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Wayne Rooney far from spent force, claims David Beckham

first_img Press Association Although they did not play together at Manchester United, Beckham and Rooney have been close friends for many years due to their involvement with England. Beckham was captain when Rooney made his international debut 12 years ago and the pair went on to play at two major tournaments together. “He got to a certain age and then he dropped into midfield a lot more and played that central role. I think Wayne will do the same. “He’s an out-and-out goalscorer, but I think at the end of the day with Wayne, he’s proved he can step into the midfield and play. “If you’re comfortable on the ball, as players such as Wayne and Giggsy are you can do that.” :: The UNICEF game featuring, which pits a Great Britain & Ireland XI v a Rest of the World XI is on 14 November, 3pm, at Old Trafford. Tickets available from manutd.com Rooney became England’s record goalscorer last month, but his form at United has not been great this season. The 29-year-old has found the net just once in the Barclays Premier League, but that does not mean he is a fading force, according to Beckham. “I don’t think you can ever write off a player that’s scored the number of goals he has for England and Manchester United,” said the former United midfielder, who was speaking at a press conference to publicise a charity match for UNICEF that he is playing in at Old Trafford. “Being the player he is and has been over the years, you can never write off someone like that. “Players like that can always make you eat your words.” Rooney started the season as United’s main striker, but Louis van Gaal has shifted his skipper into the number 10 role since Anthony Martial joined from Monaco. The United manager deployed Rooney as a central midfielder at times last term, and that is where Beckham believes the England captain is destined to end his career. Beckham said: “I think when you get older, you have to adapt your play. Ryan Giggs was a prime example. David Beckham has warned Wayne Rooney’s critics they will soon be made to eat their words. last_img read more

Notebook: Geno Thorpe debuts, other notes from Syracuse’s 84-59 exhibition win over Southern Connecticut State

