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 Заголовок сообщения: BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles have a knack for winning
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Its been two years since the BC Lions hoisted the Grey Cup and Wally Buono handed the head coaching reigns to Mike Benevides. Since then the Lions have entered each season with one of the most talented rosters in the league before falling short of expectations. Two years is a short time to be sure, and its not like the Lions cant supply excuses for their shortcomings since 2011 – Travis Lulays shoulder injury last year – but in the ultra-competitive and impatient world of professional sports, the pressure is on. Bad teams feel pressure to be better; good teams feel pressure to be the best. And dont forget the added burden of a potential home field for the Grey Cup and the three-year streak of Grey Cup champs winning at home. The Lions were smart in acquiring veteran leader and “quarterback 1A” Kevin Glenn from the Ottawa Redblacks during the CFL Draft for the fifth-overall draft pick. The price was a little steep for a player few figured would actually end up with Ottawa for the upcoming season, but with Lulays shoulder still a talking point, Glenn provides quality insurance at the most important position. BC has opted for younger projects at QB behind Lulay the past couple years but the Glenn acquisition makes sense for a team that cant get derailed for even a short period of time, should Lulay miss games – for whatever ailment – this season. Especially with Thomas DeMarcos selection in the Expansion Draft, Glenn gives the Lions peace of mind at one of their most worrisome areas for 2014. Another solid move, adding to a position of strength, was the free agent signing of Jamall Johnson. Johnson returns to BC after five seasons in Hamilton, his last a down year after being asked to play in the middle, and joins a frightening linebacking corps that already includes Solomon Elimimian and Adam Bighill. BCs task in once again entering the year as one of the most talented teams on paper is replacing receiver Nick Moore and a number of large bodies on the offensive line. Not to diminish Moores impact, but the Lions receiving corps still has enough burners, and more importantly, added Canadian content, that Lulay – or Glenn – shouldnt feel frustrated for lack of quality targets. The line however, may have to rely on more youngsters than would be considered ideal. The good news is their young contingent on the offensive line is talented and the unit is still anchored by perhaps the best left tackle in the game in Jovan Olafioye. While theyve fallen short of the Grey Cup the past two years, the Lions still qualified for the postseason those years, and were just a win away from a return trip in 2012; so it feels strange to suggest the team enters the season under pressure to do more. That reality is part testament to how well the Lions organization is run, but as is the case with all good teams, being good only counts for so long; greatness sticks. Like the Argos and Riders before them, look for the Lions to go all out in 2014. Notes Parting Ways After a long tenure with the Lions as an offensive coach and coordinator, Jacques Chapdelaine left the Lions early in the off-season, the coach and team mutually agreeing to part ways. It was certainly a big shakeup on Benevides staff, getting rid of the offensive mainstay of 10 of the past 11 years. Up and coming offensive mind Khari Jones replaced Chapdelaine as well as taking on the QB coach role. Expansion Draft The Lions search for a backup quarterback began anew after the Ottawa Redblacks selected Thomas DeMarco, who gained solid experience filling in for an injured Travis Lulay In 2013, in the first round of the Expansion Draft. BC also lost guard Matt Albright and DT Andrew Marshall to the Redblacks. Free Agency With the least amount of players to hit the free market, the Lions were one of the least active teams during the free agency period. They did lose promising receiver Nick Moore to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers however, but made a splash on the other side of the ball when they brought back linebacker Jamall Johnson, who last played for the Lions in 2008, from Hamilton. Retirements The Lions offensive line took a number of big hits this off-season with the retirements of three big pieces. Veteran centre Angus Reid was the first to announce his retirement. The 13-year veteran was a three-time West Division All-Star and one-time league All-Star. Not long after tackle Ben Archibald retired. The two-time All-Canadian spent the past three seasons in BC. Then late in the off-season Patrick Kabongo joined the two in retirement. The nine-year vet was a one-time West Division All-Star. CFL Draft The Lions traded out of the first round in order to solidify their backup quarterback situation by grabbing Kevin Glenn from the Redblacks for the fifth-overall pick. The team had two picks in the second round, grabbing OL Tchissakid Player from Northwestern State and FB Pascal Lochard from Laval. With their final five selections the Lions took LB Casey Chin from Simon Fraser in the third round, DL David Menard from Montreal in the fourth round, WR Alexander Fox from Bishops in the fifth round, DL Dylan Roper from Simon Fraser in the sixth round, and RB Guillaume Bourassa from Laval in the seventh round. Khalif Mitchell Returns One of the most enigmatic players in the league the past few seasons made his return to BC late