NFL mock draft 2019: Kyler Murray goes early; Eagles, Colts find new playmakers

first_img32. Green Bay Packers (from Saints)Noah Fant, TE, IowaThe Packers didn’t get the desired results from fading veterans Jimmy Graham and Martellus Bennett over the past two seasons. New coach Matt LaFleur’s influence will make finding a young, athletic target for Aaron Rodgers a priority. Fant tops the board at the position, just ahead of Missouri’s Albert Okwuegbunam. Get ready to keep up with all the changes when it comes to projecting the top 32 picks in the 2019 NFL draft.In Sporting News’ previous mock draft, we were not sure what underclassman would declare themselves eligible, and we did not know whether Oklahoma Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyle Murray would make himself available to pro football. We also did not know the directions a fourth of the NFL’s teams would go with their coaching staffs. In the weeks ahead, much will fluctuate as prospects see their stock rise or fall based on their performances in all-star game practices. Then will come the NFL Scouting Combine and pro days to shake up the board even more.The one thing we do know: The order of picks 1-28, in which the Raiders will make all three. Looking for the next update to come after the Senior and Super Bowls.NFL mock draft 20191. Arizona CardinalsQuinnen Williams, DT, AlabamaThe Cardinals need to rebuild offensively along the line and at wide receiver for new coach Kliff Kingsbury, but the value at the top of the draft is at defensive line, where they can bolster their front for Vance Joseph. The new defensive coordinator inherits a stud edge rusher for his 4-3 defense in Chandler Jones, but this is a chance for Steve Keim to get a massive (6-4, 295 pounts), explosive inside disruptor. It’s hard to ignore Williams’ Aaron Donald-like upside after his meteoric rise through his final college season.2. San Francisco 49ersNick Bosa, DE, Ohio StateIf the Cardinals take Bosa, then the 49ers might end up with a tough decision between Williams and edge rusher Josh Allen. (And it that case, they could shop this pick.) Bosa, however, would be a no-brainer if he falls them. Pro Bowl tackle DeForest Buckner had a breakout pass-rush season, and fellow first-rounder Solomon Thomas found another gear after he slid inside. Bosa is a sleek edge force (6-4, 262 pounds) with even more upside than brother Joey.3. New York JetsJonah Williams, OT, AlabamaThe Jets also could use some edge pass-rush help for new defensive coordinator Gregg William in their transition to a 4-3 defense, but the theme of 2019 looks to be helping Sam Darnold turn the corner from promising rookie QB to sensational sophomore passer. His weapons are better than one might think, and wideout is a reach at No. 3. So instead, Mike Maccagnan and Adam Gase can give Darnold a smooth pass protector who also is big enough (6-5, 301 pounds) to pave the way in the running game.4. Oakland RaidersJosh Allen, DE/OLB, KentuckyJon Gruden and Mike Mayock need to think versatile pass-rusher first after that spot became a void without Khalil Mack. Allen continues his trajectory as a potentially dominant pro edge pass-rusher. He is loaded with moves to get to the quarterback and has the athleticism to help in second-level coverage.5. Tampa Bay BuccaneersGreedy Williams, CB, LSUNew defensive coordinator Todd Bowles needs someone he can trust on an island in the back end to help combat the big, fast receivers in the NFC South. Williams is a long, lean cornerback (6-3, 184 pounds) who has rare speed, quickness and agility for his size. He’s not the most physical player, but he’s fundamentally sound in coverage, and he uses his length well at the line to break up routes. NFL DRAFT: All-time greatest draft steals6. New York GiantsDwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio StateHaskins made a great decision to come out early, because he should be the first QB off the board to succeed Eli Manning. Haskins cemented his stock late in the Buckeyes’ season, when he had some jaw-dropping games with his big arm and downfield accuracy. He has ideal size as a strong pocket passer (6-3, 220 pounds) with the right dose of athleticism. That checks the right boxes for Dave Gettleman.7. Jacksonville JaguarsKyler Murray, QB, OklahomaThe Jaguars are in the process of hiring a new offensive coordinator under Doug Marrone (John DeFilippo) and need to think about how to tailor their offense to Murray’s athleticism. They have a good baseline with a solid traditional rushing attack and a versatile receiving corps; Murray can play off that well with his passing and running. Murray lacks ideal size and isn’t the pocket prototype, but his electric playmaking is attractive enough for him to be drafted earlier than some expect.8. Detroit LionsClelin Ferrell, DE, ClemsonFerrell is the