New coach Tim Jankovich was always pegged as Brown’s successor

You could make the accusation that I’m inclined to love this picture because it’s of me. But trust me, this drawing is bigger than me — it’s bigger than all of us. Especially when you consider that Rubenstein’s day job is to make videos for this very website. He’s been able to become the greatest living artist in the entire world in his spare time.

I was on a train from New York City to Washington, D.C., on Valentine’s Day when this image came through in the form of a Slack message from Ryan Nanni, another one of my colleagues here at SB Nation. I’d seen a few of Rubenstein’s drawings before and admired his work (though I didn’t yet realize the extent of his brilliance). Earlier in the day I’d told Nanni that if he could get Rubenstein to draw a picture of me — so that I could hang on by my desk in place of a name plate — I’d never ask him for anything else as long as I lived.

New coach Tim Jankovich was always pegged as Brown’s successor. He gave up a head coaching job at Illinois State in 2012 to serve as Brown’s lead assistant, and showed his chops by going 7-0 during Brown’s suspension last year. This team is the realization of a shared vision with Brown, a roster full of versatile players who play a brand of position-less basketball on offense without sacrificing anything at the other end.

Every starter for SMU stands between 6’6 and 6’8. Four starters shoot at least 42 percent from three-point range. It’s an elite rebounding team on both ends, currently placing at No. 4 in offensive rebound rate and No. 18 in defense rebound rate. While the Mustangs are No. 19 in the AP Poll this week, the computers like them even more, with KenPom’s rankings putting them at No. 12.

How much money are the Texans willing to spend on a veteran?

Drafting the next starter is possible, but it’s a crapshoot that’s hard to trust and the Texans don’t have the best picks to work with.

Adding talent through the draft isn’t a bad idea, but relying on a rookie to be a significant upgrade from Osweiler is a difficult ask. The best and most realistic option to hope for immediately better quarterback play is to add a veteran passer in the offseason.

How much money are the Texans willing to spend on a veteran?

No matter what Houston decides to do in the offseason, Osweiler will count at least $19 million against the team’s salary cap in 2017. It could be $25 million if Osweiler isn’t on the team and that means sinking any more money into the position will be tough.

While the New York Giants led all teams in salary cap dedicated to the quarterback position in 2016 with $25,588,400, the Texans are primed to soar well over that mark if a veteran is added.

He just couldn’t get anything going and Barcelona couldn’t either. His era is unfortunately coming to a close, as they all do, and it seems fitting that this Barcelona cycle is ending with him as well. They will regroup and rebuild for a new round of dominance, and they will do so without Iniesta. They will have to find someone else to run the show. But the truth is that only Iniesta can do what Iniesta does. Barcelona will have to build a different identity after him.

Bennett didn’t win pretty with the Cougars, and he hasn’t with Virginia, either. But he has won — quite a bit, actually. He’s 252-111 in just his 11th year as a head coach. Since the start of 2013-14, he’s 107-25.

The Cowboys have run into that exact problem with Romo

Dallas is about $10.5 million over the 2017 salary cap before signing any of its unrestricted free agents, but the Cowboys will create cap space by making a few expected restructurings. By cutting the base salaries of Crawford, Frederick and Smith to $1 million and converting the rest into signing bonuses, the Cowboys can free up $23.3 million in 2017 cap space. Restructuring deals like this can come back to bite a team if the players lose their effectiveness or if the team suddenly wants to get rid of a player for off-field or injury concerns, but that’s a risk Dallas is clearly comfortable running.

Make a decision on Tony Romo. The Cowboys have run into that exact problem with Romo. Let’s be clear about what their options are here. They’re not going to carry Romo on their roster with a $24.7 million cap hit for 2017 under the possibility that Dak Prescott might get injured. That’s not an insurance policy; it’s buying a Porsche and keeping it in the garage in case you crash your Camry.

