Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Kilgore's return should solidify 49ers' offensive line

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Daniel Kilgore is ready to play 16 games at center in 2016, and his presence will be a big upgrade over Marcus Martin. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Kilgores-Return-at-Center-Should-be-a-Big-Plus-for-49ers-373995591.html

New video shows Raiders' Debose is fit again

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: New video of workouts by Andre Debose show the kick returner's damaged Achilles' tendon is 100 percent again. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Andre-Debose-Looks-Ready-to-go-for-Raiders-373998421.html

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Raiders like Heeney, but may not be able to pass on Ragland

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Ben Heeney did a nice job as a rookie starting at middle linebacker, but Alabama star Reggie Ragland may be drafted to replace him. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Raiders-Like-Heeney-but-Still-May-Use-Top-Pick-on-Linebacker-373853871.html

Keys to health are exercise, diet, social network, sleep ... and having a pet? Research is showing there are multiple health benefits for humans to have an animal friend

For years there has been anecdotal evidence showing that pets make people happier, more energetic and healthier. Now serious scientific research is showing dogs, cats, rabbits, birds -- almost any pet -- has many positive effects on human health. My story for the Health section of the San Diego Union-Tribune: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/mar/28/pets-are-good-for-you-just-ask-fluffys-owner/

Boldin seems poised to catch on elsewhere

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 49ers are prepared to wait and let the Anquan Boldin free agency play out, but that may guarantee he goes elsewhere. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/If-49ers-Wait-Anquan-Boldin-May-Catch-on-Elsewhere-373849151.html

Monday, March 28, 2016

Thirty years ago, Tom Green became the first Grand Slammer in ultra racing ... but now he's running a tougher race

In 1986, Tom Green ran four 100-mile races in one year to earn the first Grand Slam in ultra running. Since then, he's run hundreds of ultra marathons and remained active into his 60s. But a freak accident in 2015 has changed all that. My story about Tom for ESPN.com's Endurance Sports section: http://espn.go.com/sports/endurance/story/_/id/15059806/endurance-sports-freak-accident-keep-ultrarunning-legend-tom-green-down
Jennifer Currin never intended to be a top wave surfer. But in recent years she's become an age-group world champion in the sport while also being a busy rep for a pharmaceutical company. My story for ESPNW's Weekend Warriors series: http://espn.go.com/espnw/life-style/article/15060114/weekend-warriors-jennifer-currin-surprising-rise-top-wake-surfing

Vicki Manalo Draves overcame prejudice to become an Olympian

Vicki Manalo Draves once was denied membership in a San Francisco club because she was Filipina. A few years later, she was the first Asian-American to win Olympic gold. My story for TeamUSA.org: http://www.teamusa.org/News/2016/March/24/Vicki-Manalo-Draves-Overcame-Prejudice-To-Make-Olympic-History

Gymnast Dominique Dawes is still a role model

Dominique Dawes was a barrier-breaking African-American gymnast, but that was never something she thought about during her career. My story for her for TeamUSA.org: http://www.teamusa.org/News/2016/March/24/Making-History-Was-Secondary-To-Success-For-Gymnastics-Pioneer-Dominique-Dawes

49ers' Miller still a big fan of Kaepernick

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Fullback Bruce Miller isn't one of those rumored to be disenchanted with Colin Kaepernick. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Niners-Bruce-Miller-Remains-a-Big-Fan-of-Kaepernick-373738801.html

Watson and Howard to compete for starting RT job

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Del Rio says Menelik Watson & Austin Howard will go mano a mano for starting job at right tackle. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Raiders-Watson-Howard-Expected-to-Compete-for-Job-at-Right-Tackle-373231621.html

It's better news for Mario Edwards Jr. and Raiders

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. making progress with neck injury. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Raiders-McKenzie-Del-Rio-Indicate-Edwards-Will-be-OK-373363351.html

Hyde slimming down for Kelly's offense

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Carlos Hyde says he's getting in better shape and losing weight specifically to play for Chip Kelly. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Slimmer-Hyde-Hopes-to-be-Nice-Fit-for-Kellys-Offense-373367011.html

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Is Anquan Boldin's time with 49ers now over?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Receiver Anquan Boldin is a free agent, but the 49ers haven't started talking with him yet. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Have-Not-Been-Negotiating-with-Anquan-Boldin-373226991.html