best of the Tigers’ defensive line prospects, because his size (6-5, 260 pounds) gives him a high floor as an outside run-stopper to add to his explosiveness as a pass-rusher. He’s the kind of versatile player out of whom Matt Patricia can get the most, and he also fits the Lions’ top need.9. Buffalo BillsEd Oliver, DT, HoustonThe Bills could consider some wide receiver or offensive line help for Josh Allen with this pick, but it would be hard for Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott to pass on Oliver if he’s still on the board. Venerable Kyle Williams retired, and 2018 free-agent pickup Star Lotulelei was a bust in his first season with the team. Oliver has slipped behind Quinnen Williams with his inside pop, but he’s still worthy of the top 10.10. Denver BroncosDaniel Jones, QB, DukeThe Broncos could go for another supposed veteran solution at QB with the likes of Joe Flacco or Nick Foles. If not — and if they don’t trade up, and if both Haskins and Murray are gone — Missouri’s Drew Lock and West Virginia’s Will Grier also would be in play. Jones, however, is pushing to be the No. 3 QB with his all-around, pro-tailored skills to go with ideal size (6-5, 220 pounds). He also has NFL-friendly tutelage from Peyton and Eli Manning mentor David Cutcliffe. Jones has the mentally and physically tough make-up Denver has been missing at QB.NFL DRAFT: Best first-round picks since 200011. Cincinnati BengalsDevin White, ILB, LSUThe Bengals have been a mess against the run mostly because of the injuries and ineffectiveness from their linebacker corps. They need an athlete who can cover a ton of ground against the run and also help them with their weak intermediate coverage. White is easily the rangiest defender in the 2019 class and will be a solid pick for whoever ends up as their defensive coordinator.12. Green Bay PackersJachai Polite, OLB, FloridaThe Packers, who are keeping their base 3-4 defense with Mike Pettine, desperately need a special edge pass-rusher. Although a little undersized at 6-2, 242 pounds, Polite’s speed and athleticism are off the charts as a sudden pass-rushing freak who channels some of former Gator Jevon Kearse.13. Miami DolphinsRashan Gary, DT, MichiganThe Dolphins appear set to hire Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores as their next coach, and they need to go after to versatile players to rebuild their front seven. Gary uses his hands, power and big frame (6-5, 280 pounds) well to occupy run-blockers. He also has some intriguing inside pass-rush ability.14. Atlanta FalconsDexter Lawrence, DT, ClemsonThe Falcons have had success turning to the Tigers for defensive linemen, and they should consider going back to Clemson for big space-eater in Lawrence (6-4, 351 pounds). Grady Jarrett is a priority re-sign for their defensive line before he becomes a free agent in March, but they need a run-stuffer to put between him and the edge-rushing Vic Beasley.15. Washington RedskinsDrew Lock, QB, MissouriThe Redskins no longer can consider anything other than a long-term replacement for Alex Smith now that the QB’s playing future is in serious doubt after his major leg injury. Lock, a four-year starter, is becoming a better value at No. 15 now that Haskins, Murray and Jones have entered the draft. Lock has the arm to go with ideal size (6-4, 225 pounds), along with the fearlessness and elusiveness NFL teams like in an aggressive passer.NFL DRAFT: Biggest busts in draft history16. Carolina PanthersDeionte Thompson, S, AlabamaThe Panthers should be thrilled if Thompson falls to them both for the position he plays and his talent to have a Derwin James-like impact. They had some of the worst safety play in the NFL in 2018, seen mostly in awful coverage of tight ends. Thompson (6-2, 196 pounds) is the rangy playmaker they need to clean up against the pass, and he’s solid in run support, too.17. Cleveland BrownsD.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole MissWhile his college teammate A.J. Brown is the shorter, scrappier playmaker, Metcalf is the classic size-speed prospect (6-4, 230 pounds). That’s the kind of outside No. 1 the Browns’ offense needs to push the ball better both downfield and in the red zone with Baker Mayfield, especially now that we know their new head coach, Freddie Kitchens, won’t be messing with the passing game.18. Minnesota VikingsGreg Little, OT, Ole MissThe Vikings suffered from shaky pass protection in 2018, which is part of the reason Kirk Cousins’ first season as their starting quarterback ending with a thud. Little (6-5, 325 pounds) has the agility and athleticism to lock down the blind side for now full-time offensive coordinator Kevin Stepfanski.19. Tennessee TitansA.J. Brown, WR, Ole MissThe Titans saw how special Corey Davis could be in their passing game, but they need a second outside threat to