<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Sports News, Photos, and Scores for the Padres, Chargers and More]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:38:53 -0700 Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:38:53 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[LL Coach Killed by Baseball]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 19:23:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ambulance-shutterstock_12161325.jpg

A 50-year-old little league coach died on Long Island after he was struck in the head with a baseball, authorities said.

Richard Becher, of Holbrook, was hit with the baseball during warm-ups before a game Saturday afternoon at Baseball Heaven, a baseball facility in Yaphank.

According to police, bystanders were performing CPR on Becher, who was unconscious, when officers and paramedics arrived.

Becher was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived, police said.

Newsday reports that Becher was hit while pitching batting practice to his 12-year-old son's team.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Bolts Beat Buffalo Bills]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 19:41:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/philip+rivers+vs+bills.jpg

Philip Rivers was cool, Eddie Royal got hot and the Chargers got a big road win on Sunday, defeating the Buffalo Bills, 22-10.

Rivers and Royal connected on a pair of touchdown passes for the Chargers, who never trailed.

Malcom Floyd had two catches for 98 yards, and the Chargers overcame the loss of running back Danny Woodhead, who left the game with an ankle injury after just one carry. He didn't return the rest of the day.

Donald Brown got the brunt of the workload on the ground, but had just 62 yards on 31 carries. He also had five catches for 27 yards. Undrafted rookie Branden Oliver saw his first NFL action, rushing three times for 11 yards.

Rivers was 18 of 25 for 256 yards. He didn't throw an interception for the second straight game. In fact, neither team committed a turnover the entire day.

Royal's second touchdonw catch came midway through the third quarter. It capped a 14-play drive that took up nearly 7 1/2 minutes.

The Chargers are off to a 2-1 start for the third time in four years. They built on the momentum of last week's 30-21 home win over the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.

Fred Jackson scored on an 11-yard catch for Buffalo (2-1), which blew an opportunity to get off to a 3-0 start for only the third time since 1993.

The Bolts capped the scoring with a safety late in the fourth quarter when Bills quarterback EJ Manuel was called for an intentional grounding penalty in his own end zone.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Aztecs Lose at Oregon State]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 23:09:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Aztec-Football-SDSU-2013.jpg

Early on it looked as though the Aztecs finally might get that breakthrough win on the road against a power conference. They took the opening kickoff and eight plays later they were in the end zone. The 75-yard drive was capped off by a Donnel Pumphrey touchdown run. He finished with one score and 89 rushing yards.

Oregon State answered with a pair of touchdowns and led 14-7 at halftime and went on to win it 28-7.

In the second half the Beavers scored twice on long drives that ended in short touchdown runs. Sean Mannion, the heralded Oregon State quarterback threw for 275-yards but no touchdowns and one interception.

San Diego State quarterback Quinn Kaehler was 14-of26 for just 106-yards and two picks.

The Aztecs open conference play next Saturday when they host UNLV.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cashing In]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 22:48:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mets+preview+cashner.jpg

Padres starter Andrew Cashner did it with his arm and bat Saturday night in the Padres 3-2 victory over the Giants at Petco Park.

Cashner (5-7) pitched into the ninth inning and left allowing just two runs on four hits. He also was 2-for-2 at the plate with a triple (the first by a major league pitcher this season) and a swinging bunt.

It was the second straight excellent start for the big righty. Cashner was within three outs of his second straight two-hit shutout.

The Padres scored one run in the third and another two in the sixth. The Giants made it interesting, scoring twice in the ninth before Kevin Quackenbush secured the save.

The Padres go for a series sweep of the second place Giants Sunday afternoon at Petco Park. The Giants are three-and-a-half games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Who To Watch For: Chargers At Bills]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 16:57:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/165*120/chargers+seahawks+nfl+10.jpg

Putting pressure on a quarterback, even if it does not result in a sack, is an important component of a successful NFL defense. Through two games the Bolts only have four sacks, but that doesn't mean they're not making life difficult for opposing passers.

Melvin Ingram, in particular, has been a thorn in the side of Cardinals QB Carson Palmer and Seahawks Pro Bowler Russell Wilson. The Bolts outside linebacker has one sack, but is among the league leaders in QB pressures (any hit, hurry or sack) and really looks like he's coming in to his own in his third NFL season.

