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Photos: 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics - Day 10

Check out the latest action from the 2018 Pyeongchang games.

ESPN analyst says former Heisman winner should make position change at the next level

Former NFL executive and current ESPN talker Bill Polian said top quarterback prospect Lamar Jackson is better suited as a wide receiver.

Again.

This time it happened on Golic and Wingo.

I’m tired pic.twitter.com/bRIe9CTz6Z — Brandon Howard (@bhoward_81) February 19, 2018 “I think wide receiver,” Polian said. “Exceptional athlete. Exceptional ability to make you miss. Exceptional acceleration. Exceptional instinct with the ball in your hand – and that’s rare for a wide receiver.” “This guy is incredible in the open field…and again, short, and kind of slight, and clearly not the thrower that the other guys are,” Polian added. “So I would say, don’t wait to make that change. Don’t wait to be like that kid from Ohio State (Terrelle Pryor) and wait until you’re 29 to make the change.”

On ESPN LA back in September, Polian said nearly the same thing:

“I don’t think that Lamar, the Louisville kid’s in that discussion, in fact there’s a question that he may be, he might be a receiver.” Polian said, as transcribed by The Big Lead. [loud yelling from the hosts, including “are you kidding me?”] “No, I’m not kidding you. And that has to do with girth and skill set as well.”

In that ESPN LA spot, Polian also said, despite Drew Brees being physically smaller than Lamar Jackson, that comparing the two’s frames isn’t a good idea. You know, even though he brought up the issue of Jackson’s frame.

Lamar Jackson is 6-foot-3.

It appears Polian had his mind made up about Jackson well before the college football season even really got going since he first made the WR comments back in September, a full college football season happened, and he’s still singing the same tune.

Lamar Jackson, a former Heisman Trophy winner, had a higher competition percentage than presumed top pick Josh Allen last season. He also threw for nearly double the amount of yardage, had 11 more touchdown passes and only threw for four more interceptions despite 160 more pass attempts.

But yeah, he’s totally a wide receiver, Bill. No code here.

Five-star OT Darnell Wright has three schools recruiting him the hardest right now

Five-star offensive tackle Darnell Wright is going to have many suitors when it comes to his college recruitment as he’s a 6-foot-6, 290-pound beast. He spoke to SEC Country about his recruitment and he named Alabama, North Carolina and Ohio State as the schools recruiting him the hardest. He spoke a lot about Alabama in particular.

“I talk to Coach Key regularly,” Wright said. “Coach Key is really funny. We’re on really good terms. I talk to Coach Saban sometimes. It’s cool talking to Coach Saban. I know he’s busy because he does a lot for the program. When I talk to him, I try to not act like I’m talking to Jesus.  “They just tell me that I’m one of their top guys in this class. They’re looking forward to getting me back on campus sometime soon.”

Wright currently lives in West Virginia, but did spend some time in Dayton, Ohio which is why some people that the Buckeyes are the ones to beat in his recruitment. However, Wright shot down those rumors.

“I wouldn’t say they’re the top team right now,” Wright said. “Ohio State is definitely one of the top teams I’m considering, but I wouldn’t say they’re pulling away.”

Wright is the No. 3 recruit at his position, top recruit in the state and the No. 19 overall recruit in the class of 2019 according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He also has offers from Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida and Georgia among others.

Here are some highlights:

J.J. Redick issues a second, more detailed apology after using racial slur

Following an incident in which J.J. Redick appeared to use a racial slur while wishing fans a happy Chinese New Year, he’s since apologized after originally tweeting out that he was just tongue-tied.

Wow! JJ Reddick used a racial slur when congratulating Chinese fans on the Year of Dog pic.twitter.com/DGx2wny8P9 — Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) February 18, 2018

Here is Redick’s original tweet in which he didn’t actually apologize:

Just saw a video that is being circulated of me wishing a happy new year to NBA fans in China.Clearly I was tongue tied, as the word I purportedly said is not in my vocabulary. I’m disappointed that anyone would think I would use that word. I love & respect our friends in China. — JJ Redick (@JJRedick) February 18, 2018

Basically, he’s disappointed in people who believe he used a slur — a rather weird defense of iffy actions.

Since then, however, Redick has actually released a more detailed statement explaining what happened.

Please read. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/phL6v7Voeb — JJ Redick (@JJRedick) February 19, 2018

At the very least, at least that helps explain how the NBA released that video without the apparent slur being edited out. If no one heard it, or believed what Redick said was a slur but something else, that weird part of the story ends. Whether or not you believe how he landed on many hearing a slur is up to you.

This story is not over, as Jeremy Lin has also released a statement backing Redick.

wanted to address this… pic.twitter.com/3oB2mUvQpc — Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) February 19, 2018

People are likely going to hear what they want to hear out of the video. How they feel about the apology, which some might feel comes a tweet too late, might fall in that same category of predetermined mindsets not letting a normal conversation be had.

Either way, Redick’s initial defiance, instead of just releasing an actual explanation, likely did him no favors on the mean streets of social media.

One team “willing to pay whatever it takes” to land Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins is set to become a free agent this summer and in addition to the New York Jets willingness to hand over guaranteed money to the signal-caller, they apparently will do whatever it takes to land him, per ESPN.

Apparently going more than 10 years without a true franchise quarterback will make you that desperate to land one. After going through the tailend of Brett Favre’s career, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh McCown, the Jets are apparently ready to hand over anything, including what could be close to $32 million annually.

Cousins in a one-time Pro Bowler with more than 16,000 yards thrown over six seasons in Washington. He didn’t take over as full-time starter until 2015, where he led the Redskins to a 9-7 record. Over his career, he’s tossed 99 touchdowns to 55 interceptions.

He’s 26-30-1 over his tenure after being drafted as a fourth-round pick.

