Campbell on Jags: ‘This 2019 team could be very special’

There is a new day and a new feeling in Duval County with the Jacksonville Jaguars. They have a new quarterback, who happens to be a Super Bowl-winning QB in Nick Foles; running back Leonard Fournette is healthy and hopes to rebound from a disappointing 2018. Also, there is still a lot of talent on defense, which will be led by Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, and Calais Campbell. Plus, rookie DE/LB Josh Allen has played well in the preseason.

Campbell, who was apart of the 2017 Jaguars that went to the AFC title game, believes this version of the Jaguars could have something special.

“Well, it’s a new year, a new opportunity, but this 2019 could be very special,” Campbell said after the Jaguars’ loss to the Dolphins on Thursday night. “It’s just one game in the preseason. It’s a clean slate, but I do believe that if we play up to our level, if we could play like the level we are capable of playing, we’ll be a very tough team to beat.

“This team could be very, very special. This defense could be very special. I like going three-and-out. That’s kind of like what I want. That should be the standard.”

Last night, Foles made his Jaguars and preseason debut against the Dolphins. Foles finished the game 6-10 for 48 yards and one touchdown and an interception. As a whole, Foles was happy to be out there with his teammates.

“Obviously there’s some good, there’s some bad. I think the big thing it was just good being out there,” Foles said. “It’s always good just stepping in the huddle, playing in games. It was my first time wearing the Jaguars uniform in a game. That is emotional in itself. So it was a good first step forward. We were able to move the ball a little bit, score a touchdown. Obviously, we wanted to score more points. And there’s things that we’ll learn from. But all in all, it was just great being out there with the guys today.”

The Jaguars’ defense should be very good in 2019 and was a top-five defense in 2018. I don’t think there are many questions about that side of the ball. The question will be if whether Foles is truly the guy for this team at the QB position, and anytime you give a player a four-year, $88 million contract, you want some serious results, and the pressure is on Jacksonville to make serious noise in 2019, but if Campbell is right, Jacksonville could be one of the teams to beat this season.

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GGG on Derevyanchenko: ‘I’m scared because he looks good; he looks strong’

Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin believes his clash with Sergiy Derevyanchenko will be a classic when they meet for the vacant IBF World Middleweight title on Saturday October 5 at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN.

Golovkin (39-1-1 35 KOs) and Derevyanchenko (13-1 10 KOs) met at a press conference at the mecca of boxing yesterday and both men stated their excitement for what promises to be a thrill a minute battle for the belt that Golovkin used to hold, and that Derevyanchenko has challenged for.

Former unified king Golovkin is gunning to regain the crown he held for three years as the Kazakh star targets returning to World champion status and meetings with the other champions at 160lbs.

Derevyanchenko has plans to derail that journey though and came close to landing the IBF strap himself in October at the Hulu Theater at MSG, being edged out on a split decision against Golovkin’s old foe Daniel Jacobs.

“I’m so excited,” said Golovkin. “First of all, I’m happy to be back home, my second home. Thank you to my family at MSG for always supporting me. Of course, I’m very excited right now. Right now, I work with the best people from boxing.

“I have the best opponent, Sergiy. I’ve know him for a long time and he’s a very good fighter. This is a real fight. I’m a little bit scared because he’s good. I know his team is very strong, and I’m scared because he looks good; he looks strong. He feels it’s his time right now. Maybe – this is boxing, nobody knows. So if you want to watch a real show, a real fight, come to MSG on October 5 or watch live on DAZN.”

“I’m really excited and happy to be at Madison Square Garden,” said Derevyanchenko. “Thank you to my team, and I want to give thanks to Gennadiy Golovkin for the opportunity as well. I know exactly who I’m getting in the ring with. He’s the former Middleweight champion of the world, one of the best fighters in the world, but his time is coming to an end and I want to be the one that makes that time come to an end.”

Photo/courtesy: Amanda Westcott/DAZN

Stills on Flores playing Jay-Z songs during practice: ‘I don’t think a little bit of Jay-Z is going to really ruffle my feathers’

Miami Dolphins WR Kenny Stills continues to kneel before every game during the National Anthem and recently, has been very critical of rapper Jay-Z’s recent partnership with the NFL.

