Arcade Talks

Preseason has been very

Preseason has been very
« on: October 26, 2018, 08:12:33 PM »
SEATTLE - Game plans vary from week to week, opponent to opponent. Any NFL coach will scoff at the notion theres a formula that works the same against everyone.The exact opposite is true when constructing a contender. The basics must be adhered to:—Stability in coaching, the front office and, perhaps most importantly, ownership.—Forward thinkers.—Strong drafting and personnel decisions.—Oh, and standout quarterbacks.Pete Carroll, who won national championships at Southern California and now has a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks, never thought he could top USC. His mind has changed.I thought I had seen the top of it. We won for so long, Carroll says of his Trojans years. We won a lot of games there, a lot of games in a row, and did a lot of stuff. How could you hope to hit it again? Ive been around coaching a long time. Its hard to do that and its rare when it happens. So it just feels like we were very fortunate that weve been able to find a way to put it together in this fashion.Lets see how this Final Four stacks up.SEATTLE (13-4)On the verge of becoming the first defending Super Bowl champion in a decade to reach the game again, the Seahawks easily check off all those categories.Hired in 2010 and given full power by owner Paul Allen — perhaps the NFLs richest man, but one who doesnt interfere in how the team is run — Carroll added John Schneider as general manager, and off the Seahawks went. They made the playoffs that first season, albeit as the first division winner with a losing record (7-9), and upset New Orleans in a wild-card game.The building had just begun, though, and it didnt all come together until 2013.Seattle has done its best work in the draft. Such stars as QB Russell Wilson, DBs Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, LB Bobby Wagner, and mainstays C Max Unger, LBs K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith (last Februarys Super Bowl MVP), and TE Luke Willson were drafted after the first round. Key wideouts Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse were undrafted.The Seahawks have hit the mark with veteran free agents DLs Michael Bennett, Tony McDaniel and Cliff Avril, too.As for forward-thinking minds, simply look at their belief that 2012 third-rounder Wilson should start as a rookie. He merely has a record-setting 36 regular-season wins already.GREEN BAY (13-4)The only publicly owned NFL team, the Packers havent allowed democracy to slow them in the Mike McCarthy era. While Packers President Mark Murphy is a steadying presence in Titletown, McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson have built a winner around All-Pro QB Aaron Rodgers.Their philosophy is to build from within — rarely does Green Bay delve into free agency, although the addition of DE-LB Julius Pepper was masterful this season. Of course, when youve gone from a Hall of Fame type quarterback in Brett Favre to another one in Rodgers, it makes personnel moves easier.This is the ninth year of our program, says McCarthy, who led the Packers to the 2010 NFL championship. Weve gone through this. Having 20-25 per cent of your roster turning over and the majority of it being first- and second-year players, its a process that you go through from Game 1 until today, and you put your best foot forward Sunday.McCarthy and his staff arent afraid to gamble, be it trusting that a jack-of-all-trades collegian such as Randall Cobb could become a star receiver, or that moving standout outside LB Clay Matthews inside would make the defence more formidable.NEW ENGLAND (13-4)Robert Kraft is one of the most powerful NFL owners, with input on all key issues. He might be more involved in league matters than those of his team, because he has Bill Belichick in charge.And Belichick has Tom Brady behind centre. Enough said.New Englands hierarchy reports to Kraft on business matters, to Belichick on anything football-wise. With all personnel matters in his hands, Belichick is willing to take chances (see Randy Moss, Chad Johnson, LeGarrette Blount, et al) on veterans with troubled histories. He also reads the draft better than most — except perhaps the Seattle group — finding gems everywhere, from DT Vince Wilfork in the first round (2004) to Brady at No. 199 way back in 2000 to quarterback turned star receiver Julian Edelman (232nd in 2009).No one pushes the limits in all aspects like Belichick. Some of it (Spygate) gets him in hot water, and others — last weeks use of eligible players at ineligible positions — is totally legal, if devious.INDIANAPOLIS (13-5)When Peyton Manning was at quarterback, this was a model franchise under coach Tony Dungy and owner Jimmy Irsay. Much changed when Manning missed all of 2011 following neck surgeries; Dungy had retired in 2009. Irsay has been the constant, and hes had his own personal issues, including a six-game league suspension after he was arrested on preliminary charges of misdemeanour driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance.But Irsay is a first-rate owner and his choice of Chuck Pagano as coach has been a terrific one. The Colts have gone 11-5 all three of Paganos seasons, and have progressed one step further in the playoffs each year.A major reason: they lucked into Andrew Luck. Manning departed in 2012 just when Luck was coming out of Stanford, and the Colts earned the top draft pick.Pagano is a defensive mastermind, yet the Colts have been more impressive with the ball in his tenure. Theyve scored beyond Luck in the last three drafts with the likes of WR T.Y. Hilton, TEs Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, DEs Bjoern Werner and Jonathan Newsome, and OL Jack Mewhort.Yes, they belong in this Final Four.