Unfortunately, for the second straight year, Ingram will miss a large chunk of time with an injury.

On Saturday, the Chargers placed Ingram on "Reserve-Injured, Designated For Return" with a hip injury. Ingram had already been ruled out of Sunday's game in Buffalo with what the official injury report stated was a hamstring ailment.

Ingram will be eligible to return to the active roster after San Diego's bye week on November 9. If there's a silver lining to this, it's that Melvin seems to be a quick healer. In 2013 he returned from a torn ACL in a ridiculous 29 weeks, helping the Chargers earn a playoff berth and making his first career interception in a Wild Card Playoff win in Cincinnati.

So, who is going to pick up his production? Perhaps a man who is already matching Melvin this year.

Dwight Freeney is in his 13th NFL season. He missed 12 games last year after tearing a quadriceps muscle in Week 4 against the Cowboys. It might have been your proverbial "blessing in disguise."

It's only a two game sample, but so far it looks like Freeney took a Tardis to his rehab. If I didn't know any better, I'd say Freeney looks like the 2009 version that had 13.5 sacks in just 14 games, helping the Colts reach the Super Bowl.

Freeney is tied for the league lead in pressures and got his first full sack as a San Diego Charger last weekend against Russell Wilson. He'll be starting again, with fellow veteran Jarret Johnson on the opposite side. However, those guys combined have played 25 years in the NFL. They're remarkably durable, but they will been to get a breather here and there.

Rookie linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu is questionable to play with a hamstring injury. If he can't go, the Bolts will be dangerously thin at linebacker. And that is what leads us to this week's three players to watch for:

Reggie Walker, LB:

One of those moves Tom Telesco made that didn't move the news needle at the time, but has turned out to be a fantastic signing. Walker can play both inside and outside. Last year he played in all 16 games, starting six, and finished with 3.0 sacks and a forced fumble. He's the guy who delivered than crushing shot on Wilson in the 4th quarter last weekend, helping force a 4th down that ultimately led to Chargers kicker Nick Novak nailing a field goal to put the game away. If Attaochu can't go, or is limited by his injury, Walker will have to spend more time outside, which is his natural spot anyway. Whenever he's on the field, he'll need to be one of many defenders keeping an eye on C.J. Spiller. Against Seattle, the Chargers defense allowed two touchdown passes inside the red zone, both to wide open running backs, both on plays Defensive Coordinator John Pagano termed this week as mental breakdowns. Spiller is one of the most elusive backs in the NFL. If he gets the ball in space like Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin did, he could run to Niagara Falls and nobody would touch him.

Marcus Gilchrist, SS:

The Bills are averaging 26 points a game, but have only earned 28 first downs. The Chargers racked up 26 first downs last week alone. Buffalo does not exactly run a "ball-control offense." The Bills rely on explosive plays that eat up huge chunks of yards. Rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins is "explosive" incarnate. Last week against Miami, Watkins caught eight passes for 117 yards and his first NFL touchdown. Second-year quarterback E.J. Manuel already feels awfully comfortable throwing at Watkins, targeting him on 11 of his 26 passing attempts. While the Chargers will have 2-time Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Flowers back, and Shareece Wright and Jason Verrett have played extremely well through two games, Watkins is the kind of threat you need to seriously think about double-teaming, especially because no other Buffalo WR has really established himself as a consistent threat. Gilchrist, a converted CB, will likely spend a good chunk of time finding out where Watkins is and offering help in coverage. If Watkins makes a catch, it is imperative to tackle him immediately. His combination of size and speed make him extremely dangerous if he gets going. Gilchrist will have chances to take Watkins down immediately. If he doesn't tackle well, Watkins will be joining Spiller on I-190 North.

Branden Oliver, RB:

This is a bit of a wild card pick because, although Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich said this week he expects Oliver to get snaps at running back (due to Ryan Mathews' knee injury), there's really no way to tell how much time Oliver will be in the offensive backfield. However, I have a hunch he'll be returning kickoffs, and the University of Buffalo product has worked out with the return teams in practice. Oliver has good speed and is an underrated open field runner, making him a potentially dangerous return man. The Bolts will have to be solid on special teams because the Bills run out arguably the best special teams unit in the NFL. Spiller has already returned a kickoff for a touchdown, punter Colton Schmidt has already stuck seven of his nine punts inside the 20 (with no touchbacks), and kicker Dan Carpenter has made eight of nine field goal tries. If Oliver can provide a spark in an area where Buffalo believes it has an advantage, the momentum swings to San Diego's sideline.

