Chris Haynes joins CSN for next three seasons

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Chris Haynes joins CSN for next three seasons

COMCAST SPORTSNET PRESS RELEASE:

Portland,OR (June 8, 2012) ComcastSportsNet Northwest, home for Northwest sports, today announced the addition ofTrail Blazer and NBA Insider, Chris Haynes, with the signing of a three-yearcontract. Haynes, entering his second season with Comcast SportsNet, willcontinue to expand the role he began during the 2011-2012 Trail Blazers seasonon the network and on CSNNW.com breaking news and providing reliable insideinformation alongside CSNNW.coms senior editor Dwight Jaynes. His contract iseffective as of Sunday, July 1st.

Duringthe 2011-12 season, Haynes was the only member of Portland media to attend allTrail Blazers games, home and away. He will continue to be present at everygame, at practices, at shoot-arounds, at press conferences and at major NBAevents bringing exclusive videos, interviews and information to CSNNW.com.Additionally, Haynes will continue his popular Insider Blog on CSNNW.com and hewill be a regular on Comcast SportsNet programs Rip City Live and TalkinBall.

Lastseason, Haynes broke many stories that were continuously picked up by nationaloutlets such as Yahoo, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and HoopsHype. Those storiesincluded Greg Odens issues with blood clots in his ankle, Batums intent tosign his first offer this summer, Jamal Crawfords decision to opt out andSteve Kerr turning down the GM position.

Priorto joining Comcast SportsNet, Haynes wrote for SLAM Magazine andProBasketballNews.com and worked for Fox Sports Radio in Fresno, CA. Haynes hascovered a variety of major sports that include the NBA Finals, the World Seriesand the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. He is a member of the Pro BasketballWriters Association and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Weare thrilled to have Chris Haynes join our team here at Comcast SportsNet,providing year round coverage of the Trail Blazers for the TV network andCSNNW.com, said Director of Digital Media Kevin Berry. Senior Digital Editorand TV Host Dwight Jaynes said, We believe that Chris tireless work ethic andconnections throughout the NBA with players, coaches, agents and generalmanagers, combined with my decades of experience in covering the league willreinforce the fact that Comcast SportsNet and CSNNW.com are the premieredestinations in the Northwest for fans to find breaking news, unbiased analysisand year-round coverage of the Trail Blazers and NBA.

ReadChris blog at CSNNW.com and follow him on Twitter @ChrisBHaynes.

Freshman QB Justin Herbert impressive thus far

Freshman QB Justin Herbert impressive thus far

Rolling along beneath the surface of Oregon's quarterback competition is freshman Justin Herbert. 

He has virtually no chance of playing this season and will likely redshirt. But that doesn't mean the 6-foot-6, three-star recruit out of Sheldon High School isn't making noise. 

"He really has exceeded all expectations," Oregon quarterback coach David Yost said. 

As with all first-year Oregon players, Herbert is not permitted to speak with the media until after the first game of the season. But Yost had plenty to say about his young pupil starting with pointing out how much Herbert did over the summer to prepare for fall camp in terms of learning the offense. 

That show of commitment has impressed, especially given that Herbert has little chance of playing right away.

Senior transfer Dakota Prukop is beating out redshirt freshman Travis Jonsen for the starting job. A formal announcement on the starter could come as soon as Thursday with the season opener looming Sept. 3 at home against UC Davis. 

Fellow true freshman, Terry Wilson Jr., who arrived on campus in time for spring drills, will likely redshirt along with Herbert unless Prukop and Jonsen were to go down. 

Jonsen, it's assumed, will be the backup while Wilson, who flashed considerable talent during spring, and Herbert compete for third-string. Or, could Herbert be in competition for a larger role?

"He is in the regular rotation right now and he's getting as many reps as all the other guys," Yost said. "I think he's definitely in competition for a spot to where he is traveling and he could be more than just a No. 3 guy."

Yost said that Herbert is easy going guy who picks up details within the offense well and has a quick release. 

"It's been really fun to work with," Yost said. "And he has a really natural feel for where to go with the ball through the progressions without having to sit there and over analyze it and over think about it."

But that was before the coaching staff began inputting more elements from the playbook. That, Yost said, slowed down Herbert's progression a bit and now he is playing catchup. His lack of experience within the offense, talent or not, will likely keep Herbert from challenging Jonsen for No. 2. 

Athleticism won't. Herbert, despite his height, can scoot. 

"He's got more athleticism more quickness and more foot speed than he'll probably get credit for because of his size," Yost said. 

