece to a championship organization on Friday during Golden State¡¯s 122-107 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Green scored just four points but posted 12 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 steals, and five blocks, becoming the first player in NBA history to record a triple-double without at least 10 points, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Elite Womens Merril Hoge Jersey His historic night did not end there. The Warriors forward surpassed Rick Barry and Michael Ray Richardson to break the Warriors¡¯ single-season record for steals in a game.

Draymond Green: 12 reb, 10 ast & a franchise-record 10 stl. Warriors are now 18-0 in the regular season when Green tallies a triple-double.

Had he scored six more points, the Warriors forward would have become just the fourth player since 1983-84 to post a quadruple-double alongside Robertson, David Robinson, and Hakeem Olajuwon, according to Basketball-Reference.

That¡¯s amazing company for Green, whose play has catapulted Golden State to a 45-8 record.
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While the NBA has new contract rules to incentivize players to stay with the teams that drafted them, there¡¯s no guarantee Westbrook will commit, especially if the Thunder get ejected early and Durant hoists an O¡¯Brien in June. The allure of a ring has proved to sway many players in the past, even when piles of money are at stake.

This all sounds pessimistic and it should. Caterwauling at Durant and his new coastal clique will feel good, but then it¡¯s Sunday morning and reality comes back into focus. This is sports fandom: a lifetime of anxious disappointment punctuated by brief moments of exhilaration.

Saturday night should offer the latter to the Thunder faithful. Enjoy it while it lasts, because it doesn¡¯t last.

Kurt Warner found Isaac Bruce for a 73-yard touchdown pass to put the Rams up by 7

Elite Youth Rob Havenstein Jersey As Roger Goodell presented Robert Kraft with the Lombardi Trophy amid a deafening cacophony of boos, the Patriots¡¯ all-time accolades started sinking in: five championships for Tom Brady, the most of any QB ever; five for Bill Belichick, the most of any coach. (Does that make them the GOATs of their respective roles? That¡¯s a more complicated question.) The Patriots¡¯ dynasty rolls on as the most impressive in NFL history.

And, of course, they did it in the most improbable comeback in Super Bowl history, scoring four touchdowns and a field goal in their final five drives to erase a 25-point third-quarter deficit.

With all of that history on the mind, we¡¯re going to wrap things up for now. Thanks for joining us for a Super Bowl that we ¡ª and everyone else ¡ª will be talking about for a long, long time. We¡¯ll be back to unpack things tomorrow, but for now, good night!
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After there were no ATS pushes in the first 30 Super Bowls, this game featured the third push of a point spread or total in four years. The Rams were up 10 entering the fourth quarter, but the Titans tied the game up with 2:12 to go. Kurt Warner found Isaac Bruce for a 73-yard touchdown pass to put the Rams up by 7, and Tennessee’s final drive stalled at the 1-yard line. The Rams held on to a seven-point victory, which Rams bettors may have viewed as a victory.

His message didn’t sink in immediately, but the vision really started to take shape following a 24-15 loss at Philadelphia in Week 10. After the Falcons got physically dominated on both sides of the ball, Quinn challenged his players, coaches and even himself to dig deeper and find elements of their games to improve in preparation for the stretch run. The self-reflection took place during the ensuing bye week, and the Falcons responded with a more spirited effort the remainder of the season, winning seven of eight games heading into the Super Bowl.

2015 NFL training camp preview: AFC East belongs to the Patriots until proven otherwise

The New England Patriots have finished atop the AFC East in 11 of the last 12 seasons and enter the 2015 season with a streak of six consecutive division titles. So there’s really no question which team enters the year as the one to catch in the division, although that reign could be difficult to maintain.

Between the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, there are pass rushers aplenty and they’re all targeting a single player more than any other: Tom Brady.

Brady is currently suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season, although that could still change. But for the time being, the Patriots have to prepare for the possibility that Jimmy Garoppolo will be the man leading the way for the defending Super Bowl champions for the beginning of the season.

