The Race For The Top Pick In The 2015 NFL Draft

The 2-12 Jacksonville Jaguars host the 2-12 Tennessee Titans Thursday night, ending this season’s sad slate of Thursday night games with the saddest game of all. But this awful matchup still matters. The top pick of the 2015 NFL draft is in play.This week, we added each team’s chances of getting the No. 1 overall pick to our weekly playoff implication interactives. In 50,000 simulations, just Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Oakland, Jacksonville and Washington managed to clinch the No. 1 overall pick at least once (the New York Jets blew their chances with last week’s win). The Buccaneers are your clubhouse leader, getting the pick in 54.8 percent of simulations, while the Titans are second at 25 percent.The size of that gap is a little misleading. The Buccaneers don’t control their own destiny, and the loser of Tennessee at Jacksonville will be nipping at their heels:The game also affects a much weirder scenario. If two teams from different conferences finish with the same record and strength of schedule, the pick will be decided by coin flip. These flips aren’t so uncommon, but they’ve never decided who gets the No. 1 overall. Before Thursday’s game, there is a 2 percent chance the top pick will be decided by a Tennessee vs. Tampa Bay coin flip. If the Titans lose, that figure bumps up a bit to 3.2 percent.But which team would actually keep the pick? The presumed top player of the 2015 draft is Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. None of the teams in contention saw impressive QB play in 2014: Josh McCown is old, Zach Mettenberger is shorn, Blake Bortles is bad and Derek Carr is dinky. Washington is just a mess, but they’re pretty much out of the running.Jacksonville and Oakland are the most likely to trade the first pick, as Bortles and Carr have likely done enough in their rookie seasons to warrant a second look. Tennessee and Tampa Bay would be much more likely to take Mariota. This means the St. Louis Rams – or even the Philadelphia Eagles – could be keeping an eye on an otherwise terrible Thursday night game, crossing their fingers for a Jacksonville loss.Mike Beuoy contributed analysis. read more

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Theres No Reason To Think Barry Bonds Can Coach Like He Could

Barry Bonds is back in baseball. The Miami Marlins announced Friday that Bonds will become their hitting coach, joining new manager Don Mattingly’s staff.1Since retiring, Bonds has worked as a spring-training guest instructor for the San Francisco Giants, but not on a full-time basis. So now we’ll get to obsessively analyze Bonds’ proportions all over again, this time in arguably the majors’ worst uniform.Bonds is a lightning rod because of his role in MLB’s steroid era, but I’m not here to re-litigate how much he cheated or what his punishment should be. The guy was pretty terrific at hitting a baseball long before we knew what BALCO was.My question is simple: Does a good hitter make for a good hitting coach?Not necessarily.To find out, I looked at every hitting coach going back to 19732The year the designated hitter was introduced. using data from Retrosheet.org, and for those who played in MLB, I gathered their Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+, a per-plate appearance measure of offensive production that we’re quite fond of at FiveThirtyEight) and the number of wins above replacement (WAR) that can be attributed to their offensive contributions.3For sticklers, this means I removed both positional defense and the overall position adjustment from a player’s WAR. But I did leave baserunning in offensive WAR, as is the custom for the statistic, even though that aspect of the game is often managed by instructors other than the hitting coach.But how does one go about quantifying coaching performance? It’s a complex question that I’ve struggled with over the years. One simple way to judge a hitting coach’s effectiveness is how well his hitters outperformed their expectations. To that end, I used a historical database of Marcel projections — named for the pet monkey from the show “Friends” because they’re so basic a monkey could compute them — and measured the degree to which a hitting coach’s pupils performed better in the batter’s box (according to Weighted On-Base Average, or wOBA) than they were projected to.Armed with all this information, we can see the (non-)relationship between a hitter’s offense and his coaching talents. Whether we make the comparison using the hitting coach’s career WAR, as in the chart above, or using a weighted average of his lifetime wRC+, the correlation between hitting well and coaching others to do the same is effectively nonexistent.While Bonds may have been second only to Babe Ruth among career hitters — ignoring steroids — we have no idea what that means for Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and the rest of the Marlins hitters. So while the thought of Stanton becoming even more Bonds-like has pitchers everywhere reconsidering their chosen profession, it’s still anyone’s guess whether Bonds will be able to communicate to others just what drove his preternatural plate discipline and freakishly fast reflexes at the plate. read more

