Michael Cooper Jersey Lakers

Michael Cooper knows a thing or two about winning championships. As a player, he hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy in five of his 12 seasons (all with the Los Angeles Lakers). As a coach, he won back-to-back titles with the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA and an additional championship with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA G League. Cooper was a dominant defender, winning the 1986-87 Defensive Player of the Year award and earning eight All-Defensive Team selections.

He has also coached in the NBA (with the Denver Nuggets) and college (at USC). Now, as he’s coaching in the Big3, HoopsHype caught up with him to discuss his experience in the three-on-three league, today’s NBA, the direction of the Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers’ huge summer and more.

You’re coaching the team 3’s Company in the Big3. What made you want to join the league and what has that experience been like so far?

Michael Cooper: My experience has been awesome. The idea was first brought to me when I talked to Clyde Drexler during the first year that the league started. I was wondering to myself, “How are they going to make this work?” The next year, I get a call from my agent and he said that Clyde expressed interest in me joining the league. From there, I got a chance to talk to [Clyde] about it and I thought it would be a great opportunity in men’s basketball with a lot of former NBA players. I liked that I was getting a chance to do something that was totally different.

I have coached and won at almost every level, and this another level I’d like to entertain. Half-court basketball takes you back to your school-ground days, playing three-on-three and the idea is to stay on the court all day. You had to figure out which two guys to pick depending on what your strengths are – maybe you need a big guy who can rebound or you need a guard who can score. Thinking about that and then putting it on this big stage, like Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz have done, it has been a great experience! People may think it just turns into one-on-one, but that’s not the case. There really is a tactical approach to this. I love coaching. I love trying to put a team together and trying to figure it all out. Overall, the experience has been great.

As you mentioned, you’ve had success coaching men and women prior to the Big3. What are some of the biggest adjustments that you have to make when you’re coaching or playing three-on-three?

MC: I think the biggest difference is motivation and getting them to buy into team play. In three-on-three, there can be some one-on-one basketball to a certain degree, but that’s not what is going to win games. When [a former NBA] player sees someone who played a step below them or someone who didn’t quite get there [to their level], they still have that competitive nature and they want to try to get it done by themselves. You have to get them to buy into the system and to ball movement. Even though you only have three players, you still need bodies moving and the ball moving.

The biggest thing has been motivating them to play hard every single point of every single game. That’s been the biggest adjustment; in the NBA, you don’t necessarily have to do that. In the NBA, there are five players out there and if three of them are buying in, sometimes one or two players don’t need to buy in as much and that’s a bit easier for guys. But here? They have to buy in and you need to get them to understand that’s what it takes to win. Yes, it’s about scoring 50 points and you have to put points on the board, but you really need to play good defense if you want to win.

You had a fantastic career, winning five championships as a player and several more as a coach. What are your interactions with today’s players like? Do you feel like today’s players respect their predecessors?

MC: Even if the players haven’t seen my career or heard about it, they know that I’ve won championships and I think that alone brings me some respect. Among the peers I’m coaching against – Dr. J and Rick Mahorn to name just a few – they understand and are telling their players about that. I think we all talk to our players about who we are and what we’d like our team to be. For me, they understand that’s more of a defensive-minded approach with my background. The players we’re coaching in the Big3 have respect. But they’re only going to respect you if they feel you’re committed and putting your all into the game. If you’re just there for a paycheck and just sitting there, letting them do their thing, they won’t respect you as much. I’m not that type of coach, and I don’t think any of the coaches in our league are that way. The respect factor is already there.

Kurt Rambis Jersey Lakers

A lot of people seem to be asking where, or how, Kurt Rambis is fitting into the Los Angeles Lakers current, for lack of a better word, reboot. I think there is a lot of misconception about the guy out there, at least it seems that way when I read comments people make on different stories that he is mentioned in.

At the time of this writing there still has been no “official” word about much of anything, just a ton of rumors and first, second and third guessing. So, the fact is that I have no idea where he is going to wind up in the big scheme of things as they start to develop.
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But, I do know some things about Kurt Rambis, that either folks are overlooking, forgot or are possibly too young to know.

