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Stories and skills  learned on the road by Hobo Bob

In the spring of 02 there came a storm that rock the world on it’s heels. This is story of the survival of a homeless vet and his dog and how the two beat the odds, in the spring of 02.


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Michel’s college teammate Chubb came off the board four picks later, landing in Cleveland at the 35th overall pick.

There may have been a difference of just four slots, but it feels like the two former Bulldogs are worlds apart. Not only did one join the best franchise in the NFL of the last two decades while the other joined the worst, their situations are entirely different. Chubb enters a muddy, crowded backfield with Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson. There’s zero receiving upside with Johnson in the fold, and it’s nearly impossible to project his share of the carries with any confidence with the team bringing in Hyde, who had plenty of success in less-than-ideal conditions in San Francisco.

Johnson finds himself in a spot almost identical to Chubb, which makes it hard to like him at his mid-seventh-round price tag. Like Chubb, he has a capable, run-first teammate in LeGarrette Blount. Like Chubb, he has little receiving upside thanks to the presence of a dynamic pass-catching back, in his case Theo Riddick. His team, the Lions, is even pass-friendlier than Chubb’s, with Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay likely to combine for 350-plus targets. The Lions liked Johnson enough to use the 43rd overall pick in the draft on him even after signing Blount, but it’s still hard to get excited about his floor or ceiling. Unless he can push the veteran entirely to the sidelines, there doesn’t seem to be a realistic scenario in which Johnson gets enough looks to be anything more than a depth back or fantasy purposes.

Tim Tebow is a Double-A All-Star because of course he’s a Double-A All-Star. Going into the weekend, his .733 OPS for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (that’s actually the team name) is 35th in the Eastern League, and he was hitting .261 with five homers and 30 RBIs. So at the very least, it’s hard to call his run at pro baseball a joke anymore.

The rest of the ACC had written off Boston College by mid-October, but Dillon put the Eagles’ frustrating offense on his back in the second half to lead them to a bowl bid, starting with a 279-yard, four-touchdown explosion against Louisville that featured the most ruthless stiff-arm of the season. When the dust settled on the regular season, he was the nation’s 12th-leading rusher, with only seven players shouldering a heavier load than his 268 carries.

Former Lions, Spartans head coach Darryl Rogers dies at 83

Former Lions head coach Darryl Rogers died at the age of 83.

Rogers went 18-40 as head coach of the Lions, ending in 1988 with a 2-9 season.

Before moving to the NFL, Rogers coached the Michigan State Spartans for four seasons and won share of a Big Ten title in 1978. In 20 total seasons coaching in college, Rogers posted a record of 129-84-7 and he is on the 2019 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Darryl, Lions owner Martha Ford said in a statement, via profootballtalk.com. On behalf of me, my family and the entire Detroit Lions organization, I would like to extend our sincere sympathy to his wife, Marsha, and the Rogers family.

For what it’s worth, of course, the league types and the crowd that spread the lie about Kaepernick insulting the flag and disrespecting the troops (and worse) was only scowling, sniping and muttering about how players should not be allowed to get away with it. Nothing was written down; NFL policy didn’t prohibit it.

Those days are over. As of late May, at the owners meetings, the NFL did write it down and, even with its shady, conflicted versions of the vote, approved it overwhelmingly. That was when Bidwill said, I look forward to getting the focus back on football and getting back to football in 2018.

That’s his definition of getting the focus back on football.

So is going on the radio the next day and saying, People are saying ‘Stick to sports’? You know what? We ask our players 20 days a year game days to restrict their statements. The rest of the days, we want our players to get engaged in the community. Just like I am and other owners are. (There’s his definition of political actions on company time, too. But again, we’re way past the point of everybody playing by the same rules.)

File that remark, by the way, under O, for, Oh, yeah, that $90 million check they’re writing to the Players Coalition looks more like hush money every day.

The Vikings are built for to win the division again, but one big obstacle stands in the way: Aaron Rodgers.

The Packers were early favorites to win the North last fall, until Rodgers’ broken collarbone effectively erased Green Bay’s 4-1 start and ended its postseason streak at eight years. A healthy Rodgers, flanked by a revamped offense (Jordy Nelson and Jeff Janis are out; Jimmy Graham, Marcedes Lewis, and a trio of receiver draftees are in) will make a run at the team’s sixth division title in the past eight years.

Minnesota will have to hope Kirk Cousins can adjust to his new home quickly. That shouldn’t be much of a problem — the franchise spun Sam Bradford and Case Keenum from straw into gold the past two seasons. The question is whether the Vikings can do it again, this time with a better pure QB talent but without the help of offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

The play before this one was a deep shot down the right side to Andre Holmes. Peterman overthrew him by a mile. Cut to the broadcasters talked about getting back to quick, easy passes, something to help steady him.

