Eagles’ Sirianni on Hurts: ‘I know he’s ready for the next game, which just so happens to be a playoff game’

On Sunday, Jalen Hurts and the upstart Philadelphia Eagles(9-8) will try to go on the road and defeat Tom Brady and the world champion Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Before losing a meaningless game to the Cowboys in Week 18, the second-year quarterback had the Eagles on a four-game winning streak, and after starting 3-6, the Eagles have won six of their final eight games.

In Week 6, Hurts and the Eagles fell to the Buccaneers 28-22 at Lincoln Financial Field. In that game, Philadelphia was down 28-7, but the Eagles trimmed the lead to 28-22 with just under six minutes left, but they could not get the ball back. 

Hurts, who was 12/26 for 115 yards, touchdown, interception and two rushing touchdowns in the regular season matchup against Tampa Bay, won big on the collegiate level, including winning a National Championship at Alabama, but this is the NFL, and he’s playing Brady in the playoffs, so it won’t be easy.

According to Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia will have to play very good football to defeat Tampa Bay.

“It’s going to take everybody’s best effort, but the process remains the same of how we go about our business, right? When it’s about the process when you’re process-driven, and you’re results-aware, then you don’t ride the highs and lows of the season,” Sirianni said on Monday. 

Sirianni expects Hurts to be ready against the Buccaneers when it’s all said and done.

“I know he’s ready for the next game, which just so happens to be a playoff game, and he’s going to prepare the same way he has prepared,” he said. “I know, from the outside, it looks like it’s a bigger game and everything, but to us, we understand the consequences of losing, and when you win – you’re done if you lose, so we understand that.

“But our process remains the same through it all, and I’m confident in our process. I’m confident in [QB] Jalen [Hurts’] process that he’s going to go out and be ready to play in this game.”

On paper, the Buccaneers are the better team, and for the Eagles to defeat Tampa Bay, they will need Hurts to be at his best, and they will need the team to be at their best.

However, no matter what happens, 2021 is a successful season for the Eagles.

Tom Brady, Le’Veon Bell, Rob Gronkowski react to Antonio Brown

It was fun while it lasted, but now it’s over. Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown quit on his team as he ripped off his jersey, waved to the crowd, and left Tampa’s 28-24 victory over the Jets Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

The 33-year-old Brown, who signed with Buccaneers last season, has had his share of issues over the years, including being suspended three games this season for having a fake vaccination card, but he’s talented, and he helped Tampa Bay win a Super Bowl last season. However, on Sunday, he waved goodbye to the fans and maybe his NFL career.

After the Buccaneers'(12-4) comeback win over New York(4-12), head coach Bruce Arians, who cleared COVID protocols to coach Sunday, said AB’s time with the team is over.

“He is no longer a Buc,” Arians said. “That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys that went out there and won the game.”

Tampa Bay got off to a slow start Sunday and trailed for most of the game until Tom Brady, who, according to ESPN Stats & Info, tied Drew Brees for the most game-winning drives(53) of any quarterback since 2000, connected with wideout Cyril Grayson on a 33-yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds left.

Back to Brown, Brady, who lobbied for Brown to be a Buccaneer, asked people to have compassion for the wide receiver.

“I think everybody should hopefully do what they can to help him in ways that he really needs it,” Brady said. “We all love him. We care about him deeply. We want to see him be at his best.”

Le’Veon Bell, who played with Brown in Pittsburgh, has nothing bad to say about his former teammate.

“He’s still one of my close friends,” Bell said. “Like you won’t hear me talking bad about AB at all. Obviously I understand things happen, but he’s one of my closest friends that I’ve been around. Close teammate, overall good person. Obviously, some bad decision-making sometimes but you know, he’s human. He’s not perfect.”

Brown’s refusal to play will cost him a lot of money. According to Spotrac, Brown needed eight  catches to unlock a $333,333 bonus. He also needed 55 receiving yards to unlock another $333,333 bonus. He also needed just one receiving TD to unlock another $333,333 bonus.