The downside to Herbert looking so sharp is that the Ducks are almost assured of having one of their three freshmen quarterbacks leave the program within the next 18 months. 

Jonsen, Wilson and Herbert will compete for the starting job next year with one year separating Jonsen from the other two, assuming both redshirt. 

If Jonsen is the starter of the future, there is no way both Herbert and Wilson remain with one serving as the No. 3 with Jonsen having three years of eligibility remaining.

Should Wilson or Herbert end up the starter next season, Jonsen would surely move on. 

This situation, of course, is a good problem for Oregon to have moving forward. It's certainly better to have too many potential star quarterbacks than be forced to dip into the Big Sky talent pool in order to makeup for having a lack of elite talent at quarterback. 

 

Seisay's departure could hurt Oregon's secondary depth

Seisay's departure could hurt Oregon's secondary depth

The departure of Oregon cornerback Chris Seisay from the football program came somewhat as a shock to defensive backs coach John Neal. 

He said Monday that he is unsure why Seisay chose to seek a transfer from the program he joined in 2014. 

"You'd have to ask him," Neal said while also adding that people could piece together the various bits of information Seisay has dropped here and there. 

CSN asked Seisay on Sunday night when he left. He said via text message that the depth chart, where he was listed as backup cornerback, did not compel him to leave. He said it goes much deeper than that but did not elaborate. 

Seisay told The Oregonian that he didn't feel happy or on good terms with Ducks program. 

According to a source, Seisay has walked off the practice field in anger during fall camp. 

Last week, Seisay told CSN that he learned a lot from last season, when he missed eight games after entering the year as the team's No. 1 cornerback, that he needed to work harder and not expect things to be given to him.

He also said: “I’m just ready to prove everybody wrong. Everybody that’s doubted me, our whole group as a DB corps, our whole team.”

Neal last week said the following about Seisay: “Right now, when he plays well, he’s one of those guys. He’s going to play. Is he going to start? I don’t know. But he adds depth. He can play nickel. He can play dime."

Maybe Seisay didn't decide to leave because it appeared he would backup junior Arrion Springs and sophomore Ugo Amadi. But it's extremely rare for a starter to transfer out of Oregon, or any other program for that matter.  

Clearly, whatever the reasons, Seisay wasn't happy at Oregon and has moved on. The talented athlete should find success wherever he lands. 

"It's kind of heartbreaking," Neal said. 

So, what does losing Seisay mean for the Ducks? Tough to say at this point. Had Seisay been at his best and still a backup, Oregon would have been set with three starting-caliber cornerbacks. The Ducks right now can't boast to having one true, proven, big time starter at cornerback given last year's mess that saw Oregon allow 35 touchdown passes. 

Seisay's departure places more pressure on Springs and Amadi to improve dramatically. Behind them are promising redshirt freshman cornerback Malik Lovette and maybe redshirt junior cornerback Ty Griffin

We could also see starting redshirt junior safety Tyree Robinson at cornerback, if needed.  Neal likes his depth at safety with former starter Reggie Daniels backing up Juwaan Williams. 

"In some cases, Tyree is going to move out there," Neal said. 

Seisay wasn't going to make or break Oregon's defensive backfield. But his departure certainly doesn't help. 

 

Rasheed Wallace joins Damian Lillard in rapping for the #SoGoneChallenge

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Rasheed Wallace joins Damian Lillard in rapping for the #SoGoneChallenge

It's not quite the #IceBucketChallenge, but the #SoGoneChallenge is sweeping social media over the past several weeks. 

The craze dares people to freestyle rap lyrics that they wrote over the instrumental version of Monica’s 2003 song “So Gone.” Everyone from 9 to 5ers to celebrities have released their renditions. Last week, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard joined in:

Now, former Trail Blazer Rasheed Wallace released his version. You can watch the video here. The lyrics are not suitable for all audiences.

Rasheed is no stranger to rapping, either. There are a number of videos out there over the years of him freestyling:

So, the question is, who did it better: Damian or Rasheed?

 

 

Alabama tops AP’s preseason No. 1, Oregon sneaks in

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Alabama tops AP’s preseason No. 1, Oregon sneaks in

The first of one of the many polls that doesn’t make a spit bit of difference has been released!  Woohoo?!?

Sunday morning, less than a week before the 2016 season officially kicks off, the Associated Press unveiled a preseason Top 25 poll that has a decidedly 2015 College Football Playoffs feel to it.  Defending national champion Alabama has claimed the AP’s top spot, followed by national runner-up Clemson at No. 2 and semifinalist Oklahoma at No. 3.

