Summary of “The jaw-dropping story behind an NFL coach’s search for his family”

IN EARLY 2017, now-Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach Deland McCullough signed on to coach the running backs at USC, having spent the previous six years in the same position at Indiana University.
Despite interest from other schools, the decision to attend Miami University was easy for McCullough, especially after the home visit, during which Smith charmed Comer as well.
Smith left Miami University after that season to be the tight ends coach at the University of Illinois, but he and McCullough stayed in touch.
He had no idea that off the field, McCullough was consumed by the search for his family.
McCullough called Briggs from a hallway at USC as he awaited the start of a football family dinner.
Instead, McCullough began by talking about his search for his birth parents, how he had found his biological mother, and she was from Youngstown, just like them.
He thought about McCullough’s coaching internship a few years earlier, how Seahawks assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel hadn’t stopped cracking jokes about Smith and his protege acting like a father-son duo.
Sometime in the weeks between that first phone call and the test results, Smith realized that he was hoping he was McCullough’s father.

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Summary of “Which Team Will Rule the Post-LeBron East?”

Boston is adding a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to a young team that went to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals without them, while Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid should be even better in their second full season together in Philadelphia.
For all the talk of scrapping conferences in the All-Star Game, there are more than enough elite players on those six teams alone to field a great squad. Some may be even better by the trade deadline.
There are no guarantees that the Warriors will make it through the first three rounds of the playoffs healthy, so the team that meets them in the Finals could have a better chance than people realize.
Philadelphia The 76ers weren’t close in the sweepstakes for LeBron or Paul George, so they rolled their cap space over to the summer of 2019, their last chance to add elite talent in free agency before they have to start paying their own young players.
Toronto No team was happier to see LeBron go to the West than the Raptors, who have lost 10 consecutive playoff games to him.
It’s hard to be too optimistic about Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan’s ability to lead a team in the postseason, but Toronto may not need them to.
The Raptors re-signed Fred VanVleet, a second-year player who had the highest net rating of any of their rotation players.
Milwaukee No team has more low-hanging fruit to pick than Milwaukee, which hit a ceiling under the coaching regime of Jason Kidd and Joe Prunty.

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Summary of “For Auburn Tigers softball, joy on surface obscured darker truths within”

I was traveling with the Auburn softball team because I love softball, and I love softball because I love my 15-year-old daughter, who is a softball player.
I was traveling with the Auburn softball team because the year before, when I watched the Tigers play the Oklahoma Sooners for the national championship in the Women’s College World Series, I saw something I’d never seen in a lifetime of watching sports.
There is something fleeting about the games we play that softball miraculously preserves – the simple fact that these are games and that we play them to attain a kind of joy.
There was, come to think of it, one player with her hair in braids, one of the freshmen who’d been allowed to travel with the team, who smiled and said: “Cool.” But the rest of the Auburn Tigers were a narrow-eyed lot, and they regarded me with cool inscrutability.
He wasn’t just a successful coach and teacher; he was a transformational one who, in the words of ESPN softball analyst and two-time Olympic softball gold medalist Michele Smith, did “Something almost unprecedented – he made average players good players and good players great ones. He took.250 hitters and made them into.400 hitters.”
Then I settled down to watch Auburn play Florida in softball.
As Cheyenne Coyle, who played for Tim Walton at Florida and Clint Myers at ASU and worked as a graduate assistant at Auburn, says, “He’s just an insecure former baseball player. He’s a great coach and he knows a lot. But everybody knows he’s one of the biggest flops of all time.” He tries too hard and plays too many angles and in 2011 he’s banned from the softball program in part for trying to use it to the advantage of the businesses he’s trying to build.
She is a different person than she was when she started playing softball for Auburn and Clint Myers – a better one, she says.

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Summary of “In search of the real Mike Tomlin”