Let’s go back to Rambis as a player during the “Showtime” Lakers glory years. The dude was known as a hard as nails defensive dive bomber. Not even dive bomber, he was a full on “kamikaze” pilot. Totally willing to sacrifice himself over and over for a rebound or to disrupt some other teams’ superstar and create havoc and chaos upon all Lakers opponents.

He wore these “Clark Kent” glasses that were always taped together because they were always getting broken by some dudes’ elbow, head, knee or fist. Fans loved him to the point that he had a “Kurt Rambis Superman” fan club in the stands, full of kids dressed like him with the glasses and the whole deal.

He was not the best shooter on the team, but I can tell you that he was a huge part of the Lakers success during those years. Watching him on television, you got the idea he was a big muscled kinda dude, but if you ever saw him up close he was actually of a very slight build.
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I met him during a charity tennis event while he was still playing and my first comment was, “Wow, I thought you were bigger.”

Since then he has remained in the game in a number of coaching positions and advisory roles. He has worked with a lot of different people from Phil Jackson to Luke Walton. He is part of the “Laker family,” so to speak.

Now, to the point, I want to make here, through all of this he has been a growing sponge of basketball knowledge. He is not flashy or shiny like some of the names out there, but the man is a solid basketball guy who has a wealth of knowledge and skills to add to the stew.

It is to the team’s benefit to have him on board in whatever capacity that it might be. I see people comment in some sort of negative ways about him and I want to tell them that they are wrong. Kurt Rambis is an asset.

Derek Fisher Jersey Lakers

Former New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher is on his way to the altar.

Fisher, 43, proposed to his girlfriend Gloria Govan at a family get-together on April 7, according to TMZ Sports. The two have been dating since 2015. It will be the second marriage for both.

Govan was previously married to Fisher’s former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Matt Barnes.

The two players have a history between them; they were involved in an altercation at Govan’s home in Los Angeles in October 2015 and a fight reportedly took place. No charges were filed, however, and the two apparently have put aside their differences.

Barnes shared his congratulations on Instagram on Tuesday, writing in part: “You guys want this to be an issue, it’s not! I’ve known about this for a few weeks & I am all for it..
My kids matter to me at this point, that’s it!”

Fisher won five NBA titles as a player with the Lakers and served as the Knicks head coach from June 2014 to February 2016.

After leaving the Knicks, he competed on Season 25 of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, but was eliminated in the third round.

Byron Scott Jersey Lakers

Byron Scott and Luke Walton had an unexpected meeting a few months ago, crossing paths at a restaurant after one of the Lakers’ late-season games. After exchanging pleasantries, their conversation shifted to Walton’s first season as the Lakers’ head coach.

“I told him he’s doing a good job and to keep it up,” Scott said of Walton, whose team finished 26-56 as the organization made its fourth consecutive trip to the NBA draft lottery. “He told me a little bit about his frustrations, which I understood. But I thought he did a good job under the circumstances. If they give him a couple of those pieces that I’m sure they will, he’ll be much better next year.”

The Lakers’ brass has offered Walton unequivocal support. Everyone from controlling owner Jeanie Buss to president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka praises his performance and the culture he is creating.

Scott remembers a far different environment when he was the head coach with a different front office. His teams went a combined 38-126 during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons as he tried to juggle managing the final injury-plagued seasons of Kobe Bryant’s career while trying to develop a young roster. He was fired, replaced quickly by Walton, then a Golden State assistant coach.

Scott said he “felt betrayed, lied to and deceived” by former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and former executive Jim Buss. Though he had only two guaranteed years on his four-year contract, Scott contends that Kupchak and Jim Buss previously promised him they would exercise the team option for his third year. Scott also believes the Lakers used him to manage Bryant during his final seasons and farewell tour before making the coach a scapegoat for the franchise’s struggles.

“If I asked him to do certain things, Kobe would do it because of his respect for me,” said Scott, who mentored Bryant during his rookie season in 1996-97. “Basically, you just wanted me there to help you guys get through the next two years, so Kobe doesn’t go crazy on you guys. I would be the one that can handle it. They know me. I’m not going to back down. I’m not going to be intimidated by anybody.”

