The Blind Side Era is Over At The NFL Draft

Quenton Nelson looks exactly like a franchise-cornerstone left tackle: Standing 6 foot 5, 325 pounds, Nelson is “built like a bank safe” and blessed with the athleticism and aggressiveness to be a perennial All-Pro. The quarterback’s protector is often called the second-most-important offensive position, so it’s no wonder that Nelson’s in the mix to be the first non-quarterback to be picked in this year’s draft.But one thing does separate Nelson from other highly coveted tackles on draft day: He isn’t a tackle. He’s a guard.How players at one position in the NFL’s otherwise-anonymous quintet of trench warriors became some of American sports’ most-prized athletes is a story so well-known it was turned into a best-selling book, and even a movie: The uniquely gifted protectors of “The Blind Side” emerged in the 1990s to stop the pass-rushing outside linebackers of the 1980s, like eight-time All-Pro Lawrence Taylor.For years afterward, teams trying to land the next Orlando Pace or Walter Jones had no qualms about throwing high draft picks at top tackles. Even less-than-perfect tackle prospects like Michigan’s Jake Long and Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher were deemed “safe” picks at No. 1 overall — because unlike quarterbacks, who are unlikely to play another position well, if those tackles fail to establish themselves as quality starters, teams have the option of kicking them inside to guard.As recently as 2012, guards were still afterthoughts, not worthy of the draft-value (and contract) investment that comes with a high first-round selection. Outstanding guard prospect David DeCastro, whom many evaluators deemed worthy of at least a top-10 pick, didn’t come off the board until No. 24 that year.In the 32-team era,1Since 2002. 62 tackles have been drafted in the first round compared to just 14 guards. On average, those tackles were taken with the 14th pick, while the average guard went between 23 and 24. In fact, after “The Blind Side” was released in September 2006, NFL teams went on a four-year tackle binge, drafting 19 first-round tackles compared to just three centers and two guards.Last season, though, the market for elite tackles seemed to dry up. Only two — Garett Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk — went in the first round, and both were picked in the back end of the round (20 and 32 respectively). After Alabama’s Cam Robinson was taken with the second pick of the second round, which was lower than most expected, no tackles were taken until pick No. 85. To get a sense of how high in the draft tackles have tended to go over time, we can quantify pick position using Jimmy Johnson’s draft-pick value chart, which assigns a point value to every pick in the draft based solely on how early the pick is, not on which player is taken. Last year, the picks used on tackles in rounds one and two were worth a total of 2000 points, the lowest sum since at least 1994. By comparison, the picks used on the six tackles taken in the first two rounds in 2013 were worth more than 10,000 points. The trend of devaluing tackles seems certain to continue in the 2018 NFL draft. After Nelson, tackle Mike McGlinchey (average mock draft position: 22.2) is the next offensive lineman projected to go. But then it’s a run of interior linemen: Center James Daniels (28.5) and guards Isaiah Wynn (28.8) and Will Hernandez (28.9) are all set to be drafted ahead of the only other tackle who’s projected to be taken on the draft’s first night, Kolton Miller (31.2).If Miller doesn’t make it into the first round, it’ll be the first time that fewer than two tackles have been drafted in any first round since “The Blind Side” was released, and it would match the 2005-2006 nadir for high-pick tackles — only three tackles were taken in the first round in each of those two back-to-back draft classes.It’s not like NFL teams suddenly decided that the offensive line isn’t important, it’s more that the value pendulum is shifting away from left tackle. If Nelson goes as high as he’s expected to, he’ll be the third guard picked in the top 10 in the last six seasons (the fourth if you count Washington’s Brandon Scherff, who was drafted as a tackle but has since become a Pro Bowl guard2Washington initially tried Scherff at tackle before switching him to guard in his first training camp.). Before Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper went in the top 10 in 2013, no guard had been picked that high in a dozen years.3Leonard Davis went No. 2 overall in 2001 as a guard, though he went on to play both tackle and guard in the NFL.But it’s not just draft capital that teams are investing in a previously neglected position.This spring, All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell signed a five-year, $66.5 million unrestricted free-agency deal that briefly made him the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman. Though former New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder’s four-year, $62 million contract with the New York Giants topped Norwell’s $13.3 million average annual value, Norwell remains No. 2.In 2016, the five biggest free-agency deals4In terms of contracts’ average annual value. given to offensive linemen went to left tackles. In 2017, half of the eight offensive-line contracts worth at least $10 million per year went to left tackles — but the other half went to three guards and a center. In 2018, Solder’s was the only one of the top six offensive-line deals that did not go to a guard or center.So why the sudden change? For starters, the evolution of the left tackle was a response to a defensive revolution that’s been over for a long time; Taylor’s 10-season Pro Bowl streak ended 27 years ago. From Dick LeBeau’s zone blitzes to Jim Johnson’s and Jim Schwartz’s aggressive 4-3s, Wade Phillips’s one-gap 3-4 schemes to Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia’s hybrid/multiple fronts attack, defensive coordinators have as many different ways to send pass rushers at quarterbacks as there are gaps between offensive linemen.According to ESPN Stats & Information Group, 36 percent of the 1,082.5 sacks by front-seven players in 2017 were registered by a player lined up at right defensive end or right outside linebacker. That means even a Hall of Fame left tackle can’t possibly help with at least two-thirds of the pressure that defenses are generating.Then there’s the fact that quarterbacks don’t really have a “blind side” anymore. The heavy use of shotgun formation in today’s NFL allows quarterbacks to keep the whole defense in front of them. According to ESPN Stats & Info, just 13,319 of 32,436 offensive plays (41 percent) were run from under center in 2017– and of those, a quarterback dropped back to pass on just 4,201 plays (13 percent of all offensive plays).The average left tackle, then, will only be called upon to keep his quarterback clean during a traditional dropback about 1/8th of the time he’s on the field.But don’t tell Nelson, Wynn, Hernandez or any of the other guards set to be drafted this weekend that the value of offensive linemen has crashed. They’re about to prove that the NFL has finally figured out that anyone who can get keep a pass-rusher from getting to a quarterback is worth an awful lot — regardless of where he’s positioned on the line. read more

