A.J. Bouye reflects on how his father’s tough love molded him into an NFL star

A.J. Bouye reflects on how his father’s tough love molded him into an NFL star More Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye took the hard route to the NFL as an undrafted player who has found his way to stardom. However, climbing the ranks of the NFL after going undrafted out of the University of Central Florida was likely made easier by Bouye’s childhood.

Indeed, Brooks Koepka had just won, after out-dueling Johnson throughout Sunday’s final round. The duo entered Sunday tied for the lead at 3-over – along with Tony Finau and Daniel Berger – but Koepka fired up a 2-under 68 to close out the victory, while Johnson managed only an even-par afternoon.

The win makes Koepka the U.S. Open’s first back-to-back champion since 1988 and 1989, when Curtis Strange took the titles at The Country Club and Oak Hill.

Oh, and for those curious: Wayne Gretzky was nowhere to be seen. But we’re guessing he knew the score.

That curious answer clashes somewhat with Brady’s previous assertions that he sees himself playing until he’s 45 years old  and Pats owner Robert Kraft’s claim last year that Brady assured he had six, seven years left in him.

As long as I’m still loving it. As long as I’m loving the training and preparation and willing to make the commitment, Brady explained when asked by Oprah if that end could be as far away as his age-43 or age-45 season. But it’s also [that] I think what I’ve alluded to a lot in the [‘Tom vs. Time’] docuseries was there’s other things happening in my life too. I do have [three] kids that I love, and I don’t want to be a dad that’s not there driving my kids to their games. I think my kids have brought a great perspective in my life, because kids just want the attention. You better be there and be available to them, or else they’re going to look back on their life and go, ‘Dad didn’t really care that much.’

As demonstrated by these comments and the end of Tom vs. Time, Brady remains torn between playing as long as his pliable body will allow and being fully there for his family.

His wife, Gisele Bundchen, made headlines when in the finale of the Facebook Watch series, she said, These last two years have been very challenging for him in so many ways. And he tells me, ‘I love it so much and I just want to go to work and feel appreciated and have fun.

Aaron Donald absent from start of Rams minicamp

The Los Angeles Rams began mandatory minicamp Tuesday with a large hole on the defensive line.

All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, was not present when the Rams took the practice field, NFL Network’s Steve Wyche reported.

Donald, 27, has become one of the NFL’s premier players since entering the league in 2014 as a first-round pick (13th overall) out of Pittsburgh. He has 205 tackles (148 solo), 57 sacks, nine forced fumbles and eight passes defensed in four seasons, and was selected as a first-team All-Pro in three straight seasons.

I wouldn’t say so much, man, he said. I think a lot of that’s mental. As you get older, you get smarter and you figure out ways to maybe better ways to take care of yourself, the way you eat or the way you sleep or the way you work out and the way you prepare for a game on a daily basis. I feel great physically. I really do. I’ve been fortunate to have be healthy for the most part for the last several years, stay on the field. For me, that’s the main thing. Just staying healthy.

Names can be just as harmful as sticks and stones. Just ask Cassidy Warner.

The 10-year-old Scranton, Pennsylvania, fourth-grader exhibited bravery beyond her years this March, posting a video on Facebook without her parents’ knowledge, detailing her struggles with being bullied. She does not speak in her video, instead holding up white sheets of paper with handwritten descriptions of bullying she has endured at school. She writes that classmates have spit on her, pulled her hair and spilled milk on her jacket. They’ve pushed and kicked her and threatened her life, and whenever she sits at a lunch table, other kids leave.

Her sadness was not limited to her own experiences. She also hoped her video could affect change in the world, ending her post with a message that read, This is my story… Stop bullying! Not just for me for other kids too. Please share my story!

Tom Brady reportedly expected to attend Patriots’ minicamp along with Rob Gronkowski

The offseason drama that has infected New England is nearing its end. A day after star tight end Rob Gronkowski revealed that he plans to attend the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp, which begins on Tuesday, the MMQB’s Albert Breer reported that star quarterback Tom Brady is expected to attend mandatory minicamp as well, as expected. Both players the team’s two most important players skipped voluntary OTAs.