Scott considers his experience as Lakers coach a “hard lesson learned,” which he addressed in a new book titled, “Slam-Dunk Success: Leading from Every Position on Life’s Court.” The title is a nod to both his time with the 1980s “Showtime” Lakers, when he helped them win three NBA titles and his time as the coach who oversaw the franchise’s two worst seasons.

Hence, Scott stressed “this is not one of those books that is a feel-great book.” The book, co-authored by business executive and close friend Charlie Norris, blends success stories and failures from Scott’s 14-year playing career and head-coaching stints in New Jersey (2000-2004), New Orleans (2004-2009), Cleveland (2010-13) and the Lakers (2014-16). The book also offered insight on Norris’ various businesses.

“We took risks and weren’t afraid to step out and try new things. When we failed at those things, we were able to forget about them,” Scott said. “You think about them and reflect on them. But you also have to have the mindset of moving on. You also have to learn from them.”

Scott maintains he has moved on from his Lakers head-coaching stint. He spent the past year working on his book and appearing as an NBA analyst on ESPN’s “The Jump.” During that self-reflection, however, Scott said he has no regrets about how he handled his time as Lakers coach.

“Given that opportunity again,” Scott said, “I wouldn’t change anything, especially my approach.”

In other words, Scott does not want a mulligan for yanking starting spots away from lottery picks D’Angelo Russell and forward Julius Randle only 20 games into the 2015-16 season. The duo later reclaimed their positions shortly after the NBA All-Star break.

“I would do the same thing. I still felt like the job was given to them,” Scott said. “I don’t have a problem with young guys growing, understanding and developing in that (starting) role, but I do have a problem when they don’t cherish it, when they don’t hold it to a higher standard, when they don’t come ready to work.”

Scott also dismissed criticism from inside and outside the Lakers of his stern approach, which affected his relationships with Russell and Nick Young. Scott mused “this old-school stuff people keep talking about, if old school and hard work is winning, I guess I’m old school.” He also contended, “I relate with players extremely well.”

“There’s not a player in this league I had that I can’t communicate with or had some good relationships with,” Scott said. “Are there players that played for me that can’t stand me and vice versa? Yeah. I’m sure there are. But most of the players that I coached, when I come into contact with them, it’s nothing but mutual respect.”

Despite his strong convictions, Scott said he once asked Norris for advice on getting through to Russell, Randle and Jordan Clarkson. Norris suggested Scott ask them two questions. The first: “what is blocking them from being great?” The second: “how can I help you become great?”

Scott liked how Randle answered those questions. Scott said Randle blamed himself and pleaded with him “to stay on me, push me and make me accountable for everything I do.” Though Walton never took away Randle’s starting spot last season, he also found himself prodding the forward.

“I’m still a big fan of Julius Randle,” Scott said. “He is a terrific young man and is really mature for his age. I think he wants to be great.”

Scott has different feelings about Russell. He said the then-rookie’s demotion was partly because he frequently arrived to the Lakers’ facility only minutes before practice started. So, Scott eventually required his young players to complete individual workouts 30 minutes before and after practice.

Though Walton has given Russell positive reinforcement regarding his play and has seen him participate in offseason workouts, he often mentioned Russell’s ongoing process in establishing a routine. Despite Russell averaging 15.6 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals during his second season, Johnson and Pelinka instructed him to focus on improving his consistency, conditioning and leadership.

“I don’t know if his work ethic has gotten any better. Some of the people I’ve talked to in the organization said that it hasn’t,” Scott said of Russell. “I just wish him all the best. The maturity level will catch up to him sooner or later when he realizes it’s an honor and a privilege to be in the NBA and be in the position that he’s in. He has to take full advantage of it.”

Scott believes Clarkson took full advantage of his time, morphing from a seldom-used rookie into a definitive starter in 2014-15. A fan of Clarkson’s work ethic, Scott did say he found him “pressing in trying to score more and do more” during his second season because of his pending free agency. The Lakers ultimately re-signed Clarkson to a four-year, $50 million deal last summer.

