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Posts Tagged ‘Nate Ebner’

 

JFL Update, Week 3

Posted on: September 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

More news off the field than on, thanks to Trump’s recent screeds about lack of respect in sports, particularly, the NFL. Maybe this was an elaborate collaboration between the President and the NFL to boost sagging ratings, since so many would supposedly tune in to see what would happen? Yes? No?

It’s not the purview of this blog to deal with politics, but when they intrude on sports, that’s my opening. I think that 95 percent (at least) of the stuff that comes out of Trump’s whatever (to use one of his phrases) is BS designed to garner him the attention he evidently needs like plants need sunshine. Okay, that’s it for me…for now.

Anyway…

The Kansas City Chiefs improved to 3-0 following their 24-10 win over the host LA Chargers. Mitchell Schwartz was the starting right tackle and appeared on all 53 offensive plays plus another five (19 percent) on special teams. According to at least one source, however, Schwartz’s play was one of the disappointing factors in this one. On the other hand, there’s praise as well.

Image result for geoff schwartz espn radioAs for his brother, Geoff, who retired after last season, he the co-host of a football related talk show in Sirius Radio’s NFL Channel, #88, which can be heard every Saturday from 4-8 pm PST.  Geoff (photo at right) is also one of a group of co-hosts who rotate on ESPN Radio (espnradio.com), wrapping up the day’s NFL activities. And no, that doesn’t mean the spin in their chairs.

Ali Marpet played every snap (53) behind QB as the new center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) in their 34-17 loss to the host Minnesota Vikings. He was flagged for a five-yard, false start penalty.

Nate Ebner made his first appearance of the new season, contributing to a tackle for the New England Patriots (2-1) in their 36-31 win over the visiting Houston Texans.

COLLEGE

Not really a big college football guy. I went to a D-III school and unless you have some relationship with a school, why bother? But Josh Rosen, a junior QB for UCLA, seems to be something special, although there’s some controversy over just how good he is. UCLA is 2-2, with home wins over Texas A&M and Hawaii followed by consecutive road losses to Memphis (by just three points) and Stanford. Rosen ranks 29th in the country in Quarterback Ratings and is garnering at least some attention from NFL scouts.

According to the latest issue of Jewish Sports Review, in addition to Rosen, these are among the D-I players to watch:

  • QB Neven Sussman (Junior, Albany)
  • Offensive tackle Jordan Lewinsky (Senior, Drake)
  • Receiver Joe Fine (Senior, Bryant)
  • OT Zach Novoslesky, (Junior, West Michigan)
  • OL Kyle Ritz (Junior, Akron)
  • Center Jack Singer (Junior, UNLV)
  • Placekicker Morgan Ellman (Senior, New Hampshire)
  • Placekicker Oren Millstein (Sophomore, Columbia)
  • Placekicker Josh Pollack (Red shirt Junior, Arizona)
  • Placekicker Jack Soslow (Junior, Pennsylvania) So-slow? Not a great name for an athlete.
  • Punter Jordan Dascalo (Senior, Eastern Washington)
  • Punter Max Pedinoff (Senior, New Hampshire)

Good lucks, boys. Make us proud.

JFL Report, Week 2

Posted on: September 18th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Mitchell Schwartz played all 53 offensive downs plus another five (17 percent) on special teams as the KC Chiefs improved to 2-0 after beating the visiting Philadelphia Eagles, 27-20.

Ali Marpet lined up for all 71 offensive plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who beat the visiting Chicago Bears, 29-7, to gain their first victory.

Nate Ebner was not active for the New England Patriots (1-1) , who beat the host New Orleans Saints, 36-20.

And no, Tarik Cohen of the Bears is not Jewish. Just as the Chicago Tribune, who asked me.

 

JFL Report: Week 1

Posted on: September 12th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Are you ready for some football? I’m not. Every year I tell myself I’m really going to pay attention and bone up on the teams and players, and every year I just get older. Maybe this is finally the time. Some people complain that the football season is too long, opening the door for more injuries. Here’s an idea: Don’t start it until after the World Series. That way there’s no inter-sport competition. Of course, I also think the baseball season is too long and that post-season should never go past mid-October.