Watching Tomlin unshakably speak, that he didn’t think about football that way, and that he certainly wouldn’t coach it if he did.
There is a disagreement within the Pittsburgh training compound on the question of what kind of coach Tomlin is-a disagreement between the executive suites and the locker room.
“The perception of a players’ coach is that a player can treat the coach as a friend. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Coach Tomlin will make no bones about challenging a player or getting after a player or disciplining a player when it has to happen.”
In the locker room, Tomlin is considered a players’ coach by one player after another not because he’s easygoing but rather because he’s honest.
Of course, every coach has stock sayings; Tomlin speaks jockstrap Zen as a second language, and when one afternoon, after practice, I ask offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva about Tomlin’s koans, he asks the player at the next locker in turn, and soon there rises a chorus of enormous men in towels reciting the broken poetry of Coach T:. The standard is the standard.
Villanueva rejects any comparison of football to war-“They have nothing to do with one another.” But it was his experience in war that put him in a difficult position during the last weekend of last September, when every team in the NFL responded to Donald Trump’s denunciation of the national anthem protests and Tomlin responded as a football coach, putting team unity ahead of individual expression.
“Because of my actions there was a huge sort of pushback on Coach Tomlin for allowing this to happen. From my perspective, which is as a veteran, I don’t think Coach Tomlin wanted any of this to happen to the team,” Villanueva says.
Tomlin couldn’t even stay on the field as the medical staff attended to him, because that was Colbert’s job-or, as Colbert says, “My job at that point was to keep Coach informed, and his job at that point was to understand but to try to win the game.”

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Summary of “The Legend of Brad Stevens”

It’s just the latest instance in which Celtics coach Brad Stevens has managed to squeeze the most out of a limited roster of players on one of the biggest stages in basketball.
As you probably know, Stevens is already widely considered the greatest coach in basketball history.
On James Naismith’s deathbed, he turned to his loved ones and said, “My greatest achievement is inventing the sport that one day Brad Stevens will coach,” which confused everybody, because the name “Brad” wasn’t invented until 1974.
Widely considered the inspiration for Norman Dale in Hoosiers, Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights, and Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln, Stevens is the first-and to date, only-recipient of the Nobel Prize for coaching.
Give Stevens a ragtag band of NBA players with no stars, and he will advance through the playoffs.
1997: Air Bud You don’t get college coaching jobs fresh out of college, so at 21, Stevens took a volunteer coaching gig-as the head coach for the Fernfield Timberwolves, a middle school team in Washington.
After consulting the rulebook and ensuring that there were no bylaws preventing a dog from playing basketball, Stevens crafted a role specifically for Buddy.
Air Bud never gave any quotes about how Stevens helped his surprisingly prolific career, but he did roll over and allow the coach to rub his belly in the presence of reporters.

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Summary of “How Far Can Becky Hammon Go in the N.B.A?”

As a kid growing up in South Dakota, Becky Hammon had two great passions.
Anna Petrakova, who played with Hammon on C.S.K.A. and the national team, told me, “When people come to Russia, they always seem a little standoffish. They don’t always integrate in the culture.” Hammon was different.
Far more painful for Hammon was the reaction at home, in South Dakota.
“At the Summer Games in Beijing, in August, 2008, the U.S. beat Russia in the semifinals. After the game, Lisa Leslie, one of the most decorated Olympic basketball players, refused to shake Hammon’s hand. The U.S. went on to win the finals. At the medal ceremony, Hammon stood on the lowest step of the podium, in her Russian uniform, a bronze medal around her neck. When the American national anthem played, she placed her hand on her heart. Still, she was proud of the Russian national team, and of her ability to integrate with the players. Hammon told me,”I’m Russian to them, and it has nothing to do with the passport I’m holding.
“You don’t try to prove to people how smart you are, or that you have better ideas. She was cognizant of that sort of managerial thing.” In August, 2014, the Spurs offered Hammon the job as an assistant coach.
When Becky Hammon played basketball, she was known as a shooter, but she loved passing.
The big question for Hammon, Popovich told me, is “Is this going to end up being something? Is she going to be able to matriculate and get into a head-coaching position?” Hammon is still early in her career, and it could take some time.
“I tell her, very straightforwardly, I don’t know. Because I look at our country, and I have all kinds of doubts about all kinds of things, let alone whether she’s going to be a head coach.” Steve Kerr, the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, said last week, about the possibility of a female head coach, “I don’t know if it’s going to happen soon. Becky Hammon would be the one you’d say right away who could possibly get an interview.”

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Summary of “Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich go beyond Warriors, Spurs”

OAKLAND – Gregg Popovich has no interest in running for president of the United States, but he was willing to entertain a hypothetical question about it: If he did run, would he choose Steve Kerr to be his Vice President?
Unfortunately for their supporters, Kerr and Popovich also have something else in common.
There’s a deep well of respect between Popovich and Kerr.
Kerr, 52, played under Popovich during two different stints in 1998-2000 and 2002-2003.
From the outset, Kerr admired how Popovich ran things and marveled at his willingness to scream at his star players.
It’s one of the many things that Kerr learned from Popovich and now uses with his own team.
Before the Warriors hosted the Spurs in February, Popovich joked that Nick couldn’t be trusted and he had to confiscate his cell phone.
David Lee, a two-time All-Star who played for Kerr from 2014-15 and Popovich from 2016-17 before retiring last summer, said the two coaches have completely different styles.

