ranks all 32 NFL coaches: Where is the Falcons’ Dan Quinn on the list?

Dan Quinn has accomplished a lot in his first three seasons as a head coach in the NFL, and he’s quickly earned a reputation as one of the game’s ascending head coaches.

Fresh off of taking the Falcons to their second straight playoff appearance, Quinn was named the 11th-best head coach in analyst Elliot Harrison’s recent ranking.

Hey, Matt. Feeling great about the direction of the team this year. Thank you for your continued insights and answers. The Falcons contingent visited our location today during their USO tour of Iraq. There was a large turnout of U.S. and British military personnel, along with a few of us die-hard Falcons fans. Coach Quinn, Ben Garland, Alex Mack, and Matt Bryant were extremely friendly and outgoing to all. Thank you to the Falcons organization for making this happen for us who work and are stationed in Iraq. It is greatly appreciated that they took time to endure the travel in order to visit with us. Rise Up!

Matt: That’s so awesome to hear – and thank you for taking some time to write me. I know how excited everyone was to be heading over there. And how cool is it for you guys who are Falcons fans over there?! Pretty cool stuff, Kevin. Keep us posted on how things are going over there and thanks for reading Straight from the ‘Beek!

Hey Beek. Do you think we have a chance on making to the Super Bowl at home? How great would that be?

Matt: Tim, the Falcons certainly do have a chance. A decent one, in fact. There’s a lot of work to be done, though. And any team in the NFL is capable of winning on any Sunday – I know that sounds cliché but it’s true. The Falcons have the talent and experience on both sides of the ball, but now they must go out and execute once the season starts – and stay healthy. And a little luck (or a few good bounces) always helps, too.

Hey Matt! In this last month or so, Falcons fans have been freaking out about the ongoing contract complications of Julio Jones. What is your take on his holding off from practice? Should we be worried?

Tanaka on DL, Tanaka back from Triple-A

His sore left thumb isn’t broken or dislocated.

And so, a day after Judge jammed his thumb, he was back in the Yankees’ lineup hitting second for the middle game of this weekend’s Subway Series.

Just talking to him after the game, (Judge) said he was fine and (he) woke up this morning feeling pretty good.

Judge has been scuffling at the plate lately. He keyed Wednesday night’s 3-0 win in Toronto with a two-run homer in 13 th inning, but went into Saturday 3 for 26 with 15 strikeouts in his last six games.

As a rookie last season, Tanoh Kpassagnon registered only two sacks, which is far fewer than expected from a second-round line of scrimmage defender.

With outside linebackers Justin Houston and Dee Ford along with bigger pass-rushers in Chris Jones and Breeland Sparks on the team, it begs the question of how Kpassagnon, who’s only one year into his NFL career, fits into Kansas City’s long-term plans.

The worry is that he ultimately ends up as another Jihad Ward, who the Oakland Raiders selected with a second-round pick in 2016, only to ship him off for Ryan Switzer two years later. Kpassagnon and Ward were similar athletically coming out of college, and they’re similar in terms of production up to this point.

Teams quickly pull the plug on lengthy pass-rushers who can’t actually rush the passer. The Raiders gave Ward only two years, so 2018 might be it for the former Villanova star.

Jones said he’s been encouraged by the performance he’s seen, but also the professionalism Manziel displayed. And while it might take time, he thinks Manziel will eventually be able to convince decision-makers he can be trusted. It’ll take two years, Jones said. They’re [NFL executives, coaches] waiting to see that he’s taken care of his off-the-field problems…. He’s humble. He’s growing up every day. As Jones noted, the thing Manziel needs to convince people will only come with time.

That was the difference in a 5-3 Nationals victory over the Yankees.

The Yankees and Nationals will play another game later Monday to make up a May 16 rainout.

The finish of the suspended game led to some strange set of circumstances… such as Tyler Austin driving in all of the Yankees’ runs on May 15, then not being around for the conclusion because he’s been optioned to Triple-A.

Also, Masahiro Tanaka was on the mound for the Yankees for the start of the game and on the DL for the end.

