Less than a year after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made Darrelle Revis one of the splashiest acquisitions of the 2013 NFL off-season, the star cornerback is on the move again — this time as a free agent to the New England Patriots.The economics behind Tampa Bay’s desire to divest themselves of Revis were predictably complex, given the league’s byzantine salary-cap rules. But suffice it to say, Revis would have cost the Buccaneers’ front office a lot of money. On the field, though, he will bring a lot of value to New England. Last season, he ranked first among cornerbacks in Pro Football Focus’ play-by-play-based grading system (this data is behind a paywall), making it the second time he’s led the NFL in that metric over the past three years. (He also finished first in 2011.)But more importantly, Revis’ 2013 contributions extended beyond the stat sheet. Paradoxically, a top-flight cornerback’s statistics — particularly his interceptions — tend to go down as he plays better.Take the great Deion Sanders. According to Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value (a measure of an NFL player’s overall value to his team), Sanders peaked during the 1996 season, when he was named first-team All-Pro while playing every game for the Dallas Cowboys. Yet that same season, he tied his career-low for interceptions in a season (two) — even a broken-down, 37-year-old Sanders had more picks with the Baltimore Ravens in 2004.What was going on? Teams were afraid to throw in Sanders’ direction. He wasn’t accumulating interceptions because he rarely had the chance to do so. The same was true for Revis last season. Despite posting one of the lower interception totals of his career, he was effectively shutting off one half of the field, keeping receivers from getting open and/or scaring the opposing quarterback away from risking a throw in his vicinity.Among qualified cornerbacks, only the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman discouraged opposing passes more than Revis. Teams threw in Sherman’s direction once every 17 snaps. Revis was targeted once every 15 snaps. Only two other CBs, the Atlanta Falcons’ Asante Samuel and the New Orleans Saints’ Keenan Lewis, even cracked the one-in-13 barrier last season. You can’t complete a pass if you don’t attempt it, so a lot of Revis’ value lies in this deterrent factor.All of this isn’t to say that the Buccaneers were wrong to release Revis. They’re a rebuilding team with a new coach, Lovie Smith, and have little use for a veteran soaking up a massive amount of cap room and costing them an extra draft slot. But the Patriots are getting a cornerback who still ranks among the game’s elite.
Culpepper2000MINSmith • Kleinsasser • Moss • Carter • Davis226 Cassel2008NEFaulk • Morris • Welker • Moss • Gaffney220 Stabler1973OAKHubbard • Smith • Siani • Biletnikoff • Moore209 New QBYrTmSkill PlayersWtd. A.V. Hogeboom1984DALDorsett • Springs • Hill • Cosbie • Renfro240 Sanchez2009NYJJones • Greene • Cotchery • Keller • Edwards188 *Weighted Approximate Value equals a player’s AV from the previous season multiplied by three, plus his AV from two seasons ago multiplied by two, plus his AV from three seasons ago. A team’s total above is the sum of the weighted AV numbers for all of its primary non-QB skill players.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com With seconds left in the first half of the Kansas City Chiefs’ preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons last Friday, new starting QB Patrick Mahomes showed once again why KC felt comfortable dropping longtime starter Alex Smith in favor of the talented 22-year-old they took 10th overall in 2017. White1980DALDorsett • Newhouse • Hill • Pearson • DuPree264 Rivers2006SDTomlinson • Turner • Gates • Parker • McCardell291 Mahomes2018KCHunt • Ware • Kelce • Watkins • Hill221 King2000TAMDunn • Alstott • Johnson • Green • Moore234 Rypien1989WASByner • Riggs • Monk • Sanders • Clark235 Woodley1980MIANathan • Williams • Moore • Harris • Cefalo208 Phipps1972CLEKelly • Scott • Pitts • Morin • Hooker226 Manning2005NYGBarber • Finn • Burress • Shockey • Toomer210 Roethlisberger2004PITStaley • Bettis • Ward • Burress • Randle El235 Fitzpatrick2008CINBenson • Perry • H’mandzadeh • Johnson • Kelly202 Staubach1971DALGarrison • Thomas • Hayes • Alworth • Ditka211 Just how impressive was that bomb from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill? As Yahoo’s Michael David Smith noted, Mahomes’s pass traveled further through the air — 68.6 yards, according to the NFL’s NextGen Stats — than any touchdown pass did during the entire 2017 NFL season.1That’s impressive even though the 2017 stats include very little of Aaron Rodgers, king of the deep TD strike. So there’s no questioning Mahomes’s arm. And perhaps more importantly, he’ll be surrounded by plenty of supporting talent that will help him ease into his new role — maybe more of this talent than any other quarterback this decade. But does this ideal situation mean Mahomes is destined to make KC fans forget about Smith — and cure the Chiefs’ chronic postseason problems?Certainly, Mahomes will demonstrate a very different style of play than Smith did. During Smith’s seasons at the helm in Kansas City (2013-17), only Tom Brady had a lower interception percentage,2Among the 39 NFL passers with at least 800 attempts over that span. and nobody topped Smith on the percentage of passes he threw that ended up at or behind the line of scrimmage. Although Smith did begin to stretch the field more as a deep passer over his time in KC, he was mostly defined as an extremely accurate short-range passer who kept the Chiefs’ offense on schedule and didn’t make mistakes. Mahomes, by contrast, carries the “gunslinger” label for a reason: In the his one full start last season, 40 percent of his passes traveled at least 10 yards downfield, which would have ranked fourth in the league if he’d played enough to qualify. Mahomes also throws plenty of