Del Rio says competition will be wide open at right tackle

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The competition at right tackle will be wide open for Menelik Watson and Austin Howard, says Jack Del Rio. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Raiders-Watson-Howard-Expected-to-Compete-for-Job-at-Right-Tackle-373231621.html

Sources say 49ers' decision on Kaepernick will rest with Kelly

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: If Chip Kelly believes in Colin Kaepernick, 49ers will keep him, according to reports. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Report-Niners-Will-Put-Kaepernick-Decision-in-Kellys-Hands-373087381.html

Raiders still very interested in Aldon Smith

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Although the Raiders have beefed up their defense, they still have interest in suspended free agent Aldon Smith. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/McKenzie-Del-Rio-Say-They-Still-Have-Interest-in-Aldon-Smith-373080441.html

Monday, March 21, 2016

Just a couple of teams may have interest in Kaepernick

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The Browns say they have no interest in making a deal with 49ers for QB Colin Kaepernick. The market appears to be shrinking for him. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Market-for-Kaepernick-May-Not-be-As-Big-as-Believed-372948871.html

It's doubtful that Raiders will pay high price for Wilkerson

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: One national NFL writer suggests the Raiders should pay up for the services of Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. Yet Reggie McKenzie's track record as GM seems to shoot down that idea. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Muhammad-Wilkerson-to-Raiders-Dont-Bet-on-It-372954751.html

Friday, March 18, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

New Raider Irvin says he's just "scratched the surface" of talent

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Former Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin was a key player in Seattle's defensive scheme but he says he can be a better playmaker with the Raiders. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Irvin-Eager-for-Bigger-Role-as-a-Playmaker-With-Raiders-372407691.html

Is Zane Beadles the answer at left guard for 49ers?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: To fill Alex Boone's slot at left guard, the 49ers have signed Zane Beadles, who has some pluses and minuses. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Add-Former-Pro-Bowl-Guard-Beadles-372394031.html

Aztecs running back Donnel Pumphrey, back for senior season, is poised to break all of Marshall Faulk's records at San Diego State

Donnel Pumphrey seems too small for the NFL, but so did Marshall Faulk. Now Pumphrey, perhaps the best but least-known running back in college football, is on the brink of breaking Faulk's mighty records at San Diego State for a program that is on the rise. My story on Pumphrey for San Diego State's 360 Magazine: http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news_story.aspx?sid=76076

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Speed skating's greatest current (friendly) rivalry, featuring USA's Brittany Bowe and Heather Bergsma, has helped push both to new heights

U.S. speed skaters Brittany Bowe was the best in the world this season, but teammate, rival and friend/training partner Heather Richardson Bergsma was right behind. My story on their World Cup seasons for TeamUSA.org: http://www.teamusa.org/News/2016/March/15/In-One-Of-Team-USAs-Greatest-Rivalries-Speedskaters-Bowe-And-Bergsma-Cap-Season-With-45-Medals

Northeastern's Kendall Coyne is proud to have led her team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance

Kendall Coyne was the top scorer in the nation as a senior at Northeastern, but what gave her the most satisfaction was finally helping the Huskies get to the national tournament. My story about her for the Kaz Watch series for USA Hockey: http://www.pattykaz.com/news_article/show/625547?referrer_id=718465

Niners have eyes on UCLA linebacker Myles Jack

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Myles Jack was injured his final year at UCLA, but he's still a top prospect. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Reported-to-Have-Strong-Interest-in-UCLA-Linebacker-372233412.html

With re-signed Penn, Raiders have one of NFL's top O-lines

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Left tackle Donald Penn has reached a deal to stay with the Raiders. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/By-Keeping-Penn-Raiders-Now-Have-One-of-NFLs-Best-Offensive-Lines-372229172.html

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Gabbert may fit Kelly's offense better than Kaepernick

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Blaine Gabbert has been lost in the offseason conversation about the QB situation for the 49ers, but his traits might be best for Chip Kelly's offense. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Gabbert-May-be-a-Better-Fit-for-Kellys-Offense-Than-Kaepernick-372121192.html

Raiders would be wise to use Osemele at guard, not tackle

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Kelechi Osemele is a versatile player, capable of playing guard or tackle, but the Raiders would benefit from putting him inside rather than outside. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Raiders-Might-be-Better-Off-With-Osemele-at-Guard-372114142.html

Monday, March 14, 2016

With 12 draft picks, can 49ers' GM Baalke strike gold?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The good news is, the 49ers go into the draft with more picks than any other team. The bad news: In recent seasons, GM Trent Baalke hasn't drafted well. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/With-Most-Picks-in-Draft-49ers-Baalke-is-Positioned-to-Score-371986542.html

Has free-agency flurry changed Raiders' draft focus?