The Strange Dynasty Of The San Francisco Giants Is Over Yes It

✗ +3 Dodgers1946196642772133.3 Yankees1976198621931127.3 ✓ Over the course of the past decade, the San Francisco Giants put together one of the strangest dynasties in baseball history. And now it is officially coming to an end.The Giants still have five players left over from their 2014 championship season, but the returns have diminished greatly since then. The team is in last place in the National League West; the FiveThirtyEight model currently predicts it to finish 70-92, which would be one of the worst records in franchise history.1Technically the 2017 version was even worse, although that team at least had injuries to blame (and a playoff appearance the year before to suggest a potential turnaround). And it could get worse by season’s end, with ace Madison Bumgarner (among others) on the trade block.The Giants got here in part by trying to extend the dynasty past its expiration date. But who can blame them? When a team’s initial successes defy the odds, it can be especially difficult to know when a downturn is permanent or just a detour along the road to another title. This is especially true of San Francisco, which sandwiched two mediocre nonplayoff seasons in between World Series titles. But we come here not to bury the Giants’ dynasty but to praise it — and imagine how Farhan Zaidi, the new president of baseball operations, might construct another one where the original once stood.So what makes the Giants’ dynasty of the 2010s — and yes, it was a bona fide dynasty — maybe the most interesting ever?Up and downThe simplest answer to that question lies with the team’s every-other-year pattern of success. In even-numbered years from 2010 through 2016, the Giants’ winning percentage was .557; in odd years, it was only .506. But plenty of teams have gone on wild championship roller-coaster rides. The Giants’ version was one of the most memorable because of how unexpectedly it materialized and how difficult it was to get a handle on, even while it was happening.Sabermetrics pioneer Bill James has a method of determining dynastic runs that involves giving out points for seasons of various accomplishments. He keeps a running tally of a team’s dynasty points after each season; whenever a team’s running total hits 10, it automatically becomes a dynasty — of which there have been only 38 in baseball history. ✓✓✓ ✗ Source: billjamesonline.com ✓✓ ✓✓ Cardinals196319712104944.4% ✓✓ +1 ✓✓+2 ✓✓+3 Phillies197619831142825.0 Seasons ✓✓✓✓✓+6 Giants201020163103742.9 ✓✓ ✓+1 Bill James’s dynasty accounting systemWhat an MLB team must do in a season to earn or lose dynasty points ✓✓+4 Yankees19201943106162425.0 +5 Made Playoffs?Won Division?Won Pennant?Won World Series?Losing record90+ Wins?100+ Wins?Dynasty points Keeping in mind that the majority of San Francisco’s dynasty took place in the double-wild-card era, where in theory it is easier to snag an occasional playoff berth to keep the run going, you could argue that a Giants-like run is even harder to pull off now than during the Cardinals’ era (most of which happened when the “playoffs” consisted only of the World Series).If all of this sounds like a knock on what San Francisco accomplished, it’s not. It actually just makes it more fascinating: Only nine teams in history ever won three World Series in a five-year period anyway, and none of those had anywhere near as many ups and downs — nor proved as many doubters wrong — as the 2010-16 Giants did.Growing a dynasty … on top of a dynasty?Surprisingly, that run actually began on the heels of another dynasty, at least according to James’s accounting system. The 2000-04 Giants hit a running total of 10 points as well, despite not winning any championships, because they won at least 90 games five years in a row with two division crowns, a pennant in 2002 and 100 victories in 2003. That team was powered by Barry Bonds at the peak of his historic hitting powers,4And with Bonds allegedly benefiting from performance-enhancing drugs. with help from second baseman Jeff Kent, pitcher Jason Schmidt and shortstop Rich Aurilia. But the club’s performance fell after much of Bonds’s supporting cast signed elsewhere (SB Nation recently made a great video about the bitter Bonds-Kent feud), and the Giants’ main attraction in the ensuing seasons was Bonds’s largely joyless pursuit of Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record.By 2008, Bonds was out of baseball and the Giants were terrible, winning just 72 games. They had just three players who had been ranked among Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects in the previous few seasons: pitchers Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez. Their farm system ranked just 23rd in baseball. Practically nothing about the Giants’ situation suggested that another dynasty was around the corner.But as bleak as San Francisco’s outlook appeared to be, the ingredients were largely in place for the run that was to come. To go with Cain and Lincecum, fellow dynasty cornerstones Bumgarner, Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt would all be drafted in 2007-09, while third baseman Pablo Sandoval and reliever Sergio Romo both made their MLB debuts in the summer of 2008. Nine players were on all three Giants championship squads — Posey, Bumgarner, Cain, Sandoval, Romo, Lincecum, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez — and of those, six were either acquired by or made their MLB debuts for San Francisco in the 18-month span between May 2007 and November 2008. The team had also hired manager Bruce Bochy away from the division-rival San Diego Padres prior to the 2007 season.The Giants’ penchant for acquiring and developing homegrown talent helps explain a good amount of their success earlier this decade. From 2010 through 2016, only two teams (the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays) got more total wins above replacement5Averaging together the WAR versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. from players who initially debuted with the team than San Francisco did. That group was headlined by Posey and Bumgarner, both of whom were top-10 draft picks, but it also included a fourth-rounder (Crawford), fifth-rounder (Belt) and 18th-rounder (Matt Duffy) who each peaked as 4-win players or better despite their lack of pedigree.Spare parts to the rescueThose Giants were made all the more interesting by the odd veteran pieces that filled in the gaps around the homegrown talent, particularly in the postseason. Journeyman castoffs Andres Torres and Aubrey Huff led the 2010 Giants in regular-season WAR, while that year’s NLCS MVP was Cody Ross (who had been claimed off waivers from the Marlins in August), and the World Series MVP was veteran shortstop Edgar Renteria, who had missed more than half the regular season with injuries.The trend continued in subsequent title runs. Outfielder Angel Pagan rebounded from a disappointing 2011 season with the Mets to produce 4.4 WAR for the Giants in their 2012 championship campaign. Melky Cabrera, on his fourth team in four years, was the All-Star Game’s MVP and hit an NL-best .346 that year before being suspended for performance-enhancing drugs (and recusing himself from the batting crown). Second baseman Marco Scutaro, picked up via trade in July, claimed NLCS MVP honors. After Posey and Bumgarner, frenetic outfielder Hunter Pence, acquired four days after Scutaro, was the Giants’ best player by WAR in 2013 and 2014, posting an 1.167 on-base plus slugging in the 2014 World Series. Even in 2016, obscure third baseman Conor Gillaspie provided playoff heroics when his ninth-inning home run won the NL wild-card game over the Mets.This quirky combination of young draftees and veteran reclamation projects helped each Giants championship team forge a different identity. The 2010 team was widely identified with Lincecum, Cain and eccentric, heavily bearded closer Brian Wilson. The 2012 version had evolved to become Posey’s team (he was named NL MVP) with Sandoval, the “Kung Fu Panda,” inheriting the role of postseason talisman from Wilson. And the 2014 season was all about the dominance of Bumgarner, who became virtually unhittable in October, winning the NLCS and World Series MVPs. Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean continually found ways to retool the roster on the fly, returning it to a championship level even after a 76-win season in 2013 suggested to many that San Francisco’s days of winning it all were probably over.An extraordinary timeThe Giants’ dynasty was also lucky to come along during an era of comparative parity in Major League Baseball. In 2015, my colleague Rob Arthur and I noted that MLB was getting tougher and tougher to predict during the decade of the 2010s, which happened to overlap with the entirety of San Francisco’s run to that point. In particular, the share of variance in team records explained by luck — which tracks with how compressed team records are across the league — had spiked upward to 64 percent that season, the highest mark since right after the 1994 strike.The Giants weren’t particularly dominant on paper during their dynastic years, never finishing higher than sixth in baseball in Sports-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System during any of their championship seasons, but it was the perfect moment to be a good team that gets hot at exactly the right time. Although it is unlikely that San Francisco’s World Series runs were wholly (or even mostly) the product of making the playoffs and having the postseason crapshoot fall in their favor three times, there’s no denying that the Giants’ path was made easier by the lack of super-teams across the rest of MLB.And now, those days are gone. (Not that it would help the current Giants much if they weren’t.) Starting in 2016, the league became very much top-heavy and thus much easier to predict than it had been earlier in the decade. The simultaneous emergence of juggernauts in the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians over the past few seasons have left the next tier of teams feeling the squeeze. Yes, some of today’s reduced parity also owes to the surplus of tanking teams trying to emulate the championship runs of the Cubs and Astros, but the teams at the top are also just stacked with talent. That has made it much tougher to be a merely solid ballclub with World Series aspirations.The aftermathAfter falling short against the Cubs in the 2016 NL Division Series, the Giants hoped to return to contention with largely the same group plus ex-Nationals closer Mark Melancon (who’d been good the previous season). Instead, Bumgarner injured himself in an early season dirt bike accident, Melancon was terrible, and the team collapsed to 64 wins. Then San Francisco doubled down on reviving its even-year magic in 2018 by trading for 30-something stars Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria. It didn’t work: Longoria was a disappointment at 1.2 WAR, McCutchen was traded to the Yankees at midseason, and Bumgarner was injured again. After 73 wins last year and this season’s 20-26 start, and facing Bochy’s retirement at the end of 2019, the franchise has finally begun staring down the specter of a rebuild.It’s easy to look back with hindsight and criticize the moves San Francisco made to try to keep its window of contention open. Well after the 2014 championship, for instance, the Giants signed pitchers Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Melancon to long-term deals totaling $282 million, which looks like a terrible waste now — as well as a betrayal of the dynasty’s original homegrown roots.But this was also the same team that rode out a playoff absence in 2011 to win again in 2012, and a 76-win disappointment in 2013 to win again in 2014. As Bumgarner told the L.A. Times before this season, “Pretty much every year we’ve won, we were not expected to win.”The