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FMIA: NFL Training Camp Tour Kicks Off With Las Vegas’ Hot, Hot Latest Offense And Buffalo’s Plans for Von Miller

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HENDERSON, Nev.—Within the conference room adjoining to Raiders coach Josh McDaniels’ office, just after noon on Saturday, class was in session. The pupil on this 17-minute tutorial: quarterback Derek Carr. Each day—on the practice field, or within the hallways of the Raiders’ gleaming practice facility in suburban Las Vegas, anywhere they see one another—McDaniels finds a number of minutes to proceed the download of his offense, the Super Bowl-winning Latest England offense, into Carr’s head.

On this present day, McDaniels is drawing up protection schemes on a white grease board, and Carr sits taking notes on his tablet. McDaniels is teaching his QB to call and maneuver the entire protections at the road of scrimmage, the best way Tom Brady did. That’s a part of the lesson. Discipline on double-move pass-routes is the opposite part. McDaniels tells Carr he doesn’t just like the lax technique he saw on certainly one of the routes at practice, so he’s decided to enlist a latest coach (type of) to assist get the technique across.

Steph Curry.

“We’ve just gotta be patient on the double-move,” McDaniels said. “If we’re not patient with the primary a part of the route, how can we expect the second a part of the path to work? So we’re gonna show that film today. The Steph Curry film.

“Perfect,” Carr said.

“The best way Curry has the patience and the discipline on his pump-fakes before taking those threes … that’s an ideal example of what I’m talking about,” McDaniels said. “In a double-move, in the event you don’t run the primary route well first, the defender never jumps the play, right? Today we didn’t even run the primary route, so the defender never budged—he knew the [receiver] was going up the sector. Curry’s pump-fakes are real. They make the defenders go zooming by.”

“Flying out of bounds,” said Carr, who’d seen the tape of Curry pump-faking, waiting, then burying threes. “It’s hilarious.”

Latest Raiders coach Josh McDaniels meets with QB Derek Carr (NBC Sports)

This whole session feels more like two peers talking than coach dictating to player. This is just not what I recall from McDaniels’ Denver days in his first head-coaching go-round. Players found him an excessive amount of of a bossman when challenged, and in today’s football, when relationships are being formed, that’s not going to work.

“Oh, I’ve learned quite a bit,” McDaniels said around 6:45 that evening in his office.

“Give me an example,” I said.

“I’m not Bill [Belichick], and there’s no shame in saying that. Bill’s the best football coach of all time, and he’s got his own distinctive way of doing things. So now, my thought process is less, ‘What would now we have done in Latest England?’ It’s more, ‘What would I do?’ I think about myself as a coach. The vibe around here is one I should create. It’s not one I should mimic.”

Two diverse datelines as camps open across the league: HENDERSON, Nev., and PITTSFORD, N.Y. By the best way, someday, attempt to report within the early evening in Vegas, then get to a bit upstate Latest York hamlet for a ten o’clock football practice the subsequent morning. That was … interesting.

I’m going to bop backwards and forwards between the 2 here, providing you with my tackle the Bills and their Most Vital Newcomer, pass-rusher Von Miller, after which on the load of expectations. (Is there anyone not picking the Bills to win their first Lombardi this 12 months?) You’re going to like the raw honesty of Miller discussing the happiness of being a Bill while having a hole in his heart for leaving the Rams.

Then it’s back to Nevada, where a diving catch by Hunter Renfrow caught the admiring eye of Davante Adams and said something concerning the Raiders and their beaming coach. In fact, most football teams are wildly optimistic on July 25. I saw two of them up-close over the weekend.

And I’ll provide you with the largest issues for all 32 teams entering training camp. Sit back, loosen up, and luxuriate in the flight.

PITTSFORD, N.Y.—The last nine months of Von Miller’s life:

Oct. 21: In his last game as a Denver Bronco, Miller played 33 snaps in a 17-14 loss to Cleveland.

Nov. 1: Denver traded Miller, who was stunned by it, to the Rams for second- and third-round picks within the 2022 draft. “You wanna make God laugh, make plans,” a subdued Miller said.

Jan. 2: In his seventh game for the Rams, Miller was the largest player on the sector, recording two big sacks of Tyler Huntley at Baltimore in a 20-19 win. “That is what you play the sport for,” Miller said post-game, and I remember (I used to be there) hearing how exultant Miller and his mates were through the locker-room door. Miller loved the Rams.

Feb. 13: Six years after his Super Bowl MVP performance for Denver, Miller sacked Joe Burrow twice within the Rams’ 23-20 Super Bowl victory.

Early March: Miller, a free-agent, reportedly told friends he’d re-sign with the Rams since it’s where he wanted to complete his profession.

March 16: Miller, torn between the Rams and the significantly larger money offered by the Bills, chooses Buffalo’s six-year take care of $51-million guaranteed and price as much as $120-million. Buffalo GM Brandon Beane was each blissful and surprised by the choice, since the Bills kept hearing his heart was in L.A.

July 7: In Dan Pompei’s profile of him for The Athletic, Miller says the day after he agreed with the Bills, he was having so many second thoughts on the flight to Buffalo to sign that he planned to inform them he’d modified his mind. However the Bills had such a very good plan for him that, per Pompei, Miller prayed on the Bills’ home field and decided to sign with Buffalo in any case.

July 24: Wearing a blue number 40 jersey, Miller jogged out to his first practice with the Bills on the St. John Fisher campus in a leafy Rochester suburb. He signed autographs for 20 minutes afterward for among the 5,500 fans who crammed camp.

“Free-agency is crazy,” Miller told me after practice. “You gotta make life-changing decisions, career-changing decisions, in two hours.”

We live in a transactional sporting world, with players famous and unfamous changing teams day after day. When something like Miller happens, and he’s emotional about it, the response by some is Man up, millionaire. I’ll change cities for $100 million any day. Well, in fact. But consider what Miller went through. He loved L.A., he loved his Super Bowl mates (especially Aaron Donald, as a player and person), he loved playing for Sean McVay. The Rams wanted him back, and he was blissful together with his moderately reduced workload (he played about 75 percent of the snaps in his 12 Rams games). But then the Bills threw the cash and the love at him, and here we’re.

Miller went to the Rams’ Super Bowl ring ceremony last week in California. “So hard to let go of L.A.,” he said. “So hard to let go of Coach McVay, [GM] Les Snead and particularly Aaron Donald, man. Each time I give it some thought, man, I get sad occupied with not fidgeting with them anymore.”

I say: Good for him for admitting it. Who can blame Miller for being human, for having a number of ounces of regret for leaving a team he’d grown to like. He’s not betraying the Bills; he’s simply getting over a heartbreak. In due time, he’ll be high-quality, and he’ll be a Bills Mafia favorite. Emotions now, pragmatism later. But let’s be real concerning the opener, Bills at Rams, Sept. 8, with America watching. That’ll be a tricky night for Miller.

