VIDEO: Ken Dorsey 2013 UM Hall of Fame Inductee allCanes Radio Show

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VIDEO: Don Solinger 2013 UM Hall of Fame Inductee allCanes Radio Show

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VIDEO: Brett Romberg 2013 UM Hall of Fame Inductee allCanes Radio Show

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Eric Winston 'too pricey' for Cowboys

ESPN Dallas gets the sense that free agent RT Eric Winston is "too pricey" for the Cowboys.
"[His] price needs to come down," tweets beat writer Calvin Watkins. The Cowboys' interest in Winston seems genuine, but the 29-year-old is still not budging from his asking price of a multi-year deal at $3-4 million per year. Winston likely won't have a home until after the draft.

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Chargers reach out to Bryant McKinnie, no deal close

The Chargers have a glaring need at left tackle, and it appears they’re making a contingency plan if they can’t draft one.

According to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, the Chargers have reached out to the agent for Ravens free agent Bryant McKinnie, in what have been termed a “couple general discussions.”

He hasn’t visited the Chargers, and no deal appears imminent.

McKinnie has battled weight problems in recent years, but his play in the postseason was such that he should find work somewhere.

He’d easily be a better option than what the Chargers have on hand. Other than signing former Eagles tackle King Dunlap, there’s not an apparent answer on the roster, and he might not be anything more than a stop-gap solution.

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Around the horn: Yonder Alonso shows infield range

SAN DIEGO -- It was a wild ninth inning Wednesday for Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso, as he was constantly on the move, bouncing around the infield while the team was on defense.

After Padres manager Bud Black emptied his bench -- with the exception of reserve catcher John Baker, who would hit in the bottom of the inning -- he asked Alonso to play second base to start the inning as Mark Kotsay occupied first base.

Alonso later moved to third base in the inning and then back to second base. He didn't have a ball hit at him, though Adrian Gonzalez singled to right field, just out of the reach of a diving Alonso.

Alonso became the first player in club history to play those three positions -- first, second and third base -- in a game. He's also one of 20 players in Major League history to do so. The last was Ben Zobrist of the Rays on Sept. 23, 2010, against the Yankees.

Alonso didn't see what the big deal was.

"Buddy gave me a warning that it might happen," Alonso said. " ... It wasn't so far out of the ordinary. It's not like I was playing center field."

But it was still unusual for Alonso, who had played one game at third base before Wednesday and that was in 2011, when he was with the Reds.

"Actually, Yonder said that he had played second base before," Black said. "He said, 'I have just got to move over 25 feet [from first base].'"

The Padres were shorthanded after Carlos Quentin was essentially unavailable due to a sore right wrist. Black also used Cody Ransom in the bottom of the fifth inning to pinch-hit for starting pitcher Eric Stults.

Jesus Guzman struck out for pitcher Anthony Bass in the seventh inning. Kotsay was used in the eighth inning, flying out for Alexi Amarista. That left Baker, who hit in the bottom of the ninth.

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Jemile Weeks works at SS

Oakland Athletics 2B Jemile Weeks worked at shortstop with Triple-A Sacramento Wednesday, April 10, and started there for the first time in his career. The team recalled INF Andy Parrino over him because Parrino can play shortstop, second base, third and the outfield. "I wouldn't be surprised if that was Jemile's idea," manager Bob Melvin said. "It just opens up some versatility options for him."

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Chargers make preliminary inquiry about Bryant McKinnie, source says

The San Diego Chargers made a preliminary inquiry to free agent offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

McKinnie, 33, is an unrestricted free agent who started every game in the playoffs after being replaced at left tackle during the regular season by Michael Oher.
No signing or visit is imminent and it's unlikely that McKinnie will strike a deal with any team until after the NFL draft.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has remained in touch with McKinnie, and the door isn't closed on his potential return with the Super Bowl champions.

What transpires in the draft for the Ravens and other teams that need a left tackle like the Chargers will probably determine what's next for McKinnie, a former Pro Bowl blocker with the Minnesota Vikings who attended the University of Miami.

The 6-foot-8, 354-pound New Jersey native has been working out regularly in South Florida, according to his agent, Michael George. McKinnie has battled conditioning and weight issues in the past.

McKinnie hasn't taken any visits during a slow free agency signing period for himself and other unemployed offensive tackles, including Eric Winston and Andre Smith.

McKinnie was contacted by the Chicago Bears when free agency started, but they quickly reached a deal with former New Orleans Saints and Towson offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod as their new left tackle.

During the playoffs, McKinnie excelled and drew praise from Ravens coach John Harbaugh for stonewalling several top pass rushers during victories over the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers to win the Vince Lombardi trophy.

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Brandon McGee works out for three teams

Miami Hurricanes CB Brandon McGee has worked out privately for the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, and New York Jets. McGee also is drawing interest from the New England Patriots, Washington Redskins, and Minnesota Vikings.

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Bryant McKinnie: Talks with Ravens likely to be tabled until after draft

Hours before getting sized for his Super Bowl ring on Wednesday, Baltimore Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie admitted it could still be several weeks until it is determined whether he will return to the Super Bowl XLVII champions for the upcoming season.

In an interview with WNST in Baltimore, the veteran offensive lineman indicated that talks with the Ravens on a new contract could be tabled until after the NFL Draft. McKinnie, who will turn 34 in September, is entering his 12th NFL season.

"I definitely want a starting job," McKinnie said. "I want it to be fair for somebody to beat me out of my position instead of saying you want to try something new. Give me the opportunity to actually be fair and let somebody beat me out for the position."

McKinnie (6-feet-8, 354 pounds) is coming off a stellar postseason when he earned rave reviews from Ravens coach John Harbaugh. With a slimmed-down McKinnie in the starting lineup, the Ravens were able to move Michael Oher to right tackle and Kelechi Osemele to right guard. At times during McKinnie's two seasons in Baltimore he has been trapped in Harbaugh's doghouse for a poor work ethic and an inability to keep his weight down.