stretch the field. With Davis being the big, physical target, it would be nice to complement him with Brown’s speed, quickness and burst after the catch. At 6-1, 230 pounds, he also comes with the toughness coach Mike Vrabel likes in all of his players.20. Pittsburgh SteelersByron Murphy, CB, WashingtonThe Steelers have Joe Haden holding down one outside spot, but they could use another smooth, fluid cover man. What Murphy gives up in size and press potential (5-11, 170 pounds) he makes up for in speed, aggressiveness and ballhawking skills.NFL DRAFT: Each team’s worst ever regret21. Seattle SeahawksZach Allen, DE, Boston CollegeAllen keeps climbing draft boards as evaluators realize he can be a productive pro player against both run and pass, no matter the position and no matter the scheme. The Seahawks have Frank Clark at one edge, and Allen can be a terrific complement with his ability to slide and play tackle on rushing downs. He has many of the inside-outside qualities of Michael Bennett, only in a bigger frame (6-5, 284 pounds). If Allen goes higher, Gary would be a good fallback.22. Baltimore RavensMontez Sweat, OLB, Mississippi StateSweat’s size (6-6, 241 pounds) and relentless productivity as an edge pass-rusher makes him the ideal successor to Terrell Suggs in the Ravens’ steadfast 3-4 scheme.23. Houston TexansDeandre Baker, CB, GeorgiaThe Texans need to prioritize offensive tackle in the draft, but with Jonah Williams and Greg Little gone, it might be a reach for them to take either Oklahoma’s Cody Ford or Kansas State’s Dalton Risner in the first round. Cornerback is a big rebuilding need, too, and Baker, who plays bigger than his size (5-11, 185 pounds), can give them the smart, physical press coverage presence they like for Romeo Crennel.24. Oakland Raiders (from Bears)Kelvin Harmon, WR, N.C. StateThe Raiders need a true outside No. 1 receiver to replace Amari Cooper. Harmon (6-3, 214 pounds) is the speedy deep threat they have coveted over the years. He also is a savvy route-runner and blocker.25. Philadelphia EaglesDavid Montgomery, RB, Iowa StateMontgomery (5-11, 216 pounds) has emerged as a strong prospect because he finishes run strong and has shown some good hands and wiggle as a receiver. The Eagles have been a committee team under Doug Pederson, but injuries and ineffectiveness should make them consider one back who can do it all and complement Carson Wentz on every down.NFL DRAFT: Ranking first-round QBs since 200026. Indianapolis ColtsN’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona StateAndrew Luck had a big season despite limited pop at receiver beyond T.Y. Hilton. Harry would complement Hilton as a big (6-4, 216 pounds) matchup nightmare through the red zone who also can provide another strong intermediate-to-deep threat. Harry’s stock has the potential to shoot up, a la Mike Evans, so Stanford’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside also must remain on the Colts’ radar.27. Oakland Raiders (from Cowboys)Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio StateShould the Raiders secure Josh Allen for the edge earlier in the round, Jones (6-2, 295 pounds) would be the ideal inside pass-rusher to add next. That is assuming Gruden and Mayock can live with the fact that Jones needs some bulking up and coaching to be used on running downs.28. Los Angeles ChargersJerry Tillery, DT, Notre DameTillery has been a beast working as three-technique at 6-7, 305 pounds. He has matured well with his play and temperament to unleash his pass-rush skills. With Corey Liuget hurting and Brandon Mebane aging, the Chargers could use disruptive help inside. Tillery would give them needed extra pop to complement what Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram do off the edge.29. New England PatriotsChristian Wilkins, DT, ClemsonMake that three members of the Tigers’ national championship-winning defensive line going in the first round. While Ferrell is the explosive edge player, and Lawrence the run stuffer, Wilkins (6-4, 315 pounds) is the most versatile, a trait the Patriots will like at a position of need.30. Los Angeles RamsBrian Burns, OLB, Florida StateThe Rams need a dynamic edge pass-rusher to add punch to Wade Phillips’ front seven, especially given their limited returns from midseason acquisition Dante Fowler Jr. Donald had half of their 41 sacks in 2018, as their outside linebackers provided little punch or production. Burns can change that.31. Kansas City ChiefsTrayvon Mullen, CB, ClemsonMullen saw his stock go down in the middle of the Tigers’ season as he struggled at times as a No. 1 corner. But his size (6-1, 194 pounds), speed, length and physicality should allow him to test well and get more attention from scouts. The Chiefs need corner help, and Mullen has the upside to develop into a shutdown type.last_img read more