retool-on-the-fly mindset served the Giants well — until it didn’t.As much as the failure of recent big-name acquisitions to recapture their former glory has hurt the Giants, another big factor has been the failure of the team’s homegrown core to age gracefully — and the lack of anything in the pipeline behind it. Although Crawford can still make the occasional spectacular play, he is down from a 5-win player in 2016 to a subreplacement one now, and he’ll make $15.2 million each of the next two seasons after 2019. Belt was worth 4.2 WAR in 2016; now he’s on pace for a more middling 2.2 WAR in 2019 despite his $17.2 million salary, which also repeats in 2020 and 2021. Duffy fell off in 2016 and was traded for Matt Moore, who was miserable for the Giants in 2017 and was himself dealt for peanuts.Even with Bumgarner healthy, the Giants have the league’s worst starting rotation according to WAR. And recent drafts have produced little of note. The farm system ranked 26th in Keith Law’s preseason rankings. Things suddenly look dire again.Rebuilding the next dynastyWith Sabean’s successor, Bobby Evans, removed from his post as general manager last September, the man tasked with rebuilding the Giants now is former Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi, who has gained a reputation as an innovator and a genius since leaving his doctoral program at the University of California, Berkeley to join the Oakland A’s front office under billion-dollar Billy Beane in 2005.Zaidi began shaking up San Francisco’s usual methods with a seemingly endless stream of anonymous signings before the season, in the hopes that at least some of them turn into viable major leaguers. That dizzying roster carousel did not let up once the season got underway, either. The team has started to employ modern pitching tactics like using an opener (which went poorly) and having position players like Sandoval throw mop-up innings (which went well!).But Zaidi has also run into friction six months into his new job. Already a figure of suspicion among Giants fans for his Dodger background, Zaidi was booed by season-ticket holders (granted, at Zaidi’s own urging) during a preseason meet-and-greet after he mentioned potentially using the opener. More seriously, he was openly criticized by Derek Holland after the pitcher was demoted from the starting rotation.Maybe all the constant roster-shuffling and other analytics-minded front-office techniques will pay off for San Francisco in the long run. But for now, the Giants are a bad team that can only get worse. The players are noticing — and so are the fans. AT&T Park was home to baseball’s third-best attendance mark as recently as 2017, but no team has shed more fans per game this season than San Francisco, whose 2019 attendance is down by more than 6,000 as compared with last year.How long will the Giants’ rebuild last? It might take a while to clear the current roster’s worst financial obligations from the books. Even in a world without Bumgarner, the team has $124 million committed to just seven players next year, with a payroll that could balloon to $172 million after arbitration and options are picked up. But as San Francisco’s ill-fated late push to sign Bryce Harper showed, the team hasn’t ruled out shelling out money for talent despite starting a new chapter in franchise history. Zaidi’s tightrope walk between alienating one of baseball’s best fan bases and genuinely refreshing the roster should be interesting to watch over the next few seasons.But it does also mean that the Giants dynasty of the early teens is firmly in the rearview mirror. What San Francisco accomplished then still defies statistical explanation to a certain degree, even acknowledging that most dynasties need an unlikely string of good fortune to build a great roster with long-term staying power. Through a combination of strong starting pitching, an impressive homegrown core and unbelievably shrewd veteran pickups, the Giants put together one of baseball’s most improbable strings of championships ever — a run that will be better appreciated only as it recedes into the realm of history. Now we have to see what Zaidi can do as a follow-up act.Check out our latest MLB predictions. ✗-2 ✓ But every dynasty also has to end. When a team has a zero-point season, its rolling tally drops at least 2 points (it falls by 3 if the team also has a losing record). When the rolling tally dips to zero again, or the team has three straight pointless seasons, the dynasty is definitively over.2And the dynasty’s final season is retroactively set to the last year in which the team picked up any dynasty points.This decade’s Giants officially qualified as a dynasty by hitting 10 points after the 2014 World Series victory, ultimately extending the span of their run from 2010 to 2016 with one additional playoff appearance.3Technically the Giants haven’t had three straight zero-point seasons or a running total of zero yet (their running total was 3 through 2018, which was their second-straight zero-point season), but our model gives them next to no chance of picking up any dynasty points — and thereby extending the run — in 2019. But of those seven seasons, three contributed nothing to (and therefore actively detracted from) San Francisco’s running dynasty total. Among the 38 distinct teams that James’s system considers dynasties, only one — the 1963-71 St. Louis Cardinals — had a higher share of their “dynasty years” contribute nothing to the dynasty itself. +2 Cardinals1926193531731030.0 The weirdest dynasties ever?Among MLB dynasties (as defined by Bill James’s point system), largest share of seasons during a run that contributed zero points to the dynasty In general, a season contributes nothing to the dynasty if the team fails to make the playoffs or win 90 games.Source: Baseball Databank Angels200220091112825.0 -3 Red Sox2002201841851729.4 TeamStartEndTitlesMax Dynasty PtsZero-PtTotalZero-Pt Share Dodgers1973199121381942.1 read more

