Posts Tagged ‘Praise’

Barry Trotz was named head coach of the New York Islanders on Thursday, two weeks after helping the Washington Capitals win the team’s first Stanley Cup.

“Barry brings to the New York Islanders franchise a tremendous amount of knowledge, experience, and success,” Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a release. “He is and has been one of the top coaches in the National Hockey League. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with him.”

The deal is believed to be for five years with an annual average of at least $4 million, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. In terms of annual earnings, that would put Trotz just below Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien, who reportedly makes $5 million, and above the Edmonton Oilers‘ Todd McLellan, who reportedly makes $3 million, according to Cap Friendly.

Trotz resigned from his position with the Capitals on Monday after the two sides failed to come to terms on a contract extension. His signing with the Islanders means Washington is the only team officially without a head coach.

He’s coming off his fourth year with the Capitals, in which they collected a third straight Metropolitan Division title and the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

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Johnny Manziel has made a very positive first impression on June Jones, head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised the last three weeks what a good teammate he is, how smart he is, how he sees the game,” Jones told David Newton of ESPN. “He should be playing in the National Football League and I believe he will when he gets through with us.”

Manziel reignited his career in May by signing a two-year contract with the Tiger-Cats after spending the last couple of years addressing his well-documented issues off the gridiron.

The former Heisman Trophy winner and Cleveland Browns first-round pick impressed in the preseason, but served as the backup quarterback for Jeremiah Masoli in Hamilton’s opening contest of the regular season.

“It’ll take two years,” Jones said of Manziel’s desired return to the NFL. “They’re (NFL executives, coaches) waiting to see that he’s taken care of his off-the-field problems.”

Jones also described Manziel as “humble,” and added that “he’s growing up every day.”

The 25-year-old Manziel is expected to be Masoli’s backup again Friday when the 0-1 Tiger-Cats take on the Edmonton Eskimos.

True to his confident form, Josh Gordon said Tuesday that the Cleveland Browns have “the best receiving corps in the NFL.”

“Just based off of talent alone,” he told reporters at Browns minicamp, including Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “… That’s just my opinion, but (we’re) not short on talent at the wide receiver position at all.”

Gordon, who returned to the field last year for the first time since 2014 after overcoming off-field issues, is set to lead a receiving group that also features three-time Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry and 2016 first-round pick Corey Coleman.

Landry was acquired in a trade with the Miami Dolphins, and his production in short-yardage situations could nicely complement Gordon’s ability to stretch the field.

“He ain’t lying,” Landry said, when asked about Gordon’s assessment, per Zac Jackson of The Athletic.

Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013, the last season when he played more than five games, and Landry recorded an NFL-best 112 catches in 2017.

Recently on The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin shared his thoughts on wrestling in Canada and working a match against Chris Benoit in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on the May 31, 2001 edition of WWE SmackDown. Austin went on to discuss his relationship with Benoit.

According to Austin, he always enjoyed working in Canada, as the people and crowds were “great”. With that said, Austin did not enjoy crossing the border into ‘The Great White North’.

“I always dug Canada. Like I said, it’s a great wrestling place. The biggest problem was crossing over the border and Canada is very strict at the border and they should be. And they go through everything. They makes sure that the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed. And when the boys start coming through, due to the fact that a lot of times back in the 80s, early 80s, probably 70s, guys were carrying a lot of stuff over there. There were always stories of The Iron Sheik and how he’d have weed on him or something like that with him and he’d put it in someone else’s bag. The precedent had already been set. A lot of times, guys came through and they’d be carrying some stuff. There was this, that, and the other. You can probably guess what it might have been.

“But that was one of the biggest pains in the ass about going to Canada because you knew you’d get pulled over and you’re going to sit in a room for an hour, two, or three. They were going to go through all of your stuff and shake everything out. And 99 times out of 100, they didn’t have s–t, but every here and there, someone would have something. That’s why they always kept checking the boys when they came into the country, so great on Customs part – they did a very thorough job. But when you’re one of the guys and you’re just passing through there, and you’ve got nothing in your bag, and you get pulled over, that’s a pain in the ass because you’re always on a schedule, trying to hit the gym, you’re trying to hit a tanning bed, you’re trying for something to eat. You might check into your hotel room. It might be one of those deals where you go straight to the building and you’ve got a long road trip after that. But that was always a pain in the ass when you had to go pass through Customs on the way there.” Austin added, “coming and going across the border was a pain in the ass. Getting the directions in French was not fun. The crowds were always great.”

During the podcast, Austin recalled working a great match with Benoit on SmackDown in Edmonton. Apparently, Austin told Benoit to disregard the go-home cue and he would take the heat for it, as ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ was left underwhelmed by the match the two had the night prior on RAW.

“I had a great match with Chris Benoit in Edmonton one night and I believe it was on the SmackDown show.” Austin continued, “and we had worked the previous night on RAW and they only gave us a certain amount of minutes and I wasn’t very happy with that match because we didn’t have enough time to build a proper story. I’ll never forget when we rolled into Edmonton that night. It was SmackDown and we were going to work together again. And I told Chris before we went out there, I said, ‘dude,’ I said, ‘I don’t care how much time they give us – we’re going to go home when it’s time to go home. And it’s all on me. I’ll take the heat, so if they give us the go home cue, disregard it.’ And we really ripped it up that night.”