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Rose Bowl notebook Will Tressel loosen Pryors leash

No one is asking the Buckeyes to replicate last season’s bowl game use of quarterback Terrelle Pryor.In Ohio State’s 24-21 Fiesta Bowl loss to Texas, Pryor threw for 66 yards, rushed for 78 and even caught a touchdown.But as Pryor has battled through injuries to his ankle and knee, the well of offensive diversity has dried up. As coach Jim Tressel called for more runs and asked less of his sophomore quarterback, the team rolled off five straight wins, with Pryor’s arm playing far less of a role.Now, will the untested quarterback finally be let loose in the team’s most critical game of the year?“I hope so,” Pryor said. “I hope for that every game, but I just want to get a ‘W’. Whatever the team needs me to do, I want to do it.”OSU sprinted past its last five opponents, posting at least 225 rushing yards in each victory. But after nearly six weeks off, will the team revert to its steady ground game, or open things up through the air?Pryor believes a balanced scheme would fare best.“It’s whatever they can’t stop,” he said. “If they can’t stop our passing game, then we’re going to keep doing that. We’ve gotten a lot better passing, we can throw the ball, it just depends on if we’re going to do it. If we keep everything balanced, then we’re going to be good.”Receiver DeVier Posey predicted that Pryor is primed for a break-out performance.“I definitely believe he can have a great game,” Posey said. “He’s poised for a great game, he’s been practicing well.” NFL bound?Ten Ohio State juniors filed paperwork to the NFL to learn about their potential status in the league’s April draft.Many players go through the process simply to gauge their draft stock heading into their final collegiate year.Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward suggested that he wouldn’t mind sticking around for his senior season.“Right now, I’m leaning towards staying,” Heyward said. “I’m just enjoying time with my guys. These guys are my brothers.”Defensive end Thaddeus Gibson refused to cave in to constant questions from reporters, saying that the decision only serves as a disruption.“I don’t want any distractions,” he said. “I’m just locked in on [the game], I’ll worry about that later.”Linebacker Brian Rolle, however, fully expects to return to Columbus for a final hurrah.“It’s not something I weighed about, whether I was going to stay or leave,” he said. “I just did it just to know where I’d be if I did think about leaving. I’ll be back next year most definitely.”Rose Bowl adds trio to HallFormer Buckeye offensive lineman John Hicks was one of three inductees Wednesday to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.Hicks paved the way for running back Archie Griffin to collect a pair of Heisman trophies. During Hicks’ time at OSU, the Bucks played in three Rose Bowls, winning one.Hicks spoke to a crowd of family, friends, Rose Bowl bigwigs and media about how the Rose Bowl meant so much to him and his family growing up.Along with Hicks, Barry Alvarez, the current athletic director and former coach of Wisconsin, and Tom Hansen, the former Pac-10 Commissioner, were also elected to the Hall of Fame.Rain, rain go awayInclement weather led to the cancelation of Ohio State’s outdoor practice Wednesday afternoon.A steady rain kept the Buckeyes indoors, where they instead held offensive, defensive and position meetings. read more

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Gracia wants his side to finish the season well

first_imgWatford haven’t won for five matches in a row and Javi Gracia believes that his side should end the season strongly to prepare well for the upcoming season and already help with the development.The Spaniard knows that the results haven’t been the best lately but he also insisted that the remaining four games of the season should serve mostly as a preparation for the upcoming one.Gracia spoke about his side’s upcoming games as he said, according to Watford Observer:“I prefer to finish the season well because I think that is the first step to do well next season.”Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“At this moment, it is the most important thing to prepare every game well and try and get all the points you are able to get.”“It is always a big challenge and you never know where you are going to get the next points, so the next four games are important, and for Palace as well.”“Everyone is fighting at the moment to get the points.”last_img read more

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Ronaldo may have another World Cup in him – Deco