Von Miller after winning Super Bowl LVI with the Rams (Getty Images)

Speaking of pragmatism, how will the Bills keep the 33-and-a-half Miller healthy and contributing for 17 weeks of the season and possibly 4 more within the playoffs? He can’t be an every-down player, and possibly shouldn’t play even 75 percent of the snaps.

“We got Von to shut games for us,” GM Brandon Beane told me.

So this seems logical to me: The Bills are so good that in games they’re leading big initially of the fourth quarter, coach Sean McDermott should say to Miller: Take a shower. You’re done. That might save 100, 150 snaps. And for the massive ones (at Baltimore, at Kansas City, Green Bay, at Cincinnati, possibly a Latest England or Miami game), he could give Buffalo 65 snaps. The remaining of the time, let a robust rotation of children get time to recuperate.

McDermott told me: “If I said that we don’t need to depend on him to play full games, and he reads that, he’s gonna be like, ‘Oh no. No way.’ Because that’s how competitors are. Right? I fully expect him to find a way to do it if we’d like it.”

“Peter, it’s the primary day of coaching camp!” Miller said after I asked him about not overdoing it this 12 months. “I don’t need to miss that game-changing play being on the sidelines. In fact I’m gonna hearken to the coaches and the GM and everybody I trust here. But I wanna play as much as possible.”

In fact. But McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will have to be conservationists, and adults on the sidelines. The Super Bowl favorite doesn’t need the previous Super Bowl MVP to be watching in a parka in an enormous January playoff games.

Three Bills things:

1. Josh Allen’s a rock star, and more. The gang was batcrap for him for 2 hours of practice after which a number of signing binges post-practice. I got coffee in Pittsford later and I got here upon this devotional candle in his image within the coffeeshop. 

Josh Allen has captured the hearts of Buffalonians. (NBC Sports)

At practice Sunday, Bills EVP Ron Raccuia told me he was within the Bills group that went to the positioning of the mass food market shooting in Buffalo in May. He saw Allen approach city and county leaders to supply condolences. “He shook hands with the three politicians, including the mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown,” said Raccuia. “He frolicked talking and listening to each. And he leans into [Erie County legislator] April Baskin, and I heard him say, ‘April, have you ever been okay through all of this?’ He meant it. He’s one of the authentic guys I’ve been around.” Athletes are vital to communities. Sean McDermott brought up David Ortiz taking the mic after the Boston Marathon terrorism and saying, “That is our f—ing city!” Allen is just not Ortiz—yet—but he’s becoming a really big a part of the material of western Latest York.

2. Tre’Davious White (torn ACL eight months ago today) is beneficial, and can be on the Physically Unable to Perform List. Nobody’s predicting if he’ll be able to face the Rams in 45 days, however the Bills will spend plenty of manhours getting first-round pick Kaiir Elam ready just in case.

3. Spent a while watching wideout Gabriel Davis, who scored 4 touchdowns within the playoff loss to Kansas City, catch balls off the JUGS machine. He’s cut, he’s got soft hands, he’s very able to be a 1b to 1a Stefon Diggs on this offense. He’s a employee bee too. All you fantasy players: Don’t let Davis slip too far down your receiver rankings. He’ll get his targets. Allen throws to the open guy, and Davis is sweet at getting open.

The pressing issue in 32 training camps over the six weeks:

AFC East

Buffalo: Can Von Miller solve Buffalo’s only big issue?

GM Brandon Beane addressed pass-rush within the ’20 and ’21 draft with A.J. Epenesa, Greg Rousseau and Boogie Basham, however the three combined for less than eight sacks last 12 months. Now Miller is available in to turbocharge the frenzy from the fitting side. You’ll be able to read more higher within the column.

Miami: Will Mike McDaniel find a way to unlock Tua’s potential?

Not many teams can match the three-man firepower of Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki, and never many teams have a greater left tackle than Terron Armstead. It’s clear this can be a make-or-break season for Tua Tagovailoa, and a chief reason why offensive wunderkind McDaniel was imported from the Kyle Shanahan tree. Miami’s got to be significantly higher than twenty fifth in total offense, which the ’21 Fins were.

Tua Tagovailoa looks up at head coach Mike McDaniel of the Miami Dolphins. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Latest England: Can Bill Belichick make an iffy roster competitive?

The Patriots have made chicken salad out of chicken feathers most frequently in Belichick’s tenure, but this summer will really be a test of that practice. Some very iffy drafts and refusing to pay market prices for young stars like J.C. Jackson have made players like 32-year-old Malcolm Butler vital fairly than marginal. The Patriots need strong camps from plenty of questionable players, and never just Mac Jones.

N.Y. Jets: Can the Jets get the max out of Mekhi Becton?

Interesting point made to me by estimable beat man Mark Cannizzaro of the Latest York Post: Coach Robert Saleh has an interesting thought on young players like supposed franchise tackle Becton, the Eleventh pick in ’20 draft. “He never make a determination on a player till after the third 12 months,” Cannizzaro said. “And that is the third 12 months for Becton.” This 12 months’s rookie crop is powerful, led by corner Sauce Gardner, but this camp is more vital for Becton.

AFC North

Baltimore: Can the Ravens get back to normal after a weird 12 months?

Few playoff contenders have more questions entering camp. Reliable receiver Marquise Brown was dealt to Arizona (in effect for rookie center Tyler Linderbaum), so replacing his 91 catches is a problem. Lamar Jackson’s contract thing hovers over the team. A jillion players coming back from injury—most significantly Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey and J.K. Dobbins—cloud the forecast. Very big summer in Owings Mills.

Cincinnati: Will a bridge get built with Jessie Bates?

When the Bengals drafted safety Daxton Hill in the primary round last April, it added more uncertainty to Bates’ situation. Hill’s four-year contract is value $1 million lower than Bates’ franchise number for this 12 months—and Bates refuses to sign that. Bates likely will keep away from camp. Since the Bengals are likely trying to bankroll enough money to sign Joe Burrow long-term, Bates could have to choose from $12.9 million for one 12 months or sitting out the season.

Cleveland: Do you even have to ask?

One story and one story only in Cleveland camp: Counting down the times (hours?) till arbitrator Sue L. Robinson rules on whether Deshaun Watson can be suspended (highly likely) and if that’s the case for a way long. If it’s a protracted ban, 10 games or more, the Browns could decide to chase Jimmy Garoppolo for a one-year bridge—though their next two drafts were denuded by the trade for Watson. Or they may play Jacoby Brissett. Neither option is superb.

Pittsburgh: Who wins the Trubisky-Pickett competition?

In his sixteenth season as Steeler coach, Mike Tomlin may have a QB competition for the primary time. Free-agent Mitchell Trubisky probably enters camp in Latrobe as a slight favorite over first-round pick Kenny Pickett from Pitt. There’s no insight available on this, yet. Tomlin will let the subsequent five weeks make his decision.

AFC South

Houston: Is Davis Mills “The (Long-Term) Man?”

Before you say, “Oh, stop,” consider that Mills, in his last five games last 12 months, had a passer rating over 100, accomplished 68.4 percent, and had a 9-to-2 TD-to-pick ratio. The schedule (Colts, Bears, Jags in the primary five weeks) gives Mills a probability to construct some momentum early.

