The NFL Draft is one of, if not the most important three-day stretch of the entire NFL calendar year. And this year, the Ohio Bobcats are prepared to have the most successful draft for the program in 45 years.
Tarell Basham and Blair Brown, a former defensive end and linebacker, are locks to be drafted in next week’s draft. If both get drafted, it will be the first time since 1972 that two Bobcats were drafted in the same year. No Bobcat has ever been drafted higher than 47th overall in the modern era.
For the first episode of our podcast, I sat down with Tony Wolfe, a Senior Writer for The Post who previously covered the Ohio football team. I currently cover the team, and did last season as well. Tony and I talked about what we’ve been hearing and reading from the national media about the two Bobcats headed to the NFL. In addition, we added what we’ve seen over the years from the two and what we’ve been hearing from agents and coaches. Don’t leave at halftime for this one…
As a Pittsburgh girl, I’ve had the terrible towel waved in my face and a jersey on my back since i can remember. But who are the two that made the biggest impressions for my many years of fan-girling? Easily Big Ben and AB. Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, and Antonio Brown, wide receiver. Their chemistry on the field is something a girl who knows only the basics of football can recognize immediately.
Mike & Mike
"He's non-stop. He's like the energizer bunny. His work ethic is remarkable."
Mike & Mike, an ESPN radio show, is one of many outlets that has taken an interest in Ben and Antonio. They broadcast all things sports several times a day, so when they chose the topic of Roethlisberger’s relationship with Brown, the quarterback had nothing but positive things to say about his partner.
A post shared by Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) on
The verified Instagram of the steelers doesn’t care if it’s football season or not – they continue to show the bond of their star teammates year round. Using their hashtag as a clue, its reasonable to believe the wide receiver and quarterback embraced after what was probably another scoring pass from Roethlisberger to Brown.
The star wide receiver stays up to date with the latest trends on Twitter. On National Best Friend Day, he posted a collage of photos with his buddy Ben. The two are undeniably the best duo in the NFL and show their constant support for each other whenever the chance is given. Brown’s “Best Friend Day” tweet was something that a Steelers girl like me thrives off of.
The Dynamic Duo of Steel City is a newsletter by Emily Finton containing links to the social media accounts that refer, or are of Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. These references are used to show the relationship between the players on and off the field.
Arsenal Football Club is loved not just in London, but around the world. Arsenal related news is popping up all of the time and it is hard to imagine keeping track of all of it. Well here is your place to catch up on everything Arsenal that you have missed in this past week.
Ian Wright backtracks
Former Gunner Ian Wright had mentioned last week that Arsene Wenger “was near the end”. With speculation over Arsene’s future such a burning topic, this naturally sent Gooners everywhere into a frenzy. Since then Wright has backtracked a bit and said it was nothing that Wenger had said to him, just the impression he got.
With the winter transfer window now closed, rumors have started to disappear. Arsenal had a quiet window given that for the first time in a long time, the squad is deep. The typical cries for more signings were almost nonexistent. Although Arsenal did sign one for the future with young left back, Cohen Bramall.
Our bad boy, Granit Xhaka, is now eligible to return to the squad since his 4 match ban has been served. The midfielder was unable to avoid punishment for violent conduct on the field but was able avoid criminal charges. The charges of racial abuse have been dropped and the player is back in training.
Still need a card to send to your valentine? Our favorite cartoonist “Poorly Drawn Arsenal” has exactly what you’re looking for with these Arsenal Valentine’s Day cards.
Mohamed Elneny is back! Elneny had a great run with Egypt at the 2017 African Cup of Nations where they finished in second place behind Cameroon. Great to have him back in the squad heading into a congested part of the schedule.
The Cannon Weekly is a weekly newsletter pertaining to all things Arsenal. As an American, when I first started following Arsenal I never knew where to get my news. My hope is that this newsletter can be the one place where you can find everything you need to know to be an informed Gooner.
The 2016 season was one filled with many ups and downs for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team started 4-1 and seemed to be firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball, but went almost a full calendar month without a win, going 0-4 in its next four contests. The Steelers, however, hit their stride in late November. The team rattled off seven straight wins to close out the regular season.
The Steelers, thanks to a Christmas miracle in Antonio Brown’s now-dubbed the “Immaculate Extension”, would win the AFC North for the seventh time since division realignment (the fifth time in the Mike Tomlin era) and would finish with the No. 3 seed in the AFC.