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo may still have another World Cup left in him after this month’s tournament, reckons his former Portugal teammate DecoThe five-time Ballon d’Or winner arrives at Russia on the back of having inspired Real Madrid to a third straight Champions League crown and will now be hoping to replicate this success for Portugal.The World Cup is the one trophy that has eluded Ronaldo throughout his entire career and, at the age of 33, many are expecting the tournament in Russia to be his final chance to finally lift international football’s most prestigious trophy.But Deco feels that it is wrong to say that this will be Ronaldo’s final World Cup, as with player like him “you never know”.“With Ronaldo, you never know. It depends how fit he will be at the next World Cup,” Betfair ambassador Deco told Express Sport.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“Of course, it’s complicated because there is a time for everyone, even those super fit like him but I think it’s a difficult time for the players.“It’s complicated when you start watching them at the end of your career but it’s easier to think about showing the best at the World Cup.“Of course, if you ask every player they want to win the World Cup, they dream about that for sure, Ronaldo is the same.“I think for all the players it’s a competition, a dream competition, when you think of being a real soccer player.”Portugal will begin their World Cup campaign against Iberian neighbours Spain on Friday in Group B.last_img read more

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Pellegrini admits Chicharitos goal was a handball

first_imgWest Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini admits Javier Hernandez’s equaliser against Fulham was indeed a handball on Friday night.The Mexican striker, more commonly known as Chicharito, netted his 50th Premier League goal with his arm after initially appearing to have headed the ball into the net from a yard out following Robert Snodgrass’ corner.Chicharito’s strike cancelled out Ryan Babel’s opener for Fulham at the London Stadium before Issa Diop’s header found the net to put West Ham 2-1 up heading into the break.Michail Antonio then added a third goal in stoppage-time to hand the Hammers a first win in five matches.But the talking point after the game was naturally all about Chicharito’s equaliser, who’s “helping hand” proved to play a decisive part of West Ham’s recovery.“I’ve seen it now, it’s handball but nobody really saw very clearly,” Pellegrini admitted to Sky Sports.“The Fulham players didn’t complain much about it, maybe they didn’t see if it was the head or hand, but I don’t think it decided the game. We scored two more and created plenty more chances.“We started the game sleeping, the first 10 minutes were unbelievable, they created chances, scored the goal and had another shot wide, but after those 10 minutes we played very well.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“We scored three goals, had three or four clear chances and they didn’t have any more clear-cut opportunities.”Once more this season, West Ham again struggled during the opening phase of the game with former Liverpool star Babel punishing them by scoring his first Fulham goal in the third minute.“You never know the reason why but maybe we are a little bit struggling with instruction at the moment,” said Pellegrini on West Ham’s slow starts this term.“The important thing was that we changed the attitude.”Pellegrini’s side, who are currently ninth in the Premier League table, will next face reigning champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.50 – Javier Hernandez has become the first Mexican player to score 50 Premier League goals; all 50 have been scored inside the box. Opportunist. #WHUFUL pic.twitter.com/4I8fIVwFPF— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 22, 2019last_img read more

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Tustumena Struck By Whale Near Kodiak

first_imgPhotos courtesy of passengers onboard the vessel Alaska Marine Highway System spokeswoman Aurah Landau: “This is extremely rare. The Marine Highway System is very protective with the measures that it takes to avoid hitting marine mammals, we actively work to avoid strikes, and then handle them as responsibly as possible when they do happen.”  Landau: “There was no way the captain could have avoided it or seen it coming, the whale really did hit the ship. We’ve never seen or heard of that before.” Anyone who sees a surfaced or injured whale near Kodiak is asked to call the statewide Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at 877-925-7773. The vessel suffered damage to the starboard fin stabilizer, which sticks out from the side of the vessel, and could not fully retract the fin stabilizer though the vessel would safely operate and dock in Kodiak. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Tustumena en route from Homer to Kodiak was hit by a breaching whale near Marmot Bay just before 11:15 a.m., Wednesday. AMHS had divers assess the damage in Kodiak and the United State Coast Guard (USCG) has cleared the vessel to operate safely and within USCG regulations without needing repair. According to passengers who were eyewitnesses to the event, it appears the whale breached into the side of the ferry mid-ship and struck the fin. The vessel circled around to locate the whale, however it was not observed again. The whale collided mid-ship with the vessel and was on the starboard fin stabilizer for approximate 1-5 minutes. Operating under the marine mammal avoidance regulations set forth by the Alaska Marine Highway (AMHS) and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the vessel reduced speed immediately which allowed the whale to get off the fin stabilizer.last_img read more