Indianapolis: Can the defense get stingier?

In fact, the largest acquisition within the offseason was Matt Ryan, who can be a greater leader and must be a greater clutch player than Carson Wentz was. But my sneaky-huge pickup for Indy was cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 Defensive Player of the 12 months (and shortly to be 32). The Indy D gave up 32 touchdown passes and 4,203 passing yards last 12 months.

Travon Walker runs the 40 yard dash in the course of the NFL Mix. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Jacksonville: How quick can Travon Walker get up to the mark?

The primary pick within the draft didn’t have a first-pick-in-the-draft resume at Georgia (9.5 sacks in three seasons, zero times first- or second-team all-SEC). But GM Trent Baalke saw the freakish athleticism of Walker, and now, in camp, the world can be watching to see what Baalke saw.

Tennessee: Can Ryan Tannehill regain his mojo?

Tannehill turns 34 Wednesday, which is primetime for quarterbacks as of late. But he’s on a streak of 1 300-yard game in his last 16 starts, and all of us saw him cough up the top-seed Titans’ first playoff game to Cincinnati in a three-pick nightmare last January. Now he’s got to be great without A.J. Brown, and with potential heir Malik Willis pressing him. Camp could be very big for Tannehill and this offense.

AFC West

Denver: Will Randy Gregory and Bradley Chubb be well worth the investment?

In fact that is the Summer of Russell (Wilson) in Colorado. But everyone knows he’ll be high-quality and productive. I say the larger query mark in camp is honing a pass rush to threaten Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr and Justin Herbert in a QB-heavy division. Gregory is coming off rotator cuff surgery in March, and Chubb, the fifth overall pick in 2018, hasn’t justified his draft stock after missing 24 games in 4 seasons. Big summer for them.

Kansas City: Can Mahomes make up for some holes?

Andy Reid’s not used to patching so many things in camp—though he did need to reinvent his offensive line last 12 months. After the trade of ultimate weapon Tyreek Hill to Miami, it’ll be as much as Mahomes to make the Mecole Hardman/JuJu Smith-Schuster/Marquez Valdes-Scantling/Skyy Moore combo platter work. Then there’s the burgeoning contract issue with left tackle Orlando Brown, who is probably not in camp. And there’s the leadership gulf left by the departure of Tyrann Mathieu on defense. It’s rare this franchise has this many issues in camp.

Las Vegas: Can a shaky offensive line give Carr time to thrive?

Alex Leatherwood was a dangerous pick by ex-GM Mike Mayock, who was confident he’d grow to be a standout right tackle. It didn’t work. Leatherwood led all NFL lineman last 12 months with 65 QB pressures allowed and was moved to right guard early within the season due to it. Leatherwood’s getting one other probability this summer at tackle. But in camp, Brandon Parker is getting more snaps at right tackle than Leatherwood. Will Carr have enough time to search out Davante Adams downfield?

L.A. Chargers: Can a redesigned D mesh in six weeks?

The Chargers could have five latest starters out of 12 on defense (counting the nickel corner): tackles Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson, edge-rusher Khalil Mack, corner J.C. Jackson and nickel Bryce Callahan. Brandon Staley may have to see what number of snaps the 31-year-old Mack can play, because, like Miller in Buffalo, Mack’s biggest value will come as a more in-depth in big games.

NFC East

Dallas: Can Micah Parsons be cloned?

When your offenses averages 4 touchdowns a game over two years (Dallas is scoring at a 28-points-per-game clip since opening day 2020), and the record is just 18-16, there’s a significant issue to be solved. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s got to unravel it. Will he use Parsons, reigning Defensive Rookie of the 12 months after a 13-sack season, as a puzzle piece all around the front? Can he get yet one more strong season out of DeMarcus Lawrence (only 14.5 sacks in his last 39 games). It’s clear Dallas needs one other impact player, or three, on defense.

N.Y. Giants: Can Brian Daboll turn Daniel Jones’ profession around?

John Mara, prefer it or not, still believes Jones might be a very good starting NFL quarterback. Mara thinks the revolving coaching door and weaponry that’s at all times hurt has doomed Jones. This summer, Daboll, imported after tutoring Josh Allen in Buffalo, will attempt to put a stamp of competency on Jones—but two disappointing receivers last 12 months, Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney, can be closely watched too.

Philadelphia: Will Howie Roseman’s architecture show up this summer?

All eyes can be on quarterback Jalen Hurts, and rightfully so; that is his 12 months to prove he must be the long-term QB. But so many latest additions must find niches by the tip of August. Start with A.J. Brown, the brand new star receiver acquired on draft night, who should make beautiful music with DeVonta Smith. But look for school stars Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean to push for snaps. Hidden gem James Bradberry may very well be a steal at corner. Plenty of summer latest from Philly ahead.

Washington: Will Carson Wentz finally discover a long-term home?

Mike Florio said it right when Indy dumped Wentz after a terrible finish but a season with 27 TDs and just seven picks: Wentz must go to a spot to prove himself from scratch. After having the easygoing Doug Pederson and father figure Frank Reich as coaches in his first six pro seasons, Wentz has to prove himself all yet again in Washington, and that starts in earnest this summer.

NFC North

Chicago: Ready for enormous reconstruction?

It’s good to have the quarterback of the longer term in-house (presumably). But major change rules the franchise, led by coach Matt Eberflus and GM Ryan Poles. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s a significant component in his first 12 months as an OC, possibly a very powerful of the newbies, because he’ll be charged with growing the sport of the vital Fields. sign can be quicker decision-making by Fields, sacked on a league-high 11.7 percent of his drops last 12 months.

Detroit: Can Aidan Hutchinson transform a listless D?

The Lions, after ending thirtieth within the league in sacks last 12 months, have to work in camp on ensuring Hutchinson hits the bottom running in September. There are not any good alternatives for coordinator Aaron Glenn’s defense, so grooming Hutchinson is job one on a team that may’t depend on the offense to place up 25 points a game.

Green Bay: Can Wealthy Bisaccia awaken the sleepy special teams?

You’re surprised I didn’t have the massive query being: Can Christian Watson be a serviceable alternative for Davante Adams? I just figure Aaron Rodgers will figure it out, because he often does. The horrendous kicking game, well, that’s one other matter. Within the last five minutes of the divisional game against the Niners, the Packers turned a 10-3 lead right into a 13-10 loss by having a punt blocked for a TD and surrendering a game-winning field goal. Bisaccia, among the best kicking game coaches in football, is being paid (reportedly) around $2 million, a league high for special-teams coaches, to rebuild the unit.  

Minnesota: Is the Kevin O’Connell/Kwesi Adofo-Mensah team what the Vikings need?

Players uninterested in Mike Zimmer’s negativity and the actual fact he couldn’t fix the defense last 12 months. Kevin O’Connell brings more of an analytical bent to his coaching and planning, and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah breaks rules like in-division trading because he doesn’t think there must be rules. I search for QB Kirk Cousins to be an enormous beneficiary this summer after feeling beaten down a bit in recent seasons.

