England beat Scotland to reach semis - England survive a Scotland fightback to reach the Commonwealth Games semi-finals where they are likely to face New Zealand. Bolt: Games slur reports 'nonsense' - Van Gaal right about fitness - Shaw - Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw says boss Louis van Gaal was right to question his fitness after joining the club. Toure confirms future is at Man City - Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure says he wants to stay at the Premier League club for "as long as possible". UCLA wades through damages from pipe flooding (Yahoo Sports) - The quiet summer campus of UCLA found itself suddenly steeped in water and chaos after a major water pipe burst and spewed some eight million gallons, stranding people in parking garages and flooding the school's storied basketball court less than two years after a major renovation. The 30-inch, nearly century old pipe burst under nearby Sunset Boulevard on Tuesday afternoon, sending water 30 feet into the air, opening a 15-foot hole in the street and inundating part of the campus that was soon swarmed with police and firefighters. ''Unfortunately UCLA was the sink for this water source,'' UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. Lisicki hits fastest women's serve - Sabine Lisicki hits the fastest serve in the history of women's tennis at 131mph during a first-round loss in Stanford. Peterson says he's got 5-year, $70 million deal (Yahoo Sports) - Cornerback Patrick Peterson says he has reached agreement on a five-year, $70 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, with $48 million guaranteed. Peterson revealed the terms via twitter Tuesday night. The Cardinals announced the deal a short time later, but did not disclose the terms. The agreement keeps Peterson under contract with Arizona through 2020. Liriano fans 11 in Pirates' 3-1 win (Yahoo Sports) - Francisco Liriano struck out a season-high 11 in seven innings to win consecutive starts for the first time this season and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Tuesday night. Josh Harrison hit a leadoff home run in the first inning and Travis Snider added a two-run shot in the second for the Pirates, who moved within one game of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central. A former minor league prospect for the Giants, Liriano (3-7) gave up a home run to Mike Morse but was otherwise stellar while leading the surging Pirates to their eighth win in 11 games. San Francisco lost its sixth straight, matching its longest skid of the season. Vin Scully to return for 66th season in LA in 2015 (Yahoo Sports) - Vin Scully is staying in the booth for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The announcement was made by in Korean, Spanish and English by players Hyun-Jin Ryu, Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner on the Dodger Stadium video board in the second inning of Tuesday night's game against Atlanta. Orioles beat Angels 7-6 in 12 innings (Yahoo Sports) - BALTIMORE (AP) -- Manny Machado homered off Cory Rasmus leading off the 12th inning to give the Baltimore Orioles a 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

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Arizona CB Patrick Peterson announces huge new contract on Twitter [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 30, 2014, 4:07 am]
Like Seattle's Richard Sherman, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson took to Twitter to announce his new contract, giving everyone the terms of the deal. And why wouldn't he want to share those contract details, considering they are astounding: Happy to announce my 5 year extension with @AZCardinals! $70M and $48M Guaranteed!! #AZCardinals #P2Nation #YearOfTheCardinal— Patrick Peterson (@RealPeterson21) July 30, 2014 Whoa. It's surprising Peterson didn't include Sherman's Twitter handle on that message, because the deal is a bit of a trump card in their little offseason war. If Peterson's numbers are to be believed (and the trend lately is to exaggerate "guaranteed" money, so we'll see), he is now the highest paid cornerback in league history in terms of guaranteed money, replacing Cleveland's Joe Haden, who replaced Sherman. Sherman announced in May he got $40 million guaranteed ($57 million overall over four years), and Haden got $45 million guaranteed from the Browns shortly after, which caused Peterson to exclaim "45!!!!!" on Twitter when it was announced. Well, Peterson beat that with his deal on Tuesday night (by the way, how did the Patriots steal Darrelle Revis for just $12 million on a one-year deal this offseason?).  Peterson has said he's the best cornerback in the game, and he better be for that kind of money. Peterson is the total package, a huge corner who can move around the field and match up in man coverage with the opponent's best receiver. He's also a dynamic punt returner and has played some offense, though he said he's going to exclusively be a cornerback this season. Given how much money the Cardinals just handed Peterson, they might want to rethink things, and have him perform as many duties as they can think of this year.  - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