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Because the Raiders signed three top free agents, does that mean they will change what they want from their No. 1 pick? http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Has-Raiders-Draft-Focus-Changed-Because-of-Free-Agency-371991292.html

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Seahawks' Sweezy among guards 49ers will target

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: It's possible that the 49ers will add a starting guard from archrival Seahawks. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Have-Eyes-on-Seahawks-Guard-JR-Sweezy-371400551.html

Raiders reportedly have landed the best offensive lineman available

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Kelechi Osemele, a versatile and physical guard-tackle for the Baltimore Ravens who was ranked No. 1 among all free-agent linemen, is reported to have reached a deal with the Oakland Raiders. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Report-Raiders-Have-Agreed-to-Terms-With-Top-Free-Agent-Lineman-371395621.html

Sarah Piampiano's route to ranks of elite Ironman athlete had some side trips through the New York financial world, some unhealthy habits

Sarah Piampiano had a breakthrough year as an Ironman triathlete in 2015, and hopes to build on that momentum in 2016. Just a few years ago, she was an out-of-shape workaholic who took up smoking, just so she could get outside once in a while. Her story, for ESPN.com's Endurance Sports section: http://espn.go.com/sports/endurance/story/_/id/14893343/endurance-sports-sarah-piampiano-unusual-career-trajectory-atop-triathlon-world

Dr. Bryon Solberg hasn't let a physical disability stop him from walking and "shuffling" through more than 50 marathons

Dr. Bryon Solberg was an active cyclist and runner when he began feeling the effects of a congenital spinal problem that robbed him of his strength and coordination. After going through depression and losing his ability to practice medicine, he made the decision to get active again. Now he feels blessed to be able to have completed more than 50 marathons. He also hikes more than 200 miles per year. My story on Solberg for the Active San Diego series in the Union-Tribune Health section: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/mar/07/man-on-the-move/

Monday, March 7, 2016

Friday, March 4, 2016

Are the 49ers the NFL's worst franchise right now?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: One NFL analyst argues that the Niners now rank below the Browns, Jaguars and Titans as the worst franchise in the league. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Have-the-49ers-Fallen-Into-the-NFLs-Basement-371059681.html

Raiders' Jackson ranked as one of 2015's NFL breakout stars

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: One position where the Raiders won't have to upgrade in 2016 is at left guard, where Gabe Jackson is a rising star. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Like-Carr-Raiders-Jackson-Took-Big-Step-up-in-2015-371055541.html

U.S. wrestlers face big weekend event, hoping to qualify country for 13 weight classes in next Olympics

Top U.S. wrestlers must finish in the top two spots in 13 weight classes across three disciplines to earn the right to send American wrestlers at those weights to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this year. My story for TeamUSA.org, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic website: http://www.teamusa.org/News/2016/March/03/This-Weekend-US-Wrestlers-Take-The-Mat-For-Their-Country-Not-Themselves

Thursday, March 3, 2016

49ers may have more of a committee approach to RBs in 2016

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Carlos Hyde will be the No. 1 back for the 49ers in 2016, but the history of Chip Kelley and offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins suggests he'll get a lot of help and rest. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/Niners-Likely-to-Use-Multiple-Running-Backs-370931781.html

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Minnesota forward Hannah Brandt has been a Kazmaier Award finalist for four straight seasons

The college career is coming to a close for Minnesota forward Hannah Brandt, a four-time Kazmaier Award finalist. It's been a charmed run with the Gophers, with two NCAA titles so far and a third still a possibility. My story for USA Hockey's Kaz Watch series: http://www.pattykaz.com/news_article/show/619036?referrer_id=718465