NFC South

Atlanta: Can the Falcons not be downtrodden?

Stark headline on the Atlanta Journal Structure website: “There’s no shiny side on eve of coaching camp.” Well, yikes. It is a 12 months to get the cap right, adjust to post-Matt Ryan life, and see if Marcus Mariota is value keeping around, or if Desmond Ridder has real promise. goal for camp can be to see how quickly Ridder might be able to take an early screen test.

Carolina: Who wins the QB battle?

Ought to be a very good competition between incumbent Sam Darnold and newcomer Baker Mayfield…and I like Baker to win if he can digest the playbook in the subsequent five weeks. In fact, the longer term of the pinnacle coach and his staff ride on the end result of how the QBs play. One good facet of the competition: Rookie third-rounder Matt Corral, the Chris Simms darling, should get a needed redshirt 12 months.

Latest Orleans: Will weapons out the wazoo repay?

The last time Sean Payton wasn’t the coach of this team was 17 years ago, in 2005. Dennis Allen is the beneficiary of a very good team built by GM Mickey Loomis and personnel czar Jeff Ireland, and if Jameis Winston can return strong from his ACL/MCL surgeries with a healed Michael Thomas, his receiver group is healthier than Drew Brees had in his latter years: Thomas, rookie Chris Olave (with star potential) and vets Jarvis Landry and Tre’Quan Smith. I feel camp will prove one thing: Don’t hand the division title to the Bucs so fast.

Tampa Bay: Will the patchwork offense be adequate early?

Easy to say Tom Brady—who turns 45 Aug. 3—is the sports world’s biggest metronome, and he’ll never not be good. But let’s see how the Bucs fare after losing two of their top three tight ends (Gronk, O.J. Howard) and each starting guards (Alex Cappa, Ali Marpet)…and with the uncertainty of when favorite receiver Chris Godwin returns from his Jan. 3 ACL surgery. That’s numerous ifs for a team with a killer first 4 weeks: at Dallas, at Latest Orleans (4-0 versus the Brady-quarterbacked Bucs within the regular season), Green Bay, Kansas City.

NFC West

Arizona: Can the energy of Kyler cure all ills?

With significant contributors Chase Edmunds, Chandler Jones and Christian Kirk all allowed to walk in free-agency, two things are obvious entering camp: Arizona needed money to afford the Murray megadeal, and the Cards might have to rating 28 a game to have a playoff shot. Oh, and if James Conner stays healthy, he’s got an outdoor shot to win the rushing title. Finding a defensive playmaker or two can be an enormous priority this summer.

L.A. Rams: How big a deal is the Bobby Wagner get?

I’m very bullish on Wagner, still. He’s been PFF’s second- and Eleventh-rated linebacker within the last two seasons, and he comes home to southern California for the primary time in 15 years, since he was a highschool star in Ontario, so he’ll be motivated in an enormous way. With the force of Aaron Donald in front of him, and the Rams unlikely to have him play far more than possibly 60 percent of the snaps, Wagner may very well be the brand new juice the world champs need.

San Francisco: Is Trey Lance a player?

He’s a wonderful prospect, of course. And he has the religion of coach Kyle Shanahan, of course. But this summer can be about whether Lance—who has thrown exactly 389 passes since highschool—can return the Niners to the NFL’s Final 4, or perhaps go farther, and with a depleted offensive line. Every practice can be micro-analyzed, as things are with quarterbacks within the NFL. I just wish the football public would give a 22-year-old quarterback who has thrown 101 passes total in his age-20 and -21 years combined a bit respiration room.

Seattle: Can a rugged defense win some games just like the old days?

Whoever wins the QB job—Geno Smith, Drew Lock, possibly Jimmy Garoppolo, and my bet’s on Smith—can be commanding an okay offense at best. The keys to Seattle being competitive, I feel, are Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, who, when healthy, make up probably the most formidable safety tandem in football. This summer they need to take charge on a rebuilding D.

Back to the 17-minute meeting, with Carr watching McDaniels draw up protections, and talking about higher double-moves.

“This is actually my favorite a part of the sport,” Carr volunteers in the course of the session. “That is a lot fun for me.”

I’m here as an observer, but during one pause, I needed to ask Carr: “Were you a man who watched the Patriots over time and wonder how they did it?”

Said Carr: “I used to be at all times very intrigued with Josh and with coach Belichick. You recognize, obviously I’m a Raider but I actually loved them. I like to look at Tom. I saw completions in every single place. And then you definitely don’t know the way they teach it. You don’t know schematically. I don’t know the words of it, but I’d watch. Just watch Tom’s eyes and he’d take you to the reads.

“We’re definitely not there yet. But I feel we’re fidgeting with smart football players. It’s easier for me to go to Hunter and be like, Hey, versus coverage now, do it like this. I used to be at all times enamored with the Latest England system. Now I’m learning the main points of it and I adore it much more.”

The meeting encapsulated exactly what’s so fascinating concerning the guts of this sport. Yeah, the Steph Curry thing was cool, but there was one specific coaching point that I can describe only up to now that’s cooler. You’ll understand the importance of it as I explain it.

One in every of the coaching points McDaniels needed to go over with Carr was what he wanted the fitting tackle to do on a pass route the Raiders will use this 12 months. McDaniels let Carr name the wrinkle on the precise block, the word he’d use within the huddle meaning what certainly one of the 11 people within the huddle should do on the snap of the ball.

The entire thing took two minutes and 11 seconds for McDaniels and Carr to iron out. But consider it: If the tackle performs his block accurately, it could mean a 30-yard gain. Perhaps a touchdown. If the tackle fails to execute the block accurately, it may very well be a gain of 1.

Consider the minute coaching points that add up to an entire offense. Consider McDaniels spending two minutes on July 23 instructing Carr on one point for one player on a play that is perhaps called eight times all season.

This is just not entertaining, this is just not compelling, it won’t be a headline within the press or a highlight on SportsCenter.

“But,” McDaniels said after I asked about it, “it’s real. It’s football. It can be crucial.”

In all, these 17 minutes total one piece of a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. Without the meeting, you don’t solve the puzzle.

“With Derek, this meeting will go to the sector tomorrow,” McDaniels said. “You’re not wondering if it comes up within the second quarter, ‘Are we gonna do it? Should I close my eyes or not?’ Since you trust that he’s gonna find a way to get it right.”

Now for the tip game, for the fun. For coach Steph Curry.

Within the Saturday afternoon post-practice tape breakdown, McDaniels showed the offending lax double-move route. He didn’t slap down the offender, just asked the offense to look at the play, after which to look at this. About 20 of the Steph Curry pump-fake/pause/defender-flies-by/calmly-hits-the-three played. Shot after shot. “Ooooooh,” echoed within the room a number of times on nice Curry threes. When it was over, one player said, “Can we watch a number of more?”

Leaving Las Vegas (no pun intended, Sheryl Crow), I believed how much work the Raiders need to do to be ready for the season. I believed how cool it will be in the event that they got it right. What an interesting team.

