Friday, May 25, 2018
Sports

Mourning coach expected at game

When the Packers open defense of their Super Bowl championship today, their eyes won't be entirely on the prize.

Last week was somber for the Packers. It started with G T.J. Lang burying his father and continued with the numbing news that offensive coordinator Joe Philbin's son Michael drowned in a Wisconsin river.

It made it difficult for Green Bay to completely focus on today's NFC division playoff game against the visiting Giants.

CBS reported that Philbin would be with the team today. He typically sits in the coaches' box.

"It's important in this business to separate the personal from the professional and when you're at work to try and focus on work," QB Aaron Rodgers said. "But, we're human as well."

Philbin had interviewed for the Chiefs' head-coaching job days before his son's body was found in the Fox River.

TARGET NO MORE: The most divisive figure among Giants fans this season has round glasses and a perpetual smile, and opts to use a code word — instead of cursing — to let his players know he is angry.

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell does not hesitate to say this has been his most challenging season. But now New York is hot, and especially considering the criticism Fewell endured as recently as last month, his players are reveling in his resurgence.

"He didn't deserve it, not even a little," LB Mathias Kiwanuka said. "To have a game like last week? It made all of us feel good for him because he has been working all year."

Kiwanuka was talking about the Giants' virtual whitewashing of Atlanta in the wild-card round. The Giants stuffed QB Matt Ryan's two fourth-down sneaks, mostly because they had seen them before — in Fewell's playbook.

"We had a page on it," Kiwanuka said. "How small a chance was there that there would be a situation where they would sneak it on a fourth and short? But it was in there."

SHORT ROAD: With their loss in San Francisco, the Saints fell to 0-5 on the road in their postseason history. A year ago, New Orleans came out West and suffered a stunning loss at 7-9 Seattle in the wild-card round.

BANGED UP: Saints RB Pierre Thomas was knocked out of Saturday's game against the 49ers after taking a hit to the head in the first quarter. Thomas caught a pass from Drew Brees on the Saints' opening drive and absorbed a vicious blow from 49ers S Donte Whitner just short of the goal line. Whitner jarred the ball loose, and LB Patrick Willis recovered for the 49ers at their 2-yard line.

Comments
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

TAMPA — Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has always been generous with his time, staying after practice to work with younger players. That should be a real added benefit for first-round pick Vita Vea.RELATED: More Bucs coverage"That's my M.O.'' Mc...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places, in a city brand-new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world: Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first expansion team to win a championship.And whi...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The Bucs’ Mike Evans is among the NFL’s best receivers, except when it came to this

The Bucs’ Mike Evans is among the NFL’s best receivers, except when it came to this

TAMPA — Only three players in NFL history have posted 1,000-yard receiving seasons in each of his first four years seasons: Randy Moss, A.J. Green and the Bucs' Mike Evans.RELATED: More Bucs coverageBut by Evans' standards, 2017 was "proba...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Now let it sink in: 60 straight baseball wins quite the feat

Now let it sink in: 60 straight baseball wins quite the feat

FORT MYERS — It had been more than two years since Greg Olsen had to give one of those talks; the kind in which silver linings abound, while across the field, a different team celebrates winning gold.Olsen's Calvary Christian baseball team gath...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Why interceptions are up at One Buc Place

Why interceptions are up at One Buc Place

TAMPA — If the first few days of OTAs are any indication, the Bucs secondary could be much improved.Completions may be down, interceptions should be up.RELATED: More Bucs coverage"A lot of interceptions,'' coach Dirk Koetter said Thursday' afte...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Baseball: Pinellas-Hillsborough all-star game this weekend

Baseball: Pinellas-Hillsborough all-star game this weekend

The Pinellas vs. Hillsborough senior all-star game will be played on Sunday at 7 at Tropicana Field. Here are the rosters for each team:PinellasNathan Campbell (Boca Ciega); Derek Gray (Dunedin), Lucas Smith (Northeast), Michael Regan (CCC), Tanner B...
Updated: 5 hours ago
FSU football fans: How do you remember Jimbo Fisher?

FSU football fans: How do you remember Jimbo Fisher?

Former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher should be back in the state next week for the SEC's spring meetings in Destin. It is, to my knowledge, his first big trip back to Florida since leaving for Texas A&M in December.With that in mind, my questi...
Updated: 8 hours ago