Month: September 2019


Gronk Was The Most Efficient Receiver Weve Seen


2Julio JonesWR1,09510,7319.8 6Michael IrvinWR9608,9369.3 7Jordy NelsonWR9248,5879.3 1Rob GronkowskiTE7947,8619.9 9Doug BaldwinWR7226,5639.1 3Malcom FloydWR5705,5509.7 8T.Y. HiltonWR8788,0979.2 Among players with at least 500 career targetsSource: Pro-Football-Reference.com 4DeSean JacksonWR1,05710,2619.7 It was the Instagram post that shook the NFL. New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski took to the social-media platform Sunday night to announce what had been speculated for the better part of two years: He was retiring from football at age 29, leaving the Pats less than two months after New England won Super Bowl LIII. Despite his relatively short career, Gronk seems like an ironclad lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame based on his three championships and many spike-worthy touchdowns. And there’s plenty of evidence that the traditional markers of tight end production undersell Gronkowski’s success. When healthy, Gronk was one of the most efficient offensive weapons in NFL history, notable as much for the nightmares he caused defenses as for the short amount of time his star shone (or his party-loving ways off the field).Not that Gronkowski’s conventional stats are anything to scoff at. He was named to the Pro Bowl in five of the seven seasons in which he played more than half of the Patriots’ games and was the first-team All-Pro tight end in four of those years. In the 2010s, no tight end had more receiving yards, and no receiver of any kind scored more receiving touchdowns. Only two tight ends in history — Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez — have more regular-season career TD catches, and Gronkowski caught 12 more in the postseason, which ties him with John Stallworth for the second-most playoff TDs among all players behind Jerry Rice.On a per-16-game basis, the average Gronk campaign would consist of 72 catches, 1,094 yards and 11 touchdowns — numbers that would rank among the top 25 tight end seasons in history. And Gronkowski sustained that pace for nine seasons.Those numbers are only scratching the surface in terms of how valuable Gronk was to Tom Brady and the Patriots over the years. On a per-target basis, Gronkowksi picked up 9.9 yards — basically an entire first down every time the ball was thrown in his direction — according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. Since 1992 (the first season for target data on PFR), that’s the best of any receiver — wideout or tight end — in the NFL. 5Brandin CooksWR5465,1479.4 Good things happened when you throw to GronkMost career yards per target for NFL players, 1992-2018 10Travis KelceTE5795,2369.0 PlayerPositionTargetsYardsyards per target Remember longtime Vikings WR Cris Carter’s old reputation — “all he does is catch touchdowns”? For Gronkowski, that was closer to being true than for any player of his generation — and it was a very good thing for the Patriots. With 521 career receptions and 79 career touchdown grabs, Gronk hauled in a TD once every 6.6 catches. Only eight players in NFL history with a minimum of 400 lifetime receptions — Don Hutson, Paul Warfield, Tommy McDonald, Art Powell, Jimmy Orr, Wesley Walker, Randy Moss and Lance Alworth — caught touchdowns as a greater share of their total catches than Gronkowski did.With those rates of great things happening whenever he was involved in the play, it’s easy to make a case that Gronkowski was the most efficient receiver (of any type) in NFL history. What’s more, Gronkowski consistently made his teammates more efficient, too.When our colleague Kyle Wagner looked at Gronk’s impact during the 2017-18 playoffs, he found that Brady’s passing efficiency numbers were significantly higher when his favorite tight end was on the field than not, one of the big ways Gronkowski has been a secret weapon for the Pats during the latter phase of their record-smashing dynasty. Since Gronk’s debut in 2010, Brady’s passer rating when targeting Gronkowski is 124.7, but it was just 96.8 when throwing to any other receiver. Even when it came to the greatest quarterback of all time, Gronkowski found a way to make him look much better.And then there was Gronkowski’s effect as a blocker. He frequently graded out as the best blocking tight end in the game, according to ProFootballFocus.com’s ratings. This aspect of his game made Gronk an asset whether the play call was a pass or run — keeping the Patriots from having to sub him in and out depending on the situation, or having his presence tip the Pats’ hand on which type of play was coming. No matter what Gronkowski was asked to do, he generated a mismatch with the defense.(All of this is to say nothing of the fun-loving image Gronkowski cultivated both on and off the field. We’ll leave others to judge his extracurricular activities, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t reference this great description of Gronkowski’s playing style from The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay: He was “six-foot-6, 265 pounds, galloping straight at you in the open field like a pony who just broke loose at a children’s birthday party.”)Gronkowski was still a valuable player in 2018, but there’s no denying that he was a shell of his old self. According to ProFootballFocus, he was ranked 11th best overall at the position. But as he showed in the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory this year, Gronkowski could still be a game-changing player. His 29-yard reception in the fourth quarter set New England up on the goal line, leading to the game’s only touchdown. While Gronkowksi’s impact as a blocker generated great fanfare during the regular season and in the playoffs, he also was the team’s primary downfield weapon after Josh Gordon exited New England, averaging 16.4 air yards per reception, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group. That was more than 50 percent greater than Brady’s overall mark per attempt during the same span.Few Hall of Famers have ever retired before their age-30 season,1In the parlance of Pro-Football-Reference, which calculates its seasonal ages based on the player’s age as of Dec. 31 during the year in question. but Gronkowski is destined to join a group that also includes Jim Brown, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley and Gale Sayers (among modern2Retiring since 1960. players). Though his time in the NFL was relatively short, Gronk made his mark on the league as a receiver, blocker and all-around offensive terror. The game — and its greatest quarterback — will miss him dearly next season. read more


