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28.05.2019 06:17
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EUGENE, Ore. -- Its a sport built on speed, and at U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Saturday, sprinters wasted no time drawing conclusions about Usain Bolts summertime itinerary.The consensus: Hell be in Rio.For the second straight day, the Jamaican sprinters hamstring was Topic No. 1 in the track world. If Bolt is seriously hurt, the entire Olympics will take on a new perspective, whether its Bolt at less-than-full strength or -- still unthinkable at this point -- absent altogether.Not that anyone going through preliminary rounds in Eugene was worried about that.Crazy stuff always happens in an Olympic year, said Bolts main challenger, Justin Gatlin, who cruised through his 100-meter preliminary in a time of 10.03 seconds. Like anyone else, you have to see whats going to happen. But cmon. Were going to see his face in Rio one way or another.Gatlin, Tyson Gay, Mike Rodgers and Trayvon Bromell all advanced easily through the first round of the 100 on a sunny, 83-degree day that produced little in the way of top-line surprises.Meanwhile, a continent away in Kingston, few clues emerged the day after Bolt, the 29-year-old world-record holder, pulled out of his national championships, posting a picture of himself on Twitter with electrical-stimulation pads stuck to his hamstring and the message: Starting the recovery process right away.What is known is that Jamaicas rules are much less restrictive than those in the United States, which allow the top three finishers in each event to qualify, with no exceptions for injuries or past performances.Per Jamaicas rules, Bolt can earn his spot in the 100 and 200 if he can show hes fit enough; that judgment call has to be made by July 18, when Olympic rosters are due.I feel like its a cop-out. He should run like anybody else, said Rodgers, the 2009 U.S. champion at 100 meters. But at the end of the day, hes Bolt. Hes the Olympic champ, hes the world champ. Until someone beats him, puts him in his place, hes going to do what he wants to do.Indeed, there was more eye-rolling than genuine concern among the U.S. sprinters, who feel like theyve seen this before.In 2012, Bolt ran at Jamaicas nationals, but finished second to Yohan Blake in both the 100 and 200, not far removed from a minor car crash and dealing with some leg issues. Bolt was injured in the lead-up to world championships last year, but nonetheless edged Gatlin in the 100 and blew by him in the 200.Now, this.Its a tradition, said Gay, who once was Bolts main challenger.Gatlin said years ago, he might have heard about an injury to Bolt and thought I hit the lottery. What did the injury do to his thought process this time?Nothing, Gatlin said. Being a veteran, you cant let that change you.Gatlin didnt want to get sucked into a conversation of whether hed like to see Bolt at his best when he gets to Brazil later in the summer. The Americans still have to get through two more rounds of the 100 on Sunday to secure their spot on the Olympic team.Its a format theyve long dealt with and accept, even if it adds some strain, coming only six weeks before the games begin.If I was Bolt in Jamaica, Id probably pull out, too, said Shawn Crawford, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist at 200 meters, who now coaches American sprinter Jeneba Tarmoh. I know my training isnt up to where I want it to be, so Id let them race and Ill just go home and train. I know theyre going to put me on the team. You cant do that here. If you could, Im sure thered be a lot of people whod pull out.Other headlines from Day 2 at Olympic Trials:FELIX THROUGH: Allyson Felix again gritted her way through the 400-meter heats, finishing second to Francena McCorory in a time of 50.31. Its not an ideal situation for me, Felix said of the injured right ankle that has hampered her preparation for the 200-400 double. Im happy to keep moving on.BUSY DAY: World long-jump champion Tianna Bartoletta had a busier day than most. She was also entered in the womens 100 meters, and the events were scheduled simultaneously. She qualified for the Olympics in the long jump and moved easily through the first round of the 100. Bartoletta petitioned to have the schedule changed, but to no avail. We changed the practices so I would go from the runway to the sprint, back to the runway, she said. Even though the pressure of being at the Olympic trials was higher, my body was actually used to doing that.HALFWAY HOME: World-record holder Ashton Eaton made it safely through the first five events of the decathlon. He has 4,561 points, which is not a record pace, but is an 83-point advantage over second-place Jeremy Taiwo. Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee ran his 400 meters in 1 minute, 12.49 seconds, more than 36 seconds off the pace, to drop into 17th place. Hes been dealing with a hamstring injury, on top of a foot injury, that had him on the couch for the 10 days before trials. He said hed return for Sundays events.HUDDLE UP: Molly Huddle ran hard to the line to win the womens 10K by more than 4 seconds over Emily Infeld. Huddle finished in 31:41.62. Last year at world championships, Huddle slowed up and raised her hands to celebrate with about a step left, which allowed Infeld to shoulder past her for the bronze medal.DISCUS QUALIFIERS: Whitney Ashley, Shelbi Vaughan and Kelsey Card all qualified for the Olympics in the discus throw. Ashley won the event with a throw of 204 feet, 2 inches. Wholesale Swell Bottles . Brett Kulak and Jackson Houck of the Vancouver Giants were each charged with assault causing bodily harm on Aug. 18, according to the B.C. court services. Liberty London sWell Bottle . -- Teemu Selanne scored the first goal of his 22nd