Tag Archives: Von Miller

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, June 27th

Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook was tabbed the NBA’s Most Valuable Player on Tuesday evening. (PHOTO CREDIT: Bleacher Report)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

It’s Tuesday – let’s dance!

Welcome into a brand new edition – well, technically a Tuesday edition – of the Daily Noontime on NoontimeSports.com.

Let’s get you ready for a great day, beginning with some news and notes from around the sports and entertainment world.

We begin with Russell Westbrook, who was named the NBA’s most valuable player last night at the league’s inaugural award show. Westbrook enjoyed an amazing and historic season by tallying 42 triple-doubles.

As noted in an ESPN report, Westbrook became the second player in league history behind Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double. Robertson recorded 41 triple-doubles during the 1961-62 season.

Crazy to think it took a few decades to break that record, but it happened, folks!

While Westbrook’s triple-double performance this season was quite impressive, one should wonder if any of these seven NBA records will ever be broken?

My guess is that no one will match or beat Bill Russell‘s 11 championships, but that’s just my ‘two-cents.’

Speaking of Russell, the former Boston Celtic was honored – he was presented the lifetime achievement award.

After Russell received the special honor, he announced (jokingly!) that he would ‘kick your ass’ to the following players: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning and David Robinson.

Good news, Boston Red Sox fans: the local nine is back in the win column! Last night, Chris Sale and Mitch Moreland led the way for the Sox as they beat Minnesota, 4-1.

Sale concluded the game with nine strikeouts, which bumped his total to 155 strikeouts (thus far).

Last season, Sale tallied 233 strikeouts in 32 games with the Chicago White Sox, so he is certainly on pace to match his total from a year ago. Sale retired a career-best 274 batters in 2015, but I am not sure he will reach that total this season.

As noted in a Variety.com, Spider-Man: Homecoming has dominated the social media landscape recently, accounting for 113,000 new conversations last week. That’s nuts!

I am not the biggest comic book guy, but did enjoy the Spider-Man movies from a few years ago – you know, the ones with Tobey Maguire, but I do plan on seeing this film when it opens on Friday, July 7th.

Finally, and this should not come as a total surprise (or shock), but Tom Brady was voted number one in NFL Network‘s annual top 100 players in the NFL. The New England Patriots quarterback beat-out Von Miller (Denver Broncos) and Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons) for the top spot in this year’s poll.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone! And be kind and good to all!

NFL Draft 2011: Day One Winners and Losers

By Dan Rubin

With the 2011 NFL Draft already underway, it is officially time to look back on day one and reflect on which teams drafted well, as well as the ones that didn’t. Here is our winners and losers from the first round.  

Winners: Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers come away as big winners of the first round.

Now look, I understand that there’s a very real possibility that Newton could become a major bust and that they drafted Jimmy Clausen to fill the starting quarterback role. But, I also believe that the draft is used to give your fans a very real hope of success in a way that one single day can’t. Fans don’t get hungry for tickets over minicamp, and they don’t get pumped up for OTAs.  They get pumped at the draft.  This is a team that lacked a face for their franchise.  They have it now.  Maybe in three years, we’ll question the pick and refer to the Heisman Trophy winner as a bust, but for now, this day and this draft belonged to Newton. Almost immediately, the future of Panther football was altered.

The Atlanta Falcons were exposed on offense in the divisional playoffs. The Packers took away the deep threat on Matt Ryan in their game back in January, and he only threw for 186 yards.  They had some defensive woes, which I’m sure they’ll address when they can start moving and signing players (as well as later in the draft).  But they had to find a solution to the problem of having only Roddy White for the deep ball.  Now Ryan has White, Tony Gonzalez, Michael Turner, Michael Jenkins, and Julio Jones to throw the ball to.  He’s only in his 4th year.  They actually didn’t need a lot, so they were able to make the deal.  Sure they got fleeced, but I don’t think it’s a horrible move.

But as much as I loved the gutsy, ballsy move by the Falcons, I really love what Cleveland did. Cleveland has more holes than a donut shop.  The early pick would give them a flashy player, but they don’t need that; they have the face of a franchise in Peyton Hillis. They need to fill pretty much everything else. And they acquired the ability to do it by giving away an early pick that couldn’t make a huge impact on this team.  In the rebuilding future, this could go down as the moment where the Browns became relevant again.

