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Urban Meyer to retire after Rose Bowl, with Ryan Day taking over as Buckeyes head coach

Meyer, who has coached Ohio State for the past seven seasons, will formally announce he’s stepping down at a 2 p.m. news conference in Columbus alongside Day and athletic director Gene Smith. The 54-year-old has battled the effects of an arachnoid cyst on his brain, which causes severe headaches, especially when under stress. The cyst was diagnosed in 1998 but worsened the past few years, and Meyer dropped to his knees on the sideline during an October game against Indiana and often looked distressed during games, rubbing his head and wincing.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Meyer repeatedly said he planned on coaching in 2019, but uncertainty remained, even after Meyer seemed to improve in recent weeks and Ohio State won the Big Ten championship in beating Northwestern on Saturday. Several Ohio State staff members told ESPN after the game that they noticed a positive change in Meyer the past two weeks. Smith denied a Football Scoop report last week that Meyer would not coach past the 2019 season and Day would take over as head coach. Meyer declined to comment when asked about the report.5

Meyer on Friday called Day “elite” and, when asked about Day’s future career opportunities, said, “Certainly now is not that time, this week is not the time. But there will be a time.”

Ohio State wanted to announce Meyer’s plans before the early signing period (Dec. 19-21) and with most of the coaching staff on the road recruiting. Naming Day as Meyer’s successor shows a commitment to continuity with the staff for 2019 and beyond.

Day, 39, is in his second season on the Buckeyes’ staff after previously working for Chip Kelly with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.cheap nfl jerseys china nike The New Hampshire native turned down college head-coaching opportunities and the Tennessee Titans’ offensive coordinator job after the 2017 season. He was mentioned as a candidate for college head-coaching jobs this year but never strongly pursued any. Day served as Ohio State’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2017 before being promoted to the primary coordinator and playcalling role this season.

Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco grew up together; now they’re MLS Cup hopefuls 6,800 miles from home

The distance between Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Portland, Oregon, is more than 6,800 miles. The flight time is approximately 17 hours and 15 minutes, and that’s if you manage to fly direct. Driving is practically impossible — the Darien Gap on the border between Colombia and Panama is basically impenetrable, a 55-mile break in the Pan-American Highway that runs from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to the southern tip of Chile. Should they ever find a way to pave that bit of swampland, Buenos Aires to Portland would take you something close to 200 hours by car.

For Timbers teammates Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco, who have known each other since they were boys playing for the same youth academy in the southern suburbs of Argentina’s biggest city, the metaphorical distance is even more yawning than that.

Would they ever have imagined, when they first started playing together on Lanus’ senior squad in 2006, that they’d end up here, of all places? In Portland, Oregon, in the MLS Western Conference finals vs. Sporting Kansas City (second leg Thursday, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), the two most important players in a small-market team battling for its second league championship in four years?

“No,” Valeri said from a bench at the team training facility in Beaverton last week. “Never.“cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Blanco agreed: “Impossible.”6

The Timbers were a minor league team in 2006. Providence Park was still predominantly a baseball stadium. Both Valeri and Blanco harbored dreams of one day leaving their hometown for a bigger country, but those musings were murky and undefined. Before signing with the Timbers in 2017, Blanco had been to the U.S. only once, to Miami, and he pictured New York skyscrapers, not “Portlandia.“cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“We never thought about this,” Valeri told ESPN FC, with a smirk that was borderline patronizing, gesturing at the facility around him, on a lovely autumn Northwest day. “We never imagined.”

Blanco, again: “The opportunity for what’s happening is incredible.”

Valeri and Blanco were aware of one another almost from the start of their respective soccer careers. Although they both came up through Lanus’ system, Valeri is two years older, so they played at different age levels before finally linking up in the first team.

To belabor the mileage imagery just one more time to underscore how small-world all of this is: Their childhood homes were less than 3 miles apart, about a 15-minute drive without traffic. Where they come from, the bordering neighborhoods of Lanus and Lomas de Zamora, very few residents ever even relocate elsewhere in Buenos Aires, let alone outside the country, and fewer still outside the continent.