Derek's Prediction:

I never want to hear about this whole "West coast teams can't win flying East" thing again. At least, not when the Chargers are involved.

Last year under Mike McCoy the Bolts went 3-2 in games that start at 10:00 a.m. San Diego time. Since 2009, the Chargers are 10-8 in early games. Typically, west coast teams lose about 70-percent of early games played three time zones away, so obviously the Bolts have figured something out.

While the Bills have a Top-10, maybe even Top-5, defense, I simply cannot overlook the discrepancy at quarterback. Manuel has never topped 300 yards passing in 12 career starts, and only gone over 200 yards five times. He's a young QB who's still figuring things out.

On the other hand, you have Philip Rivers, a man Seahawks CB Richard Sherman called an "elite" quarterback just last week. Sherman does not hand out false praise. When there is this much distance between the men playing the most important position on the field, I have to give the edge to experience.

Look for Rivers to play another solid, if not entirely mistake-free, ballgame while Manuel gives the ball away at least once and has trouble finding his playmakers.

Final score: Chargers 23, Bills 17



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2014 Hurley Pro at Trestles]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:12:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Audley-Surf-156+%285%29.jpg Photos from the 2014 ASP Hurley Pro at Trestles surfing competition.]]> <![CDATA[Bears' Jared Allen on Peterson Case]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:07:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jared+allen+9-20.jpg

Chicago Bears defensive end and former Minnesota Viking, Jared Allen, spoke out about the allegations surrounding his former teammate and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

“I’ve said it all along that I have my beliefs and my opinions,” Allen said after practice Saturday, noting his focus has been on the Chicago Bears. “And that’s what they are and I live my life a certain way. I believe good people can make bad decisions. I’m not perfect so I’m not one to cast judgments on others.”

Peterson was booked and released from a Texas jail last week on a charge alleging that he spanked one of his sons with a wooden switch.

Peterson was benched for last Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. The Vikings initially decided to allow Peterson to play while the legal process plays out in Texas, the team quickly reversed course and benched Peterson indefinitely. The organization put Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, meaning he is off the active roster while he deals with his legal affairs. 

“Obviously, they’ll have to deal with those circumstances,” Allen said. “Adrian and everybody [with the Vikings] will have to deal with that going forward. It’s a tough deal and it’s sad. I guess that’s my best answer. It was sad to hear.”

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego

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<![CDATA[Injury Report: Chargers at Bills]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 20:11:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/176*120/455016532.jpg

The Chargers knew Ryan Mathews would not be playing for a while (which means Branden Oliver, the University of Buffalo's all-time leading rusher, will be active for his first NFL game in Buffalo). But they had hoped he would be alone on the injury report for Sunday's game against the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Outside linebacker Melvin Ingram has a hamstring injury that will keep him out of the game. Fellow linebacker Jerry Attaochu is nursing a hamstring problem. He's questionable (50-50) to play.

If the Bolts are missing two rush linebackers, Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson will see a whole lot of playing time. Both men have been in the NFL for more than a decade, so they'll need to get some rest stops. Tourek Williams and Reggie Walker will have to step in and take more snaps.

Safety Jahleel Addae is also questionable with a (you guessed it) hamstring. But, after missing the first two games, Addae is closer to playing than he's been for a while.

Wide receiver Keenan Allen is also questionable after suffering a groin injury during practice this week. Losing him would be a major loss against a Bills team that has one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL, but can be vulnerable to the deep passing game.

Everyone else is expected to play for the Bolts.

Buffalo will be missing linebacker Randell Johnson and safety Jonathan Meeks. Linebacker Keith Rivers is doubtful to play, and that could cause a big problem for the Bills.