Warriors’ third-quarter run puts pressure on Raptors to make next key adjustment in NBA Finals

first_img“We’ll do our best with Kawhi,” Kerr said. “But we are well aware that no matter what we do, he’s probably going to have 30-plus points at the end of a game and make a huge impact.”MORE: Takeaways from Warriors’ Game 2 win over RaptorsThe Warriors attacked Leonard in Game 1, trapping him away from the basket, which eliminated him as a scoring threat but left shooters wide open to take uncontested 3-pointers or set off a chain reaction and forced the Warriors to rotate. The result? While Leonard was held to a pedestrian (for him) 23 points, other players were able to make some noise.In Game 1, Pascal Siakam scored a career playoff-high 32 points, shooting 14-of-17 from the field, with 10 points in transition on uncontested layups. Marc Gasol and Fred VanVleet finished with 20 points and 15 points, respectively. Danny Green chipped in 11 points, shaking out of a recent shooting slump with a few key 3-pointers.”We’ve got good players,” VanVleet said after Game 1. “A lot of playmakers and a lot of talent. We’ve got to step up and make plays. They’re going to send a lot of help and doubles to not make life easy for [Leonard]. They put their best defenders on him and try to make it as tough as possible for him. So the rest of us have got to step up, make shots, make extra plays, keep the ball flowing and moving.”For the first half of Game 2 on Sunday night, it appeared as though the Raptors might leave Toronto with a 2-0 series lead by following the Game 1 playbook. Leonard led the way with a team-high 16 points through two quarters, and eight different Raptors had scored. After the first 24 minutes, the Raptors held a five-point advantage over the Warriors.It was then that the Warriors woke from their slumber, quickly changing the momentum of the game — and perhaps the series.Golden State took advantage of a lack of intensity on the part of the Raptors, rattling off an 18-0 run to begin the third quarter. With several Raptors in foul trouble to start the second half, they gave up penetration that led to uncontested finishes at the basket. They were also sloppy on offense, with multiple turnovers and missed shots.Toronto coach Nick Nurse told media after the game that he was going to have to take a look at the third-quarter breakdown before Game 3.”Yeah, I’m certainly going to have to take a look at it, and I’ve always said even this series and the last series that offense is really important, taking care of the ball and scoring it because if you don’t, they’re coming at you really fast the other way,” Nurse said. “And again, we have to got to be able to get our defense set up, and it’s a lot harder when you’re not taking care of it scoring.”The @warriors go on top with a 18-0 burst to open the 2nd half!#StrengthInNumbers 78#WeTheNorth 67🇺🇸: ABC 🇨🇦: TSN— NBA (@NBA) June 3, 2019MORE: DeMarcus Cousins was waiting for this Finals momentGasol, who was held to 2-of-7 shooting from the field after a 20-point performance in Game 1, said the difference at the start of the third quarter was the Raptors’ inability to use their physicality.”We missed some good shots, and defensively they kind of got away from our body,” Gasol said. “We couldn’t use the physicality. They moved the ball really well and were running freely. Once they run freely, everything opens up for them.”The Raptors managed to play in the half court more in the fourth quarter, using an unorthodox box-and-one defense to slow down the Warriors, but the deficit was too great. Toronto outscored Golden State in three of the four quarters but could not overcome the 18 unanswered points to start the second half. The Warriors had not yet gone on one of their patented runs and, when they finally managed to do so, it proved to be the difference-maker in the game.”Yeah, I mean, it was the big point in the game,” Kerr said. “We weren’t exactly making stops, but we cut the lead to five [at the end of the first half] and could kind of breathe at halftime. I think our guys felt renewed life at that point and came out and just had a great run to take control of the game, and we were able to finish it out from there.”So much was made of the Raptors’ transition defense in Game 1, which stagnated the Warriors. Leonard, who had a game-high 34 points and 14 rebounds, spoke about the breakdown in transition that led to the Warriors’ third-quarter run.”I feel like in that third quarter, we didn’t score the ball in like the first five minutes, four-and-a-half minutes, obviously led to them getting out in transition early and a lot of layups and open looks, and that was pretty much the game right there,” Leonard said. “You can’t do that with a championship team on the other side.” TORONTO — The NBA is a game of adjustments, and at no time is that more on display than during the playoffs.It came as no surprise that the Warriors had so carefully planned their attack around stifling Kawhi Leonard, whom Stephen Curry referred to as the “nucleus” of the Raptors. Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked during his media availability ahead of Game 1 what would constitute a good defensive performance against Leonard. The Raptors almost certainly have to take at least one of two at Oracle Arena if they are to keep their hopes of being crowned the 2019 NBA champions alive. They will need to tighten up their offensive possessions and consistently recover defensively in transition while also limiting the personal fouls that likely diminished their ability to play with intensity in the third quarter.We have also not seen the best of Kawhi yet in this series. Putting him in better positions to score will be key to the Raptors’ success the rest of the way.It is a game of adjustments.last_img read more