Eagles’ win over the Giants sets up key MNF game with Redskins

The Philadelphia Eagles are deeply flawed, but then, so is the NFC East. So they’ve got a shot.

The defending champs still have life thanks to a 25-22 come-from-behind win over the New York Giants on Sunday.

It sets up a Monday Night Football game against the Washington Redskins that, believe it or not, could pull Philadelphia (5-6) into a first-place division tie with Washington (6-5) and the Dallas Cowboys (6-5). Dallas plays the Saints next week.

“This was a big game for us, obviously, in terms of divisional standings and all that fun stuff,” quarterback Carson Wentz said, but, really mentally, to show the resilience that we did to go down early the way we did and then battle back just built a lot of confidence for all three phases of this game. To come from behind and get it done today, I think that will speak volumes about our confidence going forward.”nfl nike jerseys for cheap

It feels like the Eagles should be dead and buried. It was Groundhog Day at Lincoln Financial Field as the offense failed to score in the first quarter for the ninth time in 11 games, putting pressure on an injury-riddled defense to hold things together. A defensive unit that was missing four of its top five corners as well as its starting linebacker, Jordan Hicks, yielded 346 yards in the first half — the most the Eagles have given up since November 2015 against the Tampa Bay Bucs (355) — as the Eagles trailed at intermission, 19-11.6

But the fight that safety Malcolm Jenkins was calling for following an energy-less drubbing at the hands of the New Orleans Saints the week prior kicked in just in time. Jenkins sparked that himself with an interception at the end of the second quarter — the defense’s first since Week 6 against this same Giants team.

Saquon Barkley broke off a 51-yard touchdown the series prior, and the defense was reeling. On the sideline after that drive, Jenkins and a couple other veterans asked defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to simplify the game plan for the inexperienced secondary. Schwartz did, and the defense responded.

“I think that was a turning point, especially in that game – who knows about our season – where that could have just continued to snowball out of control,” Jenkins said of the team’s response. “But we weren’t going to allow that.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Michael Bennett turned the jets on in the second half, coming up with his team-leading 6 1/2 sack of the season on the Giants’ first possession to set the tone. He added a tackle for a loss later in the frame, posing with arms crossed as the volatile home crowd showed their approval. The front four increased the pressure on Eli Manning as the game wore on, allowing a decimated defensive backfield to stabilize.

Red Sox re-sign Series MVP Steve Pearce on 1-year, $6.25M deal

“We’re thrilled to have Steve back with us for another year as we think he’s a great fit for our club,” Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski said. “Obviously, we all saw what kind of impact he can have on the field, especially with the postseason that he had. He also provides good depth and balance from the right side for us.”

Pearce, a grinder who has bounced from team to team, was an improbable World Series MVP, hitting .333 with three homers and eight RBIs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Each of his four hits went for extra bases, and he drew four walks without striking out, posting a .500 on-base percentage.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

In Game 4, he launched a tying home run in the eighth inning, then added a three-run double in the ninth that sent Boston to a 9-6 win.

In the clincher, he got the Red Sox rolling, connecting for a two-run homer off Clayton Kershaw in the first inning, then hitting a solo shot off Pedro Baez in the eighth.5

The 35-year-old first baseman had been a valuable role player for the Red Sox after being acquired in a June 28 trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. He batted .279 for Boston, with seven home runs and 26 RBIs in 50 regular-season games.

In early August, with incumbent first baseman Mitch Moreland slumping, Pearce powered Boston to a key four-game sweep of the Yankees by hitting four home runs, three of which came during a statement-making 15-7 rout in the opener.

In the AL Division Series against the New York Yankees, with Moreland nursing a balky hamstring, Pearce started three of four games and hit .333 for the series. In Game 3 of the AL Championship Series against Houston, with the score tied at 2 and the series tied at 1, it was Pearce’s sixth-inning homer off Astros reliever Joe Smith that seemed to tip the scales in Boston’s favor.

