Newest Nugget McGee excited to contend


Newest Nugget McGee excited to contend

DENVER JaVale McGee, now with the Denver Nuggets, has a lot of catching up to do.

But that won't be the biggest adjustment he'll have to make.

Denver's up-and-down play suits McGee's game perfectly.

However, playing for a team with deep playoff aspirations is a major shift from his time with the Washington Wizards, who shipped him to the Mile High City just before the trading deadline.

All the physicals for the trade have yet to be completed, which is why McGee will not play tonight against the Boston Celtics.

But he's in the building, eager to hit the floor and prove his worth to his new teammates and coaching staff whose mindset is much different than the Wizards who are once again bound for the NBA lottery.

"It's definitely an adjustment coming from a non-playoff team to a playoff team," McGee told in front his new locker stall. "I'm definitely ready to change my mindset and get into more of a dedicated and playoff mindset."

Nene, the central figure that the Nuggets sent to Washington for McGee, will be missed by his Denver teammates, obviously.

But even they acknowledge that McGee's game is actually a better fit for their style of play which generates an NBA-high 103.8 points per game.

"He's going to really help us," said Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo. "His ability to block shots, and get up and down the court. That's how coach (George) Karl has us play. Hopefully that works out for us."

A big part of whether the McGee experiment works, will depend on whether he can ratchet up his focus, an absolute must for any team looking to make a strong playoff run.

"Teaching basketball is also teaching how to win," Karl said. "Mental toughness is just as important as physical toughness. It'll be interesting."

C's coach Doc Rivers has always been a fan of McGee's potential. And now that he's in a system that should play to his strengths, River believes McGee could develop into one of the NBA's elite players.

"He (McGee) has a chance to be a disruptive force defensively," Rivers said. "I mean, Dwight Howard-ish. Maybe the change of scenery, that will help him."

Wednesday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/injury report: Same names for Pats


Wednesday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/injury report: Same names for Pats

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Bills game:


TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)


LB Lorenzo Alexander (non-injury related)
LB Zach Brown (illness)
DT Corbin Bryan (shoulder)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
TE Cordy Glenn (ankle)
WR Marquise Goodwin (concussion)
RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring)
LB Lerentee McCray (knee)
DT Adolphus Washington (illness)
S Aaron Williams (neck)

DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring)
RB Mike Gillislee (foot)
T Seantreal Henderson (back)
LB Jerry Hughes (hand)
G John Miller (shoulder)
WR Robert Woods (foot)

Will time off in September benefit Brady down the stretch?


Will time off in September benefit Brady down the stretch?

FOXBORO -- As far as Tom Brady is concerned, there were no silver linings to Deflategate or the month he spent in exile from his team. Don’t try to put whipped cream on that particular mound of fecal material.
Found that out Wednesday when I gingerly asked Brady whether he’s ever felt this good in mid-October.
“I feel good,” said Brady. “I felt good at this time last year though, too. From one year to the next, I’d say I’ve become pretty efficient with how I get ready to play.
So the missing of September?
“I always wish I could be out there playing,” he pointed out. “I’d much rather be playing than not playing, but it is what it is. I feel good at this point. But like I said, I felt good last year, I felt good the year before that, and I think every year at this time of year just based on the right routine and kind of doing the right things to get yourself feeling good.”
The line of questioning was prompted by two things.
First, Brady’s played 256 games -- regular season and playoffs -- since 2000. His 31 postseason starts are the most in NFL history and he’ll add to it this year. No quarterback’s ever had a schedule like Brady’s for as long as Brady and the punishment he takes (witness Denver last January) would have destroyed the Montanas and Mannings with whom he’s compared. The extended layoff had to do a body good. And the level at which Brady’s playing right now -- and may continue to because he’s fresher -- can only mean good things.
Second, all the band, resistance and quickness work Brady does will never make him fast. But it has seemed to make him more decisive and determined that -- when he does opt to run -- the body will cooperate and arrive at the appointed destination without disaster.
Sunday, Brady both bought time for completions and embarked on short-range scrambles that picked up key first downs.
When Brady talked last week about making Pittsburgh “defend every inch of the field,” Brady scooting into open areas was a perfect illustration of that.
“If there are two or three plays a game that you can make just moving the pocket, or sliding, or buying your receivers more time, or scrambling on third-and-two, it’s just one more thing that they have to defend,” said Brady. “We made – Jimmy [Garoppolo] made a bunch of those when he was in there early. Jacoby [Brissett] made some.
“It’s nice to be able to do that because I think it’s a little discouraging for a defense when they feel like they’ve got you covered or they’ve got the right call on it, and all of the sudden – I mean, I don’t think they’re preparing for me scrambling for first downs. I know they’re not working on that. They’re working on stopping Gronk [Rob Gronkowski], and stopping Julian [Edelman], and Danny, and Hogs [Chris Hogan], LeGarrette [Blount] and James [White]. That’s not one of their top 10 things on their hit list, so I think it’s pretty discouraging when it happens and hopefully we can keep it going.”
At this point, Brady’s running has to at least be in the scouting report.
Although Rex Ryan isn’t buying.
“I’d like to see him do it more often,” said Ryan when asked if the scrambling of Brady was becoming annoying. “Put him in the option, that’s one thing that doesn’t scare you much, you live with that. What scares you is when he lets the ball go. He’s able to pick up a few first downs, But I think we may have the edge in running ability this week. I may go out there and make that bold statement. They may be worried about (Tyrod Taylor) more than than we’ll be about Tom running.”