Óscar Pereiro: “There would be problems if Bale were my partner”

first_imgOn Sunday they face their two soul teams. Who are you going with?Always with Celta, I have no doubt. I only wished the opposite once, in which Celta did not play anything and Real Madrid was fighting for LaLiga. I am a cellist and follower of Real Madrid.Has that been your order of preference since you were a child?I am not a cellist since I was born. I started following him with 11 years, just after my father took me to Balaído to see a Celta-Real Madrid. I remember that the figure was Baltazar. Being smaller I have photos with the Athletic shirt. I imagine my grandparents would give it to me for Athletic titles those years. But neither as a child nor as an adult I had a Madrid shirt. At the time of Capello it was when I became more Real Madrid.You who are so multifaceted and football fan, would not you like to be a manager of Celta?Many times I have thought about it. It would be milk, an incredible experience.Why is Celtic again struggling to save itself?Since leaving Berizzo has been a disappointment after another. We need to work more, be more humble. In August we all thought we had a team to fight for Europe, but we are a very soft team. At times I get the feeling that we lack ambition. It cannot be that we are one of the teams that lacks the least in LaLiga. With Berizzo we had another claw, more intensity.Do you think Iago Aspas is going to the European Championship? He is a magician. Last year he saved Celta and this season if he is not shining so much it is because he has few balls. He should go to the European Championship for quality, intensity and for being the top Spanish scorer of the last leagues.What match do you expect this Sunday at the Bernabéu?I am more optimistic than a month ago. We come from being very bad and we are growing. I really like the progression in the Celtic game, although it is hard for us to score points. We can make war, although Real Madrid is defensively quite reliable.Do you see them as league champions?It is very soon and there is a Classic. Style doesn’t just make me fall in love. Practice a control football, is not a steamroller like Liverpool or like Real Madrid from other times. Of course, its effectiveness is indisputable.And in the Champions League do you consider it a favorite against City?When Real Madrid puts on the European shirt it looks like a different team. In theory it is favorite and the City is not in its best season. Even so, he is a strong rival and with a coach who really wants Real Madrid.Did you have a partner like Bale in your career as a professional cyclist?No never. That pasotismo had never seen him, someone who is so good and has no ambition to win and be the best. It gives the feeling of being accommodated, that he charges every month and that he doesn’t care about football. If I were my partner, with the character I have, there would be problems.last_img read more

Ja’s beach volleyballers to compete in CYG

first_imgNASSAU, Bahamas (CMC):Four Caribbean sides will be part of the inaugural beach volleyball competition at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) to take place in the Bahamas.Jamaica, St Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago and hosts Bahamas will provide teams for both the boys’ and girls’ competitions at the Games which is scheduled for July 19-23.”Some of the Commonwealth’s finest beach-side settings will be the sporting stage for beach volleyball when our exciting and engaging sport is presented for the first time ever at the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, and then on the Commonwealth Games programme in Gold Coast, Australia a year later,” said Ary Graca, president of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).EXCITING TIME”It’s such an exciting time globally for this fast-paced and fast-growing sport, and I’ve every confidence that fans will welcome its addition to the programme.”A total of 24 teams are set to be fielded in the beach volleyball competition during the CYG which will be the largest international sporting event ever to be staged in the Bahamas and the largest-ever edition of the Games with up to 1,300 athletes, aged 14 to 18, set to participate.The boys’ tournament will also feature Australia, Cyprus, England, Ghana, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.The others contesting the women’s competition will be Australia, Cameroon, England, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland and Vanuatu.last_img read more

