I do think he’s made strides in terms of his defensive discipline.

Lippett started five games at cornerback in 2011 then returned as the starter for the final three games of his Michigan State career.

“I’ve been playing wide receiver my whole life. My strengths include attacking the ball, and, I mean, I probably have strengths as a corner, too, but I haven’t played corner like that,” he conceded.

While he’s played receiver since youth football, Lippett started five games at cornerback in 2011 then returned as the starter for the final three games of his Michigan State career.

“Early on,” he said, “We had three or four senior wide receivers my freshman year. I played safety in high school, and Coach D (Dantonio) knew that. Coach D is a defensive back guy, so he moved me over there, and I just started to try to embrace the position. Try to learn the technique. Try to feel out my role as best that I could. So, I started to play it my freshman year, then it opened up again my senior year, the last three games. So I just tried to take it all in, have fun out there.”

As for McGee, I do think he’s made strides in terms of his defensive discipline. I’m skeptical of him as more than a fill-in starter, but I think the Warriors can reasonably enter the playoffs with him as the backup. If McGee struggles, coach Steve Kerr has the luxury of going smaller and sliding David West over to the middle, and naturally I’d expect more minutes from Draymond Green in the middle come the postseason. So I think Golden State is in fine shape at center.

What does Jabari Parker’s second ACL tear mean for his future, the Bucks’ long-term plans and the East playoff race? Kevin Pelton evaluates the impact.

Atlanta (Paul Millsap), Milwaukee (consider Giannis Antetokounmpo a 4 for these purposes), Minnesota (same with Karl-Anthony Towns), New Orleans (Anthony Davis) and Sacramento (DeMarcus Cousins) score well in the first category.

Jaguars add former Colts first-round bust Bjoern Werner

As for what the SEALs themselves took away from the four days: “I wouldn’t bet against the Falcons this year, these guys got it,” Bill Golden, an APG trainer and Special Operations Forces veteran said.

Don’t panic though, Patriots fans, Brady is still getting plenty of sleep: He goes to bed at 8:30 p.m.

“I don’t go to bed at 1 a.m. and wake up at 5 a.m. and say, ‘Let’s see if I can get this done today,'” Brady told ABC News in an interview this week. “Because my career is so important, I think I make a lot of, I wouldn’t call them sacrifices, but just concessions for my job. I love what I do and I want to do it for a long time.”

Ultimately Favre postponed his return.

“It was a tremendous honor to play 16 years for the Green Bay Packers,” Favre wrote Monday. “Now to have my name placed among others such as Starr, Hornung, Kramer, Taylor, Lambeau, Nitschke, Lombardi, Davis, White and Hutson is a special honor that I share with all of my teammates and coaches, and that would not have been possible but for the foresight of Ron Wolf, the greatest GM In the history of the NFL.

“I’m truly looking forward to celebrating and sharing this special moment with all of the great fans of the Green Bay Packers.”

The idea of Favre getting booed at this point is flat-out crazy. Him playing for the Vikings can be considered a betrayal of sorts, but he did some REALLY great things for the Packers.

Wanting to extend his career shouldn’t result in a decade-long streak of hatred. Packers fans have probably gotten over at this point, which means Favre should be staring down a warm welcome when he returns to Lambeau next season.

Larry Fitzgerald fulfills a promise to his mother by graduating from college

Back in 2003, when he was still a wide receiver for the University of Pittsburgh, Arizona Cardinals star wideout Larry Fitzgerald made a promise to his dying mother that, eventually, he would graduate from college. On Saturday, Fitzgerald fulfilled that promise, graduating from the University of Phoenix with a major in communications and a minor in marketing.

Carol Fitzgerald passed away in 2003 from a brain hemorrhage suffered during a bout with breast cancer, but before she passed, she told her son, “Education is one thing nobody can ever take from you. I know you have a passion to play ball, but education is something you can carry for the rest of your life.”

Fitzgerald took that to heart, and throughout the last 13 years has continued taking classes so he could keep his promise to his mother. “I wanted to make sure I was doing what I promised her I’d do,” Fitzgerald said.

Congrats go out to Larry and the Fitzgerald family. Good for him for keeping up the work all these years so he didn’t let his mother down. Hopefully, she’s proudly smiling down on him.

New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty played his college ball at Baylor. Like many players that plied their trade for the Bears under Art Briles, he was criticized during the draft process for having played in a spread offense. Because of that, it would take him some time to adjust to the NFL, where he’d actually have to read defenses.

Petty spent his rookie season sitting/learning behind Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith. During the year-plus since he was drafted, Petty has apparently made a great deal of progress. How much?

