How headers and set pieces became a not-so-secret weapon for Penn men's soccer


The set piece is a strong defensively minded team’s best friend.

They provide some of the best opportunities to score in soccer. The incredible amount of precision and detail that goes into these plays is unique on the soccer field; it’s the only time that the ball stops and allows for a reset and change in the play being run. And last season, set pieces proved to be instrumental in the offensive production for the Red and Blue. Coming off of a season where they scored just 12 goals, the Red and Blue have room for improvement this season on the offensive side of the ball.

Shot inaccuracy limited the Quakers, who only managed to shoot 33.5% of their shots on target, compared to their opponents’ 41% shooting accuracy. Penn was outshot in its games 176-205. The greatest bright spot for the Red and Blue, however, was their ability to capitalize on set pieces. Over 30% of the goals scored by the Red and Blue last season were a product of a set piece.A great part of this success came from first team All-Ivy Junior defender Alex Touche, whose 6’4″ frame helped him score four goals off of set pieces. “A big piece of it is everybody knowing their role and being accountable,” Touche said. “You have to switch on, get in your spot, make sure that everybody has their role and executes well.” One issue with set pieces is that they leave the defense vulnerable to counterattacks. As defensemen move up to crowd the box, holes spring up in defensive lines — easily exploited by a counterattacking team. However, Penn’s defensive performance on set pieces has been likewise solid, as they have been successful at reducing the after victory over Levante.Real were able to defeat Levante 3-2.“All I can say is, I hope he keeps this up,” Zidane said of Benzema. “It’s important for us to have Karim playing like this. We’re pleased, we noticed the fans’ ovation. We need to “It’s easy to look at our set pieces on the attacking side from last year’s team and say that they were pivotal in our ability to get some wins that we got, but I thought that we defended them really well, too, and that kept us in position to be in games later and longer and find ways to win those games,” coach Brian Gill said. “We make sure that we have certain things built in behind the ball to try and hopefully prevent counterattacks.” Although the Quakers did see great production from their set pieces last season, there is still rooiola meet Milan later tonight.“It was a fantastic experience, we won a trophy, which some people conveniently forget,” said Montella, referring to the Italian Super Cup against Juventus.“We didn’t purchase practically any players and still qualifm for improvement. And when the offraine set-up.Yarmolenko started in the Euro2020 qualifier win over Lithuania after missing a year of action with his national team.Speaking after the game, Yarmolenko reflected: “I consider myself a team player. I didn’t score, but the team won, so aense is less than productive in open play, each set piece becomes even more crucial.

When the Red and Blue play as many low-scoring and overtime games as they did last season, each and every goal can mean the difference between a win and a loss. That makes defending set pieces a centerpiece of the team’s focus as well. “We talk a lot about being on the plus side of a plus/negative relationship with the attacking and defending of set pieces,” Gill said “And that continues to be a really important focal point of this year’s team. … It’s one of the most important determining factors in the course of a lot of games.” As the Red and Blue head into this season, they prepare to face Monmouth on the road this Friday in their opener. This matchup last season resulted in a 3-2 overtime win for the Quakers, with each side earning two goals off set pieces, the last of which decided the game’s outcome.

This season, expect more of the same.

Penn men's swimming looks to new talent in the wake of Mark Andrew's departure


Every so often, there comes a generational talent. A person that can redefine a program. For Penn men’s swimming, that person was Mark Andrew.

Andrew’s graduation last May left a large gap for the Quakers and meant the loss of a captain. In his time with the Quakers, Andrew broke countless program and Ivy League records and was named a first team All-American his senior season.

“You can’t replace Mr. [Mark] Andrew, Mr. [Thomas] Dillinger or Mr. [Mark] Blinstrub. They are three of the best we have ever had,” coach Mike Schnur said of the recently departed seniors. “We just try to incorporate the younger guys and teach them how to work out, how to train, and how to do things our way. It is impossible to replace those three guys.”

“I guess the biggest thing that we miss is what [Andrew] brings to the table for our team,” agreed. “Obviously, him leaving is a huge loss, but we are going to have to find ways to move forward without him. The freshman class this year has been doing a great job, so it is looking great for the future.”

After the Red and Blue graduated a large class last year, the current smaller group of seniors, along with the larger group of 10 new freshmen, will force the team to rely more on newcomers.

“This year we have a senior class of three people, which he could’ve joined Liverpool during his career. The Dutch goalkeeper was with Juventus in 2001 when he received an offer to join the Anfield club.”I had two options and could have transferred to Liverpool or Dortmund,” he told t-online. reflecting uis very small compared to what we normally have,” junior Boris Yang said. “We are definitely a very young team. Our team is smaller than last season, but potential-wise the team atmosphere is much better than last year.”

Schnur is extremely proud of how three rookie swimmers in particular have stepped up.

“Mark McCrary has had to replace Blinstrub, and his swim last Saturday was just as good as Blinstrub,” Schnur said. “Matt Bonell is coming in as a freshman [and] winning all of his races. So they’re doing a great job. Jason Schreiber is already stepping in as one of our breaststrokers. … He isn’t Mark Andrew yet, but he’s finishing in the same place as Mark did.”

Lee has taken it upon himself to step up in new ways after Andrew’s departure, not just in the pool swimming, but also as a leader outside of the water.

“I try to lead by example. I take what I learned from the upperclassmen last year and the year before to give to the freshmen now,” said Lee. “[I try to do that by] mainly being a great leader in the best way possible and trying to set them up for success.”

Schnur knows that in order to be successful this season, he needs to rely upon older team members like Lee and Yang to lead.

“I think that Sean will step up this year. Boris Yang is a great breaststroker. The only guy that beaty to ignore transfer rumours swirling around him.The likes of Manchester United and Tottenham have been linked with a £60m swoop for the midfielder this summer, but speaking to Sky Sports Maddison said he was not interested in the rumours.When asked his last year was Mark,” Schnur said. “With Mark gone, we expect Boris to be an Ivy champion. We expect our distance guys — [senior] Matt Haigh [and sophomores] CJ Hinckley, Will Kamps, and Jacob Furlong — to step up and replace what we lost. It’s not going to be easy.”

While Andrew will be dearly missed by Penn men’s swimming, the cycle is continuing with this ychester United defender Harry Maguire has urged fans to judge him over the long-term.Maguire, who became the world’s most expensive defender with his £80m summer switch from Leicester, has endured a difficult start to his United career.”I think it’sear’s freshmen, who are picking up right where he left off.

Injured and outclassed, Penn wrestling falls to No. 5 Lehigh, 41-6


David couldn’t topple Goliath.

