Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Leadoff with Lee 5.20.14
-The San Antonio Spurs opened up the Western Conference Finals with a big time 122-105 over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs were clicking all over, with Tim Duncan leading the charge with 27 points. Tony Parker added 14 points and 12 assists. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green chipped in 16, apiece. Manu Ginobili had 18 of the Spurs 43 bench points. For the Thunder, Kevin Durant had 28 points in 41 minutes, while Westbrook scored 25. Three Thunder starters had a total of 5 points. FIVE POINTS! That is not going to get it done against a team like San Antonio. Game 2 will be Wednesday at 9 PM.
-No one had seen the Indians' closer-by-committee since May 11. Maybe that was a blessing in disguise. The committee resurfaced Monday night long enough for Cody Allen to blow a save in the ninth inning as he gave up a pinch-hit homer to J.D. Martinez. Undaunted, the Indians bounced back to beat the Tigers, 5-4, on Michael Brantley's two-out homer in the 10th off Al Alburquerque's 3-2 pitch. Brantley's homer, a shot into the Tiger bullpen in right field, was his ninth of the season and broke a four-game losing streak for the Tribe. The loss ended Detroit's six-game winning streak and 11-game winning streak on the road. The Indians were two outs from victory when Allen gave up a game-tying pinch-hit homer to J.D. Martinez with one out in the ninth to tie the score, 4-4 and ruin a strong start by Corey Kluber. Ian Kinsler followed with a two-out double, but Allen struck out Torii Hunter to end the inning. The Tribe will battle the Motor City Kitties again tonight at 7 PM.
-Browns WR Josh Gordon Will participate In OTAs/Minicamp while awaiting word on his possible suspension.
-The Browns made personal moves yesterday. A month after signing fullback Chris Pressley, the Browns released him on Monday as a part a raft of minor moves. The club signed seven players who participated in last weekend's rookie minicamp as tryouts and released eight other players. The biggest-name cuts were receiver Josh Cooper and Pressley. Cooper's release isn't a surprise given the recent signings of Andrew Hawkins, Nate Burleson, Miles Austin and Earl Bennett. But the decision to waive Pressley is curious.
New offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan prefers having a traditional fullback – the Browns went without one last season – and the club thought enough of Pressley to arrange a conference call after his signing. The Browns did sign Southern Illinois fullback Ray Agnew (5-foot-10, 247 pounds) as an undrafted free agent, but it's unclear why they chose to jettison Pressley two months prior to training camp. They still have converted fullback Chris Ogbonnaya on the roster.
Pressley, who debuted with Tampa Bay in 2009 as an unrestricted free agent, didn't play last season as he recovered from a knee injury. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 13, 2012 and opened last year on the club's physically unable to perform list. He returned to practice in November, but was waived Dec. 10, 2013.
Cooper caught 17 passes for 166 yards over two seasons with the Browns. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012 after playing with Brandon Weeden at Oklahoma State. In addition, the team waived receiver Tori Gurley, running back Jamaine Cook, offensive linemen Anthony Dima and Michael Philipp, defensive lineman Elhadji Ndiaye and tight end Andre Smith.
The Browns signed seven players as well:
-WR Anthony Armstrong is 5-10, 185 pounds and officially entering his fourth NFL season out of West Texas A & M. Originally signed by Miami as an undrafted free agent in 2008, Armstrong has appeared in 35 games with 13 starts. He has totaled 54 receptions for 986 yards with five touchdowns. In 2010, he appeared in 15 games with Washington and recorded 44 receptions for 871 yards with three touchdowns. In college, he registered 145 receptions for 1,768 yards and nine touchdowns. A native of Carrollton, Texas, he graduated from Newman Smith High School.
-RB Jourdan Brooks is 6-0, 237 pounds and officially in his first NFL season out of Morgan State. Originally signed by Cincinnati as an undrafted free agent, Brooks spent 10 weeks on the Bengals practice squad in 2012. He spent two years at Rutgers and transferred to Morgan State, where his father was an all-conference linebacker for MSU's 1979 MEAC championship team. A native of Germantown, Md., Brooks graduated from Seneca Valley High School.
-WR Taylor Gabriel is a 5-8, 167-pound rookie out of Abilene Christian. He finished second in ACU history in career receptions (215), yards (3,027) and touchdown receptions (27). Gabriel ranked fourth in school history in total yards with 3,880, trailing Browns running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery, who is second with 4,569. Gabriel is a graduate of John Horn High School in Mesquite, Texas.
-OL Randall Harris is a 6-3, 296-pound rookie out of Towson. He started at both guard and tackle and earned all-conference honors, while blocking for Browns third-round pick Terrance West. Harris helped the Tigers advance to the 2014 FCS national championship game. A native of Lanham, Md., Harris graduated from DuVal High School.
-DL Jacobbi McDaniel is a 6-0, 293-pound rookie out of Florida State. He appeared in all 14 games last season and recorded one-half sack during the Seminoles' victory in the BCS championship game. McDaniel also starred in baseball in high school and was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2009 MLB draft. A native of Greenville, Fla., McDaniel graduated from Madison County High School.
-DB Robert Nelson is a 5-9, 175-pound rookie out of Arizona State. Last season, he led the Sun Devils with six interceptions and earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors. He began his collegiate career at Louisiana-Monroe before transferring to ASU. A native of Lakeland, Fla., Nelson graduated from North Gwinnet High School.
-TE James Oboh is a 6-4, 250-pound rookie out of Towson. He appeared in 38 games and caught 50 passes for 811 yards with 10 touchdowns. He helped the Tigers advance to the 2014 FCS national championship game. A native of Olney, Md., Oboh graduated from Sherwood High School.