“For me, where I was when they drafted me last year to where I am now, it’s night-and-day difference,” Petty told NJ.com. “For me, it’s a process. Just watching film, I’m seeing things. I played Madden the other day, and it’s not just picking run plays anymore. It’s like, ‘Oh, they’ve got an under front (on defense).’ You start picking up things differently. That’s exciting for me.”

In Jacksonville, the 2012 ACC Defensive Player of the Year is expected to compete against 2016 third-round pick Yannick Ngakoue for playing time as a pass-rusher in the Jags’ 3-4 defense

Chip Kelly has ‘no idea’ who will be 49ers’ QB but loves Gabbert’s athleticism

Kelly isn’t in any hurry to tip his hand but he does seem intrigued by Gabbert’s potential.

“He’s extremely athletic,” Kelly said of Gabbert. “It’s interesting, the three of them, if you look at Driskel, Blaine and Kap, they’re all 6-4 plus, and all can run. All of them are at 4.6 (seconds in the 40-yard dash) or under 4.6, which is kind of rare to have three guys that can kind of do the same thing. But it’s beneficial to you.

“The one thing that jumped out right away was how athletic Blaine is. I didn’t see, we did not play against him while I was in Philly, so this is really my first exposure to him. His athleticism is the first thing that jumped out at me.”

We’ll have wait to see if that translates into a starting job — and more importantly, wins — in San Francisco. The good news is that Kelly was ridiculously successful in his first year with the Eagles, where Nick Foles (!) threw 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions. The bad news is that things went sideways quickly and Kelly didn’t make it through his third year in Philly.

Now that the NFL Draft is over, dynasty leagues are moving forward with their rookie-only drafts. With that in mind, we held a three-round mock draft for you to use as a guide.

We drafted these players based on talent and not need since this mock draft was not for a real dynasty league that already has established rosters. That could change things for several guys moving up or down a few spots, but like any mock draft it will never mirror what actually happens in your league. We also drafted based on a standard-scoring system.

Marshall was the No. 3 Fantasy receiver in standard leagues with 109 catches for 1,509 yards and 14 touchdowns, and Decker was the No. 10 receiver with 80 catches for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns. If Fitzpatrick is back, then you should expect quality production again from both guys. But without Fitzpatrick, I’d be leery of drafting both receivers in prominent spots with Hackenberg or Smith as the starter.

With Fitzpatrick, you should draft Marshall as a low-end No. 1 receiver in Round 2 in all leagues. Without Fitzpatrick, he gets downgraded to a No. 2 receiver, and he could slip to Round 3.

If the Fertittas were to make a run at buying a piece of the Raiders, it’s a move that several other NFL owners might find encouraging. According to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been trying to get Mark Davis to sell his controlling interest in the the Raiders for years.

Apparently, Jones feels that Davis “is incapable of maximizing revenues and the brand, creating value for the team and league, improving the league or advancing its goals or agenda in general.”

Basically, Jones seems to think that Davis has no business acumen.

Although White’s been shooting down rumors all week, he didn’t exactly shoot that one down when Rome asked him on Friday if the brothers would be interested in buying an NFL team.

“It is 100 percent a fact they are hardcore football fans, and I promise you one day the Fertitta brothers will own an NFL football team, no doubt about it,” White said.

MLB announces suspensions for the players involved in the Bautista-Odor fight

Thanks to his trademark pink-dyed dreadlocks, it’s almost impossible to forget about DeAngelo Williams’ battle. The Steelers running back also does plenty in the community to remind the world about his crusade against breast cancer.

This weekend will be another example, with the former Carolina Panthers star returning to Charlotte and offering up free mammograms to women.

From the Charlotte Observer:

Williams, through his foundation and the Charlotte Knights, will host an event Saturday providing mammography screenings for low-income, under-insured or uninsured women in the area.

But if it ever comes to that, the NFL won’t make history. Another national football organization already beat them to it. On Thursday, Pop Warner became the first national football organization to ban kickoffs.

The largest youth football organization in the country announced the change on Thursday. In its announcement, Pop Warner wrote that the rule is “aimed at significantly reducing the amount of full-speed, head-on impact in games.”

“We are constantly working to make the game safer and better for our young athletes, and we think this move is an important step in that direction,” said Jon Butler, Pop Warner’s executive director, via the organization’s website. “Eliminating kickoffs at this level adds another layer of safety without changing the nature of this great game. We are excited to look at the results at the end of the year as we explore additional measures.”

No. 2, let’s remember that Cromartie had a vasectomy in 2013. And now he’s the new father of twins.

That’s not how a vasectomy is supposed to work. There’s apparently a less than one-percent chance of getting pregnant after the operation.

