BREAKING NEWS: Lebron James Is Going Back Cleveland

I spoke with a guy that knows a guy that is related to a guy that says he knows everything about Cleveland, and he said that Lebron is back.  100% locked down back in Cleveland.  You heard it here first.

lebron-james-to-wear-6-lead

 

 

UPDATE:  My source also claims that Jake Taylor will come out retirement and lead the Indians to the 2014 World Series.

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TSD 2014 World Cup Quarterfinals Preview and Predictions

Now that the USMNT is out and I no longer have a national rooting interest to worry about, I can now drop my predictions for the quarters.  Though I would have preferred watching some Team USA over this holiday weekend, the matches will be very exciting.

Friday, July 4th

Germany vs. France  (12pm ESPN2)

(Muller)

(Muller)

France will have to rely on its strong defense (2 WC Goals Allowed) and hope it can take advantage of Germany’s struggling backline to advance.  The Germans boast the stronger side, but outside of their 4-0 beatdown of Portugal they have not shown it.  I’m giving the Germans the edge to move on to the semifinals and a matchup with the Brazil/Colombia winner.  The only wildcard is the reported flu going through the German team in the lead-up to this match.  Germany 2-1

Colombia vs. Brazil (4pm ESPN)

Columbia has by far been the most fun team to watch in the 2014 World Cup and I don’t see them letting up.  Due to the pressure they’ve felt to perform, I’ve rooted hard for the host team, but I don’t see them getting past Colombia.  Columbia’s James Rodriquez is becoming a star on the national stage and I expect for him outshine Neymar.  Brazil has the talent, but outside of Neymar they have not consistently shown up.  Colombia will also be boasted by the hole left in Brazil’s middle from the loss of Luiz Gustavo.  Colombia 2-0

Saturday, July 5th

Belgium vs. Argentina (12pm ABC)

(GOAT)

(GOAT)

Can the greatest player in the world carry Argentina to the semifinals?  Not by hisself he can’t.  Messi has done it all for Argentina, but without the rest of the team, this is as far as they will go.  I think Sergio Aguero has a chance to step up vs. Belgium, and that would help Messi a lot.  Belgium may continue to play tight until after the 70th minute and hope for late game heroics to get past, but attacking early could take advantage of Argentina’s suspect backline.  Argentina 1-0

Costa Rica vs. Netherlands (4pm ESPN)

It will be the Dutch attack vs. the Costa Rican defense on Saturday afternoon, and I think we will be in for some great soccer.  If van Persie and Robben are on, Costa Rica will have major problems slowing them down.  I look for the Dutch to end the surpise run of the Costa Ricans and to move on to face Argentina is the semis.  Netherlands 2-0

So there you go folks.  Chill the beers, fire up the grill and get ready for some great soccer.

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Love Having Cooks In NOLA

(@saints)

(@saints)

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TSD Post 1st-3rd Rd 2014 Dynasty Rookie Rankings

There were 35 offensive skilled position players picked in the 1st two days of the NFL draft and here’s how I have them ranked prior to the 4th-7th rounds.  I will update the rankings after the draft is complete and throughout the UDFA and mini camp process.

  1. (Evans)

    (Evans)

    Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay- Big WR that will win at the catch point and will get plenty of balls opposite of VJax.

  2. Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo- Must/Will become the #1 in Buffalo.
  3. Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit- The Lions will turn Ebron in to the Jimmy Graham of the North.
  4. Cody Latimer, WR, Denver- Will fit in the role Eric Decker left behind, but must wait his turn.
  5. Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee- One-cut backs thrive in Kubiak’s system.
  6. Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia- Will catch a ton of balls for Chip Kelly. PPR bonus.
  7. Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans- Sonic Boom will thrive in Sean Payton’s offense.
  8. Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants- If the O-Line keeps Eli up, Beckham will be open.
  9. Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis- He is a better back than Zac Stacy, and will be the lead back soon.
  10. Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis- Andrew Luck’s future #1.
  11. Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati- Will be a TD machine.
  12. (Hyde)

    (Hyde)

    Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco- Crowded backfield will take some time to thin out, but Hyde is the best of the bunch.