That’s exactly what the Bills did not do.

OK, Tate’s going to run down there and be in the deep middle. Easy enough. I got this!

Maybe he didn’t mean to underthrow it. Maybe it was the twin fists of the Chargers pass rush pummeling him.

It’s an easy pick for Casey Hayward (his first of two on the day).

Somehow, miraculously, the Bills are only trailing, 10-7. Not for long. Whoever’s calling the plays seems to be adamant about turning Peterman into some kind of gunslinging deep passer … in his very first pro start.

On the previous play, the Seahawks handed the ball to Lynch and he was tripped up at 1. As the clock ran down, the Patriots declined to take a timeout, but instead, ran a defensive look they hadn’t shown often. The Seahawks stayed in their 11 personnel, and the mismatch was created.

What the Patriots did was unique, another reminder of what makes Bill Belichick a remarkable coach. They went with a goal-line front with a nickel secondary. They had six, plus a man coverage player over the tight end, lined up over the offensive line, with a single linebacker in the box.

The Indianapolis Colts are still without Andrew Luck after the quarterback underwent surgery in January.

Recently acquired passer Jacoby Brissett has played well as the team’s starter in Luck’s place, but the Colts are undeniably worse without the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL draft on the field.

His absence has been somewhat of a mystery. While Luck’s surgery was described by Colts owner Jim Irsay as an outpatient procedure that wouldn’t threaten the 2017 regular season, it has clearly become a more significant issue than that. Luck has yet to play this season.

March 1984 gave us the Indianapolis Colts and the dominoes fell favorably for Arizona, Jacksonville, and even Baltimore — which got a two-time Super Bowl winner in the Ravens.

If there’s one city that has reason to wish for an alternate reality it’s St. Louis — although it would’ve taken a convoluted series of events to keep the Rams in Missouri. All in all, most cities can be happy with the way things shook out when the Mayflower trucks shipped off for Indianapolis.

Luck missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury that began two years prior.

The Patriots lost out on Moss and his record-setting offense in that scenario, but they’d profit from another what if further down the line. Antonio Brown neglected a phone call from the Buffalo Bills on draft day in 2010, clearing a path to wind up with the Steelers as a sixth-round pick. If he hadn’t — and if he’d be forced to languish with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards, and Brian Brohn at quarterback — there’s a chance he would have been one of Bill Belichick’s targets as an in-division free agent acquisition in 2013.

In reality, NFL contracts are just a series of one-year deals strung together to avoid the hassle of having to renegotiate with 53+ players every year. Imagine how chaotic it would be for a front office if every year they had to meet with every player to re-do their contracts.

Enter guaranteed money. Because every player is looking to get as much cash as possible into his pocket, more and more agents are pushing for a higher percentage of their clients’ contracts to be guaranteed for one or more of skill, injury and cap.

Besides the signing bonus, usually the rest of the guarantees come in the form of the base salary.

Duron Carter will keep playing CB in Canada, for now

Duron Carter, the son of Hall of Famer Cris Carter who has had a cup of coffee with the Colts, continues to play in Canada. But he’s no longer just a receiver.

Carter has been lining up on defense lately, playing cornerback for the Saskatchewan RoughRiders. Last night, Montreal receiver Chris Williams ran right by Carter for a long catch and run for a touchdown. The Alouettes went on to win the game, 23-17.

Once again, there are few veterans for whom an extension — which can start at 120 percent of their current salary or 120 of the league-average salary — makes any sense. Two such guys are in Milwaukee: Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton. I’d expect the Bucks to engage Middelton, earning $13 million in the final guaranteed year of his contract, and for Middleton to shut them down. If the Bucks are willing, Bledsoe — earning $15 million — should think very hard about it.

If they miss out on the big stars, the Rockets might approach Eric Gordon for extension talks once they are allowed to do so in July, sources say. I would still bet on Houston offering Chris Paul something less than his full five-year max, especially given the tax advantage of Texas living.

That left Peterson with some thoughts about how things will play out on offense this season. Peterson said he definitely thinks Bradford will be the starter as long as Bradford is healthy, but it doesn’t sound like he thinks Arizona will be in dire straits should Bradford add a line to his long list of injury absences.

Josh blew my mind my first week with him, Peterson said on Sirius XM NFL Radio. Just to see him run hurry up offense, to see him make all these different checks, to see him put guys in position. I was completely stunned when I saw it.

Peterson said that Rosen is the future of the franchise in Arizona. Waiting for the date the future starts will be a leading storyline of the Cardinals season.

Kaplan: Paul Stastny, Winnipeg Jets. How will GM Kevin Cheveldayoff get it done? To that question, I have no answer. It will take serious finagling — especially with the Jets’ eight RFAs to re-sign, including goalie Connor Hellebuyck, as well as a potential extension for Patrik Laine. So maybe Cheveldayoff has to move someone like Jacob Trouba. It’s worth it, considering the glimpse we saw of Stastny last season as an ideal complement to Laine on the second line. Oh and six goals and nine assists in 17 playoff games. Enough said.

J.D. Martinez explains how the Red Sox have been in his blood since a young age and why he’s been on a tear at Fenway.

After slugging their way to wins in the first five games against the Los Angels Angels, the Boston Red Sox needed some strong defense to complete the season sweep.

Jackie Bradley Jr. made a leaping catch at the wall in center to keep the Angels from scoring in the first inning and broke open the game with a two-run homer in the seventh as the Red Sox beat the Angels 4-2 on Thursday night.

With scheduled starter Steven Wright on the DL, the Red Sox had to shuffle their rotation. Manager Alex Cora said he was pleased to get four innings out of starter Brian Johnson and two more from Velazquez, setting up the bullpen to finish off the Angels.

We got to where we wanted to get, Cora said. B.J. (Johnson) was outstanding using his fastball, mixing up his breaking ball — very pleased with the way we got six innings out of those guys.

For Gordon to be worth more than $20 million a season, he will have to continue developing after plateauing to some extent in terms of advanced stats. On a per-minute basis, Gordon rated best in his second NBA season at age 20, when he posted a career-best .541 true shooting percentage.

I do think looking at Gordon’s bottom-line numbers obscures the development he has made as a shooter. After three years as a sub-30 percent 3-point shooter, Gordon shot a credible 34 percent last season, putting him within striking distance of league average (36 percent). And Gordon also created far more offense in 2017-18, using a career-high 25 percent of Orlando’s plays.

There’s also a temptation to forget how young Gordon is because he has been in the NBA for four seasons. Gordon won’t turn 23 until September, making him younger than four players drafted in the second round last month (most notably West Virginia point guard Jevon Carter, the No. 32 overall pick). So I still expect plenty of improvement ahead for Gordon, particularly if the Magic can ever find a decent point guard to pair with him.

Bucs restricting camp access for fans

A year ago, the Buccaneers opened their training camp to the world, by allowing HBO’s Hard Knocks to document their every move.

This year, they’re cutting back on how much of it they are letting their own fans see.

According to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, the Bucs have cut back the number of open practices during training camp from 13 last year to six this year.

That’s one way to look at it. But the timing is curious, considering the Bucs are coming off a 5-11 season and their season is starting under a cloud already, with quarterback Jameis Winston suspended for (at least) the first three games.

In November 2017, the NFL learned of an incident involving Winston and a shared-ride service driver that had taken place in March 2016 in Scottsdale, AZ, the league said in a statement. The incident, which had been immediately reported by the driver to her employer and which resulted in Winston’s removal from the ride-sharing platform, was also publicly reported last November.

Winston has accepted the punishment and will not appeal, which fairly can be taken as an admission that he did what he was accused of doing. He will be eligible for training camp and the preseason. His suspension will commence following the preseason finale, and it will last until the day after the Week Three Monday night home game against the Steelers.

Janoris wanted to get back to New Jersey but the New York Giants and the attorneys have told him to stay in Florida at this point as police continue to investigate, ESPN’s Diana Russini said.

Poll shows NFL not as popular in Texas as football in general

They still love football in Texas, perhaps as much as any place on the planet.

But they may not love it in quite the same way as they used to.

According to a University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, nearly half of the state’s registered voters have an unfavorable opinion of the NFL in particular.

Perhaps as concerning for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Texans owner Bob McNair and the league in general is that 27 percent of all respondents had no opinion whatsoever.

If football was trumping controversy, these numbers would be much more positive than they are, said Jim Henson, head of the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin. And they would not show the demographic patterns that are clearly evident here.

The numbers certainly explain Jones’ overt concern and wish to make the issue go away, but as long as someone believes it’s a political winner, there’s little chance he’ll let it go anytime soon.

Hali has not made any formal announcement and said during an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio that he wants to continue playing at times. Other times find him feeling no desire to return to the game and he cited a desire to spend time with his four kids and pursue his interest in music as reasons why he thinks he’s played his final snap.

I just need to continue to work out and do my music, Hali said. I don’t want to focus too much on football. I don’t see myself getting back into football. I see myself being involved with the Chiefs somehow, maybe as a specialist being able to teach the guys. I don’t want to lie to myself. I think the time has come.

Hali had 89.5 sacks during his 12 years in the league and was asked if the prospect of getting to 100 for his career could lead to a different decision. Hali admitted it would be nice to hit that number, but is content knowing that he gave it my best, my all over the last dozen seasons.