On Tuesday, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores decided to play eight straight Jay-Z songs during practice, which some felt was in response to Stills’ criticism of Jay-Z. However, Stills was not bothered.

“It was just music, was my reaction,” Stills said after the Dolphins’ victory over Jaguars on Thursday night. “We play music at practice every day, and Coach (Flores) kind of came up to me during practice, and was like ‘we’re going to be playing Jay-Z today,’ and that was it.”

Stills revealed why Flores decided to go with that particular playlist.

“We talked about it in house, and he handled it in house, but for the most part I think it was just him trying to see if I could handle if someone was going to heckle me, or play Jay-Z music in another stadium, if I was going to be mentally strong enough to withstand that type of treatment I guess,” he said. “I’ve been dealing with this since 2016 – music, boos, racial slurs, so I don’t think a little bit Jay-Z is going to really ruffle my feathers that bad.”

After the Dolphins’ victory over the Jaguars, Flores revealed the method behind the madness:

“So after the playlist was done, what you guys don’t know is I walked up to Kenny in front of the entire group and said, this is a challenge to you to get open, catch the football and make plays for this team regardless of what’s going on outside of this building,” Flores said.

“The next day – because there was a lot more attention paid to this than I ever would have imagined – I got up in front of the team, and I told them that I support Kenny. I support Kenny. I support the player protests. I mean, quite honestly, they’re bringing attention to my story. So let’s talk about that. I’m the son of immigrants. I’m black. I grew up poor. I grew up in New York during the stop and frisk era, so I’ve been stopped because I fit a description before. So everything that these guys protest, I’ve lived it. I’ve experienced it. So, yeah, I applaud those guys who protest. So whether it’s (Colin) Kaepernick or Eric Reid or Kenny (Stills), I applaud those guys. I told Kenny that in our meeting, in front of the entire team. So that’s where I stand on this thing, and I think it got – it got way more press than it needed to.

“I’m trying to challenge one of my players, and I’m going to do that how I see fit. Look, what these guys protest about is important. I lived it. I experienced it. I don’t know how many people have, but I lived it. So I understand why guys protest, and it’s important. But you know what else is important to me? That guys perform. There’s 89 guys in that locker room who are counting on Kenny to get open, catch the football, and perform for this team, and that’s important to me. If anybody’s got a problem with that, then we’ve just got a problem. We’re going to agree to disagree.

“I feel like that’s important, and that’s where I stand on this thing. Whatever scrutiny or media or whatever I get, then that’s what I get. I believe, and that’s it. Look, the player protest, I lived it. I mean, I don’t know how many people in here have, but I lived it. So that’s where I’m at on that. It was a challenge to Kenny to perform regardless of whatever’s going on outside. I would say – and I’ve said this to him – he hasn’t performed to that level over the course of this training camp as I’ve seen him. So that was a challenge.”

Stills will definitely get heckled throughout the season, and in reality, you practice to prepare for all situations, including taunting, so on some level, you have to give Flores credit for recognizing the moment, and using it as a teachable moment.

 

Shurmur on Jones: ‘He moved forward in his progress of being ready to play’

The Giants’ preseason record remains perfect. Their performance Thursday night wasn’t.

Dropped passes, a lost fumble, and too many penalties – though just five were accepted – were all part of a 25-23 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals in Paul Brown Stadium. The Giants improved to 3-0 this month, with one more game – next week at New England – before the regular-season opener in Dallas on Sept. 8.

“I thought the guys competed hard like they did the first two weeks,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “It was probably just a little bit sloppier than I think we would all have liked to see. But the one good thing about this game is we played everybody, and we got a chance to evaluate everybody doing what they do. That will help us as we move forward here picking our 53 (man roster).”

Several players stated their case to be on that roster, including wide receiver Brittan Golden, who caught two passes for 59 yards and returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown (though he fumbled the ball away when he next fielded a punt); tight end Garrett Dickerson (two catches for 30 yards), and rookie receiver Darius Slayton (an acrobatic 27-yard catch to set up a touchdown in his first action). The Giants had five sacks, including two by third-round draft choice Oshane Ximines. Corey Ballentine started at corner and tied for the team lead with seven tackles (five solo). Rod Smith and Jon Hilliman each scored on one-yard runs.