(No shade toward Prescott or Camry owners.) It’s not economically feasible, given the Cowboys’ cap situation, and it would just push the eventual cap hit of moving on from Romo into the future. It’s also a false construct to suggest the Cowboys will be bare behind Prescott if Romo leaves; Dallas can sign a credible backup in free agency.

In 2015, Kendricks inked a four-year, $29 million contract extension with the Eagles. However, the 26-year-old did not live up to expectations in 2015 or 2016. He racked up 82 tackles in 2015 and only 28 in 2016. He only rushed the passer nine times in 2016.

Elite Mens San Diego Padres Jersey In December, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said Kendricks does “rush well” when asked why the 26-year-old doesn’t receive many opportunities to blitz.

Elite Mens Pekka Rinne Jersey “He is a good blitzer. A lot of it has to do with times he’s in there. When he was in there when they were in their two tight end packages, a lot of that is max protection. Blitz another guy in max protection, you’re going to isolate your corners a little bit more.”

Capitals invite UAE women’s hockey player to practice with them

A few months ago, Washington Capitals legend Peter Bondra made a trip to the United Arab Emirates for a short stint as a coach for the Pavlikovsky Hockey School in Abu Dhabi.

That¡¯s when he met UAE women¡¯s national hockey team member Fatima Al Ali, who made him reconsider his own hockey skills.

The NHL invited Al Ali to Washington, D.C., this week as part of their ongoing ¡°Hockey is for Everyone¡± month. On Tuesday, Al Ali got to meet Alex Ovechkin for the first time and had the same reaction you or I would have.

So this was Fatima Al Ali¡¯s week: traveled halfway around the world, impressed Alex Ovechkin and the best team in the NHL with her hockey skills, and got a signed hockey stick from Ovi himself.

Upon graduation from high school in 1947, the Detroit Tigers offered him a minor league contract, but he decided instead to join the U.S. Marine Corps. Ilitch served from 1948-1952 at Parris Island, Quantico and Pearl Harbor. Ilitch took great pride in serving his country and credits the values and discipline he learned while serving keys to his success as a businessman and entrepreneur.
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Dwight Lowery Game Jersey After discharge from the Marines, the Tigers again offered Ilitch a minor league contract; he played shortstop in the minor league system for four seasons (1952-1955) making it to AAA and hitting over .300, until a knee injury ended his baseball career. He later worked as a door-to-door salesman until he and his wife Marian saved enough money to open the first Little Caesars in Garden City, Michigan on May 8, 1959.

Those arrows will bounce off the armor of a man convinced he did what was right

With more time to reflect on the Denver Broncos’ quarterback situation, former coach Gary Kubiak said Wednesday that he believes both Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch can be NFL starters — but there’s room for only one to do so in Denver.
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Kubiak, who stepped down as Broncos coach on Jan. 2, was making the rounds at Super Bowl week in his hometown when he addressed the team’s upcoming decision. Kubiak picked Siemian this past season, after Lynch had been selected in the first round of last April’s draft.

“That’s a good problem to have,” Kubiak said when asked if he believed it would be difficult for the Broncos to manage the quarterback competition while trying to repair the offense. “The strength of the young part of the football team is those two kids. I think they’re both going to be starters in this league, but it’s like I told them: Only one can be the guy there, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they do and compete. I’m going to be watching like everybody else.”

But there is no shaking Roger Goodell on this issue. As frustrating as it might be, the Patriots won’t be sticking it to him or to the league or to anyone else if they win Super Bowl LI. Those arrows will bounce off the armor of a man convinced he did what was right.

Youth Brian Campbell Jersey “We do our job when there is a violation,” he said. “We apply the process and the discipline and we came to the conclusion that was supported by the facts and by the courts. So from our standpoint, we understand when fans who are loyal and passionate for a team object and don’t like the outcome. I totally understand that. That’s not an issue for me.”

Gabe Newell is the closest thing the video game industry has to a Steve Jobs

THE WASHINGTON STATE Gambling Commission is housed in a boxy office park in Lacey, about an hour from Seattle, and run by David Trujillo, a no-nonsense agent who’s spent a career policing tribal casinos.