Back to back Billy Price becomes second Ohio State center in a

Billy Price and the Buckeyes prepare to take the field for warmups prior to the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorBack to back.For the second year in a row, an Ohio State lineman was awarded the Rimington Trophy, which is given to the best center in the nation. One year after Pat Elflein won the award, redshirt senior Billy Price was voted to receive the trophy. He received the honor at the College Football Awards show Thursday night.Price beat finalists Alabama’s Bradley Bozeman and LSU’s Will Clapp for the trophy.The redshirt senior adds the trophy to his list of accolades, which includes the 2017 Big Ten offensive lineman of the year award. The Associated Press named Price a second-team All-American last season and he was named a first-team All-Big Ten honoree. Price was named a Rimington Trophy finalist on Monday and was named to the watch list in May. Both Price and Elflein switched from guard to center for their respective senior seasons. read more

Neuer From now on we only have finals

first_imgCaptain Manuel Neuer insists that Germany must consider their two remaining group games in the World Cup as “finals” from now onThe reigning champions suffered a disastrous start to the defence of their crown when they lost 1-0 to Mexico on Sunday with a Hirving Lozano first-half goal proving to be the difference at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.Germany will be under an extreme amount of pressure to defeat Sweden this weekend in Sochi in order to avoid a shocking early exit at Russia.Neuer, who recovered in time from a broken foot, to take his place as Joachim Low’s number one goalkeeper for the World Cup insists that the team must take each game now as seriously as a final.“From now on, we only have finals. The players have to show what they can do but I am convinced that we can do it,” said Neuer, according to Punchng.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…The 32-year-old is refusing to get overly concerned by the situation and believes that the best remedy is to turn their full focus on to Sweden now.“Complaining about what happened doesn’t change anything, we all know that,” he said.“We have to try to put this behind us as quickly as possible.”Germany are hoping to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend their world title.last_img read more

Alexis Sanchez needs to play immediately says Mourinho

first_imgJose Mourinho is certain that Alexis Sanchez must start playing as soon as he arrives in the United States for Manchester United’s pre-season tour after missing their first gameThe Chile international was denied entry into the country after having an application for a US visa rejected.However, the issue has now been resolved and Mourinho is keen to get Sanchez out on to the field as soon as possible with Sunday’s next friendly against San Jose Earthquakes now just two days away.He told the club website: “I don’t even know if he is flying, if he is in Los Angeles or if he is in Manchester – I have no idea about it.“There will be no [Romelu] or [Marcus] Rashford, for sure, and we have to try with what we have.harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“It’s not about if he can play, it’s about when he has to. When Martial left the pitch, it was Mata [leading the attack]. When Mata went to the sides, it was a kid that trained with us for the first time this pre-season [Mason Greenwood].”The absence of forwards Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford is having a telling effect on United with Mourinho not certain if they will be available for their opening Premier League game against Leicester City on August 10 with both stars currently away on holiday following their participation in the World Cup.“There’s no Lukaku or Rashford here and probably not even for the start of the Premier League, so it’s about when Alexis lands and when he lands, he has to play because he trained with us for five days before we departed to Los Angeles and we left one fitness coach behind with him to keep training with him. Of course, it’s individual training but when he arrives, he has to play,” said Mourinho.A Juan Mata goal spared United from defeat in their first preseason game against Mexican side Club America with the sides having to settle for a 1-1 draw at Phoenix.last_img read more

Klopp and Neville rant takes another twist

first_imgGary Neville’s latest suggestion about Liverpool seem not to have gone down well with the German boss Jurgen Klopp following his comments.The United legend suggested that Liverpool’s best shot at delivering the first ever Premier League trophy would come if they didn’t try to juggle every competition this term.When asked about Neville’s recommendation at his Friday press conference, the Reds boss laughed it off and claimed he didn’t fully understand Neville’s logic.“Gary should come over and tell me exactly how that would work,” Klopp said. “You bring your kids in the Champions League? That would be funny!“I don’t want to be too critical because I don’t know exactly how he said it but sitting in an office and talking about football is completely different to doing the job, to be honest.Cristiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic, Manchester UnitedVidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“What did he say about Manchester United in that case? The club he’s more interested in. Nothing?“I don’t know exactly what it means but to focus on one competition can only be if maybe you are already out of the competition nearly.“If it’s late in the season that you see you have a chance to do that or do this and all that stuff.“Last year, for example, we had no chance to focus on one competition because we had to qualify for the Champions League and I don’t think that even Gary Neville would have said: ‘Quarter-finals of the Champions League, let City win’.”last_img read more