NHL season, and the Anaheim Ducks extended the best start in franchise history with their fifth straight victory, 3-2 over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night. . After a lengthy wait, persistent rain finally forced the postponement of the Nationals game against the Miami Marlins on Saturday night. The teams, and a few thousand fans, waited nearly four hours from the 7:05 scheduled start time before an announcement was made shortly before 11 p. Swell Bottle Uk Sale . The move comes after the Canadiens were approached by the Buffalo Sabres for permission to speak to Dudley - a former Sabres player and head coach. "The Sabres called for permission and I appreciate that, Im flattered, Dudley told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun of ESPN. Marble Water Bottle Cheap . -- There were so many positives from the Orlando Magics first victory of the season that it was hard for coach Jacque Vaughn to stop praising his players. MADISON, Wis. -- The lights dimmed in the corner room of Wisconsins second-floor indoor practice facility, with 14 attentive football players across three rows of chairs staring at an overhead projection screen. They carried with them snacks, bottled water, pens and blank sheets of paper -- plus the hopes of an entire campus, abuzz with anticipation five days before the Badgers biggest home game in years.In this meeting room, members of Wisconsins secondary convened for a pre-practice crash course on the complexities of Ohio States passing offense. The undefeated, second-ranked Buckeyes possess a Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback J.T. Barrett and enough wide receiver skill to fill an all-conference team. The task of stopping all that talent will fall on these cornerbacks and safeties.The task of preparing the group falls largely on the shoulders of Jim Leonhard, a three-time first-team all-Big Ten safety at Wisconsin who is in his first year as the Badgers defensive backs coach (and his first year as a coach at any level) and has become among the most crucial reasons for the impressive start on the back end. No. 8 Wisconsin has allowed only three passing touchdowns this season, which is tied for the best mark in the Big Ten. Every defensive back starter has recorded at least one interception.Ill honestly say hes been the key to bringing us to where we are now, said Badgers cornerback Sojourn Shelton, the teams only returning starter in the secondary. We know that we can be so much better. And we get that mentality from him. ... Hes the piece thats jelled us all together, as far as being confident in each other.Much of that confidence starts in this room, where no details are spared in preparation for each opponent. Leonhard allowed access this week to a 45-minute team meeting with his defensive backs as they game planned for Ohio State (8 p.m. ET Saturday on ABC). During that time, he cycled through his units defensive strategy by diagramming plays, issuing scouting reports on key offensive players and providing a lengthy video session breaking down the Buckeyes route concepts.He also managed to have a little fun.?Leonhard began the session by mentioning a quote written on the back whiteboard. It was the handiwork of Badgers cornerback Natrell Jamerson, who has been sidelined while recovering from a leg injury.I dont know if you know, but in the past, he used to teach a little Kung Fu, a little Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Leonhard said as laughter filled the room. One of his students came up to him and said, You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two? Master Trell replied, It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.First of all, I dont like to talk about war and football. Two separate things. But I think the message is pretty good. And to me, its about preparation. Its preparing in times of peace. Its preparing when things are easy. For football, you take it as whether its walkthroughs, whether its meeting rooms, individuals, stuff like that. Are you working to get through it, or are you working to actually get better?Leonhard stood in the front, wearing a red Wisconsin crewneck shirt and gray Badgers sweatpants. He informed his players that Ohio States run and pass game are simple in concept but effective on the field. The Buckeyes rank third nationally in points per game (53.2). He encouraged players that if they lock in, they will have an opportunity to win.What followed was a masters level class in football terminology, as he ran through various defensive calls: Oscar, Charlie, Woody, Max, Sparrow, Match, Edge. He drew four Ohio State route concepts on the whiteboard and explained when Wisconsin should be in Cover 4 or Cover 3 defense.Leonhard focused on when his defensive backs should morph into a bandit, a hybrid linebacker/defensive back who moves out of his natural position to either blitz or fake blitz to confuse the offense. He discussed how defensive backs should react if a linebacker rushes the quarterback and when to line up as a quarterback spy.If they were to run option at you, you would throw the brakes on and make him take a little time, just buying time for the Mike [linebacker], Leonhard said. If you go smack the quarterback and have him pitch it, its just a foot race between him and the backer. You still have the quarterback. Nothings changed. Were just trying to buy one extra click for our linebacker to be able to push through.An explanation of Ohio State running a 7 or corner route, which requires the receiver to drive and then stem, or fake inside before making a break, led to a discussion with Shelton and safety DCota Dixon on how best to align and combat. Leonhard is not afraid to turn to the input of the Badgers veteran leaders for what theyre most comfortable with on the field.That Leonhard has been