In that match with Benoit, Austin took 10 punishing German suplexes in a row. Austin revealed that the spot was Austin’s idea. While ‘The Global Icon And National Treasure’ indicated that he was not in any pain from the suplexes in light of his neck surgery, Benoit targeting Austin’s perceived injured neck made sense for the story of the match.

“I said, ‘hey man, we’re going to go as long as we need to go’ and it was Chris’s hometown, I believe. I think it was Edmonton. We had worked the night before. [We] didn’t have the match I wanted to have because I knew how much Chris could go and I respected him. And so, I said, ‘hey man, I don’t see you making a traditional comeback on me. I see this being something where you just grab me from behind and let’s go 10 German suplexes, 10 in a row, because I just don’t see a regular comeback. I see 10 German suplexes and here comes Vince [McMahon] coming down and I barely escape with the belt.’ And Chris thought about that for a minute and he goes, ‘I like that.’ And so, that’s what we went out and did. So it wasn’t in the moment. It was something that I called, I planned, I ran across Chris, and he dug it. And we did it.” Austin added, “I called the suplexes and I wasn’t in any pain. And the pain in referring to is because I was returning from my neck fusion and I’d figured all the bumps that I had taken leading up to that match that I would be fine taking those bumps. And it would be a great ploy, a great strategy, for Chris to use to focus on my weakness, or perceived weakness, which could be construed as my neck because of the fusion, because of the surgery. And I was working heel at the time, so he’s giving it back to me and then some. So it made sense for that in his comeback.”

Austin claimed that one of the highest complements he ever received during his storied pro wrestling career was from Benoit after that SmackDown match telling Austin that Austin got him over that night. Austin revealed that the Chris Benoit he knew was a great worker and a cool guy.

“I’ll never forget after that match, I’ve said it on the podcast before, it was one of the highest complements I’d ever been paid by an opponent.” Austin remembered, “we always shake hands after the matches. And, man, that was Chris’s hometown, man. And we got off the headbutt off the top turnbuckle, me throwing the belt up, him getting a little bit of color from that accidentally. It was a real solid match. And he goes, ‘man, thanks.’ He goes, ‘you really got me over’ and he got it. He knew what I was trying to do and it was my job to do was to get him over. He was already over to a degree, but I got him more over than he was after the match than he was before the match, and he recognized that. And he told me that and I’ll never forget that complement. And I wish things hadn’t gone the way they had for Chris as far as down the road, but, man, the Chris Benoit that I knew was a badass worker, great dude, cool as hell, and so I remember that match vividly. Out of all the things I’ve forgotten, I remember that match.”

The Washington Redskins‘ offense made a significant change in the 2018 offseason, trading for quarterback Alex Smith after the club determined it wouldn’t retain Kirk Cousins as a free agent.

As mandatory minicamps begin, head coach Jay Gruden sounds like a fan of the move. He praised Smith for his football IQ on Tuesday, calling his new signal-caller “the smartest guy I have ever been around, without a doubt,” according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

Despite his kind words, Gruden warned that Smith needs to get familiar with his offense quickly.

“He has got to get (the offense) down by the first game,” Gruden told reporters, according to Florio. “So I think he is already close to having it down for the most part. Each game plan is going to change with different concepts depending on who we play from time to time. But he needs to get it down and he will get it down. That’s why we got him here. …

“We are not in here to build the team around him. The team is built and he has to lead it, like, right now. This isn’t a two- or three-year process. This is a one-year process and we have got to win right away.”

Washington finished 7-9 in 2017, and has surpassed nine wins just once over the last 12 seasons.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has already made quite the impression on the quarterback with whom the team hopes he’ll be teaming up for many years to come.

“I’ve never seen anybody like him,” rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield said Tuesday, according to ClevelandBrowns.com’s Andrew Gribble.

Gordon returned to the Browns in 2017 after last playing a regular-season game in Week 16 of the 2014 season.

He recorded just 18 receptions on 42 targets for 335 yards and one touchdown in five contests last year, a far cry from the 87-catch, 1,646-yard, nine-touchdown performance that earned him Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in his sophomore season in 2013.

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Paige has slotted nicely into her role as SmackDown General Manager since her unveiling in April, with her portrayal as a fair, balanced authority figure making her a great successor for Daniel Bryan.

Her work has drawn largely positive reactions from WWE audiences, and according to PWInsider’s Mike Johnson, WWE are just as enamoured with the 25-year-old.

As per Johnson on a recent episode of Elite Audio, the company are “extremely happy” with Paige’s position on SmackDown, and want to utilise her even more in the build-up to the biographical Fighting With My Family film, which releases in March 2019.

Paige will likely receive a lot more screentime as a means of promoting the film, but she definitely won’t be wrestling any time soon. As was revealed a few weeks ago, if the former Divas Champion is ever cleared to compete again, it won’t be for another 15-20 years.

Having hurt her surgically repaired neck at a December 2017 house show, Paige didn’t formally announce her retirement until the night after WrestleMania 34. It was a devastating blow, particularly as it came so soon after her return from a 17-month absence, but the company have done right by repositioning her on SmackDown.