The latest step in Bryce Petty’s development is diagnosing fronts in Madden

After struggling with the Colts for three years, former first-round pick Bjoern Werner is going to get a chance to turn his career around in Jacksonville

The Jaguars announced on Wednesday that they’ve signed Werner to a one-year deal

Werner, the 24th overall pick in the 2013 draft, had been a free agent since March 8, when he was released by the Colts after an unimpressive career in Indy

The Colts had high hopes for the Werner, but he never lived up to expectations. The German-born defensive end actually seemed to struggle more and more as his career went on

After playing in 13 games as a rookie in 2013, Werner earned a spot in the Colts’ starting lineup in 2014, a year where he started 15 games and tallied four sacks. However, Werner didn’t last long as a starter. The German was given a backup role in 2015 and only appeared in a total of 10 games.

The only games in which Mills did not start for the talent-rich Tigers were the first six games of this past season — when he was rehabilitating a fractured left leg (fibula) and torn ligaments in his ankle. Mills returned to the field in a backup capacity against Florida before earning back his starting position for the final six contests of the year and competing at the Senior Bowl.

Mills excelled in Mobile, showing terrific quickness, balance and awareness in coverage at cornerback. Mills essentially ran the routes for receivers there, showing the anticipation of routes one would expect given his experience at LSU.

A poor showing in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine (electronically timed at 4.61 seconds), however, raised concerns for some as to whether Mills possesses the straight-line speed to handle NFL receivers. Mills appeared to answer those questions by being clocked at 4.47 seconds (handheld) at LSU’s pro day. This time more closely resembles the speed and fluidity with which Mills played throughout his career with the Tigers. Some players run fast on the track. Others play fast. Mills is among the latter.

Here’s what the NFL renewing its deal with YouTube means for fans

The NFL hasn’t always embraced YouTube, but now that it has, the partnership is thriving.

The two companies announced on Thursday that they’ve agreed to renew a partnership that began in January 2015. Although YouTube’s been around since 2005, the NFL didn’t really start to embrace the video website until recently.

When the two sides originally announced their first partnership last year, the agreement led to the creation of an NFL YouTube channel. Over the past 16 months, the league has used its channel to feature game highlights, post-game recaps and clips featuring news, analysis and fantasy football advice.

This time around, the two sides have agreed to beef things up, which is good news for you.

Brady likes to read to his kids before bed.

“[The kids] always get a book before bed, sometimes two if they’re nice to me,” Brady told People.com. “It’s such precious time — you don’t want to rush those things.”

Although Brady has a slightly different diet than most people, his taste in children’s books isn’t that surprising: He likes the classics.

“I love the Dr. Seuss books, because I love reading them,” Brady said. “Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss … those are the ones that I love. I’m always like, ‘Can I pick the book tonight?'”

When Brady doesn’t get to pick the book, his two kids will sometimes pick a book that’s written in Portuguese. Mom and the kids can speak Portuguese, but Brady’s not very good.

“We have a lot of Portuguese books in the house and those are funny. My kids can [speak Portuguese], but I can’t read it, so I probably screw up half the words,” Brady said. “If they want to pick one of those books, they can, and that’s one of the ones that I read. It’s hard.”

Navy gives Keenan Reynolds permission to play for Ravens in 2016

“It’s different; it’s something you’ve got to get used to,” Reynolds said during the Ravens’ rookie minicamp over the weekend, via the Washington Post. “Again it’s a challenge, and I love challenges. I love overcoming challenges and just looking forward to learning with the team and continuing to grow as a receiver.”

Keenan Reynolds hopes to make the Ravens’ roster as a wide receiver.

Meanwhile, coach John Harbaugh sounded encouraged by what he saw.

The early reviews of Chip Kelly’s offense are certainly encouraging — 49ers tight endGarrett Celek even used the word “genius” — but it’s one thing to dominate in shorts and T-shirts, and something else entirely to do it in pads against another team.

Plus, you can be the smartest football mind on the planet and struggle to win football games if you’re without a franchise quarterback. Kelly had firsthand experience with that in Philadelphia last season and it cost him his job. Now in San Francisco, he’ll need to figure out whether Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert gives the 49ers the best chance to win.

