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RB Richardson thinks Saban will stay at Alabama

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RB Richardson thinks Saban will stay at Alabama

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Trent Richardson would be surprised if Nick Saban followed him from Alabama to the Cleveland Browns.

Saban, who will lead the Crimson Tide against Notre Dame in the BCS national championship game in Miami on Jan. 7, has been mentioned as returning to the NFL, perhaps with the Browns if second-year coach Pat Shurmur is fired at season's end.

``I can't see him coming to the NFL,'' Richardson said Wednesday. ``I would be very shocked.''

And Richardson knows the coach quite well. After all, he was a standout running back for Saban at Alabama before being selected in the first round by Cleveland in April. Richardson ran for 1,679 yards last season for the Crimson Tide.

``How can you get tired of winning,'' Richardson asked. ``He's got so much going there. He has no reason to leave. He gets what he needs and he treats his program like the NFL (anyway). He makes sure his players are prepared for the game and prepared for the next level when the time comes.''

Any exit to the NFL wouldn't be foreign to Saban, who led Alabama to national titles in 2009 and 2011. He left his post at LSU, in fact, to become coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2005. After going 15-17 in two seasons there, he went back to the SEC, this time in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

``I can see him staying at Alabama,'' Richardson said, ``and retiring at Alabama.''

Saban, who played and coached at Kent State, has Cleveland roots, as well. He was the Browns defensive coordinator from 1991-94, which has helped to spark the speculation.

``I don't believe it,'' Richardson said. ``Rumors are rumors. I don't buy into it and that's one thing he taught me to do - not buy into rumors.''

Richardson is more concerned with playing the playoff-bound Denver Broncos (11-3) on Sunday. The No. 3 overall pick is 46 yards shy of surpassing Hall of Fame standout Jim Brown's 55-year-old team rookie rushing record of 942 yards for the Browns (5-9).

``I'm ready for a big day,'' Richardson said. ``Anytime Jim Brown's name is mentioned, it is big for me. Huge.''

Richardson, who missed all of training camp after having minor surgery on his left knee in July, has already set a new franchise rookie mark with 11 rushing touchdowns. Overall, he has 258 carries for 897 yards.

``I'm good to go,'' he said. ``No issues with the knee. None. With the ribs, I am not going to stop playing ball. I am going to keep on going no matter what.''

All that said, he did reveal for the first time that he occasionally had trouble breathing in his first few games with the injury. He has adjusted his mindset to ignore the pain. He doesn't anticipate difficulty in Denver's mile-high thin air.

``I've never played there, but I'll be OK,'' he said. ``If I need oxygen, I'll take it and go play.''

Shurmur has not considered resting Richardson, either.

``He'll play,'' he said. ``None of us are 100 percent right now. I think that's fair to say at this time of year. Guys are playing through things.''

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NOTES: DB Dmitri Patterson, released by Cleveland on Monday, landed with Miami. Shurmur declined to say why Patterson was cut: ``I'm not going to talk about the whys or what-fors there. I will say this though, I'm happy for him that he's going to be able to finish out the year in Miami. That will be great for him.'' ... TE Jordan Cameron (head) and DL Frostee Rucker (groin) did not practice. ... WR Jordan Norwood practiced for the first time since sustaining a foot injury Oct. 7. He's not on the active roster. ... TE George Bryan was signed to the practice squad. He played at N.C. State (2008-11) and was in camp with Dallas last spring. ... The Browns are 3-0 vs. the AFC West, with the first-place Broncos on deck.

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Emma Meesseman posts an incredibly efficient game in the Euroleague, scoring 20 points in 21 minutes

Emma Meesseman posts an incredibly efficient game in the Euroleague, scoring 20 points in 21 minutes

Emma Meesseman is a walking bucket. She proved it in the WNBA Finals and is continuing to score in bunches in the EuroLeague. 

Playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg, Meesseman went off again. Shooting an incredible 9-for-11 from the field (82%), she posted 20 points in 21 minutes during their win over ZVVZ USK Praha.

Just take a glimpse of Meesseman's highlights from that game. She got her shot to go from every corner of the court. 

The win moved UMMC Ekaterinburg (10-1) to the top of Pool A of the EuroLeague and Meesseman has been a huge part of it. Throughout the season, she's averaged 15 points, shooting 67% from the field and 64% from 3-point range. 

Meesseman just recently won the WNBA Finals MVP award for the Washington Mystics last season. In the WNBA Finals, she posted nearly 18 points a game coming off the bench to lead the team. 

Other WNBA stars Courtney Vandersloot, Brittney Griner and Jonquel Jones also play with Meesseman on the same team. 

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Davey Martinez on electronic sign stealing: 'This just didn't happen overnight'

Davey Martinez on electronic sign stealing: 'This just didn't happen overnight'

When the Nationals faced the Houston Astros last World Series, they took extra precautions to ensure their opponents couldn’t steal their signs even if they were using illegal means to do it.

Less than two weeks later, news broke that the Astros were being investigated by MLB for using electronic devices to steal signs during the 2017 season—a season in which they went on to win their first World Series in franchise history.

The investigation, which concluded last week and resulted in severe penalties for the Astros and the firings of both manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow, didn’t find any evidence that Houston used such means against Washington.

But that didn’t stop Nationals pitching coach Paul Menhart from taking precautions, instructing each of his pitchers to have their own sets of signs and laminating cards for them to keep in their caps. Washington also reportedly used some nontraditional signs that were harder to decipher even with the help of technology.

Speaking with MLB Network Radio’s Chuck Todd, Nationals manager Davey Martinez admitted that he’s fine with sign stealing being a part of the game. It’s once outside devices get involved where he thinks teams begin to cross a line.

The league has “been doing this for years,” Martinez said. “A guy on second base steals signs. They try to relay it to the hitters. They’re looking for an edge. You’re at first base and you’re taking a lead and then you’re picking up the signs of the catcher ’cause you want to steal the base and you’re hoping that you could see a breaking ball—whatever. I get it.

“For me, I blame—if that’s happening—I blame us for not controlling that…the things that are controllable, we should be able to control. The other things that we can’t see—I think that’s the issue.”

The game of stealing signs is as old as the sport itself. While some critics have said it hurts the integrity of the game, the implementation of cameras and electronic devices gives one side a much more significant advantage than the level playing ground that teams have operated on for decades.

“This goes back a while,” Martinez said. “I remember in 2017 [when I was with the Chicago Cubs], we were in the playoffs and got a memo about Fitbit watches and all that stuff and not being able to wear them—”

“So people were worried about this for a while?” Todd asked.

“Yeah. I mean, this just didn’t happen overnight. There are rules and the game has changed. There’s so many different wats now that you can do things. But you’ve gotta understand there are rules and that’s the bottom line.”

The Nationals and Astros will continue to be intertwined, not only as reigning pennant winners but as co-hosts of their Spring Training Facility in West Palm Beach as well. While Martinez wasn’t willing to comment on the findings of the investigation into the Astros, he left a frank assessment for whether Houston should’ve expected such significant penalties.

“MLB has made it known that they were going to intervene if they thought there was any foul play, and they did,” Martinez said.

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