Injuries proved too much for Penn wrestling to overcome, as in just about every weight class of Sunday’s match, the Quakers were stymied by No. 5 Lehigh and fell by a score of 41-6. Although the Red and Blue (3-2) briefly held the lead at 6-5 after two bouts, LMail says United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s injury crisis may force him to turn to Williams in their Europa League clash against AZ Alkmaar.It will be another major milestone in the development of the 18-year-old, who is being touted around Old Trafehigh (5-1) scored 36 unanswered points to close out the match.

The only match points Penn picked up were at 184 pounds by senior captain Joe Heyob when his opponent, Lehigh’s No. 4 Ryan Preisch, was too injured to continue despite leading 5-3 in the third period. On the other side of the mat, Lehigh’s 41 match points over nine wins came in part from three pins, a forfeit at 125 pounds, and a technical fall.

All of the Red and Blue wrestlers needed to be in top form for Penn’s upset bid to become reality. However, they were at a disadvantage right from the start, as five of the ten usual starters were unable to wrestle due to injury.

Notably included on the injury list were seniors May Bethea and Joe Velliquette, both of whom had wrestled at 165 pounds in earlier matches. Also missing were two wrestlers who had placed in earlier tournaments, as freshman Dan Planta at 125 pounds and senior Patrik Garretired from international football.The midfielder, who has been in four World Cup squads and won 80 caps, joined League One side Soutpool’s No1.Despite being signed as a replacement for Simon Mignolet, Adrian did not see himself as a No.2 when he arrived at Liverpool.”I came here to fight for the spot and to push Ali, have a great and healthy competition that is always improving uhend United in the summer from Scottish Premiership club Hibernian.”It has been a privilege to be involved with the Sen at 285 pounds were injured.

While the Quakers’ bench fought to keep the match close, in the end, Lehigh wrestled an all-around dominant match. Led by six ranked wrestlers compared to Penn’s two, the Mountain Hawks had national-level talent nearly across the board that got the better of the Red and Blue.

“They’re an outstanding team, clearly one of the best teams in the country,” coach Roger Reina said. “For us it was an opportunity to test ourselves against that level, and I don’t think we measured up to the test today. Obviously, we were out quite a number of starters too, but nonetheless, I think we’re capable of more than what we showed today.”

Another key factor Lehigh had on their side was in-match momentum. Even though they fell behind after the first two bouts, they reeled off eight consecutive victories to put the nail in Penn’s coffin. After every successive Penn defeat, their chances of pulling off the win grew slimmer and slimmer.

“As the momentum swung so heavily in their favor, you could just kind of feel it roll over our team,” Reina said.

A big shift in the momentum came after the third match, in which Lehigh’s Jake Jakobsen upset senior and No. 10 Frank Mattiace by a score of 3-0 for Mattiace’s second loss of the season. The bout put Lehigh up 8-6 on the match, and the Mountain Hawks never looked back.

Freshman Gianni Ghione, who has the team’s second-most pins after Mattiace, fell to Lehigh’s Nick Farro 5-1 at 133 pounds three matches later, and Jon Errico, who took fourth at the Keystone Classic, was defeated 6-2 by Ian Brown to put the result out of question.

Despite the lopsided score, Reina and the team will look at this match as a learning experience.

“It’s December 10, so we’ve got several months here before the conference championships and the NCAA championships,” Reina said. “This is a harsh reality test for us today, and it provides us the opportunity to respond to it.”

The Quakers will look to add some of their injured starters back to the mix when they travel to Northwestern’s campus for the Midlands Championships over December 29-30.

Tydings | Columbia? It's time for Penn football to find a win


It’s no secret that Penn football has struggled this year. Giving up 41.5 points per game in four losses — against solid teams, granted — isn’t quite what people expected from the Red and Blue going into the year.

But there is hope for Penn and that comes in the form of the Columbia Lions.

That’s because as bad as Penn has been, Columbia has been worse. Much worse.

The Lions scoff at the Quakers’ eight-game losing streak and raise them a 15-game skid. The last time Columbia won a game, Penn still had Brandon Copeland and Billy Ragone leading the charge.

And while Penn has been able to keep some games reasonably close — one loss by three points and one by 18 — Columbia has lost each of its games this year by at least 32 points. That’s right. A 32-point margin of defeat at the minimum.

It is easy to list the rest of the stats showing the Lions futility but each statistic serves the same point: to show that despite Penn’s faults this year, Columbia has been inferior.

But as much as some Penn fans might want to celebrate the Light Blue’s arrival on campus, those fans might want to heed the words of a famous fictional chemist: Tread lightly. This weekend is much more a litmus test for Penn’s season than a bye week.

Let’s face it: Penn has been awful this year. You can account for the fact that each team the Quakers have faced is winning its conference (Bet you didn’t expect Dartmouth beating Yale over the weekend). And you can talk about how Penn is young and still developing.

But regardless of those facts, this team needs to finally display its progress. If fans want to believe that Penn can put together a strong Ivy season, it all starts on Saturday. The Red and Blue get the chance to face a squad that they match up well against and it is essential that they play like the superior team.

That means not losing the turnover margin. That means not giving up long touchdown after long touchdown. That means finding a way to win the line of scrimmage and make the opposing quarterback have some semblance of pressure in his face.

And most of all, that means winning.

Face it, coach Al Bagnoli’s final season isn’t going to end with a fairy tale finish and an Ivy titleted should follow in the footsteps of their rivals by hiring a sporting director.The Red Devils have gone from perennial champions under Sir Alex Ferguson to floating in the Premier League abyss six rgentina squad early.Otamendi was the Blues’ only fit centre back heading into the internationals and he played for Argentina against Chile on Friday night. The second friendly of the break, against Mexico, wasn’t due to take place until the early hoyears after the great Scot’s departure. David Moyes. Unless Alek Torgersen starts looking like Peyton Manning overnight or Penn’s secondary turns into the Legion of Boom, it just doesn’t seem like the Quakers’ year.

But regardless of an Ivy title, Penn has a history of success — particularly in the Bagnoli era — and beating a hapless Columbia squad would be the first step back toward respectability.

So don’t overlook Columbia. Sure, that game looks appetizing with the Lions’ long losing streak and terrible performances this year.

Yet it isn’t a gimme win. Not with how Penn has played. Not with the way this season has gone and the Quakers’ own eight-game losing skid.

If the 2014 season will be the first step in a rebuilding process and not the first step towards joining Columbia at the bottom of the Ancient Eight, Saturday is a must-win.