Still, Teddy has shown enough that he reminds Peterson of a very famous and very successful quarterback. “He reminds me of a Tom Brady because Tom Brady is great at those medium passes,” Peterson said on Pro Football Talk Live. “Those short passes and mid-range passes and that’s exactly what Teddy does as well. He’s the type of guy that needs the receiver that runs routes and that’s at a specific location that you’re practicing.”

That, friends, is some high praise. It’s worth examining if it’s at all warranted. Leaving aside the whole “Brady is one of the best quarterbacks of all time” thing, do the two share similarities? How do their numbers compare through their first two NFL seasons?

And it sounds like the decision to have Reynolds begin his football career now was an easy one.

“When we have guys coming out of the Naval Academy who go on and play professional sports, or go on and do other things that are high profile, it gives us a chance to show who we are and show the type of people that we attract and recruit,” Mabus continued. “I can’t think of a better ambassador for the United States Navy or for the United States military than Keenan Reynolds.”

He has a long way to go to catch Brady, of course, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play like the future Hall of Famer. Nailing those short and medium passes is the first step. Teddy has that part down pretty well. He’s still only 23 years old, so there’s plenty of time to grow into the rest.

Cowboys second-year defensive end Randy Gregory, who will miss the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, was spotted earlier this week at the team’s annual golf event. And while he didn’t talk with the media, owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones spoke highly of the 23-year-old pass rusher who arrived in Dallas with plenty of baggage.

The Fertitta brothers have an 81 percent stake in UFC, so if they only sold half of that, they’d make some serious money if the company is valued at $4 billion.

Now, let’s get to the NFL part of this. ESPN’s Darren Rovell said on Tuesday that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Fertittas tried to buy a piece of the Raiders with their money from a potential UFC sale.

Tom Coughlin wants to get back in coaching, understands age is an issue

Coughlin technically “stepped down” as head coach of the Giants, although he lateradmitted the team forced him out. It was pretty obvious to anyone watching the press conference. He would expand on what happened at the end with King but confirmed he remains “disappointed” by the team’s decision.

“I’m not gonna go there. Fifteen years in the organization, and I’ll stand by that,” Coughlin said. “I’m disappointed how it ended, but I had a lot of great times there. I’ll be rooting for them every time they play.”

Add an asterisk on there if Coughlin ends up coming back to coaching. It’s also hard to believe he’s thrilled with how the offseason played out. After getting scapegoated (GM Jerry Reese kept his job) and seeing the same essential staff put in place (McAdoo was his offensive coordinator), the Giants went out and spent big money in free agency.

They re-upped Jason Pierre-Paul and paid big money for Damon Harrison, Janoris Jenkins and Olivier Vernon to improve a debilitated defense.

It was a very un-Giants like offseason, the sort of high-priced purchases Coughlin never really got during his tenure.

Not that he ever needed more motivation to prove he can coach well, but the Giants definitely gave him some over the last few months.

If Las Vegas can’t work things out with the Raiders, then the city has a backup plan: The San Diego Chargers.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman revealed on Thursday that her city views the Chargers as Plan B if the Raiders end up staying in Oakland. During an interview onthe Dan Patrick Show, Goodman was asked directly if she thought a Chargers move to Vegas was an option.

“To me, yes,” Goodman said. “I know they’re absolutely looking to move.”

The mayor then pointed out that she has personal ties to the Chargers and the Chargers have personal ties to Vegas.

As Fisher alluded to, the actual football that goes on during rookie minicamp isn’t the important part. Instead, it’s the mental side of the game that takes on importance, as Goff begins to immerse himself in the playbook.

Or as Goff put it, he almost has to learn an entirely “different language” this summer.

Goodman said she told Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, “to get us a team two years ago.” She said the Chargers seemed more viable at the time because of the connection to Las Vegas with the Spanos family, which owns the Chargers.

Why Korean import Byung-ho Park is the Twins’ lone bright spot so far

On Sunday, Rangers warrior-poet used his fist of hardened maple to make a polite suggestion to the Blue Jays. You probably heard about this already. Anyhow, in celebration of this sky-scraping moment of infield vigilantism, we present a brief, looping montage of some of the most memorable straight rights/right hooks/overhand rights in baseball history. Come with us, won’t you?