Soto entered as a pinch-hitter for left fielder Matt Adams with a runner on first. Facing Green, he worked the count to 3-1 before crushing a middle-in, 97-mph fastball to right that cleared the Yankees bullpen and landed in the second deck before bouncing up and onto a concourse.

If an NFL team with a coaching vacancy in 2019 considers the collegiate route, expect Petersen to be on the short list.

Petersen wasn’t the only collegiate coach who received multiple votes from Jeremiah’s panel. Stanford’s David Shaw did as well.

The short answer—(Shaw) gets it, an exec said. He doesn’t just coach a team; he runs a program. He relates well and he has a solid scheme on both sides of the ball. He also has NFL coaching experience.

There’s been no indication that Lincoln Riley wants to leave the University of Oklahoma. After all, the 34-year-old has only been the Sooners head coach for one year.

But what a year it was.

After leading the Sooners to the College Football Playoff and helping to propel quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Heisman Trophy, NFL teams have taken notice of Riley’s offensive acumen.

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit said 28, 29, 30 of the NFL’s 32 teams reached out to Riley at some point last season to pick his brain about the Sooners’ explosive offense, according to Jori Epstein of the Dallas Morning News.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the NFL, within a few years, knock on his door and try to get him to leave, Herbstreit told Epstein. He’s as hot as he can be, as not just a head coach what he did with his first year but also as a playcaller.

Paxton Lynch: ‘I’ll be ready’ if I’m needed to play

For a stretch of time late last season, it felt as though the final weeks of the season would be Paxton Lynch ‘s last stand in Denver.

He’s a special player, Bettcher said Wednesday. He’s a guy that’s going to create nightmares for any defensive coordinator, and matchup problems on any given down.

Instead, Fowler enters the final year of his rookie contract on a base salary of $3.6 million with a goal to prove himself worthy of a large payday.

I know how good of a player I am, Fowler said, via John Reid of the Florida Times-Union. I know I’m one of the best players in this league. When I go out there, I’m going to make the best of my opportunities every time. I’m working hard to have the best season of my career.

Fales finished the 2017 season with the Dolphins, playing in the regular-season finale and completing 29 of 42 passes (69 percent) for 265 yards. He’s the only contender for the No. 2 job who was on the roster last year; Osweiler and Bryce Petty joined the Dolphins in the offseason.

Still, Fales has a long way to go to become the primary backup to Ryan Tannehill.

We felt like [keeping Fales] was a good first step for us and really we wanted to see how everything played out, because between free agency and the draft, you just never know how things are going to shake out, coach Adam Gase recently said, via Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post. By adding Brock and then Bryce, I think it’s been a good competition.

That’s really what we’re going to be doing going into training camp. We’re just going to let those guys compete and see who wins out.

Gase made it clear that he won’t decide on a backup until August, or maybe September.

Falcons coach says discussions with Julio Jones have begun

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones made his statement by skipping the team’s mandatory minicamp, but the team remains confident he’s not going to be a malcontent.

In fact, coach Dan Quinn said he expected Jones would be quite happy by then.

Though Gelis might get the biggest title of Wednesday’s newcomers, Stefania Rizzo might have the most familiarity. She had been a rehabilitation specialist at Fortius Sport & Health. The Vancouver-based institution is where Lin had spent this season doing more than just rehabbing from his ruptured patella tendon on opening night.

Lin’s decision to rehab in Canada instead of around the Nets raised some eyebrows, but working with Fortius co-founder Rick Celebrini, the Nets point guard also retrained muscle memory and learned to run, jump and move more efficiently. Rizzo, who regularly shares Lin’s rehab updates on social media, will replace Aisley Toolan as director of performance rehabilitation.

I don’t know. I didn’t notice that, O’Brien said, via the team. I’m sure that was cleared with the proper people. I’m not the brace doctor or the brace coach.

Watson tore his ACL last November and has been doing 7-on-7 work at OTAs as he pushes to return to the lineup for the start of the regular season. Running back Lamar Miller seems to think that’s a likely outcome as he said, via Sarah Barshop of, that he doesn’t really notice any issues with his knee, other than his coaches holding him back from certain drills.

That will likely remain the case as minicamp wraps up, but it sounds like it won’t be a surprise if Watson’s doing just about everything come the start of training camp.