first_img Published on November 6, 2017 at 10:54 pm Contact Tomer: tdlanger@syr.edu | @tomer_langer Geno Thorpe’s introduction for his graduate season at Syracuse involved an untucked jersey. As Thorpe entered SU’s second and final exhibition game, an 84-59 win Monday night over Southern Connecticut State, he lightly jogged out to midcourt five-and-a-half minutes into the game. He fidgeted with his white jersey, then tucked it in before scurrying to find his defensive assignment as the Orange trailed by eight to a Division II opponent. The untucked jersey epitomized Thorpe’s play Monday night in his Syracuse debut: He was slightly off, a step or two slower than he would prefer on drives and one-on-one matchups, but he tacked together a few plays to cap off a fairly productive outing. Within his first few minutes at SU, he forced a pair of steals and dropped in a layup, helping the Orange begin to claw back from an early deficit. Thorpe, who turns 23 on Wednesday, is Syracuse’s most experienced player. In his first SU game, he scored six points, dished out four assists and grabbed four steals across 22 minutes on the floor. Yet head coach Jim Boeheim said Thorpe is still healing from an ankle injury that decelerated his progression into the SU backcourt. “He just doesn’t have his push off of his ankle yet,” Boeheim said. “He’s just has a couple of days of practice really, in the last 14, so I think it will take him a while.”A year ago, Thorpe led South Florida in scoring. His 15.1 points per game would have placed second on SU, though he did not play in Syracuse’s first exhibition because of his ankle injury. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAgainst the Owls at the Carrier Dome, four days before Syracuse’s season opener against Cornell, SU needed life early. In the first half, Syracuse swapped out of its half-court 2-3 zone into a full-court press for the second consecutive game. What resulted was a Thorpe steal that produced a layup at the other end. Later, he showed that he is not at his full self. On a left-handed drive from the left wing, the ball slipped out of Thorpe’s hands and drifted out of bounds. He clapped his hands. He then missed three of his four 3-point attempts, as well as a layup. “Physically, I feel pretty ready,” Thorpe said. “Right now my ankle is still working back to 100 percent.”Backcourt mate Frank Howard, who scored 19 points, said Thorpe can create his own shot, get to the basket in one-on-one situations and “help me get off ball a little bit.” Howard acknowledged that Thorpe’s ankle is clearly preventing him from being at full strength, though he said Thorpe played well given his status. Thorpe knocked down one second-half 3-pointer, shot 2-for-6 from the field and earned one trip to the charity stripe. By the time his early jitters faded, he flashed a few smiles. He perked up from the SU bench several times amid SU’s 60-point second half. When freshman forward Bourama Sidibe blocked a shot around the 3-point line, causing the ball to float up and land in the SCSU bench, Thorpe giggled with Howard. “He’s good with the ball,” Boeheim said. “He doesn’t have his explosiveness and he needs that. It will probably take some time.”Paul Schlesinger | Asst. Photo EditorOnly the center rotation is setAll nine scholarship players played at least 12 minutes in the game, with no player eclipsing Tyus Battle’s team-high 29 minutes. Boeheim is still looking for the right group to emerge.“We just have to keep giving everybody an opportunity and see,” Boeheim said. “I think our centers are set. We know what we’re going to do there. Now we’ve got to figure out what else we’ve got. And it’s (going) to take a little bit of time I think.”Boeheim was largely happy with how his centers played in the exhibition. After men’s basketball media day Boeheim said he wanted the two centers, Paschal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe, to split the minutes at center. They did basically just that with Sidibe playing 20 minutes and Chukwu 18.Chukwu got the start but was subbed out after the Owls made two 3-pointers from the same spot in the left corner. Boeheim said that Sidibe is better than Chukwu at closing out in the corners. Despite that, the SU head coach was happy with what he saw from his sisters. “Paschal and Bourama are doing a pretty good job inside,” Boeheim said. “I think they had about 19 rebounds tonight between them. Blocked some shots, I think they’re doing what we would like them to do.” SU better equipped for press this yearBoeheim hasn’t had the most straightforward relationship with pressing on defense. Two years ago in the Elite Eight, it fueled Syracuse’s improbable second-half comeback against Virginia. But the Orange didn’t use it much last year, as Boeheim said that he thought good teams would figure out how to crack it. Syracuse used the press to get back in the game after a slow start in the first exhibition matchup against Southern New Hampshire. SU deployed it again early and often throughout this second preseason game. “We couldn’t score,” Boeheim said. “So we might as well try and get a turnover and see if we can get something that way, that would help.” Even though the offense’s struggles were the initial cause for the press to be used, Boeheim said he does think that the Orange will be able to use the press more because it has two capable shot blockers. The only player who averaged more than one block per game last year was 6-foot-9 Tyler Lydon. Sidibe and Chukwu are both taller and better shot blockers. Twice, Sidibe played center field on the press. When the inbound pass would go over the top toward halfcourt, Sidibe stepped up and broke it up. On one play SCSU was throwing in from midcourt. The Orange was caught cheating into the backcourt and Owls player Luke Beesley slipped past the SU defense. He went up for the dunk but Chukwu hustled back, met him at the top of his jump and swatted the ball away.“We’ve been working on it, we’ve spent a lot of time on our press,” Boeheim said. “Just think of all those plays they either stopped or went back. Or we got a block. Or they missed a shot. And we didn’t have that last year.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Jags turn to ‘mad scientists’ Gruden, McAdoo to help Minshew