Victolero vows Magnolia won’t stop looking for ways to beat San Miguel

first_imgVictolero, though, knows it’s going to need more than just words if the Magnolia wants to remain a threat to the Beermen, who are raring to pull away in the best-of-seven series.“I think we need to find ways how to match up or surpass the energy of the second group of San Miguel. We had a hard time matching up with the energy of (Brian) Heruela and other guys coming from the bench,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThe Beermen threw a different problem at the Hotshots this time, with the bench stepping up enough that Fajardo could afford to rest in the fourth quarter. Guys like Brian Heruela, Gabby Espinas, and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser accounted for the team’s 33 bench points.“I think we did a pretty good job on defending June Mar (Fajardo) and Arwind (Santos) tonight, but the problem is the other guys stepping up. I think that’s what we need to think about now.” Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Lassiter thinks solid chemistry key to Beermen’s dominance Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netMagnolia coach Chito Victolero remains unfazed despite the 111-87 clobbering the Hotshots absorbed in Game 3 of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Sunday.“We won’t stop until we find a way to win in this series,” he vowed.ADVERTISEMENT Though Magnolia also drew 40 points from its reserves, it was its starters who failed to match up as key guys, especially Ian Sangalang who just contributed six points and five rebounds, found themselves limited in the tiff.“We need to address that. We cannot afford to relax even a single minute or a single second against San Miguel because on that one minute, two minutes that we have let-ups, that’s where they get their big leads,” he said. “We need to find ways how to play 48 minutes of consistent basketball.”Magnolia will be fighting for its life on Game 4, scheduled on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.RELATED VIDEOADVERTISEMENT View comments Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img read more

Kofi Woods and the Delusion of Innocence

first_imgWe have been all but fascinated by the hearty exchange between President Sirleaf and former Public Works Minister Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods. Having jumped ship in 2013, Woods is convinced he has afforded himself ample distance from the current administration to assume the bully pulpit and berate his former boss for the culture of impunity she continues to uphold. In response to her allusion to his complicity to corruption, he has challenged Sirleaf to take the argument to court and prove his guilt. And he is right about the culture of impunity. It must stop, and the government should “take a page out of his playbook” and subject themselves to an annual audit – which is a statutory requirement for public officials and entities anyway.But something is amiss here. Certainly, as a renowned human rights lawyer, he seems to have all his bases covered – having subjected himself to two audits, and come up clean. Good for him. Audits are harrowing processes, especially when one must account for every transaction conducted on behalf of an entire ministry. But then again, he is a lawyer, trained to find and exploit loopholes the size of a pinprick. How else was he able to distance himself from the MPW’s illegal authorization of road works without contracts, on his watch? As a lawyer, he is no doubt aware that goods and services valued above the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission’s US$250,000 threshold must be procured through contractual agreements signed by the head of entity (not a proxy) and the Minister of Finance & Development Planning; and then attested to by the Minister of Justice. He is also fully aware that any given road contract must have exceeded that threshold, based on the nature of the work, the expertise and equipment required to complete it. And right after that, he resigned, leaving in his wake a government illegally indebted to contractors; contractors heavily indebted to commercial banks, based on Government’s authorization to proceed; and commercial banks in crisis mode, direly needing the repayment of substantial loans. To top that off, he left with a bang, issuing a public statement blaming the government for not investing enough in road infrastructure. Having pulled all that off, he should offer his legal services to every other public official; they sure could use it. Given his sharp legal mind and vast experience, this great escape from culpability separates him from some other amateur managers who have meant well, but still got swept up in their subordinates’ malpractice. But, while no court may be able to convict Mr. Woods for a crime, there being no material evidence, there is such a thing as intangible guilt. This, of course, is not a legal term; it is a spiritual concept that speaks to one’s conscience. How does he feel about the livelihoods he has jeopardized by allowing businesses to suffer from the irresponsible act of allowing them to work without a contract? How does he feel about the effect of that action (on his watch) on the liquidity of our commercial banks? Does any of this matter to him? Whether it does or not, the damage has been done, and he must at least be accountable to the public. We are, however, compelled to consider the flip side of this coin. It is widely speculated that officials of the Sirleaf administration are subject to demands from “higher up” that straddle the bounds of legality. Whether during election cycles or mid-administration, constant pressure is placed on cabinet and sub-cabinet officials to manipulate the mechanics of fiscal management in order to fund one operation or another. Perhaps Mr. Woods was subject to such demands. Wanting no part in that rigmarole, perhaps he devised a successful strategy to accommodate the demands of that unseen hand, without being seen to hold it. Following that thought experiment, it follows that Mr. Woods may have thrown his colleagues under the bus (they have all been disgraced and fired, after all), to save his own hide. Or, perhaps his deputies were more inclined than he was to succumb to those unsavory demands; in which case, he should have acted much, much sooner, distancing himself from their misdeeds.Either way, Woods, being a human rights lawyer, must answer for his silent complicity. But to steer his crew into an iceberg, jump ship and then wait two years before speaking out, is an act of plunging the dagger and then hiding his hand. These maneuvers are ingenious, but sinister, and not very different from what many have accused the current president of. So, yes, he may be beating her at her own game; he has clearly “taken a page out of her playbook”, it turns out, by undermining this administration to gain political advantage. In the end, he could find himself wallowing in the same pitthat he has dug for her.In this instance, one should remember the biblical warning against gaining the whole world and losing one’s soul. Leading up to the 2017 presidential and general elections, if he has any ambition to contest, Mr. Woods must demonstrate that he is more interested in the welfare of the people than he is in power as an end in itself. Only time will tell. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

