I have so many great relationships up there over the years

One thing the two pitchers had in common, Boras said, was an extensive postseason workload. Verlander logged almost 50 playoff and World Series innings from 2011-12, while Arrieta threw more than 40 postseason innings during the 2015-16 seasons.

“When you have two years of postseason performances, what happens the third year?” Boras said. “You’re going to have a period where there’s a lull in performance because of what happened the two prior years. It’s the championship season hangover. It has nothing to do with the pitcher.”

Earlier this week, McDaniels had said, “It’s a very competitive game and emotional game, and things like that can happen. Being in the game a long time, and understanding that Tommy’s a very emotional person and emotional player, it’s part of what makes him great. You understand that those things happen, and it’s never personal. You move on quickly from it, and we did, and we have. I love Tom, and all those things he stands for and all the things he does for our team. That’s just a situation where you understand it and move on quickly from it, and you focus on your job.”

Former Tennessee coaches and players have reportedly been linked to the opening, including current Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who shot down a false report he was interested in the job.

“The University of Tennessee is my alma mater. It’s a storied program, it’s a proud program.” Witten said Monday, via the Cowboys website. “For me, certainly coaching is something I can see myself down the road, having one of those opportunities. But right now I’m all in with this team and my feet are planted firmly here with this opportunity that I have in 2017 — getting it right this week.”

Witten, who played for the Vols from 2000 to 2002, says he has spoken with Tennessee athletics director John Currie throughout the coaching search, but has no intention of cutting off his Pro Football Hall of Fame career mid-season.
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Sabres aim to build on positives vs. Senators

The Sabres were much better in a recent three-game road swing following their worst stretch of the season, although there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

Buffalo will look to carry its momentum into a home game on Tuesday night against another team that has had trouble finding wins this season, the Ottawa Senators.

The Sabres (7-17-6) had lost 11 of 12 games heading into their recent road trip, with a stretch that ended with back-to-back losses to the Pittsburgh Penguins by a combined score of 9-1. But the Sabres went on the road and posted a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche before picking up points in back-to-back 3-2 overtime losses to Chicago and St. Louis.

Those performances have the Sabres feeling better — but not great — about their recent upswing.

Lehner was a big reason for Buffalo’s improved play. He stopped 35 of 37 shots in the win over Colorado and had two of his best efforts of the season in the overtime losses to Chicago (48 saves) and St. Louis (42 saves). In 23 games, Lehner has a save percentage of .910 on the season.

“He’s a battler,” Sabres head coach Phil Housley said about Lehner, according to the team’s website. “He competes really hard, especially on the second opportunities. But I think initially he’s just letting the puck hit him. He’s a big guy, he’s playing his angles really well and he’s tight. Sometimes his reaction to some of the shots that are coming off him, he’s just fighting and battling to get the puck. It’s great to see.”

The Senators (9-12-7) are right where the Sabres were a few games earlier. The Senators have lost 11 of their previous 12 games, with their lone win coming in a 6-5 victory over the New York Islanders on Dec. 1.

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North Texas’ offense, Troy’s defense square off in New Orleans Bowl

Troy and North Texas, two former Sun Belt Conference foes with close ties on their coaching staffs, face each other Saturday in the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Jimmy Vesey, Jesper Fast and Kevin Hayes also scored for the Rangers, who are 15-6-0 — including 11-2-0 at Madison Square Garden — after opening the season with one win in eight games (1-5-2).

See, in reality Ngakoue never had any intention of trying an edge rush. Instead, he was setting Drango’s ass up for a TEX game the whole time.

While Ngakoue was doing a great job selling a speed rush, Campbell was doing some acting of his own. Campbell initially went right at Bitonio as if he was going to bull rush him, but at the last minute Campbell shot a rip move under Bitonio’s outside arm and changed course to go right at Drango’s inside shoulder. Campbell blasted Drango and knocked him wide. Bitonio was still locked on trying to block Campbell’s rip move, so Bitonio never even saw Ngakoue looping inside to the A gap until it was already too late.

Rodrigues scored on a power play early in the third. Rodrigues was left unmarked at the side of the net when an Evander Kane pass deflected off of Sam Reinhart directly to his tape.

Rodrigues tied the game moments after the Sabres pulled Lehner for an extra attacker, putting home a rebound off a slap shot by Marco Scandella with 1:27 left.

Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves for Winnipeg.

