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Friday, December 9, 2016

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Willie Taggart to be named next head coach at Oregon

Willie Taggart

University of South Florida head coach Willie Taggart has reportedly been named the next coach at Oregon.

According to a report from ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, Taggart will replace the recently-fired Mark Helfrich. Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen was the other finalist for the Ducks job.

Taggart has coached at USF for the past four seasons, and the Bulls’ 10-2 record this season is the best in program history. Tony Dungy, whose son played at Oregon before transferring to USF to play for Taggart, endorsed Taggart while speaking to ESPN last week.

“He knows the West Coast, having been at Stanford,” Dungy said. “He has all the elements Oregon is looking for. He’s a bright, young coach, and it makes him easy to recommend.”

As Dungy mentioned, Taggart was an assistant coach at Stanford from 2007-2009 and worked under Jim Harbaugh.

Todd Bowles informed media of quarterback change before telling Ryan Fitzpatrick

Todd-Bowles

The sideshow that is the New York Jets rolls on, this time with a new plot twist.

After Monday night’s embarrassing defeat to the Indianapolis Colts, Jets coach Todd Bowles told the media that Bryce Petty would start at quarterback ahead of Ryan Fitzpatrick for the remainder of the season. There’s just one problem: he didn’t tell Fitzpatrick first.

“I’d been meaning to talk to him and I got tied up with a few things,” Bowles said Tuesday, via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.

Fitzpatrick was kind enough to not throw Bowles under the bus publicly for it.

“I probably could’ve and he tried to cover for me,” Bowles said. “Like I said, I had a lot on my mind and got some things off my chest, and it kind of went over the wrong way. I’ll talk to him tomorrow.”

Athletes learning about things involving them through the media isn’t exactly new. That said, this one should have been controllable, given it was an in-house decision and Bowles spilled the beans himself as opposed to it leaking out through media reports. It’s not the worst thing to happen to the Jets this season, but it’s another embarrassment in a year that is quickly becoming full of them.

John Fox will reportedly be back with Bears in 2017

john-fox

The Chicago Bears have not been a good team since they brought in John Fox as head coach prior to the 2015 season, but it sounds like the organization is willing to give him one more shot.

Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Fox is expected to remain with the Bears in 2017, despite the team’s current 3-9 record after a 6-10 season last year. Fox is expected to make major changes to his coaching staff, which could include firing defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Considering Chicago’s main issues have been due to injury and offensive game-planning, that report sounds surprising.

“It has to be some kind of philosophical thing like you saw in Minnesota,” a source told Mulligan. “It’s so out of left field, it might be absolutely correct.”

The source was referring to Norv Turner’s decision to resign as offensive coordinator of the Vikings earlier this year, which came as a shock to many.

In any event, there is so much uncertainty surrounding the Bears that it is almost impossible to imagine Fox improving things much in 2017. Even if he wants to bring in new coordinators, you have to wonder what the level of interest will be in the jobs. Given the team’s current quarterback situation, another losing season seems inevitable and would likely be Fox’s last in Chicago.

Report: Jason Pierre-Paul out six weeks after surgery on core muscle

Jason-Pierre-Paul-cast

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is expected to miss at least the rest of the regular season after undergoing surgery.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Pierre-Paul had surgery to repair a core muscle and will miss six weeks. Pierre-Paul shared a photo of himself in a hospital bed on Wednesday morning.

Let's do this thing #90PowerCircle

A photo posted by Jason Pierre-Paul (@iamjasonpierrepaul) on

The Giants are set to take on the explosive Dallas Cowboys this weekend, so the timing certainly is not ideal. Pierre-Paul has proven that he can still make an impact even after mangling his hand in a fireworks mishap, as he has recorded seven sacks this season and has played like the explosive player we grew used to seeing prior to the accident.

With Pierre-Paul having signed a one-year “prove it” deal with the Giants last offseason, there’s a possibility he has played his last snap with the team.

Raekwon McMillan gets Ohio State tattoo

raekwon-mcmillan

Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan may be heading into what he hopes are his final two games with the Buckeyes, but the recent tattoo he got will keep the school’s logo with him forever.

McMillan showed off his new ink while speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

As ElevenWarriors.com pointed out, the stack of bullets underneath the block “O” represents the “Silver Bullets” nickname that has been given to the Ohio State defense.