first_img First Published: 28th August, 2020 07:45 IST Last Updated: 28th August, 2020 07:45 IST Jags Turn To ‘mad Scientists’ Gruden, McAdoo To Help Minshew Looking to revitalize one of the NFL’s most inept offenses, the Jacksonville Jaguars turned to the NFC East for the second consecutive year SUBSCRIBE TO US Written By LIVE TV Looking to revitalize one of the NFL’s most inept offenses, the Jacksonville Jaguars turned to the NFC East for the second consecutive year.Doug Marrone hired two former head coaches who previously worked on opposite sidelines for bitter rivals, the New York Giants and Washington.Ben McAdoo (Giants) is Jacksonville’s new quarterbacks coach and Jay Gruden (Washington) is the team’s offensive coordinator.Together, they have been tasked with helping Gardner Minshew and one of the league’s youngest offenses take huge strides after missing months of on-field work during the offseason because of the coronavirus pandemic.“I would’ve taken a job coaching a monkey how to do hopscotch if I had to,” said McAdoo, who was out of the league the past two years and living about an hour south of Jacksonville when Marrone called. “I just wanted to get back in.”McAdoo initially interviewed for the OC job, but ended up in charge of Minshew. It seems as if it’s a good fit: McAdoo’s comedic style meshing with Minshew’s fun-loving, laid-back attitude. Throw in Gruden, and Minshew insists the meeting room is filled with laughter and creativity.“We’ve got freaking mad scientists in there,” Minshew said. “It gets pretty fun.”The Jaguars need it to work. They ranked 20th in the league in yards (341.8 a game) in 2019 and 26th in points scored (18.8).Minshew flashed at times, finishing 6-6 in 12 starts after replacing Nick Foles in the opener. He threw for 3,271 yards, with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions. Sacks (33), fumbles (13) and red-zone struggles were his biggest issues.Foles, meanwhile, flopped. Philadelphia’s Super Bowl 52 MVP signed a four-year deal that included more than $50 million guaranteed in 2019 — another NFC East product — but he broke his left collarbone on his first series and was benched three games into his return.The Jaguars could have addressed QB in the draft and probably would have had owner Shad Khan fired Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell after a second straight last-place finish in the AFC South. But all three felt Minshew deserved a chance to see what he can do with a better scheme and more weapons.Jacksonville drafted receiver Laviska Shenault in the second round and signed 2015 Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert in free agency. The offense returns its entire starting line, running back Leonard Fournette and receivers DJ Chark, Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole.Gruden and McAdoo, who had their most success as NFL coordinators, will try to get everyone in sync. Minshew is the centerpiece.“He’s got a huge upside and we’re excited to tap into that,” Gruden said.Here are some other things to know about Jacksonville heading into the season:D-LINE WOESJacksonville could be without as many as nine defensive linemen who opened training camp on its roster, a rash of setbacks to the same position group.Lerentee McCray and Al Woods opted out because of COVID-19 concerns. Dontavius Russell and Brian Price landed on injured reserve. The most significant blow came when Rodney Gunter was forced to give up football because of an enlarged aorta. Aaron Lynch followed him into retirement the next day for personal reasons.Josh Mauro (five games) and Carl Davis (four) are suspended to start the season. And it’s unclear whether disgruntled pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue will show up in time for the opener. Ngakoue is the NFL’s only franchise-tagged player not under contract. His one-year tender offer is worth $17.8 million.“You know, it’s easy to point a finger, but that’s not who we are,” defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich said.ROSTER MAKEOVERJacksonville revamped its roster in the offseason, unloading several huge salaries (Foles, Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, Marcell Dareus) while making a concerted effort to get younger and repair a fractured locker room many players believe former personnel chief Tom Coughlin created. Coughlin was fired in November.The team now has just four players over the age of 30.LOW EXPECTATIONSThe Jaguars are the NFL’s ultimate long shots in 2020. They have the highest odds to win the Super Bowl (150-1) and the lowest over/under win total (4½).“You hear what people are saying against you, but at the end of the day you know what you can do and you know what the guys around you can do,” Minshew said. “We are going to focus on the things we can do and not what we can’t do. If we do that, if we focus on ourselves, we’ll have a chance to be pretty damn good.”PANDEMIC PROGRESSAt one time in camp, the Jaguars led the league with players on the COVID-19 list. They had 12 in early August, including Minshew. The only one on the list now is offensive lineman Ryan Pope.Image credits: AP center_img Associated Press Television News COMMENT WATCH US LIVE FOLLOW USlast_img read more