But the best news for Shurmur and Co. continues to be the outstanding play of the Giants’ top two quarterbacks, 16-year veteran Eli Manning and first-round rookie Daniel Jones.

For the third week in a row, Manning played only the game’s first series. He completed four of eight passes for 41 yards, numbers that would have been much better had Cody Latimer not dropped two passes, including one in the end zone that forced Aldrick Rosas to score the game’s first points with a 41-yard field goal.

“He did a good job,” Shurmur said of Manning. “He did a really good job.”

In his three brief stints – which is likely to be his full body of work for the preseason – Manning has hit nine of 13 passes for 86 yards and one touchdown.

“I feel like we’ve had good practices, and in the last two preseason games, I’ve made some plays and done some good things,” Manning said. “I just have to continue to work and get ready. (I’ll need to) watch this film, look at it, make some adjustments and work on those things this week. I don’t know how much we’ll play in this last preseason game, but (I’ll) keep working hard, make some improvements and get ready for Dallas.”

Jones, meanwhile, continues to post impressive numbers. He completed nine of 11 passes for 141 yards. In three games, only five of his 30 passes have not found their intended target, and none were caught by the opposing team. That’s an 83.3 completion percentage, which is attention-grabbing even in the preseason. He has thrown two touchdown passes and his passer rating is a striking 140.1.

He demonstrated a new element to his game vs. the Bengals, the ability to shake off a brutal hit and near turnover to throw one of his best passes of the summer. Jones was hammered by linebacker Carl Lawson on his third possession and fumbled (the ball was recovered by Golden). On the very next snap, Lawson again charged full speed at Jones, who stood strong in the pocket and threw a terrific pass to the left side to fellow rookie Slayton, who was stopped at the one-yard line. Smith scored the Giants’ first touchdown two plays later.

“That’s something that coach (Mike) Shula (the offensive coordinator) and coach Shurmur talked about a lot, just having the next play mentality,” Jones said. “I was just trying to give Darius a chance there. He made a heck of a play.”

Shurmur liked how his young quarterback responded to Lawson’s legal assault.

“You take hits, you know?” Shurmur said. “He came to the sidelines and I said, ‘That was a good one.’ He said, ‘Well, I’m sure I’ll get hit harder than that at times.’ He was fine. I think he did a good job. He got us into the end zone. He made some really good throws. He has a good feel for a couple of the deep balls he threw, when the defender was in close proximity, giving the receiver a chance at the ball. Those are two of the results on a couple of his deep balls. But he sees things well. He moved forward in his progress of being ready to play. Each week he does things. He’s into it. I adjust on the run quite a bit and he can handle it, which is fun when you’re calling plays and trying to make adjustments to attack what you see on defense. He can handle it.”

That has become very evident. And Manning and Jones both playing at a high level is good for the Giants.

*Tight end Evan Engram saw his first action of the preseason when, like Manning, he played only the first series. Engram caught one pass for nine yards. Why did he play and not Saquon Barkley?

“I thought Evan needed it a little bit more,” Shurmur said, “just because (we wanted him to get) the confidence of being out there and because I wanted to.”

*Linebacker Jonathan Anderson hurt his knee and will be evaluated Friday.

The following Giants players did not play: Barkley (coach’s decision); wide receivers Golden Tate (concussion) and Sterling Shepard (thumb); cornerbacks DeAndre Baker (knee), Antonio Hamilton (groin) and Sam Beal (hamstring); linebacker Alec Ogletree (calf); and offensive linemen Chad Wheeler (back) and George Asafo-Adjei T (concussion).

*Without Barkley, the Giants rushed for 56 yards on 26 carries, the same 2.2-yard average they posted in the opener vs. the Jets.

Courtesy: Michael Eisen

Walker, Turner lead Team USA past Australia

It was a celebration of basketball Thursday night in Australia as more than 50,000 fans packed Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium to see their Boomers take on the USA Basketball Men’s National Team.

While the scene was memorable, the fans left disappointed as the U.S. pulled away in the second half en route to a 102-86 victory. Make that two wins from two thus far in exhibition for the United States as it prepares for the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China Aug. 31-Sept. 15. U.S. captain Kemba Walker led all scorers with 23 points, and Myles Turner chipped in a double-double with 15 points and 14 boards. Donovan Mitchell accounted for 13 points, Kyle Kuzma san 4-of-5 3-pointers for 12 points and Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum scored 11 points each.