Drew Brees shows off his accuracy by pegging frisbee with football [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 30, 2014, 2:24 am]
Fun week for Drew Brees. First, he said he wants to play until he's 45 — that's 10 more years, if you're doing the math at home. Then he was randomly drug tested (twice!) by the NFL, which he got a good kick out of. [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!] And perhaps just to prove that he's not on anything — anything recreational, anyway — Brees decided to throw a football at a frisbee. Well, we're convinced. Hey, no one likes a showoff, but this is pretty cool. Can you do this? The answer is probably the same for the question of whether you can play until you're 45. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

Oakland Raiders owner talks to San Antonio about move [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 11:23 pm]
Perhaps there's room for a cowboy hat on the vintage Raiders logo. Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, upset with the stadium situation, met with San Antonio officials about possibly relocating his team, the San Antonio Express-News reported. The Express-News said Davis met on the weekend of July 18 with former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros, then-mayor Julián Castro, city manager Sheryl Sculley, Mario Hernandez of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, and Richard Perez and David McGee, the president and chairman of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, respectively. The meeting was confirmed when Sculley issued a memo to the city council after the Express-News story broke, describing it as "preliminary due diligence" after Davis expressed interest in a "possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio." It's fair to wonder if this is a bluff by Davis, a move to put some heat on Oakland officials to get a new stadium. But it's worth noting that the meeting happened about a week-and-a-half ago, and the story was leaked to a San Antonio newspaper. If the Raiders were really just engaging in a public staredown, using San Antonio as a bargaining chip, part of that process is actually making the meeting public. Unless the Raiders decided to leak it to a media outlet in Texas first, they were very quiet on the situation. Logically, it would make no sense to keep a bluff like this a secret. The Raiders put out a statement on the matter after the Express-News story came out: 1 of 3 - Raiders Owner Mark Davis, "I was in San Antonio to honor Cliff Branch on his induction into the PVILCA..."— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) July 29, 2014 2 of 3 Mark Davis cont'd, Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros is a friend, and Henry suggested I take the opportunity to meet with..."— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) July 29, 2014 3 of 3 Mark Davis, "...with some of the city officials while we were in town. I have nothing further to discuss on the topic."— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@

Cowboys, Steelers fans rank as NFL's 'best,' new study finds [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 11:23 pm]
Hate Cowboys fans? Hate Steelers fans? (Come on. You've got to hate at least one of them.) Well, now you've got yet another reason to hate them: they're better than your team, judging by some new social and analytical metrics. The Sports Marketing Analytics project at Emory University tracks a variety of statistical measures to track fan loyalty. The project, the product of professors Mike Lewis and Manish Tripathi, has determined that the fan bases of Dallas and Pittsburgh rank at the top of two important statistical categories. Dallas leads the way in "Fan Equity," a metric designed to track just how much a fanbase supports its team financially. The ranking is an average of the last three years, but even so, Dallas has led in this category for five years. Rounding out the top five are the fan bases of the Patriots, Jets, Giants, and Colts. At the bottom of the list? Buffalo, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Miami, and Oakland, though you can expect Cleveland to vacate that spot before long. (Full listing below.) Don't like where your team ranks? Open up your wallet, slick. The project combines its measurements of Fan Equity with a social media component, tracking how well its fans follow the team's exploits across social media. In that regard, the Steelers hold the upper hand, edging out the Cowboys for the top slot. Also in the top five: New England, Green Bay, and New Orleans. At the bottom of the social-media rankings: Washington, San Diego, Carolina, St. Louis, and Arizona. ("Fan Fact," the project's authors write. "The Cardinals have about 100,000 Twitter followers compared to about 80,000 for the Cowboys’ cheerleaders.") The social media metric isn't constrained by, say, the size of a stadium or a fan's willingness to spend. But there is, of course, a self-selection at work here: you may be the biggest Packers fan in Wisconsin, but if you don't know your Facebook from your Twitter, you're not going to make a dent in this particular measurement. Here are the comple