in the off-season after a year with the Toronto Argonauts. Khalif Mitchells talent and impact at his DT position are unquestionable, but his return to the Lions was surprising after Mitchell seemingly burned a lot of bridges on his way out of BC a year ago. Lions GM Wally Buono has said all the right things about Mitchells return so far, noting the player has matured over the years. Custom San Jose Sharks Jerseys . Neither player was available Saturday for the Knicks 107-98 loss in Atlanta. "Were going in a different direction and weve got to figure out another spot or two for our ballclub," coach Mike Woodson said before the game. San Jose Sharks Jerseys . Patrick Deslisle-Houde and David Rose each scored in the second to give the fourth-seeded Redmen a 3-1 lead after Jean-Philippe Mathieu scored in the first. http://www.sharkssale.com/authentic-joe ... ersey/.The Los Angeles Lakers star passed Michael Jordan for third on the NBAs career scoring list Sunday night in a 100-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Erik Karlsson Jersey . Every once in awhile, it seems like life lets dreams become real - and that is a gift. Evander Kane Jersey . The 22-year-old Kreider was injured Friday night in New Yorks win at Columbus, but played in the next two games -- including Monday nights win over Phoenix. But the left winger, who has 17 goals and 37 points this season, was limited to about 10 minutes of ice time in each of the previous games.Five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson denied any wrongdoing the Chase field-deciding race at Richmond International Raceway over the weekend that has been marred by controversy. Johnson defended himself one day after fellow driver Clint Bowyer said his spinout at Richmond was no different than when a Johnson mishap brought out a caution earlier in the race. "Clint brought it up from what Ive been able to see and read," Johnson said Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I think he was just having a bad day. And as things kept piling on, he just tried to suck someone else into the mix with him." Bowyers spin ended Ryan Newmans bid to win the race and make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field and instead helped Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. land a berth. NASCAR, however, determined that MWR had manipulated the race and replaced Truex with Newman in addition to punishing MWR. The implication by Bowyer was that Johnson spun intentionally with 55 laps remaining to assist the Chase chances of Jeff Gordon, Johnsons teammate at Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson blamed a flat tire for his caution and pointed out correctly that Gordon already was on pit road when it occurred. "If anyone has any questions, just go back and look at the race and youll see that our tire blowing was bad for the 24 (of driver Jeff Gordon), bad for the 5 (of driver Kasey Kahne, another Hendrick teammate) -- bad for a lot of guys who were coming to pit road," Johnson said. "The only silver lining for the 24 was that he was preserved on pit road, and was able to get the Lucky Dog (to get back on the lead lap). But even then, you have to start at the tail end (of the lead-lap cars). . There was no benefit." At Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Kyle Busch was asked what he thought of the scandal. "I say you do whatever youve got to do to get your team in," Busch said of the Chase. "If youre in that position, and you have multi-team cars, thats what theyre there for. Some peoplee say Im full of crap and youre not supposed to manipulate the end of the race.dddddddddddd Just let it play out as it plays out. Let the best man win. "But, I was in the same position last year. There were ways it could have been manipulated and I could have gotten myself in the Chase. But I didnt do it. And I missed the Chase." Johnson said NASCAR needs to use more officials and more technology resources, such as television replays and even in-car audio, to make better calls during the races. "In the overall issue of officiating, I think we need to expect things and when we get to the Chase time of the year -- and really we should have it all year -- but NASCAR should have people staffed up instead of downsizing," Johnson said. "Not only from the aspect of what were talking about right here, but also on restarts and a lot of other procedures that take place. "It is tough for the (officials in the scoring) tower to take care of it all. They need other people, qualified people, other resources and technology to make these decisions." Johnson said if there was any question that the race needed to be stopped. "If there is any question they need to stop the race immediately," Johnson said. "Red flag. Pits are closed. Figure it out and make the best judgment that they can -- because trying to go back on a Monday or a Tuesday to fix the situation, that is just too much. Ive learned something about the ripple effect." Johnson also said he was bewildered with NASCARs non-call on the final restart, when television replays showed eventual race winner Carl Edwards, running second at the time, clearly beat leader Paul Menard to the start-finish line in a move that Johnson said was almost identical to one he was penalized for earlier in the season, costing him a chance of a win at Dover. "Weve been working hard to eliminate grey areas and we need to continue down that road," Johnson added. "Im shocked there wasnt a call on it, plain and simple." 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