able to adapt so quickly as a coach is not a surprise. After the team meeting, he mentioned that he grew up in a family of coaches -- aunts, uncles, mom and dad -- who coached anything from basketball to baseball to volleyball. Coaching represents a natural next step in his career. He said he prided himself on being a mentor to younger players during the final years of his 10-year NFL career and described his brief tenure with the Badgers as a pretty seamless transition.He said college football offenses are generally less complex than those in the NFL and are therefore easier to prepare for.dddddddddddd The biggest challenge, he noted, has been finding the best methods to connect with players.I try to be efficient and not overload guys, Leonhard said. Some guys cant handle it. If you try to give too much, sometimes that gets you in trouble. That has been my struggle -- just trying to figure out whats enough and whats too much because ultimately, you just want guys to play fast and go compete. Just because you can see it doesnt mean they can. Its that fine line.Players have taken to Leonhards instructions because of his ability to easily communicate intricate bits of information. His on-field accomplishments also command instant respect.I love the way he coaches, Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. I think he gives them some things that are tangible that they can truly take. Hes not trying to impress them with his knowledge. Hes trying to figure out ways he can help them.Following the initial Xs and Os session, Leonhard moved on to Phase 2 of the team meeting: the scouting report. He began with Barrett, who has 15 touchdown passes and three interceptions. Barrett also ranks third on the team in rushing yards and has four touchdowns.Hes an athletic guy, Leonhard told his players. Weve got to make him pay when he runs the ball. I dont see him making a whole lot of guys miss. I think hes faster than he is shifty. So safeties, [if] we get a chance, hit it, man.Leonhard described Ohio State receiver Dontre Wilson and H-back Curtis Samuel?as big-time difference-makers and compared them to Percy Harvin in their ability to line up at running back or receiver. Leonhard is particularly concerned about Samuel, who ranks in the top eight in the Big Ten in rushing and receiving yards.You watch him, the thing that he gets guys on is if he kind of goes lazy in a route, dont believe it, Leonhard said. Hell stem you. Hes going to break hard as hell. Everything hes going to do, hes going to be patient at the top of routes. But if he starts just kind of bending into something, hes going opposite. Dont fall for the trap.Finally, Leonhard arrived at Ohio States other major receiving weapon. Noah Brown leads the Buckeyes with five touchdown catches, including four against Oklahoma.I have yet to see a guy play good technique in press on him, Leonhard said. He is very good. If he gets you a step behind, he is damn good at trapping the ball, going and attacking it, making plays over the top of corners. But I have yet to see a corner play it from a good position. So the way you play in press, he is not going to run past you. Same thing when you watch that on tape. He is never more than this far away from a guy. Havent seen it yet. So you can challenge him.Leonhard cued up his video cut-ups and spent the final 20 minutes holding a clicker and laser pointer to highlight Ohio States route concepts. There were introductions to each set of plays labeled in red: Sail, Spot 7, Curls/Hitches, Post: Dino, Pin, X, Screens: Swing/Bubble, Rail and Digs/Speedo. Leonhard spent the teams bye week after a 14-7 loss to Michigan compiling clips he wanted to display. They came from games this season against Bowling Green, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Indiana, as well as last years Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame.He showed examples of receivers James Clark and Terry McLaurin being used in screen scenarios. He explained how receiver Parris Campbell is patient at the top of his routes. He used footage of Brown to reiterate his point and boost confidence in his defensive backs.Watch the deep curl, Leonhard said. Watch 80 [Brown]. I dont know. I dont think hes threatening your speed, right? Trust who you are. Know who he is. I dont think hes going to run past you.He pointed out a particular offensive alignment that featured Ohio State repeatedly running slant routes into the boundary side of the field. One receiver springs free for a touchdown. Finally, Leonhard showed Ohio State running a speedo route, in which only two receivers go out with an eight-man protection.This is when theyre good, Leonhard said. They get you here, they win consistently.Leonhard flicked the lights on and reminded his players that they can watch all the routes on their team-issued iPads. He warned them about Ohio States tempo before closing with a final message.You just have to communicate, which youve done a really good job of, he said. Is that nearly as hard as Michigan last week? Michigan was something new every single snap. These guys are almost the complete opposite. Youll watch the game and be like, Damn, they did exactly what we saw. Well just have to see early recognizing the formations that theyre going to be in, then well motion. ...Well do a great job of it because weve done it all year long. The biggest thing is to be ready. Build up to this game. Coming out of a bye week, youve got to bring the energy from snap one. Freakin night game at Camp Randall, that should be pretty easy. Theyll be locked in. Well be locked in. Lets go compete. Get after them, man.The players stood to leave, ready for practice a floor below and more prepared than ever for the challenge of stopping Ohio State. ' ' '



M.C. Klein

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