“I wanted him to be himself. But I didn’t want him to go out there and try to make things happen,” Scott said of Clarkson. “When you do that and think a little selfishly, it can come back and bite you in the butt because you can play even worse. He understood where I was coming from. I want all these guys to do well on the court because obviously financially it helps them and their family. He’s one of the guys I have a lot of respect for.”

Therefore, Scott downplayed any potential awkward feelings Randle, Clarkson and Tarik Black might have felt when Scott was seated with them earlier this offseason at a Los Angeles Urban League event where Johnson was being honored.

“It wasn’t like it was uncomfortable whatsoever,” Scott said. “We all had a really good time. Nothing but mutual respect for those guys.”

As former Lakers teammates, Scott and Johnson share a mutual respect. Johnson wrote the foreword to Scott’s book, and Scott predicts the Lakers will be “back to championship-caliber basketball” in three to four years partly because of Johnson’s new role.

“Earvin is a guy who isn’t going to take a bunch of crap,” Scott said. “He is a guy who is going to tell it to guys like it is. If he wants you gone, he’s going to get rid of you. If he doesn’t think you’re worthy of wearing that purple and gold and made of the right stuff, which is about winning, then he will find somebody else who is.”

Scott isn’t sure if he’ll ever coach again, but after a year of self-reflection, he believes he would fare better coaching in college instead of the NBA.

“They give you more time and you have a little bit more security,” Scott said. “There are too many teams in the NBA where owners and general managers say one thing and then the next year do another. I just don’t like the disloyalty and the politics that are going on a lot in the NBA. If I coach again, the collegiate level would be the better fit for me.”

Why?

“I get a chance to meet some of these guys when they’re 17 and 18 years old and hopefully make an impact on them before they make it to the NBA,” Scott said. “We still have too many guys who played AAU ball who still don’t have a clue on how to play the game of basketball. They still don’t know how to run a three-man fast break. There’s so many little things. I think I can have a much better impact on that level than I can on the NBA level.”

Ron Artest Jersey Lakers

Moments after one of the most devastating losses of his career, Kobe Bryant stewed in the locker-room showers, while the Boston Celtics begun their championship celebration back on the court.

As Bryant tried to recover from his Lakers’ 38-point shellacking, the most unlikely of people suddenly appeared.

In walked a fully clothed Ron Artest, who offered his help as water drenched his shoes.

Artest expressed to Bryant his desire to come to the Lakers, but first they would have to go head-to-head in the following postseason.

Artest joined the Houston Rockets over the offseason, teaming up Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady.

A fifth seed capable of doing some damage, Houston pushed the Lakers to their limit in the Western Conference Semifinals, where Bryant and Artest entered a heated duel.

It didn’t take long for the series to intensify, as the Rockets stole Game 1 before Bryant put up 40 points to capture the following contest.
Artest and Kobe Bryant are separated by an official after a heated exchange.

Artest and Kobe Bryant are separated by an official after a heated exchange.

That Game 2 saw tempers flare as Bryant and Artest tried to box each other out in the fourth quarter. Artest — upset that Bryant caught him in the throat with an elbow — was ejected while drenched with boos from the Staples Center crowd.

The two continued to go at it, as Artest was once again tossed in Game 3, and the series required seven games to determine the victor.

And as Bryant and the Lakers continued their march to the 2009 championship (while Artest watched from courtside as a fan), the defensive savant readied himself for an opportunity to join the purple and gold.

Shortly after the Lakers defeated Orlando in the NBA Finals, they began their quest for back-to-back titles by bringing aboard an old foe. Artest issued a statement about his new team, saying, “It will be great to finally not get booed in the Staples Center.”
Artest takes questions at his Los Angeles Lakers introductory press conference.

Artest takes questions at his Los Angeles Lakers introductory press conference.

Artest wasted no time bringing his trademark zaniness to Los Angeles, choosing to wear No. 37 in honor of the amount of weeks that Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” topped the charts.

But as soon as he hit the floor, it was all about the lockdown defense that the Lakers expected when they signed him.