Schwartz and Alex Smith celebrate a touchdown against the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter. Photo by Christopher Evans/Boston Herald

The New England Patriots began their season on an uncharacteristic note: with a loss. They fell to the visiting KC Chiefs in a runaway on Thursday, Sept. 7, by a score of 42-27. Mitchell Schwartz played every down on offense (69) plus another six (16 percent) on special teams for the victors. Some football wonks believe the Chiefs are Super Bowl contendersNate Ebner was not active for New England due to a shoulder injury; he had been listed as questionable prior to the game. Team owner Robert Kraft announced the Kraft family will match up to $1 million in funds donated to the American Red Cross in support of the Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund.

Ali Marpet and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the mis-timing of being scheduled against the Dolphins in Miami. That game was postponed.

The new guys — Gabe Marks of the NY Jets and Adam Bisnowaty of the NY Giants — did not make the final cut for their respective teams. On the bright side, they were signed to each club’s practice squads. See here for an explanation of just what that can mean. Bisnowaty had originally been waived but the Giants apparently change their mind. Not so lucky: quarterback Michael Bercovici, who was cut by the Los Angeles Chargers.

And no, Tarik Cohen of the Chicago Bears is not Jewish. Then again, neither is Julian Edelman (at least not according to the Jewish Sports Review), but some of us keep “claiming” him as such.

So that’s it, as far as Jewish NFLers go to this point. No Taylor Mays, no Erik Lorig, and, of course, no Geoff Schwartz. A shande. Especially since all the active MOTs are not in the marquee positions, so they won’t have much written about them unless something fantastic or tragic happens. Maybe Marks and Bisnowaty will get the call at some point.

Catching up

Posted on: July 5th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

As you no doubt know, there has been a marked drop-off in posts here in the past few months as I looked for a job. Finally got one, which also impacted the time I have for blogging. I won’t go into details now, but suffice it to say it’s not a normal nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday schedule. I could be working 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on day and 4 to midnight the next. Basically all I have time for is the Jewish Major Leaguer updates but I hope to get a handle on all this soon.

Actually let’s start now with a bit of catching up.

Probably the biggest news of the off-seasons is that the NJ Devils parted ways with Michael Cammalleri, who holds the record among Jewish NHLers in terms of points scored. The 35-year old left-winger made his debut in 2002 with the Los Angeles Kings so it’s fitting that he has rejoined them for what might be his last hurrah, signing a one year-$1 million contract. In between, Cams has played for the Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Flames again, and Devils. In 890 regular season contests, he has 287 goals and 326 assists for 613 total points, so that 600 plus a bar mitzvah.

Right to PlayIn other hockey news, Zach Hyman kept himself busy with author appearances for his kids’ books, The Bambino and Me and Hockey Hero. The center is entering his third season with the Toronto Maple Leafs; perhaps, as he is a restricted free agent.

Jason Zucker, the Minnesota Wild’s star forward, co-hosted the ninth annual Champions for Children Celebrity Golf Classic with Vikings’ tight end Kyle Rudolph late last month.

Let’s just keep going, shall we?

In the NFL, Nate Ebner got this season review on the New England Patriots website. he’s still getting mileage for his rugby performance at the last Olympics. The Pats Pulpit portion of the SB Nation family deemed him the best tackle on special teams last year (although they might be a wee bit biased). A similar portion of SBN that focuses on the Arizona Sun Devils posted this article about former QB Mike Bercovici, now a member of the LA Chargers (wow, does that sound strange). The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expecting a bigger role from newly-designated center Ari Marpet, but Adam Bisnowaty isn’t getting that kind of love from the NY Giants as he prepares for his first camp.

Over on the hard court, Omri Casspi gets his big break? He signed with the world championship Golden State Warriors for what Ha’aretz, one of the leading newspapers in Israel, described as “only a modest $2.1 million.” Wish I could be so modest. Casspi split time between three teams last year, so four clubs in two seasons has to be some kind of record, at least for Jewish players.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Gal Mekel‘s “career has been on a downward spiral since he was cut by the Dallas Mavericks.” He was recently dismissed by Maccabi Tel Aviv.

I think that about gets us caught up on the recent older news. I’ll be posting about the Maccabiah Games, of course, and whatever is going on in Wimbledon in the days ahead. Stay tuned.
 

Are you ready for some football? (I’m not)

Posted on: March 20th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

When did football become a 365-day-a-year thing? Seems like they’re really pushing to keep it in the limelight just as the NHL and NBA are heading into their post-season and baseball is about to begin. Attention hogs.

