Review Category : National Sports

Drew Brees on Big Game Against Falcons: ‘Is What You Hoped For’

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) — Saints quarterback Drew Brees understands the importance of Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons (5-9), who sit one game behind them in the NFC South.

New Orleans is clinging onto a half-game lead over the Panthers (5-8-1) in the division as well.

“This at the beginning of the season is what you hoped for, the opportunity to be playing for something significant this time of the year,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said on Wednesday. “That’s what we have the chance to do. It’s against a very good divisional opponent. I know the fans enjoy this rivalry. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

The Saints hold a 47-43 all-time lead on the Falcons.

“You try not to make it bigger than it is,” Brees said of the big game. “Obviously we know what’s at stake here, but I also think whenever you see this game on the schedule you know what type of game it’s going to be, so it doesn’t sneak up on you. They’re a very good football team. They’re playing very well right now. We know what’s at stake. Home game, we want to re-establish ourselves at home. Also we want to get better. We want to get a little better this week.”

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has tossed 27 touchdowns and thrown for 4,112 yards this year.

“I think he’s got great command of the offense,” Brees said of his counterpart. “I think he’s extremely intelligent. I think he’s tough. He can make all the throws. I don’t really see him getting rattled. I think he’s a really calm, composed guy.”

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Lions Prepare for Bears QB Jimmy Clausen

Leon Halip/Getty Images(DETROIT) — The Lions (10-4) enter Sunday’s game against the Bears tied with the Green Bay Packers for first place in the NFC North.

Chicago announced this week that they benched quarterback Jay Cutler and are going with backup Jimmy Clausen, who hasn’t made a start since 2010.

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said on Friday that with the news coming on Thursday, the team still had a chance to prepare for it.

“We heard fairly early, so we had a chance to take a look at him,” Caldwell said. “There’s always still a question of whether they’ll do the same things that they’ve been doing with him.”

“So, they’ll certainly be a bit of an unknown there but we certainly have a chance,” Caldwell continued. “There’s enough tape on him in preseason and things of that nature to get a good look at him.”

Caldwell said that despite Clausen’s little experience as a starter, their defense will be ready for him.

“This year we’ve had a couple backup quarterbacks that have stepped in and played pretty well against us,” Caldwell said. “Obvious (Drew) Stanton played pretty well and (Kyle) Orton stepped in and played extremely well. We’re guarded about all that stuff, we’re trying to make sure that we’re functioning as well as we possibly can.

“It doesn’t matter, if he’s got on a uniform in the National Football League, that guy can play, they can make some things happen.”

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Ron Rivera on Newton Starting: ‘Pointing in the Right Direction’

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE) — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is probable for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, head coach Ron Rivera said on Friday.

Newton sat out last week’s game after he had minor injuries due to a car crash, but is doing his best to be ready come game time.

“Everything is pointing in the right direction,” Rivera said. “He did a lot of turning and twisting today. We put a lot of pressure on him, did some things on purpose so we could see, and he seems to be right on track.”

“He did really well today in terms of the amount of stress we put on him,” Rivera continued. “He’s done a nice job and has a good handle on what we want to do. I like the way he practiced. Everything is positive.”

The Panthers want Newton to be close to 100 percent before they choose him over Derek Anderson, who led them to a 19-17 win over the Buccaneers.

“They both bring a lot to the table,” Rivera said of his two quarterbacks, “but Cam brings that extra dimension with his ability to run. That was big for us against New Orleans. He had a really good rhythm, and we’re hoping he can recapture some of that.”

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Ron Rivera on Newton Starting: ‘Pointing in the Right Direction’

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE) — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is probable for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, head coach Ron Rivera said on Friday.

Newton sat out last week’s game after he had minor injuries due to a car crash, but is doing his best to be ready come game time.

“Everything is pointing in the right direction,” Rivera said. “He did a lot of turning and twisting today. We put a lot of pressure on him, did some things on purpose so we could see, and he seems to be right on track.”

“He did really well today in terms of the amount of stress we put on him,” Rivera continued. “He’s done a nice job and has a good handle on what we want to do. I like the way he practiced. Everything is positive.”

The Panthers want Newton to be close to 100 percent before they choose him over Derek Anderson, who led them to a 19-17 win over the Buccaneers.

“They both bring a lot to the table,” Rivera said of his two quarterbacks, “but Cam brings that extra dimension with his ability to run. That was big for us against New Orleans. He had a really good rhythm, and we’re hoping he can recapture some of that.”