And more importantly, the matchup with Columbia might be our first chance to see the real Red and Blue. Win or loss, Saturday’s game will speak volumes about how the rest of the season will go.

It’s time for the Quakers to tts boss Nigel Pearson wants the former Middlesbrough defender who has had a miserable time at Turf Moor since signing for £13million.Pearson is keen to take Gibson on loan and give him a better chance of first team action at Vicarage Road.Burnley waurn talent and hope into strengths and wins.

And Saturday against Columbia is the time to do it.

Penn men's soccer comes up short in Ithaca


As the men’s soccer team continues to experience, one is the loneliest number.

For the second straight year, the Quakers began Ivy League play with a heartbreaking one-goal loss to Cornell, with this iteration coming by a final of 3-2 in Ithaca, N.Y.

After senior Travis Cantrell cut Cornell’s two-goal lead to one in the 63rd minute, the Red and Blue had multiple chances to tie the game, yet none bigger than Bryan Yasukochi’s in the 78th minute. Yasukochi got the ball down the right flank and had a promising shot, but was denied by a quality save from Cornell goaltender Rick Pflasterer, who deflected the ball off the crossbar.

Penn had chances on set pieces with two corner kicks in the final 10 minutes, but Cornell’s defense just held off the Quakers’ rally.

Penn’s loss was its sixth defeat by one goal this season. The Quakers (2-8, 0-1 Ivy) have consistently been on the verge of getting a big win that would jumpstart them out of their woeful beginning to the season.

“There’s still a lot of soccer to be played,” Penn coach Rudy Fuller said. “I think we’re getting sick and tired of the opposition’s coaches telling us how good of a team we are and how surprised they are at our record.”

Unlike the struggling Quakers, Cornell (9-0, 1-0 Ivy) came into the game looking to defend its undefeated record and continue its consistently strong play.

The Red and Blue began the game in encouraging fashion with a goal in the 12th minute from midfielder Louis Schott. However, Cornell responded 20 minutes later with a seven-minute barrage of three goals before halftime, led by the nation’s leading scorer, Daniel Haber.

Haber scored heir Europa League defeat at Astana.Even with the 36-year-old making his first start between the sticks, the line-up against Astana was the youngest the club have ever put out for a European match.”They will take a lot out of it,” goalkeeper Grant sathe second of the three goals and proceeded to assist on the third four minutes later. Haber’s goal was his 14th on a season where he has led the Big Red are reeling with the news that Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba will be absent for the foreseeable future.And a report from ESPN suggests United will look for reinforcements in the market this month.They could sign Can from Juventus on loan, as he hasto a spot in the national rankings.

Cornell provided a tough test for a shorthanded Penn team, which was withouly Mail says Bayer Leverkusen, Fiorentina, Rennes and Strasbourg have all expressed an interest in the Kenya international who has been on the periphery of Tottenham’s first team for the past year.The 28-year-old, who has a British passport, still hat its normal netminder. The Quakers had Tyler Kinn at goaltender in the place of starter Max Kurtzman, who was injured Wednesday against Drexel.

“Tyler did very well in goal,” Fuller said, “He made two big saves, did what was required of him, and we just needed to do a better job defending in front of him.”

Despite having a different goaltender and facing an undefeated team on the road, Penn hung in the game until the very end and reversed its normal trend of disappointing second halves.

“We definitely played a lot better in the second half, which is a good thing to build off of,” Schott said. “We just need to shore up some things on defense.”

The Red and Blue now look to get both their first home and Ivy League victories Saturday against Columbia.

“It’s always nice to get back home,” Kinn said. “We can only go up from here if we get a win on Saturday and start a streak in the Ivies.”SEE ALSO

Volleyball frosh take on three-peat task


The Penn volleyball team that has won two straight championships will have to go for a three-peat with a new-look roster.

The Quakers lost three first-team All-Ivy players in Madison Wojciechowski, Julia Swanson and last year’s Ivy Player of the Year, Megan Tryon.

“We did lose a lot of influential players from our 2010 championship team, but we’re really focused on recreating this 2011 team with a different set of goals because we’re so young,” senior captain Logan Johnson said. “We’re pretty much starting fresh.”

Johnson, a defensive specialist, is the lone senior on a young team that consists of seven juniors, six sophomores and seven freshmen.

The result is a squad that is highly talented, but noticeably lacking the experience previous groups have enjoyed.

“We have a lot of people who don’t have a lot of experience at this point,” coach Kerry Carr said. “But the talent is there. It’s a very talented team.”

Given the Class of 2013’s experience, Carr will likely lean on the junior class this season.

Right-side hitter Lauren Martin and middle blocker Amanda Pacheco both had solid sophomore showings. Each earned a Second Team All-Ivy honor and recorded some of the Quakers’ best marks in several statistical categories.

In addition, outside hitter and co-captain Sarah Cobbinah made her presence felt in last season’s NCAA Tournament matchup against Ohio and should make an impact both on and off the court.

“It’s an exciting position to be in to help lead the team to success,” Cobbinah said. “Whether you’re a Rookie of the Year or haven’t had as much playing time, I think all the juniors have a very influential and meaningful position on the team.”

Despite the youth and inexperience of the freshmen, the upperclassmen have surely taken note of their talent and versatility.

According to Johnson, the Class of 2015 — which is getting along great with the rest of the team — will be the “key to our success.” And while Carr admitted it may take some time before she settles on a final rotation, she anticipates the freshmen will see time on the court at different points in the season.

“I think because the upperclassmen have taken such a charge in making sure they felt fine, the fformer Lyon defender is in his first season in Spain and is now established ahead of Marcelo as Real coach Zinedine Zidane’s first-choice left-back.Le Parisian says Mendy has quickly won over his teammates – including skipper Sergio Ramos.Just recentreshmen are just following criticism of the club’s response to the travel chaos surrounding next week’s Europa League final against Arsenal.The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust have claimed that the club haven’t been doing enough to help fans who want to travel to the game blending right in,” Carr said. “You’ll definitely see freshmen out there.”

Carr conceded the new-look team will need some time to get to where she wants it to be, but said it is “improving by leaps and bounds.” Penn’s goal is thrashing by Napoli.Spalletti admits the manner of defeat should never be acceptable.“It can happen to lose against Napoli, not like this, but the next match really is a Final. We can’t get that wrong,” he told Sky Sport Italia.“We’ve had some g still to bring home a third consecutive Ivy League title, but in the meantime, the Quakers are taking it step by step, starting with this weekend’s Big 5 Tournament.

“It’s important to have patience with this group and watch them and encourage their development,” Carr said. “I think that’s what’s going to make them develop fast and hopefully we’ll have a title by the end of it.”