I

If it were a seven-game series, yeah, best team wins. That’s ultimately why, whenever you’re team-building, you never need to go full Rams. Because you must give yourself three probabilities at it, 4 years at it. I do know that’s hard for fans to listen to.

— First-year Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to Jori Epstein of USA Today, certainly one of a slew of smart observations in Epstein’s enlightening profile of the person

II

The following guy is the top-paid guy.

— Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes, whose $45-million-a-year deal was surpassed by a 3rd quarterback, Kyler Murray, on Thursday.

Mahomes gets it. He’s not one to start out grumbling that he’d higher get his contract adjusted after two years of a 10-year deal. Now, after seven years…

III

I is perhaps standing on a soapbox a bit bit, but … my biggest takeaway from after I began to the tip [is] football turned from a team-first to a me-type attitude … Perhaps it’s because I got spoiled after I got here in. The team was so vital. It was all concerning the team. Now it’s about me and this-that-and-the-other.

— Recently retired Ben Roethlisberger to Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

IV

He’s got a leg.

— Kansas City coach Andy Reid, asked Saturday to specify the early-camp injury to offensive lineman Prince Tega Wanogho.

Two of them, I hear.

V

I don’t feel like this one is the without end one. I feel possibly he’ll come back again. I feel like him and Tom [Brady] are only having fun, like retired, not retired, retired, not retired.

— Camille Kostek, Rob Gronkowski’s girlfriend, on the prospects of Gronk coming out of retirement for a second time in some unspecified time in the future in 2022.

Kansas City’s six-year streak of AFC West titles is endangered. To discern the explanations, start by taking a look at the 2022 AFC West, in comparison with the division of the past few seasons.

Record of Kansas City versus AFC West since 2016: 31-5.

12 months-by-year record of KC versus AFC West since 2016: 6-0, 5-1, 5-1, 6-0, 4-2, 5-1.

KC versus AFC West teams since 2016: 12-0 v Denver, 10-2 v Raiders, 9-3 v Chargers.

Kansas City has won the West by 5, 6, and three games within the last three seasons. We’re in for a tighter race this 12 months, with the exportation of Tyreek Hill from Kansas City, and the importation of Chandler Jones and Davante Adams in Las Vegas, Russell Wilson in Denver, and Khalil Mack, J.C. Jackson and Sebastian Joseph-Day with the Chargers.

I

NFL Scheduling Formula Note of the Week: The NFL’s 2023 schedule ensures that Buffalo will play in Kansas City no less than 4 times in 36 months.

January 2021, at Arrowhead: KC 38, Buffalo 24, AFC Championship Game.

January 2022, at Arrowhead: KC 42, Buffalo 36, AFC Divisional Game.

October 2022, at Arrowhead, Buffalo at KC, regular season.

TBD, 2023, at Arrowhead, Buffalo at KC, regular season.

I exploit the words “no less than 4 times in 36 months” since the Bills could play within the postseason in Kansas City in either or each of the subsequent two seasons.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes runs the ball in the course of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Buffalo Bills (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

II

Nolan Ryan has more strikeouts than any pitcher in baseball history and has thrown more no-hitters (Ryan has seven, Sandy Koufax is second with 4) than any pitcher. He had seasons of 383, 367, 341, 329 and 327 strikeouts. He had nine complete-game shutouts in 1972, and two seasons of 26 complete games.

Ryan never won the Cy Young Award.

I

Five vacation highlights, from three trips (Italy, Chicago, Oregon) we postpone during COVID:

1. Family time in Oregon. When my wife and I get along with daughters Laura and Mary Beth, and spouses Kim and Nick, and grandkids Freddy, Hazel and newcomer Peter, fun ensues. Freddy is 5-plus, Hazel almost 4, Peter seven months. The tough part with Freddy and Hazel is a protracted wait at dinner or out for a drink. So at a Willamette wine tasting, I borrowed a Burt’s Bees tube of lip balm and said to Freddy and Hazel, “Who desires to play Magic ChapStick?!!!!” Well, Freddy and Hazel did, that’s of course. So we were over to the side of the property. I put the tube on a bench and said, “Hey, take a look at the owl up there!” I hid the Burt’s under my leg, they usually looked. No owl. I said we’d have to consider some magic to do to make the ChapStick reappear. They thought and thought and crucial minutes flew by. Finally I said, “Let’s do this: Go touch Kim’s ankles thrice. Each ankles.” They ran over, touched their Mom’s left ankle thrice, then right ankle thrice and ran back. There was the Burt’s Bees, standing on the bench. “THE CHAPSTICK’S BACK!!!” Freddy yelled. Three more of those episodes, and 12 to quarter-hour killed, and many of the adults could have a number of sips. Good times.

2. Tuscany. My wife and I could sit and look over the vineyards all day. A few days, that’s what we did within the little towns of Lamole and Greve-in-Chianti.

3. Running into Peter Gammons in Chicago. I saw him July 1 at a store just outside Wrigley Field, just before Red Sox-Cubs. I’d met Peter a number of times but had never told what I’d hoped to find a way to inform him. “You must know what an enormous influence in my life that you just’ve been,” I told him. “After I was in highschool in Connecticut, my father used to get the papers on the weekend, and one was the Boston Globe, and I got hooked on your Sunday baseball notes column. I at all times thought, ‘That’s what I need to do someday.’ And so, whatever I’ve develop into, I owe numerous it you. Thanks.” It was a pleasant moment. Being in Wrigley is at all times improbable, too.

4. Wolves and People Farmhouse Brewery, Newberg, Ore. It’s an out of doors brewpub on a farm. A hazelnut farm. Named after a game the farm owner played as a child. What great beers. My favorite: Parrett Mountain Pils, a dry, crisp Italian pilsner with a faint lemon vibe in there. The scene was just charming—families, outdoor games, warm and sunny. A fantastic afternoon.

Wolves and People Farmhouse Brewery in Newberg, OR.

5. The Oregon coast. We drove 102 miles of it. I believed, “This have to be the Pacific Coast that Lewis and Clark saw 200-some years ago.” Beautiful and unspoiled in long stretches. Just lovely.

Coastal Oregon

How lucky we’re, to find a way to take these trips and see the world. I mean, really. We’re so fortunate as a family.

 

II

Descending into Las Vegas Friday around 1 p.m. PT, our Delta pilot informed us, “Current temperature in Las Vegas is correct around 112 degrees.”

I wondered if 110 or 115 really matters very much within the “right around” department.

I

I used to be told he sucked? 🤷🏼‍♂️😬 pic.twitter.com/WW2Eqyxbvk

— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) July 22, 2022

The ESPN analyst and former QB on his friend, Matthew Stafford.

II

Nearly six months after the allegation of cash-for-clunking was made, the NFL investigation of Stephen Ross continues. What’s taking so long? https://t.co/7GNuxZtAc3

— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 23, 2022

Good query, Mike Florio.

III

Can this develop into a trend? More dogs at press conferences. https://t.co/RG6tmKSUAK

— Judy Battista (@judybattista) July 22, 2022

Battista, who reports for NFL Network, is one hundred pc on point here. Dogs are good.