He’s a career .257 hitter, with 90 home runs and 294 RBIs in nine seasons.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

When Pearce joined the Red Sox — his ninth team in seven seasons — it completed a rare sweep. He has played for every club in the American League East.

In 2014 with the Baltimore Orioles, he developed a reputation as one of the game’s more underrated utility players, a dangerous right-handed bat who could play almost anywhere on the field. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016, and went to Toronto in 2017.

Aaron Rodgers’ numbers don’t add up to 4-5-1 Packers’ record

He has thrown the most touchdowns with one or fewer interceptions of any quarterback with a losing record through 10 games during the Super Bowl era, and it’s not all that close. In 1991, the Browns were 4-6, and Bernie Kosar had 11 touchdowns and one interception. He and Rodgers are the only two quarterbacks in the past 53 seasons with double-digit touchdowns along with one or zero interceptions to have a losing record through 10 games, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

And don’t blame Rodgers’ Week 1 knee injury — at least not anymore — for any of the Packers’ struggles.

“I feel good; it’s not a problem,” Rodgers said after Thursday’s loss in Seattle.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Perhaps everyone should have seen this coming from the Packers, who have suffered because of poor drafts in Ted Thompson’s final three years as general manager. Even a more aggressive approach to free agency and the draft from new GM Brian Gutekunst did not immediately fix all the issues.6

But with Rodgers back healthy after the broken collarbone ruined his 2017 season, there was talk of another MVP run. After all, he won his second MVP, for the 2014 season, the year after he broke his collarbone for the first time.

Rodgers played through the Week 1 left knee injury; he wore a brace until the Nov. 4 game at New England. But something wasn’t right with the offense — a point he made public after the Week 4 win over the Buffalo Bills, when he threw coach Mike McCarthy and his game-planning staff under the bus.

And it’s still not right even if he now says he’s as involved as he needs to be in the game-planning process.

“I think there’s an agreement with what we’re doing; obviously, we meet multiple times a week on what we’re trying to do,” Rodgers said in Seattle. “The frustration is in the execution. The execution hasn’t been great, especially in situational offense. When you compare it to years past, we’ve always been really good on third down and really good in the red zone, and we’re just not this year. I think that’s a combination of a lot of things, but that’s the biggest frustration.”cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Rodgers said last week that he believes his decline in completion percentage (61.8 percent, 25th in the NFL) is due in part to an increased number of throwaways. He has already chucked the ball away more times this season than he has in any full season during his career as a starter.

Amazing connection: Jets WR meets brother he never knew

Instead of watching football on the couch Sunday or flying home from a bye-week getaway, New York Jets receiver Jermaine Kearse used his day off to fill a void in his life.

He connected with his half-brother, whom he met only recently for the first time. It was the culmination of a search that took nearly a year.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

Kearse spent the day in Hoboken, New Jersey, catching up over lunch with David Ashley, 34, who lives in Manhattan and works as a hair-styling instructor. They have the same father, but Kearse didn’t know about Ashley until after their father died. That was 11 years ago, when Kearse was 17.

“It was definitely different,” Kearse told ESPN, recalling Sunday’s meeting. “I mean, it’s a stranger who’s your brother. But he’s been real cool. [Sunday] was real nice. We talked a little bit, and I heard how he grew up.”5

“I knew of him and I knew his name, but that was it,” Kearse said. “Last I heard, he lived in California. But that was it.”

As his football career flourished — University of Washington, the Seattle Seahawks and the Jets — Kearse remained curious about his mystery brother. His curiosity piqued at the end of last season, when he brought up David in a conversation with his paternal grandmother. He was looking for any shred of information. She knew the name of Ashley’s mother, so he took that clue and researched her on the internet.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“Did a little more digging and found him,” Kearse said proudly. “I did the research and I looked him up. It was very impulsive. I had my aunt vet it to see if it was him. It was. She met him before I met him. He met my aunt and my grandmother out in North Carolina.”

