Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Villanova signs Lower Merion star Reynolds

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Lower Merion High School star Darryl Reynolds has signed a national letter of intent to attend Villanova, it was announced today.

The 6-foot-8 Reynolds is a former Lower Merion High School standout who currently attends Worcester (Mass.) Academy and will enroll at Villanova this fall.

“We are excited to welcome Darryl to the Villanova family,” stated Wildcats head coach Jay Wright. “Darryl was well-schooled at Lower Merion by his coach Gregg Downer and he has used his post-graduate year to continue to develop under the tutelage of Jamie Sullivan. He brings athleticism, rebounding and a commitment to becoming the best player he can be to Villanova. We believe Darryl’s best basketball is ahead of him.”

Reynolds helped bring Lower Merion to the 2012 PIAA Class AAAA championship final as a senior, averaging 11 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.2 blocked shots per contest. He was named All-State and All-Southeastern Pa. in addition to being named first team All-Central League.

At Worcester, Reynolds helped lead his team to a 21-6 record in 2012-13.

The Wildcats’ incoming class of freshmen for 2013 now includes three players. Josh Hart, 6-foot-5, of Sidwell Friends School and Kris Jenkins, 6-foot-6, of Gonzaga High School both inked national letters of intent to attend Villanova last November.

Extra Points: Jets treated Tebow like a football player | CharlotteObserver.com

Extra Points: Jets treated Tebow like a football player | CharlotteObserver.com

Eagles coach Chip Kelly on WIP Morning Show

Audio On Demand « CBS Philly

Susan Barnett out at CBS3

PHILADELPHIA – CBS 3(KYW-TV) and CW Philly (WPSG-TV) News anchor Susan Barnett will not be renewing her contract with the stations, Barnett and the stations announced today. Barnett’s contract expired at the end of March.

Barnett, who has been with the Philadelphia stations since 2006, said: “I have decided to not renew my contract with the stations at this time. I am incredibly thankful for having been a part of the CBS Philly family, but I feel that this is the right decision at this time.”

Jon Hitchcock, President and General Manager of CBS 3/CW Philly, said: “Susan has been a valued member of our team. While we would have liked to have her continue in her current role, we respect her decision and wish her the very best. Moving forward, Eyewitness News, the area’s most honored team of television journalists, will continue to provide the Delaware Valley with the most complete news coverage in the tradition of the first name in local news.”

Bios on Eagles undrafted free agent signings

PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles rounded out their 90-man roster Monday by signing nine rookie free agents: LB Jake Knott (Iowa State), RB Miguel Maysonet (Stony Brook), C Kyle Quinn (Arizona), DL Isaac Remington (Oregon), WR Russell Shepard (LSU), DL Damion Square (Alabama), G Matt Tobin (Iowa), RB Matthew Tucker (TCU) and P Brad Wing (LSU). The team also released TE Evan Moore.

Here's a look an URFA's

Jake Knott, LB

6-2, 243 – Iowa State

Knott finished his collegiate career with 347 tackles (18 for a loss), while breaking up 15 passes and making eight interceptions. A two-time captain (2011 and 2012), Knott was a 2011 first-team All-Big 12 honoree after finishing second on the team with 115 tackles and leading the squad with four forced fumbles. A native of Waukee, IA, Knott attended Waukee high school, where he earned both baseball and football scholarships.

Miguel Maysonet, RB

5-9, 209 – Stony Brook

One of the most accomplished running backs in Stony Brook history, Maysonet concluded a prolific senior season in 2012, in which he earned multiple awards including being named CFPA All-Purpose Player of the Year and Big South Offensive Player of the Year, while finishing as a runner-up for the Walter Payton Award, given annually to the most outstanding FCS player. He recorded career highs with 1,964 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground, while also averaging 25.8 yards on kickoff returns, which included a career long 75-yard return for a touchdown. Maysonet played in 37 career games (24 starts) for the Seawolves, amassing 4,725 yards on 695 carries (6.8 ypc) and 48 touchdowns. The Riverhead, NY, native was a two-time All-Long Island selection at Riverhead High School.

Kyle Quinn, C

6-3, 290 – Arizona

A former All-Pac-12 honorable mention performer, Kyle Quinn played in 33 career games (13 starts) at Arizona and helped anchor an offensive line that paved the way for a 227.8 rushing yard per game average for the Wildcats in 2012. Quinn moved along the offensive line during his career which also included a stint at guard. The Brentwood, CA, native was considered a top-five player in the Bay Valley League at Liberty HS in addition to being named a PrepStar All-West selection.

Isaac Remington, DL

6-6, 305 – Oregon

Under new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, Isaac Remington played in 25 career games at Oregon and totaled 53 tackles, eight for a loss and three pass deflections in two seasons. Prior to enrolling at Oregon in the winter of 2010, the Queen Creek, AZ, native was a second-team All-ACCAC and second-team All-WSFL selection in 2009 at Phoenix College. Remington attended Valley Christian HS (Chandler, AZ) and earned defensive line MVP honors at Oregon’s football camp in 2006.

Russell Shepard, WR

6-1, 195 – LSU

A multi-faceted player who has experience at quarterback, running back and wide receiver at LSU, Russel Sheppard played in 49 games (14 starts) for the Tigers and capped off his career with 733 rushing yards, 565 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns (five rushing, five receiving). A native of Houston, TX, earned Parade All-America and USA Today second-team All-USA honors at Cypress Ridge HS after totaling more than 1,000 yards of offense and 14 touchdowns in three playoff games.

Damion Square, DL

6-2, 293 – Alabama

Square played in 41 games (31 starts) in his four-year college career with Alabama, recording 93 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. Square started in every game in his junior and senior seasons and led the team with nine quarterback pressures in 2012. The Houston, TX, native was an all-state selection as a senior at Yates High School.

Matthew Tucker, RB

6-1, 227 – TCU

Rushed for 2,618 yards and 33 touchdowns on 494 carries for the Horned Frogs. Also caught 29 passes for 262 yards. His 33 rushing touchdowns are the third most in school history. He earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors as a senior after he rushed 531 yards and six touchdowns. Was a teammate of Bengals QB Andy Dalton in 2009 and 2010. A native of Tyler, TX, he earned first-team all-state honors at Chapel Hill HS.

Matt Tobin, G

6-6, 303 – Iowa

A three-year letterman at Iowa, Tobin started the final 22 games of his college career, seeing time at both left tackle and left guard. He earned honorable mention All-Big 10 accolades as a senior in 2012 and was named the recipient of the Brett Greenwood award following the season, which is given annually to the best walk-on student-athlete. The Worthington, IA, native earned all-state honors as a senior at Dyersville Beckman High School.

Brad Wing, P

6-3, 205 – LSU

Wing is a left-footed punter who played in 23 games during his two-year college career and finished with a school-record 44.6-yard average on 118 punts, while downing 48 inside the 20-yard line. He became just the second punter in Tigers history to earn first-team All-America honors, doing so as a redshirt freshman in 2011. A native of Melbourne, Australia, he played just one year of high school football at Parkview Baptist in Baton Rouge, LA. The 22-year old played Australian Rules Football while growing up in Melbourne. His father, David, punted for the Detroit Lions (1990) and Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Flyers retain 11th in draft lottery; Avalanche get #1 pick

The Philadelphia Flyers finished the 2013 season fourth from the top of all teams which did not gain a playoff berth.

On Monday, the NHL held its draft lottery and the Orange and Black remained with the 11th overall pick in June's draft in Newark.

Philadelphia only had a 1.5 percent chance of moving 10 spots to the #1 pick. As it stands, the franchise has made only one top selection in franchise lore, taking Mel Bridgman back in 1975.

The Colorado Avalanche hold the honor of the first-overall selection, for the first time since moving from Quebec City to Denver in 1995. Quebec held the top pick three straight years from 1989-91, taking Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and Eric Lindros.

The Flyers' highest pick in the lottery was the second-overall slot in 2007, which they used to take forward James van Riemsdyk from the University of New Hampshire.

Draft order is as follows:

1.  Colorado
2.  Florida
3.  Tampa Bay
4.  Nashville
5.  Carolina
6.  Calgary
7.  Edmonton
8.  Buffalo
9.  New Jersey
10. Dallas
11. Philadelphia
12. Phoenix
13. Winnipeg
14. Columbus

2013 marks the first season that all 14 clubs which failed to make the postseason had the chance to attain the #1 pick.

Exit Music (for a Failed Season)

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

From the opening home game on January 19 against Pittsburgh  to the finale this past Saturday at Ottawa, the 2013 season for the Philadelphia Flyers felt like nothing less than a soap opera with multiple sub-plots weaved throughout.

Though the club managed to record more wins than regulation losses for the sixth straight season, they failed to reach the playoffs for the second time in 19 years, and that's not good enough, lockout-shortened schedule or no.