interceptions: In addition to the one he tossed during his lone NFL start (thereby increasing KC’s total picks thrown by quarterbacks by 20 percent), he also threw 25 in his final two seasons at Texas Tech,3Where, it should be mentioned, he also averaged a ridiculous 4,853 passing yards and 39 touchdowns over those two seasons. and struggled with turnovers during training camp as well.Fortunately, Mahomes will have an incredible arsenal of weapons to choose from when he’s running Andy Reid’s offense this year. At running back, KC boasts a pair of prolific rushers from the past few seasons in Kareem Hunt — who ran for 1,327 yards as a rookie in 2017 — and Spencer Ware, who missed all of 2017 with injury but notched 921 yards on the ground in 2016. Mahomes will also be throwing to wideouts Hill (1,183 receiving yards in 2017) and newcomer Sammy Watkins, who battled injuries in recent years but had 1,047 yards through the air in 2015. Finally, Mahomes can also go to Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce, who has racked up at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons — and is widely considered one of the best two TEs in the league, along with Rob Gronkowski.In other words, there’s a reason ESPN’s Bill Barnwell ranked Kansas City’s non-QB skill players as the best offensive arsenal in the league heading into the season. And in fact, if we zoom out beyond 2018 and look at NFL history, few first-time starters have ever been surrounded by a better group of skill-position talent than Mahomes will have at his disposal this season.To measure this, I went back to the 1970 NFL-AFL merger and tracked each team’s top two running backs and top three receivers (whether wide receivers or tight ends) for each season using Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value metric, which assigns each player a numerical value roughly corresponding to his statistical productivity that year.4It’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison with this season’s Chiefs, since I used end-of-season numbers for past seasons, and we obviously don’t yet know for sure who the Chiefs’ leading skill-position players will be this season. But using the players who are atop the depth chart heading into the season gives us a reasonable best guess. For those core groups of primary offensive skill players, I added up a weighted sum of their AV over the previous three seasons,5Where — somewhat arbitrarily — AV from the season before gets a multiplier of three, AV the season before that gets a multiplier of two and AV from three years ago gets a multiplier of one. to get a sense for how productive the group had been in the handful of seasons leading up to the one in question. Finally, I filtered for teams whose quarterback was in his first season as an NFL primary QB,6Meaning he led the team in attempts and started at least 10 games that season. to look for situations comparable to the one Mahomes currently finds himself in.After tallying up all the skill-position AV, here are the top supporting casts a new starter has gotten to play with since the merger: Gannon1990MINWalker • Fenney • Carter • Jones • Jordan220 Batch1998DETSanders • Vardell • Morton • Moore • Crowell258 Leinart2006ARIJames • Arrington • Boldin • Fitzgerald • Johnson235 Ponder2011MINPeterson • Gerhart • Harvin • Shiancoe • Jenkins204 George1990INDBentley • Dickerson • Hester • Brooks • Morgan203 Hipple1981DETSims • Bussey • Scott • Thompson • Hill185 Campbell2007WASPortis • Betts • Cooley • Moss • Randle El231 Leftwich2003JAXTaylor • Edwards • Smith • Edwards • Brady204 Evans1980CHIPayton • Harper • Scott • Watts • Baschnagel197 The Chiefs have set Mahomes up for successAmong quarterbacks in their first season as a primary QB, those whose primary supporting cast (2 RBs and 3 WRs or TEs) produced the most weighted Approximate Value* in the previous three seasons, 1970-2018 Although Kansas City’s talented group isn’t quite the most gifted core that a young QB has ever had to work with, it is close — ranking 12th-best since 1970 and the best this decade. In terms of what it might mean for the Chiefs, the rest of the teams on this list ended up posting an average of 8.9 wins per 16 games — just a tick below the average of 9.0 wins posted under their old QB — with the new QB generating exactly the same value (10.5 AV) as his predecessor had done in the role the year before. So if history is any indicator, Chiefs fans may not feel much of a drop-off from Smith to Mahomes, despite the latter’s inexperience.The only real concern around KC’s offense (which scored the sixth-most points of any team last year) might be the state of the team’s offensive line, which ranked among the middle of the pack in pass protection last year and has been up-and-down during the preseason thus far. But even there, Mahomes is in comparatively good hands. If we run the same exercise as above, but for Kansas City’s O-line instead of its skill players, Mahomes’s blocking support ranks 15th among first-time primary QBs since 1970. It’s not exactly the road-grading machine that Dak Prescott had in front of him when he broke in as Cowboys starter in 2016, but the KC line isn’t without talent — including 2017 second-team All-Pro Mitchell Schwartz at right tackle and former No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher on the left side.All told, you’d have to go back to Tampa Bay Bucs QB Shaun King in 2000 to find a first-time primary signal-caller who got more support from both his skill-position teammates and his offensive line than Mahomes figures to get this season. And while King was little more than a stopgap starter for Tampa, Mahomes is lined up to be the Chiefs’ answer under center for the long haul. With ample talent around Mahomes to help smooth away any rough patches, don’t be surprised if his career as KC’s quarterback gets off to a fast start. And it had better — because if it doesn’t, neither Reid nor his young starter will have many places to lay the blame.
Ohio State football redshirt junior defensive end Darius Slade has transferred from the program, and defensive tackle Dylan Thompson is no longer on scholarship, coach Urban Meyer announced Monday.Rated as high as the No. 30 strong-side defensive end by 247Sports as a senior in high school, Slade missed all of the 2016 season after suffering a lower leg injury in camp last fall. Thompson, a four-star high school prospect, has battled injuries during his college career. He redshirted the 2014 season after a knee injury in fall camp, and had a quiet 2015 campaign due to his rehabilitation.“He’s not on scholarship right now,” Meyer said. “He was ineligible last year so he’s to be determined.”Ohio State is now under the NCAA’s 85-scholarship limit for the 2017 season.
Journal information: Royal Society Open Science A team of researchers from Poland and the U.S. has found possible evidence of tuberculosis in a 245-million-year-old marine reptile. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes their study of the fossilized remains of a Proneusticosaurus silesiacus specimen and why they believe the creature had a TB-like disease. More information: Dawid Surmik et al. Tuberculosis-like respiratory infection in 245-million-year-old marine reptile suggested by bone pathologies, Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.180225AbstractAn absence of ancient archaeological and palaeontological evidence of pneumonia contrasts with its recognition in the more recent archaeological record. We document an apparent infection-mediated periosteal reaction affecting the dorsal ribs in a Middle Triassic eosauropterygian historically referred to as ‘Proneusticosaurus’ silesiacus. High-resolution X-ray microtomography and histological studies of the pathologically altered ribs revealed the presence of a continuous solid periosteal reaction with multiple superficial blebs (protrusions) on the visceral surfaces of several ribs. Increased vascularization and uneven lines of arrested growth document that the pathology was the result of a multi-seasonal disease. While visceral surface localization of this periosteal reaction represents the earliest identified evidence for pneumonia, the blebs may have an additional implication: they have only been previously recognized in humans with tuberculosis (TB). Along with this diagnosis is the presence of focal vertebral erosions, parsimoniously compared to vertebral manifestation of TB in humans. TB is an infection caused by the virus Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It mainly infects the lungs, but can on occasion infect other body parts such as the spine, brain or kidneys. It is also known for causing anomalies to appear on the ribs of people with infected lungs. Such anomalies generally take the form of blebs, or small bumpy protrusions.The researchers were studying a specimen uncovered at the Gogolin quarry, a dig site on the border between Poland and the Czech Republic, over a century ago. Prior research had shown it to be a member of the sauropterygian family—they were aquatic reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic. The specimen under study had a long neck, flat skull and long, rounded teeth. But it was the creature’s rib bones that caught the attention of the researchers—they had blebs very similar to those seen in modern creatures infected with TB.Intrigued by their find, the researchers immediately began searching for all possible causes of the bumps, such as fractures, scurvy, fungal infections or even cancer. But one by one, each was ruled out, leaving TB as the likely cause. In their paper, the researchers also suggest the bumps may have been caused by pneumonia, which, they note, can be caused by TB. They note also that Proneusticosaurus have been referred to as the seal of ancient times, and coincidentally or not, modern seals are the marine animals that are most susceptible to TB infections.The finding pushes back the date of the first evidence of TB by quite a long stretch—prior to this discovery, the record holder was a marsupial from 3 million years ago. The researchers acknowledge that they have no way to verify their findings, but suggest the rib bumps offer reasonably strong evidence of TB.
Kolkata: Amid partial disruption in health services in West Bengal due to continuing agitation by junior doctors protesting attacks on their colleagues and demanding adequate security, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday accused “some political parties” of spreading disinformation on social media. In an open letter to doctors and medical fraternity, she appealed to all help in restoring normal healthcare services without any delay. “Our government is cooperating fully and taking all necessary action…some misinformation/disinformation being spread on social media by some political parties is completely untrue,” Banerjee said in the letter. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata She expressed her gratitude to senior doctors and professors who are offering full services to the people. “My humble regards to them for their cooperation,” the letter said. “Health service is always dedicated to the patients. I, therefore, appeal to all to restore normal health services to the patients without any further delay,” Banerjee said. She said the state government has taken “all necessary action whatever required – our Additional Chief Secretary, Health, visited the injured doctor and met a section of the agitating junior doctors and appealed to them to resume services”. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state Protesting against the brutal attack on two junior doctors by the family members of a dead patient in the NRS Medical College and Hospital on Monday night, doctors across the state have stopped work at the outpatient departments in most government hospitals in the state since Wednesday. Banerjee said five persons have been arrested and their bail prayers were rejected by the court and an enquiry has been started to look into issues from all sides. “Our government has taken full care of the injured doctor. We pray that he recovers quickly. As per information received, he is stable and improving,” she said. “An unfortunate incident took place in NRS Hospital 4 days ago. I sent my colleague, Chandrima Bhattacharjee, Minister-of-State, Health and Family Welfare, to visit the injured doctor and talk to a section of the junior doctors who are agitating and request them to withdraw the agitation as people are not getting treatment… I sent Commissioner of Police, Kolkata to talk to the junior doctors,” the letter said. Cancer and kidney patients, accident victims, even children coming from distant places are suffering for not getting treatment, Banerjee said.
Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 3 min read October 30, 2018 To be sure, digital currency markets have had their ups and downs. A recent study by Gallup shows that only 2 percent of investors are currently purchasing Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, but one in four is intrigued. With major banks betting on the space, however, that math may be about to change.Whether or not your company accepts cryptocurrency as a payment method, it would do well to pay attention to the surprising ways the business world is already using digital currency:1. Investing in customer loyalty.Loyalty programs have long struggled to find the right incentive structure. According to the 2017 Colloquy Loyalty Census, more than half of loyalty memberships in the U.S. are inactive. The report says approximately 30 percent of surveyed U.S. and Canadian consumers have left loyalty programs without ever redeeming a point or a mile.Could cryptocurrencies reignite customer loyalty? Cryptocurrency gives customers want they want — cash — without the security and logistics challenges of doling out cash.In Zurich, for example, Caffe Lattesso encourages purchasers to redeem codes found on its bottles for loyalty rewards in the form of digital coins, which can be exchanged within a few months for other digital tokens or traditional currency. EZ Rent-A-Car is following suit with a program that allows customers to exchange their loyalty points for digital coins.Related: Here’s How to Earn and Keep the Loyalty of Your Customers2. Banking on accessory technologies.Rather than re-invigorate their existing customer base, other entrepreneurs could look at building a new one around the cryptocurrency market. Investors may start focusing less on initial coin offerings and more on building the technological ecosystem around cryptocurrencies.Demand is growing quickly for digital currency point-of-sale systems, for example. Although most of the demand is currently in South Korea, at least one company plans to distribute some 100,000 point-of-sale machines by 2021. Vendors that accept cryptocurrencies will also need accounting and reporting software to support the payment method.Related: 4 Ways to Leverage the Fast Growth of Cryptocurrencies for Success3. Making change with ease.But cryptocurrencies are good for more than spending money; they’re also great for giving back. Eric Tippetts, co-founder of NASGO pointed out at the United Nations’ Media for Social Change Summit, cryptocurrency’s digital nature makes set-it-and-forget-it philanthropy possible.“Instead of voicing a commitment to philanthropy, the blockchain makes it possible to program giving into the operation itself,” Tippetts explained in a Cheddar interview. NASGO’s financial systems, he noted, direct every seventeenth revenue cycle into an account for humanitarian contributions.Creatives, too, are using cryptocurrency to spread their message.In the Cheddar interview, Tippetts and Jaafar Jackson, son of Jermaine Jackson and nephew of Michael Jackson, discussed plans to tokenize upcoming musical releases as a way to raise awareness, gather contributions and donate part of their earnings to humanitarian causes. Ashton Kutcher, in fact, recently donated $4 million in XRP tokens, a digital currency introduced by fintech startup Ripple, to the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund during his appearance on DeGeneres’s show.Far from the fad its detractors thought it would be, digital currency is become a staple of the business world sooner than anyone expected. If it can soup up tired loyalty programs, open new opportunities in software and streamline charitable giving, then what’s next? Entrepreneurs can’t buy an answer to that question — but they can build it. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.