ESPN suspends Stephen A. Smith over Ray Rice domestic abuse commentary [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 9:37 pm]
ESPN has suspended Stephen A. Smith from its TV and radio airwaves for a week following his controversial comments about Baltimore running back Ray Rice's wife, according to Sports Illustrated. From ESPN PR: “ESPN announced today that Stephen A. Smith will not appear on First Take or ESPN Radio for the next week."— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 29, 2014 Already a hotly debated topic in the aftermath of the NFL's two-game suspension of Rice, Smith threw gasoline on the fire, suggesting on "First Take" that Rice's then-fiancée Janay Palmer could have done something to prevent last year's alleged domestic violence incident in an Atlantic City elevator. "What I’ve tried to employ the female members of my family — some of who you all met and talked to and what have you — is that ... let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come — or somebody else come, whether it’s law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know — if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn’t negate the fact that they already put their hands on you." Most notably, Smith's ESPN colleague Michelle Beadle drew attention to Smith's insensitive commentary.  So I was just forced to watch this morning's First Take. A) I'll never feel clean again B) I'm now aware that I can provoke my own beating.— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) July 25, 2014 I'm thinking about wearing a miniskirt this weekend...I'd hate to think what I'd be asking for by doing so @stephenasmith. #dontprovoke— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) July 25, 2014 Violence isn't the victim's issue. It's the abuser's. To insinuate otherwise is irresponsible and disgusting. Walk. Away.— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) July 25, 2014 Soon afterward, Smith unleashed another ill-conceived rant on Twitter during his first attempt at an apology, reiterating in response to Beadle on Friday, "But what about addressing women on how they ca

Giants running back David Wilson suffers 'stinger' after return from neck surgery [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 8:29 pm]
In only his fifth time back on a football field since finally being cleared to return from last year's season-ending spinal fusion surgery, Giants running back David Wilson's career may be in jeopardy once again. The 23-year-old Virginia Tech product suffered another injury to the neck area during Tuesday's padded practice, according to The Star-Ledger and other media present at training camp in East Rutherford, N.J. A member of the training staff assisted Wilson off the field. The degree of Wilson's injury is unknown, but most reports include words like "stinger" and "burner" — code for nerve damage resulting from neck and shoulder trauma. These are the same terms that ultimately necessitated the fusion of two vertebrae in his neck following a hit against the Eagles this past October. Just days ago, reports lauded Wilson's perseverance in returning from what many considered a career-threatening injury for the first day of training camp, so this latest news has to be of concern for the third-year running back, a Giants team in need of his services and a league with a concussion problem. "We were all praying that it would not be an issue, that he could just come back and go to work," Giants coach Tom Coughlin told reporters after Tuesday's practice. "He was cleared. So we'll see. I'm not going to speculate what it is. We'll have to see what the doctors say." Wilson average 5.0 yards on 71 carries in addition to leading the NFL in kick return yards as a rookie. He started four of New York's first five games before suffering his season-ending injury last season.

Hall of Fame profile: Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Derrick Brooks [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 8:04 pm]
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 gets inducted on Saturday. Shutdown Corner will profile the seven new Hall of Famers this week, looking at each of their careers and their impact on the game. Derrick BrooksTampa Bay Buccaneers, 1995-2008Linebacker Greatest moment By the point at which it happened, the game was almost out of reach. But Brooks' 44-yard interception return for a touchdown in the final minutes of Super Bowl XXXVII put an exclamation point on one of the most dominant defensive performances in championship history and sealed the franchise's first and only Super Bowl title. Brooks was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in that 2002 regular season, leading the team with 173 tackles, and adding a career-high five interceptions (three of which were returned for scores), 15 passes defensed, one fumble recovery and one sack. He was a major contributor in the Bucs’ victory in Super Bowl XXXVII where he had three tackles, one pass defensed, and one interception returned 44 yards for a TD against the Oakland Raiders. "If Warren [Sapp] was the heart of our defense, then Derrick Brooks was the soul that propelled us to our Super Bowl championship in 2002," Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer said. Impact on the game Brooks was drafted along with Sapp in 1995 to help aid what had been one of the NFL's worst defensive units for more than a decade. He instantly became a starter and never missed a game over the following 14 seasons, with his three non-starts as a rookie coming when the team opened in nickel defense against run-and-shoot teams. Brooks and Sapp became the pillars of what would become a defensive dynasty in the team's vaunted Tampa-2 scheme, started by Tony Dungy and continued on for more than a decade by others as the vogue defensive scheme of its time. Brooks and Sapp would become only the second pair of teammates both taken in Round 1 of the draft to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame after Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers. From the weak