Kearse spoke to David by phone in February, and they set up a brief meeting after the Jets’ home opener, Sept. 16, a loss to the Miami Dolphins. They exchanged pleasantries, but it wasn’t an in-depth conversation. That didn’t happen until Sunday.

“He was surprised,” said Kearse, recalling his brother’s reaction the first time he contacted him. “He said he knew about me. He said he never wanted to contact me because he didn’t want to be ‘that guy.’ I guess, with me being in the NFL, he didn’t want to be that random person who comes out of nowhere and says, ‘Hey, I’m your brother.’ Which I respect.

Seahawks’ margin for error gets slimmer after sloppy loss to Chargers

Eight points separated the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Chargers on the scoreboard Sunday, but it might have been closer to a half-inch that separated them on the field.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Or whatever amount of fingertip safety Jahleel Addae managed to get on Russell Wilson’s final pass into the end zone, an incompletion on the game’s last play that ended the Seahawks’ comeback bid.

“It was really close,” Wilson said of the last play.6

The Seahawks were also really close to rallying from 15 down over the final seven minutes of what turned out to be a 25-17 defeat. They would have needed a two-point conversion to send the game to overtime, but they never got the chance after Wilson’s throw to David Moore bounced off the receiver’s chest and through his hands after being tipped at the last second.

“It’s heartbreaking, especially at home,” receiver Doug Baldwin said after Seattle’s second loss in three games this season at CenturyLink Field. “We’ve got to do better.”

The loss drops the Seahawks to 4-4 as they head into the second half of the season. Their road to the playoffs becomes that much tougher, and their upcoming schedule doesn’t get any easier as they head to Los Angeles next week for a rematch against the 7-1 Rams, who are still in control of the NFC West after suffering their first loss of the season.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

In other words: This was a win Seattle really could have used.

It was right there, despite the Seahawks’ most uneven performance since an 0-2 start that preceded four wins in five games. They committed drive-killing penalties on offense, got uncharacteristically gashed early by big plays on defense and didn’t get the type of mistake-free play from Wilson that he had been giving them of late.

He threw an interception that Desmond King returned for a touchdown to put the Chargers up 25-10 with less than seven minutes left. On Seattle’s first possession of the third quarter, Wilson had Jaron Brown open behind the Chargers’ secondary for what could have been a touchdown, but his underthrown pass fell incomplete, leading to a punt. He took a sack — one of four for the Chargers — for a 13-yard loss in the third quarter in one instance of him not getting the ball out quickly enough.

Wilson entered Sunday with 11 touchdowns to only one interception in his past five games. The pick-six was his second of the season and only the third of his career.

Caris LeVert is still a cornerstone for the Brooklyn Nets

No one who has gotten to know Caris LeVert over the past half-decade — as an almost redshirt at the University of Michigan, and breakout star with the Brooklyn Nets — will be surprised to hear there will be minimal sulking after LeVert’s foot injury Monday.

It is one of LeVert’s defining traits — something that has made him a beloved teammate, and cultural keystone of the Nets’ long rebuild: He takes joy in the success of others, even when things are not going well for him. At Michigan, those in the program were stunned LeVert sustained such positivity even as three foot surgeries derailed his career.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Across the Nets, there had been universal exhilaration at LeVert’s rise from preseason backup to franchise centerpiece. Even rivals for that status found themselves swept up in it, in part because LeVert always offers them the same emotional support.

“It is all genuine with Caris,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said during an interview at the team’s practice facility two weeks ago. “He is real.”5

It all overflowed after Brooklyn’s second game, when LeVert dusted Tim Hardaway Jr., his college teammate, and coaxed in a tilting layup to beat the Knicks. When Atkinson embraced LeVert in the locker room, LeVert smiled and told him, “I owed you one, Coach,” referencing some crunch-time error from Brooklyn’s season-opening loss in Detroit that Atkinson couldn’t even recall.