Football | Backup generates power in win


NEW HAVEN, Conn., Oct. 25 – For the first 16 minutes of Saturday’s 9-7 win over Yale, the Quakers’ offense was stagnant. Senior quarterback Robert Irvin showed an ability to roll right and hit tight end Josh Koontz on the run, but not much else, so coach Al Bagnoli decided to call on backup Kyle Olson early in the second quarter.

At the time, the move seemed unremarkable. All season, Olson has been parture this summer.Benitez walked out on Newcastle to take charge of Dalian Yifang in China.He told the Evening Chronicle: “We understand and expected the disappointment that Rafa’s departure caused.“We strongly believe we went beyond what couldgiven a designated series or two per game to prove himself, and then – after Irvin had gone 4-for-9 for 27 yards with an awful interception that set up Yale’s touchdown – seemed like as good a time as any.

But on the next series, it was Olson again under center. And on the next. Irvin’s day – save for one nearly-intercepted throw, which came after Olson took a hard hit – was done early. Bagnoli made a conscious choice to yank him, providing the first extended look at Penn’s punter’s passing ability.

“I was looking for a spark,” said Bagnoli, who as of the postgame press conference hadn’t broached the topic with Irvin. “It’s kind of one of those gut feelings.”

The success was mixed. Olson the play caller was competent, if not spectacularnemouth was covered by Chinese television.Chinese online streaming service PPTV had the Gunners back online following their ban.Broadcasters took the extreme measure of scrapping Arsenal games after Ozil’s public support of Uighur Muslims and protesr. He helped break a defensive stalemate, moving the Quakers downfield and into the win column. But tailback Mike DiMaggio took care of most of that legwork after the break, and on any other day, Olson’s final line – 11-for-25 for 67 yards and no touchdowns – would raise more eyebrows than celebratory champagne glasses.

“I could care less what my stats are or anything as long as we come up with the win,” Olson said. “I’m just pretty happy right now.”

His favorite targets may have been Koontz and wideout Kyle Derham, with three receptions apiece, but Olson’s best friends were members of Yale’s defense, who kindly did not take advantage of both Penn passers’ penchant for hitting them between the numbers.

Derham was forced into a defensive role on one of many close calls, swatting away an underthrown Olson deep ball into single coverage; Yale senior captain Bobby Abare bemoaned that “a couple of those could’ve made or break the game,” but “that’s just the way it worked out.”

At other times, though, Olson showed considerable poise. Abare said that the Bulldogs’ scouting reports on Olson revealed that he could make plays on the run outside the pocket, but ironically, Olson was at his best employing a three-step drop, stepping up and firing.

Late in the first half, for example, he got into a rhythm as Bagnoli used a hurry-up offense. The result: the Quakers’ best drive of the day, as they marched 47 yards in two minutes (only for Andrew Samson to hook a 34-yard field goal attempt wide left).

Olson completed five passes for 38 yards in the process; of those, only on a roll out to Koontz – when the tight end was hit after a one-yard gain – did the southpaw leave the pocket.

The rollouts, though, were generally problematic, never more evident than early in the fourth, when Penn literally came within inches of a touchdown. On a third-and-goal play-action from Yale’s one, Olson scrambled to his right. The lefty then had to make a U-turn to get into a throwing position, from which he dumped the ball to DiMaggio for a fateful loss of eight yards. That was a too-frequent occurrence: Olson running to the wrong side only to have to wheel around.

Bagnoli cautioned that Saturday’s quartero Liverpool’s successful season.The Reds won the Champions League and finished second in the Premier League with 97 points.Mane said: “They played a big part in the season.”There were very difficult games at home and they were always here. Keep on goback switcheroo was “not a reflection,” presumably referring to Irvin. Olson didn’t quite jumpstart the offense as the coach envisioned and he still has plenty to learn, but his efforts may have earned him a few more snaps down the stretch.

Another dramatic win for Women's Lacrosse


The women’s lacrosse team led for a total of 35 seconds yesterday afternoon against the visiting Delaware Fighting Blue Hens.

Luckily for Penn, that half a minute came in the closing seconds of the game, giving the Quakers a 12-11 victory and sending their record to 4-1 on the season.

The Red and Blue moved up several spots in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association rankings this week to No. 14, and their victory over No. 20 Delaware at Franklin Field can only help their cause.

The Blue Hens (3-2) jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead just five minutes into the contest. Although Penn clawed back to tie the game several times, the Quakers repeatedly had trouble scoring a go-ahead goal to take the lead.

That is, until the clock showed :35 and the teams were deadlocked at 11. Junior Ali Ryan found freshman Rachael Manson in front of the net and the rookie did the rest, putting the Red and Blue ahead for good and completing her hat trick in the process.

“Ali Ryan gave me an awesome pass and I was wide open,” Manson said. “We were working for the last shot so I was trying to get opellback Dani Carvajal is staying clear of the row between Sergio Ramos and president Florentino Perez.Real captain is pushing to leave this summer.He reportedly met with the club president to discuss an offer he received from China, but Perez refused n, but I didn’t want to force anything either, so it was really just an awesome pass.”

With the victory, Penn climbed to 3-0 in games decided by one goal, having defeated Ohio State in triple overtime and Yale on Saturday by the same margin.

Head coach Karin Brower, however, believes the game was unnecessarily close.

“I’m definitely glad that we pulled it out. I am just frustrve placed Tottenham ace Christian Eriksen top of their 2020 shopping list.The Telegraph says Eriksen is the No1 attacking midfield target earmarked by United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – and they’re prepared to wait until June to sign him when he cated that we’re in these close games — aside from the first one, Ohio State — because we’re just not playing well,” Brower said. “It was not a good showing on our part, so we’ve got a lot to work on.”

Although the two teams put on an entertaining show for the crowd, Brower was probably right. Penn sunk to Delaware’s level, making several unnecessary miscues — the Quakers committed 17 turnovers to the Blue Hens’ 10.

Several of the giveaways occurred on the defensive end, and more often than not, they ended up in the back of the Quakers’ net.

“It’s about having the confidence to bring the ball up, and we didn’t have it today,” Brower said. “We’ve got to change that. We’re going to be doing a lot of drills with bringing the ball up with pressure.”

On attack, Delaware goalie Patrice Hughes caused all kinds of headaches for the Penn offense. Not only did she save eight shots, but she also brought an aggressive mentality to the game, disrupting passing lanes and making steals.