After dispatching both the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round and the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional round, the Steelers traveled to Foxboro for a meeting with the New England Patriots. The Steelers were handled relatively easily, as they lost 36-17, one game shy of their ninth Super Bowl appearance.
A number of storylines unfolded throughout the 2016 season, both on and off the field. All in all, it added up to the Steelers falling short of being able to compete for a league-record seventh Lombardi trophy.
As Super Bowl week is upon us, the offseason and NFL combine and draft loom ahead. Here’s a guide to the five keys for the Steelers in order to contend for their seventh ring:
#1 — Resign Le’Veon Bell … and hope he can stay on the field.
Le’Veon Bell would, without a doubt, be considered the best all-around running back in the league if it weren’t for a litany of injuries and multiple suspensions for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Bell has yet to play a full, 16 game NFL season in his four year career.
That being said, Le’Veon Bell is a hell of a football player and adds a dynamic element to an already explosive Pittsburgh offense. The Steelers 2016 MVP rushed for 1,268 yards and seven touchdowns. Bell is no one trick pony, however, as he has shown the capability to be an elite pass-catcher, both out of the backfield and spread out wide. Bell caught 75 passes for 616 yards and two scored in 2016.
The Steelers, a team which historically is faced with salary cap room issues, is expected to use their franchise tag on Bell this offseason. This essentially buys Pittsburgh another year to figure out what to do with the 24 year old halfback. If Bell can stay healthy and out of trouble with the league, expect the Steelers to sign him to a long term deal next offseason. Frankly, GM Kevin Colbert and the Rooney family ought to pay Bell whatever he wants. He’s earned it. Provided he’s available for most, if not all, of the 16 game schedule next year, look for Le’Veon Bell to be wearing black and gold for a long time.
#2 — The defense needs to continue improving
Year two with Keith Butler coordinating the Steelers’ young but talented defense was a large success and those in Pittsburgh are high on the future of the most current version of the Steel Curtain.
The biggest difference between the 2015 and 2016 seasons on defense was the improved play in the secondary. Colbert drafted cornerback Artie Burns out of Miami and safety Sean Davis of Maryland to help sure up a secondary that ranked 30 in total pass defense a year ago. Some perspective: the Steelers ranking at the end of the 2016 season? 16th. Look for third year cornerback Senquez Golson to make an impact next season as he returns from injured reserve.
Linebacker play has seen the explosion of fourth-year middle linebacker Ryan Shazier onto the scene. Shazier, who beat out everyone else on the team in sprints in the preseason, had a total of 87 combined tackles and three picks in 2016. Shazier is quickly becoming a leader on the Steelers’ defense and will be, without a doubt, an anchor around which the Steelers will build their defense.
The biggest question on the Steelers defense is the pass rush and current lack thereof. Look for Colbert to target a speedy linebacker who can impose his will on the quarterback. More on this later in point #5.
With Cameron Heyward returning from injury and James Harrison returning for a 14th NFL season, the Steelers defense has quickly turned itself around in just one season.
#3 — The receiving corps … Who else is going to step up?
This was a question the Steelers found themselves asking quite a bit this past season. With Martavis Bryant suspended for the entire season after multiple violations of the league’s drug policy and a few key injuries early in the season, Pittsburgh found itself without much in the way of receivers other than All-Pro Antonio Brown.
Injuries to Sammie Coates, Markus Wheaton and Darrius Heyward-Bey devastated an already shallow receiving corps. With Bryant returning next season, the Steelers are already in good shape. However, losing all of these key personnel may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Injuries paved the way for second-year receiver Eli Rogers to come off of the practice squad and jump right into the Steelers’ No. 2 receiver role. Make no mistake about it: Eli Rogers will be Pittsburgh’s X-factor next season.
With teams consistently double and triple teaming Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant elite speed and ability to stretch the field vertically, Rogers’ presence in the slot will be key. Rogers showed flashes of excellence this season. Expect him to keep it up to create a lethal offense which will wreck havoc on opposing defenses. Teams just do not have enough playmakers to be able to stop all of Pittsburgh’s elite offensive threats.
#4 — Sure up the special teams play
One word sums up Pittsburgh’s special teams play as of recent years: bad.
In 2015 the Steelers had all sorts of trouble on special teams, mainly the field goal kicking unit. A preseason injury to placekicker Shaun Suisham started a “kicker carousel” which ended up costing the team a few wins on missed field goals, before the team signed Chris Boswell who has been nothing short of impressive in his brief stint with the team. His six field goals in the Divisional playoff game against the Chiefs accounted for all of the team’s scoring and set a franchise and postseason record for most field goals in a single game.