Markstrom stopped 19 shots for Vancouver (14-13-4).

“They had three guys up on the forecheck,” Markstrom said of Perreault’s second goal. “I don’t know how, but it was a poor decision by me and I wasn’t good today and I take full responsibility.”

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Pistons bid to snap six-game skid, host Nuggets

Coach Stan Van Gundy admits his Detroit Pistons desperately need a confidence boost.

Yates, who hadn’t appeared in a game since Nov. 16, 2015, was signed last month after Deshaun Watson went out with a knee injury. Houston went up 16-13 when Hopkins grabbed a 29-yard touchdown reception on the Texans’ first drive of the second half.

The Ravens’ offense stalled at midfield again, but John Harbaugh whipped out a fake punt that worked perfectly. Truly an elite throw by Sam Koch.

Houston punted again, with the offense grinding to a halt after a promising opening drive.

The Bulls are now 3-0 since Mirotic’s return last Friday against the Charlotte Hornets. They were 3-20 previously.

DeMarcus Cousins received a technical foul in the second quarter when he shoved Trevor Ariza away from him with two hands after Ariza fouled him. Ariza yelled at Cousins after the push and Chris Paul and Harden pulled him away as he walked toward him before order was restored.

Pelicans: New Orleans set a season-high with 74 first-half points. … Holiday has scored 30 or more points in two straight games. … Cousins had 24 points and 14 rebounds.

Rockets: Harden’s 14 assists in the first half tied a franchise record for assists in a half. Harden also did it last year and John Lucas did it on Oct. 27, 1977. … Paul finished with 20 points.mariners_002

The New Mexico Bowl offers an opportunity to close 2017 on a high note.

“It was tough, it feels like we played two games, but `Spo’ (Spoelstra) did a great job rotating so we could stay fresh,” Dragic said.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the Nets with 18 points. Coming off a 100-95 victory over Oklahoma City on Thursday night in the Mexico City opener, the Nets dropped to 10-15.

Warriors: Durant passed John Stockton (19,711 points) for 44th place on the NBA career scoring list. … Andre Iguodala played his 1,000th regular-season game, becoming one of 126 players in NBA history to accomplish the feat. … Second-year guard Patrick McCaw returned after missing two games with a concussion and bruised nose. … Curry rode a stationary bike during the morning shootaround. Pachulia took some one-handed shots during warmups. … Golden State committed five first-quarter turnovers and 14 in all.

“Making five 3s helps,” Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen cracked. “It’s really good to have him back.”

“It’s been a difficult last three weeks, but our guys responded and came out and finished the way that I wanted to in the regular season,” coach Mike Bobo said in his postgame press conference following the win.

And while the Thundering Herd and Rams followed similar paths to this game, their recent results in the postseason have been polar opposites.

Marshall is 5-0 in bowl games since 2009. The Herd missed the 2016 postseason, but Saturday’s contest marks a chance for the outgoing seniors to finish their careers at 3-0 in bowls.royals_040

Eli Manning: ‘It’s not the style of offense I’m used to playing’

The Giants struggled once again on offense Thursday night against the Redskins, scoring only three offensive points in a 20-10 loss, and quarterback Eli Manning is understandably frustrated.

The veteran completed 13 of 27 passes for 113 yards and threw an interception in the loss. Manning told reporters Friday he’s not used to such a run-oriented offense. New York rushed the ball 24 times for 84 yards.

“It just comes down to everybody being that much more focused,” Manning said. “It’s been a tough year, and with five games left this is about your pride … we’ve got to find a way to come together and find ways to excel our play and win some football games.”

Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals, neck: Peterson missed the Week 13 game with a neck injury after not practicing all week. The team has not offered anything in the way of specifics, but Peterson was still not practicing throughout this week. In fact, coach Bruce Arians indicated that Peterson had not been medically cleared to return to practice and there is no timetable for his return.

The Jaguars — in conjunction with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the stadium’s management company, and the stadium’s security company — have determined there were four individuals who threw objects at Jefferson and are in the process of identifying them.

The team says that if the individuals in question are season-ticket holders, they will immediately have their season ticket member privileges revoked indefinitely. If they purchased single-game tickets they will be banned from attending Jaguars games at EverBank Field, the team said.panthers_056

Chargers felt ‘disrespected’ by Bills’ decision to start rookie Nathan Peterman

The Detroit Red came into the 2015 with a nice problem to have.Confidence is key Bouye started twice and played 15 for the AFC South champions last .As teams across the league continue to shop around hopes of either adding or subtracting big-name players, here is a look at some of the top assets who are rumored to be available on the trade market.If we can make them play their own end, that’s something nobody likes.