No matter how you feel about Brown, this is sad. He clearly has some issues that he has to work through. The hope was that he could work through those issues while playing football, but it’s clear, he may need to step away from the game to get right.

For Buccaneers, their focus is the playoffs, as they hope to repeat. 

Sadly, they will be doing it without Brown.

Watch below as Rob Gronkowski, Bell, and Brady react to Antonio Brown:

 

Loma rolls through Commey; Kambosos next?

Vasiliy Lomachenko has thrown his name into the hat to fight undisputed 135-pound champion George Kambosos Jr. The former three-weight world champion defeated former lightweight champion Richard Commey by unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

The scores — 119-108 2x and 117-110.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 11: Vasiliy Lomachenko (L) and Richard Commey (R) exchange punches during their fight. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Lomachenko, 33,  knocked Commey down with a left hand coming off a clinch in the seventh round. Lomachenko then waved on Commey’s corner to stop the fight, which did not happen, and Commey would survive.

“I saw his situation. It was very hard for him,” Lomachenko said. “That’s why I said, ‘Hey, stop the fight.’ He is a true warrior. He has a big heart, and we continue, and we show {the} people 12 great rounds.”

Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) has now won two fights at lightweight since losing his belts to Teofimo Lopez in October 2020.

 “I said before I don’t like talking about myself,” Loma said. “We have in this weight division; we have a lot of great fighters. We have a lot of top fighters. So we can organize a lot of great fights in the future.”

Many great fights for Loma to make, but he wants belts at 135, so with that in mind, the only fight to make is Kambosos, and based on what we have seen in his last two fights, it’s the fight that many would favor Loma in. 

Anderson impresses at MSG:

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 11: Jared Anderson (R) knocks-down Oleksandr Teslenko. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (11-0, 11 KOs) did not nothing to dispel the notion that he’s the next great American heavyweight. Anderson knocked out Ukrainian puncher Oleksandr Teslenko (17-2, 13 KOs) in the second round, his third consecutive second-round stoppage.

Anderson ended the evening with a right cross-left hook combination that had Teslenko falling face first.

Anderson said, “We came in and wanted to confuse him, so we came out southpaw. I think we did just that. We switched back in the next round, and he didn’t know what was coming, and he ended up on the mat.”

Ali Walsh wins again!

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 11: Nico Ali Walsh (L) and Reyes Sanchez (R) exchange punches (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Nico Ali Walsh, in the building where his grandfather made so many indelible memories, made one of his own. Ali Walsh (3-0, 2 KOs) bested Reyes Sanchez (6-1, 2 KOs) by majority decision (38-38, 39-37 and 40-36) in a four-round middleweight fight. Ali Walsh dominated the first half of the fight, but it was Sanchez who pressed forward in the third and fourth rounds. After two knockouts to start his career, Ali Walsh received a gut check.

Ali Walsh said, “I learned a ton tonight. Obviously, I fought against a well-matched opponent. He was 6-0.
 
“He saw my right hand. Obviously, I saw his as well. He was a very skilled opponent. A lot of guys with three fights don’t fight someone like him. But because my career has been fast tracked due to my name and grandfather, I’m fighting these types of opponents like Reyes Sanchez.

Cavs’ Sexton out for season with torn meniscus

Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton is out for the season with a torn left meniscus, the team announced on Friday night.

The fourth-year guard sustained a season-ending left knee injury earlier this month against the Knicks. According to the Cavs, Sexton underwent successful surgery in Atlanta on Wednesday to repair the meniscus tear.

Before the injury, Sexton, in 11 games, was averaging 16.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per contest.

Sexton, 22, hoped to get an extension this offseason, but the two sides could not agree. He will be a restricted free agent at season’s end. Hopefully, he can fully recover and put himself in a position to get a new contract with Cleveland or elsewhere.