Now that Geoff Schwartz is no longer playing, look for a lot more analysis and commentary, like this one in which he opines that his brother Mitchell’s team, the Kansas City Chiefs, should acquire Tony Romo, the quixotic QB for the Dallas Cowboys. Mitchell’s thoughts are closer to home.

He wasn’t picked for the Pro Bowl, but New England Patriots special teams star Nate Ebner picked up honors as “International Rugby Player of the Year” by the Samurai International RFC.

How long before Gabe Marks, formerly a star at Washington State University, joins the pro ranks? Seems like he’s got the interview thing down, although he might have to tone things down a bit as a rookie.

Marks may have some company in the NFL in Adam Bisnowaty, an offensive lineman previously with Pitt.

 

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Nate Ebner: “Natural” Man

Posted on: February 8th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Don’t know what kind of message this sends to the kiddies out there that New England Patriots defensive back and Olympic (and Maccabiah) athlete Nate Ebner was caught imbibing during the team’s victory parade yesterday.

Nate Ebner drinks Natural Light.

In other football news:

  • Questionable Jew Julian Edelman is making the rounds, talking about his amazing catch.
  • Former JFLer Geoff Schwartz thinks it might come down to a question of “what have you done for me lately” as the Pats figure out what to do with fan favorite but oft-injured Rob Gronkowski.
  • Didn’t the NCAA season just end a few weeks ago? This preview for UCLA — which is looking forward to the return of quarterback Josh Rosen after the injury which cost him most of the season — just goes to show there’s no off-season anymore.

I have to admit, this is a tough time for me now that football is over. Baseball hasn’t started yet and basketball and hockey are a little past the halfway mark, so nothing very exciting his happening there. Makes blogging a bit difficult.

Nate Ebner returns in SB win

Posted on: February 6th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Nate Ebner, right, congratulates Tom Brady after Super Bowl win.

Well that was exciting:

Congrats to Robert Kraft‘s New England Patriots, winners up Super Bowl XI over Arthur Block‘s Atlanta Falcons in the most exciting fashion. It was their fifth World Championship, a new record.

Trailing 28-3 as the third quarter opened, they came back to force the first overtime game (which lasted just eight plays) in Super Bowl history and then go on for the win.

Nate Ebner was recovered sufficiently from his concussion in the AFC Championship Game to appear in 28 special team plays (90 percent). He made the tackle on the kickoff that started the second half. He’s had a dream year, between appearing in the Olympics and now this. Speaking very selfishly, I will miss him during thre off-season; a mention of Ebner on the JTA sports Facebook page was usually good for a great boost in traffic because that entry would usually be shared a lot.

For personal reason, I was hoping for an opposite outcome, but there’s no denying the Patriots proved they were the better team, while you have to feel a bit sorry for the way Atlanta collapsed.

And for those of you who are interested in such things, here’s the annual USA TodayAd Meter” which rates Super Bowl commercials.

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‘Super Bowl’ memories past and future

Posted on: February 3rd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

As this Sunday is “the Big Game,” I thought I’d do a flashback Friday kind of thing. Here are some stories I wrote over the years for the NJ Jewish News on the Super Bowl:

Alan Veingrad

And to round out this Sunday’s event, here are a few more items.

 

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Mish-Mash: a new collection of Jewish sports items

Posted on: January 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

A few things that I didn’t know what to do with but didn’t want to let get away:

 

Jewper Bowl!

Posted on: January 23rd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

(HT to FB friend Robert Toback for the entry title.)

So here’s something for the alt-right to complain about: A couple of rich Jewish owners involved in the great American game. Robert Kraft‘s New England Patriots beat the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, 36-17 while Arthur Blank‘s Atlanta Falcons polished off the visiting Green Bay Packers, 44-21. In both cases, the game wasn’t as close as the score might indicate.

I wonder if there will be some friendly bet. Food is usually involved, but neither place is known for fine kosher cuisine more in line with New England clam chowder versus Atlanta pulled pork?

Robert Kraft with Patriots QB Tom Brady.

Arthur Blank with Falcons' QB Matt Ryan.

In the Patriots’ game, Nate Ebner appeared as a free safety on special teams in just nine plays, an indication that he wasn’t used all that much. Of course there was also that head injury (not to make light of it) that occurred in the third period.

They keep talking about baseball as a game of numbers, but football has plenty, too. Because it’s a game of field position, I think there are a lot more “geographical” maps and charts, as evidenced by this preview from ESPN.com.

Super Bowl LI is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 5.

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