The other 2015 playoff participant, Michigan State, will start the season at 12th.

Before we get on to the remainder of the poll, a word of warning to the Tide.

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The most underrated performances of the Olympics belong to Ducks

The most underrated performances of the Olympics belong to Ducks

Yes, there was Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Simone Biles -- they turned in spectacular performances in Rio. But please let's not forget what a trio of former Oregon Ducks pulled off in the Olympics. We're talking about historically significant stuff from Ashton Eaton, Matthew Centrowitz and Galen Rupp.

Eaton, competing in an event that used to be the centerpiece of the Olympics, won his second gold medal -- only the third man to take gold in the decathlon in back-to-back Olympics. Humble, polite and poised, he doesn't even like that "World's Greatest Athlete" label that usually goes with winning an Olympic decathlon gold medal. I hope he finds a challenging and fulfilling next chapter in his life. Certainly he's got the kind of versatility and poise to succeed in many different pursuits.

Centrowitz won the gold medal in the 1,500 meters, something that hadn't been done by a U.S. runner in more than a century. That's difficult to believe, in that this country has produced some terrific milers. Seriously, Centrowitz did something that Jim Ryun, Wes Santee, Steve Scott, Marty Liquori and so many others couldn't do. The list of great U.S. milers and 1,500-meter runners includes so many Ducks, too. I'll list just some of them, knowing full well I'll think of a few more later: Dyrol Burleson, Jim Grelle, Keith Forman, Roscoe Divine, Wade Bell, Dave Wilborn, Steve Prefontaine, Paul Geis, Rudy Chapa and even Matt Centrowitz Sr.

To do something that hasn't been done by an American since 1908 by is pretty amazing.

Rupp didn't come away with a gold medal. He settled for third in the marathon but considering it was just the second one he's ever run it was an amazing performance. Rupp has seemed to be searching for his best race and perhaps he's found it in the marathon, which is such a punishing discipline. He's successfully run every distance from the mile through 5,000 and 10,000 meters before trying 26 miles. He's got charisma and obvious toughness and someday he's going to bring a gold medal back to Portland.

There were other Ducks in Rio, of course. But this trio was the most special.

 

 

Timbers fall 3-1 to Sounders

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Timbers fall 3-1 to Sounders

The Portland Timbers fell 3-1 against Seattle Sounders FC before 53,302 fans at CenturyLink Field on Sunday night after surrendering three second-half goals to the home side. The Timbers will face Sounders FC in the second of back-to-back league meetings against Seattle at Providence Park on Sunday, Aug. 28.

Despite the result, just the Timbers’ (8-10-8, 32 points) second loss to Seattle in five games played across all competitions (3-2-0) since June 16, 2015, Portland sits in first place in the Cascadia Cup standings, ranking tied for the lead with Vancouver Whitecaps FC with six points.

Creating several chances to score in the first half, the Timbers produced a goal-scoring opportunity in the 16th minute of play when midfielder Diego Valeri whipped in a dangerous cross into the box, finding defender Liam Ridgewell, who narrowly missed the target with his first-time effort. One minute later, Valeri floated a pass in behind Seattle’s backline, releasing forward Jack McInerney inside the 18-yard box. McInerney attempted to lob the ball back across the face of goal, just missing defender Alvas Powell at the far post.

In the 23rd minute, the Timbers broke free on the counter attack through midfielder Darlington Nagbe, who played the ball out wide to McInerney, With a cross back into the area, McInerney found Valeri, whose shot went just high of the target.

With 13 shots in the second half, Portland created two strong chances to open the second 45, including Valeri’s effort at the near post in the 56th minute, which forced a tough save from Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei, while McInerney also forced a strong save from Frei three minutes later with a low effort on target.

Seattle (9-12-3, 30pts) took the lead in the 61st minute when forward Clint Dempsey converted from the penalty spot after Timbers defender Vytas was whistled for a foul just inside the 18-yard box. Twenty minutes later, Sounders FC doubled their lead when Dempsey scored from outside the 18-yard box, finishing into the bottom right corner in the 80th minute, before Cristian Roldan added their third and final with a header from a set piece in the 83rd minute.

The Timbers pulled a goal back in the 93rd minute when forward Fanendo Adi scored his 12th goal of the season from inside the box, finishing Powell’s pass with a well-placed shot from just outside the six-yard box. The Timbers’ goal came after midfielder Jack Barmby’s strike from distance rattled off the post, landing on the right side of the box to Powell, who took a touch before connecting with Adi.

