Monday, July 16, 2018
Sports

Falcons facility back on track

ATLANTA — As he awaits word on Atlanta's bid to host a Super Bowl, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Monday construction of the team's new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is back on schedule to open in June, 2017.

NFL owners will choose next week between Atlanta and other cities competing to host Super Bowls in 2019, '20 and '21. No city will be awarded more than one game. The vote will be taken at the NFL owners meeting in Charlotte, N.C.

Blank said good weather has construction back on schedule.

"I'm thrilled. We had a great winter, actually a mild winter, and a beautiful spring, so the weather has fully cooperated," Blank said before joking, "I'll take responsibility for that."

Blank also owns the expansion MLS franchise Atlanta United FC, which will share the stadium. Construction delays had jeopardized the soccer team's inaugural home summer schedule in 2017 and the Falcons' 2017 home preseason games.

Team president Rich McKay confirmed workers "started the fall significantly behind."

"Now all of a sudden our pace has really picked up," he said.

The Falcons announced food and beverage pricing for all events at the new stadium will start with $2 each for soft drinks (including free refills), hot dogs, pretzels and popcorn.

Bills: Team officials said first-round pick Shaq Lawson, who plans to move to linebacker in the NFL, will have surgery today on his injured right shoulder and wide receiver Sammy Watkins had a foot operation. Watkins reportedly had a small stress fracture and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in July.

Broncos: Quarterback Mark Sanchez will miss the first few days of workouts next week after having surgery Saturday on a ligament in his left, non-throwing hand. He hurt his thumb Thursday in a weight room mishap. Also, former Florida State and Bucs linebacker Dekoda Watson signed.

Dolphins: Former Lions defensive end Jason Jones signed.

Panthers: They released cornerback Brandon Boykin, who signed in this offseason.

Ravens: The league is investigating after coach John Harbaugh had players in pads during rookie minicamp last week, ESPN reported. Having players wear full pads before training camp violates the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Also, they signed former Bucs quarterback Josh Johnson, profootballtalk.com reported.

Seahawks: They signed linebacker Khairi Fortt after waiving injured linebacker Christian French.

Titans: They waived quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who is 0-10 in his career as a starter.

Comments
SEC media days: Pressure already on for Jimbo Fisher

SEC media days: Pressure already on for Jimbo Fisher

ATLANTA — When new Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher walked to the stage Monday for his first SEC media days, he knew exactly what to say.Howdy."That's an A&M thing," Fisher explained.So Fisher knows how the Aggies say hello. Which is progress,...
Updated: 18 minutes ago

Captain’s Corner: Warm water brings algae blooms

It’s been a hot summer. This week water temps crept up to sweltering 90 degrees at the surface inshore. We saw 88 degrees on the surface temps offshore. The deeper the water, the cooler the water temps were found, especially toward the bottom. Wit...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tune into the only All Star Game that matters

Tune into the only All Star Game that matters

Summer was for beach days and watermelons and shorty pajamas and fighting with my brother over who gets to sleep in front of the fan.And summer was for the MLB All-Star Game.They'll hold the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday night at Washington's National...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

ATLANTA — Jimbo Fisher defended every step of the way at Jameis Winston at Florida State, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he continues to back his former quarterback, even though both have moved on.Fisher, now the coach at Texas A&M, sa...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Live from Washington: Rays Blake Snell was under consideration for All-Star start

Live from Washington: Rays Blake Snell was under consideration for All-Star start

UPDATE, 2:33: AL manager A.J. Hinch said  Snell, even though he wasn't named to team until Friday, was in the mix to start the game, that he was "not too far behind," though Boston's Chris Sale was chosen.  Snell is likely to be 3rd pi...
Updated: 4 hours ago
SEC media days: Jimbo Fisher on leaving Florida State, Aggies title talk

SEC media days: Jimbo Fisher on leaving Florida State, Aggies title talk

ATLANTA — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said he had "no intentions of ever leaving Florida State," but the situation with the Aggies (including its administration and support) led him to leave for College Station.Fisher was the first coach ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

We're close enough to the 2018 NFL season that we can start talking about records that could be broken in the normal course of the Bucs' season ahead.DeSean Jackson has a chance to break one of Jerry Rice's career NFL records. No, not the 197 career ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Live from SEC media days: Five stories to follow

Live from SEC media days: Five stories to follow

ATLANTA — Good morning from SEC media days, the unofficial kickoff to college football's preseason.The four-day event begins later this morning with commissioner Greg Sankey's address at 11:30. A few things I'll be monitoring over the next...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-North Suncoast baseball team

Tampa Bay Times’ all-North Suncoast baseball team

Player of the Year: J.P. Gates, Sr., Nature CoastPitcher of the Year: Gunnar Hoglund, Sr., FivayCoach of the Year: Frank Vitale, Nature CoastIn his fourth season as Sharks head coach, Vitale led the team to its first Class 5A state tournament. Nature...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County baseball team

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County baseball team

Player of the Year: Connor Scott, Sr., PlantPitcher of the Year: Franco Aleman, Sr., AlonsoCoach of the Year: J.J. Pizzio, LetoPizzio led the Falcons to their first state tournament appearance since 1970. They were 24-5 and did not lose a game in Cla...
Updated: 9 hours ago