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Sports News Headlines: The Lastest NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB News

The Raiders have some of the much-needed ingredients now for long-term success.

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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who already was pondering his future before suffering a concussion in the NFL playoffs, is considering retirement to pursue a career in acting, according to the Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass., which cited an unidentified source.

The report says that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Sylvester Stallone have told Gronkowski, who’ll be 29 in May, that he could have a very lucrative career in action movies.

Said Patrick Graham, who worked with Patricia on Belichick’s staff and has since moved on to Green Bay, via ESPN: “He’s one of the kindest, most caring people I’ve ever been around. He’s just a good people person, a good coach and he’s demanding of players and the coaches around him.”

When Patricia was a candidate in Cleveland I didnt want him.. he just seemed dusagreeable & thought he would try to go overboard as a drill sergeant.

Patricia recently was asked about his approach to relationships in football. He said they — “the comradery” — are what led him to coaching over a career in engineering in the first place.

“Let me make this clear, I want, and we want as an organization, a head coach (who) wants to be all in,” he said. “We’ve got work to do, I’m not … we have work to do and I want somebody (who’s) 100 percent committed to partnering with us and getting that work done.”

Of course, it’s never that easy. The Raiders were supposed to be that team last season, but they had an inexplicable 6-10 finish that resulted in the end of Jack Del Rio’s three-year tenure. That came one year after Oakland’s only winning season since 2002, when the Raiders reached the Super Bowl one year after the “Tuck Rule” game. Oakland went from up-and-coming contender to same-old-dysfunction with one foot pointed toward a relocation to Las Vegas.

But Gruden’s back now, and with that comes those expectations the franchise had after a 12-4 season in 2016 that was cut short by a Derek Carr injury.nike-youth-cardinals-039

The Panthers will be battle-tested if they make the playoffs.

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What has gone right: The defense is re-energized thanks to the return of linebacker Luke Keuchly and free-agent addition of Julius Peppers, who has 4.5 sacks playing in a situational role. Running back Christian McCaffrey has become the dual-purpose backfield threat for which Carolina hoped when it made him a first-round draft pick.

What has gone wrong: Before his strong performance against New England, quarterback Cam Newton didn’t look quite right coming off his offseason shoulder surgery. Newton also lost his favorite target until at least November when tight end Greg Olsen broke his foot in Week 2.

What’s next:Only two of their 12 remaining opponents (Chicago and Miami) are currently below .500.

What has gone right: The offense is far more dynamic with quarterback Alex Smith taking more chances downfield and rookie Kareem Hunt supplying a punch in the running game that has been lacking since Jamaal Charles’ heyday. The return of outside linebacker Justin Houston from knee problems has helped make Kansas City’s defense ferocious once again.

What has gone wrong: Eric Berry, arguably the NFL’s best safety, was lost for the season in Week 1 to a ruptured Achilles tendon. Interior offensive line depth is being stressed because of injuries.

What’s next: As well as they’re playing, don’t expect the Chiefs to remain unbeaten much longer with a tough stretch upcoming against Houston, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Denver and Dallas. Kansas City would get a boost if Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (back) and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (pending six-game suspension) were sidelined for those meetings.
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