Celtics

Jets give Sanchez a makeup extension

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Jets give Sanchez a makeup extension

Am I processing this correctly?

Did the Jets' strategy this week consist of either A)replacing quarterback Mark Sanchez with a short-term, duct-tape solution (Peyton Manning) or B) keeping Sanchez around longer and paying him more?

Because that's what it amounted to. The Jets tried to to find out if Manning was "interested in them" (emasculating way for a franchise to put it, but that's the way it was phrased). He wasn't (even more emasculating).

So the move off of that? Rewarding Sanchez with an extension which signified...what?

I guess it signified their faith in him. But isn't that as hollow as the guarantees Rex Ryan's been burping out annually since arriving in New York?

Everyone with a TV and two eyes knew Manning might be let go in March. Yet Ryan said in late December, "There's no way we're looking to replace Mark Sanchez."

Of rumored internal discussions the team was having about whether Sanchez was their guy going forward, Ryan said, "That's not true."

Well, it was. Or is. And Ryan lied. Or was clueless.

So now,to try and make Sanchez feel better and to allow his teammates to take him seriously (already a tough sell), the Jets gave him an extension. Kinda like when Kobe gave his wife a 4 million ring after his Colorado humiliation. Or last offseason when the Dolphins tried to hire Jim Harbaugh as their head coach, failed, and then had to give Tony Sparano a hollow extension. Annnd, then they fired him.

Hey fellas...mission statement.

Butthat's the thing about the Jets with Rex Ryan as their bumbling, swashbuckling leader. They don't know who they are, they have no identity.

As much as Ryan has insisted that he's just "being him" and that he's the most authentic guy in the league, the only thing that'sreal is that he has no clue what he's all about.

Whether it's lap-band surgery, teeth-whitening or the hackneyed guarantees and bloviating, so much of what Ryan does is all about "the look." Or "the sound." Or the "effect."

This year, he said, no more guarantees.

So what happened to the shoot-from-the-lip guy? Didn't work? OK, Let's change.

He's a chameleon. But the weird thing is, I don't think he's a fraud. What he says or does things, he totally believesin when he says or does them.He just has the foresight of a mole.

And because he's jovial and plain-talking, few in the media call BS on him. Too much fun to cover.

Well, now the Jets have been forced to make another move that's all about "the look."

Of course, Sanchez is so screwed up by now, he's got no clue whatever how this makes him look.

"It gives the team just a reminder that Im the leader of this team, and Im excited to get back, and Im going to be working my tail off these next few months to become the best possible starting quarterback that this franchise can have, Sanchez said in a statement.

Think the Chargers need a reminder about Philip Rivers? Or the Falcons about Matt Ryan? Or even the Bears about Jay Cutler? We're not even talking Brady, Rodgers and Brees here - just about good quarterbacks.

Who the leader is should be a truth that's self-evident. Mark Sanchez won't be the leader of the Jets until he tells Rex Ryan to -off. Until he shows that he needs no hollow validation from the organization and that he'll be fine with or without their propping him up, his teammates will shake their heads and his opponents - like the ones in Foxboro - will smile.

Celtics won't be broken by Hayward's injury

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Celtics won't be broken by Hayward's injury

BOSTON -- These are tough, heart-tugging times for the Boston Celtics, who are less than 24 hours removed from the gruesome left-ankle injury suffered by Gordon Hayward in the first quarter of their 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday.
 
Hayward is scheduled to have surgery today, and potentially could be out for the entire season.
 
As much as their hearts go out to Hayward and his family, the Celtics know they can’t spend too much time sulking. The nature of this business won’t allow them, evident by the fact the C's step back on the floor tonight to host the Milwaukee Bucks.
 
“You hurt for him,” said coach Brad Stevens. “He’s put in a lot of great work. I thought he had his most comfortable week as far as feeling like he was going to play really well. It’s a tough, tough deal but I guess that’s part of it, the risk of injury. I really feel for him.”
 
But in the same breath, Stevens is a realist.
 
He's been in the league long enough to know that grieving for a lost player won’t help that player in the short-term. Or the team, for that matter.

MORE ON GORDON HAYWARD

 
The best way the Celtics can help Hayward is to continue to compete in his absence.
 
We saw that in last night’s loss to the Cavaliers.
 
When Hayward was carted off the floor, the Celtics were ahead, 12-9. The lead disappeared and was eventually replaced by an 18-point deficit, only for Boston to chip away and eventually go ahead in the fourth quarter.
 
But down the stretch, too much LeBron James and Kevin Love would prove to be too much for the Celtics to overcome.
 
While the loss was disappointing, it gave the team some insight into how to fight on now that one of its main guys will be out for a significant amount of time.
 
We saw Jaylen Brown emerge from being a second-year pro on the rise into a matchup problem who dropped a career-high 25 points on the Cavs.
 
And Jayson Tatum reminded us all that he’s a teenager in age only, finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. The last rookie to tally a double-double for the Celtics in his opening night debut was Larry Bird in 1979, who had an identical 14-point, 10-rebound line.


 
But Bird didn’t have to play most of that game with one of the then top-three Celtics out for all but the game’s first five minutes.
 
When it comes to adversity, NBA players don’t have the luxury to pick which ones to handle and which ones to pass on. They either step up to the challenge or be consumed by it.
 
Under Stevens, Door Number One is the only option under consideration.
 
And since Stevens has been in Boston, his players have risen to the challenge.
 
That doesn’t mean they'll win every game, but they've shown the ability to at least be competitive. And in defeat, they'll refuse to use injury as an excuse.
 
That means younger players like Brown and Tatum will assume a larger role at both ends of the floor if Boston is to make it through these tough times relatively unscathed.
 
Veterans like Al Horford and Marcus Smart will be leaned upon more heavily to be leaders, both on and off the floor.
 
And Stevens, considered by many to be one of the better coaches in the NBA, will once again be tasked with making on-the-fly adjustments with his lineup and rotations under less-than-ideal conditions.
 
Nobody hurts more than Stevens when it comes to Hayward’s injury. Remember, he's known him longer than anyone associated with the Celtics, having recruited Hayward to play for Butler. It was the platform that launched both of their NBA careers.
 
Which is why the way he approaches not having Hayward is the example for all his players to follow.
 
Shortly after the loss to the Cavs, Stevens was asked about moving on while handling the emotional dynamics of losing Hayward for an extended period of time.
 
“We’ll be ready to play [tonight],” Stevens said with a heightened level of seriousness in his voice that spoke to how important it was to him and his players that they came out and performed at their best on Tuesday against Cleveland.

And that's the blueprint required for them going forward if they hope to be successful in handling adversity as it comes their way.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

0:41 - Kyle Draper, Brain Scalabrine, Tommy Heinsohn, and Mike Gorman break down the Celtics loss to the Cavs and Gordon Hayward’s injury.

4:22 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions to the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward and how it impacted the game.

9:39 - Dr. Chris Chihlas joins BST to give his medical opinion on Gordon Hayward and if he thinks there is a chance Hayward could return this season. 

13:40 - Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss what the feeling was like in the arena when Hayward went down but how there is actually a 'cautious optimism' surrounding the injury.