A separate question asked, Do you think that NFL players who kneel during the national anthem are patriotic or unpatriotic?Forty-one percent of people said that kneeling is unpatriotic, but 42% selected, Kneeling is not related to patriotism.Only 14% said kneeling is patriotic. San Francisco 49ers players Eli Harold (57), Eric Reid (35) and Marquise Goodwin (11) kneel during the national anthem before a game against the Houston Texans in Houston on Dec. 10, 2017.

Long was questioned about Goodell’s silence in the wake of Trump’s comments about the Eagles in recent days.

He didn’t say anything? Long asked. Hey, I don’t speak for the commissioner, if he doesn’t want to stand up for the players, that’s not really my business.

As Trump and the White House made attacks on the Eagles for their approach to a canceled White House event celebrating the team’s Super Bowl LII victory. It also touched on their supposed proclivity for kneeling during the anthem — which nobody on the team did during the regular season or postseason — Goodell or the NFL have yet to comment on the situation or come out in support of the Eagles or any players.

The White House also accused the Eagles of abandoning their fans.

Goodell’s silence on the matter doesn’t concern Long, he said.

Angels hope to gain ground on Mariners

The cowboys_073 can’t afford to lose much more ground to the Seattle Mariners heading into the second game of their three-game series Tuesday night at Safeco Field in Seattle.

The Angels lost the series opener to the AL West-leading Mariners (42-24) on Monday night, 5-3, getting solo home runs from Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, but giving up two-run homers to Nelson Cruz and Ryon Healy, as well as a solo homer from Cruz. They are 5 1/2 games back of the Mariners.

Leake faced the Angels on May 4 in Seattle and allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 5-0 loss. He has made three starts against Los Angeles overall in his nine-year career and is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA.

Leake will try to keep the Mariners on a roll. They are 9-2 since May 31, and 18-5 since May. 18.

Me, personally, and our coaching staff are really looking forward to the next couple of weeks of baseball, Servais said. We really believe in this team. Our guys believe in themselves and we’re going to face some good clubs and we’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

I take full responsibility for not taking care of my business in the classroom, it read in part. I will use this tough lesson as motivation to get better and learn from my mistakes as I become a professional.

Alexander had seven career interceptions for the Hokies, including four as a sophomore. He missed four games last fall due to suspension and injury.

Still, at 6-foot-3, 207 pounds, he has a good chance to become the first player selected in the supplemental draft since 2015. The draft is usually held in early to mid July and has previously featured high-profile players like Josh Gordon, Terrelle Pryor and Ahmad Brooks.

Brian Anderson had three hits and Cameron Maybin had two for the Marlins, who have won three of four. J.T. Realmuto, Lewis Brinson, and Yadiel Rivera each drove in a run without a hit.

The Marlins took control of the game in the middle innings scoring twice in the fourth, once in the fifth, and once in the sixth.

Justin Bour walked to open the fourth and moved to third on Maybin’s double. One out later, Brinson had a sacrifice fly to get the Marlins on the scoreboard. After an intentional walk to Rivera, Smith followed with his run-scoring single to right.

C.J. Prosise is on the roster bubble in Seattle

cowboys_074Less than three months after running back Marshawn Lynch retired during Super Bowl 50, the Seahawks tried to replace him in part by adding running back C.J. Prosise in round three of the draft.

It hasn’t gone well for Prosise, or for the Seahawks.

Through two seasons, Prosise has 195 total rushing yards in only 11 appearances. Last year, he generated a mere 23 yards on 11 carries. Injuries have been the primary problem, but running backs at the NFL level need to be able to stay healthy, obviously. And that’s been one of the biggest problems for all of the Seattle running backs, post-Marshawn.

Enter Rashaad Penny, via round one of the 2018 draft, and Prosise not surprisingly is on the roster bubble. Coach Pete Carroll confirmed that recently, although he also praised Prosise as a guy who has done very well in the offseason program.

Already besieged by rotation injuries, the other Los Angeles team had to scramble for an impromptu bullpen game when Dennis Santana, set to make his big league debut, suffered a lat injury just prior to Thursday’s outing. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is uncertain as to whether or not Kenta Maeda (strained hip) can return for the short Texas series. With a pair of off days (Monday and Thursday), Dodgers hitters can likely be avoided, and it does give this team’s beleaguered bullpen a chance to play catchup. A potential Triple-A option (Tyler Pill?) plus Maeda could allow Los Angeles to give each of its healthy trio of arms Walker Buehler, Alex Wood and Russ Stripling a full week of rest between starts. Time will tell.