IV

Assuming Adrian Peterson is retired, that signifies that Mark Ingram is the lively profession leader in rushing yards.

Ezekiel Elliott is about 500 yards behind him.

— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) July 10, 2022

Chase Stuart, of footballperspective.com

 

V

This guy saved this eagle from drowning and hugged her until she could fly again ❤️

Follow along on Instagram: https://t.co/1Rl4gEOF9a and https://t.co/iKcHs64zfP pic.twitter.com/VZhDLrqZcN

— The Dodo (@dodo) July 9, 2022

The Dodo covers all things animals.

“Probably the most beautiful eyes you’ve ever seen. A once-in-a-lifetime Eagle rescue. Among the finest hours of my life.”

Plenty of response to the guest column wherein 30 of you gave me your best ideas on improve the NFL. Reach me @peter_king on Twitter, or peterkingfmia@gmail.com.

Re: the primary overall draft alternative. From Stuart Davenport, of Las Cruces, N.M.:

“My idea: Have the 2 teams with the worst records play for the primary draft pick. This game may very well be played as a substitute of the Pro Bowl which nobody cares about. Also, having announcers, analysts and the fellows within the studio pick apart why these teams are so bad on TV for 3 hours and 10 minutes might give incentive for improvements. The winner would get the primary overall pick.”

I actually love this concept, Stuart. It’s a gem. Imagine a 12 months with a Trevor Lawrence or Andrew Luck available, and picture the competitiveness of a game like that—a playoff, essentially, for a franchise quarterback.

Re: spotting the ball higher. From Jordan Gehrke:

“I’m a Chiefs season ticket holder and I bumped into commissioner Goodell on the AFC Championship Game. I finally got to ask, ‘Why can’t you guys do something concerning the spot? Why do now we have to attend for the chain gang to return out? Can’t we just put a sensor within the ball, and across the sector the best way they do in tennis after which know immediately?’ He gave me two answers:

  • Something about how even then you definitely would still have to determine which a part of the football to place the sensor in and the way would you ever really know? (I didn’t really buy this.)
  • He said, ‘And I’ll be honest, you gotta remember, at the tip of the day, it’s still a TV show, and…we do just like the drama.’

“He gave me a wink and an enormous smile and kept moving on to other fans. I appreciated the honesty though!”

I’ve heard that quite a bit, Jordan. The league likes the old-fashioned spotting and the fans having to attend 10, 12, 15 seconds to search out out if the primary down got made.

Re: fixing the Pro Bowl. From Steve Leppard:

FIX the Pro Bowl. Please. Does the NFL care that the Pro Bowl and skills competitions are terrible? The NBA has the dunk contest and three-point contest and MLB has the house run derby. The NFL has dodgeball. You simply need one skills NFL competition on the Pro Bowl: NFL’s Fastest Man. Do a 40-yard dash and the winner gets title and $100,000 money. Laser-time it and save records like on the mix so you’ll be able to compare fastest of all time.”

The most effective idea of all can be to easily eliminate the Pro Bowl. You would like the NFL’s fastest man? Tremendous. Just have that. Allow each team to enter one player. Have 4 heats with eight players per heat; two from each heat make the finals. Have an eight-player final. Five races in all. Make it a two-hour TV show. Nice idea, Steve.

Re: playing a Super Bowl at Lambeau. From Todd Bushmaker, of Green Bay:

“Regarding playing the Super Bowl at Lambeau, as a Packers fan and resident of the Green Bay area, I even have to say this has been hashed through 1,000,000 times. It will be an awesome spectacle but the actual fact is Green Bay cannot accommodate all of the support requirements, traffic, media circus, and side events. Even counting hotels, restaurants, convention halls and other facilities inside a 100-mile radius, the NFL machine just uses up an excessive amount of infrastructure to make it practical up here, and we’ve come to terms with that. Nevertheless, the NFL really must award something else to Green Bay. Most obviously we’ve applied to host the draft and are doing so again; the Packers and the Visitor and Convention Bureau have found out that no less than is feasible. Let’s get ‘er done!”

Todd, technically you’re right. But this is able to need to be a Milwaukee/Madison/Appleton/Green Bay effort. Logistically it will be hard, but it surely would even be a one-time thing. The NFL could have events in all 4 of those cities (or no less than Green Bay and Milwaukee, with overflow fans lodging in the opposite two cities. And yes, the inconvenience of busing 130 miles from Madison or 105 from Milwaukee within the winter wouldn’t be fun. But I really like the concept of the massive game at Lambeau, logistics be darned.

Re: ending games at an honest East Coast hour. From John Kirkpatrick, of Escalon, Calif.:

“One a part of the column really got under my skin … the Eastern Time Zone people saying what number of more people in Eastern time zone there are than the Pacific. Like we don’t matter. Starting a weekday game at 4 p.m. PT is actually hard for all us Pacific time individuals who work for a living too. My money is just as vital as yours!
Thanks, Peter, for letting me vent!”

Point made, and fairly well. Thanks John.

1. I feel five things interest me concerning the Kyler Murray signing in Arizona:

    1. The deal is either $46.1-million a 12 months for five years in latest money, or $38-million a 12 months for seven years—folding within the last two years of his original contract. The brand new money is greater than most individuals within the league thought Murray would get after the Cardinals began 10-2 last 12 months then fizzled badly down the stretch. As one executive said within the wake of the deal: “$46.1 million is a few crazy s— for Kyler Murray.”
    2. Here’s why I get it: The Cardinals were an irrelevant team when Murray got drafted with the primary pick in 2019, coming off a 3-13 season. Murray was drafted to lift a franchise. In Murray’s first three seasons, the Cardinals have gone 24-24-1 within the regular season, and 0-1 within the playoffs. Within the NFL, you’ve got no probability with no quarterback. Murray’s not a top-five quarterback, but he does give the Cardinals a very good probability to win every game he starts. That makes him value stratospheric money.
    3. Agent Erik Burkhardt may have some great stories to inform about an offseason wherein he negotiated a latest deal for client and Cards coach Kliff Kingsbury, advised on a latest deal for Cards GM Steve Keim (Burkhardt is just not his agent, but they’re friends), heavily criticized the franchise right after those two deals got done for dragging feet on the Murray contract, after which negotiated a latest deal for the QB. I’d bet numerous money if Burkhardt hadn’t stomped his feet last February about Murray’s deal that it wouldn’t have gotten done before training camp.
    4. The complete guarantee of about $103 million is sweet news for the subsequent two teams with quarterback megadeals to sign—the Chargers and Justin Herbert, and the Bengals and Joe Burrow. (I’m not a fan of constructing an enormous deal about guarantees in contracts for starting quarterbacks, because, on this case for instance, the probabilities of Arizona cutting Kyler Murray sometime in the subsequent five years are tiny.) Guarantees are more vital because owners need to escrow 75 percent of guaranteed money in contracts. An owner like Jimmy Haslam, who has an empire of truck stops, can find $175 million to place in escrow for a Deshaun Watson contract. But since the Bengals and Chargers are mainly family-owned—as is Arizona—the funding rules hurt their ability to have huge guarantees in contracts. The funding rules, by the best way, must be done away with. Teams have a lot guaranteed media money coming in every 12 months that they’re not in peril of defaulting on contracts.
    5. Point on QB contracts is that this: It’s arguable now, and the Bengals and Chargers will certainly make the case after Murray and Derek Carr signed deals that weren’t fully guaranteed, that the Watson deal is an outlier.