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57 Earthquake Shook Southcentral This Morning

first_imgThe 5.7 quake — initially reported as a 5.4, but upgraded by the Alaska Earthquake Center — struck at 9:21am., 9 miles SW of Iliamna Volcano, with a depth of 90.4 miles. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A 5.7 magnitude earthquake shook Southcentral Alaska Wednesday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Initial reports from the USGS’s indicated the quake was felt in Kenai, Anchor Point, and Sterling.last_img

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Good News Landfills Are Officially Open On Sundays For The Summer Seaon

first_imgQuestions? Call the Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Department (907) 262-9667. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享As of May 5, the Central Peninsula Landfill and Transfer Facilities and Sites are officially open on Sundays. From May to September each year the landfill will be open 8am to 5pm, seven days a week, as it has been in the past. Former Borough Mayor Mike Navarre told the Borough Assembly at that time that the closure would save roughly $150,000 a year: “The costs of operating the landfill are significant, solid waste is one of the more expensive services we provide to the public.” The FY2017 budget put forth a plan to close Borough landfills one day a week for the entire year. The Assembly ultimately compromised and decided it would keep landfills open seven days a week from May to September.last_img read more

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Journey to Dhaka begins

first_imgHolidaymakers are returning home after enjoying Eid vacation. Photo: UNBA crowded Dhaka looked somewhat deserted once people started leaving the capital city to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha at their village homes.The holidaymakers have already started returning to the capital after celebrating the Eid with their families in their hometowns, reports UNB.They are coming back as the weekday begins on Sunday.On Saturday, moderate crowds of people coming back to the city were found at Railway stations, bus and launch terminals.However, the pressure of the returnees is still low, said witnesses and authorities.Alamgir Hossain, ioint director at Naval Traffic, said 70 launches reached Sadarghat Launch terminal from 23 routes from around 7am to 11am on Saturday.He said the number of returning passengers is not that much high yet, but it will increase on Sunday.Trains were running about half an hour behind their schedules on average, causing delay to the departure of the outgoing ones, said Mizanur Rahman, a sub-inspector at Kamalapur Railway Station.Shahidul Islam, a banker who returned from Kushtia by train, told UNB that he along with his family members had to return today (Saturday) as his office and the schools of his kids reopen on Sunday.”There was a less crowd. So, we didn’t have to suffer much except the delayed train,” he added.Meanwhile, ferry services on Shimulia-Kathalbari route were disrupted for two hours from around 4am to 6am due to poor navigability in the Padma river causing immense sufferings to passengers.Ten small ferries are in operation while more than 300 vehicles waiting on both sides of the river, said Khandaker Shah Khaled Newaz, assistant general manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).The dredging worksare going on to solve the navigability problem and soon the ferry services will get back to normalcy, he added.He also said 87 launches and 400 speedboats are transporting passengers on this route.Farhana Dolly, a resident of Shahjahanpur who was returning from Feni, said, it took lesser time to reach Dhaka this time as the highway was relatively free of traffic.As the festive mood of Eid vacation has not lost its charm yet, those who did not leave the city for Eid celebrations enjoyed the city free from traffic jams, noise and crowd.Zarif Rafiul Haque Iraz, a Dhaka city dweller, said Dhaka remains free from traffic only during long vacations, especially during Eid holidays.”This is the reason I along with my friends decided to roam around the city to enjoy crowd-free and traffic-free Dhaka experience,” he added.This year, along with the three-day Eid holidays, most of the holiday makers got additional two days off — Friday and Saturday.Dhaka is expected to get back to its usual bustle on Sunday when people will be returning to the capital in their thousands from Saturday night.last_img read more

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