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The champs struggle on opening day, while the Celtics stumble ahead of the playoffs and the Patriots see another coaching shakeup.
March 31, 2019
Greg Schiano, who was expected to be ex-New England Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores’ successor, surprisingly stepped down from his position with the Patriots on Thursday.
Schiano, the former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rutgers University, stated that he has a “need to spend more time on my faith and family”, per ESPN. With the NFL Draft and pre-season rapidly approaching, Bill Belichick is being touted to add to his duties as head coach and call plays on the defensive side of the ball for the 2019 season.
It has been a difficult time since the Patriots won the Super Bowl, with owner Robert Kraft being charged for solicitation of prostitution, star tight end Robert Gronkowski’s retriement, and other players and coaches leaving.
The Philadelphia Eagles made a move to return to championship contention, bringing in running back Jordan Howard from the Chicago Bears.
On Thursday, the deal was announced that will see the Bears receive a 2020 sixth-round pick, which has the potential to turn into a fifth-rounder should conditions change. Howard has impressed throughout his three-year stint in the NFL, rushing for more than 1,000 yards in both 2016 and 2017 season, ranking him third in total rushing yards since his debut.
After allowing Jay Ajayi to leave as a free agent, the Eagles were in desperate need for an exciting ball handler, which Howard serves well. Darren Sproles, the veteran second-string running back for the Eagles last year, has not yet decided if he will play next year.
After the major acquisition of Antonio Brown, the Oakland Raiders have boosted their ranks yet again with the addition of running back Isaiah Crowell and linebacker Brandon Marshall.
Crowell, the former New York Jets running back, was released the day after Le’Veon Bell signed for the Jets on a four-year contract. He joins the Raiders on a one-year deal worth up to $2.5 million.
Brandon Marshall, who was previously with the Denver Broncos also signed a one-year deal, worth a maximum of $4.1 million. Marshall comes with seven seasons of experience in the NFL, bringing much-needed guidance to an inexperienced Raiders defense.
John Gruden’s team has a strong line up of picks for this year’s upcoming draft, including two in the first round. With Derek Carr, Antonio Brown and these two exciting acquisitions, the Raiders will be a strong force in the AFC next season.
The Boston Celtics brought their four-game losing streak to an end last Tuesday after overcoming the Cleveland Cavaliers, and followed it up with a crucial last-second win over the Indiana Pacers. Then it was back to mediocrity, as Boston fell 110-96 to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Celtics are tied with Indiana for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with five games left in the regular season. The two teams face off again this coming Friday in a game that could very well decide homecourt advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
The Golden State Warriors’ forward Jordan Bell was suspended for one game on Wednesday by the franchise after a dispute over a hotel room bill. Bell was found to have signed off on charges to the room of Warriors assistant Mike Brown’s hotel room as the team was on the road in Memphis.
Bell, who enjoyed a stellar rookie season has had trouble solidifying a notable position in the Warriors’ rotation. He is currently scoring an average of three points per game along with 2.7 rebounds. As it is his second season in the league, Bell’s maturity level with the incident has been put into question. Steve Kerr, per ESPN, stated that the franchise was not concerned about his matureness.
The Boston Red Sox were embarrassed on the west coast on opening day by a new-look Seattle Mariners team, only to mount a thrilling comeback the very next night.
Chris Sale, who recently signed a new and improved deal with Boston, had a miserable season-opener. Sale conceded three home runs, two to Seattle shortstop Tim Beckham. He was yanked after three innings, but the Mariners continued the show after his departure, tagging Boston pitchers for 12 total runs.
On a brighter note for Boston, the team got its first win of the season the vert next day. Mitch Moreland capped a six-run comeback with a pinch-hit three run homer in the ninth inning, giving the Red Sox a 7-6 win. Boston has already showed fans great play and terrible performances, so this title defense should be an entertaining one.
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