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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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Adrian Peterson wants to run in Olympics, challenge Usain Bolt

Being the top running back in the NFL isn’t enough for Adrian Peterson. The Minnesota Vikings’ all-time leading rusher says he aspires to one day compete in the Olympics as a sprinter.

During an interview with Graham Bensinger on “In Depth,” Peterson revealed his goal to compete in the 2016 Olympics. In fact, All Day says he wanted to run in the 2012 Olympics, but his knee injury derailed those plans.

“Before I tore my ACL, I was going to go to a couple of track meets and run unattached and just see where I was at, get some meets under my belt or whatnot, but unfortunately, I hurt my knee. Now that I’m back and refreshed, I think I’m going to give it a shot still,” Peterson told Bensinger.

“I told myself, hey, I want to try out for the Olympics for the 200 and the 400. That’s something that – that’s a goal of mine that I want to accomplish.”

Peterson says he ran track in high school and had success despite not having very good instruction from coaches. He wonders how he would stack up in the right environment. He’s not even intimidated by the thought of competing against Usain Bolt, who is the world record holder in the 100 and 200-meters.

“I feel like I can stand up to any challenge,” Peterson said. “I know a lot of people laugh and be like ‘come on, let’s be real with yourself.’ It’s Usain Bolt, but I feel like you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.”

After watching him burst through holes and outrun opposing players throughout his career, I have to say that I would be intrigued to see how Peterson would do as a sprinter. His dreams are not too far-fetched; Patriots running back Jeff Demps was a silver medalist on the US’ 4 x 100 meter relay team at the London Games. Peterson might not be the fastest player in the league, but one thing we have learned — especially after this season — is that we should never underestimate him.

Helmet smack to Pro Football Talk

Junior dos Santos did not suffer broken jaw

cain-velasquez-junior-dos-santosCain Velasquez thoroughly dominated Junior dos Santos at UFC 155 in Las Vegas on Saturday to regain the UFC heavyweight championship in a unanimous decision, but he apparently inflicted less pain on his opponent than initially believed.

Velasquez rocked JDS early in the fight and pretty much cruised thereafter. Many people felt like Cain could have attempted to finish dos Santos, but Velasquez was content to continue administering punishment while wearing out the Brazilian. There was even speculation following the fight that Velasquez broke dos Santos’ jaw.

Dos Santos went to the hospital immediately after the fight, and UFC boss Dana White said he had heard the former champ broke his jaw in the second round. It turns out that claim was unfounded.

Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole reported after the fight that a rep for dos Santos says the Brazilian did not have any injuries and that he was not even in pain. FOX Sports’ A.J. Perez also says dos Santos was discharged from the hospital without any injuries.

Though dos Santos may have avoided serious injury, he will likely be handed a lengthy suspension from the athletic commission to allow time to heal. After that, the question becomes whom will he fight next?

White said after the fight that Cigano likely will fight once before receiving another shot at the title. If Velasquez still is the heavyweight champion at that time, it would be the third fight in what is shaping up as an awesome trilogy between them. No UFC heavyweight champion has successfully defended the title more than twice.

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  • MMA

Stan Van Gundy: Dwight Howard hasn’t looked like himself

Stan Van Gundy still communicates with the player who was most responsible for him being successful with the Orlando Magic, and the same guy who was chiefly responsible for him being fired. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Van Gundy said he still exchanges friendly text messages with Dwight Howard.

In the interview, Van Gundy discussed Howard’s status with the Los Angeles Lakers and shared two noteworthy opinions. The former Magic coach says Howard, who is coming off back surgery, does not look like the same player. He also says Howard is adjusting to being a secondary offensive option on the Lakers.

“I don’t think he looks quite as explosive or as quick as he has in the past,” Van Gundy told the Times’ Ben Bolch. “Now, he’s still above almost everyone in the league at that size athletically, but he has not totally looked like himself to me.”

Howard stopped playing for the Magic in April because of his back injury, and he underwent surgery for it later in the month. It wasn’t certain whether he would even be ready to play when the season began, but Howard was out there. Howard even admitted recently that he’s not at full strength, and said doctors told him it would take nine months to regain strength in his legs.

Back injury aside, Van Gundy says Howard has a big mental adjustment he’s making.