Rivers and Johnson are listed as the top two weakside linebackers on Buffalo's depth chart. If both of them are out, the Bills will be exceedingly thin at the position, possibly relying on Larry Dean, who's in his fourth season but never started an NFL game.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raw: Hundreds Line Up to Exchange Rice Jerseys]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:17:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_ray_rice_baltimore_ravens.jpg Hundreds and hundreds of people lined up outside of M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland Friday to exchange the jersey of running back Ray Rice.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pa. School Board Bans Boys From Field Hockey Team]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:42:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/field+hockey_generic.jpg

No boys allowed. A school board in Lehigh County confirmed a committee's decision to ban boys from its field hockey team after concerns they caused injuries to girl players.

The Allentown School Board ruled 8-1 that boys would be prohibited from playing on school-sponsored teams that are usually all-female in the United States.  The vote upheld a decision made by a school committee in the Pennsylvania county Sept. 4.

"We had an injury where there was an incidental collision between a boy and a girl," Russell Mayo, Allentown School Board president, told NBC10 earlier this month. "Upon legal counsel, we decided that we would err on the side of safety."

The PIAA - the state's governing body of high school sports -- decided earlier this summer that boys who do play on girls' teams are not allowed to participate in post-season games.

But not everyone in the Allentown School District, which includes William Allen High School and Louis E. Dieruff High School, is in agreement with the decision.

"The girls were disappointed because [the boys] were a great part of the team," Inez Seyler, Dieruff's field hockey coach, told LehighValleyLive.com. "I'm disappointed because they don't really have a sport that is comparable to field hockey for boys."

"It's going to be heartbreaking to them," added Karen Nilson, William Allen's coach.

Mixed gender teams are allowed under the PIAA's rules, but only under special circumstances that protect girls on the team from injury or disqualification for size differences from potential male teammates.

Other standards for Pennsylvania schools, under the Pennsylvania Department of Education, support the right to a "physical environment for safety." This includes physical standards along with social, emotional and intellectual. These policies are intended to protect students' wellness and physical health.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego

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<![CDATA[Padres Win Another One At Home]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:12:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/166*120/455684350.jpg

The beginning of A Tale Of Two Cities is not exact, but the idea is a pretty good way to think about the Padres right now.

At Petco Park, they have been borderline unbeatable (the best of times). On the road, however, they couldn't even win an argument (the worst of times).

Behind home runs from Alexi Amarista and Will Venable, a balanced offensive attack that saw all eight starting position players get at least one hit, and a fantastic return to the mound by lefty Robbie Erlin (6.0 innings, five hits, one run), the Padres beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 to win three of the four games in the series.

That means, since the All-Star Break, the Padres have gone 7-0-1 in series played at Petco Park. Here's the problem. In series played away from the East Village (and there have been 11 of them) the Padres are 2-8-1.

Now, I'm not sure what causes that kind of split personality, but if the Padres can figure out a way to convince themselves they're in San Diego when they're really in another city, they might end up winning 120 games next year.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 3]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:39:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/455677434.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the third week of the 2014 NFL season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers' Mathews Out for 4 to 5 Weeks: NFL]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:15:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+seahawks+nfl+4.jpg

Chargers' running back Ryan Mathews will be out for four to five weeks, NFL sources reported on Monday.

Mathews suffered a sprained MCL in Sunday’s sweltering game against the Seattle Seahawks. According to the NFL Network, he underwent an MRI on Monday. Still, he hopes to return sooner than a month, the source said.

Mathews was carted off the field in the fourth quarter of the game with the knee injury.

Sunday’s home opener upset the defending Super Bowl champions with a win over the Hawks, 30 to 21.

The deficit, however, could have been larger. The NFL now admits it should have reversed a touchdown made by Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin.

The last time a team has beat the Seahawks by more than 7 points was Nov. 6, 2011, when the Dallas Cowboys beat the team by 10 points.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[TD Against Chargers Should Have Been Reversed]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:30:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/percy+harvin+chargers+seahawks.jpg

A big Chargers win on Sunday should have been even more impressive.

The NFL admitted it missed a call when it allowed Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin’s 51-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to stand, even though Harvin stepped out of bounds at the Chargers 21.

Fortunately for the Bolts, it didn’t affect the outcome, as the defeated the defending Super Bowl champs, 30-21.

"All scoring plays are reviewed by the instant replay official, in conjunction with the NFL officiating staff in New York, and are not subject to a coach's challenge," NFL spokesman Michael Signora said in a statement. "Following the first quarter touchdown run by Percy Harvin, the game should have been stopped for a replay review, either by the replay official or by the officiating staff in New York.”

