Posts Tagged ‘Criticism’

Mike McCarthy

Greg Jennings thinks he knows why the Green Bay Packers have only one Super Bowl win with Aaron Rodgers under center: defense and coaching.

The former Packers wideout was a guest on FOX Sports’ “Undisputed” on Wednesday and tried to explain Green Bay’s failure to return to the Super Bowl since the 2010 season.

“We always hear defense wins championships. They have a lack of defense. They haven’t been able to put up the stops. The offense has put up the numbers, they haven’t been able to stop anybody from putting up the numbers,” Jennings said.

The season after the Packers won Super Bowl XLV, the team went 15-1, yet lost to the New York Giants in a home divisional-round game. Jennings referred to a Hail Mary touchdown by the Giants in that game to reinforce his point. That year, the Pack ranked first in offensive points and dead last in total defense.

Jennings didn’t stop there, also arguing that head coach Mike McCarthy often got in the team’s way with an overly conservative approach.

“I’m just going to flat-out say it: If we had a lead, our issue wasn’t the defense, our issue was Mike McCarthy,” Jennings said. “He would cuff us. … When you watch New England play, when they have a lead, they go for your throat, they don’t relax. … They have a great quarterback, they have arguably the best quarterback in football, but they have – no doubt about it – the best head coach in football.”

It isn’t the first time Jennings has critiqued his former team. He left Green Bay for Minnesota in 2013, and made plenty of remarks afterward about Rodgers and his time with the Packers.

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Joe Montana doesn’t seem bothered by Colin Kaepernick‘s inability to land a new NFL contract. In fact, it makes perfect sense to him.

While some claim Kaepernick’s acts of protest have led to his unemployment, the Hall of Famer believes his fellow former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s playing style doesn’t jell with the NFL’s current state.

“That style of quarterback, everybody thought was going to take over the NFL,” Montana told For The Win’s Charles Curtis on Tuesday, referring to Kaepernick’s tendency to play outside the pocket. “You look at guys who had success in college, that only had success one year. Usually those guys, the next year, it’s very difficult on them.”

Kaepernick looked like he was on his way to becoming a star when he broke through as a starter in 2012 and 2013, using his legs as his primary weapon, but struggled in the following three seasons.

“The league has figured out how to defend it,” said Montana. “If I’m playing defense, I want the quarterback to run so I can hit him. In the pocket, you can’t really hit him. So you look at Tim Tebow – he’s a great guy, does a lot of great things. But when you complete 40-something percent of your passes, even in the low 50s, you’re not going to make it.”

Kaepernick’s completion percentage has never dipped below 58.4 percent over a season in his six seasons, though his career high is only 62.4 percent.

Montana admits he has some admiration for Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem, but he understands how those demonstrations could affect the quarterback’s job prospects as well.

“I’m sure there are some distraction issues,” Montana said. “When we were playing with Bill Walsh, if you were a distraction, he didn’t care how good you were, if you didn’t mix in with the team, you weren’t there very long.”

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It appears Bryce Harper isn’t fond of the fans in Atlanta and at Citi Field in New York, which could single out the Braves and Mets as destinations the Washington Nationals slugger may avoid when he becomes a free agent after the 2018 season.

On Monday, when asked about his upcoming free agency, Harper made a point of mentioning how rude Braves and Mets fans can be with some poignant remarks.

“Mets fans are kind of rude. Braves fans are kind of rude. Phillies fans … not as bad,” Harper said, according to Randy Miller of NJ.com.

“Those are the (places) you hear the most about family members and things like that where you want to turn around and punch somebody in the mouth because of those reasons.”

Even though the remarks appear to irritate the 2015 National League MVP, he attempts to let the rude comments slide off of him so he can focus on helping the Nationals in their pursuit of a division title.

“You control what you hear and what you don’t hear,” Harper said. “It’s like a little room and you try to put your furniture here. I want this chair here. I want this clock up on the wall. I want to listen to this type of music. So you try to do the best you can to not really listen to it. … I just try lock it in that day as best I can.”

Harper will hit third for the NL at Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Miami after a great first half where he slashed .325/.431/.590 with 20 home runs and 65 RBIs.

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Yet another former NBA player is questioning Jimmy Butler‘s leadership with the Chicago Bulls.

After the Bulls traded away their best player to the Minnesota Timberwolves, retired hooper Antoine Walker called Butler a “young-guy killer” and a “bad locker room guy,” citing outbursts directed at coaches and teammates.

Bulls legend Scottie Pippen joined in the chorus Thursday, indicating that Butler didn’t act the way a franchise player should.