“It was a physical game, the competitiveness was great on both ends,” said USA head coach Gregg Popovich. “I thought the Boomers run some hellacious offense, really hard to guard, they do a great job moving and cutting. Coach (Andrej) Lemanis has got them at a high level in that regard.”

It was a fine shooting night in total for the Americans as they shot 48% from the field and 43% from 3. Walker led a balanced scoring attack in which six players – and four starters – scored in double figures.

There were some familiar faces on both benches, with six players on Australia occupying a place on NBA rosters. Notable friends turned foes were the USA’s Mitchell and Australia’s Joe Ingles, who are teammates on the Utah Jazz. The basketball-crazy Australian fans turned out to Marvel Stadium – normally home to Australian Rules Football and soccer – to cheer on their heroes as well as see some of the best players in the world from the United States.

“It was an incredible atmosphere,” said U.S. forward Tatum, “unique experience.”

Though such a basketball scene may be rare Down Under, it was perhaps a familiar sight to players like Walker and Mason Plumlee who played in the NCAA Final Four. The court setup echoed the modern treatment of that event, with a raised court in the middle of the floor and fans surrounding it in temporary seats.

There were maybe some nerves at play for the Boomers as Team USA raced out to a 6-0 lead early. But thanks to the sharp shooting from distance by Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills, Australia closed the gap.

Helping keep Australia at bay was Kuzma, who did not start but made an impact off the bench by going 3-4 from deep in the first quarter. His only miss rattled out on a half-court attempt at the buzzer.

Australia’s Ingles opened the second quarter with a jumper to tie it, then Andrew Bogut – coached last year at Golden State by USA assistant Steve Kerr – threw down an emphatic dunk seconds later as the Boomers opened up their biggest lead of the game at three. But from there it appeared the USA might run away with things. The Americans went on a 17-3 run, scoring inside and outside.  Tatum nailed back-to-back 3s to open up an 11-point lead at 39-28.

But the Australia defense clamped down to close the half. Mills – coached by Popovich in San Antonio – drilled a 3 just before the buzzer to complete a 15-5 run and reduce the U.S. lead to one. Australia’s Chris Goulding scored 10 points, all off the bench.

“Our transition defense was poor and they got three 3s in a row and that’s what happened down the stretch in the second quarter,” Popovich said. “I think they scored 12 points in two-and-a-half minutes and three of those buckets we those 3s.”

The third quarter opened as almost a carbon copy of the second. Australia grabbed a lead, and the U.S. matched with a big run. But this time, the Americans didn’t let Australia back in the game. After Australia went up 45-44, the U.S. then put together a 13-0 run. Kuzma checked in for the first time in the half with 5:20 to go and showed no signs of being cold. He hit his fourth 3 of the game 14 seconds later to extend the lead to 62-50.

The U.S. hit 13 of 19 shots in the third quarter and outscored Australia 32-18. The Boomers opened up the fourth quarter with a 3 by Aron Baynes to pull to within 12, but they got no closer. The balanced U.S. scoring attack continued to fire on all cylinders, even flashing some highlight-reel material with a splendid alley-oop from Tatum toBrown with 3:57 left. That score opened up a 20-point lead, the largest of the game.

Despite allowing Australia to make some runs in the first half, Popovich was pleased with the effort of his team that is still coming together with a major tournament just ahead.

“We got used to the physicality, and changed up a couple things and we had some guys that did a good job,” Popovich said. “Myles Turner came in and gave us a big punch there, he was great. Obviously Kemba in pick-and-roll is pretty tough to guard, so we’re learning what we should be running offensively and what we should be doing based on our personnel. We’re obviously not an experienced team, these guys have never played together, so I think they’re doing a really good job of trying to come together quickly and learn about each other.”

These two teams will square off again on Saturday from the same court as World Cup preparation continues. Now that the teams have some familiarity with each other, the U.S. will have to react to adjustments that Australia will make.

“We need to make a few adjustments, a few mistakes that we had,” Kuzma said. “Obviously, they are going to make adjustments, and we just got to react to those.”