Following the play, the Seahawks quickly lined up and kicked the extra point before officials could stop it, and the game went on without incident. The score put the Seahawks up 7-3. From there, it was all Chargers, as they scored 17 straight points in the second quarter and never trailed again.

The Bolts kept Harvin contained for most of the game. He had one other run that went for minus-6 yards and just one catch for 5 yards.

Even with the phantom touchdown, the Chargers handled Seattle with ease. It was the largest loss for the Seahawks since a 10-point defeat at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 6, 2011.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rivers Wears 61 on Helmet in Hardwick's Honor]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:58:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/new-edt-AP213814449965.jpg

A small tribute stuck on the back of the helmet of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers garnered a lot of attention and some questions about whether Rivers will face a fine.

Rivers stuck the number 61 on the back of his helmet for Sunday's game against the Seahawks as a tribute to his longtime center Nick Hardwick.

He talked about it with the media after the game and appeared to have tears in his eyes when discussing Hardwick's move to the Reserve-Injured List.

“It was a tough week,” Rivers said

“Losing your center who’s been the center for 10 years, this was a nice ending to a tough week.”

So, could the heartfelt gesture result in a fine from the NFL? It is possible.

There is a rule banning personal messages on team uniforms, as USA Today points out.

We want to hear what you think. Comment below or send us a message through the NBC 7 Facebook page.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Jeter's Rousing NY Sendoff in New Ad]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 05:19:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Derek-Jeter-Day007.jpg

Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York"  is a soothing sound to Yankee fans, accustomed to hearing it over the Yankee Stadium speakers when the Bombers win a home game.  But another signature Sinatra song may soon take its place in Yankee lore alongside that classic.

A new Gatorade commercial uses  "My Way" to say goodbye to the Captain, as it shows Derek Jeter exiting a cab near the stadium and feeling the love from New Yorkers in the streets of the Bronx before buttoning up his No. 2 jersey and stepping onto the field to the roar of the crowd.

Even the most bitter Mets fans may find themselves wiping away a tear at the rousing commercial shot in iconic black and white, and hardcore Bombers fans may need an entire box of tissues. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cardinals Hope to Make Statement vs. 49ers]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:08:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/nynrskardds.jpg

The 49ers go into Arizona with plenty of concerns for Sunday’s game with the 2-0 Cardinals.

After losing to the Bears on Sunday night, the Niners are hoping quarterback Colin Kaepernick can get over his turnover woes and that injuries to tight ends Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald, cornerback Tramaine Brock and tackles Anthony Davis and Joe Staley will quickly heal.

But in Arizona, the Cardinals have their own concerns.

Though they’ve started fast with victories over the Chargers and Giants, it appears Arizona will have to turn to backup QB Drew Stanton this week over Carson Palmer (shoulder injury). Plus, the 49ers seem to bring out the worst in the Cardinals.

The 49ers have won nine of the past 10 games against Arizona, and the Cards came close twice in 2013 to beating San Francisco but couldn’t close the deal. Last season at Candlestick Park, Arizona was trailing just 22-20 in the second half when Larry Fitzgerald lost a crucial fumble that helped the 49ers win 32-20. And in the regular-season finale in Arizona, Phil Dawson had to kick a 40-yard field goal at the end of the game to seal the victory.

“Until we finish one, it won’t be a rivalry or anything else,” Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians told reporters this week of the NFC West matchup. “It can’t be a rivalry if you get your ass kicked this many times.”

Added Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson: “Last year we let those two games get away from us. Now we see that we can compete, not only with those guys, with the best of them.”

Arizona, in fact, beat the Seahawks in Seattle last season and won 10 games overall and has won nine of its past 11 games. Arians has turned the franchise around, and it has some terrific playmakers in Fitzgerald, rookie wideout John Brown, Peterson, safety Tyrann Mathieu and running back Andre Ellington (the cousin of 49ers’ rookie receiver Bruce Ellington).

This is a big game for the 49ers, who need to rebound from last week’s loss to get to 2-1 before hosting the Eagles next weekend. But for the Cardinals, it’s a chance to knock off a nemesis and stay atop the NFC West.