Jon Gruden – thank you for owning the talking hairpiece of Mel Kiper, Jr. Seriously, if Gruden crapped on Kiper any more, Kiper’s address would’ve become “porto-potty in NYC.”  It was awesome.  I love it when football guys just take it to that guy.

Detroit’s pass rush this year will be Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. A couple of months ago, Aaron Burns, (our guest from the Charlotte Weekly this week) thought Fairley would go first overall. I love the pick because he was there at #13.  The NFC North is wide open if Green Bay has any Super Bowl hangover.  The Lions aren’t pushovers anymore.

The Patriots did a good job playing it safe, picking a good, solid offensive tackle with their first pick.  I really wanted Anthony Costanzo, but they got essentially the same guy with a different name in Nate Solder.  Right now, the Pats have nobody under contract for their line. Matt Light is a free agent, Logan Mankins is pretty much history, and Stephen Neal and Nick Kaczur, (a.k.a. your right side of the line) is gone. So that means your preseason offensive line returns only Dan Koppen. I like the pick a lot.

Costanzo became a winner anyways, when he got selected to block for the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning.  I remember standing at a Boston College game talking to his dad four-odd years ago, and I knew he was going to be great.  Another year, another Boston College Eagle in the first round.  Ho hum, that’s becoming par the norm for “O-Line U” over there in Chestnut Hill.

The Losers: 

This will go down as the draft where the fans finally rebelled. Roger Goodell had his photo moment with the Hall of Famers and the Prospects, and the fans booed him almost immediately.  The chants of “We Want Football” shocked everyone, and I don’t think the talking heads knew what to do when it happened.

Rich Eisen had nothing to say, and the “commish” looked lost at the podium.  It’s the first moment through the entire labor drama when the fans finally spoke up and could actually be heard, and nobody knew what to do.  The constant booing cascading from Radio City Music Hall’s rafters said it all – the fans are fed up with legal speak and loopholes all over the place.  They want results.  They want football.  And Goodell ended up with egg on his face.

Teams also had to draft by need in the first round because they couldn’t move players ahead of time.  With the league not advising teams on player movement before Friday, the first round featured absolutely zero player movement.  The teams could only trade picks or draft players.  Therefore, it became surreal almost immediately when Von Miller was picked second overall, and he hugged Roger Goodell – a man he’s suing.  It was the fourth or fifth moment where I laughed at the Commish, and but the loser of the moment was Miller.  How can you sue the league, hug the man you’re suing, and have people take it seriously?  I’m sure the NFL will use that in its defense somehow.

The Falcons screwed their future over very badly by giving up two first rounder’s, (including their pick next year), their second round pick, their fourth round pick, and next year’s fourth.  If they don’t hit on every other pick this year, they could be in some deep trouble. Thomas Dimitrioff has mortgaged his job on Jones ability to produce and Atlanta’s ability to win a Super Bowl within the next 2-3 years.

I don’t get why Jacksonville traded up to take Blaine Gabbert.  I mean, I think Gabbert’s better than Jake Locker, but they have a decent quarterback who can win football games.  David Garrard is pretty good, and he can scramble.  I just don’t get why you make the move to take him, when you can sit back two picks later and get an offensive lineman to protect and block Garrard.  Instead, you’ve served notice that Garrard is gone in a couple of years or at least backing up, and you’ve gone into transitional mode.

Christian Ponder?  Really?  Like…really?  I’ve followed him from Day 1 at Florida State…really?!?!

The draft coverage gets a sagging grade because honestly, I didn’t think it was great. Too many talking heads, not enough highlights.  And the gratuitous phone call shots are overboard as always. It just feels like it’s too much. I’d prefer the olden days when they interviewed fans instead of just showing them.

We’ll be back with more coverage throughout the weekend. A long couple of days ahead, especially if you’re a Pats fan like us at Noontime Sports.

Dan Rubin and Aaron Burns on the 2011 NFL Draft

Could Cam Newton be the first pick in the NFL Draft?

NoontimeSports.com’s Dan Rubin caught up with Aaron Burns, the assistant Sports Editor of the Charlotte Weekly in Charlotte, NC. Here’s what they discussed in regards to the NFL Draft, Carolina Panthers and what moves we could see this weekend.

