- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – So here are some of the options when Matthew Stafford, who's merely thrown for 90 touchdowns and nearly 15,000 yards over the last three seasons, takes a snap here at Detroit Lions training camp.
He can look to his best guy, or anyone's best guy, in Calvin Johnson, a 6-foot-5 target that caught 12 TDs in just 14 games last year, which was great, unless you compare to the 16 he hauled in 2011.
He can skip that and go to his newest guy, a true No. 2 receiver in the freakishly strong Golden Tate, who snagged 64 passes for Seattle last year. "He catches everything," Stafford marveled later. Every pass that way, draws attention away from Megatron.
"When Golden starts doing what he does," Johnson told reporters earlier this week, "they can't double both of us."
They also can't cover everyone underneath, which is why Stafford can always target one of his oversized tight ends, 6-5 Brandon Pettigrew, who caught 83 passes a couple years back, or 6-4 Eric Ebron, a gifted athlete and first-round draft pick out of North Carolina.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
BEREA, Ohio – Cleveland Browns fan Matt LaVelle showed up at the first day of training camp wearing a jersey with "Johnny DawgPound" taped across the back. It was a bit of refashioning he did prior to May's NFL draft in the hope that Johnny Manziel would be Cleveland's pick.
Manziel was on the field here Saturday, creating the expected frenzy, or "buzz," in the parlance of Johnny Football. Yet the more LaVelle and his friend watched the side-by-side drills featuring not just Johnny, but of the zipping, accurate throws of the actual No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, Brian Hoyer, something kept sinking in.
Yes, he's a Manziel fan …
"… but I like what I'm seeing out of Hoyer," LaVelle said of the low-key, local veteran (Cleveland St. Ignatius High School). Hoyer is a Michigan State product that spent three years backing up Tom Brady in New England. When he finally got a chance to start last year for the Browns, he looked good in three games before injuring his knee.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports9 days ago
DETROIT – Chuck Martin knew how many people thought he was crazy because they kept telling him to his face. This included his closest friends.
He was one of college football's hottest coaching prospects last December when he decided to leave the prestige and security of being offensive coordinator at Notre Dame to take over the worst team in the sport. And for the effort, he'd enjoy a $200,000 pay cut.
Yet exactly what awaited him at Miami of Ohio didn't fully hit until he pored over the details of a team on a lengthy bowl drought and a 16-game losing streak, including, naturally, a fruitless 0-12 campaign in 2013.
"The one stat that really got me was when I asked, 'Well, who led us in touchdowns last season?'" Martin recalled Wednesday at Mid-American Conference media day.
"'And they said, 'Dawan Scott.'
"And I said, 'Well, how many did he have?'
"And they said, 'two.'
"I said, 'No, no, no, who led our team in touchdowns?" Martin said as broke into a laugh.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports11 days ago
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The good news for Tony Dungy is that once upon a time enough people in power, be it in football … education … government … wherever, decided that they should empower African-Americans with the opportunities they deserved. They did this no matter whether things would go "totally smooth" or cause "things to happen" with the bigots who wanted to cling to the old days.
At some point they said someone such as Dungy deserved to go to school with white people, play football with white people, even coach football like white people once exclusively did, even at the highest levels of the NFL. They rejected the ancient concept that blacks either weren't deserving/capable of such opportunities. Even more important, they ignored the idiotic idea that until every last racist was completely and wholly comfortable with a black man playing, learning or working alongside them (let alone be the boss) then such opportunity should continue to be withheld.
The smartest people pushed the dumbest aside and decided to just let the best person win.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports15 days ago
Of all the sad and disturbing parts of Oprah Winfrey's interview Thursday with Jerry Sandusky's son Matt– and there were plenty – perhaps the worst was when he was trying to explain why he was telling the truth about being molested by his one-time foster and eventual adoptive father.
"Knowing that I'm going to be attacked, knowing that my wife and my children will have to pay for that, there is no reason for me to lie," Matt Sandusky said in the interview that aired on OWN. "I'm here to help."
It was a compelling defense, but that's isn't the issue. It's this: Why does Matt Sandusky need a defense at all?
Across an hour of programming Matt Sandusky laid his guts out in a deeply personal way with what, at times, appeared to be embarrassing admissions of what it's like to be sexually abused. That included the shame and confusion he felt at age 12 and 13 when he experienced unwanted physical enjoyment as Jerry performed sexual acts on him.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports21 days ago
They burned his jersey. They put his face on urinal mats. They cursed him and cursed him and cursed him, only when they weren't tearing down his billboards. The team owner ripped him to shreds in a bizarre Comic Sans font email. They cheered that.
A year after the departure, when LeBron James lost in his first NBA Finals with the Miami Heat – and Cleveland rejoiced – he responded with his own arrogance and anger.
"All the people that [were] rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today," LeBron said back in 2011.
That was then. This is the Return of the Prodigal Son.
“My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball,” James told Sports Illustrated, which broke the news of his decision. “I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”
SAO PAULO – Jurgen Klinsmann famously said he booked his plane ticket back to California after July 13, the date of the World Cup final. It was a sign of his belief in the possibility. Instead he leaves on July 3.
"I changed the flight [Tuesday night]," he said here with a laugh.
There may be no bigger winner coming out of U.S. Soccer's dramatic and closely followed World Cup trip than Klinsmann, the charismatic, telegenic, German-born, Orange County-relocated national team coach and technical director.
He is a bona fide star now, recognized and respected in a way no soccer coach has ever been in the United States. That the Americans fared no better here than in 2010 – eliminated in the round of 16, and this time in a less competitive game – hardly matters.
Klinsmann is the king of U.S. Soccer. It's inherent that U.S. Soccer capitalizes on it.
SALVADOR, Brazil – The assault was relentless. The pressure was unrelenting. Shot after shot, attack after attack, these Belgians just coming and coming at Tim Howard, just teeing up until they could eventually break through.
Howard had been amazing but in the end it was not enough, the United States' World Cup dream ending here Tuesday in a 2-1 defeat to Belgium. The story of the night was how Howard's greatness – "absolutely amazing" Jurgen Klinsmann put it – combined with a roster full of signature heart and unrelenting effort forced extra time and then made the Belgians white-knuckle their way into the quarterfinals.
[Photos: Heartbroken Team USA fans]
On Monday, that belief was tested as the coach made potentially his most reckless move yet, and one that had sure better not backfire.
Klinsmann used his press conference on the eve of the Belgium-U.S. game here to suggest the national ties of Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi could play an adverse role in how the knockout-round game is officiated against the Americans.
Klinsmann was asked whether he was concerned that Haimoudi is able to speak French, as many Belgian players can.
SALVADOR, Brazil – Jozy Altidore has been medically cleared to play for the United States in its World Cup elimination game against Belgium on Tuesday.
Altidore strained his left hamstring while sprinting after a ball in the World Cup opener against Ghana on June 16. He was carried off the field in tears, but U.S. Soccer has consistently maintained optimism that he would again be available during this tournament.
Late last week the 6-foot-1, 24-year-oldstriker slowly jogged around the grounds of the U.S. base campin Sao Paulo as his teammates practiced.