Murphy’s Weekly 9-13 March 2015

Finally getting back into a groove here, so here’s the programming for the week. Three days, you decide, just don’t do them consecutive. Two days in a row is fine, but have on rest day or more in there somewhere.


Murphy’s Warmup including shoulder dislocates with PVC and depth-drop pushups

5-rep Max of the Day – Strict Press
(start with empty bar and don’t increase more than 10# between sets if your max is over 145#, don’t increase by more than 5# if you’re max is under 145#.)

Single-handed dumbbell press, 4×8, work on balanced and rigid core.

5 rounds 500m Row, 2-3 minutes rest between rounds

3 x 10 perfect pushups +25 situps each round

Day 2

Murphy’s Warmup including back extensions and PVC bent-over rows for upper back activation and warmup

5-rep Max of the Day – Sumo Deadlift, no more than 10# increases

4×10 bent-over row with 25% 5-rep max of the day, or empty barbell, whichever is greater

3 rounds
15 KB Swings
15 Burpees
Run 200m

Skill: Pullups 5 rounds max reps or descending ladder (5, 4, 3, 2 1, etc.)

Day 3

Murphy’s Warmup plus jumping PVC squats


3-rep max of the day – mid-to-high-bar back squat, <10# increases, and concentrate on straight back throughout.
4×10 jumping squats with barbell

5x200m sprint, full recovery between (3-5 minutes)

3 rounds of 1:00 plank hold
Finish with 30 situps

Malcolm Butler talks making a difference in Super Bowl

As it happens, two of the attendees of the cornerback academy, Sherman and Talib, find themselves on new teams in 201Throw in Malcolm Butler and you have three veterans older than 28, each of them in the upper echelon of one of the most important positions on the field in the modern NFL, coming to teams we can expect to be in the postseason in 201Sherman joins Witherspoon in San Francisco on a three-year deal worth up to $39 million; the Broncos traded Talib to the L.A. Rams for a fifth-round pick; and Butler signed with the Titans for five years and $61 million, with $30 million guaranteed.

Sherman, entering his eighth NFL season, joins a defense that ranked 24th in yards allowed but yielded 100 yards rushing just once in its final six games. San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is from the Pete Carroll coaching tree, having been a defensive quality control coach for the Seahawks from 2011 to 2013 (Sherman’s first three seasons with the club) and linebackers coach under Gus Bradley, Carroll’s former defensive coordinator, in Jacksonville from 2014-1Witherspoon, for one, is a big fan. He holds the room to a very high standard and treats you like a grown man, Witherspoon says of Saleh. He’s not going to baby you, and he loves the game. I can’t speak highly enough of him.

Sherman says he chose the 49ers after being released by the Seahawks on March 9 for a wealth of reasons, including his familiarity with Saleh, the money offered, his respect for head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive scheme, and the quarterback. In fact, there were just two QBs Sherman says he was interested in sharing a sideline with in 2018: Kirk Cousins, who jumped from Washington to Minnesota in free agency, and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Not every subject within this list played for the eventual champion, but all of them made a game-changing impact. Below, we highlight the top 10 title game performances of the BCS era.

Whitfield caught just five passes as a true freshman in 2013, but his 100-yard kick return touchdown with under five minutes left in the fourth quarter gave the Seminoles their first lead of the final BCS title game since the opening minutes. Auburn would pull ahead on the ensuing possession, but Jameis Winston responded by leading a game-winning drive ending in a last-minute touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin. That would not have been possible without Whitfield’s dramatic boost to reclaim momentum for Florida State.

What they would talk about in terms of the economics of college football was the cottage industry that sprouted around them in the last decade. Elite 11-style camps, 7-on-7 leagues and tournaments, and the market for individual quarterback coaches exploded while this group was in high school. And they were almost unanimously critical of the movement.

Leonard Fournette hoping less (of him) is more

Leonard Fournette made a huge impact on the Jaguars last season. He’s hoping that making less of an impact on a scale helps him do even more.