His staff of roughly 100 employees investigates crimes from money laundering to dogfighting, and though his budget has been cut 20 percent in the past three years, he says, “We’re doing our best to keep up.”

Early in 2016, Trujillo’s staff came to him with concerns related to another of his jobs: enforcing the state’s ban on internet gambling. Trujillo, 53, doesn’t play video games and didn’t know anything about Counter-Strike. But he was dumbstruck when his staff told him about all the money flowing into the casino sites in the form of Valve’s skins.

One of the arguments often used to justify skins gambling is that virtual items aren’t a real currency and thus aren’t subject to traditional gaming laws. That’s why the major skin gambling sites and skin cash-out sites have typically remained separate — so the gambling sites can maintain that all that’s being wagered are virtual items. But Trujillo didn’t buy a word of it. If skins were easily being exchanged for dollars, and people were winning and losing real money, he believed it was gambling.

Once it became clear to Elijah that he needed more money, he began sneaking into his parents’ wallets while they were asleep and taking photos of their other credit cards. He figured that if he spread his charges across several cards, no one would notice. “I just kind of thought, ‘YOLO,'” he recalls.

At the same time, a friend also showed him how to buy sketchy discounted $100 gift cards online and exchange them at Wal-Mart for Steam gift cards and coupons. He did that on six occasions. On his seventh try, a cashier got wise and said she was going to talk to her manager. “I ran away,” he says. “Nothing ever happened.”

Ray McDonald charged with domestic violence, child endangerment, false imprisonment for May arrest

The on-going saga of former San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald continues. The Santa Clara District Attorney’s office has filed multiple charges against McDonald in connection with his arrest on May 25. The DA has charged McDonald with misdemeanor domestic violence, felony false imprisonment, child endangerment, and violating a court order to stay away from the victim. According to Eric Branch, if convicted, McDonald faces up to three years in prison.

McDonald was arrested after being accused of physically assaulting the victim while she held a baby. McDonald allegedly broke through a door on the night question. False imprisonment is described as the unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another. This charge can arise in a situation where a person grabs hold of another person during a domestic violence situation, and refuses to let go. Choosing to let go a short time later does not negate the previous false imprisonment.
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Naturally, many have moved on from that, but it shows how little some in the NFL care about players actually behaving themselves. The more talented a player is, the more chances they get after screw-ups. McDonald was arrested for domestic violence last summer, and is also dealing with a sexual assault civil suit that could eventually be followed by criminal charges. Even if he does not do any jail time for any of this, the odds of him getting back in the NFL are somewhere between slim and none.

Elite Chris Baker Jersey This certainly hurts the chances of a relocated team happening, especially in 2016, but it’s not a death sentence by any means. There’s no word on whether the other venues are going to respond, and it’s possible that one or more of them have at this stage. The league has asked the venues to submit proposals by Aug. 5, in advance of another owners meeting in Chicago to discuss options regarding the Los Angeles market.

Poll: Is Warriors vs. Cavaliers a legitimate rivalry?

Before Monday night’s 126-91 blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James said that he doesn’t believe the two teams — who have played each other in the past two NBA Finals — are rivals.
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“I don’t think we have a rival in our game today,” James said on Sunday. “We’ve had two great Finals appearances the last two years, but I had the same with San Antonio when I was in Miami. We weren’t rivals. And I think I played those guys more, so I wouldn’t look at it as rivals.”

Following the big win, Warriors forward Draymond Green told reporters he disagrees with James’ assertion that it’s not a rivalry.

“Yeah, I think this is a rivalry,” Green said. “”It’s definitely fun. A team that you beat, beat you, it’s definitely fun. If you look at the last two years and this year, we’ve been the top two teams in the league each year, and so I look at it as a rivalry, and it’s definitely a fun game to play in.”
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Now it’s your time to decide:

Even if James and Green have opposing views on whether this is a rivalry, there is no denying the physicality and chippiness that both teams play with in these games. Monday night, Green was assessed a flagrant foul 1 when he collided into James at half court. During the 2016 NBA Finals, Green was suspended for Game 5 after swinging his arm at James in Game 4 and being assessed a flagrant 1.