The biggest problem the Steelers faced on special teams this season was kickoffs. The team drafted Demarcus Ayers in the seventh round of the draft with the goals of having him be the kick return guy, a role he excelled at the University of Houston. For whatever reason, Pittsburgh opted to have Sammie Coates, Fitzgerald Touissant and Justin Gilbert return kicks this year. Opposing teams would often kick the ball just short of the endzone so the Steelers returners would be forced to run it back. They barely ever made it back to the 25 yard line (the new starting line for kickoffs). Teams exploited the Steelers inability to return kicks, and it often cost Pittsburgh valuable yards in field position. I expect Ayers to make the kick return team next season, where he can use his speed to get the edge around defenders and start drives for the offense past the 25.
#5 — Draft wisely
Given Kevin Colbert’s incredible ability to scout and draft all-star caliber players consistently (Bell, Brown, Ben, Shazier, Burns, Sean Davis, etc.), this is the point Steelers fans should feel most comfortable on. The franchise is in good hands as long as Colbert, the Rooney family and Mike Tomlin continue to make smart draft selections.
The Steelers No. 1 priority in this draft should be an edge rusher. With James Harrison turning 39 in March, and his backup, Jarvis Jones likely not returning to the team next season, the Steelers are thin at outside linebacker.
Every year there is talk about whether or not Pittsburgh should draft a replacement quarterback for Ben Roethlisberger when he inevitably retires. Despite Big Ben recently saying that his career with the Steelers is “up in the air”, this draft is shallow on elite quarterbacks. I don’t expect the Steelers to draft a QB this year. It’s more likely they sign current backup and soon to be restricted free agent Landry Jones to a short-term contract to back up Roethlisberger until an adequate long-term replacement is found.
I honestly don’t I have a single favorite place on Ohio University’s campus. My favorite places on campus differ through the seasons. Early in fall semester I love being down at the intramural fields playing softball. Softball is one of my favorite hobbies. I play in the summer on a couple of different teams, and by the time it ends and I’m on my way back to school intramural softball begins so I am still 100% devoted. For the past four years I have been on a softball team with my fraternity brothers and each Monday night I can’t wait to get back down there.
Once winter turns the corner, my favorite place turns into wherever I’m living, which is my apartment this year, above Casa Nueva. Winter time means cold weather (well maybe not Ohio) and football. My roommates and I usually invite some friends over to watch some football, play some video games and crack open a few cold ones. In my opinion, that’s the best part about college, cherishing you friendships and being around friends as much as you can. So that’s why my favorite place on campus in the winter time is my apartment, it’s kind of hard not to like it.
Now, it’s time for the flowers to bloom and pools are about to start opening. Spring time rolls around and I have yet a couple more favorite places on campus. The first being 20 S. College St., home of the FIJI fraternity. We have a nice porch where we all sit out there, listening to music and watching people walk passed our house, which is one of my favorite things to do on campus. Honestly, I guarantee if you asked half of the campus what their top five things to do on campus are, one of them would be people watching. My second favorite becomes the River Park apartment complex pool. On really nice days, a bunch of us like to go down there play music, hang around the pool, play games and honestly become true college kids. I think that’s what I like best about it. We don’t have to worry about anything. We just relax and enjoy the day. I think I will especially like it this spring since it will be my last time enjoying the pool and the atmosphere with all of my college friends.
I think I’m a little bit different than most students on campus because most people I know have one, maybe two places that really stand out to them and they love to be there each and every week. That’s not me, I don’t have just one place, but I think that’s what makes me like Athens the most.
With more than a quarter of the NBA season in the books, it’s about time for sportswriters and basketball junkies alike to get together and start arguing about the impending NBA playoffs.
The amount of time my friends and I have spent discussing the landscape of the NBA is mind-boggling. While we may not be professionals, we certainly do know an awful lot about the teams and players that can shape the future of the league.
Not only do we love the NBA, but college football is wrapping up and that can only mean one thing: OSU vs. Michigan. With both teams seasons on the line, we wrap up the podcast with a short discussion on who we think has the edge in the biggest game of the season.
Find out below who we think will make some noise this season and reach the playoffs and who will win this years edition of “The GAME.”
2:15 – Picks for Eastern Conference Playoffs
12:50 – Can anybody stop the Cavaliers?