Captured above and expertly rendered for your viewing pleasure: Very many right-handed business decisions — i.e., punches, mostly, plus a four-seam beer heave. Exhaustive list? Of course not!

Now, people of baseball, go forth and demonstrate to those who afflict you that you’re not going to take it any more, in which “it” is almost anything, really.

There is still plenty of season remaining — 124 games left after Monday — but obviously the Tigers must improve their play sooner rather than later if they want to contend in the AL Central. Heck, they need to start playing better just to stay in the Wild Card race. The competition for postseason spots will be fierce in the AL.

There are three specific areas of the team that have to get better for the Tigers to have a realistic chance to contend for a playoff spot this year.

1. Justin Upton has to be the difference-maker

The Tigers gave Upton a six-year contract worth $132.75 million because they expected him to be an impact player. That was far-fetched at all. Upton hit .251/.336/.454 with 26 home runs and 19 steals for the Padres last season. Adjusted for ballpark and other factors, he was 21 percent better than the league average hitter offensively.

So far this season Upton has been anything but an impact hitter. He went 1 for 4 in Monday’s game and is now hitting .217/.255/.316 with only two home runs this season. Upton leads all of baseball with 62 strikeouts in only 161 plate appearances, so 38.5 percent of his trips to the plate have resulted in strike three. Yikes. As you’d expect, that is the highest strikeout rate in baseball.

Thanks to that historically hot start, the Cubs can post a losing record the rest of the way and still win 90 games. Indeed, they can go 63-64 over the rest of 2016 and wind up at 90-72. Given the apparent compression elsewhere in baseball, that will probably be good enough for a postseason berth.

To get to 100 wins for the first time since 1935, the Cubs will need to win at “just” a .575 clip — room for substantial regression, in other words.

How about the franchise record for wins? The 1906 Cubs hold that mark with 116 victories. To get there, the Cubs would need to play .701 ball, which would exceed any of the post-35 game winning percentages of those other teams noted above. Not likely! The ’06 Cubs of course share the all-time record for wins in a season with the 2001 Mariners. The ’06 Cubs, though, racked up those 116 wins in just 152 games.

So, how is the new-and-improved Altuve doing it? Well, at the risk of oversimplifying, Altuve is hitting the ball a lot harder a lot more consistently. Altuve showed some burgeoning power last season when he clubbed 15 homers but sported just a 25.9 percent hard-hit average, per FanGraphs.com. Among 375 players with at least 100 batted balls tracked by Statcast at BaseballSavant.com, Altuve ranked just 318th in average batted-ball velocity, at 86.2 MPH.

Even those 15 homers didn’t exactly rocket out of the park; his average home run distance was just 386 feet, good for just 279th in the majors. Altuve was a tremendous hitter, but he wasn’t driving the ball consistently.

All that has changed so far in 2016. According to HitTrackerOnline.com, each of Altuve’s nine homers has been classified as either “Plenty” or “No Doubt”; that means they have cleared the fence by at least 10 vertical feet. His average homer has traveled 401 feet, a 15-foot increase from last season, and his other indicators are up as well. One of his homers traveled 443 feet, his longest home run by 15 feet.

Andrew Cashner’s DL stint means more second guessing for the Padres

Bench spots are limited, so as much as we might want to stash all eight relievers just to be safe, it’s time to put our prioritization skills to work. To help with the weeding out, I have ranked these eight closers-in-waiting. If it makes it more fun to call these Power Rankings, then let these be Closer-in-Waiting Power Rankings.

Note: Since we now know that Rays manager Kevin Cash intends to re-install Brad Boxberger as the Rays’ closer, in place of Alex Colome, once he comes off the disabled list, he has been omitted from these rankings. Or you can just consider him the de facto No. 1 closer-in-waiting.
1. Trevor May, Twins (14 percent owned)
Trevor May RP / Minnesota Twins (2016 STATS)
IP: 19 ERA: 1.89 K: 27 BB: 8

Pros: Jepsen has been shaky, and May has been excellent since being moved into a relief role last season. As Jepsen has done seemingly everything possible to lose the job, May has been peaking, having not allowed a run in his last eight appearances and pitching with better control than he had been earlier in the season.