After starting all 16 games with the Ravens in 2011, McKinnie reported late and out of shape to training camp last summer. McKinnie, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Vikings, was nearly released by the Ravens, but unexpectedly accepted a pay cut of $1 million to remain with the team. Still, he didn't receive his first start in 2012 until the postseason.

McKinnie, Bengals right tackle Andre Smith and former Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Winston remain on the open market.

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Eric Winston-to-Cowboys not imminent

The Cowboys have been in contact with free agent RT Eric Winston, though no signing is imminent.

Reports that the Cowboys were in contract discussions with Winston weren't true, but the club has been in contact with the right tackle, and is using his situation as leverage in talks with current starter Doug Free. The second best tackle on the market, Winston is willing to play for $3-4 million -- half of the $7 million Free is scheduled to make. The Dolphins also remain interested, but are believed to be waiting until after the draft to make a decision.

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Yonder Alonso plays second, third

Yonder Alonso made appearances at second base and third base in the ninth inning of Wednesday's game. That wacky Bud Black had Mark Kotsay pinch-hit for Alexi Amarista tonight even though the rest of his bench was used up. As a result, Alonso moved to second base, then slid to third with a left-hander up and then moved back to second. He had an attempt while at second base, coming up short on a diving stab. Anyway, if this gives him some extra eligibility in your league, he's now a whole lot more valuable.

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Jon Jay has another multi-hit game

Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay turned in a solid performance at the plate during Sunday's series finale against the Giants.

Jay singled and walked in the fourth inning. He also drove in two runs on a triple in the ninth inning and finished 2 for 5 with a walk and three runs scored in a 14-3 victory. It was his second multi-hit game of the season. Jay is hitting 241/.290/.414 with a home run and four RBI through his first six games.

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John Salmons scores 22 points as Kings end 5-game home skid

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Though there was nothing special about this late-season meeting between two losing teams, any game against New Orleans is meaningful to Marcus Thornton.

The Sacramento Kings guard grew up in Louisiana and played parts of two seasons with the Hornets. Thornton wasn’t about to overlook the Hornets and neither did the Kings.

John Salmons had 22 points, and Thornton and Jason Thompson each added 20 to help Sacramento snap a four-game losing streak with a 121-110 victory on Wednesday night.

The streak-shooting Thornton came off the bench late in the first quarter and hit a 3-pointer. He added three more 3s in the second quarter and had 15 first-half points, helping the Kings build a 17-point lead.

“Every time we play the Hornets I want to win really bad,” said Thornton, who came to the Kings midway through the 2010-11 season.

Thornton shot 8 of 13 and had five rebounds against the Hornets, who defeated the Kings twice this season in New Orleans.

“It was very tough losing two games to them there this season,” Thornton said. “It was especially tough with all my family and friends there.”

The Kings had a double-digit lead for much of the game and surpassed the 100-point mark early in the fourth quarter, when they stretched the lead to 30 points.
Sacramento shot 55 percent, made 10 of 20 3-pointers, and had 26 assists.

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All Canes Radio with Future proCane Kendal Thompkins & proCane Leonard Hankerson

Every MONDAY Night joins All Canes Radio to bring the latest news on not only current Hurricane football but also proCane news and exclusive interviews with current and former proCanes live from Shake Shack in Coral Gables.

Click here to listen to this week’s show and hear our exclusive interviews with future proCane Kendal Thompkins, proCane Gerard Daphnis and proCane Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson.

Listen to future NFL WR Kendal THompkins talk about his days at The U, what he is doing to get ready for the Draft and much more! Gerard Daphnis joins All Canes Radio to talk about his Annual Hurricane Alumni Reunion Tailgate which will be taking place before the Spring Game at Sun Life Stadium from 12:30-2:30 in Lot E12. Also, proCane Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson joins the show and talks about his days at The U, his transition to the NFL, his new QB RGIII and much much more!

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VIDEO: Jon Beason remembers his rookie prank

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Future proCane Brandon McGee Q&A

10 years ago, when the Miami Hurricanes were coming off of back-to-back national championship appearances, it would have been nearly impossible to come out of Miami and be a sleeper. Dealing with scandals, however, has brought the Hurricanes back down to mediocrity in recent seasons, and as a result, Miami’s Brandon McGee may be actually one of the most promising sleepers at the cornerback position in the 2013 NFL Draft.

McGee feels that his stock is on the rise after strong performances at the East-West Shrine Game and the NFL Scouting Combine.

“I definitely feel like I did everything that I needed to,” McGee said in an interview. “Pro day went excellent, the workouts I’ve been doing have been going great.”

McGee did not end up playing in the game itself during Shrine Game week, but had a very strong week in practices according to numerous media scouts who attended, including TFY Draft Insider’s Tony Pauline, who wrote following one practice for that McGee’s performance could be described as “wow.”

McGee said he thinks he “really impressed” the scouts in attendance at the Shrine Game with his athleticism, playmaking ability by forcing turnovers and his understanding of the game.

“Being able to see some of the most talented guys and going out there and just having a great showing, it definitely helped me out a lot,” McGee said.

At the combine, McGee had some issues with catching the ball consistently and looked stiff with his hip turns in drills, but he did display some good athleticism with a 4.40-second 40-yard dash, 6.71-second 3-cone drill and 9-foot-11 broad jump.

McGee was a two-year starter at cornerback for the Hurricanes, and those two years were littered with inconsistent play. Nonetheless, he follows a long line of Miami cornerbacks who have gone on to NFL success, including Duane Starks, Phillip Buchanon and Sam Shields.

“It’s definitely something that I don’t take lightly,” McGee said of the defensive back history at Miami. “The guys that came before me paved the way in a sense.”
Buchanon’s career ended at Miami ended with a national championship victory at the end of the 2001 season, after which he, legendary safety Ed Reed and fellow cornerback Mike Rumph were all first-round picks out of the Hurricanes secondary. McGee’s career was not quite as glorious, as the Hurricanes did not play in a bowl game in either of McGee’s starting seasons due to NCAA violations.