Josina Anderson of ESPN.com reports that Beckham is scheduled to travel into town today with plans of attending the team’s mandatory minicamp practice which starts Tuesday.

The key word in the report? Attending. Because attending isn’t participating.

Of course, Beckham can’t participate until he is medically cleared to do so. That’s yet to happen, due to the broken leg he suffered last year.

If/when clearance comes, Beckham will have a decision to make. And if he practices or plays without a new contract, he’ll have to worry about suffering another serious injury before getting his payday.

Clay Matthews: Packers’ OLB depth ‘not that great’

cowboys_075The Green Bay Packers changed defensive coordinators and overhauled the secondary this offseason. New general manager Brian Gutekunst, however, mostly ignored upgrading the linebacker spot.

The Packers waited until the 248th pick in the draft to select a linebacker, Kendall Donnerson, and didn’t add a pass rusher in free agency. Green Bay had a chance to snatch a top edge rusher in the draft, but instead decided to trade down and pick up a future first-round selection.

With one of the best 3-4 defensive line trios in Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark and Muhammad Wilkerson, Green Bay is counting on interior penetration to make up where the outside group lacks.

With Aaron Rodgers ‘ return from injury, on paper, the Packers ‘ roster has few holes outside the glaring one at edge rusher. Green Bay is hoping the lack of depth behind the injury-prone Perry and Matthews doesn’t come back to haunt them in 2018.

It frees him up to play more first- or second-down nickel and be available in that way and be fresher during the course of the game, defensive line coach Bryant Young said last week, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Not that he couldn’t handle it because I thought he did a good job of handling the [strongside] and playing defensive end. Just having him available to play more reps at defensive end will be good for us.

Playing more linebacker in 2017, Beasley’s sack numbers dipped from a league-high 15.5 in 2016 to five last year.

I wasn’t rushing as much as I normally would, Beasley said. There were less opportunities, but it was for the betterment of the team and what the team needed most at that moment. I was fine with that.

The Falcons ‘ best pass rusher playing any significant amount in coverage seemed like a faulty plan last season. The move back to defensive end full time should allow the Falcons to keep their best quarterback menace on the field more.

According to NextGen Stats, Beasley played more than seven fewer snaps per game in 2017 than his sack-filled 2016 campaign. Most of those snaps came in obvious run situations; Beasley played on fewer than 10 run plays in the Falcons ‘ final six games of the season, including two postseason tilts.

Texans claim Stephen Morris off waivers

Quarterback Stephen Morris got waived by the Seahawks over the weekend, but he didn’t have to wait long to land another job.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Texans have claimed Morris and added him to their 90-man roster.

Morris spent just under a month with the Seahawks and has spent time with five other teams since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He did not get into a regular season game with any of those teams.

Justify already won on horse racing’s biggest stage when he held off a hard-charging Good Magic to capture the Derby on a muddy track at Churchill Downs. Rain is expected at Pimlico Race Course in the days leading up to the Preakness and on race day, which could set up a similar scenario to how jockey Mike Smith took Justify out to the lead before the final turn and pulled away.

Then Shanahan left for the west coast, Steve Sarkisian took over and an Atlanta offense with the same core fell to the middle of the pack with an average of 22.1 points per game, while dropping to ninth in offensive DVOA.

But it can take a season’s worth of growing pains for an offense to adjust to a new system and a new coordinator. So while the Falcons haven’t undergone many changes since they were NFC champions, those viewing the glass half-full might have hope that the talented offense can return to that form in Sarkisian’s second season.

It’s his second year now calling plays in the NFL, he gets a good idea of what flies and what doesn’t fly with the personnel we have and don’t have, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier this month. “I think that’s gonna be where he’s gonna make some major strides.”

In 2015 and 2016, only two NFL teams rushed for fewer yards than the Baltimore Ravens, and that lack of balance could help explain why the Ravens failed to post a winning record or make the playoffs in each of those seasons. bucks_051