Unlike the Summer of 2007, when Paul Holmgren was given a blank check and the confidence of Peter Luukko and Ed Snider to pull the Flyers out of a dead-last situation thanks to an increased salary cap, the roster reshaping that must occur this time around presents more challenges than the organization has faced in the cap era.

The front office is no stranger to making tough choices, either by individual resolve, by committee or under some type of undefined coercion, but with a $6 million reduction in cap ceiling, they're facing a test they've never seen before and may never see again. An advanced math exam which will plot the course of the franchise for years to come.

What went wrong: Well, seemingly everything.

The realization that Chris Pronger's career is over and the resultant hole in leadership both on and off the ice that entailed. Spectacular failed bids to snag Shea Weber and Ryan Suter via free agency to fill the gap. Failure to meet Jaromir Jagr's salary demands as he headed to free agency while continually praising his Philadelphia experience. The naming of shooting star Claude Giroux as team captain after two years of unchecked rise to league-wide prominence. The failure of the remaining veterans to aid the transition. The failure to provide even adequate backup help for embattled starter Ilya Bryzgalov for three-quarters of the season. The horrible 2-6-0 start. The inability to get over the invisible, barbed-wire barrier that was the .500 mark.  Whipping Bryzgalov like a plow horse as starter. Blowing a 4-1 first-period lead at home to the Penguins and losing. Peter Laviolette's intractability when called out by Snider on the type of hockey the club needed to play. Injuries to forwards which necessitated multiple stop-gap moves that involved bringing back more former Flyers. Injuries to the defense which left only two regulars without serious consequences. Peter Laviolette's intractability when those injuries made it impossible for the replacements to adequately adjust to his system. More man-games lost to injury than any other team in the NHL. Danny Briere's scoring drought in his sad presumed farewell to the city. Watching Sergei Bobrovsky move Columbus on the verge of the playoffs and attracting serious Hart Trophy and Vezina Trophy consideration while doing it.

What went right: More than you might want to admit.

The eventual return of hockey in January for an actual season. Beating the Penguins, 6-5, in Pittsburgh in late February. Jakub Voracek's rise to the occasion when getting top-line minutes whether his teammates were injured or not. The Phantoms defense (Erik Gustafsson, Oliver Lauridsen, Brandon Manning, Matt Konan) rising to the occasion when called up en masse due to injuries and meshing well due to their familiarity at the end of the season. Trading organizational yo-yo Michael Leighton and getting Steve Mason in the transaction. Mason's performance on a restructured contract in a new city and environment. Bryzgalov's handling of the constant mainstream media scoop-driven idiocy all the way to a potential team MVP nod. Kimmo Timonen holding it down both on and off the ice as a consummate professional. Wayne Simmonds carrying the club through the early doldrums and keeping his play at that level for the entire season.A strong finish when the albatrosses of who will be traded and bought out were lifted off the team's collective shoulders.

What needs to change:  The entire core of the defense, including a shift in personality away from Pronger-like and a shift in responsibility away from Timonen, who will be looking to be neither worn out nor injured in his final North American campaign. A sweeping out of the Flyers' Alumni reunion that sprang up on the bottom-six forwards. More reliable veteran assistance for Giroux and Voracek. Expectations moderated towards every key player from the juniors on up to the veterans. The goaltending rotation and how many games are allotted to each man. Laviolette's intractability.

Saying a fond, but unemotional farewell to Andreas Lilja, Danny Briere, Ruslan Fedotenko and Mike Knuble are good starts. Keeping Adam Hall for his faceoff and penalty-killing prowess. Not moving towards the safe, known route of ex-players for additional help. Giving into the known unknowns and unknown unknowns of actually making trades body-for-body instead of player-for-pick, starting with Braydon Coburn and Matt Read. A greater emphasis of keeping things under control at 5-on-5.

The temptation will be to keep some of the late Phantoms' call-ups on the NHL roster after an impressive camp and wait until they either play themselves into or out of the lineup. However, with the faith Holmgren professed in Terry Murray, why not ship those guys to Glens Falls until the point they prove there's no reason to keep them in the AHL anymore? Of course, it means the club will have to spend on a puck-mover and another D-man of size, but so what? That's the organizational modus operandi anyway. Formulate a plan and stick to it for more than one year,

The following is even tougher to admit, and can only be written in spaces like these.

From the top down, the organizational philosophy and presence in positions of power must be altered. The illusion of good soldiers who know how to identify, promote and formulate "Flyers hockey" from drafting to free agency to scouting into the on-ice product has to be shattered and the power structure changed.

Snider should be busy continuing to bronze himself with his acts of kindness in the community under the organizational banner, but, as in the case of Pope Benedict XVI, should know when to close the book and gracefully decline. At 80 years old, we recognize that he's getting antsy for one last shot at glory and the manner in which he seeks that goal has become meddlesome and intrusive. The events of June 23, 2011 still stand out as his greatest indictment. Any man who can move Paul Holmgren to public bursts of emotion regarding player movement possesses too leaden a grip. His legacy is secure. No one will try to wrestle the empire away from him, but a permanent move to the simplicity of mountains and sea found in Malibu is just what the doctor ordered going forward.

Holmgren's greatest test as general manager (and more to the point, someone who can add and subtract as a functional adult) comes with the roster reshaping vis-a-vis the shrinking salary cap. If he cannot do it to the point where the Flyers return to the playoffs in 2014, it's time to find someone who embodies not only the Flyers ethos, but someone with fresh ideas about the kind of player who can be successful here, a new way of looking at how the club can compete on a macro level, and most importantly, a man with an actual degree in business, finance and economics. We should be lucky the club was only five years behind in evaluating Division-I college-level talent.

The era of former players brought up in the "school of hard knocks" is over. That also means sweeping out additional remnants of the old guard, including John Paddock, Barry Hanrahan, Don Luce and Bob Clarke.

Dave Poulin, Joe Nieuwendyk and Brian Burke are at the top of my list for the next GM, and all three would work in Philadelphia ONLY with a revamped power structure above and around each man.

Holmgren's wish list of "getting bigger" as told to the media in Voorhees on Sunday doesn't sit well, and is endemic of persons who have been too long in a position of power with no additional outside influences or hints of displeasure from those above.

The merry-go-round of coaches inside the organization must cease as well. No team which features a former fight specialist as an assistant coach has ever won a Stanley Cup, and I gather never will, so Craig Berube may be better off honing his craft back down with Adirondack. We shouldn't wish to see Murray back up as an assistant, nor should he even be considered as an interim replacement should Laviolette somehow falter over the course of next season. Neither should Paddock be brought in, or John Stevens returned to the fold. Another example where too many soldiers are present and not enough generals.

This is the era of working smart, instead of working hard. Being consistently good for a long period of time keeps the fans coming back, but more and more, they want more for their dollar, for their interest, for their time and emotional investment. If the goal is to win, as Snider memorably spit into the phone during a WIP interview on one wintry day in 1995, mission accomplished.

If the goal is the Stanley Cup, there is a lot to be desired from those in charge. Let's go forward quicker and with a steeper ascent than in years past. It's not easy, and it requires self-examination and willingness to change actions and perceptions that I'm not sure Holmgren and others -- including Laviolette -- truly possess.

Hell, I'm getting sick of writing the same thing year after year, but at least I'm approaching the same information from a different angle.

The postseason, draft and free agency await. Let the roller coaster begin.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Flyers beat Senators, finish year on up note

Ottawa, ON -- Steve Mason made a season-high 43 saves to earn his 100th career victory and Jakub Voracek netted the winner midway through the third, as Philadelphia nipped Ottawa, 2-1, at Scotiabank Place.

"You can tell by the last six or seven games we played well. It's just in a couple games here or there that we couldn't put it together so we missed the playoffs," Voracek admitted. "Some teams made a push at the right time and we didn't. Everything was a learning process, in a shortened season. There were so many games we were in third period but couldn't find a way to win. You gotta work every game for every point if you want to make the playoffs."

Jason Akeson added his first NHL goal and Claude Giroux picked up his 200th career assist for the Flyers (23-22-3), who won four in a row and six of their last seven to complete their 2013 schedule.

Kyle Turris registered the lone goal and Craig Anderson stopped 23 shots in the setback for the Senators, who finish their year at Boston on Sunday in a game rescheduled due to the Marathon bombings.

"We want to have a winning atmosphere around here and to do that we need to score more goals," said Anderson. "Right now, that's kind of the way things are going. We're generating chances but not putting them in the back of the net."

Ottawa sits eighth in the Eastern Conference with 54 points. They enter Sunday's game just one point behind the Islanders for seventh.

Voracek snapped the tie with 9:58 left in regulation, capping a 3-on-2 rush with a quick wrister inside the far post from the right circle.

Mason kept up his end of the bargain by robbing Senators forward Milan Michalek with a glove stop from the right post as 5 1/2 minutes remained on the clock.

Anderson wasn't pulled for an extra skater until 46 seconds to play, and the visitors expertly checked away the final moments.

"We played the way we wanted to for the most part," said Sens defenseman Erik Karlsson. "We created a lot of scoring chances, but we just couldn't beat (Mason). He played unbelievable for them."

Akeson lit the lamp on his second career shift, following up a broken play and roofing his shot over Anderson's glove at 3:46. Giroux got the sequence started, intercepting an errant Ottawa clear and pushing the puck on net, where Anderson made the save but couldn't control the rebound.

"It's pretty exciting just to play a game and scoring in it makes it that much more special," said Akeson, who grew up in an Eastern suburb of Canada's capital and played in front of multiple family and friends.

Seconds after an early Sens power play elapsed, Turris whipped home a shot from the right side at 4:35 of the second period.

Notes: Philadelphia took two of three from Ottawa in the season series, the first since winning three of four in 2007-08...The clubs had split the season matchup the previous two seasons...Mason earned a secondary assist on Voracek's game-winning tally, his first point of the 2013 campaign... Mason's previous single-game best in saves was a 39-stop effort in Tuesday's 5-2 win over Boston...Senators defenseman Chris Phillips also recorded his 200th career assist.

Philadelphia Eagles 2013 NFL Draft Review

By John McMullen

PHILADELPHIA - 1 (4) - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma; 2 (35) - Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford; 3 (67) - Bennie Logan, DT, LSU; 4 (98) - Matt Barkley, QB, USC; 5 (136) - Earl Wolff, SS, North Carolina State; 7 (212) Joe Kruger, DE, Utah; 7 (218) Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State; 7 (239) - David King, DE, Oklahoma

Top Picks Analysis: The Eagles quickly went about defining the up-tempo Chip Kelly offense by drafting Johnson, the athletic Oklahoma left tackle in the first round as well as Stanford movement tight end Ertz in the second. The Eagles went through their first OTAs under Kelly last week and one thing was abundantly clear, the former Oregon mentor is going to push things and play basketball on turf in Philly. That means conditioning and athleticism are going to be paramount, and Johnson, who can run a faster 40-yard dash and leaps higher than some wide receivers, is a good fit in the City of Brotherly Love. Ertz, meanwhile, is one of the new breed of tight ends who can create mismatches but isn't all that strong as an in-line blocker. Run-stuffer Logan is a hard-working two-down player.

Best Value Pick: Some thought Barkley was the most NFL-ready quarterback throughout this process, but a perceived lack of arm strength sent what was once a top-five prospect tumbling to the first pick in the fourth round. For some, anticipation and accuracy are a lot more important in today's NFL than being able to throw the ball 70 yards down the field. Barkley remains a better pro prospect than the only quarterback taken in Thursday's first round -- Florida State's E.J. Manuel.

Questionable Calls: There were solid decisions throughout but if you want to get picky, Johnson was not the fourth best prospect in this draft. That said, it's not like Philadelphia could have moved down and still got him, Detroit would have sprinted to the podium at No. 5.

Summary: Call it the Oklahoma sandwich for Philly. They started by taking the Sooners' Johnson with the No. 4 overall pick and finished by taking OU defensive end David King with No. 239. It's the stuff in between that will make the difference, however. Ertz is a perfect fit for what Kelly wants to do offensively while, Logan needs to push the overrated Isaac Sopoaga at nose tackle. Getting potential contributors on the edge (Utah's Kruger) and corner (Oregon State's Poyer) late in the draft ups the grade.


Undrafted rookie free agent signings: Iowa State LB Jake Knott; Stony Brook RB Miguel Maysonet; Arizona C Kyle Quinn; Oregon DT Isaac Remington; LSU WR Russell Shepard; Alabama DL Damion Square; Iowa OL Matt Tobin; TCU RB Matthew Tucker; LSU P Brad Wing

Temple's McManus, Wallace sign NFL deals

PHILADELPHIA – Placekicker Brandon McManus and offensive lineman Martin Wallace signed rookie free agent contracts late Saturday night.

McManus has joined the Indianapolis Colts, while Wallace will be with the Cleveland Browns.

Temple’s all-time scoring leader, McManus was the recipient of the 2012 College Football Performance Awards Specialist Trophy as the nation’s best overall kicker. McManus ended his collegiate career as Temple’s career leader in scoring (338), punting average (45.4), field goals made (60), and field goals attempted (83).  The 2012 first-team All-BIG EAST punter and 2012 second-team All-BIG EAST kicker set the season record for field goal accuracy (82.4) and set game records at Army for extra points made (9) and attempted (9). McManus played in EVERY game of his collegiate career. Last fall, McManus was named to the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his community service efforts.

A second-team All-BIG EAST selection, Wallace started all 11 games at right tackle as a senior. The team captain was the only returning starter to the offensive line last fall. He also played on the field goal unit. A three-time honoree on the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Football Team, Wallace was named to the 2012 Academic All-BIG EAST Team. He was also cited on the 2012 and 2011 Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. Wallace was a 2011-12 MAC Honor Roll and 2010 Academic All-MAC Honorable Mention selection.

Temple’s 2012 class of signees—three Draftees and nine rookie free agents—set the school record with 12 players joining NFL teams.

Temple opens the 2013 season at Notre Dame on August 31. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. on NBC.

Revs' Shuttleworth records clean sheet over Union

Foxborough, Mass. – The Philadelphia Union (3-3-2) fell 2-0 to the New England Revolution (2-3-2) Saturday night at Gillette Stadium as second-half goals from Diego Fagundez and Lee Nguyen propelled the Revolution their second win of the season.

“That was not reflective of the kind of game we are capable of playing. And it was probably our worst performance on the year so far,” Team Manager John Hackworth said following the match. “In a lot of ways, it’s frustrating because we’ve been playing consistent and at least the way we tried to plan tonight – it just wasn’t the same.”

Hackworth started the same lineup that fueled a 3-2 win over D.C. United the week before, but on this night, the Union were unable to capitalize on chances and they dropped a result to New England for the first time in club history.

“Disappointing,” said Union defender Jeff Parke. “They are a decent team but we made them look a lot better than they were. We gave chances and they punished us, so it’s a game we felt we should’ve gotten at least a result and it’s one we go home with zero points…and that’s just disappointing.”

Both goals for New England arrived in the second half, starting in the 61st minute when Diego Fagundez scored his first of the season for New England, finishing off a slotted ball from midfielder Kelyn Rowe. The Revolution struck again in the 72nd when Lee Nguyen finished off a play he started, sending a ball in the box for forward Saer Sene, who had his initial shot stalled by Union keeper Zac MacMath. However, the deflection fell to the feet of Nguyen, who continued his run into the box and had a wide open look on goal, which he pounded past MacMath.

The game marked the first multi-goal match of the season for the Revolution, which improved to 2-3-2 (8 points) in MLS play as the Union fell to 3-2-3 (11 points) on the year.

“I thought there were a lot of things we could have done better…it just wasn’t our night offensively or defensively, having possession of the ball and making plays that we generally make. It just wasn’t there tonight,” said Union captain Brian Carroll.

The Union did show flashes of brilliance, perhaps one of the biggest plays in the 40th minute, when midfielder Danny Cruz flashed down the right flank and served a ball in that was flicked on by Jack McInerney and fell to midfielder Michael Farfan. Farfan made a move to create space, but his shot was tipped away by Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttlesworth, one of his four saves.

In the 83rd, McInerney found himself on fast break after an attempted header back between a pair of Revolution defenders went awry, but his shot in the box was also stymied by Shuttlesworth.

“We had chances and we didn’t take advantage of them,” said Hackworth. “Shuttlesworth makes a few good saves as well and keeps them in the game and then I thought we came out in the second half and were actually playing much better, we had numbers forward…but [this kind] of play is not reflective of our team.”

The Union will look to shake this game off and prepare for a return to PPL Park for a match next Saturday (4 p.m., 6abc) against the Seattle Sounders.

“It’s a long year. It’s a disappointing result, but it’s a long year, said Carroll. “We have to move on and be better in the next one – plain and simple.”


New England Revolution 2, Philadelphia Union 0

Saturday, April 27; 7:30 p.m. ET

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.


NE: Fagundez 61’ (Rowe, Nguyen)

NE: Nguyen 71’


PHI: Kleberson (caution) 82’


MacMath, Williams, Okugo, Parke, Gaddis, Carroll, Daniel (Kleberson 72’), Cruz (Hoppenot 65’), M.Farfan, McInerney, Casey (Le Toux 59’)


Shuttleworth, Tierney, McCarthy, Farrell, Goncalves, Guy (Sene 61’), Nguyen (Caldwell 89’), Fagundez, Cisse, Rowe, Bengtson (Imbongo 74’)

Nos. 100-91 revealed on premiere of NFL Network's Top 100 players of 2013

NFL Network’s The Top 100 Players of 2013 series began on Saturday unveiling players #100-91 as determined by current NFL players.  After tonight, the 11-episode, weekly series continues Thursday, May 2 at 8:00 PM ET, and each subsequent Thursday, until the back-to-back episode finale unveils the top 10 players of 2013 on June 27 at 8:00 PM ET and 9:00 PM ET.

Players Ranked No. 100 Through No. 91 on The Top 100 Players of 2013  

100. Dennis Pitta – Baltimore Ravens, TE
·         http://on.nfl.com/ZOXBZD
99. Trent Williams – Washington Redskins, OT
·         http://on.nfl.com/187HerN
98. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars, RB
·         http://on.nfl.com/187H83s
97. Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers, TE
·         http://on.nfl.com/ZOY4Lk
96. Dashon Goldson – San Francisco 49ers/Tampa Bay Buccaneers, S
95. Max Unger – Seattle Seahawks, OL
·         http://on.nfl.com/ZOYD7U
94. Daryl Washington – Arizona Cardinals, LB
·         http://on.nfl.com/ZOYWj3
93. Anquan Boldin Baltimore Ravens/ San Francisco 49ers, WR
·         http://on.nfl.com/ZP0B8g
92. Gerald McCoy – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DT
·         http://on.nfl.com/11tlF2w  
91. Troy Polamalu – Pittsburgh Steelers, SS
·         http://on.nfl.com/187Mw6s

Soul falls to Sharks in closing seconds

PHILADELPHIA – A failed two-point conversion with 18 seconds left ended the Philadelphia Soul’s (2-3) comeback attempt as they fell to the Jacksonville Sharks (6-0) in dramatic fashion, 55-53, in front of 8,363 at the Wells Fargo Center.  The Soul fought back from trailing by as many as 15 points most of the second half.

“We made too many turnovers, fumbles, false starts, things of that nature,” explained Soul head coach Clint Dolezel.  “We made too many little mistakes that hurt the team tonight, but it will get better.  I think overall we played a pretty good game tonight.  I’m not taking it too hard, it’s just some things we need to work on.”

Tiger Jones led Philadelphia receivers with nine receptions for 148 yards and one rushing touchdown.  Andrae Thurman had seven catches for 93 yards and two, while Larry Brackins recorded four receptions for 22 yards and two touchdowns.  Alvance Robinson hauled in four catches for 49 yards and accounted for six kick returns for 76 yards.

Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh connected on 24-of-37 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns.

On the ground, Derrick Ross finished the game with 38 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns, his last one earning him the AFL Highlight of the Game.

Defensively, DL Bryan Robinson recorded three tackles and a sack. LB Joe Goosby had three tackles and an interception for the second straight week.

Jacksonville’s QB Bernard Morris connected on 17-of-26 passes for 219 yards and eight touchdowns.  Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game Jeron Harvey led the Jacksonville receivers with five touchdowns on five catches for 56 yards.  Riddell Defensive Player of the Game Tracy Belton led Jacksonville’s defensive with seven tackles, two forced-fumbles, and a fumble recovery.

The Soul put the first points on the board with a 2-yard touchdown run by FB Derrick Ross, though Jacksonville blocked the extra point.  The Sharks answered back with two quick touchdowns, a 30-yard pass to WR Markee White and a 29-yard pass to WR Jeff Hughley.  Philadelphia closed out the first on a 22-yard touchdown pass to WR Andrae Thurman, missing the extra point and ending the quarter 14-12.

The Sharks opened up the second half with two touchdowns on an 18-yard touchdown pass to WR Jeron Harvey and a 3-yard touchdown pass to White.  Ross punched in his second touchdown on the night on a 16-yard run.  LB Joe Goosby forced an interception, which set up a 3-yard touchdown pass to WR Larry Brackins, closing out the first half with Jacksonville leading 28-26.

The Sharks third quarter consisted of two touchdowns for Harvey, scoring on 3-yard and 10-yard catches.  Philadelphia was able to keep the game close, with WR Tiger Jones scoring on a 2-yard rush.  The third quarter ended with Jacksonville leading 42-33.

Jacksonville scored in the fourth quarter on a 23-yard touchdown catch by Harvey.  The Sharks failed to convert the extra point.  Philadelphia made the game a one possession game by scoring on a 7-yard pass to Thurman, making the score 48-40.  Harvey scored his fifth touchdown of the night on a 2-yard pass to put the Sharks up 55-40.  Philadelphia responded with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Brackins.  With less than a minute remaining, Ross punched the ball in on a 1-yard touchdown run, trailing the Sharks by two.  The Soul were unable to convert the two-point conversion with an incomplete pass, losing to Jacksonville 55-53.

Soul will visit the Chicago Rush on Saturday, May 4 at 8 p.m. ET at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player: Jacksonville’s Jeron Harvey

Riddell Defensive Player: Jacksonville’s Tracey Belton

J Lewis Small AFL Playmaker: Jacksonville’s Jeff Hughley

Cutter’s Catch of the Game: Jacksonville’s Jeron Harvey’s fourth quarter touchdown

Spalding Highlight of the Game: Philadelphia’s Derrick Ross’ touchdown run with 18 seconds left

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Video: David King Highlights

Video: Jordan Poyer - 2013 NFL Draft Profile

Video: Joe Kruger Highlights

Video: Earl Wolff highlights

Video: Matt Barkley highlights

Bennie Logan Draft Profile

Video: Zach Ertz Highlights

Lane Johnson Draft Profile

Video: Lane Johnson Highlights

Sixers introduce new NBADL franchise

The Philadelphia 76ers missed the playoffs once again this season, but that's no reason not to grab headlines while 16 other teams are vying for the NBA championship.

On Saturday, the club announced their new Development League franchise, the Delaware 87ers.

For the full scoop, read on.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Penn State names Olczyk team captain again

For the second straight season, Penn State hockey will have Tommy Olczyk as its on-ice representative and locker room leader.

The Nits made the announcement official on Wednesday, giving the "C" to the 22-year-old son of former NHLer and current NBC color commentator Ed Olczyk.

Last season, the sophomore forward totaled three goals and four points in 26 games.

The Toronto-born, but Chicagoland-raised Olczyk is 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds.

Penn State will move into the new multi-million dollar Pegula Ice Arena beginning in October, concurrent with its initial season in the new Big Ten Conference.

Lane Johnson conference call with the media

On when he started thinking Philadelphia could be where he would end up:
“After Miami got off the clock and picked up Dion Jordan, that’s where I thought I was going for a while due to the absence of Jake Long to the Rams. After that took place, I had a good vibe for Philly. After I got a phone call from a Pennsylvania number, I knew it was time.”

On what head coach Chip Kelly and offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland told him about how he would fit in with the Eagles:
“I think they like effort and the guys who can move. I don’t know exactly what type of offense they’re going to be, but I know that at Oregon, they ran a very fast-paced offense that was very similar to Oklahoma and I think I fit with what they need.”

On what he knows about the Eagles offensive line:
“I know Evan Mathis, I’ve heard of him a little bit. I actually almost went with Vincent Taylor [who is] Jason Peters’ agent. I know Jason Peters is a guy who went undrafted and is one of, if not the best tackle in the league. I’m so fortunate to be with these guys and learn as much as I can.”

On whether he has a preference between left and right tackle:
“I really don’t care. I try to be as balanced as possible. Whatever Coach Kelly and [the coaches] need, I’m going to do.”

On whether he was surprised when he was moved to offensive tackle and whether it was a tough transition:
“I think the toughest was actually from quarterback to tight end—from being such a glorified position to going to tight end where your hand is in the dirt and there’s a lot of physicality involved. So that was probably the toughest transition. Going to tackle my junior year was a lot of a learning experience and it kind of felt very weird because I had been a skill position player my whole life. Going to tackle was kind of a weird experience, but going into my senior year, I knew I had the talent and I just kept working and developing and things went well for me.”

On how he thinks Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense might suit him:
“I’m excited. I think Coach Kelly brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the Eagles. I know we’re all anticipating what’s going to happen and so am I. I’m ready to get started and I’m very fortunate to be with the Eagles.”

On whether he thinks his style of play will match well with the city of Philadelphia:
“Yeah, I view myself as kind of an aggressive player on the field, but off the field I’m a down-to-earth guy. I’m not arrogant at all. I know Philly is a good blue-collar town that works its tail off and they’re very passionate about their sports, especially football.”

On whether he thinks he’s ready to start now:
“I think I am, yes sir.”

On how important he thinks the combine was for him in terms of moving up the draft board:
“I think it was important, but one of my main areas of focus was having a good Senior Bowl to show people that I’m a football player and not just a test athlete. Once I had a good week there, I knew the combine was going to be icing on the cake with the tests and numbers and stuff. It’s all part of the process and it’s finally over.”

On whether he cares that Evan Mathis has his number:
“That’s part of it. He’s been there longer than me. Just reading about Mathis, he’s kind of a freaky dude himself, as far as athlete-wise, so I’m fine with whatever number I get.”

On how early he had the Eagles on his radar as a place he would end up:
“Back in January, I had no clue if I was even going to be in the first round. Moving forward, coming down to the few weeks before draft day, I had a feeling it was either going to be Philadelphia, San Diego, maybe Arizona, maybe Detroit and possibly Miami. After Miami traded up for Dion [Jordan], I knew that Philly was probably going to take me, so that’s where I ended up.”

Chip Kelly talks Lane Johnson pick

Opening Remarks:
“Obviously we selected Lane Johnson with the fourth pick in the draft and we’re really excited. We felt he was the most athletic tackle that we had seen. We had him in, went down and worked him out privately, then had him in for a visit just a little while ago.  [He has] a huge upside. He hasn’t played a ton of offensive tackle, but he has played the right side and the left side, so he does have experience at both sides. I know [Oklahoma head coach] Bob Stoops extremely well and I talked to Bob about [Lane Johnson] extensively last week. He just remarked what a tough player he is and what a selfless player that he is; he’s moved positions. He wants to play. I think he is going to be a great addition to our team. The game is won up front. He’s another tough, physical guy and that’s what we were looking for. We went into this draft and it’s an exciting thing when you can target people and get what you’re looking for. It’s an interesting time as a fan when you see a trade and you don’t know who is going to go and if it has played itself out. I know we were excited and I know Lane is excited, so I think it’s a great addition for us and it starts up front—and that’s what we got.”

On whether Johnson’s versatility and uptempo style was a factor in the pick:
“No. Obviously he ran a similar system in terms of the pace of play, but that really was not a factor in us selecting him. What really was a factor is I think you see a guy that is 6-foot-6, he’s three hundred pounds and 35-inch arms. He’s got an unbelievable athletic background to him. He started as a high school quarterback, was a tight end and played defensive end. I talked to Bob [Stoops]. Bob actually said they wanted to keep him at defensive end, but because of injuries, he was playing defensive end at 280 pounds and doing a great job for them. They had some injuries on the offensive line and they thought about him. His direct quote when he asked the strength coach, ‘What would it take to get Lane to tackle?’ He said, ‘A cheeseburger and a week.’ So, I think he has such an upside and that’s the thing that really excites us.  I know him and [offensive line] coach [Jeff] Stoutland hit it off very well during their workouts. Obviously for us to get a tackle, football is all about winning the game up front. When you get a guy like that, you can kind of build off of that. To add to the guys that we have, it’s a great fit for us.”

On whether he thinks the Miami Dolphins traded up to No. 3 in the draft in case the Eagles were planning to take Oregon OLB Dion Jordan:
“I don’t know what Miami thinks and I don’t answer hypotheticals. We had four guys and we felt comfortable with all four guys. We saw the draft the same way that the other teams saw the draft. We were one, two, three, four and it went: one, two, three, four.”

On whether picking Johnson will possibly cause Todd Herremans to move positions:
“I don’t know depth charts or any of those other things. Let’s get Lane in here and let him actually take a few reps and run around a little bit. We do know that Todd has some flexibility and that’s the great thing about him, because Todd has played inside and outside. I think the other thing with Lane that is great about his flexibility is he has played the right side and he’s played the left side. We’re going to let them all battle it out. They’re going to win the jobs out on the field, but having some more versatility makes a more versatile football team. Having him and having Todd, we obviously look at that as a positive.”

On whether Johnson is ready to play in the NFL:
“I think he’s ready and I think he is raw. It’s a draft of raw guys. Luke Joeckel is a three-year player and Ezekiel Ansah, who was taken fifth —it just seems like that’s how this draft fell out. I think we look at raw as a positive, not a negative, because if [Johnson] is doing what he is doing right now and he’s only played really two years on the offensive line and just transitioned from spring ball, we felt like his ceiling is the highest and that’s the intriguing thing. He was probably getting a little less snaps than Eric Fisher, but when you look at his combination of athleticism and what he can do and his toughness. Is he raw? Yeah. He’s a quick learner, he’s a really smart kid, he’s already graduated. I think he’ll pick up what we’re doing quickly. When you listen to people that coached him, they just rave about him. He’s an unbelievable competitor. He’s everything you’re looking for when it comes to a football player.”

On the difference in how the Eagles ranked Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson:
“Honestly, we had them all together. We don’t have the first three picks, so it was going to happen the way it was going to fall. We weren’t going to trade. We didn’t think there was anything and there was no reason to trade up. We thought there was a group of four that we really, really liked and we were going to see how the draft was going to unfold. It wasn’t a situation where we had this guy over this guy.”

On how much Johnson’s time at the combine improved his stock:
“I just think that’s a part of it. It wasn’t like we didn’t know about him. When we were at the combine, it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, my God, who is that guy?’ I think we knew exactly who he was and we anticipated him having that type of combine. You can just look at the numbers he had when he was at Oklahoma. Right now when they go to the combine, there are not a lot of surprises,  because you know all about the players before they get there and what the testing was like at Oklahoma. What he did for the testing at Oklahoma is what he did at the combine.”

On how his athleticism will play into the “uptempo” system:
“Yeah, again, I think people are confused with uptempo. We need athletic offensive linemen. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting in a huddle and walking up to the ball and snapping the ball with two seconds on the clock or you’re snapping the ball with 10 seconds into the play clock. It has nothing to do with when you’re snapping the ball; it has to do with their athletic abilities. So whether we’re going to be in the huddle and go up to the line of scrimmage or we’re going to be a no-huddle operation, that doesn’t affect our assessment. I know teams that run no-huddle at the college level, but we’re not going to take a guy just because he played in an uptempo offense. They still have to have the requisite skillset that we need for an offensive tackle and we really think he’s off the charts when it comes to that.”

On whether there were other positions that were strongly considered with the fourth overall pick:
“We had four guys at the top, as it fell out when we looked at our board. Exactly how the draft went. They were the three [tackles] and [DE/OLB] Dion [Jordan]. That’s why we felt comfortable going into this. No matter how it fell, we weren’t going to be sitting there at four going, ‘We didn’t get our guy.’ But, it was just that group of four. Even if anybody traded ahead of us I knew they couldn’t pick two people, so we were still going to be okay.”

On what it means when experts say that he is raw:
“He has some technical things that he needs to work on. I mean, he’s only played the position for two years, so obviously the little nuances of the position, hand placement, and things like that. One thing you know when you’re around him and you get a chance to see Lane, he’s got unbelievable work ethic. He lives and dies football. That’s the one thing – part of what we want to do and bring guys into this program – we want guys that love playing football. Not what football gets them, but actually just loves playing the game. That’s what this kid did. He’s come from an unbelievable background in terms of not getting recruited out of high school – it was a real, real small high school – and then went to a junior college. When Oklahoma saw him and saw his athleticism, they said, ‘We don’t know what position you’re going to be, but if you come you can just play.’ He’s a real selfless guy that just loves playing the game. He doesn’t care if he was an offensive player, a defensive player, he didn’t care if he was a tight end, a defensive end, an offensive tackle, he just wants to play.”

On whether he knew about him in college and when he landed on his radar:
“I was aware of him just hearing his story where you hear about a guy who’s excelling in the Big 12 at offensive tackle that was a former quarterback two years earlier. That kind of catches everybody’s attention. Again, I know [Oklahoma head coach] Bob [Stoops] real well and I know what he thinks of him and how much they thought he was a special player. It took him a couple years to kind of figure out where he was going to exactly fit, but I think that’s a positive for us that he doesn’t have that many years of experience because I think his upside is just so huge. It’s not one of those deals what you see is what you get, I really think he has a very high ceiling.”

On his comments last week that there aren’t any “can’t miss” prospects in this year’s draft:
“I’ll stick with what I said last week.”

On a player having little experience and whether that affects his timetable on when he’ll be on the field:
“He’ll determine when he gets on the field and I’ve said that since whenever I’ve coached. We don’t set the depth chart, [the players] do. We don’t run a dictatorship, we don’t run a democracy, we run a meritocracy. If you merit playing time, then show us in practice that you merit it, show us in preseason games that you merit it, and we’ll put you on the field. He’ll get the opportunity. He’s going to get a ton of reps and he’s going to get an opportunity to show us what he can do, but just like everybody else we’re dealing with right now, they’re going to merit it. I tell those guys that all the time. ‘You guys set the depth chart, we don’t set it. And you set it by your performance. Not because of what we think you can do, but based on your demonstration that you show us on the practice field and in the preseason games.’”

On where the team goes now moving forward in the draft:
“Same thing. Our board is set. So it’s just kind of where it is. As guys get taken off and as you look at it and other teams pick them, then you just kind of take them off where you are. When your pick comes around and what’s on the board for you at that point in time, I know we’re not going to reach and we’re not going to put ourselves in a situation where we need this. I think we did a great job – [general manager] Howie [Roseman] and those guys did a great job in free agency of putting us in a position where we didn’t have any holes. Where we don’t have this position and regardless of what the board says, we need to go take this position. I think we’re in a situation now where we’re going to take, based upon what our board is when we get to the second pick, we look at it who’s our highest-rated player when we get to that point in time. It could be an offensive player, it could be a defensive player. It’s not that, ‘Hey, we took a tackle and won, so now we have to go this way.’ It’s whatever is on the board at this point in time.”

On whether he envisions moving back into the first round:
“No, I don’t envision anything.”

On how deep he can go into the draft and get a quality quarterback:
“I don’t know.”

On what his impressions are on his first NFL Draft:

On how he feels about the team’s depth now on the offensive line:
“We’ll still address it. I think it’s always an ongoing process, but do I feel better? Yes. Will we continue to look at guys in this draft? Yes.”

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Flyers' home finale made special with win over Islanders

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers brought the curtain down on the home portion of a disappointing 2013 season, but not before giving the fans one more thrill.

Ilya Bryzgalov, this publication's choice as team MVP, stopped 21-of-22 shots and rookie defenseman Oliver Lauridsen netted the game winner -- his second tally in as many games -- to pace a 2-1 win over the playoff-bound New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Despite being the subject of rampant rumors and speculation that the front office plans to use an amnesty buy-out on the 31-year-old, Bryzgalov remained sanguine when asked how tough it was with so many AHL defenseman in front of him after continual injuries to the NHL core.

"It's been hard with all the players coming here the first time. But it's always been my philosophy that everyone has to take care of his own business, he said. "You've got to prepare yourself. Not looking for a partner, not looking for somebody else (to help). If you do that, the rest of things take care of themselves. If everyone does their job well, everybody wins."

The Orange and Black (22-22-5) have one more chance to establish this truncated schedule as something less than a failure, as they can finish the year above .500 with a win at Ottawa in the season finale on Saturday.

But their presumptive starting goaltender for next season sees things differently.

"We are not going to make the playoffs. It doesn't matter whether you're two games below or two games above .500. It's pointless. Of course, it's nice to win the games, but at the end of the day it doesn't change anything.''
Danny Briere celebrated with his first goal since February 18 for the Flyers, who evened up the season series, 2-2-0, against their Long Island rivals.

"The last few games I had chance after chance and they didn't seem to want to go in," the long-suffering Briere said. "You start wondering what is going on exactly."

John Tavares notched the lone score and Kevin Poulin came up with 28 stops in defeat for New York, which could have taken over fifth place in the East with a win and Toronto regulation loss. However, after wins by Ottawa and the Rangers, the soon-to-be-Brooklynites fell to the eighth spot.

"It's frustrating for sure, but we're not going to blow it up into something bigger than it is," said Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic. "Look at what we've done the last 15-20 games and we've done a lot of good things."

New York concludes its season-ending five-game road swing at Buffalo on Friday. 

Lauridsen snapped the scoreless deadlock with 6:31 left in the third period when he ripped a rising shot by Poulin from the left circle. Seconds before, Poulin used his right pad to stop a pair of lightning-quick chances in close by Giroux, but the Islanders failed to clear and the Dane scored his first legitimate NHL goal.

"This one was a little different. I had a lot more time to shoot, but I'll take both of them," Lauridsen said of his goals in back-to-back games that found the net in radically different ways. "It's been the goal the entire time (since my call up). We had a lot of guys go down with injuries and I got my shot here in the last 10 games. I've been trying to make a mark for myself and hopefully put myself in position for camp next year."

Poulin was called to the bench for an extra skater with 1:43 on the clock, and the hosts survived four icings during the ensuing 5-on-6 situation to preserve the narrow victory.

The Islanders went more than five minutes from the start without a shot, in a game played at half-speed against a club already in the playoffs and one with no hope of play beyond Saturday.

Bryzgalov flashed the pad to stop a Josh Bailey bid from the right wing in the midst of the Flyers' initial power-play chance roughly midway through the first period.

At the end of the advantage, Brayden Schenn was allowed to tiptoe sideways from the left wing into the slot, where he laid a perfect pass across to Briere through Lubomir Visnovsky's legs for the easy tap-in. Briere's first goal in 19 games gave the hosts a 1-0 edge at 11:41.

"Oh yeah. It's my home, my family. It's the best place to play, you ask anyone in the NHL. The fans have been amazing, it's a special place and I've been fortunate to play for this organization," Briere said about the spectre of his being bought out of the final two years of his remaining contract he signed in the Summer of 2007.

In a nod to the fact that it may be his final home game with Philadelphia, the usually exuberant 35-year-old eschewed his famous glove sweep/arm pump gesture for a more subdued affirmation of the tally.

New York evened the score when Tavares' redirection of a Matt Carkner pass slithered beyond the outstretched paddle of Bryzgalov and over the goal line inside the left post with 1:37 played in the second.

Neither club capitalized on a pair of power-play chances and it was deadlocked at 1-1 heading to the third.

''We came out flat again,'' Isles forward Colin McDonald lamented. ''It's just not good enough. We need to be better. It really doesn't matter that we clinched the playoffs. It doesn't really mean anything. We want to be going into the playoffs playing good hockey, so we have one game left to kind of correct it and head into the playoffs with a good feeling.''

Notes: Lauridsen became the first Dane to actually score a goal in a Flyers' uniform, after his initial tally against Boston was an own-goal from defenseman Zdeno Chara...Philadelphia completed its home schedule with a 15-7-2 record, the sixth straight year with a positive ledger as the host...In addition, this was the first year since 2006-07 the Flyers did not have a winning season-series record against the Isles, having gone 2-5-1 that season...The 2-2-0 record marked the first time since 1995 the Flyers and Islanders had a deadlocked season slate...Philly improved to 7-1-0 in home finales since 2006...Tavares sits four behind league leader Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals (32) in total goals...The Orange and Black improved to 10-7 in games decided by one goal...Prior to the contest, the organization handed out its yearly awards. The Gene Hart Memorial Award (fan picked) went to the injured Zac Rinaldo, the Yanick Dupre Memorial Class Guy Award for media rapport was given to Scott Hartnell, the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy for most improved player went to Jakub Voracek, the Barry Ashbee Trophy for top defenseman was given to Kimmo Timonen, and Voracek was a double winner, also taking home the Bobby Clarke Trophy as the club's Most Valuable Player.

2013 Philadelphia Flyers award selections

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

The end of this truncated 2013 schedule is just two games away, and this evening, as it's the final home game until next October, the Philadelphia Flyers will hand out individual team hardware to honor the best and brightest from this season.

Before the club makes its own official selections, here are my picks for each of the four major awards.

Gene Hart Memorial Award: Although this honor is given to the player who demonstrated the most “Heart” during the season as voted on by members of the Fan Club at their monthly meetings, this one is all about the "eye test."

And I spied with my little eyes the heart and soul and grit of one Wayne Simmonds, who justified his lengthy contract extension by being the player who showed up most often and played hardest during the club's struggles through the first third of the schedule -- then kept up the pace with only a few drop-offs since.

He's received his rewards by posting the third-best point total (32) and second-highest goal total (15) on the Flyers, netted his first career hat trick on Saturday in Carolina, and has won over the hearts and minds of fans and a certain segment of the media alike.

Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award: A thorny prospect given the relationship between the media at large and certain members of the current roster, this selection goes to the player deemed to have the best rapport with reporters, as voted on by the writers themselves.

2012's winner Jaromir Jagr taught the youngsters a great many things about the game and life while he was here last year, so why not select his protege, Claude Giroux, to win it this year? The newest captain in team history managed to make it through the season free and clear of any controversies or baiting, keeping up good spirits and maintaining poise while the club struggled to find answers and a playoff berth.

Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy: As was expected after Jaromir Jagr signed with the Dallas Stars, Jakub Voracek was given top-line minutes and he has responded with the best season of his career, getting my vote for most improved player. The 24-year-old member of the Ginger Brigade set a new career high in goals with 21, and ranks second to Giroux in points at 45.

In a year when most expectations were skewed because of near-career years last season, Voracek stands out because he was the subject of increased expectations and either met or exceeded them, depending on whom you ask.

Barry Ashbee Trophy: The best defenseman on the club, once again, is its steadiest and "healthiest" member, Kimmo Timonen. Before a broken foot cancelled the remainder of his season, Timonen suited up in all 45 games and led the injury-wracked back line in goals (5), assists (24), points (29), plus-minus (+3), while ranking second in ice time (21:46 per game).

Perhaps the easiest choice in the bunch, the 38-year-old Finn wins the award for the second straight season and the fourth time since arriving in Philadelphia in 2007.

Bobby Clarke Trophy: Given to the player deemed to be the most valuable on the club, attention is usually paid to whomever ends up with the most points or assumes the highest profile, or one who exhibits the qualities of leadership that guide a team to success. This year, I'm going in a different direction.

Bear with me as I select Ilya Bryzgalov as the Flyers' Most Valuable Player. Haters gonna hate, but objective observers can't really argue that, with the turmoil of the defensive injuries, inconsistent to non-existent play from the forward lines from the get-go and the constant swirl of media pressure directed solely in his direction, Bryz has held it together by being a space cadet in the locker room and the steadiest man on ice, excepting Timonen, through this mulligan of a season.

You may point to an increase in his goals-against (2.48 to 2.84), a dip in his save percentage (.909 to .898), but I steer you in the direction of a winning record on a losing team (18-17-3) while playing in 39 of 46 games (including 34 of the first 36) while the front office left his coach without a viable backup and so had to use him like a plough horse in spite of constantly shifting replacement defenders that failed to grasp his system.

Simply put, amnesty this. Without Bryzgalov performing as he did, things would have been so much worse. The Flyers could have been eliminated from the playoff race by the trade deadline instead of last week. He joins Roman Cechmanek (2001, 2003), Ron Hextall (1987-89) and Pelle Lindbergh (1984-85) as the only goaltenders to be selected.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

MO Radio Show on Sports W/ NFL Insider John McMullen

Listen to internet radio with Mo Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio

Timonen down; Lilja up as Flyers prepare to face Bruins

The one defenseman we all couldn't stand to see injured...is now officially injured.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Flyers announced that Kimmo Timonen will miss the club's remaining three games with a broken right foot.

Timonen was the only member of the defensive corps to play in all 45 games this season, but with no possibility of the postseason in order to try and play through the issue, the charade was wisely dropped.

The Flyers have only three games remaining on the schedule, starting with tonight's game against the Boston Bruins -- one which sees the return of Jaromir Jagr to Philadelphia.

The 38-year-old completed his 14th NHL season with five goals and 29 points along with a plus-3 rating. He has one more year remaining on his deal, a $6 million extension, for next year before it's presumed he will leave North America.

His exclusion leaves Kurtis Foster and Luke Schenn as the only remaining blueliners to have not suffered some kind of debilitating injury during the truncated 2013 schedule.

But help is apparently on the way, as Paul Holmgren decided to recall Andreas Lilja from the Adirondack Phantoms. That was the big piece of news before the Timonen story broke, and the pieces appeared to fit.

Nonetheless, Matt Konan, who was recalled from Glens Falls yesterday along with three of his Phantoms' teammates, is still awaiting his NHL debut, which still could occur in any of the final three outings.

Sixers' Holiday finishes 5th in Most Improved voting.

NEW YORK – Indiana’s Paul George, who earned his first All-Star Game berth en route to leading the Pacers to the Central Division crown and the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs,  was named the winner of the 2012-13 NBA Most Improved Player Award.

Sixers guard Jrue Holiday, who also was named an All-Star for the first time, finished fifth.

George received 311 of a possible 1,080 points, including 52 first-place votes, from a panel of 120 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Greivis Vasquez of the New Orleans (146 points, 13 first-place votes) and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Larry Sanders (141 points, 10 first-place votes) finished second and third, respectively.

Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third place vote received.

Ex-Sixers center Nikola Vucevic finished fourth, one spot ahead of Holiday, who received 10 first-place votes.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Union's McInerney named Player of the Week

Chester, Pa.  – Philadelphia Union forward Jack McInerney has been named Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 8 of the 2013 MLS season.

McInerney scored twice in the first half of a 3-2 victory over D.C. United on Sunday, marking the first two-goal performance of his MLS career. After scoring in three straight games, the 20-year-old striker now leads the league with six on the year, making him the youngest player ever to hold the outright lead in goals in MLS. McInerney also leads the league in game-winning goals with three on the year.

McInerney opened the scoring on Sunday after he collected a ball in space and muscled himself past two D.C. United defenders to put the Union ahead in just the seventh minute of play. McInerney would net his second of the match in the 26th, pouncing on a loose ball in the box from a long throw-in from defender Sheanon Williams.

The Union (3-2-2, 11 points) travel north to face the New England Revolution on Saturday at Gillette Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET on The Comcast Network.

Criminal Complaint: United States of America v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Marathon Complaint

Final NFL Mock Draft: the mock-ing stops here:

By John McMullen

PHILADELPHIA - The latest NFL Draft shakeup came on Sunday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally completed a long-rumored trade with the New York Jets for cornerback Darrelle Revis.

The Bucs sent the 13th overall selection in Thursday's first round, along with
a conditional 2014 selection, to north Jersey for the former All-Pro.

There had been speculation since January, when John Idzik took over as Jets
general manager for the fired Mike Tannenbaum, that Revis was on the trading

"It became quite evident, we had some discussions with his representation, and
it became quite evident to us that there was a substantial difference between
Darrelle's view of his value and ours," Idzik said during a conference call
after the deal went down. "So we felt like there would have to be a
significant change on either side in order to create a path toward reaching an
agreeable deal for the long term. So you had to really weigh that into the
situation, too."

Now that the Revis domino has fallen, it's time to take one final educated
guess at the 78th Annual selection meeting, albeit one which doesn't take into
account any potential trades or unstable personnel people around the league.

So let's lock it in with The Sports Network's final 2013 NFL mock draft:

1. Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M - The Chiefs have done
everything possible to make this pick seem more valuable to teams thinking
about trading up, flashing "interest" in West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith
and trying to beat the drum for Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher. In
the end, this is just not a sexy draft at the top, so Kansas City will stand
pat and take Joeckel. Scouts often reference the potential "ceiling" of a
particular prospect and rarely talk about a player's "floor." Joeckel's floor
is significantly higher than Fisher's and that's the real difference between
the two players.

Previous Pick: Joeckel

2. Jacksonville Jaguars - Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU - There is a lot of momentum
building for Fisher to Jacksonville since the Jags need an offensive tackle
but remember who the new head coach of the team is. Gus Bradley, is a
defensive-minded mentor who wants to address the Jaguars' paltry pass rush,
specifically off the edges. Oregon's Dion Jordan has emerged from the pack as
the best prospect off the edge but his frame is best-suited for the 3-4. Ansah
is an athletic freak with a Jason Pierre-Paul-like upside as a pass-rusher.

Previous Pick: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

3. Oakland Raiders - Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah - Matt Flynn isn't going to
generate a ton of excitement in the Bay Area, but his presence enables the
Raiders to stop thinking about Smith and focus in on defensive tackles
Sharrif Floyd or Lotulelei. If Oakland believes the doctors and are convinced
Lotulelei's heart scare is behind him (his left ventricle was pumping at below
normal levels at the combine), he's the choice. Star is a versatile player who
fits in playing multiple techniques and shows more on tape than the up-and-
down Floyd.

Previous Pick: Lotulelei

4. Philadelphia Eagles - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma - The Eagles went through
their first OTAs under Chip Kelly last week and one thing was abundantly
clear, the former Oregon mentor is going to push the tempo and play basketball
on turf in Philly. That means conditioning and athleticism are going to be
paramount, and Johnson, who can run a faster 40-yard dash and leap higher than
some wide receivers, is a better fit in the City of Brotherly Love than the far
more traditional Fisher.

Previous Pick: Fisher

5. Detroit Lions - Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan - Detroit needs to solve
its tackle situation because right tackle Gosder Cherilus left for Indianapolis
in free agency and veteran left tackle Jeff Backus called it quits after a
solid 12-year career. The Motor City Kitties will sprint to the podium when
they see Fisher is still on the board.

Previous Pick: Johnson

6. Cleveland Browns - Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia - It's pretty clear that
the Browns' new brain trust of president Joe Banner, GM Mike Lombardi and
head coach Rob Chudzinski isn't all that enamored with Brandon Weeden. Smith
has been sinking like a stone in most people's eyes after getting trashed in a
Pro Football Weekly scouting report but he remains the top signal-caller in
this draft and Cleveland will ignore the white noise and continue the reboot
of the franchise.

Previous Pick: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

7. Arizona Cardinals - Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina - Arizona's draft
prospects changed markedly when the team acquired Carson Palmer from the
Raiders. Palmer may be on the downside on his career and is certainly not the
Pro Bowl player he once was in Cincinnati, but he is a massive upgrade on the
terrible triumvirate of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley which
eventually cost Ken Whisenhunt his job in the desert. Rebuilding perhaps the
worst offensive line in football is now the priority, and while the Cards would
prefer a tackle, the top three will almost assuredly be off the board in the
first five picks. That leaves a choice between the two best guards and
Cooper's athleticism vaults him ahead of Alabama's Chance Warmack.

Previous Pick: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

8. Buffalo Bills - Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama - It's finally sinking in that
new Bills coach Doug Marrone simply can't use up all of his political capital
by taking his former quarterback at Syracuse, Ryan Nassib, this early. So,
it's either trade down or take Warmack, an excellent fit after the Bills
lost star guard Andy Levitre in free agency as well as reserve Chad Rinehart.

Previous Pick: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

9. New York Jets - Barkevious Mingo, OLB/DE, LSU - Although Mingo has fallen
on most draft boards, the Jets are reportedly smitten with the LSU pass rusher
and will try to finally give Rex Ryan a difference maker off the edge.

Previous Pick: Smith

10. Tennessee Titans - Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama - The Titans addressed their
most glaring holes in free agency by signing Levitre from Buffalo, inking
strong safety Bernard Pollard from the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens,
and getting running back Chris Johnson and young quarterback Jake Locker
backups by convincing Shonn Greene and Ryan Fitzpatrick to leave the AFC East
behind. Tennessee still needs to improve a defense that allowed a league-worst
29.4 points per game in 2012 and getting the draft's best pure cornerback is a
step in the right direction.

Previous Pick: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

11. San Diego Chargers - Dion Jordan, OLB/DE, Oregon - The Chargers' offensive
line is abysmal, but D.J. Fluker figures to be the best prospect left on the
board here and the Alabama right tackle can't compare as a prospect to the
suddenly sliding Jordan, who fits another need for the Bolts, albeit a lesser

Previous Pick: Cooper

12. Miami Dolphins - D.J. Fluker, RT, Alabama -  Miami also wants a tackle
after losing former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long in free agency. Jonathan
Martin is set to move from the right side to the left and that move will open
up things for Fluker in South Beach.

Previous Pick: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

13. New York Jets (Acquired from Tampa Bay) - Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
- Getting Rhodes here, a player who could be better than Milliner down the
line because he has better ball skills, makes a lot of sense for a franchise
in rebuilding mode.

Previous Pick: Ansah

14. Carolina Panthers - Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida - Teams drafting for need
will send the loser of the Lotulelei versus Floyd battle in Oakland here and
Carolina will be thrilled with either. The Panthers need to sure up their run

Previous Pick: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

15. New Orleans Saints - Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia  - Poor 40 times have
sent Jones crashing out of the top 10, but the Saints, who are switching to a
3-4 scheme, need edge players and Jones could be a Terrell Suggs-like steal in
the Big Easy.

Previous Pick: Jones

16. St. Louis Rams - Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia - Some have Austin going
in the top 10, but at the end of the day, he is a specialist, a slot receiver
who doesn't project outside the numbers. That said, Austin is the most dynamic
playmaker in this draft and will be a nice fit in St. Louis because the Rams
lost slot stalwart Danny Amendola to New England in free agency.

Previous Pick: Austin

17. Pittsburgh Steelers -  Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame - Pittsburgh could go
wide receiver, but Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson as well as Cal's Keenan
Allen have been falling. Eifert, on the other hand, has been rising rapidly
and some have the former Notre Dame star landing in the top 10. With Heath
Miller coming off ACL surgery in late December, Eifert could be in the heir
apparent in the Steel City.

Previous Pick: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

18. Dallas Cowboys - Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri - The 'Boys are one of
the few teams making the switch from the 3-4 to a Tampa-2-like 4-3 and
Richardson has a chance to be an impact player as a three-technique.

Previous Pick: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

19. New York Giants - Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State - When the Giants have
succeeded in the past, Eli Manning got a lot of the credit and deservedly so,
but it was the pass rush that was the engine of Big Blue's Super Bowl teams.
The rush was derailed in 2012 and Werner was a top five-level prospect earlier
in this process, but his closing speed off the edge, or lack thereof, has
scared off some teams. New York will take advantage of that since Werner has
the type of motor to excel in the NFL and projects as a solid fit with the
Giants as the replacement for Osi Umenyiora.

Previous Pick: Werner

20. Chicago Bears - Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame - The Brian Urlacher era is
over in the Second City and taking Te'o, would accomplish a couple of things.
It gives Chicago an heir apparent and keeps him away from NFC North-rival

Previous Pick - Te'o

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State - For whatever
reason (it's money), the Bengals have let incumbent starting right tackle
Andre Smith, who was one of the best in all of football last season, dangle in
free agency. It looks as if the organization doesn't have the stomach for the
paycheck Smith wants, so bringing in Watson as a replacement makes a lot of

Previous Pick: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) -  Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas - The
Rams could continue attacking the receiver spot or look for Steven Jackson's
replacement at running back, but their need at safety is just too great and
Vaccaro is the best available, a player who has the ideal combination of size
and athleticism to roam from sideline to sideline in coverage.

Previous Pick: Matt Elam, S, Florida

23. Minnesota Vikings - Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee - The Vikings have been
looking for the answer at split end since Randy Moss' first go-around in the
Twin Cities ended and the team believes Hunter is the answer, a player some
scouts are now calling the most physically gifted receiver on the board.

Previous Pick: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

24. Indianapolis Colts -  Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington - Chuck Pagano would
probably prefer to build up his 3-4 defense with another edge pass rusher but
he also needs to supplement a corner group which includes Vontae Davis, Darius
Butler and free agent acquisition Greg Toler. Trufant would project as the
best of that bunch early on.

Previous Pick: Mingo

25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle) - Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU - This is
Minnesota's pick acquired in the Percy Harvin deal. The Vikings let their
middle linebacker in 2012 -- the pedestrian Jasper Brinkley -- walk to Arizona,
so they need a mike. Minny general manager Rick Spielman would love Te'o, but
with him off the boards, it's between Alec Ogletree, Arthur Brown and Minter.
Ogletree is the far more athletic player who is best-suited for the Vikings
somewhat antiquated Tampa-2 base scheme, but Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is
big on character and Minter is a solid prospect who trumps the other two

Previous Pick: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia

26. Green Bay Packers - Matt Elam, S, Florida - Packers general manager Ted
Thompson has publicly stated he wants his team to be more physical and Elam is
a thumper from the safety position who would replace Charles Woodson.

Previous Pick: Watson

27. Houston Texans - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee - Even before they
released veteran Kevin Walter, the Texans badly needed a complement to Andre
Johnson. Patterson is very raw and doesn't run routes all that well, but he's
the best YAC (yards after catch) receiver in the draft and more of a vertical
threat than Keenan Allen.

Previous Pick: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

28. Denver Broncos - Margus Hunt, DE, SMU - The Elvis Dumervil fax fiasco put
defensive end in play for the Broncos and the 6-foot-8, 280-pound Hunt is the
type of raw talent you gamble with late in the first round. Most project him
as a 3-4 end, but Hunt certainly has the size and frame to hold up as a base
end in a 4-3 also.

Previous Pick: Hunt

29. New England Patriots - D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston - Although the
Patriots got Aqib Talib and Kyle Arrington back in free agency, the back end is
still the biggest problem on the New England defense and the team has been hot
on the trail of the rapidly ascending Hayden.

Previous Pick: Trufant

30. Atlanta Falcons - Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State - The Falcons replaced
the aging but always productive John Abraham with Umenyiora, a talented but
far less consistent player. Meanwhile Troy Biermann is a high-motor player on
the other side who is probably best-suited for fewer reps. They could put
Carradine in the picture, a player on the rise after ACL surgery.

Previous Pick: Carradine

31. San Francisco 49ers -  Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina - The Niners
lost both Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean-Francois in free agency, so they need
bodies on the interior of their defensive line and will be happy to swoop in
on the falling Williams.

Previous Pick: Eifert

32. Baltimore Ravens - Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia - The Ravens may be a
little gun shy to take on a character concern especially after Rolando McClain
was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest on Sunday. But, with
Ray Lewis retiring and Dannell Ellerbe exiting to Miami, Baltimore badly needs
an inside linebacker and Ogletree is too talented to pass up here.

Previous Pick: Minter


33. Jacksonville Jaguars - Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas Pine-Bluff

34. San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City) - Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

35. Philadelphia Eagles - EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State

36. Detroit Lions - Keenan Allen, WR, California

37. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) - Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

38. Arizona Cardinals - Matt Barkley, QB, USC

39. New York Jets - Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

40. Tennessee Titans - Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky

41. Buffalo Bills - Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

42. Miami Dolphins - Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State

44. Carolina Panthers - Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

45. San Diego Chargers - Kyle Long OG/OT, Oregon

46. St. Louis Rams - Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State

47. Dallas Cowboys - Eric Reid, S, LSU

48. Pittsburgh Steelers - Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

49. New York Giants - D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina

50. Chicago Bears - Barrett Jones, OC, Alabama

51. Washington Redskins - Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

52. Minnesota Vikings - Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

53. Cincinnati Bengals - Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers

54. Miami Dolphins (from Indianapolis) -  Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama

55. Green Bay Packers -  Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina

56. Seattle Seahawks - Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

57. Houston Texans - Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M

58. Denver Broncos - Jonathan Franklin, RB, UCLA

59. New England Patriots - Robert Woods, WR, USC

60. Atlanta Falcons - Chase Thomas, LB,Stanford

61. San Francisco 49ers - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

62. Baltimore Ravens - Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin


- Cleveland exercised its second-round pick in last year's supplemental draft

- New Orleans forfeited its second-round pick due to the Bountygate scandal