College coaches crossing the line


Ohio State football players don’t know just how nice they have it.Not only do they enjoy incredible practice and workout facilities, a tradition-rich program and prominent national exposure on a weekly basis, but they don’t even get locked in a shed, verbally humiliated or punched in the face when they screw up.That’s a perk worth more than all the training tables, stipends and bowl gifts put together.In a college football environment that has seen Mark Mangino of Kansas fired for physically and verbally abusing his players (allegedly), Texas Tech’s Mike Leach canned for locking receiver Adam James in a darkened tool shed (allegedly) and the dismissal of South Florida’s Jim Leavitt for grabbing a player by the throat and striking him (allegedly) for a miscue on special teams, these Buckeyes should be counting their lucky stars to have a coach like Jim Tressel.Just ask Ray Small.If anyone on this past season’s OSU team could have benefited from a good lock-down or face smacking, it was him. If Tressel’s policy on missed classes, bobbled punts and smoking weed (allegedly) included such humiliations, Small would have looked like Rocky Balboa after 12 rounds with Clubber Lang.My prediction for Small’s career had he played for coaches Mangino or Leavitt?Pain.Probably a better case for comparison would be freshman Duron Carter’s treatment. His case is a little more salient because, like Adam James, he is the son of a former pro football player who now has the national platform provided by being a television football analyst.In light of his academic failures (allegedly), Carter was merely suspended by Tressel before the Rose Bowl rather than locked away in a janitor’s closet at the RPAC.Tressel has had his fair share of malcontents and miscreants to deal with. Early in his career at OSU, Tressel was forced to decide the fate of senior quarterback Steve Bellisari for driving under the influence. The following season, Louis Irizarry and Ira Guilford were arrested for attempted robbery.Each time, Tressel had a hard decision to make. In Bellisari’s case, it meant benching his starting quarterback for the game against arch-rival Michigan. For Irizarry and Guilford, he had to make the difficult choice to sever their ties with the program. For a man of coach Tressel’s integrity and compassion, that was certainly a difficult decision to make.To be fair, OSU is not unfamiliar to the tactics of a harsh disciplinarian. Some of our campus roads and buildings are named after one of the most aggressive coaches ever to stalk the sidelines of a college football game: Woody Hayes.Just ask Charlie Bauman. He was the Clemson nose guard who had the audacity to intercept a pass in the Gator Bowl and was then on the receiving end of a throat punch delivered by Hayes on the sideline.At that point, OSU officials’ hands were tied and they had no other choice then to let the venerable Hayes go. Just as the athletic directors at Kansas, Texas Tech and South Florida had no choice.Gone are the days of mothers and fathers sending their sons off to task-masters such as Hayes or former Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight to be forged into men in a crucible of fire.In their place are parents like Ken Small and Craig James who are laboring under the illusion that just because their sons lit up the scoreboards for their respective high schools they are somehow entitled to being handled with kid gloves on the collegiate level.Given this level of coddling, once these student-athletes are outside of their insulated, athletic bubbles, they can hardly be blamed for thinking that the world revolves around them.Tressel can’t save every soul that comes under his tutelage. Some are beyond redemption before they ever set foot on campus (See: Maurice Clarett). But his track record is better than most, and for that, Buckeye fans should be proud.So three of the more brutish coaches in the ranks of college football are looking for work and the athletes left behind know that they are the ones holding the trump cards if their new coaches tick them off.Allegedly. read more


