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Friday, May 29, 2015

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Chip Kelly: Tim Tebow is a quarterback

Tim Tebow SEC Network

If Tim Tebow somehow makes the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster out of training camp, it will be as a quarterback and no other position.

At least, that’s what Chip Kelly wants us to believe.

“He’s a quarterback,” Kelly told reporters Thursday, per NFL.com’s Marc Sessler. “That’s how we’re looking at Timmy. We’re not looking at him at any other position.”

There has been some chatter that Kelly envisions Tebow as a two-point conversion specialist now that the extra-point attempt has been moved back to the 15-yard line. Kelly loved going for two when he was coaching at Oregon, and he could do it more often with the Eagles this season.

But on Thursday, Kelly noted that the Eagles have converted 43-of-45 field goals from 15 yards out over the past two seasons. He shot down the idea that moving the PAT back will inspire him to go for two more often.

“I don’t think anything’s new,” Kelly said. “They didn’t entice you to go for two more, at least in my opinion.”

Of course, Kelly would never tip his hand. It’s highly unlikely that the Eagles will carry four quarterbacks on their active roster, and you have to figure Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez are locks to make the team. Matt Barkley is on the bubble, but he should have an advantage over Tebow in that he has more experience in Kelly’s system.

Perhaps Sanchez was right with what he said about Tebow last month. Even if so, Kelly would never admit it.

Report: At least three Bulls players threatened to boycott Tom Thibodeau

Tom Thibodeau

Several members of the Chicago Bulls wanted Tom Thibodeau gone so badly that they threatened to not show up to the team facility if he wasn’t fired, according to a report.

Dan Berstein of CBS Chicago reported on Thursday that “at least three” Bulls starters ripped Thibodeau in their end-of-season meetings with management and said they would avoid the facility during the summer if Thibs were still around.

While we don’t know if the information is accurate or not, we’re fairly confident that its release is part of what is turning into an ugly smear campaign from the Bulls front office.

When the Bulls fired Thibodeau on Thursday, they ripped him in a press release to validate the move. The team later had security escort Thibodeau to collect his belongings before leaving the building.

While Thibodeau won a lot of games and brought the Bulls to the playoffs each year he was in charge, he obviously wasn’t getting along with management and some of his players. That became evident when this report came out before Chicago was even eliminated from the postseason. That said, it’s easy to see that the Bulls are putting as much information out there as possible to justify firing a coach who has been very successful.

Dee Gordon thought Marlins’ manager hire was a joke

Giancarlo Stanton Dan Jennings

Just like the rest of us, Dee Gordon thought it was a joke when he learned his Miami Marlins named its GM the new manager.

Gordon told ESPN during an interview on Thursday that he thought teammate Giancarlo Stanton was joking when he told him about the new manager.

“When I got word of it, I was surprised. [Giancarlo] Stanton actually called me and told me, and I thought he was playing, but he was serious,” Gordon said.

So were we.

Dan Jennings was the team’s GM and never played or managed professionally. He did coach high school ball in Alabama, though.

Though he was skeptical of the hire, Gordon vows to continue working hard. And if the shots from opposing managers continue, the Marlins might change their mind.

H/T FOX Sports

Dez Bryant attends Cowboys OTAs despite not signing contract

Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant showed his dedication to his team by attending Dallas Cowboys OTAs on Thursday despite not currently being under contract with the franchise.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Bryant attended the final day of team OTAs and participated in individual drills but not team or group drills.

Bryant has not signed his franchise tag tender from the team in hopes of reaching a long-term contract. The deadline for that is July 15.

There have been multiple reasons given for the sides failing to reach agreement on a long-term deal, ranging from issues within Bryant’s circle to rumors about a video. So far, nothing has happened.

You really have to admire Bryant’s leadership and work ethic. While guys like DeSean Jackson are missing OTAs to attend NBA games and Adrian Peterson is skipping because of a contract dispute, Bryant is still showing up. You have to respect his commitment.

Dwyane Wade would consider leaving Heat if they do not pay him what he wants

Dwyane Wade jacket

Can you picture Dwyane Wade in any uniform other than that of the Miami Heat? You might have to.

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports that Wade and the Heat are far apart on what the shooting guard should make the next three seasons and that Wade would consider leaving if the team does not pay him what he’s seeking. Wade reportedly prefers to stay with the Heat, but he is open to considering other offers if they do not raise their offer.

Wade has a $16.1 million player option for next season and has until late June to make his decision. He reportedly is expected to opt out of his contract because he is seeking one final 3-year deal in his career. Part of Wade’s thinking is that he stands to make more money now that the salary cap is increasing in 2016 by 33 percent from $67 million to $89 million.

Wade’s agent Henry Thomas indicated in comments to Jackson that he hopes both parties will be able to work out a deal.

“With the amount of time he has spent with the organization, every effort will be made to try to work something out,” Thomas told The Herald. “The five times he played for a championship, resulting in three championships, is a significant accomplishment for any professional. We are continuing to talk about a resolution that would be satisfactory to both sides.”

Even if they will try to make sure Wade will return to the Heat, The Herald reports that “associates aren’t sure what will happen and would not be shocked if Wade leaves.”

Even though Wade has been the franchise cornerstone for the Heat, I wouldn’t give him more than the $16 million or so he’s set to earn. The guy is 33 and lucky to give you two thirds of a season because of his health. You think that is going to improve over the next couple of years? Good luck. You don’t want a Kobe-type contract on your hands if you’re the Heat.