According to John Reid of the Florida Times-Union, the Jaguars running back plans to be at 224 pounds when training camp opens, which is 11 pounds less than his playing weight last year when he ran for 1,040 yards and helped them to the playoffs.

″I feel like I play my best at that weight – 223, 224 – that’s what I played in college,″ Fournette said. ″Why not? I don’t want to be average. I want to be above average, be the greatest one to play this game. I feel lighter, quicker and I have a lot of my burst. . . .

Averaging less than 15 minutes of ice time per game with the Maple Leafs this past season, JVR still managed to rack up 36 goals. That’s more than any member of the Flyers in 2017-18, including Claude Giroux (34 goals), who posted 102 points. In returning to his old stomping grounds, and targeted to serve within Philadelphia’s top-six and with the man advantage, the 29-year-old isn’t necessarily favored to reach the 35-goal mark once more. But I bet he easily bests this past season’s assist total of 18 by a substantial margin. He’ll see more minutes, too.

Police got a call that Browner broke into a home this morning, and when the resident tried to run away, he forced her back in. Police say Browner physically harmed the woman and threatened to kill her before taking a Rolex watch from her and leaving.

The woman reportedly had previously been in a relationship with Browner and had a restraining order against him. Browner spent two days in jail in May for violating a restraining order.

Today’s arrest is at least Browner’s fourth arrest in the last year. In addition to the May restraining order violation, he was arrested on drug charges in October, and he was arrested for making criminal threats in September.

The 33-year-old Browner had a long football career that saw him make the Broncos as an undrafted rookie in 2005, last two years in Denver before playing four seasons in the Canadian Football League, then spent three seasons in Seattle, one in New England and one in New Orleans before finishing his career with a brief stint in Seattle in 2016.

Wednesday’s Rise ‘n Grind offers a report on this year’s first-round quarterbacks and what to expect from each in 2018.

We’re at the point of the NFL offseason where minicamp and OTAs have wrapped and we’re now just waiting around for training camp to begin. While in waiting mode, it is the perfect time to take a look at how the first-round rookie quarterbacks fared in their spring practices and offer a look on what we can expect from each of them in 2018.

Spring report: Early word from Cleveland is Mayfield showed off the things in minicamp that made him the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft: arm strength, mobility, and accuracy. But, that doesn’t mean he’s ready to start an NFL game just yet. reported Mayfield did not even look ready to compete or to push Tyrod Taylor for the starting job, which is fine.

Spring report: Allen is currently third on the Bills’ quarterback depth chart behind Nathan Peterman and AJ McCarron. But, he has taken some first-team snaps in an effort to start developing a connection with his receivers. You can watch some minicamp highlights​ from Buffalo here, where word is Allen wowed his teammates and coaches with his arm strength and development. WGT 550’s Sal Capaccio said Allen got better every day of minicamp.

Expectations for 2018: It’s unlikely Allen starts this year with Peterman and McCarron competing for the starting role. Allen will sit and learn from the bench in an effort to develop into the long-term solution for Buffalo.

Not to expect too much — at least in 2018.

In the last five years, we’ve seen several high-profile players rise to the top of draft lists only to falter after a rough introduction to the league. Last year’s crop of top-10 talent returned 45 receptions and 470 yards … between three players. Injuries decimated 2017’s receivers, led by Ross, Corey Davis, and Mike Williams. They’ve also impacted the development of White, Perriman, Josh Doctson, and others who were drafted in previous years.

There have been a handful of success stories from the first round of wideouts, but the bulk of those performances all come from the same draft class. 2014 gave the league Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks, and Kelvin Benjamin. Without those receivers, your odds of finding an 800-plus yard season from the remaining group of top 30 picks drops to 20 percent.

Houston would feel pretty good about going into 2018 with Romo.