Shutdown Countdown: Payton and Brees always give the Saints a shot [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 4:48 pm]
Shutdown Corner is previewing all 32 teams as we get ready for the NFL season, counting down the teams one per day in reverse order or our initial 2014 power rankings. No. 1 will be revealed on Aug. 2, the day before the preseason begins with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton. We found out last season how valuable a great coach is in the NFL. Here are the Saints' win totals the last five years: 13, 11, 13, 7, 11. The one poor season in that run came when Sean Payton was suspended for a year. It's easy to point to Payton as the only variable, but the Saints also got a huge boost when Rob Ryan was free to become their defensive coordinator. The Cowboys fired Ryan so they could hire Monte Kiffin (man, how depressing is that sentence for Cowboys fans?) and Ryan had an immediate impact on the defense. Without any massive change in personnel, aside from rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro, New Orleans improved from 32nd in total defense in 2012 to fourth last year. Great coaching isn't just reserved for head coaches. Of course, life is easier for all coaches when the great Drew Brees is your quarterback. Brees had his third straight 5,000-yard season. A 5,000-yard season was considered the gold standard just a few years ago. And really, it still is. It has been reached on eight occasions ... four of those times by Brees. It'll be fun when everyone figures out that Brees is one of the five best quarterbacks of all time and it's not even much of a debate. That should be coming soon, perhaps after Brees wins an MVP award this season. The Saints will always wonder what might have been last season. They played a fine game at Carolina in Week 16, only to have Cam Newton rip their hearts out in the final minute and a week later win the NFC South. Had the Saints held on, that would have jumbled the entire NFC playoff picture. They would have hosted a playoff game in the second round instead of going on the road in the first two rounds. They probably weren't beating Seattle in a NFC champio

Shutdown Countdown: Sean Payton and Drew Brees always give Saints a shot [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 4:48 pm]
Shutdown Corner is previewing all 32 teams as we get ready for the NFL season, counting down the teams one per day in reverse order or our initial 2014 power rankings. No. 1 will be revealed on Aug. 2, the day before the preseason begins with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton. We found out last season how valuable a great coach is in the NFL. Here are the Saints' win totals the past five years: 13, 11, 13, 7, 11. The one poor season in that run came when Sean Payton was suspended for a year. It's easy to point to Payton as the only variable, but the Saints also got a huge boost when Rob Ryan was free to become their defensive coordinator. The Cowboys fired Ryan so they could hire Monte Kiffin (man, how depressing is that sentence for Cowboys fans?) and Ryan had an immediate impact. Without any massive change in personnel, aside from rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro, New Orleans improved from 32nd in total defense in 2012 to fourth last year. Great coaching isn't just reserved for head coaches. Of course, life is easier for all coaches when the great Drew Brees is your quarterback. Brees had his third straight 5,000-yard season. A 5,000-yard season was considered the gold standard a few years ago. And really, it still is. It has been reached on eight occasions ... four of those times by Brees. It'll be fun when everyone figures out that Brees is one of the five best quarterbacks of all time and it's not even much of a debate. That should be coming soon, perhaps after Brees wins an MVP award this season. [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!] The Saints will always wonder what might have been last season. They played a fine game at Carolina in Week 16, only to have Cam Newton rip their hearts out in the final minute and a week later win the NFC South. Had the Saints held on, that would have jumbled the entire NFC playoff picture. They would have hosted a playoff game in the second round instead of going on the road in the first

Browns fan who supposedly urinated on Art Modell's grave will be charged [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 3:03 pm]
A simple rule in life: If you urinate on someone's grave and post a video of it to YouTube to impress others, there will be consequences. Like catching a misdemeanor charge for it. An unidentified fan is seen on a YouTube video, posted under the username "BrownsFan4Life," at Druid Ridge Cemetery in Baltimore. He is supposedly is paying his respects to Art Modell who owned the Ravens until his death in 2012. The fan then tears off his Ed Reed Ravens jersey to reveal a Browns jersey. Modell moved the Browns from Cleveland to Baltimore after the 1995 season, and most Clevelanders have never forgiven him. This genius then appears to urinate on Modell's grave using a catheter. He says in the video that's what he is doing. He then uses the same phrase Modell used when explaining why he moved the Browns: "I had no choice." Here's one of the copies of the video from YouTube, but be warned that it has bad language: This is going to surprise you, but the authorities didn't take too kindly to the fan's actions. The Baltimore Sun said the man will be charged by the Baltimore County State's Attorney's Office with indecent or disorderly conduct in a cemetery, a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of two years in jail and a $500 fine. He won't be identified publicly until the charge is upheld by a court commissioner, the Sun said. "Everyone who has buried a loved one has the right to believe that their final resting place will be treated with respect," Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said in a statement, according to the Sun. "Bringing charges against this individual should act as a deterrent to others and assure the rest of us that no matter who you are, indecencies will not be committed against your final resting place." - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