And that was it for the Packers. What started with a missed 57-yarder for the Packers ended on a made 53-yarder for the Steelers. Those four plays gave the Steelers a win.

Michael Vick was once the most exciting player in the NFL, a four-time Pro Bowler, and had six season with at least 589 rushing yards or more. Give me him over anybody Elway has drafted.

I mean, come on. Wilson’s got one Super Bowl under his belt, and could have two if they handed the ball off, but that’s neither here nor there. He came into Week 11 with the second-most passing yards in the NFL. Give me him, too.

Todd Helton played some quarterback at Tennessee. While he didn’t get any starts, that man hit 369 career home runs. You can trust a man who hit 369 career home runs. He can’t be much worse than Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, or any of the other quarterbacks Elway’s picked.

Regards, Dan McG ANSWER: The 1979 draft stands alone for a variety of reasons, and can’t really be compared to other drafts since the rules were unique to it.With enough payroll still invested Albert Pujols and Trout, it sounds like being gone be beneficial for the ball club.

Hundley on his approach to the draft process: I think it’s always been about showing what I can do for these teams and who Jerseys For Cheap I am personally.He had one of his biggest as a Patriot on Oct.Indications are Caboclo never would’ve made it to 37, Raps wise to gamble if they like him that much.He then followed this up by joining the Canadian team again, this time finally bringing home the gold medal front of a crazy Canadian crowd Toronto.A native of Croatia, Saric produces sentence structures English that are often awkward.orioles_024

Josh Gordon looked great in his return game for the Browns

Three years away from football is supposed to leave you with some rust to shake off, but apparently that isn’t the case for Josh Gordon. In the Cleveland Browns wide receiver’s first game back from a lengthy suspension, he’s found plenty of success.

Every year, it’s the Lions and the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Detroit’s tradition goes back a little further, but Dallas has been more successful.

Entering game No. 50, the Cowboys have a 30-18-1 record all-time on the holiday and can improve a winning percentage that is already tops among the teams that have played at least 10 times on Thanksgiving.

Cohen fielded the punt at the 39-yard line. He ended up all the way back at the 24-yard line before he finally made his way up field, torching the 49ers for a touchdown.

Cohen’s a rookie that the Bears selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft. Runs like this one are why he’s earned the nickname “The Human Joystick.”

While that touchdown was officially 61 yards, he ran more than double that on the play:

He also did something for the Bears that hadn’t been done in a long, long time. The person that did it was pretty dang good, too:

He told SB Nation at the NFL Combine that he felt his biggest strengths were his vision, and “the fact that I can make a play with the ball without getting like 20 carries a game.”

This was one touch, and it certainly made an impact on the game.dodgers_047

Deion Sanders goes low on Tony Romo after crack about avoiding contact

Deion Sanders delivered one of his biggest hits on a quarterback Sunday from the comfort of a Los Angeles studio.

The Wings opened the scoring on the power play 7:25 into the game. Henrik Zetterberg passed quickly across to Tatar at the right faceoff dot and his one-timer beat Cam Talbot high on the glove side.

The Oilers pulled even one minute later. Nurse’s wrist shot from the point sailed through a sea of bodies and past a screened Jimmy Howard in the Detroit goal.

Those are the things that he’s able to share, so when he gets out there in the football game, it’s what he does. It’s another day at the office for him, and that’s kind of what we’ve seen. This is what he does, and he’s a true professional.”

The Jaguars will be without left guard Patrick Omameh and right tackle Jermey Parnell against the Browns on Sunday. The team also activated receiver Dede Westbrook and safety Calvin Pryor III from injured reserve on Saturday.

Fournette was held out of practice Friday to give him extra rest and treatment after being limited Wednesday and Thursday.

Fournette missed two games — one for a violation of team rules — after he first injured the ankle against the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 15. He suffered another injury to the ankle in the second half of last Sunday’s victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Fournette said Thursday that he was going to have to deal with this ankle injury for the rest of the season. He also said he wasn’t looking forward to playing in the wintry conditions that are expected in Cleveland.nike_bears-404