“I didn’t even tell Antonio right away because I didn’t think it was possible,” Terricka told US Weekly in January. “I was going back and forth in my head how it could even happen. In my head we were good to go, we were having free sex. I just really thought that his procedure was the best protection you could have at this point.”

Montana then explained that Kaepernick’s biggest problem could come with his offensive line.

“With your offensive line, when there’s problems, you have to be able to talk to those guys and figure it out while you’re out on the field and when you have a guy who doesn’t really want to be there, you don’t know whether to put yourself behind him or not,” Montana said. “And you want to believe in him, but if he doesn’t want to be there then — I’m sure they did everything they could to try and get him to some place he’d be happy because it would be best for both teams.”

Sam Bradford returns to work, says he’s committed to the Eagles

More good news: He’s going to make a ton of money, regardless if he wins the starting gig. It’s really not too hard to be “committed” to someone when that someone is paying you $22 million for your commitment.

First base options: Brandon Belt, Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Adrian Gonzalez, Anthony Rizzo, Joey Votto

First base pick: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

The anchor for baseball’s best team is “only” hitting .274, but he sports a gaudy .419 OBP and .605 slugging with 10 homers and 29 RBI. There are other good options, but no great ones after Rizzo this season.

Second base options: Josh Harrison, D.J. LeMahieu, Daniel Murphy, Jean Segura, Chase Utley, Neil Walker, Ben Zobrist

Second base pick: Daniel Murphy, Nationals

When the Ravens drafted Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds this past weekend, they knew they were taking a gamble on a developmental prospect who is likely to change positions at the next level. They also knew that Reynold’s future in the NFL could be impacted by his requirement to serve in the Navy for five years.

The Ravens just needed to look at the Patriots to see how that five-year requirement can impact a player. A year ago, the Patriots drafted Navy long snapper Joe Cardona, who was able to play last season while simultaneously satisfying his Naval requirement. Unfortunately for the Patriots, that might change this year and beyond.

— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 6, 2016
Amendola was previously scheduled to count $6.8 million against the cap in 2016, per ESPN.

“It’s an honor to play for this franchise and with this group of guys,” Amendola told Garafolo in a statement. “We have one goal — to win another championship and that’s all we care about.”

While the Patriots didn’t outright confirm the news, they did write an article about Garofalo’s report on their own website, which is either their way of confirming it or they’re really doing their best to mislead us. Never rule out anything when it comes to Bill Belichick.

In all seriousness, retaining Amendola at their price is a big-time move for the Patriots. Amendola proved to be especially valuable last season when Julian Edelman missed a chunk of games. In 14 games, Amendola brought down 65 passes for 648 yards and three touchdowns.

He might not be Brady’s top option, but he’s a dependable third or fourth target behind Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, and a solid returner. With the addition of Martellus Bennett, who gives the team a scary tight end combination, the Patriots shouldn’t see a decline in their offensive production — well, after Brady is done serving his Deflategate suspension.

1. New York Jets

It’s kind of difficult not to start here.

Geno Smith would be the guy to start if they had to play a game tomorrow, and he’s also the most likely guy to be gone the moment Ryan Fitzpatrick comes to his senses and signs a contract. But even if Fitzpatrick signs, the Jets have made it clear they won’t do a long-term deal with big guaranteed money.

They’re hedging their bets, considerably.

Starting Christian Hackenberg in Week 1 would be perilous, though the second-rounder might well be their guy for 2017. Regardless, it’s impossible to take glance at a quarterback window one year out from now and not start here.
geno-smith-ryan-fitzpatrick.jpg

Geno Smith, not Ryan Fitzpatrick, would be the guy to start if the Jets had to play a game tomorrow.

Bears WR coach: Kevin White reminds me of Andre Johnson

“They’re both big and physical and fast. That doesn’t all go together sometimes. But when you see a big guy who is physical, fast and athletic, you just wonder how good this guy can really be?”

White led West Virginia in receiving with 109 catches for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014, his final collegiate season.

That caught Johnson’s attention. The veteran has spent a combined 15 years coaching the receiver position at the University of Miami (1996-2005) and for the New Orleans Saints (2006-11). Johnson was head coach at Tulane the past four years before Bears coach John Fox hired him to replace Mike Groh.

“[White] has hands similar to Reggie Wayne,” Johnson said of Chicago’s top 2015 draft pick, who missed all of last season after suffering a stress fracture in his left shin. “So he was one of those guys where when you looked at the draft and watched television, you say this guy is going to be a bona fide player.”

The captains were voted on. The teams were selected. And the sweaters have been unveiled.

Both the black and white version of this year’s jersey features the NHL logo highlighted in Nashville Predators’ gold, as an acknowledgment of the host city. The three stars at the neck are a tribute to the Tennessee state flag and the All-Stars, according to the NHL.

