Devin Hester Part II: Like Father, Like Son

Devin Hester may be the fastest person to grace the football field. His kick returns were awe inspiring as we watched him leave defenders without shoes and dignity all while making Chris Berman lose his mind yelling “whoop” every second. It was like he turned on the nitrous and shifted into the 16th gear of a Fast and Furious Ferrari. My words will never do his career justice, so just watch.

“Devin Hester. You are ridiculous.”

Easily the best return man of all time. His records may never be broken… Unless, of course, he has a son who is just starting to get into football and is already making people miss worse than Luke Kuechly did on against 6th grader.

I’m hearing whispers that Mark Richt has already extended a scholarship offer to him. This kid is not going to be a problem, Dray Hester is going to be a full blown crisis. Good luck to every elementary schoolers’ ankles.

The Most Important Series of the Year

Well the series after All-Star break can tell you a lot, but one thing it showed us is that this team is still not in sync. With the offense exploding for 28 runs in three games, the pitching struggled and allowed 23. Unfortunately for the Reds, the only solid pitching they had all weekend was Sonny Gray but they lost due to 2 home runs given up by Hernandez in a wildly disappointing 2-3 loss. Which brings us to now. The Reds march into Wrigley with a lot riding on this series. Sitting at 42-48, if the Reds get swept they could be 9.5 games out with all hope lost and with the deadline coming up, it could be a selling fest. But, they they win two or even sweep the Cubs, they’ll be 4.5 or 3.5 games out and that changes the narrative. Let’s take a look.

Tonight we’ve got our ace, Luis Castillo on the mound going up against Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks is 1-1 against the Reds this season while Castillo sits at 1-1 as well. By all means, this will be the lowest scoring game of the season as Hendricks knows how to pitch the Reds, but he is 0-1 at home against them this year. Castillo is just about the same, he’ll find a way to shut down the Cubs offense as he has this season it just depends whose offense shows up first. Personally, I think the Reds win this game because there is a chip on their shoulder and they need to prove themselves before it is too late.

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Game two we got DeSclafani going up against Alec Mills who is making his first start of the 2019 season. DeSclafani is 2-0 against Chicago this season while Mills beat the Reds last season. It will more than likely be a high scoring game but the Reds need it. Game three will be between Sonny Gray and Yu Darvish. Gray is 2-0 against the Cubs, while Darvish is 1-1. The Reds have the pitching advantage all series. It will come down to the offensive side of the ball but with it being it Wrigley, the Reds scored 24 runs back in May. The Reds need a sweep to remain relevant, but will they get it?

By all accounts the Reds have shown they have what it takes to beat the Cubs this season. Winning 6 of 9 from the Cubbies, they need these next 3 as their season may depend on it. If they lose all three or even 2, they’ll be 8.5 or 9.5 back with all hope pretty much gone. With the deadline coming up, the Reds could sell and get a plethora of prospects especially if Castillo goes on the market. So let’s sit back and just watch the most important series of the year…let’s go Redlegs.

What are Your Realistic Expectations for Kentucky

Coming off the best season in Kentucky Football history, well since I’ve been alive, expectations are high in the Commonwealth. This offseason Kentucky has been the subject of tons of hate, including Terry Wilson being ranked last in the SEC, our buddy Phil Steele projecting Kentucky to miss out on a bowl game, and lastly tons of national media just setting Kentucky’s over/under anywhere from 5.5 to 6.5. With the schedule released, let’s take a look and walk it through.

First, let’s begin with Toledo. Opening day at Kroger Field, Cats win easily and they win the second week against Eastern Michigan as well. Those are two locks. Then Kentucky enters possibly the most important three weeks of the season involving Florida, @Mississippi State, and and @South Carolina. Kentucky needs 2 of the 3 if they want to be special. Personally, I think Kentucky will best Florida again, especially with Touchdown Terry showing up in a big way and the crowd just behind them. Mississippi State is much improved from last season and so is South Carolina. I think our best bet is Mississippi State and we’ll start the season 4-0 with our first potential loss the following weekend at South Carolina. So 4-1 entering the Arkansas game.

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Arkansas is Arkansas. They’ll have their usual ups and downs but at Kroger Field for the first time in weeks, this Kentucky team will eat them alive and come 5-1 coming up on the possible SEC East Championship in Athens. I’ll be blunt, I’d be shocked if Kentucky even comes close in this game so I’ll put us at 5-2 and then a win against Missouri to make us bowl eligible. Tennessee demolished us last season, for no reason. I see it as a revenge game and we’ll be 7-2, 8-2 after Vanderbilt. 9-2 after Tennessee Martin and I think Kentucky absolutely obliterates Louisville again making us 10-2. This is my prediction.

Obviously a lot can change. Defensively we are much weaker than last season, but Stoops has set the bar high and this team can play higher. The offense will be the show, if Terry can be Florida Terry all year then this team attains this easily, possibly setting Kentucky scoring records. The one game I look at that could change…Mississippi State. That three game stretch is brutal and Kentucky needs 2 of the 3. Otherwise, we could end up 9-3 or worse. It’ll set the tone for the season.

So I ask you, what are your predictions?

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The 6 Broncos That Need to Have a Big Year in 2019

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The Denver Broncos had a very disappointing 2018 season. They were the embodiment of the difference between a Buffalo Bill and a Dollar Bill and were never truly good for four quarters. On and off the field issues left the team in shambles. Injuries virtually eliminated the tight end position. Chad Kelly had two cases keeping him from the starting position. One of which was Keenum while the other was breaking and entering. With the 2019 season quickly approaching there are still many moving parts for first year coach Vic Fangio. In order for the Broncos to have success in the toughest AFC West since 2013, these 6 players will need to step up in major ways.