“It is a true football assessment only,” Vincent said.

In other words, the committee does not attempt to project the impact of any off-field or medical factors on the player’s ultimate draft position. In Mixon’s case, the review indicated his skills were commensurate with (presumably) a first-round pick. (The NFL does not confirm individual assessments.)

That’s a separate opinion from how teams might downgrade him for an incident in which he punched a woman, breaking her jaw, eye socket and cheekbone. Video of the incident was made public over the winter.

What the committee is telling a player like Mixon is that he is a first-round physical talent absent any mitigating factors.

Burress’ New York Giants were a 12-point underdog to the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII

Context: Burress’ New York Giants were a 12-point underdog to the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. That didn’t stop Burress from making a very specific prediction in the days leading up to the game: A 23-17 Giants victory. As the media rose into its usual uproar, Burress shrugged and said: “All this is entertainment. It’s sports, and sports are entertainment. So 23-17 is the prediction I made, but the game still has to be played.”

Outcome: The Giants won, ending the Patriots’ dream of a 19-0 season, and the 17-14 score wasn’t that far off from Burress’ prediction. He almost went Nostradamus on the bit.
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Context: Fassel’s Giants lost consecutive midseason games to drop their record to 7-4. Amid speculation about his job security, Fassel said at a news conference: “I’m raising the stakes right now. If this is a poker game I’m shoving my chips to the middle of the table. I’m raising the ante. Anybody that wants in, get in. Anybody that wants out, get out. OK? This team is going to the playoffs.”

The Cowboys have plenty of decisions to make in the offseason, but this is still a team that has a young core of talent that should grow together, led by Prescott and Elliott. Even through this loss, the future for the Cowboys looks exceedingly bright.

Authentic Womens Kurt Coleman Jersey Biggest draft need: Some of it depends on what the Cowboys do in free agency, but, like last year and the year before that, they have to find pass-rush help. They drafted DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory in the second round in two of the past three drafts and each had just one sack this season; however, it was mostly because of suspension and, in Lawrence’s case, injury. The Cowboys went through the process of building the offensive line through the draft and must make the commitment to do the same at defensive end.

Picking late in the first round will make that job tougher, but they have to find players who can affect the opposing quarterback.

Injuries are increasingly becoming a part of Calvin Johnson’s game

Matthew Stafford, Lions
It’s easy to look at Stafford and still see that guy who threw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns in a season. Heck, that was just a couple years ago, right? Wait, it was 2011. Since then, his passing yardage has dropped every year. He barely threw half that many touchdowns last year, with only 22. And while he had a full-season low of 12 interceptions in 2014, all of that added up to only the 15th-best fantasy quarterback.

Injuries are increasingly becoming a part of Calvin Johnson’s game, meaning you never know if/when Stafford will have his top weapon on the field. Golden Tate and the team’s assortment of running backs and tight ends are fine, but without Megatron this isn’t a special offense, and even with him Stafford is no longer a sure thing.

Sam Bradford, Eagles

No one has ever questioned Bradford’s overall ability; the question has been whether the former No. 1 pick can stay on the field. If Bradford’s performance this preseason is any indication of what’s to come, this could be the year he finally lives up to the hype.

Given Bradford’s injury history, it’s unlikely he — or most of the Eagles starters, for that matter — will take the field in the Meadowlands against the Jets Thursday night. That means fans could get treated a nice big helping of … wait for it … Tebow Time!

The Falcons have to be pleased with their starters — Matt Ryan and Julio Jones made things look easy on the opening drive. Ryan led the Falcons 91 yards on 10 plays, ending with a 13-yard touchdown to Jones. Ryan completed all six pass attempts on that drive — four of them to Jones, who finished that drive with 61 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. We already talked about Mariota and his performance with the Titans. Overall he had some bumps in the road, but he threw well on the day.