Wade was drafted by the Heat and has played his entire career there, but don’t forget he seriously flirted with other teams during the summer of 2010 before opting to re-sign with Miami. He even admitted he was very close to joining the Bulls. There’s no reason to think he wouldn’t want to go to his hometown team in the future.

Barack Obama: No one can outshoot Stephen Curry

Barack-Obama

President Barack Obama is a busy man, but on Thursday he set aside some time to answer questions via his new Twitter account. The president responded to inquiries about climate change, student loans, and even managed to get some sports in there, specifically basketball.

As a noted Bulls fan, there was little surprise Obama had something to say about the team’s decision to fire Tom Thibodeau. Also, coming across the president’s timeline was his thoughts on JR Smith and whether he can outshoot Stephen Curry to lead the Cavaliers to an NBA title.

Korver and Curry bombing away from deep in the NBA Finals would have been fun to watch. However, the Cavaliers had other ideas. And, even if the Hawks did make it, Korver wouldn’t have been able to participate due to an injury suffered when Matthew Dellavedova dove for a lose ball and rolled into his ankle.

You’ll likely find more than a few people who will say Stephen Curry is the best shooter they’ve ever seen. On the other hand, if you’re going to provide a worthy challenger, the guy who holds the NBA record for consecutive games with a made three-pointer isn’t a bad choice.

Hassan Whiteside tired of answering why he does not work out with Hakeem Olajuwon

hassan-whiteside-heat

After bouncing around between the NBA’s D-League and professional leagues overseas, Hassan Whiteside found a home this season with the Heat. The 25-year-old showed he can be a defensive anchor, averaging 2.6 blocks per game to go along with 10 rebounds.

While his ability as a defender is just what Miami needed in the paint, at times Whiteside looked a little raw at the offensive end of the floor. Apparently, that’s an area he is often asked about in terms of improvement.

On Thursday, Whiteside took to his Twitter account to respond to those who suggest he spend some time with Hakeem Olajuwon, one of the more offensively skilled big men in NBA history.

And there you have it.

Seven-footers with the athleticism and timing of Whiteside don’t come around often and it appears the Heat were the lucky ones to uncover what looks to be a diamond in the rough. If he can put to good use some of Olajuwon’s teachings to turn himself into a force with the basketball in his hands, Miami will have themselves an extremely valuable commodity.

Photo credit: US Presswire/Robert Mayer

Adrian Peterson goes on ridiculous Twitter rant about contracts

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson is clearly still unhappy with the Minnesota Vikings, and he took to Twitter on Thursday to express his frustration in a way that most agree was utterly ridiculous.

Peterson went on a scattered rant about how NFL teams hold all of the power when it comes to contracts. His overall point seemed to be that teams can part ways with players whenever they please, but players need the team to cooperate if they want to leave. Take it away, Adrian.

This isn’t a good look for Peterson. We understand he is unhappy in Minnesota and feels the Vikings didn’t support him through his child abuse case, but he was paid more than $12 million last year and appeared in just one game. That had nothing to do with injuries and everything to do with legal issues.

In 2015, Peterson is set to count $15.4 million against the salary cap. As NFL Network’s Albert Breer notes, that is $6.2 million more than any other running back in the league.

Peterson said Wednesday that he is not attending organized team activities for business reasons. One report indicates that he is still trying to strong-arm the Vikings into trading him. For a guy who is getting paid more than any other player at his position, Peterson is making an awful lot of noise about money. If he wants out of his extremely lucrative contract, he should just retire.

Dwight Howard after losing playoff series: ‘I’m still a champion’

Dwight Howard Rockets

Dwight Howard is being ridiculed for calling himself a “champion” after losing to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals on Wednesday night.

After his team was eliminated in five games, Howard was asked about his team exiting the playoffs earlier than they wanted.

“No matter how the season ends, I’m still a champion. I won’t let anybody tell me anything different,” Howard said via the LA Times’ Mike Bresnahan.

Dwight must be the first champion to not have any rings, because last we checked he’s never won a title. He did lead the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009 and definitely gets credit for that. He also helped this Rockets team go pretty far in a very difficult Western Conference. And though many will laugh at him for calling himself a champion, that’s really the kind of attitude he needs to have as a player. How is he ever supposed to win a ring if he doesn’t believe in himself? We give him a pass for that one.

Scottie Pippen supports Tom Thibodeau firing

Scottie PippenFormer Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen weighed in on the team’s firing of head coach Tom Thibodeau via Twitter Thursday, and the Hall of Famer supported the move.

In several tweets about the matter, Pippen, who is employed by the team as a special advisor, described the firing as a decision that was “best” for the team. He also said a new leader was “necessary” to improve the culture.

“We all knew a change could be coming and I think the decision that was made was best for the Bulls. To me it was a move made to try and ensure the team can move forward and ultimately get to the next level. Thibs had the Bulls moving in the right direction initially but things changed. A different leader on the sidelines became necessary. I’ve got confidence in Pax and Gar. They will bring in a new coach who will fit the culture and help the Bulls grow and improve. The culture that surrounds a team is of crucial importance. I’m optimistic about the Bulls future and believe in the front office.”

Thibodeau’s record and success as the team’s coach is undeniable, but the more you read about matters, the more you have to question the job he did. Thibs is excellent at developing defensive schemes and game-planning, but it seems like he is lacking with his people skills. The Bulls listed all these problems in a shocking press release announcing the firing.

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