McGee said that being part of a program that was in the spotlight for the wrong reasons helped him learn to work through adversity.

“You learn how to be in a situation and just make the most of it, despite the circumstances,” McGee said.

McGee said the experience also taught him how to be a better leader, which was especially important last season given that he was the only senior starter on the Hurricanes defense.

“We had a young team,” McGee said. “Just going out there and leading every week definitely prepared me for what I’m about to get into now, and also just learning how to handle being in the public eye, because a lot of people, they want to talk about the scandal surrounding the school, but as players … it’s our duty to kind of keep our team focused and off a lot of negative energy.”

McGee’s athleticism and playmaking ability make him a likely draft selection, but he believes his intangibles may be his best traits.

“One of my greatest assets is something that can’t deteriorate over time, but actually get better, and that’s my intelligence of the game,” McGee said. “Just being able to understand defenses, understand what I’m doing, being able to learn.”

A likely Day 3 draft choice, McGee said he has received positive vibes from NFL teams.

“A lot of teams are just telling me, they’ve seen improvement in me from my junior to my senior year,” McGee said. “They talk about the East-West Shrine Game, going out there and competing, they also talk about me being able to go out and do what I did at the combine, which also helped me out as well.

“There’s been a lot of positive feedback, but at the same time, you know and I know, the draft is unpredictable. It could go any way,” McGee added.

McGee said he wants to make it in the league for his late mother, who he told he would make it to the NFL before she died of breast cancer in 2004. According to an August story from the Miami Herald, McGee’s father is also a throat cancer survivor, though he had to have his larynx removed in 2001.

To be drafted would be the realization of a lifelong dream, McGee said.

“Just being able to be in a position to even have the opportunity to play in the NFL is a blessing,” McGee said. “I just remain humble, and I’ll be ready for draft day, trust me.”

Following the draft, McGee said his NFL goal is “getting there and staying there.”

“When you step on the field, you’re not just playing for yourself but you’re playing in front of all, you’re pretty much auditioning for every team, every game,” McGee said. “(The) NFL is unpredictable … with the new CBA, all these big contracts going around now, you never know when they’re letting go of guys.”


Eric Winston wants $3-4 million, calls free agency “frustrating”

Free agent right tackle Eric Winston says he just wants to be paid a fair wage for a starting offensive lineman, and he’s getting frustrated that no NFL teams are willing to pay him what he thinks he’s worth.

Winston said on Sirius XM NFL Radio that he knows he won’t get the kind of money he got last year from the Chiefs, when he signed a four-year, $22 million contract that included a $4 million signing bonus. The Chiefs cut him to avoid paying a $4.9 million base salary for 2013, and now Winston is just hoping some team will pay him more than $3 million in salary this year.

“In the $3-4 million range is something that I think is more than fair for a starter who has played pretty well throughout his career,” Winston said.

Although Winston had an offer from the Chargers and has talked to the Cowboys, his sense so far is that teams are being extremely careful with money this offseason.

“It’s also frustrating in the sense that there are still a lot of teams with money to spend, but it doesn’t seem like anyone wants to spend it,” Winston said.

The one right tackle who made good money from a new team this offseason was Gosder Cherilus, who left the Lions for the Colts on a five-year, $35 million contract with a $10 million signing bonus and a fully guaranteed $5.5 million salary this year. Winston laughed when he was asked about the huge contract that Cherilus got, although he declined to say whether he thinks he deserves more money than Cherilus.

“No comment on that one,” Winston said.

What Winston will comment on is this: If you’re a right tackle and your name is not Gosder Cherilus, the free agent market stinks.

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Jon Beason says he'll be better than ever

Panthers linebacker Jon Beason held the launch of his charitable foundation Tuesday afternoon at the Palm in Southpark. The turnout included reporters from three Charlotte TV stations, the Associated Press and the Observer.

All asked earnest questions about Beason's celebrity waiter event – May 13 at the Palm to benefit his education-minded foundation – and nibbled on the butterflied shrimp and crabcakes.

But everyone eventually got around to different versions of the same question: How is Beason's health and how confident is he that he'll return to the Pro Bowl form he displayed before three surgeries over a 17-month span?

“I'll be better,” Beason said. “I can't even fathom not being better than I previously was. Especially, when you get to this stage of your career, mentally you know how to prepare and those are the things that you're focusing on more.”

It should be noted that Beason made the same statement last offseason when he was coming off Achilles' surgery.

Beason made it through four games in 2012 before shutting it down with knee and shoulder injuries. He underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee last October, and had his left labrum repaired in January.

He will be limited in OTAs if he participates at all. His goal is July and the start of training camp.

He'll be playing a new position. While he was out, Luke Kuechly led the league in tackles and was named the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Unlike his comments after the Panthers drafted Kuechly ninth overall last year, Beason said Tuesday that Kuechly “absolutely” deserves to be the starter in the middle. Interestingly, Beason said he would likely play the weak side, where Thomas Davis started the final 12 games last season.

Beason said Davis would shift to the strong side, which requires more drops into coverage in the Panthers' 4-3 scheme than the weak side, according to Beason.

(Tickets for the celebrity waiter event at the Palm on May 13 are $250 for general seating and $350 for VIP status and can be purchased at

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Eric Winston: San Diego Chargers talks 'fell through'

Eric Winston is looking for work, and the San Diego Chargers need to upgrade their offensive line, so it makes sense the two have spoken.

The free-agent right tackle said Monday that he discussed salary with the Chargers last month, "but things kind of fell through," Winston told SiriusXMSports, via U-T San Diego.'s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Dallas Cowboys also are interested in Winston, who said he's looking to make between $3 million and $4 million annually after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs in March. The market for right tackles is soft, and finding a new home hasn't been easy.

"It's frustrating, because I've never really been in this situation," Winston said. "I try to look at myself fairly. I don't ever want to be one of those guys that looks at themselves and thinks they hung the moon. I still feel like I'm still playing at a pretty high level, and I feel I can contribute to a team."