“It was definitely harder to set up our plays, because a lot of them come from feeds from behind,” Manson said. “We had to adjust, but we did a good job, and instead of just going in one direction, we were okay with swinging the ball a little bit more and just staying composed.”

Brower felt that her defense turned in a lackluster effort. The game on the whole was much too high-scorinr-old believes that the Catalans have lost part of their ability to prevail against opponents.”I think Barcelona have to dominate games again, otherwise it is impossible to win the Champions League,” Xavi told TV3.”That’s what history tells us as Barg for her liking.

“I’m a little disappointed that, especially defensively, we got too many goals scored on us on [poor] one-on-one defense and [poor] team defense. We were just struggling to bring the ball up the field,” Brower said.

Despite the team’s subpar showing, as it was termed by Brower, the Quakers turned it around in the last 10 minutes — when it mattered. Delaware did not score a goal in the final 11:54, as the Red and Blue controlled the ball for much of that time, came up with key defensive stops and got some excellent play from senior Liz Lorelli in goal.

“I don’t know what our problem is. Why can’t we play like that the entire game?” Manson mused afterward. “But when we have to do it, we know how to do it, so it’s better that we come out with the win.”

The Quakers got outstanding contributions from the midfield. Senior co-captain Katie Spofford and junior Emily Cochran contributed four points apiece in the victory.

“This year has been amazing,” Manson said. “The team is awesome, and we’re playing with so much more confidence as each game goes by.”

W. Hoops starts 2-0


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Reflecting on the Penn women’s basketball team’s first Ivy League weekend of the season, coach Patrick Knapp easily found the difference between his team and its foes.

“Our collective will means a lot,” he said. “These kids don’t believe they can lose.”

So they didn’t.

Despite shooting under 39 percent from the field on their trip, the Quakers won both games — 53-40 over Yale (3-13, 0-3 Ivy), and 4club to the Champions League final, Pochettino says they must buy to maintain their progress.He told Partidazo de Cope: “I will not make decisions after the final, it is important to know what the future plan is. If we want to return to the Champions7-43 over the Brown (11-6, 3-1).

With a 2-0 conference record, Penn (9-6) sits atop the Ancient Eight standings this morning, officially tied for first place with Dartmouth (7-8, 3-0).

On Friday night in New Haven, Conn., Penn came to a gym built to look like a great gothic cathedral and left with a very ugly win.

After leading the Elis only 19-15 at halftime, the Quakers pulled away in the second half, prevailing in front of a sparse but vocal crowd at the John J. Lee Amphitheater and a television audience on the YES Network.

The 40 points were the second-lowest total allowed by Penn in an Ivy League game in program history. The record was set on pointive Granit Xhaka the captaincy.Many Gunners fans were disappointed when Emery announced Xhaka as skipper at the start of this season.But Emery believes the Swiss international is one of the leaders within the squad and deserved the captaincy.”The maied Mikel Arteta as Emery’s permanent successor following a brief interim spell for Freddie Ljungberg, and Emery has now opened up to BBC Sport about how those near misses last season ultimately cost him.Emery said, “The truth is that in the firsFeb. 24, 1995, when the Quakers beat Columbia, 66-39, at the Palestra.

Abysmal shooting by both teams led to the low score. Each made only five field goals in the first half and 13 in the game, with Penn attempting 43 shots to Yale’s 41. Penn shot 2-of-8 from three-point range on the night, while Yale shot 5-of-19.

Knapp admitted that the teams “set basketball back a little bit today,” and was more than happy to “throw [the game] in the trash can” as the team got ready to board the bus.

Penn was led on offense by junior center Jennifer Fleischer, whose 15 points included 7-of-12 shooting from the free-throw line. Sophomore forward Monica Naltner was also impressive from the charity stripe, shooting a perfect 6-for-6 and hitting three clutch jumpers for 12 total points.

Overall, Penn shot 25-of-37 from the free throw line, benefiting from the 26 fouls committed by Yale — 11 in the first half and 15 in the second. Six Elis finished the game with three or more personal fouls charged against them.

Yale was certainly complicit in its third loss of the young Ivy League season, and not just because of its shooting. The Elis allowed Penn to steal the ball 12 times and committed 24 turnovers, including 10 by senior guard and team captain Morgan Richards.

“We’re plagued by turnovers, and not giving ourselves an opportunity to score when we have possession of the ball,” Yale coach Amy Backus said. “That’s been our issue the entire year.”

Saturday night in Providence, R.I., Penn met a Brown team which entered the weekend in first place in the Ancient Eight. Each dared the other to blink, and as the clock wound down, the Bears finally did.

The Quakers, who had a sizeable fan contingent in the announced crowd of 724 at the Pizzitola Sports Center, held a tenuous 23-21 lead at halftime. They were able to extend their lead to as many as eight points, but with 5:31 to play, Brown senior center Holly Robertson scored on consecutive possessions to cut the margin to 43-41.

Brown went ice-cold from the floor after that. The Bears missed their next four shots, but two Penn turnovers in the same span kept the score where it was — allowing Robertson to tie the game by hitting two free throws with 1:39 to play.

The free throws were Brown’s last points of the game, and from there, Fleischer took over. With 22 seconds to go, she took a pass from senior guard Amanda Kammes in the paint, drove hard to the basket and hit a layup to give Penn the lead back.

The Bears played for the last shot, and coach Jean Marie Burr called a timeout with 10.9 seconds remaining. Off the inbounds pass, Sarah Hayes missed a layup, and Fleischer simply overpowered everyone in the post to get the rebound.

Brown had a foul to give, so forward Andrea Conrad did the honors, and guard Colleen Kelly fouled Naltner on the inbounds pass with three seconds to go. Naltner hit both free throws and sealed the victory.

Dyche is ready to help the club recruit the player


Minnesota starting pitcher took the mound for a Gr OGCN, Vieira says he does harbour bigger things.”If it’s my dream to coach Arsenal or Team France? Yes, like any player, when we do this job we want to touch the very high level,” he told RMC. “But the very high level – I can very well touch with OGapefruit League start against Baltimore on Sunday. Things didn’t go his way. 

Worley gave up three earned runs on six hits and a walk over four innings as the Orioles built a lead against him. Worley surrendered a solrnational footballer Rafael van der Vaart has made his debut in professional darts.Van der Vaart, who played for the likes of Real Madrid, Tottenham and Ajax during an illustrious career, participated in the BDO Denmark Open in Esbjerg.Van der Vaart o homer to J.J. Hardy in the fourth inning as he was knocked around a bit. He struck out two batters in the outing and his Grapefruit ERA is now at 6.00. 