Dan Rubin: Let’s start with the obvious, the Carolina Panthers are picking #1 overall this year in the NFL Draft?  If you’re in charge, who are you picking and why?

Aaron Burns: Obviously (Cam) Newton [because he is the] best player on the board [and the] biggest need.

DR: Now you’ve had the chance to cover Newton and follow his career from Auburn to the path to the NFL… what is it about him as a player that makes him so different, and so intriguing, as a talent, from the others?

AB: I’m not sure if there’s been a quarterback in the NFL with the skill set Newton has. He has the vision, as a runner, that’s similar to Michael Vick, but his game most resembles (Ben) Roethlisberger. On a team who needs a guy with a big arm and some mobility in the pocket, Newton has to be the guy. And as a person, he gets a bad rap. Is he perfect? No, but he is charismatic, and brings a “win at all cost” mindset to the QB position that frankly would be a breath of fresh air for Carolina.

DR: Let’s say the Panthers don’t take Newton.  Who else would they be thinking would be a good pick in the top slot, or do you see them trading out of the #1 pick?

AB: Obviously there is a glaring need at more than one position when you’re [2-14]. Defensive tackle and wide receiver are the biggest other than quarter [position], but you can win titles with decent defensive tackles. (The Panthers do have one defensive tackle, Nick Hayden) and (two wide receivers, Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell). Marcel Dareus is the likely pick aside from Newton, but the shocker would be A.J. Green. It’ll be one of the three and if I’m them, I’m not trading. I’m keeping it and getting the best fit for my team and moving on.

DR: We hear a lot about “can’t-miss prospects” and who has the potential to be a big bust. After Newton, whom are you seeing as the best talents in the first round and who are you seeing as players that a team will regret taking?

AB: As high as I am on Newton I see A.J. Green being the draft’s best player long-term. He has such a combination of explosive speed off the line and soft hands that he can make quarterbacks look better than they are. I think Nick Fairley and Dareus will be solid defensive tackles. As far as busts, Patrick Peterson and Von Miller make me a bit nervous. Cornerback or punt return guys are never worth a top 5 pick and hybrid end/linebacker guys are boom or bust, and most of the time, they’re bust. Remember Aundray Bruce (Auburn guy)? [Number one] overall by [the Atlanta Falcons] in ’88. A Von Miller type. Great value at 12th, not 3rd.

DR: Who’s going to move up the draft board and choose a “shock pick” and who’s going to slide down?

AB: Blaine Gabbert will go higher than he should by about 10-15 picks. Fairley is poised to tumble a bit and make teams regret it later.

DR: After the first round, who are some of the mid round talent that you see winding up in Panthers roster?

AB: Can I say, Lee Ziemba (Auburn/offensive tackle)? I won’t, but he fills a need. Look for defensive tackles and cornerbacks to be addressed with the Panthers’ two third-round picks. A late-round receiver always comes to Charlotte, that’ll happen again this year. Maybe a small-school guy.

DR: Let’s switch gears and look at New England. This is a team that didn’t have a lot of holes last year, but did lose to the New York Jets during the AFC Divisional round of the 2010 playoffs. When you think of the Patriots from an outsider’s perspective, what are you thinking about in this draft?

AB: I’m thinking wow; I’ve got a lot of ammunition. [The] Pats need to come away with Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, [who would be] a perfect pick for [New England]. He could struggle due to knee issues or he could show out and be an All-Pro. I think it’s more likely that he’ll stand out. Also, hate to say it…spend a pick on a quarterback. [Tom Brady] won’t last forever. His hair, on the other hand…

DR: Do you think anybody’s going to move players for picks, like in the Randy Moss trade that occurred prior to the ’07 season?  I heard Chad Ochocinco has been rumored to move to another team.

AB: Not sure what I’d give for Chad [because the] Bengals aren’t very smart with trades, but his teammate Carson Palmer could be shipped off.

DR: Final question – if the Panthers take Newton, how soon before you order his jersey from NFLShop.com?

AB: Haven’t bought a jersey from NFLShop.com since 2005 when I bought a Jake Delhomme Panthers jersey and it was stolen out of the box. They had to send another. Ordered it in Week 15. Got there the week of the Divisional Playoffs, which was a 29-21 win at Chicago, if you’re scoring at home.