Monday, June 24, 2019

NFC West Outlook: The top player at every offensive position

How many 49ers claim the top spot?
By Kyle Posey@KP_Show

We are a few months away from the 2019 NFL season kicking off. There have been plenty of top 50 player lists, but I thought it’d be interesting if we narrowed it down to the division. How many San Francisco 49ers are the best player at their position in the NFC West? It’s a fun discussion to have. For today, we’ll go over the offenses. We’ll do the defenses tomorrow. Let’s start with the quarterback position.


Russell Wilson-Seattle Seahawks


Kyle Murray hasn’t played a snap for the Arizona Cardinals.
Jared Goff isn’t the answer here, and he might not be for the Los Angeles Rams.
Jimmy Garoppolo is good. Nobody knows just how good he is.
We know how good Wilson is.

Running back

Todd Gurley-Rams


Only Gurley knows how healthy he is. The whole knee injury saga has been quite the story for the Rams this year. He will wear the hypothetical crown because when he did play in 2018, Gurley was special.
Chris Carson of the Seahawks is solid. David Johnson needs to bounce back from injury. His talent is undeniable, and his 2016 speaks for itself.

The 49ers suffer in this category by having a “running back by committee.” I’m fascinated to see how the stat sheet turns out this year between Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, and Jerick McKinnon.

X Receiver

Dante Pettis-49ers


The split end or “X” receiver is the guy that you will go to 1-on-1 in the most critical situations, and be able to rely on him. In the division, that’s Pettis. For a rookie, he was quite impressive. Speed, nuance in his routes, and separation stood out when watching Pettis. He has a chance to be one of those #1 targets that can carry a team on his back.

Robert Woods quietly had 1,219 yards for the Rams last year. He’s more of a high-end number #2, though.

The Seahawks hope they drafted their split end in D.K. Metcalf, and the Cardinals don’t have one!

Z Receiver

Tyler Lockett-Seahawks


Brandin Cooks had 240 more yards than Tyler Lockett last year. He also had 47 more targets than Lockett. This one isn’t close, for me. Lockett wins comfortably.

It’s not fair to expect Deebo Samuel to come in as a rookie and put up big-time numbers. The Cardinals used Christian Kirk as their “flanker” last year, and he finished with 590 yards on 68 targets. Kirk also scored three times. That would be a quality season for Samuel. If he can get over 700 yards, the 49ers will know they have something special. Most receivers don’t take that next jump in play until Year 2.

Slot Receiver

Cooper Kupp-Rams


The real MVP of the Rams offense. Kupp one of the tougher covers in the league. Woods and Cooks don’t have the 2018 seasons they do if Kupp goes down. That offense took a definite step back with him off the field. From their yards per play to Goff’s completion percentage to the other Rams slot receivers. It wasn’t comparable.

Larry Fitzgerald is still competent but is a shell of his former self. That’s to be expected at 35-years old.

Seattle losing Doug Baldwin is a game-changer. Look at their roster. Who will play inside?

For the 49ers, there will be a few different options inside. Trent Taylor, Jalen Hurd, but Pettis is their most dangerous option. Give him a two-way go, knowing he can beat you short, intermediate, and deep, and he becomes a nightmare to cover.

Tight End

George Kittle-Good guys

1,377 yards receiving. 873 of that came after the catch. This is the most straightforward category on both sides of the ball.


Joe Staley-Good guys

This one is tough, and I’d write the same thing on Turf Show Times, or FIeld Gulls. Staley, Andrew Whitworth of the Rams, and Duane Brown of Seattle are all superb. The trio has played at an All-Pro level frequently throughout their career. Sorry Arizona, you’re not getting mentioned here.

Since this is about 2018, let’s compare some pressure numbers:
Staley-609 passing snaps: Four sacks allowed, 25 total pressures.
Whitworth-638 passing snaps: Four sacks allowed, 33 total pressures
Brown-546 snaps: Four sacks allowed, 21 total pressures.
Winner, Joe.



The highest graded guard that returned to the division is Austin Blythe, who graded a 71.8. It was Rodger Saffold, but he’s with the Tennessee Titans now. The next graded guard? Mike Person, at 67.2. With Saffold out of the picture, there isn’t a clear answer.

If I were placing a bet, I’d say Laken Tomlinson will outperform Person.

The Cardinals and the Seahawks have consistently struggled on the interior line. Neither team gets the benefit of the doubt here.