18:57 – Picks for Western Conference Playoffs
41:12 – Are the Jazz real contenders?
43:42 – Lakers or Timberwolves for first out of the playoffs?
In the first episode of Stand Up and Talk, host Ethan Felderstein is joined by Ohio Bobcats super fan Clay Johnson and assistant sports editor of The Post, Andrew Gillis.
The three preview Friday’s Mid-American Conference championship game between Ohio and Western Michigan. Does Ohio have a shot at winning? Who should you place money on? Would Frank Solich beat P.J. Fleck in a fight? LISTEN:
Just as students are getting into the heart of the school year, many Bobcat teams are reaching the heart of their schedules; but, unlike some students, most of these Ohio teams are thriving as conference play begins.
Did the good guys win?
For the most part, yes. The football team pummeled Gardner-Webb University 37-21, while the volleyball and field hockey teams both picked up big wins over conference rivals. On the other hand, the soccer team lost a close one to Toledo while the women’s golf team finished in eighth place out of twelve teams in Michigan State’s Mary Fossum Invitational.
What does this mean for the football team?
The Bobcats picked up their first home win of the season in front of a crowd of over 22,000 fans, showing all the visiting parents that their child’s college team actually did have a chance against Tennessee last weekend. Redshirt senior Greg Windham threw for 143 yards and a touchdown while picking up 62 yards with his feet. Senior wide receiver Sebastian Smith finished with 108 yards and found the end zone twice off of six receptions. The Bobcats sit at an even 2-2 on the season as conference play begins next week.
What about the volleyball team, they’re good right?
Following their phenomenal 2015 season where they were crowned MAC Champions for the ninth time, the Bobcats have started this season with a lackluster 6-8 record. But don’t count these girls out just yet, they definitely know how to win conference games as they haven’t lost a set to a MAC opponent so far this season. The Bobcats swept the visiting Akron team in three straight sets (25-15, 25-23, 27-25) to pick up their second win over a MAC opponent. Redshirt junior Ali Lake led both teams with 17 kills; Lake has finished with double-digits kills seven times this season. This is the fourth year in a row the Bobcats have started 2-0 in conference play.
70 minutes of play wasn’t enough for the Bobcats and the visiting Ball State Cardinals but graduate student Amelia Milton knocked in the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Bobcats a 3-2 win. Both Milton and freshman Gabby Lorenzo scored their first career goals for the Bobcats in the thrilling win. Although the score doesn’t reflect it, the Bobcats led in both shots, 14-6, and penalty corners, 11-3. Despite their struggles to capitalize off their shots, the Bobcats held on to pick up their first conference win and improve to 3-6 on the season.
Will the soccer team bounce back?
After dropping their first conference game against Bowling Green, the Ohio women’s soccer team lost to Toledo 2-1 to fall to 2-6-1 on the season. The Bobcats couldn’t get their offense going against the physical Toledo team. Although Ohio had six shots on goal, compared to Toledo’s three, the Rockets had nine more shots and nine more corner kicks than the Bobcats, giving them more opportunities to find the back of the net. This is the fourth consecutive loss for a Bobcat team that hasn’t won a match since their 5-0 flattening of Cleveland State back on Sep. 2.
How bad is eighth place really?
The Bobcats finished in eighth place out of twelve teams at the Mary Fossum Invitational over the weekend. Although many MAC teams were at the invitational, the Bobcats (+61) were outmatched in talent by more qualified teams like the Miami Hurricanes (-4) who demolished the completion. Despite the low finish, senior Hailey Hryenewich led the Bobcats and tied for 11th place in the tournament with a final score of seven strokes over par. To see how the rest of the Bobcats finished, check out the final standings here.
What’s going on next week?
Men’s Golf host Bobcat Open in Worthington, OH
Women’s Volleyball takes on rival Miami in Oxford at 7 p.m.
Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country teams compete in All-Ohio Championship in Cedarville, OH
Women’s Soccer face Western Michigan here in Athens at 4 p.m.
Women’s Field Hockey play Central Michigan at home at 5 p.m.
Women’s Volleyball hosts Bowling Green at 7 p.m.
Softball takes on Charleston University in a doubleheader in Athens, first game starts at 1 p.m. while the second starts at 3 p.m.
Football travels to Oxford to face rival Miami at 2:30 p.m.
It was a tragic week for sports fans this weekend with the loss of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and golf legend Arnold Palmer. But at least for Ohio Bobcats fans, they had some reasons to stand up and cheer.