Should Atlanta jump in the DeMarcus Cousins sweepstakes?

The Atlanta Hawks made somewhat of a splash this offseason when they signed their native son Dwight Howard to a contract, but the Hawks still have room to improve. They still need a scorer on the wing and another scorer around the rim. Lets not forget they could use some help on the boards and a closer.

It’s not a far fetched thought that the Hawks should put their name in the hat for disgruntled big man DeMarcus Cousins. Many NBA executives around the league believe that he will be traded before the 2016-2017 season starts in October. Cousins has been in many run-ins with the team and will reportedly fight for a trade or release from the team. He has career averages 20.2 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2.7 apg and 1.2 bpg. He averaged a career high 26.9 on his way to a second consecutive All-Star appearance.

There are rumors that the Bulls, Cavs and Celtics will be in the running if he is to be moved. Cousins has 2 years remaining on his current contract and he is making a little over $15 million a year, so the Hawks will have to put together a deal to satisfy the cap difference.

My proposal would probably be:

F Paul Millsap

 G Dennis Schroeder 

1st round pick 

for 

F DeMarcus Cousins 

G Ben McLemore

If they were to make the move it would upgrade the frontcourt and give the Hawks a scary combo on the glass and give them an instant shot at taking a shot at the Cavs in the East.

Chime in NBA Hawks/NBA Fans, do you think the Hawks could pull it off?

The All-Preseason Week 3 Team

Week 3 of the Preseason is usually around the time when teams start to put in their starters for longer amounts of time. Of course, there is always risk involved with playing your starters in the preseason, as the Bengals and Ravens found out the hard way this week when the former lost 3 players to injury (although AJ Green is fine and Adam Jones actually was hurt during warmups) and the Ravens lost new signing and starting tight end Benjamin Watson for the season. I’m not here to talk about injuries and the depressing news, so let’s get right into the players of the week.

 

Quarterback: Jameis Winston – Buccaneers – (16/25 259 yards 2 TD’s)

Image result for jameis winston preseason

This could definitely be attributed greatly to his offensive line, who kept Jameis upright all game long, but Winston performed very well against the Browns. Aside the whopping stats, as 259 yards is pretty good for a preseason game, Winston dealt with pressure very well. If you watch his throws back, he was able to fire balls accurately and scramble out when the pocket was collapsing, that is the sign of a maturing quarterback.

 

Running Back 1: Ezekiel Elliott – Cowboys – (7 rushes for 48 yards)

 

Image result for ezekiel elliott cowboys preseason

I know, I know. “But Kip, Ezekiel Elliott is so overrated”. Sure, Elliott might be a little overrated, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t be a very special player for years to come. He showed that against the Seahawks defense, and I don’t mean their second team. If you watched his runs, you would see that he went at Kam Chancellor, probably the league’s hardest hitting safety, multiple times, and even Kam seemed to have met a viable competitor. Anyone who can hang with Chancellor automatically gets the nod for my team of the week.

Running Back 2: George Atkinson III  – Raiders – (7 rushes 35 yards and 3 rec 40 yards)

Atkinson made my team in Week 1, and he’s back for more now. Atkinson showed the versatility needed to be a running back in today’s NFL by racking up 40 yards through the air. I was also considering another Raiders running back here, DeAndre Washington, but I thought that Atkinson was more versatile against the Titans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either one of those backs to breakout this season.

Wide Receiver 1: Mike Evans – Buccaneers – (5 rec 115 yards 1 TD)

Image result for mike evans preseason

Compared to my article on the All-Week 1 Preseason team, Week 3 features a lot more star players, like Mike Evans. Evans used all 6’5” of him as he high-pointed the ball over Jamar Taylor. He showed off his speed when he burned Justin Gilbert on a fly route. With all of the great receivers in today’s game, Evans was frequently forgotten, as he had a great year, but not a Top-10 quality year. He sure looks poised to bring himself into that conversation though.

Wide Receiver 2: Antonio Brown – Steelers – (4 rec 87 yards 1 TD)

When talking about the best receiver in the NFL, one name comes – “Antonio Brown” – up before you can even finish your sentence. See what I did there! Brown did his thing against the Saints, highlighting his day with a 57-yard touchdown. This man is not human, and if you didn’t realize that already, then I’m sure the 2016 season will change your mind.