First Annual “Drum Fest 2018” on for June

first_imgThe sounds of the drums will come alive with great pump and ceremony this June, as the first ever “Drum Fest 2018” will be held in Guyana. It will see drummers of our many different cultures vying for a chance to win some $1.5 million in cash and prizes, while relishing in the heritage of our country.Initiated by the CFW Entertainment, the fest is being brought to the platter out of the need for greater and more impacting recognition for the art of drumming in Guyana.Drum Fest 2018 is also geared at bringing all drummers in Guyana together in????????????????????????????????????unity, while ensuring that the tradition stays alive.New talents will be discovered and unleashed, while the art of drumming will be promoted and revitalised, as drummers from as little as 5 years old are expected to perform.Steel pan, Tassa and African drums would be expected out of groups such as African Amazon, Otishka, Den Amstel Drumming Group, Fodoko Players, and many more.Corwyn Williams of the CFW Entertainment has noted that greater importance should be placed on drumming in Guyana.“I am of the view that, with the right heads, minds and hands fused together, “Drum Fest 2018” can become the platform to promote Guyana, not only as the Land of many Waters, but also as a Land of Pulsating Drums” he said.He revealed that drummer in Guyana are saddened by how lightly their art is being treated.“Drummers around Guyana are of the opinion that this tradition is treated too lightly. As a result, we see drummers in the streets and byways desperately trying to sustain the art form. This is the reason why we initiated this event, which is going to not only handsomely reward the participants, but will be made an annual event at various locations in Guyana,” Williams announced.Enthusiastic for the event, Williams assured drummers, “We will ensure that this tradition is escalated to the very top of the recognition ladder, where it rightly fully belongs!”Public Relations officer of the Drum Fest, Alex Wayne, shared similar sentiments as he reminded that drumming is not only of importance to our culture, but also should be taken to the next level in Guyana.Wayne assured that this first-ever drum festival in Guyana can be expected to be a phenomenal one.One drummer promised to bring a fusion of Queh-Queh, swarie and dubay, which will be incorporating various cultures.“We are very excited and from Berbice. We are going to be ten members strong, and we will definitely be hitting the place with music, so that is to be expected from us” said the African Amazon member.Another drummer will be bringing not only drumming, but the singing of songs alike to the table.The Tourism and Hospitality Association (THAG) is in full support of the venture, and will be a major sponsor of same.The location of the event, which will be called either the National or Durban Park, will be announced later.last_img read more

