From Comcast SportsNetSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco Giants first base coach Roberto Kelly sustained a concussion Saturday after getting hit in the back of the head when Buster Posey's ball struck him while he was standing near second base during batting practice.But Kelly was still expected to be on the field for Game 1 of the NL championship series on Sunday as long as he gets cleared by team doctors.He was taken to a hospital for tests and later released, with athletic trainer Dave Groeschner saying in a text, "doing better, going home.""We'll let the doctors see him tomorrow," Groeschner said.Kelly walked off the field with assistance and was placed on a stretcher to leave the ballpark. The NL West champion Giants were holding a workout at AT&T Park a day before opening the series against the St. Louis Cardinals.Posey said he didn't see what happened."I saw him on the ground like everybody else, I didn't see it hit him," Posey said. "Anytime somebody gets hit in the head you're worried for them. He seemed to be doing all right. He was cognizant and answering questions. I think any time with a head injury, it is scary because you just can't take anything for granted with that, and you have to be really, really careful."The frightening moment came just more than a month after Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy took a line drive to the right side of his head on a ball from the Angels' Erick Aybar on Sept. 5. McCarthy, Oakland's opening day starter, sustained an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture on the play and underwent two hours of surgery.The 48-year-old Kelly has been the Giants' first base coach since 2008. He played 14 seasons in the majors for eight teams and was a career .290 hitter with 124 home runs and 585 RBIs. The outfielder spent his longest stint with the New York Yankees, from 1987-92 and again to finish his career in 2000.He also played for the Reds, Braves, Expos, Dodgers, Twins, Mariners and Rangers.Kelly was a two-time All-Star and played in 1,337 career games.Before being promoted to his current position, Kelly managed in the Giants' organization at Class-A Augusta for three seasons from 2005-07. He has an emphasis in baserunning and outfield defense.
ALAMEDA – John Pagano can’t implement his scheme in a week. He can’t import his plays and preferences cultivated during five seasons as Chargers defensive coordinator. Full offseason programs and training camps are required for that.
Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was fired on Tuesday. Pagano will call his first Raiders game five days later against Denver at Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders’ assistant head coach – defense believes he can impact how the Silver and Black does business.
“There’s always room for change and there’s always room for doing things better,” Pagano said Thursday. “Without telling you our game plan, it’s about how we go out and execute the call, bottom line.”
Head coach Jack Del Rio said the Raiders weren’t playing fast enough. They weren’t creating enough turnovers, weren’t doing well enough on third down and weren’t regularly affecting the quarterback due to a lack of both rush and coverage.
That’s why Norton had to go.
Pagano’s first objective, which must get accomplished in a few days, is getting the Raiders to play with confidence. Then he can add some design wrinkles with some of his personality.
“You have to have that ability of going out there, knowing your assignment and playing faster,” Pagano said. “It’s not to say that there have been times where we’ve simplified things, but taking the thinking out of the game and making them react is, I think, most important. Going out there and playing fast and that’s doing the little extra things, the attention to details of studying and getting those things processed. See ball, go get ball.”
That last sentence sums up how Pagano wants his guys to play. He’s a quality play caller and creative blitzer with a knack making simple plays look complex. He can find and exploit opposing weak links. His defenses have always been good creating pressure and turnovers alike. The Raiders need more of both.
To do that Pagano wants to relieve a player’s mental burden and keep them focused on using talent well.
“The one thing I’ve always stressed and always been about is technique, fundamentals and unbelievable effort,” Pagano said. “I think those three things can get you home.”
The Raiders haven’t been home much as a defense. They’re tied for last with 14 sacks. They’re dead last with six turnovers. They’ve gone 10 games without an interception, the longest single-season drought in NFL history.
A lack of big defensive plays has killed the Raiders this season. It obviously increases points allowed. Good field position has been hard to come by. The offense has to earn everything the hard way. That’s a recipe for losing football, a maddening turn after the Raiders finished second with 30 takeaways last year.
Pagano has a chart listing “MOPs,” short for missed opportunities. There have been many, especially in a secondary he oversaw before this week.
“I talked to these guys this week about we need to do simple better,” Pagano said. “What is simple? It’s fundamentals of covering. It’s tackling. It’s communicating. It’s catching the ball when it comes. We’ve had opportunities. It’s not like we’re out there struggling and straining to dive and layout for the thing. It’s hit us in the hands where we’ve had many, many opportunities.”
Missed opportunities have also plagued a pass rush featuring reigning defensive player of the year Khalil Mack. Pagano brought up a moment early in Sunday’s lost to New England, when Treyvon Hester forced a fumble near three teammates that the Patriots somehow recovered.
Pagano’s goal is to improve performance. Players must buy in to do that. Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin headline a large group close to Norton, one with enough pride and professionalism to get behind a new playcaller in Pagano, who could be here long term.
“There is a human element to this,” Pagano said. “We are family. It’s sad any time a member of your family gets dismissed or something. At the end of the day, we have the Broncos coming in here on Sunday and we have to get our minds right to go play this game. That’s something that they’ve done a great job with this week, truly focusing in on what we need to do.”
Warriors rookie Jordan Bell made an instant impact for the team this season. But as of late, his playing time has dwindled. In four of the Warriors' last five games, Bell has been inactive.
“It's just the life of a rookie,” Bell said to The Athletic. “That's what Steve Kerr always tells me. It's not because I'm playing bad. Just gotta be professional about it and stay ready. It's like being a freshman all over again.”
While Bell wants to be on the court with his teammates, what he appreciates most from Steve Kerr is his communication. Kerr is always honest about when he won't play Bell and he keeps the former Oregon Duck encouraged.
“He talks to me about it every time he sees me,” Bell said. “Lets me know I'm not going to be active. Keep doing what you're doing, you're doing good. But it still f------ sucks. You're playing well and it doesn't mean anything because you're younger. It sucks, but you got to be professional about it.”
Bell has played in 12 of the Warriors' 18 games this season. The 22-year-old is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game over 8.3 minutes per game.
The Warriors bought the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from the Chicago Bulls and selected Bell. On Friday night, the Warriors, and perhaps Bell, play the Bulls for the first time this season.