Zaniolo excited about his football career

first_imgThe 19-year-old has debuted for Roma against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League and recently he was called to the national teamNicolo Zaniolo debuted with Italian Lega Serie A club Roma in a UEFA Champions League match against Real Madrid this season.His good performances have also made him shine and was called to the Italy national team too.And the 19-year-old is very excited about this.Rick Karsdorp, Roma, Serie AKarsdorp reveals he had too much stress at Roma Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The Dutch defender has been with the Gialorrossi since 2017, but he has not enjoyed his time in the Italian Lega Serie A.“I expected a lot less to happen than what actually did. I would like to continue on this path. My debut at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid for the Champions League was crazy, I could not describe it,” he told Gianluca Di Marzio.“My legs were trembling, thank goodness De Rossi was there to give me a hand. Once on the pitch, however, I only thought about playing football.”“I did not expect the call-up to the Italian National Team. I was in front of the TV when I found out. I called my father and we went to Coverciano,” he commented.“I hope that in the future I will succeed, I played with champions like Chiellini and Bonucci and I tried to learn as much as I could although I had little time available. Mancini told me that he believes in me very much and that now he will show me how much I’m worth.”last_img read more

Mazzoleni perfectly followed the procedure – FIGC Presidenton racial abuse

first_imgFIGC President Gabriele Gravina has maintained that the referee Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni who officiated the match between Napoli and Inter “could not interrupt” the due to racist abuse.He adds that he perfectly followed procedure and called for a statement which was made over the stadium speaker. It was stated that if racial abuse continues, the game will be temporarily suspended.“Mazzoleni could not interrupt the game. He perfectly followed procedure,” Federation chief Gravina told Rai Sport via Football Italia“Unfortunately, at times there are people who don’t know the procedures correctly.”Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“The chief of security, in particular Questore Cardona, clearly stated that with five minutes left in the game, he could never have suspended play with the risk of creating a massacre.“Mazzoleni applied the procedure precisely the way it was planned. We will discuss with the Minister for the Interior to see if these procedures can be revised and simplified.“We can make it clearer that for example after three warnings in the stadium, the teams go back into the locker room, with the decision made by the security chief at the stadium.“In any case, there is already a system in place to apply very severe sanctions.”last_img read more

Robert Huth retires from football

first_imgFormer Leicester City defender Robert Huth has announced his retirement from football after reports linking him with a move to Derby County.While responding to claims that he’s set to join Frank Lampard’s Derby County on an 18-month deal, Huth also revealed that has retired from playing football.Three-time Premier League winner 🏆@robert_huth has announced his retirement from football.More: https://t.co/4jMeUvdmLO pic.twitter.com/Q3l66opxGO— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 11, 2019Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.According to Sky Sports, the 34-year-old replied to the Twitter report saying: “This literally couldn’t be less true,” Huth said. “I’ve retired! (I just haven’t done an interview and cried about it).”Huth had quite a successful career playing only in England, as he represented Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Stoke, and Leicester.The defender came up through the Youth system at Chelsea and won two Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge during Jose Mourinho’s first spell in charge.He made 42 appearances for Chelsea and scored no goals, and left in 2016 to join Middlesbrough.The German center back would later Stoke City after three years at the Riverside Stadium and was part of Leicester’s squad that won the Premier League title against all odds in 2016.last_img read more

Yahoo Other Oath Programming Launches on Roku Channel as Verizon Hopes to

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Launched in September 2017, the Roku Channel features free-to-watch movies and TV shows licensed from Lionsgate, MGM, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros., Showtime, Fox, and Epix, as well as live-streaming programming from partners including ABC News, Cheddar, and PeopleTV. In addition to Roku streaming players and TVs, the Roku Channel is available on the web and mobile devices.The Yahoo News lineup includes video series and documentaries and live coverage around special events, such as next week’s U.S. midterm elections with coverage kicking off at 8 p.m. E.T. on Nov. 6. Yahoo Finance provides four daily live business day programs; starting Nov. 5, it will expand the shows to five hours of daily programming and will launch an eight-hour slate in January 2019.Yahoo Sports delivers breaking news plus shows like “Fantasy Football Live,” “The Spin” and “The Rush,” as well as “Mostly Football,” a sports-and-culture pregame show with former NFL star Martellus Bennett. HuffPost provides a variety of original documentary and news programming, while the RYOT studio produces feature-length and short-form content in both traditional and emerging VR formats. MAKERS is Oath’s feminist media brand, touting a large collection of video profiles of women. Popular on Variety center_img Verizon’s Oath struck a deal with Roku to distribute live and on-demand content from Yahoo and other media properties on the device maker’s free-to-watch Roku Channel.None of the Oath programming will be exclusively available on the Roku Channel. That will also continue to be available for free on Oath’s owned-and-operated sites and apps. Through the deal, Oath wants to get its ad-supported content in front of Roku’s installed base of users, which was about 22 million as of the end of June 2018.Presented under the “Yahoo” banner on the Roku Channel, the live and VOD content comes from Oath’s Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, HuffPost, RYOT and MAKERS.Oath has been losing steam in recent quarters — and Verizon hopes its video initiatives like the new deal with Roku will help turn things around. Revenue for Oath dropped 6.9% in the third quarter of 2018, to $1.8 billion, with Verizon blaming declines in search and desktop traffic. The telco said it expects sales at Oath, which combined AOL and Yahoo, to be “relatively flat in the near term.”last_img read more