Tight End: Kyle Rudolph – Vikings –  (3 rec 56 yards 1 TD)

Tight Ends often don’t put up huge number in the preseason, but Kyle Rudolph managed to surpass the 50 yard mark. Rudolph has been the definition of mediocre throughout his entire career, and that doesn’t look to change this season. Even though he coughed up the ball once, his overall game was still good enough cement him as the top tight end in Week 3.

 

Defensive Lineman 1: Jacquies Smith – Buccaneers – (4 tackles, 2 sacks)

Image result for jacquies smith preseason

When looking at the stats sheet from last year, you would think that Jacquies Smith had a solid season. Seven sacks is a little above average for his position, but when you realize that he only got 15 tackles and four of his sacks came in the first two games, then the picture starts to become more clear. Smith is prone to a breakout game every once in a while, as he racked up three sacks New Orleans in Week 2 of last season, and against the Browns, he racked up two.

Defensive Lineman 2: Damon Harrison – Giants – (7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF)

Damon Harrison is still in the Big Apple, he just switched locker rooms. Playing for a Giants team that spent huge on defense in Free Agency, Harrison is expected to collapse the pocket on a regular basis, but he is used to playing in a 3-4 scheme, and switching to the Giants 4-3 defense was a problem that I thought that he couldn’t overcome. Playing NT in a 3-4 grants you no glamorous stats, while a DT in a 4-3 scheme can become a superstar. Harrison racked up some pretty glamorous stats in Week 3, and it didn’t go unnoticed.

Defensive Lineman 3: Justin Trattou – Vikings – (5 tackles 2 sacks 1 FF)

Trattou is looking to earn a spot on one of the best defensive lines in the league, and by posting the kind of numbers that he did against the Chargers, I wouldn’t be surprised if he produces decent backup numbers for the Vikings this year. Trattou has played five years in the league and has never recorded a sack in the regular season. Maybe this year is his time.

Linebacker 1: Dekoda Watson – Broncos – (4 tackles 2.5 sacks 2 TFL)

The Broncos can find good pass-rushers anywhere, and their latest could be 7th year journeyman Dekoda Watson. Watson will have a hard time finding any playing time with this front-seven, but if there’s any way to make a push at it, I’d start with racking up 2.5 sacks.

Linebacker 2: Brennan Scarlett – Texans – (6 tackles 2 sacks 1 FF)

The rookie out of Stanford showed off his pass-rushing ability by posting 2 sacks against the Arizona Cardinals offensive line. Most have probably never even heard of Scarlett, but after a good Week 3, that could change. I’m not saying he is going for double-digit sacks, or even see playing time for the Texans, but if he has a good Week 4 next week, then I’d start to consider him as a viable backup.

Linebacker 3: Vince Williams – Steelers – (8 tackles 1 FF)

Image result for vince williams preseason

It’s been a while since a big-name player has appeared on this list, but that’s preseason folks! Players that you’ve never heard of trying to earn roster spots. Now, Williams isn’t on the bubble with the Steelers, after posting over 40 tackles in his only three seasons in the NFL, but just like any other player, he is pushing for some more playing time, and he was a tackle magnet against the Saints.

Cornerback 1: Anthony Brown – Dallas – (8 tackles 1 PD)

Picked in the sixth round by Dallas, Anthony Brown was nothing more than a backup who may not even make the final roster. To this day, he still is. Brown is still on the cusp, but showing his prowess against the run with 8 tackles certainly doesn’t hurt his case.

Cornerback 2: Kendall Fuller – Redskins – (3 tackles 1 INT 2 PDs)

Image result for kendall fuller preseason

Kendall Fuller would have been a huge name in the NFL Draft last year, and he likely would’ve gone within the top 15 picks, but he played through knee issues a solid chunk of the season, and his play dropped off as a result. After sitting out for the rest of the season, Fuller’s name started to be forgotten. With 3 PD’s in Week 2 and 2 PD’s and an INT against the Bills, Fuller is putting his name back on the map as one of the best corners in the 2016 Draft Class.