“It’s a big adjustment for him going from being the guy to not only being the No. 2 guy but really a No. 2 guy that really doesn’t get the ball very much at all,” Van Gundy said. “It’s a different deal and an adjustment he has to make. Those kind of things take time.”

Van Gundy thinks Howard can and will make the adjustment, but he just pointed out that it takes time. Andrew Bynum also made similar comments recently when analyzing the Lakers. He said Howard would have to make the same adjustment.

Van Gundy doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings toward Howard.

“Dwight and my time in Orlando, I thought the relationship was good, worked well, produced results and that’s what player-coach relationships in this league should be about, are the results that they get and the results here were good, mainly because Dwight’s as good as he is. He’s a great, great player and I have a great appreciation for what he did for our teams and for me as a coach.”

That’s a nice way to reflect on things, especially considering Howard is the big reason he lost his job in Orlando. But like he says, Howard is also the biggest reason he had success there.

Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Derrick Williams bricks alley-oop (Video)

derrick-williamsDerrick Williams had a decent showing in Minnesota’s 111-107 win over Phoenix Saturday, but he probably would have like to have this alley-oop attempt back. Williams got a long pass from Alexey Shved and tried dunking it home except the rim got in the way. The result was a pretty solid brick for the blooper reel.

Video via @cjzero

Northern Illinois LB Victor Jacques got Orange Bowl-inspired tattoo

victor-jacques-tattoo

Northern Illinois linebacker Victor Jacques may have a tattoo that’s a first of its kind. The redshirt senior middle linebacker recently got a tattoo that’s a tribute to Miami, and it features the Orange Bowl logo.

Jacques told reporters this week that Northern Illinois reaching the Orange Bowl inspired him to get a tattoo he had been contemplating for three years. According to CSN Chicago, the tattoo features the Miami skyline, the Biscayne Bay and the Miami-Dade county logo. It also shows a marlin jumping out of the water, and the Orange Bowl logo as the sun shining over the scene.

Jacques got the work done in four hours at Spider Tattooz in Sycamore, Illinois.

“It wasn’t hard to find someone to get the logo right, but I had to get the money right. It’s not cheap.” Jacques joked. “I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do — it definitely had to do with Miami — but it all came together. The Orange Bowl just topped it off. It was the icing on the cake.”

Northern Illinois plays Florida State on Jan. 1. The 12-1 Huskies were a BCS at-large selection and are looking to prove a lot of detractors that they belong in the game. As far as the tattoo goes, it looks pretty nice, though I would say Nate Robinson has a better city tribute tattoo.

Photo via HuskieWire
H/T Pete Thamel

Rory McIlroy denies he is engaged to Caroline Wozniacki

For the second time in a month, rumors have been swirling that Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki are engaged. Last month, Serena Williams’ hitting partner made everyone believe the power couple had taken the next step in their relationship with a prank on Twitter. Then on Friday, reports surfaced that Wozniacki showed up to the Brisbane International sporting a diamond ring on her left ring finger.

According to McIlroy, the couple is not engaged. The world’s No. 1 golfer said that the rumors are untrue in a short statement on Friday afternoon.

“On behalf of Rory McIlroy I would like to confirm that he has NOT become engaged to Caroline Wozniacki as was originally reported in Australian press,” the statement said according to The Score. “Rory is in Australia to support Caroline before he heads in January to Abu Dhabi.”

Adding to the speculation earlier this week was this photo. As some of our commenters pointed out, you can see a tiny speck on Caroline’s left ring finger that could potentially be some sort of ring, but the photo is not nearly clear enough to tell.

On one hand, I’m inclined to subscribe to the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” theory. On the other hand, Rory and Woz seem to love the public spotlight and showing everyone how much they adore each other. In fact, it even gets sickening at times. Are they really the type of couple that would keep an engagement a secret? It seems unlikely.

Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Dunleavy reportedly on Nets’ coaching candidates list

Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Dunleavy reportedly are two of the names on the Brooklyn Nets’ list of potential head coaches. The Nets fired Avery Johnson on Thursday, just 28 games into the season. Assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo was promoted to interim head coach, but the team is believed to have its eyes on some other candidates.

At the top of the team’s list is Phil Jackson, who is said to be open to hearing their offer. Jackson reportedly was prepared to accept the Lakers job until it was given to Mike D’Antoni. He famously is only interested in coaching teams he believe can win a championship. The 14-14 Nets likely will not fit that criteria, so we doubt he will seriously consider the position, though CBS Sports’ Ken Berger says Jackson is “intrigued” by the job.