Poor Romo, who would be feeling some intense déjà vu if this hypothetical took place. Let’s imagine that early in the season Romo goes down with an injury, Watson comes on in relief and then he plays as well as he did in real life. The team wouldn’t be able to turn back now.

If Watson still tears his ACL, the Texans could go back to Romo, if he’s healthy again. (If not, Houston’s quarterback situation is the same thing that actually happened, but there’s no need for us to relive those two months of Savage-Yates.)

Or maybe Watson gets hurt before getting an opportunity to do even that.

There’s a chance that Watson was always going to get hurt. His ACL injury came in practice, and no one even touched him. He just tripped on the grass, something seemingly so innocuous cheating him out of the rest of the season.

If the same thing happened before he ever got to sniff the field — or before he got any serious playing time — then he’s not future superstar Deshaun Watson. He’s an unknown. Or worse, he’s a costly first-round pick who might be injury prone.

All eyes will be on the Super Bowl Champion Eagles this summer as quarterback Carson Wentz works his way back from a torn ACL.

On Wednesday, Wentz took park in a reaction drill at minicamp where tennis balls are thrown at the Eagles quarterbacks’ feet and they have to dodge them as if the balls are pass rushers. Wentz’s ability to paricipate in the drill is a good sign he’s well on his way to a full recovery.

Bleeding Green Nation attended practice, so you can watch some highlights here and a livestream here.

Over in New Jersey, the New York Giants took the field for practice and Odell Beckham Jr. was present and running through some no-contact drills. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison also had the media laughing as he greeted the crowd with a what the hell you all want, remark.

But some team in the right circumstance could use the lack of a draft to build a dynasty, if the chips fell right.

Aaron Jones says he’s bigger and stronger entering second Packers season

Running back Aaron Jones made headlines this offseason when he helped a grandmother in a wheelchair make her way through the airport in Appleton, but he’s done more than play good samaritan since the end of his rookie year.

Jones has also focused on building up his body after dealing with knee injuries that dimmed some of the promise he showed early in the 2017 season. Running backs coach Ben Sirmans wanted Jones to focus on building his lower body and Jones said that he’s already seen a difference.

I’m bigger all around, Jones said, via the team’s website. That’s something that’s going to help me in pass protection and that’s something I want to get better at. I’m stronger, so definitely when a defender who’s bigger than me comes up I can hold my ground this year.

Gray also is 0-3 against the Tampa Bay Rays, having given up five homers in three outings against them.

I’m well aware of all the ways I’ve struggled here. I just wish I knew, Gray said. I just have to try to stay positive, and whenever I get the ball next, I get out there and put in a good week of work.Sabres trade Ryan O’Reilly to Blues, acquire three centers, two picks

Chancellor posted on Twitter that it’s time for the next chapter while revealing that the latest tests on his neck weren’t good. Chancellor didn’t use the word retirement in the post, but there’s little question about what’s next when he writes about moving on to the next journey.

I always prayed to God and told myself that I would play this game of football until the wheels fall off, Chancellor wrote. Well the wheels didn’t fall off, but God has given me a sign that I just can’t ignore. I’ve played through all types of bruises and injuries at a high level. But this one I just can’t ignore. … To walk away from the game by choice is one thing, to walk away from the game because of the risk of paralysis is another. My final test showed no healing.

Chancellor was a fifth-round pick in 2010 and spent his entire career with the Seahawks. He was a four-time Pro Bowler, two-time second-team All-Pro and won a Super Bowl ring when the Seahawks demolished the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

NBA free agency rumors: Chris Paul will re-sign with Rockets

Chris Paul is re-signing with the Rockets.

According to ESPN, the nine-time All-Star will re-sign with Houston for four years and $160 million.