Host cellentry mode of African henipavirus could be its Achilles heel

first_img Citation: Host cell-entry mode of African henipavirus could be its Achilles heel (2015, April 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-host-cell-entry-mode-african-henipavirus.html (Phys.org)—The recognition of a suite of African henipaviruses (HNVs), which are related to pathogenic Hendra and Nipah viruses, is a wake-up call to medical organizations worldwide. The initial symptoms of henipavirus infection—fever and headache followed by rapid-onset encephalitis—have likely resulted in misdiagnosis by medical workers as malaria-associated encephalitis, and fatalities from infection approach 90 percent. As a result of the symptomatic commonalities between henipaviruses and other paramyxoviruses, researchers are now reassessing the spread of HNVs. Crystal structure of GhV-G in complex with ephrinB2. The six-bladed β-propeller of GhV-G is shown as a rainbow ramped from blue (N terminus) to red (C terminus). The Greek-key fold of ephrinB2 is shown as a gray cartoon. Asparagine-linked N-acetylglucosamine moieties are shown as pink sticks. Credit: (c) PNAS 2015, doi:10.1073/pnas.1501690112 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Mechanism found for development of protective HIV antibodies More information: “Molecular recognition of human ephrinB2 cell surface receptor by an emergent African henipavirus.” PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print March 30, 2015, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1501690112AbstractThe discovery of African henipaviruses (HNVs) related to pathogenic Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV) from Southeast Asia and Australia presents an open-ended health risk. Cell receptor use by emerging African HNVs at the stage of host-cell entry is a key parameter when considering the potential for spillover and infection of human populations. The attachment glycoprotein from a Ghanaian bat isolate (GhV-G) exhibits <30% sequence identity with Asiatic NiV-G/HeV-G. Here, through functional and structural analysis of GhV-G, we show how this African HNV targets the same human cell-surface receptor (ephrinB2) as the Asiatic HNVs. We first characterized this virus−receptor interaction crystallographically. Compared with extant HNV-G–ephrinB2 structures, there was significant structural variation in the six-bladed β-propeller scaffold of the GhV-G receptor-binding domain, but not the Greek key fold of the bound ephrinB2. Analysis revealed a surprisingly conserved mode of ephrinB2 interaction that reflects an ongoing evolutionary constraint among geographically distal and phylogenetically divergent HNVs to maintain the functionality of ephrinB2 recognition during virus–host entry. Interestingly, unlike NiV-G/HeV-G, we could not detect binding of GhV-G to ephrinB3. Comparative structure–function analysis further revealed several distinguishing features of HNV-G function: a secondary ephrinB2 interaction site that contributes to more efficient ephrinB2-mediated entry in NiV-G relative to GhV-G and cognate residues at the very C terminus of GhV-G (absent in Asiatic HNV-Gs) that are vital for efficient receptor-induced fusion, but not receptor binding per se. These data provide molecular-level details for evaluating the likelihood of African HNVs to spill over into human populations.center_img Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2015 Phys.org Since the 1990s, more than 20 henipaviruses have been detected throughout Africa, Asia, Australia and Central America. The virus resides in populations of Old World fruit bats and its introduction to humans is believed to be through animal intermediaries such as pigs, or through the slaughter of the bats themselves for meat. HNVs are extremely pathogenic, and have been designated as high-priority agents that require handling under stringent biosafety conditions.Due to the potential for spillover from animal to human populations, researchers are focusing on the molecular-level structure of the viruses in order to determine their host-cell entry activities. A group of U.S.- and U.K.-based researchers have recently published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that studies a human cell surface receptor recognized by an emergent African hepinavirus strain called GhV, derived from a Ghanian fruit bat. They found that despite targeting a particular binding scaffold that exists across a range of HNVs, the molecular differences between these viruses prevented cross-reaction of antibodies, inhibiting development of a vaccination strategy.Currently the only African HNV for which envelope sequence information is available, GhV is related to other highly contagious HNVs, and the researchers find that it displays an HNV-G β-propeller binding scaffold similar to that in Asiatic HNVs. Despite structural differences, these structures are capable of of accommodating nearly identical primary ephrinB2-binding modes at the surfaces of host cells. The researchers note that bat and human cell-surface ephrinB2 sites are quite similar and likely maintain similar modes of binding, and that cross-infections are therefore likely.They write, “… the apparent structural plasticity and low level of sequence conservation on the HNV-G receptor-binding β-propeller scaffold are likely to prove an obstacle in the rational design of vaccines that produce broadly neutralizing antibodies to the ever-expanding spectrum of HNVs and HNLVs.”The virus-receptor interaction was confirmed via crystallography, and the researchers noted significant structural differences with previously documented HNV-G-ephrinB2 structures, but not in the key fold of the bound ephrinB2. They conclude that this conserved mode of ephrinB2 interaction represents an evolutionary constraint across divergent HNVs.Through structure-based phylogenic analysis, the researchers found that GhV-G and its cognate in Asiatic NiV likely evolved separately, after the viruses bifurcated from a common ephrin-binding HNV ancestor. They speculate that the ephrin-2 binding site represents a constraint of evolution that has conserved ephrinB2 binding by HNVs, a potential Achilles heel that could be exploited in vaccine research. The researchers introduced GhV to antibodies against NiV, finding that they did not cross-react with the GhV-G binding scaffold. Those antibodies also failed to neutralize CedV, a distantly related HNV. Despite a failure to find these cross-reactions, the researchers note that all of the studied HNVs mediate ephrinB2-dependent host-cell entry, and suggest that prime-boost vaccination is a possible strategy for eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies that can target the ephrinB2-binding sites across a diverse HNVs.last_img read more