Winston hasn't missed a start since 2006, but tackle-needy teams like the Chargers widely are expected to target answers in the deep NFL draft class. While Winston isn't a roaring upgrade over Chargers right tackle Jeromey Clary, he would, of course, help the Dallas Cowboys end the Doug Free experiment, so somebody should come calling soon enough.

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Jon Beason ready for position change

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina's Jon Beason still believes he can be a dominant NFL player, even though he's coming off a pair of season-ending injuries and changing positions this season.

Beason, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, is recovering from injuries that have limited him to just five games over the past two seasons.

When he returns he'll be playing weak side linebacker.

That's a fairly significant change from his first four years in the league playing middle linebacker where he was able to roam from sideline to sideline making plays.

The move is to accommodate young star Luke Kuechly, who replaced an injured Beason at middle linebacker last season and went on to lead the NFL in tackles and earn AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

In Beason's eyes, Kuechly deserves to stay there and the move is in the best interest of the team.

"Right now he's the best in the league at that position," Beason told The Associated Press Tuesday during a fundraiser for his MLB Foundation which raises money for underprivileged children.

Moving outside is clearly not Beason's preference — he's more comfortable playing the middle where he has more freedom to roam the field — but he said right now it's all about winning championships.

It would have been easy for Beason to complain about the move or even seek a trade or release from his contract.

After all, he was a four-year starter at middle linebacker for the Panthers from 2007-2010, going to three Pro Bowls during that span while leading the team in tackles four straight seasons.

Instead, Beason took the new opportunity as a challenge.

He said he attacked his rehabilitation process with vigor, eager to earn a starting spot alongside Kuechly, the kid he helped mentor all of last season, while trying to resurrect his own professional career.

"You look at Luke and you say this kid is exceptional — this kid can play," Beason said. "So I'm like, well let's get out there and be great together. Let's get everyone together on the same page and go out and be one of the top defenses in the league, because we have that potential."

Kuechly said last year Beason was instrumental in his growth, teaching him the ins and outs of the game.

"Jon was awesome, extremely knowledgeable and helpful," Kuechly said last season.

Beason said he is just passing down what he learned from those who taught him coming into the league.

"I'm all about being a team guy and I've always been that," Beason said. "You have to be a pro."

Beason is familiar with the weak side linebacker spot having played that position for a season at the University of Miami.

Carolina actually drafted him in the first round in 2007 with the intention of using him at weak side linebacker, although they'd later move him inside when Dan Morgan's concussions began to add up.

If Beason does wind up at weak side linebacker it creates a quandary for the coaching staff.

Beason's best friend on the team, Thomas Davis, had a productive season at that spot last year after returning from three torn ACLs in successive seasons. But Davis is better suited than Beason to move to the strong side where the Panthers needed to replace James Anderson, who was cut earlier this offseason in a salary cap move.

Beason said he anticipates Davis will move to strong side, but added "I think Thomas and I can play both spots."

Regardless of where he ends up, Beason is just looking to stay healthy and be productive again.

He hasn't been since signing a six-year, $50 million contract during owner Jerry Richardson's summer of free spending in 2011 just days after the NFL owners reached a new collective bargaining agreement with the players.

The Panthers couldn't have possibly imagined the injuries that were about to beset the seemingly invincible Beason, a player with a tough as nails reputation who hadn't missed a game during his four seasons.

Beason's injury problems began soon after signing his extension.

He tore his Achilles in the 2011 season opener against Arizona while chasing down tight end Jeff King, ending his season prematurely. He came back last season he started four games before shoulder and knee issues forced him to injured reserve again.

"It's been a tough stretch and you think that the worst has to be behind you," Beason said.

Beason said the torn labrum in his shoulder feels completely healed and he doesn't believe it will be an issue.

The right knee has been more problematic.

He's still recovering from microfracture surgery and said he likely won't be cleared to participate in all drills until training camp.

"You don't win championships in April, so they're going to be cautious with it," Beason said. "But I'm definitely anxious to return. I think we have the makings of a great linebacking corps and the sky is the limit for this defense."

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Tim George Jr. ready for back to back racing

Tim George Jr. and Wauters Motorsports had a solid run at the Martinsville, Virginia short track posting a 22nd-place finish and look forward to creating momentum heading to Rockingham Speedway.
George has one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start with a 16th-place finish in the 2012 inaugural race at Rockingham Speedway. He has one NASCAR K&N East, two UARA Stars series starts, where he posted a ninth-place finish in 2012, and three ARCA Racing Series starts.

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Ryan Braun loves Wrigley

By going 3 for 4 Monday, Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun raised his batting average at Wrigley Field to .381 (72 for 189). Only Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen has a higher average (.386) there among active players.

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D.J. Williams calls replacing No. 54 'a great challenge'

New Bears middle linebacker D.J. Williams officially signed his one-year deal with the team just the other day. He said he's ready for the "challenge" of replacing longtime linebacker Brian Urlacher.

"I see it as a great challenge," Williams said in a statement released by his publicist on Monday. "I think it's a great opportunity for me to get to Chicago and play. I'm not trying to be anybody else or make anyone forget about Urlacher. He's a great player, a Hall of Fame player, and a guy I looked up to. I just can't wait to get there and gel with the team and do my best."

Williams' one-year deal could reach $1.75 million. He was signed just two days after the Bears announced they couldn't reach an "accord" with Urlacher.

Williams, who turns 31 in July, was a tackling machine for the Denver Broncos since being drafted in the first round in 2004 out of Miami. In his career, he has 816 tackles, 20½ sacks, 13 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, 38 pass breakups and two interceptions.

The nine-year veteran also spoke to the Bears' website on Monday.

"[Urlacher] was a great player," Williams said. "I watched him as a young player in college and was able to be in the league with him. I'm not trying to fill his shoes, even though I probably will be playing his position. Our games are different, so I'm not trying to be him. I'm just trying to be me."

Williams said he feels privileged to be joining a franchise with a history of defensive success and known for its star linebackers.