Safety 1: Shamiel Gary – Dolphins – (7 tackles 1 FF)

Shamiel Gary is playing in his second season out of Oklahoma State, and while he may not be vying for a starting position, he showed his run-defense prowess against the Falcons.

Safety 2: Dexter McCoil – Chargers – (11 tackles 1 FF)

Image result for dexter mccoil preseason

At 6’4” and 220 lbs, McCoil is the definition of a tweener. You could put him at linebacker, but he’d be too small. At safety, he would be too big. McCoil didn‘t seem to care where he was put, as he racked up the most tackles of anyone in the Preseason thus far.

 

 

 

Photo Credits:

http://www.chargers.com/galleries/2016/08/26/bolts-prep-preseason-game-3

http://www.redskins.com/news/article-1/As-Comfort-With-NFL-Comes-Kendall-Fuller-Beginning-To-Make-Big-Plays/862cc556-5183-4619-b814-1a3a94355e5a

http://www.abcactionnews.com/sports/football/tampa-bay-bucs/jameis-winston-shows-progress-in-tampa-bay-buccaneers-pre-season-victory-over-cincinnati-bengals

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/steelers-film-room/2016/5/20/11682202/steelers-film-room-vince-williams-pittsburgh-new-larry-foote-consistent-depth

Jacquies Smith Injury: Updates on Buccaneers DE's Hamstring and Return

Tampa Bay Buccaneers release statement on Mike Evans fight

Future Extremely Bright for Bronx Bombers

By: Michael Eccleston

What a difference a year makes, huh? Going into this season, the New York Yankees were old, had question marks across the board, and everybody was asking which way they were going, because frankly, as long as you have big money names, you’re going to have expectations on you.

The Bronx Bombers did exactly what they needed to do: They traded away their stellar bullpen arms because they knew they had large holes that had to be filled, and they’re doing just that. They’re finally coming to the realization that a youth movement is needed. Some young fire has been added to this team that we haven’t seen in the Bronx since the days of the Core Four.

The Yankees brought young catcher Gary Sanchez up a few weeks ago, and all I have to say is this: “Brian McCann… Pack it in. You don’t have to go home but you have to get the heck out of here.” The future is here and that doesn’t have you in it. I mean good lord. Gary Sanchez has just stunned everyone. This might be the greatest month a rookie has had to start off a career. In just 99 at bats this season, Sanchez has 35 hits which is a .398 average, and has hit 11 home runs with 21 runs batted in… These are video game numbers! I don’t usually jump to conclusions, but this kid is Babe Ruth. Hah I’m just kidding. But seriously. He’s making hitting major league pitching look easy. Now, we’ll see how they adjust to him and when he starts to struggle we’ll see how he can bounce back, but this is very promising. If it’s possible to make it even

Then there’s 24 year old Aaron Judge. The 6 foot 7 outfielder has struggled a tad out the gate, but after hitting that first home run at Yankee Stadium… I mean has that ball landed yet? I’m not sure of that, but yeah, this guy has some RAW power. I wouldn’t worry about him just yet. Not everyone is Gary Sanchez.

The Yankees received outfielder Clint Frazier in the deal for Andrew Miller. The 21 year old was the 5th overall pick in the 2013 draft and is another one who has raw power. In 4 seasons in the minors he has killed the ball and has driven in a lot of runs. Just the thought of both Frazier and Judge being in the Yankees’ outfield for years to come is terrifying. The acquisition of infielder Gleyber Torres in the Aroldis Chapman deal was big as well because he has a boatload of talent. He’s only 19 years old so I wouldn’t expect him to come up and make an impact too soon but the plan is to shift him from shortstop to second base so I don’t know what the plan is with current second baseman Starlin Castro and his future with the Yankees. And I haven’t even mentioned first baseman Greg Bird yet who had an impact when he came up last season but has missed all of 2016 because of injury.

Oh and not to mention Didi Gregorius who is only 26 years old and is becoming one of the best shortstops in the major leagues. He’s a magician in the field and he’s hit much better than everyone expected. Gregorius currently leads the team in average (.288) and slugging percentage (.468).