2. I feel the weird story of the week is the impasse in negotiations between Kansas City and left tackle Orlando Brown, acquired from the Ravens in a trade last 12 months. Here’s why it’s so weird: Adam Schefter reported that Kansas City offered to make Brown the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history: five years, $139 million, a median of $27.8 million per 12 months. When it comes to probably the most insane contract-related decisions of 2022, that is in the highest two. For the record: One, the Browns paying a person with 24 sexual civil cases pending against him a completely guaranteed $45 million a 12 months for five years … Two: A reasonably good but not great left tackle turning down a deal that might make him the richest player within the trenches within the 103-year history of the league.

3. I feel there are three aspects to contemplate here:

1. Brown, per Schefter, nixed a deal value $1.64 million per game. Travis Kelce’s contract pays him $621,287 per game.

2. In PFF rankings of offensive tackles who played a minimum of 800 snaps last 12 months, Brown was the Nineteenth-rated tackle in football.

3. Well, there’s not likely a 3rd. I’m just totally befuddled why a wise person like Brown, with among the best jobs a tackle could ever have (blocking for Patrick Mahomes, playing in a Nirvana place like Kansas City, making extra money than any lineman ever), would turn down that provide.

4. I feel I had an interesting conversation with a sports attorney Saturday, an opinionated sports attorney. I asked this smart person: “What’s your gut feeling on the sanction for Deshaun Watson?” The attorney said an interesting thing: The arbitrator, Sue L. Robinson, can be making her first decision as a referee straddling the road between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, and he or she’ll need to be seen as particularly reasonable; so it should be tough for her to accede to what the NFL reportedly wants—a minimum of a full 12 months’s suspension.

5. I feel that Man City-Bayern Munich friendly at Lambeau Field Saturday night may very well be an indication of things to return. “We’d like to do it again,” Packers president Mark Murphy told me Sunday night. “Everyone in our organization loved it, and the teams seemed thrilled about it. Their people said, ‘We now have never played in a stadium like this one.’ They loved the history of it. They loved our surface [an artificial base with natural grass].” Murphy said tickets were sold to people from all 50 states and to fans from 19 countries (“It’s probably the most diverse crowd we’ve ever had on the stadium”), and the one damper was a pair of weather delays that shortened the sport from 90 to 80 minutes. Murphy said a standard Packer home game brings about $15 million in local economic impact, and he estimated this game brought in no less than $10 million. One interesting point: “A few of our players got here in a pair days early for camp, because they desired to see the sport. I saw Aaron Rodgers within the Man City locker room talking to certainly one of their legends.” So lots of the foremost European teams wish to broaden their brands within the offseason, so I’d expect the Packers to work to make one other game occur in 2023 or ’24.

6. I feel (and this can be a weird meteorological note here) that one amazing thing about covering a Raiders practice in the course of the summer, in the course of the day, is how different the experience is when clouds are present. On Saturday, practice began at 8:30 a.m. Accuweather said 99 degrees in Henderson, Nev. We saw only slivers of the sun for the subsequent two hours, and the temperature was 100 at 9 a.m., 99 at 10 a.m., and 104 at 11 a.m., because the last players left the sector. There was a breeze throughout. It wasn’t awful. After practice, coach Josh McDaniels said, “What a day! Wasn’t this nice? It was 111 yesterday.” Crazy, but 100 with cloud cover is just not as big a deal as 86 with blazing sun.

HENDERSON, Nev.-The camp tour begins on the Raiders.

8:54 am PT: 100 degrees. pic.twitter.com/LtELHg7oUQ

— Peter King (@peter_king) July 23, 2022

7. I feel I don’t care concerning the Patriots not naming offensive or defensive coordinators. I just don’t. It’s a Belichick thing. He’s mysterious. A part of him, I’m sure, isn’t sure who should call the offensive plays, and as such it’s hard to call a coordinator if that man isn’t going to call the plays.

8. I feel my favorite passage of the week was Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on the third David Tepper/Carolina Panthers executive this 12 months leaving the organization. The mayhem across the Panthers extends to the failed practice facility and office complex the team stopped in mid-construction after a dispute over it with officials in Rock Hill, S.C. The organization looks like a large number. Writes Florio:

The off-field turmoil within the organization meshes with the team’s on-field struggles. Tepper has tried to spend his way into contention, spending big on head coach Matt Rhule, who enters 2022 on the recent seat (even when Tepper won’t admit it). Tepper also has pinballed his way through a wide range of quarterbacks looking for a franchise player who will elevate the team to perennial playoff qualifier. Since 2020, the team has tried (and failed) to make it work with Teddy BridgewaterSam Darnold, and Cam Newton. Recently, the Panthers traded for Baker Mayfield, a buy-low proposition that Tepper hopes will cause the team to soar into certainly one of the seven postseason berths within the NFC.

His experience through nearly five years as an NFL owner underscores the truth that no amount of success in the road of labor that positions someone to purchase an NFL team guarantees success. Financially, the Panthers will print as much money as every other franchise. Competitively, Tepper’s team continues to be an also-ran. The natural frustration for a multi-billionaire who has previously seen every little thing he touch turn to gold but who now can’t buy his technique to the highest of the standings could be the common denominator in so many employees being run off.

9. I feel Tepper is learning—as jillionaires Stephen Ross in Miami, Jimmy Haslam in Cleveland and Woody Johnson in Latest York have learned before him—that irrespective of how much money you walk within the door with, your team won’t ever be good with no consistent quarterback.

10. I feel these are my other thoughts of the week:

a. Podcast of the Week: Tom Rinaldi of FOX Sports with “Wesley,” the incredibly dramatic and incredibly under-told story of the life and times and murder of Lyman Bostock. “Wesley” was Bostock’s middle name.

b. I grew up an enormous baseball fan. One fall Sunday afternoon in my senior 12 months at Ohio University, I heard the news that the previous night, in Gary, Ind., Lyman Bostock was gunned down after having dinner together with his uncle there. Murdered. WHATTTTT!!!!!!!! Bostock was fourth within the American League in batting average (.323) in 1976, and second (.336) in 1977, and in 1978, the Yankees and Angels had a free-agent bidding war for his services. He selected the Angels. On the last day of his life, a Saturday afternoon in September 1978 he went two-for-four in the course of a packed Angels lineup (Grich, Lanford, Bostock, Baylor, Rudi), then drove to Gary for dinner. He was murdered at 10:20 that night by a person who thought his wife was having an affair with Bostock. (They weren’t.) Amazingly, the Angels played their game 15 hours later at Comiskey Park. I still shake my head about that.