Responding to Seattle’s opening goal, the Timbers came close to scoring in the 63rd minute when McInerney’s header from a corner kick forced Frei to produce an a fingertip save, just managing to push the danger away. Less than five minutes later, Valeri won the ball deep in Seattle’s half, driving at the defense before pulling the ball across to an unmarked McInerney, who had his strike saved by Frei.

Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, who made three saves throughout the match, produced consecutive saves in a span of five minutes in the first half, first coming off his line to deflect forward Jordan Morris’ effort wide before making a diving save to push midfielder Osvaldo Alonso’s powerful chance away for a corner.

Next up, Portland will return to Providence Park to play host to Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday, Aug. 28, beginning at 2 p.m. (Pacific). Sunday’s match will be broadcasted live on ESPN with local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).

Notes:

  • Sunday’s match was the 94th all-time meeting between the two clubs.
  • For the first time in 2016, the Portland Timbers have recorded a passing accuracy of 80 percent or higher in consecutive matches.
  • The 13 shots attempted by Portland in the second half were the most the club has attempted in the second half of a road match since July 27, 2013.
  • Timbers defender Steven Taylor made his debut for the Timbers, becoming the 83rd different player to play in an MLS match for the club.
  • Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe played against Sounders FC for the 17th time in a regular-season match and 21st time in his Portland career, marking the most matches played in the rivalry by a single player between both clubs in the MLS era.
  • Alvas Powell registered his first assist of the season. Powell is the 10th different Timbers player with an assist in 2016.

Team USA romps to third straight gold medal

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Team USA romps to third straight gold medal

The United States finishes off a golden three-peat with a 96-66 clobbering of Serbia 96-66.

Team USA’s best player stepped up when they needed him most as Kevin Durant scored a game-high 30 points to go along with four assists, three rebounds, three steals and a block.

The United States looked sluggish in the first quarter and seemed plagued by the same issues that dogged the gold medalfavorites earlier in the tournament. Team USA began the game playing a lot of isolation offense, and struggled to function as a unit on the offensive end. At the end of one, Serbia trailed by just four and looked like they may challenge the U.S. for gold.

Instead, Durant came alive in the second quarter. He outscored Serbia by himself in the quarter, 18-14. By halftime, the U.S. had extended their lead to 23 points.

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Oregon DB Chris Seisay leaves football team

Oregon DB Chris Seisay leaves football team

As first reported by 247Sports and confirmed by other outlets, Oregon Defensive Back Chris Seisay has left the football program. 

The redshirt junior cornerback, who missed eight games last season because of injury was not at Saturday's practice, according to 247Sports. Seisay indicated in a comment to OregonLive that the decision was not based on playing time.

The struggles Oregon's defensive backs experienced last season can't exactly be pinned on the injury to Seisay entering last season. But his absence certainly hurt. 

Seisay was supposed to be the next in a long line of great Oregon corners following the departure of Troy Hill and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu to the NFL. In fact, during the 2014 season Seisay started in place of the injured Ekpre-Olomu during the Rose Bowl win over Florida State, and in the national championship game loss to Ohio State. 

Seisay began 2015 well with an interception in the season opener against Eastern Washington. The following week at Michigan State, Seisay suffered an undisclosed injury. He underwent surgery, showed up the following week in a walking boot and was shutdown for two months. 

While Seisay was out, and after he returned, the Ducks secondary got lit up. Freshman Ugo Amadi was thrust into the starting lineup in place of Seisay. Other injury problems popped up in the secondary. The season ended up being a mess for a defense that finished ranked 116th in the nation. 

Seisay watched the madness unfold while not being able to do anything about it until the very end. An end that included a second-half collapse against TCU in the Alamo Bowl.

As of last week, Seisay was the No. 3 corner behind Amadi and junior Arrion Springs.  That role should have provided Seisay with plenty of opportunities to play in a conference loaded with teams that employ offensive schemes that require defenses to counter with five or six defensive backs. 

Source: Eagles' rookie LB Joe Walker out for season with torn ACL

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Source: Eagles' rookie LB Joe Walker out for season with torn ACL

The Eagles' already-suspect linebacker depth has taken another big blow. 

Backup middle linebacker Joe Walker tore his ACL during Thursday night's preseason game in Pittsburgh and is out for the season, a league source confirmed to CSNPhilly.com.

The Philadelphia Daily News first reported that Walker was out for the year.  

Walker was a seventh-round selection out of Oregon, but was slated as the Eagles' backup middle linebacker behind the oft-injured Jordan Hicks.

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