McMillan is expected to declare for the NFL Draft after the season, and he could be a first-round pick. Of course, the new artwork on his arm opens him up to jokes about a past Ohio State scandal, but you can expect McMillan to ignore all that as he prepares to face Clemson in the College Football Playoff.

Hassan Whiteside savagely stared down Justin Holiday after dunk (Video)

hassan-whiteside-staredown

Unsuccessfully stopping a Hassan Whiteside dunk attempt might result in a vicious stare down.

During the second quarter of Tuesday’s game between the Heat and Knicks, Justin Holiday went up to try and prevent Whiteside from dunking after the Heat big man collected an offensive rebound. Whiteside was not fazed and made the shot. Holiday was called for the foul. What followed was this savage glare from Whiteside.

Whiteside had to be thinking something pretty epic at that moment, right? It was probably along the lines of “What in the world were you thinking??” Whiteside finished the game with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocked shots.

Orioles brutally honest with Jose Bautista representatives on fit with team

Jose Bautista

The Orioles are in the market for outfield help, but it doesn’t appear Jose Bautista will be among the reinforcements.

Major League Baseball’s winter meetings are taking place this week and with that comes a plethora of rumors about players changing teams. Representatives from each club are in attendance and it provides an opportunity to work out trades and check in with free agents.

One player who could be changing clubs is free agent slugger Jose Bautista. One team who doesn’t seem to be a fit is the Orioles, who, as John Heyman relays, were brutally honest in speaking with Bautista’s representatives.

Bautista actually spent time in the Orioles organization and made his major league debut with Baltimore in 2004. Since then, he has, of course, gone on to spend nine seasons with the division rival Blue Jays. Among the reasons fans in Baltimore aren’t fond of Bautista are probably his history with Darren O’Day and a heated exchange with Adam Jones.

It looks like we can rule out Jose Bautista wearing black and orange next year.

Report: Oregon has decided on new head coach

Oregon-Rose-Bowl-Uniforms-4

Oregon reportedly has made a decision on a new head coach and an announcement is expected to come soon.

Nigel Burton, a Pac-12 Networks and Comcast analyst, says Oregon has made a decision on a new head coach and the official announcement should come within the next 24 hours.

Burton says the coach is rumored to be a non-Power 5 head coach. Based on that information, the coach could turn out to be Boise State’s Bryan Harsin or South Florida’s Willie Taggart, both of whom interviewed for the job. Oregon reportedly was interested in Matt Rhule, who left Temple for Baylor. Tom Herman and Jeff Brohm are other hot names who have already taken other jobs, leaving fewer good options available for the Ducks.

David Ortiz posts about comeback on Instagram

david-ortiz

The Boston Red Sox’s addition of Chris Sale via trade on Tuesday seems to have David Ortiz contemplating a comeback. That’s according to the slugger’s Instagram account.

Ortiz posted a photo on Instagram Tuesday of Sale, whom the Red Sox acquired from the White Sox. In his caption, Ortiz wrote, “My god my boy sale to Btown? You guys got me thinking.”

My god my boy sale to Btown? You guys got me thinking ?

A photo posted by David Ortiz (@davidortiz) on

Is Ortiz just fooling with fans or is he legitimately thinking of coming back? He was adamant throughout the season that he would retire despite having an outstanding year where he led the league in doubles, RBIs, slugging percentage and OPS, while clubbing 38 home runs. Just read these quotes from Boston’s trainer to understand what Ortiz went through on a daily basis.

But his Red Sox were bounced early in the postseason, potentially leaving the three-time World Series champion feeling dissatisfied. With the team’s World Series chances looking even better, maybe the 41-year-old would reconsider his retirement plans.

Rick Carlisle has savage quote about Mavs’ lack of effort

Rick Carlsile

Rick Carlisle isn’t sugarcoating his team’s 4-16 start to the season.

The Dallas Mavericks head coach commented on Tuesday about their lack of effort in a 109-101 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday, two days after a blowout 107-82 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

“Why we fell into that, I’m not sure,” Carlisle said of the Mavs’ lackadaisical performance, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “Maybe we were resting on the laurels of our one-game winning streak.”

Ice. Cold.

It’s definitely been a rough season for the aging Mavericks, who have dealt with injuries upon injuries to an already anemic roster. Ownership has insisted that the team will not be tanking this season, so Carlisle may have to get even more acid-tongued in an attempt to inspire his badly-demoralized troops for the remainder of the year.

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