The names and numbers on the sweaters will be a modern interpretation of traditional country music poster lettering, the league said in a release.

The All-Star Game will be played at Bridgestone Arena on Jan. 31. The skills competition is Jan. 30.

The bad news is that they all share a common flaw: Adidas has put its signature triple-stripe design on the sides of each jersey, making the countries feel like they’re all playing for Team Adidas and chipping away at their individual identities. Let’s hope Adidas doesn’t do this when it takes over the NHL’s uniform contract for the 2017-18 season.

There’s one other frustration, at least for now: Adidas and the NHL have so far released only the jersey designs — not the full uniforms. Obviously, a jersey is the most important component of a uniform, but it’s hard to assess a jersey without seeing how it works with the uniform’s pants, socks and helmet. Here’s hoping we get to see the rest of these elements soon.

The Buffalo Bills will retire Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith’s No. 78 during halftime of their home opener Sept. 15 against the New York Jets.

Smith will join quarterback Jim Kelly, whose No. 12 was retired in 2001, as the only Bills players whose jersey numbers have been officially retired by the team.

This Is The 6,000-Pound Fish Tank Jimmy Butler Wanted in His River North Mansion

The two initially offered up a basketball-themed tank, which Butler immediately put the kibosh on.

“Terrible idea!” Butler said. “Terrible! The basketball idea is not the right idea for this situation.”

He went on to push them in the music direction, saying, “I’m a really big music guy.” What might be unexpected to some is that the Bulls star is big into country music.

Butler’s reaction to his new massive old-school boom box tank, which they surprised him with on his way back from Bulls practice, was nothing short of amazement.

“OH! This is beautiful man!” Butler said. “This is better than I could have ever imagined … This is big time.”

The team even put 50 fish inside the tank in honor of the Chicago Bulls’ 50th anniversary.

The full “Tanked” episode airs on Animal Planet Friday, Nov. 13 at 9 p.m. CT.

Back in July, Butler reportedly signed a $90 million, 5-year-contract to stay with the team.

NFL quarterback Michael Vick got the celebrity treatment as he visited the state Capitol on Tuesday to lobby for a bill to help protect cats and dogs from being left in unattended vehicles.

The bill would shield first responders from liability for any property damage they cause when rescuing animals from unattended cars and trucks in extreme heat that endangers their health and well-being. Leaving a cat or dog in an unattended vehicle under such conditions would be summary offense under the bill.

“I hydroplane, slam into the median, get blasted in the face by the air bags,” said Weatherford, whose face was bruised in the crash. “My rental is totaled and I walked out without a scratch.”

Merullo later scouted for the Cubs. His grandson, Matt Merullo, played six years in the majors, mostly with the Chicago White Sox.

“While I have experienced many joys as owner of this great franchise, one of the most memorable was meeting Lennie last season,” Ricketts said.

“When the Cubs last appeared in a World Series in 1945, Lennie was a 28-year-old shortstop. Nearly 70 years later, he brought the same youthful spirit and excitement,” he said. “To his family, friends and loved ones, our organization will never forget him.”

Spadaro: Eagles ‘Typically Do Not Order Jerseys’ For Players On One-Year Deals

They were so impressed with Harbaugh’s hardwood skills, Adidas has made him his own Kansas jersey.

Unfortunately there’s a zero percent chance Harbaugh wears this.

But what if you want to rep the jersey of new Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford? Well, those you have to purchase online. Bradford jersey’s are not available at those Eagles Pro Shops.

Why?

“With Bradford, as well as somebody like Walter Thurmond, one year contracts. Typically, the Eagles have not ordered jerseys,”Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro explained Wednesday afternoon on the 94WIP Innes And Bruno Show. “You contact Nike with a minimum order, of whatever it is—a couple of hundred jerseys—and they will see if they can make the jerseys.”

Bradford is the starting quarterback, though. Not a fringe-starting cornerback, like Thurmond.

The aforementioned conspiracy is, of course, the Marcus Mariota theory. Many have speculated that Chip Kelly will find a way to acquire his former college quarterback in the NFL draft some way, some how.

“I would have a pretty good sense of what’s happening,” Spadaro said. “When I found out about Nick Foles…I was floored, stunned, shocked. I certainly would know before Fanatics or the Pro Shop would know.

“If Marcus Mariota drops, by some crazy full-moon scenario and he’s there at [No.] 15 then you think about it,” he continued. “But the expectation, fully, among people in the NFL is that Marcus Mariota will be a top one-to-six pick and in that case the Eagles will not attempt to move up.”

On Wednesday night Jim Harbaugh rocked the highlight-show world by stepping onto the court with the Kansas Jayhawks and tossing down a halfcourt shot.