c. Eight-part pod. I’ve heard the primary two episodes. Two more out today, with two more each of the subsequent two Mondays. Anyway, you all know Rinaldi as an excellent storyteller, which is what he’s here. I never knew so many things, and I’ve at all times thought the one in-season murder of a major-league player within the history of baseball was certainly one of those stories that needed to be told in long form. Who higher than Rinaldi?

d. What overwhelms me with sadness after listening to the primary two episodes is just not that we didn’t get to see a possible Hall of Fame profession play out. (He hit .311 in 4 seasons, and died at 28.) What hurts is just not attending to see what Bostock would have completed off the sector. He was heavily involved in civil-rights causes in college (at what’s now Cal State-Northridge), and needed to serve three weeks in an L.A. jail for his part in leading the takeover of a campus constructing when Blacks thought they were being repressed on campus. Rinaldi does a very good job of illuminating the person Bostock was. I highly recommend the pod.

e. And yes, in a future column, I’ll discuss the Andrew Luck podcast by Zak Keefer of The Athletic. Have to hearken to it in full. But I hear good things.

f. Story of the Week: Campbell Robertson of the Latest York Times, on the story of a wealthy Kentucky man who constructed what he thought was an impenetrable home with a luxury bunker made to survive a nuclear or civil war.

g. The headline: “He built a house to survive a Civil War. Tragedy found him anyway.” That’ll get you to read the story, or no less than it should. And the words that follow are only as riveting. Tragedy befell the C. Wesley Morgan family with the murder of daughter Jordan, and now they’re trying to search out some latest normal.

h. Wrote Campbell:

On a warm evening at a public campground in central Kentucky, Mr. Morgan, 71, sat in a folding chair, watching his wife, Lindsey, and 14-year-old daughter, Sydney, take a walk among the many campers and R.V.s. He was spending his nights in agony over Jordan’s death, he said. She had been shot no less than 11 times in her bed. Just occupied with it, he said, was like being strangled.

His days were spent overseeing repairs to his bullet-riddled house and talking to potential buyers.

He had built the home within the Obama years, when he was convinced society was on the breaking point. Here his family could live in secluded comfort, and if the social fabric truly tore apart, as he expected it will, they may wait out the chaos in an abundantly stocked underground bunker. Now he couldn’t wait to be rid of it.

“Our life hasn’t been right since I began construction on that son of a bitch.”

i. What a story.

j. Educational Story of the Week: Hannah Search engine optimisation of the Latest York Times, on some myths concerning the body’s need for water, and concerning the foods that matter to maintain you hydrated:

k. Why did I pick this story to focus on? For this reason, per Search engine optimisation:

Taking in liquids is crucial, but hydration can transcend simply drinking water. The favored belief that all of us have to be drinking eight cups a day to be truly hydrated persists, though it has been debunked repeatedly.

“There’s really no data behind the eight glasses of water a day thing,” said Dr. Dan Negoianu, a nephrologist on the University of Pennsylvania. For instance, “simply because your urine is dark, that doesn’t prove that you just’re dehydrated.”

l. I had no idea the eight-glasses-of-water-a-day think had been debunked. I believed I must be doing that. Anyway, it’s informative and good to know that vegetables and fruits can hydrate us very nicely, and almost exclusively if we elect.

m. You recognize who’s got a very interesting Substack? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Excellent author. Pulls zero punches.

n. Kareem on the Elvis movie is biting and insightful. So cool to see him flex his writing muscles here, and elsewhere.

o. Wrote Abdul-Jabbar:

I feel about Elvis the best way I feel about most biopics of musicians: it should do until a very good one comes along. That’s because these movies often are so rigidly formulaic that it’s like happening a blind date that seems to be someone you dated once in highschool 20 years ago—they usually haven’t modified a bit. You already know every little thing they’re going to say—every joke, every anecdote, every every little thing.

…That’s the movie Elvis. The one reason to remain is the colourful and energetic music. When Elvis sings, the movie bursts into glorious technicolor. The remaining of the time: black-and-white meh. Mainly, the movie is nothing greater than a bland delivery system for the tasty soundtrack, like a gallon of white rice with only a pair tablespoons of delicious curry tikka floating on top.

p. Kareem from the highest rope!

q. Joyful 76th anniversary, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. Wow. Just wow.

r. Joyful sixtieth, Dean Biasucci. Man, that makes us old guys feel older.

s. I discovered it sad last week—possibly it’s an enormous reason why I’m languishing in sixth place in my rotisserie baseball league—that for the primary time ever the baseball All-Star Game featured a player I’d never heard of. Joe Mantiply. After I looked over the rosters last Monday, I said, “Who’s Joe Mantiply?” Arizona relief pitcher. Two saves, nice ERA, gotta pick one player from each team, D-Backs are lousy. So in fact Mantiply pitched one easy 1-2-3 inning, fanning Xader Bogaerts in the method, and good for him. But an indication of the times in baseball, I suppose…an indication that I’m not paying the eye to the sport I once did.

t. Profile of the Week: Joseph Bien-Smith, writing in Sports Illustrated’s Where Are They Now issue concerning the great sportswriter Gary Smith. The story first appeared in Victory Journal.

u. Gary Smith is peerless in our industry. But he’s been out of circulation for a number of years, and out of the pages of SI, so lots of us have lost track of him. Bien-Smith does a very good job, not only of finding him in South Carolina, but of explaining why he was so great at his long profiles—4 a 12 months.

v. Bien-Smith relayed a story about Smith from the eighties that’s so Smith.

Gary Smith boarded the primary train out of Rome and took it to the tip of the road. He crossed the road right as a bus pulled up and rode it to the tip of the road too. Now, a bit red automotive slid to a stop beside his outstretched thumb and a person with wild black hair and wild black eyes beckoned him to get in.

It was a linguistic scramble because the man attempted to interact Smith. Italian, then English, and at last a slapdash mess of Spanish and French to get to probably the most pressing matter: “Where to?”

“Wherever you’re going,” Smith responded. And so, the person turned the important thing they usually set off, the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” playing on repeat. Eventually, they pulled right into a tiny village, Castel Viscardo, on the calf of Italy’s boot, 4,200 miles and a universe from the Midtown Manhattan Sports Illustrated office. It was late summer, 1983.

Gary Smith stayed on the town that night, after which for months thereafter, working on the brickyard and picking the region’s famous grapes.

w. Years later, Bien-Smith got yet one more detail from Smith:

“After I got to the tip of the road, I got off and put my thumb out,” he says. “Whoever picked me up, wherever they were going, that was where I used to be gonna land. And, you understand, just see what happened.”

x. That’s just living life. That’s what Smith did, and still does. The opposite advantage of this piece is list links of a few of his best stories. I feel particularly you’ll benefit from the prescient Tiger Woods tale.

y. All Training Camp Tour content might be found on NBCSports.com/peter-king, our YouTube playlist, my podcast, and on ProFootballTalk.

z. Excited that the NFL on NBC YouTube channel launched today, which can be a hub of all fantasy football, betting, and NFL content from NBC. Subscribe for the most recent this season.

Only a hunch. That’s all.

My guess is Sue Robinson

gives Watson eight games.

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