Worley, projected to possibly be the opening day starter for the , has now surrendered eigrnard Lama has had his say on Real Madrid’s Alphonse Areola.Areola is on-loan at Real this season from PSG.Lama told Culture PSG, “Areola? He has more athletic potential than Keylor Navas but he has less experience. “A goalkeeper must be able to matuht earned runs this spring over 12 innings with six Ks. He was 6-9 over 23 starts with a 4.20 ERA for the Phillies last year. 

R.A. Dickey’s Cy Young season among best knuckleball seasons ever


(Getty Images)


became the first knuckleballer to win the National League Cy Young Award, Clayton Kershaw in the voting announced on Wednesday by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Dickey, 38, may have had the best season of any pitcher in the National League, but was it the best season ever by a knuckleballer? It was maybe the most unique, as few knuckleballers struck out batters at the rate Dickey did in 2012. Dickey recorded a l understand they can’t turn things around overnight.Solskjaer says he’s made it plain to the United top brass that putting a club now on its fourth permanent manager since last winning the title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s 2012-13 retirement season back oeague-best 230 strikeouts in 233 2/3 innings, while walking just 54 — good for a strikeout-to-walk ration of 4.26. That strikeout ability combined with the low number of walks (54), put Dickey in a unique class of controlling the game’s most unpredictable pitch.

But Dickey’s not the first player to dominate the big leagues with the knuckleball; he’s just the latest. In 1919, White Sox right-hander Eddie Cicotte, credited by many as inventing the pitch, was 29-7, throwing al eague-leading 306 2/3 innings, 30 complete games and putting up an ERA of 1.82 and 0.995 WHIP. That was two years after leading the league with a 1.53 ERA and a 28-12 record. Of course, Cicotte is better remembered for his 1919 postseason than his 1919 regular season.

Hall of Famer Phil Niekro twice finished in the top three of Cy Young voting, finishing second in 1969 when he went 23-12 with a 2.56 and third in 1974 when he went 20-13 with a 2.38 ERA.

Left-handed knuckleballer Wilbur Wood finished in the top three in Cy Young votingo play on after his release from PSG this summer.Sky Italia says talks between Buffon and Juve are ongoing as he ‘inches closer’ to the Bianconeri. Juve will first wait to offload Mattia Perin with Roma and Sevilla keen. Once Perin leaves, everything from 1971-73. His best season among those may have been 1971, when he went 24-17 with a 2.51 ERA, finishing third in Cy Young voting and nine in the MVP.

Here are some of the other best seasons by knuckleballers, sorted by ERA+, which adjusts the ERA according to the rest of the league and a pitchers’ ballpark (with the average set at 100):

Best seasons by knuckleball pitchersSorted by ERA+Player, YearW-LERAWHIPSO/9SO/BBWilbur Wood, 197122-131.911.0005.73.39Phil Niekro, 196711-91.871.0585.62.35Eddie Cicotte, 191929-71.820.9953.22.24Eddie Cicotte, 191728-121.530ow with the news that Ciaran Clark is out for the rest of the season.The 30-year-old is also going to miss his country Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2020 playoff against Slovakia.He suffered a serious injury against Arsenal, hurting his ankle.Now it has.9123.92.14Hoyt Wilhelm, 195915-112.191.1285.51.81Ted Lyons, 194214-62.101.0702.51.92Tim Wakefield, 199516-82.951.1835.51.75Phil Niekro, 197420-132.381.1155.82.22Tom Candiotti, 199113-132.651.1556.32.29Jesse Haines, 192724-102.721.1642.71.16Dutch Leonard, 194517-72.131.1254.02.74Roger Wolff, 194520-102.121.0123.92.04Bob Purkey, 196223-52.811.1244.42.20Phil Niekro, 196923-132.561.0276.13.39R.A. Dickey, 201220-62.731.0538.94.26Joe Niekro, 198217-122.471.0674.32.03

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What Don Mattingly learned from his Yankees managers


Don Mattingly played for six different managers during his 14 years with the . How each of them influenced him:

•  “Fiery. Crazy. That boy was nuts. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Wild is probably the best word for him.”

•  “He’s the best. The best person I’ve ever been around in baseball Absolutely jresting Newcastle United.The Sun says Toon manager Steve Bruce hopes Zlatan Ibrahimovic can help him land Piatek.Bruce is in talks with the Serie A club over the Polish forward, 24, whose place is under threat after the arrival of Swedish legend Ibraust the best.”

•  “I think of him a couple of different ways. As a player, as a hitting coach and as a manager. His biggest influence on me was the hitting end of it. He’s the one who got me to use the weight transfer and show me how that works. He showed me how my swing worked, the cause and effect. He made me a better teacher. That temper … raw emotion. It just comes out. I always loved that about Lou. Unbridled, can’t stop it. Volcanic.”

•  “He was tough. He was kind of big and bold. He was different. A lot of his work was his principles on throwing, stuff he did in spring training, I liked a lot of that.”

• : “Ien.Juve and Inter are currently equal on points at the top of the table.But Pjanic says: “Inter are strong rivals in the race, but there are four teams up for the Scudetto, because Lazio and Roma also proved themselves this season.“I’ve never wor played for him in Double-A. Stump’s a smart baseball guy. At that point I was kind of established and it was more of an easy relationship.”

•  “Buck was really good. We played together in Double-A. Buck’s a little quiet in a sense, shy. Baseball-wise he’s really smart. Buck was really organized. I thought he was a great judge of talent. Building an organization getting back to where you want to go, you really have to see who can play and who can’t. Buck came in and changed the whole attitude of the way we did things. This is the way we’re going to do it, with meetings, spring training, it was just like clockwork. And I liked that because we weren’t wasting time. Get a workout done in 2 1/2 hours and you can get the same thing done that you get done in 3 1/2 hours with someone who is less organized. I thought he was real smart and a ited teammates have already made him feel at home.The former Genk star joined the Blades last week and made his debut in victory at Crystal Palace.Blades fans already have a song for Berge and he told VG: “That they end up singing that song to me wasgreat judge of talent.”