Attracted by yoga mesmerised by Kumbh

first_imgReem Ibrahim Al-Arfaj is the first certified yoga trainer in Saudi Arabia. On her first visit to India this past week, she was left mesmerised by the Kumbh mela at Prayagraj. Clad in a black burqa and a hijab, her excitement was palpable when asked about her experience at the Kumbh. “It was amazing. Everyone was smiling and they were excited to meet us. The security there was very high and we felt very safe among those people,” said Reem, who is in her 20s. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAmong the delegates from 181 countries who were invited by the Indian government to visit the Kumbh and participate in the cultural activities there, she has completed 500 hours of yoga training for trainers under an expert at the Indian embassy in Riyadh last year. She feels she is very good in aspects like yogic sukshma vyayam, shat kriya, surya namaskar, yogasana, pranayama and meditation. “I am a businesswoman and help my father in his business. I heard about yoga and it attracted me. So I enrolled for this programme at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh. Now I can train others in yoga,” she said with a glitter in her eyes. Though Reem did not take a dip in the Ganga, Goran Pejakovic from Croatia not only took the holy dip but also recited the Gayatri mantra while he was in the river. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveHe has been practising Vaishnavism since 1991. “I read Bhagavad Gita and since then I was attracted towards spirituality and Vaishnavism,” Goran said as he flaunted his bodi (tuft) and the janeo. Born in a Christian family, Goran finds no contradiction in the faith of his forefathers and his own “spiritual path”. “They believe in one god and I also believe in one god and that is Krishna,” he added with a smile. His wife and daughter too are devotees of Lord Krishna and the family is vegetarian. Konstantinos Kalaitzis from Greece loves to sing bhajans, including Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite one ‘Vaishnav jana…’ On his 44th visit to India since 1986 and having travelled to all major Hindu pilgrimage sites including Kailash Mansarover, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamnotri, Nanda Devi, this was his first chance to visit a Kumbh mela. “But Kumbh was a different feeling. I went in the Ganga and swam. I felt very good after that,” he said. Delegates from other Arab countries including the UAE, Oman and Syria also came. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, the President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) that organised the entire exercise, said it was the brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “While the Kumbh is happening for millenia together, for the first time a conscious attempt was made to have representation from each and every country on the globe. Invites were extended to those people who were interested in culture,” Sahasrabuddhe said. An orientation programme was held explaining the idea, history and significance of the Kumbh besides the aspects of management that go into organising such a big event. “The idea was to enhance the literacy about the idea of India and Indian culture. Because many a time India and events like Kumbh are seen like a puzzle or riddle. It is an exercise to demystify events like Kumbh,” he added.last_img read more

Virgin Trains have nationwide ticket machine fault

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailRailway passengers faced disruption due to Virgin Trains having a ticket machine issue across the UK this evening. The train operator runs trains from a number of railway stations in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire – including Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Crewe to destinations including London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly. It is not known if any other railway operators are affected at this stage but shortly after 9.15pm tonight Virgin Trains advised people to collect their tickets before travelling if possible. A Virgin Trains spokesman said: “There has been a nationwide ticket machine fault reported this evening. Passengers are advised to attempt to collect their tickets before travel and if you have a problem, please speak to station teams before boarding.” Read MoreAre chances of Channel 4 coming to Stoke-on-Trent increasing? Virgin Trains contacted The Sentinel shortly after 10.30pm to say the issue had been resolved. For the latest traffic and travel news from Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire visit our dedicated channel here. For more news and updates on the roads across North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here . For the latest live news updates from across the region, visit our live feed here.last_img read more