Posts Tagged ‘Head Coach’

Mike Babcock is a passionate coach, and a pretty straightforward, stern individual. However, when his Toronto Maple Leafs won the 2016 draft lottery for the rights to select Auston Matthews first overall, his emotions got the best of him.

“Well, we got Auston,” Babcock told TSN’s Kristen Shilton while discussing the team’s progress over the last few seasons. “But what if we (didn’t)? I remember when we got to three (in the draft lottery), I was jumping up in the living room. When we got to one, tears. People don’t understand. You need real players.”

Most Leafs fans can probably relate to Babcock’s reaction.

On Day 1, Matthews showed he was the real deal by scoring four goals in his first game. Through his first 128 NHL games, he’s now collected 65 goals and 112 points.


Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson wants his team to keep the momentum rolling after winning the franchise’s first Super Bowl.

Speaking at a Wednesday press conference, Pederson shared what he said to his players in order to motivate them to continue their success.

“I told them: ‘Get used to this. This is the new norm in Philadelphia. Playing and hopefully playing into February every year. It’s the new norm, so get used to it,'” Pederson said, according to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk.

Super Bowl LIII, a date Pederson and his charges whope to have on their calendar, is set for Atlanta on Feb. 3, 2019.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to keep the “Killer B’s” together for a while longer.

Team president Art Rooney II told reporters Wednesday that the Steelers will try to extend quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s contract and sign star running back Le’Veon Bell to a new long-term deal this offseason, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Instead of once again flirting with retirement following the 2017 season, Roethlisberger ensured he would be back for at least one more year. The 35-year-old has two years remaining on his deal, and Rooney said the Steelers aren’t in a rush to get a new deal done.

Bell played the 2017 season under the franchise tag. Rooney is leaving the door open to use the franchise tag on his star rusher again, though he said the Steelers have the “next several weeks” to reach an agreement with the first-team All-Pro running back. They have until March 6 to decide whether they need the franchise tag, which would cost approximately $14.5 million for 2018.

There has been some doubt over whether the Steelers want to invest long term in Bell after the 25-year-old skipped training camp last summer in hopes of a new deal and then reportedly missed most of the team’s walkthrough before losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs. Bell has also said he would consider sitting out the season or retiring if the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him again.

Along with making it clear he wants to keep his trio of offensive stars together, Rooney squashed any notion the team is looking to get rid of Mike Tomlin, as he considers the head coach to have one of the best track records in the league.

The biggest question facing incoming New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is whether Eli Manning will remain the team’s starting quarterback, as he’s been for the past 13 seasons.

The former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator appeared to give Manning a vote of confidence in his introductory press conference, saying he believes the 37-year-old pivot has “years left.”

“He’s an outstanding player and I can’t wait to get to work with him,” Shurmur said, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

The Giants ownership and new general manager Dave Gettleman have also stated their desire to keep the veteran quarterback, though Gettleman admitted New York – which owns the No. 2 overall pick – may still draft a quarterback.

As for Manning himself, he said the Giants are “the only team I ever wanted to play for and I don’t want to change” in late December – and it seems he’ll get his wish based on Shurmur’s comments.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is well aware of new head coach Jon Gruden’s intensity, and he’s ready to embrace it.

“I want him to be tough on me,” Carr said, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. “For anyone who thinks I want him to be a different way has no clue about me or how I play football or how I prepare to play this game. I don’t need to tell stories about how I prepare or manage myself.”

Carr was recently selected for this third straight Pro Bowl as a replacement for Super Bowl-bound Tom Brady. The honor comes on the heels of one of his worst statistical seasons, as he completed just 62.7 percent of his pass attempts for 3,496 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions – all regressions from 2016.

Heading into his fifth season, he expects Gruden to bring out his best.

“He’s going to demand of me. He’s going to push me,” he said. “He’s going to make me be the best version of myself.”

Gruden spoke highly of Carr at his introductory press conference on Jan. 9, saying, according to 95.7 The Game: “He has a great arm talent, he’s athletic, he’s got natural leadership skills … he’s got a huge upside … very, very excited to have him as our quarterback.”

With the New York Islanders bitten by the injury bug, a promising young forward remains in the minors with something left to prove in the eyes of the organization.

That would be Joshua Ho-Sang, who sits in Bridgeport despite some holes in the NHL lineup, the biggest of which was created by an injury to Josh Bailey.

But Ho-Sang was recently a healthy scratch in the AHL, and Islanders’ head coach Doug Weight believes it would be sending the wrong message to immediately promote the highly-skilled forward to the team’s top line.

“It’s a crying shame (Ho-Sang’s) not playing with John Tavares when Bails goes down,” Weight said, per Arthur Staple of Newsday. “We had six guys out. It was a perfect opportunity. And Josh should be upset with himself.

“Whether our view of the world is wrong is something we can argue later. But the fact is, we need to be able to look at how some guys are laying it on the line (in Bridgeport) and he’s a healthy scratch. So, to go from that to the first lineup here, where is he learning from that? That’s a big, big part of this.”

Ho-Sang has appeared in 19 games for Bridgeport this season, scoring four goals and nine assists. In four games since being benched, he’s recorded one assist.

You can always trust Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr to say what’s on his mind. And, as usual, he didn’t hesitate to point the finger at the current U.S. administration.

Kerr was asked about how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would feel about the current climate in America. He responded by saying Dr. King would be “less than inspired by the leadership in our country,” according to Mark Medina of The Mercury News.

Several coaches have spoken out against the White House, pinpointing the controversy that constantly seeps out, igniting trouble on all sides. One of the causes has been use of social media, something Kerr sees as providing easy access to negative views.

“I do think social media has something to do with that,” Kerr said. “I really do. There’s so much anger on social media and there’s such a forum now for everybody to just display this anger without repercussion. Just sit behind your keyboard and tell everybody whatever vulgar and profane thing you want to say. You’re free from repercussion, and, yet, you’re sending this anger and vile out into the atmosphere. There’s a lot of that included in what’s happening right now. Then there are those that express that vile openly without thought or repercussion.”

Earlier this season, Warriors superstar Stephen Curry told reporters he would likely skip on visiting the White House, to which President Donald Trump took offense. Trump then tweeted his official withdrawal of the Warriors’ invitation, creating an uproar from NBA players and coaches angered by the gesture.