Even when the Patriots do get Brady back though, there are several teams hunting to dethrone the champions, and that hunt will officially begin at the end of July when the AFC East reports to training camp.

Aaron Rodgers says that leadership is a “challenge” but that he enjoys that part of his role.

He is the antithesis, really, of that State Farm commercial he does with Clay Matthews, the one in which he yells in the locker room, “Not here, not ever!” as his psyched-up teammates bounce around him. Rodgers would rather they watch him — how hard he works, how competitive he is — and follow. He will be there to give them a push, and when things get really bad, he’ll do more.

When he wasn’t in rhythm earlier this season, for example, he had a short meeting with the wide receivers. Many of them are young, in their early 20s. Some of them, at some point, were terrified of letting down Aaron Rodgers.

“He kind of took us aside and said, ‘I’m not yelling at you guys just to yell. I’m yelling because I care. I believe in each and every one of you.’ I think it meant a lot to all the guys,'” receiver Jeff Janis said.

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Chiefs’ Justin Houston: ‘Once you get paid, it’s not like you won the lottery’

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Justin Houston got the phone call on Tuesday saying he needed to come to Kansas City. He figured this was the end of his year long quest for a new contract from the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I knew they wouldn’t have me fly out here for nothing,” Houston told reporters on a Wednesday conference call after he signed a reported six-year, $101 million contract.

Authentic Youth Latavius Murray Jersey Pierre-Paul’s contract status adds another level of intrigue to an already sad story. After leading the Giants with 12.5 sacks last season, New York placed the franchise tag on the 26-year-old. However, Pierre-Paul never signed the tender in hopes of securing a long-term deal. The Giants could theoretically pull the offer, leaving the defensive end without a contract for next season.

Pierre-Paul has been a force in the NFL since becoming a first round pick in 2010 out of South Florida. He has 42 sacks and eight forced fumbles in his career, and was expected to be a cornerstone of the Giants defense for years to come.

The injury reportedly caused the Giants to withdraw a $60 million contract offer, and while the injury for Wilson won’t cost him nearly as much, it could prove especially costly to a player who was likely fighting for a roster spot in the fall.

“Once I retired it was like, ‘Wow, now what do I do?’ There was no guidance, no help. If it weren’t for Charlie, I don’t know what I’d be doing.” he shared. “I’m ready to start my next journey.”

Redman’s first journey started when he was a two-year-old boy watching football with his mom and ended suddenly when he sustained a neck while living out his dream in the NFL. His second journey is just beginning.

“I have hope now,” he smiled.

Gregg Popovich: Spurs ‘not where we want to be’

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San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pointed out his team “played a great 24 minutes” of basketball Tuesday during its 122-114 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

But for a 32-9 squad clinging to ever-present title aspirations at the halfway point in the season, Popovich and the Spurs need the full 48. That’s partly why Popovich said the Spurs aren’t yet where they want or need to be in terms of the cohesion and consistency required to capture championships.

THERE’S A REVEALING moment in Steve Young’s new autobiography, “QB: My Life Behind the Spiral,” that made me think of Matt Ryan. During the 1991 season, Young’s first year as a starter with the San Francisco 49ers, the quarterback visited Bill Walsh. Young needed help. A few days earlier, after a bad loss to the Raiders, he’d sat in his parked car for hours, crippled by the pressure of replacing Joe Montana. Young called friends for support, and then, at 3 a.m., having run out of people to call, he cried alone.

Now, in the office of the retired head coach who had believed in him more than anyone, Young hung his head, expecting a measure of empathy. Instead, Walsh scolded him.

“All you do is take the blame!” Walsh said.

“What am I supposed to say?” Young said, incredulously. “It’s not my fault?”
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“It’s been a tremendous experience — not just basketball, but culturally, very enriching and giving me a new perspective on the world that we live in,” Morris said. “So overall, [it was] a pretty good decision to take that leap.”