Johnny Manziel has a different style than Dan Marino, but Marino likes it [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 1:20 pm]
WAYNE, N.J. – While the talking heads and pundits question Johnny Manziel's ability to transition to the NFL, Miami Dolphins legend and Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino said he sees a bright future for the Cleveland Browns first-round pick. That is, of course, if he can stay healthy. Marino doesn't see the same issues that caused teams to pass over Manziel until the Browns took him 22nd in this past May's NFL draft. He has no real issues with Manziel's lack of stature or a playing style that some think won't cut it in the faster, more aggressive NFL. Instead, Marino thinks the former Texas A&M gunsligner has the skill set to get to the next level. “You learn and play as hard as you can and I think Johnny has that attitude. I think sometimes everybody gives him more attention for having fun or whatever. I really like his attitude on the field, how he plays the game,” Marino told Yahoo Sports. “Hopefully that translates to the NFL." Marino knows what it's like to become a success after being passed over in the draft. In the 1983 NFL draft, Marino fell to No. 27 as five quarterbacks were taken ahead of him in that draft. Some, like Jim Kelly and John Elway, went on to have splendid careers. Others such as Tony Eason and Todd Blackledge, well, not so much. Before the draft, Manziel was seen as a possible first overall pick to the Houston Texans. Most had him as a consensus top 10 pick. Few had him falling to No. 22, not unlike Marino's draft odyssey in 1983. But Marino ended up in a great place with the Dolphins and head coach Don Shula. He thinks that Manziel and Cleveland could be a good fit as well. "He can make most of the throws," said Marino, who spoke after he helped open an Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza location in Wayne, N.J. and signed autographs for several Dolphins fans. "He’ll be fine but the biggest concern is health-wise. He needs to stay healthy, he’s not the biggest of guys.” Marino still pays close attention to the game. In particular, Ma

Ray Rice earns big cheers from Baltimore Ravens fans at training camp [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 12:00 pm]
We've done our best to call out Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for his inexcusable actions (for which he never really actually apologized to his victim, which just happens to be his wife now) and we've taken the NFL to task for their two-game suspension, which — when you stack it up to some of other Roger Goodell's discipline — appears quite light. [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!] But the most forgiving group of people appears to be Ravens fans, who just love their player. Fans loudly cheered Rice on Monday, as his image repeatedly appeared on the big screen at M&T Bank Stadium, the site of the Ravens' first open practice at training camp.  Rice even beat his chest as a nod to fans. Per ESPN.com's Jamison Henley, many fans in the crowd Monday night were wearing Rice's No. 27 jersey, including several women and children.  The facts are these: Rice was beloved prior to his altercation with then-fiancée-now-wife Janay Palmer in February, and — if the cheers are any indication — he remains one of the team's most popular players. The team was cautious at first when the news of the incident broke, but make no mistake: It firmly has stood in Rice's corner, explaining the event as being out of character for Rice. Rice, who will speak to the media, issued a statement through the Ravens' PR department last week after deciding not to appeal the NFL's two-game suspension. “It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault," Rice said. "As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously. “My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident. I am a role model and I take that responsibilit

Mark Sanchez says Philly fans are 'nicer' than New York fans [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 12:26 am]
As gaffes go, Mark Sanchez has a high bar to clear to get past the Butt Fumble. But the former Jet and new Eagle gave it the ol' college try on Monday, offering up a quote that we're sure will follow him around. In discussing his new digs with Philadelphia, Sanchez offered up a direct assessment: "The fans are a lot nicer here." In addition to being the first time that the Philadelphia fans have been classified as nicer than anyone, this also seems a bit of misplaced frustration on Sanchez's part. Sure, he lost his job to injury and Geno Smith. And sure, he was unfairly reduced to a bit player in the let-Tim-Tebow-play debacle. But to rip the people who actually choose to root for the Jets? That's like kicking a puppy. Sanchez will be backing up Nick Foles, who's only coming off a career season, so it's possible Sanchez won't ever have to hear the gentle caresses of a Philly crowd. But Jets fans are a whole different story. When they're angry, you can hear them from orbit. The Eagles play the Jets at home the fourth game of preseason, and travel to New York to play the Giants in Week 17. We're certain Jets fans will be ready to show him just how nice they can be. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