Some weeks, finding five teams with definitively good matchups and five with definitively bad matchups is a challenge.

Week 7 (May 16-22) isn’t one of those weeks.

In fact, there’s even some overflow. The Twins are scheduled to face Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Verlander, Marco Estrada, Aaron Sanchez, J.A. Happ and Marcus Stroman in a seven-game slate, yet they don’t make the cut for worst matchups. That Mike Pelfrey matchup drags down the whole thing.

Brandon Finnegan ($6,000, $6,200)

If Volquez is the cash game play, Finnegan is definitely the tournament option. He hasn’t been good since his last start against this offense and there’s something to learn from that. The Phillies are terrible against LHP. Their .265 wOBA vs. LHP is better than only the Braves and their 24.1 percent K rate is just as enticing. Finnegan struck out nine in his last appearance against this lineup,
Stack Attack

The Coors effect is an interesting one tonight. I could see Matt Harvey as a contrarian play, but I could also see the Rockies lighting him up. The Mets will be the more conventional plays, particularly Michael Conforto and Lucas Duda. I’ll probably have the most exposure to Curtis Granderson, who will be leading off and is the cheapest of the good Mets’ LHH.

Blue Jays @ Rangers

It’s time for the checklist. Are the Jays in a good park? Yes. Are the Jays facing a bad pitcher? Yes. Stack the Jays! This got us into trouble when the Rangers went to Toronto earlier this year, but I’m going right back to it. Thankfully, the Jays have also seen a decrease in price with Josh Donaldson falling all the way down to $4,300. I’d play almost any RHH in the Jays lineup against Martin Perez.

Nationals vs. Marlins

Tom Koehler on the road has basically been a disaster for the past three years. This year he’s been even worse. With Daniel Murphy hitting fourth, the preferred Nationals stack is now 1-4 again. You don’t need the BvP excuse to play Bryce Harper, especially at $4,300, but boy does he have it. Harper has six home runs in 31 career plate appearances.
Lineups

Pop Warner becomes first national football organization to ban kickoffs

The rule change will be tested in the three youngest levels of play: Tiny Mite (ages 5 to 7), Mitey Mite (7 to 9) and Junior Pee Wee (8 to 10). In those divisions, offenses will begin possessions at their own 35-yard line.

After one season, the organization said it will consider spreading the rule to the older divisions.

It might seem like a small change, but it could be significant. If the NFL eliminates kickoffs down the line and wants to minimize the kind of criticism that could lead to a loss of fan support, a change at the youth level would help. By starting at the youth level, football without kickoffs might eventually be established as the new norm once the kids who are currently 5 or 10 reach the NFL and adulthood. It could, in theory, change the culture of the game.

There’s no guarantee that ever happens, but it’s a situation worth monitoring, especially if Pop Warner implements the rule on a league-wide basis.

The Astros, a team many expected to take a big step forward this season, have not gotten off to a good start in 2016. They have lost three of their last four games to fall to 15-24 on the season, 7 1/2 games back in the AL West.SportsLine says their postseason odds have dropped from 62.0 percent to 26.7 percent since Opening Day.

While a couple having twins doesn’t typically qualify as news (after all, couples often have kids together), the birth of the twins is newsworthy for more than a few reasons.

For starters, it’s important to point out just how busy Cromartie will be this summer: He just welcomed the arrival of his 11th and 12th kids to the world, and his third and fourth with Terricka. So, at the very least he’ll be well-prepared for the lack of sleep in the coming months.

He will, however, be required to remember a few more names and birthdays:

According to US Weekly, this will be the couple’s final pregnancy:

But while the happy mom of four is delighted with her newest arrivals, she’s taking steps to make sure these babies are her last — she’s getting her tubes tied!

Mathieu matured into a leader on the Cardinals and is one of the best off-field guys the team has; he couldn’t have landed in a better spot. (You better believe he’s a role model for moving forward.)

On the field, the man formerly known as the Honey Badger is the perfect modern-day defensive back. He can play safety, he can play corner, he can play in the slot, he can blitz the quarterback and he’s one of the best natural ballhawks in the entire league.