OSUs Dominic Clarke arrested wont play at Illinois


Ohio State football sophomore cornerback Dominic Clarke will not travel with the Buckeyes for Saturday’s game at Illinois after being arrested Sunday and charged with disorderly conduct during an on-campus incident involving what a witness described as a “compressed air” gun. An OSU student called the university police department and said that three black males were sitting on top of the roof of Marketplace, a campus eatery, “firing a paintball gun down at people.” The student said he looked out his window and saw the men on the roof.  “I can’t totally tell if it’s an Airsoft or a paintball, but it’s using compressed air,” the student said. The OSU police department report identified Clarke, as well as football freshman offensive lineman Chris Carter and men’s basketball freshman Sam Thompson. Both Carter and Thompson gave statements to police but were not arrested. In an email to The Lantern, OSU football spokesman Jerry Emig confirmed that Clarke would be suspended. “The individual was involved in a university rules violation,” Emig said in an email. “The issue is currently going through the university process, and head coach Luke Fickell has announced that he will not be traveling with the team to Illinois this weekend.” Basketball team spokesman Dan Wallenberg said in an email, “We have no issues with any basketball student athletes.” The police report said that the incident is still under investigation. read more


No such thing as a bad point for Columbus Blue Jackets


There’s no time to waste in the current NHL season – the Columbus Blue Jackets just need points. So far, they’re getting the job done. The Detroit Red Wings crashed the Blue Jackets’ Monday home opener by tying the game at three with 6:04 remaining in regulation before winning in a shootout, 4-3. The night wasn’t a total loss, though – players in the Columbus locker room found consolation in gaining a point by virtue of forcing overtime against the visitors. That valuable point in the standings gave the Blue Jackets three points through two games (the first two came in Saturday’s season-opening 4-3 shootout win at Nashville). It took the 2011-12 Blue Jackets nine games to make three points and claim their first win. So, while it’s true that the Blue Jackets were a mere 6:04 away from only the second 2-0 start to a season in franchise history, the team is taking a glass-half-full approach to the situation. “For us, (Monday’s game is) still a good point,” Blue Jackets wing Vinny Prospal said after the game. “I think, before the season, if anybody told us we’d have three points after the first two games, we would take it.” Prospal scored his first goal of the season – the would-have-been game winner – with 11:17 to play in the third period to put Columbus up, 3-2. Red Wings veteran center Pavel Datsyuk erased that lead when he jammed the game-tying goal past Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky from close range. After a scoreless overtime period, Detroit center Damien Brunner scored the only goal of the shootout to win the game. A single point isn’t to be taken lightly in the current lockout-shortened, 48-game season. Fewer games mean fewer chances to climb in the standings and a significantly narrowed margin for error when compared to the ample opportunities teams have to improve during the typical 82-game seasons. Another product of the condensed schedule is quick turnarounds – Columbus will play its third game in five days Wednesday against the Phoenix Coyotes. If there was any lingering frustration about letting a win against Detroit slip away, Blue Jackets’ defenseman Jack Johnson compelled his teammates to quickly move beyond it. “You have to let it go,” Johnson said. “We have to get ready for Wednesday … win or lose, you have to put it behind you and get ready for the next one.” A win against the Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz., would give the Blue Jackets five points – it took last year’s team 12 games to reach that plateau, and they were already fading from the playoff picture, having posted a 2-9-1 record during that span. So long as the team doesn’t fade into playoff oblivion again, when and how the points come probably isn’t of much consequence to the Columbus players. The goal, Johnson said, is to simply accumulate points every time out and stay in the hunt. “We’re trying to find a way to get a point in every single game,” Johnson said. “Because every point is so precious with only 48 games.” John Davidson, president of hockey operations for Columbus, agreed. “There’s no such thing as a bad point,” Davidson said. “Not this year.” The Blue Jackets’ Wednesday game at Phoenix is scheduled for an 10 p.m. start. read more