By the third game of the season, he had impressed Bryant, who said that “we picked up our intensity, and it all started with No. 37,” after one of 18 Lakers victories in their first 21 games of the year.

With Artest leading the way defensively, the purple and gold rolled to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. And the former Defensive Player of the Year set the tone with his trademark flare, particularly at the end of the year.

With the playoffs looming, he spent about three hours at the barber and returned with a Lakers-gold head of hair. Inscribed in purple across his dome was the same word written in Japanese, Hebrew and Hindi: defense.

Playoff Ron Ron was ready.

Jermaine Eluemunor Jersey Patriots

The NFL season is starting to shape up as to who the playoff contenders are and which teams will be selecting early in the next draft.

This past weekend marked the 10th of the regular season and there were quite a few former Texas A&M players in action.

Though a number were also on their bye weeks, Christian Kirk had his biggest game as a pro as the second-round pick from a year ago is finally healthy this season.

Veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill received his fourth-straight start for Tennessee and led the team to yet another victory, this one coming via a last-minute touchdown drive led by the veteran.

Here is how all the Aggies in the NFL fared over the weekend.

-LB Otaro Alaka, Baltimore: The Ravens beat Cincinnati, 49-13. The undrafted rookie was placed on Injured Reserve (IR) earlier in the season with a hamstring injury. He is eligible to return to the active roster in Week 12.

-DE Michael Bennett, Dallas: Dallas lost to Minnesota on Sunday night, 28-24. In his second game with the team, Bennett finished with two solo tackles.

SEASON: 9 tackles (8 solo), 3.5 sacks, 1 PBU

-K Randy Bullock, Cincinnati: The Bengals fell to Baltimore, 49-13. Bullock hit both of his field goal attempts, connecting from 42 and 39 yards. He also hit his only extra-point try.

SEASON: 13-15 FG (Long 48); 14-14 PAT

-RB Tra Carson, Detroit: The Lions fell to Chicago, 20-13. Carson was placed on the Injured Reserve (IR) two weeks ago with a hamstring injury, though.

SEASON: 18-46 rushing; 4-18 receiving

-OL Jermaine Eluemunor, New England: The Patriots were on their bye week.

-WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers beat Arizona, 30-27. Evans caught four passes for 82 yards in the win.

SEASON: 54-924, 7 TD receiving

-S Justin Evans, Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers beat Arizona, 30-27. Evans is on the Injured Reserve (IR) as he is still dealing with a turf toe injury from last season. He was eligible to return to the roster this week but is still not ready to go.

-S Deshazor Everett, Washington: The Redskins were on their bye week.

SEASON: 8 tackles (8 solo)

-DE Myles Garrett, Cleveland: The Browns defeated Buffalo, 19-16. The second-year pro finished with one solo tackle in the win.

SEASON: 28 tackles (19 solo), 10 sacks, 2 FF

-FB Cullen Gillaspia, Houston: The Texans were on a bye week.

SEASON: 3 tackles (1 solo)

-DE Daeshon Hall, Philadelphia: The Eagles were on their bye week.

SEASON: 3 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack

-OL Germain Ifedi, Seattle: The Seahawks undefeated San Francisco on Monday night. Ifedi started at right tackle and.

-DT Kingsley Keke, Green Bay: The Packers defeated Carolina, 24-16. The fifth-round pick finished with one solo tackle in the win.

SEASON: 6 tackles (1 solo)

-WR Christian Kirk, Arizona: The Cardinals fell to Tampa Bay, 30-27. The second-year pro had the best game of his career so far as he caught six passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns (33, 69, 15).

SEASON: 38-467, 3 TD receiving; 4-45 rushing

-K Josh Lambo, Jacksonville: The Jaguars were on their bye week.

SEASON: 22-22 FG (Long 48); 12-13 PAT

-DT Daylon Mack, Baltimore: The Ravens beat Cincinnati, 49-13. The sixth-round pick was on the inactive list for Baltimore, though.

-OT Jake Matthews, Atlanta: The Falcons beat New Orleans, 26-9. Playing left tackle, Matthews helped Atlanta to 317 total yards – 174 passing and 143 rushing.