Player and coach fast developed a special relationship. Two years ago, Atkinson called LeVert to wish him a happy birthday but activated FaceTime by accident. (“I don’t even FaceTime my wife,” he said, not joking.) LeVert, surprised, picked up. Ten months later, on Atkinson’s birthday, his FaceTime went off again. It was LeVert, unprompted, creating a tongue-in-cheek tradition.

“Like, who even remembers their coach’s birthday?” Atkinson asked. “And then remembers we have this silly thing?”cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Jacque Vaughn, the Nets assistant who has worked most closely with LeVert, searched him out after that game winner. That shot, Vaughn told him, was proof of what coaches preached all summer.

“Never feel rushed,” Vaughn said, repeating a mantra they had developed. “You can get to any spot you want. You dictate everything. That was the shot you wanted, and no one was able to get you off of it. Never feel rushed.”

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott help save Cowboys’ season — for now

The Dallas Cowboys’ storylines entering Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t exactly positive.

The list included: a coach’s job security, a quarterback struggling to make plays, an offensive coordinator perhaps on his last chance and a defense left wobbly after its previous game. All in all, it added up to a season on the line.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

But the Cowboys left Lincoln Financial Field with a 27-20 victory that seemed improbable after losing their first four road games of the season, and they find themselves alive and breathing, if not entirely well just yet.

“When you’re feeling low and you’re seeing the Grim Reaper and then come in and have your team perform the way these guys did, I promise you it’s a special feeling,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “I won’t need any wings on that airplane getting back to Dallas.”6

They left Philly with a win after Jason Garrett rallied a young team that had been rattled and a coaching staff that had been questioned.

They left with a win after Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes in a road game for the first time this season. After Ezekiel Elliott rushed for more than 150 yards against the NFL’s second-best run defense and scored twice.

“I don’t know that I learned anything new [about his team],” Garrett said. “You try to build a team of guys who love football, who are mentally tough, and I think those things get revealed when you have to go through some adversity over the course of the season.

“I thought they did a great job coming back after [the Cowboys’ 28-14 loss to Tennessee the previous week], just getting back to work, not blinking. Just going back to work and understanding the importance of what this next opponent is and playing 60 minutes. Thought we did a better job of that in this game than we have in the last few games. Dealing with the adversities of the game and keep playing. Dealing with the successes of the game and keep playing.”

At times early in the game, Prescott was bad. He held on to the ball too long, which resulted in sacks — including a 13-yard sack in the second quarter.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

At times, Prescott was brilliant: At the end of the first half, he connected on five passes for 79 yards and sneaked in from a yard out with 19 seconds left for the Cowboys’ first touchdown.

With season saved for a week, Cowboys need to go on a run

It took Jerry Jones a little time to get from his suite inside Lincoln Financial Field to the Dallas Cowboys’ locker room on Sunday night.

Some players were talking about the hows and whys of their 27-20 win against the Philadelphia Eagles. Others were getting dressed, cinching up their ties for the plane ride back home. Others were making sure they had some ice on hand to numb their aches.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Heard clear above it all was Jones, the Cowboys’ owner and general manager, letting loose with a loud “Wooooh,” like he was Ric Flair, as he entered the room. Some players responded with their own “Woooohs.”5

Less than a week earlier, the players were deflated inside their AT&T Stadium locker room after the loss to the Tennessee Titans. At 3-5, the Cowboys saw their season slipping away and knew Sunday’s game against the Eagles was a must-win.

Ezekiel Elliott was asked if beating the Eagles saved the season.

“I think we did,” said the running back, who finished with 151 rushing yards and two touchdowns, including a TD catch.

In reality, the victory has saved the Cowboys’ season for a week.

At 4-5, they remain in the NFC East chase, two games behind the Washington Redskins. A loss would have kept them alive only in a mathematical sense.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Now they have to show they can win back-to-back games. And they get the chance to do it where their 2017 season effectively died. Last November, the Cowboys lost 27-7 to the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Dak Prescott was sacked eight times. Elliott did not play, serving the first game of a six-game suspension. It was the start of a three-game losing streak that ultimately led the Cowboys to a 9-7 finish that kept them from the playoffs.