Noah Fant
The Broncos have not had real success with a tight end since Julius Thomas. The lack of success is due to countless injuries, including 4 last year. Now, Elway has decided to roll the dice again by taking Iowa’s Noah Fant with his first round pick. Fant, at 6’4″ 250 pounds, has all the measurables to be a successful NFL tight end. Now, he needs to repeat the same success he had in college in his first year in Denver. It’s difficult to say that a rookie needs to have an immediate impact, but this is a position that the Broncos absolutely have to have production at to have success in the AFC West.

Joe Flacco
His Eliteness will be gracing Mile High with his presence in 2019. It’s about time the Broncos added another Super Bowl MVP to the team in my opinion. Flacco losing his position to Lamar Jackson last season puts him in a difficult spot. He seems to have the the starting spot lined up for Game 1, but the fear of losing his spot to another rookie in Drew Lock has to be weighing on him. He will definitely be on short leash this season.

Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco, left, watches as quarterback Kevin Hogan throws during the NFL football team’s veterans minicamp Tuesday, April 16, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Courtland Sutton
Emmanuel Sanders has been making unbelievable progress in his recovery from an achilles injury, but still may not be at 100% for Game 1. This means that Courtland Sutton will be the de facto first option receiver for the season opener. The last thing that Sanders needs is pressure to return to the field before he is ready. Courtland Sutton needs to have a big season to give Sanders all the time he needs. The Flacco specialty has always been underthrowing a receiver forcing them to run back and be interfered with by a cornerback with his back turned. Hopefully, the thin Denver air allows Flacco to actually throw the ball far enough for Sutton to put up some serious numbers.

Royce Freeman
Phillip Lindsay has the starting running back position locked up for Game 1 of next season. But with uncertainty at the quarterback position, the Broncos needs a viable second option in the backfield. More specifically, a receiving option. Flacco is a big time check down quarterback and needs a safety valve receiver. Freeman played that role perfectly at Oregon and could add a whole new element to the Bronco offense. Screens, wheel routes and swing passes may be what unlocks his potential.

Kareem Jackson
Kareem Jackson is the only newcomer expected to start in the Broncos secondary. Coming off 9 seasons in Houston and a career best year, expectations will be through the roof. But the veteran cornerback is exactly what this Broncos team needs. Joining an elite secondary with William Parks, Justin Simmons, Chris Harris, Bryce Callahan, and Su’a Cravens led by Vic Fangio’s expertise should make for a dominant season, but Kareem Jackson will need to have a big year to bring back to notorious No Fly Zone.

Josey Jewell
Vic Fangio loves to play 3-4 defense. Obviously, three of the four linebacker spots will go to Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and Todd Davis. The last inside linebacker spot will go to the next man up, Josey Jewell. Coming off a pretty good rookie year of 58 tackles (38 solo) and 4 tackles for loss, he is going to have to come up huge for the Broncos defense this season. Josey proved that he is an elite linebacker at Iowa and needs to be a presence in the run game for the Broncos to be competitive in the AFC West. Luckily, Vic Fangio is the perfect coach for a young linebacker to learn under.

One player that you should not see on a list like this, at least for the upcoming season, is Phillip Lindsay. Some people still think that he needs to have a big year in 2019 in order to prove himself. Really? Has he not done enough? He went from undrafted to Pro-Bowler in a couple of months. Saying he has proven himself is an understatement.

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NBA Analysts Are Raining Praise on Tyler Herro

The Miami Heat and Pat Riley knew they were getting an elite shooter when they drafted Tyler Herro with the 13th overall pick. To their pleasant surprise, Herro has proved in Summer League that he is much more than just a shooter. His ability to score from anywhere, pass and handle the ball is drawing praise from all over the NBA.

In his 6 games in the Summer League, Herro put up big numbers. Averaging 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.3 steals, he is looking like a future star for Miami. The Heat’s Summer League Coach Eric Glass told the Miami Herald that Herro “can give us whatever we need… If we need a guy that can handle, get us into offense, if we need him to be pick-and-roll, if we need him to come off catch-and-shoots, he’s shown he can do it all, and we feel comfortable in any of those spots.”

Glass went on to say, “from the day he came in, he proved that he could be a really good passer, so I put him in those roles. The thing that surprised me, I guess, is his feel. It looks like he’s a second- or third-year guy out here. That’s the thing that probably jumps out more than even the touch.”

Glass also loves Herro’s competitiveness and confidence. But not just Heat personnel seems pleased with their draft pick. NBA analysts have been showering the Kentucky guard in compliments since he began his Summer league play.

NBA TV’s Brendan Haywood commented, ““He can do more than shoot… There are other layers to his game. He looks like he will be a steal.” In respect to his game, Haywood also said that Herro “gets right to his point, understands what he has to do without using a lot of the shot clock.” Even delivering the scorching take, “He’s going to be a very impressive rookie in the league. He’s going to have a chance to be first-team All Rookie.”

Former GM of the Atlanta Hawks, Wes Wilcox, said “He’s one of my favorite players in the draft… I would have had him in the top 10. He plays with confidence.” 

Even NBA living legend Vince Carter shared his opinion on Herro’s versatility at the guard position saying, “He has the ability to facilitate, so he will play both.”

Obviously, if Tyler Herro was not on teams radars before, he is now. The Heat and Pat Riley have made it clear that he will be with them for the forseeable future. Even fending off a trade with the Thunder for Russell Westbrook before he was dealt to the Rockets. Having exceeded every expectation for the Heat in Summer League, the chances of being first-team All Rookie and playing multiple crucial roles for a playoff contending squad are favorable.

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