Bloody bodies of man, wife found in Kuru Kururu home

first_img…couple killed each other during argument – PoliceThe bloody bodies of a woman and her reputed husband were on Tuesday found lying on their bed in their Lot 522 Kuru Kururu, Linden-Soesdyke Highway home.Dead: Naco Malika HaleDead are 36-year-old Naco Malika Hale and 48-year-old Alwin Bleacher. The dead couple were found by their 14-year-old son after he went into their bedroom to check on his mother, since she did not wake them up to prepare for school as was routine.As he entered the bedroom, he saw his mother lying in a pool of blood with several stab wounds to her neck, while his father was partially on her with an incised wound to his lower back. In his mother’s hand was a pair of blood-stained scissors.He immediately woke up his three siblings and they ran over to a neighbour’s house where he related what they saw. Villagers then rushed to the scene as the Police arrived.When Guyana Times arrived at the scene, scores of residents flocked the house as crime scene experts conducted their investigations. The Police were working on the theory that the couple might have been involved in a fight, which led to them fatally wounding each other.Police ranks cordoning off the murder sceneThe eldest son confirmed that his parents were involved in a heated argument about 22:00h after which he heard a “scramble” followed by silence. The young man reportedly told investigators that he did not pay any heed to his parents, since they usually argued. He said he, along with his siblings, went to sleep.The argument, the teenager allegedly stated, stemmed from his mother’s refusal to drop a court case against his father.The Police later stated that the now dead man was charged in August last for wounding his son. This publication understands that the teenager did not clean a “pig pen” and this angered his father, who picked up a knife and cut the young man on his abdomen.On Tuesday, a neighbour, Joan Da Silva explained that after the teenager discovered the motionless bodies of his parents on their bed, he and his siblings ran over to her house.“I left home at about 07:00h and like 07:15h when I reached into work, my daughter called and requested that I come home right away, that Malika and her husband dead,” she added.Without hesitation, she rushed home and went straight to the couple’s house where she saw them in a motionless state. According to Da Silva, Hale was lying on her back and her husband’s feet were on top of her stomach.Residents converge at the murder scene“From what I see, Malika had couple stab wounds to her neck and the man has one to his back,” she added. However, Police sources confirmed that the man was stabbed at least 13 times, while the woman was stabbed 10 times.Da Silva, who was also a close friend of the now dead woman, said that the couple would have disagreements often. She noted that in some cases, Bleacher would physically assault her, but this time, the argument turned tragic.Bleacher, she claimed, was a violent person while Hale was a decent, honest and hardworking woman, who ensured that her children were taken care of. She worked as a cook at a food mart in Soesdyke on the East Bank of Demerara.She was also the President of the Parent-Teacher’s Association at the Kuru Kururu Primary School.Da Silva revealed that the now dead man was released on bail for the stabbing incident.“No one knew he came out … when I get the information that he came out, I asked his daughters, but they told me no … I asked Malika, she told me no … It is until one day, I told the daughter that I saw her father and asked whether he came out of prison and it was that time, she confirmed same,” Da Silva added.She noted that based on reports received, he was supposed to stay 100 feet away from the house and his son whom he had injured.Meanwhile, the owner of the food mart where the now dead woman worked told this newspaper that she was a hard worker. The businesswoman explained that the woman would normally arrive at work for 07:00h, but on Tuesday she did not.She said she attempted to make contact with Hale, but her calls went unanswered. She said shortly after someone went to the business establishment and informed her of Hale’s demise. She drove to the scene where she saw a crowd and her worst fears were confirmed.“She loved her children a lot … every time she was ready to leave, she collected food and so for the children … not only the life of a good woman was taken but also one who was respected,” her employer said.Another friend, who was at the scene, explained that the two of them had a discussion on Monday afternoon and he was shocked to learn about her demise on Tuesday.Hale and Bleacher were together for several years and had four children, aged four to 14. The woman was originally from Linden. As the news spread, the woman’s relatives showed up at the scene.The Police removed several pieces of evidence as they continue their investigations into the murders. (Bhisham Mohamed)last_img read more

North Peace Ooks place 13th at provincials

first_imgThe girls began the tournament in the qualifying round and unfortunately opened their tournament with a loss, suffering a 2-0 set loss to the Kelowna Owls (9-25, 10-25).The Ooks then took on the McMath Wildcats that same day. The North Peace girls lost their second in a row, after a 2-0 set loss (15-25, 11-25).The girls, still in search of their first qualifying win, then played the Dover Bay Dolphins, which resulted in another 2-0 loss (15-25, 22-25).- Advertisement -After a not-so-successful qualifying round, the North Peace girls hit the hardwood for some playoff action. The girls opened their playoff round against the Handsworth Royals, beating the Royals 3-0 for their first win of the tournament.North Peace would next square off against the South Delta Sundevils in the quarterfinals, unfortunately losing by a score of 2-0 in sets (25-22, 15-8).The Ooks then took place in another quarterfinals match up, taking on the Georges P. Vanier Secondary, who the Ooks defeated 2-0 (25-16, 26-24).Advertisement The team’s final match took place in the semis, when they took on the Oak Bay High School Breakers. The Ooks ended their tournament on a winning note, defeating Oak Bay 2-0 (25-20, 25-23).The final semi-final victory earned the North Peace girls the 13 ranking provincially in the AAAA division.last_img read more

Man killed in fall after car crash

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – A 19-year-old Valencia man died Sunday after he fell off a freeway overpass while trying to avoid an oncoming car after he had exited his vehicle following a crash, authorities said. California Highway Patrol officers found the body of David Hairston III at 4:50 a.m., about 25 minutes after his Ford Escort collided with a Honda Civic on the rain-soaked northbound Interstate 5 at Gavin Canyon Road. Hairston and a 49-year-old Reseda man had collided, and their vehicles remained in the freeway lanes, police said. Hairston’s vehicle was sideways. Soon after, Phoebe Wong, 55, of Valencia was headed toward the scene and apparently could not see Hairston’s car and hit it, police said. Hairston, who was out of his car, jumped onto the overpass to avoid getting hit by Wong. He then slipped in the wet conditions and fell onto The Old Road below, according to a CHP accident report. Nobody else was seriously injured.last_img read more