“Any time you go head up against a division opponent, it’s a two-game swing every time,” said Arizona’s veteran center, Lyle Sendlein. “Especially with a team like San Francisco, which has been at the top the past few years.”

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Hope Brown is a Quick Study]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:07:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/veebrwncharg.jpg

Last season at O.co Coliseum, Vincent Brown had the best game of his young NFL career, catching seven passes for 117 yards.

At that time Brown was wearing a San Diego Chargers uniform. Now he’s a Raider.

What can Brown, who was waived by the Chargers after a calf injury wiped out his training camp this summer, bring to the Raiders?

Brown is neither really big (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) or exceptionally fast. But the third-round pick by the Chargers out of San Diego State has had a knack for catching the ball, running good routes and making plays when healthy. Staying healthy has been the problem. He missed the 2012 season because of a broken ankle and then had injury problems this summer.

But as a rookie in 2011 he caught 19 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games; in 2013, playing all 16, he caught 41 balls for 472 yards and a TD.

“He catches the ball really well and he’s got some vertical threat down the field,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen told reporters this week. “I think probably the biggest thing when you watch the guy is, when the ball goes in his direction, he generally makes the catch.”

In 2013, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said he had a lot of trust in Brown’s ability to beat cornerbacks on contested throws. Brown proved to him he can go up over defenders to make catches.

“I’ve thrown Vincent a bunch of those balls,” Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s trusting that he’s going to come in there, and he’s going to go up high and make a good, tough catch. He’s a great route runner and he catches it as well as anybody.”

The Raiders signed Brown to a one-year deal after working him out, and Oakland coaches indicated Brown could play as early as Sunday when the 0-2 Raiders fly to New England to take on the Patriots.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr told the media this week that Brown is getting plenty of action in practice to bring him up to speed.

“We’re throwing a lot at him,” said Carr. “Our goal is obviously, they signed him so we want to get him going. But how fast, I honestly wish I could tell you. I don’t know. Hopefully soon.”

The key to Brown’s success in Oakland may be his ability to stay healthy. Even then, some doubt Brown is a top-flight receiver. ESPN analyst and former NFL scout  Matt Williamson told ESPN.com this week that he “highly doubts” Brown will be an impact player.

Said Williamson: “He isn’t real dynamic and is purely a possession guy.”

Brown, however, is an aggressive pass catcher. He was taught by his father, a former Canadian Football League receiver, to attack the ball when it’s thrown in his direction.

“It was instilled in me in an early age, when the ball’s up in the air, it’s your ball, so you’ve got to do whatever it takes to come down with that,” Brown told the Union-Tribune last year. “When you see it up, it’s like, turn on the jets. Wherever it’s at, I’ve got to make sure I’m in that area.”

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Angels Beat Mariners, Win AL West]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:11:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/455630948.jpg

The Los Angeles Angels clinched the AL West title Wednesday night, getting seven dominant innings of one-hit ball from C.J. Wilson in a 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

C.J. Cron hit a three-run homer for the major league-leading Angels (95-57), who wrapped up their first division crown since 2009 when Oakland lost to Texas about an hour after Los Angeles' game ended.

The Angels had already secured a playoff spot Monday. They have won 12 of 14.

Howie Kendrick sparked the Angels' five-run rally in the seventh by scoring from first base when Chris Denorfia misplayed David Freese's single to right for an error.

Los Angeles' surge broke up a pitchers' duel between Wilson and Seattle rookie James Paxton, who traded zeros until the seventh.

Wilson (13-9) earned his third straight victory in intimidating fashion, striking out seven and allowing just four baserunners in a major improvement from recent starts. He escaped his only jam in the seventh, stranding two runners.

Paxton (6-3) yielded four hits and had eight strikeouts for the Mariners, who have lost six of eight. Seattle managed just one hit and is two games behind Kansas City and Oakland for the second AL wild card.

Paxton kept the Mariners in contention until his teammates made two errors and reliever Danny Farquhar flopped in the seventh inning.

After Kendrick's one-out single, Denorfia thought about diving to catch Freese's drive, but instead pulled up and allowed it to roll past him to the right-field wall. Austin Jackson then double-clutched the ball while retrieving it, and Kendrick scored easily.