“I don’t think he handled it right from a leadership standpoint of what it takes to be a superstar,” the Hall of Famer said on ESPN’s “The Jump.”

Asked to elaborate, Pippen said, “Well, it’s just a lot of locker room talk that Jimmy was disrespecting the head coach, disrespecting the assistant coach. Just wasn’t showing the type of leadership that you’d expect from your best player.”

Pippen did say he feels good about Butler going to Minny, where he’ll reunite with coach Tom Thibodeau and hopefully get back on track.

Possible behind-the-scenes discord aside, Butler is coming off a career year in which he got his first All-Star start and All-NBA nod. The 2015 MIP recorded 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game and carried Chicago to the playoffs.

He also gave out his personal phone number at Thursday’s introductory press conference and instructed haters to call him.

Give him a ring, Pip.

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D’Angelo Russell was introduced to New York media Monday as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, and sounded like he’s ready for a fresh start after two tumultuous seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I’m just excited to be here,” Russell said, according to the New York Times’ Malika Andrews, before acknowledging Lakers team president Magic Johnson’s thinly-veiled shot at him on the way out of L.A.

“It’s the past, so it’s irrelevant, honestly.”

Following last week’s trade of Russell and Timofey Mozgov for Brook Lopez, Johnson told reporters that he needed “a leader” and someone “that players want to play with.”

Russell, 21, is unquestionably a major talent. Yet he hasn’t helped himself in terms of team chemistry with stunts like secretly videotaping former teammate Nick Young. He said Monday his focus is simply to get out and play.

“Me proving anybody wrong is not my focus,” Russell said, according to Basketball Insiders’ Michael Scotto. “That’s another thing that’s not really relevant to me … I’m excited. Like I said, once I heard the trade happened I was surprised. I didn’t look at it as a negative, I looked at it as a celebration and I can’t wait to get in the gym with these guys and just learn from them.”

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The Los Angeles Lakers have their point guard of the future after selecting UCLA product Lonzo Ball in Thursday’s NBA draft – a move that made D’Angelo Russell expendable days prior.

While introducing Ball to the media, Lakers president Magic Johnson thanked Russell for his two years with the organization, but acknowledged that he wasn’t the right guy to lead the team.

“I’m going to do what it takes to get the right players in here with the right mindset. D’Angelo (Russell) is an excellent player. He has the talent to be an All-Star. We want to thank him for what he did for us,” Johnson said Friday, according to the Los Angeles Daily News’ Mark Medina. “But what I needed was a leader. I needed somebody that also can make the other players better and also (somebody) that players want to play with.”

Russell, along with the $54 million remaining on Timofey Mozgov‘s contract, were sent to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick, which was used on Utah’s Kyle Kuzma.

During his short tenure with the Lakers, Russell’s character and maturity were brought into question on multiple occasions, including an incident in which he secretly recorded Nick Young confessing to cheating on his now ex-fiancee, musician Iggy Azalea.

Russell was essentially a shooting guard masquerading as a point guard, anyway, with Ball’s skills more suited to running an offense and promoting ball movement.

“He (Ball) gives you a scoring pass. That’s the key. Not just a pass. One that you can score. All our players are gonna be excited,” added Johnson, according to Mike Trudell‏ of Lakers.com.

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Yasiel Puig‘s antics are apparently still rubbing his own clubhouse the wrong way.

Though Puig appears to have reinvented himself at the plate this season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, many of his teammates reportedly wouldn’t be disappointed if the 26-year-old was traded at some point, as they still view him as an “annoyance,” reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Despite those frustrations, the club isn’t willing to trade the slugger for anything less than full value, Rosenthal adds.

Puig’s on-field shenanigans have seen his name pop up in headlines in recent weeks for reasons unrelated to his offensive production. On June 14, the slugger was caught flipping off a heckling Cleveland Indians fans after hitting a home run at Progressive Field, earning himself a one-game suspension that he’s yet to serve. One week later, Puig drew the ire of the New York Mets when he admired his three-run homer before jawing with Wilmer Flores as he rounded first base.

Puig has reportedly irked his own teammates in the past, too. In 2015, Andy Van Slyke, the father of Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke, said on the radio that the team’s highest-paid player – which would have been Clayton Kershaw – had told team president Andrew Friedman to trade away Puig. Friedman, however, denied Kershaw had made the controversial request.

After a 2016 season in which Puig slashed .263/.323/.416 with 11 home runs and was sent to Triple-A – reportedly for his behavior – he seems to have turned it around in 2017. Though his .247/.329/.457 slash line is a marginal upgrade, his 14 home runs rank second on the Dodgers behind only rookie phenom Cody Bellinger.