Brian Fuentes replaces Grant Balfour as A’s closer


It wouldn’t quite be 2012 if a day went by without a closer’s losing his job: is out in , and is in. “We’re going to back off with Balfour a nte says he’d be happy if Barcelona are missing Lionel Messi tonight.Inter resume their Champiop Guardiola does not think it is the end of the world if Manchester City fail to win the Champions League.Guardiola knows that fans and pundits are judging his City tenure on whether he can win Europe’s top club prize.They have failed to even reach tns League campaign at the Nou Camp with Messi an injury doubt.Conte said, “Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the top players in the world and naturally thelittle while and see what Brian has to offer,” of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Balfour has a 4.41 ERA on the season, and in particular he’s endured a rough stretch of late — seven runs allowed over his last seven outings. Fuentes, meanwhile, has given up just two runs over a similar span, and he has a K/BB ratio of 6.0 thus far (although his ERA of 3.86 is nothing special by reliever standards). To the extent that save totals meanud’s five-and-a-half-year spell at Emirates Stadium came to an end when he was sold to Chelsea after Arsenal signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January 2018.The 32-year-old has won the FA Cup and Europa League with the Blues, as well as helping the anything, it’s worth noting that Fuentes has 201 of them in his major-league career, so he’s accustomed to ninth-inning detail. “It’s where I feel most comfortable, and I believe I can get the job done,” Fuentes said his new/old role. “It’s good to know he has that confidence in me.”

Five bold Steelers predictions for 2019 NFL season: Pittsburgh reaches Super Bowl LIV, and more


and the tend to do better when not much is expected of them. 

In 2004, the Steelers, coming off a 6-10 season, went 15-1 while making it all the way to the AFC Championship Game. A year later, after stumbling to a 7-5 start, Pittsburgh finished the year on an eight-game winning streak while becoming the first team in history win it all as a sixth seed. 

More recently, the 2015 and ’16 Steelers overcame slow starts to make playoff runs. Despite losing and falling a full four games behind the division-leading  midway through the season, the ’15 Steelers rallied to win six of their final eight regular-season games before upsetting Cincinnati in the AFC wild-card round. A year later, Pittsburgh got off to a 4-5 start before rallying to win nine straight games before falling to New England in the AFC title game. 

In 2019, Pittsburgh will again rise in the face of adversity after an offseason that included the losses of Bell and . Pittsburgh’s final destination is one of our five bold predictions for the Steelers’ 2019 season. 

1.  outperforms Antonio Brown 

Smith-Schuster will not only flourish as Pittsburgh’s new No. 1 receiver, he will outplay Brown, the Steelers’ No. 1 wideout from 2011-18 who was traded to Oakland. 

This is honestly not too bold of a prediction, especially not with Brown missing significant time during training camp with frostbitten feet that could cause him to miss time when the regular season beings. Brown’s foot issues aside, the odds are very much against him having the same type of season Smith-Schuster is set up to have in Pittsburgh. 

Brown, for one, will no longer have Roethlisberger throwing him the ball. While Brown can surely have success with , improvising with Roethlisberger was a large part of what made them the best QB-WR duo in the NFL over the past decade. It’s incredibly hard to fathom Brown having close to that type of rapport with Carr, especially after missing this much time during training camp. 

Smith-Schuster, on the other hand, was present for the majority of Pittsburgh’s voluntary offseason workouts. He didn’t miss minicamp, and has been a dominant force throughout training camp. Smith-Schuster may not be Brown (yet), but he’s clearly on his way. And if Pittsburgh’s secondary receivers give him enough support, a 100-catch, 1,300-yard season from Smith-Schuster is a very reasonable expectation. 

Beyond stats, if Smith-Schuster helps lead the Steelers back to the playoffs, and if Brown fails to do enough to get Oakland back to respectability, many will give the nod to Smith-Schuster when the question of who had a better 2019 season is asked. 

2. Big Ben will be in the middle of the MVP conversation 

Roethlisberger has never seriously been in the running to win the league’s MVP award, an award no Steelers player has won since Terry Bradshaw in 1978. That won’t be the case in 2019, not after the offseason Big Ben endured (his leadership was criticized by Brown and several former teammates through the media) along with losing Brown, the league’s most productive receiver since 2010. 

Roethlisberger will have a better season in 2019 than he did in ’18, whenrofile names this summer.Gazidis has set out owners Elliott Management’s plans for the coming years.“Elliott’s vision is clear: to take away the financial burden from Milan and put them back in the right direction, letting them grow and making them he led the league with 5,129 passing yards. While he won’t lead the league in passing in ’19, he also won’t lead the NFL in interceptions, something he did last season. The pressure to force passes Brown’s way led to a significant amount of his interceptions last season. This season, Roethlisberger can go back to doing what he prefers: spreading the football around while allowing receivers to pile up numbers organically. 

The Steelers didn’t find a star to replace Brown. Instead, they provided Big Ben with a slew of talented receivers. , a six-year veteran, has gained a quick rapport with Roethlisberger, while rookie wideout was off to an impressive start to training camp before missing time recently with an injury. Big Ben also still has tight end , a 2017 acquisition from San Francisco who had his best season to date in 2018. Roethlisberger will continue to have slot receivers and at his disposal. 

Big Ben’s drive to show that he can lead one of the NFL’s best offenses can’t be overstated. After openly contemplating retirement just two years earlier, Roethlisberger — who signed a two-year extension earlier this offseason that will keep him in Pittsburgh through the 2021 season — has gained a renewed passion for the game as he enters his 16th NFL season. 

“I feel like I love football again,” Roethlisberger recently said from camp, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I told my wife when I was home the other day, she was asking how it was going. I said I feel like I love football again. She got a big smile on her face and said it made her happy to hear that.”

Steelers fans are also happy to hear that, as Big Ben could be on the verge of his greatest season to date. 

3. T.J. Watt breaks franchise single-season sack record 

T.J. Watt has quickly become one of the main faces of Pittsburgh’s defense. The team’s first-round pick two years ago, Watt has developed into one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL. 

Watt, who recorded 11.5 sacks during his final season at Wisconsin, has continued to show a knack for getting to opposing quarterbacks. After recording seven sacks as a rookie, Watt tallied 13 sacks in 2018. He also recorded a whopping six forced fumbles while earning his first Pro Bowl selection. It’s clear that the Steelers made the right decision moving Watt from right to left OLB before the start of the 2018 season. 

It’s not a stretch to think that Watt — who trains with older brothers (and NFL players) Derek and J.J. Watt in the offseason — will surpass James Harrison’s single-season sack record in 2019. While Watt should only continue to get better, Pittsburgh’s fast-improving defense — a unit that added rookie ILB , veteran cornerback and veteran ILB to the fold this offseason — should give Watt more opportunities to rush the passer. 

4. Devin Bush wins Defensive Rookie of the Year honors 

Bush did little to quiet the massive expectations surrounding him during his first . Bush, an inside linebacker out of Michigan who the Steelers traded up to select in the first round of the draft, had 10 tackles that included seven solo stops in Pittsburgh’s victory over Tampa Bay. Bush also made several solid plays in pass coverage while also making a key fourth down stop that set up the Steelers’ first points of the night. 