Mel and Sue to host BBC One primetime Saturday night show


first_imgMel and Sue had presented the Great British Bake Off with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood Credit:BBC “Their warmth, wit, charm and chemistry married with their genuine love of entertainment are all a perfect fit for Let’s Sing And Dance For Comic Relief.”During the Saturday night show they will be challenging contestants to both sing and dance as they perform some of the biggest hits in pop history, while wearing red noses. The announcement comes just days after the end of the Great British Bake Off on the BBC. The two hosts had said they will not “follow the dough” to move to Channel 4, making clear their loyalty to the BBC. They will now host a Saturday night entertainment slot of all-singing, all-dancing celebrities in aid of charity.Kate Phillips, controller of entertainment commissioning at the BBC, said: “Bringing Mel and Sue to BBC One on a Saturday night is hugely exciting. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Bringing Mel and Sue to BBC One on a Saturday night is hugely excitingKate Phillipscenter_img Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, who shunned moving to Channel 4 when they poached the Great British Bake Off, have been rewarded with a primetime Saturday night show on the BBC.Mel and Sue, as they are known to fans, will host Let’s Sing And Dance For Comic Relief, a four-part series on BBC One next year. Viewers and a panel of judges will vote for who they want to see return to the competition’s grand finale after three live heats in the lead-up to Red Nose Day 2017.Perkins, 47, said: “I’m thrilled to be co-presenting Let’s Sing And Dance For Comic Relief, not least because it will finally show the world why I was voted West Penwith’s Krumping Champion – over 40s category.” Mel and Sue had presented the Great British Bake Off with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood last_img read more


Protect our salmon from poachers volunteers demand as they say river deserves


first_imgDespite the fact England’s salmon stocks are among the lowest on record, the River Ure in Yorkshire has enjoyed a boost in its salmon population over the last five years – even outperforming the rivers in Scotland. Volunteers are pushing for a Yorkshire river with a flourishing salmon population to be recognised as a “principle river” by the government so they can protect the fish from poachers. This is thanks to the efforts of the Ure Salmon Group, who tend the habitat, remove blockages to the river so fish can swim in and run a stocking scheme.center_img However, the Government has labelled the river a “recovering salmon river” rather than giving it principle salmon status – meaning it will not receive…last_img


Christians on brink of extinction in Middle East warns Archbishop of Canterbury


Describing the “daily threat of murder” faced in the Middle East, the Most Reverend Justin Welby says Christians are experiencing “the worst situation since the Mongol invasions of the 13th Century”. Christians who were the first founders of the church are on brink of “imminent extinction”, the Archbishop of Canterbury is warning. It comes as figures have revealed just one in 400 Syrian refugees given asylum in the UK last year were Christians despite them being subjected to “horrendous persecution”. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Archbishop Welby, the most senior clergyman in the Church of England, calls on the Government to take in more refugees. Highlighting their plight ahead of a special…