Mark Sanchez says Philly fans are 'nicer' than New York fans (updated) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 12:26 am]
(Update: Sanchez may have actually said something a little different than what was initially implied. His clarification is below.) As gaffes go, Mark Sanchez has a high bar to clear to get past the Butt Fumble. But the former Jet and new Eagle gave it the ol' college try on Monday, offering up a quote that we're sure will follow him around. In discussing his new digs with Philadelphia, Sanchez offered up a direct assessment: "The fans are a lot nicer here." In addition to being the first time that the Philadelphia fans have been classified as nicer than anyone, this also seems a bit of misplaced frustration on Sanchez's part. Sure, he lost his job to injury and Geno Smith. And sure, he was unfairly reduced to a bit player in the let-Tim-Tebow-play debacle. But to rip the people who actually choose to root for the Jets? That's like kicking a puppy. Sanchez will be backing up Nick Foles, who's only coming off a career season, so it's possible Sanchez won't ever have to hear the gentle caresses of a Philly crowd. But Jets fans are a whole different story. When they're angry, you can hear them from orbit. The Eagles play the Jets at home the fourth game of preseason, and travel to New York to play the Giants in Week 17. We're certain Jets fans will be ready to show him just how nice they can be. Update: Sanchez clarified his comments on Twitter, saying he wasn't talking about Jets fans at all: pic.twitter.com/O2KkcgwOGb— Mark Sanchez (@Mark_Sanchez) July 29, 2014 ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

Mark Sanchez says Philly fans are 'nicer' than New York fans? (updated) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 12:26 am]
(Update: Sanchez may have actually said something a little different than what was initially implied. His clarification is below.) As gaffes go, Mark Sanchez has a high bar to clear to get past the Butt Fumble. But the former Jet and new Eagle gave it the ol' college try on Monday, offering up a quote that we're sure will follow him around. In discussing his new digs with Philadelphia, Sanchez offered up a direct assessment: "The fans are a lot nicer here." In addition to being the first time that the Philadelphia fans have been classified as nicer than anyone, this also seems a bit of misplaced frustration on Sanchez's part. Sure, he lost his job to injury and Geno Smith. And sure, he was unfairly reduced to a bit player in the let-Tim-Tebow-play debacle. But to rip the people who actually choose to root for the Jets? That's like kicking a puppy. Sanchez will be backing up Nick Foles, who's only coming off a career season, so it's possible Sanchez won't ever have to hear the gentle caresses of a Philly crowd. But Jets fans are a whole different story. When they're angry, you can hear them from orbit. The Eagles play the Jets at home in the fourth game of the preseason, and travel to New York to play the Giants in Week 17. We're certain Jets fans will be ready to show him just how nice they can be. Update: Sanchez clarified his comments on Twitter, saying he wasn't talking about Jets fans at all: pic.twitter.com/O2KkcgwOGb— Mark Sanchez (@Mark_Sanchez) July 29, 2014 ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

Giants want Eli Manning to complete 70 percent of passes, a very tall task [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 28, 2014, 11:28 pm]
Training camp is time for optimism, so you might as well shoot high. Or, in the Giants' case with Eli Manning, shoot for one of the greatest seasons in NFL history, in terms of completion percentage. Giants quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf told the New York Daily News that the goal for Manning this season is to complete 70 percent of his passes. Manning has a 58.5 percent career mark, completed 57.5 percent last year and his career best is 62.9 percent. "We'd love to be up there at 70 percent," Langsdorf said. "It hasn't been done very often. That's the ultimate goal. We'd like to raise his completion percentage for sure." Hey, aim really high and even if you come close it will be a success. That makes sense. But if 70 percent sounds really, really high, it's because it is. Four players in league history have completed 70 percent of their passes: Drew Brees (who did it twice, which is yet another reason he's one of the five greatest quarterbacks ever), Steve Young, Joe Montana and Ken Anderson. So that's three of the top 10 quarterbacks ever, and the underrated Anderson. So, no problem, Eli. It's like the Red Sox hoping David Ortiz hits .400 next season. It's great to set lofty goals ... but, no. If Manning can get to the mid-60s in completion percentage, he'll have had a fine season. If he gets 70 percent, other teams might want to get Langsdorf on the phone right away to see if he'd like to be their offensive coordinator or head coach, because 70 percent means that he might be a magician. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