  13. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay- Will replace James Jones and will fit nicely.
  14. Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville- Not the raw talent that Blackmon is was, but will be Bortles’ #1 soon.
  15. Dri Archer, WR, Pittsburgh- Will be a very good NFL slot WR.
  16. Terrance West, RB, Cleveland- Will have to play behind the oft-injured Ben Tate. Will get his chance soon.
  17. Josh Huff, WR, Philadelphia- Chip Kelly picked an Oregon guy and will know how to use him.
  18. Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville- The Jag coaches must have had no trust in their WR core.
  19. Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville- Only QB in the top 20 is in Jacksonville. I must be drunk.
  20. Jace Amaro, TE, New York Jets- The Jets needed a WR, but grabbed a very good TE.
  21. (Landry)

    (Landry)

    Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami- Will not be out worked. Ever.

  22. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina- Should be able to get some TDs, but yard will be hard to come by.
  23. John Brown, WR, Arizona- Arizona gets a very solid slot WR.
  24. Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay- Will be the #2 behind Doug Martin, and has big upside.
  25. Richard Rodgers, TE, Green Bay- Former WR will replace Finley
  26. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay- Big target will be hard to cover.
  27. Paul Richardson, WR, Seattle- Fast, but way too small.
  28. Derek Carr, QB, Oakland- Has a cannon, but needs to develop some nerves.
  29. (Fiedorowicz)

    (Fiedorowicz)

    C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Houston- Is a very solid TE that could grow to a very good TE.

  30. Johnny Manziel, QB, Cleveland- Who will he throw to?
  31. Crockett Gilmore, TE, Baltimore- Eh
  32. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota- Hate his fit in Minnesota.
  33. Troy Niklas, TE, Arizona- Bruce Arians loves TEs, but he will be used more as a blocker.
  34. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, New England- 3 year plan
  35. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota- WHY?

Continue reading

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5 Directions the Saints Can Go In the 1st Round (Mocked Up)

Last week I previewed the 5 directions the Saints could go with their 1st round pick, and today I mocked those directions out using http://www.first-pick.com/.   The grades next to the picks are the grade the site gave the choices.

(Advocate)

(Advocate)

WR

Round 1 Pick 27: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU (A)

Round 2 Pick 26: Marcus Martin, C, Southern California (A)

Round 3 Pick 27: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska (A)

Round 4 Pick 26: Devon Kennard, OLB, Southern California (C-)

Round 5 Pick 27: Jeoffrey Pagan, DE, Alabama (B+)

Round 5 Pick 29: Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech (A)

Round 6 Pick 26: David Fales, QB, San Jose State (A)

I like this one a lot.  Beckham will be a very good NFL WR, and we get our C/G of the future in Martin in the 2nd.  Jean-Baptiste is a big CB Rob Ryan would love to use.  Fales is the 6th is a steal, and would be Drew’s understudy.

CB

Round 1 Pick 27: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU (B)

Round 2 Pick 26: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana (B+)

Round 3 Pick 27: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa (B+)

Round 4 Pick 26: Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina (A)

Round 5 Pick 27: Corey Linsley, C, Ohio State (C)

Round 5 Pick 29: Preston Brown, ILB, Louisville (B+)

Round 6 Pick 26: Danny Kistler Jr, OT, Montana (D-)

I would have liked Fuller in the 1st, but he went the pick before.  Verrett is alright, and I love getting Latimer, Fiedorowicz and Ellington. Continue reading

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5 Directions the Saints Can Go In the 1st Round

The New Orleans Saints hold the 27th pick in next month’s NFL draft, and like most teams have number of directions they could go with their 1st round pick. Let’s take a look at the most likely positions/players the Saints could take in the 1st.

CORNERBACK

fullerThe Saints have turned their safety corps into one of the league’s best, but they still have some work to be done in the front of their secondary. Keenan Lewis is has one side of the field locked down and proved one of the best free agent signings of 2013. Champ Bailey is a future Hall of Famer, but at 36 he is better suited as the Saints nickel corner. The Saints would be very wise to go with a big press corner that will give Rob Ryan’s pass rush more bite. Darqueze Dennard would be that guy, but he might not be there #27. The 27th spot would be the perfect spot for the Saints to grab Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller. Fuller is very physical at the line and isn’t afraid to attack vs. the run. The Saints would be able to let him transition into the starting role while he learns from Champ. Getting a CB in the 1st would free the Saints up to address their need at WR or the interior line in the 2nd and 3rd.