Weston Richburg


Look at the centers in the division. Every center that was the full-time starter graded in the 50’s, according to PFF. One of these players was battling injuries. One of these players has played at a high level before 2018. That’s Richburg. Of all the players that had a down year in 2018 in the division, I’d say Richburg is the safest bet to return to form.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Adam Coon out to prove haters wrong at World Wrestling Championships

Bill Khan, Livingston Daily Published 2:44 p.m. ET June 20, 2019 | Updated 1:04 a.m. ET June 21, 2019

Fowlerville's Adam Coon (left) beat Cohlton Schultz of Colorado on Saturday, June 15, 2019 to earn a berth in the Senior World Wrestling Championships. (Photo: Tony Rotundo/

Every sport’s fan base has its share of haters, keyboard warriors and other perpetual critics who can’t simply appreciate greatness, but feel compelled to pick it apart.

Adam Coon of Fowlerville doesn’t have much to prove as a wrestler, yet has found one of his greatest achievements scrutinized by people who fancy themselves experts in the sport.
Welcome to life in the age of social media.
For Coon, all this does is add to the considerable fire that burns within him to, at the very least, win another medal at the Senior Wrestling World Championships Sept. 16-17 in Kazakhstan. Coon won a Greco-Roman silver medal at 130 kilograms at the World Championships last October in Budapest, Hungary.
It’s a medal that some critics believe should be engraved with an asterisk.
The criticism?
“I got the silver, but I had the easy route,” Coon said. “If you look at the competitors I had, it wasn’t the elite of the crop, but when you look at the actual accolades of the people I had to beat to get there, it may not be as deep as some of the guys on the other side, but they were still very tough competitors. Because they weren’t the most dominant guys, they think I had a weak route to get to the finals.”

Adam Coon (Photo: Daryl Marshke/Michigan Photography)

In his first senior World Championships, Coon pinned four opponents before losing in the title match, 9-0, to 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Sergey Semenov of Russia.
Coon qualified for a return trip to the World Championships last Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska, by winning 8-0 and 5-1 decisions over Cohlton Schultz of Parker, Colorado.
“I really want to prove to myself and the rest of the world I belong on the podium again, it wasn’t just some crazy thing that happened last year where I got a great route to it,” Coon said. “I want to make sure I prove to myself it’s really deserved, and hopefully it’s the top step this time. There’s probably a target painted on my back, but I also look at it as kind of being an underdog.
"Even though I got a silver last year, not a lot of people have respect for it. I want to prove them wrong. I have a lot of drive.”
Coon can be his own worst critic, too, a common trait in elite athletes. Although he won both of his matches by decisive scores in Lincoln, he realizes he has some things to clean up if he’s going to be successful in Kazakhstan.
“He was very good at showing my weaknesses,” Coon said. “He was able to pummel and get to positions I shouldn’t have let him get to. He was controlling positions. If I’m going to win a world and Olympic title, I can’t let anyone get those positions. He helped to expose my weaknesses.
“It’s always nice when you get really tough competition. You can see where you’re really at, because you’re rested. If you’re just going against local competition that isn’t as tough or you’re going against weak competition trying to get a medal, you never get better.”
Coon has won medals on the world stage four times. He was the 2011 cadet world champion in freestyle, a bronze medalist in Greco-Roman and freestyle at junior worlds in 2014 and a silver medalist at senior worlds last year.

Adam Coon of Fowlerville has tournaments in Peru and Kazakhstan in the upcoming months before he can begin focusing on an Olympic year. (Photo: Tony Rotundo,
After winning four wrestling state championships at Fowlerville and taking second in the NCAA tournament twice at the University of Michigan, Coon has been able to devote himself to wrestling full-time since completing his collegiate career in March 2018.
“It makes it really nice,” said Coon, 24. “I don’t have to do homework and all the stuff that goes along with it. I can just focus on wrestling. It makes it easy just training and making sure I’m ready to go. I don’t have to divert my time to study.
“It’s all wrestling. Wrestling’s my job right now, so I’ve got a really fun job.”
Before heading to the World Championships, Coon will compete Aug. 6-8 in Lima, Peru, at the Pan American Games. Coon won a gold medal at the Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on April 18.
Competing in Peru and Kazakhstan will add two new countries to the list in which Coon has competed. He’s also wrestled in Croatia, Germany, Hungary and Mexico.
“It’s nice to travel the world and see what it has to offer,” he said.
Coon hopes to add Japan to that list next year, with Tokyo hosting the Summer Olympic Games. The Olympic Trials will be held April 4-5 at Penn State.
Coon is unsure what lies in store for him between the World Championships and the trials.
“I’m just focused on the Pan American Games and worlds,” he said. “After that, I’ll figure it out. If you look too far forward, you start missing out on good things.”