-C Erik McCoy, New Orleans: The Saints dropped a contest to Atlanta, 26-9. The rookie second-round pick started at center and helped New Orleans to finish with 310 total yards – 258 passing and 52 rushing.

-LB Von Miller, Denver: The Broncos were on a bye week.

SEASON: 29 tackles (20 solo), 4 sacks

-DS Don Muhlbach, Detroit: The Lions fell to Chicago, 20-13. Muhlbach is in his 16th season as the team’s deep snapper.

-OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Jacksonville: The Jaguars were on their bye week.

-WR Damion Ratley, Cleveland: The Browns defeated Buffalo, 19-16. Ratley was on the active roster for the first time in a few weeks but was not targeted in the passing game.

SEASON: 8-103 receiving

-WR Josh Reynolds, LA Rams: The Rams fell to Pittsburgh, 17-12. Reynolds caught three passes for 49 yards in the loss.

SEASON: 8-156, TD receiving

-TE Ricky Seals-Jones, Cleveland: The Browns defeated Buffalo, 19-16. Seals-Jones was inactive due to a slight knee injury.

SEASON: 9-155, 2 TD receiving

-TE Jace Sternberger, Green Bay: The Packers defeated Carolina, 24-16. In the second week of action for the third-round pick after coming off injured reserve, he served a blocker but was not targeted in the passing game. He had one solo tackle on special teams, though.

-OL Keaton Sutherland, Miami: Miami beat Indianapolis, 16-12. The undrafted rookie was on the active list for the first time last week but was on the inactive list this week.

-QB Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee: The Titans beat Kansas City, 35-32, as Tannehill moves to 3-1 as a starter. He finished 13-of-19 passing for 181 yards and two touchdowns (9, 23) in helping engineer the winning touchdown drive in the final minute. He also ran for 37 yards on three carries.

SEASON: 97-136-4-1161, 8 TD passing; 17-85, TD rushing

-S Armani Watts, Kansas City: The Chiefs lost at Tennessee, 35-32. The second-year pro had two solo tackles in the defeat.

SEASON: 6 tackles (6 solo), 1 sack

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-RB Trayveon Williams, Cincinnati: The Bengals fell to Baltimore, 49-13. The sixth-round pick was on the active roster but did not have a carry.

-S Donovan Wilson, Dallas: Dallas lost to Minnesota on Sunday night, 28-24. The sixth-round pick finished with one assisted tackle.

SEASON: 1 tackle (0 solo)

Korey Cunningham Jersey Patriots

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – In order to get down to the NFL-mandated 46-man game day roster limit, New England only had three players to deactivate Monday night. That’s because prior to arriving in the New York metropolitan area, the Patriots had already ruled out four: WR Josh Gordon (knee/ankle), TEs Ryan Izzo (concussion) and Matt LaCosse (knee), and RB Rex Burkhead (foot), who was downgraded on Sunday afternoon while the team was still in Foxborough.

The biggest news Monday is that the Patriots will shelve safety Patrick Chung (heel/chest), who couldn’t finish the previous game against the Giants. His absence tonight means we could see more of Terrence Brooks on defense. Brooks figured into the personnel groupings last game after Chung exited early.

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On a positive note, WR Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) will be back in action, his first game time since being injured against Washington two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, OL Korey Cunningham is a healthy scratch tonight (not listed on the injury report), while DL Michael Bennett is serving a team-imposed suspension. Bennett’s playing time has dwindled in recent weeks, so, the Patriots should be able to withstand his absence tonight, particularly in light of New York’s inactive list.

From the Jets’ perspective, QB Sam Darnold’s blind side could be vulnerable in this game, as both starting left tackle Kelvin Beachum (ankle) and left guard Kelechi Osemele (shoulder) are out of commission. New England’s sack-happy D could target this area in an effort to pressure Darnold.