All-Star Chris Paul will sign a four-year, $160M max contract to stay with the Houston Rockets, league sources tell ESPN

San Diego didn’t live in that same limelight. The Padres ranked ninth in National League attendance in 1990, drawing more than 1 million fewer fans than the division-rival Dodgers that season. And entering that July 25 doubleheader, San Diego stood 18 games back in the National League West standings, staring at a disappointing 41-54 record, mostly under manager Jack McKeon, who resigned July 11 but remained in a front office role. With offseason promises fizzled, an already laid-back, late-arriving fanbase had little reason for fanatic behavior.

But Tom Werner wanted to change that. The Hollywood producer of the Carsey-Werner Company had taken ownership of the Padres on June 15, replacing the Kroc family. Roseanne and The Cosby Show belonged to his company. But despite his connection to the stars, he also wanted to bridge the gap between the owner’s box and the fans. He often sat in the stands, instead. But when he brought his two worlds together, that bridge collapsed beneath the boos that filled Jack Murphy Stadium.

At the start of play Saturday, Gray was fourth in the National League with 119 strikeouts.

Have to ask: How were you able to make that amazing shoe catch during the Super Bowl?

The No. 1 rule you’re taught as a receiver: You’ve just got to watch the ball. You hear about the guy who was lucky. But the guy who was lucky got an opportunity, and he was prepared for it. Sometimes the ball falls your way, and, you know, we’ll take it.

So what was some of the preparation that went into you making that catch?

When I’m tired, I like to go and do drills where you catch tennis balls off walls. Different colors use different hands, and you’ve got to react to those types of things at different angles. I do all these crazy reaction-time things or reaction skills with tennis balls every morning, or at least four times a week. After that catch in the Super Bowl, I go up to the guy who throws for me he’s one of our equipment guys and I go, It’s because of the tennis balls! It’s because you’re reacting so quick. It all helps you out in the end.

Rockets pick up option on head coach Mike D’Antoni contract, report says

The Rockets have picked up the fourth-year option on head coach Mike D’Antoni’s contract, according to Fox 26 (KRIV).

D’Antoni was originally signed on a three-year deal with an option for a fourth. He is now signed through the 2019-20 season.

Now, the Mavs at least have the chance to come into the season with some combination of Smith, Doncic, Wesley Matthews, Nowitzki and Cousins in the starting five. Depth is a serious issue, especially with the health questions around that lineup, but for a team with much at stake next year, it’s a start.

And it should start with Doncic, who won the Euroleague MVP this season and helped Real Madrid to the ACB championship. At just 19 years old, Doncic is a proven winner who can play three positions. He has a knack for passing and making big plays. His ability as a ball handler will take pressure of Smith and make the rest of the team better.

Kyrie Irving, N.J. native and potential future Knick, is still peddling his ‘flat earth’ nonsense

Kyrie Irving’s absence had a major impact on two NBA teams this season. If he was still on the Cavaliers, they probably wouldn’t have been completely demolished by the Warriors just yet in the NBA Finals. And if he hadn’t gotten injured, his current team, the Celtics, almost assuredly would have beaten his old team in Cleveland and gotten to the Finals.

But Irving was traded by the Cavs and suffered a season-ending knee injury in Boston, so he’s had plenty of free time. And, as we learned in a recent New York Times interview, the West Orange native, former St. Patrick star and soon-to-be free agent who may want to sign with the Knicks still isn’t ready to accept the Earth is round, and his prior instances of thinking out loud on the subject appear quite genuine.

… I was never trying to convince anyone that the world is flat. I’m not being an advocate for the world being completely flat. No, I don’t know. I really don’t. It’s fun to think about though. It’s fun to have that conversation. It is absolutely fun because people get so agitated and mad. They’re like, Hey man, you can’t believe that, man. It’s religious, man. It’s just science. You can’t believe anything else. O.K.? Cool, well, explain to me. Give me what you’ve known about the Earth and your research, and I love it. I love talking about it.

Weighted on-base average (wOBA) is the primary statistic used in the calculation. Ratings range from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst. For example, a 10 is a must-start rating, while a 1 should be avoided (if possible); a 1-2 is poor, 3-4 is fair, 5-6 is average, 7-8 is very good and 9-10 is excellent.Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Gardner finished 2-for-3 and has a seven-game hitting streak, tying his season-best. He’s also got a hit in 14 of his last 15 games since May 18.