"To come here and be part of a team that loves defense in a city that loves defense," Williams said. "I'm just grateful and I love the opportunity. I'm excited about it."

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Eric Winston, Cowboys talking

Tackle Eric Winston continues to look for a job.  He could be finding one in Dallas.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Cowboys and Winston currently are in talks regarding a possible contract.

If Winston joins the Cowboys, that could seal the fate of Doug Free in Dallas.  Free’s future has been the subject of much speculation, and having Winston under contract would allow the Cowboys to either dump Free or squeeze him into doing a much less favorable deal.

Winston surprisingly was released by the Chiefs, with whom he signed last year after surprisingly being released by the Texans.

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Tim Tebow, Vinny Testaverde hold private workout at Jesuit

TAMPA -- Former Heisman Trophy winner and Florida Gators star Tim Tebow worked out privately at Jesuit High School on Monday, Jesuit public relations director Pete Young confirmed to BHSN.

Tebow, the backup quarterback for the New York Jets, spent the afternoon at Jesuit's football facilities, working out with former Jets quarterback and current Tigers' QB coach Vinny Testaverde, also a one-time Heisman Trophy winner.

"He was doing a private workout with Vinny Testaverde at some point in the middle of the day," Young said. "For the record, it did happen."

Tebow has spent the offseason working on his delivery and throwing motion, something he's been criticized for since he was drafted out of Florida in 2010. He's been a frequent visitor to the Bay area over the last couple of weeks, working with former Florida State and NFL QB Chris Weinke at his quarterback school, IMG Academy, in Bradenton last week.

Tebow is expected to attend Jets voluntary offseason workouts on Monday, but reportedly will be released after the draft.

This isn't the first time Tebow has made a stop at Jesuit. He worked out at the school in March.

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Devin Hester fully on board with full-time focus on returning

Bears coach Marc Trestman said at the league meetings last month that he viewed Devin Hester as a kick returner rather than a wide receiver who also returns kicks and planned to use him that way.

At the time, Trestman said that reporters would have to ask Hester how he felt about that and that’s just what happened when Hester did an interview on WLS in Chicago Sunday. The answer is that Hester’s just fine with making returning his full-time job in 2013. Hester said it was “kind of” his idea to concentrate on returning after a disappointing 2012 season across the board so that he could get back to being the player he wants to be.

“My door is not closed on the offensive side of the ball. I’m still open to it,” Hester said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “But as of right now, I know that I’m going here first into this season as the main kickoff return man. As of right now, that’s my main focus — to get my swagger back.”

Concentrating on what Hester does best seems like a good idea for both the Bears and Hester, especially with Hester sounding totally on board with the decision to try to build on his 18 career return touchdowns. It was a potent part of the Bears mix that was missing in 2012 and one they could really use in 2013.

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Heyward-Bey Already Listening to Reggie Wayne

INDIANAPOLIS--Reggie Wayne’s message for the newest member of the Colts receiving corps was succinct.

Three words were all that was needed for Darrius Hewyard-Bey’s ears to perk up.

“Come to work,” the 13-year Colts receiver said to Heyward-Bey.

Heyward-Bey has watched Wayne from afar since entering the league in 2009 and now he gets a first-hand look of what it takes to become a Pro Bowl receiver.
“I know he’s going to be that vet that’s going to lead the way in our receiver room and I’m just going to watch and try to (take) it all in,” Heyward-Bey said of Wayne on The Last Word.

Along with getting the opportunity to be under the tutelage of Wayne, Heyward-Bey is joining a team that is used to the postseason.

In Heyward-Bey’s four seasons in Oakland, the Raiders did not finish over .500. The electric receiver is hoping the move to Indianapolis increases the chance to reach the game’s highest peak.

“The only frustrating part was not going to the playoffs,” Heyward-Bey said of his time in Oakland. “Every player in this league wants to win the Super Bowl. The only way you get a chance to get there is to get into the tournament.”

This offseason was Heyward-Bey’s first experience as an NFL free agent.

The five-year NFL veteran compared the process to being recruited out of high school and after evaluating the pros and cons, the Horseshoe outweighed the competition.

“You definitely want to feel wanted in this process,” Heyward-Bey said. “It felt good but I understand that I still have to go to work and I need to get better each and every day.”

“My confidence will carry me through the spring training, training camp and I’m looking forward to the season. I know that we’ve got one goal and that’s to win a Super Bowl and that’s all I need.”

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Antrel Rolle will likely be cut after 2013 draft

There is a high likelihood the New York Giants will cut Antrel Rolle after the 2013 draft if they can find a replacement in the draft. Now before the backlash comes in about how dumb a move that would be; you have to look at the facts.

Rolle is carrying a 9,250,000 cap number for 2013 to 2014. He will be one of the highest paid safeties in the NFL that will hit 31 years old in December.

The Giants also have players that are younger that will get pay days soon. Hakeem Nicks’ contract is coming up and Victor Cruz is actively in contract extension talks now. Cruz and Nicks are not going to come cheap.

However the number one reason that is the reason it will come after the draft, is because the rookie salary cap makes it cheaper to draft similar in talent safeties for much less.

According to estimates, the 19th overall pick will hit the Giants’ salary cap by 1,517,436 in 2013.

Which would you rather have? A declining player in Rolle for a cap hit of 9,250,000 or a solid first round safety for 1,517,436 in 2013?

If the Giants drafted a second round safety in the 2013 draft, it would cost the Giants 732,855 against the cap in 2013. And the cap hit declines as the round decreases.

The first round, second round and even third round safeties in this year’s draft are some of the most talented crop of safeties to come out in a long-time. And you can read more about this year’s crop on this link here.

Now Antrel Rolle would only save the Giants 5,250,000 in salary cap space if he was released in 2013. However that is enough money to sign all rookies that have an estimated cap hit in 2013 of 5,031,061.

Releasing one player will give the Giants enough money sign eight players. You may believe Rolle is a great player, but by these standards the new CBA has put into place has Rolle extremely overpaid.