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Summary of “The Warriors’ 70-Year-Old Truth-Teller”

Adams is the exacting, behind-the-scenes coach known for sending out links to essays about Trump and race.
“Coach Adams cared about us in a way that was special.”
Soon Adams began teaching his principles of defense to Jerry Tarkanian’s teams at U.N.L.V. Then he was in Iowa, at Drake.
Still, doubt tore at Adams, not about his defensive tactics, but about coaching itself.
As Adams moved from team to team, whenever he worried about whether he was doing enough to change the world, he beat back the angst.
The years folded one into the other, and on Adams went: Milwaukee, Chicago, Oklahoma City, back to Chicago, and finally to Boston, where he and Brad Stevens, head coach of the Celtics, took over a dismal young team.
Then Kerr took Adams to dinner at A16.Loosening UpOver pizza, Kerr spoke of creating a dynamic Warrior offense that was forceful, fluid and fast.
“I’m an older coach,” Adams adds, “And I had to change.”

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Summary of “What’s the Most Stable Franchise in the NFL?”

Here’s a list of all 32 teams, ranked from most to least stable heading into next season.
Pittsburgh appears ready to hit the ground running in 2018, but a few major questions hang over the team’s figurative head: Will star running back Le’Veon Bell get a new deal-or is a holdout or possible retirement on the table? What will the offense look like under new coordinator Randy Fichtner? And how can the team add depth to a linebackers group and secondary that got exposed by Blake Bortles and the Jaguars in the divisional round?
Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton was erratic as a passer for most of last season, the team fired offensive coordinator Mike Shula and lost defensive coordinator Steve Wilks to the Cardinals’ head-coach job, and the franchise is up for sale.
Still, what Seattle has over most of the teams that follow is a bona fide, proven franchise quarterback.
Kyle Shanahan-along with GM John Lynch and returning defensive coordinator Robert Saleh-has San Francisco poised for big things, but a few uncertainties remain: First, they must officially lock in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for this season, whether that means a long-term deal or the franchise tag.
There are just two huge, glaring issues: Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, the architect behind the team’s offensive explosion last year, is gone, and the team has zero quarterbacks under contract.
The team’s got a new set of coordinators, and a new offensive line coach.
New head coach Mike Vrabel sounds dedicated to modernizing the team’s offense under new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, and Tennessee gets an experienced, respected defensive coordinator in Pees, who should bring toughness and physicality to that side of the ball.

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Summary of “The 10 Biggest Questions Heading Into the NFL Offseason”

Seven teams will head into 2018 with new head coaches and/or front-office personnel, and a handful more have made changes at the general manager position.
Scheme changes, locker-room culture shifts, and salary cap purges are common among regime changes as new coaches and GMs look to bring in “Their guys,” ditch the players that are not, and create a competitive team.
Will pending superstar contract negotiations stall? Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is looking for a long-term contract and has already indicated he’s willing to sit out or retire if the team tries to franchise-tag him for a second straight year.
Add in tight end Antonio Gates, defensive end Julius Peppers, running backs Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore, safety Kam Chancellor, pass rusher Cliff Avril, and a slew of other aging vets that could decide to call it a career and a few teams could look a whole lot different in 2018.
The overhaul’s already started, of course, and following the Seahawks’ 9-7 finish, head coach Pete Carroll fired offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, defensive coordinator Kris Richard, offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable, and a few other position coaches-all moves that signaled a desire to return to the type of football Carroll wants his team to play.
The question now is whether that coaching purge will extend to the team’s roster.
Not only did Philly head coach Doug Pederson’s system make Carson Wentz an early favorite for the MVP award, but that quarterback-friendly scheme helped Nick Foles lead the team to a championship after the team lost Wentz for the year with a torn ACL. The NFL’s a copycat league, and plenty of teams were paying attention to what Pederson-and a few other forward-thinking coaches around the league, including his former boss Andy Reid-did this year to stress defenses with run-pass options, option runs, and play-action looks.
Add the Redskins, a team that may incorporate some of Kansas City’s offensive stylings to help smooth Smith’s transition, to that list, and there should be a handful of other teams that work those concepts into their offenses.

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