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL Lanny McDonald Jersey .Best moustache: How can we not give this to Lanny McDonald? Check out the duster for yourself. Mike Palmateer Jersey . Altidore strained his left hamstring in the Americans opener against Ghana on June 16 and didnt play in their next two games. "We dont know how much because we need to see how hes going, but hes available," U. http://www.leafsauthority.com/authentic-bruce-boudreau-maple-leafs-jersey/. has left the San Jose Sharks to become the Boston Bruins director of player personnel. Frederik Andersen Jersey .Murray has played 20 matches in five weeks, winning three titles to climb to fifth in the ATP Race.The two-time Grand Slam champion also seeks to qualify for next months ATP World Tour Finals.Murray said: I always wanted to qualify for it, but also I want to get back into the top 8 players in the world and it makes a huge difference for seedings in the major events. Toronto Maple Leafs Gear . For the Bombers it has been a combination of things coming together at the most inappropriate moments in time. Quarterback, injuries, Canadian talent or depth and leadership are all issues. Trust me when I say being a Bomber is no fun right now in a city that embraces football the way Winnipeg does. While Buck Pierce will be getting another shot, I think Max Hall does deserve another opportunity.SEATTLE -- Osvaldo Alonso understood it was an exhibition. It was also a match the Seattle Sounders wanted to win. Alonso beat former U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel from 30 yards early in the second half as the Sounders tied Tottenham 3-3 in an exhibition Saturday, the first match for new Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino. "Every friendly is different," Alonso said. "This year we tried to win the game. ... We tried to win this game like it was the MLS regular season. Im very happy for the team." Through half the season, Seattles been the class of Major League Soccer. And the Sounders held their own against a Tottenham side making its debut under Ponchettino, who left Southampton in May to replace the fired Tim Sherwood. Sherwood had taken over on Dec. 23 after Andre Villas-Boas was fired. Tottenham began its preseason North America tour facing former striker Clint Dempsey and his new club. Dempsey left Tottenham to sign with the Sounders last August. Tottenham has two more stops on its tour against Toronto and Chicago before returning to Europe to complete its preseason. Spurs open its Premier League season on Aug. 16 at West Ham. "I want to congratulate our players because the conditions to play were very difficult -- 1 p.m. and warm and a different field," Ponchettino said. "And we play a very good team." Alonsos goal off a loose ball zipped past Friedel and hit the underside of the crossbar before bouncing in the net. The goal gave Seattle a 2-1 lead, but Roberto Soldado converted a penalty kick in the 55th after he was fouled in the penalty area. Tristan Bowen put the Sounders ahead 3-2 in the 79th minute when he tapped in a cross from Sean Okoli, but U.S. national team defender DeAndre Yedlin waas called for a handball in the penalty area moments later and Yago Falque converted the penalty kick.dddddddddddd The match, played before 55,349, was easily Seattles most even exhibition against Premier League opposition. Seattle lost 2-0 and 4-2 to Chelsea in 2009 and 2012 and was routed 7-0 by Manchester United in 2011. "When we come on these tours we sometimes dont know what to expect," Friedel said. "One thing was for certain when we knew we were going to expect a good atmosphere and playing against the best team in the MLS right now." This time, the Sounders had the better of the opportunities and could have come away with a victory had they converted chances in the first half. The Sounders outshot Tottenham 12-5 in the first 45 minutes thanks to Dempsey and Obafemi Martins causing problems for Spurs defence. Dempsey missed wide on an open header and later had a ball headed for the net cleared off the line by Tottenhams Danny Rose. "I thought we had opportunities we need to finish more of and could have been leading at halftime," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. Lewis Holtby scored on a header in the 11th minute off a pass from Harry Kane. Gonzalo Pinedas chipped penalty kick beat Friedel in the 33rd minute to pull Seattle even after defender Chad Marshall was taken down in the penalty area on a corner kick. Tottenham played without goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, midfielders Paulinho, Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli, and defender Jan Vertonghen, who have been given a break after the World Cup. Gylfi Sigurdsson was scratched from the starting lineup shortly before kickoff. "Weve been working extremely hard. Preseason has been very demanding under the new boss and I think that showed," Friedel said. 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