Daniel Liburd, replacing Meehan as head strength and conditioning coach, has an NFL background. He was the Steelers’ assistant strength and conditioning coach after nine seasons in the same capacity with the Bills.

Rams hope their defensive chemistry experiment will be explosive in the right way

Wade Phillips stands in the middle of the Los Angeles Rams’ practice field, turning slowly to watch a group of defensive linemen going through drills near one end zone.

Phillips turns, shifting his gaze to the linebackers, near midfield, working on force fumble drill, and finally to the defensive backs, who are practicing catching interceptions by the far sideline.

Phillips, the Rams’ 70-year-old defensive coordinator, raises his right arm in the air and spins his right finger. Rotate! Phillips yells, then animatedly claps his hands as players trot past him.

You have no choice but to respect what he brings to the table, safety Lamarcus Joyner told USA TODAY Sports. He respects you. This isn’t daycare to him. He’s not trying to treat you like you need any special attention. He sets the platform of trust, and gives you the accountability to be able to trust you, and players, we hone in on stuff like that. We respect the fact that he respects us as human beings and as people.

So that begged the question when the precocious rookie stepped to the microphone following Wednesday’s minicamp practice: does Barkley remember any passes he has dropped upon taking the field after being drafted by the Giants seven weeks ago?

The honesty with which he responded was not the most impressive part of his answer.

The fact that Barkley was able to break down exactly what he did wrong on the play that featured his only drop as a professional to this point is just another facet to his quest for perfection.

An angle route out of the backfield.

Didn’t anticipate the defender and turned up the field without completing the catch.

Learn from it. Don’t let it happen again.

Each NFL Team’s Most Promising Building Block Entering 2018

NFL teams are built by accruing young talent and letting it blossom. They benefit from cost-controlled rookie contracts and from knowing who they can include in their future plans.

Here, we’re looking at all 32 franchises and who their promising building blocks. To define these players, we made sure they were 1) rookie-contract players, 2) 25 years old or younger and 3) have a chance to start in Week 1.

Last year, Grady Jarrett posted 23 tackles at or behind the line for the Atlanta Falcons. That number ranked fourth among interior defensive linemen, behind just Cameron Heyward, Ndamukong Suh and Kawann Short, all nationally recognized talents.

Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper left the game in the top of the eighth inning when he was hit by a pitch from Yankees reliever Dellin Betances. Betances threw an 0-2 curveball that hit Harper near the big toe on his left foot. Harper went about halfway up the first-base line before retreating to the dugout and exiting.

Harper was hit by two pitches on Tuesday. He also took a fastball off the right elbow during the top of the fifth inning from Yankees starter CC Sabathia. Harper doubled over in pain outside of the batter’s box before walking with a trainer to first base. Harper finished his third career game at Yankee Stadium 0-for-0 with two walks and two HBPs.

Tuesday marked the start of just the second series for Harper at Yankee Stadium during his career. He played two games in the Bronx during the 2015 season, where he went 3-for-8 with a solo home run.

Jerry Rice, Tom Brady remember 49ers great Clark

The NFL community mourned Monday the passing of San Francisco 49ers legend Dwight Clark, who died at the age of 61 following a battle with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Clark’s Niners teammate Jerry Rice, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and other NFL players remembered the Niners great on social media.

Dwight Clark was one of my idols growing up in San Mateo. I was lucky enough to be at the game where my hero Joe Montana perfectly placed the game winning throw/catch to Dwight in the corner of the end zone to beat the cowboys in the 1981 season.

The skill’s there. He’s another guy that needs to work on his shot, Binghamton coach Rick Kowalsky said. He’s a pass-first type of guy, and he likes to go to his backhand a lot. But he has to work on getting his shot off quicker and not over-handling the puck. Playing a little more give-and-go style.

The Eagles released a statement yesterday that didn’t directly address anything to do with the White House.

A Tuesday morning series of tweets clarified the president’s position on how the NFL will be expected to proceed. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!he wrote in one tweet. NFL, no escaping to Locker Rooms!he added in another. The president yoked other sports to his new dictates during his tweetstorm in a way that suggested he was marginalizing the Eagles and NFL. Meanwhile, the White House prepared to hold its own Super Bowl ceremony without any Super Bowl participants Tuesday afternoon in what promised to be an odd celebration of symbolic patriotism and itself.