WIDE RECEIVER

Marques Colston is the clear #1 WR in NO, but after him the Saints are in need of some new offensive firepower. I like Kenny Stills, and feel that he is in for a big 2014 season. That being said, the Saints could use the pick one of the WR’s from this deep 2014 class. Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandin Cooks would be great at replacing the production from Darren Sproles and Lance Moore if the Saints are looking for a smaller slot type WR. If they are looking to they are looking to bring in a strong big bodied WR, Allen Robinson or Donte Moncrief would be there for the taking at #27. Though I know the Saints have done plenty without the help of 1st round talent on offense, the thought of grabbing a WR in this spot intrigues me.

RUSH DE/OUTSIDE LB

The Saints defense was a turnaround story of 2013, but one thing they lack is talent from the rush end position. The 1st round of this draft will have plenty of options for the Saints to address this defensive hole. This looks like the most likely option for the Saints in the 1st. Dee Ford, Ryan Shazier, Demarcus Lawrence or Kony Ealy should be around at #27, and the Saints’ D could use any of their talents on the edge. Ealy would be my preferred pick in this slot. His size and versatility to play 4-3 DE or 3-4 LB would be interesting to see Rob Ryan work with. He has great Watt-like hands when he can’t get to the QB.

CENTER

martinThe Saints letting De La Puente walk to the Bears leaves a hole at the O-Line’s anchor position. Centers seem to be an easily replaceable position for Sean Payton, but grabbing someone like Marcus Martin would be a nice pick. I know what you are saying. TAKE A CENTER IN THE 1ST ROUND! WE AREN’T THE COWBOYS! We take Martin in the 1st and he becomes our starting center immediately. He provides a smart solid presence in the middle, and makes the Saints line among the leagues best. The next year when we lose Evans and/or Grubbs to free agency, Martin slides over to OG and Tim Lelito takes over as the 2015 center.

C.J. MOSELY

The Saints have a long history of great linebackers, and Mosely could carry on that tradition. Mosely is the toughest most athletic ILB in this draft and he would step in and be the leader of the Saints defense. He is a smart and instinctual player that will make any unit better. If he’s there at #27, the Saints need to make the pick.

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TSD 2014 NBA Playoff Predictions: 1st Round

Eastern Conference

#1 Indiana Pacers vs. #8 Atlanta Hawks

The Pacers turn it back on and show the Hawks why they are the best defensive team in the NBA.  Hibbert will allow the rest of the Pacers D to stay out of the paint and shut down the Hawks’ 3-point game.  Pacers in 5.

heat#2 Miami Heat vs. #7 Charlotte Bobcats

Welcome back to the playoffs, Charlotte.  Better luck next year.  Heat in 5.

#3 Toronto Raptors vs. #6 Brooklyn Nets

The Raptors are the better team, but the Nets are loaded with playoff experience.  I’ve been surprised at how consistent the Raptors have played all season, and they matchup very well against the Nets.  I’m giving the elder Nets the edge in a close series.  Nets in 7.

#4 Chicago Bulls vs. #5 Washington Wizards

I don’t think the young Wizards have the maturity to navigate the Bulls’ pressure defense enough to get out of this series alive.  Bulls in 6.

Western Conference

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs. #8 Dallas Mavericks

The Spurs took the season series 4-0 vs. the Mavs and should be sitting pretty for an easy trip to the 2nd round.  The Mavs just don’t have the defense to match the Spurs.  Sit back and enjoy the last Dirk vs. Duncan matchup ever.  Spurs in 4.

grizz#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #7 Memphis Grizzlies

The Thunder are looking to avenge getting knocked out of the playoffs at the hands of the Grizz last year.  Westbrook wasn’t there for that and having him back will help.  I have a feeling that OKC will have trouble getting stops, and the Grizz will have a chance to pull the upset.  Grizzlies in 6.

#3 Los Angeles Clippers vs. #6 Golden State Warriors

I think the Clippers will be able to slow down Curry and the Warriors’ shooters enough to prove to us that they are legitimate title contenders.  Look for DeAndre Jordan to have a monster series.  Clippers in 5.

#4 Houston Rockets vs. #5 Portland Trailblazers

This series will have tons of points and will be fun to watch.  It’s time for the Rockets to step up and show how dangerous they are.  Howard needs to be dominant in the playoffs.  Rockets in 6.

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