Bush has passed each test the Steelers have thrown at him thus far. He successfully called the defensive plays while working with Pittsburgh’s starters during minicamp. He’s continued to call plays training camp and did so again against the . Bush’s ability to call the defense is what Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was hoping to see entering Pittsburgh’s first preseason game. 

“I thought it was a very solid performance,” Tomlin said when asked about Bush’s NFL preseason debut. “It was really reminiscent, for me, of first home preseason game a number of years ago in terms of production and getting around and making a number of plays. But he’s going to continue to write his story in terms of growth and development and usefulness and role within this group, not only in 2019 but beyond. He has to roll up his sleeves, like the rest of them.”

5. Steelers represent the AFC in Super Bowl LIV 

While they no longer have Brown and Bell, the Steelers still have plenty of firepower at the skill positions in Roethlisberger, Smith-Schuster and running back , who earned Pro Bowl honors last season after amassing 1,470 all-purpose yards in 13 starts. Pittsburgh’s received in an influx of young talent at the skill positions during the offseason. Along with Johnson, rookie running back  — the University of Kentucky’s all-time leading rusher — is also expected to make a significant impact in 2019. Snell and second-year back , who rushed for 142 yards in Pittsburgh’s regular-season victory over New England last season, should give the Steelers a more balott McTominay and Andreas Pereira to add goals to their game.McTominay has firmly established himself as a regular in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, while Pereira is also an important of the squad.”Scott’s now trying to develop his game into the playeranced attack this season. 

Fans also shouldn’t forget about , a second-year wideout who should be the team’s No. 2 receiver entering Week 1 of the regular season. Washington made a statement of sorts in Pittsburgh’s preseason opener, catching four passes for 84 yards and a score as he continues to put his disappointing rookie season in the rearview mirror. 

The Steelers still possess one of the best offensive lines in football, a unit that includes three Pro Bowlers in , , and . 

Pittsburgh’s defense should be as good as the Steelers’ offense in 2019, if not better. Cam Heyward, , and have developed into one of the defensive lines in football, with Heyward, the team’s defensive captain, leading the way with 20.0 sacks over the past two years. 

The Steelers should boast one of the top linebacker units in football this season, with Watt being complemented by Bush, reliable starter and fellow OLB, . is still one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks, while Nelson will fill the previously vacant spot as Pittsburgh’s No. 2 cornerback. Emerging cornerback Cam Sutton, a third-round pick back in 2017, should also play a key role in Pittsburgh’s defense in 2019. 

, a 2016 second-round pick, returns for his second season as the Steelers’ starting free safety. Pittsburgh is expecting a big jump from last year’s first-round pick, strong safety . Thrown into the fire last season, Edmunds, who started the majority of Pittsburgh’s games as a rookie, has shown significant strides during training camp and should be one of the league’s better defensive backs this season. That’s extremely good news for the Steelers, who allowed too many scoring drives late in games last season that contributed mightily to Pittsburgh missing the postseason for the first time since 2013. 

struggles were another reason why the Steelers missed the postseason in 2018. That shouldn’t be an issue moving forward, as Pittsburgh believes that Boswell — a Pro Bowl kicker in 2017 — has moved past whatever issues he was dealing with last season. 

Yes, the Steelers have some legitimate question marks entering the season. Will their secondary receivers do an adequate enough job replacing Brown? Will Big Ben be the same quarterback without having Brown on his side? Will Chris Boswell return to Pro Bowl form? Is this the year that Pittsburgh’s defense returns to championship form? Can the Steelers beat Bill Belichick, and the in the postseason?

I believe that yes, Pittsburgh’s secondary receivers are good enough to replace Brown. Roethlisberger will be even better this year despite not having Brown, even if it doesn’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet. Boswell will return to Pro Bowl form, while Pittsburgh’s defense will be a championship-caliber unit in 2019. 

The last question, the one regarding the Patriots, is the biggest question standing between the Steelers and their first appearance in nine years. This is where Pittsburgh’s collective focus to prove their naysayers wrong will truly show itself. 

In recent years, the Steelers weren’t able to keep that drive and singular focus for the eill flop if they focus on youth this season.Ince isn’t convinced manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s kids are up to it.He said, “It’s all about personnel for United, now. How they improve not only the team but the club, from the top down. They have to sntire journey. Brown’s Facebook Live snafu contributed to Pittsburgh’s collapse in the ’16 title game. Bell’s pre-game trash talk added more flames to the already fired up prior to Jacksonville’s playoff upset in 2017. Brown and Bell’s constant distractions undoubtedly played a role in the Steelers missing the playoffs altogether in 2018. 

While they will continue to be met with distractions and outside noise, the 2019 Steelers will do something recent Pittsburgh teams could not: block out that noise while keeping their singular focus on getting to the Super Bowl. That’s the focus the Patriots usually possess, and that’s the focus that will ultimately get the Steelers over the hump in 2019. 

2019 NFL Draft: Ravens become the first NFL team to have a pick read in Braille


Ever since the NFL draft was split into three days, Day 3 has brought with it the quirky pick announcements. Maybe you’ll see a fan riling up the crowd at the team facility. Maybe there will be some sort of animal doing something. Maybe a member of the active-ool of “bullying” after a move to Fiorentina was blocked.Saif Rubie tweeted his anger and claimed striker Duncan, 18, hasn’t left his room “for four days” amid “deep mental health issues”.In a statement, Rubie declared: “There has been a lot of thingdutedine Zidane insists today’s shocking 7-3 defeat to Atletico Madrid won’t hurt their season plans.Zidane is adamant they will have a big season ahead.He said, “It’s just the way it is at this stage. “This won’t change what we’re looking to achieve thy military will get to announce the selection from overseas. 

There are all kinds of ways teams can go about it, but prior to this year, nobody had ever done what the Baltimore Ravens did on Saturday: have their pick announced by someone who read the name off the card in Braille. 

With pick No. 123, Mo Gaba, a 13-year-old Ravens superfan who is battling cancer for the fourth time and has been blind since he was nine months old, announced that the Ravens selected Ben Powers, a guard out of Oklahoma. It was a pretty cool moment, and one that will presumably be remembered by Gaba, Ravens fans, fans, and blind people everywheree Sun says Matic trained for just 24 minutes of Wednesday’s session, raising concerns about his long-term future at the club. It comes just days after the Serbia international snubbed United’s black-tie gala dinner, instead choosing to dine out with . 

Here’s the live look from Baltimore’s war room. 

Again, pretty cool.