Suns’ Booker on Monty Williams: ‘We’re going to keep playing hard for him and winning basketball games’

Before the Phoenix’s 123-111 win over the Rockets on Thursday night at Footprint Center, a story was released by ESPN that accused Suns owner Robert Sarver of racism and misogynism, which was denied by some members of the Suns organization and Sarver.

After the win, Chris Paul, who had nine points and 13 assists, gave his thoughts on the allegations against Sarver.

“I think for us it’s about controlling what we can control, and that’s hooping, that’s basketball,” Paul said. “That’s what we did today, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

Paul knows firsthand what it’s like to deal with distractions from ownership as he was with the Clippers when Donald Sterling was forced to sell the team after a video surfaced of him making racial remarks, and Paul knows what it takes to work through it.

“It’s important, it’s important to stay focused, stay locked in,” Paul said. “I went through a few situations in my time in the league and the powers that be, they look into it and do their investigations and what not, but I think the biggest thing I’ve learned in all these years is that us, as a team, we got to talk. It’s not about what everyone else is saying or what everyone else is telling you to do, or what you should do. It’s about how we feel as a team, as a unit, coaching staff, everybody within the organization.” 

Devin Booker, who nearly recorded his first double-double of the season on Thursday night, finishing with a game-high 27 points and season-high nine rebounds against Houston, is happy that the Suns have Monty Williams to help them navigate through this situation.

“Perfect person, man. I heard his quotes pregame; he’s the best at that, at managing situations, controlling the room, and keeping people focused forward,” Booker said. “That’s what he’s done with our team. We’ve talked about it as a team, and you can feel everything he said. We’re sticking by him, and we’re going to keep playing hard for him and winning basketball games.”

There could be difficult times ahead for the Suns, but they have a great core group to work through this situation.

Benavidez to face Kyrone Davis after Uzcátegui fails pre-fight drug test

Unbeaten two-time world champion David Benavídez will make his homecoming return to Phoenix, Ariz. against 168-pound contender Kyrone Davis in a 10-round match that headlines live on SHOWTIME Saturday, November 13 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Footprint Center.

Benavídez was originally scheduled to face former world champion Jose Uzcátegui, who was forced to withdraw due to a failed pre-fight drug test.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will feature the much-awaited return of longtime contender José Benavídez, the older brother of David Benavídez, facing Argentina’s Francisco Emanuel Torres in the 10-round super welterweight co-main event

Still just 24-years-old, Benavídez (24-0, 21 KOs) enters this fight having knocked out his last four opponents, including a September 2019 knockout of two-time super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell. Benavídez is trained by his father José Sr., alongside his brother and former title challenger, José Jr. In 2017, he became the youngest super middleweight champion in boxing history by defeating Ronald Gavril on SHOWTIME at just 20 years old. Representing his native Phoenix, and returning to fight there for the first time since 2015 on November 13, Benavídez went from a 15-year-old prodigy sparring with Gennady Golovkin and Peter Quillin, to world title contender with a 10-fight knockout streak from 2015 through 2017, including a highlight-reel knockout of Rogelio Medina with a seven-punch combination that earned him his first title opportunity.

A native of Monmouth, N.J., Davis (16-2-1, 6 KO) most recently won an exciting September clash against Martez McGregor, triumphing by decision after eight action-packed rounds. Davis had previously been impressive against the toughest test of his career, as he fought two-time super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell to a split-draw in February. It was the 26-year-old’s debut at super middleweight, after beginning his career at middleweight. Davis had won five of his six previous outings heading into the Dirrell clash. He is trained by renowned coach Stephen Edwards in Philadelphia, Pa. alongside former unified world champion Julian Williams.

Brady on 6ooth touchdown pass: ‘I just think about all the guys that are sharing it with me’

On Sunday, the Buccaneers defeated the Bears at home 38-3, moving to 6-1 on the season – the team’s best start through seven games in franchise history. Tampa Bay led 21-0 at halftime and 38-3 at the end of the third quarter.

