By some analysts of the NFL Jay Ajayi, who is from Boise State, was considered to be the steal of the draft. He was picked in the fifth round mainly because of a long term knee issue. But recently, the Dolphins VP of football operations Mike Tannenbaum says Ajayi won’t get on the field if he can’t pass protect. The author explains how, “reading blitzes and picking up free rushers can be the biggest adjustment for a rookie running back entering the NFL,” (Patra 1). Tannenbaum also seems to be hinting at the fact that no one is going to be threatening Lamar Miller’s spot as the starter. Lamar rushed for 1,099 yards last season averaging 5.1 yards per carry over the course of the season. Ajayi also has major competition to even be Lamar’s first backup. Damien Williams is one of the backs competing for the primary backup role. When called upon last year he came through and he is continuing to impress early in camp. Also, LaMichael James, former Oregon running back, is flashing the talent that brought him into the Heisman discussion in his college days.
It’s not going to come easy for Ajayi as he will have to work for what he is given. High expectations never means playing time if you can’t fulfill your potential. Ajayi must continue to work on his overall game if he wants to prove he’s a worthwhile NFL running back, and the steal of the draft of course.
Collegiate sporting teams are always attempting to get ahead of their competitors in the recruiting field. The UCLA Bruins basketball team has clearly done this by receiving a verbal commitment from LaMelo Ball. LaMelo wishes to follow in his two brothers footsteps by also attending UCLA to play basketball. The author examines how LaMelo plays on an AAU team with his two older brothers and in a recent tournament averaged close to 20 points per game despite being the youngest kid on the court. UCLA’s basketball program is very excited about LaMelo’s commitment since now they can continue to watch him grow as a player. They also support their decision by saying how he continuously strives to be better than his brothers.
Recruiting players at such a young age is not necessarily a new trend since it has happened before, but it is still is a risky proposition. The author explains how even though these kids are very good at a young age, they may not pan out the way colleges expect them to. If this happens, the colleges are in a difficult situation considering their investment into some of these recruits. The author even mentions how LeBron James is against recruiting athletes at such a young age. LeBron’s son, Bronny, has already received some offers which LeBron says is “pretty crazy,” adding that “you shouldn’t be recruiting 10-year old kids.” Nevertheless, UCLA is just doing what they think is in their best interest to win a championship.
There is a lot of optimism surrounding this year’s Miami Dolphins. Many have said that this is the most talented roster that Coach Joe Philbin has had and throughout this offseason practices have been crisp and productive. The author, James Walker, explains how Ryan Tannehill has set the tone this offseason. He points to the quarterbacks consistency during the teams workouts throughout the offseason as a sign of good things to come. Walker explains how, “in previous seasons, Tannehill often alternated good and bad practices,” (Walker 1).
But his consistent play lately is a great sign for the Dolphins who desperately need to succeed this season. Anything short of a playoff appearance will most likely lead to a turnover of the coaches and GM. Tannehill is a key part of this season and Walker points to his contract extension and his second year in Bill Lazor’s offense as the reason for his great play so far. Knowing that the organization has gone all in on him, Ryan’s confidence is up and he has taken a major leadership role. So far the team seems to be behind Tannehill who said, “I think our chemistry is great for this point only being together eight weeks,” (Walker 1).
Of late, the Miami Dolphins have a history of choking in crunch time. They are continuously in the playoff discussion in November while always finding a way to falter down the stretch in December. The author uses facts explaining how over the past 25 seasons, the Dolphins have only posted eight winning Decembers which is the month that truly separates the boys from the men in the NFL. Every major voice in Miami’s locker room has touched on this subject including VP of football operations, Mike Tannebaum as well as GM Dennis Hickey, head coach Joe Philbin, and our franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The author mentions how players on the team have thrown around ideas of different issues within the team but ultimately agree that it comes down to how you play when it matters. Although, the organization has taken strides putting millions into a technology based research department which tracks their players habits both on and off the field with “the goal of monitoring how much energy and exertion is used daily, and how much rest is gained at night,” (Kelly 10).
There have been many theories thrown around as to why the fins have struggled late in the season including injuries, lack of execution, fatigue and even the fact that they were playing better teams down the stretch. This seems to be why they have put so much money in the technology to track their players habits. But I don’t believe any of these issues are excuses for not getting into the playoffs. True contenders don’t crumble through adversity, they come together and find ways to win which the Miami Dolphins of the past have failed to do. This concerns me a lot about there mental toughness. And without a tough mentality there is no contending for Lombardi Trophy’s in this league. But this is a new year, with a new realm of players who all seem to be up for the challenge. I undoubtedly believe the Dolphins will be in the hunt for a playoff spot come December, but its up to this 2015 team led by Joe Philbin to finally take that next step into the playoffs.
The New York Knicks used their fourth overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft to select Kristaps Porzingis, a 19 year old prospect from Latvia. He is not very well known in America which has made for a lot of controversy surrounding his selection. Most fans at the draft booed the selection hoping they would select a prospect that would help the Knicks in the near future instead of having to wait for Porzingis to reach his sky high potential. Yesterday, July 11th, Kristaps made his NBA summer league debut tallying 12 points, three rebounds and two blocks in his 18 minutes of play. The crowd at the game seemed much more supportive than they had on draft night by chanting “Porzingis” whenever he stepped to the free throw line. Kristaps appreciated the support from the fans but also was humorous when explaining the lack of support he has received on social media. His humor will go a long way in his ability to survive in New York since it is well known New York fans are some of the harshest for every team they root for. And since New Yorkers always want to win now, it will be difficult for the young Latvian to keep his smile through his first few developmental years in the association. Kristaps will also have it tougher then the other prospects in his class because he will be in the spotlight of New York. The media will scrutinize every one of his ups and downs through his career making it difficult for him to solely focus on his development. He is a skinny seven footer who has a beautiful shooting stroke and great athleticism, but the lack of size is everyone’s biggest concern. As the author points out, Porzingis had trouble grabbing rebounds since others were just bullying him on the boards not allowing him to stand his ground. Even Porzingis himself recognized this by saying after the game, “I’ve got to get stronger.” Kristaps has a long way to go in order to develop into the superstar Knicks fans hope for him to be, but with time he should get there as long as the fans don’t run him out of New York before he reaches his potential.
Recently, a lot of prominent individuals in the political community have announced their bid for the upcoming presidential election. For the Democratic Party, leaders like Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, and Lincoln Chafee have declared themselves as candidates. Among the Republicans, declared candidates include Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump among ten others. Recently one of the Republican candidates, Donald Trump, has come under fire for what people are saying are racist remarks. Business Insider did a piece surrounding the controversy, including some materials from an interview they conducted with Trump himself. The article uses focuses on direct quotes from Trump about illegal immigration. The writer also showcases Trump’s defense to claims of his remarks being racist. The article also highlights the consequences of Trump’s words, saying that multiple corporations including NBC, NASCAR, Macy’s, and Serta have severed ties with him. The article does a good job of having people relate to both sides of the issue. The media has deemed Trump’s remarks as racist and politically incorrect, hence the severed ties with business and loss of support in general. When I read the direct quotes in the article, it was hard not to find them insulting and prejudiced. However, whenever Trump’s defense is mentioned, and quotes from him display his frustration with his words being twisted, it’s easy to relate to as well. We’ve probably all had a situation where our words got skewed and got ourselves into trouble. We can relate to both sides of the story. The writer definitely does a good job of revealing the magnitude of the statements made by Donald Trump. He doesn’t jump to any conclusions or use any invalid arguments. He simply gives the information, all of which is accurate and written fluidly.
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