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Dodgers Designate Reliever Brian Wilson for Assignment

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Reliever Brian Wilson and his infamous beard are out of Los Angeles as the Dodgers have designated the former All-Star for assignment.

Despite the decision, the Dodgers will still pay Wilson his 2015 salary worth $9.5 million.

“At this point, we did not feel he was one of the best seven relief options,” Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said on a conference call with reporters.

At one point in his carreer, Wilson was one of the most dominant relievers in Baseball and one of the more colorful personalities in baseball.

From 2008-2011, Wilson averaged over 40 saves during his time with the San Francisco Giants.

Despite his dominance, Wilson underwent multiple elbow reconstruction surgeries and he never quite recovered from it.

In 2014, the 32-year-old Wilson went 2-4 with a 4.66 ERA and a WHIP of 1.61. Those were his highest marks since his rookie year back in 2006.

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Spurs’ Forward Kawhi Leonard has Torn Ligament in Right Hand

Andy Lyons/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The San Antonio Spurs will be without one of their best players for a little while as forward Kawhi Leonard has a torn ligament in his right hand, and it is unknown when he’ll return.

Leonard must wait for swelling to reside before considering returning.

Not as bad as it sounds,” he said. “I should be back soon,” Leonard said via Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News said.

There is some speculation/hope that Leonard will only miss a few games, which would be best-cast scenario for the team.

Leonard is the reigning NBA Finals MVP and a key cog of the team’s offense as well as defense.

In 22 games this season, Leonard is averaging 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Since his rookies year during the 2011-2012 season, Leonard’s points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks per game have improved each season.

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Marlins Trade Third Baseman Casey McGehee to the Giants

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — The San Francisco Giants have found their replacement for former third baseman Pablo Sandoval as the team has acquired Casey McGehee from the Miami Marlins.

In exahcange for McGehee, the Giants are sending the Marlins minor leaguers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo.

McGehee was the 2014 NL Comeback Player of the Year, but with the team’s recent acquisition of Martin Prado from the New York Yankees, McGehee became expendable.

This past season, McGehee hit .287 with four home runs and 76 RBIs. It was his most productive all-around season since he was with the Milwaukee Brewers back in 2010.

He spent the 2013 as a member of the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan.

The Giants lose Sandoval to free agency after he signed a five-year with the Boston Red Sox worth $95 million. The team also struck out on their pursuit of starting pitcher Jon Lester, who wound up signign with the Chicago Cubs.

San Francisco also recenlty brought back starting pitcher Jake Peavy and reliever Sergio Romo on a pair of two-year deals.

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Report: Rockets Acquire Corey Brewer

National Basketball Association(HOUSTON, Tx.) — The Houston Rockets are adding some much needed depth to their bench.

Corey Brewer has been traded to the Houston Rockets from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Friday, according to Yahoo Sports.

The Timberwolves will receive guard Troy Daniels as well as two second round draft picks – one via Sacramento.

Houston is currently 18th in scoring offense in the NBA, averaging 99.8 points per game. Their bench is also last in the NBA with 21.4 points per game.

Brewer will likely improve those numbers as he is averaging 10.5 points per game this season and shooting 41.8% from the field.

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Report: Cubs Agree to 2-Year Deal with David Ross

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Catcher David Ross has agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal with the Chicago Cubs, according to ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers.

The 37-year-old Ross has spent the last two seasons with the Boston Red Sox, winning the World Series in 2013.

Ross is reunited with new Cubs pitcher Jon Lester. The two played most of the last two seasons together in Boston. Ross served as Lester’s catcher for 29 games. During those games, Lester had a .277 ERA.

Ross is expected to back up Miguel Montero.

The Cubs also claimed catcher Ryan Lavarnway off waivers.

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Report: Cubs Agree to 2-Year Deal with David Ross

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Catcher David Ross has agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal with the Chicago Cubs, according to ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers.

The 37-year-old Ross has spent the last two seasons with the Boston Red Sox, winning the World Series in 2013.

Ross is reunited with new Cubs pitcher Jon Lester. The two played most of the last two seasons together in Boston. Ross served as Lester’s catcher for 29 games. During those games, Lester had a .277 ERA.

Ross is expected to back up Miguel Montero.

The Cubs also claimed catcher Ryan Lavarnway off waivers.

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