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Riley Reiff helping Boys and Girls Club of the Sioux Empire raise money for programs

By: Matt Holsen 

Posted: Jun 19, 2019 05:40 PM CDT
Updated: Jun 19, 2019 05:40 PM CDT

LAKE POINSETT, S.D. (KELO) -- The Fourth Annual Celebrity Golf and Walleye Classic at Lake Poinsett is raising more than $45,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire. Minnesota Viking and South Dakota-native Riley Reiff was on hand to help out this past weekend. 
He's a pro when it comes to football but Vikings offensive lineman Riley Reiff isn't as confident about his skills from the tee. 
"I golf. I'm not very good at it though. We got a nice day out here today. Hopefully hit a few of them straight," Reiff said. 
Reiff is playing at Lake Region Golf Club to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire. The Parkston-native has taken part in the organization's event at Lake Poinsett the past three years. 
"This is a great event. We've been doing it for a while now. It goes to a good cause and it's in my home state. There's a lot that goes into it. A lot of people that donate their time," Reiff said. 
One of those people is Director of Philanthropy Amy Sumner. 
"This event is significant for our children because it's a major fundraising event. Every dollar that we raise, 100-percent, goes back into making a difference for the kids," Sumner said. 
Sumner says roughly $45,000 is raised for the club which has 500 members in Sioux Falls. 
Lake Region Golf Club General Manager John Fraser donates time on the course to make sure those kids are taken care of.  
"It's going towards helping kids. It's going towards giving them a place to be. A place to learn. A place to make new friends. Helping out those families that need those services and it's just been a really great fit for Lake Region Golf Club," Fraser said. 
"We're kind of that extra level of help for the kids after school and in the summer to make sure these kids are ready when they go back to school next fall and able to be successful in the classroom which will then eventually make them successful in life," Sumner said. 
With summer in full swing, raising money to make that happen is more important than ever.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire only charges $75 for a year of its services. Sumner says half of its kids are on scholarship which shows you the need in the community for affordable care. 

Iowa football: Marshal Yanda standing the test of time

by Andrew Wade 17 hours ago

Marshal Yanda is entering his 13th season with the Baltimore Ravens and the former Iowa football player doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

At the ripe age of 34, most offensive linemen have maybe one or two years left, but after starting all 16 games, making the Pro Bowl and being named a Second Team All-Pro, former Iowa football player Marshal Yanda isn’t showing signs of slowing down. And if the Baltimore Ravens want to be successful running the ball and protecting Lamar Jackson in 2019, they will need their anchor on the interior offensive line to continue his steady ways.
Last year, coming off an injury that derailed his entire 2017 season, Yanda was rated the 4th best guard in all of football according to Pro Football Focus with a rating of 75.2.
This season, Yanda will be gunning for his 8th Pro Bowl selection and seventh All-pro selection, and he will be doing it with a second-year dual-threat quarterback behind him and a freshly signed Mark Ingram.
The Ravens are talented, but they will need the big men up front to get the run game going so it gives Jackson some room to work the play action and get him out of the pocket. For Yanda, this could be his final go around.
With just two years remaining on his contract, Yanda will be 36 before he starts his next contract, so there is a good chance we could see the Iowa football player call it quits and hang it up at that point unless he continues to not age and instead, dominates competition that is nearly 10 years younger than him.
At this point, nothing would surprise me with Yanda, a former third-round pick who was a steal for the Ravens and managed to become the highest-earning active Iowa football player in the NFL.
My prediction is Yanda starts all 16 games but does show signs of aging, yet he will remain one of the top-15 guards in the league.

Giants may have found a diamond in the rough: Late-round lineman impressing coaching staff

Giants draft pick George Asafo-Adjei survived hardships early in life and hopes he can now put his family in a better life.

Solidifying the interior of the offensive line and adding quality depth was a top priority for the Giants this offseason.

However, the organization didn’t take one of general manager Dave Gettleman’s “Hog Mollies” until Round 7.

The Giants chose George Asafo-Adjei in the seventh-round out of Kentucky with the hopes that he could provide depth at tackle or guard. Asafo-Adjei, 6-foot-5 and 306 pounds, is already impressing his position coach this spring.

“He picked up the offense much quicker than I thought he was going to,” Giants offensive line coach Hal Hunter said last month. “When you compare our offense to their offense, we have a lot more volume to it with a lot of the things that we were doing.”
Expectations are obviously tempered for Asafo-Adjei’s role as a rookie, after he was chosen No. 232 overall back in April. But, Hunter believes that the former Wildcat, who had offers out of high school from Alabama and other top Power 5 schools, benefited tremendously from practice battles each day against No. 7 overall pick EDGE rusher Josh Allen.

“You watch him on tape and see that he has a lot of athleticism and power,” Hunter said. “He has a lot of toughness and played in the best football conference in the country.”
As much as the SEC can prepare any player for the NFL, there are still improvements that need to be made for any rookie. Asafo-Adjei is no different.
However, Hunter thinks there’s a strong foundation to build on and that Asafo-Adjei is a quick study, which is critical for any rookie to get on the field.
“We have some technical work to do,” Hunter admitted. “He is a rookie and you have to tell him to do something once and he goes on and does it right the next time. We need to continue to work with him technically to get him up to speed but you have to like everything about him.”

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