Also, Buccaneers QB Tom Brady achieved another milestone on Sunday. Brady became the first player in NFL history to throw 600 touchdown passes when he connected with Mike Evans on a nine-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

After the game, Brady reflected on touchdown pass number 600.

“I just think about all the guys that are sharing it with me – that’s the reality,” Brady said. “There’s nothing about this sport that you do by yourself – it’s the ultimate team sport. It challenges you physically, mentally, emotionally every week, every day of practice. This I not a sport; you can just go out there and mail it in. It takes 100 percent of what you have every single day to go out there and be successful. I’m just grateful to have amazing teammates, coaches. To be able to do it for as long as I have is really an incredible blessing in my life. I have great family. I’ve got my little baby girl; she’s the biggest cheerleader in the world, and her two brothers, who are great cheerleaders, and mom who was out there today rooting. Great to have the family here and win a football game feels really good.”

Brady is playing at a very high level at age 44, and according to his head coach Bruce Arians, he’s not surprised by what Brady is doing.

“No, because every day he comes to practice looking like he’s 12,” Arians said about Brady. “I’ve played against him for so long. Yeah, the numbers, they’re staggering, and they’ll probably never be broken. I say that but who knows when the next Tom Brady is going to come. They are staggering, but when you watch him practice every single day, you don’t see the age.”

After Evans caught touchdown number 600, he unknowingly gave the ball to a fan. Ultimately, Evans got it back for Brady, which the seven-time Super Bowl winner appreciated.

“That was really cool,” Brady said. “I’ve got it in the bag over there – Mike Evans gave it away and said, ‘I’m sorry man, I’ll get it.’ I said it’s alright. I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to get it back. I don’t actually keep too many things, though, in that circumstance, I just felt like that might be a good one to keep.”

After seven games, Brady leads the league in passing yards(2,275) and touchdown passes(21), so what he’s doing is impressive, but are we really surprised?

Suns’ Booker on Chris Paul: ‘I was a fan before we were teammates’

Phoenix Suns legendary point guard Chris Paul made history in the team’s 115-105 victory over the Lakers at Staples Center on Friday night. 

Coming into the game against the Lakers, Paul needed seven points to become the first player in NBA history to amass 20,000 points and 10,000 assists. The 11-time All-Star, who was also named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team this week, hit the milestone with a free throw in the second quarter.

Paul, who finished Friday’s game with 23 points, 14 assists, and five rebounds, was clutching the game ball at the post game press conference after Phoenix’s first victory of the season.

“When you get done playing this game,” Paul said. “Sometimes, you want to have things(game ball) to remember things. I’m going to keep this for sure.”

‘The first player ever,” Suns’ Devin Booker interjected. “That’s the crazy part about it… It’s inspiring, and I tell him daily, I was a fan before we were teammates, so I give him his flowers daily, and he deserves that. I think a lot of people wait until somebody retires or wait until their career is over to tell them certain type things. I get to say that often to him; that’s inspiring.”

The closest players to the 20,000 points and 10,000 assists mark were John Stockton(289 points short), Oscar Robertson(113 assists short), and Gary Payton(1034 assists short). Among active players, LeBron James(294 assists short) could get there this season, and Russell Westbrook(1926 assists short) may get there soon.

Paul is a fantastic player and arguably one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. At age 36, he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Phoenix travels to Portland to battle the Trailblazers on Saturday night.

Watch below as Paul and Booker react to Paul’s record and the team’s first victory of the season:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jags’ Wright named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

Jacksonville Jaguars K Matthew Wright has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, the league announced today.  

Wright is the 12th player in franchise history to win AFC Special Teams Player of the Week and the first to do so since 2019.

In the Jaguars’ Week 6 victory against the Dolphins in London, the 25-year-old Wright connected on both of his extra point attempts and all three of his field goal attempts from 40, 54 and 53 yards in his sixth career game.