It destroyed me to see my ‘best friend’ George Floyd killed by a cop – Former NBA star

first_imgFormer NBA star Stephen Jackson has spoken about his despair when he found out about the death of his ‘best friend’ George Floyd.Jackson, in an interview with NBC, said his girlfriend’s mom texted him the video of a police officer kneeling on his friend’s neck.He added that it took him a little while to realise who was in the video but when he did, he could not control his sorrow.“I jumped up, screamed, scared my daughter, almost broke my hand punching stuff because I was so mad, because I’m the type of guy,” he said.“I get mad and I get into a full face of tears when I see a homeless man on the street that I can’t help, so let alone my best friend on TV for the world to see getting killed over a fraud charge, a fake $20 bill. It just destroyed me and I haven’t been the same since I saw it.”Jackson added that seeing the video was a very difficult experience for him, especially as George Floyd could be heard calling out for his mother.“It hurt, man, it hurt because I knew that was a cry for help. I’m a black man and I’m a strong black man and I know Floyd. That’s a cry for help.”“We don’t scream our mother’s name like that unless we know something is wrong and our life is in jeopardy and we have, we can’t control it. That was a cry for help.”Floyd died after complaining that he couldn’t breathe when the arresting officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for a number of minutes.OAKLAND, CA – APRIL 8: Stephen Jackson #1 of the Golden State Warriors looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena on April 8, 2008 in Oakland, California. The Warriors won 140-132 Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)CNN reported that four officers at the scene were fired on Tuesday and that state and federal authorities are investigating the case.The Minneapolis Police said in a statement that their officers had been called in over an alleged forgery, arresting Floyd who was at the scene.Police said he “physically resisted” arrest when he was being handcuffed, however, footage from witnesses and from nearby cameras did not show any confrontation between Floyd and the officers.The police added that Floyd “appeared to be suffering medical distress.” during the arrest and that he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.The incident has sparked protests across the US, with some turning violent.Jackson said that Floyd would have been happy with the concern shown by the protesters but punishing the people who caused his death should be the top priority.“He’s not the type of person to promote violence and stuff like that. He used to baptize people, so what we’re seeing right now, this is not what Floyd would want,” Jackson said.last_img read more

Redskins ‘don’t know’ when to expect Colt McCoy back, Jay Gruden says

first_imgWashington is still waiting for Colt McCoy to be game-ready.The Redskins signal caller broke his right leg in 2018 and has been working toward a return.  Coach Jay Gruden discussed McCoy’s progress Sunday but couldn’t predict when he’d make his 2019 debut.”Oh man, it might not be the end of camp, it might be two or three weeks into the season,” Gruden told reporters. “We don’t know yet. There is no timetable for him until he feels like he’s 100 percent to push off that leg. Until that time comes, he’s gonna be rehabbing.” Related News Giants reportedly not planning to have open QB competition despite Daniel Jones’ preseason success McCoy became Washington’s starter when Alex Smith fractured his leg last season and threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns before suffering his own season-ending injury. He was held out of practice last week because of leg soreness and Washington’s quarterback room is undermanned.Smith faces a long road to recovery from his leg fracture and might not play at all in 2019. In the meantime Case Keenum and 2019 draft pick Dwayne Haskins are competing for the first spot on the depth chart.center_img Colin Kaepernick lauds Eric Reid, Kenny Stills for standing by beliefs: ‘Stay strong, brothers’ Gruden acknowledges the team’s limited options might be a problem and has considered signing another quarterback if McCoy’s discomfort lingers into the regular season.”That’s an issue we’ll talk about for sure,” Gruden said. “We’ll wait and see how far along we feel like he (McCoy) is once we get going after this game (against the Falcons on Thursday). Heading into preseason game four and then heading into the Philadelphia week we’ll see where he is and make a determination on how many quarterbacks we’ll keep.”last_img read more