“It definitely changes everything, because they kind of see what we are about, what we do.” said Turner. “We just have to be ready for them.”

Photo: USA Basketball

Peter Quillin to face Alfredo Angulo on 9/21

 Former world champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin will duel hard-hitting Alfredo Angulo in a 12-round super middleweight showdown that headlines FS1 PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes on Saturday, September 21 from Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, California.

Coverage on FS1 begins at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT and features fast-rising prospect Chris “Prime Time” Colbert entering the ring for a 10-round lightweight matchup against former title challenger Miguel Beltran Jr., plus unbeaten welterweight Terrel Williams goes up against Thomas Dulorme in a 10-round attraction, while unbeaten prospect Jesus Ramos takes on Rickey Edwards in a 10-round super lightweight match to open FS1 PBC Fight Night.

FS2 PBC Fight Night Prelims will precede the main card and begin at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT, highlighted by hard-hitting Jeison Rosario against unbeaten Bakhram Murtazaliev in a 12-round IBF 154-pound title eliminator.

“This is a great fight card with anything a boxing fan could want, featuring former champions, top contenders and future stars, all in evenly-match bouts that promise drama,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Peter Quillin vs. Alfredo Angulo promises to be a good, old fashion slugfest with two fighters looking to prove they’re ready for a world title fight next. With exciting prospects like Chris Colbert and Jesus Ramos, plus evenly matched fights between contenders in Williams vs. Dulorme and Rosario vs. Murtazaliev, this will be an action-packed night from top to bottom.”

Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KOs) is seeking to climb back into the championship ranks and must go through Angulo before reaching them. The 36-year-old, who was born in Chicago and now lives in Brooklyn, won the middleweight world title against Hassan N’Dam in 2012. He successfully defended it three times. He is coming off a no-decision against former super middleweight champion Caleb Truax on April 13 in an FS1 PBC Fight Night main event. He had taken the first two rounds on all three judges’ scorecards before the action was halted when a deep cut over Truax’s right eye, caused by an accidental head butt, brought an end to the fight and resulted in a no-decision.

“It looks like the Caleb Truax fight wasn’t meant to be, but this fight against Angulo is an important fight for me to establish myself in this division,” said Quillin, who was originally scheduled to rematch Truax on August 31, before Truax withdrew due to an Achilles injury. “I’m ready to go 12 rounds right now. I just have to stay ready and stay in shape because we’ve had a great camp where we were able to build on certain things. This is what was meant to be and I’m going to make the most of it with a great performance on September 21.”

Angulo (25-7, 21 KOs) enters the match against Quillin after a knockout victory over Evert Bravo on April 20. The 37-year-old veteran, who was born in Mexicali, Mexico and now lives in Coachella, California, has been in with some of the top boxers and sluggers during a career that has seen him in numerous exciting bouts against the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara amongst others.

“I am looking forward to showing my fans the best Alfredo Angulo on September 21,” said Angulo. “I have been working hard towards this opportunity. This is a chance to move closer to a world title and with hard work and the support of my team, I’m going to win that title.”

Representing his hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y., Colbert (12-0, 4 KOs) has begun to make a name for himself showing off tremendous skills across his first 12 pro victories. The 22-year-old turned pro in 2019 after an impressive amateur career and most recently dominated Alberto Mercado on his way to a unanimous decision on FOX in June.

“I’m dedicating this bout to the fight against childhood cancer,” said Colbert, who was inspired after recently being introduced to a young fan who has cancer. “I plan on going in to Rabobank Arena and doing what I do best on September 21. I never make predictions for my fights, but I’m always looking to dominate and if the knockout comes then it comes. I have a job to do and I just have to stay focused on the man in front of me. It’s going to be ‘Prime Time’ on September 21 so that fans will want to make sure to tune-in for this one.”

Fighting out of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, Beltran (33-7, 22 KOs) will return to action after dropping a decision to former world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa last November. The 30-year-old challenged Roman Martinez for a super featherweight title and lost by split decision in September 2012.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to fight Chris Colbert on FS1 and FOX Deportes,” said Beltran. “I have fought the best 130 pounders in the world – Rocky Martinez, Gamboa, Mickey Roman and I have challenged for the world title twice. This is the type of fight I need on national TV to get myself back in contention. I’m very serious about winning and happy to have my training camp in Los Angeles with my cousin, former world champion Ray Beltran, who is helping me prepare for victory.”

Williams (18-0, 13 KOs) extended his unbeaten record in April with a split decision victory over Justin DeLoach in Las Vegas. The 35-year-old from Los Angeles previously won a decision over David Grayton in September 2018.

A longtime contender, Dulorme (24-3-1, 16 KOs) earned a majority draw in his last fight against former world champion Jessie Vargas last October. The 29-year-old had previously dropped a narrow decision to top contender Yordenis Ugas in August 2017. That defeat came after a streak where the Puerto Rican fighter won eight of nine fights, with his only loss during that stretch coming in a title fight against Terrence Crawford.

At just 18-years-old, Ramos (10-0, 9 KOs) scored knockouts in his first nine fights since turning pro last May. The Casa Grande, Arizona-native most recently went the distance for the first time in his pro career, winning a shutout unanimous decision over Kevin Shacks in June on FOX.

Fighting out of Paterson, New Jersey, Edwards (12-3, 3 KOs) won his first 11 pro fights including victories over then unbeaten fighters Azriel Paez and John Delperdang. The 29-year-old most recently lost a decision to undefeated Mykquan Williams in May.

The 24-year-old Rosario (19-1-1, 13 KOs) has won his last five fights and is unbeaten in eight bouts since his only pro loss to Nathaniel Gallimore in 2017. The Dominican-born fighter residing in Florida has taken down a slew of contenders and top prospects including Jamontay Clark, Justin DeLoach, Marcos Hernandez and most recently, Jorge Cota on FS1 in April.

Russia’s Murtazaliev(16-0, 13 KOs), who now resides in Oxnard, California and is unbeaten since turning pro in 2014. The 26-year-old has delivered knockout victories over Elvin Ayala and Bruno Leonardo Romay in 2019.

O.J. Anderson believes he belongs in the Hall of Fame

For 14 seasons, former NFL RB Ottis  “O.J” Anderson was a powerhouse.  He averaged over 1200 yards in his first six seasons in the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals and would go on to win two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, which included being named MVP in Super Bowl 25.

The two-time Pro Bowler would retire in 1993. He finished his career with 10,273 rushing yards and 81 touchdowns on the ground. When Anderson stepped away from the game, he ranked seventh in rushing touchdowns and eighth in rushing yards.

Anderson had a great career and a career that should warrant serious consideration for the Hall of Fame. However, Anderson has been eligible for the Hall since 1999, and at this point, he will have to continue to wait a little longer. But if were up to Anderson, his number would be called

“Welp, if you look at stats, and that’s what they go by, there’s no doubt I should be. For whatever reason, they just don’t seem to not understand,” Anderson recently told Paul Gant about the Hall of Fame. “You know what, I ain’t play the game for the Hall of Fame; I played the game because I enjoyed it. I wanted to make a lot of fans happy. I think I accomplished those two things. If I get the third one, which is the Hall of Fame, I would be excited about it.

“I just hope I’m alive when they do it. I mean no offense to Terrell Davis, he just got in. He has way less yardage than me, but again, he is a very fine running back. I don’t know what criteria they’re judging it on, but if it’s on yardage, and other things tangible that goes with it, I think my resume looks pretty good.”

Anderson does have a strong case. As he said, he does have a lot more rushing yards than Davis(Anderson: 10273, Davis: 7607), and also, like Davis, Anderson has a Super Bowl MVP.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, his career is not getting the respect it deserves. Hopefully, he can get in at some point, and hopefully, as the 62-year-old Anderson said, he will be alive to see it.

 

 

 

(VIDEO) Ben Simmons’ jump shot is looking really good

When the season ended, Sixers fans were hoping and praying that Ben Simmons would find a jump shot in the offseason. Well, based on this latest video, their wishes may have come true.

Simmons, who recently signed a max-deal with the 76ers, looks like he has been working hard on his jump shot.  You need proof?

Watch below:

GGG: ‘We will bring back ‘Big Drama Show’ to the ring of The Garden;

Gennadiy Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko will clash for the vacant IBF World Middleweight title on Saturday October 5 at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN, in a fight brought to you by GGG Promotions and Matchroom Boxing USA in association with DiBella Entertainment.

Former unified Middleweight king Golovkin (39-1-1 35 KOs) is aiming to regain the IBF crown he held for three years before being stripped of the title following the first of his two epic battles with Mexican rival Canelo Alvarez.

GGG boxes at the Manhattan mecca of boxing for the seventh time in his career as he looks to return to the summit of the 160lbs division, and ominously for Derevyanchenko, the Kazakh star has finished all six of his opponents at MSG inside the distance, with Canadian top-ten contender Steve Rolls succumbing to Golovkin in four rounds on his DAZN debut in June.

Derevyanchenko (13-1 10 KOs) challenges for the IBF belt for the second time in his career having pushed Daniel Jacobs to the limit for the vacant belt at the Hulu Theater at MSG in October, being edged out via split decision in a back and forth scrap where many gave the Brooklyn-based Ukrainian the victory. The 33 year old got back to winning ways and moved into #1 position in the IBF with a points win over Jack Culcay in Minnesota in April, and now faces fellow Olympian Golovkin in a mouth-watering battle in the Big Apple.

“Everyone knows that I consider Madison Square Garden as my home away from home and there is nothing better than fighting there again. It is old school,” said Golovkin. “On October 5, it’s going to be a good fight. Every time I enter the ring I try to give my fans the fight they want to see, the show they deserve. This will be such a fight. We will bring back Big Drama Show to the ring of The Garden and to DAZN. Don’t miss it. You will see everything you love in the sport of boxing. See you in New York.”

“I’m very excited that my team has secured another opportunity for me to fight for the Middleweight championship of the world,” said Derevyanchenko. “I have a great deal of respect for ‘GGG’ and looking forward to proving in the ring that I will be up to challenge and fulfil my lifelong dream of becoming a World champion.

“Those in attendance at Madison Square Garden and watching on DAZN will see an outstanding battle on Saturday October 5 — I can’t wait to enter the ring.”

“They call it the Big Drama Show and that’s exactly what the fans will enjoy at MSG on October 5, live on DAZN,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Gennadiy has a chance to regain his World Middleweight crown and Sergiy will bring the fire – the styles should gel brilliantly for a brutal battle. We look forward to a fantastic event with a stacked card at the iconic Mecca of boxing.”

“I’m very proud to provide Sergiy Derevyanchenko another opportunity to become the Middleweight champion of the world,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Sergiy came very close to fulfilling his dream last year and I truly believe that his time is now against GGG, one of the best Middleweights of this era. Saturday, October 5, will be a very special night for boxing at Madison Square Garden and live on DAZN, when GGG will be tested to his limits by a true threat in the Middleweight division.”

“We’re happy to have Gennadiy back in the ring looking to reclaim a piece of the middleweight championship,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP, North America. “October 5 is just the beginning of fight season on DAZN, which promises to be the best year-end schedule in the sport.”

Zimmer on Sloter: ‘There’s a lot of things that he has to get better at if he wants to be the backup quarterback’

Coming into the 2019 season, the Minnesota Vikings have their starting QB set and ready to go in Kirk Cousins, and the backup at this point is fifth-year quarterback Sean Mannion.

However, if third-year quarterback Kyle Sloter continues to play well in the preseason, he could make the case that he should be the backup to Cousins.

In two preseason games, Sloter has completed 17 of 20 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Sloter was impressive against the Seahawks on Sunday as he went 11-13 for 116 yards and one touchdown.

The numbers look good, but according to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

“I don’t know. I don’t know that you guys know all the little details about everything, you just see how he goes and does the game,” Zimmer said about Sloter on Tuesday. “He’s got to get a lot better in a lot of the other parts of being a quarterback. Making the right checks, getting people in the right formation, making sure the motion is there, not missing the time clock when it’s eight yards in front of you. There’s a lot of things that he has to get better at if he wants to be the backup quarterback.”

With those comments, it seems clear that Zimmer has more faith in Mannion coming into the season, and it’s hard to argue. Mannion has more experience and has started a game in the NFL. Plus, Zimmer knows what he sees in practice, and that is enough for him to know that Mannion is the guy to backup Cousins in 2019.