With 3:40 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Jaguars trailing by three, Wright drilled a career-long, 54-yard field goal to knot the game at 20. Wright followed with a game-winning, 53-yard field goal as time expired to become the first kicker in NFL history to make multiple field goals of 50-plus yards in the last 4 minutes of the fourth quarter in a single game. 

In addition, he became the first kicker in franchise history to connect on two-50-plus yard field goals in the fourth quarter of a single game.  

Because of Wright’s performance on Sunday, Jacksonville released K Josh Lambo on Tuesday. The 30-year-old Lambo has been with the Jaguars since 2017.

WIlder on fight with Fury: ‘I’m wearing my red outfit because I want it back in blood’

WBC and lineal heavyweight world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and former heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder previewed their highly anticipated heavyweight title trilogy showdown at the final press conference Wednesday before they step in the ring this Saturday, October 9 live on ESPN+ PPV and FOX Sports PPV from T-Mobile Arena. 

Face to face for the first time since originally announcing the trilogy showdown in June, Fury and Wilder exchanged words during the heated press conference, rehashing the numerous dramatic twists and turns that have made up their rivalry, while promising to end their feud in the ring on Saturday.  

Here is what Fury and Wilder had to say on Wednesday:

TYSON FURY

“I’ve just been training and taking it day by day. All we can do is live one day at a time. Every day that we wake up is a blessed day. 

“All these fights are exactly the same to me. Some guy is trying to take my head off. No matter who it may be, they don’t matter to me. It’s the Tyson Fury road show and it has continued for 13 years.  

“Wilder is a weak person mentally and I’m going to knock him out on Saturday night. I obliterated him in the rematch and I see much more of the same in the third fight.  

“I’m the last man standing between me, Deontay and Anthony Joshua. I’m the last one undefeated. I’m the two-time heavyweight champion and I’ve never lost a fight. That’s history. 

“Me and Sugarhill go back to like 2010 in Detroit. We have a great bond going. To have any successful relationship, you have to have good communication. We’ve got that. We just gel together. 

“It’s not easy for me to pick a trainer because I’m outspoken and do outlandish things. I have to have someone on the same wavelength to match that and I’ve definitely found a match with Sugarhill.  

“He says he wants to do bad things to me and that he’s got all this anger and aggression. Those who hold hot coals with aggression are the ones who get burned. He knows he’s lost twice and that he’s going to lose the third time.  

“He’s in denial and he’s getting knocked out. His legacy is in bits. I knocked him out and now I’m going to retire him.” 

 

DEONTAY WILDER:

“I don’t have anything to prove. I’m in a great place and in a great state of mind. I have a lot of great people around me. This fight is about redemption, retaliation and retribution. 

“We’ve been going from day one since the last fight. There’s been no stop. The delays have been beneficial for us. One thing about this camp, is that I’ve had all of my brothers around me who’ve been with me from the start. 

“Many people thought I was down and out, but it wouldn’t be fair to the people around me to feel that way. My dedication has been focused every day.  

“Over training is a real thing and we’ve been able to take small breaks at certain times before getting back at it. Everything has been good and timed out perfectly. 

“Saturday night is going to be a different fight. It’s rare that we get trilogies like this and I truly believe this one is going down in history.  

“It’s only made me better as a man and as a fighter to see certain things that happened in the second fight. It’s made me even hungrier than before. I needed everything that happened in that fight. It was really a blessing in disguise. 

“I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Your legacy only dies when the desire for the sport dies. I’m well alive right now.  

“My energy is like my mind, it’s very violent. I’m just ready to go October 9. I’ve dedicated myself and devoted my time and my body, me and my team, to reinventing myself. I’m ready to reintroduce myself to the world.  

“Get ready for war. This is going to be an amazing fight on Saturday night. I’m wearing my red outfit because I want it back in blood. I’m looking forward to it.” 

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions