Roseman Part 2: A look at last season's rookie class


Roseman Part 2: A look at last season's rookie class

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Posted: 12:53 a.m.

By Reuben Frank

Part 2 of Eagles GM Howie Roseman's interview with the team's official web site:

Does DE Ricky Sapp still fit in your plans?

Ricky Sapp coming off that knee, he looks like a different guy. His upper body, hes stronger, hes really determined and has really good get-off."

What are your thoughts on third-round pick Daniel Too-Nesheim, who did little as a rookie?

We have high expectations for Daniel. I think what happened to him, he had some ankle scopes on both his ankles after the season, so he wasnt able to move as well as he could, because hes a really good athlete, and had a little bit of a shoulder issue, so he wasnt able to use his hands as well as he should have, but he went through some growing pains as a rookie, and he knows theres going to be some competition there and nothings guaranteed and were going to go with what we see.

How about some of the middle-round guys? Trevard Lindley, Keenan Clayton and Mike Kafka?
Trevard Lindley had a really solid rookie year. Hes a fourth-round corner, hes a guy whos going to benefit from putting on some weight, and he can press. He had one game hed like to have back at Chicago, but other than that he really held his own, and were looking forward to him making a jump.

"Keenan Clayton, everybody could see what kind of athlete Keenan Clayton is. Hes a really good athlete. Hes a guy we thought we at one point was starting to come on, then he had a knee injury late in the year and that had him take a step back. Hes a WIL linebacker, and he can cover. Its hard to find guys in this league who can cover, and when you make a tape of Keenan Clayton covering tight ends in this league, he can do that. We knew that it would be a year of trying to build strength for him, getting to whats ideally his weight, and now hell have an opportunity to do that.

"There is no harder worker I would almost guess in the National Football League than Mike Kafka. He is here, he is studying, he will not be outworked. Our coaches did a great job fine tuning some things they thought could make him better. Hes 225 pounds, but you look at him and hes skinny. He knows hes got to get stronger, his arms got to get stronger. The things hes really good at, hes accurate, hes a really good athlete, he throws with anticipation. He knows that for him to be the athlete he wants to be, hes got to get a little stronger. Hes a really smart guy, and he is here all the time. He wants to be a great player. Now, hes got to go out on the field and show that, and hes around two great players to see their work ethic.
What are your expectations of Jamar Chaney moving forward?

Jamar Chaney, I mean, you put him in and its a playoff run, and hes going in on national TV, and hes making 15 tackles against the Giants and hes calling out defensive signals and hes pointing people in the right spots. and thats impressive. And part of what we try to do in these drafts is get high-character people who can come in and play and the games not too big for him.

"And for him, coming from Mississippi State, coming from the SEC, he played at a high level of competition. He can play MIKE, he can play WIL, hes going to continue to get better. One of the things we thought he could improve on and our coach did a great job, Mike Caldwell, worked on him with his hand use, and he came here and he knew it was something he had to improve on, and he worked on it all through training camp and continued to work on it through the regular season, and he gets into a game, all of a sudden hes using those long arms, hes able to get off blocks, hes not staying blocked for long, so were excited about Jamar Chaney.

How good can Clay Harbor be?

Two years ago, he was a small-school wide receiver, and then playing tight end at that small school, he was just such a weapon in the passing game that theyd split him out, so he didnt put his hand down and really learn to be a blocker till he got here, and you saw the constant improvement from training camp, from that first regular-season game against Green Bay through the season.

"Some of the throws Michael made, the one that comes to mind, that first play at Washington to DeSean Jackson, when we let Clay go out and block Brian Orakpo (on an 88-yard touchdown), he had that responsibility. So hes got really good feet, good athlete, good receiver. A guy like that who comes from a small school just continues getting better. Ryan Grigson (director of player personnel) had posed this question to me -- what do you think Shannon Sharpe looked like his first year out of Savannah State? Now, Im not obviously putting Clay in that class, but its a significant jump and for doing that I thought he really did a good job holding his own. He wants to do a great job, and hes talented.
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Report: Sixers in California for NBA draft workouts


Report: Sixers in California for NBA draft workouts

As the Western Conference Finals are taking place in Oakland, the Sixers are looking for new talent of their own in California.

This week, members of the Sixers' front office are attending pre-draft workouts organized through multiple agencies, including BDA Sports Management, CAA Sports, Landmark Sports Agency, Octagon and Wasserman Media Group.

While the Sixers hold the No. 1 pick, these workouts are opportunities for them to evaluate players that could be fits for their 24th and 26th selections.

On Thursday, the list of workout participants included projected first-rounders Deyonta Davis (Michigan State) and Cheik Diallo (Kansas), according to the Philadelphia Inquirer

The scouting process takes NBA teams coast to coast. Earlier this week, the Sixers reportedly attended a private workout with Excel Sports Management in New York City, in which Brandon Ingram and Jamal Murray participated.

The Sixers have held two workouts at their own practice facility, bringing in a total of 12 prospects thus far.

As the draft nears, 57 early-entry candidates withdrew their names from the 2016 draft.

NBA Playoffs: Stephen Curry, Warriors fight off elimination


NBA Playoffs: Stephen Curry, Warriors fight off elimination


OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Curry scored 31 points, raising his arms in the early moments to awaken Golden State's raucous crowd, and the defending champion Warriors staved off elimination with a 120-111 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

The MVP made a snazzy layup late and dished out six assists, while Klay Thompson added 27 points as Golden State sent the best the best-of-seven series back to Oklahoma City for Game 6 on Saturday night. Golden State trails 3-2 and is trying to become just the 10th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit.

"We're not going home! We're not going home!" Curry yelled at the top of his lungs in the waning moments.

Kevin Durant scored 40 points and Russell Westbrook added 31 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals for the Thunder, trying for the fifth NBA Finals appearance in franchise history and chasing just the second championship after the 1978-79 Seattle SuperSonics won it all.

The record-setting, 73-win Warriors, coming off their first back-to-back defeats all season, had been blown out in two losses at Oklahoma City by a combined 52 points.

Durant's 3-pointer with 4:34 left got the Thunder within 103-98, then Curry answered with a three-point play.

Curry scored seven points in a 58-second stretch of the second quarter, but the Thunder didn't go away easily.

Trailing 58-50 at halftime, Oklahoma City came out of the break with a 9-2 run. Westbrook's 3-pointer with 6:06 left in the third put Oklahoma City ahead 68-67 for its first lead of the night. But Golden State led 81-77 going into the fourth and began the final period by scoring five unanswered points.

Curry shot 9 for 20 and also had five steals, while Thompson had his 11th 20-point game for the second straight postseason despite shooting 2 for 9 from 3-point range. Draymond Green had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Steve Kerr thought his Warriors might have an edge against the percentages of teams having trailed 3-1 because they're the defending champs and were playing at home, where they have been nearly unbeatable.

Kerr called for center Andrew Bogut to do more and the 7-footer delivered with a playoff career-high 15 points and 14 rebounds for his second double-double this postseason and seventh of his career.

Marreese Speights had a pair of three-point plays on follow shots and a 3 in the second quarter to give Golden State a nice lift off the bench. He had nine points in four minutes during that stretch and 14 points overall for his fifth double-digit scoring game this postseason.

With his 1,248th career postseason point in the third, Curry passed Wilt Chamberlain (1,246) for second place on the franchise's playoff scoring list.

Kerr's message
Coach of the Year Kerr sent a message to Warriors fans Wednesday on social media requesting they arrive on time Thursday and bring their best.

The always-raucous supporters obliged.

"It's a big game. We need our crowd behind us," Kerr said beforehand. "We know they'll be here, and the 6 o'clock start makes things difficult for a lot of people to get here on time. So the first couple games we had a pretty late-arriving crowd. So it's kind of a reminder to be here early, if possible."

Thunder: The franchise lost in the finals in 1977-78, 1995-96 to Kerr and the Chicago Bulls and in `12. ... Steven Adams sat down with his second foul at the 9:34 mark of the first quarter. The Thunder had seven fouls to Golden State's one after the first. ... Oklahoma City took Game 1 at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have lost only three times all season. ... The Thunder started the game 3 for 14.

Warriors: Green picked up his fifth technical of the postseason. He also has at least one steal in 16 straight playoff games. ... Golden State missed six of its first seven 3s. ... The Warriors supported Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager with "Sager Strong" T-shirts for sale to support awareness and research for leukemia and lymphoma, both blood cancers. ... Curry became the fifth player in franchise history with 200 postseason free throws.

Best of MLB: Jose Fernandez strikes out 12 in Marlins' win over Rays


Best of MLB: Jose Fernandez strikes out 12 in Marlins' win over Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jose Fernandez struck out 12 in seven innings Thursday and won his sixth straight start for the Miami Marlins, a 9-1 decision over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Fernandez (7-2) struck out eight of the last 10 batters he faced and struck out every hitter in the Rays lineup at least once. The 23-year-old right-hander from Tampa gave up six hits in beating his hometown Rays for the first time in three tries. He finished the game with 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings, highest among major league starters.

Adeiny Hechavarria and Chris Johnson homered for the Marlins, who won three of four in their annual series against the Rays.

Hechavarria's third home run drove in the final two runs of a three-run second inning off Rays starter Drew Smyly. Johnson made it 5-0 with his second homer an inning later, Johnson's first hit in 22 interleague at bats (see full recap).

Rockies silence Red Sox, Bradley's hit streak
BOSTON -- Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story and Dustin Garneau hit two-run homers and the Colorado Rockies stopped Jackie Bradley Jr.'s 29-game hitting streak with a 8-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.

The win ended a three-game losing streak by Colorado and it ended a four-game winning streak for the Red Sox. Bradley's major league-best streak was halted when he went 0 for 4 after moving up to the leadoff spot for the first time this season.

Jon Gray (2-2) gave up a two-run home run to David Ortiz in the first, but pitched six scoreless innings before leaving in the eighth.

Clay Buchholz (2-5) took the loss. He pitched three perfect innings before things came apart in the fourth, when he gave up Gonzalez's homer with the other two coming the following inning (see full recap).

Happ leads Blue Jays past Yankees
NEW YORK -- J.A. Happ pitched seven strong innings, Edwin Encarnacion and Devon Travis had two-out RBIs, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Yankees 3-1 on Thursday to win the three-game series.

CC Sabathia was the tough-luck loser for New York, allowing just two unearned runs. Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his first game since going on the disabled list May 4 with a strained right hamstring.

Happ (6-2) allowed one run on three hits in seven innings with five strikeouts and three walks. He has given up three earned runs or fewer in 19 of his last 20 starts.

Sabathia (3-3) retired the first seven batters before an error by shortstop Didi Gregorius on Travis' grounder with one out in the third (see full recap).