Farquhar relieved Paxton with two outs and two runners on, but Cron mashed his 11th homer into the fake rock pile behind center field. Kole Calhoun followed with an RBI double as the Angels batted around.

Paxton was even more dominant than Wilson, retiring 17 of the Angels' first 18 hitters. Paxton allowed only two bouncing singles in the first six innings while striking out Mike Trout three times.

Trout also struck out to end the seventh, tying Baltimore's Chris Davis for the AL lead with 173 strikeouts.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP Roenis Elias headed back to Seattle for an MRI after feeling stiffness in his elbow. Manager Lloyd McClendon said Elias is probably done for the season.

Angels: Josh Hamilton was out of the starting lineup after feeling a bit sore following his return from a shoulder injury Tuesday. The cleanup hitter likely wouldn't have started anyway against a tough left-hander.

UP NEXT

Two aces meet in the series finale when Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez (14-5, 2.14 ERA) takes on Jered Weaver (17-8, 3.50).



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hamels Handles Padres]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:57:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/192*120/usa-cole-hamels-phillies-nationals.jpg

San Diego native Cole Hamels apparently likes pitching against the Padres. The Rancho Bernardo High alum has won his last six starts against the Friars and is 5-1 lifetime at Petco Park. On Wednesday night Hamels (9-7) threw seven innings and struck out nine as the Phillies beat the Padres 5-2.

The Padres got out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Cameron Maybin. That lead didn't last long. The Phillies responded in the top of the fifth with four runs on five hits. Padres starter Eric Stults (7-17) left in the fifth after all four runs scored.

The final game of the series is Thursday night at 6:10 p.m.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Back to Work]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:42:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/antonio+gates+afc+pow.jpg

There were some veterans missing from the practice field as the Bolts prepared for their Sunday morning game at Buffalo.

AFC Offensive Player of the Week Antonio Gates got the day off because of a sore hamstring as did Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu. Brandon Flowers, who did not play against the Seahawks on Sunday, is still out with a groin injury.

Quarterback Philip Rivers wasn't overly concerned, "It always seems we lose some guys early in the year, but guys have always stepped up and played well." 

The Chargers will workout tomorrow then head to Buffalo on Friday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Antonio Gates Named AFC Player of the Week]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:25:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/antonio+gates+afc+pow.jpg

Chargers tight end Antonio Gates’ impressive three-touchdown performance in Sunday’s win over the Seattle Seahawks is getting the national attention it deserves.

Gates was named the AFC’s Player of the Week after his seven-catch, 96-yard game in the upset at home.

Not surprisingly, the veteran was humble in talking about receiving the award for the first time in his illustrious career.

“Awards don’t tell the tale for what this team is about,” Gates said on Wednesday. “Anytime an individual accepts an award, you have to think about the other guys that helped put him in that place. To me, when we win something we talk about us going out together.”

He now has 90 career touchdown receptions, good for 11th all-time and second only to Tony Gonzalez among tight ends.

“It all comes down to that line protecting Philip,” Gates said, continuing to deflect the credit. “He’s constantly been believing in me over the past 11 years and that was no exception.”

Every touchdown catch on Sunday was of the highlight reel variety, but the third one stood out – not only as the game winner, but as an incredible athletic catch. His thoughts on the play:

“Don’t let 31 hit me. That big ol’ safety coming over the middle, (No. 31 Van) Chancellor,” he said with a smile. “In our terms in the locker room, he can lay the wood. So I wanted to stay away from him as much as possible and make a play on the ball. And it was Philip was being Philip. Having tremendous confidence in me and putting the ball where no other player could get it but me.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vikings Bar Peterson From All Team Activities]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:30:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/186722617.jpg The Minnesota Vikings have reversed course and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, a move that will require him to stay away from the team while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Amarista Lifts Padres]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:48:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+celebrate+77+7.jpg

The Padres scored two runs in the first inning, then added three more in the sixth and held on for a 5-4 win over the Phillies 5-4 on Tuesday night at Petco Park.

Alexi Amraista was a triple short of the cycle. He doubled in the second, singled in the fourth, then hit a go-ahead two run homer in the sixth inning. Amarista's chance to be the first Padre ever to hit for the cycle ended when he grounded out to shortstop in the bottom of the eighth.