New York has been able to pretty much push both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira into retirement. They needed to make changes to their approach because even though they’ve went on a run lately fueled by the emergence of Sanchez, they are looking at possibly another season without a postseason appearance. The correct move was to build from within and get younger. We’ll see what these kids do from here, but the potential is there, the talent is there, and as of right now I can tell you that GM Brian Cashman has had a very successful season. Yankee fans need to be patient because growing pains lie ahead, but Yankee Stadium will be re-energized because of the youth movement going on currently.

Now they just need to fix that starting rotation they have there because there is still work to be done. Michael Pineda is a bad pitcher and losing Nathan Eovaldi to that devastating injury really hurts, but they are on the right track.

Teddy Bridgewater ACL Injury puts Vikings once promising season in jeopardy

By: Michael Eccleston

Well, it’s official: Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s season is over before it even started after he left practice with a torn acl. It was a non-contact injury when he dropped back during the very first drill of the day.

Wow. This is exactly why coaches, teams, and players all hold their breath throughout the preseason. Because of things like this. The Vikings were expecting a big season from the third year quarterback out of Louisville. This is a devastating blow to a team that was so poised to go into this season and go toe to toe with the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North division crown. Minnesota’s current backups are 36 year old Shaun Hill, who has been in the league for what seems like forever and hasn’t played many meaningful minutes, and the rookie out of Wisconsin Joel Stave who was just trying to make the 53 man roster.

Ouch… So where do the Vikings go from here? Do they make a trade for another solid quarterback? It appears that they have to if they want to have any chance of sniffing the postseason this year. The division title is most likely out the door, (I say most likely because weirder things have happened), but they might still be able to make a run for one of the wildcard spots if they make a trade for a decent starting option. In my opinion they don’t need a stud behind center in order to be a playoff team. They still have Adrian Peterson and Jerick McKinnon in the backfield, they still have some solid options at wide receiver, and they’re still loaded with young defensive stars like Anthony Barr, Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes and Eric Kendricks.

They aren’t going past the first round of the playoffs without Bridgewater. I think that’s pretty much out the door. But they possibly still can make it to the postseason… If they make a trade. It’s obvious that neither Shaun Hill or Joel Stave are taking this team anywhere right now. The NFC is extremely competitive right now, so they need to act soon.

Manchester United off to One Hell of a Start

Alrighty my friends, I still HATE José Mourinho, but damnit he seems to have put together a killer squad so far. Only 3 games into the English Premiere League season and United has won all three. In my mind the first two games were almost like glorified practices. They played Bournemouth and Southampton, who both are not much of contenders.

The Hull City game was the first true test of many to come this season. That game really tested the United players on all fronts. It was great to see everyone working together to make the team successful.

TMU?

By: Damian Adams

The most polarizing athlete of the last 20 years has been Floyd Mayweather Jr. The arrogant, flashy, and flamboyant champion, has always made sure everyone knew he was the absolute best at what he does. As you can see in the picture above Mayweather has accumulated an abundance of championship belts during his boxing career. Floyd has held championship belts in the Super Featherweight, Lightweight, Super Lightweight, Welterweight, and Super Welterweight divisions, on his way to a 49-0 record in his career that includes 26 KO’s (Knockouts). Which gives him the ammunition in his argument that he is “TBE” which stands for “The Best Ever”.   The best ever argument is a very hard one to make because boxing has such a long and legendary history. Mayweather has definitely earned the right to be in the conversation but he is there with legends like; Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, and Sugar Ray Robinson, among others. I personally like to refer to Floyd Mayweather as “TSE” which stands for the “The Smartest Ever” because of the way he outsmarted opponents in the ring and his business acumen outside of the ring. Floyd Mayweather also has a good argument to be referred to as “TMU” which stands for “The Most Underappreciated”.