Over his last 21 games, he’s hitting.364 (32-for-88) with 13 extra-base hits (seven doubles, two triples, four home runs) and 11 RBI.

His.268 batting average has jumped 70 points since he hit.198 with a putrid.578 OPS through his first 29 games.

It just gets worse for Yankees prospect who got shot

A Yankees prospect who got shot while being robbed in the offseason has suffered another injury and might be finished for the season.

Shortstop Thairo Estrada has a back injury and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Bobby Mitchell said he thinks it’s going to be tough to come back from this year, The Times Leader’s D.J. Eberle said on Twitter.

Estrada has battled wrist and hamstring problems this year, too.

Teams cut veterans and break contracts all the time. It’s almost a daily occurrence, and that is the right of NFL teams.

It’s conversely also the right of players to break contracts if they feel those contracts are outdated or if they’ve outplayed them.

None of this means you should have sympathy for players, but it’s always fascinating when people ask players to behave one way while failing to acknowledge teams behave in the exact same manner. 

That core consists of two of the best pitchers in baseball: Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.

DeGrom is having a Cy Young-caliber season, leading the majors with a ridiculous 1.51 ERA.

Certainly, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson could get quite a haul for one or both of his right-handed studs. Just imagine what Yankees GM Brian Cashman might be willing to give up in exchange for deGrom. Perhaps a package built around Miguel Andujar and/or Justus Sheffield?

But SI’s Tom Verducci doesn’t think that’s the way the Mets should go, and he’s not bashful with his opinion:

The Mets have made many dumb moves in recent years, but even entertaining the idea of trading Jacob deGrom and/or Noah Syndergaard would plumb new depths to their foolishness.

The Mets hold five more combined years of control on deGrom and Syndergaard–that’s about 135 starts after this season. One of the most valuable commodities in this game is a young, controllable, front-of-the-rotation pitcher. The Mets have two of them.

Report: Jadeveon Clowney might not get extension before the season

After the Texans signed Benardrick McKinney to a five-year, $50 million extension last week, it was presumed Jadeveon Clowney was next in line. The fifth-year linebacker still might be, but it might not be this season, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Clowney, the first overall pick in 2014, will make $12.3 million this year under the fifth-year option.

Jamal always had a swagger, but I gotta call plays so I can’t be super loud like that and hooting and hollering like that all the time ’cause I can’t be out of breath making a call. That’s not gonna help anybody ’cause everybody’s gonna be like, ‘Wait, what? What’d you say?’  Lee said. That’s fine, that’s him. He can do that. And I’ll feed off of that.

The pass rush is a huge question mark, but in the meantime, Lee envisions a Dancing With the Stars defense nevertheless.

A lot like how you saw that night against Buffalo, you know, dancing, having a good time, he said. But very focused, very detailed, and we’re just looking to take that next level.

The Eagles haven’t set a specific timetable for Wentz’s return, but he seems optimistic about being ready in time for the team’s training camp six weeks away.

It’s a fluid process, Wentz said. Time will tell when camp comes around. … The biggest thing is to keep pushing along until I am cleared. As you can see out here, I am doing quite a bit. Obviously the biggest last hurdle is going to be the contact part.

The Maturation of Darron Lee is critical to the Jets’ fortunes and is not lost on the coaching staff:

Assistant head coach/inside linebackers Mike Caldwell: He has all the tools. He’s getting better by being able to see things faster. His eyes are better. Coming from college, it took him a while to understand the professional game. He’s done a good job of finding his niche, and he’ll just continue to improve doing that.

Lee’s rookie season was marred by an ankle injury, which slowed his progress so much that Pro Football Focus rated him the worst rookie linebacker in the Class of 2016. He has wisely tuned out the critics.