Starting pitcher Ian Kennedy threw six innings to get his 11th win of the season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Charles Barkley Throws "Turrible" First Pitch]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:35:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Barkley_Cubs.jpg

Everyone knows Hall of Fame NBA player Charles Barkley has an ugly golf swing. Now you can add baseball to the sports Barkley has yet to master.

Barkley threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Tuesday's Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and let's just say it was a bit outside. Way outside.

One of the MLB announcers couldn't resist using a Barkley-ism to call it: the pitch was just "turrible."

Move over 50 Cent and Carl Lewis, you have company.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Orioles Clinch AL East With 8-2 Win]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:08:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*131/455561388.jpg

The Baltimore Orioles won their first AL East crown since 1997, using home runs by Steve Pearce and Jimmy Paredes to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 Tuesday night before a boisterous crowd of 35,297 at Camden Yards.

With their ninth win in 10 games, the Orioles clinched their second playoff appearance in three years following a run of 14 consecutive losing seasons.

Afterward, the Orioles converged behind second base, fireworks soared in the outfield and streamers sprayed throughout the crowd.

It was Baltimore's ninth AL East title and only its second since 1983, when the Orioles last won the World Series.

The franchise has enjoyed a rebirth under the guidance of manager Buck Showalter, whose 1,254th victory thrust him past mentor Billy Martin into sole possession of 36th place on the career list.

Baltimore is 42-23 in a division that includes the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, the free-spending New York Yankees and pitching-rich Tampa Bay. The Orioles led by only four games on Aug. 6 before going on a 27-11 run.

The clinching victory featured an unlikely list of contributors, not at all unusual for a team that often delved deep into its 25-man roster. Ubaldo Jimenez was making his first start in a month; Pearce has morphed from a bit-player to a key starter; and Paredes didn't join the team until Aug. 28.

Pearce provided the Orioles with the lead for good with a three-run drive off Drew Hutchison (10-12) in the first inning. Pearce has 18 home runs this year, one more than he had in 290 games as a part-timer from 2007-13.

Paredes hit a solo shot in the second to make it 4-2. It was his second homer in 10 games with Baltimore.

In addition, newcomer Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run triple in the seventh for a 7-2 lead. De Aza came to the Orioles in an Aug. 30 trade with the Chicago White Sox.

Jimenez (5-9) survived a rocky start to limit the Blue Jays to two runs and two hits over five innings in his third start since July 5. After signing a $50 million, four-year deal in the offseason, Jimenez struggled with his control for much of the season, sprained his ankle in a parking lot before the All-Star break and ultimately lost his place in the rotation.

Pressed into service because the Orioles played a doubleheader Friday, Jimenez issued four walks in the first two innings. But he bounced back to retire his last 10 batters.

Orioles fans have until Friday to register for a ticket lottery online. Winners will be notifed next Wednesday.



Photo Credit: MCT via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Hang Out With Kids at King-Chavez]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:38:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+varrett+still-PIC_0.jpg

Kids at King-Chavez Primary Academy got a special treat today.

Chargers rookies Jason Verrett and Chris Watt used their day off from practice to make an appearance at the school, promoting the N-F-L's Play 60 program. The goal of the program is to get kids out and active for 60 minutes a day.

They were greeted by shrieks of joy from the crowd of elementary schoolers, dishing out as many high fives as they could.

The players were planning on getting outside for a Chargers junior training camp, but the heat was too much.

Still, Watt said the kids can focus on more than football.

“You really can play 60 in so many ways,” Watt said. “You don’t have to be playing a sport. You can be walking outside, playing with your friends outside.

He said it can be a challenge because of all the distractions kids face these days.

“I think the biggest thing today is a lot of these kids have TV, so many different video game systems,” he said. “I never had a video game system growing up. So it’s just really important to let them know there are so many ways to be active.”

Varrett said he wanted to impart some wisdom beyond exercise and nutrition to the kids.

“Follow your heart, keep your dreams alive,” he said. “That was something I did when I was younger. I just kept my dream alive, all about football. Making sure I took care of my body. All the right things to keep me going.”

The players also came bearing gifts for the school in the form of a $2,500 check, which will go toward the school’s physical fitness and nutrition programs.

The Chargers are bac k in practice on Wednesday as they prepare for Sunday’s game in Buffalo against the undefeated Bills.

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