Floyd Mayweather Jr and Roy Jones Jr have a lot in common. They are both boxing legends, both were trained by their fathers and had tumultuous relationships with them, and they both were robbed of Olympic gold medals. Roy’s robbery is the more infamous of the two but Floyd felt that same pain. Mayweather made sure he didn’t taste defeat again. “Pretty Boy Floyd” as his was called at that time, started off his professional career with a boom, going 17-0 with 11 knockouts. On October 3, 1998, Floyd got his first title shot against Genaro Hernandez for the WBC (World Boxing Council) Super Featherweight title, dominating him for eight rounds before the referee decided to stop it. Hernandez was no bum, he had a tremendous career with a record of (38-2-1). Mayweather would continue to defeat quality competition like Angel Manfredy, who finished his career, (43-8-1) with 32 KO’s, Carlo Gerena, who finished his career (38-6) with 30 KO’s, before going into a huge fight against Diego Corrales.


Corrales was (33-0) with 26 KO’s at the time. Mayweather obliterated Corrales knocking him down several times, forcing Corrales’ corner to throw in the towel, ending the fight in the 10th round.


Floyd Mayweather then moved up to the lightweight division to challenge Jose Luis Castillo for his championship. This was the most difficult fight of Mayweather’s career by far. Castillo’s style gave Floyd some issues but the self proclaimed “Pretty Boy” was able to pull out the disputed decision.  A lot of boxing fans still believe that Castillo won that fight till this day. No boxing fan with a substantial amount of boxing knowledge can dispute the rematch in which Mayweather used his blinding speed to get another unanimous decision over the great Castillo. Jose Luis Castillo ended his career (66-13-1) with 57 KO’s.  Mayweather went on to take control of  the lightweight division for the next few years, beating the likes of ; Victoriano Sosa (42-4-2) with 31 KO’s, Philip Ndou (37-5) with 34 KO’s, and Henry Bruseles (28-4-1) with 15 KO’s before going into a big time fight against Arturo Gatti.


Arturo Gatti was a warrior in the ring known his punching power and strong will. Mayweather promised to embarrass Gatti and delivered on his promise by hitting Gatti with blistering head and body blows for six rounds before the referee mercifully ended the fight. Mayweather won the Super Lightweight title that night. Gatti ended his career (40-9) with 31 KO’s.

Mayweather’s popularity and star was getting bigger and bigger as his piled up more and more names on his resume. Floyd’s skill gave him the opportunity to fight Oscar De La Hoya.  Mayweather was no longer the “Pretty Boy” as the perception of him began to change and he became more flashy and flamboyant. Floyd talked a lot of trash leading up to the fight and rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

As always “Money” Mayweather backed up his trash talk and won a close fight over hall of famer Oscar De La Hoya. Oscar De La Hoya ended his career (39-6) with 30 KO’s.  This fight was the highest grossing in boxing history at the time. After the De La Hoya fight every Floyd Mayweather fight was a spectacle and huge payday for “Money”.

Mayweather would go on to beat the previously undefeated Ricky Hatton by a eighth round TKO and then took a two year hiatus from the sport. Ricky Hatton ended his career (45-3) with 32 KO’s.

After Mayweather’s break, he would come back to beat Juan Manuel Marquez in a 12 round display of boxing excellence. This is the same Juan Manuel Marquez who fought Manny Pacquiao four times and literally put Pacquiao to sleep on the fourth occasion. Marquez finished his career (56-7-1) with 40 KO’s. Marquez was never knocked out during his career.


After beating Marquez, Mayweather would fight future hall of famer Shane Mosley. Mosley came ready to fight and hit Mayweather with two vicious right hands in the 2nd round. “Money” looked to be in trouble but recovered and adjusted to win the fight easily. Mosley is currently (49-10-1) with 41 KO’s, hopefully he retires soon.

Floyd “Money” Mayweather would continue to rack up victories and checks as he got a controversial knockout win over Victor Ortiz, then beat Miguel Cotto and Robert Guerrero by unanimous decision before facing the young lion primed to take him out, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.


Alvarez was no match for Mayweather as Floyd made Canelo miss all match and countered him with hard right hands. Saul Alvarez is currently (47-1-1) with 33 KO’s. Alvarez is arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the sport now.  After the Alvarez fight, Mayweather won two decisions over the hard-hitting Marcos Maidana, before entering the perceived “Fight of The Century” against Manny Pacquiao.