Marshall Newhouse Jersey Patriots

As can be seen, Brady’s numbers across the board get worse when he is pressured: he is less accurate, throws fewer touchdowns and more interceptions, and posts a lower yards-per-attempt statistic. All of this has to be expected, though, as no quarterback in the NFL is getting better when he is facing pressure. The problem, however, is just how comparatively ineffective the future Hall of Famer gets when opponents disrupt him.

Brady’s passer rating of 47.9 ranks him as the fourth-worst starting quarterback in the league under pressure, while it is simultaneously his worst since PFF started charting players in 2006. For comparison, he ranked 15th in the NFL in passer rating when pressured last season (71.2). The year before that, he led the league with a 96.6 mark. Of course, he also only achieved a 53.4 during a 2014 season that ultimately ended in a Super Bowl win.

The impact that quarterback rating can have on the overall success of a team can be disputed — passes that are thrown away are part of the equation, for example, but preferable to sacks or other negative plays that are not — but the bigger issue still remains: Brady’s performance while facing pressures leaves some to be desired, and the drop in adjusted completion percentage from 81.9% to 55.7% illustrates this very clearly.

So, where does this leave the Patriots? Above all else, they will need to find a way to protect Brady. Getting back starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn, who was placed on injured reserve after suffering a toe injury in Week 2, should certainly help in this regard: Wynn’s replacement, Marshall Newhouse, has been highly inconsistent and is responsible for 21 of the 74 pressures New England’s blockers have surrendered through nine games this season.

Despite that, however, the team still ranks among the best in football when it comes to pressure rate at this point of the season: Brady has been sacked, hit or hurried only just 29.7% of his drop-backs so the protection has actually been fine most of the times (PFF, meanwhile, has New England ranked as the 13th best pass-blocking team in football). That being said, the quarterback’s statistical drop-off resulting from the pressure cannot be ignored.

If Wynn’s return plus the added time the rest of the offensive line has spent together — center Ted Karras, for example, replaced David Andrews just shortly before the season began — can improve the Patriots’ pass protection and give Brady just a few more clean pockets to work with, there is little doubt he can work his magic again. At this point in time, the 42-year-old’s success is closely tied to the level of pressure a defense applies.

The Patriots need to make sure this level is kept at a minimum.

Cody Kessler Jersey Patriots

Patriots re-sign QB Cody Kessler

2500×1406-cody-kessler-headshot-patriots
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced that they have re-signed QB Cody Kessler. Kessler was signed by New England on Sept. 25 and released on Oct. 15 after being inactive for three games.

Kessler, 26, originally entered the NFL as a third-round draft selection (93rd overall) by Cleveland in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Southern California. 6-foot-1, 215-pounder has played in 17 regular-season games with 12 starts over his three-year career with Cleveland (2016-17) and Jacksonville (2018) and has completed 224-of-349 pass attempts (64.2%) for 2,215 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. Last season with the Jaguars, Kessler appeared in five games with four starts and completed 85-of-131 pass attempts (64.9%) for 709 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions while leading the Jaguars to a 2-2 record. He went to training camp with Philadelphia this past summer was and was released on Aug. 30, 2019.

Mike Nugent Jersey Patriots

Colts working out ex-Patriots kicker Mike Nugent with Adam Vinatieri struggling

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It appears the Indianapolis Colts may decide to go from one ex-New England Patriots kicker to another this season.

With the 46-year-old Adam Vinatieri continuing to struggle, the Colts brought in four kickers for workouts on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

One of those kickers was Mike Nugent, who briefly filled in for the injured Stephen Gostkowski in New England before being replaced by Nick Folk.

McDaniels gives positive update on Harry’s progress
Vinatieri is 14-for-19 in field goal attempts this year and 14-for-20 in extra points. The former Pats hero missed a crucial PAT during the Colts’ loss to the lowly Dolphins on Sunday.

The 11 total missed kicks tie Vinatieri’s career high set way back in 1996, when he missed eight field goals and three PATs as a 23-year-old rookie.

As for Nugent, the 37-year-old went 5-of-8 for field goals and a nearly perfect 15-of-16 in extra points in four games with the Patriots.

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Colts working out ex-Patriots kicker Mike Nugent with Adam Vinatieri struggling originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston