Tim Tebow

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The Lowdown: Coach “Pop”, Tony Parker, NFL sack record, Bryce Harper and more

Just like that, it’s Wednesday, and here is THE LOWDOWN!

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The San Antonio Spurs manhandled the Miami Heat in game 3. LeBron, Wade, and everyone’s favorite prehistoric power forward, Chris Bosh, were all less-than-impressive in the blow-out loss on the Spurs home floor. The 113-77 beating by the veteran Spurs was the obvious story last night, but the fact that Tony Parker got a bit banged up and will undergo an MRI this morning to see if it’s simply cramping, or something more severe. For the Spurs’ sake, hopefully it’s something minor, and won’t require Parker to miss any time. (Beyond The Buzzer)

Speaking of the Spurs, and their French-born star point guard, San Antonio head coach, and future hall of famer, Greg Popovich, claims that foreign players are “harder working” than American players. So, does “Pop” have a point here, or is he simply blowing smoke? (Pass The Pill)

Last little tidbit on the San Antonio Spurs (I promise). The Spurs made 673 three-pointers in last night’s win over the defending champs (no really, they drained an NBA Finals RECORD, 16 shots from beyond the arc). Here is a video recap of all 16 from deep.

(Video courtesy of Eye On Basketball)

So… We all know that the NFL’s single-season sack record stands firm at 22.5 sacks. This record is held by New York Giants former DE, and co-host of LIVE With Kelly And Michael, Michael Strahan. Well, before your start thinking that record (set back in 2001) has a chance of making it through the 2013 season, you better start thinking again. Carolina Panthers defensive end, Greg Hardy, a third-year player, who is coming off an 11-sack season, says that his ” goal for this year” is “50 sacks”. Sure, whatever you say, pal. And if you believe that, then I have some magic beans to sell you. (Helmet2Helmet)

Bryce Harper does NOT appreciate the DL (go frickin figure!). In fact, Harper had just received a round of cortisone and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections on Monday. (Nats Enquirer)

Former Orlando Magic, and Los Angeles Lakers great, Shaquille O’Neal, has shockingly taken (another) shot at soon-to-be free agent center, Dwight Howard. This most recent shot at Dwight comes in the wake of Chauncey Billups saying that Blake Griffin is “too nice” on First Take earlier this week. Shaq has essentially recycled what Chauncey said, but instead of firing the insult gun at Blake Griffin, Shaquille aimed and fired at his favorite target… Dwight Howard. (ESPN LA)

This is what the big fella had to say:

“I’m a connoisseur of giggling and playing and all that … but when I cross that line, I’m ready to tear your face off. … He’s just too nice. If I was him, I would get into the same mood I was in.”

Johnny Football (Johnny Manziel) has boarded the “We Hate Tim Tebow” train. The train currently sits at full capacity. The Texas A&M quarterback said “I would hope that I’m a better passer than Tim Tebow,”. This comment was made on ESPN’s First Take. Tebow has recently taken his talents to New England and the 40-minute loops of “all Tebow, all the time” have started back up on networks such as ESPN. (Fox Sports Southwest)

Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Sports-Kings daily Lockdown lady of the day. Paulina Gretzky:

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Jets QB issues continue to be team’s focus

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Heading into training camp prior to the 2012 season, Jet fans, team management, and of course the media, became almost obsesed at times over the prospect of Tim Tebow coming to New York. Rumors of Tebow-specific, never seen before, wild cat formations that were designed to utilise the former Gators rushing ability filled the headlines on a daily basis. Everyone from Joe Namath to Fat Joe, were asked to give their valued opinion on the matter. When training camp actually began, the masses descended upon the Jets training camp in Cortland, New York, as if Jesus himself had been reincarnated and immediately signed by the Jets to play quarterback. Craving a run deep into the playoffs, Head Coach Rex Ryan was cleary confident in the fact that Gang Green would be extending their upcoming season well beyond week 17.

It was assumed by many close to the team that incumbent starting quarterback Mark Sanchez would either be splitting time at the pivot with Tebow, or, upon Tebow’s inevitable success, graciously step aside. Not a completely insane line of thinking at the time, all that was left for the former Heisman Trophy winner to do was to perform at the level of an NFL starting quarterback. Just as the media had begun to settle in to witness ”Tebow Mania”, reality came calling.

Early reports from training camp indicated that the Jets had been unimpressed with Tebow’s performance after only a few days in camp. Phrases such as ”Thought he was better” and ”Disappointing”, quickly became some of the most commonly used in camp. Both players and coaches alike were constantly asked, and when unresponsive, provoked by the sports media into giving their opinion on the matter. When training camp came to an end however, the Jets soon realized that they had acquired a fairly expensive project at best.

Here we are, nearly one full year and the Jets can’t give Tebow away. Despite numerous rumors throughout last year’s regular season in which Gang Green finished with a [6-10] record, the world’s most popular backup remains a Jet. The franchise’s official starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, is also coming off a subpar year in which he threw 18 interceptions compared with just 15 touchdowns. Hardly the season that Sanchez needed in order to secure his job and quiet the legions of fans who feel that Tebow should be the teams starting quarterback, the future of the franchise continues to depend largely on the pivot. Besides Sanchez and Tebow, the team also has career backup Greg Mcelroy on the roster. With the 2013 NFL Draft just around the corner, the Jets are also likely to add a quarterback with their first-round pick, #8 overall, despite what many have called a weak draft class at the position. Recently the team also signed former Jacksonville Jaguar David Garrard, who is expected to compete for a backup position despite not having been under center for the past two years.

After a season that saw the Jets finish in a tie for last place in the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills, the franchise decided that it needed to make some changes to their coaching staff that included bringing in new Offensive Coordinator Marty Morningweig. Along with Morningweig’s plans to install the west coast offence, it’s expected that the Jets will also have at least some new players at a few of the team’s key offensive positions. Regardless, it seems at this point that anything beyond an [8-8] season would have to be considered a success.

Despite all of the relentless uncertainty that surrounds the Jets, both Tebow and cornerback Darelle Revis reported to the first day of off-season workouts.Both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow have hired private quarterback coaches. Sanchez has been working out with former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia in order to learn the west coast offence while Tebow has consulted private quarterbacks coach Steve Clarkson. Clarkson who has also worked with Matt Leinart and Ben Rothlesberger, has apparently ”fixed” Tebow’s throwing motion and has been vocal regarding Tebow’s lack of playing time in New York.

With the start of training camp just a few short months away, the Jets will more than likely release Tebow if they are unable to orchestrate a trade. Whether or not the team does in fact draft a quarterback next week, remains to be seen. Significant changes to the coaching staff coupled with the fact that Darrelle Revis is still a Jet, should make for another eventful year ahead. For a franchise that was mentioned as a Super Bowl favorite just a few short years ago, the upcoming season looks to be entertaining for all the wrong reasons.

Phil Simms: “Hard for Tebow to ever be a starter”

After a failed season with the New York Jets, the Tim Tebow detractors are piling on. The latest is Phil Simms, who said on last night’s episode of The Late Show with David Letterman that he believes it will be hard for Tebow to ever again be a starter in the NFL.

Simms cited the incredible polarization Tebow bring to any fan base, and how it will always create some kind of schism:

Via CBS Sports’ Eye on Football, by JoshKatzowitz:

“It’s going to be hard for him to ever be a starter,” Simms said. “… When you bring in Tim Tebow, you have to know what comes with him. If you have a starting quarterback, like the Jets did in Mark Sanchez, they’re worried about him and they’re paying him a lot of money. When you bring Tim Tebow in, it brings a lot more focus and his fan base, and it creates a controversy no matter what.”

And to some degree, Simms is right. Though Tebow was brought in to run the wildcat aspect of Tony Sparano’s offense in New York, as Sanchez (predictably) began to struggle this past season, the cries for Tebow from stands and the media alike began to create controversy, even more so when Tebow was passed over twice for the starting job, once when third-stringer Greg McElroy was named the starter for the Week 16 game vs. San Diego, and again when Sanchez was put back into the starting role for the season finale vs. Buffalo. Both games were Jets losses.

Tebow has shown he can win, evidenced by the division title he brought Denver last year while leading them to the second round of the playoffs. However, questions about his passing skills (his career completion percentage is under 50%) makes teams hesitant to make him the starter. He’s an effective runner, but teams don’t want that to be the best aspect of their quarterbacks. Combine that, his legion of fans, and his polarizing nature, and you have a volatile mix, one that coaches are hesitant to dip their fingers into. We saw it last year with Rex Ryan’s hesitance  to make Tebow the starter in New York, and we’ve seen it again this past offseason when Jacksonville’s new general manager said that he would not be bringing in Tebow, despite Jacksonville’s desperate quarterback and ticket sales situations, the latter of which Tebow would almost certainly help, being that he’s from the Jacksonville area.

Will Tim Tebow ever be a starting quarterback in the NFL? Only time will tell. But for now, things do not look good for the former Heisman Trophy winner.

Christian rapper Lecrae a source of inspiration for athletes

Who can forget “Linsanity” last NBA season, when Jeremy Lin took the league by storm as a member of the New York Knicks. Who can forget “Tebowmania” last NFL season , when Tim Tebow took over as the starter for the Denver Broncos and led them to the divisional round of the playoffs.

What do Lin and Tebow have in common? Not only are both devout Christians, but also list Christian rapper Lecrae as a source of inspiration. Aside from those two, many other athletes and teams have enlisted Lecrae not only for inspiration, but for chapel and prayer services before games.

I am a huge Lecrae fan myself, and I love seeing guys turn away from the mainstream garbage we call rap today and embrace an artist like Lecrae. When people hear “Christian rap”, they are sometimes automatically turned off because most Christian music is sappy and preachy. Well, Lecrae takes a different approach and people are taking notice. Lecrae has responded tremendously to this outpouring of support from pro athletes and has answered the bell, saying:

“I tend not to call it Christian hip-hop because I think it would be limited to being only for Christians. I think it’s responsible hip-hop. I think it paints a broad picture of life, and it doesn’t just limit life to just kind of instinctual pleasure, power pleasure and possession. You see [the 30 for 30"documentary] ‘Broke’ and see all these guys who are losing funds. It’s a reality that’s happened for them, but there’s a lot of baggage that comes with that. And guys are looking for answers and are looking for wisdom in a lot of areas that a lot of people aren’t giving to them. And so that’s one of the things that I look to do. When I get an opportunity, I try to do chapel services for some of the pro players, just to try to give them reality.”

Jeremy Lin in particular sought advice from Lecrae while he was trying to adjust to his overnight fame. Lecrae was able to provide Lin with excellent insight:

“What Jeremy talked to me about was just the reality of everyone kind of pulling at him, and a lot of people expecting him to make decisions that would please them. He’s kind of a reserved kid, a reserved young man, and it’s not really his demeanor to be all in the mix like that, and to be pulled every which way.”

Members of the Arizona Cardinals presented Lecrae with a jersey after a Phoenix concert

Members of the Arizona Cardinals presented Lecrae with a jersey after a Phoenix concert

Aside from Lin and Tebow, Lecrae also says he is close with golfer Bubba Watson and also got a chance to hang with members of the Arizona Cardinals after they attended a concert during his “Unashamed Tour 2012: Come Alive” in Phoenix.

Lecrae’s new album “Gravity” debuted at #1 on the Christian charts as well as on ITunes. He owned the secular rap charts for two weeks following the release of the album, and this confirms that his music is not only for non-Christians.I can personally attest to how inspiring and uplifting Lecrae’s music is. He paints realistic portraits of life that many can relate to, so I can definitely see why guys in the spotlight have latched on to his music and message. I hope this is a movement towards a new direction in society, where the nonsense we call mainstream rap takes a backseat to responsible hip-hop.

 

 

 

 

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