Patriots claim injured Panthers rookie running back Gaffney off waivers [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 28, 2014, 9:50 pm]
The Carolina Panthers tried to sneak an injured player through waivers. They should have known the New England Patriots would not allow that to happen. Panthers sixth-round pick Tyler Gaffney, a running back out of Stanford, had opened eyes this offseason but went down early in camp with a torn left meniscus in his knee. But instead of carrying him on the roster for the remainder of camp before placing him on injured reserve, per NFL rules, the Panthers gambled and tried to waive him first before re-signing him as a way of freeing up a roster spot and saving a few bucks. Basically, the Panthers bet $100k and a draft pick that everybody would play nice. They lost.— Darin Gantt (@daringantt) July 28, 2014 [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!] The Patriots are notorious for this kind of move, which is legal. They're always thinking to next year and are looking for these kinds of opportunities. Gaffney must land on their roster now for the remainder of the preseason, but it's a risk they're willing to take — and one the Panthers were not. For Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, this is a case of deja vu. The Patriots did the same kind of thing to the New York Giants months after the Giants beat them in the Super Bowl in 2012, claiming Jake Ballard, who had suffered a serious knee injury in that game and would miss the entire next season. When the Giants — Gettleman was in the team's front office — tried to waive Ballard only to re-sign him, the Patriots intervened and stole what had been a good player. Ballard never panned out for the Patriots, and Gaffney might not either. But for the Patriots, it's a solid roll of the dice on a player who could help the team in the backfield next season. Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are free agents next season, and there's a good chance both might not return. Plus, as with Ballard and the Giants after the Super Bowl loss, perhaps this one is a slight measure of payback for Luke Kuechly

You'll want to see Peyton Manning dancing to 'Rocky Top' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 28, 2014, 9:50 pm]
Nobody ever said Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was graceful on the football field. So it also shouldn't come as a surprise that Manning isn't the world's best dancer. He tried, when "Rocky Top" came on before Broncos practice. Like a good Tennessee alum, Manning lit up for the song, and started ... well, I guess you'd call it dancing? I think Elaine Benes would be proud. The NBC affiliate in Denver, 9News, caught it on video. Thank you, 9News. We also get the bonus shot of Broncos receiver Wes Welker getting down, which was pretty impressive. At least we know the Broncos are keeping it loose during camp. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

Drew Brees randomly drug tested after saying he wants to play to 45 [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 28, 2014, 9:29 pm]
Last week, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he felt he wanted to play another 10 years. Fans and media were surprised. The NFL clearly was listening, too. On Friday I said I thought I could play til age 45. I have been “randomly” selected for drug tests the last 2 days. What’s up with that! Lol— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) July 27, 2014 [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!] You think Big Brother is asleep during training camp? Heh. Think again. Funny stuff from Brees. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

Detroit Lions tabling contract extension talks with Suh until after season [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 28, 2014, 7:53 pm]
Detroit Lions president told the media Monday that the team will table contract talks with free-agent-to-be defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh until after the completion of the season. Lewand wouldn't rule out using the franchise tag to keep Suh next year, just said a lot of options on table— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) July 28, 2014 [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!] Although Lewand said he's optimistic the team can find a way to make the deal happen, Suh's massive 2014 base salary of $22.5 million (!) means that his franchise-tag number will be a whopping $27 million (!!) next year. If the Lions are nuts enough to tag Suh at that level, he should just sign the franchise tender and collect the guaranteed pile of cash. It would be more than what Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata received for guaranteed money for his entire extension and $11 million more than what Suh's teammate, Calvin Johnson, received in the form of a signing bonus a year and a half ago. This one is going to be extremely tough. The Lions, of course, don't have to make Suh their franchise player, but if they can't sign him now and Suh plays at an All Pro level this season, the price for an extension only goes up. And in Suh's mind — one that's tricky to crack — he might think his value should break the bank after this season even if he does not play at an elite level. Suh is a very good player whose inconsistencies have been a tad frustrating. He's better than most of the defensive tackles in the NFL, and Suh occasionally has played at a very high level. But the Lions always appear to be wanting just a little more. We'll need to see how he fares with a new head coach and defensive coordinator, but you might be able to make the argument that Gerald McCoy — taken one slot after Suh in the 2010 draft — might have passed him as a player. You get the feeling that the Lions are putting up a good front on their chances to re-sign Suh o





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