The only scenario I see in keeping Rolle on the team is if he restructures his contract to take less money, and I doubt any player would do that. Rolle will never see 9,250,000 dollars a year again, because of the new CBA rules. So it would be better for him to take the dead money and go to another team.

The time of the mega-dollar contracts for above average safeties is over. I believe the Giants will come to realization after they wrap up drafting a solid safety in the draft to replace Rolle with, and use the rest of the cap space to sign Cruz and Nicks down the line.

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Draft questions: Who will complement Andre Johnson?

The Texans were booted from the divisional round of the postseason for the second straight January, ending a season that began with great promise, but ended with a whimper.

Matt Schaub was pummeled by criticism in the days that followed, which was more than a little unfair in retrospect. Schaub isn't an elite quarterback by any stretch, but he's capable of leading a deep playoff run given the right weapons.

The Texans have needs at other places, the right side of their offensive line serving as a particular concern. But this is a draft in which the Texans need to get serious about adding a wide receiver who can make an immediate impact while serving as a bridge to the future.

Andre Johnson is coming off a monster season in which he finished with 112 catches for 1,598 yards and four touchdowns. He'll also be 32 years old in July. We don't doubt Johnson has another season or two of high production in him (granted his legs cooperate), but the Texans already have waited too long to locate a player who effectively can complement Johnson and eventually replace him as the team's No. 1 option.

The Texans still might view DeVier Posey as a long-term answer, but his prospects for making an impact next season are dim after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon in January. The under-qualified Kevin Walter finally is out of the picture, giving Houston a clear need at the position.

Robert Woods (USC) and DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson) are two early-round options for the Texans, who pick 27th overall. Tavon Austin (West Virginia) was a potential first-round match until his stock went through the roof at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Texans always could package some picks to move up. Given the need, it might be a gamble worth taking.

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D.J WIliams a Low-Risk, High-Reward Signing

When the Bears broke off negotiations with Brian Urlacher and signed D.J. Williams, you weren't the only Bears fan who wondered what the heck they were thinking at Halas Hall. Though he was aging, Urlacher was a known entity. Williams, on the other hand, spent much of his 2012 as a Bronco on the bench because of two different suspensions.

Why would they make such a move?

Now, the particulars of his contract have come out, and it's clear why the Bears went with Williams. Financially, he is a low-risk, high-reward player.

Not one cent of Williams' contract is guaranteed. If he makes the team, he gets a base salary of $900,000. He also gets a bonus for every game he makes the 53-man roster and another bonus for every game he makes the 46-man, active roster. He can make a total of $750,000 in bonuses if he makes every game, and another $100,000 for off-season workouts.

It's simple. If Williams wants to make money, he will perform. He can't be suspended or fall behind. He knows he has one job in Chicago. It's not replacing Urlacher, just being the best he can at middle linebacker.

"Perform; that's it," he said to the Bears' website. "If you go out there and perform and do well and help your team win, fans will love you. If you go out there and stink it up, you're going to get that type of criticism."

He also said his problems from last season helped him realize how important football is to him.

"It was frustrating. It also humbles you and shows you how much you really do love the game and how important it is to you."

Now, he'll have the chance to show his love on the field in a season that is basically a one-year audition for Williams. He can play well, make a lot of money and show he is worthy of an NFL contract.

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Devin Hester wants 'swagger' back for Chicago Bears

You can't say the Chicago Bears didn't try to translate Devin Hester's electric playmaking ability beyond special teams. It just never took.

Hester will be used exclusively as a kick and punt returner in 2013, ending an underwhelming career as a wide receiver. This is no issue for the three-time All-Pro.

"I'm fine with it," Hester said Sunday on WLS-AM (via the Chicago Sun-Times). "It was kind of my idea to let me more focus on my kickoff and punt return thing. ... It was more of my idea to do it."

Hester said he had a conversation with new Bears coach Marc Trestman at the start of the offseason. He had just 23 catches for 242 yards and a touchdown last season. His production also dipped as a return man.

"My door is not closed on the offensive side of the ball," Hester said. "I'm still open to it. But as of right now, I know that I'm going here first into this season as the main kickoff return man. As of right now, that's my main focus -- to get my swagger back."

Hester, 30, will be making good money ($1.86 million) for a specialized role. If the Bears didn't think Hester had a bounce-back season in him, they wouldn't bring him back.

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VIDEO: DeQuan Jones with a tomahawk jam

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Ryan Jackson Sent Down

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Third baseman David Freese was activated from the 15-day disabled list by the St. Louis Cardinals and batted sixth in Monday's home opener against the Cincinnati Reds.

"This is a day I don't ever want to miss," said Freese, who grew up a Cardinals fan in suburban St. Louis. "I know one day it's going to come to an end, but as many times as I can I'd like to be a part of this special day."

Freese said he was 100 percent, adding "I feel like it's February." Freese hit .293 last season with career highs of 20 homers and 79 RBI while topping 100 games for the first time.

"If he wasn't 100 percent, he wouldn't be here," manager Mike Matheny said. "So he's ready to go and we're excited to watch him do his thing."

Matt Carpenter started five games at third while Freese was out and was on the bench. Carpenter is hitting .320 with four RBI.

Freese strained his lower back tumbling into the stands while chasing a foul ball during spring training and missed the first six games. He appeared in three games with Triple-A Memphis on a rehab assignment and was 3 for 5 with two RBI Sunday against Oklahoma City.

St. Louis optioned infielder Ryan Jackson to Memphis to clear a roster spot.

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Tavares Gooden says he’s retiring, agent says he isn’t

Linebacker Tavares Gooden has spent five years in the NFL with the Ravens and 49ers and it seemed Friday afternoon that the free agent wasn’t interested in playing a sixth season.

Gooden visited with the Cardinals and Steelers in recent days, but went on Twitter Friday to announce that he thinks “it’s time for me to retire and move on to the next chapter in life.” Gooden went on to retweet those wishing him the best in luck in retirement, but his agent was quick to try to pump the brakes on his client’s announcement.

Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group reports that agent Sean Kiernan told him that Gooden’s tweet was not an official retirement and that Gooden still has another visit with a team lined up for next week. Kiernan also told Inman that the 49ers haven’t shown any interest in bringing Gooden back for another year, so that door appears to be closed.

If Gooden does wind up continuing his career, it will likely be in the special teams role that he filled for the Niners the last two years. Gooden had 13 tackles on special teams last year and played sparingly on defense.

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Ravens PR boss “pissed” at report team didn’t want Reed

Ed Reed’s a Texan now, largely because they offered to pay him more than the Ravens were willing to.

But his departure is still the subject of much discussion in Baltimore, and it’s getting a little testy.

We noted earlier in the week that columnist Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun said Ravens coach John Harbaugh “wanted Reed back as much as he wants a root canal.”

Now, the Ravens PR chief, while admitting you can’t win a war with someone who buys ink buy the barrel, has waded headlong into one.

In an article on the Ravens official website, senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne admits that he’s “pissed,” about the characterization that Harbaugh didn’t want the veteran safety back. His main point is that Preston characterized an opinion of his own as a fact stemming from the organization, a suggestion Byrne clearly disagrees with.

“You know what, Ed Reed deserves better,” Byrne wrote. “So does John Harbaugh. The line was inconsiderate, offensive and not the truth.

“I know this, if Harbs had read a line from the Houston Post that said: ‘Reed wanted to play for John Harbaugh as much as he wants a root canal,’ John would be hurt – and surprised. He would likely assume that Ed said that to some reporter. He would question if his friendship with Ed was a sham and that maybe he had been conned by the safety.”

Byrne’s reputation in the business is of being fair and even-handed, so the tone of his response is as surprising as the content.

And for a guy who counsels players and coaches not to get into firefights with reporters, he just napalmed the local columnist, which should make for an interesting relationship going forward with someone he has to work with regularly.

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Broncos See Willis McGahee as complementary back

The Denver Broncos consider RB Willis McGahee as a complementary running back at this point and believe he will be more productive if they reduce the number of carries he receives.

Fantasy Tip: It appears like McGahee will not be the main focus in the team's running attack next season and may become part of a running back by committee. He probably will not be an every-week starter but more will be known closer to training camp.

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Devin Hester is OK with solely being a returner

Bears coach Marc Trestman said recently at the NFL owners meetings that you'd have to ask Devin Hester how he feels about being solely a kick returner for this upcoming season.

On Sunday night, Hester declared on "The J Mack and Nate Vash Show" on WLS-AM (890) that he's OK with it and is looking forward to getting his "swagger" back.

"I'm fine with it," Hester said on the show, which is hosted by former Bears fullback Jason McKie (@Jmack37). "It was kind of my idea to let me more focus on my kickoff and punt return thing. ... It was more of my idea to do it."

Hester said he spoke to Trestman before heading back to Florida this offseason. It was then when it was agreed that Hester would focus on regaining his form on special teams.

"Me and coach Trestman talked before I went home for the break and we came up with the idea that I would just go back to being a key return man -- a punt return and kickoff return man -- and a little bit more special teams," Hester said. "That would be what I know as of now my role to be for the upcoming season."

Again, Hester is OK with that.

Hester admittedly had a very frustrating season in 2012. He struggled with his returns, failing to return a kickoff or punt for a touchdown, and saw his roles on offense diminish as the season went on.

Hester had 23 catches for 242 yards and a touchdown last season. He averaged 8.3 yards per punt return and 25.9 yards on kickoff returns.

"My door is not closed on the offensive side of the ball. I'm still open to it," Hester said on the radio show. "But as of right now, I know that I'm going here first into this season as the main kickoff return man. As of right now, that's my main focus -- to get my swagger back."

That's got to sound good to Bears fans.

Hester -- arguably the best kick returner ever -- said he's been working on regaining his explosion through his offseason training.

"That's where I fell short of the past couple years," Hester said.

As for all the changes the Bears have undergone, Hester said the feel around the locker room is "very different," especially with Brian Urlacher and Lovie Smith gone. But he likes what Trestman is doing.

Hester described Trestman as "more of a hands-on, player-type guy" and said he likes the changes he's made to the locker room, mixing offensive and defensive players.

"He's trying to stop the separation of guys hanging out with their position," Hester said. "Now the team, everybody is just hanging out with each other. ... That small little thing is kind of helping out a little bit. I can tell."

Hester, who has 18 return touchdowns in his career, did have a message for fans on "The J Mack and Nate Vash Show."

"Don't lose faith in me because I'm always full of surprises," he said.

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New Plano football coach, Brad Kunz, brings experience, humility

Brad Kunz may have lost the commemorative T-shirt and hat he had in hand that January evening in Pasadena, but he figures the tradeoff was worth it.

“Joaquin Gonzalez told me to get my helmet on and go in for him. He wanted to help carry coach (Larry) Coker off the field,” Kunz remembers.

A redshirt freshman from Carlyle, Ill. — population 3,600 — who walked onto the 2001 Miami University football team the previous year, Kunz dropped the souvenirs and did as he was told by the two-time All-American senior right tackle.

Time was winding down in the Rose Bowl and the Hurricanes were running out the clock in a 37-14 win over Nebraska that wrapped up the national championship.

“I got in for the last play of the game,” said Kunz, unable to find the shirt and hat in the celebratory mass of humanity afterward.

Who cares?

He still has his championship ring. It’s one memento Plano’s new head football coach — he was named to succeed Jim Green in late February — wears sparingly.

“One of the first things everybody asks me is about the ring,” said Kunz, who served as an assistant at Plano the past three years. “I’ve worn it a couple times on the sidelines for good luck, but then we lost once while I was wearing it. I haven’t worn it (during a game) since.”