Cousins is expected to be the premier free agent this summer, with the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos and others are expected to toss their hat into the running.

Alabama reportedly has two coaches in the mix for crucial open position

Alabama is in need of a defensive line coach after Karl Dunbar left for the pros and there are two men reportedly in the mix for the job, according to AL.com. One is a pretty familiar face in Lance Thompson who has had three stints with the Crimson Tide while the other is Charlie Partridge who has experience in the SEC with a stop at Arkansas.

Thompson is currently the defensive line coach for South Carolina and assistant head coach of defense for the Gamecocks. He was actually Alabama’s defensive line coach in 1999 and 2000 and has had stops at Georgia Tech, LSU, UCF, Tennessee and Auburn. He made his way back to Tuscaloosa in 2007 to become linebackers coach after leaving the next season and was back from 2012 to 2014 in the same capacity.

Partridge was the head coach at FAU before Lane Kiffin got there and has had stops at Pittsburgh, Wisconsin and Arkansas. He was defensive line and associate head coach for the Razorbacks in 2013 before taking the FAU job.

Watching the NFL is about to get a lot more expensive

Being a fan of the NFL is going to cost you a little more moving forward. DirecTV is raising the price for NFL Sunday Ticket by 4.2 percent.

Sunday Ticket is how fans from one region of the country can watch any game that isn’t already being nationally broadcast. Basically, if you live in the great city of Wilkes-Barre, but want to watch the Denver Broncos, unless they are being nationally televised, you need DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket to consume the team.

To make it clear: The retail price will reach an all-time high of $293.94 in 2018, with the package that includes the Red Zone Channel increasing to $395.95.

There are car payments that are cheaper than watching the NFL.

It is obviously worth noting that not all DirecTV subscribers pay full price for Sunday Ticket. Often, the company will run specials that allow new subscribers to get the package for free, or for others already within DirecTV’s reach to get a discount.

This move to increase the price of the package is not all that shocking, though. DirecTV last year raised the max price by five percent over the 2016 price.

Of note, you can also subscribe to DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket without getting the Red Zone part of the deal, which does decrease the financial burden.

UFC Fight Night 126: Derrick Lewis stuns Marcin Tybura with late third-round KO

Derrick Lewis (19-5) knocked out Marcin Tybura (16-4) to stunningly end their UFC Fight Night 126 co-main event bout held in Austin, Texas.

Late in the third round, Tybura clinched Lewis against the Octagon and grabbed a leg, signalling yet another takedown. Lewis instead muscled out, threw Tybura to the ground and peppered his opponent with rights and lefts before landing the knockout shot.

Who said 'The Beast' doesn't have late-round power? Derrick Lewis finishes Marcin Tybura for a huge win! #UFCAustin https://t.co/8GlpXtsfy0 — FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) February 19, 2018

The first round was very back-and-forth, with Lewis laying out Tybura on two occasions, but his opponents ground-and-pound cut the Black Beast open.

In the second, Tybura shot for the takedown early and was able to maneuver between submission attempts and ground-and-pound.

The knockout puts Lewis back in the win category after his six-fight streak was broken in a TKO loss in June 2017 at the hands of Mark Hunt.

Tybura has now lost two consecutive bouts, the first by decision against Fabricio Werdum in November 2017.

Adam Silver says the NBA is likely to cave to massive fan demand

With fans clamoring for it, Adam Silver says the NBA All-Star Draft is likely to be televised next year.

After gloating a bit with how happy he was with the entire All-Star Weekend, Silver discussed the entire idea:

“When we sat with the union and we came up with this format, we all agreed, let’s not turn something that’s 100 percent positive into a potential negative to any player,” Silver said. “But then … maybe we’re overly conservative, because then we came out of there, and the players were, ‘We can take it. We’re All-Stars. Let’s have a draft.’ So it sounds like we’re going to have a televised draft next year.”

It makes sense that Silver, as well as some NBA players, would be nervous about upsetting some players. No one likes to be picked last, especially not in front of a national audience. Then again, the players seem to have no objections to his new plan of attack.

“Televise it,” DeMar DeRozan of Team Stephen said of the draft. “Give the people what they want to see. I think everybody wants to see it. At the end of the day, every single person that gets picked, you are an All-Star, so it doesn’t matter where you really go, so I think televise it.”

This will likely result in all the petty NBA beefs. And yes, we should all be here for it.

Worth noting, this is not yet an official move. However, with Adam Silver now on the record as pro changing it, it is likely the NBA All-Star Draft is televised next year.

(H/T ESPN)

Teammates push back on narratives surrounding benching of former Super Bowl hero

There’s been a narrative surrounding former Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler in regards to his benching against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl. Butler himself has spoken on the matter and now one of his teammates is clearing some of the air in safety Devin McCourty.

McCourty told Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com that the rumors were just untrue and in fact, the team knew about the benching the week before the game.

“As far as I know, all of that is the furthest thing from the truth. We all knew he wasn’t starting all week. That wasn’t a secret to the guys on the team. “I get why people are fishing. The guy played 98 percent of the plays. I just hate that for him character-wise going into free agency. It’s just not true. As far as I know — and I was there all week — not one time did anything come up.”

Butler played one special teams snap in the Super Bowl and did not make an appearance at defense at all despite his penchant for big plays in big moments. His interception against the Seattle Seahawks comes to mind of course and he had two interceptions during the regular season so it’s not like he had a total dropoff in production either.

“It sucked for him,” McCourty said. “He put a lot of time and effort in. However it falls, the last thing you want to do is not play a snap. To me, the worst part was to see all that [anonymous] stuff come out after.”

Butler will head to free agency this offseason and there will surely be plenty of teams trying to land him so he’s got that to look forward.

[h/t Pro Football Talk]

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