The NFL’s compromiseon anthem protests, reached late last month in some star chamber session during the owners’ meetings, stipulates that players on the field must stand and show respect,giving them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer. There’s no mention in the NFL’s policy of hand on heart,and allowing players to remain in the locker room was the closest the NFL came to a concession to the rights and feelings of players.

The Seahawks have one stud in pass-rushing end Frank Clark. They’re trying to make up for the lack of Richardson, Bennett and Avril with more depth and youth.

eagles_039A player to watch opposite Clark is Dion Jordan, who revived his career with strong situational play last season. The attention Clark demands this year will give Jordan better opportunities to get to the QB. That will buy time for rookie second-rounder Rasheem Greene to emerge as a backfield disruptor who can slide inside the way Bennett did.

Inside, as the Seahawks lost Richardson to Vikings, they picked up both Minnesota’s former starter in Tom Johnson and its top backup in Shamar Stephens. Those two will push Jarran Reed and Nazair Jones to be better. Johnson and Stephens were better than the incumbents against the run last season, which could get them on the field more if others can replace the lost pass-rush production.

Nationals: Scherzer (10-1, 1.95) struck out 10 in six innings in an April 25 victory at San Francisco.Goldschmidt homers twice, Diamondbacks beat Rockies 9-4

DENVER Paul Goldschmidt has looked like a new slugger since the calendar turned.

Goldschmidt continued his sizzling June with two long home runs and a double, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 9-4 on Friday night.

It was his second straight game with at least three hits, and he has raised his average by 32 points in the past eight days.

The league is facing labor grievances from Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, both of whom claim they have been blacklisted due to their decisions to kneel during the anthem in protest of social injustice.

The media in attendance wasn’t going to let that be the only explanation as one reporter pressed about the allegations from the White House that the Eagles chose to abandon their fans and not attend the ceremony as a complete team.

What you’ve seen and what you’ve heard is enough, and I’m not discussing it, Pederson said. I’m not discussing it because we’ve got two OTA practices, I’ve got a mandatory minicamp next week, and I’m focused on that.

He added: We’re united. We’re a team. Been that way since I’ve been here. We’re focused on today, great practice, today and tomorrow, three days next week and our goal is 2018. Nobody’s talking about it. It’s over, behind us and we’re moving on.

The Rockies promoted Vasto from Triple-A Albuquerque and designated right-hander Jairo Diaz for assignment to make room for Vasto on the 40-man roster.

eagles_040Vasto and fellow left-hander Sam Howard made their major league debuts. It was the first time in club history two players made their debuts in the same game.

Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin (6-2, 2.87 ERA) will open a three-game home series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.

Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (6-6, 5.66) will start Colorado’s six-game road trip against Philadelphia on Tuesday night.Red Sox beat punchless Orioles 2-0 in 12 innings

A strong effort from Dylan Bundy only gets him a no-decision, as the Red Sox hit two sac flies in the 12th inning for a 2-0 victory.

Marte led off the second inning with his fourth home run of the season off Kyle Freeland and added an RBI single in a three-run sixth.

Freeland (6-6) allowed four runs and struck out eight in six innings for Colorado. The Rockies have lost seven straight at home for the first time since April 23 to May 10, 2016 to fall below .500 for the first time since April 11.

So what’s the takeaway of this alternative look at the fantasy catching world? It’s a bit of a paradox, but I would argue that the second list is the better way to decide which of two players to start in your lineup, even as it may directly contradict the top-10 catcher list in terms of where their potential future value lies in the overall player universe. The reason for this contradiction is, in part, because in narrowing down the player pool to only catchers, we’re using a smaller sample size which means hot/cold streaks will have a bigger impact in the comparison than they would in the overall player universe.

In other words, I’m not planning on trading away Posey for Gattis, because Posey is far more likely to get me more fantasy value for the rest of the season. However, if I have two of this trio on my roster, and all else being equal (for example in terms of matchups and playing time), Gattis might get the call in the short-term because of where the two sit on that more focused check-in.Fantasy baseball forecaster for Week 11: June 11-June 17