Mayweather dominated the legend in the long awaited bout. Pacquaio only won two or 3 rounds max. The fight did not live up to the hype but that was no fault of Mayweather’s as he threw more punches, landed more punches, and landed at a higher percentage. Pacquaio is a future hall of famer who is currently (58-6-2) with 38 KO’s.  This was the highest grossing fight in history.  Mayweather only fought once after Pacquaio, ending his career, by putting on a show against former champion Andre Berto.

Any other boxer with the history, resume, and skill set of Mayweather would be beloved but Mayweather tends to show off the benefits of his boxing skill as you see above. This rubs plenty of fans the wrong way and it makes people look for reasons to not accept his greatness. A lot of people don’t like Floyd Mayweather because of his history with women and of course domestic violence is not condoned but that is separate from his boxing career. Fans will say things like he didn’t fight anyone, even though he beat several current or future hall of famers, and over 20 champions.  Mayweather’s detractors also say he didn’t fight, he ran, like dodging punches is against the rules. Other fans who dislike “Money” will say he only plays defense, which makes his fights boring. Did they forget that Mayweather has won several fights with strong offensive performances like when defeated; Arturo Gatti, Diego Corrales, Ricky Hatton, and Saul Alvarez?

Mayweather is also a promoting genius by creating the “Money” Mayweather persona, he made sure that people would turn in to see his fights. Boxing fans either hated or loved Mayweather, no one was or is indifferent about this man. Which is brilliant because all fans will tune in and pay to see Floyd Mayweather either win or lose depending on how they feel about him. Which has led to Mayweather being in the top three grossing fights of all time and four of the top ten. Mayweather found a way to make hundreds of millions dollars in a sport where the athletes are usually broke at the end. Even with his huge list of accomplishments, Floyd may never be beloved and that’s why he will go down as the most underappreciated boxer of all time.

The Jason Garrett Experiment

By Kim Dunning

The great debate lately between Cowboys fans is quite simply whether or not Jason Garrett is a good head coach.   More fuel has been added to this fire with Eric Davis’ comments from NFL Network the other night.   It’s now time to end the Jason Garrett experiment in Dallas.

 

Davis comment for those that missed it was: “I’m more interested in seeing what the coaches do.  Because when Tony went down last year, you should have been able to find a way.  That roster was good enough to find a way to win more than one game.  And I want to see what happens this time.  Because if Jason Garrett can’t do anything coming out of the gate without their quarterback, with everything else you have in place.  I still say I don’t know why he’s still there now, after that, but he may not survive it.”

 Davis didn’t say anything that a few Cowboys fans and peers of mine haven’t been saying for year.  Jason Garrett is not head coaching material.

 Garrett has always had a free pass when it comes to his head coaching career with Dallas.  It’s almost like he has blackmail on Jerry Jones and Jones is afraid to let him go because all of it would come out.  I say that very tongue-in-cheek, but any other head coach for Jones would have been gone.

Garrett’s offense was the reason why Wade Phillips was fired.  You really can’t blame Wade because he has succeeded well outside the Cowboys.  When Garrett took over at interim head coach, all the reports were how the players walked over Phillips and it was “camp cupcake” all the time.  However, things haven’t really changed for Garrett either.   Dez Bryant as passionate as he may come across to a certain selection of fans, still throws temper tantrums and mouths off on the sidelines.  Imagine if you could, Jimmy Johnson putting up with those shenanigans, because Jimmy wouldn’t have.

Garrett is a lost cause as head coach.  There is no fire befitting a redhead in him on the field and if there is behind closed doors, no one has made mention of it.  Yes, Garrett has honored Landry with the final formation after a win and he has made them wear suit and ties to games but none of those translate well onto the field.

The players are still undisciplined on the field.  The penalties pile up game after game and for the most part are drive-killing penalties.   The players still throw tantrums on the side lines and when Dallas is losing, all the body language on the sidelines screams defeated.

The Garrett experiment has been over for a while.  Ever since the stat came out he is 37% against teams with a winning percentage.  Garrett’s time is nearing the end.  As Davis stated, if Garrett can’t get talent out of this squad, we have a major problem.