Those 2001 Hurricanes, undoubtedly among the best college football teams ever, eventually produced 17 first-round NFL draft choices. The 6-foot-7, 300-plus pound Kunz was not one of them, but that kneel down by QB Ken Dorsey — while somewhat Rudy-esque — did not define his playing career.

“I mostly played special teams, field goal protection for the next three years,” said Kunz, who played in the national title game the next year, too, when the ’Canes were upset by Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.

“My junior year I was the sixth man (in the O-line rotation), the first sub. I could play all five positions but that hurt me, being a jack of all trades and not a master of any.”

It continued his senior year.

“There were a couple younger guys who are currently NFL All-Pros, so they wanted to get them in,” Kunz said. “I was told, ‘You guys are about the same but this is gonna benefit the program a lot more to have them in there than to have you in there.’

“At the time, I didn’t understand it. Now I do. As a college coach, you recruit and you make promises and you have to live up to those. And since I was a walk-on …”

Maybe he should have known, having seen the picture before. Kunz, whose older brother by 12 years, Phil, played basketball for Illinois in 1987-88, thought he would end up in Champaign. Ron Turner’s staff recruited him but never offered.

“They just signed guys they didn’t think they were going to get,” he said. “Miami called and said they had an academic scholarship that would pay for most of my school until I earned a football scholarship and that’s what happened. Fortunately I had the grades.”

He dislocated a knee during pre-draft workouts following his senior season that likely cost him a chance at signing as an undrafted free agent, but Kunz did play professionally for three years in the Arena Football League and, briefly, the Canadian Football League, before beginning his teaching and coaching career.

Kunz earned his degree with a double major in history and English at Miami and completed his student-teaching requirements at SIU Edwardsville when he played in the AFL.

He and his wife Melanie (Ukovich), who grew up in Minooka and played volleyball at Purdue, haven’t started a family yet but he looks forward to being on the same schedule as his kids.

“I figured out I wanted to coach while I was in college and my mom taught second grade and I always enjoyed the fact we had the same schedule when we had vacations,” he said.

While he’s been influenced by some big-name coaches — three from the 2001 staff are now NFL head coaches, Chuck Pagano (Arizona), Rob Chudzinski (Cleveland) and Greg Schiano (Tampa Bay) — Kunz said his work with Green has been just as helpful.

Don’t look for the new coach to big-time anyone.

“When I got the (Plano) job, the first email I got was from (Aurora Christian coach) Don Beebe. And for me, that was really cool,” said Kunz.

“I’m a younger coach. Growing up, I used to be the Buffalo Bills on (Nintendo’s) Tecmo Bowl, playing the video game. I’d always throw the ball to Don Beebe. The minute I got that email I had to call my brother and say, ‘You’re not gonna believe this.’ He was pretty excited, too.”

Kunz was an assistant in his hometown for four years before coming to Plano, where he’s directed the program’s summer weight program for Green as well as coaching track and assisting with girls basketball.

“(Green) has been great to work for and I really value our friendship. Seeing how a head coach carries himself, we joke and say he’s the mayor because he is so personable and talks to everybody. I’ve learned a lot from him,” said Kunz, who hopes to teach and coach in Plano for a long time

“We’ve made the playoffs seven of the past eight years after a 25-year drought, so to have that responsibility of having something good moving forward, that’s what I wanted to take on. Especially with the great kids we have here, I’m excited about working with them.

And what will become of the Reapers’ run-oriented wing-T offense?

Time will tell.

“Over the last three years I’ve grown to love what we do,” said Kunz, who has coached the varsity line as well as serving as freshman offensive coordinator one year, then the same capacity for JV for two.

“I don’t necessarily want to change a lot of things, especially for the guys that have been here. We’ve come up together and they’ve been running this offense since they were in PYTF (Plano Youth Tackle Football), but I am looking to evolve it a little bit.”

He expects to have his staff finalized soon.

“Eventually, down the road, I’d like to be able to throw (the ball) a little more, although I do understand the philosophy of running it mostly. That’s what we did in high school,” he said, but nodded that, yes, it is possible to throw out of the wing-T.

“You have to have a good quarterback and the right people in the right place. It’s a matter of adapting to who you get. It’s not like we can go out and recruit anybody to fit our style. We have to fit our style to who we have.”

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DeQuan Jones impresses in loss to the Spurs

CHICAGO — Rookie DeQuan Jones played one of his better games this season in the Orlando Magic's 98-84 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.

Jones scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting off the bench.

In one sequence, Jones intercepted an errant Spurs pass, drove the length of the floor and made a finger-roll layup as he was fouled by Gary Neal. The bucket and the ensuing free throw cut San Antonio's lead to 17-16 with 4:00 left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Jones finished off a Magic fastbreak with a right-handed dunk that elicited a few gasps from Spurs fans inside AT&T Center.

"Coach came in and said that the teams that come in here and are successful and give themselves a chance are most times the aggressors," Jones said.

Jones is at his best in space and when he attacks the rim, but he also is showing some improvement on his jump shot.

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Ryan Braun getting better, but still hurting

Ryan Braun is out of the Milwaukee Brewers' lineup for the third consecutive game today as he continues to deal with neck spasms.

Manager Ron Roenicke seemingly left the door open for a possible pinch-hitting appearance today if Braun's neck stays loose and the situation calls for it, and Braun is definitely anxious to get back onto the field in some form.

"As soon as I’m able to get to a point where I have a chance to contribute and play, I’ll be playing," Braun said. "It’s a little bit better today than it was yesterday, which is a good thing.

"I feel like I’ve been out a week and it’s been less than 48 hours since I did it. So hopefully it gets better sooner rather than later."

There's never a good time for an all-star caliber player like Braun to be injured, but at this point especially the Brewers really can't afford to be missing him.

They're off to a 1-4 start, cleaup hitter Aramis Ramirez just went on the disabled list with a sprained left knee and a six-game road trip to Chicago and St. Louis opens on Monday.

Without his No. 3 and 4 hitters, Roenicke has had to get creative the past few days with his lineup.

"Went through a few," Roenicke said, referring to lineup combinations.

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