Selfharm trebles among women in past 14 years amid calls for social


Responding to the report, an NSPCC spokeswoman said: “We know from contacts to Childline that many children are being driven to self-harm as a way of dealing with the pressures and demands of modern-day life.“Within a few clicks, children and young people can have almost unlimited access to suicide and self-harm content online – despite tech giants claiming they prohibit such material.”This is why our Wild West Web campaign is calling on the Government to introduce independent regulation of social networks to protect children from the risk of abuse and harmful content.”In 2000 and 2007, the prevalence of self-harming was similar between the sexes, but by 2014 it had become higher in women and girls (7.9%) than men and boys (5%).”The rise in rates of self-harm – particularly among girls and young women – is alarming,”  Emma Thomas, CEO at YoungMinds, said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Her father, Ian, has been vocal in his beliefs that Instagram “helped kill my daughter”.Despite showing  “no obvious signs” of severe mental health issues, the teenagerl was found dead in her bedroom.Her family later discovered that she had been viewing material on social media linked to anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide.Mr Russell, said the algorithms used by Instagram enabled Molly to view more harmful content, possibly contributing to her death. The revelation that almost one in five girls and young women have self-harmed comes as charities warn that “within a few clicks, children and young people can have almost unlimited access to suicide and self-harm content online”.In April, following a campaign by the Telegraph, the Government announced plans to introduce new Duty of Care laws to hold tech firms accountable for damaging material online.The case of Molly Russell sparked headlines around the world. The schoolgirl took her own life six days before her 15th birthday in 2017 after viewing self-harm and suicide material on social media. “At the moment, it’s far too difficult for children and young people to get mental health support before they reach crisis point.The study also shows that rates of self-harm in England are generally increasing. Across the period, the rate of lifetime non-suicidal self-harm rose from 2.4% to 3.8% to 6.4% across the population.The study analysed responses from people aged 16 to 74 in England in 2000, 2007 and 2014, mainly using information from face-to-face interviews.Their sample included 7,243 people in 2000, 6,444 in 2007 and 6,477 in 2014.Jacqui Morrissey, assistant director of research and influencing at Samaritans, said: “Self-harm is a sign of serious emotional distress and while the majority of people who self-harm will not go on to take their own life, it is a strong predictor for future suicide risk.”It’s therefore vital that there is a broad public health approach, rooted in education across frontline professionals and the wider community, improved mental health services and effective support on and offline.” The number of girls and young women self-harming has tripled in the past 14 years as charities call on social media companies to take up their duty of care.In 2000, 6.5% of 16 to 24-year-old girls and women reported having self-harmed at some point in their life. However this figure doubled to 11.7% in 2007 and 19.7% in 2014.Experts have described the figures in the study, carried out by  the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and published in The Lancet Psychiatry, as “alarming”.The study provides the first evidence of long-term trends in non-suicidal self-harm in England.Previous studies have used data from health services to measure self-harm, but many people who self-harm do not seek or receive help, the researchers said. read more


Why turning your fan around can help you sleep better in a


One unconventional method championed by a New Zealand-based eco-warrior involves pointing an electric fan outside of your open bedroom window to keep cool at night.   Nelson Lebo, an eco design adviser for Palmerston North city council in the South Pacific nation’s North Island, explains the clever fan trick works by blowing the… Inevitably, the weather has got people talking, and sharing tips on how to stay cool. They range from the bizarre, like eating chilli and painting your roof white, to practical tips like wearing light clothes. The heatwave is coming. Forecasters predict all-time records for July could be broken on Wednesday or Thursday as the mercury pushes towards 95F (35C) and above.