Van Gundy is said to be high on the Nets’ list if they are unable to get Jackson. ESPN New York says the Nets hold Van Gundy “in high regard” and consider him a serious candidate for the job. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski says Van Gundy is interested in the position, but he will not talk to the team until after the season out of respect for the current coach. The Nets were turned down by Van Gundy before hiring Johnson in 2010.

In addition to Van Gundy, Wojnarowski mentioned Kelvin Sampson as a potential candidate for the job. Sampson served as the Rockets’ head coach while Kevin McHale took a personal leave of absence last month. The New York Times’ Howard Beck says Sampson’s name has been discussed, but he is not viewed as a “significant candidate.”

Beck mentioned former Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy as a candidate (as did ESPN New York). Dunleavy lobbied for the job on his radio show.

“First off, I’m from Brooklyn, so if ever given the opportunity to coach a team from Brooklyn, it would be a dream come true,” Dunleavy said on his SiriusXM show, via the New York Times. “Right now, to the best of my understanding, is that P. J. has been given the job on an interim basis — I’m not sure with the opportunity to keep it or not — but he’s a friend of mine, he’s a good coach and I wish him all the best in what he’s doing right now.”

Both ESPN New York and the Times mention Larry Brown as a potential candidate, citing his relationship with Billy King. Brown is currently in his first season as coach at SMU. Nate McMillan and Flip Saunders have also been mentioned as candidates for the job.

The Nets beat the Bobcats at home 97-81 on Friday in their first game under Carlesimo.

Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Texas Bowl T-shirt has Texas state flag wrong (Picture)

Texas Tech played Minnesota in the Texas Bowl on Friday, and one Red Raiders player noticed a T-shirt with a major blunder on it. Texas Tech freshman wide receiver Summitt Hogue shared the picture below on Instagram and pointed out that the shirt got the Texas state flag wrong:

texas-bowl-shirt

The flag seen above is that of Chile. Here’s what the Texas state flag looks like:

texas-state-flag

What’s sad is that someone shared a photo of a shirt from last year’s bowl game that shows the same mistake was made. I’m really hoping this was an unlicensed shirt rather than the official bowl game shirt, because that would be pretty sad.

H/T SbB Live

Sean Payton reportedly agrees to new contract with Saints

Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints reportedly have agreed on a contract that will keep the head coach with the team for the next few years, FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer first reported.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter says the deal is for five years, while CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman says the compensation is in the ballpark of Bill Belichick’s $7.5 million salary per season.

There had been speculation the past few months that Payton, who was suspended for the season because of the bounty scandal, might leave New Orleans after a contract extension he and the team had agreed upon was rejected by the league. Payton was mentioned in connection with with the Dallas Cowboys job, but Jerry Jones appears set to retain Jason Garrett as his head coach.

Payton has been with the Saints since 2006 and has gone 67-37 with them. He has led the team to four playoff appearances, including a Super Bowl win.

Without Payton as coach, the Saints are going through their worst season since an 8-8 finish in 2008. They had gone 37-11 the past three seasons and are 7-8 entering Sunday’s season finale.

After seeing the Saints without Payton, it’s hard to say he’s not worth that kind of money. Drew Brees has thrown the second-most interceptions of his career (18), and he has his lowest completion percentage (62.7%) since 2003. About the only upside to the suspension for Payton, besides having some time off, is that his bank account should see a nice benefit.

Duke P Will Monday nails an amazing 79-yard punt (Video)

Will-Monday-79-yard-puntIf Duke freshman punter Will Monday continues to make kicks like the one he made against Cincinnati on Thursday night, he might as well change his name to Will Sunday. During Duke’s 48-34 loss in the Belk bowl, Monday hit an incredible punt from his own 11-yard line that went over the returner’s head, crawled down the sideline about 20 yards and then took a perfect turn at the 2-yard line to avoid going into the end zone.

Typically we don’t spend a lot of time posting videos of punts here on LBS, but Monday couldn’t have run the ball down the field and placed it any better. He ranks in the the top-20 in punting across Division-I college football and is only a freshman. For those of you who keep updated scouting reports of punters handy, Monday has to be climbing up your power rankings.

H/T BuzzFeed

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